Friday, January 29, 2021

Frugal Friday

Hello, frugal friends. I'm continuing to focus on our grocery budget, while also looking for other wins. I've added a new category around food, to try & motivate myself to use up things that are otherwise just lingering in the freezer & pantry. I organized my freezer & garage pantry & can say that the time investment has already paid off, making it easier for me to find things & remember what we have on hand. 

Buckle up, there's a lot to share this week! :-) 

Saving on things we buy

  • M found two of the vitamins my doctor requested I take, on sale at Costco for a great price, saving $5/each off of a normally inexpensive Costco price. Double win. 
  • I contacted Rite Aid about an order that was over a month late, and damaged. They credited me back $32 (full order price), which was awesome, as some of the items were still savable. I then used the credits (they didn't refund my credit card, but instead gave me Bonus rewards) to take advantage of the spend $50/earn a $15 offer this week. I bought $95 worth of toiletries and other things we need (plus, things to donate to the local high school) for $60, and earned another $35 in bonus rewards. I was able to get a year's supply of dental flossers, two large packs of toilet paper & paper towels, etc, so it was quite a deal. I did mess up on one of the deodorants, and missed out on another $4 off, but I don't due these drug store hauls often, so didn't expect total success. I'm no Sluggy ;-) 
  • I went back to Rite Aid with my $35 in bonus rewards & bought a bunch of grocery items for free, and earned another $22 in rewards. I noticed on my way out that I was $1 away from another $3 reward, so bought a box of cereal to donate for $2 & made $1 off of that deal. 
  • Uploaded all of my receipts to Fetch

Earning money

  • I've continued to list & sell things on eBay. 
  • Sold this week:
    • A race workout shirt
    • An outgrown hoodie
    • A necklace charm
    • Two books I picked up in a freebie pile
  • This one is for Nick to earn money, but I picked up two bikes for him from our neighborhood group. He is practicing his bike mechanic skills, and will fix them up & sell them. 

Avoiding spending

  • Spent a lot of time (2+ hours) with Amazon on two incorrect charges that were appearing on my credit card, but not tied to my account. Eventually received credit for the $14.99 + $9.99, and turned off the erroneous services. These were subscription services, so the time effort will pay off indefinitely.
  • I used a Target gift card to get $50 worth of groceries & Valentine's Day treats for $0, as well as a large bottle of ibuprofen. I also used $.59 of Target rewards to drop the price a little bit more.
  • Through a planned combination of using Target gift cards on groceries, and keeping our shopping list to the minimum, we had one of our least expensive weekly Costco shopping trips in a long time - $81. Yay!
Food savings/eating everything we have (trying this out as a new category)
  • I went through & itemized our freezers. (We have two fridges, both with lower freezer areas.) I made a list of frozen meals, as they are building up & I want to incorporate them into our menus. Things that came out of the freezer as a result:
    • Ham & bean soup 
    • Chicken & dumplings 
    • Carnitas (on top of lunch salads)
  • I made roasted potatoes to stretch a dinner on Friday, which had the double benefit of using up potatoes that were getting past their prime. I then used leftovers of the roasted potatoes in three breakfasts.
  • Used the last of slivered almonds (Thanksgiving) & dried mango (lingering in pantry) + pureed pumpkin (freezer) to make a batch of granola.
  • Using my lemon curd in plain yogurt (which, I don't prefer, but is healthier & happens to be in the fridge) with the granola
  • Used overly ripe bananas to make chocolate chip banana bread
  • Organized my garage food storage area, to make it easier to see what we have. 

For others

  • Continued working at my volunteer job
  • Requested a match for volunteer hours worked in January (my company makes a cash donation)
  • Gave away books on our local Buy Nothing. Kids books are hard to find right now, with libraries closed, so I'm happy to give some of our books away for others to enjoy
  • Gave away extra lemons I couldn't use up, when people picked up the Buy Nothing group (I asked if they were interested first)
  • Used some of my Rite Aid rewards to stock up on food bank donations
  • Shared banana bread with our neighbor
  • Reached out to a friend who was the original inspiration for this activity. She was thrilled to hear that she'd motivated me. 
  • Gave away an "aspirational" craft I was never going to use
What about you? Share some frugal wins or things for others this week. 


  1. You weren't kidding when you said you had a lot of food wins for the week. I have RiteAde envy-neither Walgreens or CVS has deals like that, but likely I couldn't figure them out anyway.

    1. So many food wins! The organization helped so much. I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure that out. ;-)

      I don't normally do Rite Aid rewards (or others), but since they credited me back in rewards, I figured I should make the most of it. It's fun to plan, especially for donations.

  2. Rite Aid seems very complicated to get the deals...we don't have anything like that here in Canada, just straight points programs you redeem for groceries

    1. I rarely do the rewards, because it's work for sure. In this case, my credit on the order came back in rewards, so I figured it was worth it. I've enjoyed picking up things for donations, and maximizing what I can get with the rewards.

  3. You've had lots of wins this week. Well done!

    I had to chuckle at the 'I'm no Sluggy' comment, cause that's how I sometimes feel at RA

    1. Right? She makes it sound pretty easy, and I rarely find it to be like that

  4. There can only be one Sluggy! There are no Rite Aids here anymore so I can enjoy all of your success without remorse!'
    You had a great week in all areas. I love reading about it!

    1. For sure! I don't mind Rite Aid, but rarely have points, so no opportunities to turn the big deals. And honestly, that's probably a time/money saver for me, as I'm sure I'd do it incorrectly. ;-)

  5. I love how you list the things you do for others it is so inspiring.

    1. It helps me as well to track everything! It motivates me.

  6. I'm with you on the clothes. I have some clothing store credits (I attempted to find jeans for a skinny/tall teen & because of the lockdown, had to order everything online without trying on.) I almost bought stuff for myself, and realized how silly that was. I have plenty right now.

    My kids have been talking about the stock market this week as well - it's everywhere!

  7. Would you share your granola recipe? You seem to make granola often, it sounds appetizing!

    1. Hi Dawn. I've actually only made it a few times, but here's the recipe I tried.