Frugal Living - Challenge 2020 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    *I inventoried and organized the chest freezer this morning. I think I have enough meat to last the whole month of Feb and maybe into March too....

    *Picked up another OT shift yesterday - just a part-time 6 hour one - but a little more cash in the pocket next payday! Also did one hour OT on Monday too.... I ate leftovers before work and had dinner when I got home last night. DH cooked taco meat while I was making the commute, so it was ready when I got home!

    *Lunch today: the small amount of leftovers from chicken fajitas last week got repurposed into chicken quesadillas.

    *Dinner is going to be pork chops and the rest of the little bag of potatoes that I have from last week. We are finishing off some salad for dinner too.

    *Went to Costco to pick up a few items this morning. I blew my January food budget by about $10. Everything was a necessity, except maybe those two giant bags of Chex Mix that were on sale for $3.89 each.:D

    DH and I are on vacation next week, but I ended up cancelling a couple of my days. We had no plans anyway and I need to save my leave for my "big move" in the early spring. I will still get a break from work as I am working on Sunday and Tuesday only. I skipped Monday on purpose! I am not planning on doing any OT next week either...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  2. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had too many fuel rewards this month. Basically we haven't been leaving town much. The snow has been okay here, but surrounding communities have been clobbered.

    DH finally got the cell phone transferred over to the new one this morning. He'd gone without a cell phone for nearly a week, so was glad to get that out of the way before we hit the road without a phone.

    Can't say we found any real treasures that justified the gas to get there, but it was a nice outing for a change of pace and gave us a chance to use another $1 per gallon fuel reward without it going to waste.

    We picked up some discounted breads/rolls and a little discounted produce at the first store. A few small items at the discount grocery. A little more discounted produce, some discounted yogurt and some discounted candy for which I had a digital coupon at the next.

    Did get a B1G1 sparkling water coupon used before it expired today and used a high value ketchup coupon, as well. Really thrilling purchases, I know, but even though I could have gotten some good meat prices we didn't need any. ;)

    We had a Big Lots discount coupon and DH has been complaining about the toaster, so we picked up one for $19.99 and then got $5 off that with a coupon.

    We found some discounted cookies and nothing else at the next store.

    Then we enjoyed a buy one, get one for $1 lunch at a restaurant we don't have here in town and used up some Starbucks points that were about to expire.

    I just can't see the sense in leaving the house to drive to Starbucks when we have coffee and tea if we stay put, about the only time we go there is when we travel even though most of our Starbucks "money" is from gift cards we got free for hotel stays.
     
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  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    *Decided to bake something from the pantry. I made an apple and a cherry crisp - each from one can of pie filling. I noticed I still have about 6 cans of assorted pie filling and a ton of pumpkin to use up. Next weekend, I will find a pumpkin bread recipe and make that to take to work.

    I have been catching up on laundry and dishes this afternoon. In between the chores, I have been watching some frugal shopping/cooking shows on youtube. One lady is kind of like me and just buys what is on sale or markdown then figures out what to make from what is in her pantry. She has some good ideas for dinners that I want to try out sometime - one of her chicken and rice casseroles looked really good.
     
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  4. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We dropped into the grocery store on our way home from the university tonight. Picked up a few sale items including the $1.99 butter on the 5 times weekend coupon and used some other digital coupons that were about to expire.

    There is currently a special fuel points promotion, so we get 100 fuel points for each purchase over $20 up to five transactions through February 11. This was our first round of that promotion.

    I filled out a receipt survey when we got home, so it is the first day of the month and we've already got nearly 20 cents per gallon savings on a fill-up which we'll probably use in March.
     
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  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Picked up some more 5x deals before they expired today and did another round of mega sale. We went over the $20 threshold to get another 100 fuel point bonus for the second round of that deal.

    Today was the last day of 4x fuel points on gift card purchases and I had some 200 fuel point bonus offers. We didn't need a lot of gift cards, but did pick up three we thought we'd use. That earned us more than 800 more fuel points, so after adding nearly 1,000 fuel points for today's purchases, we now have a $1 per gallon fuel reward and nearly another 20 cent one which won't expire until the end of March.
     
  6. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I finished up the 4-day super double coupon event on Saturday. Got free and close-to-free items with coupons. My handyman DH did worked on some things around the house so that was cheap labor--he works for food and beer :) I used up most of my leftover this week--only had one serving of beef and broccoli to throw out. I should have put it in the freezer earlier in the week. I'm going to make a list on my fridge of what leftovers are in there so I don't forget about them.
     
