Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28 Expressions

Frugal travel tips: Pictured is the Biltmore in Ashville, NC. That's where we took our vacation. We had enough points for two free hotel nights. My dad gave us check for our Christmas gift and USAA sent us a generous "Subscriber's Savings Account Dividend" check - so gas, food, and entertainment expenses were covered with no money out of pocket. Most of our breakfast costs were covered with our free points too and we ate heavy breakfasts and one other meal per travel day at restaurants. One evening we had take-out from PF Changs and used our loyalty card and got 10% off. One evening, we ate the freebies - veggies with dip and potato skins with all of the "fixins" - with a purchase of a drink. We also brought most of our snacks and drinks from home. We got more than enough goodies for the holidays, home baked, a tin of cashew nuts, packs of Gold Fish, etc. The first leg of our trip, we stopped at an outlet mall and did some shopping - all within our budgeted amount. Since we weren't in any hurry, it was a nice trip. The Biltmore house was nice, nice sights, interesting insights, and provided some exercise with a lot of walking. And my tip is: buy your ticket on-line. I believe when we arrived, there was a sign stating the wait could be up to 2 hours for the purchase of a ticket. We drove right through with our internet printed tickets.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

12/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: Pictured is a 1/2 full box of 1 oz Gold Fish packages that I received in the mail from Pepperidge Farm. I am not sure why I got them - but it was a nice surprise. My daughter handed out packages on Friday to her classmates who were taking mid-term exams. We love Gold Fish - but this is way more than we can use. I may take some of the packages to work to leave in the break-room for others to enjoy. The gingerbread house cost me under $2 - bought in a 90% off sale last year and kept in the freezer. It was fairly easy to put together - but probably would have turned out nicer had I not been in such a hurry. I shopped at Aldi this week. Christmas dinner will include the second turkey we purchased from Wal-mart just before Thanksgiving. It is about a 12 pounder and cost under $5. I baked cookies yesterday and part of them became adders to a couple of baskets we put together. Some went into the freezer for a cookie tray we will have as our dessert this week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

12/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: For winter break, we are taking a short vacation. We have enough points to stay two nights at a Hilton. We also got a nice chunk of change from USAA - subcriber's saving distribution. It will cover gas, food and entertainment. I also got a gift certificate in the mail today from cashing out some "mypoints". Oh, and I ordered a house warming/Christmas gift for my brother from Amazon and was able to take $10 off with my swagbuck buck "winnings". There was a rebate form associated with the gift - so, I sent that separately in a card. Hope he takes advantage of the rebate form. We are pretty much done with any holiday shopping. Just need to put a basket together for a neighbor and the mail lady.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12/13/09 Expressions

Frugal gift to myself: Pictured are the 12 herb plants I "won" on ebay. We recently sold a few items on ebay and we split the $ amongst ourselves. With mine, I was the only bidder of 12 plants - I believe with shipping, the plants came to around $12. The planter box spent several years outside and the containers are various tubs I have "recycled". The bottom shelf holds seeds of "wildflowers" that were inbeded in a note from a retailer and 2 green onion roots. Hopefully, I will have plenty of fresh herbs to use for cooking.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12/6 Expressions

Financial expressions for the day: Although the fact that we are in a recession has been reported in the media non-stop, I really did not know anyone "personally" affected by a job loss until the last couple of weeks. It also seems that charitable donations and contributions are down. This has been a great time for me to declutter some of my previous "frugal buys" and help those in need. Just this week, my daughter's school has been asking for gifts to donate. She had a few new in the box Barbies, that she donated. Made me proud that she let go so easily. Since she is an only child, I worried whether she would "share". Yesterday, my husband's office put out a call for winter coats and blankets. Much to my surprise, they are also accepting "gently used" items. So, my daughter let go of two of her genetly used coats and a blanket. I had a new, still in the package, "great deal" from Amazon a couple of years ago, blanket to contribute. Yup, it has been a hard lesson, but for me, I need to be careful with those "great deals". Without a purpose, they can take up valuable shelf space, waiting to be used. I doubt I will need another blanket for another few more years, so, now I am glad the thing is going to someone who can use it. I guess the movie we watched yesterday, "The Blind Side" is still haunting me too. Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. Yesterday, I took my daughter out for an opportunity to do some community volunteer work. On our way back, our neighbor flagged us down. She wanted to pass on a gently used sweater someone had passed on to her to my daughter. She asked what we had been up to and when I let her know about the volunteering opportunity, she asked if she could take my daughter with her to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Yup, there are plenty of opportunities to help/volunteer.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

12/5 Expresssions

Frugal deeds for the day: Today we used our half priced gift certificate to see the movie "Blind Side" and had a wonderful meal at the in-house restaurant. Then on to Victoria's Secret with the "Secret Santa" gift certificates. The two gift cards we had were worth $50 and $10 - and we made good use of them. We also got a $5 off $10 coupon from Ulta - and got 2 hair brushes for under $5. Then to Bath and Body Works. Got 2 refill packs for the wall flowers for $12 plus tax and got a pair of slippers free.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

12/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: my the year has flown by. We sold 5 items on ebay and will be using the funds for "fun" $. I purchased plants and spices. I am getting to take another load to the consignment. We sold 4 items on I got selected to test a product and will also get paid a few bucks. I received several survey/rebate checks in the mail. Rents were not as good - we had several maintenance bills this month. We still have turkey in the fridge - and a big pot of soup. This coming weekend, we will pay all of our property taxes (ouch) and write out holiday cards. We rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned our own carpets. Bought no new decorations (probably haven't in years) - and did a nice job decorating. We put up a tree, the best ornaments are the ones my daughter made in third grade. We still remember the teacher's name and remember her fondly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

11/26 Expressions

Happy Thanksgiving! We are still without an oven, but, we will be taking the turkey over to my dad's for baking. Right now, I have a cornbread casserole cooking the crockpot and will make a sweet potato casserole. I do plan to hit a few Black Friday sales tomorrow. Hopefully, no 4 a.m. deals - and nothing worth fighting over. Thankfully, we are not looking for any of the hot ticket items. But, my daughter would like a few winter clothing items to round out her wardrobe. That should be it. And as for frugal, we have purchased home hair highlighting kits, and will be helping each other do our own. I felt shielded from "knowing" a person hit by unemployment. But I got a call last week from a friend - both she and her husband were laid-off. She asked for any job leads - and I gave her what I could and promised to keep my eyes and ears open. Sometimes it is easy to take things for granted. I guess this is a great day to help gather our thoughts and give thanks for what we do have.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

11/19 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the Week: It has been a while, but I got a product to test. Yesterday, I purchased two turkeys from Wal-mart - the limit for the .40/lb turkey. I also transferred an rx with 1 re-fill left to Kroger for a $20 giftcard, the rx was .83. So, I will round out our thanksgiving meal with that giftcard. Our "slide-in" range/oven went haywire and the oven quit. I am sure it is as old as the house - 20 years or so. So, I went on-line, through mypoints, used a code found on the internet to get an additional $10 off, used my rewards credit card, free delivery and take-away is currently being offered, so, my new one will be delivered tomorrow. I picked up a check from the consignment store. Today is payday and I received a bonus, all of it, plus some will go toward the HELOC. Normally, I do not shop on Black Friday (except on the internet), but this year, I plan to take the day off from my "day job" and hit the stores with my daughter. She needs a few more winter clothing items to round out her wardrobe, and that is when we plan to buy her items and probably a few gifts. I had a few items to take to the consignment store - but their "system" went haywire and I will have to them back another day. I hope to list a few more items on ebay too. Slowly but surely, the clutter is coming under control and the extra padding to the savings account doesn't hurt either. Also, ebates paid my bonus to a paypal account I no longer wanted - it was a small amount - but I ended up donating it to a local free clinic. Seems everyone is strapped these days. People at work are in an uproar because the janitorial service looked over their contract and realized they didn't have to provide paper products for the breakroom. This may be "penny smart, pound foolish" on their part because I am sure the breakroom will be even messier with spills, etc. with nothing handy to wipe them. They've also put "greener" towel papers in the restrooms. And finally, this Saturday, there is a "Family Volunteering" event going on. So, I will be taking my daughter and I hope she enjoys her public service experience. We have a choice of making cards, walking animals, or "yard-work" for organizations/agencies with a need.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: This week, I've found/received great coupons. In two of my free subscriptions, I have gotten $5 off a $5 purchase at Hallmark in Woman's Day, and Martha Stewart Living. Woman's Day, I am getting free through an internet sign-up and Martha Stewart, I believe I am getting through an air miles redemption program. In the mail, Kohl's sent me a $10 off $10 coupon. Victoria's Secret sent several coupons for free underwear. Bath and Body Works sent me a coupon for a free home fragrance item with any purchase - probably will purchase the $1 gift bag - great for holding a gift card and a small item. Kroger sent me a coupon for a free bag of frozen veggies. That's all I can think of for now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: In a few hours, I am headed to a freecycler's home to dig up some English Ivy. I am hoping to turn a formerly landscaped part of the yard back into something beautiful without burning up too much cash. Then, I plan to do some cooking and baking to freeze food. I have found myself more and more tempted to stop for fast food or eating out for dinner - mainly because I am tired. I just earned another $5 Amazon Gift Card on Swagbucks and am waiting for a few more points to clear through Mypoints to redeem for a $10 gift card. This year, I'd like to give meaningful and useful gifts. I have been gathering fabrics that never made it to their intended purpose. I am thinking of turning some of it into pillow cases and perhaps placemats/napkins. I have also been looking in the gift closet and am thinking of making small baskets. You know, like adding coffee and perhaps homemade biscotti to a nice pair of stainless steel coffee mugs for the neighbor. The nice cut glass candle holders with the Yankee Candle votives with something from the dollar store - like bath beads for something,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: After a hiatus from ebay - we sold 3 items this week for more than we expected. Since we spent almost 2 weeks in Hawaii last summer, we have decided to keep things to a minimum this holiday season. The money earned from the ebay sale - items we no longer wanted - thus helping in the decluttering effort, will go toward a family gift. My husband got a nice pay-out of some vacation time. I also found out I will be getting a bonus in my next paycheck. In December, we have property taxes to pay, so these increases reduce the burden of the taxes a bit. I need to get in gear and take another load of items to the consignment shop and pick-up a check. We will be donating items to the Purple Heart next week. I had a bit of extra time today and baked two dozen banana muffins - freeing up some space in the freezer and things up - like the Bear Naked Banana Chip granola that went into the mix in place of "optional nuts". Over the next two weeks, I need to figure out what we should with our health insurance next year - was the vision plan worth it - no, dental plan - yes, how much to have deducted for HSA, etc.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

