Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Frugal Weekend

Saturday turned out to be a very busy day for me. I had several errands to run including...

Having the oil changed in my car. Cost was $43.89. 

Stopped at Cooke's for a sale on Kraft cheese, which was $1.49 for the eight ounce bags of shredded cheddar. A price not seen since before the Great Recession. I also bought oranges, potatoes, and bananas since they sent me a $2.00 off $5.00 worth of produce coupon in my email. I also received 25¢ back from Checkout51 on the bananas. 

I know I said I wasn't going to buy Ziploc bags, but we came upon a great deal. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) 

The sale was for Hefty bags, 2 for $3.00, and we had 50¢ off coupons that were not supposed to double, but they did, so we paid 50¢ per box. See why I couldn't pass it up? :)

We ended up in Chattanooga at McKay to check out the free book bin. We ended up with eighteen free books. I didn't really look at them until I came home, but there was a hardback book in there from one of my favorite authors, Willie Morris. He wrote one of my favorite books, My Dog Skip. If you've not seen the movie, watch it. You will love it. 

The book I picked up Saturday was Taps and ended up being his final book written about a fictional journey through the south, of a fleeting boyhood and a young man coming to age in a time of war. I'm already reading it as I love the author's writing style. 

While in Chattanooga, I bought gas for $2.98 a gallon. We even saw it cheaper at several stations down the road offering it for $2.94 a gallon, which is such a welcome sight. We also went by Krispy Kreme to use our free doughnut coupon that was in the Sunday paper. 

Finally, I went to Publix for Angel Soft Tissues. 25¢ per box after sale and coupon. I was able to pick up four boxes. 

We went to a couple of yard sales. I bought a sweater jacket for my Mom, and my daughter bought two historical decorative plates. 

CVS has Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on sale this week for Buy 1 Get 2 Free. We had $2.00 off coupons, which brought the price per bottle down to $1.07 each. I bought 8 bottles, so I am stocked up on detergent for a while. 

I hope you had a frugal weekend.  :)

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Saving Money on Meat or Not



Our local Cooke's grocery store has ground chuck on sale this week for $3.99 a pound. They also have the Ball Park Hamburgers on sale for $6.49. And many people I know enjoy the convenience of having the Ball Park Hamburgers on hand for a quick meal, but is the convenience of having already cooked ready made hamburgers worth an additional $2.50? With the high price of groceries these days, $2.50 can buy more food. This seems like a no brainer to me. 

I can think of at least four meals my family misses having since we have reduced our consumption of meat. They are tacos made with ground beef, meatloafPedernales potatoes, and hamburgers. While I miss the days of ground chuck being on sale for $1.39, I am thinking about breaking down and buying some of this for $3.99  a pound and making a couple of my family's favorite dishes. 

There are ways I can stretch the meat to make it seem like there is more there than meets the eye. I can add potatoes, which I have always done, to the taco meat and I can add crackers to the meat for meatloaf. 


Taco Meat with Potatoes added to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the meat


What do you think?

Update: I went to Cooke's on Saturday and looked at the meat. The packages were slightly over two pounds each and were close to $10.00 in price. Cooke's is usually well known for the quality of their fresh meat, but when I compared the ground chuck to the ground beef, I didn't see much difference. In fact, the ground beef, which was 10¢ cheaper, actually looked better. In the end, I decided against buying any meat. It just didn't look good enough to spend $10.00 for in my opinion. 

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Frugal Week

Hopefully you've all had a good week. I know I did even though I was bone weary tired at the end of it. 

I worked every day this week except for Monday. 

On Wednesday, I checked out the grocery store sale ads and made a list of items I will be picking up today. If I didn't do this, I would have no idea of what was on sale this week. If I just went to one store and bought everything I needed there I would not save as much money as I do now. Saving money takes planning and this is one way I do it. 

I'm definitely going to pick up eggs at Save A Lot today for 99¢.






While shopping at Walmart the other day, I found a cheaper source of body wash. They are selling the 12 ounce bottle of Ivory for 97¢ without any coupons. I know a bar of soap is cheaper, but I like time savings I get with the body wash and it doesn't leave any residue/soap scum in the bathtub/shower. A win ~ win situation to me. 




I ate out one time this week. I was called at the very last minute to sub for a teacher and did not have time to make a lunch, so I ate out in the school cafeteria, $3.00. I'm going to have to make a lunch that I can grab when I am pressed for time like that in the future. All other lunches came from home this week. 



On Wednesday, I rescued a Xerox copy paper wrapper from a teacher's garbage can. These are nice wrappers as they are lined with something that makes them thick and durable. I will be using this inside out to mail a book in for Paper Back Swap, which will save me the cost of a new mailer. 


I am loving the cooler weather this month. As a result, we were able to use the air conditioner less this week. We should see the results on next month's electric bill. 

I love the old tv show, American Dreams. They brought out the first season on DVD a few years ago, but never did bring out the other seasons. Now someone is offering the entire series online for $29.95. I've always wanted to rewatch seasons one and two, but have been unable to until now. I found all of them on Youtube in the last month. Savings equals $29.95  


We have to be very careful with our data plan as we do not have unlimited Internet except for certain times of the day. 

