Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. No eating out this week.
  2. I donated some of my stockpiled butter to the kindergarten PTO pancake breakfast.
  3. Our girl scout troop went hiking at a local state park and brought packed lunches to earn a couple of our badges. We had 12 kindergarten/1st grade girls and hikes 2.5 miles!
  4. I’m still in my 10 day free trial of Platejoy.
  5. The youngest is doing so well wearing big girl underwear that we cancelled our Subscribe and Save order of Pull-ups.
  6. I am chaperoning the 3rd grade field trip to the Zoo next month and we have at least two more planned excursions in the next 3 months with scouts and family, so I opted to buy the cheapest family Zoo membership with a 10% off discount code. It was cheaper to do this than pay for 3 visits with parking.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Not so much a stumble as a updating our budget. Our food costs are going up on purpose to buy fresh, healthy, and local foods.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I used points I accrued through 2020 Research to get $10 in Paypal cash.
  2. This week was spring break, and we opted for a staycation. Our expenses were the movie Moana ($20), and lunches at Chick Fil-A and Wendy’s ($40). We visited two local parks. Last night, my sister spent the night and we had dinner for 5 at a Lebanese restaurant using a Groupon ($24 for Groupon plus $12 extra). We stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream afterwards ($9). Today we had dinner with Grandpa and a cousin at Bob Evans, and I paid for the entire check. We had $40 in gift cards from an aunt and I spent $20 for the 8 of us. Our spring break was $123.
  3. I crocheted while watching Home Fires on the PBS Roku app.
  4. I used $33 in Extra Care Bucks and many coupons to get 50% off my CVS trip, plus I earned $10 in ECBs back.
  5. I took all 3 kids to the dentist, and the dentist sent them each home with 2 toothbrushes, a small toothpaste, flossers, and a couple toys.
  6. The Mister and I have worked tirelessly on the yard (especially him) and weeded all of the flower beds ourselves, transplanted some grass from around the beds to the bare area where our old tree was, and mulched all beds. We paid for 4 cubic yards of mulch and shared it with our neighbor.
  7. I baked two loaves of bread.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I cut my hours down this week to have fun with the kids and catch up n yard work this week.

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I used a 20% off coupon code, free shipping, and 3% back through Swagbucks to get the new outdoor lights for our home.
  2. We played outside at our neighborhood park and a couple new-to-us community parks.
  3. I got a massage using the 3-massages-for- $60 Groupon I purchased a couple of months ago.
  4. I have been doing yoga every morning using a YouTube video from the channel Yoga With Adrienne.
  5. I signed The Little up for preschool at the YMCA, and we get a discount every month thanks to our membership. While we were at the Y, I let her play in the indoor gym while I read a book.
  6. I had an email for a $2 Google Play credit.
  7. I baked bread today instead of buying it.
  8. We decorated Easter eggs today using a dye kit I bought on clearance after Easter last year for $0.25.
  9. We planned a rare family dinner out to the new El Toro Mexican restaurant near us, and used a coupon. We pretty much never eat out as a family of 5 unless we go to Chick-Fil-A or have lunch with my dad at Bob Evans. I cannot lie, I do not really enjoy wrangling and shushing 3 squirmy kids at a restaurant. It went reasonably well this time.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. It’s been a very expensive week! I had to buy a new 4-slot toaster since ours practically blew up, my son has grown and needed larger clothes, and while I was at Target I fell under the spell of the Eye of Sauron and bought a few clothes for the girls too.
  2. My mother has been getting treatment for skin cancer (just basal cell carcinoma, but still needs to be cut out) and I have reevaluated how I approach sun exposure. That means buying a broad-brimmed hat and two baseball style caps for myself. I NEVER wear hats unless it’s winter, so this is a new thing for me. I also bought SPF 50 face lotion and a fuller coverage swim shirt. I already have a few age spots starting under my eyes, meaning sun damage has already started for me, so I am going into full battle mode. That epic sun protection was pricey.
  3. I bought binders and dividers to help me organize the special education materials for my older two kids (aka The IEP Binders), and the Mister and I decided to buy our son an “experience” gift for his birthday-tickets to see Dan TDM live in June. Those were pricey but we want to encourage him to get out in the world. Going somewhere with noise and crowds in a big deal for our little guy.
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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. No unplanned eating out this week.
  2. We tried out a new park today, and brought a packed lunch of PB & J, sliced peaches, and water.
  3. My friend Shannon came up from Georgia and brought me a couple dozen eggs from her chickens and a few eggs from her ducks. Thanks Shannon! Did you know if you use duck eggs in baked goods, the larger size yolk helps them bake up bigger and fluffier? We tried them in pancakes and it worked!
  4. I picked up four shifts this week. It was rough and it won’t be soon that I will do that again.
  5. My aunt bought us lunch out.
  6. We’re saving half the cost of our summer swimming lessons.
  7. Our 6 year old is wearing her brother’s old shoes.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. One of the kids will need OT and several tools were recommended for use at home. We had to purchase the game Twister and some Theraputty.
  2. I bought a few clothes for the girls at Target.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I did another CVS survey for $5 in Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I borrowed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the new Absolutely Fabulous movie from the library. They were both so horrible I was glad I didn’t pay a cent to see them.
  3. I earned enough Swagbucks to get another $25 gift card. I’m not sure what I’m going to get yet, so I haven’t redeemed it.
  4. The 3 year old has been in underwear all week! There have been a few accidents, but several days have gone by with her being totally dry. Our pull-up use has gone way down.
  5. I signed up for Green Bean Delivery using a $20 off my first order coupon code. I’ve been wanting to join a CSA. They will deliver produce, local meat, cheese, and milk to my door once a week. I will only have to hit the store for a few things every week now. They emailed me a $20 off coupon referral link that’s good until Tuesday, so if you want in on the action, email me at Jennifer@frugalsteppingsones.com.
  6. I scored a backpack for the soon-to-be preschooler on Land’s End for $10 and sprang for $6 to embroider it. She really wants to go to school, and that backpack is her incentive to stay dry during the day.
  7. We ate leftovers twice.
  8. The 6 year old and I saw Beauty and the Beast last night using the half price tickets I scored on Atom. We loved it!
  9. I picked up 3 shifts this week and will do an extra few hours tomorrow on Sunday.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Too busy and tired to get into trouble.
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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I had not one but TWO invites from CVS to take a survey for $10 in Extra Care Bucks. That’s $20!
  2. My boss gave me a little reward at work and I was able to turn in those bonus points for digital rewards. I chose $20 in Vudu credits. I had $10 in Vudu credits that I haven’t used yet, so we watched Dr. Strange last night for my birthday and we might watch Moana tonight if I can get my school work done.
  3. CVS gave me a bonus $3 in Extra Care Bucks for my birthday. I also got a free entree from First Watch, $10 in Kohl’s cash, a free pore smoother from Ulta, 50% off my order from Land’s End, a free 8 x 8 photo book, and $20 off a Shutterfly order.
  4. I finished the Debbie Reynolds memoir and started reading Prairie Tale, Melissa Gilbert’s memoir, on the Ohio Digital Library. I’m not sure it’s going to keep me as interested as the last memoir. It’s starting a bit slow.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. It’s not our fault in any way, but we learned this week one of our children has dyslexia. We are fairly certain that one of the younger girls has it as well, though we can’t formally test for another year. Some urban areas offer free dyslexia tutoring but as far as I can tell, our county does not, and the closest city with this service only takes kids from certain counties. Tutoring in specific methods was strongly recommended to us; we can’t just hire a college kid. One Orton-Gillingham tutor charges around $60/hr, and 2 hours per week were recommended to us. Multiply that by 2 kids and that could be $1000/month! I’m waiting for a list with the local chapter of the International Dyslexia Association and the school psychologist, and hoping we find some that are in the $20-25/hr range, but until then I will be having a mild heart attack and wondering how we will fit that in our budget.
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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I earned another $25 Swagbucks gift card and opted to get a Hulu gift card. This ensures our Hulu is paid up through July and free.
  2. I filled my tank at Kroger using my fuel points and got $.80 off per gallon!
  3. My birthday is coming up, and CVS sent me an email for $3 in Extra Care Bucks.
  4. My mom watched the kids while I taught in a city an hour away. She also brought bread with her.
  5. I got a new free book through Kindle First. Every month Prime members get to choose a new free book from 4-6 options.
  6. My cousin will have an empty nest in the fall and is downsizing. She passed on our grandma’s dining room table, that was built in 1940, to us. We had to rent a Uhaul, but we didn’t want this family heirloom being sold to a stranger.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I picked up Chick Fil-A chicken nuggets to share for my class carry-in, the Mister got chicken for the kids the same night, and we celebrated my last clinical day yesterday with subs. I still have a full week or so of grading plus project work, so I’m not sure this coming week will be any better.

