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19 September 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 - Flip-Flops

Pretty much the only thing I wear on my feet these days are flip-flops (aka jandals or thongs). I've found that the 99 cents flip-flops from Walmart last far longer than the more expensive ones. Walmart always has a big tub of them on sale but the stock has been getting picked over lately and I'm not sure if they'll be restocking. So I grabbed a couple of pairs while I could to tuck away for when I need them. And the best part is, one pair rang up as a children's size (they still fit me) and only cost 50 cents. So two pairs of flip-flops for $1.49. Bargain. Not necessarily the most attractive shoe out there, but a bargain nonetheless.

Frugal Lesson - Sometimes, it's worth stocking up on something when the price is right.

2 - Dominoes

I have a group of friends that I get together with regularly. One of the great things about this gang (and there are many great things is that we're all living on relatively tight budgets. That means we're all happy to visit over a game of dominoes and have a potluck, like we did this weekend, rather than go out someplace to eat or pay for entertainment. Sure, I lost, but I still had a blast.

Frugal Lesson - Having fun doesn't have to cost a dime.

3 - Coupons

I don't normally use coupons as I generally don't buy the types of things they have them for. But when I was at the store the other day, as I was putting a package of chicken sausages (surprisingly, they're quite tasty) in my cart, I noticed it had a coupon on it. $2 off any Minute Rice product. Okay, I know what you're thinking - Minute Rice? But, seriously, this stuff is magic. It cooks up in minutes (clever name, they've got) which saves on propane. A box of brown Minute Rice costs $1.98 which means that it was free. Free is always good. But, wait, there's more! The Minute Rice had a coupon on it for 75 cents off of a can of Dole pineapple. While I normally buy the generic version, the Dole kind came out cheaper with the coupon. I like pineapple. It's a happy sort of fruit.

Frugal Lesson - Sometimes, brand names can be cheaper than generic, especially with coupons.

4 - Chop, Chop

Okay, here's a way that I've saved money for the past year. However, before I tell you about it, promise me that you won't try this at home. Consider yourself warned. Are you ready? Here's the secret. I haven't had my hair cut professionally in ages. If you saw my hair, you would know that this isn't necessarily a good thing. I made the mistake (aided by a couple of glasses of wine) of cutting my own hair last year. I saw this video about putting your hair in a ponytail and chopping it yourself. Seemed sensible. It probably wasn't. A friend evened it up for me later. Since then, I've just been letting it grow out, wearing it up pretty much all the time  and trimming my bangs as needed. Maybe one day I'll let a professional have at it, but in the meantime, just think of all the money I've saved! It's a good thing I never really liked my hair to begin with. At least that's what I tell myself.

Frugal Lesson - Maybe being frugal, isn't always a good thing.

5 - Star Trek

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I haven't seen the new Star Trek movie. I had planned on going to a matinee at a nearby movie theater but for some reason they stopped showing Star Trek only a few weeks after it opened. It was playing at another movie theater, but ticket prices are higher and it's farther away (more gas to get there), so I made the brave decision to skip seeing it in the theater. Eventually it will come out on TV or I can check it out of the library or somehow score a DVD at some point. Crazy, huh, what folks will do to save a buck.

Frugal Lesson - Good things {or cheaper things} come to those who wait.

What things have you done to save money lately? Any frugal tips and tricks to share? How much do you normally spend on shoes?

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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39 comments:

  1. You didn't see Star Trek? And you're still alive? Hopefully you won't make this mistake for Star Wars!
    Are you making a pineapple upside down cake now? Yummy!
    I have a plan for cutting our own hair: get some blue comb in dye. Comb it into only the last inch or two of hair. Cut the blue dye out! I'm more worried about Matt's than mine....shorter styles are tougher to keep looking good without a professional.

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    1. I can't believe I haven't seen it either. I made a Hawaiian type chicken recipe with the pineapple. Although, some pineapple upside down cake would have gone quite nicely with it.

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  2. I haven't seen the new Star Trek movie yet either, but I can't wait! I'm sure it's excellent. I'm impressed you can pull of those flipflops! Then again, we live in vacation central and do a TON of walking, so my orthopedic flipflops are a must. I'd love to have five more pairs just like them, but they are expensive.

