Category Archives: A Few Frugal Things

That time I bought a flat screen TV at the thrift shop for $20 – A Few Frugal Things

Yes, you read that right I just bought the above flat screen TV at the thrift shop for $20 and I’m very excited about it.

Here are some other frugal things recently

– I paid off my car this month! It was about a year early and in one lump sum. This increased the amount of mortgage we would be approved for as we continue to search for a new home.

– At one of the college campuses where I teach they are constantly offering free food. My work bestie and I have had pizza twice, Popeye’s once and we are having Publix subs tomorrow. So much fun!

– I bought the puppy a doggie car seat because he doesn’t want to stay in the passenger side of the car. It’s hard to drive with him in my lap and not safe because of the airbag. The car seat I bought him is pink because it was $5 cheaper. Technically, it was free because I had a gift card.

– On half off day at the thrift shop, I bought a few $2 Maxi Dresses and Skirts at the thrift shop (the same day I bought the TV) and I plan on altering one myself to wear to our friend’s wedding later this month. All of what I bought together, including the TV, was cheaper than buying one new dress!

– I was able to reschedule some faculty development work for today after I get off working my normal hours instead of having to drive 40mins each way on Friday. This saved time, energy, gas and toll money and it allowed me to combine a trip to my mother’s house with another errand so that will also be a big savings.

– We needed another doggie carrier for the puppy and instead of buying a new one I bought a bag of similar size at the thrift shop that is going to work great. He won’t be in it for long and I can sew in mesh sections if needed.

– My father moved last weekend and I spent a good part of Saturday helping him move. He gave me two nice, matching night stands (pictured above) and two lamps. I was able to help him find people to take his other furniture using Facebook Swip Swap groups. The people came and got the items, we didn’t have to move them and we avoided throwing more stuff into the dumpster.

– We are going to be moving in a few months and helping my dad move reinforced my desire to go through just about everything I own and get rid of as much stuff as possible. I immediately started grabbing things I no longer wanted and donated a trunk load to the thrift shop.



I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now

– I got B involved in using Swagbucks and he has dived right in and is earning gift cards already.

– I continue to keep taking free faculty development courses for two certificate programs. This will eventually lead to a small pay increase.

– The puppy was having some stomach trouble and instead of an expensive vet visit we did our research, spoke to some friends and gave him canned pumpkin. He loved it and for about $1 a can it’s a huge savings.

– I figured out how to get 1.5% cash back through my PayPal debit card. The money gets deposited directly back into my PayPal account.

– I am now avoiding my debit card in favor of my credit card because I am paranoid about identity theft. The added bonus is that I receive reward points toward gift cards. Now I just have to remember to pay off everything I charge. 😉

– On the same note of identity theft, I also bought a paper shredded for $2.50 (see above) at the thrift shop and have been shredding our credit card offers. Also, since we know we will be moving in a few months I’m going to be shredding old paperwork etc.

– I am avoiding paying to mail some things to my sister and nephew who live in another state by meeting up with my mother who is going to bring them on her flight to visit.

– We met up with B’s mother at the farmer’s market and then went to a local art festival. The puppy behaved himself and she treated us all for lunch.

– My mother and her partner treated us to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Then we went to some thrift shops.

– While thrifting I found a new style cat carrier that I needed to take the cat to the vet in a couple of weeks. It was $6. She is also getting fixed at the local human society and that will be inexpensive. I am also getting her shot updates and getting her microchipped. All of this will be less than $100.

 

Income Earning

– I sold another item on eBay and listed several more

– I have earned another $25 Amazon gift card from some small online work

– I picked up another summer class for a total of 4 classes. These are outside of my full-time contract so all pay is extra.

 

Not So Frugal

– The boots I bought to teach in last semester, because I was having trouble with my feet, did their job! My feet are doing much better but the boots are looking terrible. I’m thinking about investing in a pair of well made, real leather boots to see if they will last longer.

– I am getting my wisdom teeth and I believe I’m going to have to pay for some expensive dental work. Thankfully I have free dental insurance but I’m not sure it will be covered. I’m trying to make it through the last month and a half before summer to schedule this.

– One of my tires blew and shredded on our way to the airport. We barely made the flight but thankfully we did. However, I now need another spare tire to replace it. I know I’m playing a risky game by waiting.

