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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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