Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Frugal wins & fails

I wrote this post, but when I published it, it published yesterday's post again. Weird. The original post is now gone, so let's see if I can recreate it.

Frugal wins over the past few weeks:

  • Called & reduced our auto insurance (got rid of rental car option, as we have a backup car). Savings of $12/month
  • Increased our homeowner's deductible, for a savings of $90/year.
  • Made brownies for Nick's end of season soccer party, vs buying treats.
  • Ate lunch at home vs eating at the soccer party (this was for me, I let Nick eat at the party with his buds ;-)). This meant I could buy a smaller pizza. I usually go for the bigger one & take leftovers home, but with our trip, this seemed like an opportunity for waste.
  • Converted hotel points into $50 of Amazon gift cards
  • Earned $25 Amazon gift card on Swagbucks, and cashed out for Christmas gifts.
  • Redeemed different hotel points into $250 of Target gift cards
  • Adjusted our Christmas gift plans (in coordination with my sister - we just buy gifts for our four boys, no adults in the exchanges), thus reducing the gifts by one Santa gift (they are past that age) & one stocking gift each. We are continuing to try & make Christmas more about time together than gifts. Instead of the Santa gift on Christmas Eve, we will go mountain biking & then come back for puzzle time. We will exchange the other gifts on Christmas Day.
  • Made a smaller grocery shop than usual, in advance of our Hawaii trip.
  • Packed a great deal of household items for our trip, to avoid having to buy things there. I get 4 free checked bags with my status, so this is free (other than the hassle of the bags :-)).
  • Called Alaska & negotiated an option to come home one day earlier. The intent of this was to make it easier for the boys to head back to school, and reduce their time out. Alaska has changed our flights so many times that they offered to waive the $1000 of increased fare, due to my airline status. Super grateful, as the boys can sleep in, I get a day to recover after the trip, and we were able to cancel one night of the hotel, plus car rental. Expected savings = $600. These were the flight days I originally wanted way back when I booked these in February, so I'm very excited to be able to rebook with this option.
Frugal fail for the week:
  • M & I had a misunderstanding about dinner on Saturday night. As a result, we ended up ordering food delivery. We did have a $20 coupon code (Amazon is testing out a free - aka delivery charge is free - delivery service), but it was still pretty expensive. We opted for Thai, which gave us dinner 2x, for three people, and a lunch. 
  • I have had some food waste. Again, M & I buying produce without talking to each other about what we already have in the house. I had to compost 1/2 a bag of kale, some old brussels sprouts, and part of a squash.

That's what's happening for us! What about you? Any big frugal wins to report? Or, frugal fails? :)


  1. I managed to not eat out while hubby was gone and made myself a quiche using a bunch of older veggies so reduced food waste. Nearly impossible to eliminate it 100 percent when you have more than one person in the household as so hard to determine exactly how much of each thing you need to buy. Good for you negotiating with the airline. So let me get this straight, you got the dates you wanted in the end and didn't they give you a bunch of points too?

    1. Totally agree on the food waste. So hard to get it down completely when you're unclear on the consumption on the other side.

      These flights have been both a blessing & a curse. Yes, we got $2000 of flight credit already. We're flying back in at midnight, and into a different airport than we would normally use, but otherwise, huge victory all around.

  2. Replies
    1. Lol! Apparently, I really want you to have a great time in Hawaii!

  3. Why not use the blanch and freeze method for produce you know you can't use before it goes bad?

  4. It seems every week when I look in the fridge, something has gotten pushed to the back and is too limp/wilted/melted (nothing like a liquid cucumber, huh?) to use. I hate food waste but it happens here too.