Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I used my Amazon Trade-in Credits to complete 95% of the Christmas shopping for my kids. I was looking only for a pair of cowboy boots, and my friend Diane found one in a Size 2 for $4 at a Payless out of business sale. Still looking for a size 12.5-1 for this year, but I think I will be doing Ebay using a Swagbucks gift card and Ebates to get 5% cash back.
  2. I got $0.50 in rebates from Ibotta.
  3. My mom babysat twice this week while we had medical appointments and brought bread and milk with her.
  4. I read a book using the Ohio Digital Library.
  5. Two of our medical appointments were in city areas with parking garages. I was able to find street parking for $0.75 at one and the doctor’s office gave us a free token to get out of the garage at another.
  6. I got 4 bottles of All Detergent at Kroger for a grand total of $2!
  7. My mom gave me a bottle of iced tea she got for free through Kroger’s Free Friday Download program.
  8. I worked almost 2 full days this week.
  9. I sold the pink shirt we bought for our son as part of a wedding on Ebay for $2.33.
  10. We spent this morning at the pool that is a perk of our neighborhood.
  11. We used some fun money to go to Wendy’s, but only bought bulk chicken nuggets and a single large fry, and used a coupon to get a free Frosty for the girls. It was $11 for 4 people.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We threw out some old veggies and fruit.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I cut my husband’s and my son’s hair using our Wahl Color Pro clippers.
  2. I earned rebates for a total of $0.75 through Ibotta and Checkout 51.
  3.  Swagbucks has offered 1 Swagbucks for every coupon you print on top of the 10 you get for every coupon you use. I printed coupons for 12 SB and will get 120 SB when redeemed. This month I already redeemed a $25 Hulu gift card and am almost halfway to earning another $25 gift card.  I am thinking my next gift card will be for Amazon, to go towards our Christmas savings.
  4. I used a Groupon for lunch at 50% off at a vegetarian restaurant ($20 for $40) and for an hour massage, x-ray, and chiropractic treatment for $37.
  5. We received a free Qvar sample for our 3 year old from her allergy and asthma doctor.
  6. I worked 2 days this week.
  7. I sold a baby item for $20. I priced it at$15, however the lady forgot our lunch appointment yesterday and felt so bad when we met later that day that she gave me an extra $5! This goes into our Christmas account.
  8. My Amazon Trade-in credits have started arriving!
  9. We fulfilled a summer bucket list item by watching a Netflix movie (Pirates of the Caribbean) and making homemade popcorn in our corn popper.
  10. My mom babysat the kids for free while I had lunch with my friend, and sent us home with rolls and ham.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1.  

    Our insurance won’t pay for the spacer and mask our 3 year old needed for her new daily inhaled corticosteroid for her asthma. It was about $37.

  2. That spacer’s new med? It will probably be for the longer term and it will be a Tier 2 copay of $25/month. This brings us to 7 prescriptions a month and $85/month, and doesn’t include the extra OTCs we need. 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. We cancelled last week’s Green Bean delivery because we had a surplus of food to work through. We may end up doing this one per month.
  2. We used points we had accrued to get a free Domino’s pizza.
  3. My mother brought a ton of fruit and some homemade rolls.
  4. I baked brownies from scratch for $0.30.
  5. I used a free printable to make a summer bucket list with the kids.
  6. Seeing Captain Underpants was on that list, so today we are going at matinee prices.
  7. My son had the pukes earlier this week,and I used hydrogen peroxide and a ton of baking sod to de-puke the room.
  8. I used Amazon Trade-In to sell 13 nursing textbooks for $290.
  9. I sold $15 worth of items through a Facebook garage sale.
  10. I went through Swagbucks to try the Dollar Shave Club,which will cost us about $6/month for mine and my husband’s razors. It was $1, but I added on a second handle for me,and paid $6 for 2 handles and 4 cartridges. I will get about 2100 Swagbucks back, which is almost enough for a $25 gift card.
  11. I redeemed a $25 Hulu gift card through Swagbucks just in time before my last gift card expired!