1-22-2017 A Few Frugal Things – A Frugal Trip to Austin

breakfast

A Few Frugal Things-

– We planned a trip to Austin to visit my brand new nephew!!!! By switching our visit from December to a 4 day weekend (MLK day) off of work in Jan we saved over $500!

– We booked our own hacker fare by flying there on Frontier and home on Southwest to take advantage of the best prices and times.

– We didn’t pay for any bags or snacks on the flight. We only took free personal item bags on the way there and we were able to bring a few extra bags home for free because of Southwest’s free bag policy.

– Instead of booking the closest hotel for $110 a night we price shopped and stayed a few minutes farther away in a Hyatt House Suite style room for $75 a night. We loved it and would definitely stay there again.

– The hotel included the amazing continental breakfast pictured above! So every day of the trip 5 people ate a huge hot breakfast included in the price. We also ended up with a lot of free fresh fruit including bananas, apples and oranges, free tea, creamer and togo cups.

– I forgot my toothbrush so the hotel gave me one. It was the second worst toothbrush I have ever used but I made it work for the weekend. They also gave us free bottled water at check in.

– Entertainment while we were there was not expensive either as it mostly consisted of spending time together as a family enjoying the new baby, trips to various thrift shops including the $1.49 per pound Goodwill and we also ate out a couple of times enjoying famous Austin tacos and BBQ.

– My mom made a huge pot of amazing split pea soup to feed the entire family while we were there and my brother in law made spaghetti and meatballs. My mom also made us ham and egg sandwiches so we saved a lot of money eating out and the ham was given to them by some friends.

– Almost our entire family sells items on eBay so it’s really fun to see what everyone is buying and reselling.

– We bought a Jeep brand carry on rolling bag at the Goodwill outlet for $2.99 to bring our purchases home.

– It was a horrible weather weekend during our trip so B ended up having to buy a jacket and I bought some sweaters (for $1.49 a pound at the Goodwill Outlet) and we borrowed some stuff from my sister and her husband. Still not even a small fraction of what we would have paid to bring more luggage not to mention the pain of hauling it around the airport.

– Because the hotel was like a little suite we ended up with left over paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, coffee, etc. I loaded it all into a bag when we checked out and brought it to my sister’s house. I showed her the bag of loot to which she replied “Awesome!” That’s why we are best friends!

– My dad got my sister a free sewing machine when a friend moved. I slowly and frugally bought her everything she needed to start sewing. With a brand new baby she doesn’t have much time but I taught her to use the machine and we made her reusable nursing pads that she liked a lot better than the disposables.

– We enjoyed free snacks and drinks on our flight home with Southwest but unfortunately their free cable wifi wasn’t set up on that plane so we didn’t get to watch free cable.

– When we returned to our car at the airport our tire was flat and after a short wait Airport parking services put air in it for free.

Not So Frugal-

– Traveling isn’t cheap but it’s so worth it!

– We blew a tire on the side of the highway on the way to the airport!!!!!!!!! Thank god we had an extra tire under the SUV and YouTube to show us how to lower it to the ground. We didn’t miss our flight but we did have to skip the cheaper satellite parking and park directly at the airport for almost twice the amount per day but this was a good call because we arrived at the gate as the plane was boarding.

– I now have no spare tire and need to get a new one. The good news is the ‘spare’ tire wasn’t a spare but a full sized tire.

– I finally mailed myself an ancient Milk Crate that I had bought in Austin a year ago and my sister had been storing ever since. I wanted to take it home for free on the plane but the ancient nails proved a deterrent. We underestimated the price of shipping. Oh well it’s a really cool décor piece (according to me, not B).

– We didn’t remember snacks for the flight home so I treated us to ice cream at the airport that actually was a very inexpensive snack before a long flight.

– I am very thankful that one of my best friends watched Gimli our puppy while we were gone and we paid her the going rate for in home pet sitters even though she said she would do it for free. He had two loving people to play with and take care of him and I consider it worth every penny. They even bought him snacks and a toy.

Extra Income

– I sold a couple of things on eBay right before our trip and had to mail them out at the last minute. I wasn’t excited about adding the post office to my list of stops but extra income is always appreciated.

– I made a mistake in the title of an eBay listing saying there were 7 books instead of the 5 listed and pictured and didn’t realize until after someone bought it. I told the person and they wanted a refund. I ended up relisting them for more money and they resold right away so I made more in the long run.

