Frugal Living - Challenge 2019 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. Jorainna

    Jorainna Finder of Lost "Blinkies" Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    By the end of the month, I will have worked 30 years at my job ... I received an extra check for that milestone!! :D Extra money is not something that has come my way very often in this lifetime ... LOL! I will put it back and use it to supplement my funds as needed on things like car repairs, shoes, etc.
     
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  2. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had a pretty productive day. I ordered some free -- full-sized sample coupons earlier in the day. Hope they come through.

    The discount grocery got another load of groceries and we hadn't been to the store in nearly three weeks. They were offering organic granola bars for 75 cents a box today, so we stopped for some of them.

    Before going there we dropped into the "parent" store which no longer sells many groceries. We did get a good deal on pumpkin pie spice and scrubbing sponges there.

    Then we found all kinds of "goodies" at the food store next door -- most were 50 cents each! Some of my favorite finds were things I'd never seen before -- pre-cooked black rice as well as farro pouches which will be ready to reheat for quick meals.

    We also found a new-to-us brand of "real" ginger ale -- the stuff with ginger floating on the bottom. At 50 cents each it was a hard deal to pass.

    We also got odds and ends like organic chili, organic refried beans, organic tomatoes and organic sprouted brown rice and quinoa side dish boxes for 50 cents each.

    Found some bags of Japanese barley which I'm eager to try. We were picking up a grain mix for a while which had Japanese barley and we loved it -- then the company appeared to go under and I can't get it any longer. I'd never seen the Japanese barley by itself before.

    They even had some Bob's Red Mill masa harina. We buy a lot of Bob's corn meal/corn flour products at our regular grocery, but that store doesn't sell its masa harina.

    Picked up B1G1 fruit smoothies for a drive this afternoon. We're still enjoying the extra fuel rewards our grocery stores are offering.

    Today we drove up to the local ski resort to enjoy the view. On the way home we saw goats on a farm and when DH got out to take a photo we were greeted by quite a menagerie! Not only did goats start running toward us, but dogs, pigs, geese and calves joined the charge -- about 80 animals in all.

    DH struck up a conversation with the owners and it turned out most of the critters were rescue animals. They try to nurse them until they can find farms for them. Quite an interesting story, which DH is hoping to return and write up as a feature.

    We also stopped for DH to take photos of children learning rock climbing on the cliff walls on the way back into town.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Expensive day today! We had a flat tire a couple of days ago on DH's car. Not repairable and our other car tires were worn enough to need a new set of 4. Took the car for an alignment after buying the tires and needed a part for a repair too - another $200 out the door on top of the tires..... Gotta keep the car going a couple more years though for DH to make it to retirement! Good thing that I have a car repair fund for stuff like this.

    For lunch, I thawed some hamburger patties that had bacon and cheese in them already. We threw them on the grill and just made regular burgers with fruit for the side.

    I was gonna go camping tonight, but the car won't be ready until at least 2pm so I have to stick around the house a bit. I'm not sure if I even want to go or not now. I didn't get my grocery shopping done this morning because of messing around with the car. We are going up to the mountains next week for a few days anyway - staying at the condo to do a little more work. I might just do a day trip tomorrow instead of going out camping this weekend...

    *Worried about the winter bid schedule at work. I think I will not be able to get my Th,F, Sat off. I might end up with some really screwed up schedule. It makes me glad that I am retiring in the spring of 2020. I am hoping that I can at least get one day off with DH or best case of getting 2 days off together. My carpool may be coming to an end as well...:(*
     
  4. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    I had planned to do an online session for a $30 gc but the email I needed would not let me sign in and I could not see the email or use the link. For some surveys I used my cable company email and every couple of weeks, they have me sign in to my account that I usually set up to remember the password. Probably part of the microsoft update debacle that we discuss in another thread. It seems that it would not let me reset after several tries, online help was useless and the wait on the phone was not worth it since they had too many calls. Crankie and I argue about this all the time and I am just going to cut back to basic cable and may dump them all together. I need to get rid of the box in d3 's room since she is going to college and that will leave us with 2 boxes. Just super frustrated that we have no other decent cable options and since they were taken over by Altice, customer service is just worse than ever.

    Today is payday and getting some overtime on this check was a big help.
    I am going to have to change the oil on my car this weekend. Another $75 out the door. I need to set aside money for gas and tolls for taking d1 to school on the 25th. D3 goes back on the 21st and I have to take the day off from work (ugh and this kid goes to college on Long Island) D2 goes back on Labor day so not losing any income there.

