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25 July 2016

5 Frugal Things | Keeping The Cruising Kitty Happy


Katy at The Non-Consumer Advocate regularly posts about five frugal things she's done. Some things are big, some things are small, but they all help keep her spending down and her savings up. I've shamelessly stolen her idea (as many others have) and started to share my five frugal things on occasion. It's a great way to inspire me to keep looking for ways to top up our cruising kitty (fancy sailing talk for savings). Maybe it will inspire you to find ways you can save for your personal goals and/or stretch your income further.

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1 - DIY Auto Repair

When my vehicle got a short in its headlight, rather than take it into the local auto repair shop to have them diagnose the issue and fix it, I decided to try to sort it out myself by taking out the headlight switch, cleaning it and replacing it. Not only did I save the cost of a replacement headlight switch (around $75), I also saved the cost of labor by a professional auto repair mechanic (probably $200). I saved heaps of money and I learned a thing or two too.

2 - A Boozy Rebate

My friend Michele hosted a boat splash party last week and made the most wonderful taco salad. I don't know about you, but taco salad just cries out for a margarita or two. I brought some tequila and mixer with me and Michele magicked up some amazing margaritas using her ice maker. An ice maker on a boat! So jealous. {Sigh}

The bottle of tequila I bought had a $3 rebate offer. While that might not seem like a lot of money (especially after you deduct the 47 cents stamp), it's still welcome change in the cruising kitty for minimal effort on my part.

3 - Free E-Books On BookBub

The last time I did a frugal five update, my bloggy pal, Donna from Denali Rose, suggested I check BookBub out to score free books for my Kindle. I love it! Each day they send you an email with suggested books, based upon the genres you like to read, that are either free or cheap on Amazon. I've been adding a new free book to my collection practically every day since I signed up. Thanks for the awesome tip Donna!

4 - Making My Own Safety Equipment

As I'm sure it goes without saying, safety is pretty darn important on a boat. We have a number of safety items on our list of things to get including stuff designed to keep you attached to the boat, such as tethers, harnesses and another jackline. I've been doing a lot of research on the pros and cons of purchasing these items vs making my own. While the numbers don't add up for making our own tethers, it looks like I can make harnesses (for those times when we don't want to wear our PFDs with integrated harnesses) and a jackline for almost half the price of buying them ready made. After looking around for the best deals on the materials, I've ordered everything I need to make them and now I just need to get sewing. Sometimes DIY saves you money, other times it doesn't. So, it's worth doing a bit of research before you dive in.

5 - Saying No To An Ice Maker

As much as I love my friend Michele's ice maker, I didn't buy one for our boat. Sometimes, being frugal is about not buying something. To be honest, this one was an easy thing to say no to as we don't have a freezer on our boat to keep the ice cubes frozen or a place to store the ice maker. But, hey, it still counts as a win in my book.

What things have you done to save money lately? Any frugal tips and tricks to share? Could you live without ice cubes?

You can find more links to blog posts from ourselves and others on how much we spend and how we try to save money on this page.

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18 comments:

  1. Lots of great ideas here! I just made a wind scoop for our cabin using materials left over from other projects. Free A/C - can't beat that!

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    1. Making things from scrap materials is a great frugal activity! We've got a windscoop (given to us, not made) and it's awesome when we're anchored.

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  2. You are very talented. Way more talented than I am.

    I can live without ice as long as I have a fridge. I don't put ice in anything anyway.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I actually don't like really cold drinks, so I'm happy to live without ice, except when it comes to margaritas :-)

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  3. Can't wait to read more! I would love to live like this or in an RV and this is the plan when I reach retirement (hopefully someday)!

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    1. Thanks so much Gina! All the best in making your plan come true :-)

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  4. I couldn't live without my ice cubes. I guess a boat's refrigerator wouldn't be big enough to include an icemaker in the door.

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    1. While some boats have fridges with side opening doors, like you find in houses, many boats (like ours) have a fridge which you have to access from the top. Whatever you need from the fridge is inevitably piled under lots of stuff at the very bottom and you have to play some sort of fridge jenga to get it out.

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  5. You're very welcome to the Bookbub tip, I'm honored to get a mention on your Frugal Five!

    We have an Engel freezer onboard, it lives inside one of the dinette seats,but we hardly ever have ice cubes, because I forget to make them mostly. I'm not really a fan of super cold drinks, though I do love a good margarita. My brother makes the best ones, (secret recipe)

    Since I ditched the "business life", I save loads of money by not buying clothes anymore. I have been researching a trend called "capsule wardrobe". I tweaked it to apply to my circumstances, so now all I have is yoga pants, quick dry pants/shorts, t-shirts, and fleece. I also have 2 nice blouses, and 1 dress. All of my clothes are either black, grey, navy or turquoise, so that I can wear anything with anything. It's very freeing to not have to think about the latest style anymore. (And of course my sailing gear, kayaking gear, hunting gear, I don't have room for clothes.)

    Donna/Denali Rose

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    1. Everybody raves about the Engels. If our current cold plate fridge ever dies, it might be something for us to look into.

      I love your idea of a capsule wardrobe and sticking with just a few colors. That's another great frugal tip :-)

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  6. We usually have ice cubes in our freezer but don't use them often so I could live without them.

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    1. Now that I think about it, even when I did have a freezer, I don't think I used ice cubes all that often. That's probably why I can live happily without them now.

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  7. I just bought a new battery for my old (hand me up from our son) iPhone 4S. Apparently Apple wants you to send them in to get a new battery and spend $75 to do so. I bought the battery myself for $8.00 from eBay, and watched a Youtube video that looked easy enough to follow! A penny saved is a penny earned...

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Very smart and a huge savings by buying a battery yourself!

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  8. I buy in bulk whenever I can. I mean, really, why spend $2 or more on a box of delicious brownie mix when you can buy 6 for $10? But I also make a lot of things from scratch -- pizza (dough and sauce), salsa, pasta sauce, bread (at $5 a loaf that's a big savings), etc.

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    1. Making your own bread is a great tip. I'm always astonished at how much a loaf of bread costs in the store.

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  9. We used spare lines of the same length as our jack lines. Our fridge had a little evaporator area with a door, and things in there would freeze. Sometimes we would make ice cubes in the little area, but in remote areas or on longer passages, we preferred to keep frozen meat in there. When you are used to drinking room temperature water (which is around 80-90F), you get used to not needing ice. :-) Who needs an ice maker, a washing machine or any fancy equipment on the boat? It costs a lot of money, you need more spare parts, and they break, so need fixing or replacing. And, by then, you got so used to them that you will miss them if they break. Also, a little bit of "primitive living" is part of the boating adventure in my opinion! Most money on a boat is saved by being able to fix your own systems and issues. Well done on fixing the car, Ellen! I will follow your lead about the frugal things blog one of these weeks!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About

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    1. I'm really looking forward to seeing your Frugal Five one of these days. I think you'll have lots of great ideas and tips to share with us all.

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