Monday, March 28, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again! (Monday, 3/28/16)

So I'm trying to be enthused.

Well, I guess I'm back blogging every day, although I have to say that the temptation was strong to just stay quiet the whole week (aside from a blog post about my garden, grocery shopping, and maybe an excursion) and just recap the week on Sunday. I might still do that.  I'm just bored with the same old, same old, I guess!

I had declared Mondays to be "Domestic Monday" but I didn't feel like being domestic today (shh, don't tell Susan...  I hope she's OK, btw, and I wonder when she'll be back from Egypt).  I spent pretty much the whole morning composing my recap post for last week and then Greg told me he had gotten a new title at work that's a mouthful but does include the word "manager", which is what he wanted, so I announced that I had heard that the all the Mouthful Title Managers's Wives had a tradition called "Leisure Monday", to which he replied "Only Mondays?!" so I told him that there was a whole manual that I needed to consult and I would keep him apprised :)

In my defense, I only slept 3.5 hours last night so I didn't have much energy to do a lot of chores.

Here are some things that I did accomplish in the chores category, though:

  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Made our bed
  • Did the laundry
  • Washed both the cat litter boxes and refilled them
  • Checked on the garden
  • Caught up on emails
  • Baked Triple Berry Scones
  • Baked Banana Bread
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Did the dishes
  • Cooked dinner
  • Packed away the leftovers

The kids went back to school. I don't think they were particularly enthused about it but I don't blame them. My daughter did come home after her high school classes to work on some trig extra credit that she had left at home, and then went to the gym and then to her trig college class.

She stopped by Walgreens to buy some stuff for herself but the Balance Rewards keychain card that she usually uses (and that is mine) had broken off. Before she could figure out what to do, the cashier told her she could issue a new one, asked her for the phone number of the card. My daughter got flustered and gave out my cell phone number. The cashier issued her a new card linked to that number.  Several problems arose: firstly, I never EVER want her to give my cell phone number to anyone unless it's an emergency. All my customer loyalty cards are linked to our home phone number and she knows that, but she had a complete brain fart.  Secondly, apparently at some point my middle son had gotten a Balance Rewards account by giving my cell phone number because the new BR account is in his name and I can't change it.  Arrgh.  In order to change the phone number associated with it, though, I had to create a account for her. It said that her email address had already been used to create an account but she didn't remember having done that so I used her old email address.  Then I linked the new Balance Rewards card (which is when I saw that it had my middle son's named coded to it) to her new Walgreens account. Then I was able to change the phone number to her cell phone number (I still wanted to keep my own BR card so now she just has her own account, instead of earning points on mine) but I couldn't change the name of the Balance Rewards account (which is stupid!) so I emailed Customer Service in her name asking them to do that. I'm sure it's going to be a problem but now it's not linked to me, anymore.  So it's not a victory for me since she stops by Walgreens pretty often to buy herself snacks and the BR points used to come to me but now she'll earn her own. She'll be 18 in a few months anyway.

My son went to the library after school to do his volunteer shift.  It was supposed to pour this afternoon but it never did rain so he walked there and will walk back. Hopefully he can log this in for his physical activity today.

After I spent the morning writing my first blog post of the day, I decided to grill some asparagus on the barbecue for my lunch  and since the weather was actually pretty nice (humid but overcast), I got the cushions for the patio furniture out of the little shed and set myself up there with my laptop. I didn't see any birds although I did have my camera at the ready.  Sounds I heard: a large bullfrog or two, coming from the back neighbor's pool. We think the house has been abandoned (some people were doing work on it a few weeks ago but we haven't seen any activity since) and we know the pool has been abandoned for years.  It probably has an alligator or two in it by now! Anyway, the bullfrog was very loud. It sounded just like a mooing cow too.

I also heard an owl.  Aside from that, the lizards are out in numbers (I suspect that one of them ate my strawberries!), but, as I said, no birds. On the better side of things, no squirrels either :)

I would have stayed the whole afternoon, and had even set up the patio umbrella so I didn't get too sunburned through the clouds, but suddenly the sky got very dark and I was nervous that my electronics would get drenched, so I retreated indoors at about 1:45 p.m. Only... despite the dire predictions of 80% chance of rain (!), it never rained one drop.  Phooey. I might have to water the garden tomorrow.

Dinner was Ten Things Farm Chicken Breasts and Baked Potatoes with a side salad.  No, I didn't do a menu today after all.  Maybe I'll work on it after dinner but I feel kind of tired.

On the frugal side of things, here are the frugal successes that I had today:

  • Greg took a packed lunch to school.

  • As soon as my daughter went to school, I set the AC back to 76 (I had set it at 75 last night when she got home because she said it was hot in her room).  It was humid today but it was overcast so I don't think I'll need to put it back to 75 tonight.

  • I did 2 "super" loads of laundry on cold/cold.
Well, not quite!  I love my washing machine!
  • I reused water used to boil eggs this weekend to water my indoor plants.

