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Five Frugal Things | a Chiquita tunnel

1. I got a free cat tunnel for Chiquita

I got this from my Buy Nothing group (that person’s cat never used it) and my goodness, Chiquita LOVES it.

Chiquita in a cat tunnel.

Sometimes she goes tearing around the house, and she loves to zoom in and out of the tunnel. I don’t know what she’s thinking, but she’s having a lot of fun.

It’s funny having a younger cat around; I didn’t really realize how slow and quiet Shelly was until Chiquita arrived. And now I’m constantly surprised at how energetic and playful Chiquita is!

2. I got some exercise shorts from my Buy Nothing group

Someone was giving away three pairs of exercise shorts, and I figured if they didn’t fit me, they’d probably fit Zoe.

But I’m happy to say that all three pairs fit me.

Kristen in black shorts.

Sometimes I have a problem with my exercise shorts being too big in the legs while being too tight in the waist (I think my waist is not as small as the designers expect it to be!), but all three of these pairs are more fitted in the legs while also being comfortable in the waist.


Kristen and Chiquita.

Chiquita was trying to join me. 🙂

3. I’ve been actually-factually eating my kale

Occasionally I have been known to let a bag of Hungry Harvest kale languish in my fridge until it’s unusable.

But this time around, I have been busily eating kale almost every day at breakfast, and my kale bunch is nearly gone. Yay me!

Kale and eggs on a blue plate.

This blue plate is from my Buy Nothing group!

I’ve been sauteeing onion chunks, adding chopped kale, cooking it until it’s softened, and then frying some eggs too.

I always use salt (sometimes garlic salt) and pepper, and sometimes I sprinkle on some red pepper flakes and Parmesan as well.

kale and eggs.

This plate is from the abandoned house.

I feel like my body should be feeling pretty grateful that I’m giving it kale every morning. 😉

Also: this is another example of why I get a Hungry Harvest box. On my own, would I buy a bag of kale and eat it at breakfast?


But if Hungry Harvest sends me a bag of it, I will eat it.

Wanna try a Hungry Harvest box? Click here for $10 off your first order.

And here’s a post I wrote that explains all about what Hungry Harvest is.

4. I fixed a jeans hem

Remember my mom jeans that I bought recently?

Kristen in mom jeans.

Well, I’m sorry to say that one of the ankle seams has already started to come apart. Sigh.

(I swear that my washing machine dissolves seams.)

Issues like these are always easier to address if you catch them early, so, I snipped off the loose thread, added Fray Check* to either side of the loosened threads, and sewed over the original stitches.

*To get it cheaply, buy Fray Check at a local craft store and use an in-app coupon!

mended jeans seam.

Hopefully, this will hold!

By the way, I used some gold thread that I found in a sewing caddy I’d rescued from the abandoned house. 🙂

gold thread on a sewing machine.

It worked really well to match the usual thread you find on denim seams.

5. I bought a pair of not-too-expensive nursing shoes

I did go and try on some Danskos, but I don’t think they are quite right for my super-high-instep feet.

But I read some reviews of nursing shoes, and people were recommending these Reeboks, which, amazingly enough, come in wide widths!

So, I ordered a pair, and we shall see how they work out for me. For part-time clinicals, they should be more than sufficient, and they were only $37.

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

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Thursday 29th of June 2023

* I have been trying to cut down on groceries while not skimping on nutrition. Not so easy... Found a place that sells food that didn't get picked-up at the Food Bank. It's open to everyone, regardless of economic status, with the intention of saving food from going to the garbage. So, for 15$ I get about 40$ worth of groceries. Also, if I volunteer 4 hours I get it for free. Guess what I'm doing next week....

* I postponed a bariatric surgery planned in august. I have been eating really well, counting calories and upping my exercice and lost 15 pounds. If I can lose another 65, I'll be were the surgery tells me I would most likely get down to (70% of my excendent weight). This is not so much, I should be able to do it (an more). * Side note, for those who think that weight loss surgery is the easy way out, think again! Even if I end up losing this weight without, I will never bash those who decide to use this tool because, man, it requires A LOT before and after! So, yeah, side note aside, if I'm not going through, I'll be saving 20 000$ Canadian dollars...!! I give myself 6 months to see where I'm at.

