Friday, February 5, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Friday 2/5/16

  • I went to bed too late last night. Not that late but definitely too late for this old lady and I'm dragging this morning and feeling groggy.

  • It got cool again last night and our high today will be 62. Not cold enough for heat and not hot enough for AC, woohoo!  I love those days when we can give the old electrical bill a rest :)

  • New Kitty woke me up, again, about 5 minutes before my alarm rang.  Her M.O. is: she wakes up, goes to pee, than jumps on the couch, purring and rubs herself all over me to tell me "hey!  time to wake up!  I've been at it for minutes!  I'm hungry!".  She's so darn cute, I can't stand it... and I can't get mad at her either, lol. She's a purring machine.  The other cats don't give me the time of day.

  • Greg's flying home today!!!  Yay! I have missed my honey.

  • But you know what I won't miss?  Puberty.  I cannot wait until my youngest son comes out of it. I'm sick of the moodiness. Oh I really hope it doesn't become a permanent trait.  I know, I know, I have 5 older kids and they've all come out of it but I do worry sometimes because some people remain a***s forever, you know? I hope he's not going to be one of them.

  • Plans for today:  I need to tackle my financial paperwork and organize it but I'm feeling so groggy, I might just end up do a Netflix marathon instead. I also need to file the coupons that I had clipped yesterday.  Argh, and I never did anything with the neighbor's grapefruit and oranges, much less pick our own oranges.  I want to make grapefruit cake but I'm watching my weight, kind of. Update: none of this got done, not even the Netflix marathon. I battled with my laptop and I got a wicked headache and finally had to take a pill for it because it just wasn't getting any better.  I want to go to bed but we have my oldest son's concert to attend far on the other side of Orlando... I hope they don't turn the mikes on too loud as they did the last time because that concert gave me a headache!

  • The concert was excellent. We really had a great time! They're probably going to record a new album in May :)

  • The kids packed their lunches to go to school.

  • Bing... well, it's really a good thing I'm typing this up every day because I just realized that all I did this morning were the mobile searches. Excuse me while I go finish my tasks...  Ok done and now I sit at 78% of my goal (a $5 Amazon gift card).

  • Swagbucks: 1st goal of 100 SB this morning.  It's 11:15 a.m. and I'm only up to 77 SB and that's including a 32 SB search award. Bad news: the CAPCHA that we need to enter to get the Search Awards is BACK.  Grrrr.  Worse news: I did a 75 SB survey that once again didn't get credited. This time the message was that I had already taken the survey. What?  No, I didn't, and if I did, why did the system "let" me take it again?  So I emailed Customer Service again, it's just so aggravating.  Update: they did credit me with the 75 SB.

  • Then for some reason my laptop was running very slowly so I decided to go deal with things in the kitchen instead of getting frustrated.  I made Weight Watchers' cabbage soup with the half of the cabbage that I had bought at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. I cut up the other half and froze it.  The recipe called for some zucchini but I didn't have any. However, I had some yellow squash so I used that instead, along with beans from my garden that I had frozen.

  • Meanwhile, I also boiled some eggs for Greg's snacks since he is coming back. I saved the water afterwards in a pitcher and I'll be watering my indoor plants with that.

  • I had to cut up an onion for the soup and I used 1/2 of it in the soup and froze the other half.

  • I started pulling the meat off the chicken leg quarters that I had cooked last night.  It made me nauseous so I figured I needed a distraction and turned on "The Bernie Mac Show" on Netflix on my Kindle Fire. It worked!  Oh yeah... I finished the 1st season of "Battle Creek" last night while I was cleaning my coupon organizer. Sob.  I want the 2nd season to be on NOW!  Anyhoo, I ended up with a full bowl of meat which weighed at 3.8 lbs (out of a 10-lb bag). At $0.29/lb, it's still only just over $1 in meat, lol!  

  • I did use new quart-size freezer bags to freeze it in 2 cups increments.  I ended up with 6 bags.  Since it's only about 8 oz per bag, I'll probably stretch the meat with beans or veggies when I use it. I think I'll use it in soups and chilis, quesadillas, things like that.

  • I froze the resulting bones to make stock at a later date. If I made it now, I wouldn't have room to freeze it.

