Posts Tagged ‘ frugal living ’

Recylebank: 150 New Points- Redeem for Coupons or Gift Cards!

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

One of the ways I save money is by earning coupons and gift cards through Recyclebank.  By spending just a few minutes each month earning points I can soon accumulate enough to redeem a few coupons or if I save them a little longer I can use my points to get a gift card.  They typically have gift cards for CVS, Target, Starbucks, Lowe’s, Applebees, T.G.I.Friday’s, Kmart, Sears and more!  If the selection is slim, check back again because they update their stock frequently.

Right now you can earn 150 points when you complete the following activity.  And if you are new to Recyclebank, once you set up your account, click on the “Earn Points” tab to find more point earning opportunities.

* Focus on the fundamental dos and don’ts of back-to-school planning and earn up to 150 points.

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Weekly Spending Summary (7/27-8/2)

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use:, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Instead of buying lots of amazing deals, this was one of those weeks that I mostly just stocked up on things that we needed at a good every day price.  So I’m not going to list my favorite buys like I typically do.  (I did really like the free tuna though!)

Total Spent: $95.03
Total Saved with Coupons: $1.00
Total Saved with Sales: $0.49
Total Saved: $1.49

Giant: $0
Saved with Coupons: $1.00
Saved with Sales: $0.49

I actually didn’t go to Giant just to get free tuna.  No, I actually went to get some Reach floss that was a moneymaker thanks to Giant’s gas rewards but unfortunately they were out of stock so I had to get a rain check instead.  But while I was there I was walking by the tuna and noticed that this brand was on sale for $1.00.  I thought I remembered that I had a coupon for it, looked, and sure enough I did and it made it free!  Yay!


  • Chicken of the Sea tuna $1.00

Coupons Used:

  • $1.00 Chicken of the Sea tuna (I think I received it as part of a promotion on their FB page)

Centerville Bulk Food: $47.03

 When my 6 yr. old was making Homemade Granola this week I realized that I was getting low on oatmeal and since I was needing some other things as well I made a trip to our local bulk food store and tried to stock up so that I won’t need to go for another month or so.  I don’t remember the prices of everything I got and since they are just a little Amish store they don’t have receipts that print out with all the info on them.  But I know their oatmeal is $0.54/lb which is a great price.  I also got some basmati rice, raisins, a couple of spices, pearled barley (for homemade soup that I can), unsweetened coconut, a couple of spices, a jar lid, dried cranberries and raspberry flavored yogurt covered pretzels.  Those last two things were total splurges and I bought them for fun snack food for our upcoming vacation.

Misc.: $33.75

* $20.00
Withdrew this from our checking account to use to buy milk at a local dairy.

* $13.75
This was actually just for a cantaloupe (that I forgot to include on the picture and 5 dozen ears of corn (which I also failed to remember to take a picture of) that my husband stopped and got for me from a local produce farmer.  I blanched the corn and then cut it off and froze it to use later.

The potatoes and corn you see above I purchased at a local produce stand.   We enjoyed the corn one evening for dinner.   There is nothing like fresh corn on the cob!

Obviously this is not the full 20 lbs…..I didn’t think about the fact that I hadn’t taken a picture until we only had this handful left!

* $33.00
Bought a 20 lb. box of blueberries that I also forgot to take a picture of!  Can you tell it was a crazy week?  We ate some of them fresh and I froze the rest.

* Free!
Got more of these from our little garden.  Funny thing is, we aren’t big tomato eaters and this year our two little plants are producing like crazy!  I’m trying to find ways to keep them used up and I’m planning to share a few with a couple of friends this week and next too.

Oh and the one there in the front with the hole?  Well, my 6 yr. old thought they looked like good juggling material.  Let’s just say he’d better become a better juggler before he tries using tomatoes again!

* Free
Got this Dial Coconut Water body wash as part of participating in the Purex Insiders.  It has a subtle fresh mango scent that I really like and I also love that it doesn’t dry out my skin like some body wash does.  In fact, I was just thinking this week that I think that my skin is softer since i started using it.  Maybe it’s just my imagination?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I’d buy this body wash in a heart beat.

Credits: $52.50
The last number of weeks I’ve bought various items that are part of the Giant gas deals.  Basically, you get points for purchasing the products and then you can redeem those points for gas.  I was able to get $52.50 worth of gas for free as a result.  And since I only buy the grocery items that are part of these deals because they either get me free gas or make me money I put the savings back into my grocery budget.  (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my Weekly Spending Summaries.)

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4 Frugal & 4 UnFrugal Things I Did Recently (July)

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Most of the time I share about the different things that I (we) do to help us save money because that’s what this blog is all about: inspiring you to save money and live well.

But even though I love to save money and am passionate about it, I sometimes do un-frugal things too.  Sometimes I mess up on a coupon deal.  Sometimes I just simply don’t have the energy to do the thing that I should do to save money.  And sometimes I might decide that saving the money isn’t worth it this time around.

So just for fun, I do posts about 4 frugal and 4 un-frugal things that I did recently- you know, let you see a little bit of both!  Here’s this month’s list.

