Saturday, December 31, 2011

12/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We made a quick trip to the beach.  My dad babysat the dog.  We paid him in brownies, pumpkin bread - and brought back licorice and Blue Cheese Pecans from Harry and Davids.  I printed off a few Travel Center free hot drink coupons - and we enjoyed a freebie.  We also ate a few nice meals out with Restaurant.Com 90% off gift certificates.  We looked at 6 beachfront properties to help us decide if we wanted to sell-out or stay for a rebuild - or possibly do both.  We liked 3 of the properties - the realtor will send us more statistics on Monday.  There were fantastic deals at the outlet mall.  I picked-up 5 shirts at Ann Taylor Loft for $4.77 each :)  One shirt was for my daughter.  My husband got heavily discounted jeans and shirts from Tommy Hilfiger - and 3 $5/5 coupons at other stores kicked-out.  You know I used those - we got socks, a polo shirt, and a necklace - after heavy discounts and coupon, the 3 cost around $14 including tax.  Then we went to a New Year Eve party at my daughter's best friend's house - and just got home.  Actually, it has been 1/1/12 for about 15 minutes now . . . I plan to hit the hay shortly.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I worked part of the day - at my day job.  I plan to spend time relaxing - maybe get some cleaning in before the new year.  My first task is cull the fridge and take what needs to go to the compost out, freeze what I don't want to eat now, and finish up the leftovers.  I found a few more frugal crafts to engage me.  I went through a few patterns (bought for $1 last year or the year before) - and need to work on them.  Although the patterns aren't specifically for recycling - I will be recycling fabric from around the house - turn the less useful to something useful, pleasant, etc.  I find it relaxing and satisfying :)  Cheap stress therapy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I knitted one more trivet at lunch time.  I met my husband and daughter at the Credit Union and we got our tax protest notarized for free and it is mailed.  They should get around 2 or 3 January.  We shall see.  Still waiting to hear from our condo board as to when they will be having a meeting as to whether we will be developing the property or selling to the city?  Interesting how things can be rather bleak and all of a sudden two options pop-up.  Sad for the people who couldn't hold on and got foreclosed on.  My husband and daughter shopped at Earthfare and the freebie was 1/2 lb of shrimp with a $10 purchase.  Oh yeah, I heard the news that oil had "jumped" to $100 per barrel and thought it would take a day or more to translate to an increase at the gas stand.  Nope, the last time I filled up - gas was $2.97/gal - today, it was $3.19 :(

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today during lunch, I knitted 3 trivets from 3 small t-shirts.  I hope to knit a few more.  They will be great for keeping hot pans, etc. off the granite counters and my antique table top.  How's that for re-using t-shirts.  After that, I plan to knit a small rug for the kitchen - and then I hope we have no unwanted t-shirts sitting around.  These are cute t-shirts - but have a small stain, etc.  I also downloaded the tax protest form for our "foreclosed" home.  I pretty much have it filled out.  We will head to the credit union to have the notary sign it for us for free.  My husband was able to take care of other administrative errands.  It was quiet at my "day" job :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

12/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I ordered a 17 piece stainless steel cookware set from Amazon today - supposedly the retail price was over $600 - I had $115 in giftcodes from gifts and earned from swagbucks - and free shipping - so for just over $14 the set has been ordered.  I will keep it for the "new" condo - or to replace pieces in the current condo - and swap out some of my cookware.  I will also be sending in for a "rebate" - I get 2 knives.  My daughter found her camera - cheaper ordering online and picking it up at the store today - and I will get a small rebate.  With her giftcard gifts and her own savings, she barely squeeked by.  She is returning 1 pair of jeans I ordered on-line to a local store.  She does not like the style - oh well, cash back to me.  I earned another $5 Amazon giftcard through Swagbucks today and I also earned my $20 giftcard from Mastercard.  We thought we would be able to get a bunch done today - too bad most places are closed today - but I am glad to have an extra day.  My husband and daughter will catch up the rest of the errands tomorrw.  So glad I cooked ahead.  We have a "vegetarian" breakfast casserole that should last through tomorrow.  Lots of salads and turkey - oh, and desserts too :)  I finished my second inifinity scarf last night - and I have it to my daughter.  Guess I am not much of a scarf wearer.  I need to start another craft project.  I find it so relaxing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

