If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Frugal July part 4- Easiest Couponing ever!

I went to Dollar General today. I've been seeing posts by others about using the Dollar General app and the digital coupons.  I had free time so I went and checked it out and tried it.
I've been couponing pretty much since I married in 1980 and this was truly the easiest couponing I've ever done.  

I got all these great household products at Dollar General sale prices combined with their digital coupons and their Saturday save $5 on $25 any purchase coupon.  

I'm sorry this photo is dim
total was almost $40 but came down to $18 after coupons.

To shop with coupons,  first get the Dollar General app and register it with your cell phone number.
Then look in the DG digital coupon section and select any of the coupons you will think you will use.  

After you shop and the cashier rings up your purchases,  you will enter your cell phone number into the keypad where you also scan credit cards and such.  
The register will deduct your coupons and you pay the discounted price.  

that's it!  No paper coupons to clip,  no wondering if you cashier dislikes coupons, etc.  

the only disadvantage I see is you just use 1 like digital coupon so you couldn't get, say 5 of the Tide pods and use 5 digital coupons.  

My receipt had a place to do a survey and get a $3/15 coupon.  
They seem to have the $5/$25 every Saturday.  

I liked this easy couponing and I plan to do it again,  as long as I see sales that match with digital coupons for things we use.  I think you can use paper coupons at DG too,  but you cant use a digital and paper coupon to purchase 1 item. 

So, if your town has a Dollar General,  try the app.
So far,  I think its Great!  

I also looked on Ibotta and got back .75 cents 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Frugal July part 3

hello everyone.
Two of our grandsons were here one day this week.
They had so much fun at one of our city's splash pads.
They also played at the playground right beside the splash pad.  
Both of these are part of a public city park.  They are well maintained, clean and free 

I didn't plan this trip to include lunch but the boys remembered that  lunch is served everyday here by the school as part of the Federal summer nutrition program for all children 18 years and younger.
They really wanted a sack lunch so stopped there too.

This day's sack lunch was a peanut butter sandwich, string cheese, apple sauce, juice and milk.  It was getting hot so they took their lunches home and we ate inside.

I like those yogurts that come in a 2 section container with yogurt in one and a crunchy stir-in in the other section.  I got them awhile back on special but in general, they are rather expensive.  So I thought I could just buy a carton of yogurt and add some crunchy stir ins myself.
I took those 2 grandsons to a grocery store that has a bulk food section,  I planned to get things like granola and trail mix
but they had other ideas,

Can you guess which toppings I picked out and which ones the boys picked out? 
To keep it frugal,  I did the scooping and kept the amounts of the boypicked topping very small.  

Even after they ate all their sack lunches,  they both ate some yogurt with gummy bears and sour worms mixed in.  I guess all that playing made them very hungry.

Food Prep
We will have company this weekend so we planned some very easy meals.  My husband helped me prep all this produce
- 2 fruit trays and a tub of watermelon chunks
-a dish of greens for salad and a tray of chopped veggies to top salads
-a tray of toppings for burgers or sandwiches
- chopped cheese

Several of you commented on my lunchmeat keeper.  I bought mine years ago at Goodwill for $1.  Tupperware has made several models of it and this is the current model.  I think it's bigger than mine and that would be nice but I'm not going to spend $27 on it.  But if I see it on sale, or at a thrift store or yard sale, I probably will.

100 Day Sewing Challange 

On day 2 - I sewed 20 rags from old towels 

For Day 3- I sewed a cover for this box of paper
sheets that we keep  on top of the microwave.  We use a sheet to cover up food so it doesn't splatter all over the microwave insides.

It looks a lot better covered, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Frugal July part 2 and a challenge

 good morning everyone
From the comments on my last post, it seems a lot of us are watching our budgets so here are a few more of the frugal things from our home

We went to Walmart to get spray paint for our metal patio table set.
We saw pineapples and cantaloupes were marked .97 and since we really enjoy summer fruit, we picked out these.
 But at the register, the cantaloupes scanned for $1.88 each.  We told the cashier and she changed it. 
This Walmart is mostly correct, except the produce department has wrong signage too often,  
So...... I watch prices and watch the register. 
I haven't been in CVS is weeks but I had a few deals I wanted to do,

After coupons and a $2 quarterly CVS ECB,  my total was $1.56 and I paid that with a gift card.
And I got back a $2 ECB.  So I guess this was sort of a .44 money making deal.  
I haven't been to CVS because the deals do take planning and I've done so many deals there in the past,  I am just stocked up on everything at home. 

My parents had some nice candles but they can't burn them st their retirement home. 
So, they gave them to me.  I'm not crazy about burning candles but I do like to scent our home with wax melts in wax warmers. 
Did you know if you put a jar candle in the freezer, that it will slide right out of its container?

