View Full Version : May Frugals

5-2-17, 9:44pm
Found a like new pair of Keen brand Mary Janes at the neighboring town rummage sale for $1. Sold them on Ebay yesterday for $50 plus $10 shipping.

Went to my favorite work lunch place today and got the usual deal: 2 slice of pizza and a soda for $4 but had a coupon for a dollar off so it was only $3. (Actually didn't save anything because I put the dollar saved into the tip jar, those kids work hard!) BUT they said I could keep the coupon and use it again before it expires at the end of the month!

Applied and interviewed for another very part time bookkeeping job at a church on U of I campus. Haven't heard back from them yet. If I get this job it might entitle me to lots of on campus perks like all summer at the fitness center for $32 total. That would be great!

5-2-17, 11:30pm
Signed up for a Silver Sneakers (don't laugh) gym membership. Absolutely free for those of us of a certain age. They have group classes and access to all equipment.

5-3-17, 4:44am
I finished April slightly under budget despite paying my homeowners insurance for the whole year. My budget is level set for all months, so certain ones are more challenging than others. In May I have more freedom to spend and will have to get more work clothes but will want to make sure I don't go overboard.

early morning
5-3-17, 11:02pm
Hoping to have more frugals this month than last. Still not tracking, *sigh* - I really need to get my act together. I needed gas on the way home and due to being stuck in traffic, was concerned about making it to my cheap station. Got 1.5 gallons of more expensive gas, ensuring I wouldn't run out - and then filled up at the cheaper station. Like, 28 cents a gallon cheaper. Not that this will change my finances in any way (since my car only holds about 11 gallons), but I see it as a victory, lol. And it wasn't out of my way, so.... cut apart a tube of lotion so I can use it all. Worked my way through a handful of moisturizer samples that were given to me. Hung the bath towels in the basement, they make the dryer run too long (but did dry the washcloths, napkins, and hand towels in the dryer). I bought lunch out today between back to back work meetings, but it's the first time this year, so I don't feel too badly about it. Groceries were from Aldi, as usual. Broke an egg, but fed it to the cats, so not a total waste. That's all I can think of for now...

5-4-17, 12:52am
DH and I went to an AARP sponsored minor league baseball game last night for the grand total of $30. It included game tickets dinner, soft drinks, some marketing swag (tote bags, visors, etc), and a special seating/dining area right at field level. I even won a stadium blanket as a raffle prize. It was delightful!

5-4-17, 6:05am
Ate some free food at work and saved my lunch for my supper.

5-4-17, 12:27pm
Cleaning out freezer of last summer's squash. Combine squash with frozen black been something that has been in there, and bought liver for 4 dollars and cooked it all up to make dogfood.
Last week they had squash, fish, and blueberries cooked up. It is so nice to move some ofthis squash along, and the dogs love the food.

early morning
5-4-17, 11:05pm
found two sad bags of spinach in the fridge. Wilted them down with a little bacon grease - yummy! Went out to dinner tonight with a 2 for 1 deal; total for two walleye dinners including tip on the pre-discount price: 11.50. Took lunch to a work-group meeting. I will have to buy out tomorrow... Got a haircut finally, after several self-trims around the edges. I spend $20 including tip, about 4 times a year. I could get it cheaper, but I like the way this woman cuts it.

5-5-17, 2:05pm
Went garage saling today and found a baby garage sale (no surprise there). The women was selling BEAUTIFUL 4 piece outfits for 25. I found adorable Carhart coveralls with a pink flannel shirt and even found a baby swimming suit. I bought a bag full of clothes and gave her $4 (more than she asked). The clothes were pristine and many of them can be mixed and matched. It made my day. I hope my son's partner loves them too. If not, I, at least had fun! Also found a very nice black leather purse for a friend for $1. I bartered and got a beautiful bag to put the purse in to give to her (bag was free). Totally frugal, fun and beautiful gifts. The weather here is wonderful... sunny and cool. The day was perfect!

5-5-17, 6:52pm
Finally got a coupon to a clothes store and earned Kohl's cash to lure me back in the store, but it will be one thing I give my mother for Mother's Day instead. I got mix and match basics for work and stuck to my budget.

