Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Got lots of chores done.  My husband fixed 2 electrical problems, painted, mowed, etc.  I power-washed the front entry/sidewalk - and then my husband tried to turn the outside faucet off - and the handle broke off?  Emergency plumber?  $160 - ouch.  Oh well, I feel like we saved more than that doing all the DIY we did today.  Then my daughter - after getting her hair done at the beauty school came home - and we hit the Guitar Center because she had a gift card from her uncle - and boy was he generous.  Anyway, I found a 12 percent off $99 coupon and my daughter got Memorial Day sale special on the item she was looking for.  She got $100 off the retail price with the coupon and discount.  Then we went to Best Buy - with my $5 gift card that I got on Listia - she used it to buy a charger for her "free" Kindle Fire HD.  Then we went to Earthfare - DD pulled up the mobile coupon for 10 grass fed beef burgers for $10 and my husband had enough Tomato Points for $10 - so we got all 10 for free - not even tax :)  In the meantime, my daughter had dropped off some items at Plato's Closet for some quick cash - she got a few $ - and the items not bought will go to a charitable organization - I have an appointment for a pick-up in about 2 weeks - that should give us enough time to go through our stuff and decide what we want to donate.  All meals cooked at home as I want to use up as much as I can out of our pantry, fridge, freezer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I finally got my state tax refund :)  Did the paperwork to list the house.  Still have lots of work to do.  My daughter and I got some of it accomplished. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I met with a couple of friends and they treated me to lunch :)  I in turn, was able to re-home 5 plants.  Tomorrow, the realtor will stop by to do some preliminary work before we can list our house.  My daughter and I will do some cleaning.  So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  At lunch - I went to Home Depot to look for an inexpensive way to touch up my bathroom cabinets - I found a "pen" - hope it works as it was just over $6 with tax.  Gave my daughter my Starbucks card and she got a free Venti Frappucino. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

5/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We received a small windfall today - it will come in handy for all of the $ that went out the last couple of months.  I also got a $5 Best Buy gift card that I won on Listia with credits - and I got a Stouffers blanket (it is really nice) with the Stouffer codes I won on Listia.  I deposited the change that we got at the yardsale.  A former co-worker is going to take my lemon and orange tree :)  I feel like I am making progress.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

5/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  we sold some stuff at the yard sale and made some $.  We had a nice lunch with my dad - home made by me.  Although I made fresh pineapple/strawberry crepes - my dad brought over a nice German chocolate cake.  Too tired to do much more today.  My daughter and I did do some shopping.  We went to Sephora and used some of our bonus points for 2 products - no money out.  Then to Anthropologie where my daughter used the rest of her gift card.  Then to Victoria 's Secret for 2 free pairs of underwear and 2 pair of yoga paints - after sale and coupon - came out to $10 a pair.  My husband is at Home Depot with my discounted gift card to buy faucets for our bathroom sinks as we will have granite installed this week.  Note to self:  next time my home needs to be updated - do it sooner - rather than later so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor - rather than just the new buyer.  Hopefully my house will sell quickly.  One around the block sold in 3 weeks.

Friday, May 17, 2013

5/17 Expresssions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Tomorrow is the community yard sale - and the weather is not really cooperating - so, we have set up our wares in the garage.  Our point is to get rid of things - hope they move quickly.  Then, instead of eating out, I am making a nice meal for the family and my dad.  I have a nice job offer - waiting for the paper work to catch-up.  I will be in the same state as my husband.  We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Woot on the stock market :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

5/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  It doesn't hurt to ask the grocer if you can still have the sale a day after it ends.  Lobster tails were on sale for $5/each.  Today, the price was $7.99 - I asked if I could get them for $5 - sure enough I could - and the lady behind me ask for a couple herself :)  My daughter and I finally have been going to the community gym - part of our HOA fees.  Today, while out and about running errands - I used my sticker card for a free large McCafe - not healthy, but sure yummy for a warm day - and free :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

5/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Happy Mother's Day!  My husband made breakfast - and I have agreed to go to a Chinese Buffet for lunch - w/10% off coupon :)  Otherwise, I will spend the rest of the day painting and do other chores around the house to keep our maintenance/decorating bill low when we move.  DH is going to the Dollar Tree to see if they have painter's tape and sand paper for a $1 a pack.  If not, he will get them at Wal-Mart which is right next door.   I took a vacation day tomorrow.  Although the lady that writes estimates for the granite counter tops for the bathrooms won't be here until Friday morning - I will be checking out the 3 $29/sqft granite at the store.  I just need to keep moving to make sure we get as much stuff that we can done DIY, before starting to fork out cash.  But, I have a plan in place that is reasonable.

Friday, May 10, 2013

5/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got my hair cut/styled, eye brows waxed and a French manicure at the beauty school.  Then to Aldi - I picked up several things - but the .99 strawberries were the hit of the day.  I just made crepes for dessert - used the recipe in my old Betty Crocker cookbook - and used whipped topping from Aldi also.  I "won" a sticker filled card for a free McCafe at McDonalds, and a $5 Best Buy card on Listia.  Then, I took a few broken pieces of jewelry to be repaired.  I "won" some Mikimoto pearls - necklace was broken - but there were 31 pearls and 1 on the clasp - just in eye balling the pearls - the jeweler stated they were worth about $200.  I am paying $38 to get them re-strung into a bracelet for my daughter.  My husband bought me ruby earrings ages ago - he said he didn't pay more then $100 - one earring needed repair - cost $20 - she estimated the earring by itself was worth $300.  My husband was shocked.  I found a few more items to put into the yardsale.

5/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  The rain is not cooperating - but the hedge trimming, house trimming work is suppose to start today.  Since the work is being done/managed by a tenant in another house, my husband was will to pay a higher price - based on his reputation.  However, the other bidder offered to paint the front door - and this one didn't - so, my husband is going to ask if he can throw that in.  I am "off" from my day job today - so, I have an appointment at the beauty school to get my hair cut - $15 plus tip - and a free manicure since I booked in advance.  Not too shabby for a pre-mother's day pampering.  So, since we are probably moving - instead of eating out, I asked if we could just get some work done around the house - and have breakfast in bed :)  This weekend, I will work on getting "stuff" together for the community yard sale next week and go from there.  Lots of stuff to do.  I have already started submitting change of address forms - those freebie postage stamps I get from being a "mail decoy" sure come in handy.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  To get ready for a move, I have cleaned out all recycled items out of my kitchen cabinet - like aluminum pie tins, butter tubs, etc.  They are now all in the recycling bin.  I have started cooking out the fridge/freezer/pantry in earnest.  I sold a few items on ebay.  I have slowly started filling out change of address forms.  Freebie for the day:  while at Books-a-Million - I received a sample of the their new Sea Salt Caramel Frappe - yum - and sample size was enough.  So much to do, I just need to keeping putting one foot in front of the other.  I realize I could always pay someone to do some of the things around the house - and we will hire professional help where needed - but being a frugal sort - I'd like to save myself a bit of $.

