Thursday, March 14, 2013

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Since the Farm Girl Blog Fest will go up on Fridays, I'm moving Frugal Accomplishments to Thursdays.  Hope you don't mind!

I gathered up all the 'bits' from the fridge last Saturday morning and made a ham, cheddar, parmesan, onion, quinoa and egg 'pie'.  The only other things I added were some garlic, parsley, a splash of milk and salt and pepper.  It makes for a tasty breakfast with a little salsa, a nice lunch with a salad or some vegetable soup - it's even good for supper.  I love it when I can make something out of leftovers like that.

I made banana bread from scratch using bananas I'd popped into the freezer when they got past the point where we like to eat them.
We switched to whole milk a few weeks back. We are mixing it with water as we use it...somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 water, depending on what it's for and who is doing the mixing. It is working well for us - it still tastes like milk and saves a little money, too.

There were some homemade dinner rolls in the fridge that we hadn't eaten, along with some bread ends in the bread box.  I broke them up, ran them through the food processor, then toasted them in the oven.  The next time a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, I'm ready!

I got a coffee sample in the mail from Folgers.  I vaguely remember signing up for it - I think it was back at Thanksgiving!  It's 'vanilla biscotti'...and it smells heavenly!  A nice treat for Husband. (I don't drink coffee.)

I used $20.10 worth of coupons, plus $8+ in Kmart 'points'.  More on the Kmart thing below.
We continued to plan our meals from the pantry and items on hand.  The menu is here, along with the details of this weeks plan and spending.

I accepted two clothing items from a neighbor who didn't want them anymore.  There is a long sleeved shirt to keep me warm around the house and a cardigan I can wear to church!

OK - feel free to argue this one with me, because it would have been less costly to eat leftovers at home, I agree.  Still, if we are going out to eat, this is how we do it:  We went to McDonalds and got 3 McDoubles, 1 large fries and 1 large drink, plus a water cup.  We each had a burger, fries and some soda, though Daughter had mostly water.  Total for 3 people was $6.19.  We do have a monthly budget for going out, and we are considerably under budget right now.  Just sayin'.  :)

I used coupons at Walmart that were for $2 off certain Kotex items.  The items I bought were $1.24, so I got .76 in overage for each item.  That overage helped to pay for the other items we were buying.  Walmart is the only store in my area (that I know of) that gives the overage back to the customer.  They won't give you actual cash back, but they will apply the coupon value that's extra to other items you are buying.  I ended up with $4.50 in overage, which was enough to cover almost all of:  2 heads of lettuce, a half gallon of milk and chips for Husband's lunches. 

We went to the library and borrowed several books, a movie and a Wii game.  Borrowing the Wii games might be my favorite part...OK, books are my personal favorite, but with borrowing the games, Daughter can play a game for a week, then it gets returned, and she can borrow something different some other time.  She doesn't get one every week or anything, but I just love how we get to try so many, yet they're not here all the time as a temptation.

Money Saving Mom posted some Coke Rewards codes on her site - enough to earn a coupon for a free 20 oz. item.  They should mail me a coupon for that in a few weeks.  (If you don't drink soda, they have other options too, or you could always get the soda and donate it to a food bank or homeless shelter.)

This is confusing, even to me, and I'm the one who did all the deals!  First, I have to explain that I had a $25 gift card to Kmart that Husband got free for transferring a prescription to their pharmacy.  I had also gotten an email saying they were giving me $3 worth of points on my loyalty card, but those points were only good Friday-Monday.  I also had some other points on my card, worth something like 70 cents.  OK.  First, I got an 8 bar pack of Irish Spring bar soap that was on sale for $3.50.  It was free, including the tax, with the loyalty card points. 

In their ad, there was a half page of items - buy more than $20 in those items, and get a $5 coupon for grocery/household stuff.  One of the items was 12 packs of Angel Soft Double Roll TP for 4.99.  I bought 5 of those, used four .25/1 coupons, and it was $25 and a little change.  All I paid was the little bit of change, because I used the gift card for the $25.  Then I received the $5 coupon and got a huge bottle of Purex fabric softener (on sale for $3) and something for the Easter basket ($2).  I paid a little sales tax (.23).  The short version:  I got five 12 packs of double roll TP, 8 bars Irish Spring soap, a really big jug of fabric softener and Daughter's favorite Easter treat for a total of about 55 cents.  Not bad at all!  (It was exhausting!)

I made hair detangler for Daughter.

I made 'watery soap' to refill foaming soap dispensers I got on clearance after Christmas.  I just watered down shampoo until I thought it was about right, and it seems just fine.  I rinsed the shampoo container really well and poured the rinses into the washer to use in the next load of laundry.  Then, I recycled the clean shampoo bottle. :)

We supplemented our heat with the wood stove, dried our clothing on wooden racks in the basement and used natural light whenever available instead of electricity. 

I downloaded several free digital books from Amazon.  I really need to stop downloading and start reading!

With the new year, we started using our dishwasher again, in hopes that ultimately, it saves some water and resources.  I never use the heated dry feature.  I just open the dishwasher after the cycle and let the dishes air dry, and it works just fine. 

I made $3, or maybe $6, doing surveys.  I'm not sure if one of them or two of them came up on this week. :)

I've been playing a spin and win game on the Cacique USA facebook page.  I've won coupons and two free bottles of drinkable yogurt.

I dropped off a prescription of mine at King Sooper for transfer - it used to be mailorder, but we learned that it's actually $10 less to fill them locally than it is to use mailorder.  In addition, King Sooper is offering $25 in store credit for a transferred prescription, so I can use that to supplement our grocery shopping.

How about you?  What are you doing to cut corners and pinch pennies?

Shared at:
Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest


Tracy said...

I'm not going to argue with you over eating out. You have a budget for such things and are under-budget in that category so I say enjoy! :)

Enjoyed reading your list. I post my "Frugal Doings" each Wednesday on my blog if you care to check it out. :)

Taylor-Made Ranch said...

Going out to eat is a small luxury and unless there's a financial need for it, it's nice to enjoy a quick meal out from time to time. It's all about moderation. Like you we have a dining out budget and I don't beat myself up because we're not eating a homemade meal every day. Enjoy it! (visiting from Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest)

~Taylor-Made Ranch~
Wolfe City, Texas

Anonymous said...

We eat out every Sunday Lunch we have a budget for it and often it is only a sandwich we buy at Subway brought with other items we packed to have a quick picnic in the park. The main point for us is to eat away from home. We live in such a small place if we don't get out we go stir crazy. We use a lot of coupons and point systems and we spend on average $38.00 per month eating out. We have to really watch were we go how we order and we have a system that we use but it works for us. I can cut up one 12 inch subway and serve with apples, carrots and other items from home for a picnic for under $7.00 if you order the right sandwich and cut it into 4 Inch pieces for 3 people. We go out every week!

Laura said...

We budget $25 a month for eating out, and we go about once a week too...give or take. Sometimes I find a groupon that works well for us, and we belong to some e-clubs that send us coupons, often for free items with a purchase. Sometimes the surveys at the bottom of reciepts are good too, for stretching the money on an upcoming visit. :)


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