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

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Economizing steps

It's been a while since I did a strictly frugal doings post.  Prices seem to be going up on almost everything,  summer is here and that means big air conditioning bills,  and we've had a few unexpected expenses so I've  got penny pinching on my mind.  
Here are some things I did this week that help cut costs a little.  

I cut out and sorted the Sunday paper coupons.  Then I looked through this weeks grocery sale ads to check for good deals, then made a list of these sales and put it in my purse with the coupons. 

I don't print off lots of coupons but I did see one for $1.50 off Snasauges -Theo's new favorite snack - and printed off 2 of them.  

We have 2 empty bedrooms that mostly get used when we have company.    No visitors  are here so I shut the  vents and shut the doors to these rooms.
Now when the AC is running,  that cold air is shared with fewer rooms and it should cost a little less.  

Laundry - I usually machine dry clothes for just a few minutes,  then hang them up on hangers and the small things get put on a drying rack.  It seems like just a short machine drying keeps the clothes softer and less wrinkled than straight air drying alone.  

I mixed up a batch of bread dough in the bread machine on Tuesday.  I  baked it  in the oven  -
divided into one small loaf of bread,  5 hot dog buns and 4 sandwich rolls.
We had hot dogs Tuesday for supper.
The sandwich rolls went in Jeff's lunch.
Part of the sliced bread was used for breakfast toast
and I used the last 5 slices to make croutons for salad.  

I happily accepted cucumbers and big tomatoes from Gavin's other grandpa's garden.  

Supper on Thursday night was one of Jeff's favorites - Mexicalli pie.
For the corn chips,  I used the last of the tortilla chips crumbs that accumulate in the chip container.
Since it was just Jeff, Gavin and me for supper,  I made a half-recipe and baked it in a pie pan in the toaster oven,
toaster ovens use less power than the big oven.  

To go with the Mexicalli Pie,  I made a big salad.
While I had out the cutting board and knife,  I also cut up a container of veggies for Jeff's lunch box.
I used lots of fresh tomatoes, green peppers from our garden, and cucumbers.  

All vegetable peels were saved and put in the backyard composter.

We had some bills that needed paid this week - I use the free online bill pay that our credit union offers.  
I love it!  it is so much easier and quicker than writing out paper checks and mailing them.  

We like sharp cheddar cheese.  We buy the 2 pound blocks at Sams, for about $4.75.
I just grate and slice it myself.
The Sam's cheese cost about 1/2 compared to grocery store cheese.

See the cloth napkins stacked behind Gavin?

I've been washing dishes by hand this week - when we have company,  I use the dishwasher.
But hand washing seems quick when we just have dishes for 2 or 3 of us.
And it is so much quieter and more peaceful when the dishwasher is not running for an hour.

frugal back yard fun!
Jeff found this pool last year on clearance for $5 at Aldi.
Gavin and Elizabeth have lots of fun in it.  

Ulta just opened in my town.
Today, they had gift certificates for the first 100 customers and gift bags for the first 1000.
My daughter wanted to try so we met up there just before the opening and got in the line.
She got a $25 certificate and I got $10.  The man in front of me got $50.
Ulta is very generous I think!
On the left in the picture,  I got 2 mascara and 1 lipstick and spent about $2.
On the right are the products from the gift bag.

Gavin did not get a certificate but he did get a gift bag to take to his mom.  

These are all typical activities for me. 
 I would love to hear what you are doing to stretch your finances.  


  1. I enjoyed this post! It's nice to do these not just to share but to remind ourselves where we made our savings all through the week.

    1. Hi Terri - I have it seen it many times, that lots of little things can make a big difference. you are an inspiration to me.

  2. Great tips! The Mexicalli Pie recipe looks delicious!

    1. Carol, it is good. And is from a Joanna Lund diet cookbook.

  3. I love all your ideas for thrift. They make good sense. I would love to pay what you pay for the cheese and mascara. Here that amount of cheese would be at least $15. at a lower end shop and the mascara could go as low as $4.99 but more likely $7.99 on sale.

  4. crock pots use very little elec too,, Mine tends to run HOT so its 4 hrs instead of 6-8 for most things, They dont heat up the house either !

