Frugality this week

This week I’ve been Christmas shopping, which tends to lead to feelings of non-frugality. But I felt good about overall resisting the siren call of Black Friday shopping, which often seems to end up with me impulse-buying a fair number of random items.  I did buy a few carefully chose items online for excellent prices.  It’s always fun when the UPS man comes bearing goodies.

I opted not to renew amazon prime this year.  Yes, the free shipping is nice.  But I find that when I have prime, I am much quicker to impulse-buy on amazon.  Amazon is already my budget’s Achille’s heel. I just shop smarter if I put an item in my cart and then force myself to wait til I have $35 worth of merchandise (to get the free shipping) before hitting that ‘buy’ button.  Half the time when I wait, I end up deciding is not as important as I first thought to own that particular item.

At Wal-Mart this week I happened upon 10-lb logs of ground beef marked down to $2o each.  It has been probably half a year since I’ve been able to find ground beef for less than $3 a pound, so I bought 40 pounds.  Seemed extreme to spend $80 on ground beef in one trip, but who knows when I’ll see the price that low again.  I probably actually should have bought more than that.

Table sparkleI bought 40 pounds of potatoes for 99 cents/10 pounds.  That’s a LOT of food for $4.

I copied a Pinterest idea for some sparkle on the dining room table using items I already had.  Looking at the photo I think I’ll remove the natural items and redo it with all glass balls, but it is fun the way it is too. The tiered tray is something I made a few years ago using gorilla glue and thrift store candlesticks and plates in different sizes.  Originally it was used to serve cupcakes at our oldest daughter’s wedding.

Our Christmas tree is getting very old and tired. I think we got it in 1999 for $70, so I think we’ve gotten our money’s worth from it. I was sorely tempted to take advantage of Black Friday sales to buy a new one.  But instead I opted to use it for (at least) one more year.  Once decorated, it didn’t look half bad.  And even on a good sale, the type of tree I had in mind would have been $100.  So it’s just as well that I waited.

I wanted to support a brand new Ethiopian restaurant called Kibrom’s in Boise, but didn’t have much in the eating-out budget.  So instead of bringing everyone and getting a full meal, we stopped in and bought injera plus a triple batch of our favorite entree (doro wat) and asked them to package it up for take-out.  They got some business, and we all had a taste of yumminess at a lower price.  Another time we’ll bring everyone there to eat, but this was a nice compromise.

That’s all I can think of for now.  On Monday I’ll share my latest Stitch Fix goodies.  I’d love to hear how your frugality efforts are going this month, especially related to holiday expenses.




  1. Started wrapping presents this week with gift wrap I got at a thrift-type shop for .25 a roll.

  2. I tried freezer cooking for the first time over the holidays. I didn’t go all out and make a huge bunch of food in the afternoon, but I did make double batches of some family favorites and threw one in the freezer when I put the other in the oven. It worked really well, but I discovered that, in several cases, our blender wasn’t big enough for the larger batch of food. It’s easy enough to break sauces up into batches, but one of the things I blend is raw meat (for making our own chicken nuggets or grain-free pizza crusts). I found that I basically had to make a whole recipe twice or else the ingredients didn’t blend together properly. 🙁

    • Good job! One of the things I’ve used to puree large quantities is an immersion blender. I’ve found it works very well for large quantities of tomatoes, applesauce, etc.

  3. After having a power outage and surge, three days before Thanksgiving and while my husband was 2 states away for work, we ended up being invited to dinner by a family from church. She sent me home with leftovers and a carcass since there were 2 turkeys. The carcass became soup and turkey taco meat and the leftovers were dinner on Sat.

    My birthday was Thanksgiving so I redeemed my birthday bonuses this past week to score free makeup at Sephora, $10 free chocolate from Godiva, a free burrito at Moe’s and free lunch at Noodles. Woohoo!

    I’m a mentor mom for our church MOPS group and I taught how to make swags with fresh greens. I was able to bring 2 garbage bags of greens home to decorate my home.

  4. Look for a new tree after Christmas. They’ll be marked down then and you’ll have a new one for next year