Friday, May 26, 2023

Frugal and not so frugal Friday

On the frugal/thrifty front -

We are doing well on our routine household bills such as utilities and groceries now that we are mostly settled in. Turns out I only need to shop Target about once a month for items we can't get at Trader Joe's or Grocery Outlet. Also a once a month dog food order from Chewy since no store locally carries the right one.

Returned 4 items to Amazon that didn’t work for us. Still have some solutions to figure out.

Getting a second opinion on the termite damage and fungus problems identified in the seller’s termite inspection report as the report info was minimal and the proposed repair work cost high.

Ordered cases of 12 cans each of two types of reduced sodium soup and one kind of low sodium pinto beans from Amazon for half the regular store price. I can easily store them in the closed off garage/laundry room and they have distant best by dates.

And a lot of free food from a Buy Nothing member who is moving across the country: grains, flours, sugars, oatmeal (so much oatmeal), fruit spread, dried fruit, canned beans, maple syrup, prepared enchilada casserole sauce … and lots of hot sauces and seasonings that aren’t our thing. If our son doesn’t want them I’ll offer the remainder back to Buy Nothing.

Walked to the library and back to pick up real books. I prefer e-books but they aren’t always available. Glad to be able to combine exercise and free books.

On the not frugal front … maybe -

The earthquake retrofit will likely cost over $10,000, but could save our house and lives as we live near the Hayward fault. We may be able to get a small discount on our earthquake insurance after it is done and  that will add up over time. Waiting on the bid.

We got the electrician's estimate and it is quite reasonable. Fingers crossed that some of the higher cost possibilities aren't reality! No potential for electrical problems/ fires plus some minor upgrades  to improve quality of life are good and frugal in the long run.

Frugal for others -

My DIL returns to work next week and my son still has PT and Pilates appointments plus primary child care for a while. I offered to babysit the grandbaby whenever he needed me to so he could keep those appointments. The baby will go to daycare when 6 months old but that is a few months away. Then we have one week in August where we are doing Nana and Papa camp for the 6 year old. We will have her over some days during other weeks this summer hopefully.

My DIL is in charge of fundraising at a major local non-profit. We babysat the kids the night of their annual fundraising gala & we knew we would be too busy and tired to fix dinner although our son offered to prep the food before he went. We ordered takeout that turned out to be costly and very mediocre but we all ate! Both girls behaved very well as did the dog and the kids went to bed easily at 8pm so we got some rest lol. We are feeling our age.


  1. Well, the earthquake retrofit is pricey but necessary and as long as you have the money, well worth it. Have fun babysitting!!!

    1. I think the retrofit while pricey is essential when you live basically on the Hayward fault! We did factor this in to the house purchase. Surprise expenses in other areas but this is planned.

  2. While some things might not seem frugal at one point, they will definitely be frugal in the long run. Enjoy the babysitting.

    God bless.

  3. I miss little grandchildren. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Our youngest will be a senior in high school next year. Her older sister (by one year) graduated last night. We made it through the rather obnoxious middle school years. Time spent with them and their older brothers now, though pretty rare due to their work schedules etc, have an enchantment all its own like discussing politics, ethics, and plans for the future.

  4. I never knew there was such a thing as earthquake retrofitting a house!
    It sounds like you are quickly becomes an asset for your family and the bond it will help you form with your grandkids will be a wonderful adventure for you and your husband.

    1. Oh yes, and earthquake retrofitting is essential for older housing stock as they can collapse (pancake) or shake off the foundation or simply be so damaged they are condemned.

  5. Oh I remember Nana and Papa Camps in my childhood! I have very fond memories with my grandparents that I treasure. Enjoy your time with your grandkid Juhli.

  6. Glad to catch up with you. How nice to be able to walk to the library. I can walk to a Little Free Library but am trying to read electronic books or listen to books these days. I have one library book in print I have been trying to get through for weeks but it is hard for me to hold the book for any length of time. Guess I am getting old and feeling that way, too.


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