Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We got lots of rain today - so, no need to water - for a few days.  The only thing I managed was to mail out the order.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26 Expressions

Mail bag:  free mascara from Clinque.  My daughter and I ate out this evening w/a Restaurant.Com gift certificate - food was fantasic - $2 for a $25 off $35 certificate.  We brought home leftovers for tomorrow.  We are expecting bad weather tomorrow - good thing I planted my Hydrangeas in pots - and hadn't taken the other plants out of their pot - they are now all in the garage.  Added - I made a sale and I have a few small checks - so, I will deposit/mail all in one trip at lunch tomorrow.  Another frugal tip - I re-use mailer envelopes and bubblewrap - especially from the freebies - I carefully peel off the previous labels - so, that saves a bit too.  Mailers are pretty expensive.  I have not purchased any in years.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25 Expressions

Frugal deed for the day:  One of our rental properties has 52 Mature (the tenant counted) Pine Trees.  We have had some bad storms lately and the tenant is concerned that limbs will fall and smash into the house.  So, last month, my husband and I agreed if the real estate manager would get us 3 quotes, we would be happy to cut any down that were damaged - or could damage the house.  We are tree lovers and do want to cut trees down just to cut them - or for cut them down for money.  We have had a few trees cut down and some limbs removed - and it isn't cheap.  The Manager called me today to tell me the storm we had last week caused a large tree limb to fall and hit the deck of our house and cause damage.  The tenant agreed to repair it himself - the manager told him we would reimburse him for the materials if he would provide the receipts.  Next, he said he saw a logger in the area and asked him some questions.  The logger stated he would cut the trees down, if he could get a "load" 12 of our mature Pine trees - for free.  My husband and I discussed it, and agreed.  So, the trees closest to the house will go.  Our only condition was, that the stumps be ground down so, that we don't have a bunch of stumps in the yard.  The Manager stated that the tenant agreed he would do it himself if the logger didn't.  So, everyone is happy.  We have minimal costs going out.  We do have insurance, but, the deductible is $1,000 - so, the tenant doing the repairs for material cost only will be great - and the Manager said it should just be a few pieces of wood.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More 4/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter and I just came back from Lowes - I wanted to do some yard work and take advantage of the gorgeous day.    Easter lillies are on clearance for $1, got 1, Hydrangea - originally $14.98 were $2 - got 2, bulbs were 1/2 priced - got 1 bag, and a sweet nectarine tree with 5 small nectarines for $29.99 - 1 year guarantee.  They all needed water - but are looking pretty good.  Oh, a Gerbera Daisy in a fancy planter was originally $21 - clearanced to $7 because the pot is cracked.  I also got a few more bags of potting soil and pine nuggets for the flower beds.  Oh, I got a gallon of stain also.  I am going to repurpose an antique chair to the kitchen built in desk.  So, I will restain it - and change out the seat cushion (has a rip) - I am going to find fabric from old clothing we have and re-use the piping.  My daughter also needed school notebooks - so, we stopped at Wal-mart and also looked for a few good deals with coupons.  I got 2 Reach Floss for free, 2 individual sized Skinny Cows for .22 each, 2 bags of Terra Chips for .79 each too.  So, right now, I have the plants soaking in water - and need to get outside and start digging.  I have decided to skip the "Y" today and count the digging as my exercise :)

4/24 Expressions

I am always on the look-out for frequent flyer miles - and saw this deal posted on mymoneyblog:
British Airways 100k Miles Promo – Booking Award Tickets On American Airlines Using British Airways Miles

I signed up my husband and myself.  My daughter is not old enough :(  But, I believe we can get to Europe economically next year anyway.  This is the first "deal" I have signed-up for where the annual fee was not waived - $95 - but it would certainly still be worth it.  The $2,500 spending in 3 months to get the second installment of miles - 50K is steeper too - still definitely worth it to us.  I am not suggesting this deal to anyone, please do your own research and make an informed assessment yourself as YMMV.  And as always, we pay-off our balance each month to avoid interest charges.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More 4/23 Expressions

Such a beautiful day today - thought I'd upload pictures of the lone dwarf iris in the weed patch and freebie irises I received a couple of years ago - very frugal indeed.

