Friday, May 15, 2020

Frugal Friday

Another week of shelter in place. Here's how things played out for us, in the frugal world.

Saving on things we buy

  • Who knows what things will look like in February, but I went ahead & bought tickets to Whistler for ski break next year. The tickets were 1/2 the normal price, and if you bought between now & the end of May, you can change or cancel with no penalty. 
  • We also received a 20% credit from our season's ski passes this year. It is not for cash back, and can only be applied towards another ski pass. We weren't planning on buying it, but they have added COVID insurance, in the event the resorts need to close again next year. I'll run the math, but we skied 7 days last year, and it was quite a bit cheaper with season passes. Nick is unfortunately in the older bracket now, which is a hike from last year. With season passes, you also get hotel discounts, and I was able to buy tickets for my nephew at Whistler for a discount. 
  • I used a $20 UberEats promo code + Uber rewards to buy dinner on Saturday, with no money out of pocket. 

Earning money

  • Continued to list & sell items on eBay. The earnings are small, but it's fun to continually get things out of the house. And, I have to walk to the mailbox to drop off the packages, so that's over a mile round trip whenever I have a sale. Win/win/win!
  • Received a $22 payout on Rakuten, for purchases made earlier in the year. 

Avoiding spending

  • Knowing that we wouldn't be able to go to Hawaii as planned in June, I've waited to cancel our flights. If the airline cancels, you get your money back. If you cancel, you get credit. I was very pleasantly surprised this week when the airline cancelled our flight, & I've now requested our money back. I've already cancelled the hotel & will receive a full refund.
  • Because we aren't going to Hawaii, we will drive everyone to Oregon vs flying. Those flights weren't cancelled by the airline, but I cancelled on our side, and received credit for a future trip. 
  • The family relay we participate in was cancelled. They are forwarding our registration to the following year (no money back), but I was able to cancel Nick's flight & get credit. Assuming we can be together in small groups by August, I'll still plan to fly to Portland, and we'll do a trail relay run with my family. 
  • We had one take out lunch & one takeout dinner last week (a splurge for sure), but otherwise, all meals made at home. 

Frugal fail:
And, offsetting nearly all of my frugal wins, the restaurant the boys & M loved to eat at while I traveled (a salad bar) went out of business due to Coronavirus. I'd purchased gift cards at a discount, which are now worthless. I haven't had the heart to go & add up how much we're sitting on, in useless gift cards. It made me nervous enough that I treated the kids to lunch at Panera (using a gift card) as now I'm worried about any other businesses that might go under, while we have gift cards.

How about you? Any frugal wins for the week?


  1. As for gift cards, my daughter has $40 in gift cards for the downtown game shop. Next week when businesses open, she needs to use them, I'm sorry to say, in case they close. We should use a large one DH got form his boss. It is part of a corporate structure, but a one off version. We are not sure what to think about our Las Vegas trip in November. We have not booked hotel or air, though bought the concert tickets. I think that is likely it be cancelled-maybe not, it is Vegas.

    1. I agree on spending the gift cards. Things are too uncertain right now - you just don't know.

      Las Vegas in November seems like a maybe? I'm guessing it will be open, and just a question if you want to attend. I don't think large scale concerts or events will be happening, however.

  2. Resold a yard umbrella and stand that we bought 2nd hand last summer for $32 on our bidding site for $62 - money on the side chaching! Entirely Covid related as people here are worried about spending money yet want to beautify their back yards. And it was still in great shape, the only reason we sold it was we bought a huge umbrella that moves around our space to cover our fire table or lounge chairs. Other than that not much :) Pier one went out of business here right as the pandemic was starting. I managed to use the last of a GC in February thankfully but am super sad they closed as were my favorite place for candles. I don't really have any other GCs other than Amazon right now.

    1. That's a great win on the umbrella! And, too bad about Pier One. I'm so sad about my gift cards, because I buy them at the beginning of the year (for 25% off) & take them out of our dining out budget. I guess maybe it's offset but not eating out much at all during COVID.

  3. The Whistler deal is a steal. We went there every year for about 6 years and loved it, but we never knew far enough in advance when we would be going to take advantage of the discount lift tickets. Even though TheHub and I are no longer going to ski we would still go back for a family trip during ski season since there are so many other things to do there.

    1. We are super jazzed about Whistler. This year I used frequent flier miles earned through work travel, because when I priced the flights, they were crazy expensive. I'm so happy to find a good deal for next year.