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. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Have to go back to town today (planned) so I am taking some stuff home with me and picking up a few supplies to bring back to the condo when I come back in the morning. I am taking my laundry home so that I don't have to put quarters in the machine up here.

    Made pancakes for breakfast yesterday and today. We had leftover again for lunch and dinner yesterday. Today's lunch will probably be more leftovers as there is still enough sloppy joes for both of us. I have another package of chicken in the freezer for Friday night, but I have not decided what to do with it....

    The tile is done on the fireplace except for the grout on the bench seat. DH will do that this afternoon while I am gone. We still have some more wood trim to put up around the edges and a lot of cleanup to do on Friday. I am pleased with how it is turning out. The choice of a textured stone was good as it hides our lack of skill and the fact that the walls are not level.....:D So far I think I am into the project for around $1000, but we do have some leftover stone tile that can go back to the store (I think about $100 worth) and maybe enough left of the bench tile to do our bathroom floor at home. We bought a tile saw instead of renting, so that is a big part of the expense. I did get a $13 rebate from shopping at Lowes - which is the only hardware store within 60 miles - so I didn't have much choice there anyway. We had to buy an extra bag of mortar last night as we were just shy of finishing the last 6 tiles. Now I have a huge mostly full bag to take home. DIY projects cost more than you think sometimes, but still cheaper than hiring people to do the labor for you.....
     
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  2. jastwins

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

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    Great news yesterday from our payroll person. The union people will get paid next Wednesday but me, a non-union person (not by choice--my position is non-union) gets paid FRIDAY the 21st! Talk about prayers being answered!!! PHEW!!!
    Really need to do a big food shop and hope to go tomorrow instead of next week. We keep running out of things like eggs, bread and I will just run to the IGA and pay more since it is the best I can do.
    I am making a list and will go over the circular to see what deals I can get.

    Shop Rite is really cracking down on coupons. HUGE message on their digital coupon website. As of last month, they will no longer allow digital coupons and mfg coupons on the same item. If you have digital coupon that is more than the regular coupon, the digital will come off. Should the mfg be higher, they mfg will be deducted.
    Another message stated that they reserve the right to deny free coupons, mass cut coupons and even b1g1 coupons if they think it is fraudlent. Really surprised by this, but guess they decided they were losing money and will make the consumer pay more.
     
  3. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Today was the last day of our triple fuel points weekend. We had a few more high value coupons we could use on sale items along with a couple that were expiring today. We also hit some decent produce discounts so took advantage of the extra points for purchases while we could get them.

    We took a drive in the afternoon, then when we returned to town I decided I should check out the garden center. We should have at least a few petunias in front of the house so it isn't completely devoid of color after the meadow sage, catmint, poppies and bachelor's buttons that are currently blooming finish their brilliant display.

    We're late getting started this year because we've been traveling so the selection wasn't the greatest, but we got a few things that will look better than nothing. I did manage to find some red petunias (a pale/faded yellow/almost white was the only other option. I picked up some bright orange and yellow zinnias to pop the red petunias a bit more. Also found a decorative pail with gazanias on markdown and picked it up, as well since they are the same red/yellow/orange color theme. That will give us a bit of the same colors close to the porch.

    We got a sale on potting soil on Friday, so didn't have to mess with that today, but found four torn/taped bags of mulch that had been marked down 50 percent. They're normally $4.99, were on sale for $3.99, half off made them $2 and there was a 10 percent discount coupon on home goods in this week's paper bringing the final cost down to $1.80 a bag.

    Kind of hard to resist when we were going to get three times fuel points on top of it all.

    In total we earned almost 20 cents per gallon in fuel rewards today and picked up meat and veggies on sale that should keep us away from the grocery store for quite a few days this week.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  4. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Took a few more things to the consignment shop this morning while FS was at summer school. My biggest thing is NOT putting the AC on. I know I'll have to tomorrow (90's and very humid) but today it's only gonna be 88 :) :)

    Heading to Sharp Shopper tomorrow morning-hope I find some bargains. I've been doing really well at making meals out of what we have.
     
