Sunday, March 24, 2019

My Frugal Week

Last week I was able to work two days while I will be working every day this next week. 

Days we stayed home this week include Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. We didn't spend any money on those days. I love having days where we spend no money.

We didn't use any heat or air this week to keep warm or cool as the weather has been mild this week. That will help us save money on our electric bill next month. 

Payday was this week. Turns out my check was missing two days pay due to spring break. They'll be on my next check, but I was planning on putting new brake pads on my car this week. 

With the two day shortage I'll have to stretch my budget with less money than I originally budgeted for, so we will be on a bare bones budget until next month. I do not want to dip into my savings unless absolutely necessary. 

My brother-in-law, who is a mechanic, put new brake pads on my car front and back and didn't charge me any labor fees. The back brake pads weren't ready to be replaced, but he figured he would save us both time and money and go ahead replace them now rather than later. 

He also changed the oil for me and I'm so grateful as it was due for an oil change. That will be one thing I won't have to pay out of my budget next month. All I had to pay him was for the parts he used to do all of this, which turned out to be $100. 

I'll be having a front end alignment on the car next month. After that my car maintenance will be up to date and I won't have to incur any of those expenses while school is out and my income is lower for the summer months. 

Since we are on a bare bones budget this month I made a list of meals we could make here with what we have on hand. I also went to Food City to pick up a few things we needed. 

I picked up butter, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, popcorn, marked down Italian bread, chicken bouillon, and found some little smokies on markdown for $2.10 and picked up five on those. I spent $38.22 in total. 

Popcorn made the list because my supply is low. It's cheaper to make popcorn as a snack or for lunch with a sandwich verses buying potato chips to go with a sandwich. 

I went by Food Lion on Friday morning before I dropped my car off and picked up some lettuce, which was on sale for 89¢. I also picked up cheddar cheese, corn for 48¢ each, and two cans of cream of chicken soup for 48¢ each. I spent $9.32 in total.

After picking up my car on Saturday I needed to go to Food City to pick up a prescription. They accidently filled it for three months instead of one, so it cost me $23.85 for the 3 month supply. She asked me if I wanted to have her refill it for one month only, but I told her it was fine, and I've already absorbed it into my budget. 

I checked the marked down sections and picked up two mangos for 99¢ and the last marked down package of Little Smokies for $2.29. Total spent on food was $3.50.

One of the things I made this week was egg salad using those eggs from Kroger that we picked up last week for 88¢. Several egg salad sandwiches went into lunch boxes this week. 

Instead of saving the ends of bread I made sandwiches with them this week. Normally I save them in the freezer to make bread crumbs, but there's no waste either way. 

My daughter was wanting something sweet to eat this week, which is unusual for her. We are not dessert eaters here and I only make them during special occasions or holidays. 

Therefore it's rare for me to have any sweets around or even have something on the shelf to make. What I normally do when the sweet tooth gets me is make a piece of toast with jelly on it. 

I did have the peanut butter I bought on sale for 99¢ at Kroger a few months ago, so I decided on the three ingredients peanut butter (1 egg, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar) cookies. 

Doing the math the ingredients cost me 83¢ and I made nine cookies, so each one was around 10¢, which is much cheaper than a cookie from the mall. 

I also had a couple of cake mixes on hand that we bought on mark down, so I made one of those as well. 

Other things we did to save money this week include:

Last week I started using a new app on my phone called Hiya. It's free and it blocks some of those annoying robocalls. 

Bailey went to see her first concert this week, The Black Jacket Symphony with Marc Martel performing Queen's, "A Night at the Opera" at the Tivoli theater in downtown Chattanooga. 

Her uncle (the same one who fixed my car) sprang for the tickets and took her to Red Lobster for dinner before the show. She had a great time and made many memories that night. 

Microsoft Rewards rewarded me with another $5 Amazon gift card this week. 

This week I had one ten dollar sale on eBay, which will definitely help the budget this month. 

We went to several yard sales on Saturday. One of them had a free section where we picked up this free Suntrust cup and two free umbrellas. 

One deal my daughter found was a large container of essential oils. Some of them had price tags of $24.99 on them, some were new and not opened and some were almost empty. There were two Ball canning jars inside along with several glass bottles with pump sprayers. 

There were some varieties that she'd been wanting for a while now, but didn't want to spend the money for, so this was a great deal for her, which she picked up for $25. We've already been diffusing rose in the house, which smells so good. 

