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2017 Frugal Challenge
This is about keeping yourself on track. About finding ways to pat yourself on the back and celebrating all the frugal things you've done. Inevitably, this leads to sharing of ideas.
Post whatever you do that's frugal. This is whatever is frugal to you. This can include - clipping coupons, selling on eBay, dumpster diving, turning off lights, turning the heat down, changing your own oil, foraging for wild berries, comparison shopping, cooking from scratch, calling the phone company to negotiate a different package, buying generics, taking surveys for money - whatever you can come up with! All frugality is welcome!
 

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unplug the things that i can that i am not using
I don't run stove oven,dish washer,washer and dryer between 3-7 pm peek hours since i have been doing this i had run oven one time
catch cold water from shower use to help flush commode i have a shower saver so i let it hang down turn on hot water it drip in bucket
Do laundry in cold water
I catch water in jug while i am waiting for water to get hot to run dishwasher use that to rinse off dishes that need rinsing next time
Since weather is colder i try use oven early in morning it help warm up house
when i bake corn muffins i bake 18 freeze them then when i want to eat one i put in microwave 30 seconds it just like i had baked them fresh
I have a basket under sink i cut up old towels other rags use to dry my hands wipe up spills not quit buying paper towels but buy a lot less
Quit buying bottle water and went back to using my filter pitcher
Go store less us't think i had go store when i got out something now i try run several errands or at least have several items on list before i go i can't go for one thing i see something and think i might use this later sometime i use it sometime it goes to waste

























































quit






wash
 

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Today's frugality was eating leftovers and spending the day on the couch with family watching movies. No drive and no spend.
 

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ate leftovers all day
Cleaned in the breakfast area and found tucked away an old thick wood cutting board perfect for under the crockpot.-rediscovered freebie
watched ONDemand w/ DH. TEACHERS-funny series (s.t.a.b.)lol
Found 2 dog toys i had tucked away that were forgotten for Christmas-kept them busy for a few hours.
 

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Last couple days.

Reused paper coffee filter. Looked good. Tried it. It worked. Need to find permanent coffee filter cheap

Ran full load dishwasher. No heat dry.

Didn't leave house yesterday. Today out only to go to vets to pick up meds. Straight home.

Saw gas went up crap ton. Think about 15 cents at one whack. More important to loop errands.

Lights off when not in use except leaving a lamp on in living room now since his last trip to ER. He needs to be able to totally see if he gets up and is having trouble. Safety issue

Eating out of pantry for the most part. Used up a LOT of older items. Good thing I don't go by dates. Pantry definitely going down.

Last few days used up a lot of containers of leftovers like gravy, pizza sauce etc.

Found a few odds and ends in fridge as in leftovers. Mish mash but again me... myself.. not that picky.

Have been doing Swagbucks and My Points again .. after not doing for a few years... and they're adding up. Doing them while I do other things... TV, work etc. Going to try to do them enough at least to pick up the equivalent of what the special pet food and meds are costing. Will get cards for Walmart for groceries which would be "free" and use that money on babies food.

Still hot once in awhile here and airs kicked on a few times. Had a few cold ( to us ) mornings/days. Didn't turn heat on yet. Yesterday morning I used that time to boil the green beans and carrots for Sophie and that heated it up enough to not shiver. After that used throws on couch till it warmed up some. Last electric bill was $118. One before a little more than that. Can't remember total.
August was at $250 +. June and July somewhat better but dang....

Working harder on lights off and less water.

Unfrugal
Some of those containers in fridge had to be tossed. Corn and green beans
 

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Dh will get a sandwich and apple for lunch. Time to cut back portions again.
did renew both the memberships to COSTCO and SAMS but we get the cats food,salt and such from there.

Dinner will be ravioli and garlic bread w/ canned pineaple and fresh carrots. Juice. or Milk. I may make banana nut bread.

Food cost should drop this year dramatically because I am so well stocked ,DD is elsewhere and I got the freezer so much less waste of food.

Going to start shoving a tea bag in a filled water bottle again to diet and hydrate. Gotta get back off the COKE.

Got my new baster .75 and my clearanced smaller pizza stone $4.45 from the van-finally. We are going to make more pizza here. Still working on the kitchen and I will be for quite some time.
 

