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.)
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?
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.
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.
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. 😉
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. 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.