Thursday, December 30, 2010

12/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  This week I have cleaned up my financial house:  rebalanced retirement portfolios to be much more conservative - although we have "recovered" - I have discovered that I am not the happy risk taker I thought I was.  Secondly, the HELOC was paid off today - we will start the year debt-free.  Minor financial hiccup - the rental agent that manages two of our properties said both tenants gave notice to move out at the end of next month.  She called today - apparently, the one couple had a friend interested in moving in - so, it sounds like we will have a replacement tenant immediately.  Sounds like both couples are buying.  Now I need to clean the "physical" house.  I have made a dent - but have a ways to go.  It is amazing to me how much junk can hide in closets, drawers and cupboards.  I am just tackling one room at a time.  They didn't junk-up in a day, and I certainly won't be able to de-junk in a day.  Good thing I have a few helpers, albeit reluctant ones.  A dirty job - but someone has to do it . . .

Monday, December 27, 2010

12/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  We had snow for Christmas - so, we postponed our Christmas lunch until Wednesday (for my dad).  It has been great having this time off and for the most part - after our condo maintenance trip, I have been lounging.  Today, I started deep cleaning - to get ready for the New Year.  Believe me, I still have a long way to go - and I have the family pitching in.  Tomorrow, my daughter and I are having a "Girls' Day Out".  We are going to touch up each other's hair, do our nails, etc.  My daughter has been invited to a NYE party, so, we will be making cranberry scones, raisin scones, and will include a bottle of grape juice sparkling cider.  This Thursday, when we get paid, we plan to pay-off the rest of our HELOC.  We will start the New Year off totally debt-free again - no HELOC, or any other kind of debt.  Last week we got our retirement accounts in order - now, we need to concentrate again on the education fund for our daughter.  My New Year goal is to have the education fund to $XX dollars. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12/23 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the week:  We just returned from our annual beach condo maintenance trip.  We spent the least this year - and disappointedly, J C Penney did not deliver our sofa.  The claim is:  they could not get it in the elevator - and did not want to carry it up the stairwell.  Of course the delivery guys tried to say the sofa was refused - but that was cleared-up - and we will be getting the full amount credited back by the end of this week.  Another retailer on my list :(  Anyway, we got some painting, cleaning, changed out the bedding, drapes, washed and placed inventory while there.  We also relaxed, ate out a couple of times.  Sadly, one of our restaurant.com gift certificates was refused (no longer accepting them).  Of course, I just got off the phone with restaurant.com and they posted a credit.  Great customer service.  Mail was great:  free bag of dog food, a gift of dried fruits, etc.  My husband and I have discussed the stock market and our retirement accounts.  While we still have faith in the stock market, and don't believe in timing - we have decided now that we have "recovered" - we have decided to rebalance our accounts to be much more conservative - plus, we are close to being able to retire - and would like to take the opportunity to retire "early" if it becomes available.  So, we are going to move the amount we had at our previous high into the conservative government securities fund.  The "leftover" and contributions we be split between the common stock and small-cap stock funds.  Decided to ditch the international fund totally.  When our "leftover" accounts hit a certain $ value, we will sweep (re-balance) into the ultra conservative fund.  That's our plan - as stated on this site - I am not a financial advisor, and nothing in this post should be taken as advice to anyone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received make-up products to test/comment on.  Also, a Coupon for a free 20oz Coke.  I am "off" starting tomorrow and don't go back to work until January 3, 2011.  (Need to get used to typing/writing 2011).  May list a few items on Craiglist.  Need to get cards ready to mail out . . . haven't paid for a stamp in a long time - since I get 10 each month for being a "mail decoy".  Oh, I donated blood today - and they gave me a re-usable shopping bag, t-shirt, coupons (gave them away), and extra goodies because I was the only one there at the moment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/13 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the Weeks:  Yesterday, I shopped at Publix to round out our groceries.  They have started to become fairly picky with coupons (usage way up?).  Anyway, I had Earthfare's coupon - buy $5, get a Pointsettia Free.  What do you know, the cashier took it into the manager and he approved it!  I had a nice shop - saved $49, spent $27.  I don't want to jinx anyone, but our retirement and personal stock/mutual funds are looking better - we are slightly ahead of where were back in mid '07.  Yes, I realize we have been making contributions since then - but, it feels good.  I found an interesting craft idea to use up old aluminum pie pans - I have a few hanging around - think I may make a few.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  I got a call to arrange delivery on the sofa sleeper I ordered about 2 months ago.  It will replace the one in the condo - and the replaced one will go to Habitat for Humanity.  In the mail today, I received notification that USAA sent us a dividend check - a nice one at that - almost $285.  My husband filled the car up at Murphy's - used the $5 Wal-mart giftcard I got for buying printer ink and he got a free 20 oz Diet Pepsi and an energy drink free for being on Murphy's e-mail list.  This evening, we are thinking about renting a DVD from Blockbuster Express with a freebie code, pick up some finger food at a restaurant using one of our 1/2 restaurant gift certificates (expiring this month), and picking up a few items at Earthfare - buy $5 and get a free Pointsetia, bag of Kettle Chips, and 1/4 lb of cheese - not too shabby.  Luminaria event was cancelled because of rain this weekend and apparently it is forecasted to rain next weekend too :(

Friday, December 10, 2010

12/10 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day:  at lunch today - I deposited checks and headed to JCPenney to pick-up the orders I placed on Cyber Monday.  I got 2 short sleeved dress shirts for my husband for $2.14 total and 3 bath towels for $2.14 (I will be donating the towels).  For dinner, we had turkey pot-pie - previously made and just popped into the oven from the freezer.  I also have a pumpkin pie defrosting.  Not sure what we will be doing this weekend - may volunteer for the annual luminaria event in the neighborhood.  I also need to mail off a listia sale.  I also signed up at a book review site - book for a review - and I ordered my first one.  I will be posting a review once I finish it.  Cheap entertainment :)  Not so frugal today - when I went to JCPenney - I had a craving for a fancy coffee for a "pick-me-up" - ended up at Cinnabon for a drink and a small roll for just under $5 - cost more than my 2 JCP orders - but the drink and Cinnabon sure were tasty and gave me the energy I needed to complete the afternoon at work :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I signed up for free eye make-up and for 2 bottles of pain relief freebie coupons.  Oh, yesterday, we did a mystery shop for a snack - free item and a bit of $ for the report.  I got 10 postage stamps in the mail from the "mail decoy" service I input data for.    Not so frugal????  Tonight is the annual home owner's association's "annual meeting" - food catered - I am sure part of the annual dues goes to pay for it - we already ate dinner - so, we are skipping.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12/5 Expressions

Financial refecting:  Not much time until the new year.  In this economy, we have been fortunate.  Although we are generally frugal, we did veer off course and acquire with the best of them.  What did I learn - buy what you need and only those things you truly want.  I still have stuff I purchased - cuz it was "cheap" - lot of sewing patterns that were on sale for $1.  Lots of books read once.  Lots of clothes - because they were on sale.  And another lesson, once you own something, the financial value is only what someone else if willing to pay.  Seems lots of people have lots of stuff to get rid of.  When the supply is high, and demand is low - the price expected is generally low also.  I thought I would try to "list" a few books to trade in at swagbucks - after typing in the ISBN of about 10 books - not one, was tradable? 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a refund check in the mail.  I cashed in my Rite Aid rebate - so, I should be getting a check soon.  Today, we went to Victoria's Secret and spent the gift cards with mysterious values - all of them were for $10 - and you can get a lot with that.  Best deal - $10 "Pink" cologne and get the "Pink" dog free (price on the tag - $10).  Also went to Barnes and Noble - they are still running the buy $100 in Gift Certificates and get a $10 promotional one free.  We did that deal - and then turned around and bought a book for my daughter using a 15% off coupon, got some Godiva Chocolates, some Starbucks coffee used out membership card, coupons on everything, then paid with the giftcard.  By mentioning my daughter's school, a certain percentage will get donated to her school.  So, we now have some gift we can put together for the neighbor, etc.  I also shopped at Dollar General Market - using the $5 off $25 coupon and used a few more coupons and got the 1 cent eggs.  A very generous friend sent us a wonderful package of Harry & David Dips and Soups.  I haven't tasted a thing at Harry & David's that I did not like.  We had lunch at a restaurant - I got the $10 off $20 gift certificate free from the restaurant.com "pay-it-forward" promotion last month.  I also reserved a reservation on "open table" and we earned a few points that way.  After all of the shopping, I took the receipts to the mall's customer service and received a gift card for $25 at almost any store in the complex.  My husband stopped at the Hallmark store and used the free $10 and $5 coupons.  He used the $10 toward Christmas cards - I know I got some on clearance - but for the life of me - cannot find them.  The $5 went toward some more of that wonderful candy cane bark.  I wrapped a few gifts today too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

12/3 Expressions

This is a three paycheck month for the both of us.  So, our HELOC will be paid off.  Now we will solely target savings to ensure that we can cover college expenses for my daughter.  My husband will bump up his retirement savings next year with the "catch-up" provision.  We got the minutes for the beach condo homeowners meeting.  No increase in the month maintenance - thank-goodness - but just over $600 in assessments for work that needs to be done. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  In the wee hours of the morning, I placed several orders at JCPenney using the $10 discount code (no longer valid) and having the items shipped to my local JCP.  Two shirts for my husband, 3 bath towels, and a pair of slippers.  The most expensive was just over $3.  Then I got 2 pairs of gloves - one for myself and one for my daughter for just over $3 at Kohls - used the free shipping code and 20% off code.  Those codes may still be good - just google - YMMV.  How about that stock market yesterday and today - don't let me jinx it.  I got the 4 Toaster Strudel coupons I won playing the instant win game.  I am "off" tomorrow - but have to drive my daughter to school for an early meeting.  So, on the way home, I will stop at the "Y" - get some exercise in while watching cable :)  Then to Publix - need to print coupons and get some groceries.  Seems there are lots of deals on the web these days - lots of great coupons too - I printed off one for a $5/$5 at Hallmark - you know we need a few more of those candy cane bark packages :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12/1 Expressions

