Tag Archives: A Few Frugal Things

04-07-19 A Few Frugal Things- Dogs and Booking a Cruise

The pups have been making sure that we all get some exercise. We are glad they are feeling a lot better. 

Frugal Things

– I found generic Allergy Medicine Claritin, which I take every day for $13 for a year supply, a huge savings over $20 for 90 days if it works

– Selling more items on Poshmark, I have so much fun with it and I’m making decent money on thrifted items

– The dogs being back on Trifexis is important because it’s way more expensive to treat a flea outbreak or heartworms than to prevent them in the first place. We love our fur kids.

– I had to help run a meeting at work and WAY too much food was ordered. My colleague divided it up and sent me home with a big foil pan. It was enough for 3 BBQ meals.

– We went hiking with my brother and our collective 4 dogs. He sent us home with water and snacks. We wanted to get take out after but resisted.

Wild berries! Anyone know what kind?

– Spending time in the Florida Sun and visiting with family, it’s free and good for the soul

– Our vacuum is a $20 thrifted Dyson, it got clogged but I know how to fix it and it will run great again. If it doesn’t I got another Dyson vacuum for $14 that also works.

– We wanted to go to dinner and a movie but there was nothing at the theater we wanted to watch. We decided to go to happy hour at a restaurant near our house. Unbelievably cheap prices for drinks and good food. We walked 5 min home and got some exercise.

– Our cats continue to use their Cat Genie litter box which has saved us so much money. B fixes it when it clogs. One of the cats has been chewing on the extension cord. It took me wayyyyy too long to find a heavy duty replacement but I did and a cord cover and it saves us so much time and money over traditional litter.

– I’m still bringing my coffee, breakfast, snacks and lunch to work.

-We went to a reasonably priced local restaurant for our Friday night date. We used a free appetizer coupon and took advantage of happy hour. Still not cheap but cheaper than it could have been.

– Living in Florida means that going on cruises can be very affordable vacations for us but like anything else you can easily spend double what you need to. We compared and compared and compared prices and ports and cruise lines and found a great deal. We are leaving from the closest port so no additional travel expenses and we will figure out how to get there so we don’t have to pay a port fee. We didn’t choose the idea destinations as we are more interested in sailing on the ship (and eating!). We are forgoing the expensive drink package and will bring some drinks of our own. We picked a 4-5 day trip so that we don’t have to pay a pet sitter even longer. No doubt vacations cost money but we saved ourselves at least $1,000 by booking this way. This trip will also double as a birthday and celebration trip.

– We booked a weekend trip to visit my sister, her husband and my nephew. We will stay with them so we avoid the cost of a hotel and rental car. We are leaving from the closest airport so that we don’t have to park there and we are only staying the weekend. We are only taking backpacks we can put under the seats in front of us so we don’t have to pay for baggage. We will do a lot of fun activities while we are visiting.

– We waited to watch the movie On The Basis of Sex until we could watch it at home rather than the theatre. We are huge RBG fans and feminists so we appreciated the movie.

– I have been watching a lot of streaming TV shows while working on Poshmark and grading for my day job. I am thinking of getting streaming cable for $16 a month with a DVR but haven’t had time to look into it yet.

Not So Frugal

– The dogs were both sick and our vet was in the middle of an emergency so we tried a new vet open til 10pm, the price was very affordable for 2 dogs, they will now refill their Trifexis for fleas and heart worms and the vet recommended a new dog food we can buy at the grocery store vs. the pet store prices and inconvenience, vets are never cheap but at least they are well again and we got great information.

Extra Income

– I have been selling more items than ever on Poshmark but I know that will slow down as I won’t have much time to devote to it until the semester ends.

– I don’t have time to list much on Poshmark but I’m still sourcing inventory, washing it and organizing it so that when I have more time to list and pack items for sale I will have plenty to list.

– My second job didn’t need me again this month but Poshmark has picked up the slack so far and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the break.

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

– We continue to clean the house in eco friendly ways. That does make it harder to get rid of mold and mildew for long.

3-12-19 A Few Frugal Things- Vet Visits and Spring Break

We are officially more than halfway through Fall Semester and on Spring Break. Unfortunately, while we started break having fun with some friends who live nearby, then our poor little kitty got very, very sick. We had to take him to the pet ER and he was treated and sent home with orders to follow up with our regular vet. He was not doing well at home but it got us through the day and a half until our regular vet opened. He still had to be hospitalized but at 1/4th the price of the pet ER. We are really hoping he will be okay!

