Sunday, February 7, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Sunday 2/7/16

Bears repeating... I texted this to Greg this afternoon :)

And best of all: my Peyton won :)

Picture from a previous game...

  • Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  I don't know why people obsess about the ads, some of them used to be good a few years ago (mine always was the Cat Herders) but the last few years they were very crappy, especially last year's. I don't make an effort to watch them.  The only artist that I'm excited about at half-time is Bruno Mars as his own half-time show a couple of years ago was phenomenal. Otherwise, yawn. 

  • So Greg is still sick.  He's phlegmy and congested and has a headache and that sexy gravelly voice that he gets when he's sick.  I suggested he goes to CentraCare (local emergency clinic) or use the Telemedicine option (I'm pretty sure our plan offers that), in case they could prescribe something stronger than the OTC stuff he's been taking, but he doesn't want to. Sigh...  

  • New kitty is feeling better, I think. She plays and pees fine.  I had to lock her up in the bathroom this morning to eat her food because she has the special food and less than the other cats, so it's really more so that she doesn't go eat the other cats food.  I fed them all at once.  I didn't want to take her back to the guest bedroom because it's upstairs and our stairs creak really loudly and Greg was still sleeping: I would have had to make 3 trips up and down (1 with the litter box, 1 with the food and water, and 1 with the cat!).  So I just put her in the downstairs bathroom which is right next door to our son's bedroom. Well, she didn't like it and meowed and scratched at the door. Oh my, the racket!  I was afraid she would wake him up.  I left her in there for 30 minutes, though, so everyone would have time to eat. Well, wouldn't you know that she only ate half her food, and then the other cats barely touched theirs. TOO BAD. I put everyone's food away and now they have to wait until tonight.  I was irritated and after all that, when Greg and my son got up, they said they hadn't heard anything.  Arrgh.  Update: good grief, and then Greg gave me the puppy eyes and pleaded on the cats' behalf so, FINE.  I gave them the rest of their food at 12:20 p.m. with a stern warning that they had better eat it all this time because there was nothing else coming to them until dinnertime!

  • Speaking of being irritated, I'm still irritated at my computer. Although I suspect the problem isn't with my computer but with whatever the hosting provider is for all those stores' online ads.  I still can't see them. I had to reboot my laptop this morning (so I could access my external drive to upload the picture that I wanted Walgreens to print for me, long story!) and when I did, it asked me if I wanted to update my Flash player so I thought "Oh, so maybe that was the problem after all, even though Chrome is supposed to update Flash automatically!" and I happily updated. Well guess what?  That didn't fix the problem one lick!  I can't access any weekly ads, whether on Chrome, Internet Explorer, on my phone, on my Kindle, nothing.  Can anyone else try it and report back to me whether they could actually see the ads and what browser and operating system they're using? Pretty please?  It's just so frustrating because I feel that this should be something that I can fix myself  since no one else has complained about the same problem that I can find online.  Yet, it's not just my laptop, I have the same problem on my son's PC that runs Windows 10. I tried Chrome and Edge with the same results.  So unless it's a problem with my ISP (and why?!), I'm thinking everyone else should be having the same problem so why isn't anyone else complaining about this online ?! Here are a couple of links (but I'm having the same problem with many more stores than these 2).

Aldi:  Please click on "View Our Weekly Ads" and tell me if you can actually see anything.  This is what I get:

CVS:  It doesn't even load up past the halfway mark anymore.

  • I forgot to mention yesterday that I added about 1/2 a gallon of water to 1/2 a gallon of whole milk to stretch it.  This morning, I reminded Greg that he shouldn't be using milk or dairy products since he is congested (dairy products worsen congestion problems).

  • I mixed a bottle of liquid hand soap since we had ran out.

  • I printed a few coupons (very few, actually, and I'm happy for that because I have a whole bunch that I need to file in my coupon organizer already) from my usual sources: via Swagbucks (10 SB per redeemed coupon!), Smartsource (doesn't work with Chrome so I have to fire up the old IE which is always a PITA), Redplum, Target, and I uploaded new digital coupons to my Publix wallet.