I froze this one, un-jarred  it, and then cut it into chunks.  It is highly scented and these wax chunks will work perfectly in my wax warmers.

I read on Patsy's blog  about a 100 day sewing challenge she is doing.  It's perfect for me as I want to sew and have so many supplies on hand.

A Working Pantry
I'll keep track of my progress on my iPad.

My first day of the challenge, I sewed curtains for this front window in the dining room,  the previous  pink toile curtains were nice but they clashed whenever I put seasonal decorations on the dining table.   Pink toile just doesn't work with fall pumpkins or summer Red White and Blues. 
So I put the toile ones on the craft room window and sewed these brown pindot ones with some brown bead trim on the bottom hem. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Frugal month kick-off (crazy long post)

Hello everyone,  In my mind, I intended to start  frugal posts on July 1st.  But I've been busy doing things around home and just didn't find the time.  So......here is my first  frugal July post and it will probably ramble on and on

Our ultra-frugal mode actually started about June 25th or so.
My husband had been out of town and was coming home.  I did not prepare regular meals while he was gone but I was more than ready to have real, regular food by then.
Our fridge was kind of empty as far as fresh things go but I found a head of iceberg lettuce,  some tomatoes and onions in the pantry.
With that, I made a taco toppings plate,  a tossed salad and a sandwich topping plate.
We like to add cheddar cheese as a garnish to lots of food.  I used to hand grate cheddar or buy it already grated.   Now,  our favorite cheese is Tillamook extra sharp cheddar in sandwich slices.  I use that cheese now instead of grated cheese.  It chops up nicely and has so much flavor.  For us,  this is thrifty as the Tillamook cheese is a good price at the military commissary.
From the freezer,  I got out a package of Smokies hot dogs and sliced ham and refilled our 3 tier Tupperware deli keeper.  
once the ham thawed,  it shut all the way.  Sandwiches are easy to make when the meat and cheese are stored together and there is box of prepared sandwich toppings.  

We were low of fresh fruit that day too.  There were 4 jumbo oranges so I peeled them and put them in a bowl for meals or snacking.  They were delicious! 
Sometimes the fridge is really empty but sometimes there are enough ingredients to still make a number of good meals even though it looks empty.  

Now on to some frugal decorating...
I wanted to spruce up our garage door.  So I looked on Pinterest for wreath ideas.  
I used just supplies on hand for this tied wreath.  
The fabric strips are cut to 14.5 inches by 2 inches and just tied on the Styrofoam wreath form.  

And this is the garage door- all clean and decorated.  No one really will see this unless they enter our home through the garage but my husband and I like it.  It is sort of a Welcome home to us when we come home.  

no idea why the next several lines appear to be links and are underlined.  

The home sweet home sticker is from Dollar Tree.  It was so easy to put on and looks good. 
My husband thought I had hand painted it.  

The front door needed a paint touch up.  I found the can of paint the builders used 17 years ago when they first painted this door.  After a good shake,  that paint was truly as good as new.  So it was easy to give the door a fresh coat of burgundy paint.  
I tried a Dollar Tree sticker here too but can you see the problem?  They apparently look best on a light covered surface.  

It did peel right off without tearing or removing any paint.  
I then put it on the inside of that door.  It sticks and looks fine but I'm not sure I'll leave it there.
it seems a little odd to say "welcome"  as people would be exiting.

I don't plant to buy many groceries as our freezer and pantry are both pretty stocked.
But we really enjoy salads and summer fruit so I will buy those.
This is what we bought at Sprouts middle of last week- all of that fruit has been so sweet and delicious.
The meats were on sale.  I think the bacon was $1.99 and the baby back ribs were $2.49 a pound or about $6-7 a side.  My husband has smoked 2 of them and they fed us 3 meals and we shared several helpings with my parents.

Today,  I cooked up a big batch of pasta sauce.  We like homemade sauce better than storebought because mine is not as sweet as most jarred sauces.
I don't have a specific  recipe to share but here's how I do it.
In the bottom of each crock pot,  I put diced onion in about 2 teaspoons of oil and let them cook on high about an hour. 
Then I carefully added the tomato sauce in increments as I didn't want to shock the hot crockpots with room temperature ingredients.  Once the tomato sauce was in,  I added garlic salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning herbs and a little sugar- all to taste.  Maybe a tablespoon of all the herbs in the small crockpot,  double that in the big pot.  I also divided 24 ounces of tomato paste between the 2 pots.  Let it all simmer for a few hours.  

I pack it in meal size containers and freeze.  
I'm not sure homemade sauce is cheaper than jarred sauce.  It might be but it is frugal to have easy meals on hand that can be cooked quickly when meal time sneaks up on you.  
I've made this sauce, taco meat and chili in big batches for years and it has been so handy so many times for quick meals.  

