Tag Archives: A Few Frugal Things

A Few Frugal Things- A $20 Dress Form and New Laptop

We walked to a yard sale in our neighborhood and I bought the above pictured dress form for $20. It was covered in a lot of fall crap but underneath was an expensive and adjustable sewing dress form that I am using for my Poshmark/ Ebay sales pictures and will be able to use for my sewing projects as well. This dress form would have cost well over $100 to buy new.

Frugal Things

–  This week things really picked up at work at both of my main jobs. And then my laptop died. I don’t like having to rush through a decision about which laptop to buy but I didn’t have any choice and I think it turned out okay. It’s never frugal replacing a laptop but by ordering it on Amazon I saved $500 over purchasing one immediately at Best Buy, I didn’t go with the cheapest option because those laptops only seem to last a year or two, instead I got a slightly better one and hopefully it will last a little longer because I really don’t want to have to go through this process again. So far I love it!

– I was able to rent a laptop from work until my new laptop arrived

– We have been eating at home, mostly thanks to B who has been cooking

– We finally found a new dog groomer for the pup’s nails and glands, this is frugal because if he gets a clogged gland it’s very expensive and, frankly, it’s not worth the money saved to fight him for hours to do his nails at home

– We carpooled with friends to a Burger Battle from local restaurants, our tickets were half off through a deal B found and no gas expense either

– Our local thrift shop gets the Disney lost and found ever few months and I did some great Christmas shopping for very low prices

– B cut his own hair and my hair

– I wanted to order pizza for everyone for a work meeting and I was able to get work to pay for it so I didn’t have to. We ordered pizza from a locally owned place and it turned out great. They were willing to give us a similar deal to a chain place that is usually used whose owner has expressed beliefs that I cannot support even if the money isn’t coming from my pocket. Took home 2 leftover slices for a snack.

– My mother gave me a keyboard and shirt when I visited her so I didn’t have to buy the keyboard and she fed me dinner

– We are keeping our Cat Genie unplugged when we aren’t home so that we only run it when it needs to be run, saving us money

– Decided not to leave the house Sunday, this saves time and money and instead I got ahead at work

– I found B a new pair of running shoes at the thrift shop for $1. Shoes are usually outrageously expensive.

– Mom was having some eBay printing trouble and I was able to sort it out for her online and she was able to print her shipping labels at work.

– We visited my Mom to help with her printer and cell phone issues and it turned out to be a much cheaper trip then we thought. We thought we would have to buy her a new cell phone to get it to work as a WiFi hotspot (the only way she can get internet at her house) but they helped us at the store so we didn’t have to. Then we went to eat and I downloaded the Moe’s Ap and got her meal for free. Then we bought her printer ink and it was cheaper at Walmart than anywhere else. Then the $7.50 printer we got at the thrift store worked so she could return the $40 printer she purchased.

– I really need to get to Trader Joe’s for several of their harmful chemical free products but unfortunately have not made it. I’m making due without but I’m almost out of toothpaste so I will have to go soon. This is frugal because I’m using up every last drop of product I have

Not So Frugal

– Replacing a laptop is never cheap but I’m happy with the one above that I bought

– I bought a $10 in the box printer from the thrift shop for my mom who needs one but unfortunately it doesn’t work. We are going to return it. Unlike Goodwill, they only do returns on electronics which is fine.

Extra Income

– I have continued to earn some small online income

– My 2nd contract job has been renewed and I am happy for the extra income even though it means a lot more work for me, partnering with a friend who has the same contract to make things easier

– I have sold several things online that were listed over the summer

– I need to list more items for sale but I just haven’t had the time

– I did end up listing and selling the below rob that paid for the new dress form! It sold one day after listing.

 

9-27-18 A Few Frugal Things- Wedding and Start of Fall Semester

Our last weekend of the summer was spent out of state at a wedding and then Fall Semester has started. The wedding was in a beautiful state park and the happy couple looked beautiful. We got to spend time with family and make it home in time for a brand new semester.

A few frugal things

– We purchased our plane tickets ASAP after hearing that we needed to fly to this wedding. We only spent $333 for 2 round trip tickets including bags and seats. Our flight went through a plane change so we actually were refunded about $20 as well.

– Going out of state for a wedding the weekend before Fall Semester starts was not ideal timing but the trip itself was not as expensive as it could have been. B’s mother and partner paid for our shared Air B&B and rental car. We pitched in for groceries but overall did not have to pay for much while we were there.

