Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

KmmCo

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While digging for the cream of chicken soup, I also found a can of tomato soup. Dinner tonight is tomato rice soup and garlic toast. The rice was some leftovers languishing in the freezer, so that got one more thing cleaned out of there.... The bread that I have is pretty stale, so toast is a good use for the rest of it.

Dinner cost maybe $1 at most, and there is a second serving for later this week... Frugal comfort food that hits the spot on a winter day.
 

KmmCo

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After listening to a youtube person rave about bacon ends and pieces, I bought a package a couple of weeks ago. I opened it today and looked at it. Out of the two lbs. I probably got 1.5 lbs of useable strips. There was a little handful of fat and oddball bits. I also found 2 big chunks of meat that look almost like pieces of ham. I will definitely make use of every bit of it. The odd bits can be used for flavoring beans and soups. It was a lot cheaper than buying regular slices of bacon. I would not buy the bacon ends all the time, but maybe occasionally. It can be used for a lot of stuff that I cook.

*lunch today: toasted bacon and cheese sandwich. banana. A can of soda because I forgot to put the 2 liter in the fridge last night!:(

*Dinner: crockpot chicken and stuffing with green beans. Breakdown on cost: 1 lb boneless chicken breast $2.50, stuffing $1.29, soup .74, sour cream .79, green beans free (from the ibotta Thanksgiving promo - but regularly $1.34), maybe 5 cents worth of seasoning on the chicken. TOTAL= $5.37 for about 6 servings.

This is Alaska markdown prices. I suspect you could get some of the items cheaper in the lower 48. (Fred Myer by the way, had the small packages of Kroger frozen veggies for $1 this week. A better buy for me than fresh veggies.) This would feed a family for 1 meal, but will feed just me for most of a week. I am going to add 1/4 of a large sweet potato that is baked to each of my work lunches (diced up or mashed with a little butter on it). I just feel like I need more veggies in my life. I got the sweet potatoes on sale for .60 a pound when I got groceries at walmart. This is the last one that I have.

I only used about 1/2 of the sour cream and 2/3 of the veggie package. My crockpot is small and that is all that would fit.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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When I was sick, I was told I would get paid since the school told me I had coverage for 10 covid days. However, they only paid me days I normally worked (mind you I did my sub job from home them entire time I was sick) and not the days they school had off (Wed, Thurs, Friday before Christmas) I was paid 7 days last check when it should have been 10 days and am owed 3 days. This left me with a one week check!!!! Figuring out how to pay my bills and get 2 kids back to college will be a stretch. (gas, tolls, supplies....UGH)
I am scheduling some bills to be paid in the future and will call the companies to tell them I had covid and did not get full pay. Maybe they will waive the late fee-- you never know until you ask!
It also did not help that D2 had her 4 wisdom teeth out this past Friday. Luckily, we have good insurance and I can submit to a secondary insurance for reimbursement, so I had to pay $308 OOP. I had money set aside for that but put $108 on my debit card. When I got home, I realized they charged me $180 in error. I contacted the office and they will issue me a$72 credit. Since it is a holiday weekend, I will not see the money back in my account until mid-week.

I am thinking of ways I can get money into my account and realized that D2 had a dr visit at the beginning of the month that I can put through my Aflac insurance. Hopefully they will reimburse me sooner rather than later.
From my online apps, I was able to move some funds into my paypal account. Paidviewpoint sent me $17.19 and I can move some funds from Thred up to my account.
 

Gardencook

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The carcass from the turkey we cooked on Friday is now in the Crockpot turning into a nice pot of stock.

It is the one DH won at our discount grocery a few weeks ago, so nearly free eats which I'm trying to stretch as far as possible.

We ate things we had on hand over the weekend, but other than open-faced turkey sandwiches Saturday night we tried not to hit the leftover meat too hard. It wasn't a huge turkey and will run out too quickly.

Current plans will probably be turkey noodle soup tonight for dinner. We've got French bread which will make nice garlic bread to go along with it.
 

Gardencook

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We hadn't been out of town for at least two or three months, so we decided to drive an hour away to go shopping yesterday. Overall, there wasn't anything that earth-shaking, but it was a nice change of pace which made the trip worthwhile.

First stop we didn't find much in the way of discounts, but we did find the fish sticks I'd been unable to locate at our local store -- on the last day our digital coupon was valid.

