Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 2/10/16

  • Well so far it's been... an "interesting" day (I'm typing this up at almost noon):
    • My laptop's battery didn't charge last night (it charges when I'm NOT using the laptop, which has always been weird to start with but it was plugged in last night and didn't charge at all) so my laptop wouldn't start this morning as I was trying to use it without the charger and I thought it had died altogether.  It did come on when I plugged it in.  Phew!  I'm going to have to "flash" the battery to get it to charge again.

    • Then Ngage isn't working on Swagbucks for me at all.  It tries to load but never does. I opened a ticket but I have almost no hope to get to my 1st goal without it.  My 1st goal is a whopping 120 SB (go home, Swagbucks, you're drunk!) and I couldn't qualify for any surveys this morning. Arrgh.  It's noon and I'm only up to 34 SB because I was gone all morning and I didn't want to run SBTV on cellular data.

    • Greg got a text from USAA about a potentially fraudulent charge on our Mastercard. Since he was about to get on a conference call, I took care of calling them. The charge was only for $4.76 but it definitely wasn't ours. So glad their algorithm recognized that!  They cancelled the cards (it's the 3rd or 4th time for that card that it happens, I'm sick of it!) and I had to change the credit card on record for a couple of charges that are directly billed to it.

    • Then I checked Feedly while I was waiting for my son's award ceremony to start and saw Alison's post about her Paypal account having been hacked... as you may recall, the same thing happened to my brother in France last week and his bank account was emptied out. The same thing happened to her :(

    • Greg got an oil change. He assumed that they would use the same oil as the last time (synthetic) so he didn't specify "synthetic".  Well, they used regular oil. So we got charged less (although probably twice the amount we would have been charged at Pepboys or equivalent) but he'll have to get another oil change much sooner and I worry about the impact on his truck since he has over 120K miles on the truck.  They couldn't find the leak (it hasn't leaked since Monday morning) and they didn't have time to check his brakes today (I asked him to have them check them as they were squealing really loudly when he drove out of the driveway today).

  • I thought I heard a banging noise in our "attic" so I went to investigate. I didn't see anything but noticed my Valentine's Day decorations sitting there, so I brought them down. I only have a wooden sign that I hung at the entrance of the kitchen, a table runner, a bread basket with a heart-printed liner and a couple of V-day themed kitchen towels, but it'll help mark the occasion (and remind me to give the kids their treat from Dollar Tree on Sunday!).  Do you decorate your house for Valentine's Day?  I'm glad the kids are past the age when they're pressured to bring Valentine's Day cards for everybody at school. In France, Valentine's Day is strictly for lovers. it's not a kid holiday at all.

  • With that. I realized late last night that yesterday was Fat Tuesday and I hadn't made beignets. I had meant to make nutella-stuffed beignets for the kids this year since they've been asking for them.  I use Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day's recipe for Challah or brioche bread for those.  I'm out of Nutella anyway. There is a printable coupon for it this week and it's on sale at Target and CVS so maybe I'll ask my daughter to go to Target instead of Walmart on Saturday and pick us up some and I'll make them beignets for Valentine's Day?  Maybe...  Oh my, it's been almost 2 years since I last made them!

  • Greg worked from home today, saving us money on gas (although barely since we had to drive to the garage twice, and with 2 vehicles) and tolls.

  • The kids packed lunches to take to school. I had told our son he could buy lunch today as a reward for his AB Honor Roll award but he forgot about it. He'll buy lunch today instead.

  • At the award ceremony, I gave him a Snickers bar that I had gotten for free :)

  • Greg reused his tea bag from breakfast to brew himself another cup of tea.

  • We finished 2 boxes of cereal at breakfast  time (no, we didn't consume 2 boxes just this morning!) so I recycled them but kept the bags. I'll rinse them and use them to freeze meat or baked items.