    My other computer will not turn on and I am only left with my school computer. Just grateful they let me keep it over the summer. My ipad is my only other option and that has problems, as recently as this week. An upgrade made it useless for 36 hours, so thanks Apple!
    I did a little bit of food shopping today and was able to get some good deals with my coupons. Two small settlement checks were deposited in my account and I sold something on EBay this week. I am using my bottle deposit receipts to buy some needed groceries and was able to earn extra receipts by depositing bottles left by others. When the machine gets full, they just leave the cans and bottles there. More for me to cash in and less for the employees of the IGA to clean up .
     
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  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We went out this afternoon to get free Beyond Burgers at Carl's Jr. when we bought a large drink.

    After that, we went by a grocery store where I tried to remember what was on the list I hadn't printed out since I didn't know DH planned to go there. Thankfully, I'd put the coupons I was going to use tomorrow in an envelope so those served as reminders.

    We got double fuel points today so it was wise to get what we could -- before they ran out with tomorrow's weekend rush. :confused:

    Did discover they had Harvest Snaps on mega sale -- something that hasn't happened in quite a while. What is more the store FINALLY had tons of them in stock -- a REALLY rare occasion!

    When you've got a decent stockpile, your weekly shopping list often looks rather odd. :p I picked up some lemonade water enhancer -- free after no-expiration coupons I've had for quite a while. The store also had gotten Huggies wipes back in stock --only 49 cents a/c. Some toilet tissue, Sun Chips, produce discounts, 25 cent a/c candy bars and medicinal teas rounded out our "exciting" purchases.

    The store seems to be getting rid of a bunch of teas and since we don't have a health food store in our city it is either stock up now at $1.19 each or drive to stores an hour away in the future to pay nearly $5 a box. :(

    I was able to use more than $15 in quarterly rewards from the store to help offset the costs. That definitely helped after DH looked in his wallet and realized he only had $2. :oops:

    I had the money to cover it and it all comes out of the same bank account, but men tend to underestimate how much things REALLY cost so I try to make him pay for most items as a reality check. ;)

    I actually wanted to get going MUCH earlier in the day, but a big story broke and DH needed to write it up quickly for a publication which goes to press tomorrow.

    Timing never seems to work out when it comes to his writing and events that strike my fancy -- but money is money. It is hard to argue that I'd rather do something that doesn't generate income.

    Natural Grocers was having its annual anniversary bash today, but it is an hour away. I mentioned it when I first learned of it and even created a private event on Facebook and invited DH so we'd remember.

    Of course, instead of this Thursday he needed to attend a meeting there last Thursday so I KNEW then we wouldn't make it back today -- and we didn't.

    To justify the gas, I always try to group a few things together when we travel there. However, last week I didn't really need anything at Kohl's, the sales at the local grocery stores weren't that exciting and I ended up spending a reward coupon at Big Lots on exactly the same items I could have bought here.

    The local farm stand up there had just opened for the season, so didn't have much in yet. The VERY next day, that farm stand posted that the local corn was FINALLY ready, but they didn't have any the day I was there. The local farm here still won't have any for at least another week or two, because the weather was so bad everything is late this year.

    DH ended up scheduling an interview for this evening and then had the other story to write this morning. I gave up on Natural Grocers and then while we were out this afternoon DH got a call and the interview had to cancel. Guess we could have gone to Natural Grocers after all ... now instead we'll sit here for weeks without any stories and no events. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Albertsons surprised us this week and offered us the same prices on groceries as Boise is paying. They generally charge us 50 cents to a dollar more on things even though we're only four hours away.

    What is more the prices on some things were better than Kroger. That hardly ever happens -- AND to top it all off our store was fully stocked. You could knock me over with a feather! A trip without rain checks is one I consider successful.

    The ad was good enough that it actually justified driving across town to get there -- and we spent more there than we did at Kroger today. I'm not sure when that last happened.

    We got 99 cent full-sized frozen pizzas, $1.99 each -- butter, Tillamook Ice Cream and beef roasts. All detergent was 99 cents a/c, Lysol cleaning products were 24 cents to 99 cents a/c plus mega sale and along with other groceries the deal they had on toilet tissue was enough to get us above the $50 threshold so we saved an additional $5 with digital coupon.

