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Five Frugal Things | a mostly traveling edition

This is going to be a challenge because in the week since the last Five Frugal Things post, I was out of town with my blogging mastermind group for four days.

So, my frugal five are probably not going to win the “Most Exciting and Creative” award this week.

Kristen at FinCon.

Let’s see what I can come up with.

1. I used a $10/$20 Venmo offer at CVS

I have never used Venmo in a store before, but they’ve sent me some in-store offers this week.

So, I picked up a few things at CVS, using the $10 cashback offer.

(Do I like 50% discounts? Yes, yes I do!)

And there’s also a $10/$10 Panda Express cashback offer in my Venmo app, so as long as this CVS one comes through without a problem, maybe Mr. FG and I will go to Panda on our date night this week.

2. I split Uber rides with my friend Whitney

Her plane got in last Wednesday about two and a half hours after mine.

Since I thought 2.5 hours of quiet time at the airport sounded like not a terrible punishment (!), I waited for her to arrive and then we picked up an Uber together to the hotel.

Kristen and Whitney with masks on.

And on the way back, we rode together again, although this time she had to wait an extra hour.

(Whitney is the podcaster behind Money Nerds, and you can read all about her here.)

3. I used some Erie Your Turn rewards* to buy a coffee

One morning, we hit up the Starbucks in our hotel, and I redeemed some of my Erie rewards for a Starbucks gift card.

A latte in a mug.

Amazingly, they had a cinnamon dolce latte available; every other time I have been traveling this year and have tried to get one, it’s been unavailable.

I shared my delight with the barista and she seemed extremely unimpressed with my joy. Heh.

But that’s ok; I texted Lisey (a fellow cinnamon dolce lover) and she understood my joy.

*Erie is my car insurance provider, and they have an app that gives you gift card rewards for safe driving. If you have Erie, ask your agent about the app!

4. I split a hotel room with Whitney

A view of the night sky from a city hotel room.

Splitting a room = instant 50% discount.

Also, I love hanging out with Whitney, so sharing a room with her was like having a super delightful multi-day sleepover.

Cheaper, plus way more fun? Such a win.

5. I brought some snacks with me

Kristen sitting in a giant inflatable flamingo.

If there’s a giant inflatable flamingo somewhere, you kind of have to get your picture taken in it

I am one of those people who doesn’t just feel hungry if I go for a while between meals; I actually start to feel physically terrible.

This is not usually a problem because I am never far from my kitchen for super long periods of time. But when I’m traveling, this can be an issue. So, before I left for my trip, I went to Trader Joe’s and bought some granola bars and trail mix packets to throw into my bag.

That way, I could make sure to have food available without needing to stop in somewhere (and pay more!) on my trip.

And a bonus one: while I did have to eat all of my meals out, I drank water almost every time (I got a bottle of Coke once), and I did not drink any alcohol.

I don’t like the taste of alcohol, and besides, I want to go to sleep after a few sips, so I am extremely un-fun if I drink!

Because of this, I am inadvertently frugal at restaurants. 🙂

What frugal things have you been up to this week?

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Maria Martoral

Friday 1st of October 2021

This week .... 1. I was able to cancel an expensive monthly subscription. 2. Both my hubby and I were able to have free dental cleanings and x-rays with a new upgraded dental plan which has lower premiums than our previous plan. 3. My husband and I cleaned all our home windows after getting an outrageous estimate from a window washing company! 4. Our grocery bill was $25 lower this week than last week! 5. I scored a free magazine subscription for a magazine I love. 6. I was able to borrow a digital copy from our library of a book I have wanted to read instead of buying it. 7. We continue to adhere to one eat out night on weekends!


Thursday 30th of September 2021

I was on the road too! Visiting my sister in NYC. While parts of the trip were a little indulgent and not so frugal, I managed to squeeze some stuff in: 1. My sister is a sailboat captain and had customers booked while I was there. So, I went on a 2-hour journey on the Hudson at n0 cost. It was absolutely beautiful. 2. My sister, also a frugal person, had acquired four large bags of silk fabric scraps. Some were small, many were yardage. She had taken what she wanted and I went through the rest. I brought two full garbage bags home with me. I will be able to make so many fun things from it all, I'm sure. 3. Her garden and produce swapping source are in abundance at the moment. I brought home ground cherries, cherry tomatoes, bananas and plums. 4. Packed meals and snacks for the train ride so that I didn't have to purchase any food onboard. 5. While fabric shopping in the city, I found some tartan wool at an amazing price. Even with the leather closures I plan on purchasing, the skirt I will make will be hundreds less than an authentic tartan wool skirt that I could purchase.

Ann W.

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Looks like you had a fun time on your trip! Even your not so frugal things seem really frugal to me. How you saved money while traveling was a really interesting read.

My 5 Frugal Things are …

1) Got a solid wood mirror for free off our Buy/ Nothing group. Had some nicks and loose screws. Was a glossy black frame mirror so the nicks was easily touched up with black permanent marker and screws removed and repositioned. Will fit perfectly in our spare bedroom for guests. Also gave away a new bottle of specialized conditioner in the group and 2 crib mattresses to a lady who runs a daycare.

2) Sold girl’s Colombia coat for $40 which is the same price I got it for at OUAC. Realized my girl had 2 other coats that fit her already and didn’t need the extra.

3) Mended my girl’s sleepers. The areas where the toes would be are notorious for getting worn. I’m constantly fixing them. She’s our youngest so I’m glad she’s getting use out of them.

4) Also mended my girls’ dress up clothes. They love playing dress up and I got a lot of the clothes second hand or free a couple years ago.

5) Brought e-book for our mom’s bible study for my kindle instead of paperback and saved a few dollars. Eliminated paper waste too. Mended my girls’ dress up clothes. They love playing dress up and I got a lot of the clothes second hand or free a couple years ago.


Wednesday 29th of September 2021

1. I saved $500 for paying for Hubby's up coming dental surgery. If you pay 2 weeks in advance by check they give a discount. 2. My BIL gave us a gallon size bag of figs from his tree. I made jam out of them. I gave them one of the jars. 3. Hubby and I went on a free date. I had 2 combo coupons for a new fast food place. So we happily went. 4. I made apple juice from apples that we picked for $1 a pound. I used the cores to make apple syrup and the pulp to make apple muffins. 5. Aldi had pumpkins on sale for $2.49 each. I got my limit of 4. I will cook them after Halloween. They also had eggs for 60¢ a dozen so I got 5 dozen. 6. I cashed out $120 in CC rewards. We pay it off every month in full.

Lindsay B

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Frugal things first, then the not very frugal:

1. Connected with a lady from Buy Nothing who will put together a postpartum bundle for me-- I have no idea what I might want or need postpartum, but I am happy to take hand me downs! 2. Found out I have 12 hours of training to complete from home in October for my per diem job. Since I don’t have very many shifts scheduled this is great for extra money, and I always appreciate learning more. 3. Reorganized freezer, which led to making chicken/veggie stock, banana bread, and finally using some frozen veggies that only I can eat as DH is allergic to them. 4. Slowly using up some skin care freebies and various lotions that have accumulated. 5. Used the free vacuums at the nearby car wash, but passed on the car wash at $11. 6. Taking tires in for free rotation at the place we purchased our tires. Helps keep our tires in good shape, and helps with gas mileage as well.

Not very frugal: after a quick budget review with DH, realized I have made some nonessential purchases recently (tea, skincare) that put us over budget. He was very sweet about it, but it made me want to be more mindful about using what we have on hand and trying to have no-spend days. When I was single and working full time, I didn’t have to think much about purchases. When he’s working full time and I’m only per diem, I have to be mindful.

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