Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We checked out pay-as-you-go data/text/calling plans at Wal-mart.  My husband and daughter's 2 year plan is now over.  My husband told me the monthly bill was $139 per month.  So, they need to go to T-mobile and get a sim card - the Rep. at Wal-mart said it should cost around $15 each.  Then, my daughter will get the $30 per month plan - unlimited text/data and 100 calling minutes and my husband will get the $50 per month plan - unlimited text/data/calling.  I will wait until I have used up my 1,000 pre-paid minutes.  Then I will buy the phone - $39.99 and buy the $30 per month plan.  Still a bit of savings over what we were paying.  Oh, and Starwood Hotel stock earned a nice dividend this year.  I also called the payroll department and I am cancelling $30 worth of optional bi-weekly deductions from my check. So, still paring down costs as I can.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My quest to continue to declutter is pictured above.   The bag is a freebie and I printed 2 square templates and found a nice pair of scissors while decluttering.  All the clothes with "blue" in them that we no longer wanted are laundered and ready to be cut into a quilt.  My dad's birthday is in August - hopefully, the quilt will be done by then.  We all pretty much have everything we need. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband has come down with a cold.  I clipped 2 coupons and got him a day-time and night-time syrup and some tissues (free with purchase/coupon).  I used my trusty Wal-mart gift card - so, no additional $ out of my pocket.  While at Wal-mart - I saw their phone center.  That's what we need to research.  My husband and daughter have smartphones - and the contract expired this month.  I am thinking we can get a smartphone for me and still pay approximately the same monthly rate or less.  I dread getting a smartphone (I currently have a pay-as-you-go) - but, I guess to stay connected with the family - and some of the nice features of the smartphone - gps, etc., I am ready to learn how to use one.  Today, I am going to clean the loft/bonus room so we can start ripping the carpet out - I want the garbage can to be full this week and next :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I put the donations out for pick-up.  Sure hope they come soon.  Then I crafted the pictured necklace for my daughter.  I saw something similar - less the initial - but, I have costume jewelry I no longer wear.  The initial was purchased from Anthropologie on sale for less than $1.  My daughter loves and hopefully will get some wear out of it.  My junk turned into her treasure.  I printed a few coupons.  I want to organize and automate my breakfasts and lunches for work.  For breakfast, I think a boiled egg and 1 slice of wheat bread w/1 tbsp of natural peanut butter (sold at Aldi) and a salad w/protien for lunch should work.  I am thinking of making the wheat bread w/peanut butter and foldng them over and freezing to save the bread and making it very easy on me to pack.  That may be my project for the day.  Since it is the holiday season,  I want to get some relaxing time in to refresh myself for office work - but getting some home projects done give me a sense of accompishment and a feeling of moving closer to my goal of preparing for my daughter's education and my eventual "retirement".

Added:  although later than stated, the donations got picked up.  My daughter and I went to Earthfare where we each got 2 "deals"  with coupon.  A fillet and lobster tail for $9.  We invited my dad ovr for New Year lunch.  We also stopped at Michael's to pick up fabric dye with the 50% off coupon and gift card.  That was my daughter's purchase - I purchased a Godiva Chocolate bar with the 50% off and gift card - between the two of, we spent less than $4 on the gift card - and the chocolate will be shared by all.  :)  And definitely not cheap - but I got 2 boxes of the Phillips crabcakes for my husband - I printed a $1.50/2 coupon which took some of the sting out of the price - but my husband deserves his favorite treat.  My brother sent my daughter a gift card for Christmas - to the Guitar Center.  So, she and my husband will make a trip next week since they are both home.  I will work 3 out of the 5 days next week at the office :(  As far as freebies with coupons - yesterday, I got 2 dental flosses for free with coupon.  This is not a stock-up for us since it will be used by the three of us rather quickly.  It is nice to go through "stuff" and find useful "stuff".  I am about out of face wash - I found 2 sample packs.  The longer I can hold out, the more stuff I use up and the less stuff I spend $ on.  Of course it would also give me time to get my CVS giftcards too.  I also should order contacts - but I am holding off until 1 January so I can get reimbursed with my health saver's account.  And here's hoping we don't go off the fiscal cliff!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Progress toward decluttering - I found a chair, household items, suit case, and more clothes to donate.  Pick-up is set for tomorrow.  I redeemed mypoints for a $10 Panera gift card for my husband.  I just printed a few coupons for things I had planned to purchase anyway.  My bonus hit my bank account.  I transferred some to my daughter's college savings account and  to our savings account.  I called the realtor about our 2 vacant properties.  Both need to be cleaned before being put up for rent.  I asked for them to be put up asap. Apparently the house has a lot of stuff left including new children's clothing, amoir, etc.  They are going to hire a subcontractor to get the stuff out and clean  - sadly, sounds like both tenants will lose their deposits.  I guess people have money to burn these days?

Added:  Yikes, the bad weather has caused a tree limb to fall the yard of another rental property.  The property manager thinks it may have knocked a shutter down.  She is going out to the property to check.  When it rains, it pours.  Mail was decent.  We had to fill out a form to get a spin-off stock - an energy company I believe.  Kroger sent some nice coupons.  My daughter and I grocery shopped at Aldi, Kroger and Wal-mart.  I still have some $ left on my Wal-mart gift card.  Aldi - we used cash and Kroger - what can I say, I used a points back credit card.  I also used a coupon for a free sandwich at Arbys - and used the rest of the gift card and added a few $ as my daughter wanted a peppermint shake - they are seasonal - and I took a sip.  So, easy dinner for the family.  My husband, who is coming down with a cold, got his sandwich.  I had turkey broth soup - made from leftover - and my daughter fended for herself.  The dog looks fabulous with her new "do".   I also ordered 2 $10 CVS giftcards from my Chase CC accounts.  I plan to use them for household items I "need" - but hate to pay for - toilet paper, etc.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  Today, I ordered a belated holiday gift for my daughter's guitar teacher.  She thinks he will appreciate an itunes gift card - so that is what he got - I used my $5 Wal-mart gift card from Swagbucks and part of the Wal-mart gift card I purchased using ebay $.  So, we took a quick trip out to the west coast.  It was our Christmas gift to ourselves and a chance to check out the location in which I had a job offer.  We loved the area - the job sounded great - just a tad bit more $ - sounds perfect right?  I ended up declining the offer.  Why, we aren't as agile as I thought we'd be.  First of all, we really couldn't swing a move in time for my daughter to switch schools.  The bigger problem - getting the house ready to sell by the summer.  So, my goal is get this house ready to sell in the next 15-20 months.  I plan to take a deferred retirement - as in, I won't be old enough to collect my retirement pay for several years - but I can take money out of my 401K equivalent using rule 72T to tide me over until I hit hit my retirement age.  So, I have lots to declutter, get rid of, etc.  Good thing I got a call from a charity organization that picks stuff up - I plan to call them back and have several boxes ready for them.  I also plan to sign up with a consignment store near work that takes everyday household stuff.  I plan to upcycle what we have - meaning buying only the minimum in clothing - that stuff multiplies.  I plan to use up what we have.  I want to eat healthily (is that a word) - but not waste and not stockpile.  So, that's the goal.  Today, we had my dad over to give him his gift and we made lunch.  For the side dishes - we mainly used up stuff from the pantry.  I also have lots of bar soap - some of it nice smelling hand made soap.  So, I am back to making my own laundry detergent - we don't have skin conditions - and I don't use an exact science.  I just flake the soap with a knife into a canning jar - microwave about three minutes - dump it into the laundry soap container - the jar is hot and I am careful - then I dump in several more jars of water - shake - and I get "laundry detergent" of differing consistency - depending on how much soap I flake - and usually nice smelling.  I also plan to start saving as much as I can.  When you want to move quickly, cash is king!  So, tomorrow, I plan to take my Home Depot gift cards - earned from the AMEX deal - and get supplies to do as much as DIY as I can on this house.  I plan to start ripping up the carpet in the bonus room and hallway so that my husband can install laminate flooring.  Tomorrow, the dog is getting her hair done with the gift card I got practically from from the AMEX $25 small business credit deal. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12/18 Expressions

Money attraction edition:  Today I received the giftcards from doing the AMEX Business deal; I received the Wal-mart gift card I ordered with my paypal account - from payments of sales on ebay; I received a statement from the insurance company that I received a dividend this year; and we owned a few shares of the Tribune - unfortunately, they went bankrupt:  received notification that we will receive a some $ back.  Oh, and I receive notification that I got a bonus at work.  All the extra will go toward property tax payments - and I plan to replace the tires on my car.  My husband just notified me that a work mate sold his house - and has been living in an RV.  With the weather being a bit too cold, he asked if he could move in with my husband a few nights a week and is paying a bit of rent.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I decided to use my ebay $ for a Wal-mart giftcard - that way, we can use it to buy gas/groceries.  My daughter and I got our holiday shopping done.  This year, we pretty much stuck to giftcards - and about 1/2 of them had bounceback offers - although they can't be used until 1/1/13.  I used most of my Marriott points - earn just for making a purchase for holiday trip.  Nice that the room includes free wi-fi and free breakfast.  I believe that credit card deal was probably the best I have ever gotten in on.  Tonight was the community luminaria night.  It was beautiful and peaceful.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I sold a book on - yippee, a few bucks and clutter out.  Then I got my AMEX Statement and redeemed my rewards points for giftcards - and I qualified for free expedited shipping - 3 days :)  My husband is redeeming some air miles and hotel points so that we can take a quick trip over the holiday season.  Oh, and yesterday I got in on a Coke Rewards special - redeem 30 points for a 12 pack coupon - nice for the soda-aholic in the family :)  Added:  Oh, and I checked my AMEX bill - ABC giftcards is a small business and I got $25 back on a Petsmart Giftcard I paid $32 for - which has a value of $36 or $37 :)  Pooch gets a cheap hairdoo for once :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My ebayer finally paid - and I am going to wrap the package up to mail out tomorrow with my sale.  I also have a few other items selling on ebay - so, perhaps I will mail out another package or two :)  Decluttering and a bit of cash is a good thing in my book.  I plan to make a large salad shortly to use up what we have so that I will have a couple of lunches for the next few days.  The fridge is finally starting to have some room :)