  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Noticed a FB post from our discount store a couple days ago. In addition to the new shipment of food they've been putting out on the shelves they had just gotten a load of tortillas and tortilla chips. Didn't know for sure if they'd have whole wheat ones, but knew I wanted to check. Whole wheat tortillas have been WAY too expensive for my taste for a long time now and I never get around to making them.

    We stopped in today on the way to our Wednesday downtown "Revive at 5" -- so-called farmers market/concert -- which is always more craft fair/concert than farmers market.

    Only bought one small bunch of expensive but fresh carrots at the market, but the discount store did have the tortillas I wanted.

    Picked up five packs of regular whole wheat, two packs of slightly larger whole wheat and one pack of large gourmet burrito-sized organic whole wheat -- all were $1 each. That should keep us in wraps, burritos and quesadillas for the summer.

    Also found a can of organic tomato sauce for 42 cents and something else, but at the moment I can't even remember what it was. LOL!

    Whatever it was, we got a bargain. Guess I'm going to have to go look in the sack. :p

    Of course, we really didn't need the organic mint chip ice cream, but at $1.25 a pint it was hard to pass up. :rolleyes:

    Update: Found my receipt -- the mystery item was a large pouch of cocoa for 50 cents. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  6. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Haven't had time to post for a few days, but the fireplace got done enough to rent the place out. When I go up over 4th of July I need to clean the stone wall a little better and work on a better finish on the wood trim.

    Anyway, I grabbed stuff at the store for work week breakfasts when I got home. I ate some of the frozen leftovers for sack lunches. Yesterday, I got wind of a free tai chi class at a nearby hotel courtyard at lunchtime and I did that during my long lunch break. It was a lot of fun even though I probably was not very graceful....

    Carpooler was gone this week, so I took the train to work all week. Kind of peaceful and it didn't take much gas to get to the park and ride.

    Plans for today are a lot of laundry, bank errands, grocery shopping, and work on my camping van.... I picked a spot to go camping in mid-July that is close to Colorado Springs. If I need to run to town for something then I can, but it is far enough out in the woods to get that nature groove going. The campground has shaded level sites, pit toilets, and water but no RV hookups (which I don't need anyway...). Half the sites are reservation and half walk-up so I think I will drive down and just pick a site since I am going on Wed/Thursday nights. I have several other campgrounds nearby if the first one is full. It is a national forest area and really pretty. I have driven past that series of campgrounds in the past and always thought it was a nice spot. Cost is $23 a night - pricey for forest service. I think worth it though, because there is a campground host and it it close to a hiway into town if I have any problems. After I get some experience with the new van, then I will do more of the free dispersed camping areas. For now I want the water spigots and toilets readily available!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  7. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Got a 10 percent discount on store brand groceries today, so stacked it with coupons and got some decent deals. It was a complicated trip -- especially when the store was out of several more items on our list AGAIN. Last week when they actually had trout in stock for a change I was hoping they were doing better.

    We always come home with a weird hodge-podge of items on discount days, but I limit it to items we use a lot, so eventually it does make it onto our table even if they aren't items planned for specific meals.

    Today we picked up a 34 cent bottle of mustard, a large 70 cent can of pineapple tidbits, some cheap organic refried beans, a sixty cent bag of organic frozen mixed vegetables, a one dollar pint of gourmet ice cream, a 70 cent container of cottage cheese, some baby fingerling potatoes and organic apples.

    Of course, they were out of the coleslaw mix, organic Marcona almond chocolate bars and ointment we'd planned to buy.

    Before going to that store we hit a sister store that doesn't offer the 10 percent discount, but often has better prices on produce. It was certainly worth the stop! Biggest find were organic fresh carrots with the top still on for $1.29 a bunch. The sister store was charging $2.49 which is why we don't buy them there!

