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Hey, how do you feel about this month?

I wrote a novel so feel free to scroll down to my summary! 

We had a misunderstanding and thank goodness dh didn't actually end up putting his school classes on the credit card. In fact, the reason the payments were so high was because they were charging him based on the full price scale instead of half price. We knew we'd owe a certain amount this summer but instead of 4 smaller payments (half price) they were billing us as if we had 4 large payments (full price). He gets a discount at this school through his employer. Anyway, so the next payment won't be so high and will be more manageable. 

I'm trying to brush myself off and try again with Vipkid but be more prepared. I am working on a cheap ($19 if you follow an offer link. Regular price is more like $100) TESOL certificate online. It says 120 hours but it's way shorter than that. I have completed 2 modules out of 10 (100% on the tests so far). It's very straightforward. It may not mean much IRL but for the online teaching they like/need some sort of certificate. You will automatically do a short TESOL (or TEFL?) with Vipkid upon hire, but theirs is solely for their own company. The one I'm doing can be presented to any company. No matter what, you have to do the Vipkid version if you work for them as that's part of their hiring process. I figure the TESOL I'm doing can't hurt and can only help. On top of that I've reached out to my friend to help me with face-to-face coaching. I really should have had something like this before, but she didn't exactly offer and I didn't exactly ask. Meanwhile I've been working on dh and he and I agreed that it's worth trying Vipkid with the Surface Pro since some people actually use an ipad. Losing the wifi during class is actually a fairly low concern so I guess I'll risk it. Now we need to reset the office to accommodate both of us. This means I may not be applying again just yet, but I'm taking baby steps. Also, I know they will need a diploma or official transcripts... neither of which I can locate! So I either need to find them or order a new set ugh. I currently only have the unofficial ones on file. They will accept a photograph of the other versions. All I could find was my AA degree. My diploma is stashed somewhere in its frame I think. Probably buried in a closet; I have no idea. Another thing they expect is a 1-3 min. video introducing yourself to help parents pick you for bookings. I asked dh if he'd help me make a video and he agreed. That was a huge concern of mine. I knew I would need help with the video but didn't know about the video portion til I was midway through the hiring process. I mean I wish my friend had told me more of this, but maybe she forgot or maybe she didn't need to make a video. I probably stress more about these things than most. 

I am learning through some online groups and my online coaching session I had that not all candidates are necessarily native speakers (one girl in my class said most words like a native speaker, but some words made her sound like a non native). You are supposed to be, but apparently people are applying that do not fit this criteria. I gotta admit, I was a bit shocked and annoyed given the broken English I saw in one of the facebook groups. Although, no one is perfect. I'm certainly not. Lots of people are on the page looking for work from South Africa and they are excluded from most of the teaching opportunities. I don't really know the deal with that. I feel bad for them if they are native English speakers. I don't know much about South African accents (I don't recall a strong accent when I met someone from there). 

I'm going to place at least one order for Science Fusion this week during the Group buy offer. Too bad they recommend about 4 modules for ds' grade. I'll buy one and see how we feel about it. We used SF many years ago and my issue was more the tech glitches than the material. I really liked their work book (this was kindergarten). 

My electronic deposit didn't go through from my last paycheck so I said we need to resubmit it. It didn't even show up under pending. Now the check is lost and I'm going crazy. I will call the bank tomorrow and see if they have any record of it. Ugh. 

Summary: dh didn't have to use the credit card afterall. I'll try Vipkid again but will try to get my ducks in a row this time. Maybe the TESOL will help with my interview. Might be a little while before I reapply but would like to try for the fall. Buying discounted science this week from Homeschool Buyer's co-op site. 

Edited by heartlikealion
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It sounds like things are looking up!  Good luck with VIPKid.  🙂

Life is going slow here.  Ish.  LOL  I gave in to the 9yo's constant pestering and bought our beach passes already.  They aren't checking during the week until after high school gets done for the year so we had a bit more time, but still.  That's $55 for both vehicles together to access any of our public beaches all year.  It's not a bad deal.  The pass money goes toward lifeguards, bathroom upkeep, and general maintenance.  That's also the same amount of money we spent to fix the grill after dh accidentally set it on fire. 😮 Thankfully it worked just fine after a good scrub down, but we did need to replace the ceramic burner covers and the fire extinguisher.

And, we had a curriculum swap at our homeschool day!  I managed to offload some things we were done with and a friend specifically sought me out to give me something.  She went through her Supercharged Science set and culled her doubles - one of which happens to be the exact topic we're covering next year.  I'm thrilled.  DS loves the videos and this will take our 25 week study to a full 35-36 depending on how I schedule.

DS's music teacher is inviting him to a group class they're putting together this summer.  I'm not sure if he'll do it, depending on when and how they finish.  We have a trip scheduled for August and I'd hate to have him bail on a group performance because we won't be there.  OTOH, it would be good for him if we could manage it.

So that's us. 🙂  I'm grocery shopping this morning and we had family movie night yesterday - Aquaman was finally in at the library. 🙂  And I picked up a couple of beach reads for the inevitable trips this week.  DS has asked me for a new math book for the summer and I think I'm not going to honor that request.  He has a lot already to look forward to and I think it will fall to the wayside.  Maybe before we go camping.  It would be good for the long car trip and time at the campsite.

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Heart-  I must have missed some of the Vipkid issues.  I didn't know that you were going to reapply.  What happened?   Anyhow I bet it will help you to know what the process is a bit going through it again.  It is good you are getting that certificate.   Yes for you dh getting on the boat.  Good for him.

 

Not much going on here.  Did some more travel hacking.   Paid for SOME of my kiddos ballet intensives and classes for summer and met the spend on a card.  Boom.    It makes the spending a little less crazy.   Another recital weekend here.  Luckily all in one day. 

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I could proceed with my current application but I’m redoing it because I didn’t interview well and they offered me the lowest base pay. I think most people get offered more and I have ESL experience so I want more. It’s one big game, though. It’s more about how you can do on camera than your experience/skills I think. When I tried to negotiate salary they accidentally sent me a template which states $8/per class (base pay). So I’m led to believe most get at least $8. I was offered $7. Now with incentives that can go up but I don’t want to rely on incentives. One of them is reachable... like show up for your class. One is not (for me). Teach over 45 classes a month. I told them I would accept the $8 but they admitted that was a mistake, a copy/paste thing. The communication is not great. 

