Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I was able to let my husband go to Publix and do some grocery shopping.  Mainly, he was interested in the Buy 2, Get 2 12 packs of Pepsi deal - and of course I sent him with 2 Target coupons.  He was pretty excited that he spent just over $40 - but saved $3X.  He is going to drive my daughter to school.  We got Burger King coupons in the mail today, so, he and my daughter are getting a Buy 1, Get one free Croissandwich.  In Financial news, my husbands AMEX Hilton Honor's points credit card number has been stolen - apparently, there was an attempt to charge $200 in Portugal.  My theory is that all of the account information that was compromised several months ago has resulted in this late rash of stolen credit numbers.  One of my co-worker's card information was stolen last week.  I am glad credit card companies have stepped up their fraudulent charge detection abilities - now, I sure wish retailers would step-up their security programs so that the information is not stolen in the first place :(  They are sending my husband a new card.  Sigh, it is the card he uses the most - and hopefully, the new one gets here quickly, as we use Hilton Points to get free hotel nights when we travel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I have been thinking of ways to best save money the next couple of months.  My goals are to have the "new" house paid off next month, have X additional saved for my daughter's education fund, and save for all of the property tax bill due by the end of December.  Since I ordered a few giftcards, and we should be able to order some more from our Citi-Mastercard bonus - I wonder if I can set a spending limit for November and December and meet it.  I love a challenge - and I need my husband to be on baord with me.  This holiday weekend, we hope to make some improvements to this house to possibly sell next summer.  Strange how now that Zillow went through an IPO - my property "value" on Zillow has jumped almost $20K since that time - a couple of months ago?  Strange since I think the recession is just starting to "hit" this area - unemployment is up, home sales down - so, why would property values be up - although the city did notify me that it would be increasing the tax value by $3.5K (based on last year's data).  I wonder what Zillow's proprietary formula is made up of to think that my property value is up that much so quickly - gee, come next summer, I sure would appreciate it - as I was going to list it somewhere below the Zillow value.  Even though property prices have fallen slightly/remained stagnant around here - we have not really suffered a loss - even on paper as we did the tough negotiating up front.  What did we do?  Instead of contacting a realtor to help show us a house - we looked up homes at Realtor.Com.  Then when we found this house, we contacted the listing agent (this gives the agent some negotiating leverage - instead of the commision being split 4 ways - it is split only 2 ways - between the agent and brokerage - which in my case, the agent was the broker).  So, even though this property was the lowest priced in this neighborhood at the time, we asked for, and got almost a 10% reduction in price - as we offered cash.  Then, when there were issues in the inspection, the realtor made-up the difference - made concessions?  The realtor paid for some roof work and paid for one heating/cooling unit.  He also paid to get the hot tub off of our deck - and purchased it from the seller - he also took a "cut" in his commision as he promised the seller a certain amount of $ at the table for the seller to purchase their "new" home.  So, even though it was unheard of at the time - during the real estate boom - we were able to effectively knock off around 10%.  I need to think of other projects we can finish in this next week or so of uninterrupted time - and my husband's and daughter's assistance.  Working together and DIY stuff that we can do - save us quite a bit of $.

Monday, August 29, 2011

8/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I will work at my day job tomorrow and then have "off" until Tuesday of next week.  My husband and I plan to get those cabinets done.  I found a few paint coupons on (went through mypoints) - so, may paint my daughters bathroom.  I also got a post card from Lumber Liquidators - we really need to tear the rest of the carpeting up on the second floor of this house.  The insurance company inspected our "new" house and recommended we get the gutters repaired - and they claim the rebuild price of the house is $149K - ummmm, yeah right.  I swear, everyone is looking for a way to bump up the price without saying it.  I wonder if I could sign something saying that it the house is totaled - they can just pay me the real value and if I can't get it rebuilt for the current value - I'll buy an already built on in that price range.  I found another foreclosed property on the beach I want to look at.  But, I am going to hold off.  We have a small bit to pay-off the HELOC next month for the "house" purchase - and I'd like to build our savings back-up.  We have property tax bills coming due in December - and of course, possibly high education bills in a couple of years.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

