Friday, May 3, 2013

Last Week in Frugality

We had another snowstorm this week.  I am ready for flowers!

Well, fiddlesticks.  Earlier in the week, my computer insisted that it had to restart to complete some updates.  Ever since, I've been having various issues.  The one that most affects this moment in time is that, for whatever reason, when I select  recently uploaded photos (which I had to upload with a work-around) to upload to this page, they don't ever upload.  I had a few I wanted to share with you, but unless you come by the house and look at them on my laptop, I'm afraid it's just not going to happen.  So, so sorry.  :(....

Kohls mailed me a card/coupon that was good for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more.  Women's socks were on sale, so I managed to get six pair of socks and some Godiva chocolate for 25 cents out of pocket.  The socks are for me, when I need some (men's and children's were not on sale - I checked!) and we all shared the chocolate. 

I've been wearing scarves more, to 'change up' my outfits.  I have 3 different ones.  I have had them a long time, but I recently rescued them from Daughter's dress-up bin.  I'm enjoying the dressy feeling I get wearing them for church, trips to town, etc.  I'm in the process of doing some decluttering, and I think this will help me have more variety without using a lot of space.

I cut Husband's hair - he looks so dapper!

I was able to get some sub hours at the library, and brought food/drinks from home.  Then I got some more sub hours at the library - please see 'Room for Improvement'.

I used $12 in coupons (not counting that Kohls thing).  Our printer is out of service right now, but I haven't really seen that many coupons I wanted to print anyway. 

Husband took our $20 Staples rewards and got some printer paper, photo paper and some loose leaf rings that Daughter and I needed for a school thing and a memory verse thing.  Both of the papers will be free after Easy Rebate, so this was a way to turn our rewards back into cash.  The rewards were generated by dropping off used printer cartridges for recycling.

I've been reading some to reward myself for good behavior.  Score some essays, read a chapter.  Clean the bathroom, read a chapter - you get the idea.  I get books from the library (free), along with music, DVD movies , Wii games and more. 

I splurged at the library's used book sale.  For $2 I got a couple of cookbooks.  Magic Beans - 150 delicious recipes featuring, well, beans...and Best of the Best from Pennsylvania, which is chock full of Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch recipes.  Since I'm reading a lot of Amish Christian Fiction right now, that one seems to be a good fit, plus it has at least 14 zucchini recipes in it, and I can always use more of those!  I saw another book I was drawn to, but decided against it because I can just borrow something similar from the library.

Our library has a couple of bins in the entry with magazines and such that can be taken free of charge.  I picked up a word-find book that's nearly blank, a couple of magazines, and a picture book that is all in Russian...I think.  The illustrations are super cool - I'm going to use them to make greeting cards.

I saved the excess paper from internet coupons for making lists and jotting notes.

I went through my craft stuff and got out a sketch pad, pencils, etc., and have been spending a little time sketching or doodling.  It's a good creativity break, and since I had the items on hand, it's no-cost.

I studied the fridge contents before I made the menu for the week, to make sure nothing in the crispers went to waste.  I think it's a good practice to be creative with what we've got on hand, plus I hate to waste!

I potted some mint to use as a houseplant/indoor herb.  I had the pot and soil and everything on hand.

I received a sample by mail - a Ruffies trash bag.  I don't really buy trash bags (we just use the little plastic grocery store bags) so Husband is kind of happy about having this on hand, in case he needs a bigger bag for something.  (We do have some other trash bags on hand, it's just that we hardly use them.)  I also got a Purina One cat food sample, which came with a coupon for a free can of the wet cat food.  Tallulah won't eat the canned stuff, so we will buy it and donate it to the kitty shelter.  Later in the week there was a sample of a joint-health supplement in my mailbox, along with a coupon if we decide we're in love with it. :)

I signed Daughter up for the Pizza Hut Book-It program for next school year.  It's free, and a fun incentive, even though she's already an avid reader.

Our printer is misbehaving and we are looking into replacing it.  One of our main requirements is going to be affordable ink refills.  If you have any tips in that regard, please share.  Thanks!  In the mean time, I can go to the library and print up to ten pages per day for free.

For scratch cooking, I made teriyaki marinade, macaroni salad, fried rice, lemon bars, fajita seasoning, pancakes and potato/vegetable soup this week. I also made baking powder to refill my baking powder tin.  With the extra pancake batter, I made mini pancake sandwiches - two mini cakes with a filling between them.  This time around I used chocolate chips, which melt when you put them between two warm mini-pancakes.  I'll do a post on this frugal snack some time soon. 

