"A Jack of All Trades is a Master of None, but oftentimes better than a Master of One."

How to Get the Best Price When Buying a Car

I wrote over two months ago about my desire to buy a newer car, but that it felt more like an impulse purchase than a real need at the time. I didn’t want to take us off our financial path, and surely didn’t want to buy a newer car upon impulse. The type of vehicle I had test-drove several times would’ve done so easily. Last week though, that all changed with a twist of fate starting on Tuesday night.

First, before I share this story, I want to let you know Chris and I swapped cars before Christmas. Both the same Hyundai Elantra model, just his a silver hatchback which I prefer and mine a two-year older blue sedan. I had planned to have him run up the miles on the blue car (he commutes far), so in time it would be ready for a trade for what I truly wanted to get; which I still wasn’t sure.

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Frugal Date Ideas

One of the biggest expenses in our lives used to be eating out or seeking outside entertainment. We’d go to dinner and a movie and spend our entire week’s food budget on one evening, sometimes to the tune of $75 for the date. We never went to fancy places, but once children came along we didn’t have as much energy to stay up late nor additional income to toss away on one night. Once child number two entered our lives, it became even more apparent the choices we make on how to spend our income.

Some great changes we’ve made have been to take advantage of free childcare through grandparents who love to spend time with the kids, but still want to have their evenings free for their own entertainment. Chris’ parents are always willing to take the kids during the day, or morning, but they do have an evening social life they enjoy otherwise.

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No New Clothes: April Update

It’s been almost half a year without buying new clothes and I can say it’s been far easier than I had originally thought. When I started, I was unsure how I’d make it through the post-partum weight-loss process without new clothes to get me through the mid-way between size situation.

Now, I’m treating the weight-loss similar to the pregnancy weight-gain, slowly changing over to clothing that will fit with a belt or a button open. Doing it in reverse, so I can slowly donate the larger clothing once I’m finished completely. Seeing as how I own 3 bins worth of smaller sized clothing from my pre-pregnancy days, I will have more than enough clothing when I am finished losing weight.

What has this challenge taught me thus far?

I spend less time in the store because I’m no longer browsing for seasonable fashions. I skip over the clothing section completely and don’t even walk into clothing stores anymore. With the boys, I look or take a picture of cute outfits instead of buying them. Their drawers are barreling over in clothing so I haven’t bought much for them either, and nothing in the past month. They also receive gifts of clothing, which are super cute! Continue reading…

Starting a Backyard Farm

Once upon a time, we used to visit a semi-local U-Pick farm… We’d go every other week and pick what felt like thousands of vegetables. We’d leave with $8 worth of picked fresh veggies and have to share it widely with family because it was far more than we could consume in two weeks. We lived in a townhouse on a reserve, so we weren’t allowed to grow edible plants outside our home. We were limited in what we could grow to what could survive indoors, which was only herbs.

And then, this year I decided to start my own backyard farm! Although, I do hope to get to the U-Pick farm for some strawberries in June.

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The Key to Being Frugal

Let me tell you a story about the time we almost spent $6,000 on landscaping changes that were mostly cosmetic and not exactly an urgent need. This happened not long ago, about two weeks to be exact.

The side of our home has had poor drainage for the past year and a half since we’ve purchased it. The left side gets rather wet and pools when it rains. The area isn’t ideal to plant a large tree to soak up the water, but it could host a rain garden or other better-suited plants than the ivy currently there just “covering” the water puddles.

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