Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5/31 Expressions

This month has just flown by!  Mailbag:  We received a bonus check from the Traveler's insurance program we signed up for since my daughter is going on a cruise.  The offer was - submit any hotel receipt from the last 45 days and get 5% back.  We have receipts :)  Also in the mail, Tresemme shampoo/conditioner samples.  My new rx contacts from 1-800 and a mailer to return the old rx ones to get credit.  Also, I want to say it is good to sign up for bonus cards even though you might not think you will get enough points to use.  Case in point, my husband stayed at a hotel part of the time during the time covered by his per diem.  It is a hotel chain we just really don't use much.  My husband stayed this week at a different hotel, same brand this week - "won" on priceline.  My husband decided to sign-up for their bonus points program.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head when he showed me the enrollment information.  He stayed a month at one of the hotels - so, why not check to see if they'd credit him the points.  Yup - sure enough, they will and said they will post within 72 hours.  We are hoping he will have enough points to cover his stays next week - when our offer on the short sale ends - and we are hoping we can close asap.  The realtor said they were playing phone tag with the bank - she still sounds hopeful - but told my husband she would call later this evening.  So, just signing up, in this case, may net him a few extra nights at their most basic hotel.   Added:  My husband bought a pair of sneakers from DSW this past Sunday.  Today, he received a coupon for $20 off $49.99 - his shoes were $50.XX before tax.  So, he is going to see if they will refund the $20.  He also received a $5 off anything coupon because it is his birthday month - he will use that for cheap/free socks. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

More 5/30 Expresions

Frugal deeds for the rest of the day:  It is burning hot outside.  I planted my herb "garden" and now I am taking a break before I got out and pick-up at least 2 garden bags of leaves to place for pick-up.  I also did a bit of freezer/fridge maintenance.  I froze some of the meat.  I made a soup using l/o pasta salad, veggies, and a piece of chicken.    Just wanted to post a few pictures.  The cannas and lillies are from freecycle about two years ago.  My lazy-person's garden :)  One cabage plant is thriving - looks like I may get some spinach/lettuce - maybe some tomatoes and zucchini?  Also pictured are two of the three chairs I "won" at the estate auction.

5/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  My husband's new employer quit paying per diem two weeks ago.  We had those two weeks covered with hotel points.  We are out of points now.  So, for this week, my husband used priceline - and got a good rate.  He checked around for furnished month-to-month rentals - they are about the same price.  The realtor thinks we should hear something on the short sale shortly (pun intended) - we sure hope so.  We prefer not to rent something in the interim.  This short sale business has been frustrating.  I plan to plant some more seeds - a herb "garden" - more like a mound. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

5/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, my daughter and I got our hair done at the cheaper beauty school.  The price is right, but if you go, be prepared for the "do" to take almost twice as long - because the instructor has check/grade everything - which is a good thing.  The dog is still at Petsmart.  We are having a family BBQ tomorrow.  My responsibility is dessert and side dishes.  Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I am making pineapple upside down cake, macaroni salad, and veggies for the burgers.  My daughter is making apple pies and a trifle.  She is going to another BBQ in the evening and will take an apple pie and the trifle.  We also have bbq beans on hand.  My dad is bringing the breads.  I got the meat on sale last week - family pack of steaks in the manager special bin now defrosting in the fridge, bratwurst on sale, chicken breasts on sale, and ribs on sale plus sent in for a $5 rebate.  Got the BBQ sauce for pennies - on sale and a doubled coupon.  I also purchased furniture polish, I will be polishing up the table and getting home made placemats and napkins out.  Mailbag:  Coupon for a free tub of flushable Cottonelle - free tp is useful :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

5/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  It took two trips in two vehicles to get all of our "winnings" from the auction.  It was a tight fit, but we got it all.  The dining room table makes such a big difference in the look of the dining room.  My daughter loves her highboy too.  I thought I would want to change out the fabric on the seats right away - but, I think I will wait.  Mail was good - got our state tax refund - and deposited it with a roll of quarters and the lawn mower settlement check.  We ate lunch with the 80% off Restaurant.Com gift certificate - the meal was great!  We did some grocery shopping - mainly manager's specials on organic items - or sales and a coupon organic items at Kroger.  Cage free eggs were cheaper than the "regular" stuff.  My husband mowed the lawn and the plants have gotten a lot of free watering lately.  Tomorrow morning, my daughter and I have an appointment at the beauty school to get our hair "done".  Also, the discounted gift cards I ordered are all here.  Just in the nick of time, the dog will be getting groomed at Petsmart - and her discounted card is here too.  Also, we were e-mailed a coupon to get her an initial exam at the Petsmart vet clinic - Banfield (I believe) for free.  We are going to take advantage of it.  She has a great vet now - but it costs an arm and leg for just about any service.  Dog had an upset stomach, no problem, $330.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

