Saturday, May 28, 2016

Frugal Successes & Failures ~ Saturday 5/28/16

Well the pillow-top on the bed didn't help. I still had an uncomfortable night and felt like the Princess and the Pea.  I think that mattress is just way too hard, which is odd considering that the futon I've been sleeping on for over a year is actually harder!  There is another twin size mattress, I'll have to swap them to see if it makes a difference.

So I was up at 7 a.m. because what's the point in lingering in bed if you can't get comfortable anyway?

An interminable weekend stretches away of me with no plans whatsoever. My stress level isn't letting me enjoy much of anything anyway and I don't seem to be able to get into a book.  Last night I watched the last episode of Wallander on PBS.  I don't know, maybe it's because I'm depressed... I wanted to like it because I have this odd fascination with characters battling Alzheimer's or dementia, but this show is really all style and very little substance and it felt like eating a rice cake: looks tasty and plump and promising, but tastes like cardboard and leaves you unsatisfied.

Then I watched an episode of Genealogy Roadshow and, good grief, it was like a vaudeville act. So much dramatization from the hosts (who are all terrible actors) and the guests alike.  I could barely stand it and I fell asleep near the end. Then I went to bed.

Maybe I'll go on a bike ride. At the very least, ride to RaceTrac to get my free soda refill. It doesn't look like it'll rain after all, today. But the AC has already kicked on (it's 7:45 a.m.) and the high is supposed to be 90F, as it's been the whole week.  I got badly sunburned on my chest and forehead on Wednesday so I need to try to not be in the sun too long for the next few days.

Chores I will try to accomplish over the weekend:

  • Take out old plum tree Done
  • Install new bird feeding stations and hummingbird feeders Can't do it, bought the wrong kind!
  • Place Ace order for wheelbarrow, bird feeders, propane tank, gas tanks. Partly done
  • Reattach the basket to my bike with plastic ties Done
  • Bake something for the kids
  • Work on a menu for the week
  • Vacuum the upstairs Done
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Order new fridge water filter from Amazon Done
  • Sweep small shed Done
  • Pull more weeds Done
  • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
  • Fold the laundry in the dryer Done
  • Iron
  • Sweep laundry room
  • Finish letter to my great aunt
  • Clip and sort coupons Partly done
  • File paperwork
  • Shred Done
  • Enter some Coke codes into MCR
  • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
  • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns
  • Look into fertilizing the raspberries

We'll see how much I get to accomplish.  Oh I just realized that I never added the few pictures that I had taken to my posts from Thursday and Friday so I just did that.


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

  • I drank the cold coffee that I hadn't finished yesterday when I got up.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks.

  • I entered my physical activity for the last couple of days into Walgreen's Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 160 BR points.

  • I'm defrosting homemade pumpkin purée so I can make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin bread for the kids later on.

  • Nobody else than me is going to think about what to cook for dinner (much less cook it!) so I looked through my freezer inventory for inspiration: I defrosted pork sirloin chops and looked for a recipe in my Publix Apron recipe binder.  Balsamic Pork Scallopini it is, and I'll cook the rest of a bag cheese ravioli that is in my freezer and bake roasted Brussel Sprouts as well.

  • I collected warming up water in the shower to reuse it to flush the toilet later on.

  • My razor was losing one of its blades and it wasn't very sharp anymore so I finally had to replace it. I think I'd been using it for at least a year. 

  • I reorganized the trunk of my SUV and threw all my cloth reusable bags in the wash.  I had never washed them and some of them I've had for years!  I always think, when I go shopping "Oh, I need to wash my bags!" but since I usually put them right back into the car after unloading the groceries, I constantly forget to do just that.  I will dry them on the patio on the laundry racks. For once, I'll be able to use the clothespins that I had bought at Dollar Tree several weeks ago.

  • I found 2 water bottles that some of the kids had started while driving around in my car but never finished. I'm not sure who drank what when (and if they were feeling icky when they were drinking or not) so I reused the water for my indoor plants and recycled the bottles.

  • I baked more homemade Grape Nuts. I finished the bag of whole wheat flour that I was worried would get rancid and mixed it with white wheat flour that I need to use up as well. Instead of using the buttermilk powder this time,  I mixed 2 tbsp of white vinegar with 2 cups of whole milk. I should calculate which is the cheapest option. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. 

  • I reused rain water to water several potted plants.

  • Harvested 1 Roma tomato and several grape tomatoes. Left the ones that were too split or pecked over by the birds to reseed themselves.

  • Reused the rest of the rainwater from the rain barrel to refill several empty cat litter jugs. All the rain we were supposed to have this weekend moved to SC, it looks like. I still hope it'll rain on Monday.  I'll need to turn the sprinkler on the garden when the sun goes down tonight.

  • I drove to RaceTrac to get free drink refills for all 3 of us with our Sodapalooza cups.  I should have biked, but I was all sweaty and tired after working in the garden in the hot sun and I hadn't put my basket back on the bike anyway. Yes, I know. excuses, excuses...

  • Greg mowed the lawn and re-mulched the berm next to his shed.

  • I checked Swagbucks (2 SB/dollar spent) and Discover Deals (5% Bonus) prior to placing my order.  I saw that Discover Deals also had an offer for $10 off $100, which is better than 5% off.  I decided to order the propane tank that I wanted (to replace the one that is defective, or at least I think it's the tank and not the tubing) and the 2 extra gas tanks for the generator.  The reason why I didn't order the wheelbarrow or bird feeders today is that I don't need them right away and Ace just mailed me two $7.00 off a $20 purchase coupons that are good only at my local store in June. It's even a better deal so I will buy those at the store in June.  Since the propane tank was out of stock at my store but in stock at the Clermont store, and the gas tanks were available at that store too, I selected the Clermont store.  I should be able to pick everything up today.  I will earn only 1% back in Rewards on Discover but I also will earn 1,150 Ace Rewards points.

I paid extra to get a tank with a gauge so we're not caught without any propane, as it has happened before!

  • I ordered a new water filter for our refrigerator on Amazon.  The previous one that I had bought back in August had cost $22 back then. Today, it was priced at $37!  I found another one that seems to be the same for just $13.99 and I redeemed $13.99 in Amazon Rewards to get it for free. Shipping was also "free" with Prime.  I saw too late (I had already pressed the "Submit Order" button!) that I could have gotten a $1 digital credit for picking the No Rush Shipping option. Oh well.  

  • I received the notification that my Ace order was ready to be picked up, so I drove to Clermont.  While I was there, I got the propane tank filled up, and on the way home I filled up both gas tanks.  I should have gone to the station on the other side of Clermont to get the gas cheaper since it has shot up to $2.19/gallon at our station in honor of Memorial Day, but I just wanted to get it done so I paid the higher price. I also got another free refill of CF Diet Coke.

  • Back home, I used some zip ties bought at Dollar Tree to affix the basket to my bike and to secure the bottle holder to the basket. Now everything should stay in place, it only cost me $1 plus tax and I have plenty of zip ties left.

  • I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned 2 more surveys reward codes for free 16 oz coffees. I need to start redeeming those.

  • I harvested some green onions for dinner.

  • I watched several episodes of "Top of the Lake" on Netflix.

  • Gas to drive to RaceTrac
  • My daughter drove to Clermont
  • Gas to drive to Ace Hardware in Clermont

  • Once again, I looked for Kraft BBQ sauce coupons but didn't locate any.

  • I had to throw away 3 reusable bags that were ripped beyond repair.

  • I didn't pay attention when I bought the bird feeding stations at Aldi because they're to go on a deck!  I don't have a deck!  So I can't use them since they only have a short pole and  clamp. I'm not sure if they'll take them back since they're seasonal items.  Grrrr.

  • Made a to-do list for the weekend
  • Defrosted meat for dinner and pumpkin purée to bake a snack
  • Updated the last 2 days' worth of posts with pictures
  • Made my and Greg's beds
  • Put away some items that no one else had put away
  • Reorganized my SUV
  • Washed my reusable bags
  • Made homemade Grape Nuts
  • Vacuumed the upstairs (including under the furniture)
  • Hung the reusable bags outside
  • Watered several potted plants
  • Deadheaded the roses
  • Trimmed more dead branches off the tomato plants
  • Harvested some tomatoes
  • Refilled several cat litter jugs with rain water from the rain barrel
  • Pulled weeds from the garden
  • Drove to RaceTrac to get drink refills
  • Did all the shredding
  • Placed Ace Hardware order
  • Went to pick up order, got propane tank filled, filled the gas tanks
  • Affixed the basket to my bike
  • Swept the small shed
  • Added mulch to the berm (only in 1 spot, I'll do the other spots tomorrow morning when it's not so hot)
  • Fixed one of my laundry drying racks
  • Folded the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Took consumer satisfaction surveys
  • Input receipts into spreadsheets
  • Harvested green onions
  • Cooked dinner
  • Did the dishes

  • I did get up to eat a hard-boiled egg last night at 1:30 p.m. I was so restless that I thought maybe I was hungry.  I didn't sleep much better after that, but I did sleep.

  • I had a cup of generic honey nut cheerios at about 9:45 a.m., with 1/2 cup of whole milk and a few strawberries sliced into it (I bought strawberries from Aldi yesterday).

  • I have no appetite (good for the diet, I suppose), keep on having body chills and sweats, alternatively and my heart keeps racing. It's my fight or flee response to stress. I'm trying to keep occupied to keep the bad thoughts at bay.

  • I wore my insoles in my garden clogs.  I switch them to my sneakers if I go out, like I did yesterday.  I take them off only when I'm sitting down and it's a relief: I much prefer being barefoot, especially when it's hot!

  • I had lunch at 2:45 p.m: a cup of the chorizo lentil stew from last night.  I should have added more liquid because it's dry and the lentils aren't tender :( Also, it's very spicy!


  1. Sorry your new bed's mattress is not comfortable. Hope the other mattress works better. If not, maybe you'll have to buy a new, softer mattress?

    You certainly got a lot accomplished today.

    But I am sorry that you are under so much stress. I hope it gets better, soon. (((HUGS)))

    1. Thank you, Bless. Before buying another mattress, I might move the futon upstairs.

  2. Hi Nathalie,

    Checking up on everyone's blog since being out for a while. You did a lot so far this weekend! I hope that you feel better soon -- stress is the worst; I don't handle it too well myself.

    1. I don't handle stress very well anymore. I used to be able to handle it much better but for the past 15 years it's gotten a lot worse and depression has started to become part of it, which it didn't used to. It's very hard. Thanks for your comment.

  3. A year with the same razor? Wow. Mine goes bad in no time.

    1. I don't shave as often as you do, probably :) Also if you leave yours in the shower, it gets dull faster that way.

  4. I can't wait to see a photo of your finished squirrel sign.....drum roll please.

    1. I didn't work on it today and don't think I'll work on it tomorrow, but we'll see. Don't have high expectations, I'm NOT a crafter and I'm very messy. It's not going to look very good.


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