Sunday, December 15, 2013

Frugal Accomplishments

Homemade Mexican Wedding Cookies, made with pecans.

K-mart sent me 4000 free points.  Combined with the 750 points I had from a previous promotion, I was able to get a 24 pack of TP for about 80 cents.

We had selected an ornament from the angel tree at church - a little girl who wanted arts and crafts supplies.  We combined a sale, a 15% off coupon and a $10 gift card that Kohls sent me to get a kit to make lots of friendship bracelets.  We got drawing pencils, a sketch book and this really neat learn-to-sketch kit at JoAnn's on sale, too. 

We used sales combined with coupons to save 79% on some purchases at the grocery store.  We stocked up on cheese (a money-maker after coupons), tea and crackers.  We got a free pizza w/coupon and I bought some mushrooms that were marked down.  There were cutie tangerines in the sample basket, so we each got one of those too.

We bought instant refried beans and milk powder at the LDS cannery.  I am sad that they no longer offer oats in 25 pound bags, but I also understand that they are streamlining their process. 

Husband used a $10 gift card for Shell gasoline that he got for $5 and some reward points.

We borrowed books and media from the library.

I earned $6 for taking surveys via Pine Cone.  Also, I got a survey invitation from Catalina, and took a survey...they will be sending me a $5 Catalina toward shopping, likely at King Sooper, since that's where I got the invitation.

I did scratch cooking whenever it was feasible.  We had a busy week with several meetings and appointments, so we took snacks from home to keep our costs low.

I've been watching a restaurant show when I walk on the treadmill.  In all the restaurants visited, one thing that caught my eye was oil-filled squirt bottles for putting oil into saut√© pans.  I love the idea.  I dug through my 'empty clean containers' box and found these three.  Two had labels that won't come off, and the third had a surface that didn't want to accept the label.  I fixed that with some decorative duct tape, left over from a used bicycle project, then added labels.  I finished them with clear packing tape, in hopes I can keep the labels from getting oily right away.  Zero out of pocket, since everything I used was already here.  They're a little 'loud', but they're inside the cabinet when I'm not using them, so I'm not going to worry about it.

After I few try-outs, I can tell you these are working well!
I gave myself a challenge to not buy any Christmas decorations this year, since we have plenty.  It's so easy for me to justify something that's really cute, especially if it's at Goodwill or second hand, but we just don't need more.  So far, so good! :)

I accepted 50 lb. of hard red wheat from a friend who has learned she can no longer eat wheat/gluten products. 

Our wood stove was smelling a bit smoky, so Husband re-sealed the seam where the stove pipe goes into the wall.  Much better! :)

On a day when we had to be in town for other reasons, ChickFilA was giving away sandwiches in exchange for new, unwrapped toys.  We had some items at home we had not yet donated, so we got the sandwiches, shared a side and drank water for a low-cost dinner. 

I kept up with my walking and water consumption.  My weight is not decreasing much, but my pants are too big again, so maybe I'm converting to more muscle?

I did some crocheting from my yarn stash and made myself a scarf this week.  I was so excited because I have a green coat....but when I put the scarf next to the coat, they are completely different greens.  Oh was still fun to make.  The fringe is on purpose, and yes, I guess it's unusual.

Late in the week I had an appointment in town so I stopped at the store and got Challenge butter for .99 a pound after sale and coupon.  I also found 93% lean ground beef in the markdown section for 1.45 a pound.  I bought about 6 1/2 pounds.  Some of it was already made into patties, so those were wrapped 4 to a package and frozen for later.  I browned the rest of it with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder, then cooled the meat and froze it in portions that are the right size for making things like chili, hamburger curry, enchiladas, etc.  I was really happy to find a good price on leaner meat.  Oh, and I also got a free pouch of cat treats through a promotion the store was having.  At another supermarket I picked up Nestle tollhouse chocolate chips for .67 per 12 oz bag after sale and coupon, and some gala apples for .89 a pound.  The other items on sale late in the week were fresh pineapples for $1 each and broccoli for .67 a pound.  There were other items too, but those are the ones we purchased.  We didn't need anything else.

Husband got a great price on a cabinet for his workshop.  We also saved the $50 assembly fee by putting it together ourselves. 

On Facebook, there was a chance to win a cookbook from a Hawaiian barbecue place - I'd been wanting that cookbook, so I entered.  Guess what?

Yup!  I won! :)

Laundry, as usual, was washed with homemade laundry soap and dried on the wooden racks. 

