Monday, March 7, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Monday 3/7/16

Again?!  Sheesh...


HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:

  • I slept like a baby last night but the lack of sleep from the previous 2 nights and my period that finally started have left me feeling really run down.  I've opened the windows to help reinvigorate myself as it feels cool outside.  We're going to have a nice week in store, although temps will be close to the 90s by the end of the week... which means I might have to run the AC later on, damn it.

  • My daughter doesn't have college classes this week since it's Spring Break for the state colleges and Universities, but she's still going to drive to Clermont so she can use the gym.  This is the last month for her 3-month membership. We're going to wait until we know if she's going to California or not this summer before we renew it.  Oh, I forgot to mention that she's now thinking that she doesn't want to study Computer Science, but that she might want to be an "environmental engineer". Last week she was thinking about applying to MIT so it seems every day brings a different decision, lol. So at this point I don't even know if she would go to California if chosen for the coding camp.

  • My youngest son will be volunteering at the library after school ends this afternoon.  I'm so glad he's doing this and giving the opportunity for other people to see how awesome he is beyond the somewhat stern appearance since he's not into socializing :)

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: emailed survey company about missing survey
    • Household chore:  did the laundry
    • Investing: Greg & I discussed waiting until after we do our 2016 taxes to fund our 2016 IRAs
    • Tax-related: collected form 8332 that my ex sent me via our daughter, Greg and I reviewed our tax return
    • General finances:  recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
    • Saving money:  printed coupons
    • Gardening: 
    • Health: weighed myself. Arrgh.
    • Cooking: cooked chicken breast for daughter's lunches
    • Indulging myself: watched 2 episodes of a Swedish series on Netflix that I didn't enjoy "30 degrees in February"

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I packed leftovers (from Friday!) for Greg to take to work today (his request!).

  • I reused Greg's tea bag from yesterday to brew his morning cup of tea, since he hadn't reused it then.

  • For breakfast (and later on for lunch), I had some of the Pillsbury Grands! biscuits that I had cooked last night.


  • I was supposed to complete a follow-up survey on Swagbucks that was worth 300 SB but this morning it had disappeared from my dashboard even though I still have a couple of days to fill it out. So I emailed Customer Service.  Otherwise, I'm not bothering with SB much today.  They gave me a goal of 105 SB and I won't even try to hit it.  Yesterday, for the first time since I was in France and unable to use Swagbucks, I didn't earn ANY Swagbucks and my day was glorious.

  • I didn't do Bing Rewards yesterday either. Maybe it is time for me to turn in my Frugal Party card in since we ate out or ordered in all 3 dinners this weekend and I didn't earn any SB or Bing Rewards!    I earned the Bing credits for today and I'm up to 58% of my goal.

  • I logged out and logged back in to MobiSave to force the new weekly offers to appear.

  • I needed extra caffeine this morning so I re-brewed myself a 3rd cup of coffee by reusing the same coffee grounds. As expected the coffee was pretty light so I ran it through the coffeemaker twice. Come to think of it. I should have use the French press upon reusing the grounds since I can let the water sit in it much longer.  Food for thought...   Update: that 3rd cup must not have delivered much caffeine at all because it's 11:30 a.m. and I feel exhausted. 

  • I did 2 loads of laundry on cold/cold with some Purex that I had bought at a discount and vinegar as softener.  I was going to run all the clothes in the dryer today since pollen levels outside are still very high, but then I decided to just throw the cotton clothing in the dryer (on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting) and hang the rest on the racks but leave them in the laundry room, as I usually do when it's cold outside anyway.

  • I earned 5 bonus KFR points with the bonus code below:

  • I cooked the chicken breast that I had defrosted several days ago. I sprinkled it with homemade Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning because my daughter likes it.  The breast was cut into strips and she will use it for her lunches this week.

  • I boiled 4 eggs for Greg's snacks.  I kept the water so I can reuse it to water my indoor plants.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • Dinner tonight will be the fish tacos that I was supposed to cook this weekend. I'll make a side salad to go with it.

  • I wanted to make something for snack time today but I really only had 1 egg to use so I wasn't sure what to make (all my cake mixes require 3 eggs). However, digging through the freezer to get to the beef roast to defrost for tomorrow's dinner, I found a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, so I defrosted that instead.  Yay!

  • I saved the cereal bag in which the banana bread had been packaged.  I will wash it and reuse it.

  • I filtered water for the cats in our Brita pitcher.  I think it's better for them since our water is very hard and they've had urinary issues, and also it's cheaper than buying them Spring water, which is what I used to do once upon a blue moon.I haven't mentioned doing that in a while not because we stopped doing that, but because my youngest does it as part of his chores usually so I forget that it's another frugal thing that we do.

  • I inventoried my fridge so I could make a menu for the week and avoid food waste.

  • I wasn't planning on using the 2 packages of broccoli crowns until Saturday so I decided to cut them up and freeze them before they wilted. No, I didn't bother blanching them.

  • I collected water in the shower.

  • I printed coupons and uploaded digital ones to my digital wallets.


  • I took a Subway customer satisfaction survey and earned a survey reward code for a free cookie.

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

  • I received the refund check from our Health FSA Administrator for $18.11, which is all the money we had left to spend in our 2015 FSA account.  I can finally put this claim to rest.

  • I also received a coupon for a free pack of Skittles.  I had won it in the Snickers Sweet 50 Instant Win Game.


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • The kids bought lunch from school today.

  • Gas for my daughter to drive to the gym.


