My five frugals for the week:
1) DH and I went for our annual dental cleaning/exam/x-rays. Yes, I know I should go twice a year, but it seems to be hard enough for me to get in one visit, so I am happy with that. We're still in the no cavity club ☺This is part of the dental plan at our school, so the cost OOP is ZERO. Happy to have that over for another year. Do you have a dental plan as part of your benefits? Then you have no excuse...use it!
2) I picked up two free movies and 3 partially filled bottles of perfume (one being my favorite brand) from the free table in our teacher lounge.
3) I finished our US taxes using Turbo Tax (well, 99%--awaiting one piece of info), AND I will save $20 doing so because I have a Mint.com account. Another not-so-fun-task marked off the list. Double the fun for us since we have to file in Hong Kong and the US, but the HK tax year runs April 1-March 31, so I have another couple months before the second filing is due. (For inquiring minds: the US is one of only 2 countries that requires you to pay taxes on income earned in another country even if you pay taxes in the country where you work. The good news for us is that you only have to pay on anything above $100K USD per person or $200K per married couple, and that is never going to happen while we are in HK, but we are still required to file.) I also filed our annual FBAR, another fun US government requirement if you have bank accounts outside the US. In theory, this helps them track down criminals, but honestly, if you are hiding your money in an international account to avoid paying taxes, are you really going to report it?? Seems to me it simply makes more work for us honest folks.
4) My American Express Platinum card lets you choose an airline annually and gives you $200 back per calendar year if you book any incidental fees (baggage fees, lounge access, etc) with that airline using your card. They also let you book gift cards if you choose American Airlines. Since I want to cancel this credit card later this year, I went ahead and bought my gift cards so that I will get that $200 bonus in for sure.
5) I made hummus from scratch! First time, and I have my sister Fae to thank for inspiring me when I was home at Christmas. I LOVE this stuff, but it is quite expensive to buy it pre-made in Hong Kong. Here is the recipe I used, and it doesn't use tahini paste, which tends to be the most expensive ingredient. DELISH!
And for my readers with a US address, a few freebies for you:
Get a coupon for a free cup of Noosa yoghurt.
Now through February 28, get a free glazed donut with a coffee purchase at Krispy Kreme. (So jealous right now!)
And here is a free sample of Breathe Right strips.
And for Hong Kong readers, there is a fun contest on facebook right now compliments of Farmer's Market. Enter here for a chance to win $1100 HKD worth of grass fed beef tenderloin. Contest ends February 13th.