We got a four-pound bag for less than we'd pay for bags that were less than half that size locally. They've got a big bag of Gorton's locally that is only 51 ounces instead of the 64 ounces we got. They want $12.99 for the Gorton's and we paid $5.69 for the new brand we got. For that price, it was definitely worth a try.

Don't know why our stores always drag their feet on getting brands that are a good value when income is so low in this town. :(

We went to Natural Grocers next where we got a free eight ounce bag of almonds and a free shopping bag when we made a purchase. We were also able to get a couple more packages of salmon patties using the high value coupons that were gifted to me. They don't sell that brand in town, but it is nice to be able to get it there.

Found a new-to-us brand of chicken sausage on clearance there, as well, so looking forward to trying it, but never could locate the Aidell's meatballs that were supposed to be on sale. That store tends to be hit-and-miss on sale items -- usually more "miss" than "hit."

Did see some of the natural multi-vitamins we got at our discount store on a clearance table, but didn't have much motivation to buy them "discounted" to $30 a bottle when we'd gotten ours for 99 cents and $1.99. :p

We went into Big Lots, but didn't find much that we needed. Did pick up some Ramen noodles since stores here rarely put them on sale since Covid hit. That was a third purchase, which will qualify us for another reward coupon in a few days.

Then the next stop was the discount store. It used to be a discount grocery, but recently combined with another store that sells non-food discounts. Combined, they moved to a bigger location and we've found some decent deals since it has been open the past couple trips.

Yesterday, we picked up a few canned goods. Biggest finds were cream of celery soup for 50 cents a can, a single jar of a pricey brand of salmon chowder that normally retails for close to eight or ten dollars for 75 cents and a few odds and ends. Guess I just wasn't in the mood to buy much more.

A display of nice Kirkland shirts for $6.99 each caught DH's eye so we picked up a couple of those.

Did a couple short stops at Albertsons for a few items. We could get small Noosa yoghurts for about 29 cents after coupon, and another jar of spaghetti sauce for 74 cents after coupon, but needed to buy pot pies as filler items, since they were on a Fab 5 sale. They've got three Albertsons stores there, while they closed our other stores years ago and left us with only one.

Walmart had the pizzas we needed for a SB offer and we picked up two of them which cost us $2.26 total for both after submitting the receipt.

Then we had dinner at Chili's using a gift card that still had more than $13 on it. They closed our restaurant here due to Covid, so we had no other place to use it.
 
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Gardencook

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Told myself I was NOT going to go out today following yesterday's excursion. Then I watched the video our local discount grocery owner puts out every Wednesday morning ...

They are still trying to clear out things for new merchandise. Apparently, they are going to try to make the store half general merchandise and half food. I can't say I'm thrilled with that idea, but not much I can do about it. He moved to his new location RIGHT as Covid was taking off and I know he's been having a hard time getting enough food to fill the bigger store, so whatever keeps him in business.

Rather than putting in the work of organizing all the merchandise on the shelves, they had priced things and left them in the boxes in which they came. Today you could sort through the boxes of things that hadn't yet made it to the shelf. That was too good to ignore.

They had small, tuna-sized cans of chicken (about $2.00 each retail) for 50 cents each.

A 12-pack of small, single-serve cartons of Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup retail for $14.29 at Walmart. They were no longer in a box, but we got 12 single cartons for 25 cents each -- i.e. $3.00. We didn't really need the box if it would save us more than $11 -- not that we would have paid that much for a box at Walmart anyway.

Gourmet sauces were still 50 cents a bottle this week, so we picked up a few more -- including one of my favorites, a bottle of Kikkoman Pineapple Teriyaki. I must have missed that one last week or I would have nabbed it.

They had tossed some new Butterfinger bars in with the 10 for $1.00 regular size candy bars this week.

It isn't like I really NEEDED Cheetos, but they had bags of house brand crunchy cheese puffs for 49 cents each.

Bags of organic Sumatran Arabica Coffee were $2.39 each.

And after seeing our multivitamins on "markdown" for $30 at Natural Grocers yesterday, it was kind of hard to pass up the remaining three bottles the store had at $1.99 each.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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It took some work on my part, but I did get some extra cash back in my account. I submitted an Aflac claim for my daughter on Monday and voila, $135 in my account today... I finally closed my North One account and moved $22 back in my checking account and the $72 credit from the dentist posted this morning, as well. This allowed me to pay one bill but I will have to pay one late and will call them to waive the fee. After calling the Acorns people, I was able to get my account closed and they will be sending me the funds, just not sure what date. Once I tried to close my Acorns account and ended up taking another small deduction out. When they transfer the money, it will be $106 back in my account. It seems any of the things I set up thru swagbucks are difficult to close and I need to keep better track of my passwords.
I used paypal funds to help pay another bill and the money in that account was from Thred up, Paidviewpoint and 1 Q.
 

