Five Frugal Things 10/20/2017

Traveling shoes from Sketchers!

  1. I found a great pair of traveling shoes on Zappos, exactly the color and look I have been wanting. The Zappos sale price was $57, and with tax the order came to $59.37 (shipping is free). My one concern was that Zappos only had them in medium width, and I have more of a wide foot. Later that day though I was canoodling around on the internet and found the same shoes on sale at Overstock.com, for just $44.21! Even with shipping the total came to just $49.16, ten dollars less than Zappos. And, best of all, the shoes from Overstock are wides – score!
  2. Thanks to some low-hanging, moist clouds that didn’t want to move, last weekend was particularly humid, and after our early evening walk on Saturday I really didn’t feel like cooking. Anything. We decided to get take-out, but then checked the fridge once more and decided we could eat leftovers after all, saving us $$.
  3. Brett and I went up to Hanalei for a planned lunch date on Tuesday, and although there is something like a zillion shops in town, most of them are geared toward tourists so we only spent our $$ on lunch, coffee, and a biscotti for Brett. Our meal provided leftovers that we brought home and Brett and YaYu enjoyed for lunch the next day.
  4. We don’t use coupons, but because we primarily shop at Costco we pay close attention to their monthly sale flyers and always find things on our list among their offerings (although we won’t buy something just because it’s on sale). This week we saved $3 on (another) bag of LingLing potstickers – they are eaten regularly here, and we’ll need plenty at Christmas when all the girls are home – and we also got  $3 off Brett’s favorite Dare crackers. We also saved $8 on a box of Brita filters for our water pitcher.  We signed up in the store to receive alerts on recalls, and received a $2 off coupon on any fruit we bought that day (pears!). YaYu is almost out of vitamins, but rather than buy them this week, we’ll do it next week when they go on sale, saving an additional $3.50 on those. It’s not a huge amount of savings, but every bit helps.
  5. We put $31.20 in the change/$1 bill jar this week: $1.73 change from the electric bill, $2.60 from recycling, $2.00 from the farmers’ market, $24.56 left over from the Big Shop, and we found 31¢ on the ground.

What frugal  wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 10/13/2017

The blue pair is cute but very uncomfortable, but the gray pair are OK for our daily three-mile walk.

  1. Although we budget $10/month for rental movies, we realized this week we haven’t spent any of that for a few months now. It’s been very easy to find free offerings on either Netflix, Amazon or Hulu instead.
  2. I got an email from L.L. Bean on Monday that they were having a 20% off fall sale on Tuesday. I had a $10 gift card from them that was expiring soon, so decided to do some Christmas shopping. My spending limit was $85. The items I ordered came to $109.85, but with the 20% discount of $21.97 and the $10 gift card, the total came to just $77.88. And, I earned another $10 gift card!
  3. Early in the week I was feeling like we had run out of things for fixing meals and that Brett and I would have to do our monthly shopping earlier than usual. But, I went through the pantry, fridge and freezer and came up with a pretty nice menu for the week using what we had on hand. Other than our weekly visit to the farmers’ market, and stopping at Big Save for some bean sprouts, we had another no-spend week.
  4. Brett and I started taking a daily walk this week, and rather than buy something new as I had intended, I decided instead to save and use a pair of shoes I already have. They aren’t great for extended walking (as I learned in Japan), but for the three-mile walks we’re doing now they’ve been just fine.
  5. We put $16.28 into our change/$1 bill jar: $2.86 left after our Big Save shop, $4.25 from the farmers’ market, and $9.76 left from our cable bill.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 10/6/2017

  1. I received a bonus of 999 Swagbucks in September!
  2. I redeemed some of my Swagbucks stash for a $100 Zappos gift card for Brett to use for new running shoes. I also bought an additional $25 Amazon gift card for 2200 Swagbucks – they’re usually 2500, so I save 300 SB to put toward my next goal. You’re allowed to buy one on sale each month.
  3. We had a no-drive day on Sunday, saving gasoline and wear and tear on the car. And, other than our trip to the farmers’ market on Wednesday, and to Home Depot to refill the gas tank for our barbecue, we had another no-spend week.
  4. We also did all the small things that keep things frugal around here: drank filtered tap water and homemade sun tea; cooked all our meals at home; ate leftovers for our lunches; had no food waste; hung our laundry in the sun to dry; borrowed books from the library; and so forth.
  5. We put $12.31 into our change/$1 bill jar: $5.81 left from paying the water bill, and $6.50 from the farmers’ market.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 9/29/2017

