Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Frugal Successes and Failures: Tuesday 9/15/15

  • Allergies are getting to me: I woke up with a stuffy nose and a bad headache: Tylenol for breakfast, my favorite!  We have 60% chance of rain in the forecast this afternoon.  Despite all of this, I'm tempted to just spend the morning on my back patio, enjoying cooler temperatures. It was lovely at 6:30 p.m. last night when I went to get the laundry that had been drying on the racks, plus my neighbor had fired up his barbecue and it smelled so good.  Too bad I had to cook dinner and I couldn't enjoy the patio back then (I've never tried tuna patties on the barbecue, maybe I should!).

  • Tasks for today: I'm going to endeavor meeting my first daily goal of 100 SB on Swagbucks but after that I have loads of laundry to fold, I need to vaccuum, I need to prep my shopping list for tomorrow (I seem to have a lot more things on there that I thought I would need, might need to pare it down, especially since I don't need anything for dinners!) and I probably should dust and iron.  Oh and of course I should try to make some progress in the garden.  My Google calendar reminded me that I should transplant my collard greens today and plant more lettuce seeds.  I might transplant the lettuce too, what the heck (the first batch at least).  Hmm, sounds pretty ambitious for someone who is still in her PJs at 8:30 a.m.  Notice what's not on there? Exercising. I've falling off the wagon. ALREADY.  Maybe receiving my new exercise clothes from Kohl's in a few days will reignite my interest in losing weight?

  • After further pondering of the fact that I DO clean even though I don't like doing it, I've decided to add a "Tasks that I accomplished Today" section to my daily posts.  I'll stick it at the end of the posts so readers can skip it (I mean, it's gonna be even more boring than the rest of my posts, hahaha!) but it'll be a good motivator for me not only on an ongoing basis, but also when I re-read my posts (which I do all the time... this is why I created this blog!).  I'm not kidding myself into thinking that that section will be populated every day, but I will endeavor to keep it going.

  • I did some cleaning chores this morning and decided to reward myself by sitting on the back patio for a while. It is humid but the patio is still in the shade and there is a breeze so it's not too bad.  I have my laptop and my bowl of frosted wheats and the cicadas are singing in the trees.  A hornet stung me on the wrist as I was putting the cushions on my patio furniture. I applied vinegar to the sting.  My grandma used to do that when I was little and I got stung. It really works :)

  • Our backyard is really overgrown but I think Greg is working from home tomorrow and when he does, he usually mows the yard.  He loves to do it but I'm thinking that maybe I ought to get starting today. Like right now since part of the yard is still in the shade... Update: I moved the half that was in the shade and around my garden too. I meant to weed wack as well and I completely forgot before I closed the shed so I'm letting it go for today. I'm pooped! So out of shape...
Mowed area on the left... not mowed on the right...
  • Actually, after I cooled off, I decided to clean up the backyard a little so I threw away some bins that had cracked and broken in the Florida sun and then tried to start the trimmer.  It wouldn't start so I called Greg (who didn't answer!) and then I realized that there were instructions on it and that it was out of gas.  That thing looks ancient and it was pretty much covered in oil and after I put some gas in the tank (only halfway), it seemed that it was leaking gas too.  I got covered in oil trying to start the thing (didn't realize that I didn't need to keep the trigger depressed after it had started so it was revving that an angry hornet nest and bucking everywhere, I'm lucky I didn't weedwack my legs (it would have been a close shave!).  So I was able to do some trimming until I finally ran out of string. I don't know how to replace that or where Greg even keeps the spare (if we have some) so I just gave up.  By then the sun had gone away so I figured I might as well finish mowing the backyard but by the time I put my shoes back on, it had started raining. I just had the time to move my laptop, digital camera and phone back inside, grab the laundry that was on the patio and throw it in the house and it started pouring.  So I decided to just call it a day and went to take a shower. By the time I was done, so was the rain. Argh.

  • Greg took leftovers to work today.

