Good Doggy, Expensive Doggy

16 week old Golden Retriever puppy scratching fleas with leg in motion on a white background "Missy"

My doggy hasn’t been doing so well.  And we are both paying for it.

Last year, I decided to opt out of the Banfield Care Plan (The veterinary practice that is set up in PetSmart stores) because I found it expensive and inefficient.

What I loved about it was that from a scheduling perspective, I was always on top of teeth cleaning, regular exams and shots.  What I didn’t like was that I could never make the numbers match in my favor.  I was paying around $30 per month (young healthy dog plan) and even with the built-in discounts, I was still paying too much for teeth cleanings and the like.  So, I decided to just put a little aside each month to account for the teeth cleanings (around $200+), along with the exam costs (around $40) and save a little cash.

And then along came a case of the cooties.  Ewww.

The poor pooch was diagnosed with a yeast infection that stretched from her ears to her bottom.  Between the exam, tests and prescriptions, her tab came to about $500.  Ouch.

The good news is that she seems to be getting better. A lot less itching, that is for sure.

So here are some takeaways from the pet adventure that never should have been:

  • When the dog is scratching incessantly, do not wait any longer than you have to, to arrange a vet visit.  We may have been able to keep this at a more manageable allergic reaction rather than the yeast infection from hell if I had recognized her issues earlier
  • Some prescriptions for dogs can be filled by pharmacies that cater to humans.  The anti-fungal medication the Vet prescribed would have cost $143 at Banfield.  It cost $88 at Sam’s Club.
  • I am my pet’s advocate.  I have to learn to listen to what she cannot say.
  • YouTube has a video on everything!  I had never heard of this yeast infection condition before known as malassezia.  Yet, lo and behold, I looked it up and there were many peeping-Tom videos of owners helping their dogs, inexpensively, through the recuperation.  Their secret to success?  Selsun Blue. I grabbed a coupon off coupons.com and bought a bottle from Target.  After she finishes her medication at the end of the week, I am taking her to a Dog wash and treating her to a bath.
  • Dog washes are only $10 at PetValue!  Not chasing the dog around the backyard to bathe?  Priceless!!!

Here is to wishing all of our pets a happy and healthy holiday season!

Mirror

 

 

Thrifty Image

Weekend Money #6

Penny

 

 

The radio station Mirror Image makes me listen to on the way to school showcased its Friday Remix this morning.  I know what that means…

That means the weekend is here and it is time to plan the money!

I am going to pre-spend here on this post, then reconcile on Monday.  I plan for this to be another avenue of accountability and budgeting.  So here we go:

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $328
  • Gas = $25
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $5
  • Dollar Tree = $0
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $0
  • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $35
  • Fun Outing = $10
  • Total = $403

 Church (tithes & offering) – 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Groceries – There is snow in my area so we went grocery and snack shopping last night, just in case.  Unfortunately, due to the new converts shoppers, Aldi hasn’t had avocados the last 2 times I shopped there.  I am going tonight to pick some up as the cashier shared that a truck was coming today. I spent $48.39 there last night. Note to the world, even at Aldi, green bell peppers and quinoa are pricey items.

Gas – We may be saying good-bye to the low gas prices of the last 2 weeks.  In fact this past Monday through Wednesday, I watched the gas prices increase 10 cents each day at one particular station. If I go tonight, I might still make my maximum spend goal.

Dollar Tree – I have coupons for Clorox items and I have been hearing of some at the Dollar Tree.  Specifically, I want the wet refills for the Swiffer.  If I can find them, I plan to stock up.

Restaurant – I will not.  I shall not.

Prescriptions – Still need to get those…

Fun – Tonight we are going, as a surprise to Mirror Image, to enjoy Brahms’ German Requiem.  The tickets were free with an $8.50 service for each  I already purchased these through Groupon. We will take the train downtown and will probably have a soda at intermission.  The $10 should cover this.

