Tag Archives: mindful spending

The Frugal Musician wonders about rebates…


swing and calla lilliesIt’s summer and in the summer the frugal musician often finds herself sitting and musing over this and that when it’s simply too hot to move…

Sometimes I muse in this awesome swing in our garden…

Once upon a time, I rebated A LOT. I combined coupons and bought products with rebates. I kept everything in a shoebox and that little shoebox made me a nice chunck of cash every year. It was my Happy Santa money.

I subscribed to the Sunday paper for coupons a few months ago. But I’ve noticed very few rebate opportunities. I confess I haven’t used rebates since the kids were little (they’re 30 and 22 now) but thought it may be something to consider as a side hustle.

Are there sites for rebates? I did have a bad experience with Centrum vitamins. Just got a letter from them saying my rebate didn’t have the UPC box codes and I most certainly DID mail them in the envelope with the rebate form. I carefully considered COPYING the form and the UPC box codes before mailing but never got it done. This is irritating because it was a $10 rebate.

I think it’ll be a futile fight to try and shake $10 out of them, but I will NOT buy Centrum vitamins again. So there…


The Frugal Musician is going to attempt a yard sale



See the brown drooppy sad eyes? See how Mr Kronk is hiding under the covers? This photo says a lot about how I feel about yard sales…..

I’ve never ever had a successful yard sale. Despite much work gathering items, making sure they’re clean, pricing and advertising, yard sales have never been good to me. I usually end up giving a bunch of stuff away and then take the rest to The Clothes Rack (Junior League Thrift store) and then beat myself up over having wasted so much time, effort and energy to make $10.00

A flyer was in the mailbox last week and the neighborhood is planning a yard sale to be held in Mr Lundie’s field right up the street. I really do want to try and sell some things. I usually even have a box of freebies.

Do any of you have suggestions or tips for a successful foray at this? I’ve done the usual; packaged my items in baskets, made pricing clear, made sure everything was displayed nicely, to no avail.

Any advice certainly would be appreciated! I don’t want to have to hide in shame with the covers pulled over my head after making a whopping $10 bucks.

BTW- Mr Kronk was feeling just fine in this photo, despite his appearance. It was cold when the pic was taken and he likes to crawl in the bed with his nose tucked just under the covers…

27 things project May 09


stamp out hungerstamp out hungerwww.stampouthunger.com

The National Association of Letter Carriers had their national Stamp Out Hunger Day Saturday May 09.

I donated a couple of boxes of mac and cheese and a couple cans of tomatoes.

So while this was not an item for the bag, I gave something away!

Did you participate in Stamp Out Hunger?

27 things project May 8


 You Don't Have to Be Rich

I bought this book at a yard sale and intended to sell it at my half.com bookstore. But I discovered it was not selling for what I bought it for. Usually I can buy books and sell them on half.com and make a bit of profit. We live in a college town, and I can really make a nice little income from side hustling books during the spring (graduation) and the fall (new school year).

So I put this book on my shelf thinking I might read it “someday”. But my shelves are cluttered with “someday” books. Mostly I read historical fiction, Jane Austen and metaphysical books.  Most of my financial reading is done via blogs and online.

So in the bag it goes.

According to Amazon: Chatzky begins with short and savvy history of how Americans turned from market observers to “in the game all the time participants.” Then, she focuses on how to use market down turns as an opportunity “to take back our money by living within our means.” Chatzky’s down to earth advice is practical and confronts the reader head-on with a non-nonsense approach: “five steps to wanting less,” “Feng Shui finance to simplify,” “advice for the organizationally dyslexic,” “non-gaseous goal setting,” or “how to stop digging a financial hole and spotting unconscious spending.”

I think someone would really enjoy this book particularly in this economic climate. There are too many books on my shelf and I always look forward to passing them along!

The Frugal Musician’s Thrifty Mothers Day Idea



My mom loves to send cards, but she lives on a fixed income, and as anyone knows, cards are pricey and stamps – well, they just keep going up and up.

For Mothers Day I went to my thrift mart and picked up an assortment of 20 cards for my mom. The cards are usually 10 cents each and include top of the line Hallmark, Shoebox and American Greetings.  The only sticking point is cards are in one basket and envelopes are in another, so one must go through and match up the cards to a fitting envelope. But even that is really not a hassle for a 10 cent card and envelope.

Last weekend, thrift mart had half off day and I bought 20 cards for Mom for $1.00.  I’ll add a book of stamps and I will have a wonderful, thoughtful and thrifty gift for the Best Mom in the World.

People on fixed incomes appreciate gifts that help them give to others.  My Mom always enjoys showing kindness and this is a perfect way to do it!

The Frugal Musician LOVES half off at the thrift mart



I am only a shopoholic when The Clothes Rack has a half price sale.  This thrift store is managed by The Junior League and it is well run, clean and insanely prone to astounding sales! 

At least once or twice a month there is a half off the whole store sale.  Any item is half price.  The paperback books were new and were priced at a quarter. I pick up books for my brother-in-law for Christmas. He is on the road and paperbacks are perfect for the bus, backstage and hotel room.

The package of towels were in shades of white and were NEW- no stains, no spots. The package also contained a lovely white patterned Mikasa wash cloth. The hem was out of it so I stitched it back up and it’s good as new.

I bought three shirts and a pair of shoes for myself. The box will make an outstanding container for a gift.

Grand total : $9.00

Going on a shopping spree for under $10: Priceless

The Frugal Musician says DARN IT




According to Wikipedia, “darning consists of anchoring the thread in the fabric on the edge of the hole and carrying it across the gap. It is then anchored on the other side, usually with a running stitch or two. If enough threads are criss-crossed over the hole, the hole will eventually be covered with a mass of thread.”

I darned several socks this weekend-they only had tiny holes. I also hemmed a pair of pants, patched a holey pocket in some jeans and sewed buttons back onto a favorite summer shirt.  I did it all by hand with no sewing machine.

I love mending things. I get a true sense of gratification and a big boost when I can make something last a little while longer.  My fav summer shirt is probably 8 years old but I totally dig it and have never seen another one like it. I consistantly make little repairs, sew up tiny holes and rips in the hem of this favorite garment.

My next sewing project is repairing my big, blanket-like Christian Dior winter robe. The hem is fraying and the pockets need work. 

Consider the economics of repairing instead of replacing. Ponder the ingenuity of the Depression generation whose motto was: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.