View Full Version : April 2016 Frugals

4-1-16, 7:12pm
New monthly thread!

4-1-16, 7:22pm
I haven't had much to report as of late, but I finally have something today!

I had scheduled a haircut appointment scheduled for this afternoon. I had scheduled it so that I would have enough time to drive home from work to let the dogs out and then go to the appointment. Well, it turned out that my dearly beloved would be home so I didn't need to do the extra driving to go let the dogs out. I thought about spending the free hour at my favorite tea shop drinking tea and eating something delicious, but decided that I didn't need to spend the ~$10 on such things. Instead, I just moved up the time of my appointment (fortunately there was an opening!) and I was able to avoid having the hour break in my day. Afterwards I went home and ate a sweet potato that I had baked earlier in the week and stashed in the fridge.

early morning
4-1-16, 8:20pm
I haven't had anything good to report lately, either. I still take coffee to work every morning, and pack lunch and beverage daily. Tonight dinner was all left-overs, including microwaved coffee from the lunch pot DH made. DS took pictures of all tax papers and emailed them to me, so DH can take them next week to our free tax-prep people, saving DS some cash and/or me the headache of trying to help him with them. Got gas at the cheapest station on my way home, picked up a pack of buns at the dollar store for almost the same price as ALDI, and not out of the way. We have DVDs from the library for free entertainment this evening. Bought a vacuum from Amazon that did not work as it should - returned it for full credit and free pickup at our house. Credit should process next week. And I'm really working on my coffeehouse habit... I don't plan to cut it out entirely unless it becomes financially necessary, but I'm aiming for no more than twice a week.

4-2-16, 7:21am
Happy April everyone!
We've been only going to Trader Joe's once or twice a month instead of weekly, and that is definitely having a positive impact on the grocery budget.
I realized the other day that we had $75. in cash back rewards on a credit card we hadn't used recently, so I requested the $75.00.
I went for a lunchtime walk the other day and was right outside Talbot's door, but said to myself, "I am not currently lusting for anything inside that store, and if I don't go in, it will stay that way." Took my own good advice for a change. :)
I think that's it for the moment.

4-2-16, 9:01am
i am traveling for a professional conference. I have purchased NO: water, coffee, tea. I have a brita water bottle. I waited for decaf coffee till I got to my hotel room. I waited for hot tea until I got on airplanes and then again in my room.

I figure I saved nearly $30 yeterday. I drink ALOT of fluid.

OTOH, we wont' talk about my diinner splurge last night. My 1 one this trip with a grilfriend from Texas. We had a lovely meal and sseveral cocktails. ALLL worth it:cool:

4-2-16, 11:10am
Wasn't on much in March...lots of the same old..need to put some money away ,,,,,
Will try to come on everyday and be more frugal in April.
So far
1..eating from baggies of soup I put in the freezer made from Easter Sunday chicken
2..shopped yesterday but, only sale items mostly fruit and veggies and very little. Making sure nothing is going to waste.
3..cleaning my house today, the sun is shining and OMG I can see all the dust....cleaning always makes me glad to stay home and therefore not shop
4..been using my gym membership at least times a week and that has also, kept me out of the stores...lol..I have about 10 more lbs to lose and I am trying
not to buy any clothes until that 10 is gone and I am fitter. No more wasting money on clothes that don't fit later is my goal.

4-3-16, 1:48am
My TV analog-to-digital converter just died. Bet your sweet bippy I'm not missing The Good Wife tomorrow night. So, I'm going to hand money to Best Buy tomorrow that I don't really want to. This will be my third converter. However, the 1990-something TV I bought for $60 used still has life in it.