12/25 Expressions

This year just whizzed by.  So far, we are still on target with our financial goals.  I am still waiting to hear from our condo-owners' association as to whether we will be involved in re-building or not.  Also, since we are near State land, apparently the city is interested in buying our parcel of land to entend the State park.  My dad came over and we had a very nice meal.  No fuss, no muss.  My husband made the turkey, I made some side dishes as did my daughter and my dad brought pie.  I have been knittng on my scarf and my husband and daughter have been reading.  So glad I am "off" tomorrow too.  Not sure what is in store, but I plan to relax a bit more :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I made a nice hearty breakfast this morning.  Then we all pitched in to clean.  We went to see Sherlock Holmes - and are now home.  Other than some frenzied cleaning, everything is peaceful.  Today's mail brought us each a $2 Dunkin Donuts gift card courtesy of Amex :)  We also received greeting card - one from my childhood piano teacher in Japan.  It looks like the new neighbors stopped in - but have not moved in yet - may be after the holidays?  Oh, and I got a $10 Victoria's Secret gift card in the mail :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

12/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I went to "work" for a half of a day - and came home and finished knitting my daughter's infinity scarf.  She loves it!  My husband used my 75% off gift certificate for a local diner and got us lunch and dinner - and plenty of leftovers.  Tomorrow, I am going to try an easy recipe for hot cranberry salad and spinach and strawberry salad.  Other than those two, and maybe a few more side dishes - mashed potatoes, and cranberry/pecan stuffing (box mix from Aldi) - that will be it.  My husband is the expert turkey baker.  It appears our new neighbors have moved in.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

12/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I gave blood today - and was given a sports teams t-shirt, snacks, and drinks.  I was able to come home early.  Last night, I ordered 1 pack of contacts since I really wanted to wait until the new year - since I used up all of our Health Savers Account.  Anyway, I discovered that through ebates, I could get 5% back - these companies seem to drop and add themselves back every so often - is it the economy?  I also ordered discounted giftcards for Petsmart - used up the last the one I had on the last grooming and one for Michaels since we go there often.  Might as well layer as much savings as possible - discounted gift card, used a points back credit card, and usually use coupons at Michaels.  One more day of work at my day job - and then a long weekend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I found out today that I will be getting a bonus at work - of which I am very grateful especially in these tough economic times.  For lunch, I took my daughter to Brueggers and we ate lunch with the giftcard we purchashed last month.  For dinner, we just came back from Earthfare - I purchased the salad sampler - 3 salads for $9.99 - most of the salads are around $9.99 a lb.  So, the sampler weighed almost 1.5 lbs - and my daughter purchased 2 creme bruelees - we each had a coupon for a quart of natural ice cream for free - $4.99 - when you spend $5.  We are happy and full.  I also got my order from Overstock - with my "rebate" money - so, I have stocking stuffers for my daughter and husband.  I am still waiting for the silverware - which I may save.  If we end up buying into the proposed new condominium building - I am sure we will want to furnish it ourselves.  If I remember correctly, in the past, furniture packages started at $25K.  I think I can spend a lot less - and have just as good, if not better look with my own unique pieces :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I culled my coupon envelope today and transferred the "good" ones (not expired) into the free zippered pouch I got as a freebie several months ago.  I also worked on my daughter's scarf and should be able to finish it in the next couple of days.  I have everything we need - but I forgot to get something together for the mail-lady.  So, I have her giftbag full of Bath and Body Works travel sized ready for her.  I can sigh a deep breath of relief because I am on "glide" for the rest of the holiday season :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Nescafe sent me a pack of samples, including the new Peppermint Mocha and a $1 off coupon.  Wendy's sent me a .16 dividend check :)  I also got my freebie Woman's Day magazine.  I came home early, I was expecting to pick my daughter up from school - and baked 2 pumpkin breads and the "easy divinity" I made was easy, tasty, but runny.  That is it for winter baking as far as I am concerned - I have plenty of stuff for the freezer.  I am planning to hit the hay early today.  Oh, we took over a goodie package to the neighbor and she gave us her beloved cacti plant.  They are moving in a few days, down-sizing (her words) to half the space and they don't have room for the plant.  It is pretty - and prickly.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day - I just got off of baking/cooking duties for the day.  Made 3 pumpkin pies (homemade puree), 1 Dutch Apple pie, 1 pan of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, 2 coconut custard pies, and orange cranberry muffins.  Will bake some more tomorrow evening.  The kitchen is still a mess - but will try to get it in order shortly.  Made a big batch of vegetable soup in the crockpot and a big batch of vegetarian curry on the stove. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My heart skipped a beat this morning when I checked our e-mails.  We currently own interest in some beach front property (our condo got hit by both hurricanes - and a developer that was planning to buy us out/re-build ran after making several substantial deposits).  Anyway, we may have a developer interested in building on our land - and we may be interested in "buying" - depends on the final terms and if it actually goes through.  Cheaper than buying a foreclosed one - hopefully.  So, that was a nice bit of financial news.  My daughter and I got our hair cut and colored for $24.95 - and we went ahead and splurged on the conditioning treatment for an extra $6 - nice pampering - and if the economy is bad - you sure couldn't tell it from the traffic last weekend, nor this weekend.  I stopped at Aldi and got most of my baking stuff and a few other goodies.  I will also use some $ on my "freebie" Wal-mart giftcards to round out my grocery needs.  A couple of bags of pureed pumpkin are about to become pumpkin bread.  All I can say, even at Aldi, nuts are expensive. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