5/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since I had to go to a meeting after lunch, I decided to stop at a few places during lunch to make it worth while.  First to Bath and Body Works - I got 3 items free since I am in the LUV club and it is Thursday.  The retail value is $10 - 1 small candle, 1 small bac pac, and 1 travel sized lotion.  Then to Victoria's Secret about 3 doors down:  I got a free pair of panties with any purchase - so, I bought 3 hand sanitizers for $5.  Then the new Bombshell Spray was $25, on sale for for $15, and I used my husband's $10 birthday giftcard - and got it for $5 plus tax.  When I got home - free in the mail:  sample of Seattle's Best coffee grounds, $2 off $10 Publix meat coupon, and a $10.XX settlement check for Lawn mower engine class action.  I now have 4 days off from my day job :)  I can now concentrate on my home job.  First order of business, pick-up the larger auction pieces I "won" last Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I had two great customer service experiences today.  First was with 1800contacts - I order four boxes of contacts in March.  My rx changed this week - I was dreading calling them to ask for an exchange.  I thought if I could just exchange the sealed boxes, I'd be happy.  The Rep. went even further - she said they could credit me for the unused ones too - and they'd mail me a shipping label for returning them - and they have already sent out a box each of the new Rx.  Then, we flew on USAir when we went to DC.  I didn't remember if I even had a frequent flyer account with them.  So, I thought I would get a hassle - the Rep. was great.  She patiently tried a few alternatives - found my account, cheerfully credited me the miles from our trip, gave me my account number, signed my daughter up for an account and credited her account too.  Before this recession, I loathe to call to do anything that seemed tedious and mundane.  I don't know if people are greatful for their jobs, to get business or what - but these last two days have been wonderful in dealing with businesses.  During lunch today, I added $25 to my Starbucks card - and I get $5 free the week of June 6 because I used my Visa, I got an e-mail from Starbucks informing me about this deal.  I also did a receipt survey for a free burger or chix sandwich at Burger King with the purchase of fries/drink.  The other survey was for Rite Aid - got another $3 off $15 purchase that is good for a couple of weeks.  I am hoping they have lots of freebies? this week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Does a person's disposition encourage freebies?  Generosity?  Today was a day filled with errands - and freebies.  First, I took my daughter to the dermatologist - on our way out - he told me to pick-out a bar of French soap - "on me (him)".  The stuff is $10 - and I was surprised - and pleased.  Then we stopped at Kroger - my daughter asked for 4 mini canoli's - the lady gave her the last 7 for the price of 4 :)  Also at Kroger today, I found a form to get $5 off baby back ribs and $1 off 2 cases of water or 2 bags of ice.  These were in the beer and wine section - no alcohol purchase required.  I had to stop at Rite Aid for an rx - my receipt had a survey code - and upon completion - I got a $3/$15 coupon.  Well, we are almost out of saline solution.  So, I searched the web and got 2 $2/1 Renu Fresh - Rite Aid has the double packs for $9.99 - and a $2 UP prints out - max 4.  Well, I bought 2 packs (4 bottles) for just over $3 each if you count the $4 in UPs I received.  I turned around and bought 2 Lindt Chocolate bars (1 for my husband and 1 for my daughter) - I had a $1 off coupon - after coupons and UPs - I paid just over $1 for both.  Mailbag:  I got a sample of Purex/Zout and a coupon for a free bag of Ore Ida sweet potato fries.  I also rolled 1 roll of quarters and 1 roll of nickels - and had 1 rebate check and a rent check - they went to the credit union - I was in too big of a hurry to stop for their delicious coffee.  But I enjoyed a cup at home with my free International Delight Breva Vanilla Carmel flabor - yum, yum :)  Added:  Victoria's Secret sent my husband a $10 giftcard for his birthday ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

