by Tammy Taylor~
RancherMan & I were talking one morning this week as we enjoyed our coffee. He remarked “How wonderful is it that we’re HERE?? That we don’t have to use the alarm clock to wake us with a startle each morning, that we don’t deal with traffic an unreasonable boss or angry co-workers??”
I must admit I feel the same. Our lives out here are magical. But as we started recounting how it’s indeed possible for us to live in this magical place, one thing came up again and again. Finances. We have to be careful with them. We’ve traded a systematic paycheck for one that comes when it comes. But we’ve also traded the corporate world to live HERE! Finding places to save comes naturally to us now. Come see 5 Frugal Things we did this week to save a little cash.
1. Don’t Trash It!
I drink my coffee and complete my morning computer work from the comfort of a living room chair. As I work I watch that gorgeous Texas sunrise Every. Stinkin’. Morning. Bliss!
Because of my confined workspace (my chair) I don’t use a traditional mouse. And I can’t rely on the computer’s touch pad either since there’s often photo detail editing going on too. So for years I’ve used a wireless trackball and love it. But recently the electronic parts started to wear making the trackball less sensitive. It needed to be replaced (for my sanity! LOL)
So RancherMan researched the best deal for the *LogiTech trackball that I love. When it arrived he pulled all the still-usable parts out of my old one and sold them quickly on ebay.
You see, parts are often lost or broken on other’s trackball units. They don’t want to replace the whole trackball unit for just that one missing part. By us selling these still-usable parts that would ordinarily end up in the trash when our trackball quit working, others are able to delay a more expensive replacement purchase. Plus we’ve kept something out of the landfill. And by selling all those individual parts we’ve almost made enough to cover the price of my new trackball. Everyone wins!
2. Simple Dinner Party at Home
Recently our daughter & son-in-law come visit us. They asked if we wanted to meet at a restaurant or if we wanted to meet & eat here. Although RancherMan & I often make dining-out exceptions when it’s a social event such as this, some unexpected expenses have hit us pretty hard recently. We’re really reeling it in for about 30 days to recoup. So I suggested we dine at our house.
Lunch was simple but delicious. I cooked up some chicken and white gravy, RancherMan made his famous Green Bean Casserole and I whipped up my favorite Rosemary Rice side dish. A quick pitcher of tea was brewed and I served leftover pecan pie someone had recently brought for us. Our meal was inexpensive and we enjoyed a long visit around our dining room table.
3. Product Defective? Contact The Manufacturer.
About six weeks ago the light bulb burned out in my oven. It’s very difficult to make my Homemade Yogurt without the oven’s light bulb. So RancherMan swung by and picked up a replacement while he was running errands in a nearby town.
Then a few days ago the new bulb quit working! So I looked up the contact information and contacted the manufacturer. I politely explained that the bulb must have been defective (it was a name-brand bulb) and requested a replacement. Along with that email I sent a photo of the bulb showing the printing on top, and of course I still had my receipt too. They responded that they would be glad to replace the bulb!
The message here is if a product seems to be defective, it wasn’t worth the price you paid for it – whether it was only $5 or $100. The manufacturer doesn’t want a displeased customer. If you’re polite and explain the situation, more often than not they’re willing to work with you.
4. Reward Points = Free Hotel Room
RancherMan & I have some business travel we really need to do in the next several weeks. But money’s TIGHT, y’all! Should we cancel?
RancherMan did a little research & found we had accumulated free hotel reward points from previous travels. We had enough points accrued to allow us a hotel room night for FREE. Now that’s in my budget! Sometimes it pays to let companies spoil you for your loyalty to them.
5. Sell Things You No Longer Need
If you own something of value but you no longer need it – sell it to someone who will love it. For instance I had a full-length leather coat that I loved. But living out here I don’t need a fancy coat like I did when I attended fancy functions for my corporate job. So it’s just been hanging in the closet unused.
We listed it for sale on eBay and sold it to a woman who was thrilled and exclaimed it was absolutely perfect for her. She got a good deal on a quality leather coat, we decluttered our coat closet and got a few bucks as well. Everyone’s happy.
Now these 5 frugal things are on top of the typical frugality we practice during a regular week. For instance with the cold snap I made a large pot of Homemade Beef, Bean & Beer Chili. There was enough to feed us several meals and also to freeze as part of my Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking. And this week all our meals were enjoyed at home. Our thermostat is set at a comfortable level for us this time of year. But we’re dressed like it’s winter and not running around in shorts & bumping up the temps. Saving money is just about being mindful with what you have. And not WASTING what you have. Easy Peasy.
What are your favorite ways to save a little cash for your budget?