Saturday, July 30, 2011

7/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yup, it is controversial, but, I was approved for the Thank-you Premier card and hope to comply with the terms and get 5 $100 gift cards.  As stated previously, we do not carry balances, are not in the market to get a mortgage - so, will suffer a few point ding against my credit rating for $500.  We had to change plans for my dad's birthday - it rained - but we are grateful - as the plants really needed it.  So, we cooked everything on the stove - not as tasty and maybe not as frugal - but it was a nice and enjoyable meal.  He enjoyed his gift basket and asked if he could take a couple of helpings of the dessert with him - why certainly since we sure don't need the extra calories.  He took a container of the triffle and another with baklava.  He also took home extras of the meal to have for dinner and lunch tomorrow,  My husband and I are about to get out and trim some more bushes now that the sun has peeped out.  Oh, and I got a skin care kit for my daughter in the mail and my free Woman's Day magazine.

Friday, July 29, 2011

7/29 Expressions

Frugal ramblings for the day:  My husband could not find the invoice for the Sun Visor repair from Honda - and I want our money back - so, he stopped buy and they were able to give him a copy.  Tomorrow is our BBQ/birthday for my dad - we used a bunch of coupons.  So, since I ordered the rebate form, we purchased a few more groceries.  Not so frugal - I left with a list of free Blockbuster rental codes and not one worked.  I got my bill for my Southwest Airlines credit card bill - just over $20 for a $25 PF Chang giftcard - and I have my 50,000 miles already.  I was going to cash it in for a $500 Lowes giftcard - but we have a better idea.  My brother moved to New Mexico - so, we have decided to we will get 4 free tickets - and take my dad along.  That will be part of his Christmas present.  We haven't been together in a few years - so, we figured now is as good of a time as any.  I am shocked that even though the economy has been all that great, I believe this month has been an excellent month for rentals for our condo.  So, another nice check next month.  We made the HELOC payment this month as planned. 2/5's gone.  This weekend, my husband and I will put on our landscaper hats and trim the bushes even more and see if we can't make the HOA lady happy ;(  ADDED:  Also, it used to be that my credit union was a better deal than any bank.  Lately, that is not the case.  As my credit union expanded - customer-wise and foraying into insurance and investment sales, they are now not always the best deal.  As for the HELOC, we chose the bank because they gave us a great rate - 2.7 currently and it cost us nothing to get it.  Also, my credit union used to give out coin wrappers for free.  Now they don't even have them.  They want you to use their automated coin coin machine - kind of like a slot machine - spits out a receipt of the amount of coins you put in, minus a hefty fee.  Cheap as I am, I am not about to dump my coins in there for the fee they charge.  I'd rather use Coinstar and get a no additional charge gift certificate.  But just for fun, when we made the HELOC payment at the bank today and asked for coin wrappers - they were happy to give them to us - so, back to rolling coins for me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

7/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My co-worker again bestowed some lovely vine ripened tomatos on me.  It will be great for the BBQ we are having for my dad on Saturday.  Oh and a frugal tip, when I went to Dollar Tree last weekend, they had "famous brand" adult t-shirts for $1 - not that I bought any - but I did buy 2 loaves of Nature's Own wheat bread for $1 a loaf and a pack of buns for this weekend.  I guess it is like the 'day old' bread store - these had a few more days before their best if sold by date.  I put a loaf in the freezer - as I did the buns.  I was going to make my second batch of baklava - but, I think I will put it off till tomorrow.  I'd rather not use the oven until I really need to.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  At lunch today, I stopped by Pier 1 with the $10 facebook coupon that expires today - I got an organizer basket for my mail - $0 out of pocket.  Earthfare sent me a $1 coupon good on 1 Quart of Organic ice cream - I got it too - since they are about a block away - strawberries and cream yum!  The weather has been so dreadfully hot that I have been eating the chocolate covered bananas myself.  I hope I have a few left for my daughter when she gets home this weekend.  I also ate 2 of the 3 peaches we got from our tree (first year) - they are delicious.  Looks like a bug got one of our pears - but there are 4 thriving so far.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

