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.