5/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband's employer extended his per diem which will cover this past month.  It is a reduced coverage - and fortunately, he lived like it wasn't going to be approved, so, now that it is, we are happy.  The past two weeks, he has been staying a a nicer hotel - but using free hotel points and gift cards for dining out.  The real estate agent is suppose to call him back about the short sale tonight.  Seems like it went into a do-loop again.  How long does it take to order an appraisal - surely not over a week.  There's the telephone, telegram, e-mail - they should have been able to "order" one by now.  He looked at a foreclosed property today - although it was nice, he said it smelled funky.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Today, we went to an antique auction.  It wasn't as packed as I thought it would be.  I realize antiques in general have fallen out of favor.  I have always liked antiques, but never wanted to pay the prices.  Our dining room table is "early marriage, K-mart".  It has served us well, but, it was time to get one I really wanted.  If I am not mistaken, the one we got at the auction - probably is around the same dollar amount I paid - but technically less - since there has been some inflation.  Anyway, my husband can take the K-mart set, and we can use the new set to stage the dining room when we put the place up for sale next year?  Anyway, I got a mahogany table for six and six mahogany chairs - 2 with arms.  The seat fabric is not my favorite - but that would be an easy fix :)  We got a few other things - it was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.  We even let a few things "get away" :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More 5/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  From the farmer's market, we got Bok Choy, Goat Cheese, Lettuce, green onions, raspberry/fig preserves, and sugar coated pecans - just over $20.  Then to Arby's, my daughter was going to use her Chicken Salad pecan sandwich coupon with the purchase of a drink - she did.  But the cashier told her to keep it since it doesn't expire until tomorrow.  She asked if I and my husband could use it, she said yes . . . so, we each got the sandwich for lunch today.  My daughter and husband also each ordered the curly fries.  The sandwich really is fantastic :)  Unfrugal deed for the day:  we didn't wait for Thor in 3D to come out in DVD - so, we paid too much to watch it - but is was pretty good.  My husband seemed to enjoy it the most - and he deserved it - he re-mortered the bricks that needed it around the plant beds and he started stripping more stain from cabinet doors.  He said it will be my job to stain them all.  Sounds like a good deal to me.  On to more frugal deeds,  my husband returned some empty ink cartridges to Staples; and he picked up some plant fertilzer at Lowes - which will be free after rebate - and of course he charged it to his British Airways credit card.  The fertilizer was $9.XX and the rebate was for up to $10.  I am going to order some giftcards and use my British Airways credit card.  Since I've used up my Lowes tax refund gift card, I might as well get another at a discount since I will be buying more stain.  I also need to start painting too - since I am planning to put this house up for sale next year.  I got in on the glidden free quart.  This time, I got the light gray - will use it in another bathroom.  I believe there are some paint refund deals out there now too.

5/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I would like to go to the local farmer's market to get produce.  We need to do our part to keep them in business.  It is sad to see businesses close.  I mentioned one restaurant in the area, that we liked, closed last week.  Another, I am on the e-mail list for, sent an e-mail out last week letting customers know that they are struggling.  I also want to make it to Kroger's today - not sure how long the deal is on, but if you spend $25 on certain products, you get a catalina for $10 off your next purchase.  Some items include Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropics products, Energizer, Playtex, and ?  Anyway, we need sunscreen for this summer, so, I have several $1 off coupons that I can combine.  The stuff is not cheap and they recommend you use a bunch, so, I hope to get a summer's worth today. I have cut back on my spending; and I have that British Airways credit card that will net me 100,000 airmiles if I spend $2,500.  I have until July to do it.  I was reading the June issue of ALL YOU and it talks about buying giftcards at a discount.  So, I checked out the sites listed.  I was hoping for grocery store gift cards to chains in the area.  Sadly, there were none.  So, my plan "b" is to buy the balance I need to get to the $2,500 at the end of June in chain grocery giftcards.  Also, my daughter and my hair need some trimming, I am going to call the school and see if I can get the two of in today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More 5/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband and I played the Skittles Instant win game . .  . he won $5 in summer fun bucks and I won a coupon for free candy - yippee!  Also today, I tried to make a reservation to a restaurant in which I had purchased a giftcertificate at Restaurant.com - wouldn't you know it - they closed last week - for good.  But Restaurant.Com was great - they sent me a code and I got 2 $25 off $35 gift certificates for 2 local restaurants I haven't tried - and they are both reasonably priced - so, the three of us should be able to eat for the minimum amount.

