Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

It was a great week for saving money.  Below is a list of things we did this week to maintain our frugal lifestyle.

  1.  Our youngest is a high school senior, which of course means senior pictures.  My husband has a nice camera and takes really nice pictures.  Since she honestly didn’t care who took her pictures, he did it.  Looks just as good as a professional photographer, in my opinion.IMG_0277
  2. I went to church.  Let me explain.  I go to a Unitarian church, our sermons aren’t typical sermons that you would hear in a traditional Christian church.  Instead, I refer to our sermons as being like TED Talks.  This week’s sermon was on being a people of belonging(s).  While I already try very hard not to put too much attachment into most of my belongings, it was good to hear it again.  There was emphasis on the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle.  I need to remind myself when I am a consumer to ask myself what is the environmental impact of my purchase?  Who is making the product?  Where is it being manufactured?  These questions along with the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra had me invigorated to be a better consumer.
  3. I made homemade shower bombs for cold and flu season.  I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but I can’t.  I found it on the Doterra facebook page.  But it was really easy to make.  It calls for 25 drops breath essential oil, 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup water.  Mix until sandy, put into ice cube trays to dry overnight.  D58E1356-D073-464D-BBF9-1785F63838CA
  4. I made homemade sour cream.  Again this is another super easy thing to make and it saves a plastic container from being purchased.  1 cup heavy whipping cream, 3 tbsp vinegar.  Pour into a mason jar, shake and leave on the countertop for 24 hours to thicken.  Put in refrigerator, it lasts about 2 weeks.
  5. I went to our local apple orchard to buy apples and pears directly from the source.  I actually drive by the orchard on my way to the grocery store that I go to.  They have the best honeycrisp apples out there.   I also get an apple cider donut to reward myself for absolutely no reason.Attachment-1 (1)

 

What did you do to save money this week?

Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday is back.  My life seems to be returning to some kind of normal.  My job requires I work every third weekend.  Sadly, I have not been able to work my weekend since August 4th.  But, it looks like I will be returning to my normal rotation tomorrow.  I have been home for nearly 3 weeks now without needing to leave for family reasons.  The relief that healing seems to have started is overwhelming.

This week was a return to saving some cash around here.  Here is our Frugal Friday roundup.

  1.  Tonight Eric and I are going out for a much needed date night.  I finally cashed in my OpenTable rewards and received a $20 voucher.  Side note though, it took me 12 years to earn enough points for $20, so it felt like a never ending effort.
  2. We have set our thermostat at 60 degrees from 10pm to 5am.  I know, it seems cold and it is.  But, we are going to give it a try and see if we can handle that over the winter.
  3. My daughter bought a new phone last week, the same one we bought our son for his upcoming birthday.  It isn’t an Iphone (gasp) and cost $140.  I am not tech savvy, but my understanding is that the phone is just fine, even without the Apple logo.
  4. I bought a countertop convection oven/toaster oven.  The initial investment might not be considered frugal, but after reading about ways we can save energy, this recommendation came up frequently.  I no longer need to make bake huge meals for a family of 5, as so often it is just 2 of us.  This oven takes less time for preheating, cooking and takes less energy.  Honestly, I love it.
  5. I got my flu shot, the rest of the family will be getting one as well.  Flu shots are usually free and in my opinion worth it.  I didn’t get the shot for myself, but for my loved ones who are not in a position to catch the flu and fight it without complications.

What have you done this week to save some cash?

IMG_0259.JPGA perfect vegetable pot pie in my new countertop oven.

Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

School is back in session in a few short weeks.  My college age kids tuition bills arrived and I paid the school fees for my high school senior.  Those fees do not include the high cost of her being in show choir.  September is going to require a little belt tightening to make up for the expensive August we are experiencing.  Here is the rundown on what we did to save money this week.

  1.  We went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire on Saturday.  I had a $5 off per person coupon.  I honestly never go to events like this without a coupon.
  2. I bought a beautiful print at the faire that needed a frame.  Kohl’s strikes again and I found the perfect frame for pennies on the dollar.
  3. We had almost 0 food waste this week. That always means leftovers, but the savings is worth it.
  4. I made zucchini bread and froze it for quick and easy breakfasts. The zucchini, eggs and honey came from my backyard.
  5. We buy our toilet paper in bulk from Amazon once every 6 months.  It comes individually packaged in paper, not plastic.  By doing this we save in packaging and since it auto ships every 6 months we get a discount.