4/23 Expressions

Mailbag!  Today, I got my first "Sample Box" - as pictured.  Nice to get useful goodies and coupons.  I also got my two gift cards for $55 in Darden Restaurant shopping and a rebate check.  Mainly ran errands today.  Stopped at the library to read while waiting for my daughter.  That was a frugal as it gets - for today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22 Expresions

I got a free tea at Starbucks today at lunch time.  We went to the post office to get our passports - $300 for 3 passports.  We hope to do a bit more traveling - but looks like frequent flyer miles are getting more scarce - as are the seats.  I won't be going to Lowes to get a freebie tree - I understand it is a pine tree - nice tree - but from now on - I want multi-purpose trees - like fruit trees for fruit/beauty/shade.  Tomorow, the dog will be using the last of the Petsmart giftcard on a haircut/bath.  Will also pick-up the cat freebie for the cat my daughter sits.  I packed my lunch today - but my husband and daughter used a 1/2 priced gift certificate for their lunch.  Did I mention I ordered 4 more Restaurant.Com gift certificates - went through mypoints and used the code "EASTER" for 80% off.  I may be using one of those tomorrow for lunch.  Not sure what all we have in store for tomorrow.  Oh, and I checked Zillow - on the foreclosure we put an offer on - and the bank countered with a ridiculous amount about two months ago.  They must not have had any activity - so it went up for auction?  Sold for $500 more than our offer - two months ago - which is probably less than the 2 months of additional carrying costs the bank had - and it looked like they were offering agents a bonus.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21 Expressions

Mailbag:  A coupon for a free Glade Spring Scent Product for up to $3.99, Nescafe Instant Coffee Samples w/$1 off coupon (great for the small packs), and 2 Anti-bacterial wipes from Costco's - used one already to clean inside surfaces in the car.  Stopped at Publix and spent $26 on groceries and saved $36.  Also, yesterday, I found out that our community yardsale will be on a Saturday - and I told my daughter, she can keep every cent of all items sold.  This is an incentive for her to sell clothes that she cannot take to the consignment store, DVDs, and books she no longer needs.  Also, I told her she could sell other stuff - but she needs to ask first :)  Yesterday, I also got 2 Groupons to use this summer - to attend a take with you painting class with my daughter - and free appetizers - pay for your drink - alcoholic or non if you want.  Added:  tomorrow is Earthday - and there are freebies to be had.  We are stopping at Starbucks with our own re-usable cups to get free coffee or tea.  I also have a birthday coupon for a free hand blended drink.  Lunch will be with a half-priced coupon.  Also, Lowes is giving away "trees" on Saturday - be early.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  my husband pays our bills on-line - he misplaced? my Costco Amex bill and paid it 2 days late.  I was charged a $15 late payment fee and .03 in interest.  The fees/interest do not bother me - but I am a bit of a credit score snob and that is what irritated me more than anything.  Of course, if it bothers me that much, I could pay all of the bills myself - but, I did that for most of our marriage - and have too much on my plate to take that on at the moment.  Just wanted to say, customer service at AMEX Costco was very friendly - and because of my payment history - they did give me a courtesy refund of the late payment fee :)  and I don't think it will affect my credit score much, if at all - double yeah!  Today, I have decided to make several salads with food on hand and in the yard :)  I am out of greens - but, my yard has plenty of dandelions - and we don't use chemicals in the back yard.  So, I am going to make a dandelion greens and grapefruit salad (bought several weeks ago and no one is interested in eating it - probably the peeling factor.  In the pantry, I have several cans of different types of beans, so, a bean salad is in order.  And last night, I made potato salad.  Should get us thru the week for lunches and dinner sides.  Oh, and our community bi-annual yardsale was listed for a Sunday - which historically, it has always been on a Saturday???? So, when the office opens in about a 1/2 an hour, I am going to call to see if it is an error.  Hopefully so, because the date listed is out for us.  But, if it is on Saturday, I'd like to put some stuff out cheap - to get rid of it.  It would help greatly in the decluttering process.  I am also trying to get my frugal decorating cap on - and as I find things, look for things I can re-purpose for my daughter's room.  Instead of a total re-design, I am hoping we can change out a few things and be done with it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19 Expressions

Mailbag:  I received a $10 Panera Bread Giftcard by redeeming points at  My husband gave the realtor a date that our offer was "off the table" of May 4th.  By then, the bank that has our offer for the shortsale would have had 8 weeks to accept/decline/counter-offer - instead of waiting for a better offer - which I doubt they will get.  My lettuce seeds have sprouted nicely, as have the melon/squash seeds.  I also found a pretty yellow dwarf iris has bloomed.  I am thinking my husband probably mowed the other ones down?