5/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I met my husband for lunch at Arby's.  We went Dutch and we each used an Internet Printed coupon for a Free Market Fresh Grilled Chicken & Pecan Salad with the purchase of a 22oz Pepsi Beverage.  The sandwich (or wrap) was wonderful.  Just like the kind you can get at a gourmet deli.  And they were very flexible.  I asked to switch my fountain drink out for a milkshake and the manager approved the switch - so, I got a regular shake.  I believe the coupon expires tomorrow.  Then this afternoon, I used a free code to rent a Redbox movie and did a bit of coupon shopping.  My best deals were the "Just My Size" t-shirt (for work-outs) priced at $6 and I used the $5 coupon in last months "ALL YOU" magazine.  I also got a few cheap items in the trial sized section - oh, and I had a $1 Shedd's Spread Country Crock - and got a small tub of honey spread marked .98 - so, I had a .02 overage.  I was shocked when the cashier said, "You did really well" :)  This Wal-mart has not generally been all that coupon friendly.  Glad they have changed with the times.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5/19 Expressions

Mailbag!  Pictured are the freebies I received today.  The children's magazines are from the mail "decoy" company - my daughter loved them when she was younger; now I take them to work and give them to a co-worker who has two young daughters.  Annies sent me a pair of garden gloves, carrot seeds, and a pack of coupons.  Vocalpoint sent me a sample box of cereal and some great coupons.  Not pictured, a refund check.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5/18 Expressions

Today, at lunch-time, I got my seam ripper.  Wow - I thought the thing would cost .98 - nope, closer to $4.  And, it is from Wal-mart.  I also picked up a few groceries - I had coupons.  Although the weather has been cool, my garden and some flowers are doing really well.  May be they like the cool weather and free water from the rain.  Next weekend  will be a four day weekend for me.  Unfortunately, my daughter will be in school because of all of the bad weather we've had.  Mail call:  My husband and I finally got our passports and I got a notice from my daughter's pre-paid tuition fund.  Based on a class-action law-suit, the Winter 2010 will be the "base year" that will be the maximum tuition rate paid for the rest of the participants.  Uh, well, I guess it is better than just getting our contribution back.  My daughter was planning to stay in-state anyway, so, I hate that "they" lied to us - when I signed up - 4 years of tuition was promised - but, I can live with Winter 2010 being the base year.  Atleast the money will some growth.  Anyway, back to the four day weekend, I am looking forward to it and am hoping I can talk my husband into helping me finally finishing off the kitchen cabinets for once and for all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17 Expressions

Frugal project for the week:  Pictured is the ripped upholstery of a chair I paid $5 for about 20 years ago.  The fabrics are from clothes I no longer want.  The fushia jacket is about 15 years old and the lime green shirt is about 8 years old.  The fabrics are nice and can be pieced together to make a new cushion.  I want to save the piping - so, I looked for a seam ripper.  After a half an hour, I gave up.  I will get one at Wal-mart.  I plan to refinish the wood with the same stain we will be using on the kitchen cabinets.  Then, the chair can go with the built-in desk.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I picked-up my free trial pair of contacts today.  In the mail, I got my free Woman's Day.  For the rest of the evening, I plan to make meals for the next few days:  spagetti w/Italian sausage, lime bars, and butternut squash soup - and probably a 3 bean salad.  It will be easier to pack lunches and heat easy dinners.  My husband and the realtor went to look at a foreclosure - my husband said there were cracks that make the property look like it might have a foundation problem?  Also, he thinks they may have had a flood in the basement (musty smell, carpet ripped up).  Also, apparently there are multiple offers on - so, the realtor said if we want to put in offer, we need to do so by the 3 PM tomorrow.  The property was last sold in 2004 for $116K, last year's tax assessment was $113.2K - and foreclosure price is listed at $56,900.  Of course the reator told my husband, the listing agent on the short-sale would do her best to get the bank to agree to sell us the other property - so, we are going to give it two more weeks.   But, in the meantime - I will keep my eyes open.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5/15 Expressions

Frugal lesson of the week:  We went to a charity auction yesterday.  Part of it was a silent auction and part - a "live" auction.  During the silent part - we won a 2 day luxury stay w/grooming for the dog - for the price of grooming only at Petsmart.  During the live auction, my daughter was really excited about a couple of items.  She tends to get competitive and excited.  Okay, I bid on 4 major league baseball tickets which included a 4 day full sized car rental (the venue is about 4 hours away).  I bid on them for my husband and the charity.  It was before he made it to the auction because my daughter is fan of one of the teams too.  My husband said, I did not get much of a bargain because they were general admission tickets - instead of just being happy and glad that if I did actually over pay by a few bucks - it went to charity.  Well, I had to leave for an acupuncture appointment - so, he and my daughter stayed for the rest of the auction.  When I got home, he sheepishly admitted that he and my daughter waaaaay over paid for an electric guitar - like more than twice the regular price.  I said atleast it went to charity.  But there you go, getting over-excited and carried away - and continuing to bid - just because you feel like you can and you have to win - the psychology of an auction.  Had it been a "regular" auction, I said it would have been like "winning the fight, but losing the war." - just be glad the overage went to a good cause. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More 5/14 Expressions

