Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Tuesday 2/16/16

  • It poured really really hard last night, starting at about 1:30 a.m. but today we're having a gorgeous day.  I should have waited to do my laundry today, darn it, I could have hung it outside!

  • I called the vet's first thing this morning and the attendant said she would discuss getting dewormer that I could pick up with the vet when he came in.  She didn't think I would need to bring the cat in since she was just there recently. So we agreed that I would await her call to go pick up the medicine.

  • So I decided to go do my grocery shopping and that's what I did all morning.

  • My oldest son might have an opportunity to play live with Josh Groban so we're waiting to hear whether this happens or not :)

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I didn't have to take the cat in to the vet's.

  • Swagbucks: I have SB fatigue. Seriously, I sigh every morning at the thought of doing their dumb and time consuming activities.  But... free groceries with the gift cards, you know?!  Still, my goal today is 115 SB.  This is the day when the 10 SB per day restrictions for SBTV starts so bad timing. Also?  I tried taking a bunch of surveys and was disqualified from every single one.  Ugh. NGage is working but JunoGroup videos quit on me. I did get a Search Award for 22 SB. but at 2 p.m., I'm only up to 45 SB. It's going to be very challenging to meet my goal today so I might just stay at the 14 Day Fanatic level as far as bonuses are concerned.  
  • Bing: at 2 p.m. I haven't even started looking at Bing. I'll do it later.

  • Put dinner to cook in the crockpot (Chinese Roast Pork, it smells so good!).

  • I had breakfast at home before I left to run my errands and brought my coffee with me in a travel mug.  I batched my errands as much as I could, although I will have to go out again twice tomorrow and once on Thursday.

  • OK, here is a run-down of what happened on my errand run:

    • Missed stopping by the 1st RaceTrac station because of the traffic pattern. We're having road construction (STILL, it's been over 6 months!) and I was distracted by that. I figured I'd go right before going home, but when I tried to, I was behind several huge trucks carrying enormous spools of something that didn't clear the traffic lights so they banged them with the spools, all the while being surrounded by police cars so I decided to just turn right into my neighborhood instead of risking getting flattened by a huge spool that might be dislodged by the traffic lights or by a traffic light in case the cable supported them snapped because the trucks were running into them!  Ugh. What a circus. 

    • Save A Lot: got some grapes at $1.99/lb. I was hoping that they would have more of the Pillsbury Grands! biscuits on sale at $0.79 each since I had (2) $1.00/2 coupons but they didn't have any.  They also didn't carry thyme in their spice section so all I got was the grapes: OOP was $3.38 and I paid with my Amazon Visa card, which will earn me 2% in Rewards.  I asked the cashier if she had an advance copy of the ad that starts tomorrow and she did. There is a 72-hour sale this weekend with a good price on chicken breasts.

    • RaceTrac in Clermont: I did stop there.  Since I had more than 3/4 of a tank, I decided not to top it off today. I just went in to get a free bag of TasteWorks chips for my son (with a survey reward code) and I wanted to redeem my 2nd RaceTrac Insider freebie coupon for a Chicken Habañero Tamale. Only they didn't have any so the manager said I could pick something else from the grill. I got a hot dog for my daughter since she loves them, apparently. I didn't take any ketchup packets this time because we have a lot of them at home :)  OOP: nothing!

