Monday, January 28, 2019

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

Sunday morning my oldest daughter drove me to Winco to pick up groceries for the week.  I was planning to do some shopping at Trader Joes too, but found lower prices on some items at Winco which allowed me to pick up an 8 pound bag of oranges for $3.98 instead of the 3 pound bag of mandarins (on sale for $2.99) I was originally planning on picking up at Fred Meyer.  I did a quick adjustment to my shopping list/plan and for $1 more I was able to get 5 more pounds of citrus.

8 pounds of oranges for $3.98!

I was disappointed to see at Winco that a quart of cream was 65¢ more than it was the last time I purchased it (still lower than Albertson's or Fred Meyer), but the romaine lettuce was less so they pretty much canceled each other out.  Avocados were on sale so I picked them up at Winco saving $1 from what I intended to spend at Trader Joes which covered the extra I needed for the big bag of oranges.

Sausage for breakfast $1.99 each

At Fred Meyer I picked up two packages of breakfast sausage on sale for $2.99 and a few bananas with the little bit of change leftover.  I had digital coupons for $1 OFF each one of the packages of breakfast sausage.  I still had a $1 left by the time all was said and done so I picked up a package of slider buns on markdown for 89¢ to go with sloppy joe filling I had in our freezer.  It worked out perfectly for the girl's lunches throughout the week.  I also picked up two Friday Freebies at Fred Meyer I had downloaded to my store card.  Total spent last week on groceries came in at $19.67.  Yay!  I'm really in the zone now!  Ha, ha.

Coupons = $$ earned

Monday the girls were out of school for Martin Luther King Day.  The rest of the week was the usual flurry of activity all the way through to Friday being our busiest day.  After work on Friday I picked up the youngest from a basketball game she cheered at, we headed home for a quick supper of reheated leftovers, got everyone back into the car and then dropped the oldest off to play in the pep band at a basketball game.  While we waited for her game to finish the youngest and I headed over to the mall where I used a gift card at Dillards to pay for a new pair of black slacks me to wear to work.  I crossed that item off my list leaving only two or three pair of dress socks left for what I still need to replace in my closest.  Best of all, no money out of my pocket to get the pants and I still have $8 left on the card to spend on something else!  Yes!

A quick trip into Walgreens with my coupons yielded these for 99¢ each!

I had a small list of miscellaneous items to pick up so once the oldest was done at the game we headed to Walmart since it was close and carries what we needed to buy.  I bought a travel pillow to use as a pillow form for $3.48 (I have a quick project planned for that), a package of plastic wide mouth lids for my canning jars for $2.98, a large package of toilet paper (I had a coupon) for $3.97, two quarts of cream for $3.34 each (a keto necessity for me and best price in town right now) and a jumbo can of whipped cream for $2.64.  While I was there I priced dish cloths, but did not buy any.  The toilet paper was paid for from my non food budget and I used my miscellaneous budget to pay for the rest.  First time I'd spent from that budget this month.  I still have $2 remaining in my non food budget which I do plan to spend.  The rest of the miscellaneous budget will likely remain untouched and will be rolled into my savings account.  Yippeee!

Delicious minestrone soup topped with grated parmesan
Chicken tortilla soup is pictured at top

I made chili, minestrone and chicken tortilla soups for our evening meals throughout the week using all ingredients I had on hand in the pantry and freezer.  We used up some of the leftover dinner rolls and corn muffins we had in the freezer.  I also made a few fresh green salads to go with the soups.

Lemon blueberry cheesecake! Yum!!!

Saturday I had a couple of my girlfriends come over for lunch.  I made taco salads and a keto lemon blueberry cheesecake for dessert using ingredients I already had on hand.  No extra trip to the grocery store or extra $$ required.

We finished up all of our leftovers last week so no food was wasted.  I packed a lot of really good lunches for me to take to work and the girls to school.  We used up a bunch of odds and ends I found in the pantry including a box of crackers leftover from the holidays, an unfinished package of Oreos minis, a package of dried cranberries, some leftover chocolate chips and a box of PopTarts.

New lids for my wide mouth canning jars

I found two more partial bags of raw shrimp in the chest freezer I didn't know I still had bringing my total to three unfinished packages.  Not sure what is up with that!  I went ahead and prepared what was left of one of them to go with our supper one evening.  I'll be sure and use up the other one soon.  Fortunately none of the shrimp was or is freezer burnt.

I washed out and reused several ziploc bags throughout the week.

I sold two gift cards I didn't need or want at face value.  Nice to have the cash instead.

Warm vanilla sugar scented shower gel used to make refill solution

I used a tablespoon of shower gel and a cup of warm water to make refill solution for the foaming handsoap dispenser in our kitchen.