Chemical Free

– I had to bring some of my own products to the hotel like shampoo and conditioner. Then we used some of the hotel’s non-chemical free stuff. This doesn’t bother me because it was only for a few days.

A Very Simple and Frugal Christmas 2016

grinch

We had a very simple and frugal Christmas this year. We thought we were doing to be out of town for Christmas day so I kept the decorating simple with our reusable tree and a few favorite decorations. This has the added bonus of protecting most of our holiday decorations from the puppy. The tree didn’t fare so well as you can see from the above picture. This was our first Christmas with just the two of us and the fur babies and it was also our 8th Christmas together.

On Christmas day, we slept in (a gift in itself because we are usually up so early) and then we opened presents. Many of our gifts to each other were practical and fun including a Kindle (on sale for $33 on Cyber Monday), a keyboard, work shoes, a scarf, new stove plates, a new phone, sewing supplies and clothes. We watched a lot of Project Runway on TV and went to a beautiful local park with the puppy where we saw a fantastic rainbow. Not traveling this year saved us a lot of money so we had a lovely steak dinner with asparagus and loaded potatoes (from ALDI). Overall, a really great day!

christmasrainbow

Here are some things we did to make the holiday more frugal:

– Not buying any decorations! We already have too many. If I want any more I will sew them on my sewing machine

– Not buying any wrapping paper. We have some remaining gift bags from last year and I bought a red lined curtain at the thrift store for a few dollars that I have been using to make gift bags.

– Not buying many gifts in general. My sister and her husband are due to have a baby any day now and they are not exchanging gifts this year which makes life very easy for us. And we have given them lots of baby stuff already and will be sending more too J

– We also usually have a $10 gift limit in my family so the family members that I am giving gifts to won’t be expensive.

– I bought Shugar Soap at Dollar Tree (but they sell for a lot more online) for my coworkers and printed little Thank You notes. They cost $1 and smell absolutely amazing (You seriously want to take a bite). They are also entirely vegetable based, chemical free and made in the USA. I missed some of my coworkers who had already gone on break so we ended up with some extras to give to someone else or use in our home.

– I will be making some gifts and I have already bought the sewing supplies I need. Although my sewing skills aren’t up to making all gifts yet there will be a few I will sew. I doubt I will ever do 100% handmade gifts because it’s not always what everyone wants or needs, it’s not always cheaper, and it doesn’t ever save time but I will enjoy making a few that I believe my loved ones will want.

– Some of our gifts are from thrift shops. We don’t require that they are always new.

– We are Amazon Prime experts. When it’s cheaper online with free 2 day shipping. It’s a win, win.

– I got my mother a Kindle Fire on sale on Cyber Monday for $33 and we already exchanged gifts with her since she will be out of state for the birth of my nephew.

– Playing Christmas music and watching Christmas TV is free.

– I had some gift cards that I had never used and I used them to save money this December and to purchase gifts.

– We own a tree that came with lights and we will use it again this year. Our puppy decided to eat the light cord off but maybe we can fix it. If not, we will add lights we already own for free.

– I bought the puppy toys at Dollar Tree last month when I found some good ones and frankly he already has too many. My dad’s dog will get a bag of milk bones. We have a box and our puppy doesn’t like them.

– Make all of the returns that have been sitting around the house waiting for me to find the time to return them. I will use the store credit to save money and/or make gifts.

gimlilights

While you are at it you might want to check out some other frugal Christmas posts including:

30 Ways to Save Money This Holiday Season

Frugal Christmas Shopping

Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

2011 Christmas In Review

Our Frugal Christmas

12-23-2016 A Few Frugal Things- A Very Frugal Couple of Weeks

20161215_124031

– On the last day of the semester I brought my home brewed coffee to work in my .50 cent Starbucks reusable coffee mug and was given the above pictured amazing Dunkin Donuts donut and a Ghirardelli chocolate.

– Then for lunch that day I was given Papa John’s pizza, cheese and fruit at our last faculty meeting.

– The dean gave all of his faculty a bag of white chocolate pretzel cookies and a lotto ticket for the holidays.

– I really wanted to buy lunch between finals earlier in the week but I decided to bring food from home instead.

– A month ago, I bought chemical free, amazing smelling soaps to give to my colleagues for the holidays. They were only $1 each from Dollar Tree and I printed little thank you notes to go with them. I love giving gifts and my friends loved them.

