Penny Pinchers


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Walking…it’s cheaper than therapy

By Julie Norman
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lunchtime walks on the Riverfront trail are not only good for my mental and physical well being, they're free! As an added bonus, I get views like this.

1 comments

Waste anxiety

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On Saturday after coming home from the grocery store I started to panic a little bit...See, I'd forgotten we had dinner plans on Sunday and so, of course, I'd bought things for a meal for that night.  I had SO much produce! Immediately I started thinking, "what if I end up having to throw something out because it goes bad?"  This, in my penny pinching mind, is the ultimate failure. Waste. I HATE WASTING FOOD. Sure, I realize the starving children in other parts of the country or world aren't going to eat my leftovers, but that doesn't mean I should just not care when I'm basically throwing money into the trash. 

So instead of panicking, I tried to find solutions. On Monday since we didn't have any leftovers, I packed fruit and a big salad for myself.  I was able to use up some of the produce that way.  Today I made sure to eat cereal to use up some of my blueberries (they had the organic ones on SALE for super cheap!).  We had giant salads for dinner last night which went a long way towards using up peas from the garden and delicate lettuce.  

Tonight and tomorrow night we're having fajitas (with mushrooms, bell peppers and onion) and mushroom/black bean burgers which will, I think, finish off the giant bag of mushrooms I brought home and will finally get the produce back to a normal level. 

I can't help it...I get in the produce aisle and just go crazy! Fortunately my menu for the week has helped me to take care of most of this excess.  

In the end though, there's a fine line between being frugal and getting obsessed. If something gets thrown out (as some blueberries did the other day), it's ok. Maybe it's not ideal, but we can't beat ourselves up over things like that.  We have to just accept it and move on.  Be frugal when you can, but accept that sometimes things just don't work out like you wanted.

3 comments

Penny Pinching at the Airport?

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

If there's a way to pinch pennies at the airport, it is certainly not by following my example last week...

For instance, this beer was $7. It's also not the only one I had.

 

In my defense, I was stuck at the airport in Atlanta from 2pm to 7:45 pm waiting on my very delayed flight. I knew I was going to end up spending the night in Dallas and so, yes, I spent willy-nilly on beer and over-priced tourist products for people in Colorado.

Airports are horrible places for Penny Pinchers. They're full of tasty treats like Red Mango frozen yogurt, fast food that suddenly seems appealing, and trinkets to shop for when you're bored.  However, there are some ways to be frugal at the airport and here are a few ways I did that:

1. I had a Starbucks giftcard from Valentine's that I used for a Chai when I arrived at the Atlanta airport and needed a pick-me up before heading to Athens.  

2. I packed an REI water bottle (empty) in my backpack. This way, once I was through security, I could fill up my bottle (Dallas even has a cool hands-free water bottle filler) and not spend money on bottled water or sodas.

3. I did take a few snacks with me and these came in handy Wednesday morning on my flight from Dallas to GJ.  I didn't have to spend more money on a breakfast sandwich or anything like that.  

4. I took my iPad. Before I left I downloaded a few magazines that I subscribe to and made sure I had several books downloaded to my device through the Kindle App. I also have a great free app called Magic Puzzles. This way I had plenty of entertainment and didn't need to buy any magazines or books in the airport either.

I could have done better by packing more snacks or not buying beer (obviously), but hey, at least I did some things right. Traveling is expensive enough. Throwing a water bottle and some snacks in your purse is an easy way to save a few bucks.

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I escaped Target for less than $100!

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I'm heading out of town in a few days, back to Georgia and the land of humidity and bugs.  As I started to pack I thought, "I have no travel clothes..." I have work clothes. I have gardening/cleaning/lounging clothes.  I have sports gear clothes. I even have the "good" jeans for going out to dinner...but clothes for actually visiting another place? I do not have those.  

To some of you that might sound ridiculous, but I don't want to spend the next 5 days ironing or trying to find the right outfit for the right event at the right time of day. So I hopped in the car on my lunch break and headed to Target.  Why Target? Well I also needed a desk organizer and a MicroSD card and Target has those and cute clothes!

I ended up with 2 of these skirts and some solid colored tank/short sleeved tops. The skirts were only $20 a piece and I'll be able to wear them for work, dinners, vacations...they can be dressed up or dressed down! I consider them the perfect skirt (at the moment).  They'll also be cool enough for Georgia and suitable for both lounging at home and visiting old friends. 

photo from Target.com

SO I think I did a good job.  I got clothes, the SD card and the desk organizer stuff and spent less than $100.  For a Target trip, that's pretty good!

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Gardening on the cheap

By Julie Norman
Monday, May 11, 2015

As I was updating the HBA's Pinterest page today I came across this post: Start a Vegetable Garden for $25.  

Her post actually includes building a raised bed, which you may or may not need.  In any case, it's an interesting read and a great way to get started gardening for not a lot of money. People always ask me, "What do you do with all that food?" We freeze it.  Freezing is a great and EASY way to preserve all that garden goodness.  Keep track of what you've got and by the time May rolls around your freezer will look like mine: bare :( 

Last night I used my last bag of peaches from last year (no, I didn't grow those).  I made a peach upside down cake and it was delicious! It's great to be eating yummy local peaches knowing that soon we'll be buying fresh ones again.

Get out there and plant some seeds!

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