Saturday, April 18, 2015

Last week's frugal efforts.

I inventoried my son's clothes so I know what to buy. I was going to stock up on sizes, but I've been advised to not do that past size 2T due to a multitude of that saves me a lot of money! I'll buy as needed, and I learned that I can get new jeans for $3 on sale at Children's Place with a free shipping coupon. So when I am in need of clothes I'll check that side out.

I purchased a reusable Swiffer duster "refill" on Etsy instead of buying disposables. It was cheaper too (even with a coupon!) No more buying refills!

I bought toddler books that were on sale and sippy cup replacement parts using Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks and PerkTV so it cost nothing out of pocket. He loved his books, and I love that the replacement parts were cheaper than buying a new cup, and they will last twice as long.

I carpooled to/from work and brought my coffee/food from home.

We found that using coconut oil on little one's itchy skin soothed it so now we don't have to buy "anti itch cream" per MIL's request.

I've been enjoying free ebooks from the library.

I have been using up things in the pantry that have been living in there for awhile. This saves on the need to spend more on groceries. I made some orange crush jello that was kind of gross, but my MIL liked it so I gave her the other two boxes. We've cut down on soda to practically zero so I brought all the Hansen's brand cans to work for people to enjoy. I did keep the root beer so we can make root beer floats as special treats as the weather gets hotter.

I'm using up my various products (moisturizer, etc.) so I can use more natural and simple items as well as make my own.

I took my toddler for a walk to see the cows and goats on the mini farm down the road. He loves watching them, and sometimes they will come right up to the gate.

What were your frugal efforts last week?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Last week's frugal efforts.

I really didn't want to make my mom's birthday cake. I just really, really didn't feel like it. So I gave my brother some cash and asked him to please buy an angel food cake. He bought me a mix! I ended up making the cake at the last minute. Luckily it was easy, and everyone loved it. I'll either keep the mix for use in the summer or return it.

I've been reading free Kindle books and ebooks from my library. I signed up for BookBub so I get daily emails with free or reduced ebooks in genres of my choosing. I "buy" the books that sound appealing. I have hundreds of books waiting to be read. (and they aren't physical copies cluttering up my house!)

My toddler has great interest in coupons and magazines and other paper-like things. I handed him a stack of expired coupons, and he played/studied/stacked them for a long time. He also took great joy in playing with the box of magazines I was decluttering. I'm glad he loves to play with random things so I don't have to buy a lot of toys.

I've been using old shampoo that didn't work well with my hair as a body wash instead of just tossing it.

I've been using the heaters less. I'm tempted to put the bedroom space heater away until next Fall.

A few months ago I accidentally bought tons of organic coffee that was on sale from, and my husband doesn't like it that much. So he came up with the idea of me taking some to work to share with everyone. (yes, I could return it, but this way I help coworkers escape the Folgers)

A couple months ago the bulb went out in our bedroom salt lamp that we used as a night light. We still haven't replaced the bulb. Before we kept this thing on 24/7 (shudder) but now it hasn't been on at all.

On our date night (first one in months!) we went to a theatre, and we saved at least $5 by accepting their free rewards card. I didn't even have to register any info. They just handed me the card. Score! With this card we can see movies for $5 every Tuesday. Not that we'll be going there every Tuesday, but it's nice to know that for future date nights we can have a cheap date.

What frugal accomplishments have you achieved this past week?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Declutter Challenge Week #1

It's been one week since I started the declutter challenge. I decided to do it out of order so I wouldn't get stressed out because of my busy daily life stuff. So here are the seven "days" I tackled:

April 1st:  1 item rabbit doll.
April 2nd: 6 items one pair of slippers, one slipper, one box of magazines, one belt, one box of writing utensils, one small plastic container.
April 3rd: 4 items two rugs, one pair of headphones, one bracelet.
April 4th:  11 items one pair of slippers, one pair of shoes, one package of wax melts, one light bulb, one pair of sunglasses, one stuffed animal, one ad, one perfume sample, one pencil, one pen, one battery.
April 5th: 2 items one bottle of soda, one pair of toddler shoes
April 6th: 21 items four cans of soda, one gadget, one chocolate bar, two notebooks, one headphones case, one printer software CD, one ribbon, one bookmark, one bracelet, one blank card, one toy, one card stock envelope, two pairs of shoelaces, two pairs of gloves, one single glove.
April 7th: 3 items one card, one tool, one bracelet


It's easier to declutter when my husband isn't home so I don't have to listen to him ponder and/or disapprove of my choices and try to rescue things. It's hard to fill a box when there is a toddler taking things out of the box.

