1. Groceries: I did a Walmart grocery pickup order this week. We spent $39.32. You can see my grocery haul below:
We also got some free food this week! We met with our financial adviser and she brought a half dozen bagels with cream cheese from Tim Hortons. There was also some snack items left in Hubs' office from a group that came over several months ago. They no longer wanted the snacks, so I checked the expiration date on everything and only one thing was expired. Most of the snacks were s'more components that won't expire until fall of 2018. So all of that stuff went into our pantry! I will have to use a couple bags of marshmallows and some graham crackers by March, though. Hoping to make some rice crispies and/or graham cracker crust desserts for a few potlucks.
2. Cooking: I used our $2.00 bread machine to make bread several times this week. I also made stevia-sweetened chocolate chips for Trim Healthy Mama items. I used this silicone potholder as a mold for the chips, which were just an unsweetened chocolate bar, melted and mixed with some Truvia. The chips were still quite expensive at $2.00 per cup, but not nearly as expensive as commercially made stevia-sweetened chocolate chips. They tasted okay, for being sweetened with stevia. Next week I'm going to use the rest of the chocolate bar to make xylitol-sweetened chips.
I also filled out a McDonalds survey this week to get a free sandwich, which we used. Then I filled out the survey on the reciept for that purchase as well. It takes less than five minutes to fill out a survey, which I think is a great deal for a free sandwich that you might have bought anyway. The survey coupon codes are good for 30 days after the purchase date on your reciept, so even if you only go to McDonalds once a month, it's worth it to fill out the survey. If your free item is worth $2.00, that means your hourly wage for filling out McDonalds surveys is $24.00 per hour. Not bad!
4. Personal care budget: We already overspent this month for personal care items, but I did do some frugal things to help save for next month! We brought home all of the free hotel soaps, lotions, and shampoo/conditioners from Cancun. The bottles are twice the size of normal hotel bottles, so they'll probably provide a week's worth of free washing.
5. Found a free "Mommy and Me" workout on Youtube that I can do with Baby girl. I also found an educational video her to watch while I gave her a nebulizer treatment (something she doesn't really like). I'm not a huge fan of screen time for littles, but it helped distract her and take the medicine better.
6. Sent out thank-you postcards instead of notes. I may do a blog post about this later in the week. Did you know it costs almost $1.00 to mail out a generic Walmart thank you note? You can save $0.25 or more per note by sending a postcard. Plus the postcard can double as a baby announcement/Christmas card/etc.
7. Garden: Ordered garden seeds. Instead of buying all of my seeds for $2.00-$4.00 per pack from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, I was able to find almost half of my list at a cheaper company located here in Michigan: MIgardener. The MIgardener seeds were just $1.00 per pack. I saved over $5.00 on seeds that way.
8. Picked up cans on a walk. We got a whole grocery bag full, plus some, in less than a mile! Michiganders, if you get a really nice day this time of year, take advantage of the weather and collect cans. Since nobody picks them up this time of year, they've really piled up. You can get several weeks' worth of cans in a single one-mile walk if you pick the right road. ;)
9. Cloth diapers: I made a Youtube video about cloth diapers, finally. After diapering for a few months, and buying stuff, and stuff, and more stuff, I've come to some interesting conclusions about cloth diapers. The video below is just about different products, but I hope to do a cloth diaper budgeting video sometime soon. I'm not quite happy with my video editing process yet, but hopefully I can get out one or two videos per week from here on out.
Til next time,