Saturday, February 27, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Saturday 2/27/16

  • Oooh it's chilly this morning!  The temps were in the 30s last night and we didn't turn the heat on.  I'm glad as I had to take off my sweater in the middle of the night anyway, one good side effect of having hot flashes when it's cool!  It was 61 F in the living room when I woke up at about 7 a.m.  Our high is supposed to be 64 F.  I put on jeans and a sweater.

  • Today the boy, Greg and I are driving to Mount Dora to attend the free military vehicle show and WWII battle reenactment at Renninger's.  It's their first year hosting it so I hope it's worth the drive. The plan is... well we don't have a plan because Greg is reading on his Kindle and refusing to discuss any plans. He claims that we always end up doing what I want to do anyway so what's the use of him worrying about planning. Grrr.  I really wish we could have a discussion about what to do, believe it or not I don't like having to do all the planning on my own, all the time! And when we don't have a plan, we're not as frugal as we should be.  However, today I suggested that we eat out of lunch after our outing since the battle starts at 1 p.m., it takes us an hour to get there (so we need to leave at about 11:30 a.m. to have some extra time to explore beforehand) and he and the boy get up late on Saturdays so they're not up for having lunch at 11 a.m.  I can't think of what restaurants they have in the area save for fast food places. The boy and I are fine with fast food (I have coupons for McD and BK), but Greg probably won't like the idea. Ugh.  So the only real plan that I have is to come home on 441 N so we can stop by CVS and I can get more eggs with my gift card.  Greg is on a huge "gotta eat protein" kick, which threatens to wreck havoc on my "let's keep it to $50 a week" grocery budget and we're down to less than a dozen eggs with 3-4 more days before I go grocery shopping.

  • Also, he's going to Tampa tomorrow to spend some time with the eldest stepdaughter.  So we'll have added gas expenses and he'll probably take her out to lunch.  So we're going to be way over budget in Food Expenses for February anyway... might as well go out to lunch today too, lol.  Yes, I should pack sandwiches, darn it.

  • Confession: it's 4 p.m.,we've been back from our outing for 90 minutes and I have done nothing but read some blog posts here and there... and I don't feel like doing anything either.  I have 2 days of dishes waiting for me to wash them.  Sigh.  I really should get to it.

  • 5:20 p.m.: I still haven't gotten to it. However, I found an article I like on a blog I just ran across entitled Why Social Media Is Broken.  I happen to agree with a lot of what he says.  Ironically, his paragraph about Social Media (of which blogging is a part) is actually the opposite for me: "World's Largest Time and Productivity Bandit - the big problem with social media is how much time it consumes.  People take pictures of every goddamn thing and post it on Facebook.  But Facebook is just the most popular version of the genre.   Twitter, Reddit, whatever - they all add nothing to your life, and detract much."  Yes, blogging is a big time sucker and I could be much more productive were I to stop documenting every single cereal bag that I reuse.  But would I?  Probably not, and actually blogger has greatly helped me in my effort to be more mindful of how we spend our income and hence, more frugal. So, for me, blogging has added to my life (helped me save money and help me connect with others since I'm so antisocial IRL) and actually I think it enhances my life greatly.  It might not be the life he aspires to, but it's the life I like and enjoy!  But, yes, the way I choose to blog is resulting in my spending a lot more time on this blog than doing anything else.  But I'm not on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or any other platform, really.  Blogger is it for me. It's a good thing or those dishes would never ever get done!  

  • Here's another thing that he says in another blog post that I agree with and really need to print and post somewhere to help me (us) keep our eye on the prize: "Wage-earners tend to look at "wealth" in terms of annual salary, not how much is saved.   And that is one reason they remain poor even with a good paycheck."
  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • I have a bit of conditioner left in a tube. Not only is it hard to get out (I need to cut the tube open), but I also don't like that particular conditioner.   It's been sitting on the side of the bathtub because I can't bring myself to throw it away but I also don't want to use it on my hair. Today, I used some of it as shaving cream.  Glad I thought of this way to use it up instead of just throwing it away!  I usually don't use anything as shaving cream, not even soap.  Just water and my razor, works fine.

  • Swagbucks goal today is 75 SB. I'm at 43 SB at about 11 a.m. Update: but I reached my goal in the early evening.

  • I did have lunch before we left: a pita with "egg salad" (which is low fat mayo spread on the pita and a sliced hard boiled egg on top), a cheese stick and a navel orange. Both my kids felt that my egg salad sandwich was "weird and disgusting". What?! Weirdos. Greg also had a sandwich whereas our son just had breakfast.

  • I texted "SAMPLE" to 827-438 and received new Target digital coupons.

  • The Military Vehicle Show and the WWII Battle Reenactment were free, which is good because they were... meh.  The men liked the weapon demonstration (they were firing blanks). The area that they used for both the demo and the battle was very small and poorly situated, IMO. We got there 45 minutes prior to the battle but we still couldn't see anything because there were about a 2-3 person depth in front of us and everybody was standing and everything was up a few feet up on the hill but we were standing down the hill so that made it even worse.  The reenactment that we had attended a couple of years ago in Bushnell had been much better as there actually was an encampment and the reenactors provided educational insight.  Still, it was nice that we went together and we did see a lot of Jeeps and several big military trucks too (but no tanks).

