Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 18 Mar 2018

Our week was a bit all over the place – my daughter was on spring break, so the routine we got into during the first quarter of her schooling became a bit mish-moshed. We were able to do some fun things, though, and also do a shopping trip that helped restock some things while saving some decent amounts of cash. My list feels a bit short, but I guess that makes it short and sweet? 😀

After you’re done with my post, pop on over and read all about the savings Brandy and the other folks in The Prudent Homemaker community have found. No matter where you are on your frugal living journey, I’m sure you’ll find ideas there! Now here’s my little list for the past week:

  • Used blinds & curtains for passive solar to heat and cool the house.
  • Opened doors to get cross-breeze throughout the day.
  • Learned about free SkyWarn storm spotter training coming up in our area and was able to pass it on to help some friends; one was able to find training near her as well. (If you’d like to see about SkyWarn training, you can click here to learn more on their website.)
  • Bought an advance copy of a book on PDF for $5 (vs the price it will be in print later this month)
  • Took the kids to the library so we could all use the Wi-Fi there instead of eating up GB on our data plan at home. Daughter was able to get several hours of school work done on the site her GED classes require; son was able to view Great Courses Plus, YouTube videos, and work on his programming courses.
  • Used OverDrive to check out multiple library books.
  • Used our Kindle Unlimited membership to borrow others.
  • Downloaded a free Kindle book about fermentation.
  • Reread a print book I already own (the second in a series I am rereading this year).
  • Picked up a scarf that has been in progress for a while, but have neglected for a while – free (prepaid? LOL) entertainment.
  • Received free child admission for son at a local event.
  • Used drying racks for some loads of clothes; used wool dryer balls in the loads that were run in the electric dryer.
  • Entered as many Swagbucks and InboxDollars codes as I could find each day and answered the daily Swagbucks survey questions.
  • Registered for a free emergency preparedness webinar about power outages.
  • Daughter rode with her boyfriend’s family to a dance.
  • Daughter worked a couple of hours babysitting and earned money toward upcoming school expenses
  • Did a Target shopping trip: saved $37 with Target sales, Cartwheel offers, and manufacturer coupons; earned a $5 gift card; used two $5 gift cards earned with our last shopping trip toward payment as well as the rest of the gift card I bought at the beginning of the month (for Kroger fuel points); received $10 back in Ibotta rebates.
  • Walked the dog three nights (free exercise).
  • Adapted a slow cooker roast recipe to use what I had on hand instead of purchasing ingredients. (It called for grape jelly and onion soup mix; I used elderberry jelly and Thrive Life diced onions along with spices I had that seemed likely to be in the soup mix.)
  • Husband borrowed DVDs from the library for “edutainment” with son.

Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 4 March 2018

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: Continue reading

Personal Challenges for March 2018

I’ve decided I’ll be doing three personal challenges this month: another No Spend Month; another Pantry Challenge; and the 31 Bags in 31 Days challenge. All three of these will be adapted a bit for my needs and my family situation, but I’m sure they’ll still help bunches.

My friend E. and I made the decision back in January to make March a No Spend Month, during a discussion about the government shutdown and how it affects both of our families. I was super excited to get a message from her recently that her “other half” is on board and excited to do the NSM challenge as well. I speak from experience when I say that it’s HUGE when everyone in the household (or at least all those with access to the money) is a willing participant. So here’s to saving some serious cash in March! My rules are as follows: Continue reading

Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 25 Feb 2018:

We had a pretty full week – accomplished quite a bit and even did it frugally. I’m so sad that Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker might not have a post up this week, per her Facebook post about computer troubles, but I’m excited to share what we were able to do so I’ll keep on keepin’ on until she’s up and running again. Hopefully that is VERY soon!

Here’s how our week went – feel free to share your news in the comments too! Continue reading

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 18 Feb 2018

Can you believe we’re already more than halfway through the month? I kind of like February – it’s short and sweet, particularly due to the discounted Valentine’s candy that crops up this time of the month! Speaking of which – we of course celebrated “Half Price Chocolate Day” instead of Valentine’s Day, but we also did something for Valentine’s Day that I think you frugalistas will appreciate. So read on! When you’re done here, be sure to check in with Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker for more inspiration and frugal encouragement.

  • EDIT: Right after posting this, I got an email from a different hotel (we used two chains during our move south) stating that I had points I could use from them as well. In addition to what’s noted below, I was able to get two more magazine subscriptions to share with my mom, as well as a $10 Starbucks gift card. Woohoo!
  • Reading Radical Frugality on Kindle Unlimited.
  • Shared my Ibotta and InboxDollars links in a blog post and via text to several friends.
  • Added stores to Ibotta so I will (hopefully!) remember to look for offers there if we need to do any shopping at those stores.
  • Signed up for Swagbucks and started learning how to use it.
  • Valentine’s Day – husband made an extra principal payment on his car, our gift to each other. Now that’s love, huh? 😀
  • Watched a free PBS “Two Cents” video on college majors with my son.
  • Worked on my portfolio page (click on the tab up top to see it!) and started gathering current submission information for publications I’d like to contribute work to this year.
  • Husband used meal card for breakfast and lunches at class; daughter carried food and water bottle from home to school.
  • Heated soup from pantry and split a can of chili to make chili dogs as mentioned last week – both worked out much better than expected for meals.
  • Did my parents’ taxes – saved them several hundred dollars in tax prep fees.
  • Used the drying rack (indoors since we were actually getting some rain – YAY!)
  • Kept an eye out on the Facebook pages of InboxDollars and Swagbucks; I was able to get several InboxDollars “WinIt” codes as well as the daily Swagbucks codes.
  • Went to Tractor Supply; found out they carry the dog food we buy. It was several dollars less than I paid at the other feed store (which was within pennies of PetSmart) – so next time I need to restock, I will be able to compare their price as well!
  • Cut the dog’s toenails myself.
  • Bought most of our groceries at Target, after using my grocery list to select manufacturer coupons, figure out Target sales, then load Target Cartwheel discounts and Ibotta rebates. Total savings at Target: $42.13; total Ibotta rebate: $4.75 ($2.75 rebate + $2 bonus for my first in-store redemption), plus lower sales tax vs commissary surcharge.
  • Bought the last of the groceries at the commissary; received an Ibotta rebate of $1.
  • Used homemade dishwasher detergent.
  • Borrowed DVDs and Overdrive e-books from libraries.
  • Purchased pizza out, with a coupon and husband picked up carryout (saving delivery fee and tip).
  • Found a dime and gave it to my son for his savings account.
  • Listed homeschool curriculum for sale in the base homeschool group; also researched how to sell it to a homeschool company for their used books section if it doesn’t sell locally. (If anyone is interested, it is Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum [PAC] Biology, Natural Science Mysteries, and English Grammar Skills.)
  • Received a statement from a hotel chain that we can use our points (from our move last year) for a free magazine subscription – I chose two magazines that are not stocked at my local libraries and that both my mom and I used to subscribe to, but no longer do. After I get each issue, I can send them in care packages to my folks and they will enjoy flipping through them as well.
  • Received an email that we will be getting a utility rebate for our January bill; now I know to watch for that deposit and have already allotted it to another principal payment for the car. (My goal is to pay off the car on or before 1 Feb 2019.)
  • Used personal cloth for the bathroom.