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Didn't have a frugal week last week. Spent a lot of money on a new pair of glasses since I got a new prescription (for progressive lenses with anti-glare). On the other hand, the last time I got glasses was 11 years ago.

Also had to pick up a new pair of slip-on shoes since my last pair died on New Year's Eve. (The upper part literally separated from the sole on one shoe.) Then again, I had those shoes for probably about 10 years and I only buy new shoes when the other ones wear out. Did get the new shoes from the discount shoe store. It has the largest selection of shoes in the area, anyway.

Did get yarn on sale over the past couple of days (at around 40% off or so). The skeins were 2 for $5 and the regular price per skein was $4.49. But I had most of the yarn I needed for one afgan so only needed a couple skeins to finish that one.

Did eat at home yesterday, rather than going out like I did most days on my time off. Although even then, I only went out for one meal each day and that tended to be the one big meal of the day.
 

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Son in law was here on Saturday and he got the curtain rod hung over the slider in the family room so I could put a thermal curtain up there. He also checked our thermostat and found it was set to have the air circulated so it means the air is constantly blowing and it's cool air when the furnace isn't on so that means the furnace is working harder / using more propane to get the heat back up. He switched it to just blow when the furnace is on so hoping that means propane won't be going down so fast. This is not a large house but so far we have used 1485.00 worth of propane and that, in my opinion is ridiculous.

The slider in the family room where we hung the thermal curtain goes out into the mud room which is unheated so I think we get a lot of cold air from there. We shall see.
 

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Not much frugal today....took coffee with me for my hour drive to work, took food to work too, no stops along the way. Nothing wasted either today - that's a good thing.
 

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I'm stuck at home for the next five weeks, so that means Husby will be buying groceries following a list. He does well with that so that means our grocery bill should be less. I pick up things I've forgotten to put on a list and take advantage of unadvertised specials when we go together, plus usually stop at GW, so that'll all save some money.

Nothing frugal happening here, but we will at least get some cash back because we used the CC to pay off the first $1,000+ of the vet bill. We're hoping the remainder will be under $500 but won't know that for a few weeks, till the surgeon removes the pins from Storm's leg.

$26 last night for medication to get rid of his ear infection. As if the poor boy isn't suffering enough.

We may cancel a vacation to offset the vet bills. We're not sure yet.

Since I'm not shopping for groceries I'll be able to use up more food from what we have on hand, which is good because we're overstocked.
 

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I made the copycat Dawn Dish Foam recipe and used the recycled foam dispenser have been doing this for over 10yrs now.

Refilled a recycled Tide bottle with my homemade laundry detergent.

All lights off when not in use.

Cut into chunks 8lbs in total from a 10lb pork shoulder roast that I paid .99lb put into the freezer to later put through the meat grinder to make my own breakfast sausage patties and pressure can some crumbled sausage.

All meals from home.

Cleaned my house...no paying for a cleaning lady..although I would love that but couldn't bring myself to pay someone else when I can do it myself..

Placed a online order for my paper towels, they were on sale and free shipping so it was worth it to me...saving me a 2-hour round trip to my nearest Samsclub plus not to mention that is like my favorite place to impulse buy.
 

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At home again today. We reopen tomorrow.

Stayed home .. no gas .. no spending

Cooking from what's here. Will have enough left over for tomorrow night except might have to open a veggie. Quick supper after working.

Loaded dishwasher and after we eat I'll run it as it'll then be full. Pots and pans by hand

Not a lot happening. I can feel a slight headache that would like to take over

Watching TV for entertainment and running My Points on computer

Have 2 jugs of some kind of juice the kid bought and didn't like. Going to taste myself and if they're good going to maybe take one to work and drink the other here. Taking up a lot of space in fridge.
 

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skipped grocery shopping so far this year due to a big shop on the 31st.
Made DH soup from the can and added L/O/ potato and porterhouse from New Years eve. DD had canned soup.]

Today I will make DH french toast from my .99 eggs and my clearance bread
Stayed home yesterday and cleared out the tree and vaccumned/swept.
Prob. make the garlic bread and ravioli today
need to make tea for the bottles I take w/.
Actually have a credit on the CC. Good news as it will pay for 3/4 of Mackeys script.
 