4-3-16, 6:45am
MM: Last weekend I thought we were going to have to replace our 1990-something TV. We were watching a DVD from the library and the volume kept cutting out. DH said TV seemed to do that when it was on for a long time, maybe heating up or something. After some thought I vacuumed all the vents (I think dust buildup in the vents can impede airflow but I don't really know what I'm talking about here) and it seems to be OK now, but time will tell. We are still on our original converter box; it never occurred to me that they could die.
Yesterday we went to a coin dealer in a nearby town to cash in Mom's & our own modest stashes of silver coins. Mom said I could split whatever I got with my sister, so DSIS and I each get $100 and our collection yielded another $75.
We had a great dinner last night at home with a very small price tag. I made salads with DH's preferred "butter" lettuce, and he made linguine with clam sauce which was very delicious. And there are vast savings on Black Box wine at home for about a buck a glass compared to wine at $8 - $12 a glass in a restaurant!

4-3-16, 6:57am
I had to run some errands yesterday and managed to get organized enough that I could do them all in one trip. I even remembered to bring the plastic bags with me for recycling at the local grocery store and a bird food seed bag to recycle at our local pet store (apparently they have volunteers that craft recycled bird seed bags into reusable tote bags). I have a $5 off coupon for the pet store, but it's good through the end of April and we don't need anything right now so I decided to wait to use it.

We discovered that our dishwasher wasn't working yesterday. I immediately assumed the worst and that we would have to replace it. Ugh. But my dearly beloved has a deep love of YouTube and watched a bunch of videos which allowed him to assess the actual problem. Turns out the controller panel burned out, but it's something he is convinced he can replace on his own. So we ordered a new one ($160) and it should be here later this week. In the meantime, it looks like we'll be washing dishes by hand.

I'm headed to NYC today to teach my urban beekeeing class. I've already made two pots of tea to fill my various travel mugs. I've also got a full water bottle, a banana, an energy bar, and a container of homemade trail mix. I'll have to stop to buy gas on the way there, but should be able to use some gas rewards points for a discount.

early morning
4-3-16, 1:43pm
cdttmm, good for your DH! your dishwasher issues reminded me our own.... I use the "energy" wash, always, and turn off the heated dry. A couple weeks ago I had trouble starting the cycle, or it would stop mid-cycle and not restart. DH will NOT consider working on it (it's a real cheap one and he is convinced parts will cost as much as it did...) so I was a bit annoyed. I tried it on "normal" cycle with no heat, and it is working fine (but still won't run on the energy cycle). I'm sure it's using a bit more electricity and water, but it will take a LONG time for that to equal a new dishwasher. He isn't bad at fixing things overall - our furnace is on year two of its last legs thanks to DH! The furnace repair people said it was not fixable due to water condensation where there shouldn't be any but DH put in a drain so the water is immediately removed, and it's working fine. If the efficiency has dropped, we've not noticed it in our fuel usage. I know the PRICE is down, but the gallons used per thermal days (or whatever the propane company calls them) is about the same.

Yesterday he also drilled and pinned a cheap-o clothes rack I bought at a yard sale, so it is usable again.

Since my mother is no longer in her own home it's been hard for me to get rid of our trash weekly. I recycle at the center, so that's not a big deal, but I do not want to set up and pay for trash removal. We take a truckload to the transfer station when we have a major clean-out, but that's maybe once a year. I've worked out a deal w/the museum where we volunteer (and DD works once day a week). I can put my weekly bag of trash in their dumpster, and we take their recycling. It's a win for us all!

4-3-16, 9:17pm
Preplanned obsolescence sucks.

Great job, everyone, of keeping things going.

$65 and change. Best Buy only carries one brand of converters. So much for a free market economy. *sigh*

On the positive side, I won't be missing THE GOOD WIFE unless either I screw up on the connections or it's a dud.

4-3-16, 11:25pm
-----watched a movie from the library
----no spend--no gas
---walked to the gym
----more soup from the freezer with leftover rice and crry in it--delish

4-3-16, 11:36pm
Looks like CBS just isn't picking up on the converter scan. I've tried 3x. Grrr. Wonder how that CBS All Access works. *pulls out kindle*

UPDATE: No GOOD WIFE tonite anyway. Country Music Awards are on. Well, at least I have some TV. Grateful for that.