Don't forget - today is "Stamp out Hunger" day - your mail-person will be happy to take some non-perishables off your hands.  I did not get a grocery bag - so, I put mine out in my own grocery bag.  My daughter made just over $230 at her yardsale.  Now,she and I are heading to the charity auction.

5/14 Expressions

My husband and daughter got up early to set-up for the community yardsale.  So glad to see things leaving and hopefully teaching my daughter some work ethics and entrepenural skills.  I am the support team, I made banana/blueberry smoothies for them for energy :)  Also some strong coffee with dirt cheap creamer to keep my husband awake ;)  I am going to head to the "Y" in a few minutes.  When I get back, we are going to a local charity auction.  Hopefully, later this afternoon, early this evening, I can plant some more perennial flower seeds in the weed patch in our yard.  I also found some herb seeds I need to plant too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

More 5/13 Expressions

As far as the short sale, the realtor told my husband the appraisal has been ordered - we want a closing date!  The next two weeks, we are going to use the rest of our Hilton points for my husband to stay at a Hampton in, and he is using the $55 in Darden Restaurants and $10 Panara giftcards to cut down on food expenses.  Since our daughter is going to Alaska this summer, we signed up for Traveler's insurance - and the card came with a rebate form for 5% Hotel costs in the past 45 days.  Most have been reimbursed by my husband's new employer - but everyone has limits - and why this short sale is taking so long is beyond me.  So, that rebate will help a bit.  I guess we need to look at the tax forms next year and see if we can deduct any of this hassle.  Tomorrow is yard sale day.  Hope my daughter makes some $.  She and my husband will be working it.  I am going the "Y" and will plant some more flower seeds to help make the weedy part of our backyard a little more attractive in case we put the place up for sale next year.

5/13 Expressions

I had a dentist appointment this morning and to make the most of it, I thought I'd stop at the Publix near it.  Sadly, that Publix quit taking Earth Fare competitor coupons.  Anyway, I did get some nice cut roses for $1 with a Kroger coupon, and few other good deals.  I decided to stop at the Publix near my home - since they were out of blueberries when I checked yesterday.  They had the blueberries - so, I got over $10 worth of groceries, and used the Earthfare coupon for a free pint of blueberries with a $10 purchase.  My total purchase price was $7.XX after coupons.  The sad thing is,  the cashier told me this Publix would no longer take Earth Fare coupons after May 23rd.  Also, yesterday, I stopped at Bruegger's with a coupon for a free bagel with cream cheese - and I purchased a 1/2 dozen.  When I got to the cashier, she said the coupon was fradulent and they weren't taking them.  I love coupons and I love saving money.  But, I wonder if this "Extreme Coupon" craze has caused a lot of over zealous shoppers that is causing the stores to start limiting the use of coupons.  Also, although the Bruegger's cashier asked where the coupon came from, I just said the internet - but sure enough, if came off of a couponer's website.  Hopefully, the couponer inadvertantly posted the coupon.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

5/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The heating/cooling boss dropped the price by $50 from his quote.  I'll take it.  I gave blood, so, I didn't have to take any vacation time to deal with the installation.  Also, when I gave blood, they gave me a t-shirt, re-usable shopping bag, stuffed "bloodhound", coupons (gave them away - for cookies dough and the like), cookies, and a few bottles of water.  I think they put extras in my bag - because I am almost a regular.  Now, I need to make the most of the rest of the day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More 5/11 Expressions

I read on-line that Aldi is building a store in our area.  I love coupons, but so far, no one around here can beat Aldi's sale prices on produce.  And, many years ago, my husband and I lived and worked in Germany.  It is so nice to have access to some European food items! It is months away, but it is something to look forward to.

