What Was Your Proudest Frugal Moment?

I randomly stumbled upon a forum thread where this question was asked. I immediately knew my answer, which I’ll share below.

I’ll preface by giving some context. Though living in a small condo, we still practiced emergency preparedness. If something happens to the Salt River, millions will be without water. If I lose my job, our household will have no income. We’ve tried to consider and address any possible issues.

Thus, we had strategically placed fire extinguishers, door jams, firearms, and solar lamps. We kept the cash equivalent of three months of expenses in a safe, mostly small bills. Our second bathtub was stacked high with water storage containers. Behind the sliding den closet was a metal shelving unit, loaded up with a six- to twelve-month supply of all our staples, including food, supplements, and toiletries.

So, here’s the story…

In 2019, I learned that a nearby Whole Foods was closing. Everything in the store would be 50% off. If an item was already on sale, the 50% was taken off the sale price. If you were an Amazon Prime member, the extra 10% off also stacked.

At that time, we were on an extremely tight budget and kept a meticulous log of food price-per-unit. Post-Amazon buyout, Whole Foods was, and still is, consistently the cheapest grocery store in our city, at least for the products that we regularly purchase. Remember when everyone called the grocery store “whole paycheck”? Well, that’s no longer true, at least in our area.

As mentioned earlier, we kept a city-dweller’s larder, a stockpile of emergency cash, and a log of best price-per-unit. You may be able to guess where this is going.

We lined up outside the store two hours before opening on the first day of the closing sale, and rushed the store when it opened, starting with the pricier items like meat and fish and then going down our list. The store was packed to brim but, hilariously, everyone was extremely polite. No pushing and shoving. No fighting over the last carton of eggs. Instead, the air echoed with the soft hums of “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” It felt like Black Friday for nice people.

We spent $2,100 in one grocery trip. We bought a month’s worth of eggs, sale priced pasture-raised meats and wild-caught fish for the chest freezer, ghee and lard for cooking, gluten-free flours, cod liver oil, deodorant, and more. We cross-compared our price log against the shelves and everything was a steal! We estimated that we purchased $4,700 worth of groceries and toiletries that we use regularly for about 55% off retail, which beats out any normal sale.

I still get giddy thinking about that haul. We were set for many, many months. I don’t think it can be beat.

The runner up? We paid $6 for a travel-sized Omron wrist cuff blood pressure monitor that retailed for $128 at the time from our local thift store. I was having wild, unexplained tachycardia, arrhythmia, and syncope episodes so it was helpful to carry the device with me and be able to track my blood pressure, heart rate, and skipped beats anywhere.

For those of you who practice frugality–whether out of necessity, habit, or to achieve a larger goal–what is your proudest frugal moment?

13 thoughts on “What Was Your Proudest Frugal Moment?

  1. Wow…wow…wow. I mean…it’s like you were being paid to take the things away! You win. I don’t think I can muster an anecdote to play along. I love a good ‘two fer’ coupon and the BOGO stuff, but I bow down to you, Erin. Can I say wow again? ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, it felt like we won the jackpot!! We had our “just in case” fund and, boy, did it pay off. Our grocery bill was drastically reduced for the next year, which allowed us to pursue expensive medical care. Coupons and BOGOs are great!! I love me a good deal!! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You win…in the game of ‘good deals’….and I hope you continue to scout out other amazing deals…I think you’ve got a sixth sense or a good nose…or something! Way to go! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love it, Deb! What types of birds do you have enjoying your feeders lately? We’ve had northern cardinals, rosy-faced love birds, mourning doves, quail, and several others I can’t readily identify. You got a deal on some great, low-cost entertainment. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erin, I would love it if we had cardinals here but we’re too far west. I have starlings, black cap chickadees, various finches, nuthatches, blue jays and the occasional crow will even attempt a snack, or just wait until the others drop seed on the ground. I also have squirrels and bunnies. I find myself quite entertained most days ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Before food prices skyrocketed my husband said inflation was going to hit. We bought a small chest freezer from Costco and stocked up. We paid full retail at the time for meat, fish, etc. but it’s much cheaper than what we’d pay today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So smart!! We also bought a chest freezer from Costco a few years ago and we loaded it up and it saved us a fortune. It really makes a difference, especially when you can stock up on things on sale.


  3. Wow – what a deal! I was feeling great because I got two $40 toys at a 60% after Xmas discount and BOGO deal for a total of $15. But thatโ€™s nothing compared to you!

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  4. Being frugal is wonderful and so rewarding when you know the savings youโ€™ve accrued! That Whole Food haul, with the Prime discount layered on top, is impressive, Erin.

    I do the weekly groceries so I know when things are on sale and always buy things on sale (coffee when half price and stock up for months) and meat as well (stock up for months in freezer). Especially with how expensive groceries are these days, every bit of savings matters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve been teased before for bragging about saving money, but why would anyone pay full price when minimal effort could save a chuck? We do the same when we see things we buy regularly on sale… I think was have around 72 cartons of 4-cup vegetable broth, as an example. If you have the space and the cash up front, it seems foolish to pass up on a sale to stock up.

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