  7. jastwins

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

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    I took a chance and ordered sneakers from Amazon and hope they fit. Just need more arch support and hope these do the trick. If they do not fit, I will return them at Kohls. I had a $5 gc I just got from an app and used that to help pay for it. Shipping was free if I gave them more time to deliver, so they should be here by the end of the week.

    My last paycheck had most of the time sheets they owed me and I am putting aside $500 for future bills that include car registration and oil changes.. Today is the last boy's varsity basketball game I can chaperone and I am grateful for the extra money. From now on, I can only be a fill-in if someone is absent.
    On our school calendar, I see that we are offering a college acceptance test this weekend and will see if they need proctors. It is a good way to earn some extra cash and I am free this Saturday.
     
  8. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Snowy day today.... I am glad that I had the day off work. Other than laundry, I only really accomplished one thing though. I bought rear tires for my van. The front ones were still good, so I only got the two back ones replaced. I had to scrape the windshield to drive over to the tire place. I am sure that the neighbors were all laughing at me being on a step stool to do that! It is the only way I can reach the center of the window..... That vehicle is a monster size compared to our little KIA.

    I also got an idea of what heater install will cost for my engine block, but will get that done next fall if I think I really need it.... Also depends on if my apartment has plug-ins in the parking lot area - some do and some don't. Okay, now you can guess that I am going somewhere cold.

    Ironically today is exactly the same temperature here as there, but the last few weeks it was in the negatives there every night. Oddly enough it was 70 degrees here yesterday afternoon, then we had a dramatic overnight drop and it is now 20 degrees and snowing like crazy. My new "home" will just be cold and dark all winter long:(, but I hear the summers are spectacular. Yep, I am headed to the "land of the midnight sun."

    * I threw one of the frozen pizzas in the oven for dinner last night. DS polished off the leftovers at some point last night. Lunch today was weekend leftovers and salad.

    Dinner is still a mystery as I did not get anything out of the freezer. Maybe I will do some bacon sandwiches or breakfast for dinner....
     
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  9. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I am doing a few errands today now that the weather has improved! I have a few things to pick up at the store, but the list is pretty short this weekend. I need to go settle up a dentist bill too, so I will stop by and pay that this afternoon.

    *I found an old southwest bean soup mix in the pantry that I am making either tomorrow or Friday. A recipe on the back called for some chicken, diced tomato, and a can of corn. I pulled out a larger package of chicken to thaw and will divide it between the soup and another meal for this week....


    I know that there are a lot of "pantry challenges" online. I am doing my own here in February to get rid of a lot of the stuff that has been lingering for a while. I do a pretty good job of rotating the food so the only thing really getting older is some of the seasoning packets and condiments. I am going to make an effort to use a lot of those up as I cook this month.... (I also want to save my eat out money for the next couple of months, so that I can eat my lunches out on the trip north. I want to try some of the favorites in Canada like Tim Hortons anyway. By not having to drag out my campstove at lunchtime, I will save a lot of time too.)

    *The only leftover in the fridge now is some taco meat and I think I will get rid of it for lunch today... My son did such a good job getting the leftovers eaten that I had to take a peanut butter sandwich to work yesterday.:cool:

    *Sausage patties and pancakes for breakfast today! There is enough sausage and cooked bacon in the fridge for a couple more breakfasts this week.... I made a small batch of pancakes so that DH and I ate them all.
     
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  10. jastwins

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

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    They do not need an extra proctor this coming weekend for a college entrance exam, however, I am on the list for the March SAT exam on 3/14.
    The stipend is $185 and the school also pays me for my time.
    Today, I plan on going shopping for a few digital frees at ShopRite and to do an instore shop at Walmart for SB and earn a $55 credit in SB points. I may also do some coupon shopping for SB Deals that expire today or this week.
    Also on my shopping stops are CVS, Aldi and Big Lots. I need more veggies from Aldis and hate to admit that I keep forgetting to go to that store and just pass it by.....so I should probably go there first!

    I still bring lunch every day and have been sticking with making better eating choices and have lost some weight. My fitbit is working fine and I want to increase my steps each day. Shopping will be a big help for this tonight.
     
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  11. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    *I added a can of black beans to stretch the taco meat and now have leftovers from that. Nachos for dinner today? Anyway the black beans has a .25 markdown label on them - I had forgotten that I got a bunch of beans a while back for cheap. The store was discontinuing certain brands. I had used up all the kidney and pinto beans, but there was still about 3 cans of black beans in the pantry.....

    Yesterday, I went to walmart to fill in a couple of items on my list that I did not want to buy at the regular grocery store. (I stopped in Safeway as it was close to the dentist. I think some of their prices are a little high.) Between the two stores I spent about $40, but that included a big jug of laundry soap and a jug of windshield washer fluid at walmart.