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18 Expressions

Last night I was able to plant a few corn seeds, tomato seeds and two varieties of lettuce.  Also, since I had errands today - I missed the tax day freebies - the Maggie Moo's ice cream sundae - and 15% off at PF Changs.   Hope someone else got to enjoy them. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

More 4/17 Expressions

I went with my daughter to feed the cat - I cut a branch off of the "Snow Ball" Hydrangea? bush - and added my own Iris to bring some of the spring into the house.  It is such a gorgeous day - I have the veggies boiling for the coconut soup - and have already harvested some wild onion greens to add.  A bit later, I hope to plant some more seeds.

4/17 Expressions

We stopped at a bakery/cafe for lunch using our 1/2 priced gift certificate.  Since we were next to Target, I stopped in to buy a few veggies I needed for a coconut soup with wild onions (I will be picking some from my "organic" back yard (no spraying of any kind since we want to keep it pet friendly)).  The gave me one of their sling style re-usable bags at check-out.  Funny, the couple in front of me - the lady tried to grab an extra bag since she said it was 1 per person - cashier stood her ground and would not let the woman have the bag.  They had coupons too - I didn't have any for veggies - but my daughter and husband stopped at Michaels while I shopped at Target to buy more art supplies w/the 50%/1 coupon and gift card.  Nice, peaceful, sunny day.  I am going to the spa shortly to get a facial - I have a 20% off coupon.  Then I will work on the back yard and finally plant some flower seeds.  My daughter said her pet sitting client said I could come over and cut some flowers - I may take her up on it.  My Irises are just blooming . . .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Even More 4/16 Expressions

Mailbag:  I finally looked through the rest of the mail - our preliminary property assessments for our primary residence and 2 rental properties came today.  They are all up - between the three - up $5.5K.  On the one hand, I want to protest it - but one the other, I wonder if property values are slighly up?  Luckily, $3K on the primary residence is taxed at a lower rate than the two rentals.  So, I have 60 days to decide . . .