– We bought enough groceries at ALDI that we could get through the first weeks of school.

– I brought my lunch on the days that I work on campus long enough to need a lunch. I got a cheap McDonalds lunch (which I love) on the day I had back to back meetings and they fed us dinner and drinks which was great.

– I continue to carry around my stainless-steel water bottle everywhere. This not only saves me money but encourages me to drink more because it stays cold.

– I continue to wear thrifted clothing to teach as a college professor. I try to set a good example for my students in more than one way.

– B has been cooking healthy dinners and we have both lost the weight we gained on the cruise.

– We watched my brothers dogs over the weekend when he was out of town. They are adorable. This was frugal for him and a little bit of gas for us.

– We have had some great finds at the thrift store lately. Including new to us luggage that we needed with the amount of travel we do. We got a set of 3 for $20. We had broken or given away most of our luggage and what remained was not entirely the size we needed.

– I continue to make our dirt cheap, no cooking, 4 ingredients in a bowl and mix laundry detergent.

– Spent time over the weekend swimming in the pool, walking around the mall, working and cleaning the garage. None of those things cost us any money. It feels great to be going back to work Monday with everything that needed to be taken care of at home done and ready to take on the work week.

– Declined several invitations this week for activities that would have been quite expensive. If they were things we had really wanted to do we would have done them but sometime the ability to politely say no is a huge savings.

– We continue to buy our groceries from ALDI and Dollar Tree and then only make a small trip to Walmart/Publix.

– B tried to buy the cats more natural aka healthier food but they absolutely refused to eat it. Back to the cheap, gigantic bag of food from ALDI.

 

Not so Frugal

– We finally found a great pet sitter who will come to the house or take the puppy to hers but it’s not cheap.

– Our flight was delayed and I ended up buying a $12 airport sandwich. It was a good one but really! We brought snacks but not for as long as we were stuck there.

– We did have to purchase more pet flea medicine. It’s never cheap but it’s cheaper than a flea infestation.

– We are having family and friends over for dinner and are going to treat everyone for pizza. We are going with a family owned local place. It’s not cheap but they did send us a $10 off coupon. Like I said it’s not cheap but it’s very worthwhile.

– Paid to renew this website. I could save money by moving it but I just don’t have the time yet. This site does pay for itself so it’s worth it but it is a chunk of change every year to keep it.

– I think my laptop is starting to die. I need to shop for and buy another one but it’s such a huge commitment so to speak that I hope I have a bit more time for it.

Extra Income

– I listed so many items for sale on eBay and Poshmark at the start of summer that I have continued to have steady sales. B had to step in and help get everything packed and shipped after our trip.

– I’ve started a new side job and so far it’s been a mess but they are paying me well enough that it’s worth it to deal with it. I just keep saying that I’ve done worse for less LOL

– We continue to get ready to have a garage sale and get rid of junk. We are waiting until our neighborhood sale in November and we will have a ton of things to sell. Whatever doesn’t sell will get donated to the local thrift shop that fights homelessness.

– I haven’t been able to get any new items listed for sale online since the semester started back but I have slowly been getting more organized which hopefully means I will have more time to list stuff next weekend.

 

Sustainability Living (Eco Friendly, Harmful Chemical Free, Reduced Waste, etc.)

– I am grateful that we have switched so many household items from disposable to reusable (coffee filter, paper towels, napkins, plastic bags, etc.).  You never have to worry about running out!

– I used up some old green cleaners while cleaning and also used water and rags.

– I organized a rescue to come try to catch the kittens running around campus and get them fixed and vetted for free. They haven’t had any luck catching them yet but at least we are trying rather than ignoring the situation.

– We made two fresh batches of our Dirt-Cheap laundry detergent.

– I use recycled packaging to mail out the items I ship online. I save Amazon boxes and envelopes, tissue paper, bubble wrap etc. I keep a nice stash and then try to recycle or pass on the rest. Unfortunately, I still end up with more than I can use.

– My students will be giving demonstration speeches. Many of their topics involve cooking and small craft projects. I don’t allow them to be wasteful so we usually end up with some snack and small gadgets.

– The puppy is only allowed to have unsalted green beans and organic baby carrots for treats. It’s healthy for him and cheaper for us.