– I returned a couple of items to Publix today and used the gift card to buy a few things we needed including dog food, cat litter (that had a $2 off attached coupon) and rice to use for rice warmer Christmas gifts. The dog food was labeled BOGO but it didn’t ring up right. Turns out the sign was old so they gave us both bags for free as per Publix Promise.

– The prescription I picked up at Publix was also free.

– We used an old gift card that was gathering dust to buy 3 Awesome Christmas presents. I won’t say what they are in case they read this but the items were on sale from $35 to $15 and frankly I want one.

– We are out of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap but instead of paying $10-15 to replace it we are using up what we have and also using other chemical free bar soap in place to delay this purchase. It is also motivating me to go through our bathroom cabinets to find items to get rid of or use up.

20161219_122948

– I combined a whole bunch of my face makeup container remnants. You would not believe how much is left over in the packaging once they appear “empty.” I used a spatula and put them in the small glass container in front (see above picture) that my aunt gave me to reuse.

– I am watching the documentary minimalism on Netflix.

– I sewed 6 rice warmer heating pads that can be used for your neck, belly, etc using a pair of PJ pants that I bought at Goodwill and rice that I got for free from returning something to Publix.

-I made a lot of returns that had been sitting around the house waiting for the semester to end.

-We have been doing an unofficial eat from the pantry challenge the past couple weeks leading up to Christmas. I LOVE it because we are finally clearing out

Not So Frugal-

-I wasn’t able to return a few items because I waited too long. Oh well!

-I paid very little for Christmas gifts this year mostly using gift cards or making them. However, there were a few bigger gifts I purchased. At great frugal prices but still spending money.

-We also decided to do Christmas at home this year instead of traveling and taking our usual 10 hours of driving around to all of the relatives. Thanks to our fuel efficient car this isn’t expensive as far as gas goes but it’s tiring. Instead I bought some great food for a fancy Christmas dinner and dessert. It will last for more than one meal and will be worth every penny but it’s fancier than our usual meals.

Extra Income

– My dad is planning a yard sale. I’m using it as motivation to get rid of junk! Even if the sale never happens we hope to move in the next few months and if we don’t love it or use it or need it then there is no point in keeping it. Maybe this will motivate me to take some clothes to the Plato’s closet type store for dress clothes.

-I just posted my first sewing pattern for sale on Craftsy

Chemical Free

– We once again have gnats in our kitchen. I wish we could figure out where they are coming from but I honestly think it’s just the area we live in. I refuse to have the house sprayed for bugs so we use an alternate solution. We have a small cook pot and we boil water. For some reason the flies are drawn to it and drown. This is chemical free and costs very little.

12-1-16 A Few Frugal Things-

football

– Brant made Salmon and rice for dinner and we had the leftovers again the next night. It’s healthy and inexpensive.

– I randomly add cash back deals (for free) to my Bank of America (not a huge fan of this bank but it is what I currently use) debit card and then forget about them. If I use them great but if not, then it doesn’t take more than a few seconds. I just looked and I’m getting $6 cash back unexpectedly from a purchase I made a month ago. Free money!

– We visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving and went to three huge dinners. Everyone made a dish and I bought our ingredients at ALDI before we left but we were in such a rush I forgot a few things and we went to a Walmart Neighborhood Walmart to get what we needed. Our ingredients were bought inexpensively but the food was amazing and there was plenty to go around.

– My semi-ban on shopping at Walmart has probably ended because now that I sew I know that they are one of the only stores that sews fabric, much less affordably. I still don’t plan on making them my main shopping place but I guess it will be harder to avoid them. I will also continue to buy fabric from the thrift shop including items that I can use as fabric.

– While we were out of town for a week we turned off our AC, unplugged all electronics, and turned off our water heater so hopefully our electric bill will go down.

– While we were out of town our family fed us most of our meals (although we contributed), provided a place to stay and we didn’t have to pay for any activities other than gas to get there.

– I enjoy being home and playing with the Puppy which is FREE and fun.

– Now that I am sewing I have not yet bought any patterns as I can just print free ones off of the internet. I am also repairing various items that need to be sewn around the house.

– Our neighbor is a retiree but a huge fan of the local university’s football team where I used to teach and we are alumni. She gave us 3 free tickets to Saturday’s game and we went with my brother. She also gave us a free parking pass for the day. We ate before we went and shared a refillable soda during the hot game since we weren’t allowed to bring anything, including water, into the stadium.