11/29 Expressions

It must be a sign of the times. I have gotten e-mails regarding getting a free black taco at Taco Bell on Halloween night and Captain D's sent me a printable coupon for a BOGO dinner - plus have to buy two drinks. I wonder what e-mails await me tomorrow. I purchased "Frosty" coupons at Wendy's - and have small candy bars to give out. Today I went to the health fair - this year there were a whole lot fewer "exhibiters" - and a whole lot fewer attendees. So, a co-worker and I showed up late - a dental plan provider gave us each a box of toothbrushes - I swear there must be at least 20 in a box. Nice freebie - but I was wonder how giving out a toothbrush would work - we decided we'd get egged :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

11/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds and thoughts for the week: Tomorrow, our office is having a "function". I signed up to bring in fruit. I signed up for the "Edible Arrangement" freebie coupon on Facebook. A free box of 6 pieces of fruit dipped in chocolate valued at $15. I picked the box up today - very nice. I will have those at the center of the serving plate, and will add apples (from Angel food), bananas, and oranges. Very nice looking arrangement for very little out of pocket. Yesterday, my husband and I met at KFC and got our free piece of chicken - and bought a bit extra too - but it was cheap "date" - just over $5 for the two of us and we left full. It must not have been well advertised as very few people asked for their piece of chicken. We also listed three items on ebay - although we have listed books on - it has been over a year since we listed anything on ebay. So, hopefully, we will be less three items this time next week - and will have added a few $ to the household. My other thought for the day - if you have a place to live, go to work, etc., can you truly ever have a "no spend" day? I am thinking perhaps we can lower our "variable" expenses - but those fixed expenses seem to apply daily. Am I thinking about it too deeply? I guess not letting extra cash out of your wallet that day is better than nothing - but to have a true "no spend" day - I am thinking I would have to cut my circuit breaker off, cut my water off, etc. Just my random thought for the day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

10/24 Expressions

Frugal thoughts for the week: Like many people, I have had the urge to hoard cash. We have steadily been adding to our savings accounts. Why the urge? Hmmm, lets take my daughter's prepaid tuition account - they've taken a heavy loss. I still have 4.5 years before she will need it - but for some reason, I feel like I need to be ready. My daughter's education is very important to us. Not only did I prepay her tuition the year she was born - paid a lump sum so I could avoid interest, I invested some $ in an education IRA and also put some $ in Uniform Gifts to Minors account for her - and of course, have been adding incidental amounts to her savings account. Everything but her savings account has suffered. Yes, they have made some improvemens in the last 6 months - but not enough to make feel comfortable. So, I quit making extra payments to our HELOC - which is sitting at 2.6%. But, I will be back at slashing it as soon as possible. I have finally decided to make a small dent in it this month and the next two months - and then will start applying everything possible in January with the goal of having it gone before the end of next year. If for some reason the HELOC jumps to some awful rate between now and then, I will redirect the savings account funds to the HELOC and start saving again for her education. In the next two months we have some big expenses coming up. Yup, that time of year again, property taxes and while no one likes to see their property depreciate, when it comes to tax assessment value, it isn't all that bad :) So, those are the financial pre-occupations I have been having. We did pick up two shares of the Angel Food packages today. Now I have 2 bags of fresh apples I need to do something with. That's my next project for the day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: I received a rebate check and a survey check in the mail. Won't make me rich - but makes for some nice pocket change. Last Tuesday we printed off coupons for a cheap dinner. We each got a free slice of pizza (NY Style - so, large piece) and then visited the dessert place down the street with a coupon for a free cappuchino and 20% off a dessert. Nice to not have to cook and mess up some dishes and enjoy each other's company. We also made a quick trip to the condo and did some maintenance. Cheaper to do it ourselves than let the management company do it. We used two coupons from - had two nice meals for a reasonable price. I also brought food from our pantry - oatmeal, tuna, soups - so, we did spend additional cash for breakfast and dinner or lunch. We stopped at a chain travel center for gas - and I spied a coffee bar. Nice 20 oz cup of vanilla cappuchino for $1.49 - and very tasty too. Nice little splurge there. Not cheap, but my daugher wanted a new purse. The outlet store was participating in the "Pink" discount - pay $1 and get an additional 25% off. So, she saved a bundle on the purse she had been saving for. My husband is on "vacation" - and has installed a new garage door opener and done some repairs around the house. Now, I am trying to get him to list a few items on ebay.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More 10/12 Expressions

Here's the tote I finished. More frugal deeds for the day - my daughter purchased shoes at the mall - we set a limit - anything over the amount, came from her savings/allowance. We also stopped at Great American Cookie and got a free cookie with a coupon. We also stopped at Bath & Body Works and got a free body spray with a coupon mailed to us and used the 20% off coupon on a $1 giftbag - great for small gifts/gift cards for the up coming holiday season.

10/12 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the week": We made $80 at the community yardsale. Did only loss leader grocery shopping and spent less than $10 to round out what we have on-hand. The 1 cent item at Publix was store brand ground coffee. Practically free or free - Betty Crocker boxed potatoes were BOGO $1.59/2 used .40/2 coupons printed off at Betty Crocker and Mypoints and had some that were expiring - so, 7 boxes "free" and the Fiber One yogurt BOGO $2.50/2 - used printed $1 coupons - so .25 a pack. I take yogurt as part of my breakfast to work - so, I have 4 packs, enough for two weeks and some leftover for snacks. I finished sewing my daughter a tote - may upload a picture later. Pretty much used what we had around the house to complement the $3.99/yd fabric from an earlier excursion. Nice to have the day off today. We plan to put items together for the consignment store and I hope to pick-up a check tomorrow. Unfrugal today, we will both get our hair done - but we have adopted spacing out the visits - unfortunately, you can really tell this time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: I took a few days off for "fall break". Yesterday, my daughter and I headed to a fabric store. There is a small tear in fabric of the sofa/sleeper in the rental condo. I purchased a yard of coordinating fabric at $5.99/yd. I also purchased fabric repair glue . . . so I will try that method first. If that doesn't work, I plan to take a staple gun, glue gun, and the sewing machine to cover the small bottom section of the sleeper. As for the counter top replacement, we found someone on craigslist that works for $20 an hour. He is estimating he can do everything in a day. We will pay for the supplies ourselves - a very good looking laminate granite from Lowes. Today is my last day off - until the weekend of course - and I plan to get some cleaning in. My daughter will be helping too. Also, while we are cleaning, we will gather stuff for our community yardsale this Saturday. I was able to paint the small guest bathroom last weekend with the paint I got for free from Sherwin Williams - it turned out beautifully. I have a small amount left - but I am very pleased with the results and have no idea why I didn't do it sooner.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10/3 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the week: Next week is our community yardsale. I am getting stuff gathered to get rid of. My husband will be taking care of the sale, my daughter and I will be heading to a large fabric store about an hour away. Why am I heading to a fabric store, because the other item that needs to be repaired in our rental condo is the sofa/sleeper. It looks like someone pulled the fabric from bottom edge or rubbed something (vacuum cleaner) against it. So, I am going to see if I can repair it myself since I have some sewing skills. To send it out to get the whole sofa re-upholstered will be expensive. Also, we need to replace the counter tops. I got 3 quotes to get a laminate granite/granite. The prices ranged from $750 to $2,650. We chose the $750 and it will be done next week. I have gathered the "inventory" items. Most of the stuff we had around the house. I picked up 3 items from Target for under $15. If I let the management company get the items, the prices are inflated about three times. First, they don't appear to look for sales. Secondly, they have to factor in labor/profit to get the stuff. I also responded to a freecycle ad. Seems or freecycle has grown so much, and since I don't sit an monitor it, it is just a shot in the wind. This time I got lucky. This morning, I dug up some canna plants and Jerusalem artichoke plants/tubers and have already replanted them. Also this week, I have been lucky with coupons. I got my free TGI Friday Burger coupon (good starting tomorrow)and a coupon for a free cookie from Great American Cookies. I also received a check from a "survey" company. I got my daughter to go through some more of her DVDs. I have listed some, some will go in the yardsale. I have been telling myself that I am going to paint the guest bathroom with the freebie paint I got from Sherwin Williams - I am going to do that tomorrow. I did not have to buy anything for that "job". I had left over tape, brushes, roller.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

9/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: We are going to a local museum today. Search for free museum admission - today only and print out a ticket. I have already started "grocery management" of the Angel Food haul. I have a big pot of chicken corn chowder going - chicken, onion, potatoes - all part of the box. Tomorrow, I will have my dad over for dinner to share in some more of the bounty. I will probably visit the store tomorrow for a few must have items, toilet paper being one of them. After the museum visit, we plan to visit the mall. My daughter received a few giftcards as gifts and we have printed off % off coupons to match. She can build up her winter wardrobe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