KmmCo

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*I skipped breakfast today and had lunch a bit early. I ate the rest of my chicken/stuffing/green bean leftovers. I think I am getting something carryout for dinner - maybe pizza. I have really been good about not eating out and have plenty of $$ left in my restaurant budget for a treat.

So far I have done laundry and called the family back in Colorado today. I do not have any dishes to do. I went home early from work on Sun and Tuesday and ran the dishwasher both days... I will run the little bit that is left tomorrow. I need to get one item at Michael's and I am going to run a couple more errands while it is nice out this afternoon.

I will decide later today what to get out of the freezer for meals the rest of the weekend. I am just not inspired yet. I hope to come up with something later.
 

KmmCo

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Okay, after spending too much at Micheals I decided not to eat out. I went into Walmart instead. I grabbed a frozen totino pizza ($1.68) for dinner.

I spent $15 total on food at Walmart and bought some paper plates for $2.23. I decided to get a 5 lb bag of potatoes for baking. I got Alaska grown ones because they were cheaper than Idaho potatoes. I will give them a try and let you all know how they taste. I scored markdown cookies and a couple of sub rolls on the "we baked too much" rack. I also grabbed a markdown 32 oz yogurt and 3 cans of that $1 chili that I got a couple of weeks ago.

I am going to make chili cheese baked potato for lunch tomorrow. I think I will pull the beef roast out of the freezer and do crockpot beef for tomorrow night (for use on the sub rolls and for work meals).
 

Gardencook

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I scored markdown cookies and a couple of sub rolls on the "we baked too much" rack. I also grabbed a markdown 32 oz yogurt and 3 cans of that $1 chili that I got a couple of weeks ago.

Is the rack at your store still a metal one that stands separate from the other baked goods? If not, do you have a unique place to find them?

Lately around here, the markdown baked goods racks seem to have vanished each time we've checked (multiple stores). They used to place the metal racks in the back of the stores here -- separate from the bakery section. When we've traveled, I've also seen markdowns right in the bakery section at some stores and in the back at others. However, the last several months we haven't been able to find them either place.
 

KmmCo

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Is the rack at your store still a metal one that stands separate from the other baked goods? If not, do you have a unique place to find them?

Lately around here, the markdown baked goods racks seem to have vanished each time we've checked (multiple stores). They used to place the metal racks in the back of the stores here -- separate from the bakery section. When we've traveled, I've also seen markdowns right in the bakery section at some stores and in the back at others. However, the last several months we haven't been able to find them either place.

They put the rack at the back of the store (by the dairy stuff) in my store. It is way away from the bakery department. There has not been a ton of stuff lately though - I shop to late in the day most of the time. The Christmas cookies were by the cash registers when they wanted to get rid of those a few weeks ago! I got a couple of packages of those and took them for work snacks.
 

Gardencook

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They put the rack at the back of the store (by the dairy stuff) in my store. It is way away from the bakery department. There has not been a ton of stuff lately though - I shop to late in the day most of the time.

That's where they used to be around here, but not lately ... :(
 

KmmCo

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I have 4 baking potatoes in the oven. The beef was still too frozen this morning to put in the crockpot, so I may just do it in the oven tonight instead. I have not had pot roast for a while anyway and I can do it with the carrots, potato, and onion that I have on hand. I used 4 of the biggest potatoes for the bakers and have a few smaller ones in the bag that I can quarter for the roast beef meal.

I will do a couple of baked potatoes for work lunches and one for lunch today and one for tomorrow. The pot roast will make the other two work lunches and dinner for tonight and tomorrow.

*The $1 canned chili (Wolf) is not my favorite brand, but I added a teaspoon or so of cayenne pepper to it and that improves the flavor. If I don't have enough for 4 meals then one of my potatoes might end up being broccoli cheese instead of chili cheese. I bought some frozen broccoli last week to replace the hole in the freezer from the green beans that I used.

The maintenance guy was by today to fix the switch on my fireplace that went out yesterday. He just replaced it with a new one.... I missed having the fire on yesterday for sure.
 

KmmCo

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Today I made a real breakfast: bacon, scrambled egg, toast.

*I used some of the pot roast to make stroganoff for lunch. I also made some popovers to go with that. There are some popovers left for later.

