Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

KmmCo

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*Breakfast: scrambled egg mexican style - green pepper, onion, cheese, salsa added to it.
*lunch - leftover chinese food that I just microwaved.
*Dinner - mini pizza in the works. Pepperoni, green pepper, and onion.

I did another walk at a free spot (conservation area), took a little sightseeing drive, then went to an auto museum for a couple of hours. The museum was a bit pricey at $21 but I had fun for a couple of hours.

*I found cheap gas while out on my drive $2.57/gallon. Most of the stations nearby are $2.89 so I went ahead and topped off my tank. I really haven't used much gas since I filled up on Sunday in Springfield. At that price though I decided that I had better top it off.

I have noticed sales tax is really high here in town and am glad that I am not buying a bunch of stuff while I am here.

I did some laundry before dinner and am probably just gonna veg out in front of the TV tonight. Nothing wrong with being a couch potato in my view since this week is truly a vacation for me. I feel like I am so busy with doing "chores" at home that even when I am not working a paid job, that I am still "working".
 

KmmCo

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Today, I drove up to Springfield and had late lunch ( or early dinner ) with my old boss from a couple of years ago. Had fun talking to her husband too.... That was my only meal today besides oatmeal for breakfast. I have been snacking on cookies a bit today - I did finally get those made.

*I tried to shoe shop today but didn't even try anything one. It was all either too expensive, too ugly, or not in the right sizes. Oh well, I saved money by not buying anything.

Tomorrow is my last full day here in Branson. I have show tickets for the evening, but am not sure what I am doing during the day. There is really nothing on my "bucket list" for here other than relaxing. I will probably come back to the area again sometime and do more stuff that I didn't do this trip.
 

KmmCo

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This morning, I went for a walk in one of the city parks here. I came back to the room and ate leftovers from last night for lunch. This afternoon, I have been prepping stuff to make a quick getaway tomorrow.

*I boiled some of my eggs to use for salads or for snacks. The rest of my cookies are in ziplocks for snacking on later. I am going to finish off the refried beans tonight for dinner.

* I am meeting a friend in Arkansas at a campground for the night on Sunday. She says I can share the space she is in now, I will give her half the camp fee for tomorrow night when I get there since she already paid for the sight for the weekend. Saves us both money. Also I would not have been able to see her till Monday afternoon if I waited for her to get home from the trip she is on now.
 

KmmCo

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I ended up spending a second night with my friend at her house. After that I went to Memphis and did some tourist things. I also found a campground right outside the city to stay out. (That one cost me $30 but was super nice.)

I decided to make a direct run from there to Birmingham Alabama. I found a nice state park south of Birmingham to stay at that night. (paid with my gift card so free sort of...) Since there was the rain and such moving in from storm Nicholas, I headed straight south to Florida and landed up in Tallahassee. I decided to make a reservation at a hotel with cash plus points that cost me $54.

Today, I am driving on south about 4 hours and staying at another hotel. This one was more expensive at $108, but it is close to the coast and only an hour away from my final destination in St Peter's Beach. I tried to search for availability of camping for tonight and all that I found was gonna cost $40 to $50 anyway, so I just splurged for the hotel once again. I kind of figured that might happen here in Florida anyway....

I did do a fun thing in Alabama yesterday. Went to a museum for $10. It was nice and broke up the drive a bit.

*My friend fed me for a couple of days. I had some heated up leftovers at the first campground after that. The second night, I opened a can of chili and ate half of that. I forgot that I had some stuff in the cooler that I could eat and ended up grabbing a burger last night at Whataburger. (It was good, but I still think I like Freddy's the best of all.)

Today, I will eat my own food that I have already....

Anyway, I am gonna look around for a few minutes in Tallahassee after checking out of the hotel. I will start off on that 4 hour drive after lunchtime so that I get to the hotel right after 4 pm check-in starts. I forgot about the time change last night and ended up here right at 6 pm which is why I was not thinking and just grabbed a burger after checking in.... I was really hungry by the time I got my bag up to the room and got stuff done like setting up my computer....
 

KmmCo

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This morning, I went to the free museum at the Florida state capitol. It was fun though I didn't stay long. I only had enough change to feed the parking meter for an hour and 36 minutes....