Wow - December already!  I called the "Y" and because of where I work, we will get the "joiner's" fee - 1 month's fee credited to our account and $5 off the monthly fee.  Finally got the rest of our refund from the IRS.  This month is filled with expenses - uggg.  Real Estate taxes due on all properties.  We will be doing some minor maintenance and repairs to the rental condo.  Of course holiday gifts (pretty much done).  We have about 5 Secret Angel Cards from Victoria's Secret - one free in the mail (addressed to my husband?) - they are worth atleast $10 and up to $500.  May do some shopping this weekend - $500 would be really nice.  Need to clean and decorate this weekend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Paying attention can save you money.  While at the "Y", I overhead the Desk Clerk tell a prospective customer that they could get a reduction on the money cost if they were a member of a certain credit union.  We are members - and that was worth $5 per month off - not too shabby.  That's where I get my exercise and cable tv fix :)   The Costco card is nice - since it is portable - we can use it at any Costco!  We can use it to save $ on gas too.  My husband used the card in a neighboring state and the lunch items were the same price.  I checked out some craft books from the library a couple of days ago; one a "trash to treasure" type book - now I just need to find some trash to convert to treasures.  I believe I am done with my holiday shopping - just need to spruce up gifts a bit with a few fillers and maybe that craft book will be the ticket.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

11/25 Expressions

Happy Thanksgiving to All.  Restaurant.Com is having their "Feed it Forward" promo - you can give your friends a $10 gift certificate costing you nothing - http://www.feeditforward.restaurant.com/  For any gift certificate, please read the terms and conditions.  This is a great savings, but many require a minimum purchase amount and an 18% gratuity.  Off to finish cooking :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter baked 2 apple pies with the previously sliced/frozen apples given to us by our neighbor.  She took one of the pies to the neighbor - who has broken her leg.  On the way to pick my daughter up from volunteering at the library, I stopped at the grocery to pick up a few more items, used coupons and giftcard - and a small bit out of my pocket.  I baked 3 more pumpkin pies from the puree that I made from our $1.99 Aldi pumpkin.  One went into the freezer, one for dessert tomorrow, and one will go home with my dad.  I have 1 pre-made pie shell left.  It will become a turkey pot pie that will go into the freezer for later - and pie dough left will be turned into turkey/cheese foldovers and frozen for fast/easy meals.  While my daughter baked the apple pies, the sweet potatoes baked with them - they will be turned into a sweet potato casserole.  I will make a couple more side dishes - my dad usually brings overs a veggie and a dessert - and we will have plenty for the next week.  Even though we only subscribe to the Sunday paper, I am sure my carrier will leave one for us tomorrow since it will be chock full of Black Friday ads.  I won't be going to any stores as I will be heading into my day job.  But my husband and daughter may scour the ads for a few deals. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More 11/23 Expressions

The following is a timely post from a guest blogger:

 Black Friday and the Frugal Shopper


In a downturned economy, more and more people are watching their purse strings with eagle eyes, and rightly so. Nothing is guaranteed and nobody's job is truly safe in these topsy-turvy recession times, and it's more important than ever to stick to the essentials and get a great bargain in doing so. But if you're going to splurge on some luxury items, particularly electronics, you want to be sure you're getting the best possible price. This makes Black Friday a perfect time to shop for both essential items as well as little luxuries in advance of the Christmas season.



Frugal shoppers will be delighted to hear that retailers reserve their lowest prices of the year for Black Friday, and with intense competition for your business, they offer dizzying discounts on all kinds of merchandise. While Black Friday shopping has become known as a blitz on all sorts of home and personal electronics, you can also find incredible bargains on fashions, consumables, house wares, furniture and just about anything else you can think of. Department stores, mall outlets and even independent retailers all want a piece of the Black Friday pie and will do everything they can to get your business.



However, with all the hoopla surrounding Black Friday as a shopping event, you need to keep in mind that unscrupulous retailers use the occasion to trick customers. In most cases, a little smart shopping and a "buyer beware" attitude will help you avoid these scams, but in more extreme examples the dishonesty borders on outright fraud.



The most common scam retailers run on Black Friday is a form of the bait-and-switch. They will offer a particular item at an unbelievably low price, but bury restrictive terms and conditions in the fine print. For example, the sale price may be restricted to a few hours after the store opens (and they open really, really early on Black Friday), or quantities of the sale item are very limited. Once they sell out, the retailer will put a near-identical item in its place--for a price not nearly as low as the advertised rate. In many cases, you won't be able to tell the difference between the two items and you won't find out about the difference in price until you make your way to the front of the long, long line at the checkout counter.



Another thing to watch out for is the "quantities are limited" claim. Retail experts point out that stores have nothing to gain and everything to lose by actually limiting quantities of sale items, and this claim makes very little sense from a revenue standpoint.



Finally, you should be aware that prices leak online and may actually be available in advance of Black Friday. By planning ahead, shopping online and shopping early, you can avoid disappointment in situations where the store legitimately does run out of a popular item that's available for one day only at a great price.



Deliah Abraham is a Black Friday sales expert. Through yearlong budgeting and careful planning and research she is able to scour all of the best deals from Meijers sales to Best Buy and score all of the best brands and newest technologies.

11/23 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day:  Got 2 rent checks.  Stopped at Hallmark and my daughter spent her second $5/$5 coupon found in another freebie magazine.  I printed one for $10/$10 and also signed up for the Gold Crown card.  With my $10/$10 - I purchased a smsall box of pepperment bark for the neighbor.  May add coffee or something - and take it over next month.  Tomorrow, my daughter is off - and will bake several apple pies from the apples the neighbor brought up from a "u-pick" place.  She will be getting one of the pies.  We are hoping we have enough "mix" to make three pies.  Oh, and I signed up for a free sample of Starbucks coffee from Wal-mart.

Monday, November 22, 2010

11/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The IRS sent us our refund check :)  I called the mobile phone company that we got my daughter's phone thru this morning.  Because of the company/organization I work for, I was given a 15% discount, waiver of the activations fee (will I get 2 since Costco offers that too?).  So, it pays to check into things. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

11/21 Expressions

We went to Costco's - and this time I fell for a membership.  They were running a special for us - $10 gift card w/membership - or $20 with Executive.  I went with the Executive and the Amex Card - so, I got the $20 GC, $25 Credit Card credit and $50 rebate guarantee.  The way they explained it to me - I get a rebate as a result of the membership - and the card.  Okay - I ended up getting mobile phone services for my daughter also, and will get another $10 gift card and a refund of the activation fee, etc.  We did not make it to the Art Museum's open house.  And here is a scenario for saving $ at Publix.  If you find the two rebate forms - the $10 back on a $50 gift card and the $10 rebate on a turkey - go to customer service and buy a Publix gift card - and mine let me used a $5/$50 competitor's coupon - YMMV on this one.  Then shop for groceries - get a turkey - use another $5/$50 competitor's coupon if you buy $50 plus in groceries and mail in the rebate for the turkey with the grocery receipt.  Publix seems to have the lowest turkey price per/lb so far - .59.  Stretch your dollars .  . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

11/19 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the week:  Several weeks ago, I took a "Briefing Techniques" class.  We had to prepare a briefing on any topic.  So, I picked "Coupons and Rebates".  I really didn't know how well received it would be since to me, it seems many people feel like admitting to the use of coupons is like admitting to being "poor".  I was surprised when I finished, several people asked for more information - websites to upload e-coupons, where to find rebate forms etc.  Funny though, I ran into a lady in the class in the ladies room - she asked again where to find rebate forms - mainly, I talked about one out now for the $10 off Turkey no minimum purchase required, no beer purchase required - the generous offer is from a beer company - so that's the form everyone is hunting (I stopped at Kroger today - and sure enough  - they still had some and I also found a rebate for $10 back when you buy $50 in gift certificates).  Then she sheepishly said, "I used to use coupons - but, now that I make a lot more money - I quit".  I said, I get an enjoyment out of using them - she agreed that they are kind of fun and that she might start back up too.  I guess a "$10" rebate sounds more impressive than a doubled .50 coupon - even though I did stress you can save $10 and more in a shopping trip and it  is an "immediate" savings - the money doesn't leave your wallet.  The rebate is nice, but you have to spend it first and then wait for a check to arrive.  But that Gift Certificate rebate will be nice for holiday gifts - I think I will use it at Publix and use a $5/$50 competitor coupon to try save even more.  I was up early today; had to take my daughter to school early for a "club" meeting.  Of course, we stopped by Burger King for the free Seattle's Best Coffee - with a shot of my own flavored creamer (Bailey's Caramel - I got 2 bottles this week for .50 each plus tax - on sale at Publix for 2 for $3 and used 2 $1 Blinkies spitting out right next to them) - it is yummy.  This afternoon, the "Theme" Mall is having festivities - free hot chocolate, entertainment, and a tree lighting ceremony.  So, I went on line - I believe the site is called "opentable" to make a reservation for dinner (each reservation through them earns points - after you accumulate enough points - they send you a gift certificate) - and then on to Restaurant.com to order a gift certificate for the restaurant - today starts the 80% off - code: Gobble - I went through Mypoints to earn a few more points.  This weekend there are plenty of free/cheap activities.  Yesterday, I called to inquire about a property that had been listed for 4 days on Zillow at almost 50% of the tax value.  I know the area - it is decent - but, I believe in the next 5 years - it will pop because a hospital is being built near it and apparently Target is moving in - and other retailers too.  Wouldn't you know it, it went on contract the night before - it was a VA foreclosure.  The agent was very nice, and tried to steer me to another one of her listings - but, I let her know exactly what we are looking for and she said she would call me when she found any.  I guess you really have to "jump" at the great deals.  I hope she lets me know before they get listed.  Sigh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

