View Full Version : October 2015 Frugals

10-4-15, 6:15pm
After a hot summer of sandwiches and salads, it's cool enough to eat hot food again! DH made a large batch of tomato sauce with meatballs and sausages. It fed us today, and we have 7 containers to be refrigerated and frozen. Great stuff, delicious frugal meals at home!
This next one makes me sound more stupid than frugal, but hey, I'm not too proud to tell it. The play Saturday Night Fever was running at a local playhouse this summer. I got the idea in my head that we should see it, because it was such an iconic part of the eighties and I've never even seen the movie. DH said, "but it won't be the original music." Rosa said, "that's OK, I don't even like disco." DH said, "but it won't be the BeeGees." Rosa said, "that's OK, I can't stand the BeeGees!" DH said, "So instead of spending a bunch of money on theater tickets to see something that isn't even the original of something you probably won't even like, why don't you see the iconic movie with the actual iconic cast and music?" OK, he had me there. I checked Amazon and found the movie for $4.99, but I put it on my wish list, so I could get free shipping sometime when I'm buying something else. Today I had the bright idea to see whether I could order it through the inter-library lending system, and sure enough, I was able to request it. So we went from about $150. to $5. to free.
I think DH gets credit for both of those frugals. October: DH-2, Rosa-0 (but I do think I inspire him).

10-4-15, 6:55pm
Great frugal win, Rosa!

Chicken lady
10-4-15, 9:33pm
Today dh framed a bunch of stuff for the walls of his study. Last year we bought a quality mat cutter (originally over $100, paid $30 after sale and coupon) and ordered some mat board online so that we could reframe some pictures ourselves more cheaply than our other options. Using the cutter, leftover mat board, brown packing paper from things i've ordered, and glass and frames from my box of "this is really pretty" collected from goodwill or garage sales over the years for kid art at less than $5 a frame, he was able to do the whole job with no additional outlay.

The walls look nice and my hoard of useful materials is shrinking.

Also yesterday he took care of some plumbing (cost - materials, some leftover from other jobs)

Last night we had a netflix date and we entertained ourselves this evening with leftovers and a walk in the woods. We didn't drive anywhere all weekend.

10-5-15, 6:12pm
Nice score on the wall art, Chicken Lady. Your date night sounds like something we would enjoy as well.
I had today off from work. It was a no spend day and DH & I took a nice walk on the rail trail through the marsh and along the river this morning. I made bouquets from weeds/wildflowers. This one is Goldenrod & Yarrow.

10-5-15, 6:13pm
This one is Pokeweed!

10-5-15, 6:13pm
This is Smartweed or Knotweed.

10-6-15, 8:36pm
Tonight is the first night in almost a week that we do not have guests staying with us and the attendant activity. Ahh, quiet! :)

But there were some frugals out of it:
- They left behind some salad-in-a-bag, some rolls, and some meat and cheese they'd bought for lunches. I baked some fish from the (frozen) discount rack at the grocer (half-price king salmon!), some spices (see below), and some crushed up taco shells that were mostly taking up space. Add squash from our garden and salad from the bag and we had an excellent meal for almost no outlay.
- One of our guests works at a company that sells spices and flavorings. He gave us a bunch of nice samples. Some of them were put to work immediately for dinner. Others are "staples" for us and will save us having to buy more when the time comes.
- We took them on a river cruise on the Mississippi River. The excursion company sells "season passes" over the winter; the entire cost of the pass was more than made up by this trip; we've taken two others this year and will take at least one or two more before the season ends with the month. We definitely will buy a pass for 2016.

Just before our guests arrived, our dishwasher decided it was done. I really thought it had more in it -- most of it has years and years left. But troubleshooting shows the fill pump has had its -- umm, fill. Since the dishwasher is 13+ years old, parts are no longer available from the manufacturer. There are some pumps being sold on the Internet, but few of them are new and those cost around $150 and the replacement is not trivial. In researching possible replacements and talking with people, it appears that nowadays dishwashers last 10-15 years tops, whether you buy one for $299 or $2499 (http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/G6985SCVIK2O.html). :0! Still, there are differences in how well they clean, how noisy they are, etc. And the cheap ones are almost worse than not having one (I know, not everyone cares to have a dishwasher, but having one makes my life simpler).

