Sunday, October 1, 2017

Final Frugal Week September 2017

On Sunday I made a stockpot full of chili for dinners this week. Other meals this week included Chicken Pot Pie, Tacos, Grilled Chicken Salads, and Beans & Cornbread. 

I read a really good article this week over at The Luxe Strategist called, "What my Immigrant Mother Can Teach You About Money". It's one of those really good frugal stories you'll want to read. 

My daughter is making a community notebook as one of her projects in her Social Work class and needed a notebook to contain it. Lucky for her she found a free one at a yard sale on Friday. 

My daughter and I both had the oil changed in our cars this week. Her uncle changed her oil and charged her $20 for supplies. I had a coupon from Valvoline for $19.99, but when I got there they said my car needed synthetic oil and the cost was $65.99, but they would be glad to take $20 off that price. I know he was just trying to up-sell me, so I told him no, thank you and left. I had the oil changed at another place in town. Next time I will have my daughter's uncle do mine as well.

I went to Target on Tuesday while I was waiting for my daughter to get done with one of her classes. I looked around, but the only thing I bought was a new pair of fingernail clippers, which will replace a pair of mine that broke last month.

There were not many sub jobs for me this week as I only worked on Friday this week. I'm scheduled for two days next week, but I hope to get more days as the week progresses. 

I had a doctor's appointment this week and she usually asks me if I check my blood pressure regularly at home and I always answer no because I do not have a blood pressure monitoring kit at home. 

So, I decided to use my Walmart gift cards from Swagbucks to buy myself a blood pressure monitoring kit for use at home. I was able to get in on free two day shipping and it arrived on Saturday. 

We found a penny at the library on Friday and picked it up. Have you found any money this week?

How was your week, frugal or no? We would love to read about it in the comment section.  :)

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. I love all the meal items you listed. They all sound so good.
    My husband used to be a mechanic, and he wants us to have synthetic put in our vehicle. He says it is better. I don't know. It is more expensive though.

    I found a quarter!!!
    have a great week.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. They say the synthetic can last up to 10,000 miles, so that may make up for some of the cost. Happy you found a quarter! Hope you have a great week too. :)

  2. Hi Belinda,
    Thanks for the link to that story. I'll check it out.
    I hope you pick up more sub jobs this next week. Once again, it sounds like you were very cautious with spending this week. Good job!
    For frugal stuff this week -- I found cheaper pen refills and ink cartridges for my ancient HP printer (it was my dad's, and he passed away in 2002, but it still works great); when I roasted a whole chicken this week, I made 2 additional meals for the freezer with leftovers for home-made convenience food; I organized the fridge so that we would waste less, and freeze foods before they expired; i didn't eat out; I kept the furnace off for another week; I trimmed and colored my own hair; and I shopped at Dollar Tree for toothpaste and deodorant.
    I found a penny just yesterday, in the parking lot of the bank where I was depositing money, not taking money out. So, I think it was a fairly frugal week.
    Have a great week , Belinda!

    1. Sounds like you had a great frugal week, Lili. I'm so happy for you. :) I'm glad you found cheaper pen refills and ink cartridges for your printer. Mine does not want to work with Windows 10, so it sits unused. I just try and do without it, but Bailey has one that works if I need something printed. I have to admit that I really do miss it though. Happy you found a penny. I hope you have a great week too. :) :)

  3. Thank you for the article by The Luxe Strategist, Belinda. I didn't know about that blog and it looks very interesting.
    I too have to get my car service this month. My car uses synthetic oil, and your post reminded me that I have to see if there are any coupons. :)

  4. You're welcome Nil. I thought her blog looked interesting too. Hope you find some coupons for your oil change. :)

  5. I had a very expensive week, but I think that's how it can happen. Everything just has to be done in the same week. This one should be better.

    My car uses synthetic oil, but I don't put many miles on my car so I end up only doing an oil change once a year so the cost is minimal if you look at it like that. Although I admit the cost is pricey when you have to pay it.

    Dd and I went shopping at Aldi's again this week so that bi-weekly trip is helping a great deal with the food costs.

    I also found a penny in the Dollar Tree parking lot and I, too, picked it up.

    Belinda, hoping you work schedule picks up. Have a good week.

  6. That's great that you only have to get an oil change once a year, Mary Lou. That would definitely save money.

    Looks like several of us found some money on the ground this week. :)

    Thanks so much, I hope my work schedule picks up this week too. Hope you have a great week too.

  7. I had a pretty great week. I was scheduled for jury duty today, which would have been $15, but it was cancelled (which is great since I am listing gungho on eBay today). I found a nickel in the Dollar General and bought a Kcup refillable for 90cents for my FREE Keurig (which I can't disclose how I got it free). I like flavored coffees but my DH and dad like non flavored so I can now make them regular coffee with the refillable thing. I bought one for $5 at Walmart but found this one for 90cents so will return the one to Walmart. I gave both men a haircut with at home clippers and dad paid me $5. Made 10 eBay sales this weekend! Life is good.

    1. Glad your jury duty was cancelled since you are listing gungho on eBay. Glad you found a nickle too. You've had a great frugal week with 10 eBay sales and free haircuts for the men in your life. I love it!

