Five Frugal Things 4/14/2017

The Safeway bag is new in our ‘recycling center,’ but we’ve been using the bag behind it and the Ross bag in back on the right side since 2014!

Frugality can be a big thing, a small thing, a one-time thing, or an everyday thing:

  1. YaYu took her April payment to her Mandarin tutor last weekend, but apparently we still had something on credit because this month’s payment was $50 less than expected! This is the last month of tutoring – YaYu takes her AP exam the first week of May, so that will be money back into our monthly budget.
  2. We charged $1000 on our Japan trip with my Hawaiian Airlines card so I received 50,000 bonus miles. Those miles will help reduce Meiling’s and WenYu’s trips home this summer and at Christmas. The Hawaiian card was paid off this week.
  3. Earlier this month I ordered a graphing calculator for WenYu from Amazon (needed for her SAT exam and next year’s math class). When I checked this week it hadn’t been shipped, but I noticed the same calculator was now being offered by another vendor (still Prime) for $10 less. I cancelled the first order and the second calculator should be here next week (the first order wasn’t due to arrive until the end of the month).
  4. We had another week with no food waste, made sun tea for iced tea and filled our Brita water pitcher over and over and over.
  5. Brett sorts our recycling into five different bags out in the garage, and takes it to the neighborhood recycling center every Thursday morning. I noticed this week that we are still using one of the bags I brought home from Japan when I went in 2014, and another from Christmas 2014. Why throw out something if it still does the job!

What frugal wins did you have this week?

6 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things 4/14/2017

  1. Love that you reuse paper bag! We reuse gift boxes. One of the most treasured ones is from McAlpin’s. I tell the person to whom I’m giving the gift, “you can have what’s inside but I get to keep the box!”


    1. LOL – we save gift boxes too. Some are over 10 years old, but they get dragged out and used by someone at Christmas. When the girls and I were in Japan in 2015, I bought furoshiki, Japanese wrapping cloths in both green and red fabrics. Those will get used for years!


  2. Love it! Those are some great wins. We had my parents here this week, in place of a summer camp. It saved us from paying for camp (we did buy their flights & give them spending money to use for kid activities during the week). As a bonus, my mom cleaned my house for 5 days. No, seriously. It was a wreck from the move & the flooring & the lighting installation projects, etc. She is amazing, and my dad cooked for us all week. So lucky to have them!


    1. I am so happy for you that your parents were able to come and that they were such a great help – you needed and deserved it! (I loved having my mom visit, but honestly, she always created more work for me). Especially having your mom clean for you, and your dad cook – wow!


  3. can you tell me more about what is recycled in the five different bags and bringing them to the center? i have been meaning to do the same, but am not quite sure how to go about it. but I hate throwing away perfectly good containers and cardboard in the trash. we have bottle recycling centers we could use and right now, I put my CA recycleable containers out by our bins because people come by very early to pull them out of our bins. but I think to do further (like cardboard, aluminum, etc…) I would need to hit up one of our bigger centers. but am kind of intimidated by that.

    I am sure the trash company probably recycles out from the big piles of trash on the landfill, but am not sure. Just wish our apartment complex got the gist of being environmentally friendly. But is not the case when it comes to recyclables.


    1. The big bag in back, from 2014, is for paper, another bag is for cardboard, one is for metal, one is for glass, and the bag on the left in front is for recyclable plastic (#1 & #2 here is all we can recycle – back in Portland they took just about everything). We store aluminum cans separately; those get recycled once a month. We used to have to separate everything in Portland, but eventually they just had us put everything in one container, composting in another, and trash in a third bin. Both here and back in Portland, we only put out our trash bin about once a month.

      When the girls were little we used to go on “can walks” and collect recyclable bottles and cans from what people had put out in the trash, before the city mandated the big, lidded containers (we never went into those). Some people actually saved their recyclables for the girls, and the money we got back went into our trip fund.

      We do have other paper bags set aside, but we use them for wrapping paper mostly. I gave up buying Christmas paper three years ago and asked everyone to get creative, and so far it’s worked well for us.

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