    • CVS: I had planned on getting only 2 gallons of milk that were on sale for $2.99 each, but then I saw that the Special K was on sale. I was kicking myself for not noticing that when I looked at the online ad because my daughter had asked me this morning to get some more only I hadn't redeemed my KFR points for the $1.00 off coupons!  I remembered that I had a $1 ECB though (and I can't use that on the milk) and I found a $0.50/1 printable coupon in my organizer, so I got her a box of Red Berries Special K cereal (on sale @ $1.99).  The box is an old one that still has a code printed on the inside so I can double dip on the KFR points, woot!  I also got a bottle of Gold Emblem apple juice since it was on sale for $2.77 and I had a $1.00 store coupon off any Gold Emblem grocery item (from a Minute Pharmacy brochure). It's not organic but oh well.  Lastly, I got 2 bags of Abound Light Popcorn for free since they're $1.00 a bag and I had another one of the $2.00/2 printable store coupons.  So my OOP after coupons and ECB was $8.24 but I used my CVS gift card (earned through our Mastercard Rewards program) so it was all free to me. Yippee! The CVS kiosk gave me a $1.00/3 cereal boxes store coupon so since I'm going back to Clermont tomorrow, I will order the KFR coupons tonight and get 3 more boxes of Special K tomorrow.  They'll be free as well.  

    • Then I found a nickel in the CVS parking lot :)

    • I went to Home Depot to get a thyme plant.  Wow, their herbs were $2.99 last year and this year they're $3.68!!! That's akin to robbery, seriously.  Ugh.  Well, I had an old gift card with $1.71 left on it so I applied it and then I asked the cashier if I could use Paypal to pay for the balance. I figured I would use the money from MobiSave. Only the machine asked me to either swipe a card or enter a 10-digit account number and I don't have that... all I have is my email address and password!  The cashier entered my home phone number instead but then it asked me for a PIN code. Well, I don't have one either!  Grrr. So I paid for the $2.23 balance with my Amazon Visa card, which should give me 1% back in Rewards.  I need to look up how to pay with Paypal at the Home Depot B&M stores. Alison, if you read this and have feedback, please let me know!  TIA.  The plant is quite small but I hope it'll fill up my pot this year.  I'm going to put it in a larger pot than the last one.

    • I decided to treat myself to a Dunkin' Donuts run since I had a beverage freebie that expired at the end of the month.  I thought it would be packed since it was just past 9 a.m. but there was no one else in the store but me.  The attendant was completely disinterested, not rude but barely polite.  I got an extra large coffee with my beverage freebie and redeemed a survey reward code for a free Boston creme donut for my son.  I asked for the sweetener and creamer on the side and for a small bag for the creamer.  He brought me back creamer only and without a bag.  So I had to ask for the sweetener again and was informed it was behind me at the bar (in the past they had just given it to me at the counter and in a bag without me having to ask).  Then I had to ask again for a small bag for the creamers and sweeteners and finally I got it.  There was no "thank you, come again" or anything, he couldn't have cared less.  On my way out I noticed a placard on the door with an email address to contact with any comments so I will definitely be commenting.  Dunkin' Donuts is doing poorly as a company and employees like this one don't help.  Anyhoo, my OOP was $0.00 and I got a receipt with which I will earn another free donut with any medium+ drink purchase.  I also have an offer on my phone for a free beverage if I purchase something with my app by the end of the month, so I will probably go back and buy a donut for my son tomorrow after his doctor's appointment and earn the freebie. Back home, I put the coffee in the fridge since I still have homebrewed coffee to finish.

    • My next stop was Goodwill. I hadn't planned on going there today but I was distracted and took a wrong turn, lol.  I figured I would check whether they had any waffle irons since I still want to get one for my middle son. I didn't find one but they had a very nice oak side table for just $6.99. It matched the ones that my middle son had found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore back in early January, for $5 each.  He's been using one of them as a bedside table but we had discussed that if I found something for him to use as a bedside table, he and his roommate could have the 2 end tables in the living room. So I tried calling him and texting him and emailing him about the table, telling him that I'd be in Clermont for another hour so if he contacted me to say that he wanted it, I would come back for it... but I never heard from him. That's too bad because it was a very nice table. I didn't want to get it without his OK, however, because it's been a while since we talked about it so I didn't want to get stuck with a $6.99 table that I didn't need if he had gotten something in the meantime.  So I didn't buy anything from Goodwill.

