Frugal wedding surprise
October 23, 2008, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

The cost of having a horse drawn carriage deliver me to the ceremony and sweep Jake and me off to the reception: $0

One of Jake’s uncles trains horses for sleigh rides and carriage rides and is insisting on being at our service on our wedding day. How could I possibly say no to having such a fairy tale detail at absolutely no cost?!

The more and more I plan this wedding, the more I realize that it really is all about the people that you know.

So, it’s been awhile…
October 7, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Jake and I went out to his brother’s house this weekend for some quality family time, so I wasn’t able to sit down and write up any posts like I had hoped to. My college roommate is coming for a visit this coming weekend, so I’ll probably be pretty absent then too.

As far as frugal moves go, Jake and I just bought a roasting pan and we’re roasting a chicken as I type. Buying a whole chicken is much cheaper than buying chicken breasts, so we thought we’d give roasting a try. We also bought some cloth napkins on clearance for $.74 a piece at Target.

As far as wedding planning goes, I’m currently stalking the bids on a wedding dress on eBay that I just love. It’s getting pretty close to my limit, so we’ll see (the dress I bought a few weeks ago was way too small, so I had to return it- bummer). I’m getting ready to order our save the date cards, I just keep forgetting to do it. Maybe I’ll just bite the bullet and do it tonight while it’s on my mind.

EDIT: I got the dress! ūüėÄ

The first few weeks of wedding planning
July 13, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

I adamantly resisted planning my wedding for a good 6 months.¬†A few weeks ago, though, it dawned on me that it’s possible Jake and¬†I can swing a wedding for next summer, like we originally wanted, and I got down to planning. Believe it or not, I actually really enjoy it! Here are the frugal things I’ve come up with so far:
-We’re going to have the wedding in upstate NY where Jake’s family lives. His uncle owns a restaurant on Lake Champlain and he gave us a really good deal¬†for the reception. He also owns 6 cabins on the water and he gave us a great deal on these as well (one for us and the rest for out of town guests).
-We’re either going to have the ceremony at a small park close to the restaurant or have it outside of the restaurant on the water.
-I’m only having a maid of honor.
-Peonies grow everywhere in that part of New York and so I will have peonies in my bouquet, my maid of honor’s bouquet, and in the centerpieces. We’re going to get the flowers from Jake’s relatives’ backyards. Jake’s mom is going to be making all of the flower arrangements.
-Jake’s mom is going to make our cake and Jake’s aunt is going to decorate it.
-We’re going to use our iPod as¬†the DJ and Jake can loan audio equipment from his work for free.
-We’re going to have a buffet instead of a served meal.
-We’re probably going to buy the alcohol at a liquor wholesaler in New York and have the bartender serve it at the reception instead of using and being charged for the restaurant’s alcohol.
-We’re probably going to go to Maine for our honeymoon instead of going to Italy like we originally planned. I think we’ll save Italy for our one year anniversary.

I would love to hear more ideas you all have for ways to keep wedding costs down.

Inexpensive birthday present
July 10, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Frugality

My mom’s birthday is this weekend and I, of course, don’t have gobs of money to spend on her, so I started brainstorming¬†inexpensive ways to show my love for her.

I remembered that I have a sketchbook full of drawings that I drew when I was younger. There was a possibility that there was a drawing that featured my mom in that book. I hunted around and found it at my dad’s house. We looked through the sketchbook as well as other sketchbooks he had saved of my brother’s and my artwork. We not only found a drawing that I did of my mom when I was about 6, but we also found a hilarious drawing my brother did of my mom when he was about 9.

I sealed them up, along with a card, and mailed them to her today. I’m sure they are going to make her laugh, cry, and feel loved. What better present could you ask for?

Wedding day blues
July 7, 2008, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

I had my first good cry over the wedding today. Damn it.

We need to figure out a way to have this wedding on a budget without having it seem like we’re on a budget (read: no beans and weenies, no metal folding chairs, no casual¬†family reunion feel). I hate to be so picky about this, but it is my once in a lifetime wedding, after all, so I’d like it to be remotely nice.

Farmer’s market
July 5, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Green

After months of wanting to go to a farmer’s market to pick up produce, I finally stopped by one this morning with my dad.