11/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Tomorrow - is an office luncheon.  Very reasonably priced place and I signed up for their on-line "club" - they sent me a coupon good for a large apptizer.  I will be sharing that with the table.  I earned enough points on Swagbucks for another $5 Amazon gift card.  Since I made a donation to charities - to be deducted from each of my paychecks - I get to take the "proof" into Costco this Friday, Saturday, & Sunday for free admitance, and get entered into a drawing for prizes.  Also, there are incentives to join.  I won't be joining since it is "out of my way" - and in general, I am not a bulk shopper.  But, I will be sure to make it once this weekend.  Also the Art Museum is opening a new building, so, they will be open free to the public this Sunday - lots of fun.  Another speciality museum in the area sent us an invitation to see Harry Potter in the IMAX, small popcorn and drink for $5 - next weekend.  Need to chase the rental agent around for the house she re-rented for us starting this month - still haven't seen the rent check?  I received a rebate check, coupon for a free 20 oz Coke, and 2 Gift Certificates from Mypoints in the mail today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

11/12 Expressions

My husband drove my daughter to school this a.m. and drove thru Burger King - they both ordered something off the $1 menu and they each got a free Seattle's Best Coffee.  My husband drank his, my daughter's got donated to me.  My daughter, being a teenager, sometimes asks for "Brand Name" stuff.  She used to be anti-thriftstore.  Now, because of the economy and change in attitudes?, she doesn't mind so much.  So, I have purchased several holiday gifts I would have NEVER purchased otherwise at
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/ .  Can I say it is for a good cause?  Or is it still bad.  I found something I want and if I win, it will be a gift to me from my husband and daughter :) We plan to watch a free Redbox this evening.  Not much free and exciting going on this weekend.  I guess we could go to the Art Museum and use our membership since there appears to be a new exhibit.  Next week, everything seems to be going on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11 Expressions

Today is a day of rememberance for our Veterans.  I want to say thank-you for your service.  Yesterday, I made a quick stop at Publix.  The cashier was so excited - I "saved" $60 and spent $33 - I told her I had a $10 rebate on my turkey - so, when I get that rebate, my out-of-pocket is even less.  Be on the look out for rebate forms.  My turkey was almost 19 lbs - and $10.78 - I have my rebate for $10 ready to go - so my out of pocket for the turkey is .78 plus tax.  I don't count postage since I generally don't buy stamps for envelopes - remember - I am a "mail decoy" and get 10 postage stamps per month for my services :)  Nice company - they send me a tin of cashews in December and every once in a while - a bonus check - once a year - last time it was $30.  Thanksgiving dinner does not have to be expensive - lots of sales and match-up coupons abound.   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11/7 Expressions

Did you "fall back" an hour?  I thought I found a great deal with 50,000 American Airlines miles from Citibank.  My husband got approved for a card offering 75,000 miles yesterday.  He has to spend $1,500 in the next 6 months to get those miles.  No fees for 1 year.  Next month, we plan to charge a few property tax bills - the ones with a flat fee.  So, at this point, we should have enough points (between these bonus points and the points we already have accumulated) for all three of us to fly business class to France this summer.  Now we need to work on getting the rest of the hotel points.  Then our passports, itinerary, etc.  Yesterday, the Publix cashier was so friendly and impressed with my total - I had over $60 in groceries - and after coupons, I paid $16.  This afternoon, I will bake another pumpkin pie - this time, I will put the pumpkin puree into the blender - the last time - it was a bit stringy.  The oven will warm up the house nicely too.  If I have leftover pumpkin mix, may make a few muffins.  I think the hard freeze hit yesterday - I will attempt to plant the mums and pansies this afternoon too.  At the thriftstore yesterday - I was able to get 4 kitchen utensils for $1.  Three of them looked brand new.  Anyway, to get the rest of the condo inventory out of the way - I went ahead and ordered them from Amazon.com.  Free shipping and I had a few bucks in credit and the prices were right.  So, now I need to find drapes for the bedroom - I found a coupon in a "Lowes" magazine for 15% off drapes (I need one to block the light out - forgot what they were called already).  I am taking an ACE Hardware $5 off $25 coupon and hope Lowes or Home Depot will accept it as we need to buy a few items such as paint for touch-up, caulking, etc. for the minor maintenance.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11/6 Expressions

Frugal Deeds:  Yesterday, I ran a bunch of errands.  I used a lot of coupons too.  Took drycleaning in with a discount coupon.  Got free coffee at BK - no coupon required.  Got two free sandwiches with coupons.  Got a free pack of pansies with purchase and a coupon.  Bargain of yesterday, French Manicure set from Dollar Tree - $1.  Today, we plan to cover lunch with a coupon and a gift certificate - no out of pocket.  My daughter and I plan to hit the thrift stores - to look for gym clothes and there are a few items on condo inventory I hope to find before resorting to a traditional store.  Need drinking glasses, cooking spoon, Dutch Oven, etc. and I hope to find them.  We will probably go down next month to do the minor maintenance and replace inventory items - working mini-vacation for us.  I still have two Restaurant.Com gift certificates to use.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

11/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, we had a health fair at work.  Got  several "reusable bags" and some great freebies - dental floss, pens, etc.  I am "off" tomorrow - but will have to drive my daughter to school for a meeting.  On my way home, I will stop at Burger King for a freebie cup of Seattle's Best coffee - a freebie every Friday this month at participating BK's.  I am going to make a couple of pumpkin pies tonight with the puree I made from my $1.99 Aldi pumpkin.  Tomorrow, I hope to pick up some more freebies in coupon books that I have - may stop for a freebie breakfast sandwich, and I have another buy anything get a six pack of pansies coupon.  And not to jinx the stock market - but it did really well today.  Hopefully I can get back on my retirement track.  Oh, and the new YMCA is open.  We don't have cable at home - but I can watch cable at the "Y" while exercising - just need to bring my own earphones/buds.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I found the $5 off $5 or more Hallmark Stores coupons in my free subscription magazine Mid-West Living.  I am hoping to find more because my daughter loves the candy cane flavored candy bark sold this time of year.  She can get two small boxes with that coupon for just over $1 - which she did yesterday.   I am hoping the coupon will be in more of my freebie subscriptions.  I did some grocery maintenance - I froze some left-over chocolate cake.  I am hoping it will be good crumbled in a trifle later on this month.  I have a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup cooking too.  I have cornbread muffins in the freezer that will can accompany the soup.  My neighbor brought me a bag of of apples she picked from one of those "U Pick" places.  I cored, peeled and froze them - hopefully, they will be good in future apple pies - one of which will be going back to her.  I am ready for the few Trick or Treaters that we get - I got several packages of "free" candy from Rite Aid this month - using the UP reward coupons. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More 10/30 Expressions

Yesterday, I got the dreaded letter from Chase, Freedom Card.  Yup, they are changing the terms of my rewards structure, 1% and no more cashing in $200 for $250.  So, I cashed out $100 yesterday, and have $5 left - I may just let them keep it - cuz at this point - I am really not interested in using the card :(  End of rant.

10/30 Expressions

Last night, I stopped at Rite Aid to purchase the 3 12 Pack of Pepsi for 8.XX and get a $2 UP coupon.  With the UP $, I planned to add to my Halloween candy stash - 2 more $1 packs of 8 candy bars.  The $2 UP did not print, but the manager was kind enough to adjust the price of my candy to free :)  My husband just stopped by the feed store to get the free Nutra dog food.  The stuff is normally $13.XX - a very freebie indeed.  He and my daughter will use up the rest of the used book store credit this afternoon.  My daughter and I each have the Bath & Body Works coupon for a free full sized lotion with any purchase and one for any lip item with any purchase.  Normally we purchased the $1 gift bags, but recently, we have been able to get travel sized lotions for $1.  We may stop there and their sister store, Victoria's Secret because we also have free panty coupon.  I used a bunch of coupons on my groceries and mailed in for a $10 rebate - so, I stayed within my budget.  The weather has cooled.  This morning was the first in which we turned the heat on.  Tomorrow is Halloween here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10/26 Expressions

Somedays I feel like the luckiest person in the world - or perhaps I am just easily entertained.  Anyway, I played the "Million Morning Smiles" instant win http://strudelsmiles.pillsbury.com/?cid=p1core%2Dtbx07%2Ef%2E1800%2Fae3bd%2F5fb%2F8da13c38%2Ec2e8a4a2ca3787762a06c1385f4290fa and won a month's worth of Toaster Strudels.  I ordered shoes for my daughter and myself a couple of days ago from 6PM.com when the shoes were under $20/pr and a flat $6.XX shipping - I went through mypoints to earn a few points too.  The shipment came quickly - and we are very pleased with our choices.  I am not being paid by either company to say these things - the opinions are all my own :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

More 10/25 Expressions

We got the $150 Visa card for buying our refridgerator a couple of months back.  Part of it was luck and part of it was over-coming a bit of laziness.  When the State announced the rebates - I reserved a rebate.  Well, sales came and went and my fridge had not actually quit.  So, then it was announced how the program was a success - and it was over.  Then our fridge did finally give-out, and we bought a new one - good thing it was during a holiday sale - so, we got a great price anyway, and a rebate on the delivery/pick-up.  Then I read about once all of the claims were processed, there was money left as many people (me included) had not followed through.  So, with a few pieces of paper, envelope and stamp - we filed for our rebate - and we are happy to report - we got it today!  The UPS guy also rang the door bell - he brought me the 3 bamboo cutting boards that gave the $15 credit - I think I spent just over $6 for the 3.  They are nice and I appreciate it.  But, shipping/receiving seemed kind of slow . . . I wanted to take the largest one to the condo.  We aren't planning on going down anytime soon - may be we will change our minds.

10/25 Expressions

Today is the home-made chicken noodle soup edition :)  Both my daughter and I are home with something.  Mine is a sinus infection and hers is a cold.  To help us along - I took some home-made chicken broth out of the freezer, a couple of cans of chicken breast meat out of the pantry, carrots and onion from the fridge, noodles from the "Italian" basket we "won", a bit of mashed potato flakes, and "Good 'n Garlicky" spice from Herb'n Renewal - I sweated? the diced carrots and onions in olive oil also out of the basket.  The entire concoction is now simmering on the oven - and hopefully, we will both be eating an early lunch and then take a nap.  Not a frugal tip as I understand electricity and water costs more during "regular business hours" - but I have my washing machine running and hopefully, I can catch up on laundry too.  This weekend, we went to the German restaurant and enjoyed their festive atmosphere - but it seems their 1/2 priced gift certificate rules have changed.  Only 1 gift certificate per visit - even though when you purchase $50 in giftcertificates - and they used to send a $50 certificate - now they send 2 $25 ones - so, that was a bit of a bummer.  I realize it is better for them and their business.  We were able to get a few good deals at Rite Aid combining sales, UP rewards, and coupons.  Saturday, I used a home-mailer coupon for a free 6 pack of Pansies with any purchase at a local nursery.  I purchased a pack - so, it was a BOGO deal for me.  So, my front planters now look a bit festive with the Pansies planted - well worth the $2.50 out of pocket.  Still trying to convince myself to get a few mums.

