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.