Frugal Ways For Me to Stay Fit

22 Aug

I let my gym membership expire last week.  It wasn’t a monthly charge.  Rather, I had bought a prepaid 2-year membership for 24-Hour Fitness through Costco, and the term had run out.  When I bought it, the price was $299.99, so while the initial cost was a doozy, it amortized out to $12.50 per month instead of the $30 you would pay if billed monthly.

I let it expire because they had upgraded 4 out of the 6 gyms in my area to Supersport, which therefore rendered my membership ineligible to go to those branches unless I paid more.  Cost to upgrade would be $40 per month, so you can bet that I won’t be signing up for that.

Staying healthy can cost money, though it’s better in the long run than paying for doctor’s bills and prescriptions.  There are gyms in Los Angeles that can easily cost $140 per month or more  So, now that I’m a woman without a  gym, here are some frugal things I’m doing for exercise:

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Robbing Peter to Get a Discount from Paul…Sort Of

17 Aug

I’ve tweeted before about getting discounts from Shell gas stations, where they’ve made a deal with The Kroger Company.  If you shop at one of their stores – in my case, it’s Ralph’s supermarket – with your rewards card, you get 1 point for every dollar spent, which you can then redeem at any Shell station.  It’s currently 100 points for 20 cents off per gallon at any Shell station.

Since I live alone (also expect a post eventually about frugal living by yourself!), my grocery buying underpaces my gasoline consumption.  I usually fill up my tank every 7-10 days, and you can bet that I don’t buy $100 worth of groceries in that same amount of time!

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Cutting Costs When Dining Out (and It Includes Wine!)

14 Aug

I do believe that one of the easiest ways to save money is to not dine out, but as I said before, I also try not to deprive myself.  Everyone has to enjoy life sometimes.  I try to limit myself to eating out once a week.  And it is difficult, because more often than not, socializing seems to revolve around food.  But when I do, I do my best not to pay full price.  This is how my friends and I cut corners when we went out for dinner last week.

There is a free service called Blackboard Eats that has 30% off deals in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  Subscribing is free, and if they list a deal for a restaurant that you want to frequent, you sign up for a unique passcode that you give to your server and usually have about 2 months to use.  Couldn’t be simpler.  I’m sure they get some kind of commission from the restaurant.  Last year, they tried charging $1 per passcode, many frugal people like me just stopped signing up for them, and they quickly went back to their free system.

I had a BBE 30% passcode for a Mexican place I’d been wanting to try called Tinga.  This was the damage for 3 people:

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BlogHer ’12 – Part Two: What I Spent While I Was There

10 Aug

My flight arrived at JFK at 5:30 am on Thursday morning.  While I never have any problem sleeping on planes, it was still only a 5-hour flight, and it was really 2:30 in the morning Los Angeles time.


Right next to my baggage claim carousel was a Dunkin’ Donuts.  This was clearly a sign, as there is no Dunkin’ Donuts within a 50-mile radius of where I live.  The only way we can get DD coffee in southern California is to find it in a grocery store and brew it yourself.  So, hell yes, I was going to get me some.  I got an almond-flavored iced coffee for $3.78.

To get to Manhattan, taking a cab from the airport didn’t make frugal sense since I was traveling alone.  Flat fare to get into Midtown is $45, plus any tolls and tip.  If I had been able to share a cab with one or two others, it might have been worth it.  I was originally looking for a group van or Super Shuttle to take in for about $15-20.  After reading too many horror stories about pretty much all the companies on Yelp, I opted to take the AirTrain.  From there, I transferred to the E line, which took me to the 53rd and Lexington stop, 5 short blocks north of my hotel.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes, but I took my time because it was the crack of dawn anyway.  When my BFF came in on Wednesday evening, it took her over 2 hours in a cab because of rush hour.

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BlogHer ’12 – Part One: What I Spent Before I Got There

8 Aug

Yes, I popped my BlogHer conference cherry in New York last weekend.  I got back to La-La Land at 12:30 am on Sunday night and am now feeling less like a zombie (a satisfied one, but a zombie nonetheless).

The first thing that probably goes through anyone’s mind is, “Crap, that’s an expensive city!”  My trip was multi-purpose:  1) I had just launched this blog, 2) I hadn’t been to Manhattan in 5 years, and 3) my BFF was also going on behalf of her company, so it would give us a chance to spend some time together.  She would be the only person I knew going there, and I know you’re thinking that my first money-saving strategy was to crash on her floor.  Negative.  Here’s what I did to have a cost-effective, grand ole time at BlogHer ’12 sans sponsors.

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BlogHer? I Barely Know Her

1 Aug

I’m headed to my first BlogHer Conference tonight, but ironically, I won’t be blogging while I’m there.  I’ve chosen to travel lightly, so my laptop is getting a staycation while I’m in the Big Apple.

However, I will be tweeting, so please follow me at

I’ll have a nice long write-up about all the ways I saved bucks on my trip when I return!

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