7/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a free bar of Soy Joy in the mail and some coupons.  I hope to use the $10 Pier1 coupon tomorrow - as it expires then.  I plan to be the family gardener and plant the plants today - and I plan to file the receipt - I believe Wal-mart and Lowes have a plant guarantee - if it dies within the first year - you can return it for a refund.  I am going to make-up a batch of brown rice to cover me for the rest of the week.  Planning a meal for one is simple - but in all honesty, I am flying by the seat of my pants :)  Chocolate covered bananas are yummy - especially in this heat wave.  I need to water my "garden".  So far, it has been pitiful - the bugs ate my only cabbage plant - so far, I have only picked 1 small yellow squash.  Lots of flowers out there - must be some kind of melon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, at work, a co-worker gave me bagful of tomatos grown in her garden - I had a tomato sandwich for dinner - it was delicious.  Mail call:  $30 check for being a good mail decoy, 3 hair care samples from Aveda to tame the frizziness, a coupon for a free single serving bag of Skittles, my PF Chang giftcard from Cardpool.  Bad news, HOA thinks we should trim our scrubs some more :(  I need to get the pretty flowers planted asap. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

7/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  This week, I had several drips of income from various sources.  I received a rebate check or two, my $5 Amazon e-code cleared from swagbucks, and I cashed in for a $10 Panera gift card.  There's an antique auction going on today and I sure would love to go - but, I won't.  There really isn't anything I need and I need to keep my eye on the ball - declutter as much as possible when we attempt to sell this this house early next year.  But I will be running out and about - I need to return something from Big Lots and while I am there - Petsmart is next door - so, I will be running in to get the dog a treat.  Also in the same complex, Target - might see if they have a deal or two.  And we have a bit of change left on our Michael's card - I plan to use it us.  Oh, and Sears, I need to use that $10 freebie Craftsman card, my dad's birthday is coming up, we plan to do a bbq for him.  The man has everything he needs and wants, so, I am making up a basket.  He likes, to try a variety of cheese, and he likes gadgets.  So, he will be getting a basket of both.  This Saturday morning, we will get him a variety of fresh goat cheese to add to a variety of crackers and some kind of gadget from Sears.  Instead of a plain cake, I have frozen leftover cake in the freezer - I plan to make a triffle and I will also make a big batch of baklava to use up the other box of phyllo dough I have in the freezer.  Also this week, our first HELOC payment is due on the foreclosure - I plan to pay the $50 in interest and 2/5ths of the principle.  2/5ths plus interest next month, and 1/5 plus interest in September.  My goal was to pay it off by the end of October - so, we will be a month early baring some catastrophic financial disaster.  The house is pretty much livable - we need a bit more furnace work which we plan to hire someone to do by the end of next month.  My husband rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the carpets yesterday.  He will slowly replace the carpeting with laminate flooring - installing it himself as time permits.  So far, I would say we have spent just under $3,500 on repairs (air conditioner, garbage disposal, furnace, shower leak, carpet cleaner and supplies), new appliances (stove, fridge, washer, dryer) and furniture (2 queen mattress sets, frames).  The rest of the stuff we had - microwave, minimal furniture, paint and brush for one wall.  At this time, I am tempted to sign-up for a Citibank credit card which is offering a bonus of a $500 gift card - that would go a good way toward for the laminate.  Please note, signing-up for credit card offers is not for everyone.  We do not carry a balance on our cards, are not in the market to take out a mortgage ( few point drop in ratings won't affect us), etc.  So, please do not see this as an endorsement for signing up for a credit card.  I am just explaining what we do, or are planning on doing for our purposes only.  As they say, "your mileage may vary".