4-4-16, 9:11am
Saved $0.25 per gallon on gas yesterday! Of course, I only needed 9 gallons, but it's something. Was successful in my tea-water-snacks planning for my NYC trip and didn't stop to buy anything. Came home and ate homemade pizza for dinner and watched some shows using Netflix.

Got up this morning and went to swim practice. On the way there I got the text alerts that the college would be closed today due to the snowstorm. So weird to have enough of a snowstorm in April that it warranted campus being closed. But I'm not complaining! Now I can enjoy a relaxing day at home.

Paid our property tax bill online last night. It was due today. There was a $0.25 fee to pay it online -- cheaper than a first class stamp. But our property crosses a town line and when I went to pay the property tax for the other town the online fees came out to $2.25. Argh. Should have mailed them a check. Or if I'd known that school was going to be cancelled today, I could have just taken one over to town hall. Oh well. More important to be sure it got paid on time than to worry about saving myself $2.00 in this case!

4-4-16, 7:27pm
Yes, what's with all this damned snow?
DH had a good frugal yesterday that I forgot to mention. We have been eating a lot of citrus lately, but weren't quite keeping up and had a few sorry looking specimens. He pulled out his juicer, and I got to sample and compare blood orange juice, grapefruit, minneola and mandarin. Delicious stuff!
I also got a free product to try from a consumer panel. It's a product I buy and will use, so it saves me a few dollars.
Cdttmm: If you pay your property taxes by just going to your online checking and issuing a payment, the bank will send a check to the town and there won't be any fee. Don't do it via the town's website or you'll pay the fee.

4-4-16, 10:53pm
April 4
Again no spend, and no gas

--spent a good part of the day organizing/decluttering 2 closets in one bedroom...they are all neat and tidy and I
know what in them....lol Also, got rid of a few things and found a bed skirt that will match the bedding I bought about
9 months ago and have been putting off buying one....shop from home is a great motto.
--Put everything I have bought ahead for gifts in one box and made myself a computer list so I don't have to pull the
whole box apart when I want to know what I have.
--pulled out the bins with summer clothes and will sort them later in the month, I am trying to lose a few pounds before
I try them on, I know if I do I will have a lot more to wear and will not need much more.
--last week I bought a bunch of fresh cilantro and actually used up every last bit before it went to mush in the fridge.
That is all for now

Aqua Blue
4-5-16, 9:15am
Danna, I am in awe, I don't think I have ever used up all of the cilantro in a bunch. Hats off to you!

4-5-16, 12:23pm
Saved myself about $50 by NOT buying a piriformis stretcher. Read the amazon reviews and someone posted about googling the "figure four stretch" and that it accomplishes the same thing.

Not that I was necessarily going to buy one but needed a little hope in an Amazon box. Sciatica and piriformis are still hissing and spitting.

4-6-16, 11:18pm
To April 06
--making some nice decor items from fabric and old items I have had for years
---made a pot of soup for supper from many bits and pieces from the freezer...free supper and lunch tomorrow.

4-7-16, 1:09pm
I've been at a conference since Friday. I have eaten quite a few of the protein and snack bars from home. We received meal vouchers for 2 lunches-I used those. My hotel included breakfast-I did that every day and took 2 bananas each morning for that days' snacks. My hotel has a manager reception each evening so had cocktails there and 1 night they offered tiny pizza slice, veg/pita/hummus so that was a great dinner for me and filled me up but other nights it wasn't enough to satisfy so I had a protein bar as well. I had 1 hosted dinner that was fantastic sushi.....so all frugal there.

The meals and cocktails I bought? NOT frugal. But spending $ by choice is a wonderful thing. The first night the dessert was so huge, I took leftovers back to my room and had it for the next 3 nights.