Monday, April 29, 2013

4/29 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I cut the lawn - and skipped yoga.  Skipping yoga was cheaper than paying someone to mow the lawn.   I also earned $5.89 from ebates - so, I opted for an Amazon e-card.  Tomorrow, I will try to find a good deal on granite sink tops for the bathroom.  If I can get a reasonable price, I will go ahead and have it done since the sinks in this house are the original - about 20 years old - I find them kind of charming - shell sinks in porcelain. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/28 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I finally listed some more items on-line.  I am going to finish the sewing machine work on the quilt I am making for my dad - and then taking it to work - to do the quilting by hand during lunch.  I have a better cabinet paint - read about it in Good Housekeeping - use high gloss enamel - and the Lowe's Rep recommended an additive so that paint brush strokes won't be visible.  I got my husband to get the mower ready for me - he wasn't able to cut the grass this weekend - too much rain - still raining - but since we live in a HOA - I will need to do it.  I also got him to get out the pressure washer - I am going to work on the deck next.  Did I mention that I got a nice job offer - not all of the details are worked out yet.  But in any case, I want the house ready to sell.

Friday, April 26, 2013

4/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today is my day off from my day job - but there's lots to do.  My husband took the discounted Lowes gift card and a few items we bought from there they we do not need (wrong sized molding) and he will buy the molding - and finish up the flooring work).  I also gave him 2 small checks and some change to cash in at the bank - to take to Aldi - with a list.  Today, I have started menu planning so that we can use up what we have in the pantry/fridge/freezer.  I am expecting to move within the next two months.  I am hoping we can sell our current residence and buy one for 1/2 and bank the rest for education/retirement expenses.  Good thing we have a community yard sale coming up in the next few weeks.  As much as I hate it, I think I will also utilize craigslist.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

4/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a job offer today :)  My daughter got a Kindle Fire HD - free from a bank deal.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We accepted the proposal of a tenant to paint the trim outside of our house.  And, my daughter won another scholarship for full expenses for a three weeks STEM program at another college :)  Great experience for her - and my wallet is still intact :)  And tomorrow, while running errands - I plan to get 3 free bagels from Brueggar's :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

4/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Received a small dividend check.  My daughter won a scholarship to attend STEM related summer camp at a college for 1 week - all expenses paid :)  I am proud of her and it is quite frugal.  I am going to do some sprucing up/cleaning up this weekend.  Our community yard sale is next month.  Also, I have applied for a few jobs and hope to move this summer.  Mainly, I hope to land in a state where my daughter wants to attend college.  That way, hopefully we will have lived in the state long enough to get in-state tuition.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

4/13 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Received a rebate check in the mail.  My husband finished most of the flooring work (still needs to put the moulding in) - but he had some underlay left - a whole roll - unused.  He returned it for almost $70.  I listed 2 more items on ebay.  It was such a nice day - weather-wise.  I convinced myself to do some outdoor work - I polished the brass on our front door.  A little elbow grease - and it looks a lot better.

Friday, April 12, 2013

4/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I listed 3 items on ebay.  I won a "free" Bath and Body Work gift card with $4.XX on it on Listia.  My husband just ordered a large 3 topping Pizza for dinner - for free using some Papa Johns points.  In the mail, received two freebie magazines - In Style and Ladies Home Journal.  Not a bad start to the weekend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4/11 Expresssions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call - I got 2 Gevalia K-Cups and a coupon and 10 Spring Daisy postage stamps.  I found a few items - and since I am home tomorrow - I will list them on ebay.  My husband will hopefully finish up the flooring.  We also will be getting 2 estimates to paint the outside of our house.  While there are plenty of things that need to get done - I plan to mainly goof off tomorrow.  Another month of more money out - not too much money staying in.  Anyway, we are still contributing a set amount to our daughter's college fund - good thing the stock market has been nice - otherwise, my husband and I would see very little change in our savings.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

4/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Silver linings - I volunteered at the concession stand yesterday - but sadly, my daughter's team will not be advancing - therefore - there won't be a "payback" for us.  In any case, it was fun - and since I volunteered at the end - clean-up time.  While breaking down soft drink boxes - it occurred to me that there were Coke Reward points on some of the boxes - I asked if I could keep the codes - and the answer was yes.  I entered the 5 codes - and got a bonus of 20 points - with the points I had - I had enough points to order 2 20oz Coke coupons for the soda-aholic in the family.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

4/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  In between watching my daughter's team compete - and waiting for my volunteering time - I painted a couple of cabinet doors and worked on the quilt for my Dad (birthday present).  In the mail today - I got cash for doing a product testing and a $10 TJMaxx gift certificate - I paid the deductible for my daughter's wisdom teeth surgery with this card (have already been reimbursed thru the HSA).  I have also cooked "ahead" - pot of brown rice, a large spinach/salmon salad, and chopped/prepped veggies for tempura.  Also ordered a Lowes gift card discounted 7 percent - and will get 1 percent rebated back on the credit card - and signed up for a 10% off coupon.  We've arranged for a painter to give us a quote - and also the tenant that is currently unemployed - we want to be fair about the price paid - but will buy the paint ourselves at a discount from Lowes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I sold a book on and got my freebie CVS gift card w/credit card point redemption.  I will make use of it this weekend buying things I hate to buy - but need.  I know I have a few extrabucks waiting for me - and will try to find a few coupons to stretch the $10 card even more.  I am volunteering to work concessions this weekend so that if my daughter's team wins a competition - I will be awarded part of the proceeds towards the expense of the competition.  I won't get any $ - but my daughter would get a lower bill for her expenses - more like a barter I guess :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today's topic is bartering.  Last week, one of our property managers called to let us know that the reliable tenant asked if he could use his deposit as rent because he was in between jobs.  The property manager said she understood - but if he used his deposit as rent - he should be ready to move out at the end of the month or be evicted.  Anyway, the current house we live in needs it trim painted.  So, I called the property manager to ask about the tenant - she said he came up with the rent.  Even so, I asked if she could ask him if he'd be interested in doing some work on our current house in exchange for rent - and of course we'd still pay the management fee.  She said he is a builder by trade and would probably be interested.  So, it would be a win, win situation for us.  We want to get our current house ready for sale either this or next summer - so, doing maintenance/repairs, etc. as we go will reduce the stress of trying to get it all done in a short span of time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

4/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I made use of the free gym facilities at work.  I think it would be a better use of my lunch break to spend some time on the treadmill and use the private shower facilities.  Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.  And my daughter reminded me that our Community has a gym facilities - part of our HOA.  We have hesitated - because we lost the security card - and the replacement cost is $20.  Crazy, I know.  But, $20 is whole lot cheaper than Gym memberships - and the place is closer - and we can walk - saving on gas.  But, for my sanity, I will continue to do Hot Yoga - at least for another few months.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