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I made drawer dividers out of half gallon milk cartons and two cat litter jugs. Husby is so familiar with my fondness for cat litter jugs, he salvaged these two from the recycle trailer last time he took our recycle stuff out. :D I think I finally have a workable system for the rosettes I make to put on baby gowns. I like this new arrangement much better than the numerous things I've already tried, and it's free. The drawer is from a three-drawer plastic Sterlite storage drawer set I got for $4 in a thrift store last year on vacation. It needed to fit into a certain place but was 1/4" too tall, so I performed surgery on it and cut off part of the base. It's a perfect fit now and I like where it's living. Here's the result of my drawer inspiration.


I made a sleeve out of an old tee shirt that was previously made over to cover Shadow's incision after she was spayed last September. The sleeve covers Storm's fixator and wounds so he doesn't lick them. Covering them means he does not have to wear his stupid cone except at night, which is so much easier and comfortable for him. This pic looks like he has both legs in the sleeve but it's just the fixator up against his good leg and partially covering it.


When he had to have the cone so he wouldn't chew the toxic pain patch on his back leg, I reused a cone we had for Sugar a couple years ago. I had cut the cone smaller for her, but Storm's face is so much longer he could reach things he shouldn't have been reaching. I used my trusty hole punch and punched some holes in the two pieces, then used small cable ties to reattach the two pieces so the cone was longer again and he couldn't hurt himself. Cost difference: a new cone would have been $14 or more, while the cable ties cost a few cents. Fourteen dollars might not be much out of an anticipated $1,500 bill, but it's still $14 we have in our pocket yet, plus the gallon of gas to go get a new one since we needed it right away and would have had to make a special trip.


Husby is playing a coupon game with one of the grocery stores in town by stopping for groceries there four different days to use four coupons that can't be used together. That will save a total of $16. He literally drives right by that store twice a day so it's not any extra cost for gas and won't take much time each day. That savings and not buying a new cone for Storm will pay for four bags of corn for our deer herd, who need it badly with the cold weather.

Dog doors are closed till Storm gets the all clear to use them again, and that's saving a ton of money on our heat bill, especially with daytime highs below zero (not wind chill, actual temp. Wind chills have been hovering around 20-30 below.) Having those doors closed 24/7 will help offset his vet bills by saving propane through the coldest months of the year.

I'm so grateful for having the foresight to stock all the sewing, crafting, and other inventory here. Going out of town to shop right now is not an option, but usually I can find workable things when we need something. A couple years ago we came across a bunch of baby gates at a rummage sale for $1 each. We bought all of them, six or eight, because we knew something would come up and we'd need them. Now's the time. Storm can't be allowed in any room with furniture he can get on. He can't jump down without risking injury now. So we need gates to close off several rooms to make sure that can't happen. We need to close him up in the office at night, where he and Husby are now sleeping on the floor. We also needed two to close off the top and bottom of the dog yard steps, because he can't do steps right now. We'll soon have to add a second one on top the bottom gate because snow is piling up there and he can't be allowed to jump over the gate and onto the steps. The gates, and some reusable cable ties, solve the problem quickly and easily. The clutter around here is frustrating sometimes and we're still actively purging stuff, but having certain things on hand is a lifesaver more times that we'd ever be able to count, not just for saving money but just for the convenience.

Aside from all that, we're doing the usual frugal stuff like putting on sweatshirts instead of turning up the heat, keeping on top of the leftovers instead of letting them spoil, cooking my own WW meals, etc.
 

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took lunch to work all week and all meals were at home....except for DH ordering pizza one day.

DH worked a few hours for his sister this week. It will reduce out rent by $100 for January, February and March.

Raining today - supposed to all day. Going to get out my meat grinder and clean it up and figure out how to use it. It's brand new but was in the basement last summer when my basement flooded. Its a little rusty so I'm not sure what all I need to do to it. I want to grind my own sausage like Brenda does. I was bummed when I saw pork shoulder for $0.99/lb last weekend and knew my grinder was in need of repair and had to pass up the deal because I had no freezer room.

Not sure what else is on the to do list but I'm shooting for a no drive, no spend day.
 

