Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Five Frugal Things

Katy of The Non-Consumer Advocate hopefully won't mind me borrowing her famous blog post title.

My husband is on a job hunt again as his last contract position was done away with.  We are doing ok and not in the woods financially.  Thank God for being debt free!  But, I'm trying to get back into a more frugal day to day state of mind.

*I'm continuing to try to use up what we have instead of buying new stuff.  I've been going through travel and sample sized bottles of lotions and potions like crazy.  I just used up the last of my pumpkin cinnamon body wash and I will not buy any more until I am completely out.  By this fall I will be ready to put that on a birthday list.

*I've been a free food magnet lately.  My local salvage store has been having a box of free dented cans.  I'm helping myself to the max of ten each time.  The last thrift store I went into was giving out free bags of huge granny smith apples.  They weren't pretty and some of them were almost black with spots but once peeled they taste fine.  I made a small batch of chunky applesauce with them tonight and it was awesome.   I'll probably chop up some more tomorrow and make muffins.

*The same store where I bagged some free apples (bah!)  had a quarter sale on VHS.  I scored three tapes for cheap entertainment on the weekend.  We've also been enjoying the library for free reading material.  My husband borrows books on IT to brush up on his marketable skills and I get free novels and movies.

*Spring is finally here.  That means yard work and getting a garden together.  This year I'm going to try to have a small patch in my backyard so I can grow radish, beans, and other things.  My daughter is asking me if she can help too!  I scored a bunch of clearance seeds at the MFA for a nickle apiece.

Now it's time for another favorite frugal activity.  The kids are put to bed.  The dishes are done and it's time to cuddle with my husband and catch up on some Netflix.   We finally finished the last season of Orange is the New Black last night.  We high-fived afterwards because we never finish any show.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Frugal Bugle

Not much going on today.  I haven't left the house because I have a cold.

Here's a brief list of my frugal doings-

I made bran muffins using off brand cereal from the Dollar Tree and some apple sauce that was languishing in my pantry.  Adding cinnamon makes it yummy and my kids will eat it up.
This recipe. 

I didn't go anywhere.  (because of said cold)

Yesterday my tiny baby princess turned 12.  12!!!!!  I gave her some spending money to buy decor for her room and we splurged on a pair of Aztec print jeggings from Kohl's using a 30% off coupon.  We got them for $10.  

I'm planning a Spring Break trip for the kids and myself.  To offset the cost of our hotel and activities, I'm putting a few no spend days in the calendar.   I'm also looking for deals and coupons for the things we might want to do.  I reserved a hotel that has a pool, serves breakfast, and has a refrigerator so we can have snacks if we don't feel like going out. 

I'm making dinner at home for the three people who will be here tonight.  It's probably just going to be mac and cheese with broccoli since I don't feel great. 

Our fridge is almost empty so I'm going to sit down tonight and make a list and look for coupons for what we need.  I have grocery circulars so I can price match at Walmart if I want to. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sick Kitty

The orange boy on the right will be 19 this year.  He's been with me since my first year out of college.  He's cuddly and lazy and has always been very mellow.  He's basically my favorite cat ever.  He hadn't been getting up and running to the food bowl with his sister when I fed them lately and yesterday his face was swollen on one side.  Anyway, he's at the vet today and will have surgery to remove any and all rotten teeth.  Poor thing.  I briefly debated spending the money on him because of his age.  But, he's my love and I want him to have a quality life for as long as he can.  I'll just have to tighten the belt in other areas. 

My daughter has to have some baby teeth pulled also to make room for her adult teeth.  I'm wondering who's dental work will cost more. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Frugal OOTD- And some penny pinching beauty ideas.

With the exception of my undergarments (which I bought on sale), all my clothes and even my earrings came from thrift stores or the clearance rack.  I scored some Catherine's jeans on the $1 rack on Tuesday.  They fit great! 