3/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Time sure has flown by.  We just returned from our "Spring break" - college check-out trip.  We ended up buying airfare for under $200 round-trip for each of us.  We booked too late to use frequent flyer miles - not very frugal - but the fares were tolerable   We used hotel points - so no hotel expenses.  I have to say, the best amenities were from the particular Homewood Suites we stayed at - WOW - delicious and plentiful selection Breakfast and Dinner.  At check-in - fresh baked sugar cookies.  Laundry room in the facility - although not free, made it so we could wear our comfy clothes another day :)   Great view Hyatt - although the toiletries were nice - no breakfast - much less dinner.  And - parking was horrible - I am thinking $37 per day.  Shuttle to the airport was free - so, we returned our rental car 2 days early :)  So, no parking, and saved a bit on rental.  Can't say we saved the whole amount because we used some $ for public transport.  While traveling - I stopped at a Starbucks - and got a survey at the end of my receipt - reward was a free tall drink.  Stopped at a Dunkin Donuts - and a survey printed at the end my receipt - reward was a free donut with the purchase of a medium or large drink.  My husband is almost finished with our taxes - sadly, I owe on Federal taxes and he gets a refund - since he lives in a different state - we filed married/but separate.  However, net is we "owed" :(  Flooring project on the second floor is almost done.  I got a small rebate check last week.  These last couple of months have made saving really difficult.  I am hoping April will let us turn over a new leaf :)  Added:  I redeemed points from a credit to order a $10 CVS gift card.  I also redeemed most of the very few Delta Airlines Miles that I had left for 2 magazine subscriptions.

Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a small refund check in the mail today.  Oh, and got one yesterday too.  Nice to get unexpected $.  My husband finished up our Federal Taxes.  Now, we just have the State taxes to contend with.  The weather turned cold on us - and we are planning to take a trip up north shortly.  So, I decided to augment my winter clothes.  We had some luck in our favor - since it is suppose to be Spring - the winter clothes at my favorite thrift store were 50% off.  I got 3 really nice sweaters and my daughter got one - total price for the 4 - just under $12. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

3/23 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We had a nice lunch at home with my dad.  He appreciates home cooked meals more than restaurant meals - and we kept it frugal.  My husband is going to donate blood today - and will get tickets to movie theatre - so, we have invited my daughter's adopted grandmother to go with us tomorrow.  She is such a sweet lady and we haven't visited with her for quite some time.  Afterward, we will take her out for dessert and coffee.  Frugal lessons:  Yesterday, while getting my hair "done" at the beauty school - the instructor started explaining how they charge - guess everyone is tightening up and trying to be more efficient these days.  Anyway, I brought a picture in - I wanted a shorter style - slightly shorter than shoulder length - about 5 inches of hair cut off.  And of course I wanted to get my dyed.  So, the instructor starts with the base price - but then starts with "your hair is thick and long" so, we will have to use 3 additional rations - and each ration is $13 since I choose an experienced student over a newbie.  I looked at her and said what if I get my hair cut first - she said - oh, yeah, that is a good idea.  So, I did have to get one additional ration - but getting my hair cut first saved me $26.  In this "economy" - it doesn't hurt to change the order of things, especially if it doesn't change the result of the process, to save a "few" bucks :)  On a side note, many of co-workers have been telling me that they have decided to get rid of their movie channels, changed their work schedule so their child doesn't go to after school care, etc.  So, while I though the economy was improving - seems it hasn't for many folks - or, are they finally feeling the effects.  We are a cable-less family - except at the beach condo - part of the maintenance fee.  But we relish it when we travel - it is a treat.  And truly, we would rarely have time to watch it at home.  We thought about changing the cell phone plans for my daughter and husband - my husband - on his own - decided we would not save any money :)  So, they will keep their 2 year old androids, and stay with the pay-as-you-go talk/text/data.  I still have a 8 year old basic cellphone - that I pay $ one-time a year - I think it was $100 - and I never use up the minutes in a year's time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today is my birthday and I plan to spend it enjoying my family and bargains - my two favorite things :)  This morning, my wonderful husband made cheddar cheese (freebie from Earthfare) Omelet and coffee for me - served on a tray.  Shortly, I have an appointment at the beauty school for a cut and color.  My husband will get the freebie lunch from Captain D's for the two of us to enjoy - we are both "off" from work today - an early start to Spring break :)  He will drop the dog off at Petsmart and pay for her cut with a discounted giftcard (tip in cash of course).  My daughter is treating us to dinner - since I get to pick - I have decided on a casual Asian place in the theme shopping mall - where I plan to first stop at Ulta and get my brows arched for the price of a tip only :)  I also plan to stop at Panera and pick up my free dessert to enjoy later - we may enjoy it there between the three of us with coffee?  After my husband drops the dog off at Petsmart, he will stop at Earthfare and pick-up $10 worth of individual desserts, use $5 in Tomato Bank points and get 2 pineapples for free - these will be used for the lunch we are preparing at home tomorrow to celebrate my birthday with my dad.  Less work for us - more enjoyment for everyone.  My husband will also stop at Kroger and use a few coupons I cut out - and also get a Redbox for us to enjoy this evening with the .50 off code they sent :)  Added:  Woot - CVS sent me a $3 off anything coupon - I will stop and get a few trial sized toiletries for a short trip we plan to take shortly :)  I also looked birthday freebies up - and just for showing my driver's license - today I can - but probably won't - although they are nice freebies - could have gotten a free breakfast - the GrandSlam at Denny's, and a free sub at Firehouse Sub.  ADDED:  Bust:  Brow Bar in the ULTA no longer does the birthday brows :(  But double thumbs up:  Panera not only gave me a free dessert for my birthday - I was informed that my card had a "coupon" for a free smoothie or espresso - my daughter asked for a chai latte - and we got that for free :) 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  J C Penney sent me a $10 off $10 coupon - very nice of them.  Looks like they might have upgraded their merchandise.  I saw a nice pair of pants for my daughter - I might pick up.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I redeemed for a $10 Amazon e-code through a survey site.  I also added my processed swagbucks $5 Amazon e-code to my account.  Now, if I can keep saving them - may be I can get it up over the $25 free shipping amount and use it for something I really need or a gift item.  Oh yeah, more birthday freebies - Captain D's sent me a coupon for a free meal - now that is generous :)  A couple of larger chains, moderately priced have sent me free dessert or appetizer coupons.  And Sharebuilder sent me a code for 1 free auto investment trade.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Another birthday freebie - Panera Bread notified me that I have a free treat loaded on my card :)  My dad sent a nice card and a gift :)  I have been squeezing in chores and cooking so that we have no waste - and are not tempted to eat out - although I did drive thru at Burger Kind and tried a Vanilla Latte for $1 - meh.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

3/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the week:  This is my birthday month - and I signed up for a number of birthday rewards - of which I have been enjoying.  This week, I received 2 deli gift coupons of $5 off - so, one I used for a nice lunch and paid $2.XX after coupon.  The other, I used today for a sandwich/pickle/chips and paid .55 out of pocket.  A bagel place sent me a coupon for a free bagel and cream cheese - with the purchase of a drink - I got coffee.  Sephora sent me an e-mail letting me know I could pick my birthday present up from the cash register - I did - a free mascara and highlighter - both went to my daughter.  Swagbucks sent me 50 points - Arby's a free shake with any purchase off the menu (except value item) - which I have used yet.  Today, I cooked up a storm to use up stuff in the pantry/fridge/freezer - and also so that we have easy to prepare food items to decrease the temptation to eat out.  I boiled eggs, made lasagna, potato salad, Asian fried cabbage/onions/carrots/tuna, brown rice - made enough to freeze a sandwich bag full for fried rice later on, banana muffins, and oatmeal raisin cookies - oh and potato croquettes.  Just printed a recipe for oven baked pepper poppers - to use up my sweet peppers  but that will be for tomorrow.  While running errands today, I used a 40% off coupon at Michaels and a giftcard to buy quilt batting for the quilt I am making for my dad.  So, part of tomorrow will be used to work on the quilt.  In the mail, I got my lunch bag from Lean Cuisine - and it is gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got my product to test.  I cashed in some Amex points for a $10 Old Navy giftcard. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