8/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Really, I wasn't going to use one coupon today :)  But, our printer is almost out of black ink - so, while looking at the Target advertisement - buy a combo pack get a $10 Target Gift Card - so I went to the closest one - it was out but they checked the other one in town and they had 4 and reserved 2 for me.  But before I went there, I signed up for the e-mail 20% off for Bed Bath & Beyond and had an ancient one in my coupon envelope.  As I mentioned earlier, if we can get a good price for "this" home next summer, we will sell since my husband's new employer will pick-up selling costs (including realtor fees) for up to two years after he accepted his new position.  So, now, we are thinking about staging my daughter's bathroom.  Since Glidden has some coupons out for paint at Wal-mart, we thought we'd get some.  (Well, so far, I cannot find those coupons - I may have left them at work - because I already printed the max).  I got her a really nice shower curtain and hooks that were originally $39 (reduced to $29) and hooks $12.99 - after coupons, sale, and my freebie $25 giftcard from using points earned on my credit card - I ended up paying $13.XX which included the tax.  Anyway, I made it to the other Target with some coupons, bought my 2 packages of of combo ink and got 2 $10 gift cards.  Then I proceeded to finish grocery shopping and picked up some household items too, after coupons and gift card, I got out of there for $10.XX.  Now, I have plenty of food for a short work week.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

8/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Last night, I ordered discounted giftcards on the Citibank Credit card so that I can get my bonus.  I ordered giftcards for Lowes, Petsmart, Michaels, and Barnes and Noble.  I know we will be shopping there anyway, so might as well get a discount and earn my bonus - plus, shipping is free :)  This morning, my daughter got her teeth cleaned, not only did the dentist give her a free toothbrush, tooth paste and floss - but he also gave her 2 pages of coupons  - one each from Oral B and Colgate - and the Oral B were $2.50 off.  Coupons must be "cool" now for the dentist to be giving them away :)  I made a fantastic lunch - if I do say so myself because it was frugal and delicious:  I used the free Garden Delight Noodles, free shrimp from Earthfare, the last of the basil and grape tomatoes from the farmers' market last week, some shreaded organic carrots - free with coupon from Wal-mart last week, goat cheese from the farmers' market that I have been getting for no additional money out of my pocket because I "won" it at a silent auction, didn't have panceta - so, used purchased on-sale bacon I had in the freezer - and made garlic toast with leftover bread.  And while we did plan to go to "Green U" - my daughter made another trip to Plato's Closet and sold 3 items and bought 2 and got 4 more stamps on the card.  They also stopped at Costco's - and while I gave them list - they did deviate and added a few more items.  We just got back from the "Y" - and shortly, we will go to dinner with a 1/2 priced gift certificate and watch a movie - we have a discount card and will get to see the movie at the matinee price.  But what I enjoyed most of all, was the lovely nap I had today :)  Oh, I got a rebate check in the mail and several freebie magazines.

Friday, August 26, 2011

8/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We paid what I scheduled toward the HELOC today.  Barring unexpected expenses - we should have the HELOC paid off next month - as scheduled.  And even though the economy hasn't been the greatest, people are back vacationing because our condo has exceeded net rentals for a year - and August has been pretty busy - so, I should be able to chunk that toward the HELOC.  I purchased another half priced gift certificate for a eatery around here.  My husband finally called AT&T and we are switching back to them for internet and landline service (I know, I am old fashioned - I am the only one in the family with a cell phone that I keep in my purse for emergencies only.  It is a pay-as-you go phone).  So, unless someone catches me at home or work, I am not "available" 24/7.  Our current provider doubled our previous promotional price and AT&T is the former promotional price - so, while we are not really "saving" money - we are keeping it from increasing by switching.  As for making silk pillows out of the designer dress - my daughter decided to try it on - it fits - but she said the length made it rather frumpy.  So, I will be cutting about 4 inches off the length of the dress and will be piecing it together.  My husband has been a busy man today.  He adjusted our garage door opener - it was acting up, he mowed the lawn, and made us lunch.  Not hiring out, now that's pretty frugal :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

