Friday, February 12, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

As money saving weeks went, this one went well I think, overall.  Yes, I'm at my 50.00 for the week on groceries, but so far I haven't gone over and I only have two days left to go before the new week (for me) begins, so if I can make it to Monday to get Coke and milk, I'll be a doubly happy camper :).

Some ways I saved money this week.

1.  I made Valentine's for my son's class. 

One of the things I went looking for when I went shopping Tuesday was MAYBE cheap Valentine's to give to my son's class.  Between students and teachers I had about 11 people I had to figure out Valentine's for.  Unfortunately the only Valentine's I could find were at least 3.00 for a package, and I refused to spend that on top of what I had already spent on groceries for the week.

So, I went home and got to work.  This is a fun project to talk about really as it didn't cost me anything to make it. 

Quite a while ago (five or so years) we had a scrap booking store that was in business around here that would give out coupons in one of our free circulars for a "free scrap booking kit" if you brought the coupon in the circular and presented it at the store.  Well, never one to turn down something free like that, for like six months straight (before the store closed down, that is, it was nearby) I went in and presented my coupon and got a little plastic baggie "kit" with scrap booking things in it.  It was mainly squares or circles of paper cut out with different sizes of pinking shears (the base papers you see on the Valentine's above and below), some little doo dads to stick on scrap booking pages (some of the little phrases you see used), fake flowers, ribbon and the like.  They were actually pretty nice freebies and I figured I could give them to scrap book loving relatives as part of Christmas gifts and things, but just never got around to doing it.
So, I pulled out those papers and used any pink or Valentine's looking bases for the base for the Valentines.  I then used some phrases from those little kits, as well as some from the scrap booking kit my sister-in-law gave me as gift years ago (I've used some of those papers for projects on and off on the blog here) and stuck on some little flowers that came with the same scrap booking kit from my sister-in-law to add some "ooooo" factor to the Valentine's.  I then took out my trusty glue gun and used a small dab of glue to affix a Hershey's kiss (I got a smaller bag of them for free after clearance sale and coupons a long while ago and had been saving them for a special occasion...chocolate's not white yet from age, so I was happy when I opened them) to each Valentine's.  Right before that, however, I flipped the Valentine's over and wrote the names on the bottom of the Valentine's with a little saying, either "Have a Fun Day", "You're Fun" or, my personal favorite, "Have a 'Sweet' Day" (I love a good pun ;).

I thought, overall, they turned out really cute and were kind of a nice "newer" take on the little heart candies with sayings on them :).

2.  I sent my kids to school today armed for their class parties with free cheese popcorn and free chocolate covered pretzels (for my daughter's party) and free microwave popcorn (for my son's party).  I was thrilled to have treats to send in that didn't cost me anything (and it makes me doubly grateful for the freebies).

3.  I wrote to Pringles about a problem with the chips being miscolored and even took a picture of them so that they could see what I meant.  They are sending me a free product coupon to replace the chips and apologized very nicely for the problem chips.

4.  I got a notice in the mail that my daughter's renewal forms for her insurance got lost somehow and the state didn't have them.  I, at that point, got tired of dealing with it as I was already running into road blocks left and right, so I got on the phone with the insurance marketplace at 10:00 pm one night and had them add my daughter to my husband's and my current plan instead.  At least this way she'll have insurance when her old insurance lapses and it didn't cost me much extra at all to add her, so it was a relief to have that done.

5.  I got my electric bill in the mail.  Despite running multiple appliances every day (vacuum, dish washer and washer and dryer) I was able to lower my electric bill by 25.00.  Wish it was more than that, but overall I was happy it went down.

6.  I did the usual things of baking bread, making dinners at home (and using what we have) and trying to remain frugal in my meal choices.

7.  I was sent a request to review a new book and get a review copy of said book and for the first time in years got excited about reading and reviewing a book (I get multiple requests a week) as it's a book on sewing clothing.  I'm so, so excited about getting it, hopefully soon :).

8.   I binged watched "The Victorian Farm" on You Tube, including the Christmas special they put out.  I really enjoy watching Alex, Ruth and Peter as they navigate their way through different farming ways of life :).

9.  I requested a few free samples this week.

10.  I had issues with a bill and immediately called to get it straightened out.  I'm glad I did as not doing so could have cost me a lot of money as they misappropriated my payment to the wrong account.

And there you are folks.  A few ways I saved money this week.  How did you do?