  8. I think we all in this culture need to shift our perspective on wealth and having "enough". We are so blessed and so much better off than most of the world's inhabitants, aren't we?
    But I do want to know where the Luxe Strategist's mother lives for only $400 a month rent. lolz
    We're staying pretty frugal here though we did splash out $$ over the weekend and went to Big Lots for the 20% off deal, stocking up on some food and paper stuffs. While costly for this week it will keep us frugal by not needing to spend on those things at full price at another time.

    1. We definitely are much better off than most other people in the world, Sluggy.

      I know her rent was cheap, wasn't it? LOL

      Definitely helps to buy when you can save verses paying full price later. You do so well in that department. :)

  9. I hope some more sub jobs line up for you! I worked as a sub teacher for 5 years before retiring. I do find it mysterious how you can survive on so little work, plus not working in the summers. It doesn't add up to me. I assume you have rent to pay, the usual car maintenance, groceries etc. I know you are very frugal, but even so, it doesn't add up to me. What is your secret?

    1. The house we live in is paid for, so no rent payment or mortgage. My BIL is an auto mechanic and he helps us out when he can. He is the one who built the stairs for us. HTH. :)

  10. PS I write this because typically I made in the range of $5-7 thousand/year subbing in Minneapolis, not exactly a living wage!

  11. My DH found a penny at Dollar Tree. We always put the pennies where kids can find them. It is so much fun to watch them find free money and their faces light up. This penny went to the toy aisle. Later we heard two aisles down "I found a penny!" Made us both laugh.

    It was a frugal week last week. Can't remember what I did but I know there were not any extra expenses. I am doing a big redo of my art studio. This is taking a long time but it is worth it. I am doing elegance on a frugal budget. I am ridding myself of expensive craft items that take proprietary consumables. It feels so good to go back to basics. I love donating my art and craft supplies to the organizations that need them.

    I did lose one of my thrift stores. They closed due to flippers. It is really hurting our stores. I lost three stores because of it this year. I was not surprised. Earlier this year I had a book in my hand and a flipper actually had the audacity to take it out of my hand because she wanted it. Had her little scanner in her hand and everything. She didn't get it. Later a flipper walked out with a pair of expensive boots that she did not pay for where they cornered her. I found out she was a flipper because the girls who work there showed me her profile on Facebook with her Ebay site. I am very cautious about ordering on Ebay now and will only order from real stores or thrift stores that list on Ebay. Our thrift store was part of our little neighborhood so the loss is really felt since it was a community gathering place too.

    I saw the comment about rent being so low. I pay under $400 for my home. I don't have a mortgage. DH & I took out a loan and bought our home outright. When we rented we only paid $500 for a very nice two bedroom duplex on the upscale side of town. Cheap rent can be found. My neighbors that live next door to me only pay $500 for rent on their three bedroom two story home. I guess it is definitely the area you live in.

    1. Sounds like you had a good and frugal week, Aiyana. That is so neat that you put pennies where children can find them. I need to start doing that. :)

      Sorry to hear that you lost one of your thrift stores. Today is the Goodwill 50% off sale, but we decided not to go as we needed to go to the library today instead.

      Kudos to you on being able to find some place with inexpensive rent, but how great that you don't have a mortgage. We don't either and that helps a great deal with our budget. :)

      I hope you have a great week. . :)

  12. Cashed in some Swagbucks, but stashed the Amazon GC -- the holidays are coming.

    Found 44 cents (four dimes, four pennies) in the Coinstar return chute.

    My partner and I canned 30 pints of rainbow carrots (which, sadly, lose most of their color in the processing) and divided the carrot greens among four of our "boiling bags." I've dehydrated enough celery leaves to fill two one-gallon Ziploc bags, and still have half a dozen plants to bring in; the stalks aren't very thick but they sure are leafy. The stalks get chopped up and frozen for soups, stroganoff and stuffing this winter.

    And: The Alaska Permanent Fund was distributed today, so each of us is $1,100 richer.

    1. Love that you are 1,100 richer this week, Donna. That's great.

      Cool find on the 44¢. I need to check that when I see one, never even thought of it.

      Sounds like you were very frugal canning and dehydrating this week. I hope you have another frugal week this coming week. :)

  13. Oil change prices have continued to go up and up. Years ago we changed our own. (Cars seemed simpler some Last weekend we were having my car’s annual inspection completed so I could renew my tags — anyway, the price of oil change at the “cheaper” place was up to $70 without the synthetic upgrade. We are thinking about going back to changing our own again. For the cost of one change we could invest in the tools we need and come out ahead in the long run.

    1. I would love to be able to change my own oil, Shara. That would be a big money saver. I just don't think I could do it. I'm a wimp, LOL. $70 for an oil change is a lot of money! You could definitely do it cheaper yourselves.

  14. I've repeatedly read Immigrant Mother article. Thanks for sharing. My grandmother was not an immigrant, but she worked and saved as no one I know. If I were hungry between meals, I sat between the rows of her green peas and snapped opened the pods to eat. Snacks were no where to be found.
    Your meals are hearty. Do you include green veggies?
    I believe DH and I use the same blood pressure machine you got for free. Good deal.
    Expect food prices to rise after hurricane damages. Consequently, we are stocking up more than we had been.
    Thx, Belinda, for encouraging us.

    1. You're welcome for the Immigrant Mother article, Anna. I liked that one too. We do eat plenty of green veggies, they make up more than half of our meals especially since we are plant based.

      Neat on the blood pressure kit. I've taken mine every day since I rcvd it. It's great.

      Thank you too, Anna. I love reading your comments. You encourage me as well. Hope you have a great week. :)


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