Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Frugal Hits & Misses: September Report

This month heralded a welcome break from the heat -- and, finally, a chance to test drive our 5th wheel trailer. We were right. It's going to be a comfortable home when we finally move in next spring! 
     I love the fall color and renewed hope in this lovely season.

If it weren't for the truck maintenance/repairs and the bathroom renovations, we would have had a reasonably frugal month. Those lesser costs will help out with October's bills, at least. 





HITS:

*Watched a bunch of shows free...plus some Broncos football. (Now, if we could only get Michigan and CU college ball events too.) One of our favorites, Designated Survivor, started up again on Sept. 27.

*Earned two more $25 Amazon gift cards by using Swagbucks... again! (I got a $3 giftcard, too.) No work -- just the searches and shopping we normally do. And they don't pester us, which I especially like. Go here for more, and to register -- it's easy.

*The Brick got a 20-cents-a-gallon discount for gas. Thank you, Safeway, for adding all those little incentives for buying produce, etc. -- they really add up. I used a 10-cents gasoline discount at King Soopers; good, but not as nice.

*Processed -- and processed and processed -- peaches. Put 50 pounds each of kidney and white beans in more reliable storage containers. (The Brick is convinced that our mousey problem stems partly from them munching on  beans. I'm not sure, but did it for his sake, if not the mice.) Scrubbed out the cooler we keep on the back deck, and will fill it with apples we got in Palisade.

*Bag of specialty dogfood -- an $8 coupon made it only a penny!

*The Brick got a 'preferred customer discount' when buying truck parts -- $50 saved, just because he mentioned it!   $100 to have oil change and brakes done. (If it had gone to the dealer, we would have paid $600 or more.)

*A free Red Lobster birthday lunch from friends. (Thanks, guys.)

*22 videos for $1 each, thanks to the library's used-book room. (One put up on Amazon.)

*Sold a few things on Amazon. 

*Free movie tickets for us and two friends to American Made.

*Some appraising work. Enough to keep me busy.

*$5 discount on a $25 Red Robin gift card. (Which we'll use to augment the free birthday burger I get this month.)

*$ from playing for a wedding. And a funeral. And a church service. Not a lot, but some.

*A $10 rewards card from Lowe's -- spent on flowers. Plus a bunch of birthday discounts and specials.  (Free cupcakes, baguettes and garlic bread from the thrift shop, too.)

*A package of Cheddar cheese -- found in the grocery store parking lot. Something like this happened back in June, too. Weird.



Cheese -- always good for soup

*For fires this month, we used the wood we cut up, instead of buying any. Those 'sticks' really came in handy. Next: a few dead trees in the backyard that have been 'curing' all summer. (We'll X them with spray paint before the leaves fall on the living trees.) We didn't have to turn on the furnace yet, thanks to this.

*Stayed and worked, when we wanted to go camping, instead. Welcome to adulthood...

*Generator given to us by friends, plus a giftcard, for doing them some favors. The generator's just what we needed for helping out with the trailer's power needs.

*50 pounds of onions: $5.  (Yes, from our favorite Friday/Saturday store.) Unfortunately, they got wet -- so I spent several hours chopping and cleaning them for the freezer. (Total packages: 31.) It will be nice to have them ready to use this winter, but I would have been happy to do something else, instead. Ironically, only the last few onions really made me tear up.

*Three stops at Burger King - all with coupons. This helped balance out other costs on the camping trip. (See below.)

*Boxes of peaches: $10 each!  We paid $17 each for two boxes of 'green' peaches (that ripened a week later) plus two boxes of Jonathan apples. The peaches are nearly gone, but the apples should hang in there for months, stored in the crisper.

MISSES:

*Some wastage on the peaches -- those little devils just ripened soooo quickly. (The chickens ate the leftovers -- but reluctantly.)

*Another bag of cracked corn for the chickens, who only lay when they feel like it. Which isn't often. Their end is growing near.

*Final bills for renovating the bathrooms are paid. It will be a stretch, covering everything. Thank God we can do it. (I mean that literally.)

* A $500-and-change bill in Grand Junction to fix the truck, which kept overheating, whether it was pulling the trailer or not.

*A bunch of small expenses to fix the Brick's IPad and cellphone -- only the cellphone isn't fixed yet. $100 here, $50 there...it all starts to add up.

You can see earlier monthly reports here, starting with August. 




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Yikes!