Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Frugal accomplishments

Here are my frugal accomplishments from the past two weeks:

*Scored a free can of black beans via a coupon offer
*Purchased a whole ham on sale to chop up and use as pizza topping, in potato soup, scrambled eggs, etc.
*Natalie's preschool has an ongoing fundraiser in which you purchase gift cards to local grocery stores through them, and they receive a small portion of the purchase price. Now, this doesn't save us money, but I mention it because I would much rather participate in something like this than a fundraiser that asks me to purchase wrapping paper, cookie dough, etc.
*Received a book from PaperBackSwap
*Put orange peels in vinegar to make a batch of cleaning solution--I use it on our floors.
*Used a free shipping code and clicked through Ebates when I needed to make a recent on-line purchase.
*Eric purchased a couple of 100-piece puzzles for a quarter each at the thrift store--they were a big hit!(Here is a pic of Nathan with a 500-piece puzzle he recently completed--almost entirely on his own! This one was a $1 at a thrift store a couple years ago.)
*Redeemed coupons from Nathan's school reading program for two mini pizzas--I divide them up and use them for his school lunches.
*Took advantage when my favorite local home decor store was having a rare half-off sale. I got some gifts, and a little "A" sign I'd had my eye on. (You can see it in my recent Valentine post.) It was $7.99 when I went this fall. I didn't want to spend that much on it, and am so glad I waited. It had apparently already been marked down to $3.99, so with the 50% discount, I got it for just $2. Woo-hoo!
*Milk does not regularly go on sale here, so when it does, I stock up. A couple of weeks ago I was able to get 3 gallons for less than $2 each using store coupons. The normal price here for 1% is about $3.65.
*We got two coupons for free McD sandwiches from the newspaper, so Eric picked them up one night when he was coming back to town from reffing a basketball game. There was a big fiasco with his order, and an employee did not handle it appropriately. Eric called the manager after he got home, and the manager said he would send a coupon for the trouble. (E told him it wasn't necessary, especially since his order didn't cost any money to begin with--he just wanted to make them aware of what happened.) But a coupon just came in the mail for a free extra value meal, so that was a nice gesture!
*A friend gave me some crackers and pudding cups that her kids didn't like.
*I received a fun goodie bag when I attended IF: Local.
*At our recent MOPS Spa Day, I won a door prize--a coupon for a free large pizza! Every woman received a coffee drink and chocolate from a local grocery store. Nice!
*Received two packages of cookies in the mail for review via the BzzAgent program.
*Ground wheat flour, made hummus, and cooked a batch of dried black beans.
*Made homemade waffles and biscuits.
*Scored a free box of pasta with a mailer coupon
*Got 4 boxes of cereal for less than $4 total, combining a sale and two B1G1 coupons
*Our church offered free evening childcare for several families on Valentine's Day--what a blessing!
*Redeemed two coupons for free ice cream on our Valentine date
*Received a free sample of facial moisturizer in the mail
*Gave haircuts to Eric and Nathan
*Made banana zucchini bread and popcorn snack bars (didn't love these, though)

I was also very inspired by these posts from The Prudent Homemaker on lowering electricity usage (MSM had one on a similar topic at the same time) and looking for creative ways to continue cutting costs.
I'd love to hear about your recent frugal activities!


thehomespunheart said...

Great job, Carrie! I got a free gallon of milk by purchasing some on sale cereal that was a good deal already. We've had lots of books from the library and have been enjoying the Olympics. I found some goodies on the Valentine clearance for next year. We've stayed home a lot and had many home cooked meals including a yummy Valentine's dinner in front of the fireplace.

Mom said...

Well done, as usual! :) My best deals lately were receiving a free sample in the mail, redeeming another coupon for a free 12-pack Coke, and a four-pack of toilet paper for 19 cents combining a sale and double coupon.

Good job, Nathan on the puzzle! Pepaw and I have been on a jigsaw puzzle kick since Christmas - just finished our 9th 1000-piece puzzle. :)

Love you lots, Mom

angie said...

Monica, your comment reminded me of seeing the adorable library card valentines! Did you purchase those this year or last? Where did you find good Vday clearance? I'm only seeing character types.

angie said...

I made a list this time, however, I would be deceiving if I didn't mention that I've also been buying many unnecessary things as well lately. I think that the many cold days have me yearning to get out. And the stores have been my substitute for outdoors. :(

-attended a free bookmaking class at my library. The instructor also offered materials to bring home to make more, so I was able to teach the 3 techniques to my daughter.

-made a bday gift for a neighbor girl and only bought sprinkles from the dollar spot. Her party theme was sweets, so we chose a baking theme for her gift: sugar cookie mix, sprinkles, and an apron made by my daughter all went into a felt pail that I bought on clearance last year.

-I've been making crockpot oatmeal at the beginning of each week and portioning it for each morning. This saves me time and money, since I usually default to instant oatmeal packets.

-A friend's husband works at a casino. He brings home used decks of cards and dice. (They discard after each game.) I used one deck to make a VDay garland and put others into shoeboxes. They can be used for games or math facts. Still trying to think of a use for the dice.

-I don't belong to a gym. My exercise program is walking/biking outdoors when weather permits. Lately, it has been on my treadmill (bought 15 years ago!) while watching dvd's from the library on my kids' portable player.

-my son needed a professional compass for geometry class. He was selling them for $15. We found it on staples.com for $11.49, reserved it from the store, and set pick up for that evening. The store shelf price was actually higher, but they honored the lower. Also, my Bank of America Visa has a contract discount associated with it, so it was discounted further.

-found a paper mâché H on clearance at Michaels for .50. I decoupaged paper doll cut outs that Hanna no longer wanted to cover it. It will go into her room when the painting is completed.

-instead of a card for my hubby for VDay, I bought a foam wreath of overlapping hearts for $1 at craft store. I cut pics of our family that were left over from other projects into hearts to give my husband and hang for display.