Categories
Every Day

What We Have Done Frugally Recently

These are the things we have done frugally the last few weeks:

– Baked 4 loaves of pumpkin bread. Froze 3. We load that oven up when we do use it.

– Made our own tartar sauce.

– Used our air fryer at least 3 times a week to save the energy of using our oven or toaster oven. The air fryer takes so much less energy as do so many other small appliances.

 – Been eating out of the pantry, freezer, and fridge for weeks now. I rarely go to the grocery store for anything but veggies, milk, and half and half.

– I have only been doing 2 loads of wash in the HE per week and then hanging them to dry.

– I found an outdated bottle of acetaminophen so I called my pharmacist. He told me since they are pills they are probably good for another year or two. Obviously, the manufacturer wants me to buy more. But I would never take an outdated pill- prescription or OTC without calling him. So always check with your pharmacist before you even attempt to use an outdated medicine.

– I asked my dentist for Poligrip samples in case they are needed. He stocked me up but told me not to use it until I am fully healed. He also told me that Polident to soak my denture is a waste of money. Cleaning it well with water is all that is necessary. I will run a test with it since I use those tablets to clean my toilets.  

– My son gifted me very expensive name brand cleaners and hand soap this weekend. They are all natural which is what I use. Five cartons of all purpose cleaner, hand soap, window cleaner and toilet bowl cleaner. I was ecstatic. He was gifted many cartons so he shared with me. I will not have to buy these things for at least a year which is a huge savings. 


– Our heat is off and we will try to keep the A/C off as much as possible. We have many ceiling fans and other portable fans we can use.

– We must be doing something right. When I read the electric meter to submit to the company, we used 200 less KWH than last month. I know part of that was the furnace clicking on and off but we have done everything possible to lower our electric bill the past 4 weeks.  Most of our cooking has been on the grill and in the air fryer. We have also been eating lots of salads. I am going to try eating one tonight to see if I can do it. I was able to eat chicken yesterday. Lights are off during daytime hours. TV is never left on for noise. Computers are off when not in use. Our gas usage was also down but that is less heat and rarely using our stove.

– I deposited two checks into our savings yesterday.

– I purchased another pair of jeans and a top on sale and defrayed the cost using $20. in Kohl’s cash.   

– The last two weeks I have not had to make a huge breakfast for my family because they have brought and paid for donuts. This weekend I will again start cooking.

– I am still enjoying flowers from both of my sons families that they gave me for Mother’s Day. They have lasted a long time. I know have 4 white roses as good as the day they were delivered in a different vase. Soon I will have blooming flowers outside that I can cut and put in a vase.

– I washed the car and cleaned the interior and windows. That saved us $30. to $40. depending on which car wash I took it to. We never pay for a car wash in the good weather.

– I am no longer using K cups for my coffee. Now if I could only talk Hubby out of his. I am using a disposable cup with ground coffee. I had a B1G1F bag of coffee that we purchased when we were in Florida in January. It has been in the freezer to keep it fresh. Right now I am using that and then will use up free Dunkin Donut coffee samples that I have. MY DIL was kind enough to let me know that $5.99 is a good price for the large cans of coffee. Since it was on sale this week, I picked one up. I don’t care what brand of coffee I use as long as it is strong. Hubby is stuck on Green Mountain Breakfast Blend Decaf.

– I have been walking every day for exercise. On the days it rains, I use the recumbent bike. 

– Hubby went to the greenhouse at Niagara Produce and purchased two hanging baskets for the front porch. They were the best nursery price in town.

– I am again stockpiling tap water in used and washed out bottles.

– Hubby has been cleaning and organizing his work benches. This way he can find his tools and doesn’t have to run out and buy a duplicate. He is doing a great job. I am very impressed.

-We did our own bug control when spring finally arrived. I don’t want ants or spiders in our home. A large container of insecticide is so much cheaper than a bug service especially since we buy it at Walmart.

– Finally they are putting the road in behind us and will start building houses again. This should break up the wind and eventually save us on heating bills. 

