Thursday, December 15, 2016

Frugal Things We Have Done The First Half Of December

These are the things we have done to stay frugal the first half of December:

-  washed 4 loads of laundry in the HE's with cold water and hung them to dry

- Hubby put a hole in the knee of his jeans. I went searching for a patch in my sewing box. Sure enough I had an iron on one from when the boys were still at home. 

- Two pair of warm pajama bottoms that I purchased for Hubby this month were too long. Since I purchased them for $4.99 each on sale, I was not going to return them. So I shortened both of them for him.

- Yesterday Hubby turned the humidifier on in the furnace. He informed me that he put the last humidifier pad in it. So I researched them and ordered a 2 pack from Amazon for the best price. I used credit card reward points to help defray the cost. 

- earned $ 7.56 in Amazon cc reward points this past month

-  submitted for $40.00 in malt beverage rebates and $ 24.00 in Visa card rebates for buying a waffle maker and electric fry pan

-  took my library books back and got 4 more

-  earned $ 7.00 in saving star rebates

-  earned $ 11.50 in Ibotta rebates.

-  earned $4.00 in Checkout 51 rebates

-  received a $ 3.00 rebate in the mail

- I purchased $200.00 in Panera Bread and Applebee's gift cards for $ 160.00 using credits that I had earned from credit card deals at Top's.

- ordered $100. cash back on our credit card using reward points

-  stockpiled hams, cranberries, and unsalted chicken stock at rock bottom prices

- I have cooked all meals at home except for one. That night we got Chinese take out.

- I cooked a pot roast along with potatoes, onions, carrots and celery for dinner one night. We got three dinners and two lunches from that 3 lb. roast. 

- I made Hubby's lunch every day of jury duty except when the court paid during deliberations. I also sent him with snacks and two bottles of water each day. Except for gasoline and taxes, we will get to keep most of the $320.00 he earned. 

- The past two weeks I have only used one tall kitchen garbage bag each week. I used bulk toilet paper wrappers for any excess. I am very careful to open one end of those wrappers so that I have a good sized bag to use.

- I have had no wasted food these two weeks. Every morsel has gotten used. 

- read the electric and gas meter this week so that we don't get an estimated bill

- only ran the dishwasher every other day since I make sure it is really full when I run it

- We are keeping all of our energy saving shades down on the windows while it is so dreary, windy and snowing.

- Hubby put up the rest of our Christmas decorations using only LED light ones.

- I mailed a very minimal amount of Christmas cards that I purchased two years ago at 90% off and used Christmas stamps that I had left over from last year.

- I have been sorting through our closet for donations to the Salvation Army this month. I hope to bring them up to them this weekend.

- We have decided on our charitable contributions for the year. We always give a sizeable contribution( $5,000. to $10,000. depending on what we have earned in dividends for the year) to about 5-6 local non profit organizations this time of year.  They deserve them and they are tax deductible. They do not come out of our monthly income. They come from our December dividend checks so you will not see them on our monthly expense reports(readers have asked about this). If we give something during the year to our volunteer fire dept. or the Salvation Army kettle drive, I do show those. We would love to be able to give more but we have to keep our expenses and goals in mind.

- I have been taking inventory of every morsel of food in our pantries, refrigerator, and freezers. We want to know what we have stockpiled for all meat and fish, vegetables, fruits, etc. I want this finished by the end of the year. That way I know how much stockpiled food we start next year with.

- I am also taking inventory of all health and beauty products, paper products, and medicines so that I know what we have.

- I have been reading about Extracare Bucks, Plenti Points and Balance Rewards so that I can refresh my memory. I have not made great use of these over the past few years but hope to in 2017.

- We have been using small appliances to cook with most of the time so that we don't have to turn on the
big oven or use the burners on the stove.

- My refrigerator is so packed with stockpiled butter, cream cheese, bacon, eggs, etc. that we haven't had room for leftovers the past few days. So I have been putting them in tightly closed containers on our bench in the garage. The garage is about 30 degrees right now.

- We have kept the heat turned down lower by 3 degrees from last years temperature. Once in a while, Hubby pushes it up but not often. He just layers clothing. 

Have you done anything frugally or to save money these last 15 days? Feel free to leave a comment and share with all of us. 


  1. I was telling my husband the other day about you buying gift cards to places that you eat out at throughout the year when the gift cards are on sale...he thinks you are brilliant and so do I!
    We do our charitable donations on a monthly basis, giving to a cause the we believe in and one that helps out the needy not only in our area but also overseas. We have a very tight budget, but this is important to us so we have made it a part of our regular budget.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Thanks so much for the compliment;I'm blushing.

      That's wonderful about your donations. It feels good to help other people out.

  2. You are doing wonderfully! Love to see all of the activities you have going, and how frugality is truly just a part of your day to day life, vs something you occasionally try to dial up or down based on finances.

    We've had mostly success at saving & planning our expenses, reducing costs. It's my busiest time of the year at work, so we tend to get a little off track with menu planning. Other than that, we stuck to our holiday budget (way under, actually), so that always leaves me happy.

    1. Hi Hawaii Planner.

      Thanks. You are doing well. Happy to see that.