    They had some beautiful organic beets -- not cheaper than usual, but the sister store often doesn't have them at all.

    We also found markdown celery and single serve apple wedges with caramel sauce for 25 cents each. That qualified us for a $2 produce discount coupon that I just loaded to our card yesterday.
     
  8. jastwins

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

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    Today, I saw a school email about the upcoming board meeting and was happy to see that some extra jobs I posted for were actually given to me. For the upcoming school year, I will be co advisor on the yearbook, 10th grade class advisor, athletic chaperone and clock time keeper as well as detention monitor. The first 2 jobs last all year long and the other jobs are only for a couple of months. As an athletic chaperone, I stand there for 2- 3 hours and monitor crowds at some basketball games. As the timekeeper, I get to sit there, watch the game, keep score and make $10 bucks more than an athletic chaperone. Any extra money I earn will be put to good use.
    Another email popped up this afternoon, advertising a full time teacher aide position in my school. I asked my friend if it was for her class and she said yes and had recommended me. However, it dawned on my that one other employee might want this job and she is union, while I am not. Chances are, if she applies, I will not even get interviewed. My timesheet position is not a union job, so all union employees get first dibs. I am just trying to get a job that would let me join the union, but let's just say you need connections and I do not have that in my favor.
    Another problem stressing me out is that the girls' scholarship checks from Crankie's job were mailed out on June 17th, from NYC. We are talking about $11,000.00!!! Have I received any of the three envelopes? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! The checks are mailed twice a year and the last three times worked like a charm. My small post office has had issues with non-delivery of items in the past and I am hoping we are not heading that way again. Two years ago, people were not getting mail or packages and the postmaster general showed up and stayed there for over a month. I also have not received 2 birthday cards sent by my MIL and my sister. When you do not get mail everyday... you wonder....did they not have time to get it to my box. On Saturday, I had no mail, but on Monday, 9 pieces of mail. I think these guys are not doing their jobs as efficiently as they could be. I also signed up for emails of my mail delivery and it has not shown up there either. Praying to St. Anthony that these checks show up soon. I also emailed the lady at Crankies' job to see if she thinks 3 new checks should be mailed.
     
  9. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Was in a terrible rush this morning and didn't get on here like I usually do. We went to a (free) 4th of July BBQ at the resort and so we had to rush up the mountain in the heavy traffic. We got here at 1:30 pm instead of noon, but there was plenty of food left. DH and I both had grilled chicken, but the ribs and hot dogs looked good too.... Plenty of sides too - cole slaw, potato salad, mac-n-cheese, watermelon, baked beans. To top it off, there was pie and cookies for desert. They even gave us beer tickets so DH and I had 2 each. I took a nap after lunch for about an hour because it was all too much. I walked over to the lake for a few minutes and they were having lots of kids activities like a fishing derby, face painting, and sidewalk chalk. There was a live local band but I didn't hang around too long to listen. Tomorrow is a bluegrass band so I may go check them out for a while...

    To add to my rush this morning, I had a walmart pickup that I had to do. I also gassed DH's car since we left that for our son. He did not work Wed so he is working tomorrow. I did go to Kroger too and found a few bargains. I got a supreme deli pizza that we will have for dinner tonight (for $3.49). I found some packages of pork chops on markdown and snagged 4 of them. I brought 4 chops to cook tomorrow for us and put the rest in the freezer. The chops expire on 7/06 and were already marked down to average out at .95 a lb. I had to grab those for sure.

    DH went to the outlet stores while I napped. I had to call him to bring a package of butter and a loaf of bread from the store on his way back. I forgot to throw the butter in the cooler and we were out of bread anyway. This saves me a 12 mile round trip later tonight.... I've decided that I sure like where I live in town because walmart, the grocery, and my bank are all near each other at only 8-10 blocks away.