3/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband and I took a small jaunt over to the next town.  First stop, Wal-mart to add some gas to the card - and use up the rest of the Wal-mart gift card.  Then we stopped at Burger King - iced coffees for .25 plus tax - the deal ends tomorrow - and the stuff is yummy.  Then we stopped at CVS - I needed a few items and I have a discounted gift card.  Then to Aldi - each Aldi seems to have different items and prices.  Then to Ace - we each got our quart of free paint - and of course we each bought something - I got paint brushes.  My husband bought hardware.  Then on the way home, we stopped at McDonald's for the seasonal shake - I believe it was called Shamrock?  Yummy too.  Then home for a nice nap for me while my husband worked on the flooring.  Then I baked banana muffins to heat the house up a bit - at the same time - I baked dinner - Aldi crab cakes and some onion rings.  I also made 2 salads - potato and green bean/onion/grape tomato.  Tomorrow, I need to get some light cleaning done and work on the quilt/pillow cases.

Friday, March 8, 2013

3/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today - for a birthday gift to myself - I used my Groupon for the 4 hour deep cleaning - and I love coming home to a clean house :)  In the mail:  I got a coupon for a free Coke product - also 2 freebie magazines.  Finally figured out how to do billpay - so, now I can pay 3 bills and get my Kindle Fire HD.  I stopped at Aldi during lunch and for under $5 - I got a dozen eggs, 5lb bag of red potatoes, 2 lbs of bananas, and 2 or 3 lb bag of tangerines.  I also picked up my 2 plush bath towels from JCP - total out of pocket for the 2, $4 - and they are great for yoga :)  And, I stopped by my credit union to make a deposit - and get a nice cup of coffee.  And while I should go to yoga tonight - I am going to relax and take in this clean house and read a magazine - and cook dinner and maybe some banana muffins (w/defrosted ripe bananas).  Tomorrow, my husband and I are going to ACE Hardware to get a free quart of paint - white - and I have decided to paint my cabinets white - and clean up the brass hardware - and be done with it.  I want to be ready to sell this house when the time is right without fretting about "things that need to be done before selling".

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I earned a TJ Maxx $10 Gift Certificate from the credit card rewards program.  I also earned a $5 gift card by redeeming 450 swagbucks.  ADDED:  And, in the e-mail box - I got notified that I get to test a useful to me product and will get paid for giving my opinion :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Victoria's Secret sent me another $10 off coupon.  My daughter is getting 2 wisdom teeth removed tomorrow - all I can say is:  I am grateful for health insurance because without it, it would have cost $1500 with the rx's.  While I will have out of pocket expenses - just over $250 - but much of that is to bring us to our deductivle - at least I will get the "taxes" back under my health savers plan.   Oh, and I used a different credit card to rent a movie at Redbox and the DVDNIGHT code worked :)  Oh, and my daughter got her consignment check.  She has a savings account and we have been meaning to open a checking account up for her - now we will make a concerted effort and get it done!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

3/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I shared my free birthday drink at Starbucks with my daughter.  We got a venti Frappuchino - yum.  Then we went to Bath & Body Works - just as I got to the register - I realized the validity dates of the coupon were 3/4 to XX.  Well, today is 3/3 - but my daughter insisted I ask if I can use them today - sure enough - I could.  So, I got a free cologne spray - purse size, free pocket bac, and I used my 20% to buy a new body wash - fresh scent strawberry - larger than the signature scents and costs less too - regularly $8 - and I got it with tax for under $7.  Then to Redbox - and we got a free rental with DVDNIGHT promo code.  And, I wanted to make a pie using graham crackers for the crust.  I thought it might be worthwhile to get it at Rite Aid with my 20% up reward discount.  The name brand box was $4.XX - too much.  So, close to Starbucks is Aldi - so, I got a box of crackers and 2 dozen eggs for $3.75 including tax.  We were going to make a stop at Costco since they have a few good deals this month - but, I will go on Wednesday from work during my lunch break so I can gas the car up and give the fridge a bit of time to make ample space.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