  • While I was making room in the freezer (and let me tell you, I have to stop buying things that need to be frozen for a while because I almost had to sit on the chest freezer to get it to seal!), I decided to defrost 1-lb's worth of mashed potatoes so I could make potato rolls this weekend.  I was supposed to make some earlier in the week and I had noted that on the calendar.  So my daughter has been asking about the darn potato rolls :)

  • Redbox emailed me a couple of free movie rental codes for this weekend.  I offered them to my middle son since I won't be using them.

  • Got an email alert from Slickdeals that someone had posted a subscription deal for Kiplinger's but at $6.99 per year, it's still too expensive for me :)  And this reminds me that I forgot to check whether my local library gets the print edition or not.  

  • I battled with my browser for a long time (see "Failures") and it took me past 2 p.m. without a resolution in sight.  I have a headache and I'm freezing (it's 66 in the living room and I'm wearing socks, long pants and a long sleeve shirt so maybe I'm getting sick too?!) so I didn't want to cook anything for lunch. Thankfully I had made the cabbage soup so I had a bowl of that with a Pillsbury Grands! biscuit.  (I did have a bunch of Honey Nut Chex Mix during the browser debacle, purely out of stress!).

  • Greg texted me that he made it onto his 2nd plane (in Toronto) but had to sprint through the airport as they were calling his name. So if everything goes right, he should be home when we get back from the concert and hopefully his luggage made it onto the plane too because Customs is what held him up. Update: this bag made it too. Phew!

  • A few days ago, I had emailed Driscoll's Customer Service to ask if they could resend me new links to print the coupons that I had attempted to print but that were slightly cut off since they seemed to be off-centered on the page.  Then, a few minutes later, I had realized that I had changed the margins on my printer set-up page earlier in the day, so I had emailed them again, explaining that it had been my fault so I was sorry to have bothered them.  Today, a rep emailed me 2 links to print new coupons!  I guess they didn't get my 2nd email?  I do love the Driscoll's berries better than the local strawberries so unless the price difference is huge, I'll probably buy Driscoll's strawberries at Target next week.

  • My daughter gassed up the family car at the cheapest RaceTrac station while she was in Clermont this afternoon and charged it to my Discover card so we will get 5% back in Rewards.

  • We decided in advance what we wanted to order from Hardee's and I clipped the appropriate coupons. I decided to go to Hardee's before we left so we won't be starving after the concert (which would cause me to spend more money), I had coupons (we will get 1 free drink and a free chicken sandwich thanks to the coupons we'll be using), and I wanted to avoid Wendy's since they got hacked recently.

  • So we went to Hardee's for dinner. My daughter ordered the chicken tenders and when they asked her what sauce she wanted, she said "none".  But I corrected that and asked for buffalo sauce (darn it, we're paying for the sauce as part of the meal!) and when we ate our food, we found out they had given us 3 packets of buffalo sauce and 3 packets of buttermilk ranch. Yes!  I'll keep those for future recipes.  My son drank the free drink that came with his sister's meal and she and I drank water.

  • At the concert, we were able to obtain the student discount for my son and my daughter's tickets since I had asked them to bring their student IDs with them. Woohoo!  I saved $10 that way.

  • We drove the family car to the concert (much better gas mileage!) and didn't take the toll road all the way home so we saved a little bit on tolls too! 

  • I just won the last Collector's Bills in the Valentine's Day collection so I also got a 20 SB bonus,  Woohoo!

  • Dinner out with the kids since we're attending my oldest son's concert tonight right at dinner time.

  • Gas, tolls, parking and tickets to the concert. And a pack of M&M's from the vending machine for my son after the concert.

  • Heat for the house.  I didn't want Greg to be cold tonight so I turned the heat on before we left.  It was chilly in the house and he's been sick.

