Sometimes being frugal is hard. Sometimes it’s easy, but either way, the feeling of accomplishment is there. Whether it’s scoring a great deal at the store, avoiding a tempting purchase, or finding a creative hack to save big bucks, it’s fun to celebrate.
Not everyone “gets” this frugality thing. Sometimes celebrating a frugal feat or admitting to a frugal disaster begs a special audience, people who get it. Well, friends this is it. On Fridays I’m open with our real life, real time frugality. It’s kind of a fun semi-structured way to open up.
I love reading your frugal adventures too, so keep them coming in the comments. I love reading them and definitely read them all, even though I’m sometimes slow to respond.
With Halloween, Monday felt like a weekend, so Friday really snuck up on me! It dawned on me Thursday night as I was reading the kids a bedtime story (definitely their choice, not mine), that I needed to mentally collect and write up this week’s frugal feats, flops, and funnies. Here goes!
Did you know that I love to sew!? I love to create new things, whether it’s sewing from a pattern or from my imagination, with fabric I purchase or fabric I creatively get for free.
Sometimes sewing saves money and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s okay. My main reason for doing it is to be creative and make unique one-of-a-kind creations for my family.
For someone who love to sew, I have quite a pile of clothes that need mending. While I enjoy sewing, I hate mending. How un-frugal is that?
Just ask my mom. Whenever she comes to visit and asks if there is anything she can do, I direct her to my mending pile. My mom is an excellent seamstress who doesn’t hate mending like I do. In fact, she kind of likes it because you get lots of quick wins.
Unfortunately my mom lives 2,000 miles away, so sometimes I have to face my own mending pile. Serious stuff, I know. That’s what we call “adulting”.
When it comes to the kids’ clothes in my mending pile, they’re usually out-grown before I get around to mending them. I guess they don’t miss them enough to complain about them.
My husband’s clothes are a different story. He doesn’t change sizes, he does miss his clothes when they’re out of commission, and his work clothes are expensive. Still I avoid mending like the plague.
I think my husband must keep more than the recommended allowance of things in his pockets (wallet, phone, keys, pens, etc.) because several of his suit pants are tearing at the side seam just at the bottom of the pocket. It only happens in his suit pants because the fabric is so much more delicate.
This week he asked me if I would mend his suit pants as an early Christmas present. He was really afraid that if they weren’t mended soon, they would tear beyond the point of repair. Well, suit pants aren’t cheap (and my husband is sweet and very un-demanding), so my frugal-self sat down and mended suit pants. And didn’t even complain.
That, my friends, is a frugal feat!
Other frugal feats this week include:
- Finding Chex at the store on sale for $2.50 with $1 off coupons stuck to them. Plus there is $.25 cash back coupon on Ibotta for any brand of cereal. I was super excited to make some “puppy chow” or “muddy buddies” (or whatever you call the snack mix you make with chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar and Chex cereal.
- Resisting the urge to go to the store the day after Halloween to buy clearance candy. It’s time like this that it is good to be far away from any stores, because when it comes to me and chocolate, the struggle is real!
- (See Frugal Funny)
If you read my monthly budget reports in their entirety (kudos to you, those puppies are long), you would have noticed that in October I bought all of the ingredients to make homemade laundry detergent. It’s not hard to do, but I just haven’t done it yet.
But if you’ve got kids, you know that the laundry does not wait, slow down, or ever stop. Not even when you don’t have time (ahem… are too lazy) to mix up a batch of laundry detergent.
Well since I didn’t want to surrender to the ever-growing laundry pile, I started using the laundry detergent I use for the cloth diapers. It’s name brand and much more expensive than my homemade formula. Well, the laundry kept coming, and I kept on using it. And yesterday I polished it off.
Yep. The whole thing. “Well, we’re potty training anyway,” I told myself.
On the bright side, I resisted the urge to just buy laundry detergent when I was in town today, knowing that I had all the ingredients waiting for me at home.
Now that I am completely out of laundry detergent of any kind of laundry detergent, it looks like I’ll be whipping some up tomorrow.
Because, well, we’re potty training, if you know what I mean.
I get pretty fanatical about Halloween costumes. I like to sew and be creative, remember? I love, love, love making family-themed costumes. But this year I let go and did not make a single new costume. Not one. I got the costumes out and let the kids choose.
My seven-year-old thought it would be an excellent idea to wear the penguin costume that I made for my 5-year-old back when he was 2. He didn’t care that the bottom of the penguin belly hit his waist instead of his ankles. He was determined to wear it, so I let him wear it to school.
When I picked him up from school, he was so over the penguin costume. I held my tongue and didn’t say “I told you so” at all.
After school we had about an hour before we went to a Halloween party and trick-or-treating to throw together a costume. He pulled together a pirate costume that he was happy with.
Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of the penguin. Trust me though, it was pretty funny. Here it is on my two-year-old three years ago though, so you can use your imagination for what it would look like on a second-grader!
It’s your turn!
- What were your frugal successes and failures?
- Any funny frugal moments?
I happen to hate mending too, and ironing! In fact, the most use I get out of the iron is to “mend” my husband’s clothes with iron-on patches. Heh.
That penguin costume is adorable. Too bad you didn’t get a picture of its latest debut =D
As far as frugality sharing, my husband and I actually had a sobering (though inspiring!) review of our spending this morning. We are looking to purchase a house in the near future, so we decided to really look into our spending. We have always tracked our spending, but today we realized that recent grocery budgets have spun out of control. We are going on an adventure to burn through all the mysteries stashed in our freezer, while cutting back our grocery budget quite a bit.
We also noticed that, though still minimal, there are quite a few little purchases that happen unnecessarily throughout the month. With a house at the forefront of our mind, we are eager to trim our spending!
