Frugal Living - Challenge 2019 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I am starting a new daily frugal Challenge thread for 2019. This is the first chance I have had to get on here this weekend!

    ~been trying to figure out what I can eat out of the freezer since I am anticipating not getting paid for a while....Had to spend $35 at the grocery though this week for stuff I really needed.

    I will post more later today when I have some more time....
     
  2. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    All glitches have been fixed @KmmCo Thanks again for keeping this site going, @tkraeer .

    This is the year of thinking differently. I love to shop, but what do I really need? The foods I purchase need to be healthier choices. Thinking before I spend would be wiser and more beneficial to me.
    Last night, I used gcs and coupons to save on some items I needed for my sister's party and my pantry. Some of the purchases I made at WAlmart helped me to cash out $20.05 from SAving star and I directed the funds to my paypal account this morning. After messing up Ibotta with a return, I am now $5.24 cents from a payout. At Walmart i could not find some frees,but did get one.

    I received a settlement check for $24.75 and will deposit that in the bank today. What is waiting for me is the amount of the girls' tuition and some scholarship checks that are in the mail (supposedly). It is crunch time and last year at this time I had the scholarship checks from Crankie's job mailed out to the twins' respective colleges. D3 also should be receiving a check from Crankie's job plus 2 other scholarship checks, and of course, they have not arrived.
    Slim checks this month with the holiday not being paid for me. Luckily, I put in 2 days at the bank and saved some funds from my last check. @KmmCo, I hope this federal shutdown ends soon and that you get paid. My good friend is head Judge of unemployment for part of NYS and is a federal employee. No check for her either.
     
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  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Shutdown menu of the weekend:

    Thurs lunch: I pulled both hot dogs and brats out of the freezer and had DS grill them. Served the hot dogs with carrot and celery sticks.
    Thurs night: spaghetti.

    Friday lunch: I microwaved a brat and tossed it on a bun with some cheese. Chex mix for the side.
    Friday dinner: calzones using the leftover spahetti sauce. I bought pepperoni and salami this week. I had cheese, onion,and canned mushrooms to add to it. I think DH put some ham and bacon bits in his with the veggies.

    Sat lunch: mystery meat thawing - it looks like pork chops (DH will throw stuff in the freezer without labeling it - drives me crazy.), I will do baked potatoes and sweet potatoes both in the oven and add some sort of other veggie side.
    Dinner Sat: Ham and cheese crescents. (I am going to make some pigs in blankets with the extra dogs and brats for work lunch at the same time.)

    I spent about $35 on food this week, but I was out of a lot of stuff like yogurt, milk, fresh veggies etc after not shopping last weekend. I found some cajun pork and some teriyaki pork tenderloins on markdown and grabbed those to freeze for later.

    I also bought stuff to make chex mix this weekend. I found some cereal on sale for .99, but the peanuts and melba toast rounds were regular price. I had the pretzels already. I also had to buy Worcestershire sauce (ours was old) and onion powder but I got the genereic version of those. It cost me about $8 but it made a lot. I have enough leftovers to make another batch next weekend too. I packaged a lot of it into containers for work snacks.

    Our kitchen is cleaned up a lot and reorganized now since we have not wanted to really do much out of the house the last two weeks. I did go get a haircut yesterday since I really needed it and the $18 probably won't make that much difference in whether I can pay bills or not. The lady said it had been 5 months since I got in last! I had her take a lot off the back so I should be okay for a while now....

    If the shutdown lasts till the end of January, then I will have to cancel both my trip to Vegas and my dental appointment in Feb. I am going to tell my boss that if it goes on longer than that, I will be giving my notice to leave at the end of February (taking the early retirement). I suspect I will be the last one left though as the rest of my coworkers can't even make it that long without pay. (There are already massive callouts starting because of people having to cancel daycare or work side jobs like uber to make some cash. One guy said he has home care for his dad that he can't pay for after the middle of this month and will have to stay home with him.)
     
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  4. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    It has been a FRIGID week here so I ventured out a couple days, but mostly was content to stay home and save money.

    Did pick up a few sales/markdowns on Friday, but they were all things we would have purchased anyway. Still need to get to a couple stores this week -- things I've been putting off due to lack of motivation. Temperatures are finally supposed to get up above freezing -- just in time to snow.

    We've been eating a lot from our pantry and enjoying a lot of free entertainment on our Roku.
     
  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    DH ventured out in the snow this morning to get me a paper for all the good inserts. Just wish they hadn't hiked the price on the thing so high! However, Parade Magazine in back in the paper with the new owners, so that is a plus. The old owners dropped that a couple years ago.

