Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/27 Expressions

Today, we were treated to a lunch out, in honor of my husband's birthday earlier this week. Afterward, we stopped at Kroger and rented "The Bucket List" for a buck and tax. It was a great movie. We also scoured Kroger for manager specials. For half price or less, I got a large box of fried chicken, a large box of tenderloin, a bag of tender salad greens, a half of a cantalope stuffed w/strawberries/blueberries. Of course we got a few items we were out of - but other than a few things for lunches, my list for tomorrow will be short.

In the mail, lots of freebie/cheapie magazines. My favorite - "All You" - seems to be full of coupons and refund forms this this month.

We are getting much needed rain at the moment - the plants really needed a drink and mother nature's watering is sure cheaper than city water.

Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27 Expressions

What have I been doing that's frugal today - baking. I want to use up pantry items before they go to waste and reduce my grocery bill. Today, I made/am making, a loaf of bread, a "loaf" of polenta, and a pineapple cheesecake. All of the recipes came from and I had all of the ingredients on hand or substituted item with what I had on hand. Tomorrow, I will make a polena and turkey sausage casserole with the polenta loaf. I am going to buy the "minimum" this weekend and use more items in the pantry, fridge, freezer.

I have a small pumpkin that is growing - sure would be nice to have a home grown one in time for Halloween.

I printed out a coupon to get a free t-shirt from a store in the mall - and a 20% off coupon. The clothes seemed of decent quality and fairly inexpensive anyway. So, I hope we find a bargain or two to round out my daughter's wardrobe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

6/23 Expressions

Frugal today: picked up mail and sorted through it. Got "paid" postage stamps for being a "mail" decoy, several rebate checks, a rent check, several coupons, and sadly, no samples.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6/22 Expressions

We made it back from our trip. We had a great time. Money saving tips: We did use our gift certificates from and had a few nice dinners out - with the certificate, including a tip, splitting a dessert and everyone ordering water, and a nice entree, we spent about $12 per person. The other learning drill for my daughter and her friend, we were approached by time share folks outside of the grocery store. I have nothing against time shares. Anyway, the offer was $100 in cash and a $25 gift card. We told the girls, if they came along, it would be at least an hour and a half of not much interesting to them, but, they each get $25. Of course they were game. So, we also went to a nice place for lunch that day, and my husband and I spent our "cash" on the meal. The girls pretty much saved theirs. I was very pleased, no whining for junk the entire trip, and since they had to spend their "own" money for things outside of park tickets, food, lodging and travel, they were very conservative. Take the coupons along if you plan to cook/eat meals in. I took a box of cereal (freebie) and had a coupon for another free box. With that coupon, I let the girls pick the flavor - so, breakfast for the entire trip was either free, or the cost of milk. I saved a few dollars on other items using coupons too. I also used the washing machine and dryer - so, minimal dirty clothes came home.

On the rental front. Well, my carpet savings weren't as much as I thought they were going to be. As it turns out, the savings were around $100 from the next low. The low one only gives estimates over the phone, the agent under estimated the square footage. But, when she called to get authorization for the higher carpeting bill, she asked if we would accept the new tenant - moved in this weekend. They are paying 50% more in rent than our last tenant. So, that makes the sting for the extra carpet, slightly less painful.

I am getting my coupons and list ready to go grocery shopping. I am going to renew my efforts to save as much as I can and waste as little as possible - and still make tasty, healthy meals. So, I am thinking Kroger's 10% extra on giftcards is ending soon. Even though I have $ left on the last one we bought, I may buy another one. I sure would like that 10% and I am hoping to use my Chase Freedom card - I am hoping to hit the $200 cash back mark soon on the Chase card, to qualify for the additional $50 cash bonus. The deals I am excited about at Kroger - the buy 10 items from their list, and get $3 off automatically. I have coupons for some of the products. With the sale, coupons and the additional $3 off, I am hoping for a good combination of "stuff". I also plan to visit CVS. They have Colgate Total for $2.99 - with $2 back in ecbs - I have a $1.50 coupon off on the toothpaste. They have 4 Soy Joys for $4, with $4 back in ecbs and I have a coupon for $1 off 3 Soy Joys. I plan to recycle those ecbs in a second transaction - my daughter ran out of contact cleaning solution. I have a $1 coupon for the product she uses, and will also apply the $6 ecbs. Too bad I already reached my limit on the health savers account with vision products we purchased earlier this year. Next year, I guess I will need to up it a bit.

