Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Decorations and Such- The Frugal Way

This is my first Christmas not living at home, so I thought I'd show off a few of my decorations and things. I only decorated the living room and the kitchen, and I discovered that I have TONS of decorations. Several boxes' worth had to go back in the closet!

The Christmas tree- fake, and purchased at 50% off several years ago.

Sale priced ornaments and lights, some 90% off decorations that I bought during the ice storm.

Hand-made Christmas tree pot holders .25 for two at a yard sale. Candy cane decoration and stockings were free.

Sale priced doilies, bead garland, and three .10 Christmas trees. Box of junk in the back FREE.
Presents! Featuring sale priced wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows.

More presents! Featuring a reused gift bag and reused ribbon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ha Ha Ha...Ow

Okay, it snowed and iced a bit here last week, but most of it has melted off. So tell me how- HOW- do I find the only bit of ice-like substance left in the parking lot? And why is it that that ice-like substance is located in the FRONT of the building where there are multiple office windows and the conference room windows?*

I have a talent. And slightly bruised knees.

*I don't think anybody actually saw me fall. I also checked the conference room and it was, thankfully, empty.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Kitty Pictures

I can't seem to get any pictures of her where she doesn't blink and/or look evil. But she's still pretty cute. :P

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

HP Ink Cartridge Rebate

I needed to buy ink for my HP printer/scanner/copier, particularly since I have Staples ink coupons handy. After a little searching, I also found a $10 rebate on double packs of HP ink. Here is the ink rebate if you need it.

Total cost:
$26.99 for 2 cartridges
-$9.00 ink coupons (3)
+.76 tax
- .52 that I'll get back from shopping through Ebates
-$10.00 rebate
$8.23 for two black ink cartridges, or $4.12 each. Not bad!

Refilling My Gift Tub: Frugal Toys

Lately I've read a lot of posts on why people are no longer going to buy things to have for their gift closet or that they need to cut back in doing so. My gifts are stored in a large Sterilite tub in a spare closet. For the first time in a year, the gift tub is nearly empty!

For the most part, I try to purchase gifts that have intended recipients, not a bunch of stuff that may or may not be given. I do, however, think it's handy to have extra baby and wedding gifts on hand that can be paired with something inexpensive off a gift registry.

This is a great time of year to be on the lookout for deals on gifts for next year. I already have my mom (March birthday) and sister-in-law (April birthday)'s birthdays completed.

Today, I purchased a bunch of toys off Amazon for next year. I bought 11 toys and only one does not have an intended recipient/occasion. I always buy from Amazon's toy sales because they have nice stuff that gets deeply discounted several times per year. If you are in need of toys, I recommend checking it out!

Total cost before sale: $205.89. Total cost of my order: $62.98- $25.00 gift card (from my credit card rewards program)= a grand total of $37.98. I will also keep watching the prices because they do price adjustments. ;)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Something From Nothing

Today at about 3pm I remembered that I have to bring food to work tomorrow. I am on the wellness committee at work, and we have a once a month "carry in" with healthy dishes. So I now had to think of a healthy dish to bring in. I brought a rice-and-beans dish last time, so that was a no go this time. Add to this the fact that I am nearly out of most perishable groceries. I had plenty of canned stuff and some frozen. And I was NOT in the mood to grocery shop in this rainy/icy gross weather. I decided to make a homemade chicken noodle soup. I improvised the recipe using stuff that I have, but it seemed to taste okay to me!

Yay for being able to come up with low cost, healthy meal options without spending extra money. :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ice Storm, Shmice Storm

Remember the horrible ice storm last year that shut off everyone's electricity for weeks? Well, the weather folks have warned that we may be having a similar event starting today and lasting through Tuesday. It has been mostly raining so far where I live with some ice accumulation that happened last night. It hasn't been anything to write home about just yet. People are VERY nervous about this because of what happened last year.

I don't think it's going to be as bad as last year, with the electricity going off for weeks. Here's why:
1) Most tree limbs are not anywhere near the power lines. This is because, frankly, most of them snapped off during last year's storm. Those that remained were trimmed back after the storm.
2) I am prepared. Things *never* happen when you're prepared. I have tons of extra batteries, flashlights with fresh batteries, and a lantern that operates from being hand-cranked. I also have a full tank of gas, food, and I live in town.

We shall see!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Today's Walgreens Purchase

*3-pack of Scotch brand gift wrap tape $1.00- I bought two (Note: This is the only thing that I REFUSE to do generic on. I use Scotch tape or nothin' due to a traumatic Christmas-present-wrapping several years ago.)
*Glade Wisp $7.99
*Revlon blush $9.79
*Jane Be Pure Mineral Cosmetics Powder $5.99
*Revlon eyelash curler $3.79
Total: $29.56

Coupons used:
$2.00 off any Jane Cosmetics
$2.00 off any Revlon Cosmetics
$4.00 off Glade Wisp
Eyelash curler was free (BOGO), so $3.99
Total: $11.99

Rebates that will be used:
$5.99 for the Jane Powder
$1.00 for one of the Scotch tapes
$3.00 for the Glade Wisp
Total: $9.99

Total Amount: $29.56
Total Saved: $21.98
Total Actually Spent: $7.58+ tax, but I didn't actually spend anything out of pocket. I paid with a Walgreens giftcard from previous rebates. :P

The Scotch tape deal is REALLY good (3 rolls for $1). Even if you don't want to do the rebate to get one FREE, 3 for $1 is still a great price.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yesterday Was My Half Birthday...

...and I am now officially 25.5. I am quickly heading out of my "middle twenties" and careening toward "late twenties". Say it ain't so.

Staples Fun is Here Again!

Remember all the great deals I used to get at Staples because of those $3 ink coupons? And how bummed I was when they stopped shipping every order for free?

Well. Staples fun is back, my friends! Now through December 26th they are shipping every order for free.

Guess who exchanged 10 ink cartridges for $30 worth of coupons today? Muahahahahaha!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Lately I haven't posted much about my life, whereas in last year's posts I talked about it all the time. Part of that is because I was miserable last year and I am not this year! :P

Basically, things are great. I love my internship. It is perfect in many ways. It is not exactly what I want to be doing, but it is great training. I enjoy my new church, my apartment, my cat, my family, my friends- even though many are far away now. I am enjoying figuring out where I'll be and what I'll be doing next year, although that can also be stressful.

In short, I could not be happier. Everyday I see all of these blessings that God has laid out for me and I am so grateful. Things are so much better than I ever imagined they could be.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Frugal Baby Gift, Part One Million

This is my most recent baby gift. It is not as frugal as some gifts that I have previously made, but I did not have much in my gift stockpile to use. It was also for a close friend, so I felt justified in spending more than my usual. :P I spent about $20 at Old Navy on baby clothes (2 shirts, 1 onesie), which are wrapped in tissue recycled from my swap gift back in the spring. I later learned that I had a coupon I could've used, so that bummed me out a little. $4 was spent at Kohl's on pajamas (also wrapped in tissue). The diapers and one set of the wipes were purchased for free on a CVS giftcard that I had from when I transferred a prescription several months ago. Well, I actually owed .03, but the sales clerk paid it for me so that I wouldn't have to use my debit card. :P I paid $1.50 for another box of wipes and included three free diaper samples that I had. The cellophane wrapper came from Dollar Tree (2/$1) and everything is tied up with a bit of yard sale ribbon. I also made my own card, which is not pictured. Total cost: ~$26.

Happy Birthday, Auntie!

Your Darling Niece