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Finished off the chuck of bread I picked up to go with my chili before the holidays. I keep bread in the fridge (as well as freeze extra loaves) to make it last longer.

Going to go to the winter farmer's market if it's not snowing too badly tomorrow. (Forecast says only about 1 inch of snow total but when does the weather pay attention to the forecast?) Going to make soup with the veggies I pick up there. I tend to be more adventurous with veggies from the farmer's market and more conservative when going to the grocery store. I'll store the leftovers for later days. May also pick up some beef for chili and freeze that.
 

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1/5...took my M-I-L to Samsclub for her 2-month stock up..I bought mostly dairy, 16-boxes of marked down Stove Top stuffing ($8) my family loves this stuff so I'm happy about this deal...little smokies, keilbosa and Nathan's hot dogs & freezer snackie foods for my boys....Then I hit Shoprite and stocked up on my Diet Coke ( about the only thing that I treat myself to) that is 4/$10 that is half price..M-I-L filled my car with gas and bought us lunch.

Today, I have washed and dried 4-loads of laundry in cold water, using my homemade laundry detergent and homemade fabric softener..

Made dh his lunch and coffee..( my dh now works literally 5-minutes from our home now...he use to travel to work 1/2 hr 1-way)

My Marine son is home from Okinawa, Japan so I have been feeding him my (2013) home canned chili for his lunches so saving him money from buying at his favorite pizza joint..I hope he finishes all of it since he is the only one that likes it then I will can more so he has it when he come back home during the summer.

Opened a jar of my home canned extra hot salsa for the my boys afternoon snack served with tortilla chips.

Turned the heat down to 67* from 70*.

Having leftover ham for our dinner.
 

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Made Dh french toast w/ the markdown bread and .99/18 eggs sale so for almost nothing and DD had some too.
Salvaged stale flour tortillas and made grill cheese w/ sour creme and sprinkled it w/ shredded sharp from the store reopening $2.# sale I had frozen.
Made peanut butter cookies from the bake off cookies I had frozen.
Didnt go anywhere so no gas
DH has fixed the carbuerator (sp) 1/2 way but it was too cold
Forgot if i said I got 75.00 in CC points as a credit back to the balance.
 

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Today I'm baking hm garlic bread in the sun oven. I also have 2 pans of cinnamon bread ready to go in next. Didn't have buttermilk but found out I could make it by adding 1 TBL of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes - way cheaper too.

Pulled a pkg of hm cabbage rolls from the freezer yesterday and cooked them today with hm tomato soup. I packed one serving for my work lunch tomorrow.

DH made gumbo yesterday - used 3 jars of home canned chicken broth, shrimp and smoked sausage from the freezer. Today I froze 2 containers of lo gumbo. Last night I found a pkg of crawfish tails in the freezer. The packaging was damaged and some of it was freezer burned. I salvaged what I could and tossed it into the gumbo this morning.

Sav-A-Lot had chicken thighs on sale for $0.88 a pound so I bought 13#. I froze 2 packages of 4 chicken thighs each, used a pressure cooker full to put into the gumbo (along with the broth) and kept thighs out for DH to grill later this week.

Froze last weeks leftovers in lunch sized containers.
 

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Doing the usual.

A week or so ago I made this much-needed potholder for my extra-large frying pan with the extra-long handle. I kept burning my hand using the short ones that work with the normal pans. I tend to grab the handle toward the middle, since I'm used to the shorter handles. At any rate, I used it for the first time today and just love it. I used a scrap of fabric from the stash and some wide double-fold bias tape from the stash. Stuff like bias tape isn't readily available locally and if I can find it it's horribly expensive, so I buy that kind of thing really cheap when I find it at thrifts and garage sales. So little projects like this are usually pretty close to free.


I fried up eight pounds of ground meat for the freezer and used up some peppers about to go bad, along with a bag of onions. I used my new food processor with dicing kit to cut everything up including the onions, and found no reason to cry over them. :)

Got out some cake from the freezer for Husby's afternoon snack/dessert.

Used up the last bowl of WW chili I made last week and had that for lunch. I'm doing a lot better managing our food. We've never thrown out a lot of food but there's always room to do better. I hate throwing out food we bought with good intentions of using it in a timely manner.
 
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