Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I worked almost 30 hours last week.
  2. I graduated with my master’s!
  3. I was hired for an adjunct teaching position that will start in a few weeks.  Any income I make from that will go towards our mortgage.
  4. I read a book on the digital library.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We ate out Friday and Saturday, as we traveled hours away to my graduation and ate at a Cracker Barrel on the way home.
  2. I used coupon codes, but I bought a few new dresses on eShakti and Eloquii so I have a larger professional wardrobe.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I picked up about 29 hours last week.
  2. We didn’t go anywhere fancy last week, instead the kids played with neighborhood friends on 3 different days.
  3. My husband replaced his work pants about every 18 months to 2 years. It’s time again, so we hit Kohl’s and picked up 5 pairs on sale and used a coupon. Yes, he bought 5 pairs of the same black pants!
  4. Our dryer was croaking and had been fixed three times in the past 12 years. We were worried we would have to replace it, but my husband paid for a $23 dryer part on Amazon and spent 4 hours fixing it. Problem solved!
  5. I sold my son’s jeans for $23 and his old firefighter suit, hat, and boots for $4 on Ebay.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I was within budget, but we spent a lot of this week’s grocery money on snacks and individually packed foods for the first few weeks of school. We don’t do this year-round,but I know we are all going to be dragging he first month like we always do, trying to get back in the school routine, and it will be cheaper to buy some Smart food popcorn and applesauce squeezers than end up buying lunch because we got up 20 minutes before the bus comes and forgot to pack lunch. Know thyself.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I am selling my son’s old jeans on Ebay and already have a few bids.
  2. Our 6 year old has outgrown her beloved bike and her knees stick out like chicken wings when she rides it. We took her to Walmart three weeks ago to check which size works best for her next and discovered an 18″ bike is the proper fit. She REALLY wanted a Monster High bike, but we weren’t buying it full price. We told her we’d get whatever 18″ bike we could get at a garage sale, and she was fine with that. We were both thrilled today to see a Monster High 18″ bike posted on a FB garage sale for $45, half the cost of retail. It was a short drive to pick it up, but well worth it.
  3. I needed hiking boots with a high firm ankle support and found some Keens on Amazon for 69% off, and used $38 of a gift card to get them for about $31 out of pocket.
  4. I hit Crazy 8’s $8.88 jean sale, as I do every summer, to get my son slim jeans in the next size up (he’s less than 5% for weight). I buy 7 pairs in the same style and color, as he’s not a huge fan of change or in any way interested in fashion.
  5. I did a quick online research study and earned a $10 Amazon gift card.
  6. Our dryer is dying and has been repaired three times in the 12 years since we bought it. My husband watched a few YouTube videos and decided he can probably fix it himself with a $20 part.
  7. I transferred an extra $200 into my savings with my last paycheck.
  8. I worked like a maniac this week and got 28 hours under my belt.
  9. My aunt and uncle hosted a big party yesterday and the kids spent the entire day in their pool, in their bounce house, or going down the massive slip’n slide they constructed down a hill.

Frugal Stumbles

  1. I threw out several veggies from the veggie crisper that bit the dust.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. One of my post-graduate degree goals is to pass the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam. I want to sit for it this fall, before all my knowledge has spilled out from between my ears, so I needed a review book to study. The books are all around $100, so I opted to rent a textbook from Amazon for 3 months at the lower cost of $30.
  2. I sold three of my four remaining textbooks through Amazon’s Trade-In program for about $70.
  3. I had two shifts scheduled this week, but picked up an extra day and worked extended hours the first two days. My goal is to hit about 24-28 hours per week.
  4. I got free BBQ sauce and free chocolate covered pretzels from Kroger this week.
  5. We haven’t been getting many groceries this month, thanks to a bit of a pantry challenge. I am already under budget by about $100, with plans to only get a shipment from Green Bean next week of $70 in food.
  6. I plotted a post-graduate-school budget to account for increased working hours and income, decreased childcare costs (thanks to only one of our three needing it), and no more pesky tuition payments.  I plan on setting up an automatic transfer to coincide with my paychecks to cover all of our savings goals (Roths, vacation, new car, Christmas, gifts, summer camp).

