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Four Frugal Things (with one not-frugal thing!)

I didn’t have five frugal things today, so I threw in one spendy thing, just to switch things up a bit. 😉

1. I bought a $5 frame.

I got a complimentary print from Craft Street Design, but I had no frame for it.   I went to the craft store armed with a 40% off coupon on my phone, but I discovered a whole aisle of marked-down frames instead.

craft street design print

I picked up a black frame for just $5, which was cheaper than any of the regular frames even with a 40% off coupon.   Yay!

(As I was writing this post, I noticed the print I picked happens to be on sale right now for $9. Nice.)

By the way, the chalkboard to the right is one I made from an ugly old Goodwill framed print.   Details on that project here.

2. I went to Target and bought only one thing.

I had to stop in to return two shirts, and after that I bought a reusable freezer pack for Joshua, who’s been packing lunch on the days when he has college classes.



There’s a cafeteria at college, but Joshua says there’s no way he’s spending his money there when he could pack food from home for free.

That’s my boy. 😉

3. I cooked dinner at home.

baked chicken enchiladas with red sauce

New and innovative strategy?


But cooking at home is one of the most effective ways I can save money, given that even cheap takeout x 6 is not-so-cheap.

(The pictured dish is Make-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas. I was so excited for dinner that night.   Chipotle chilies blow my hair back something fierce. 😉 )

4. I made yogurt.

There I go again with the not-innovative thing.   I’ve been making a gallon of yogurt once a week for years now, so it’s not a new and exciting frugal strategy.

The steady plodding along the frugal path really adds up over time, though.

yogurt smoothie

Yogurt is a staple food for us, given that I make green smoothies for breakfast 5/7 days a week, so it’s pretty awesome that I can make four quarts for less than $3.

And since making yogurt requires almost no mental energy from me (by this point it’s second nature), and the hands-on time is about 5-10 minutes or so, I can save a lot on a gallon of yogurt with only a small investment of time.

(Here’s how I make yogurt, using no special equipment or machines.)

5. A Not-So-Frugal Thing

I spent $50 on two hours of ice skating.

I haven’t gone ice skating since before Mr. FG and I got married, and as it turns out, taking four kids with you kind of ups the price a bit.

But the kids were happy that they got to go, we spent time with friends, and I discovered that I can still ice skate passably well after a 19 year break.


Want to take a turn?   How about we switch things up for you too?   Share 4 frugal things and 1 not-so-frugal thing.   😉

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Saturday 27th of February 2016

1. Updating my phone's apps as often as possible to avoid it shutting down. I need a new phone, but I'm waiting until the free upgrade date in a few months. 2. Hubs bday was the other day, but he wasn't up to going out yet. Plan to use a gift certificate to a local restaurant when he is up to it. Stayed home and ate this time. 3. A friend gave me some tuna steaks, we used them for 2 dinners. Love living near a fishing town! 4. Keeping the heat low and using the fireplace: natural gas is cheaper than electricity here. NOT frugal: got a haircut and highlights. Way overdue, its been months, but I'm picky about where I go, so it was about 100 dollars with tip. Much needed since I have a job interview coming up.


Saturday 27th of February 2016

and thank you for having a "not frugal" option. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing when I read posts that people are eating beans, darning socks and picking trash for free things, and I'm spending money on something!


Friday 26th of February 2016

1. Our anniversary was Saturday, and instead of gifts we gave each other the gift of a beautiful place--we went hiking in a gorgeous state park not far from our home.

2. We went out to dinner to celebrate that evening at an expensive restaurant, but we had appetizers instead of entrees and our bill was surprisingly low. We got to taste more things and there was plenty of food--we even had leftovers to bring home. We brought a bottle of wine with us, and they waived the corkage fee because of our anniversary (but we made sure to tip well, because the wine was still work for the server).

3. My daughter starts her first full-time job next week in a toxicology lab. She had to order her own scrubs (Amazon--she found some great deals!) because she is very petite and even then they needed hemming. I taught her how to do it herself instead of paying a lot for someone else to do it.

4. I made broth from the bones left over from braised lamb shanks. I freeze the broth in big silicone ice cube molds so that we can use it in recipes or as a soup base instead of opening a can of broth. I use an electric pressure cooker and it takes about 5 minutes of hands on time and 1 hour to make. I feel like it's "free food" since otherwise the bones would have gone in the trash.

Not so frugal: My husband lost his job--and non-urgent medical things I'd put off can't happen now because if we can even get new insurance it will have a very high deductible. :o(


Friday 26th of February 2016

Oh, I am so very sorry about your husband's job. I hope he can get a new one really quickly.

Jamie K.

Friday 26th of February 2016

Four Frugal Things

1. I didn't grocery shop this week, eating out of our freezer and pantry 2. Made my daughters a craft bin using old supplies of mine instead of buying them new ones 3. Resisted the urge to go through the drive-thru for a pops after my daughter's gymnastics class 4. Cloth diapers for my youngest all day every day this week

My not so frugal thing—a trip to Target where I bought a new CD instead of continuing to stream it for free and let my oldest two daughters pick out a new dress each, which we're saving for Easter.


Thursday 25th of February 2016

Let's see 1. I put 2 chickens in the crock pot on Monday for dinner then ate off them the rest of the week. There's just enough left for hubby's lunch tomorrow.

2. I saved and washed the gf bread bag to put my own homemade gf bread in.

3. I bought a glass water bottle to take out with me so I stop buying drinks in town. (And used it 4 days this week!)

4. Had left overs for lunch several days.

5. Not frugal - ate take out for dinner. $28 for a family of 7 (one is a nursling but that means momma has to eat a by more) isn't that bad but still.

Stephanie L

Thursday 25th of February 2016

1. I did a surprisingly good job at using up leftovers and freezer supplies this week. 2. So did the hubs! He works at home and often goes out for lunch for social contact. For whatever reason he decided to make his own lunches this week. 3. I fought the urge to shop! It hit hard Sunday morning, and I cleaned out a closet instead. 4. Signed up for an online course that could have positive career impacts. It's free, but it's a time commitment. Not so frugal... I was promoted a few months ago. New opportunities are available again, and the salary is attractive. But I physically can't do any more work than I already am. DH agreed our marriage and my health aren't worth it, and I've communicated my (lack of) intent to my employer. Maybe that's the more frugal aporoach in the long run. It's hard to know.


Saturday 27th of February 2016

I needed to hear that last part. I have turned down opportunities lately to concentrate on family. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing, but I think I did. I would not have been able to care for my DH if I had taken the promotion.

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