|Back to Back Issues Page|
Frugal Retiring News, Issue 47 ,April 2013
April 19, 2013
Our favorite way to save money
If there's one thing that people ask about frugal retirement living... is there one tip that you can give me that will truly make a difference?
The answer, with the obvious exception of never having credit card debt...is to eat the vast majority of your meals at home.
Here are more specifics starting with breakfast...
My frugal and healthy breakfast
You're looking at what I have for breakfast every day... call me boring but this is what I eat seven days a week.
This is something anyone can do, take a small pot, put in one heaping cup of oatmeal, add a dash of salt, and cover the oatmeal with water.
In about 90 seconds I have my breakfast... slice up a banana and a handful of walnuts... and enjoy.
Quick, cheap ( buy the oatmeal in bulk and store in Tupperware containers)...and it's very healthy.
Let's take a look at what we do on Sunday evenings.
First priority, is to be very easy on the cook, Sunday is the day of rest not be spent slaving over the stove... we can get several more meals in the following week by using the strange invention you see below.
This is a pressure cooker and inside is one of my personal favorites... black-eyed peas.
This is not only very cheap and easy to fix, but the pressure cooker cooking process is fast and we use less gas.
Combine this with, brown rice... which we buy in bulk from a health food store, cooked in a rice cooker. Very simple, very fast, very cheap.
Never use white rice, it has very little nutritional value when compared to the brown rice.
Add some chicken sausage, and this is pretty much what we have on Sunday night and into the following week.
Save the leftoversWhen cooking the black-eyed peas my frugal wife, fills at least two, sometimes three of these storage bags, which we put in the refrigerator or the freezer.
Remember waste not want not.
Beans/peas are a great source of protein...and you know it's cheap.
How do we use the money that we save by eating at home?
You guessed it, a cruise, where we make up for all the restaurant meals that we've missed.
As we did last April we taking another repositioning cruise...and will be leaving Fort Lauderdale on the 28th... first 8 days will be at sea, stops in Gibraltar, Barcelona, Marseille and ending up in Rome, 14 days later.
Your next newsletter, incidentally will be coming from Italy as we continue to knock items off our bucket list.
Why is the repositioning cruise so cheap?...$799 per person.
Cruise lines in the winter concentrate on the Caribbean market, in our summertime the ships cruise the Mediterranean, other parts of Europe and Scandinavia.
Getting the boat from the Caribbean to the summer cruising grounds is called a repositioning cruise... it's not everyone's cup of tea, eight days at sea without stopping is not something that everyone enjoys.
Frugal travel tip number oneBecause you tend to have a lot of luggage on a cruise, at least we do...
We are big fans of Southwest Airlines, you get your first two bags free... and that right there saves us 100 bucks plus each way.
You will not find Southwest on popular travel websites such as, Hotwire, Expedia, or Kayak...there is also no nickel and diming when you change reservations.
We booked a nonstop flight from Phoenix to Ft Lauderdale, and used 9900 frequent-flier miles for each ticket.
Using Priceline's name your own price , We got a three star hotel with free airport and cruise ship transfers for $69.
We have to stay a night in Lauderdale since there are no flights, other than red eyes that leave you flying all over the country, that can get us from Phoenix, in one day, in time to catch the ship.
Frugal travel tip number twoAfter we had made our reservations for the transatlantic cruise... we had planned to spend a few days in Rome and Florence in apartments... you can cook your own meals overseas just as well.
The oatmeal premixed with salt, is already packed... breakfast is covered in Italy just like it is here in Arizona.
See how easy it is to avoid eating out even in foreign countries... Our waistlines will probably need a break anyway after a 14 day cruise.
We found what we consider very good deals on apartment rentals on this website .
We then booked a second cruise from Venice back to Rome stopping in Athens, Ephesus, Mykonos, Corfu, Santorini, Dubrovnik, and Naples... the cruise was offered for $999 a person...the cruise starts in Venice which was a biggie for us and our bucket list.
European cruises are much more expensive than Caribbean cruises so we jumped on this one.
So we will be gone for almost 6 weeks.
How can this cheapskate afford all this?
Remember several months ago I said to check out this website for unclaimed assets...you just never know folks...
Frugal travel tip number threeFor our travel around Italy, We used this site ... all of our train travel from the cruise port to Rome, to Florence, to Ferrara, to Venice cost $162...
I would not even think of renting a car in Italy... you would be looking at close to $700-$800, plus the worry of parking, and driving in a strange country.
Because these tickets were so cheap, three of of four legs of the journey we are going first-class... it cost us only another $30 to do so... that's for the both of us.
You can also get some great ideas, on how to travel Europe, from Rick Steve's website... especially if you are not going on a cruise.
Rick Steve is a great resource.
Non-travel frugal tipsI realize I am being repetitive, but do not miss out on the chance to refinance your home... in the upper left-hand corner of every page on site, is the link to lending tree.com.
Do not be kicking yourself by not taking advantage in this era of his story low mortgage rates.
You can also shop for auto loans, and new home financing on the same site.
For you folks under 65, do not be overpaying for health insurance... click here and save ... Remember you don't have to give your phone number, and can get 100 quotes in a matter of seconds.
Sorry if you're over 65, the government thinks you're too stupid to make health insurance decisions on your own, and requires you to be contacted by a commission driven salesperson in order to get rates quoted.
Housesitting this summerHopefully, this summer we will be able to take advantage of free rent by housesitting... all of the information is below.
In order to reduce our vacation costs we have registered with a house sitting service...We have done this for several years and are trying to see if this can reduce our housing costs for vacations.
Here is what our profile looks like on Facebook... our profile
So if you folks out there are looking for a responsible couple to watch your digs while you are out exploring give us a buzz through house carers or through the site.
We have six letters of reference and a police check...
You just never know what will turn up.
In closingIf you are taking a trip in the US this summer don't forget to review the following pages...
Until next time stay healthy and stay frugal,
Gary and Julie
|Back to Back Issues Page|