Energie black and white sweater hoodie 2.99
Merona ribbed black tank top 1.99
Catherine's Jeans 1.00 (normally $60)
Black beaded dangle earrings (new on card) 1.00
Socks  Free after coupon
Converse One Star Gray tennis shoes 4.99 Target clearance

Now let's talk about the beauty regimen-

My Olay face wash was bought at a salvage store for 2.99.  Olay really is the only thing that does not break me out. 

My homemade soap was from the clearance/ugly bin at a soap maker's stall at a flea market for $1.99.  Not 100% frugal but I love it and I supported a small business.

Today was not a hair washing day.  I wash my hair every other day.  I also take navy showers to save water and heating.  I would have used products that my MIL gave me when she cleared out her stockpile of free after purchase items. 

I used some expensive Coola moisturizer from Birchbox that I had previously loved.  I earned points to buy socks for men in my family but I won't buy this again.  The cucumber smell is overwhelming. 

My deodorant came from Big Lots for $1.99.  I'm trying get away from aluminum deodorants so I'm using this Arm & Hammer Essentials.  

My body lotion was scraped together from three mostly empty hotel samples.  I've been adding a tiny bit of water to the almost empty bottle and shaking it to get at all the product.  I'm using stuff up from my collection too.  The recycling bin has been getting a work out.

My Cartier perfume was a free sample.

My makeup (and brushes) came from free samples with purchase from Lancome and Clinique,  Sephora Birthday Gift, Dollar Tree, and my favorite Clinique powder was bought during a free bag with purchase sale.   I only buy from Clinique and Lancome when they are having their free makeup bag with purchase.  Since I am trying to use up my stockpile, I haven't bought any in a few months.

I love to have nice things.  I love to wear make up and jewelry.  I don't always love spending a ton of money to do so.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pinching the Pennies Today.

This is my boring list today:

I didn't go anywhere.  No money spent on gas or anything else.

I packed everyone a lunch for work and school. 

I used homemade dishwasher powder in my machine.  I didn't even spend any money on the ingredients as I went to a How To Make Homemade Cleaners class at the library and used their ingredients.  So far I've really like the furniture polish, dish detergent, and fabric softener that we made.

I'm making a simple dinner at home.  Generic box of noodle helper, couponed crescent rolls, a can of corn I got on clearance, and some scratch Bisquick brownies made with my daughter.  I bought the Bisquick from the Dollar Tree.  It's pretty heavy on the starches.   I have been putting off going to the grocery store.

We're spending the night in.  I have coupon codes for free Redbox rentals if we want anything special for entertainment. 
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    These are good until February 16th.  So, maybe we'll save one for a romantic Valentine's night at home.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Balancing Things I Want to Do With Things I Need to Do

My house is a wreck. 

I'm a notorious piler and stacker.  I love to get rid of trash and any recycling that I come across.  But, the things that I need or might need get shuffled into piles.  My pile, kid's piles, to do piles, DH's pile, etc.  I've got all the piles. 

What I don't have is a filing system or any organizational skills.  Don't get me started on things that I need to put away but don't have a home or things we have too many of but are still useful. My daughter's giant piles of shoes is coming to mind. 

It's overwhelming.  So, I've neglected doing anything other than the bare minimum of dumping trash, a little laundry, and keeping up with the dishes (most of the time).   We really need to have people over soon for meetings, playdates, a Halloween party the kid's are wanting.  I need to get on the ball. 

But, there's so much I want to do that isn't going to help straighten the house.  I want to make muffins.  I want to organize my girly stuff in the bedroom.  I want to declutter my bottom dresser drawer where I keep my tank tops because it's hard to open.  I want to read some magazines that I'm storing.  I want to sit down and finish a library book before it's overdue. 

Being a stay at home wife affords me a great amount of free time but it's one of those things that go hand in hand with being organizationally challenged.  I never know how to make the best use of my hours.  I end up going from one thing to another, always busy but never having much to show for it in the long run. 

