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Five Frugal Things | and now some free butter

Guys, I still cannot recommend Safeway as an overall budget-friendly option, but…

1. I got a free pound of butter at Safeway

If you have a Safeway near you, I definitely think it’s worth downloading the app!

This is the second time I have noticed a freebie pop up (last time it was 10 pounds of potatoes), plus you get freebies when you first sign up.

soft stick of butter

I don’t suggest doing regular shopping there, but if you drive by a Safeway all the time, it can be worth it to stop in for a freebie.

I am not sponsored by Safeway, just so you know. I kinda doubt Safeway does much work with frugal bloggers. (!!)

2. I used some Kindle credit for an ebook

I had a reading assignment that required an ebook, and happily, I had some Kindle credit from a previous ebook purchase.

3. I used a gift card to buy Zoe a birthday treat

I had just gotten back from my ski trip on her birthday, so I did not have time to make something like overnight cinnamon rolls.

sliced cinnamon roll dough.

Or monkey bread.

caramel monkey bread

So, I stopped in at Panera and used a gift card to buy her some cinnamon rolls and a coffee.

4. I made a birthday cake for Zoe

I used this not-from-a-box chocolate cake recipe, but I subbed dark chocolate cocoa powder this time, and guys, I highly recommend that! 

a slice of chocolate birthday cake.

This is the type of cocoa powder I use; most major grocers stock it. I think it made the cake about 5x as delicious.

Unfortunately, one of the layers I made had a collapsing problem.

collapsed chocolate cake.

But the girls happily ate that one as-is. I still do not quite know why it fell in that spot, but whatever.

Bread is my specialty, not cake.

Zoe and her friends are quite into frogs at the moment, so she found a frog design on Pinterest that she wanted to do.

A birthday cake with two frogs on it.

Zoe blowing out her birthday candles.

5. I..

  • put my next book club pick on hold at the library
  • got Zoe’s next BritLit book from the library
  • used points to get a free birthday milkshake for Zoe
  • made coffee at home (at least, after my last airport coffee!)

Kristen holding a coffee cup.

What frugal things have you been up to lately? Do share!

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Sunday 27th of February 2022

When we lived in Seattle, there was no Aldi. The easiest grocery stores for me to get to were Safeway and Central Market.

Safeway was a good place to get dry goods (flour, sugar, rice, beans, cleaning supplies, etc.), but the produce was not good. Meat/dairy were kind of a toss-up - sometimes you could find good deals, but you really had to watch expiration dates - they'd sell stuff right up to the day it expired, with no discounts.

Central Market was expensive if you weren't buying in season. If you were buying produce in season, though, it was at least as cheap as Safeway (and usually cheaper!) for much, MUCH better quality. Meat/dairy were usually about the same price as Safeway, maybe a little higher, but you had a lot more options.

The two stores were basically across the street from each other, so it was easy to hit up both during my shopping day.

Frugal things this week: 1. Made muffins all week for snacks. This is way cheaper than buying granola bars or something. 2. Made a hot corn dip to bring to my BIL's (he invited us for dinner) instead of picking up something pre-made. 3. Mailed some shoes to my sister - I'd realized after wearing them that they just don't fit me correctly, but I couldn't return them. Thankfully, they're exactly the right size to fit my sister! So, maybe not super-frugal for me personally, but frugal for her? :-) 4. For the same $8 it would have cost to buy something similar new, I bought a candy jar (my spouse is a manager and wanted one for his desk at work - it's a work-culture thing there), a pie plate, and a wide-mouth jar at Goodwill. I was so pleased with the pie plate! It's exactly identical to one I already have, and we use them for dinner salads all summer, so now my spouse has one, too! 5. I ran out of muffin papers, and discovered I can just pour the batter into a 9x9 pan and cut it up. The kids called them "brownie muffins" because of the shape! I think I will do this for snacks from now on. ;-)


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

I wish we had a Safeway near us so I could get free butter too. Strange tidbit...during the height of the pandemic I admit to being a butter hoarder. At one point I had 37 pounds in the freezer (thanks to Aldi and their sales). I've since gotten that urge under control and only have about 5 pounds stashed at any one time. Here's our Five Frugal Things for the week: 1. I received and email from Amtrak offering buy one/get one tickets for certain destinations. I booked round trip tickets super cheap for me and my daughter to NYC in July to visit my sister and do some volunteer work in Brooklyn. 2. Housing for the NYC trip will be free as we will stay at my sister's house. 3. Took advantage of several President's Day discounts. The local craft store was offering 20% off knitting needles. My youngest needed a set we did not already own for a project she is now working on. 4. I went back to the same store two days later to purchase 6 yards of corgi-themed fleece and coordinating backings to make tie blankets for the girls for Christmas (yes, I start early!). It was 60% off on President's Day. 5. Signed up to participate in a quilting retreat though the guild I belong to. You saved $50 if you booked a room with another person. Luckily I had a few good friends to choose from! 6. Took advantage of another President's Day 20% off sale at our local bookstore. I purchased a Japanese cookbook for a friend's upcoming birthday.

Sarah C.

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Not frugal yet a frugal win: I have desperately wanted to order a specialty dessert online for over two years. The dessert is $110 for 28 servings. Steep, yes. BUT shipping was $21. I finally got an offer for free shipping, so my DH said we should go for it. I will lovingly double wrap each piece of my dessert (it is stored frozen) and eat it over a few months, so I call that a win! My DH is even taking a day off work (he has many saved up) to save it from the rain, as it's supposed to rain when it's to be delivered, and it's on dry ice. Can you tell this means a lot to me? :)

Sarah C.

Thursday 24th of February 2022

@bettafrmdaville, I don't know if you'll see this, but it's Sara Lee Bistro Collection Round Chocolate Malted Caramel Pie. It was served at a restaurant here called "Milky Way Pie" and it was my favorite. They stopped serving it because prices went up, then I found one more restaurant that served it, and they closed a couple years back! So here we are! :) I've dreamed of this day for so long, ha!!


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

@Sarah C., I SO want to know the name of a dessert that gets this special treatment! (I wonder if I, too, have unknowingly wanted it for two years!)

Heidi Louise

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

@Sarah C., Anticipation is a big part of a treat!

Caroline Starr Rose

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

I make a banana, peanut butter, spinach, flaxseed, cinnamon, chocolate smoothie (with a dash of cayenne) with that same cocoa powder, and it is AMAZINGLY GOOD. Breakfast this morning, in fact.


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Your cake looks deelish and the frog design is just as sweet! Here's my 5: 1) I put a whole chicken in the crockpot to cook and made several meals from it (chicken soup, mexican casserole & creamy asparagus chicken noodle skillet) and then threw the carcass in the crock to make stock. 2) I'm trying my hand at gardening this year and will be using free 5 gallon containers since I don't have ample land space. I purchased seeds from ebay and some from the store at bogo 50% off. 3) I used my CC rewards for a gift card to get a medical grade nebulizer for $10. 4) The grocery store sells clearance items and I scored organic apples/oranges, grapefruit for $1/bag. I found chex cereal for $2.29 and store brand cereal for $1.35. 5) My husband purchased a rose/lily arrangement for me for $14 (reg. $108). It was fresh and the vase alone was worth more than that.

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