I won't like the final tally $, but it was all free choice.

4-7-16, 3:26pm
Went to a free Yoga and Pilates class (one of two parts) last night. I was totally bored and unimpressed, although I did have sore shoulders today. I called and told them to give my next session to someone on the wait list. It was great to try something out for free! Went to Kohls and tried on LOTS of clothes. Bought 2 tops that I can wear dressy, casual and under other things, a navy sweater that can be worn with many accessories, and a classy zippered sweatshirt. Also bought DH 4 shirts that he loved. All was less than $80. I am now set for summer. Threw out most of summer clothes last year because they were so worn.

4-7-16, 5:36pm
Tiny frugals:
- DW went to dinner and a movie (girls' night out) and brought back her leftovers. I mixed them with some cauliflower I'd served at another meal; result = frugal lunch.
- Still running far below our Consumer Cellular mobile phone plan again this month. I'm going to move us to the next-lower plan, save $10+ a month, and see if we need to bump it later. They'll notify you if you're running close to empty and you can then up your plan, so I see this as a win.
- Did my mom's and brother's taxes today. All it will cost is four stamps and a little printer ink (to print out a couple of pages of worksheets). All the forms were on-line as well as the instructions; the forms even could be filled out right on the computer and then printed out. Oh, I guess there will be the cost of some copies, too. No worries and one more item off my to-do list.
- Last week we bought a different brand of frozen pizza for our Friday night. It was on 2-for-1 special and would have cost what our regular brand does when not on sale. New Pizza was well below par considering the brand name -- so much so that we're going to see if there's someone we know with kids who will be happy with it. I mentioned our disappointment on the pizza company's Web site. They said the usual stuff and offered to give us a coupon for a free pizza. We'll take them up on it, though we'll most likely give the coupon to someone else to enjoy (?).
- Realized I needed a nicer pair of jeans than I have now. The complication is that I wear an unusual inseam size. Going to the more common size means the jeans get caught on my heels and they don't last long. I also prefer to buy American-made jeans. I finally found some in the right size and ordered them using a gift card I got for Christmas. There's $.50 left on the card. I don't think I'll spend it all in one place. :-)

4-8-16, 5:02am
Happy April to you guys!

My family and I moved to the country and we haven't eaten out for 2 months now. We basically do groceries on my hubby's payday which happens twice a month and schedule 2 weeks worth of crockpot meals. So far, it's working great for us. We also didn't subscribe to cable TV instead, we opted for internet and we stream movies online instead of buying DVDs or watching it on TV.

4-9-16, 7:14am
Nice work, everyone! I love hearing about all of the different frugal moves people are using so please keep 'em coming!!!

We made two homemade pizzas last week. We ate one for dinner the first night and cut the other into 4 slices, which I then took as my lunch for week Tues-Fri of this week. We didn't have school on Monday because of a snowstorm! :0! So I managed to make it through a very busy week without succumbing to the desire to buy food/snacks on campus.

We just finished our first round of academic advising for the fall semester. We have a second round starting next week. Yesterday I completed my timesheet for the first round and realized that I earned just over $500 for my efforts. Not too shabby. The second round will be less lucrative because we're well past the half-way point in the semester and there will just be fewer students who need advising, but I'm hopeful that I can pick up another $250 in the second round. We also have an all-day advising event next Saturday, where I'll earn about $200. I love advising students so this is a part of the amalgamation of tasks that make up my job where I'm very happy to do more of it! And the director of the advising center told me yesterday that she would hire me to work as many hours as I wanted over the summer as well. Hooray!!!