Friday, October 22, 2010

10/22 Expressions

This week I feel like a money magnet :)  The realtor called, she has approved new tenants for the house vacated by the divorced couple - so, we are "out" less than a month's rent - since the couple moved out late and were paying a daily rate.  UPS just brought me the $200 Petsmart giftcard for buying our Honda Element - good thing I looked on-line for that one because the dealer did not mention it.  Then, as I was leaving work today, I was notified that I was approved for a small bonus.  The mail box held a few goodies for me too:  Johnsonville Sausage samples, a coupon for free 20 oz Pepsi, and a coupon for a free can of Pringles Exreme.  What didn't work this week - yesterday I tired to use the $5/$25 Dollar General coupon at Publix because we have a Dollar General Market down the street - Publix claims they are not a competitor because the Market does not provide custom meat packages - a bit hokie for me - but I went with it.  I still saved quite a bit with coupons. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

10/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  last week JCPenny finally acknowledged that they had converted computer systems - and some how - my sofa sleeper order was cancelled.  They took $200 off my order - much apprciated - and said they would do all that they could do to expedite the order.  I see the $200 off - but don't see any "expediting" yet.  This past weekend - we went to two concerts - Friday, Bon Jovi, and Sunday, Brad Paisley.  I won tickets to Brad Paisley - we rented someone else's condo to get Bon Jovi tickets.  The whole point was to stimulate the economy - and I guess we did - frugally.  One night, we used hotel points though.  In any event, it was a wash financially for us, since our unit was booked by someone else too.  We used several of the restaurant.com gift certificates.  We stopped at the gift store for a couple of gifts - one for grandpa for babysitting the dog - we got BOGO sweatshirts - and they gave us 2 small token gifts too.  We saw the big boats - but did not watch the "Thunder on the Gulf" races.  Since we don't have cable at home - I did watch some reality tv.  I was also able to knit another pair of slippers on the trip.  Came home to a bunch of mail.  The realtor called and she thinks she has a tenant lined up for the house recently vacated by the soon to be divorced couple.  Looks like the stock market behaved too.  Oh, and I ordered a 1/2 priced gift certificate to a restaurant - and I got it in the mail.  We will be taking Grandpa to enjoy their version of Octoberfest - live German music, etc, in addition to the authentic food next weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10/14 Expressions

My daughter and I attended a dinner and silent auction to raise funding for art programs in the public schools.  The dinner was fantastic - and we "won" a large "Italian" food basket, gift certificate for a couple of hair cuts, and a watch.  Those coupons that come in the mail for local restaurants and retailers are getting better - which makes me think the economy hasn't quite recovered around here.  I also ordered 2 more 1/2 priced restaurant gift certificates.  One for a German Restaurant . . . next weekend they are having an "Octoberfest" - music, etc.  So, what a deal :) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More 10/12 Expressions

Murphy USA sent me another e-mail/coupon for a free King Sized candy bar - I believe I love this company :)  I checked my retirement account - I am slightly above my "high" in 2007 - which makes me hopeful.  Uh yes, I realize that means I am still "behind" - as I have been contributing since 2007 and have been getting contributions - so, it has taken just over 3 years to recover . . . And, I checked on my sofa sleeper from J C Penney.  Sad to say, there was a glitch in my order - not cancelled like Target - but something like they were suppose to immediately verify something with my credit card company - and they didn't - until I called because I am paranoid and the couch was suppose to ship yesterday.  But, they were much more customer service oriented than Target.  They said they will open a "case" and either give me compensation or somehow expedite shipping - because as it stands now - under normal procedures - the company "just got my order today" - instead of a month ago - and has 4 weeks to ship it . . . my dilemma - I put this order on that credit card whereby I am suppose to charge $750 in x number of days and will get 50,000 air miles (that I am planning to use for a trip to France next summer) . . . so, I will check those details out tomorrow - and if nothing else, I will charge the least expensive property tax on my card early.  It is worth the flight to France to me.  I asked if they could charge my card today - nope - charges hit when the item actually ships - which under normal circumstances would be my wish - sigh.

10/12 Expressions

We got our held mail today.  Two freebie magazines, a free shelf stable meal and coupons, rent check, postage stamps from my side-line job as a mail decoy, tooth paste sample, and my listia "winning".  After all of the running around I did yesterday, and back at my day job today - I am pooped.  I was going to take on a project - but project smoject - I am going hop in the tub and hit the hay early.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I was just going to relax today.  But, I got a call from the rental agent about the house in which the couple are divorcing.  She asked if I could get the utilities turned on.  Water - no problem.  Electric company - I needed to come out there personally and could set up a landlord's account (in the future - just a phone call and reduced fee to switch services.  Hmmm - so, I printed a coupon for a free 16 oz drink at the Pilot Travel center - good thing their gas prices are cheap - and I got a caramel machiato.  Then to Aldi.  I got a very large pumpkin for $1.99 - other stores have them for $3.99 - so, it will be decoration for a bit - and then I will roast the seeds and make pumpkin puree for pies, etc.  So, $1.99 is a good deal.  I also got some other produce at great prices.  Then to Kroger to get in on the buy 10 certain items, get $5 off.  So, I bought 30 items, with $15 off and coupons, I paid $6.XX.  Also did some grocery maintenance - made salads, boiled eggs, etc. for lunches this week.  No mail, but was happy the DOW stayed above 11,000 :)  Blockbuster Express sent a code for a free movie - good for today only - we didn't rent one - but the code is MBBX2.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10 Expressions

Just noticed today is 10/10/10 :)  We just came back from our beach condo.  We had a working vacation.  This was fall break for my daughter.  We ate out three times with restaurant.com gift certificates purchased either at 80 or 90 percent off.  We did a bit of outlet mall shopping - in addition to sales, we purchased 25% off coupons for $1 each which goes to support breast cancer research.  This was our first year to attend the shrimp festival.  The food was good and plentiful.  And Geico had a booth and gave us free cinch sacks.  I was happy to see that the DOW went slightly over 11,000 on Friday.  We don't have cable at home - but do at the beach - so, we watched a bit of reality tv too.  To cut costs, I brought snacks, drinks, breakfast items from home. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10/5 Expressions

Pictured is the headbank I made with recycled t-shirts/felt/elastic.  I have been having fun printing off coupons from Murphy USA - just printed one for a free Coke and a free Reese's pieces - the candy can go in the trick or treater pumpkin for the end of the month when I may get a few knocks on the door.  Just bought a few more apples at $1 a pound - will turn them into an apple pie.  Heats up the house, and tasty to eat :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

10/2 Expressions

We had a great day.  We did a few chores around the house after a nice breakfast - then we hit the town's street festival.  Very organized and entertaining.  Great music.  Lots of giveaways - treats for dogs, seeds, etc.  We bought lunch there and also purchased a t-shirt from an animal rescue group.  Then to the mall to pick-up my JCP order and we each got the freebie Bath and Body Works lotion.  Then to Steinmart - an extra 50% off on clearanced home items - got a beautiful King bed set for the condo - originally $250 - $69 after sale and coupon.  Also got a nice garbage can w/pedal to open for under $10 after sale and coupon.  Then to the $1 movie theater - yup, Redbox is $1 for the whole family - but this time, there was a comedy we all wanted to see.

Friday, October 1, 2010

More 10/1 Expressions

I thought I would upload a picture of the flip flops I embellished with stuff around the house.  The picture shows the pair I did for my daughter.  I also baked an apple pie - goes great with this fall weather.  I had 4 apples no one wanted to eat and I just purchased some Pillsbury crescent dough for practically nothing.  I used the dough for the top and bottom crust and just had a small sliver - quite tasty if I do say so myself. 

10/1 Expressions

As a coupon shopper/deal finder - it helps to be patient and not take things too seriously.  This morning, I got great deals on my groceries - I stopped at 3 stores in a circuit.  That Dollar General $5/$25 coupon was accepted by Publix - so, I did really well there.  However, I was hoping to get in on a few deals - the Hallmark Gold Crown - "Free Freaky Friday" deal - right next to Kroger - wouldn't you know it - our store is not participating - so, no freebie there.  Then I read I could use the the $1 off Nescafe Taster's Choice coupons at CVS and get the small box of individual servings - nope, mine doesn't carry it.  I thought they would be nice to keep in my desk drawer for those days that I really wanted a cup of joe.  I normally drink a brewed cup at home and none at work.  Well, I found them at Publix - but they weren't $1 a box, they were $1.39 - but that $5/$25 Dollar General Match more than makes up for it.  This fall weather sure makes things seem more tolerable.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

9/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Tonight I attended the free Martha Stewart class at the Home Depot.  We were given organizers, a booklet, and 20 cokerewards points.  I had 10 points in my account, so plus the 20 points gave me enough to order another coupon for a free 20 oz drink.  Yesterday at work, there was a work function and a local business provided a nice, healthy free lunch and drink, and lots of other sponsors provided freebies.  I am "off" tomorrow, so, I will organize my coupons/deals and go grocery shopping in the morning.  Saturday, our town is having a street festival - so, we may attend that.  I also scrounged around the house and found all the supplies necessary to upcycle the flipflops I purchased for .75.  I was inspired by a design I found on a craft blog.  So, that and finishing off two pair of knitted slippers tomorrow - and may be a bit of deep cleaning should keep me plenty busy - after a I sleep in a bit :)  Oh, and good today only, I used the code WOW for 90% off and went thru mypoints and ordered 2 more $25 off gift certificates at Restaurant.com - they were $1 each.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

