Yoga, Books, Dance and a Weekend Getaway

29 Aug

I’m happy to report that I’m still going strong on my discount-only living for this 30-Day project. Except for the following non-negotiable, fixed expenses I have not paid full price for anything.

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Gasoline
  • Groceries (although I use coupons on as much as I can, and Keith got a 50% off coupon for Greenling. But if I don’t have a coupon for milk, for example, I’m still going to buy it.)

Chilling at Half Price Books

I haven’t bought anything that I didn’t have some sort of coupon or discount for that gave me at least 30% off. This past week I’ve done some shopping, tried a new yoga studio and enjoyed a great weekend of fun.

Earlier in the week I visited one of my favorite places, Half Price Books. As the name implies, everything is at least half off, and I regularly buy clearance books here for $1. On this visit, I picked up two DVDs for my daughter at $5 each, for a savings of 67-75% (they were retail $15 and $20). I also had a little fun and bought a Liz Lemon t-shirt package from the show 30 Rock, at the Universal online store. I love Tina Fey, and the sale was 31% off. Totally frivolous, but a fun little treat.

I also checked out a new yoga studio called Breath and Body Yoga. I took advantage of a special offer for new students, that gives you a week of unlimited classes for $20. I will take about 4 classes in that week, so at a regular cost of $20 per class or even $14.50 with a 10-class pass, I am saving 65% at $5 per class. I did another yoga class last week at Black Swan Yoga, a donation based studio where everyone can pay what they wish, or what they can afford. Perfect for all budgets!

Cooling off at Hamilton Pool, just down the road from Cypress Creek Retreat

On the weekend, my guy and I headed out of town for a much-needed relaxation weekend, to unplug from work and technology and just recharge. He found a wonderful little Hill Country retreat called Cypress Creek and arranged for everything, so I just got to go along as his guest. But I did find a couple of ways to contribute to the weekend, under the parameters of my Discount Living project. On Saturday night, after we arrived at the retreat, we headed to Spicewood and Ilsa’s Kitchen, a German restaurant there. I had bought a $25 gift certificate for Ilsa’s from – and using the discount code “TASTY,” I even got 80% off that! So I paid $2 (instead of the usual $10) for a $25 certificate. My total out-of-pocket bill for dinner was $24 (including tip and the $2 I spent on the certificate), as opposed to the $46 original bill. The food was good and they even had live music. Total savings: $22 or 54%.

Having a good time on our 36-hour break

I also brought along some food from home, including chocolate-covered strawberries I had made, and ingredients to make breakfast tacos and grilled veggie sandwiches the next day. It was the hottest weekend of the year, but we had a great time.

The last thing we did over the weekend was very enjoyable, and completely free. I had read about The Trash Project, an incredibly unique performance created by Forklift Danceworks. Using the machinery and employees of Austin’s solid waste services department, choreographer Allison Orr brings attention to what really happens to our trash, while highlighting the dance and artistic skills of these workers. It was truly one-of-a-kind, and tickets were offered free with advance reservations. Keith and I met some friends for the performance, and I have to say I’ve never seen anything like it.

The Trash Project performance at sunset

One last thing I would like to mention, are the additional incentives that the “deal sites” like Groupon frequently offer. Just two weeks ago, Groupon sent me an offer saying that if I purchase two or more Groupons during August, they would deposit a $10 credit into my account. Well I did, and they have – giving me $10 extra in discounts to use!

Until next time,

One Response to “Yoga, Books, Dance and a Weekend Getaway”

  1. Aria Yoga Sullivan October 19, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks for posting! I’m totally jealous that you have a place to get yoga books at such a discounted price. I’m going to try doing the same challenge and not pay full price for anything but essentials.

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