Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Frugal Renovating

Dear Diary,
We are in the midst of doing some renovating and the only really frugal thing about it is that dh is doing it diy.
Generally speaking we find many home improvement stores don't really have great deals or sales on basic building supplies. But I have to say we lucked out on the weekend. I clipped a coupon from a Lowes flyer a week or so ago ( coupon was for $20 off when you spend $200) ; not a big savings but $20 is 2o bucks. DH called Lowes and found out the Dricor subflooring that we needed was available and for the same price as Home Depot. So on Saturday with coupon in hand we headed to Lowes even though it is a bit further away than the Home Depot.
We got our flooring and a few other items and were ready to checkout when an employee approached us with a deal of 10 per cent savings on a first purchase when we got a Lowes credit card. Quickly doing the math, we realized our savings would be even greater so we abandoned our coupon idea and ended up with a savings of $32.80.
So that Dear Diary was my excitement for the day! WOO HOO once again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frugal Clutter woes

Dear Diary,
Just the other day I talked about Frugal Clutter! Well I think it's gotten the best of me. Last year I received some free seeds ( carrot seeds from a Hellman's promo and flower seeds from a BZZ Agent Nabob promo). Well to make a long story short we stored our freebie seeds away cause it was too late to plant them when we received them. But to ensure we would remember to plant them this spring dh thought he would be smart and set up a reminder in his email about these seeds. Problem is we got the reminder but could not find where we had safely stored the seeds. We spent many a day this week searching for our precious seeds and it was driving us crazy. Had we not set up this email reminder we would have totally forgotten about these seeds. But now we were reminded and now we had to find them! Few tins and boxes were left unturned and I think we sort of gave up on the seeds; there was mention that we would probably find them when we moved out. Anyhow dh was doing something totally unrelated the other day and suddenly he dropped a box on my desk with guess what?? Yes the seeds! Hallelujah now I can sleep again and not dream about searching for seeds!
Next year when we put a reminder in an email we'll also include the location as well!
exhausted from searching for seeds

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frugal Clutter

Dear Diary,
It's been quiet in this Frugal World of mine so I've been taking some time to get rid of some Frugal Clutter. Don't know if it's just me or if all Frugallers are like this, but anyhow I tend to hoard or store things in excess just in case I might need them in the future. And that even includes emails; think I had close to 2000 the other day. So I've been spending some time cleaning and organizing my email and now I'm down to under 200. Hope I can keep it this way.

On another note I did get some pretty good deals last weekend at Shopper's Drug Mart and what was really great was that I was able to snag 15 times the Optimum points by spending $50. And believe it or not the $50 I spent was pretty much stuff we needed and almost everything was on sale. Here's a rundown on what I bought: 1 eggs, 4milk, 4Life Brand spring water, 2 Dawn dish soap, 2 packages of Claritin and Life Brand Potato Crisps. Everything except the potato crisps were on sale and I used $8 in coupons on the Claritin and Dawn Dish Soap. So in the end I got the 325ml Dawn dish soaps for 38 cents WOO HOO!

And now getting back to stocking up and hoarding, I now have several case of bottled water stored in my home. And as far as bottled water goes we only use it when we travel in the car (cause I know it's not the best for this wonderful world we live in). So I think I'm good for awhile. Talk about Frugal Clutter but have to admit I can't help myself. I need to go to Frugallers Anonymous I think!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Designer Shoes on a Frugal Budget

Dear Diary,
My teenage ds has been wanting and actually needing new shoes cause they are literally falling apart and they squeak and squawk when he walks. But being the frugal lass that I am, I've been trying to put him off until I find shoes that he likes, that are on sale. Trouble is he's not so easy to please these days and the Wal-Mart shoes just don't cut it anymore. Finally gave in yesterday and went to the mall with him in search of cheap new shoes that he will actually wear. And lo and behold, his store of choice was Payless and they just happened to have a BOGO sale ( buy 1 get 1 half off) on at the moment. Thought to myself, that Payless could work and my mind raced with the thought of snagging a pair of shoes for myself. Not that I really need shoes mind you, but if there's a good deal to be had who could resist.
I digress; anyhow ended up with a pair of $39.99 Air Walk sneakers for ds and a pair of casual shoes for myself for $8.50. My shoes were regular priced at $34.99, on sale for $17 and with BOGO got them for $8.50. Woo Hoo!
Oh P.S. received a Tribute win the other day; a couple of Watchmen dvds. Problem is they are Blu-Ray! Guess now I have to win a Blu-Ray player to watch them!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Surprise win

Dear Diary,
I wasn't too excited about the day cause I knew the mail wasn't coming as it was Easter Monday. So if the mail isn't coming what is there to look forward to. Well even though the mail didn't come, FedEx and CanPar were up and running. And it ended up being a great day after all. FedEx delivered some movie passes I won in a previous contest ( although ds aka darling son has already claimed this prize) and CanPar delivered a surprise win that I had no clue that I had won in the first place. And guess what I won dear diary?? A fancy new blender and it can't get any better than that can it???