9/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: A local thriftstore had a coupon in the local coupon mailing (first I have ever seen) - a bag of clothing for $3. I got a nice bag of clothing and some juice glasses for $3 plus tax. Tomorrow, my husband is picking up 2 shares of Angel Food Ministries food. The selection of food was great. Check out - income is not a criteria. Also, in the mail today, I got more 1/2 price gift certificates for Domino's Pizza . . . in $5 increments. This weekend, I plan to paint the small guess bathroom with the freebie paint I got from Sherwin Williams. I also plan to put together another box of consignment items. Also, I received a "survey" and "inventory list" for our beach rental condo. The juice glasses are headed there. Also, I am trying to figure out the most frugal way to make the few "repairs" and procure the items on the inventory list. Some item, I have extras in my own cupboards. Fortunately, for the missing utensils, I have an extra box of the same pattern - purchased years ago for almost nothing at a Target clearance sale.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

9/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Today, we plan to use our 1/2 priced ($30) art museum membership card and see the new exhibit. My husband used the 10% Lowes coupon at Home Depot and purchased tile for bathroom. It is a diy job. Trying to get the house in the best shape possible in case we want to sell/rent. Normally, I do not stop at Dollar General. Wow, I did find some bargains today - $1 strawberry preserves, 2.5 lbs of bananas for $1, etc. So, I rounded out my groceries there today.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9/19 Expressions

Frual Deed for today: I signed my daughter for a seminar to help her decide on a career and for me to be enlightened on ways to prepare her and reduce costs of an education. We spent 6.5 hours there - both in different seminars. I got lots of great information and she had a wonderful experience. To my surprise, the event cost $0. I was expecting to pay "something" for registering. They even served a very nice lunch and gave my daughter a nice backpack filled with goodies. I'd have to say, it was very frugal.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: After school on Tuesday, I took my daughter to Ulta and we were both able to get a free tube of mascara - the good stuff. I sold several books on and took 13 items to the consignment store. I had a dentist appointment near Aldi, and stocked up on some nice bargains. Can't beat their prices on perishables.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: I picked up 2 checks from the thrift store and brought home 2 more forms to consign more stuff. The neighbors gave us fresh tomatoes, parsley, basil, and thyme. They will be used to make several meals. We've had pasta once and will probably have it again - but I just looked up a recipe for foccacia on too. I received 2 freebie coupons in the mail - so, will probably use them at Publix tomorrow to get my $10 purchase and the 1 cent mystery item. The free items were for a package of feminine products and the other Kashi cereal. Hope they have them available. And of course, I want to buy a few things - but we are still concentrating on using ingredients from the pantry/fridge/freezer first.

Monday, September 7, 2009

9/7 Expressions

Labor Day greetings. While my husband bbq'd, I used stuff up. I made Chili Rellano casserole with the remaining peppers a co-worker gave me and stuff out of the pantry/fridge. Also a sweet potato casserole - using up marshmallows, etc. And eggplant parmigiana. My dad brought a cake. We are stuffed and have plenty of leftovers for lunches and dinners for the next couple of days. Hurray to no cooking for a few days. Today, I also checked the back recesses of the bathroom cabinets. I was out of shampoo. I found a bottle and a bunch of travel sized ones. My husband thought he had to run to the grocery store for BBQ sauce - I found one in the pantry. So, I saved a trip to the store and things are getting used up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

9/5 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the week: We may be moving. So, I applied for the 10% off coupon from Lowe's. I am hoping with Labor Day Sales and coupon, we can get some "projects" around the house done less expensively. I am also going to concentrate on us eating up stuff from the pantry. We listed some DVDs on and they are selling relatively quickly. Need to take another load to the consignment shop and pick-up a check.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

8/29 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day: For lunch, I made some brown rice and a "curry" dish. I didn't have any curry, but had tumeric. I searched for a recipe to use leftovers - and found one. I substituted just about every ingredient with what I had on hand, or just omitted the ingredient. I am happy to report, lunch was delicous. I was able to use the last of the peppers and tomatoes given to me and a few other veggies I had in the crisper. I plan to give myself a manicure today. And for exercise, I plan to walk around the neighborhood while the weather is fairly decent. This weekend, I plan to get minimal amounts of groceries. Why? I have a dental appointment again and will be able to stop by Aldi. While searching for recipes, I saw an interesting one for making your cheese. Last time I was at Aldi, they had a gallon of milk for $1.4X. If they have it on sale this time, I may try my hand at cheese making.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

8/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds from this week: I didn't mention that I went to Stein Mart this past Sunday evening. For those looking for frugal career wear, I would have to say it is my favorite. I was able to hit the 50% extra off "red dot" clearance items and use a $5/$45 coupon. I got 2 jackets, Stein Mart's original price of $95 and ended up paying $11 each. Not much more than thrift store prices. I have been using my daughter's expensive hair straightener. Time to get one of my own - but I am too cheap to get the expensive kind. I did a google search and decided upon the Remington Wet to Straight and found it at Amazon for just under $25 - wouldn't you know - I wanted free shipping too. So, I added a cute Van Gogh notebook for $1.50 - purse sized I believe - but I love irises - so, just looking at the cover is enough for me (I already have a large framed print, light switch cover of the same print :). And I used my $15 in Amazon GC's I earned from Swagbucks. This is an early holiday present for my daughter - now we don't have to squabble over the flat iron when getting ready for school/work. So, hopefully this iron will be great as I just spent just over $10 on my rewards credit card (so another small rebate back).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

8/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day. Enjoyed the freebie lunch at the museum event. Then my daughter and I printed off 3 internet coupons each. Good today only $20 off $20 Ann Taylor and 2 Bath & Body Works coupons for free products with any purchase. We came home with 4 purse sprays, 2 small body washes, 2 lip glosses and 4 purse sized hand sanitizers and we each spent less than $4 out of pocket. In the mail today, I received a $10 off coupon from DSW just for signing up for their free rewards card - and I am close to earning another $10 already since my daughter bought a couple of pair of shoes for school. Also, I printed a recipe for cookies last night which uses Rice Krispies in the ingredients - they are delicious and a great way to use up my freebie Rice Krispies. I also flaked up a nice smelling hotel bar of soap and it is now laundry detergent.

Friday, August 21, 2009

8/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I reserved 4 free picnic passes (includes food and family fun) through our museum. Another benefit of the annual pass. So tomorrow, lunch will be fun and "free". I have also been picking small tomatoes from my plants. For dinner, we had pizza with our 1/2 priced gift certicate - and we have enough for another meal since it was essentially a BOGO deal - 2 large pizzas.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

8/16 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the Day: The 1 cent mystery item at Publix was a 1/2 gal of ice tea. To reduce my "spending", I used the coupon for the free Rice Krispies on the largest box. Also made a stop at CVS for some of their Free after ECB sale. For entertainment, we watched a Redbox DVD - "Confessions of a Shopaholic".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

8/15 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day: We stood in line at a sporting goods store this morning for a chance of to get a gift card. We got $40's worth in their "Grand Opening" extravaganza. My daughter got some things she needed for sports. I am glad I purchased 5 heavily discounted AT Cross pen/pencil sets earlier this summer. We have an impromptu birthday party/lunch we are attending and the set seems so appropriate. Also, we hope to stop by Victoria's Secret for some free underclothes -they have been sending us freebie cards like crazy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Some how, I signed up for Vocalpoint. Today, they sent me a coupon for a free box of Rice Krispies (in a "talking" card - that almost scared the beejesus out of me). Anyway, the coupon was nice and they sent a bunch of $1 off a box of cereal coupons too. I will handing some of those out while shopping since we don't eat much cereal. Also, my tomato plant produced a red tomato - too bad it is the about the size of 2 grape tomatoes. Tasty nonetheless. I have started my habit at eating my brought from home lunch at work - and today for relaxation, I started knitting a dish cloth with cotton yarn. Tomorrow is pay day.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

8/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I got a statement from USAir to turn in my small amount of miles for magazine subscriptions. I am going to do it. Since I can get about 4 subscriptions I am interested in and don't think I will be able to use the miles. We are talking about less than 3,000 miles. Went grocery shopping and got my freebies and a bunch of other stuff too. I am going to give myself a mani/pedi. My husband took his $25 GC (paid 1/4 on clearance) to get his hair cut. Of course there will be some left over, so my daughter is going with him to see if there is a hair product she might want. Then they are heading for Maggie Moos. My husband will be getting a free milk shake. My daughter will just be getting a treat - it was her birthday yesterday. She also stopped at the credit union to deposit her birthday check from her grandfather and I gave her an additional $31 in rebate checks to deposit in her account too. She also used the last $25 Staples GC to get the rest of her school supplies.

