December 14, 2017

Budget Update and New (Thrift) Running Clothes

It's been a while since I've written a Thrifty Thursday post!

Jerry and I are still following our budget plan, and it feels really easy now. We've gotten so used to it that it's not even on my mind much. It feels very automatic.

Last month, we weren't able to pay ANY extra onto the credit card. In other circumstances, I would not be happy with the fact that we couldn't pay anything extra--but the reason for it wasn't due to frivolous spending.

We had to pay $600 onto Eli's orthodontic treatment (starting in January, the payments will only be $130 per month, thank God). I also got 90% of the kids' Christmas shopping done last month! I was done shopping before Thanksgiving, which is the first time I've ever gotten done before the week of Christmas.

We didn't go overboard for Christmas this year, but I had been warning the kids of that all year. Last Christmas, they each got a very expensive gift (Noah got a MacBook and Eli got an iPhone). This year is simple and practical, but I'm really excited about it.

I can't wait to write about it, but I will have to until after Christmas (I just don't want my kids to find out yet). The best part is that Christmas is paid for already--every other year, we would wind up charging a ton of stuff to the credit card, and then paying for it for a long time. By staying within our budget, we will not acquire any debt for Christmas, and that's awesome.

So, last month wasn't great for debt repayment, but I expected that because of Christmas. This month will definitely make up for it, though. (There are five paydays this month! Always a nice bonus.) We've kept our extra spending to a bare minimum. There is always something that we need that we don't plan for (this month, Jerry needed new tires for his car), but barring anything else happening, we should be able to make a nice payment onto the credit card at the end of the month.

We'll also be saving a lot of money on co-pays from now on. I only have two more physical therapy sessions. I had my last appointment with the spine center. I reduced my therapy sessions to once a month (I don't feel the need to go as frequently anymore, so that's a good thing). And I'm well established with my psychiatrist, so I only need to see him every 3-4 months. I'm not even sure what I'll do with myself now that I don't have appointments all the time! Haha. (Run. The correct answer is "run", Katie.)

Speaking of running, I went to Salvation Army a few days ago to hopefully get a couple of sweatshirts; and while I didn't find any sweatshirts, I did find some nice running clothes. I didn't necessarily need running clothes, but now that I'm basically a new runner again, I thought some new (to me) things might motivate me.

I really did need a fleece, or something extra warm, to wear on top of another layer. I found this one, and it's very warm and cozy. I like the color, too. It was marked at $5, but it was half off, so I only paid $2.50.

I got a pair of Nike running pants that are super warm, and they're big enough to wear over my running tights. I'm super excited about these, because running in the cold is so unappealing lately; and I didn't have any pants to wear as a top layer, so these are perfect. I only paid $3 for them!

I also got the black and white top that I'm wearing--it's very thin fabric but surprisingly warm. The fabric feels like a pair of tights--I've never had a shirt like this before. I spent forever trying to figure out the brand by searching phrases online, and then when I was putting the shirt away, I noticed that it says "Climawear" on the sleeve. Hahaha! This design isn't on their site, but this is the closest I can find. I only paid $1.50 for it, and I love it.

And a few others:

This FILA half-zip is great for spring weather. It's light weight and the sides are mesh. Nothing special, but I like the look of it and it's comfy! $3.

This orange-ish color jacket is actually my favorite, and it happens to be a fairly cheap brand--Xersion, which I believe is exclusive to JCPenney. This is a little heavier than the FILA one, but still a good top for spring. $2.

This gray one below is definitely too big, so it looks a little boxy, but it's very comfortable and a high-quality, thick fabric. I like that I can wear the collar high on my neck, but it lays pretty flat when I unsnap it. The brand is MPG Sports, which I'd never heard of. I looked it up online, and apparently this brand is pretty expensive (I always like to look up my thrift clothes to see if I got a good deal!). From the other run jackets on their site, it looks like it was $98.00 new--and I paid $3.50, so I'd say it was an awesome deal.

Now that I have the new fleece and the warm top-layer running pants, I have zero excuses not to brave the cold and run outside! ;) We had a big snow storm yesterday. I really miss having a treadmill! I can go to the Rec center to run on the indoor track if I can get there during certain hours, but the track is SO BORING. At least on a treadmill, I can watch Netflix or something.

So, without the treadmill, my options are to run outside on the snow and ice; or to run on the indoor track. It's hard to get motivated to do either of those! I'm hoping the snow and ice melt quickly. The temp is supposed to be 34 on Saturday, so hopefully that will be warm enough to melt the snow.

One last thing for Thrifty Thursday... just a funny story. Yesterday, Jerry and I went to Hobby Lobby to get the last few things we needed for the boys' Christmas gifts. Hobby Lobby has online coupons for 40% off any regular priced item, so I always look it up while I'm standing in line and then use the code when I check out.

We thought all of the items we bought were on sale, so we didn't use the coupon. When we got out to the car, however, we noticed there were two items that were actually the regular price. One of them was $16, and the other was $10. So, it wasn't a piddly amount of money to get back if we'd used the coupon.

You can only use one coupon per customer per day, but since there were two of us, we could each buy one item with a coupon in separate transactions. We brought the two regular priced items back inside with our receipt. We planned to basically just "return" them and then re-buy them with the coupons. Makes sense, and simple enough, right?

Well, when I told the cashier what we were doing, she said she had to ask her manager. I thought that was odd, because I was literally just going to return something and then buy it again with a coupon. But, she asked the manager, and then came back to say that we weren't allowed to use the coupon, because it must be used at the time of purchase. Jerry and I looked at each other, thinking "What in the world--?" The cashier (a young girl, probably 20 years old) didn't seem to think there was anything odd about it.

I said, "Okay... then I'd like to return these, please." She said, "Sure!" and started the return transaction. Jerry and I kept looking at each other, humored by the situation; then Jerry said, "Okay, I guess I'll go get the same items off the shelves then." And the cashier again acted like that was perfectly normal.

She finished the return, and there was one person in line behind me. So, I got behind that person in line as Jerry came back to the front, holding the exact same items we'd just returned. We each had the coupons on our phones, and we purchased the items using the coupons. THE SAME ITEMS WE JUST RETURNED. With the same cashier.

Meanwhile, the manager picked up the returned items and walked away to put them back on the shelves. We left the store dumbfounded, but laughing about the whole situation!


  1. Morons! LOL!!!!!!!!!

  2. I just had to comment. First of all great buys on new to you clothes! I have a similar HL story. Except I was told I had to wait 7 days to use the coupon to get the discount off of it. WHAT?!! So I told her I lived 1.5 hrs away and only got to the city once a month, so I would just return it. I did, then went and got it again and went to a different check out person and bought with my coupon. Craziest thing ever!

  3. Great thrifty finds! Everything looks so cute! I've had similar experiences with Hobby Lobby. That store can be a little crazy with their policies ;) haha

  4. I hate to see common sense fly out of the window like that! So funny!

  5. Wow, you are a great thrift shopper--those are some great items!

  6. The HL story cracks me up! I think I'd have to pick up my jaw off the floor if that happened to me. And I'm super jealous of your SArmy finds! Those are all so awesome!

  7. Wow, you hit the jackpot at your thrift store! Smaller sizes seem to have the best selections, too...good for you! It feels good to have such high quality stuff at a fraction of the price.

  8. I have to agree with the other got some of the best "thrifty" finds I have seen ever!! You are lucky to have a great thrift store by you, our stores tend to be very picked over and dare I say "trashy"....


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