– My mom came to visit us this weekend and after the game we took the puppy out on the tennis courts at our townhome community and ran around and hit tennis balls back and forth. It was a beautiful day to be outside in Florida.

– For lunch we went to one location of the restaurant chain my brother works at and had a great meal for half off. We brought home so many left overs that we ate again for dinner and will again for lunch.

– I’ve been teaching myself to sew over the past year. I recently joined a Facebook group called Fluff Love Sewing and their impressive and fun projects have inspired me. I have learned how to sew small shirts for my little dog.

– My sewing group highly recommended some felt blankets for $2.50 that many of them were using for projects and we went to the store and found some

– I have been sewing dog shirt/sweaters out of the fleece blankets which are better quality than inexpensive dog clothes you can buy in the store.

– Out of my fabric scraps I have been cutting out fleece circles to use to remove my makeup instead of cotton balls or napkins. This also helps reduce waste in our house.

– I made a huge pot of spaghetti for dinners this week. It’s frugal and saves time making multiple dinners.

 

Not So Frugal-

– I forgot that my Kindle was in the bottom of my school bag after our trip and I broke the screen. It sucks but there is nothing I can do.

– I think I lost my Hydroflask water bottle. It’s like a Yeti but it seals so you can throw it in a bag and it won’t spill. Thankfully I have another one but I will keep looking for it.

 

Extra Income

– I am now teaching a night class at the college where I work after another professor’s family emergency. It means that my Mondays are now very, very long but I am being paid very well. I don’t have to do any extra driving since I am already on campus. I am looking at it as extra Christmas money but I’m also very tired right now. I’m looking forward to Christmas break.

11-25-16 A Few Frugal Things: Plane Tickets and Sewing

dogshirts

(In the picture Gimli is modeling one of the dog shirts that I made next to two other shirts I made for gifts)

I am feeling very frugal right now! By changing the dates for a trip we were going on we saved over $500!

A Few Frugal Things-

– We booked our trip to see my sister’s new baby who is due in December. By changing the date by a couple weeks (which actually worked out better for everyone) we saved over $500. I can’t wait to meet my new nephew!!!

– I’m taking advantage of MLK day so I don’t have to take any days off.

– We were also able to take advantage of a $50 one-way Frontier discount airline flight where we will only bring personal items as luggage and then we will fly home on Southwest which gives you 2 free bags so we will be able to shop at the Goodwill Outlet until our hearts are content without having to pay to bring anything home

– I used fabric scraps and a 2 inch by 2 inch square of brown felt to make a new baby gift for my soon to arrive nephew. I may make another one for the puppy and my friends baby.

– I joined a sewing group on Facebook called Fluff Love Sewing and I am so inspired by what everyone makes! I am sewing up a storm here and while I’m not good enough to make everyone’s Christmas presents (yet!) I’m happy with the new skills I’m learning.

– I’m having great luck finding free sewing patterns online! So excited by my new creations.

– My father is having a yard sale so I am using it as motivation to get rid of junk in the house

– We are moving ahead with our plan to purchase a small farm. We have a new relator and we are going to see some places on Sunday. He has warned us that it might take a while to find what we are looking for but I’m still extremely excited.

– Next week is finals week which means my hours are much shorter. I have adjusted some of the things I’m doing this semester and it has meant hours upon hours usually spent grading that I have saved. I’m excited for a shorter work week hours wise and then a long Christmas break.

– Yay to getting three paychecks this month! More money to save for a house down payment.

– Our family is doing a toned down version of our usually Christmas gift giving. In fact, we are all giving very few gifts. We really don’t need much anyways. The gifts we do give are going to be mostly small and practical.

– We bought food for dinner instead of going out to eat while my mom was in town. We also bought a few ingredients for dinners this week so that meals will be cheap and easy.

 

Not So Frugal-

– We got Panda Express last night to celebrate the end of the semester. However, each meal is two meals for us and it was worth it!

– I got some unexpected news from work which led to me leaving early for the office and in the process forgetting my lunch. I bought lunch instead. Oh well.

– I had to buy something from Kohl’s because I was worried my card might be deactivated otherwise and could find nothing I wanted to buy. I ended up buying chemical free chap stick and I really like it.

