Friday, March 4, 2016

Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday 3/4/16

  • It was rainy when I got up this morning so I was relieved that I wouldn't have to feel guilty about not sitting out on the back patio today. But now at 8:40 a.m. the sun is out and bright. But I have got to try and make some progress on the taxes, damn it, it's already March 4.

  • It seems like I'm failing at a lot of things these days so to continue in this theme (!), I'm not going to bother posting a "Food Waste Friday" post today either.  I threw away the potato salad last night, a whole salad bowl of it.  I think that was the only food waste we had.

  • Hey Susan, are you up for some cookie decorating?  You're a crafter, should be a cinch for you, no? LOL.  If I tried this, there'd be frosting all over the table, the fingers, and the cookie would have just one big splash of frosting in the middle :)

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: emailed a gift card to my nephew for his birthday
    • Household chore: ran the dehumidifier
    • Investing: nothing tangible but thought about our 2016 IRA contributions
    • Tax-related: worked on the taxes all day
    • General finances: 
    • Saving money:  collected rainwater and stored it in an old cat litter jug
    • Gardening: checked on thyme seeds
    • Health: 
    • Cooking: 
    • Indulging myself:  told Greg he was in charge of dinner because I didn't want to cook

  • I packed leftovers in Greg's lunch. It was only 2 hamburger patties without any buns (because I didn't have any), 2 hard-boiled eggs, and a cup of yogurt.  

  • The kids packed their lunches for school.

  • My daughter is driving to her dad's this afternoon to spend the weekend there.  He'll refund me for the gas and tolls, and will feed her dinner and for the next couple of days.

  • Completed my Bing Rewards activities.

  • Swagbucks gave me a goal of 105 SB today. So I'm doing some activities to try to get to the 2,500 SB level at some point, but I'm no longer trying to hit that daily goal. If it happens, great, if not, I don't care. I'm over it.

  • Since I knew it would rain today, yesterday I had set up 2 bins under my roofline to try and capture some of the run-off.  I checked them this morning and they captured just a little bit of it but I stored it right away in one of the cat litter jugs that I had emptied yesterday while watering my plants.  It's not much but it's something free and now the bins are empty so I've reduced the risk of adding to the mosquito population.

  • I worked on the taxes all day. Why? Because TurboTax was doing something weird with my return, I felt, so I decided to redo everything by hand. It took me forever because of all the various worksheets that I had to fill out.  In the end, I decided that since I need to send form 8606 by snail mail even if I e-file with TurboTax, I might as well just mail everything at the same time and save the $40 fee that TurboTax would charge me.

  • Also?  We might be getting a refund, after all.  I expected a big bill so that's good news (and also part of the reason why I wanted to redo everything by hand because I didn't want to believe TurboTax!) but this might be tempered by the fact that I might need to amend our 2014 return...  I still have to figure that out. 

  • I was starved and craving fast food so I went to Hardee's but I used a coupon to get a free drink with my meal :)

  • Both meals (lunch and dinner, see "Splurges") were charged to our Amazon Visa card so we will earn 2% back in Rewards.

  • My son and I both would love to see "Zootopia" but we both don't like people so we decided that we could wait until it's on DVD and we'll get it from Redbox.

  • Greg downloaded a free e-book from Amazon.

  • Swagbucks sent me the $25 Walmart gift card that I ordered yesterday :)

  • An Amazon gift card for my oldest nephew's birthday. I had it emailed directly to my sister. I had to pay foreign exchange rate on it. I'm not sure if the Amazon Visa card charges foreign fees on top of that too and I don't care enough to check.  Che sera, sera.

  • Lunch for myself at Hardee's.

  • Dinner out.  I was so exhausted because of the tax return that I asked Greg to take care of dinner. He didn't have a great day at work either so he offered me 2 options, one of them being to meet him at Outback Steakhouse in Clermont.  Luckily I was able to get a hold of our son to tell him not to stay for Algebra Tutoring after school, and he and I met Greg for dinner :) It wasn't frugal but we all deserved it, darn it!

  • I guess it could be construed as a failure that I didn't have any Outback Steakhouse coupons to redeem :(  I signed up for their emailed coupons as soon as Greg mentioned that restaurant but they didn't send me anything.

    • The Arbor Day Foundation sent me an offer to get a free energy-saving tree to plant near my house (it's a program that I had signed up for a few weeks ago, if I remember correctly), but I didn't offer the email until nighttime and all the live oaks were gone and they only had bald cypresses left... and I can't put a tree where they want me to put it, anyway :(

    • Cooked breakfast for Greg
    • Packed his lunch
    • Set the breakfast table for the kids
    • Changed the coffee corner configuration
    • Contacted FLVS
    • Ran the dehumidifier in the bathroom
    • Ordered a birthday present for one of my nephews
    • Collected rainwater, inspected my thyme pot. Nothing is growing :(
    • Worked on our taxes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
    • Went out to dinner with Greg and our son