    • I went to Walmart. Once again it was too early to be able to redeem my Auntie Anne's freebie since they open at 10 a.m. and it was barely 9:30 a.m.  Arrgh.  I didn't have a lot on my shopping list to get at Walmart since my SB gift card was down to just $1.13!  However, I had another gift card with $7.82 on it, but that one was from Ibotta so I already accounted for those rebates in my grocery totals last year so it's really cash at this point, NOT free money.  Then, looking at my current Ibotta rebates, I realized that a lot of them had disappeared overnight (arrgh!) but new ones had come in. So I uploaded several of them while I was in the store and redeemed a couple.

The onion one was dumb and I'll be listing it as a failure: their scale wasn't accurate so it weighed more than it looked and it ended up costing me money instead of being free.  I did get a good deal on an avocado and the Post cereal (Grape Nuts). This week I skipped the Zing sweetener since I didn't have a $1.50 coupon to go with it.  I went overboard at the bakery clearance rack!  I bought a bag of 12 HUGE round rolls on 50% off clearance at $1.49, a loaf of "everything" French bread (I'll probably be the only one eating it!) for 50 cents, and a bag of wheat rolls (kinda like long dinner rolls) for just $0.94.  The kids will use those for their sandwiches.

 I decided to try to price match the Pillsbury Grands! biscuits with the Save A Lot ad. I didn't have the actual ad with me so I pulled it up on my phone. My cashier was being trained but the trainer verified that the ad was in effect this week (it ends today) and showed him how to price match, so I got 2 cans of Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers for $0.79 each and used one $1.00/2 coupon. I should have bought 4 cans and used 2 coupons but that's fine. I also bought Oscar Mayer turkey sausage and used a $1.00 coupon on that.  My OOP was $12.51. I used the 2 gift cards and I paid for the $1.56 balance with my Amex (I'm hoping for 3% back in Rewards if SuperWalmart is coded as a grocery store but it probably isn't so it'll only be 1% in Rewards). I had hoped to get the Grandma's Cookie for free after Ibotta rebate but I never found any :(  I do need to mention that my Walmart must have replaced their carts recently because since I've started to shop there every week, I really haven't had any carts that were squeaky or didn't roll well.  WTG, Walmart.  It's the little things, you know...  Also, my cashier was nice, his trainer was super nice, I didn't have any problems with coupons and I didn't have to wait too long at the registers either. Another note: they didn't carry thyme in their selection of cheap spices either. Uh.

    • As I left Walmart, I realized that Auntie Anne's had opened!  I was hungry so I decided to use up the freebie for the free pretzel and also the $1.00 off any pretzel coupon that had popped up on my app over the weekend.  I had to do 2 transactions since you can only use 1 reward on each transaction. My cashier was very sweet, she ran circles around that guy from Dunkin' Donuts!  I paid $2.12 for the 2nd pretzel (yeah, they're not cheap but delicious!) with my Amazon Visa card (I'm hoping it'll qualify for the 2% rebate for "restaurants") and as I left, the cashier called me back and handed me a sheet of coupons that don't expire until May. Woohoo!  Lots of BOGOs too :)

    • The bulk of my shopping was done at Aldi. No thyme either. Is that a conspiracy?!  Anyhoo, I will definitely be over $50 in groceries this week. I was close in my calculations before I even stocked up on crunchy PB (bought two 40-oz jars at $2.99 each because they don't carry it all the time and they just happened to have it by the register today!) and bought more cheese than I had planned to. My OOP was $64.13 but it includes 2 jugs of cat litter at $3.99 each plus tax and a cell phone car mount for my daughter's car that cost $7.99. They didn't have the bamboo cutting boards, poop. In fact, they had every single item advertised in their weekly brochure BUT the bamboo cutting boards that I wanted :(  I did buy produce and 5 lbs of ground beef since I was running low.

