We’ve had some weather in the 80s this past week and it feels like we skipped straight from winter into full summer. I went for a run Monday afternoon and I could tell that my body wasn’t used to the temperature because it was slow going.

I had a bit more time to work out than normal though because my son requested that daddy pick him up from preschool, even though that meant he stayed there longer than normal. My husband usually works pretty long hours and can’t pick up our son on a regular basis, but he jumps at the chance whenever he can. Part of me felt guilty for not doing the pick up like normal, but my husband reminded me that it feels like a privilege to him, not a chore. And he knows that I’m just a happier person when I get to run more regularly, so it’s a win all around.

I am so thankful to have an equal partner in this life, and that even when he does have to work longer hours he makes sure to do what he can in those limited hours.

Trail run behind our house

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. As we’re leaving on our trip soon, we had a low key Mother’s Day this week. We went to our first farmers markets for the season, and then joined our family at a barbecue at my parents’ house. Presents were of the small, edible variety, and otherwise we just spent the time hanging out as a family. There is really nothing any of us need, so it’s nice to just have a day to spend together. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we spent much of the day outside.

2. My father’s birthday was over the weekend as well, and just like last year, my gift to him was the promise of raspberries from our garden (they are currently in bloom, so it will be a little while until there are berries to pick). Raspberries are his favorite fruit, and as they are SO expensive to buy, this has been a great gift for him, plus homegrown berries taste so much better. I also love how it’s a gift I get to give him over and over again while the plants are producing.

My parents just moved into their new home this spring, and as they have quite a few deer in their area, they’ll have to plan out the garden carefully before they get started. They won’t have one this year other than a few pots on their deck, but hopefully next year my present to him can be actual raspberry canes from our garden so he can grow his own berries.

Raspberries in bloom

3. I got my quarterly Ebates check in the mail! The check was a bit bigger than it normally is thanks to a referral I got through this blog, so thank you! $41.72 isn’t going to make the defining difference in our big financial goal for this year, but every little bit helps. I figure my online shopping data is being mined regardless, so I may as well get a little bit of the pie as well.

I make sure to use Ebates whenever I buy anything online (most often things for the kid or the dog), and it’s worth it to go through the extra click in order to get 2-10% back on the money spent ($10 if you sign up here). If Ebates doesn’t have a cash back offer on a certain purchase, I will also check Ibotta because they will sometimes have cash back on other categories that Ebates doesn’t (pet supplies on Amazon seems to be a regular).

4. We washed our big dogs at home this week. While this might be a no brainer, we do save quite a bit of money by always washing the dogs at home (and trimming their nails). I used to work at Petsmart back in the day and I was astounded by how much money people would drop to get their dogs groomed. Granted, I was also making $8.50/hour, so the amounts seemed that much larger back then.

Instead, we have a $20 nail clipper and $8 bottles of shampoo and groom them at home. And really, this is one of those things where frugality saves time and effort as well; while we do have to actively wash the dogs and clip their nails, we don’t have to go through the process of calling to set up an appointment, drive them to the grooming salon, wait the hour for them to get groomed, pay, and then drive them home. Much easier and faster just to do it ourselves, regardless of the cost.

Happy clean dogs

5. I got an email that my Starbucks Gold Card will be expiring soon. While Starbucks has never been my favorite coffee shop, I spent money there regularly enough to make sure my Gold Card always stayed active with them. To stay Gold Star status, you apparently need to “earn” 300 stars per year, regularly at 2 stars per dollar.

So I had previously been spending a minimum of $150/year at Starbucks, which is a heck of s lot of money to be spending at a coffee shop that isn’t even one of my favorites. In case you’re interested, my favorite coffee shops would have to be Rainshadow Coffee in Sequim and Sunrise Coffee in Port Townsend. If I’m going to splurge at a coffee shop these days, it’s going to be at one of those while we’re on a weekend getaway, not a mindless purchase at Starbucks just because it happens to be there.

I previously wouldn’t have wanted my Gold status to expire because I’d want to hang on to the “rewards,” but not buying any coffee there to start with is an even better way to save money. Go figure.

Do you have any stories yourself of continuing to buy “just a little bit” from somewhere in order to meet the rewards requirements? I’m usually pretty good about that sort of thing, but Starbucks sucked me in.