I worked an hour of overtime.  Not much, but it does add up.

The chickens blessed us with some more eggs last week.  We gave them our kitchen scraps and kept them happy.  I added a fresh pile of leaves I had mulched last fall to their run area which gave them something to scratch around in as well as helps keep the mud under control.

I had a visitor come to see me, of course I had a treat for her

We composted coffee grounds, tea bags, banana peels, orange peels, onion skins, avocado skins and egg shells.  After two passes through our garage we were able to purge enough to nearly fill up our trash bin and our recycle bin.  We set both out to the curb for collection last week.

I checked out the ads and downloaded some digital coupons to make up my next grocery list and planned out which stores I needed to go to.  I went online and printed six more coupons from and used scrap paper in my printer.  I also went to a couple brand websites to download coupons for toilet paper and deodorant.  In ten minutes I was able to acquire $5.50 in usable coupons.  Not bad wages if you think about it.

Another visitor that came to see me

I watched a few videos on YouTube about strategic shopping to see if I could get some better ideas to use in the future, but so far all I've seen is the purchasing of a lot of processed junk I don't want or would use.

Fred Meyer didn't have a Friday Freebie last week, however Albertson's did so I downloaded a coupon good for a free package of instant mashed potatoes.

I made a new stack of cleaning rags out of some old towels I cut up.

A nice new stack of cleaning rags

Some of the 15 Minute Chores I accomplished to keep my home in order:

Laundry Room & Half Bathroom - wiped down appliances, vacuumed floor & rug.  Daily swish & swipe.

Dining Room - vacuumed floor, washed kitty nose prints off of the window

Kitchen -  vacuumed floor, cabinet under the sink and cabinet where the toaster is stored.  Cleaned microwave, stove top and range hood.

Bedrooms & Main Bathroom - vacuumed & dusted.  My oldest cleaned the bathroom.

Other - four loads of laundry, dusted & vacuumed living room, hallway & entry, washed the kitty nose prints off the living room window.  Swept front porch.

How was your thrifty week?


  1. what kind of spider is that? Is it as huge as it appears in the picture? if so I would move out! LOL

    1. LOL No it's just a little black fuzzy guy. I escorted him outside.

  2. When I was wandering through Rite Aid last week, I came across tubes of Crest Toothpaste, clearance price of $0.99. I had a $1.00 off coupon loaded to my card, so they paid me $0.01 to take the toothpaste off their hands. I also found Wet and Wild Mascara at 75% off, making it $0.25. DD will wear that brand, as it is not tested on animals, so I picked up this 3 tubes, which I will probably save to tuck in the Advent Calendar in December. Meanwhile, I am still working on eating down the freezer and pantry, and using our HBA stockpile before our move.

    1. Wow Meg! Good for you, especially getting paid to buy toothpaste. :)

    2. I would love to find deals like that.

    3. Sometimes it is just pure luck and you just stumble across stuff.

  3. You did great. I used a grocery store reward & we made homemade hummus & cauliflower rice. We also continue to try to use up our groceries vs buying new things.

    1. Aren't store rewards wonderful? Keep up the good work.

  4. I want to know what's on the wall in that second picture??
    I took a leaf from you, and won't set foot in the grocery store until the end of the month -- 2 weeks. But our King Soopers (your Krogers) had a splash sale on their remaining hams. I got 2 spiral-cut honey-cured hams for 49 CENTS A POUND. Yow! So I haven't kept to $20/week for groceries, but am not that far off. We have had enough snow off and on that it's not that much of a hardship to stay home.
    Husband is leaving for a week with his big brother in North Carolina. I'll get milk and eggs (which we'll need), but generally will live on whatever's in the pantry and freezer. I need to clean those out, anyways.

    1. It's just a little eight legged guy hanging from the ceiling. LOL

      I'm a little jealous about your hams.

  5. We stayed within our grocery budget and are eating up all our food. One night the girls and I all decided on a leftover to finish and knocked out three in one night. This is keeping our food bill down and no food waste. My biggest accomplishment for the week is I finished sewing that baby quilt. I now have a baby quilt for the shower in February that was from my stash and is completely paid for. The girls and I thought it turned out great too. I am off to a good year in the "use it up" challenge.

    1. I am so impressed. Maybe you could send me a picture of your quilt, I'd love to see it. You are so clever and talented Candace. :)

    2. You are so sweet! I will send you a photo today! I brought it in to work to show a friend and will have her assist me in taking a photo.

    3. Yay! I can hardly wait to see it! :)

  6. I miss printing out my coupons online. The coupons dot com website where I used to get them now requires verification codes and signing off on their policies to print them. I'm a bit wary of things like that so I haven't done it ... but I really do miss my coupons :(



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