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11 December 2017

Five Frugal Things | Spending Review, Printers, Discovery & More



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 and share my five frugal things on occasion. It's a great way to inspire me to keep looking for ways to increase the size of our cruising kitty (fancy sailor talk for savings). Maybe it will inspire you to find ways you can save for your personal goals and/or stretch your income further.

1 - Annual Spending Review

Every year, I look back on how much we spent, what we spent it on, and identify areas we can cut back on. This year, I've decided to cancel some Kindle magazine subscriptions as I have a number of unread back issues. This will result in a savings of $96 a year.


2 - Buying a Printer

Yes, it might seem counterintuitive to list buying something as a frugal activity. But I needed to print out a 330+ page manuscript and when I looked at how much it would cost doing it at places like Staples and Office Max, the overall cost was mind-boggling - $33 at 10 cents a page. I found a printer on sale on Amazon for $39 and bought it. As I'll need to do at least another two rounds of printing ($99 total for all three printouts), I'll come out ahead, even factoring in the cost of an ink cartridge ($18).

The one downside is that the printer is enormous so it probably won't make sense to keep it on our sailboat longer-term, but for a short-term money saving solution, it was a good deal.


3 - Watching Discovery for Free

I'm a bit of a Star Trek geek and when the new TV show, Discovery, was announced I got very excited. Then I got very disappointed when I found out it would be on CBS All Access, which you have to pay to view. I certainly wasn't going to pay $5.99 a month just to watch a show. Instead, I waited until all of the first half of the season episodes had been releases, signed up for the free one-week trial and binge watched them. After that, I canceled my subscription. Then they offered me another month free, so now I'm binge watching Madam Secretary for the rest of the month.


4 - Saying Yes to Free Stuff

Some friends recently offered us an ICOM M-710 SSB radio. Sure, it's an older model and the unit has surface rust on it, but it's free. How can you say no to that, especially when buying a new one would cost a small fortune.


5 - Getting Sailrite Discounts

The same friends told me that Sailrite has an affiliate blogger program. If you have an established blog that you post to regularly, you can apply to join this program. If you're accepted you get 20% off of everything and 50% off of your first Sailrite sewing machine. In return, you have to blog about your sewing projects, but that's something I do anyway, so I was happy to agree to that. If only the program had been in existence when I bought my sewing machine - 50% is a hefty discount.


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.

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25 comments:

  1. I still need to get that week free and binge watch Discovery. I wasn't paying for it either.
    Shame the printer is big. I don't know what we'd do without ours.

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    1. Binge watching it using the free trial is the way to go.

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  2. I continue to save a bundle by not having TV. Not only do I save money; I save tons of time.

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    1. That would be a huge time saver not to have TV.

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  3. We, too, save money by not having any cable TV subscriptions. I don't watch, so I don't care. My husband streams things he wants to see, and usually waits until they are free. Having taken a good look at cost/benefits, we're also cancelling our Amazon Prime.

    Biggest cost savers for us are doing our own cooking (not eating out) and preferring a hike to a show. Also prefer a tent to a motel room.

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    1. We save a lot of money by trying to minimize how much we eat out or do takeaway. It does make a big difference.

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  4. We all need to go through our expenses often to see what we use and what we don't. Some folks pay for things they don't use. That makes no sense. The other thing is automatic renew on things. I make sure that isn't it the mix.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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    1. The automatic renew is a mixed blessing. You don't have to worry about paying the bill, but then you sometimes end up paying for things mindlessly that you don't really need.

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  5. Great tips. The printer definitely sounds like a good investment. Ours was broken and printing things at the library definitely added up til we got a new one.

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    1. I had been doing occasional printing at the library, but for something this big, it just didn't make sense not to buy a printer.

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  6. I save money by never buying jewels, furs, or fancy cars. :)

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  7. I'm endlessly fascinated to read about how you live. ~grin~ It's an honor that you act interested in my mundane blog. As for savings, I sometimes wait until clothes have holes in inconvenient places before replacing them.

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    1. Don't be silly - your blog isn't mundane. Everyone's life is interesting in its own way.

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    2. Awww... You're sweet. And thanks for the kind words about Tilly. ~grin~ She is a doll baby as long as she isn't crying (screaming) for food, more fresh water, or attention.

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  8. It's not overly inventive or exciting, but I just said "no" to buying stuff I don't need. I was about to buy twinkle lights for my outdoor evergreen and a garland for my railing...$100. What was I doing? Why was I about to spend $100 on Christmas decor when I go to my parents' for the holidays?

    I also tried my best to keep my gift giving in check this year.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Gift giving and the holiday season can be a real budget buster for folks. Good call on not spending the $100 on the twinkle lights, although I bet it would have been pretty.

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  9. I personally haven't been good about SAVING money as much as I've been learning how to make money better. Been playing with the stock markets, cryptocurrency, and even started my own little business.

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    1. Increasing your income is a great way to go :-)

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  10. I was wondering about that manuscript that you printed out, since I will be facing the same issue (if I want to edit with a hard copy). When we lived on our boat, we had a cheap printer as well (initially bought for our "planned" move to Belize which never happened) and it came in handy! Especially when needing copies for checking in procedures and such. Maybe you should keep it, until it really bothers you in terms of storage.

    I have signed up for the free Amazon Prime trial to binge watch a series on Amazon TV for free as well! After the week we cancelled. And then, Mark signed up, so we could watch season two of Homeland. :-) The show has jumped the shark since then, so no more free Amazon TV needed for now.

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    1. I really needed to see it printed out in order to be able to edit it. Fortunately, I found a good deal on the printer. I wish it had been smaller as it would be really useful for printing out paper, making copies etc. We'll see how long it lasts on board :-)

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  11. I love this post. My wife and I are budget people, always trying to live on less, even if income increases. It has been hard for me because I'm very impulsive, especially when it comes to guitars and gear. I convince myself I want it now. Years of training myself to be patient have paid off.

    Overall, we just buy less stuff. Give away what we don't want or no longer use. Both of us are book lovers but books take up space. My wife shifted to kindle, only keeping her favorite books (which she often gives away to friends), while I adopted this rule- When I finish a book, I ask myself, if I could buy no more books ever, would I read this one again? If yes, it gets to stay on the shelf. If no, it gets passed on to someone who might appreciate it more.

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    1. I have to say, I do miss having bookshelves crammed with books, even if I knew I wouldn't reread some of them. I like your idea of gifting them to someone else.

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  12. Oh man, that icom was a steal! Those are great radios.

    And thanks for the sailrite headsup - I'm definitely doing that.

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    1. Definitely do the Sailrite thing. So worth it.

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