Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12/30 Expressions

Today, we have a frugal-fun filled day planned. My daughter and I will be seeing "Marley & Me" for "free" - used the fandango code from a $25 Home Depot Gift Card. Before arriving at the movies, plan to drop off my husband's beloved Pepsi cans off at the recycler. After the movie, plan to pick-up a few staples/produce at Aldi - hopefully covered by the "recycle" money. Then, later this afternoon, I plan to read lots of magazines while my daughter uses her holiday gift money to get her hair "done". Just wanted to mention that yesterday, I picked-up 2 boxes of Nestle Marshmallow Cocoa for .25 a box - they were on sale for 2/$2 at Wal-mart and I had 2 .75 off coupons I printed off the internet - either coupons.com or smartsource.com - I got those while picking up a bag of potting soil. I finally set-up my indoor "garden". I planted lettuce and basil seeds in a large bowl and in a small cooking pot (both items from the kitchen that I no longer use for various reasons)- I planted Lavender both containers fit on a nice "ocean themed" stand near a large window in my dining room. Hopefully, a few nice salads and a natural nice fragrance are in our near future :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

12/29 Expressions

If you are a fan of Coldwater Creek, here is a promotional code for 70% off: WXH6446 and don't forget to go through your favorite savings site, mine is mypoints. I generally shop the outlet and got a few nice pieces for office wear without breaking the bank. And if you are looking for place to eat on New Year's day, Chick Fil-A just e-mailed me and said if I (and probably you too) make any purchase on the 1st between 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., you will get a free chicken biscuit on your next visit (I am thinking a coupon for a free chicken biscuit). Off to drop off donations and run a few other errands.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12/28 Expressions

If you have a Kroger, this week will be a good one to combine Proctor & Gamble products on sale with a $5 off your order if you purchase $25 in qualifying products with coupons you might have received in the mail, Sunday paper, and coupons you can load onto your Kroger card. Also, if you have receipts for qualifying P&G products, you can send off for $120 in P&G coupons. I did the deal, but the coupons loaded on the card did not deduct - so, I have an e-mail in - hopefully, I won't have to return the items to the store. Also today, finished getting items ready to donate to a local thriftstore and have some clothes ready to take to the dry cleaners with my $2.19 per item coupon. I was invited to a semi-formal milestone birthday extravaganza thrown by a former office-mate. I ordered a black velvet/organza dress off of ebay for $18. The dress is a tad bit too short. Good thing the colors are black/gold/silver - or any combination - so, I stopped at Hancock fabric and was able to find gold fabric with laced edges on both sides - I am cutting off both sides to add to the bottom of the dress and plan to the middle part of the lace to fabric to create a shawl - I am hoping to piece together black velveteen fabric from a pair of pants together for that. So, the fabric for 1.5 yards was around $12. I figured I needed atleast 2 yards of lace - for similar quality size - it was $7.49 a yard - so, I did well, I think :)

Friday, December 26, 2008


Okay, I posted earlier that we were to have an over-the-range microwave installed at an empty rental unit - to be occupied in a few days. My husband is over there waiting for the installer - who calls 55 minutes after the appointment time to state he is still 30 minutes away. My husband called Sears - and what do they do - apologize and ask if he'd like to schedule another appointment. Then I called the 800 number - I was told they are really sorry and they will notify the store of a complaint - but the store may or may not respond. Okay - I just realized why I don't often shop at Sears - and won't be in the future! I have half a mind to ask my husband to cancel and buy the microwave elsewhere! hrumph! What do I want - Sears to set a standard - if scheduled installer is running late - call the store to have someone else do the installation - or have them call the customer before the scheduled time so the customer can do something else with their time . . .

