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2-30-18 A Few Frugal Things

Strep Throat, Olympics and AC

(I helped my friend donate some stuff to the local thrift shop and kept a like new trash can. I finally got it set up in a kitchen station with cans for trash, laundry and recycling. I really want to have three perfectly matching cans but there is nothing wrong with these.)

A few frugal things

– I ended up with Strep Throat. I was able to get an appointment the same day at the Walgreens Clinic. The clinic visit and prescription were less than $23 combined and I feel so lucky to have AMAZING, FREE insurance though my job. I was paying $300 a month prior to this job. I am also thankful to get paid for the 2 and a half days I had to take off while sick.

– Staying home while sick also saved me money on gas, tolls and wear and tear on the car.

– We bought a bunch of groceries at the beginning of the month when family was coming to visit. We saved a lot of money during the visit by not eating out and then we had extra that we are still eating though now. We are making meals from what is left. Neither of us feel like going to the grocery store.

– We have been enjoying watching the winter Olympics. It’s free with our TV antenna and learning about the athletes has also been fun. I am a huge fan of the Canadian Ice Dancers Moir and Virtue.

– I used an old hose I found buried in the backyard to cover a cord that the cats could chew through.

– I enjoyed free lunch at work including a huge sandwich, chips, a cookie, and drinks from a local sub place. I didn’t finish and kept the rest in my purse and ate it on the way home when I was hungry again.

– I bought candy for class prizes and Valentine’s day cards from Dollar Tree. They are carrying a great new Travelocity line of cell phone chargers and I stocked up.

– I taught a workshop for other faculty and staff at work and although I only was paid as part of my normal work day, it is something else to put on my resume and I now have the workshop ready to go if I get the chance to teach it again (possibly for pay).

– I bought a solar light for less than $10 off Amazon. It seems to work well and I’m hoping that it will replace the light in our kitchen that is almost always on and will charge with the light through the window. I am experimenting with incorporating individual solar lighting in the yard and house to save more money.

– Spent a while price shopping plane tickets between airlines for a trip to visit my sister. Finally found a great deal including my luggage and seat and in-flight cable and snacks and drinks for $150 round trip. Even if it hadn’t included anything it was still the cheapest flight so everything that came with it is just a bonus. And the days and times worked great! So excited!

– We had some leftover milk in the fridge that was going to go bad so we made some instant pudding. A treat for us and less waste.

– We had a week left in the month and very little healthy food left in the house. We came up with a $50 grocery budget for the week and were determined to stick to it. We ended up spending $47 because we forgot sliced cheese for sandwiches and then we found a pack in the back of the fridge that family had bought when they visited.

– I also made blueberry muffins and egg salad from scratch to help stretch the grocery budget.

– I went to visit friends who were having a yard sale and they ended up giving me a bunch of stuff for free. That was fun and we got some nice clothes, cat treats and other small items.

Not so Frugal

– I paid to have the radiator replaced in my mother’s car. It was worth every penny for my mom to have a safe vehicle but I hadn’t budgeted for it.

– We continue to see a few fleas here and there on the pets. Not a huge problem but I wish we didn’t see any. We need to buy more flea treatments and it’s super expensive, plus I worry about putting chemicals on them. Over $70 spent this month on flea meds.

– I took pictures of stuff to list on eBay but I haven’t found the time to do the listings yet.

– Our poor kitty cat got sick and we had to take him to the vet. Not only is the vet 40 minutes away in gas and tolls but the bill was over $300.

– Found out a close relative is getting married in another state. Won’t be cheap to go but I know it will be worth it.

 

Extra Income

– I told the college I work for that I would consider substituting for other faculty who are sick and I get paid for it

– I finally got a lot of the lingering items I had bought to sell on eBay listed and I sold one older listing.

 

Harmful Chemical Free Living

– I did a lot of cleaning this weekend with rubbing alcohol as a sanitizer.

– I keep washing everything soft (pillows and bedding) in the house to remove any potential fleas. I use my homemade chemical free laundry detergent that is dirt cheap.

– I filled all of the hand soap dispensers in the house with a little Dr. Bronner’s concentrated soap and a lot of water.

1-15-18 Thrift Finds- Mini dog, Corelle and Singing Fake Birds


The puppy was a little confused by his new mini me but I found some good finds for cheap.

These trays were $1.50 each but still had the original Macy’s price stickers of $17.99.

I added to my set of these Corelle dishes but shattered the lid after making my first casserole.

