Frugal Steps and Stumbles



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Frugal Steps:

  1. I earned $13 in rebates from Ibotta this week shopping at Kroger and CVS and earning a bonus. You all know I spent a grand total of $88 at Kroger and $6.40 at CVS, so I didn’t spend a bundle to get there. I won’t get the cash back transferred to me until I hit $20 though. If you have a smartphone, it’s really easy to use. I spend just a couple minutes after bringing the groceries submitting my rebates. If you sign up, you’ll also get a $10 cash back bonus after submitting for your first rebate.
  2. I got two 4-packs of Schick disposable razors at CVS. Using Extra Care Bucks, a manufacturer’s coupon,and a 30% off coupon, I spent $6.40 out of pocket instead of $28 and I got $10 in Extra Care Bucks back. 2016-10-24-11-17-49
  3. For the past few years, I have worked with a social worker on my team to raise funds to buy coats for older foster children in an independent living program. This year she was able to find a single donor who was willing to buy the coats. My role is to use my couponing skills to find the best deals. Today is the last day to get this deal. JC Penny is selling coats for men, women, and children for $25 each (usually $65-$72). Yesterday morning, Ebates offered 12% cash back for JC Penny, though today it is now 9%. We had 16 coats to buy. I bought 14 $25 coats and two kids wanted peacoats, so those were about $65 each on sale. I then used a 30% off coupon code (BIGSALE). My total before Ebates was $399.17 and after Ebates cash back and taxes was $365. This was about $23 each and shipping was free. If you are only getting one coat, you can use the $10 off $25 coupon (HURRY39) to get one coat for $15. If you haven’t tried Ebates, the holiday season is a good time to try. You’ll get a $10 cash back bonus after your first rebate purchase.
  4. I went out with friends from work last night to the Olive Garden. I had a $25 gift card , and we used a coupon together than got each of us $2.50 off our entree. I ordered two nonalcoholic drinks, an entree, and a dessert to share and paid $0 out of pocket. Did you know you can use the gift card balance for a tip? My meal was $18 and I gave the rest of the card for a 35% tip. We were there for 5 hours, so it was well earned. (Hint: you can sign up for their emails and they will send coupons to you. You can also use Ibotta to get rebates on alcoholic beverages you drink at certain restaurants, including the Olive Garden. Just upload your receipt.)
  5. I used a 60% off coupon at Jo-Ann Fabrics to buy a giant $11 pack of colored paper for our Girl Scout troop. I spent $4.72 out of pocket.
  6. I got a coupon mailer from CVS and almost tossed it out, because I didn’t need any of the coupons. I flipped it over and saw there was a sneaky $2 Extra Care Bucks coupon on the back! I now have $12 in ECBs to spend this week.
  7. I donated Halloween napkins to my daughter’s kindergarten class, sending the 25 cent pack of napkins I bought on clearance last year.
  8. There was a Halloween party at the sitter’s house while the girls were there, and I made cupcakes and icing from scratch (canned icing is vile to me), and used Halloween cupcake wrappers and cupcake picks I got on clearance last year for 50 cents.
  9. I watched this week’s episode of the Big Bang Theory online at
  10. My son had a project at school that required him to decorate a pumpkin like a favorite book character. He chose Captain Underpants. We bought a pumpkin, cheap peach and white colored paint, and a pair of tighty whities at Walmart for $6. He used our own black marker and borrowed his little sister’s Supergirl cape for the pumpkin, and we stapled it on. 2016-10-24-17-43-23

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We used our discount coupons to go to the Renaissance Festival last weekend. The kids didn’t want to play more than one game, so we used that money to buy McDonald’s. This was fine, but we ended up buying things at the shops. Our toddler was fine with having nothing, but we bought our 5 year old daughter a $5 dragon necklace and our son a $20 “safe” sword that is probably made from a pool noodle with a fancy cover and handle. We also secretly bought him a $50 handmade wooden marshmallow gun for Christmas. 100% suckers!
    The boy fighting a pirate with that new sword
    The boy fighting a pirate with that new sword


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