Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Tuesday 2/9/16

  • I have allergies and now I'm the one sniffling and coughing, ack, ack.

  • The vet's office called with the urine test results: New Kitty does have a "very bad UTI with lots of blood in it" so she needs to go on another round of antibiotics once she's done with the current one, then we need to test her urine again and bring her back in for a check-up.  Good grief, kitty!  You wouldn't believe she is sick today because she's playing and behaving just fine now!  I'm glad I took her in on Saturday, though.

  • My daughter learned that she is a finalist in the Optimist Club's essay competition for our area. Woohoo!  She will be competing against the other finalists in March.  She had said that she wouldn't enter the oratorical competition this year (last year she won it for our area), but I convinced her too because this year's district competition 1st prize is larger (a $2,500 scholarship) and the odds are very much in her favor since few students enter that competition.  I love seeing her speak, she is so poised and my heart bursts with pride :)  If she wins either competitions in March, she will move on to the District competition.

  • As you may know by now, our router fixed itself overnight and then a couple of hours later I suddenly was able to see those darn weekly ads again. Uh.  I think technology has become alive and when the router realized that we were able to replace it with another, he (yes, I'm anthropomorphizing it and making it male!) decided to stop that juvenile behavior of his and fix everything pronto.

  • Then Greg's truck fixed itself too because it wasn't leaking this morning. As in: not.one.drop.  Twilight Zone, I tell ya.

  • I reused water from both the upstairs and downstairs showers to flush the toilets last night.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work: the last of the rice, some more turkey, a couple of hard-boiled eggs (he only ate one yesterday so I repacked the one he brought back) and a cup of yogurt.

  • The kids both packed a lunch to take to school today.

  • I turned off the heat. It's supposed to be 57F for the high today but I'll just bundle up (brrr. YES I SAID "brrr"!). I turned it back on at 6 p.m.

  • I'm treating my allergies with a free after rebate pill of Mucinex Allergy (I have self-diagnosed post-nasal drip) and orange juice. It seems to have worked for now, my nose has stopped dripping and I'm not coughing as much (she types, as she coughs).

  • I was craving Nutella but we didn't have any. However we have a jar of "Dark Chocolate Dreams" from Peanut Butter & Co.  So I used up the last chunk of a Cuban hoagie roll bought on clearance at Walmart last Monday when it was already halfway stale by then.  The chocolate spread helped it go down a little easier because it was pretty dry!  But I didn't waste it, woo!

  • I ran the dehumidifier in the downstairs bathroom and poured the collected water in the bucket that's collecting water in the shower. It will help flush the toilet later on.

  • Bing Rewards: I reached my goal today so I ordered a $5 Amazon gift card. Yay!

  • And since I saw a Slickdeals alert for pre-ordering Game of Thrones for $39.99 (Blu-Ray) on Target.com and get a $5 gift card, I actually pre-ordered my copy on Amazon after applying my Bing Rewards gift card.  Added to my other gift cards, I had a little over $15 in credits.  My OOP was about $28 and I charged it to my Amazon Rewards Visa card, which will land me 3% back in Rewards and we'll get the Blu-Rays on release day too.  And I'm giddy that we'll be able to watch it on our thrifted blu-ray player.  Yes!

  • Swagbucks: 1st goal of 110 SB. Sigh.  I have yet to try any surveys (btw, Customer Service did credit me with the 60SB for the "disqualified" survey last night, at 11 p.m.).  I'm running Ngage on my laptop and SBTV on my phone for now.  I'm only at 30 SB earned at 10 a.m. so I need to be able to qualify for surveys today. Yikes!  Update: I qualified for a 60 SB survey about Bob Evans so I'm very close to my 1st goal at about noon. Woohoo. Now I don't have an excuse not to do my chores this afternoon, lol.

  • When I took the trashcan to the curb this morning, I found an eye liner pencil at the edge of our driveway. I suspected it was my daughter's so I texted her.., yep, it's hers.  I had gotten it for free but still... I'm glad I found it!

  • I asked my son to count how many pills he had left for his acne and he was down to just 10 days' worth so I put "call the dreaded pharmacy" on my list of to-dos for today.  But then I was looking through the bag where he keeps all the samples his dermatologist gave us and I found 2 sample boxes of the same antibiotics so now we have 16 days worth of pills left, at no cost to us. Yay!  I think I'm going to call our insurer and see if they can tell us how much we would pay if we had his prescriptions transferred to Publix Pharmacy.  I'll do that tomorrow because he told me he was almost out of something else but I'm not sure which of the two he's out of.  They gave him so many things to use all at once!  So I need to talk to him first.

  • Also, I'm saving the 2 desiccator capsules. It'll come in handy if we need to remove moisture from any electronics in the future.

  • I earned 50 KFR points by entered the 2 codes below in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • I checked my Staples Rewards account to see if I have any Rewards coming up. Their website is messed up (too?  please tell me it's not the same problem as with the others!) but I should have earned rewards for buying toner last month.  The new rewards should be emailed on 2/11 so I guess I will wait a couple of days.