It must have rained around here. My dwarf trees are doing great - however, my herbs are on their last leg. I should have drilled holes in the bottom of that .50 decorative pot I got from good will - looks to me like they may be suffering from root rot. Oh well, can't wish the rain away as it sure beats having to water the stuff myself - although I did pour some cooled "pasta" water on the flowers today.

Sadly, I did watch some TV while on vacation - Friday's stock market closing sure stunk. But we did notice gas prices were a bit lower on our trip home. And just for the heck of it, at the cheapest gas station, I noticed a mid sized SUV in front of us. Don't know if they were on empty or not - but their total ended up in the high $60's - yikes. That was a nice reference point for me. While the Civic felt a bit cramped with the four of us and the luggage (trunk packed tightly), I was sure glad we didn't pay that kind of price for a tank (at least not yet).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

6/12 Expressions

Wow - we just ordered $100 worth (slightly over) of men's apparel for my husband and did the $75 Shell gas card deal it seems like this week. The clothes are already here - now, if only the gas card will show up just as fast. Also, the CD my husband ordered last week? with his Pepsi points - it came too. Tonight's dinner, fried rice as I want to use up fresh veggies (spinach, baby carrots, and snow peas) and a bit of ham. I am cleaning out our fridge in preparation for our trip. I also hopped in the tub and will be watering the plants inside and out with the water. I saved the 2 Lt soda bottles from a recent sale - free Sierra Mist at CVS with internet coupons. I found instructions to build "self" watering units with them. Basically, cut the bottom of the bottle off take the lid off and cover with panty hose - I attached the "hose" cut from a "bad" pair with rubber bands - mainly from newspaper wrappings or broccoli bunches. Push the "hose" part (top) into the dirt and fill through the bottle's bottom (which is now the top) with water. I mainly want to make sure my "cheap" deal (shipping only plants) - the lemon and banana trees stay hydrated.

Oh, and when getting work done - get several quotes. The best price for the carpeting for our rental unit - was just over $600 less than the most expensive quote and included removal of the old carpeting. The rental agent got 2 quotes and I sent over 2 companies. The good news is, the rental agent said there have been lots of calls this week. She think the monthly rental will be higher than she first anticipated. If she gets what she stated today, it will be 50% higher than what we were last charging the tenant who lived there for 10 years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6/11 Expressions

Rental management company has the carpeting company with the "deal" coming out tomorrow for a quote. Mail was nice. Got a rent check and rebate. Stock market is another story :(

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6/10 Expressions

The only frugal excitement of the day - I looked around the garden and I see the beginnings of 2 pumpkins. Now, if they will continue to grow in the hot weather, I hope to have "free" pumpkins this year. Pumkin soup, bread, pies galore? A couple of Gladiolia (sp) have bloomed - purple and a yellow rose. I was tempted to cut them and bring them in - but decided against it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

6/9 Expressions

Mail was great today. Two freebies that will help cut costs on our vacation. First is a coupon for a free box of Honey Bunches of Oats and the second is a sample of Purex laundry detergent. Since most of our stops will include eating facilities and free laundry facilities - we will make use of these freebies. Reading small ads in the newspaper helps sometimes. I think I found a cheaper place to get the carpeting done for our rental property. The rental agent will be calling for a fourth quote. She came up with two we found unacceptable and I found two I think will be reasonable. And I recycled some money: I went to mypoints and linked to Sears so that I can get 3 points per dollar - which will get me to a $10 Gift Card after the points are added to my current total. I asked my husband to order $100 worth of Dockers apparel for his birthday in two weeks. We printed out the rebate form for a $75 Shell Gas Card for purchasing $100 worth of Men's Dockers Apparel (some restrictions apply - so read the form - and we will be entered into a drawing for Prius - a nice bonus if we win :) and at check-out, we used our hotel points credit card.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

