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. jastwins

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

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    I am glad you were there for your Mom, @Gardencook. Time is precious and family is important. May your Mom rest in peace in Heaven.
     
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  2. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    So sorry to hear about your mom, Gardencook.... I still miss my mom even though she has been gone for 5 years....
     
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  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    ~after looking at casual pants online, I decided to brave the cold and snow and go to Goodwill tonight. I found 3 pairs for $15 total - much cheaper than the $30 to $50 I was seeing for new ones. One pair is Gloria Vanderbilt and I like those a lot.... Time to retire some of the pants I own that have stains or holes in them! I also got a bunch of t-shirts and socks again from my leftover work uniform allowance that I needed to use up. I have started to get rid of some socks that are getting holes in them - I just throw them in the rag pile for DH to use on his household projects.

    ~The beef stew stuff turned out pretty good for random stuff in a crockpot. I browned the stew meat, added black pepper, then threw it in with a little leftover beef stock and a can of mushroom soup. I also had a 1/2 package of dry lipton onion soup that went in the crockpot. It made a nice thick sauce to go over the mashed potatoes. I just opened up canned green beans for the side veggie....

    Tomorrow we were going to go to a travel show at the Denver convention center, but my enthusiasm is getting less and less as the weather gets worse. I will see how much it snows by morning and decide then if I am leaving the house or not. I did not buy tickets yet, so no loss if we don't go.......

    ~when my son left the house earlier today, I had him stop to get eggs since that was all the shopping I needed. If I manage to stay out of the store tomorrow, then I will be about $100 under budget on groceries for this month. That money can go as extra on the mortgage in March.

    ~ I did end up putting $200 into my IRA from some of the rent money I took in at the beginning of Feb. Being a bit conservative on those deposits and retaining a lot of my rents in case there are repairs needed at the condo after ski season. I have not been up since November - but have not heard any bad news from the property manager to make me worry about major stuff. My priorities are to fund my 401(k) and HSA from my paycheck, then I can get around to my IRA later in the year.



    ~
     
  4. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    @Gardencook So sorry for the loss of your mom. Glad you were able to spend some time with her and that she is at peace.
     
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  5. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I went to three thrift stores yesterday. I was in a funk and thought I would so a little retail-therapy bugweena style! :) I didn't buy one thing. Came home and fixed chili with ingredients from my pantry and freezer for dinner. Plenty of leftovers.
     
  6. jastwins

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

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    I have been thinking about what you can do to earn extra money and here are some ideas. Do you have a talent like sewing? It is becoming the rarity to find someone who sews, but you can make money by hemming/fixing items for people. Just a thought.
    Have you tried to sell things on Amazon, Ebay or FB? We have a FB page just for my town and people post things for sale and or giveaways. You may find something you need. Another HCW person would find furniture, redo it and sell it. They always made some dough.

    Use your mfg coupons /digital coupons or receipt coupons with sale priced items and stock up when you can.

    Thrift store shopping is another great way to save money and you may actually find new stuff.

    Babysitting or pet sitting is another option. Since you work in a school, maybe you can help out with watching kids or walking pets after school until their parents get off from work.

    When the weather is nicer, have a yard sale. It helps you get rid of stuff you no longer use and you can make some money.
    I use online apps to earn gcs in places I know I can spend them. Swagbucks is my main deal. I earn at $50 a month in gcs and put them to good use for purchasing needed items either in store or online. If you decide to sign up, here is my referral link:

    https://www.swagbucks.com/refer/jastwins

    AS I have said before, you do what you can with Swagbucks and put in what time you can. There are surveys and shopping offers, plus you can run videos for points. Getting your own referrals is a big help. It is an extra and not an income.

    I used other online app to get gcs to stores where I shop. They include:

    FETCH TWOHJ

    Checkout 51 https://checkout51.app.link/jkvQ14qSLR

    Ibotta 7nhba

    SAvingstar You can load up your store card or send them receipts

    ReceiptPal get on the list to join. You only have to upload receipts. Very easy

    Receipt Hog You upload receipts. Limit of 20 in 7 days. easy and fun.

