Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The last day of the month.  Financially we did okay - I met the savings goal for my daughter, we paid all of taxes, etc.  But, I did not make my own personal savings goal (for misc. - another condo?, etc).  So, the "house" owes me a bit of $ - which I hope to re-coup next month - when the only high bill should be the property tax bill on the foreclosure - which we have protested - and hopefully we will get a partial refund on.  I got the silver/silver plated? coffee pot, creamer, sugar bowls from shopgoodwill - needs to be polished - but under $20 including shipping - so not so bad.  I have always wanted one - but never wanted to pay more than $20 :)  Did I mention we sold a book on half.com - well, I need to get it wrapped (recycled mailer) and will stop at the bank at lunch tomorrow with my $5 coins and a few rebate checks and get a nice cup of coffee too.  ADDED:  Pictured above are the clearanced flowers I purchased from Kroger this weekend - $3 for the entire bouquet.  I just an did an hour of cooking/kitchen clean-up.  I made a batch of salad (used up 2 pears/Artisan lettuce/1 apple/dried cranberries/wine vinegar/olive oil), boiled 6 eggs, 1 small batch of brown rice, and Thai Green Curry (from a jarred mix) - it is delicious - used up potatoes, carrots, and onions.  Now we have quick and fairly healthy lunches and dinners for the next couple of days.

Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  At lunch today, I gave myself a French manicure and knitted a few more rows on my rag rug.  Mail was good today - got two refund checks.  Sadly, my listing on ebay was cancelled by ebay because of the manufacturers complaint - so, instead of trying to resolve the issue - I will list it on craigslist this weekend.  Finally had enough dimes to make a $5 roll.  Heard back from the city about the possibility of them buying our beachfront lot - they are very interested - but won't be able to do anything until they settle with BP.  I would rather it be developed.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We picked up the items that did not sell from the consignment and took 2 more items.  Then we used the credit to buy a metal wall hanging.  The rest of the day was not too frugal . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2012

1/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today I listed one item on Listia.com - I want to earn more credits so I can bid on more vegetable seeds and I listed one item on ebay.com - to add to our fun money when we travel to Paris.  Other than that, we shopped at TJ Maxx for school shoes for my daughter and some clothes - used up the rest of the gift cards and then some.  But, she got brand new, name brand shoes for $10 and $15 a pair.  We got a bunch of fruits and veggies from Aldi and spent $11 there.  Then to Kroger - and shopped the Manager's Specials in the organic department and stocked up on the specials.  We rented two DVDs and called it a day.  My husband sprayed the weeds in the front yard.  Tomorrow, my daughter and I are going to have lunch and watch a movie with her best friend and her mom.  Nice we all get along :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call:  got my $25 Wal-Mart giftcard from cashing in credit card points and will use it to fill-up the car.  Got a free sample of Crystal Light and a coupon for $1.00 off the product.  Got the vegetable seeds I "won" on Listia.  I also won an auction today on shopgoodwill.com for new, with box baking pans - 5 of them - all nice quality for $20.XX shipped.  My husband and I went out for lunch at Brueggers using a BOGO sandwich coupon (from the coupon book my daughter bought) and we paid for the other and drinks with our giftcard.  My husband picked up coin wrappers for free from the bank.  He also stopped at the Post Office for the set-priced Priority Mailboxes as I want to start selling again.  Oh, and I got the lot of silver/silver plated item from shopgoodwill.com today - all better than I expected.  And I got my hair done for $15 plus tip at the beauty school - just because :)  Oh, and my husband will picked up BOGO take 'n bake pizzas for dinner tonight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I added some roasted peppers to my brocolli/tomato salad.  I have had very little food waste this week.  I even used the brocolli stocks in my salad (peeled the "skin" off).  I am just amazed how fast this week has gone by.  This morning I took my daughter to school - and since I got up at my regular time - washed up the few remaining dishes and made breakfast for the both of us.  Nice to have a little leisurely time in the a.m.  Added:  Whoo hoo - I won a 1 yr subscription to  BETTER HOMES & GARDENS from Purex Insider :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I made progress on my rag rug during lunch today.  I have been thinking about better utilizing my yard to produce food.  This year I am going to make a more concerted effort.  Instead of having my "garden" in the shade - I am going to move it a sunny part of the yard.  I should have some nice compost also.  I saw a neighbor's box garden - I may have to steal that idea :)   Added:  Just checked through my "tracking tickets" on ebates - I did not receive credit for two purchases - almost immediately, ebates credited me the $ for the two purchases - hey, $5.XX is $5.XX.  And not bad for a few minutes worth of work.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I won some more food producing seeds on Listia.  Also got paid for the last two rentals. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