My goal is to get offered $8 base pay (plus $1/class incentive) which would then translate to $18/hr. I know darn well I’ll spend more than 25 min on a class. I’ll review the material ahead and prepare props. Plus you need to send parents feedback. That’s more work in a way than what I did this past school year. I just showed up and helped kids with homework and brought a few of my own things like games and phonics tiles but it was not expected. I got $15/hr. 

Well the bank said my check image was not good so I need to resubmit. I’m so annoyed I have to request a new check. I tore up the house looking for it yesterday and went through part of the bag of papers that ds made from his school year’s worth of papers. Ds has no idea if he threw it away when he was picking up around the house. Dh assigns him clean up chores and Ds is so focused on filling a bag I don’t know if he pays attention to what he threw out. The church office has limited hours and might not be able to print me a new check til the end of the month when they normally print checks. I’ll email them but I bet that’s what they’ll say. 

If anyone needs help with VIPKID I’ll be an expert soon lol I think a lot of people glaze over some of the steps involved. 

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May was the worst month yet, budget wise.  DH's laptop broke, time to buy curriculum for fall, and we had multiple rounds of illness/chronic condition flare-ups.  Lots of meds and doctor appointments.  To get my frugal muscles working again, I'm trying to remember one or two things I did every day in June to save/not spend money.  So far:

6/1 - Bought two pairs of used baseball cleats (next two sizes up) for less than half the cost of a brand-new pair.
6/2 - Used a $10 Kohl's reward to replace DH's holey dress socks.
6/3 - Used free admission coupons to a local children's museum and took a picnic lunch with us.
6/4 - Took sandwiches, snacks, and drinks with us to an MLB game instead of paying obscene stadium prices (outside food/drink is allowed, we didn't sneak it in).
6/5 - Saved all the non-chocolate candy from recent holidays and let the kids pick something out after t-ball/baseball instead of buying concessions.
6/6 - Free program at the library for the summer program, and found a cool logic puzzle book on the freebie shelf.
6/7 - Found an old gift card for Panera in my wallet and used it to treat myself to a bagel while the kids were at camp (bad idea, feel like garbage now).

I also won a $20 gift card this week at a local grocery store for bringing my own bags.  And my mom gave me a few food items that were left over after an event at her employer's fancy-pants restaurant:  lemons, cream cheese, butter, and a beef filet.

So far, June is much less expensive than last month.  Let's see how long I can keep this going.

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That is a pretty brilliant way of looking at it, @BarbecueMom🙂  And congrats on the gift card!

Yesterday I checked the mail and got two good pieces in all the junk: a refund cheque from our dental office because they over charged us for a procedure, and a $2 bill from a survey company.
And today is already off to a good start.  When I went grocery shopping yesterday morning I nearly picked up the package of stew meat for grilled kabobs tonight.  I glanced over to the left and saw the roasts were on sale for $1.50/lb cheaper, so I got nearly twice as much meat and finished butchering it myself this morning.  It will all end up the same tenderness after the marinade. 

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Things have been/are rough here.  BUT I am thankful for all we have. 

Think I will do like do like BarbecueMom and focus on saving.

Made a yummy family meal with the leftovers given to me and a few spices & condiments.

Came home with a case of bottled water no one wanted after an event.  Have a day outing in a few weeks, will throw those in a cooler & take with us.

Used a free slush coupon to get ds a treat.

Stayed home all weekend.

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Bringing this back to the first page...How are y'all doing?  And good deals, budget wins, or saving going on?

I managed to pick up 3 French children's books at our library free shelf.  They look like they've never been read, spanning from a toddler activity book to an easy reader format about pirates.  DS is excited-scared.  There is some is vocab he doesn't know yet and reading is still difficult. Eh, he'll grow into them.

I also managed to not go grocery shopping yesterday.  I put together a meal with leftover veggies that everyone chowed down on and there were enough leftovers that dh had something to take with him to work.  I have to manage shopping today or tomorrow morning, before it gets too busy, but I think we're under our weekly budget by about $50.  And we are getting into a pattern of 1 big shop per week, 2 small ones - usually for milk, breads, replenish veggies, and a quick cheap meal. Tonight we'll do the quick, cheap meal of grilling.  Tomorrow when it rains, pasta. That'll finish our week and let me use the ads to plan next week's meals.

On the not so frugal front, I bought tickets to our town festival.  Last year I waited and dh bumbled the plan by taking a long bike ride that ate into our time.  This year I have threatened everyone with the penalty of a long, drawn out death if they are not up and ready to go by leaving time, and they WILL take part in the festival. 😄  Of course, knowing my luck, this year it will rain.

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Not much going on here.  Adding to my Frugal-Thingy-a-Day list (putting the old stuff in italics, new stuff under the line):

6/1 - Bought two pairs of used baseball cleats (next two sizes up) for less than half the cost of a brand-new pair.
6/2 - Used a $10 Kohl's reward to replace DH's holey dress socks.
6/3 - Used free admission coupons to a local children's museum and took a picnic lunch with us.
6/4 - Took sandwiches, snacks, and drinks with us to an MLB game instead of paying obscene stadium prices (outside food/drink is allowed, we didn't sneak it in).
6/5 - Saved all the non-chocolate candy from recent holidays and let the kids pick something out after t-ball/baseball instead of buying concessions.
6/6 - Free program at the library for the summer program, and found a cool logic puzzle book on the freebie shelf.
6/7 - Found an old gift card for Panera in my wallet and used it to treat myself to a bagel while the kids were at camp (bad idea, feel like garbage now).

6/8 - Got a family discount on oil changes by taking the cars to the shop where my brother works.
6/9 - Did some meal prep (homemade pizza sauce, crust, and potato skins, and baked oatmeal) for a busy week and made some treats (sugar cookies, smoothie popsicles, cookies and cream ice cream) rather than buying expensive gluten-free packaged versions.   Froze half of the sugar cookie dough and pizza dough for another week.
6/10 - Used our Kids Bowl Free passes to go bowling.
6/11 - Waited until I was nearly out of gas to maximize the discount when you buy a car wash at the gas pump.  The ground is still too saturated (and the forecast too wet) to be washing off the cars in the driveway.  Also when the kids wash the cars, I end up with a large increase on the water bill and still dirty cars, lol.
6/12 - No spending day #2 for the month.

