Sunday, September 18, 2016

Frugal in Wisconsin, new adventures

  2 years later, a little update. My household is bigger- I now have 3 children. My daughter is 3, and I have 9 month old twin boys. We now live in Baraboo, WI and have my sister in law with us, as a live in nanny. I guess I'll have to rebrand this blog if I'm going to keep posting, aren't I? During my tough twin pregnancy and the infancy of the twins, not to mention the cross country move, many of my formerly frugal habits fell by the wayside. Is it strange to feel guilty for not being frugal? Here is a list of things I'm still doing frugally, in an effort to remind myself. I hope to regain more frugal habits again now that things are calming down.

Frugal things I still do (that require little effort/time!):
-I grocery shop almost exclusively at Aldi because I can trust they have the lowest prices in town without having to do any research.
-I buy almost all of my clothes second hand, recently more online at
-I say YES PLEASE to any and all hand-me-downs for my kids. Just this week I was given a fabulous dollhouse that a colleague's granddaughter outgrew.
-When my kids outgrow things, I give away what I can to friends/family (what goes around comes around!) and then sell what I can of the remainder at consignment shops or online. What I can't pass to my crew or sell, I donate. At this time in my life yard sales take too much time to be worthwhile.
-I stock up on things like groceries and diapers when I find a great deal (though I need to get in the habit of doing more of this again since I've got more storage space again now!)
-When I can (which hasn't been a lot in the last 2 years) I do batch cooking and freeze prepared food for quick meals later. This saves time of course but also money- quick meals from the store or takeout are usually pricey! Today I did a double batch of baked oatmeal (muffin size servings) and froze most of them) for quick breakfasts this week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Frugal fall activity for toddler / preschool age children

Print or trace a leaf onto heavy card-stock or cardboard (cereal boxes work well) and cut out.  Punch holes along the edges, and you've got yourself a lace-up! Kids love lacing, and they can do it over and over again. A set of these could make a fun gift.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stock Up Diaper Price at Target! Expires 3/15

There is an in-ad coupon on last page of the Target ad in Sunday paper: $15 off up & up purchase of $40 or more. Valid in-store only.  Coupon expires 3/15/14. OR To get this coupon on your smartphone, text UPANDUP to 827438  (message and data rates may apply).

Combine the $15 off coupon with PLUS 5% off Up&Up diapers through Cartwheel app, and you can get 2 cases of diapers at a great price.  Example: Size 4 Up & Up diapers are coming out to 11 cents each which is a great price! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

A lesson on why to always check the price per unit!

And this is why I always check the price per unit!

If you can't read the small type... on the left is HyVee's flyer for this week. They have Charmin Basic toilet paper on sale for $5.99, for 12 rolls.  On the right is Checker's flyer. They also have Charmin Basic toilet paper on sale, for $5.88, for 20 rolls!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bulk Buys: Week of 2/26 (Broccoli, chicken, coffee, potatoes, sugar, toilet paper)

Some nice bulk buys for this week. As always, buy as much as you can use before it expires. Or, in the case of toilet paper, as much as you can store. 

Broccoli (florets/crown only):
Checkers / 0.78 per lb (fresh) / 2/26/14
(Chop it up and freeze what you can't use right away!)

Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts)
Aldi/ 5lb fresh/ 1.59 per lb / 2/26/14
(Freeze what you can't use right away)

Checkers/ 1.50 per 11.5 oz tub/ 2.08 per lb / 2/26/14

Potatoes (Russet):
Checkers/ 10lbs for 2.68/ 0.27 per lb / 2/26/14
HyVee/ 5lbs for 1.18/ 0.24 per lb/ 2/26/14

Sugar (granulated): 
HyVee / 1.48 per 4lb bag/ 0.37 per lb/ 2/26/14

Toilet Paper:
Checkers/ Charmin Basic 20pk for 5.88/ 0.30 per roll / 2/26/14

How do I come up with bulk buys?  I compare the current price with the prices I've recorded in my Price Book.  When a price dips below (or sometimes when it meets) the lowest price I've got recorded, I know to stock up. This way I "lock-in" that price for however long my supply lasts me.  That means I'm paying $0.78 per pound for broccoli all year long, even when the price jumps in a few months from now to $1.09 per pound.  See what I'm saying? 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Frugal Acts: a few simple things I did to save money this week. Windfall Week!

This week was different as it is a Windfall Week (we received our tax return).  While we saved most of it,
we did spend some of it paying off debt, necessities, and things that will save us money in the future.

Windfall Expenditures:

  • Paid off 2 medical bills- obviously they needed to be paid off, but we chose to pay them off in a lump-sum now while we could, rather than paying monthly. This saved us money on interest, plus cut over $100 per month from our monthly overhead.
  • Made a larger than usual payment on our credit card debt (accrued last year when my husband was unemployed.)
  • Had our dog vetted- she needed her vaccines updated. We would have of course done this anyway, but we put it off by a month until we received our tax return, rather than stretch our tight monthly budget to do it.
  • I am researching bulk meat purchasing possibilities. I find that meat is one of the most difficult grocery items for me to find great deals on.  Anyone in N.E. Kansas have a line on a great deal for bulk meat?

"Regular" Frugal Acts:

  • Made banana-bread muffins with bananas from the freezer.
  • Waited until end of season clearance to buy new winter boots, and did price-comparisons online before purchasing.
  • Made my own natural laundry detergent (way cheaper and less chemicals!). I used this recipe, again from Pinterest.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bulk Buys: Week of 2/19/14

Items that have hit STOCK UP PRICES this week:

Brownie Mix (Betty Crocker):

HyVee/  Betty Crocker 18.3 oz for 0.99/ 5c per oz / 2/20/14 (sale goes through 2/22). 
Check the "best by" date on these and buy as many as you will use by that date.  I don't know about your family... but for us that might be quite a few. I will also note that it is still cheaper to make brownies from scratch, especially if you bulk buy the ingredients. However, if, like me, you are not quite up for that, this is a great price for the ready mix. 

HyVee AND Dillons/ 1.99 per lb/ 2/20/14
Butter keeps a month in the fridge and 6-9 months in the freezer! This is a pretty darn  good price, though it's possible it will dip a little lower in the summer months. So, I plan to buy about a 4 month supply. 

Aldi/ 2.99 per 2lb bag/ 1.50 per lb/ 2/15/13 
Walmart/ 6.97 per 5lb bag/ 1.40 per lb/ 2/15/13

Possibly on sale other places too.  This is the last hurrah for these little sweeties this year- they are going out of season so the prices will be going up from here. Buy what you can use in a couple weeks from the fridge, or freeze some to last up to a year!

Red/New Potatoes:
Aldi/ 0.99 for 5lb bag/ 20c per lb/ 2/19/14
Great price on these! Buy what you can use from the pantry in a week or two, or cook potatoes to freeze for up to a year! 

HyVee/ Suave 30oz for 1.00/ 3c per oz/ 2/20/14 

Sale price through 2/22.
I don't post a lot of non-food items but this is a great deal I had to share! If you have coupons this will be even better, but it's definitely a STOCK UP PRICE without coupons! Price per ounce for the least expensive shampoos are usually twice this much. I plan to buy about a year's worth.

I went to HyVee to get this, and found that it was no longer listed on their sale flyer, and were on the shelf at regular price. :(  BOOO!

Have you spotted any STOCK UP priced foods I missed?

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