4 Frugal Things

Straining the yogurt

1.  Made my own Greek yogurt.
I needed Greek yogurt for a recipe and instead of buying it, I simply made my own.  It’s really very simple and much, much cheaper.  I used my homemade yogurt recipe and made it without the sugar.  After it was cultured and cold, I simply strained it for a while until most of the liquid drained off.  I was left with a nice, creamy Greek yogurt!

2.  Saved water by reusing it.
I froze a lot of green beans this past month and quite often instead of dumping the water that I used to rinse the beans, I would simply use it to water our house plants or the flowers and vegetables in our garden.  Since we live in the city we pay for our water so every little bit helps!

3.  Redeemed $10 in free Shop Your Way points.
I’ve mentioned before how I love Kmart/Sear’s Shop Your Way Rewards program.  I very frequently get free reward points that I can use on all sorts of things.  The most recent free points were for $10 that I could on any home dept. items.  A couple of months ago I broke my glass 1 cup measure and never got it replaced.  So I used my points to get another one as well as a small glass dish.  I’m trying to slowly move away from using plastic containers in the microwave so this will be one more dish to help me accomplish that.  With my points, both things were totally free!

4.  Expanded my blogging knowledge for free.
I’m always trying to learn more about blogging and while I would love to go to a blog conference, right now I don’t have the time or money for that.  Plus, it’s just not very doable with a 6 month old baby!  But I’ve purposed to learn as much as I can for free and recently I’ve really enjoyed listening to quite a few How They Blog podcasts.  If you blog or are interested in blogging I’d recommend them.

4 UnFrugal Things

1.  Donated clothes.
I had a couple grocery bags full of adult clothing that I recently donated to Goodwill.  I could have tried to sell it at our next yard sale or tried consigning it somewhere but honestly, I just didn’t feel like it was worth the bother.  In my experience adult clothes haven’t sold that well and besides, sometimes it just feels good to give something away to help someone else!

2.  Turned down free green beans.
I have this policy that I try to never turn down free food.  I mean, it just seems like a no-brainer to say yes if someone offers us something!  But last week my mom-in-law offered me more green beans from their prolific garden.  I ended up telling her no because I didn’t really need them since I had preserved a bunch already this year and also because I have been so, so busy lately that I knew I had to cut something to keep my sanity.

3.  Bought canned beans.
Now some of you might be wondering why buying canned beans is such an unfrugal thing to do.  Well, see, it’s actually cheaper to buy dried beans and cook them yourself.  And in actuality, it’s a pretty easy thing to do.  But like I mentioned earlier, we’ve had a lot going on this summer and so I decided for right now it’s totally worth paying the extra to buy canned beans.  Sometimes you have to weigh the benefits of money saving things and sometimes you just decided it’s better to spend a bit more.

4.  Paid to have our oil changed.
My husband is a handy fellow and he usually changes the oil in our vehicles since it’s not that hard for him to do.  But he’s taking summer college classes plus trying to work 4 days a week too and his time is pretty precious.  So recently when our oil needed to be changed we ended up having our mechanic do it.  It wasn’t that expensive but it did make me realize how much we usually save by him doing it!

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Free Museum Entrance Day (Sept. 27, 2014)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Hundreds of museums across the country will be offering free admission as part of Museum Day Live! on September 27, 2014.

To see what museums are participating and to get your free tickets, visit the Museum Day Live! website.  There is a limit of one free ticket per household and each ticket is valid for 2 free museum passes.

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Free Tide Detergent or Green Mountain K-Cups (after cashback)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

New TopCashBack members can get free Tide detergent from Walmart or free Green Mountain K-cups from Bed Bath & Beyond!  Here’s how:

To get free Tide:
1.  Create a TopCashBack account

2.  Click the orange “Get Cash Back” button

3.  Add a jumbo 138 fl oz bottle of Tide Clean & Fresh liquid laundry detergent priced at $8.97 to your cart
(do not add any other items to your cart!)

4.  Pay for your purchase.  Choose in-store pickup to avoid paying shipping charges.

5.  Within 7 days your account will be credited with $9.90.  It will become payable within 30 to 90 days.

Offer is good until 11:59 PM Saturday, August 2, 2014 or when stock runs out.  If the price changes from $8.97, the deal closes.

To get free Green Mountain K-cups:
1.  Create a TopCashBack account

2.  Click the orange “Get Cash Back” button

3.   Add an 18-count box of Green Mountain K-Cups priced at $10.99 to your cart
(do not add any other items to your cart!)

– There are 20 flavors/types to choose from, including French Vanilla, Breakfast Blend, Dark Magic, English Toffee, Hazelnut plus many decafs and half-decafs.

4.  Pay for your purchase.  Standard shipping is free.

5.  Within 7 days your account will be credited with $12.50 and it will become payable within 30 to 90 days.

Offer is good until 11:59 PM Monday, August 4, 2014 or when stock runs out.  If the price changes from $10.99, the deal closes.

Please remember, these offers are for new TopCashBack members only!

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