We stopped on the way home from church at Albertsons.  They had good prices on some store brand items, plus there were coupons for the store brand in the coupon inserts.  We got 16 oz. sour cream for .50, 8 oz. whipping cream for .50 and chips for Husband's lunches for 1.00

How was your week?  Are you finding lots of frugal stuff close to Christmas?  Leave a comment and share! :)


Anonymous said...

I wait for this post every week!
I got a 10$ nail polish set for my granddaughter for 99cents after coupons and extra bucks. I got two packs of m&m's to tuck in my grandson's present that they paid me 24 cents each for! Ok, so only one made it to his present but too much candy is no good for kids and calories don't count in free stuff, right?
I made/am making the majority of the Christmas presents I'm giving this year from supplies I already have and they are looking good!
I found canned chili that I actually like and with some crackers made a pretty good dinner for only a dpllar!
Guess that's it!
God bless,

momma-lana said...

There are still great grocery deals going on here, too. With the ad that starts tomorrow I can buy Kraft 8 ounce cheese for 50 cents. I am going to stock up but my freezers and fridges are so full right now. As soon as the family comes in on Saturday we will begin to see relief so I just keep cramming it in there!

Of course you know my big deal of the week is the Zojirushi bread machine I scored for $54.99 out of pocket. The spindle that holds the knead bar in my old machine's pan just fell out so the new one arrived none too soon. I could have purchased a new pan for around $30 with shipping but since I make whole grain breads we thought it better to buy a new machine since I really give the motor a workout. Our SIL saw my post on Faebook about it and asked our daughter why I was so excited about it and she explained it this way. They were missionaries in China so it is from that perspective. Here is what she told him. 'Remember when we lived in China and there was the whole row of rice cookers in Walmart? The one we bought was way down at one end for 40 yuen and waaaaayyy down at the other end was the Zojirushi for 2500 yeun? Well my Mom got that one in bread machines for only $54.99.' He understood that one! We are excited too because we can make sourdough bread for so cheap since the machine actually has a cycle to make sourdough starter then immediately add the remaining ingredients and make sourdough bread. Sourdough is so expensive around here. My last machine lasted 26 months and paid for itself since we don't buy store bought bread and homemade is so inexpensive. I paid $60 for that one so you can see the price comparison. The Zo has more of a lifespan of 10 plus years. The quality difference is really huge.

I have made detailed menus for the 8 days that the kids and families will be home so that I don't overbuy which I am really bad about this time of year. I have been able to rely heavily on the stockpile so the only real shopping I have to do it a produce run to Aldi on Friday. I have been cooking like crazy and most of what we will eat other then sides is prepped and frozen.

I got 5 12 pack Coke coupons with 30 points each last week. Paired with a BOGO sale these will stock us up on soda for the entire year for no cost.

I got a pair of Ugg type boots with a coupon code and free shipping for $5.23. I also got 6 bottles of wine for a little less than $12 shipped to my house with a coupon emailed to me from Mercury magazines. I used the $5.15 Purina coupons (4) on a BOGO sale and made $8 in overage off my other groceries. The cat food will go to a rescue shelter as we do not have pets since our oldest son is horribly allergic to animals.

We cleared out a stereo system left in a closet buy our youngest when she moved to college. A friend's daughter was in need of one and was so happy to get it. I was even more happy to see it go! We are trying to just get rid of all of the stuff. Everything that goes makes me feel less encumbered.

I gathered up all of the bottom parts of the sheets of paper from coupon prints and stacked it on the grandchildren's bar along with a wooden bowl of crayons left in the toy closet from our kiddos. Free coloring for the grandchildren when they arrive.

We take the kids out for a meal while they are home. We got a Groupon for Mellow Mushroom which will greatly reduce the bill this time. It also earned me 100 Swagucks if they ever get around to crediting them.

I have an Urban rebounder and have really lost size too but no pounds so I think it is muscle. It is discouraging that way isn't it? But my clothes all fit better so who cares? Well, me....

I am sure there were other things but they are in the fuzzy part of my brain this morning.

Have a good week everyone and I hope you all can do something fun and relaxing!

Ruth Dixon said...

Living on the southern Oregon coast, 30 miles minimum (closer to 60) from major stores that will do good coupon deals, or freebies, means I can't save like you do. The big savings here this time of year is the "buy a turkey, get a ham" but we raise our own hogs, so that doesn't do much good. Wish it was buy a turkey, get a turkey.


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