Saturday, July 31, 2010

Publix Trip (and more)

This week was a little ridiculous at Publix. I spent more than I usually do, but I was able to stock up on a bunch of items for rock bottom prices...and I won't have to buy them again for at least another 6 months!

Spent: $74.09
Saved: $110.91

12 boxes Fiber one bars
9 boxes tampons
18 yogurts
2 sausage rolls
1 English Muffins
4 squash
2 zucchini
Green beans
2 bottles Hunts Ketchup
1 3pack Paper towels (free)
2 bottles Green works laundry detergent
1 Frank's Hot sauce
1 Softsoap (free)
2 pints Starbucks ice cream

I went to a few other stores as well:
Aldi ($4.96) Hamburger buns, loaf of bread, 1 dozen eggs, 2 avocados
Food World ($14.99) 4 bags shredded cheese, 3 bags Tilapia fillets, 1 canteloupe
Walgreens ($1.18) 2 jars of olives

We still need to go to Sam's Club and get some milk and juice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Things We Don't Mind Going Without

I got this idea from Meagan over at Frugal Fun & Fortune. I enjoyed reading her post here, so I decided to think of 5 things that we don't mind going without. I wish I could say a bigscreen tv, like Meagan, but that is one purchase I'm glad we made!

1) A second car. We are lucky right now (and since we've been married) that we can get by with only one car. Our jobs are literally right across the street from each other and Tom's schedule is so flexible that he can work around my more "set" work hours.

2) A house. Sure, we're now in our 30's (oy) and would love to own a house. But I am not about to buy one without AT LEAST a 20% down payment, enough to cover closing costs, enough to buy some "new" furniture, and enough leftover in the bank for a 4-6 month emergency fund. Renting just makes sense for us right now. We know exactly how much our rent will be every month (and thankfully have management that is so unorganized we haven't had a rent increase since we've moved in....shhhhhh!). At any rate, we will likely buy a house as soon as we end up in a city that we're going to be in at least 5 years. Hopefully by then we will have enough saved up to meet my rules listed above :)

3) Eating out. Okay, so this isn't something we completely go without, but honestly, we rarely go out to eat. Maybe once every 4-5 months we'll treat ourselves to a dinner, but it's usually Mexican or Pizza Hut, not totalling more than $30. The only other times we go out to eat is for special events with friends or if we have a giftcard.

4) GPS. This is nothing major, I'm sure you can get a decent GPS unit for under $100 easy these days, but it's just not something we need. We know our way around here pretty well and we print directions from mapquest or get a regular map ahead of time if we're going out of town.

5) Smartphones. Ok, so I admit it. I guess I wouldn't mind having an iphone or some verizon equivalent, but I'm not sold on spending the extra money for the "data package," just to be able to get on the internet anytime, anywhere. I mean, I've lived 30 years without one and I've been surviving just fine :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm sensing a southwestern theme to this week's meal plan. Any bets on if we'll actually stick to the plan?

Sunday: Mesquite Lime Garlic chicken in the crock pot**, orzo, Buttery cooked carrots
Monday: Tuna burgers (still haven't had these yet!), salad
Tuesday: Beef & Rice Enchiladas, frozen veggies
Wednesday: Chicken Salsa Verde casserole
Thursday: Birdseye Voila meal (haven't had this either)
Friday: Pizza, salad
Saturday: Stuffed shells, garlic bread, salad

Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie's site. Over 300 bloggers link up which means lots of new recipes and ideas!

**This has been on my menu plan for a while now but we still haven't had it yet! I just threw some chicken, lime juice, lime wedges, garlic, and mesquite seasoning into the crock pot.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Do I shop anywhere other than Publix???