– I sewed two buttons back on two shirts. They came off in the washing machine. 

– I cut three pair of old jeans off to make shorts. I will not have to buy any shorts this year. I have two new ones I bought last season for going out and these for hanging around the house.

– We are going to sell our weed whacker that we replaced on Craigslist.

– I took Hubby’s bottles to Fast Cash and reaped $ 6.30.

– So far I have charged all of my large dental bills on a cash back credit card. I will continue to do that right through getting my permanent denture. This will give us a nice wad of money back. We always pay our CC bills when due. I love making money off the CC company. We never pay interest.

That is about it for now. Please feel free to share with all of us what you did to save some money lately in comments. 

Categories
Every Day

A Few Days In My Life

I cooked a turkey breast from the freezer a couple of days ago. We had it with stuffing, gravy, and corn the first night. The next night we had turkey with gravy and fresh asparagus. After our second meal of
turkey, Hubby took it off the bone and we are using it for turkey
sandwiches and turkey salad for lunches.

Matter of fact, this one pound of fresh asparagus for $ 1.49 was purchased along with a $ 1.67 for 1/2 gallon of milk. That is all the shopping I have done this week. I could have gotten a 1/2 gallon of milk at Top’s for $ .88 with their coupon if I spent $20.00. Why would anyone spend $20.00 to save just $.79? Not me! 

One other night we had fish sticks and a Knorr pasta side. This one was Broccoli and Cheese. I have quite a stash in my stockpile of these because I got them free with double coupons. I would never spend money for them. They are awful unless you doctor them. So Hubby and I figured out a while ago that after they cook, you stir in a good handful of shredded 4 cheese blend while they sit the 2 minutes. Then they taste delicious!

Breakfasts have been an assortment of cereal, cantaloupe, bacon and eggs, and blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes with sausage on Sunday when my family came. 


The weather here has been beautiful the last few days so we have been taking advantage of it by sitting in the yard a lot. We watched the landscape company do the spring cleanup yesterday. Then today the sprinkler company came and opened our system for us. We have always done it ourselves to open. We normally only pay for the closing of it. However, Hubby wanted the grass around the sprinkler heads removed and all of the heads checked which is included in the opening. They replaced one  head at no extra charge to us. We also have ordered 10 more bushes from the landscape company that they will plant when they come in. So then we will be set for the season.

Hubby went out to start cleaning the outside of our windows with our pressure washer and it does not seem to be working. So he is researching for a good one at a decent price. Oh well, the windows can wait a few more days.


On Saturday and Sunday, I cleaned the garage. I could only do one side on Saturday since the snowblower on the other side wasn’t getting moved to the shed until my son came on Sunday. Then I was able to clean that side. We also sprayed for bugs around the garage and Hubby killed a few ant hills in the yards. I hate bugs! UGH! 


Tonight, Hubby was going to make homemade macaroni and cheese (which he has been craving) for dinner. However, his back started bothering him late afternoon, so I went and got subs for dinner.  I had $ 8.00 in reward money so I had them apply it to the cost. So two 12 inch subs were only a little over $ 7.00 including tax. I am hoping he will make the mac and cheese tomorrow night.


Other than that, I have been cleaning nooks and crannies and pitching things. I cleaned my master bedroom closet today and realized that so many of my spring and summer clothes are getting thread bare and need to be replaced. I hate clothes shopping. I always have even when I was a size 9. 
But I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and just do it. So I see a future trip to Kohl’s and J. C. Penney very soon. I need to gather some coupons first. 


I keep a pretty neat and organized house but this time I am cleaning like I will be moving soon. That gets me to easily get rid of things that I am just hanging on to for no real reason. My garbage cans that we took out for the morning show that I have been really busy. I am even having the garbage man take an old garbage can. I hate clutter and that old garbage can was just cluttering up our garage.

The rest of our home will be getting the same treatment as the garage and master closet did. 

As soon as Hubby is able to clean the outsides of the windows, I will then do the insides. I am not looking forward to cleaning 21 windows but they need to be done. 