  1. Those are cute Valentine's cards. I'm glad your Kisses were still good, because they work so well on there! I'm glad your kids are feeling well now, and could enjoy their parties.

  2. We had a pretty good week too. Your Valentines turned out great. I love when I find things on hand to use for those kinds of projects. Have a great weekend.

  3. Cute Valentine's! My 19 year old said today that she misses getting class Valentine's. :)

  4. I love the Valentine's cards that you made. Isn't it great to have materials on hand to be able to do these things. :)

  5. And you thought the valentines might turn out bad...those are amazing, Erika! It sounds like this week was a week of free. Valentines made with free supplies (including free chocolate), free treats sent for the school parties, free replacement product for the faulty Pringles, free Victorian Farm binge watching (I highly recommend Edwardian Farm/Edwardian Farm Christmas next), and a free sample on the way. I'd call that a great week too!

    1. Edwardian Farm is definitely next up on my binge watching list. I'm looking forward to it.

  6. You come up w with such great ideas. I never can really think outside the box. Wanted to mention in your shopping week update have you ever thought to call or write to places like Frito Lays and explain how your son needs these items for therapy and could they send coupons every couple of months. I would contact Coke too, no harm trying, they may surprise you. Cheryl

    1. I have done that. They give me the generic, "here are the promotions currently available and please follow us on social media to get the inside tract on promotions as they occur" and that's about it. Coke sent me a nice e-mail about the Coke Rewards program and that was about as far as that went. It was worth a try though *laugh*.

    2. It's okay. Like you said, it's always worth a shot :).

  7. Those turned out really cute!! I like your valentines a lot. My 8 year old didn't beleive me when I told him that when I was a kid, it was rare if you got a valentine in class with anything other than the car. It was a BIG deal those 2 kids out of 30 who brought in a lollypop too! I think a bunch of us must have sworn to always send our kids in like that, because now its candy, and chocolates, and pencils and erasers...etc...

    I've been hanging out my laundry at night all this week. 5 load so far, only dried the sheets in the dryer. I figure that will be about 75 cents a dryer load, and should help lower our electric bill a bunch! The clothes dry, its just a little tough when I'm tired and want to go to bed to get it hung out. But its worth it!

    I managed to return something to Target that I'd bought a few months back, and was able to use that money to cover a few small things I needed, so none out of pocket there.

    Managed to stay around my $55 for groceries, and made myself put back a few items that I didn't really need that badly in stores, and I've abstained from online shopping, hoping to manage to come in with enough of a difference in our budget to help on the unexpected bills.

    1. That's the hardest part isn't it? Putting things back that you could use, but know you don't need. I found a clearance rice cooker for 12.00 and kept going back and forth about it, but finally put it back. My rice cooker bowl is old and worn, the rice sticks to it if I don't get the rice out right away after it's cooked, it's got a dent from where I dropped it on the floor accidentally. But, it works, so I put the other rice cooker back.

      I keep telling myself it's only a good deal if you can afford it. It helps to keep my bargain hunting in check :).

    2. With the Valentine's it seems odd doesn't it? I mean when I was a kid we were just thrilled if we got a decent amount of Valentine's (since it wasn't mandatory to give them to the entire class back then) and if someone had some they made with lace paper doileys it was just that little something awesome you'd get. Now a days it seems like everything comes with a treat. I am blown away by how all birthdays at school end up with cake or treats for them now a days.

      I'm not saying it's bad or anything, it just seems odd as when we were growing up you would never have even THOUGHT to send in cupcakes for a birthday. You felt awesome if you got a paper crown and got to wear it all day *laugh* (I never did because my birthday was during Christmas break, but I always thought the kids who got to wear one were spiffy ;).

    3. I remember in grade 1 the birthday child would get to wear a fancy sticker for the day. It made the child feel really special...except my birthday was in August when school was out on summer break. At the end of the year, the teacher gave stickers to all the children who had birthday's in the summer, but it just wasn't the same.

  8. Clever girl :~) You creatively found ways this week to provide treats and crafty goodness for the kid's school events. This is the first time I've dropped you a note, and wanted to say is it good to see you looking on the bright side of a situation.

    You're a creative, resourceful and talented woman.

    Well, not much in the way of saving and creativity around here this week. I spent most of the week feeling misreable with a cold, so on the positive side I wasn't out and about. :~) Thankfully, I am now feeling so much better, and will make a plan of attack for the week as well as a meal plan. Too many household maintainence and projects I want to get going on...
    Have a blessed day!