Added:  I made a yummy salad - leftover whole cranberry sauce, artisan lettuce, a bit or roasted chicken, tomatoes, feta, olive oil, red wine vinegar, apple, 1 green onion.  I also gassed up the car at Wal-mart and stopped in for a rotisserie chicken.  Then to Arby's to get my daughter a peppermint milk shake - I still had a few cents left on a gift card.  When I got there, I decided to ask if they still had the buy a $10 giftcard, get the milkshake free deal.  Yup!   But it gets better - I asked to pay for 1 milkshake and get a free one with a gift card purchase - the manager gave me both shakes free :)  They also gave me a nice coupon flyer - the last coupon - good during Christmas week is for a totally free sandwich.  And, I sold another item on ebay :)  Feels like my lucky, frugal day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12/8 Expressions

Holiday sights - either the first or second time since we moved here around 6 years ago, our paperwhites have bloomed.  I have a picture - but for some reason, the upload function isn't functioning.  Today we spent most of the morning decluttering - more stuff added to the consignment store box and we have 3 boxes for donations.  Another charitable organization left a note that they will be in the area for pick-up in a week or so - so, we have some time to pack-up a few more boxes.  I also threw out some stuff and found some lost treasures.  Today, we went to Victoria's Secret with 5 $10 off coupons and got some nice things for not very much out of pocket.  We also went to a Thai restaurant with a BOGO coupon and lunches are around $7 - lots of food - so, we brought some home.  The food was very tasty to boot.  also went to Earthfare and picked up coupon items - $1 stocking stuffers - really nice smelling soap, s'mores, etc. and 2 salad packs (4 salads each).  We also took the dog for a nice walk.  It has been an enjoyable day.  Oh, I skipped hot yoga - went to the weight loss center - and met (surpassed) my first goal - so, now I can carry my new purse from Coldwater Creek!  Just tried to upload that picture - and still no luck - sigh!  Uploaded a few items on ebay today too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

12/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Tonight, we ate a sorta free gourmet dinner.  It was our HOA holiday party and the food was catered - and yummy.  Mail was excellent too:  I got a rebate check - and a $5 off Millstone coffee coupon - not sure if I won it or what - but I am trying to spend as little as possible on coffee grounds. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I made cranberry/orange scones today from fresh cranberries and zest from one my oranges.  Not all that pretty - but they were tasty - and the pieces missing were from three people trying them out - not just me.  I sold 1 item on ebay.  Have my and sales ready to go.  Just waiting for the buyer to pay.  I have two crafts ready for lunch time this week.  One will use 2 of my daughter's childhood t-shirts for an upcycled "scarf".  The other, already crocheted rectangles that I will stitch together to make my daughter an interesting infinity-type scarf.  I changed out the front door wreath.  I now have our holiday wreath out - purchased 4 years ago - I think from Goodwill.  Still looks as good as it did then. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12/1 Expressions

I can't believe it is December already.  Believe me, I am ready for it.  Anyway, the dog got groomed with a discounted Petsmart Gift Card.  I sold another book on  I am waiting for my auctions to end on ebay tomorrow and my item on listia.  I also hope to list a few more items too.  We shall see, but I am hoping to get this house declutters and in shape to sell by the summer of 2014.  That seems a long ways away, but in reality, it would probably take that long to get everything in order.   Part way through this month, we will have 2 vacancies.  I am hoping they both get filled quickly.  The attorney filing the BP claim keeps sending me e-mails that he is going to call me shortly - uh, stop e-mailing me that you are going to call - and just e-mail me what you want to tell me.  Is that so hard?  I have been playing with the Rule 72T distribution calculator here:  Why?  Once the house is sold, I am thinking of taking a "deferred" retirement.  So, I can start drawing down my 401K equivalent until I hit my minimum retirement age.

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received a rebate check in the mail.  That was a nice surprise.  I did NO cyber-Monday shopping.  A first for me.  This year I will probably give gift cards from my credit card points.  Oh, we are doing a gift swap at work - and I have the perfect gift in the closet :)  My daughter made an appointment to take a few more items to the consignment store.  Dog's Petsmart appointment has been made.  Only rocky news, 2 tenants have given their 30 day notice - both leases expired.  Hope they fill soon after they vacate.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

11/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Eventually we plan to sell the house we live in.  We have a lot of stuff.  For some reason, the older I get, the less stuff excites me.  So, I found 5 things and listed them on ebay.  I found something to list on listia also.  When my daughter and I went to the consignment store, we noticed they opened a "home good" section - so, the pictures that are prefectly good from the condo will be cleaned up and taken during the next appointment.  Also, we have used the vet at Petsmart a few times.  She is really good with the dog - albeit a bit busy - but a lot cheaper than our regular vet.  So, the regular vet sent a post with routine stuff that needs to get done.  We have never walked out of her office for under $150.  So, we will give Petsmart a whirl - and hopefully save a few bucks and get great service - at a more convenient location. 

Added:  Speaking of Petsmart, late in the afternoon, ABC Giftcards sent me an e-mail stating they were part of the American Express Small Business Saturday Deal.  I guess I cold have registered both of my Amex cards, but I only registered one, and purchased a Petsmart gift card that was discounted 15% - as close to the $25 as possible - I think I spent $32.XX - and hopefully, I will get a $25 statement credit.  Hows that for saving on pet expenses?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

11/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  My daughter and I made a quick run to CVS to use a $4 off $20 coupon and the ecbs I had earned earlier in the week.  Black Friday - I did not leave the house; tried to order a freebie on-line - the site was slammed - and I gave-up.  I did sell an item on  Today, my daugher and I took some items to the consignment store and found articles of clothing that we will upcycle for her.  She and a group of friends did go to some Black Friday sales.  She ended up buying one pair of boots for $19.99.  I am glad she did not get caught up buying things just for the sake of a sale.  We still have leftovers - so, we bought minimal items are Kroger and Aldi to get us through the week. 

Added:  I did stop at Aldi to pick-up a few items to round out the leftovers.  There was a clearance bin and I got a .25 jar of all natural butternut squash pasta sauce and a .25 box of ingredients to make pumpkin whoopie pies.  And, in the spirit of not going overboard, although there was plenty - and a few other pumpkin themed items, I only purchased 1 of each in addition to the items I had on my list.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

11/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  AMVETS picked up 4 bags of clothes, some stuffed animals, and a cork board.  That's a start toward decluttering and I they left a tax receipt.  My husband received his cookware from the Proctor and Gamble offer I did several months ago.  It was buy $XX worth of P&G products and get the cookware.  I got a rebate check and sold a DVD on - which I will mail out tomorrow.  And to use up some of the first class stamps I earned as a mail decoy, I have placed some stamps on the recycled envelope and will pay the difference with the change in my purse.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

11/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  I got my 2 $10 CVS gift cards - cashed in credit card points - and printed out 2 .50 coupons for Scott Toilet Tissue - and stocked-up.  I should now have enough to last through the end of the year and still have some $ left on my CVS gift card.  After a run to Costco and Aldi today to do the minimum stock-up, we are going to spend some time decluttinger to find stuff for the consignment store and donate to AMVETS who will be doing pick-ups this week.  Not so frugal, some unexpected expenses have messed with my savings goals.  So, I may have to lower my target - but will continue to try to make it until the end of the year.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

11/13 Expressions

Pictured are the plants I repotted/brought in before the cold, dreary weather hit.  We had a frost warning last night - of course the plants have been in place since Saturday.  So far, they look pretty happy.  I hope I get lemons/oranges next year - I can dream can't I.  I hope I get a few leaves of lettuce - and my rosemary seems to be going strong.  Hard to see, but, my Aldi Aloe Vera is doing pretty well too.  I have yet to use it for anything - soothe a burn, etc. - but maybe that is a good thing.  Yesterday, my daughter decided to spend some of her clothing budget at Alter'd State.  She took in 3 cans for 20%  of regular priced items and 40% off clearanced/sale items.  She got a nice assortment of clothing and was very discerning since she was spending her own $. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

11/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Last night, I spent a few minutes cashing in . . . my husband cashed in his Chase Sapphire bonus and points for a $432.23 direct deposit.  I cashed in points on 2 of my Chase cards for $10 CVS cards.  Today, my daughter and went to Michaels with coupon (25% off everything) and gift card and I bought supplies for 2 bracelets - used just under $10 on the gift card.  Then we headed to Target - same shopping complex and she used her Shopkick app and we got 2 Venti Lattes for $0 - she had a BOGO coupon and I had a free drink loaded on my card.  Then I headed to Dollar Tree and purchased laundry detergent and cinnamon.  When we went to the beach last weekend, I purchased an orange tree and and meyer's lemon tree for $9.99 each.  So, I found a washtub in the garage and a bit cooking pot - and now have the plants plus some herbs and lettuce/tomato plant growing inside on my 1960's end tables.  Tonight, my daughter and I plant get a few free underwear at Victoria's Secret - use the $10 off bras - and get a free Secret Angel card - worth at least $10 at the "Pink Party" tonight.  We will also stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the same complex to see if they sell the Nescaffe Dolce Grande pods - and I am hoping to use a $5 off $15 coupon to get at least 2 boxes of 8 or 16 count.  I am dying my hair with box color in a few minutes and giving myself a french manicure before leaving for the event.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

