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Four Frugal Things (and a fail!)

1. I submitted an $80 contact lens rebate

This is always an annoying process since you have to upload photos of your receipt + all the UPCs from each box. But for $80, I’m willing to spend a few minutes.

contact lens boxes.

Also, I am old enough to remember when rebate submission involved physically mailing the actual UPCs and forms, so I can appreciate that this new online submission method is a huge improvement.

2. I handled an insurance issue

Oddly, our health insurance began showing Sonia as ineligible for her allergy shot serum (from the allergy office) and her allergy shot appointments at the pediatrician, so we got two bills in the mail.

a medical bill.

I verified our coverage on the website, spoke with Cigna to verify eligibility, made phone calls to both doctor’s offices, and I think we are all straightened out now.

This is why I always say it’s important to approach medical bills with a suspicious eye, and also why it’s good to know what you ought to be paying (Have you met your deductible? What’s your copay? Is this provider in-network? etc. Knowledge is power! )

3. I am getting free peppermint milkshake coupons

MoneySavingMom posted a link where you can get a free peppermint milkshake coupon for yourself and someone you love. I don’t like milkshakes that much (I like to have flour and butter with my sugar, so give me cookies instead!).

But Zoe likes them, so I went through the process and the coupons are coming in the mail.

4. Mr. FG and I used a LocalFlavor voucher last night

Our date night schedule is all off-kilter, and that’s why we did one on a Monday night. A local sandwich place keeps putting their $10/$20 deal on offer (which I figure means it must be profitable for them overall!) and I keep on hitting the purchase button whenever I get the emails.

(Local Flavor is a little like Groupon, except it’s basically all local restaurants. You can see deals in your locale right here.)

5. A water bill fail

Our county charges a fee for paying our water bills online, and so I have never switched over from paying via mail. I know this is kind of petty of me, but I have always felt super annoyed that they charge extra for this; like, you would think that if more customers paid online, it would save them money.

Well, this mail-in habit came back to bite me this month!

I mailed our payment in plenty of time, so I was very surprised to see a red overdue notice come in the mail. Apparently, the mail service was so slow, my check didn’t get there in time.

Kristen, her face screwed up with disappointment.

This face is so terrible, it’s actually making me laugh!

So then I had to log in online, pay the $10 late fee, and pay the county online bill pay fee.

To prevent this in the future, I have set up my water bill using the online bill pay feature from my credit union. This way, I should be able to pay online without having to pay the fee (my credit union offers this service for free), so I will have the best of both worlds.

Your turn! Share your frugal five.

And if you want to swap one out for a fail as I did, be my guest. 😉

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Thursday 18th of November 2021

I agree that checking insurance bills are important! And reading up on the coverage is vital as sometimes, the insurance agent will deny a claim, despite it being written in the policy..I used to argue for 30 minutes every month when I had Cigna, regarding pharmacy benefits...They would deny that I was covered and we would go round and round and I'd be put on hold, etc... It was a nightmare.

My frugal five: 1) We got an email that our college aged kid has received another scholarship from the school... Savings- $2,000 2) I earned $8 so far in Swagbucks but will save it for a holiday gift. Savings- $8 3) I purchased a Christmas item from a retail shop while on vacation. It had to be sent to me since the last one was purchased before I could get to it! Unfortunately, the item was in bad shape when it arrived, so I sent it back. I did get word that it was received and was refunded. Savings- $0 4) I made another purchase for a new phone but it didn't work out. I mailed it back with a prepaid label for UPS. My lack of attention caused me to drop it off at USPS...Ugh. I made some phone calls and was told it may be lost in the mail. I thought I was out of $ but weeks later, I received an email that UPS found it and is processing the return! WHEW Savings- $0 5) I had a doctor appt and was told that it would be FAST. The doctor said that all she would do is a 5 minute test and then I could leave. Before this appt, I stated that my copay and cost for this quick test was too expensive...I could get the test done through a walk in lab for cheaper than the total cost of my copay + her test thru my insurance...So, she let me go get the test done on my own and send her the results..... Savings- $33


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Boy, I would contact the county, explain that I had mailed the bill and it should have reached them in time, and argue for the late fee being credited.

If you explain this in a reasonable tone of voice, I'm betting they'll credit you! It's worked for me before with credit cards...same reason.


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

1. Was charged a No show fee for a doctor’s appointment that we HAD cancelled.Saved $50 by calling and straightening it out.

2. Eating down the freezer. I am a bit over stocked.

3. Lost a bunch of weight and none of my winter clothes fit me. Accepted THREE PAIR of nice jeans from a girlfriend who was recycling.They fit great! Bought 5 new tops at local resale/consignment store. No supply chain problem when you buy consignment and nicer quality for way less money. I paid $9- 11 each for the tops. Ann Taylor,Marc Jacob,Chicos.I love good brands but will not pay retail.

4. Accepted Thanksgiving invitation for dinner for our family of 3. I will contribute a dessert.Saving a ton of money over the big feast I usually cook and I will be seeing people we have lost touch with..a nice reunion!

5. I don’t wear makeup every day anymore. Saving money on my Revlon and also I get a $75 times two (me and hubby combined) allowance on health insurance for OTC items every three months so my moisture cream is now free.Also get free bug spray, floss,toothpaste, electric toothbrush heads, vitamins!!

Frugal fail: My husband and I ate lunch out twice these week and I also went to a happy hour with girlfriends! Spendy!! ! But it has been almost 2 years that I have not gone out much and I needed it for my mental health. I am shocked at how restaurant prices have gone UP!! I won’t be doing that often!!

Sandy B.

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

1. We met up with our youngest son and went to a local arboretum. It's free, pretty quiet and has many beautiful plants and trees. 2. My husband fixed a pocket door that came off the track. It is a heavy solid wood door, and it wasn't an easy job, but he got it fixed. 3. I stocked up on $1.99 butter on sale at Aldi. I put most of it in the freezer. 4. I signed up for a business and personal Southwest credit card. I will time my year end purchases so all my points and bonuses will hit on the January statements. I will then have enough points for a free companion pass, so anytime I fly in 2022 and 2023 my husband can fly for free. I pay off the cards each month and don't carry a balance, so no interest charges. 5. We all received our free booster shots, we're trying to stay healthy.


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Yes! It is $1.99 Aldi butter sale season!

1. Bought 6 lbs butter last week (in freezer). 2. Bought 6 lbs butter this week (in freezer). 3. Mom was going to Aldi's and didn't need/want butter so got me 6 lbs of butter to bring to mother-in-law (no Aldi where she lives). 4. Stayed with parents this weekend and had sister/bro-in-law/nephew over. Made a lovely 3-course meal with all food that mom already had in house. 5. Dad is both generous and frugal and he wanted to donate a case of wine to his senior Thanksgiving luncheon. He requested that I bring him a case of TJ wine as CT grocery stores cannot sell wine and I live in MA. In both paid for the case of wine, took me out for pizza, and I got to spend the weekend with my family and it cost me nothing.


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

The one and only time my city water bill was late was when I used my bank's online bill pay option. I was told that our city is not a big company so instead of paying the bill online, the bank cut and mailed a check. But they do the checks in batches, so by the time they cut the check and mailed it, it was late! Luckily our water department is in our town and only five or so blocks away, so I just write a check and put it in their dropbox.

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