Saturday, January 31, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, January 12, 2009
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 half.com 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
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
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.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Tomorrow, I will be going back to my job outside of the home - after a nice vacation. I had to cut back my 401K equivalent deduction - because I was going over the limit - and would have missed out on my employer's contributions. So, as much as I dread it, I will be increasing my deductions again and adjust for the new ceiling. It was nice while it lasted. On our way home from the beach yesterday, I purchased groceries at Aldi - so, no additional grocery shopping necessary. My husband is running errands and is stopping by Wal-mart to pick-up a free Redbox movie - with code 11moms4uA. I read an interesting tidbit that flashed across the bottom of the tv screen - haven't checked it out - but if I remember correctly - it said Wal-Mart and McDonalds were the only DOW companies to show a profit (not sure for the last quarter of '08). I guess people are trying to be a bit more frugal? I looked at my "lettuce garden" - I have some sprouts - nothing yet on my lavender.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
We had an absolutely wonderful time at the beach. We used the last of our free movie tickets and purchase one matinee ticket for the three of us to watch ". . . Benjamin Button". I am usually not a big movie 'goer - but I did enjoy this last round of movies. We also ate out twice using the Restaurant.COM gift certificates. We saw some sales, but nothing really drastic at the outlet mall. Our favorite stop was Harry & David's - got the $49 Holiday Pyramid for $12.XX - lots of yummy snacks for us. Also on our drive down, I spilled the beans to the family. I received my two coupons for dtv converters last week. I was able to order them for $9.99 each from Amazon. I have heard wonderful things about these things. My daughter and husband have an attachment to satellite signal tv. Although we aren't on the most expensive package, we have had it for several years. As busy as everyone is, when I got them to discuss that while the monthly bill isn't outrageous - when you multiply by 12 (for 1 year) - it starts to "add" up. So, they are in agreement, if this thing works well, and we will get rid of the satellite signal and divert that $ toward our vacation this summer!