Saturday, July 23, 2011

7/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since I am home alone, I turned the temp up 2 degrees to use the air conditioner less.  I finally got around to making the chocolate covered bananas - and tried one (or two).  I hit the "Y" since it is air conditioned and I can watch trash tv on cable.  Then to Wal-mart to check-out the perennials - I found Rudebekia (sp) for 1/2 priced - and bought a 6 packs of impatiens.  None of the seeds I planted in the planter have sprouted - I guess lack of water and this horrible heat wave may be to blame - and a bit of laziness on my part.  Anyway, hope the perennials take root and keep coming back each year to some me some $.  So far, I have not received another ding letter from the HOA patrol.  Hopefully, the pretty flowers will distract them from any weeds.  I have not cooked all day - that saves on utilities - right :)  Tomorrow, I plan to run a few more errands and look for more stuff to take to our "new" house.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More 7/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a notice from ebay that my $3.25 in ebay bucks would be expiring shortly.  Not wanting to lose, I surfed around.  I looked at rebate forms and there was one to get $30 back on a $50 purchase of meat/seafood/produce - who doesn't want to save money on groceries - especially on items that rarely have coupons?  I am in one of those states where beer companies cannot require a beer purchase.  It was a Buy it Now of $2.99 plus .99 in shipping.  Kind of steep for shipping - but minus my $3.25 - a great return for the less than $1 spent.  Now, I just wish my Publix $10 giftcard show-up at the same time.  That's my thrill for the day :)  Oh, and on the rental front, I got my first notice from the city that the grass was over 8 inches tall.  It was a warning.  I called the property manager and she said I was about the 5th person to call.  Anyway, she swore she'd get on it.  She said she would give the tenants thru the weekend to cut the grass.  And she would inspect in Monday.  She said all of the other tenants she called have already mowed their lawn.  I am so glad we have a property manager - because I sure would hate to have to deal with this myself - personally :(

7/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I took my daughter to the airport for her trip and then stopped at the "Y" on my way home.  As for frugal - today, I plan to dye my hair with the free John Frieda Foam Hair Color.  I also plan to chocolate cover some bananas I froze a bit ago.  I will microwave the chips with a bit of butter and may drop some nuts and sugar I had leftover from making baklava.  I also plan to loot for things to go to the foreclosed home - or upcycle things.  It will be helpful in two ways:  reduce the clutter in this home when I put it up for sale next year and we can furnish/decorate the "new" home on the cheap :)  I don't plan on leaving the house for the rest of the day.  I may just curl up a bit on the couch and read.  It has been a while since I have the house totally to myself (the dog is still here :) . . . I picked the last peach off our tree - it had 3.  I plan to have a quick stirfry for lunch - I have a bit of leftover wheat noodles, the small yellow squash from the garden, and garlic.  Maybe a cold salad since I have a cucumber that needs to be used up too.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter and I redeemed the Victoria's Secret coupons today.  Tomorrow, my husband will have the foreclosure house spiffed up.  He is going to paint one living room wall.  The plumber will be in to install the missing disposal and fix the leak in the shower.  The heating and cooling company will fix the furnace - missing drip pans?  He is getting wifi at $35 per month as his cell phone does not get reception otherwise.  Lowes will deliver/install the ice maker, washer and dryer.  I will be taking our daughter to the airport for her cruise to Alaska.  One of our rental units' stove/broiler quit working - the thing is original and is over 20 years old.  It is being replaced at a cost of $470.  All we asked was that it be a glasstop.  Stock market was better today.  Nothing exciting in the mail.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7/20 Expressions