More 4/16 Expressions

This short sale business is truly drudgery.  We made an offer on a foreclosure - and the bank countered right away.  This short sale - we offered 1/2 of the "zillow" value - the realtor had the house listed about 20% below zillow and about $10K less than the current owners paid in 1996.  The agent we are using is with the same brokerage as the listing agent.  From the start, she said our offer was probably $15K too low.  But, the home needs a lot of work - band we said cash - no contingencies . . . the carpet looks original (where there is carpet - and it would be great if there was wood under the carpeting), the kitchen is way outdated - the built in oven looks like a fire hazard - and the house has been uninhabited for who knows how long.  So, the bank has had our offer for 5 weeks - and only two weeks ago did they ask for additional information.  My take is, the realtors/bank were hoping another offer would come in - better of course - and perhaps try to engage us in a bidding war - or at least try to convince us to raise our price.  But we stayed firm because we said we don't owe another offer since the bank hadn't countered.  As of last week, the realtor stated the listing agent has been e-mailing the bank - and bank said they are expediting our offer process - and the listing agent did tell the bank that the house does need a lot of work (must have been other lookers view too).  Anyway, early-on, the agent claimed that the owners owed close to the zillow value because they took out a second mortgage?  They sure didn't use it to do any upgrades - so, why should we pay for some else's mistake.  We said we feel bad about it - but we feel we have given a reasonable offer.  So, let's see what "expedite" means to a bank :(  We are seriously thinking of withdrawing our offer.  In other news, my husband and I went on a "cheap" date.  We took the optimal route and used the coupons to pick-up freebies.  We stopped at Brueggers and got the $10.40 deal - the 2 tubs of cheese we're the size you get from the grocery store and we got the light herb which I haven't found in-store.  Then to paint store, we each got a free jar of paint.  My daughter loves to paint, so, we gave both to her.  I may also use them to paint picture frames or something along those lines because we got 2 colors that would match her bedrrom decor.  Then to Kohls - my husband got a 100% cotton casual shirt for $10 after sale and coupon.  I got my daughter a cream color 1/2 light sweather - that covers one's shoulders when wearing summer dresses for $6.XX - original price $39.99 - and that was with a $10 off coupon.  I also had a $5 off coupon and got her a pink t-shirt for $1.XX.  Then to the bank to deposit checks and I got a free coffee and relaxed while my husband stood in line.  Then to Staples - where he got the free after rebate ream of paper while I drank the rest of my coffee.  For some reason, we went from very warm temperatures - to uncomfortably cold today.  Then we got 3 DVDs for just over $2 at Blockbuster Express using "MOVIETIME" for rent 2 get 1 free to watch today and tomorrow.  By then, we were hungry, so to Red Robin - we got our free appetizer (quesadillas), I got a cup of chili, and my husband got a sandwich combo - so, our lunch was very reasonable.  Then to VS - I got my free "Deluxe sized sample of Dream Angels Forever" and my free travel sized cologne with any purchase (I got a hand sanitizer) - and gave the cologne and sanitizer to my daughter.  Then to Bath and Body Works and my husband and I each got our free lotion - my husband gave his to my daughter.  My Irises are starting to bloom - but I need to spruce up the flower bed - the weeds are showing up too. Mailbag:  1 can of diet Ocean Spray Sparkling Cranberry drink - great for my daughter's lunch and a coupon for $1 off a pack of 4, sadly, "HOST" sent us a .10 dividend check - but no more rants about how they conduct business - I didn't "buy" it anyway - it was a spin-off - so, next time I make a deposit - that .10 will go into the bank like any other.  On the way to the mailbox - I yanked out a bunch of wild onion and threw them in my compost - I am going to look-up what can be done with them - I have used them as "chives" before.

4/16 Expresssions

Frugal deeds:  I realize silver prices have gone up - but, I decided to check on finding a way to get a sterling silver mounting for the peridot that is being removed from the gold setting last night.  Wouldn't you know it, I got the right size setting for just over $13 shipped on ebay - buy it now - went through mypoints and will be getting 26 points too :)  This morning, I made banana smoothies for breakfast - used my cheap with coupon Greek yogurt, free after rebate almond milk, previously frozen before they went bad banana, and bulk flax that I purchased at Costco.  Delicious and good for us.  Today, we need to get some housework and yardwork done - I should have put "we" in capitals - my family needs a bit of coaxing - because who likes to do that stuff anyway?  Yard work, I enjoy, housework, meh.  Of course, I love a clean house more than a messy house.  I also printed out a bunch of freebies that are due today and am thinking of making a "run" since most of the places are in close proximity - and it might be worth it if I can get it all done in an hour.  I have a $10 off at Kohl's - they e-mailed me a one-time use certificate and I have a $5 off too.  $15 in free merchandise is good.  I also have a coupon for a free "Dream Angels forever Eau De Parfum" a deluxe sample size at VS with my VIP card.  Theres the free ream of paper at Staples that expires today.  And I printed out a coupon for a free 2 oz color sample at Benjamin Moore.  I am tempted to print out the Bruegger $10.40 coupon for a baker's dozen of bagels and 2 tubs of cream cheese - but our store is running a $5.99 baker's dozen on Wednesday's w/out the tubs (and I have plenty I got on sale plus coupons) - so, may pass on that one.  And of course earier this week, I printed out the free trial sized BBW lotion coupon that I need to use today too if I am going to get it.  I also registered my husband's Red Robin's Royalty Card and he is eligible for a free appetizer in the next 14 days.  And, I registered our fondue restaurant's loyalty card and am eligible for a free chocolate fondue :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