I also made a double-batch of the gel type laundry soap.  I have a 4 gallon 'tidy cats' bucket on the dryer where I store it.  Now, that's nice and full!  It will last us until about Thanksgiving, and that's with me using the soap mixture for some other things too.

I earned $6 for taking a couple of surveys.  Super yay!

When Daughter and I were out running a couple of quick errands, I stopped at the nearby liquor store and picked up some free boxes.  I have two rabbits approaching kindle (birth) time, but only one nest box.  I made a second nest box from one of the boxes, and used some cardboard from another box to line the original nest box, since we are now supposed to get yet another cold snap.

When I emptied the hole punch, Daughter got all excited.  I am saving the 'holes' for some upcoming craft project. 

We used our wood stove to heat again this week.  We got a couple inches of snow (and cold temperatures) on May 1.

Because my birthday was this week, and because I signed up for a lot of those online birthday clubs, I received a lot of treat offers.  A pastry at Panera, $10 to spend at World Market, a birthday cone from Baskin Robbins, a sundae at Culver's, a treat from Sonic, free breadsticks with our next order at Pizza Hut, $5 off a $25 at Amazon, a free entrée (with purchase of another) at Zio's, a coupon for Driscoll's berries...and they are still coming in.  Most of them are good for the entire month or longer, so we will stretch them out over the next few trips to town.

Room for Improvement:

I picked up some library subbing on Sunday that was right after church service.  Good in the sense that I was already halfway to the library, but rather than bring food from home I picked up lunch on the way.  I spent my allowance money to do it, but it was a decision borne of laziness (OK, maybe tiredness) rather than actually wanting to go out.  It cost a little over $3, so it wasn't so much the money as the attitude.

We grew some things that we thought were going to work as microgreens.  It turns out that little mung bean plants are not nearly as appetizing as mung bean sprouts are.  Same goes for alfalfa.  Sprouts yes, plantlets no.  The animals will receive a little each day as a treat until they are gone (we have chickens, ducks and rabbits).  Not exactly wasted, but not exactly salad enhancers.

The sauerkraut I made grew some mold and it was squishy.  I'm really sad about it, because it seemed to be doing well.  It was a small monetary investment - about $1.25 and some salt - but I was just hopeful, you know?  It went to the compost.



Sandra Girouard said...

You have my sympathy regarding the sauerkraut. I have not been able to culture it successfully without "cheating" (adding a culture). I know the correct organism is (supposed to be) present, but my cabbage doesn't care what I know :)

Good work over the rest of the week, I think.

momma-lana said...

We have a wireless Brother laser printer. We have been able to find refilled toner cartridges in packs of 3 for about $40 per pack online. The toner lasts for months especially if you take it out and shake when it starts to look like it is running out. Our previous printer was killing us in ink costs and so this one was well worth the money.

Sheila said...

A lady on one of the blogs I read talked about and recommended refilling the cartridges yourself. I can't remember which blog it was! I know she linked to Amazon for the kit, because I looked at it. I am thinking of trying it.

Liz said...

Happy Birthday! Great deal on the birthday coupons! I love when the library has cookbooks in their wanna buy selection! My kids did the Pizza Hut reading thing way back when. Hope no more snow for you!!

Terri said...

My frugal accomplishments for the week included not using the dryer at all, even when I was tired and so wanted to. Made zucchini bread and cookies for husband's lunches instead of buying pre-packaged. Also received a free garbage bag. We don't buy any garbage bags, always use cat litter bags, softener salt bags, bags from stores, etc. Made meals from scratch. My husband's hours have been cut so we will definitely be eating from the freezer for the next few weeks as I am a full time stay-at-home grandma. Thanks for sharing all of your frugal accomplishments and especially love the new section (improvements). We all have areas I am sure where we can be more frugal.

Terri said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention that we tried the computer ink refills and it ruined our printer and we had to buy a new one. That is just our experience with it.

Andrea C said...

Happy Birthday! Mine was the 4th and I am also thoroughly enjoying all the birthday freebies :)

For the printer, you might look into the Canon Pixma line. They're more expensive that some initially, but you can find refills on Amazon for around $5-$6. They are not the Canon brand, but they work great. I have the MG5320 and the ink lasts for quite awhile.

The Moxley Family said...

The lady at Pennies and Pancakes refills her cartridges and has a how to list and where to buy it listed other site.
I hate it when food gets wasted too. I didn't do so good at it this week myself.


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