Saturday, February 20, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Saturday 2/20/16

  • New Kitty has been very... needy for the past 24 hours, I sure hope it's not a sign that something else is wrong with her!  She woke me up by barfing on the carpet this morning and she's been splitting her time between the couch next to me and Greg's lap since then. But she's purring and not acting listless so I guess she's OK.  She came running into the living room with a low growl in her throat, "like a guard dog", Greg said. I think our older female cat might be bullying her when they're in the same room. It would be nice to have a week when I don't have to take her to the vet's!  Although she's almost done with her antibiotic so I'm going to have to collect a pee sample and take it for analysis (cash-ing! It was $50 last time, I think).

  • The library branch manager replied to my email and set up a date and time for my son to go get his volunteer training. She's thankful for the help and we're thankful that he can start earning volunteer hours doing something that should be fairly easy and that he can do without me having to taxi him all over the area, so it's a win-win-win situation!

  • Plans for today: well, I have library books to read and I'd like to take a bath.  I should be working on the taxes but I probably won't get that going today, if I'm honest.  I have dishes to do (ugh!), laundry to fold (ok), and Greg needs some pants ironed for Monday.  I should plant my thyme seeds and also lettuce and spinach. My daughter has been whining, err asking if I could show her how to make beignets so I guess I should prep some dough for that.  Update: well I didn't do ANY of those things.  So there.

  • I just told Greg "So I guess we won't be taking a nice walk today and having lunch downtown Clermont like we did last weekend, will we?" and to my great surprise he replied "If you want to!" so we're making half-baked plans to do just that.  I'd like to try another restaurant but I can't recall off hand what they have downtown Clermont (those business change quite often, it seems) so it would truly be an adventure!  Our son is still in bed and I think my daughter is too and we're still in our PJs so not sure if the kids would come along or not.  It wouldn't be frugal for any of those to go out to eat, but darn it, it would be a nice outing :)

  • Swagbucks: goal of 85 SB that I'm going to try reaching without doing surveys (OK, I did try a couple and I got shut down).

  • I reminded Greg that if he thinks he's going to need something from Ace Hardware, he should go today as they're having a 20% off sale. Also, I'd like tomorrow to be a "No Drive Day" if possible.

  • I have some great offers from Ibotta whereby I should be able to get 3 cans of dry deodorant sprays but I'd have to go shopping by Monday at the latest because one expires on Monday, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.  So I guess I'll have to plan on going shopping on Monday.  I really don't want to go today!

  • I collected water in the shower and will be reusing it to flush the toilet.

  • Last week I had noticed that my razor wasn't shaving very well. Already? It seemed that I had started using it quite recently. I use my razors until they don't shave anymore and since I don't shave my legs every day (more like once every 2 weeks, what can I tell you? I'm middle aged, it doesn't seem so important anymore!), I tend to keep them for many months before I replace them. Anyhoo, I had been rinsing it but hadn't noticed that gunk had accumulated behind the blades. So I cleaned it thoroughly by tapping it on the side of the bathtub for a while and today it shaved perfectly. Woohoo!
This picture and caption always crack me up! Sad but true story, that's
actually what my chin looks like when I don't pluck it every day,
these days. Oh the ignominy of growing old...
  • The teens declined coming on a walk and lunch with us, but accepted my offer for them to pick themselves lunch at Hardee's or McDonald's.  I left them coupons for both places.

  • I packed a bottle of water to bring on our walk: I reused an empty plastic bottle from the stash I'm keeping for hurricane season and filled it up with filtered water from our fridge.

  • So we went out to lunch (see "Splurges").  It was a lovely day so we had a very nice walk to the restaurant, alongside the lake, of course.
The sun was in my eyes so I couldn't really tell what I was photographing... so it's not the best photo of the lake,lol
  • We kept the cost somewhat under control by Greg only ordering 1 beer today and we skipped the appetizer. My Rosemary Potatoes didn't seem to have any rosemary on them but they were very salty so I had to send them back, but the 2nd batch was good (although it still was lacking the rosemary but had parmesan, oh well). It was a lot of food!  Greg didn't want his bun to I ate half of it but left the other half. He didn't finish his fries so we brought them home in a box again and the teens ate them.

  • Before we left, I had looked up their website to see if they might have any coupons since I had forgotten to do that last week. They didn't but they do have a Loyalty Club so I enrolled. Once at the restaurant, I asked the waitress if we could get credited the points for last week's visit and she asked someone who was more senior than her who said yes (I had brought last week's receipt just in case). But when she went to do it, she was told by upper management that no, they couldn't do that.  Not very good policy, IMO.  Also she thought the point level to receive a reward was 50 point, the guy who was more senior thought it was 100 points, but on the receipt it turns out that you need 150 points to get the reward, which is $10 added to your loyalty card. Better than nothing but it would have been nice to have that information on the website or even for them to train their staff to give out the correct info, right?  Aaaaanyway.  We have 36 points now, woohoo :)  

  • We had a really nice and relaxing time again because we were able to snag the last (at the time) table on the balcony overlooking the lake.  There were lots of people boating today, either by sailboat or motorboat.  A couple of families arrived by pontoon boats and they had some kind of a "war" going on where they were pelting each other with water guns and soft balls thrown with a slingshot so it was fun to watch them having fun.  