  • I also uploaded new offers to my CVS app (app-only coupons but you can use them in-store) and for some reason, I had another $5 ECB offer for having downloaded their app?!?  I sent it to my card but I don't trust that it will actually be available because I thought I had already gotten it.  Hmmm.  And since I can't see if milk or eggs is on sale this week because they don't appear on the "My Weekly Ad" part of their site but they never do when when they're in the printed flyer, I can't even plan my CVS shopping trip in advance, which is really irritating (oh, oh, note to self: if I go to Publix to get cat litter, I'll have to pull the CVS ad from one of their newspapers just to flip through it really quickly!).

  • I ran out of my hazelnut coffee this morning. Well the canister that was out was empty but I had more bags in the pantry. However, I had opened a bag of the Dollar Tree hazelnut coffee right before Christmas, when Greg and our son had given me a bag of branded hazelnut coffee, so I decided to just use that up. It doesn't smell like hazelnut coffee, and it doesn't taste like hazelnut coffee, but it doesn't taste bad and that's all that matters.

  • I had ran out of bananas to add to my morning granola so I added some cranberries that I had dried myself.  It was pretty good and it's good for your urinary tract too. Hmmm, maybe that's what I should add to New Kitty's kibbles!

  • For lunch I had the little bit of General Tso's leftovers from yesterday's lunch, some meatloaf (delicious even with the collard greens instead of the spinach!), a little bit of rice.  I fixed myself a big bowl of cabbage soup but the meatloaf filled me up so I think I'll have it for my mid-afternoon snack.

  • Bing: Ooops with the crying out cats and the laptop annoying me, I forgot to do my Bing activities this morning.  Brb.  OK, I'm at 91% of my goal.

  • Swagbucks: 1st goal of 90 SB. Didn't qualify for the first 2-3 surveys that I tried so I decided not to bother. I'm running SBTV on my phone and Ngage on my laptop. At almost 1 p.m. I'm only up to 73 SB. I did get a couple of Search awards although they weren't huge.  I'll play the Swagasaurus game to get an easy 10 SB too.  I finally reached my 1st goal at 1:35 p,m. so with this, I'm done with Swagbucks for today. I'm going to take a shower, cook the turkey, hopefully do a little reading as Greg isn't interested in watching the pre-show festivities.

  • I collected the water from the shower in a bucket and I will reuse it to flush the toilet later on.

  • I still had the bag of lemons that I had bought several weeks ago at Aldi (I think?) sitting in my fridge so I zested and juiced them all and was able to use some of the zest and juice for basting the turkey.  The rest will be frozen for future use.  Since I don't cook stuffing inside the turkey, I stuffed it with all the juiced lemon halves that I could.  Greg usually stuffs the turkey with whole lemons, oranges and onions, I think.  The rest will be composted.  I used sage and thyme that I had grown in my garden and dried on my windowsill.

  • I saved the mesh bag from the lemons to make a pot scrubber later on.

  • I checked the mail since I had forgotten to do that yesterday and found a large envelope with a return address but not the name of a company, and tape from the post office stating that it had gotten there "damaged". In it were 5 yellow trash bags without any markings. I vaguely remember ordering a free sample (maybe?) of trash bags but for the life of me I can't remember when or what company or if I'm supposed to do something special with them!  Going to search my blog... Well shoot, the search function only works if you know the exact terms to look for and "trash bag" or "garbage" didn't return the needed results. So I don't remember. Oh well, I'll use them as trash bags then. Since that's what they look like anyway. Oh, it's really bugging me that I can't remember!

  • I scheduled a couple of credit card payments online.  It looks like we've earned $22.36 in American Express Rewards this past month, although they won't hit our account until the bill is paid, later on this month. I always schedule the payments for the due date.  Why give them our money sooner?

  • I unlocked a few new offers on Ibotta.

  • I watered my indoor plants with water saved after boiling eggs.

  • I'm going to use TurboTax this year again.  We get a $20 discount with USAA.

  • We had a No Drive Day today!  Woo! #3 for the year and I'm only shooting for 7 of them this year.  More would be awesome, but I don't think it'll happen (on a side note, I might go grocery shopping tomorrow since I have to get cat litter).

  • Dinner was delicious and I ate way too much turkey!  I made mashed potatoes with some of the Klondike Gold potatoes that I bought at Save A Lot this week and I opened a can of jellied cranberry sauce. I also baked a batch of Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers biscuits. The turkey was served with a jar of turkey gravy bought on sale at Christmas time.  We have lots of turkey left over for the next couple of days.  Hey, I just realized that I never worked on a menu for the coming week :(

  • Hmm, nothing today.

