Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 11 February 2018

Y’all, I am SO EXCITED to share our frugal accomplishments for last week! I know a lot of them will look a little silly to those who don’t know me personally, but suffice it to say I had a grand time playing around with some new apps and look forward to using them to save. Without further ado, here’s my contribution to Frugal Accomplishments for the week, hosted by the lovely Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker! Before we begin – just a quick note that this post contains affiliate links. They are clearly defined as affiliate links (in bold, even). No pressure – but if you use one, I’ll sure be grateful to you!

  • Used a museum membership to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (this time we walked the opposite of our route from our first trip, so we got to see the animals we didn’t see the first time!)
  • Mailed the documents to my daughter’s father for reimbursement of orthodontia and oral surgery. Hopefully all of that sum will be back by summer time.
  • Checked out books and DVDs at the libraries and used Overdrive to read e-books.
  • Noticed two library books in daughter’s room – I checked the checkout slip and they were due within the next day, so I returned them for her while in town so she wouldn’t get overdue fees.
  • Went to check out a locally owned shop for a baby gift and received a military discount on my purchases.
  • Signed up for Amazon Prime after discussion with husband about possible benefits; he has watched several shows he wanted to see using it and I have made two purchases and received “free” shipping. (Pre-paid is more how I think of it, but either way, it’s useful.)
  • Received coupons from my mom – took what we will use and shared the rest with a friend.
  • Received magazines in the same box – read through them and then passed them on to my friend to enjoy as well.
  • Went to purchase DayQuil at the base store; the generic was $3.49 per box while actual DayQuil was $7.99 a box. I bought two generics instead of one name-brand box and now my flu supplies are stocked up. (I couldn’t order DayQuil or NyQuil through the Walgreens website recently). Paid no tax due to being on base.
  • I’ve been looking for a better First Aid kit bag for my truck after using it recently and having things fall out – my husband got an email from Tactical Tailor for 50% off, but the bag they offered was still over $100. Researching further, I found a bag from Voodoo Tactical (another company I trust) for much less on Amazon – so I was able to use a leftover gift card balance to purchase that bag and a set of EMT shears & pupil light for no out of pocket payment. (One of my two “free” shipping purchases.)
  • Sent my InboxDollars referral code to two friends; downloaded the InboxDollars app and got some “Spin & Win” opportunities since I didn’t qualify for some paid surveys. Earned a nickel on a Spin & Win. Learned to follow the InboxDollars Facebook page to watch for extra earnings codes. [If you are interested in joining InboxDollars and would like to help me earn a bit as well, click here for my affiliate link.]
  • Signed up for Ibotta using a friend’s referral link, which created a $10 bonus offer for me (when I meet a certain minimum); downloaded the app, and started learning how to load my favorite stores and choose offers. True confession: I spent a good couple of hours geeking out on these two apps this weekend! Plus I kept texting my girlfriends about offers and things they might want to look up – I’m sure I drove everyone crazy, but I thought it was really fun! Then I made my first purchase and earned $0.70 cents back – I needed to restock a supplement and there was an Amazon offer on health and beauty items. I probably still look really strange trying to figure out some of these smart phone things (picture the most confused person you know staring at a device and tapping with one finger – they look cooler than me, I bet haha), but I got it figured out – and then I celebrated my seventy cent refund! Plus free shipping – that was the second Prime purchase. (Too bad I didn’t know to sign up for Prime FROM the ibotta app – that would have been a good rebate offer too!) [If you are interested in joining Ibotta and would like to help me earn a bit as well, click here for my affiliate code. You should see a message about a $10 bonus option like I did.]
  • Filed our federal income tax return using the FreeFile option; found out we don’t need to file a state income tax return due to active duty status. We will be receiving a refund, so we agreed again on the plan for the bulk of it (paying a large principal payment on my husband’s car, our only debt) and discussed using the rest to pick up some items on our “want” shopping list.
  • Received 3 free magazine downloads on Kindle Unlimited.
  • Pulled books from my shelves and our homeschool books to take to the local bookshop with my kids’ items – anything the owner is interested in will be store credit, helping her build inventory and helping us offset costs for books and gifts in the future.
  • Filled the car and the truck with $1 off per gallon fuel points.
  • Ate leftovers from dinners as lunches; daughter packed lunches and snacks for school most days and used some of her own babysitting cash for lunch one day.
  • Researched and found out they have an app – I’m going to look into using that instead of printing coupons at home, in order to save on ink.
  • Used drying racks for most loads of laundry; I had a large load for my husband’s and my laundry so I took the heaviest/largest items and put them in the dryer (with wool dryer balls, which help cut drying time) and dried the rest of the load on rack. Normally I’d put the heavy items on our second rack, but I don’t have pins that will fit over the larger diameter rods, and it was too windy to just lay things over them like I usually do. (Needless to say, some larger clamps of some sort are on the “want to buy” list! LOL)
  • Used homemade dishwasher soap in each load of dishes.
  • Charged our phones on the Goal Zero chargers whenever possible.
  • Did NOT attend a convention over the weekend that we had discussed going to. Even with the military discount they offered, we’d have been at $40 for the family to go. We used our museum membership (mentioned above) to have a prepaid outing instead.
  • Read e-books via Kindle Unlimited (still on free trial).
  • Cooked most meals at home from the pantry; made menu plan for this week’s dinners based on what was already on hand. I am specifically using up some canned soup and chili that my husband didn’t care for and told me to donate – I figure if I split them between all four of us and cook them with other items, we won’t mind the flavor as much (and the kids and I haven’t even tried them yet – we might actually like them). Tonight’s plan is chili dogs – I figure with a piece of bread, a hot dog, and some shredded cheese, the little bit of chili actually going on them can’t be all bad. Wish me luck with that plan….. 😉

