It’s that time again, my frugal friends, where I share with you some of the frugal ponderings going through my head this month. My hope is that by sharing my frugal thoughts and experiences with you, it inspires you to save money, too.
This month I’ve enjoyed a lot of free stuff that’s come my way. I love being able to use these free items and activities to stretch my budget.
My family attended a fun event sponsored by my local hospital. The highlight of the event was being able to walk through a giant inflatable model of the human body (and another model of the lungs). There was a lot of great health information there (I learned my blood type!), and they gave out some cool stuff.
My son and I each scored one of these great aluminum water bottles at the event. I’m trying to move away from using plastic water bottles as part of my plan to live greener, so I was happy we won these.
My husband and I also went to our community radio station’s volunteer appreciation night. We got a great free meal and hooded sweatshirts for our service to the radio station. I would gladly help this awesome radio station without any reward, but it sure is appreciated. (Sorry no picture, the sweatshirts are in the wash!)
I’ve been trying to move away from all the processed stuff my kids eat for breakfast, but they’re reluctant to change. The solution? I made up a bunch of breakfast burritos (just egg, bacon and cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla) to throw in the freezer. I just remove the foil (and recycle it!), wrap them in a paper towel and microwave them for a few minutes and my kids get a healthy, portable hot breakfast. I’m estimating the cost to be about 55 cents a serving. Not too bad for a breakfast that keeps them going all morning.
One of my favorite ways to stretch my budget is by signing up for all the various loyalty programs that are out there. Back in December, MyCokeRewards had a special reward offer where you could get a 12-pack of any Coca-Cola product for just 30 points. I had a lot of points racked up, so I ordered the maximum allowed per account and I now have coupons for 8 (yes, 8!) free 12-packs. I don’t really have any vices other than my pop drinking and my husband loves to bring pop to work, so it’s nice to be able to get it for free.
We still have DirecTV at our house – mostly because our rural internet and our location don’t really lend themselves to cutting the cord. We took advantage of a free movie channel weekend recently to load up our DVR with movies and shows our family has been wanting to see. Having all those movies to watch makes the long, cold winters a little more tolerable.
I’ve also been making an effort to read more. I borrowed a book from my mom and have been doing some reading on my Kindle (with free books I found online). Reading is such a frugal, enjoyable way to pass the time.
I got all my reusable bags washed and sewed up and am getting in the habit of making sure they are used. On the one occasion I forgot my bags, I simply declined a plastic bag and carried my handful of items myself. It’s small steps like these that make a difference.
I had the honor of talking to a great local moms group a couple of weeks ago. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to chat in person with such a big group of women about how they save money. It was a good reminder that sharing your shopping trip successes and asking others for frugal advice is a great motivator. Be sure and share your frugal tips, questions and shopping successes with others – either in the comments here or over on our Facebook page. Your experience can help others save money!
What ways have you been saving money this month? What areas do you need to work on?