No online shopping, no Target, and other than my bagel bought with a gift card, no non-grocery store food purchases.  Keeping an eye on all these "little things" helps, especially in a month where there are no big expenses to wipe out any possible savings.

There's an live event that DH and the kids would like to go to next month, so I'm starting to look around for discounted tickets.  Otherwise they are about $30 a piece for the cheapest seats.  Yikes.

Rainy and cold weather today is giving the a/c a break.  I might bake a few breakfast things (more oatmeal, pumpkin bread, egg/veggie bake) while it's cooler in the house.  

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I’ve been using ibotta and my other apps. Maybe I’ll have $5 from Fetch soon enough to use at B&N when we go to the splash pad (it’s across from the book store). 

I can’t remember if I shared this info but they added Walmart grocery to ibotta for cash back. We did that recently. 

I explained my check fiasco to payroll and they mailed me a replacement check. It should be here soon. 

I’m on a party planning committee and we’re organizing the annual “not back to school” pool party. This year we’re looking at making it a whole family event so possibly on a Saturday. I’ve never attended but think I will this year. I have a pile of pineapple and solid colored plates leftover from ds’ birthday one summer. I think I’ll sign up for paper plates and bring those once we confirm venue and create sign up. 

This debt collector periodically calls. I have no idea why. They won’t tell me without some me confirming info by supplying it. I don’t answer when they call now. Well today she called and left a message for my FirstName Wronglastname. So maybe they don’t even know who they are calling lol that’s my hope. I went through all the medical other times trying to determine any unknown bills. I never found one. 

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I think I had frugality bite me in the butt.
Dh and I went to a lovely used book store during our overnight date in December.  It was amazing.  So many first editions and rare manuscripts.  I was browsing shelves and found a beautiful copy of Tanglewood Tales for $20, but I figured, eh, it's a Hawthorne book. It's not like it's the only copy.  I'll be able to find the same edition cheaper online.
Well, I can't.  😭 I can't even find a similar copy for cheaper in great condition.  It looks like ds will end up with a smaller paperback for language arts this year, which doesn't have the same feel and richness as the gorgeous one I found.  I mean, it's not the end of the world - there are enough books on mythology in this house and he has had PLENTY of exposure to all these stories, but...I do have a twinge of regret.  I have never been one to impulse buy.  I just had 3 books sitting in my online cart for two weeks before I pressed the button.  ($16 total).  But I really wish I had been more on the ball at that bookstore.  I'll be in the city on Monday.  LOL  Maybe I'll hop over and see if I can find it again.  6 months later, but maybe. 😄
 

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15 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

I think I had frugality bite me in the butt.
Dh and I went to a lovely used book store during our overnight date in December.  It was amazing.  So many first editions and rare manuscripts.  I was browsing shelves and found a beautiful copy of Tanglewood Tales for $20, but I figured, eh, it's a Hawthorne book. It's not like it's the only copy.  I'll be able to find the same edition cheaper online.
Well, I can't.  😭 I can't even find a similar copy for cheaper in great condition.  It looks like ds will end up with a smaller paperback for language arts this year, which doesn't have the same feel and richness as the gorgeous one I found.  I mean, it's not the end of the world - there are enough books on mythology in this house and he has had PLENTY of exposure to all these stories, but...I do have a twinge of regret.  I have never been one to impulse buy.  I just had 3 books sitting in my online cart for two weeks before I pressed the button.  ($16 total).  But I really wish I had been more on the ball at that bookstore.  I'll be in the city on Monday.  LOL  Maybe I'll hop over and see if I can find it again.  6 months later, but maybe. 😄
 

Ohh I hope you find it!! 

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Dh brought home half a huge watwrmelon from some work function. I’ll try to get the family to eat on that. I cut it up yesterday. 

We've been going to free library programs. I took dd to see a magician today. I know, we spent gas. But it was worth it to me. It was still within our county, too. Got us out of the house, got to explore a library I’ve never been to and dd was a volunteer in his act lol. Oh yeah and they gave all the kids a snack. 

I got my replacement check and deposited it. I used that toward two medical payments. Paid off one. I cashed out my ibotta. Dh got a 100% on that midterm where he overnighted a book in the right edition. In the end he only had to modify one page number which I’m sure infuriated him ($123 later). But I’m not even gonna stress about it. He might need it for the final, too. 

If my Fetch referral uses the app soon I’ll get to cash out. At least I have a $5 B&N card pending from swagbucks. 

This is really more a decluttering post but I decided instead of parting with an old shirt (was my dad’s) I’d frame it and give to him. It shows the date he participated in an old 5k in an area we used to live. I’ll wait til his birthday. I already sent him something for father’s day. It was a floating frame with a mostly hollow back so I gathered the back of the shirt there. It’s not great from the back but looks good from the front. The frame was already here. I have a box here I can use, too. 

I regretted not buying gold cardstock when it was on sale so I got it the next time it went on sale. $2.50. I’ll probably make Christmas gift tags out of it, etc. 

Kids love Club crackers but I don’t but often. Did I mention they like the knock off I found at Family Dollar? 

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8 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh brought home half a huge watwrmelon from some work function. I’ll try to get the family to eat on that. I cut it up yesterday. 

We've been going to free library programs. I took dd to see a magician today. I know, we spent gas. But it was worth it to me. It was still within our county, too. Got us out of the house, got to explore a library I’ve never been to and dd was a volunteer in his act lol. Oh yeah and they gave all the kids a snack. 

 


I found the quickest way to get my family to eat watermelon was to serve it up at dinner. 😄  If it's a choice between that and a side of peas, most of us will eat the watermelon.

Our summer library programs don't start until next week.  We had the end-of-year activity yesterday, releasing the foster turtles (the children's room takes 3 rescue babies each year to take care of through the winter).  My kid didn't want to go - and he has been so interested in these turtles for months!

Frugal win yesterday: I found the last book for oldest's collection and a Horrible Histories holiday compilation for the youngest at the library book sale.  $1 each, and I'm saving the HH one for Christmas.  It's in pristine condition.