 

Frugal Things

– I continued to bring my breakfast, coffee, water and lunch to work every day with few exceptions.

– I continued to wear my thrifted business casual wardrobe. I proudly tell my students that most of the items cost $2.

– I found a really nice pair of Nike running shoes for B at the thrift shop.

– We accidentally ended up at a farmer’s market we happened to drive past. We were able to purchase some produce and incorporate it into our meals to get us through the end of Feb saving us money on groceries.

– We have been buying minimal groceries and so far it’s going well. We still need to do a big grocery shop but we are doing well using up and eating what we already have here.

– I got too sick to attend a work event. This actually saved me money on gas and tolls to get there and back but I would rather not have been sick.

– B’s car was still not fixed after having the mechanics replace a $200+ part. The same auto shop wanted $300 more to *try* to fix the car again. Needless to say, we were not happy about it. B was able to purchase and replace the suggested parts for about $100. This was a $200 savings!

– I went on a work trip to IKEA and I was able to pick up some items for family members. I was also given a couple of gift bags each including organic coffee, a USB light, dark chocolate, a coupon and the bag itself. They also fed us free Swedish Breakfast.

– We wanted to get together with my brother when his wife was out of town but didn’t want to cook or go to an overpriced restaurant so we went to our local mall to hang out and eat. It was fun and we didn’t spend much on food or other items we didn’t need.

– Our friends had us over for a BBQ and we brought beer and wine but they fed us tons of food. It was fun to see them and play with their new baby.

– While we are spending time with family and friends over spring break but we aren’t going on a big trip which is saving us a ton of money but also has left time to rest and recharge and relax.

– We are taking advantage of the lovely Florida weather to take the dogs out and about for exercise.

 

Not So Frugal

– Our poor kitty is so sick.

– B finally fixed his car himself but it still cost us over $300 in the long run.

– I got a migraine so bad that B had to drive almost an hour to pick me up from work and go back with me the next day. This probably cost at least an extra $10 in gas and tolls.

– Our little pup needs a prescription refill for Trifexis. He is otherwise so healthy I do not want to take him to the vet but need the prescription. Hmm, what to do! There is a shot clinic that travels but all of their locations are at least 40mins away. If we can wait 2 months until summer we would probably be able to do the shot clinic.

 

Extra Income

– I have had some good sales on Poshmark in the past couple weeks. I am on track to my goal of $500 profit by the end of the school year.

– eBay has changed some of their policies lately that I’m still trying to figure out.

– I got good news about my second job. My boss left but it turns out I met his replacement at a social event.

 

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

– We don’t have much trash at the house but have a lot of recycling. We are trying to reduce both but it’s a long process. I am trying harder to decline plastic bags and straws when out and about.

1-05-2019 A Few Frugal Things- Christmas and About to go Back to Work

(In the picture- He was very cold. We can’t wait for FL weather to return to normal. His sweater was purchased at the Goodwill Outlet bins. Even dog clothes can be thrifted!)

We had wonderful holidays that included 4 different visits from family in the month of December. We had a very fun and relaxing winter break. Now I am getting ready to go back to teach for Fall Semester tomorrow.

Frugal Things

– Although we do purchase some fun Christmas gifts we do a really good job of also asking for and buying practical gifts as well. I know a lot of people opt to skip gift giving but I personally LOVE it.

– When our relatives came for Christmas day, we purchased the bulk of the Christmas dinner and breakfasts and lunches for almost 10 people. However, everyone else also contributed. My MIL gave us money towards the groceries (not expected at all but very much appreciated), bought all of the alcoholic drinks for our celebration, and brought us expensive coffee and chocolate.  My mother helped by purchasing a few grocery items we forgot and helping me clean up the house constantly. Everyone helped cooking Christmas dinner so that was completed quickly.

– I did have a decent number of people to buy Christmas gifts for but I spent several hundred dollars less than I budgeted by buying some items ahead, using Amazon Prime to find the best deals, getting lucky with Target clearance, stopping at two wonderful closeout stores near the house called Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Old Time Pottery. We were able to purchase exactly what everyone asked for at about half the price we expected. I do almost all of my shopping at normal thrift shops but there are some really nice discount stores around here.

– I purchased slippers for a relative for $23 for Christmas. Then we found a nicer pair at ALDI in their houseware section for $8. I returned the first pair.

– My Aunt and her BF treated us to a really nice dinner for New Year’s Eve.

