Tag Archives: A Few Frugal Things

10-31-16 A Few Frugal Things

gimliskeleton

A Few Frugal Things-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not So Frugal Things-

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

Frugal Goals-

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

9-23-16 A Few Frugal Things

thetruecost

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

Extra Income

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

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

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

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

– I relisted some unsold eBay listings for free

 

A Few Frugal Things-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Not So Frugal-

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

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

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

8-21-16 A Few Frugal Things

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(Pickles Playing in Our New Trash Can)

A Few Frugal Things-

– I was really sad that I had to return my iPad to a college campus that I will no longer be teaching at. Then my Dad and Aunt decided that they should give me an older one that wasn’t being used. They even gave me chargers, cases and everything. It was so kind of them.

– It’s back to school season and as much as I want to buy some school supplies (I challenge you to find an educator that doesn’t love new school supplies) I haven’t bought any yet. I am trying to wait and see what the schools will supply and I still have a lot that are still good from previous years. That’s not to say I won’t pick up a few things on clearance with my mom’s employee discount.

– Finally called about a cosmetic factory recall on my SUV and it will be 100% free to fix but there is a YEAR wait!

– Went grocery shopping at ALDI and spent less than expected which is always a win

– I gave myself a French pedicure despite wanting to pay to have one done but the $45 savings made it worth it

– Aunt took us out to brunch and takeout for dinner which was very nice

– Went to a cheaper pet store and bought 2 months of snake food for cheap, it’s close to my father’s house so I will have to try to get him to go with me

– Found a cheaper version of the expensive eye shadow my sister had given me that I used up.

– My sister bought some face makeup for me at the makeup store where she works when it was not only B1G1 free but using her discount and now I have it for the entire year.

– I have had good luck thrifting lately for a few things I needed including black heels to teach in (I wear them out quickly), a dress to wear at a baby shower, shirts/tops for teaching and everyday life, William Sonoma cloth napkins (these don’t attract lint so I LOVE them).

– I have been donating stuff we no longer want (and I can’t sell on eBay) to the thrift store and I found a few more things but I will wait until I am already shopping there to drop them off

– I cleaned the house and I love that all I use is rubbing alcohol, my floor steamer that only uses water and homemade laundry detergent for wash. There are times that living chemical free saves us money.

– I continue to relist my current eBay listings and will list even more soon, I like making extra income here and there on eBay

– Next week I go back full time at the College I have been hired at full time, I’ve already been teaching there for a year as a contract employee. I’m so excited to only be teaching at one school and I receive free Dental and Health Insurance (I currently pay about $300 a month just for health) and cheap vision insurance. I have been waiting for my new insurance to kick in before I get new glasses, go to the dermatologist and get my teeth cleaned. This will be a huge savings!

– My discount Amazon Prime subscription is ending soon and I’m going to try not renewing it to save money. I will try to buy a few discount things that I need to take advantage of the free 2day shipping before it ends. I may renew later but I want to see how long it is before I need/want to use it.

– Hung some rugs to dry even though I really wanted to throw them in the dryer

– Amy of the Tightwad Gazette would tell you that saving money is often more about what you don’t do than what you do. Well this weekend we didn’t leave the house and we had fun at home. Not leaving the house is often the best way to save money!

– We also didn’t adopt a dog this weekend. We really thought about it but the dog we were considering was already adopted. Maybe it’s a sign.

– As always we have been enjoying watching TV at home. My father is kind enough to share his cable login with us so we can watch cable on out home devices through the different channel Aps for free.

– Using my sewing machine I repaired a comforter, underwear, a basket liner and a throw pillow

– I exchanged $10 worth of stuff at Dollar Tree. I was happy to get it out of my car where it had been sitting since the last time I forgot to return it.

– I had to mail something to my sister and went ahead and packed up a box for her that included an entire target sheet set in the color she wanted, an IKEA decoration, some pregnancy books etc. We used a flat rate box so it wasn’t expensive to mail.

– B and I cut each other’s hair today.

– I’m almost 9 months into my year of not buying any brand new clothing (with a few exceptions like underwear) and it’s so easy, I can hardly call it a challenge

 

Not so Frugal Things-

– Our AC completely broke in the scalding Florida summer heat and while our landlord paid for the repair and it was done swiftly we still ended up with a $50 higher electric bill and this is already the highest electric bills we will have all year. I know a long time ago people lived in Florida without AC but our homes are no longer designed to take advantages of breezes and the location of the sun so I feel no guilt in using the AC modestly.

– Had a great time when my aunt visited and we went to a really cool store Old Time Pottery which I had never been to before. We have lived in our townhome for almost two years and it’s the first time I shopped for brand new things for the house and I got a few things like a shower curtain, step to open trash can, hand towels and door mat that I hadn’t had any luck buying at our local thrift shops for the past two years. It’s not frugal to shop but after 2 years of not finding those items used, this store had them new for great prices.

– I am ashamed to admit that we threw away an unopened package of salad, an unopened package of broccoli shred, a whole bag of sweet potatoes that was bad when I bought them, some guacamole that went bad and some leftover chicken. None of this food was still edible so it had to be thrown out but this is a huge amount of food waste for us. We are trying to eat more fresh food but the downside is we sometimes think it will be good for longer than it actually is. I hate wasting food.

 

Frugal Goals-

– Pack lunches when I go back to work full time next week instead of buying unhealthy food

– Avoid stores and online shopping whenever possible (I’m not a huge shopper but I find the best way to save money is to avoid the stores altogether)

– Take advantage of my new free health insurance and dental and cheap vision insurance

– Be more careful about the AC usage, although because we will both be gone at the hottest times of the day now it will certainly lower our AC bill.

