Monday, November 16, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Monday 11/16/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Monday, Monday.  I feel unsettled and kind of in a fog.  Of course the first thing I did was check if there were any news from France.  Yes but it's still hard to sift through what is truth and what is incorrect reporting. My Paris brother went back to work today as did his wife. I don't have any news from them as of this writing but I know they weren't looking forward to it.

  • Here it is hot.  I'm sick of the heat. But it's preferable to the alternative which would be the cold so I try not to whine. But I want to be able to turn off the AC, throw open the windows, darn it!  I want my spinach to grow.

  • I got a few Thanksgiving decorations and knick-knacks out.  I don't have a lot to start with and I only got about half of that out.  Another runner for the table that I'll put on it after I clean it...

  • The Publix pilgrims, of course.

  • And the Publix pilgrims dish towel on my oven door (should have ironed it for the photo but... lazy! I mean, it's a dish towel!)

  • These other Pilgrims that I've had forever.

  • I put a new flag in front of the house to replace my tattered gardening flag.

  • A "fall" sign that I had missed back in October.

  • Some pilgrim and native americans next to one of the pumpkins in the entry room.

  • A Happy Thanksgiving sign at the entrance of my kitchen.

  • A small cornucopia found its way to the window sill above my sink and I have a cute little turkey on my small baking island.  

  • That's IT.

  • Found out my ex is celebrating Thanksgiving mid-afternoon that day so the kids will probably be gone, my daughter might be gone for a few days that week to spend some time with him.  My BFF invited me to spend Thanksgiving at her house, as she does every year. It sounded good last Friday at noon when we talked about it but after the events in Paris, I just don't feel like being around people any more, so I'll probably just spend the day at home, put the parade on, eat bonbons, LOL.  I'm thinking that I need to make big organizing plans for next week if everyone will be gone: filing all the paperwork that has piled up, the many many MANY recipes that I have clipped and are just piled up, shred the huge pile of stuff that I put on top of the shredder, do all the ironing.  Part of me is whispering that I should repain the master bedroom because we never painted it after we moved in and it's a sickening baby blue with a really tacky white wedding bows border stenciled mid-height (ugh!). But if you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know that 1) I'm lazy and 2) I hate, hate, hate painting.  So I probably won't do it. But I really should.  Sigh.

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I earned the maximum of Bing Rewards credits for the day. My first Swagbucks daily goal is 100 SB, however I did qualify for a 50 SB survey this morning, woohoo!

  • I signed up for several new American Express offers but the only one I'm really happy about is the $15 credit for spending $60 on Amazon. I signed my card and Greg's card for it and I'm waiting for my youngest son to give me his Christmas wishlist so I can start shopping!

  • I brewed myself a cup of tea by reusing the tea bag from Greg's breakfast.

  • I harvested a few green beans from the garden.

  • I mixed a bottle of grapefruit bergamot liquid hand soap for the upstairs bathroom and reused the bottle of Deep Steep soap that we had just finished.

  • I filtered more water to use as "distilled" water when I make liquid hand soap.  I store it in an upcycled spring water gallon jug.

  • I did two "super" loads of laundry on cold/cold and I used vinegar as softener.  I dried the undies/socks/cleaning cloths and cloth napkins on the racks outside, hung the polyester exercise clothes to dry in the laundry room, and ran the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting for the cotton clothing and bath towels.

  • I reused water collected after boiling eggs to water my 2 indoor plants.

  • I reused the vanilla beans that had been soaking in vodka for a year to start a new batch of homemade vanilla extract. I'll let them soak for at least a year since that's how long it seems to take me to use up a cup of homemade vanilla extract :)


  • I used the last 6 pears from the fridge to make a Fresh Pear Torta. I saved the last egg white to cook with Greg's eggs tomorrow instead of throwing it away.

  • Lunch was the last of the Green Bean Parmesan Soup from last week with a chicken breast that I had grilled last night, the last slice of homemade bread, and a banana.


  • CVS sent me the $10 ECB that I had earned a few weeks back for taking a Consumer Advisory Panel survey. Woohoo!  Free food coming up!




  • You know the really good thing about sucking at sewing either by hand or with the sewing machine?  Your expectations are way way WAY low... I looked at my mending basket this afternoon and decided to try my hand at mending a few things.  First, I mended a woolen sock by hand.   Actually, that wasn't too bad because the hole wasn't that big.


  • Then I got ambitious and decided to use the machine for the rest of the mending.  Of course, first I had to refill the little bobbin from the bottom of the machine.  I had to look it up on YouTube again since I screwed it up last time.  I did it halfway right and then it got all tangled again but hey, I got half the bobbin filled up and that was good enough.  Then I had to look up another YouTube video on how to make the 2 threads come together.  That's all a bunch of voodoo. You would think that, in the 21st century, it wouldn't be that complicated or unexplainable without having to do 20 steps!  Anyhoo, I fixed my son's string bag (the strings on both sides had been ripped from the bottom of the bag)....