I did eat my picnic lunch at a rest area, then mostly spent the day driving. I took one other nice little break at a state park trailhead that was right by the highway. It was a nice short walk. I talked to a ranger that was removing some invasive plants and he was showed me what they were.

After I got to the hotel, I ate my leftovers and am just hanging out. I was gonna run over to the beach a couple of miles away, but my enthusiasm has just died. I don't even want to go down to the hotel pool. I think I might take a hot shower and put PJ's on. TV time tonight maybe. I have all day tomorrow and might do the beach in the afternoon for a bit. I want to explore this area around the hotel tomorrow since I am only an hour drive from where I need to be at 4 pm.
 

KmmCo

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Been busy being nothing but a beach bum. I finally decided the sun was getting a bit much today and actually got out of my swimsuit and dressed. I have not done anything that cost $ yet this week other than gasoline. Yesterday I went to visit an old high school pal and she bought my desert that I ordered. I didn't want lunch at the restaurant that we meet at, but I had a great piece of key lime pie. It was right on the beach though and we enjoyed a walk on the fishing pier and a nice swim afterward....

On Sunday I went to Aldi and got $19 worth of groceries to last the week with what i already had in my cooler. I also bought drinks and a couple of small items at Walmart yesterday. $25 for that stuff, but it included a 24 pack of soda, bottled water, and some liquor too. I wont drink all the drinks, but everything I brought from home is gone. I will restock the cooler with what is leftover when I leave here.

Tomorrow I do have a $25 boat tour scheduled for the afternoon, provided that it does not storm. I was goona do it Monday but they cancelled due to incoming storm with lightening. We got a deluge last night and a short storm blew thru this morning. Normal weather for this time of year here anyway. At least the storms are keeping the temperature down a little bit - usually it is miserably hot this time of year.-

*so far this week I cooked crockpot chicken, mini-pizzas, and eggs for breakfast. I also have had salad and turkey sandwiches for lunches. I made enough crockpot chicken for dinner for 2 more days. I have a little chicken breast that I will grill on Friday for another dinner. If there is any of that chicken left over, I will just use it for a sandwich on Saturday when I travel to Georgia. I am staying in a friend's driveway for a couple of nights so that she can show me the town she lives in. I know her well enough to know we will be trying some restaurants while I am there.

I am finding it cool that I have people I know in so many places. They can give a nice local perspective to the area that they are in. My friend in Arkansas is already talking about where to go camping next time I visit.

Beach bum girl is staying out of the sun for the rest of the day, so maybe TV time or maybe a nap.... I already did one jigsaw puzzle this week and am not really planning to start another today. I do have a crossword book with me and things to read if I really need stuff to do. No lack of entertainment, just a lack of enthusiasm to do much.

*
 

M_Lexx

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Went on a splurge trip today, a good-sized European (Eastern European to be exact) food market, a Hobby Lobby and an antique mall (in case any one wonders, Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA, would be a fun stop for those who love browsing well-organized aisles of booths full of various goodies). If it were up to me I'd probably commute between the two 24/7/365 but alas we used to be able to do both twice a year at best and it's been almost two years since our last trip, hence the splurge alert. Got to talk to the lovely ladies at the market and they were curious (and horrified to some degree) why I so rarely get out to buy my comfort food and why I wear a mask, I just laughed it off to the distance and cold.
 

KmmCo

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Got to go on my boat trip today and it was fun. Other than that I just spent time at the beach and the swimming pool. I am not even using gasoline much as the only driving that I did was the 2 miles to the boat dock today.

*Mini pizza for lunch. Dinner was leftover crockpot chicken. That is about the excitement of my day....
 

M_Lexx

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Can't believe it's October already, normally a very busy month for us but this one is going to be a hard one as DH's birthday is coming up and this is the first one without his twin brother (poor feller passed away back in June and it hit everybody like a ton of bricks but especially him and my 87-y.o. mother-in-law). I have no idea what the family has planned for him as it used to be sock monkey, Bugs Bunny themed silliness so I thought I'd try my best and take him out antiquing, it always cheered him up. I'm still bummed out since 'the older twin' was not just an in-law but a dear friend I miss horribly.