    • I hadn't meant to stop by Dollar Tree today but, darn it, now I was on a warpath to find cheap thyme!  Only, guess what?  I completely got distracted by the seed display, where I did find... 2 packets of thyme seeds for 25 cents each (yay!).  They didn't sell dried thyme either, btw. What is going on?! I guess I'd have to wait until Winn Dixie is having their spices on BOGO (they do that pretty often) and stock up then because it'll be a while before I can harvest any.  I also bought 2 more envelopes of spinach seeds because they're so darn cheap and I suspect mine didn't grow last fall because the seeds were too old?  I probably should have saved the 50 cents but I bought them, so there.  So my OOP was $1.00 and I paid cash.

    • I called the vet's office from the parking lot since I hadn't heard back from them and I was going to be driving by.  The attendant said the vet had been in non-stop appointments so they hadn't had to a chance to ask him.  She put me on hold and asked whether I could give the cat a pill or if I would prefer a topical solution. Well, I don't mind trying to get her to swallow a pill but if there's a topical option, the better!  I probably should have asked if there was a price difference, shoot.  However she said all the techs were busy so it wouldn't be ready until the afternoon, which didn't help me because I was trying to avoid making a special trip!  She did say that it was safe to put the Advantage II on New Kitty and that, in fact, the vet wanted her on it anyway. I had several doses at home so I put a dose on each cat when I got home. I'll have to buy some more and put a reminder on my calendar to administer it to them every month, I guess.  More expenses!

    • So I decided to stop by the South Lake Animal League thrift store to give them some time to, hopefully, work on my prescription, and to see if they had a waffle iron. I should have brought the donations that I have!  They didn't have a waffle iron and I didn't see anything else that I needed or wanted so I left empty-handed. That took no time at all so I didn't even stop by the vet's to see if the prescription was ready. I guess I'll just go in the morning.

    • I had found the Morton Salt SavingStar freebie at Walmart so I didn't need to stop by Publix (I didn't even look at their ad this week since I was close to $50 in groceries in my planning phase before even looking at it!) and I went straight to the library. Well, straight... once again, the road construction was going full force today so what should have been a 2 minute drive became a close to 15-minute drive.  That's going to be a problem on Thursday morning when I try to go from the high school to the middle school before classes start!  I think my son is going to be late to 1st period. Oh well.  Anyhoo, I returned 2 books that were due and dropped off 2 magazines that we had received but no longer read into their donation pile.  I spotted 5 magazines there that I was interested in so I grabbed them, as well as the 2016 Central Florida Food Guide (free), a copy of tomorrow's issue of the local paper (free) and then some coupon inserts. Woohoo!  I even found a flyer with a $10 off $50 purchase at Publix which I was going to offer to my friend who doesn't use coupons (but who shops at Publix a lot) but then I remembered that their Viva Italia sale starts on Thursday and they usually have some great sales so I'm going to peruse that brochure first to see if I could be using that coupon :)

    • On my way out, I saw the Youth Programs Director for our library system. She is the one who would need to write the letter of recommendation for my son to get into Jr. NHS if the counselor accepts the work he did with his teen group last year as "community service" so I talked to her about it and she agreed that she would write the letter if I needed it, and also told me that the newest librarian in charge of the teen programs had left to rejoin the army 2 weeks ago.  He was so nice, I'll miss him. My son hadn't really liked the teen program this year so he had stopped going (and he had to miss a lot of weeks because it seemed that we had either dentist or doctor appointments on Wednesday afternoons anyway) but I enjoyed talking with him when I went to the library.  Well, good for him, he's making way more money with the army than working at the library.  Anyway she said that she was stepping in to help in the interim and would love for my son to be involved in making another teen video for their 2016 Teen Video Challenge this year. However, they're working on it tomorrow afternoon and... we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon!  She did encourage me to get him to make his own video since that's an option and I think he would like that, so I'll talk to him about it tonight. She gave me the paperwork.

