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For over a year now, our house has been on strike.

First it was the refrigerator that gave up the ghost. Followed closely by the dishwasher.

Then the stove and the toaster.

Slowly, we have replaced every appliance in our home in the course of 15 months.

I think the house was getting warmed up with cheaper fixes before it moved on…to things like the furnace.  And the roof.

sigh

Needless to say, it’s time for another #yearofno.  We hope this one is much shorter than the last one!

If you’re new around here, our family used the #yearofno hashtag to keep us motivated to pay off a ton of credit card debt.

We don’t eat out. We don’t buy things that aren’t necessities.

No gifts. No thrift store runs.

We get very creative in a #yearofno.  Hopefully we remember how to flex those creative muscles again!

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week

Simple ways we've saved money this week, live a more frugal life.

Oh! Before we dive in…

If you’re anything like me, you aren’t thrilled with the idea of handing your child a smart phone.

But you also might need them to have a phone to make calls or texts.

I was thrilled when I finally learned that the Gabb phone existed.  We bought one when they were still on Kickstarter (or some form of start up platform, I can’t remember now).

And we loved it right away.

Two of our kids have used them, and we continue to be very happy with the phones and the $20 per month service.

I tell you this because now the cheap phones are even cheaper when you use this special code JUST for Medium Sized Family readers.

This link and/or code BRIGHTSAVER30 will get you $30 off the price of a new phone!

No Pizza

Yep. We just decided to implement our #yearofno rules, when what should happen but a week of miserable, sleepless nights.

I don’t know about you, but I find it next to impossible to function after several nights of interrupted sleep.

(I don’t know how I made it through 6 babies! haha)

I was thisclose to ordering pizza anyway, when I saw a loaf of bread on my counter that my sister had given me.

French toast is pretty easy to throw together.  Everyone was excited about breakfast for supper. And I had supper ready in 5 minutes.

Win/win!

(And then I did nothing for the rest of the night!)

Propane Rate Lock In

I know in some places, propane companies won’t let you lock in rates without paying up front.

In fact, our own propane company had that policy at one time.

But I called back in August just to check, and found out that I could lock in a rate just by calling them and signing a paper.

Boy am I glad I did that!  We got a nice, low rate for what has become a cold, snowy winter.

CVS Game

I learned about this one about 10 years ago, and I’m happy to say it still works!

You know how stores sometimes make you jump through hoops to save money?

Well, in this case I call it the “CVS Game”.

You probably know that CVS offers you Extra Care Bucks, which is basically money you can spend on more things at CVS.

My favorite thing to buy this way is diapers.

I look for a sale.  Right now they have Pampers (my babies can only use Pampers, otherwise they break out) on special.  If I buy 3 packs of them at around $10 each, I will have spent $30.  (Even I can do that math.)

If I spend $30 on diapers, they’ll give me back $10 in ECBs.

I also found a coupon for $4 off of $28 worth of diapers when I scanned my card at the front of the store.

And I had $5 in ECBs from the last time I shopped there.

So I got those diapers for $21 (plus tax).  AND they gave me another $10 to use the next time I buy diapers!

The catch is that sometimes the ECBs expire before I remember to use them.

But if I stay on top of it, I can usually get my diapers for pretty cheap by playing this game.  (Next time I need them I’ll have my $10 in ECBs to use. And the coupon machine will probably spit out another coupon for diapers, because I get that one pretty often.)

Field Trip

Three of our kids are being homeschooled this year (traditional homeschool, not virtual), and we were getting a bit stir crazy from all the “at home” time.

It was time for a field trip!

It’s tough to find places that are open, but we lucked out. The Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio is not only open, but also has free admission!

We packed a lunch. And I had snacks and waters waiting for when we left and everyone was huuuuungry.

But for the price of gas, we had a fun day out!

Movies

Hubby and I have had some date nights at home.

It might sound funny, but we rarely watch movies. Finding anything made recently that’s actually worth watching and that both of us enjoy seems like such a tough job that it’s hardly worth it.

But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought about it with enough time to borrow the new “Midway” and “1917” from the library. We actually enjoyed both of them!

And the previews on those DVDs made us curious about another movie, “Knives Out”. We found it on Amazon Prime.

It’s a “whodunit”, and aside from some language we didn’t love, it was a pretty good movie!

Those are the ways we saved money this week.

Hopefully I’ll have some extra creative things to share with you over the next several weeks as we power through this mini #yearofno.

Share the ways you saved this week! Either here or in our awesome Facebook group.