Saturday, July 1, 2017

Five (Mainly) Frugal Things, and Two Un-Frugal Things

Whether it's doing it myself, or making it myself, most of the time my "DIY" activity saves money. Coloring my own hair, cleaning my home (at least those portions I can reach), cooking from scratch, washing my own car. These all are money saving tasks.  Occasionally though, I DYI or MIM (make it myself) for other good reasons like originality, quality uniqueness, or creativity. Sometimes these things are money saving, in fact most of the time these things are still money saving. But occasioally those other values take over.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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).  
     Obviously, selfies are not my thing, and in both cases, the "I'm in my lounging around the house" cothing and matching hair is not exactly a fashion statement. But you get the idea.
  5. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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!

12 comments:

  1. I price-match at Walmart. I must go to a store that has electric carts. I use ads online for 3 stores and another six grocery ads that come in the mail, all together. I make my list from that and occasionally have coupon for the sale items. This week was a great week for shopping and saving money.

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  2. My daughter uses Safeway delivery. She can almost always find a coupon. She has been pleased with most everything, including the occasionally requested produce.

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    1. Janette, it and Walmart seem to be the best choices. Grocery delivery. Who knew?

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  3. Frugal is the name of the game at our house...the challenge this week is my husband has some time off, and sometimes his version of staycation costs more than if we had gone on the vacation that we 'couldn't afford' :)

    I also wanted to say your kimonos turned out really cute! One of my daughters recently dropped off a pile of fabric that she wants whipped up into kimonos (well, after I'm done with the curtains for her apartment...) Did you use a pattern for your kimonos?

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  4. Nice kimonos for your style and love of color. I am in the process of turning an old pair of jeans into capris and a scarf into a kimono. Fun.

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    1. Yes. Especially with the weight loss thing and my colors, alot of repurposing gets done round here. Sometimes it's a win, sometimes a loss, lol

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  5. Love your lunch bag, and your kimonos are very creative & I like the fabric very much.

    We've been on vacation, & had a fabulous relaxing vacation so far. The rest of the family (6 more people) arrive today & I'm super excited for that. It gets a little crazy with 10 people in this house, but it's fun. We'll do all of our normal things: make meals at home, keep activities to things that are frugal like kite flying, walks on the beach, etc. We may go to the arcade for one trip with the kids.

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    1. 10 People sounds like fun at least in the short term. This time of year, lots of frugal things to do.

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  6. Love your kimonos. Think I will fire up my sewing machine.

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  7. During the school year I used Walmart grocery pickup. Order it online and pick up at store. I thought it was fabulous. I made the pick up appt. when I'd be out doing errands anyway. Not quite as convenient as them coming to the house, but still saves me about an hour in the store and checkout line.

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  8. Since I've been living alone for about a decade now I enjoy not cooking a lot for just myself. My close-by grocers (4) sell what I consider really good, fresh meals perfect for one, also have delis where I can get a wide variety of foods, especially my self-designated weekly quota of salmon (or other fish), other protein-givers and veggies to pop in the microwave. Also, salads I can tweak or make from scratch, and fruits. As for eating out, I, too, find restaurant large serving sizes easily amenable to bringing half home for another meal. Difficult to come up with restaurant coupons for just one person but I manage to find a few to take advantage of. Most restaurant coupons I see include beverages plus are for more than one person and I don't want beverages, much less two, am generally alone, plus purchasing the second dinner to eat the next day often doesn't seem to reheat well -- and I generally like leftovers of any foods I've prepared myself in past years. Not sure what the difference is for me. I did order on the net for quick pick up a restaurant order with a bonus coupon I received for sending a gift coupon to a loved one. For whatever the reason, the order didn't go through so I had to sit and wait on it. Recently learned some young people renting a house nearby started a business delivering restaurant orders on their 10-speed bikes. Wonder how successful they'll be as would think a car might be better suited for the job if much food is involved. I'm keeping track of all the businesses and services I can use for home delivery if I need to in the future, but haven't tried any of them yet. Since my intent is to "live in place" staying in my home as I wrote about again in my current post, delivery services are an important cog in my retirement scheme.

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  9. I use Safeway delivery and really wish King Soopers would get on the train....I truly dislike going into the Safeway that is up the street from me, produce always looks gross, meat also and the shelves are always wiped out. BUT Safeway delivery pulls from the store in Superior and I have never been disappointed. It's 3.95 if you allow a 4 hour window, pretty easy for me to do on a Sunday afternoon or Friday evening, I would spend a lot more if I actually walked into the store.

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