Frugal living is NOT about feeling deprived. Frugal living is being intentional with our money and creative with our resources, so we have more to put towards the things that are important to us.
We want to live WELL on LESS Money.
Frugal Kitchen in February:
I continued my new grocery routine in February. I cannot stress enough how much this has saved me time and I really think money too. On Thursday nights, I write out my meal plan using my Dinner This Week Pinterest board and my cookbooks and then place an online order at Giant for a Friday morning pick-up. On Friday morning, I pull into the drive-through during my allotted time and my groceries are placed in the back of my car. Ordering online really challenges me to plan every single meal for the week, which I believe saves me extra trips to the store.
In the past, I made my meal plan and grocery shopped on Sundays. It would take about 1-2 hours of my Sunday afternoons and I wanted that time back. This new routine only costs me $3 for the pick-up and I’m finding it’s well worth it. I stick to my list and random delicacies aren’t falling into my cart.
Homemade Iced Tea:
As a family, we drink a lot of water. I try to drink my weight in ounces of water every day, but I also like a bit of flavor too. I’ll add fruit to water, but my husband and I really like iced tea. Instead of buying gallons of iced tea at the store which can cost about $2.50 a gallon and have loads of sugar, I brew my own iced tea.
In a saucepan, I heat about 4 cups of filtered water right up until it’s about to boil. I remove from heat and add 8 Tetley decaffeinated green tea bags and 2 Celestial Seasonings flavored decaffeinated tea bags, usually peach or berry. I allow the tea to steep for about 30 minutes and then I pour the concentrated tea into the above 1 gallon pitcher and add water. I don’t add sugar, because we prefer our tea unsweetened. This is how we like our iced tea, so if you decide to make your own version, you may want more or less tea bags/sugar. You will need to experiment until you get your desired taste.
The math: I stock up when I see a box of 72 Tetley decaffeinated tea bags on sale for $2.50 and a box of 20 Celestial Seasonings tea bags on sale for $2.50. When on sale, it costs me about 50 cents to make a pitcher of iced tea vs. at least $2.50 for store-bought iced tea.
I avoid the expensive dishwasher detergent tabs and use powdered dishwasher detergent instead. One box of 75 oz Cascade with Dawn powder costs about $5 and I use 1/2 tablespoon in every load. I run my dishwasher almost every night. To test my theory that the powder saves me a lot of money, I wrote the date on the box when I opened it. It was Sept 17, 2019 and I have about 1/3 box left. I also use rinse-ad that I buy at BJ’s when it’s Buy One Get One Free.
The math:It has been approximately 196 days since I opened this box (and I still have about 1/3 left). I run my dishwasher almost every night, but let’s use 180 times because I probably have not run it every night since 9/17. I’ll also use $5 as my purchase price. Five dollars divided by 180 times = 3 cents per dishwasher use AND I have a lot leftover in the box. Let’s compare that to the dishwasher tabs. I’ll use Cascade with Dawn 60 pack as an example that I found for $11. Eleven dollars divided by 60 = 19 cents per use.
My dishes come out very clean and I have never had a problem with my routine. I’m sticking with my powder!
Home Cooked Meals We Enjoyed this month:
- Cajun Red Beans & Rice
- Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenders – I used Gluten-Free flour.
- Chicken, Pinto Beans & Rice Casserole
- Chicken, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas
- Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry from Skinny Taste
- Shepard’s Pie from Jo Cooks.
Thrifty Finds in February:
I try to hit up my favorite thrift store at least once a month. I have saved so much over the years by looking at thrift stores or yard sales first before trying a regular retail store for our needs. I keep a list of things to look when thrifting.
One item on my list was new juice glasses, so I scooped up 10 glasses when I found them at the thrift store for 25 cents a piece. They looked brand new, so I couldn’t pass them up.
Found Money in February:
Found money could be from anywhere, such as cashback rebates or money found on the ground or money from selling our stuff. I’m going to see how much I can find in 2020. All of my found money this year is going in an old unused checking account so I can keep track of how much I find.
I received my Rakuten check in February for $34.73. Rakuten is an online portal where you can earn cash back from online purchases when you use the portal. This check is from purchases I made around the holidays. You can read my review: Rakuten Review: How to Earn Cash Back + Earn a sign up bonus!!
- January: $26.75 from Ibotta.
- YTD Total: $61.48
How did you frugal in January? Share your strategies and tips in the comments.