Friday, July 5, 2013

Frugal accomplishments

Here's my compilation of frugal activities from the past two weeks:

*Made double batches of pumpkin apple and cinnamon streusel muffins
*Made leftover oatmeal cookies (like not love)--recipe from this book
*Totally scored at a thrift store's bag sale--got everything pictured here for $1 total!
*Harvested spinach and lettuce several times from our garden and had enough to share with friends
*Purchased a microfiber duster that I've had my eye on for a couple years--the price dropped, I had $10 credit earned from Swagbucks, and I took advantage of a free one-month Prime trial to receive free 2-day shipping! The duster works very well--a little too well, in fact. Dust bunnies, beware! {Speaking of Swagbucks, I noticed that there are 5 of you--you know who you are!--who have signed up via my link, but you haven't started earning yet. Let me encourage you that it is easy peasy. If you ever search on-line, you will accumulate Swagbucks quite easily by using their search engine.}

*Cut a pink peony from our bush to enjoy inside
*Enjoyed free popsicles at the park (sponsored by a local business)
*Received free shampoo samples in the mail
*Got some excellent deals on 12-packs of pop (I don't drink it, but Eric likes to have a few cans a week)--ranging in price from $1.50-$2.25
*In the same grocery run, I stocked up on cereal when I could buy several kinds we like for $1-2 a box
*Purchased a 4 lb. ham for $4.98 and chopped it up for use on pizza and scrambled eggs--This is a massive savings over the 8 oz. packages of diced ham I used to buy for $2.50!!
*Scored two free tubes of toothpaste using coupons at the dollar store
*Took advantage of the pool's discount night--$6 for the whole family vs. $17 regular price (Ouch!)
*Eric went fishing and brought home two huge walleye that will feed us for at least two meals
*One of my best finds this month was this super cute backpack for Natalie. She needs one for preschool this fall, and I've been keeping my eyes out for a deal. $3 for this pink sparkly number was the perfect fit!
*Made hummus and pita chips
*Eric took the older two bowling for free via this program. And because the bowling alley didn't have shoes in their sizes, it was a truly free outing!
*I was ecstatic when I checked the clearance section of a grocery store I rarely visit. They had several boxes of majorly marked down cereal for which I also had coupons. We're talking Kashi for 85 cents/box and a Fiber One kind I like for $1.45 each!
*A friend gave me a sippy cup to try with Naomi (She's gotten better about it, but she still won't drink out of a cup if it has the valve in it--very inconvenient, especially when we're not at home!)
*Found a pair of swim trunks for Nathan at the consignment store. I bought a size up so they'll last longer, and because I had store credit, I paid nothing out of pocket.
*Cooked a batch of black beans in the crockpot.
*Made a double batch of beer bread.
*Used a code to order 50 free photos. (Thanks, K!)
*Made apple crisp
*Made popsicles using leftover lemonade (A neighbor kid had one and raved about it. He wanted to know how I made them!)
*Finally found a pair of shoes that fit Naomi--they are toddler size 1 and meant for an 8-10 month-old. She's such a peanut! I purchased them off a local swap for $1.50.
*Got a great deal on laundry soap--enough to last a year or more! The 100-load bottles of (clear and free) Purex are regularly priced $7.99 at our store. I price-matched them via another ad for 2/$10 and had a $3/2 coupon. So I got two huge bottles for $7 total.
*Also got some great deals on Kraft products combining sales and coupons
*Bartered some garden spinach and lettuce with a friend for a pair of sparkly little girl shoes and a bag of board books for the kids--I'd love to barter/swap more often. To me it's a win-win! Sometimes I think I feel too shy to ask, but I'll never know if I don't try!
*Stopped at a gas station that was handing out free boxes of sparklers in hopes of luring customers into their fireworks tent
*Sometimes reading your receipt pays off--literally. I met up with one of my dear friends for breakfast in Chicago last week, and when I checked the receipt, I noticed they had charged me for coffee as well as my friend. This was the second receipt issue we'd had on that visit, and the cashier ended up giving me double the refund for my trouble. So I "earned" a couple dollars just for taking the time to read the receipt.
*We attended a festival at my in-laws' church that provided lots of fun free (though not healthy!) food: hot dogs, chips, cotton candy, popcorn, popsicles and snow cones. Whew! They had several inflatables, a climbing wall, balloons, live patriotic music, and face painting.
*Had a stellar trip to Wmart, in which I had coupons/rebates for 2 free packages of crackers, free Lysol wipes, and a bag of frozen diced celery for just 17 cents.
*Used coupons at B, B&B to receive some nice discounts on a gift for an upcoming wedding
*Got a package of swim diapers for half price, combining a sale, a coupon and a store coupon. Triple play!

Frugal fails:

*Because I didn't plan ahead very well, one night I needed boneless chicken breasts at the last minute for our supper. I had to pay $3.19 a pound, which was painful, as I don't usually buy it unless it's under $2/lb.
*I purchased two bottles of a salad dressing we like because I had a good coupon if you bought 2. This particular brand comes in a glass bottle. As I was unloading the groceries, one of the bottles slipped out, and glass shards and vinaigrette covered our garage floor. Bummer! (Thanks a ton to Eric for cleaning up the mess!)
I'd love to hear about some of your recent frugal accomplishments!


thehomespunheart said...

Fun Carrie - I could "hear" your excitement and enthusiasm!

Let's see -
* received a grocery bag of day old bread from Panera :) served bagels and toast from the bag for breakfast and french bread for dinner and put the rest in the freezer
* went to the beach - free {Melissa paid the $2 parking}
* got slushies at Sonic during Happy Hour - half price
* signed littles up for the Summer Reading Program - free
* traded a binder in at Staples today that D got for free from the school lost/found. Used it to get a new binder for a home organization notebook and used Staples rewards to pay the balance - free.
* went to a pool party today - took items for their shoebox gifts including free hotel soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste from the dentist and some items the girls bought from the Awana store using "bucks" they earned from saying verses
* watched a movie from the library - free
* had a "yard sale" in our living room this morning - cleaned out - very freeing!
* stayed home for two days straight and got a lot done plus was not tempted to spend anything going anywhere.
* used several coupons
* sparklers and glow sticks for 4th of July - $1 each but tons of fun and enjoyment - very worth it!

thehomespunheart said...

Oh, and I traded two books in for credit on Amazon!

Mom said...

Wow! this is quite a list -- well done! :) My best deals this past week were free toothpaste and on laundry soap combining a good sale with coupons (three bottles for under $2 each). Love you! Mom

angie said...

Amazing list, Carrie. Your accomplishments were intentional and met some needs, too!
I posted a June list, and am keeping a phrase list on my phone for July. Do you keep a running list and type it out in sentence form at the end? Or do you type it onto your blog post as you go?
I wonder what Monica meant about a living room yard sale...?

Katie said...

Wow, wow, Carrie! Quite a list! Praise God!

Off the top of my head, here are a few things:

*Harvested veggies from the garden
*Gave all three children haircuts
*Borrowed many library books/DVDs
*Purchased gifts with Bonus Rewards
*Purchased gifts via Swagbucks
*Received hand-me-downs from some generous church friends
*Filled up with gas when it was 40 cents cheaper than it is this week

God is good! Have a great weekend!