More 4/15 Expressions

Mail Call:  One-time use sample of Hugo Boss Cologne; nice potholder from Pyrex, trial sized Secret deoderant, rent check, and rebate check.  I took my stones and rings to a jeweler.  I am glad I got my settings by winning a lot of 3 - because all of the settings I saw in 14K gold were over $500.  Anyway, it will cost me $40 to have the periot removed and set w/the ruby - and as I suspected - it is lab created - but it is still beautiful and we saved $.  It will be my daughter's birthday present.  When I asked about having the peridot re-set in silver - um, the cheapest was $90 - then they said they could get a setting for $80 - plus resetting charges - uh - that's almost about what I paid for the stone and the 14K setting - so, I said no thanks.  I think I will look on-line for less expensive settings and then have the stone re-set.  Anyway, the one I suspected was an Amethyst - sure was.  So, I sent an e-mail to shopgoodwill - to see what needs to be done because it was definitely not as described.  So, while I liked the other stone - I did not proceed to have it re-set until I hear from shopgoodwill - because the two stones were a "lot".  Sadly, our passports are expired.  So, all three of us will have to get new ones.  Oh, I did redeem some more credit card reward points for "on-sale" giftcards.  I was able to redeem for $55 in Darden Food Restaurants :)

4/15 Expressions

Normally this is "tax due date"  but this year we have until Monday :)  This is the first year we got our's done early - even if it was only just over a week - and I am hoping my refund arrives asap and they delay cashing our check for the payment.  But anyway, if you love freebies - this is the week to keep your eyes peeled - seems more and more businesses are trying to ease the tax pain and drum up business.  So far today, I printed a coupon for a free travel sized Bath & Body Works lotion, called to make an appointment for a free "hydrotherapy".  So glad we are venturing beyond just free/cheap food deals :)  I am hoping Kroger will do the tax refund giftcard - buy a giftcard for X and get X% more free.  Oh, and the other day, I noticed my pierced earring was falling out - due to a lost "backing" . . . I used the old frugal tip (other than not to lose the earring) and pinched off a piece of an eraser and pinched it on to my earring - worked like a charm - saved me from having another orphaned earring. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

4/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  my daughter got a pet sitting job for a week - pocket money for her.  I took 3 pieces of clothes to the dry cleaners and used a .30 per piece coupon off the back of receipts I saved from atleast 3 years ago.  There's no expiration date on the coupons and they don't print them any more.  I took some small checks and $15 in rolled coins to deposit - since they are close to the drycleaners.  Whle at the credit union, I got a free cup of coffee - their's tastes so good.  Next phase of our summer vacation plan is to find things to do in Vancouver and since air and hotel are covered for rock bottom prices - we have $ to spend on entertainment and activities.  This week, we will need to concentrate on passports.  I think our local post office does everything - take pictures, has the application form, etc.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Well it turns out that the "great" air-fare my husband found for Paris was one-way.  Back to the drawing board.  We are going to Vancouver, BC, Canada - flying up on Business Class and flying back on coach - all with redeemed airmiles.  We have enough Hilton points to stay at Hampton Inn Suites in Vancouver - but my husband is going to make sure they have availability today - and then will "pull the trigger" on the flights - they said they will hold the reservation until Sunday - we believe we will be charged "security" fees - so, not totally free - but had we had to pay for equivalent seats/flight and hotel - we believe we would have had to pay close to $5K - so, we are happy with our savings.  Hotel has free breakfast and kitchenette - so, we will probably eat out once a day - and it looks like there's a lot to do.  Next year, we will plan a trip to Europe - a whole lot earlier.  In other news, I got my precious gems from - and I have to say I am a bit disappointed.  They were probably accurately described - said they could be lab-created/natural - and they look created to me - although they didn't in the pictures - so, my fault.  But one looks to me like an amethyst - which was described as a sapphire - looked medium blue to me in the pictures - so, I will take it to the jeweler.  I will have them set, and they look beautiful - but I would have rather had natural - and I don't think an amethyst and sapphire are the "same".  So, we shall see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/12 Expressions

Mail call:  Samples of Frederick Fekkai hair products and Oxy product for acne.  At lunch today, a friend and I went to look at 2 properties and a bunch of lots up for auction on line.  Sadly, the prices were low - but the neighborhood was undeveloped and most of the houses in the subdivision are up for sale or for rent.  That tells us something must be going on?  It looks like we may have to purchase air tickets this year - we hope to make a decision tonight.  Hotel points are no problem.  We will book a trip to Europe again next year upon our return from Paris for next year.  We'd love to go to Greece. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