Frugal fail yesterday: My kid has weird feet.  Or shoe companies can't figure out sizing.  Or how to make boys' sandals.  We have meager options here in the land of surf and sun.  Go figure.  What we have found doesn't fit ds (and he has tried on everything from a 12 to a 2) or is made terribly.  He needs two pairs: thongs for shower shoes and strappy ones for running and playing.  I'm trying one last place today, much as I don't want to pay their prices.  If no, we're ordering the one pair we did find that we liked but they didn't have the right size in.

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6 hours ago, HomeAgain said:


I found the quickest way to get my family to eat watermelon was to serve it up at dinner. 😄  If it's a choice between that and a side of peas, most of us will eat the watermelon.

Our summer library programs don't start until next week.  We had the end-of-year activity yesterday, releasing the foster turtles (the children's room takes 3 rescue babies each year to take care of through the winter).  My kid didn't want to go - and he has been so interested in these turtles for months!

Frugal win yesterday: I found the last book for oldest's collection and a Horrible Histories holiday compilation for the youngest at the library book sale.  $1 each, and I'm saving the HH one for Christmas.  It's in pristine condition.

Frugal fail yesterday: My kid has weird feet.  Or shoe companies can't figure out sizing.  Or how to make boys' sandals.  We have meager options here in the land of surf and sun.  Go figure.  What we have found doesn't fit ds (and he has tried on everything from a 12 to a 2) or is made terribly.  He needs two pairs: thongs for shower shoes and strappy ones for running and playing.  I'm trying one last place today, much as I don't want to pay their prices.  If no, we're ordering the one pair we did find that we liked but they didn't have the right size in.

For the thong sandals, have you tried New Balance?  DS9 and I both wear NB flip flops.  They are a bit heavier than cheap ones, but they have a fabric piece between the toes instead of plastic and conform to our feet after breaking them in.  Very comfortable.  Both pairs were bought at Famous Footwear on clearance 2-3 years ago and still going strong despite nearly daily wear.

I just got DS9 hooked on Horrible Histories, and we’re using all of the Horrible... books as his content “spine” next year.  I’m going to check out the holiday one!

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37 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

For the thong sandals, have you tried New Balance?  DS9 and I both wear NB flip flops.  They are a bit heavier than cheap ones, but they have a fabric piece between the toes instead of plastic and conform to our feet after breaking them in.  Very comfortable.  Both pairs were bought at Famous Footwear on clearance 2-3 years ago and still going strong despite nearly daily wear.

I just got DS9 hooked on Horrible Histories, and we’re using all of the Horrible... books as his content “spine” next year.  I’m going to check out the holiday one!

I'm honestly not worried near as much about the thongs as the play sandals.  I can buy a few cheap pairs of those so if ds loses one at summer camp it's all good.  But he needs something adequate to run and play in.  It has to hold up to water, basic trail hikes, and running around up and down hills and going to the park.  He can't do that in thongs.

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12 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I'm honestly not worried near as much about the thongs as the play sandals.  I can buy a few cheap pairs of those so if ds loses one at summer camp it's all good.  But he needs something adequate to run and play in.  It has to hold up to water, basic trail hikes, and running around up and down hills and going to the park.  He can't do that in thongs.

Gotcha.  We have a couple pairs of Keens like that, but no one wears them because they are impossible to get on and off and uncomfortable.

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I attended a VIPKID meetup with my friend. I learned a little and we exchanged some info. and props. I won a prize (notebook and pencil with mascot). I need this push to get my office in order lol They had a plate of free food in the meeting room so I got a piece of banana bread. Dh dropped dd off with me at the end so he bought her something but we didn’t spend much. 

9DB1C673-6DD5-4F64-AF01-AAD513498878.jpeg

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2 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

I'm honestly not worried near as much about the thongs as the play sandals.  I can buy a few cheap pairs of those so if ds loses one at summer camp it's all good.  But he needs something adequate to run and play in.  It has to hold up to water, basic trail hikes, and running around up and down hills and going to the park.  He can't do that in thongs.

 

DS6 has a pair of Columbia sandals like this that have held up for about a year now, and we live out in the country and he's pretty active.  I bought a half size big and so they should fit all the way through this summer, then I think they'll last at least one more kid.  They're these: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZ2UW5G/ref=twister_B00E0KGXCU?th=1&psc=1

My kids tend to have wide feet, though, so we like those ones that you can open up all the way on the sides; if your kid is very narrow-footed they might not cinch down small enough, I'm not sure.  They're quite durable and the velcro is good.

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Oh, those are very close to what we decided on, @moonflower!  Ds does have narrow feet, but we found Teva(? Maybe Keens?) at L.L.Bean for half off, but they didn't have his size.  The store I went to today, also an L.L. Bean but not an outlet, only had the closed toe version for $50.  DH ended up ordering them on Amazon for less than their price and they should be here this week.  
We're a little short on shoe stores here. Our mall has one that is terrible, along with a Macy's that had no boys' sandals, and a Marshall's that only had thongs.  Target didn't have much when I got over to it a week ago.  That's about it.  And since nobody carried a consistent sizing it was maddening trying them all on him and having them fit weird.  I swear I can't wait until he grows just a little more.  I feel like he's been wearing a size 13 / 1 for two years now.

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Update on Frugal-Thing-A-Day:

6/1 - Bought two pairs of used baseball cleats (next two sizes up) for less than half the cost of a brand-new pair.
6/2 - Used a $10 Kohl's reward to replace DH's holey dress socks.
6/3 - Used free admission coupons to a local children's museum and took a picnic lunch with us.
6/4 - Took sandwiches, snacks, and drinks with us to an MLB game instead of paying obscene stadium prices (outside food/drink is allowed, we didn't sneak it in).
6/5 - Saved all the non-chocolate candy from recent holidays and let the kids pick something out after t-ball/baseball instead of buying concessions.
6/6 - Free program at the library for the summer program, and found a cool logic puzzle book on the freebie shelf.
6/7 - Found an old gift card for Panera in my wallet and used it to treat myself to a bagel while the kids were at camp (bad idea, feel like garbage now).
6/8 - Got a family discount on oil changes by taking the cars to the shop where my brother works.
6/9 - Did some meal prep (homemade pizza sauce, crust, and potato skins, and baked oatmeal) for a busy week and made some treats (sugar cookies, smoothie popsicles, cookies and cream ice cream) rather than buying expensive gluten-free packaged versions.   Froze half of the sugar cookie dough and pizza dough for another week.
6/10 - Used our Kids Bowl Free passes to go bowling.
6/11 - Waited until I was nearly out of gas to maximize the discount when you buy a car wash at the gas pump.  The ground is still too saturated (and the forecast too wet) to be washing off the cars in the driveway.  Also when the kids wash the cars, I end up with a large increase on the water bill and still dirty cars, lol.
6/12 - No spending day #2 for the month.

