20saver


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.

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Paychecks, fleas, weddings, oh my
October 15, 2008, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Money Basics, Wedding

I will be getting my first big girl paycheck tomorrow! Not only am I happy about this for the obvious reasons, I’m also happy because I can now afford to buy some Frontline for our dog and cat. Our dog has gotten fleas from our yard (which is a shared yard with other neighbors and their pets) and has lovingly passed them on to our cat. I’ve been spraying them with a concoction of lemon juice and basil (and bathing my dog with white vinegar) at an attempt to kill and repeal fleas the natural way, but I think there are far too many fleas to make it a feasible solution. Once my paycheck hits, I’ll be ordering them the good stuff.

I got my wedding dress in the mail and it fits! It’s gorgeous and I am so excited to wear it. I do need to get it dry cleaned right before the wedding to get all the wrinkles out of it from shipping. I’m so glad the whole dress hunt is finally over. One less thing I’ll have to worry about as the day draws closer. I also recently ordered our save the date cards and I’m expecting them to come in in about two weeks.

I’m hoping that this coming weekend will be a quiet one for me so I can catch up on studying for the GRE and writing posts. I also need to find some time this week to go to Rite Aid to pick up lots of free after rebate items. It’s a shame there’s only 24 hours in a day.



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



Rainy day update
September 6, 2008, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Careers, Green, Uncategorized, Wedding

Tropical storm Hanna has been soaking Richmond since last night and it has recently gotten a bit windy here as well. I hope everyone has been safe and sound and continues to be while the storm passes through.

No big drug store or Kroger deals for me this week. Hopefully next week will be more enticing.

My job at the bookstore¬†is now¬†unstable. I am no longer officially on the¬†schedule because they cannot afford to pay me to work as frequently as I was (which really wasn’t very frequent, usually about 2 or 3 days a week). The owner told me that I am still free to come in for 2 or 3 hours when I can in order to help them sell books online. They need to cut expenses in order to stay afloat and I guess I was first on the chopping block since I have another job to support myself with. I have wanted to quit working there for quite some time now because I don’t enjoy it there anymore and I feel my time¬†is worth more than minimum wage, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I guess this can be considered an easy out.

Even though it wasn’t much, the extra money I got from working there definitely did help me out. I hope that I can will myself to go in at least once a week to help them so that I can get a few dollars, but I honestly don’t know if I will make myself go since I really don’t want to. I can probably make up for¬†the money I’m losing by mystery shopping again and taking more online surveys and such, but there’s no doubt in my mind now that I really need this full time job I interviewed for recently. I lost my health insurance, the economy is crap, now it seems I’m losing my second job- if only desperation were an attractive quality employers looked for in potential employees.

I’ve been studying diligently for the GRE. I really hope to take it by the beginning of October. It looks like I’ll have more time on my hands now, so that goal seems more attainable. The verbal section¬†is going smoothly, but the quantitative part is really making me sweat. Math wouldn’t be so difficult for me if I found it even remotely interesting.

Jake and I have decided on save the date cards and invitations. We are going to buy them from an invitation company that is dedicated to using earth friendly practices. I’ve been emailing back and forth with the owner about the design and I’m just loving her and her company to bits! I bought a vintage dress from an online store this past week. I’m not going to get too excited about it until it arrives and I can try it on. I haven’t¬†told too many people about it because I’m waiting to see what it looks like on me.¬†I’ve also been looking at vintage and earth friendly wedding bands. I found a band I like for myself, but Jake’s seems to be proving a bit more difficult, especially since we’re not sure of his exact ring size.

And so life is moving forward and dragging me along with it.



The wedding dress saga
August 27, 2008, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Green, Wedding

It is very easy to get caught up in wedding planning and the whole idea of what a modern wedding is supposed to be.

Case in point: I went wedding dress shopping with Jake’s mom, Jake’s sister-in-law, and two of my friends a few weeks ago. I am not happy or proud to admit that we went to David’s Bridal first (big box stores are definitely not my thing). Surprisingly, I found a dress that my entourage and I really liked. It was on sale for $700. They did not have the dress in my size, so I had to try on a dress that was a size too big. In order for them to order my size (which is considered to be a special order), I would have to pay for it in full. The sale supposedly ended on¬†August 23rd and¬†the dress supposedly went back up to it’s original price of $900. The sales women were very pushy about this point and the fact that I should buy, buy, buy, now, now, now.

One of my friends and I went to a smaller bridal store across the street after wrapping things up at David’s. I found another dress I liked there. The price on the tag was $850. I didn’t even bother to ask if it was currently on sale.

I sent pictures around to friends and family and got mixed opinions on the two dresses. I decided I should shop around a bit more before making a decision. I found two more dresses I liked online. One was by the same designer of the dress I liked at the small store, so my guess is that it would be around the same price range. The other was a “couture” dress that goes new for $2,000, but is currently available used on eBay in my size for $600.

After talking some more with some of my friends and stressing out about the whole dress thing, I came to the realization that, while all of these dresses are gorgeous and I would probably be happy with any of them, this is not what I want. I do not want to have to shell out $600-$900 on a dress that I will only wear once. I do not want to buy a dress that was made in such a way that destroys the environment and is made under questionable working practices. None of these things line up with who I am fundamentally and certainly would not be a good foundation for a celebration that is supposed to be based on love.

So, I’ve refocused my energies and am now¬†trying to only¬†consider organic, used, or vintage dresses. A sister of one of my friends¬†owns a vintage clothing store and she currently has about 10 wedding dresses. I’m planning¬†a trip to visit her store to see what she has. I want to hit up all the used and vintage clothing stores in town and if I still don’t happen upon a dress I like, I will search fervidly¬†online.

This is my wedding, after all, and it¬†should be representative of me (and Jake, of course, when he decides to jump in and give his two cents about the wedding). So there, media driven and consumer obsessed American culture- I’m not buying it.



Health insurance snafu
July 22, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: Money Basics, Relationships, Wedding

As of August 4, I will no longer have health insurance. Jake’s soon to be old employer offered insurance to employee’s domestic partners and so I was able to be on his plan, but his new employer does not offer this coverage.

Since I work part time, neither of my employers offer health insurance benefits. So far, I’ve considered getting my own independent health plan (with dental coverage), but that would cost me about $80 a month¬†which is money I really don’t have. My other option is¬†to go to the courthouse with Jake and get our marriage license almost a full year earlier than our actual wedding ceremony so that we can be legally married and I can be put on his insurance.

Anyone have any other ideas?



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.