    If you shop online, make it work for you. I use EBATES https://www.ebates.com/r/JASTWI?eeid=28187
    Ebates gives you a percentage back and coupon codes as well.

    Retailmenot is another online shopping option with online codes for shopping. Mr Rebates is another one.
    If you have time, see who has the best deals.

    I understand this takes up time and your time is your own. If any of these work for you, great. You do what you can and I hope things get easier for you. Good luck and God Bless.
     
  7. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We made it to the travel show and it was fun. I even got to try out a segway - really cool..... Anyway, DH bought discount tickets that gave us $6.30 off. I promptly spent the $6 on his bus fare to get to downtown from the park and ride and back. Bus fares went up a ton here - used to be $4.50 for roundtrips....

    We got lots of swag like luggage tags, pens, sticky notes, postcards, and shopping bags. I also picked up a lot of brochures and maps. I talked to the gal in the Kauai booth for a while and signed up for an ATV tour sweepstakes since we are possibly going there this fall.

    ~We did buy a small travel package - a $199 three nights in Vegas with a choice on entertainment options (show tickets or assorted tours for two). Of course there is the sit through the timeshare speech gimic. We figured that we had a plan to do a couple of nights in Vegas anyway this fall if we go to Hawaii again. If not I will make a separate trip down there. This is a nice resort and they are actually putting us in the resort and not at a separate hotel. We may or may not use the 3 night cruise or disneyland that comes with the package.... Either way, I got a deal on the Vegas resort as the units there go for $215 and up per night for the one bedrooms.

    ~lunch was a Which Wich sandwich because that was across the street from the convention center. Cheaper that eating inside and probably better.... I saved half my sandwich for my work lunch tomorrow.

    ~pigs in blankets for dinner. I had some little smokies that I got a couple of weeks ago and we had crescent rolls in the fridge. I had sun chips here to for the side. Super simple meal.

    ~As soon as I pulled out the pigs in blankets from the oven, I threw in a quickbread to have for my work breakfasts. Since the oven was already hot it saved a little energy to avoid a separate preheat cycle.
     
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  8. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Gardencook-I am sorry for your loss.

    I went to Target yesterday-a friend gave me a GC when I got my FS. I was able to get a lot of groceries (mostly their store brand) but am set until payday. And I found a Quarter in the parking lot :)

    I am rediscovering that cooking at home is a likeable activity, and cheaper. I actually like looking for coupon deals!
     
  9. Jorainna

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

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    @Gardencook - I am sorry ... hugs ... :(

    @Lori63 - Cooking is definitely cheaper; have found that out as I have to cook hubby's meal every night for his restricted diet needs. However, I am finding it challenging and trying since I work full time and don't get home till almost 7 PM.

    He mainly eats a veggie plate for supper, so I peruse the reduced veggies rack in the Kroger produce area. I have been lucky to find green, red, yellow and orange peppers 3 in the bags for .99 and I steam/sautee them on the stove top and can get two nights worth out of them, so that the next night I only have to reheat as they do take longer to cook than some of the others. I have found short cuts to preparing veggies. I will slice up a whole cup of mushrooms - to the brim of the glass measuring cup - put plastic wrap on it and microwave it for one minute then 30 seconds as the mushrooms have a lot of liquid to them and would steam over. One 8 oz. carton of mushrooms will make two cups - so will have a cup for the next night.

    Yellow squash is fast, and broccoli ... I slice up one squash and put it in a glass dish then cut up a serving of broccoli florets and put in the same dish on one side - half squash/half broccoli. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave in 1.5 minute intervals till tender. The squash has a lot of liquid to them, so no need to add water ... it steams on its own.