So, I'm getting out my flylady timer and giving my self 15 minute increments to do one thing I want and one thing that needs to be tackled.  I have a rare treat tonight where I get to leave the kids with my sweetheart and go to the library for an adult program.   I'm looking forward to it but I want to feel like I earned my time away. 
First up is 15 minutes in my kitchen doing dishes general clearing.  After that I'm going to whip up a batch of Bisquick Blueberry muffins because I have frozen blueberries to use and milk that is soon to expire. Then 15 minutes of clearing off the kitchen table and sweeping.  Then 15 minutes of hanging laundry and starting another load which I actually enjoy.  Etc. 

I'm lighting a candle and put on some music because I might as well enjoy the process.  I'm a big fan of the $5 True Living tri-scented candles from Dollar General.   I've had excellent luck ordering DG stuff to be mailed to my home.  They even give you 4.5% back on ebates.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hey September! Hey Fall! Hey Rambling!

Hello my woefully neglected little blog.  I'm too scattered right now to type out a decent length and entirely coherent post.  So, I'll just give a you a little peak into my current stream of ideas. 

Well, that whole make up hiatus didn't last long.  I tend to rebel against any harsh rulings and decrees even when self imposed.  I'm back to the reigning it in portion of my rebellion.  Yesterday I took my oldest to Dollar Tree to get poster board for a project and picked up some Physician's Formula organic lip veil.  For one dollar in a pretty neutral color- how could I resist?  Well, sometimes stuff ends up at the Dollar Tree when it should go to the dumpster.  This stuff was gross and rough. 

We have been so busy with the school year that I am constantly thwarted in my pantry clean out quest.  We have martial arts twice a week, and soccer practice, and confirmations classes and scouts and whatever else happens upon us.  I am really missing family dinners.  It's either a quickly scrambled microwave meal or a drive thru dinner in the backseat.  I really look forward to Friday nights so I can see my family together.  Of course, not this Friday as DH has plans but I get the kids to myself!  Last week I did manage to make homemade pizza and hamburger buns with my bread machine though.  I need to figure out some scratch freezable make ahead meals for our busy nights.  I am quite sick of Taco Bell, Little Caesars and BK veggie burgers.  I just ran across Heather's post on Make Ahead Mixes and I'm inspired to make some mixes of corn bread and cookies for the cold weather.   I did not order premade cookie mix from the school fund raiser because I rationalized I could make the cookies for a tenth of the cost.  I'd love to load up my freezer with bags of ready to go scratch mix for gingerbread, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle cookies for Christmas.

I've been doing a bit more couponing.  But, mostly I'm going to coupons.com before I shop so I can print out what's on my shopping list.  It beats clipping every coupon I might use and sorting them and dragging the hole binder to the store.  I might miss out on a few deals with way but I can't see the back of my pantry right now anyway.  I haven't been in Target for a few months.  I got burned out on the whole cartwheel app, plus Target printable coupons, plus text coupons, plus MFR coupons combo.  I can save a ton of money but it takes a lot of time and effort.  If you're interested, check out Hip2Save.com. 

Thredup.com is now on ebates.com for 7.5% back.   If you haven't used Ebates and you shop online it's such an easy way to get money back!  All you have to do is go through their website and look for the shop you want and use that link.  I get a nice check from them every few months.  If you haven't used Thredup.com before it's a nice way to shop for second hand clothes.  Some of them even have the tags still attached.  I sent my son to school today in a brand new pair of Kitestrings khakis that cost me $9.   If you're interested in trying Thredup.com go through my link and you'll get $10 to spend.  Also, use the code 40SNP and get 40% off your purchase.  Combine that with 7.5% back on ebates, and it's quite a deal.  I've been stocking up on winter clothes for my son.  You get free shipping if you spend more than $50.  They also have women's clothing and accessories.  I haven't had the best of luck in selling my items there but I did make $28 on a Nieman Marcus cashmere sweater (Goodwill) that I never wore.

I'm behind on laundry and my house needs a quick clean.  See you in a few months?  ; )