In other frugal news, we got the parts to fix the dishwasher and discovered that, sadly, the dishwasher is actually beyond repair. Ugh. It turns out that this particular dishwasher lasts on average 10 years and we've had ours for 13 so we had a good run of it. We debated whether we should call in a technician and attempt to repair it, but after extensive internet research decided it was simply time to buy a new dishwasher. So we researched a variety of new dishwashers, read all the reviews, and finally dropped $600 for a dishwasher, which will be delivered next week. We'll be handwashing dishes until then. :( Assuming the next dishwasher lasts 12 years, that's $50 per year or about $1 per week to not have to wash dishes by hand. (Yes, plus the electricity cost, but we have solar panels and generate our own electricity so carrying out that calculation gets messy and complicated.)

I'm gonna go drink a pot of tea from my loose leaf tea stash and enjoy this lovely Saturday! Which will include handwashing dishes from last night's dinner at home... :~)

4-9-16, 8:04am
Steve: Isn't it amazing that some people scorn leftovers? I love leftovers!
Messengerhot: Not eating out for 2 months is impressive! Eating out is one of our biggest un-frugals.
Cdttmm: RIP to your dishwasher :( We've never actually had one, I don't think it would fit well in our tiny kitchen, but they do say a dishwasher saves water compared to handwashing dishes.
Our oil company once again billed us for only half our budgeted payment due to the low prices, so I swept the difference into our savings account, meaning it was money truly saved.
I redeemed points from Swagbucks for $10 in Amazon credit. I don't need to buy anything just now, but I like having $$ in my Amazon "wallet" for when I do eventually need something.

early morning
4-9-16, 9:18am
I like having a stash of amazon credit too rosarugosa - keeps us in cat food and coffee, lol. But I have an Amazon visa and use the points. DD does Swagbucks sometimes. Little things, here - I cut open my totally smashed tube of toothpaste. I've used out of it for a week now, and it should last 4-5 more days. Trying to make sure we eat up the dribs and drabs that get left in the fridge. We had some shortcake left after the strawberries were gone, so we've warmed up the jars of preserves with a couple tablespoons in and used those for toppings. Getting the recycling ready to go now - there's no one place that will take it all, but with a little planning, it will all get dropped of somewhere this week, without an actual trip anywhere.

Enjoy your Saturday, cdttmm - there's snow on the ground here, grrr

edit - I keep forgetting my growls turn into ambulances, lol.....

4-9-16, 11:41am
Assuming the next dishwasher lasts 12 years, that's $50 per year or about $1 per week to not have to wash dishes by hand. (Yes, plus the electricity cost, but we have solar panels and generate our own electricity so carrying out that calculation gets messy and complicated.)
There are few dishwasher brands which will make it to 12 years and beyond. In fact, as I've been researching new appliances (all of ours are 10+ years old, except the dishwasher, which got to 12+ years before it was beyond economic repair), I'm seeing more and more that the vast majority of them seem to be designed for a lifetime of 8-10 years. Start saving for a replacement at year 8 and be pleasantly surprised if you get past year 10 with almost anything. :confused:

But I'm totally with you on spending $1-1.50 a week to not have to wash dishes by hand. I still do some, of course -- mostly pots and our good knives and tiny things I know will only end up full of wash water because they're so light. But our dishwasher will do an entire load in much less water than I can -- and it's not like I leave the tap running all the time.

4-9-16, 12:12pm
Not really a frugal per se, but we just moved across country and found that because we had a fully-stocked home when we left, we have needed to buy virtually nothing to make ourselves at home in our new place. Very little was thrown away or donated before the move, since we'd already stripped down from our two (!) previous moves over the past 18 months, so we've been very good about not building up clutter. It really felt great just to unpack and have a fully functioning home in about two days.

4-9-16, 12:44pm
Selah, That's great. Are you enjoying the sunshine?

4-9-16, 5:20pm
Nswef, thanks for asking! In general, yes, very much. I'm having more difficulty adjusting to the higher altitude (6K ft or so, as opposed to my sea-level living for the past six years), but other than that, it's been terrific. We are already reconnecting with old and precious friends, which is just delightful, and the city has actually improved in many ways since we left Nevada at the height of the Great Recession.

