Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7/31 Expressions

Today, we picked up the car.  So, since we agreed to pick-up the car today - they gave us a bunch of freebies - tote bags, travel mug, cap, key covers, and trash containers.  In the mail, got a $10 off anything coupon from Kohls - and a 15% coupon to boot.  My daughter got a free meal for volunteering today. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

7/31 Expressions

Wow - we just got home and my daughter and I both had calls about "winning" drawings at the Chamber of Commerce Expo Saturday afternoon.  My daughter won a $25 to small business seminars and I won this lunch bag.  Looks can be deceiving.  It has a bunch of school supplies AND a $45 i-tunes gift card and a $15 Coldstone Creamery gift card.  The place was so jammed packed - I really didn't think we would "win" anything other than the swag bags everyone got.  So, it was a very pleasant surprise!  And another thing, good thing we didn't go to the beach for a quick vacation because our condo did get rented out.  Whoo hoo - had we gone, we wouldn't have "won" anything, nor would we have eaten fresh tomato sandwiches at the farmer's market!  Oh yea, I called for car insurance today - the agent was so nice and helpful.  We are down from an estmate of $120 per month - down to about $75 per month.  Not dirt cheap - but better.  And, if we can get an on-line driver's ed course - we can get it down to about $71 per month. 

7/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This month is flying by.  Anyway, yesterday, I got around to making basil pesto, tzaziki, fried green tomatoes, roasted eggplants, and batter/fried eggplants for eggplant parmesean.  This morning, I got a bit of cleaning in and planted the mint I had rooted at work.  Hope it takes off.  I also planted the mint seeds I won on Listia around it for security.  I.want.mint.to.grow!  We have spray paint and are ready to finish painting the outdoor furniture.  I will be picking my daughter up shortly and meeting with friends at a Vietnamese restaurant.  Supposed to be fabulous and low cost (those words don't always follow each other).  I looked for a coupon - no such luck.  I am on a penny pinching kick since we dropped a check for the FIAT 500 this weekend.  We saved and only spent the limit - so, it was planned.  Even so, I am eager to get the account built back-up for the next goal.  So, I made laundry detergent this morning too - with hotel freebie bar soap - the nice smelling stuff we got in France - and used a mug and the microwave to cook it.  I am hoping my daughter has caught the tightwad wave too because once she gets her driver's license - our auto insurance will increase by approximately $120 per month.  But, her driving is a timesaver and possibly a money saver for me.  Now I can spend the driving time doing things that I need to/want to done.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

7/28 Expressions - New Car Edition

Frugal deeds for the day:  Earlier today, we went to the Farmer's Market with our adopted Grandmother and enjoyed the "tomato festival" and free tomato sandwiches.  I had not been to this Farmer's Market in years.  It was great to rediscover it.  We ended up with a whole bunch of eggplants, tomatoes, green tomatoes, basil (so fragrant), and fig preserve.  Then to a local Chamber of Commerce shindig and I pretty much ate lunch there.  My daughter, the vegetarian skipped out.  But she was able to find places to volunteer, so it was not - "all for naught".  We tried some excellent flavored waters - and voted it the best booth :)  Now, it was a hot day.  Probably not the best day to look for a car - but we did.  We ended up buying a FIAT 500 - it will be delivered this week.  We negotiated a bit - had I not been so hot and tired, we probably could have negotiated a bit more.  But, it was within the "budgeted" amount.  Hopefully this is a life lesson for her - uh, the asterick in the ad means something - like more money.  And just because they print it out on an official looking piece of paper, it is not official.  And finally, there's a lot more to transportation that trying to look cool for a lot of money.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7/26 Expressions Space Warriors Audition edition

My daughter used her new camera and made her own audition video for a small bit in "Space Warriors".  She submitted it and apparently they posted it on youtube.  Warning - self promotion follows:  If you get a moment, please watch her audition and "like" - not sure it will sway anyone - but we are hoping it will.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart :)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubLaaspLfZo

That's frugal isn't it . . . finding multiple uses for cameras and things . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today in the mail, I received 3 tea bags - all three different flavors and I will take them to work with me.  I made an apple/pear pie earlier this week.  Crust and filling were homemade and it was delicious.  Didn't want to waste my little pears - and I put extra oatmeal in the topping.  The hot weather has returned - sure wish the rain would follow.  Saturday, my daughter and I may attend a local farmer's tomato festival - free tomato sandwiches - which I love.  Or, if the condo is open this weekend, we may make a quick jaunt down and back with my daughter's adoptive grandmother.  Of course what my daughter would really like is to look at cars :)  Did I mention I purchased the Nescafe Dolce Single serving coffee maker - refurbished - delivered to my local Wal-mart for $39.XX plus tax minus a rebate from ebates?  It is a luxury - but I am enjoying it as a treat.  During the week - I am drinking my cheap ground coffee I make by the pot.  The single serve - when I want a frothy coffee drink :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Turns out my husband paid to renew our Costco membership without paying attention :(  Oh well, I spent my rebate check on groceries and found some good deals.  My daughter and I love dolmadas (rice wrapped in grape leaves) - an extra large serving - $5.99.  My daughter is diligently cleaning out the garage and even spray painted an old patio set - which we moved to the deck - out of the garage.  Right now - we are thinking about getting a Fiat 500 - great gas mileage, comes with a $700 WM Giftcard - and decent price.  I am still picking cherry tomatoes and bell peppers from garden - as well as rosemary and thyme.  But, I need to keep a list of things to do - otherwise, this heat makes it very easy for me to convince myself to just relax.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

7/22 Expressions New Computer Edition

The computer died last week.  Wouldn't boot at all.  So, we waited for my husband to take a look.  He thought he might be able to fix it - but it would still be as slow as molasses - and he wasn't sure how much parts would cost.  My daughter needs a reliable system to be able to do homework, projects, etc.  So, being frugal?, maybe cheap, I suggested that we just buy a new CPU and keep using the at least 10 year old monitor.  Both my husband and daughter rolled their eyes at me.  We went to Wal-mart and found a bundle - with a monitor, etc. so, now we I am enjoying it.  It is much faster - and the whole kit was $499 plus tax.  There was only one, and my husband wasn't going to be around to set it up for a while.  So, we got it.  Could we have found it cheaper?  Maybe - cuz I got my COSTCO rebate of $36 that I am applying to a membership - so, I think I will stay out of the computer isle.  In two weeks, this area is having a "Tax-free" weekend on computers under $750 - could I have save a pretty penny then.  Yes, I certainly could have - but would I be sure they would have had the bundle left - so, we made a trade-off and I am pretty happy with it.  I am going to print a few coupons and surf to my hearts content.  I need to get back on the frugal track.  As I said, we are going to make some large purchases shortly.  We gave my daughter a budget for a car/birthday present.  She had her eye on some older sporty models.  But today, we might have made a break-through.  There's a small, brand-new car - comes with a $700 Wal-mart Giftcard - possibly a rebate and can get up to 45 miles per gallon.  She is even talking about trying to negotiate the price even lower than advertised (which we all know doesn't include, tax, title and misc).  Then she tought the giftcard would go a long way on gas.  She even tought of reducing the gas price even more by ride sharing. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

7/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This afternoon, I picked the pears from my pear tree.  There were about 10 - but for some reason, ants seem to love them.  The ants are like pirhana (sp) - one was one the ground and they had eaten and were still eating it to the core.  Two on the tree had little swarms on them eating away.  So, they are not very big - but, if they are good enough for the ants - they will be good enough for me.  Yesterday, my daughter and I used our livingsocial coupons for the $18 highlights and brow waxing at the beauty school.  Today, we went to the mall and used the Bath and Body Works coupon for a small "Love, Paris" lotion - free!  Then we walked around for exercise - we did go into a few stores - but did not buy anything - until we got to the frozen yogurt place - and we decided to get a small cup of self serve - yummy on a very hot day.  Then to Barnes and Noble for another treat and BOGO iced latte and we read magazines.  I also won a few auctions on shopgood will.com this weekend!  Mainly sunglasses and scarves - a nice watch/necklace/earrings - a set - my best bargain for $5 plus shipping :)  They were still NIB.  The jewelry was costume jewelry - but for $5 bucks total - a lot of bling :) - well enough for me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The sun peeked through - and we appreciated all of the rain.  Our lawn is almost green again.   I got in on some Groupon deals today:  $5 for $10 worth of yogurt ice-cream, $6 for $12 worth of Chinese food - lunch only, and $9 for Greek meal for 2.  Today, my daughter and I used the yogurt ice-cream - yum.  Tomorrow, we hope to use our livingsocial certificate for a highlight and brow-wax for me - she is hoping they will exchange her brow-wax to a manicure.  Mail was great - more free magazines - Smart Money and Elle.  I also got a few more cherry tomatoes from my "garden".  My husband found a property insurance company to cover our house - premium for a $1000 deductible is high - so, he is going to ask for quotes for $2.5K, $5K, and $10K.  We have also decided to increase our deductible for our other properties.  Since it seems insurance companies will "ding" you for filing for insurance - even though  that is what it is for - it seems they are really not expecting you to file - unless it is catastrophic - so, why pay the premiums for a $1K deductible if they aren't happy to pay-up.  So, that is our money saving tip.  We are considering the deductible for our cars also.  Self insuring for a larger deductible - and savings on the premiums may just be worth it.  My daughter enjoyed her internship.  Now she is thinking she may go into an engineering field instead of medical - right away.  She surmises that she can always go into the medical field with an engineering degree with carefully selected electives if she wants to.  Not much more time for her to embark on that journey.  With the rental check for the condo - we have met her car fund amount - actually, we have exceeded it.  So, probably in a week or two - we will be searching/bargaining for a "new-to-her" car.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7/11 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Did I mention we got a .20 dividend check - yup.  Not very frugal to spend postage on it - but I will take it.  Co-worker brought farm fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for the taking today :)  I used a cucmber for tzaziki - our favorite sauce/dip this summer.  I also spent some time during lunch to do some administrative work - call in magazines for the mail decoy program and did a bit of knitting.  It is now raining cats and dogs - and we really appreciate it.  The peaches on our tree are small - but oh, so tasteful.  I have new bell peppers growing, along with a few eda mame and tomatoes of my own.  It is so fun and much tastier to eat fresh from the vine veggies. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

7/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds:  Yesterday, my daughter and I decided NOT to go to the auction.  As much as we really wanted to, it just didn't make sense.  We are trying to declutter - and have many projects we have yet to start or finish - so, why get more stuff - even if it is a great deal.  So, instead, we did some coupon shopping.  We went to Pier 1 Imports with my $5 gift certificate and some coupons - got the last of the 2 Scroll Carved picture frames I have been wanting and buying as I have coupons.  We even saw a gorgeous mosaic, extra-large mirror on clearance which would have been a great bargain - but alas, we couldn't think of a place to put it - so, we admired it in the store and left with our planned purchase picture frames.  Then to CVS.  I had my discounted giftcard, coupons and rolled ecbs twice - 3 register transactions so, I still have money left on my giftcard and ended up with a bunch of Scott TP - something I hate buying with "my money" - but something we refuse to do with out :)  Also got my 2 toothpastes, 5 Garnier hair products, freebie candy, mints, feminine products, and more.  Funny thing is, I thought a lady was stalking us . . . finally, when we went to the register to look for the free after ecb candy - she said, "are you looking for the free after ecb candy too"?  I said yes, then she said, "do you follow any coupon websites"?  I said not really - but I do do look for general money saving deals - and she proceeded to tell me about her website that she and a friend update with current national and local coupons.  So, I plan to check-out her site.  Then on to Kroger - we stocked up on a bunch of Manager Specials on Organic items.  My daughter is taking her lunch everyday this week to her intership program.  I am so proud of my chickadee :)  (And a little sad too - as she will eventually leave the coup).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband and I woke a bit early today and walked to the lake and back - he also jogged around it for our exercise before the it got too hot.  I roasted a bunch of vegetables - my daughter seems to like them better that way and baked some potatoes.  I won my daughter a pair of vintage sunglasses from shopgoodwill for her upcoming birthday - to go with her new-to-her car.  I am leaving shortly to for my "free" facial appointment.  When I return, I hope to plant some garden containers.  I hope to produce something from my yard over the next couple of months.  Oh, in the mail today - I got a free Arm & Hammer travel sized toothpaste - so, if I don't find a good deal this weekend for a stock-up - I will surely have enough to get through another sales period.  I am hoping CVS will have a good sale soon so that I can combine coupons, giftcard, ecbs, etc.  I also got a free magazine - Better Homes and Gardens :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