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    1. When I do go out walking, I usually wear shoes with a bit more support, but then my feet get really hot. I'd probably do better with some orthopedic flipflops for serious walking.

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  3. Anyone serious about being frugal must read, and own, the Bible of frugal-ism.
    Voyaging On A Small Income, by Annie Hill.
    I've read it 3 times and am no where close to being able to brag..... except for my garden sprayer for a shower!
    Does "not ever seeing" a Star Trek movie count??

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    1. Our first boat in New Zealand was a sister ship to Annie's (a Raven 26). We saw her on her boat one day as we were passing by on ours and waved to her like crazy people. Never did get to meet her though unfortunately.

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  4. Hey, someone else who remembers that flip flops were once called thongs.
    You're in luck - the Star Trek movie is coming out on DVD very soon.
    When we gather with friends, we always play games. My wife and I also put puzzles together.

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    1. I used to love to do puzzles. Unfortunately, I don't have enough room on the boat to do them anymore :-(

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  5. I don't like the taste of chicken sausage, no matter how many ways I've cooked it. Turkey sausage works better for me.

    I like going to the matinees or morning movies, too, partly because they're cheaper but also less crowded. The problem is though, movies don't seem to last longer than a week at the theater anymore, and when you don't like to go opening day/weekend, you might be out of luck.

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    1. I've had some not so good chicken sausages, but I found a brand that's really good. The sweet Italian ones almost taste like the full fat pork ones.

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  6. I haven't had a haircut in almost a year and am going a little crazy with it. Not only is it long, but it's thick and super difficult to wash on a boat. I did save $40 (plus tip) by skipping it though . . . it wasn't worth it.

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    1. In some ways I wish I had thick hair in other ways I'm glad I don't, especially when it comes to washing it and having it dry so quickly.

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  7. I agree with Stephanie about skipping the professional hair person. My hair is really thick, and the strands are fine. I explored cutting it myself. It was OK, but I probably wouldn't last around here like that. Maybe on the boat. My stylist did give me a few suggestions on doing it better next time, so at least she's on my team. I have to buy some good flip flops before i go. I cannot get away with those cheap ones and envy your ability to do so. I need better arch support than that. Maybe a year of boat living will fix that problem.

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    1. I saw your post from when you cut it yourself and thought you did a good job. Much better than my attempt.

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  8. I havent seen the new movie either... and I rarely get my hair cut professionally..Im sure it shows but it isnt a concern to me. I choose to spend on other things. Like dog costumes for Schooner. Lol

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    1. I think you're investing your money very wisely in dog costumes :-)

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  9. I go for the sales, but I couldn't wear those flip flops. My feet would hurt like the dickens. I have to have good support anymore. Getting old isn't for the weak at heart.

    We don't go out all that much, but when we do it's never cheap. We have a budget and we follow that budget. That's what we do. We also look at our budget several times a year to see if we need to alter it in one way or another.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Getting old certainly isn't for the weak at heart :-)

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  10. I am frugal by choice as well as necessity. Sometimes I call a company to compliment them on a product, giving them feedback, and they often offer to send me a full value coupon (so I sometimes get things free thanks to their kindness). I always go for the sales at the grocery stores but just cannot afford to buy a huge quantity so I buy what I need and what I can afford every week! Great post, thank you so much for sharing. :)

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    1. I think that's great that you call to share compliments and even better when they send you a coupon.

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  11. I can't wear flip/flops, I don't like the slap-slap when you walk, I love my Keens. I haven't see the latest Star Trek or Star Wars, or anything lately. No money for those kinds of frivolities right now. When we get back to Wrangell, we can do those sorts of things. It's kind of fun there, the convention center shows the latest releases. They bring one in, show it on Fri/Sat/Sun, it costs $7.00, per person, and a huge bucket of popcorn for $4.00. It's one of the best values in town. We go Sunday nights because all of the smaller children are home in bed early for school the next day.

    Bill has cut my hair before, and did a fairly decent job of it. I have a hairdresser, but it's too expensive to go very often. I love my hair short, but I wish it would stop growing so fast.

    I look forward to your Frugal posts, always up to glean more ideas!

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    1. I used to hate the slap-slap noise too, but now I'm so used to it. I would think short hair would be harder to maintain yourself. You're lucky that Bill can do a decent hair cut.

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  12. As part of being frugal, I also haven't been at the cinema in ages. I really miss it, though. :-(

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    1. If you miss it, it's probably the wrong place to pinch pennies because it affects your quality of life. The trick is to save in areas that don't affect you much but you overspend without thinking about it.

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    2. It's tough when you have to make hard choices and give up something you love :-(

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  13. Not going to the hairdresser means big savings, when I hear how much female friends spend on this! I am definitely mentioning this in my "five frugal things" whenever I get to it on my blog. :-) We always cut each others hair - mine with scissors and Mark's with clippers. But, once a year or two, when I want my hair short again, I go to SuperCuts in our "home town" and spend $20. Worth it for a symmetrical bob Mark could never produce... :-) While flip flops were our only shoes on the boat, now we often wear hiking shoes in nature and I have one other pair of "normal shoes" and crocs. All are many years old and mostly "live" in storage. I agree with you that some of the cheaper flip flops work and last as well or longer than expensive ones!

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    1. I keep waiting to read your 5 Frugal Things ;-)

      The downside of the cheap flip-flops is the colors aren't great. The more expensive ones have fun patters and designs.

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  14. I like flip flops but I'd worry on a boat that I might lost my footing - same reason I hate my backless slippers - they're no good for running up and down the stairs. But definitely a bargain if they work for you.

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    1. You're right it can get slipper on a boat. I don't actually wear shoes on board for everyday life. When we're out sailing, I have a special pair of grippy shoes that I wear.

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  15. I do the craziest things to save money including cutting my own hair which I have done for years. I buy certain things in bulk although sometimes causes more trouble than I anticipated. I bought a 5 pound can of oyster sauce because I love it but once you open a 5 lb. can, you have to figure out where to put it.

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    1. This is so encouraging to know I'm not the only one who cuts their own hair. As for oyster sauce, I just can't imagine having a 5 lb can. That's a lot of oyster sauce :-)

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  16. Except for not seeing Star Trek, I completely get where you are coming from. It's pretty tight around here too. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. We all find our own ways to live on a budget. I'm sure you've got lots of your own tips and tricks on managing when things get tight.

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  17. Hmm, flip-flops - wouldn't cut it in this country (where, as I'm sure you know, a thing is something quite different). My money has to go on Goretex-lined boots!

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    1. Oh I can completely understand. I'm not sure I ever actually exposed my toes when I lived in Scotland :-)

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  18. I haven't seen the new Star Trek movie either - and probably never will. Just not my cup of tea (which I don't drink either). I do wear flip flops though, but not very often as I found out that my feet, knees and hips aren't very happy when I do it, so unfortunately I have to decorate my feet with expensive but oh so comfortable Teva. I do LOVE your way of getting together with friends - it sounds wonderful and like a lot of fun. We do that with our German friends every other week - someone hosts (i.e. opens his or her home) and everybody brings food and drink. Always works, even though we sometimes have pure dessert "dinners". Oh and the hair - I haven't cut my hair in years, always put it up, always looks messy but I like it. I'm so cheap...
    I love this post!!!

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    1. We had such a good time playing dominoes this weekend that we've made plans to do it again soon. Cost nothing and kept us entertained for hours. Glad I'm not the only one who hasn't cut their hair in a while :-)

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  19. Good tips, but I'm not sure I can really use any of them.

    1) My feet are way too big and I have to custom order ALL shoes. No way to do flipflops.
    2) My friends and I play DnD...not much cheaper than interactive storytelling.
    3) YAY COUPONS! (actual usable item)
    4) I am bald.
    5) Haven't seen most any movie recently, Star Trek included. Might see Passengers though if and when it comes out.

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    1. I had to google Passengers to see what it's about. It looks like it could be a good one. I used to play DnD when I was in high school with a group of friends. Good fun.

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