Last night, I was looking around a few sites on local and organic food when it dawned on me that there’s a farmer’s market that’s open on Saturday mornings and I didn’t have to work at that time so I would be able to go this week. I called up my dad and asked if he’d like to go with me¬†since the market is very close to his apartment and he agreed to go.

I picked up two cucumbers, four peaches, and a dozen brown eggs for $5.50. I was hoping to get more, but there weren’t a lot of farmers there (most likely due to the rain). There’s another farmer’s market that’s open on Tuesdays that I hope to go to this week to pick up the rest of our produce.

To see where there are farmer’s markets as well as organic stores and restaurants near you, check out localharvest.org.

June 21, 2008, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Green

I came across Walkscore.com¬†on a few PF blogs recently and decided to plug in my address to see how walkable my neighborhood was. It got a 74, which wasn’t too surprising for me since I live a few blocks away from a nice shopping area in Richmond where you can find almost everything you need. I can and usually do walk to CVS,¬†Walgreens,¬†my dentist, one of my doctors, and the post office. Kroger is¬†also doable by foot, but we usually buy too many things to be able to walk there and back. Sadly, parks are the farthest away from my apartment.

Just out of curiosity, I plugged in the address for the apartment we’re moving into July 1 that’s a block away from our current apartment and the score jumped up to 77. I really hope that Jake and I continue to walk to the stores that are near to us and push ourselves to walk more often instead of using our cars. I’ve toyed around with the idea of getting a bike for us since so many places are close by, but I’m not sure how often we’d actually use it.

You call that a vacation?
June 20, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: About me, Coupons, Food, Frugality, Relationships, Travel

I really enjoyed¬†my vacation, but man, we sure did a lot of stuff. We drove from Virginia to Pennsylvania, saw my friends and family there and spent the night. The following morning we drove from Pennsylvania to upstate New York to see Jake’s family for a few days. While we were there, we drove to Burlington, Vermont and Montreal, Canada. On our way from upstate New York back down to Pennsylvania, we stopped in Woodstock, NY¬†to have lunch. We spent the night in PA¬†and saw some of both Jake’s and my families, then drove back home to Virginia.

Somehow along the way,¬†we managed to adopted Basil,¬†a part Siamese cat, from one of Jake’s aunts. The poor little guy was being terrorized by her three dogs and we just couldn’t say no to rescuing him. Our dog, Honey, and Basil are slowly working things out.

My two favorite frugal things about our trip both have to do with Jake’s mom. My future mother in law works at the family grocery store. Over Sunday breakfast, I casually told Jake that I had to buy the newspaper. He gave me a funny look (why would I want the newspaper from upstate NY?) and then he unscrewed his face and said, “Oh, coupons.” Jake’s mom happened to overhear and said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. I can get a whole bunch from the store for you.” She not only got me a few copies of Sunday’s coupons, she also got me a bundle of last week’s coupons too. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my future mother in law? She’s also going to try and snag some for me every week and mail them to me. ūüôā

Another perk of knowing someone who works at a grocery store is access to “out dates” or food that’s recently expired that the store¬†can no longer sell even though the food is still perfectly fine. Jake’s mom went through everything for us and we came home with a whole boxful of free food.

Today is Jake’s and my three year anniversary, so I’m going to have to¬†cut this post¬†short so I can enjoy the rest of the evening with the one that I love. I hope your past week as been a bit more leisurely than mine.

Travel tip #7
June 18, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Travel

Pack snacks. Nothing’s worse than having to buy a bottle of water for $2 or a small pack of chips for $3¬†when you’ve already¬†shelled out plenty to get where you’re going. Nonperishable or not easily perishable items are best, of course, and be sure to¬†bring both sweet and salty items to try and match your cravings. If you’re flying, bring an empty water bottle so that you can get through security just fine and then fill it up at a water fountain or sink when you’re on the other side.

Travel tip #6
June 17, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Travel

Try to book way in advance or very last minute. Companies try to entice as many people as possible to book early (to get the ball rolling) and last minute (to fill up any remaining spots)¬†by offering price cuts. If exact dates and times aren’t especially important, your flexibility will also save you some cash.