9/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  If you have a Murphy gas station - the one's around here are at Wal-mart - and you use them - you might want to go to http://www.murphyusa.com/ and sign up for their e-offers - last time in an e-mail - I got a coupon for a free Dr. Pepper - listed the code on Listia and got over 400 credits - and my husband drank the drink.  Today, I got a $1 off $20 in gas coupon.  Nice to get a little break on the gas every now and then :)  I also printed out a $5/$25 coupon from Rite-Aids video rewards program - so, while I purchased some Diet Cokes for my husband (even though he prefers Pepsi) and some dental hygiene products with coupons - I got a bunch of a total of $9 in Up-reward cash to use - and I did - took 3 transactions - but I now have Halloween candy and we each got a pair of flip-flops (clearanced for .75/each) to wear on our beach vacation.  This year, my daughter's math team decided to "make" their own t-shirts - buying all of the supplies from Michaels - she has a 40% off one item from the newspaper that was delivered and she printed a 20% off her total offer for the rest of the items.  Hopefully, she will grow-up to be fiscally prudent :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

9/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This has been a "winning" 24 hours for me :)  I won a pair of concert tickets - so, we are going to try to make a weekend of it during that week.  I also cashed in some swagbucks for a $5 AMAZON gift card.  Yesterday, I did the deal on the Bamboo website - posted just about everywhere - and got 3 Bamboo cutting boards for under $7 shipped.  I plan to keep one, use one at the condo, and give one away.  I also found another $10 off JCP code.  I went through mypoints and ordered 2 "quilted" King Sized Shams - "regular" price $55 each - got them for under $10 shipped - they will go to the condo when we do the annual "update"/maintenance. They will add a nice touch.  Oh - and no jinxing - but the stock market was very nice to me yesterday :)  Still below highs of 3 years ago - but maybe within sriking distance.  And my daughter wants to use "her" money tomorrow to get a pair of jeans at the GAP today only between 12-3 PM - 50% off if we say "FLASH" at check-out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

9/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Don't forget - tomorrow is freebie day at many museums - check-out my post from a couple of days ago for a link to get tickets.  My daughter and I will also be going to the "beauty school" to get our hair "done".  I hope to rental a few Blockbuster Express DVDs for free this weekend.  Dinner tonight will be take-out with a gift certificate - taxes should be the only additional money out.  This has been a great week for freebie magazines - got another one today.  I am almost done knitting a pair of slippers for my daughter and then will start on a pair for myself!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I noticed a lot of complaints about the GCCF reducing claims substantially - that was not my case.  Mine was reduced less than 1.5% - but I submitted 69 pages of documentation.  BP paid 45% and were really slow.  I think GCCF's mistake was publishing such short timelines in the beginning.  Believe me, the longer it dragged past the published dates - I expected the worst - more of the same of BP.  So, while I was not happy about the time it took, I was happy with the results in the end.  I got the diamond pendant from JCP.  It was sent by Fed-ex and it comes with a thin silver chain (I was not expecting that) - so, I am extremely please with and know my daughter will be too.  I received coupons to receive a free pr of panties from Victoria's Secret.  I was going to say the stock market looks like it was headed in the right direction - but must have jinxed it again ;(  The rental agent said she has a potential renter for the house that is being vacated by the divorcing couple.  So far, the IRS has not cashed the check I sent - I am sure it will be soon.  Have started receiving property tax statements.

Monday, September 20, 2010

9/20 Expressions

Whoo hoo - the Gulf Coast Claims Facility paid our claim today!!!!  Although it took longer than originally stated - the service was much better than BP :)  Ken Feinberg is doing a better job than BP in my book!!  Thanks!

9/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Just ordered a $119 + shipping gift for my daughter for $22.39 shipped - a diamond (small chips) and sterling silver skeleton key - went through mypoints to JCPenney the pendant is on clearance - used a $10/$10 code - do a google search - there are several that are valid.  I wanted to get a pair of shoes - since shipping is free on shoes - but none in our size.  Also got a freebie thermos in the mail - very nice.  Stock market was nice today - not jinxing I hope :)  I found out I am getting a small - but very appreciated bonus in my next check.  Also, fed-ex just brought free samples of dog food - I think the dog is going to like it :)  And, I signed-up for free tickets to a nice local museum for this Saturday - you might want to check it out too:  http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/admission.html?2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

9/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, our local museum was open to the public for free - and they were having a festival.  It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours this afternoon.  My daughter and I did some cooking, so, we should have very little to prepare this week and should not be tempted to eat out even on busy nights.  We listed a few items on listia. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

9/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am running out of weekend wear - so, we stopped at the thriftstore to look for a pair of jeans - my daughter and I got a pair for $1 each.   In today's mail - we got 5 freebie magazines and .12 dividend checks from Wendy's - no rant - I will just deposit it.  The weather cooling down is soooo welcomed!  I bought some yarn and needles - I am going to start knitting slippers for myself and my daughter at lunch time. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

9/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am "off" today - so, I drove my daughter to school for a club activity - and then "cherry picked" on my way home.  I stopped at Wal-mart and got my free Dr. Pepper from Murphy's - boy, gas prices have climbed a bit.  I picked up a few things that I had coupons for.  Also stopped at Kroger and Publix.  Between the three, I have all of the groceries for next week, special request toothpaste, and a few other toiletries for under $50.  Even got a redbox for free.  Other not-so-great financial matters, still waiting for Ken Feinberg to pay our condo claim; IRS found an error in our 2009 taxes - software error??? - anyway, I sent the amount in to stop any interest from accruing, protested the penalty, and am gathering the paper work to back-up our claim; and a couple in one of our rentals is divorcing and will be moving out next month, since neither, on their own salary can afford the rent - so, the rental agent is looking for new tenants.  I am researching traveling to Paris either for spring break or in the summer - at the lowest cost to us.  I believe I can get our airfare for whatever they charge to redeem mileage; we should have enough hotel points to cover that; so, mainly lining up activities.  My husband and I went years ago - before our daughter was born.  So, it will be interesting to see if much has changed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

9/13 Expressions

Frugal Deed for the day:  I just went through mypoints and purchased two restaurant gift certificates at Restaurant.com - using promo code:  touchdown - expires today for 80% off.  We plan to go on a short weekend vacation - and this will allow us to eat a couple of nice meals out for a decent price.  Today's mail:  a rent check and a .21 dividend from Tim Horton's - I will no longer rant about the wastefulness and just deposit it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds this weekend:  Yesterday, we used our art museum pass and took a nice stroll through it.  It is near a park and we had fun walking through the park duck/geese/people watching.  In the same area, we stopped at Plato's and my daughter sold a few of her clothing items, then to the book store - $60 in credit - and 3 new to us books.  Today, I grocery shopped with a wad of coupons.  I will be making lunch pizza's from what ever bits and pieces I have on whole wheat tortillas.  This will be a busy week as my daughter has lots of after school meetings this week - so, we are trying to get organized now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: Last night, I was pitying myself about the lack of "stuff" I had to choose from to make my breakfast, lunch and snacks for today. I had run out of fresh fruit - my tortilla pizzas were gone, yada, yada. Instead of hopping into the car and heading to the grocery - I shopped from my pantry/freezer. I made a nice batch of fruit smoothies with the frozen strawberries, bananas, and melon I had frozen earlier before they went "bad" - also added yogurt which I have plenty of since they have been a great buy lately with a sale and a coupon. So, this morning, I had a smoothie for breakfast. Lunch, I had a few sandwich buns from last weekend that I kept in the fridge. A small bit of chicken. A few decent pieces of field greens from a bag almost gone/going bad. Basil from the neighbors. I made a sub sandwich - cut it in half - and placed it in a clamshell container I had washed and kept from a previous deli purchase. Also, I had a few odds and ends of small tomatoes from my neighbor and my own plants, and a few banana peppers - those were washed and became a snack. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes a new perspective, or arrangement of the stuff we have that may not be satisfying by themselves - can lead to lead to fulfillment or satisfaction. The sandwich almost seemed gourmet - as did the smoothie :) As for other financial news, I received a rebate on a razor - it was a "money maker" - after sale, coupon and rebate. I am still waiting for Ken Feinburg to process my claim - it has been in review status now for 15 days - very frustrating :(

Sunday, September 5, 2010

9/5 Expressions

We celebrated labor day early and had a bbq today.  We used what we had on hand and dessert was provided by my dad.  I took advantage of Labor Day Sales and ordered a sofa sleeper - for the second time - knock on wood - hope it goes through.  I went through mypoints to JCPenneys and ordered one to be delivered.  A bit disappointed that the free shipping did not apply - but, still, I feel it was a good deal.  It is faux leather, queen, so, I am thinking more durable and it will be easy to match a chair later.  We can hang on to the one we have for now.  I used my American Airlines Business Credit Card - so, I have met the requirements for the 50,000 air miles.  I will make sure all goes well with the order, that the miles get credited and then probably cancel the card.  We have lots of leftovers, so, I don't plan on cooking much this week.  I am going to work on revamping my resume this weekend as job that pays better and probably less stressful has opened up - what could be better than that :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

9/3 Expressions

Time sure is flying - I can't believe it is already September.  I got in on two 1/2 price restaurant gift certificate deals (through local radio/tv stations).  Yesterday, I got a free neti pot - a nice freebie for sure.  Just got my free South Beach meal bars from Kroger and a few other items with coupons.  I plan to take a walk shortly.  Then kick back and relax the rest of the day.  Oh wait, my daughter brought home a progress report - excellent grades - so, we let her pick a place for dinner - she picked a low priced Japanese restaurant.    Nice long weekend for Labor Day.  We may do a bbq and invite my dad.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31 Expressions

We traded in the car today for a new vehicle - Honda Element EX - during the Honda clearance sale.  The insurance is less.  The gas mileage is better.  On the Honda Element website - there is a rebate for a $200 Petsmart Giftcard for the purchase of the vehicle.  We traded in a car and paid cash (check) for the rest.  We found 1 used vehicle, 2008 LX and the price difference was about $3000 and the vehicle had just over 40K miles on it.  Still waiting for Ken Feinberg to finish reviewing our claim . . . I got my rebate for the Neutrogena Clincals - so that was a great deal.  Got my money back, Wal-mart sent me a $15 GC, and I have the product to use - although I am thinking about selling it on Listia.  I have a flood of anti-aging products right now - samples, trial full sized products, etc.  I am grateful for health and dental insurance as I have had dental and doctor visits recently.  I have a long weekend coming - I am "off" Friday through Monday :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

