I’ve been doing alot of thinking lately about how to save some money. If you read my blog with any regularity you probably already know that I had my gallbladder removed exactly 1 week ago and that I’m out of work for an undetermined amount of time (could be as much as 6 weeks) right now while I “recover”.
Missed those blogs?
Anyway, today I did some research about other ways to save money around our household. I calculated our bills, re-calculated, and re-calculated again to see if we can afford to live only off of the hubby’s income. I’ve determined with a little finagling and cutting back on our average grocery spendage we can reasonably live off of just the hubby’s income.
Of course at some point I’ll be going back to work, but I would love to be able to dedicate my entire income to debt, then savings and eventually be a stay-at-home mom.
I love reading Frugal Reddit to get great ideas (and general entertainment) about living frugally and saving money.
Some of the sites that I have discovered recently that I find really cool are.
Swag Bucks – A Google based search engine toolbar that earns you “swag bucks” for internet searches. You can redeem your swag bucks for prizes in the Swag Store. I actually got 2 free $5 Amazon e-gift cards a few days ago just for using this toolbar to search the internet. I’m close to being able to get a 3rd. This will come in handy for Christmas shopping. Hopefully I’ll have a few more by then 🙂
Restaurant.com – I found out about this website from Reddit also. I purchased a $25 gift certificate for one of our favorite local restaurants for $2! They have promotion codes available online for huge discounts. (More on this in a minute)
Ebates.com – I haven’t used this one much yet, but basically its a cash back rewards site. You get $5 for just making an account which they either credit to your Paypal account or send you a check. When you buy from specific retailers through the site you get a designated percentage of your purchase as cash back. Similar to what some credit card companies do.
After all this “research” today I really needed to get out of the house for a while. I originally planned on taking today off from working out, but I ultimately decided I felt good and up for it, so why not? I thought I might even …. *gasp* … run.
I got dressed to go to the gym and did a 2 minute “test run” on my treadmill to see if I thought I might be ready. It went well enough that I thought running was feasible today. I prefer to run on the gym treadmill when I have the chance for several reasons:
- Its cooler at the gym. (Especially since I’ve been setting our thermostat higher than normal to save electricity).
- I like being around other people.
- The machines are better.
- I can look out the window while I run.
I decided to try to run about 2-3 miles, depending on how I felt. But I would stop immediately if I had any pain that I thought was related to my surgery.
I ran 3.1 miles in 26:03! Not bad for my first time back!
I was so elated to be back in action that I needed to celebrate! I wanted to make tonight a “family date night”. We decided to use one of the Restaurant.com gift certificates that I bought today to go out to dinner (on a budget).
And I got to wear some of my new clothes …
Me and my date …
We went to the restaurant that we went to for our first date … Ala Thai. Although its in a different location, the food is the same as it was a little over 10 years ago when we went for the first time.
Free wine, free beer …
I don’t know why its free. But it is. I had 3 glasses 🙂
In order to use our $25 gift certificates it specified that we must spend atleast $35 before the discount, so we scoured the menu online before and decided on what exactly we’d get to get us just over the $35 mark. We decided on …
Spring rolls. My long-standing favorite appy! And a newbie app …
Vegetable roll. Basically pineapple, shredded carrot, and bean sprouts with a yummy dipping sauce. It was pretty good, but its no spring roll.
For my entree I decided on my usual, the tofu Pad Thai.
Tim had Red Curry with Tofu.
It was pretty tasty, but melt-your-face-off spicy. Definitely not for me!
After our 2 apps, 2 entrees and free drinks we were still $3.75 short of the $35 requirement to use our gift card so we haaaaad to get dessert.
The summary …
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember the last time I ate out at a nice place and had 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 5 alcoholic beverages and dessert for $23. And that included the gratuity. Score!
Actually we determined that the meal actually cost us exactly … $25.14 including buying the gift certificate, and the cash back reward that we get from our credit card. Still … not bad at all!
Anyone that knows me knows that I love to eat out and just because I’m on a “budget” doesn’t mean I’m not going to find a way to make it happen. It was a great date night.
Lincoln slept through the whole thing …