Last month FedEx screwed up the delivery of my yarn order to the point that they dumped it by the garage and the package got swiped (what's up with the yarn theft? I'd love to see the faces when they opened the box though!) and it took me almost two weeks to get Lion Brand to get my point across, of course the delivery agent is FedEx again.
 

jastwins

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@M_Lexx i am so sorry for the loss of your brother in law. Praying for your family.
Crankie had parts for his boat delivered here and drove out to pick them up. We just can’t trust packages being delivered to our other house and my neighbors that would take in out packages were away upstate selling one house and buying a smaller one. Our post offices get mix ups in the box numbers and the zip codes. ON my island, someone with the zip code 11965 has their mail or package go to the other post office 11964 due to an error or by the sender or the mail people. Why do you keep a package not addressed to you (it has happened as people post on facebook)
and many people have to go from one post office to another to search for the package. UPS will drop off smaller packages at USPS and you think you are gettting it at your home! It is an ongoing issue that seems to not improve as each year goes by.

Today I was cleaning out D2's room and found a tin full of change. So I spent all morning rolling it up and will deposit it in the bank. D2 has a good paying job, but her medical insurance is costly. She wanted to keep the medical insurance (free for her since Crankie is retired and pays for family coverage) we have that covers her until she is 26. My husband's union will let her pay cobra for dental, eye, prescription and hearing coverage and it costs $119 per month. That still makes it cheaper than the $2000 OOP she would have to pay as her deductible plus have money taken out of her check. I offered to split it with her and have already paid for September and will she will pay her share this month with the rolled coins I counted ($69.50).
Since D1 has gone back to school and is a full time student, she stopped paying cobra ( I split it with her too) just around the time I had to pay for D2 so no break for me.
This school year I am only doing detention monitor and I was hoping for other jobs but that will not be the case. I was assigned a morning duty and afternoon duty and have kept up with my time sheets. On back to school night, I supervised babysitting for 10 kids and was helped by 2 girls from the honor society. The extra time sheet will be on my next check. Any amount is needed since I have not had a 10 day check yet from the school. When school is out , I work at the bank and the pay is not equivalent, but some money is better than no money. I am trying hard to save for Christmas since I will be without the extra pay I had the last 2 years. Hopefully no emergencies pop up and I keep my spending to a minimum.
 

KmmCo

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Boy what a week it has been. I left St Pete on Saturday and went to my friend's house in Savannah. What a pretty city. Wish I could of stayed more than the two nights that I did. After leaving on Monday, I took a detour up to Hilton Head Island just to see what it was about, then drove back to Georgia to camp.

Tuesday turned into a trauma filled day. As I was pulling in to a campground, I noticed my front tire was damaged. I drove 30 miles back to town on a prayer and parked at discount tire for the night..... $641 and six hours later I got out of there with 2 brand new front tires that I badly needed. I went back to the same campground and actually got to stay there on Wed night...

Thursday I made it to Smoky Mountain National park and found a campsite for the night. I spent all day Friday at the park, then decided to drive a bit in the evening. I made it to a rest area past Knoxville and gave up for the night.

Tonight I am chilling at a Super 8 north of Nasheville. This is a free stay on points. I decided to make it a short travel day. Glad I did because major rain started this afternoon. I picked the right night for a hotel stay for sure. Just microwaving stuff for dinner tonight....

I haven't ate out since I left Savannah except a McDonald cheeseburger that I grabbed last night. In Savannah, my friend bought burgers one night and I got us hot dogs for lunch the next day. She then cooked a nice steak dinner for me and her family on Sunday night. It was so good....
 

KmmCo

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Okay, looking at my budgeting stuff. I realized that I did eat out the day I got my new tires. Moe's Southwest. They are good, but kinda of expensive in my opinion. The last time I ate there was when we went to universal studios = 3 years ago. I guess every 3 years isn't a bad track record.

My plan for today is just scenic driving though a bit of northern Tennesse. It looks like my route may cut through Kentucky into Missouri. I am eventually trying to get up to I70 and head back home to Colorado. I have a dental appointment at the end of next week, but I think I will get home this next weekend. I have plenty to do at the house as always.
 
