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Five Frugal Things | Bikes, racks, mattresses, enchiladas, & college

I don’t think I have five frugal things from yesterday, so how about we make this about the week to date?

(It’s my blog, so I make the rules. 😉 )

1. I googled for a coupon code.

Mr. FG and I are finally buying a bike rack for our van, but before we can install a bike rack, we need a trailer hitch.

trailer hitch

I ordered one online, and during checkout, I noticed there was a box for a coupon code.   So, I googled, found one, and it saved a little over $6.00.   Yay!

I usually try to remember to do this when shopping online because it only takes a few seconds, but I come up dry more often than not.   So, I was pleased that this time it worked out.

2. I stuck with my menu plan.

I got busy decluttering yesterday, and was super tempted to skip my dinner plan and have Mr. FG and the kids get takeout (I had to be gone at dinnertime yesterday).

But then I thought about the $6 that I saved on my trailer hitch, and about how takeout for five people would negate the $6 savings.   And let’s be real: it would more than negate those savings.)

enchiladas in pan

So, I ended up making dinner after all (I made enchiladas ahead of time so that the kids could just put them into the oven and have them ready at dinnertime.)

3. I got half-price classes for Joshua.

In order to get 50% off the tuition at college as a high school student, you have to get some extra paperwork in order.   I got all of that knocked out this week, and we’re now paid up for the semester.

I used our Southwest rewards credit card to pay for his classes (yay for free miles!), and of course, we’ll use the tax deduction for college tuition when we file next year.

Between the 50% off and the tax deduction, these classes end up being quite the bargain.

4. We’ve been shopping around for bikes.

Due to the inevitable growth of the offspring around here, we were due for some bike switching up.   Luckily, Lisey can use Joshua’s, Sonia can use Lisey’s, and Zoe fits a bike that Joshua’s friend had been borrowing (he’d outgrown it by now).

Zoe, a few bikes ago

Zoe, a few bikes ago

So, we just have to find one for Joshua now.   We’ve visited several bike stores, checked out the used marked, and learned a lot about what kind of bike would be good for Joshua.   We haven’t made a decision yet, but we’re a lot closer than we were, and I think we’re pretty well-equipped to help him find a good fit now.

Since he’s nearly 17, this miiiiight be the last bike we buy for him.


5. We’re considering an alternative mattress.

Our current mattress (a memory foam from Costco) is causing Mr. FG some pain, so we’ve been looking at mattresses.   We’d considered a Sleep Number bed, thinking the adjustability might be worth the price, but then Mr. FG discovered Luxi, an online mattress company.

Luxi - The Luxi Mattress - Mozilla Firefox 7132016 105535 PM

They make a mattress that’s customizable (you unzip the cover and change up the layers to fit your preference), they have free shipping and a really great trial period*, and the mattress is waaaay cheaper than a Sleep Number bed.

*Sleep Number says you have a great trial period, but the truth is that the bed base you buy is nonrefundable, and you have to pay for the delivery and return shipping fees.   So, it’s a several hundred dollar risk to try it at home.

So, we’re thinking we might give the Luxi a try and see how it goes.

(Luxi has no idea I exist, and I am not affiliated with them.)


Your turn! List your own five frugal things in the comments.

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Monday 18th of July 2016

I kept meaning to comment soon after you actually wrote this post...but I have 3 little kids, and that didn't quite happen! In case it's still relevant, we did a lot of research on mattresses about 18 months ago (after buying a bad one the time before!). It sounds like you may really want the customizability of a sleep number bed, which is obviously totally fine, but if you think you might be able to find a more standard mattress, 2 companies you might want to check out are Casper and Tuft & Needle. Both avoid the middle man, and I believe both are American made and generally get rave reviews, especially relative to their cost. We ended up ordering a Tuft & Needle (we wanted a firmer mattress, and they seem to be a little firmer than Casper), and we love it!


Monday 18th of July 2016

Yep, those are two companies Mr. FG has researched too. If the Luxi doesn't work out for us, we'll probably try one of those two, or possibly a Ghost brand mattress.

He's not sure right now if he wants something firmer or less firm, so that's why we thought the Luxi would be good. He can tweak and figure out what makes him most comfortable.

Susan T.

Saturday 16th of July 2016

After researching and saving for A Long Time, I purchased a mattress online from Habitat Furnishings. I was just so done with throwing money out the window for mattresses that sag and become uncomfortable long before they should. My mattress has an adjustable air base with a memory foam layer and a latex layer. I stacked the latex layer on top for a cooler sleep and better comfort. I could not be happier. It's been less than a year, but I know this one is going to hold up very well. I no longer have daily back issues and I no longer take benadryl every night, which I did for years, to help me sleep. This bed was expensive but worth every penny. The air base prevents sagging and allows for adjustable firmness and the foam and latex layers combine for great comfort and support. I would highly recommend this type of bed.


Friday 15th of July 2016

1. Used 8.00+ in rewards at Kmart when I bought a new bedspread. 2. I found a sale at Oriental Trading on luau decorations for Shyla's 9th birthday party this weekend. 3. We are getting her a trampoline for her birthday and Kmart has them marked down to $199. I had priced them a couple weeks ago and they were $349 at that time. It has paid to wait. I also have a $5 coupon for $35 in toys. I'm hoping they consider a trampoline a toy. 4. When I purchased the new bedspread I received a coupon for .20 off a gallon of gas per fill up at Speedway. I was just under a 1/4th of a tank so I was able to fill up at 2.09 a gallon instead of 2.29. 5. I got a 2free bottles of coke with my speedy rewards points.

Overall, it has been a good week.


Friday 15th of July 2016

I'm finding everyone's mattress comments quite interesting. I'm one of the few waterbed holdouts, and I LOVE mine - yes, I'm the one. I've never found a conventional or foam mattress that didn't cause horrible shoulder pain - I'm a side sleeper. And although I'm sure my bed would be way too soft for someone who slept on their back, they do make waterbed mattresses that are hard as a rock these days.

Anyhow, I just wanted to mention that waterbeds, if done correctly, can be an amazingly frugal choice. I got the frame for $50 decades ago - I'm sure you could pick one up at a rummage sale for next to nothing. Replacement mattresses can be had for under $100 for the basic variety, but even the fanciest ones are under $500 - and they can be repaired many times before you actually have to replace them.

And here's the real money saver - I don't use a heater. I just layer a bunch of old blankets and comforters on top of the mattress (so between the human and the mattress) in the winter, and then as the weather warms up I gradually reduce the number, so I'm nice and cool even on the hottest nights. Saves a bundle on heating and cooling costs because the warm/cool factor is totally adjustable, so you can set the thermostat at a cost saving level and just adjust the number of layers on the bed. Plus - you can take all the blankets off and wash everything, so there are no worries about buildup of dust, dead skin, and other yucky stuff.

I doubt I'll create any waterbed converts here, but it's a great frugal choice for me!

Brook Hart

Friday 15th of July 2016

My frugality went out the window the last couple of days. My college daughter had multiple problems that escalated, I had to step in and address them . The daughters boy friend and I were in a car wreck tonight. The other driver was texting and the accident was witnessed by an off duty officer. As many blows and punches as I have suffered this week, I still can be thankful for being frugal. I had money saved that I used for the problems. My credit card was used for a true emergency and available because I hadn't wasted my credit on bad choices. We all have medical and car insurance so we are all covered no matter what the outcome. I need to find a ray of sunshine tomorrow but just having this blog to read tonight filled my broken teacup. Thank you far always being a delightful community.


Friday 15th of July 2016

I'm so sorry to hear about the wreck! I hope that things get sorted out with that soon.

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