    By the time we added another $1 savings reward we earned last month, we didn't do too badly. If they keep that up, we might have to change the way we shop! :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  7. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I never made it anywhere exciting yesterday. I finally got to the grocery store in the morning and then we went to the hardware store for a few things to do a project at the condo next week. We had Bennet's BBQ for lunch and I asked DH to stop at the thrift store on the way home.

    I did find some bargains there though, or rather DH spotted something I was looking for. I got some packing cubes for .95 each - 2 amazon basics and 2 ebags. I have been looking at sets of 5-6 bags on Amazon for around $40-$50 and just could not justify that expense, so I am constantly watching for them at the thrift store instead. I don't care if they are different colors anyway as it makes it easier to find stuff when you know t-shirts are in the green one and long sleeves are in the blue one, etc...:D

    I also found a brand new eagle creek bag for $5 - it was kind of a waistpack bag, but it also had loops for a shoulder strap to use it as a purse too. (The waist strap tucks away neatly into a zipper compartment.) The shoulder strap was missing but I think I can use the one from my laptop bag if I want to use it for that. I really got it to organize some more little stuff in my van because it has lots of little zipper pockets but I can also use it for its intended purpose if I want. (The retail label on the bag was $43!)

    I spent some of the afternoon reading guide books from the library and doing some online research on my "big spring trip". I also was looking at some places for winter 2020-2021 for seasonal jobs. Since I am going a long ways from home next summer, I think I want to just do a local ski area next winter. The big problem being housing at the ski towns - vail employee housing is generally pretty cruddy and at winter park I found that if I can get into it that they have 2 bedroom apartments shared by 4 people for $400 a person/month. I would have to be there only on work days anyway and can come home on my days off, so I guess I can't complain too much. Food not included in either situation. (The summer job that I am looking at for next year includes food and housing). Option #3 is not worth it - stay in my own condo at Keystone. I would loss a lot of money in rents and so would the resort..... It is better to cough up that $400 in rent a month than to do that.

    The nice part of my plan to take on some seasonal jobs at full-time is that I will get about 4 months off between seasons and get to sightsee a new place too. I thought about a part-time job here in town, but if I do that then I won't get a ton of paid time off as a new employee. I will miss my big paycheck and my seniority at my old job, but I really think it is time to retire from there after 18 years of doing the same thing over and over. Looking forward to doing something different until DH can retire at age 60....
     
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  8. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    AFTER returning from the stores yesterday, I got some digital best customer coupons on items I would have purchased -- had I gotten the coupons earlier in the day. It never fails ...

    DH decided he needed to go to the store tonight so I went along and picked up organic beef broth for about one dollar a box and organic tortilla chips for about 55 cents a bag.

    The store was out of baby lotion on the two-day deal that ended today so I got a rain check. There might be a $1 off coupon coming in the paper tomorrow, so hopefully I can get it a little cheaper than I would have.

    Did find some Magnesium supplements on a discount table for half off, so I guess that helped offset the gas, as well, and we needed cilantro and green onions anyway.

    And of course, the hard whole grain rolls I wanted yesterday were on the discount table tonight. :confused: However, I had to leave them since they would have gotten moldy before I could use them now. We've still got several more meals of BBQ beef to eat before I need hard rolls for French Dip sandwiches!
     
  9. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I work in a school where I get free breakfast-I always take the juice and milk home for the boys-how cheap is that? :)
     
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  10. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Picked up some tutoring hours [email protected]$20/hr. Used a GC I earned for doing surveys to buy groceries. I am using up what I have for dinner-inventorying things and being creative :)
     
  11. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    So happy that my $60 gc from Financial horizons was sent today. I credited my Walmart pay account with the entire amount. Funds from this will be used for d3 to buy some needed items and snacks for her dorm. Tomorrow morning I hope to credit another $5 gc for Walmart from the Receipt pal app.

    I am barely going to make it until my next paycheck. Also got the heads up that I may be sent to another branch over 30 miles away. Since I am the float summer teller, I can't say no. They will reimburse me for mileage however, that gas money will come too late. There is no cheap gas where I am going, so I will be paying over $3 a gallon and that will hurt me. Also this coming weekend, I will take D1 to college on Sunday, so i need to fill up on the way back before i get home and hope that gas lasts me until payday.

    I need a new phone charge cord so I am using my Amazon credits and Prime to get one for myself. Should be here by Thursday.
     
  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I have one of my random vacation days today and did a trade next week, so I have 5 days off work. DH has a 4 day weekend too. We are going to the mountain condo this afternoon and doing some work. I am going to sneak in some relax time too...

