|This is the rug I got at Kohl's, for free, to go by the door to the garage|
- this isn't anything I did, but something that was given to us, for which we were very grateful. At a time when we were needing some fresh fruit in the house, a large tray of fresh grapes were given to us. This saved us a couple of dollars on produce for the month.
- I made a batch of barbeque sauce, using tomato paste, lemon juice, soy sauce, molasses, honey, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cloves and black pepper
- made a batch of creamy Italian salad dressing, using mayo, chive blossom vinegar, vegetable oil, garlic granules, onion powder, salt and pepper. Poured into a used Italian Salad dressing bottle. When that ran out, I made a couple of batches of Rhubarb Salad Dressing (using this recipe).
- used my Senior discount at Fred Meyer on May 3, and saved about $10 overall (included some gardening items)
- brought calculator when grocery shopping to aid in comparing prices, as well as calculating my grocery total at WinCo, so I wouldn't go over my on-hand cash (WinCo doesn't take credit cards)
- shopped with a list, and stuck to it (I resisted temptation to buy extras, over and over. That was har at times, but I kept reminding myself of our financial goals to stay on track. Saving now, means a holiday, later.)
- froze remaining eggs from major stock-up before Easter
- made soy milk from dried soy beans. Used the leftover pulp (okara) in soy bean patties.
- used the green tops from the radishes as a vegetable in quiche and frittata
- all meals were prepared and eaten at, or packed from, home
- earned a $5.69 "reward" coupon to use as payment at Fred Meyer on groceries to use in the next few weeks
- prepared all meals at home for entire month
- made a batch of chive blossom vinegar
- harvested and dried oregano
- delayed coloring hair by almost 3 weeks, using a touch-up wand for roots (this was mostly out of laziness, but it saved money, so I get points, right?)
- bought 2 boxes of hair coloring on a B1G1 half-off, even though I still had one box left in the cupboard
- bought a pair of slippers at Kohl's for $2.20, using a $10 off coupon
- made a pair of pajama shorts for the summer, from a well-worn bed sheet
Gas for cars
- cleaned 4-year old spots on living room carpet with about 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and a cotton t-shirt rag, followed up by blotting with a white paper napkin
- scrubbed the deck with a brush and washed off with hose, saving money ($37 rental fee if I had rented a pressure washer) and water (pressure washers use a lot of water, compared to scrubbing and rinsing). Plus, I got free exercise -- no need to join a gym!
- did house-painting myself, instead of hiring a professional, and used paint we already had in the garage -- saved in the $100s by doing it myself.
- made another batch of potting soil for the pots at the entry to our house
- finished planting the vegetable garden, added beets and chard where the spring radishes had been, pulled fall chard out and put in green beans
- harvested bushels of rhubarb for sauces, crisps, pies, salad dressing and jam (I have 6 large plants, started with 3 root divisions, then divided myself, some to replant, some to give away. 6 plants seems to be the right amount for us.)
- the day after I bought the slippers at Kohl's, I received another $10 off coupon in the mail. I went back to Kohl's and this time bought a small rug for the door to the garage. We'd been needing something there for several years. It was regularly priced at $19.99, on sale for $9.99. I needed to spend one more penny to use the coupon. In the clearance section, I found another Hallmark Christmas gift wrap bag, for 24 cents (originally $2.99). My total purchase came to 25 cents, including tax, which I paid for with a gift card that I bought at Fred Meyer, when they were having a bonus fuel rewards promotion (4 X fuel rewards on gift cards). I looked at several items at Kohl's. I was unsure about just about everything. But I figured if whatever I bought was practically free, I wouldn't regret it. So, since a rug for that back door had been on my list for years, and it was free, I felt okay with this choice. I can be so indecisive when shopping, I even annoy myself!
- planned my lunches in advance on days when I'd be busy in the mornings or away from home at lunchtime, to avoid temptation to stop and pick up a bite to eat while out.
- tracked survey opportunities and filled out 4 online surveys for a savings of 20 cents per gallon
- saved a total of 70 cents/gallon on one tank of gas, using fuel rewards
- sent a gift that I bought on sale and with a coupon, after Christmas, as a birthday gift this month. I went online to USPS rate calculator, to determine which method and packaging type would be most economical for my gift, and made sure to get it to the PO in plenty of time, so I wouldn't have to send it expedited delivery. Used one of the birthday cards that I bought in April, on clearance at Jo Ann's Fabrics at about 92% off (under 30 cents per card).
