Saturday, December 13, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I gave Husband a haircut, and also trimmed my and Daughter's bangs.

We already had the ribbon and the red poinsettias, and the wreath itself is about 10 years old.    
I use this same wreath every year at Christmas time, but I put different things on it.  (I just attach items with wire so they can be removed as needed.)  This year I spotted these burlap poinsettias at Dollar tree, so I splurged and spent $2.  The other items were things I had on hand.  We have not bought Christmas decorations this year, other than the poinsettias above - we save items and use them year to year.

Our little 'front porch' tree graces the flowerpot.

Most years, I hang this sign indoors, but this year is is a front porch greeting.

I made some greeting cards - half are stamped "Thinking of You" and half are stamped "Thank You".  I used supplies I had on hand.  I finished the gift tags for the gifts for our neighbors, too!

All three of us went to the dentist for our six-month check and cleaning.  There is no charge for this visit, though we do pay some for the dental coverage.

I made Christmas gifts to give to friends and neighbors.  Since some of them read here, that's all I will say for now.  Perhaps I can share more later. :)

I am fond of brewing chocolate - it is much like coffee, except instead of coffee beans, you brew ground cacao beans...or nibs, or whatever that is.  The leftover grounds are fully edible, and I mixed a cup of them into muffins this week.  It tastes chocolatey, and the texture is similar to having nuts in the baked goods.  We have also successfully used them in brownies.  I hear the grounds are good in smoothies, so I'll have to try that some time too.

We took our 20 year old truck in for a repair and new brakes.  And by new brakes, I mean new pads, a new caliper, new drums and shoes....and then re-packed wheel-bearings....and then a few days later, replaced the bearings on one wheel.  Mew.  We paid with a credit card that offers cash back and also had a reward offer, saving us over $150.  Also, in the long run, keeping our sweet little truck running is much cheaper than replacing it.  It has been really reliable and I hope we get to drive it for another 20 years!

I am just over halfway through this novel, and I can hardly put it down.
Illuminations:  a Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen by Mary Sharratt.
We borrowed books and media from our library.

I did a fair amount of scratch cooking and we utilized leftovers.

There were a couple of good deals at the supermarket.  My favorite - navel oranges 10/$1 - I bought 20 and might buy more!  We got Mexican squash (calabacita) for .79 a pound, broccoli for .98 a pound and butter for $1.99/lb.  I paid .29 per half-pound of cream cheese too.  This was with a coupon, and I was able to get four of them.  Milk was 1.99 a gallon and we bought a pound of cottage cheese for .99 as well.

I re-visited an old hobby of mine - quilling.  Daughter is really interested in it as well, and we have been spending time together making things.  She is not usually interested in my 'crafty stuff', so I am happy that we have found one we both enjoy.  I purchased a starter kit when I was out with my friend on Black Friday.  I think I can make a quilling needle myself so that we each have our own, since we often want it at the same time.  I will share some of our work soon.

I purchased a couple of Christmas gifts second-hand, but in like-new condition.  They are for a member of the immediate family, and this is something we do regularly.

Free lotions - two lemon, one coconut lime, one peach mango.  
I mentioned last week that Kohl's had sent me a post card coupon for $10 off a $10 or more purchase.  These lotions were $6, but on sale for 2.49 each - for 13.5 oz. bottles.  All four were entirely free.  With dry winter weather, these will be much appreciated.

Husband used his earned points on Swagbucks to get a $5 Domino's e-gift card.

How was your week?  Did you find some ways to spend less, save more and make do?  Are you busy with holiday preparations?  Leave a comment and tell me what you're busy with these days!


  1. You had a great week and I love those cards!

    We did a hubby haircut and our 6 month dental visits, too. I also had my eye exam. About 6 weeks ago I had switched to an older pair of glasses because my glasses would not stay on my face since it has gotten thinner. I seemed to see better with the older pair. When I went for my eye exam we found that the prescription in that pair was exactly what I tested for! That saved us a pile of money because the progressive no line bifocals that I wear cost me a $125 co-pay. I just had them tighten up the old pair and I will wear them instead of getting new.

    We had our getaway to the concert on Friday night. Since I had won the tickets and we had a free overnight stay at our own lakehouse the whole thing only cost gas money and $8 for food out. We used our Hardee's check-in points for burgers and only paid for a large FF for Friday night supper. After the concert there was a fabulous spread of delicious food from a local Italian restaurant. The concert was wonderful. Emile Pandolfi can paint the most beautiful pictures with his music. The downtown of our little vacation town had beautiful Christmas lights and we rode the length of town several times just to see it again and again. The next morning we stopped at our favorite thrift store on our way home and bought clothes for the grandchildren from the 50 cent rack and a collector's edition Mickey Mouse Monopoly game for $2.50.

    We filled up our van for only $10 for almost 20 gallons of gas with FuelPerks. We saved about $33. I have learned to watch for bonus weeks on gift cards at the Fuelperks grocery store and use our gas budget to buy $50 gift cards which in turn loads up the money on the FuelPerks.

    We had trouble with an order from Target and they compensated us with $15 in gift cards besides refunding our money. Maybe it was not really true compensation for the headache and time on the phone trying to straighten it out though.

    We got our AmMex bill and all of the credits were awarded for Small Business Saturday. I am always glad to see that it worked.

    I made my menu for our Christmas with the kids which will be Saturday night this week. I am really prone to all the delicious displays of food at the grocery stores this time of year and so I am trying to keep the shopping in check. I made my grocery list so that I know exactly what I need. Hubby and I will be gone for six days to my family over Christmas so I don't want to leave a bunch of food rotting in the fridge.

    Hubby got a free spiral ham from work. It was frozen when he picked it up and we will not use it for Christmas so we put it in the freezer for later. I bought a turkey breast on sale this week and stashed it in the freezer for later. I used rare store coupons for produce that was on sale so a win, win there.

    We noticed that our utility bill was a bit too high and that the heat strips are kicking on with our upstairs heat too often so we have scheduled service for this week to see why. This will save big money in the long run over the winter.

    Have a good week everyone!

    1. You had a great week too, Lana! I'm glad to hear that Target gave you some compensation for your trouble. I hope your Saturday with family is wonderful!


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