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Five Frugal Things | A bit of trash-picking

1. I trash-picked a pitcher/vase for Sonia

When Mr. FG and I were out for our walk on trash/recycling day, I spied an interesting piece of glassware that someone had set out to be recycled.

I knew Sonia would love it, so I picked it up and brought it home. 

A glass pitched with a plant cutting in it.

And she does indeed love it!

I am always confused about why people put these things out for trash/recycling instead of donating them. Goodwill would definitely have been able to sell this. 

2. I did my van’s emissions tests myself

Our emissions center now has a self-serve lane, which gives you a 30% discount on the test.

I figured that if they were letting random citizens test their own emissions, it couldn’t be very complicated, so I went ahead and got in that lane.

I turned out to be right; it was super simple. There’s a touchscreen and a cable that’s very easy to plug into my van, and the whole thing took about five minutes.

A self-serve auto emissions test cable.

Not only is the self-serve lane cheaper, but it’s also open 24/7, and I will keep that in mind next time one of our cars needs a test.

I mean, I won’t be going at 3:00 am (!!), but I could see myself popping by on a Saturday. Or after dinner one evening.

3. I returned my bag of disgusting gingerbread coffee

A red bag of Target gingerbread coffee.

I saw a bag of Target-branded gingerbread coffee on clearance, and I thought it might be fun to try.

But it was seriously gross. I barely tasted any gingerbread spices, and the coffee itself had a terrible flavor.

Black coffee in a white mug.

I considered composting the coffee, but then I saw that Target has a moneyback guarantee on their private label items. So, I brought it with me when I went to Target to pick up something else, and I got my money refunded onto a gift card.


4. I packed a lunch for my parent-of-the-day turn

At Zoe’s tutorial, the parents have to take 1-2 parent-of-the-day shifts every year.

I had to leave in the middle of my shift to go take my muscle exam, so Mr. FG tag-teamed with me.*

For lunch, apples (still some leftover from the two boxes of bruised apples I got), smoked Gouda from Aldi, a homemade pumpkin muffin from my freezer, and a nut bar worked just fine, and saved me from stopping somewhere on my way back from class.

*A silver lining to this last year and a half: Mr. FG’s work had always said that working remotely was Most Definitely Impossible (with capital letters, no less.). But miraculously, they found a way to make it work when push came to shove and that means that now he can do things like helping out with the parent-of-the-day job because he can just bring his work laptop with him.

5. I…

  • got my book for our November book club (The Henna Artist) at the library
  • got two pumpkins at Aldi ($3.50 apiece!)
  • printed my muscle anatomy worksheets on the backside of the worksheets from the previous module
  • filled up my gas tank at Costco since I was nearby for my emissions test
  • used a $10/$30 coupon on Target groceries

Your turn! Share your five frugal things in the comments.

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Monday 8th of November 2021

Around here people always put gently used items at the curb so someone can grab them. I have gotten many things and am happy to pay it forward with my gently used items.

Nicholas Littlejohn

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

My electric car has paid for itself in $1000.00 a year gas, oil, maintenance savings!


Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

1. Our cub scout pack was having a Halloween party and the pack leader needed a cup of sugar for his dutch oven monkey bread. I reminded him that we were surrounded by candy and the kids had a great time adding miniature candy bars to it. Tasted great and used what we had on hand. 2. Finally resolved an issue with a Disney gift card that I purchased at Target. There was no way I was loosing $100. Only took about 4 weeks and three trips to Target. Geez. 3. This Halloween was very frugal despite buying my daughter two used costumes. The first costume for her was $5 and which she decided she didn't want to be (pirate which she will still fit into next year). We then found a Sponge Bob costume for $6 that she had been dying to find. These were the only items we had to buy for both kids costumes. $11 and done! 4. I'm still selling plasma 2x per week to make money to go to Disney. I've been coming up with anyway possible to raise the funds for the trip. 5. All the normal things, packing lunches and making my own iced coffee in the morning, selling items on Ebay, buying flex fuel for my van and reminding myself of the bigger picture items when I want something silly and small.


Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

I didn't know that about Target, will keep in mind!

I... 1. remade some not-great leftovers into something I could tolerate eating. 2. Packed my lunch 3. Asked for a discount on a plumbing expense when they company completely goofed up the scheduling (they scheduled a guy who had the day off that day, and didn't bother to confirm or talk with him, so he, understandably, never showed up) 4. Ordered some Christmas gifts on a considerable sale (we buy Christmas pjs and an outfit from a particular online retailer than regularly has sales before Thanksgiving, so I keep an eye out for them). 5. Figured out how to have easy meals during a week when I'm really busy at work and feeling overwhelmed in general, so we're not eating out.


Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

Did you explain “parent-of-the-day for-tutorial already? Just curious. Beautiful carafe you found- yes, I’m a “junker” as we call it here! It’s amazing what people discard, for sure! Right now I’m being tempted by an old, solid-wood dresser that would be SO cool painted! But I don’t need it and don’t have the time or space right now. Sure hope someone grabs it!


Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

@Kristen, I did see where you mentioned the parents at the tutorial. Thanks!

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