Friday, August 1, 2008

Frugal Friday: Lessons Learned

I have not done a Frugal Friday post in a few weeks. That's because I have been struggling this past month - although I have been trying, I have not felt very frugal myself...The CVS deals have not been very good, the prices at Walmart seem to keep going up, the local grocery stores' weekly sales have not been anything to get excited about either, I had some additional grocery purchases for dinners that I prepared while away from home, and Mike needed some "emergency" medical items for his clogged ear (which ended ultimately with a visit to the doctor to remove what the doctor referred to as the most wax he has ever seen in a patient's ear - he said it would have taken 10 years for the Debrox ear drops to get rid of all that wax). So...the lessons learned are:
  • It is very likely that the fewer trips that you make to the store, the less money you will spend. (Due to being away so much of the month, I was not as organized in my shopping or my meal planning.)
  • Cooking meals while away from home may be more expensive than what you are used to at home but still less expensive than eating out.
  • Increases in the cost of food are apparent and inevitable due to the economy and inflation - do the best that you can, but plan for some flexibility in your budget (such as taking money from your "going out"/entertainment budget) and evaluate to see if it is time to increase your grocery budget a little bit when costs go up. (I was still under budget for the month, just not below my own frugal goal.)
  • Unexpected necessities happen, especially when it comes to medical care. We spent almost $20 in ear drops, decongestant, and an ear curette to try to avoid an unnecessary trip to the doctor, but...that's OK...the important thing is that Mike got what he needed. Sometimes a trip to the doctor really is necessary. (I am also relieved that he can hear me again - it's kind of funny because he keeps saying how loud everything is now.

...We did get in on a deal earlier in the week through Amazon Prime. Mike was able to get the movie Flywheel for free. (It was pretty neat because he has been thinking about getting the movie - it's produced by the producers as Facing the Giants - but just didn't feel it was the right time to buy it - then it turned out through this deal that he got it for free!!!) Unfortunately this was a one-day deal, so it is no longer available.

The good news is that today starts a new month!

Some money saving opportunities:

  • Anyone that uses PayPal may be interested in checking out Yahoo Revolutionary MoneyExchange. It is a new competitor for PayPal but the nice thing about MoneyExchange is that there are no fees associated with the transaction, unlike PayPal. Mike signed up and got free stat tracker for fantasy football ($15 value) and $10 deposited into his account. If you are interested, please let me know because there is a referral bonus offer as well.
  • is having a promotion where you get $5 off any item through August 8th. You can read about it here.
  • Get $6 in coupons for Cheerios at (I'm not sure, but I think they email you 1 $1 off coupon each week for 6 weeks)

As always, there are many other deals over at Money Saving Mom, but those are the ones that caught my attention this week.

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