6/13 - DH had to get gas, but other than that we stayed home, played board games, and recovered from the Stanley Cup final.
6/14 - Finally signed up for a rewards card at Walgreens in order to save $10 on something I had to buy.
6/15 - Could have gone to the downtown parade and celebration for free (DH's parking pass, taking food/drink in), but I didn't feel well, weather was iffy, and half-million people crowds... we watched it on TV and lived vicariously through Twitter.  It was still amazing.
6/16 - No spending Father's Day!  Instead of going somewhere that costs money, DH set up a Lego Minecraft D&D Fortnite-style adventure in the living room (that's a lot of nerd in one sentence) and we played some badminton in the yard. 
6/17 - Another free library program.  My mom came over for lunch and I treated her to the Leftovers Buffet in my fridge.  I'm very fortunate to have people in my life that are thrilled when they can have yesterday's roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and pancakes for lunch, lol.
6/18 - Going to try to make some fruit slushies today using some leftover Capri Suns from soccer treats.  I have to hide the fruit punch ones in other things or no one will drink them.

Surprise dental work this month is threatening to erase all the savings.  Oh well.

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We didn't do anything big for Father's day, either. Dh requested we stop at BK on the way home from church so I did that. I used the app for one of their deals. I had bought him something a while ago and wrapped it. 

This VBS I'm working at normally costs money apparently. But as a volunteer I did not have to pay any fees. We all get a snack each day and on Friday there will be a lunch (at least for the kids). On Monday I had lunches packed for all of us. Today I was short on time and dd was really hoping to go to Wendy's so I took the kids through the drive thru. I didn't order anything for myself and ate a little bit of their fries and the watermelon I'd packed for myself (lol yes we are still working on it. Dh and dd do not like it. I got ds to eat some). I made dinner tonight and should have enough leftovers for tomorrow, but dd refused to eat it even though she's had it before (chicken/rice/veggie casserole. Stretching chicken here). The dr said during this phase it's okay to send them to bed without dinner or stick to one alternative (ie. pb&j). 

Tomorrow the plan is to stop at a (free) splash pad after VBS if weather permits. 

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I started doing the "eat it or not, don't care" attitude when my kids were about 3 or 4, @heartlikealion.  I put on music, I engage them in conversation (or during lunch I read), make sure there are 2-4 things on the plate so they can eat around, but it honestly ceased to bother me that a kid would go hungry because it's their choice and I'm not going to own that for them.  So much inner peace there.

Dh canceled the sandal order when it showed they wouldn't ship in time.  Back to square one yesterday morning. We ended up taking a drive to a much larger mall hoping to find something, and we did!  The sandals @moonflower had linked were in one of the stores for the same price as online!  We ended up getting those in a size 2 because they did go narrow enough and a pair of thongs on clearance from the Disney store in a size 13, if that tells you how screwed up children's sizing is.  I brought ds's list with me so I made sure to pick up any other camp items before we headed back home, but I feel much better now that we've gotten the sandals.  Today is sort and label day, tomorrow I'll do most of the packing.

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@HomeAgain she ate the same food just fine the next night lol. We've also been working on a sticker chart again to encourage some of the other things (vision therapy exercises, eating habits, and bedtime). She's fickle about the stickers but overall has been more agreeable. 

I just found out that the public school PreK program for my town has been canceled. I don't plan on trying to enroll her in something for money, but if we must pay for a local sitter occasionally I will consider doing that. I just don't want to do that if I can avoid it. On the plus side, I do have age appropriate things for her to do here. We have free resources online, Bob books level 1, etc. I'll see if I can do some school with both kids during the day. 

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Sorry about the pre-k, @heartlikealion.  Did they give a reason for canceling it?

Frugal wins this week:
-a manager at the grocery store asked if she could try something at our self-checkout register we were using.  Dh and I were agreeable, which was good, because what she wanted to try was a $10 off coupon.  Yay!  That, combined with the rest of our savings, took over $20 off our bill.

I went to a used curriculum sale.  For $24 I got:
-Videotext Algebra
-6 geoboards of various sizes
-ancient history portfolio
-D'Aulaire's Greek Myths
-WWS 1 Instructor text
-Roman News and Greek Gazette
-A big book of Roman activities
-tub of c-rods
-Beast Academy 3B, brand new looking
-Rummy Roots (new)
-The Lost Tools Of Writing
-The Great Courses - Geometry
-The Cat In The Hat, Latin edition
-unit study on the Great Depression
-history magazines
The only thing I got and don't think I'll use are a set of Versatile-like things that said they were logic, but when I opened the bag they were all K-2 phonics, matching and other exercises.  I have enough of those and was really hoping to extend my collection toward the upper grades.

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Rumor is they didn’t have enough sign up. I called to confirm and they said info from the district will be sent to the parents. The woman I spoke to was not sure the reason but knew that it had been canceled in our town. 

I mowed a few sections of the yard today. Every time I mow I feel like I’m saving money on yard service lol I need to pick up sticks and pine cones before I can get to the back yard but I’ll try to do that with dd next week.

Last week we did the splash pad. Another day the kids and I went to a library program with traveling petting zoo. So cool. They had a zebra and more. Even my kiddo with allergies ended up enjoying himself and didn’t show any reactions. Had him check out some books from the library and I got us some dvds to watch over the weekend. The internet went out (local issue, not just our home). I’m trying to watch the Toy story films with the kids so I can maybe take them to see TS4 in the theater. I asked dh to print the ziploc coupons for me to use on the participating product to earn Fandango points for movie tickets. It’s not letting me print at home. I also requested (animated) Aladdin from the library. Might take ds to see the live action one later. 