3/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day: Today, I got a coupon for a free Oscar Mayer Carving Boad sandwich meat pack - up to $7. That was easy - and it will go to my husband - along with the coupon for a free 2LT Pepsi Next - that should cut down on his grocery bill a bit. I also received a Staples rebate. Oh, and yesterday, I got 3 tea bags from Lipton. Nice freebies. Also, my daughter had a school event and they asked for 2 12 packs of drinks for a fund raiser - I used my free Coke 12 pack coupon for 1 of the donated items. Spring break is just around the corner and we want to check-out a few college campuses. Unfrugal - we didn't search for free flights earlier - so there aren't any. But, my husband snagged cheap flights for us last night and we will be using hotel points for free lodging.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call:  free box Nescaffe Dolce Gusto pods - chai latte, shampoo samples - L'Oreal, and a coupon from Bath & Body Works for a free PocBac.  All useful wants for free :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Not so frugal - someone left a light on in my car.  I called my insurance's roadside assistance - I think we pay $3 per year for it - cheaper than AAA - and an hour later, I get assistance - "free" of charge.  I also finally went to the Dr. I filled 2 rx's for under $4 - waaay less than the OTC I took that didn't help.  And, I stopped for another BK .25 iced coffee - yum.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Next month is my birthday month - and coupons have already started rolling in.  DSW sent me a $5 off coupon - and my daughter and I went to check-out the clearance section - my daughter found a pair of Madden Girl shoes on 80% off clearance - and with my $5 off, she got a really cute pair of shoes for under $4 including tax.  Then to Victoria's Secret - who sent me a $10 coupon.  We also had one for a free pair of panties.  So, my daughter found a really cute sweatshirt on clearance - with the coupon, she got the panties and sweatshirt for $11.  And, since I used my VS card, they gave me a secret angel card (worth a minimum of $10) early for spending more than $10.  Then to Kroger, got another Dolce Gusto pod box, and entered the code, and redeemed for a free box that will come in the mail.  I forced myself to go to hot yoga - even though I have been under the weather.  Breathing in the humid air did me good - and I actually feel a bit better.  I had a low savings goal this month - after the disasterous January - that we save a big goose egg.  I am happy to report that I made the goal.  I even deposited some change, small rebate checks, etc. to get there - but get there we did.  I sure hope we go a bit better next month.  I have decided to lower my expectations - and make a yearly goal - instead of monthly - and hopefully be happily surprised at the end of the year.  Oh, and on the way home, we again enjoyed a small iced coffee at BK - just .25 plus tax until March the 10th.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/22 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I got a $10 gift certificate from Victoria's Secret.  My discounted paid with ebay earned pal gift cards:  Wal-Mart, CVS, H&M.  This week with $1 internet printed coupons, I got 2 boxes of West Soy Milk and at Target, I got 2 bags of frozen veggies - I also got the soda addict a free 12 pack of diet Coke with a coupon I redeemed at  Nice to have the weekend to relax to get over this cold.  I also have a rebate check for Costco - so, will stop and get a few items tomorrow.  Although I got almost everything at Aldi at lunch today - in my cold driven stupor, I forgot a few items.  So, I will make a stop there also.  I already have a plan.  The dog will go the livingsocial groomer, Costco, Aldi, then home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  So, I am not feeling well - and although I took a frozen meal for lunch to work - while rummaging through my wallet - I found my last $5 off bounce back gift card from Macaroni Grill.  So, off I went, I got the pick any three combo for $10.50 and hot tea.  Yes, without tea, it would have been a lot more frugal - but, like I said, I wasn't feeling well.  I ordered 2 lovely 1/2 paninis and a chopped salad.  I asked for a to go box up front.  As soon as the meal came, 1 panini and 1/2 the salad went into the box.  So, for $10, I got 2 nice meals and a hot tea.  With my receipt was a code to take a short survey - 2 questions - and get a $5 coupon code.  So, I took the survey and will probably give it a whirl some time in te next couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today's mail was rebate day.  I got checks from:  e-bates, organic hair conditioner company, and Costco credit card.  I got a refund from Groupon (Groupon credit) for the massage I booked - but the place appears to have shut-down.  (This is my first bad experience with a Groupon vendor).  Stock market was nice to us today :)  I stayed home as my coughing kept me last night.  I ended up going to Wal-Mart today to stock up on some OTC and tissues.  Am planning to drag mysef in tomorrow.  I think I am past the contagious stage.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am "off" today and I had many good intentions.  Sadly, a cold, or something along those lines has set in.  Good thing I have a few cold remedies I got "free" after ECB or some sort.  Throat losenges are comforting right now.  Yesterday, I started sewing on the quilt I am making for my father - 1/3 finished with the sewing - I am hoping to make more progress today.  I planned to go to yoga this morning, but decided to rest instead.  I went yesterday evening and the humidity in the room actually made it easier to breath - so, I may try for a later time today.  I wanted to stop at the library to check-out a book - but they are observing President's Day.  So, I took my Lean Cusine coupons and stopped at Wal-Mart - I finally had enough points to redeem for a nice lunch bag and kitchen towel and scrubbie.  I sold 1 item on ebay last night and have 1 more item listed.  Looks like property values are rising as a neighbor just listed their house for a decent price.  I will keep my eyes open to see how long it takes to sell.  We may try to sell our's this summer, if not, next summer for sure.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2/16 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I ordered 2 giftcards to get my Kroger Credit Card to $200 so that I can get a $75 statement credit next month.  The giftcards were discounted - and to store where I buy household staples - Wal-mart and CVS.  I treated the family to frozen yogurt and toppings with a 1/2 priced Groupon  - we each had a nice treat for a gift certificate that cost me $6.  It is next door to Aldi - so, I ran in and got a 2 or 3 lb bag of lemons for .99 plus tax.  My daughter called the consignment store and made an appointment for next weekend.  She also has some $ she can pick-up. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

2/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I went to Wal-Mart and did my grocery shopping.  Even though a few items are cheaper at Aldi - it wasn't worth the drive to me.  Seems gas prices jumped another 20 cents in a week.  Also, my Wal-Mart giftcard was purchased with paypal $ I earned selling items we no longer wanted.  So, no additional $ out of my pocket.  I also gassed my husband's car up.  So, I used up the Wal-Mart giftcard and a bit of the $25 VISA card I won.  I still have $ on the VISA card and will use it to round out groceries next week.  I did a stock-up shop today - so, we really shouldn't need much next week.  The Demo lady at Wal-Mart was giving out .50 mfg coupons for 2LT Diet Pepsi - my husband has cut way back - but still drinks the stuff.  I asked the lady for a few coupons and she was generous.  I did get 1 free 2 LT Pepsi Next with a coupon that made it free - but the .50 coupons will go to a grocery store that doubles - and  hopefully, the stuff will go on sale for $1 or less - so more free Pepsi for my husband.  My husband is working on the flooring - we are making progress.    Added:  Shortly, I plan to make a big pot of Chili and Triffle for dessert - I have some dried out cake and scones - and plan to add a few other ingredients so that they don't go to waste.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Happy Valentine's Day!  Freebies in the mail:  coupon for a 2 lt of Pepsi Next - guess who will love that :)  Also, a free razor.  Credit card bill with $0 owed - trying to recover from the expenses of January has "paid" off.  I will make a simple dinner for my family - their favorites.  I also made butterscotch covered strawberries - I am out of chocolate.  Hope they like it!  Oh, I was shocked when I received my pay stub - when I finally figured it out - my direct deposit diversion went to the bank I soon hope to get a Kindle Fire HD from.  Direct Deposit - check.  Now, I just need to pay 3 bill over $50 - may be a bit difficult this month :)  That's a good thing!

ADDED:  The Fed-Ex truck just pulled up and brought me The Money Code and a $25 gift card I won at:  Such a nice gift today!

Monday, February 11, 2013

2/11 Expressions

Freebies for today:  I got 10 Forever stamps for being a mail decoy, cashed in for $34 in statement credit, cashed in for a 20oz Coke.  Yesterday, I listed another item on ebay.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I sold 2 items on ebay and 2 on Listia - more "junk" out, and money and credits in.  I also got a free pizza at Kroger - courtesy of Kroger's generous coupons sent via mail.  However, I was suppose to get a Pepsi Next free - 2LT - but it is not showing free on my receipt.  Good thing my husband loves the stuff.  Anyway, I purchased 2 "Annie's" Mac 'n Cheese and will be sending in for the "herb garden" - can't beat that.  I also think I won a giftcard and a book from a blog give away - will post the link once I receive it :)  I think the book will be interesting - especially since it is personal finance related.  And because the weather is cooler again - I made a crockpot of soup - frugal and healthy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2/8 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I received my discounted Wal-mart giftcard purchased with ebay paypal.  I also redeemed Coke rewards points for a coupon for a free 12 pack of Coke for my husband - and of course with the points on the pack - I can start saving for another coupon.  I also redeemed recyclebank points for 2 magazine subscriptions.  I activated my Kroger Visa Card - spend $200 in 30 days and get a $75 statement credit.  While $75 is not as high an amount as other card bonuses - the "spend" amount is fairly low.  I still think it is a distant second to the Marriott Credit card where the approval triggered a nice reward, then, just 1 use triggered an even nicer reward.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My daughter and I won the coin toss for a free Papa John's pizza.  My husband did not.  So, my daughter ordered a pizza for us and I sent my code to my husband so he could enjoy one in our "other" house. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