I bought a demo model of the same brand (13+ years apparently is pretty good) for about 30% off the regular price and got them to throw in a 5-year extended warranty. This model uses even less water than our current one did and the company apparently is making even better dishwashers now, so even though it wasn't cheap, it will be a fine dishwasher and should be for at least another decade. Now to research the other appliances, most of which were purchased later than the dishwasher....

Still using collards and kale from my snowbird neighbor's garden and hoping that the tomatoes on our volunteer tomato plant turn red before frost hits. It will be my most prolific crop this year, numerically speaking. Odd that I didn't even plant it directly.

10-7-15, 6:31am
Poke weed is a poisonous plant to humans especially children.

10-7-15, 7:05am
Beautiful arrangements, rosarugosa! Lovely pictures.

10-7-15, 7:41pm
Good score on the dishwasher Steve, although a drag that it needed replacing.
WilliamSmith: I do know that poke is poisonous. We don't have kids, and I do have this arrangement in one of the few places our cats can't reach. Thanks for the warning, though.
Thanks, Catherine!

10-7-15, 8:54pm
Good score on the dishwasher Steve, although a drag that it needed replacing.
WilliamSmith: I do know that poke is poisonous. We don't have kids, and I do have this arrangement in one of the few places our cats can't reach. Thanks for the warning, though.
Thanks, Catherine!

well, I like to think I would have felt bad if I read that your pet died or a grandchild became I'll and I did not say anything....but I'm not sure about it. Those arrangements were very well done ....I should have mentioned how nice they were. I'm still trying to fit in.

10-8-15, 12:56pm
I should have mentioned how nice they were. I'm still trying to fit in.
You're doing fine. Really.

10-8-15, 7:16pm

early morning
10-10-15, 1:09pm
Any idea why I can't see your pictures?? I don't recollect having problems with pictures before...

Float On
10-10-15, 2:28pm
Steve, I sure which a 5 year warranty had been available with my last dishwasher....that lasted less than 2 years.

10-10-15, 4:15pm
Early, Can you see them if you go to my profile? I uploaded them to an album in there titled "Rosa's Home & Garden," and then linked from there to the post. If not, perhaps Alan would have some insight?

10-11-15, 7:19am
Cheap date at home with DH last night. Pasta & meatballs followed by free movie from the library at home. I love the fact that I can order things online from the library and have access to a bunch of other libraries via the inter-library loaning system, and I get an e-mail when my item is ready for pickup. I still can't get over that this is available free of charge!

Chicken lady
10-11-15, 8:02am
We to renfest yesterday. I realize going is not frugal, bu I packed some food and left it in my car. I could walk out to the car, eat my food, and walk back before my kids got to the front of the lunch line!

early morning
10-11-15, 11:26am
Chicken lady, I've not been to our almost local ren-fest in years, and I do so enjoy them! Thanks for the reminder, maybe we'll get it together and go this year!

DH found some volunteer pumpkins in the field that were a nice size, so I have fall decorations on the front porch now. My Dsis bought me a mum, so that's another nice touch of color out there. I sold my old red wicker rocking chair that was a bit large for our tiny porch,and moved up one of the old metal chairs out of the yard. It looks much nicer. Except for the blue and white star patio lights we put up for Christmas last year and did not take down (my stance is that stars are patriotic and therefor appropriate for all seasons). But about half of them are burned out and look a tad silly now... and they ARE the porch light. I found some other patio lights I really like, but, frugally, did not buy them. Ended up in the big city yesterday (well, Columbus Ohio is big to me!) moving some of DS's stuff to his new apartment. Took our pickup, which is a real work truck, 15 yrs old, flapping fenders, overall ratty. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies going over. After, we took the opportunity to visit the Mall o' Trendiness there - where, I kid you not, my lovely truck was on the target of several sneers and snide remarks. It was hysterical! I told DD I wish we had planned to eat there, and we could have had the truck valet parked! THAT would have been a hoot! (we have strange senses of humor, I know...) Honestly, I think it was the only vehicle I saw that showed evidence of wear and tear. We walked around the fake town, checked out a lot of fun stores we like, bought one small Christmas gift. DD bought some soap/lotion she loves on sale, and we and our very useful truck headed home happy. It's been chilly here lately, but the furnace only came on once, to make sure it WOULD come on. We haven't replaced it yet. DH is still "investigating options". Which means nothing much, grr! Today I'm hanging laundry and pulling weeds before checking on my mother. I'll probably take a purchased coffee beverage *cough*starbucks*cough* to DD at work, since I like to stop by and see what's happening. DD works on Sundays at a local museum where I - and other family members- also volunteer off and on - it's one of our favorite places.

Rosa, I was able to see your pix - but couldn't enlarge them at all - on your profile page, thanks! Cool stuff! I think my computer is too old, the updates for things often won't load and I'm afraid to reboot, since it tends to have to be done multiple times to get everything to load.

Seems like a quiet month on the frugal front - but you all are such an inspiration to me, so thanks for posting, everyone!!

Chicken lady
10-11-15, 12:06pm
Hey early morning, if you're near Columbus it must be the same renfest. - Ohio.

If you haven't been in years though, I should warn you - fewer craftspeople a more made in china. The spinner and weaver are gone, the potter is only sometimes, and the blacksmith and glassblower are new.

early morning
10-11-15, 12:44pm
Harveysburg, yes. (And I'm about an hour from Columbus - near enough for me!!) I heard they had a new jousting field? I've not been for years, there was NO mass market stuff except for some trinkety jewelry aimed at teens. I bought some wonderful handmade leather covered journals for gifts, and loved the craft area, which was at least TRYING to be of the period. Thanks for the warning - I'm not good with unanticipated change, lol..

10-11-15, 4:26pm
We saved $3550 in car repair expenses by working a deal with the repair shop to provide our own parts and pay them top dollar for their hourly charge for labor. The price dropped from an eye-watering $5500 total to $1400 for their labor plus our buying the parts ourselves for $550. They wanted to use dealer parts, but we found a reputable after-market dealer and provided our own (new) parts. It's an old (2002) car, so we don't need to keep it in showroom condition.

10-11-15, 4:45pm
Wow Selah, that's a huge savings indeed! Good for you.

10-11-15, 4:46pm
Wow Selah, what a great difference in buying your own parts! A great savings!

Chicken lady
10-11-15, 4:53pm
Nice job on the car.

Earlymorning, the jousting is better, yes, and there is till a lot of nice leather and metalwork, but the jewelry is everywhere and much imported. The leather workers aren't working on site anymore. There was a lot of steampunk stuff too. A lot of it well made, but....

10-11-15, 4:53pm
We went to nicest and great craft festival called the Covered Bridge Festival at Knobels amusement Park. The park is very old fashioned, no hard skaping, antique carousel (sp?) and many nice things about it, nestled in a valley between mountains. There was free admission, which they alway have and free parking which they also had. They had free music and a free show of cloggers, a folk dance. We went through so many tents and I am happy that I didn't buy anything. DH just bought french fries that was it. We did go out to eat beforehand to a pizza-parlor which was the minimum we could spend on a meal. We brought our own snacks and drinks in the car. So it was an all around great experience, except for the gas we spent!

10-11-15, 7:21pm
My garden is ON!!!:cool: I've had to purchase: 2 pineapples and 2 package pectin, 2lb good parmesan cheese, 1gallon organic EVOO, 6 bunches cilantro (mine died), 20 heads of garlic, 12lb of summer squash/zucchini (mine did nothing), 1/2gallon of cider vinegar........and add it to garden harvest.

1. 28 1/2c size pesto cubes in the freezer.
2. 52 pints of salsa
3. 9 1/2pints of tomatillo salsa
4. 16 1/2pints pineapple habinero jelly
5. 44qts ratatouille in the freezer.
6. 6 2c bags of green beans frozen

If it waits a few more weeks, we should get more salsa, tomatillo salsa and anything else I can find the time to figure out. Last year first frost was 10/23 so we're close. It's usually 10/31.

We still have a lot of bell peppers, habineros and some jalapenos and a TON of tomatoes.

Out of 30 cucumber plants prior to today, I picked 3 cucumbers. Today I picked 6. I may get another 6 if it stays warm enough.

So this is all feeling quite frugal. Couldn't buy all this organic food for my cost since all but tomato and peppers were started from seed.

10-11-15, 8:07pm
Wow Gardnr, it really is great that you are still getting garden produce....lucky you!!!

10-13-15, 8:01pm
Big frugal at the food co-op today. Rang up $100.01 in food and non-food items. But with our bimonthly discount coupon (10% off up to $100), our annual patronage refund ($11.76), this month's sales (on stuff we'd use anyway), and some coupons from the Chinook Book (kind of like those entertainment-coupon books, but with coupons for natural products and companies), I saved almost $30. It was enough to splurge on some ice cream for DW and a really good salami for me. :cool:

10-13-15, 8:27pm
Homemade pizza tonight, & convinced DH to use the pizza cheese that was well past its date but looked & smelled fine. Food waste avoided!

10-16-15, 3:40am
Hi everyone! Been a l-o-n-g couple of weeks. Work, community meetings and a few fun things for me. Haven't always been super frugal but, darnit, I give myself props for writing down everything I've spent and reconciled my accounts on the daily. I've also gotten really lucky by getting some Kmart surprise points that's resulted in a free iron, free wine glasses, an almost free "vegetti" grater than turns squash etc into noodley-shapes, and an almost free water bottle. And I entered a contest and won a new bra. Plus I received a few other freebies from Kroger, 7-11, et al. Also scored a free, year-long membership to a local museum. Really am looking forward to some of their lectures.

I'm also proud of myself for taking my own oatmeal, snacks and lunch to work. Am keeping a jar of Trader Joe's instant coffee at my desk. These are new habits I'm trying to develop. I've always been able but just never have.

This "mini habit" method really has been a game changer for me. My goals are small but I am keeping at them every day and noticing myself automatically writing things down, calculating alternatives on the fly, and even prepping my snack baggies without thinking. Very small steps, but definitely forward.

10-16-15, 8:13pm
I've given up soda. It took figuring out I have acid reflux to do that. Not only will it help my wallet, but my waistline, too! It's been about a week.

I'm going on a long weekend visit to a friend in Charlotte next weekend. The last time I had a pedicure was maybe a month ago and my toes are looking might ragged. I wanted to get them done again before my trip (I'm still wearing sandals - my feet are always hot), but didn't want to spend the $40 + tip since I've had a lot of dental expenses lately. So I spent $15 at Target on a manicure/pedicure tool set, cheap color & clear polish, cotton balls, & polish remover. I've already got a good foot file. I will miss the leg and foot massage, though! And that great massage chair!

ETA: I've also been very good about bringing my lunch to work.

10-16-15, 8:32pm
Great SL wins mastermind, and great that you are implementing steps that will help you that you weren't able to do before! Sounds like you are on a roll!

That's great Tradd that you are doing your own pedicure...In the past I always did my own mani and pedi and it looked very professional. I loved using Loreal nail polish but believe they test on animals which I didn't know then. Make sue you use a base coat and a top coat after applying your polish...it will look great. Don't forget to push back your cuticals before you start.

I'm really glad to hear that you are giving up soda...so toxic for the body...

Have a great time on your trip!!!

10-16-15, 9:03pm
Oof, both DH's and my smartphones are on their last legs. We bought identical models at the same time, so the manufacturer's planned obsolescence is working just fine. We found some good phones online so I bought them through a website that gave us a 5% discount, along with $10 off for another coupon code I had, and got free shipping. Not a lot, but doing it that way probably saved us about $40 in all.

We might just end up saving ourselves $250,000.00 if we decide not to buy this house after all! Both DH and I are getting nervous about "marrying" a house and having to love it "till death do us part." It's a great house, and I know there would be about ten minutes of joy if we bought it, and then that would be immediately followed by a lifetime of being anxious about whether we'd be able to hold onto it. We've decided to ask the landlady if we can extend the rental agreement for another year. (We are supposed to buy it in February, according to the sales contract, and are renting it now.)

10-17-15, 4:00am
Saw on a deal website that if I buy a few things I personally have no use for, I could get them free plus make $1 profit. Was tempted to go shopping til I remembered the gym closed at 10 and my health comes ahead of everything else. My little commitment to myself.


10-17-15, 10:52pm
Well, the pedi went well, except I dripped a bit of bright pink polish on my new purple bathroom rug. :( It's not coming out. Oh, well.