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We threw out some too ripe bananas and a pieces of chicken no one wanted.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. My mother watched our girls last Saturday while my husband, son,and I attended my cousin’s wedding. Our son was a groomsman and it was an adult’s only wedding. She sent us home with ham, milk, chocolate almond milk, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Our fridge was so packed I canceled our Green Bean delivery for this week.
  2. Our youngest caught a pukey virus. On the good side, we paid less money in babysitting and couldn’t spend money since I was a prisoner in the house with her.
  3. We had to buy a pink dress shirt for our son for the wedding, and I have already listed it for sale on Ebay.
  4. I also listed a few nursing textbooks for sale on Amazon.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. That pukey toddler, remember? I had to cancel all three work shifts, so my next paycheck is going to suck.
  2. I also had to cancel the free nursing continuing education class I was going to do at work.Ohio nurses have to do one credit every licensure period about changes to nursing laws. I can’t get in to another seminar before renewal, so I will have to pay for it online.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. My graduation cap, gown, and hood were free of charge.
  2. I used an Amazon gift card from Swagbucks to buy my mother a Mother’s Day gift.
  3. My son had a class field trip to the zoo, and went as chaperone. I used our zoo membership to get in.
  4. We get our milk in glass bottles from the Hartzler Dairy. They are not homogenized (the cream mixed in with the milk), so there is a large plug of cream that has to be removed whenever you open a new bottle. I pull the cream plus out and save it in the fridge to use it for other recipes. One of my favorite Platejoy snacks is nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with a small amount of cream, fresh strawberries, vanilla, and a tiny amount of sugar.
  5. I went through Ebates to get 4% cash back when I booked our 1-night hotel stay on Expedia. We are driving up the night before my graduation ceremony. We got a suite that will fit the five of us for $90.
  6. One of our kids has 4 OT and PT appointments every month. Thus far, our new insurance seems to be covering those without any copays required! This is fantastic, since the PT may last all summer and the OT could be 9-12 months.
  7. I bought Reading Horizons, a dyslexia home study software based upon Orton-Gillingham methods (read a review here). It is 35% off, so I paid $129 instead of $199. Thankfully we get two student profiles with it, so both of our children with dyslexia issues will be able to use it and work at their own pace without paying extra.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Dyslexia tutoring: very pricey :(. We will hopefully be starting that soon.
  2. April and May were spendy months, especially taking care of our neglected landscaping, replacing the outdoor lights, and picking up organizational containers for the office. I’m only able to work 2 days a week in May and June and probably July, so my income is reduced as well. I put only $250 in my savings in May and nothing in the Christmas or travel funds.

How was your week?

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. Our youngest passed her strawberry allergy skin test. She still has to pass an oral challenge at the allergist’ s office, but if she does it will mean one less pricey Epi-pen to buy every year (never mind the weight of fear we will drop!)
  2. I baked two dozen cookies for PTO staff appreciation using butter I had bought at my stock-up price of $2/lb.
  3. I finished using my 3-massage package I bought at a 50% discount via Groupon.
  4. I took my 3 year old to story time at the library.
  5. We bought a summer Zoo membership using a discount code. We don’t always get a membership, but we knew both kids would be doing field trips there this year and I would be chaperoning. We also have plans to visit a Zoo in another city this year and a membership would allow us in there too. The cost of a basic membership without bells and whistles was less than admission and parking for all three trips. We plan to get good use out of it this year and go two additional times during Halloween and Christmas.
  6. I bought my MIL Mother’s Day flowers from 1800Flowers by going through Ebates (referral link) to get 12% cash back, using a 30% off coupon code, and using a gift card I bought on Raise.com for 23% discount.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. The past few weeks have been some spendy ones! I bought my first bike since I was 12, something we have talked about for over 2 years. We decided to go with a good local bike shop and I tried many, many bikes until I found one that worked with my petite height and crappy crooked back. With arthritis, my exercise options are walk, bike, or swim. I am looking for a used bike trailer, but the resale market costs almost as much as new!
  2. We bought some beach essentials at Sam’s, including a few chairs and a beach umbrella. We went to Lake Erie last summer and will go there again this summer. We also plan on going to Florida next year. Things that do not go well with arthritis: sitting on the ground for long periods. I swore I would never do that again. Now I have a low beach chair and an umbrella to shade myself. Did you know that sunlight stimulates the immune system and should be avoided if you have autoimmune disease?

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.