8/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  One of my co-workers left a large bag of okra for the taking.  I put a couple of handfuls in my lunch bag.  I want to use them to make seafood gumbo - don't want to attempt fried.  Mail was good!  My daughter got her boots from and I got a refund check.  I also got a refund check from my daughter's dermatologist.  This is a first.  I rarely go to the appointments - but every time I have - he has given me a freebie.  Nice not to get a bill.  My husband fulfilled his requirement for 50,000 bonus points from Citibank's Mastercard - unfortunately, it says it could take 1-2 billing periods before the points are available for redemption.  I was so hoping to order some giftcards already.  Tonight, I am giving myself a break from the "Y" and cleaning . . . I am going to Craft tonight - cut that silk dress-up and sew the fabric into decorator pillows and I want to find some satin around here to make my daughter a satin pillow - she thinks it will keep her hair from tangling.  Okay - we will give it a whirl.  I tried a satin pillow once and didn't like it because my head kept sliding around.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I have started decluttering my closet and it sure does feel nice.  My daughter and I are going to drop stuff off at the consignment store this weekend - hopefully, they will take more than Plato's - although the $ will come later.  Next week, my husband and I are taking a few days off before Labor Day - and we plan to finally finish off the cabinet (finish sanding and stain them - oh, and change out the hardware.  I got my credit card statement to get the $500 worth of gift cards - I am about 1/3 there.  My husband's statement has not arrived, but should shortly.  I hope the points show-up and we can order the gift cards.  It would be great to have to help with a few projects around here and at our "new" house.  I've signed up for a few freebies this week - so, hopefully, my mailbox will start to fill-up.  Also, this weekend, the Botanical Garden is have a "Green U" - lots of "DIY" classes - cost of admissions is - 5 recyclable - I think we can handle that and we plan to attend.  I hope I learn lots of frugal ideas too :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

8/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband called and said he got the new garage door opener installed in our "new-to-us" house.  First of all, we got none of the remotes - of course we could have order some - maybe - but, it was an older model, dangerous - didn't have the sensor beam - so, my husband went to Lowes and got a 10% discount and installed it himself.  Such a handy man :)  Mail was pretty good, got a rent check for our two properties in town - and it was larger than I expected.  We had two maintenance requests that we authorized - and it would have eaten up most of the rent.  Of course I could be pre-maturely happy about the rental situation since they may billed late and the bills will come out of next month's rents.  Oh well, more to put toward the HELOC for our new house this month.  I also received my $25 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card from redeeming credit card points.  My daughter received her dress from

Sunday, August 21, 2011

8/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We picked up the Plato's money - just $7.20 as they are overstocked :(  But, I will be able to turn that silk dress into a couple of decorator pillows.  We stopped at Dollar Tree and got some more Nature's Own 9 grain 40 cal per slice bread for $1 a loaf - I put them in the freezer and I also got a couple more bottles of mop and shine.  My daughter's backpack's zipper is stuck - still usable - and it is an L.L. Bean - so, we called and will be returning it for a replacement.  So, my daughter will be using the stuck zipper one for a bit until the Jansport one we order from Amazon gets here - It was $27 and had free shipping - strange, they are priced by color - there was a cheaper one - but just under $25 which doesn't qualify for free shipping.  Fortunately, I had $20 in Amazon $ from swagbucks rewards and I I got to pock her $ from Plato's.  Now she has a back-up back-pack - and of course we can use to take on the plane.  We have found that we can take a back-pack as a personal item and 1 carry-on luggage when we travel without checking in luggage.  Nice thing about the trip to France next year on British Airways - we get to check in 2 pieces of luggage at no additional cost :)  We had some nice meals today - fresh basil is wonderful :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

8/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day - Early this morning, my daughter and I headed to Kohl's with our free $10 e-mail - we intended to get a free shower liner - and they happen to be on sale for $8.88 - instead, we upgraded to a mildew resistant one and ended up paying $3.06 out of pocket for one that was originally priced at $19.99 before tax.  Then we headed to the farmer's market - got 3 more tubs of goat cheese for no additional money out of pocket - but did spend just over $10 for fresh basil, grape tomatoes, peaches, and a butternut squash.  I had an appointment with the accupuncturist - but he was backed-up - so, I rescheduled.  But since we were in the area, my daughter and I used my free $20 gift card from and we each got a gourmet sandwich - and we had our own water.  Then to Goodwill - we found 5 designer dresses for $5.XX each and a pair of designer flats for $4.  I, on the other hand found a beautiful carved frame (gold) and a beautiful, framed, water color print of irises (my favorite flower) for $30 total.  Then on to Plato's Closet with a small box of stuff - and we added one of the Goodwill dresses - it is 100% silk, was NWT, originally $140 - but if they don't "buy it" (we will stop at Plato's tomorrow afternoon) - I plan to make some throw pillows from the silk.  Have you seen the prices for decorative pillows?  High.High.High.  Then to Costco's - while the samples were wonderful - I did spend more than I originally intended.  Then to Earth Fare - I had a coupon for a free 1/2 lb of shrimp with a purchase of $5 - and they had wonderful samples too.  Dropped stuff off at home, went to a 1 hour guitar lesson, then to Kroger to return a free DVD rental, and pick-up a free Cliff protein bar (which caused the register to kick out another coupon for a free bar and a $1 off a bar coupon too).   Will go back later for those.  Then to the gym.  Being frugal can be exhausting :)  Added:  I also just earned enough points on to order a 1 year's subscription to Marie Claire's magazine.

