April showers bring May flowers. So what do March showers bring? Right. More rain. I love the Pacific Northwest and I love all the greenery here, but this time of year I’m just ready for some warmer, drier days. Fingers crossed though that we are at least past the last of the freezing temperatures. I do love the occasional snow day, but I’ve had my fill of days where I’m apt to fall just trying to walk down my icy hill.
Since yesterday’s post was an extra one this week, I’ll keep this one short:
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Half of our toaster (2 of the 4 sections) went out a few months ago. Half due to frugality and a desire not to send things to the landfill, and half due to sheer disinterest in having to go out and actually replace the thing, we first tried to fix it. My husband is pretty handy, but apparently $10 toasters that have lasted most of a decade don’t have much life left to give, and there was no making those two coils start heating up again.
And so a couple months went by with us using half of the toaster because, hey, how often do you need to toast 4 slices of bread at one time? (This actually sounds a bit similar to what happened to our microwave, but we ended up living without it so long that we decided not to replace it after all).
I eventually made an offhand comment to my mother that we were going to have to replace it at some point, because unlike the microwave, we do use a toaster pretty frequently. My parents just moved though, and haven’t gone through all of their boxes yet, and lo behold, they somehow had an extra toaster in storage! So now we are owners of a fancy new (to us) toaster, and my parents have one less thing they have to figure out what to do with as they declutter. Sometimes it pays not to be in a hurry to buy new things – or taking the Frugalwoods’ 72 Hour Rule to extremes 😉
2. We went to another neighborhood dinner last night and had a great evening with three other families with young kids. Someone else hosted this time, and we had a nice laid back evening spending time together. The holidays got busy and it was our first dinner since November, but we all enjoy each other’s company very much and will hopefully have them more regularly again now that we’re headed into spring.
3. My husband hit the minimum spend on his Chase Sapphire Preferred and the 50,000 point sign up bonus has hit his account. For reference, a round trip ticket to Hawaii is generally 40,000 points. We also do plan on keeping this card long term because Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points are great and have a ton of flexibility in how they get used. We will most likely always use them for airplane tickets, but they can also be transferred to hotels, rental cars, gift cards, and straight cash (though plane tickets generally get you the best value).
If you decide to open this card for its awesome sign up rewards and continues benefits, I would really appreciate it if you would use this link to sign up (I would get a bonus 10,000 miles for the referral). However, if you have a partner, you can get those referral points yourself once you’ve signed up yourself and then refer them to open a separate card after you’ve hit the minimum spend.
As always, I ONLY recommend opening and using credit cards if you will pay them off in full every single month and won’t increase your spending by using them. The rewards are awesome, but interest and/or increased spending will completely negate any savings you’d see otherwise.
Now that we’ve gotten the bonuses on both cards, I’m starting to look toward our next option. As we don’t ever fly Southwest, I don’t think I’ll open those cards, but I do think I’ll open another Chase card. I’ll be sure to include my choice in an update here once I’ve pulled the trigger and signed up for a new card.
4. As I mentioned in my February update, we went on another short trip last weekend. We went with a small group of six, so we all carpooled in my husband’s truck. It saved on gas, ferry fees, and it meant we all got to hang out on the drive both ways. It doesn’t always seem to work to carpool on trips, but I’m always very happy when it does.
5. This one is a frugal fail, unfortunately. I have completely worn through the bottoms of my favorite boots, and while the sides are worn, they still have quite a bit of life left in them, so I stopped at the shoe repair place in town to see if they could do a sole and heel replacement for me. I was told it would be $90 to fix them, and since that’s how much I spent on the boots in the first place, I’m pretty bummed about it (though they retailed for $275 I believe). If you happen to have a shoe repair hack, I’d love to hear it! $90 is just way too much for a worn pair of boots.
How was your week? I’d love to hear some frugal wins from you as well!