    I asked him to swing by a grocery store while he was out to see if they got in any more of the 25 cent frozen burritos that were on sale. They were out of stock Friday when we were there and refused to give rain checks.

    He did find a few burritos, but also found a markdown bonanza -- something pretty difficult to come by these days. He came home with three four-packs of bran muffins for 89 cents each, a pan of brownies for 99 cents, a couple tubs of ready-to-cook herb/onion/kale mix to saute on the stove for $1.29 and a bag of organic salad for 99 cents.
     
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  6. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    I used my bottle deposits and am glad I bought our local Long Island paper as well as 2 others. My $2.50 in bottle receipts allowed me to get the expensive paper for half price. As Gardencook said, many good coupons this week and the expensive paper just has a couple extra coupons that the other 2 do not.

    D3 and I finally figured out firestick for our TV. My next venture could be ROKU since I just saw it on Amazon for $29.99 and will be using Gcs for that purchase.
    Crankie had me call cablevision, our only cable option ( I was on hold 1 1/2 hours and the whole process took almost 3 hours??!!) and asked them to transfer our current number from the Verizon over to the cable phone. It seems that Verizon just keeps raising the price of a regular land line and it is too expensive compared to cable. My parents pay $101.00 for a land line and I think it is ridiculous. The phone cost on cable is lower since we pay for internet, cable and phone. It ticks me off since I wanted to get rid of cable all together. I guess not for now. :oops:
     
  7. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Turned out to be a better day for savings than I thought -- and I didn't have to leave the house! :p

    I was just checking my digital coupons and noticed my "best customer" coupon on bakery items had vanished off our list. It was supposed to be $1.50/$6. DH did buy quite a few markdown bakery items today, but three packs of muffins and one pack of brownies only came to $3.66 so I didn't even think about it earlier.

    I checked the receipt and the register did take off the $1.50 coupon, so apparently it considered the $2.99 he spent on markdown Waldorf salad to be a "bakery" item instead of deli. Who knew? :D

    We spend enough at that store, that I'm not going to worry about the register's mistake. I'm sure the rest of the sales they get from us will make up for it. The Waldorf salad at that store is SOOO good, we would have picked up that regardless. ;)

    Quite a while back I picked up a Redbox gift card for no money OOP from Swagbucks. I successfully loaded it to our account, but trying to use the thing was quite another matter ...

    Apparently, they had some glitches in the system. You have to order your movie online to use a gift card. I'd go in and reserve the movie, but when we tried to pick it up the box would never let us have it. Then, since we had the movie at that box reserved, we couldn't have that one when we'd call customer service.

    The customer service people were always good about it. They'd refund the amount we'd paid to our account and give us a credit to go to another box for one. We ended up getting some movies free, but WHAT a hassle. It would have been MUCH easier to just rent the movie like we were supposed to -- and we tried more than one box, so just switching to another location didn't seem to be an option.

    I wondered if we'd EVER be able to get some use from our gift card.

    It became such a hassle that we just quit trying. Meanwhile, VUDU came out, we could use a Walmart card and it offered us some codes, so we've gone that route when we wanted to see a recent movie. It has probably been at least a year since we actually PAID for a movie with Redbox.

    With cold weather setting in, DH happened to check a Redbox the other day and noticed it had "Operation Finale" -- a movie he'd been wanting to see that never made it to our local theaters. Then Friday I got a code for $1.25 off any rental. Cringed a bit about the process, but we decided to give Redbox another chance.

    This time everything went without a hitch so they must have finally gotten the glitches fixed. Picked our movie, applied the code, used the gift card to pay, DH drove to the box and the machine knew the movie he was coming for and spit out the movie without delay.

    Total cost for tonight's movie was 53 cents after tax -- NO money OOP!
     
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  8. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Hit some decent discounts at one grocery store today -- whole wheat tortillas, fresh apples with caramel dip and canned organic yams. Nothing too thrilling, but at least it was something.

    We've got a rewards coupon for Big Lots, but couldn't find much there so just bought four bags of potato chips on markdown and left without using our coupon.

    Gotta think a bit more on how to best use our rewards coupon. The store an hour away had a LOT more that we wanted when we were there using the last coupon, but driving that far to save $5 doesn't make sense.

    We hadn't been to our favorite discount store in weeks, so decided to swing by there. They had a new sale going today. Instead of Buy one, get one half off which lately has lately excluded food, today it was 30 percent off your order total INCLUDING food. That actually worked out better for us.

    We found a good deal on handy squeeze bottles of dill pickle relish which is virtually impossible for us to find in this town. Don't know why it is such a problem, but apparently we are just dill pickle lovers in a "sweet pickle town." :p

    They also still had some of the tortilla chips we liked so well a few weeks ago as well as a few odds and ends.