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We had plans to use our Discovery Garden pass, but it was storming, so we met friends at an indoor play area/bounce place. It was $24 for 3 kids. We’ve only been to places like that for birthday parties,and now I know why! The kids played for 2.5 hours and were dead tired when we were done.
  2. We followed up that play date with a trip to Wendy’s.  Our entertainment budget is out of control this month, and we have two weeks to go, including a short trip.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I cut my husband’s and son’s hair at home. We use the Wahl Color Pro Clippers. We’ve used them for two years now.
  2. My mother watched the girls while I took their brother to a long medical appointment, and she sent us home with a lot of food and milk.
  3. I worked almost 30 hours last week! I am not doing that this week, however, as it almost killed me.
  4. We found out our two older children both needed glasses this week. Our insurance paid for $130 of each frame, plus gave a 20% discount on the remaining amount on the frames, lenses, and anti-glare. We paid $210 out of pocket instead of almost $500.
  5. My arthritis is flaring up, so I decided to take advantage of using Kroger Clicklist again. I found I am spending less by using it, so groceries were around $100 of my $150 budget. We opted to decline our Green Bean Delivery box this week because we need to use some things up and clean out the fridge. Even though our closest Clicklist store is 15 minutes away, it still took less time-and most importantly, muscle and energy- to complete the task. They did not charge me the $5 fee and gave us a free bag of chocolate covered pretzels in addition to the free BBQ sauce we got as our Free Friday download.
  6. A few of you lovely readers shopped at Amazon through my link, and I earned $12 from that. Thank you!!
  7. We are asking for help from our insurance ombudsman to deal with the denial of our son’s PT and OT.
  8. The tutor was traveling, so we skipped a week and saved $75.
  9. Our friends were camping nearby and we joined them for a day. We went to a splash pad, a park with a fantasy fairy garden and tree house, ate ice cream, and made s’mores on their fire pit. We pulled brats and hot dogs from the freezer, made PB & J,and brought snacks and water from home.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We ate out three times- two of those times going back and forth from the hospital an hour away on the day we have three medical appointments.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I worked two days plus picked up extra hours Thursday night, Saturday, and Sunday.
  2. One of our summer bucket list items was taking the two older kids to see Despicable Me 3 (which was super funny). We went to a matinee for the cheapest tickets, and I ordered them online so I could use the couple of bucks of Paypal credit I had.
  3. We tried a new and fantastic park, hung out with neighborhood friends, hit the pool, and attended a Girl Scout bonfire this week. We brought homemade Rice Krispy Treats to the bonfire.
  4. Our 6 year old’s kindergarten teacher invited all of her students from this past year to meet at a local ice cream shop a few days this summer. We went on Monday and bought $1 kiddie sized cones for three of us and a couple of cherry Slushies.
  5. We watched the movie Logan through Vudu for free thanks to some Vudu credits I earned through work.
  6. I turned in my final graduate portfolio!! This means a lot of time is opening up,and I did  budget recalculation. I calculated that if I pick up 28 hours per week, I will easily hit all of our savings goals plus the extras. I want a family vacation fund (never had one, never gone farther than the grandparents’ in Cleveland) and a personal vacation fund for me to hit some of my travel bucket list goals with just my sister or friends. This makes me a lot more motivated to pick up work. I also know how much I will have to pull from teaching/blogging and from The Mister’s savings to get our mortgage paid off in 5 years.
  7. Kroger had a $10 off your Clicklist order, plus several items for free if you made a Clicklist order. I cancelled our Green Bean Delivery for the week to clean out the fridge and made my first Clicklist order. With the coupon and freebies, it was only $86.57! We got a free family sized Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature Valley Granola Bars, and when they brought the food out they said we were also getting a free pack of Twizzlers. I have to go back this week and get the $1 peanut butter and some strawberries, but otherwise this is a cheap week. It went really smoothly, and they loaded my van with 3 kids in the car. I will definitely take advantage of this in the future if my husband travels for work. Taking three kids to a store is not my favorite.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Even though I squeezed about 7 hours of work in this past weekend, we decided this will be a celebration weekend for us, now that I am 100% with my grad schoolwork. I instituted “no cook” weekend, and we had pizza from one of my favorite places Saturday night after seeing Despicable Me, and we went out last night to Red Robin, a park, and an ice cream place. This was way out of our norm, and we enjoyed it, but it was certainly more spendy than usual!

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I went through Groupon to get a discounted oil change for the van (about 50% off). I have gone 2 years without getting my hair highlighted. I got another Groupon for my hair and one for a man-pedi that I will use to pamper myself before I walk in graduation.
  2. We spent time at our neighborhood pool this week.
  3. We celebrated Father’s Day with a homemade spaghetti dinner, made from scratch brownies, and a card.
  4. I got a Groupon to try Google Express. The Groupon was $15 for $40 worth of goods, but I used a 20% off coupon code to make it $12 out of pocket, and got 6% back through Ebates. Our front door rug was 12 years old and had huge tears in it, so I used my certificate to get a new rug from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and a few hand towels for the kid’s bathroom.
  5. I went to Once Upon A Child and found hiking boots for my son, a new pair of Van’s slip-ons in the next size up, a pair of fringe boots for the 3 year old’s Christmas present, a raincoat for the boy, and a size 10 raincoat for the girls to be put aside for when they grow into it.
  6. I read my free copies of Oprah, Country Living, and Money magazines.
  7. My mom brought watermelon and cantaloupe.  She also picked up 7 jars of Prego for $1 each and 4 bags of Nestle chocolate chips for $1 each for us at Meijer’s.
  8. My son saw Dan TDM Live as his birthday present last night, and the girls and I had a couple cheap frozen pizzas as our girls night, for a mere $1.50.
  9. I worked like a madwoman this week, fitting in 4 hours last Sunday, then working around the kid’s camp schedule four more days this week. My next paycheck should be nice.
  10. Despite working so much, we did NOT eat out. I worked until past 6:30 last night but still threw together chicken and zucchini.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Too darn busy to get into trouble.

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

This post contains referral and affiliate links.

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

This post contains referral and affiliate links.

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.