Friday, May 21, 2021

Frugal Friday

We received a full price offer on our vacation house, and have now signed a contract! There are still steps along the way, but feeling really good about that progress. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Uploaded our receipts to Fetch, and earned $1.90 in offers on iBotta at Costco (strawberries & pico de gallo + a bonus for completing any offer)
  • I had to buy Sam a few new items of clothing (growing kiddos), and used a $5 Old Navy reward, plus an online promo code, and remembered to use the remainder of a gift card. I also clicked through Rakuten before making my purchase, so I will earn a small amount in cash back. 

Earning money

  • I continued to list & sell things on eBay, including the following:
    • Two workout shirts that are too big for M
    • Two books about the Oregon coast (brought home from our vacation house)
    • A shoe dust cloth, from a pair of designer shoes (I've had the shoes for 10+ years, but have never used the dust cloth)
    • A set of 15 books I picked up from a freebie table. I was surprised they sold for $25, and now I have 15 items out of the house! Major win
    • Sold two stickers (from motorcycle parts? I think they are used to "decorate" a motorcycle) that I discovered in M's VHS box. So, they are pretty vintage by now. ;-)
    • A sunglasses "kit" that came with Sam's sunglasses he asked me to sell last week.
    • A shirt that no longer fits M  
  • Earned $56 in Rakuten, and will apply the full rebate to our mortgage (this is what I do with all "found"/earned money)
  • Received $36 back from a Decluttr sale (movies, a few books & an old iPod). Like the Rakuten money, will apply towards our mortgage
  • Found $.01 on the ground while walking. Earning money & working out, again for the win
  • In non-earning money news, USPS lost another package. It happens with alarming frequency. 

Avoiding spending

  • Picked up the Friday Freebie at the grocery store (oat milk). I use almond milk in my coffee, so when that runs out, I'll try the oat milk. 
  • Nick & I made hot dog buns out of ingredients we had on hand, vs buying at the store

Eating what we have

  • Used two pizzas out of the freezer for Friday night dinner. (One cauliflower crust, one regular.) Added pepperoni (also from the freezer). We had to eat late due to Nick's tennis lesson, so I made panko shrimp (freezer) & served it with a dipping sauce leftover from our takeout Greek meal on Thursday. It was a nice "use up what you have" meal. 
  • Continued using up things from the garden: spinach, radishes, radish greens, & lots of herbs: basil/Greek basil, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro. I hope the tomatoes & peppers come up soon. 
  • Finished off the last of freezer breakfast burritos, as lunch one day. I thought they were all gone, but a freezer excavation turned one up.
  • Had Sam finish the last of the breakfast bowls, mostly to free up extra freezer space, but also ensuring no waste.

For others:

  • Gave away a bunch of stuff on Buy Nothing
  • Came up with some ideas of how to repurpose middle school (logo'd, mandatory) kids PE clothes, so they can be donated next year to those who need them. Otherwise, it's just so wasteful!
  • Continued daily check in & support at the non-profit I help out 
What about you? Any wins to share?


  1. The PE clothes struck a chord with me. Our middle school required gray shirts, with the school name and kid's name, and, hey, you can buy these gray shirts from the office for 5.00, and have them embroidered at this local business for just $35.00 with this coupon we are giving out in the office with the purchase of our shirts! I was livid. It's no stretch to me, but that is a huge expense for some families. In solidarity, my kids wore shirts in which they wrote the school name and their name with a black Sharpie. The requirement is wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is the shirts the school sold are from one of the worst "fast fashion" manufacturers. Yes, it's very wasteful to say the least. To their credit, several PE teachers didn't really care/enforce. I used to get the same, visceral reaction when the elementary school would send home notes in the folder drumming up support for the Booster Club, with words to the effect of "If every parent would just donate a mere $25.00..." Yeah, I didn't let that go by without a fuss to the powers that be either.

    1. I tried to buy my kids regular clothes in the same colors, and the PE teacher wrote their name on it in black marker, effectively ruining the item for future use. I also asked if they could use last name, vs first name last initial & they said no. This means that people with siblings can't share clothes, & it's absolutely nuts & SO wasteful.

  2. Yay on the contract for the house!!! I just use loaf bread for hot dog buns. I prefer it over actual buns. I loathe dealing with the USPS. Cindy in the South

    1. Interesting on the bread! I'll have to give that a try. We don't have bread on hand very often, but when we do, that sounds like a great option.

  3. It surprises me the things you are able to sell. Things I guess I would never buy, but there is always someone out there, good for you.

    1. I swear that the more unlikely it is I would buy it, the more likely it is I can sell it, and quickly. It's amazing.

  4. You had a great frugal week. I love it.

    God bless.

  5. My older kids had reversable tshirts and blue shorts but youngest just had to wear basic clothes for gym- was glad that changed. Congrats on the house selling so fast.

    1. It's sad to see the gym clothes go to waste. The PE teachers mark on them (on the outside, front of the clothes) with black permanent marker. I care less about the cost than the sheer waste!

  6. Hi! I have read all of your latest posts and replied like I usually do, but have been having some glitch with my phone. Some comments have posted and some have gone into the great beyond. Instead of going back to each blog and reposting my original comments (Like I could even remember what I said), I am taking the lazy way out and copying and pasting this to everyone.Be assured my responses have been their normal type. Choose one
    (a). sincere (b). pithy (c). vapid (d). sarcastic (e) encouraging (f) boring as usual.
    From now on I will comment only using the laptop. It is kinder to me!

  7. Good on you to try and recycle the kids clothes. We live in such a fast fashion society that trying to use each piece of clothing to maximum use is so important.

  8. Argh @ USPS losing another package. They are normally pretty good with our stuff but it's so frustrating when problems crop up.

    Congrats on the contract for the vacation house!

    I do wonder the secret behind your ebay selling, you're so good at moving things there. It's impressive!

    I'm so not looking forward to the fast fashion / costly clothing requirements that come with schools, public or private.

    1. For the eBay stuff, I'd say I just experiment a lot, and I don't make much per item. For me, it's more of a matching exercise than a big revenue generator. I like to sell locally best, as there is no environmental transportation cost (or, very minimal, perhaps is more accurate), but eBay definitely matches buyers with items. I swear that the more random the item is, the more likely I am to sell it!

    2. That's great! At this stage of life, I'm most interested in moving things to the people who would use them so it doesn't end up in the landfill. Matching the costs spent is a bonus. I'm tempted to try for things that we don't have any luck rehoming locally.