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My Ren Faire find

 

Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Have you noticed that the sun is rising a little bit later every morning?  Today my husband’s 5:00am alarm woke me and I was shocked to see it was dark.  Fall, while still several weeks away, is knocking on the door.  I see that with the much smaller bounty compared to years past.  Even though we are not getting as much, we are getting enough.  In fact my acorn and butternut squash are producing so much more than I ever hoped for.

Here is a list of things we did this week to save some money.

  1.  We bought 25 pounds of peaches and 10 pounds of blueberries which I have frozen for future consumption.  I will be going to Door County in 2 weeks and plan on purchasing cherries and hopefully already frozen strawberries as well.
  2. We have been taking advantage of farmer’s markets more and more, rather than going to the grocery store.  Doing this helps eliminate needless packaging and helps local farmers grow their business.
  3. My husband’s birthday was last week.  Instead of going out for dinner, I made him an Indian feast at home.  Complete with delicious samosas.
  4. Continuing with the birthday theme, instead of buying an object for my husband’s birthday, I bought an experience.  We are going to a beer themed 5 course dinner at a local restaurant in September.
  5. I started Christmas shopping already, finding gifts that I know people will like, discounted.  I hope to be done by November with the gifts already wrapped.  I am not a person who appreciates the mall and a day of power shopping.  Instead I prefer to take my time over several months.

With school starting in a few short weeks, I am prepared for our spending to drastically increase as we pay tuition, school fees and back to school clothes.  What did you do this week to save money?

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Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

What did you do this week to stick to money saving and frugality?  We had a couple major wins this week that only further my belief that sticking to a budget and saving money is the way to go.

  1.  For my son’s 21st birthday, we bought him a computer.  A few months ago, that computer started to have problems.  He sent the computer back to the company, because it was under warranty for repairs.  They don’t have the necessary part, so he is getting a better model than the original computer.  Don’t forget about your warranties.  I know that I do and probably throw money away without meaning to.
  2. I bought 2 heavy duty fans to help get us through the summer.  I am determined not to rely solely on central air to keep cool this summer.  I don’t have a problem using it. However, there are times when it is so hot that the responsible thing to do is to set the thermostat higher so that there isn’t such a strain on the power company.
  3. Our power was out for almost 24 hours.  Does that count?  24 hours without using electricity has to add up to something, right?
  4. After the power outage, it was so tempting to go out for dinner.  But, we popped a couple frozen pizzas in the oven and added a salad.  We stayed in to watch a movie and considered ourselves lucky to have first world problems like lost power.  It makes you reflect on your overwhelming privilege when you lose amenities that you are used to.
  5. Our electric bill arrived and it went down significantly from the bill we received in May.  A full month of no heating or cooling made a huge difference.

What did you do this week to save money?

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A much needed cocktail during a 24 hour period without power

Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Here is the roundup of things we did this week to save money.

  1.  When Luna was a puppy, she destroyed our couch.  I mean, seriously ripped it apart.  The result has been driving me crazy for months.  Instead of buying a brand new couch for her to destroy again, I ordered a slip cover from Amazon to hide the damage.  It looks fine and will do until we have the courage to buy a new couch.
  2. This week I was thinking that I need to order a 2020 calendar as I continue to make appointments into the next year.  Coincidentally, Amazon mailed multiple appointment books to my employer and told us to keep them.  So, I got a really nice and really free appointment book for 2020.  It’s definitely not in the league of the Lisa Condren appointment books that I like, but it serves it’s purpose just fine.
  3. I bought my mom her birthday gift online, utilizing a one day only 25% off special.  Just in case you are reading this mom, you will love it!
  4. I bought a new rug at Kohl’s (of course everything at Kohl’s is always on sale, but 50% off isn’t bad).  I got $20 in Kohl’s cash which I plan on using for new throw pillows, to replace the pillows the dog destroyed.  Also, the rug needed to be replaced, because the dog destroyed the old one.  See a pattern here?
  5. I got the oil changed on my car and used a $25 of coupon.

What have you done this week to save money?

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Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Here is a list of the things we did this week to maintain our frugal way of life.

