Daily Frugal Challenge!

Discussion in 'Living The Frugal Life' started by MoneySavinDiva, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Made it home - on time even - and not too bouncy of a ride into Denver in spite of the bit of wind. I even caught the train/bus connections right and it only took me 1.5 hours to get home from the airport. Still loading up on the cold medicine even though I feel a lot better that I did last night for sure. I really don't want to miss work tomorrow if I can help it.....

    Anyway, I made the rest of the frozen french bread pizzas (3) when I got home. DS and I each ate one and I will take the last one to work tomorrow. For lunch today I stopped and got McDonald's (value menu) on the way to the KC airport and spent less than $3.... Nothing really sounds good to eat when you have a sore throat, but I knew I had better get something for lunch so that I would not be starving tonight before I got home.

    I will probably have DH make hamburger helper tomorrow for the rest of my work lunches. I don't really feel like doing it tonight. I did get the trash out to the curb tonight and started a load of dishes. I will also wash towels before I head off to bed tonight.
     
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  2. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Great news on the scholarship @jastwins!

    Hope you are able to get your daughter to see the light. I actually spent a couple years at a state accredited community college before moving on to the university. It was an easy decision when I saw the numbers mapped out on paper. No rent/food/dormitory costs on top of lower tuition saved enough money to get me a LOT farther in college. I had to pay my own college costs. ;)

    We didn't exactly save money today, but couldn't resist taking an enjoyable day trip after not being able to get out of this town for several months.

    Shoshone Falls is at its peak right now and GORGEOUS with the huge amount of snow from this winter melting so rapidly. They just opened the road. It was too icy to get down there just over a week ago.

    Had a bit of a close call pulling into Twin Falls. One of the freeway overpasses was REALLY hit hard by winter snows. Lots of HUGE pot holes with no warning. Of course, you always have to encounter a huge truck when you get to a narrow bridge and this time it was a top-heavy semi full of hay. The driver just about lost control on the pot holes and we had a few tense seconds wondering if we were going to get crushed by the load of hay.

    Needless to say, we were VERY glad to be able to pass the truck as soon as we got past the bridge!

    To make the trip more worthwhile we hit Grocery Outlet and got a few good discounted food deals.

    Kmart is right next door to it, but like an idiot I forgot to check and see if I had any surprise points before we left today. Now that we don't have stores here any longer, I barely look at my account. Stopped at the courtesy counter and the girl was kind enough to check. Turned out we had $8 in surprise points on an $8 "home" purchase.

    They didn't have a lot to choose from, but we did find a nice, large wall clock for the family room for 47 cents OOP after points.

    Checked out a nice "new to us" thrift store we'd never shopped before. They had gotten in a bunch of new men's dress shirts -- still in the plastic wrapping for $9 each -- and they had POCKETS! Considering the difficulty we've had getting DH shirts with pockets lately, we decided we'd better grab two they had in his size.

    Then dinner was supplied with a B1G1 giant burrito coupon.

    Stopped for DH to pick up a "tall blonde" at Starbucks on our way out of town. It was free after gift cards supplied as a bonus on our hotel stays last autumn. Earned some bonus stars for the purchase, as well. Since I'd picked up a Teavana lemonade earlier we only need to pick up one one beverage before the 20th for another 70 bonus stars.

    We even had time to drive by Chobani -- the largest yogurt factory in the world. DH has been wanting to see it.
     
  3. vickib50

    vickib50 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Cashed in some survey points for $10 paypal.
     
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  4. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Decided that I am still way to sick to go to work.... I thought I felt better last night, but now I am feeling yucky again.

    I grabbed a package of markdown brats ($1.49) and buns ($1) for lunch today while I was picking up my Friday Freebie cookies from Kroger. I am not sure I will even finish my brat. I think I will just go back to bed after lunch:(.
     
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  5. Abbybob

    Abbybob Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    WOO HOO! Paid off our Visa today, and paid the rest of the bills. The next one is the Amex. I'm eyeing that one to be paid off at the end of the month when we get the end of quarter bonus and hubs mileage reimbursement.

    Had lunch out with a friend today- NOT frugal, but enough leftovers for hubs and I to have dinner tonight!

    Still helping a friend close her business. I am up to my eyeballs in stock and I'm posting like a mad woman. I'm hoping I can get this stuff moved FAST.

    Gearing up for two clothing swaps next weekend- closets are cleaned out and boxes are packed up! I've been using my Buy Nothing Group to help de-clutter. I'm doing the 40 bags in 40 days, and I'm chugging along.

    It's hot and I'm tired.
     