11/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mailbag - got paid in stamps for being a mail decoy.  My husband earned his 40,000 points from Chase Sapphire - which can be redeemed for $400 cash or giftcards.  We went to a matinee and then shopped a few stores.  My daughter got a nice pair of flats at DSW on clearance and $10 off coupon; we got a free small candle from Bath and Body Works with purchase - purchased a $1.50 giftbag.  I am going to use a coupon and a giftcard to buy supplies from Michael's tomorrow to make bracelet.  I am hoping it will be a great lunch time craft.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

11/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I donated blood and am home early.  Freebies from the blood donation, a t-shirt, bottled h20, crackers and a couple of BOGO restaurant coupons.  Then a health fair was going one in conjunction with the blood drive - so, I received a reusable shopping bag, eye glasses repair kit, toothbrush, and a couple of other goodies.  Now that I am home - I have big batch of free tilapia I plan to bake with herbs/tangerines, etc. that I already have on hand - and of course, I have a small bag of sweet potatoes to bake wih the fish.  The heat will be nice since it is a cold day.  I plan to do some light housekeeping.  I have a very long "weekend" ahead of me since I am "off" anyway tomorrow and Monday is Veterans Day.  Tomorrow, we are planning to redecorate my daughter's bedroom with things we already have - mainly things we have decided not to use in the condo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  We made a trip to the beach condo this weekend.  Since our condo was booked, we stayed at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott for free - got that bonus for being approved for the Marriott credit card.  They had a nice breakfast - and I forgot my toothbrush and paste - and they provided those at the front desk.  Then to our condo meeting - and they served a nice seafood buffet - free - but not really since it comes out of the budget.  We spruced up a bit, shopped at the Tanger Outlet mall - I used 4 20% off coupons and 20% off at Tommy Hilfiger store for jeans for my husband.  The prices were great.  On the way down, we stopped at a casino - and ate at their buffet - the food was fantastic.  I played $10 - and cashed out $10.XX.  My husband lost a few $.  But while at the beach, I thumbed through a freebie magazine - and found a $5 free play coupon - so, grabbed another for my husband.  We stopped on the way home - and each got a vanilla milkshake for tip and I "lost" my free $5 - and my husband cashed his $5.XX out.  We are probably not the clientelle they are looking for.  We decided not to use the new bed cover set - so, this weekend, we will spruce up my daughter's room.  I just put some veggies in the crockpot - and hope to puree them tomorrow for a creamy soup.  The weather is cooler - and the hot soup will make an easy dinner.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

11/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Last night, I "won" a coupon for a free Wholly Guacamole product using my listia credits.  This morning, I won 20 cokereward points.  This week I received my $78 in Staple rewards - and was thinking it would be great to use them to buy gift cards?  At lunch, I finished a crochet project.  I got invited to a buffet and a limo-ride to see a local builders homes.  Hmm, would it be bad just to tour the home for informational purposes - with no intent to buy?  Omaha Steaks sent me a nice deal - and I took them up on it.  Wow - never had them try so hard to up-sell me.  Must have gotten a great deal?  I was shocked at so many Trick or Treaters that showed up.  All the chocolates are gone - as were most of the suckers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Woot - I got another Target make-up bag full of nice samples.  Has got to be one of my favorite freebies.  Got my Marriott Credit Card statement - it has got to be the best deal ever - I spent $24.XX on it and have 50024 Marriott points already - as promised.  No hassles - and a free room just for being approved - already booked.  I am just trying to keep on a Hot Yoga schedule and eating plan - and still get whatever else I need to be doing done.  We have unseasonably cold weather - thanks to Hurricane Sandy. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

10/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter and I donated school supplies we had already stockpiled - to walk around the local botanical gardens.  Nice to donate stuff - and be able to enjoy a nice afternoon look at others' creativity - scarecrow displays.  I plan to finish the dog's jogging suit this afternoon as the weather is turning cold.  Hopefully she will appreciate it when the weather is cooler.  I also made a nice crockpot of curried potato stew - it turned out delicious.  We are set for the rest of the week and should not have any reason to eat out :)  This month has flown by.  My husband gave out trick or treating candy last week in the town w/our foreclousure home.  He said he had about 80 Treaters - and was glad he bought a large bag of chocolates to give out - in addition to the free bag of candy we got at Earthfare - and a couple of packs of chocolate I got at Rite Aid with UP dollars.  This week we will have Treaters visiting.  We used to get a handfull - last year about 20 - not sure what this year will bring - but I have 6 packages of snack sized chocolates using UP dollars from Rite Aid and 2 bags of organic suckers my daughter and I got for "free" at Earthfare. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

10/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We received 3 coupon packets in the mail from Victoria's Secret - 3 free panties and $ off coupons.  Today, my daughter and I went to Bath and Body Works and each used an internet coupon for a free small candle.  I returned several items from Coldwater Creek outlet to the store and got immediate credit.  No hassle at all!  Got our grocery shopping in - best deals at Aldi got a spagetti squash for $1.29, etc.  I picked a small pepper and one okra from my "garden".  To keep the rest of the potatoes from going bad, I peeled them while watching a Redbox movie and now they are cooking in the crockpot.  I am going to try to make the curry potato stew - like the stuff sold at Costco.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Made a small deposit to try to get the savings account to where I had set a goal and of course I got a nice cup of coffee from the credit union.  I may have been a bit too aggressive - but I have a couple more months to catch up.  I received my order from Lowes - 2 black-out drapes for the condo.  I also received "The New Three-Legged Stool" that I won from a giveaway at .  The good news is:  this year, maintenance-wise, we have very little to do - other than hang some drapes and pictures (our choice) and replenish some inventory.  However, it was suggested that we replace our cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom - not because there is anything wrong with them - but because they are "outdated".  So, we got our third quote in.  The first quote was $2,900 to replace the doors and hardware.  The second quote was $3-7K for veneer to be placed on the existing cabinets with new hardware.  And the third quote - $1,800 to replace the doors and hardware!  So, we will be going with the third quote since this contractor actually went to the condo to prepare his quote - and he was recommended by a reputable counter store.  So, it took several weeks - but, that's at least and $1,100 saving!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter got a part-time job tutoring pre-cal - $10/hr :)  I am just trying to keep up with the Hot Yoga classes and eating from home - taking lunches everyday - and it has been healthy. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:   My daughter and I redeemed 3 coupons for 3 pair of panties at Victoria's Secret.  She discovered  shopkicks - and now is 1/2 way to her first gift card.  Since I don't have a smart phone - it is not something I can partake of.  We also stopped at CVS - they have Quilted Northern 12 double rolls on sale for $6.99 plus a $1 ecb.  Kroger sent me a $2 manufacturer's coupon off the TP - and I had a few bucks left on my discounted CVS gift card, and then used the $1 ecb for the $1 snack sized candy bars (for Trick or Treaters later this month).  I also scanned my ecb card and got a coupon that will double my quarterly earnings toward ecbs, a $2 off any CVS lotion - so got one for just over $2 - cocoa buttter, and a $1 off any cvs dental product - got a CVS toothbrush for .19 and a $2 ECB. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

10/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received a rebate check in the mail.  My husband and I had a date for lunch - and each used a coupon at KFC.  Then he kindly ran errands.  He purchased tilapia with my $20 freebie coupon - but spent $3 - he bought a bunch, and it is in the freezer.  Then he stopped at Aldi and picked up some produce.  I stopped at Kroger to use my $5 coupon, $3 off $15 in frozen coupon, and a few other coupons and was able to round out my shopping for the rest of the week - I mainly wanted TP - don't want to run out of that - and I had a TP coupon coupon too.  So, I got 12 double rolls, and 3 vegetarian frozen pizza's for $12 after coupons.  I was really hoping to the Betty Crocker deal one more time - but they were out of the $1 boxes of potatoes - then I could have cut the $12 down to $10 - and would have had $5 boxes of potatoes to boot. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

10/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am making very good use of my hot yoga groupon - so, not much extra time lately.  I also got a $20 Livingsocial coupon for seafood for free - it was $10 off $20 and they sent me a code for $10 off - so, completely free.  I plan to get the seafood tomorrow to spice up my grocery repetoire.  I also got some coupons together today and shopped Kroger - saved 50% - spent $42 - but got a $5 off coupon for buying 5 Betty Crocker products with coupon.  My free items were:  Suave Body Wash, courtesy of Kroger, 2 bags of Lindor Truffles - courtesy of my husband and my facebook accounts.  The place was teaming with manager's specials also.  I got lots of markdowns on meats - which rarely happens.  Now, I plan to round out my shopping at Aldi as they are having a great sale on produce this week.  I also forced myself to fill out a bunch of papers for a law firm to file a small claim against BP for our sandlot at the beach - hope we recover some $ - and "find" a few more dollars this year. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More 10/14 Expressions - The Unhappy Dog Issue

Finally, I am able to make some progress today - I am almost finished with the dog's jogging suit made out of scrap material.  Sadly, she was in no mood to pose for a picture - so, I had to hold her.  Just need to do some touch-up work and add some snaps to the front.  Instructions said velcro - but I am using snaps I inherited from my mom's sewing stash.  Hopefully she will appreciate the hooded jogging suit when the weather turns cooler.