I am always happy to find a Dave Ramsey book to sell or pass along. The robe above is Vera Bradley. The pink sweaters were for a hat sewing project for a march.

I snagged this Kenneth Cole rolling bag for $4. Thanks to built in obsolescence these bags no longer come with replaceable wheels so when the wheels are shot the bag can’t be repaired. I usually always have one I’m using and try to keep a spare for when it goes.

I also found another catchphrase portable console for work. And the BB8 was too cute to pass up.

I got some nice shirts, toys for Gimli and my 1 year old nephew and a book. The birds sing and move and are overall adorable.

1-6-17 Thrift Finds- Glass Fish and Ice Cream Maker

I had fun thrifting in early Jan. Many people have time off in Dec to go through their houses or it might be a new year’s resolution.

I collect the above fish and was thrilled to find them for $2.99 each! They are highly collectable and sell well but I’m keeping them.

The above Play Station charger was cheap but unfortunately didn’t work.

Below are some winter clothes, a starbucks cup and some shelf expanders. 

My mom asked me to get her a lighted makeup mirror ($3) and I have been searching for a second hand swifter ($2)since the refils are $1 at Dollar Tree. 

I got the mirror for my mother for her purse, the ice cream maker was NIB for $10 and we have used it a lot since. The file dividers I am using to org the dish cabinets.

2017-12-27 A Few Frugal Things- Christmas Thrift Finds

I’m finally on winter break! Yay! It was a tough semester but I am trying to enjoy every day off that I get. This is the first year I get to decorate a fireplace (in our rental house) while we continue to farm hunt. Almost everything pictured was bought at the thrift shop/yard sales, on clearance or a gift.

A few frugal things

– We got all of the holiday grocery shopping out of the way at ALDI. All but a few small items that I had to get from Publix because ALDI did not carry them.

– Clearing out the garage and house by donating extra yard sale stuff, mailing my sister and nephew a box for Christmas, giving my friend some stuff that she had left at the house and donating a large baby toy from my nephew’s last visit that he had outgrown.

– I got to go to Universal Studios Theme park with my friend for her company Christmas party. They gave us unlimited food and drinks and desserts. Harry Potter World was AMAZING and free!!!

– I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping but I realized I needed one more small thing but couldn’t bring myself to go to the store this close to Christmas. I ended up making and printing an invitation to see Star Wars together that I will add to that person’s gift bag.

– We have been eating at home since we ate out too much during the last week of school

– Went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription that just so happened to be on a day when they were offering 20% off most of the store. My mom got some vitamins she needed B1G1 free and a few other things we needed all for 20% off and then I had some store points I don’t understand/didn’t know about and we saved over 50%.

– I wrapped the gifts for our family Christmas lunch in gift bags saved from last year and 2 red pails that my dad was getting rid of. I did buy 2 large rolls of wrapping paper from the thrift shop for .25 cents each that I will use to wrap the gifts for Christmas morning. One of the two rolls was labeled recyclable.

– B made a HUGE pot of chili before Christmas that we ate for a week!

– I am giving plenty of gifts that I bought at the thrift shop this year. It’s good for the environment and my loved ones care more about getting something they want than if that something is brand new.

– I forgot to give the little candle gifts I had purchased to my coworkers for Christmas and debated saving them for next year but we are hoping to buy a house before then and so I’m giving them to everyone else. More gifts now, less moving stuff around later.

– Amazon was having a crazy deal on Sonic toothbrushes which are usually crazy expensive and I was able to get two of them for $12 each!

– We made a huge ham dinner for Christmas day and then ate leftovers for days. Now that we are sick of ham I am going to make a huge pot of homemade Split Pea soup and then will use the other ham leftovers

Not so Frugal

– Christmas in general. However, I was mostly frugal. No debt for this Christmas or ever. I got plenty of gifts from the thrift shop, Dollar Tree stocking stuffers and most new items are from Amazon Prime which often beats the price of big box stores and includes shipping.

– We ate too much take out just getting though the last week of the semester. I didn’t make it to the grocery store the week before. I will try to plan better next semester.

Extra Income

– I earned $25 PayPal Cash for some online work

– Redeemed $50 Credit Card rewards, I’m going to try to use it towards something useful

Harmful Chemical Free Living

– I am still looking for a new floor steam and swifter at the thrift shop. No luck yet but I know I will find them soon.