  1. Father’s Day was spent at home.  We grilled out and had a family dinner loaded with laughter and conversation.
  2. The kids and I pooled our money and bought Eric a Father’s Day gift he wanted, instead of buying 4 so so gifts.
  3. Did you know that Head and Shoulders shampoo is the perfect home remedy for some skin rashes?  Instead of buying cream at the store, I used the shampoo we had on hand and it worked like a charm.  NOTE talk to your doctor about using Head and Shoulders before applying it to a rash.  My doctor was the one who told me this a couple years ago, but everyone is different.
  4. I had to drive to Green Bay unexpectedly over the weekend.  Like always, I used our teeny tiny Toyota Yaris for the drive.  The car gets 30 miles to the gallon, making it an economical way to travel long distances.
  5. I have been doing some “redecorating” of the kids rooms as they move on, move out, move back and grow up. I made some changes to my son’s room and used furniture, bedding and decorations we already had.  I have to constantly remind myself to use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
  6. Here is an extra which relates to my daughter, not me.  On her way to work on Monday morning, she filled up her tank and the pump had some kind of problem.  She got $40 worth of gas for free.  The gas station attendant told her that there was nothing she could about it and she could call corporate.  Corporate told her to talk to the gas station.  She made a genuine effort to pay for the gas.

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Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Another week has passed which means it’s time to review my list of ways we saved money.

  1. I did not buy alcohol for myself at the Paul McCartney concert.  It was $12.25 for a 4 oz glass of terrible wine.  I did buy my son a can of beer though.
  2. Now that summer is here, we have started to line dry our laundry outside.  Nothing smells better than sheets that have been dried in the sun.
  3. This one is for my daughter.  She went to Six Flags in Gurnee IL on Thursday with her boyfriend.  He has a season pass and it was bring a friend for free day.  Researching free days for museums and amusements parks is always the way to go.
  4. For the first summer in probably 18 years, I did not need to pay for a camp, a class or other summer entertainment for my kids.  I have reached that stage in parenting where those things are no longer a part of our budget.  It is actually shocking how much those experiences add up to when you tally them up every summer.
  5. My son is going to a wedding this summer and needs a pair of dress pants.  The pair he has now are too big.  Instead of buying a pair, my mother in law is doing alterations for free.

What did you do this week to save money?

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This is not an economical glass of wine.

Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

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Milwaukee Art Museum

Another week has passed and it’s another week of saving some cash.  Here is a run down of what we did this week to save money.

  1. I have an unruly set of eyebrows.  Without proper maintenance, they turn into a unibrow.  I used to pay someone every 3 weeks to wax them, now I do it myself with a pair of tweezers and a lot of patience.  I did that this week.
  2. The first Thursday of every month is free day at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  After going to an appointment with my daughter on Thursday, I decided to visit the museum for a couple of hours.
  3. We ordered pizza last weekend, which we don’t do very often.  Dominoes had a $7.99 3 topping large pizza special.  We ordered 2 and my daughter picked them up, so no delivery fee or tip.  This provided dinner for 4 and lunch for 2 the next day.
  4. I brown bagged it to work everyday.  Thankfully, my restaurant options are limited near my employer, so anything I can put together at home is the better option.
  5. I carefully menu planned and stayed below my weekly grocery budget.  Not buying meat helps that cause.

What did you do to save a few dollars this week?

 

Frugal Living

Five Frugal Things- May 18 to 25

We spent another week saving our pennies.  It’s amazing how much stuff each of us actually has and never use.  I don’t know about other countries but Americans really do know how to over consume.  We need to all take a step back and ask ourselves if we need everything we are spending our hard earned money on.

  1. I enter a lot of Instagram contests.  You know the ones; like the page, tag a friend and say something you love about the place.  I won a contest in December for a $50 dinner at a local restaurant.  We went last weekend.  The downside though, I got a $60 parking ticket.  The night cancelled itself out.  But, we rarely go out and this forced us to enjoy a night downtown.
  2. I won another contest, this one on Facebook.  We won a year of free nail trims for one of our dogs.  Last week we went in for their quarterly nail trim.  I had acquired enough points on the vets app to get the other dogs nails trimmed for free as well.
  3. We had a nice, wood coffee table.  One of our dogs decided that it would make a really awesome chew toy.  Buying a new one seemed like a risk I wasn’t willing to take given the damage done to the one we had.  A friend is moving and getting rid of all of her stuff.  She gave us her glass and metal table for free.  I have challenged the dogs to destroy that one.
  4. My daughter got a job at Starbucks.  One of the perks of being a Starbucks employee is one free pound of coffee, per week!
  5. We officially turned the heat off for the year.  Mornings have been a little crisp in the house, but it’s May, so off with the heat.

What have you done recently to save some cash?

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Luna pretending like she is innocent regarding the coffee table