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Gardencook

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Just got back from a trip to the Central Oregon Coast which was quite different from ones we've made in the past. I've generally only gotten to explore the coasts of Washington and Northern Oregon since they were so close to where I grew up in the Portland/Vancouver area. With Mom gone and Portland a MESS we decided it was time to explore new horizons.

Aside from the price of gas going through the roof it was actually quite an economical trip. Even then, we had some decent fuel discounts we were able to use on the trip. We could get a 40 cent discount through Albertsons/Safeway over that direction. Chevron stations over there often charge about the same amount as Safeway gas stations and the discounts work at both. Around here, we don't have an Albertsons gas station and Chevron often charges 40 cents more than the competition, so our fuel rewards are pretty much useless.

Since we had a Chevron card we earned through rewards programs, we were able to get one fill-up at the station closest to our rental house for no money OOP.

Our other discounts got very confusing because Fred Meyer -- a Kroger store -- has had a REAL mess with its computers the past several months and we aren't seeing much sign of them getting it straightened out soon. Our other Kroger chain has the total correct on receipts and all our transactions seem to credit, but there are no Kroger stores EXCEPT Fred Meyer in Oregon where we traveled. The receipt fuel points are usually wrong and MANY transactions aren't crediting at all toward fuel points. The local stores used to be able to correct the problems, but corporate took that power away and Kroger outsourced its customer service so it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get things corrected. It has been VERY frustrating!

Still we had a couple pretty sizable discounts including at least one or two one dollar per gallon discounts and about sixty cents per gallon going over and we returned with with a one dollar and a 20 cent one that won't expire until the end of the month. We only took three cent discounts on the way home, because we didn't have proper receipt totals and didn't have a cell phone to check the store app when we needed it. DH couldn't even get the WiFi to work in most of their stores. We had NO idea that the northern part of Oregon appears to be the only part with coverage by our carrier when we left on our trip.

Most Oregonians aren't too thrilled with their governor's Covid policies right now which are very strict (and frankly are overkill in such a rural portion of the state). We just didn't want a bunch of hassle so made sure to book only overnight stays with full kitchens to avoid restaurants. We ate picnic lunches on the road most days and a hearty oatmeal breakfast was easy using fresh fruit, discount yogurt and grapefruit juice and instant oatmeal cups from discount groceries. It worked out very well, because I enjoy discount shopping and we just worked around deals that I found along the route for most meals and I did cook steel cut oats on top of the stove the mornings we were in Coos Bay. The cups were just more convenient on the road.

Fresh fish was about the only real "splurge" while we were there. I didn't want to pass on the chance to buy fresh fish that had come straight off the boats the morning that we bought it. We bought fresh salmon and tuna in Newport and there was a cute little market with reasonable prices only a few miles from our rental where we got fresh salmon, rock fish and cod. They were even canning fish in the back while we were buying fresh out front. You can't get much fresher than that!

A Kroger mega sale was just wrapping up as we arrived, so I picked up a few things for our rental. Safeway also had some really good deals while we were there and since I was trying to be careful not to drag too much home, we ate pretty frugally.

We even found about three independently-owned discount groceries in Central Oregon, which weren't huge, but were something different.

The biggest treat was all the Grocery Outlets along the way. We always enjoy shopping there and really miss the stores we used to have here in our region. I couldn't pick up too much, but we did get some good deals on gourmet pasta, cheeses and some beautiful winter squash which I dragged home despite the fact I knew DH would think I was crazy. I can rarely get spaghetti squash for a decent price around here, had a TERRIBLE time getting it this year when the Utah farmers were getting their water cut-off and found it really hard to resist when good-sized squash were two for three dollars. I also picked up a kabocha and a turban shaped one for that price, as well.

We did arrive home to find that the one our plants produced this year had ripened while we were gone without freezing when it got hit by a hard frost while we were gone.
 

Gardencook

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Goodwill had a half price coupon today, so we dropped in. Picked up a few things, but nothing too extravagant. Found some bags with the cheap dollar store knives that used to be great, but have gotten to be really cheap quality in recent years. These were the old ones and there were a couple bags with several knives each which only cost one dollar with the coupon. I figured even if I only ended up liking one knife in each bag, they were still a good deal considering I can't find them any longer. However, I think we'll get several good knives out of each bag. The one bag also had a soup ladle and another had a nice spatula.