    • I also saw the Children's Librarian and mentioned that I had sent her an email late last night asking her about the Jr. Friends of the Library program for my son. She had told me late last summer that teens 13 and up could apply for the program and then volunteer over the summer to help with the Summer Reading program and earn volunteer hours towards the Bright Futures Scholarships' community service requirement, but by then it was too late for my son to join.  So today she gave me the enrollment form and I filled it out on the spot. I'll need to go back and give her the $2 in fees because all I had was a $20 bill and she didn't have any change.  I'm excited that he will be able to earn some volunteer hours this way!  Greg has already agreed that he will work around that schedule and the Kid College schedule (provided that our son qualifies for that volunteer program this year) to schedule their annual camping trip.  Woohoo!

    • After that, I finally went home!  Something kind of... odd happened though:  my street is narrow and very short.  There are only 6 houses on our block.  As I approached my driveway, there was a "Duke Energy Contractor" pick up truck parked alongside the road on my side of the road, right at the edge of my driveway and there was a big burly guy sitting in there.  I couldn't back into my driveway as I like to do, and had to almost cut him off to be able to turn into it at all (again, I have a large SUV and the road is narrow so it makes turning into my driveway very hard is someone is parked right at the edge of it!).  Anyway, I managed to turn without hitting him, and then I got out and just stared at him.  There wasn't any reason for him to be parked on our street (there isn't any work being done and he wasn't out of the truck inspecting power poles or anything), and I got the impression that he was keeping tabs on the houses or comings and goings.  At first I thought he was going to come talk to me since we do have a couple of power poles in our backyard and sometimes they do maintenance on them, but he didn't come out of the truck. So I started to get my groceries out and then he just drove off but very slowly. I went inside to put the groceries in the kitchen, got back outside, and there he was again!  He had driven around the block and then proceeded to drive very slowly on our street again, this time stopping past my driveway.  I stared at him again and then he took off was the mail truck was turning onto our street. He never got out of the truck, never did anything else than just sit there.  That started to make me paranoid because my nice neighbor got robbed before and frankly, I guess that anyone can call themselves "Duke Energy Contractors".  I should have taken a picture of the truck but I didn't think of it. I was just making sure that he wasn't going to rush me from behind as I was carrying the groceries to my house. Paranoid, much?  Maybe, but trust me, having a car parked on our narrow, tiny street, isn't an every day experience and you can never be too careful...  I didn't see him again after that.

  • As usual, I took pictures of my groceries and then put everything away and warmed up my lunch: leftovers from last night's dinner (beef & vegetables stir-fry with couscous) and one of the Auntie Anne's pretzels, yum.  

  • My kids love grapes but they're not very good at finishing a bag of them before they start the new one... I collected about 2 cups of loose grapes from the bottom of 2 bags and put them in a plastic container. I'll add them to my morning cereal.

  • I submitted my receipts to Ibotta, Mobisave, SavingStar and Checkout 51 for the appropriate rebates.  Some of them have already been credited back, woohoo!

  • I submitted my Walmart receipt to the SavingsCatcher.

  • My Kellogg's Family Rewards account will automatically be credited for my Special K purchase at CVS via my ExtraCare card, but I will double dip by adding the code from the box in a few days :)

  • I qualified for a 75 SB survey and it was credited correctly so I did reach my goal, woohoo!

  • Realized that one of the coupons on a McDonald's coupon ad is for a small fries or hashbrown, without any purchase required. Woohoo!

  • Chili's Rewards program sent me another one of those emails whereby I can activate a freebie but I have to eat there in the next 2 days. Well, that won't happen but I uploaded the freebie just in case.

  • We use USAA for our car insurance policies. They emailed us an offer whereby they/we could monitor my daughter's driving via some device on the car and an app on her smart phone "to make sure that she is safe" and she could earn a $25 Amazon gift card. Yeah, no, thanks.  I trust her and a $25 GC won't cut it for the invasion of her privacy, quite frankly.  Plus she doesn't have the newer phone that they need her to have for the app to work anyway.  They swear that the data won't be used to change our policies or rates but I don't trust them. "Oh let us put this device that we swear we won't use against you or really use at all and we'll give you $25 just because...." yeah, right.