Friday, August 7, 2009

8/7 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day: I finally got a response from Swagbucks - about disabling my account while I was on vacation - and they reinstated it - but asked that I not conduct any unnatural searches. Today I did one search and earned 20 Swagbucks - sort of makes up for the days I wasn't able to search. Just a few bucks short of my next $5 GC. Tomorrow, my daughter needs to finish out the school supplies list. We plan to use the last $25 Staples GC. Then on to Target with the $25 GC to buy sports equipment

Thursday, August 6, 2009

8/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: We have been home for a few days now. We brought home some "gifts". My daughter gave a can of Mac Nuts to the neighbor. Within an hour, the neighbor returned with a bunch of home grown tomatoes (good thing because although my vines are now producing - they are very tiny) and a pet sitting job for my daughter. A little kindness can go along way. In the mail, I had several refund/rebate checks, coupons for a free pint of Starbucks ice cream, a coupon for a dozen eggs free from Kroger, some free packs of instant Nescafe coffee. Of course there were a few bills too - but it was nice to have some useful freebies :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Well, today is the last day of our vacation. Most of tomorrow will be spent traveling and waiting. Today, my husband and daughter are enjoying one more adventure that we were able to get at a discount - using the discount card. The recession has certainly hit vacation spots. Anyway, this morning, I have the washer and dryer going - sure don't want to load up with dirty clothes. Also, I am cooking up the last of the grocery. We will have a wonderful lunch. Dinner will be anything leftover. I plan to get in one more wonderful walk and perhaps one more visit to the beach. I have to say, Hawaii is a restful, peaceful place - if you want it to be. From a financial stand point, the stock market has been less stressful too :) Oh, and with my pay, I received a bonus. It will cover most of the expenses we incurred (we paid for the room/air fare earlier this year).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I packed "leakable" toiletries in my soft sided lunch bag (freebie for donating blood). Now it goes with us on road trips to carry cooled water and drinks. The other frugal thing we did today was talk to a very interesting lady at the botanical gardens. She gave us the "scoop" on "must see" places. She also clued us in to the nearby nut factory. Although we did buy some "gifts" - they had lots of samples of different flavored macadamia nuts, mixes, and Kona coffee. Also, reading the paper (delivered free Mon-Fri), it seems all of the grocery stores offer "freebies" for bringing in receipts totaling "X" amount. Good thing I kept my receipts. One close store had a small ad in the store. The "local" grocery store had nothing in the store - but there was an ad in the paper. Also, I printed out a coupon from the "Coach" store - for a free pack of pencils in the new "Poppy" design. It was a "while supplies last" deal - I wss surprised to be able to get in on it - and it is a nice freebie - much cheaper than the bags :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

7/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: We are still on vacation and we have free wifi. My daughter brought her refurbished laptop we bought her last year from Overstock. As mentioned earlier, we used our airmiles to upgrade to first class. It was well worth it. We had one leg of the trip in which our seat reclined to sleeping position. The food was marvelous and of course it is all you can drink. Snacks are great too - no peanuts :) We did a timeshare stint and got a $50 GC and a discount card. So far, the card has "saved" us $90 on a luau. Oh, the other saver of flying first class on American - you can check in two pieces of luggage each at no additional charge.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

7/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Since we will be on the plane a long time, I asked my family if anyone wanted a sleeping mask and neck pillow to make resting a bit more comfortable. No, they didn't - but I do. I have 1 sleep mask free, courtesy of Tylenol PM, and I just made myself a neck pillow. I took an old t-shirt that I no longer wanted, cut a pattern out of newspaper, and used the batting inside of an old pillow (after washing/drying). I am now thinking of taking slippers too. Will I be too comfy. I have heard people lament that more and more people are under-dressing for plane flights. I am not talking about wearning pajamas - just getting comfortable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

7/17 Expressions

"Good today only" - I just linked through ebates (6% back) to the "Cross" website. I received an e-mail earlier today that a pen & pencil set that retails for $30 is now $10 a set - and if you place an order for $50 - shipping is free. The set is the "Spotlight Deal" - and the shipping "came off" at the last screen. I ended up ordering 5 sets of the AT Cross sets and they will go into the gift closet. My daughter and I discussed how we could pair them with a journal and give them as gifts at last minute invites to birthday parties, graduation gifts, etc. That 6% rebate will get me to just over $5 - so, I will be getting a rebate check eventually too.

7/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I need to think about using up the perishables before next week. I plan to buy very little in the way of groceries this week. I may buy the Tyson Skillet Creations (with $1 off coupon and the rebate form) just for some variety. Anyway, tonight, we enjoyed a smoothie from a variety of previously frozen fruit and the last yogurt. Also, my husband and daughter went to see Harry Potter today using the 1/2 priced tickets and food certificates I got from one of the local tv stations' 1/2 priced gift certificates deal. I am thinking of letting my daughter invite a few friends over tomorrow to enjoy the community pool ("free" - part of our very reasonable annual HOA fee)and may order a pizza with another 1/2 priced gift certicate I got earlier in the year. I found a small spool of cotton yarn/thread and wooden knitting needles. I will knit a dish clothe. I have started it and will finish it during my trip.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

7/16 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day: Good thing I haven't spent my CVS extra-bucks yet. Today in my e-mail box I got a coupon for $4 off $20 - further stretching what I have. We bartered the care of our pet. The dog is a picky eater - and we don't want to keep her in the kennel too long. So, my dad has agreed to babysit her for the price of her food (which we are freezing in individual lunch size baggies) - since we have had him over plenty of times for home-made meals. I am trying to stay positive about this economy - but it is like "one step forward, two steps back" :( Perhaps I should quit listening to the news.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

7/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: One of our suitcases had a tear in the seam. I hand stitched it with dental floss. I printed out a rebate form for a free Tyson Skillet Creations Meal Kit - and also a $1 coupon. I will be receiving a bonus at work in my next paycheck - I thought about ways I might want to spend it - but have decided to "save" it. Nice to get one in these times. Deposited a bunch of checks today - mostly "small" rebate checks - but I also included a roll of quarters and pennies for an additional deposit of $10.50. We are leaving on vacation next week - everything is paid for - except food and entertainment. I have some CVS extra-bucks - I am thinking of "spending" them on breakfast bars, convenience food, snacks for the trip since food seems to be expensive in Hawaii - and in the airport too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day. We enjoyed a free movie at the IMAX theater, courtesy of our museum membership. Also, my daughter was able to get most of her school supplies free - after using giftcards I earned frm mypoints - or using extracare bucks at CVS. Right now, my daughter is at the mall with a coupon and a $50 giftcard, earned from mypoints to buy some clothes for our vacation - and the starting of school.

Friday, July 10, 2009

7/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week? I got a horrible neck crick and was able to make an appointment at the local technical college, massage school. I feel much better. The price of a 1 hour massage - $25 (plus tip). Lots of flowers on my tomato plants, no tomatoes yet. I need to start planning ahead . . . we leave for our Hawaii vacation in less than two weeks. A co-worker suggested buying a Costco membership - since Costco's prices are universal? Making groceries a bit cheaper in Hawaii. In distressing news, my account with Swagbucks was disabled. I am still awaiting a response from them. I did do a google search, and like I suspect, others are suspecting that they may be going "under". Yup, I have $10 worth of Amazon gift certicates stored there and was well on my way for another $5. Hardly a "big" winner - but whatever.

Friday, July 3, 2009

7/3 Expressions

Above is a picture of a lily I got from freecycle last year. Also this past week, I took 2 loads of "stuff" to the consignment. I was also able to give a nice gift from the gift closet.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

7/2 Expressions

Above is a picture of a pear growing on the tree we planted last year. I also got my free can of Glidden paint. Since I have tomorrow off, I plan to use the paint to give the small guest bathroom a fresh new coat.

Monday, June 29, 2009

6/29 Expressions

I discovered 3 small pears growing on the tree my daughter and I planted last year. I will try to get a picture of them later. Unfortunately, one grape plant and the apple tree did not make it. Note to self - save and file those receipts when there is a 1 year guarantee. In other good news, I got several large refund checks today and some nice freebie samples. I am also taking a load of stuff to the consignment store - need to rekindle that decluttering feeling!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/27 Expressions

This hot weather is energy sapping. Anyway, we went to the cheap outdoors museum even yesterday - and although hot, it was a nice time. We also ate out with a gift certificate. Today, I shopped at Kroger, armed with coupons and was pleased with my haul and expenditure. There should be no excuse to eat out this week. I did get in on several 1/2 priced gift certificates from the various local television/radio stations. I got an annual family pass to the local art museum, another cheap entertainment avenue - plus it is air conditioned. I got some gc's for 1/4 priced (clearanced) for hair cuts. And of course, I got several for local eateries :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6/25 Expressions

Today only, I ordered a free quart of Gliddens paint a few moments ago. Also through mypoints, I finally had enough points to order a $25 GC and a $5 Amazon e-card from Swagbucks. Oh, and we got selected to attend a cheap event at a local museum on Saturday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6/20 Expressions

We ate out for Father's Day today to avoid the crowds. We had two dad's with us today, my husband and father. My daughter made the cards. We ate at a chain restaurant that sent us a 10% off the meal offer. I have noticed many places are offering discounts and freebies tomorrow for dads. I have started receiving rebate checks again :) Much nicer than a bill.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

6/14 Expressions

Not much happening in the frugal-shpere - but I am proud of the tomato plants you see in the picture. I started them from free seeds in that freebie planter - an extra for buying mayo I believe. Also in the "planter" are sage and basil plants I started from seeds. Now, if I can get a few tomatoes to grow, I will have a nice salad. Oh, and what did I use to "support" the tomato plants - yup, ruined panty hose legs. I read that hint somewhere - and so far, so good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

6/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds as of late: Yesterday, my husband and daughter ate the fish she caught at the fishing tournament, as part of their dinner. I stayed within our grocery budget and sent in two rebate forms. At Kroger, there was a demonstrator giving out coupons and samples for California Kitchens and Digiorno Flatbread sandwiches. They were on sale too - but the best part was on the freezer door was a holder for a full rebate on a box. I also separately purchased (needed the receipt) the Swiss Tea - not something I would normally buy, but stuff my daughter enjoys - especially since I had a $1 off coupon and a rebate form. But these last couple of weeks, I have been faithfully been using my buzz agent bounty, Loreal Revitalift Deep Set Winkle Repair, SFP 15 Day Lotion and Night Creme in place of my normal regimen of more expensive department store stuff (remember, I am a forty-something, so fine lines and wrinkles are a bit of a concern). I have to say, that I am well pleased with the products as they appear to be doing the job of my more expensive products for about a third of the cost. So, for me, I give the products a "thumbs up" as a frugal alternative.

