Six Frugal Things 11/17/2017

We’re going to India!

Two weeks of savings!

  1. We put a deposit on our India tour! We saved $456 off the regular tour price by reserving our spots now. We also booked our Perth-to-Sydney Australian train journey, taking advantage of an early booking discount. We didn’t realize at first that the prices were in Australian versus U.S. dollars, and the cost for our tickets ended up being $907.62 less than what we thought we would be paying!
  2. We did our monthly Big Shop this week, and stuck to our shopping list. Costco has several items  we normally buy for the holidays on sale this month which saved us $31.50.
  3. I cancelled a magazine subscription a couple of weeks ago, and last week received a $12.50 refund for the months that were remaining but that we wouldn’t be reading. This is the first time I’ve ever received a refund from a subscription cancellation, and it went right into the travel fund.
  4. I have a small amount set aside for “traveling clothes” for next year’s adventure, and used some of it last week to buy two knit tops from my favorite store, J. Jill, that I can wear fall through spring. One item was already on sale, but I received an additional 30% off the sale price. And, I found a coupon online for an additional 25% off the entire order. I love J. Jill’s clothing not only for their style, but because they’re well made and they last. I also bought one more pair of L.L. Bean’s Perfect Fit Pants and received a 25% discount, saving another $10.

    Our frugally wrapped Christmas presents look pretty nice! We bought some reusable ribbon the next year from a thrift store.

  5. Brett and I wrapped some of the girls’ Christmas gifts yesterday. We don’t buy Christmas paper any more, and use paper bags, newspaper, shopping bags and reusable gift boxes.
  6. We put $47.91 in to the change/$1 bill jar over the past two weeks: $1.10 change from the post office, $13.00 returned from YaYu (money she had borrowed from us), $9.54 back from the dentist’s bill, $11.85 from the farmers’ market, $9.76 change from our cable bill, and $2.66 from recycling.

What frugal wins did you have?

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12 thoughts on “Six Frugal Things 11/17/2017

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    Nice work! I also picked up some of the bargain Costco items. I’m hoping to receive our $700 Costco card (part of our Bolt car purchase) in time for the holidays. Fingers crossed.

    I rarely use wrapping paper any more for gifts at our house. My parents/sister still use them for the kids gifts for Christmas, as the thrill of “opening” is still a thing. Hopefully we’re almost past that, and can move on to more environmentally friendly options. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      We got rid of all of Christmas wrapping stuff when we moved over here, and some time before our first Christmas here I decided we weren’t going to buy any more. There have been no complaints.

      Fingers crossed here for your Costco card to arrive – $700 is awesome. We got a flyer for special local items that will be on sale at Costco on Thanksgiving weekend – we were going to avoid the crowds that weekend, but there are a few deals that are too good to pass up.

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  2. Shannon says:

    I just found your blog through a blog of a blog so am starting to read back “issues”. 🙂

    Not many frugal wins or losses for the week around here as it’s mostly balanced out since I’ve been recovering from oral surgery. I haven’t left the property – or really the couch – since we got back from the surgery Monday morning so no gas usage or spending anywhere.
    Because of the upcoming event, our grocery trip was higher last week in preparation – both non-chewable food for me and simple lunch/dinners for better half. Sunday I premade as much as possible which I’m thanking my former self for doing.
    Surgery in general is not usually frugal and this cost us about $350 out of pocket but is something I’ve put off for several years and should improve my general health, not to mention having the problematic tooth (and it’s wisdomy neighbor) removed will not make me dread/reschedule routine cleanings which will also help in the long run. Especially because I’m not in a hurry to do this anytime soon again!

    Thanks for sharing your peaks and valleys!

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    • Laura says:

      Having had oral surgery more than once I can honestly say “I feel your pain” both in having to eat soft foods and pay for the surgery. But, it sounds like you planned well for all contingencies so that you can take the time to heal and enjoy the accompanying frugality.

      I’m glad you found the blog and hope you will stick around!

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  3. Isabella says:

    It was more of a frugal surprise for us. My husband had his meeting for open enrollment, and we found out that the type of insurance we have will pay 100% for the co-pays we have dished out this year (cancer treatments and surgeries). He is employed by a hospital, and we know how blessed we are to have this stellar insurance.