    I had DH use his amazon prime to order me a Milepost guidebook (used) and a frost shield for my van window. Not sure exactly what he spent total on those items.... The guide book was $25 and the frost shield was around $20. He had gotten frost shields at walmart for the smaller vehicles, but they did not have the XL one that I needed for my van. As for the guidebook, I did not think the 2020 one would come in time with a release date of March 23 so I found a 2019 one for $10 off. It was actually a new one that had a torn cover (at a bookseller) so they had to sell it as used. I figure I have lots of tape for the book cover. If I cover the whole outside with packing tape it will protect the book anyway...


    Lunch today will be something creative with the chicken.... Maybe some breaded chicken tenders and fries from the freezer.
     
  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We went out for lunch at Chilis yesterday. For dinner, I made the chicken tenders. I did a coating with some Progresso garlic and herb bread crumbs and just baked them. I used a box of garlic pasta-roni for the side. I also fried some red bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms in butter for the veggie.

    *I started the soup too late this morning for lunch, so it will be dinner. I just threw a pepperoni pizza in the oven for lunch. As soon as the pizza was done, I used the warm oven to bake some muffins. I packaged a few for work and the rest are for snacking the next couple of days.

    Yesterday after lunch, we stopped into a new Burlington store and into the thrift store. I scored at both places. $3.99 winter gloves at Burlington - just because I have been looking an extra pair anyway. At the thrift store I found a "happy light" for $10. I was going to plan on purchasing one next fall anyway. When it is dark in the winter in the far north, it is good to have light therapy to keep your mood elevated. After I got home, I looked the brand up online that I bought and it retailed for $100. What a deal! Things just keep falling together better and better for this trip.

    *Took our aluminum cans to the recycle center yesterday and got $8.50. I threw that into my rebate $ container and will save it for garage sales next spring/summer.

    * I got my rent $ in from my ski condo and it was much better that expected. I went ahead and wrote out the check for the property taxes and took that to the post office yesterday. I needed to buy more stamps anyway and I did not want to leave that big check in my mail box here at the house. Even though I only had to pay half taxes now and half in June, I decided to just get them done. No more worries about that for another year.....

    No shopping or errands today - it snowed about 6 inches already and is still coming down hard. I am getting a few things done in my home office - tax things, organizing, budgeting, etc. I tossed more junk into the recycle bin too. I am trying to be productive on a snowy day....
     
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  13. jastwins

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

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    As often as possible, I am bringing lunch to work everyday and do so to watch my calories and save money. However, D2 visited over the weekend and that cost me money. She had an eye appointment and I reimbursed her the money for the co -pays for the exam and difference in the cost of the lenses. Crankie has 2 insurances that cover eye glasses and contacts. This one is through his job and the coverage is better than his union but can only be used once a year. I also paid for d2's train ticket back to the city and bought us lunch. She does not get paid from her job in the city until the end of the week, so hopefully, she will save this money I gave her until then.
    On the way home I put $20 worth of gas in my tank at $2.35 a gallon and will fill up again over the weekend when I visit my parents and take them to my sister's house in NJ. I need to shop for some gifts and will head to Kohls this week to use some Kohls cash before it expires.
     
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  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    *Noticed that gas prices are down a lot this week. I will get DH's car filled up this afternoon. The other two vehicles don't need to be filled up yet.

    *Lunch today: Ham, baked potatoes, and some sort of veggie from what I have here.
    *Dinner: thawing hamburger for sloppy joes. I have buns sitting here that had a best buy date of yesterday - got to use those up. I have tator tots or fries in the freezer to make with the sandwiches.

    Got that huge paycheck with 16 hours OT and MLK holiday pay on it. Sent all my bills out for the entire month and saved $400 into my "going north" fund. Next paycheck will all be for assorted savings!:D

    I have been getting odds and ends done this morning on the computer. Entered receipts on my budgeting form and scheduled a few bill payments for the next week. I put $1000 toward my 2019 IRA contribution since I did not fill that up yet. I have extra $$ from the rental income beyond what I need to keep in reserve and do not want it just sitting in my checking account.

    This week I spent $13 on assorted candy and salty snacks at work - frugal fail there..... I had kind of a rough week and think the food was just for emotional support instead of really being hungry.:( Maybe, I just needed the calories though as I had to shovel snow a couple of times this week too. I packed healthy stuff in my sack lunch and ate all that first!
     
