Friday, November 13, 2020

Frugal Friday

It's been a good week - moving fast but with pockets of time here & there to get things done. I'm very aware lately of how close we are to the end of the year. I can't believe it! 

Here are the frugal things we've been up to lately. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used grocery store rewards to save $19 on some items to mix up our day to day lunches at home (sparkling water, fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches (kids) & bagged salads (Sam) 
  • I am planning a future vacation with my parents (hoping for the summer, but will adjust as needed due to COVID) & used travel credits & frequent flier miles to buy six tickets to Hawaii for $224 (total). It was a pretty huge win, but accounts for the fact that we had to cancel so many trips in 2020. It's unclear if Hawaii is in the cards this year, but if it is, we will definitely have minimized the flight costs. 
  • I made protein bars for Sam, as he is often looking for a quick snack between classes. If I have protein bars ready to go, he prefers those. If not, he eats packaged snacks, which are much more expensive. 
  • Nick would like to cook for my parents when they are here, so I took advantage of a $30 promo on the meal delivery service we used & signed up for a few meals. 
  • I was able to pick up 3 containers of honey for $9 at Costco, which was a great deal. (I use honey in the protein bars mentioned above)
  • I also found chicken broth at Costco for 1/2 of the price of our grocery store. I like to make my own, but don't often have bones on hand, so this will last a while (they sell by the case). I'm glad to have this in my pantry. 
  • Found a coupon code for an item I was purchasing & wanted to try. Waited for it to go on sale, and stacked coupon codes. 

Earning money

  • I sold nothing on eBay this week, but I did keep listing items, in hopes of future sales

Avoiding spending

  • I have been in a very spendy mood. I have no explanation for this, but several times I've gone to various web sites, shopped, put items in a cart, and luckily cancelled before I pulled the trigger. Hopefully this mood will pass. 
  • I picked up a Friday Freebie at the grocery store
  • Our air popper popcorn maker died (we've only had it for a couple of years, so that's really disappointing) & I showed the kids how to make "microwave popcorn" using a brown bag & kernels. 
  • I had hotel points expiring, and not enough to convert them into a gift card or anything transferable to another program. Instead, I ordered a cooking magazine for Nick for Christmas, and a fitness magazine for myself. No cost out of pocket, and converted expiring miles into a small gift. 

For others:

  • I'm working on my volunteer role this week, and getting set up to help. It's taken a few hours of investment, so hopefully by next week, I'll be ready to go.
  • I'm mentoring someone at work (not on my team) to provide additional support, particularly during these times of remote onboarding. 
  • We offered to help our neighbor with a non-profit she runs, collecting & delivering goods to a homeless shelter. 
  • Made a variety of end of year donations (a couple for schools, one for a local food bank & another for a broader child safety initiative)

That's it for us. What have you been up to (frugally or otherwise) this week?


  1. So many of us are in the shopping cart basket mode-and then deleting before buying. Maybe we can be a support system! I love that your boys are cooking, and the protein bars sound delicious. I may need to borrow the recipe for when my daughter is home as she'll have three weeks of on-line classes before her break starts.

    1. I will post the recipe. It's easy enough that Sam can also make it, and he's not the culinary one in the family ;-)

  2. We used to be able get the quart size jar of honey at a store in Chattanooga, but they went out of business, so I will have to look around for another source of local honey. Sounds like you had a good week. The protein bars sound good. I saw a recipe this week for apricot bars sort of like Lara bars are made. I am going to try it sometime.

  3. I love how you list what you did for others. I had a weird experience on Sunday. I was going to pick up my daughters shelf and the baby swing I had purchased and as I was looking up the address a facebook market place and an add popped up. Someone selling 4 baby blankets. The picture showed 4 wrinkled blankets,and they wanted $20.00. These were not worth .50 a piece, but what got me was the seller needed gas money. Can you imagine trying to sell your babies blankets so you could put gas in your car? This really bothered me and I fought myself with all kinds of negative thoughts. Oh she is trying to buy drugs or cigarettes or... you know judging. I picked up my first item and the add still bothered me so I asked if they were still available. Immediate response was yes and an address near where I was. As I was driving still trying to talk myself out of getting said blankets, I hear a voice whether in my mind or out loud that asked,"Are you coming now?" I looked at my phone and there were those exact words typed. Creepy. I pulled up to a small house, and I just handed the woman a $20.00 but told her I did not want the blankets, I just wanted her to have gas money. She and her husband were so funny. He needed gas to get to work. I was so happy I did not listen to my negative self.

    1. You did such a wonderful thing for someone. You do make me nervous about being alone when you did it, so please stay safe in case others do not have great intentions. Maybe have your husband wait in the car?

  4. I used a coupon for $5 off if you bought $25 of groceries. And, I used coupons that doubled and saved $9.

  5. I have been trying hard to follow your lead and do something kind daily. Some days it is very easy, but I am isolating so much that it is difficult to do some things I would like to for other folks

    1. I find that mine are inconsistent (some days a few wins, other days nothing crops up). As long as I keep it top of mind, I'm more creative, but don't stress much about the daily aspect.