  • I spent 2,550 KFR points to order (3) $1.00/1 printable Kellogg's cereal coupons to use tomorrow at CVS to buy more Special K cereal for my daughter.

  • My son brought home one of those fundraiser kits from the PTO that usually goes straight into the trash. This time, though, it was for a discount card good on local businesses.  Usually I'm a sucker for those and actually I had the card for his school when my older kids were already in high school and my daughter was attended a different middle school, lol. However, after investigating what discounts were available in my area, it's very clear that I will recoup 10% of the $20 that I would need to invest, much less the $20 themselves, so I passed.

  • I decided to make just plain white rice to go with the Chinese Pork Roast that I cooked in the crockpot instead of making the Green Chili Rice. It's easier on me and we'll pile the shredded pork onto the rice anyway so it makes so sense to make something more complicated :)  I'll serve slices of the "Everything French Bread" with it, not sure if my family will like it. Update: they did! The pork roast was delicious, as usual. I have enough rice leftovers for Greg's lunch tomorrow and plenty of pork roast leftovers.

  • My Walmart SavingsCatcher e-gift card was emailed to me in the early evening. I could have used it this morning, darn it!

  • I completed my Bing Rewards activities for the day :)

  • I noticed that Swagbucks credited me with 73 SB for a purchase from Kohls.com so that put me over the 2,500 SB needed to order a gift card. After much thinking, I decided to order a  $25 Walmart gift card.

  • The kids both decided to buy lunch from school today.

  • A cell phone holder for my daughter's car.  Since she doesn't have a digital input in her car, nor a tape player or CD player, I had bought her an FM modulator so she can listen to the music on her phone through her radio via one of the frequencies that aren't used by a radio station in our area. The cable that is plugged into the cigarette lighter acts as the antenna so sometimes there is interference if the cable isn't positioned right.  We realized, when we drove to Gainesville last week, that if her phone is placed on top of the dashboard, the signal is very good due to the position of the cable, but the dashboard is smooth, without a place to put her phone where it won't slide and come to hit her in the face when she brakes. I saw that Aldi was selling this cell phone mount for $8 this week so I bought her one so she can try it.  She knows better than to try to operate the phone while she drives.

  • Last week I threw away the "oregano" that I had been drying on my windowsill because I had come to suspect that it wasn't oregano but a weed that looked like oregano that might have taken over my pot. The leaves had turned almost burgundy this winter and when I crushed them they didn't smell like anything. I didn't want to poison my family and if they didn't smell like anything, they wouldn't add anything to my dishes, right? So this morning I looked at oregano at Home Depot and, although the leaves weren't that almost burgundy color, it looked just like the stuff that I threw away last week. Ugh!  Its leaves did leave a small scent when crushed, but not very strong. So I think mine WAS oregano, although it probably had matured too much?  Anyhoo, I had grown it from seed so I'll try that again. Yes, I know. I said I wasn't going to garden this year...