So relaxing!
  • Greg made me a heart with the little paper ring that was around the paper napkin (awww!). OK, I asked him to make it for me and he did :)

  • I noticed that they had added rice to the salt shaker so the salt couldn't clump.  What a great idea!  I need to do that with my garlic and onion powders.  Greg said that his mom used to add rice to the salt when he was growing up.  I wish I had known about that sooner!  I sometimes have to chisel the garlic powder with a knife to use it!
Wait... this might be garlic powder and no salt...
  • Meanwhile the teens went to McDonald's and used 2 coupons so they each got their drink and fries for free. Score!  My daughter also texted me that they each got 2 ice cream cones for free because somehow the attendants had made too many cones by mistake. Woohoo!

  • After lunch, we started walking back to our car when I suggested we pop into the very small WWII museum that had been opened a few years back in a small building at the back of Clermont's Historic Village since we were passing it on our walk.  We had never gotten the opportunity to visit it and it was open today. It was very small.  There was an older lady who was visiting as well and was very chatty so she and I started talking about our parents and grandparents who had fought in WWI and WWII while Greg waited patiently... it was probably an hour before we finally escaped!  She was very very nice and I really enjoyed chatting with her. We finally made it back to the car and got home by 4:00 p.m. The kids didn't miss us at all!
Part of the Historic Village.  Again, the sun was in my eyes so I couldn't see what I was photographing. I took this picture on the way to the restaurant.
  • Then neither Greg nor I felt like being very productive so we listened to "Il Trovatore" on our stereo since our favorite classical radio station was having a membership drive. It's the version that my dad and stepmom  played all the time when I was young, and that got me started on really liking opera.  I don't like change so when I found a version of a song/opera that I like I tend to want to listen only to that version and when I was old enough, I bought myself that exact same version on  CD.  Greg took a nap in his chair while I caught up on Swagbucks and email.

  • While on our walk, Greg had asked me once again whether I was going to have a vegetable garden this season or not and I said not really.  He was disappointed because he loved those grape tomatoes that I grew last year, although tomatoes don't love him. I reminded him how the squirrels had pretty much destroyed all my tomato plants this past fall, and how I should have planted the seeds last month if I was going to try to grow tomatoes this season.  Then we came home and I had the latest issue of Gardener's Supply Company in the mail. I've been throwing all those gardening catalogs away as soon as I get them so I don't get tempted to spend a lot of money for not much return, but thos one had a "pop up tomato accelerator" on the cover that actually would work well as protection against the squirrels, I think.  So I opened the catalog and saw this, which I really like. I asked Greg if he could build me something similar whereby I could still make a self-watering bin of sorts inside of it and he thinks he can.  The whole thing sells for $238 but we have extra wood and I could use screening material and PVC pipes for the screen part of it.  So I'm thinking...

  • I took the Dunkin' Donuts survey from my Wednesday receipt and earned a survey reward code for a free donut with the purchase of a medium+ drink.

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

  • My daughter took the survey on the McDonald's receipt from lunch and earned us a survey reward code for a BOGO quarter pounder with cheese or egg McMuffin.

  • Dinner is going to be leftovers. We have lots of Beef Stroganoff leftovers so I'm serving that and saving myself a night of cooking. And since it's the weekend, we'll all eat while doing our own thing instead of having a family dinner: my daughter while finishing her studying, our son while watching YouTube videos and Greg and I while we watch an episode of "Fargo, Season 2".

  • SavingStar sent me advance notice that a new freebie will be available tomorrow!

  • Reached my 1st SB goal and worked on Bing Rewards while we watched Fargo.

  • Lunch. Greg decided that instead of trying a new restaurant, he'd rather go back to the place we visited last weekend for Valentine's Day.  When I told him "well, it was kind of expensive, we spent $60!" he said "but honey, we have expensive tastes!".  Hmmm, he definitely does.  So I guess we're going back there.    The kids will pick up lunch from a fast food place since they don't want to come along.  It's like an enforced date or something :)

  • Well, we went out to lunch!

  • Fed the cats
  • Signed up for a new loyalty program
  • Went for a walk and to lunch with my hubby
  • Helped my daughter scan a picture
  • Took consumer satisfaction surveys and earned some discounts and freebies
  • Warmed up leftovers for dinner
  • Watched a show with Greg
  • Did a load of dishes

  • **crickets**

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 2 cups sweet tea
    • 1 cup decaff coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • bowl of Post Great Grains cereal with a little bit of whole milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • nothing
    • Lunch:
      • wild salmon, rice, rosemary potatoes, mango cole slaw, 1/2 a bun
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • nothing
    • Dinner:
      • Leftover Beef Stroganoff, Chinese Roast Pork and two navel oranges
    • Evening Snack:
      • the last piece of cherry coffee cake (finally!)
  • Weight: ignoring this right now.

  • Exercise:
    • we walked on the trail.  About 3 miles?  I think so. Also, I ran my mouth a lot, Greg would say. Ha.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. Sounds like the perfect day Nathalie and well worth $60. The food does look good there. Oh my god your razor comment had me in stitches. I hate shaving my legs its such a waste of time and I also do it weekly/fortnightly and my excuse I wear trousers and skirts all the time so who see's. Lol xxx

  2. What a beautiful day. You got to go out for a lovely walk and a museum visit. You had lunch on the patio by the lake with gorgeous scenery to admire. You listened to your favourite music while relaxing. You didn't even have to cook dinner. People pay BIG bucks to enjoy a day like yours. It's called "going to Florida for a holiday."

    1. I guess you're right! Although I think more people come here to visit the theme parks and the beaches. But it did feel like we were on vacation. It really was a lovely day!


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