Five Frugal Things 3/31/2017

We kept to our frugal ways in Japan, and came home with over $150 out of our trip budget as well as more than a few goodies.

  1. Our low-cost phone plan with T-Mobile provided free WiFi and texts while we were in Japan. Combined with Facebook Messenger we were able to easily communicate with our son and with Meiling and WenYu back in the U.S. without incurring any extra costs. We will never leave T-Mobile!
  2. A travel-size tube of Aleve costs $3.79 on Kaua’i. The same tube was 49¢ at the Navy Exchange at the New Sanno Hotel, so I bought one more to bring home and will refill it from our regular supply as needed. I also brought home all the soaps and shower gel that were provided in our hotel room every day.
  3. We had to use American dollars in the Sanno Hotel and at the Exchange, and decided to save all our change, $1 bills and $5 bills while we were there. We ended up bringing home $87.43 (!!) for our change/$1 bill jar and to put toward future travel.
  4. Even though we came home to an empty refrigerator and nearly empty pantry, we stuck like glue to our shopping list and stayed under budget when we did our monthly shop at Costco, Walmart and Big Save.
  5. We filled up the car while we were at Costco – gas was just $2.67/gallon (very low for here). We buy all our gasoline at Costco – they always have the lowest price on the island. Our little Honda Civic gets 36 mpg, and we pay around $80 per month for gasoline, even though we initially budgeted $300/month. We actually drive more miles here per month than we did on the mainland because Brett and the girls got free public transportation there. Buying our gas at Costco also increases our annual rebate.

Starting next month we’ll be moving into extreme saving mode, in order to have enough for our Big Mystery Adventure™ in 2018!

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2 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things 3/31/2017

  1. Mona McGinnis says:

    My biggest saving in March was for prescription glasses. I was quoted $599 for lenses at a stand-alone optometrist office. I ended up getting the lenses and new frames for a total of $299.40 after a 40% discount at a Superstore outlet. The last set of eyeglasses that I purchased 5 years ago cost ~$900. That savings will buy me a ticket to Vancouver Island and more.

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    • Laura says:

      Big savings for you!

      I had my eye exam and got glasses this year at Costco – the total for everything was less than $200. Like you, I had always used a stand-alone optometrist and even with insurance usually paid between $400 and $500 for the exam and glasses, but am very pleased with the service I received from the optometrist at Costco and my glasses.

      The optometrist has left Costco though and opened his own stand-alone office. I saw him again this past week to have my beginning cataracts evaluated again (no change in them, than goodness) and will wait and see what the bill looks like before I decide to stay with him or not. His staff is very good about getting our insurance to pay for part of the exam.

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