12/26 Expressions

Last minutes financial tasks to complete for 2008: Pay property taxes - done (except the one that is being protested). Although I was charged a convenience fee, I paid on-line with my frequent flyer miles credit card. I am short the miles needed to fly to Hawaii in 2009. We have pretty much agreed to go this summer to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary and birthday. Also will be paying a big chunk on our HELOC principle. Next month's rate should be in the high 2's (percent). We had one tenant move out on the 8th of Dec and a new one moving in on 1 January - they are paying 1/2 days rent for a few days in December to start moving their stuff in. In any case, we are meeting the installers from Sears to have a new over-the-range microwave installed. Today and through the rest of the weekend, I plan to go through the house and find/itemize items to donate. More clutter gone and a tax deduction. No shopping planned - but we do plan to use the free movie tickets (from purchasing Home Depot gift cards last month) today or sometime this weekend to watch a new release. Lots of leftovers, so not much cooking this weekend either. Booked a few days at our beach condo next week and went through mypoints to order a few 80% off certificates at restaurant.com. (Too bad I didn't wait until today - because the deal is is 80% off - but you get a free $25 certificate if you spend at least $11 - if you do, don't forget to go thru mypoints (6 points per dollar) and use the code: CELEBRATE.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12/24 Expressions

Last night while watching the local news, a reporter was interviewing the local(?) manager of Sears/K-mart and asking about their new strategies - he said something about starting "lay-aways" again at Sears so people won't have to charge things on the credit card . . . then he said something about being frugal was not a desirable trait - but is now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12/23 Expressions

This year, we definitely won't be needing calendars. We've had 3 different realtors, 2 unknown, 1 our property manager, send us calendars, fridge magnets, pens, holiday cards. Freebies in the mail today: re-usable shopping bag and baseball type cap.

Monday, December 22, 2008

12/22 Expressions

Did I mention that I was able to get a few of the "free" after extra-care bucks items at CVS yesterday? I went later in the afternoon, and for $12.XX out of pocket got 2 Sally Hansen Nail polishes (I looked at a display and there were $2 off coupons to boot), 1 "Hip" eye shadow duo, 1 Arm & Hammer Essential Spray Cleaner, 2 bottles of multi-vitamins (no ecbs on them - used ecbs in the "second" transaction), a box of Russell Stover Chocolates (a gift and used ecbs in the "second" transaction), and a trial sized lotion. Mail was nice also. I got a coupon for a free 20 oz Dr. Pepper, and 2 rebate checks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/21 Expressions

For the first time today, we used the "Red Box" at Wal-mart and a code to get a free movie to watch. Also for the first time, I used "Shortcuts" and "loaded" coupons on to my Kroger card. And, I can say it works. Kroger mailed me a booklet of their premium (I think) brand items "Private Selections". In there was a coupon for $5 off the Spiral Cut ham. Shortcuts had another for $3 off. I used both today and the receipt shows both reductions. I also took my daughter to J C Penney so that she could buy her dad a gift. Lots of sales, easy to park, and we used the $10 off $25 coupon. We did not venture further into the mall - but there were signs on the way in that "Steve & Barry" and a Jewelry store were having "store closing" sales.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12/19 Expressions

We ate out twice today - those 1/2 priced gift certificates sure come in handy. The over-the-range microwave in one of our rental properties broke. My husband found one one sale at Sears and used the $5 of $50 or more coupon Sears e-mailed me for joining their e-mail club. The price to have it installed/old one taken away is cheaper than the original one we planned to buy at Sears (without installation/take away) - some times it pays to stop in the store. The other good bit of financial news for me is that I am getting a decent pay raise.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More 12/18 Expressions

It has taken me over 1 year to earn $200 in rewards on my Chase Freedom card. I was shooting for the $50 bonus. I thought for sure by the time I qualified - it would be over - but it isn't. I called and it was quick and easy. I will be receiving my $250 check shortly. My daughter and I put together some gift bags quickly. I had enough Bath and Body Works, gift cards, etc. to put together some nice gifts. I have been thinking of letting my gift closet clear out as great bargains seemed few and far between - but I may re-think that one.