I've been looking at several different exercise videos on Amazon for a while now, but wasn't ready to part with the money for them. 

Recently I found a website that allows me to download videos from Youtube onto my computer, so I can watch them anytime. 

This has the potential to save me a lot of money in the future. 

Here is a link to the website:

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001002.htm

We also convert Youtube videos to MP3 files to be able to listen to some of our favorite songs without using additional data on our Internet plan. 

This is a money saver for us as well. 

Here is a link to that website:

http://www.youtube-mp3.org/


 Dinners this week included:



Sunday ~ Smoked Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Monday ~ Cheese Quesadillas, Seasoned Fries, Asian Slaw 
Tuesday ~ Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Wednesday ~Chicken, Fried Potatoes, Greens
Thursday ~ Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Friday ~ Loaded Baked Potatoes

That is our week in a nutshell. I hope you've had a good week. I would love to hear about it in the comment section.  :)

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday

We woke up early this morning and headed out to get the rest of the groceries we needed. First stop was Walmart where I spent $38.85 on food and bought crackers, pretzels, honey buns, tator tots, fries, chicken, lettuce, cream cheese, cheese, buttermilk, lemon juice, strawberry jelly, vinegar, and brown sugar.

Second stop was Bi-Lo where I spent $15.07 and bought 7 boxes of cereal and a free gallon of milk.

Next stop was Cooke's where I spent $42.15 on food and bought 13 boxes of Toaster Scramblers. They were on sale for $1.79, but with coupons I was able to lower the price to $1.34. Each box has a Box-tops for Education label on it also, which I will be able to sell later. My daughter eats 2 of these for breakfast and with 3 servings in a box they come out to 45¢ for breakfast.  

I also picked up 8 boxes of Velveeta Cheese & Shells. This was on special, when a customer buys 8 they take $8.00 off, so I paid $1.49 each, which will make an inexpensive dinner when paired with a vegetable. I also picked up cookies, chili, tamales, and several crash and burn items including Fruit Loops for $1.00 and Betty Crocker potatoes for 50¢ a box. 

Next stop was Publix where I spent $27.37 and bought ice cream bars, chicken sausages, Basic 4 cereal, and the rest I spent in the crash and burn section because it was filled with goodies. I picked up several cans of Chef Boyardee, smoked sausage, Welch's juice, McCormick salad stuff, and even olive oil. 

Dinner was smoked sausage, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. 

How was your weekend?

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday

We woke up Saturday morning and there was no power, so I couldn't cook breakfast for us as I had planned. We ended up eating peanut butter and butter sandwiches. A staple from my grade school cafeteria lunches when I was growing up. 

Afterwards we headed out to run errands, starting with dropping off the garbage, mailing letters at the post office, filling out a job application, going to Rite Aid, Dollar Tree, Sam's Club, McKay Used Books, a petting zoo, and finally back home for the evening. 

McKay Used Books

Today was Customer Appreciation Day at McKay Used Books. They gave everyone who came a free hot dog, cupcake, and drink.




They had trivia games to play and prizes to win. We didn't win any prizes, but we did look through their free book bins and picked out about several books to bring home. This is the spot where they put the books that they do not buy back and the sellers do not want them anymore. They are free for the taking. 




As you can see, they are kind of messy, but you can usually find a hidden gem or two in there. I picked up several that were in great shape, and we've already listed them on Paper Back Swap. I am still not decided about PBS yet as I have read several negative things about them. I've sent out several books, so I will let you know how that goes. We've already had two requests for the free books we picked up yesterday. 

Sam's Club

At Sam's Club, we picked up breakfast cookies, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, honey buns, potatoes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Always pads, sugar, salad mix, toilet paper, bananas, chicken, tortilla chips, peanut butter crackers, pickle relish, cheese dip, muffins, and peanut butter. I spent $155.78 and received $14.50 in discounts on the toilet paper, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Always pads, and chicken. 

Pom brand toilet paper, is normally $19.98, but has an instant savings through September 21st of $4.00 off, so they are on sale for $15.98 right now.  There are 45 rolls with 472 sheets each in the box, and we bought 2 boxes. This is a really good deal and I've been reading good things about the deal online and was witness to many people getting in on the deal in the store yesterday. 


Sam's Club was having a health fair yesterday too and we just happened to be there when several vendors were giving away free items. The Verizon table was giving away free cell phone stands and hand sanitizer. You might think I'm silly (like my daughter - she says it's to watch videos on smart phones), but I love this thing. It makes my cell phone stand up, so I can see who is calling or texting me. It's the simple things in life, you know? :)




Afterwards we were driving around looking for the Dollar Tree store and happened upon a petting zoo. We saw a giant bull with horns and tennis balls on the ends of the horns to protect the children. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't because I was driving. We had such a fun day and have plans to go out today to finish up the grocery shopping and run a couple of more errands. 

How was your Saturday?

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"