More 12/16 Expressions

More frugal deeds for the day:  Today, on the way back from guitar lessons, I stopped at a take-and-bake pizza place - they are running a special - buy a $50 giftcard and get a small tub of cookie dough, a 1 topping family sized pizza, a side, and a 2 liter drink.  So, I have the card (my husband is a pizza lover) - and my daughter and I just had the side - a cheese pizza and fresh marinara.  Tomorrow, we plan to bake the spinach pizza for lunch/dinner.  Also, a few years ago, I gave one of my daughter's teachers a Wal-mart giftcard - thinking she could use it for school supplies - or whatever she wanted.  My daughter stated that the teacher told her she preferred Starbucks.  Of course, that teacher apparently didn't get tenure? - she is no longer there.  This year, I received an Aldi gift certificate from a special friend - and I thought that was very thoughtful, practical, and useful - I will be getting most of my baking supplies from there with that certificate.  Also, there are 3 people I give a giftcard to that work in our building.  They work for a company that isn't known for paying all that well.  I used to try to give them something they could pamper themselves with.  This year - I got brave enough to try a Wal-mart giftcard - they were so appreciative.  Because they can use that card for whatever they like - whether fun, or practical.  I guess times have changed a bit.

12/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I used my "O" dollars today and ordered a 54 piece silverware set for us (some of the current set went down to the beach - seems with the bad economy more sticky fingers?).  I will put the old set in the condo closet for replacement pieces.  I also got my daughter and husband a pair of leather gloves each - out of pocket for me was .69.  Another annoying fact, the house that my husband and I tried to buy as a short sale is now up for auction.  It has been almost a year since we made our offer.  I want to see if they get at least what we offered.  I found some easy recipes for some nice treats on-line during lunch today.  I hope I can make them this weekend:  Coconut custard pie, chocolate covered coconut candy, toffee bars, and divinity.  That should definitely be enough - and I hope we can give most of it away since they will all be loaded with calories.  Added:  I made an appoint for a cut and color at the brand name beauty school - the "special" price is $24.95 - and I did my own manicure today - in a pretty tiffany blue.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  More towels I have "trimmed" with scrap ribbons and trim.  We hope to bake several items to take to the neighbors this weekend/next week.  I can wait for the holidays - this time of year is so draining some times.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received 2 freebies at work for contributing to a charitable campaign - one was really odd - I thought it was mace - another person thought it was perfume - the other a tool thing - level, post-its - nice, but odd.  Tomorrow is our office party - I am taking mixed nuts from Quad Readers - wow, that stuff is expensive - I looked up the price - I am sure they got a quantity discount - but one small tin is just under $16 - and I got caramel truffles earlier from Earthfare.  Everyone seems to be nibblers - so, no sense in bring a "big" something - little bits of goodness seem to disappear faster - and who wants to bring leftover home - with so many calories running around?  Mail today:  free shaving set from Wal-mart - after rebate.  I forgot to do my test-drive - I found the form while cleaning my purse - good thing I have until the end of the month - so, I will be doing that.  I completed a few more "embellished" towels and started knitting my scarf - casted on 256 stitches - and just did the first round.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Today during lunch, I made a quick trip to the credit union, cleaned out my purse, finished an orange/clove pomander - it smells wonderful and is sitting on a window ledge in the kitchen, and I knitted a few more rows on the scarf for my daughter.  She needed some treats for her class for two days this week.  We headed to Wal-Mart with our giftcards and got what we were looking for.  I also got a circular size 10 knitting needle for my scarf - a different style for myself.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More 12/11 Expressions

Yesterday was our community's luminaria evening - I was so caught-up in "stuff" we missed seeing it.  Also, USAA came through again this year, they gave us a nice dividend even though it was tough year for insurance companies.  We will appreciate the $.  Our paper today had a local on-line estate auction.  I spoke with my husband and he told me to go ahead and bid on a few items.  The auction ends Tuesday.  I put in my max prices - and have already been out-bid. Que-sara, sara - because I am too darn frugal to go any higher - but wish whoever gets the item the best. I feel a lot better this week - we have been eating more healthily (is that a word)?  I need to cut the sugar and caffeine and then I can earnestly start the PINK Method - but, I can start trimming now :)