  • I went to check my mail at about 4:20 p.m. and couldn't open the door to my communal mailbox slot because once again my mail person crammed mail in there against the door so the lock can't be opened. Note: there are 2 EMPTY package lockers right next to it!  If I have that much mail, why can't you use one of the package lockers?!  I.am.so.sick.of.this.shit. It happens constantly.  Then there's the problem of my mail showing up in the neighbors' box or the neighbors' mail showing up in mine. Seriously?! you have ONE job, which is: match the addresses to the boxes, it's not that complicated!  I've been holding my tongue but I've had it. So I tried calling the post office.  It's was just past 4:20 p.m. and the line was busy.  And remained busy CONSTANTLY past 4:45.  I placed phone call after phone call after phone call.  It's 5:17 p.m. and the line is STILL busy.  The post office closed at 4:30 p.m. so who is placing such a long phone call, right?!  I tried calling the Customer Service for USPS and their wait time was over 1 hour!  So tomorrow morning I now have to drive to the post office. They'll tell me that she's on her route so they'll have to talk to her tomorrow after her route, which means that I won't get my mail until Thursday at the earliest (I know this from experience, told you it wasn't the first time it has happened!).  Screw this, I'm leaving a note on the mailbox in the morning.  There's no set time when she delivers the mail. Sometimes she's here at 11:30 a.m., sometimes she hasn't delivered it at 4:30 p.m. It's a big freaking mess and I suspect there is more to the story. We live in a small town (about 8,000 people) so we're not talking big city stress or volume, here!  Arrgh.

  • At about the same time, I started a Swagbucks survey for 350 SB. After a couple of qualification questions, I was in... but I don't trust them anymore so I kept on taking screenshots of my progress.  Well sure enough, after answering the classification questions, it told me that I had been disqualified!  Arrgh, so I compiled several of the screenshots that show my progress through the survey (there even was a progress meter on the top right of the screen) and emailed Customer Service.  There is a notice that for "larger amounts" (whatever that means), it can take up to 5 business days to reach a resolution so I'm not holding my breath. Can I say it again?  I'm getting really sick of Swagbucks.  My SBTV app told me I had earned a bonus round and I was 2 videos away from earning the bonus when the app quit. Then MovieCli.ps quit on me and wouldn't reload. Then none of their apps would load. I rebooted my phone and the only one that would load was IndyMusic but I just realized that this one quit on me too! I'm so aggravated that I'm not even sure that it's worth the grocery gift card anymore...  Update: they credited me with the 350 SB at about 9:30 p.m., way faster than I thought they would (and I had my doubts that they would, for some reason!).

  • I happened to check my Brighthouse internet bill since the alert that the new bill was available just popped up in my email. I never check the bill because it's deducted automatically from one of our accounts and it's usually the same amount every month. It went up last year and the year past but they had sent notices. This year, no notices but I had seen in a forum that they were increasing their rates again. Why? because they can.  They have no competition for cable internet in my area.  So my bill next month will be $4 higher, at $54.23.  I checked their website to see what "deals" they might have and their basic package starts at $57 (we get a $5 or so discount per month via Greg's employer, woohoo, big money!) so I guess I won't be renegotiating anything with them. Bastards. And it's only going to get worse since they've been bought by Comcast, I think.

  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Called the vet's about New Kitty tapeworm
  • Cooked dinner in the crockpot
  • Gathered the trash throughout the house and took the large bin down the curb for collection
  • Ran errands
  • Signed up my son for the Jr. Friends of the Library program
  • Documented grocery trip and put groceries away
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Corresponded with my daughter's French teacher via email
  • Tried to deal with Post Office fiasco, to no avail
  • Emailed Swagbucks Customer Service
  • Explained the PSAT results to my son
  • Investigated our internet bill
  • Investigated the middle school's fundraiser activity
  • Cooked dinner
  • Spoke with my oldest son on the phone

  • I guess we won't be able to save on our internet service :(

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup decaf instant coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • bowl of Post Great Grains cereal with ~2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • nothing
    • Lunch:
      • Beef & Veggies stir-fry with couscous leftovers, 1 Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzel
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • nothing
    • Dinner:
      • Chinese Pork Roast with Rice, banana
    • Evening Snack:
      • piece of cherry coffee cake
  • Weight:
    • No clue!
  • Exercise:
    • Pushed carts around the stores and carried all the groceries in by myself :)
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. Did you do loads to make me look bad. Ha ha. Do you know what's weird I said to my son earlier that I really fancy a dunkin donut and then I read your post and you've had my dunkin donut! And a pretzel too, which by the way looked very nice on the leaflet.