  • My daughter remembered to bring her lunch to school - ahem, because I put it in front of her cereal bowl this morning :)  

  • Our son brought a packed lunch to school as well.

  • My daughter drove herself to school and to her college class.  It saved me a bundle in gas today since she had an FFA meeting between high school and college so she didn't come home at all.

  • I forgot to mention yesterday that I had mixed half a gallon of water with half a gallon of whole milk to stretch it.

  • CVS sent me an "exclusive" coupon for 30% off beauty products if I "try something new in haircare".  I loaded it to my card (because why not?) but I won't use it... I hardly ever buy beauty products and I have haircare products for months here at home.

  • I also loaded up the SavingStar Healthy Offer of the week: 20% off loose avocadoes. I can't redeem it at Save A Lot or Aldi, where I usually get my avocadoes, but I know that Publix will have them for $1.00 a piece starting on Thursday and perhaps Target will have them on sale as well.  There is a 5% Cartwheel offer of those.  Rats, I just realized that the 5% Cartwheel on the berries ends in 4 days.  Arrgh. I hope it gets renewed!
  • I threw my car floormat in the washing machine with some old towels and my ballerina flats as well, to get the gasoline out.  The floormat had the imprint of my shoes and I thought it was dirt... oh no!  My soles had started melting from standing in the gasoline that had spilled!  Thankfully my shoes are still OK, but the footprints will never come off the floormat.  I might try Goof Off...  Everything is drying on the back porch, on racks.

  • My lunch was the rest of the Southwestern Chicken Stew from 2 nights ago only there isn't any chicken left it in, just the beans and corn, so I made a wrap with a Flatout spinach wrap ($0.09 a package at Publix a few weeks ago!), and large tuna patty left over from last night.  I really wanted tartar sauce but I don't have any so I used cocktail sauce that I had in my fridge.  I was happy to have spent the time cubing the rest of the cantaloupe yesterday because it was nice to just fix myself a bowl of it for dessert without any effort: my arms were tired!  I also had 2 small strawberries that someone had left in the fridge.

  • I printed some coupons that had reset, along with coupons for a free jar of Lindsay Naturals olives.  I also printed those from my son's computer. I tried printing them from my daughter's computer too but the printer wasn't working again and I had to reinstall it again but it was too late as the coupon site had already registered the coupons as having been printed from that PC.  Grrr. Then I realized that her PC was set up to receive automatic updates from Windows and even though I changed the settings for that (we want to be able to install the updates when we want to), it was too late to stop the updates that had already downloaded from being installed. I have read that Windows is automatically pushing Windows 10 if you have automatic updates and that pisses me off.

  • I took the survey on my Racetrac receipt from the gas spillage disaster on Sunday night. I gave them a very bad rating (no one offered any help and the pump wasn't functioning properly) and requested for them to contact me (via email).  In the meantime, I earned a survey reward code for another roller grill item.

  • I found 55 cents in the laundry.

  • I brewed half a gallon of Black Cherry Berry herbal tea (to drink as iced tea) and then saved the tea bags to brew another half gallon in a couple of days.

  • One of our laundry baskets' handle had already been repaired with duct tape, last year.  Somehow the duct tape broke today, so I replaced it with new duct tape :) That basket can definitely be used again!

  • Dinner was Skillet Mushroom Stroganoff, which is a complete misnomer because there wasn't any trace of any mushrooms in there at all!  It called for 1 lb of beef tips and I thought that I did have 2 packages of 0.5 lb each but I ended up having only one.  I made rice instead of pasta.  I have no idea how it was as I decided to skip dinner, and evidently there was only enough meat for 3.  There is some rice and sauce leftover for 1 meal, maybe I'll have that for lunch tomorrow.   
I had gotten the sauce pouch as a freebie from Betty Crocker
last September.

  • Paper towels.  No, I didn't buy any, I'm still working through the pack of Bounty that I bought in Spring 2014 and the rolls that Greg brought back from his parents' RV in the Spring.  We use cleaning cloths almost exclusively now. But today I washed several windows and I decided to use paper towels. I do the windows once every 3 years (!) so I figured I could splurge a little.

