Facebook

13 January 2017

Five Frugal Things | The Gorilla Tape Edition

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.

This edition focuses on the magical properties of Gorilla Tape. Gorilla Tape is like ordinary duct tape on steroids and is a cheapskate's best friend.


1 - Backpack

About a gazillion years ago (okay, maybe just 18 years ago), Scott got a backpack from L.L. Bean. They're best buddies. There's almost a kind of bromance going on. That's the only explanation I have for why he still has this tattered, beat-up, old backpack. I've tried to get him to buy a new one, but he refuses.


One day, he showed me how he fixed the torn strap on the back with gorilla tape. It's almost like it's brand new. Assuming you have really bad eyesight that is. But he's happy and the backpack bromance lives to see another day. And of course we saved money by not buying a new backpack.



2 - Coffee Mug

Then Scott showed me how he used gorilla tape to secure the handle to his beloved coffee mug. This is what we call functional. It sure ain't aesthetically pleasing. But with all the money we saved not buying a new mug, we can invest in Gorilla Tape stock.



3 - Sewing Machine Case

I guess the whole Gorilla Tape thing was contagious. I even used some myself on my new sewing machine case for my Sailrite. I was too cheap to buy the special case designed just for this sewing machine ($200, no thank you), so I decided to look around for a relatively inexpensive plastic one instead.

I measured the base of my machine carefully and was over the moon when I found one that fit it perfectly, including the pins that slot into the machine which allow you to tilt it up, for $50.


One tiny problem - I forgot to account for the fact that the motor overhangs the base. When I went to put the lid on the case, it wouldn't fit.


If we returned it, we'd lose a chunk of money due to shipping and restocking fees. So Scott, being the ingenious MacGyver that he is, cut a hole in the side of the cover to accommodate the motor. It obviously isn't ideal, but it will allow us to more easily store the Sailrite once we're underway. Gorilla Tape came into play again as I used it to tidy up the cut edges.




4 - Cooking While On Holiday

One of the non-Gorilla Tape related things we did to save money over the past month was limiting our eating out while on holiday at Anna Maria Island. We had decided to splurge on renting a holiday cottage for a week when Scott came back to the States. We rationalized the expense as we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. But we decided to minimize how much we spent overall by cooking all of our meals at our cottage except for lunch one day at an Ethiopian restaurant.

Instead of eating out, we created our own fun that didn't cost a dime, like walks on the beach.



5 - DIY Boat Projects

We're trying to do all of the projects on our boat ourselves, rather than pay other people. The obvious advantage of this is that we save money. But we also learn a lot about our boat's systems in the process.

We've got a long list of boat projects that we need to tackle before we head off to the Bahamas, as well as some that we didn't anticipate, like replacing the exhaust elbow on our Thornycroft engine.

 

This exciting DIY project got added to our list when we hydrolocked our engine. If you don't know what hydrolocking an engine involves, all you need to know is that it's the opposite of a good thing. The thesaurus would tell you that the opposite of good is bad, but that hardly does it justice. We'll do a blog post about the whole disaster at some point. It will either be entitled "Coming Back from the Brink" or "Goodbye Savings Account." Who knows, maybe Gorilla Tape will be involved in this project in some shape or form.

What things have you done to save money lately? Any frugal tips and tricks to share?

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.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

26 comments:

  1. Hey, guys just have that favorite thing that we just feel comfortable with.
    Eating out is expensive. In an average month, we eat out one to three times. I work with people who eat out for lunch every single day. That's thirty to fifty dollars a week they are blowing.
    Sorry about the hydrolocking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my downfalls when working was buying coffee. Cutting that habit out saved a lot of money.

      Delete
  2. Hydrolocking? Is that something I'm going to do next?! I was about to say all I do is spend money - but that's not true! I just made a fender cover for our ball fender, purchased used from Sailorman. It looks like it survived a python - alligator attack. I made the cover out of a towel a guest left on our boat in their rush to leave and never come back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I pray you never hydrolock your engine. Well done on the fender cover and good fabric choice. That way no one will be tempted to steal it :-)

      Delete
  3. We have three levels of frugality: at anchor, in a marina and on land. And I doubt I need to point out which level is the hardest on the bank account -- damn you, Amazon.com!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazon makes it just way too easy to order stuff.