Another bag had a nice silicone hot pad which will work well in our kitchen bag -- which came in extremely handy on our trip to Oregon. The bag also had a can opener so we'll see if it is worth anything.

The biggest find was a bunch of unopened boxes of 200 square foot boxes of Kroger cling wrap which were also one dollar each after coupon.

We also picked up a couple vegetarian cookbooks that looked good and were only 75 cents each and a non-stick muffin tin for one dollar.

Tuesday, we went to our regular grocery store for a senior discount day. We had coupons for several items on which we needed to restock after travel -- onions, garlic potatoes, lemons ...

They also gave me an invitation only offer on store brand organics when we were in Oregon. The nicest part of the deal is that the items don't have to be purchased in a single transaction, but will accumulate on each transaction until October 23. We will get five dollars good on our next order each time we spend $25 and we can do it up to five times. We got up to our first $5 on that transaction.

We also had an coupon good for 100 fuel points on each purchase over $35 -- which arrived the day AFTER we spent more than that on most of the groceries we'd need in Oregon. We didn't end up getting much use of it while we were there, but got a couple hundred points when we got back into town when we restocked at a couple stores.

The first 100 points came when we stumbled on a BUNCH of health food supplements marked down to 75 percent off. The deals were too good to pass on, but I'd forgotten we had a $2/$10 digital coupon good on health and beauty. We had trouble with a similar coupon last month, but then it ended up surprising us and coming off when I found some Dr. Scholl's heel inserts in Oregon. When it reset, the second coupon ended up surprising us, as well.
 

KmmCo

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Home at last! I was thinking i would get in tomorrow, but I did a marathon drive today to get here. Motivation was that my van is full of "stuff" that I picked up at the storage area that I still have in Kansas. I camped one night with all the stuff in the van, but decided that a second one was not a good plan. Anyway, I only unloaded dirty laundry and the cooler tonight. I will deal with the rest tomorrow.

I grabbed fast food lunches the last two days. Zaxby's in Kansas City, and Taco Johns on the road today. Last night I just ate what was left of the Zaxby's cole slaw and one leftover chicken strip (cold). Tonight I don't know if I will even bother with a late dinner - maybe a bowl of cereal later..... Other that that, I have actually fixed food at the campsites.

After leaving the hotel on Sunday, I found a really pretty Tennessee state park on a lake. I stopped pretty early that night. Another short drive into Missouri directly and a night along the Mississippi River in Missouri- again I didn't drive a long day in order to enjoy the area. I did have to drive a little south to get across the river. Night 3 was a nice campground outside of Columbia Mo. (I was aiming for Kansas City and just couldn't quite make it there. I think I didn't get started until 11:00 that morning.)

The camp by the Mississippi River was kinda cool. I saw a few barges pass by on the river. The place I stopped at only had hookup sites. but the camphost put me in the picnic area for only $13 since the no hookup campground was completely closed for construction. I had a bit of a walk to the shower house, but it was worth it as I saved $15 by not taking a hookup site that I didn't need. I was the only one down in the picnic area section so it was nice to be away from the rest of the RV's too.

I ended up fiddling around a bit yesterday getting the storage stuff loaded and also making a visit to my parent's graves. I only drove to Junction City KS and stayed at a lake 8 miles out of town. I pulled in kinda late and got only a short walk and a few sunset pictures before dark. That is why I just grabbed the leftover Zaxby's out of the top of the cooler and ate it cold. I didn't feel like messing with anything else in the dark.

The rest of tonight is just laundry catch up if I have the energy. If not, laundry will wait till morning. ...
 
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KmmCo

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Missing a sock? I can't find it in the van, so I wonder if I lost it at a campground somewhere.

Anyway, i did only wash one load of towels last night. I ended up washing my clothing this morning.

I ran to the Kroger this morning. DH handed me coupons for free peanut butter and pop tarts. I got milk and soda which is what I went in for.
* *Lacking inspiration for lunch, I ended up just grabbing some frozen taquitos at the store for us. DH didn't sound enthused about it, but that is what I am fixing!

*dinner tonight is hamburger helper that I got out of the pantry. We had some hamburger in the freezer that I am thawing for that. I will fix some frozen vegetables to go with it.