I have also challenged myself to try to replace some of the money that I will be paying for my tooth extractions and denture next week. We have the cash to pay it but I hate taking cash out of savings. So I will put it on the credit card to get the reward points which I then turn in for cash. The bill will get paid when due. With cashing in a winter’s worth of Hubby’s Coke cans, cashing in some rebates from groceries, and cashing in some reward points, I have $ 29.25 so far and I just started saving and tracking it. Hopefully, I will have over $100. when I go to the bank next week so that I can put it in our savings account. I am just curious to see how long it will take to save that $4808. I know it will take a long time. But will it be a year, two or maybe three? This is not money that we save each month at the end of the month from our retirement money. It is separate money from rebates, Ibotta, Saving Star, Checkout 51, surveys, etc. 

Speaking of credit cards, I got my statement from one of the large banks today and my bill was $ 8.95 which will get paid in full when it is due. But I was quite amused because I think it is the lowest credit card bill in years. It looks like I have not been shopping very much the last month or so. That $ 8.95 was for 2 books for the grandchildren’s room so they have something new to read to me when they go to bed here. However my next bill will be huge with the denture charges on it so I will be cashing in reward points for cash when I pay that bill.

Besides laundry, that is about all we have been doing the past few days. I hope you are all having a fun, frugal and productive week. Till later…………… 

Categories
Every Day

One Hundred Frugal Things We Do ( continued)

I have some time today to finish the hundred things. Here they are: 

68. We use newspapers, pine cones from our own pines, and scrap wood from the contractors building homes to have nice fires in our outdoor fireplace.

69. The few veggies we grow in containers on the patio we start from seed.

70. I make my own window cleaner which I have just done. We will be doing windows here soon.

71. We make our own lens cleaner for our glasses.

72. If it is free after coupon and it is a product that we need and can stockpile, I will get it.

73. I buy security envelopes, some cosmetics, organizing bins, foil pans, and greeting cards exclusively at the Dollar Tree.

74. We pay cash for everything including our homes, automobiles, furniture, and any other large item we need. 

75. If we charge anything, we pay it in full when the bill is due.

76. We don’t like signing up for clubs or things that we have to pay for month after month. We just cancelled our Netflix because it wasn’t cost efficient.

77. I meal plan from my stockpile which saves us a lot of money each month.


78. I baked a ham for Easter dinner. Because my son was coming for a few days, I did not have time to make my usual bean soup. So I froze the ham bone along with some ham. I will make the soup later this week. That will give us at least 5 meals.


79. Prescriptions are very costly. So I have managed to become healthy enough to get off 4 drugs and I just had one cut in half. I will be happy when I can get off of them all. 


80. I wanted a treat while I was out running errands the other day. Instead of using cash to purchase something, I used a Free Coupon for an ice cream cone at Anderson’s.

81. I made red beans and rice from our stockpiled rice and dry beans for dinner one night. I just soaked the beans overnight before I cooked them. This is a very cheap meal and is delicious.

82. I browsed Goodwill while I was out the other day. I saw nothing that we needed. I do this every month or so.

83. I went to Aldi’s to get my produce and was I ever in for a surprise. Aldi’s is empty and they are jack hammering the entire parking lot. I have written Aldi’s to find out what is going on. Why did they leave? The next Aldi’s is miles and miles from me. So I purchased some lettuce and a cucumber from Super Walmart.


84. We have tried a few Pinterest sheet pan meals. Hubby loves them.


85. I have been putting together different spring outfits. This affirmed my decision to not buy any new clothes this season.

86. As soon as the heat can go off, I will change the air filter and get it ready for A/C season. While the heat or A/C is on, we change the filters when they need it. This saves energy.


87. I really want a solar oven. We get a lot of sunny days in this area. So this would be very cost effective. I am researching the best one and then will look for the best price.


88. I always get rainchecks when something is on sale and out of stock. That also gives me time to find more coupons.

89. I always run my errands in a circle to save on gas.

90. We rarely buy clothing that needs to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning adds to the cost of the item.