Mail call:  Today we received another coupon from Victoria's Secret for a free panty.  I also got a free Hefty trash bag from Vocalpoint with coupons.  We were going to go to Maggie Moos and get a free mini Coke Float this afternoon  and pick-up the free panties - but it is too hot.  We have heat advisory.  So, we will have to wait until Maggie Moos next birthday.  The panties, I will pick-up this weekend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I took my daughter to the dermatologist.  He is putting her on a new rx - and it costs $250 and insurance doesn't pay.  He also gave her one of the last coupons he had to get it free!!!!  I was in my gym clothes - maybe he felt sorry for me.  Last time he gave me a free bar of French mill soap.  My husband has never gotten any freebies.  May be he realizes the economy is bad?  Okay, enough gushing on the $250 coupon.  Mail call:  my husband and I each got a coupon from Victoria's Secret for a free panty - don't worry, my husband will give his to my daughter ;0) My daughter got a $5 Movie Cash certificate in the mail.  Talk about property tax - I need to get my husband fired-up about getting the assessed value of the foreclosed home down.  The annual taxes are higher 2 of our cheapest properties - I guess there's a difference because it is in another state - but still - the assessed value is no where near the "real/market" value.  Oh, and not to jinx it - but the stock market was a bit better today :)  Added:  Since I got the Southwest Airlines card and I need to make one purchase to get enough points for 2 free rountrip tickets, I went to plasticjungle.  Sadly, it appears Plasticjungle only takes paypal.  So, my new favorite site is Cardpool and I ordered a PFChang $25 giftcard which was discounted 9% with free shipping - and they take credit cards still!  Here is their link: - this is a referral link.  I may earn a small percentage if you do order.

Monday, July 18, 2011

7/18 Expressions

Mailbag:  .15 check from HOST, and both my husband and I have been approved for the Southwest Airlines credit card.  After 1 usage, we will have enough points to get a $500 gift card which will definitely come in handy as we would like to rip up the carpet in the foreclosure and install laminate ourselves.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

7/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We just returned from Big Lots - they are having a 20% off of everything in the store sale.  I brought my coupon - but they said one was not needed.  Our Vacuum was on its last leg - so we got a Eureka for $60.  We also ended up buying a fabric steamer for around the same price.  Since my daughter is into clothes, etc. - figured I might as well get one.  I also ended up buying some international food items that were discounted potato knocci (sp), soba noodles, etc.  We checked expiration dates.  Yesterday's mail - a rebate check and a coupon for a free bottle of Country Bob's sauce came.  Also today, I finally made the butternut squash soup and Italian style spagetti squash noodles.  Those will be side dishes for most of this week.  In addition, I made a batch of natural turkey patties and bakalava with the leftover puff pastry, honey, etc.  I did buy a bag of chopped walnuts from Wal-Mart - and a lb of butter - Great Value brand was almost half the price of brand name.  Added:  the vacuum, which was a re-manufactured one, did not work and we returned it and purchased one at Target.  We have had luck with re-manufactured items before - but this one was lemon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

7/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yesterday I got a $10 off anything coupon from Kohls.  My husband just used it and got a free shower liner - no money out.  We need one for the foreclosure house.  He also stopped at the farmer's market and picked up 4 more goat cheese tubs with our discounted membership card.  We will take two to my daughter's adoptive grandmother who wants to take us to a matinee.  She already purchased tickets.  She said she wants to take us out for lunch too - but, we are going to let her pay.  It is the place next door where upon each of us can get a free appetizer with the movie ticket stub.  Lots of leftovers for more meals :) - and a decent price.  Also, my husband decided only one wall in the foreclosure needed painting right away.  Turns out it is a light brown - so, for now, that wall will be painted with my free can of Glidden's paint - it is "Fawn" - so, it will be an accent wall.  Of course, sending my husband to the farmer's market can be dangerous - he decided to buy a small bag of organic peaches - $8 - wowsa - they are good though. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

7/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  All I can say is TGIF :)  I picked my yellow squash today - it doesn't seem to be growing any bigger - and I did not want it over ripen and rot.  For dessert - I made raspberry/fig preserves, walnut baked brie - in a puff pastery shell - yummy.  And the brie was $1.99 on Manager's Special at Kroger.  Tomorrow, we are going to a movie and eating lunch out with my daughter's adopted grandmother.  She wanted to eat first and watch a movie.  My daughter told her it is better to watch a movie first then eat because you can get a free appetizer with your movie ticket :)  So, we are going to an earlier matinee and then to lunch. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