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Frugal Connecting with Family & Friends

Dear Diary,
On this beautiful Easter Sunday, I am reminded of one of my favourite frugal ways of connecting with family and friends. It's called skype
Skype is a means of having live conversations from your computer to someone else's computer for FREE! Yes I said free. With a couple of kids and other family members living at a distance, I'm loving it! ( For minimal fees, you can also use skype to connect to landlines and I believe mobile phones).
When we use skype it's like we're having a conference call and everyone is in on the conversation. It even feels like we are sitting in the same room. Sometimes the connection isn't always the greatest and sometimes you do get cut off, but when you're just shooting the breeze so to speak, who cares! (SKYPE isn't meant for emergency calls).
I just really love the fact that it's free and we can call as much for as long as we want and not worry about what it's costing us. I find it does a great job of helping to keep closer ties with family and friends. So why not give skype a try!
Oh before I go just remembered another source for finding coupons; try your dental office for toothpaste, floss coupons etc. It works for me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So You've Decided To Coupon

Dear Diary,
With my great shopping deals (using coupons), I may have convinced you to start using coupons yourself. But you may ask where do I find these elusive coupons?? Well let me tell you, there are plenty of sources to get coupons; some are obvious and some are well not so obvious. And I'm going to let you in on some of my secret places where I source coupons. Dear Diary, MAYBE YOU'LL TELL ME SOME OF YOUR SECRET PLACES WHERE YOU FIND COUPONS. I'll tell you if you tell me!
Here's my List:
1Magazines (but please don't tear out coupons if they're not your own magazines ie from libraries, offices, hair salons etc unless you can tear them out so that no one notices).
2 Newspapers often include coupon flyers especially in their weekend editions.
3 Free Newspapers.
3 Grocery Stores & Department Stores.
4 Junk Mail sometimes contains coupons for local businesses and restaurants.
5 Sign up for Company emails/newsletters that are of interest to you; sometimes a company will email or mail actual coupons to you.
6 Get coupons from Coupon Sites such as Save.ca and GoCoupons.ca
7 Join Frugal websites such as FrugalShopper.ca where you can trade coupons with others and find out about coupons that you weren't aware of.
8 The Beer Store puts out a magazine called Chill which sometimes contains coupons.
9 E-mail companies; sometime if you email a company saying you liked their product, they will send you coupons for future use.
10 Internet; many companies will have coupons to print out on their site. But beware some stores will not accept Internet coupons.
11 Become a frequent shopper at your favourite stores and they will sometimes send you coupons and early notification of special sales.
12 Trade coupons with friends and family members and even neighbours.
13 Sometimes you will find someone who has no interest in coupons and will gladly hand over any coupons that come their way. Accept them gratefully!
14 Sometimes survey companies will send you coupons for products and other free stuff if you're willing to give them feedback about the product.
15 Join BZZ Agent
16 Sign up to try new products that come out, when the opportunity arises; sometimes you'll get picked sometimes you won't.
I know there are more Secret Coupon Hiding Places out there so please share!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

To Coupon or Not To Coupon Now That's NOT a Question

Dear Diary,
Just have to tell you about the coupons I used when shopping for groceries this week. Have to admit after using over $28 of coupons, it was a great coupon week.
Here's a summary of my coupon use and also have to tell I used these coupons in combo with sales so I got even better deals:
1 Uncle Bens Natural Select Rice $3.47 (free with coupon)
1 Nordica Cottage Cheese $2.89 (free with coupon)
1 Kashi Bars $3.99 (free with coupon)
1 Catelli Healthy Harvest Pasta $1.97 (free with coupon)
2 Delissio Ultimate Pizzas sale priced $6.94 (had $2 coupons so $4.94 and bought 2) No Frills

2 Tide and 2 Gain laundry detergents sale priced at $4.99 (had $1 coupons so $3.99; bought4) Shoppers
4 Cote D'or chocolate bars sale priced 2 for $5 ( had $1 coupons so $1.50 each;bought4 ) Shoppers
1 pack Vitality replacement heads for toothbrush sale priced $17.99 ( $3 coupon so $14.99)Shoppers
2 Dawn dish soaps sale priced at .88 (.50 coupons so .38 each; bought 2) Giant Tiger
Oh and also got a $20 Esso Gas Card for spending $50 at Shoppers Drug Mart today!
And also visited a Lindt event today and got a Lindt bag; dh got a mini Lindt Chocolate Bunny!
Can't get any better than this!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mirror Mirror On The Wall was I Frugal After All

Dear Diary,
Spent the day shopping with family! Sometimes it's easy to spend more when others are around, have to admit. But did I spend more? And the answer is NO. Mostly bought stuff that we needed anyways.
But I digress, bought a couple things for myself this morning on my own at WalMart on clearance; a shirt for $4 and a bra for$5. WooHoo!
And a Good Mail Day too: Yoga Mat from Astro Yogurt, Free Product Coupon from Uncle Bens and coupons from a trade on Frugal Shopper.
It's been a Good Day!
Good Night

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Do you Recycle or Reuse?

Dear Diary,
This whole new garbage limitation got me thinking... about all the stuff I recycle and reuse. But where do I begin to tell the story?...
I reuse and recycle:
inner milk bags just once mind you for freezer storage instead of zipper type bags
outer milk bags for dog waste
cereal bags to separate steaks & burgers and occasionally to place homemade cookies on but not too often cause I don't bake much (i never buy wax paper)
ziploc baggies; wash them and reuse them until they rip
paper grocery bags for mini green cart bin liner and to store meat cut offs in freezer until garbage day
plastic grocery bags for inside and outside garbage
large water bottles from our water cooler to collect rain water for plants in the winter and to make large ice blocks for our cooler and freezer when it is running on empty
junk mail envelopes for grocery lists and to send money for school fundraisers, lunches etc...

And here's a few things I don't buy or hardly buy and I'll tell you why:
paper towels as I use washable cloths and J-cloths instead
paper tissues; we use hankies most of the time but always have paper tissues on hand for guests
paper napkins; use washable cloth ones instead
wax paper cause as I said before I use inner cereal bags
fabric softener cause we really don't need it
many household cleaners cause I mostly use dish soap, baking soda and vinegar and believe it or not we're still all alive and kicking
dear diary I know there's more but my bed beckons me; I'm sure you can come up with a few ideas of your own???
good night