10/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since I had $2 on my Rite Aid loyalty card and my daughter loves Butterfingers - I purchased 3 snacks - each pack on sale for .97 - for $1.16 in total - and I paid with change to lighten my load.  I made a nice veggie soup in the crockpot - after I roasted a chicken in it.  I fell asleep for a nap and didn't wake up until this a.m.  So, I did not get the cleaning I wanted to get done - so, will need to do some catching up today - and try to get the dogs jogging suit done (scrap fabrics) - as the weather is getting cold and she does not like going out when it is cold

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Well, the results of our condo inspection have been uploaded.  And while there are no snively suggestions - like move the dining table to align with the overhead light fixture, there is one major one - replace the cabinets in the kitchen and the bathroom.  So, I have been researching alternatives - because "A", the cabinets are in good condition - even if a bit outdated, and they aren't bad enough to bother us.  So, I have e-mailed a contractor for a quote on "refacing" the cabinets.  I have looked at ordering cabinet doors to reface the cabinets ourselves - windsor cabinet doors - and others, and I have looked at peel and stick wood/veneer options.  I do not want to replace the countertops as we just had those replaced about 2 years ago.  I have savings goals for the end of the year - uh, I'd like to retire as soon as I can - and college expenses may crop up.  So, I will wait to see what the contractor's quote is, plus we will call the bldg manager to find out what other's have done - and go from there.  It has done well this year so far in rentals - it actually slightly surpassed last year - which was a banner year.  So, that is my research project of the week.  We are awaiting for the foreclosure property's tax commissioner to refund our overpayment - can you tell, they are taking their sweet time since they won't be paying us interest - but if we owe, we have to pay interest - why is that.  I think they should have to pay interest to keep them honest.  Okay, off my soap box, anyway, I am hoping we can reface, resurface the cabinets for the refund amount.  That is my goal.
UPDATE:  I stopped at Rite Aid - my 20% sadly does NOT apply to gift cards.  Mail was great though.  I received coupons from Kroger - free Suave bodywash, and a bunch of $X off $X coupons - like $4 off of $15 spent on XXX.  So, I will be combining those for the best deal.  Also got local coupons and a freebie magazine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

10/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  To beef up my work wardrobe, I placed an order at Coldwater Creek today using code NFA7657 in the Outlet.  So, not only did I get an extra 50% on each item, I also got $30 off for spending $100.  I went thru ebates for an additional 2% back - on my AMEX card so that I can get the $500 bonus.  Today, I went to the beauty school and got my hair cut styled, facial, and free parafin hand wax.  I also made a trip to Rite Aid - as we needed saline solution for our contacts.  I have a discounted RA giftcard - so, just used it.  Since I fill all of our RX's at RA - I have enough points to get a 20% discount on everything.  I was looking at my receipt and was marveling at that discount.  Now I am wondering if I can get a 20% on giftcards there and use my AMEX card for further benefits.  And if the 20% works on giftcards - that would be a great way to buy them since it seems people in my daughter's age group seem to like giftcards for birthday gifts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I finished a pair of pajama bottoms to wear this winter.  I also did my weekly shopping at Publix.  I saved $36.XX and spent $41.  Then I spent $3.XX at Aldi for a 3 lb bag of sweet potatoes, some bananas, and a bag of pears.  For our dessert tonight, we had a banana, pear, natural peanut butter, flax seed, greek yogurt, milk smoothie.  Very tasty indeed.  On the personal finance front - hmmm, not liking this bouncing market.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  During lunch today, I ordered plastic film for our house windows - either for here or in the foreclosure house.  I had $5 from swagbucks, free shipping and paid $20.XX out of pocket from Amazon.  I am hoping to cut heating costs.  In the mail, I received a .20 dividend check, and 10 first class stamps for being a mail decoy.  I also ordered a pass for unlimited yoga at a new place - and hope to make maximum use of it.  This week, I have an aroma-therapy (lavender) 60 minute session at the massage school - $40 plus tip.  I also have a hair cut, facial, and parafin hand dip session made at the beauty school.  Oh, and I got in on the Lindor Truffles freebie on Facebook :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This is the first year my daughter did not get Columbus Day off . . . so, my husband and I had a date day.  We started with watching "Trouble with the Curve" as a matinee - 10:40 this morning.  It was a good movie - especially for someone who normally doesn't like to go to movies.  Then, I purchased a groupon last night - for lunch out.  I also purchased a groupon for self serve yogurt - yum.  Then we headed to Target - I got 4 .99 Archer Farm coffee - great to take to the condo - or to try different flavors - using the $1.50/2 Target coupon.  I also ended up getting 2 Nestle Refrigerated Cookie doughs for just over .50 each after sale/coupons - and they went into the freezer.  My daugher has had a need for a snack for a class - this will make it easy - and no need to run to the grocery store at the last minute.  I also did some sewing and have a project to work on during lunch tomorrow.  I have also been thinking about "Trick or Treating" - I am wondering if I should offer stuff instead of candy - trial sized Bath and Body Lotions I got for free, extra packs of Bic Pens and Pencils I got for next to nothing, etc.   I was thinking it would be a great way to declutter, and perhaps give things that might be a treasure to others.  I was thinking of having some candy on hand for those that would rather have candy - but not go overboard.  I heard from the claims attorney regarding our other property at the beach.  Seems it may be possible to collect a bit.  It would pay about 1/2 of our property taxes we plan to pay at the end of December.  I am also awaiting a refund of property taxes from our foreclosure property.  It would be nice if we could pay it all with "unexpected" money :)  Still waiting to see if the IRS will refund a bit of our $ too - should know by the middle of November.  And the nice thing about November for me - is that it is an extra paycheck month.  I am also hoping to get a small bonus at work.  So, perhaps the taxes will be covered.  Also, we are working on a couple of credit card deals - hopefully, we will earn the $900 by then too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

10/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Pictured is my "monkey" rug.  I love the tiled kitchen floor - but I am not a fan of the cold.  So, since the shelf liner I was using as a rug (before that - a yoga mat) would not stay "down" and would get stuck to my feet while I was loading dishes in the dishwasher, I took an old t-shirt my daughter can no longer wear - and now it is a part of my washable rub.  I also have a bunch of orange piping from ages ago - that I purchased for next to nothing - so, thought I might as well use it up too.  Next, pj bottoms that are warm for the winter.  The weather seems to be turning cold quickly this year.  So, I have a fleece blanket I got for free from my credit union, some fleece fabric I inherited from my mom's stash - so, I almost have 1 pair of pants cut out.  With the leftover, I have a pattern for a doggie coat.  So, I will several sewing projects to keep me busy this week.  I am off tomorrow, so, I will continue to sew, do a bit of cleaning, and give myself a manicure.  I want to continue to declutter and get projects done.  My husband made a trip to Rite Aid - on his way to return the dvds that we rented.  Anyway, for pretty much no additional $ out, he was able to get a bottle of baby oil, witch hazel, and a Therma-care back strip.  With the in ad coupon - the Therma Care was free, we had $4 in UP bucks that were loaded on the card from last week's purchase and I gave my husband my discounted Rite Aid gift card.  The amount he charged to the gift card was just over $2 - and I believe my discount on that card was just over that amount.  The witch hazel is for my daughter - a cheap astringent.  I wanted the baby oil to mix with the peppermint extract that I used to massage into my dry feet.  It feels and smells pretty nice.  I put the concoction in a small spray bottle that I recycled.  This will be a really short work week for me - well my out-of-the home job anyway.  I have plenty of work to do around here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

10/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today was a nice mail day.  Notification that rent from one property was paid early :)  I am on track to meet our savings goal for the end of the year.  Of course there's three months left.  After my daughter and I attended our hot yoga class, we stopped by Aldi for a few produce items.  We had a nice lunch at home.  Then we headed to self-service yogurt bar with our Groupon - and spent nothing extra out of pocket there.  We stopped at TJ Maxx and my husband and daughter got a few items to supplement their winter clothes wardrobe.  We used the TJ Maxx gift card I had purchased at a discount.  Then we headed to Homegoods - and spent the rest of the giftcard plus just over $1 - mainly on food/spice items.  Then to Earthfare - we each did the $5 deal for 5 breakfast items.  Natural eggs, almond milk, granola, a breakfast bar, and orange juice.  Definitely a great deal.  My husband signed up for his own account - so, he got a coupon for a free natural chicken with an additional $10 purchase.  He purchased some desserts with pumpkin in them, and a few deli items for the vegetarian.  We stopped at Publix and got another $1 movie to watch, and I spent the $1.60 on my rebate giftcard for a dessert at Publix - .32 out of pocket.  Then I helped my daughter upcycle a leopard print vintage shirt.  The only thing we did was take the shoulder pads out - so, another fashionable item to add to her winter wardrobe.