After lunch, I am going to go pick tomatoes out of the garden and decide what to do with them. The Kale still looks good, but the cucumber vines are done. I just glance at it and will do a closer look in a little bit to see what else I can rescue.
 

Gardencook

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Kohl's was right by our hotel in Boise on the way home so we made a quick stop. I had a 40 percent off code a few days earlier, but no Kohl's for miles around. We still got 25 percent off the day we shopped.

DH has lost some weight and I've been trying to find him some new slacks. -- not an easy task when he's never wanted to be bothered with clothes shopping. We had some brand new smaller jeans leftover from when I stocked up on Kmart deals a couple years back and once he used them on the trip, he was more amenable to new slacks. We found a pair of $60 navy slacks on markdown which came to just over $10 after discount code.

I'm not normally a Capri wearer, but did buy a pair of Gloria Vanderbuilt Amanda Capris over the summer, because they are much easier than trying to roll up pants legs and keep dry when wading in the ocean. I didn't allow myself to wear them until the trip for fear I'd wear them out and I had paid something like $38 for them, because they weren't on sale, but were at the only store (out of town) that sells them.

They were so much cooler that I wished I had allowed myself to wear them this summer in our extreme heat!

When I found two pair exactly like them on a clearance rack on the way home I bought them -- even though the forecast calls for snow this week. I probably won't get any use out of them till next summer, but $17 a pair after discount is a lot better than what they'd cost me next summer IF I could find them at all.
 
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KmmCo

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Nothing too exciting here. Eating up leftovers today....

I got one zuchinni out of the garden yesterday, so that plant has not given up the ghost yet. I also dug up a few shallots.

*I got some salsa made with some of the tomatoes and ate a little of it for a snack. I still have a lot of ripe tomatoes left.
 

Gardencook

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It is COLD outside! Snow falling all day long and a winter storm advisory doesn't expire until late tomorrow and includes more snow, ice and high winds. Soup sounds amazing again. ;)

So tonight we're having Pinto Bean Soup with Brown Rice and a big salad on the side.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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This weekend cost me more than I planned and I will be on a strict budget until next payday. At least all my bills are paid.

I went to visit D1 in NYC and you have to take into account tolls and gas each trip ($2.89 at the reservation). Best expenditure of the weekend was $10 for a parking spot since I could not find one on my own. D1 asked me to bring her items and I did get her everything she needed. However I asked her if she needed anything at a supermarket and spent another $25 fufilling her requests. We ate out after her rugby game (even though there was a free bbq after her game) We were 1.5 miles from another borough and it involved a toll, but I got a free parking spot on the street. Our bill at the sushi restaurant was $56 with tip. AFter I dropped her off back at her apartment, I drove to my mom's house (another toll) and slept over. My sister came home from her night shift the next morning and we had a nice breakfast at Perkins after church. Great deal at this place ($7.99 for 2 eggs, 3 pancakes and 2 slices of applewood bacon...we all got the same dish)
I had a dr. appt yesterday and did very little shopping due to budget constraints. I paid my costco membership and was able to get gas for $3.05 a gallon. I went to Aldis to get some milk, cheese and salad, frozen veggies for $8.19. At cvs I got free toothpaste and a box of Kelloggs nut bars. When I get home, I will tackle my AFLAC insurance which has been a mess but may be resolved this month. I elected to cancel one of my 2 coverages and add a new one. The cancellation never happened and I have gone through 5 people in order to request a refund. It did not make my payroll lady happy, but I am not taking the blame for something that is not my error. Aflac has been sorely lacking in customer service and I may cancel them after this year. Too many headaches and you cannot get a person on the phone. AFter scheduling a callback ( 3 days after my initial call, a lady transferred me and the next person put me on to a survey call after 30 seconds on the phone. I was livid. ) AFter calling my first sales person, I was connected to a district manager who got me back to my new salesperson. He accused me of not wanting to come in and see someone in person and I flat out told him that due to covid restrictions, we were told to call and do any changes over the phone and I sent him the email to prove it.
I hope that when I put in for my doctor visits that I get reimbursed on a timely basis since I could use the money. Wish me luck.
 
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