It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a “How I Frugal-ed” post, but for a variety of reasons, I’m making a more conscious effort lately to flex my frugal muscles. Here’s how we frugal-ed in June.
How my husband saved us $460…for awhile at least.
In 2017 we updated our kitchen with new paint, flooring, and appliances. Because we were spending so much money on appliances, we bought an extended warranty. Buying such things is usually on the list of what frugal people don’t do, but it turned out to be a smart decision.
Fast forward to early March 2020…pre-shutdown…my refrigerator was leaking and the freezer lights stopped working. The leak was new, but a repairman had come to the house before to replace the refrigerator lights that were still under warranty. I called in the warranty for the second time and a repairman was sent to our home.
He deemed the refrigerator unrepairable because of the lights! He didn’t even bother trying to repair the leak, but he told me it might fix itself. There was a water line in the back of the fridge that had frozen and he was sure that once it thawed, the leaking would stop. He also told me a refund would be sent since we had the warranty.
After a few weeks, I received a gift card from the big box store for the amount of the fridge. The funny thing is that my fridge stopped leaking, and the freezer lights not working didn’t bother me.
But by spring 2022, the refrigerator lights stopped working and that is annoying. However, the fridge still continues to keep everything cold, so I’m not going to replace this fridge until I absolutely have to. The current price to replace the fridge is about $2800, $1100 more than we paid for our current one. No thank you!
We could replace the LED lights in the fridge for about $80 a light. Six lights = $480–also, no, thank you!
So my resourceful husband bought some LED closet motion lights off Amazon for $20 (red circles in the below pic) and so far they are working well. Guess what happened next…the fridge lights came back on.
Marked down meat? Yes, please!
I’ve been really lucky with marked-down meat lately. Recently, I’ve found turkey Italian sausage, chicken thighs, and ground turkey. Marked-down meat freaks some people out, but I have never had a problem, and lately, it’s how I buy almost all of our poultry, which we eat quite often.
I turned the ground turkey into 12 Red Pepper & Feta turkey burgers for the freezer. I had all of the ingredients already in my fridge, so for $6.24 I have the main dish for three dinners.
Free Milk? Yes, please!
A local dairy was handing out free milk at a local farmers’ market. I was offered the free milk and I said, “sure, I’ll take one” and the guy said, “great, you’ll take two.” Ok, twist my arm.
Two gallons is a bit much for us to drink before it goes bad, so I am performing an experiment. I poured what we won’t drink in time before it expires into 2-cup containers to freeze for future dishes. I have several family favorites that call for milk. I’ll let you know how it works out.
Penny Deals? Yes, please!
I just discovered Penny Deals at Dollar General. Basically clearance gets marked down to a penny after it’s been marked to 90% off. On my first trip, I found two boxes of microwave popcorn for a penny each. I know, I know, nothing to get excited about, but I found out too late and missed out on the penny cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes. That’s my kind of deal!
I’m only interested in food. Apparently, there’s a lot of home decor that gets marked to a penny, but I don’t need that kind of stuff, even if it’s only a penny.
Search “penny deals at Dollar General” on YouTube for the details and videos of current penny deals to give you an idea if this is worth it to you.
Where We Found Extra Money in June: $470.95
Found money could be from anywhere, such as rebates, refunds, online sales, or even the ground. Yep, I found a $20 bill once on the beach!
- Plasma donation: $350–I took a break from donating plasma. In fact, my late donation was in October 2021. The plasma location was very busy and short-staffed in the fall and I found myself spending more time donating than I wanted to. In June, I noticed a welcome-back donation promotion with payments and bonuses that were quite profitable. I dontated 4 times in June and the return of my time investment was about $54 an hour. Read my honest review about plasma donation here.
- I transferred $20.95 in Ibotta earnings in June. Read how I earn cash back on groceries with Ibotta here.
- My husband sold an unused table saw for $100.
We joined Sam’s Club??
Is a Sam’s Club membership frugal? I saw that they were having a sale on their annual membership for $8. I thought for that price, I would give it a try. Of course when I went into the store, I was upsold on their better membership with the sale price of $63. Am I a sucker? Will I make back the money? That remains to be seen, but I’ll give it a go for the year.
Are you a Sam’s Club member? What are your favorite products? Also, what are your best tips to save money at Sam’s? Let me know in the comments.
How did you frugal in June? Let us know in the comments.
Toni in Niagara says
Thanks for the reminder to be more active in frualling!
If you have too much milk, you can heat it up to just before bubbling, stir in a teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to every quart of milk, take it off the heat, stir up and down gently for a minute and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes. The cheese will all rise to the top – gently remove it with a large slotted spoon or ladle into a fine colander/strainer. This is now ricotta cheese. It freezes very well. You can dump the whey or use it for pancakes or baking. I buy up all I can carry when overstocked milk is reduced to half-price. This works for skim milk as well and whole.
Thanks for the tips on making ricotta cheese, Toni! I’m going to try it.
Lately we have been very intentional shopping the sales at the grocery store. Loading the weekly digital coupons for the great sales items. As of today we have over 1000 bottles of water that we purchased at a fraction of the cost due to the sales and coupons. You might say that seems like a lot but my husband is a construction worker and the temperature here has been over 100 every single day with heat indexes nearing 120. When you work in that kind of heat you drink a lot of water (a case a day). Plus powerade zero has been on sale so we have a ton of this also. I have bought other things such as chicken that was reduced for quick sale (that absolutely nothing was wrong with) ground sirloin and ground round that was reduced as well as ground beef. I also got some cage free pasture raised veggie fed chicken 80% off. I literally walk thru the grocery store looking for the reduced stickers and if it’s something we will eat I purchase it along with my regular groceries. So we have spent and saved quite a bit these past couple months!
Rebecca, it’s been so HOT in PA and I can’t imagine working outside in this heat and I would be stocking up to that amount too. I usually a few gallons on hand to take camping.
My shopping trips are a game of “I spy with my little eye” because I always look for the yellow mark down stickers–LOL