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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How we save money on laundry

For our first few years of apartment living, we had apartment-sized washers and dryers.  Not only were we not able to do much in them but they were not energy efficient.

When it was time to replace them, we went to our local Sears and first purchased a High Efficiency Kenmore washer and then later a dryer.   The people at Sears were wonderful throughout the process including taking away the old ones and setting up the new ones for us.  We did get the extended warranty and when, after two years, we had a problem with the washer (my fault), a very helpful repair person came over and solved the problem very quickly.

Not only are they much more energy efficient than the smaller ones, but we can safely do three times as much laundry at a time reducing how many loads we need to do per week, which also helps to save electricity.  They are definitely a good choice for a frugal family.

I hope to have our Kenmore Series 100 top load washer 110.2022*410 and Kenmore Series 500 Moisture Sensing Dryer for many years to come but when it is time to replace them, we will definitely be looking to Sears again for our next washer and dryer.

Our Sears Kenmore Washer and Dryer
Our Sears Kenmore Washer and Dryer have made our life so much easier,
in addition to saving us money on our electric bill.

I watch a lot of frugal videos on YouTube.  Kelly at  https://freedominabudget.com/ said that one of the ways she saves money is using dryer balls. 



I found some at Walmart.  They have reduced drying time and cut out the need for dryer sheets.   I recommend that other frugal families give them a try.


Wool Dryer Balls
The Wool Dryer Balls we picked up at Walmart also save us money on our laundry


Given how much laundry our cats create since they both get sick regularly (Feline Leukemia), it is only right that we close out this post with them as they prepare to settle in for a nap behind my wheelchair.


Our cats create a lot of laundry
Johnny and Night look innocent here but due to their Feline Leukemia,
they get sick a lot, increasing our laundry loads




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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Coupons For Free Cat Litter and Dry Cat Food

We saved over $42.00 during our last Walmart shopping trip.   That came from a variety of sources ranging from paper coupons to electronic ones (coupons.com) and rebates from Ibotta, etc.   The largest chunk of it came from coupons for free cat litter and cat food.

Fresh Step sent us a coupon for a free 25 pound box of cat litter.   We use a lot of Fresh Step cat litter because they manufacture the best non tracking cat litter we have found - Clean Paws.    Unfortunately, Clean Paws only comes in 22.5 pound boxes and the coupon was for 25 pounds of cat litter, so we had to get a different type.  We are very grateful to have gotten 25 pounds of free cat litter and will mix it in with the Clean Paws.

We prefer the Clean Paws because the cats would track other cat litters around, which we would run over with our wheelchairs and grind into the floor.  Since we have started using a mix of 75% Clean Paws in the litter boxes, we have very little litter tracked around.

We highly recommend Fresh Step Clean Paws to anyone who doesn't want litter tracked throughout their home.    Note it is much heavier than regular litter but not having it tracked around is worth the extra minute or so it takes to dig out the heavy clumps for us.

Every box of Clean Paws comes with a code.   When we finish a box, we go to the Fresh Step web site and enter the code for points.   Every time we get 750 points, we can submit them to get a coupon for a 25 pound box of cat litter for free.     If you choose to sign up for Fresh Step, we would greatly appreciate it if you would use our referral code  https://www.freshstep.com/invite/register/0018EDB1/

The second high value coupon came from Purina.  It was for a free bag of dry Purina One cat food ($7.84 saving).    Our cats eat a lot of Purina cat food.    Each time we finish a bag we log the points in.  They can be saved up and redeemed for various rewards.    Sometimes Purina has special offers such as one for trying Purina One cat food for 28 days to see how it improves your cat's health.  We signed up for that and they sent us a coupon for a free bag of dry cat food. 

If your cat eats Purina cat food and you would like to sign up for their offers, please consider using our Purina referral code when you sign up
https://myperks.catchow.com?_cts_=ltmMqJe9


Free box of cat litter and bag of dry cat food
We received coupons for a free bag of Purina One dry cat food and a free box of Fresh Step cat litter

Our Referral Links For Our Favorite Money Saving / Earning Apps

Our frugal family uses a variety of money saving apps in order to keep our two finicky felines living the lifestyle to which they prefer to be accustomed.

If you wish to try any of these out, we would love it if you would sign up using our links as that will send a little extra money our way for cat treats and other items to keep our kitties happy and willingly posing for the photos of them that we share on https://www.instagram.com/stumblinn/.    You will receive a bonus of some type (information below) when you sign up for any of these.  Note that we do not receive any personal information on you when you sign up with these other than an acknowledgement that you have done so.



Ibotta referral code:   vabrjhl
      https://ibotta.com/
- money back when grocery shopping - we average between $10 - $20 back per shopping trip with Ibotta, the money can be redeemed via PayPal or as gift certificates.  You get a $10 sign up bonus when you use our (or anyone else's) referral code to sign up.

