Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Very Frugal Saturday!

As the sun sets on this Saturday, I am content that we had a very frugal day.  The start of my day was spent at our annual well-cat visit.  At ages 15 and 13 the cats both received positive reports, although slight heart murmurs were detected in both.  Something that was absent last year.  Our older cat received his two shots and had a blood draw; slight weight loss and the murmur signal possible thyroid issues.  Our younger cat had not other symptoms, and it is likely a trait of older age in a cat.  All in all we received 4 shots, 1 full blood panel, and a case of canned as well as a bag of prescription cat food.  The total bill was $250.  The price and quality of care is why I dive to Oregon for this service.

After spending a large chunk of change, and seeing the red flags that additional medicines or procedures may be in their future, I went into full frugal mode at home.  Forget taking the car anywhere.  We put on rain boots, hats, and yes gloves (in mid April) and headed to the backyard. My husband headed off to his office to work on his writing -- he is paid to blog on electronic issues!  First order of business was to empty the four cat litter containers I had filled with compost materials of the winter.  Mixed in with fresh leaves from the yard, it was left to decompose.  After a bit of play, it was back inside for a lunch of grilled cheese with a salad of bananas and apples.

Our afternoon took us by foot to Garner park.  We opted to skip the zoo and save the earth by using food power, not gas power.  The kids were troopers.  In what appeared to be flurries they hiked up hill to the park, found the swings and then the slides.  We examined tracks in the mud, and made a mental note to return with an empty bag to collect trash.  The snow is gone, and the debris is plentiful.  If you need a free activity with kids this Spring, consider collecting trash at a local park!

Late afternoon brought home haircuts.  Yes, I gave them one recently, but it was less than stellar.  Trimming was needed.  I kept them still by using Amazon Prime; thank you Dora the Explore and Bob the Builder for entertaining them for a home cut.  Amazon Prime, for $79 a year we get free shipping and free streaming for anything labeled "prime".  Wow, we work that to the full extent.  Kid content viewing.  Supplies for our businesses.  Books for personal use.  And ordering specific items, such as a 4T boys airplane themed raincoat.  No need to wander at the mall, I let my fingers do the shopping.  Two days later it is dropped at our front door, with no shipping fee!

Dinner was homemade pizza, spinach, pasta, and a salad for the adults.  Dessert used a whole wheat muffin recipe with applesauce from my freezer stash (local apples, with peel, and apricot added).  A delicious meal, and quite inexpensive.  My rough calculations put the cost of the pizza at $4.50.  I purchased Italian sausage for $4.00, and have half of it in the freezer for another pizza pie.  The jar of sauce will easily cover three if not four crusts.  And speaking of crusts, it was homemade from our bread machine.  Finally the shredded mozzarella bag has enough for another pizza as well.  It did take 2 hours to make the crust, etc.  But it was perfect for a cool and damp Saturday afternoon.

Image by M. Gustafson Gervasi, 2013

Lastly we continue to gather items for a yard sale.  With a bit more time on our hands we've decided to hold a yard sale when our neighborhood has its annual rummage sale.  It will allow us to clear out a lot of baby related clutter, help the kids learn about money, and put a little more green in our bank account.  We'll allot 6 hours to the actual sale, and will select the day based on the best weather forecast.  Assuming we open at 7am and close at 1pm, that means one of us can still "go to the office" in the afternoon for a few hours.  We figure we both need to be here; one to sell, the other to supervise the children.  We have not family to assist, which is one reason we've never done a sale before.  When we are both slammed with work, it makes more financial sense to focus on billable hours.  Now that time is a little more free, we figure it is a great exercise in frugality.  Tips on running a successful sale with little ones under foot is welcome.

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