I can’t remember if I said but the VBS teacher gave me a Sunday school 6th grade workbook and offered some old homeschool books she had. I plan to keep the English book. We were given some leftovers (sandwiches) after cleaning up so my family ate those last night. 

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I have a SIL who pays for exercise equipment and gym classes/sessions but also pays someone to mow her yard.  I think it's pretty hilarious.  She's not rich, either!

The kids and DH will be attending a funeral later this month; DS11 doesn't have anything formal at all and the other girls don't have dresses appropriate (imo of course) for a funeral, so I had to buy things in a hurry.  Thredup had black dresses for the girls and pants/shirt for DS, and the great thing was they're running a 20-50% off sale (depending on the item) for even the sale price.  All of it together was less than $50, and that was with buying two dresses for DD14, who is kind of hard to buy for online as all adolescent girls are ime. They have free returns (for credit, or money back if I pay for return shipping) so I am just going to return the dress that fits less well - one was $21 so I am kind of hoping that is the returnable one 🙂.  I bought loose styles so at least one of them should work okay.  I feel okay if we end up keeping the $21 dress, though, because it should fit for years and a classic black dress is a useful wardrobe item for a teenager, I think.  I had one that I wore to concerts and other formal occasions all through high school.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, moonflower said:

I have a SIL who pays for exercise equipment and gym classes/sessions but also pays someone to mow her yard.  I think it's pretty hilarious.  She's not rich, either!

The kids and DH will be attending a funeral later this month; DS11 doesn't have anything formal at all and the other girls don't have dresses appropriate (imo of course) for a funeral, so I had to buy things in a hurry.  Thredup had black dresses for the girls and pants/shirt for DS, and the great thing was they're running a 20-50% off sale (depending on the item) for even the sale price.  All of it together was less than $50, and that was with buying two dresses for DD14, who is kind of hard to buy for online as all adolescent girls are ime. They have free returns (for credit, or money back if I pay for return shipping) so I am just going to return the dress that fits less well - one was $21 so I am kind of hoping that is the returnable one 🙂.  I bought loose styles so at least one of them should work okay.  I feel okay if we end up keeping the $21 dress, though, because it should fit for years and a classic black dress is a useful wardrobe item for a teenager, I think.  I had one that I wore to concerts and other formal occasions all through high school.

That sounds good. I’d probably keep it either way as the refund minus return shipping might not be better than reselling it. I agree a plain black dress is good to have. I make my kids keep something dressy on the closet year round. Ds usually has a pair of black pants for church that can be worn to other occasions (like his class night). Dd has a couple dresses, some of which are bigger sizes that I bought on clearance. 

Yeah for me the mowing doubles as exercise! I have been having trouble making time for exercise. Dh has a treadmill in the back of his work now but I haven’t gotten over there at the right time to use it. 

 

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Frugal-Thing-A-Day, 6/26 update:

6/1 - Bought two pairs of used baseball cleats (next two sizes up) for less than half the cost of a brand-new pair.
6/2 - Used a $10 Kohl's reward to replace DH's holey dress socks.
6/3 - Used free admission coupons to a local children's museum and took a picnic lunch with us.
6/4 - Took sandwiches, snacks, and drinks with us to an MLB game instead of paying obscene stadium prices (outside food/drink is allowed, we didn't sneak it in).
6/5 - Saved all the non-chocolate candy from recent holidays and let the kids pick something out after t-ball/baseball instead of buying concessions.
6/6 - Free program at the library for the summer program, and found a cool logic puzzle book on the freebie shelf.
6/7 - Found an old gift card for Panera in my wallet and used it to treat myself to a bagel while the kids were at camp (bad idea, feel like garbage now).
6/8 - Got a family discount on oil changes by taking the cars to the shop where my brother works.
6/9 - Did some meal prep (homemade pizza sauce, crust, and potato skins, and baked oatmeal) for a busy week and made some treats (sugar cookies, smoothie popsicles, cookies and cream ice cream) rather than buying expensive gluten-free packaged versions.   Froze half of the sugar cookie dough and pizza dough for another week.
6/10 - Used our Kids Bowl Free passes to go bowling.
6/11 - Waited until I was nearly out of gas to maximize the discount when you buy a car wash at the gas pump.  The ground is still too saturated (and the forecast too wet) to be washing off the cars in the driveway.  Also when the kids wash the cars, I end up with a large increase on the water bill and still dirty cars, lol.
6/12 - No spending day #2 for the month.
6/13 - DH had to get gas, but other than that we stayed home, played board games, and recovered from the Stanley Cup final.
6/14 - Finally signed up for a rewards card at Walgreens in order to save $10 on something I had to buy.
6/15 - Could have gone to the downtown parade and celebration for free (DH's parking pass, taking food/drink in), but I didn't feel well, weather was iffy, and half-million people crowds... we watched it on TV and lived vicariously through Twitter.  It was still amazing.
6/16 - No spending Father's Day!  Instead of going somewhere that costs money, DH set up a Lego Minecraft D&D Fortnite-style adventure in the living room (that's a lot of nerd in one sentence) and we played some badminton in the yard. 
6/17 - Another free library program.  My mom came over for lunch and I treated her to the Leftovers Buffet in my fridge.  I'm very fortunate to have people in my life that are thrilled when they can have yesterday's roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and pancakes for lunch, lol.
6/18 - Going to try to make some fruit slushies today using some leftover Capri Suns from soccer treats.  I have to hide the fruit punch ones in other things or no one will drink them.

