Pursuit of Frugal October 2014

I was calling these posts The Pursuit of Thrift but I never liked that title so I am pleased to introduce the Pursuit of Frugal.
I have travelled a lot for work and I arrived home Thursday night and promptly came down with a bad case of the stomach flu. I am now behind at work, laundry is multiplying and threatening to smother us while we sleep if the dust bunnies don’t get us first and I am cranky. I would ask for a little cheese with my whine, but honestly I don’t think I can stomach any dairy right now.

I just finished downloading our September transactions into Quicken
and it is not pretty. Our monthly spending was $2,000 above normal. Why?

  1. Hockey fees were due this month (over $1,000)
  2. Back to school
  3. A family wedding
  4. Family Christmas (yes, you read that right)

I still managed to find a few frugal hacks last month:

  • I partially cut the cable.  I kept the basic $14.99 cable package just to avoid hookup fees in the event the house descended into anarchy.  I bought a Roku® Streaming Player to replace the cable and so far so good.  We are going through an adjustment period but I feel confident that we will be able to go cable free now.  The one problem we do have is that we no longer have access to Nascar races.  This is a problem.  In protest, my family has watched Talladega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on a continuous loop. What can I say?  “Shake and Bake!”  We will be saving $100 a month.
  • I cashed in my hotel rewards points to pay for our hotel at the out of the town wedding we attended.  I also stole all the unclaimed centerpieces to sell at our next yard sale. Shameless! (The bride did not mind – honestly!)
  • I used some of our credit card cash-back to pay for a tune-up for my car.  I don’t know how much more time my car has on this earth but I want her final years to be good ones.
  • Price matching!  My new obsession is price matching.  You do not want to be the person standing behind me in line at Wal-Mart.  Since I don’t own a smart phone, I have to price match the old fashion way with paper flyers.  I am that crazy woman with 40 flyers in my shopping cart.  Yee-haw!  I will give a full report after our grocery bill has normalized with back to school.

Overall it was a disappointing month spending wise.  No frivolous purchases or anything but just a lot of extra expenses all hitting at the same time.  More of the same expected for October due to some house repairs and Halloween.  Also it is time to start planning for Christmas part 2.

Sorry for the short post but I am going to go curl up on the sofa now with my soda crackers and ginger ale.  Thanks for reading.

 

brokeGIRLrich

21 Comments


    1. I like that we earmark our rewards for a particular purpose (cars) so it helps with the budget since we know any emergencies are covered.

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    1. I understand that the smartphone apps make it pretty easy to price match. Good luck if you start and thanks for coming by.

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  1. I’ve been tempted to go hardcore on the price matching at Walmart, but I normally limit it to big ticket items. How do the people behind you respond. Is it high fives or angry looks?

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    1. So far so good. I try to be really organized at the register so that the clerk can go fast. They do need to consider setting up lanes just for price matchers though. I imagine at Christmas time people might not be as patient.

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  2. Nice hacks! My friend worked at WalMart for a bit as a cashier, and said you don’t even have to bring proof. Just take you for your word. I’m 99.9% sure that varies by location, though.
    FF @ Femme Frugality recently posted…Busy SavingMy Profile

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    1. I was totally surprised at how helpful the clerks have been. Pleasantly surprised actually.

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  3. Ewwww I don’t like the F word…”Frugal” I mean!
    Good for you on the price matching. My mom is a price matching all-star. I still haven’t quite mustered up the courage to do the same. Do you only do it on some items, or are you looking to match everything? Do the stares bother you at all???
    Jonny recently posted…Is a House a Wise Investment?My Profile

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    1. LOL – I love the stares (not a fan of the glares though). I do try to match as much as I can but it does not turn out to be everything I buy. I started small and the sales clerks have been really helpful. Appreciate you coming by.

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    1. I am lucky because my local Walmart is well stocked so I just take the competitors flyers with me when I shop and they will match the price. No more driving from store to store to stock up. I drives me crazy when a store advertises a sale and then they don’t have it in stock. Thanks for coming by – I hope I am on the mend.

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    1. Thanks so much. I will have to post how the resale goes.

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    1. LOL – we have a Christmas in September for the people that winter in warmer weather – lucky ducks. We have a Santa show up and everything – I am sure people think we are nuts. (and they might be right)

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  4. Ouufff stomach flu, definitely no fun! Our summer month ends were horrid in the budget department mainly due to moving and related expenses. Even September was a little higher than I would like due to car repair and traveling. Take comfort in the great frugal successes you listed!

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    1. Thanks – hope I can find a few more before the end of the month. Fingers crossed October will be better.

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  5. If I were in the line up behind you at Walmart I would be seriously high fiving you! Kind of like the way I want to support breast feeding mothers, I think we need to band together!

    High spend months can be really discouraging but no doubt you’ll be back on track with all those savings on cable! Congrats on stemming the mutiny. Our only regret is why didn’t we drop cable sooner. I still have too much TV to watch with OTA.

    Even though you’re not feeling well, the snarkiness (which I love), still comes through! Hope you shake it soon.
    debt debs recently posted…Debtity-do-da! – Debt Repayment PlansMy Profile

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    1. The next 4 months are high spend – we make up for it over the summer months but ouch still hurts. I showed our spending graph to hubs and he was shocked. Wake up call is good every now and then. Looks like you are doing a super job on your repayment.

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