Now on to doing fun things......
all towns are different but most of them have at least a few free or low cost fun things to do.  My town has a great library,  2 free splash pads  and 2 huge Transformer statues.
This is Bumblebee,  made from all kinds of vehicle parts.  He doesn't really do anything except look awesome.  Its really fun to pose for pictures under his legs.  
His buddy Optimus Prime lives on the other side of town and we will visit him this summer too.  

How to make a little money.....
I've dabbled in a several online rewards programs over the years.
The 2 I've done the longest are MyPoints.com and Swagbucks.com   I looked over my accounts and saw I had quite a few points and cashed them both in,  I had enough to get 3 $25 gift certificates to CVS.
I also do Walmart Savings catcher when I think about it.  I had enough there to cash in $12.

I also like Ibotta
You don't have to do anything for Ibotta except shop.  They have rewards for some "any" purchases like bananas or bread.
The bigger payouts are for name brand items- everything from foods and beverages, to health and beauty things and even some restaurants and online stores.

If you have a smart phone or tablet that has a camera,  Ibotta is easy.  Just scan through the list of refunds and check what you bought.  Then take a photo of your receipt and sometimes of the items UPC.  When you've earned $20,  you can cash out for Paypal or Walmart or Amazon, etc.
I had enough to cash out last week for $26.25 Paypal.
If you haven't joined Ibotta,  I'd love for you to use my referral code if you do sign up.
I think you get $10 just for being a new sign up.

You wont get rich doing online reward programs but it is nice to earn a bit every now and then

and if you're still reading this far along,  thank you
I plan on doing more frugal posts as July goes on.  

Friday, June 30, 2017

More on the bedroom update- carpet tiles, compressed mattress and adjustable bed frames

This bedroom redo was kind of like the book "When You Give A Mouse A Cookie".
There were several steps before we ever got to the redo.
First, we didn't want to get rid of our current bed as my husband built it and the mattresses are just a year or so old.
So, we had to empty out the guest room.  The bed from that room went to this grandson who had just outgrown his crib- meaning he was escaping the crib and we all feared he could get hurt during his escapes.

Then I cleaned the carpet in that empty guest room and touched up the wall paint. 
Our old bed was moved in there as well as 2 little shelves that were previously in the craft room.  They work just right as bedside tables.
This guest room is set up and needs a bit of decorating but that can wait.  

Then we emptied out our master bedroom- the old carpet was removed and everything was taken out.  

Then we decided to go with the carpet tiles while we waited for the beds to come from Amazon. More on them below.

I'm not giving links in this post as I am not an affiliate of any of the companies.
We chose Dynasty compressed mattresses.  We bought 2 Twin XL.

Each came rolled up tight in box, about the size of a 4 year old grandson. 

The mattress is rolled tight and wrapped tightly in plastic.

Just carefully cut away the plastic and unroll and watch the mattress just puff right up.

It was really quick and fun to watch the mattresses puff up.  
They are firm like we like and very comfortable.  They didn't smell weird and have very good warranties. 

W bought 2 Twin XL Sealy adjustable bed bases.  They are black platforms with remote controls to adjust the head or the feet.  They frames come assembled, except the legs need screwed on and the mechanical parts needs attached.  It was not difficult to set up.  The frames are heavy but not nearly as heavy and hard to move as we expected from the reviews on the Amazon site.

The linens  used are 2 Twin XL fitted sheets and a king size top sheet.  I wasn't sure how the top sheet was going to work as we sleep with the beds at different adjustments but it works fine.  The sheets come in sets from multiple Amazon sellers.  Making the bed is little tricky when putting on the fitted sheets.  Where the 2 mattresses set together is the tricky part.  The foot of the bed is easy and the top is much easier if we raise one side all the way up and put on the fitted sheets when those 2 corners are not together.

We bought the Simply Seamless
Tranquility Mountain Mist carpet tiles from Home Depot.
They are not hard to handle.  The tiles have a peel and stick backing and ours stuck just fine to our concrete slab floor.  They were easy to cut with a big exacto knife and metal ruler for the straight edge.
Since there is no pad, the floor doesn't feel as cushy as traditionally installed carpet but it is plenty comfy enough for us.
Look at the above photos closely.  In some parts, it really looks like wall to wall carpet.  But in other spots, it's very evident it is tiles.  Even still, we like the floor and are glad we did it.
My advice if your considering this is to look on the Home Depot site and read the reviews for these carpet tiles.  There are some very detailed reviews with photos there.
This brand of tiles are also available from other online sellers.  I suggest shopping around to get the best price.  When we bought ours at Home Depot, they were about $58 a box.
I have vacuumed the carpet tiles multiple times with our Dyson and they are staying stuck.
I'll try to answer any other questions on this.  

Starting in July, tomorrow, I've got several frugal posts planned.  

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda