Sunday, March 13, 2016

Frugal Successes and Failures: Sunday 3/13/16




HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:

  • I completely forgot about Daylight Savings Time last night so when New Kitty woke me up with her meowing this morning and I saw that it was 8 a.m. on my phone, I wasn't too upset.  Only when I got in the kitchen, looked at the microwave clock and realized that it was "technically" 7 a.m. did I realize that I had indeed lost an hour of sleep. Darn cat!  She's meowing a lot this morning, which is getting on my last nerve, so I swatted her little butt just now and she finally quieted down.  Update: she drove us nuts all day with her meowing. O.M.Z. she was so needy today! Even Greg was annoyed at her.  Then I was cranky all day.

  • Despite my grand plans of gardening today, the already "late" hour, and the fact that it's supposed to possibly rain starting at 3 p.m. (as of last night they predicted rain at noon but I see now that it's been pushed back to 3 p.m.), I haven't any moves towards actually gardening yet, lol. I definitely love the planning but abhor the doing :)

  • I realized this morning that my 2 oldest sons never replied to my texts from yesterday morning.  Frankly, I'm annoyed. I rarely text them.  What does it take for them to just text back a brief reply or even an "I love you"?!  I'm not an annoying co-worker, I'm their mother. I try very hard not to be overbearing and obtrusive so I let them live their lives and I'm thinking that it's coming back to bite me.

  • Since Greg is still in bed this morning and I don't like the kind of music they're playing on KUSC on Sunday mornings, I "dialed" my IHeartRadio app to WLOQ, my local smooth jazz radio station. Ahhh, so relaxing!  I turned off the AC on the far end of the house (and I'm keeping an eye on the other unit on this side of the house) and opened the sliding door so the kitties can sniff the outdoors.  I should have sat outside with the paper, now that I think of it, but it's too late since I'm done with it :)

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: 
    • Household chore:  did the dishes
    • Investing: 
    • Tax-related: 
    • General finances:  recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
    • Saving money:  clipped coupons
    • Gardening:  planted seeds
    • Health: 
    • Cooking: made broccoli cheese soup in crockpot
    • Indulging myself:  took a bath and read a book

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • As expected my Sunday paper was in my driveway this morning by 8 a.m.  I haven't bought the paper in years and I was shocked to see the decline both in quantity of content and quality of content. Well, at least I won't be "wasting" a couple of hours reading the paper on Sunday mornings!  I'm apparently really not missing much when I just read the news online.  Similarly, I thought I'd be happy to see the store circulars but what it really highlighted is that weekly ads really push you to buy.  I caught myself perusing ads that I couldn't care less about and would have never seeked online so I put them down and recycled them.  There were 3 coupon inserts in my paper and I did clip coupons.  This means that I'm saving ink by not having to print the Smartsource coupons. I'll still print the coupons via Swagbucks because I'd rather use those than the paper's if the value is the same. (note: I paid 1 penny for my 1 year subscription that will last until mid March 2017, as part of a special promotion).


  • I had brewed myself a pot of coffee yesterday afternoon but never finished it so my first cup today was leftover coffee.

  • I strained the chicken stock that I cooked yesterday and got 4 containers of 32 oz each. I'll use one for the soup that I'll be making in the crockpot this afternoon and froze the other 3.


  • Savings wise:
    • uploaded the freebie offer from SavingStar

    • unlocked new Ibotta offer

    • uploaded and new digital coupons to my Publix digital wallet

    • printed new coupons via Swagbucks, Target, and Redplum and Publix store coupons that Best Meals @ Home had emailed to me.

  • I printed a couple of CVS-branded coupons from their site, including a $2 off any Gold Emblem or Gold Emblem Abound nuts, yay!

