Five Frugal Things 1/20/2017

Pouring Water Into Glass On Blue BackgroundHere are some frugal wins that happened this past week at Casa Aloha:

  1. We had to go to Costco again to buy bread for this week’s swim team spaghetti dinner (we volunteered to provide the garlic bread every week), and only bought the bread and some eggs rather than tap into next months food budget. That’s two times we’ve managed this!
  2. We ate at home all week, and shopped our pantry, fridge and freezer – all meals and desserts were made from what we already had on hand, including YaYu’s birthday dinner and cake.
  3. WenYu wanted a new bikini for her birthday, but wasn’t happy about having to pay the “paradise tax” (i.e. higher cost) of buying one here. So, we decided to give her cash and she will buy herself a suit when she gets back to Massachusetts. She’ll be able to get that and another piece of clothing for less than the price of a suit here.
  4. Other than coffee, free, filtered tap water was the main beverage choice for all of us. We refilled our 10-cup Brita pitcher at least five times a day all week.
  5. I earned another $15 in Amazon Credit from Swagbucks this week. I’ve earned $40 total so far this year.

How did you do this week?

8 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things 1/20/2017

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    A great frugal week! How do you do so well with Swagbucks? I’m so impressed! We had a super frugal week, minus pending house costs (appraisal fee, a year’s worth of homeowner’s insurance, etc). Oh, and the deposit on the house itself. 😉 Minor costs . . .

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    • Laura says:

      Living in Hawai’i, each “new day” for Swagbucks starts at 10:00 p.m., or midnight PST (it will start at 9:00 p.m. when daylight savings begins because Hawai’i doesn’t observe DST). Since I’m up at that time anyway, I start earning once the day rolls while I read, or watch TV. I’ve been able to meet the daily goal every day all month so far (knock on wood), and that’s really upped my points.

      I don’t envy all the hoops you’re having to jump through right now, but it will be worth it once you’re moved in, and especially after you sell your Seattle house. I also don’t envy you over the housing prices in the Bay Area – they’re worse than Hawai’i, so I feel your pain.

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  2. Natalie says:

    My frugal wins this week: (1) Found and asked for 1000 missing air mileage points be credited to my frequent flyer account. The additional points will get me much closer to a free return flight in North America 🙂 (2) Took Spanish lessons online via Duolingo (3) Bought grocery items that are on sale (4) Got one grocery item for free and CDN$10.99 back due to scan code error (5) Ate all meals at home. Our main beverage choice is filtered tap water, too. It has been for many years.

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    • Laura says:

      You have really been getting those scan code refunds lately – smart girl for checking your receipts!

      What do you think of Duolingo? As a language teacher I didn’t care for the sentence examples they provided – the gave a form, but it would have been better to use actual examples of what people might say, versus “Flies eat chocolate,” something I’ve never even said in my native language. I am enjoying the lessons on Memrise – LOTS of repetition, and phrases/vocabulary/sentence structures that are actually useful. Rosetta Stone (that I’m using for Japanese) falls more out of favor with me every day I use it.

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      • Natalie says:

        I think Duolingo is basic. It’s free so I have low expectations. Before my trips to South America, I picked up enough basic vocabulary from using Duolingo and was very pleased to be able to converse with the locals and ordered my food in Spanish. Memrise sounds good. I’ll check it out.

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      • Laura says:

        One thing I like about Memrise is that they include short videos of native speakers, using normal rates of speech. I really have to listen carefully to catch what they’re saying. It’s good practice.

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  3. Vivian Gibson says:

    Not so frugal, my freezer went out and the repairman said it wasn’t repairable so had to buy a new one. I did manage to get $200 dollars off due to a sale but pure dumb luck not planning.
    What is wrong with Rosetta Stone? I have been considering a purchase.

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    • Laura says:

      An unexpected failure of an appliance is not something many can plan for, so to get a new one with $200 off is still a frugal win.

      Rosetta Stone has been “updated” since I first used it in 2015. Now, at the beginning of each section, they have you go through an introduction of what’s coming up. It takes about 30 minutes, and includes new vocabulary with not a lot of reinforcement, and also wants you using that vocabulary in long, complicated sentences. The program “fails’ you if you don’t get it right – it’s very annoying, and now I can’t relax when I have to speak because I’m so afraid it’s going to “fail” me. Plus their listening software isn’t consistent – I can say sometime twice and get the buzzer, and say it the same way the third time and it takes it. Anyway, the further I go the more annoying it becomes, and I don’t think they giving the more difficult grammar/vocabulary the time one needs to learn it. Just my $.02 – the earlier lessons were OK though.

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