Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We have been getting home mailer coupons for quite a while.  But lately, I have noticed that the coupon deals are really entising.  We have a local diner that sends out coupons for b1g1 free breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I had never considered the place before.  But, my daughter and I went the other day and were pleasantly surprised.  For $5.50 (before tax and no drink), you get a choice of a meat and 2 vegetables and for .25 more, you can add a third veggie.  It also comes with Texas toast.  Even with tip, it is cheaper and healthier than a fast food meal.  The place was clean, and not very busy.  Sure hope they get more customers so the place will thrive.  Today, we are attending a seminar.  Then to Costco for gas and a few groceries.  They have a lot of sampling stations - and they sure are popular.  We hope to stop by Bath & Body Works for their free scented candle for this weekend for Facebook Fans.  I have been visiting the "Y" a little more consistently - and am starting to feel the impact.  Next month I have an appoint with the personal trainer to set-up an exercise program.  This "Y" has gotten popular quite quickly - sure hope they expand as at ":peak" times now - it is tough getting a machine.  Someone said this is the "New Year Resolution Crowd" - give it a month or two and the crowd should dissipate.  I hope not - I hope they expand and the crowd keeps coming for their fitness and the fitness of the center.

Monday, January 24, 2011

1/24 Expressions

Mailbag:  Today I got a coupon for free Yoplait and a rent check.  I was also able to get in on the coupon for a free Nice 'n Easy Foam Hair Color.  I also listed 2 more items on Craigslist.  Hope they sell quickly with very little hassle :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  We are celebrating our wedding anniversary early.  My husband's wish - to eat at Ruth Chris for once in his life.  We went to Costco and got discounted gift cards - $100 for $79 - plus Costco rebate, plus AMEX rebate.  Since we will be taking our daughter, we got 2 card packs (4 $50 cards).  Sure hope that covers it.  And on another note, I have to say I am very happy with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility - they are 110% better than BP ever was.  Oh, we stopped at BBW today and got the facebook freebie (travel sized lotion) and used the coupon for a free travel sized product with any purchase (got a 2 pack of wallflower refills for $5). 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

1/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This evening, after work, I stopped at the mall and picked up this Month's freebies for the Bath & Body Works club - I got to pick-out anti-bac soap, anti-bac pack, and anti-bac pack holder.  All would have cost $7 plus tax.  Then to Starbucks at Barnes and Noble - got a B1G1 Tall Latte with coupon, membership discount and a promo gift card - cost me $0 out of pocket.  I forgot to mention earlier this week, our neighbor brought over 1/2 of a small cake (her daughter is getting married) - the cake was yummy - and very bad for anyone on a diet :)  I cut out 4 pairs of underwear out of t-shirts we no longer want.  Tomorrow is my "off" day, so, I plan to sew them.  I think we need a clothes moratorium - while looking for the t-shirts - I found several items of clothing that my daughter bought with tags.  I also found a few things I was looking for too.  Next stop for decluttering - clothes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the weekend:  Today, I was notified that we will come into a small windfall . . . it will all be ear marked for my daughter's education fund.  I had a pretty hefty goal for this year - now we have breathing room - but, I still hope we save the goal amount and the windfall will still truly be a windfall :)  I cashed in Swagbucks for another $5 Amazon GC.  I think I will start "saving" them in my Amazon account for the next time I "need" to order something.  We did a bit of freebie shopping this afternoon with Rite Aid UP rewards and CVS Extra-care coupons plus regular coupons.  I know the Health Saver's Account rules have changed - but I am hoping Saline solution for contacts still qualifies. Tomorrow we are "off" for MLK's birthday.  My dad is treating us to lunch at a new buffet place in town.  Hopefully the frugal me won't overeat as the New Year me would like to lose a few pounds.  I know this sounds crazy - but I looked up ideas to recycle t-shirts - we have plenty of them and I have donated a bunch to Purple Heart, etc.  Just about everytime we donate blood - they give us a t-shirt.  I found an idea to sew underwear.  I think I will sew a few pair for myself. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More 1/15 Expressions

I just headed over to Bargain Babe   Her blog is turning 2 years old and she is having a give away.  Eleven prizes including a $250 Macy's Gift Certificate!