7/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received a Tide Pod and one for a friend in the mail.  Other freebies in the mail - a $5 gift certificate to Pier1 Imports that I plan to partner with a 20% discount coupon I received in the mail.  I also received the 1/2 off dining certificate I "got in on" - limited quantity for 1/2 price - they sold out in less than 10 minutes.  And tonight, my daughter and I are getting our hair washed with a "blow-out" - from ULTA for "free" - we plan to pay tip.  Tomorrow is my "free" facial for buying a Dermalogica anti-aging cleansing/skin rejuvenation kit.  Mail has been pretty dreary.  I printed a coupon for $4 off $20 for CVS and I plan to combine it with my discounted $25 gift card - and see how far I can stretch it.  Sadly, my stash of toothpaste is almost out - I am down to travel sized and cutting them in half to get the last bit out.  I hope I can find a great sale I can combine with ECBs and coupons and stretch that gift card to the max!  My husband took my daughter to guitar lessons today and while she is taking lessons - he will stop and get a few veggies for me from Aldi.  Even though multi-colored peppers and grape tomatoes are on sale - I am skipping those because I have been getting a pepper or two and a handful of cherry tomatoes every day for the last couple of days from my "garden" (boxes).  My mint that I am trying to root still is going strong - although I don't see any roots on the cuttings - yet.  I also picked 3 more small peaches from my peach tree.  I found a nice piece of vintage fabric in my linen auction box - I threw it into the wash.  I think it will be perfect to make a no-pattern vintage style apron.  Also, Sunday afternoon is another auction - my daughter and I plan to go - I need to make a budget and stick to it.  The insurance company refuses to budge on our primary insurance - but has issued a "letter of experience" for us.  So, now, we must find a new carrier for our primary residence.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

7/4 Expressions Happy 4th!

Frugal deeds for the day:  We had a nice laid-back cook-out.  Everyone contributed - so, no one person was over-taxed.  We had a nice combination of foods and sent grandpa home with some leftovers.  We also have enough to last for several days.  My husband and daughter will have the day off.  Sadly, I am heading back to my day job.  Other than eating, relaxing and watching a few DVDs, not much is going on in our household.  The weather has cooled just a wee bit.  Hopefully, we will get some rain shortly - before all of the fireworks are set to go off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

7/3 Expressions Garden "Haul"

Frugal deeds for the day:  This is my garden "haul" - I know "haul" is a stretch - but this is a 4 cup measuring cup :)  I got bellpeppers, a few small peaches and you can see them very well - but a few cherry tomatoes too :)  Mail freebies - magazines. For our BBQ tomorrow, my daughter is making Baklava for dessert and tomorrow, she will make a fresh spinach pie.  I will make a salad or two and my husband will grill vegetarian and regular "stuff".  Grampa normally brings a dessert also.  We got off a bit early today for the holiday tomorrow.  I mainly plan to rest - and perhaps try to get a craft or two in.  Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

7/1 Expressions - Mint, Mint Everywhere

Frugal deeds for the day:  It is boiling hot here - we are predicted to break a temperature record today also.  Anyway, not wanting all of the free mint to go to waste - I made pesto that we ate part of, with pasta, for lunch.  The rest is in the fridge.  Excuse the photo - it is the pesto freshly made in the blender - of course the picture caught images of my hand, the bottom of the blender, etc.  May not look so good, but it was delicious!

Next, I dried the rest of the mint in the microwave.  Made enough for a small container of dried leaves and I made a facial scrub - just need to add water to make a paste - it contains, dried mint, coffee, and oats.

My daughter made some basic white cake and we are going to make a trifle shortly.  Then to Ulta - we are going to buy some Dermalogica - yes it is a luxury - but the deal is:  spend $60, get a free facial worth $40 and a full sized moisturizer apparently worth $90.  We also plan to stop at Barnes and Noble a few stores down and use a BOGO latte (iced today) and read some magazines.  We should stay really cool in the stores.  I wanted to start some kind of craft this weekend, but between trying to frugally water the plants - the peaches are looking almost ripe to pick - even though they are small - and moving the pepper and tomato plants to a bit shadier area - I really haven't made the time to start anything else.

But in personal financial news - we were going to go through American Airlines shopping link and buy something small since my daughter's account is a couple of months away from going dormant for lack of activity.  Happily, there is a 100 mile freebie - by entering a contest - and I entered for all three of us - so, our accounts should be good for another 18 months!  And, we didn't have to buy anything :)

Read todays paper - nothing caught my eye.  I really need to stock up on toothpaste - but haven't found a really great deal yet.