  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I went to walmart for milk and eggs. As usual, I checked the clearance stuff. I picked up a blueberry creme cake for $2 and some individual banana and cinnamon cakes for .25 each. They were sell by today, but I doubt they last any longer than tomorrow before it all gets eaten. No meat bargains that I wanted today......

    I also got a salad on markdown and ate 1/2 for lunch (along with 2 slices of the blueberry cake). DH had some leftovers that he had cooked. DS left this morning before lunch.

    I pulled out a package of chicken breast and a package of chicken wings out of the freezer for dinner. There should be some of both left to make sack lunches later....

    Today is sunny and warm so I moved the van and am letting the driveway dry out after shoveling the rest of the snow off. Since the heat is not kicking on, I left the front door open for a bit to get some fresh air into the house too.... The neighbor's cat was taking advantage of the nice day by soaking up some sun on my back deck too....:D

    *Last night I made $6 from selling something on facebook market. The meetup was at McDonalds about 8 blocks from my house, so I didn't have to waste much gas. I stuffed the money in my rebate jar. I have about $180 in there for garage sales next spring.
     
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  16. bugweena

    bugweena Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I've been looking for a decent rain jacket. I found 50% off jackets at Food Lion of all places. They have gear for our local high school team. The jacket is a nice shade of purple and has our town name and school mascot on the left side. It was $15 with tax. The tag said it is water resistant so it's already better than the jacket I have. We've had a lot of rain recently.

    DH and I had a quiet dinner at home for Valentine's day. I got some marked down NY strip steaks and fixed baked potatoes in the microwave. Had $.99 brownies for desert!
     
  17. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    :mad::mad::mad:Another not so frugal thing today - I had to replace my cellphone. I had been thinking about whether to get a new one, but then yesterday I lost my phone. The only place I went was Walmart and it did not get turned in there.... I cleaned my desk off and I even checked the snow bank where I was shoveling yesterday and couldn't find it:(. $240 out the door!

    After the fiasco, I just threw a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner last night. I cooked the chicken for lunch today instead. I made myself 2 sack lunches and threw one more container of leftovers into the fridge for someone else to eat later.

    No plans for dinner yet, but I will come up with something from the pantry. I may just end up doing spaghetti.
     
  18. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    DH's uncle died, so we needed to go to Boise over the weekend. Overall, it wasn't a very expensive weekend for us.

    We almost had a full tank of gas, so DH only used a 3 cent per gallon discount to top it off before we left here. However, we needed to refill the tank in Boise and we used a $1 per gallon fuel discount on that.

    I ran into the store and picked up a little markdown produce while DH was filling the tank.

    We don't quite need to refill the tank from the trip yet, but have another $1 per gallon discount we will use on that -- which will still leave us another $1 per gallon discount that won't expire until the end of March.

    After months of persistence, DH finally got the car rental company to cough up the promised money for the tire that blew last autumn while we were on the road. Since we had no balance on our credit card when the refund finally came, it covered much of the expense of our three nights in a hotel room.

    We got a very nice hot breakfast free each morning at the hotel and managed to find cookies in the lobby a couple afternoons, although they were sometimes gone.

    We could have had free chili the first night for dinner, but DH wanted to get out of the hotel.

    Instead we ate dinner at Denny's using a $5/20 e-mail coupon the first night. We had a gift card to cover the expense of that meal, so no money OOP.

    The second night we had a Cheesecake Factory gift card we've needed to use for quite a while. We don't have a restaurant here, so could only use it when we travel.

    On the way home we stopped at Johnny Carino's. We didn't have a gift card there, but they were offering half-price Chicken Parm platters with free cheesecake and our loyalty card also had a free appetizer so the meal was reasonably priced considering we had enough leftover to provide dinner tonight.

    We found the gourmet ice cream sandwiches we'd been unable to locate at our local store so were able to use the $1.50 digital coupon we had on our card. They were a snack on the drive home since it had been a couple hours since we had breakfast and we weren't planning to eat again until a late lunch/dinner at Carino's.

    We stopped at Starbucks both going and coming. We earn a $5 Starbucks gift card at one hotel chain each time we check in on a week night, so our drinks cost us nothing OOP.

    The two stops also completed a Starbucks challenge and we earned an additional 150 points for our purchases -- enough for three free hot drinks in the future.

    We earned another $5 gift card for our hotel stay this time, so that will replace half of the money we spent on drinks this trip.

    Cheesecake Factory was right by a Natural Grocers and Kohl's store so we clustered several items from our "to-do list" and stopped in at both of those before dinner on Friday. None of them are businesses we have near us. :(

    We picked up burritos to heat in the microwave for our Saturday lunch at Natural Grocers. They were giving away free large chocolate bars to members that day, so we also got one of those.

