Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Frugal Victories ***with a Little Update***

Frugal victories come in all forms. Sometimes it's a price that rang up wrong at the grocery store and you get the item free, like the coffee pot. Sometimes, it's a find at the thrift store, like the cast iron muffin pan that I paid $2 for this weekend.

Sometimes, it's walking into a car showroom, test driving a used car you like (that you've already done all your homework on), making a cash offer that is silly low and still having it accepted. This frugal veggie mama no longer owns a minivan! I also do not have car payments and my insurance actually went down a few dollars. (If you squeeze your eyes shut really tightly, you can see me doing my happy dance!)

I now drive a 2000 Mercury Sable wagon which still seats 7 but gets 5 miles more per gallon and doesn't have all the impending illnesses that my Odyssey did. My goal is to downsize my car even further in about two years but in the meantime, I have to remember I do have four kids to haul around.

Sometimes good planning is the key to a frugal victory. Just this past weekend we drove to Long Island for my son's swim meet. We packed food and drinks for the road. This allowed us to eat healthier (why do they always serve hot dogs at these things???) and save a ton of cash. I confess, I smuggled a few granola bars in despite the signs saying no outside food but the majority of our eating we did out at the car.

Now I need to get busy to make a few more frugal victories occur. What frugal victories have you had lately?

Just a Little Update:

Speaking of the "new" car, Ruthie asked,"Will it get you to the Adirondacks with the dogs, bird, pigs, and cat? Oh, and kids? :-)" She asked in a joking way but a lot of people have asked without the smile in their voice. I thought I'd share a bit more on this.

Certainly the space of a minivan is much more ideal for long trips like that but when it comes right down to it, can I justify buying a larger less efficient vehicle for what essentially amounts to 22 car rides in a 12 month period? (BTW, the 22 car rides include the trip up and back.) For Jim and I, the answer was no.

So how will we make the big exodus without a minivan to haul all of stuff? We'll have to bring up more things in the months/weeks prior to moving up for the summer. This is ok with me. Even if it means making an extra trip, I'm always looking for an excuse to head up.


Ruthie said...

My first car was a 1991 Mercury Capri Convertible. I have a soft spot for Mercuries, even though I really don't like cars that much. :-) Will it get you to the Adirondacks with the dogs, bird, pigs, and cat? Oh, and kids? :-)

Thank you sooo much for your nice comments on my blog. We're getting more back to normal every day, no matter how hard it is.

Recent frugal victory: The arm fell off my glasses and I went to find a place that would fix it for me. I went to the closest glasses place I could, right when they opened (they weren't busy at all). They fixed it in 5 minutes and didn't charge me a penny. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! They say walking in to buy a car with cash can get you a good discount if you stand firm.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the "new" car! How exciting!

I have to say--I am super jealous that you get items for free if they ring them up wrong at the grocery store! Where I shop, they just correct the problem...with all the produce I buy, I watch them ringing up like a hawk, and I must correct them at least 2-3 times each shopping trip!


Katie said...

The "new" car will get us to the Adirondacks with all family members intact, however it will be a much "cozier" ride. I actually thought about that a lot. Nice job on the glasses repair. We're still waiting for good news on Igbit.

Sally, I was also told by a former car salesman that by shopping near the end of the month when there are quotas to be met, helps also. I did this too, although it was by accident.

Courtney, I think its because of competition between the grocery stores around here. There are just so many to choose from. We even get the occassional triple coupon.

AMCSviatko said...

My recent frugal victories include:

1. Picking up enough cotton yarn to knit 9 wash cloths (plus 4 daisy brooches) for Christmas presents for $2.50 (http://theshoppingsherpa.blogspot.com/2007/10/cottoning-on.html).

That works out at 27 cents per washcloth (the daisies are bonuses). Add an impressive looking soap to that ($4.99 for 5 on special), tie it all together nicely and that's a rather impressive present for $1.27.

2. I got a complete set of "new" taps for the bathroom for $6 (http://theshoppingsherpa.blogspot.com/2007/11/doing-little-tap-dance.html)