McDonalds- 11% off
Red Robin- 10% off
Rue 21- 35% off
I realized the power of percentages during our first tax season as a married couple. 10% may seem small, but gift cards can be used in combination with coupons and sales. In the case of clothing stores like Rue 21, I can buy clothing out of season and save that way. I have a really hard time finding used jeans for Hubs. If we can get a pair for $20.00 and take 35% off that via gift card, the total is only $13.00 per pair. That is cheaper than Walmart!
2. I redeemed an Ibotta rebate and earned their $5.00 bonus. To be honest, I just bought the cheapest thing I could in order to get the bonus. It ended up being two McCormick spice packets for $1.70 or something like that. I didn't need the spice packets, but it was still a free $3.30.
3. Kroger sale shopping- This week I redeemed their "Free Friday" coupon (small container of Greek yogurt). Of course I couldn't get out of Kroger without buying a bunch of sale stuff. I went to buy milk, but realized that it was $2.39 per gallon and I am used to $2.00 or less at Walmart (and I know that it's even cheaper at Aldi). Kroger still had their "buy 10 save $5.00" sale going on, so I got two half-gallons for $1.00 each. I used a digital coupon to save $1.00 on deodorant. The deodorant also happened to be a part of the sale, so I saved an additional $0.50 on that and got the deodorant for just $2.50. I like the fancy kind of deodorant, so that was a good deal in my book. We bought two containers of sour cream ($0.80 each) and five containers of cottage cheese ($0.80 each) to make 10 items. I also found some oranges on the reduced produce rack for $0.17 per orange.
All of that sale shopping brought me over budget this month by $2.26. There are still two weeks of November left... and lots of sales. One strategy/excuse I used for the sale shopping is that some of the cottage cheese doesn't expire until December 14th. If I put the sour cream and cottage cheese at the back of the fridge and didn't use it until next month, technically those costs could be counted for December groceries. Oh, the excuses I can come up with!!
4. Used some of our sale cottage cheese from last week to make crock pot lasagna. I had $0.37 into noodles (discount store), $0.70 into the cottage cheese (bought on sale), $0.20 into mozzarella cheese (bulk) and $0.10 into spices. Total cost: $1.37. Meat and sauce were free (venison and garden-grown tomato sauce). We had enough leftovers to make it last two meals! Hubs loves cottage cheese and lasagna, so this made him happy. I don't think lasagna would be this cheap for everyone, but it was for us.
5. Made baby gifts and card for a shower. In the summer I just buy gifts, but during the colder months I have more time for crafting, knitting, sewing, etc. In the past week I was able to knit a baby hat and embroider some onesies for a baby shower gift. The yarn was from my stash. The onesies were $1.00 each, so the gift was very frugal. The downside to homemade gifts is that they take a lot of time. In that way, homemade gifts are not "cheap" at all. However, I really enjoy making gifts when I can.
7. Line dried one load of laundry. We had beautiful weather last week!
8. Used a 40% off coupon at Joann's to buy a box of notecards and envelopes. After coupon, the cost for a set of 50 notecards was $6.35. I will make these into baby, wedding, thank you, birthday, and other cards. Cost is about $0.13 per notecard/envelope. One of my pet peeves is buying greeting cards. You know the recipient will just end up throwing it away, so why not spend that extra $1.00+ on the gift? With homemade cards you get the best of both worlds. It does take a little planning and some time to make the card, but I enjoy doing that kind of thing.
9. Saved 15% on a massage. Last year for Christmas we got my mom a gift certificate to my favorite spa. Every so often the spa offers 15% off discounts if you go on a certain day. By waiting until the right time, we saved $24.00 between the two of us (I got a massage, as well).
10. Used sawdust from the shop for animal bedding.
11. Made waffles in the Vitamix. Total cost for the recipe was $0.95 (not counting eggs- I count those as free). Believe it or not, 25% of the cost was baking powder. Baking powder! The good news is that the batter made enough for two Sunday meals for Hubs (I prefer eggs to waffles).
I don't want to sound like a scrooge here, but eating something like waffles every day ($1.00 per person when you include condiments like butter, peanut butter, syrup, fruit, whipped cream, etc.) really adds up. It's not necessarily the waffles that are so expensive, but the condiments. Pancakes, french toast, regular toast, or bagels are other "expensive" breakfasts that will really add up if you eat them every day instead of more simple breakfasts like yogurt, eggs, hot cereal or even fruit. I could eat my normal two fried eggs AND a piece of fresh fruit (remember my $0.17 oranges?) for less than a bagel with butter and cream cheese, or french toast with real maple syrup.
Again, I'm not saying that people should never have waffles. But if you plan MORE oatmeal and LESS waffles, it will save time and money as well as health.
So, I think that's it for today. What were some of your frugal accomplishments this week?