Monday, February 28, 2011

2/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds:  Last week, I just happened to check my health insurance's web site - there was a link to a "health" survey with the promise of a $50 credit toward my deductible - was worth it to me.  Well, today in the mail, the sent the family 3 pedometers.  Guess they are realizing if they can get us to stay healthy - costs for everyone will be lower :)  Sadly, I took my daughter to the dentist and she is going to need a crown.  Glad I have dental insurance - but the out of pocket still hurts.  Bank countered on the foreclosure - so, we rejected the offer and made an offer on a short-sale.  We will see how that goes . . .

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2/27 Expressions

Frugal deed for the day - but very bad for the waist-line.  I looked thru the fridge and pantry.  I have not had Oreo Delight in years.  My daughter was whining that there was nothing sweet to eat.  We got sweet - Publix Sandwich cookies - 1 cent, Publix brand whipped topping - 87 cents, Cream Cheese 49 cents, Aldi brand instant chocolate pudding 38 cents ?, even with tax - under $2.  I put 1/2 into the whipped topping container and froze it to prevent us from eating it and regretting it.  It was scrumptious :)  Started doing some more kitchen and yard cleaning in preparation for the counter installation this week.  We were told we should hear back on our offer in 2 days.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter's guitar string broke.  She's never had that happen.  So, she called her guitar teacher and he told her to buy some string and he taught her how to change the string for free.  Nice teacher.  We also went to Plato's closet.  My daughter got rid of 7 items and bought 2 for almost an even exchange.  Then to the Art Museum to eat at the cafe and see the exhibit with our membership card.  We stopped at the public library and checked-out some books.  We stopped at Publix and got $45 worth of groceries for $5.  My husband looked at the cheaper houses - they were either already under contract or totally trashed.  So, we went up a bit and made an offer on a foreclosure today - hopefully it is accepted.  It is less than 50% of the tax value - the price of a brand new big SUV.  I also noticed I had a box at the front door from yesterday?  From Fed-Ex - it is my first package for being a PUREX INSIDER - sample of laundry softener/fragrance crystals and a coupon for a free one of the same.  I plan to try it shortly and report out the results.  So far, I have opened the bottle and the crystal smell wonderful - "Spring" scent.  I will upload a picture of it shortly.

Friday, February 25, 2011

2/25 Expressions

Mailbag:  Free granola bar from Quaker Oats - my daughter said it was scrumptious; a coupon for a free container of Cool Juice.  Frugal deeds:  While I waited for my daughter to finish her guitar lessons, I finished a pair of slippers - and they have come in handy already as the temperature has dropped this evening.  This weather is odd.  I went to Publix this evening for just over $8 I got, 2 Naked Juice bottles, 2 boxes of Kashi Waffles, 1 container of Egg Beater (chives/cheese flavor), 2 quarts of Lactaid milk, 1 bunch of bananas, 1 bag of butter lettuce/salad, 1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Whole grain bread, and 1 20 oz bottle of diet Coke.  Found another house - according to the listing the house is 2,060 ft (ranch) and listprice dropped to $35,700 in the best public school district for the area.  My husband is going to look at it and make sure the pictures weren't fooling us - but that is about the price of brand new mid-sized vehicle?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2/24 Expressions

Mailbag:  Today in the mail, I received a rebate, 3 coupons for a free 20 oz Coke product,  and a coupon for free Eggbeaters.  I also earned points on and printed out some high value coupons.  I also signed up for the savealot newsletter and was able to get a $5/$25 coupon that I can use at Publix.  I searched homes in the town we may move to - another house popped up and my husband is going to look tomorrow - weather permitting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2/22 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the day:  My daughter won a poster contest - and a savings bond - it will go toward her education :)  UPS delivered my painting supplies.  Now, I just need to find paint and stain on sale.  I think my daughter has convinced herself that sewing can be a good skill to have.  Some of the styles she likes are very simple.  She can make simple shirts cheaper than buying them.  Yesterday, I sent in a refund for Snapple 6-pack and the stuff tastes pretty good.  I used to do a lot more rebates.  Then quit.  Know they seems to be everywhere again.  Oh, and Publix has a good deal on the gelato (sp) that my daughter loves - it is BOGO and I have a competitor's coupon - making it $1.35 per container :)  So, tomorrow, I will go to Publix and get her gelato, the penny item, my free Coffee-mate and whatever else I may need to get the total to $10 before coupons to qualify for the penny item.

