5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week – Credit Card Points, Sales Price Math, Efficient Errands

by Texas Homesteader ~

Spring is almost here in NE Texas!  How glorious to see things turning green, colorful flowers popping up and the temps warming.  RancherMan & I have been busy building new chicken runs and preparing the garden for planting.  We’re in Planting Zone 8 so I’m safe to drop the veggie seedlings into the ground around Easter and  I.  Can’t.  WAIT!   But I digress… (eh hemm…)

Today’s topic is saving money, and saving money is important to RancherMan & me – being self-employed means we’re always keeping a watchful eye on our dollars.  Thankfully there are ample opportunities to save some cold hard cash.  C’mon and see what we did this week to save money.

SAVE MONEY! Being self-employed means we keep a watchful eye on our dollars. Thankfully there are always ample opportunities to save! #TexasHomesteader

  1.  GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY – As I mentioned before, gardening has been forefront on my mind – but I like to plant heirloom seedlings.  No problems, I have a setup I refer to as my ‘Indoor Greenhouse’ where I plant my saved heirloom seeds a few weeks in advance using a very inexpensive setup.  Come planting time I will plant those seedlings in the ground for much less money than if I’d just gone out and bought seedlings somewhere.  It’s not only money saved but it also pacifies my need this time of the year to get my hands in the dirt!
  2. CREDIT CARD BENEFITS – Although we pay the balance in full each month, using our credit card gives us ‘points’ for our purchases which we often turn into money-saving gift cards.  But we recently discovered our credit card company also has a 90-day price match on items purchased using their card.  RancherMan is the king of research and he’s been keeping watch on the prices paid when we bought a new dishwasher to replace the CRAPPY, uh, old one.  He was able to find a lower price advertised elsewhere online and promptly contacted our credit card company and requested their price match guarantee.  They verified the price we found elsewhere was indeed lower and BOOM!  They’re reimbursing us for the $59 difference!
  3. EFFICIENT  ERRANDS – We had business to take care of in a nearby town this week so we  ran several errands while we were out.  We stopped by Tractor Supply to make good use of the chicken feed coupon given to us by the Purina folks while we were at the Mother Earth News Fair. (This is a two-fer score since we were driving right by the store AND we used a coupon!) We also stopped into the Farmer’s Co-Op to pick up needles for upcoming calf immunizations and since we were driving right by the store we popped into Staples to pick up a ream of their paper offered for 1 penny (after rebate).  We simply arranged our errands to where we were driving in one big loop so that we were driving right by each of these places while in town.
  4. DINING OUT CAN STILL BE INEXPENSIVE – While we were running those errands we discovered we were hungry, but even though we’ll stop for a quick fast-food bite to eat we’re saving money.  You see, while we were traveling for the above-mentioned Mother-Earth News Fair we had stopped at a Whataburger (our favorite fast food burger place) and the receipt indicated if we filled out their survey we’d get a code for a free WhataBurger with the purchase of a medium fry and medium drink.  So today we stopped by with this completed-survey receipt and ordered a medium fry & medium drink (which was HUGE) and added another order of fries and split the free hamburger.  We were both completely full when we left and the cost?  $7!  (Oh, and the new receipt had the same offer on the bottom so we’ll definitely be doing this again.)
  5. DO THE MATH WHEN BUYING – Living in the country means we must travel to nearby towns when we need something.  Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE IT!  But while researching prices for the wire we needed for our chicken run we found it available at two farm supply stores in opposite directions in two different towns.  Although the  farm supply in a slightly farther town was a couple of dollars cheaper than the same type of wire at the town that’s a few miles closer, it’s important to do the math on the total amount to be paid.  Our truck is a heavy-duty one to be able to pull a trailer loaded down with cattle, but as a result it gets crappy gas mileage.  It’s important to remember that driving our truck (at 9 miles to the gallon!) is part of the price paid too, so by paying a couple of bucks more per roll at a slightly closer area we actually came out ahead in terms of both dollars as well as time spent.  Remember, the sales price is not always the bottom line in what you pay for something!

So there ya go – 5 easy things we did this week to save money.  Of course there were other things that we typically do every week such as cooking from scratch or being mindful of utilities used (or not) but hopefully these 5 things give you food for thought…  What are some of the things you did this week to save money?


