Saturday, February 21, 2015

Frugal Fridays - Saving (and Making) Money While Loving Retirement

 Well, folks, I believe in the next month or so this blog will be moving to Wordpress. This has been a tough decision, but once I decided to be more active, and to change this to a retirement lifestyle blog from just a frugal blog, it seems to be the best fit. I'll keep you updated on this, and hopefully all will go smoothly!! Please be patient with me on this one!

In order to enjoy my retirement to the fullest, I need to make frugality (both active and passive) part of my lifestyle.  For the most part, this frugality fits in seamlessly with my days, and I barely notice those frugal things, because they are pretty ingrained and generally not such a chore. Sometimes retirement frugality is more out of the box, and sometimes, it's even an effort. It is, however, rarely a chore, and rarely does it truly inhibit me from doing what I want to do.

A fellow blogger regularly writes a column entitled "five frugal things".  In this case, I figured I would take a leaf out of her book and share the regular-and irregular things that have happened this week to keep my budget in check, as well as one, well, not so frugal thing!

  1. As is my regular habit most weeks, I had a full social life while spending little money.  My knitting, book and game groups are all part of various meetups or newcomers group, where the cost of attendance is generally a latte or a single happy hour wine.  This makes my weekly round up of fun very cheap, except for discounted supplies for knitting or sewing.
  2. I self-entertained cheaply as well. I'm taking a free Craftsy class, two in fact (one on learning to design and sell patterns and one on cake decorating).  I just finished binging on the first season of Bosch (yes that's Harry Bosch) on Amazon and am working my way through those Midsommer Murders on Netflix.  This is not a "free" activity as I pay an annual membership on one side, and a monthly membership on the other side. However since I do watch TV and movies, this cost saves me a great deal over my movie outings. Add that to my NY Times Sunday crossword, two kindles books and my sewing and designing and I've had a busy week.
  3. I did go to a real movie, at a matinee, using a Christmas gift card and my rewards card. My next visit will be free with my rewards. I don't mind going to the movies at a matinee, as I enjoy the quiet, and can spread out my snacks and coat to the next chair. My new favorite theater has fully reclining seats.
  4. I grabbed a few freebies during my quick online daily perusal. Today these included a free Cadbury creme Easter Egg, a free advance ticket to the Will Smith movie Focus, free Krispy Kreme donuts, a free Redbox rental, and a free coke coupon
  5. I downloaded a $10 off $25 at JC Penney coupon. I do this every week, although I don't use it unless I have a reason to go near that store.  Their Foundry for big and tall men offer extra long sizes from size large onward, which means eventually I will have a pile of long sleeved turtlenecks and shirts to gift my son-which actually tuck in past his long torso.
  6. I used the Retail Me Now app on my phone to check for any instant coupons when I went into Joannes to get thread-I have a variety of apps on my phone offering discounts and deals that I keep handy, and lets me cut less coupons.
  7. I chose not to make reservations for restaurant week, when all the best restaurants have a multi-course dinner for $30.00. My readers know that I LOVE gourmet food. However the best dishes are often not available during restaurant week, and my goal is to eat well in Seattle, so for now I will forgo that temptation!
  8. As mentioned elsewhere, we are painting the living room and hall-with Sherwin Williams paint purchased with a coupon.  Discounted paint, a few hours dusting and cleaning walls and floor on Saturday, and painting on Sunday has saved an enormous amount of money.
  9. As always, I spent a few minutes each day grabbing the above mentioned deals, checking loss leader grocery prices and more.  This week, very few things were at my "best price" so my grocery shopping will be limited to produce and dairy products and a few other things.
  10. I had two medical tests: a thyroid sonogram and a trans-vaginal sonogram. My total copay for these was forty dollars.  This was less a frugality issue than a good insurance issue, but a money saving one never the less. Now to get up the nerve to do that colonoscopy prep.
  11. Finally, I downloaded a forty five minute exercise program from U-tube. Exercise is important to health and can be worth paying for. This one is probably both a time and money issue, as I arise at 9:30 or later, and often miss the exercise classes. For now, that online class, plus some walking will fill my exercise needs.
Into every life some rain must fall, even in retirement. To show you just HOW ill I was over Christmas, the federal government, in it's wisdom, paid me my teeny tiny pension payment-twice. So busy was I coughing, crying and general being a malingerer that between cross country driving and sending other people out to shop for me, that balance did not get checked.  The government, as always, takes away what it gives, however, to be sure-in March. Fortunately this is just a teeny part of my income, but the fast that I missed this is well-unusual.

And so it's gone, this week in retirement!


  1. Barb, I am on the last season of Midsomer Murders on Netflix. I have enjoyed it a great deal.

    God bless.

  2. If/when you move to Wordpress will we still find you at the same address, or will we need to update. Make sure to tell us; b/c I don't want to miss out!

    1. absolutely Tom. I'll be using the same domain, and it will all go smoothly. I thought about this for awhile, but I want to be putting many more pictures, I've had some troubles from blogger lately and so on. So the small monthly fee to me seems to be worth it.

  3. What a lot of effort goes into living frugally.
    I find we don’t spend nearly as much as we used to, as we get older our needs are smaller; we are content with less.

    We spend money on theatre tickets, groceries (we too like good food), several bottles of wine per week, the dog, and not a lot else. Health comes free in the UK and I walk for exercise.

    I use coupons if the grocery store hands them out but otherwise not. I find that coupons would make me buy things I would otherwise not want or need. I replace worn out clothes but where we live fancy outfits aren’t needed. The ones we have suffice.

    I wish my needs were greater, actually. I’d love to spend a bit of money. Even my books come from the second hand charity shop, unless I buy them on Kindle. We eat out a lot less too, we like evenings at home or with friends. Meals with friends are a bit of a luxury because I like to cook elaborate meals, but they are usually returned, so the outlay for them is also recouped.

    Any idea what I could do to bust my budget?

    1. Honestly, I find most of the frugal things I do fit into my daily routine. I agree that my needs are smaller. Entertainment wise I like really good restaurants as well. I'm a sucker for gourmet food and in Seattle I plan to try a new restaurant every night. I dress very casual overall, and just recently bought new clothing in the longest time.

      Please come by more as I am back in regular posting mode

  4. And thanks for visiting my blog. Can you not have German TV on satellite? You could have a dish installed which picks up European satellite TV maybe? So you would watch the Bundesliga?

  5. Well, since I posted that one, I have fund that online you can watch many of the German channels via a website. It shows ARD, RTL, and DWTV. We'll see if they have all the shows. I did see Alarm fur Cobra. And then there is an online website that streams six bundesliga teams a day, so I guess I am ready to again cheer for Bayern.


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