Tag Archives: cheapskate

The Frugal Gardener

Radishes, lettuce, rabbi, beans, green onion, beets, pumpkins, peppers, carrot and assorted flowers.

20 bucks:

SAM_080380 plants:

SAM_0809If half of these seeds take the savings over traditional nurseries will be huge. Add the new blooms to a fusion garden (low water usage) and save even more. Enjoy the fresh veggies over the summer and save on groceries. Finally if the weather cooperates and the harvest is good share with friends, neighbors and family.

A cheap and fun, win/win/win/win… priceless.

Share your tips on how you save money on gardening.

And Happy frugal gardening!

Two 4 One

Another great bargain.

I was shopping at one of my fav discount places over the weekend and noticed they had a sale on a name brand shampoo I use. I am not going to mention the product or store name because the frugal soul that I am understands if a major store chain, or product wants my endorsement they will need to pay for it.

Anyway the deal. Buy the shampoo and get the creme rinse for free. I was a little weary at first but went out on a limb and picked it up at a cost of $4.77. Later I was shopping at a retail grocery store and noticed the shampoo or creme rinse alone each priced at $4.89. I returned to the discount store and purchased a dozen more 2 for 1 specials. 🙂

We now have a years supply of shampoo and conditioner @ $50.00 less than the retail value.

Honestly, I am enjoying this cost cutting adventure, it is a blast. There is a sort of rush you get when finding that big deal. And this was a big deal!

Happy frugal weekend all!

My Beloved Olive Oil

I have been busy recently working on other blogs, etc and haven’t really written on the frugal end. Although there is so much to say on the subject. But today I came across an article online

Your Olive Oil is Fake

that has me seeing red, not green! First let me thank the poster of the article for bringing this to our attention. Yes the truth hurts but we need to hear it. Next let me say that although I am frugal there are some things I simply do not skimp on because of health benefits. Olive oil being one of those items.

I am absolutely livid to learn I have wasted hard earned dollars, and if you don’t know this, olive oil ain’t cheap. Even these so called fake brands are expensive.

So what did I learn today from this painful truth. First you cannot trust anyone when it comes to your health. Before you purchase anything that is a significant health benefit to you, do the research, and second “real olive oil” is apparently not great to cook with.

Sigh, more New Years rethinking on the horizon.

 

 

The Christmas Credit Card Bill

Yes it arrives just after we ring in the New Year without fail. Time to pay the piper for the excessive celebrating right?

Two years ago I asked myself that question. Is this really the price I need to pay every year in order to enjoy celebrations with friends and family? My answer was “no”.

I asked myself a few questions.

1. Am I willing to give up the Christmas fun to save money?

2. Is there any other way I can stop the pain and anxiety of that horrible bill that slides into the mail box each January to destroy the holiday high?

To the first question I answered no way. And so in January of 2013 I started budgeting for Christmas so as not to increase our debt load further and at the same time still enjoy the season.

I am no brain surgeon, and clearly those who know me will readily agree 🙂 But I did make a smart move a year ago. I pre budgeted for Christmas 2013 in January of 2013.

The results:

SAM_0620With this successful result under my belt, next steps blog about and implement a weekly/monthly budget plan.

I read somewhere that millionaires actually plan out their weekly spending. This got me thinking, why on earth shouldn’t we do the same?

Happy New Year and stay tuned. We are on the way to becoming debt free!

Santa’s Bag is a Little Lighter This Year

SAM_0423
Over the summer our daughter’s cat had kittens. We were able to successfully find homes for all 7 kittens. Recently one of them was returned to us because the child in the home is allergic.

I have been under a lot of pressure to allow the kitten to stay and finally relented. He is an adorable little guy. I must be honest the decision wasn’t that hard to make.

So this frugal Mama was sitting around today worried about Christmas budgets and also costs associated with having the  kitten, who will be 6 months old in January, fixed.

We can take him to the local SPCA and, at a cost of $60.00 have the procedure done. However, the wait time is 3-4 months on average and if for any reason (which you will never be aware of) they don’t receive your phone message request for appointment, you may never get a call back. At $60 this is the most cost effective way to go, but I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the process.

The next option is our local cat clinic. This thought strikes terror in my cheap little heart. Costs associated with veterinarian services here are through the roof or so I am told.

Finally tired of worrying about the unknown price, I made the call. Better to gather the information to help make the best decision, not only for the kitten, but the bank account as well.

Through a very polite, courteous and helpful person at the clinic I was delighted to learn the price tag was a mere $110. Here I was stressing an astronomical amount I had learned of through the rumor mill and internet for no reason at all. Can you say happy dance?

The frugal tip here, is make the calls and do your own homework.

As an aside for those interested, females are significantly more expensive to fix because the procedure is more complex. Just an FYI for those considering adopting a furry feline friend at some point.

I am one happy lady over here. Come the new year our adorable little Tigger2 will be all fixed up and good to go!

Please have your pets neutered/spayed. I have just heard too many horror stories of what happens to these unwanted little ones.

Thanks!

Oh, and pun in title. Totally intended on every level 🙂

Debtless & Cheap Save $2400/Year

In the spring of 2013 I took a good hard look at our bills. You know the ones, basic hydro, gas and internet.

The hydro bill was o.k. in terms of the monthly amount we were spending. We did manage to cut it back by 10% using common sense tips. Turning off unnecessary lights and switching to energy efficient bulbs etc.

Next came the gas bill. After speaking with neighbors and others I discovered we were paying twice as much for gas as others. Our furnace and water heater were comparable and efficient. What the heck was going on?

I carefully scanned the bill. There was a whole home warranty package and a water heater rental charge, as well as our rates were much higher per cubic metre than our local gas company was currently charging.

I called up our current supplier and told them two things. First I want to buy out the water heater and second I want to cancel my contract with them. After some huffing and puffing both requests were granted. Oh and the water heater buy out was a whopping 25 dollars. I can live with that.

We moved our business back to the local gas supplier who’s rates, while they will fluctuate,  are a few cents cheaper per cubic metre right now. With these changes made I cut our gas bill in half.

My final act was to call up the internet provider. Having been a valued customer for many years I couldn’t understand why my internet charge was so high. After negotiationg with them we got the monthly charged knocked down by 35%. Again I was satisfied with this, although it did take months before they charged me the correct amount. It was still worth those all the calls
I had to make to get it right.

Oh, almost forgot there was one final bill I received while all this was going on, the car insurance. They had raised the yearly rate by 35%. While there had been no claims or tickets the amount went up, why? Anyway I didn’t bother questioning the insurance company I talked around found a reputable company that offered the best rates and switched.  This needs to be done at renewal time to avoid cancellation charges.

By pulling my head out of the sand and doing the work, I managed to save us a total of $2400 for the year.

I am excited and you betcha we are looking for more and more ways to save. Call me a cheapskate if you like. I call it some of the best work of my life.

I have been reading great tips and tricks on how to cut your grocery bill. This weeks challenge, cut the amount I spend on groceries by 50%. If anyone reading this has I’m all ears, er eyes.

A final question. I was watching extreme cheapskates last night. A family is living by lantern to save money on electricity. Is this too extreme for you? Where do you draw the line between frugal and crazy?