– My mom and I went to Super Target and their Christmas clearance was up to 90% off. I was able to purchase a few remaining gifts, stocking holders that I had been unsuccessful in finding secondhand for 90% off, and I also purchased a Christmas Kit that had my expensive EOS products for clearance prices. EOS is never that cheap!

– I purchased new clearance kitchen rugs for $12 that don’t show pet hair when you walk on them. Our old ones were memory foam in dark navy from the thrift shop that showed every speck of dirt. I realized I was washing them more often then necessary because they looked crappy. I buy very little brand new because we have great luck at thrift stores but these rugs will save me a lot of money, time, water and energy over washing rugs that don’t need to be washed.

– I saved Amazon gift cards from my birthday and Christmas and Swagbucks and I was able to buy a new phone because mine is starting to go. I’m excited about the new phone and it’s a practical purchase since I use it for work.

– I go back to work on Monday and I’m very ready. I had a back to work faculty meeting and they fed us lunch.

Not So Frugal

– It’s not frugal to have 4 sets of company in one month but there are certain things we did to make it more affordable including using our own dishes instead of buying disposable, only washing full loads of laundry (like sheets), not needing to use the AC because of the cold weather, making most meals at home, buying groceries from ALDI, etc. It was frugal for our family because they didn’t have to pay for a place for us to stay together.

 

Extra Income

– I continue to do small online work

– I am purchasing items to sell on eBay and Poshmark but now only items that will sell for over $30. The reason is that I don’t have enough time to list all of the items so I might as well focus on the items that have the greatest profit margins.

– Fingers crossed I am hoping to teach some extra online classes in Jan.

 

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

– I was able to purchase reusable bags that were Christmas themed for .50 cents each. We got one for everyone and it worked out great because they were able to take their gifts home in them if they wanted or they could give them back to me to pack up for next year. This created much less waste and saved me a lot of time not wrapping.

 

11-1-18 A Few Frugal Things- We adopted a puppy!

We adopted a puppy from our local shelter! He came fully vetted and fixed for the price of his adoption fee. I consider money spent on our pets worth every penny! He can’t believe how many toys we have in this house! He is playing with all of the toys our older dog ignores and all of the free toys from the shelter. This is really the reason I am so behind with posting because puppies are a lot of work!

Frugal Things

– We have been shopping less since we have a new puppy that we are cautious about leaving home alone but we have been getting outside more and taking lots of walks which are good for the puppy and us

– It’s starting to cool down in Florida so fingers crossed our electric bill goes down

– I took my mom to the airport for her trip to visit my aunt, frugal for her and we enjoyed spending the time together

– The puppy needed a crate and I called all local thrift shops with no luck. Mom and I stopped at our local one anyway on the way to the airport to shop and they had one for $5! That’s a $75 savings over the pet store for a much nicer crate then the one we were going to buy.

– We have a new to us thrifted shower curtain ready to be hung up to replace our current mildewed one, we always have expensive looking shower curtains that match our décor that we always buy for $1 at the thrift shop

– I was craving cake so I made one from a box mix I picked up for $1 and icing I also bought for $1, I added 2 extra eggs that were nearing expiration. Yay!

– We started watching the show Mars free from home

– I have to renew a prescription but it’s free with my free through my job insurance. I don’t take it for granted in today’s world of expensive healthcare.

– We had my mom’s birthday dinner at the house. We grilled burgers, made French fries, and made margaritas. We have lots of leftovers and it’s much cheaper than eating out which my Mom dislikes. It was nice to spend time together.

– I used a gift card I got for free through Swagbucks to buy a wall stud finder, an ergonomic bone for the puppy and a shower seat for my aunt. Overall, I’m pleased with all purchases almost for free.

– I think I need to sew some more dog beds for the house because the new puppy is so much bigger than our current dog, fortunately I have more than enough sewing supplies to make it a free project

– Still bringing my coffee, breakfast, lunch and refillable water bottle to work. This is a huge savings.

Not So Frugal

– I believe someone tried to scam me on eBay. They bought Legos from me and then claimed they were fake. I reported them and will have to pay for a return but hopefully my report will stop them from doing this to anyone else. Did I mention they sell Legos on eBay?

– We did buy some new toys for the new puppy but I say still cheaper than replacing furniture from chewing!

Extra Income

– Wrapping up some extra classes I was teaching online

– Still doing some small online work for extra money

– Getting ready for our neighborhood’s garage sale. We live in a small community off of a very busy road so we were very busy last year.