Not sure what dinner is going to be tonight. I might just do a cheese sandwich or quesadilla.

*I have a bunch of the egg noodles left along with more roast and veggies. I think I will put them all in the freezer and make some soup in a couple of weeks..
 

Gardencook

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There have been some decent Catalina deals and I've been hanging onto most to see how much we got -- plus I've been fighting an ear infection and didn't know for sure if I was coming down with something.

I wear a headband whenever I go out in winter, but got into quite a bit of wind for extended time when we went out of town the other day. That's about all it takes.

DH seemed to be doing okay juggling coupons, sales and Catalinas, so it was easier/wiser to send him than risk exposing someone -- even though I didn't think I was contagious.

Yesterday, the one side of my throat was sore -- probably from the worst ear draining, because the throat wasn't sore on the other side. I ate light, hit the Vitamin C really hard, used a couple home remedies and spent most of the day sleeping. It seemed to work, because I'm feeling normal today.

Counted and we had about $23 in Cats to spend over the next couple weeks. Most of it came from granola bars and Lean Cuisine meals. We could get the meals for a little more than $1.00 each after sale, coupon and Cat deal.

We had one $4.00 Cat expiring today and DH used it to buy more Lean Cuisine. We're out of coupons for those now, but have a $3.00 one from granola bars expiring at another store tomorrow.
 
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Gardencook

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The car was getting low on fuel, so DH filled it up with the 90 cent per gallon discount we earned on last month's purchases. Didn't quite make it to the $1.00 level last month, but we still got fuel for about $1.35 per gallon. Going to hate to see fuel going up again over the next months.

Picked up a few deals across town today on the last day of the sale. Coupons are getting to be a pain, so we had to do multiple transactions to make sure coupons didn't beep.

They did have Tina's Burritos in stock (33 cents each). A competing store had them on a case lot sale a couple weeks ago for 25 cents, but they NEVER had them when we checked -- even the first days of the sale. The clerks won't give rain checks on the case lot sales.

Tried to pick up organic refried beans on the last day of the 5x coupons today, but they still weren't in stock. Been trying to get them for days with no luck, but the gal we asked did authorize a rain check so hopefully we'll see them on the shelf again and they haven't discontinued them entirely -- which is happening all too often lately.

Don't like the shortages we're seeing on the shelves again -- AT ALL. :(
 
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Gardencook

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A REALLY cold wind has been blowing that started last night. Apparently, this is the bad storm that hit the coast the past couple days. It is trying to snow here and I'm sure we'll have accumulation by morning -- a very good day to stay home, which is exactly what we did.

We've been getting deals on eggs in recent weeks and they are getting a bit ahead of us, but how can you pass up eggs at 69 cents a dozen or 99 cents for 18-packs when they've been well over a dollar a dozen for a LONG time before that?

Boiled up a bunch today and have been snacking on a few of them this afternoon. Kept back a few more for snacking and the rest went into egg salad for sandwiches and wraps.

Putting a little more work into dinner tonight since we aren't wasting time in stores that are out of stock. Dinner tonight will be entirely made from ingredients we already had on hand.
 

KmmCo

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We had a little light snow last night when I was coming home from work. It was actually warmer though than when I went in at noon.

*Frugal fail sort of: I grabbed Panda Express on the way to work yesterday. On the plus side the plate was lunch and dinner for $9.10. I have a little leftover white rice that I stuck in the fridge for later. I also did not eat my chili/cheese potato that was going to be my lunch, so I had that today for lunch.

By the way, the Alaska potatoes have a thin skin like new potatoes. I am guessing that because they grow so fast with the constant sunlight that a "normal sized potato" is fairly young. They tasted really good to me....

*I got out some taco soup that is thawing for lunch tomorrow. There are two servings so it might be lunch on Saturday too.

*I think I will make the cheese raviolis from the freezer for dinner . The leftovers will be some of my work lunches next week. Without meat, it will keep a little longer in the fridge and will be okay for Sunday and Monday work lunches. Garlic toast to go with it....

I looked at my January budget and I have $14 left in restaurants, $28 left in groceries, and $39 left in gasoline. I might top the gas tank, but I think it will take only about $20. I should still have around $60 left over. I will transfer that to my vacation savings account next week...

Laundry is done and dishes are running as is my normal Thursday routine. I painted a beach scene the other day and had some blended paint to use for sky background. Today, I did a sailboat out of the learning art book to kind of match that. I will hang them both up above the end table that has my beach decor.
 
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