Friday, June 5, 2009

6/5 Expressions

Tomorrow, the roofers are coming to replace the shingles and gutters - finally. Also, my daughter will attend a free fishing rodeo. We switched management companies for 2 of our properties. An inexperienced rental manager can let things turn messy quickly. Our former rental manager passed away just under a year ago - and her estate recommended this person - who originally was a real estate sales person. She must have thought the skills were easily translatable - NOT. She had no sources for repairs, advertising, checking credit scores, etc. She tried to push every thing back on us - to get quotes for repairs, etc. Hello, why is she collecting 10% of the rent? Getting rid of her/her management "company" was a weight off my shoulders.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5/27 Expressions

The haggling is over - my husband will be the owner of a new to him car tomorrow. Today is the last day of the school year for my daughter. I plan to trim weeds, do a bit of grocery shopping and goof-off.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5/26 Expressions

My husband found a used car he wanted yesterday. But he made a "final offer" - and the saleman/manager countered by telephone and asked my husband to call him back. Needless to say, my husband did not call the salesman back. Guess who called this morning to "follow-up"? I played it cool - although the saleman dropped hints, I told him I would pass the message on to my husband. I did, and my husband said he'd return the call late this afternoon. So, we shall see. Also, I found a bargain on Overstock yesterday (extra 10% off sale) on a luxury King sized mattress/box spring set. Of course delivery was free too. So, on our management inspection report for this year for our beach condo, they suggested we consider upgrading the mattress (business deduction). We did it - and will be donating the replaced set - fine - but not "luxury". But my excitement was, I have always had to ask mypoints to research my purchases and credit the points - they were already credited (pending) this a.m. So, about this time next month, I will be ordering more giftcards to use or give as gifts. Also, we earned hotel points on the credit card. It looks like my husband may be offered an early retirement toward the end of the this year. Doesn't look like it will be happening for me - so, I am updating my resume today to either find a position that pays more or one that pays the same, but is less stressful, or one that has a better chance for me to be offered an early retirement.

Monday, May 25, 2009

5/25 Expressions

If you live near a Publix and printed out the Kraft coupons yesterday - run to the store. Many of the same items are BOGO making them free or very cheap - and some may cause an "overage". The 1 cent item for our local store was spagetti sauce. For today's lunch with guests, we will be having grilled burgers and brats, fresh fruit salad - mainly to use up leftovers, mashed sweet potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cob, and home made cupcakes. Also, today, we may become owners of a new to us car. My husband's car now has over 200,000 miles on it and has become increasingly unreliable. Since neither of us are mechanics, repairs will be expensive. So, with all of the "sales" today, my husband will be looking looking to trade in his heap, and write a check for the rest. If possible, he will also see if he can load some of the "cash sale" on to the credit card - might as well get a few reward points in the process and leave the cash in the account a few extra days.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

5/24 Expressions

Warning - PF Rants ahead. Today, in the paper, I read how people who pay their credit cards off every month are essentially freeloaders - essentially causing credit card companies to gouge those with bad credit ratings or who are late payers and it might be a good time for credit card companies to start instituting annual fees, etc. I pay off my credit cards every month and am not a freeloader. It it my understanding that credit card companies charge companies that accept my credit card as a form of payment, a transaction fee. I use cards because I don't have an annual fee and I get rewards - either cash back, airline mileage or hotel points. But, it wouldn't bother me to pay cash, especially if it were beneficial. The post below mentioned that I got an extravagant mother's day gift - yup, we paid cash because the merchant offered me 10% - which made it worth it. So, if credit card companies think they can start charging annual fees and take away rewards - they can - but, I won't have any incentive to use them - and instead of making the transaction fees from my purchases, they'll make $0 off of me. Which leads into my other rant - this argument over not being frugal enough? Or too "cheap"? I think - to each, his own. If you have $, who am I to judge someone if they bought a gas guzzler or not (or whatever) - if it isn't against the law, they have money, probably not "frugal" by my standards - but there is no law requiring anyone to be frugal. As for cheap, that's another one that's to each his own. If someone had no money coming in, is there anything (within the law) that would be too cheap? So, they use a tea bag three times and ration their toilet paper (and get the job done)? Or, even if someone had the $, if those habits give them some of comfort/control in their life - who cares? On the flip side, why should everyone follow one person's frugal/cheapness standards - especially when no one knows another person's circumstances?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

5/23 Expressions

We bought the "Mother's Day" gift yesterday, and while it was extravagant (considering these economic times), I have yet to experience buyer's remorse. Work has been a big drain and my daughter's last day of school is Tuesday. I have decided to take the week off since we get Memorial Day off anyway. We have a $10 debit card we received as a rebate that we need to use before the $ disappears. I think we will use it for stuff to grill. We will be inviting family over. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to stop at Aldi and was able to pick up a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies. As for a quick vacation get away, we may spend a few days in our beach condo for a bit of R&R and outlet shopping for some summer clothes (I've dropped some weight and we have our already planned, booked/paid for, life milestones, vacation to Hawaii coming up in late summer).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

5/17 Expressions

This is the season to keep your eyes out for fun, free/cheap entertainment. Yesterday, my husband took my daughter and her friend to a fishing rodeo. They had a great time - caught no fish - but were presented with prizes. The friend, a goodie bag with fishing supplies and my daughter got a badmitton set. Both girls placed in an essay contest and will have an event to attend tomorrow. I on the other hand, have not been very "frugal". But perhaps I have been? For a long time, I skimped on "me time", "personal care" - but this month, I have been taking advantage of those types of things, especially now that they are being discounted. Perhaps I am a contrarian?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

5/9 Expressions

In a couple of weeks, I am buying something I really want. So, I have asked that nothing be purchased for me for Mother's Day. In years past, sometimes my husband and daughter listen, sometimes they don't. So, to ensure no flowers were bought, before the rain this morning, I gathered the photographed flowers from the yard. Perennials really are frugal - in that they keep on giving :) Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

5/8 Expressions

Today, I met my husband for lunch at Captain D's. They sent me a coupon for a free platter or dinner for Mother's Day. They also had a deal to get a free fish sandwich if you buy a giftcard valued at $20 or more. So, my husband got the giftcard and free sandwich. Then I ordered my meal (we split the meals) and paid for our drinks with the gift card. We were going to go to KFC with the free meal coupons - but, apparently the local KFCs have been overwhelmed and have restricted hours of 1-4PM. So, we will have an early dinner tomorrow (hopefully). I received my $10 giftcard for Barnes & Noble today from Mypoints. Still waiting for the $5 Amazon card from swagbucks - but, I have been earning at least 1 Swagbuck a day - when I can play. I am hoping to have enough Amazon GC's by the end of the year to buy a decent gift. Tomorrow, I plan to start experimenting with the anti-aging creams - Revitalift - sent to me because I am a buzz agent :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5/6 Expressions

We have had some weather related damage to our home. Our insurance company was very quick to respond. Unfortunately, we are now having trouble trying to get quotes for the work that needs to be done. Everyone we have called is "backed up", one cancelled after making an appointment - but finally, we got one that is suppose to be here Friday. We had a wonderful, frugal business trip (for my husband), awards ceremony (for my daughter), and vacation (for me :). We flew to Washingon, D.C. - paid for one roundtrip air fare. One fare was covered by "bump bonus $". Our hotel included free breakfast and two lunches were provided by organizers of various events. We enjoyed museums which were walking distance and made use of the Metro for our trip to and fro from the airport. Economically, it feels like we are slowly coming out of a funk.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4/29 Expressions

Wow - another month almost gone! In the last couple of days, I redeemed some mypoints for a $10 Barnes & Noble gc and Swagbucks for a $5 gc. We will shortly be taking that trip for my daughter to get her poster contest prize - so, I haven't made time to try my buzz agent Revitalift products yet. I have peaked around the yard and some seeds have started to sprout. I see pea plants, beans, and lettuce . . . and flowers, mainly roses and wisteria.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

4/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I enjoy sewing - so, I did some alterations on my daughter's clothes (hem, fix hole, etc.). Then, I went to Kohl's w/my $10 GC. I got a realistic looking orchid - originally marked $29.99 (before tax) for $2.15 total. Then to the grocery store with coupons. I wanted to stay under $35 - and with a meat rebate - I did. I stuck to a list and mainly got fruits and veggies. This morning for breakfast, I used up 1 egg, left over onion, and spinach from indoor "garden" and a bit of cheese for a delicious meal. I did a few unfrugal things today also - but, I will keep them to myself :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4/22 Expressions

To save a bit of $ on eating out or entertainment - I have several local T.V. stations website links to weekly 1/2 price gift certificate deals. After all this time, I paid attention to a radio ad - and they have one too. So, now I need to "check-out" all of local radio stations to book mark them. I have found that more and more types of gift certificates are being sold. It used to be mainly eateries. Now there are garden center gc's, movie theater gc's, etc.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

4/21 Expressions

Are you a Buzz Agent? I haven't participated heavily,but today,I received Revitalift for the day and evening. I also received a rebate check. We are gearing up for the business/pleasure trip next week. Also, watch your mail if you have a Kohl's in your area. Yesterday, I received a $10 GC - no strings attached. Also, if you have a Ben & Jerry's - today is free cone day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4/15 Expressions

We got in on a few "Tax Day" freebies/cheapies. We had dinner at P F Changs - and got the 15% discount and the free scoop from Maggie Moos. We got discounted show tickets to enjoy this weekend (not exactly a Tax Day sale - but an anniversary sale).