6-15-18 A Few Frugal Things- Flushing Cat Litter Box

Our new CatGenie flushing litter box!

It’s been a crazy few weeks including going out of town for a family emergency, getting back to have family arrive at my home for a visit the day after, then the day after they leave I start teaching my summer classes. I am trying to plan ahead as much as possible so that this doesn’t become an excuse to spend way too much money.

A few frugal things

– We purchased a CatGenie flushing litter box and it’s amazing! We don’t have to buy litter, scoop litter, etc. It takes care of everything. It’s awesome and saving us money. With 3 cats, I can’t suggest this enough.

– We were able to find affordable plane tickets to go out of town at the last minute by looking at Allegiant Airlines and flying out of the awesome small airport by our house. We didn’t pay for bags and just brought personal item bags.

– We had an awesome visit with our relative but besides for errands stayed at her beautiful house on a couple of acres in the foothills of a mountain. The company and beautiful views made for a frugal trip.

– When family visited immediately after we got back we ended up hanging by our pool, visiting the beach where our relatives were staying at a hotel, thrift shopping, and doing a big grocery shop so we ate at home. It’s too hard to go out to eat with a 1-and-a-half-year-old. It was a fun and frugal visit.

– We finally blew up some pool floats and got out some pool toys that had been purchased on clearance last winter. Because pool service is included in our rent our pool is actually very frugal entertainment.

– I had good luck thrifting with my sister. We are hosting a family event in a few weeks and that has motivated me to try to address a few blank spots in our decor. I found a huge wall painting for $15 to cover a very blank wall, I also found a shelf set to use as a plant holder.

– Went through the dresses in my closet and got opinions from my sister, mom and B. I got rid of a few and know that the ones I am keeping fit well.

– B and I ended up with Strep throat. I was able to go to the Walgreens clinic a few minutes from the house. I like them better than CVS because you can make an appointment so you aren’t waiting forever. It was about $30 in copay and prescriptions. B was able to go to his university’s free clinic (more like a 4 story hospital) so he didn’t have a copay and his prescription was only $4.

– Didn’t have to pay gas or tolls to drop family at the airport because we were sick. Also didn’t have to buy anything for being sick because we already had everything at home. Being sick is never frugal but I’m trying to look on the bright side.

– One of our toilets was running constantly and so we had been turning the water on and off between flushes. B took a look and was able to fix the toilet without buying any parts.

– We still have a lot of groceries in the house after company left including leftovers.

– I am getting ready to teach my summer classes. The pay is decent and they are only 6 weeks long.

Not so Frugal

– Unexpected plane tickets, extra groceries, getting sick aside it has been a fairly frugal few weeks.

– I bought a huge watermelon that we ate half of. We waited a couple of days to cut the other half and it went bad.

– Doing some extra laundry because of towels and sheets and blankets used while family was here.

– We are still trying to create a flea free house. This is expensive and not working. The problem isn’t horrendous but I have a zero-tolerance policy that may be impossible to achieve in our part of FL.

Extra Income

– Besides for a few small things, I haven’t had time to work on most of my side hustles but have still made some small increases.

– I have also applied to teach some extra classes. They are online and very flexible.

Harmful Chemical Free and Reduced Waste Living

– The CatGenie flushing litter box is awesome! Not only does it flush all of the waste into the toilet but it means that I no longer have to buy or throw away litter! This has greatly reduced our household waste, previously our biggest source of waste was old cat litter.

6-3-18 A Few Frugal Things

We bought a flushing robot litter box. No more scooping poop for us! That thing is amazing! You do have to buy sanitizer solution about once a month for $20 but that is actually less than we currently spend on litter. While the initial purchase wasn’t cheap it was cheaper than a lot of robotic litter boxes, will save us money on litter over time and saves my sanity for having to clean a disgusting litter box every day because we have 3 cats. (One of the cute cats pictured below)

 

A few frugal things

– We are renewing our lease at the end of the month and they wanted to raise our rent by $30 a month. It’s not a huge amount of money but over a year it adds up. B called our landlord and asked if he wouldn’t raise our rent and he said YES!!!!!!!!!!!! $360 saved in one phone call!

– Instead of going out to dinner for B’s birthday we grilled steak at home. We did go out to lunch a couple times over the 3 day weekend but it was still cheaper than an expensive dinner

– B wants new glasses as his birthday present, this is frugal because it’s money that has to be spend anyways versus useless junk

– Looks like we have a couple of tomatoes that are almost ripe in the vegetable garden.

