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).