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Five Frugal Things | $200 in book savings!

1. I’m getting $200 back on my school books

My schoolbooks for this fall total $1378.


lippincott screenshot.

add tax and poof, it’s $1378.

That’s a lot, but many of these resources give me 24 months of access because I will be using them for all four semesters.

Soooo, next semester, my book bill shouldn’t be as terrible.

Since it was so high, though, I decided to take advantage of a credit card offer I got; if you spend $1500, you get $200 cash back.

My nursing schoolbooks alone almost got me to the minimum spend level, so I should get my $200 bonus pretty quickly.

This was for all of my electronic resources; I already bought the two required hard-copy books, and I got one on eBay.

nursing school textbook.

There’s not really a way to save on electronic books, though, so the credit card offer was the best I could do!

(It probably goes without saying but: I only recommend credit card usage if you know you will always pay the full balance every month, and that you’ll use the card the same way you use cash. Otherwise the rewards are definitely not worth the price you’ll pay in interest and fees!)

2. I used a gift card to get Panera for Zoe and me

She and I had a hankering for some Panera sandwiches, so I redeemed a gift card that I had found in my desk drawer.

Panera sandwich.

Yay for free sandwiches!

3. I used my Lekue lids on two melons

I bought a watermelon and a cantaloupe this past week, and I have once again been reminded of how much I love my Lekue lids.

silicone watermelon cover

They are so, so perfect for those times when you have a half or a quarter of a melon that you want to refrigerate.

Here’s how you use one on a quarter melon:

Lekue silicone lid on watermelon quarter

The Lekue lids are thick and sturdy, so even though I’ve had mine for years, they’re no worse for the wear.

Here’s the smaller one on a cantaloupe.


4. I used up my last corn tortilla!

Remember that stack of tortillas from my kitchen freezer?

corn tortillas.

And remember how I felt like they were just multiplying in there?

corn tortillas in a bag.

Well, I FINALLY used up the very last one yesterday.

steak and cheese quesadilla.

Yay me!!

I probably need to buy smaller packages of corn tortillas in the future.

5. I…

  • bought some bags of Starbucks coffee on sale
  • brewed coffee at home
  • listed some boots (yes, boots. Not books!) on eBay for Zoe
  • sold a college textbook from Zoe’s previous semester (which I will package in reused supplies, of course)

Your turn! What frugal things have you been up to lately?

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Thursday 17th of August 2023

Wow, this is inspiring! Thank you! I am wondering gif you have ever used a company like Billcutterz to help save on bills? I just received an ad from them and am wondering if it is worth it...


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

I started college in 1977 in an allied health field (OT) with many of the same classes you are probably taking, and my books cost around $1,300 per semester back then, buying used (no electronic books in those days) when possible. So considering its more than 45 years later, your book total isn't too bad at all. I sold books back at the end of the semester (no eBay or other online options to resell), and got a paltry $250 for everything I sold back. The books cost more than in-state tuition!

Science major texts are EXPENSIVE. One particular textbook was almost $400, it was not available used, and instead of buying the book I sat in the library reading my assignments for that class. Turned out to be a good call, because the professor never even referred to the reading assignments or tested on them.

My youngest daughter is a communications major. The university has a deal this year where they can get all of their texts electronically for one price, but the department she's in suggested NOT signing on for the deal and they are providing the class materials online mostly for free (she did take a class on copyright in media already--hmmmm . . .) Since she's done with all of her out of department pre-reqs, she's getting away inexpensively this year!

Jen B.

Wednesday 16th of August 2023

Ooof, that's a lot for textbooks! As somebody who works at an academic library, I highly recommend checking out to see what your college library can do for you. Where I work, we have course reserves (short term loans of textbooks, and you can scan chapters for free into a PDF for later reading), interlibrary loan to check out materials from other library systems, and ebooks for checkout, as well as the regular checkout of physical copies. While we may not be able to get your costs down to zero for course materials, we're usually able help in some way.


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

1. Got a payment from Rakuten for the past quarter for $17.87. 2. Shopped for kids' school supplies from what we have at home, but were missing a couple of items. Bought them on tax-free weekend, along with some socks my son needed. 3. Shopped for the school supplies from Target and paired with a coupon they sent me along with using a $5 gift card from a previous purchase to save over $10, and then got another $5 gift card back. 4. Gave away from extra office supplies on our neighborhood freebies page. 5. Finished our summer vacation photo book and ordered from Shutterfly using a groupon and when they offered unlimited photo pages for free. According to them, I saved over $120 for a 12x12 book with over 50 pages!


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

FFT Aug 15 2023 Congratulations on the last corn tortilla! I never buy them as they usually are too dry up here, but I do sometimes make them. Yum. Might put that on the menu plan... 1. my truck got dinged by someone when my son had borrowed it. He did get their name (one of his neighbours) but I have been procrastinating about even beginning to look into repairs. Today I checked it out and phoned Lordco to find the cost of the taillight (of course they can't replace just the broken plastic cover, has to be the whole thing). I tried to talk to my dealer to see what THEY would charge as the repair appears to be a bit above my pay-grade this week. After 5 min of waiting on hold for the service dept I called my local 'guy' (who usually only does my older cars' repairs), and within 10 min of conversations and repeat phone calls and some photos, I got a price including a discounted used taillight (yay for keeping out of landfill) and a date tomorrow to get it fixed – at a discount for the poor kid who did the damage. 2. tempting as take-out is, in this very unusual heat, I have been eating from the fridge and pantry and freezer and garden. #2 son is great about eating leftovers, so my job is to make sure there are some! Tonight it was fish sticks and frozen tortellini with a can of pantry sauce, plus an aging cauliflower from the crisper and broccoli from the garden. Leftovers for tomorrow! No money spent on takeout. 3. So grateful for the Solar panels that mean I can run the AC without guilt. So grateful for the heatpump that was installed at the same time as the solar panels, built in AC for the win!. I can survive at warmer temps, however my dog is aging and I want her comfortable. As soon as evening comes I turn off the AC, turn on the fan from the basement, and open the doors as the night cools. 4. I just picked all the figs off my tree. First year that I have had what I could call a 'harvest'. I probably picked 2 dozen tonight, plus ate another 4 while I picked, and I have eaten at least a dozen as they've ripened over the past week. HEAVEN – figs are a real treat for me, so having my trees growing up and producing is a real joy. 5. Also picked the first small batch of cherry tomatoes yesterday, my plants were delayed getting in the ground but soon I will be drowning in tomatoes, enjoying the current state of not quite enough!


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

Ugh, so sorry to hear about your vehicle!

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