  • Well, this is a planned frugal failure: I threw away the turkey giblets and that package of gravy that comes stuffed inside of the turkey. Those things just gross me out and I'll never use them so... oh well. This is why this blog is titled Imperfectly Frugally.

  • I had some food waste... those mashed potato patties I defrosted to make potato rolls? Yeah, that never happened and I left them on the counter so they went bad.  And then I had to throw away the rest of the whipped cream that was in the fridge because it had gotten bad too.

  • Fed the cats (twice!)
  • Gave New Kitty her antibiotics
  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Printed coupons
  • Scheduled extra payment to mortgage
  • Zested and juiced the lemons
  • Cooked the turkey!
  • Got started on my taxes
  • Cooked the rest of the dinner
  • Watched the Superbowl with my honey :)

  • I scheduled an additional $35 to be put towards our mortgage principal starting on 3/1.  This will bring up our extra payments to $960/month.  The $35 is from the decrease in our mortgage starting on that date, due to our escrow account being over-funded right now.

  • I got started on our taxes but I couldn't get too far as we are still waiting on documents that won't be available until later on this month to mid-March.  I hate how TurboTax teases you with the non-stop updating of your "refund" since it looks like we'll get a sizeable refund right now but I think that in reality, when all the data has been entered, we'll owe money.  I wish I could turn that little counter off!  I wanted to compare the documents that we've received so far with what we had gotten last year, but Greg went to take a nap and the file that I need is in our bedroom.  I hate it when I'm on a roll and I have to come to a complete stop like this, lol!

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 1 cup water
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • granola with dried cranberries and ~2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • a fortune cookie!
    • Lunch:
      • General Tso's leftovers, a little bit of rice, meatloaf
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • cabbage soup
    • Dinner:
      • turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuit, gravy
    • Evening Snack:
      • nothing
  • Weight:
    • 220 lbs.  What.the?!?  Ugh.  I didn't eat that much cherry pie yesterday!
  • Exercise:
    • I would like to say that I biked during the Superbowl but I don't think that I will.  
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. The cat commercial was awesome! How do you dehydrate your cranberries? I have some in the freezer I'd like to dehydrate as well (Wasn't sure if there was a special recipe).

    1. Hi Shelley! I'm glad you enjoyed the Cat Herders commercial, an oldie but a goodie. I still laugh so hard every time I watch it that I get all teary eyed, lol.

      I couldn't remember how I had dehydrated the cranberries so I'm glad you asked because I would have said "just stick them in the dehydrator". But actually, you need to blanch them first so the skins crack and then you put them in the dehydrator. I think I put mine in there for 8+ hours. I store them in a glass jar in the fridge since it's so humid in Florida and I was afraid they'd get moldy.

      If you have frozen cranberries, you can also use them frozen in this bread machine recipe that is oh so delicious!

  2. Hey Nathalie! I was able to view the store ads. I tried it through Internet Explorer and also Google Chrome and both worked. Did you check to see if maybe you have some kind of pop up blocker set on your pc? I am really challenged when it comes to technology so I don't know much about computer issues. I hope you get the issue resolved soon. I know it's frustrating when you can't figure it out.

    1. Dawn! I have missed you here and on your blog! I hope everything is OK and you're "just" busy! Thanks for trying the links, I appreciate you doing this. Well, darn it, though, not you've gotten me all depressed because you can see them and we can't. Nothing's changed on my laptop since last week when I could see them (I update everything manually) so I don't get it at all, especially since I can't see them from my son's PC either, which a different version of Windows and even a different browser. Maybe my ISP is blocking them, somehow? Argh. I need an expert. Greg won't have a clue and will get annoyed at me for bugging him with such "trivial" things. He always ALWAYS blames everything on the coupon printers, lol. I ran Malwarebytes and it didn't find anything so I'm stumped.

      Anyway, thanks for your help!