– We had baked potatoes for dinner. It’s an easy and cheap meal and we like it.

– I remembered to refill a 3 month prescription before it expired. The pharmacy kindly reminded me to fill it as early as I possibly could so that I wouldn’t miss 3 months of medicine.

– We got our first pepper and tomato from our veggie garden! Hardly a meal yet but it’s exciting.

– Still going to my Friday class. It’s an hour away so I am still carpooling with a new friend I met the first day who lives 5 mins away. They also give us a lot of nice snacks including bags of chips and bananas and cookies.

– When we arrived at class this week the light had come on for low tire air pressure. I keep a small electric air pump in the car for just such occasions. When I added air to the tire I could see that there was a split in the side. I called the local branch of the tire place 3 out of 4 of my tires came from and they were able to order a matching 4th tire by the time I was out of class. I got a new tire and this time I sprung for the $52 insurance on all of the tires that will cover this type of accident going forward. I have been known to hit a curb or two.

– Deep cleaned the house and outside patio area. Good exercise and I didn’t have to buy anything to do it. I love having an extremely clean house! Good for my mental health and allergies! It is a good reminder that I don’t need to buy much, besides kitchen rugs, to host a huge family party.

– I made dinner using a cabbage that was going to go bad. We weren’t so lucky with the head of lettuce but it got added to the compost so it will become food for future veggie garden crops.

– I went shopping with my friend and her mom. Had a lot of fun but I didn’t end up buying anything except lunch. We got hibachi at the local (and very nice) mall. I love the food and they enjoyed it too.

– Gave my father our old robot litter box (new costs about $85) and the extra pet fountain I bought at the thrift shop. He helps us with a lot of small household stuff because he is super handy and I always appreciate it!

– We are dealing with a family emergency and had to buy two plane tickets and go out of town unexpectedly. That part is not frugal but the timing worked out because I am already off of work and we were able to get perfect flights at a discount airline and they were less than half the price of all of the other airlines.

– We are able to watch my favorite survival show Naked and Afraid XL free live by using my father’s cable login

Not so Frugal

– The radiator went in B’s car and a while it was in the shop a few other things needed to be done and $370 later his car is drivable again

– Paying for a new tire unexpectedly

– We agreed to host a family party at our house. Another relative is paying for it but I’m sure there will be costs associated that we haven’t thought of yet.

– We rearranged our schedule and drove over half an hour to look at a farm in our ideal neighborhood. When we got there our realtor never showed up or answered his phone. His wife is claiming a minor medical emergency. I don’t know what to believe.

– The current high cost of gas thanks to you know who of the big tower

Extra Income

– I have had some really awesome thrift finds and rummage sale finds that should be solid sales on eBay or Poshmark

– I sold a few small things online on Poshmark and eBay

– I also have done some small online work and will do more if it comes my way.

– I should be getting paid soon for taking a summer faculty development class

– I have almost earned enough through Swagbucks for another $25 gift card

– I almost have enough credit card points for a $50 VISA gift card

Harmful Chemical Free and Reduced Waste Living

– The thrifted steam mop heads arrived from Amazon and that thing is AMAZING! Just in time because we agreed to host a family event at the house.

– Cleaned the whole house using the steamer, broom, vacuum, water, rubbing alcohol and rags but zero harsh chemicals

 

5-21-18 A Few Frugal Things- Garage Door and Poshmark Sales

I am now a couple weeks into Summer break! It’s finally warm enough that we have been swimming once in the pool. Then it has rained for a week straight. It’s very weird not to be going to work every day and grading a million things.

A few frugal things

– We had not gone grocery shopping since last month. We picked up a few small items here and there and made due. We saved a lot of money doing that but we got to the point where we will have to go get groceries and we are trying for a $100 meal plan for the last two weeks of the month.

– Mother’s day just passed and, rather than wanting flowers or jewelry, my mother wanted help around her house (she is a smart lady!). B completely replaced the insides of her toilet and we painted her garage door. Her roof was damaged during the last hurricane so she just got a new roof from the insurance company. We are slowly improving her house that will be paid off in 2 years. We also took her to lunch and Dollar Tree and the hardware store and then did work around her house.

– My mother gave us a lot of flower pots that she wasn’t using. They will be perfect to transplant our current plants into bigger pots.