Friday, October 5, 2012

10/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This morning, I went to the massage school for a Swedish massage.  Then, I popped into Kroger right next door and purchased a few "manager's special" items for this weekend and of course - I picked up my free pound of shredded cheese with the coupon Kroger sent me.  When I got home, my husband and I headed out for a lunch date at a diner with our Groupon.  When we got home, I picked the last 2 okra, browned some corn, okra, vegetarian crumbles, etc. from the fridge - added to the vegetable broth I made earlier - and now we have a hearty soup cooking in the crockpot.  I also have some macaroni boiling - and plan to make some mac 'n cheese.  To use up bread in the freezer - I am making a nice bread pudding.  In the mail, I got my Everyday with Rachel Ray (freebie through Recyclebank) and a rebate check.  I've got no complaints there :)  Then, we got a notice that our condo HOA meeting is next month.  We've gone to 1 - in all the years of ownership - they have a wonderful seafood buffet - but the meeting itself is a bit zzzzz.  But anyway, since we need to replenish some inventory (already purchased/gathered), and are still awaiting the results of the evaluation to determine what repairs we may need to make - we have decided to attend the HOA meeting since the condo is open that day.  However, we have guests in the condo the night before, so, since I recently got my Marriott Visa Card, I had a certificate for one night free - and the certificate expires in a couple of months.  So, we will be staying at the Marriott the night before.  So, free breakfast and lunch that day :)  what could be more frugal.  We have 2 Redbox DVDs to watch - one was free from McDonald's Monopoly.  The weather is very comfortable - so comfortable, that my husband and I took a walk around the neighborhood for a bit of exercise.  I plan to go to hot yoga this evening as my trial pass expires Monday - but a new hot yoga place has opened up and they have a trial pass too.  It is a lot closer to me.  Here's to health improvement whatever way it can be achieved :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10/4 Expressions

Whoot - long weekend for me.  I was planning to take a quick drive to the condo - but someone beat us to it.  Extra rental income won't hurt.  Now I need to come up with plan b.  That will be going to the condo next month when the owner's meeting is held.  Free seafood buffet after listening to some zzzz stuff.  Of course, DD now thinks it is interesting.  Today, I cut up an old t-shirt and will sew it to some shelf lining to make a "rug" fo the kitchen.  Tomorrow, I head to the massage school for a massage.  I thought I had an appointment at the beauty school too - but alas - that is not until next week.  I want to get in a few yoga classes because my unlimited pass runs out on Monday.  I will need to decide if I want to try another school - or just take walks - now that it seems too cold for the mosquitos to swarm.  I may sew my daughter something this weekend  - just for fun.  It will keep my hands busy - and possibly keep her from getting he urge to buy clothes.  I am hoping my husband will help me pick-out some wood laminate or engineered wood for some of the upstair rooms from Lowes since I have a 10% coupon.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The newspaper carrier left today's paper for me - for free - I guess to let me try it out.  It had a 1 cent Publix mystery item coupon - whoot - it was for Publix brand ground coffee.  So excited about the long weekend.  Haven't figured out how I am going to effectively use my time!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

9/30 Farewell September Issue

Time sure has flown.  Early this morning, I went to McD's to redeem my free breakfast sandwich coupon - and I wanted a strong coffee (I know, coffee always seems to taste better when it is made by someone else) and 1 hashbrown - I will admit it - I wanted a game piece.  Much to my surprise - when I went to pay - the lady in front of me paid my bill.  I yelled out thank-you to her - and she just smiled and waved.  Of course my hashbrowns did not have a game piece on it - but, it didn't bother me a bit.  Much to my surprise - I got a code for a free Redbox rental from McD's from entering my codes last night - must have been one of those times I thought there was a glitch :)  My house is smelling so "fallish" - I made that word up.  I peeled some potatoes, carrots, and chopped some onions, and added some green beans previously cooked in lemon and olive oil and a mystery pack of seasoning - I think it came from an Enchilada kit - and placed them in the crockpot.  I am going to puree the veggies shortly - I hope my vegetarian daughter will love the soup as much as I love the smell.  I think I will have a bowl or two myself :)  Not that I really want to rant after such nice things have happened to me - but, I just got notified that the inspection team completed their inspection of our condo.  The condo evaluation has not been uploaded yet - but the "inventory" list has been - this is the third year in a row that sticky fingers has run off with oven broiler pan :(  Fortunately, the list is shorter - 3 wine glasses, measuring cup, one steak knife, and a cooking spoon.  So, I will be stopping at Homegoods with my discounted giftcard and getting what I can there - and my $5 P&G Visa Card to use at the Dollar Tree to get the measuring cups, cooking spoon and 3 wine glasses - and will pay taxes with the change in my wallet.  I am glad I called to ask them to make our condo inspection a priority.  It looks like the condo is open this weekend - although the rest of the month is pretty much booked - so, it may be a great opportunity to make a quick run down and make any repairs noted in the inspection (hopefully none :) - and replace the inventory  - while taking in the waves ourselves.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

9/30 Expressions

The early addition:  two free codes to play the on-line version of McDonald's Monopoly are:  GOPLAYATMCD and CODEFORMORE.  Sadly, at our McD's, hashbrowns are no longer 2 for $1 - so, the most cost effective way for me to get game pieces is to send in a SASE for 4 game pieces.  "Stamps" generally do not cost me money - just a bit of my time - as I am a mail decoy and get at least 10 first class postage stamps per month.  Also, starting today - the new Cooking Up Early Detection rebate is out - spend $30 of qualifying P&G products and get approximately $50 value of cooking products - including a frying pan.  I am really enjoying the set I got last year - the measuring cups, etc.

9/29 Expressions

Frugal deed for the day:  Did I mention I found another rebate form yesterday - this one was get $5 back when you spend $50 on groceries.  So, it was a double play for me yesterday at Publix.  I used my $6 off $60 from Kroger, plus other coupons, and mailed in for a $5 rebate on top of that.  Today, I got a $5 prepaid Visa from Proctor & Gamble for the rebate I submitted approximately a month ago.  I also found some elastic in one of my sewing bins and now, my favorite velour sweat pants - no tears - just bad elastic - are as good as new.  Got another property tax bill for another rental.  Due now, considered late after the last day of the year - so, we pay them all at the end of December.  My husband called the tax assessor for our foreclosure property - they still have not made a determination as to what the final valuation will be.  Too bad they don't pay interest :(  I just called and paid the balance of our insurance (auto/property) on my new AMEX card - have til almost the end of the year to earn the $500.  My husband is working on earning $400 on his Visa card.

Friday, September 28, 2012

9/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  I plan to go to yoga tomorrow and then, use my on-line coupon for a spa mani-pedi - two hours of luxurious relaxation :)  My daughter is giving herself a mani/pedi for an event tomorrow - and I found a $10 smart-phone coupon for her to use at Sephora for her polish.  I got my discounted gift cards and plan to some shopping this weekend.  I have one for Lowes - I want to start purchasing wood floor laminate or engineered wood for the rest of the second floor.  I also want to buy some blueberry bushes - have not had luck with the ones I purchased previously - one died and we got our $ back - the other one just did not produce fruit - so, I thought maybe if I added a few more plants - perhaps I could start my own blueberry patch :)  My dream is to have a varied orchard in my back yard. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am home today - so, I decided to do some "cooking ahead" to save some time and money.  I made 2 zucchini casseroles for the freezer since they are a hit with the vegetarian - and they should freeze well.  I got the recipe on  Then I made 2 vegetarian pizzas.  One for dinner and one is already in the freezer.  It has grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions - feta & mozzarella too.  I also picked most of my soy beans and they are in the freezer.  I picked 1 okra as it was pulling the plant toward the deck. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call - Kroger sent some nice coupons.  One for a free pound of shredded cheese, $1.50 off $7 in the frozen food department and $6 off $60 X 2.  I also picked all of my lettuce - for the chicken salad last night and have enough for 3 meals.  I am contemplating picking soy beans and okra to put in the freezer.  The weather is much cooler - so, I should bring in the cactus plants the neighbor gave us. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More 9/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I made my savings goal for this month - although I will have to transfer a few $ into savings from checking to make the exact goal.  Wow - just 3 more months - and it will be a new year.  I am hoping to make my annual savings goal.  I already pre-made some lunches - chicken salad.  I asked my daughter to concentrate to use up what we have in the fridge.  So, I made another batch of tzakiki - now I am down to 1 cucumber for the .20 Aldi sale.  My daughter also picked up 2 12 packs of Rite Aid brand toilet paper - they are on sale for $5.99 with a $2 up reward - limit 2.  I tried to get her do multiple transactions - use the $2 up reward on the second one.  Well, that doesn't work any more :(  The UP rewards, apparently are electronic now, and don't post to your account til after 6 a.m. the next day - double sad face.

9/23 Expressions - Properties Tax Assessment Issue

I called the local county tax assessor earlier this month - concerned that I had not received notification of my new assessment amounts, thus, what my tax bill would be.  She stated that they only send notifications out if the property value increases.  Well, I went on line last night, and the 2012 values have been posted.  My primary residence stayed the same - of course it went down last year.  My local rental properties dropped in value also - one almost $10K and the other about $5K.  And since I am not planning to sell, it is good news for me that assessors are adjusting "accordingly" - and not for tax revenues only - so, my tax bill should drop a bit.  Our rental property in the next county over - stayed the same.  Our beach properties - the condo, went up, and sand-lot went down.   We are still awaiting to hear from the tax assessor about our foreclosure property - they did concede to a reduction - but, we believe it is double the amount they conceded to - or more.  So, in a year where people are complaining (me included) about increases in prices - at least we will pay less property tax this year.  What we lost in property values, we gained in stock & mutual fund investments in our retirement and personal accounts.  We are sure hoping they hold out, because it is a nice psychological boost since we would like to retire sooner, rather than later.  I guess this is a good lesson in asset allocation for us.  We are glad that we went ultra conservative, and now just conservative in 2/3's of our retirement allocation.  We had not been market timers in the past, but, we are certainly less than 5 years from retiring, and even closer to possibly paying for college tuition and expenses.  Therefore, while we feel that overall, the market was "good" to us, we surely don't want to experience any sharp movements (down anyway) in the next 5 years.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

More 9/22 Expressions

On the way home from the beauty school salon - cut and color was $30 plus tip :)  - we stopped at Aldi.  For just over $10 - that's all the cash I had and I don't use debit cards . . . I got everything I needed included red potatoes - a 5 lb bag for .99 and a 3 lb bag of yellow onions for .79 (they used to go on sale for .69) - thing are creeping up.  When I got home - I made the poor man's fillets, biscuits and veggie sausages and some baked red potatoes in the oven.  the potatoes will be used for onion/potato mixture in the morning with a couple of eggs over easy.  On the stove top, I made shredded cabbage stir fry, manager's special organic beans with olive oil/lemon, and brown rice.  I also stopped at Dollar Tree for laundry detergent and I also found pickled asparagus as a treat to myself.  Seems my tomato and pepper plants are still trying to produce - it would be nice not to have to buy tomatoes or peppers for the next week or two.