    I try to wrap gifts economically too, but I don’t go quite as frugal full-on as you! I’m off to Costco today to pick up our pies. Their large pumpkin pie, at $5.99, is a bargain in my book in terms of cost and saved time. I’m all about reducing the workload a bit these days.

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    • Laura says:

      Yeah for stellar health insurance! Such good news to hear that all those costs will be covered.

      Brett and I LOVE Costco’s pumpkin pie, and at $5.99 it is the best deal around (second only to their $4.99 roast chicken). None of our girls is crazy about pumpkin pie though, and if we bought one Brett would be eating the whole thing by himself so . . . not this year. I’m am doing a “cheater” Thanksgiving meal this year – details next Tuesday!

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  4. Anne says:

    I am enjoying hearing about your travel plans. We are older than you, all of our kids are in their forties, and for the past six years we have been traveling like there was a warrant out for our arrest. But we found that three whole weeks away at one time was too long, and ten days was about right, so I’m stunned that you are up for an entire year of traveling. But I’m anxious to hear about it.

    Another thing is that we can no longer stand ten hour flights in “coach” and paying for business/first class is simply out of the question. So we have stopped the international flights and are mostly doing road trips in America and one or twice a year to Hawaii. My husband is 75 and it’s simply a biological fact that the body slows down. There are a few distant sights that we wouldn’t mind seeing, but want to get there with one of those Star Trek transporters. 😀

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    • Laura says:

      We have tried to give ourselves enough time at each destination so that we don’t feel rushed, and can take a day or two off if we feel like it to recharge. Hopefully that will help keep us sane throughout the year. After that we’ll decide if we want to continue traveling or slow it down. We will still be going to Japan every year, and will keep up with that as long as possible.

      I am trying not to think about the long flights right now. We always look to see if we can get “premium economy” seats on long flights – they’re usually only a couple of hundred dollars over regular economy and in our view, well worth the extra cost for the extra inches of leg room and the amenities. We looked at one flight over to Delhi though where the premium economy seat was $2500 more than regular economy. No way!

      BTW, I loved your description “traveling like there was a warrant out for our arrest!” Too funny!

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  5. M'Shell says:

    Wow! It’s so wonderful that you booked both the India tour and the train ride. Having those dates pinned down will help you begin to plan other parts of your adventure.

    Also, that’s a lot of change in the change jar – great job!

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    • Laura says:

      Both the India tour and train journey had special discounts for early booking (plus the exchange rate with the Australian dollar saved us a lot as well – that was a nice surprise!). Since both had good cancellation terms we felt it was worth making reservations now.

      The amount in the change jar surprised us too!

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  6. Laurel says:

    So exciting to get some bookings done, isn’t it? Makes it very real. I’m looking forward to following along.

    Our Costco has stopped carrying the large bottles of Grey Poupon and we’ve had to buy them in small bottles with our regular shopping. This week I realized I could get them on their website and if I added other items to $75, we had free 2 Day delivery. (I’m probably the last person to know this…haha.) Anyway, I just added the regular stocking up items on my list and voila! On my porch two days later! Saved me gas the random things I tend to pick up that I don’t really need.

    I, too, loved Anne’s description of “traveling like there was a warrant out for our arrest.” LOL. We loved our trip to Italy, but after two weeks we were ready to get home. The Delta Comfort upgrade was SO worth the extra $$. I can’t imagine how I’d survive in coach for 9 hours anymore. I wish you good luck in getting some reasonably priced upgrades.

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    • Laura says:

      The two bookings we were able to do really does make it seem more real. It’s almost hard to believe that this time next year we’ll be in Italy (finishing up in Florence most likely). One of the reasons we’ve tried to set up longer stays, and stay in Airbnb rentals instead of hotels, is that hopefully it will feel more like “home,” where we don’t have to be out and about every day (even for meals) and can stay in and read and rest if we need to. I think the one part of the trip where we’re going to feel very tired is right after the India tour and our stay in Hong Kong, but we’ll be in Perth for a few days before boarding the train and will use the time to rest and recharge for the most part.

      We plan to upgrade whenever we can for flights. We’re sort of dreading having to be in coach again but we’ll manage. Neither of us is very big or tall so hopefully it won’t be too bad. We loved the Delta Comfort seating on our trip to Japan earlier this year – would book it again if the price is right.

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