Each week Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker shares her frugal accomplishments from the previous week. These weekly posts are some of my very favorites to read – both Brandy’s posts and her readers’ comments provide a great deal of inspiration and encouragement for me.
Last week I was able to incorporate a few money saving ideas that I haven’t used in a while (marked with an *), as well as a couple of new (to me) things. I also made several big ticket purchases, one of which was a bit annoying (but I got a discount, so WOO!) and one of which is SUPER exciting to me and will save us money in the long run. Plus that item was sorta-kinda free; read on to find out what it was!Continued reading John Adams free on Overdrive and began reading The Water Knife on it.
Received a print copy of Military Strategy: A Very Short Introduction from the library via interlibrary loan request.
Continued opening up the doors and windows as soon as the sun is setting and in the mornings before it comes around to our unshaded areas. I was able to keep the A/C unit from running almost every day and night last week. My husband had a four-day weekend and he gets hot faster than the rest of us, so I did let it run one of the afternoons he was home (but I turned it up when he headed to the garage to work on some projects heh heh). I was excited to see that he had already opened everything up Sunday morning before I got up, cooling off the living areas significantly.
Participated in the worldwide indexing event on FamilySearch.org; I only transcribed 20 records/2 batches (of Montana WWII draft registration cards), but it was free entertainment and experience for me that gives back to other genealogists.
Went to the dollar store (our first time in this area) and purchased glow sticks with lanyards as a treat for the kids in our homeschool group. I will be teaching a family preparedness class soon and wanted something to give out that wouldn’t be food based, and would help each family be better prepared in some small way.
I also purchased five three-packs of baby wash cloths at the dollar store – more on that project later. (No, there’s not a sneaky announcement of a wee one on the way; it is just a money saving project I have planned.)
Purchased dog food at the feed store instead of the chain pet store; saved several dollars per bag.
*Took “Navy showers” several times this week. Our water bill is not included in our utility rebate program, so using less won’t net us a larger refund, but I’m unimpressed by how much our household uses compared to others. Trying to figure out if it’s just that we have more residents than others with our floor plan; if it is a lack of conservation (I have a family member in mind, but am adjusting my own usage too); or if there is a leak somewhere that maintenance needs to address for us. If it’s a conservation matter, I should see it go down on the next statement due to my personal changes – I changed teeth-brushing habits last month and am addressing showering now.
*Put two loads of laundry out on the drying rack instead of running them through the electric dryer with the dryer balls. Discussed with my husband the pros & cons of him and son reverse engineering the rack and making me a second one (we don’t have a line drying set up here like we’ve had at our other homes – the drying rack used to be in addition to clotheslines, not in place of). Hoping he can price out the supplies next weekend so we can get the best deal and I can dry more at once.
Cooked from the menu plan, which was all items from the freezer and pantry.
Took my daughter to her free ceramics class (the good, frugal news). When I started the truck to leave, my check engine light came on (bad news) and the part causing the issue was one of the few things not covered by our warranty (the really bad news). Over $900 later, the truck is fixed (good but expensive news!) – but when I asked the service advisor if they offer a military discount like our old dealership, he said no…. then told us to hold on a moment. He went into the system and manually created a 10% discount, taking our repair ticket down to $877! (SUPER GOOD news!) Still a big chunk of change, but we were incredibly grateful for the discount, and for the emergency savings account that allowed us to pay cash instead of putting it on a credit card as past years might have required. Needless to say, we thanked him profusely!
*Filled up my tank at the Kroger-affiliate fuel station using my folks’ fuel rewards; $1 off per gallon meant that I got diesel for $1.579 per gallon. Haven’t been able to do that for a while due to questions about that fuel station – it still turned out to be a bear of a location, but for $25 off, I’ll just deal with it. At least now I know my enemy, right? 😉
Fixed my favorite shoes with some “Kragl”, er, Krazy Glue. I’ve already had them since 2010 or so – hoping this gets me at least another year out of them.
And our big exciting frugal purchase *drum roll please!* – we purchased a Sun Oven! WOOHOO!!!!! I’ve wanted one of these for years now. My son and I watched a free teleseminar about the Sun Oven and learned a lot of uses for it that I had no clue about. My husband watched it the next day. There was a super DUPER good deal on it, with both a package I had been eyeballing on Amazon already and additional items they were including just for that event – plus free shipping and no tax since we aren’t in the state they are in. Ohhhh, the temptation – especially with all of this free Arizona sun going to waste while I’m using a gas stove to cook things. Then I realized that the Sun Oven would be “sorta kinda” free for us. You see, my husband had already paid for a local class that was then cancelled – we have a credit coming from that company. My daughter was signed up for a November class on Outschool, which I already paid for, and she decided last week to withdraw from it – so I have a credit coming from that company as well. The money was already spent, but coming back to us – and between the two credits, the Sun Oven is completely covered and we’ll still have a bit leftover in credit, even. So WOOHOO, Momma is getting a Sun Oven for early Christmas. This will make an immediate dent in our gas usage (bumping up our utility rebate) and even lowering our grocery bills, because I can bake bread at home with ingredients I already have, rather than buying loaves at the commissary (for $2.50+ a loaf plus 5% surcharge, plus lowering potential rebate due to higher gas use). Anyone want to happy dance with me?