Frugal Steps and Stumbles



Frugal Steps:

  1. We packed a lunch of PB & J, tangerines, and water to the Zoo last Saturday.
  2. I got a great local deal through Cincysavers to get $40 worth of Papa Johns pizza for $20. We are saving that one for a future rough night.
  3. I picked up 2 and a half work shifts this week, working the half day this morning (Saturday) to avoid paying child care. I am trying to get in as many shifts as I can before my work has their holiday blackout periods in late November and late December/early January. This means my coworkers can’t take off, and I won’t be able to get many days to work.
  4. This afternoon, my daughter and I are using subscription tickets for The Victoria Theater Family Series show The Berenstain Bears Live (I paid $100 for the 2 of us to see 5 shows). I sold a ton of old baby things this past May to pay for this 5-show subscription and for my season tickets to the Aronoff Center Broadway Series (I paid $159 for 6 shows in the cheapest seats, plus I bought discounted tickets for my sister, daughter, niece, and I to see Beauty and the Beast in April).
  5. I will use a coupon for a free Happy Meal with Extra Value Meal purchase at McDonald’s after our show today. Went to Chick-Fil-A!
  6. My husband needed to chip a huge pile of sticks and branches in our yard. He rented a wood chipper from Lowe’s, and got it done and returned within a hour, so paid the minimum price of $32 for the rental.
  7. I was researching how to find lower-cost movie tickets for a date to see The Martian Mr Thrifty and I are planning next week. A friend clued me in that I get alumni benefits through University of Cincinnati, and I can get tickets at 30% off. Since I am a grad student, I could also use my student ID for a discount, but I have to call and see how much, as they don’t publish it on the website. A third option is to see the first matinee of the day, and we can get in for $5.90 per ticket. I’m trying to find out if I can combine discount tickets or student discount with the matinee price. We shall see!
  8. Our Ford Escape needed several repairs, and my husband brought it in Sunday to be looked at. Since Monday was Columbus Day, if we paid that day, we got the Columbus Day discount, so we saved about $75 on the repair price. The downside is my husband used to van to get to and from work, and I am down to a quarter tank already again!
  9. We salvaged one of our juice boxes that had been growing mold.
  10. Our preschooler needed new shoes, and I was eyeing some deals, but we decided to see if our son’s old Star Wars shoes fit, and they do. They are Stride Rite and have held up well. She is very happy with them, as they light up, and has no problem rocking them with her tutus.
  11. I used our YMCA membership once.
  12. I have been wanting to learn cake decorating. My local Jo-Ann Fabrics redid the store and offered three 50% off coupons over 3 days. I went there first thing Thursday, got a free reusable shopping bag, and used my 50% off coupon to buy the deluxe $100 decorating kit that comes with a carrying case for $50. I went back Saturday and got a rotating cake stand for $7.50 with another 50% off coupon. I am checking out YouTube channels and hope to learn from there. I’m going to start with this simple piped icing atop a pumpkin cupcake (and topped with a candy pumpkin), and hope to be able to make something like this for my girls’ combined Artsy Birthday Party in February.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Also on last Saturday, we made a last minute decision to head to Grandma’s after the zoo and buy pizza for everyone. Our mother lost a friend that week and her funeral was Saturday morning. We brought over the grandkids and dinner.  We used a $5 off $25 coupon and spent $32. Still not over the monthly entertainment budget yet.
  2. This was my own fault. I bought a Groupon for a mani/pedi for $29 6 months ago and of course forgot I bought it. The salon has since moved to downtown, where I would have to pay for parking, and is very inconvenient. I got an email telling me it will expire in 7 days, and have no time in my schedule. I ended up passing it onto my friend Angie, who works across from the salon. I almost always regret a Groupon purchase, unless it’s for some entertainment we plan on using right away, or a restaurant that delivers.
  3. My toddler’s 2T jeans fit her in length, but are too tight around that baby belly. My preschooler has been hard on her leggings and the knees are getting holes (she refuses to wear jeans). I picked some up at Target, along with some diapers, but I also got matching Supergirl outfits for the girls. That cursed Red Eye!

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