Did I write enough about our financial faux pas? Well, I'm tired of talking about it, and want to focus on the great adventure we will have and the opportunity for my kiddo. Still, with an eye that dollars only go so far, I want to reflect and celebrate a few bits of thrift and frugality. Done with a smile, these helped keep our day to day living expenses at bay while living the good life.
Stock pile shopping: OK, this is not a new concept and others do this regularly and better than I do. I am super happy that I earned $15 in Target gift cards while stocking up at least the rest of the year in paper towels and Kleenex tissues, plus a two month supply of toilet paper.
Virtually free soup: I cooked down the ham bone from Easter, 50 cents worth of dry beanS (that had been soaked a few weeks back and waiting in the freezer), and the remnants from older carrots, onions, and celery. I got 12 large cups from it, enough for a hearty lunch yesterday, two portions for work lunches, and froze the remainder for a quick reheat on a crazy night
Restaurant Bonus Points: I registered for reward perks for Green Mill restaurant to which we have a few gift cards. I've already been sent a reward of a free appetizer plus a start on 20 bonus points towards another reward. I'm thinking of buying some gift cards as they have a $5 for every $25, and stretch our eating out budget longer using a combo of reward points, real gift cards, bonus gift cards, and purchased gift cards. Your opinion? Would you buy a couple for June and July dinners out?
Surprise Happy Hour prices: I planned to just have a couple short tap beers and a tip and spend about $12 the other night out with the girls. To my surprise, taps were $1.50, so I had a nice night with friends for $5.00. This was a Wednesday night women's softball league special and will continue through summer though I won't likely meet up more than once per month.
Kept DH to minimal shopping rest of the month: After his big $115 dollar shop a few week back, he might have gotten the message. He stopped for ice cream bars on the way home Wednesday and ran only for hamburgers, buns, and salad on Thursday. Believe me, this is a frugal win.
Revamp spring/summer clothes: While I am not specifically swearing off buying any clothes in 2018, I want to make sure if I do, they fit well with what I already have and are not duplicative. I took a quick inventory of work appropriate clothes for spring and summer. While I won't be gracing any fashion pages, I have a relatively functional wardrobe. I could use a pair of gray pants, a white loose blouse, and a black jacket. I'd like a casual floral dress, but do not need one, but may splurge. I will add these to a thrift list and see if I can get each for under $8. The black jacket I've actually needed all year, since I left mine in Dallas by mistake last summer. Eight years ago I left a different black jacket behind in a congress women's office lobby on a sweltering hot Washington D.C. day. Do you see why I do not want to spend much on a black jacket?
There's the usual packing lunch from home and not stopping for expensive coffee on route. I restocked my desk with simple things for days when I just don't get my act together to pack a lunch or need a pick me up. My drawer is filled with tea and instant coffee, soups, instant noodles, tuna packets, and cereal bars. I rescued a colleague who was famished but needed to stay late to finish a report. She was pretty happy to accept a bowl of soup and a cereal bar. Saturday I made brownies and grabbed a few bottles of our wine club wines to bring to my sisters for a card and fire pit night. Despite costs for the Branson trip and show choir banquet, our entertainment budget was treated kindly. Being thrifty and frugal is not about being cheap. It's about prioritizing and being intentional with money. Sometimes a win or two comes out of the blue and collectively, I hope they off set the expensive things in life.