– We are taking advantage of the rain to water our plants and fill the pool.

– We have really been enjoying our small veggie garden in pots on the patio. We haven’t killed anything yet. I was thinking that we should really start a garden in the backyard. We have been hesitant to do that because we are renting and farm hunting and didn’t want to start a garden to have to try to move it. But I can’t keep waiting.

– No sooner did we decide to plant a garden but we found some wood by the side of the road in a neat trash pile that will be perfect for making the garden box walls. A garden made from scavenged material! I’m excited. See above picture of the wood.

– Composting is also going well so hopefully that will help create some good soil for the garden.

– I got a really amazing, waterproof raincoat at the thrift store for $2. It should be especially helpful for the rainy FL summer.

– We absolutely love Swagbucks! We have both won hundreds of gift cards in the past year. We have been having fun playing their daily trivia gave through phone called Swag IQ. We earn points called SBs that we redeem for the gift cards. It’s kind of like being on a game show from your house! You can actually win a decent amount of SBs which you can turn into PayPal cash or gift cards.

– We finally bought the groceries we needed for the last two weeks of the month and only spent $120.

– I met someone who lives around the corner from me at my Friday class. We are going to carpool which will save us both money on gas and tolls. This will actually probably save me about $20. She also has a return to make at our downtown IKEA and I volunteered to go with her so I will also be able to get the $2 two hot dogs and a soda lunch! I love IKEA hotdogs!

– Hurricane season is fast approaching and after last year’s disaster where we didn’t have power for a week I have stocked up on some supplies from the local thrift shop and dollar store including a battery-operated fan, a battery-operated lantern, candles, a kettle, a million small phone battery backup chargers and some more solar lighting. We still need a radio.

Not so Frugal

– We might have to take the cat back to the vet for her UTI. We were going to take her but then I spoke with a friend who owns the cat’s parents and she gave me a few good suggestions to try first. We are going to try buying special UTI cat food. I’m sure the food won’t be cheap but it will be cheaper than the vet.

– I really need new break pads for my car. I spend a lot of time committing. When I was at the dealership recently for a free recall they told me it would only be $800. No way! My father volunteered to do it or I will take the car to our family mechanic but either way it won’t be $800.

Extra Income

– I am taking a faculty development class, every Friday for 5 weeks. It stinks to have such a set Friday schedule for most of my break but I will get paid $500. They also already bought us free lunch the first week and snacks and hot drinks every week.

– I sold a Lane Bryant jacket today that I had bought at the thrift shop for $2. See above picture. Today I found a pair of Miss Me jeans that sell very well for $2.50. I have now sold 4 items on Poshmark. Not bad considering I only started using it at the middle of last month.

Harmful Chemical Free and Reduced Waste Living

– B bought this very odd drain snake thing for $1 at Dollar Tree and it worked! That AMAZING $1 item completely cleared two of our sinks that were no longer draining properly. No more toxic drain cleaner for us!

– I actually, finally, after 6 months of looking found a floor steamer at the thrift shop for $5! Unfortunately, it didn’t come with the washable, cloth mop head but I can buy it online for less than $10. Considering the new steamer is about $80 this was a great deal. Floor steamers work so well, use only water and take the place of tons of floor scrubbing.

– I ALWAYS bring my stainless steel, reusable water bottle with me everywhere I go. It helps that I work at a Sustainability friendly college where there are water bottle fill stations everywhere. For the first time I remembered to bring a reusable cup for other drinks when I am out and about. I need to make a sustainability kit with reusable everything to just bring with me.

4-28-18 A Few Frugal Things

(The kittens love the rug my friend gave us)

I am now on Summer break! After teaching 3 semesters in a row I have 7.5 weeks off! My friend gave me the above runner rug that matches a room size rug she gave me before.

A few frugal things

– I turned in and submitted all of my grades for Spring Semester on Thurs afternoon. They aren’t actually due until Monday but I am getting paid the same whether I work over 3 additional days or not so I work harder to get them turned in as soon as the finals are over. I believe my students appreciate it too. I now have 7 and a half weeks off. It’s amazing to have this time to rest, recharge and maybe travel but it is also over 2 months without a paycheck.

– I took advantage of a deal on B1G1 free cereal that came with a free code for a free movie ticket. We were going to go to the movies anyways so this basically makes the cereal free.