12/11 Expressions

Pictured above are the two towels I have been talking about.  The brown bath towel - I got a set of 10 towels on-line with free shipping from Wal-mart on Black Friday for $22.00.  So, the embelishments took some of my time and leftover fabric/trim/beads - recycled.  The top one for the guest bathroom - a hand towel from JCPenneys, originally $25 - on sale for $12.50 - and I used my free $10/$10 coupon to get it for $2.50 plus tax.  Cute hand towel - but I don't think I'd ever spend $25 on it - does that make me cheap or frugal :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  A local cupcake shop was giving away cupcakes for donating items for the homeless.  My daughter and I took some canned items and she got a cupcake.  Then we each used our starbucks card (she got her own - a mypoints freebie) and then we headed to JCP - with my $10 off $10 coupon.  I found a hand towel for the guest bathroom - regular price $25, sale $12.50, minus my $10 - so $2.50 plus tax.  Still a lot of $ for a hand towel - since I just purchased bath towels for $2.22 on Black Friday.  A bit of embellishment and they become crazy expensive.  Then to Earthfare - we had coupons.  First, we got an organic lunch - and a free bag of organic sugar.  After lunch, we did a bit of shopping of shopping there with some more coupons - we got 2 lbs of ground round for free and a whole chicken.  Also, the store brand truffles were on sale, so, I bought a box for $5.99 to add to the mixed nuts I got for my contribution to the office holiday snack session.  My daughter and I watched another Redbox - I think the $1 rental has now come and gone.  But, I got some knitting in.  Now I need to get some cleaning in and get set for the new week.

Friday, December 9, 2011

12/9 Expressions

Woot - have been in an e-mail campaign to keep my daughter in the same high school until she graduates - new one is ready for the next school year.  Looks like it works :)  Sometimes it really does help to speak-up :)  I started sewing embellishments on my Black Friday bath towels from Wal-Mart - $2.20 each - I already broke 3 sewing machine needles - just got 2 packs.  Hope I have better luck.  On top of that - when I put the machine on the dining table - I pulled a muscle :(  I hope to have a few towels finished tomorrow.  Mail was good - I got my annual gift for being a mail decoy.  This year, instead of cashews - I got mixed nuts.  I will be taking them to work to share them for "snack day".  I also have a coupon to use at Earthfare - free lb of chuck with a $5 purchase - their truffles are to die for - so, for around $5 - I will get a box of trubbles - to add to the nuts - and I believe I am done gift shopping for the rest of this month.  Oh, as a treat for myself - and of course in case we put the house up for sale so we could change school districts - I purchased a house cleaning groupon.  It will be nice to have someone else do the stuff I hate at 1/2 the price.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12/8 Expressions

Public service announcement:  you can go through withdrawals/increase your BP if you go cold turkey off of caffeine.  Yikes!  Monday, I started the P.I.N.K. method - says no coffee - so, I drank tea.  I was about an 8-12 cup a day coffee drinker - also, sometimes stopping at Starbucks, etc.  Starting Monday - I started getting a really bad headache, could tell my BP was high.  Thought it was a fluke - by yesterday, I put in a vacation slip and thought perhaps I just needed to rest.  Of course - before the end of the day, I called for a dr. appointment.  After taking my blood pressure - which was high - and chatting - turns out I am probably going through a caffeine withdrawal.  He told me to wean myself off of the stuff.  So, on my way to the pharmacy, I got a caramel frappe - doctor's orders :) - and picked up my modified bp rx and something for my severe headache.  Boy, do I feel a lot better - and a bit nutty.  I really thought I had some horrible condition - and turns out - it was something I didn't even think about.  So, I am enjoying a cup of joe (sans the fancy flavors) - and start weaning tomorrow.  So glad I have tomorrow off too - I was having a hard time sleeping because of the pain - so am exhausted.  Don't even want to imagine withdrawal pains from anything stronger than caffiene - this was enough to throw me way out of whack.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More 12/6 Expressions

Today, I made some progress on the scarf I am knitting for my daughter.  Doesn't look like much - but I am pleased so far.  Spent two hours at a community meeting regarding re-zoning school districts - extra time to keep my hands busy :)

12/6 Expressions

Serendipity?  I ran out of my Ultra Purex and what was waiting for me at the front door?  The new Triple Action Purex.  I am a Purex Insider, so I get to give the product a whirl :)  I plan to post a review shortly.