– Stop looking at dogs to adopt for a while, maybe we will go back to looking when the semester is underway and we have an established schedule

– Take an edible plants class

6-16-16 A Few Frugal Things

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-The three toys above are the three our cat Pickles pulled out of her toy box and dragged into our room. She has way too many toys for one cat and yet of the three she chose none are actually cat toys. One was given to us and the other two were clearance Christmas ornaments. They are:

  • An alligator
  • A pink elephant
  • A coffee cup

-Taking a Frugal Trip to Texas. I’m flying a discount airline, received a $50 rebate for the flight, staying with my sister so no hotel costs or rental vehicles, and I’m packing all of my stuff in a personal item bag (more on how to do that will be posted soon).

– I made a huge pot of split pea soup (Mmmmmm my favorite!) using leftover ham my mom gave me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything besides the spices and ham so I had to buy carrots, an onion and the peas. Thankfully that only came to about $4 and B was given a gift card. We have soup for lunches and dinners for a week for FREE!

– Downloaded some free Kindle books to occupy me on my flight this week.

– My dad was given a free sewing machine for my sister, packed it up and wanted me to mail it to her in Texas. Instead I figured out how to take it on the plane as my mom’s personal item bag for free! I can only guess but I’m sure a sewing machine is expensive to mail and I feel more confident it won’t get damaged if I can deliver it directly.

– Got $200 worth of free Publix groceries thanks to 2 gift cards B was given for his Bday.

– I skipped the 50% off day at the thrift store today because I need to work since the Summer B semester starts on Tuesday and I fly home Sunday.

– I am now teaching a 4th summer class which is great because it’s only 6 weeks long and little additional planning mostly just more grading but nothing too bad. This will also raise my income for the year if when we start trying to buy a house.

– Did another sponsored Swagbucks post

5-18-16 A Few Frugal Things

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Yay! Summer is here and I have been getting a lot done and not spending much money, even with family visiting.

– We went to Disney Springs- Free!

– We have gone running at a beautiful local park around a lake

– We also went to the beach which only cost $10 and unfortunately we don’t qualify for a beach pass because we moved out of the county.

– Clearing out my closets and house and getting rid of junk! Mostly going through my clothes and I’m going to try to sell some of them to local consignment stores or on eBay.

– I will be relaunching my eBay business soon and I’m excited to get rid of more and more junk!

– We really have been enjoying staying home and our online steaming services are great for having the tv on in the background when I clean. Click the banner above for your free trial of Amazon Prime.

– I constantly use my iPad that was free from the college I teach at!

– We are trying to clean out the fridge and pantry after a busy school year which means we are eating what we have before going grocery shopping. This isn’t as bad as it seems as last night B cooked steaks that we had frozen a long time ago and they were amazing!

– I got out my sewing machine and some nice flannel shirts we bought at the Goodwill Outlet and I made rice heating pads for us and various family members. More sewing projects to come this summer!

– I returned some stuff to Publix and Goodwill that saved me almost $30 and I have more returns too. A lot of people don’t take advantage of the ability to return items that don’t work or you will never use and this ends up costing a lot of money!

– Pro: Finally getting rid of items I have been holding onto to give family members, Con: My mother gave me several more boxes to disperse by way of another family member so I couldn’t refuse them. UGH! I’m trying to clear out the house!

– Bought a beautiful and brand new Shabby Chic quilt from Goodwill for $3.99. We finally have enough bedding for having our whole families come stay with us at the same time but I’m also having to come up with more storage space in our 2/2 Townhome.

– I have been doing a lot of research on under the seat person item bags for flying our local discount airline. They have especially strict baggage guidelines and I want to get the absolutely biggest bag I can fit under a seat for free with my ticket.

– We went dumpster diving and I got a bag of clean clothes, a fold up suede chair (see the above picture), and a $30 shower rack all in great shape and all items that will be used again instead of going to the landfill.

– Instead of buying bedding for our snake I used a pillow case that I was getting rid of. Snakes like soft things too!

– I needed mascara and my sister just happened to give me some expensive mascara when she visited. I love when that happens.

– We had so much free fun when we gave some leftover food to the squirrels in the tree outside our sliding door and watched them grab pieces of it and sneak away

– I received my new muffin/cupcake pan  from Amazon. It’s chemical free silicon and supposedly doesn’t even require paper wrappers for the muffins which will eventually save money and reduce waste. My old cupcake pans were cheap metal and I donated them when I started ridding the house of nonchemical free cookware and just have made due without but now I’m starting to make a lot of blueberry breakfast muffins and I felt it was worth the small price for the amount of use.

– I haven’t had the time to go to the grocery store with spring semester ending so rapidly so we have been doing a good job of eating out of the fridge and pantry. I hard boiled a bunch of eggs in the oven and made egg salad and just plain boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks. Healthy and cheap. I’m also glad that I’m clearing out the fridge before I need to buy some food for company.

– I’m a member of our local buy nothing group and I was given a free printer! I’ll do an individual post on that soon.

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You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

– I took advantage of a Swagbucks offer to post an infographic for which I will receive $5 worth of gift cards.

– I bought a few more things to sell on eBay and eBay is now my job for the summer.

– I relisted my eBay listings for free at the end of the month so I have 50 more free listings this month that I fully plan on using.

 

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