  • I rinsed an empty gallon jug of milk.  I'll pour half the gallon of whole milk that I bought yesterday into it and then refill both jugs with water to make 2 gallons of ~2% milk :)

  • I brewed myself a cup of tea by reusing the tea bag from Greg's breakfast yesterday.  I didn't drink tea yesterday so I'm behind.  I'll probably brew myself another cup later on today with today's tea bag.

  • For dinner tonight I'm going to make a Turkey Caesar Salad since I have turkey meat, a head of Boston lettuce, cucumber and grape tomatoes that need to be used up and Asparagus Soup. I found a recipe for Asparagus Soup with Crab in my Soup Bible cookbook but I'll just hold the crab meat.  I'll bake Pillsbury Grands!  biscuits to go with it; Woohoo, I love it when I can plan an easy dinner on the fly.

  • Oh, yay!  The SavingStar offer of the week is 20% off loose bananas!  I'll definitely use this at Target next week.  I'll have to go shopping on Monday again though... and it's Presidents' Day which means that Aldi will probably be closed. Crap. Hmm, maybe I should ask my daughter to stop by Target or Walmart and buy bananas for me on Saturday since she'll be in Clermont.  Writing myself a note about this on my calendar...
  • Flushed the toilet with water collected in the shower, again. And then a 3rd time later on!

  • I went into the backyard (great... my nose started running again!) and carried a large log that Greg had cut out from a branch that had fallen several months ago, back inside the house, so the cats can start using it as a scratch post, My brother's cats use that in France and my neighbor told me that New Kitty also used a log back when she lived at his house.  I'm hoping the cats will take to it so I can stop buying the cardboard ones (they make a mess).  So far, the male cat is all spooked by it and the female cats don't give a damn, lol.

  • My lunch was some leftover baked ziti from last night with the last Pillsbury Grands! biscuit from Sunday dinner, some of the past-its-prime cantaloupe (still edible but not very good), a glass of OJ and the rest of my cup of black tea.  

  • I ate my lunch while enjoying an episode of the latest season of "Finding Your Roots" on my Roku's PBS app (free!).  Then I watched a 2nd episode while I was typing up my Weekly Grocery Shopping post for tomorrow.

  • Laid the shower liner that I had just washed outside to dry.  It's windy so I hope I won't have to chase it into the neighbors' yard!

  • I filled out the survey from my Walgreens receipt to compliment my lovely Walgreens cashier, and signed up for Walgreens Viewpoint, a program where I can earn Balance Reward points for taking Walgreens surveys.

  • I filled out the survey from my Target receipt and attempted to join the Bullseye Insiders. Unfortunately, they must already have a ton of middle-aged women from Florida because they rejected me. Oh well.

  • I unlocked a lot of great new offers on Ibotta!

  • I needed more countertop cleaner so I emptied one of the jars of vinegar where I had been soaking clementine/mandarin peels into my spray bottle.  

  • Then I poured more vinegar on top of the peels in the jar and put to back to mascerate on my window sill.

  • Kohl's sent me a 30% off code.  I had it from Slickdeal for online orders but I'm glad that I got it in the mail too because I plan on taking my youngest son there next week after his doctor's appointment to get a new pair of jeans.  I have $20 in Kohl's cash so I'm hoping we'll get them for free :)

  • Making dinner, I saved the 2 rubber bands that were around the asparagus and the butter wrapper (I froze it to butter a baking dish later on).

  • I also saved the woody tips of the asparagus. I need to find the blog post that I saw recently where the blogger made soup out of them. I didn't want to try it tonight though. I might freeze them if I don't find the blog post soon.

  • I received a free sample of Gluten Free Cinnamon Chex cereal in the mail today.

  • Swagbucks credited me with 30 SB for coupon redemptions.  Yay!

  • Game of Thrones Season 5!  We own all the seasons on DVD or BluRay. This is a show we definitely be rewatching in years to come and we've already rewatched the ones that we have several times.

  • Using hot water to wash mildewy shower plastic liner and curtain.  I used Purex and vinegar and sprayed Shout on the curtain, but figured hot water would work better than cold (cold didn't seem to do much when I last washed the liner in the machine and I didn't feel like scrubbing it by hand!).  Update: I'm really disappointed to report that none of this worked, the shower curtain's mildew stains are still there. Dang it.  And a blog post said NOT to wash it in hot water until the stain is gone (use OxyClean first but don't dry in the dryer).  Argh, I did everything wrong in trying to fix a problem!  Lesson learned: do the research BEFORE trying out what you think is going to work!  That's what the internet is for, doofus!

  • I dumped so much rainwater from my backyard's bins that it feels like a frugal failure. But since I'm not planning on gardening this year, and the Zika virus threat is at our doorstep, better safe than sorry, I guess.  All my spare jugs were already full.

