Thursday, July 17, 2014

Frugal Victories

Today I decided to get my household binder back in order, so I pulled it off the bookshelf. Looking through it I found several expired coupons, along with ...

A Coinstar voucher worth $34.08 - from 2011!

I figured I must have already claimed it, but no, I hadn't. Woohoo!  $34.08 has been applied as a credit to my Amazon account. I'm really glad that I could still read the claim code as most of the voucher is rather faded.

I'm feeling inspired to take my coin bank over to the supermarket and see how much I've saved since the last time I turned them in. But I will wait until next week when I need to go, rather than using the gas to go today when I was there yesterday. This week's ad wasn't very exciting so I won't need to go back for any more loss leader produce. Not driving the car to do an unnecessary errand is a passive way to save money.

In other frugal victory news, there are four books that my family are interested in reading that I have been able to place on hold at the library. We'd gotten lazy over the past year, ordering books in e-format rather than going through the process of placing holds, waiting, and reading paper books. Husband in particular prefers e-books, and two of the held books are for him, so I consider it a major victory! I picked up the first available book yesterday evening, combined with a trip to the natural foods store just down the street from that library as well as the supermarket for the Wednesday both weekly ads are valid produce specials.

There was a free Redbox DVD code available today, so I reserved a movie for my boys and I rode my bike to pick it up.

I tried Amy Dacyczyn's food processor pizza dough from The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Somehow I have owned this book since it first came out and never made pizza dough this way. My family was happy to have pizza for our main meal. It isn't my favorite crust ever, but I did put pizza on the table 70 minutes after I made up my mind to make it.  It should take less time to make next time around. Even buying vegan cheese and vegan pepperoni, as well as prepared pizza sauce since I don't grow tomatoes, I did the calculations and determined that it cost $4.50 per 14" pizza. In the early 90s Amy's husband Jim could make a 14" cheese pizza for $1, so I consider $4.50 in 2014 for the same sized pizza topped with purchased sauce, vegan cheese and pepperoni, plus zucchini, tomatoes, and black olives to be a pretty frugal victory.

$9 for a main meal (let's call it $10 - two of the guys had giant apples after they ate their pizza) isn't exactly our cheapest meal, but the guys had been expressing a fancy for the local vegan pizza joint, which would have been at least $40 for an equivalent amount of pizza.

Little victories:

I hung a load of clothing to dry, as usual.

I made vegan hot cocoa for the boys and I using ingredients on hand (it was an unseasonably cold morning).

A cooler than average day meant we opened the windows in the morning and cooled the house from 80° to 75°, which meant we didn't need to run the A/C all day.

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