Week in Review {Week 10}

 

 

 

Wow, I have been busy!  I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve done one of these post.  I didn’t mean to abandon the week in review post- but sometimes life happens.  I’ve had a flurry of sick kids (yes, again- the stomach bug is going through our community) along with school events, and other family goings on.  It doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my frugal ways too! Here’s what we’ve been up to the past week or so:

  • We used a free Redbox code to rent “The Good Dinosaur”, which the kids loved.
  • I signed up my 5 year old for little league to take advantage of the early bird registration- saving me $25.00.
  • I borrowed and read two books from the library. I have now read 6 books this year and well on my way to my goal of 20 books in 2016.
  • Salvaged some pie crust that needed to be used up.  I made a quesadilla with it.
  • I purchased a raincoat for my son on sale at Old Navy for $12.  It is a little big so I should get a full year from it.  Our previous Old Navy raincoat lasted 2 years and still looks brand new.
  • Made sure everyone had lunch and snacks from home everyday.  We have only eaten out dinner once in the last several weeks- pizza this past Tuesday.  My little one was very sick and needed his mommy.
  • Went to a neighborhood dinner party and brought a salad. There was a big bowlful left so I took it home- the hostess said they wouldn’t eat leftovers.
  • I found some flower shaped lollipops amongst our candy stash.  I will give these to my niece and nephew for Easter along with a $5 gift card for ice cream. I am still deciding what to do for my boys. It will not include candy since they will get a bunch from others.
  • I was gifted two more books and some coupons by my mom. In exchange I gave her more -you guessed it- soup.  Haha!
  • We went to a free event for kids at a local university celebrating March into Reading.
I hope you have a great weekend!

 

 

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Week in Review (Week 7)

Good Morning! Happy end of February vacation, woohoo!  We made it without me eating too much chocolate and my sanity intact.  It shows that it pays to have a plan even if it is a loose one at best.  I am already brainstorming ideas for April vacation *smile.*

Last Saturday I sent my husband to the grocery store.  He brought my son with him and I made sure they had the “free fruit” card.  Our local chain store allows each child with a card to choose a piece of fruit (apple or banana) for free.  When the cashier scanned the card it took $1.00 off the bunch of bananas.  A great deal for sure! I promptly did Mobisave and Ibotta with the receipts  I also earned a bit back from Savingstar for this trip too.

My 5 year old was invited to a classmates birthday party.  It was at the YMCA where they put up a bounce house, jumped in a foam pit, and built structures using soft cubes and other shapes.  What a wonderful thing for the kids to get out their energy as it just happened to be a whopping 20 degrees out!  As we were leaving the car temperature read 15 degrees.  By the time we arrived home (a 15 minute drive) the temperature had dropped 5 more degrees!  Brrr….  When we arrived home I promptly started up the oven and made some pizzas using some Naan I had in the freezer as our crust. Delicious!  Desert was the end of the last tub of ice cream.

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Valentine’s Day treats for the boys

Well that polar blast meant we were stuck indoors on Valentine’s Day.  We awoke to -12 degrees with a wind chill of -25!  In the morning I made another batch of pumpkin pancakes for the boys, this time adding in some chocolate chips.  For Valentine’s treats we gave the boys each a Star Wars shirt and jelly beans with a card.  The boys needed some new shirts so I took the opportunity to give them as gifts.  I used little buckets I have that I use each year.  I got them at Target a while back and they are just the right size to hold a few small treats.  My husband and I did not exchange any gifts, deciding we will have a date night later this weekend.

 

Later that day I did some yoga using a free video from YouTube.  Then I went online to use a Prime Pantry credit that was about to expire.  Amazon gave me a credit of $5.99 for selecting slower shipping on a previous order.  The $5.99 covered the cost of the pantry shipping.

On Monday I woke up with yet another cold, thank you boys (not!)  I powered through it long enough to take the boys to the Children’s Museum for a change of scenery (free with our membership.)  We had some friends join us and all the kids had a great time.  We planned our trip around meal times so we wouldn’t spend any extra money.  By the time our outing was done I was ready to crawl under the covers.  My hubby graciously offered to go the grocery store for me and I am happy to report he did a great job!