32 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 20)

  1. No more Starbucks?…. The horror lol, i joke, i joke. But yay for the ebates check, I’m signing up through you referral. I’ve been wanting to check it out but never have. Thanks!

      1. Gah! Thanks for the heads up. It *should* be fixed now.

    1. Yeah, now that I’m very selective about how often I visit coffee shops, Starbucks never makes the cut 😉

    1. Hahaha. That’s a good problem to have. Kind of like how I don’t get any Starbucks rewards any more 😉 And really, most of our Ebates money comes from all the extra stuff we have to buy for our dog since she got sick, so I’d rather not have that money back lol.

  2. the frugal 5! starbucks is ok in a pinch because no matter where you are in the country you know how it’s going to taste. we went right to summer too. i was running the other day and thought it was pure pinot noir coming out my pores. 4 workouts this week with today to be determined. i might go over there right now, and maybe one of the weekend days. it’s interesting to try and hold yourself to something you said you were gonna do!

    1. You can do it!! I feel SO much better with regular workouts (regular meaning more than once or twice a week).

  3. sounds like a good mother’s day, especially being outside. i got 4 workouts this week so far and maybe one today and one tomorrow. it went right to summer here too and skipped spring. what’s the big trip?

    1. Two week East Coast road trip from Georgia – Maine. Haven’t been back to South Carolina since my husband got out of the Marines 8 years ago.

  4. I rarely do any online shopping so ebates doesn’t really make sense for me at the moment. I’m sure you know my thoughts on coffee 😉 but smart decision not spending just to get that status!

    1. Yeah we have very limited things we buy online, but I make sure to go through the portal every time.

  5. 41 bucks from ebates! I was gonna say, naughty naughty, you’ve been spending too much. But I have yet to get a referral from them. But the $7 – $10 a month I get is money I didn’t have before 🙂

    1. Yeah, it wouldn’t look like nearly that much without a referral 😉 I don’t spend that much online!

  6. Nice frugal five! Our dogs got two baths last month…which is way more than normal. The first one was their normal spring wash in the yard (we love it when it’s finally warm enough to do an outdoor hosing), and the second was when they got covered in these weird fruit fly bugs. Fortunately the bath did the trick and the flies disappeared.

    1. Yeah we don’t wash them as often as maybe we should 😉 Yuck… fruit fly bugs stuck to their fur??

  7. Aww, my family had raspberry bushes growing up too! Those were easily the best days of June when the raspberries were FINALLY ready. Happy your family gets to enjoy them!

    1. Hope our son will have as fond of memories of raspberry picking as you do 🙂

  8. That’s a really nice roundup this week! I’m a sucker for good independent coffee shops. Often I buy their beans and brew at home. But when I go for urban hikes on weekends, it’s nice to pick one up…

    Raspberries are delicious! Hope you’re enjoying yours soon.

    1. Yeah, 95% of the time now I drink my coffee at home (but always with good beans). Still, I can’t help but enjoy one from a coffee shop now and again.

  9. Oh man, The Starbucks Gold Card. It used to be just my wife who blew money at Starbucks. Thanks to the cleaver marketing machine that Starbucks is, my kids are now hooked on the place. From cake pops to fraps my kids beg to go to Starbucks every time we drive by one. P.S. I’m jealous of those beautiful trails.

  10. Ditching the Starbucks rewards card will be smart in the long run and I think you’ll enjoy the savings. I love making coffee at my house. One of my best investments was a coffee grinder. I grind the coffee that morning and the coffee that is brewed is very, very fresh. The cost of a pound of coffee at the store is much cheaper than the coffee shop experience, so the savings are huge!

    Also, the four other frugal ideas are smart. I love the simple, thoughtful gifts versus random material possessions! Thanks for giving me some good ideas going forward.


    1. Yeah, I haven’t been to Starbucks long enough obviously to be “losing” Gold status. I wait to grind my coffee at home as well, and I agree it tastes way better.

  11. Hah yeah Starbucks for some reason had upgraded me to Gold status either last year or the year before through no action on my part. I was absolutely not sorry to get the email about my Gold status expiring since I can’t remember the last time I bought anything there!

    How do your dogs feel about baths? For my family’s last two dogs it’s been a love/hate relationship because the bath itself is no fun, but then again all that hands-on attention… 😂

    1. One dog doesn’t mind it so much, the other usually acts like we’re torturing her. This time around though, she actually made it seem like not such a big deal.

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