    I found one bottle of Method hand soap, but as usually seems to be my lot in life I picked up one the one and only bottle that didn't have a price on it. Thankfully there was a clerk nearby and she said she thought it would be about $1.19 like the off-brands surrounding it. With an extra 30 percent off that I figured 83 cents sounded like a pretty good deal for that brand and picked it up.

    Later we found three bottles of Softsoap for Kitchens -- the stuff that is supposed to remove odors from your hands. Of course it was waiting to be put on the shelf and wasn't priced either, but we picked it up anyway and the clerk at the register told us it was the same price when I explained.

    We also came across BC powdered aspirin. I discovered that in an emergency in Nebraska a couple years ago. We rented a car and the Bayer powdered aspirin I liked so well didn't get transferred from the glove compartment of our car.

    The BC powdered aspirin is literally the old-fashioned stuff they used to talk about in novels as "headache powders." It tasted like ... aspirin ... YUK! But it did the trick.

    Today the store had cherry flavored BC aspirin and since Bayer has discontinued the lemon-flavored powdered aspirin I liked so well we decided to give it a try. I found both small boxes (just right for a glove compartment) and larger boxes (just right for refilling the small boxes.) Even if it doesn't taste great, I'll use it due to the speed powdered works versus tablets.

    In the end I realized we had about $20 worth of merchandise in the cart after the 30 percent discount. We have a punch card which gives us $5 off a $25 purchase, so we picked up three packs of two Ziploc containers since they had the ones I like to fill with water and freeze for the bottom of our coolers when we travel. They fit the coolers perfectly, but do crack occasionally and are often hard to find so we picked them up knowing they'd be free after our punch card.
     
  9. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    The girls' scholarship checks arrived and I mailed out D1 and D2's to the respective colleges. D3 is bringing her check directly to the school. D3 is also received one check she was awarded at graduation and we are still waiting on another check. Hopefully, it will arrive before her tuition is due. The 3 checks for D3 total about $5,000, however, she lost the scholarship she had at the last school and I am not sure the new school will give her a scholarship. Maybe I should have had her stay another semester, but too late for afterthoughts now.

    For my sister's party this weekend, I was told to bring drinks and I said water and soda and my nephew responded yes. Now I am wondering if I have enough soda and water since they tell me 40 people are coming. Hopefully, 6 packs of water, 10 bottles of soda and 72 cans of soda is sufficient. I have decided not buy beer and have wine at home I can bring. Let's hope it is enough!
     
  10. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Had a busy day yesterday, so I didn't get on here. I put some cajun pork in the crockpot and whipped out dishes and laundry in the morning. I went over to the store and spent $9.63 on milk, eggs, some produce and a couple of markdown items.

    The reason for my rushing around is that I went to a fed employee shutdown protest that the union organized yesterday.... I just felt like it was the right thing to do even though I am not a union member myself. It did get a lot of local media attention, which is good.

    After that, I had a couple of hours at home then I went to my travel club meeting. I didn't eat there, but I listened to the program. I came home and fixed Red Beans and Rice to go with the crockpot pork for dinner.

    This morning we slept in and had breakfast at lunchtime. I have chicken thawing and will make chicken parmesan for dinner tonight. It is could and snowy and I decided to skip the sportsman expo that DH wanted to go to today. Saved a few bucks by staying home. I watched a couple of Youtube videos instead. There are a bunch of museums doing free days for Fed workers around town, but if it is still snowing tomorrow then I will just stay home anyway.

    Tomorrow will be "mystery meat meal" from the freezer. I will grab a random package of meat and then figure out what to make with it.

    That is about all my excitement lately. I am not doing much of anything until the shutdown ends.... I don't want to spend any $$ on eating out or entertainment. Buying the bare minimum at the grocery and making an effort to clean out the pantry/freezer.
     
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  11. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @KmmCo , I am sorry this government shutdown is affecting you. It is heartbreaking to see how many families are affected. Praying for an end to this nonsense soon.

    My school guidance counselor put out an email for proctoring the ACT test for college that is being administered at my school in February. After responding immediately to the email, I was chosen as a proctor and the stipend I receive will go towards the van registration due at the end of February. It almost covers the full cost and I am relieved. The only other bill I have hanging over my head is the dentist and my plan is to pay $100 next check and $100 in February. Last night, I chaperoned a game and put in my time sheet today. My next paycheck will be 2 days short (with the New year's holiday) and I also did extra morning duty most of this week. All timesheets for the past 2 weeks were handed in and should be on my next check. That should make up for at least one day's pay.

