Saturday, December 31, 2016

A few frugal things

We were traveling yesterday, but are now home safe & sound in California again. First up, we had a fabulous vacation. I feel very blessed that we enjoy spending time with our family so much.

It was my favorite holiday so far. As the boys get older, they appreciate everything, and of course, don't need naps in the middle of festivities, or need to be held/constantly watched. They are at a great age for independence, while still enjoying everything.

The boys got to go mountain biking with my dad, we celebrated, laughed & played games. We also had a great time at the beach. Lots of puzzles, monopoly games, and more family time.

Although vacations are typically pricey, we attempt to keep the prices down. Here's are some of our frugal accomplishments:

  • Meal planned on vacation, and used up the majority of the food. (Sent my sister with the leftovers that we couldn't pack). We had some pretty great meals with leftover shrimp & fresh local crab. Yum!
  • I packed lunch for everyone to eat in the car yesterday. We did buy clam chowder before we got on the plane, but that was it.
  • Brought my refillable bottle of water vs buying at the airport.
  • Took advantage of my (last - my status ends tomorrow!) free beer on the flight & gave it to M to enjoy.
  • We got one free checked bag through our credit card. The bags were delayed & Alaska has a $25 credit policy when bags take longer than 20 minutes, so I filled out a request for a credit.
  • Took two $5 off surveys for a purchase.
  • Participated in only free activities while at the beach. We did ride bikes to town for hot chocolate two of the days.
  • Ate zero meals out on our vacation (exclusions are hot chocolate & special clam chowder requested by my oldest at the airport).
  • Took an Uber home from the airport (cheaper than parking)
  • Made a quick frozen Costco pizza when we got home vs getting delivery or takeout.
  • Cleaned the beach house before we left, including all of the sheets, laundry, & closing up the house. Saved myself $75!

I have a bunch of things I need to get done today, including grocery shopping and stocking the freezer. We ate down most of our easy freezer meals in the first few weeks of December, so time to build it back & prepare for the very long month of January.

And, kicking us off with a solid meal plan for the first week, here we go!

Menu plan:
Saturday (12/31) - we are ordering delivery (using a coupon) for Chinese food
Sunday (1/1) - Steak, mashed potatoes & brussels sprouts
Monday (1/2) - beef kebabs, rice & yogurt sauce
Wednesday (1/3) - Grilled chicken with mashed potatoes
Thursday (1/4) - leftover kebabs & rice
Friday (1/5) - homemade pizza
Saturday (1/6) - mini meatloaves & stuffing
Sunday (1/7) - TBD (will go on my shopping list for next week)

What about you? What were your frugal accomplishments this week? What's on your meal plan? Still using up leftovers? 


  1. Welcome home and so glad you had a wonderful trip/ holiday!

    1. Thank you! It was lovely. It's always nice to be home, but it was great to spend time together.

  2. The only money I spent from Dec 23-31 was $16 on groceries as we ran out of eggs while my stepson was here. I also paid $52.50 for suitcase costs for him as my stepdaughter came and left with carryon only which is free on that airline. Hubby spent more...$42 on passes for tubing for him and my stepson, $100 in booze (so bloody expensive in Canada) and $37 to take Stepson out for Japanese lunch which I skipped as was working on a presentation. I also skipped tubing as don't like any sport that involves snow, part of the reason why we moved somewhere nice although the ski hill is available 45 minutes drive away. We are having a quiet inexpensive New Years Eve, no special menus and movies on Netflix/Amazon prime which we have for the business. Happy New Year!

    1. Nice work! You had a very frugal week. Happy New Years!

  3. Terrific job HP managing the budget while being away. It would be so easy to just drop into a restaurant and pick up take out food. I've written to death about my over spending, but it was a special week, and I just didn't plan properly. Incentive for savings. I plan to inventory and meal plan tomorrow, but first, a night of frugal fun at my sisters playing cards, drinking leftover beer and wine from Christmas, and snacks from all of our bounty, and DD2 has friends and free library movies at home, and I'm about to make them some tortilla wraps (little pin wheels) they just love, with pop corn,and anything else they find. Soup is just a wild rice soup mix.

    1. Sounds like you have a great evening plan - enjoy! And, happy New Year to you & your family.

  4. Your vacation sounds lovely and inexpensive. I definitely need to make some freezer meals!