  • Greg dropped off his truck at the garage but he had a conference call scheduled so he couldn't wait for it. I drove there to pick him up but stopped by the vet's on my way there to get the new bottle of antibiotics for New Kitty, the special litter to collect the pee sample next time and more cat food.  Cash-ing, but it saved me a couple of trips to the vet's next week.

  • I turned off the heat on the kitchen side of the house but left it on on the other side since Greg is working from home.

  • I found a penny in the school's parking lot :) It's going into my 2016 Change Jar.

  • I drove to the Award Ceremony, which was a failure since the school is so close, but it was cold and I wanted to drive to RaceTrac to get another free bag of chips with a survey reward code. Mission accomplished!

  • Bing Rewards: I earned my daily credits.  Jess and I seem to be on the same schedule for those as she also got a $5 Amazon gift card yesterday. WTG, Jess!

  • I told Greg "Bath & Body Works just emailed me a reminder that you have only 3 days left to buy me a V-Day gift!" and he laughed and replied "I thought we were already covered for V-Day!". Yep, the candles I bought last month on sale: one of them (that I have already completely used up) was our V-day present since we both like the scent.  Then we're also counting the cat's vet bills, the truck's oil change...  lol.

  • Tractor Supply & Co sent me an email for 10% off everything in store.  I don't think we need anything from there so I'll avoid going so I'm not tempted to buy cattle fencing or anything of the sort... since we don't have cattle and can't have cattle anyway. Or chickens.

  • Greg was jonesing for the turkey leftovers for lunch but I forbid him from eating them since I have plans for them for several dinners!  He was pouting... until I got out the can of Campbell's Steak Chili that I got for free from CVS on Monday. He had that, liked it, and it cleared his sinuses too, as an added bonus.

  • The Home Depot Garden Club sent me a coupon which will go unused since I'm not gardening this season...

  • My own lunch was the rest of the turkey caesar salad from last night, the rest of the potato salad from last weekend (I need room in the fridge and no one is eating it!), a piece of focaccia bread that I found in the back of the fridge (there are actually 2 pieces left so I may eat the 2nd one too!) and the rest of the past-its-prime cantaloupe.  On a side note, I don't think I'll use half white, half wheat flour to make the focaccia next time because it wasn't as tasty as when I used the bread flour and much drier too.

  • I finally qualified for a Swagbucks survey and it was for 175 SB!  Woohoo!  So I met my 1st and 2nd goal without Ngage after all.  So happy.  Now tomorrow is going to be VERY challenging since I'll be gone most of the day.

  • My thyme plant doesn't look like it's going to come back.  I thought I had seeds for it but I don't (I have seeds for everything else, seriously, but not thyme!).  So I decided that I would go to Lowe's soon and buy myself a thyme plant.  I have about $1.50 left on a gift card so that will help, especially if I can find it for $1.99!  Having my own herbs definitely saves me money.  I might need to reconsider not gardening because I realized that I need basil, cilantro and oregano too!

  • I remembered that I meant to see if I had an extra container of dried thyme in my stash before I bought a new one at Dollar Tree so I checked. I found a small amount of homegrown dried thyme that I had saved in a treat bag.  Yay!  I'll probably buy a container of it at Dollar Tree next week to hold me off until the plant I plan on buying can be harvested.

  • Since it's Wednesday and the new sales ads for Aldi and Save A Lot are online AND I CAN VIEW THEM, I perused them and added items to my shopping list for next week. It doesn't look like Aldi will be closed for Presidents' Day so I may go on Monday again, we'll see.

  • I saw this trunk organizer on sale for $7.99 at Aldi. Not bad, but I like my frugal trunk organizing system better :)

  • I will be looking for this Crofton 2-pack bamboo cutting board set, though, because my old wood cutting board is coming apart. No one wants shards in their food.

  • My daughter wanted to attend a free UCF concert featuring the music of Interstellar at UCF Celebrates the Arts in April, so I was going to try and snag tickets for it in March, but I realized that she's taking the ACT test in the morning and my oldest son has his senior recital that evening.  However, the Flying Horse Big Band, his jazz orchestra, will be performing for free the following weekend so I will try to get tickets for that.  I put a reminder on my calendar.