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


  • I spent about 3 hours in the garden today, although I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted.  I had to take a short break to drive to Ace Hardware as I wanted to find an alternative to my bamboo stakes to make teepees for my pole beans.  The bamboo poles keep on breaking and despite the fact that they aren't very pricey, I'd just rather have something I don't have to keep on buying over and over again.  I had hoped to find suitable PVC pipes (thin ones) but the 1/2 diameter ones that were 10 ft long were $3.99 each.  If I cut them in half it would cost me $2 per 5 ft and I really wanted taller ones so my teepees would be tall enough.  I did find 6 foot tall plastic plant stakes (mislabeled as "steel" plant stakes but there's not steel in them, they're 100% plastic!) priced at $1.99 each so I bought every single one in stock which was 13 of them.  My OOP was $25.87 plus tax but I used the $5.00 off $25.00 coupon from the 2016 Ace Hardware calendar so my OOP was $22.34.  I charged it to Amex, which will earn me 1% back in Rewards, and presented my Ace Rewards card so I'll earn some Ace Rewards as well.  Each of my teepee holder is designed for 6 poles, though, so in a perfect world I would need 18 stakes. I'll have to buy 5 more somewhere else. In the meantime, I planted pole beans around the 12 stakes and also transplanted the 2 pole beans plants that were growing in the old bean patch.  Update: I checked the Ace Hardware website but couldn't locate the same stakes to order.  Then I checked the Home Depot website but they were $2.97 a piece there and $2.98 on the Lowe's website.  So I'll go back to my Ace Hardware store and ask them to place a special order for me, I guess.

  • While I was out, I also went to RaceTrac and redeemed a survey reward code for a free Iced Lemon Cake (which was basically a huge lemon poppyseed muffin with icing on it).  Uncharacteristically, I didn't offer it to anyone and kept it for myself as a reward for gardening. 

  • I harvested the small kale plant, collard greens plants and the 2 tiny broccoli florets.  I used the broccoli florets in the soup that I'm cooking for dinner, lol.  I also harvested the 3 leeks and a tiny tomato that tasted horrible so I spit it out ;)

  • So in my garden today I:
    • Planted pole beans. I'm not bothering with putting strings between the poles this season because last season the beans grew alongside the poles but never used the strings at all!
    • Planted marigold seeds in the same patch.  According to "The Vegetable Gardening Bible", marigolds are good companions to beans.  I used seeds that I had harvested from my own marigolds in the summer of 2014 so we'll see if they germinate (they haven't in the past but I had planted them in pots).
    • Planted peanuts where I used to have beans.  I had bought those peanuts from Burpee in April 2014 for $6.95.  We'll see if the squirrels leave them alone. I did put a couple of "tents" made from rebar and screening material over the 2 patches as a deterrent.
    • Planted okra where I grew my squash plants last season.  The seeds were collected from okra that my neighbor had grown in his own garden back in 2012. We'll see if they germinate.  I've grown okra before but it was constantly attacked by aphids.
    • Planted peppers in one of the self-watering bins where I was growing leeks.  The seeds are quite old so I'm not sure that anything will grow.
    • Planted bush beans in the self-watering bin where I was growing peppers. Not sure when I got those seeds, they might be old.
    • Planted zucchini, collards greens and kale in three self-watering bins where I was growing tomatoes.
    • Planted a few jalapeño seeds in the same pot where I already have a jalapeño plant that is on its last leg.
    • Buried the serrano peppers that I picked yesterday in the same bins as their mother plant.  We'll see if any of them produce a new plant!
    • Planted the roselle seeds in the large pot that used to house my banana tree.  If more than one plant grows, I'll transplant it/them to another pot(s).
    • Transplanted my basil cuttings into one of the pots that used to have basil.
    • Transplanted one of my pineapple tops (from my windowsill) into a new pot, outside.
    • Transplanted the thyme plant that I bought a couple of weeks ago into the pot where my other thyme plant was. I cut it all back yesterday but for the one stem that is growing leaves right now.
    • Watered everything that I planted today and refilled the bins that I hadn't refilled yet.  It was supposed to rain this afternoon and indeed we got a light rain but it only lasted a couple of minutes so I'm glad I took the time to water everything despite the gray clouds that had shown up! I'm going to need to go back to watering everything that is in-ground in the mornings from now on.

  • I still need to plant flower seeds, herbs (mint, cilantro, parsley) and Swiss chard. I might try carrots again too.  I'll work on that tomorrow, probably.  Common wisdom says that it's too late to plant tomato seeds but I might try anyway. I still have 6 to 8 bins that I can use and 1 to 2 in-ground plots (depending on whether I decide to pull the broccoli that never produced anything or let them sit there).


  • According to this video from Dole about the growth stages of the pineapple, the 8 plants that I found "flowering" yesterday are about at the 42 weeks stage.  I should have fully formed pineapples at the 58-week stage, which is about July 2.

  • I completed my daily Bing Rewards tasks and I'm at 98% of my goal as of tonight.  Bring on the $5 Amazon gift card tomorrow!


  • For dinner the kids and I had broccoli cheese soup in bread bowls. I was kind of disappointed in how it tasted although maybe it might have tasted better if I had indeed followed the recipe.  It wanted me to use sharp cheddar, Velveeta and grated Parmesan, but all I used was 16 oz of mild cheddar.  The bread bowls were 3 of those large bread buns that I had gotten on clearance at Walmart and frozen. Trying to squeeze them in the freezer every time I have to get something out of there damaged most of them so I'll probably end up making bread crumbs out of the rest, but I used the 3 best ones for tonight. The bread was a little stale but with the soup in it, it wasn't half bad.  There is a lot of soup leftover.  Greg wanted protein so I made him a couple of hamburger patties and that's all he wanted.  I have 2 more patties for his lunch tomorrow. I had an orange for dessert and the kids grabbed something from the pantry.


  • I redeemed 1,700 KFR points in exchange for (2) $1.00/1 off any cereal coupon.  Publix has the Special K on BOGO this week and we're running low.  I'll still be more expensive than getting it at CVS (since I would get it for free at CVS) but it's not on sale at CVS this week:(


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • Plant stakes to make bean teepees but I'll be able to reuse those every year so it's an investment.


  • I took a long bath with my library book because I was sore after all the bending down when I was gardening!  I used some lavender oil that my sister in law had given me a couple of years back. It smells so good upstairs now!


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • Greg didn't like the crockpot recipe that I made on Friday (pork chops, carrots, duck sauce), he said the meat was tough. I didn't think it was, but I fell asleep on the couch early that evening and no one thought to put the leftovers in the fridge. Then we were all lazy again yesterday and still didn't put them away so I threw everything away this morning.  I need to go back to posting "Food Waste Friday" posts.

  • I had a lot of CVS digital coupons to upload to my ExtraCare card via my app, but the only one I was happy to see was a $1.00 of 3 cereal boxes... unfortunately, it expires today so it'll go to waste. I thought those offers only appeared on Sunday mornings but I did upload the offers last Sunday so I guess those popped up probably when that $5 off $25 coupon popped up too?  I'm going to need to check the app at mid week now too!

  • I was hoping to match the BOGO sale from Publix on the Special K at Walmart but Walmart doesn't match BOGO offers in Florida :(


TASKS ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:
  • Fed the cats
  • Clipped coupons
  • Strained the stock and froze it
  • Defrosted meat for Greg's dinner
  • Spent 3 hours gardening
  • Went to run a couple of errands
  • Started the broccoli soup in the crockpot
  • Took a bath and read a book
  • Did the dishes
  • Cooked hamburgers for Greg
  • Recorded the weekend's receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Clipped coupons and put them away in my organizer
  • Worked on my shopping list

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

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Three hours in the garden....how wonderful. You managed to accomplish quite a lot. Hope those teepee poles last you a good long time. And I am hoping for a good long soaking rain for you in the next couple of days.

    ReplyDelete

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