Sunday, February 21, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Sunday 2/21/16

  • Another lovely day in store for us in Central Florida :) Yesterday I left the windows open all day (when we were home) and I just opened them again this morning. The kitties are really enjoying the sounds and smells of the outside, even if they're stuck indoors.

  • I read a bit of my non-fiction library book last night.  There was a quick 20 question quiz to determine whether I was an introvert or not and, big surprise, I answered as an introvert on 14 out of the 20 questions! The book is very interesting and insightful and I look forward to reading more of it.

  • I discovered that I don't like the kind of soporific classical music that KUSC plays on Sunday mornings so this morning I'm all about smooth jazz on WLOQ, which is based in Orlando but only broadcasts online nowadays.  Greg claims he doesn't like Smooth Jazz but you know what? That's too bad. I love it :) So relaxing.

  • OK, plans for today: well, I'm not going to pretend that I'm actually going to work on our taxes. Inspiration has to hit and I'm not feeling it so far. I'd like to take that darn bath and read more of my book... but probably my fiction book this time ("Invisible Prey" by John Sandford).  I need to clip the coupons that I printed and sort them so I can go shopping tomorrow and not feel guilty about having left coupons at home. I need to work on my shopping list. I should attempt to make a dinner menu for the upcoming week.  I need to iron Greg's pants for tomorrow.  I should fold the laundry too. But it's Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy :(

  • Greg doesn't feel like doing anything either, especially not work on the darned baffles that he needs to make so we don't have water leaks in bad storms anymore. So he's going to read books on his Kindle and play videogames. Sounds like a plan to me :)

  • The kids are studying or surfing the web/playing video games. They're also doing their own laundry (love that I trained them to do that when they were very young!) and hopefully our son will remember to brush the cats today.  I do pay him to do that and he has quite a little nest egg  right now.  He'll probably blow it all on a video game or military miniatures :)

  • Greg declared today a "No Walk Day" as I suggested we take another lovely walk... lol.  I'll count that as a frugal victory as this means we won't be having a lovely walk towards a lovely restaurant :)

  • That's too bad because Chili's once again sent me an offer for a freebie if I eat there in the next couple of days.  But it's not within walking distance anyway. I could mention to Greg that it's next door to Steak'n Shake where they sell BOGO milkshakes in the afternoons (and I also have a coupon for a BOGO milkshake in case we go there outside of Happier Hour) but that would be sneaky... and would ruin our No Drive Day. Also? I'd have to get out of my PJs.  Yeah, I'm not mentioning anything. Sandwiches for lunch it is!
  • I loaded the SavingStar freebie offer to my account.

  • I printed coupons from my usual sources: via Swagbucks, Smartsource (gotta use IE for that one, it's a pain), Redplum, Target coupons and uploaded Publix digital coupons to my digital wallet and CVS app-only coupons to my CVS app.  Good news: you can still change your zip code for the coupons if you go through the usual sites to do it. I hesitate to post the URL that I use in case they end up closing that one down too.

  • Swagbucks: 1st goal of 85 SB again, woohoo! Used SBTV (small bonus streak), Ngage and JunoGroup ads to get to 66 SB by 11 a.m. but also I have 210 SB coming to me today from a purchase from last month so I'm really not sweating it, which is nice, for a change. Oh and I watched (without sound) an interesting movie preview on SBTV for "Admiral". It has old ship battles, something that Greg likes and the guy who played Tywin (sp?) Lannister in GoT so we'll be on the lookout for it... on Redbox, lol.  

  • Speaking of Redbox, I have something like 4 codes for free movies right now, I think.  And there's nothing I want to see. I hope there are codes when Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets (and Admiral) become available on DVD, because I'm not putting myself through the very unfrugal hell of watching a movie in a movie theater these days.  The latest Star Wars movie debacle was enough (I walked out. It was so bad. I don't understand what people like about that movie at all).

  • Earned my daily Bing Credits. I'm at 78% of my goal ($5 Amazon gift card).

  • Greg still had a beard so he's not using razors at the moment and our 14-year-old is growing his too (seriously, he looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo at the moment!) but I always give my oldest boys razors in their Christmas stockings so I'll probably get the CVS deal on a Schick razor that Southern Savers posted about this morning.  The razor will go in my Christmas stash  (and the cost deducted from my Christmas budget) and I'll use the $5 in ECB towards my groceries in an upcoming week. 