6/8 Expressions

Frugal happenings today: I did make it to Publix very early this a.m. I saved over $40 and spent $32 - but will be sending in for a $25 Home Depot Gift Card. We had a few unfrugal excursions today also. But, we hit the mall with a bunch of coupons and are pleased with our purchases. This afternoon, I made it to Dollar General Market and I purchased 3 bags of Chex snack mix for the trip for $1.50 after coupons. Then to Wal-mart. No hassle return of those 2 plants. Funny thing is, the customer service agent said they are ringing up for .02 now - so, she adjusted the plant price to what I purchased them for and I got just over $10 back. I found a few items to match with coupons. After I mail in my rebate, I will have spent just under $4.50 for a "value box of Goodlife dog snacks - 2 different kinds in the box", a South Beach pizza, and Cattlemen's BBQ Sauce. Then on to CVS. My CVS manager and cashier are great. I did 5 transactions, spent under $8 for 4 Oral-B toothbrushes ($6.99 ecbs for each pack - 2 per pack - "free"), Coppertone Sunblock ($2 ecbs), 2 bottles of Listerine Smart ($1 printable coupons - just do a search - lets you print 2 if you hit the "back" key and refresh) and $3.49 ecb - "free", Starbucks Dark Chocolate Candy bar ($1.50 coupon in the mail), box of 6 individual servings of Nescaffe instant coffee (.50 coupon), a bag of Stacy's Pita chips ($1 internet coupon), a bag of Chex Chocolate Turle Snacks ($1 coupon), Trident Gum (.75 coupon) and Bath Buddy Bar of soap - free with $1 coupon. And the other excitement of the day, I purchased 3 more packs of Pepsi during my Publix Shop. This afternoon, my husband loaded those points and was able to order a Music CD he wanted - for "free"!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

6/7 Expresssions

Good thing I woke up early this a.m. The early bird really does catch the worm. Last year, my daughter participated in two "kids" fishing tournaments. Normally they advertise at least days in advance. This second one, I found a small blurb in the paper - "For you early risers . . .". So, my daughter and husband are at the fishing tournament. Last year, she caught a small fish and "won" a remote controlled boat. It said kids can win up to $5,000 - wow! So, that's part of the exitement for the day. I am going to take a bath. But instead of draining the water, I am going to use it to water plants both inside and outside of the house. I am also planning to do another round of brownies/peanut butter cookies/chocolate chip cookies baking - and will throw in potatoes to bake with the stuff. Having those items in the freezer was very convenient - snacks on demand. Plus, we will be going on our vacation soon, I can throw the bags in a cooler with other snacks and drinks for the trip. I got a Publix flyer in the newspaper this week - I have already started matching coupons to some sales. I am planning to do a run tomorrow afternoon. I want to stock up for the trip too as we will have cooking facilities at most of our stops. We will definitely be eating some meals out, but, I'd like to make some nice meals in. I read Dollar General has the Chex Snack Mix bags on sale for $1.25 - I have seen them as low as $1 in the past, but I'll take the $1.25. I printed 2 coupons from (go through mypoints for extra points) or Dollar General is on my route for tomorrow. I am also going to dig up those plants that died - I have the receipt ready to go and I will be getting my money back. I have a few coupons ready for Wal-mart too and will spend no more than my plant refund there.

Friday, June 6, 2008

6/6 Expressions

I have noticed people in general have been uncharacteristically cranky lately - I am talking about at my outside job, driving, etc. Is it the heat or all of the terrible news of the economy. This week ended sadly with the DOW dropping almost 400 points today and oil price climbing to a new record. On the bright side, we got a quote for cleaning up the rental - minus the deposit, it will take 5 months of rent to recoup the costs. Good thing the expense will be a tax deduction. And in restrospect, not bad for 10 years worth of rents. We had a few other minor repair/maintenance issues over the years - but probably less than a months worth.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6/4 Exoressions

The mail this week has brought 2 free movie tickets. Still waiting on estimates to see what it will take to get our rental ready for the next renter. The stock market has been depressing - so, my head goes back into the sand. This Saturday is free fishing day - no license required. We have been getting a few strawberries from our garden and lettuce. I see beans - so, soon, we will have our home grown beans. The zucchini has been flowering like crazy - but I don't see any zucchinis yet.