      Delete
  4. That looks like an expensive repair coming up. Just as well you are obviously good at being frugal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly why we're frugal - to save up for expensive repairs :-(

      Delete
  5. You know LL Bean has a life time guarantee on all their stuff. All he has to do is call them up and they will email a packing slip...send it back and they will send you a brand new back pack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be amazing if they'd replace his tattered one with a brand new one.

      Delete
  6. I didn't know about LL Bean and their lifetime warranty. Way cool. Okay, that's off topic.

    I need some of the tape.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is cool of LL Bean :-) Definitely not off topic.

      Delete
  7. I sincerely hope Hydrolocking is not the same as flooding the engine of a car :/

    Anyway...I too am on a frugal journey and went as far as selling my year old car and purchasing one for cash. Not as nice, but the payments I would be sending to the bank are now going into my kids college fund.
    I have cut out eating out as much (that is a really big one) and I am trying to find ways to cut down on my grocery bill, such as having soup night once a week, and a mac and cheese ($ .33 a box at Aldi!) once a week. The other nights I cook.

    - Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you've mastered the art of frugal living. As long as your car is reliable and gets you where you need to go, I'd say that's all that matters. College funds definitely take priority over a shiny, new car.

      Delete
  8. So far, I saved a lot of money this month, by spending little. :-) That is about to change tonight, though, when we are taking friends out to dinner...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I also had a back pack that will be 20 years old this year - Eagle Creek I think - so it's not just men. One strap is starting to fray - but now I know about Gorilla tape!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tell you, now that you know about Gorilla tape, you'll be putting it on everything :-)

      Delete
  10. It's funny how kids get attached to their backpacks! I have duct tape but will keep my eye out for the gorilla kind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gorilla tape is definitely worth checking out if you need something even stronger than duct tape.

      Delete
  11. Your frugality is amazing! If my husband read all these uses of tape, he'd be delighted and start using it on all the broken things that he WILL NOT throw away. I'm pretty frugal as a rule. I only spend on my internet connection and food. But things always happen, like plumbing problems, tooth emergencies, and now I REALLY need a new pair of glasses. The ones I've had for 12 years, and are taped together since all the little screws fell out of the sides, just won't let these old eyes see the laptop screen anymore. I've been putting this off for years & shudder to think how much it's going to cost...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lexa - you've cracked us up again with your comment. Keep them coming! Why is it that eyeglasses are so expensive? I'd like to get some new ones, but mine still work, so I can't see spending the money.

      Delete
  12. Could Scott use your Sailrite for his strap repair, instead of tape?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, that would have been a much smarter idea :-)

      Delete
  13. You should write comedy for a living, if you don't already, Ellen. LOVED the bromance story.

    Sorry for your troubles, but you definitely know how to laugh through your tears, and that's a gift. Thanks for introducing me to Gorilla Tape! Perhaps I'll use it to make a new dress some day. I'm always looking for money-saving tips.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ellen,

    I'm sorry to hear about your engine... I had that happen in an off-road vehicle once... bent a rod...

    I'm with you on Gorilla Tape!

    Perhaps my best success story is from mid 2014 when I was installing a new windlass on the boat. I was in and out of the anchor locker a lot. [Actually, I spent so much time in the anchor locker those couple of days that the locals in Anacortes started referring to it as my 'man cave...']

    Back to the tape repair [no, not on the new windlass...] I somehow ripped my favorite Duluth firehose shorts. They are stout as can be, but apparently not when I wear them. Of course it was prominently on the backside, and the side without a pocket to boot... In order not to compound my deteriorating reputation as a hermit living in the anchor locker, I did a quick repair [on the inside...] using Gorilla Tape. [The Admiral has strict rules against work interruptions due to wardrobe malfunctions (or hernias for that matter...)]

    Those shorts are still my favorite, and still in use 2 1/2 years later... They have been abused, washed and dried dozens of times since then, and that original tape repair is still holding...

    Gorilla Tape; don't leave home [or the dock] without it... [I have read it isn't bad for temporary sail repairs also...]

    Best wishes getting your iron main back to normal...

    Cheers! Bill [SV Denali Rose]

    ReplyDelete

We LOVE when people leave comments. It's so much more fun hearing what you have to say. If you have a blog, make sure you leave a link and I'll be sure to pop on by.