Sunday, February 7, 2016

Frugal Happenings 2/7

Happy Sunday everyone!  Happy Super Bowl Day!  Happy first day of the week!  Happy "it's a great day to be alive" day!!!
I hope this finds you all well.

We have had a few decently warm days this week.  Today will be the last, getting to 50*.  This coming week will be much colder with chances of snow.  We have been so very lucky this winter.  Spring will be here in a few short weeks, and we haven't even had much winter here.

I stood out in the yard this week, trying to determine what changes I want to make this year with garden, how I want to change up the container garden, and determining what I want to plant.  Can you tell I am ready?  I even bought a few seeds last Sunday.

It really seemed like another quiet week, but when I looked at my list, I did have a productively frugal week.

  • Went to Menards last Sunday and bought finch food.  Paid $1/lb. for it.  That was much cheaper than I used to get at the feed and seed.  I got a 25 lb. bag and I am re-packaging in old milk jugs for easy handling.
  • We received a $40 refund check from car insurance for some reason.  I WILL TAKE IT!!!!
  • I received a FREE 'Taste of Home' magazine - with a greatly discounted invoice trying to entice me to subscribe.  I won't.   I have already found 2 recipes in it, that I want to try with things I have here at home.
  • I ran to Kroger to look at clearance.  I got 2 apple wedge cutters and 2 sets of 3 pastry cutters for my gift box.  Each were $1 and they are great quality.
  • I also got 6 cans of Hunts diced tomatoes and 1 of sauce all for $3.50.  I also got 2 tubes of decorator icing (orange) for .10/each and a 5 oz. container of holiday cookie sprinkles for .25.
  • I stopped at 2 thrift stores this week.  I went up the road to the church thrift store and got 2 sweatshirts for .99 each (ALL clothes are .99 - no matter what).  I also got a FREE package of sesame hamburger buns and a FREE 8 pack of Entenmann's mixed donuts (5.49 value).  This store gets 2 deliveries a week of bread/baked goods.  They always give it out free - as they aren't licensed to sell food.
  • At GW I got a t-shirt (brand new) and a cute kitchen sign (new) for my gift box.  I also got 2 quilted bed pillow shams, that I will re-fashion into something else.  Spent $3
  • Meals from home and from scratch.
  • Been doing a lot of reading and learning this week from library books
  • Getting lots of ideas from Pinterest for this summer
We always have certain goodies on Super Bowl Sunday.  G wants his wings, which I don't care for, and I have pizza rolls.  I got the wings/drummettes out of the freezer that I got over a month ago for .39/lb. (on clearance).   I have pizza rolls on hand as well.  I will be making these up later on. 

I also got out all the ingredients to make a dump cake today.  Cherry pie filling (from a sale), faux crushed pineapple (I canned), and a .59 box of clearance cake mix.  Not bad for a dessert that will last a few days.

So the week turned out pretty good.  I got a total of 5 new gift items for my gift box.  Got some 'new to me' clothes, some discounted/free groceries, an unexpected refund check, a free magazine, and some good old book learning!
I have so many projects I need and want to do - it just seems I am in a wintertime funk and can't motivate.  I truly need to get my bum in gear!!!!!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?  What all did you accomplish on the 'frugal' front? 
I so love reading everyone's comments, and love seeing new names. 

May the Lord bless you in this coming week and keep you safe and healthy.


  1. Cheryl, Way to go on the Refund Check, woot woot woot! It is my hope that next year this time I will have finances under such good management that I will be able to do the kind of gifting you are doing at Christmas. Right now I am such a baby at spending wisely that I don’t dare buy anything not a necessity. The goal for the first four months is to save and spend only on this vacation, and still make some savings. So far so good. But how I look forward to being able to being able to gift like you are doing, Cheryl! Next year….until then…working on cash emergency fund, paying my own way on vacation, and keeping the household running on a tight budget!

    My frugals this week:
    1. Still cooking from home and all meals from home. Even debated the wisdom in going to a benefit dinner for the local Amish. After much deliberation, TGMan and I will go, not to the March dinner, but later, after the vacation expenses are tied up. We will spend the $36 and think…if I were holding a dinner, I would like to have people attend. About a hundred Amish turn out to make the dinner, $18 a head. It has two entrees, four sides, and a dessert table to salivate for! In addition the funds go to the local school kids. When we compare an all you can eat buffet prices elsewhere, this one is a bargain, and a worthy cause. The man who runs it also runs an organic goat cheese farm, Goot Essa, delicious and sold locally. We are friends with friends of the Goot Essa owner and so it is an enjoyable time all around.

