This was an enormously relaxing week here in Colorado. The weather was lovely, I had no obligations and now, because of the holiday, I don't have to leave the house for three full days except a quick run to church this evening. Mind you, I am sure I will leave the house, for fireworks or go go out to dinner or to go bike riding. But for four days, I don't have to be anywhere.
So while I always do the basic frugal things of every day life, these are a few of the more intensive frugalities of my summer week:
- I cooked in bulk from scratch twice, so that we would not have to cook or order in on those hot days. Twice I used my slow cooker to make barbecue ribs and chicken cacciatori. In both cases I have enough for meals for leftovers as well as freezer meals.
- I did that ever so boring chore of getting on the phone and the Internet and comparing costs and offers for car insurance, cable and a few other monthly expenses. Unfortunately I live in the land of monopolies when it comes to energy, but there are always other things to negotiate and it looks like I will be able to lower my cable bill.
- I purchased a "lunch cooler" so that I can take lunch with me in the car. Yea, this is a thing. Now that I am doing silver sneakers, I have an activity one half to one hour after class on two days(knitting on Wednesday afternoon and a class on Friday afternoon with silver sneakers from 11:30 to 12:30). The past couple of weeks I have purchased lunch via fast food outlets. Extremely un-frugal as well as unhealthy. I now have a cooler to carry lunches and snacks as needed and I probably should have gotten it long ago.
- Because sometimes you have to spend up front to get a better deal, I purchased a month of "punches" at my rec center instead of paying for each class when I arrived. Even with my senior discount, this lowered my cost per class from five dollars (ten bucks twice a week) to three dollars (six). Unfortunately federal retiree insurance does not cover Silver Sneakers (the first time I have been disappointed with my insurance).
- I made two kimonos from fabric on hand, in 30 minutes. These kimonos still need finishing and at first blush may not be considered frugal. But they are one of a kind. They match my fashion style (as opposed to the mainly white, black, sheer and floral kimonos I found in store). I mean really, a bright yellow silk tank and black crops should not be topped with a white kimono with red and pink flowers. While this kimono may not be cheaper than those in Walmart, Target or Ross, it's certainly on an equal par with clothing found in Nordstrom's Dillard or the like. And I really love the blue, lavender, green and yellow look. just ignore the total selfie look, including the "I've been in the sewing room all day hair".
As for those two semi-non-frugal things:
- We went out to the local Greek restaurant with a two for one coupon-and brought home enough food for another two meals each. It's actually a tragedy. The owner of this restaurant was on the phone to his family in Syria during the American bombings, when they were killed. So we all try and go there when we can. Aside from the emotional support, for twelve dollars each (before discounts) we had large plates of lamb, rice, salad, vegetables and more, and we each ate less than half. Leftovers are a gorgeous thing. Especially in the summer when trying to avoid cooking.
- I explored grocery delivery. In fact, next week I'll be asking the readers their experience in this area. I've decided, even as I work to cut the grocery budget more by eliminating those delivery cooked meals, that grocery delivery makes sense for me, even if there is a small fee. My groceries are almost all "big box" stores like the Kroger Marketplace. I hate grocery shopping, and it is VERY difficult to go up steps with a cane and carry groceries. Ask me how I know. So I've pretty much decided that grocery delivery with a side trip to the farmers market may be a viable, frugal option. More to come.
What about you? Any specific frugal efforts this week? Feel free to share!