9/22 Expressions

Fugal deeds:  Last night, I decided to use up food before it went to waste and help me keep my grocery spending down.  So, a lady at work gave me 4 apples from her apple tree.  I had 2 bananas looking like they were one their last leg - so, they became an apple banana cake - I just need to make a glaze - and have the ingredients for that.  Then I still have those 3 zucchini from Aldi - one was probably almost a pound by itself - so that became part of a zucchini casserole.  I also made a batch of corn muffins - all three cooked together and warmed the house a bit this evening as the temperature is getting rather nippy.  I still need to use up my manager's special chopped cabbage and carrots - for cole slaw.  But, I won't be making cole slaw - I believe I will make a stir fry with it.  And of course  I need to do something with some meat for several meals - especially since my husband is here is this weekend.  I have Kroger's Natural beef patties - on sale and used a coupon - and lb of bacon.  So - I believe I will baking some "poor man's" fillet mignon . .  . and adding some of the bacon to stirfry - since the vegetarian is not too fond of cabbage anyway.  All of this will be fitted into around the beauty school treat I am setting upon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

9/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband had a code for a free Papa Johns Pizza - and we redeemed a loyalty card at the take'n bake place for a free pizza.  So, we had one for the carnivores and one for the vegetarian.  I also went to Homegoods pre-grand-opening this afternoon.  I wanted a new comforter set for the rental condo - I found a designer one - supposedly the retail is $500 - and store price was $99 plus tax.  I will have enough points on my TJX card this month for a $10 GC - the deal this month was use the card 5 times and get 500 points - and $99 plus tax is another 500 points :)  Tomorrow, my daughter and I are going to the name brand hair care products beauty school to get our hair cut and colored :)  My husband said he may have a boarder in the future in our foreclosure house.  His co-worker's wife retired and wants to move closer to her children/grandchildren.  So co-worker will be in a commuter situation  and wants to rent.  Of course they have their house up for sale - and it is over-sized - hoping it sells soon :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

9/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds:  Yesterday, my daughter and I made it to our first Hot Yoga class (livingsocial deal - 30 days of unlimited classes fo $40).  On the way home, we made a circuitous route and stopped at Aldi.  Can't beat .20 cucumbers and .39 avocados - and a few other items.  Then to Rite Aid, last day to get in on the buy 3, get one 12 pack of Pepsi (for you know who - although he has cut back quite a bit) for $9.99 . . . and surprise - there on a beer display was buy a 12 pack of any soda and get a $2 rebate.  I am loving these rebates showing up again.  So, that was my sorta cheap thrill for the day.  I also did some mega cooking.  I had a $1 bag of collard greens and the cool weather calling for soup.  So, I made a batch of soup - used a bit of chicken and tofu - but also some onion/peppers I had prepped and frozen earlier.  Then, I had some artisan lettuce that needed to be used up - cuz I had another batch that was $1 - not a bargain if I let the previous batch go bad - so, that got torn up and placed in a salad bowl topped with a concoction I made on the stove.  I browned onions, garlic, walnuts, some previously baked red potatoes, balsamic vinegarette, and leftover cranberry sauce - let it cool down a bit - poured it on the lettuce with some feta - and it turned out to be a delicious salad - oh wait - in the cocncoction - I put some fresh basil and rosemary from garden in there for extra deliciousness.  And since I had some corn kernels and a vegetarian who probably wouldn't eat the soup since I used a bit of chicken - I made a lovely corn casserole.  We have both decided we love zucchini now - and I have 3 large ones - so, I want to come up with something new to use them up too.  I also had a lovely smoothie yesterday and today - made from fruit I had already frozen - banana and strawberry - and added a few things from the fridge before they went "bad" - a bit of yogurt, soy milk and ground flaxseed from the pantry.  Oh, and I made a pot of almost free pumpkin spice coffee - it is delicious too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More 9/14 Expressions

Picutred is the pizza I made today.  It is leftover zucchini, onions, black olives, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and rosemary from my "garden".  Feta and mozzarella too!

9/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today is my "day off" - but, I had to fast last night and get some blood work done this a.m.  Although my co-pay is the same, seems I am paying more for the lab part.  I miss the days when the co-pay was pretty much it.  However, I then headed to Wal-mart because I plan to start Hot Yoga.  Hmmm, I gave my yoga mat to my husband to take to the foreclosure house and can't get it back until next week.  So, the only one left at Wal-mart was a pretty swanky looking one for $19.99.  All the $9.99 were sold out and they didn't have any in the stockroom.  So, I searched the store - was going to get a runner rug for $12.99 - but then, I came upon pretty much the same stuff as the yoga mat in the kitchen "liners" section - so, I got one that I will use temporary for $4.XX.  But the really nice part about my trip to Wal-mart was, I was standing in the coffee/tea/etc. isle looking though my coupons.  The Millstone distributor guy was serving the grinding station.  He walked up to me and said - "I see you like coupons".  I said, I sure do, he pulled out a was from his pocket and said, how would you like to try some really good coffee?  So, he gave me 2 $4 off 1/2 a lb of coffee - and even said, why don't you try a 1/2 a lb each?  So, that is just what I did - so, probably for under $2 - I got a 1/2 lb of pumpkin spice and a 1/2 lb of carmel something.  They smell wonderful.  And even though I have a cold/sinus infection - I am as chipper as could be.  Our stock funds have been doing really these last two weeks - and having re-allocated our retirement fund to slighly less conservative - made a big difference.  (Now, don't let me jinx it).  The rest of today - I plan to make a home-made vegetarian pizza, I rented a Redbox comedy, and plan to do a bit of cleaning - and then I pretty much will relax with some pumpkin spice coffee.  :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yesterday, we attended local colleges/university night - and picked up some information.  I am hoping my daughter goes to a state college/university since I pre-paid her tuition when she was born.  But she does have her eyes out for an out-of-state university - and that means additional $ out for tuition.  So, I was hoping she got swayed - which would be very frugal for us :)  Wow - I was impressed with Amex - they fed-ex'd my card to me. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I stayed home today.  My cold is is still as bad as it was and now I have post nasal drip.  Puffs with Vicks seemed like a luxury - although it was on sale, had a coupon, was part of the gas card deal, and possibly part of the rebate - they are great for a stuffy nose.  The picture, I sat outside in the sun, with SPF on my face, and mixed a cheap nail polish (part of a set of 4 that came from the dollar tree - that refuses to dry) that I loved the color - but was not functional as a nail polish.  So, then, the Wet 'n Wild dries fine - but the frost creme/white color was too light - so, now it is a pink - and is on my finger and toe nails.  I also finished my daughter's silk shirt upcycle.  I found an old piece of lace that would work great as a tie-belt.  She loved it - and wants to wear it for picture day - on Wednesday.  She did point out that one sleeve is slightly longer than the other - and I have to agree - so, I will fix it shortly.  I also took care of some administrative matters - contacted the attorney that is handling our sandlot's claim against BP to find out if they can enjoin our other property.  They are checking into it.  I got my free Woman's Day magazine in the mail that I thumbed through while my toe nails were drying - and in it is a gumbo recipe - great use for my "crop" of okra :) 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

9/9 Expressions

Yesterday was pretty frugal - but I spent most of the day napping and in a fog.  My husband and daughter earned close to $40 at the yardsale.  They split it between the two of them.  I came down with a cold - so, after doing some cooking, I hit the hay.  The dryer came and I love it.  My husband and daughter did some coupon shopping for me yesterday at Publix - and they got the free after coupon/rebate boxes (2) of copy paper at Staples.  So, now we shouldn't need paper for at least a year - and some of the school teachers periodically request donations of copy paper - so, now we have it.  I called our local tax assessor - about any change in property tax appraisals - she said if I didn't receive a change in April - there is no change - or there willl be a downward adjustment - I won't complain about that.  The only property that is still out-of-line is our foreclosure property - and hopefully in a month or so, we will get a notice of the downward adjustment - with some of $ we already paid refunded back :)  I also re-allocated some of our retirement funds.  The funds were had in the most conservative funding - I moved into the 2nd most conservative indexed fund.  The funds in large and small US cap are still there and the only funds that will any new funding.  What went into the indexed fund is the "high" that we reached in 2007 before the market started tanking. We are too close to retiring to weather such a big roller coaster ride.  Oh, and I purchased a gift for the family on Groupon - 4 hours of deep cleaning by 2 technicians for $150.  That will be our holiday gift to ourselves - start off the new year with a cleaner house.

