Saturday, March 5, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Saturday 3/5/16

Greg is also known as "the cat magnet" in these here parts :)


  • The cats and the shower leak conspired to keep me from sleeping well last night so I researched ways to fix the leak on the showerhead and I think I might have found the solution. Granted, I really don't know anything about plumbing and I'm assuming that, since our faucets are very old, they are the compression-style of faucets.  I think Greg might have tried to fix them last summer but since they're so old he couldn't get them to come off.  I found information about penetrating oil (basically WD 40 although there are other brands that perform better)  instructions on how to remove a double-handle shower faucet. So now I only need to convince him to give it another try.  I'm waiting for the right moment. Or maybe I'll try it myself?

  • With the pressure of trying to score Swagbucks to reach my daily goal gone, I gave myself the permission to sleep in and I didn't get up until 9 a.m., woohoo!

  • It's a beautiful day today although the pollen levels are through the roof again.  My SUV really needs a good wash as it is covered in oak pollen and the scant rain we received a couple of nights ago only succeeded in creating rivulets in them. It looks gross!  So I had planned on at least hosing it down this weekend but the pollen levels are supposed to be high today and tomorrow again and my SUV is parked right under a large oak tree so I guess I'll have to wait a while longer. Twist my arm!

  • Last night I received an email from my mom that my youngest nephew (he's 10) had to be hospitalized with appendicitis the previous night. He had the surgery and is to be released today if he's well enough, but apparently he'd been in a lot of pain for a couple of days and he's having a hard time recuperating. My poor little man!  He's the sweetest kid, I love him.  He calls me his "darling auntie" when he emails me, which is once in a while.

  • My plan for today is to read my fiction library book. We'll see if this happens. I'd love to go somewhere on a "date" with Greg but he claims that since he "took me out to dinner last night", that counts as a date and he's under no obligation today.  Darn it. Right now it's 11:30 a.m. and he's reading on his Kindle.  We tried listening to classical music on KUSC but there was too much talking going on so I switched to my favorite Smooth Jazz station (to Greg's great dismay, lol!), WLOQ and Basia came on.  I had forgotten about her, she's one of my favorite female singers! Sadly, I think I left her CD with my ex when we divorced. Anyhoo, it's nice and relaxing music so I feel like we're on vacation!  The windows are opened because it's going to be 79F at the most today.  Love this time of year and the cats are really enjoying the open windows as well. As a matter of fact, I'm going to open more of them just for the kitties.  Update: well, I read 11 chapters of my book, didn't like it one bit, skipped to the end, hated it and was glad I didn't waste my time reading the rest.  
Ready for my afternoon of leisure...
  • The Lake County Educational Foundations' Duck Race is happening in Leesburg as we speak. I have 15 ducks in the race so I hope I win something!  I didn't feel like battling traffic to go see it (it's rubber ducks, not actual ducks) and I don't have any little kids anymore who would have liked the carnival (I don't even know if they still do a carnival the day of the race, they used to years ago) so I'll just monitor the results online.  Update: well shoot, I didn't win anything :(

  • I'm grateful for my 14-year-old son who came, of his own accord, to cuddle with me when he first got up (at noon!).

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: emailed my nephew
    • Household chore: 
    • Investing: 
    • Tax-related: 
    • General finances: 
    • Saving money:  
    • Gardening: 
    • Health: 
    • Cooking: made cinnamon raisin bread in the breadmaker
    • Indulging myself:  I grabbed New Kitty and gave her a great big cuddle. She hardly ever come to me anymore (probably because I was the one giving her her medicine!) so now I have to do that if I want some kitty cuddling. Greg, on the other hand, is a cat magnet.

  • I threw the ingredients to make a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread in the breakmaker as soon I got up so my son and I will have some fresh, warm bread as a snack this afternoon.  As usual, I used vegetable shortening instead of butter.  I also added more raisins since I didn't think there were enough of them the last time I made it.
I just made the 1.5 lb loaf today
  • I downloaded a free game to my Kindle Fire (Simple Mahjong and it has food-related tiles, yay!) from the Amazon Underground.  The only games I really ever play are Mahjong and Hidden Objects type of games (but I just want to find the objects, not solve puzzles or enigmas, I hate that!).  My other favorite game, which I own but that I haven't played in a long time, is "Chocolatier". I have Chocolatier 2 too :)  One of these days I'm going to reinstall it.  The problem with those is that I have an addictive  or obsessive nature and once I start playing, I play for like 24 hours non-stop until I get it out of my system, so to speak. So I usually avoid playing altogether, lol.

  • Greg also downloaded 3 free games to his Kindle Fire.

  • He reused his tea bag from breakfast to brew himself another cup of tea.

