Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Weekend Report

I worked two days last week and now we are off for Christmas break for eighteen (18) days. I've already gotten several things done from my to do list and also have several more things I want to accomplish on this break. One of those being a pile of clothing that my daughter has requested I repair. 

Today I finished my Christmas shopping. I have another blog post detailing our Christmas this year, which I will be posting later this week. 

I started the week thinking that we needed bread. By the end of the week we were gifted with multiple bread items and had this to be thankful for...several loaves of bread, hamburger and hotdog buns. 

Since we had hotdog buns, dinner tonight was a recipe for Butter Dogs from The Kneady Homesteader. They were fantastic too! Not the healthiest of dinners, so we won't be having them very often, but everyone really liked them. 

I stopped in at CVS one day this week because I had a coupon for a free full size CVS brand body wash for liking their Minute Clinic on Facebook.  Turns out they were having a sale on the bodywash. If you spent $10 on body wash you earned a $3 extra care bucks. I already had a $10 extra care bucks from CVS, so we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket for these...

I also stopped in at Publix this week to buy a gift card and some Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning spray and Truvia. Both of these were money makers for me at Publix this week, so no cash out of pocket for these items either.  

Gas is down to $1.89 a gallon here, so I was able to fill my car up for only $21, which I am loving! We ran our usual errands yesterday including taking the garbage and recycling off and are planning on spending as much time at home as possible these next two weeks. 

How is your weekend shaping up?

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Weekend Report

Image Credit
A clever 14-year-old teenager from the UK has figured out that people can save money on printer ink by changing their font. He says that switching to the Garamond font will save 25% on ink, which is something I am definitely interested in doing. Here is a link to the article: Saving Money on Ink

Had a movie night Friday night at home and made popcorn on the stovetop, which is cheaper and healthier than microwave popcorn. On Saturday night we attended the local high school Christmas play. Attendance was free and it was so much fun to see so many of the students doing something they love and having fun. 

During the week I usually make a list, sort of like a shopping list, of errands I need to run the next time I am in town. This helps me save money on gas by only having to make one trip to town and helps me save time also. I combined all my errands into one trip to town today. I don't plan on going back until next weekend. On a good note, It was great to see gas priced at $2.07 per gallon on my way home. 

This week I earned and received another coupon from My Coke Rewards for a free 12 pack this week. I picked up a 12 pack of Sprite while I was in town today. That way I will have it on hand for sick tummies when needed. 

We did some grocery shopping while we were in town today. At Publix, I picked up some I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (b1g1f sale), Ham for sandwiches, Kleenex (b1g1f sale + coupons), sugar - white and brown, Crisco, ginger ale from the Crash & burn section, and free mayonnaise. 

We were also gifted several items this week. Twenty pounds of carrots, eight pounds of grapes, 5 quarts of eggnog, 8 Greek yogurts, 6 containers of olive oil/butter blend, 5 half gallon containers of lemonade, 6 containers of Grape Sunny D. I've already washed the grapes and put them into individual baggies for the week for lunches this week. 

Now, I am cooking five pounds of carrots. I'll cook five pounds every night for the next four nights and freeze them as I go along. That way we will have them ready to warm up for weeknight dinners throughout the next few months. My refrigerator is filled this evening and I have to say that all this food was truly a blessing. 

I worked everyday last week and have three days scheduled for this coming week. Thursday is officially the last day of school for Christmas break until next year. My daughter needs me to keep that day free for her, so that is what I'm going to do Thursday. 

I've been getting ready for Christmas slowly, and frugally, but I'm saving that for another blog post.   

Finally, let's end this blog post with a discussion. What is your best money saving tip from 2014 that you will carry with you into 2015? 

I'm looking forward to reading your answers. 

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Last Week

Last week was a busy week here. I worked everyday and had sick family members. I took my daughter and Mom to the doctor one day and took Mom for a CT Scan as well. Twice last week we did not get home until after dark. 

One day we took our recycling to the Recycling Center. We've been saving the cans from canned food and any aluminum cans we come across. We pass the recycling center on our way home from school, so no extra gas involved. They wrote me a check for $2.06 for what we recycled today. I was happy with that as these are things we could easily throw in the garbage, but instead we are keeping them out of the landfill and getting money in the process. 

Dinners last week included Grilled Chicken Salads, Pasta Salad, 
Smoke Sausage & Macaroni & Cheese, Hamburgers, and Mexican Pizzas, Tacos and Salisbury Steak with sides, one of them being mashed potatoes. 