6/19 - DH re-injured his foot.  We already had braces and crutches, so we waited until the next morning to go to urgent care ($25 copay), rather than the ER ($75 copay).
6/20 - Found disposable plates and cups marked down cheap at Target while I was getting more ankle wrap stuff, saving for my kids' late summer/fall birthdays.
6/21 - I mowed the yard myself instead of having to pay someone to do it.  DH normally does it, but I'm pretty sure he's done for the year.
6/22 - Got one of the two final soccer games of the season in before the worst rainstorm I've ever had to drive in.  Instead of participation medals or trophies, they give out useful items.  This year was one of those cooling towels, of which we can always use more.
6/23 - Sun came out and I used one of the car wash codes I already had on hand.  The kids are still young enough that a trip through the car wash is their idea of an exciting afternoon.
6/24 - I found a pair of khaki shorts in my oldest's closet that middle DS should be able to wear for golf this summer, so I didn't have to go buy a new/new-to-him pair.
6/25 - Another free summer program for one of my kids.  Unfortunately we also came down with this nasty summer cold.  I stocked up on tissues and meds last time we were sick, so no last minute Walgreens trips.
6/26 - No Spending Day, still sick as a dog.  I haven't been this sick in a couple years.

I am extremely, very grateful for our fantastic health insurance, but even then, it gets expensive (12 weeks of Physical Therapy???!?).  And we end up missing a lot of events/activities (some paid, some free) because we can't get everyone healthy at the same time.  Since May 11, in our house we've had influenza, allergy flare ups, a secondary ear infection, a sinus infection, dental cleanings, a small dental filling, a larger filling with crown, periorbital cellulitis (swollen infected eye), a should-be-annual-but-more-like-every-decade physical,  two food allergy diagnoses, a sprained foot, and now the Summer Cold From Hades.  Oh, and I have a lengthy medical test at the hospital next week.  And if we're not sick, it's pouring down rain and flash flooding.  My kids have forgotten what their friends and teammates look like.  At least I haven't had time for any mindless spending.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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Dh printed the ziploc coupons for me (from his work) so I can buy the participating products for the TS4 ticket offers. 

We’ve been trying to watch the old Toy Story movies, Aladdin, and Lion King movies. We watched Lion King 1 1/2 last night. I need to track down Lion King 2. We looked all over a library for Toy Story 2 last night. Said it was in stock but no one could find it. Later I put a hold on it somewhere else. Aladdin said it was in stock at another library we go to and no one could find it. This is so annoying. 

Took the kids to a library book mobile yesterday for the novelty and to meet up with other homeschoolers. Only one family actually came (despite the RSVPs). So at least I met that mom. She couldn’t stay long. I went inside the business it was parked by to support the business and look for others I knew. I met a daughter of the lady I did VBS with and spent $8 for the kids to get snacks (ugh). Not the cheapest outing but we did get library items. No one else was there so I feel like I wasted $8 lol and the business stopped doing the student and educator discount. 

Yellow team is winning Battle for the Cash on ibotta but I’d need to redeem 19 more offers to split the pot so I don’t think I will. 

I signed up for the Target one time use teacher discount. Made a new ID at Homeschool Buyers Co-Op site. https://www.target.com/c/teacher-prep-event/-/N-8wm7e?ref=tgt_adv_xasd0002&clkid=112d9aabN981411e9ac7242010a246c06&lnm=495344&afid=Krazy+Coupon+Lady%2C+LLC&Nao=0

I bought one school uniform item before I knew PreK was canceled. I think dd wants to keep it so I’ll probably keep it for church etc. it’s just a khaki skort. 

Used Walgreens store credit yesterday to buy some food. Gonna make meatballs today if the ground turkey defrosts in time. 

I made two birthday cards this week and used envelopes I had here. You can make envelopes, too but these were going in the mail so I didn’t want to risk it. I did buy a sheet of stickers but they were $1. I also realized I had some festive rubber stamps so I used those to decorate. Stamps are probably the way to go. 

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Oh yeah we went on a hike this week with a group so I splurged on the bug spray. It’s made by a local woman using essential oils/natural ingredients. I didn’t want to buy a product with deet. I’ve since learned of a couple others but hers claims to work on ticks etc. She threw in a free homemade bar of soap too. 🙂 

Going to this nature trail made me think about our own walking paths here on campus. It’s so much more affordable to use what we have here and if you go far enough you get to wooded areas here, too. It just made me appreciate what we have here more. I’m trying to exercise more and think I’ll start walking before dh leaves for work. VBS has helped me get used to walking up earlier. I also used his treadmill in the back of his office this week. Yay for free exercise. 

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It's been lowkey here. 
Youngest ds is away at camp, and since he's the one that thrives on rules and routine the rest of us have done whatever we want.  🙂  That means a lot of haphazard meals using what we have in the house, doing a lot of runs and bike rides that he's still too small to go on.  Camp, though....that was annoying on the budget.  They sent us a 30 page parents' guide, including a packing list.  I sorted and labeled and made sure I packed everything, and then read the "getting to camp" part several pages later, and there were specifics hidden in there of what he could and couldn't have within those items.  So I ended up back at the store the day before he left.  Ugh.

Today I have a group coming over.  Thanks to tips picked up at our previous homes, I always keep 'hostess sets' on hand, which sounds so old fashioned and weird, but it really was necessary before we moved here.  All it means is that I'm always ready for a group meeting.  In the back of my pantry I keep a box with flatware, a basket of napkins, two sizes of plates, and paper cups.  Top shelf has a case of bottled water and the dry ingredients for a light dessert (crumb cake this time).  I'll make up a pitcher of lemonade, one of tea, and make coffee to go with it all.  Ta-da!  Ready to go without another trip to the store.

 

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It's the end of the month!  How is everyone?  What do you have going on next month?

I finished recording a few stray items in our budget and looked it over.  We ate out, too much, and spent less on gas than I expected.  Overall, it was not a bad month but not great, either.  Our goal this month is to be more intentional with our food budget.  It'll be easier because we won't have people awake around the clock in this house. 

Next month starts the first of two months of double music lessons.  Ds is trying out an ensemble class, which is $25/week, plus his normal private lesson.  They'll be back to back almost, too, with one at night and the other the following morning.  Gah.  Thankfully September is a reprieve and he will do only Practice Monkeys - an online, 4x week class that we can work in around our schedule.

