Saturday, March 12, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Saturday 3/12/16

  • I'm bored.  Oh, I have lots of projects that I could be finishing or chores that I could be doing but I just feel "meh" about everything. Every day feels like "Groundhog Day" and it's all my fault. I have much freedom to do whatever I want so I really shouldn't be whining, darn it!  I need to find something to get me excited about starting a new day.

  • Greg and our son have plans to go squirrel hunting soon and spent time practicing shooting with the new air riffle. My daughter attended a friend's Solo & Ensemble band competition with yet another friend and went out to dinner with them too.  I gardened for a bit and then read  some of my library book.  This morning I was trying to think of places where I might want to go but shopping when you have nothing that you need or want is just boring to me and since I don't like crowds, staying home is much more attractive!  Greg worked in the yard too and then the both of us did some reading while listening to opera on KUSC.

  • The library book ("Depraved Heart" by Patricia Cornwell) was definitely not my cup of tea so I gave up after page 68.  Instead I picked up a Michael Connelly book that I own and that I've already read a couple of times, "Chasing the Dime".  It's good to have a bad memory because I can re-read books several times!

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone:  texted both of my older sons to check in on them
    • Household chore:  cooked dinner
    • Investing: 
    • Tax-related: 
    • General finances: 
    • Saving money:  used rewards to order items that I wanted from Amazon
    • Gardening: pulled weeds and refilled self-watering bins
    • Health:  put on a light shirt over my exercise tank top and a hat when the sun came out as I was gardening this afternoon
    • Cooking: made chicken stock
    • Indulging myself:  bought 2 apple pie slices

  • While researching potential activities I could do today, I checked our local winery's website since they seem to have special events most weekends and saw that they'll be having a Blues festival in April and a Jazz festival in May so I added those to my calendar.  The admission price is a $2 donation, which is very reasonable for a whole afternoon of live music!  My favorite Mother's Day present of all time was when my 3 older kids got together a few years back and whisked me away to that very same Jazz festival and we listened to a local smooth jazz artist named Robert Harris. None of my kids love smooth jazz as much as I do, but they told me we could stay as long as we wanted so we stayed all afternoon.  It was awesome.  Robert Harris is playing again this year so I'm planning on attending his concert, probably by myself this year though :(  The winery is also organizing free music concerts on Saturday afternoons in July so I added them to my calendar, although... being outside in July in Florida? Not one of my favorite things!

  • I also added to my calendar (most of those will be in April or May but it'll give me something to look forward to (and then not attend because such is my M.O., hahaha)
    • a Vintage Garden show @ Renninger's (free)
    • a couple "Book Bingo" events at the Tavares Library to my calendar
    • the weekly "farmers' market" at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Eustis. It's far away so not so much frugal (due to gas expense) but it's on Thursday mornings and I typically don't have any plans for Thursday mornings so I might pop in and see if it's of any interest.

  • I collected water while I showered, which will be reused to flush the toilet.

  • Greg raked leaves in our yard (it's leaf falling season again!) for free :) However, several of our leaf cans are non-functional anymore so we might have to go buy some.

  • I worked in the garden for about 2 hours, pulling weeds and watering plants while listening to a jazz concert that my oldest son's big band/jazz band gave last year. Well, I listened to it 2.5 times because I had it on repeat and my hands were too dirty to mess with my phone, LOL.  I have 8  pineapples growing and 3 strawberries, lol.

  • I mixed 2 gallons of Susan's Natural Weed Killer and poured them on the weeds growing between the pavers of the back patio.

  • I noticed that one of the two air registers in our living room wasn't blowing any air even though the AC was on. Greg went into the crawlspace to try to put the air duct back in place. It keeps on falling off, it's the 3rd or 4th time he's had to do this in the past couple of years and he's getting tired of it. But it worked and we're getting air again, yay!

  • I need chicken stock for the broccoli soup that I'm planning on making tomorrow so I picked the rest of the meat from last weekend's rotisserie carcass and used it to make stock, along with all the other poultry bones that I had kept in the freezer.

  • Bing Rewards: I earned my daily credits. I should be able to order a gift card in a couple of days.

  • Swagbucks: earned 31 SB by playing JunoGroup videos on my laptop, taking the daily poll and following the NOSO. That's all I'm willing to do at this point.

  • The Orlando Sentinel emailed me that my subscription will start tomorrow.  Woohoo, coupons delivered to my doorstep! Well, to the bottom of my driveway, at least.

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

  • I checked my Amazon account and the Amazon Visa Rewards along with the Discover Rewards are now available woohoo!  We have $24.80 in Discover Rewards and $18.07 in Amazon Rewards.

  • So I ordered the 10-pack of Febreeze vacuum cleaner bags with my Discover Rewards = FREE!  I skipped getting the $5.99 credit for Amazon Pantry because I would never use it. (I looked into it before)

  • And I placed another order for the spray bottle that I wanted to hold bleach and paid with some of my Amazon Rewards = FREE.  On this one I used the No Rush Shipping option and earned a $1 Digital Credit.

  • McDonald's put 3 paper napkins in the bag (see "Splurges") but I didn't use them so I added them to our stash of free paper napkins that I'll use if we ever run out of clean cloth napkins (not likely, but you never know...).