  1. YaYu participated in a car wash fundraiser last weekend and brought home a huge bag of empty water bottles for us to recycle.
  2. Other than our trip to the farmers’ market, we had a no-spend week.
  3. While I had my eye appointment yesterday, Brett headed over to nearby Costco and made an appointment for a free hearing exam. They will also help him figure out what cost savings he can receive as a veteran.
  4. It turns out I also need new glasses. I found some frames I liked at the eye doctor’s office, but came home and found them online for $30 less, including free shipping. I’ll order them in November, and have the glasses made at Costco.
  5. We put $18.20 in the change/$1 bill jar this week: $3.86 from recycling, $8.84 change from the gas bill, and $5.50 left from the farmers’ market.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 9/22/2017

There is no substitute for fresh ginger in a recipe.

  1. We mailed a small package to Japan this past week – Amazon would not ship a teething ring that our D-I-L wanted to Japan, so we agreed to buy it and ship as part of our granddaughter’s first birthday present. The teething ring was $15.95, and we were going to use a Priority flat rate mailer, figuring that would cost the least. However, when we checked the cost was $23.95! So, Brett bought a small padded envelope for $1.98, we crossed our fingers, and the postage was only $13.75! It was still expensive, but $15.73 to Japan was a whole lot better than $23.95! Our son offered to reimburse us, but we turned him down because we know he’ll do something to spoil us next time we’re in Japan. BTW, we took most of our granddaughter’s birthday present with us to Japan last March because we knew the postage would be outrageous (and unaffordable) from here.
  2. We usually buy fresh ginger at the farmers’ market – a small piece runs around $1. We forgot to get it last week, and I needed some to fix dinner on Monday so Brett stopped by the local Foodland store and got twice the amount we typically get at the market for just 71¢! Guess where we will be buying our ginger from now on!
  3. It was quite a challenge but we managed to stay within budget on our monthly Big Shop this past week. Prices have gone up at all stores, so getting what we need for the month and not overspending meant not buying some things on our list, and finding less expensive substitutes for others.
  4. Brett and I made and froze a dozen breakfast burritos for YaYu, filled with scrambled eggs, homemade breakfast sausage, hash browns and a little pepper jack cheese. Each burrito cost 81c, which is pretty good for Hawai’i.
  5. We put $11.05 into the change/$1 bill jar this week, left over from the Big Shop. We didn’t go to the farmers’ market – we decided we actually didn’t need anything this week, so will roll those $$ over for future trips.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 9/15/2017

  1. I received a check for $227.52 for my jury duty (daily pay plus round-trip mileage). It went straight into our travel savings. We are on track to add nearly $1400 to our savings this month!
  2. Rather than ordering a new cap and gown for her graduation next year, YaYu will reuse WenYu’s from two years ago, and only order the stole and tassel, saving $28. She will also wear the white dress and shoes WenYu wore at her graduation. No one sees the dress, and YaYu will change right after the ceremony to go to her grad night celebration.
  3. We paid early for YaYu’s grad night event and saved $25 off the regular price.
  4. I ordered another $25 Amazon gift card “on sale” for 2200 Swagbucks versus 2500. I bought one last month as well, so that’s 600 Swagbucks to put toward other things (like Southwest Airlines gift cards).
  5. We put $12.76 into the change/$1 bill jar: $3.00 left over from the farmers’ market, and $9.76 change back from the cable bill.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 9/8/2017

  1. I earned 822 bonus points last month from Swagbucks, close to another $10. I make sure I at least get the first goal every day, the second goal if I can, and do other small tasks every day that will increase my bonus at the end of each month.
  2. I redeemed some of my Swagbucks stash for a $250 Southwest Airlines gift card, which will go towards Big Mystery Adventure™ travel expenses.
  3. YaYu took leftovers for her lunch every day this week.
  4. We drank lots of filtered water and sun tea, found creative ways to use odds and ends in the refrigerator and pantry,  combined trips to save gas (and bought gas at Costco, the lowest price on the island), didn’t throw away any food and ate all the leftovers, dried most of our laundry outside, and did all sorts of other small but important things that help us save.
  5. We put $5.87 into the change/$1 bill jar this week: $3.00 left over from the farmers’ market, and $2.87 from recycling.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