One of the frugal things we have always done is to use the water we boil potatoes in to make mashed potatoes. This saves us money over using milk to make mashed potatoes. There is starch in the water you use to boil your potatoes and is a very good substitute for milk in not only mashed potatoes, but also your bread recipes. You can also keep the potato water for a day or so in your refrigerator. 

I've gotten some of my Christmas shopping done. I've ordered a few things online from Listia using Listia points. This is an online auction site where you can earn points for selling things and then use the points to pick out items you want. The things I've sold have been on a small scale basis and things I've picked out have been on a small scale also. I've gotten several stocking stuffers for my daughter. And I picked out a book for my Mom from her favorite author. It's nice because no money changes hands. I'm exchanging things I no longer use and gets points to purchase things we can use. 

I've also used my Ebay earnings to buy a few things she wanted. Again using the money from selling things we no longer use here at home. So Christmas this year will be done on a small scale basis with hardly any money being spent. The upcoming winter months will be expensive with us having to heat our house and every little bit we can save towards that goal will be set aside for that purpose. 

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to all my Frugal Workshop readers today. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and that your blessings will be "pressed down, shaken together, and running over". 

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher © Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Edition

I worked everyday except for Monday this week. Next week we will have the entire week off for Thanksgiving break, which will be a bittersweet holiday this year as we have plans to lay my FIL to rest Sunday afternoon. 

Today we took the garbage off and headed to town to shop for some grocery store deals. Our first stop was Target where we picked up Special K cereal bars, Clorox wipes, Olay makeup remover pads, and Cover Girl nail polish (the last three items being my daughter's deals). 

As usual, we used the Couponaholic website to find out about the good deals this week. I went for the Special K bars. They were on sale for $2.50 each and when you bought four boxes, Target gave a $5 gift card. I bought 12 boxes and had coupons for $12 off (12 - $1 off coupons), and earned $10 in gift cards, so each box ended up costing 66¢ each. 

Totals for Target:

Retail Value: $77.72
Paid out of Pocket: $21.41
Savings: 73%

Afterwards we went to Publix for some awesome buy one get one free deals.  Even though we went for coupon deals, some of their weekly deals were so good I bought them without coupons. 

Our savings are a combination of manufacturer coupons and store coupons, and buy one get one free deals. We also used a deal where if we bought $50 worth of groceries, we earned a $10 gift card. It was a Target deal, but we were able to use it at Publix. 

Some of the deals we plan don't always work out, and we simply decide at the time if the price is right, there were a couple of deals today that didn't pan out, so we didn't take advantage of all the deals we had planned. 

Here is a list of what we picked up at Publix today:

(not everything is in the picture)

2 bags of flour (b1g1f sale, $1.50 each)
4 cans of Del Monte corn (25¢ each, b1g1f sale, store & manf. coupon)
4 pounds of butter (b1g1f sale, $2.15 a pound )
7 containers of Hummus (sale + $1.00 store & manf. coupon = free)
4 containers of sour cream (b1g1f deal, $1.06 each)
4 containers of Dannon creamery desserts (manf. coupon)
6 boxes of Orville Redenbacher popcorn (manf. coupon = free)
2 spray bottles of Pam (b1g1f deal)
1 box clementines
1 half gallon of Silk almond milk (free with coupon)
1 jar Vlasic garden style pickles (combined manf. & store coupon, 79¢)
1 jar Barilla pasta sauce (combined manf. & store coupon)
4 cans Hormel chili (manf. coupon, 58¢ each)
6 boxes Ritz Cracker (manf. coupon & big1f sale, 88¢ each)
6 Sargento Tasting Cheese (store coupons, $1.11 each)
6 Eckrich Smoked Sausage (sale + 6 - $1.50 off coupons, $1.50 each)
2 Carmex lip balm (manf. coupon, 40¢ each)
2 Hellmann's mayo (b1g1f sale + store coupon, $1.50 each)
12 Lipton boxes of tea (manf. coupons made them .29¢ each)
2 cans Carnation milk (sale + manf. coupon made them 20¢ each)

Totals for Publix:

The retail value of our items at Publix was $256.22 and our out of pocket expense was $76.64, a savings of 70%.

So far this month, I've spent a total of $191.08 on groceries. 

I'm doing much better than I was last month. 

How are you doing on your grocery shopping?

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"