Groceries: I spent $18.20 on groceries this week at Kroger. You can see my (very) brief grocery haul below:
To make a long story short, my box of cereal was 1/4 oz. too large to qualify for the sale. This messed up my receipt big time: not only did I pay full price for the cereal ($3.50), but I only had 19 participating boxes of pasta instead of 20 and therefore nine boxes were NOT $0.49/box. I knew something was wrong because I estimated paying around $15.00 and my bill came to $22.50. To make things worse, we used the self-checkout, so I didn't know if the mistake was mine or the machine's, or what.
The lady at customer service was very helpful explaining what had happened. She also showed me how to check the receipt at the bottom to see if I have enough "participating items" to qualify for the sale.
Even with all of the cereal hoopla, I'm still very excited about the pasta purchase. This will save an additional $0.25-$0.50 every week for the next year. That's how grocery savings are done- quarter by quarter!! Compared to Dollar Tree pasta the savings are relatively small (more like $0.08- $0.16 each week) but the Dollar Tree only has elbow noodles and spaghetti. At Kroger I was also able to get fettuccine, angel hair, and mostaccioli.
Also picked up two free containers of yogurt (I'll use them for starter this month) with an Ibotta rebate:
I also found some celery growing in the fridge and put it in some water on the windowsill. The celery has been in there since August and I wondered how it was managing to stay crisp. The poor thing had grown roots!!
Some meals we had were rice/meat/vegetable mix, cheese and tomato sandwiches, fajitas, roast and potatoes, pizza and bean burritos.
2. Garden: The garden is mostly put to sleep. I am still using some fresh tomatoes that I picked green in October and ripened indoors inside egg cartons. The egg carton idea worked very well, especially for all of the little tomatoes that we got this year. It almost worked TOO well, as they are ripening indoors faster than I thought they would.
3. VOA 50% off sale: Volunteers of America had their monthly half-off sale this week, which is my "winter garage sale". I keep a running list of random Walmart-type items that I need, and look for those at the 50% off sale. This time I bought brand new sheet protectors, two binders, four shirts, two tubs for organizing, and a bread machine. I estimate that I saved over $50.00 by purchasing those things used (half-off used, no less!).
I think my best find was the bread machine at $2.00. I had picked out a different machine at the store, but when I plugged it in it didn't work. This one worked at the store and made a nice loaf of bread at home. The inside was a little scratched up, but for $2.00 I'm not complaining. Eventually I want to find a machine that can mix cookie dough and pasta as well, but the current machine will fill in the gap until I can find my dream bread maker for cheap.
My kitchen tools are my little servants. On Thursday (cooking day), the work I did was really minimal. I used my larger Instant Pot to make the yogurt, and the bread machine made the bread. It was fascinating to watch the bread machine start kneading, let the dough rest, start up again, let it rise and bake. I didn't see the timer when it was done, but it must have taken between three and four hours. During afternoon nap time as I scrolled through my phone looking for coupon deals, I could smell the bread baking. I thought about how in former days I would've had to babysit the loaf, move it to a baking pan, remember to turn on and turn off the oven. Not to mention there would've been flour and gunk all over the counter, and I would've had to wash the flour paste off of my mixer/mixing bowl. The bread machine did all that for me. Amazing! (Well, I still had to clean the baking container, but it was so fast and easy thanks to the non-stick surface.)
The sheet protectors and binders are for my new Home Management Book. This will replace the little planner that I've been using for the past two years. With baby around, I don't fill up a planner sheet every day. It will be easier and faster to use the Home Management: Plain and Simple method for organizing tasks into different days. Already this is working so well for me and Baby Girl. On Monday all the laundry got done, on Tuesday I cleaned up some office loose ends. Wednesday was kind of a disaster, but things cleared up in the evening and we still made it to town for date night and errands. Thursday made up for Wednesday when I was able to not only do dishes, but clean the fridge, make bread, yogurt AND two REAL meals plus breakfast for myself! On Friday I took out the trash and did vacuuming/sweeping. I'm sure there were other things I did on Friday too; I just forget what they were.
4. Picked up cans this week while on a walk with Baby Girl. Almost a dollar's worth!
5. Gave Hubs his annual/semi-annual haircut. I used a pair of garage sale clippers and some hair-cutting scissors from Walmart. This is the second time using the clippers. I like using the clippers for the sides especially, which tend to get out of control, and leave more length on top. While curly hair can be challenging to cut, it's very forgiving when you're finished. Once Hubs' hair has been washed and dried, most of my mistakes are covered pretty well. :)
So those are my frugal accomplishments for the week! Did you do any frugal stuff this week?