Friday, January 20, 2023

Frugal Friday

 It's been a very busy week, and we definitely had some wins. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Our grocery store has not been running many gift card offers, but I noticed there was a great one this week. Picked up $300 of gift cards we will use, and earned $60 in grocery rewards.
  • We buy red curry paste at the grocery store, and it is crazy expensive and never/rarely on sale. I found that it was 40% off on Amazon, and bought a large container. We use this for curry dishes, and I'm hoping this is about a 6 month supply. 
  • I rarely find iBotta offers that we need, but I was able to find four things at Rite Aid that were on sale, on my list, and matched up with an offer, saving $9.50. I also used $1.79 of rewards that were expiring, and earned another $2 in future rewards. 
  • Used the $2 in Rite Aid rewards to offset slightly the cost of a prescription, which is always nice. 
  • I also found very inexpensive yogurt marked down (a 4 pack for $.80), which I bought for muffin making. 
  • Used previous flight credits & a Southwest gift card to drop the price of flights for three by $700 for college tour, part 1. 
  • Booked a rental car for the above college tour using Costco travel, saving about $40 over the next cheapest options. 

Earning money

  • I prefer to use our credit card for all purchases, as we get cash back, and pay it off every month. However, some places charge a fee for using your card, so the cash back is not always worth it. I researched a couple of larger expenses (DMV & home insurance) to determine if there were fees, and/or if the fees were higher than the cash back. The insurance company charged nothing, making it an easy decision. The DMV did charge a processing fee, but it was less than our cash back. I would have done it up to the point of being an even exchange, as having all of our bills in one place is easier. There is another expense I researched, and the fee was more than double the cash back, so definitely won't be charging that on the card. 

Avoiding spending

  • Picked up the Friday Freebie at the grocery store - a flavored sparkling water. I'll use it for a virtual "happy hour" I'm attending, as I'm trying to keep January as dry as possible. 
  • Continued to provide additional details to my credit card company, for a double charge. (I bought movie tickets online for Sam & friends, and the first charge errored out. The second charge worked fine, and tickets were emailed me.) The movie theater, of course, wanted to charge me for both & it took two months for me to get my $56 back. Irritating, but worth it to provide additional detail each time the movie company came back with why they should be able to double charge me. 
  • Saved the price of a night of a hotel (~$185) by using a free night award, for the college tour trip (part 1, I suppose). 

Eating what we have

  • Made two large soups over the weekend, and froze it in lunch sized portions. I'm the only real lover of soup at our house, so I typically have it for lunches.
  • Made a loaf of French bread, to go with my soup. 
  • Ate leftover orange chicken & rice for two meals. 
  • Made a double batch of blueberry muffins, using yogurt I picked up on clearance, and blueberries from the freezer.
  • Went through the 20+ bananas in our freezer, and pureed them all. Made a double batch of banana muffins, and froze the rest of the puree, which is much more manageable to store in the freezer. 
  • I went to lunch with a friend on Monday, and the portions at the Mediterranean place were huge. I easily had enough for leftovers on Tuesday as well. 

For others

  • Donated to a local charity, helped out at the food bank & provided ongoing mentorship at work
What about you? Any wins to share?


  1. I also use my credit card to purchase things for the cash back.

    God bless.

  2. I did the same with my car insurance and tags - used my CC. Well, I did mine online so that doesn't count, does it? Paying that small DMV fee was totally worth it. It more than covered the cost of my time & gas if I had to drive to a location to renew everything. You scored really good deals and had a productive week! Gotta love those bonus gc rewards.

    I never thought to puree bananas to freeze. That's a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Same, although my DMV does allow you to pay via your checking account for free. Going to the DMV in person wasn't even an option I considered. ;-)

  3. College tours already? My time has flown. I remember you writing about the guys when they were still little kids.

    1. I've been blogging for 10+ years, so you are right!! It's gone super fast.

  4. Soups and sandwiches with “concoctions” of leftovers, with a Pioneer Woman jalapeño black eyed pea dip was the name of the game here this week. I also made a banana sandwich…. Lol. My mom used to make them. Cindy in the South

    1. I've never had that type of dip, or a banana sandwich!

  5. That is a great deal on the $60 in gift cards. Target has a reloadable shopping card on offer right now and it’s supposed to come with a $40 off $40 coupon. Hat a great deal you got on yogurt! It’ll be nice to have those blueberry and banana muffins on hand. 😊

    1. M & Sam love muffins. Nick is deep into a smoothie phase, so he's going through all of our frozen fruit at the moment.

  6. you got some good deals, and saved some money, that's a win, win!