    1. Karyl, you are so right about new crock pots running hot. They take just half a day to cook now instead of all day

  5. Hi Rhonda,
    Great post. We have a new ultra too. I love them. I went today to gt a few things my doctor recommended use. I didn't come out as cheap as you. Lol

  6. Great frugal week for you!! Love the resort you have set up for the grands!! They must all love it

  7. Lots of useful tips to save money!

  8. Great tips! I have been using the grill to make some of our dinners. I can use it to bake potatoes, cook using an iron skillet and grill veggies & meat. It saves me from using the indoor stove and heating up the kitchen.

    1. Hi Wendi, my husband grills but I have never grilled at all, I do like it when it he does. He grilled some sirloin steaks last night for a family birthday dinner and they were delicious.

  9. I always enjoy your frugal posts, Rhonda. I'm glad to see all the goodies you found at Ulta. That's a very generous store you have there! Hope you enjoyed yourself. The Mexicali Pie looks great - I'd love to try that. Keeping your doors closed to rooms you don't use should definitely help. Thanks for sharing your doings with us.

    1. Lyn, after going to our Ulta 3 times this weekend, I know why you like them so much. They have great deals and great products.

  10. Well, having just bought a house and with all that goes with moving, this week we focused on not going to Lowe's every single day which saved a lot of money! LOL Also getting back to using cash as with so much going on it was easier to whip out the debit card. I don't believe we overspent that much but certainly more spending than we would normally do!

    That being said, I've been using the crockpot and toaster oven for cooking and making more cold meals to keep the house from heating up so much.

    Some friends went on vacation and asked me if I would like to pick beans and other produce from their garden. Got several squash and a big dishpan of green beans which I plan to freeze (probably 3-4 quarts worth).

    Our dryer hasn't been working for a while so I've been hanging out all my clothes. The extreme heat this week really dried things in a jiffy! When I have a dryer, I like to dry them for a bit in the dryer before hanging like you do! My dad saved the element from their old dryer (same model as ours) and sent it to me this week so that is a savings too, to be able to use that rather than purchasing a new one.

    I enjoyed your frugal post; always nice to hear what others are doing to save!

    1. Hi Mary Ann, we joke that if a project at our house takes less than 3 trips to Lowes to complete, we are doing good.
      Thankfully Lowes is only 2 miles away. Their returns are pretty easy so I try to buy absolutely every little gidget we might need for a project and then return all the leftovers.

      Your dad sounds like a gem and that he would make a good frugal blogger too.

  11. We are realizing the savings more and more by living in a smaller town. The library, 99 cent store, local grocery store, hardware and more are all within a 6-15 minute walk one way. We start the truck once a week if we do not drive at all. We are thinking about selling the truck and renting when we need to take a trip. Savings in gas: at least $400 per month.

    I am in love with our weekly farmers market and the local farm stand down the road. They have the most incredible cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese. They offer different sizes, though I usually get the 2# size for $3.25. Sold by weight, so the price varies too. I never thought real cheese tasted so good. No more fake cheese for me!!!

    I have been baking, cooking and freezing much more here. I am so happy that this month I will not need to spend the last $100 of the $400 I set aside for the month. So far, I have only spent $292. My oddball thing to do is remove what is left from the pantry the last week of the month, and cook around that. Lots in the freezer now, so easy meals for me this week.

    Always love reading your frugal posts. It really is easy to be frugal, just got to get into the "swing" of it.
    blessings, jill

    1. Hi Jill, I think it would be so nice to live in a town where I could walk to many businesses. We live on the edge of our town, too far to really walk to any business.
      You are doing great!

  12. I hang my clothes like you do too! They are just easier to handle although the kittens like to jump and climb up the longer items (which will fall when they jump on them!) I'm using my toaster oven more for smaller amounts like baking just 8 cookies and not 2 dozen. Nice purchases at Ultra as well.

    1. Hi Susan, just 8 cookies? that is a good idea. Do you keep dough in the freezer to do them this way?

  13. Hi!
    Just found your blog and wanted to say hi! Lots of great ideas here. Looking forward to getting to know you better.
    Have a wonderful week.


  14. Great Ideas =) I need to try the quick dryer run =)

  15. Love your frugal tips! I've been trying to be more cautious of where my money is going, too.

  16. Rhonda, you have shared so many great tips. We started saving money by using less electric during peak hours. For example, I wash and dry clothes after 9pm or on weekends.

  17. PS. Just pinned this! Thanks again for sharing.


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Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda