1. Amazon Textbook Rental
$17 for a college textbook compared to $100…yes please! My daughter is taking a religion course at our local community college and on her suggested book list it mentioned that she could either get a textbook with an access code or just an access code (that apparently has the book in digital format included) Both were roughly $100, which I thought was an awful lot for a paperback on world religions, so we sent an email to the professor to ask which one we needed or if we could just get by with a used book with no codes (a total gamble!) We were thrilled when he responded that the textbook will be just fine all by itself and that “to his knowledge” he would not even be assigning reading from the supplemental materials. With that information in hand, I found out that Amazon was renting that very textbook for just $17 and promptly ordered it before someone else scooped up that deal. *I know that means I cannot resell the book, but to be honest we usually discount our used books for reselling at least $10 to $20 anyways, so we are not out any money when you look at it that way.
2. New-ish Jacket
As you know, I love to walk outdoors, but lately I just find the cold weather is becoming more and more of a deterrent. Realizing that I needed a wind resistant, warm coat (and not wanting to pay $30+ for one) I had been scouring the thrift stores for the past few weeks and finally found the perfect one. While the coat has a masculine look to it, that really didn’t deter me from buying it because I really could care less if someone sees me wearing it while I am out walking. After all, $5 for a nice, clean, and warm coat is a great bargain in my book!
3. Amazon Prime
My Amazon Prime was up for renewal last week and I was seriously debating whether or not it was still worth it to my family. We simply do not buy as much stuff from Amazon as we did in the past for various reasons and $100+ a year is not something to sneeze about. However, I started thinking about all of the shows that are available, the wonderful free shipping (on things that we do buy), free ebooks, etc. and decided to bite the bullet and reup for another year. I decided to include this in my frugal list because all of the things that we get out of the service more than make up for the amount we have to pay (for now at least) So that does save me money in the long run. **Also, I’m always more than happy to let my extended family use my account for free shipping or online viewing, so that saves them money as well. Sharing is caring after all—Thank you Barney for that little gem.
4. Airbag recall and oil change
We recently had a car that we had given to a family member returned to us. We were thrilled because my daughter will be needing a car in June when she turns 16, but we didn’t really want to buy a new car until she leaves for college in two years (sniff, sniff…where does the time go??) The only problem was that the car was apparently giving its new owners some issues and there were recalls that needed to get fixed, so we decided to take it in and see what was wrong with it. Luckily, it just needed the airbags replaced (thankfully it was a recall so 100% free) and an oil change. The mechanic said everything looked okay to him, so apparently we have a decent ( aka 13+ year old car) for our daughter to use while she is learning to drive. **We realistically know it will not last that much longer, but at least it gives us time to save up for the next one and my daughter was super thrilled to have her own car.
5. Weird meals
3/4ths of my family had the flu this past week, so we have been making do with random meals that get the job done. A lot of the time, fruit, omelets, oatmeal, popcorn, and oatmeal chocolate chip muffins (the oatmeal was their only redeeming quality because otherwise they are just glorified chocolate chip cookies in muffin form) were the go to meals that kept the sicklings fed. I count this as frugal because we did not eat out once the whole week! Thankfully my husband (the one who was not sick) was a good sport and didn’t complain when I made very simple meals for him out of various odds and ins we had lurking in the fridge and freezer…that is true love people:)
**Opinion needed: “sicklings” pops up as not a word, but it seems right somehow??