Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Frugal Lists

Daily I strive to find thrifty or frugal things to make me happy. I try to keep a list in my day planner so that I have something to look back upon. Here are a few of the recent entries:

1. I was given a bag full of body wash and lotion. Almost all of these were brand new. They will save me at least $15 and will last for a year or more. I cannot stress enough how great Freecycle has been for me. I’ve given and gotten some nice things.

2. I was given a free snack at work today. I know it is not much, but each little bit helps and who can resist a brownie and chocolate milk?

3. My husband and I have stayed within budget so far this pay period. We have gone back to the envelope method and I think that is working. One thing we do that is different, is that we put $150 per pay period on a Wal-Mart card. We purchase gasoline at Wal-Mart since they have the lowest price in our town after you account for the 3 cent discount from using a Wal-Mart card. Rather than go into the store each time we need gas and get money added to the card, we put the allotted gasoline money on the card as soon as we get the cash from the bank. If we do not spend the total amount, we save the balance for something special from Wal-Mart. **I know that a lot of people dislike Wal-Mart and their practices, however, in my town, this is my only option unless I want to drive 25 miles into the city.** I know that $150 for two weeks sounds like a lot of money for gas. It really is, especially since my food budget is only $100! However, with gasoline hovering at $3.00 or more per gallon, it takes $45 to fill up my tank. If I only use my car to commute back and forth to work, I use an entire tank of gas per week. I commute 20 miles each way into the city to work. We are combining trips for other things and trying to stay close to home on the weekends. Hopefully the gas prices will taper off soon!

4. A person with whom my husband works had a tragedy in her family this week. We wanted to do something to help her and decided that the best thing to do was cook a meal for her family. I was able to make up a big pot of pasta and meat sauce by using items in my cabinets. Coupled with a loaf of sale priced French bread, we took the family a meal (fed 10 or so) for less than $10. We had leftover pasta sauce to freeze as well. I love being able to help without breaking out the emergency funds!

5. I was given a $3 discount on my manicure yesterday. I have budgeted for my manicure because it makes me feel so much better about myself. Plus I have very sharp natural nails that tend to draw blood! I’m going to do a pedicure at home today so that I can have pretty feet without the $25 price tag attached!

6. My husband and I have been finding the joy in small things: watering the garden, feeding the birds and squirrel, etc. I love that we are loving the simple things.

What are some of your frugal finds this week?

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