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I wanted to make a vodka watermelon. Some people call it infuse a watermelon. Some people charge a watermelon. Whatever you it call it, it is the same thing. A 21 years and older watermelon filled with booze with a 50-50 chance of either coming out perfect or not infusing at all. I’m not trying to scare you out of a spiked vodka watermelon recipe. I’m letting you know up front, if your vodka watermelon didn’t work, keep reading this post to learn how to fix a drunken watermelon that won't absorb vodka on the first go round. How to Soak a Drunken Watermelon With Vodka   Pin this recipe for your next party!

12 Money Saving Tips I Forget to Follow

I like to stream movies and TV shows while I sew. I fell head first into watching all of the BBC Victorian Farm series (learn more about it here) shows while working on two massive costuming projects. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience)

If you aren’t familiar with the series, Victorian Farm is about three British historians who run a farm for a year according to the Victorian, Edwardian, and Stuart time periods as everyday people. The thing the history nerd in me likes about this show is that the historians are vested in following the practices of the era to find out if what is written in history books is true and what is really was like. Unlike living history reality shows like Frontier House (you can read about it here) where the goal seems to be to throw modern day people into a period living situation to watch them freak out and cheat because it is a harder life than they thought.

A big part of farm life is living seasonally and I’m unconsciously following suit. On my last couple of grocery shopping trips and such I found myself falling back into some good frugal habits and seasonal tips I let fall by the way side.

I hope that by writing down some of the easy ways I saved extra money and sharing them with you I’ll remember to make them a regular habit – I hope.

 Pin this list of frugal hacks for later and to share with your friends!

12 Simple Frugal Hacks You Shouldn’t Forget to Do

(I’m always thinking about my amazing readers like you and that's why I share ideas like these. When you get some of these goodies, I might get a few coins thrown my way that keeps me supplied with enough coffee and household electricity to keep bringing YOU free ideas like this every week. Thank you for helping me keep the lights on at Lazy Budget Chef!)

1. Check books out from the library again. I discovered my local library lets you check out ebooks on line this summer. I don’t get late fees anymore because the book disappears from my Kindle app when it is time to return it unless I renew it.

I’m currently reading How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman. She’s one of the historians from the Farm series. It’s very interesting to learn how regular people lived back then (AKA not nobility.)  I never realized how grateful I should be for elastic collars, cuffs, and waste bands in my clothing until now!

2. Run errands in batches as much as possible.  Running a few little errands in the same general location saves gas and an even more precious commodity time. It isn’t possible for everything, but it helps keep from running onesy twosy errands every. day.of.the.week.

3. Add heel savers (also called heel taps) to the heels of new shoes before wearing them.  The heel saver wears first and you can replace it when it wears down instead of replacing the shoe.

As a kid I wasn’t allowed to wear a new pair of shoes until my parents put heel taps on them. I totally forgot about this until I started having a such hard time buying shoes that don’t light up or have cartoon characters on them for my tiny size four feet.

Adding heel taps to my flats added several years that I didn’t have to hunt the kid’s department for shoes that are appropriate for an adult to their life!

4. Took shoes to the shoe repair (cobbler) for new soles and/or heels instead of buying brand new shoes.  Resoling my worn Birkenstocks was spendy but still much less than a new pair of the same thing (and avoiding Traumatic Tiny Feet Shoe Shopping is priceless IMHO.)

A good cobbler can stretch shoes that are too tight, reattach or replace a broken buckle (on my To Do list,) and in some cases dye shoes you don’t wear to a color you will (also on my To Do list.)

5. Check Ibotta (you can get the free app here) for rebates after I come home from the store. I have better luck with Ibotta than Checkout 51 because Ibotta has rebates on more generic items like fresh produce, milk, etc.

I fell out of this habit until I saw a store had an Ibotta notice on teh shelf of an item that was on my shopping list. It’s not just grocery stores. I got a 15% rebate on some character shoes from a shoe store because I checked the app on a whim. When I remember to make an on line order through the app instead of the though the Amazon website I get a rebate too!

6. Skim the Sunday ads on line and try to coordinate the time I need to buy items with a sale, an online printed coupon, or both. I save more money buying items on sale, but it is often worth my while to print and use a coupon for things like allergy meds and fortified nondairy milk, etc. and ingredient type food I will buy anyway. On my last ingredient food shopping trip I have 40% off my total purchases at Meijer which is nice but rare.

Coupons aren’t just for food. I’ve been working Joann Fabrics coupons and sales like a boss for big costuming projects. I'm remodeling a bathroom after a leak and saved 20 bucks and got a free little work light at Harbor Freight on supplies using their coupons. I didn't need the light for the project but it's a nice little extra to put in my car emergency kit like this one just in case. Also, I mentioned free for the trouble of printing a coupon on scrap paper, right?

Photo used with permission by Photography by Paul. Thank you Paul!

7. Buy replacement parts when possible instead of a whole new thing.  For example,I keep sport bottles in the refrigerator to use a giant water glasses at my desk (and it makes my doctor happy I'm finally staying as hydrated as I should.) I bought a replacement Nalgene water bottle top here when mine broke. When the lids to my Anchor Hocking glass storage containers broke I replaced them with sturider and cheaper Pyrex lids here. I tested it out and even though both companies say they don't fit they absolutely do!

8. Record and update my Price Book Spreadsheet by taking photos of the price tags on items I want to track (or compare against where I normally buy it)  but currently aren’t on my shopping list.  In theory I can do this while watching TV or even via Google sheets on my phone in the store but actually doing it is another story…

9. Actuallcheck to my Price Book Spreadsheet while grocery shopping in the store to check if the item is a real deal. Every time I go with what I think is the lowest price in my head I learn that I’m wrong, or worse, thinking the price at a specific store is the cheapest when the unit price is the same and the only difference is the size of the package. I totally stink at doing Numbers 8 and 9. 

10. Store dish washing powder (the packs and tabs never seem to fit in my dishwasher) in a repurposed sealed container under the kitchen sink to keep it from absorbing moisture and losing its cleaning oomph.  Apparently this can cause powdered dishwasher detergent to degrade a little bit and is the reason why companies created liquid dish washing detergent and horrid tabs. Also it keeps a box of dish washing powder dry under the sink when the garbage disposal pipes violently shake loose. guess how I know?

12. Use all of those stupid club cards on my key ring that I forget I have on my key ring. There are a few stores I shop that only give you the sale price if you have a loyalty card with you. Do you know how many times  I have the card but don’t want to dig in my purse for it? Too many to count.

I put my store loyalty cards on a separate key ring so I can find them in my purse when I  still forget to use them.

What your tips? Do you forget to do any of them too?

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Anonymous said…
Great tips! I’ll have to check my library to see if they have ebooks that I can check out. So awesome if so. Just starting to use Ibotta myself.
Teresa B said…
Thank you for sharing these tips at The Really Crafty Link Party, and have a great weekend!
Lisa Lynn said…
Great tips! Thank you for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!