2/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I have been using samples up these past couple of days:  shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, and body wash.  I got a $10 code from JCP today and ordered 2 towels to be delivered to my local store for free shipping.  I ended up spending $4 out of my paypal account.  Since I am taking hot yoga, I use a lot of towels.  Added:  Earned 100 easy recyclebank points and when added to my balance - was able to order 2 magazine subscriptions.  I upcycled an animal print scarf to make it look more whimsical.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This morning, we spent some time discussing our retirement accounts.  We've had most of our funds in the second most conservative index fund and new contributions going to a stock fund and a small-cap fund.  With this recent run-up, and our desire to definitely retire in the next five years or less - we decided to move all of our funds and new contributions to the second most conservative index fund.  We decided we are not going to beat ourselves up either way, if the market takes a big dip or jump.  We just want to manage our risk to what we are comfortable with.  We hope we won't need the funds for a while - and we know people generally live a lot longer - so, don't want to go so conservative to be losing buying power - so, although not my natural inclination - and without any arm twisting, I followed in my husband's footsteps.  I started working on the quilt.  We were going to go out for lunch - but with the weather not cooperating a bit of hail?snow?sleet? - we decided to stay in.  So, in the crockpot is a nice soup and I will heat up my free pack of Naan.

Friday, February 1, 2013

2/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  January flew-by.  Today, I went to yoga, and for completing the January Challenge, I got a certificate and a very nice re-usable shopping bag.  Then, off to the bank to sign-up for the account to get a free Kindle Fire HD.  Then my husband and I shared a Venti Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks paid for with my free drink reward.  Oh, the cashier at Kroger made a mistake - and we got 1 item free (NAAN) - it was on manager's special and apparently when it was re-priced, the sticker did not cover the UPC and so, the regular price scanned.  I mailed another ebay sale out.  We are going to work on the flooring tomorrow.  I may work on the quilt for my dad on Sunday.  I also need to list a few more items on ebay.  My basil is sprouting :)  Oh, and wasn't the stock market nice today :)  Whoot!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/31 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  The battery I ordered from Amazon for my daughter's smartphone came today - just over $7 shipped!  I sold another item on ebay.  I filled out a credit card application that I was "prequalified" for - Kroger/USBank.  Spend $200 in 3 months and get a $75 statement credit - can't beat that.  Tomorrow, my husband and I are opening accounts at a local bank and hopefully in a month or so, we will receive our Kindle Fire HD.  I went on a quick cooking spree this afternoon and used up "stuff" - raisin scones, potato casserle, gingerbread cookie whoopie pies, "Mexican" cornbread muffins.  I used the $5 off offer from livingsocial to get a pet grooming certificate for $12.  A couple of days ago, I used the $10 off code from Groupon for a hot stone massage and body wrap for just under $40.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/30 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I sold 2 items on ebay and my third has a bid.  With the paypal - I have ordered a discounted Wal-mart giftcard to buy gas/groceries/misc.  Junk-out and money in.  I am trying to convince myself to sell on ebay, etc. and shoot for an average of $100 per month or $1200 for the year.  I am "off" at my day job.  I hope to be productive - but may just relax :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I sold a DVD on and will mail it out tomorrow during lunch break - and also mail back an item my daughter order - free returns.  My daughter and I had a bogo latte at Barnes and Noble - the printable coupon is back out and is good until the 31st.  I saw an add for a local bank in which they are giving away Kindle Fire HD by opening an account, doing a direct deposit, and 3 bill pays.  I am going to look into on my "day off" this week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

1/26 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, we made an appointment for the dog and got her groomed at Petsmart and used the rest of the cheap giftcard.  Also shopped at Kroger and Wal-mart with lots of coupons for some health and beauty items - toothpaste - Colgate $1 less .75 coupon, etc.  Panera bread, my daughter and I signed up for their rewards card and each got a free pastry this morning.  While there, we went to Victoria's Secret and got a free pair of panties, used the 20% of pretty much anything in Ulta and my daughter used the last of her GAP gift card (from signing up for the AMEX card) and got 2 shirts for about $2.50 out of pocket after the gift card since they were having an additional 40% off sale items.  We ate lunch at a Thai Restaurant with a BOGO coupon.  Sadly, we could not find the Triple Chocolate Hot Cocoa at Arby's - we tried 2 Arby's in the area and neither had the item.  So, that freebie was a bust.  Not to jinx ourselves - but the stock market has been ver nice to our 401K equivalent accounts.  Added:  my daughter's smartphone will not hold a charge for more than 2 hours.  We stopped by T-Mobile - and inquired about replacement batteries.  The sales representative told us that since we are now pay-as-you-go, the battery is not covered.  He told us we should be able to order one for about $5 from Amazon.Com - and he was right.  Instead of the $5 one, we ordered the $7.XX one - no shipping costs and I used my Amazon.Com credit. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/24 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  This month - I have been just keeping one step ahead of the bills - not fun.  No money out of savings - yet, but no money in either.  I am hoping that in February, we will round a corner and get back on track.  I have been cooking meals at home, taking breakfast and lunch to work - and snacks.  Just the basics.  Oh, one item on ebay has a bid - and it should buy me and my daughter a tank of gas - so that's nice to get rid of clutter for something we can use that doesn't clutter the house.  This weekend I plan to list a few larger items on craigslist.  I am sort of dreading it though - I am wondering if it is worth the hassle.  I have been plugging away with swagbucks and halfway to earning a $5 Amazon gift card.  I have restrained myself from buying bargains.  Tomorrow, I will be going to work a few hours later because of the ice - but at lunch, I will stop by Costco and do my bi-weekly shop/gas run.  My husband got his American Airlines card - and hopes to earn 35,000 miles - and we hope to take a nice trip this summer - perhaps to Europe again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1/21 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I used the $50 off $100 coupon at Bestbuy (with Mastercard - and lots of restrictions) for 3 boxes of black/color ink cartridges for our printer.  We should be set for the year.  We also stopped at Kroger and got our free Carnation Instant Breakfast mix with digital coupon - I also got some 1/2 priced manager's special items to freeze.  I also found a $4 rebate form for rotisserie chicken which will come in handy.  And we used some Tomato Bank points at Earthfare to have a nice lunch out - mine came to $1.50 after point redemption.  I also listed 2 items on ebay - hopefully they will sell and that's a bit more clutter out and cash-in.  Added:  planted basil seeds I "won" on Listia, received my e-card for selling a giftcard and found that I had a $5 code on Swagbucks that I had not redeemed, sewed the zipper on my daughter's jeans, and made a batch of potato salad before the potatoes as a side dish for the next couple of meals.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1/20 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  For some reason, I cannot upload my picture - but anyway, I made 4 very wide headbands from 2 old t-shirts for my hot yoga classes.  I don't like ones that are too tight, or thin - as I do not like sweat dripping into my eyes or ears - so, I tried one today - and it works well and just cost me some time.  I taught my daughter how to use a seam ripper - and she removed a broken zipper from a pair of perfectly good jeans.  Then she printed a 50% off coupon for Joann's and purchased a zipper for $2 plus tax.  I will stitch the zipper back in for her.  We went to lunch at Macaroni Grill with the $5 bonus gift card - the food was yummy - but the gift card didn't make much of a dent in our bill.  Then we headed to Bath and Body Works and we each got a free travel sized lotion.  My daughter went to Victoria's Secret and used the $10 gift certificate they sent me on a clearanced shirt.  Then to Barnes and Noble, my husband treated me to a coffee with the Gift Card he got from American Express and he and my daughter used the BOGO cookie coupon and gift card.  Then we all browsed the books and magazines.  My husband started the flooring work - it is going to taken longer than we thought - but there isn't a big hurry at the moment.  This month - we definitely have more time than money.  Added:  to use up a 1/2 bag of tangerines - I made tangerine cake with tangerine frosting - turned out very yummy.  I cashed in $25 in statement credit on my BOA card.  I am very close to being able to cash out another $25 - so, it will be my card of choice until I spend $30 on it - about 1 trip to the gas station.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1/19 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Mail call - today I received a $10 gift card from Victoria's Secret and my $50 Debit Mastercard from my Health Insurance Company.  Another unexpected bill this month, we took the dog to the vet - she was limping . . . $150.