    By the way the 4th of July skiing at Abasin was a sight to see... We drove past and many people were in red, white. and blue. Rocking the shorts, bikinis, Uncle Sam outfits, etc. - there are gonna be a lot of bizarre selfies going out on Instagram today! The parking lots were completely full and there were cars parked anywhere and everywhere they could for about 2 miles on either side of the ski area.

    I hope everyone enjoys their 4th of July. I will be enjoying the peace and quiet up here in the mountains instead of seeing fireworks. There is a stargazing program tonight that I might go to if I am still awake....
     
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  10. Cathy

    Cathy Happy Birthday Cathy!!

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    Jastwins, you are such a go-getter! Where do you find all the time and/or energy???
     
  11. jastwins

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

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    @Cathy ... luckily the jobs are once or twice a week during whatever sport I am assigned to. Last year I filled in for 10 games. There are 10-12 people on the list so they spread out the work.
    The yearbook will keep me busy the whole school year. Class advisor meets once a month and we have to do some fundraising. Last year I only had detention duty twice. However you have to be on the list to get the assignment. I have the time once all 3 girls are in school.
     
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  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    It has been a relaxing weekend for sure. I walked around the lake this morning and only saw two people: one guy walking his dog and a Keystone employee cleaning up the plaza from the kids activities the night before.... It sure was crowded around the lake the last couple of days though....

    Anyway, we had salad and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch yesterday and the pork chops for dinner. I did scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast yesterday. Today, DH had some cinnamon rolls that he bought at the farmers market, so I just ate a banana and some cinnamon toast.

    I am debating about cooking lunch or just eating at the lakeside grill. A burger and fries actually sound kinda good...

    I have been researching a big road trip that I have planned next year. I will share my plans later if it works out to do what I want... It will be a campervan trip if I do it, but I might stop off at a hotel a couple of times to get a good shower and a break from the van. It is 3000 miles of driving over 2 weeks, so I can average 300 miles in each of 10 days and still have a couple days to not even drive and give myself a break from the road.
     
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  13. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Booked a "free night" at a Residence Inn for our last night of vacation in the late fall. Going to try to go to the Meow Woof museum in Santa Fe, NM before coming home. I had to pick from Fairfield or Residence Inn and that was a no brainer decision to go ahead and get the kitchen. I also got a night booked for after Petrified Forest Park. I think that is the last of the bookings other than the night after Joshua Tree. Doing that a week out because I want to check on weather before deciding where exactly to stop. This trip was a lot of work because of us moving around a lot. The idea being to see a lot of country and figuring out some places that I might want to go back to later..... The most we are staying any one place it 3 nights. All hotels except Grand Canyon were under $90 though and Airbnb's were even less- so that was good.
     
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  14. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Friday started out to be a somewhat frugal outing ... :rolleyes:

    Harriman State Park was having a Heritage Day Celebration and even though it is one of our favorite state parks and only a little more than two hours away things have been so hectic we haven't gotten up there for many years.

    We have a state park pass which cost us only $10, so admission to Harriman was free -- and we've already visited several state parks with the pass this year.

    We've got a lot of fuel rewards built up from last month, which means we can enjoy a lot of day trips this month with one dollar off most gallons of gas at fill-up.

    The tank wasn't quite as low as he wanted, so DH decided to drive an hour to refill so the tank would have more gas when we hit the stretch with no gas stations where our discount would apply. Besides that, gas was cheaper in that city than it was here.

    I ran in and got a few discount groceries while he was filling the tank.

    Then we stopped up the road for a nice B1G1 lunch using our punch card -- $10 total for two delicious Mandarin Chicken Salads.

    The waitress mentioned road construction has been a real mess the direction we were planning to take and she suggested taking the longer route. Not only is it a lot more scenic, it is currently faster since the construction delay on the other route adds at least as much time as you would normally save.

