Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five Frugal Things-Spending to Save Edition

As the Frugal Retiree, most of the time I embrace a fairly frugal philosophy. Mottos like "smart women do not pay full price" are part of my day to day. Waiting for end of season sales, taking advantage of free coupons, and using places like Groupon when they offer discounted gift cards-those are all a part of my lifestyle. As are the occasional forays into yard sales and thrift stores. Truth be told, I do it as much for the thrill as to free up money.

Sometimes though, ya just gotta bite the bullet. Heck, sometimes it makes sense to bite the bullet in the short term, in order to get value in the proverbial long term. Which is why this week's five frugal things are about spending money. Spending to save, mind you, but still spending money. This weeks spends are mainly to save money ahead of time, but a couple of these spends are piece of mind or quality expenses of a one time nature:
  1. Once again, I spent more than $100 on shoes. As someone with debilitating leg injuries, and some foot neuropathy, I require really, really supportive shoes. But shoes that don't necessarily look very supportive. I allow myself an expensive pair from SAS per season,  but am trying to limit it to two a year. I hesitate to encourage others to spend such a large amount (for years I spent in the Clark's/Sketchers range of shoes), but those clunky brown sandals I shared on this blog three years ago are still going strong-and I have been known to even wear them with socks in the snow. It's also an endless source of amusement to my children that after SAS and Clark's, one of the most comfy shoe brands on the market is Walmart's Earth's Best line-unfortunately they only have like six styles a year. What can I say. I spend more on shoes in one year than I probably do clothing in at least two years. My priorities are on my feet!!
  2. I  got a brand new office chair.  You may remember that my high quality long term office and sewing chair finally died. To my credit, I did spend weeks looking through Craigslist. But I spend hours every week in my chair, much of that time rolling back and forth between the desk, sewing table and ironing space. Add to that my voluptuous figure and I decided the hundred dollar high backed chair was worth the price.   
  3. I spent $100 on delivered, pre-cooked and ready to serve food.  During the summer, we are often an "everyone fend for themselves" kind of group around here. One person likes to eat early, one person works in the yard until dusk is gone and one often works during meal time. I tend to accommodate this by slow cooker meals like country ribs and chicken, using the deli, and having salads and deli meat on hand. Sometimes though, it's been one of those days, when everyone comes home and we just look at each other. On those days, having a chicken bake that can just be thrown in the oven or zapped is invaluable-and cheaper than heading out to 3 Margaritas.  
  4. I bought some new clothes, albeit at Walmart. Even as I am working towards a modified version of project 333 (60 pieces twice a year) and downsizing my closet.  Why? I am ashamed to say that due to weight loss and attrition I had absolutely no simple cotton t-shirts.  Working out in a silky stretch top the other day reminded me that this needed to be rectified.  A small price to keep myself Silver Sneakering on Mondays and Fridays.  On the other hand, since I know many bottoms will not fit me in the fall, I've set aside an afternoon to cut some knit pants and sweats into shorts and crops and hem them.
  5. I bought fabric. And Yarn. One of my summer goals is to turn the fabric and yarn I have on hand into stuff-stuff that can be sold. After running a small poll on my local Facebook Word of Mouth type group, I've decided that some of that stuff to sell will be American Girl Doll bedding, and that I need some really soft, pretty fabrics to go on the back of the cotton fabric I am using up. Spending up front to make money later-it works for me.  
    Fabrics for doll quilts
    A pillow for using up all those small pieces of fabric
  6. I helped my son buy a new car. This is his frugal win, not mine (hence the five in the title). He bought a car because he decided the huge white truck known as BOB was too much for him now that he no longer had a landscaping business. In reality, I felt like I was just along for the ride. But since he paid cash for his truck, he wanted to finance this car. Fortunately his trade on on the truck was a fairly large amount (13 grand) and so he financed very little. And yea for Carmax. I did not have to be THAT person and grapple with folks trying to sell him extras for an hour. One of my talents in life is to be able to tell those folks who try and sell you things like unneeded car warranties or Barnes and Noble memberships to go to hell and have them thank me afterward. It's a gift.  
For me, spending money makes sense when it makes a large difference in life quality (that wow factor you know?), has to do with things high on my priority list, or helps me save or make money in the long run. For everything else, I'm a use it up, make do, extreme coupon, find the cheapies and freebies kind of girl.

And just to assure everyone that I haven't lost my frugal chops, we are eating in every day. I'm altering clothes rather than buying (see above). I'm still exercising every day except for two in my home.  I'm reading best sellers downloaded from the library. In other words, everything else is normal at Chez Barb.

Have you had any frugal wins, losses, or spends lately?

9 comments:

  1. Funny you mention Clarks and Skechers, my two favorite shoe and sandal brands. They have comfy innersoles which is important to me, reasonable prices, and they are attractive. Now that I know my sizes (different for each brand) I can order them online and find low prices.
    How good you helped your son buy his car. I think we are on the same wave length about retirement and saving money. I got myself a nice black leather desk chair for my retirement gift.

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    1. I agree, I often order my sketchers (which I use for silver sneakers) online. YOu will like the chair.

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  2. Congratulations on your weight loss.
    This is a wonderful practical frugal post!!!

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    1. Thank you, and thank you for stopping by. Keep on coming back.

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  4. The big $$ in my clothes budget is shoes for arthritic feet and permanent back things that need stable footwear. Clarks and SAS are my favorites. And I too sprung for a comfy and supportive office chair. Too Comfy maybe :-).

    My most recent win was when a family member gave me an small crockpot that her family outgrew. I'd never used one before and this has made many meals cheaper and easier. Buy large quantities of meat on sale and cooking it up all at once and freezing the extras to put in future meals is really working for me. Plus I have a electric outlet on my patio and I plan on crock potting out there. The added benefit will not heating up my small condo with meal making in our 85-100 degree weather in the summer.

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    1. Yea, for years I thought that slow cooking was for in the winter. And then I was like, yes, summer cooking. I dont take mine outside but it makes a large difference in the kitchen in terms of heat

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  5. Great post and it's a wonderful feeling when we can choose what to spend our money on. For years we were forced to buy cheap or go without and now we are in a position that we can afford better quality while tempering it with what we don't need to spend a lot.

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    1. Youve got it.I told my daughter I was wearing everythig walmart this morning except for my shoes and my really good bra. I have my priorities straight, lol

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