Friday, March 11, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Friday 3/11/16


  • Oh my goodness, yes: Thank Goodness It's Friday! I've been feeling like it should be Friday all week.

  • Plans for the day: I won't lie, today is not going to be a super productive day. However, today is going to be a super FRUGAL day because I'm not going anywhere and I won't be buying anything. Why? Because the 2nd season of "Bosch" premieres on Amazon Prime today and I've been waiting for it for months.  So I plan on watching that all day.  10 hours' worth (well less since each episode is about 48 minutes but I'll say 10 hours because I'll need potty and snack breaks!). I've already warned Greg :)  

  • Things I could be doing while I watch: folding the laundry, ironing, blogging about my February food costs (when the story is kind of slow), working on a menu for next week, planting my indoor seeds (while watching on the Kindle Fire)... EXERCISING on my recumbent bike.  So really, I should be able to be somewhat productive too.  We'll see how that goes...

  • 10 hours later... well, I didn't do any of those things, I just vegged and explored the web while the show was playing. I was very disappointed because I felt the storyline was boring and so I really wasn't into it this season at all.   

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: 
    • Household chore: swept the main stairs
    • Investing: 
    • Tax-related: 
    • General finances: 
    • Saving money:  took a survey and earned a freebie
    • Gardening: planted thyme and spinach seeds indoors
    • Health: 
    • Cooking: decided to try a new-to-me crockpot recipe for dinner
    • Indulging myself:  watching "Bosch", woohoo!

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • The kids packed their lunches

  • Completed my Bing activities for today and I'm at 86% of my goal.

  • Tried to make strawberry jello for my son's snacks today with a box of generic gelatin powder that I found in my pantry. (see "Failures")

  • Greg surmised that, after a long day of watching TV, I might not feel like cooking.  Because he's right and to prove his prediction that I would want to order in wrong, I looked through my new "Crockpot Dump Meals" cookbook for a recipe involving pork chops, since that's what I was defrosting for dinner. I found the super easy "Glazed Pork Loin" recipe which, for 4 people, only requires a bag of baby carrots, 4 boneless pork loin chops, and 8 oz of apricot preserves.  I used regular carrots that I peeled and sliced and, since I didn't have apricot preserves on hand, I used a cup of duck sauce from the huge jar that I keep in my fridge.  Did you know that duck sauce's main ingredients is apricots?  So I hope it'll be ok.  I'll make more rice in the microwave to go with it.

  • My son finished a cereal box so I collected the Boxtop label (to donate to a school later on) and will be rinsing out the bag to reuse it as a freezer bag.

  • If you find yourself wishing you could save on ink, Lifehacker had an article yesterday about 3 fonts that you should use instead of Arial to save on ink.  Admittedly, I've never thought of doing this, but it's not like I can change the font on the coupons that I print. However, I can change the font on the recipes and  that I have to copy and paste in a Word document because the blog/site author has neglected to add a "print" option to their page.  I have Word set up to default to Times New Roman, but sometimes when you paste something, the original font is preserved.  So I shall be more diligent in checking that the font is either Times New Roman or Calibri.
  • Uploaded new digital coupons to my Publix digital wallet.

  • Since my daughter and son will be out of the house longer than usual today, I turned off the AC and opened the windows in the eastern part of the house for the kitties to enjoy the sounds and smells of the outside.

  • Then I baked some Pillsbury Grands! biscuits for a frugal and delicious (but not healthy, can't have it all sometimes...) snack to last me through the day. What can I say? I'm craving bread.

  • I also boiled more eggs since there are only 2 hard-boiled eggs left in the fridge and I figured I might have some egg salad today.  I had instructed my daughter to leave the pan of water (leftover from when I boiled eggs last a couple of days ago) on the stove so I was able to reuse the water for a 3rd time (I just topped it off a little).

  • I watered some of the indoor plants with some water saved after boiling eggs last week.