    D3 has to go to her new college next week and that put a dent in my budget for gas. I was hoping she could move in on a Saturday, and not the Thursday which is the day before my payday. Also, D1 needs to be picked up from the airport Wednesday. My only hope is to stop at the Reservation and buy gas for $1.99 a gallon and fill up. This weekend we have my sister's party and I have that budgeted for gas. My debate is if I am staying over or going home Saturday night. We may get a light coating of snow so that will determine if I stay over in NJ.
     
  12. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Definitely been a month (all 12 days of it) of thinking about saving. I signed up to help with tutoring and am diligently on the lookout for petsitting jobs, which have been few and far between. But spousal support has come in, which doesn't always happen.

    I left a job that I hated to go back to my job I LOVE. I earned an extra $7000 which I lost when I went back to Special Ed. On a day to day basis I am so much happier, but have to really pinch my pennies.
     
  13. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I received a $5/15 coupon for Target in the mail earlier in the week. Bought cat treats and 3 3-packs of multi color peppers that were on sale. Use the balances from two gift cards and still have $10 left on a 3rd gift card. I've had the cards for well over a year! Will have stuffed peppers later in the week.
     
  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I have hamburger thawing - either chili or sloppy joes for tonight is the vague plan. It is still snowing and both sound good.

    I have 2 sac lunches from the leftover chicken parmesan and one small container of spaghetti for my son to eat later. There is lots of pork still left from Thursday too.
    I made blueberry muffins and packaged them to grab and go for breakfasts next week.

    DH stopped in to Costco last night and grabbed my bananas and some bread. I don't know what he spent as it came out of his spending money. I am glad that I don't have to go out for the bananas anyway. I am going to go gas up the car in a bit though - not looking forward to that trip out of the house.

    I watched a series of youtube videos on RVing through Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Very pretty there and the guy just boondocked at highway pulloffs, parks, and gas station parking lots so he did not have to pay for many campgrounds. The restaurants seemed expensive, but he also went to the grocery a few times to make his own meals in the RV. He didn't say how much he spent on gasoline though. (I looked it up and RV rentals are around $129 a night there, which is probably about what you would pay for a nice hotel.)
     
  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    There was 2 lbs of hamburger so I am doing the sloppy joes for lunch and a small pot of chili with beans for dinner. :D I am doing up a whole bag of Ore Ida crispy crowns so that there are extras in the fridge for snacking on later. I usually only cook half a bag for a meal for the 3 of us....

    ~I ran to the gas station and used .20 off that I had on my Kroger account. DH says he has $1 off that expires the end of January so we will use that next week when both vehicles are empty again.

    I took a lot of trash and recycle out this week. I also started a goodwill sack for when I run across items to get rid of - so far 2 shirts are in there today. My desk is looking a little less cluttered now too.
     
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  16. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We've been staying home a lot more since the store sales haven't been anything that really excited us. Besides that, our regular stores have NOT been good at stocking again in recent weeks. The few sale items we have wanted haven't been in stock. :(

    I had a headache in the middle of the week and didn't get into e-mail. After dark I realized I'd gotten my Walmart gift cards from Swagbucks and I always try to get them transferred to plastic as quickly as possible. I had bad feelings about DH going out that night, but he wanted to go -- after all, it was only about 6:30 p.m.

    Soon he was calling to say he got the money transferred without problem, but when he got back out to the parking lot the lock on the Blazer had malfunctioned and he couldn't get into it. We HATED the fact that GM vehicles went to one and ONLY one lock when we bought the thing and that was EXACTLY why.

    I had to get dressed, drive the other car to Walmart and unlock the door with the remote (we only got one with the car and I had it) so that he could drive it home.

    He took it to the shop on Friday and and the Chevy dealer told him it is a pretty common defect on GM's where a piece in the lock breaks and must be fixed. :mad:

    It won't be a great price to fix it, but not much choice since he can't get into the car without it. He's thinking he might go ahead and eat the ridiculous price of a remote for him at the same time. Then at least both of us can get into the thing if the lock breaks again. He always wears remotes out carrying them in his pocket, which is why I grabbed onto the one we've got when we bought the car. We would have been sunk the other night had he already ruined it in his pocket.

    We did go pick up a few grocery items Friday -- mostly a few markdown deals, since the sale items STILL weren't in store.

    Found a couple four-packs of ground beef patties marked down to $1.99.

    We needed celery and were aghast that it had nearly doubled in price the past couple weeks! OUCH! Thankfully we found some organic celery on markdown for 79 cents a pack instead of the $1.79 they wanted for the regular bunches -- which were VERY small.

