Frugal Feats: February 1-13th

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Well, we are just about half way through February and that just makes my head spin.  It’s almost Valentine’s Day and it makes me sit back and think…didn’t we JUST exchange gifts for Christmas yesterday???  Sure seems so.  But alas, time is passing and rather quickly at that.

I had overwhelming support of the last Frugal Feats post, mostly through personal contact…enough to let me know that continuing this topic in future posts is well worth it.  I got personal messages from friends about making pizza from scratch, diluting dish soap (if you don’t know about the 50/50 rule, check it out here), ditching paper towels in exchange for cloth ones, and homemade cleaners.  And in the comments from Frugal Feats of January, Mia shared that she has personal and financial goals and decided to cut costs by eating PB&J for lunch for an entire month, cut $45 of her calling plan bill, found cheaper parking for her job, and participated in a pantry challenge.  Wow, IMPRESSIVE!

Keep sharing people!  We are here to cheer each other on to victories and encourage in times of struggle.  So, in the spirit of keeping the thread alive, here’s how our family saved a little more hard-earned money for the first half of this month:

*My friend Jen, from Small Wonder Garden , commented on a FaceBook post and we ended up in a wonderfully detailed conversation about gardening.  I’ve followed her on Instagram (@smallwondergarden) for quite a while and then it finally dawned on me…WHY in the world am I not trading lessons with her, gardening for frugal??? So, she says she’ll teach me how to garden if I teach her more about other aspects of frugal living.  DEAL!

*Home manicure weekly.  Currently, I may be living in the land of a perpetual messy-bun but I somehow feel like Audrey Hepburn when my nails are properly manicured.  (Well, maybe not a Hepburn but you get what I mean!)

*Free entertainment.  Whenever schedules work out, my daughter loves to go to a local no-kill shelter with her best friend to cuddle cats and play with dogs.  Our whole family serves in organizations in some capacity and we count this not only as a blessing but also our entertainment.  Another form of free entertainment that I’m testing right now is using a particular app to make a practical life lesson and game for myself and kids…which has become VERY entertaining.  I’m still figuring out the app’s pros and cons but stay tuned and I’ll reveal which app I’m speaking of and give my personal opinion on it in a future post.

*Windows open first thing in the morning and closed right before dark.  Well, we are having a bit of a “cold snap” here in the desert but the weather is still temperate enough that I have hardly used the heater and the crisp air is energizing in the daytime.

*I had few green chili and pepperjack cheese hamburger patties that were about to expire.  Hubby was tired of having them as burgers so I chopped them into ground beef and cooked them for taco night.  The left overs were dumped into some chili soup to have for lunch the next day.

*Mended four pair of pants belonging to my little Tasmanian devils.

*Preparations under way for our sweet, simple, and frugal Valentine’s Day baskets for my children.  If you missed the post on this, you can read it here.  My goal for giving treats for holidays is that the treats don’t linger for long as we are moving toward a more minimalist approach to gift-giving.

*Here’s a testament to the benefits of asking questions.  I was feeling a little frustrated that the paint on my bathroom walls is chipping off as the paint is semi-gloss and just doesn’t adhere to the previous layer of paint from when we moved in.  I made a quick trip to Lowe’s and asked the employee in the paint department how I can remedy this situation.  After answering a few questions, he tells me to wait at the counter and returns with a can of primer, saying that the employee who sold me the paint gave me the wrong information and that I should’ve put on a coat of primer first.  Since this Lowe’s employee neglected to tell me this, he was going to make it right and sell me an entire gallon of primer for $0.01.  He said he wishes he could just give it to me outright but that’s not allowed.  Still, I was absolutely THRILLED to pay the PENNY for the primer and now it’s at the top of my DIY projects list…making my bathroom pretty again!

*And lastly, even when I swear that I’ve cut costs as much as possible in a certain area, I’m experienced enough to know that there is almost always a way to cut even further.  So, I focused on Car Expenses this time around and made a video for us.  (And a little bonus is that my oldest daughter, Sasha, helped me edit this…hence, the “bloopers” at the end, but the giggles are cute, no?)

I apologize if an attempted comment on the last Frugal Feats post didn’t get through or I did not receive your emails; however, I am assured that that glitch is fixed now so SPILL THE BEANS!  How have you “stared down the bull” and boldly (or not so boldly) trimmed the fat off your household expenses the first half of this month?  Leave your frugal wisdom in the comments below!

As always, God bless and stay safe!

 

4 Replies to “Frugal Feats: February 1-13th”

  1. 1. Knocked $15 off our monthly phone bill by dropping line access and insurance to a tablet that hasn’t been used in months.

    2. Had some fun with my hubby’s Valentine’s gift this year using a theme of the 5 senses. Picked up some of his favorite treats and personal necessities for inexpensive gifts. Example: For smell, I picked up his favorite bag of jerky…that I can’t stand the smell of, but he thoroughly enjoys as a special treat.

    3. With our sweetest bundle of joy on the way and soon to make his arrival in April, several sweet and generous friends have reached out to us and gifted us lots of baby gear that they will no longer be using. I can’t even express the overwhelming gratitude I feel that we won’t have to purchase these things new.

    4. We’ve had a lot of yard work needing to be tackled, both in the front and back yard. We could have easily hired a pricey landscaper to come handle it, but instead, I asked my dad (who lives with us) if he’d take care of it. He’s been working hard for the last several weeks, but has cleared so many weeds, leaves, branches and even cut down a large dead tree in the front. Bonus: He’s enjoying the fresh air and sunlight from being outside every day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done, fellow frugal freak! So much money saved right here. I had to giggle at the bag of jerky for the smell part of hubby’s Valentine’s gift. Hmmm, couldn’t tell at all that you’re pregnant! And yay for community rallying around you and hubby in excitement for your sweet little one on the way. That just makes me get the vapors!

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  2. Thanks for the shout out Tiffany! Happy to swap tips and tricks 🙂 I may do a few posts about how to be frugal with gardening. In fact I’m trying something new this year called winter sowing, where you use clear bottles or milk jugs like mini greenhouses to start seeds outside. I belong to a “buy nothing” facebook group in my community and got a few people to gift their empty bottles to me instead of to their recycling buckets. I’ve been using the apps you recommend and working on getting rebates with those. I also cleaned out my office and found a $25 amazon card I forgot about! Yay me! I plan on using that for my daughter’s favorite breakfast bars that are cheaper in bulk on amazon than at the store. I’m meal planning like crazy and doing as best as I can to eat from the freezer and pantry before buying more stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to glean some knowledge from you on frugal gardening! The bottles you are sowing your seeds in, are they glass or plastic? I wonder if large mouth ball jars would do? I thought the seeds had to be in a warm environment to germinate? SEE???? This is why I neeeed you to keep me updated on how things are going ‘cuz “I know nuffin!” And I’ll have to look into a local “buy nothing” FB group. And YAY for found gift cards and ones that we can get through our apps…they are a nice little ditty to come across. Well done and keep up the good work!

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