1/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I cashed in credit card points for a $25 Wal-mart giftcard.  At lunch, I combined errands and drank another nice cup of coffee from the bank - I was really tempted to get a soft serve cone at BK - but thought the better of it.  Tomorrow, I will need to make more salad - main ingredient will be brocolli and I need to make another main dish - my daughter is tired of curry.  So, I am going to make something with cauliflower and tofu.  Of course I have onions, potatoes, and carrots - oh and roasted red peppers to fill in the gaps - and plenty of apples and pears.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Opening new doors?  That's what yesterday seemed to be all about.  Not only did I replace the holiday wreath with the one above (I refreshed it with some flowers that were no longer being used indoors - and too nice to throw out) - but we spent most of the day doing things outside of our comfort zone.  First - we used my livingsocial coupon to get some professional photos of my daughter.  While there, a fashion director asked me if my daughter was there to audition for a local fashion week.  I said no.  She said oh, and went to her purse and got a business card and handed it to me.  I said thanks - I will leave it up to my daughter if we want to pursue it any further.  Then we went to meet her friend at the mall.  Her best friend and she and some other friends - they went shopping and I shopped with my daughter's friends mother.  So nice to find like minded people.  We shopped the sales - we picked up a few heavily discounted items - but mainly, we just looked.  Then they invited to join them for dinner at a wonderful Thai resaurant and they were so hospitable - they picked up the whole tab.  I will need to repay them - you just don't find nice, unpretentious people very often around here.  So, that was very nice.  In the meantime, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of bids on my listia and ebay listings.  But having checked a few moments ago - sure enough, they all sold and I am very happy for the extra cash and credits.  Extra cash will go towards fun money in Paris and the credits will go toward seeds (edible only) for planting this spring.  Oh yeah, received the late rent payment too.  Pays to be vigilent and be the squeaky wheel every once in a while.  Retirement accounts are inching upward - every things a bit brighter :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I was going to sleep in - but alas, I got up and gave my daughter a ride to school.  Such a treat for her.  Of course, I stopped at Wal-mart with the last of my giftcards and gassed up the car, picked up and few groceries - and bought a diffuser and roll-brush to try my hand at getting my hair to look like it did when I walked out of the salon :)  I also went to the credit union - and had a yummy cup of their coffee while I waited in line to cash my rebate checks - $48 worth.  $20 is earmarked for my daughter to donate to her schools girl's soccer team - for which in return, we will receive a coupon booklet for businesses around town.  Today, I plan to do some cleaning and cooking - use up some veggie pasta - creamy garlic, onion, mushroom and leftover soy "meat" for meals later - and of course, another batch of curry - this time potatoes, soy crumbles, onions, and carrots.  For dinner, we will get two take 'n bake pizzas to use up our up the last free 1 topping large pizza and free cookie dough coupons (free cookie dough came in handy last night as my daughter volunteered to bring a snack fo a class - and instead of hitting the store, she just baked a batch of cookies) - and the gift card for another pizza.  The one topping, we are getting mushroom with garlic something - instead of marinara sauce - and will add more veggies when we get home.  The other will be the yummy gourmet veggie thin crust pizza.  So, we shall have enough easy, quick, and fairly healthy meals to get us through the weekend and some. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Got a rebate check.  Rent payment is late - so called the rental management agency - and they overlooked mailing it  I am "off" tomorrow - and am not sure what I am going to do.  Be productive - or get in some really good rest time - hmmm, that is the question?  The weather is so odd.  Cold one minute - and now it is warm.  I am loving my beauty school hair-cut.  One co-worker asked for the name - and I handed her a card.  She is a young - and does great work.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I took the day off from my day job and ran some errands - got a drink at Starbucks and another bag of coffee grounds - sure hope my garden flourishes :)  I also went to Aldi - and got lots of fresh vegetables.  At home, I went through the linens I "won" at the auction - several months ago.  I washed the dish towels and plan to actually use them - and hopefully, the use of them will cut down on the use of paper towels.  I have a stack of doilies - I like them - but don't have enough places to use them.  Some more neat hankies - I keep them in a basket - and napkins/placemats I plan to wash and use also.  My hair, needs a nice trim - so, I called the beauty school and I have an appointment for this afternoon.  I hope to work on a craft today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I received another $5 Starbucks giftcard and a .28 check from Host (stock dividend) - in our defense - we did not buy this stock - it was a spin-off - luckily, it cashes the same as any other check.  I took my scarf project to work and almost completed it during lunch.  Lunch tomorrow, and I should be able to wear it.  I am also cooking up another batch of curry - this time:  onion, cauliflower (sp), and soy chicken.  So easy, and great for this weather - and so far, we are not sick of it.  Received a credit card bill and cashed in the points for statement credit on my next bill - which should be fairly small.