– We went to Dollar Tree and I was able to purchase more LED lightbulbs for $1, I also got 2 loaves of bread and 2 pots for my tomato plants.

– This morning I repotted my tomato plants. The store was out of top soil but I found some in an old pot in the backyard. I can’t wait until we actually have tomatoes.

– I had a return to do at Lowes for about $12. I noticed they were having a 5 for $15 vegetable plant sale and decided that would be a good use for the money. We now have a few more plants in our small patio veggie garden. The needed bigger pots right away but pots were expensive at Lowes so I made do by recycling some food containers and using some old pots I found in the backyard. The old backyard pots also had top soil in them so we haven’t had to buy that yet.

– It’s just starting to be warm enough to enjoy the pool! We are excited!

– My father gave us his cable login to use on a variety of Aps. We are able to watch cable for free! In exchange we shared our HULU login.

– Went to lunch with my friends who are also professors. I was able to do a $7.99 lunch special that came with pizza, a salad and a soda.

– My friends and I also seem to have a lot of stuff to exchange. I gave one friend a Christmas tree while another friend gave me books and a rug. Another friend gave my mom a printer.

– The dog decided that he was no longer going to let the groomer or us trim his nails. We tried and tried. Finally we bought a Dremel off of Amazon and finally today we pinned him down and were able to trim a few nails. This is a battle we have to win because he can’t keep walking on his claws. (Did I mention he is only 16 pounds???)

Not so Frugal

– Our poor cat who has the UTI already cost us $120 at the vet and may need to go back. We aren’t sure yet but really hoping she’s fine now.

– We finally had to purchase $120 in flea and heartworm meds for the dog. The other prescription flea meds weren’t working at all. The price is similar but this is a lot to pay all at once. If it works there will be a savings in washing everything less and also not having to purchase separate heartworm medicine which can also be expensive.

– We tried using cheaper cat litter and not only did it get everywhere but it didn’t work as well or control the smell as much. Back to the expensive litter we went. (I’m realizing that most of this list of not so frugal things mostly seem to involve our pets.)

– We had friends and family stay the night on Friday and I thought I had purchased enough groceries for dinner. Unfortunately, at the hectic end of the semester my planning was a little off and we needed about $30 more in groceries.

Extra Income

– Still gathering items from the house for a yard sale and asking friends to join me which makes it more fun.

– I am gearing up my eBay and Poshmark online selling business for my 7 weeks off of work.

– I sold a set of young adult books and mailed them off in a recycled box with tape my mother gave me for free. I try to get an additional use out of Amazon’s excessive packaging!

– I sold another sewing pattern. I need to do more with this side hustle since it is passive income after the initial work.

Harmful Chemical Free Living

– Still need a new floor steamer but haven’t had any luck finding one.

(My small pot veggie garden. It’s a start!)

3-04-18 A Few Frugal Things – Dog and Dyson

This week was a bit rough at work. I couldn’t wait for the weekend and I feel like it has been very productive and it’s not over yet.

A few frugal things

– I took the dog to the groomer. He is little and has to have his glands done and doesn’t want to let anyone cut his nails so I decided to let them try. They only got through his back feet so they didn’t charge me for a job half done even though I offered to pay. We are slowly trying to finish the job but he isn’t making it easy.

– Our $20 Thrifted Dyson is usually amazing. Unfortunately, it stopped working. I ended up taking the base apart, thoroughly emptying it, found a clog and I actually fixed it. I have since learned that there are good youtube tutorials for this which I will try if it happens again.

– I combined trips with a visit to two thrift shops I’m not usually near. I got my thrifting fix and only found a book and small spatula so spent less than $1.50.

– We went to ALDI and spent about $150 on groceries for most of the rest of the month. We could have probably spent less with a LOT more time, planning and scratch cooking but this week we have a lot of important deadlines. Some convenience foods from the grocery store are well worth it if they help us focus on more important things than cooking this week.

– We bought a bottle of drain cleaner at Dollar Tree. I used it on the shower and it worked great so far. I have no idea why it’s so much cheaper there than anywhere else.

– Dollar Tree now has solar lights in stock again. I have been waiting since last year to complete a solar chandelier project for some free outside lighting. Ten lights for $10 is by far the best price I have found in the past year.

– I am still enjoying rewatching ER on HULU. So much cheaper than cable and no commercials.

– I was able to deliver some stuff I had for my mom and she gave us some groceries she didn’t want.