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  6. jastwins

    jastwins Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Today is St. Patrick's Day :D payday :)and frugality has gone out the window. It seems my children needed to sell Shamrocks to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy (MDA) and I had told them I would buy some. Since D1 did not meet her goal, I gave her $20 bucks, and without asking, I gave D2 $20 as well. She met her goal so she is buying herself lunch :p Then D3 texted me that she needs $22 and I am so glad I took extra $$ out of the cash machine since I have some funds left to deposit in my other bank account. :rolleyes:

    After school, I need to head home, clean, pack up and head over to my other house. Crankie will be at the yacht club helping to make corned beef and cabbage. We may visit but I do not know that I want to eat it today. While there, I may go to CVS and head over to Dollar Tree to buy more large manila envelopes that I need for next week. Also, I will do some coupon shopping at King Kullen if time allows. D1 has a driving lesson on Saturday and we also have to go to a family function the same evening. They are calling for snow and I hope the roads are not too bad.

    I had so much trouble with the checkout 51 app last night and will try to cash out today after I get my credit. It is usually the easiest app, but then I saw there was an update and once I did that, it finally worked this morning. I just made it over the $20 threshold with my last receipt.
    Later, I will check my paypal balance since I need color ink for my printer. The Kodak printer will not work if either the color or black in cartridge is low. Very annoying, esp when you have 3 black ink cartridges and zero color cartridges!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  7. amber g

    amber g Well-Known Member

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    Spring break started for the kids today into next week. I took the 2 youngest with me to work today for half day and the oldest stayed by herself. Avery could of stayed home too, but she wanted to come to work. That saved me $37.50 today in daycare and I will do the same next friday. They will go to the girl who watches them in the summer Monday-Thursday. I don't want Abby staying home a full day quite yet.

    Did my last Ibotta deal last night and hit my bonus. My balance is $54 and I will cash out and use for next weeks grocery bill.

    Hubby called me and wants to go out to eat tonight. We have money budgeted for that, but I took the opportunity to give him the run down of what we had to spend this weekend and the next 2 weekends. Avery has a soccer game tonight. Then we have to go buy Drew new baseball cleats. I had hoped last years would still work, but they are too small. I will try and sell those on facebook.

    I had already taken meat out for tonights dinner, so me and Avery made another round of Korean beef for lunch. Had enough to put away a helping for one meal, which I am sure someone will eat this weekend.
     
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  8. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Missed work yesterday too - finally feeling good enough to go to work today though. Obviously no spending just because I have been doing nothing except hanging around the house for 2 days....
     
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  9. joshmamabear

    joshmamabear Member Of The Month Nov. 2011 Trader Group

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    new bank sign up bonuses have started to roll in ~ $200 from FTB, $400 from Regions (DH hasn't received his) for this month. Hopefully, it posts first week of April. If we qualified for another round of WellsF, could've tried that again since that was the easiest to earn.

    I have activated next quarter's 5% Q bonus on all our Freedom and Discover cards, make sure to activate yours if you haven't done it yet.
     
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  10. jastwins

    jastwins Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    This past weekend, we had a nice family outing and this reunion had good food and snacks. It was a very nice time. As much as I try to save, I spend more money on eating out and gas than I did in the grocery store this past weekend. When we travel to our other house, I have to get breakfast at the deli since I there is no food in the house. . At least the deli by us is economical, but I still spent $30 on Breakfast for me and the girls for 2 days. Other ways I saved were buying gas at the Reservation for $2.15 per gallon and going shopping to King Kullen, Stop and shop, Dollar Tree and CVS. I was able to get some beauty products for 75 % off and had coupons, used my last day coupon for free Almay mascara and the eyeshdow was a money maker after $4 coupon and $4 ecr back. Other Frees included paper towels (4 rolls), Mc Cormick spices, and Uncle Ben's rice was .69 cents for a 1 lb box and I bought 2. Almost free were K a Me Sesame oil and diet coke. For once, I was able to buy things on Ibotta that got me to one bonus level. Great deals on Tic tac and gum and rebates on both checkout 51 and Ibotta. I also some money back on Savingstar. Now, I have enough to cash out on both Ibotta and Checkout 51.
     
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  11. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Hit up walmart already this morning. Spent $ 15 out of pocket and got $1.50 back on Ibotta. I printed up and used a $5 gift card from coke rewards for some of the shopping. $23.75 is on my Ibotta balance now - will probably cash out at $25 this month.

    Along with the $5 walmart egift card, I ordered one more free coke 12 pack coupon. That used up most of my points. I will used up the rest on some contest entries just to clear them out.