1/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Yesterday we enjoyed a take-out lunch on the cheap!  My husband picked-up 2 appetizers from Applebees with the $10 promotional gift certificate we received and then he stopped at Frizzles with a $10 1/2 priced gift certificate and ordered wings.  Both places cost a few bucks more than what the gift certicate covered - but, it was a fun meal for the three of us and we had a bit of leftovers.  Yesterday, I did my grocery shopping at Publix - after sales, coupons,refunds and the $50 Visa Debit Card certificate, I spent no additional money out of my pocket :)  We are set for the week.  In other news . . . my frugal gene must have rubbed off on my daughter.  She and my husband went to the library because she had 2 overdue books and owed fines.  Smart cookie that she is, she went to the librarian that she does volunteer work for.  Without even asking, the lady told her - her fine is forgiven  - a perk of her being a volunteer.  Also, I sure hope my daughter keeps better track of when her books are due - because she was going to have to pay with "her" money.  The stock market has been doing so well, I am kind of sad that I moved our retirement accounts to a more conservative mix . . . but, we have resolved to stay there.  Of course we are still 100% in stocks for non-retirements.  Although the "economy" seems to be getting better - there is still so much uncertainty . . .

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/12 Expressions

We stayed in yesterday due to inclement weather conditons.  We got some house cleaning done; craft projects done; and I got a lot of cooking in.  I made more turkey/veggie soup with the other half of the turkey carcass, etc.  My daughter is "off" tomorrow too.  I worked 1/2 a day today.  I picked up the 2 suit cases from the freecycler - and they were in excellent condition :)  After not getting mail for 2 days, we got mail today.  Nothing too exciting, but I did discover a bank error that netted me $50.XX.  While it was nice to stay in and catch-up on a few things, I was starting to get cabin fever.  I will be looking at the dining room set Saturday morning - from a Craigslist.  If I buy it, it will be my first purchase off of Craigslist.  I asked my husband to take a picture of a few things we should get rid of on Craigslist too.  Tax statements are coming in.  The stock market performed well last year.  On days like this, I feel a twinge for having changed our retirement "mix" to be more conservative.  But the 3 previous days - I did not have a pit in my stomach.  We invested in stocks outside of our retirement accounts, so, I still get a thrill when the market has a nice uptick.  This weekend we may visit Plato's Closet on my daughter's behalf.  In not so great financial news, my daughter has 2 overdue books from the library - of course they are closed . . . so, it is costing her $1 per day that they are late.  I have been thinking of ways to stretch my $50 Giftcard that I am using for food/groceries.  I have noticed more and more printable rebate forms are becoming available.  Matching a coupon, paying with ECBs or UP rewards can stretch the buck a bit further.

Monday, January 10, 2011

1/10 Expressions

We were snowed in today and probably tomorrow too.  Nice and peaceful day.  I got some old sewing projects done!  As for groceries - used up stuff - made smoothies for breakfast to use up frozen bananas, tangerines, etc.  Had a bag of bone-less/skin-less chicken breasts - ended up browning some in olive oil/garlic/herbs and adding to some leftover angel hair pasta.  The rest of the breasts were coated in a bit of leftover cracker crumbs/herbs, etc and baked along with 2 pumpkin pies (found another puree pack in the freezer) and we still had some crust.  For dessert after dinner - blackberry crepes (I have lots of eggs and the blackberries were frozen when they were on sale for .99/carton.  Got some paperwork done.  Went through some "old" clothes and found a few things I want to wear again.  Responded to a freecycle ad - and it looks like we may be getting 2 suitcases - my husband travels a lot and our's have taken a beating.  Even the set he bought last year is starting to look rough.  So, these are suppose to be in excellent condition - great for that frugal trip we want to take this summer to France.  Tomorrow, I plan to do some more things I have been putting off.  Oh, I found a wonderful dining room set on Craigslist - I hope to look at this weekend - supposedly $4,000 new - for sale for $300.  Sadly, it has been "painted/antiqued" and the seat covers are not my taste.  So, I am hoping to try my hand at stripping the paint off and changing the seat covers to make it look better.  We also asked for delivery - so, it may be more than $300. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1/9 Expressions