Friday, August 19, 2011

8/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am finally getting my coupon-groove back :)  Today, I stopped at Wal-mart and used 2 $1 off Earthbound products and got 2 1 lb bags of organic carrots for free.  Then to CVS - I stocked up on paper products on sale and had coupons - and "earned" a $10 gas card to boot.  1/2 of the paper products will go home with my husband - he should be good for a long time - I am talking months - and, I will give him the Shell gas card since he drives more than I do.  Then to Kroger - bought a bunch of protein bars for my husband and daughter with coupon and got a coupon for another one free.  Then to Publix, saved 52% with coupons and I will be mailing in for a $10 Publix gift card to use on future groceries.  Mail was pretty good too - I got a rebate check - and in my e-mail box - a $10 off anything at Kohls and a coupon for a free half pound of shrimp at EarthFare with a $5 purchase.  As far as the stock market - all I can say was ignorance was bliss - I should not have checked ;(  I was going to go to Costco - since when I go by myself - I spend way less - but, I am going tomorrow to gas-up and get a few items that are cheaper there and will let my daughter tag along . . . but will give her a budget.  Oh, in the mail we also got 2 coupons from Victorias Secret for a free pair of panties and $10 off a bra.  May hit the mall tomorrow since I also have a coupon for a free dim sum at PF Changs - and I have their warrior card that gives me 10% off - and I purchased a discounted $25 giftcard burning a hole in my wallet.  Usually Bath and Body Works has some kind of freebie too and I love reading at Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

8/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I won 3 more items on  - a dress, boots, and a bracelet for my daughter.  I also got my coupons sorted, and a list of things to look for - ready to go.  Since I am "off" tomorrow, I hope to catch-up on sleep, cleaning, and errands.  My husband won't be coming "home" this weekend.  He has an appointment with the heating and cooling person to get his furnace running.  I got in on a free subscription of "Popular Mechanics" for my husband.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, at lunch, I mainly cut coupons.  I gave a few "trade-secrets" to my office-mates who are really interested in clipping coupons and saving money.  One was excited she saved $10 just using internet printable coupons yesterday.  Now, I have introduced them to double coupon stores and stores that allow more than one coupon per item - namely Publix oh, and told them to ask for the rebate form for the buy $30 in groceries - at least $15 in Con Agra products and get a $10 Amazon or Publix gift card - can't beat that :).  I also gave them a few web-sites to check-out (not mine) - ahem, I am doing this anonymously :)  Tomorrow, I will go through flyers, and match them to my coupons and make a list for Friday - my "day off".  I want to get back into couponing - I used to be much more dilligent - but have been lax.  But now that I don't come home every afternoon for lunch - I can use some time to clip, sort, and match.  I really need to get to the "Y" - but have decided to devote some more time to deep cleaning.  Doing a little at a time sure beats doing it all at once.  Added:  I just did some grocery maintenance - I had 2 sad looking bananas - peeled, cut them in half horizontally, skewered them with a chopstick and put them in the banana pops baking dish I have in the freezer.  When I get about 8 halves, I melt chocolate, butter and maybe a few nuts in the microwave, coat the frozen bananas and set them on wax paper to dry - and then cut the wax paper up to freeze them.  Also, I took 3 small containers of soup broth and leftovers and have a pot of soup on the stove - I also added some leftover brown rice from the fridge, 1/2 a bag of chopped spinach from the freezer, 1/2 a package of mashed potato flakes - and that will be enough for several dinners.