Five Frugal Things 9/1/2017

  1. We received a “windfall” of $336 last week from Social Security – Brett received 16 months of income he should have been paid when he turned 66 (he’s now 67). We put the extra income into the travel account. Starting next month he will receive $21 more per month in his SS deposit – not a lot, but we’ll take it.
  2. After spending $4 for bottled water on the first day of jury duty 😠, I brought my own water, coffee, healthy lunch and snacks from home every day so I didn’t have to buy anything more from the vending machines or the food truck next door.
  3. Although I will receive reimbursement for mileage to and from the courthouse for my jury duty, Brett always tried to make sure there were other errands in the area he could take care of at the same time he was dropping me off or picking me up.
  4. WenYu was given a big container of Verde’s delicious fresh salsa this past week – the same amount would cost a little over $5 at the grocery store.
  5. We put $19.25 into the change/$1 bill jar during the past two weeks: $10.25 left from two farmers’ market trips, $2.89 change from Safeway, $6.00 left from my $10 “jury duty emergency fund,” and 11¢ Brett found on his walks.

What frugal wins have you had?

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Five Frugal Things 8/18/2017

As usual, we did most of our big shop at Costco.

This week it’s mostly felt like all we did was hold the line . . .

  1. WenYu received an email on Tuesday from Hotmail letting her know that a scheduling problem had come up with her winter break itinerary. It took five tries and five different agents, but we finally got a new itinerary that worked for WenYu and did not involve any extra cost or inconvenience.
  2. There was a container of chicken broth in the refrigerator that needed to be used, so I put it in the slow cooker along with odds and ends of vegetables I found in the crisper and some chicken I found in the freezer, and we ended up with a delicious chicken soup instead of leftovers for our dinner this past weekend. No waste, and the fridge got a good clean out!
  3. We skated right up to the edge of our budget with the big shop, and were only able to get two of our planned stock-up items. We realize this is going to take a bit more work to get right. Still, we are well set for the rest of the month.
  4. We drank loads of filtered tap water and made pitchers of sun tea this past week. Both are refreshing, and don’t cost anything to make or enjoy.
  5. We put $7.29 into the change/$1 bill jar this week: $3.00 left over from the farmers’ market, $3.70 left after the big shop, and 59¢ that WenYu donated to the cause.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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Five Frugal Things 8/11/2017

Fried okra

  1. Eddie Bauer had a 40% off sale last weekend, so we went ahead and bought YaYu her suitcases for college next year. She already has a small rolling duffel, so we bought the extra large and medium size duffles to complete the set. Full price for the two additional pieces was $478, but with the discount we paid $286.80, a savings of $191.20. Shipping was free.
  2. Our favorite farmer gave us a bundle of okra this week when we bought our other produce – I’m going to make fried okra tomorrow to go with our cheeseburgers, and will save the onion rings for later.
  3. I realized we did not have cashews for Thursday’s chicken dish, or cornmeal for tomorrow’s fried okra. Rather than change the menu, buy a package of cornmeal that might spoil before we used it again, or buy an expensive container of cashews, Brett stopped at the natural foods store when he was running errands on Thursday and bought just the amount needed of each from the bulk bins – total cost: $2.16.
  4. Three days this past week WenYu was given burritos from the restaurant where she works to bring home, each a $14.95 value. They had been made for someone else but not needed, and were offered to her at the end of her shift. YaYu took one for lunch on Wednesday, and has another one in her lunch today. Brett ate the third one for lunch over the past two days.
  5. We put $21.02 into the change/$1 bill jar. Although we got back $23.18 total – $7.09 from a return we did at Costco, $9.76 change from our cable bill, $2.73 from recycling, $3.50 from the farmers’ market, and 10¢ found on the ground – Brett spent $2.16 of the change on the cornmeal and cashews.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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