    Lunch is a Stoffers entree (manicotti) and some garlic toast and salad.
    Dinner is garlic herb chicken (picked up for $3.33 at Walmart on markdown). I will probably do a rice side with it....

    DH is now home sick today.....:(. I am rolling along with laundry, shopping, and whatever else I need to do as normal. Later today I will help DS get his taxes filed then I have the rest of my "weekend" free. Not going skiing this week as it is still crowded for spring breaks - plus the weather has been too warm and the snow is mushy. I might take advantage of the nice weather to either get out for a hike or just mess around in the yard.

    (By the way, DH cooked taco meat instead on hamburger helper the other day. I have been having tacos and taco salad the last couple of days. There is still a little meat left that I will try to use up tomorrow for something.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  12. amber g

    amber g Well-Known Member

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    Salad and a cheese stick for lunch today! Went to Target at lunch. Trident gum .99 on cartwheel for 50% off, had $.50 peelies on it making it free. Submitted for an Ibotta rebate when you buy 3 made it $1.50 money maker. Put it in my Easter Basket stash for the kids. Using a lot of Ibotta rebates to keep the baskets cheap this year!!
     
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  13. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Dinner last night came out okay. Along with the chicken, we made brown rice (with a little seasoning added in) and some fried mushrooms/onions. There is enough chicken and rice left for me to have at least one work lunch later this week.

    Hamburger helper and canned green beans for lunch today - everything is here it the house for that. I will package the leftovers for work lunches. I have 1/2 a loaf of french bread left that I bought yesterday (on markdown) to make garlic toast for lunch, so I will probably slice some of that up too for lunch today.

    Dinner is still a mystery...

    Plans for today: a trip to Costco for a few items, an afternoon hike at an open space park with DS, and maybe a little TV watching this evening... I have a few frees to pick up at Kroger at some point, but have been kind of stalling at going in until I really need something there. I tend to grab too many "extras" there and I am really trying hard to get the pantry cleaned out this winter.

    Last night, I listed to a couple of hours of podcasts about Financial Independence. Nothing earthshaking in them, but one was funny because the guy said "listen to Dave Ramsey and ignore him" . He had a good point that Dave was great about finances up to BS 4, but then there were some different things you should do after that point to become financially independent ( i.e. paying off mortgage may not be wise if it is at 3% interest and you should focus on investing instead, 15% savings for retirement is not enough unless you want to be working until your 65 or 70, and that travel hacking by using credit card bonuses is a good thing:).) By the way, I ignored BS5 completely - if my son wants to go to school he can get scholarships and grants (that don't have to be paid back) or just pay cash that he saved from his own work. I give him an almost free place to live and I don't feel an obligation to send him to college. (I paid for my college with scholarships and working and he can do the same if he wants to go!)

    Anyway, the podcasts were interesting and I will listen to some more as I have time later. There are a boatload of FI/retire early bloggers that I have been reading lately and learning from - root of good, frugalwoods, go curry cracker, and mr money mustache are some of my favorites. Even if my "retire early" ends up being at 60 at least I am learning new things that will allow me to never be "broke" again in my life.
     
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  14. amber g

    amber g Well-Known Member

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    Budget is getting tight this month! A vet bill that wasn't budgeted for including heart guard $115. My husband fixing the pool of water in the backyard is still adding up, he needs more dirt, more rock, then more dirt. And I will admit we haven't been as good at watching are eating out the last 2 weekends. My sister had me and the girls over for soap making, sooooooo much fun and I bought everyone lunch, 6 people. I still have managed to but a good chunk in my vacation account, but probably no extra-extra money this month. On the bright side hubby is getting a bonus next check paycheck, that will go straight into the vacation fund. I joined a Dave Ramsey budgeting facebook page, reading what others are doing etc keeps me motivated, just like here. I agree with you KmmCo. I have 3 kids and besides a regular savings account I contribute every month, I have not saved for college. I will help, but will not go into enormous debt in college loans. I feel they can start working toward scholarships and/or pay their own loans. The point about paying down the mortgage is a good one. We have a lower rate, 10 year loan. I know saving for retirement makes more sense, for the reasons you mentioned, but I can't get it out of my head that having no mortgage will give me extra money to put toward retirement. Hubby has a 401k through work, I have a retirement plan (we can't contribute, just the employer does), I also have a IRA from rolling over a 401k many moons ago from a company I left. I am going to look into starting an IRA in the next month or so. Once I get my vacation fund done, I will split money between the house and IRA.
     