  • Greg sighed when he made himself breakfast even though I had offered to make him breakfast and he had said "no, no, rest, I'll make it myself!" so I ignored his protests that he could make himself lunch and just warmed up his damn can of soup myself, lol.  As for me, I finished all the leftovers by eating a medley of leftover Stroganoff Beef and Seasoned Taco Ground Beef from last weekend.  Yeah, not a great combination but now it's gone from my fridge, woohoo!  I also had a navel orange. They're from Aldi ($1.99 for 4 lbs) and absolutely delicious, like candy!  So I'm going to buy more. Meanwhile, my own Florida oranges are languishing on my orange tree and the neighbor's in my fruit bowl.  But they ain't navels!

  • I brewed myself a cup of black tea by reusing Greg's tea bag from his breakfast.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet a couple of times.

  • I mixed 1/2 gallon of water to 1/2 gallon of whole milk to stretch it.
  • Greg told me he probably needed to make an appointment at the eye doctor (I had been prodding him to do this for a long time). He thought his blurry vision was due to allergies but it's been a few months and he notices it more than he reads. My own glasses are bifocals and too strong for him but I found prescription reading glasses that I used several years ago and had him try them on and he was amazed at the difference they made. I offered to make him an appointment at my own eye doctor's but he said he would just use my glasses.  He looks cute in them!
  • Dinner ended up being pancakes and eggs because we had joked about going to Perkins and I didn't feel like cooking anything else.

  • After dinner I finished my library book while Greg played some video games and then I ironed his pants while we watched episode 3 of Fargo, Season 2.

  • Water. It seems that everyone indulged in a long shower today and I took a bubble bath :)

  • I'm annoyed at Walgreens because prior to viewing their ad online this morning, I had to agree to a very stringent copyright notice that stated that I wouldn't be posting any of their content anywhere. So you know what? Fuck you Walgreens. I don't monetize my site and on the rare occasions that I post a picture of one of your deals or coupons or the logo for Balance Rewards, I'm actually promoting your freaking company for you for FREE.  So no more of that. Your ridiculous couponing policy and less than adequate deals have already stopped me from shopping there regularly despite the fact that the closest store is a mere couple of miles from my home whereas CVS is 10 miles away, but I will continue to shop at CVS. That's too bad because Lisa, a cashier at my local Walgreens, is a lovely person who I look forward to seeing when I do stop there. So... I might still shop at your store once in a while if it's more advantageous to me, but I won't be promoting you at all anymore.  Freaking lawyers.  Did you all get the notice as well?  It appears when you try to view the online ad and you can't not agree to it, I guess, if you want to see the ad. It's freaking ridiculous. How can they claim copyrights on a picture of a product that another company manufactures?!

  • Remember that $10 off $50 Publix store coupon that I found on one of the free coupon sheets from the library's donation pile?  I had played with the idea of offering it to my friend who shops at Publix a lot, but then I thought that since the Viva Italia sale started (last Thursday), I'd try to see if I could use the coupon to get some really awesome deals. Well.  I did start on a Publix shopping list on Thursday but never finished it and when I looked at the coupon today... it had expired yesterday!  Grrr. I guess I will never learn. I have to look at the coupon expiration dates much more carefully!  Now no one was able to use it :(

  • My beloved CD set of "Il Trovatore" has a deep scratch on the 2nd CD. I can't figure out how it happened since I'm the only one who uses those CDs, and I always put the CD back into its case when I'm done listening to it!  I got the bottle of  Disk Skip Fixer from GameStop that I had bought several years ago now. It's worked very well with game discs and DVDs in the past, so I'm hoping it'll work with the CD too.  Note to self: the skipping starts on track 11.  I haven't actually put the stuff on it yet, it's on my to-do list that I keep in my head at this point.

  • Well, I guess this settles it, I'm going to HAVE to renew Amazon Prime! CouponPro reports that Amazon quietly raised the "free shipping minimum" to $49 if you don't have Prime.  I was leaning towards keeping it anyway, after all, but now I'm almost forced into it. No, I'm joking, I'm sure we'd live just fine without Amazon Prime, we'd just shop elsewhere, but that news still sucks.  It's not like Amazon Prime deals are cheaper anyway, they just build the shipping into the price of the item, IMO.  I could wait to have accumulated $35 worth of stuff in order to get free shipping, but $49 makes it much harder for us frugalistas.

