Skip to Content

Five Frugal Things | free Starbucks for me!

1. I got 50% off a Starbucks coffee

When I landed in a cold Chicago airport after a night of zero sleep, I thought a hot coffee was in order.

starbucks app screenshot.

Sooo, I walked to the nearest one in the airport, opened my app, and oooh, there was a coupon for 50% off a coffee. Woohoo!

And of course, I used a gift card from my Erie YourTurn rewards to pay for the remaining 50%, so this was $0 out of pocket.

I love it when I can stretch my gift cards!

2. I ordered a discounted gift card from Citi

I have a Citi credit card that I originally got in order to score $200 cash back on my $1300 first semester nursing school books purchase.

I’ve been letting the points sit there, so when I got an email from Citi letting me know about a points sale, I logged on to see what I could snag.

gift card purchase screenshot.

I got a Panera gift card at a discount and immediately loaded it into my Panera app. Sooo, when I need to press the easy button at some point this semester, I’ve got a little Panera cash waiting for me. Yay!

3. I filled out the FAFSA

Man, this new FAFSA form is sooo much faster than the old one. I give the revamp a 10/10.

Anyway, I filled it out because I want to apply for some more scholarships, and often the FAFSA is necessary for scholarship submission.

(I don’t think I’ve said anything about this before, but I got my first two semesters of school totally paid for, so I am quite motivated to continue with the FAFSA/scholarship thing.)

I don’t have it back yet (I think they said to expect it to be approved by the end of January?), but at least I got the ball rolling.

4. I made a use-it-up dinner

I haven’t done a proper grocery shop since I got home from Hawaii, so I have been scrounging a bit.

bay in Hawaii.

Remember when I was somewhere not-cold?

The other night, I found a few slices of bread in the freezer, and two slices of bacon, so Zoe had French toast and bacon.

And for me, I made whole wheat blueberry pancakes, to use up the last of a jar of yogurt, plus some blueberries that had gotten wrinkly during my Hawaii trip.

buttermilk pancakes.

5. First day of school frugalities

My second semester of nursing school started yesterday!

I walked to school, even though it was pretty chilly out.

snowy hill.

I brought my home-brewed coffee in my Yeti mug.

And I packed a lunch (in reusable containers of course). It was just a whole wheat peanut butter sandwich plus some cheese, an orange, and a sliced red pepper, and while it didn’t win any excitement awards, the price was right.

We shall see how long I can keep up my not-buying-food-at-college streak. 😉

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Wednesday 24th of January 2024

I will cross my fingers for you that your FAFSA process goes smoothly and results in some great aid! I work at a small university in Kentucky, and I know our Financial Aid staff are really stressed by the constant updates that are happening (especially with yesterday's announcement about the current FAFSA not calculating some information properly). All they want is to provide aid packages to our students for next year; and yet they just don't have the data yet. Sigh.


Wednesday 24th of January 2024

FFT 1. Menu planned 2 weeks of meals based on what we had in the pantry/freezer. I was able to spend $48 at the grocery on the items we still needed. What's crazy is we've eaten healthier and better meals because I'm cooking more. Ie it's cheaper to make chili & rice than get frozen pizzas....

2. $2.99 for a 10lb bag of potatoes, so I bought two. My youngest helped me peel most of one bag and we made mashed potatoes for the family. And with some of the leftover mashed potatoes, we made shepherds pie for the freezer.

3. I did some volunteer work for a group in the fall. The director told me to take a refund of the volunteer fee I originally paid. $150 back, yay

4. My husband asked a leader at our church if he could volunteer for a leadership conference coming up and get the entrance fee waived. They said yes. Sometimes you just have to ask.

5. We are on a spending freeze at least this month. Cancelled Netflix, already don't have Prime, and paused Peloton membership. Many times I've wanted to go thru a drive thru or get something.... I just tell myself nope unless I have a giftcard.


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Trying to not buy groceries as we eat down our fridge and some freezer items before we leave for 2 months to Mexico this Sunday. Calling and canceling things like garbage to save money while we’re away. Fasfa the thing I hated the most when my kids were in college. The passwords etc would never work even though they were written down and the whole thing was an exercise in frustration. Of course it got easier now that I don’t have to do it anymore!! So nice to hear you aren’t going into debt for nursing school. I hope these semesters get covered too!


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

1. Admittedly looking for something else, I found a pj shirt marked down from $34.99 to $4.99 at Old Navy. Since I wear these every day I grabbed it and was excited to discover that I had $3 credit on my account so it cost me $1.99! 2. Steak is not cheap, but when I went late yesterday to buy some meat for dinner filets were marked down 50% because they had to be sold that day. I bought one extra package which we'll cook up for another day. 3. Today I went to a different store to return a defective item. While there I did find what I had been looking for at Old Navy, and it was marked down to $24.99 from $44. 4. I fried some leftover mashed potatoes in bacon fat with garlic and it went over quite well. 5. I dropped a different return in the FedEx box and they promptly emailed me that the return had been processed.


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Congrats on your second semester! I agree that the FAFSA is a wonderful gift for education!

N- Your home sounds dreamy and I'm glad the cars and abode are doing well in frigid temps!

MD- Those are awesome uses of credits/discounts and offers! Way to go!

My frugal items are not very exciting this week but it's all good. Here we go:

1) I came across an awesome gift for hubby's birthday at a 50% discount. The last time I saw it was in an antique shop and I'm glad I didn't buy it back then.

2) While out of town, I came across an item that my sister had wanted. I didn't get her much for Christmas, so I picked it up. She was happy to get it in the mail. I know it's a belated gift, but it still counts, right?

3) My doctor ordered a bone scan and after calling my insurance company and the imaging facility, I found out it was free!

4) I was gifted a lovely frame with a photo of my oldest and his new bride. We had no idea they got married !

5) Instead of paying for haircuts for our youngest, I've now handed over the financial responsibility to him.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.