Extra Income

– Found out I will be paid for the extra class I picked up in one lump sum. The Dean rushed the payment so it will all arrive before Christmas! Yay!

– I just did $20 worth of online work in 5 minutes. Great bonus!

– I diligently keep relisting my eBay listings that haven’t sold (currently 39 of them). Experience has taught me that they will sell eventually and at the most random times. My strategy is to list my items fairly but on the higher side. Because I don’t mind waiting for them to be purchased I end up making more money off of the same items than had I listed them to sell instantly. I guess you could say I play the long game. Last week I sold some Sperry shoes that had been listed for a long time. While I find that Sperrys do sell, they seem to take a long time to sell with my strategy.

– Just sold two more random items on eBay that had been listed for a while. Makes me think I need to do more listings over winter break so I can keep renewing them into the Spring semester for extra income. I love extra income!

– I have $25 in free Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks and I’m expecting $50 more

Chemical Free

– I finally bought Chemical Free nail polish. It arrived at my house today but I’m still at work. I can’t wait to try it.

10-31-16 A Few Frugal Things

gimliskeleton

A Few Frugal Things-

– We just got off a plane back from Texas and my sister’s baby shower the night before Halloween and then I worked all day today and we had no desire to go out! This means we didn’t have to pay for anything including costumes. And because our neighborhood isn’t the type that hand out candy we saved money there too.

– I didn’t bring anything extra home from Texas so I didn’t have to buy an extra bag. We did carry on a couple of things we ended up with that we wanted to bring home.

– I needed new mascara and my sister gave me one in an expensive brand. It works great!

– We were exhausted and had way too much to get done so we really wanted take out but I was too tired to pick it up and we have way too much food in this house after stocking up before the hurricane. Instead I made wings and pierogis that we had in the freezer with canned peas.

– Gimil was a skeleton for Halloween. His costume is handed down from our cat Pickles who wore it last year.

– I got the stomach flu and then B got it. If I’m being honest I would rather have been at work but if there was a silver lining it was that the one day I missed of work was my longest day of the week that required the farthest drive. So I did save a small amount of money on gas, tolls and food.

– I had a ton of laundry to do and our dryer was running behind. I ended up hanging at least 7 rugs and one blanket to dry so that it would speed up the process. I didn’t want to wait for them to air dry but it worked out great. I hung more rugs to dry the next day.

– It’s getting cooler in FL so we are saving money on our electric bill

– The puppy has had some accidents in the house so I steam cleaned all of the floors today. It’s chemical free and dirt cheap since all that is needed is water and the steamer. This has worked well for us.

– We are working hard on potty training the puppy which means we are getting a lot of exercise walking and we had a lot of fun running around on our apartment tennis court since we don’t have a fenced yard

– Bought a new shower head for $20, the old one was spraying odd ways. I didn’t think this was frugal until I realized how much longer my showers had been because I was having trouble rinsing my long hair. Yay for saving money and making life easier.

– Went grocery shopping today at Publix. ALDI is definitely cheaper except for their sales and B1G1s but they are a great employer in our area and “Shopping is a pleasure” so we still shop there when we need items that ALDI doesn’t carry. Well we got lucky and almost everything we had to buy was on sale, B1G1 or as cheap as ALDI.

– Got plastic shopping bags with our groceries so I can put off buying doggie bags for the puppy.

– Made a crockpot meal Sunday night so we have dinners for next week and won’t be tempted by takeout.

– We early voted so we don’t have to miss any work next week.

– Our snake was having trouble shedding so I bought her a pumice stone and she loves it! It came with a two pack so we got one too!

– Ate leftovers for lunch Sunday so that we could clear the fridge for new groceries and waste less food.

– I bought puppy stairs from a friend on a local Swip Swap Facebook Group. I saved money, helped a friend and she even delivered them.

– I joined a new Facebook group called Fluff Love Sewing and I’m enjoying getting a lot of inspiration from their projects!

– I was able to skype in to a meeting instead of driving to campus on my usually work from home day which saved time and gas money

Not So Frugal Things-

– Buying stuff to make our lives with the puppy easier like an outside play pen since our yard is not fenced, puppy stairs so he can reach the couch, a better leash, etc. The kind of things we could do without but can afford not to have to. We are careful with our money so that we can afford items that make our lives easier.

