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.