Or for that matter, do I buy meat, milk, eggs, fruit, veggies, etc, etc? Yes, we do actually buy other groceries than what you see pictured on my Publix blog posts. I don't ever post about those purchases because the savings isn't usually too impressive, although we do save money by buying those things at different stores. Here is a breakdown of the other stores we usually shop at and what we get at each one:
Milk, bread, cream cheese, eggs, fresh fruit & veggies

Sam's Club:
Meat (chicken, ground beef, ribs, etc)
Milk (lately it's been cheaper here than at Aldi)
Orange juice
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Walmart: (Yes, I cringe every time I have to go into Walmart, but there are some things that are just cheaper there! We also shop here if there are little things we need to pick up for recipes).
Sparkling key lime water
Soft tortillas
Liquid soap
Canned veggies
Fresh fruit & veggies
Coffee creamer
Baking margarine
Hot sauce
I get most other toiletries and household supplies from either Publix or drugstores for free or close to free by using coupons during sales and taking advantage of rebates. By stockpiling things when they are on sale, it allows me to get items for rock bottom prices and not have to pay regular price too often (if at all).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's Peanut Butter Time!

So, I ran back into Publix today to see if they had restocked the peanut butter...and they did! The 40 oz jar was on sale BOGO for $5.49 (so 2 for $5.49). I had 2 $1.50/4 coupons and one $1/2 coupon, so I bought 10 jars total.

Even without coupons it ends up being less than $0.07/ounce, which is better than the last time I stocked up on peanut butter (which we are now out of). You can imagine the comments I got buying 10 huge jars of peanut butter, but I guarantee this will be gone by the end of the year (at the latest....and it doesn't expire until November 2011).
Spent: $25.92
Saved: $31.40

Friday, July 23, 2010

Publix Trip

I ran into Publix this week hoping to stock up on peanut butter but they were all out! I managed to do okay though....saved 71%!!

Spent: $30.04
Saved: $73.60

10 Glade Candles
8 ChefBoyRdee's
2 Tombstone Pizzas
1 bag Spinach
4 Campbell's Chunky Soup
4 peaches
3 Crest toothpaste
4 bags Quaker ranch rice snacks
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Look what I won!!

This is why it pays to follow frugal bloggers and sign up for free samples. Right at Home frequently gives away "Gift Packs" to the first 10,000 people who sign up. Except you have no idea if you've won or not after you sign up. I never thought I would actually get one, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw the package sitting at our door! I am officially a NERD. I got so excited about this, especially because I had been needing to buy the gallon size freezer bags but I have been waiting for a good sale. And a couple of months ago I almost bought the small bowl ziploc containers but decided I didn't need them. They are going to come in handy for "lunch soups" during my next Freezer Cooking Day!
Here is a pic of a few other things that have come in the mail in the past couple of weeks. Most of them are coupons, but hey, I'm not complaining!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here is our plan for this week. I don't think we've stuck to a meal plan yet, so hopefully this week we'll actually have what I have planned and finally get to try some of these recipes!

Sunday: A1 Mozzarella Burgers, Loaded Potato Casserole (still haven't had this), salad
Monday: Stuffed shells, salad, garlic bread
Tuesday: Crockpot chicken with lime juice & seasoning, orzo, veggies (Had pesto & pasta last week instead)
Wednesday: Zatarain's Jumbalaya with shrimp & sausage
Thursday: Tuna Burgers, veggies (Went to a cookout last week instead of having this)
Friday: ???
Saturday: Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup

Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie's site. Over 300 bloggers link up which means lots of new recipes and ideas!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What's next on Frugal Made Fun?

100 Frugal Tips are over! You can continue to access them by clicking on the "100 Frugal Tips" page under the Frugal Made Fun header.

I plan to elaborate on a few of the frugal tips in several part series to hopefully help you save even more money. Some topics include grocery shopping, couponing, drugstore-ing, and some other general saving or frugal tips.

Keep tuning in!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Publix Trip

Here is what I got at Publix this week....not too bad. We also went to Sam's Club to stock up on a few things (which cost $75...and we only bought 4 things! TP, paper towels, ground beef, and a case of Yeungling).