    I found several summer tops on clearance at Kohl's and had a promo code for 15 percent off. Got about eight tops for a little more than $40 after tax and used a gift card for which we'd earned extra fuel points, so no money OOP.

    We shopped both Boise Grocery Outlet stores before leaving town on Sunday. Picked up a few really good deals there and sighed like we always do because it is too hard to drag frozen food all the way across state.

    Then we stopped at the other Grocery Outlet a couple hours away on the way home. Of course, that store offered a $5/$50 coupon last week. It expired the day BEFORE we were leaving for Boise so we didn't get the chance to use it. Timing is everything ... :oops:

    We REALLY miss the three Grocery Outlet stores we used to have on this side of the state and still have NO CLUE why those stores failed here. It had to be bad management, because we still REALLY need a store(s) on this side of the state!

    As far as deals we got there:

    16.9 ounce bottles of extra virgin olive oil were marked down to 97 cents each

    15-16 oz. jars of Low Fat Alfredo Sauce were marked down to 25 cents each

    One lone container of triple berry oat milk yogurt was 37 cents and I couldn't resist. :p They also had some bags of bulk turmeric to put in smoothies which were an impulse buy.

    Celery is always cheaper there than it is here. They were selling it for 99 cents a bunch when it has been running closer to $2 here.

    Got a single 12-oz. package of breaded whiting fillets for $2.49. Wanted to buy more, but didn't dare due to the distance. At least we were prepared with a cooler that had ice.

    We found 60 count bottles of 500 milligram Vitamin C -- April 2022 pull date -- marked down to $1.95. The stores where we normally buy Vitamin C recently got rid of what we bought and we don't have a health food store.

    Small tubes of extra strength Ben Gay, retail $8.99, were $2.99 each so we stocked up on those.

    So much more we could have bought, but we didn't want to come home with a huge carload.
     
  19. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Nothing too thrilling today, since we just got back from a trip however, we did take advantage of a few sales.

    We were well stocked when a bunch of 5x coupons were released a few weeks back. I was just about ready to use them when DH's uncle died and there was no sense in dragging home food when we were leaving town.

    That left today -- the absolute last day of the sale -- to pick up a few items on the sale. None of them were things we absolutely had to have, but it will take care of a few meals after a bunch of rich restaurant meals -- even though I'd planned to spread the purchase of frozen meals over several days rather than all at once.

    At one store, we picked up tuna for 50 cents a can, Totino's pizzas for $1, some 69 cent bottles of hand soap and a few t.v. dinners. and pot pies.

    We stopped at a grocery store on the way home Sunday to pick up Mandarin oranges, since I didn't trust our small store to have them in stock when we got back to town -- better safe than sorry.

    Then yesterday a digital coupon for the oranges showed up, so we picked up another bag today for $1.93. Figured we'd better stock up since neither of our regular stores have had the name brand ones for weeks. My last digital coupon expired because of that. :(

    Both of our regular stores started stocking a house brand of Mandarins ONLY and we DID NOT like them. They had thick skins, lots of seeds and turned black on top and went moldy inside right after we bought them. I'm wondering if the tops got frozen on the trees or something, but I've got no experience growing citrus.

    Good to have tasty Mandarins again! :)
     
  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    *Grocery bargains of the day: 2 bone-in pork chops (1.26 lbs) for .88 total and a whole cut up chicken for $3.00. I am eating a pork chop for lunch with boxed mac-n-cheese and some snap peas. I will cook the chicken tomorrow sometime and box most of it for work lunches next week. I spent $17 at the store - the rest was produce and a pumpkin pie spice that I needed for some pumpkin bread. I will need to go get more milk and probably bread later this weekend but I am good on meat and sides for a while....

    *Tonight I am making some vegan red beans and rice to see how they turn out. If they are good then I will do a second batch on Saturday to take for a potluck at work next week. The gal is transferring away and wanted a "southern food" potluck. I wanted a vegan recipe because there are a few people that can not eat pork at work....

    Learned yesterday that there is a bad combination of no OT thru at least April and a hiring freeze on as well. Work could get really ugly for a while.:( At least that means no Mando OT that I don't want to do, but the managers were all in a panic yesterday because of this situation. I was going to do OT either today or tomorrow but now I am going get stuff done at home instead.... I did get one hour OT in earlier this week and there is a full day of holiday pay on the same check. (We just lost 15 people last week with the random drug testing too:rolleyes: - even if it is legal in CO the coworkers should know better. One was a supervisor that had been around for 18+ years!)
     
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