Frugal Things I Did This Month

Last year, I shared many of the frugal things I did each month to save our family money. I was amazed how all these little things added up to over $2500 in savings for our family! Since I haven’t shared any of those lists lately, I thought it was time for an update on frugal things I did this month.

You will see that these are a lot of little things – which add up to big savings. I’m sharing this as a reminder to always look for ways to save. You will also see that Meijer made my list 3 times this month. I do love the deals I find at Meijer!

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I bought a gift card at Meijer using $5 Mperks offer. When I was looking through my digital Mperks offer, I happened to notice a coupon for $5 off a $50 Meijer gift card. Since I knew I will easily spend $50 at Meijer, I snatched up that deal – for a free $5 to spend when I shopped! I bought the gift card and used it the next time I shopped. What a quick and easy way to save money!

I filled my free prescriptions at Meijer with pharmacy rewards. Are you part of a pharmecy rewards program? Regardless of how often or how little you fill perspcriptions, I highly recommend it. We settled on the Meijer pharmecy rewards because for every 5 prescriptions you fill, you earn a free $10 to spend on anything in the store. I’ve discovered they even count their free antibiotics towards your rewards which really makes the program worthwhile for us!

I shopped on a 5% cash back day at Meijer. This happened to coincide with the other Meijer deals but it’s worth mentioning. I happened to be shopping on a Friday where we got 5% off everything grocery and health related I purchased. That saved me an additional $6 on that shopping trip. It’s another reason I love Meijer!

I redeemed some Friday freebies at Kroger. While Meijer may be my go-to store, Kroger is still a favorite for all their deals. This month, I picked up a free cereal bar and a free McCormick’s spice blend. I missed the free offer for bread and couldn’t find the free chocolate. Those were big disappointments! Thankfully, I have a free 2 litter of soda and a different free cereal bar waiting for me to pick up. If you have a Kroger nearby, be sure to always load their Friday Freebie to your account. It’s always nice to get something for free!

I entered several grocery store receipts on Ibotta and added almost $5 worth in rebates to my account. Ibotta is quickly becoming one of my favorite couponing apps, now that I have a smart phone. If you use nothing else, give Ibotta a try! While you do have to make it to $20 before you cash out, I find that they have at least one deal a week I can redeem. I love their produce and dairy rebates! Right now, when you sign up for Ibotta and redeem your first rebate within 2 weeks, you get a free $10 in your account. That puts you half way to cashing out and is free money so give it a try! You can sign up for Ibotta here.

We bought flowers for my Mom and triple stacked deals. For Mother’s Day, we decided to send flowers to my Mom in Texas. It was a nice surprise (because we don’t always do things like that) and a belated thank you for spending time with us after Emma was born. Flowers were on sale at 1-800 Flowers, plus I shopped through Giving Assistant for a significant 10% cash back reward. Then, I used some of Discover cash back rewards to pay for the flowers because $20 bought me a $25 gift certificate. Technically, by stacking these three deals, I was able to surprise my amazing Mom with beautiful flowers for nothing out of pocket. And I know she’ll appreciate the deal all the more reading this…because I get my frugality from her! 🙂

I shopped less than usual. Taking two little ones out to grocery shop requires planning so when I go out, I make it worth our while. Shopping less than usual naturally decreases our bills.

We ate from the freezer while Andy was in DC. With my husband gone for a week on his class trip, I did very little grocery shopping. Instead, Nathan and I did our best to eat from the freezer and pantry. We finished up quite a few odds and ends and kept our budget low. Now, I actually have space in my freezer above the fridge!

I baked homemade bread. This time around, I used some of the bread machine mixes that I had made. Whether I use the bread machine or make bread by hand, it still saves us money!

I watched shows on Netflix. I haven’t watched much television this month because I’ve been busy filling custom book orders. I did just start on the second season of Fixer Upper. I am become a big fan of the Gaines!

We visited the zoo with our family pass. My in-laws gave us a zoo pass for Christmas which I absolutely love! It’s a non-clutter gift that gets us out of the house. Now, we can head to the zoo whenever we want and don’t have to feel pressured to see everything in one visit. We’ve already visited twice this year, meeting my husband there after he finishes teaching school for the day. It was a bit cold the first time we went but that’s okay. We are going to use this gift a lot this year because it’s free (to us) family fun! It was fun to check another first of Emma’s list of firsts, too! Doesn’t she look thrilled to be at the zoo?

Emma's first trip to the zoo

We ate out at Granite City with coupons. Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional meal out! I’m on the Granite City list and received a free appetizer for my yearly reward. We ended up buying another appetizer, but our bill was minimal – and we had leftovers!

I checked out books from the library. Nathan loves books and the library almost as much as his mother. Since we can walk to our local library, we stop by regularly. Libraries are a great way to save money!

I added Pampers points, Huggies codes and Coke points to my various reward programs. I’m in lots of reward programs and these are the ones I use the most. Even if it takes me awhile to earn rewards, I love the idea of getting free rewards. I earned a bonus 300 points from Pampers this month for entering codes consecutively for months. Here are some of the other free reward programs I use. 

I used free Amazon gift cards to buy some surprises for Nathan. Since we’ll be doing a lot of driving on vacation this summer, we decided to buy a portable dvd player for our car. I’m all for limiting television for kids but when you’re looking at over 40 hours of driving time (on just one trip) in a car with a 2 year old, you do what you have to do! Thanks to Amazon gift cards I had earned from Bing and Swagbucks, the dvd player cost me nothing out of pocket. Yay!

I shopped at garage sales. A friend and I walked to garage sales with our kids one Friday morning. There weren’t as many sales as we hoped but I ended up with a piano lamp for only $7. That was a savings of over $30 for something that had been on my list for quite some time! Andy and I took the kids out the next morning and I bought various little things. The best deal was a box of snap circuits for only $3 – and it retails at over $20. Nathan will love that in a year or two!

Those are some of the frugal things I did this month to save our family money. What did you do?

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3 Comments

  1. I love reading how others live their lives frugally. Spending less becomes easier as you become more intentional about it. I have to check out Kroger, I’ve heard plenty of good things about them.

  2. I got a groupon for both flowers (for Mother’s Day) and a photo book. My flowers weren’t quite as inexpensive as yours since I did have to pay some out of pocket, but I did save quite a bit! I also got a free photo book from Shutterfly. I already had a book made up and was just waiting for a freebie, so I was excited about that!

    1. Yay! I need to finish some photo books so I can take advantage of the next Shutterfly freebie that comes along. I love those! And belatedly, Happy Mother’s Day to you, Addy! 🙂

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