Monday, August 20, 2018

Are you being frugal?

Frugal doings months ago:
> Brought a bucket of change to the bank's coin counting machine. Emptying our change into it regularly over the past 5 or so years netted us $321, after the machine kept its fee of 1%. May not sound like much change for that length of time. But we rarely have cash on us at all, so this is a NICE chunk of change, ha ha!
> Friends treated me to lunch for my birthday. The restaurant gave me a free dessert (huge shortbread, caramel, chocolate bar), too. Yummo!
> One of those friends gifted me a half pound of a favorite light roast coffee produced in our locale, as well as a bottle of Monin syrup (new to me as it was the one with stevia). She also gifted me a sweater in my favorite color and a summer t-shirt nightgown. Frankly, it felt like Christmas.
> Agreed to work my off weekend coming up soon. So I'll be putting in 7 days a week for about a month between my two jobs.
> Received two different cat food samples in the mail, Royal Canin and Purina One True Instinct. I'll mix them in with their preferred food. But my boys like their cheap, urinary tract health brand and will likely shun those pieces, like the little bits of grain-free Nulo that are currently residing in the bottom of their bowls.
> Trying to stay out of restaurants and stores more. This is quite easy, considering I've been working most days. Even though my days are not quite 8hrs long, I am pooped when I am done and just want to get home, shower and chill out.
> Replaced worn out coco liners in my wire hanging planters with moss that I gently lifted from along our tree line. I'm not sure I did it quite right. Seems that I should probably have double-lined it. But too late now as the seeds have been put in. I may reinforce it with a few loops of wire. I'll give it a few days to see if the soil stays in well enough.

Frugal doings lately:
> I had planted nasturtium seeds in the previously mentioned wire hanging planters. The moss has held fairly well and the seeds have made beautiful blooms.
> Finally remembered to bring home a bag of used coffee grounds from the convenience store I work at part time. It was full of the coffee pouch wrappers and filters but that was easily picked out. I spread it around my rock bed, garlic and blueberries in hopes to keep rodents away and to add acidity. I've had a pesky ground squirrel digging holes along the concrete slab at the back of our trailer and when I filled in those he began digging holes in my garlic bed (box/raised garden). Last night I emptied a dollar container of cayenne pepper all over it and am keeping my fingers crossed that that works. Refilling holes, covering with large stones/containers, and moth balls have not worked.
> Began to harvest lemon basil. I was given two plants from my main employer and though not a big basil fan, I intend to make compound butter with it and maybe freeze a bit for winter use, as I do like basil with tomato and mozzarella with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum.
> Have about 4 nicely growing sugar pumpkin plants. Hoping to get a bunch of them so I can puree lots. I really like it added to pasta sauce.
> Picked up an off weekend again, which will have me working nearly a month straight again. More work = more money!
> Have put roughly an extra $1000 (I think) on our mortgage so far this year. Would love to be mortgage free within a few years. I've recently started transferring my convenience store paycheck to the principal on our mortgage.
> Returned a 3pk of toothpaste (found I already have 4 huge tubes from Sam's Club) to Target and a $100 screen house to Shopko. After J got it set up, we decided it was too cheaply made and also didn't give shade as we had hoped.
> Been pretty good about not buying coffees and drinking what we have at home or work. I get to drink it free when on the clock at one job and make a darn good cold press at home.
> Brother brought over 6 big pallets that are in very good shape. (He can take them from work for free.) We replaced a porch and used these set upon pavers and topped with new decking boards.
> House and dogsat for a friend and her husband for two weeks while they took a small vacation. Enjoyed the quiet and time without screens. It was sort of a mini vaca for us, too. They treated us to supper out when they returned.
> Received three shampoo samples that was fun to bring along housesitting.
> Have been asked if I'd work the convenience store job Mon-Fri. I'd have to get up at 3am to work it, though. Argh. Not sure I want to quit my other job to do so. But I would make a dollar more per hour and be able to contribute to a 401K. I probably would also sign up for health insurance, as we've been without it for nearly three years, but aren't getting younger and healthier. It just makes me sick to pay half of my paycheck for the premiums and still have to meet a ridiculous deductible of (I believe) $4000.
> Cut J and D's hair - husband and son.
> Used a code for free shipping and $15 off $49 at, as well as receiving 30% a bag of litter. I ordered food, litter, treat, toy and flea/tick drops - all things we use anyway and it cost less than had I gone to the stores for these things... and it'll be brought to my door.
> Cashed in points at a survey site and have a $20 e-certificate for Walmart for it.
> Received a $10 virtual credit card (?) rebate on a face lotion I'd been wanting to try. I used that cc number to buy an Amazon gc that I applied to a planned purchase to make it easier to use for me.

Seen lately:
 Pulled these recently, roughly 40 heads, which is near twice as many as last year. Hope to double again for next year.

Don't know what the name of this particular lily is. But am glad that it came back after the stinkin' deer chowed down on the plant in early summer.

Bee balm didn't come up as well as I'd hoped for this year. Fortunately a few flowered and attracted some bees, though.

Barn swallows. Love those little bug eaters!

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