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Five Frugal Things

Howdy guys! It’s Tuesday and you know what that means: a fresh Five Frugal Things list.

1. I got some Safeway app deals

pineapple from Aldi

I installed the Safeway app for the first time, and they gave me some first-time user offers.

Normally I consider Safeway’s prices to be uncomfortably high, but these were good deals!

So, I got:

  • a box of Wheat Chex for $0.99
  • a loaf of bakery bread for $0.99
  • a container of Oui yogurt for $0.39
  • a tube of Colgate toothpaste for $0.99
  • a pineapple for $0.99
  • a pint of organic tomatoes for $1.50

Of course, these are one-time deals, so I’m not going to make a habit of shopping at Safeway instead of Aldi.

2. I bought some secondhand books on eBay

A stack of four medical memoirs.

previously-read books…still waiting for my new eBay purchases to arrive

You all gave me lots of good medical memoir titles in the comments on this post! I put as many of them on hold at my library as I could, of course.

But my library did not have all of them.

Or in some cases, it had the titles, but only in ebook form. And we KNOW what will happen if I get an ebook.

(spoiler alert: I will completely forget that I have the book and thus, will not read it. I need to see a physical copy of the book if I’m going to remember to read it!)

I hopped over to eBay, visited the ThriftBooks store, found all of my titles there, and purchased them in one fell swoop in order to get the multi-item discount.

So now I have five books on their way to me for a total of $22, and after I finish reading them, back onto eBay they will go.

3. I cashed out from Rakuten and Top Cashback

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and TopCashback are both online cashback shopping portals. Since I don’t do tons of shopping, it takes me a bit to stack up enough cashback to cash out, but hey, every little bit helps!


If you are doing online shopping this holiday season and you don’t have these accounts, click the links above to open one up. They usually offer a $10 bonus for first-time account openers.

TopCashback offers a bonus percentage when you redeem your earnings, depending on whether you choose actual cash (no bonus) or credit to a particular store (such as Amazon). Of course, I always opt to redeem for a bonus. 😉

4. I made a big pot of chicken broth

I had several rotisserie chicken carcasses in my freezer, so yesterday I used them to make this chicken broth.

A pot of chicken broth.

Carcasses take up a lot of room in the freezer, so I’m very happy that they have now been used to make some broth. The broth is much more space-efficient, not to mention more usable than bones!

chicken broth

I was completely out of chicken broth, so I’m glad to have some containers in my freezer now.

Here’s how I make my chicken broth.

5. I bought zero Black Friday deals

As I’ve said before, I’m not morally opposed to Black Friday shopping, especially if you use the sales to buy things you’d planned to buy (and that you budgeted for!)

But there were no such scenarios for me this year, and buying nothing is quite frugal. 😉

Your turn! What frugal things have you been up to?

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Michelle H

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

1. Paid $4 for a National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation puzzle at Goodwill, and sold it the next day for $65 on ebay.

2. Took advantage of promotions for first time visitors at a casino 50 miles from our driveway for a free day date with the husband while the kids were in school. They had sent coupons in the mail for a $50 meal toucher and $150 in bonus play money. Gambled with just their money and came out ahead, then stuffed ourselves for lunch, and brought home enough leftovers for dinner that night. We spent 1/8 tank of gas and $10 tip, and it was fun to try something new since we've been in a date rut lately.

3. Took advantage of loadable coupons at Kroger to pick up discounted gift cards for teacher and bus driver holiday gifts.

4. Used a Walgreens code for a free 8x10 print, and printed a picture of the kids as part of my grandmother's gift.

5. My daughter and her good friend/classmate share the same exact December birthday during the holiday break. Both kids wanted a party at the trampoline park and to invite their entire class, so I asked the other kid's mom if she was interested in having a joint party since the guests lists would be identical. She was thrilled to split the cost, and we booked it between lunch and dinner so we can just have cupcakes and not supply an actual meal.

Dina Visram

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

1. Bought 6 gaming chairs for $80 as a pre-sale deal. Sold 5 for $120 on FB Marketplace. Kept one for personal use. 2. Thanksgiving meal was free with the $20 Ibotta deal. 3. Opted not to travel or go out anywhere for Thanksgiving. Rented a movie and enjoyed some time with family. 4. Kept away from malls and sales deals (except the gaming chairs to resale) 5. Made all my meals at home. Used all my leftovers.


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

My big frugal win for the week was this: I was ordering my mom a basket of Harry and David goodies for her birthday and the shipping was like $22! I hunted around on the catalog I had at home and lo and tiny print, was a PROMO CODE! Ha! I was pretty happy to find that.

Other than that...we've eaten at home, I stuck to my list at Sam's, I didn't do any Black Friday shopping...but I did use that day to put together a calendar in Shutterfly and it was on super sale, so I guess I did do a little shopping...

And I started a list to keep track of Christmas presents for the fam.


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

We went out shopping Black Friday but not for BF shopping. I did buy a pillow for the grand baby and groceries. We bought 6 Aldi large candy bars to do taste testing.

Our son smoked a ham and was throwing out the bone, I made ham stock instead.

Our local pet supply store had 30% off your order and it crashed their site so they extended it a day so I was able to get dog food. Nice savings.

I have 99% of Christmas shopping done, most all I did online and local pickup. I did purchase some locally owned candles which were expensive but so very nice.


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

I watched someone throw out a big poultry carcass one time and it was not a situation where I felt I could ask to take it home. That was a little painful for me. Ha. I'm glad you were able to rescue the ham bone!


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Black Friday European edition: -Having not lived in my home country for many years, I was really surprised to see that Black Friday has become a thing here as well. Luckily, stores "celebrate" it for a whole week or even month rather than a day (no Thanksgiving after all, but it has become a way to get people Christmas shopping earlier in November). Since we need many new things to furnish our new apartment, I got some linen and towels on Black Friday sales (here, companies also don't run year-round sales like like in the U.S., so a sale price really is one). Also got some practical Christmas gifts such as new kitchen knives, as well as woolen socks and leggings for my kids as the temperatures have dipped into the teens. All with BF discounts.

-We needed two new memory cards, and when I was at the checkout, the salesclerk offered a BF deal where we could switch to a different phone carrier and get the memory cards for free as a bonus. The new carrier deal was also cheaper than what we pay now and for unlimited data. Sweet deal, for sure. As mentioned by other European readers, phone carriers in Europe are very competitive and it is common to switch between carriers after one deal runs out. The unlimited price per phone is 17 euros per month, plus I saved 60 euros in the memory cards.

-We live near a "recycling center", which is basically like Goodwill but warehouse sized. I have taken a habit to swing by on my walks to see if I can spot anything we need for the apartment, as nice things really go fast. Last time, I found a ceramic pie dish I been looking for.

-Visited two outdoor Christmas markets last weekend. Bought some handicrafts from a charity, but from the other market opted to only buy mulled wine/hot chocolate and enjoy the atmosphere.

-Checked my tax rate and noticed that I was going to exceed the annual income limit for my percentage, after which a much higher tax percentage is deducted. I adjusted the limit and tax percentage, which makes it so that I don't pay a much higher excess tax on the overage.

-No takeout or eating out except for a lunch date with my husband, which I subsidized with a work meal allowance (working from home, I often use this at nearby restaurants rather than work cafeteria).

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