Spent: $25.95
Saved: $58.93
4 bags Rosetto Tortellini (this will be good for soups this fall!)
1 bag Rosetto stuffed shells (Each Rosetto bag was only $1.25 with this coupon)
3 bags Rosetto ravioli
3 Georgia peaches
2 Eggo frozen pancakes
1 Salad mix
1 Dishwash detergent (Only $1 with coupon)
2 Kellogg's Fiber Plus Cereal (These were only $1 each with coupons)
1 Corn Flakes
1 Rice Krispies
1 Daisy sour cream
1 pack Bic Soleil razors (these were free!)
3 bottles of Hershey's syrup

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 100

Tip # 100 Keep following Frugal Made Fun!!

Honestly, just keep reading about frugal tips and talking to people in your life about things they do to save money. Talking about money with friends or coworkers can be such a "taboo" subject, but it doesn't have to be when you share a common interest and goal of saving money.

Friday, July 16, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 99

Tip # 99 Switch to term life insurance

Instead of whole or universal. Here is an article to explain far better than I could. Basically, the idea behind term life insurance is that once the "term" is over, you would have enough in savings to cover your loved ones in the event of your passing. You also don't ever want to use insurance as an "investment" which is a common misconception, and often how whole life insurance is pitched.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 98

Tip # 98 Make your own gifts for family & friends

(Instead of buying "stuff" online or at the mall). Whether it's potholders (yay Kelly) or food mixes (for breads, soups, dips, etc) or some other creative outlet that you have, these gifts are often more appreciated because they are more heartfelt and you usually put considerable thought and/or effort into making them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 97

Tip # 97 Cancel your cell phone insurance

I had cell phone insurance for the first couple of years I had a cell phone. I figured $5/month is worth it if something ever happened to my cell phone. Then I started reading more about it and realized how much of waste of money it actually is! Even if you have insurance and something happens to your phone, chances are you will have to pay something to get a new phone. Personally, I'd rather save the $60/year and if something does happen to my phone, purchase a cheap one to get me through until I am due for a new (free or close to free) phone. Here is an article I read when I was first researching the matter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 96

Tip # 96 Use a water purifying system or pitcher

We have both a faucet mount purifier and a Brita pitcher. Buy a BPA free water bottle. It SIGNIFICANTLY cuts down on waste from buying cases upon cases of bottled water (even if you recycle your bottles, which hopefully you do). It will also (hopefully) encourage you to drink more water, which is a win-win situation (for health and budget)!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm a little late today. Here is our plan for the week!

Sunday: Spaghetti with vodka sauce, garlic bread, salad
Monday: Black Bean Veggie burgers, rice, salad
Tuesday: Farmhouse sausage & potatoes
Wednesday: Crockpot chicken with lime juice & seasoning, orzo, veggies
Thursday: Southwest Rollups
Friday: Dinner @ Art on the Rocks
Saturday: Tuna burgers, veggies

Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie's site. Over 300 bloggers link up which means lots of new recipes and ideas!

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 95

Tip # 95 Don't wait to the last minute!

Especially when it comes to buying tickets or registering for events. After you budget money for that 5K or fun event this summer, go ahead and by tickets online asap (or find out if you can buy them in person to avoid the processing fees). Often times prices will go up as you get closer to the event.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 94

Tip # 94 Use a piggy bank

Seriously. We have for pennies and one for everything else. Every week or so, go through your wallet and empty out your change into your piggy bank. When it's full take it to the bank or find a Coinstar machine. Put that money directly into savings!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Publix Trip (And CVS & Aldi)

There wasn't a whole lot on super sale that we needed this week. I ran into Publix to grab a few things while Tom went to Aldi to get 3 gallons of milk ($9).

Publix Spent: $9.74
Publix Saved: $15.81
Later in the week I ran into CVS to get some free dish soap. It was on sale for $0.99 and I had 2 $1 off coupons from the Home Made Simple mailer (various frugal bloggers post when it is available).