12/18 Expressions

Mail was great today! The 1/2 priced gift certificates to local restaurants arrived today. The gift certificate I ordered from mypoints came with the bonus $15 FTD gift card. I baked some cookies and some are in the freezer for later. To grease the cookie sheets - I used the margarine wrapper - didn't save me a bundle - but, it was frugal :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/17 Expressions

A friend just told me that the Census Bureau will be hiring temporary workers to take the Census in 2010 starting February 2009. Here is the link: http://www.census.gov/2010censusjobs/ Doesn't look too shabby for a part-time job. Last night my daughter and I finished up our cinnamon/apple sauce ornaments. I had some red puff paint to add a few details and tied "raffia" from the Dollar Tree (looked more like hay) to each ornament. Now the empty spots on our tree are empty-no-more. Very cheap project if you buy the ingredients from the Dollar Tree (well, the apple sauce came from Aldi) and have left-over craft items you need to use up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12/16 Expressions

I am happy about the rate cut today. Our HELOC should drop to a high 2% - we will definitely have the condo paid off by October of '09. We finally got the last two property tax bills - different county - they were way behind. We protested both last year and were able to get reductions. This year, one went down a bit more and the other jumped 73%. Ridiculous! So, we will be firing off another protest letter this year. This year, assessments have been all over the place. We've had some stay the same, some go up, and one go down.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12/13 Expressions

This morning, I went to Walgreens and purchased 4 bottles of Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent for just over $6 with the in-store coupon which dropped the price from $6.99 each to $1.99 and I also had 2 internet printed coupons from www.armandhammer.com. After coupons, I owed just over $6 with tax. A $5 register reward kicked out and I purchased baking supplies - out of pocket = $0. Also stopped at Bath and Body Works with two coupons. One for an item of my choice up to $13 with any purchase - got the smalled giftbag on sale and a Vanilla Body Splash for .55 - the cashier was impressed. My second coupon was for a free home fragrance item up to $12.50 with a $10 purchase. So, I got a jar candle - originally $17 for $10 and wallflower re-fills for free - out of pocket - $10 plus tax.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More 12/12 Expressions

Restaurant.com sent my husband a link to send out up to 3 free $10 Gift Certificates per day yesterday. The link is www.Restaurant.com/FeedItForward I believe the e-mail said up to $2.5M to be given away. Anyway, we will be going out of town tomorrow to watch a tournament. Several Gift Certificates for that city. So, I had DH send one to me - and it was very easy to order.

12/12 Expressions

We do like to eat out on occasion. I was able to score 6 1/2 priced gift certificates from various local tv stations website. I may use some for gifts - but, it gives us a variety to choose from.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12/11 Expressions

I have purposely started making extras when cooking. Then I can freeze or refrigerate the extras for fast meals later. Also, a large gallon ziploc of muffins I made earlier this week has been frozen. Just seconds in the microwave and a snack is ready. I have noticed three local tv stations selling 1/2 priced gift certificates on different days of the week. They seem to be selling out faster.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10 Expressions

My project for this weekend is to start a small container garden of lettuce and a few herbs. I already have the container and seeds. May pick-up a small bag of potting soil from the Dollar Tree. Should be much cheaper than those kits I've seen advertised.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12/9 Expressions

Above are photos I mentioned earlier: The first photo is of the luminarias - sort of looks like music notes to me. The second photo is of the free flowers from Kroger/greenery from the yard and the muffin gifts my daughter and I made for our neighbors/friends. Frugal today: I picked up 2 small consignment checks and deposited them with a bunch of small rebate checks into my savings account. I also dropped off another 15 items at the consignment store. I also listed one item on ebay. Now to start wrapping gifts and writing a few cards.

Monday, December 8, 2008

More 12/8 Expressions

If you got the $10 Victoria's Secret coupon for any PINK item - yesterday, I was able to get a large tote - priced at $10 and there was an offer for a free pair of underwear with any PINK purchase. Once I handed over the coupon - I owed nothing - not even tax. I also had a $10 off anything coupon - so, I bought a clearanced PINK jacked - although it wasn't free - it was heavily marked down - and of course, I got another free pair of underwear. I also got my 15 items ready for the consignment store. I am hoping to pick up a check to deposit with all of my other rebate/survey/other checks and a roll of dimes :)

12/8 Expressions

Mail was great (mostly) today! I got a rebate check, a survey check and sadly, a dividend check for .15. In today's environment, I can't believe companies do this. Postage is more than the dividend. We only own a few shares of the stock - a spin-off (in our defense) - but can't they make-up a policy like: dividends will accumulate until - or electronic deposit only - or something? Another nice thing I got in the mail - a coupon for a free 1/2 gal of Horizon milk from Mom Central. People have been reporting that JCPenney is sending them $10 Gift Coupons - and they used to send them to me. What did I get today a $10/$25 - is that because they know I will try to spend close to the $10. I am sure it was some sort of marketing demographics thing they did. Also, my photographer (daughter) took pictures of the luminarias and the gifts we baked the other evening. Unfortunately, our Tech Guy - (husband) won't have time to upload the photos until tomorrow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

12/5 Expressions

I had a package at the door last night - my annual nice tin of whole cashew nuts for being a volunteer mail decoy. Today, I stocked up on toilet paper. Hopefully, I won't be buying the stuff for a very long time. I had several $1 off White Cloud and the 4 pack double rolls are $2 at Wal-Mart - so, $1 a pack. But even better, I had a bunch of .25/1 Cottonelle that get doubled at Kroger - and they are the only ones around here that carry the 4 pack single roll - for .99. So, after coupon, .49 a pack. I used a new Kroger Gift Card - which had the extra $30 loaded on it from the "Tax Stimulus Deal" Kroger had months ago. So, I feel like I got all of the TP free :) A very kind friend sent me a coupon to get a bouquet of flowers free from Kroger also - so, while the weather is dreary, the view at our dining table is now very cheerful. I also got several other items free with coupons too. I am trying to motivate myself to list one item on ebay and take another load into the consignment shop. Also, to make one more delivery to thrift store. Also, I am going to search for a recipe to use my fresh cranberries for muffins, and am thinking of doing a banana/nut (lots of frozen bananas in the freezer and got some pecans for baking on sale/coupon) muffins for the friend that's treating us to the ballet tomorrow and my two neighbors. Our neighborhood is having their annual luminaria lighting (every street is lined w/luminarias - so beautiful - they use white lunch bags, anchored with a bit of sand and a tea light). Monday if the community Holiday Party - we have never been - but may make it a point to try and attend this year.

I just searched Recipezaar.com and found a recipe for cranberry/sour cream muffins - very frugal for me. My fresh cranberries were .99 at Aldi and the sour cream was .29 at Kroger after coupon. Off to bake - and warm up the house. I will also be baking the sweet potatoes I got at Aldi - a bag for $1.99 so as not to "waste" space in the oven/electricity.

I also made "stone soup" today - turkey drippings (minus the fat), 1/2 of a Kroger "Manager's Special" rotisserie chicken ($1.75), free after coupon cut green beans - Wal-Mart, leftover mashed sweet potatoes, sample pack of microwavable mac'n cheese, 2 grated carrots (about .20) and spices from the cabinet. It was delicious and warming. Also filling as we also had a nice salad with the soup too. I have enough leftover for several more meals. I also ordered 2 more $25 Staples gift cards. Now I have a total of 4 - and my daughter has 5 teachers. Will have to come-up with something for the 5th.

Friday, December 5, 2008

12/5 Expressions

I have received several small rebate checks in the mail - I remember reading one clearing house is bankrupt - so, I will deposit them in my Credit Union account in case they bounce (my Credit Union doesn't charge me for someone else's bounced check - thank goodness). We have been eating a lot of turkey - turkey fried rice, stir fry, spaghetti, etc. We are officially tired of turkey. We are trying to get rid of clutter - so, it was nice to be able to donate a few gifts for tots. My daughter's class won by contributing the most gifts and they "won" a pizza party. Tomorrow night, our neighborhood association puts out luminarias - simple and beautiful. Sunday, we have been invited to play.