4/11 Expressions

Today, my daughter and I visited the Fondue place for our free cheese fondue meal - retail price was $16 - and it was delicious!  Of course we had room for dessert - so we had the "Banana Foster" fondue - and it too was fabulous!  So, although our entire meal was not "free" - it was well worth the amount we paid for the "extras" - and we sure will be visiting the place again.  We are having a bit of trouble trying to pin down our vacation trip this summer.  My husband found out people book supersaver flights to France 11 months in advance.  So, we are going to try to find an alternative because air fares are ridiculously high this summer - or more than we would be willing to pay.  So, we shall see.  My daughter and I made it home - and it started to rain and thunder.  Nice I won't have to water my vegetable "garden" :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4/10 Expressions

We checked our tax returns and there was an error - so, we owe the Feds slightly less and will get slightly back from the State.  Since I do not want to waste my time and gas to go to the post office this week - I decided to put too many first class stamps on the envelopes and mail them from home.  I used 5 stamps each - but remember, I get 10 stamps a month for being a mail decoy and it sure is worth it to me.  My husband called the realtor this past Friday to let her know that we are thinking about withdrawing our offer - and she contacted the bank.  They said they would expedite their review.  We shall see.  We had a wonderful lunch today - left over potato soup and chicken salad sandwich made with bits and pieces - and fresh herbs growing indoor and outdoor right now.  Both were delicious - according to my husband and daughter :)   Back to the stamps - it takes a bit of effort, but having little and large streams of income coming in from more than one source is comforting.  In the big scheme, the stamps I get may not pay for a lot - but for me, I report the magazines in time I am not doing anything else - during lunch or later in the evening or while waiting for my daughter.  But these stamps make my life a bit less costly - we pay most of our bills on-line, so, the stamps are used to mail our refunds/rebates, our taxes :), and holiday cards at the end of the year.  Saves me trips to the post office too - and now-a-days, gasoline is a factor.    In other news, today is a sunny day - and the seeds I planted last week have sprouted.  Hopefully, instead of buying salad greens from the grocery every week, I will be able to pick some myself.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter got rid of a few clothing pieces and made $12 at Plato's closet.  My husband went to Publix with a competitor's $5/$25 coupon to buy 6 12 packs of Pepsi Max for $20 and a few other items (including one which has a full rebate offer).  He found 6 12 packs with .50 coupons on them and our Publix doubles - so, I was pretty proud of him for paying attention.  We have started checking flights to European destinations we want to travel to for our vacation this summer.  We will probably book our flights and hotel with miles/points this evening.  Oh, on the way back from Plato's, we stopped at Victoria's Secret and got a pair of panties free with coupon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4/8 Expressions

Mailbag:  Today, I got a coupon for a free box of Kashi Cereal up to $5.  I didn't make time to pick up my Bath and Body Works LUV club freebie yesterday - but understand it is a travel sized True Blue Spa product.  Oh, in the mail I also got the organic seeds that I paid shipping only for - it is a nice variety.  Also,  I got 3 rings I bid on at - yes, it is frivolous - but frugally frivolous.  The rings were all 14K and had semi-precious stones in their setting.  Previously, my daughter and I bid on 3 already cut and faceted (sp) stones without settings.  We are going to a reasonaly priced local jeweler and having hime take-out the semi-precious stones and set them in sterling silver since they are nice stones (blue topaz, white topaz, and peridot) and but the precious stones in the 14K settings.  So, while it is frivolous - I am sure we saved quite a bit over retail for 6 rings we will split between the two of us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4/7 Expressions

What a day!  I stayed home and took my daughter to the doctor - she has an ear infection from some virus?  To use up the potatoes - I boiled them last night and 1/2 became a potato salad and the other 1/2 became yummy potato soup.  My husband finished our taxes "early" - they are done - just need the once over and we should mail them out Monday.  Looks like we owe the Feds and get $ back from the State.  Be on the look for Tax deals and freebies next week and the following Monday.  Already, we have scheduled - a free fondue dinner, free ice cream from Ben & Jerrys, free ice cream sundae from Maggie Moos - still waiting to see what else.  (None of this good for weight loss - but it will be eaten in moderation :)  Since I had to pick up a prescription for my daughter, I stopped at Publix with a bunch of coupons - I got a bunch of juices, etc. for $10 - and "saved" $27 with sales and coupons.  Then to Wal-mart - used my giftcard from credit card points to buy $10 in gas and picked up a free Kit Kat and my daughter used the coupon for a free Mt. Dew.  Then to Wal-mart to round out the shopping with the rest of the gift card.  Total "out of pocket" - $13 to include a DVD to watch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4/6 Expressions