4-9-16, 7:43pm
Glad to hear that Selah. I suspect you will adjust the the altitude- I understand you must just drink lots of water and mind your movement.

4-9-16, 8:50pm
Selah, altitude hydration: 8 ounces additional water per 1000f rise. You need to up your water by 52 ounce per day for awhile until your body adjusts.

So awesome you are feeling all set in your new household;)

4-9-16, 11:01pm
April 9
--got gas was a 9X my usual points at Canadian Tire
--they also, had LED lights on $4.00 with a $3.00 off coupon limit of 5 so of course I got 5
--Dd and I have had a couple of crumble in the last week using up fruit and berries that were frozen in the fall....yummy
--only a few groceries this week and they were all on sale and with added points.
Thats all for now you all doing great!

4-14-16, 9:47pm
- Using the Dave Ramsey method of every dollar counts -though not the website - finding that I can squirrel away $100-150 per pay period. On those weeks I don't, I pay irregularly timed expenses rather than drawing on savings.Tha
- Not turning down any days of work although I have been "retired" for 3 years and feel that I am working as hard as I did in my school district job - but this is more fun and while maybe more physically tiring, not as emotionally draining.

4-15-16, 8:32am
I took a temp job to which I have been riding the bus for free with my university card. I figure since I'm newly retired, that bringing in the money to do needed pre-sale house repairs might be the most frugal thing I can do right now.

4-16-16, 6:10pm
Worked a day-long registration event for new college students. Nice chunk of extra change in the paycheck. Breakfast and lunch were provided. The lunch was either 2 slices of pizza + a small salad or a 6 inch sub (grinder) + a small salad. I opted for the pizza. There was only one other person in the cafeteria when I was there and she was also getting the pizza, but only wanted one slice. So I asked the cashier if it would be okay if I took her second slice since it was covered by the lunch vouchers we had. She said it was fine so I ended up with 3 slices of pizza. I ate one slice (plus salad) and saved 2 slices for dinner. :D

Going to NYC tomorrow to teach my beekeeping class. Already have my snacks and tea planned out for the day so that I won't be tempted to buy anything on the way there (or home).

Almost called the vet today to order some more needles that we need for administering fluids to our elderly cat. But I double-checked the pet supply cabinet before making the call and discovered a hidden stash. I didn't necessarily save a huge amount of money, but saved myself the hassle of an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Was very disciplined all week and took lunch and tea to work every day despite some of my work days being extremely long.

4-16-16, 9:43pm
I went to chiro and massage therapist today. Saved $10 by booking them together. Am about at the halfway point of recovery from the piriformis/sciatica bout.

Hurting less, I'm more conscious of staying on budget. Though, admittedly, I've been good about taking my lunch to work. I need to work on some other tweaks to my daily habits. Am no longer stopping at 7-11 for chicken wings every evening but I am stopping for the large Diet Peach Snapple. I have a tea collection to rival Teavana's, yet I'm spending good money for bottled. Yikes!

After chiro, I went to see The Jungle Book. Awesome! Ticket was $2 cheaper than expected AND I picked up some soda and Twizzlers at Rite Aid on the way.

early morning
4-16-16, 10:39pm
Dried rugs and rags on the clothesline today, and have a load of laundry ready to hang in the morning, before starting errands/mom visit. Hit a few yard sales today - didn't find much - a paper-cutter, a Clint Eastwood DVD for DH, a metal dragon wall ornament that I'm going to put in one of the flower beds, a book - spent $6 total. Went to a lovely nursery - but we won't discuss that, since it wasn't exactly frugal :|(. Ate lunch out (planned) and got a good coffee - but resisted the urge to grab something to go to bring home for dinner, and pulled some stuff out of the freezer soon as I got home. Even planted half of my new plants! (This is a struggle for me, I have a tendency to buy plants impulsively and then have no place to plant them for ages.) This time, even though I spent a lot, I went with a plan and only bought plants for places where they are "needed". Most of the rest will go in the ground this week, and the annual (I only bought a few!) can go into the porch planter where they will be protected from frost, and I can even bring them inside if we have a freeze warning.

