Saturday, January 9, 2016

Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments as I Strive For Financial Fitness

Over the years I have researched ways to be more thrifty.  I have learned and employed many frugal little actions but I still seek out ways in which others save money while living a good life.  So lately I have been just piddling on the internet, searching for something new and fresh, something inspirational and motivational.  And I have found it.  I found House of SimpleFrugal in the ValleyHome and Thrift, and Frugaldom, among others.  I am always surprised and delighted with the creativity of others.
In the past I have hit up post-Christmas sales for highly discounted candy.  I would buy the red and green Christmas M&M's.  I would separate the colors and use the red ones as St. Valentine's Day treats and the green ones for St. Patrick's Day treats.  I would buy Hershey's kisses in the holiday foil to be used in the making of Valentine's peanut butter kiss cookies.  However, I had never thought of purchasing the chocolate snowmen and santa's and chopping them up to use in baking yet that is what another creative blogger does.  Brilliant.
I use the little bit of butter left on butter wrappers to grease baking pans; however, another creative blogger uses the entire wrapper to line loaf pans the way one would use parchment paper.  Again, brilliant.
This is just the kind of inspiration I need as I begin a new year and strive to remain motivated in my quest to be financially fit.

Some of my recent frugal accomplishments:

-Bishop's birthday was this week.  I was going to purchase him a card.  I looked at them but didn't find any that I really liked then I remembered that I had cards at home and/or I had card making supplies at home and I should look no further.  In the end we gave him three cards that were purchased for birthdays years ago but were never gifted.

-Similarly, his presents were wrapped in recycled, repurposed bags.  I used a bag that one of my birthday gifts were delivered in.  I also used bags that I brought back from my trip to Korea, cool bags with cool graphics.

-I have run out of large bottles of conditioner but have been able to delay purchasing more as I have been using samples from hotels and gifted convention leftovers.

-I purchased two turkeys at fifty cents per pound.  I wish I could purchase more but I don't have space in my freezer.  However, when I placed the turkeys in the downstairs freezer I discovered that I also had two corned beefs and a bag of crab legs just hanging out down there.  I'm about to get busy saving money on my grocery spending.

-I did end up purchasing another turkey.  This one is a very nice Butterball that I got for seventy-five cents per pound.  I have no room in the freezer but I do have space for a turkey to thaw in the refrigerator.  Turkey meals are in our near future.

-I had a couple of unavoidable larger expenses but I made sure to activate Swagbucks shop and earn when purchasing.

-I used my credit card rewards points to buy Christian an airplane ticket back to Washington D.C.  I paid less than $20 for that ticket.  This is a reminder to me that if I can use my credit card responsibly, paying off purchases immediately, than I can earn points that can be used in ways that can truly enhance our lives.

-I went to a local restaurant to get an iced tea, (I take in my own cup, receive a discounted price and am allowed to refill my cup as many times as I would like during the day) and the general manager gave me a free breakfast and tea after we had a discussion about the menu changes.  It was a pleasant surprise!

-I got a free sudoku puzzle at the bakery after another customer left his newspaper at the restaurant.

-I wanted to purchase some clothes for Christian before he returned to Washington D.C.  I, first, took him to a resale store where I had a $10 coupon.  He found two shirts, a cardigan and a pair of shoes there.  Then I took him to Kohl's where he finally found jeans that fit properly (they were buy one get one half off) and two more shirts.  I received some Kohl's cash that I look forward to using soon.

-While at Kohl's I bought two little Star Wars stockings that had been reduced to $2 each.  These will be fun in some Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I have been purchasing little things here and there as I have found them on Christmas clearance.

-Later I went to WalMart to pick up some items for Herb's new apartment and for food for Maceo while the rest of us are in Kansas getting Herb situated and I found some cute Christmas hair accessories for seventy-five cents each that I will put in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

-We did have some less then inexpensive entertainment this week as we sought to do some fun stuff with Christian before he returns to Washington D.C. but we did our best to limit the expenses.  We used a coupon for a ninety-nine cent buffet at Incredible Pizza when we purchased a fifteen dollar game card.  Then Christian used his student i.d. and I used my military i.d. when buying movie tickets.  I also remembered to swipe my loyalty card at the movie theatre - a small victory.

-As always I am feeding food scraps to the animals.  The dog has had some drippings and some bones (after they had been used to make beans or broth, of course).  The hens appreciate any and all scraps.

As 2016 begins I can say that I am doing alright but I will soon be developing some goals and determining some tasks for myself that will hopefully take my frugal efforts and accomplishments to a new level.  Stay tuned!

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