Monday, February 21, 2011

2/21 Expressions

Happy Presidents' Day!  I have the day "off" - so, I spent part of this morning mending and heming clothes.  I plan to make salads, etc. for lunch rest of the week.  Yesterday, I got deeply discounted cookie mix/cookie cutters from Le Gourmet - they will go into the freezer for use this holiday season.  I will give myself a mani' today too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/20 Expressions

Today, we stopped at ULTA and picked-up a full sized cologne with the rewards coupon - out of pocket $0.  Then to Victoria's Secret for the free panty.  Barnes and Noble, another BOGO drink.   Then to PF Changs for Happy Hour Dim Sum - yum :)  My husband and I came up with a list of homes to look at in the small town he is planning on working in - my daughter and I won't go until this year or next year.  I responded to two people who inquired about my craigslist barter ad. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2/19 Expressions

Mailbag:  I got a coupon for a free bottle of Coffee Mate Liquid creamer today.  Stopped at the new Kroger and they had Chevrie goat cheese on manager's special for $2.49 - 3 had $1 off coupons on them - so, I purchased those three.  We took our "silver" coins to a "traveling road show" type thing - unfortunately, we did not have a hidden treasure - the most they wanted to pay was $18 for one of the silver dollars. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

2/18 Expressions

Loot from yesterday:  My daughter was able to get almost $25 worth of nice smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works by just being a member of the I LUV BBW month freebie club and she had another coupon that was attached to something that gave her another free product.  All were travel sized - 2 lotions, 1 body spray, and 1 body wash.  Then to Barnes and Noble where we used the BOGO drink coupon.  We could not pick up the freebie from ULTA because the promotion doesn't start until Sunday.  So, since we were running out time for the credit union meeting, we skipped Victoria's Secret for the free panty too.  The credit union meeting was a first for us and we have been a member for a long time.  Although the lines were long, the event itself was well timed.  The appetizers were wonderful - more like an meal and dessert was included.  They also served Starbucks coffee and fresh lemonade - too bad we didn't wait for our Starbucks because the freebie was just as good :)  Meeting was interesting and quick.  Door prizes - $100 bills - we did not win, the grand prize was $600; we each walked away with a nice fleece blanket.  This morning, I dropped my daughter off at school and then hit the "Y" for the circuit training the personal trainer set up for me.  I will probably cook-up a storm; and clean a tiny bit today. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I took today off of my day job.  Dropped my daughter off at school and stopped at Kroger on the way home.  Today, I hit the "Manager's Special" jackpot :)  I found something in every department and things I really appreciate.  My husband loves brie - it was on a "special".  Then to Publix - just got a few BOGO items with coupons - the cashier commented that I "saved" more than I "spent".  I said it works for me.  May be she will be inspired to use a few herself.  Dropped the stuff offf and got stuff ready for the dry cleaners - with my .30 off each item discount coupon.  Since I didn't want to waste a trip - I stopped at the "Y" and did a bit of cardio.  Now I am going to do a bit of heavy duty cleaning before the granite counter top person comes so he won't report me to the health department (ok, just kidding - but I do need to straighten-up a bit).  Later today, my daughter and I will eat a salad, then head to Credit Union meeting.  Another freebie we will pick-up, a pair of panties from Victoria's Secret.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  during lunch today, I filled out a health survey from my insurance company and was credited $50 toward deductibles.  I also got in on the Kraft First Taste free Philadelphia Cooking Creme.  Can't wait to try it.  My daughter and I went to our appointment with the personal trainer.  I made a mistake - the Credit Union Annual meeting is tomorrow.  In the same complex is Bath and Body Works - I will be picking up this months freebies from the I luv BBW punch card deal; and we will be picking up our freebie from ULTA.  Also, we will stop at Barnes and Noble and used the BOGO Latte coupon.  Dinner for us will be the light appetizers? at the annual meeting :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2/15 Expressions

