Sunday, March 28, 2010

3/28 Expressions

More frugal deeds for the week: Our sofa sleeper in the beach condo is starting to look a bit shabby (not chic). So, I have been keeping my eyes open for a deal. Normally, I have been partial to overstock because I can usually get delivery free. I've looked for months - and the only one I was interested in was "sold out" and has been this entire time. Well, I checked our Target this weekend - and I found a sofa sleeper (queen) and matching oversized chair (twin sleeper) on sale, free shipping and I had a code for an additional 10% off, went through mypoints, used my cash back credit card and now I will have them delivered for about the price of the sofa only at Overstock. Plus, I will be getting another giftcard next month for a potential gift or just to reduce household expense. The "old" set will get donated to Habitat for Humanity. I also cooked extra salmon pot pie and blueberry/coconut scones for meals this week. I have packed my breakfast/lunch/snacks to take to work tomorrow and will shortly give myself a manicure. Used a few samples up this week - anti-wrinkle face cream and foot cream - both very nice. My daughter and I have started exercising to dvds we have at home. But next month, I plan to buy a monthly pass to the city's exercise partnership - $30 to attend as many of the offered classes. Monday through Saturday they have classes in Zumba, Kickboxing, Yoga, and Pilates. The pass must be purchases monthly - or you can pay $5 per class. So, it is a great way to check the classes out and hopefully motivate me to do better in the exercise department.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

3/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week: My husband painted the bathroom upstairs. We have almost completed our taxes - would be a bit unfrugal to take so long if we we were getting a refund, but since we most likely won't, it was frugal in that we are DIY'rs. Just finished my grocery shopping at Kroger with a handful of coupons. I found out I am getting a bonus in my next pay check. My spring work wardrobe looks a bit shabby, so, my daughter and I hit Stein Mart's 12 hour sale with a bunch of coupons too. Of course, since I am in a decluttering mode, that means I need to get rid of some some stuff for what I brought in - so, next week, I plan to take a load to the consignment store. We are also keeping to our plan to pay off the HELOC (financed the beach condo) as soon as possible, so, we paid another chunk off today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: It started with the Sunday paper - a $5/$30 coupon for Publix. Yes, I did most of my grocery shopping yesterday. But, I decided to check Publix's BOGO sale - and there were quite a few printables I could use and some to match with Publix coupons. I noticed Cozy Shack products on BOGO - no coupons - but I found at form on their site - buy 2 specially marked products and get a Leslie Sansone Walking Fitness DVD. So, I "saved" $44.XX and spent $6.60 ($2.XX was tax). My husband and daughter went to Walgreens to pick up a reserved Redbox - and I asked them to purchase the Olay lotion/bath lotion deal - so I could do another refund. Sadly they were out - but my husband got a rain check - I am proud of him. I really used to love sending for rebates/refunds/bounce back merchandise - but have either been too lazy or buzy to pay attention. So, I am going to try to make an effort. I also made another big batch of hummus and am making split pea soup to help round out lunches/snacks this week. I have taken a vacation day off tomorrow since it is my birthday - but sadly, I will be at the dentist's office first thing in the morning getting a tooth prepped for a crown (yes, I am grateful to have dental insurance and a HSA to help ease the financial damage of a crown). Since the dentist is practically across the street from Aldi - I will stop in afterward to see if they have any specials on produce.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More 3/20 Expressions (Pictures)

Just wanted to add a few pictures: the Daffodils from the yard, the Amaryllis getting ready to bloom, Lady Liberty during Spring Break.

3/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: For breakfast, we had fruit smoothies from frozen fruit in the freezer - bananas and melon that we could not eat before they turned "bad". Finally made a trip to the grocery store - used a few coupons and now have 2 lasagnas in the oven - one for this week and one for the freezer. I also have a blueberry/coconut scone in the oven - recipe adapted from recipezaar. Tonight, we will eat out with a gift certificate we got with an 80% off code. We will also stop for another free ice cream cone. Tomorrow, we will stop by Red Robin for lunch to use my freebie lunch certificate. I cut some daffodils and a few fern "leaves" and made an arrangement. When I watered the plants - I noticed the amaryllis I've had for about 6 years put out a bloom that I hope will blossom in the next few days. This year, for the front yard planters - instead of buying plants - I just planted some bulbs and flower seeds that I purchased from the Dollar Tree last week. I check-out my mypoints account and more points finally cleared and I ordered another $25 Gift Card. Gift cards are great for last minute gifts and also to use :) I had several freebie magazines in the mail - Allure had a $5 off $10 coupon for Ulta - so will probably use that too. A rant: in the mail, Wendys/Arbys sent me a .12 check - we own a share or two Wendys which I believe merged with Arbys and while I will deposit the .12 check - I think it is a bad business practice to mail a check for that amount. I guess I will check to see if they have a DRIP - I'd rather reinvest the change than have them waste resources mailing the check. The weather is so beautiful today. Everybody helped around the house/yard today - life is good :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

