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Five Frugal Things | A fix-it edition

It’s a Five Frugal Things Thursday! And 3/5 items are repairs I did, so, yay me.   😉

1. A fish quilt fix

A year or two ago, Zoe’s fish quilt had an unfortunate meeting with a nightlight, which resulted in this:

quilt with hole

(The nightlight situation has been rectified, and we are super grateful this was the only damage!)

Anyway, the quilt has been sitting on Zoe’s bed, un-mended, for an embarrassingly long time.

But the other day, I cut up an old green t-shirt, filled the middle of the hole with a few layers of old white t-shirt fabric, and backed the patch with a piece from an old denim shirt (which has been hacked up for lots of mending jobs over the years!)


When I first put the patch on, it looked especially odd and I couldn’t figure out why at first.   Then I realized, oh! It’s missing the quilting lines.   So I sewed lines that mimicked the original quilting and it looked better.

mended fish quilt

The green doesn’t completely cover the burnt part, but   I didn’t want to stray too far off of the green line.   Maybe if a bright blue shirt happens to hit the rag bag, I’ll add a little blue strip next to the green part to completely cover the burnt part.

This is fix is very imperfect, but it is also very done.   Good enough and done is better than perfect and not-done, I say.

quilt patch

2. A Costco chair fix

Joshua has two folding faux-leather chairs from Costco in his room, for sitting on while gaming/watching TV.

(Those beanbags we originally bought for his room ended up not working out very well…all the stuffing compacted in just a few months. Don’t buy ’em!)

These have been working out nicely, except somehow, the wooden frame inside one of the seats managed to come apart at the corner.

(No one at our house seems to have a clue how this happened.   Hmm.)

Anyway, I pushed the pieces back together, but they needed some reinforcement to make sure they didn’t pop back out.   I found a flat metal thingamajig in our toolbox and decided to use that to screw the pieces together.

Costco chair fix

It was a little big for the job, but hey, it was on hand! I didn’t bother screwing screws into the other two holes, as I didn’t want to risk messing up the faux leather, and I figured that 2/4 screws would work fine.

Time will tell!

3. A bunk-bed fix

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we got carpet in the kids’ rooms last week.

carpet mess

(everything from my children’s rooms, except the beds and dressers!)

Gratefully, the carpet installers were happy to work around the beds, which meant we didn’t have to take them out of the rooms.


The only problem was, they screwed Sonia and Zoe’s ladder back on lop-sided, and the board by the ladder somehow got damaged.

(Possibly while they were moving the bed, but I don’t know for sure. It is a 14-year old bed.)

The ladder was higher on one side than the other, so it gently bounced when you climbed it.

(One wonders how a person fails to notice this….?)

straight bunkbed ladder

(the ladder, now properly straightened)

Anyway, I unscrewed it and as I was doing that, I noticed the missing chunk of wood.

The bunkbed wasn’t really safe and sturdy like that and since I’m an impatient person and want to put things back together, like, 5 minutes ago, I decided to try to fix it myself.

(I texted a photo to my brother for some advice.)

I got out the chop saw, which I’ve never used before, cut a piece of scrap wood down to size, and screwed it into the corner post.

bunkbed reinforcement

Then I screwed the ladder on, through the scrap piece and through the existing bunkbed board, so now the corner is reinforced from both sides.

bunkbed fix

And the ladder is actually straight now too, which is a bonus.   😉

This isn’t the most beautiful fix in the whole world, and my screws aren’t perfectly straight because that’s such a tight space to fit a drill in.

(And also because my drilling skills are a bit, er, lacking.)

BUT. It’s fixed, and it’s stable, and as a bonus, I now know I am quite capable of using a chop saw.

At least for straight cuts.

And since the fix is on the inside of the bed frame, it’s not like it’s generally visible, which means the ugliness factor is sort of irrelevant.

Oh, while I had the drill out, I also screwed down some of the under-mattress slats, since some of them had shifting problems.

4. I got a new pumpkin-carving kit.

When I was at Kohl’s the other day for some socks for our Christmas Child (more on that in #5), I walked by the post-Halloween clearance shelves and noticed a carving kit marked way down.

Since a few pieces from our carving collection have broken, I picked this one up for use next year.

clearance pumpkin kit

If you haven’t tried one of those little kits, do! They make pumpkin carving so, so much easier, compared with using a paring knife.