    It is a beautiful route -- normally a lot lovelier when the Tetons decide to show themselves from beneath the clouds. However, that day you could only see the base of them -- still pretty, but ... :(

    There honestly aren't too many bad routes to take anywhere in Idaho. We've got 31 "scenic byways" in this state and they are all quite beautiful -- each in very different ways. IPTV recently re-ran a program on our scenic byways and we honestly hadn't realized just how many of them we have driven!

    Of course, the scenic route meant we'd be silly to pass up Mesa Falls as long as we were driving by -- and Mesa isn't actually just one stop. There is a pull-out for both the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls.

    We hadn't planned the stops and there was a U.S. Forest Service sign saying there was a fee so I was busily digging for DH's U.S. Park Pass when the woman told us it is a joint effort between the State and the U.S. Government. The State Pass Sticker on our windshield worked just as well and she told us we didn't need to get DH's pass.

    They've made a lot of improvements since we were last there, so in some ways it was much like visiting an entirely new park. Both stops are beautiful, but the Upper Falls is quite a hike and the main parking lot was full so we got stuck in the overflow lot.

    It was easy to get to the falls from the overflow lot, but on the way back the route to the overflow lot wasn't marked, so we ended up in the main lot and then had to hike a LONG road around to the overflow -- since we'd missed the short route to our car.

    Needless to say, we got to Harriman a LOT later than we had hoped. The Heritage Days Celebration didn't start until 1 p.m. and we'd hoped to arrive by at least 1:30 p.m. -- instead of 3:30 p.m.

    It was still nice and we got to tour the inside of most of the Harriman buildings and the Mesa Falls Lodge. They haven't always been open on our previous visits. We just ended up with a Mesa Falls bonus added to our travel that day.

    On the way home, we stopped for delicious B1G1 huckleberry milkshakes with our punch card again.

    Then we stopped farther down the road for a B1G1 dinner at a favorite local restaurant chain which closed here, but is still open 90 miles away. Two Navajo Tacos and a beverage came to less than $12. Could have gotten by for less than $10, but decided to make pigs of ourselves and order the large ones since we can't buy them here any longer. :p

    We were still going to make it back home during daylight -- until we had a tire blow-out on the freeway -- at the speed limit which is 80 miles per hour. DH was being passed right and left even though we were one of the "slow cars." Miraculously, he was able to keep the vehicle under control and get us pulled off onto the shoulder. :eek:

    Neither one of us have ever been in a vehicle during a blow-out, but I knew immediately it "sounded" like one. DH said his first thought was perhaps the transmission had fallen out! Quite an experience, I must say. :oops:

    It was the front driver side tire that blew and not only had we never changed a tire on this vehicle, but the shoulder of that freeway was NOT a safe place to do it. There simply wasn't enough room without risking getting hit by cars going MUCH faster than 80 mph.

    We called the state patrol to alert them we were pulled off and eventually worked our way through the voice mail system to get the insurance company to order roadside assistance which is included on our insurance.

    By then the state patrol had called back and left a message saying they were swamped and probably wouldn't get there to assist.

    Then while we were listening to that message we got a call from the towing company confirming we still wanted assistance after the insurance company had contacted them. Never a dull moment.

    Long story short, it went relatively smoothly considering the circumstances.

    A fellow from a neighboring town pulled over to see if he could help when he saw our flashers. He agreed with us that waiting for the towing company made more sense than trying to change it ourselves.

    Then a state patrolman did arrive between calls. He had just spoken to the tow truck driver and since he'd have to drive to the neighboring town and exit to turn the truck around, he knew it would still be a while before his arrival.

    The patrolman left some flares behind our vehicle, before getting another call. Then with the additional tow truck lights flashing the fellow was able to get cars to pull over to the left far enough to change to our spare.

    Of course, he does it regularly so he had the tire changed and ready to go in less than 10 minutes. It would have taken us forever. He also had a compressor and the spare -- which had never been used -- was not bad, but a little low so he took care of that while he was at it.