Monday, August 15, 2011

8/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I now swap coupon inserts with two other ladies at work.  We each cut out what we want and then leave the rest in the breakroom.  Mail was good today - I got my free earbuds from and I also got the 1/2 priced gift certificate to a restaurant in the mail.  I was going to head to the gym to day - but I am too tired.  Will try to start a routine tomorrow.  I ran a few errands at lunch time today.  Added:  rebate check in the mail and my chase freedom credit card bill with enough points to order a $25 Bed, Bath & Beyond gift card at a 10% discount.  I also ordered a slapwatch for free - I got my earbuds - hope I get the watch too.  These deal sites popping up and these discounted certificate sites are offering some good deals lately.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We went to a Major League Baseball game - the first for me, my daughter and her friend.  We bid on a package for 4 tickets and a rental car with a free tank of gas.  We used points for a hotel.  We invited my daughter's friend - and we had a great time.  Other than being tired, we really enjoyed the trip - it was pretty frugal - although I have to say, I am glad we took our water into the game because the stuff inside was expensive.  We did succumb and buy 4 Minute Maid Lemonade sherbet?  - because it was very warm outside - and with tip - it was $20.  The hotel provided a free hot breakfast.   Most importantly, the team we were rooting for won!  Of course that made it even more fun.  We did stop at a mall that had a Borders going out of business sale - it was a big disappointment - which was great on the wallet since I didn't end up buying anything.  There were several books I wanted - but they were only 30% off - Urban Homesteading looked interesting - and a few interesting craft books - Using Scraps of fabric to Upcycle clothes, etc.

Friday, August 12, 2011

8/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We picked up the rental car with a tank of gas as part of our charity bid - which included 4 major league baseball tickets.  Mail was good - got a coupon from for a free McDonald's Frappe or Smoothie :)  Everyone is in a cleaning frenzy - I am taking a few minute break - but have about an hour more to go.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

8/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today I donated blood and was the recipient of nice umbrella (very useful these days), a reusable bag, a few coupons - gave them away, 4 small snacks, and 2 bottled waters.  Of course I got recovery time off from work - which I was planning on getting a lot done.  I came home, ate lunch and was going to take a short nap.  Ended up getting up in the nick of time to make it my dental appointment.  My teeth are now clean, and the dentist gave me a travel sized toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and a holder (would make a great pencil case).  I also got 3 bleaching syringes for my teeth.  I signed-up for lifetime whitening - so, I get more bleach with each cleaning.  I also noticed that the coffee shop that I got the free $20 giftcard to through was right next door.  Since I am still a bit tired, I ordered two gourmet sandwiches to go and still have $10 on my giftcard.  Dinner for my daughter and I are done - and no heating up the house.  I do plan to use the oven today - I am baking Baklava, baked brie, and some bratwurst - for meals/gifts/snacks ahead.  I am going to try to get a bit more of cleaning in. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

8/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  At lunch today, I stopped at Dollar Tree and picked-up some more cleaning supplies.  The $1 version of "Mop and Shine" - was just as shiny as the $8.99 version.  So, now, I am going to try the Dollar Tree version of Furniture wax.  I also stopped at Wal-mart and got 2 new pillows and a nice sheet set.  So, hopefully by Friday afternoon, we will be ready for the guest.  As for the stock market - I have decided not to check balances.  There are such sharp swings, most of our retirement funds are in an extremely conservative fund - and hopefully, I won't need the rest for years to come - so, as last time, we should have time to recover.  On the bright side, we have had some awful weather - strong winds and storms.  One of the rental properties is 3 acres and 90% covered in mature trees.  The tenant called and said only one branch fell toward the old shed - but all else is fine.  On the bright spot, knock on wood, the rental income on our beach condo has been the best year ever.  I guess there are a few people out there enjoying themselves :)  With all of the rain - my pitiful garden is looking better - hopefully I will get some kind of produce out of it.  I have not weeded it - and of course - I just threw seeds in - so, I am not even sure what is flowering out there - a nice surprise I hope :)  Tonight, I will shine up the kitchen floor - I guess we should have over night guests more often - I could be a bit more productive.  On the downside - I have not visited the "Y" for exercise - but, I am sure this heavy duty cleaning is making up for some, if not all of it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