- Mother's Day was spent at home, instead of going someplace where we'd spend money. My daughters provided lunch, and we made dinner out of items I had on hand -- hot dogs, homemade buns, fruited gelatin salad, green salad, leftover pasta salad and s'mores for dessert. For the s'mores -- I'd bought graham crackers at Dollar Tree in early April, chocolate candies on clearance at Dollar Tree after Easter, last year, and marshmallows, on sale and with senior discount almost a year ago. For a "special" beverage at lunch, I made lemonade, using some flat lemon-lime soda, that had been opened when my daughter had a bad tummy virus, months ago, but never used up, plus some bottled lemon juice, sugar and water.
- sent birthday cards (2) to siblings, one bought at Dollar Tree for 50 cents, the other bought on clearance at Jo Ann Fabric's for 29 cents.
- I'm crafting some 4th of July decorations
- began the outdoor air-drying of laundry, with racks brought out to the deck
- switched over to cold/cold on all laundry, after using warm/cold for winter washing
- bought 3 more soaker hoses to use in vegetable and fruit gardens. These should reduce the water bill, and will last for many years. One soaker hose was placed under landscape fabric in pumpkin patch, and this will hopefully help conserve city water, as well as promote better growth in pumpkin plants
- I used a timer with appliances, more this month. Using the timer feature on the tumble dryer, with a batch of towels for 20 minutes before hanging to dry, instead of the moisture sensor, which could run for an hour with a full load of towels. I used the timer while simmering chicken bones for stock. I might have simmered the stock for 4 hours or more, instead used a time for 1 hour. Same thing with cooking dried beans, I set the timer.
- used vegetable rinse water for pots on the deck as well as garden beds
- am trying out some water absorbing crystals in 2 pots in front yard which always need daily watering in summer. I bought the crystals in a small packet on Senior Discount day (saved 10%). You only use a couple of teaspoons of the crystals per pot, per year, and the packet keeps indefinitely, if in a sealed bag.
- used the crockpot numerous times in the month
- made out budget plan for the month and stuck to it. Paid all bills, in full, and on time (online/by phone when more advantageous to do so)
- one daughter really wanted to see a play at the Seattle ACT theater. Instead of buying a ticket, she volunteered to usher, and saw the play for free.
- both daughters and I enjoyed a free breakfast the day before Mother's Day. We each had a free pastry on our Panera cards (birthday -- Panera is really generous with expiration dates), and used gift cards (for girls) and one free drink card (me) at Starbuck's for beverages. (Back in December, the barista made a couple of goofs on my decaf pour-over. She eventually got it right, but because I had to wait for 15 minutes or so, she gave me a card for 1 free drink, up to $5.)
- my husband got 2 free tickets to a movie and took one daughter
- one daughter had a performance on campus in mid-May, one evening. It was free to attend, and I would have to drive down there anyway to get her afterward. So I met up with the other daughter, brought a picnic dinner for the two of us and we enjoyed our dinner in the late afternoon sunshine on the grass. I packed: slices of quiche, individual containers of salad and pumpkin bread. Really enjoyable evening! And it was FREE!
- son and his girlfriend went to the second performance of the same show, a week later, for a free date
- Mother's Day dinner was a cookout around the fire ring. Homemade hot dog buns, hot dogs bought with Senior Discount, for 71 cents/package, green salad from garden, rhubarb-blackberry gelatin salad from garden, s'mores made with Dollar Tree graham crackers, marshmallows from pantry, and clearance Easter chocolate candies from last year.
- a tray of red grapes and 2 tangerines from church coffee hour
- 1 loaf of Sara Lee bread (Friday Freebie)
- a gift of some tea and a nice chocolate bar
- 3 pastries at Panera
- 1 free beverage at Starbuck's
- 2 candy bars from Fred Meyer (Friday Freebie)
- 1/2 pound of fresh strawberries from church coffee hour to take home
- downloaded an entire album through Freegal onto my laptop
- 1 layer cake
- 2 pounds of mushrooms
- several sandwiches and fresh grapes