* No clothes shopping for me while losing weight! I'm getting smaller sizes from Buy Nothing and from friends and storing them in the meantime.

* I upped my work weeks from 3 shifta to 4, in prevision of the surgery. I will keep this schedule for a while.

* Kids are on school holidays and we are keeping it very frugal and simple for them: spend time outside, see friends, go to the public pool, etc. Who needs Disney World? (actually, I would like to bring them someday soon... but it's about 8000$-10000$ for the 4 of us so.... yeah, not right now)


Thursday 29th of June 2023

WLS is such a commitment; you are right!


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Mending is in my DNA! Good for you. Many clothing companies are using a chain stitch, made with one continuous thread, instead of a lock stitch, that uses two threads that "lock" in the middle of the fabric thickness. Chain stitching pulls out readily if the thread is broken, so your mend probably fixes your jeans very well. A sewing teacher I met some years ago cautioned us to study whether the fabric failed, or the thread--it will help you decide on the best mend.

My frugal wins: * A new Instant Pot cookbook for $4 from Ollie's, a treasure of recipes. Made a 6" cheesecake using old cream cheese, sour cream, and caramel ice cream topping from the fridge. It is yummy, and just the right size for our small household. * Contacted (email) the leather shop that made the elegant souvenir belt my husband bought in Italy three months ago. Its braided end had pulled out of the buckle tab. I studied YouTube videos and contacted the store for advice on mending it, and they responded the next day in spite of the five-hour time difference. They are graciously sending a new belt by way of apology. It was a splurge for us and I am so pleased. * Bought a wonderful sun hat at Marshalls for $13 that would have retailed for much more. It is packable (crushable) and has a brim at least 4" wide, the minimum my dermatologist recommends. * Learned how to find the nonfiction books on CD at the public library, and studied the online catalog before I went to the library to choose my listening. * Took books and magazines to the Friends of the Library book warehouse, and came home with some wonderful books for me, $5. And a friendly visit with an old friend who is finally on the healing side after a terrible auto accident.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Oh! I love Danskos and I have really high instep too (so high, that when my feet are wet, the footprint is only two spots, my sole and my heel- my instep does not touch the ground!). That said, I have always bought New Balance sneakers because they seem to work best for my particular high instep.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

I have often wondered if my old-man-cat would like a tunnel, he has zoomies 2-3x a day.

1. I got a tomato cage from our local Buy Nothing Group.

2. I got plastic grocery bags from a neighbor to use for the cat box cleanup. There’s only a few stores locally that use them where we now live so I was very thankful to not have to purchase bags.

3. Family was visiting early this week, we did a few hikes, errands & went to the farmers market instead of eating out. We have 3 special diets so it would be a challenge anyways. 3a. We packed our own coffee/water & snacks for the hikes & I made fancy coffee at home instead of going to a local coffee place after.

4. My sister-in-law brought me a bakers hutch a neighbor in her area was getting rid of so I could use it for a coffee station. There was nothing wrong with it and it fits perfectly!

5. We used a Redbox freebie for my birthday last week to rent a movie Gent had wanted to see & it was completely free so that was nice. I’m not as into movies as Gent but it was still nice!


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

It made Zoe and me chuckle to hear that your older cat still gets the zoomies. Chiquita is so crazy when she gets the zoomies; sometimes I worry she's going to hurt herself!

Chris in NZ

Wednesday 28th of June 2023

My savings this week - 1. Filled up on gas before you a 25 cents per litre tax increase on 1 July. 2. Had a performance review and a pay rise (yay!!). 3. Shopped my “presents box” for a gift for the birth of a friend’s grandchild and will bake for the mum too. 4. Substituted ingredients when making dinner rather than running to the supermarket - I always buy more items than on my list so best to avoid the temptation. 5. Using my mobile phone’s free plan to ring my daughter daily in Australia.

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