Tuesday I wasn’t really feeling much better.  I sent my 5 year old to his grandma’s house to play with his cousins while my4 year old and I just chilled out.  We cleaned out a big bunch of school papers, only saving those items that were a bit more special.  When I went to go get my son my mom had given the boys a McDonald’s gift card as a Valentines surprise.  We decided to use one of them to pick up Happy Meals on the way home for dinner. I choose to eat some leftovers at home. A night off cooking for me!

On Wednesday my Prime Pantry box was delivered and contained a free sample of moisturizer.  I made one of the recipes I wanted to try – Green Chili Rice Casserole.  I made some adaptations, and it was rich and delicious.  Look for the recipe next week.

Thursday we went to Grandmas for lunch.  Then I brought my 5 year old to the mall for a free science show.  It was really awesome!  They made bubbles and fog from dried ice, balanced a beach ball using a leaf blower, and squeezed an egg into a flask.  My son thought it was all magical!  At the end they were able to each make a bit of putty to take home.  Apparently this mall has more of these kinds of free activities during school breaks so I will be making sure to check out April’s schedule.

Tonight we are going to head to my sister in law’s to watch a movie.  Her apartment complex has a clubhouse with a small movie theatre that the residents can use.  I was able to get a free movie from Redbox (Hotel Transylvania 2.)  We will order a couple of pizzas and I will bring drinks and brownies from home.  The boys love to do this!

I am thrilled that we were able to have such a frugal week despite it being school vacation. I think it get’s easier all the time and really doesn’t take all that much effort now that we have had some practice.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  See you Monday!

 

 

 

 

Week in Review (Week 5)

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Today’s snowfall.

On Saturday my son was invited to another birthday party.  It seems we have reached that age (all of these children are turning 6) where the invitations are arriving fast and furious.   My son is a bit shy so we are thrilled to attend these parties as it provides an opportunity to improve social skills.  I had a gift on hand here (Kinetic Sand and tools) plus the gift bag, etc.  We were also invited to another party that afternoon for a close friends child.  They are great host and we were able to enjoy the excellent food and conversation.  Later that evening we went out to dinner with my brother and sister in law.  Again, wonderful food and conversation.  It was a very nice day.

With all these birthday parties recently (and more to come) I have depleted my supply of gift bags.  I stopped by the Dollar Tree and picked up 2 sizes of gift bags in solid colors (red and blue) along with some tissue and curling ribbon. These should work out great for any occasion.  We have lots of materials to make tags or cards as needed.  I think I am going to plan to pick up a set of bags every month for a little while.

While I was at the Dollar Tree I picked up some seeds for the garden at .25 each.  I choose several herbs and some lettuce.  I am going to plant these in containers.  I am actually secretly hoping to have my husband and his friend build me some raised planter boxes, and a planter box bench.  If not, pots it will be.  I have some from last year.

On Sunday my husband took our boys to visit family.  I stayed home to get some rest and enjoyed a free moment.  I watched a movie I had taped and enjoyed a cup of caramel hot cocoa I had been given for Christmas.

On Monday I took my little guy for a haircut.  I was able to use a coupon for $3.00 off which covered the tip.  I wish I could cut his hair but he moves so much and his sensory issues play a factor (she uses scissors not clippers.)  I have found that it is better to pay someone else to do this!

We had unusually warm weather here for several days this week.  I got out and walked around the neighborhood.  It made me long for spring even more.  Perhaps the groundhog will be right!  Note: of course as I am typing this it is cold and rainy with snow on the way.  School is cancelled and we will be stuck inside all day. Wah, wah…..

I was able to get a great deal on some shirts for my boys.  Topcash Back (like Ebates) was offering $5.00 cash for a purchase made before 2/5.  Children’s Place was having a big online sale.  For $14 I was able to get 6 shirts (3 short sleeve and 3 long sleeve) with free shipping.  This is after the $5 bonus and cashback.  I was thrilled as my little ones are rough on their shirts as I am sure most 4 and 5 year olds are.

I went to the warehouse club and picked up some needed household items: tissues, toilet paper, etc.  and a few grocery items that were good deals.  I had a few item coupons as well as a $10 off $100 purchase coupon.  After all my items were rung up I was short by $3.00.  I grabbed a set of 3 large reusable shopping bags that were by the register for $ 4.99.  These will turn out handy as they are a great size for carrying beach toys and towels. Overall I saved $21.00 on my purchases there.