    Sadly three is not too much out there in the way of produce coupons! :(
     
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  10. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Need caffeine badly this morning..... Anyway laundry and dishes are in the works this morning. I am trying to sell a couple of things on Craigs list and need to get in contact with people today. Have a list of errands to do too, so it will be a busy day.

    ~ working an extra day for a girl during spring break. Will apply the money to the vacation fund. My vacation money is rather sad looking right now.... I think there is about $25 left. I am going to run cans to recycle this weekend if the weather stays nice and put that money in the envelope too....

    I am totally booked for Pheonix in April. Used partial points and $30 real money for the car rental. Points for hotel and airfare. Only expenses left will be gas, whatever museum admissions I do, and some food. I have a small kitchen in the hotel and will most likely pick up a frozen pizza or a couple of frozen dinners and stuff to make sandwiches for lunchtime outings.

    Casually shopping for that possible trip to Hawaii in the late fall ( with a stopover in Las Vegas). Looking at options for a couple of days in Honolulu and it looks like it would only be $100 extra for multi-city airfare to do LAS -Honolulu - Lihue -LAS. Will have to talk to DH because I know he wants to do a pearl harbor tour, but I think the Arizona memorial is still closed. Not booking until after SW starts flights to see what the prices land up at. Right now it looks like around $800-$900 per person on Hawaiian Air. I only have points for one person, so I would have to pay for the other ticket...... Also cheaper to do overnight flight, but not sure if it is worth it to lose a nights sleep. This option would save a hotel night each way though.

    Next project is to go dig in the freezer for something for dinner tonight and tomorrow.
     
  11. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    ~sold something on craigs list for $125 cash yesterday. :D Listed another item today for $30 and hope it goes quick too.... I have a small bag all set for Goodwill donation too. I also threw away 3 old worn out bras that were not fit to donate. Mission Declutter is on a roll now....

    Dinner last night was the rib rack that I got from the food bank. DH just slow cooked it in the oven and opened a can of baked beans for the side. Good enough for me....

    ~We ate at Chilis for lunch with a partial gift card and $12 cash. I had a free chips and salsa on my rewards card. I have a salad with some chicken strips left for lunch today. I ordered a chicken bowl from the $8 lunch menu and it came with a side salad. I couldn't finish it all after grazing on the chips.

    Dinner tonight is still a mystery, but I might do a polish sausage since there is one more in the fridge. I have potatoes that I can dice up with it.
     
  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Ended up cooking a frozen pizza last night. For lunch today we grabbed burgers - used a partial gift card up and spent $5.04 cash. I have been totally unenergetic when it comes to cooking this weekend.

    Tonight I am baking some chicken from the freezer for dinner. I will have my son help with the mashed potatoes and gravy and stovetop stuffing. Canned green beans for the veggie. Easy satisfying meal for a cold winter night....

    I dropped my little donation bag off at the thrift store, then went in to look around. I only came out with a small pack/camping towel and DH found some DVD's. At least the bag we came home with was smaller than the one I dropped off.

    We took the can recycling in yesterday and made $5.50, so I guess it basically paid for lunch.
     
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  13. jastwins

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

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    Today we visited the tax accountant and the news was not good. We owe on the Federal : (
    and will get a state refund that is about 1/4 of what we owe. The new tax laws do not benefit those who live in places with higher property taxes (like me) and also we cannot deduct our state taxes like we did in previous years. Most importantly, we needed to lower the our deductions on our paychecks so that we pay more taxes this year and hopefully owe less next year. I currently have married / zero and need to make it single / zero. On your W-4 you can also have a set amount (like $10 or $20 deducted too) and apply it to your federal tax.

    At the beginning of 2018, everyone noticed a little more in their paychecks. Mine was about $16 and I did not think to submit a W-4 to adjust my paycheck tax deductions. Well, this also meant you paid less taxes to the government all of 2018. After 19 years of getting a refund we now owe a good deal of money. Not all our deductions were able to be used and this hurt us as well. If you must pay this year, you will probably owe next year. You either have to save up your money to pay the government or deduct more now (about 18 paychecks left for the year) to try and break even.

