Saturday, November 18, 2017

Frugal Fun No. 13 - Cashing in rewards

My guilty pleasure while on holiday last week was watching YouTube videos of house building, freezer cooking, lunchbox packing and house organising. Random, I know. But there's something nice about being on holiday, watching other people do work while I do... not much.
One of the lunchbox videos featured these cool Thermos Funtainers and I got all excited thinking about the hot meals I could pack in the kids' lunchboxes, either for school, Kindy or other adventures. But when I checked out all the local stockists of them, I was put off by the price - $30 for a small thermos seemed steep to me.

I checked out the price on Amazon and it was half the cheapest price here in NZ, but I wasn't sure what shipping would bring the total up to. Just for interest's sake, I decided to put an order through and progress it to the pay cart to see what the total would be. When I got there, I hit jackpot. Shipping wasn't too much and I had a $50 Amazon voucher I'd earned ages ago and never cashed in. My shopping cart already had a Victorinox peeler in there that I've been eyeing up for a while after using one and realising how good it was, so I put the whole order through - three Thermos Funtainers, one Victorinox peeler and the whole lot only cost me $16 of my own money, including shipping. I'm pretty happy with that.

Checking my emails this morning, I had a reminder to use my Flybuys rewards. I don't have a lot of points, because I rarely shop at stores with Flybuys, but I thought I'd at least check to see what I could get since a couple of years ago I was able to get Duplo for J for Christmas with Flybuys points.

Scrolling through the options, I saw this folding carbon knife...

I've been on the lookout for something similar to stow in our emergency kit, in case we ever have to fend for ourselves outside and need a strong knife to to cut wood/rope/flax/food. So that's what I'm using my Flybuys rewards on, at no cost to me. I'm really pleased with that. I've added a few other things to my emergency kit this year, which you can read about here. Ideally I'd like to get bug-out bags for each member of our family, with everything they need to survive a few days, so I'll keep working towards that.

As well as watching YouTube this week, I also watched the movie, Date Night, on Netflix after the kids were in bed. I laughed so much, I kept waking the kids.

In case you're interested, the YouTube channels I've been watching are:

  •  Ana White - So much building inspiration - I seriously want to get woodworking tools so I can make furniture now. My granddads both made things out of wood and I used to spend hours watching them work in their wood shops.
  • Jamerrill's Large Family Table - I've been watching the freezer cooking videos, getting ideas for having a freezer cooking day when we're back in Auckland.
  • The Family Fudge - I checked out the school lunchbox videos, freezer cooking videos and a homeschooling room video.
  • Clutterbug - Home organisation and cleaning videos.

This week I also read one library book, The Secret Fire. I have a few more sitting on my bedside table, but I haven't been in the mood for reading lately - which is very unlike me. Usually I watch next-to-no TV and read loads of books, so I've been a bit backwards this week.

For this holiday, we're staying in a bach that belongs to my brother-and-sister-in-law, Brent and Lisa. They are so kind and don't charge us anything to stay here (I married into an incredibly generous family), but I like to do things while I'm here to show my appreciation...

This week I've been working in their gardens, weeding, digging compost into the hard clay and planting a vegetable garden that Brent and Lisa will hopefully be able to harvest from when they come for their Christmas holiday.

A corner of the beach garden.
I planted cherry tomatoes, cos lettuce, snow peas, strawberries and a golden zucchini. I would have planted more, but the local shops didn't have much of a selection.
Zucchini ringed in seaweed.
I ringed all the plants in fine seaweed I collected from the beach to deter snails and feed nutrients into the soil.

A couple of days ago we took the kids to explore a beach they've never been to before. It's one that can't be reached by road, so we had to walk over rocks along the edge of the sea for a long time before climbing a hill to get to it. The kids were all troopers and loved the challenge of jumping from rock to rock. J took a few tumbles, but picked himself up and carried on without complaining, although he did wonder why he was the only one who ever fell. Sometimes it's hard being the little fulla.
The beach itself was glorious. Have I mentioned that I love living in New Zealand? I really do.

Last night for dinner we ate up all the leftovers in the fridge - a bit of Asian Mince on Rice, a bit of Pasta Bake and a bit of Fajita mix. I had planned to do that next weekend, but the leftovers were stacking up and wouldn't have lasted the week. It was the perfect amount to feed everyone, and so easy to prepare. I love leftover night!

We weren't planning to head back into town while we're here, but I forgot my moon cup and I've just got my period, so we will have to go back and stock up on disposable supplies. Gutted! This is the third time I've forgotten to bring my moon-cup with me on holiday. I think I'll get some of these reusable Thinx period-proof undies so that I always have something with me. If the Thinx undies work well, I'll get some for the girls when their time comes, as it seems like a simple way to deal with periods for young teens.

Another reason to go back to town is that we accidentally left a bag of groceries at the supermarket and didn't realise it till we'd got home. I'm going to take our receipt and see if we can retrieve the items.

I think that's all my frugal fun for the week. Now it's your turn? What have you done to save money lately?

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