Friday, December 22, 2023

Frugal Friday

It's been a pretty nice week, with more schedule flexibility (lots of people are already on vacation) & a quieter week in general. We're leaving today for Portland, where my parents will pick up the boys for two days of "Nana and Papa camp", and we will have a few nights together, as our Christmas gift to each other. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I typically use plain greeting cards for all occasions, but wanted Christmas cards for a few gifts I was sending. After pricey the wild cost of individual cards (the kind that hold money or a gift card - I'm gifting to a lot of teens!), I opted to go for a six pack. There was also a coupon in the aisle for buy two cards, save $3. I wasn't sure it would work, because I was buying a multipack, but happily, it did. I bought six cards for $3. Perfect. 
  • I used expiring CVS & Rite Aid rewards to buy four boxes of tea, and a pricey hair product for $3.21 out of pocket. I'm hoping the hair product helps to tame my frizz (I'm trying to embrace my natural curls vs straightening my hair). 
  • Priced out cheapest airport transportation option. In this case, given trip length & we will have four people + bags, and parking at the airport is cheapest. We will save about $20 vs taking a ride share.
Earning money

  • Just our regular W2 jobs this week. Nothing exciting to report here. 

Avoiding spending

  • M & I planned an "at home" date on Friday, and enjoyed a glass of wine while we made dinner together, and caught up & laughed. Of course, two teens randomly joined us at various points of the evening, despite saying they wouldn't be home for dinner. It was great, because Nick came home first, asked me to make him chicken, which I did. He got out of the shower & didn't have time for dinner, at which point Sam rolled in, looked at the set table & food & said, "oh great, you made me dinner." 😂 Indeed. Anyway, date night at home vs out. 
  • Used the Amex gift card for an appetizer & drinks ahead of a friend's holiday party. 
  • The boys opened their gifts from us (M & I don't exchange gifts) & we hung on to all of the gift bags (some of them have been around for years!) & kept the tissue paper as well. The tissue paper will likely make its way to becoming eBay packaging. If it's in good enough shape, it will be used in another gift bag. 
  • Used the infamous Amex card to pick up $40 worth of groceries at Trader Joes. It's largely snacky special event food that I have tucked away for NYE. Speaking of the Amex gift card, it has $150 left, so it's quickly drawing to a close, unfortunately! We've gotten a lot of mileage out of it this year. 

Eating what we have:

  • I've had some creative lunches, using up things in the fridge. Of note was the leftover soup with a hamburger bun as a side, and the quesadilla with a diced chicken patty inside. 
  • I also ate leftover sliced fruit that I found on the counter, when coming home from a workout class. It turns out Nick forgot about a tennis lesson (he does private & group lessons, as part of a non-profit he volunteers for), & ran out of the house without finishing. 
  • Somehow, a bag of pancake mix made it into the pantry (don't know where it came from), so I made the boys pancakes as a Sunday treat. With chocolate chips, because of course. They were delicious.
  • Used the last of my overripe bananas in the freezer (we've finally broken the trend!) & made muffins. My freezer is currently officially banana free, which is quite unusual. 
  • Similarly, we still have tons of cranberries in our freezer, so I made a double batch of cranberry muffins. 
  • Made the last of three chicken filets (freezer), and had those for lunches with the teens, & defrosted chicken stew for another quick lunch. 
  • I set aside three items to give away on BN that we won't eat before the expiration day. One was a multi pack of ramen from Trader Joes that we didn't like (and, we love most of their stuff), and a large bottle of unopened ketchup  & mustard.  

For others:

  • Helped out a neighbor with some packages she wanted picked up
  • Gave a (secret) gift to another neighbor, who is in need
What about you? Any wins to share?


  1. I just might have gotten the fridge freezer baskets cleaned mostly out. Still a few things, but I am going to be watching carefully and changing my menu as needed.

    God bless.

  2. Absolutely nothing frugal going on around here this week! Haha! I do hope you and your family have wonderful Christmas and enjoy your time away!

  3. You did really well in the using up what food you have in your home, that's great. Great deal on the cards too, glad you were able to use the coupon.