Friday, April 10, 2009

4/10 Expressions

I checked paycheck amount that was direct deposited yesterday and it was up $56 thanks to the economic stimulus. More than I expected - so, I was pleasantly surprised. We paid our taxes today instead of waiting another few days. Flowers are starting to bloom in the yard.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

4/9 Expressions

Keep your eyes peeled for April 15th freebies. I saw one earlier today - but forgot it already - but I checked my e-mail box and Maggie Moo's is offering a free single scoop. I am sure more will follow. I attended a trade show at work today - got lots of interesting freebies - including a seeds in recycled materials - ready to plant.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

4/4 Expressions

The best way to save money is to not spend it. But anyway, since Steinmart sent me coupons in my e-mail box - I just went. The additional 50% off on Household items worked out great for me. Our last trip to spruce up the beach condo, I ended up spending close to $100 for new coverlet for the bed. I got a nice one, with shams, skirt, etc. for $34 - a business expense. I also got some nice embellished towels $3 - $5 each. Also this weekend, I started sewing a dress for my daughter - now I need to so some "hand work" - so, I am taking it to work to do during my lunch break. I also planted some more seeds. I made up my own method - the lazy method, I sprinkled seeds and covered them with potting soil. I am going to let the seeds grow with the weeds. I asked my husband not to mow in the area. I am not a fan of carpeting - so, my husband is slowly ripping it out and replacing it. But, we still have plenty left. So, today we rented a carpet cleaning machine from Publix. It is much cheaper to do it yourself than to hire it out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

4/3 Expressions

My daughter went to the movies with friends so my husband and I went Krogering. We stayed under budget and we usedd a bunch of coupons. But he was more impressed with the shopping at our first stop - Walgreens. For tax only, I got 6 Mentos gums and a Glade soy candle. Also, I mentioned I had to go to a baby shower this month. After coupons, I spent around $5 for: $10 pack of Huggies diapers, 7th Generation Organic wipes, 2 bars of Johnson's Buddies bath soap, a smaller container of baby powder, gift bag from the Dollar Tree, tissues from my stash and I will include the sample diapers each wrapped from Huggies sent to me in the mail.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4/2 Expressions

On the new tenant who wants to buy the house - he still wants to buy it - but apparently has one on the market he has to sell first. So, for now, in his rental contract - he has a right of first refusal. Other frugal things I did this week, I took 11 items to the consignment store and picked up two small checks. Dinner tonight was cooked in the crockpot. I also cut a fabric I've had around here forever to make my daughter a dress.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3/29 Expressions

I have found a silver lining to this "economic downturn". I have always been a bit on the frugal side. More so than the rest of my family. And to some extent - the rest of the family (before the "downturn") tried to keep it a secret. Although I do talk about money with my daughter, and for the most part, I think she gets it pretty well for someone her age - I secretly found most of her cohorts' attitude about money disappointing. Last year, we had sleepovers, took groups of kids to events, etc. Did they say thank-you? No. Did they offer to pay? No. You get the idea. Things started to change last summer. We took one of my daughter's friends on a work/vacation with us. She is one of the more "sensible" of the friends. Anyway, to cut down on food expenses, I bought bagged salad and salad dressing to eat at our condo. By the last day, after everyone else used the dressing - it was empty. I just dumped a bit of milk (it was "Ranch"), swished it around and poured it on my salad. My daughter's friend was amazed. She said she would never have thought of it and at her house, they would just throw the bottle out and buy a new one. Fast forward this month. My husband volunteered to drive to an event since the school could not afford to rent a bus. My husband had two additional passengers. One a neighbor's child. My husband was taken aback as this child offered up gas money - and both thanked my husband for volunteering to drive. My husband did not take the money - but, I think she is learning something. Then another child asked my daughter to spend the night. My daughter replied that she couldn't - but perhaps they could go to a movie. The girl chimed in, "I did a bunch of chores this weekend", and my mom took me to the movies yesterday. I don't want to do any more chores this week and I don't want you to pay for me, so, I will pass". Push me over with a feather. I think lessons are being taught in the home that weren't in the past. Lessons we've all heard before - "money doesn't grow on trees" and "don't take things for granted" - and probably a whole lot more. And just to drive my family crazy this weekend, I picked dandelion greens (our back yard is fenced and we do not use any types of chemicals on the lawn) for a stir fry that I will enjoy on my own. Planting vegetable seeds will have to wait for a sunnier day - hopefully sometime this week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

3/27 Expressions

Today, I spruced up my feet. Spring has sprung and I considered going to the nail salon. Anyway, I work with several ladies who swear by the "Pedi-egg" - sold at CVS for $9.99. So, I figured I'd spend that and more to get them "done" - so I gave it a whirl. I'd have to say it was 'meh. I now have moisturizer on my feet under socks. I swear I read something along those lines somewhere about softening them up, etc. Tomorrow, I plan to give myself a pedicure. All this trouble so that I can be "presentable" in sandals. Also, my wonderful husband finally finished our taxes. We get a small refund from the State - so, it was mailed out today. Too bad we owe a bit on Federal - so, it won't go out until closer to the deadline. As for selling the rental property, it is on hold for now. Seems the guy checked out to rent the place, but doesn't seem to have what's needed to actually but the place (yet?). Not sure what the entire story is, and am not really sure I want to know. So, we shall see.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More 3/26 Expressions

We moved from our last primary residence just over two years ago. We rented the place out because we weren't sure if we'd like our new area. Or perhaps because we became attached to it since it is the house associated with the birth of my daughter, we lived there for a long period of time, yada, yada. Property values have dropped a bit around here - but nothing like some "hot spots". Our renter moved out last month and the agency has been trying to find a "qualified" (one with a good credit rating and ability to pay) tenant since the beginning of the month. Today, I get a call and there is tenant interested in renting the place - but wants to buy it too. I am thinking we can sell it without any capital gains because we have not rented it out for more than 3 of the last 5 years. Not that there'd be much in the way of gains - but it would make it more ideal if there wouldn't be any taxes against it. I will be discussing it my husband tonight to see if there is price we'd be "happy" with - but than a price we'd be happy with - it would be the net sales price - I am not sure what the rental agent is thinking - but she deserves a commission - but, I am not willing to fork over 6%. Also, although we did some upgrades, and have kept the home well maintained, you never know what buyers' will ask for. So, somthing to think about indeed.

3/26 Expressions

I have been under the weather and have been home all week and will be until Monday. I can say I am happy to have health insurance - but even so, having to pay deductibles have added some "unexpected" expenses. I sure thought it would be nice to just sleep in and relax - and for the most part, it is :) I didn't buy groceries for this week - until today. It has been fun creating meals out of the stuff I have/had in the pantry. But, I gathered up my coupons and headed to Kroger. I must say, shopping mid/toward the end of the week yielded me with a lot more "manager" specials. I got lots of fruits and produce today as well as stuff I was out of and I am under budget. A few days ago, I made long night shirts for my daughter and I using advertising t-shirts and polo shirts my husband no longer wanted. I have been sorting through things around the house to get a small load of stuff to take to the consignment store - mainly so I don't have to just drive there to pick-up a check. At work, a former co-worker is being thrown a baby shower - I need to come up with a creative gift - I have two weeks to come-up with one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

3/21 Expressions

Today for lunch, we used my birthday freebie at Red Robins - a Gourmet Burger and of course they also provided a nice sundae too. I switched my burger with my husband's salad and soup and he ate most of the sundae with a few bites going to my daughter. Though not free for the three of us to eat, the food was delicious and we enjoyed ourselves. Then over to Maggie Moo's. My daughter and I split a free regular milk shake - yum. Then we browsed the bookstore. Then to Wal-mart with my $20 prepaid VISA card (it expires in a couple of months and I sure don't want to not spend it) and my $10 Wal-mart giftcard from Mypoints. My daughter needed a few school supplies, so we got what she needed, seeds for a veggie garden, 6 6-packs of annuals, some groceries, and I splurged and got myself the "ALL YOU" magazine. I like the coupons in it (and the articles too :) - but my daughter loved the coupon for a free mascara. I ended up spending .54 out of my wallet for the entire shop. I have to say, since I am watching our grocery budget closer, I think we are eating better, and I can say I have lost a bit of weight. Watching the grocery shopping means I am buying less snacks, more fruits and veggies. Also, I have made some creative soups. I let very little go to waste. Those bits and pieces and stored in the freezer. Then, I made soups or add those bits to stir fried brown rice or noodles. Tomorrow is our "free" lunch out - courtesy of a relative in honor of my birthday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

3/20 Expressions

We combined my husband's business trip with a short "Spring break" trip for my daughter. It was nice just to get away. Even though housework called, no way to do it if we aren't home. We got USA Today's delivered to our door for free. Today's paper had a coupon for a free "Amp up" or something like that energy drink in the "Life" section. We came home to a couple of rebate checks too. Spring has sprung and I hope to get a few plants in the ground tomorrow. I am going to take my $20 pre-paid Visa to Wal-mart and see how far I can stretch it between a veggie garden and some decorative annuals for our front yard. As far as additional birthday freebies Wendy's sent me a coupon for a $1 off a premium combo. But as an anniversary gift, Maggie Moo's sent me a coupon for a free regular shake. And, my daughter just showed me some fashionable scarfs that have been crocheted with sequins added costing between $140-$175 - uh, I think it is about time she learned how to crochet. I said I would help. I believe for $10-$15 in materials and some time, she can make her own.