91. I have already started planning our Christmas gifts. This gives us time to find items on sale.


92. I reuse plastic bags, ziplocs, brown paper bags, glass jars and 2 liter bottles. I store water in the 2 liter bottles. Even though I am not returning them for the bottle deposit of $.05, I am saving by not buying water.  


93. I buy clearanced meat when I can find it. Our stores do not mark down very often. 

94. We use every last bit out of toothpaste tubes, ketchup bottles, mustard bottles, lotions bottle etc. 


95. I save our soap bar scraps and boil them down to make liquid soap.

96. I save day old bread and all end crusts for bread crumbs.  


97. I save bits and pieces of leftover veggies, rice, pasta, and meat in a bag in my freezer to make soup.


98. We are experimenting with making our coffee using a resuable K-cup in our Keurig. I have been trying different grinds and amounts. I am fine tuning so that we know how to get that perfect cup. This will save us a fortune in K cups. 

99. I send for free samples whenever I see an offer online. 

100. Lastly, I am always looking at ways to make things cheaper and to save a little money here and there. Never stop learning!

Please feel free to let us know if you do any of these things or any others that you could share in comments. 

Categories
Every Day

One Hundred Frugal Things We Do (continued)

Wow!  The winds are howling this morning! It must be the warm front coming in.

I will continue my frugal things list:

35. Spectrum is giving a free cable box for an extra TV for one year to prior Time Warner Legacy customers. So we ordered it. We will see if it is truly free. Spectrum just went digital here and I have a feeling because of that the rates will go up.

36. We hang our laundry to dry as often as we can. I use dryer balls when we use the dryer to cut down the dry time.

37. I also wash our clothes using laundry eggs.

38. Our Dyson stick vacuum is on it’s last leg. Since it cost us $299. and it 8 years old, we are looking for a cheaper alternative. The one I have costs about $600. now. So Hubby has been researching which one to buy now.

39. We try to use our big oven as infrequently as possible. We use our toaster oven a lot. But when we do use the big oven, we use the convection which saves 1/3 of the power.

40. We make as many things from scratch as we can. When we eat meat, we stick to the 3-4 ounces per person. We do make at least one meatless meal during the week if not more.

41. I mend our clothing when it needs it as to not lose the garment. Those garments are always good to wear around the house.


42.  Hubby has a Coke or two a day. We each drink one cup of coffee in the morning. I drink water the rest of the day and Hubby does when he is not having a Coke. We drink no juice. I gave that and soda up a long time ago.

43. We reuse wrapping paper and bows or any other decorations that come on packages. I also use the Sunday comics to wrap the little one’s presents.

44. Hubby deep cleans the carpeting with our rug shampooer. We don’t pay for commercial cleaning. I have off white carpeting in the family room and it looks almost new even though it is 8 years old.

45. When the A/C is on, we cook outdoors on the grill or use our small appliances outside so as to not heat up the kitchen. Slow cookers, pressure cookers, skillets, etc. work well out there.

46. We eat a lot of fresh local produce once it is growing season here. We love summer salads as a main dish or a side in the nice weather. 

47. I bake our muffins or quick breads from scratch.

48. We conserve water as much as possible using the navy shower method, only putting as much water in a pot to boil something as necessary, never letting the water run in the sink whether we are brushing teeth or rinsing dishes. I reuse boiled water to feed our thirsty bushes and plants outside.

49. We rarely eat out but stay within our $100. per week “Other Budget” when we do. Since we like a very expensive restaurant, we save our money up until we can afford to go there. Otherwise when the no cooking bug bites me, we do cheap takeout with coupons. For example: Our Arby’s just renovated the inside of the restaurant. So they sent us a coupon for 5 roast beef at $ 1.99 each. We will use that coupon before it expires. We will buy nothing else. These sandwiches freeze really well.