I had to pay tax so my grand total was $0.18 and I saved $3.98! I know dish soap isn't that expensive, but when you can get most of your health & beauty items and household items for free, it really adds up!

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 93

Tip # 93 Split an entree when you go out to dinner

Our eyes are a lot bigger than our stomachs....well, Tom's stomach is probably equal to his eyes, hence why we have never split an entree. But it's still a great idea! Especially with how HUGE the portions usually are. Since we both end up getting our own entrees, I try to stop eating halfway through mine. I'm usually more than full and I now have lunch for the next day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 92

Tip # 92 Use rags instead of paper towels

This is another tip that's also great for the environment. Here is a great article on the topic from The Simple Dollar. I haven't quite switched over to this method....but I do have a little stockpile of rags that I try to use whenever I can. I feel like I just need to keep paper towels on hand, especially for the disgusting messes (dog barf, killing bugs, picking up dead bugs, etc).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 91

Tip # 91 Bring a snack and bottle of water with you wherever you go!

Especially if you are running errands! I try to throw a granola bar in my purse so if my errands take longer than anticipated I'm not tempted to buy a snack or a drink. (Do the same for your husband/kids. Especially if your husband's weakness is a slimjim in the checkout aisle!)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 90

Tip # 90 Run appliances at night during the summer

Easier said than done...especially if you work all week and use the weekends to get caught up on everything from washing dishes to doing laundry! If you can help it, try to wait to use the oven, dishwasher, and washer/dryer until after the sun goes down.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 89

Tip # 89 Have a savings competition with a friend, coworker, or significant other

Nothing like a little friendly competition, eh? The best way to do this is in the form of percentages. That way you can compete with anyone, regardless of the income difference. If you're doing this with a spouse, it's a win-win situation (if your savings is linked together, which hopefully it is).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

There are quite a few repeat items this week because our plan changed quite a bit last week. The good thing about having a plan? You can just bump the meal to next week and it's one less meal to come up with!

Sunday: Meatball sub casserole (still haven't made this yet), salad
Monday: Leftovers (meatball sub casserole & Charleston Breakfast Casserole from this weekend)
Tuesday: Rice, broccoli, cheese, & almond surprise (didn't make this last week either)
Wednesday: Birdseye Voila Meal (didn't make last week either!!)
Thursday: Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole, salad
Friday: Chili's! (Ended up not going for my birthday)
Saturday: Black bean burgers, veggies

Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie's site. Over 300 bloggers link up which means lots of new recipes and ideas!

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 88

Tip # 88 Have a "No spending" Challenge

Challenge yourself not to spend any money. It can be for a week, a month, or a certain number of days. If you're going to go on a spending freeze for a month, I would suggest making a few exceptions beforehand (i.e. gas, bills, fresh fruit/veggies, milk, etc). The hardest part about this for me would be having to pass up on really good sales!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Got paid to shop at Rite Aid and Kmart

Yep, that's right. I made $22.28 at Rite Aid and $3 at Kmart. In addition to making $25, I got everything pictured below for free! I technically had a little help becuase I had gift cards for both places from transferring a prescription, but I still would have made money at Rite Aid even without the gift card.

Here is how I did it.
Kmart (above left) happened to be having a Super Double coupon event on health & beauty. (Although this was probably my last trip to Kmart....none of the cashiers knew what they were doing. I had to go to 3 different registers and the manager had to come over twice before they got it right...for 3 measly items...I almost just walked out of there!)
Spent: $4.46 (on gift card)
Rebate: $3 Finesse Rebate (5/16 Smartsource Insert)
  • Finesse Shampoo $4.99 (minus $2 - doubled $1 coupon)
  • Tampax Pearl Tampons $4.69 (minus $4 - doubled $2 coupon)
  • Pantene detangler for thick hair $3.50 (minus $3.50 - doubled $2 coupon)

