Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Tuesday 2/23/16




HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • It rained last night. I hope it doesn't rain during the day since I'm going grocery shopping.

  • I didn't sleep well at all, again. My lower back and my neck and shoulders are hurting and I don't know why. Greg thinks it might be because of our walk on Saturday and the fact that we stood for an hour talking to that lady at the WWII museum. It might be. In any case,  I didn't sleep much and when I slept I was restless and uncomfortable so I feel "bleh" this morning.

  • I failed at my goal to read 1 chapter of my "Quiet" library book every day.  I had started finishing (ha!) the 2nd chapter last night but again it was late at night and I was tired so I couldn't focus on it very well.  I need to try to read it a little earlier today!

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Packed a partial lunch for Greg. My back hurt too much to stand there and make him sandwiches (yes, I suppose I could have sat down. Honestly, I didn't think about it, I just took the easy way out!) so I packed him the hard boiled eggs and the yogurt and asked him to buy himself something at the cafeteria.

  • Swagbucks: 1st goal of 95 SB.  I may not reach it today and I'm OK with it. Update: I did a quick 40 SB survey in the afternoon and reached my goal in the evening. Woo!

  • My daughter has a lot of studying to do so she's skipping going to the gym in Clermont today, which saves us gas money :)

  • I unlocked new Ibotta rebates.


  • I uploaded the healthy offer of the week (20% off loose lettuce) on SavingStar.  I was going to get lettuce from Aldi this week but I'll have to see if it would be a much better deal to get it at Walmart now... I doubt it, even though I do have a WM gift card. Update: my SuperWalmart doesn't sell loose leaf lettuce so I didn't use the discount at all.


  • I flushed the toilet with water collected in the shower.

  • My middle son called me to ask if he and his GF could come over in the afternoon so we agreed they would come after I was done shopping. We talked again on my way home after shopping and he very enthusiastically invited me to go out to lunch with them but I bowed out since they were still a ways away and I was almost home with groceries to put away. Plus, the enthusiasm came from the fact that he wanted me to buy them lunch, LOL.   

  • So my lunch at home was the rest of the honey roasted potatoes from last night, an egg salad sandwich, a chunk of "everything" French bread from the clearance rack at Walmart with some White Stilton with Apricots cheese from Trader Joe's (yes, a weird mix altogether!) and a navel orange from Aldi.

  • Not my frugal victory but my middle son's: he was visiting the downtown Orlando library recently and noticed that they had a creative lab with a photography studio that is available to patrons, The Melrose Center.  He inquired about getting a library card using his dad's address (his dad lives in Orange county) and since he's still a college student and can truthfully say that he lives at his dad's more than at my house, they let him get one.  Woohoo for him, this gives him a base to meet prospective photography clients at the library in Orlando instead of having them drive all the way to Daytona Beach, which is a boon for him, apparently so he's excited about it.  I'm proud of him that he figured this all out by himself!

  • I brought a bottle of water and a muffin from home along with me on my errands so I couldn't get tempted to buy unnecessary snacks and drinks :)

  • As usual, I batched my errands so I wouldn't have to drive unnecessarily... that is until I realized that the personal investing seminar at the Cooper Memorial Library is tomorrow morning so... I'll have to drive back to Clermont tomorrow!  That's OK, maybe I can snag some of the chicken breast on sale for $1.49 at Aldi tomorrow. Anyhoo, here is what I did today:
    • Stopped at RaceTrac close to my home and redeemed a survey reward code for a free bag of TasteWorks chip for my youngest son.

    • Stopped at RaceTrac in Clermont to gas up my SUV with $1.62/gal gas and redeem another survey reward code for another free bag of TasteWorks chips.  I also obtained a new receipt with which to take a new survey and earn another freebie.

    • Went to Goodwill to see if they had a waffle iron (not) or jeans for my youngest son.  You know you're frugal when the sign says "$6.99" and you still think that it's too expensive, lol!  I found a pair of Wrangler jeans that were 28x30 and tagged red (red tags were 50% off today) but... my son already has 28x30 jeans, he needs 28x32!  So I regretfully put them back. It's not a bargain if I buy something that I have no use for right?

    • I called my middle son to see if I should pick up this Canon Pixma MP495 All-in-One wireless scan/copy/print photos printer for $14.99 for him but he has a very large Pixma that he got from another photography student for $25 so he turned me down. Oh well. Update: I got excited because I saw they were selling it new on Amazon for $320 but then I realized that you can get it used for $32 + shipping. So I guess it's probably not worth my time getting it and listing it on eBay?  Damn.

    • I was going to buy a weather-controlled clock/weather station to put in our breezeway. It was tagged at $2.99.  The line was long enough for me to change my mind... we all have phones with the Weather app, I don't need another gadget that will clutter my house and not serve any purpose.

    • At CVS, I did 2 transactions:
      • Groceries: milk, eggs, and several candy bars.  2 candy bars were free thanks to the coupons I got in the mail yesterday, another will be a money maker thanks to SavingStar and the fourth gave me a $0.99 ECB certificate to use up on my next grocery trip!  I had hoped that the milk would trigger ECBs too since some blogger from up north had advertised that it did for her, but it didn't for me:( I redeemed the $5 ECB that I had earned from the CVS Advisory Panel so my total was $7.36 but it was all free to me since I used my gift card earned via our Mastercard Rewards program.  I submitted my receipt to MobiSave and SavingStar when I got home for $0.25 off the eggs and the York Peppermint patty ($1.00).

      • Cleaning/Personal Care: I bought a tube of Colgate Total toothpaste which ended up being free with overage since I redeemed a $2 store coupon from the kiosk and a $2 printable manufacturer coupon.  This helped me obtain the Ajax dishwashing liquid for free since it was $0.77, I had $0.61 in overage and I submitted my receipt to MobiSave for a $0.40 rebate off dishwashing liquid!  I also bought 4 bottles of Xtra laundry detergent, on sale for $1.44 each and I had (2) $1.00/2 printable manufacturer coupons, which made each bottle $0.94.  My total OOP was $4.62 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa, which will earn me 2% in Rewards.

    • Next I went to Walmart. I resisted Auntie Anne's as I walked in, thinking that I might get pretzels for the kids on my way out. However, I decided to buy doughnuts from the bakery clearance rack instead. Mucho frugal!  I also did 2 transactions at Walmart and I checked out at the self-service kiosk and didn't encounter any problems at all, woohoo, because the lines were super long at the checkout counters with cashiers and there were very few of them open.
      • Groceries: I went crazy at the bakery clearance rack and bought 2 items: a dozen glazed/chocolate glazed doughnuts for $1.99 (since my middle son was coming to visit with his GF and I needed snacks for the kids who didn't appreciate the muffins I made yesterday) and a loaf of "Everything" French bread for 50 cents.  Crazy, I tell ya!  I bought a loaf of wheat bread from the regular bread department so I could claim the $0.50 Ibotta rebate, and an onion that ended up costing me only 4 cents after the Ibotta and MobiSave rebates.  The bananas were $1.37 and I claimed $0.25 from MobiSave and $0.25 from Ibotta. I did get a 1 lb package of Land O Frost Black Forest Ham for $4.34 because I claimed a $1.00 Ibotta rebate to make it $3.34, which was $0.05 cheaper than Aldi's.  Lastly, I bought 2 small cans of mushrooms and stems at $0.76 each, which is way too much but in the end everything was free to me anyway thanks to my $2.39 credit from the Savings Catcher and my Swagbucks gift card.  I did balk at paying $1.25 for generic cream of mushroom soup since it was only $0.69 at Aldi.

      • Personal Care/Clothing: 
        • I spotted a whole section of St Patrick's Day Tshirts... my youngest son loves Irish culture and was lamenting recently that any Tshirt about Ireland always had booze allusions on them. Since he's 14, it's really not appropriate. So I was happy to find a Tshirt in his size that just says "Ireland" and doesn't have any booze. And it was $7.50, woohoo!
        • I got a can of Degree Men Dry Spray for $4.97. I used a $1.00 printable coupon and redeemed a $4.75 rebate on Ibotta and a $1.00 rebate on Saving Star.
        • Lastly, I bought an 80-ct bottle of Film Coated Advil tablets (with 20 free tablets in it) for $8.98. I used a $3.00 coupon that the manufacturer had mailed me and I submitted for a $3.00 rebate on SavingStar and a $0.40 rebate on MobiSave.
        • HOWEVER: I think of SavingStar offers as being rebates whereas they think of their offers as being coupons (which is hogwash) so I'm nervous about them actually crediting me for the $1.00 Degree and the $3.00 Advil offers since I clearly used actual coupons in the store for those (the Walmart receipt oh so helpfully lists each coupon right next to the discounted item).  I'm thinking that there's a really good chance that I might not get the money, even though they never give me trouble at CVS or Publix.  But I've read comments from other users saying that they'd been denied some credits because of that. We shall see.
        • My OOP was $18.33 and I paid for it with my Amex. I'm hoping that SuperWalmart is classified as a grocery store so I get 3% in Rewards, but if not, I'll get 1%.  I'll never know which one since they don't drill down deep enough for us to see what % we got at what specific store. I wish they did!

    • After Walmart, I went to Aldi.  I did spend more than I had planned because I decided to buy a few things that hadn't been on my list.  They didn't have any more of the Gala apples for $1.39 a 3-lb bag but they did have the 4-lb navel oranges for $1.99 so I grabbed 2 bags (so delicious) because a comment from Laura inspired me to!  I'll put a bag in the fridge. I got Red Delicious apples for $2.69 for which I claimed a $0.25 MobiSave rebate, hydroponic lettuce for $1.39 and I claimed a $0.25 Checkout 51 rebate, 2 lbs of carrots for 69 cents and a host of other things. My OOP included toilet paper and came to $42.45.

    • I decided to go to the Citrus Ridge Publix since I still had two $2.00 rebates for Organic Valley butter available and I also have (2) $1.00/1 coupons for it. Once upon a time, they carried that butter and the rebates are specific to Publix.  This was a huge bust. First of, I had brought my plastic bags and egg cartons/foam trays to recycle there but that Publix only recycles plastic and paper bags so I had to go back to my car to leave the foam items. Then, they didn't carry the Organic Valley butter anymore (although they have the cream cheese, the shredded cheese, and a bunch of other OV products!) and they were also out of the glass Snapware containers that are on BOGO (and I have coupons!). So I was annoyed. I did buy the brown lager beer that was on BOGO.  Greg doesn't know that brand but he also doesn't know that I'm buying it. I hid it so I'll dole it out 1 bottle at a time, eh eh. My OOP there was $8.55 after that. I paid with Amex and will get 3% back in Rewards.

    • On my way home, I decided to stop by my regular Publix, where I recycled the foam containers.  They were also out of the glass Snapware so I got a raincheck. They did check the back since the truck had come in but they had only gotten the round containers and I wanted the rectangular ones.  I might have to get the round ones because I'm not sure if they'll get the rectangular ones soon and my coupons expire next week, I think.

    • My last stop was the library where I returned the fiction book that I had finished this weekend. There weren't any coupon inserts anywhere, poop!

  • I was credited with the rebates from MobiSave, Ibotta, Checkout 51, SavingStar.

  • I submitted my 2 Walmart receipts to the Savings Catcher.

  • My middle son and his GF came to visit this afternoon for a little bit. It was nice chatting with them!  Before he left, my son tried to use my laptop to convert some Photoshop images into jpg. I don't have PhotoShop but I have Picasa 3 but we didn't know our way around and got frustrated. Finally he needed to leave for an appointment and he didn't get to convert the images before he left. I gave him a bubble mailer so he can mail a disk to his client once he gets it done at home, but after he left I figured it out on my own, lol!  I called him and offered to burn the disc and mail it to his client but he said he'd take care of it. Fine!  So in the meantime, nothing got done at home.

  • Dinner... is listed under failures. Utter, utter failure. I did redeem a coupon for a free cookie, though, so there's that.


  • The last 3 rolls from the bag I bought at Walmart last week got all mouldy while I was gone shopping (with the AC on too!) so I cut off the moldy parts and composted them, but put the rest of them in the fridge. Tomorrow I'll toast them, put them through the food processor, and turn them into bread crumbs.


  • Greg and I watched an episode of "Snapped" on over the air TV after dinner, and we were joined by our son to watch another episode of "Fargo, Season 2". I had bought it at Christmas time with a discount code.

    WE SPLURGED ON:
    • I turned on the AC at dinner time: my daughter had been complaining of being hot at night, even with the fan on, and I had been running the oven. Then when I went to our bedroom, it was very stuffy in there since it'd been in the 80s and I had opened the windows.  I left the AC on all night, although I don't think it came on much.

    • I packed Greg a partial lunch and told him to buy his main "entree" from the cafeteria at work because my back hurt too much to stand at the counter to make 2 sandwiches, as he had requested. 

    • I spent $50 to buy 15 tickets to the Duck Race organized by the Educational Foundation of Lake County.  The grand prize is a $5,000 college scholarship, which, if I won it, would go to my youngest son.  In the worst case where I don't win anything, the $50 are going to a good cause. I won the grand prize during the first Duck Race when my daughter was in 5th grade. Back then the scholarship was a "2+2" scholarship, which is the one she will be using for part of her college tuition since it's capped at a certain amount.  I charged the tickets to my American Express so I'll get 1% back in Rewards.


    HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
    • The Bing Rewards "Maintain Gold" counter isn't working on my dashboard and is stuck at 0/150 even though I have completed the 150 monthly searches, so I emailed them.  Later on they asked me for a screenshot of my dashboard, which I sent them, and then tonight they said they have to investigate further.  Ugh.

    • I'm mad at myself for having thrown away some recent coupon inserts that I thought I wouldn't need... apparently I could be getting free Minute Rice at Walgreens this week if I had the 50 cent manufacturer coupon by coupling it with the Checkout 51 $1.00 rebate and the Walgreens store coupon.  But I threw them away. Aaargh!  The majority of the time I keep them until way past their expiration mess and then I get annoyed that I kept them so long because I rarely go back to clipping a coupon that I haven't already clipped. But: lesson learned. From now on, I'll just put them aside, just in case.

    • When it was time to cook dinner, my kitchen was a disaster area since I hadn't done the dishes and I just plain didn't want to deal with it so I went to pick up dinner at Subway for everyone.  Moreover, we all decided to have footlongs... so I can't even redeem myself by saying that we split 2 footlongs! I did charge it to our Amazon Visa card so we'll get 2% back in Rewards and I'll do the survey to get another free cookie.
    TASKS ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:
    • Cooked Greg's breakfast
    • Set breakfast table for the kids
    • Packed snacks for Greg to take to work
    • Ordered Duck Race tickets
    • Collected the trash from around the house and took the bin down the driveway for collection
    • Greg took the old microwave down to the curb before he left for work
    • Ran errands
    • Documented my shopping trip and put everything away
    • Submitted my receipts for rebates
    • Tried to help my middle son with his photo conversion project
    • Visited with my son and his GF
    • Went to pick up dinner
    • Watched an episode of Fargo, Season 2 with Greg and our son
    PROGRESS TOWARDS MY 2016 GOALS TODAY:
    • Hmm, nothing that I can think of :(

    HEALTH ACCOMPLISHMENTS TODAY:
    • Liquids:
      • 2 cups coffee
      • 1 cup water
    • Food:
      • Breakfast:
        • 2 muffins
      • Mid Morning Snack:
        • 1 muffin
      • Lunch:
        • egg salad sandwich, leftover honey roasted potatoes, French bread, navel orange
      • Mid Afternoon Snack:
        • chocolate glazed donut
      • Dinner:
        • Subway footlong, navel orange
      • Evening Snack:
        • muffin
    • Weight and Exercise were ignored again today.
    Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!

    6 comments:

    1. Your post was very newsy today. Firstly, keeping my fingers crossed for you on the duck race.
      You got to go to the Thrift store today? I would love to go, but it would be dangerous for the budget. I always find things that I want and are an incredible bargain. I would have to make a wish list and stick to it....and that would be so-o-o-o difficult.
      As usual you got a lot of great freebies and found a ton of great bargains. How wonderful that you found those dozen doughnuts for $1.99 when you were looking for snacks for your visitors. You will have to tell us what your youngest thought of his new T-shirt.
      You are really raking in those rebates lately. Did the microwave oven get picked up?

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      Replies
      1. Yes the microwave did get picked up and the washing machine that the neighbors set out didn't. So happy we didn't drive for an hour just to get rid of it!

        My son loved his T-shirt and put it on right away :)

        You don't have a wishlist for the thrift store? Ooooh, that IS dangerous! You're wise to stay away! The only problem with that is that when I go inside and can't find what is on my wishlist, I get a little frustrated. I'm not a patient person! I can't believe that no one has donated a waffle iron (or maybe my timing stinks). There was a fortune cookie maker (!), some popsicle-shaped muffins maker, Easy Bake ovens, quesadilla makers, etc, but no regular waffle iron. I should check garage sales in my neighborhood this weekend but I feel more guilty when I leave without buying anything from a garage/yard sale than from a thrift store!

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      2. I saw a recipe for sandwiches using waffle maker for the buffalo chicken waffle sandwich. It looked amazing but of course I got rid of the old regular waffle maker so that I could do the Belgian waffle maker that I got as a wedding present. Who knew that I would want a regular waffle maker too!!! I feel like that should be really easy to find but maybe people will get rid of them in the summer. Keep strong and I am sure you will find one soon :)

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      3. Buffalo Chicken Waffle what now?! Oh that sounds delicious just about now! Yeah, I'm not too worried about the waffle iron because it's not something that he needs desperately, but it would be nice to just get it and cross it off my list. Watch that it'll be like that darn apple slicer that I could't find anywhere for months and then I bought one on Amazon and suddenly there were cheap apple slices EVERYWHERE!

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    2. oh I haven't had subway for ages, in fact I don't feel like I have had a takeaway or eaten out for ages.

      Mmm still having a length of trouser vs size of weight issue with the jeans then, irritating isn't it. It drives me mad!

      Haha you are very good with tech being able to convert photo's I wouldn't know where to start let alone burn a disk. I'm too old that's my excuse xxx

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I'm not so good with technology as I'm good with finding online sites, forums and videos that explain how to do it, lol.

        Good for you for not having eaten out in a long time, Tara! That means that you're being really good with cooking at home and not spending money un-necessarily, unlike me. You're being a star! Did you ever buy that crockpot, by the way?

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