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Final Frugal-Thing-a-Day Round Up:

6/1 - Bought two pairs of used baseball cleats (next two sizes up) for less than half the cost of a brand-new pair.
6/2 - Used a $10 Kohl's reward to replace DH's holey dress socks.
6/3 - Used free admission coupons to a local children's museum and took a picnic lunch with us.
6/4 - Took sandwiches, snacks, and drinks with us to an MLB game instead of paying obscene stadium prices (outside food/drink is allowed, we didn't sneak it in).
6/5 - Saved all the non-chocolate candy from recent holidays and let the kids pick something out after t-ball/baseball instead of buying concessions.
6/6 - Free program at the library for the summer program, and found a cool logic puzzle book on the freebie shelf.
6/7 - Found an old gift card for Panera in my wallet and used it to treat myself to a bagel while the kids were at camp (bad idea, feel like garbage now).
6/8 - Got a family discount on oil changes by taking the cars to the shop where my brother works.
6/9 - Did some meal prep (homemade pizza sauce, crust, and potato skins, and baked oatmeal) for a busy week and made some treats (sugar cookies, smoothie popsicles, cookies and cream ice cream) rather than buying expensive gluten-free packaged versions.   Froze half of the sugar cookie dough and pizza dough for another week.
6/10 - Used our Kids Bowl Free passes to go bowling.
6/11 - Waited until I was nearly out of gas to maximize the discount when you buy a car wash at the gas pump.  The ground is still too saturated (and the forecast too wet) to be washing off the cars in the driveway.  Also when the kids wash the cars, I end up with a large increase on the water bill and still dirty cars, lol.
6/12 - No spending day #2 for the month.
6/13 - DH had to get gas, but other than that we stayed home, played board games, and recovered from the Stanley Cup final.
6/14 - Finally signed up for a rewards card at Walgreens in order to save $10 on something I had to buy.
6/15 - Could have gone to the downtown parade and celebration for free (DH's parking pass, taking food/drink in), but I didn't feel well, weather was iffy, and half-million people crowds... we watched it on TV and lived vicariously through Twitter.  It was still amazing.
6/16 - No spending Father's Day!  Instead of going somewhere that costs money, DH set up a Lego Minecraft D&D Fortnite-style adventure in the living room (that's a lot of nerd in one sentence) and we played some badminton in the yard. 
6/17 - Another free library program.  My mom came over for lunch and I treated her to the Leftovers Buffet in my fridge.  I'm very fortunate to have people in my life that are thrilled when they can have yesterday's roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and pancakes for lunch, lol.
6/18 - Going to try to make some fruit slushies today using some leftover Capri Suns from soccer treats.  I have to hide the fruit punch ones in other things or no one will drink them.

6/19 - DH re-injured his foot.  We already had braces and crutches, so we waited until the next morning to go to urgent care ($25 copay), rather than the ER ($75 copay).
6/20 - Found disposable plates and cups marked down cheap at Target while I was getting more ankle wrap stuff, saving for my kids' late summer/fall birthdays.
6/21 - I mowed the yard myself instead of having to pay someone to do it.  DH normally does it, but I'm pretty sure he's done for the year.
6/22 - Got one of the two final soccer games of the season in before the worst rainstorm I've ever had to drive in.  Instead of participation medals or trophies, they give out useful items.  This year was one of those cooling towels, of which we can always use more.
6/23 - Sun came out and I used one of the car wash codes I already had on hand.  The kids are still young enough that a trip through the car wash is their idea of an exciting afternoon.
6/24 - I found a pair of khaki shorts in my oldest's closet that middle DS should be able to wear for golf this summer, so I didn't have to go buy a new/new-to-him pair.
6/25 - Another free summer program for one of my kids.  Unfortunately we also came down with this nasty summer cold.  I stocked up on tissues and meds last time we were sick, so no last minute Walgreens trips.
6/26 - No Spending Day, still sick as a dog.  I haven't been this sick in a couple years.

6/27 - Still sick!  Dug the rest of the sugar cookie dough out of the freezer for some free comfort food.
6/28 - Took a bag of canned goods to the library to clear all our fines.  Back to $0... for now.
6/29 - Used a free shipping code to order the science materials needed for the upcoming school year.  We're using a free curriculum, but I needed to buy/replace a lot of materials (although I already have a bag of 100 plastic droppers sitting around here, for some reason...).
6/30 - Returned at item to Sam's that I can no longer use with a new food allergy.  Also saved $10 by getting my soccer kids registered this weekend for fall season.

Overall, we did pretty well this month, apart from everyone's health taking a nose dive.  My usual stock up shopping day fell on the last day of the month, which really skewed the month's grocery budget.   Next month should be much smaller.

One more week off and then we start our new school year.  Hopefully I'll still have time to track spending and practice intentional frugality as thoroughly as I did this month.  It helped.

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Hoping next month is better than this month.  Actually I didn't think this month was as bad as the last few months but still not caught up.  It's always something.

Will count these as wins no matter how small.

Found list library books.

Fathers day - dh was very happy with some candy and gum from dollar tree & 1/2 batch chocolate no bake cookies.  He has a sweet tooth & I haven't been buying or baking.  Stepdad got a pan of homemade enchiladas & the other 1/2 of the cookies. Had all ingredients to make stuff on hand.

Used walmart grocery pick up for 1st time. Used the $10 off coupon & strictly stuck to my list. (no extras slipped in).

Dh came in with some fresh garden veggies other day. Someone at work brought them in.  We take all veggies people want to give.  If we don't eat them I will find someone that will.

 

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Wasn’t an amazing month but some things canceled out. My ibotta team won the challenge. I earned back $16.53 from the pot. I earned $10 from another ibotta bonus and have a $5 bonus pending and almost at another $5. 

I’ve been taking advantage of my free resources for working out. I did a Facebook group step challenge the past 7 days (ended yesterday). I completed my the daily goals mostly by walking around campus. Yesterday was so hot I and campus was dead so I walked inside an air conditioned building for part of the time. Big open room. I found out the hours they reserve the basketball court so I’m going to try to use it between those times. Just gotta find a needle for the bike pump to inflate my basketball. Gonna pump up the kids’ basketball too in case they want to come (I plan to mostly go early before dh goes to work). 

We had a low key, inexpensive 4th of July meal. Dh bought hot dogs in bulk from Sam’s and grilled them all. We’ll freeze a bunch. 

Shopped for niece and nephew. Bringing down their gifts early when we visit this coming week. Less than $20 on gifts combined. Book for nephew and dress for niece. This year I didn’t get dd a 4th of July top or dress. I got her some themed hair clips. 

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