    Luckily, there is a payment option to pay the entire balance over time and we will take advantage of it.
     
  14. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I owe also, but less than I did last year. I had my withholding at M with three kids, and it should have been changed to S with no dependents. In my defense, I went through a mind-numbing divorce and just forgot about changing it. I figured it out and changed it last year.

    Went to McD last night-had a coupon buy a salad get a free Happy Meal. Spent $6, but the weather has been AWFUL (rain/rain/rain) and we just needed to get out. Making Shepherd's Pie tonight.

    Dogsitting a few nights this week.
     
  15. Sherri1480

    Sherri1480 Active Member Trader Group

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    @Gardencook So sorry for your loss....I will keep you and your family in my prayers
     
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  16. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Went to Walmart with my gift card to get the basics like eggs, milk, bread, and yogurt... I found some cube pork chops on sale so I bought 2 packages (4 chops each) and some great value pork shake-n-bake. I baked all the chops and we made pork sandwiches for lunch. A partial bag of seasoned fries and the watermelon from the food bank rounded out the meal.... The remaining chops will go in the fridge for a re-purposed meal on Saturday - probably country gravy and mashed potatoes... I still have $10+ on the giftcard too....

    ~I also found some bakery markdowns. Kaiser rolls for the sandwiches ($1.25/6), chocolate cake donuts ($2.23 for the box), and a box of the mexican pastry things with the pink sugar on top ($1.99). I think those pastries are called Conchas and I buy them every once in a while when I find them on sale. I am guessing not every walmart has those, but in our neighborhood they are pretty popular and I don't find them markdown all that often....

    ~that watermelon lasted nicely on the soda storage shelf in my garage. I totally forgot to cut it up the last couple of weekends, but it will be nice to have for this weekend now. I also noticed there is still half a bag of potatoes out there that I need to use up soon....

    ~Thawing freezer mystery meat for dinner tonight. Looks like steak (?) so I am thinking fajitas tonight. Also I pulled out chicken for tomorrow night - thighs for me and DS and one lowly chicken breast for DH.

    I went to bed pretty early last night after work, so I woke up early and got my work uniforms and a load of towels washed first thing in the morning. Partially loaded the dishwasher, but will not run it till it is full later today. I am dragging DH back to the thrift store this afternoon, we went in last Saturday but it was so crowded that I did not get to look at the women's clothes. I could still use another pair or two of pants and I would love to find some summer tops that are not just t-shirts....

    ~I had snagged a few more laundry pods that were left in the lunchroom after the shutdown was over. Today I got the rest of them out of the ziplocks into a container in my laundry room. I saw that I have about 20 of them still left. I am really surprised that my coworkers didn't want them. I waited about a week or so after payday to see if someone else took them before I grabbed them. Anyway, I don't have to buy any laundry soap for a couple more weeks for sure. I am saving the ziplocks to use for soap when I travel. I don't want to waste the bags, but I don't think I should use them for food.

    *Mortgage update $8484.86 owed. I have about $600 left in checking that I think I will throw at it as soon as DH gets paid on Friday. (I get paid Monday but don't want to bankrupt the account until one us of gets the deposit in.) I am still looking at probably mid-May or June 1 at the latest as payoff date. I just mentally can't let go of my cash emergency fund in order to pay it off right now. Interest is only about $50 a month now, so I am not worried about a couple of more months of paying that. I just hate though that the PMI never drops until payoff on an FHA loan. That is an additional $70/month from my escrow balance.

    Frugal fails: #1 an unexpected expense was $60 for the car rental we had... I suspect that because our car was done on Tuesday afternoon but we could not pick it up till Thursday morning. The insurance probably would not approve the last 2 days. #2 I paid for 2 days of garage parking at work for carpooler due to bad weather/being late. The regular employee lot is far enough away that we would have otherwise been late to work both days....:( On a positive note: this got us home 15-20 minutes earlier and we didn't have to scrape the snow off after work.... #3 I took a frozen soup to work on Wed and decided I didn't want it for lunch. I went to a new BBQ place instead and spent $10.50 for lunch. I took a while to walk over there in the cold too - good thing I have a long lunch break as it killed a whole hour to get there, get my brisket sandwich with cole slaw, and get back to work. I won't be doing that very often for sure.
     