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  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Yes, I am hitting hard at paying off my mortgage as it is a higher interest rate (long story about not being able to refinance it a couple of years ago). I am getting it down far enough that it won't take long to pay off after I apply the funds from the house I am selling in KS.... I don't see any way for me to retire with a house payment hanging over me!

    By the way, my "new car fund" (approx $3500 now and growing ) is being counted as part of my 6 month Efund because I don't want to have an excess of cash uninvested for 3-4 years. Since I know that I don't need the car replaced for a while I am not worrying about using it if absolutely necessary. If my EFund is not enough, then any emergency issues could tap into that car savings account if absolutely necessary and the $ could be replaced later. If I really had a bigger issue than that, then I could consider liquidating from my taxable brokerage account if needed - first in, first out accounting makes any sale of shares the cheaper ones that I bought years ago.

    Anyway, Costco trip was only $47. What I needed was mostly basic stuff like canned corn (totally out) and canned green beans (only 2 cans left). I bought some produce too (bananas, salad mix, berries) and some chips. The best deal was a mega sized doritos bag for $4. I will subdivide it later into sandwich ziplocks for work lunches and snacks.:) I still have $100+ in my grocery budget this month, but I shouldn't need that much over the next 10 days. I have half of the 2lb hamburger package that I opened today for either dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow. I might just whip out some spaghetti if I can't come up with a better plan tonight. I could do that cowboy casserole that DS liked too (with the beans, BBQ sauce, and rotel) since I have everything here for that.
     
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  16. jastwins

    jastwins Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    WE are still waiting to hear from one college for D2 and a few more for D1. D2 has received several scholarships, full and partial, but still feels she can bargain with the schools to get more money. However, when they say scholarship, the breakdown of the numbers are different. It is scholarship, grant, loan and work study. The loan portion has to be paid back and I believe they should not include it in the "scholarship" amount. The scholarships cover tuition and not room and board. Everyone thinks they want to live away from home until they do and then they want to come back. Time will tell if my girls can hack it.

    I am trying to get the Ibotta bonus and hope I did it tonight with my Riteaid purchase. They reloaded the Tic tacs and Trident gum so those 4 purchases should help me reach 15 offers and the $10 bonus, plus the March level one bonus. D1 and I went to STaples since I needed a new phone cord and some paper for my printer. There was an in-store MIR for the paper purchase ($5.99) that I have filled out and will mail tomorrow. Last week, STaples sent me the mystery $$ email and it was worth $5. D1 aslo wanted a portable phone charger and we found a red one on clearance for $5. All in all, I spent $20 with email gc and will get back $5.99.

    Over the weekend, I was a victim of coupon discrimination. In STop and Shop, one of my coupons did not double and some Bumble bee coupons would not scan. My cashier called over the front end manager, who must not like her job but is stuck with it. She did not double one of my coupons correctly, refused to take the free up to $4.99 coupon for Diet coke and I had to tell her 3 times that 3 coupons for .25 cents when doubled would be a $1.50. She insisted the store policy was not to accept the coke coupons with the gold foil over the expiration date, even after I showed her I received it in the mail from Coca Cola. I explained that I was still paying for the soda and it would not be free (at $6.49 with a $4.99 coupon), but no, she insisted it was store policy not to take it. I had her remove the 12 pack of Diet coke from my order Yet, my cashier took off the KAME almost free coupon for sesame oil and some others . The front end manager seemed annoyed she did but let it go. @Gardencook, I wondered if she worked out west in some of the stores that gave you hassles?!:eek: She kept us waiting and the customer behind me got annoyed and walked off the line to another register. IT seemed the manager was stalling getting back to us and I kept my cool the entire time. After noting the front end manager's name, I vowed to write a letter to stop and shop corporate and I did. The store manager emailed me back and apologized and said he spoke to the girl about customer service. I may give him a call tomorrow.

    Just to prove a point, I woke up early the next morning, went back to stop and shop, bought the 12 pack diet coke, used the coupon (no questions or problems), paid and got my Ibotta rebate. :p
     
  17. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Cowboy casserole it is tonight. The recipe I got off the internet was for a 9x13 pan with 2 lbs of beef, but I did a half recipe and put it in an 8x8 pan last time and it worked out good. This time I added a little shredded cheddar into the cornbread topping just for fun....

    Here is the recipe more or less: 1 lb browned ground beef, diced onion to taste ( fried with the beef), 1 can of beans (pinto or kidney) drained and rinsed, 1 can rotel, 1/2 cup bbq sauce. Mix it all up and put in a baking pan. Pour over a topping of prepared uncooked cornbread (I used a martha white pouch). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes....