    We actually made it home less an hour and a half later than planned.

    Of course, Monday we got hit with a $500 bill for a new set of tires with a 55,000 mile warranty -- but even that was a lot less than we had expected to pay. One of the tire dealerships had a really good sale going and they were very quick at installing the new tires.

    We were planning to change out the tires this autumn anyway, so DH just decided to get all four taken care of at once. I guess we can't blame the day trip for the extra expense, even though it was a steep one. In the end the Blazer now rides like a brand new vehicle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Uneventful work week, except that they had an award ceremony and there was some free food that I scored. I ate lunch at the event on Tuesday and brought my sack lunch back home. Wednesday there was enough of the pinwheels and fruits and veggie plates left in the breakroom fridge that I managed to eat another free meal. I also brought home an open bag of potato chips to snack on....:D

    Only errands today are to go to bank and get a little cash for my campground fees next weekend, then gas up DH's car. I am going try and have another clean out the fridge weekend so that I can start fresh again, so it is leftovers day for lunch.... I am going to my travel club tonight and my son is coming along, so we will be eating dinner there. Chores are mostly caught up as I did 2 loads of laundry last night after work and the dishwasher got ran this morning already.

    I opened a roth IRA today and just deposited a little bit for a place holder. I will be doing a Roth conversions from my traditional account after I leave my job to take advantage of some tax savings before I get to the point where minimum 401(k) withdrawals and SS jack my income back up into a higher tax bracket.... I decided on a date to leave in 2020 and need to get my paperwork in after I do my vacation bid in November. I am working long enough into 2020 to fill my HSA to the max before I go. I am using my vacation to leave earlier but extend my "time in service" an extra month. I will have to go back to work at the end of the month for 3 days. That way, I also get my vacation pay as regular payroll and can deduct my 401(k) contributions and get the match for a little longer. Otherwise, they lump sum out your vacation pay and it takes a while for the check to even show up! I plan on taking a couple of temp jobs in the later part of 2020 to fill in my time for the rest of the year, then I will evaluate what kind of part-time job I want in 2021 and 2022 until DH can retire. I may as well do a little work and add to the IRA and cash savings some more in those 2 years that I am waiting for him to retire.... Retirement planning is super complicated isn't it? At least I have a plan - many coworkers at my age just think they will "work till they die" not even considering how their health might be as they get older.

    By the way, both of those temp jobs are out of state and will give me a chance to see another place for a while. DH will have to hold down the fort at home while I do the campervan life for a bit. I already checked out the RV park used by one of the jobs and saw that it was pretty nice - even has a swimming pool and nice fitness center!:) Free camping and a paycheck too - what a deal!
     
  16. jastwins

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

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    Great news! The scholarship checks I thought were lost were not even mailed until this week. Crankie has the wrong info! Checks were received, copied and mailed out to each girl’s college this morning.
     
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  17. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I found 6 cents on my morning walk :)
    I'm doing two dogsitting jobs-and I have my granddogs. Very hectic :)
    I did not spend any money yesterday-taking my foster son to Hershey next week and I'm determined to not spend a dime until then.
     
  18. jastwins

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

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    I love finding change in the parking lot. Last week I found .36 cents!

    Today, Crankie called with the total to fix up our van and it came to $280. It needed muffler work and when it sounded like 10 motorcycles as you started it, we knew it had to go to the mechanic. Just when I really wanted to put some money aside for when the girls go back to school, it seems that I cannot save any money before an unexpected expense pops up. Last month was an oil change and AC repair for $155. It is a 9 year old van and we just need to keep it running so the girls have something to drive on the Island.
    Tonight I booked 2 ferries to get d2 back to school in September. I need to get her there on the Sunday of Labor day weekend and was able to get a discount fare going to school but not on the way back. It was only $6 more to get the basic fare, so I did not pay too much more.
    All my bills are paid this month and I pay most of them online to save stamps. I was glad I worked 4th of July week and since I usually take off those days. Since working at the bank this summer, I brought all my lunches from home and use the water cooler at work to refill my empty water bottle. It is expensive to get lunch near where I work so I never forget to pack snacks, water and a sandwich.