I got this tree from a local thrift shop for $7 but we didn’t end up using it because of the kittens

I found these two Christmas hand towel sets for a few dollars each at the thrift store

The tree we did end up using is two triangle panels, it’s meant to hold Christmas cards but at least the kittens couldn’t eat it

12-20-17 Recent Thrift Finds – A Crazy Chair, Eco- Purses, Sheets

I had a lot of fun thrifting with my mother when she stayed with us for Christmas. Here are some of our finds. The cats love this crazy chair I bought for my office/sewing room for $5!!! My old chair was stuck at low and I couldn’t resist this cool chair when I needed a new one.

I got these express pants, dress skirt, and 9 West shoes for $2 each.
The below purses were $1 each. The one on the left is made from an old billboard. The middle one is an eco friendly brand.

The above small trash can was $2, some cheap toys for my nephew, $1 sandals and a $2 egg cooker.

Below is a brand new DSW carpet bag for $2.50, 3 purple mason jars, a sharper image star machine for my nephew and a 9 West glasses case. My glasses are 9 west and their case was too big.

12-14-17 A Few Fugal Things- End of the Semester

It’s the last week of class for the college semester! This one was rough because it started with a hurricane and that just seems to throw everything off. I’m proud of all of us for making it to the end.
A few frugal things
– I made the above 3 ingredient drop biscuits from items already in the pantry. The recipe is simple and works well. I made potato soup to go with it (in the pictures at the bottom using my new Instant Pot. I got a great deal on that Instant Pot of about $50 from Kohl’s after coupons, discounts and Kohls cash. There is a learning curve but I’m figuring it out and it does make recipes much faster.
– I did a much better job of packing my lunch for work and trying to bring snacks instead of buying overpriced crappy food on campus
– I bought chips and cookies for my end of semester class parties with my students. My students contribute too and so I have been treated to quite a few free meals including cinnamon rolls, bakery pastries, pasta salad and one student even ordered pizza for the whole class.
– I was also fed lunch at a small holiday party on campus and encouraged to take some food home too, which I did to feed B
– I thought I was going to have to buy more chips for the last class party but then a student left behind an unopened bag at the previous party and that saves me a trip to the store and some money. I still have tons of cookies left over and I will probably put some out at Christmas but I’m not sure how long I can save the rest. Maybe I should return them?
– I have found more Christmas gifts at the thrift shop. Luckily those I care about don’t care if their gifts are new or not (even though items must be vintage or like new) for me to consider gifting them. They also must be something I know the recipient would actually want for a gift, otherwise there would be no point.
– My mother needed a new coffee pot and I told her I would find her one at the thrift shop soon. I found one in perfect shape for about $3.50 which is soooo much cheaper than new. I also found her several shirts in the color she needs for work for $1 each. If they don’t fit her quite right she passes them on to her struggling friends. I love helping others in small ways like this and it costs me almost nothing.
– There is an Anthropologie skirt that I wanted that even sells on eBay for a high price. Hence why I didn’t buy it. I actually found the exact skirt at the thrift shop for $1!!!!!!!!!!! Now the question is, do I sell it or keep it? Hmmm, not sure yet!
– I went to a Faculty Development class even though it was a night class and the last thing I felt like doing. It was the last class I needed to complete another certification. While it doesn’t automatically lead to an increase in pay it is something that is taken into account when I apply for a new contract etc. It is also a certification that allows for more flexibility in my schedule which is always a bonus. It never hurts to build up your credentials and resume when it’s free!
– I am soon to get out our Christmas decorations. Although this year I can only put out the ones that the kittens won’t break or eat. Most of these decorations my mother gave me from my childhood and most of them she purchased from thrift shops.
– We are avoiding a family function this weekend for a variety of reasons. It will also save us money from having to drive hours there and then also the money of a pet sitter.
Not so Frugal
– We accidently left the hose on for 3 extra hours when adding water to our pool. Bummer! (We got the bill thankfully this only cost us about $20. Could be worse!)
– The pets still have fleas despite hundreds of dollars in flea treatments even though the problem is not nearly as bad. Not quite sure what to do at this point but we are still trying to figure it out.
– Our cat damaged the carpet in one of the bedrooms. It’s going to be a Christmas gift from my father for him to fix it for us.
– One of our other cats had to go to the vet leading to hundreds of dollars in vet bill. Thankfully he was cured of that sickness but is now sick again. Bummer! Hopefully this time he will get better on his own.

