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A few words about body image + 4 other frugal things

1. I bought a squirrel repellent for my van.

Longtime readers will remember my persistent troubles with squirrels nesting in my van.

(Last year, I even found live baby squirrels in there!)

I’d heard the suggestion of an under-hood light before, but at first, I thought that made no sense.

Squirrels aren’t nocturnal, after all.

But then I realized that even in broad daylight, it IS dark and safe-feeling under my van’s hood.

And that is why a light makes sense.

Squirrel nesting season is right around the corner, so I bought this.

squirrel light ultrasonic

It straps to the engine compartment and runs through continuous cycles, combining lights with ultrasonic waves.

This thing is way cheaper than a van repair, and I am really hoping it will help the mama squirrels see that my van is not a good place to have babies.

I’ll keep you posted!

2. I made an Old Navy return in-store.

The jeans I ordered for Sonia didn’t fit, and I didn’t want to pay return shipping.

So, I waited until Mr. FG and I had a date night near an Old Navy and I did the return in person.

No extra gas, no extra money.

3. I bought a $5.99 sweater for Sonia.

I had to walk past a clearance rack at Old Navy to do the return, and I spied a polka-dotted cardigan in XS for $5.99.

Old Navy sweater clearance price tag

I thought it might fit pretty well with Sonia’s vintage aesthetic, and I knew she loves polka dots.

I took a small risk by buying it without Sonia there, but luckily it fits!

So, I don’t have to go do another return. Phew.

Old Navy polka dotted cardigan Sonia

Vintage dog pin from a friend and reader, belt from ThredUp, pants a hand-me-down gift from another friend and reader.

4. I made squash rolls to use up extra cooked squash.

They look unnaturally yellow, I know, but I promise it is just the squash!

squash yeast rolls

I hadn’t made these in ages, possibly since before Zoe was born.

But Lisey remembered loving them in the past, so she was very pleased to see them come out of the oven.

5. I did not get a Cool Sculpting treatment.


On Instagram yesterday, I shared this advertisement I saw in my dermatologist’s office.

cool sculpting advertisement

For starters, I think the idea that a minor adjustment to your appearance will suddenly cure a fear of mirrors is ridiculous.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the prices, and found that they range from $2000-$4000.


And it’s more if you want to do multiple areas.

(Which, if you are being this picky about your body, you probably will want to do.)

Think of the money we can all save by accepting that our bodies will never look perfect!

And they wouldn’t be perfect even if we were models. Look at Target’s current swimsuit models, now that they’ve stopped editing them.

Anyway. CoolSculpting is not for me. 🙂

Your turn! Share your own Five Frugal Things in the comments.

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Saturday 25th of January 2020

Think how much funnier the conversation could have been if we’d focused on squirrel repellent instead of cool sculpting


Friday 24th of January 2020

Hi Kristen I'm pretty sure Old navy return are free by mail. Hope that helps:)


Friday 24th of January 2020

Ooh, I didn't realize that!


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

That bread is very yellow - at first I thought it was brioche but it looks yummy... FFT umm.. 1. bought a loaf of bread, ham, cheese on the way home last nite & made 8 sandwiches for the freezer for when I can't think what to have for lunch - ate the first one today instead of café food 2. Got a large steak on sale & cooked extra mixed veg & put half the dinner in the fridge for tomorrow 3. shopping for only the amounts I really need 4. a frugal win but culinary failure ( I ate it but there will be no rerun): my pantry is full of food (aka money in packaging) that I bought ages ago & I have resolved to eat. Had what I thought was an epiphany when too tired to cook but didn't want to spend $- I have single thai-ish coconut pumpkin soups, I have vegies, I have 2min noodles- lets bring them together- yeah lets just say it didn't taste how I envisioned...oh well I ate it go me 5. Four it is


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hi Deidre, When I have those fails, I remind myself that food is really just fuel for our bodies. Doesn’t necessarily make it taste as you envisioned though. Call it a creative side effect.



Tuesday 21st of January 2020

1. Had two no spend days this week. 2. Redecorated our tiny living room by moving around the furniture, swapping some lamps between rooms, sewing three covers for throw pillows from fabric in my stash, and making a nice arrangement of an unused basket (bought a few years ago at an estate sale) filled with oversized softcover books from our shelves. Also rubbed down the leather sofa with some no buff conditioner from our shoe care supplies to blend in little scratches made our critters. 3. Our sweet 13-year-old kitty was diagnosed with spinal arthritis this week. Fortunately, a month of supplements for this costs only $10. After the first month, the cost drops to $5 a month. 4. A super cute V-neck sweater from the Salvation Army was a bit too low cut for me, but I was able to raise the neckline and modesty level with a pretty button from my sewing stash. 5. Have yet to receive it, but scored a free bottle of salmon oil for pets from a supplement company.


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hi Ruby, I have several blouses that are just a little to low cut so I bought a set of “chemisettes” on Amazon. They are panels that snap onto your bra straps and cover the exposed area. The set I got had black, white, and beige with a little lace along the top edge.


Mona Mayo

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

Hi, Kristen, I have a frigal question. Following your advice a few years ago, I began ordering from the 99 cent razor company. The last time I tried to order from them, I could go to their website, but was unable to order, chat, email or even call them. I am wondering if you are still able to order from them.

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