We are suppose to get snow this evening.  If tomorrow ends up being a "stay home" day - I have several sewing projects I'd like to finish.  I didn't make the cookies yesterday - today will be a better day since the temperature is suppose to really drop.  We got some nice coupons in the paper today - nice way to start the year off :)  Anyway, at Rite Aid, I was able to buy 4 boxes of Special K cereal and 2 packages of Stayfree products - and ended up paying tax only for 1 on sale Stayfree of $2.50 plus tax.  I used 2 BOGO coupons for the cereal (which was on BOGO sale) and Stayfree BOGO coupon.  The nice thing is, I got $6 back in UP rewards (coupons I can use on anything :)  Then to CVS - got the candies that were "free" after ECB, of course 6 12 packs of Pepsi for the addict in the family - 6 packs for $20 - get $10 ecb.  I did 3 different transactions to "roll" as many ecbs as I could.  Nice store because the cashier was very friendly.  I get paid Thursday - and I checked on my paycheck - the reduction in Social Security has kicked in, I reduced my Health Saver's amount slightly - which should kick in next paycheck.  However, I increased my 401K equivalent deduction to max out - so, it will be interesting too what the net effect will be. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1/8 Expressions

We had our freebie breakfast at Chick-Fil-A this morning.  Since it was in the mall, I stopped by Bath and Body Works with the $10 off $30 IP coupon.  I was hoping to find a deep discount on refills since I am out.  Yes, it is an indulgence :)  We found the 2 packs for $3.19 each (they were winter holiday scents - but I like those scents) - so, I got 20 refills for $22.XX after coupon.  We also got our free Cappuccino from the Pilot Travel Center - cheap produce and lunch snacks from Aldi.  At Panera, it cost us just over $1 after the $10 mypoints gift certificate for 2 1/2 sandwiches, 2 bags of chips, a small fountain drink (shared), and a strawberry and cream scone.  Yup, I am a cheap date ;)  I made oatmeal raisin cookies and they are gone.  I will make a double batch later today.  It will heat up the house - and I have the ingredients.  I got 2 bags of Quaker Oats (the $1 5 serving bag from Dollar General) for tax only last week.  Since we cleaned out the pantry last weekend (got rid of expired stuff, etc) and organized everything, it is much easier to plan meals.  This year, I hope to eat more healthy, and cut costs (mainly by avoiding waste and selective stocking up and better menu planning).  Sadly, this year we won't get a pay raise - unless you count the temporary 2% reduction in Social Security.  Oh, in today's mail, I got a $50 giftcard from T-mobile.  Instead of considering it "fun money" - I am going to use it for groceries and see how far I can stretch it :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

1/7 Expressions

Happy New Year!  My first post of the year.  Also a first - we sold an item off of craigslist - decluttered and made a bit of cash.  Today, I am "off" but had to drive my daughter to school for a club meeting.  Then went to the gym, then Kroger.  I lucked out on "Manager's" specials.  We love hummus - Athenos brand was marked .99 each - and they had a coupon for a free Athenos Greek Yogurt.  Sadly, Kroger doesn't appear to carry the yogurt.  No matter, I believe Wal-mart does - so, next time we buy hummus there - we can get the yogurt.  I am going get in gear in a few minutes and do some house cleaning and some major cooking.  The turkey carcass will become turkey/noodle/veggie soup.  Turkey bits - into a large salad.  Free shrimp from Earthfare, free/cheap pasta from Publix will become a batch of shrimp/garlic pasta . . . cook once - and hopefully no more cooking the rest of the weekend.  My husband doesn't know it - but I have a cheap/frugal date planned for tomorrow.  Pick-up our free Chick-fil-A spicy chicken biscuit tomorrow (we have "reservations"), then to Pilot Travel Center to get a free cup of Cappuccino - and gas up since gas is cheaper there (hello $3/gal is almost here already - and it isn't even summer :(    Then stop at Aldi and pick-up their good deals on staples and produce, then to Panera Bakery for a cheap lunch w/the $10 GC I got from mypoints!  All of this is in a circuituous (sp) route to conserve fuel.