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.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

8/12 Expressions

Today, we had a birthday BBQ for my dad and daughter - both share the same birthdate.  My husband BBQ's vegetarian items and non-vegetarian items.  I got a great deal on vegetarian kebobs from Gardein - originally almost $5 for 4 skewers - they were marked down to $1.99 - got 2 boxes and used the a $1.10/2 coupon.  My daughter made homemade cupcakes and buttercream icing - yum.  My dad brought over a large chocolate chip cookie cake.  We had 1 cent coleslaw from Publix (Wednesday's penny item), blue cheese potato salad from Earthfare - buy $5 get 1/2 gallon of organic milk for free deal.  Now we have plenty of left overs for easy meals for the rest of week.  The gift cards came in time - so, the dog got groomed for a discount - and my husband bought a 3rd remote for the garage.  My daughter gave her grandfather a FIAT hat - she is keeping the car.  We gave him a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (ordered at a discount) and my husband added a coupon he got from his sports barber shop for a free hair cut.  The weather has been great these past couple of days.

Friday, August 10, 2012

8/10 Expressions

Finally, my daughter was able to take the road test and get her driver's license.  Note to self:  stay away from our County DMV and go to the next county over.  Our County's DMV is booked - walk-ins are chaotic - we got there at 5:45 a.m. were 3rd in line - got a "spot" and then because it rained - driving tests were cancelled.  Not only was I tired, annoyed, and used a vacation day - but accomplished nothing my give myself anxiety :(  Next county over - did not have to arrive early, 2nd in line - and done within an hour.  Sometimes it is better to drive further because our time is worth something . . . The only things I have made an effort to do this past week was order discounted gift cards - one for my dad for this birthday - Barnes and Noble so he can download books galore onto his Nook, a Lowes Gift Card so we can buy a third garage door opener since we are now a 3 car family, and a petsmart giftcard so the dog can get a "do" at a discount.  Tomorrow, just the ladies will be eating lunch at PF Chang's - my treat (oops, should have ordered a gift card) and adoptive Grandmother will treat us to see "Hope Springs".  Sunday, my husband is BBQ'ing for my dad's birthday luncheon and my daughter and I will make a few side dishes and dessert.  Lots of freebie magazines came in the mail.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

8/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Did I mention yesterday that we went thru the Burger King drive-thru for an ice cream cone and the cashier gave it to us for free :)  Sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time.  Seems the manager was training the person and let him use a free cone coupon from their stash as my payment :)  This afternoon, we went to Kohls and since we wanted more wash cloths - we used our $10 and 5% off coupon and got 18 wash cloths for $1.80 after sale and coupons.  We also got a free face wash at ULTA and a free trial sized lotion at Bath and Body Works.  Shortly, we will attend the "Pink Party" at Victorias Secret and at a minimum, pick-up some free panties.  My husband filled out some paperwork for refunds from IRS and his state tax organization.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

8/4 Expressions

This is tax-free weekend for us.  So, armed with a bunch of coupons and few gift cards, we headed out for some school/office supplies, groceries, and apparel.  First, we hit Barnes and Noble with the new BOGO latte (iced) coupon and left my husband to read a few magazines.  My daughter and I headed out to a few stores.  We browsed - but only found dress at Anthropologie.  It was heavily discounted, plus she had a 15% off coupon and no tax.  Even the cashier commented about her bargain.  Then we headed off to strip mall.  My husband got his hair cut while we browsed Stein Mart - we just couldn't find anything and the prices just were as good as they had been in the past.  Then to Target - we did some damage there.  My husband loaded up on "unders" and socks - we had a few $1 off Hanes coupons - and no tax.  We also decided to load up on ink for the printers, school supplies.  Using my Target credit card - I got an additional 5% off.  Then to Earthfare - they had a $5 for 5 natural/organic items coupon.  Most of the item were sold out.  But with such great service, we got substitutions that far exceeded our expectations.  I also took a bottle back for a $2 deposit (natural lemonade).  Then to Aldi for a few staples - EVOO, .69 for a dozen eggs, etc.  The final stop, CVS for dishwasher detergent - I had a $4 ecb burning a hole in my wallet - so, it was the perfect item to use it on.  Tomorrow, my daughter and I plan to head out for some more shopping.  We are hoping to find something at Kohl's with our $10 off anything coupon that can be combined with a 15% off coupon.  We also can pick-up a freebie item at ULTA, Bath and Body Works, and Victoria's Secret.  We will be going to the mall with those 3 stores later in the evening as we plan to attend VS's Pink Party.  We also got a lot of yard work done.  My husband mowed while my daughter and I pulled weeds out of the plant beds.  Now we are watching the Olympics.

Friday, August 3, 2012

8/3 Expressions

Received my first free issue of "Everyday with Rachel Ray".  We had a $4 Take 'n Bake pizza for dinner and I made a fruit pizza for dessert.  We had a Wal-mart brand instant cheese cake mix that was less than a dollar.  For the topping, I used Kiwi - .79 for a bag of 6 from Aldi that looked like they needed to be used shortly.  My husband got his first Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee and he loved it :)    We got a lot done.  The IRS sent us a form to file for our penalty back - they agreed with our rationale.  My husband re-scheduled his tax assessment reduction hearing for our foreclosure house out another couple of weeks.  This is tax-free, school shopping weekend for us - so, we will be getting the rest of the school supplies and maybe a few clothes.  We will stop by the consignment store for some $.  We also plan to "up-cycle" some clothes we purchased from the thriftstore - we mainly wanted the long dresses for the fabric - silk, etc. for $5.98 each - and we hope to make some nice blouses.  Added:  In the last couple of days, my husband and I have each been able to amass 80 Coke Rewards Points with free Olympic promo codes.  You can probably do a search for the codes.  Anyway, I ordered 2 20 oz Coke drink coupons and my husband ordered a coupon for a free chicken bites at McDonalds and a free 20 oz drink (Coke) coupon.  We each also entered a sweepstakes for no points 8 times each for entering the promo code.  Easy, peasy.  I just happened to stumble on the codes - they were on frugal sites and seem to expire, then re-load.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

8/1 Expressions

Here is the car we picked-up last night - and I got a tag for this morning.    With the heat, and all of the errands I have been running - I really haven't found much time to be frugal.  We are in contact with a staff writer for a newspaper who is going to do an article on my daughter's audition.  It should be published next week.