Simply Saving Saturday - February 15


My husband was able to get a ride home from church after his meeting on Sunday so that we were able to ride together to church instead of taking 2 vehicles, saving us money on gas.

This week I made a meal with lentils for the first time.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a big hit at my house.  I will be looking for more lentil recipes to try since I now have 8 cups of cooked lentils in my freezer!

I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and made overnight crock pot chicken broth.  I used the leftover chicken and chicken broth to make Chicken and Rice Soup and we also had chicken quesadillas and chicken sandwiches with the leftover chicken.

I found Nivea Lip Butter on sale at Walmart for $1.74 each and used the $3.00 Nivea lip care coupon from Sunday's paper.  I paid $.24 each!  I was also really excited to find bags of slightly browned bananas on sale for $.89/bag.  The bag I brought home had 12 bananas in it!  I made chocolate chip banana muffins and will freeze the bananas that I'm not able to use up quickly.

Our children made their dad Valentine's Day cards and I wrote him a Soap Love Note for Valentine's Day. Instead of eating out, I made a Valentine's Day meal at home and made one of his favorite desserts, Hot Fudge Cake.

We took the sleds out to the back yard for sledding.  A storm brought almost a foot of snow this week!

In my mailbox: free Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - February 8


This week my husband and I enjoyed a free meal at a fancy restaurant.  My husband's employer hosts an annual employee dinner every February and we look forward to this free "date" every year.

On Wednesday we had a snow storm that gave us about 6 more inches of snow.  My husband also had that day off from work and instead of using the snow blower he and the boys went out late Wednesday afternoon to shovel.  They went out again after he got home from work on Thursday to finish cleaning up the driveway. We saved a little bit of gas by shoveling instead of using the snow blower.

At the bread store this week I was able to buy a few items that were on sale for $.50 each and also bought loaves of whole wheat bread for $.99 each.  They had loaves of Texas Toast bread for $.99!  I splurged and bought a loaf since my husband treats us to french toast once in a while and french toast is just not the same if it's not made with Texas Toast bread.

I made Spaghetti Pie with leftover spaghetti and used cottage cheese that I got for $1 after sale and coupons.

After the children were born we got into the habit of leaving a light on at night.  This week I found an extra night light and we have been using that at night instead of leaving a light on.  I'm anxious to see if this will make a difference on our electric bill!

I added a little bit of water to the hand soap in order to get the last little bit from the bottom of the bottle.

In my mailbox: free samples.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - February 1



On our last bank statement, I noticed a charge for receiving a paper statement.  This week I went online and signed up for online statements so that we wouldn't have to pay the monthly paper statement fee.  It only took a few minutes and will save us $12 per year.  That might not seem like a lot, but I like to think about it in terms of food....that is about 12 boxes of pasta or 12 cans of spaghetti sauce or 3 gallons of milk or...

This week I cooked a whole chicken that I bought on sale last week and made chicken broth in the crock pot with the scraps.  We tried Chicken Pot Pie Stew that I made on the stove instead of in the crock pot and it turned out delicious!

I was able to buy some ground beef that was on sale for $1.99/lb. this week.

I saved a fancy jar that we received a Christmas gift in; it will be perfect for storing rice!

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - January 25



While at the grocery store I noticed an unadvertised 50% off clearance on a few different kinds of cereal.  I had coupons with me that I was able to use and paid just $1.00 - $1.50 per box.  I bought 12 boxes and I'm hoping to make these last for 6 weeks.  I also bought whole chicken on sale for $.99/lb. and bread at the bread store for $.99 each.  

This week we tried Taco Soup for the first time.  I added some shredded chicken leftover from another meal and we all enjoyed it.  I was thrilled when our child who doesn't care for soup ate it without complaint.

We borrowed movies and books from the library.

I cut our younger son's hair.

I saved the stickers from a Disney offer that came in the mail to put in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.

I reused plastic zipper bags.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.
**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - Alternatives to Cable and Satellite T.V.



Our satellite t.v. provider sent us a notice that our bill is going to increase $5 per month starting in February. That's an extra $60 per year! We have considered switching to a basic cable plan, but we are pretty sure we will eventually have the same problem with increasing rates, so this week I did a little research on alternatives to cable and satellite t.v. and here are the options that we are considering:

1.  Buy an HDMI cable.

Pros:  The cable would allow us to stream video from our computer to our t.v and we would be able to take advantage of the many free shows available online from Hulu, pbs.org, cbs.com, etc.  This is also one of the least expensive options; the cable costs around $12.

Cons:  We wouldn't be able to watch any local programming and would not be able to watch our beloved Patriots football games.  Also, the free programming available online is shown a day after it airs.

2.  HDMI cable + antenna.

Pros:  We would be able to pick up local programming with the antenna (and, hopefully the football games) along with the free programming we could watch with on our t.v. with the cable.

Cons:  My husband went online and found that we would need to mount the antenna on our roof in order to get a strong enough signal and we're not sure how many channels we would be able to get. The cost of these antennas, I believe, is somewhere around $100 depending on what you need for your location.

3.  Antenna + Roku.

Pros: A Roku is a device for streaming wirelessly to a t.v. and offers many shows for free. There are other options for streaming wirelessly, but this seems to be the best and least expensive option for us.