I'm so glad I got rid of those ugly rugs. They were a Christmas gift a couple years ago, and I "used" them for awhile so I wouldn't feel guilty. Now I'll never feel guilty about them again.

Total number of items gone: 48!

What have you decluttered lately?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Meal Plan for 4/5/15 - 4/11/15


Breakfast: Cereal and coffee
Lunch: Caesar salad
Dinner: Easter Dinner (ham, potatoes, rolls, pie, corn, angel food cake)


Breakfast: Parfait and coffee
Lunch: Sandwich and chips
Dinner: Leftover breakfast rice


Breakfast: Parfait and coffee
Lunch: Leftover breakfast rice
Dinner: Date night...eating out?


Breakfast: Parfait and coffee
Lunch: Sandwich and chips
Dinner: Pizza


Breakfast: Cereal and coffee
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Dinner: Burgers and fries


Breakfast: Cereal and coffee
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Dinner: Sausage and pasta


Breakfast: Parfait and coffee
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Dinner: Leftovers

What is your meal plan this week?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Last Week's Frugal Efforts

Technically the past two weeks since I didn't make a post last week. Here are things I did to be frugal:

I made dinner using the free vegetarian crispy tenders I received. It was pretty good! I'm not sure I'll ever give up chicken tenders, but these would be just fine on occasion.

I kept the thermostat low and the bedroom space heater off. Warm weather is creeping up here.

I keep fighting the urge to buy a Kindle Paperwhite because the Kindle app on my three? year old tablet works fine. I set up the Overdrive app so now I can borrow all ebook types from my library.

I brought food and coffee to work instead of buying takeout.

I fixed my W4 withholding and upped my 401k contribution to 14%! Once my husband's withholding changes go through we are set to pay off our medical bills by the end of 2015!

I made my mom's birthday card instead of buying one.

My mom bought my son some pants and shorts so he's definitely set for clothing for awhile.

How were you frugal last week?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Declutter Challenge Starts Today.

Have you heard about the 30 day declutter challenge? It's a game I discovered over on The Minimalist's Blog. The rules are super simple. On day 1 you get rid of one item. On day 2 you get rid of two items and so on.

I have attempted this game a few times before and failed because it's hard to manage a full time job + toddler + house duties + etc. But this time I won't fail. Because I'm going to go out of order. I will declutter as many items as I can each day, and I'll mark that number off on the calender so by the end of the month I will have decluttered a total of XX items.

There are already things on my mental list that will be gone once the challenge starts. That pair of shoes that doesn't fit anymore. That little stuffed rabbit I received as a gift one year that doesn't bring me joy. That cute toddler hat that my son refuses to wear that he will soon outgrow anyway.

What's the point of decluttering? Why would I bother waiting to declutter just so I can partake in a silly minimalist game?

  • Because it makes me feel accountable for getting things done.
  • I can go at my own pace while not feeling overwhelmed with day to day life.
  • I can make a small difference to my household and mental self each day.
  • Having less stuff means I have less to maintain and clean.
I came across this article: Everything in its Place, Finally and Forever and wow, it blew me away. You need to read it so that you can be moved too. Here are a couple of snippets:

There is an indescribable weight on your conscience that is released when you give something up. Every item you get rid of frees you, it really does.

I never realized the agitating effect that homeless stuff has on the mind. There’s this mild but always-present feeling that something is unresolved, because we only leave things lying around under the pretense that they’re only going to be there temporarily. But the resolution never comes, because the homeless objects have no place to go.

Have you participated in the declutter challenge? Will you try today? Surely you can part with one item. Post your declutter efforts in the comments. I'd love to read them! 
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