Monday, January 16, 2012

1/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I made a quick batch of curry - shown above.  Last night when we baked our pizzas, I roasted tri-color bell peppers (not in the curry - I eat those as a snack with hummus - that my husband recently purchased on the cheap), sweet potatoes, and yellow squash.  So, this morning, I browned some onions, and soy burger crumbles, added sweet potatoes, yellow squash - and now we have several meals.  I also boiled some eggs.  We have plenty of fruit.  Now I just need to make a salad - I have vine rippened tomatoes, artisan lettuce, unroasted tri-color bellpeppers, and onions which I will make later today.  So, meal-wise, this will be any easy week.  We plan to have a relaxing day.  I checked the condo reservations and the bookings have started.  Nice to have some extra income coming in since next month, my husband will have to pay the property tax on the foreclosure property - and hopefully, after the board of appeals reviews his protest, the city will refund some of it back.  We are going to pay it since you can pay a reduced amount and hope they adjust it downward - but any balance, we would owe interest.  Zillow has it valued at $23K over what we paid, the city has it valued at $52K over what we paid.  Definitely a problem there.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Pictured is my craft project.  I ended up getting the felt today at Michaels with a 40% off coupon and giftcard.  As a matter of fact, my daughter and I went on a shopping spree with our gift cards and ended up putting a total of $13 on the regular credit cards.  First stop, Starbucks :)  Then to Marshalls - she got 2 pairs of jeans, a shirt, tights, and perfume (which she reimbursed me for) - and I bought 6 $1 bags of Godiva Gems - 5 dark chocolate or my husband's Valentines gift and the milk chocolate for my daughter.  I also got a heavily discounted face cream.  I haven't been in a Marshalls in years - I have to say, the new format is a big improvement - all covered with our freebie gift cards.  Next door, Bed Bath and Beyond - got my daughter a hamper set with coupon and giftcards.  Next door to them, Michaels - I got my felt and she got acrylic paints with 40% off coupons and discounted giftcards.  Then to the Dollar Tree - I got 10 bags of frozen strawberries - charged $10 plus tax on my credit card for additional points toward more gift cards.  I use the strawberries for my breakfast smoothies in the PINK Method.  Those 10 bags will last more than a month.  Then to Aldi's - used cash - change from my husband, and change in my purse - got more veggies, eggs, almonds, and yogurt covered raisins - all just over $16.  Then to the take 'n bake for tonights dinner - free coupon and gift cards for 2 pizzas, cinnamon dessert, cookie dough.  1 pizza and cookie dough were free with coupons.  While I got the pizzas, my daughter walked next door to Staples to get batteries to repay her teacher who gave her some for her calculator, and she got some pens.  She had $10 in rewards and a $3 off coupon for the pens and ended up charging $2.XX on the credit card.  My husband and daughter finished painting the bathroom and it is looking good.  Now they have to put the stuff back in there with her new hamper.  Added:  list another item on ebay and listed one item on Listia. Almost done with my "to do" list.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We got take-out today - but used my freebie $20 Mastercard - and had change leftover and food leftover.  Dinner was re-heated leftovers.  My husband and daughter painted primer on the upstairs bathroom - they needed a few supplies - my husband used the leftover $ on the Mastercard and his Wal-mart giftcard.  I wanted to get some hummus, free pizza, and a few other items at Kroger - so my husband picked up 4 hummus (2 $1/2 coupons), the pizza, appetizer, free gum with coupon - and used the leftover $ on the Amex Giftcard we had.  I finished knitting the scarf - now just need to finish the embellishments and it will be ready to wear.  So, no money out of our pockets today.  It was productive and peaceful as we all took a nap also.  Added:  on my to do list, listed 1 item on ebay and mailed in the recalled products.