FG family pumpkins 2015

5. I used $15 of Kohl’s moola.

On the day it was due to expire, I remembered that I had a $5 Kohl’s Yes To You reward, so I popped by  to pick up some socks for our Operation Christmas Child box.

Later in the week, I noticed I had a $10/$10 Kohl’s coupon, and Joshua told me he was needing some new running pants.

kohls running pants

So we stopped in while we were near Kohl’s, and while he was trying on pants, I found a pair of running shorts   in the clearance section for $10.   Between the coupon and the 15% discount for using a Kohl’s card, I got him the pants and the shorts for a total for $20.


Whew.   That was a long and wordy Five Frugal Things post.

For those of you that made it to the end…feel free to add your own Five Frugal Things in the comments!

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Friday 6th of November 2015

Great job with the mending!

These are all from today:

1. Had an hour between a meeting and an event at my older daughters' school today. Rather than going out to eat with my youngest (as I might typically do in this circumstance), I packed lunches for us and we had a picnic in the park and went to the playground. Quality time with Daughter #3 = priceless.

2. Saved $1 per gallon of gas by using grocery reward points today, making it $1.35/gallon to fill up.

3. My mortgage company has been begging us to refinance with no closing or other costs for "customer retention" purposes (thanks to good payment history and credit!) -- finally made the call and will save real money with very little effort.

4. Picked up a penny at the supermarket on the floor! :)

5. Exercise today was a run in beautiful weather with free music on spotify.


Friday 6th of November 2015

1. Reviewed our expenditures/budget for the past 6 months and found that when I feel stressed I shop--at thrift stores mostly, yet I purchase clothing I do not need. I have enough of everything! New goal: When stressed,go for a (free) walk.QUIT shopping!!

2. Grocery shopped in my refrig. and freezer--determined to use up items that have been languishing.

3. Made up a month's menus with grocery lists! (Will tweak as I see the grocery ad sales.)

4. Tuned off the pilot light to the gas fireplace which we rarely use.The gas company told us even the light uses up, my bill should be next to nothing from now on.

5. Had girlfriend over on the patio vs. Happy Hour at a restaurant! Best seats in the house!


Friday 6th of November 2015

1. I dropped off some dry cleaning at a much cheaper place I just discovered (and they do good work, too). 2. Got all my groceries at Aldi (aside from a random trip my husband made without me knowing, grrrr). 3. I made yogurt! I recently got a little yogurt incubator that comes with glass jars and plastic lids (on sale, but that was a few weeks ago so I'm not counting it), this has made it much easier for me to eat the yogurt I make, and easier to make it properly (all batches of yogurt I've made previously came before I had a cooler, so I never used Kristen's recipe verbatim and had a few failed batches as a result). 4. My husband and I ended up at a thrift store and he very wisely remembered we'd been wanting a set of short drinking glasses. $2 for a set of 4! 5. We cooked two large meals to eat both as dinner and lunch this week. Leftovers are the best for packed lunches!

Hannah @ Eat, Drink and Save Money

Friday 6th of November 2015

I'm always so amazed how well you patch things! Great job. I need to get better at fixing things around the house.

Stephanie L

Thursday 5th of November 2015

I'm in a better head-space than I was this morning (our friend survived another surgery this afternoon AMEN).

2. Totally scored at Goodwill last weekend - two super-cute blouses (Loft and Michael Kors) for work, petite sizes no less - and a brand-new in the box Umbra hanger for scarves, which frees up some drawer space. All for about $12.

3. The hubs used some of his amazing homemade chicken stock to make soup earlier this week. We need a break from all the leftovers, so I popped it in the freezer. And the rather bland pork tenderloin I made just got chopped, mixed with salsa to moisten it, and froze it for enchiladas.

4. Given the horrible week I've had personally and professionally, I considered getting some friends together to go out for margaritas. But instead I left work a little early, went for a swim, and invited a friend over for dinner and a glass of wine (the hubs has an out of town meeting). Both healthier and way less expensive, but with all the quality time.

5. My dog is my therapist for now. ;) She works for treats and belly rubs.


Thursday 5th of November 2015

Yay that your friend is doing a little bit better!!

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