7/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  we picked one peach - it seems almost ripe - so, we will keep it in the window sill.  We went grocery shopping at Wal-mart today and picked-up a few things.  Then to the credit union with the rent check and .50 in pennies.  Then to McDonalds for another round of BOGO smoothies and we each got a basic sandwich - me the burger - DD the cheeseburger.  It is so hot outside - it is hard to get the motivation to do anything once I am in the house.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We received a nice rent check from our condo.  June and July are usually big months - high rates and high occupancy.  Anyway - every bit of it will go toward the HELOC portion of the new foreclosure.  The airconditioner was not cooling in the Foreclosure - it was $300 to get it running properly and cooling.  The mattress and frames were delivered; as were the stove and fridge.  Unfortunately, they did not have the washer and dryer in stock - so, they will be delivered next week.  They also forgot the ice maker.  So, the foreclosure is coming right along.  Today, I earned enough swagbucks to redeem for a $5 gift card :)  In addition, while there - I noticed I could get 180 more swagbucks if I ordered a groupon - so, I got a $20 gift certificate for a bakery for $10 - my daughter's birthday is coming up - I think it may come in handy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

7/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband did a great job shopping for appliances at Lowes last night for our foreclosure house.  He got a black stove/fridge and a white washer/dryer - all brand new, will be delivered and installed free.  Originally, just over $2,000.  Yeterday was the last day for 10% on 3 of the brands.  Plus, I had e-mailed for a 10% off coupon.  Next, he had those discounted giftcards from plastic jungle (saved about $40 on $600 worth) - so, after discounts, he paid $9XX on his credit card.  His employer will be reimbursing him just over $1K for closing/misc expenses.  So, I figure the rest of the change can go toward paint - and eventually - change out the flooring ourselves - install laminate - hopefully we will be approved for those credit cards to get the $500 Lowes or Home Depot Gift Cards :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

7/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got my first bill for the HELOC on the foreclosed house.  I believe they calculate the interest differently - but, I will take it.  I owe $1.XX in interest - but have to pay a minimum of $50.    I plan to pay more than the minimum - and have several more weeks before the payment is due.  I will be marking it into my new little planner.  I don't know if we are approved yet, but I signed up for another credit card - it does have a $99 fee - but, for using it once, I can get free flights or a $500 giftcard.  I sure hope it gets approved - unfortunately it is with Chase - I already have several Chase cards - so, we shall see.  I am going to ask my husband to sign-up also.  2 X $500 (in Lowes or Home Depot) - $198 in fees will go a long ways in the minor repairs we need to make on the foreclosure and we also need to do a few things to our other "permanent" residence before we put it up for sale.  So, here's hoping.   Other than that - I stopped at the dry cleaners and picked-up some clothes - used the ancient coupon from back of the ancient receipt.  And since it was on the way - stopped at McDonald's for the BOGO cold drinks again.  This time I went for the Frappe and my daughter stuck with the smoothie.  I  currently have 12 turkey burger patties in the oven in addition, a spagetti squash, a butternut squash, and a large eggplant.  After they all bake, I am going to cook ahead and make several salads and side dishes for the rest of the week.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

7/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since I had a $3/$15 coupon for Rite aid and Sunscreen was BOGO1/2 and I have a rebate form for $6 on sunscreen when I spent $10 - I headed out for Rite Aid.  In addition to getting cheap sunscreen, I stopped at McDonald's with the BOGO Smoothie/Frappe/Lemonade coupon and my daughter and I each got one of the Mango/Pineapple Smoothies - yummy :)  Other than that, I am going to attempt to give myself a hair trim.  We purchased thinning scissors for $2 in Canada.  They almost got confiscated at the airport - we forgot to pack them in the check-in bag.  Anyway, they measured the blade and it was just under whatever the size to seize was.  I also purchased a 2.5 year planner for $3 at Wal-Mart a couple of days ago.  I am going to go back to using a planner and making notes.  I think that will help simpify my life.  In my younger years - I used one all the time.  Then I quit because I had a good memory.  Uh, not so much any more and with more activities than my own to track - I think this will give me a peace of mind - and less time wasting calling to find out the time of my appointment, etc.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7/9 Expresssions