Today's mail freebie:  I redeemed free codes on Disney Rewards for a Bambi puzzle - it came today.  It will make a nice donation around the holidays - or an addition to a child's gift.  The realtor we are working with for the short sale is very frustrating to work with.  We are going to ask her to check status again and make a decision as to whether we want to withdraw our offer and look at other properties with another realtor.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4/5 Expressions

Today, I went to a training seminar for work - they served wonderful teas, coffee and soft drink - so, I didn not have to provide my own :)  Then the rental management agency called - the renter cleared their checks and has been approved to lease our property :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

4/4 Expressions

Mailbag:  Today in the mail, I got a free Banana Soy Joy bar, sample of Victoria's Secret's Bombshell, my $25 Wal-mart Giftcard (credit card point redemption), and free magazines - like Family Circle.  I took vacation time to leave work early as the weather is turning really scary - mainly - I was afraid of the hail - I do not want my car dinged-up.  And while I could be doing a whole lot of frugal things - I am just relaxing.  Oh, and not a freebie - but we got one of the NWT dresses I "won" on - and it is gorgeous.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4/3 Expressions

This afternoon, we finally made it to Lowes with the $10 off $50 coupon.  Our lawn mower has been on its last leg for the last couple of years.  So, we thought we'd look to see what was available.  The Troy Built push mowers were marked $3XX - but there was one marked down to $160 because a front tire was slightly bent - that's the one we got with the coupon and leftover money on the Lowes Tax Refund giftcard - we still have a bit more - which I hope to use on stain.  Wouldn't you know it, another $10 off $50 coupon kicked out on the bottom of the receipt - but it expires tomorrow.  Then to Staples - for under $2 with reward coupon, we got 48 mechanical pencils and a notebook.  It is such a gorgeous day - Lowes was packed.  Oh yeah, I cashed in some mypoints for a $10 Panera gift card.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

4/2 Expressions

Today was a beautiful day!  I got the grape plants planted and the veggie seeds too.  Tomorrow, I hope to plant the herb and flower seeds.  We took my daughter's adoptive grandmother to the mall and had pizza with a $5 off $10 coupon and then watch "Red Riding Hood" at matinee prices.  We had a nice time. Tomorrow, we plan to make lunch for the recuperating relative and have a homemade lunch there.  Oh, my daughter's adoptive grandmother made her a nice tin of bon-bons.  My daughter offered some to us - they were wonderful - bad for losing weight - but I savored one anyway :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

4/1 Expressions

Happy April Fool's Day :)  Sad news is, I was hoping our vacant rental would be rented today - but, the realtor said she doesn't have an application yet - she said she has been showing it and expects one soon.  For much brighter news - and I hope I don't jinx it, the stock market has a nice jump this morning.  The short sale realtor said we should hear something today - we shall see.  We are seriously considering withdrawing our offer.  We are wondering if the bank is seriously considering our offer - because the last offer we made - the bank countered and we walked.  My husband is diligently working on our taxes - generally, we do not receive a refund, so we really don't have much incentive to do them "early".  Of course it would be nice to just break even and not owe - or even get something back . . . but I am not counting on it.  This week, I am hoping to buy the minium for groceries only - I am talking about spending as little as possible because I would like to prevent food waste and eat up what we have in the fridge, freezer, and the pantry.  There's a $10 off $50 coupon at Lowe's I'd like to use in conjunction with my giftcard - so, I may go ahead and buy my stain for the cabinets today.  Since Staples is in the same complex, I am thinking of using the $10 rewards to buy back-up school supplies for my daughter - mechanical pencils and the like.  I was going to buy a few more garden items from Lowe's - but won't be.  Last night, while surfing the web, I came across and offer to buy $75 worth of Organic veggie seeds (surprise packages) for $4.99.  So, I hope to be adventurous.  This weekend, I mainly have cleaning and organizing in mind - but my daughter got a call from her adoptive grandmother . . . we may plan something with her this weekend.  She is such a sweet lady and great influence on my daughter.