Friday, January 13, 2012

1/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  to get myself moving - I wrote myself a short "to do" list.  I want to list 2 things on ebay, 1 thing on listia, fill out the form and return the Novartis OTC I have for a refund - 3 bottles of Excedrin.  It is nice to have a long weekend again.  Great to have my husband home too.  We had bad weather last night - so, I asked him to stay in a hotel.  At first he tried to be tough - then logic took over and he stayed at one.  He didn't pick the most frugal choice - but oh well, he did bargain for a lower rate :)  That's a start.  I told him the best deal for last minute hotels while on the road seem to be those coupons found at the gas station.  He said he will remember that for next time.  After guitar lessons, the crew will pick up take 'n bake pizzas with a gift card we have.  Next month is Valentines day and our 23rd wedding anniversary.  He asked if we should go to a really expensive restaurant.  Nope - we have a 1/2 priced gift certificate to a nice, quaint, gourmet restaurant which will suit me fine.  The following month is my birthday - he promises to stain the kitchen cabinets (I will be getting cheap (discounted) or "free" (credit card points) gift cards for Lowes/Home Depot in the meantime and any coupons to get the rest of supplies he might need.  ADDED:  Since my daughter and husband had to wait more than 30 minutes to get their pizza order - they were compensated with coupons for 1 large 1 topping for free. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got paid my bonus today - but because we had a few unintended bills - expecially when we did the condo maintenance, I had to move some bills.  I am almost to my monthly savings goal - but not quite there.  I also got a rebate check.  Today at lunch, just when I am starting to use less coupons, several office mates brought in some coupons inserts to share.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I check my 12 month return for my retirement account.  Instead of lifetime funds - I came up with my own mix - my mix created a 2% return.  And while I am not totally exhuberant about that percentage - it could have been worse.  So, for once :) , I am glad I listened to my husband and went conservative for once.  He probably did a bit better than I did, because he went even more conservative. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

1/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mailbag:  freebie $20 Mastercard GC and a rebate check.  Took a brisk walk and stayed on my food plan :)  Was able to knit a few more rows on my scarf.  Got a few upcycle ideas from co-workers. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I won some seeds on Listia.  I still have a few credits from selling our "trash".  I hope to win some more.  I want to concentrate on plants that produce some type of food item.  Today, I made butternut squash soup - with extra for the week.  Also made a nice spinach salad for the week.  I stopped at Wal-mart and picked up my free Starbursts at the gas station - and also picked up a few items to make some desserts.  My daughter made cranberry scones and I made chocolate coconut bonbons.  I was totally out of sugar and milk.  I went ahead and topped off the tank - gas prices dropped .10 in 2 days.  We took my daughter's best friend and her family some of the desserts - they brought us some delicious creme brulee they made last week.  Next weekend, we are going to list a few items on ebay.  We are starting our France Trip fun fund. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Things I did not do.  I did not pick-up my daughter's contacts.  Since they gave her a free trial pair, she does not need them immediately.  I am going to wait until her glasses come in and pick them at lunch time.  Combine errands - save gas.  Mail was great today - got my free Good Housekeeping magazine (and boy do I need it :)  and 2 $10 AMEX giftcards from the promotion last month.  After taking a nice nap, my daughter and I headed to Barnes and Noble where she picked up a reference book she needed for one of her classes.  We also treated ourselves to a BOGO latte (printable on-line coupon) and split a  Reese's cookie.  I made a quick trip to Victoria's Secret with my $10 giftcard - and since they were having their clearance sale - ended up getting 3 pairs of underwear for $2.XX out of pocket.  I also had a $10 Barnes and Noble giftcard.  So, other than VS - which I paid cash - no extra out of pocket.  We browsed the magazines.  Before taking a nap, I made a brown rice/veggie stir fry, and vegetable tempura.  I am about to make a couple more pumpkin pies with my frozen puree.  I am going to try and cook ahead - which means healthier meals, frugal, and less stress during the week.