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • Not my failure but have you noticed how it seems that everything these days is shoddily made? Hence you end up spending a lot more money to replace everything that keeps on breaking and it produces enormous amounts of waste.  Today I'm pissed off about my toothbrush. Now I've been buying Dollar Tree toothbrushes for year without any problems, but this last package of 3?  It's crap.  The first one looked like I had been using it for MONTHS after just the first day. It's been put aside to scrub my sink drain.  The 2nd one is leaving bristles in my mouth after I brush!  So I guess I'll be splurging for a brand-name toothbrush this week.

  • The other thing that's crap and ticking me off: spray bottles.  Yes, I'm ranting about those again. I've been reusing a Shout spray bottle in the upstairs bathroom. I filled it up with bleach so I can spray the underside of the bathmat (the plastic one that's in the tub itself) once in a while but the darn thing just isn't spraying. I've taken the spray mechanism apart and put it back and it would usually start spraying again at least for a few seconds but today it's just not working. The pump isn't clogged at all.  So I had to pour bleach instead, which is wasteful. I've bought spray bottles before and they just don't last either.  Maybe I should use a Misto?!  Lol.

  • I have been very bad with my diet (just in the sense that I haven't been tracking calories and I have been very sedentary) and my weight is through the roof.  Today isn't the day for me to get back on the stationary bike because I'm falling asleep as I'm writing this, but I've got to get a grip.

TASKS ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:
  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Packed his lunch
  • Set breakfast table for the kids
  • Ran de dehumidifier in the bathroom
  • Did the laundry
  • Cooked a chicken breast for my daughter's lunches
  • Boiled eggs for Greg
  • Added my youngest son to my FLVS Parent account so I could see his progress
  • Defrosted meat for tomorrow and banana bread for snack
  • Inventoried fridge and made menu for the week
  • Worked on shopping list
  • Poured bleach on tub's bath mat to treat mildew
  • Washed our bedding
  • Folded the laundry
  • Clipped coupons
  • Cleaned out coupon organizer of expired coupons
  • Cooked dinner
  • Fought with my credit union's app but was finally able to deposit the FSA refund check!
  • Wrote a check for my son's Physics class
  • Played with New Kitty
  • Greg and I reviewed our tax return

PROGRESS TOWARDS MY 2016 GOALS TODAY:
  • I really need to review my goals because, aside from being a good steward of our money today, I don't recall what else I'm supposed to do, lol.

Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!

7 comments:

  1. I just love your detailed posts!

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    Replies
    1. Well, thank you, Bless! I always surprised that readers don't comment on how tedious this all is, ha. But it keeps me going, especially when I go back and read what I was doing 1 or 2 years ago which is the whole point of this blog: I motivate myself. If only that would work with my diet/exercising efforts, though!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for always posting the Kellogg's points. I appreciate it :-)

    Just about everything these days is cheap crap, even the more expensive products. Good Quality is hard to come by.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Jess! I'm glad it's helpful.

      I agree with you and even a brand name is no longer a guarantee of quality. People will say "don't be cheap and pay more for quality" but how do you judge whether something is "of quality" or not when even things made by G.E. are increasingly made in China (I read in the past couple of weeks that they just sold their appliance business to a Chinese company so the situation isn't going to improve), which, sadly, means a serious deterioration of quality.

      This is why I'm not looking at replacing my 30+ year Magic Chef wall oven. It's ancient and looks rough but it's working great and the fact that it's lasted that long (we only had to replace the heating elements) is a huge plus.

      Delete
  3. OMG! I didn't know what you meant last night when you commented on my blog about me ripping off your post introduction. My thought was.....I thought it was Domestic Monday????? Then I read YOUR blog this morning and saw exactly what you were referring to. Holy Moly. Sometimes we think so closely alike, you would think we were sisters. And other times, we have so many opposing views that you would think we were sisters. *laugh*

    Another successfully domestic Monday. You got a boatload of things accomplished, and cleared a lot of items from the pending list. (eg tax discussion with Greg, FSA rebate, coupon organizer, etc) There are always going to be dishes to wash and meals to be made, but when I get those nagging issues resolved, that is when I feel like I have accomplished something.

    Now the spray bottle issue......Do you think it might have something to do with storing bleach inside?? I found that the cleaning products that I used to buy that contained bleach, did not have spray nozzles that lasted well before I finished with the product inside. I stopped buying them because they leaked so badly they were useless as a spray. I always felt that it was the bleach because I never had the same issue with other spray bottles.

    And yes, I feel there is a lot of crap in the marketplace. I love most of the second hand items I buy (like clothes and furniture) because they are cheaper and are better made. Remember the green sofa I bought last summer for $35? I absolutely love it. I will recover it before I have to buy a new one from some discount store (no money down...do not pay for 3 years). I imagine it belonged to some older couple who bought it years ago from some local reputable cabinet and furniture maker, and looked after it well. It is super comfy and built to last. We have become such a disposable society.

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    Replies
    1. I guess you could be on to something... I just googled "bleach in spray bottles" and found this chemical-resistant spray bottle on a janitorial supplies site:
      http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-16187/Spray-Bottles-and-Nozzles/Chemical-Resistant-Spray-32-oz-Bottle

      I guess I'll go check whether Home Depot or Lowe's sell those too (and hopefully cheaper!)

      Delete
  4. Hey honey, I have missed out on a couple of your posts this week so tonight I am going to have a catch up.

    I'm so glad you are having the mind changing conversations with your daughter, I am having the same with Liam, he is still planning on coming to the states in seven weeks but is considering different areas argh!

    I so agree with you about everything is made rubbish, I have about seven tops and only one without holes in it. It is ridiculous. Also the only furniture that seems to not be falling apart in this house is the stuff handed down from family.

    Sometimes its nice to have a break from things that you do on a regular basis and your still a better money saver than most people I know. Xxx

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