Monday, March 16, 2009

3/16 Expressions

My birthday is next week! I signed up for a few birthday clubs. So far, I received coupons for a free Gourmet Burger at Red Robin, a free cookie wedge from the Great American Cookie Company, Free Like It Creat Your Own Creation at Cold Stone Creamery, and a free Ice Cream Cone from Maggie Moo's. These are nice gifts ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3/15 Expressions

This afternoon, my husband and daughter stopped at the mall and library. At the mall, my daughter was hoping to pick-up a free T-shirt with a coupon she found in a magazine - but alas - they were gone. Gotta be quick these days. But, I got two Trade Secret $10 off anything coupons while I was at an outlet mall back in December. They are only good this month. My daughter got her favorite hair product for $3 with the coupon and my huband picked up a pair of Tweezerman tweezers for me for just under $3 with the coupon. This is not a paid advertisement - but I love Tweezerman tweezers. I lost my first pair, and have been making due . . . can't beat today's price :) I stopped at Publix - the 1 cent item was tortilla chips - eh. But, I got three pizza's (at home fast food) whipped cream and pudding all for under $10. The cashier was quite impressed. The pizza normally sells for around $6 a piece. So, I am baking a pan of brownies - and will be making a triffle momentarily. And I was thinking how frugal some hobbies can be. I enjoy sewing when I have time, but in the mean time, I probably saved a few bucks hemming 2 pairs of jeans and stitching an applique for daughter.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3/14 Expressions

Happy "pi" day! In the last month or so, I have signed up for about 5 free magazine subscriptions and they started arriving this week. Woman's Day, Forbes, Martha Stewart Living, and Metropolitan Home to name a few. Now that we don't have all of those extra channels to flip thru, I pick-up a free magazine to read. A bonus is, some of them have coupons in them too. Next week is Spring Break for us. We will be combining a business trip with pleasure for a frugal vacation. I saw an idea to recycle t-shirts. Taking about 3 T-shirts and making one long pj when it gets warmer. Have you seen the prices of new pjs? A great way to recycle too :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3/11 Expressions

Frugal stuff from the last couple of days: This year, instead of buying annuals to plant in two large pots and two flower beds, I planted seeds in the pots. The two flower beds, I am going to limit my spending to $20 prepaid Visa card I got as a grocery refund months ago. As I mentioned earlier, my daughter won a saving bond in a poster contest. She can receive her award at the Capitol. Since it is a professional organization my husband belongs to that sponsors the contest, his employer agreed to pay for his transportation/hotel. Since my husband has agreed to be bumped on a couple of flights, we have flight vouchers to pay for my daughter and me to fly. We will have an out of pocket expense of less than $100. Cheap get away for us. Plus, they have some free events scheduled and last year we got some nice freebies :) A co-worker informed me today that she was following my lead and was cancelling her satellite tv service. But she went further, she also reduced her cell phone costs. She is going to look at all of her subscriptions. Of course, we use pre-paid cell phones, so, not much for us to cut at the moment. Still hanging on tight to the land line for some reason though.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

3/8 Expressions

A side benefit of not having satellite TV service right now is that we don't have access to 24 hour news stations. We get the news, but it only comes on about three times a day. Today, I purchased over $75 in groceries and saved over $50 in coupons and specials. Kroger is having another buy 10 of a certain items, and get $5 off. I had matching coupons. Coupons must be a sign of this time because we get a small work related newspaper. For the first time last week, it had a coupon insert. To my surprise, many kept the coupon insert - but my paper had two inserts and one of my co-workers didn't want his - so I had three. Which gave me 3 .40 off Gorton's seafood. My Kroger doubles - and the stuff was on sale for $2.99, plus another .50 off for being part of the buy 10 deal, and another .80 for the doubled coupon. Cheap salmon fillets. Also, if you go to the Gorton's website, you can print off a form for a "premium" calendar filled with an additional $15 worth of coupon with the receipt and 3 UPCs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3/4 Expressions

I mentioned earlier that we protested the valuation of one of our properties this year - currently just land, owned jointly by lots of people. Many of us protested, and originally, no change to the valuation was made. Today, it appears the valuation was cut in half. My daughter won an art poster contest and will be awarded a $200 Savings Bond. Of course that should come in handy to pay for college expenses. In the news, the State's prepaid tuition fund experience a hefty loss. We received a letter from the State stating that they were attempting to make agreements with individual education institutions. Ugggg.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I received a nice rebate check in the mail - although I received a rejected rebate also (for contacts - I need to include a receipt for the eye exam itself in addition to the receipt for the contacts - funny - I didn't get a receipt because my insurance covered it - but the eye dr.'s receptionist said she will provide me with an eye exam receipt since I really did have one). I had enough points in my Mypoints account to order another $25 gift card. This time I ordered a Target gift card. This is for a "birthday" gift and will go in my gift closet. My daughter gets invited to birthday party's - some times at the last minute. And I can say I am thankful I have health insurance. Also Spring break is coming up - and my husband has a business trip scheduled for a place that is "drivable" and has some interesting attractions. So, we will be taking a short Spring Break trip that should be very frugal also. And the seeds I planted in door are finally taking root - I may be able to make a small salad soon. Funny, only 1 spinach seed made it. So, now where the spinach were, I have planted some sprouted carrot tops as I have read somewhere that they can be used a substitute for parsley. And only 2 of my lavendar seeds seem to be "making it" - but hopefully they will make enough fragrance to make up for the "lost" seeds.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/28 Expressions

Frugal plans for the day. My husband and daughter headed out at the public library for a Volunteer event. Since it is at the "big" library, I am sure they will be bringing home some exciting DVDs. (Nice that we can return them at "our" small library branch). Lunch, we will be getting our free subs at Quiznos since our coupons expire today. I did the weeks grocery shopping at Kroger. I "saved" $33 with coupons and store savings and spent $39. We are set for the week. Dinner is in the crockpot. Manager special meat (just over $3) and lots of veggies, mainly from Aldi (.99 a pack) last week broccoli crowns, carrots, onions, and garlic. I will probably mix up a small batch of mashed potatoes from my almost free stash.

Monday, February 23, 2009

2/23 Expressions

Three small rebate checks in the mail. I gave myself a French manicure yesterday - and commented to my husband how I "saved him money". I got a compliment on it today - so, for under $3 worth of products that will last "forever" - I am happy. Still trying to motivate myself to do some more decluttering so that I can pick-up a consignment check without "wasting" gas.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More 2/21 Expressions

My husband rarely seeks out a bargain - but he did today. We have used "prepaid" cell phone services for about 2 years now. We have used the same cell phones for about 5 years - bulky, low tech Nokias. My husbands minutes are about to run out, as is his "prepaid" period. So, he went to and found a good deal - for him. For $19, he got a less bulky, slightly more tech savvy phone, and $25 worth of prepaid refill minutes. If you are looking for the deal - it is a small box on the right hand side with something about get $25 free refill minutes with certain phones.

2/21 Expressions

Today I received a $20 GC/Birthday card from a local restaurant. The food is great - but a bit pricey. "Back in the day" (before economic troubles) - a reservation was necessary. Thinking hardly anyone would be there - we just went on a whim. We did get a table - but you could hardly tell there's any kind of economic trouble because the place was packed. I have yet to look at our investment/retirement portfolio - it is depressing enough just listening to the news - but "getting out" I realized that I need to put things into perspective. There are still many things to be grateful for.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2/20 Expressions

We were going to a sporting event for free tonight as a family. My wonderful husband called and said he had an opportunity to be bumped off his flight to get home a few hours later. He is getting a food voucher - free dinner and a $200 flight voucher. Works for us. My wonderful daughter and I decided to just relax at home - the ultimate money saver :) No cooking for me - everyone is fending for themselves too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2/18 Expressions

Getting tickets to attend events for free have been frequent. Today, I was able to score free tickets, through work, to attend a local university's sporting event. I also received several rebate checks, and the last Staples gift card I ordered with points through

Monday, February 16, 2009

2/16 Expressions

Besides getting a free toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss from the dentist - my deal of the day were .50 bouquets of 6 red roses and 3 pink carnations from Aldi. I bought 2 bouquets. I can't believe how beautiful they are.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2/15 Expressions

Yesterday, my daughter and I shopped at the mall. They had a deal: buy $100 worth of merchandise anywhere in the mall, and get 2 tickets to a traveling Broadway play. My daughter bought some clothes on sale. I succumbed to a department store deal in the cosmetics department; spend X and get products worth more than I spent worth of stuff for "free". Wow, just checked on the prices of those tickets. Cheapest is $36. So, my husband and I will be going to the play - my daughter opted out. Yesterday, we took a family member to lunch with us. We got a $50 GC for around $15 to a new place in town. We had a nice lunch - but can't say it was a favorite. But much to our surprise, they gave us $10 in credit for not spending the entire GC. We left the tip in $. So, not bad for 4 people. I plan to give the credit to a co-worker who I am sure loves the type of food served . . . and I am sure she will take her friends - to help boost the patronage. I also shopped at Publix with some "free item coupons" - for $2.05 I got a 16 oz can of Planter's Cashew nuts, a bag of Kraft Polly cheese sticks, 2 lt of diet Dr. pepper, and the 1 cent item, which was a 2 lt of Publix brand soft drink. I am stocked with most of what we need. However, tomorrow, I have the day off - but scheduled my dental cleaning appointment. The place is near an Aldi, so, I plan to pick up fresh produce there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2/12 Expressions

Above are my Valentines freebies/cheapies for the day. I found 2 Daffodils that were tricked by the weather into blooming - so, I brought them in to enjoy. I believe we are having a frost in a few short days. Then, I decided to make cupcakes. Then, I noticed a plant I was given last year also had bloomed - so, I taped a heart and several bows to chopsticks and added them to the arrangement. No flowers or "sweets" will be purchased. Tomorrow, we will probably go to a theme movie theater where we can eat our lunch and watch a movie with the 1/2 priced gift certificate I bought several months ago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2/11 Expressions

Frugal Valentine's gifts? I printed off a form for a $5 rebate when you buy Russel Stover Chocolates in excess of $5 and Kahlua (except I live in one of the states listed in which no alcohol purchase is required). Last weekend, I used my $25 giftcard received for transferring a prescription to buy among other things, a $5.99 box of chocolates with a stuffed bear attached - both small. The rebate when in the mail the same day - of course I gave the box to my two favorite Valentines already and there were no fights on how to split the gift. Just enough chocolates and my daughter got to keep the bear. Not a bad gift for .99 and a stamp (except I get my stamps for "free" since I am a "mail decoy"). I took the next two days off and of course Monday is a holiday for me. My husband and I will celebrate our 20th anniverary next week - and we have decided not to spend much since we have planned a two week vacation to Hawaii this summer. I am contemplating making a run to Aldi to buy a half dozen roses - the last time I was there - they were $3.99. But, we have decided to use a gift certificate we purchased at 25% ($50 GC for $12.50) of the face value for nice lunch on Saturday and also take my father. I am not sure anyone would appreciate the flower - but me :) I am thinking of defrosting a few of the cookies I froze and icing hearts on them for treats this weekend.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2/8 Expressions

We attended the real estate auction yesterday. We did not come home with a vacation home - but here are some lessons learned. My first observation was that more than half the people there were casual observers. My second observation was that the auction company put together a nice lunch and the wine table was "loaded" and so was the cooler full of beer - a way to dull people's inhibitions and cause reckless bidding? My third observation is people do not do their research. Sure hope they don't have buyer's remorse. Although some people got a good price - some people paid more than what the units are selling for through a real estate agent. Some possible "tricks'? The auction was listed as an absolute auction for 30 units. There were 72 units for sale. The first 30 sold were "absolute". The auction was done in groups - most expensive to least. The auctioneer suggested a starting price and someone "took" it - and went from there. It wasn't until about the third group that even though the auctioneer called out a number - someone would start lower. The first group of 5 sold. The second group, when the price got to be a bargain, the auctioneer moved to the third group. In the third group, a bargain price was reached. Then the auctioneer alluded he would move to cheapest group - and a crowd rushed him - offering to take a unit at the bargain price. The auctioneer took about 10, then said someone offered $30K more for one in the same group and that would be the lowest price they would take. A noticeably annoyed bidder voiced his opinion several times - he was about 3 rows in front of he. Almost immediately, 2 plain clothes cops? (they had a badge on their belt loop and a pistol - both visible) accosted the bidder and he immediately calmed down. Above is a picture from one of the "furnished" units - that wasn't (meaning you had to pay extra if you wanted the furniture too) - and there was a 10% buyer's premium. The other thing that concerned me - looking through a stack of papers the night before, the maintenance fees were high and they were in the negative for this year. "As is, where is" started to scare me. No information about assessments were noted - another scary thought. Although we were pre-approved and could have "bought" one - we were happy for the experience, will keep our eyes open, but were very happy to have "passed" on these units.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2/4 Expressions

Today is the first day we have flown solo without satellite tv channels. We have 9 channels and so far, no complaints. Two out of three of us have ordered our quota of contacts or glasses already for the year - this eye Dr. seems a lot better than the other one. Although we did pay a bit out of pocket (submitted for reimbursement under the HSA plan), it has been about 1/10th of the place we went to last year. Moral of the story: check around before picking the place - just because they are on the list does not mean they are all equal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2/2 Expressions

In today's mail, I received the KRAFT Game Day coupons I won last month for free cheese, crackers, and nuts. These are great to combine with Publix's 1 cent mystery item coupon (must "buy" $10 worth of additional purchases).

Saturday, January 31, 2009

1/31 Expressions

Today in the mail, I got the $5 Chevron gas card I won last month. Also a small rebate check. My husband ran some errands today - and essentially spent no additional money out of our pocket. We needed something for a home repair - he used the Home Depot GC - we still have .42 left. Picked up an RX - but transferred it to Walgreens and used a coupon to get a $25 Walgreens giftcard - rx was just over $6. Then he went to the library and rented DVDs - free. I baked lots of snacks - switched oil w/applesauce, cut back on sugar, etc. Froze some, gave a bit away, and have some out for the next couple of days. Also cooked several side dishes - so, it will be much faster to cook a complete meal this week. Used on coupons, but spent just over $40.XX at Kroger which included a lot of manager specials on staples.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1/29 Expressions

It is hard to believe January is almost over! We booked a hotel to view and possibly bid on the property/properties that are up for absolute auction next week. We are hoping to pick-up a vacation home. Although this area has not been hit as hard as some areas of this country by the economic effects - yet (hopefully won't), it is hard not to be influenced by all of the news. Anyway, we hope to keep sane - I have read that in general, people bid up auction property by up to 30% - we have done our research - and we won't be one of them. But, I have been to a few silent auctions for smaller items for charity in the past 6 months and there just aren't many takers for much of anything these days.

Monday, January 26, 2009

1/26 Expressions

Random frugal expressions: Did I mention that we are set for our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii for 12 days this summer? We have our first class tickets booked - by redeeming miles for the upgrade and paying for our coach airfare - we essentially got a buy 1 get 2 free tickets deal. We found out that the times that were most convenient to us were in the "peak season" - so, we each would need to earn an additional 5,000 miles. We have great accomodations too. Now, since I have some time, I will be keeping my eyes open for car rental deals, earning gift cards to places to eat/buy groceries, etc. My daughter won an art award at the school and city level - now her artwork is in competition at the State level. She also was invited to join an academic honor society, and this past weekend took an exam to determine if she would be eligible to be a part of a national mathematics program. Sounds like bragging doesn't - well it is a bit. But it can also be frugal. I mentioned to my daughter, if she keeps applying herself, the chances of getting a scholarship to college will be greater - and in turn, less damage to the 'ol 'rents pocketbook/wallet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I called and made an appointment to get my eyes examined and to order a years worth of contacts. (Husband and daughter will make their own appointment). Might as well since I signed up for vision insurance. This is my second year. First year - I was not too happy. This year, I am going to a different provider, let see if I decide to keep this insurance or go back to one of those - get your eye exam for free and 2 pair of glasses for $XX places. Mail for the day: $25 Staples gift card from mypoints and a coupon for a free Del Monte Fruit Cup. Oh, and my husband finally got around to hooking up the digital TV converter box. Comes in clear and we get enough channels. So - can I say we will be saving $50/mo or $600/yr? Sounds pretty good doesn't it - and it was so easy :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1/18 Expressions

Frugal endeavers of late: I attended a "semi-formal" soiree last night. I successfully bid on a nice dress on ebay - under $19 delivered and about $12 at the fabric store for the wrap/shawl. Both of these items can be re-used - and will be. Be on the look out for rebate forms. I filled out 4 today and hope to get back $30 and $15 in coupons.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1/16 Expressions

Yesterday I finally got around to bumping my 401K equivalent deductions to hit - or be very close to the new max. I purchased our weekly groceries from Kroger today - before coupons/card savings and the $15 rebate I will be mailing in for the bill was just over $99. After coupons/savings/rebate: just over $32. I love Kroger's Manager's Special - items I got this time: a gallon of Organic Milk - $2.99, a dozen organic eggs $1.29 (last week .99), 2 Brie cheese wheels for $3.29 each (and part of the $15 rebate) - and I got a few items free with coupons - Cottonelle TP, etc. Tomorrow, my daughter and I plan to shop at Hancock Fabric's sale - $5 for 5 Simplicity patterns - we will be looking for patterns for gifts to make. Like pajama's, etc. And I was able to score 2 movie tickets and a $30 food certificate for 1/2 price at the new theater/restaurant.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1/14 Expressions

Good today only - 1 per household - register for a free Suave (up to $3) coupon by registering at this website: Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

1/12 Expressions

Some interesting things came in the mail today. My bank statement now shows my HELOC rate at 2.6% - okay 0% would be better - but I will take it. A small dividend check arrived in the mail too. I rolled $10 worth of quarters. Still rolling around in my head if now would be the time to buy a vacation home - through an absolute auction? I sold a book on today. I also put together 10 items to take to the consignment shop tomorrow. So, I will pick-up a check/consign/mail book/hit the bank with checks/coins during lunch tomorrow - all on the way to each other. I have my lunch packed too. I am also trying my hand at making yogurt today. Just call me the frugal bee (busy like) today :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

More 1/9 Expressions

I just won $15 worth of Kraft Foods coupons free. If you are interested - here is the url: - doesn't take much to excite me :)

1/9 Expressions

Iam thinking ahead about holiday gifts next year. This year, we got gifts out of the gift closet for some last minute gifts my daughter gave to classmates. So far this year, I purchased a kit to make mini gingerbread houses. This kit was just over $5 from Barnes & Noble - free shipping, went thru American Airlines - my husband needs a few more miles for our trip to Hawaii next year - used our preferred customer card and a code. Anyway, my vision is to mass produce these mini houses and package them in those "Chinese food take-out containers". I also looked up a recipe for homemade bath fizzies or bath "bombs" - nicely packaged, they would make a nice gift too. On a sad note, my husband attempted to the test drive today - the local dealership is closed (as in forever). But the one in the next town over is open - so, we are both going - because that is where Aldi is and they have great prices on produces and few other items. They also have a "Habitat for Humanity Re-sale store I want to check out". So, hopefully, we can get it all done tomorrow. I also decided to inquire about taking out a mortgage for a vacation home or rental property. The requirements are very rigid. Anyway, there's going to be an absolute auction and I am researching to see if it would be feasible for us to be involved. As for food deals, my husband was able to purchase 6 boxes of South Beach/Kraft Protien bars with coupons at Walgreens and I already submitted my rebate for $5.50. After taxes, I will have "made" $1 (or should I say broke even since gas was used to get there - although not $1's worth :) This Sunday, I am going to buy Michael Angelo's frozen meals (these are extra-ordinarily yummy - and this is not a paid advertisement :) On their website - you can print buy 1 get 1 free coupons for the meals - a bargain in itself - but they sent me an e-mail with a rebate form - get up to 6 free when I invite friends. What a deal :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1/8 Expressions

Tomorrow, I am hoping my husband does the truck test drive (sorry, the link has been pulled) for $50. I sure do miss those days of easy money test drives. But, at least we got a chance at one. Funny, I got a check from Citi-mortgage - yup, that company I hate - and quit. They finally figured-out that they did rip me off - a small amount - but had they acknowledged it months ago - they still would have had my business. But good ridance, and thanks for the check! Got a rent check today in the mail.