Friday, January 18, 2013

1/18 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I am "off" from the day job today - so, I slept in.  Then we headed to the credit union to deposit some checks - including one for .20 (dividend).  To get rid of change - I have started to round the deposit to a dollar amount.  So, that .20 check became 1.00 with change.  My husband and I also got a complimentary cup of coffee at the credit union - it is so yummy.  Then to Wal-mart - mainly to do a bit of coupon shopping.  Free after coupon items included a travel sized pack of Neutrogena face wipes and dental floss.  Cheaper with coupon, 2 Kikoman sauces and 2 tubes of Jenny-o breakfast sausages.  Next door is the Dollar Tree - so, I got a loaf of whole wheat bread, a jar of Jalapeno peppers, some "movie" candy, and some lasagna noodles.  Then to Home Depot to pick-up the rest of the laminate.  We still have some $ left on the discounted giftcard I purchased - so, that should cover any moulding we might need, etc.  Then to Aldi - rounded out groceries there - unfortunately holiday sweets were heavily discounted - so, we got a few.  Then on to Earthfare for a cheap lunch date with my husband.  He still had $10 worth of Tomato bank credit - and they dropped the hot bar down to $5.99 - so, my husband got his lunch, a bottled lemonade, a box of crackers, a free round of brie with coupon, a sample of macaroon for his dessert (we also sampled a few other tasty items while strolling) - unfortunate they were out of the free water and they weren't expected to come in until after the coupon expires.  My husband's total came to under $2.  I got the free brie with my lunch and a few additional groceries items.  Then the cashier reminded us that the meat department was giving out scratch cards.  So, after lunch, we stopped at the meat department and each got 2 pre-made burgers.  The scratch cards yielded 400 points which is the equivalent of $4.  The burgers were $5 plus tax.  And now we have over $4 left on our accounts - so, that will make for another cheap lunch date down the road.   Then, a rarity.  Mail was delivered early.  Today's mail brought another dividend check of .45 - so, that means I will be scroungin .55 in change to go with it.  And Victoria's Secret sent more coupons - free panty was the best of the 3 coupons.  I have lots of things I need to work on - but I am mainly going to work on relaxing today.  I do plan to go to hot yoga - and do some heavy duty cooking - a vegetarian and a meat lasagna for the freezer - and dinner.  That way, I can use up items before they go "bad" - like the second bag of spinach I purchased from Aldi last week.  All bills, big and small got paid today - and no money out of savings  which as a relief.  However, the accounts are very anemic - and not all of the "big" bills have come in - like the one to cut the trees down and there may be a bill for one of the rental properties.  And, as much as I hate to "see" myself get less per paycheck that last year - I guess that is what is going to happen.  Some got offset by cancelling a few optional deductions - but the payroll tax hit, and now I plan to ramp up my 401K equivalent will make the check a bit smaller.  But, in the end , it will be worth it.  I am hoping I am really close to committing to "retiring" from my day job - so, I need to sock away what I can.  I need to re-calculate my deduction - for the catch-up missed for 2 pay periods, and the $500 increase in the "ceiling".

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Due to bad weather - I only worked 1/2 a day.  Came home and listed 2 DVDs on  In the mail, my husband and I both got a complimentary night at the Hyatt as an anniversary gift on our cards - not sure if that card has a yearly fee - sure hope not.  Anyway, we are planning a trip to check out some schools for our daughter.  We are hoping to get another free flights/free nights trip scheduled so we have little impact to our savings plan.  This has been a horrible month for expenses.  First half of our property taxes for the out-of-state foreclosure property is due.  Of course the tree cutting bill will be coming.  We are laying laminate.  My savings plan has been de-railed for the month of January.  Hopefully, I will make up for lost time in the next couple of months.  We have reduced/cancelled some services - hopefully, my husband can install the VOIP and we can say good bye to our landline charges.  I cancelled a few optionals from my pay . .  . we are watching food purchases/waste better - and I have 11.5 months to make the goal.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1/15 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I work near Earthfare now - and today, a coupon for 24 bottles of water (my husband and daughter drink these occasionally) for free with the purchase of $10 caught my eye.  So, at lunch today, I purchased some wild caught salmon, natural kettle corn and the water for .54 after my Tomato bank credits and water coupon.  Then after work, I stopped at Rite Aid intent on using my $3 UP reward.  I ended up buying 12 double rolls of TP for just under $2.50 after sale and reward.  Free would have been better - but I will take it :)  So instead of stocking up, I am concentrating on buying what we need.  Since I am in decluttering mode and definitely want to sell our house, if not this summer, next summer, I don't need a stockpile to move.

Monday, January 14, 2013

1/14 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  2 bags of clothing and 1 box of misc. items were picked-up today.  I have made some frugal meals with loss leaders - spinach lasagna, orange cake/orange frosting, shrimp wontons, onion and sweet potato tempura and brown rice.  Made plenty, so, no cooking tomorrow, and easy lunches to pack too.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