5-5-17, 9:29pm
Still logging everything AND I've started a new thing: I'm recording my frugal wins on my hotmail calendar. Reason being, for those days when I have none I can look to the others to encourage myself. It's not fancy; just where, how, and how much. For example, going to Del Taco, used c/o AND AARP discount = 1.46 saved. It's only savings if I'd've spent it regardless.

Aiming for my spending to reflect my lifestyle not the other way around.

Working for a client this week, was just shocked at how wasteful office staff was towards food. Ordered in, ate a few bites, declared themselves bored, let it sit out overnight, trashed it the next day. Not my business, but, yikes!

They ordered in for Cinco de Mayo. I scored a churro, some chips and guac. There was a lot of cinnamon sugar crumbs left at the bottom of the churro bag. I'm toting it home to add to my oatmeal tomorrow. Yum! That's how I roll but I'm keenly aware I can't judge others.

5-6-17, 7:56pm
Free entertainment today: went to the auto race track which the local auto-cross club had rented for the day. Watched experienced drivers and amateurs race around about a .6 mile track for a few hours while sitting under a shaded pavilion. My SO got to be a passenger on two of the races and had a blast.

5-6-17, 9:08pm
Cooked some soybeans someone gave my son that he did not want. Went to several shoe stores and only purchased two items in neutral tones, comfortable heights, and to company dress code. With these I can get by for awhile without my feet killing me from wearing heels for 8 1/2 hours a day.

5-7-17, 3:59pm
Rode bicycles with DH today for 30 minutes nonstop and did NOT stop at Starbucks! Saved money, time, and calories! (I know 30 minutes isn't a lot, but it's a lot for me.)

5-7-17, 6:04pm
30 minutes on a bike is quite impressive to me!

5-7-17, 6:21pm
Got free flowers from my mom who is thinning out her perennial beds. And I second that 30 minutes is impressive. Don't doctors recommemd just 20 minutes 3 times a week of cardio?

5-12-17, 1:10pm
Got a Groupon for a medical treatment that knocked the price down from $199 to $99, then did some internet magic and got it knocked down even further to $84. Finally did the legwork to switch over my prescriptions to a mail-order company through my health insurance, which should save about 35% on what I'm already paying. My doctor gave me some great advice about using an OTC treatment for a particular problem, thus saving me time and money---thanks, Doc!

My particular doctor is suggesting I do 90 minutes of walking or 60 minutes of biking a day, at least six days a week. Sigh.

early morning
5-12-17, 5:33pm
took lunch all week even on days it was very inconvenient. I almost always do this, but we've had several extended meetings at restaurants and if they provide meeting space and free wifi, I am sure not going to try to sneak in food, lol. This week all meetings were somewhere in house, so lunch went with me. Avoided happy hour at the coffee shop - avoided paying for anything at the coffee shop altogether this week. As always, bought gas at cheapest spot on my route. Picked up a DVD and book from the library for the weekend. I need to get some things from the big-box home store but I'm going through what we have FIRST, and make a list. It's way too easy to just go buy more of something I can't quickly lay my hands on, and justify it by saying "oh, it'll get used anyway" - unless of course I lose it too!! AND I'm leaving DH at home. He is like a kid in a candy store and always comes home with stuff we don't need, and often it is never used. In fact I've taken quite a bit of stuff back, and he has NEVER noticed. >:(

5-12-17, 7:18pm
Skipped Friday lunch ordered out. Will try to hold off on purchasing more clothes until I see how my 30 day review goes Monday. For years I have not wanted to spend money in this area and things are starting to literally wear out, but I don't want to invest in work related wardrobe items without assurances I am doing fine in this job. Today was a rare jeans Friday so I lucked out.

5-12-17, 8:14pm
I have not been frugal at all recently, but I'm going to turn that around and hopefully you'll be hearing more from me. I have been cheering you on from the sidelines. Last Sunday was a major long-planned splurge at a specialty plant shop I've been wanting to visit for 2 years (Seed to Stem in Worcester and I was like a kid in a candy store). Splurge I did, but decided that now it is time to cool it for awhile. I've been virtuous all week, working every day and always bringing my lunch. I've been reading library books, and I cut bleeding hearts from my garden and lilacs from my Mom's garden, so my house is full of beautiful free flowers!
Our plan to allow everyone to work from home 2 days per week has been approved, so that will save time, bus fare and stress, although it may eventually push me in the direction of a desk and monitor purchase to improve my ergonomic setup at home (currently a laptop on the kitchen table). Even so, it's a definite win as far as saving time and improving quality of life. The bus tonight reeked of stale pee, and there are some things you just can't put a price tag on :)

5-13-17, 9:37am
Yuck RR. I'm glad the work at home has been approved!