4-17-16, 2:37am
Got a new top, a flat iron, new drapery rod holders, and a toothbrush holder at Goodwill for about $14. I had a wall in my new home office I needed to decorate with a big piece of art. They were more expensive than I wanted, so tonight I found a large, pretty Asian fan in a Chinese giftware store at The Stratosphere in Las Vegas, for $14.99.

Once we got our Nevada driver's licenses this week, we signed up for a free service for residents where you get show tickets for free or very reduced prices. So tonight, we went to the Stratosphere (where I found the fan) and saw three comedians perform for free, one of whom does HBO specials and numerous USO shows overseas. Cost? $2 to valet the car, and that was just because we were late in arriving. I love Vegas! :)

4-17-16, 10:56pm
Apr.17 been on here reading the posts but not taking the time to post so here goes for the last couple of days
--roasted 2 chicken and had a couple of meals fresh and a sandwich one lunch then pulled the rest of the meat off
and froze in 3 individual packets and then made a large pot of soup. Ate two meals of that and froze enough for 3 more meals.
---finally warm in this part of the world so no heat and no air
--use up a bit of my fabric stash...frugal because I get a few things and because it keeps me out of the stores.....lol

4-18-16, 6:46am
Just finished a GREAT book from the library (The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian).
Sat night entertainment for the last three weeks in a row has been DVDs from the library.
Four-day weekend and seriously tempted to eat out at least once, but beloved put together such awesome meals every night, that I think we ate BETTER than if we had gone out.
Had some assorted citrus that was about to go south and some aging bananas. DH turned them into yummy juice and smoothies.
Other recreation for the weekend included a walk around a local pond and a bunch of time working in the garden.

early morning
4-18-16, 6:36pm
rosa, I just finished The Double Bind - first of his I've read. I really liked it! I'll have to request The Guest Room from the library. DD and I are watching the first season of Luther, also free from the library. Yesterday, I went through two partial bags of spinach that were getting a little squiffy, and wilted down the good bits in a skillet for a dinner veggie. Really didn't want to cook tonight, it was so hot and I was so tired, but managed to stir up some milk and eggs, and turned some stale bread into french toast. Not the finest dinner, but we're not hungry now!:~)

4-18-16, 8:00pm
Early: I'm so glad you liked it! The Guest Room grabbed me from the very beginning; it was hard to put down. Skeletons at the Feast is another one of my favorites by him.
Today I used a $5.00 gift card to Panera Bread that I had received as a gift from one of my credit card companies. I bought a gigantic loaf of their wonderful rye bread, which goes for $7.99, so $2.99 after the gift card. That is expensive, but it's very good and very large. We had sandwiches tonight and froze the rest, and it will probably keep us in bread for a month.
I can't remember if I've mentioned Top Cashback, which I learned about from The Frugal Girl's blog. I signed up to this site in March, and it seems a lot better that Swagbucks for earnings on purchases - more merchants that I tend to use, and a higher % of cash back. I've already earned $34.00, but I did make more purchases than usual when I got my bonus in March. Here's my referral link if anyone is interested: http://www.topcashback.com/ref/rosarugosa.
We went to Costco today to fill some scripts, and although we had to wait 15 minutes, we didn't buy anything other than the medications.

4-19-16, 6:45am
Remembered to soak black beans and then get them into the crockpot for cooking yesterday. Now there are twelve containers of black beans in the freezer. Considering how busy we both are right now, I feel like I'm totally winning at life because of this!!! :D

Made two homemade pizzas last night. Had some for dinner and now I have lunches for the week. Another win!

Only 16 more school days this semester!!!