  • Many months ago I was completely splashed with gas when the pump I was using at RaceTrac malfunctioned. My shoes were soaked in it and the soles melted somewhat on my floor mat when I drove home, so I still have the imprint on them on the mat!  I tried washing the shoes which were cheap ballet flats from Walmart (but still, they were almost brand new!) but they still reaked of gas. So I put them on my back patio and let them sit there for months. They got soaked several times and were filled with oak leaves this morning when I decided to give them the sniff test (because I was tired of seeing them there so if they still smelled of gasoline, I was going to throw them away). Well, they don't smell anymore, hooray!  Now I have another pair of black ballet flats to wear...
I'll have to try and clean the inner soles with something...
  • We're running low on milk so I got a 1/2 gallon of 1% milk that I had gotten on 50% off clearance out of the freezer. By the time it's completely defrosted, we'll have finished our current gallon of watered down milk.

  • Yeah, so about this gardening that I wasn't going to do this season... as I was posting pictures of the garden today, I got this urge to start planting again. Never mind that I'm 2 months late for Florida (grrr), I'm going to try it anyway. Tomorrow.

  • I'm so glad that I planned on a very easy dinner with a minimum of cooking involved because. as predicted, I didn't feel like cooking!  I cooked a box of penne pasta (Mueller, bought for $0.39 cents last week) and a couple links of Butterball Smoked Turkey Sausage ($1.24 at Save A Lot last week), cut up the sausage in the pasta and mixed it all up with a jar of Bertolli Carbonara sauce ($0.75, back in January).  This fed the 3 of us with leftovers. It cost us $2.39. Going out to pick up food would have taken longer than the 20 minutes it took me to cook it and of course, about 10 times that too!  So I'm very pleased with my plan ;)

  • SavingStar sent me a heads-up that a new freebie will be available as early as tomorrow: another Cadbury egg!

  • Gas for my daughter to go attend her friend's band competition. I also told her that she could get drinks and a snack for herself and the other friend who is going with her. Later on she texted me to ask if she could go out to dinner with her friends so I said yes, and she went to Panera's.

  • Water to refill my self-watering bins.

  • To thank Greg for going under the house to fix the duct, I decided to surprise him by driving to McDonald's and getting him a Shamrock Shake. I also got a chocolate shake for our son and let the cashier convince me to get 2 apple pies for $1 for myself :)  Greg was very surprised and both of them were appreciative :)

  • I was craving chocolate so I texted my daughter who was still out in Clermont and asked her to pick me some M&Ms.  She ended up not buying any snacks or drinks during her outing, just dinner, so this splurge isn't as bad as it could have been :)

  • Not a failure yet but for a couple of years, I've been urging Greg to get the large oak tree nearest to his shed taken down before it falls on him. Today he told me that we should have it taken down. So he'll call the gentleman we have used in the past.  This is going to be probably $1,000 and it's not even our tree since it's right at the edge of the city easement.  However, the city in the past hasn't been maintaining the easement and has even disputed that the land belonged to them!  So instead of fighting with them, we'll just take care of it ourselves. Yep, we should fight with them. Hence, the potential "failure".

  • I didn't think my surprise run to McDonald's through and neglected to bring my coupon organizer along (when will I learn?!) so I couldn't get a free bakery item from RaceTrac.  I would have saved the $1 from the apple pies, darn it!

  • I realized, when I went to cook dinner tonight, that the reason why my chicken stock had taken forever and a day to start boiling is that I hadn't made sure that the burner selector had been turned to the "large" burner.  So I had this huge All-Clad pan full of water and chicken but it was turning to heat up while the burner had been set to "small".  Arrgh. My fault. I had boiled eggs on that burner yesterday and put it on "small" since the pan I had used was small, and I had neglected to turn it back to "large". I wonder how much energy I wasted since I left the burner on high for a full hour before turning it back to low so it would simmer.  Arrgh.

  • Added some events to my calendar so I have things to look forward to.
  • Pulled weeds and watered plants
  • Mixed new weed killer and treated weeds on back patio
  • Went to McDonald's to pick up snacks
  • Made gardening plans for tomorrow
  • Cooked dinner
  • Scored some roselle seeds and set them to spend the night in warm water
  • Read my library book
  • I'm not really sure... I had so many goals!  Probably nothing.  I need to have fewer goals next year so it's easier for me to keep track of them, lol.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. How irritating soaking a pair of shoes with gas, I'm glad they don't smell any more.

    Good choice on a nice quick dinner. I get fed up with cooking too. And I agree it does feel like groundhog day every day. I feel exactly the same, life is so boring sometimes.

    I hope you find something to cheer you up a bit. Sometimes I look at my brother and his wife who have no children and a beautiful immaculate house and garden. They have several holidays a year and go away at least once a month for a weekend together and they both look like they belong on a magazine cover. But then I realise that I wouldn't ever want to be without my kids so I guess life just has to carry on the same.
    Have a nice day my dear friend xx

  2. I love the opening graphic. So cute. What a great idea to fill up your calendar with lots of potential events you are interested in. They say that planning is the greatest part of the enjoyment of doing something. Even if you decide in the end not to go, your social calendar is filling up quickly with possible outings.

    Why is Greg continually having to readjust the cool air duct? Is he not using duct tape to keep the ducts from moving? It would save him a lot of aggravation....or is he doing it for the free milkshakes? Those photos of pineapple flowers has me blown away. I have never seen them before and I didn't really think you could grow pineapple in Florida. I am super excited that they are growing.

    If you find a solution for cleaning the insides of those ballet flats, let us know. I would be tempted to just buy a new pair of insoles from the Dollar Store.

    I am so psyched with your solution to not order food in. It took less time to cook that wonderful penne pasta with sausage, than it would have to go out for pickup.


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