Frugal deeds for the day:  we did go to the credit union and got the letters notarized for free and I deposited the few refund checks I received.  I was tempted to have a cup of coffee - but skipped it today.  Then we headed to the consignment store where we had won a gift certificate at a charity event.  The certificate was for $25 and we paid $12.50.  Anyway, we are glad to have found a new place.  My daughter got 2 pairs of shoes, one new, and 2 blouses for the gift certificate and just under $5 in cash.  She also found an alternative to Plato's.  Then we went to the movies to see "Horrible Bosses" - it was a good laugh.  Anyway, there was an advertisement showing discounts one could get using the movie stub.  We went to the restaurant next door and got three free appetizers -with our meal.  We had plenty for another meal - which we brought home in to go boxes.  Sadly in the mail, we got a Homeowner's association "ding" letter - our front flower bed has weeds - my daughter just weeded it yesterday - apparently the "drive-by" must have been earlier in the week - and they think our shrubs need a trimming :(  So, my husband ran to Wal-mart to get a few bags of pine nuggets for the flower bed - and will be trimming the shrubs.  Added:  we also stopped at the Farmer's Market and picket up 2 containers of goat cheese (honey, and plain) - no additional cost out of pocket since we "won" the punch-card at the charity auction - we get 20 containers.  Also got 2 cucumbers for $1- since we got there about 30 minutes before closing - pretty much everything was gone/picked-over.

Friday, July 8, 2011

7/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I researched forms on line.  My daughter is traveling with her friends family without us.  The travel agent said we need to have a consent form that is notarized and he suggested we visit an attorney.  I found samples on line and they are filled out, tomorrow, we are going to our credit union to have them notarized for free.  We did yardwork and a bit more decluttering - and found a few useful things we can use - so, that was helpful.  Mother nature provided us with free water for the grass and "garden".  I have 1 visible yellow squash out there - about 3 inches long.  My daughter wanted to pick our 3 peaches before a deer or something got them.  I talked her out of it - they are still pretty small and a ways from being ripe.  We got a free blockbuster with code - it was zzzz - so, I am not watching it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

7/7 Expressions

Mailbag - yesterday I got a coupon for a free Suave lotion.  Today, I went to Wal-mart and picked-up a few things.  I should have paid attention - but the cashier did not ring the coupon for the Suave - and a few other items.  It may be cheap - but I went back - talked to customer service - and they pulled the coupons - and sure enough, after everything was said and done - they paid me $6.32.  I think the cashier needs training.  Although I am not feeling 100% better - I decided to get out of the house - and get a few groceries.  I stopped at Kroger and they had a rebate form - buy $25.01 in meat, produce and condiments and get $15 back.  Worked for me.  The form was for Heineken beer - but I am in one of the states where they cannot require a beer purchase.  Although closing went well and the electricity was turned on in our foreclosure - my husband was there early because the water company said they'd turn the water on.  Good thing - because apparently the washer fountain, the one to a fridge w/ice maker was left in the "on" position.  In addition, one of the shower heads was leaking.  So, he took care of those things.  My husband is going to ask the tax assessor to re-look at the assessment value for the property - although we like it, we seriously doubt it is worth $122,000.  In addition, I asked my husband to quiz the insurance company because they placed the replacement value at $140,000.  I am thinking that is a great way to jack-up insurance costs and hope the payer is excited by the "high" value.  I can't imagine it costing us twice as much as we purchased it for to build it.  So, we may be able to save a few bucks questioning those things.  And, I don't want to jink the stock market - but it sure is much brighter than it has been in a while.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7/6 Expressions