Fresh Steps (cat litter) referral code:  https://www.freshstep.com/invite/register/0018EDB1/
- We use a lot of Fresh Step Clean Paws cat litter as we have found it to be the best for being non tracking.   Having our wheelchairs constantly running over other cat litters that the cats tracked around and grinding it into our floors was not a good thing.   Every time we empty a box, we go to Fresh Step and enter the code to get points.  We get a coupon for a free 25 pound box of cat litter each time we reach 750 points.    When you join and enter your codes from your litter purchases, you will accumulate points you can use for Fresh Steps rewards including a free box of cat litter.

Swagbucks:  https://www.swagbucks.com/refer/swaguser32219415

- earn Swagbucks doing everything from filling out surveys to watching videos and playing games.  If you do your online shopping via the Swagbucks portal, you also get Swagbucks for that.   We use our Swagbucks to get gift cards.  We average about $75 a month in gift cards that we use mainly to buy groceries.    The Swagbucks sign up bonus varies so I cannot list what you will receive at any specific point in time for signing up with our referral code.


Fetch referral code:   N3XME 
 https://www.fetchrewards.com/   
- points back from entering grocery receipts, the points can be turned in for gift cards and other rewards.  You will receive 2000 Fetch points when you scan your first receipt and so will we.

Shopkicks referral code:   FREE198852     
 https://www.shopkick.com/ 
- shopkicks can be obtained not only from making purchases but for scanning items in store and even for entering the store, kicks can be redeemed for gift cards   If you do your first walk-in (get points for entering the store) or product scan within 7 days, we both get 250 shopkicks.



Ebates:  https://www.ebates.com/r/GRACIE1433?eeid=29041&utm_source=extension&utm_medium=raf_link
-  We don't use Ebates often but it is handy for the few places we shop where we cannot go through the Swagbucks portal.   If you do a lot of online shopping, you could potentially get a nice chunk of savings back from Ebates as long as you follow the installation directions so that they can see what you purchase.    If I understand the Ebates referral information correctly when you use our referral code to join and spend $25, you get $10 back and we receive $25.



Purina Cat Chow (dry cat food) referral code: https://myperks.catchow.com?_cts_=ltmMqJe9
- We get points for redeeming the codes on the back of certain Purina dry cat food bags and for doing various cat related activities.  We even receive 10 points a day for logging in.  The points can be redeemed for various rewards.   Recently we received a coupon for a free bag of Purina One cat food so that we can do the 28 day challenge.   When you join and enter your codes from your Purina cat food purchases, you will accumulate points you can use for various rewards.



Tiger cat showing her belly
Johnny is ready to be admired

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Who we are

There are four of us in the family, two humans and two rescue cats.

We lead an interesting life as we each have medical challenges.  Both humans use wheelchairs and both felines have Feline Leukemia.

On February 2, 2019, Jamey unexpectedly lost his job, which reduced our monthly income by 60%.  Then on March 2, 2019, the transmission died on our 2000 Chevrolet Impala.  Fixing it would have cost more than the car was worth.   We live in a small town in Louisiana, where there are no taxi cabs, Lyft or Uber rides.  So without a car, it became almost impossible for Jamey to go out to look for a new job.     He has thus been focused on ways to earn income online instead.

We were already living a fairly frugal lifestyle before the job and car loss including cutting our own hair and not using anything but very basic soap, shampoo and conditioner.    We stick to whatever we can get the cheapest using Ibotta or Coupons.com, etc.   Neither of us colors our hair and I don't wear any make-up or nail polish.   We do not get manicures or pedicures or go to tanning spas or for massages, etc.

If you are interested in using Ibotta, please consider using our referral code vabrjhl  (to be used at https://ibotta.com/).  Thank you.

We used to average between $10 - $20 back per shopping trip with Ibotta when we were able to go to Walmart to shop ourselves.   That money could be redeemed via PayPal or as gift certificates. We used it for Walmart gift cards because ordering online using gift cards is the easiest way for us to do stock up orders on things like rice and dried beans, an important part of  Saving Money on Food for us.   Thankfully Walmart has recently begun to work with Ibotta to include receipts from Pickup and Delivery so we can use Ibotta again.   (There is a pickup service in the area called EZ-Street that we use to get our Walmart pickup groceries for us.)
 You get a $10 sign up bonus when you use our (or anyone else's) referral code to sign up. Disclaimer: We also get some cash when you sign up using our referral code (vabrjhl).


I am vegetarian, which also reduces our food bill.  Neither of us smokes or drinks.   We do not go to movies or parties and while we would occasionally eat out before, now with Jamey's job loss and our car loss, we no longer go to any type of restaurants either.

Despite our challenges, we have many things to be grateful for and we do our best to focus on those things, which is where the name of our blog comes from.   We are grateful for how many good things the four of us have in our lives including each other.

Since our income is very limited we practice frugality (to the extent that our cats will allow as they are very adamant about getting their daily treats, after which they will happily curl up for a nap).  This blog focuses mainly on the various ways that we earn income online combined with a mostly frugal lifestyle that lets us get by, with a sprinkling of pictures of and anecdotes about the cats who (in their minds) own us. 



Our cats napping together
Naptime is always better when you have a comfortable pillow



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