Cons:  A Roku costs between $50 and $100 depending on which version you buy.  There are a few sports networks available through the Roku for a fee (MLB, NHL), but football isn't available.  The free version of Hulu does not work on the Roku.


Some things to consider before disconnecting:

*Early termination fees (if under contract)
*Internet connection speed needs to be high enough to be able to stream movies without interruption.
*Make sure the internet package does not include bandwidth caps.  Extra fees will be charged for usage beyond the cap.


Have you disconnected from cable or satellite t.v.?  What has worked for you as an alternative?





[photo credit: frankie-8/freedigitalphotos.net]

My 2014 Memories Journal


I noticed this memory jar on Facebook and was inspired to make a memory journal in order to remember special moments and blessings from this year.



It has been quite a while since I tackled a sewing project and I was very excited to set up my dusty sewing machine and give this a try.  I used a plain composition notebook, materials that I had on hand and this easy-to-follow tutorial from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

Instead of the ruffle that is shown in the tutorial, I used a ribbon that I had saved from a Christmas present I received several years ago.  It just happened to match very well with the fabric that I found in my sewing box.  I decided not to add a closure, but there are also very clear instructions to add one if you prefer.

It will be so fun to read about our year on New Year's Eve!

Don't sew?  Here's a simple no-sew tutorial!


Simply Saving Saturday - January 11



This week most of our savings were from doing things that have become a habit for us (see list below).

We continue to keep the thermostat set at 66 degrees, but have been preparing for higher heating costs this year due to the very cold winter we are experiencing. Whenever I feel cold I put an extra layer on and have occasionally resorted to crocheting on the couch with a blanket wrapped around my legs. :)

This week I baked a ham and put the ham bone in the freezer to use at a later date.  The ham was an extra ham that I bought when they were on sale for $.89 a pound at Christmastime.  I bought broccoli that was on sale for $.99/pound to make ham and broccoli casserole with the leftovers.  I will probably be able to stretch the leftovers into one other meal as well.

My mom and stepdad have given us a AAA membership as a Christmas gift for the last four years.  This week, while doing a bit of reorganizing (a.k.a cleaning out the junk drawer) I found one of the brochures and decided to look through it. Much to my surprise, I discovered that we can get discounts at many businesses and attractions around the state with our AAA membership.  It turns out that we can get a discount at one of the boys' favorite places--the Maine Discovery Museum.  We will definitely be taking advantage of our new-found savings this summer!

If you have a AAA membership be sure to check the discounts that are available!  You can find the information online at AAA.com or get more information at your local AAA office.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 degree during the day and 52 degrees at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


[photo credit: frankie-8/freedigitalphotos.net]


Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.

Simply Saving Saturday - January 4




Happy New Year!  Here's to a new year of frugal living!

In our mail this week I found free address labels from a company that was trying to sell me life insurance.  I saved the address labels before throwing the rest of the information away.

The boys have been sledding a few times with the new snow tubes that we gave them for Christmas.  I bought the snow tubes from Amazon with gift cards I earned from Swagbucks.

A free Lego magazine came in the mail for our older son.  Both of my children love getting this magazine and read them over and over again.  If you are interested in this free offer, you can find the signup form here.

I downloaded several e-books by Beth Moore that were free this week on Kindle,  Nook and on BookShout.  I think they are going to be available until January 10 if you are interested in downloading any (or all!) of these books.

I bought a few things from the Christmas clearance at Walmart.  Most things are marked down to 75% off and I found a few things that will make good gifts to put in next year's Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  I purchased a sweet little stuffed owl for $.75 and puzzles, pencil and paper set and a coloring/game book for $.24 each.  I also bought santa hats for the boys that I'm hoping to use next year in our Christmas pictures.  They were $.75 each.

We visited with my mom and stepdad on Christmas day and my mom gave me the ham bone from the Christmas ham. I used it to make ham and bean soup this week.

My mother-in-law made pea soup with the ham bone from her Christmas ham and shared some with my husband.  Since no one else in our family likes it and it has been years since I have made it, this was a nice treat for him.

I celebrated a birthday this week and my mother-in-law planned a wonderful surprise party for me.  I also got some nice presents in my email:  50 Swag Bucks for my birthday and a free e-book download from Tyndale Rewards.

For Christmas this year we received a few new electronic devices with cords for charging and I've noticed that our collection of cords has grown over the years.  This week I started saving bread bag tags that I am going to use to label the cords and help me keep them organized.

Our on-going savings:

**Keep heat set at 66 during the day and 52 at night.

**Wash laundry in cold water.

**Use online bill pay to pay our bills.

**Earn Swag Bucks for Amazon gift cards that I use to buy gifts.

**Earn Recyclebank points for gift cards, coupons and free magazine subscriptions.

**Husband takes lunch to work everyday.

**Turn lights off when not being used.

**Use scrap paper for notes and lists.

**Drive to town once a week for shopping and errands.  

**Buy less cereal and eat oatmeal and other homemade breakfasts several times a week.

**Reuse plastic and paper shopping bags for small trash and recycling.


[photo credit: frankie-8/freedigitalphotos.net]

Some of the links in this post are referral links. When a new member signs up using my referral link, I receive bonus points for that referral.