3/19 Expressions

We just returned from Spring Break in NYC! Here's how we saved some $ and thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. We had enough hotel points to stay at the New York Hilton. It was centrally located; we had access to the Executive Lounge and therefore, had access to continental breakfast and a nice assortment of fingerfoods in the evenings. One morning, there was a "line", so we had the option to take a voucher and have breakfast at the Market Place. It was fabulous and we were hoping for that option again - but alas, that was it. Our flights, we "won" on Can't say we were really happy with the flight times, we had a delay coming home, and was totally switched to a different airline going in. Are there that many crew/maintenance problems - or are airlines really trying to make sure the flights are jammed packed to save $ - I am not sure. Good thing we traveled with our own snacks because going in, snacks were $3-$5. Coming back, the other airline offered no options. We only took carry-ons because we did not want to pay the check-in fee. We found a discount ticket site on-line and purchased 3 great seats to "Mary Poppins" - and really enjoyed it! Since we were less than a block from the MoMA, we purchased a City Pass there. The City Pass kept us busy, saved us time and money. We went on the Liberty Island/Ellis Island tour. Because we had the City Pass, we did not have to wait in the long line - we got to go into the "reserved ticket" line and everything was smooth sailing. We walked to many of the venues which we had access to with the City Pass - saved some $'s there. I did use an 80% off code and we ate at Kirin's Indian restaurant for lunch one day. The food was good and the prices were reasonable. The other lunches were generally from the street vendors. We had a hot dog or two, and other dishes. An entire meal from one vendor was $5 - hot dog - $2. We did buy a few souveniers (sp) from street vendors too. Two "I "heart" New York" t-shirts for $5. Two "Pashima Silk Scarves" - $10. Several costume jewelry items for $5/box. We also stopped in H&M got a few outfits. In other financial news, I am really bummed with the changes at - I have kept my "portfolio" on there for years - now, it is gone - what's up with that??? That's another thing I noticed about NYC - can't get away from the news, the cabs have tv screens with news 24/7 and there's a screen in the elevator with the same.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3/7 Expressions

Frugal Deeds this weekend: I just mailed in the Kia Test Drive form for the $25 Gift Card. My brother owns a Kia Sorrento and loves it - not sure we would give up our gas sippers though. I also earned enough points at Swagbucks for another $5 Amazon e-certificate. I also did a "CORD" - used up some frozen bananas for smoothies, used up cheap (on sale plus coupons and catalina cash last month) Pillsbury dough and cream cheese to make a dessert, crock-pot cooked some chickpeas - made up a huge batch of hummus, and made another pot of soup to take for lunches this week. Yesterday, I used my $10 freebie gift card from VS to buy cologne - I paid nothing out of pocket. Used my $5 credit at Sally's to buy a teasing brush/comb and 2 packets of hair conditioner for .28. Enjoyed a free ice cream too. Of course these were the "frugal expenditures" - but we did spend on groceries, etc. Maybe frugal was the $9.98 Rosemary plant I got at Home Depot - I am hoping to have it for years to come - it smells great and I love the taste of Rosemary.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3/6 Expressions

Money Magnet Weekend: Yesterday, in the mail, I received the $100 rewards check for using the new Chase card once; a survey check, 10 .44 postage stamps for being a mail decoy, the Purex 3-n-1 sample, and feminine product sample. I also "got in" on the coupon for a free bag of Sun Chips and Nescafe samples. With this economy, it seems more people are interested in freebies as it used to be pretty easy to be one of the first "X" or "while supplies last" - but lately, I have been too late and the supplies have been depleted. My daughter is at another out of town math tournament, so, my husband and I are going on another "cheap" date. Use the other 1/2 priced $25 gift certificate to the chic local restaurant for lunch, watch a $1 movie at the "new" one dollar theatre, stop at Starbucks with two empty bags for 2 free cups of coffee, stop at Staples and use the rewards bucks (from cartridge recycling) before the check expires, use my $10 birthday card from Victoria's Secret, use my free scoop coupon from Maggie Moo's, use my $5 coupon from Sally's for a new teaser comb, and do a bit of grocery shopping with a handful of coupons and redeem the freebies on my customer card at Kroger. Oh, and stop at the bank and deposit the checks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3/3 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the Day: If you have Kroger card, run over to and play the "hoops" instant win game. I have played two days in a row and the first day, I won a 16 oz jar of Planters Peanuts; today a $5 store credit! These rewards are loaded onto your card - and pay out when you get to the register and swipe your card. We had a luncheon at work today - and since this is my birthday month, the restaurant gave me a fabulous piece of cake to take home. The insurance company finally paid out the recoverable depreciation portion of the roof repair of our rental - sigh of relief since it was a large chunk of change that we already paid the contractor. And, since it is my birthday month, I have been getting freebies - $10 gift card from Victoria's Secret, a free scoop of ice cream from Maggie Moos, and I am sure there are more - oh, free shake with a sandwich purchase from Arby's.