  17. jastwins

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

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    After speaking to a co-worker, Crankie found out that if we filed our federal income taxes separately, our tax burden may be lower. We sent two emails to our accountant and she finally got back to us. Yes, we still owe, but we owe less than filing jointly. Since we own 2 houses and do not rent them out, it would work in our situation. I only wish the accountant had thought of this while we were sitting in front of her and before we paid her. Crankie and I agreed we would go to someone different next year to get our taxes done and I asked a coworker for her accountant's number. However, you have to file an amended return via paper and not electronically. So , we will sign the revised return, mail it, sign up for payments via the IRS and wait for them to lower the amount we owe. UGH!

    Yesterday, I was asked to chaperone a girls' basketball game and am happy to fill in and get paid for it. All my time sheets are up to date and I am submitting them today as well. To lower our tax burden for next year, Crankie and I changed our withholding to married, but withhold at a single rate. Curious to see how much I get paid and am comparing it to a prior check. I may have to discontinue my aflac insurance for my kids to make up the difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  18. KimShaw

    KimShaw ☕♥ I made it to 1,000! ♥☕ Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    Lori are you able to get any type of foodstamps or other help seems you are fostering a child?
     
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  19. KimShaw

    KimShaw ☕♥ I made it to 1,000! ♥☕ Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    Sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family.
     
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  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Add me to the list of "owe money to the IRS" people.... Lost the majority of the mortgage interest deduction and could not itemize. I also turned an actual profit on my rentals this year. Since I had to pay $800, I won't be putting that extra cash on the mortgage after all....:( At least my taxes are done for another year and not itemizing make it easier to do taxes. On the plus side, I did qualify for the new small business pass through and got a few bucks credited for that. I just need to go back and readjust my withholding for next year.....

    Yesterday we went to an RV show and I think I found something that may work for me called an Aliner trailer. It pops up into a triangle shape. It has hard walls instead of soft ones like the tent pop up campers.... Now I just gotta start looking for a used one next year. They are cheap, lightweight and a little roomier than a teardrop. I don't like the teardrops where you have to stand outside to cook. When it is pouring rain is when you want a hot meal and being able to cook inside is a necessity in my opinion. I really would like a camper van, but can not stomache the ridiculous prices for something I would only use a few weeks in the summer anyway.

    We ended up eating lunch at the RV show - just a chili dog for DH and a slice of pizza for me. We shared the fries that came with the chili dog basket, plus a large drink.

    ~ I got tired of the muffin mixes that I have been making for breakfasts. Tonight I grabbed some pilsbury orange cinnamon rolls and baked them to take with me to work the next few days. Probably not as frugal as the muffins, but it will be a nice change of pace for sure.

    I did a couple of errands this morning, then spent the afternoon doing my taxes. The home office always gets a good "paper dejunking" at tax time. The recycle bin will be full at next pickup....

    ~ We took both cars and a couple of 5 gallon jugs to the Kroger gas station. I used my $1 off and managed to get all 35 gallons. :D I still have .40 to use on the next fill up in a couple of weeks. I think most of the fuel points came from buying the Southwest gift card to book my flight to Tampa, so not a shabby payback on something that I needed to pay for anyway. I won't have a very big fuel discount from this months purchases because I am again trying to focus on using up stuff in my pantry. So far this month I have spent less that $20 on groceries at Kroger.

    I have already reset my clocks for the time change and now have the challenge of trying to get to sleep earlier tonight. It kind of stinks to have to work early on Sundays at the spring time change. Lucky people in Arizona don't have to deal with this nonsense.....
     
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