50. We try to stay as healthy as we can so as to not have to pay expensive medical bills or drugs.

51. With the exception of winter, we wash and detail our own car. In the winter, we only get the SUV washed on the outside and undercarriage to get the salt off.

52. We rarely pay to go to the movies but when we do we get Senior discounts and never pay for food unless it is a special occasion like taking our grandchildren. We watch our movies when they come out on Netflix or Amazon Prime. We make our own popcorn.

53. We always take advantage of senior discounts at take out places, restaurants, our grocery store, etc. when shopping.

54. We don’t leave TV’s on for noise. Someone has to be watching it to have it on. 

55. We close our shades and blinds on the sunny side of the house during A/C season and open them on the sunny side of the house during heating season. This saves energy.

56. We always return the soda and beer cans and bottles for the $.05 NY deposits.

57. I buy rice and beans in 25 pound bulk purchases and store it in long term containers in our basement. I just fill a container to use upstairs.

58. Things like butter, whole turkeys, turkey breasts, hams, legs of lamb, corned beef, cranberries, and blueberries are purchased once a year when they are at rock bottom prices.

59. I also buy chocolate candy on after holiday sales to use in baking.    


60. I am not buying salad dressings unless they are free. We are using up our stockpile and will make our salad dressings when the stockpile stash is gone. 


61. We use about 1 purchased tall kitchen trash bag a week in the kitchen. All of our waste baskets are emptied into plastic bags that we get shopping.


62. We recycle everything that we can which saves on bags too.

63. For exercise, I have been walking a lot. Who needs to belong to an expensive gym? Not me!

64. I preview the Sunday coupons the week prior. If the coupons are good and they are for things we use, I will buy one extra paper besides our home delivered one. I do not buy an extra every week.

65. I added 4 more liters of tap water to our emergency stash.

66. We are doing a new to us jigsaw puzzle as entertainment.

67. We have a stash of paper and office supplies in our basement. I ran out of post it notes in my desk so I shopped there for more. Sure enough we had plenty.


68. We rarely use paper towels- only for draining bacon. We use microfiber towels for washing windows and cleaning.

That’s it for today. It is now snowing like a blizzard outside. UGH!  I will continue this list soon.

Categories
Every Day

One Hundred Frugal Things We Do

We had company for the Easter weekend which kept us very busy. We had an Easter Egg Hunt for my grandson. We had to do it indoors because it was very cold and the lawn is pretty muddy this time of year. He enjoyed every minute of the searching. We enjoyed watching him.

Because I have been so busy, I have not had time to post. Our next company comes on this Thursday and will leave on Saturday. It’s a busy time for us this month with two more weeks of company visiting after that.

So today’s post will give you some things to ponder on if I am not on here regularly. 

These are the many things Hubby and I do frugally:

1. Cooked most of our Easter dinner from scratch at home. It was a ham which Hubby sliced for us. I made a 9X13 pan of the best picnic potatoes that we have ever had. We had pineapple slices that baked on the ham while it warmed through. I also cooked corn and baked rolls. The only thing that was not from scratch was the Carvel Ice Cream Bunny that I purchased on sale with a $ 4.00 off Click to Card Q.

2. I cooked the bacon for the potatoes in the morning while we were making breakfast. It called for half a pound. Everything is better with bacon.  

3. Within the past couple of weeks, I roasted a small turkey which gave us seven yummy meals. 

4. I placed another order with Zaycon Fresh for 36 lbs. of premium hickory smoked bacon. With a coupon code I paid $2.99 a lb. I rarely find bacon below that price except the Smithfield we bought last week which Hubby does not like. And this is Premium bacon.  So my sister in law is splitting the order with me. She can’t pick up orders in her area during the work day so I will do the pick up and just give it to my son the following Sunday. We eat bacon a lot especially for most of the Sunday breakfasts that I cook for my family. It will cost each of us $ 53.82. My cost will come out of my $ 75.00 per week grocery budget.

5. I stayed away from the 50% off Easter candy sale yesterday. I still have plenty for baking and the little ones left from Valentine’s Day.

