Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Frugal accomplishments

Time to share my compilation of frugal accomplishments from the past two weeks:

*Earned a $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks (This came in very handy as Naomi needed diapers and I'd maxed out our grocery/household budget for the month. I already had $10 saved in my account, and the total came to nearly the exact amount of credit. Hooray! Another way I gradually accumulate Amazon credit is when you make Amazon purchases by clicking on the links on my blog, so thank you!!)
*Bought 8 dry erase markers for $1, thanks to a super-sale and coupon
*A gift I was grateful for but sad to receive: several bags of pantry items from the friend whom I mentioned is moving =(
*Went to a nearby bakery markdown area, and bought $10.21 worth of bread for $2.55
*Used a B1G1 coupon on a frozen entree to have on hand
*Scored several cans of free shaving cream with coupons
*Took advantage of two free meals at the college for staff and families
*A friend gave me some bread
*Received a check from Ebates
*Something I do regularly but don't think I've mentioned yet is reusing packaging--padded envelopes, tissue paper and gift bags. I hate to buy that stuff, and always reuse it unless it's in horrible shape. I haven't bought any of those items in years!
*Free pens with rebate
*Bought notebooks and purse-size tissues for a penny each on sale
*Used a gift card and coupon to have an inexpensive and delicious meal with Eric at OG
*Received a couple boxes of free mac and cheese combining sale and coupon
*Made pesto using basil from the plant we've grown all summer
*Saved 60% on my purchases at T*rget--my total was under $10, possibly my lowest trip to that store ever!
*Purchased 6 books for $1 at the thrift store (They have a weekly B1G1 sale.)
*Received free tickets to a baseball game
*Made a small batch of applesauce with a handful of local apples we were given
*Mended a pair Eric's shorts and a headband of Natalie's
*Used a coupon for a free mini pizza for Nathan's lunch
*Brought home assorted goodies (crackers, carrots, berries, cookies, etc.) that were left behind and unclaimed (?!) at a picnic I organized
*Made black bean burgers--I liked them but Eric wasn't a fan.
*Received several free samples in the mail: cleaning wipes, vitamins, shampoo and conditioner
*Got a great deal on 2 packages of sliced cheese (reg. $2.99/pkg) for $2.50 total using a sale and coupon
*Purchased a small quantity of organic wheatberries from the natural foods store to try out my new wheat grinder. I think it will be great for small batches of flour!
*Scored two free containers of deodorant using a coupon
*Took advantage of some excellent produce prices, like peaches at 69 cents/lb. and grapes for 99 cents/lb. I really try to only buy produce that's on sale. It makes such a difference in the bill!
*Harvested lots of garden goodies: carrots, onions, tomatoes, peppers and green beans. Also, some beautiful zinnias and blackberries!
*A friend gave me several tubes of diaper cream now that her youngest is potty trained.
*Attended our church's annual pool party--free pool admission, wonderful fellowship, and a fabulous potluck supper!

Frugal FAILS:
*Buying the wrong kind of paper for a rebate. I didn't carefully check the label. This store is 45 minutes away, so I was quite bummed as it will be awhile before I can return it. And I missed out on getting the actual free paper. Oh, well!
*Forgetting to use gift cards at stores twice in one week.

How have you been frugal recently?


Mom said...

Another great list - well done!
Love you, Mom

angie said...

I need to get back to keeping a list. I think it makes me more intentional. Yours is quite long for only two weeks!
I have wanted to make black bean burgers because I know the frozen veg burgers are full of additives and sodium. Can you give the link to the recipe you used?
Back to school specials are fun frugal finds, but I haven't seen any penny deals this year. In fact, I don't think I've seen anything under .50!
I also used Swagbucks credit toward my daughter's backpack. It only covered $5, but better than nothing. I have trouble holding onto the Amazon credit to accumulate more than $5 since it seems to take forever to earn 500 SB.
I'm always dumbfounded at the amount of food left behind after an event. At my husband's work, people order pizza for lunch every Friday. He rarely participates, but often they will bring him the remainders since no one else wants to take it home.

kelseylynae said...


I got my ebates check as well :)
I also found a deal on honest.com for a "free trial" of diapers. I had to pay shipping, and it wasn't clear on the amount of diapers. If I get a package of 20 or more it will be worth it, if not, probably not worth the shipping.
Brent and I were able to score a free dessert at Olive Garden [my favorite!]. We were supposed to buy two entrees to receive it, but I simply asked if we could get an appetizer and an entree instead, which was about $10 cheaper and they let us :) [I know we had to spend to get this deal, but I had gotten some $ for some photos I had taken and it was a fun evening out! We ended up with a lot of food for much less than it actually cost!]

I also ALWAYS reuse gift bags :)

Wendi said...

That is a long list!

We went out for dinner (BBQ) on Friday night and used a $10 off $20 coupon plus we had earned a $20 reward on our reward card. The three of us were able to eat for $10 including tip. The bonus is that we both ordered one of their pick two entrees and I have the left over pulled pork in the crock pot for sandwiches tonight!

We attended a birthday party for my niece and there was tons of left over premade sandwiches. I brought some home and have been serving them for lunch.

I also save the gift bags and tissue paper. If the tissue paper is to bad for re-gift I will let Megan use it to make a craft.

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

I'm a quiet follower (have been since you used to do the sister swap boxes...would love to be in another one...hint hint. Ü)and I love reading your tips.

I quit my job this year and we are going to see if we can live off of my not working, so these tips come in very handy. Thanks to you posting about getting rewards for swagbucks (I had joined, but no rewards), I learned better how it works and have rec'd rewards now! I was able to buy a $15 book that my son wanted for his bd for free and with the rest of the rewards I had, used for my youngest son to put towards the books he had to buy for college. It felt so good to help him out!

I, too reuse gift bags. The boys know to save them and have been doing this for years.

some other frugal saves for me this week...refrigerator biscuits for .39 in the mark down cooler at the local grocer, plus .19 buttermilk.

produce from neighbors sharing...cucumbers, tomatoes, and an onion.

Keep sharing! You are an inspiration to us all.

theoklahomatexan said...

I love your frugal accomplishment lists! Have you used your Kitchenaid attachment for anything other than grinding wheat?

I entered a Facebook contest last week with Dallas Summer Musicals. I didn't win, but they did give me a code for 15 free song downloads of music from stage productions. Alex and I have been enjoying that.

My most frugal thing has been not going much of anywhere. Alex and Steven have both been sick for the past 2 weeks with a really nasty virus that causes an ugly rash. Alex looks diseased. So we've stayed in, which means not spending money (except for the 4 doctor's appointments between the 2 of them!).