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. We did not eat out last night! I made veggie wraps and Brussels sprouts.
  2. The Mister installed our new toilet himself. As with everything else in this house,when he tore it apart he found many things wrong in the installation of the original toilet. He had to get a few parts from Home Depot to remedy that, but all the labor was his own.
  3. I read a library book.
  4. I watched some library movies.
  5. I was too exhausted to get into much trouble.
  6. The sitter had to cancel on Monday but it was a holiday, so the Mister was able to take off work while I worked.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I hit up Wendy’s before clinicals on Friday to get a giant jolt of caffeine.

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I went to the library and borrowed the movies The Revenant, X-Men Age of Apocolypse, and The Danish Girl. I also borrowed a couple of books for the kids. The Danish Girl was pretty good,but I had read the book first and I honestly liked the book better.
  2. I hit Jo-Ann Fabrics for post-Valentine’s clearance. I picked up packs of stickers for 44 cents and a Wilton heart-shaped cookie cutter for $1. We can use the stickers for scouts.
  3.  My quarterly Ebates check came in and I deposited $56 in my account. That will get transferred over to savings. If you want to try through my referral link, you will get a bonus $10 cash back.
  4. I downloaded the Penn Station app and got a free 6″ sub.
  5. We have ABCMouse for our two younger children. I had the opportunity to renew for another year for 50% off. When I did it, my Ebates Chrome extension button let me know I could get an additional $2 cash back. Score!

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We ate out last night after I got back from teaching OB. We are pretty much resigned to doing this the next two Fridays because the mister does not want to cook and I am useless after teaching until 10:30 pm Thursday and driving to another city to teach all day Friday.
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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I used my Kroger fuel points to get 80 cents off per gallon. I paid $18 to fill my minivan’s tank.
  2. I I got free issues of O magazine and Country Living in the mail.
  3. My mother made two huge fruit trays and dip for the birthday party today.
  4. I watched Victoria on the PBS Roku app, Big Bang Theory on CBS.com, and the Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
  5. I borrowed a book from the library to use at our Girl Scout meeting.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. My son got McDonald’s twice this week. I stopped and got a ginormous Coke at Wendy’s after having to supervise students on the OB unit the morning after teaching until 10:15 PM. I am old and I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I used to.