This has been a crazy year and an even crazier Christmas. The colleges I teach at didn’t end their semesters until about a week before Christmas and finals and final grade submissions are so all consuming that very little else gets done during that time. However, we had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! This winter break I visited my sister Candy in Austin, Tx then we visited B’s family in South Florida and right now we are glad to be back in Central Florida getting ready for the next semester! I can’t believe Spring semester starts on Monday!
– I am so thankful that I got to visit my sister! We has sooooooo, soooooo much fun at the Goodwill Outlet and got so many amazing deals and bargains and designed purses! We also got to visit and play with a Zebra for free which is what the above picture is of!
– Thank goodness that I bought a stash of nice Christmas gifts throughout the year when I found items on sale or for good prices
– I am also soooooooo thankful for Amazon Prime and its two day shipping! We were able to have most of our purchases delivered right to our door. Not only did we save money on shipping but the items are usually cheaper anyways and it kept us out of the crazy stores where we might have wanted to spend more money.
– We rarely ate out the entire time I visited Texas, thanks to Candy’s fantastic cooking, which was a huge savings
– I was determined to teach myself to use my sewing machine this winter break and I did! I also taught myself to hem pants because I have a stash of 4 or 5 pairs of really nice dress pants that I bought at thrift shops and never got hemmed. The first pair I did turned out amazing and it was really fun for me (I should probably be careful saying that before I get flooded with family members needing pants hemmed lol). Honestly, I’m surprised at how well they turned out! Watch out family, I just might be making your Christmas gifts next year!
– I just found out that there is a Goodwill outlet in Orlando and we went and looked for stuff to sell on eBay, fabric for sewing projects now that I know how to use my sewing machine and other things we want/need. Future post on that soon!
– Our entire family has made it clear that we not only enjoy but encourage practical gifts! Among those that I am really enjoying are a new shower head, a new watch, a new can opener, makeup, and thread for my sewing machine!
– I lost my parking permit hang tag for one of the schools I work at. Fortunately they gave me a free sticker replacement that I’m certainly not going to lose or have to worry about forgetting it’s on the car.
– I went to faculty meeting where they fed me a free meal of expensive meats, cheeses and breads.
– We got a free desert from outback when we went out for a free meal with Christmas gift cards but we always tip well! I supported myself through school by waiting tables.
– I used a 40% off coupon on my phone to buy a new seam ripper from JoAnn Fabrics.
– We have been going running at a park around the corner from our house that has a nice track. Free and healthy!
– B went to ALDI and we stocked up on TONS of groceries before the semester starts and we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. I have realized that one area where I still spend a lot of money is work lunches, snacks and coffee while I’m on the go. It’s really difficult to plan out all of the meals, snacks and drinks I will need when I’m working on multiple college campuses in one day. Now that it’s not 100 degrees outside ever day I’m going to try to stock up my car and take things with me more often.
– I’ve set up a little office in our guest bedroom where I will *hopefully* have everything I need for my job teaching at 4 different colleges within arm’s reach. I wish I had my own office but we don’t have the space here and the best I can do is make the most of the space I do have. I felt like I was wasting too much time getting set up different places around the house to work and distracted by other things going on. Instead of going out and buying office furniture I’m using what I already had in different ways and it’s also forcing me to get better about my use of the space we do have. I’m getting rid of stuff and trying to store things more efficiently.
– On the same note as the bullet above, the theme for the second part of my winter break (after traveling but before school starts) has been setting myself up for success next semester. I’ve been getting the house stocked up on everything I can possibly need for at least the first few weeks if not more. I consider this frugal because having to run out to buy things the fastest way possible when I’m super busy usually means I end up paying more.
– Because of the dates I needed to travel it was more expensive than I had hoped to visit my sister (flying from Florida to Texas) right before Christmas. I ended up flying out on Southwest Airlines which was great because I was able to check two bags free and bring their Christmas presents. I had to fly back on Allegiant which was inexpensive but you don’t get to bring anything besides a personal item without paying. I wasn’t sure if I would need more than that on the way home so I didn’t pay for one in advance. However, with all of the fun we had at the Goodwill Outlet I ended up paying for two checked bags for $20 each. It was cheaper than mailing the items and even with having to pay for the bags we got amazing deals worth a lot, a lot more than what we paid.
– I usually try to go without or make things streatch for as long as possible before buying new. However, with a crazy busy semester coming I went ahead and bought a few things
– A few of the things I wanted to buy as gifts on Amazon prime became very expensive right before Christmas so I didn’t end up buying them but I did end up buying other things that were more expensive. Note to self- Amazon prices get more expensive before Christmas so I should just buy inexpensive items when I see them and set them aside.
– I have been carrying a smaller purse because I hurt my shoulder trying to haul around too much stuff at work and in life so I was forced to downsize. Unfortunately this means I don’t have everything under the sun with me at all times in case I might possibly need it. I didn’t have my student ID with me for a discount at Goodwill and I didn’t have my target debit card with me for a discount at target. Not a huge loss but everything adds up.
Chemical Free Living
– My new favorite Chemical Free way of cleaning is my Steamer Mop! I got it at the goodwill outlet for .99 cents and it sells on Amazon for almost $70!
– I bought Honest brand dish soap (we have been using Chemical Free bar soap for months). It wasn’t expensive and it smells great!
What have you done recently to save money?