    Weird data point: my passport came back in two weeks even though I did not pay for expedited service. A perk of working for the gov't is what I am guessing. I signed up as a driver for door dash to try it out and the background check only took about 10 minutes to complete too. Gonna give it a shot on a Friday night and see if I make some money or not. Our fuel efficient car is too old for uber, but I can do food delivery. (The goal is an expensive camera and maybe even a drone eventually.)

    I did 4 hours of OT at my job in the last 2 weeks - 3 volunteer and 1 mandatory. I will put that money toward my camera goal as well.

    I don't use Ebates/Rakuten much, but I did just get a $6.64 check that will go to the vacation fund.

    First vacation is coming at end of Sept - the timeshare week at the beach. I have everything paid for except food and gasoline for that. I know where the Aldi and the Walmart are nearby, so it will be easy to shop there. I am flying Southwest so will take an extra bag to fill up with Aldi snacks/food to bring home. I get good deals on cookies, crackers, and some boxed goods that are not available in our city....

    Second vacation at the end of October is gonna be more expensive. I will probably buy stuff at the national park shops (like tshirts and stickers), use lots of gasoline, gamble a little in Las Vegas, and eat out some.... We still need to pay at the hotels for about 6-7 nights, and I owe a payment to one AirBnb place for $110 that will come in mid-Oct. I have a decent vacation fund building up and will have 2 more months of budgeted savings going in before we go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  13. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Forgot to mention that my HSA will max out at the end of Sept, so my paycheck will be a lot bigger by October too. Extra money (until the first of the year deductions start again) will get saved for some one-off yearly expenses like my timeshare fee and car registration in Dec, a couple of credit card annual fees for January, etc.

    I am also going to do a big prepayment on my water and cell phone bill before my seasonal summer job so that I don't have to hassle with them while I am gone.... I don't want to spend limited internet time trying to pay bills. I will leave the electric/natural gas for DH to pay each month since he can do that at the grocery store for a $1.50 fee. Hard to prepay that one as it varies each month - should go down though with one person gone from the house for a few months.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    One more post! Went to Kroger and got many meat markdowns and other bargains. Grass fed local beef $4.49/lb; hormel flavored pork loins $3.99, fancy brown eggs $1.49, greek yogurt multipacks $1.39 and $1.59, wholly guacamole $2, fresh salsa pint $1, pillsbury pizza crusts .99. I splurged and bought 4 deli tamales 2/$1.59 on sale. I also got some produce on sale: green bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, a packaged stirfry kit ($1).

    The best bargain was steaks and london broil on markdown. Two steak packages were $2.18 each (over a pound each) and the london broil was $2.98 (1.7 lb). I am using one steak pkg for fajitas for lunch and the other for a beef teriyaki stirfry for dinner. I will probably put the london broil in the crockpot at the condo for italian beef sandwiches tomorrow night - have not had those for a long time....

    I bought some stuff we needed like tortilla chips, pizza sauce, pepperoni, taco shells, and flour tortillas.

    I will make a pizza or calzones later this week too. That should cover us for the rest of the week as far as meals since there will be leftovers from all the beef meals. I put the ground beef and pork right into the freezer for later - they both came in the airtight packages that I do not have to repackage.

    $75 out the door for the groceries and $15 to top off the gas tank before going up the mountain made it an expensive day already. The meat in the freezer will last us for rest of August and Sept up till vacation time, so I should have a pretty cheap grocery bill for a while - just picking up dairy, produce, and bread as needed.
     
  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I stopped for a couple of little things at the store up here and ended up hitting more markdown bonanzas. We found a ton of McCormick sauce packets for .25, a few dry seasonings for $1, huge bottle of tabassco for .99, a korean sauce to try out for .69. My favorite was a crushed box of instant grits for .25. I checked it when I got back to the condo and all 12 packets were there, so .02 a serving if you can stand to eat them for breakfast!

    We only used 1/2 lb of beef for the stirfry so the other half is in the fridge to use for something else. I am thinking steak and eggs maybe for breakfast or even just panfry it for steak sandwiches for lunch one day.....

    *Not so frugal DH threw a magazine in the shopping cart. I didn't realize it was almost $10 - ouch!*
     
  16. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Went to the farmers market this morning. Picked up Colorado peaches and plums for snacking. I also got 2 ears of corn for lunch since I didn't have a side planned (we had a repeat of Italian beef sandwich from last night's crockpot meal). Yesterday's lunch was just assorted mexican leftovers/tamales.