8/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since we are having an overnight guest this weekend - and don't have any hired hands to clean our house - I used mine to do a few things.  Since I am close to work - but don't normally drive home for lunch because I don't want to waste gas - I came home and was able to wash a load of clothes, dishes and mop and wax our stair case.  I will do a bit more.  My daughter is on alert - she has some cleaning to do too.  My husband is always helpful - so, I am sure he will take care of what is left on Friday morning.  I am loving living life with my "manual" planner.  Helps jog my memory - and I don't feel like I have to remember everything.  Stock market was wild today - but I took it in stride - nice to know the Feds will keep the rate low - I guess I will still use my HELOC a bit, if the need arises. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

8/8 Expressions

Wow - is all I can say about the stock market.  It made me S-I-C-K - literally.  I developed an awful headache - I am sure looking at the ending numbers did not help.  Mail today was awfully boring.  I gave myself a french manicure at lunch and cleaned out my coupon envelope.  Tomorrow, I plan to cut some coupons and cull them.  I am going to make a list and do a better job at using them.  I have decided to buy non-perishables at a good price and send them "home" with my husband - since he will use coupons now if handed to him - but doesn't actively look for them.  Added:  Mail was not boring, I got a $10 Panera Gift Card from Mypoints.  Great for my geographical bachelor to have a treat or two.  Also, while cleaning out the coupon envelope in my purse, I found a dime - the last one I needed to make a $5 roll of dimes to deposit the next time I go to the bank.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

8/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  While visiting our new house, I looked up the tax assessment records for the properties on both sides - on line.  Both homes are about the same size.  The home to the "right" is about 10 years older and has a fence - it is valued at $88,000 - tax is $1,600.  House to the left is a few years younger, has a swimming pool and a small shed - $140,000 - tax is $2,900 (looks like it is in foreclosure).  Our house is valued at $122,000 - tax is $2,600.  I called the tax assessor and asked how I could get the property re-assessed.  She said I have to wait until January - and fill-out a form.  Believe me, we will be filling out the form - getting it valued closer to the $88,000 (we paid $70,000) would drop the taxes by $1,000.  Sounds good to me.  I have already placed a note in my planner to mail the tax assessor a notice in the new year.  Other than that, although we have celebrated my daughter's birthday already, today is the "real" day - happy birthday!  Added:  Adoptive grandmother made my daughter a wonderful birthday cake - decadent chocolate/marshmallws/walnut icing - very tasty.  We are going to freeze part of it as it is too rich and will most likely stick to the waist-line.  I also cooked up 3 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken breasts - two for pasta - the rest in the crockpot w/onion soup mix.  The soup mix went in my broth container in the freezer.  Now we can make chicken sandwiches/salads, etc. for lunches and dinner.  We have plenty of pasta - used the cheap after 2 coupons of Philly cooking cream, some feta, fresh tomatoes from office-mate, purple onion, garlic cloves, and a bit of olive oil - totally yummy.  We have a bunch of salad fix'ns and I got more whole wheat bread from the dollar store.  Thursday night, I will make another bath of baklava and some baked brie.  I will return adoptive grandmother's pan with a bit of both.  We will also have an overnight guest.  We just came back from some quick shopping.  First, we did not want to spend a whole lot of money and secondly, it was just too hot.  We used quite a few coupons and I also filled out two rebates - one for a Southern Living Cookbook - $34 value - printed the form on line - should be able to google it if you are interested - but I had to purchase $15 worth of certain products.  I ended up getting 2 packages of Seattle's best Fair Trade coffee, 1 1/2 gal of Breeze Almond milk - had $1 off each coupons on all 3 products and a $15 Publix giftcard - I thought it was $10 - but, it took off $15 - I also had an Organic Tazo Chai Latte Mix on sale for $2.99 - out of pocket was just over $1.  I also found a $5 rebate form on meat at Wal-mart.  Since I printed 2 BOGO Bratwurst and Italian Sausage patties coupons - I definitely had enough to get my $5 rebate - the patties were just under $6 a box.  So far, no note from the HOA patrol - we must have done a fine job - I also touched some poison ivy in the process as I have a few welts on my arm.  I use anti-bacterial sanitizer which seems to get the itch out and dry the welts out :(