5/11 Expressions

We decided we really needed to cool the house down last night.    It did not cool down until after dark.  So, I called the heating and cooling company recommended by my rental management agency, and they were prompt.  I wonder if the power cutting off and being out 5 days when the tornados ran through here might have had something to do with it.  The result, the upstairs unit was frozen and needed R-2 - and is cooling.  The downstairs unit, the compressor shorted out - and I need a new one.  So, the repair guy left and said the boss would call when he called in the compressor numbers.  Wouldn't you know it, this is the last year for the warranty on the thing - we just made it in the nick of time.  So, I will have an installation charge and of course whatever R-2 they need to put into the thing.  A little bit of look and good fortune helped me to be a little frugal today :)  Fingers crossed that the compressor arrives asap - latest tomorrow a.m.  But, I am hoping it gets installed today.  I got a rent check today - it was from the house with a lot of trees and where one of the trees broke the railing on the deck and the renter said he'd fix it for free - but we asked him to submit a bill - apparently he didn't.  When my daughter gets home, I think we will head out for a 1/2 priced frappuccini from Starbucks and get our free bagel and cream cheese from Brueggars - and if they have a good selection - buy the baker's dozen since today is the discounted price day - I think $6.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5/10 Expressions

Mailbag:  10 first class postage stamps for being a "mail decoy".  I finally heard from the realtor on the foreclosed property.  The more information I get, the less excited I am about it.  The property is at the beach.  The former owners took all of the furniture and some fixtures (sinks).  The list price is not much lower than the tax appraised price.  The rental history for a similar unit is not very good.  So, back to the drawing board.  I am going to take my time looking.  I keep reading more and more articles about a lower bottom to the real estate market.  The short sale we are trying to buy - I feel confident about - it is more than 1/2 of the zillow value and about 40%  below the tax assessed value.  Not to jinx the stock market - but it looks like a happy day for it today too.  We are having very warm weather right now . . . I was hoping to go to the "Y" - but, probably won't.  Update:  after going through the rest of my mail, I got a coupon for a Free John Freida Precision Foam Colour - cheaper than going to the beauty school and I have a credit on my 1-800-ped-meds order.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More 5/9 Expressions

Mailbag:  I received a coupon in the mail for a free Breve Creamer and some .55/1 coupons to in a very cute package - a "to go" coffee cup and lid - all the courtesy of Vocalpoint, and I received my British Airways CC.   Still waiting for information from the foreclosed property and also, an update from the short-sale realtor.  Nice the stock market ended up a few points.

5/9 Expressions

I am home today.  I finally got around to check on the nagging little things like:  my husband got his British Airways credit card over a week ago, I did not get mine.  I just called, mine was just mailed out a few days ago.  Next, since our phone hadn't been working, and now it does, I didn't want to blame the dentist for not calling me about my crown.  I now have an appointment to get my crown put in.  Also, they sent me several bills - odd because they collect up front.  Turns out they did not wait for the dental insurance company to pay their part . . . finally nice to get some resolve.  This tornado thing definitely was no fun.  We had it a whole lot easier than a lot of people - but it sure was a inconvenience.  Now, I am keeping my eye out on the dog.  She seemed under the weather this weekend, and if it continued, I was going to take her in.  So far, she seems to have gotten her "groove" back and I am thankful because last time we took her in, it was around $330.  Next, I am going to continue to work in the garage and help my daughter along to prepare for the community yard sale.  I also plan to make some snickerdoodles - and bake a spagetti squash and a butternut squash at the same time.  I don't plan to leave the house today.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More 5/8 Expressions

I was looking at some real estate last night.  I found a foreclosure that is really interesting.  My husband and daughter thought it looked interesting too.  At this stage, we would really like to add to a nestegg for our daughter's education.  I wonder if we've become too conservative.  If we got it, we would withdraw money from our HELOC.  I believe the rate is still 2.7% and would pay it back in 24 months or less (if no other surprises came up).   So, I e-mailed the listing agent this afternoon.  I asked several questions.  I am wondering if it is even still available.  Hopefully, I will find out tomorrow.  I need to call the bank and ask if the rate on the HELOC is still 2.7% - it can change monthly - but only went up .1 in the last 3 years or so.  Meanwhile, we are hoping the bank's appraiser on the shortsale comes in around our offer.    I am also going to keep my eyes open on the local market for a foreclosure.  My husband's new job will pay closing/realtor costs of buying the shortsale - and for the sale of our current home.  We have 2 years to sell.  I'd like to put it on the market next year.  As it stands, the educational system here is better than the one in my husband's area.  Plus, there is a possibility that there may be cutbacks in my husband's area in the next 2 years.  So, as much as I would rather move and be a frugal housewife, it looks like I may just tough it out at least until our dauther is out of of high school.  So, once again, if we sold the current house, it could shore up her educational fund.  We could move into a smaller/less expensive house in the same school district.  Convert it to a rental once she is out of high school.  And that should do it, we should have properties paid for and hopefully getting a nice rental income; and have her educational fund.  I am thinking I would "quit" my job a few years early and perhaps withdraw from my 401K equivalent using rule 72T.  Then, when I hit retirement age, I can file for my retirement . . . I guess we shall see what the future holds.