  • Fed the cats
  • Cleaned some hairball mess, thankfully on the tile floor and not on the carpet today!
  • Printed coupons, uploaded digital coupons and rebate offers
  • Made lunch for Greg
  • Killed and picked up the large roach that was mistaking my kitchen floor for a beach and relaxing on its back.  Funny how many people from my household can walk by those and squeal but not make one effort to do the deed themselves!  I threw a half sheet of Bounty paper towel on top of it, and squashed it really quickly with the heel of my hand and then picked up the mess in the towel and threw it away. It would be (gross but) nice if the darn cats decided to get a little more protein in their diet and just eat the dang things but they're too delicate, I suppose. Living in Florida, you really can't escape those things unless you're willing to get the bug man to spray tons of poisons around your house and I'd rather not so... I deal with it. But I don't like it either.
  • Clipped coupons
  • Took a bath and read a library book
  • Cooked dinner
  • Ironed Greg's pants and a shirt
  • Watched a show with Greg

  • Damn it, I should have put "rest more and take more bubble baths" on my 2016 Goals List.  Note to self: make sure to put that on the 2017 Goals List, along with "Eat Chocolate", "Don't Do the Dishes Every Day".. something easily accomplished, in short.

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • Big bowl of Post Great Grains with whole milk. Boy that does do a number on my insides :)
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • a small crepe with organic strawberry fruit spread (my daughter made crepes for breakfast)
    • Lunch:
      • the rest of the Beef Stroganoff + the rest of the taco seasoned ground turkey, 1 navel orange
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • air popped popcorn with coconut oil and a couple tsps of sugar and a bunch of other junk. I was reading. I love to eat while I read.
    • Dinner:
      • pancakes and scrambled eggs
    • Evening Snack:
      • navel orange
  • Weight:
    • La, la,la, I can't hear youuuuuuuu.
  • Exercise:
    • Prolonged water soaking. Yes, it IS exercise. They include that in the Summer Olympics. What? That's swimming?  OK, I'll just flap my arms in the water while I'm taking my bath, I think that more than qualifies. I'm in there for an hour, people. A whole hour. That ought to count for something.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. An hour in the bath? So jealous. I always loved soaking in the tub with a book, but it doesn't happen these days. These days I put Little Wolf in his playpen, turn Mickey or The Wiggles on tv, give him some toys and take a quick shower. The shower is actually in a bedroom corner (it was added on later) so I can still see him.

    1. A shower in the bedroom? That sounds convenient! When my kids were little like that, I just showered with them. I had a bath seat that I put them in in a corner of the stall when they couldn't sit by themselves, and then I just put them on the ground with some bath toys when they could sit and it was my turn to get clean. When my oldest boys turned 2 and 1, they continued showering with their dad, and then I just gave them baths together (I mean the 2 boys together) when dad couldn't take them in the shower. Greg also showered with our youngest who is a boy. There are male-specific things that a dad needs to train his son(s) to do in the shower so I was happy to leave it to my partners :)

      Could you ask your hubby to give you a break and entertain Little Wolf for an hour so you can take a bath uninterrupted? Do you still have a bathtub? Or maybe you can take one next time Little Wolf is at your mom's?

    2. I've always been leery of putting him in with me. He can't stand water on his face and I'm worried about it splashing on him. I've tried to get him in the shower with me or the husband before, but it scares him for some reason.

      Asking the husband for anything like that is, unfortunately, more trouble than it's worth usually. We have a bathtub downstairs. Upstairs originally had a half bath, but the previous owners installed a corner shower in the room because it was too hard for the wife to go up and down the stairs. I sometimes plan to soak in the tub when Little Wolf is gone, but usually end up cleaning and then playing video games instead.

    3. Well it won't surprise you, then, that my suggestion is that taking a bath is also "cleaning up", and that since you seem to not be able to get much help at home, you should treat yourself and forget about cleaning up the house for an hour and get thee to the bathtub next time grandma is babysitting, lol.

      Seriously, though, I hear you about it not being a hassle to get your husband to help. I had the same problem with my older kids so I cut everybody a break by not asking them to do chores for the longest time because it took me longer to explain and fix and then the whole stress of having to double check that it was being done, etc. but that didn't help them grow either. I don't want to lecture, but parenting should be an opportunity to work as a team. If you end up doing all the work at home, you're going to end up resenting it. OK, I'll stop it now *smile*. Good luck!

      The not liking water on his face... you reminded me that one of my kids had the same problem and I don't remember which one it was now... might have been my 2nd son, which is why we would have started the baths instead? Arrgh, I can't remember. But yeah, that would be a good reason not to shower with him, you don't want to traumatize the poor kid, lol.