Frugal Goals-

– Save up the money for a house down payment and then pay off all remaining debt

11-6-16 A Few Frugal Things

Gimli

(He is so happy to be adopted!)

A Few Frugal Things-

– We canceled our weekend trip out of town a couple weekends ago to stay home with the new puppy and had so much fun doing things around town and we saved a LOT of money

– We just flew to Texas for my sister’s baby shower. We created a hacker fare by buying one way tickets on Frontier and Allegiant, both discount airlines so the total including our seats was less than $100 round trip.

– None of us paid for a bag for our three day trip so we will all just pack in our free personal item bags. I can pack for a week in a rolling laptop bag.

– I’m getting lots of free exercise when I’m walking our little guy and we are doing a lot of stuff with him that doesn’t cost a thing like going to an outdoor art festival, playing on the tennis court, going on a hike, etc.

– We were able to buy most of the puppy’s new toys and treats from Dollar Tree, all with the necessary Made in the USA label for safety reasons

– I was given a couple of gift cards for my birthday and I’m excited to go shopping for FREE, I might even get something that isn’t practical!

– My mom, my day and Brant all treated for 3 separate dinners for my birthday. I feel very loved!

– We had fun going to a free art festival and taking the puppy. It was a really nice day.

– I LOVE, LOVE spending time with the new puppy and having to walk him several times a day is good exercise and fun.

– We had leftovers from several different places in the fridge but most included rice and we mixed them together for another great, healthy meal.

– The puppy came with a free vet visit and we are using it for the rest of his puppy shots.

– I had a class party with one of my classes that was ending and everyone brought in so much food that is was free lunch. I ended up taking home cupcakes, a bag of snack size candy bars, a gift bag, and plastic cups.

– We went out for Sushi and found a great new place with inexpensive prices and go lucky to go on a night when they were having a lot of discounts.

– I made an easy crockpot meal for dinners for this week

– Still bringing my lunch to work instead of buying it

– I can make my own tea and coffee at work instead of buying it

– I was able to buy a few small items I need off of Amazon and I will save the packaging to use for my eBay business

– My brother passed along his dog’s kennel to us after she was potty trained. We didn’t end up using it so I’m extra glad we didn’t buy a new one.

– My schedule makes it nearly impossible to visit my favorite thrift store on their half off day which stinks but also saves me money

– I’m doing better about printing and making copies at work instead of at home so I’m saving on ink and paper costs

– We got together with our friends and met at the house for drinks before going out for sushi. It was fun and fairly frugal and they loved the new puppy!

– The puppy is only 7lbs so he gets cold really easily. He actually seems to like wearing clothes to keep warm. We went to the pet store and looked at dog clothes that were incredibly expensive and said no way! I ordered him a few things off of Amazon and also found a pattern online that I could adapt to make him more clothes on my sewing machine.

Not So Frugal-

– We splurged and bought the puppy a few new toys from the pet store to celebrate his adoption. Worth every penny! There is nothing cuter than an adorable puppy playing with his adorable toys and I know he will use them until they fall apart. He carries them from room to room and plays nonstop.

 

Extra Income

– I continue to do a few online jobs here and there and I currently have enough recently for about $50 in Amazon gift cards. These jobs usually pay about $10 and I do them when I have free time but I would probably earn twice as much if I made sure not to miss any as I frequently do when I get busy with my full time job.

– Update- Did $30 more of online work this week in about 20mins while I was waiting around at work

10-8-16 A Few Frugal Things- A New Puppy and a Hurricane

gimli

We adopted a new puppy and survived hurricane Matthew all in one week!

A Few Frugal Things-

– Our new puppy is a Chiweenie and we adopted him from the Orlando Pet Alliance (formerly the SPCA) and I can’t recommend it enough. He was a breed we wanted and a fraction of the price people we know paid for their Chiweenie. Plus we absolutely believe in Adopt Don’t Shop!

– The puppy came with all of his shots, he is fixed, he is microchipped, and has one free vet visit. Not only is this saving us money but also a lot of time and energy!

– We survived the hurricane without any real damage! Our tree lost a lot of branches but they just filled the backyard, nothing else. Yay! Could have been so much worse! We didn’t even lose power.

– We already had a pet harness and leash that we bought for our friendly cat who didn’t like them. They were almost the perfect size for Gimli but I sewed a couple of extra lines on the harness on my sewing machine to make the harness fit perfectly and we can take it out if he gets bigger. We also already had extra pet food and water dishes.

