I’m having an inspirationless day. There is no school today, so no lunchbox report. I’m sort of thinking of all the things I’d like to get done today, but trying to figure how to do some of it with the kiddos underfoot. (I’m talking about projects like completely reogranizing the pantry, which will involve having approximately 200 little tiny spice jars and a kazillion different canned goods spread all over the hall until they get resorted. . . . not really condusive to child care situations. . . )
I guess I’ll just talk about some of the things I’ve done to save (and spend) money this week.
The biggest spending of course was buying plane tickets and making rental car reservations for my trip. Although I actually made the reservations a few weeks ago the credit card bill came this week. Argh! However since tickets are so expensive, I like to get my moneys worth and go for a nice visit. When I was checking Orbitz for prices, I noticed that all the cheapest fairs were routing me through Houston with a 7 or 10 hour layover. Well, suddenly I realized that-duh-one of my best friends from the Army, who I haven’t seen face to face in about 5 years, lives in Houston.
So I checked what the prices would be to fly out of Syracuse and in to Houston, then fly back out of Dallas to Syracuse. How can 2 one way tickets be cheaper than a round trip ticket? By $100???? Anyway, I’ll spend 3 days in Houston (at my friends house of course) then rent a car to drive from Houston to Dallas which will cost $96 if I get it and return it on the same day (one way car rentals aren’t cheap, but they were cheaper and much faster than the train or bus-I checked. As a frugalite you have to think outside the box and check everything). The end result is that I’m spending the same amount of money as if I had bought the round trip ticket, but am getting to spend 3 days with my friends, one day traveling, then 3 more days with my family. Sounds like a bargain to me.
What else? After MOPs on Wednesday I took Buddy and myself out to McDonalds for lunch. He got a happy meal and I got an Asian Chicken Salad and about 1/2 hour to relax and work on my knitting while he wore himself out on the playground. To me that is worth it once or twice a month, especially once the weather turns icky and they can’t play outside as much. (and it was raining cats and dogs here on Wednesday). By the way-if you are going to use one of those indoor playgrounds, I feel that the honest thing to do is to pay your “table fee” by at least buying one item, such as a cup of coffee, from the establishment. To use their facility, which is usually posted as being only for the use of their patrons, without buying buying anything is ethically questionable.
I also hit the thrift store and bought about $30 of new clothes for myself, and spent $144 at Kohls on Wednesday. I did by a christening gift for my niece, but the rest was for pajamas. Who knew that buying some PJ’s that didn’t look like they should be worn by a 12 year old would be so expensive.
About the PJ’s-just a philosophical aside. I decided that I needed a few pairs that looked half way decent. Why? Well, really the only folks who see me in my PJs are the kids (who couldn’t care less) and DH. Well, if you really think about it, the one person in the world who I most want to think I am attractive is my husband, and he usually sees me looking like a total schlep at the begining of the day in the sweats etc that I throw on, or just bedraggled at the end of the day from the rigors of living. So I wanted to be able to wear something that looked half way decent. Just one little way of trying to keep the love alive. .
Hmmmm. . . . saving money this week. Well, last night we took the kids to the free movie the PTO does once a week. It was Cars, which we had watched last summer but DH hadn’t seen yet. They kids enjoyed it, as did DH and I. We did spend money on some candy etc-but the concessions are the actual PTO fundraiser, and since they buy it at Sams club or whatever, at least I know they are getting the bulk of the money (as opposed to when the school decides to sell Gertrude Hawke chocolates or something). Although it was more expensive than a DVD rental, it was a heck of a lot less than going to the movie theater with 4 people, even if 2 of them are little people.
Oh, for MOPs it was my turn to bring in some juice. Instead of going out and buying a jar of juice, I bought juice in the frozen can at Aldi’s (well, ok, I had bought it previously and took it out of the fridge) and then just brought both the defrosted juice and the pitcher in to the meeting with me and mixed it up there. I bet that was at least half the cost of buying the premixed stuff in a plastic bottle. Plus it was white grape raspberry which was yummy.
As always, we went to the library this week. I got several books to read, as well as a bunch of movies both for me and the kiddos. I also picked up 2 books on tape to listen to on my trip. (that 4 hour drive from Houstong to Dallas-I may have to bring my handheld tape recorder with me to listen with-most cheap rental cars only have radio. oh, and it is a handheld tape recorder, not a walkman. I usually use it for recording my vocal parts for musicals so I can practice in the car. )
I made chocolate chip cookies for the PTO bake sale this weekend. They run a big fall craft fair where they make the money from the booth rental, but also have a big bake sale booth right there at the entrance to the building. I used my inexpensive Aldi’s ingredients, and the chips were one of the bags of Nestle brand chocolate and white chocolate swirl chips that I had bought at the dollar store a few weeks ago. So that was pretty darn cheap.
I picked up 3 bars of Octagon soap at the local grocery store on Monday because I need to make more laundry detergent soon.
I replaced two of the ink jet cartridges on my printer with ones that I bought at a very deep discount (ie $2.40 each) in bulk at 123inkjets.com.
Of course I did all those things I usually do, like cooking from scratch with items I’ve bought on sale etc, sending Princess’s lunch in with her (except for Thursday Pizza day) and washing laundry with homemade detergent and vinegar. I’ve probably done other things that I can’t even think of right now.