The rest of the weekend should involve home organizing, walking Thrifty Pooch, baking more white chocolate chips cookies, finishing up a book report,  enjoying free movies from the Library and prepping vegetarian meals for the week ahead.  These activities are all FREE, FREE, FREE!

I will be back on Monday to tally up my successes (or fails).

Thrifty Image Mirror

Weekend Money #5

 

Best Friends as Cupcakes
Find more great artwork like this at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jelene

 

“My BEST friend’s parents’ are going out of town for a wedding. Can she stay with us while they are gone?”  I know what that means…

That means the weekend is here and it is time to plan the money!

I am going to pre-spend here on this post, then reconcile on Monday.  I plan for this to be another avenue of accountability and budgeting.  So here we go:

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
  • Gas = $25
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $0
  • Dollar Tree = $10
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $0
  • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $0
  • Fun Outing = $25
  • Total = $88

 Church (tithes & offering) – Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Prov. 3:9–10

Groceries – My grocery budget is usually stressful so to see this as $0 is fun although not completely accurate.  With the giggly girl sleepover starting Friday after school, I had to get the food earlier in the week. So, while groceries are not part of the Weekend Money this time, they are definitely counted in the grocery budget. Counted to the tune of about $41 in fact.

Gas – Hooray for continued low gas prices!

Dollar Tree – Dollar Tree is running an online Easter Basket Contest for the Value Seekers Club. I may have the girls make one or two to submit for consideration.  Or maybe we will make fun vision boards.  The $10 will go towards supplies at the Dollar Tree to keep the giggly girls too busy to harass the dog.

Restaurant – Nope.  Absolutely not.  We went to McCormick & Schmick’s Wednesday to take advantage of the Shrimp & Shuck for Buck promo.  $42 and a very wet walk to the car later, we are done with restaurants this week.  (The oysters were delish!)

Prescriptions – I need to pick them up but who am I kidding at this point?

Fun – In honor of our overnight guest and Mirror Images awesome interim Progress Report, we will go hang out at RockinJump. I picked up a Groupon a couple months back so admission for 2 is covered. The $25 is for climbing socks and potential incidentals.

I have to say, I am looking forward to the weekend!

I will be back on Monday to tally up my successes (or fails).

Thrifty Image Mirror

Celebrating Valentine’s Day – The Thrifty Way!

Pooh Piglet Valentine

Valentine’s Day has come and gone.  Here is how the Thrifty Image household spent our Valentine’s Day:

Happy Valentine’s Day to me! I started the day by walking the 70 pound German Shepherd in the 5 degree weather at 6:30am. Crazy cold weather makes me walk faster which is just fine with the Thrifty Pooch.

Half hour later, Thrifty Pooch is eating breakfast while I take a shower to warm up and get ready for Church.  Mirror Image is still sleeping so I sneak her Valentine’s present into her room.

Mirror Image is slooow to rise but is groggily thankful for the Valentine’s Day socks and the massive box of Sugar Babies I got her. She wanted to have some of the Valentine’d Day cake she had made the night before for breakfast. I scratched that idea.

Off to church we go!

After Church, we ventured back to the Dollar Tree.  This is my 3rd visit since Friday.  Since it is tax-free weekend in Maryland, I decide to buy the organization baskets sooner for the sun room project rather than later.

Once home, I made Mirror Image several vegetarian dishes to counteract the MASSIVE amount of Valentine’s cake and candy she ate at Sunday School.  We enjoyed Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Corn Avocado Salad.  She also had green peas and a green salad.

Mirror Image handed me a homemade card and later, we enjoyed the The Princess Bride 2 and some yummy oven baked ribs I made for Mirror Image because she LOVES them and they are unbelievably AWESOME. Oh, and she ate MORE cake.

Then a walk around the block for the Thrifty Pooch and me and we returned to a warm inviting home where we wound down for the night — with the adult of the house enjoying the Walking Dead premiere.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to celebrate and enjoy Valentine’s Day. For me, it means being with the people I love, sharing the food I love and showing love.

How did you spend (or save) Valentine’s Day?

Thrifty Image Mirror