Another Frugality Post

It’s been awhile since I did a frugality post, but with two kids in college this fall, frugality is never far from my mind.
Here are a few things I have done in the past week or so:

~The repeated loading and unloading of the drum set for the multiple (yeah!) band gigs, was starting to tear up the back of the hatch. So, I took some free cardboard from work and some leftover Duct tape (from the Prom Dress project) and made a liner for the trunk.

free liner for the hatch

free liner for the hatch

~My internet service at home has been down for a week and counting. Today, I am at a local café with Wi-Fi access and using the gift card I got for my birthday to purchase a tasty drink treat while I send this to you all. And, yes, I did make sure that my internet provider will prorate my bill for the month for the days that I have been without service.

~It is one of the minor irritations of my life that the bathmat in the downstairs bathroom gets dirty almost as soon as I throw it down. I read an advertisement that came in the mail. The store was touting their “reversible” bathmats. Doh, [she slaps her forehead] I can turn my bathmats over, making them reversible for free.

~For many years, I have paid my kids to clean the house. We had a round robin list of chores and everyone would sign up for what they wanted to do. Starting this week, I am doing the house-cleaning. A little more work and more cash in my pocket. All the kids now have outside jobs, so they have opportunity to make money aside from the house-cleaning.

~Beloved middle son, who will be leaving for college in a few short weeks, has already received the list of “must-haves” that he is to bring to college. He and I reviewed this list together, eliminated about half of it. That is, if he did not need these items for the first 18 years of his life, he likely will not need to purchase the item to tote to a cramped room that he will share with someone else, who got the same list and may have purchased all the items on it. Of the items that we agreed that it would be useful for him to have, I was able to find the following things at home in my minimalist house: large plastic bins to tote things and store between semesters, a flashlight and an umbrella, a power strip, shampoo, laundry detergent, toiletries and of course, his clothes. I did purchase for him a set of linens to fit the weird sized beds that they have in dorm rooms.

~My cell phone was acting up, I did a “hard” reset, which basically sends it back to the factory settings. Because I am a minimalist in my phone usage as well as other areas in my life, it didn’t take but a morning to re-load the apps and contacts that had been erased.

~Other frugals I hope to implement after everybody goes back to school: reduced food budget. That shouldn’t be too hard as the household will be reduced by 50%. A similar reduction in utilities should be effortless. By planning ahead, I hope to reduce my Christmas expenses by 50% as well. I won’t say how ahead of time, as some of my Christmas gift recipients read this blog.

How about you all? Recent frugals? Anything as easy as turning the bathmat over?

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10 responses to “Another Frugality Post

  1. I always chuckle at the list of “must haves” we get from the university. My oldest is entering her 3rd year, and has not needed most of the items they list.

    • Yeah–one of the “must haves” was a hammer. Really?!? Every single freshman in the dorm needs a hammer? Couldn’t they just share one? Or they going to have to build their dorm when they get there?

  2. Ah, frugality. Something I haven’t been very good at lately and definitely need to work on. I really like that you determined for yourselves what your son needed from the “must have” list.

  3. Good for you for gauging what you actually needed from those lists, and no blindly buying. I will say if he doesn’t have a car or easy transport getting to places to have needs met can be a pain in the behind in college (I was using the bus and relying on acquaintances). I always regretted buying the bedding through the company that the college had promoted. It was cheap and poor quality for the price. I would have been happier with the sheets from somewhere else (cotton please!) and my own blankets from home. Wishing him and all of you a comfortable transition!

  4. I’ve finally learned to take my shoes off outside the bathroom, keeping the white bath rugs pristine and not in need of weekly washing.

    What my 7 year old granddaughter wanted from me for her birthday last week was crochet lessons (I asked her what she wanted – her mom had suggested a Build a Bear). I put together a kit from a travel bag and the duplicates in my own supplies, and let her pick yarn she liked from my stash. She was thrilled with her product from 3 one-hour lessons ( she made a headband and started a scarf) and her own tools.

  5. LOL My bath mat is hung over the tub or shower rail when not in use because otherwise the cat will pee on it. Guaranteed. Keeps it clean, though! And easy to clean the floor as necessary.

    Re. sheets: does nobody have flat sheets any more that will fit any bed size?

  6. I tried leaving it hung over the tub. The kids showered with it still there which soaked it. Apparently, its position is not moveable to their teenaged brains. Here in the states you can buy single flat sheets, but it’s more expensive than to buy a set.

  7. I gave up bath mat recently, it was always soaked because we have problems with water not draining very well and then it became dirty. I discover I don’t really miss it. But it is summer…I might reconsider in the winter!

  8. I bought one of those bath towel mats years ago so when it gets dirty, you just throw it in the wash with the other towels. When not in use, I fold it in three then keep it in a corner on the bathrub.

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