Saturday, August 6, 2011

8/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Instead of my husband driving to visit us - my daughter and I went to visit him.  I got to see the "new" house first hand and I like it.  It still needs a bit more work - but, it is getting there.  Unfortunately, it looks like the neighbor's house may be in foreclosure.  The grass is three feet high - no sign of anyone around - no window treatments, etc.  Anyway, on our way up, my daughter and I stopped at Bruegger's and got a BOGO cream cheese bagel.  Then stopped at the Murphy's gas station and got a free a free pack of gum and at the Pilot gas station and we each got a free 44 oz drink with a facebook coupon.  While visiting my husband, he got a coupon flyer from Speedway - free panini, free smoothie, free frapuccino, and $4 for a large 1 topping pizza.  Hey, we don't get great coupons like that around here :(  Anyway, he is starting to get the hand of coupons - he got the pizza - and ate half and will eat the other tomorrow.  Also, we went to Wal-mart and used a handful of coupon - now his pantry is stocked and we saved over $20 with coupons.  My daughter visited 3 thriftstores - and the prices are much better there - she got a new "Express" dress for just over $1.  There was a small rip in the seam - easy to fix.  But alas, she is not convinced she wants to transfer schools.  My husband also booked our tickets to France next year.  The good news is - British Airways is having a sale - so, we only used my husband's miles 100,000 for 4 economy class tickets - and we still have my 100,000 for more travel.  The not so great news is - it cost us $540.XX per ticket in fuel surcharges, and other fees.  But even so, for the three of us - it is still cheaper than an economy class ticket.  And my daughter's friend's parents are thrilled that their daughter can travel so cheaply.  We will book the hotel closer to the travel dates - and hope they have a points sale.  May be with this "bad" economy - they will continue to discount the points needed for the hotel.  Anyway, we will be staying 7 nights :)  Mail these last few days was good - I got some great coupons from Kroger - including a free bag of frozen veggies.  I also got my shopgoodwill "winnings" - a shirt and shoes for my daughter.  The stock market on Thursday made me sick, but I am glad I listened to my husband and moved the majority of our retirement funds into the most conservative fund - so far, it has lost nothing - but of course the return is quite paltry also - but in this instance - I much prefer it to a huge drop.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

8/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  finally we have rain.  Free watering is great!  Today, I am going to go through the house and get some more furniture, household items that should go to the "new" house.  I "won" an nice pair of new shoes for my daughter on shopgoodwill.  Nice brand name, and a whole lot less money.  Still trying to get our "free" flights to Europe booked.  Since we are booking so far in advance, we are waiting for them to release some seats.  I am out of shampoo - but not really.  I have been using my freebie samples - the ones that come in the hard to open packets.  So, I have a pair of scissors in my "freebie" basket.  This weekend, I hope to find a bargain on shampoo.  Wow - this debt ceiling thing has had an effect on the economy.  I am waiting for my HELOC statement to see if my rate went up from 2.7%.  If so, I may want to accelerate the pay-off of the balance - that we used to buy the "new-to-us" house.  Added:  I cashed in my SWAGBUCKS for another $5 Amazon.Com giftcard.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

8/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Livingsocial sent me a $10 link - a local coffee/bakery/sandwich shop had a $20 gift card for sale for $10 - it was free for me :)  My daughter and I got a "do" at the name brand hair product salon.  We both got a cut and color for the price of cut only at a regular salon.  Tomorrow, I am taking a vacation day.  My daughter and I plan to use the BOGO cream cheese bagel coupon at Brueggers.  May be we will run into a few more good deals.  School is just around the corner.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got my $10 Publix giftcard in the mail today.  We have been eating out of the pantry, fridge, freezer and will use that giftcard this weekend to replenish.  My husband is going to book our free flights to Europe for our vacation next year.  This time we are going economy - and taking my daughter's friend.  The same friend she went to Alaska with.  The family shared pink salmon fillet the crew caught while they were in Alaska and had shipped home.  So nice to get wild caught.  My husband and I did a lot work - in the hot weather to spruce up the yard.  My daughter and I finished yesterday evening - pulling a few more weeds, raking, and spreading mulch.  We will be inspected this week.  I have no doubt that we will pass.  Doing the work ourselves was frugal - and the exercise was free :)  I am so glad I made a conservative move earlier this for most of our retirement funds - but this past week or so sure has been spooky for the stock market :(