Friday, September 7, 2012

9/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I applied for the AMEX Business card for our renal business last night and was approved.  $500 for spending $5000 in 3 months.   I negotiated a $25 rebate on our dryer from Lowes.  The dryer they delivered today was not operational.  So, for tomorrow's delivery, a floor model that is in perfect condition.  Also, we are suppose to be the first delivery.  We have laundry piled up.  I suppose we could have washed them and hung them outside. I spent $25 at Publix this afternoon and saved $18 with coupons.  Some of my best deals were the Silk protien drink - quart on sale for 2/$4 and there are printable $1 off coupons at - of course I went through so I can hopefully earn enough points shortly to get a gift card.  Also a good deal - for less than $1 - I got my daughter a box of that Magnum ice cream (bars) - new flavor mint - it is BOGO at Publix - and has $1 off.  Same good deal on Honey Nut Cherios - BOGO at $3.XX - and I printed a $1/2 coupon.  Sour cream - Friendlys was dirt cheap too - BOGO - around $2 and there are .70 blinkies right next to them - so around .30 a tub plus tax.  Now I am making home made pizza - could have used the Kruesteuz Italian bread dough mix that was on clearance for .69 a box - got 2 - but instead - used the quick rise yeast packets I got with a coupon off.  Tonight, we are preparing for the yardsale tomorrow.  Hope we get rid of a lot of stuff - and earn a bit of cash :)  Oh, picked fresh basil and rosemary from my own "garden" box  for the vegetarian pizza. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

9/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am gathering items for our community yardsale this weekend.  Tomorrow, the dog gets groomed with a discounted giftcard.  In addition, I am returning 2 items to the store that I bought last weekend.  I was also surprised to see the amount the condo earned last month (net) - it seems the expenses are lower.  I am printing coupons for more Dollar Tree cheapies - Rinaldi .50 coupon, Solo .50 coupons, etc. I am going to do a bit of stocking up because the holiday season is coming up and that means office parties - plates & cups are always in demand.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

9/2 Expressions

Pictured today is half of my edamame "crop" :)  Free seeds through listia.  Seems we have appliance breakdowns near holidays.  I guess that is frugal :(  Anyway, our dryer quit working - and so, since appliances are on sale at Lowes for Labor day - and they are having free delivey and take-away - my husband ran down with a 10% off coupon and my discounted gift card - and paid the rest with the card he needs to spend $ on to get the $400 bonus.  So, we will be dealing with hanging laundry in the garage for the next couple of days as the dryer won't be delivered until Friday.  We are having my dad over for lunch - it has already rained this a.m. - but we think we can get the bbq going in a few minutes.  I am going to bake some red potatoes - 5 lbs/.99 at Aldi and make some pear/spinach salad - before the ingredients goes bad - got a large pear for free at Kroger w/coupon last weekend and 2 small ones from our tree that have finally ripened.  Also, Bushes baked beans will be heated.  Easy for me. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

9/1 Expressions

Pictured is an okra that is growing in a planter on my deck.  The seeds were free from Listia.  Yesterday, I also got a "free" large bottle of CVS brand cocoa buter lotion - when my husband did that get a free gas card shop - at the bottom of the receipt was a coupon for $3 off any CVS brand lotion - I just got the lotion which was $2.XX and after deducting the coupon - the cashier said - "you'er good" :)  Not sure what all I am doing today - but we decided to invite my dad over for a bbq - hope the weather holds up.  So, I will have to some unexpected grocery shopping.  I do plan to stop at Earthfare - the coupon this week is $5 for 5 different condiments - all organic :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31 Expressions

Wow, it is the last day of the month.  Anyway, I had a pleasant surprise at the beauty salon - a facial is $20, not $30 - and worth every penny.  It is a one hour facial - and because I had "re-booked" I got a complimentary parrafin wax for my hands.  Also today, my husband accompanied me to Dollar Tree to try out their coupon deals.  We only found a few - $1/4 Libby's veggies - and they were .79 each - so, that was an okay deal.  And the $1/4 Libby's fruit and of course we got a couple of toothpastes for .25 after coupon.  Good buys without coupons - Nature's Own bread and 3 packs of ankle socks.  All in all, I can't complain - but it took forever to check-out.  Then we ate lunch at KFC with coupons - that was our date :)  I also shopped Dollar General Market - and spent $14 - and saved $18 and have my P&G rebate for $5 ready to go.  For the first time ever, we stopped at a no-name close-out store - and I found yoga pants for $2.  I also found some pants I can wear to work for $7.99 - so, I was pleased as punch.  However, it is a hit or miss store for sure - there were bins of stuff to sort through, etc.  But in my case - it was a hit today!  Mail was great - got my $25 Barnes & Noble gift card from my credit card point redemption.  I made home-made pizza and it too was a hit.  One was sweet onions and the rest of the sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and mozzarella - and the other was bacon, spinach, feta and mozzarella.  So nice to have a long weekend.  I need to make a trip to Aldi and probably Kroger to round out my grocery shopping.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

8/30 Expressions

Today, I purchased a 30 day unlimited yoga deal for myself and my daughter.  We were walking - but we are in one of the states with West Nile Virus - so, we shall exercise inside for a month - and hopefully, the mosquito season will be over.  This weekend, I also hope to get my daughter to take a picture of my patio okra - so cute, and will be so tasty in a nice hearty gumbo this winter.  My basil is growing like crazy, and I have a few peppers and tiny tomatoes.  Tomorrow is my own "spa" day  - and in the morning, I plan on doing some coupon shopping.  I want to see what I can do at Dollar Tree now that accept coupons and I want to see what I can do with my $5 off $25 Dollar General coupon combined with my $5 rebate on $25 on P&G products - plus additional coupon match-ups.  I want to get a small stockpile of health and beauty items - at least 2 extras of "staples" - so that we don't feel like we have to run out and buy something because we ran out.  2 extras - because hubby takes extras to our foreclosure house as he is not a big fan of coupon shopping.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

8/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Friday is my "off" day.  I have scheduled a 1 hour Swedish Massage for $30 plus tip at the local massage college.  Then off to the brand name salon school - for a hair cut $15 and a facial for $30 plus tip.  Friday will be my spa day.  I hope to relax and rejuvenate.  I also plan to make homemade pizza on Friday - one vegetarian and one not.  My husband got approved for another credit card - no fee, and spend $2000 in 3 months and get $400.  Not too shabby.  I got one small tomato from my "garden".  Oh, and my husband signed up for a 2 year free subscription to Kiplinger magazine.  We really haven't "paid" for a subscription in a long time.

Monday, August 27, 2012

8/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I have to give Kudos to CVS.  My husband was going to buy 2 6 packs of Bounty for the $30 deal.  CVS was out - but when he asked about whether they had any left - they had a substitue - 2 12 packs of towel paper - and earth friendly too.  They used the UPC for the Bounty - so, my husband still got his gas card - and double the amount of towel papers.  This should last us the rest of the year - he is taking a pack to our foreclosure home and one for here.  Sometimes, it is just better to clean up a mess with a towel paper.  Yes, I have cloth napkins and rags - so, I still buy some and try to get them as cheaply as possible.  Today, my husband spoke with the tax assessor about our foreclosure home - actually, it was a panel.  The property is appraised at $122K, we ask tht it be dropped to $70K - the price we paid.  They came back with $102K - since we didn't agree, my husband had to talk to the board.  They will be sending him their decision in 30-45 days.  Of course we already paid the second installment.  So, we hope to get a big chunk of it back.  In other news, Hurricane Isaac caused our renters for later this week to cancel.  I am glad the condo mgmt now refunds the entire amount of any deposit.  You can never tell how bad they might turn out.  I hope and pray that everyone on the coast affected will be safe and sound.  I won some Coke Reward points on Listia and of course got a few points from the free bottles I got with coupons.  I have enough to order 2 more free Cokes - but, I am going to save my points in hopes that they have a "sale" since my husband has stocked up.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

8/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Last night, I checked the points available on our 2 most used credit cards.  We had enough points on 1 to order a discounted $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and the other - a $22.XX statement credit.  I also looked at the bill for a credit card - 1/3 of the bill is for a $125 annual fee - I will be reducing my bill by 1/3 and that card will be terminated.  My husband, although he has cut back his Pepsi drinking by quite a bit, still likes to have 1 or 2.  So, we scoured the paper today - he is so excited to be going to CVS today.  Today, 2 ltr bottles are on sale for .99 - and are part of the buy $30 worth of items and get a $10 gas card.  So, in addition to stocking up on paper products with coupons and Pepsi - he eyed something else he needed.  He is experiencing a bit of congestion.  So, there in the ad was some Advil Decongestant - and other family of medications - and after coupons are $3.XX a piece.  So, my husband noticed that if he buys 2 - CVS will pay him $4 in ecbs.  But wait, in today's paper, there a rebate of $10 when you buy 3.  So, we found a third and better coupon - I had one $2 off instead of "just" $1 - so, he will buy 3 first with coupons and get his ecb.  Then do his $30 transaction to apply the $4.  And of course - as soon as he gets home with the receipt - I will be sending in for the $10 rebate.  I used to love rebates - but they have been few and far between.  Yesterday, I filled one out for a rebate on Lysol wipes.  They are on sale at Dollar General for $2 - and there are some coupons out for the wipes.  The school teachers are asking for donations in wipes - so, I got 1 for each teacher - and will be mailing in for that rebate also :)  Cheap price to keep the teachers happy :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

8/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today was a heavy coupon use day.  My daughter used 2 20% off at Barnes and Noble on 2 books she picked up for school.  She bought my coffee with a discounted gift card and got a free Refresher for herself.  She used a birthday giftcard and got a new shirt.  She used the Ulta $3.50 off $10 and got a few make-up items.  I gave my husband a coupon for the new bagel/panini place - and he got a bogo panini plate for himself and my daughter - and he used a coupon for a free bagel and 1/2 off a dozen bagel coupon.  I used over $13 in coupons at Dollar General and stocked up on a bunch of cleaning supplies and toiletries.  I also used over $30 in coupons at Kroger.  My daughter and I took the dog for a walk - free exercise :)  Now they are watching a DVD.  Oh, stopped by the thrift shop and got 10 pieces of clothing for $20.  Work pants, a couple of shirts - a cute appliqued jacket and my daughter bought 4 items to upcycle.