5-28-17, 6:14am
We had lobsters at home last night (from Market Basket), which was less frugal than the pizza DH made for us Fri night, but way more frugal that lobster dinner at a restaurant would have been.
Got an unexpected memo at work last week saying we can wear jeans this summer (never thought I would see the day!) This prompted me to return a suit I had bought last month and not worn yet. Better yet, I didn't buy anything else while I was at the store returning it.
I did buy some more plants, but I was biding my time for Bluestone Perennial's spring sale, so everything was half off.

5-28-17, 8:08am
Went to a lower cost area for my 45,000 car service. It is 2.5 times cheaper than near me in part due to no sales tax so well worth the drive, and I ensured there are no repairs needed before the warranty expires at 50,000 miles. I continue to buy work clothes, but am spending a reasonable amount because there are so few items that meet the strict dress code at work (the owner is in his eighties and has not kept up with the American move to ever more casual clothing), are comfortable, and are flattering at my age and weight.

5-28-17, 10:59am
We are on vacation (not frugal) and went to the grocery store for hot soup and rolls for lunch (frugal). Most of our sightseeing has been walking and checking out free local attractions (frugal) but spending occasionally on high end experiences like the puffin encounter at the SeaLife Center.(not frugal) Sometimes the most interesting things happen just when out and about walking like seeing the bald eagle up close when he was sitting on the boardwalk injured and waiting for rehab to come and pick him up or the sea otter swimming up and down the harbor showing off.

I think it is all about making good choices. Wish I could choose the weather.

5-28-17, 11:28am
Our CSA pickups started this week (paid $465 for the 20 week season). This provides most of the veg we can eat in 1 week. We'll buy fruit and protein. I get 2 dozen eggs/week from a RN at work who free ranges chickens on her 8acre "farm". $2/dozen-it's a steal!

I stocked up the fridge and freezer at Costco: $326. It's eating at home which makes it frugal. IE: Can't buy 4oz of tri-tip for $2 a serving. DH is marinating 1 piece and will smoke it for 5hours today. We'll have ready to go tri tip in the freezer for several lazy night meals.

And this weekend I'm planting our garden. Tomatoes/eggplant/peppers.....fresh for eating and in the fall harvest I can put up enough ratatouille for the year to use as stew, pasta sauce, chili base.

Other spending this weekend limited to plants and supplies needed to repair the garden drip system.

I see these expenses as investments in annual frugality even though expenses are high at the time.

5-28-17, 11:32am
We just dug a bunch of lilac volunteers and put them out in front of the picket fence my husband made out of free pallets. Then we covered the strip with two sheets I bought at a garage sale yesterdayfor 50 cents. Then we put some of the straw bales we used to insulate the house last winter over the sheets to keep out weeds and start the new garden area for bulbs.

So I guess the cost of our new lilac hedge (in a few years, anyway!) is 50 cents and a morning of hard work.

5-28-17, 12:11pm
I love lilacs. A whole hedge of them sounds lovely.

5-28-17, 12:48pm
I would love to see a picture of your fence, Tybee!

5-28-17, 11:01pm
We moved into our 1960s era "retirement" house on May 1 so it has been a month of spending more money than I have in a long time. I am chomping to make it feel like home but buying stuff new is so expensive. I try to see every expenditure for repairs or decor as another opportunity to be resourceful. I took some of the curtains out of one room and refashioned two panels into curtains for another. Bought a solid pine dining table set on CL at a very good price. Bought another solid wood dining table at a thrift store for $25 to use as a desk. Used coupons to buy things like paint from the big box store and then painted the rooms ourselves. Hoping I can take cuttings from or thin all the various plants that are popping up and start more gardens. It's endless but fun to be frugal.