    • Nothing specific

    • Liquids:
      • 2 cups coffee
      • large Diet Coke
      • 1 cup water
      • 1 cup decaf coffee
    • Food:
      • Breakfast:
        • bowl of granola with ~2% milk and sliced strawberries
      • Mid Morning Snack:
        • nothing
      • Lunch:
        • 3 chicken tenders, 6 jalapeƱo poppers
      • Mid Afternoon Snack:
        • brownie
      • Dinner:
        • fillet medallions, sweet potato, bread, chopped salad with blue cheese and pecans
      • Evening Snack:
        • navel orange
    Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


    1. Working on taxes all day is difficult and frustrating. I understand completely why anyone would drag their feet over getting this job done. I commend you for taking the plunge today to finally get started. And you deserved getting your meals from someone else. I am not being sarcastic. I mean it. But....I had to laugh when you listed your household chores as running the dehumidifier in the bathroom. Guess what?? I'm not as bad as I thought I was, because I ran my refrigerator all day AND all night. Ha. I think I have you beat.

      Outback Steakhouse. Mmmmm. Greg can make some awesome dinners when he has to. He can cook for me whenever he wants to.

      1. LOL, Susan, I see your point! I always feel like a fraud when I say that I baked bread in the breadmaker because all I did was add the ingredients and the machine did all the rest. But the reason why I list running the dehumidifier as an household chore accomplishment is that more is involved than just flipping on a switch and letting it run. Our downstairs bathroom is very tiny and has no ventilation to speak of - and no window either. I bought a portable dehumidifier a couple of years back to combat the mold growth that results from 3 of our family members taking long hot showers in there, as well as the regular Florida humidity (and now the leak too!). However, "portable" is a misnomer. The thing is so heavy (well over 50 lbs) that I can barely lift it. Our bathroom is very tiny so there isn't a place to leave it in there permanently: it resides in the short hallway right outside of the bathroom. Moreover, there is a floor level difference between the bathroom floor and the hallway so I have to heave it over the "lip" and then try to carry it over the bathroom mats to the spot where it is least in the way... then turn it on and let it run until the humidity level is back to an acceptable level, and then wrestle it out of the bathroom once again.... let the water finish dripping in the pan and then decide what to do with the water. Despite running it as often as I remember to run it (I try to run it every week day because everyone takes their shower one after the other but on weekends there's no way to tell when they're going to shower, it seems that there's always someone in there), our bathroom ceiling is once again full of mildew blooms so I need to try to remember to run it every day, at least until we're back to running the AC all day, every day.

    2. Ha. That really is work. I didn't realize how much was involved. I did think it was a matter of flipping on a switch, so the idea of you going downstairs to do that just really struck my funny bone this morning. It's like saying "I painted the bedroom today", instead of, I removed everything off the walls, took down the window treatments, patched holes with Spackle, sanded, primed, removed all the switch plates and plug covers, taped around all the window and door frames, as well as the baseboards, covered the door knobs, moved all the furniture into the centre of the room, lay down the drop cloths, cut in around the perimeters with a paint brush before rolling on the first coat of colour. Next time you say I turned on the dehumidifier, I will remember it is not a simple task. *laugh* And that is too bad because I had another goody for you. I turned on the television for four hours last night.

      1. LOL, but the true frugal success in all that is that apparently you left if OFF for 20 hours. Yay, you! (did you really do all of this "painting the bedroom" today?!)

    3. No. I can't even move in my bedroom. Maybe after things have settled down after I get back, I will do some painting. I went shopping AGAIN. Holy Moly. I picked up a few things at Dollar Tree and Michael's. I also got my hair cut. They whacked off about 12 inches. It is still shoulder length so I can wear it up still. They asked me to donate it, so I agreed.

      1. Funny, I pictured you with short hair all along... good on you for donating it!

    4. Taxes yuck, I would never get those right, I think I would end up in prison lol. Does everyone have to work out their own taxes out there or is Greg self-employed?

      We don't have Hardens but it looks a bit like McDonald's. Is it similar?

      I have been to Outback Steakhouse though. Yum, I don't feel like I have had a meal out in forever.

      I would much rather wait for a film to come out on DVD as I always find I get uncomfortable and a numb bum whenever we go to the cinema, which isn't often. And Ben likes 3d films but they give me a headache so I prefer ordinary 2d.
      Have a lovely weekend Nathalie xx

      1. Yes, everyone has to figure out their own taxes once a year. The IRS takes taxes out of the paychecks (and we get to tell them how much to take out) only once a year you have to fill out all the ^%%& paperwork to figure out if you've given them too much money or not enough. If you paid too much you get a refund (but no interest!) and if you didn't pay enough you have to pay AND also pay a penalty. It's a shitty system, really complicated and I hate it.

        Hardee's is indeed a fast-food place. They sell burgers, chicken sandwiches and also other things. I think their food is tastier than McDonald's.

        I don't like 3D films, they give me nausea really bad.

        Have a great weekend! Hope you're doing something fun and also something relaxing :)


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