November 17, 2017

5 Frugal Things I Did Today that Saved me $300 (& I’m chatting on video about it)


5 Frugal Things I did Today that Saved me $300

Last month, I started a new post topic called, “Five Frugal Things,” and I just loved it because it’s really just about sharing peeks of my life with you all. I wish I could do it every day because I think it helps to encourage all of us by thinking more intentionally about our daily choices, especially when it comes to spending money.

Don’t you think it’s helpful (and interesting) to read what people are doing to save money, and you guys, jumping in on the comments is my FAVORITE!! With so many new social media channels, people don’t comment like they used to and I miss that. The community was one of my favorite things about blogging, but I get it, we’re all so busy (and thus why I don’t write as much either, but I’m picking it up this fall.)

I live what I call an “80% off Lifestyle”. I choose to live frugally and save in specific areas, so that I can spend and give more generously in other ways. These choices have allowed our family to live debt free and while sacrificing the “wants for the needs” quite often can get discouraging, but when you finally save cash and buy them (woo hoo – our porch), the wait is so worth it.

So play along, won’t you?

Here are my 5 Frugal Things.

I’m typing this a day later, but that morning, I realized that by 1:00 pm, I had already saved $300 just by a few phone calls and some intentional choices that have become daily habits. 

1. Called my Car Insurance

As I sat at the DMV, it hit me that in less than an hour, four of our children from the ages 16 – 21 will be driving. Yes, I had a minor panic attic. Yesterday, my baby girl got her license.  (Well, not my baby. We still have a 12 year old too, but don’t all our kids feel like our babies?)

She woke up and said, I want to leave by 8 am, but as I pulled up the necessary paperwork, I realized I needed to show proof of insurance with her name on it and I hadn’t done that yet. Not one of my better mom moments, so I got on the phone with our provider, gave the the pertinent information and she came back with our new premium. I’m pretty sure I stuttered on the phone and made some gasping noises.

While I explained to her that I don’t doubt this quote, with four kids driving and the fact that adding just one driver just about tripled our amount, there had to be a better price that we could get.

You can imagine that we have a hefty insurance premium and any help was critical. I won’t go into every detail because I did write a prior post, Teens driving and how you pay for it all, which goes into more detail, but we just started brain storming. She went back and forth checking ways to switch things around and after about 30 minutes, we saved $200/year. I’ll take that price per hour any day.

This goes back to my point of Negotiating on nearly everything. If I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have saved.

2. Called Hotel Directly – 

I need to do a new post on this because we are in a mode of booking a lot of hotels with our #2 son playing college football. We don’t have flexibility with dates or with cities because we always have to stay the weekend on his specific game day, so I’ve spent a lot of time researching.

I always start searching the discount travel services like Travelocity, Orbitz, or Expedia to find the approximate going rate. I’ve used the “name your price” features that Priceline offers, but that only works when you are flexible with times.

After 30 minutes of searching online, I finally called the hotel directly and asked their rate. It was higher than the online pricing, so I explained that and asked nicely if they could match that. 2 out of the 3 hotels did automatically and then I also asked what discounts they offered such as Triple A. Again, they did, so I saved $20/night at two of the three weekends.

3. Frugal Fashionista shoe steals

Ever since I went to NYC Fashion Week with Payless Shoes, I’ve been a new stalker of their sales.

Seriously, do not delay. First, RUN your fingers to their website and sign up for the emails. (While I am a Payless Insider, they are not paying me to tell you this, nor do I get any commission, nor did they send me these. I just want you to find some AMAZING shoes for that wardrobe of yours because the right shoes, boots, heels etc pull an entire outfit together.)

 Amazing deals at Payless Shoes

While typically, I won’t say, “Oh, look how much money I saved when I bought these clothes, shoes etc” because the bottom line is that you are BUYING and spending, but my daughter needed black heels and so we set a budget of $20 and specially went in looking for shoes.

I came out with FOUR pair instead of one with money left over so then I bought tennis shoes as well!! 🙂

Let’s do the math on this. I bought FOUR pairs of sandals for $12 and some change. YES, TWELVE DOLLARS!!

How you ask?

Love these gold wedges. Gorgeous!

They have a BOGO 50% off sale going on both online and in store, but for the deals I got, I think they’re only in the store, so get there this weekend.

Frugal FAshionista shoes just $5

I asked the sales lady about the sign that says 60% off and if those shoes were mixed in. She said they were but that this one cart had all the sandals for $5/piece. The problem? They weren’t marked $5, but were marked $10, $15, $20, but she assured me they were $5.

Sure enough, when we checked out, they came up the full price, she changed them to $5 and then the second pair was $2.50, so of course, I quick found a fourth pair. Not only that, but then she let me use the 20% off coupon that had come through email that morning. (Payless sends coupons weekly, so watch for them.)

It was a GOOD, GREAT, AMAZING shoe buy day and now I should use the money I saved on a manicure and pedicure. HAHAH!! Didn’t realize that until I pulled the pics up on my computer.

Love these black heels for just $5

Keeping it real photo. I told my daughter not to get the dress in the pic. I’ve been living in dresses since I just find them more comfy in hot weather than even shorts. But this is an obvious sign that I do not believe in ironing. 😉 cantelope smoothie

4. Made my own homemade smoothie and made my own Starbucks. 

You guys, I’ve made it through 19 days of my no carb, no sugar, no yummy anything and I feel great. I’m continuing on, but slowly adding in good carbs, but I’ve been having a vitamin packed smoothie every day. So much better than spending $6 on them when you can make them on your own and they’re especially easy when you have Homemade Smoothie packets made up already. Watch the video to find out about those, but I will put up a separate post on it. It’s SO helpful to have them ready.