10-18-15, 7:56am
It snowed here yesterday. Off to the big box store where I have been watching the summer seasonal items prices. Bought an outdoor grill cover for $6 ........originally $30. Also a heavy duty wire cleaning brush $5... Originally $10. Now if my 2nd grade math is right, I saved $29 !!

Chicken lady
10-18-15, 9:13am
My daughter brought my heart grandson over yesterday because his mom was working. We were going to to take him to the pumpkin patch ($ pumpkin, hayride, cider and a cookie, maybe some gourds) but instead we spent the whole afternoon touring the construction site that used to be my backyard (we dressed him in my son's hard hat and vest from work) and playing in the dirt piles the dump truck left. His choice.

10-18-15, 3:52pm
Hi Tradd, maybe if you do a little research on the I
internet you can get that polish out?

Great savings Williamsmith, I too like to wait until the end of season to buy things that I need. Worked out great for you!

Chicken lady, sounds like such a great time for your Grandson! Such a great idea...

10-19-15, 5:11am
This is a relative frugal rather than an absolute frugal, but Sat night we went to the theater with DBIL & DSIL, small theater with reasonable ticket prices, "The Texas Chainsaw Musical." We had bought the tickets for DBIL's birthday, and all were happy for a good night out instead of adding more stuff to our lives. Talked about going out for food & drinks first, but ended up doing some takeout at the house with beer & wine, which had a much lower price tag.
DH cooked us a great dinner last night: couscous, asparagus & Argentinian pink shrimp. The shrimp were frozen from Trader Joe's and recommended by a co-worker. They taste somewhere between shrimp & lobster. They seemed pretty pricey at $10. a bag, but since they were wonderful and a bag will feed the two of us twice, it's really affordable for a high-quality seafood option. I guess they don't always have them; we had checked for a few weeks before we were able to get some.
Good work on all the frugals above. It's amazing how much you can save with the right timing, Williamsmith.
Tradd, I suspect you'll come out ahead in a pretty short time by DYI on the mani-pedi stuff, even if you do need to buy a new rug (which hopefully you won't).

10-21-15, 10:14am
Gardnr said

16 1/2pints pineapple habinero jelly

This sounds delicious. How do you use it?

10-25-15, 7:46pm
Great frugals, everyone! I haven't been around much this month as I've been very busy and not necessarily all that frugal. But I've had a few frugal wins so thought I would share with y'all. I've been bringing my green tea with me to work every morning for the entire semester thus far. Haven't bought any tea at school. I do have some tea bags stashed away in my desk so would likely just brew my own even if I did need a tea fix mid-day. I was doing really well with bringing lunch most days, but these past two weeks have been crazy so I've been less organized and on top of the lunch thing. Fortunately, I have my pre-paid lunch fund that I've been using to cover me on the days I've been buying lunch. So far, so good. In the first 7 weeks of the semester, I've used up ~$45 of the $50 I had loaded onto my faculty ID. So I've got ~$5 remaining + the $5 in bonus cash which means I'll likely make it through 8 weeks with only $50 in spending. This is such a huge improvement for me over last semester and far better than I had originally anticipated! At this rate, I'll probably only spend $100 for the entire semester, which is awesome considering that I had originally projected $150. Woo-hoo!!!

Been cooking at home for most dinners, too. Most notably, made a rice noodle-based concoction last night that allowed me to use up a bunch of spinach and a bell pepper, both of which were rapidly approaching composting status. Tonight is homemade pizza -- YUM. And I've been making 2 pots of tea out of one batch of loose tea leaves over the weekend. More tea, no extra cost (well, except boiling the water on the stove).

Beyond that, not much in the way of frugals. Just trying to hold off making any purchases, especially the unnecessary ones. And trying to delay the necessary ones until they are truly needed -- and looking for ways to save a bit along the way.

I did sell another 12 lbs of honey to a restaurant in NYC. That extra cash will come in handy along with the (tiny) paycheck from my occasional job at the gym and the (slightly larger) paycheck from a workshop I led last month.

Of course, just found out my health insurance premiums are going up $30+ per month in 2016. Ugh. Gonna have to investigate all the various options. Including landing a full-time benefited job.