  2. Those oranges from Aldi have been fantastic!! Michael ate the last one this morning and I am debating heading over to the store to pick up a couple more bags. I could combine it with a few other errands so it wouldn't be a total waste of gas, even though I don't really love grocery shopping more than once in a week.

    I used to snap those Publix coupons up like crazy, but ever since Aldi opened here I spend so much less at Publix that I rarely make the threshold for the $$ off. I will probably stock up on tomatoes during the Viva Italia sale, but even still won't come near $50. I am kind of amazed by just how MUCH I love Aldi, to be honest.

    Florida bugs -- yeah. I totally get you on this one. I still get that extra special sense of "ick" whenever I see a roach or palmetto bug but it's just the cost of living here, I think. Michael does spray around the house intermittently so that helps somewhat, but big rains usually result in an influx.

    1. I'm totally with you... on everything you said, lol! I don't think I could live without an Aldi now. They're clearing some land in our little town not far from Publix and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that either a CVS or an Aldi will go in there, especially since we also have a Save A Lot not far away... Greg doesn't think that our "sparce" population would sustain either store, but we have a huge residential development under way (ugh, I don't like that!) so I'm thinking it could be. There isn't an Aldi in Gainesville (Why?! they must think UF students are rich!) so it'll give me an excuse to drive up there to drop off groceries for my daughter if she makes it in, hahaha. I think the navel oranges are on sale through tomorrow so I'm definitely going shopping tomorrow and hopefully they won't be out of them. You're right, I should buy a couple of bags and stick them in the fridge.

      I also need to decide whether the Publix deals are good enough for me to venture there or not. Truth be told, now that the $10 coupon possibility is gone, I have lost my enthusiasm for the Viva Italia sale. My pantry is far from being depleted so it's not a matter of buy or starve. I'll add "working out the Publix deals" to my to do list for the day and we'll see if that gets done before tomorrow, lol. I haven't picked up the latest store coupon brochures so I would need to print whatever applicable store coupons there are, clip them, sort them... match them with the manuf and the rebates... snore. Maybe I'll stick with Aldi.

      I'm kind of hoping that we get Lidl stores in Florida. My family shops a lot at Lidl in France and they like it. They're supposed to be expanding into the USA this year. They're an Aldi competitor in Europe.

      Good luck with the shopping decision! Is Aldi on your way to or from work?

  3. I can stop at Aldi on my way home from work and it isn't terribly out of the way. But since I work part time, I actually prefer to run most of my errands separately. Otherwise my work days feel like they never end. :) If I go today, I will also stop at the WalMart in that part of town for some other things I need. Really, I'm hoping to preview the circular before I go out so that I can make a better decision. It's not so much that I dislike running errands (although I am a homebody!) as I find the more times during the week I run errands, the more money I spend. If I make myself go to all the stores on the same day, I just don't buy what's not available and am less likely to get drawn into too many unplanned purchases because I have another stop or two to make still. Sometimes inertia is a good thing!

    1. Absolutely, and to celebrate this, I'm being inert right now, lol. Our routines sound very similar aside from the fact that I don't work at all. Running all my errands (most weeks) at all once has saved me so much money, ever since I've started doing that. Planning ahead is an essential part of it so yes, check out the flyers! Southern Savers has a post about Walmart's deals for the week, have you seen it?

  4. I am so excited. I just found out that Aldi's is going to open soon near us in California. I always see the great prices you get there and I just can't wait for them to open.

    1. Oh Maria, what awesome news! I'm so happy for you, LOL! I remember that I used to hear about Aldi, Aldi, Aldi all the time and when it opened here, I must have been in a bad news because it was so crowded but I was pissed that I couldn't use coupons and they didn't take credit cards so I went once and didn't go back for several months. Then 2-3 years ago I was on an organic/all-natural kick but my co-op was expensive and the produce wasn't local anyway so I went to check out the prices at Aldi and from then on, I was hooked. I transitioned back to non-organic products for the most part since then, but I still shop at Aldi. You have to remember that they're smaller and no thrill so you might not find everything that you need and some items aren't always available but honestly, I could very well cook with ONLY what I find at Aldi if I needed to. Make yourself a price book when you go and you'll see. Even though your prices are probably going to be a little different from ours, I think you'll be pleased. Let us know what you think when you go!

  5. Sounds to me like you had a typical Sunday. You are supposed to relax and rest up for the coming week of planned and unplanned events that are sure to come.


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