Mail bag:  while we were traveling, we got some great mail:  2 rebate checks, fish oil tablets from Natures Bounty, freebie magazines:  Shape, Woman's Day, 10 first class postage stamps (Quad Readers), and a bunch of coupons to local places and Kroger.  More frugal activies while on vacation:  we went shopping.  We stopped at thrift stores - my daughter got a really nice summer dress for $1 and a few other things for a bit more.  I purchased fabric from a store in the Punjabi District - very beautiful and reasonably priced.  We splurged and saved a bit on dog boarding - we bid on 2 gift certicates at 2 different charity auctions and won 2 $150 gift certificates for $40 and $50 respectively.  Our final bill was $40.  So, for $130, the dog got to stay in the "luxury" room for 8 nights and got bathed and groomed.  Pretty good deal because bathing and grooming by itself is between $45-$65 anyway.  Oh, and back to the mail, we processed the mail together - since no one likes to check-out junk mail - but this time we are glad we did.  There was a junk mail looking package from "Root" something - wouldn't you know it - someone filed a class suit against Honda for Sun Visor problems - and if you don't file the form - you get nothing if they recover.  We will be filing.  I am sure I posted months ago about my unhappiness with paying Honda around $90 to fix our drooping Sun Visor - safety hazard for sure - and the car, 08 Civic was not old - wasn't abused - and we always thought Honda had a great record for quality.  We were not happy with with the charge for the visor - and apparently - a whole of other people aren't either.  So hopefully, in a year or two, we will get our $90 back - because it appears to be a defect.  While we were in Canada - while watching cable - there were plenty of US channels.  I saw an ad for Macy's big sale.  We do not have a Macy's in this city - but where we are buying our foreclosed home - small city/town - there is one.  So, when they advertised their big Mattress sale - I paid attention.  This was one thing we decided we would buy new.  So, the lowest price was $39X for a queen sized set.  I got on the computer (free wi-fi) and was excited to be able to order through mypoints.  Well, I found a set that was $298 - internet special - but, I had to call to order.  So, we called toll free - and ordered 2 sets - one for us and one for our daughter and ordered frames and they will be delivered free.  I will eventually make or buy used headboards.  My husband and daughter left late yesterday evening to head to closing today.  We had enough points for them to stay at a hotel last night and tomorrow night too.  Apparently, in the state where this foreclosed property is, I will be on the deed for inheritance (survivorship) purposes - so, I don't need to sign.  Very odd - but I was happy - because I am still feeling tiny and a long drive surely would not help.  I am going to try to get a few thing done around the house - but that is it.  Much to my chagrin, I will miss a free mini Root Beer Float at Maggie Moos today, a free shampoo, style, blow-out at Ulta, and a free Lettuce Wrap at PFChangs today - but if you have one - hope you get to enjoy them.  The ice cream and hair appoints are totally free - I am sure you have to make a purchase at PF Changs.  Oh, and just before I kissed and waved good-bye to my husband and daughter yesterday evening - I asked my husband to check-out the yard-waste pile on the curb across the street.  Our newest neighbors must not know that it is for yard waste only.  It appears they cleaned out their garage.  I could see my old neighbors had a set of shelves in their drive-way - they are recyclers.  I could see planters and a wooden chair.  My husband grabbed 3 planters - but he said the wooden chair had a big crack.  This morning, I noticed the old neighbors put the rest of the planters in their recycle bin.  If I were feeling better, I'd go and see what else is in there - lots of lumber pieces.  But at the moment, we have enough projects going on and I need to declutter myself - hope someone gets to it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Other ways to save money while traveling.  I noticed more people are bringing snacks and food on the plane.  The lady in front of my husband (aisle) brought veggies and a strong smelling dip (limburger? blue cheese?) - the lady in front of my daughter (window) covered her head with her jacket and made all kinds of gestures to indicate that she was not happy with the smell - including pointing her vent toward the lady in the aisle sheet.  To be honest - it was quite smelly - but I don't think I would have made such a big deal.  So, bring healthy food - but skip any malodorous things?  I have noticed most prices for food item are high in the airport - and a sandwich and a bag of chips in flight is $10 - American Airlines doesn't take cash - you must use a credit or debit card.  Of course we don't have cable - so, we watched a bit of trash tv.  My husband mostly watched HLN - the "crime of the century" case - while I watched a few episodes of a Canadian reality show - finance related - really :)  I forget the name of the show - but the host is a tough Cookie - she even used colorful language.  But, the shows I watched mostly included women heavily into debt.  She called them "princesses".  Anyway, she gave them challenges - and of course took their credit and debit cards - and depending on how they did on their 6 weeks challenge - she would reward them with $0, $3K or $5K.  She said their attitude counted too.  Of course, if the subject did really well - she threw in an extra reward.  I was just facinated by the show - I think I would be a great host - minus the colorful language.  She taught people to budget, shop sensibly, and she brought them back to reality by letting them know if they continued on their path - how much in debt (and how much in interest) they would be paying - I saw some outrageous interest rates (19.XX, 20.XX) on some of the credit card debt.  She always asked them to put something (minimum of $50 per month) for savings and emergencies each - ala Dave Ramsey?  She also let them know how long it would take to pay off their current debt - and if they continued to save the amount they used to pay-off their debts and stuck it into savings - how much they could potentially retire with.   I thnk the US would have some contenders for contestants too.  I don't know how many people would air their "dirty laundry" for $5K - but you'd think with this economy - people would be interested in this type of show - I know I was :)  Other things we did to save money - we walked, used the bus/train system, and rode the freebie bike.  We took the cab to and from the airport at a cost of $35 Canadian each way - which included our tip.  What I did notice is - many small stores do not have air conditioning - and I would say we would have browsed longer if they did have it.  Of course, we may be a bit on the spoiled side - and maybe a bit out of shape for walking.  Our splurge was to attend a concert.  It was walking distance from the hotel. Believe me - we researched prices.  The lowest price we could find on line (free wi-fi at the hotel) was $80.  We went to the front desk and asked for the cheapest price and they quoted $120 from their local favorite to buy tickets from.  My husband walked to Rogers Stadium and paid $6X per ticket.  So, while not dirt cheap - we saved $ with a bit of effort. The only freebie I got that I did not enjoy is my cold :(

