Friday, September 25, 2020

Frugal Friday

It was a really long week at work (7 am meeting starts to accommodate EMEA all week, plus lots of other meeting fun), but we survived & had a few frugal wins to report.  

Saving on things we buy

  • While I prefer borrowing books (that will save you money every time over buying), I am very much over doing all of my reading on my laptop. Particularly after a super long work day, I'm just not in a place where I want to head off to bed, with my laptop, and read a book. It's also harder for me to tell when the kids are actually reading, vs watching squirrel videos on YouTube. So, we hit up the Friends of the Library sale, and bought real paper books. We'll read them, and then donate or sell what's left. I'm putting this under the "saving on things we buy" category, as the library has exceptionally low prices during their sales. 
  • Walked to the grocery store to pick up a Friday Freebie.

Earning money

  • Ebay sales picked up this week, & I sold more in a day than I had the previous week or so. I sold:
    • Three books
    • Another Seahawks shirt (you can tell that the season has begun again)
    • Three pair of soccer shorts the boys outgrew before wearing  (no season due to COVID)
    • A workout jacket I don't care for & never wear
    • A pair of jogger style pants my son outgrew
    • A men's workout shirt I discovered at our vacation house. No one claimed it in the family, so off to a new home it went
  • I also sold a pogo stick & a bicycle bag (attaches the front handle bars) on Facebook marketplace. Junk out of the garage, money in.

Avoiding spending

  • Used a free referral for a meal service to try it out. It's not something we will order in the future (or,  rarely, perhaps), but we received six meals worth & the food has been tasty so far. As a bonus, Nick has loved the easiness of recipe prep, and turned out some great meals. He's been so excited to cook each night, and has been able to do all of the cooking without help. 
  • Used up quite a bit of garden produce:
    • Used tomatoes in plenty of dishes (pico de gallo, salad, topping almost everything)
    • Made salsa verde with jalapenos
    • Used mint in drinks
  • We've taken exceptionally good care of our leased electric car. Note that a lease is not typically a frugal win, but we were concerned about buying with battery life still a bit TBD when we were looking for a car. We've loved the car, and our lease is coming up in October. Because we've taken such great care of the car, we will only owe $85 for a wheel scratch that we both deny putting on the car. ;-) We are way under miles, so will drive the car as much as we need to until we turn it in. We also will not be getting a replacement, as neither of us has a commute for work right now. We ran over a caulking gun, which shot caulk all over our car. I can't describe how difficult it was to remove. It took six hours of collective effort, but the caulk is now removed from the car, and the car is (close to) ready to be returned. I was very unhappy with the extra effort, but it's done now. 

Doing things for others. It was a slow week, as I got caught up in work, but I love putting this on my "to do" list, because it jogs my memory & makes me give some thought to how I can help others. It's not that I wouldn't want to do this all the time, it's just that I sometimes get overrun with "life". The reminders have really helped, & inspired me!

  • Sent lots of herbs & jalapenos home with my sister
  • Helped a neighbor with a leaky sprinkler
  • Helped a colleague with a work task
  • Bought a gift for a friend
  • Donated money to a few causes. I'm enjoying my new priority of smaller, unexpected giving (we have a larger, monthly donation fund that is automatically deployed via our paychecks.)
  • Set out lots of herbs & jalapenos for neighbors. I love the sharing! One neighbor gave me lemons, which was lovely
  • Requested matches to my smaller charitable donations through work. I sometimes forget, as the ones I make through my paycheck are matched automatically. I caught up on the donation matching (doubling the impact for the charities) & also added some volunteer hours, as my employer makes a cash donation for our hours volunteered.
What about you? Any kind things for others? Inspire us! We could all use as much "feel goods" right now as possible. Any frugal wins?

And, I'm looking forward to the huge (baseball sized) tomatoes that are so close to ripening on one of my plants. Finally, and they are all close to being ready - I think there are 8 of them. So excited to think about how to use them up. 


  1. We didn't do the annual back pack rive at work since so few are on site, but decided on a mutual charity, a family homeless shelter, that created a back to school wish list, as well as just a link to their site for cash donations. I like the collective good will. It's an org I already support so I'm just adding to our donation. I feel like I should be offering to do more to help in the community righ tnow, but I work such long hours and am dealing with my own anxiety, financial resources might be my best support for now.

    1. I'm with you. I go back & forth between helping out personally vs donating. Whatever you can do in the moment is enough.

  2. I am painting soup bowls for a charity, they will deliver due to covid. You usually paint the bowls at the YWCA. Just got done eating the last of the free goodwill produce. Had that great meat find this week.

  3. Ah, sound like a pretty good week, even if it seemed long. For me the week flew by but a couple of the days seemed to last forever.
    We participate in a program called Christmas all year. Instead of giving a large donation at Christmas we contribute to several families needs throughout the year.

    1. That's a wonderful idea. I'll have to look into something similar

  4. I'm like you, I like to sit and hold a book in my hand rather than read off a laptop. We love book sales too! I'm glad your ebay sales have picked up this week. Sounds like you had a good and frugal week again!

    1. I much prefer paper books, but have done plenty of online reading due to COVID. It's a great backup, but not my preferred method at all.

  5. Our 'usual' donation giving, plus we started back working at a food pantry (COVID put the brakes on volunteering for a good number of months. Volunteers welcomed again as of last week.). I love the food pantry work - it's busy and it gets the focus off of ourselves, and remind us how privileged we are to not have to worry about food. Seriously, some people have it so very, very tough it makes me ponder the utter unfairness of life.

    1. You are so correct - it's really easy to live in your own bubble & not be exposed to those who are worried about food security. It's important to get a balanced perspective. I have a huge aversion to food waste, because it's wasteful for the planet, my budget, and also because there are so many people who would be thrilled to have it. I try to weave that mindset into my own life, spend less (we're doing terribly at that right now) & then be a good steward of our budget for donations.

  6. P.S. Yeah for having a child old enough to cook dinner for everyone!!!

  7. I thought we hadn't done anything helpful this week, but PiC went to help friends out with moving heavy stuff, and JB helped out our friends who needed some data on child development and ... maybe I'm the only one who didn't manage something this week? But I did manage a TON for the family stuff so that was important too.

    1. Absolutely, it counts. You are helping & supporting your family & giving them time & space to help others.