Category Archives: Recent Frugal Reviews

1-8-16 Recent Frugal Review


By Ney

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!

Frugal Successes

– 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.

Mixed Frugality

– 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

Frugal Flops

– 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? 

12-6-15 Recent Frugal Review – Posted Late

2015-11-20 22.37.09

By Ney

Frugal Successes

– I have been watching Married at First Sight, Married at First Sight the First Year and arranged for free the A&E and FYI Website and Ap so that I can stream it FREE live

– I was able to buy a pair of black dress pants for under $4 at Goodwill. The best part is that someone else had already nicely hemmed them for me (I’m short!). I had looked through all of the dress pants in the store and not found a pair so I was going to pay for my other items at the register when I saw another rack of dress pants in the front of the store and score! They don’t look like anyone ever wore them and it was enough to get me through the rest of the semester.

– The university I work for decided that they would reimburse me for my cross country trip to present my research, especially because I won a very prestigious award. Initially I had been told I would have to pay for the trip myself and it was really, really crappy to have to spend that kind of money on a work trip but it was a career move and I felt I had to do it! And I can’t believe that as soon as I got back I found out that I was being reimbursed almost $1,000!!!! (Above is a picture from my trip!)

– I bought a $7 luggage scale off of Amazon (see above) for FREE using giftcards I earned through Swagbucks. We travel frequently and I couldn’t take the stress of not knowing how much our bags weighed before we got on the plane, if we stayed in places that didn’t have a scale. It was a great buy and works great! Completely worth the peace of mind!

– I have already bought an assortment of Christmas gifts for my family which will save me a lot of money buying gifts. I’m planning on going through them today and seeing where I still need to make purchases.

– I sold a couple of higher priced items on eBay this week! It’s great to make some extra income right before Christmas!

– I was able to change my phone plan to the $30 a month unlimited Metro PCS phone directly through the My Metro Ap without even having to talk to anyone. When they originally started this plan I was blocked because I had a phone not bought through Metro but I guess they changed the policy. My service is fantastic in the area we live in. I can’t believe I used to pay $80 a month through Sprint for horrible call service.

– We have really wanted to get take out tonight this week because it’s finals week, always a crazy week for us but instead ate dinner at home from the big grocery shopping trip we did at the beginning of this month

– If we are careful we won’t have to go grocery shopping again for the rest of the year (haha it’s a December joke!)

– I have spent a long time looking for dress pants at thrift shops without much luck. Recently I’ve had a lot of luck but they all need to be hemmed. I’m determined to learn how to hem!

Frugality With Mixed Results

– My dad bought a great deal on NBA team basketball tickets and really wanted to take me to a game. I love going to NBA basketball games! Since he bought the tickets I bought the food and drinks while we were there. This wasn’t cheap but I didn’t have to buy a ticket. We also parked in a $5 lot around the corner instead of the $20 garage next to the stadium.

– I might have found a healthcare plan for about $285 a month next year which is HORRIBLY expensive but because I have occasional health problems it will probably save me money in the long run.

– I have a brand new sewing machine that I have never used but I recently have become very excited about learning!!!!!!!!!! We moved away from the wonderful lady who lived around the corner from us and previously did all of our alterations (I actually told her she should charge more!) and so it would be nice to be able to do it myself!

Frugal Flops

– I made myself a sandwich out of leftover thanksgiving turkey and bread we were given thinking that I would save time and money from going out to buy lunch. And I got REALLY sick! So sick in fact that I had to cancel a class (I’m a college instructor) for the first time ever! So not only did I not save money but I don’t get paid for that one class! Ugggg! However, I did manage to make it to the class before that one (even though it was a really short class) so I do get paid for that class.

– Because I was so sick I was unable to buy what I needed for my first two classes final reviews at ALDI and Dollar Tree and instead bought the stuff at Publix. I love Publix but I’m sure I paid twice as much. I will use the extras for my other classes and go to ALDI and Dollar Tree for the rest of the stuff I need to purchase. Note- I did go to Aldi and Dollar Tree for the rest of the items and it was 2x more at Publix for almost everything!

– I forgot to grab the parking permit that B and I share as I raced out of the house. It meant I had to either pay $5 for a day pass or risk a $30+ ticket. I chose to buy the day pass. Even with the price of 1 $5 day pass we still saved about $100 this semester by sharing a permit and we have really done a great job of sharing and making it work.

– I forgot to send copies of one of my final exams to the copy center enough in advance so I just made them at home. I didn’t have to buy anything so all it cost me was 75 pages of paper and 150 pages of ink which I do buy as cheaply as possible.

Chemical Free Living

– We have been using Shugar Soap in the kitchen, chemical free and made from vegetables in the USA. We have been using it to wash our hands and instead of buying dish soap we have been using it as that as well. It has worked out okay as dish soap but the consistency just isn’t great and it’s really not made to be dish soap. We will go back to buying chemical free dish soap eventually I’m sure but it the meanwhile we are still chemical free and saving money. ALSO, Dollar Tree has started carrying Shugar Soap and it’s a LOT more than $1 on their website.

– It’s really hard to keep mildew out of our bathrooms without chemicals, especially because one of our bathrooms in our rental townhome doesn’t have a fan. Any suggestions would be a huge help!

– I have been using my electric kettle to boil water and this is great for chemical free cleaning.

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