Life is starting to approach something resembling normal again. My husband got his root canal done on Tuesday, my grandmother's funeral is over and the after effects from both have started to ripple outwards and dissipate a bit like a rock getting thrown into a pond. Things are settling and life is getting into it's new groove and smoothing out a bit. The rock (financial burdens and sadness) is still there under it all, but it's starting to feel like a part of a greater whole instead of the ENTIRE whole. If that makes any sense.
Life moves onward. And so we lead into the lesson of today's Frugal Friday. Always, as much as you can, sign up for e-mail updates from your favorite places because you never know when God will use those as a means to cheer you up when life gets you down.
Signing up for e-mail notifications and newsletters is one of the lessons I learned a long time ago when I was coupon blogging. If you sign up for e-mail newsletters and notifications, you can a lot of times get in on online sales (why I sign up for JoAnn e-mails and Land's End among others) and online only specials and freebies. Then there are situations like these where when life is depressing financially and you think you can't afford to do anything fun? Well, sometimes you don't have to pay anything and still get cool stuff anyway.
So, here's a breakdown of some of the things I did this week to save money.
1. I got free flowers from Carrs via a Just 4 U coupon loaded on my card (seen above). Nothing beats flowers to help cheer you up when you're feeling down, so it was a great boon to find on my E-Coupons this morning. I also had a coupon for a free iced tea, but alas my local Carrs doesn't carry that particular iced tea, so that coupon will go unclaimed. Bummer as I was looking forward to a free iced tea, but oh well.And there you are folks. A few ways I've saved money this week. How did you do?
2. I got a free spice rub. I checked my e-mail a few days ago and there was a link to do a survey for a 5.00 credit to an online spice house I'd used a Groupon for in the past. Figuring a 5.00 credit might score me a freebie, I went and clicked on the survey. Which turned out to be two questions long (and easy questions at that).
So, I got my free 5.00 credit code and found that my e-mail had already been used in their system in the past, so I went through the five passwords I normally used back then and found on the first try the password I'd used to create an account with them. And found that I already had a 5.00 credit with the company due to a flub up from a while back (they sent me an order I didn't order out of the blue and I e-mailed them and sent it back to them. As a thank you they gave me a 5.00 credit which I'd forgotten about since I was in the middle of moving at the time).
So, a 10.00 credit with the store in hand I was able to order a 5.00 spice rub from them and the other 5.00 covered shipping (with a small amount left over). I ordered a flavor that will go well on popcorn (honey chipotle flavor). I plan on making said popcorn and giving it out as Christmas gifts to teachers (aside from using it around here, depending on how the allergy information comes back on it). So, woot for cheap Christmas gifts in the making!
3. I got a free necklace from my favorite local thrift store. They have a jeweler who makes jewelery for them to sell to help up their donations and the jewelery is really cute. I got an e-mail with a secret phrase to use at the counter and if you did you'd get a free necklace (I picked the owl necklace seen above). I'm going to put it aside to go in with my daughter's Christmas gifts (I know, weird that I do this throughout the year, but seriously it saves a bunch of money come the holidays when you have a small stockpile of stuff).
While I was there I was also reminded that they had a certain tag color on sale for .50 a piece and they had all the clothes up on racks to make your life easier. I found a Princess t-shirt for my daughter that I'm hoping to make into a pillow sham for her bed come Christmas or her birthday and another t-shirt that either of my kids can wear (whoever grows first gets it ;).
4. I made all of our meals at home, per usual, which definitely helped to save our bacon this week. Money is really tight this next week (all of our bills are due the first week of the month and we are super duper tight this month in particular), so it's definitely going to be another week of eating in for us.
5. I mended a couple of comforters that were starting to leak fluff. I still have a couple of more to go.
6. I started sorting my mending to get some of that done this weekend.
7. I started to pick out material out of my stores to make my daughter some skirts and shirts for summer. I'm hoping to start on cutting and such this weekend because that will save us a bunch of money come summer.
8. I grabbed the last of my candy stockpile (I tend to get peanut free candy, Starburst and Tootsie Pops mainly, when they go on sale super cheap usually around Halloween and then save them for other holidays) and put it aside for Easter. I got other cheap things for Easter to fill out the kid's Easter basket (I'll do a post on that here very soon I promise as I do have some tips to make that cheaper for you) and put those aside as well.
9. Watched some shows for free on Hulu and YouTube.
10. I shopped coupons and sales to make sure my dollars went as far as they could go.