7 thoughts on “Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 11 February 2018

  1. So, Melanie, I’m a bit like you–not sure how these apps work. What do you do with the Ibotta app? I’ve heard of it before, but don’t understand what you do with it.

    • Hi Becky! Thanks for a great question. So far what I’ve been able to figure out on Ibotta is to go select my favorite stores and then choose offers for cash back on things I plan to buy. It’s kind of the reverse of Target Cartwheel, if you’ve used that. The Target one you get the amount off (like $1 off or 5% off) at the register – selecting the offers creates a barcode that they scan and all the coupons/discounts get applied at once. With Ibotta, it’s more of a rebates system (I *think* lol) – you mark the offers you want, then you make the purchase, and then scan your receipt and get the amount back as cash/PayPal. Some of the stores you can use the mobile app – that’s how I did the Amazon one. It told me there was 2.5% cash back on health and beauty items, so I clicked through that to order my supplement, and it opened the Amazon Prime app within the Ibotta app. Then a couple of days later I got a notice in the Ibotta app that I had a $0.70 rebate pending in my Ibotta account.

      Does that make sense? I wish I could just show you. LOL I haven’t done a receipt scan yet – I’m currently working on my offers and the local sale flyers to decide what my grocery list will be. Plus I’m waiting til tomorrow to go to Target so I can get discounted Valentine’s chocolate. 😉

  2. You had a wonderfully frugal week!

    I looked over your recommendation of Voodoo Tactical on Amazon, and I found some excellent resources for our 72 hour kits- thank you! I also think that you’ll find a lot of benefit from your new Amazon prime membership. After careful consideration, we realized there were many items on Amazon that we could switch to buy to cover the cost, and now we also use it to watch movies and TV shows! We were able to receive the ‘student discount’ when I was in graduate school at the time and that helped offset the cost as well.

    Congratulations on a great, frugal week! I’m enjoying your posts, and appreciate your family’s service to our country.

    • Hi Samantha!

      Thank you for sharing such encouraging thoughts and your kind comment about the military. <3 I really appreciate the feedback on Amazon Prime. We had purposely cut the bulk of our Amazon shopping (soooo much temptation there!) but it does seem that we'll get more out of it now. The faster shipping is definitely helpful - usually I choose the free 5-8 day shipping but that can be hard to plan for if you need something quickly. That is awesome that you were able to apply the student discount!

      I'm so glad you found some useful resources thanks to the Voodoo Tactical mention. Family emergency preparedness is very close to my heart - I'm so thrilled when others are traveling that path too. Keep it up!

  3. Pingback: Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 18 Feb 2018 |

  4. Have you found large clips or clothespins for your larger drying rack yet?
    My drying rack has about a 1″ dowel and I found pins at Wal-Mart in the laundry section. They are extra large dark blue and light blue plastic spring pins. They have held up for years now for me.

    • I did find some – thanks for asking, Amy! I originally found a bag of mixed-size spring clips in the tool section of Wal-Mart, but then did a search on Amazon to see if I could find all one size (I didn’t need the really big ones, just the smallest that were in the bag). I gave it a shot and the new ones are working out pretty well. They aren’t quiiiiite big enough for really thick clothes, so on the windy days I just use them to clip the two sides of the item together around the dowels, instead of just clipping from the top where they might pop off. It’s working so far. 😀

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