1/12 Expressions

Frugal deeds and a bust:  Today, I took my daughter for her eye exam - no money out.  But we ordered contacts - and of course I have the receipt to file for under HSA - a small tax saving.  And a "loan" from the HSA account since I haven't paid much in yet.  Anyway, I also asked about my order and lo and behold, it was there - so, I didn't have to make a second trip.  The frugal bust - we went to lunch with the "free" $10 off $20 Restaurant.Com gift certificate.  One of the owners said we could use the certificate - but when we paid the bill - they "forgot" to deduct the $10 - and said use it next time.  I don't think so - the food wasn't great and neither was the service.  So, we are giving that certificate to someone who might like the fare.  Then on to Earthfare  - we picked up some groceries and used the Tomato bank $10 off our order.  Then to Dollar Tree - I picked up 2 packs for Jenny-O Turkey Bacon for tax only after coupon.  Other items I picked-up for $1 each plus tax - Nature's Own bread, 80 count box of green tea, and Jalapeno peppers - $3 plus tax since the bacon was "free".  Then to Aldi.  Then to Starbucks - my daughter and I each got a free tall Vanilla Blonde Coffee - my husband sent me his gift certificate from the facebook offer.  Then we dropped a few items off at the consignment store - and we made a stop at Kroger to pick-up a few things - and a Redbox.  Tomorrow, I hope to declutter a bit more so that I have more for the charitable organization to pick-up on Monday.  I also want to get the loft/hallway ready to lose the carpet so that my husband and I can put down the laminate we purchased.  And yikes - the rental property manager gave us the quotes to remove 6 trees from one of our rental properties - plus to grind the stumps down - one tree fell and narrowly missed the house - knocked-off the shutter - the other 5 are close to house and probably just need to go - since the insurance company is finicky - my husband decided we should not call - so, the best quote from a bonded/licensed tree removal company - $3,200.  Not a good money month for us.  But, it has to be done.  Good thing we have an emergency/savings account - but it hinders my savings progress :(

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1/10 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, I took 3 coaching sessions on-line from my health insurance company to improve my health and also earn $15 toward deductibles :)  That's the max I can earn during the year.  So, this week, I earned the max of $50.  I also signed up for the Earthfare Tomato Club and now have enough points for a $10 credit.  Mail was good - got 2 coupons from John Frieda.  BOGO hair products - I am almost out of shampoo - if I can find a good price on Shampoo, especially at CVS since I have a giftcard, I may just redeem the coupons.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1/9 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My work place changed and now I am close to Costco.  So, I decided to set a spending limit and go twice a month.  I went today and was $10 under the spending limit and since Starbucks is in the same parking lot - and always calling my name, I used the facebook coupon for a free tall Vanilla Blonde coffee - and it was quite tasty.  Also, since I got the Nescafe Dolce Gusto pods from Amazon - 3 boxes - I loaded the codes in right away.  Now, 5 more boxes and we get one free.  Then I took a survey from my health insurance company for a $35 debit card toward healthcare deductibles.  Just some small steps to move me closer to our financial goals.

Monday, January 7, 2013

1/7 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  We are in receipt of the property tax refund for the foreclosure property that we filed a protest on.  I increased my 401K equivalent deduction since the new max for this year is $17,500.  I need to step up my game if I want to "retire" next year using rule 72T :) 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1/6 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I was just thinking today - if I might have reduced monthly expenses by at least $100 per month?  And yes I have.  We reduced cellphone plan charges, shortly our landline will become serviced by VOIP, cancelled the Sunday paper, and I cancelled a payroll deduction.  We have the Nescafe Dolce Gusto - our indulgence.  Wouldn't you know it - they have a rewards program and had I discovered it earlier, I would be close to getting a box of pods for free.  Anyway, each pod box code is worth 10 points and you can get a free box after reaching 100.  If we are going to indulge, might as well get a free box now and then.  My husband and I went to a matinee - "The Impossible" - and used our gift card and coupon for a nacho - nice to get out without additional out of pocket costs for this month.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1/5 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Today, my husband picked up half of the laminate and underlay from Home Depot and 1/2 the cost was covered by giftcards from the AMEX CC sign-up.  We have the other 1/2 of the laminate on order - and I just placed an order for Home Depot gift cards that were discounted 7% - and charged them on my credit card where I will earn another 1%.  So, we are making progress on the DIY.  I didn't menton that I got my 2 $10 CVS gift card yesterday and I had $3.50 in ecbs waiting for me.  So today, I stopped and got items we use at a steep discount and used 1 gift card.  Item I got with coupons/giftcard/ecb - toilet paper, body wash, deoderant, CVS brand pink stuff for the stomach and a few other items.  I also used my $5 coupon from Steak and Shake for buying a gift card last month to buy a quick lunch for the family.  Nice break from cooking :)  Oh, and I sold a gift card that we won in a gift basket to a place that we never frequent.  I took the gift card option so that we could get a bit more buying power.  I received a card in the mail from another charitable organization that picks up stuff - I will be calling them Monday as I have several bags ready to go.  Good thing they are mostly looking for clothes.

Friday, January 4, 2013

1/4 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I ordered the VOIP equipment from Amazon with a $45 credit we had for a returned item.  Of couse the item was less than $45 - so, to use up the credit and take advantage of the free shipping with $25 - I ordered some pods for coffee maker.  We deposited the dividend checks we've received in the last week or so  - 3 of them and rounded them up with change around the house :)  Today I am going to get my eyes examined for "free" - I paid $50 for a plan several years ago - so, no money out from my pocket - and I will be ordering contacts - and will be reimbursed by our HSA.  And instead of a loan from from me - I will be getting a loan from the HSA as I am sure the amount paid in will be less than the amount paid out so early in the year.  I plan to stop at Earthfare for a few good cheapies - 4lb bag of organic oranges for $2 - the $5 for 5 items in the food revolution deal isn't bad either.  And, while I really should do some deculttering today - I may lighten up and relax instead :) - just for today. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1/3 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  My husband and daughter are now on the pay-as-you-go plan for their data/text/voice phones.  That conversion is a savings of $59 per month - except the first month since the new SIM cards were $10 each.  We got a check from the bankruptcy court - for our few shares of the TRIBUNE.  Since money is flying out - every little bit helps.  Next, I am going to convert the landline to VOIP.  I am not sure what our resistance has been - but money-wise - it wasn't too smart :(
I am 3 for 3 for the 30 day hot yoga challenge (20 out of 30 days).  Better health will hopefully lead to less medical expenses - and that is frugal :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1/2 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  Woot on the stock market - and not falling ove the fiscal cliff :)  Sadly, I could not order contacts today as my rx expired.  But, my eye exam is free and I have an appointment for Friday (my day off).  My husband made some progress to switching the phones to a pre-paid plan - hopefully, this will be accomplished by tomorrow.  I got a free 20oz Coke coupon in the mail.  Still waiting for rental property fix-it quotes . . .

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1/1 Expressions

Frugal deeds for the day:  I went to a hot yoga class - we are having a 30 day challenge - shoot for 20 classes in 30 days.  1 down, 19 or more to go :)  I also decluttered clothes from my closet.  I have one paperbag full of clothes ready for the next charitable organization that calls for a pick-up.  I also found 2 items to take to the consignment store.  I also found 2 bags of trash - mostly newspapers and other paper no longer needed.  I am really happy a "fiscal cliff deal was made"  - oh wait, the House has not voted :(  I was going to order my contacts on line - but my most current prescription listed is not correct.  So, my daughter and husband will go the retail store and place an order for both of us.  Oh well, I could have gotten 500 mypoints had I placed the order on-line.  And of course, as soon as I get the receipt, I will be filing a claim with my health savers account.  Earthfare sent out another nice coupon 5 items for $5 - hopefully, my husband and daughter can stop by and get those tomorrow also.  And, I hope they take the Home Depot/Lowes gift cards to pick up items needed for our DIY laminate flooring installation in the bonus room/hallway on the second floor.  I will be at my day job - but hopefully, we can enjoy lunch together at home :)