  • It's been a frustrating day with technology!  First, my computer was running like molasses for a bit (and that was AFTER I rebooted it!) and then I realized that it's not only the Aldi site that suddenly isn't displaying the apps, but the CVS site as well (I don't like their "My Weekly App" display so I usually visit this link so I can see it as it is printed) and the Walgreens Weekly Ad section of their website isn't even loading for me. I thought it might be a problem with Flash and I might need to update it, but Chrome updates Flash automatically, apparently.  I made sure Flash was enabled and it is.  I can't access the CVS ad on other devices either because both the phone and the Kindle Fire's browsers transfer that link to the mobile version of the site which displays... "My Weekly Ad".  Grrrr.  Going through the CVS app is even more aggravating because on that I can't even view the upcoming week's ad at all because it's not even an option.  So I can't plan my weekly CVS trip for next week as I don't receive the paper and the "My Weekly Ad" never contains all the deals. They tell you that it does, but I've compared the 2 versions before and the deals on milk and eggs for instance, don't show up in "My Weekly Ad" for me even when they're on the printed brochure.  I'm so annoyed that I'm getting a headache.   Oh and guess what?  Same problem with Publix and Walgreens.  So it's ALL the online weekly ads.  Argh. I went on the Chrome Forum and saw a notice that Chrome 48 was being rolled out and checked my version: 48.  So I don't know if that's part of the problem (but that doesn't explain not being able to view the ads on my phone or Kindle Fire either) but I posted a question there with screenshots and hopefully someone will know what the problem is... and it's fixable!

  • When I opened the fridge this morning, a small jar of organic shallots fell out and broke :(  I couldn't save anything.

  • Set the breakfast table for my son (my daughter got up early and took care of her own)
  • Made hard-boiled eggs for Greg
  • Made WW cabbage soup
  • Cup up and froze cabbage and onions
  • Picked the meat off the 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters and froze it in meal-size portions
  • Fought with my devices to be able to view the CVS weekly ad... to no avail :(
  • Read some blogs... but not on Wordpress.
  • Chatted with my son and daughter and played with the kitties.
  • Emailed my son's Intro to IT teacher to ask for feedback on an assignment
  • Attending my oldest son's concert at UCF

  • Probably nothing today. I have a headache so dealing with financials isn't going to happen.

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups decaf instant coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • granola with banana, ~2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • Honey nut Chex Mix
    • Lunch:
      • bowl of cabbage soup, Pillsbury Grands! biscuit
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • several mini Musketeers that I had found while cleaning up :)
    • Dinner:
      • something horribly unhealthy from Hardee's
    • Evening Snack:
      • nothing
  • Weight:
    • I didn't weigh myself today
  • Exercise:
    • Didn't exercise today, I wasn't feeling too good.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. Glad Greg is home now (well he should be by the time you read this).

    Puberty sucks doesn't it, my thirteen year old can be like a bear with a sore head on and off. Today he has been like his old self a sweetie but at times it can be like walking on egg shells with him. My daughter is nine and a half and she is starting to get a bit emotional at times which is not like her at all, so I guess she is heading in that direction too. Such a shame.

    It sounds like you had a lovely evening having dinner with the kids and then your sons concert. I bet you are very proud of him. What an achievement. Your children are very talented.
    Sham about the shallots, I keep dropping things at the moment. Xxx

    1. OH I just realized that I never replied to you when I meant to, sorry Tara!

      Girls mature faster than boys so I'm not surprised she is getting emotional. Watch out for her period, it might start sooner than later. You know they say that girls get their sooner now because of all the hormones they added to the food (meat, dairy), although that might not be the case in the UK. But back in France, my younger sister got hers when she was 9. That'll mess with your emotions, that's for sure! And "walking on eggshells" is exactly how it feels sometimes! As I get older I have less and less patience so it's not a good combination!

      I did have a great time with the kids on Friday night, the concert was beautiful and I'm so so proud of all my kids. They're all different but yes, they are all talented in their own way and I'm constantly amazed that they came out of me because I have no talents whatsoever apart for saving money on groceries, lol. Well, Greg will tell you that I have the talent of getting on his last nerve :)

  2. I look at all of that meat you have removed from the chicken legs and backs, and I get excited. Lol. I just think of all that yummy goodness sitting in the freezer waiting to be made into a casserole or pot pie or chicken stew. Mmmmm. Lots of meals there.

    Technology is so frustrating. I am sorry you got a headache over it though. How about next time you go to bed and pull the covers over your head.

    1. Yes... please plan my menu for me because I still haven't made one. Tonight I'm going to wing it and make pasta, put some of the dark meat on top with some grated cheese and broil it so it melts all over it. It'll look "gourmet" to the kids and Greg and will be easy.

      When did I get so old that technology defeats me?! I'm the one who fixed our Xbox 360 (several years ago and it still works!) when it got the dreaded ring of death, who used to be able to fix pretty much anything on my computer without anybody's help. Now I feel like a complete luddite! Yes, I should just go to bed and buy myself a new PC the next day :)


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