4-20-16, 5:05am
Continued emptying the freezer of proteins....fish, chicken, beef. We're on it. Beef always goes last. What's that about?

We're eating our way through our veggie purchases without making compost! Wohoo! month 4 of this.

Weight Watchers is doing wonders for our nonexistent food waste. :cool: the compost pile is lonely though-ha! It only gets measly peels and eggshells these days.

We continue to buy free range eggs (they aren't certified so can't call them organic) from folks at work who enjoy chickens in their yards. $2 or $3 per dozen. Bargain bargain bargain!!!!!

i finally balanced the books for February. We ate out exactly once:0! This from a couple who were eating out 3-4/w and spending alot of $ last year.

The clothing expense is zero. As we lose weight we have clothes to wear so this is frugal too. I've decide my 25 elbee reward is a new outfit! (my goal is 60elbees).

4-20-16, 6:35pm
Excellent work, Gardnr! Good luck with your Weight Watcher goals. I'm envious of your free-range egg deal :)

4-24-16, 6:42am
Succumbed to the siren song of the tea house this past week. $17, but it was worth it. It was a very busy week and being able to sit quietly and enjoy some tea and delicious food was so wonderful.

Off to NYC again today for another beekeeping class. As much as I love teaching the class, the commute is brutal. Fortunately, I've got a few weeks off after this one because of the way the schedule is set up. I'm brewing some green tea for the road and preparing some snacks.

Tonight we will have a dinner of rice and beans -- both made earlier and frozen for easy meals. It's always so nice to have that investment of time pay off!!!

Had a no drive day yesterday. I was planning to do some shopping at BJs, but realized I could wait a few more days. I have some useful coupons that expire on Wednesday so I will plan to go there on either Tuesday or Wednesday to stock up on a few things.

Only 12 more days of school for the semester -- this has been a challenging one so I'll be happy when it's over! Of course, I signed on to teach a condensed-format class in 2 weeks at the end of May, a summer class in June, and another summer class in July. :0! Oh well, the cash will be good for shoring up the accounts.

4-29-16, 10:57pm
April 29th as usual I have forgot to post....lol
here are a few things for the last couple of weeks.
---bought some nice ground sirloin on sale and made up to freeze into loaves and meat balls
---purge a bunch more stuff
---still keeping a good inventory of food that comes in the house and what we are using...very little waste these days
it is showing in the food budget.
--driving very little and shopping even less...it is surprising how the bank balance goes up
It has been a good month.

4-30-16, 1:05am
Hi Everyone! I haven't posted much either. The piriformis/sciatica is a slow heal. Haven't gone off the rails, though.

4-30-16, 7:47am
I've been pretty spendy this month. It was my birthday last week, so I did some planned shopping with b'day discount deals and coupons, so I guess I spent a little bit less than I might have otherwise, but still spent quite a bit.
I did load $50. on my public transit card using credit card rewards, so that was good.

5-1-16, 4:22pm
We came in under budget for groceries & Costco this week, and we did well with groceries for April, especially considering there were 5 Saturday grocery trips in April instead of four. We managed to skip the Costco run for April and did it today, and I think this will hold us until June.
I'm trying to adjust my mindset to be all done with non-essential shopping for now. I tend to go through phases, and when you are out shopping you see and want things that were not previously on the radar, and then you think this new whatever would look even better with a new other-whatever, and it can continue to feed on itself if you let it. (Note: Some of you will know what I'm talking about, but UL and others definitely will not!) Anyway, I bought the things I wanted and "needed," so I should be in a good position to put the brakes on. It's also the perfect time of year to get free recreation outdoors and beautiful flowers from the garden, and time spent in stores or even on Amazon is time that could better be spent doing other things. :)

5-1-16, 7:37pm
Well said, Rosa!

Went to chiro and massage yesterday. We targeted a specific group of muscles that were strained with my piriformis. I must be feeling better: I walked through a mini pet expo today scoring freebies for my cat. :)