5-29-17, 7:10pm
Pinkytoe: I like your "fun to be frugal" statement. I read a recent Frugalwoods post, where she talked about how frugality encourages creativity in solving life's situations, and I want to do a better job embracing that mindset. I also want to keep using Catherine's idea as a mental exercise to see if future retired Rosa would approve of a given expenditure.
Yppej: I need to think of work clothes as more of a cost of doing business, with the challenge of spending as little as possible!
Sweetana: I don't think vacation is necessarily un-frugal. A lot of people are frugal so they can have the money to travel. It doesn't sounds like you're maxing out your credit cards at an all-inclusive resort or anything like that. Were you in Maine? I would love to see puffins some day.
Gardnr: It sounds like you're doing a great job on the food front, and that is an amazing price for eggs!
We ate three wonderful dinners at home this weekend (accompanied by good wine values from Costco!), worked in the garden and walked the beach for recreation, and I did my semi-annual closet clean out for a productive project. It was a satisfying and affordable mix of work and pleasure.

5-29-17, 9:10pm
We are in Alaska. I lived there from 54-77. This is a memory tour since we don't think we will return.

early morning
5-29-17, 10:03pm
sweetana, I would love to have lived in Alaska - I've only been twice but it was SO lovely. I was supposed to have been born there in 56 - my parents had planned to homestead, but my grandfather guilt-ed my father into staying in Ohio- and my mother, who didn't particularly care if she lived in Alaska or not and didn't want to leave her family- never quite forgave him for not moving, so I've spent much of my life hearing about how I should have been born in Alaska, lol.
My big frugal for the day was re-homing a kitten we rescued this morning from my brother's hanger and his dogs. Much cheaper to give it away than the shots and neutering would have been. If we'd not have found someone to take him we would have kept him, but I'm rather relieved we didn't need to!

5-29-17, 10:54pm
How strange. I was born in Ohio and whisked to Alaska when 6 months old. No idea why Mom was in Ohio at 9 months pregnant. World is a small place really.

5-30-17, 5:00am
Sweetana: Do you follow Donna Freedman's blog, Surviving and Thriving? She blogs about simple living and personal finance and she lives in Alaska. I really enjoy her writing, but you might especially enjoy the Alaska connection.

5-30-17, 11:36am
Will check it out.

5-30-17, 8:41pm
Took the online Jeopardy test to see if I can win some money down the road as a contestant, but I feel like I didn't do very well. I probably need a show like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" where I have more time to come up with an answer. It looks like I will finish May a little under budget.

6-13-17, 4:48am
We followed up on a customer service issue we had recently with a local bank, and they are sending us a check for $100. There was a bit of back & forth telephone tag, but it turned out to be worth it.
Yesterday was the first day of my employer's 4-week, 200,000 step challenge, and I hit my 10,0000 steps for the day. I'll get a $100 gift card if I complete it successfully.

6-13-17, 5:11am
My taillight stopped working. I went to Autozone and asked if I bought the part could they install it for free. The salesman found it had come unplugged and I plugged it back in, no charge. My guess is it was jostled loose when I crammed the trunk stocking up on paper towels on sale - maybe an argument for the just buy things when you need them thread. And I know it would be better to not use so many paper products, but my son has severe OCD and our consumption will not drop below American norms.

For many years I have dreamed of visiting all 50 states, but in looking at the 14 to 24+ hour flight times, lack of direct flights, odd flying hours, and expense I have come to the conclusion going to Alaska and Hawaii are not worth my life energy and I would probably enjoy a vacation closer to home instead. From fighting passengers to invasive TSA agents to awful airlines I am not enamored of air travel either, but may try it to San Antonio, a city about 2500 miles away that I have always wanted to visit.

By the way I saw on the news a beautiful shot of rosa rugosa, the beach rose!

6-13-17, 8:55am
Yesterday DH finally washed the floor--he had the entrance rug lifted and the vacuum out for 3 days--so he finally scrubbed the floor and lo and behold found the library book I had lost that was going to cost sixteen dollars to replace. It had slid under the bookcase out of sight. I had looked for that book everywhere and was resigned to paying the replacement fee. Sixteen dollars saved!

6-13-17, 2:59pm
We are planning a cruise in a smaller vessel next summer - Vancouver to Alaska, along the inside passage. If you live close enough to drive to Vancouver that's an alternate way to get to Alaska.

6-13-17, 7:19pm
Thanks Tammy but I am on the East Coast. Today I went to Walmart and resisted the temptation to get one of those retractable garden hoses that folds up on itself. Instead I only got things I needed, including a cheap hat. I have now made the connection between sun exposure and my skin outbreaks, and I really should protect my scalp, where I don't put sunscreen, from skin cancer.