Mailbag:  I got my rebate check from ebates and my reward coupon from ULTA.  Tomorrow, my daughter and I have an appointment with the personal trainer at the "Y" to get a personalized fitness program.  We also plan to attend our Credit Union's Annual membership meeting - at a very nice hotel - they will be serving appetizers - and giving away door prizes - along with telling us how wonderful they are (they really are :)  I have an appointment with a counter-top company to give me an estimate - this house is 20 years old and has white formica? - with scratches.  If we sell, we probably need granite in there - and this place has some on sale for $23/sq.ft.  Good thing I don't have that much in the way of counter-tops.  I read "kitchens" used to be the big selling point - but now, it is not an area where costs are easily recovered.  I think we will restain the cabinet door/frame ourselves and update the hardware.  That will be the extent - maybe have a dishwasher installed since the one in there appears to be on its last leg.  I have an inquiry on my Craigslist barter ad . . . I am hoping we can strike a deal.  I am also glad I ordered Behr painting supplies for 75% off with free shipping and went through mypoints because we will definitely need to do some painting.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2/13 Expressions

My daughter learned a lesson in finances yesterday.  She purchased a "like new" pair of jeans at a thrift store for $1 last year.  She took them to Plato's Closet and got $10 for them.  She was pretty thrilled that she made $9.  Now she is thinking of opening her own store - believe me, she has a few years to go :)  I am hoping the lesson sticks next time she goes clothes shopping :)  I am going to do some grocery maintenance this afternoon to clean out my fridge and freezer.  I am going to make soup with frozen turkey broth I made earlier, I have some sad looking cabbage, some left over mashed potatoes - free from Earth Fare, 1/2 a bag of baby carrots (got a free bag from Earth Fare yesterday), previously frozen bean soup, a small bit of "saw mill" gravy.  For my salad (lunch to take), free/cheap balsamic vinegarette, bag of spinach, l/o grape tomatoes, small pieces of turkey from the freezer, cucumbers from the neighbor. Also today, if you have a Publix and they double coupons - mine had BOGO Fiber One yogurt and there are printable .50/1 coupons - making a 4-pack .25 plus tax - great to take for lunch/snack/breakfast.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2/12 Expressions

This week I have started an another adventure on Craigslist.  Now that I have some experience under my belt and have sold a few items, I want to try the barter feature.  I need some work done on my home, I want to trade away stuff I don't need.  It would be great to get the work done - and declutter some more.  Last night I checked RESTAURANT.COM out to use the 80% off code - LOVE.  For so long, we've only had one or two restaurants listed for this area.  Well, lo and behold, there are now 6 or 7.  So, since Valentine's Day is Monday, we are celebrating with lunch out with the gift certificate I purchased.  I went through MYPOINTS for a few points - I am getting close to being able to redeem for a $10 Gift Card soon.  Since the restaurant is close to Plato's Closet, we will drop off some of my daughter's no longer wanted clothes and eat lunch.  Hopefully, they will have assessed her clothes by the time we are done with lunch.  Then we plan to stop at Costco for a few grocery items and gas.  Then Earth Fare as they have two great coupons out - "Free Dinner" with a $10 purchase and free Truffles with a $5 purchase.  That should round out our grocery needs for next week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

2/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I finished knitting another pair of house slippers during lunch - just need to crochet them together.  I also rolled $12.50 in coins to deposit.  I called the bank offering gifts with their CDs.  So far, it sounds pretty good.  The lady on the line said the 9 month CDs yield 1% and the 18 month CD yield 1.1% - plus the gift . . . but you have to pay taxes on the value of the gift and they will tell you the value upon selection while you are at the bank.  Had some more work done on my teeth today - I really the job they did and it cost $27 out of pocket to be reimbursed from the HSA account.  Not fee, but pretty good :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More 2/10 Expressions

Well, instead of a delay, turns out school and work were closed today because of the inclement weather.  So, that gave my daughter and I time to fold a bunch of clothes and do a few other chores.  Also, at the last minute, the third Craigslist item sold for the price we asked and it is gone.  Goodwill asked to change the pick-up because of bad weather - we just cancelled.  Now, I am going to try to barter services for things we no longer want.  De-cluttering, here we come :)  Hopefully, a win-win situation for everyone.

