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Five Frugal Things | a bean salad

(see #5 for the bean salad!)

1. I listed five schoolbooks on eBay

Zoe finished her tutorial classes, so I immediately listed her books on eBay. Last kid, last time needing the books!

eBay book sales

I also listed a college literature book that Sonia finished, plus a teacher’s guide for a book Zoe finished.

Unfortunately, my biology book was an ebook, so I have nothing to sell there!

Since I’ve listed so many books for sale, it takes me only a minute or two per listing. Then I put the books on the shelf and just pay them no mind until the “You made a sale!” email comes my way.

(Want to clear your shelves? Here’s how to sell books on eBay)

Listing stuff on eBay is not immediately rewarding, but I look at it like planting seeds; you do a little work on the front end and then you just have to patiently wait for your efforts to bear fruit.

2. I put some medical memoirs on hold at the library

We got The Beauty in Breaking assigned for book club and I loved it! And I realized that some other of my favorite books ever are also medical memoirs, like When Breath Becomes Air.

So, I did some googling to find some other medical memoirs, and I even found a few about nursing.

(Here’s why I want to become a nurse.)

Not all of them were available at the library, but as usual, I let the library availability determine my reading list; if the library doesn’t have it, I probably am not going to read it.

3. I made some yogurt with milk from my freezer

During this last semester, some stuff fell to the wayside around here.

Things like yogurt-making.

And freezer-maintaining.

So, there was a gallon of frozen milk in my chest freezer, probably from when I was trying to shop every two weeks last year.

I thawed it (which takes approximately 12 years) and made a batch of yogurt with it because this warm weather has been making me want smoothies.

(Here’s how I make yogurt with no special equipment.)

I also thawed a collection of bread cubes and made Pioneer Woman’s French toast casserole for the girls when their friend slept over.

4. I made a big batch of chicken broth to clear out the bones from my freezer

More freezer-clearing efforts!

Monday was twenty degrees cooler than Sunday, so I took advantage of the weather to make a big pot of chicken broth.

Four glass Mason jars of dark brown chicken broth.

Of course, I put the broth right into the freezer, but broth is much more space-efficient than bones. And besides, it is immediately usable, whereas bones are not.

(Yes, you can freeze food in glass jars. Here’s how I do that.)

5. I got a quick meal from Aldi

Yesterday I was helping my cousin, and I had to go almost straight from there to pick up Sonia from work.

I was super hungry at that point, and I almost considered getting some fast food, but instead I popped into Aldi and got a little container of garbanzo bean salad.

garbanzo bean salad from Aldi.

Luckily, I had a set of utensils in my glove compartment, so I used those to eat the salad in the parking lot while I was waiting for Sonia.

(You might wonder where the plastic utensils came from; I got them when we got takeout and the restaurant sent utensils even though I checked the “no utensils” box when I ordered. So, I put them in the car for an unknown future time. Which turned out to be yesterday!)

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

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Thursday 3rd of June 2021

If you have specific books you want to read that your library doesn't have, check to see if you can borrow via Inter-library loans. Most libraries participate and you usually only have to pay a small fee for them to ship it to your library. (like $0.50-$1.00, not the true cost of shipping) I think they do that to make sure you seriously want it and it's not a waste of time/money.

Hawaii Planner

Wednesday 26th of May 2021

1) Earned a $15 Amazon gift card on Swagbucks. Used the Amazon gift card to purchase a few running items for my husband for his birthday 2) Sold a few things on eBay. Slow but steady sales, similar to your textbook description. I just list things, and eventually, most things sell. 3) I needed new swim trunks & shorts for our teens, for an upcoming vacation. They won't wear nicer shorts often, so I didn't want to spend a lot. I bought them each a pair for ~$7, tax free. I will likely sell these, once we get back, as they are a very nice brand. I also found a two pack of swim trunks for $12 at Costco, which is a fantastic deal. 4) We've been picking a lot in the garden: basil, mint, spinach, kale, carrots, radishes, and our first tomato. I planted more radishes & carrots yesterday, to keep things going. 5) Made a menu for the weekend that includes lots of carbs, and my Keto eating husband will be out of town. I plan to use up freezer items that don't get eaten often, due to his allergy.


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

I didn't think I had FFT, but then I remembered #5, which compelled me to put together a Vacation Version. DH and I took our RV from CA to Colorado to meet our new grandbaby. This gave us room to transport some bulky things that were stored in our attic when they moved five years ago (like a brand-new snowboard, a gift from her former employer, and a tote full of boots and other bulky ski gear).

1. I prepped meals to eat along the way, and brought more meals for the whole family to enjoy with minimal prep during our stay.

2. We used our phones to source cheap fuel along the way. In Salt Lake City, we found a safe, quiet place to overnight for free. Did the same on the return journey. Woot!

3. Did some fun DIY projects for the kid's new place, including installing a brand-new Moen faucet that we found for $35 at their town's thrift store.

4. We got sucked into an 8 part mystery series, so we huddled on the sofa together watching 2 episodes a night after the kids were in bed. We anticipated and discussed the program every day. The series is Broadchurch, and there are more seasons, which we'll probably wait to watch until we see them again.

5. We decided to visit a few National Parks on the way home, so I finally got to buy a Lifetime Senior Pass! Doing so at a NP saves the onerous $10 Service Fee. Now we can use it to get into any NP, so it will quickly pay for itself. This has been a much-anticipated perk of becoming a Senior. DH and I intend to get maximum value and enjoyment out of it.


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

I recommend anything by Atul Gwandi, especially Being Mortal. Making The Rounds With Oscar, by David Dosa.


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

Yes! I thought Being Mortal was such a good and important read.


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

1) Placed a meat order on behalf of a bunch of colleagues, and the company added 2 packs of Pork Pluma for free, which is Spanish Iberico Pork....normally quite delicious and pricey. So, a couple of free meals! 2) We have had numerous invitations for meals out since we are moving. It's nice to be appreciated AND not have to pay for a meal. 3) I think I have figured out a way to get my phone/internet for less (when we move back), and it will save us $30 a month. 4) I've given away a bunch of items. Not necessarily frugal, but it's keeping things from landfills and helping others. Win-win. 5) I found a couple of t-shirts on the free table. I really shouldn't be bringing anything home right now, but they were plain colored t-shirts in a longer style that I like, so I snagged them.

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