6. My son helped Hubby put in the new wooden post that our new mailbox goes over. So we didn’t have to hire someone. Hubby put the mailbox together and installed it yesterday. He also put the new metallic numbers on it. A $50. giftcard helped defray the cost of all. 


7. We got our refund check from our old insurance company. We had renewed with another company and consolidated both the homeowner’s and auto insurance so we got 8 months premium back. It is a large check that I will deposit this week along with some other checks so that they earn us money.

8. We invested thousands of dollars today. It is definitely a buy time.

9. I am drinking up odd K-cups that came in a variety pack that no one was crazy about. But rather than waste them, I am using them. 

10. We sent a gift to my granddaughter that she will get this week. I  saved 33% off with a sale.

11. I cut up all of my old frayed dish towels into rags and put them in the rag bag in the garage.

12. I put two books on hold at the library for me. I also marked my calendar for their big book bag sale.


13. We are now using every ounce of our toothpaste. I have a key type thing that helps us get the product all the way to the top of the tube. Then I cut the tube to get the last remnants out. There is usually about 4 brushings worth left.

14. Not only have heat bills been high this winter because of supply and demand and the cold but we got notice that our company is raising the rates. So we will be very careful with our energy usage from now on. 

15. We paid for the fertilizing of our lawn for the entire year upfront. This gave us a 5% discount.

16. Hubby didn’t seem too keen on washing the outside of our 21 windows. I do the inside.  So I got some estimates from window washer people. When Hubby saw that they wanted $300. he changed his tune. We will be washing them a room at a time.

17. We shredded all of the paper from our files from last year that we didn’t need to keep.

18. My sister and I call each other almost every week. We take turns using our free long distance.

19. I grocery shopped on Monday. The Flips and Ehrmann’s Grand dessert were free after coupons. The turkey breast was $.99 a lb. with Top’s Super Coupon. The grapes were $ 1.48 a lb. and the tortilla wraps were $ 2.49. I don’t need anything else this week.  


20. Hubby found a great price on a router that he has been researching. Meanwhile we have used our old one that has been on it’s last leg for more than a year. My  wireless computer is always going down. It’s a real pain.


21. When I go to the bank, I will go to CVS to use my ECB’s and run some other errands down that way. This saves me on gasoline.


22. I am saving my gasoline points to use when I get very low on gasoline. So far I have accumulated enough points to get off $ 1.30 per gallon. I hope to have more by the time I need the gasoline.

23. I cleaned the inside of my dishwasher using $ .05 per pack lemonade Koolaid that I purchased years ago. First I took the arm and all the other removable parts off and cleaned them.

24. Hubby cleaned and polished the top of my gas range. We only use the degreaser pictured above. It works so well with a minimum of effort. Hubby sprays it on and them lets it sit 20 minutes. Then everything wipes clean. A little bit goes a long way.

25. I am researching a birthday gift for my DIL that will keep me within budget. We spend the same amount on every adult person in our family. 

26. I ordered a year’s worth of vitamins for us from Puritan Pride. I find they have the best sale prices.

27. We ate Hamburger Helper Taco one night for dinner. It was AWFUL!  I never buy this stuff except when it is free after coupon. I won’t even be doing that again.

28. I mailed in a $ 5.00 Beer Rebate.

29. I fixed a broken zipper on my favorite fleece jacket. 

30. We loved watching “Roseanne” last week. I used to watch it way back when she was on before. Hubby and I are looking forward to the show at 8PM EST tonight. It makes me laugh!! Everyone needs to laugh in this day and age. I watch very little network TV but this a show worth watching.

31. I froze some celery and carrots that were getting old to make future soup.

32. I still take my navy showers.

33. Every penny that we spend is scrutinized and tracked. If you watch your pennies, your dollars will grow.

34. We rarely buy anything unless it is food, clothing that is a necessity, or gifts.

My fingers are getting tired, so I will continue this topic the next time I post.

Meanwhile what do you do that is frugal? Join the conversation by leaving a comment.