Friday, January 18, 2013

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I try to find ways to 'not spend' every day.  All those little things can add up to big savings!  Here are some highlights from this week:

I used coupons and sales to get quite a few freebies this week - peanut butter, toothpaste, lip balm, black olives and more.  There were some good sales on produce too, along with a few other items.  We spent less than $3 for items we needed to round out meals, and a little over $11 on loss leaders and great deals - well under my $20 a week goal.
Daughter and I stopped at Chick Fil A on Friday morning for free chicken biscuits.  Another day, I got a free drink at Sonic for taking a survey online.

I won seven more dollars in the King Sooper Pop and Win game.  Hooray! 

Received four free samples of Airborne products in the mail.

Picked up a paper sack 3/4 full of free yarn for the prayer shawl ministry, thanks to a kind soul from craigslist.

Made a chocolate sour cream cake, except instead of sour cream, I used some coffee flavored yogurt that turned out to be a mistake (I thought my husband would like it.  I was wrong).  The cake wasn't the best I've ever made, but it is getting eaten, where the yogurt was not.

I took a sturdy plastic divided box insert and turned that into a place to store earrings.  In other news, I have too many earrings.

Made a body pillow for my husband from what used to be a valance in our daughter's bedroom and some polyfil I had stored up forever.  It's much firmer (longer too) than the ones in the stores, and we are hoping it will help him wake up less sore.  Once we get it 'adjusted' (I may have to remove some filler if it's too firm) and find out if it helps, I have a top sheet I can use to make pillow cases for it.

I made some notecards and bookmarks from items I had on hand. 

Hubby used 'points' from the supermarket to get $1 off gasoline.  We got the points by purchasing Home Depot gift cards, which we used to buy the supplies for the garage we built this summer.  We had to buy the stuff anyway, so the gas discount is bonus.  He took gas cans too, and filled those along with his little truck, then used the cans to fill my little car. :)

Oh yeah, we built our own garage this summer - and recently passed final inspection.  We saved about $18K by doing the labor ourselves. 

Did some 'decorating' in the Sunday School classroom using items that were on hand - zero cost, and it is colorful and welcoming.

Found some great online resources for Sunday School lessons.  Since our church is small, this is a better option for us than spending for a curriculum/materials for a large number of students.  I asked the congregation for old calendars that have pretty pictures, so I can add scriptures and use them in the classroom. I also put the word out that I'm looking for trinkets for the treasure box, so that each child gets to choose something when they recite a memory verse.

Made the corn bread mix that I needed for this week's menu...but made enough for the next few times I make corn bread.  It's really tasty, and with the dry ingredients pre-mixed it's quick and easy to whip up a batch of muffins, corn bread, etc.

Used some bananas that were in our freezer to make banana bread to take to church on Sunday.

Went through some things I had on hand, found a pretty basket, and started the 'treasure basket' for Sunday School.  When one of the children can recite a verse from memory, they get to choose something from the basket.  I've also asked church members to look around for items that they might contribute.

Got books, children's books and some music from the library, all free to use.

My husband and I dismantled the kitchen stove somewhat.  We have been having some issues with the oven flame (it runs on propane) where it seemed like it needed to be adjusted....or something.  We took off the 'floor' of the oven and then the plate that is between the oven burner and the oven floor.  After cleaning the oven burner (and everything else we could get to) really well, it was still doing the same thing, but when we found the air intake (it was under the oven, behind the little drawer where I keep my cookie sheets) we discovered a dust bunny had taken up residence very near to the air inlet.  I did much vacuuming, and the flames are now proper and it is running like it did when it was new.  Hopefully, we have fixed it.  If so, we saved the $75 trip charge, plus the $75 an hour to have the service person find out what a bad housekeeper I can be.  Ahem.  (Update:  It is working great.  I think we did it!)

Temperatures are in the single digits, and we are keeping warm with our wood stove.  We got the wood for free, so this is a big help to the budget.

Fed the chickens some kitchen scraps, a pumpkin and some hay to help with feed costs.  They also love the variety.

What did you do to save this week?  Leave a comment, pretty please!


Lhia said...

I am so glad you are BACK!! Your blog (and your family) are such an inspiration to me.

Dee said...

Hi, I just started reading here.

My frugal accomplishment was to cancel the handset insurance on our phones. Soon enough we can get out of this plan. But until then, I'm trying to find ways to get it to work for us.

Anonymous said...

Girl, you are a huge inspiration with your frugal accomplishments. I have set aside my coupons for a bit, but I really need to get back into the game.

Laura--I'd love to invite you to share this post, and two others of your choice at the Farm Girl Blog Fest at my blog each week. If you're not sure which kind of posts would work, you can read it in the text of the Blog Fest post. Here's a link:
Farm Girl Blog Fest
Hope to see you there!
~Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

Laura @ LivingOurWay said...

Our frugal accomplishments include finally sticking to a menu plan, no diningout, and fixing our broken dryer ourselves.

Laura said...

Lhia - you are so kind! Thank you so much for your kind words.

Dee - welcome! I hope you find some things here that bless you!

Kristi - thanks! I'll link up to your blogfest asap!

Laura - we had some hiccups in our own menu this week, but held on pretty good - I understand how easy it can be to get sidetracked! Hurray for a fixed dryer!

miss shelly said...

Hi Cat, I have missed you. I always loved getting frugal tips from you at PH :)

cfosterart21 said...

You have more energy than anyone I know! I sure do miss you. You have been on my mind since Thanksgiving. So glad to see you back. I love your frugal ways and I get so inspired by reading them. Keep them coming!

Glad to see the garage is complete. You are doing another round of chicken sessions? Did the rabbit sessions go well?

Keep posting!


Laura said...

Thanks for your kind words, Shelly and Cathy! I'm still working on my 'blogging schedule' and hope to have more to offer soon!

Outnumbered said...

So glad to see you are back!


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