Monday, July 4, 2011

7/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We just returned from our trip to Vancouver, BC.  We had a great time.   Here are some frugals:  We used air miles for our tickets - we went up on Business Class (first class) - so, we checked in one luggage for free.  Our meal and snacks were "gourmet" - and free :)  Our return flight was on coach/economy.  We paid $25 to have 1 bag return check-in - and no free food or snacks :(  For our hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites - it was fantastic.  The location was central - and they had amenities that saved us a bundle.  We used points to "pay" for our stay.  Included was a lovely breakfast every morning - it was always more that pastries and a drink.  There was always some type of egg and meat available also.  Waffles, different types of breads, yogurts, fresh fruits, etc.  We loved it.  They had coffee and a variety of teas available too :)  We got a free paper everyday.  They left us two bottles of water every day.  We forgot our toothbrushes - they gave us one.  They had bikes to rent for free (we did tip).  Included was a backpack, with a map with the bike trail mapped out, and a bottle of water.  There was a shuttle driver willing to take you where-ever you needed to go - we did not use this service.  We used our feet to get some exercise in.  There was a Costco's within walking distance.  There were many ways to save - even though I would say it was a pricey place to visit - we kept our money in check.  I will add a bit more tomorrow.  The first of July was Canada Day - the fourth - today is our Independence Day!  Happy birthday good ol' US of A :)  Now that the fireworks appear to have stopped - I think I may be able to get in a few winks!