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.

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

This post contains referral links that help support our family.

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.