    I live in a tiny narrow street too and I would be concerned if someone just sat in there truck looking and not getting out no matter what it said on the side of it. We had a group of kids chuck our wheelie bin at our door the other day damaging the door. Its a good job Ben didn't catch up with them, he has a bit of a temper. Xx

    1. Tara... I did nothing all day but go shopping and then whine on the computer, lol. You, my dear, were very productive! I'm sorry that we had your doughnut, lol. We're going back this afternoon so I'll have a thought for you guys! I should cut out your picture from your profile and take it with me so we can pretend you were here too :)

      What is it with kids these days?! Throw a bin at your door?! Bunch of hooligans. I have a bad temper too especially when it comes to rude people. I saw teens kicking our neighborhood's mailboxes one day and I threatened to call the FBI on them since it's a federal crime to "temper with the mail". Good thing they were dumb and believed me. I never saw them back on our street after that.

  2. Wow- your son may have the opportunity to play with Josh Groban?!? OMG! OMG! OMG! (I love J.G.!) You must be such a proud mama! Keeping my fingers crossed for him!! :)

    I have got to try that pizza pretzel in the picture. I've made homemade pretzels before and they were pretty good, but the thought of sprinkling some cheese and wrapping some pepperoni around them is tempting me to make them again sometime soon. :)

    That is weird about the guy in the truck. It's probably just someone who was looking for an address or was lost or some actual reason, but it probably does seem strange if you are not used to seeing that kind of thing. When we lived in PA, for some odd reason we always had people pull up in front of our house and just sit in the car. It happened often, which was just plain weird. We always said that we must have a sign, that is invisible only to us, that sits on the front of our lawn that says, "Shady Grove Rest Area: Stop and Sit Awhile!" lol. If it happens again, I would probably try to look up the phone number of the company and just let them know that their driver is giving the wrong impression and causing concern.

    Hope your kitty is feeling better soon!

    1. I emailed my French family with the J.G. news and a link to his official video of "You Lift Me Up" since that's his most known song, because I didn't think they would know who he is. So my mom emailed me this morning gushing about... Josh Groban, lol. She didn't know him but now she's a huge fan, going to look up more of his songs, etc. lol. I hope this comes through for him, you know, because it could open a few doors but at least it would be something else he could put on his résumé. I know I'm dropping names, etc, but I so want my son to be successful in his jazz career because he works so hard.

      That pizza pretzel does look delicious, doesn't it? But when I'm at the store I can smell the cinnamon sugar goodness and I can't resist it. Do you know that I decided to go with a Walmart gift card from Swagbucks instead of a Target gift card partly because Aunt Annie's is located at Walmart if I don't have a reason to go there then I won't have an excuse for using those BOGO coupons? Not very frugal or diet minded but what's a small treat once in a while?!

      You're right, I should take down the name of the company next time. I could have called Duke Energy to find out why a "contractor" of theirs was stalking my street but I felt kind of silly since I didn't think to write down anything and my memory is so horrible that I don't remember what else was written on the truck.

  3. I certainly understand why documenting your grocery purchases can be tiresome, but I for one am very grateful that you do. You have me converted. I find it very handy for comparison and keeping me accountable. And I am sure that you appreciate being able to go back through past entries to see how your shopping trips have changed, or not.

    I need to go through my budget again this month to make some changes. A lot of our monthly charges are increasing.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that it's helpful to you! It's really helpful to me too as you suspected, but it just feels so... I don't know, self-indulgent, I guess, to spend a whole day doing the shopping, then taking pictures and putting things away, submitting the rebates and then recapping the whole thing and inputting receipts manually into various spreadsheets. I'm not sure how I went from spending about half a day to spending a whole day on this. I suppose that if I went back to just blogging about the grocery trip on the actual day of the trip and not on the Monday or Tuesday if I go early and then the regular Wednesday post, my time would be better spent? I have to think about it.


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