5/8 Expressions

Happy Mother's Day!  Although I asked my husband and daughter to not buy me anything for mother's day, they purchased a "singing card".  It seems the yard weathered the storm fairly well.  We took a few photos:  my Kroger flowers that were pretty cheap - but very pretty, a yellow rose that bloomed in the yard, the clematis vine that is very full and a red rose trying to bloom in the midst, surviving fruit on our peach and pear trees, and the 3 rose bushes I got from Lowes that I need to plant today.  I thought I might have to buy potting soil - I have 2 bags left in the garage.  So, I am going to the "Y" for a work-out - and then start the planting.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5/7 Expressions

We celebrated Mother's Day today since we didn't want to get caught in the crowds.  My husband mowed the lawns, trimmed the trees, made breakfast, did the dishes, and re-mortered the brick hedging of the flower bed today.  He also arranged for knology to fix our phone.  After the bad weather, our phone only rang once and the line was very staticy (is that a word).  Initially, we were told we would have to pay $25 for a service person to come out.  When we stated it became that way after the storms, they said they would waive that fee.  We are happy our line is working again.  My daughter did a bit of baking, cooking, and cleaning today.  Very nice gifts indeed :)  I took some "me" time and went to Kohl's with the $10 GC they e-mailed me and bought a pack of nice underwear - I had an out of pocket expense of just under $10.  Then to Lowes with my Home Depot Buy 2 Roses, get one Free coupons.  Initially, the cashier balked - but she called the manager and he said they do match competitor's coupons - so, I got 3 new rose bushes for just over $20.  I used the last of my "tax refund" gift card plus just over $2 out of my wallet.  Then to the acupuncturist - it was very relaxing.  Next, I had an appointment with the eye dr.  It appears the reason my multi-focal lenses are bothering me is because my vision has improved - ha - I thought it would get worse with age.  So, he ordered a trial pair and I am to try them out for a week to make sure they are what I need.  I made a stop at Publix and picked up a few goodies.  Then to Kroger.  I wanted to cook my own mother's day meal.  While eating dinner, we watched the "King's Speech" a very good movie indeed.  Mail stunk.  Tomorrow, I will plant my rose bushes where I want them to be.  Oh, when I got my receipt from Kroger - a coupon for $3 off of flowers kicked out.  So, I went in and bought a fresh bouquet - after coupon and with tax, just over $2.

Friday, May 6, 2011

5/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Last night, I made scones from cranberries and lemon (zest) that I did not toss from the fridge.  The scones were very tasty :)  Today, I am going to put my hydrangea back and other plants back outside - they have been in the garage for over a week since the storm.  Tomorrow, I am hoping to go to Lowes and get the BOGO rose bushes with my coupon and giftcard.  Hopefully, I can get everyone on board to get stuff ready for the yardsale next weekend.  In today's mail - a free deoderant sample for my husband.  I am also half tempted to stop by Starbucks and get a Frapuccino for 1/2 priced with another giftcard I have . ..

Thursday, May 5, 2011

5/5 Expressions

The short-sale agent called my husband and said it sounds more positive that the bank will accept our offer.  She had him come in and re-sign the papers - the original had expired.  Apparently they are sending out an appraiser.  And, they have accepted a closing date of NLT June 6, 2011.  I also contacted shopgoodwill about the returned order.  They said they authorized a return of my funds today - so, the credit should show up on my account in a 2 days.  One other administrative thing I need to do - sign-up for USAirs frequent flyer card and get our mileage credited.  Stock market has been a stinker :(  Mail was too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Even More 5/4 Expressions

Networking/talking pays:  I will be going back to work tomorrow.  I was talking with a co-worker and she was lamenting the loss of her frozen/perishable foods - and commenting on how cheap her insurance company is.  I told her I did not even call the insurance company because I have a high deductible.  She told me to check on my policy - because she thought there was no deductible when you lose food due to a power outage.  Well, she was right.  And my insurance company, USAA, was fantastic.  In 5 minutes or less, the adjuster stated she would have my loss direct deposited into my checking account.  She said it would take 3 to 5 business days.  Wow - I learn something new everyday - and of course - that old adage, never assume.