– My brother gave us his dog’s old crate that they no longer use for the new puppy but so far we haven’t needed it yet either.

– I made Gimli a dog bed using my sewing machine, $2 for 2 car cleaning cloths made of the softest material, and a body pillow I had set aside to use as stuffing.

– They gave us a bag of expensive puppy food at the shelter but Gimli doesn’t actually seem to like it very much which makes it a lot easier to switch to another puppy food. I’ll mix it into the food he does like so it doesn’t go to waste.

– I bought a bunch of dog toys at Dollar Tree and also some of our hurricane supplies which saved us a lot of money.

– No eating out for us between a new puppy and a hurricane.

 

Not So Frugal Things-

– We stocked up on a lot of things for the hurricane that we didn’t end up needing but personally I consider that a win because 1) We were incredibly lucky and could have just as easily needed everything we bought and more and 2) All of it will still get used. My thoughts are with those who were so much more strongly affected than us.

– We did have to buy paper towels to clean up after the new puppy who isn’t yet housebroken but he is doing great! Hopefully that will be a one time purchase.

Frugal Goals-

– It has been really nice to have a great new position that includes a steady paycheck. It has helped me to adapt to my new job to not have to be so worried about our budget but maybe I should worry more so I can save even more money now.

9-23-16 A Few Frugal Things

thetruecost

I am posting this a little late but I’m still sharing because I’m proud of my efforts to save money!

Extra Income

– I agreed to cover another professor’s class for one session while she is out of town, apparently I will be paid for this

– I redeemed enough Swagbucks.com points for another Free $25 Amazon.com gift card

– Going to do another $10 online job that will take less than 5 minutes

– I need to work on some eBay listings, maybe I will have time today

– I relisted some unsold eBay listings for free

 

A Few Frugal Things-

– Watching The True Cost on Netflix which is all about the fashion industry and it’s negative impact on our planet and our people, it has reaffirmed my commitment to not buying any brand new clothing for a year. Even after this year is up I will continue to buy almost exclusively second hand but I may also expand to occasionally supporting companies that create new products with their workers and the environment in mind, like People Tree.

– I have also been thinking lately about how I can throw a couple of baby showers more sustainably and also have a more sustainable Christmas. One of my friends recently commented on reusing gift bags which is something we also do but this year I want to master making reusable gift bags. I’m going to start looking for Christmas colored sheets at the thrift shop to use as fabric.

– I just cleaned the cat box by emptying it into a large plastic target bag instead of a trash bag I would have had to pay for, I wanted a cleaning face mask since I am allergic to the cat so I cut a large strip off of a cotton shirt and tied it around my face instead, I sprayed it out with rubbing alcohol and will refill it with ALDI cat litter that is less than $3 a jug

– I needed some dry erase boards that I couldn’t find at the store but I found them on eBay 5 for $7 including shipping and I get to support another eBay seller

– One of my students told me that she couldn’t afford to buy dress pants that she needed for my class and I encouraged her to buy second hand

– I have needed to get a few things for my new offices on two different college campuses. These items fall into two categories: 1) items I need for teaching and 2) decorations so that it actually looks like someone works there instead of just an empty office. I was able to bring many of the items from home such as little knick knacks that I already owned that help to make my office more welcoming to me and my students. I also have been adding small items that my students have been giving me like origami and printing a few inspirational sayings. I bought a few minimal things like coffee bags from Amazon and a few storage containers from Dollar Tree.

– The college I work at continues to frequently feed us free lunch which is always a nice treat

– I lent my father my rolling personal item bag that is free to take on an airplane.

– I have been trying to do better about making copies at the school instead of using my own ink and paper at home

– I continue to bring work lunches from home which is a huge savings

 

Not So Frugal-

– Having my tablet and phone bite the dust in one week is not especially frugal but I was able to replace my tablet which I needed for work with a Kindle Fire for $49! It’s fantastic! I really can’t believe the price! Who needs an iPad?

– I replaced my phone with one I bought on the way to work from the Metro PCS store. It was very affordable and my unlimited everything plan is only $30 a month and works great in our area. Who needs an iPhone?

– Needing two of many items to leave at two different college campus offices isn’t the most frugal (although not very expensive either). The small cost has been worth the huge benefit of not hauling all of my stuff back and forth which has been affecting my feet and back.

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