Friday, January 6, 2012

1/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today I received a phone call - my daughter's contacts are ready for pick-up.  At lunch, I opened an item from the grocery store with mold on it - nowhere near the printed expiration date.  Normally, I would have jumped in the car and ran some errands.  Today, I didn't.  The grocery store return will be combined with an errand I need to run later this evening.  The contacts, will be picked up tomorrow with some other errands incorporated.  So, I got a lot of me time in:  made myself a nice breakfast smoothie, took an afternoon nap.  I even cooked and did a bit of cleaning without feeling rushed.  Took the dog for a walk.  The weather is fantastic - and I have enjoyed the peace.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I used at a freebie giftcard for Walmart for gas today - unfortunately - now it is $3.25/gal.  Then I purchased a few grocery items.  Hopefully, I won't need much else.  Most of this weekend, I plan to use giftcards.  May be a few $ additional to use coupons at Earthfare and pick-up a few items at Aldi.  I am off from my day job tomorrow - and I plan to sleep in and relax.  May do some cooking.  I was hoping the coupon for a free exercise ball from Sears would print - still can't get it to print.  They are probably out of them anyway :(

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Yesterday, I analyzed the condo data provided by the realtor and asked for additional information.  I am still waiting.  We are hoping to hear from the condo association as to what the next step is.  There are some good deals out there . . . Today was a very sad day.  Funeral services for a former co-worker - it was sudden.  It just reminds you how short life is.  Only consolation is that I know this person lived each day to the fullest and enjoyed his time on this earth.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Since this is the New Year for the Health Savers Account - we refilled rx's on the 1st and order my daughter's glasses and contacts yesterday.  Now I've ordered my year's worth of contacts.  How's that - I get to borrow someone elses money and not pay interest on pre-tax dollars :)  I guess I am easily entertained :)  Oh, and I got a dividend check for more than a few pennies today from Starwood.  Enough to buy a meal at a fast food joint :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

More 1/2 Expressions

Frugal deed for the day:  My former piano teacher - I have kept in touch with her for over 30 years - sent a nice card and calendar.  She wrote that her husband is retiring this month and her daughter graduated from college.  I wanted to send a nice gift - just a token really.  Many places do not ship internationally and if they do - the shipping is outrageous.  So, I poked around stores I found through ebates.  Finally found one - Godiva Chocolate has a Japan site.  And while not cheap, I was able to send a nice gift without spending an arm and a leg for shipping.  As a matter of fact, shipping was under $7 :)  And while some think it is inconsiderate to send giftcards - my husband's cousin's daughter had a baby last week - I hope they enjoy their baby's r us card :)  Maybe I am old and inconsiderate - but would rather send a gift card than drive around a look for something - and then not have it be useful.  If they lived in driving distance - which they don't (probably 1,000 miles away) - I would have purchased a practical gift - but practical plus shipping isn't always smart.

1/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  When walking in the neighborhood yesterday, I saw a yard with a bunch of box gardens - even with vegetable growing.  I think that is the new trend - and I want to embrace it.  Where possible, I think I am going to use edible plants.  The interesting weather has caused Paper Whites to bloom in our yard.  They have never bloomed in the 5 plus years we have been here - I alway wondered what the plant was - now, I know.  A nice surprise.  I have put a few more crafts in my bag - no more wasting time when "waiting" or when I have free time.  I am going to do what I find relaxing and productive.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I did refrigerator maintenance.  I made a smoothie with strawberries, a bit of pomagranite juice, frozen banana and Greek yogurt.  I also made a batch of veggie curry with potatoes, onions, apples, vegetarian sausages.  Stir fried garlic, onions, baked potatoes diced, and leftover steak in olive oil.  Made a large salad with cucumber, buttery leaf lettuce (bad leaves went into the compost), pecans, juice from about 4 schriveled oranges, a bit of diced onions, and poppy seed dressing.  Tomorrow, I plan to buy the minimum to get us through the week with a Wal-mart gift card.  Also, we took a nice relaxing walk through the neighborhood.  I clipped a few coupons - there were 4 inserts and will take the rest to the office for others to enjoy :)