– I got so caught up on laundry last week that I have had a lot less this week. I’m trying to use one rug and one throw blanket at a time in the living room so it’s less to wash every week.

– I went to a yard sale our friends were having and they basically gave us a bunch of clothes and some other small stuff. So much fun for so little.

– My mother in law and her partner are paying for the house we will stay in during my sister in law’s wedding. This will definitely help offset the cost of plane tickets and a rental car.

– We are going to enjoy watching The Oscars tonight.

– It got cold again the past few days in Florida. It’s saving money on our AC bill again. It’s still nice out but we are starting to look forward to beach/pool weather.

Not so Frugal

– A childhood friend was in town and we met for dinner. I was able to combine it with a visit to my mother who is also having a rough week. I ended up getting dinner for 4 people at a family owned restaurant in my hometown. The portions are great so it was two meals for each person for less than $50.

Extra Income

– I had enough credit to redeem a $25 PayPal gift card.

– I have decided to have a yard sale this summer when I’m not working. It will motivate me to get rid of stuff and hopefully I’ll make a little money too. We have room to store the items in the garage.

Harmful Chemical Free Living

– Found some new awesome harmful chemical free soap at Dollar Tree and purchased more rubbing alcohol for cleaning.

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.

1-31-2018 January and $100 Grocery Budget

(The Puppy loves his repurposed bed, that I made from a thrifted poncho, and sitting in front of the space heater.)

It’s FINALLY 2018! I say that because 2017 was a tough year and it’s exciting to have a fresh start.

A few frugal things

– I am trying for a use it up, make it do kind of month.

– We spent New Year’s Eve at our friends’ party mostly sitting by their fire pit and talking. Fun way to end the year.  I brought cookies that we had leftover. We ate dinner before going because they said snacks only but then they had tons of food so we ate again.

– We slept in the first few days of the year because it has been very cold for FL. We have not turned on the heat at all. We have stayed warm by wearing layers, using blankets, cuddling with the pets, using my heated throw blanket, occasional use of space heaters, and blocking off the sliding doors and fireplace with extra insulation sheets. We have also made a point of cooking and running the dishwasher at especially cold times.

– I spent the morning of Jan 2nd making a meal plan for this month and a grocery list. A lot of frugal people are doing a no spend January and while I’m not, I think I will do a Frugal January. Thanks to a lot of leftover ham, which will be divided into a lot of meals, and other remaining staples in the house, I was able to put together a $100 meal plan for the month. We spent $65 getting most of the groceries today at ALDI and $10 getting a few remaining things at Walmart Grocery. We ended the month having spent $95 on groceries and that saved us at least a couple hundred dollars in groceries. That money saved goes towards savings for a house down payment.

– We have been keeping warm and entertained watching TV at home and several of our favorite shows started again on the 2nd. We had to wait until the 3rd to watch them because we don’t have cable but I know the savings is worth the wait.

– I have been reading free kindle books from the library on my new Kindle that B got me for Christmas.

– My father helped fix some carpet that one of the kittens destroyed in our rental house so that we wouldn’t be charged when we move out.

– I finally found the extra wall paint that our landlords left us and put some in a jar to use for touch ups. This trick saves a lot of time, energy and money when it’s time to move out.

Not so Frugal

– One of the kittens broke the lid on my Yeti style water bottle that I used all the time. I did buy it from the thrift shop for a couple dollars but it might not be quite so frugal to get another lid. I do have another water bottle I will use.

– B broke the cord on the YAMAHA piano keyboard he got for Christmas. I bought the piano at a rummage sale for $20 so even having to replace the cord makes this a good deal.

– My coworker was kind enough to give us a pet water fountain. At the pet store they cost $70. The cats chewed through the cord so now we need another one. Still much cheaper than the fountain would cost new. This is not a great month for cords at our house.

– I bought B a PS4 charger thing at the thrift shop for $2.50 and it was missing a piece. They said I could return it but it’s a small thrift shop that supports a local food pantry and fights homelessness so I am not returning it.

– After a few cold weeks it has warmed up considerably and we started seeing a few fleas on the pets. I am washing ALL of the comfy bedding and rugs that helped get us through the cold. I will try not to put quite so many back out.

Extra Income

– I did another $10 online job

– Waiting for my $50 Credit Card reward card to come in the mail, 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.

 

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

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