  • I did pick up a brochure for the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo that has a $3.00 coupon on it so I'm going to see how far it is from here because the brochure makes it look very nice.  None of us knew where Largo was, though. Well, it's just West of Tampa and South of Clearwater, so about 1h 45 min from here.  Totally feasible!  I'll have to pencil that in as another family field trip.

  • We resisted buying any snacks at the reenactment and stopped at CVS on the way home. I bought 2 dozens eggs (on sale for $2.49 each), a Dr. Pepper for Greg ($1.89), a bag of candy for our son ($2.87) and a box of cookies for us to share ($3.00 on sale).  I redeemed the $0.99 in ECB that I had earned earlier this week and then the cashier asked if I wanted to use the coupons on my account.  I didn't think that I had coupons for anything that I was buying but I said sure... and $2.00 came off.  So my OOP was $10.09 but it was all FREE to us since I use the CVS gift card that I had earned via our Mastercard Rewards program.  Well, once in the car I looked more closely at the receipt and the coupons that the cashier deducted were for Cottonelle and Viva, so color me puzzled! But woohoo!

  • Greg reused logs that he had cut out of a huge tree branch that had fallen in our yard last year to make a border for the small berm on the side of his shed.  Looks nice and rustic, it was free, and it allowed him to get rid of the pile of wood that had been sitting in front of the shed: win, win, win.

  • I was supposed to make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with a Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Grains mix for dinner, but i forgot to precook the salad and let it cool so instead I gave my tribe some options: our son decided to have canned ravioli (from Aldi, $0.69, I believe) since he loves them, my daughter and I split a box of Campbell's Organic Tomato Basil Soup (I had gotten it for free several months ago) and she had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich while I had the same but with a fried egg inside too, and I made the same grilled ham, egg & cheese sandwich for Greg, along with a can of Campbell's Heart Healthy Chunky Chicken & Noodle Soup (I had gotten it for free at CVS a couple of weeks ago). There are bananas, oranges and apples on the table if anyone is still hungry and we have yogurt in the fridge. Dinner taken care of.  Dishes? Not yet.

  • Gas to drive to Mount Dora.

  • No failures today, yay!

  • Fed the cats
  • Went to the WWII Military Vehicle Show and Reenactment
  • Bought more eggs for Greg :)
  • Read blogs
  • Cooked dinner
  • Read more blogs

  • Hmm, I thought about doing the taxes.  Lol.

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup decaf coffee
    • 2 cups OJ
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • bowl of granola with banana and whole milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • nothing
    • Lunch:
      • egg salad on a pita, string cheese, navel orange
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • navel orange, string cheese, slice of raisin cinnamon bread
    • Dinner:
      • grilled ham, egg and cheese sandwich, basil tomato soup
    • Evening Snack:
      • nothing
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. What a great outing you had admission and no OOP for lunch or snacks. The weather looked perfect. I would have enjoyed the drive to and from the event.

    Tell Greg I love what he has done to the property. I like the rustic look of the logs around the garden next to his shed. And no more woodpile.

    1. I will! He's stuck in some traffic in the middle of nowhere right now but I'll tell him over dinner... if he ever makes it home!

  2. Sounds like you had a good day. You have the opposite conversation to Ben and I, I usually get told I don't make decisions about anything. Which is probably true but hey its because I don't really mind what I do most of the time.
    Well done for not buying any snacks whilst you was out xx

    1. Oooh, being told that I don't have a say in decision would really tick me off! But if that works for you...

      The thing with Greg and me is that we're forever bickering about the fact the one always does what the other wants, lol. He swears he always does what I want him to do which is sooooo not true, and then I claim that I always defer to him, which might or might not be true :) However, my daughter exclaimed, jokingly, the other day that everything I did was always with Greg in mind and I didn't even pay her to say that! So that was a particularly triumphant moment for me, lol. You should have seen the look on Greg's face, it was funny. He wasn't mad or anything, but I think he was surprised that someone else than me thought that his preferences and needs always came at the top when I made a decision.

  3. My husband successfully took the taxes and put them in the mail to the accountant! So check that off my list. I understand about the dishes because we have been fighting a loosing battle this weekend with the dishes. Both my husband and I have been washing them and they are still not done. I think that we need a little elf that finishes the stuff that I start. We are all sick here so getting the motivation to do anything is tough. I have taken two days to do two loads of laundry and run the dishwasher so there isn't a lot of hope!! Looks like you guys had a great time getting out of the house even if it didn't turn out to be as fun as you wanted...great news is that you got a lead on something that sounds even better!!! Awesome!

    1. Oh Alison, I'm sorry to hear that you're all sick! That really stinks because one cannot just tell the other to rest and he'll take care of everything :( I'm jealous that you get to send everything tax-related to the accountant. Darn it, I'm too cheap, I guess, although at least I started using TurboTax a couple of years back. Before that I did everything by hand and that really was no fun. Although TurboTax isn't fool proof and last year I still had to do a bunch of things by hand and then inputting the info into TurboTax because it wasn't on any form that just could be imported. I might tackle it tomorrow, maybe it won't be as painful as last year? Arrgh.


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