    This would make 4 - 6 servings. If one had some leftover corn I think that would be good in the casserole too! I don't salt the beef by the way as the canned goods have plenty in them, but a little black pepper is an option to season the beef.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  18. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Made a small trip to take advantage of a less than exciting mega sale today. Wanted a couple bottles of lotion that were 99 cents after coupon and sale, but I needed three more items. Fillers included a tube of toothpaste (free after coupon) and a bottle of shampoo (39 cents after coupon).

    At that point we still needed one more item and most were quite pricey/nothing we really needed. Ended up biting the bullet on another bottle of lotion -- even though we had to pay $1.99 without a coupon. Guess the other items made up for the extra dollar we had to pay and it was something we could actually USE. :rolleyes: The air is so dry here we use a lot of skin products, and this year seems worse than usual.

    Did pick up some good deals on hand soap -- got four small bottles for 25 cents each, one for 40 cents and two for 50 cents. That ought to hold us for a while.

    Found a bag markdown hot peppers and got in on the last day of 99 cent asparagus as well as a package of markdown vegetarian "steak" and some markdown Irish "Swiss" cheese -- if you can wrap your mind around that oxymoron. lol!

    The Swiss cheese ought to be tasty on Reuben sandwiches IF the other store that didn't have corned beef in stock last week EVER gets it in stock. We've made four trips now and STILL no corned beef in stock. The digital coupons expire in a few days and I suspect the store doesn't intend to actually get it in stock until after that to keep people from using their rain checks. Then once that is over they'll claim it is "out of season."

    The cabbage is still patiently waiting, because it is hard to make corned beef and cabbage without the beef. :mad: Bought that at another store Friday because the store with the beef sale promised it would be in stock Saturday.

    GNC sent an e-mail that we could get free Quest Bars today only and we needed to drop by to use a $5 reward anyway. Of course, they were out of the Vitamin E ointment we went for, but we did come away with a couple free bars.

    Then we headed to the farm and ranch store in the same mall to see the baby chicks and turkeys -- free entertainment! We have no where to keep farm animals, but they are always so cute to enjoy when the store gets them in each spring. :)

    McDonald's was right across the street and we had some rare coupons. Grabbed a dinner of B1G1 artisan grilled chicken sandwiches and B1G1 milkshakes.
     
  19. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    It sounds exactly like what we go through on a regular basis here, @jastwins. It is why two stores get most of our grocery purchases. They generally don't hassle us over coupons.

    Unfortunately, the smaller store is the one which made a point never to have a LOT of merchandise in stock when the corporation used to have occasional coupon round-ups. The employees even bragged they had complained to the corporation until they got them stopped in our region -- even though they still held them a couple hours south of us.

    The larger store is the one that now seems to be forcing customers to make almost daily trips just to get good deals clearly advertised in the ad each week. It is amazing how merchants in this town claim they never know in advance that a good sale price means merchandise will sell quickly.

    Those are the GOOD stores in town. lol!

    I had a digital coupon I wasn't sure would work on the hand soap today, so had a paper manufacturer coupon as a back up. However, the digital coupon came off without a hitch at the register, so I didn't give the clerk the paper coupon.

    Since I had two identical coupons loaded to my card on the hand soap, I decided to get the other digital out of the way while we were there and use the paper coupon, as well. Sent DH out to the car with the groceries we'd purchased while I picked up more hand soap. Went through the same clerk who had seen the coupon come off on the previous purchase, but of course, the second digital coupon didn't come off. :confused:

    At least the clerk was good about it. She took my word for it and credited me for the coupon anyway. :D That's why I shop there!

    Glad you wrote the corporation on the rude manager and went back with the Coke coupon. It seems the two-by-four approach is about all some of these employees understand. o_O
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  20. Amalgamate

    Amalgamate Active Member Trader Group

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    Coupons and sales are great...when they work and the stuff is in stock. I do a little happy dance when I get everything on my list (and at the low price I expected) because it seems so rare nowadays.

    My current frugalness is simply to use what I have. Things were building up in the pantry and freezer, so I've put a spending freeze on food except for the fresh stuff (eggs, apples, etc.) or rock-bottom deals. Some gems have come out of it, like strawberry milkshakes, a breakfast pumpkin bake, and a huge variety of herbal teas to enjoy.

    I'm working on creating a "command center" for the kitchen, with freezer/pantry inventory, meal prep "to do" list, weekly menu plan, grocery list, and "need soon" grocery list of items to keep an eye out for a good deal. Hoping this will save time and money.
     

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