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Archive for the ‘Frugal Friday’ Category

When I did scrapbooking in the past, it was using construction and printer paper.  It was making do with flourescent colors and pictures printed on printer paper on a color printer.  It was putting the pages in a 3-ring binder for my students to look at.

Recently, I decided to do the real deal.  I bought a scrapbook from a discount store.  I bought a pad of scrapbook paper for a fraction of the normal price.  It was normally $20 and I got it for $4, just because some sheets on the pad of paper had been removed.

I selected a few pictures from my iPhoto library and had them printed on a Kodak machine at the grocery store.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased alphabet letters, stickers, double-sided tape, and a storage case for the supplies.

I also purchased a paper cutter on clearance from Target, which later broke, so I had to go back and exchange it for a slightly more expensive paper cutter.scrapbook-1

The supplies.

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You can see that the papers coordinate.  That was a big help, because I have difficulty matching colors in an attractive way compared to my ultra-talented friends.  One of my friends will tell you that I once tried to color a pig purple, just because that was the nearest colored pencil at hand.

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This is the original paper cutter.  It worked great until the blade guard fell off and the blade started shredding the edges of paper instead of cutting it.

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I love the way that the papers coordinated.  In the stack of paper I bought, facing pages were meant to go together.  I also loved my double-sided tape!

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I loved these alpha letter stickers.  They really made the scrapbook pages even prettier.

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This is my new paper cutter.  Notice that it has an arm on the upper left. This allows you to cut full sheets of scrapbook paper.  The arm folds up when not in use.  The previous cutter I had was just a tad too short to cut full sheets.  The pages would fit under the cutter, but the blad would not reach the edge of the page.  You had to go back with scissors to finish the job.

I had a great time making scrapbook pages.  I was quite surprised.  I was also suprised to see that most of my iPhoto pictures were of clothing and food that I made.  I need to get out and do more hiking and trips so that I can take more pictures of people!!

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I’ve begun the monumental task of sewing my winter wardrobe.  I’m using the pattern (Simplicity 3887) that I used for summer blouses, using two versions of long sleeves.  Three shirts will have loose long sleeves and five will have long sleeves gathered with elastic at my wrists.  It took forever to determine the correct length for the gathered sleeves, because I’m petite and the pattern is not (which is why I have to alter the neckline, too.).  I ended up taking up the long sleeve 2 inches.

Here’s how it started.  I’ve noticed the air getting cooler in the morning (high 60’s).  I know that once we get cold air, I won’t have anything “new” or that fits to wear to work.  I knew it was time to get started on my winter wardrobe.  I looked at Old Navy.  The clothes were adorable, but not right for my body (or wallet).

I went to JoAnn’s.  Silky fabrics were 40% off.  I went crazy and picked 10, later skimming down to 8.  When picking fabrics, I noticed brand new bolts, still wrapped in plastic, on shelves under the displayed silky fabrics.  Needless to say, I sat on the floor and peeked at each one, opening several (tearing off the plastic), and finding awesome fabrics!  I figure that what I did was helpful to the store workers, who were probably too busy to put the new fabric out, seeing the long lines at the checkout and cutting table.

What helped my wallet (besides the 40% off) was that when I went to use my 15% off teacher card (I’ll wear these at school, so they count for the teacher discount in my book), I was told that I needed a new one, because they expire every year.  I got my new card, complete with a 20% off the entire order coupon.  Hooray!  My receipt said that I saved $85 today!!  In all, I calculated that each shirt (I will make 8 if I don’t go crazy first) will cost me about $10 each.  That’s quite a good deal!  Plus, I’m getting fantastic patterns and fabrics, unlike the black, yucky stuff you find in retail stores.

Anyways, I’m doing an assembly line with the eight blouses.  I’m currently cutting out the sleeves (3 loose around the wrist and 5 to-be-gathered at the wrist with elastic).  I’ve already cut out the interfacing for the neckline.  I’ve got a labeled spot on my sofa bed for each pattern piece.  I’m two hours into The Sound of Music, of which I keep stopping to rest (cutting out fabric on the floor is not kind to the back), eat, or watch my favorite parts of the movie.

The pattern (B shirt, without the ribbon)

Five of B shirt, without the ribbon; 3 of B shirt/D sleeves

I'll do this top with long sleeves

I'll make this style of blouse with long sleeves

These three will be for the long, flowing sleeves

These three will be for the long, flowing sleeves

Cutting out 3 fabrics at once

Cutting out 3 fabrics at once

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Have you ever found a really good deal on chicken?  You know, one of those deals that’s so good that it’s only on sale for one day?

On May 5 (Cinco de Mayo, yes, I know that’s over a month ago–I’m just now going through my photos), I noticed in the Randall’s ad that frozen boneless, skinless, chicken breasts were on sale one day only (I must say that the deal was extra fun to find in the ad, because the ad came out that day!).  Normally, the 4 pound bags of chicken sold for $12 each.  On May 5, they were on sale for $4 each.  That was $1 a pound!

I know that many people have found better deals for chicken, and that several others find that buying an entire chicken and cutting it up is the more frugal way to go, but I am a working woman!  I don’t have time to cut up a chicken!  When I get home, I’m starving!  I like to be able to reach into my freezer, pull out a bag of chicken breasts, throw 2-4 of them into a pan coated with non-stick spray, sprinkle them with Garlic and Herb Seasoning (sodium-free), throw them in the oven at 350, and WALK AWAY!!  That’s right, with 2 minutes of prep, I can walk away and crash on the couch until such time as my meat thermometer (inserted into the chicken after about 20 minutes, at which time the chicken has thawed enough in the oven to do so) tells me that my diiner is ready!