    Breakfast was some sausage links and eggs that I brought from home and we are having homemade pizza for dinner tonight. I needed a break from all the beef stuff. Pepperoni and veggie pizza will hit the spot!

    I saved the broth from the Italian Beef and may make a soup out of that. I have some leftover rice, corn, and assorted other veggies along with a little beef and onion still left. That might be my dinner for Saturday. DH isn't big on soup, so he can have whatever is left of the Mexican food or the pizza.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  17. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We've been picking up some deals on the back-to-school sales, but the last few days it has almost been more hassle than it was worth. Either the register isn't recognizing items clearly marked as mega sale on the shelf or it isn't taking off all digital coupons it should each trip. Haven't had to pester the customer service desk this much in a long time. :(

    Albertsons gave us some decent deals for a second week in a row, so between it and Kroger stores we're pretty well stocked on cookies, candy bars, granola bars and toilet tissue for a while. lol! At least those have been ringing through correctly.

    Maybe I've just forgotten, but I don't really remember toilet tissue being a "back-to-school" item in the past. Maybe schools are getting short of funds and are telling students to start bringing their own, but I'm guessing because plastic bags for school lunches go on sale they decided to put paper products on, as well.

    Found a markdown cart with McCormick Spices last week and had printed some long-dated coupons good for $2/$6 which I tucked away a couple months ago figuring I'd find a use before expiration. I used one then and this week used another.

    We have been getting some pretty good deals on greeting cards, as well. This week we bought two $1.99 cards for 49 cents each a/c.

    Last week, we bought 11 cards at 99 cents each -- which was supposed to qualify us for $5 off a purchase of $10 or more. However, that digital coupon didn't work at first.

    The clerk did exclaim "There!" as she pointed out the $5 on the register screen while I was showing her our coupon list. However, since I was looking down even after I studied the receipt at home I never figured out if the register was slow in crediting or she had added it in by hand. :confused:

    We took advantage of a Friday/Saturday sunglasses clearance coupon and picked up five pairs for $4.99 each. DH and I both needed some. Since retail would have been more than $100 I asked the clerk if buying the limit would set off the door alarm. She wasn't sure.

    I explained that buying large quantities of meat or vitamins always sets it off, but we had never bought multiple sunglasses. Of course, the alarm DID go off and as the clerk nearest the door got close I held up the bag of glasses and told her I thought they were the culprit. She knows we've shopped there regularly for years, told us it had been doing that all day long and waved us through.

    Sometimes I think I understand the stores' computer systems better than the employees do. All it takes is a bit of logic. :p
     
  18. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @Gardencook I had to buy D3 Toilet paper for her school, a NY state school!
    However, D1 (NY state school)and d2 (Private College)get Free TP!
     
  19. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Now that I think of it, perhaps I had to supply my own TP at the University dormitory. I can't remember for sure.

    I hadn't thought about college. When I think "back-to-school" I guess I just see all those K-12 kiddos hopping on a big yellow school bus -- and had visions of them trying to cram an extra roll into an already over-stuffed backpack! :p
     
  20. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We took another short trip for a couple days while we still had some cheap gas to help with expenses. We had two one-dollar per gallon fuel rewards left that expired the end of August and it takes about a tank of gas to get to Boise and another to get home. We were able to get both tanks at less than $1.70 per gallon. Then we fueled up with our remaining 10 cent per gallon fuel discount before the month ended.

    We got a special hotel offer a while back. We were supposed to get 4,500 points if we booked a stay using points and cash and I found a hotel in Boise we've enjoyed in the past that was a great price with that option.

    In the end we could stay two nights for a lot less than we'd normally pay for one night and the special offer should put back half the points we used -- if it credits properly.

    For the most part we used B1G1 coupons for meals.

    We also got some great deals in the stores -- especially on markdown items like Rondele' Cheese and Laughing Cow five -pack bread stick snacks for 50 cents each. Even hit a B1G1 deal on gourmet ground beef and Thai Seasoned ground turkey making them $1.50 a pound. Just wish I'd had more freezer space for those!

    Lucky Peak State Park and Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park didn't cost us any money OOP to see since we have an Annual State Parks Pass. The Boise Balloon Festival was beautiful and also free.

    We picked up a few items at the produce stands on our way out of town since our local farm STILL didn't have ripe sweet corn on Tuesday. Fresh produce is REALLY, REALLY late this year with all the bad weather we got early in the season.
     
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