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Five Frugal Things | asthma? Time for PBS!

1. We got a free PBS trial

Sonia had a rough asthma day last week and had to come home from work because of it.

Sometimes, a combo of albuterol plus distraction helps, so she and I got a 7-day PBS Masterpiece trial going and we spent the afternoon watching period dramas together.

A row of maids from Downton Abbey.

We had already finished Downton Abbey, which is free on Amazon Prime.

This is much preferable to spending the afternoon in the ER!

(Though if it turned out that she actually needed to go to the ER, of course, I would take her, and I have in the past. She always prefers to avoid that if possible, though.)

2. related to wedding shoes…

I needed some non-stiletto shoes to wear under my bridesmaid dress because the upcoming wedding and reception are outdoors.

(And also because I hate wearing really high heels, especially if I have to stand for a long time.)

I found a pair at DSW that would work, but the size 8 is just a little too small, and there was no 8.5 in the store.

So, I ordered a pair for in-store pickup so that I could get free shipping, and I also used a $5 DSW shoe reward.

My dress is floor length (ground-length if we’re outside?), so the look of my shoes is significantly less important than how comfortable they are. Hopefully, this new size will be great!

3. We picked some mulberries

I got the idea to bring a bucket to the roadside tree, and Mr. FG cheerfully went along with it.

A metal bucket filled with mulberries.

It was actually very helpful to have two people; one to pull the branch down, and the other to pick the mulberries.

A bowl of yogurt topped with mulberries.

They make a bowl of yogurt turn a lovely shade of light pink.

A bowl of yogurt with mulberries stirred in.

The best thing about mulberries? Their seeds never get stuck in your teeth. So much easier to eat than blackberries!

A metal bucket filled with mulberries, viewed from the side.

4. I made some peanut butter squares

I’m working through the case of peanut butter that the food pantry send home with us last time we volunteered, and I remembered my old recipe for peanut butter squares, which are kind of like peanut butter cups.

A peanut butter bar on a plate

Here’s the peanut butter square recipe; it’s super quick and easy!

Obviously, Sonia can’t eat them, but Zoe and Lisey will be happy to polish them off.

I should make some more energy balls too, actually…

5. I booked some discounted hotels

Fincon19 hotel Washington DC Hilton


We are traveling to my one brother’s wedding this month, and thanks to my other brother’s hotel job, we have access to discounted hotel stays through any of the brands associated with his company.

So, that’s always what we check first when we’re booking a trip! Sometimes there are no good deals available, but this time we got a nice $55/night price. 

What frugal things have you been up to? Share in the comments! 

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Wednesday 9th of June 2021

We are getting ready for a week long camping trip, so I feel as though my week is not very frugal, however, I'll give it a try. 1. Our upcoming camping trip will require a 6 hour car ride. I decided that I would NEED something to keep the kids entertained. On top of some other things, I purchased some silly candy that I will put in paper bags and allow the kids to choose which bag they get during the ride. The paper bags I plan to take right back from them so that they can be re-used for lunch bags when we get back OR sick bags (which I'm really hoping we DON'T need). 2. I found some online printables of car ride games for the kids. 3. We are planning a surprise Disney trip for our kids in the winter. I've been feverishly saving money each day. Hubby's co-worker is a Disney Vacation Club member who is going to sell us her points. 7 nights for $1500, I think is a steal in Disney. Now on to find more money saving techniques for this trip. If you have any, please share. 4. Surprised by one of the families in my girl scout troop by a nice Dunkin Donuts gift card as a thank you for my service. That's about it for me this week.

Sandy B.

Thursday 10th of June 2021

You can buy Disney giftcards for a discount at BJs wholesale club (probably other places too) and use those for park admission and inside the park. Also checkout for a park crowd calendar. That way your can see which parks are the least busy on which days. If your kids will want Disney shirts, get them ahead of time at Target or Walmart and take them with you.


Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Hi! For your Disney trip, if you're staying in one of the Vacation Club villas they have full kitchens. Definitely eat breakfast in your room. And keep snacks in the room to take to the park with you. Instacart delivers to all the Disney resorts or take an Uber to Walmart, It's not far. One of the best souvenir things to do is pin trading. Before you go to Disney buy a bag of pins and a pin lanyard off of Ebay . You can buy 100 for around $50. These things sell at Disney for a minimum of $5 each. Your kids can wear the lanyards with some pins that they are willing to trade to the parks, most cast members have pins that they wear just for trading with guests. It's lots of fun!


Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Good morning!

We do not have a brother with hotel discounts, but one of my fft is about travel as well.

1) I read a while back that rental car prices are going to sky rocket this year. I decided to reserve the rental we'll need asap instead of waiting. I checked the price of the same rental last night and it has gone up 1000 already! (It's a long trip for our 20th anniversary this year!)

2) I went to work yesterday even though everything in me wanted to stay home or be late. I have the sick time/absence allowance to cover it, but now I will still have those, and my day went pretty well!

3) I bought some corn on the cob at .10 an ear... 48 ears worth, we ate 12 and I prepped and froze the rest.

4) my oldest is in the waiting stage for his first apartment (they gave him the address, but it won't be available until Sept), so we packed up as a family amd drove there last night to see which building it was. As we lived there when we first moved to the area, I already knew, but super exciting for him! We then went to Culvers to celebrate that and the end of the school year. We had received coupons, so we got BOGO cement mixers, and BOGO sundaes... and the fifth kid in the car actually asked for a pop. So only 11 something and a fun time!

5) I'm a little ashamed of this one, but our library has removed late fees, so all my overdue books will not cost me something. Although at this point I think I'm going to offer to pay for the book they think we lost. I can't find it and they can't find it.


Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Oh Sonia, I feel your pain. I hope it passes for you soon. I used to end up in the ER every June when I was your age. I started yoga in my 20s and since there is such a focus on controlling your breathing, I have been able to use those skills to help relax when I have one of those not-awesome but not-quite-ER episodes. I still do free videos from YouTube Yoga with Adriene almost every day. I used to watch pbs with my mom, too, during those episodes, but that was because it was the 80s and we didn’t have cable where we lived or very many other options :)


Tuesday 8th of June 2021

Sooooo excited that you took the plunge and foraged those Mulberries!! They really are just amazing. We also hold down branches for others to strip when we forage...and even take a ladder at times. Those berries are worth their weight in gold!


1. Made bone broth with a bag of leftover frozen pork and chicken bones. Used onion peels and the good parts of a mouldy carrot. As I strained it my husband wondered out loud if we could grind the bones to make bone meal. Has anyone tried this??

2. Planted some more perennial onion that I got from a local plant share group. Hoping to be able to have a steady supply of shallots and green onion from our garden.

3. Made guacamole with cilantro from our herb garden. Cut up and quickly deep fried some corn wraps as we had no corn chips left. We ate these with our guac on Sunday and it was sooo delicious I think we'll make our corn chips this way from now on.

4. Bought 15 vintage Bobbsey Twins books for $50 for my voracious 6 yr old reader via Marketplace.

5. Bought Pullups via Marketplace for our 3 yrold. 99 pullups for $15 sounds good to me!

Ruth T

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

1. After visiting SO many stores to try to find a kiddie pool (ours died over the winter) and pools being out of stock everywhere, we ordered online. I purchased a birthday gift for my nephew to get us up to free shipping. 2. I did my first Meijer pick-up order this week. They had to substitute some things that were part of a buy 2 get 1 free and I asked to make sure one was still free. He had to manually make the adjustment and gave me the more expensive one for free. 3. Same order didn't take off a $5 coupon (get $5 off when you spend $20 in baby wipes), so I called customer service. 13 minutes on the phone got a $5.50 coupon added to my account for my next purchase. 4. We were on the road during dinnertime tonight, so I packed food instead of going through a drive thru. Also packed a picnic lunch for a park playdate yesterday. 5. On the back corner of our house there's a little area we converted to a flower bed this year but we weren't sure what to put in it. After spreading out some compost, we now have about 25 little tomato plants growing!! So this year it'll have free tomato plants in it.

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