Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I worked two and a half shifts by cobbling together hours on the weekend. I signed up for a couple more shifts but had to cancel when our second dose of the plague in one month ran through the house.
  2. It’s hard to be spendy when you are on the couch watching Netflix all day!
  3. We watched a movie on Vudu using credits I got through work. (“Baby Boss”, the kids liked it, the adults found it tolerable).

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I forgot to update my Amazon Subscribe and Save before shipment, so we’re getting some extras of things we don’t really need for a couple of months. Oh well!

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I got a random mailer with a special code to get two free tickets to a show of the Dayton Philharmonic. My friend Jen and I will be seeing their Swingin’ Christmas show with them. My husband would rather eat a live cockroach than sit through a show.
  2. I picked up 10-11 extra hours this weekend when we wouldn’t need child care. I was up until midnight working last night, but I earned a $50 bonus for doing a certain number of our backlogged faxes.
  3. We used our YMCA membership and went to a local park this week.
  4. My mother babysat a few hours while I attended a meeting at one of the kid’s schools.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Several fruits/veggies went to the great Compost Bin in the Sky.
  2. I did it because I see it more as a donation to the PTO, but we bought fall mums from our PTO for about three times the price I could get elsewhere.

How is your week?

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

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Frugal Steps:

  1. I did a CVS survey for $10 in Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I got a $15 Ebates check in the mail.
  3. I pay for Hulu with Swagbucks gift cards. My membership expires in 3 days, so I requested a $25 Hulu gift card using Swagbucks. That should cover me for about 3 months. I try to earn at least one $25 gift card per month.
  4. My mom watched the youngest twice this week while I took another child to appointments.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. My son picked up a nasty stomach bug and passed it to us Sunday and Monday. I had planned on working some hours both days but instead spent it napping and zoned on the couch bingewatching episodes of Downton Abbey for the 90th time. I might pick up a few extra hours tomorrow to make up for it.

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I did a CVS survey to get $10 Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I used our YMCA membership to take a yoga class while our youngest went to the child watch.
  3. I took the youngest to a park while the older kids were in school.
  4. I worked some weekend hours while my husband was home so did not need to pay child care.
  5. My father was hit by a car this week while standing on a sidewalk near a parking lot. He is fine, but I needed to leave work and run to the hospital. My mother came over and got the kids off the bus so I could do that.
  6. I baked oatmeal raisin cookies.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Because of that aforementioned car accident, I worked only half days on Thursday and Friday instead of full ones and did not pick up any Saturday morning hours.
  2. I spent most of Thursday sitting at the hospital or driving around and ended up picking up dinner for myself, getting some food for my dad, and buying a bag full of supplies for him at the pharmacy.
  3. My son’s friend was hanging out at our house and we kept him a little longer because his sister needed to go to the ER. The kids begged for a pizza party and I am a big softie.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps

  1. My kids saw the allergist and pediatrician this week. Our youngest was successfully cleared of a strawberry allergy, which means no more yearly Epi-pen and between both doctors, we were sent home with samples of children’s Zyrtec, Aveeno sunscreen, and Qvar, which is an inhaled steroid used for asthma. The Qvar alone costs a $25 copay for us, so it was much appreciated!
  2. My mom watched the kids one day at the Grandma price of a few hugs and kisses.
  3. My husband and I went on a date to see a movie at a dinner and a movie place called Cinebistro. We saw The Glass Castle (excellent!) and used a local discount to get our dinner (the food was awful!).
  4. I took the kids to our neighborhood on the last day of summer vacation.
  5. Our zucchini plants seems to be trying to grow a couple more zucchini.
  6. I worked 8 hours yesterday and 2 hours Saturday and did not have to pay child care, since my husband was home.
  7. Now that we have started the school year, I have plans to work more than I have been doing in the past two years, especially since two kids are in FT school and the youngest will be in preschool two days.
  8. The kids’lunch boxes were looking pretty dreadful and I wondered if they could be cleaned well enough to keep using or if I needed to replace them. I scoured the internet and tried a few things. They are pretty sanitized even though there are a few dirty spots still. I plan on using a Tide Pen to see if those stubborn areas can be fixed. I also learned that you can put good quality lunch boxes in the washing machine (ours are Land’s End and Planetbox). I plan to toss them in once per week now.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I cleaned out the vegetable crisper and had to throw out several things that went to the Great Compost Bin in the Sky.
  2. The kids and I ate lunch out twice last week.

How about you?

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.