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8 thoughts on “5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week – Credit Card Points, Sales Price Math, Efficient Errands

  1. Bobbie

    We live about 30-35 minutes from town. We run our errands on Tuesdays because our farm store offers 10% off to seniors on Tuesdays. I make a list of all the stores/places we will go to each week. The list is arranged so we make a loop, heading home last. We save a lot of money on gas AND time this way.
    Another thing we did: We attended a farm auction and purchased a 275-gallon fuel tank for $75.00. We heard that gas prices were going to fall. We watched gas prices closely and when they dropped, we filled our tank with gasoline at rock-bottom-price. So happens the station less than 10-miles from our farm had the lowest price (cash only purchases). Now that gas is on the rise again, we feel secure knowing that we have a nice reserve when needed. That was a huge savings for us. We will fill our diesel tank (only 85-gallons) when diesel starts to drop (which it will).
    We don’t eat out. When out shopping, I always make our lunch and take a thermos of coffee. We will stop by the river and enjoy a nice, simple lunch with fresh brewed coffee and relax for a little bit. Then we hit the homeward bound errands.
    We have a credit card that gives points too, but we have to use them at their store (Cabela’s) which is just fine with us. I’m saving up points now for an Ex-Caliber dehydrator (almost there).
    We don’t have a dishwasher or garage disposal (first time in my almost 70 years that I haven’t had a disposal). It’s working out just fine because we are composting all scraps. We don’t do the dishes after dinner or lunch, but get up in the morning, with the sun shinning through the kitchen window and do dishes together while discussing our plans for the day. No electricity needed in the morning to do dishes, no phone calls to interrupt our thoughts and plan-making for the day, and it’s nice to spend some quiet, quality time with one another while getting the dishes done!
    We also can all of our home-grown produce, buy meat (hamburger and skinless, boneless chicken breasts when on sale) and can these as well. Sure makes dinner-fixin’ easy during the busy Spring and Summer months around here.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love that you’ve thought out your own rhythms and come up with a system that fits in with your family, Bobbie. Sometimes that’s all it takes, thinking things through. Thanks for sharing your tips! ~TxH~

  2. Ginger Williams

    One of my ways: I use mini-flake pine shavings (sold for big animal bedding) as kitty litter – way cheaper than commercial litter, and it is compost able. I use tongs to remove any solids, and when ready to empty the litter box totally, store it in covered (recycled) commercial kitty litter containers or other covered plastic bins. I shred all junk mail and any other paperwork that is past it’s time, and store in big bins. Then, when getting ready to make up the big pots I use outdoors for flowers and other ornamentals, I put a healthy layer of paper shreds on the bottom, then a layer of the nitrogen-packed kitty litter, and fill the remaining half with potting mix (either fresh, or from old pots). Yes, I can use the potting mix from old pots for this, because each Spring, I dump what remains in each of last year’s pots into a garden cart and mix thoroughly with a trowel. This is basically now one-year old composted material (combination of the paper shreds, pine shavings and potting mix). You do this for a few years running, and each year the compost/mix gets better. Supposedly, by then you can use in your food garden, but I reserve it for pots, around the apple trees, and in the Shrubbery of lilacs and viburnums.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We don’t have a cat, but I’ve often wondered about better options than the traditional expensive kitty litter route. Thanks for sharing your experience. ~TxH~

  3. Jessica [Havok]

    We do the math bits as well, so far as driving to places to shop goes! While we don’t live far out from anything, I used to do my grocery shopping at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood store, when we lived on the other side of town and it was right across the street. Now, where we live, the closest Wal-Mart is about half an hour away (that’s without traffic), and the Fred Meyer I now shop at is right down the street from me, and only *slightly* more expensive. The gas prices would negate any saving I would have from shopping at Wal-Mart, as well as the time wasted getting there and coming back!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      That’s SO important Jessica! A few years ago a small grocery store opened in town and it wasn’t supported enough by the locals and had to close. The locals figured they could get bread cheaper at a Wal-Mart in a nearby town, but how many actually factored in the GAS expense to drive there? (or the subsequent failure of a grocery store in their own town?) RancherMan & I try to support our local businesses just because they’re local, but it’s also important to figure in the money you’ll spend in gas going elsewhere in the first place. ~TxH~

  4. Anne Payne

    Practical ideas! We do a lot of these things too, but I usually don’t do the receipt code thing for fast food restaurants. After reading your post, I think I will now!!! 🙂

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Not sure if it’s short-term thing with Whataburger right now or what Anne, but we’ll certainly take advantage of it while it’s going on! ~TxH~


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