I’m so excited! Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker has a post up this week, thanks to a work-around on her computer issue. So for anyone who missed her posts, head on over – there’s tons of inspiration and encouragement, as usual, from Brandy and her readers.
We had some pretty groovy things happen this past week and weekend and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you today. As always, please feel free to share your frugal accomplishments in the comments here or a link to them if you blog. I’d sure love to hear from you!
Here’s how things went for us the first week of March:
- Borrowed books and DVDs from library and on Overdrive
- Entered as many InboxDollars and Swagbucks codes as I could find; did a few Swagbucks surveys
- Created a wee writing retreat in our walk-in closet using furniture and supplies we already had on hand
- Used curtains and blinds for passive solar heating and cooling – right now the temperatures are just starting to warm the living room up a bit in the late afternoon, so any sunshine we can let in before then eliminates the use of electricity; as soon as the sun sets, it gets chilly, so the blinds and curtains get pulled to keep heat in.
- Used drying racks for laundry
- Found a birthday gift for my daughter on sale at Target ($9.99); it is a reusable item that will help cut waste and the cost of buying the items she is currently using
- Printed a gift from a download for another family member
- Found a gift card that was bought with points over a year ago while reorganizing our closet; it was tucked away “safely” for our move – apparently REALLY safely! It will make a great gift for the person getting the printed gift.
- Had a bit of trouble with our order at a local café; my husband very politely asked for correction and when the manager brought the correct item over, he gave us a 10% off coupon for our next visit. (This happens a LOT with my husband; it’s actually downright funny to me now! I think since he’s a big, gruff-looking guy, people think he’s going to be very angry or forceful – he never is, and he is very frequently rewarded for his patience by customer service folks who appreciate not being yelled at like they get the rest of their day. He was even given a free tire when we put new tires on the truck, simply because he waited patiently through an unexpected delay! What’s that about “catching more flies with honey”? LOL)
- Repaired a fray in the charger cable to my laptop with a length of electrical tape
- Entered two giveaways for items I would find very useful; one already ended and I didn’t win (ah well!) but who knows – the second one could be the one!
- Paid an additional principal payment on husband’s car
- Made iced coffee concentrate at home using some coffee grounds husband got as a gift and the Pioneer Woman recipe I found online
- Soaked and cooked two pounds of dry garbanzo beans from the pantry; put them into two-cup servings in freezer bags so I don’t have to buy canned garbanzo beans for recipes
- Used Kroger fuel points to get $1 off per gallon to fill both the car and the truck on the last day of the month (when the points would expire)
- Stopped at a McDonald’s for a drink; filled out the survey on the receipt when I got home and got a coupon code for B1G1 free burger or breakfast sandwich
- Requested & received the FedEx label to ship our PAC books to a company that sells used curriculum. I’m hoping the credit will be enough to get my son some books for next school year.
- Borrowed books on Kindle Unlimited
- Received the reimbursement from my folks for daughter’s birthday hope chest, as well as our utility rebate from Housing.
- Downloaded 8 free Kindle books
- Used personal cloth and handkerchiefs instead of disposable paper products
- Did a big Target shop (details HERE) using sales, manufacturer coupons, and Target Cartwheel; earned cash back on Ibotta and earned Kroger fuel points
- Purchased a few items on our “to buy” list when I found good deals on Amazon and other sites; earned Swagbucks or cash back on Ibotta (depending on where I made the purchase).
- Took advantage of a big Buy 1, Get 2 Free meat sale at Safeway (with many thanks to my friend E, who told me, and my husband told several coworkers – lots of people saved thanks to her tip!). We bought 3 large roasts and six steak packets – three of the steak packs were for husband’s coworker, who was covering part of a shift for someone and couldn’t go to the store. When we got home from dropping those off, we repackaged the meat. The thin cut steaks had 3 in each pack, so we put the largest one on its own and put 2 each in other bags. That gave us 5 meals worth of meat (we have a small family and use meat as a side, not the entree). Then my husband cut all of the roasts into much smaller 1-2 pound portions; that made 11 meals worth of meat from three roasts! All told we spent $165 (a portion of which his friend will reimburse us) for 16 meals worth of meat; savings was over $100. I will also fill out the receipt survey for a chance at a $100 gift card. (No loss if I don’t win, but I sure won’t argue if I do!) We also received a Catalina with a code for a free personalized Shutterfly bag and a Monopoly piece for a free photo album. Those would make good gift items for the price of shipping and tax, so I’ll think about redeeming them.
Those last three items might sound a bit strange for those who read my Challenge post last week and saw my No Spend Month challenge. However, since we make our own rules for these sort of challenges, I definitely count opportunities to fill the freezer at a great price as a reasonable purchase. I don’t serve meat very frequently, so that Safeway purchase will hold us several months – probably until May or June since I still had 4 packages of meat left from our stock-up with a local rancher back in fall! My Target run fills holes that will appear soon as we rotate other items, so it’s all in keeping with my Pantry Challenge as well. I know some folks who are very strict on the rules for these sorts of challenges, and I very much appreciate their fortitude. I do things a little more loosely because I hate looking back on a deal I passed up, when faced with a tighter budget or higher prices. So like I said before, my “No Spend Month” is a bit more of a “limited spending with some rules Month”. 😉