Thanks always for sharing!
Oh I hate ironing too! I only use the iron when I’m sewing (something new). My husband wears dress shirts 6 days a week, but we splurge for the wrinkle-free kind because we both hate ironing. 🙂
Enjoy your freezer clean-out! I’m doing the same thing this month! Hopefully it will make for a low grocery budget! That’s exciting that you’re so close to a house! 😉
Chelsey Andrews says
My husband and I have the same birthday- and it was last week. We long ago decided not to exchange gifts but we usually have a nice meal and an evening away from the kids. Our frugal feat was enjoying a really fun date night that only cost us a total of five dollars! We got a gift card for a Thai food resteraunt that we love and only went over by five dollars). And I won 2 tickets to a hilarious show -and free popcorn -on the radio. The best part was that I had budgeted for the date- so I got to spend some of the money on a little birthday treat the next day.
That’s so funny that your husband and you share a birthday. I guess you’ll never forget it! My husband has a cousin who was born on her older brother’s birthday. She always hated it growing up. Then, to compound matters, she married a man who also shares her birthday!
That’s awesome Chelsey! That’s great that you budgeted for it and then the date ended up being practically free! Happy birthday (to both of you)!! 😉
My frugal flops of the last 2 weeks involve Amazon and Target online shopping. My husband and I got new cell phones about 2 weeks ago on Sunday. We went thru Target Mobile in the local store so that we could discuss plan options without the employee breathing down our neck and pushing us into something good we didn’t want. After we finished, we price matched an Otterbox case for my husband and I decided to buy a case on Amazon prime with a gift card I won. Went home and promptly purchased one (and a few other items on my wish list) thinking/hoping it would be in on Tuesday. It was scheduled for Wednesday so I went back to Target on Monday and purchased a $5 case to get by. Also on Sunday night, my son decided he wanted to be buzz lightyear for Halloween, so I purchased buzz lightyear sweatshirt from Target online, as well as another cute shirt for his b-day.
Fast forward to Wednesday and I had 2 packages from Amazon. Turns out I purchased 2 phone cases. I also was starting to get antsy because I hadn’t gotten a shipping confirmation from Target for the Halloween costume.
Thursday morning, I got an email from Target informing me my shipment has been delayed and that I should receive it between Nov 1-3. I immediately went on amazon prime and found the exact same sweatshirt for $5 cheaper and decided to return the Target sweatshirt once it arrived. The amazon sweatshirt arrived at 1:00 on Monday and it was a HIT!
Tuesday rolls around and I had 2 packages from Target – fine whatever. They gave me 2 shipping numbers so I assumed they came from different warehouses. I open them up and one is the t-shirt, the other is the sweatshirt and the tshirt. What the what?! Then yesterday, there was ANOTHER package on my front step from Target. It was ANOTHER SWEATSHIRT!
Anybody need a 4T buzz lightyear hooded sweatshirt?
That’s too funny Kellie! I hope you can do some returns so it can just be a funny and not a flop! 😉
Unlike you I did hit up the Halloween clearance sales. Halloween is still not terribly popular here – in fact a lot if people really hate the holiday – buy I host a neighborhood party every year. And since it’s not very popular, that means Halloween clearance sales are very good. The things I bought were a good 75% off. I even got a piñata that will work well for my son’s birthday party next year.
That created a small problem of no longer having space in the tub of Halloween decorations for my very few Thanksgiving decorations, but I solved the problem by rearranging some storage tubs, rather than buy any more.
Alas, any savings were promptly erased when we bought plane tickets to Hawaii. They were so cheap (about US $275 return) we thought we’d kick ourselves if we passed them up. I suppose the price of the tickets make it both a frugal feat and a frugal flop.
That’s great that you could stock up on Halloween clearance for your party! I’m all about hitting up the clearance when I have a purpose in mind. I considered going into town the day after Halloween and was racking my brain for a worthy use of clearance Halloween things (besides candy, because I have no self-control when it comes to chocolate).
That sounds like a fabulous price for tickets to Hawaii! Awesome! You guys are always getting great deals on flights. Do you stalk the travel sites or do you have some alerts for certain places (or prices) set up? I need you to write a guest post on this Becca! 😉
Australia has great cheap airfares. We had to pass up tickets to Paris for $550 return because we’ve already got another holiday booked for the same time ($100 return to Singapore, and we’ll fly somewhere else in SE Asia from there, for about $15 each way). Going to Asia in holidays is a great way to save money. Australians get paid extra for annual leave, and Asia is so cheap we end up making money on holidays.
Sjoukje - meergeldminderstress says
That Penguin suit is adorable! I love it how 7 year olds can be so determined to wear something. 🙂 Mine is just like that.
That’s fun that you’ve got a determined one too Sjoukje! 😉
The pants pockets ripping due to keys used to happens to my husbands pants as well! We got a key case which looks like a wallet. It folds the keys in so they don’t wear at the seams. It’s been a lifesaver!
I laughed at your story about the penguin costume! I like the bold choice. Halloween is one of the holidays we celebrate frugally with homemade costumes (we were a fortune teller and a gladiator this year made entirely from old costumes/and materials we had at home).
Ps great work on your last savings contribution! You guys are almost there!
My husband will be glad to know he’s not the only one destroying his pants! I think part of it is the keys and part of it is that he keeps his big ol’ wallet in his from pocket, not to mention is phone, a pen, and whatever else he happens to have. Thanks for the tip on the key case!
Hooray for homemade costumes! 😉
Lindsey Mozgai says
My frugal flop was losing the pumpkin lights that we bought on clearance last year. I don’t know what happened to them, but they are gone! So needless to say I was a little butt hurt when I had to spent 3.50 on them this year.
Bummer! I hate it when I get something on clearance ahead of time and then lose it!