    2. I had the same problem at one time and I think it was something silly that fixed it, like changing the compatibility view. I don't know if you have that on internet explorer, but maybe clicking that might help. If it doesn't I will ask my brother about what you have going on. He worked as a tech and had to troubleshoot things like this all day at work, so he may know.
      And, yes, we have been pretty busy here. But it's all good. We are getting a lot done around the house and I am working on tax stuff. Aside from all that it just seems like pre-K introduction/playdates and basketball practices/games are consuming a lot of our time (My son had 3 games on Saturday!) I had to wag my behind to the nursing home to see my grandmother yesterday so she doesn't think I forgot about her and she commented on how tired I seemed. I just feel like I have been running around like a chicken without a head, but like I said, it's all good. Everyone is healthy and active, so what more could I ask for (well, besides a good long nap, that is?!) ;)

    3. Hmm, I tried IE (and Silk, and Edge!) out of despair but I actually use Chrome as my main browser. If you do happen to talk to your brother and he has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!

      I'm working on tax stuff too. Ugh. I hate it and ours keep on getting more and more complex and I just want to pull my hair out. Thankfully I wrote myself notes last year to recap the work I had to do beyond TurboTax because I didn't remember any of it. I really should just get a CPA to do them but I'm dragging MY behind to find one and then make an appointment. I just don't like meeting new people and the thought of having to pay hundreds of dollars to someone to avoid doing something myself just gives me hives, lol. I'm cheap :)
      3 games on Saturday at his age?! No wonder you're so tired! I remember when my daughter and my youngest son were both in soccer and one year they had practices on different nights and that was brutal. Then the coach was talking about my daughter getting on the travel team and everyone was so flattered but all I could see was a never ending succession of practices and games on week nights and tournaments on weekends and how much we'd have to pay... and I don't even enjoy soccer. So I said no. And you know what? She was fine. I mean, I had 5 other kids at home too so if I said yes to one, I had to say yes to everyone else and then we'd never be home! Anyhoo, memories, memories. Now she's a year and a few months away from going to college and I miss the days when she was little and in soccer, lol.

      Enjoy your family. I'm glad your grandmother seems to be doing well :)

  3. Hi Nathalie, I was wondering if you had this computer issue resolved. I am not reading this until Monday afternoon at 3 pm. Anyways, it asked me for a city and state to open up the ads. I should have used your address, but I immediately wrote Buffalo, New York as it is a border town. The ads for that area came up. I will try Clermont, Florida in a little while and see what happens.

    I haven't been around Blogsville all weekend. I was busy making "friendship" cards to send out today in time for Valentine's Day. I made ten of them and quit. All the while I was thinking, if these were birthday cards I would have a package of cards to put away for a gift for next Christmas. And now, I am all crafted out for a few days. I will have to wait for the next round of inspiration to take a hold of me.

    I laughed the first time you sent us that picture of Tom Brady; but I think it makes an even better valentine for your Sweetie. *laugh* Congrats on the resounding victory by your favourite quarter back.

    1. Ah thanks you for the congrats! To be fair to the Broncos, Peyton didn't play very well, the defense won the game for him, but hey, a victory is a victory, especially when everyone is expecting him to announce his retirement :)

      Thanks for trying out the links too. I didn't think to change the location, especially since i can't access anything on ANY of my devices. I'll have to try that too. It's sooooooo annoying.

      Look at you flexing that creativity muscle! I'll have to check Feedly a little bit later on to see if you shared pictures of those wonderful cards on your blog. I'm so envious that you can just do that and that they turn out so well. I couldn't believe it the last time when you were talking about using stamps and then coloring them. Wow. They really look like professional cards you would find in a store. You really ought to start your own Etsy store! And what a great idea to make card to give to other people for them to send to their loved ones. The Canadian Post Office must love you! Do you have a line item for postage in your budget? lol.

  4. Just checked your CVS. I can see the flyer ads.

  5. Oh my! I forgot the obvious! What some men will do to get out of cooking the turkey on the first annual Super Bowl Turkey dinner event. It WAS his idea wasn't it??

    1. YES! IT WAS! He was going to cook the turkey and he was all excited about it. But let me tell you... I'm glad I cooked it because when he cooks it, it tends to be dry. Mine was delicious, seriously. He even commented repeatedly how delicious it was. So I was kind of relieved to be able to tell him "don't touch my kitchen, don't touch the food, you're sick and the rest of us don't want to be!", lol.

      I'll tell you, though, he's not kidding, he's really had a rough time with this cold. I wish he would go see a doctor to get something strong enough to dry his sinuses because he has non-stop headaches and his ears are buzzing and I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't turn into an ear infection.

    2. Mmm the turkey does look delicious. I'm sorry to hear Greg still poorly, I hope he starts to feel better soon.xx


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