I took some time to look over our insurance for our vehicles to see if we could find some savings there.  It has gone up about $20.00 a month.  Turns out that we are now being charged an installment fee for paying month by month.  When our policy comes due in April I will pay it up front, eliminating this fee.

This morning I had to take my son to the pediatrician for a cough that has been causing a bit of wheezing.  I learned that our copay has gone up by $5.00.  Thankfully, the prescription copay was only $10.00.  I will need to make a plan to increase to our sinking fund amount for medical expenses.

I spent 215.45 this week on groceries.  I stocked up on many items that were on sale.  That leaves me 284.55 for the rest of the month.  I earned $4 back from Savingstar, Ibotta, and Checkout 51.

How was your week?  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Week in Review ( Week 4 )

I made 3 dozen muffins for the freezer. I used blueberries from the freezer and a strawberries that were on the way out from the fridge.  I used a basic muffin mix that allows for lots of variation.  Recipe coming soon.

I made a double batch of taco meat, and mac and cheese.  We ate one for dinner and put the other in the freezer. I also made sloppy joes and meatloaf for the freezer.

I gave my mom a shelf we had stuck in our garage and weren’t using.  It fits perfectly in her laundry room. In exchange she gave me a book she had finished along with some pie crust she had leftover from the holidays.

I was also gifted a tea kettle by my mom.  My old one didn’t have a flat bottom and couldn’t be used on my glass top stove.  I mentioned it to my mom and she had an extra.

We were able to get gas for .99 per gallon using grocery store points.  Whoop!

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A cup of coffee and a good book is a great way to get some rest.

I finished reading 3 books.  All the books had been given to me.  Lot’s of time spent resting and trying to feel better.

I got 2 94 oz bottles of organic apple cider for $1.48.  The kids love it.

I went to the grocery store this morning and found English muffins for .50 a dozen!  They had a sell by date of today so I popped 4 dozen into my freezer.  We like to make egg sandwiches on the weekends.

I picked up 10 pounds of chicken breast at $1.69 a pound which is a fantastic price for my area.  In addition I purchased 4 8 ounce bags of shredded cheese that were on sale for $1.77 each.  It was a limit of 4 so I will go back another day and get more.  They all went into the freezer.   I saved using $6.40 in coupons.  I will also earn $1 back from Checkout 51 and a little from Saving Star too.

Tonight we are having a pizza picnic using dough and cheese from the freezer.  I will add some sautéed peppers and onions that need to be used up.  We will watch a movie we already own.  My little one and I are also making some Rice Krispy treats using up a box that’s been hanging around since Christmas.  Yum! I think that is good way to spend a Friday night!

How did you save this week? Have a great weekend!

Week in Review (Week 3)

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My weekend supplies.

Ugh. This has been a tough week.  I have been diagnosed with walking pneumonia and it has left me feeling miserable. I’ve been drinking lots of orange juice and hot tea hoping it will just go away soon.  I’ve got lots of projects and posts I want to work on already!

 

I am so grateful for all the food and premade meals I had in the freezer. It stopped us from having to eat out or go to the store.

On Saturday my 5 year old was invited to a birthday party at a local pizza parlor.  I had some Kinetic Sand in my gift stash I had purchased before the holidays.  I wanted to give some sand tools with it and stopped by Michaels to pick some up.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were 70% off!  We used a gift bag we had on hand and made a tag using some scrapbook paper.  It cost less than 10.00 for everything.  My son had a great time at the party and brought home a small pizza he had created.

My husband and son went to a friends house Saturday afternoon to watch football.  I sent them with a plate of cookies made from ingredients I had on hand. I had hoped that some cookies would make it to the freezer. No such luck!

On Sunday we cancelled a subscription to Weight Watchers we weren’t using any more, putting $20 a month back into our pockets.

I was gifted a bag of hand sanitizers by my mom who can not use them.  I will keep one in each car and in my purse.  My husband also likes to keep one in his office.

I took advantage of a pasta sale at our local grocery store.  I bought 20 boxes of pasta to add to my pantry at .59 each.  I also picked up a 24 pack of bottled water for 1.99.