  • Greg asked me for some paperclips and while I was looking for them on my desk, I found another penny. I added it to my change jar as well.

  • Greg and I saw this ad on TV for "Angry Mama" just now and laughed... I should get one for each of the kids when they move out. Of course, I won't, because using a cup works just as well :) What a gimmick, though!

  • I saw an help wanted ad in the local paper for an online grocery store in Clermont for warehouse workers.  I think it's to be a packer... so someone who takes the products off the shelves and packs the grocery orders to be delivered to local customers.  Hmmm, I think I could do that! The only "catch" is that you must be available to work weekends. Well, I'm available but do I want to work on weekends?!  Hours are 8-5 p.m.  I also think that when they say "Clermont", they mean "South Clermont" because I would imagine that they deliver those to customers in hotels and rental homes near Walt Disney World.  So that'd probably about 30-45 minutes away from my house instead of just 15 min (downtown Clermont). Hmmm....  I have to think about this.  I bookmarked the website.

  • I unlocked some more awesome Ibotta offers!

  • Ngage finally starting working when I checked again at 4:45 p.m. so I'm using it to try and earn more SB :)

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned a survey reward code for a free bag of TasteWorks chips.

  • Dinner was Leftovers Night: I split the Baked Turkey Ziti and the Blue Plate Meatloaf four ways and steamed 2 broccoli crowns that I had bought last week.  It was very good, filling, and I have a little bit of broccoli left over.

  • I froze the broccoli stems and asparagus ends from yesterday.

  • The CVS Advisory Panel sent me a survey and I qualified for it so I will be receiving a $5 ECB coupon!  Woohoo!

  • Gas to drive both vehicles to the garage... twice.

  • More cat medicine and prescription cat food at the vet's.

  • Drove to my son's award ceremony instead of walking there but I made up for it by finding a penny and getting a freebie from RaceTrac too :)

  • Set the breakfast table for our son
  • Collected recycling throughout the house and took it down to the curb
  • Picked up cat medicine and food at the vet's
  • Picked up Greg from the garage
  • Contacted about bank about fraudulent Mastercard charge
  • Changed credit card payment on a couple of recurring billing accounts
  • Attended our son's Award ceremony
  • Went to RaceTrac to pick up freebie
  • Drove Greg back to the garage
  • Put cat food away
  • Gave New Kitty her medicine
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Added some events my daughter and I want to attend to my calendar
  • Took a couple of customer satisfaction surveys
  • Generally piddled time away on my laptop instead of doing chores :(
  • Defrosted ground beef for the crockpot dinner planned for tomorrow. I think I'll cook it tonight.
  • Heated up leftovers for dinner
  • Did the dishes
  • Prepped crockpot lasagna for tomorrow
  • Took a CVS Advisory Panel survey

  • Nothing specific

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup decaf instant coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • granola with a banana and ~2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • nothing
    • Lunch:
      • leftover potato salad, leftover turkey caesar salad, piece of focaccia, cantaloupe
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • piece of focaccia, string cheese, marshmallows
    • Dinner:
      • baked ziti, meatloaf, steamed broccoli
    • Evening Snack:
      • nothing
  • Weight:
    • didn't weigh myself today
  • Exercise:
    • didn't exercise. Again.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. "No one wants shards in their food". I burst out laughing when I read that. Bunch of wimps. It's fiber. It's good for you. However, that is a very good price for two bamboo cutting boards. Maybe you should buy them.

    Do I decorate for Valentine's Day? I don't know. I still have decorations, but without having kids or grand kids here at home, what would be the point? I don't think I will, but I will tell you when it's over. I like your "home is where the heart is".

    I hope you and your daughter are having a wonderful time together on your road trip.

  2. I've noticed we're in sync on Bing :-) I've got 2 doors with Valentine's window clings on them, that's the only decorations I own for V-Day.


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