2/10 Expressions

Because of bad weather - everything is delayed 2 hours.  So, we slept in an hour and I made a nice breakfast.  Freebies this week:  went to the dentist and got my teeth cleaned, no out of pocket expense and they gave me a nice package of dental floss, paste, and brush.  In the mail, I got my coupon for a free Nice'n Easy Foam hair color.  I requested information from a bank about their certificate of deposit program.  They have a nice gift program - like banks used to do 'back in the day.  But now, the gifts include vacations, flat screen tv's etc.  I need to read up on it and find out what the rate is - and maybe put some college savings in there since we have a few years.  Their CDs are 9 and 18 months.  Oh, and I am now a Purex Insider :)  I still can't seem to read my freebie book to do a review .  . . the book is on how to make a marriage last . . . sure wish they had a financial book.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2/8 Expressions

I got 10 First Class postage stamps in the mail - for being a "mail decoy".  My filling fell out of a tooth - so, I must see the dentist.  The insurance adjuster finalized our claim for our ceiling damage from the winter freeze we had.  Now if the roofing company will fix the problem - hopefully, this won't be a problem.  Our rental property should be ready to rent shortly.  The tenants - the gentleman lived there 10 years - he just re-married two years ago, left the place in good shape.  The rental manager is just going to have the capets cleaned.  Stock market has been nice lately - hoping the trend continues.  We had 3 buyers flake out on the latest Craigslist item - so, we have called Salvation Army to pick it up.  Picked up 3 free bagels today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

2/4 Expressions

Today is a great day to shop for groceries.  Lots of Super Bowl specials.  My favorite deal today was - using the Earth Fare coupon:  Buy $5 of anything get a free pound of chicken wings.  I used mine at Publix.  I had a coupon for a free Fast Fix'n product up to $7.99 - and got a product for that amount.  Combine the two and I ended up paying .09.  The insurance adjuster came - he said the leak was caused by the freezing weather.  So, the insurance company will repair the damage inside - minus the deductible.  We called the roofing company and they will be coming over this evening to let us know what they are going to do about the roof that is still under warranty.  Our Craigslist Looky Lou flaked out - but rescheduled to look.  The first sale was too easy.  Second sale had several flake-outs.  This third item so far has been the worst.  Oh - and that free Coffee-Mate on Facebook that crashed - I just got in and got confirmed to received a coupon for a free bottle.  Can't beat that :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2/3 Expressions

My husband was offered a job in a small town.  Houses are a lot cheaper and there appears to be a good public school system in the area.  I am wondering if we could sell the house, buy one there and bank the rest for education/emergency/freedom expenses/accounts?  I could spend more time being frugal; crafting; etc.  We will need to give it some thought.  We sold another item on Craigslist - we did have a few people flake out.  We hope to sell one more - and have a looky Lou tomorrow.  In today's mail, I got a rebate.  I will do some coupon shopping tomorrow and try to stay way under the budget.  Also, the insurance adjust will be showing up to see what is causing the leak in the roof (we just had it replaced last year).  I am wondering if the spate of bad weather we have been having had something to do with it.  Not sure what else I will have planned for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2/1 Expressions

Wow - it is February already!  Perhaps next month, I would like to try an experiment.  I would like to see if we can live on our rental income only.  I am hoping I get offered an early retirement soon.  If not, I am thinking about resigning as I can still apply for my retirement pension in just over 6 years.  I am close to my 401K equivalent savings goal.  My big push now is my daughter's education fund.  I planned - purchased pre-paid tuition; set up an education IRA, etc.  But none of them have done very well.  I do have a few more years for them to turn around - get fixed (Pre-paid tuition - I believe there is a class action law suit at the moment), etc.  I believe we have been fairly frugal, but we surely have areas in which we can improve.  But, I am thinking if I don't put any constraints on - it is easier to fritter money away.  Barring big repair bills, 100% vacancy, etc. we should be able to do it.  I am going to give it some thought - of course I will need some cooperation from 2 other people.