 

Extra Income
– I had another yard sale with my father and made another $100. Yay!
– I am off of work for winter break and plan on listing some of my great eBay finds from the past few months. I have needed to focus on my full-time job during the semester but this is a great project for long school breaks and as items sell it provides extra income the rest of the year. I need to stop expecting myself to be super woman because it is a good plan to buy things to resell during the semester and then list them on school breaks. It’s not like they usually sell immediately.
– I told my Dean that I would be willing to teach an extra class in the spring if she needed me to. It’s extra money every paycheck.
Harmful Chemical Free Living
– I am still looking for a new floor steam and swifter at the thrift shop. No luck yet but I know I will find them soon.

11-24-17 A Few Frugal Things Thanksgiving Edition

We went to visit B’s family for Thanksgiving. We had a great time and it was a frugal way to spend our break. We brought wine we already had, I made homemade peanut butter pies, and the cost to get there was gas and tolls. Once we were there we stayed with family and ate Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers the rest of the time.

A few frugal things

– Didn’t have to buy and make an entire Thanksgiving dinner on our own because our family provided it.

– We had everything besides a couple of LED lights off at the house for almost a week which will save on the electric bill along with the colder weather which means not having to pay for AC.

– My mother in law gave us two really nice new pillows and cases that match the bed set she gave us. She said they were expensive and I believe it.

– We were able to bring our little dog with us so that cut our pet sitter costs in half. We have awesome pet sitters but need to find new ones as they are moving!

– Several of the gifts we gave a family member for their birthday were thrifted. Glad to have a family who is open to both new and thrifted gifts 😊

– We went on a lot of walks, played card games, cooked and visited other family while we were all together so we didn’t pay anything for entertainment.

– We needed another set of King sized sheets for our new bed and I found a set at the thrift shop with pillow cases for about $4.

– I’m excited to set up our Christmas Décor but with the two kittens I’m not sure how much can go out without getting broken.

– I’m slowly acquiring Christmas Gifts when I find great deals. I already have several big gifts out of the way.

– I have been slowly purchasing flannel clothing secondhand to use to make a King size flannel quilt. I’m really excited about working on this project even though it will probably have to wait until winter break.

Not so Frugal

– I thought I found a great Thrift shop deal on some Polo shirts that B needs for work but, unfortunately, they didn’t fit. Glad the money goes to women and children in the community but I probably over spent.

– We got fast food and pizza at the start and end of our trip because we were exhausted. They completely messed up our pizza order so they are giving us a free pizza on our next trip. Still not frugal.

– Amazon notifications ruined the surprise of a new kindle for me for Christmas but I have been happily stocking up on new free kindle books and I can get even more free from the library. Having a kindle has saved me an insane amount of money on book purchases and no gas spent on trips to the library since the kindle books are delivered wirelessly.

Extra Income

– I have purchased several items that I believe will sell for a high value on eBay including a vase, oven roaster, and swell water bottle. I’ve decided I will wait until winter break to list them when I have time off of work.

– I keep relisting my current eBay listings for free and slowly they eventually sell.

– I am planning another yard sale with my father soon. Since I already have everything together from the last sale, this shouldn’t take too much time.

Harmful Chemical Free Living

– I am trying a new strategy for mildew in the bathroom which is always a problem in Florida. I am leaving a scrub brush and spray bottle in the bathroom of vinegar and I’m going to wash the shower with vinegar left over from soaking the shower head to start. Maybe this will eliminate the need for Tilex, which is one of the last remaining chemicals in the house.

– I put all of the harmful chemical cleaners left in this house in a plastic bin in the garage where the pets can’t reach them. I was pleasantly surprised by how few we have although I was surprised that we owned two jugs of bleach because I can’t remember the last time we used it.

10-01-17 Recent Thrift Finds

I have had some really great luck thrift shopping lately. Here are some of my finds!

I found the above cubes that make an end table/ side table for $7 and they match the dark wood furniture in my living room.

It’s not a great picture but I found the above baby toys which are all name brands and very expensive in the stores for about .50 cents each for my nephew.

I found the above Tommy Bahama shower curtain and towel set for about $4 and they perfectly match my bathroom. Shower curtains are so expensive new! I could sell this set on eBay but I decided to keep it since we have a lot of company in our guest bathroom and it really does match perfectly.

This salad keeper was only $1.

I got the above pet food dish set for about $3 total. They are adorable!

This rolling cooler was about $2 and we needed one to replace our old one.

I also got this brand new with tags pet bed for $2. You really can find great new items at thrift stores too!!!

11-12-2017 A Few Frugal Things – Cat Tower, Yard Sales, Thrift Finds

Our 2 young cats are scratching the furniture, breaking things and destroying our blinds. We figure at this point it could only help to get them a cat tower as a distraction. We priced them everywhere and Amazon was 1/3 the price so that is the one we got. B spent about 1 and ½ hours putting it together today but the cats are using it already.