  • Typing that I probably wouldn't do anything today made me feel guilty (!) so I decided to plant my thyme and spinach seeds indoors today!  Apart from the seeds (bought for a quarter for each package at Dollar Tree) and the Cling wrap (bought for 4 cents a roll at Publix several years ago), everything was reused: my seed nursery is a plastic sweater box that I've had for years, in which I placed a seedling started tray kept from some seedlings I had bought at Home Depot or Lowe's several years ago.  Since I had grown seeds in them last year, I had kept the potting soil in them, although they only had about 1/2 a container's worth in each of them, so I topped them off with potting soil that I had bought for $1.27 a bag at Walgreens last Summer.  I collected water from the bucket in the shower to water the seeds with an upcycled container of rinse aid which I have been using to water seeds/seedlings for several years now. I find that it provides a gentle jet of water which doesn't damage the delicate plants/seeds.  I wrapped the box in Cling wrap and put the whole thing on my greenhouse shelf, which I bought on clearance for $19 at Tractor Supply Co. a couple of years ago and it's facing a South sliding door window in the entry room.  Incidentally, the same greenhouse will be on sale for $19.99 at Aldi next week. I planted 2 pots of thyme (the instructions said it only plant 1-2 seeds per pot but I split a whole package between 2 pots, I'll just thin them if more than that grow!) and 12 pots of Giant Noble Spinach (1 seed per pot).  Both the thyme and spinach packets said to plant them through February in Florida, but oh well, I'm late warming up to gardening this year.  If they don't grow, it's not a huge monetary loss.  But I hope they'll grow :)

  • I finished a roll of Cling wrap that had a Campbell's Label for Education on it so I clipped it to donate to a school.

  • Decided to brew more coffee reusing the grounds from breakfast in the French press. It wasn't good yesterday but I'm going to try a splash of Hazelnut Bailey's in it to make it more palatable!  Update: well, that didn't work either... but I got the opportunity to drink some Bailey's, lol.

  • I mended a button on my pants.

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned a survey reward code for a free bakery item.

  • I checked next week's weekly ads for CVS and Walgreens to see if there would be any reason to go: milk will be on sale at CVS @ $2.79 a gallon so I'll get it for free with my CVS gift card. 

  • My daughter will be buying snacks/drinks and dinner at Pig on the Pond, where she is volunteering, with the $10 that I gave her earlier this week.

  • I must have not mixed my gelatin mixture long enough before adding the cold water because only the bottom part of the bowl gelled.  So I remixed it all up, microwaved it for 3 minutes and let it sit again. I have no idea if this might work and couldn't find a fix anywhere online so we'll see. If it doesn't work, I'm only out the 29 cents for the jello so it's not too bad... Update: it didn't work :(

  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Packed his lunch
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Made Jell-O
  • Started dinner in the crockpot
  • Ran the dehumidifier in the bathroom
  • Cooked hard-boiled eggs and biscuits
  • Planted seeds
  • Cuddled with New Kitty while watching "Bosch"
  • Swept the main stairs
  • Took a couple of customer service surveys
  • Worked on my shopping list for next week
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. I will be reading your Blog posts today and commenting on a few of them. Be prepared for an onslaught of shortened emails from your posts written two weeks ago.

    I had to laugh out loud when I read the part about reusing the coffee grounds in the French Press. It didn't work before, but lets try it with liquor and see if that goes down better. Ha. How is it that you can watch Bosch for ten hours and still come up with an impressive list of things accomplished?

    1. LOL, it's one of the first things I thought about this morning when I got up: "Susan's back so that means I'm going to get a few comments from her..." lol. Well, you'll be annnoyed at me, possibly, that I barely posted last week but I did post a loooooong update on Monday. It's so good to have you back.

      The trick to watching 10 hours of a TV show while still being productive is because the TV show sucked so I had it on but I was doing other things. Had it been better... (and how I wish it had been better!), I would have started growing roots!

      Yeah, the booze didn't help the French Press Coffee. I think that people who do reuse their coffee grinds must brew some thick coffee first, not the wimpy coffee I brew. Or, possibly, they spend a lot more on coffee beans than I do :) Well, I tried it again and it allowed me to drink some of the Bailey's without feeling guilty so it's all good!


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