Need smoothie ideas? Years ago, 100 people shared there quick ideas here. 

5 Frugal Fitness Tips

5. Worked out at Home instead of a gym

This may not sound like a big thing, but for me, it is. I realize that the worst things when you are out of shape is starting to work out again and mainly, I need the accountability of other people at a gym or aerobics class. That adds up, especially if you don’t go enough to make it worthwhile. Our daughter joined the YMCA promising she would use it all the time (and pay half of the monthly fees). She started off strong, but now the last statement came through and I realized she hadn’t gone one in the last month. That adds up, so drop those memberships and save if you aren’t using them to their full potential.

Here are 5 frugal fitness tips to help encourage you right where you are.

Ok, there are my five.

Now PLEASE, share any kind of way that you’ve saved money this day, week or even month. 

I love it when you do!! We are in this together.


Now some tips for the replay of the video. Or click on this direct link if it’s not showing about.

For those new to Periscope, the video disappears after one day, so this may be a bit confusing for you to watch because the comments and interaction aren’t lining up on the screen like they do when it’s live. When it’s live, you can see that I am responding back to questions and comments that pop up on the screen. Now they are just off to the side and you have to scroll to read them, but you’ll get the idea. The video is a bit grainy, and at first I thought it was due to my country wifi, but others told me later that Periscope had been having glitches all day.

If you haven’t downloaded this free app, yet, go for it. There’s a lot of great wisdom and ideas out there and live is just fun to watch. Then search beautyandbedlam, add me and follow along. I’d love to meet you there. 🙂


  1. I love this topic! It is easy to list the obvious such as using coupons, for me this challenges me to think a bit more out of the box and I hope to be inspired by others.

    1. My favorite this week…not responding to my husband in anger, instead sleeping on it and approaching him in a respectful way and stating my objections in an unemotional manner. We have a large construction project that is on hold waiting for permits, my husband had approached our contractor early on about a small add on project which I approved since it was not too expensive, and in the long run would be cheaper to do while we had a crew working and several concrete trucks making deliveries. Unfortunately, he decided to accelerate the completion of the small project, giving our contractor the go ahead to get started – ignoring the fact we do not have a bid (and he figured it would add 50% to the costs since it would be a special delivery of concrete), we had not discussed what the finished project would look like, or exactly where it would be located, and we still have another new building we need a bid on. He was concerned about “losing face” since he had given the go-ahead, I left it up to him to decide. In the end he did tell our contractor that he had jumped the gun and we were not ready to proceed. Argument avoided and husband honored.

    2. Knowing our limits. As a part of the project there are a number of trees that need to be taken down. Initially, my husband planned to do it to save money. Upon further review he decided some of the trees might be in danger of landing on the water treatment shed or our house. (Potential savings – $3,000 home insurance deductible) I mentioned our contractor’s son-in-law who had been out doing some stump grinding pointed out some very tall dead trees on the property and let me know he is a logger and could take them down for us. He came out, called most of the trees weeds and cut them down for a case of Keystone Light. (Total cost under $20.00) We also have need for some electrical work, Todd has friends who work for the electric company who will do the work and bring it to code – they too work for beer. 🙂 – Potential savings $2,000.

    3. Bartering – we still have several large dead trees threatening the house if they were to fall. Our “tree-guy” noticed our old camper and horse trailer we have down by our shop. He is willing to trade services for the camper and trailer. We no longer have a use for the camper and have been intending to sell it. The horse trailer we bought from our neighbor for $250, he thinks he knows someone who will buy it for $600. He would take possession of the camper and keep the money for the sale of the trailer. We will not need to lay out cash for the tree services and get rid of “junk” in the pasture without inviting strangers onto our rural property to check out the items for sale.

    3. Reusing the trees we have been cutting down. The big trend now is wood coasters, trivets and cutting boards. My Pinterest board is full of projects. I made my husband save some of the trees for me (or him) to cut with the chop saw. I recent saw a 4 pack of coasters at Marshalls for $6.99 and see cutting boards for $19.99+. What I don’t steal for crafting will become firewood.

    4. Buying “bottled” water at the park. We have a well and while you “can” drink the water you really don’t want to. One local park has RV parking and provides city water – $1.00 for 50 gallons. As needed we load up 5 gallon water jugs and head into town to buy drinking water. Once our construction project is done we will have a new water treatment system and will not need to do this any longer, but it has saved us a fortune compared to buying individual bottles of water.
    5. Insurance savings – currently we only have this on the “farm truck”, but in the past have had it on a car that was stored for the winter – you can suspend insurance on vehicles you will not be driving on public roads. For just a few dollars a month your vehicle will be covered if a tree falls on it, or the garage collapses. For the “farm truck” we do also have tow insurance, if it breaks and needs to be towed to the mechanic down the road we are covered. If we want to use the truck on public roads we simply need to call our agent, the insurance will be reinstated in one month intervals.


    Jen Reply:

    oh my!! I LOVE< LOVE, love all your wisdom here!! So great! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Great video! You are so personable!


    Jen Reply:

    @Casey, Thanks so much, Casey 🙂 Have a wonderful week!


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