  • I entered the 2 Kellogg's codes from the boxes I bought last week into my KFR account and earned 160 KFR points.  I noticed that my ExtraCare card had credited me with the purchases from last week and they had earned me a 1,000 point bonus.

  • Then I entered a 5 pt bonus code.

  • And a 100 pt bonus code.

  • So I ordered three $1.00/1 cereal coupons.  My plan is to buy 3 boxes of Kellogg's cereal at Walgreens this week.  Hopefully the Lucky Charms are included in the $1.88 a box sale because I'm running low on my son's favorite cereal. If so, I'll get 3 boxes at $0.88 each after coupon = $2.64 and I will redeem the $2.50 Register Reward that I earned last week for buying Colgate toothpaste.

  • I printed a few new coupons from (via Swagbucks) and a few Kellogg's coupons that they had emailed me.

  • I uploaded MobiSave offers. Not much this week but last week I had some turn up at mid-week!

  • I also unlocked a couple of Ibotta rebates.

  • I printed a $1.50 coupon that Gold'n Plump had emailed me.

  • I did complete my Bing Rewards activities for today.

  • I also did complete some Swagbucks activities.  I just want enough to get to 2,200 SB, redeem those for a $25 GC on April 1st and then probably not worry about Swagbucks again.

  • I saved 2 jugs of cat litter so I can reuse them to store rain water.

  • When I opened the bag of asparagus last night, they smelled like they were starting to spoil.  I had rinsed half for dinner last night.  Since I made myself an egg salad sandwich for lunch, I decided to grill the remaining half.  I fired up the barbecue, coated them in avocado oil, and grilled them. Yum!

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

  • I kept the asparagus ends (I cut off the really woody parts) and froze them. Once I have enough, I plan on making Asparagus Soup with Crabmeat.

  • The avocado oil had some impurities that had been dropped into it by my basking brush, so I strained it and put the leftovers back into the bottle with a funnel. It's quite expensive so I didn't want to waste any!

  • The last of the strawberries that I had bought at Aldi a couple of weeks ago were looking sad, so I decided to make Triple Berry Oatmeal Scones.  I also used some frozen raspberries and blueberries and some orange zest that I had frozen as well.

  • Then I baked a loaf of banana bread with the mashed bananas that I had defrosted this weekend.

  • My daughter redeemed a survey reward code at RaceTrac today and got herself a pastry for a snack.

  • Twice in the past couple of weeks, BJs has sent her an offer to get a 6 month membership for free.  There is a BJs in Clermont, right behind Aldi, so it wouldn't be any extra driving to go there. However: we won't be getting one.  Why should we?  The stores I go to right now offer me the best deals.  There is no reason whatsoever for me to battle the crowds at BJs, deal with their checkout (I did the trial membership several years ago, it didn't save me any money, far from!), resist their "deals", etc.  The letter went straight into the shredder.

Here is how we splurged:
  • The kids bought lunch from school today.

  • I bought a $10 Starbucks gift card for just $5 on Groupon!  Thanks to a poster on Slickdeals, I was able to figure out how to redeem it into my Starbucks account by redeeming it in my Groupon app on my phone directly into my Starbucks app on my phone.  VoilĂ !  I don't go to Starbucks very often and their stuff is way overpriced, but I do go once in a blue moon as I like their breakfast sandwiches so if I can get $5 in free merchandise, it's a good splurge.

    And here are some failures:

    • My daughter wasn't the only one who had a brain fart today!  I was doing the laundry while thinking about several things and I completely stuffed the clothing that I had meant to dry on my laundry racks (as I usually do) into the dryer. I didn't even realize that I had done that until about 30 minutes later and by then... they were pretty much dry already.  Arrgh. I didn't mean to do this!

    • I need to stop buying 10-lb bags of potatoes because I apparently have some rotten ones in my bag. I was too tired to investigate tonight and, truthfully, it didn't smell too bad yet, so I will take care of that tomorrow. I guess I'll be putting mashed potatoes and other potato dishes on the menu!


    1. I'd say you were enthused! You had a very productive day!

    2. Those scones look delicious! I know that I couldn't maintain an everyday blogging schedule, although I also know that if I don't have some kind of weekly goal, I'd never post because I'd let other stuff get in my way. So I'm not sure exactly what the right balance is.

      1. We have the opposite problem... I think that if I didn't blog everyday. I'd probably be more productive. But since I also blog to motivate myself, it's a vicious circle. The right balance is probably what feels right to you at this minute. Unless you're actually trying to grow your readership for monetary purposes, there really aren't any rules to follow. So post daily, weekly, or more or less frequently according to what you feel you can afford to do. I've flipped flopped a few times here and I'll probably do that again.

    3. Wow! You were really busy in the kitchen. All that baking looks yummy....lucky family. How domesticated is that? Sounds like a pretty good Monday to me.


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