So that's our week in a nutshell, financial issues cropped up, but were met because of good planning and budgeting. It's so important to be proactive and plan where your money is going before you get it and then the financial losses of life are easier to absorb. 

I hope you have a great week!

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. Sounds like a pretty good week to me. Love having people around that can fix things for us. My husband was a mechanic and did it for years (for everyone), but now being disabled - it means others help us. Nice to have those folks around.
    Have a great week.

    1. Definitely nice to have those folks around, Cheryl. Your dh paid it forward years ago and now you all are benefiting from his goodwill. I know it is a blessing to us for sure. I hope you have a great week too.

  2. During the summer, when schools are closed, do you live off of your savings?

    1. Yes, we save up money all year long to live on during the summer and we have multiple streams of income. We sell online, my daughter runs her business selling online, we've done yard sales and flea markets, I have my blog revenue. Every little bit helps and we do what we can to get by. Frugal living is at the heart of it all.

    2. Very true! I am a teacher, divorced mom, no child support. People are shocked that I have zero debt and paid cash for my daughter's four year degree. I have so much more to show for my money than most people I know...including those with two income households. Frugality is at the heart of it all. People ask me how I do is hundreds of little things that add up huge savings. Love your blog!

    3. Awww...that's so sweet, thank you. That is so great that you have so much more to show for your income than people with two incomes. We are proof that it can be done, it just takes ingenuity and being frugal. :)

  3. Sounds like you guys made the best of a tricky budget week. Great job!

    1. Thank you so much. :)

      I hope you have a great week.

  4. I love no spend days. :)

    It's great you have a trustworthy mechanic in the family, Belinda. Car maintenance and repairs are not cheap.

    The container of essential oils is a real bargain. They are so expensive. Once I paid $6 for a tiny bottle of lavender essential oil.

    here's to another frugal week!

    1. Thank you, Nil. It is such a blessing to have someone we trust to work on our cars. We did not always have that, so we know what the value is in that.

      The essential oils were such a bargain. The prices she paid for them verses what my dd paid for them is unreal. And so many of them are expensive that it's hard to get them all on once like this.

      I hope you have a great week too.

  5. Do you have any posts about your blog revenue and what tools you use to make money from your blog?

    1. No, I don't have any posts about blog revenue, Nichole. I use Blogger and Adsense and those are the only tools I use. If I'm posting 2 or 3 posts a week I can make about $1.00 a day, but I'm not always able to do that and work as a sub. Of course, I'm happy with that amount and don't really want the pressure of writing full time about frugality as I think I would run out of stuff to say. If I wanted to write full time I would find something else to write about.

      Now there are bloggers who do make a lot of money blogging. They do have blog posts about it and how to do it. They use other platforms like Wordpress and have other blog revenue from advertisers. And they make a lot of money doing that. I think "Budgets are Sexy" is one of them.

  6. Good for you not going into your savings and just using what you have. Your daughter hit it big with the oils. I would have grabbed those too. That is great that your brother in law is a mechanic. That most save you a fortune.

    1. Thank you, Kim. My BIL has saved us a lot of money over the years. I hope you have a great week. :)

  7. Do you use the Fetch rewards app? Just scan every grocery receipt for points that add upp and can be redeemed for e gift cards. The points add upp pretty fast. I usually use mine for amazon e gift card. If you haven't already I have a referral code N3NUM, the first receipt you scan we would both get 3,000 points free. That is equal to $3. The app is free.
    Hope you have a nice week.

    1. Thank you for the information, Karen. I'll be sure to check it out.

  8. I am so glad you had your BIL help you with car repairs. That is such a huge savings. Car repairs are the worst. Do you buy your car parts online? I get the majority of car parts off of Ebay. Saves so much money. Ebay has this feature now that if you input your car make they will show you a diagram of your car like a car manual so you can buy the right parts. Huge savings and huge help.
    I don't drive but my DH of course does since he's a professional driver, lol. He fixes his car.

    Sorry for all the unexpected expenses. I hope you get no more.

  9. Thank you, Safyne. I had no idea eBay had that option. I will have to check it out. Thanks. My BIL gets the parts for me.

  10. G-mail and my computer have not been friendly this week. Trying to post.

  11. Hi! You had a good week, Belinda. Our dealership gave an estimated cost, including new brake pads, a costly belt, and other items. Took vehicle to private mechanic who showed on-hand there was only one need. Saved $600. Good week here.

    1. Wow, Anna. That is unreal! The dealership is not always the best place to go, good for you all for saving $600.


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