Top 10 Thrifty Wins: September

September rushed by in a flash! Things have been busy at work for me, Rick’s been traveling a lot, and we’ve been celebrating birthdays and the end of summer.

Throughout these happenings, I kind of felt our gazelle- like intensity slipping. We were over budget in three areas this month, we had some extra car maintenance expenses, and a few other extra expenses just sort of popped up.

That sounds kind of negative, and this post is supposed to be about thrifty WINS. So, here’s a positive spin: out of these bumps in the road on our journey to financial freedom has come a renewed sense of motivation. I looked back at a previous post, Starting Our Money Makeover, and thought about how far we’ve come. I was also reminded of a few other avenues to explore to help us save or make more money. We plan to try to sell a few things this month, continue giving plasma, look into better car insurance deals and plan a few more meatless meals.

One of the keys to staying motivated is reviewing our accomplishments and looking at how far we’ve come. So here we have it:

September’s Top 10 Thrifty Wins

1. Free haircuts. I gave Rick and myself at-home haircuts. We’ve been using these fail-proof clippers for Rick’s hair for the past 5-6 years and it has saved us hundreds.IMG_20180922_125437860

2. Reused salsa-making items. It’s become a Manthe family tradition to get together in September to make and can salsa and other tomato products. We were able to reuse our jars and rings from previous years, and I had some leftover unused lids as well. And there’s nothing better than homemade salsa with fresh ingredients!

3. Walking more. Not only is walking great exercise, but it saves money on gas and it’s better for the environment. The weather’s been beautiful, so I’ve been taking advantage of walking to more places rather driving.

4. Stayed under clothes shopping budget. My clothes buying fast was up this month, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t go crazy with my spending. I set a $100 limit, and I stayed well-below that.

5. Free clothes from a friend. My friend has been working hard at decluttering, and I was lucky to benefit from the clothes she is getting rid of. I’m so thankful for the generosity of others!

IMG_20180907_181216579.jpg6. Free produce. We scored some free produce from my dad’s garden and Rick’s mom’s neighbor’s pear tree. Again with the generosity!

7. Thrifty girls weekend. My friends are supportive of my fit and frugal lifestyle, and we planned thrifty activities such as hiking, watching Friends, chatting, and at-home manicures. We each brought snacks and meal items, so we limited our dining out.

8. Made a birthday meal. We hosted dinner for my dad on his birthday and had a great time! We made him jambalaya with zucchini cornbread and an apple crisp (from the apples we picked) for dessert. My aunt brought a nice bottle of wine, and we were able to test our fancy wine tasting glasses again. The whole meal was only a fraction of the cost of eating out.IMG_20180923_160156654_HDR

9. Apple picking date. This was a fun, cheap date one afternoon, and the apples were a pretty great deal, too!

10. Shopped around for insurance deals. This is something we’ve been meaning to do for a LONG time. We think we found a deal that will save us a few hundred dollars per year on car insurance. I only wish we would have done this sooner!

Here’s to a renewed sense of motivation for October’s Fit and Frugal Living!

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