– Sold another pair of Overalls on Poshmark for $45 + Shipping

– Sold a set of 9 planet drinking glasses for $40 + shipping

 

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

– We cleaned the house and garage today without the use of harsh chemicals. We use rubbing alcohol for a counter sanitizer.

– I have been using a sort of doggy dry shampoo on the dogs to clean them. It’s a huge time and energy and water savings and it’s supposed to be soothing to their skin. Oddly enough they seem to like it.

 

 

10-15-18 A Few Frugal Things- A Kitten and Trader Joe’s Stock Up

 

 

Frugal Things

– We finally made it to Trader Joe’s 10/5 to stock up on some harmful chemical free products at their great prices. However, this never feels frugal at the time because the store isn’t convenient to get to so I buy enough for 4-6 months at a time but it saves us a lot in the long run. See pic below to see the household items we stock up on.

– We resisted the urge to go to Shake Shack by Trader Joe’s for lunch and then I wasn’t feeling very well so we didn’t go shopping after which would have been fun but did save us money

– I really feel like I got a great deal on the laptop I bought. It’s not a super cheap one but it’s making my life so much easier with all of it’s features and saving me a lot of time at work.

– We have started watching the show Harlots on HULU. Who needs cable?

– We stopped at half off day the thrift shop the day before we went to visit my mother and we were able to buy her some really nice hand towels, wash cloths, a new with tags rug and memory foam rugs

– My mom needed to visit a sick family member and we were able to buy her a ticket on a discount airline out of a local airport, she won’t pay for a bag or seat and will travel light which saves us a lot of money

– I finally got to visit Dollar General Market because I had heard that it was even cheaper than ALDI. I personally didn’t find it to be that cheap so I’m glad I wasn’t missing out on anything but they did have 50% off their clearance and I found a few small things. The half off didn’t ring up at the register so they had to fix it. I’m glad I was paying attention.

– B did a big shopping trip at ALDI that should get us through the rest of the month

– I continued to use my almost empty eye liner for much longer than expected. I try to use every last bit of everything I buy.

– My mother is coming to visit on Tuesday for my birthday and I’m excited about it. We want to go see the new movie A Star is Born and Tues nights at the nice local theater is only $5 a ticket.

– I gave my friends some gifts today when we got together for lunch, two friends I gave eyeshadow pallets that I purchased on clearance for dirt cheap and my other friend I gave some adorable little baby toys include a soft baby book with lots of ‘cat’ tails

– My mom is still having printing trouble so for $14 I purchased an ink cartridge for my old LaserJet 1100 printer that she can plug into her laptop. The printer is no frills aka Wi-Fi but that seems to be the best way to go at the moment.

– My work is having a stray cat problem. It should not be normal to see stray cats. They are not wild animals. I was able to find a rescue to help us TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) the cats but one day the custodians ended up with a kitten that needed a foster. I found a bottle feeder for the kitten but not before I purchased some stuff in case we had to keep it for the weekend. I was able to return everything for a full refund which saved me about $50. Good deed done and no money spent. See adorable pic of our puppy and the kitten above.

Not So Frugal

– It’s still very hot in Florida so our electric bill is still a little over $200 but hopefully this is the last month

 

Extra Income

– I had a really great bundled sale of 2 items on eBay. I stand to make just under $60 on the items that both had been listed for over a year. The person left great feedback so that was a great profit. My eBay strategy is to relist all items that don’t sell using the free listings that eBay offers and EVENTUALLY I find that everything sells.

– I went through my death pile of items I have not gotten around to listing and pulled out items that I don’t think will sell or aren’t worth listing. I’m going to sell them at the yard sale we are having next month. These are items that will do better at a yard sale than online.

– I love having little side hustles! Even making a little extra money besides my regular full time job makes me happy and one step closer to our goal of buying a farm.

– We went thrifting and our best find was Furbys! We will see what they sell for on eBay.

– I have been earning a ton of Swagbucks through these pop ups for email lists. I did one for Huggies for 50 SB, one for Suiteness for 100SD and one for Tablespoon for 40SB. That’s a great reward for signing up for email lists. Of course, I use a junk email address.

 

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

– The pic below is of the household items we stock up on at Trader Joe’s. Harmful chemical free products can be expensive but not Trader Joe’s brand. It’s kinda an open secret that their toothpaste is Tom’s of Maine in a generic package for 1/3 the price.

 

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.

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