    On the hottest weekend of the year, I may go look for winter boots. Bobs store is going out of business and I am heading to my other house to pick up the van, so I will drive another 20 mins to see what Bob's store has left. Fingers crossed that I can get a deal and plan to use my last $50 of birthday money to pay for it.
     
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  19. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    DH used another of our $1 per gallon fuel rewards today to refill the tank after we took a spur-of-the-moment day trip to Utah yesterday.

    The big trick now is that he MUST remember to use the 50 cent per gallon reward the next time he fills up rather than the $1 the pump will offer him. We built up three one dollar per gallon discounts as well as a 50 cent one last month. Those all expire July 31. We've currently got about $1.60 in rewards built up for this month, but they won't expire until the end of August so need to save them for next month.

    And today we earned another 10 cent per gallon fuel reward with another store. However, that store's nearest station is 60 miles away and the only place we can use it here is Chevron -- which is normally quite a bit higher than where we usually fill-up. We need more than a 10 cent reward to entice us there.

    The Chevron discounts are handy at a couple Oregon stations which don't charge more than competitors -- on the way to Washington -- but we don't plan another trip to Washington for quite a while and certainly hope we don't have to make another rush trip over there before the end of August when the fuel reward expires.

    Our regular store offered us a discount of $10 if we bought two $25 oil change gift cards. We bought those today since it was a 4x fuel event. We were also running low on Taco Bell cards and we've been going there for dinner each week when we enjoy Sunday concerts in the park. All together, we earned another 40 cent per gallon in fuel rewards with today's combined gift card and grocery purchases.

    We just changed the oil when we got back from our last trip, but will need to change it again eventually so bit on the oil change promo.

    Didn't even realize our store sold cards for that place, so we'll have to keep that in mind when there are promotions in the future. I've been trying to pick up cards when Swagbucks had discounts, but we used our last SB cards on our last oil change and used a lot of other cards like Walmart and Chevron for our trips -- so really need to put SB to work refilling those in the future. With the reduced opportunities to earn SB these days, it takes a LOT longer to replace those cards when we use them!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019 at 12:16 AM
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  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Had a random vacation day on Wed, so I took the "new" van out for a trial camping trip. I took food from the house, so the only expense was the campground fee of $22 a night and a half tank of gas..... I did find a really nice dispersed camping area that is free if I want to go to place with no facilities sometime. This trip, I paid for the campground since I wanted the water and toilets available....

    Anyway, I unloaded stuff from the van that I didn't need and know what I want to do to improve some things next time. My little stove that I bought for $20 worked nice. I also cooked one meal over a fire because there was a bit of wood left from the last camper that I used up. The campground host was selling firewood for $7 a bundle, but I think it is cheaper at the grocery if I ever need some.....

    I am also not sure why all the youtube van people get expensive memory foam mattresses. I was fine with the Thermarest and my sleeping bag on the bench seat. I did take a good pillow though. The only down side was that it was warm even in the area that I went. After some hiking, I really could have used a real shower! (It was around 85 degrees for the high on Thursday up there.) I did wash up with some nice warm water from my solar shower bag. When I got home today it was 101 for the high here in town - so I should have stayed up there a little longer..... I ended up laying down for a while this afternoon because I didn't want to do anything in the heat.

    DH grilled brats outside for dinner, because it was too hot to cook inside. It looks like we have a cold front moving in overnight and tomorrow will be a more reasonable 83 for the high.

    I did one load of dishes today, but I think I will wait till tomorrow morning to do another. Even though I hand washed the camp dishes, I wanted to put them in the dishwasher before repacking them. The pan I used for bacon and eggs still felt a little greasy and I am just paranoid about clean dishes anyway.....
     
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