Then I fixed the blue lunchbox that he was using until recently and that had a whole side of the bottom ripped up. That one came out really good! I showed it to my daughter and since she needed a lunchbox (I had bought my son a new one), I told her to use that one.



Then I fixed the other spare lunchbox... the strap had been ripped from the bag on one side.  It was very thick so it was hard to maneuver onto the machine and it didn't get sewn exactly where I wanted it to be but hey!  It worked!  The strap is sewn on the bag and it makes it operational.  We're keeping that one as a spare, of course.


The last thing I tried to fix were my son's jeans that he ripped up on the swing last week.  They're really ripped and I wasn't sure I would be able to fix them because there is a large portion that is frayed.  So I did what I could with the machine and I'll finish it by hand. It won't look good (especially since the thread is white because I didn't want to mess with another thread color at this point!) but it'll be a pair to use when he's staying home or helping his dad in the backyard.


  • So I'm feeling a little smug right now :)  The last thing I really want to "fix" is my garden flag that is ripped and kind of brittle because it's been in the Florida sun for a few months. It's also faded. but I think I can get another year out of it if I put in some kind of a backing.  I wasn't sure what to use but I have old bath towels or maybe some of those fabric remnants left after that project I had helped my middle son with last week...  I'll have to think about that one. 




There's a rip under the "d" but there are also big chunks
missing right above the wheelbarrow's wheel and to the right
at the bottom.

  • I took a Racetrac survey and earned a new survey reward code for a free roller grill item.

  • I entered the 3 Kellogg's codes harvested from the products I bought last week, and thanks to the double bonus going on right now for codes (triple bonus for loyalty card purchased and uploaded receipts!), I earned 3 x 160 points = 480 points.



  • I made tortillas with my tortilla press, finally!  I only bought it oh.... more than 6 months ago?  The verdict is that it was less messy than rolling them on the counter with a rolling pin, but it made much smaller tortillas than I expected (once rolled up they were the size of those mini taco boats that I had received a couple of weeks ago). I tried a recipe from Cooks.com that had some vegetable oil in it this time, hoping that it wouldn't burn my pan as much, but it still did.  It's soaking with baking soda in it for now.  But they were very good. 

  • Dinner was ground chicken tacos: ground turkey bought on sale and with coupons from Target, the free Ortega Taco Seasoning from SavingStar last weekend, leftover cheese and salsa, some lettuce from the garden.  On the side we had rice leftovers from last night and the refried beans that I had cooked in the crockpot and frozen a couple of weeks ago.  


  • After dinner Greg and I watched an episode of the 1st season of the Great British Baking Show on Netflix and then a Jim Gaffigan stand-up special. I used the time to darn another one of Greg's woolen socks.  It didn't have a hole yet, but was getting pretty threadbare on the ball of the foot.  Hopefully now it will last longer. I also asked him to start wearing his slippers again so the socks don't develop so many holes!


  • I earned 100 KFR points by entering bonus code 100P-OINT-THAN-KYOU in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account :)

  • Speaking of Kellogg's Family Rewards, they'll be having a Rewards sale soon.



WE SPLURGED ON:
  • The kids bought lunch from school today.


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • One day I will figure out how to use my sewing machine without wasting all that thread each time!



TASKS ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:
  • I cooked Greg's breakfast and packed his lunch.
  • I set the breakfast table for the kids.
  • I made our bed.
  • I sprayed the bathtub and shower enclosures for mildew.
  • I scrubbed the bathtub.
  • I collected the recyclables from around the house.
  • I made a menu for the week.
  • I inspected the garden, squashed caterpillars eating my bean plants, and harvested some beans.
  • I decorated the house for Thanksgiving.
  • I emailed my sister and younger brother.
  • I did the laundry.
  • I did the dishes.
  • I started a new batch of vanilla extract.
  • I made a fresh pear torta.
  • I snapped the green beans that I had harvested over the last few days and froze them.
  • I had a chat with my daughter and we discussed what insurance is, why you need it, deductibles, in and out of network, co-payments, etc.
  • I dusted the downstairs.
  • I darned a sock.
  • I threaded the sewing machine and mended a few items.
  • I cooked dinner.
  • I darned another sock and shared some laughs with my hubby :)

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

1 comment:

  1. So sorry your family and friends are going through this. I know it's also hard to be the one so far away from them at a time like this. My prayers will be with you and your family.

    I would love nothing better than to stay in my pj's all day on Thanksgiving and eat whatever I like but we have a command performance. My mother in law wants us to go over to her friend's house with her so we can all have so much "fun" eating with people I don't know and also some I don't really like. Tried to get out of it but my husband is the only one left - his brother and sister both passed away years ago and his dad did too and his mom and dad were only children. I find I've become a hermit more and more as I get older. I love just staying in my house and puttering around or reading. I'm okay with my own company and my husband works from home so he stays in his office most of the time.

    I too dislike painting. We have touch up painting to do from over a year ago. lol. I put it on the calendar for Sat. in hopes that I get it done. Ha ha.... probably not.
    Oh well, we never have company and it really doesn't bug me.
    Take care.

    ReplyDelete

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