Our household spent a grand total of $4.54 across the three-day weekend. It was the best Labor Day weekend of my life.
How and why?
Our only expenditure was a grocery shopping trip. I walked to and from the store.
For $4.54, I got the following:
A Kind bar
Two boxes of brand-name cereal
Four sticks of butter
Cough drops (30 count)
Hot dog buns
One pound of organic, grass-fed ground beef
Three pounds of oranges
Here’s my secret.
Jewel has a loyalty rewards program called Just4You. To get people to sign up, Jewel has been running promotions all summer long. This week they had two boxes of cereal for 69 cents apiece, four sticks of butter for 99 cents, three pounds of oranges for 99 cents, a pound of ground beef for $1.99, and free cough drops.
I combined this with other coupons. I used my cash-back credit card (1.5%) and got $1.10 back for the Kind Bar from the cash-back app Ibotta. I got additional money back for uploading a picture of my receipt to the Fetch and Swagbucks apps. The buns were just on a great sale.
Small investment of energy. Big savings.
In lieu of spending money, I played and bonded with my daughter and dog (free), read (free), wrote (free), meditated (free), stretched (free), lifted weights in my basement (free), went on walks totaling 17 miles (free), had a family picnic at a lovely local cemetery (free), hung out with my wife on our deck while a storm front was approaching (free), and listened to music (free).
In other words, I spent high-quality time with loved ones, kept my carbon footprint in check, and improved my mental and physical health.
That’s what I call a win.
Frugal Tip: Use crockpots when you can. They use very little energy compared to the microwave and oven.