Friday, August 24, 2012

8/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband and I ran an errand and stopped by Burger King and each got a .50 cone - yummy on a hot day.  He and our daughter are on their way to guitar lessons.  Then to the Fiat dealer to see if they add a dab of paint - seems a slight mishap happened - someone bumped the car - and there is a tiny chip - one I wouldn't notice - but to a newbie owner - quite a big deal.  They will stop at the take 'n bake place and bring home several $4 pizzas - some for the freezer.  Other than that - I am glad it is Friday - and we plan to watch a DVD this evening.  Tomorrow, I hope to declutter for the community yardsale in a couple of weeks.  My husband deep cleaned the oven today - I am very proud of him.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

8/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yesterday, I earned enough points on to order a "People - InStyle" magazine subscription.  Today, I got in on the Seattle's Best Coffee Sample on facebook.  This weekend, I plan to start a major decluttering - our community is having its fall yardsale.  Money will all go to my daughter and husband since they will conduct it.  But this year - I asked they really price things to go - to get the stuff out.  I want to upcycle some items - I need more walking pants for the winter - I think I can use current sweat pants and use it as a pattern and I have plenty of elastic.  This has been a long week.  I walked today too - but, I am cutting out of the heavier cleaning for this evening.  Everyone needs a break :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

8/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We received 3 of our free 20 oz Coke coupons today.  Still sticking to my schedule and trying to form a habit - walking for 30 minutes and a little bit of cleaning.  Today, I mopped the kitchen and bedroom floors.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call - I got the above make-up bag in the mail for free.  Tonight, my daughter and I got our teeth cleaned (no additional expense - since the insurance covers it)  and we each got a bag of freebies - travel sized toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and our whitener.  The creamy vegetable soup I made was so good - I am making another batch.  Sweet onion, lima beans, chick peas, small piece of tomato, rest of the basil pesto I made, a bunch of herbs and a bit of chicken stock made from leftover chicken.  I will put it in the blender shortly.  I got my walk in.  I have also decided to spend 1/2 hour "cleaning" a room - then it won't be a daunting task.  Yesterday was the kitchen - and today will be the kitchen again - dishes - and mopping.  Yesterday I got the counter/appliances.

Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for he day:  I got around to making scones last night and had one for breakfast this morning  - yummy.  Since I did not glean enough pecans - I used my cheap raisins from Earthfare as filler - and it was delish :)  I packed it with some hot coffee and it was great for Monday a.m.  I also made some biscuits last night.  Today, my daughter is running her own errands.  She found out she needs a book at Barnes and Noble - so, she clipped a coupon and took a discounted giftcard to get it.  She also needed art supplies for an art class - she went to Michaels with a coupon and a discounted giftcard.  Dear old mom is setting out to walk for some fresh air and free exercise.  I already had soup and salad made yesterday for dinner.  Makes for an easy and frugal Monday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

8/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, my daughter finally decided to learn to sew and her first project was to remake the pictured dress.  She got it from Antropologie for an additional 50% and it is silk - so, she got a pretty good deal.  It would make a nice summer dress, but she never got around to wearing it.  Now it is in the process of being upcycled.  So far, we added think elastic around the bottom half of the arm holes to cinch it up a bit.  We cut off excess fabric so that it will be a shirt, instead of a dress.  She finished the edge and will hand hem it.  The fabric that was cut-off will be made into sleeve caps to get rid of the summery look - and will be suitable for school wear.  In the mean time, school starts tomorrow - so, after finishing the edge, she left to bond with some of her friends before they get down to the serious business of studying.  So, hopefully, the shirt will be completed by next week.

Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep.  So, I watched "CREATE" - on PBS.  I was so inspired by the cooking show - today, I made my own soup - browned/boiled/blenderized (is that a word) - and now, I have a nice creamy soup - broth made of bits of chicken and leftover bacon.  Spinach on it last leg, sweet potato fries the family decided tasted a bit weird, sweet onion (Aldi keeps me stocked with cheap onions), frozen lima beans (bought a bag about a month ago because Dr. Oz said it is really good for you), and a bunch of herbs - fresh and dried. 

Then I decided I had some excess energy - so, I went outside and weeded - I did a pretty good job since we have a picky HOA - and burned off a few calories.  Then, I dug out the hammer and cracked the pecans I found.  Let me tell you, I know why they are expenive - lots of work for little bounty.  Also, those squirrels are pretty smart - a majority were either dried out or too "green" - so, I probably got a good tablespoon for my efforts.  And we have a bit of heavy cream leftover - my daughter made buttercream frosting that called for a bit - and she made a wonderful creme brulee earlier this week - but we have about 1/2 cup left and at $5.XX per quart (she didn't find any on manager's special) - it will not go to waste.  So, I am making maple scones - a recipe I found on recipezaar shortly.  I also made a nice big salad before my artisan lettuce went bad - and since I only had a bit - I added black beans, diced tomatoes/jalapeno peppers, and feta cheese - I got a great deal on at Publix a couple of days ago.  So, I am ready to face next week - menu - wise.  I will also be cooking some turkey burgers with the scones - so, easy quick meals.  I am hoping I can get myself into walking before work - since I start an hour later - but, my lazy tendencies kicked in - and I have enjoyed sleeping in more :(

My hair appointment had to be re-scheduled at the school - so, I am going to trim my own hair and give myself a manicure shortly.

Oh, and I fnally got around to doing some paperwork - somehow, our beneficiary forms for our 401K equivalent account are no longer posted.  Somehow, they have become a bit more complicated.  Not a really big deal - because if the form is not available - the beneficiary order of precedence is what we want - but we are not sure if the beneficiary would have to go to probate first - so, we started filling them out - now they require two witnesses who are not beneficiary - so, they are filled out and we have to co-workers to witness them and fax them in tomorrow.  Also, my husband promised to fill-out the form to get our penalty back from the IRS.  They agreed that our reasoning for the underpayment this year as being a one-time event - and sent the form for us to fill out.  He swears he will fill it out.  Any cash we can get back will be great.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call:  received a sample size Tom's of Maine deoderant and a $1 off coupon and a free Good Housekeeping Magazine.  Sadly, I received my last issue of Smart Money yesterday - it will cease publication.  I did get an offer to receive the weekend WSJ or Barrons weekly magazine.  Our retirement accounts have hit a new high - not sure if the "election effect" is kicking in - but it is much nicer than the balance going down.  I also stopped at Dollar General Market - wow - they have 7.XX ounces of Softsoap Bodywash at an everyday price of $1 - use the .50 for a good deal - but I also had the $5/$30 coupon that is only good today and stocked up on several items including dishwasher detergent.  My daughter has convinced me that the brand name stuff seems to work better in our washer.  I may try the homemade stuff eventually to see if does well. 

You know you might be frugal when:  you purchase 2 bottles of Sundown vitamins for tax (combined a Publix coupon and two manufacturer's coupons) and get giddy that it has long piece of "cotton" - great for removing nail polish :)

The my daughter, the dog and I went for a walk - I took a small bag and picked up a dozen or so pecans.  I will need to shell them - but pecans are prety pricy.

My husband edged the yard.  Tomorrow, my daughter and I will finish up the job.

Friday, August 17, 2012

8/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, my daughter and I headed our early for errands and around 9 AM stopped at Burger King for a quick bite.  She wanted French Toast sticks - 3/$1 or 5/$1.99 - you know what she chose since she was so hungry - 2 3/$1 orders cuz she gets the 6th one for a penny.  My husband helped me track stuff down at Publix - we saved around $48 and spent $40 including tax - so, over a 50% saving.  I hand mended one shirt for my daughter - and then took a nap.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

8/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Tomorrow, my daughter and I are going to go sit for an identification card.  So, this evening, I have printed out coupons, have gathered coupon inserts, etc. and I hope to put together another "cheap" shop at Publix  - possibly tomorrow afternoon.  I also plan to take my "free" decorator pillow kit from the British knitting magazine I got - in case I really need to stay busy - and a cooler of water and a few snacks.  Perhaps a thermos of home brewed coffee too.  My daughter is negotiating with a classmate for car rides to and from school.  Perhaps a budding entrepeneur . . . I received a rebate check from Staples making my 2 packs of printer paper .01 plus tax each.  Also picked a few more tomatoes, used the last of the purple onions, and previously chopped and frozen green peppers and stir fried them with the vegetarian kebob "meat" with a bunch of spices - turned out to be quite tasty and will be eating that for lunch tomorrow too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I think a few frugal lightbulbs have gone off in my daughter's head.  This week she realized that although we have not subscribed to cable for years now, clean our own house, do our own lawn - doing those things enables to spend in other areas that are important to us.  She realizes that we really don't miss cable because we don't have much time to watch tv.  She even pitches in more with household chores.  Last week, she saw a dress marked down from $4xx to $45.  We let her purchase it with her own money.  She got it in the mail today.  She tried it own and there was a that look in her eye.  She really wanted justification to keep.  First because it was such a big discount, but then she said it didn't fit well and she'd probably only wear it once.  So, on her own, she has decided to pack it up and return it tomorrow.  No matter the discount, if you don't need or want it, it isn't a "saving". 

Monday, August 13, 2012

8/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, we received the condo rent check and combined it with our ebates rebate, my daughter's birthday check, and I scraped $2.16 in chage out of my purse.  That covered the money my husband "borrowed" to pay the new insurance bill in full and her education fund deposit.  This is a 3 paycheck month for my husband - so, I am hoping he can finally get ahead.  Even though we don't have a budget set in stone, our goal is to spend my husband's income or less to fund all household expenses for both residences.  My salary is split approximately into education fund and savings.  Rental income is for investments.  I will say our retirement accounts are starting to grow ever so slowly again and our individual accounts are still lagging from our all time high.  Now that my daughter can drive herself around, I really do have some more "me" time.  I think I will get back crafting, upcycling, recycling and the like.  Since retirement is drawing closer for the both of us, we need really declutter and figure out what we want to do in the next phase of our lives.