  • I collected the water used to boil eggs 2 days ago (yes, it was still in the pan!) and used it to water my indoor plants.
My basil has a lot of roots now so I should really transplant it!
  • There was a thick slice of dried up raisin cinnamon bread left in the kitchen from the last loaf so I microwaved it, put some organic strawberry fruit spread on it, and choked it down. Yes, choked it down because microwaving it only made it soft for about 10 seconds!

  • Bing Rewards: Did all my activities and I'm now at 52% of my goal.

  • Swagbucks: let's not go there.  I'll just earn whatever I feel like.  It's a nice and freeing feeling! Neither Ngage nor JunoGroup videos are available to me, apparently, so reaching that 95 SB goal just isn't going to happen.  I start the day (well, it's noon!) at 1,042 SB.

  • Zinio alerted me that the Easter Special E-Edition of Taste of Home Holidays is now available for me to read for free via my library system.  I "downloaded" it (i.e. checked it out and it'll be available for me to read whenever I want, in any of my Zinio apps).

  • I noticed that my purchase from earlier in the week had been registered in Swagbucks as a "visit" but not as a "purchase" so no SB show as pending, so I emailed Customer Service with a copy of my order so I can get the nearly 60 SB that I'm due. They replied that it can take up to 7 business days to show as a pending order so I'll need to continue monitoring my account for a few more days and recontact them if it's still not there.  It's always something with them.

  • I emailed the Orlando Sentinel Customer Service to see if they can tell me when my 1-year Sunday and Thursday subscription will start.  I paid a penny for it. It'll be nice to get the inserts and coupons again for a while because some of the insert coupons aren't available as printable coupons.  They replied that my subscription should start in a couple of weeks.

  • Greg mowed our weeds, err lawn. For free!

  • He also designed a template for those baffles he said he would build for the outdoor vents that are built into a couple of the outside walls of the house and that are letting the rain leak inside the house when it storms very hard.

  • Then he played a round of "Bolt" military miniature game with our son.

  • What did I do during this time? Well, very frugal activities, of course: read 11 chapters of a library book, used some old knitting "wool" threads to play with the cats, played a free Mahjong game for hours on my Kindle Fire, and watched several shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix since we're paying for the subscriptions (well, we're only paying for Netflix since we're still on our free Amazon Prime membership term right now). And  ate homemade snacks. It was all very exhausting, as you can imagine, so I had a little failure at dinner time, although it's such a Saturday night fixture these days that I guess it's barely a failure nowadays, right?  I'll just call it "Saturday dinner". What? We're supposed to get a refund from the IRS after all, apparently!

The kitties were pooped after I played with them :)

  • Dinner.  Scratch that, it was a frugal failure, I suppose, not a splurge!

  • A long day of doing nothing constructive didn't lend itself to me feeling like cooking dinner, so my son and I drove to Publix. He wanted fried chicken but they didn't have any that was ready so he grabbed a deli sandwich and I got a rotisserie chicken family meal for Greg and myself. I used a coupon to get a free 2L bottle of Diet Coke with it. (since it was $1.99).  Greg ate almost the whole chicken by himself.

  • Fed the cats
  • Made bread in the breadmaker
  • Emailed my nephew
  • Read 11 chapters of a book
  • Played with the cats
  • "Watched" a 2-part British series called "Insomnia" on Amazon while playing my new Mahjong game on my Kindle Fire
  • Went to pick up dinner
  • Then "watched" several episodes of "Third Rock from the Sun" on Netflix while still playing Mahjong on my Kindle Fire
  • Emailed one of my brothers

  • Errrr...I guess nothing!

  • Liquids:
    • 2 cups coffee
  • Food:
    • Breakfast:
      • bowl of granola with fresh strawberries and ~2% milk
    • Mid Morning Snack:
      • chunk of old raisin cinnamon bread with strawberry spread
    • Lunch:
      • egg salad sandwich, corn chips with salsa, navel orange
    • Mid Afternoon Snack:
      • cinnamon raisin bread, popcorn
    • Dinner:
      • rotisserie chicken, potato salad, 2 Hawaiian rolls
    • Evening Snack:
      • 1 Hawaiian roll. several small mandarins
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. You forgot to list all the time devoted to researching the problem plumbing in the bathroom. That was a frugal accomplishment, especially if you can forgo the expense of bringing in a plumber.

    Did I read that correctly? Greg thinks that dating you is an obligation? Hmmmph! You should remind him that it is an honour and a privilege that you allow him to court your affection. Lol.

    I enjoyed reading about your very exhausting day. It is so admirable that you would share the most grueling details with us, and with such a positive attitude and enthusiasm. With everything you had to endure, it is small wonder that you had to order in dinner. Nobody blames you. Go lightly on yourself.

    1. Greg and I laughed... then he frowned and said "hey! Susan is supposed to be on MY side..." Poor, poor deluded man...


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