8/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  we submitted our claim on-line with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, run by Ken Feinburg, late yesterday afternoon.  I have to say I am impressed.  I checked the status today and it is already under review and they do direct deposit.  BP was horrible to deal with.  My husband and I ate at Quizno's today with the $2.99 meal deal coupon we printed on-line.  Looks like the stock market perked up a bit today.  I got a rent check yesterday and today a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card from Mypoints.com.  So, mail was really nice.  I really don't think I will need any groceries this week.  I am thinking of doing a "no spending our cash/credit card" week and just use the two rebate prepaid credit cards we got this week - one from the "Y" as a thank-you and one from the appliance store as a rebate on the delivery charge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Yesterday, I won a box of South Beach meal or snack bar at Kroger.com.  Today, in the mail, I received my Y membership cards, 2 t-shirts and the $25 prepaid Visa card.  I also received my Art museum membership yesterday.  Potentially bad news, a couple renting one of our properties is getting divorced.  Neither, by themselves, can make the rent payment.  Their lease is up next month and they will be paying thru next month.  The rental agent said she is working on securing new tenants.  The weather is finally cooling down - but I am just exhausted.  I think I will skip walking today - and take a break.  We stopped in Publix this afternoon and snacked on some samples - they had samples of "mushroom fries" - portobello mushroom  - they were delishes - so, we will be trying to re-create that recipe at home some time this week.  It has been raining the last few evenings, and that has been great for foliage/grass.  And of course, the water bill.  We are really not liking the vehicle my husband traded his dying Saturn for last year . . . it is a sporty small car bought used.  We may trade it in for a used vehicle that will have more utility.  So, I have started to look around.  We like to trade it evenly - although I know used car dealers probably would not like that deal - or if we could get by with a trade and a bit of cash.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

8/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I cashed in 115 points at Recyclebank for a 1 year magazine subscription for my daughter.  We went to the mall and we she spent some $, but we got the following freebies, ice cream cup from Ben & Jerry's, 2 pair of underwear from Victoria's Secret, free 2.5 oz lotion from Victoria's secret - thanks to coupons mailed to us, or printed off the internet.  We went to the Art Museum and saw a wonderful collection and ate at the Italian cafe - we shared an entree - it was wonderful.  My daughter just left with her adoptive grandmother and they are doing some volunteer work:  painting.  Either today or tomorrow - I plan to dye my own hair, trim it myself, and give myself a mani, pedi - how's that for frugal and give myself a boost.  And hopefully good news, Kenneth R. Feinburg takes over processing claims starting Monday.  Although, apparently, I will need to fill out a new long application, I supposedly not have to re-submit information.  Hopefully, all will go a lot smoother than it has been.  I read where he is saying they will process the claims within days - hope it is true.  I saw on yahoo.com a link for a blog where the person is designing 1 clothing item per day out of another item (upcycling) and spending no more than $365 for 1 year.  Pretty inspirational - maybe I can look at the stuff we have an convince my daughter to take that on as a hobby - create something "new" out of something you already have. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

8/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am "off" my day job today.  This morning, I played chauffeur  for my daughter and drove her to school 1 early to attend a meeting.  I sat in the car and read my free morning paper and drank coffee from home while I waited for her and drove her school 2 to attend class.  To make it worth while, I stopped at Kroger and picked up a few manager specials and items on my list.  The cashier was impressed because I "saved" 54%.  Now, I have the crockpot going, will get out the garden shears and trim/pull weeds in the flower beds, and do a bit of cleaning.  I also hope to get in a nice long walk before she gets home.  I am not complaining - but it looks like it is about to storm - and we definitely need the rain.  I picked 9 banana peppers from my "garden".  My pear tree has about 5 pears on it - and I am hoping I can harvest them shortly too.  This weekend, we plan to declutter a bit more, stop at the mall and get my daughter's freebie Ben & Jerry's cone (birthday club), free item from Victoria's Secret - and I am hoping my half priced Art Museum membership card comes in the mail today so we can stop at the museum and see the latest collection.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8/18 Expressions

Citibank sent my daughter a credit card offer to received 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $750.  Uh, she still a bit young to sign up.  But I did.  That is enough for 2 roundtrip domestic flights.  And since we love to travel - and are a bit on the frugal side - this is a great deal for me.  Please note that I am not advocating everyone sign up for credit card offers as YMMV.  We do not carry a balance and will probably only keep the card for a short period of time because after a year, there is an annual fee of $75.  I signed up for the business card for our condo rental - since we are required to have a business license, pay local lodging taxes, etc.  So, I will probably try to replace the sofa and loveseat soon - since Target cancelled my order.  I am hoping my husband can get one too - and we can each order one and fulfuill our spending for things we would have purchased anyway - and get a nice mileage bonus.  I am not affiliated with Citibank - as a matter of fact, I believe I wrote a not a very nice post about Citi-mortgage and pulled our HELOC away from them about 2 years ago.  At lunch today, I shopped at Publix for a few needed items.  But I found another "good deal".  Laughing Cow spreads were 3/$6.  Right on the display are $1/1 coupons.  So, that makes them $1 per container - nice small snack - plenty of flavors too. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  We finally received an "interim emergency payment" from BP yesterday.  It was 55% of my claim - either way, I am tired of dealing with the current adjuster and made a request that my file be transferred to a center that specializes in condo rentals.  It may cause a bit of a slow down - but better than getting high blood pressure dealing with this adjuster.  You can bet I deposited it today, with $15 in rolled coins, I stopped at the consignment store and picked up 2 small checks (this $ goes to my daughter) and a few other small checks - including the .05 dividend check.  I got a call from the "Y" - for signing up early for membership - they are sending 2 t-shirts (she asked what size), a $25 Visa Card, and something else.  Then, while looking thru my purse, I saw the letter from the local Art Museum about re-newing my membership - there in an obsecure ad form, it said I could ask for a 1/2 priced membership if I signed up by the 15th.  I was thinking "a day late, a dollar short" - but then thought it wouldn't hurt to call.  Sure enough, they said if I paid by CC on the phone, they would do it.  So, I did.  This week I also won 2 20 oz Coke coupons (for my husband) and a Burger King Croisandwich? coupon on Listia for very few points.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yesterday, I redeemed some Mypoints for a $10 Barnes & Noble GC.  I also used some of the Amazon Gift Certificates I won from Swagbucks to buy a crockpot - well rated - free shipping - just over $30 - no cash-out of my pockets.  My daughter decided she did not want anything else for her birthday and that a crockpot would be great for the family.  The last one was probably 15 years old - the electrical part broke (the handles had broken off years ago too) - so, I used the ceramic insert part for a planter - unfortunately, the tomato plant is not doing very well - don't know if it is the heat, lack of drainage, or both.  But hopefully, fall will show up soon and I can use the crock to make warm and hearty soups.  Yesterday, I finally wrote an e-mail to my daughter's school district's Superintendant about the over crowded bus she is riding temporarily - the situation was resolved within hours - how great is that.  It is frugal because she was begging me to drive her and a couple of other students for the rest of the semester to school - gas, and time in rush hour traffic - very unfrugal and bad for my health :)  Although I was cranky about the situation, I kept the tone light and matter-of-fact - and the problem was solved and no hurt feelings.  However, I won't be too nice about the next comment - BP STINKS - my claim check has been "in the mail" for almost 2 weeks - can I say inept and a bunch of other bad words.  In other good news, we took the private tour of the soon to be completed beautiful YMCA - and although it probably isn't all that frugal, we signed up as charter members.  Hopefully, the whole family will get on a health kick and we will cut down on future medical bills.  It is nice to support it for the community too.  Then we stopped at Kroger - lots of great deals with store deals, electronic coupons and internet coupons - we saved 54%.  After dropping everything off, we stopped at Earth Fare - we missed the free lunch bags - but had a nice lunch there and picked up a few things.  Tonight, my daughter and husband will be going to the movies (I am not a big movie fan) and then they will eat dinner at Red Robin's - my daughter gets a free meal (birthday club) and it expires today.  I will eat stuff from Earth Fare, take a long walk, and relax.

Friday, August 13, 2010

8/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the weekend:  I reserved a tour of a new YMCA being constructed in our area for tomorrow morning.  I am hoping we learn about some great, frugal activities that might be available when it opens.  After that, we plan to head to Earth Fare for their breakfast buffet, pick up a few groceries - they have a coupon out for 10 ears of locally grown corn/$1, and attend their back to school extravaganza - I believe they are giving out lunch totes?  This week I received a dog treat and shampoo samples in the mail. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8/11 Expressions

Not much frugal today - but I wanted to post a picture of my first "Amigurumi" fish - I think making Amigurumi could be a frugal hobby as it takes so little yarn to make various projects - so, scrap yarn is easily used up. In frugal news, I have called BP as I have not received a check - and they tell me that it is "in the mail" :( Last month one rental property had air conditioning problems - fortunately, it was an easy fix and it was a few dollars more than the service charge. Unfortunately today, the property mgmt company called - and another unit is having problems and the estimate to fix the problem is in the $500 range. I guess this heat wave is probably causing units to be over-used and accerlating breakdowns?  P.S. my daughter is the creative photographer of this photo.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8/8 Expressions

Rant for the week: Dividend checks that do not make sense. We received a dividend check from HST (Host Resorts & Hotels) in the amount of .05 - yup, you read it right. I don't know how much it takes to mail a commerical piece of mail - but between handling, etc. - this transaction is a loss for the company - and me. We probably own 1 share - must have spun off from a few shares of some other hotel stock we purchased a few shares of? Anyway, it would make more sense for them to entice me with a buy-out - i.e., buy back my 1 share? fractional share? at the selling price with no transaction fee - I would gladly do it. In better news, I cashed out for another $5 Amazon.com e-gift card from swagbucks. I matched up some coupons for the Kroger buy 8 of certain items, get $4 off deal. My husband and daughter will stop and get those items (mostly yogurt), plus stop at Publix for 2 more quarts of the Lactaid milk with the $2 off Blinkie coupons - after they stop at Staples for a few more school supplies and more printer ink. They will take along the empty cartridge for the reward bucks and there's a coupon for $5/$50 in today's paper. My daughter will also be taking 3 Bic buy 2 get $1 off - hopefully for some cheap pens - we got 1 in the paper today and printed 2 off the internet. I just picked a bit more Basil and Rosemary from the neighbor's garden as my daughter's cat babysitting gig ends today. This afternoon I am boiling eggs, and making a bunch of vegetarian pizzas (w/tortillas for the crust) to take with me for lunch. I have been packing breakfast/lunch/and snacks when I can. Those cheap yogurts from Kroger will be a great addition too.

