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Good Times on the Fourth

6 Jul

For the first time in the past month I got the change to spend a little time enjoying the new humble abode, and better yet J & I got to spend it with some of our closest friends and family!

To celebrate the new digs and the Fourth of July, we decided to host a fun potluck-style cookout where we provided the meat and everyone else brought either a dessert, side or drinks.  This past week definitely was not the most frugal of grocery trips (spending around $100, but $30 of that being things for the cookout and $20 being dog food that lasts a month), but somehow we’ve ended up making the cookout very frugal and fun.  Knowing how much some of the guys can eat, I figured the leftovers would amount to very little but I was very surprised to see how much was actually left over (and let with us).  Now it looks like those grocery dollars will be getting us by through part of next week, or we will be able to entertain more friends with left over sliders and hot dogs for a few more days.

Since we’ve moved into a home big enough to do lots of entertaining, we’ve been dreaming of all the get-togethers we will have…but with funds being limited put some of the plans on hold until I can master the art of couponing.  Now I’ve realized that we don’t have to wait!  The potluck cookout was so much fun, and frugal, that we can finally entertain the thought of entertaining.

What are some other frugal ideas for entertaining on a tiny budget?  Do you have any great frugal recipes for a potluck style get-together?


Free (or Frugal) Finds: Desk & Chair

2 Jul

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love finding good deals (or sometimes steals) on things I actually want.  When I was a broke college student, I could find some of the best bargains available without even trying…but for some reason I have to actually try a little harder now.  I’m still broke in some respects, but I guess because I have a little more money now I’ve not been as careful with my shopping as I used to be.

Well things have changed again, and now I’m a broke engaged girl who is going through some of the more expensive times in her life (moving, wedding, and trying to spend the next year or more saving for a down payment on our future house…wherever it is).  Now that J and I have a joint account, I’m trying to be even more careful with spending.  I’m not a shopaholic by any means, but I have found out recently that I love the idea of buying things for our new home.

We’ve been making lists of things we need (or want) for our new place, and the list is getting bigger which could be because we have twice the room in the duplex.  Since money is a little tight right now (did I mention moving is expensive?), luckily we’ve been on the same page about being more frugal and creative with getting these things.

What options are out there for frugal shoppers?

  • CraigsList
  • Friendly neighborhood curb
  • Thrift Store
  • Your usual store (but to be considered frugal, shop sales or have coupons…or better yet, do both!)
  • Barter/Trade

I do have to say, while I’ve not always been a fan of CraigsList (nothing but failed deals), I’ve lucked out recently on selling and buying from there.  During the move I wanted to get rid of an entertainment center that just didn’t fit our set up, so I had J post it on Craigslist for $50.  That same day, we did a little searching for a computer desk and chair of my own for our computer room/office set up.  My luck finally changed and I sold the entertainment center and bought a desk (seen on CraigsList) in the same day, and still I managed to keep $25 in my pocket!  And on J’s trip home from work, he found a perfectly good office chair, on the curb, that just needed a little cleaning. And another possible  deal is in the works…my luck has finally changed!

So what are some other good sources for free/frugal deals?  What are some great items you’ve scored lately?

Got any other great frugal tips?  If so, please share them with us…share the wealth!