More 5/4 Expressions

Mailbag!  Pictured are the freebies I received in the mail.  I forgot to report that yesterday, I got my free "Woman's Day" magazine and a coupon for Diet Coke (pictured - already redeemed).  Today, I got a coupon fr a free full sized bottle of Suave Professionals; a coupon for a free Pack of KRAFT Natural Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia from Vocal Point (and a coupon for $1 off the same), from Kroger - a bunch of coupons and a coupon for a FREE 1 dozen Large Eggs, a Sample of SHOUT Color Catcher, and for some reason Uncle Ben's sent me 2 coupons for a free UNCLE BEN'S READY RICE and they also came with a .75 off the same.  Very useful freebies - will be great in keeping my grocery bill down next week :)

5/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I shut off the heating and cooling unit because we were asked not to overload the electrical system.  It should save me a some $ too.  I planned out my errand trip - Wal-mart's - got my free gum from Murphy's Oil, to the Credit Union to deposit - also included a roll of pennies (.50), then to Kroger - saved 50% with coupons and deals.  I spent a bit more than I had planned - but of course - we pretty much had an empty fridge/freezer.  I made a call to the Realtor handling our offer on the short sale - and let her know that not being able to get in touch with the "processor" at the bank was unacceptable.  I asked her to contact the person's supervisor.  She said she'd get on it.  We shall see.  The weather is sunny, but mild - a nice bonus :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5/3 Expressions

Frugal Lessons of the week:  We were affected by the tornados this past Wednesday.  Fortunately, we had no damage - other than our power/phone signal was out - and apparently restored yesterday.  What I learned from that event - my daughter was bored - so we played board games during the day on Thursday and did some yard work (pulling weeds, taking tree limbs to the curb, etc.) on Friday.  We called the hotel at the airport for a reservation - and got one.  They were running on generator power.  We weren't very worried - because, we had been planning for our trip to Washington, D.C. since my daughter was a poster contest winner.  Our flight was scheduled for early Saturday a.m.  We were out of power since Wednesday evening.  Things were a bit "hairy".  Traffic signals not working; people panicing for fuel (fortunately I had 3/4's a tank) - and we checked on my dad (aka, dog sitter) and he was fine too - but without power.  Since we were going to D.C. - we had not purchased a bunch of groceries - I did lose some from the fridge - and I bit more than I would like out of the freezer - but, it was a pittance compared to many people.  Our flight was cancelled, re-routed, etc. but we finally made it to D.C. Saturday evening.  We stayed at the Capital Hilton because we have Hilton points - and much to our happiness, even though my husband's traveling has been reduced - and he droped a category in "status" - we were still able to use the conceirge room.  That was a wonderful benefit because we had free breakfast every morning - soda, water, and Starbucks coffee all day and on Monday - we had a free dinner - manager's something - with lots of fresh veggies and finger foods - and cookies and milk between 8-10.  Plus, the hotel was very convenient as far as the metro and very close to Capitol.  So, we did not use a cab once, the entire time we were there.  At the ceremony, they gave us each a goodie bag with lots of neat stuff - flash light, first aid kit, etc. - and they also provided a nice lunch.  So, our food expeditures were minimal.  Sunday night, around 11PM EST, we heard a lot of honking horns and yelling.  Our city has most of its power restored - but, there are still those without power.  My daughter is sad that she has to return to school tomorrow - and that I am "off" from work because my building is still without power.  Fortunately, the mail kept coming - and I got a nice pair of tweezers to try-out :)  Tomorrow, I plan to go through my coupons and do some grocery shopping and hopefully get back into the frugal mode.  Oh, and my daughter learned a lesson or two during this time too.  Another lesson she learned, that because we are frugal, we have money to spend on things we want.  An opportunity came up for her to go on a cruise this summer to Alaska - we are going to allow it.  But, she will have lots of chores.  And will have to earn her spending money - so, hopefully, she will sell a bunch of stuff at the upcoming yardsale.

ADDED:  I got a Jones of NY Pant Suit a Filene's Basement for $19.99 plus tax - they were having their take an additional 75% off clearance stuff sale :)