Disclosure:  Purex provided a free sample of their Triple Action laundry detergent so I could write a review.  However, all of the opinions expressed here and in any future posts are my own.

Monday, December 5, 2011

More 12/5 Expressions

We got an e-mail reminder that it is our comunity's annual Chistmas party.  We've lived here almost 5 years and have never been to a one.  So, I talked my daughter into taking a break, we grabbed a Barbie from the gift closet and some toiletries to donate to two different children's charities - and headed over.  It is raining cats and dogs - the place was jammed packed.  We dropped off our stuff, got a plate of great food and left.  Nice to check things out every once in a while.  There goes my PINK Method - will have to start tomorrow.  It was nice to get "rid" of few items too. 

12/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail was pretty good.  My husband received $10 cash for a survey - pretty nifty - I will put it to good use.  I got my rebate form from JCP - so, now to send in the receipt and get $10 back on a gift to my dad.  I started the PINK Method today - feeling pretty good.  So glad it is my "short" week - I have plenty to catch-up on.  Oh, started my daughter's infinity scarf this afternoon.  Co-worker is working on one too - she is going to give me her pattern - her's is easy - but looks much fancier than mine.  I am going to try it when I make mine.  Need to bump up my 401K equivalent contributions for next year - need to keep maxing out - as I still plan on retiring sooner than later.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Real 12/4 Expressions :)

Frugal deeds for the day:  Pictured are the drapes I made yesterday.  Unfortunately, I did not realize the door was made of metal - so, my husband has to come up with an alternate plan to hang them - so, just a demo.  Such a beautiful day - my daughter and I are going to use up her freebie giftcards - yup, get some shop therapy in on the cheap :)  For some reason, I am in the nesting mode -  I just want to pretty up the house on the cheap.  Maybe I know I can really see retiring from my day job soon and I want to be ready to unload this house?  I found the right sized knitting needles last night.  So, my next project is an "infinity scarf" for my daughter.  Keep my hands busy at lunch to relax and keep from putting stuff into my mouth.  Anyway, I plan to start the PINK method in earnest tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12/4 Expressions

Personal financial goals we have accomplished:  add to our daughter's college fund - check.  Bulk up savings account - hope to accomplish by the end of this month.  Pay all property taxes without dipping into savings - hope to accomplish by the end of this month.  Barring any emergency, we are on track.  Our holiday spending has been pretty minimal.  Although we were going to use our Southwest Airline miles for trips, we have decided to cash them in for gift cards to curb our variable spending - groceries, gas, clothes, and entertainment. 

12/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I stayed home and got the sewing machine out and did some darning and made the curtains - just waiting for my husband to install the hardware.  I also made a large batch of vegetable curry for my daughter who has decided to become a vegetarian.  I also made a batch of salad and cut up some vegetables to start the PINK method diet on Monday.  I have everything - but am waiting to actually get started.  I wanted to finish up my coffee, etc. before I start.  I have also been getting $10/$10 coupons/giftcards - it's been a while.  I have been getting them from Kohls - but JCP usually sends me $10/$25 and LL Bean hasn't sent one in a while.  Well, I just went through ebates and ordered a cashmere scarf from LL Bean - out of pocket $0.  The $39 scarf was marked down to $9.99 - with free shipping.  I am hoping ebates refunds me .20 too :)  That was my thrill of the day.  I also got my free Kiplingers - nice to read in the sun with nice cup of coffee at home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

12/2 Expressions

This is our sunbeatened front door.  My husband updated with paint the previous owners left in the garage.  The wreath?  My daughter made it in school about 10 years ago.  It is made from humble supplies.  A wire coat hanger, scraps of fabric and some ribbon.  She had a great public school teacher who was very crafty - the teacher kept their tiny hands busy making all kind of things from scraps and leftovers.  My daughter wasn't all that proud of it in the past - but, I kept it.  I guess now that we are in a new economy, every one appreciates "home-made" and "recycled" much more - so, I switched out our year around decorated grapevine - and added her wreath for this season.  It is such a nice beautiful day outside.  Next, I am going to sew that kitchen drape.  I am just home from the hospital - had a minor procedure - but am in such an appreciative mood.  I was told to take it easy, so, I am.  But these are easy things to do.  Earlier, the dog and I sat on the front porch (me with a fresh cup of coffee) and we enjoyed the sun.  So many things to be grateful for, and they don't always have to cost $.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

12/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I decided to cash in my Southwest Airlines miles for discounted giftcards.  I believe I have enough for gifts, gas & food for the next month.  I also made a few more purchases with my Amex card - and on one $25 gc got a $20 statement credit - not a bad discount indeed.