  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Collected the trash throughout the house and took the trashcan down to the curb for collection
  • Ran the dehumidifier in the downstairs bathroom (twice)
  • Put the cat food away
  • Gave New Kitty her medicine
  • Pre-ordered GoT Season 5 :)
  • Inventoried the fridge, looked at the calendar and wrote up a menu for the week
  • Made our bed
  • Washed downstairs bathroom shower liner and curtain with Greg's exercise clothes
  • Washed the older cats' litter box
  • Emptied out all the outside bins so mosquitoes can't breed (hopefully)
  • Brought a log for the cats to use as a scratcher
  • Wrote up my weekly grocery shopping post
  • Did the dishes
  • Cooked dinner
  • Gave New Kitty her 2nd dose of medicine

  • Earned another $5 Amazon gift card, woohoo!

  • Liquids:
    • 1 cup coffee
    • 4 cups OJ
    • 1 cup black tea
    • 2 cups decaf instant coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • granola with 1 banana, ~ 2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • 1/4 cuban hoagie roll with 1 tbsp chocolate spread
    • Lunch:
      • Baked ziti, canteloupe
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • marshmallows and chocolate kisses (don't judge me!), 3 pieces string cheese, 1 slice wheat bread
    • Dinner:
      • asparagus soup, turkey caesar salad
    • Evening Snack:
      • a few spekuloos cookies and a handful of oyster crackers
  • Weight:
    • 217.8 lbs after breakfast and snack AND with wet hair so... maybe I just washed a pound of dirt away in the shower?  lol.  A little bit of progress, I'll take it!
  • Exercise:
    • Didn't exercise per se but I lifted heavy containers of water and carried a heavy log alll the way from the back of the yard so that's got to count for at least 10 calories!
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. The husband and I finished Battle Creek tonight :-( I looked it up and it says it was a CBS show and they cancelled it during the first season. I disliked the ending.

    I ordered my $5 Amazon gift card today too. I've tried using Ibotta, again, but my body does not stay still enough to snap the photos. :-(

    1. OH NO! HOW DID I MISS THAT?!? I thought it was a Netflix Original Series (goes to show you how much I pay attention to those things). This completely sucks, darn it. I agree that the ending wasn't great, they probably knew they were getting cancelled. Arrgh.

      Can your husband take the photos for you to submit to Ibotta if you can't?

    2. That would probably be more trouble than it's worth :-)

  2. Congrats to your daughter for becoming a finalist in the essay competition. I remember she wasn't going to because she didn't think she would have time. Despite that, she must have done well.

    I meant to ask you yesterday. What do you use the wide blue rubber bands for? (off the produce stalks)Do you use them in the garden or the office?

    I also read that blog post about the soup made from asparagus ends, and I cannot remember for the life of me where. If I find it, I will let you know. But likewise, let us know if you find it first.

    1. Thank you, Susan! She did write the essay at the 11th hour (she estimates she spent about 8 hours on it) and submitted it minutes before the deadline. Sometimes decisions like these change your life... when I was in college in France, I helped a friend get ready for an interview so she could obtain a 1-year fellowship to come study in Florida for free. I wasn't going to apply because you had to buy your own airfare and my mom was poor as dirt so there was way I could go, I thought, even if I won. On the last day of the applications being taken, one of my English teachers reminded us of the fellowship. I'd always wanted to come to the States and especially Florida... so I applied on a lark (didn't tell my family about it) because I thought that, if anything, it would be good interview and English practice, and lo and behold, I got it! What made it awkward was that they told me that they had already decided to give it to my friend (the one I had been helping prep for it) but when I interviewed (I was the last interviewed), they decided to give it to me instead! We all felt very bad about it so she was given the choice to apply for a fellowship at Colgate University usually reserved for 3rd year students (we were 2nd year students) and she got it as well! As I did, she went on to date an American and married him too. So all this to say... sometimes you need to follow your gut and forget what your head is telling you, lol. I was able to earn money for the plane trip but then American Airlines lost all of my luggage between NYC and Orlando, and since it was part of an international flight, they had to give me something like $1,350. I didn't begin to cover the cost of my belongings (everything is so expensive in France) but it allowed me to have spending money for the rest of the year as I had none (I bought replacement clothes at Kmart for a fraction of the cost of my French clothes).

      I use the rubber bands to seal the cereal bags when I reuse them to freeze stuff. Lately I've been using masking tape but I think it'll become "unstuck" in the freezer. Also if I open a 10-lb bag of rice, I close it with a rubber band. The small ones that I have been using keep on breaking right away, it's very annoying. The ones they put on asparagus and broccoli are a little sturdier, although they don't like the freezer either.

      I'm thinking the post might have been on Nana's Pinching Pennies or A Quiet Country Life? Going to check Feedly... Well, shoot I can't find it on either blogs (i read that recently so it should have been posted in the past month or so...) and I guess I didn't reblog that idea either because I couldn't find a link on mine. Nothing in my email either so I guess I didn't email myself the blog post. Darn it. Let me know if you find it again! I've been going on so many blog rabbit trails lately that I can't remember.


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