I continued to do research on cutting the cable cord.  I’ve decided to go ahead and order an HD antenna for us to try out and see what local stations we can get with it.  I will continue to price out all the other things we will need (internet price, streaming stick, streaming programs, etc.)

I spent 107.00 at the grocery store. This leaves me with $151.76 left to spend this month. I know there are a few items I want to pick up to replenish my freezer.

How was your week?

 

Week in Review (Week 2)

This week seemed to go by quickly.   We were very busy at the beginning,  perhaps that is why.  Sometimes I find that when we are busy on Monday and Tuesday it can really throw me for a loop.  This week we managed to stay the course!   I have been working on some new habits and bringing back old ones that I hope are making a difference.

Last week I mentioned I had done some research on reducing our cable cost.  Well no sooner did I write that when our new bill arrived- with an increase of $35- OUCH!  Looks like we’ll be moving a bit faster on figuring it out.

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Flowers from my son’s birthday party

 

On Sunday we had a wonderful party for my 4 year olds birthday.  Our families were very generous.  You can read my tips for saving on birthday parties here.  I saved all the gift bags to put in my stash.

There were lots of veggies leftover from the party.  None of them went to waste including the tomatoes.  I roasted them up and they were delish! Recipe here.

I accepted a bag of clothes for my boys.   There was a winter coat in the next size up. Score!

I skipped the grocery store this week and we ate from our pantry and freezer.  The only food purchases were a few stock up items,  veggies and chicken breast from BJ’S and Sam’s Club.  I spent 53.09 bringing my grocery total for this month to 241.24.  This leaves me with 258.76 for the remainder of the month.

I exercised 5 out of 7 days!  I did not however drink enough water.   Need to work on this.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

Week in Review (Week 1)

 

 

Phew! I confess I had trouble getting back into the swing of things now that the holiday break is over.  Lunches and snacks and backpacks needed to happen every morning and I struggled to get it together.  Thankfully it is Friday and all that is over, HA!

This week I spent time working on our January 2016 budget.  I was waiting on some final payment amounts on student loans before I could really move forward. Now I have the info I need and can start looking ahead to our February and March budget as well.

I took some time to go through several bags of children’s clothing that we had in our basement storage area.  I filled two trash bags of clothes to donate at my son’s school, two trash bags of clothes to pass to my nephew, a small bag of baby clothes for my neighbor, and one bag of clothes that I will set aside for my boys.  In addition I found a winter coat I will donate to my niece as her workplace is having a winter coat drive. Felt good to get this done.

We used a gift card we received on Christmas to purchase cabinet knobs at Home Depot. I had spray painted our old and very dated knobs when we moved in last year.  They were chipping and looked awful.  We chose a knob that came in an economy pack to save money.  I am happy to report the new knobs look much better!  Plus we still have a little more to spend from that gift card- bonus!

I used money I received for Christmas to order a pair of snow boots online.  I needed these desperately (hopefully now that I have boots it won’t snow!)  They were marked to 60% off with free shipping. I subscribed to the mailing list to receive an additional 20% off.

We ate all meals at home this week with the exception of my husband who travels for work at least once a week.  We are working on a better plan for meals on the go that fit his diet and are easy to eat in the car.  To his credit he does try to keep his meal spending under $10 each time.  We’ll get there!

I spent a little time researching internet/cable plans for our area.  We are not ready to cut the cable cord just yet (we still have a year on our agreement and the hubby isn’t quite convinced yet.)  The least expensive plans would give us limited channels and allow us to continue our current internet plan.  It would yield a savings of approximately $75 to $100 a month.  Really something to think about!

I borrowed a book on freezer cooking from the library.  I made copies of a few recipes I thought we might enjoy that seemed budget friendly.

I was gifted some snacks and mittens for the boys from my mom.  She also gave me some plates, napkins, and a birthday banner to use for my little ones birthday party this weekend.  Thanks mom!

I purchased a birthday gift for my son at 60% off. I found it among the Christmas clearance.

I exercised by watching free videos by Leslie Sansone on YouTube. I had read about this on another blog and it is a great discovery! I also used our stationary bike a few times as well.

I spent $188.15 on groceries this week (ouch!) Some of this was bulk purchases. This leaves me with about $62 to spend each week for the remainder of January. I am going to get creative here!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. See you on Monday!