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At Medium Sized Family, we like to celebrate Fridays by reflecting back on the ways our family has saved money this week.

It’s our own version of Frugal Friday.

I always try to bring you 5 new ideas that we haven’t talked about in previous weeks.  I hope that you’ll find new ideas, or that these suggestions will spark some creativity in your own frugal journey.

If you’d like to check out articles from past weeks, you can find all 34 of them here.

Here are this week’s 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week.

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week 35: The #yearofno family logs another 5 ways they've saved money in the weekly series.

Curious Googling

My Facebook readers have already seen this tip earlier this week.

I was out and about and realized that I needed to get an oil change.  We lack the time to do it ourselves right now, and I wanted to get this done before school lets out next week.

So I did a quick Google search for a coupon on my phone.  I typed in “Valvoline oil change coupon.”  The result I got lead me to a coupon for $7 off.

That wasn’t great.  I was hoping for something closer to $20.  So I decided to see what other companies were offering.  This time I Googled “oil change coupon.”  This time, the result gave me a Valvoline coupon for a $19.99 oil change.

I was fascinated by this, and now I wonder how many times I’ve settled for a lesser deal than I could have gotten!  A little competition is great for all of us.

Using a Spatula

Our boy turned 11 this week.  He wanted pancakes for his birthday supper.

I was scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spoon trying to make one more pancake for our crowd, when I realized that I should just use my spatula.  (It’s similar to this one.)

The funny thing is that I use the spatula often for making cakes and that sort of thing.

But I had never really considered using it for things like pancakes.  Getting one more pancake out of a bowl that I otherwise would have washed down the drain is great, especially with growing hungry boys in the house!

Switching to HSA

Hubby’s work ends their fiscal year in the summer time.  That means that it’s time to teach ourselves about health insurance options once again.

He’s mentioned the idea of an HSA to me a couple of times, but I’m resistant to change unless I know exactly what I’m getting myself into.

If you aren’t sure what an HSA is, a simple explanation is that it’s a health savings account.  You spend less on your insurance premiums for high deductible insurance, and funnel the savings on your premiums into a special tax free savings account that you’ll use to cover medical expenses.

It turns out that the tax benefits and the match that the company will put into the savings account make this option a money saver for us.

I suggest you do some serious homework on health insurance choices.  Consider the type of coverage your family needs.  We have several health issues that become expensive if we aren’t careful.

If you don’t use an HSA, I recommend you learn about the FSA or flexible spending account.  That works with typical health insurance to help you with copays, deductibles, prescriptions, and more.

[Tweet “5 Ways the #yearofno family is saving money and paying off #debt. Can you get ahead on bills this way?”]

Save the difference in the electric bill

The lovely weather of the spring and fall really eases up our electric bill.  I love getting the smaller bills this time of year.

The temptation to spend that money on other things is strong…but resist!  If you tend to get larger bills in the colder or hotter months, now is a great time to open a dedicated account just for temperature control.

Then put the money that you are already used to spending on electric into that special savings account, and be prepared for your next large bill.

You can read more about that in my post about how we break up our paycheck.

Cozi Calendar

I’ve been using an online calendar system called Cozi for years.  

I love this thing!  Hubby has access to it online, so he knows what the plan is for the day or if we are busy when he’d otherwise make an appointment.

Of course, now Cozi is an app for your phone, so it’s always with you.  And, of course, my favorite part is that it’s totally free!  

It’s the only way I can keep track of schedules for all 7 of us.  And that helps me avoid missed appointment fees, among other expenses.

That’s the latest 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week!

If you’re shopping online this week, be sure to start at eBates.  Not only do they have coupon codes, but you can stack those with some cash back rebates just by clicking through eBates first!  I’ve been using it for years, and I totally recommend this site.

I hope you found some tips you can use.  Be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you saved money this week!