A Few Frugal Things
– We moved a few months ago and there is nothing like moving and having to haul your stuff around to make you want to get rid of junk. The picture above is of even more stuff I added to the yard sale pile the night before. While I will never be a minimalist, I have been collecting stuff in the garage to donate. I was already considering if it was worth the effort to have a yard sale when I received a notice for a neighborhood yard sale where we live. I decided to go for it because it would save me from having to put out signs or advertise.
– We had the yard sale this Friday and my mother and friend joined me. Collectively we made about $175 which isn’t bad at all for stuff we were going to donate anyways. We also didn’t have any large items. It was all small stuff. We had fun, got rid of junk, got to hang out, got some exercise and made some money.
– We had to cancel the second day of our sale after some traffic events beyond our control. My father is going to try to have a Sale next Saturday so this is motivating me to go through the house even more to try to find even more stuff to sell.
– We also had some great finds at the other neighborhood sales. I purchased a black, knee length, winter pea coat that I have been searching for at the fantastic price of $3. I also purchase a Sunbeam kitchen mixer for $5 with all the accessories. I also got some great clothes from my friend for $1 each and a set of matching lamps for free!
– My mom needed toilet bowl cleaner and I had some I could give her so she didn’t have to buy it. We also needed more face wash and then I found a large, new container of it in the back of a cabinet. I needed tights for work in the cold weather and my mom found a pair for me that she wasn’t using. I love figuring out ways to get things for free that we would otherwise have to pay for.
– We have been cooking a mix of awesome and simple meals at home rather than getting take out.
– I found out at the vet that they now have some 3 year vaccines for dogs instead of every year and they are a lot cheaper, not to mention not having another vet visit to schedule or pay for.

– I found my sister a Baby Magic Bullet in the box for $8 so that she can use it for my nephew. Her and my brother in law use their regular Magic Bullet constantly so I bet they will use this one all the time too.
Not so Frugal
– I tried to drive my mother home and we ended up getting stuck in traffic for 3 hours before realizing that there literally wasn’t an option to get her home that wouldn’t take the next 8 hours when it should have taken 30 minutes. Luckily, I filled my gas tank as soon as we left or we might have run out of gas. But it also stinks to spend that money on gas and then have to waste it on traffic before heading back home to the house we just left to stay the night and start over in the morning. However, I am grateful that we all made it home safe and sound when we saw so many accidents.
– We spent hundreds of dollars fighting fleas on our pets and in our home after the hurricane. Thank god, we finally seem to have it solved but I have learned my lesson, I will go directly for the expensive treatments first in the future. This is one area that trying to save money just cost more in the long run.


Extra Income
– I made $100 at the yard sale.
– I sold a book on eBay that, no lie, I had been relisting with all of my other listings for at least two years.
– I bought a vase at the thrift shop for $5 that I think will sell on ebay for $80-$100. I love these finds!
Harmful Chemical Free Living
– The chemical free options for flea treatment didn’t work and caused so much chaos in our house. I’m still sad that we had to use some selective chemicals in the end but soooo grateful to have that plague *hopefully* over with.

 

 

8-14-2017 A Few Frugal Things – Moving to a Rental with a Pool

I am on summer break which is always exciting! We found a new rental house with a pool as the owners of our current rental have decided to sell.  We have been seriously farm hunting for over 8 months and have put in multiple offers but so far, no luck. It’s incredibly frustrating and we will likely have to rent for another year. That being said we, are really enjoying the pool in our new house and having a lot more space.

 

I took the puppy to the thrift shop today and found a couple of outside chairs for $9 each that fold up really small but can be used in both seated and laying positions. Now that we have a pool I we will definitely use them and can also fold them up to take to the beach. I saw the same chairs sold brand new today for $50-$100.

Moving is EXPENSIVE because of the deposits and higher rent we will now be paying. However, we are thankful to have a new rental home with a pool in a nice neighborhood.

Now that we have moved into a 4 bedroom house we don’t have enough furniture. I did find the above vintage table with leafs that fold out and it’s great for my new sewing table.

The house is definitely larger than what we need, however, the price was decent for the area and we wouldn’t have saved much by going for a smaller house without a pool. Having the extra rooms is a huge benefit because family came to visit 3 days after we move in. No pressure! There is a huge thrift store near our new place and also some really cool discount stores that I can scope out now that we have moved in.

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