Friday, December 1, 2017

Frugal Hits & Misses: November Report

Whoa, that month went fast, and slow, at the same time. We promptly went from glorious fall to dreary tan, plus a scraping of snow, in just a few days. What's made it even stranger: we've had barefoot weather for weeks now. It helps with heating costs, but gives the landscape a bland, grubby look. 
     That's supposed to change next week. We'll see -- we need the moisture badly.
     The Mama's visit, plus periodic ones by Daughters #1 and #2, plus Son #1, made an otherwise dull month more interesting. I did have some intriguing appraisal work and a talk, too. 
     We made some progress, cleaning up and donating -- but much more is needed.

* * * * * * * * *
     Faithful Readers, thank you! Blog visits this past month have been consistently past 6000, often holding steady at 6500. They're down some now, but I have hopes they'll head right back up. You make this humble blogger feel very proud. Thank you. 





FRUGAL HITS

*Veteran's Day: The Brick's six-year stint in the Navy entitled him to pizza at Little Caesar's; a coupon for a free combo meal from Freddy's Frozen Custard; free lunch at Texas Roadhouse...and free supper at Applebee's. The strange thing about attending these: you can pick out the military people right away. (Something about the way they carry themselves.)

*Tuesday Morning Discount: Working there as a seasonal employee has brought in extra cash -- but I also get a regular discount. This weekend, that was doubled from Nov. 30-Dec. 2. We got several items for the master bath; some storage stuff for the trailer; and a boatload of presents, imported candy, cookies and other food items for Christmas. I'd estimate we saved something like $200, by waiting to do this.

*Food bargains:  35-cents a pound for the Thanksgiving turkey at Safeway -- plus some 12-packs of Coke for $2.22 each. The regular Friday freebies from both Safeway and King Soopers. (Go to those sites, as well as Fred Meijers, on Fridays -- look for the 'free items.') I regularly bought canned soup for $1 each -- or less. The best was 4 cans of Campbell's chicken noodle -- thanks to a sale price and coupons, for 24 cents total!

Just the thing for a dreary day

     The last trip to King Soopers netted two marked-down half-price packages of loin pork chops -- which were on a BOGO special, to begin with. That's the kind of math I really enjoy.
     Our beloved Friday/Saturday Store visit today landed us bright red peppers (25 cents each), a bunch of asparagus (50 cents), a huge bag of mixed greens ($1);  a number of different specialty sauces (99 cents - $1.99); candy bars and such, for Christmas stockings (3 for $1); canned green beans, a case of 24 for $5.00 (20.8 cents each). Plus one of the best buys: Starbucks hot cocoa mix, a pkg of 24 packets for $6.00. Twenty-five cents each may not sound like a bargain, but it is hands-down the richest, darkest commercial hot chocolate ever.

*Non-food bargains:  90%-off Halloween items. Some good half-price bargains from the same clearance aisle...and 40-60% off items at Tuesday Morning's clearance. (In addition to my discount.)

*More dollar videos from the library booksale room -- including several that will be used for Christmas presents. Read quite a few new books, but only because they were from the library. (We did buy a few Bigfoot experience books I'd seen on Amazon -- but got them for slightly less, and no shipping costs. More on this in a future post.)

*Cut our own Christmas tree -- plus Daughter #1's. Ten bucks each.



*Sold a few items on Amazon. Starting to clear out inventory, and ship the unsold items off to Donation Land, instead.  (We also donated 8 heavy bags of books, decor and clothes, plus a white Christmas tree.)

*Attended a lavish investment dinner, with friends Tom and Chris. We didn't buy a thing -- they didn't, either. But the food was great.

*Finished renovating the bathrooms! Well, sort of...the master bath still needs a few small touches. Returned some items we didn't need, after all. No more bleeding cash in this area, at least.

*Another $5 giftcard for Burger King, earned through Swagbucks -- which brings our total of earned gift cards up around $120 or so for this year...with no extra effort. You can do this, too.

*Used a Groupon, purchased back in August, for a trip to an Ethiopian restaurant, along with Daughter #2 and Son #1.

*Got a few Black Friday specials at discount -- but not that many. Free shipping, too.

*Didn't waste that many leftovers this month. We were also given free bread, avocados, bananas, baked goods and pumpkins.

*Given a gift card for Siena, one of Castle Rock's local restaurants. We've only eaten there once -- it will be fun to use it.

Gee...thanks (blushing)


*Did a lecture on the Great Depression in Colorado Springs for the local Questors group there.  A few appraising jobs have filled in bare spots here and there, too.

*Gas fillups: 20 cents a gallon off one time; 10 cents off, another visit.


FRUGAL MISSES

*The scamming incident is STILL not resolved.  No word from either the police department, or from Priority Choice Marketing, who'd promised to send me a check.
     Guess I need to write another letter.

*Ended up paying $60-70 in interest on the stupid credit card -- for just a month's use. Grrr.....back to paying off the credit card in full every month. (Faithful Readers out there, please consider doing this! Credit card interest can really burn up any savings you make on purchases.)

*Kept the chickens alive longer than we should have. They're still clucking around...but also taking care of bread and leftovers we could not use up in time.  Oh, and they also bother to lay an egg or two now and then. Big of them.



*The mice are still a problem. Every now and then, we see one shoot across the floor. As the Brick says, "Dadburn it." The stronger poison has helped -- but not enough. Just now, we heard mega-squeaking and the trap dragging...but it got away. Aargh.

*Bought a tapestry. I admired this piece a decade ago -- and recently was given the opportunity to buy it. They were even kind enough to let me make monthly payments. Now I have a chance to study this antique style at home, as well. (This isn't really a miss...but it is more than I'd planned to spend this month.)

For more Frugal Hits & Misses reports, starting with October, go here. 
   Or compare this month to last year's report. 



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Yikes!