Five Frugal Things 9/22/2017

There is no substitute for fresh ginger in a recipe.

  1. We mailed a small package to Japan this past week – Amazon would not ship a teething ring that our D-I-L wanted to Japan, so we agreed to buy it and ship as part of our granddaughter’s first birthday present. The teething ring was $15.95, and we were going to use a Priority flat rate mailer, figuring that would cost the least. However, when we checked the cost was $23.95! So, Brett bought a small padded envelope for $1.98, we crossed our fingers, and the postage was only $13.75! It was still expensive, but $15.73 to Japan was a whole lot better than $23.95! Our son offered to reimburse us, but we turned him down because we know he’ll do something to spoil us next time we’re in Japan. BTW, we took most of our granddaughter’s birthday present with us to Japan last March because we knew the postage would be outrageous (and unaffordable) from here.
  2. We usually buy fresh ginger at the farmers’ market – a small piece runs around $1. We forgot to get it last week, and I needed some to fix dinner on Monday so Brett stopped by the local Foodland store and got twice the amount we typically get at the market for just 71¢! Guess where we will be buying our ginger from now on!
  3. It was quite a challenge but we managed to stay within budget on our monthly Big Shop this past week. Prices have gone up at all stores, so getting what we need for the month and not overspending meant not buying some things on our list, and finding less expensive substitutes for others.
  4. Brett and I made and froze a dozen breakfast burritos for YaYu, filled with scrambled eggs, homemade breakfast sausage, hash browns and a little pepper jack cheese. Each burrito cost 81c, which is pretty good for Hawai’i.
  5. We put $11.05 into the change/$1 bill jar this week, left over from the Big Shop. We didn’t go to the farmers’ market – we decided we actually didn’t need anything this week, so will roll those $$ over for future trips.

What frugal wins did you have this week?

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8 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things 9/22/2017

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    -I price matched a flight, saving $52,
    -Called about a missing flight credit, & got $150
    -Made the most of the straggly broccoli on Sunday with soup
    -Discovered M’s old HSA was charging him $1.50 for paper statements (that were going to the wrong address, no less).I signed up for online billing, saving the $1.50/monthly. It was also a good reminder that we can save another $4.99/month in fees by rolling this over to his existing HSA
    -And, used a Groupon that was about to expire.

    Pretty standard list for us. I’ve been making freezer breakfast burritos for Sam as well, and he eats them on his early cross country mornings. Such a time saver!

    I know I’ve asked this before, but do your son & daughter live in Tokyo?

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  2. Laura says:

    Is there any way I can convince you to write a post on your blog about how you do price-matching, etc. with the airlines. You always save so much, and I’m pretty sure others would be interested on how you get refunds, lower prices, miles, etc. You’re an absolute master at this.

    Yes, our son and family live in Tokyo. They just moved from the NishiAsabu neighborhood (right next to Roppongi) over to Setagaya. They’re still unpacking, but I can’t wait to see pictures of their new place which is larger than the condo they moved from.

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    • Hawaii Planner says:

      I have no idea what the postage is like between Hawaii & the US, but I’d be happy to carry stuff in my bag next time I go to Tokyo (December), assuming it’s cheaper for you that way. I always stay in Roppongi, and could leave a package for pickup at the hotel. Think about if you need to get them anything for Christmas, and whether that would work. Happy to help!

      On the airline stuff, happy to write a blog post. It’s all pretty specific to Alaska Airlines (which is why they are my favorite!), but I will post on general tips that I follow.

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      • Laura says:

        Thank you for your very generous offer! We actually send very little there these days though – we send a check at Christmas and let them buy gifts there, and pack things whenever we go. We love to take our grandson shopping when we’re there, and can’t wait to go with our granddaughter. Anyway, the only thing our son really misses from the U.S. is Diet Coke – we can’t bring it with us, so we clean out the Navy Exchange when we’re there.

        Can I ask where your offices are in Roppongi? I sort of know the area. Our son worked in the Izumi Green Tower for a few years, but his new office is closer to Tokyo Station. Also, have you ever been to a Muji store? I recommend it, if only to look. It’s sort of a Japanese-style IKEA, and interesting to check out.

        I think it actually costs more to mail things to Japan from here than on the mainland – maybe because there are fewer flights?

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  3. The One in Debt says:

    I hear you about the mailing costs. My daughter was doing a snack and novelty exchange with some penpals in Japan. I was shocked at the price when we shipped her friends box. but fortunately the USPS lady at the counter was super helpful in getting us the cheapest, most efficient rate but was still costly like your shipment.

    Great job on the burritos. They come in so handy when on the go!

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    • Laura says:

      Postage has really gone up in the three years we’ve been here – when we came it was expensive, but still “affordable.” Now it’s just ridiculous.

      I use to make the burritos for around 34 cents each back on the mainland, but I’m sure it would cost more now. I was pretty happy with the 81 cents here.

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