    1. The Amish dinner sounds like a good time and really a bargain.

  2. 2. In looking over our weekly grocery receipt I saw that our 8 x $1 coupons were not included! I called and they said to bring in the receipt to make the adjustment. They also got the coupons retrieved from that cash register. So by calling I will get my $8 reduction and the cashier will have a balanced drawer for that shift. The other good part is that the bill was $64 but with the minus $8 it will come to $56, still within our budgeted amount for the last two weeks ($100 - $64 - $35.05 +$8 = $8.95). That’s almost ten dollars left to roll over to next week. And the things we got, sacks of potatoes, carrots, celery, eggs, dairy, etc will be enough for a couple more weeks.
    3. I learned how to use Pay Pal to manage our California vacation. No panic drives to the bank to do cash transfers. Now that I keep a tight rein on expenses and income, I have the freedom to manage it effectively. My blood pressure stays constant over this part of my life, yay!

    We booked our sleeping quarters for the vacation through airBnB and got a nice two bedroom cottage with a kitchen and bbq patio. It was less than the price of a hotel room that we would have had to share the bedroom with our daughter and son in law. So privacy. Plus meals savings. Half our dinners and all our breakfasts will be there. Lunches out and snacks to take with our excursions. The daughters are on board with it. So it should be a really nice vacation and a more frugal one too. Our activities are going to be light in cost also as we mostly like to hike and see the natural sights. TGMan will need to cover those expenses, like if we do a whale watch boat tour. I never could have done this even just a few years ago, so gains are being made, and I feel so much more mature.

    1. When are you going on vacation? It sounds like you have a great plan and glad everyone is on board. It will be a blast.

      Good going on the grocery budget. You are so good at sticking to your long term plan. Not sure I could be that rigid. You go girl

    2. I have to force myself to be in line because I am so scared of going back into debt again. It wasn't even that bad a debt but it did take me eight long months to come clear. I guess that I will ease up as I get used to being savvy with money.

  3. 4. I went through the canned goods pantry and ‘found’ four cans of black olives, one can of mushrooms, and so many Indian dinner sauces, so we will be eating a bunch of rice and veggies in Indian and Thai style the next few months or so! I pulled the canned goods for meals this week, made a menu, set the goods on the counter to remind me to actually make those meals. Dinners set for the week, yay again!

    5. I pick up the two books you mentioned in another post, got them through interlibrary loan so will have some frugal bedtime reading to help my flagging frugal spirit, yes sometimes it is still a struggle and old habits die hard. Keeping my eye on the goal (saving money and enjoying life while doing it) needs all the support it can get.

    1. You really have your eye on the end result. Proud of you.

      Old habits do die hard - but I am loving being pushed to do new money saving things. Loving the books.

  4. 6. For superbowl I took some corn tortilla shells, broke them up, shredded cheese bits left over on top, diced sweet onion on top, dollops of refried beans (didn’t realize I had so many cans in the pantry!), those black olives (just one can), and the rest of a jar of salsa on top, baked it for 10 minutes at 350F, and yum! Made a nice lunch. We had tuna sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. And Cheryl, you will be happy to know that this time I diluted the can of Campbell’s with a quart of leftover vegetable broth we canned up last summer from your recipe of vegetable soup with cabbage. The soup was light and tasty and we loved it much better than diluting the can of tomato soup with water or even with milk.

    7. And finally I am inching closer to the $20 minimum in Pay Pal to cash out on two rebate programs, ibotta and Checkout 51. I realized that if tape down the top and bottom of the grocery store receipts, that I can get a much better snapshot to send in for rebate.

    1. Good idea on the soup - never thought of that before.
      Your 'nachos' sound yummy. I do that with shells sometimes. Add shredded cheese and homemade salsa and heat - so good.

      I have never done any of money saving apps - I don't have a fancy phone. Don't think there is any other way to do them. It is definitely a great way to earn $$

    2. you can do the rebate apps on your home computer too! I do them sometimes here...just some need a picture taken of the receipt as the grocery store is not always an automatic link to the app...ibotta seems to have many grocery stores linked but Checkout 51 requires a snapshot of the receipt.

  5. Hi!
    You've had a wonderfully frugal week.
    Recently found your blog, and I'm enjoying your posts very much.