  • Water and electricity to first wash the car mat, my shoes and some old towels (just so that the mat and the shoes wouldn't be alone in the washing machine!) and then to wash the clothes I wore when I mowed, along with whatever clothes were in my hamper.  So it was a medium and a small wash, which seems like a waste of electricity (running an extra large load uses the same amount of energy as running a small load!) but I was able to save my mat, my shoes AND my exercise shirt that was covered in oil streaks so I'm just calling this a splurge :)  Update: although... maybe it's a failure.  I had to rewash the load with my exercise shirt because there was still grease on it.  Alas, a second application of Shout and a rewash didn't help :(

  • I guess I panicked last week when I decided that we wouldn't have enough bread to last us until Wednesday and went to get overpriced bread at Publix... that loaf hasn't been touched and we still have half a loaf left from the previous one. In my defense, I was supposed to make grilled cheese sandwiches on Saturday night but didn't. Next time I'll need to remember that bread can be made at home if I ever run out! 

  • Since a lot of bloggers are reporting a ton of Ibotta offers that I could be using, I decided to re-download the app.  I had it a couple of years ago but got tired of all the discounts needed to be promoted via Facebook in order to be unlocked (I'm not on Facebook if you're new to this blog and I will never be.) so I cancelled my account. Then earlier this year, before I upgraded to my current iPhone, I downloaded the app again and signed up for a new account with another email address but then the app told me that it wouldn't work on my iOS past the end of the month so I cancelled my account again.  Now I can't create a new account with either of those email addresses because they show as "taken" but if I try to reset the password, it tells me that it sent an email with a link to my inbox, only it doesn't.  I'm so over Ibotta, it's not even funny.


  • Cleaned wall above the stove
  • Scrubbed kitchen cabinets
  • Swept laundry room
  • Collected the trash throughout the house and took it down the driveway
  • Washed all windows in the entryroom (2 double hung windows and large sliding door, inside and out).
I was nervous I wouldn't be able to close them again.  They're
only 3 years-old but the mechanism can be a little tricky.
  • Swept kitchen
  • Washed the SUV's doormat that had gasoline on it and the shoes that had been soaked in gasoline (ballerina flats) with old towels.  
  • Mowed half the garden and around the veggie beds.
  • I used the trimmer around the veggie bins and compost bin and also around the berm's edging.
  • Did a small wash (exercise clothes and hamper), twice.
  • Paid a credit card bill online.
  • Printed, clipped and sorted coupons. Prepped my shopping list and coupons for tomorrow.

Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. I really like your new added section! You got a TON of stuff done! I'm impressed and I'm sure it will motivate you to keep going since you say you plan on rereading these! =)

    1. Thanks my dear! I might have overdone it a little though... I wasn't feeling good last night or most of the day and today I did nothing at all. Well, shopping, but that rarely is a chore for me :)

  2. Wow! You had a busy day yesterday. Those windows look so good. That is one job that I always take pride in, as the results are very noticeable for quite some time. I like to walk into a room and remember, "Oh ya. It is so much brighter in here now. I love my clean windows."

    I like your list of Tasks Accomplished Today. It always seems so much longer than your To-Do list, and it feels good to look back and see that you did get stuff done....maybe not what you planned, but a lot just the same. It's gratifying.

    1. Yes, I think you hit it on the head... not everything that I accomplished was on my to-do list, actually very little was. So by not listing my actual accomplishments, I was left with the stress that came with not having crossed off anything on my to-do list. But now I can actually re-motivate myself when I re-read my posts and realizing that maybe I'm not as lazy as I think I am. Also, by repeating this a lot, I think the rest of my family has started to believe it too. They must think elves clean the toilets, sweep the kitchen, wash their bedding, make sure they have food to eat when they want it...

  3. Oh goodie, I do love a cleaning update, I certainly wont be skipping over it. And didn't you get loads done today. Xx

    1. Oooh, I hope I won't be disappointing you too often :)


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