Monday, December 21, 2015

This Past Week's Frugal Accomplishments

We had a frugal week, but it was busy! is what I can remember at the end of the week.  :)

Last year, we borrowed a spare small Christmas tree from a friend, and really liked the ease and simplicity of having a smaller tree.  Last January, I picked up two 4' trees from a lady on Freecycle.  One is white, with colored lights, the other is green with white lights.  We tried them both, and even after we changed fuses, they both had areas where none of the lights worked.  Daughter liked the green one best, so I removed the damaged lights and strung on some led lights that we had purchased post-season several years ago.

This was my only Christmas tree purchase - .99 at Goodwill. 

Daughter wanted to do a bird/nature themed tree, so we went through our ornaments and chose just those ornaments.  Our little tree is really, really cute!  (I think I am going to remove the lights from the white tree and save it for when our basement is finished - it would be cute to have a tree down there, and we have other lights we could add to it if we wanted them.)

Daughter and her friend made gingerbread cookies earlier in the week.  I saved back half the dough (it was quite a bit for two girls to have to process).  I made ginger stars and glazed them with some orange glaze that was left over from some scones I made a few weeks ago.  I supplemented with a little bit of white glaze too, which made for reallly pretty, tasty cookies.  Her cookies are much cuter than mine!

I washed our clothing with homemade laundry soap and air-dried it on racks in the basement.

We heated the house with our wood stove most days.

We put flannel sheets on our beds - they make it easier to get and stay warmer on a cold night.

Daughter was beginning to run low on jeans/slacks for school.  Happily, I had some more in her size in the hand-me-down stash I keep in the basement.

I used a $10 off $10 coupon from Kohl's to pick up some small gifts.

My friend Lana gave me the heads-up that there was a 'sale' on the My Coke Rewards site.  I was able to use just 30 points per 12-pack, which is far less than the standard amount.  Thanks, Lana!

I completed training for my new job, which means I'll be working at home from now on.  This will save on fuel and time.

Daughter gets a bit tired of sandwiches for lunch at school every day, so I wanted to get a stainless steel thermos so I can send soup sometimes.  She found this thermos for 99 cents!

She didn't want the image on it - she doesn't really know who Hannah Montana is, so it's no judgement on her...daughter just thought it looked 'too girly'.  We knew from past experience that these decals scrub off with steel wool and elbow grease.  Once I got the decal removed, I gave it a final polish with some Barkeeper's Friend, and it looks great!  We put some cocoa into it and waited 5 hours - it was still warm and just right for drinking.  Stainless thermoses are pretty expensive new, but this will do the job for a lot less.

I took Taffy to the spay and neuter clinic in town for her 3 year rabies shot and the remainder of her heartworm medicine (18 mos. worth).  The cost for medicine/tests/vaccines at the clinic is much less than it would be if we went to the vet.

I've been wanting to give Taffy a bath for a little while now.  My main reason - she's stinky.  We had a warm day, after lots of cold weather, so I gave her a quick bath on the deck, which saved me the $20 it would have cost to go to a pet wash place.

I spent time with two different friends this week - one stopped at my house, and I stopped by the other friend's house.  We didn't 'go out', which saves money, and just enjoyed one another's company.

We went to the scratch and dent store and stocked up on a few items that we had tried and liked.  Cinnamon oat cereal (a store brand of cinnamon Life) was .69 a box, Milton's Bakery crackers (I adore these!) were .94 a box, and M&M's were .99 for a 10-12 oz. bag.  We also picked up some jerky...some of it is awful.  If they won't do a refund, we will use it for dog treats.

At the supermarket, we got organic oranges for .48/lb, whole pineapples for .98, broccoli for .98/lb, milk for 1.99 a gallon, organic spaghetti sauce for .99/jar, russett potatoes 10lb./99 cents and pints of jalapenos, sliced jalapenos and jalapeno relish for .99 each.

This was on the kitchen table for Daughter one weekday morning - a little trinket
given to Husband at work (tigers are the business logo), along with the
section of the newspaper that contains the comics.  What a sweet, thoughtful dad.
We stuck to our dinner menu...with the exception of one day when we were in town and decided to have Chinese food at 3pm, so we just had the leftovers for supper.  It was actually a planned treat that got planned after I'd created the menu. :)

As we get close to Christmas, I'm stocked on wrapping paper and gift bags saved from previous years, so we will not need any of those items.  We used decorations we already owned, and with one 99 cent exception (a hand-painted Christmas ornament from Goodwill), we didn't spend money on Christmas decorations.

Are you meeting your financial goals this season?  What have you been doing to spend less, save more and make do?


  1. Glad you got your Coke rewards, I did, too! Those coupons supply us for the entire year.

    I can't really remember any specific savings but we were frugal as usual. This year we have been able to make quite a few charitable donations due to being careful with our money and lower gas prices. On Sunday a request was made for donations to purchase a van for a family from our church who have gone to the mission field. Mom of that family is a pediatrician and they gave up there easy life here in the states to go to one of the most dangerous countries in the world to take care of sick children. What a blessing to have much of our month's gas budget remaining and be able to give it for that van. There have been many opportunities to save on gas gift cards lately and hubby and I both have about $200 worth in our wallets. I also filled up for 85 cents a gallon with Fuelperks this week.

    We have kids and their families visiting this week so I planned my menus taking into account supplies on hand. Last night we had a crockpot full of BBQ chicken legs that were purchased on sale for 49 cents a pound. Grandchildren enjoy coloring on partial pages of copy paper cut from my coupon prints and they love playing with the toys at our house. They were saved from our children and are so different from what is available today.

    I am happy to hear that you and your husband are employed! God is good!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Lana. Sounds like you had a great week, as usual! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas as well!

  2. I enjoyed reading this and seeing how you didn't spend your money. LOL I got a few ideas as well (who knew the labels on a thermos could be scrubbed off like that).

    Like you, I have plenty of wrapping paper, tape, and labels from previous years (most was gifted to me by my SIL who thought the kids all needed Disney character wrapping paper).

    This year, we spent $4 on a table cloth for the DR table that can be wiped off, and a small table top tree for less than $10. My only splurges this year.

    1., when I was down in the 'plenty' of gift wrap/bags/etc., I realized I have just enough to do what I need to do this year. We have not purchased anything like that in 5 years or so, but I may end up getting an item or two in the post-season clearances. First, I'll watch Freecycle for unwanted items. :)


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