Anyways, I was very excited to find such a good deal on bagged chicken breasts.  I purchased 3 bags for $12 total (which was normal cost of one bag), and proudly called some of my friends to inform them of the deal.

Here is a picture of the chicken bags, as well as how I most often prepare it.  Keep in mind that I usually do an extra piece or two so that I can make chicken noodle soup later in the week.

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When I first posted in February that I was going to try cloth napkins instead of disposable paper ones, I didn’t know that they would work out so well.  After buying my initial set of napkins on sale at a retail store, a coworker gave me more that she had found at a dollar store.  On a later date, I found the same ones that my coworker had given me at a dollar store, so I purchased similar patterns, plus additional ones.  After we had acquired a fair amount of napkins (at least 4 per pattern/color, for when we have dinner guests), I purchased a cut basket from a dollar store to put them in until they’re used.

We use the cloth napkins for meals and snacks at home and lunches that we take to work.  It’s especially fun to find creative ways to fold the napkins when we have company over.  Also, when we eat spaghetti, I make sure that we use our red napkins, so that the pasta sauce blends in.

The only times that we haven’t used cloth napkins have been for fried chicken (Messy!) and throw-away sack lunches for field trips/hiking.

To wash the napkins, I throw them in the wash with our regular clothes.  I don’t iron them, because that would be a lot of work for something that would be used up in the time span of one meal.  However, if the Queen were coming to dinner…

Here are some pictures of drying on a clothes rack, folding, and stacking in the basket.

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I had a fun time with the Drugstore Game this morning.

A quick explanation of the Drugstore Game:

  • CVS (with free store card) and Walgreens
  • Search their ads for sales that involve Extra Bucks (CVS) or Register Rewards (Walg)
  • When you purchase certain items, you get store credit/coupons (however you want to call them) for the next week (they usually expire within 1-3 weeks)
  • The next week, you buy another set of items that have rewards at checkout, but you use clipped coupons and your reward dollars. Thus, you pay less and get rewards for the following week.
  • I want to add that CVS has a separate flyer in the store each month for specific Extra Bucks deals, and they also have a few in each week’s ad. Walgreens has a montly rebate flyer in the store, as well as their weekly ad with a few register rewards in it.
  • CVS and Walgreens ads can be found in the stores, online, and also in most Sunday papers. Deals start every Sunday (HEB and Randall’s start every Wednesday).

Here’s how I did today:

  • I selected Glide Floss at 3 for $9 with $3 in register rewards (printed at checkout), thus really getting 2 for $6 (because the register rewards were $3, which I would use the following week).
  • Before paying, I handed the cashier a $1 clipped coupon (from the newspaper) and $6 of register rewards that I had saved from the previous week’s trip to Walgreens. DO NOT LET THE CASHIER TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T USE REGISTER REWARDS OR COUPONS! They’ll try, because they haven’t experienced the joys of the Drugstore Game, and therefore don’t realized the fun that you can have combining manufacturers coupons with store credit (register rewards). My lovely cashier tried to discourage me, but I persisted that I would like to try all of my coupons/rewards anyways. It all worked perfectly according to plan. The coupon and rewards added up to $7, so my cash total went from $9.17 down to $2.17, which I paid in cash (I use a variation of the cash & money envelope system instead of credit cards).
  • When I received my receipt, I was also given my $3 register rewards (because I bought 3 floss for $9), which I will use next week.
  • If you add in my new rewards, which I will use next week, Walgreens actually paid me $.83 (or you can call it $1) to purchase floss. Fun!

I have to say that when I first read up on people’s successes with the game and how to play, I didn’t think that I could do it. I read that it was a good idea to start with one deal in the ads and go from there.

My advice for Drugstore Game beginners is to search the ads each week until you find an item that you have been needing to purchase (or an item that you regularly buy). Make sure that it has register rewards/Extra Bucks. Go out and buy it. Save your register rewards/Bucks. The next week, search the ads again. If you don’t see anything you need, don’t worry! Bucks are usually good for at least 2 weeks. Wait another week. If you still can’t find something, go ahead and use the bucks to purchase a non-register rewards item (milk, toothbrush, etc.). Think of it like a clipped coupon. I often used mine for non-Rx prescriptions that I combine with clipped coupons. Eventually, a deal will come along that is right up your alley. You’ll do great! Just remember to bring your clipped coupons with you!

What successes have you had with the Drugstore Game?

See more Frugal Friday ideas at http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog.htm.

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Last weekend, I took advantage of the President’s Day sale at JoAnn Fabrics.  Normally,  Simplicity patterns sell for about $16 each.  JoAnn’s was selling them 5 for $5 with a limit of ten patterns.

It was all I could do to hold off for the two weeks I had been waiting for the sale.  I even went in the week before to write down each pattern that I would purchase.  On the first day of the sale, I went to JoAnn’s after work and rapidly filled my basket with the patterns on my list.  It was so wonderful to finally have my patterns!

I bought ten patterns.  Normally, that would be about $16o.  I got them for $10!!!  What a sale!

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I’ve been wanting to purchase some new clothing patterns.  I’ll go to a fabric store, examine patterns, decide to procrastinate, and leave.

This week, I walked into JoAnn Fabrics, finally committed to a pattern, walked to the counter, had my coupon and wallet in hand, and hit a roadblock.  I was told that my 40% off coupon wouldn’t work, because the pattern was already on sale.  The sale price was $10 for one pattern!

At the counter, I noticed a flyer.  Beginning Friday, February 15, many Simplicity patterns would be on sale 5 for $5!  I thanked the cashier, said, “No thank you, I’ll be back on Friday,” and walked to my car!

Here are some of the patterns I’m thinking about purchasing (if they’re in stock):

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As you can see, I would like to try some dresses that come to the knee, have short sleeves, and do not have zippers!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Biblical Womanhood.

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