10-25-15, 8:22pm
Frugals this week were just a matter of not going out and spending any extra money (so simple!) I redeemed credit card points for another $50 Home Depot gift card. LL Bean Visa gave us a free $5.00 gift card to Panera, so that can be free coffee for DH a time or two. Can't think of much else at the moment.

10-26-15, 1:09pm
I'm thinking about selling my iPad. I bought it in the spring but since I got my new MacBook Air in July, I've not used it as much. Really the MacBook and my iPhone are enough for me. I bought it for $400 and could probably get $200-250 for it. I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I use for reading. Yes, I think I'm going to do it. More money to pay down on my credit card.

10-26-15, 2:51pm
Just sold my iPad for $250 to a friend who bought it for her DH's Christmas gift. :)

I also talked with goddaughter's mom and we agreed I'd only buy for goddaughter this year, nothing for her sibs (parents said in the past I didn't have to), and nothing exchanged between parents and I. We'll still do cards, as I do every year, but that's it for gifts.

10-30-15, 8:55pm
Happy Friday, Everyone!

It's been a mix of frugal and non-frugal this week, but with more frugals.

I've been the most consistent in taking my own oatmeal and lunches to work than I've ever been in my life. I feel the new habit forming like it has a life all its own.

I did go out to eat twice but am allowing myself that.

Have nothing but pleasure reading planned for the weekend.

10-31-15, 8:04am
MM: Building strong, daily frugal habits is a huge win, and you are probably eating healthier meals as well. Good work!
I'm on day 3 of a 4 day weekend, and no financial indiscretions so far! I got 3 movies and a book from the library yesterday. Last night we watched Hotel Rwanda and DH made homemade pizza, so that was a great frugal night at home, and the movie was fantastic. I brought 3 things to the local consignment store yesterday, and I bought 2 things, but I used credits from previous consignments, so no out of pocket cost. I'm hoping we can do better on our grocery expenditures this week, but that remains to be seen.

10-31-15, 2:02pm
Sounds like a wonderful evening, Rosa.

I'm Intentionally avoiding the Halloween parties this weekend. I just want my iced tea IV and books. If I decide to do that out, I have a Denny's coupon. I may also go out to the movies. That's one of my things. But I've started taking my own snacks and, of course, I'm a "member" so I do get the occasional freebies.

Happy Halloween!

11-1-15, 1:29pm
Halloween night was another movie and a more luxurious dinner - baked scallops and Argentinian shrimp, with sweet potatoes. Groceries came in within budget, so I was pleased about that. Went for a walk in the woods this morning and we're going to see a play this afternoon, Mom's treat this time. So overall, a really fun weekend with a very small price tag!

11-1-15, 8:58pm
Rosa, please post that recipe. Thanks!

Here, uneventful day. Went to grocery store for my frozen dinners (lunches) and the bodega for fruit and bolillo rolls. Am set through Wednesday.

Did a few surveys today and cashed out a couple. PayPal should show up on the one by next week and the other by New Year's (the latter pays quite slowly).

It's my intent to spend nothing further until Wednesday. I've got rent and final, balloon installment on my dental implant this week and will be trying not to push either out another week. Wish me luck!

11-2-15, 4:43am
MM: DH didn't use a recipe, but describes what he did as follows:
Melt a couple of tbsp butter, mix with 2 cloves minced garlic, a couple of pinches of nutmeg, salt & pepper. Coat shrimp & scallops with this mixture in a bowl. Cover with a light coating of breadcrumbs, drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in casserole dish on 425 for 15 mins. He used 10 sea scallops and 8 shrimp for the 2 of us. The sweet potatoes were baked in oven separately.

Good luck with your spend nothing until Weds goal. I have a dental crown to be started at the end of this week, so that won't be cheap, even with fairly decent dental insurance.

11-2-15, 1:16pm
Being sick and stuck in the house is really good for the budget! I started feeling wonky Wednesday, went to doc Thursday, was diagnosed with flu. Tamiflu Rx set me back $60. A friend brought me a few grocery items on Saturday (cost about $15) but wouldn't let me pay. But otherwise, I just stayed in bed or in the bathtub, although that did use more gas for the water heater.

11-2-15, 7:12pm
Sorry Tradd, and hope you feel better soon. There are much more pleasant ways to be frugal!