Frugal Feats: January 2019

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Oh, how I love a good deal!  But what I love even more is when a community gets together and shares the wealth of frugal tips that I just know we are all tucking under our busy schedules and…well, life.

My Ms. Kara and I have always shared frugal finds and tips with each other as she is the other frugal pea in my pod.  There is something so satisfying about finding new ways to shave a bit off the budget here and there, even when you thought you’d “decluttered” financially as much as you possibly could.

So, I decided in the spirit of brave girls staring the down the bull and taking personal responsibility of at least some of the family resources…let’s create a platform where we are free to share our FRUGAL FEATS!  My only hope is that we would create a safe space where we are all mutually respecting of ourselves and each other’s choice of spending.  Not everyone has the same priorities as I do and so some of the ways another chooses to allocate their resources might not seem so “frugal” to me.  But that’s the thing about personal finance, isn’t it?  IT’S PERSONAL and will differ from person to person, family to family.  So, let’s gather together, share our tips, and ultimately cheer each other on!  (Many of us have goals that require our finances to be in order so outside encouragement is definitely appreciated!)

I plan on doing a Frugal Feats post every two weeks, as time and mental wherewithall allows:

*As the weather has been wonderful here (STAY SAFE ALL YOU PEOPLE SUFFERING THE EXTREME COLD!) we hardly need to use the heater, only in the wee hours of the morning.

*Sowed strawberry and coriander seeds indoors for hopeful Spring harvesting.  This year, I am sowing them in rounds, roughly 3-4 weeks apart in hopes of having continuous supply for as long as possible.  I’m new to sprouting strawberries from seeds so any positive thoughts sent my way is GREATLY appreciated.

*Picked lemons and a few oranges from my back yard for lemon water, lemonade, snacks, scrubbing pots and pans, and cleaning the garbage disposal.  (I also received some from my Mom and Dad’s tree.  Woohoo!)

*Pantry challenge~~this has saved us SO.MUCH.MONEY this month!  I do pantry challenges frequently but this time I determined that nothing in my pantry, other than a few baking supplies, would be unused by the end of the month.  I can’t stand having to rotate canned goods, boxed goods, etc.

*Library for movies for Friday nights, supplemental material for the kids’ schoolwork, and two books for myself.

*Found Japanese Boxwood plants at Lowe’s for $3 each.  Ordinarily, they would retail for just under $8 so I picked up four and planted them on the east side of the back porch.  After they grow and fill out, they’ll provide shade for the plants that don’t handle the heat or direct sunlight of the desert well.

*Ate at home for all but a few meals this entire month, and that goes for everyone.  The only time we ate out is when work provided lunch and the one time just after New Year when I had three sick kiddos and was DONE for the day!

*Ibotta and Fetch Rewards:  Scanned receipts to claim rebates/points to go toward Amazon gift cards.  If you haven’t seen my tutorial on Ibotta, Ebates, and Fetch Rewards, you can find it here.

*Figured out which loads of laundry need fabric softener (delicates) and which ones don’t (jeans) so I can cut down on usage, on top of the 50% diluted solution I already use.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, the 50% rule, you can learn about it here.

*Earned a $5 Target gift card when I ordered our toothpaste through the Target app and chose In-Store Pick Up.  I had no idea that the app occasionally offers this spiff on certain items.  I just had sick babies and wanted to replace our toothbrushes and stock up on toothpaste when it was on sale.  Woohoo for the extra gift card!  It’ll be put away for Christmas or birthdays.

*Cut down coffee consumption to one every other day or so.  I replaced this with drinking more lemon water…not exactly my definition of an even trade but I’m just going to have to be okay with it.

 

So, what about you?  How have you been intentional with your money this month?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking or Earth-shattering!  I want to learn from you.

 

As always, take care and God bless!

5 Replies to “Frugal Feats: January 2019”

  1. I hope I am included in your pea pod but I am a stubborn pea that tries to listen to your instructions. I hope I shared some frugal freats about making some easy and fun way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But it’s the stubborn turnarounds that make the most inspirational stories! Definitely learning new tips from you and really diggin’ the new app. Thanks for sharing! I’ll do a tutorial on it as soon as I have enough experience with it.

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  2. My frugal game had to be upped this month. So far it’s been okay. I’ve had PB & J sandwiches almost every week day this month for lunch…I am pretty tired of PB & Is at this point but it was very helpful. I only ate out one time (chick fil a and it was so worth it) . I had to start paying for parking at work but after a week of paying $3/day, I found a nearby lot that has an early bird special that only charges $2.50/day. Ive also been doing the pantry challenge and I was able to cut the grocery bill a little bit. I also was able to switch calling plans to save $45/month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now there’s some awesome discipline there, PB&J for a month! But like you said, it was helpful and every time we have to do similar, I keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary. Small sacrifices now lead to long term gain. So hang in there! I think you’re doing awesome…especially when saving $45 on calling plans!

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  3. Love all your Frugal Feats!
    Here are some of my Frugal Feats:
    1. Sold several decluttered items using Facebook Garage/Yard Sale pages and used the cash to make additional payments on my credit card (one of my 2019 goals is to be free of credit card debt by the arrival of our first little one in April/May).
    2. I make my own bathroom/toilet spray instead of buying it (think Poo Pourri) using essential oils I already have and use regularly. Even though Costco recently started selling it in a 3 pack for $20, I can still make it cheaper and feel good about knowing what all the ingredients are.
    3. Definitely been working on being more intentional with meal planning, grocery lists and our food budget. My overall budget accounts for our grocery budget, but inevitably, I always end up spending more than what I’ve budgeted for. But not this month! I’ve successfully stuck to my grocery budget by using only cash. I know exactly how much I’ve spent and how much I have left for the pay period so once it’s gone, I know I’ve gotta make do with what’s in the cabinets, fridge and freezer. Next step is to try your pantry/freezer challenge 
    4. I used to be the type of person that had to spend a gift card or cash just as soon as I got it. Now, my purchases are much more planned and intentional. In the last few weeks, I’ve purchased items I know I need now or in the next couple months, using great sales, coupon codes, extra cash back options, free ship-to-store or free shipping options and above mentioned gift cards.
    5. Returned to the gym this month. Our insurance company offers a monetary reimbursement for our gym memberships as long as we check-in a minimum of 12 times per month. This compensation takes our monthly membership fee from $50 for my husband and myself to just $10!

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