    We got a good deal on cookies and tomato soup at Big Lot's.

    I received an e-mail coupon from Arby's offering a signature sandwich with the purchase of any size soft drink. We also received mailer coupons, including one offering a Reuben for $2.99. We dropped into Arby's bought a soft drink and DH got a gyro sandwich while I got the Reuben. DH had water to drink.

    It only set us back $4.96 and that came off a gift card we had purchased on a 4x fuel points promotion -- so no money OOP. Made a nice lunch treat. It had been quite a while since we'd been to Arby's.

    Did find some stir-fry and salad kits on markdown at another store. They weren't really what I considered a great price, but that sort of thing has gotten really expensive with all the recent recalls. Technically they were about half price, but there is no way we would have paid the full price on them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  17. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I used up some buttermilk that was approaching expiration date and made two pans of cornbread to put in the freezer. DH doesn't like cornbread but I sure do. Will have plenty to add to beans or stews over the next few months.

    I am going to take advantage of the dreary cold rainy weather today to work on my rebate submissions. I have a few online ones to complete as well as a few that need to be postmarked by the 15th.

    Will also work on making some file folders out of some stacks of papers I need to go thru.

    I got all three SkinnyTaste cookbooks from the library--including the newest one. I will have DH look thru them and see if anything looks appealing to him. I am tired of trying recipes that I think he will like and he doesn't.

    I have had my Instant Pot for quite some time and all I have done is the water test. I have two friends at work who use theirs and they have inspired me to get it out and do something with it. Maybe this week, may wait until the weekend.
     
  18. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Of all the stupid things, today DH was going to drop me off at work and someone rear-ended our car on the way. In the compact Kia vs Chevy Tahoe battle you can guess which one lost! I ended up calling off work and am waiting to hear back from insurance about taking it to a body shop. We talked to the insurance company already and uploaded pictures of the damage. They said they will give us a rental while our car is being repaired but I don't know how long that will take yet...... DS is not in school this week yet, but he will need my SUV starting next Monday so we can't do without a car. Fortunately neither of us are hurt and the car will hopefully be repaired soon....

    I have my bus pass too if I need it - no paychecks for us - but the commuter funds come from a separate department that is not affected by the gov't shutdown so we were able to get our bus passes for January. Thank goodness for small miracles or there would be even less people able to actually come to work!

    It looks like I may eventually get paid base pay for a furlough day, but it sucks missing work because I loose all my premium pays for the day (which total about 18%).

    Anyway, I am taking advantage of the waiting for a phone call time by doing some chores.

    ~ Yesterday we got pizza delivery and donuts at work. Pizza was sent anonymously.:D This is the second time during the shutdown that this has happened. We kept enough pizza for one slice apiece and we sent most of it downstairs to share with coworkers that don't use our lunchroom up in my area. The donuts were a gift from a local business, so that was nice. We each got a McDonald's card for a free Extra Value Meal - my boss said a McDonald's manager donated those and there was enough for everyone to have one. One of our managers is making pancakes tomorrow morning for everyone, which I think is super nice since he is not getting paid either. We may be poor for a while, but we will all be fat!!! (Even though I am not having an issue yet with food supply, I think it is touching that people want to do something to help us all out. The gestures of kindness are greatly appreciated and really lift everyone's spirits....)

    ~I have a container of chili that was going to be my lunch today for work. I think I will instead use it for chili cheese potatoes and feed all three of us with it.:D Trying to be clever and save my grocery money as much as possible.

    I am off to go shred the rest of that giant block of cheese so that it is ready for lunch!
     
  19. Cathy

    Cathy Happy Birthday Cathy!!

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    Hang in there KmmCo!
     
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  20. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    Glad you are ok, @KmmCo. There are so many distracted drivers these days..

    CRankie and I stopped by the butcher yesterday and he had a deal for thin sliced chicken cutlets for $1.79 a lb if you bought 10 lbs. That will keep me supplied for a while and I just have to separate the large pack. Crankie also wanted a steak and we picked up shell steaks on sale for $4.99 a lb. We had them broiled in the oven and they were delicious.
    Along the way home from my sister's surprise party, I stopped at Dollar Tree and bought the twins notebooks and plastic folders. On Amazon I would have spent $40 and I am glad I only paid $15 plus tax at DT. D3 used what I had home and saved on notebook she did not use much and is re-using it this semester. She also had the brand new Mead notebook I picked up free at her school (kids leave their stuff in a box and it was up for grabs) as well as a file folder that can hold 5 different subjects.

    My gas expense was $41 for the weekend and that was great since I topped off twice at the reservation at $1.99 per gallon.
     
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