Bump in the road

This week was not a frugal week.

We got our security deposit back from our last place. They charged us for things like needing to repaint, replacing the carpet in the front room, clean up in the back yard. The carpet had stains when we moved in, they said there were more stains and so we were charged a small percentage of the replacement. Same with the kitchen floor and painting. I am kind of mad about the back yard. We tended it, but it was a really beautiful yard that two full time students with three kids could keep up with. I think if they expected anything beyond basic keeping the yard mowed, they should have done it themselves. It was free of debris, mowed, and swept when we left. Anyway, it ended up costing us $1000 of our deposit. We still got $1000 back. A little more actually.

On Wednesday I had extreme back and neck pain that turned into a migraine. It became apparent that I needed to get a better backpack if I planned to walk to school and not have to visit the chiropractor. We went out on Thursday and got a new bag. Although it was on sale, it still cost $90. The store has bean bags of varying weights so I was able to simulate the amount of books I carry and this one was the one that was very comfortable.

Our computer monitor died. Although I now have a laptop and so we technically don’t need a new monitor, we like to watch movies and that is hard to do with 5 people around a laptop. The dude found out that the school has surplus sales. He went and got a 19 inch flat panel for $35. So it wasn’t too bad, but it was still money out the door.

Tonight we went to a little festival downtown which was free and fun. However, we had decided to eat there, which turned out to be decidedly unfrugal. $7 for a really good plate of food (pulled pork sandwich, chips, beans). Magnus stayed home tonight, and the 4 of us were able to split two plates. We got 3 Cokes for $2 each. Only drank two. Then we each had an ice cream cone. So we spent $23 on our “free” night out. Ouch!

OK, onto to the celebratory stuff. We discovered that there is a concert series put on by our music department, mostly by faculty members. It is free for students of my school and $5 for students of any other school. So The Dude and I will be able to have date night for $5! There is also a dance series that is free for students. Since I am the only one into dance, I will be attending alone, or with friends from school.

The Dude is pretty upset that I forgot to mention the best deal of the week last time!! Crazy cheap beer!! We have a chain grocery store that marks milk half price when it is close to the expiration date. With three boys, milk doesn’t usually stand a chance, so we try to swing past there often and pick up milk deals. Last weekend we went and were also looking at the discount rack. And we spied beer! It was a weirdly packed box of 13 bottles of Miller Genuine Draft Light, 5 bottles of Guinness, 5 bottles of a popular regional lager, and 1 bottle of microbrew ale. All for $9.99!!

Another happy find: Plums!! In our alley and on the street by our house, in a commercial building yard, are mad plum trees! We will go out gleaning in the next couple of days.

It was kind of cool. I was in a store and feeling sad and poor. There were all the really beautiful clothes that outdoorsy hipsters wear. Lovely things, on sale for $35 or $50 or $100. None of those are sale prices to us! We went over to the Goodwill and I found two really lovely name brand wool sweaters for $3 each. 🙂

I found post-its!! A friend told me that Staples had them on sale. I had gone to Staples and didn’t see them in the ad. I went online and found the sales flyer that listed them. I took it in and it turned out our store had a different sale going on, but they price match. So I was able to get the flags for 25 cents a pack and a  2400 small yellow post-its for a total of $2. At $2 for that many, I am willing to living with yellow!

Rin has discovered an inexpensive (actually free!) way to decorate his room. Since we attend a major university that is in a major conference, sports are pretty big. So at different events, the athletes come out and sign their posters for free. He is collecting them and hanging them on his wall. Luigi is going for a bit of the same theme.

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