Rite Aid (above right)
Spent: $20.89 (on gift card)
Rebate: $22.28
  • Gillette Deodorant $4 (I had a $2 coupon for this but I must have lost it in the store as it didn't ring up....I hate when this happens!!) $2 rebate wyb Deodorant & Body Wash
  • Gillette body wash $4 (coupon for free body wash with purchase of Gillette Deodorant)
  • Gillette Series shave gel $2.99 ($1 coupon) $1 rebate
  • Gillette Pro Series cooling lotion $5.99 ($2 coupon) $2 rebate
  • Allergy Buster sinus spray $9.99 ($9.99 rebate)
  • Renu Sensitive contact solution $7.29 ($4 coupon) $7.29 rebate

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 87

Tip # 87 Switch to the "Envelope Method"

This basically means you switch to "cash only" for everything. You have a different envelope for each area of your budget, and when your money is gone, you can't spend anymore. I may try this in the near future. I'm usually pretty responsible about staying within our budget each week, but I am always within $10 of it. It would be nice to come in significantly under and put the extra into savings!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Frugal Birthday Success!

Kind of :) My day started off extremely frugally, by 1:00 I had received $110 worth of services/products and only spent $3 out of pocket. Then I went to Target and Banana Republic!

Here is a recap of my frugal day:
  • Breakfast @ Panera - I treated myself to a $3 bagel with veggie cream cheese
  • Massage - Free with gift card from redeemed credit card points ($100 value)
  • Lunch @ Moe's - Free burrito for your birthday!
  • Target - 1 pair super cute strappy sandals - $20, 1 pair of Champion running shoes - $13.98, 3 pairs of socks $3.50
  • Banana Republic - 1 zip up hooded sweater, 1 super cute short-sleeve shirt, 2 pairs of pants: Total Spent: $76, retail value: $238!
  • Vicky's - Undies & lotion: Total spent: $2, retail value: $35
  • Dinner & Drinks with a few close friends - Priceless! :)

Publix Trips

Yes, it is plural. I made 2 Publix trips this week. (I'm obsessed - what can I say. And also, it's my birthday week, I'll do what I want, Thank you very much!) ;)
Trip # 1
Spent: $13.09
Saved: $26.71

Trip # 2
Spent: $22.51
Saved: $54.03

Total Spent: $35.60
Total Saved: $80.74

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 86

Tip # 86 Turn off the Air Conditioner?

I put a question mark next to this one because if you live in the South, like I do, this is not something you want to even consider during the summer! I think it would be good to set a temperature goal...say any day it's 75 degrees or below, we'll switch to fans and open the windows to get some fresh air. Definitely easier to do if you don't own 2 chinchillas who overheat if it gets above 73!

Friday, July 2, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip #85

Frugal Tip #85 Plan a frugal birthday!

It's my Birthday! My 30th Birthday, to be exact! Yikes! I have always loved my birthday, I love spending the day (or week) doing fun things and celebrating my happiness! So for 30, I wanted to do something special. I planned out a day where my husband would chauffeur accompany me around, however, he is out of town on an interview until later this afternoon. So here is my modified frugal birthday plan.

Thankfully, I took the day off of work. 8 hours of PTO is well worth it. I scheduled an hour long massage this morning at a local spa. Believe it or not, I have never had a massage!! Several months ago I traded in some credit card points (accumulated when we paid for our wedding!) for a $100 gift certificate to

For lunch I think I'm going to hit up Panera (a little birthday treat). For dinner I'm thinking Chili's. Sounds kind of boring, but Tom and I kind of love Chili's. Plus, we have a $50 giftcard from credit card rewards and a coupon for a free brownie sundae!

I'm hoping the weather is cool enough in the evening to just relax on the balcony with a corona in hand and a few good friends!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

100 Frugal Tips in 100 Days: Tip # 84

Tip # 84 Make your own cleaning products

Have I already posted this tip? I guess it could fall into the DIY category. Not only is this A TON safer for the environment, you can actually save a lot of money. Google yields over 3 million results for "Make your own Cleaning Products." Just grab some white vinegar and baking soda the next time you are out and google away!