Friday, August 6, 2010

8/6 Expressions

Here is an idea that could help the Gulf Coast - it is an vying for $250,000 in a grant from Pepsi. If you have a moment, if you could vote for the idea, please do so: http://gulf.refresheverything.com/coastalaffordablehousinginitiative Full disclosure: I do have a rental property on the gulf coast - but am in no way being paid by Pepsi or anyone else to post this. Oh yeah, I do have a few shares of Pepsi stock - but not enough to influence anyone at Pepsi - otherwise, I'd ask them to pick this idea. Thanks a bunch.

8/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: My daughter has gathered her out-grown clothes and we plan to take them to Plato's Closet tomorrow. Apparently they "buy" them on the spot - it is not like a consignment store. Our "trouble" spots in clutter are clothes and books. So, I just looked up used book stores and there is a promising one near by. I am thinking of taking a load of books in also. We have sold many through half.com. Today, my daughter starts her cat babysitting gig. She has also been asked to pick the ripe tomatoes for our use - not a bad chore :) So, I looked up whether tomatoes can be frozen without blanching. Seems people have done it with success using the tomatoes later in stews, etc. Now, I need to read the instructions for the mystery shop my daughter and I will be doing later today. TGIF :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

8j/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds from yeterday: I play the instant win on Kroger.com yesterday and won an "AMP" drink. The neighbor called my daughter for a cat sitting job and also gave her a bag of homegrown tomatoes. Today, my daughter and I are meeting some friends at Cheddar's. I joined the "Cheddar's List" last night and today I was mailed an e-mail/coupon for a free onion ring stack. These friends are pretty frugal too, so, will appreciate this freebie with us. I brought my amigurumi/crochet project home with me - I don't think I will be finishing it this week - maybe next week. I am trying to crochet during lunch and I won't be at work (aka day job) for the rest of the week. We are having homemade smoothies for breakfast today. I have a pineapple I need to cut-up and freeze for future smoothies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

8/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: BP claims they cut a check :) I am "off" the rest of the week. I signed up for a mystery shop at a mall to get a snack - not big money - but it will cover gas and snack. My daughter and I ate at Quizno's with the $2.99 for a sub/drink/chips coupon. We also got a Blockbuster Express to watch tonight for free with code. We went grocery shopping and saved over $20 w/coupons. We did not buy produce - will be getting them at Aldi when we do the mystery shop. The best deal at Publix for us today was - Lactaid milk costs $2.19 a quart - right next to them was a blinkie machine kicking out $2 off any coupon - so, it cost us .19 - we bought 2.

Monday, August 2, 2010

8/2 Expressions

Just a few frugal highlights in my day :) I won a 20 oz Coke on Kroger.com instant win and the stock market was very kind to me today. I have been creative with my pantry - and will not be shopping for another few days. While I have enjoyed the quiet time - I am so looking forward to my family returning tomorrow. School starts next week - so, I have decided to take a few vacation days to spend time with my daughter before life gets hectic again. Her school calendar is out - and I am already thinking of our next vacation - early planning sometimes results in good deals. During lunch today, I tried to crochet an "amigurumi" fish - not sure I am following instructions - but it sure is relaxing :) I hope to finish it this week. If it is not too "bad" looking, I will see if I can get my daughter to take a picture and upload it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

7/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: I can't believe how fast this month flew by. I went to my first "Estate Sale" since we moved here. I ended up buying a few pieces of furniture and had it loaded and delivered for $20. So, while I have the house to myself, I will be arranging the new-to-me furniture - 2 large chairs and a bench and two vases. I also made an appointment to get my hair trimmed at the beauty school this morning - so, $10 plus tip for a wash, cut, style. I also plan to make several salads and dishes so I can cook once and eat for several days and use up what I have. I also plan to go through some clothes for a trip to Plato's Closet and hopefully turn them into a few $. I will also be wrapping birthday gifts already purchased/gift closet for the dual birthdays next weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7/30 Expressions

A review of Memory Foam Mattress and a RANT regarding BP follow: The mattress came yesterday - I wondered why I paid almost $50 for a large piece of foam - was my first reaction. After unpacking it - it did have a "smell" - I let it air out a bit and most of the smell is gone - but there's still a slight "smell". Although the bed feels more comfortable, after one night, my sleep only seemed "slightly better". Maybe as I get used to it, my sleep will improve even more. I feel I gave BP a chance - I have to say I would give them an F-. I realize they are overloaded - but they could hire more claims adjusters and train them. Although this past Wednesday, the adjuster stated he had all the information he needed and would work on my claim - today, he told me my claim was transferred to another unit and that a new adjuster would call. It was stated in the media that they are processing claims in 10-15 days - and delays are due to lack of documentation. That is an excuse - even though the adjuster stated he had all of the documentation (they asked for even more last week - it was faxed last Monday) - when calling for status on my claim - they still show it as "needing documentation" - I believe it is so that they can claim that it is the claimant's fault. At this point, I am SICK of the run around. So, I called BP's HQ - and hope they do something and I have a call into the State Attorney General. I am half tempted to call the local news media and see if they can't get someone out there. I understand the new Claims Czar is scheduled to take over Monday - I hope he can get them moving. I believe no training or quality control is taking place. All they need to do is have someone listen to the "recorded" conversations - hope they recorded all of mine - and they will find out why I am annoyed. As for lighter news, my daughter received both rings she won on Listia - and both of them are beautiful. I have kept my grocery bill to a minimum. And because of the recent rain? Sunshine? My tomato plants and pepper plants are full of blooms.

Monday, July 26, 2010

7/26 Expressions

My daughter and husband are going to Orlando tomorrow. The one little nagging expense bugs me - the air fare - even though they are flying round trip for around $130 each - all these little add-ons equate to a large percentage. I am thinking their fare was advertised at $99 - with that little asterisk - with those airport security, and other misc. tag-ons were talking about a 30% plus-up on a low cost fare. Now, they are trying to decide if they can get by with one large check in and two carry-ons so they don't have to fork out more for that privilege. I will be taking and dropping them off at the airport too. On a short business trip $7/$9 per day doesn't seem like much - for a week out one's own frugal pocket - it starts to add up. On a good note, our BP claim has been assigned to an adjuster - now, if he'd only call with good news. My husband and daughter took her unwanted sports equipment to "Play it again Sports" and came back with a new pair of gym shorts and a pack of tennis balls. In the same complex is Aldi - they stopped and got a few fresh produce goodies - .99 strawberries, blueberries and $2.99 for a larger watermelon. I don't want to jinx the stock market - but it seems to be doing better lately too :) Oh, and we paid another large chunk toward the HELOC.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

7/25 Expressions

I find clutter to be a significant money waster - especially toiletries and health and beauty items. Instead of looking through stuff, sometime it is easier to buy another - or sometimes I forget I have an "extra". So, before my daughter left to go on her trip last week, we cleared a shelf in the gift closet and she put all her extras on the shelf, and I put mine on there too. Now, before anyone thinks they've run out - they can check the shelf. Hopefully, this will cut down duplicates and we can use up what we have. This afternoon, DD and DH will return from separate trips before heading out together early this coming week. I have tidied the place up a bit - not so hard when there aren't three people moving things around :) I plan to find a family movie at Blockbuster Express with another code for this evenng. I also plan to stop at Wal-mart to take part in their Gain Dish Detergent giveaway this afternoon and plus use my coupon for another free one. I am hoping to find that Kiwi drink to get one free too. I am planning to make shrimp alfredo for them - I have all of the ingredients - I am going to try the sauce mix I got as a sample and a nice tomato salad - all of the ingredients from Earth Fare - only paid for the tomatoes. I made brownies yesterday. Hopefully this next week while they are away, I will have my own home grown organic tomatoes - lots of blooms and also on the pepper plants.

Friday, July 23, 2010

7/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: I am having a frugal girl's day-out :) Since today is my firsty day off with my new work schedule; and I am sans my daughter and my husband - I have been pampering myself a bit. I woke up late, read my free newspaper (free for 3 months) with a nice cup of coffee. Then I headed to Publix with a free Blockbuster code and rented a chick flick for free. Next to Wal-mart to use my gift card for a few groceries. Then to McDonald's with a $1 off frappe coupon - and now I am home. I am waiting until just after lunch so the traffic can die down. Then I plan to stop at Stein Mart and to check-out their Red Dot Clearance and hope I find a few new pieces to add color to my wardrobe - and find a few pieces that would be cooler in this heat wave. I am hoping my scratch-off card with be the free $300 in spending credit :) I will be taking coupons and stuff from my pantry to Earth Fare - close to Stein Mart and will pick-up a few freebies/exchanges at Earth Fare. Plus, I plan to eat at their buffet for a healthy early dinner for me. After returning home - if it is early enough - I may stop at the library to stay a bit cooler and read. Since it is just me - I have turned the temperature up a few degrees to save on electricity. While it is not uncomfortable - by late afternoon, it is not as cool as we normally have it. After looking at last month's electricity bill - I am thinking we can all get used to having it a bit warmer for a 10% saving. I tried to use the $20 credit Target comp'd me for a gift card - didn't work - so, I can't say I am growing any fonder of them. Anyway, I did order an item my daughter wanted and will add that to her birthday stash instead. Out of pocket was just over $3 since the credit did not cover shipping and taxes - I have .01 left - but probably won't be going back to spend it . . . I did order a gift certificate at restaurant.com with a 70% off code for the double birthday dinner. For both orders, I went through either ebates or mypoints to earn a few cents back. And, I noticed my sleep is not as comfortable as it could be. Probably time to get a new mattress - but in hopes of extending the life of the mattress another couple of years - I went through mypoints to overstock and ordered a memory foam mattress for under $50 - and of course according to the site - I saved over $200 had I paid retail . . . may be? If it makes my sleep more comfortable, the $50 will be worth it :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

7/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: I found a foreclosed property last night and finally convinced my husband that we should make an offer - sure enough when I called this morning - it was already "under contract". I will keep my eyes opened. This week - it is mainly just me and the dog. So, we have both been eating out of the pantry. I got 3 small tomatoes out of my "garden" and some herbs. Having switched to a new work schedule - I am "off" tomorrow. My plan is to treat myself to lunch at Earth Fare - and take stuff in for the pantry challenge - and make a swap for the more healthy version. Also, I printed off a coupon - buy 1 lb of organic tomatoes and get free fresh mozzarella and a bunch of basil - sounds like a deal to me. I also plan to stop by the library and endulge in some light reading - magazines - and check-out the "best sellers" book shelves to see if I can find something interesting. In a few moments, I am going to attempt to order a $25 Target gift card for my daughter to add to her "birthday" stash. I am hoping I can get a few points through mypoints - not sure about giftcards - but I am hoping that $20 credit they gave me for the furniture fiasco will apply and it will cost me $5 out of pocket for it. Also, next month is my daughter's and my dad's birthday - so, I may also order a gift certificate on restaurant.com - the best I could find is a 70% off code - but, I guess that will do - plus I will get a few points through mypoints.

Monday, July 19, 2010

7/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds/misdeed for the week: This morning, the Tax Assessor called with regard to our protest about one property - and she stated there was an error and reduced the value! I know most people hate to see the value of their property go down - but you might as well owe less taxes if it does. So, this year, property values have decreased for two of our properties and stayed the same for the other four. I did call the Tax Assessor with regard about the other properties (different county) - and because there wasn't much purchase history last year, she claimed she has not basis to reduce the values. I mentioned it appears there has been activity this year - at reduced prices - so, they should go down next year unless prices quickly adjust upward this year. We stopped at McD's with the free Frappe coupon and a $1 off Smoothies coupons - and they gave us both for free and wished us to "have a nice day" - wasn't that nice. Disclaimer: We do own a few shares of McDonald's stock - but, that didn't cloud our opinion - perhaps as share holders we should suggest they get a bit more stingy with the freebies - just kidding :) Frugal misdeed this past week - I misplaced my checkbook - didn't know if it was stolen or lost - and paniced and went to the bank immediately - after calling the auto-info line to hear if any unusual activity had taken place. Nope - but I put a stop payment on the rest of the series of check at a $25 fee (much better than $25 per check). Wouldn't you know it, I found the check book yesterday - and shreaded the checks. I guess that $25 gave me a peace of mind and the checks will become compost - so it wasn't a total bust. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

7/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: This week, we are concentrating on turning our "junque" into "treasures". My daughter noticed a "Plato's Closet" had opened up in our area. So, she asked to see what they have - and will be asking about their consignment policies. Perhaps she can get a few more $ out of her stuff - instead of consigning to a thrift store - and then turn it around to use for clothes she wants. Also, this weekend, she will concentrate on getting all of her old sports equipment together and will trade the credit in for gym shorts/etc. from "Play it again Sports". Now that her school relaxed the policy that the students had to purchase gym clothes from the school - I'd rather pay for it with stuff we no longer want/need. Also, they are stopping at Staples with a rewards check we earned from turning in old ink cartridges - to buy school supplies. Are we turning into a barter society? And we got our paper work done for our BP claim - I will mail it out tomorrow. I feel a bit giddy de-cluttering and bring $ back to the house or not spending it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

7/17 Expressions

More frugal deeds for the week: You've heard it before - it pays to complain. Yesterday, I checked-up on my Target order for a new sofa sleeper and sleeper chair at Target for our rental condo. I ordered them months ago (like in at least 5 months ago) - I may have even bragged about the set - free shipping, just what I was looking for and at a great price. Over three months ago I kept getting messages about Target having to slip the date for delivery - the final message stating they would be delivered this past week. Of course at this point, since the condo rental business is made-up mostly by BP (I hope they reimburse me for lost rents soon) - I wasn't too overly concerned about the delivery. Anyway, I checked the status of the order yesterday - and lo and behold - the order did not show. I made a phone call - and after their sad spiel that the furniture was no loger available and the apologies - I asked if the Rep. could e-mail me a coupon for a 10% off coupon as I probably could have found a deal somewhere else by now. The Rep. said "just a moment" - and came back on line and said they'd credited my account with a $20 off my next order. So $20 for a 5 minute conversation is not bad. Was it enough for me to still like Target - we shall see. In other news, since a condo owner sued the rental management agency, there is a restraining order? against them from filing monthly rental claim losses for the rest of the owners with BP. So, now the owners must file themselves - can I pinch those people??? The rental management company is providing us the history and loss statements - but the owners need to come up with some other documents. So, that is what we will be doing this weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: We ate at Earth Fare's hot/salad buffet yesterday and shopped a bit. My healthy meal was $2.47 - not bad at all. Even though it has been hot and humid, I have walked just about every day this week for about an hour - I am glad I quit the exercise classes. They were poorly run - bad traffic - and a bit of gas. So, a savings all the way around. I have gotten several packs of free seeds and plan on planting them tomorrow. Hopefully I will still have time to benefit from them. Mail this week was pretty boring - but I am still receiving freebie magazines. Haven't sign-up for many lately - but I got "Money" today. I have changed my work schedule so that I will be getting every other Friday off. It will save a bit of gas and wear and tear on the car. I mailed in my rebate for a full refund on my Neutrogena Clinicals product - I believe $35 - and hopefully in a few weeks, I will have anti-aged :) Also got my $15 Wal-mart giftcard. Since my daughter and husband will be gone for almost a two week period, I think I am going to try to eat out of the fridge/freezer/pantry and use that gift card for anything I need or run out of. My tomato and pepper plants are starting to produce - so, hopefully, I will have very little to purchase.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

7/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds today: My daughter and I got our hair "done" today. Cut and blow-dry for me was $10 plus tip. Since my daughter got her's highlighted - I took the opportunity to run by Kroger and pick-up groceries. I purchased mostly produce and seafood and saved 32%. After my daughter was finished with her appointment, we ate lunch at home. Then the family headed to the public library. I checked out 4 more books and read a few magazines. Then we headed to Barnes and Noble - it was a scorcher - so we splurged on vanilla Frappucinos - yummy and read more magazines. The place was packed - I guess everyone is on a frugal kick - and head to the bookstore to cool-off and read for cheap. Then we headed to Earth Fare for dinner. The buffet for hot foods and salad was on sale for $5.99/lb. My dinner - healthy, filling, and yummy (best of all - did not heat-up the house - nor did I have to cook :) cost $3.49 - plus Earth Fare chilled bottled water for .79 - can't beat that at a fast food place. We did shop a bit - and came home with some bargain priced local produce. On our way home, we stopped at Blockbuster Express and checked out 2 movies at $1 each plus tax. Mail was good, got a rent check, and a snack sample. A friend told me about http://www.medcohealthstore.com/ - apparently the old www.drugstore.com? Anyway, I placed an order - the prices were good - plus to my surprise, an additional $10 was taken off and I did not use a code - new customer promo? Shipping on the site shows .99 - not sure if I paid that or if it was $0 - I ordered early this a.m. YMMV . . .

Friday, July 9, 2010

7/9 Expressions

Frugal Deeds and mistakes for the week: Frugal mistake - we let $30 worth of 1/2 priced gift certificates to eat out expire - and we called to see if the restaurant would honor them anyway - nope - so, we won't be going there again. I received a product to test from ALL YOU - you may want to sign-up - easy survey too. I will be getting a rosemary plant for free from a local freecycler - sure hope I can keep it alive. The last one I bought from Home Depot died within three months and I did not save the receipt - another Frugal mistake. Received a small check from the consignment store and took in 16 more items. Listed a few more items on Listia - so decluttering is still alive. Tomorrow, my daughter and I will be having a girl's day out at the beauty school - we will both be getting our hair "done". May stop at CVS and try to get 4 free Sobe drinks with the BOGO sale and BOGO coupons. Oh, I won 30 Coke Rewards points from Wendy's and redeemed them for a 20 oz Coke coupon. It rained yesterday and today - frugal because the plants/grass got watered for free :) I read two out of the three books I checked out from the library - I may hit the magazine room and check out the bestsellers again this weekend for free/cool entertainment.

Monday, July 5, 2010

7/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: The new fridge arrived as promised! The rebate for delivery and pick-up is in the mailbox ready to be picked-up. My husband is on his way to my dad's to pick-up our food. He will make several stops along the way to pick-up a few goodies. He is stopping at CVS with $10 ECBs I earned doing a survey. With those bucks, he has toilet paper and towel paper coupons and will find the best deal on a large package of each. Then to Kroger, yesterday, while my husband was running an errand, he stopped at Kroger and pointed out that they overcharged me. Kroger's policy is - the item is free if it was mispriced. So, he received a $5 GC and the rest in cash/change. His next stop will be to Kroger's to pick-up 5 pints? of Blackberries - most to be washed and frozen for smoothies. He also has with him, a coupon for a free pack of Alouette crumble cheese - it was inside the label of an Alouette cheese spread (herbed). Then to Home Depot with two e-mailed coupons for becoming a facebook fan - b1g1 perennial and $5 off Round-up. My daughter is working on a load for me to take to the consignment store and also, will package the stuff she "traded" on Listia for me to mail out. Nice to get rid of more clutter and bring in cash and credit. My husband just walked in the door - so, I am off to plant the perennials - in that spot in the yard that needs some work :)