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Five Frugal Things | A flat tire happened

1. I got Zoe’s tire fixed for free

My newest driver got her first flat tire.

Lisey taught her how to take her tire off and put on the spare, and I took the flat tire over to Midas for their free flat tire repair service.

screw in a tire.

(Not every Midas participates in this offer, but if you call around to the ones in your area, you might be able to find one that does!)

I was so thankful that the tire could be repaired because the tires on this car were all brand new as of this past summer. 

2. I did the self-service emissions test

Gonna be honest: when I rolled up to the emissions testing center, I was feeling lazy, and I had decided to pay the extra $4 for the full-service option.

But then I saw that the lines for the full-service test were about 5 times as long as the self-service line. 

So, since I hate waiting in lines, I opted to do the self-service test.

self service emissions keypad.

I don’t know why it says “This lane closed” because it was definitely not closed!

And in the end, I was glad I did because it really is a super easy thing to do with the self-serve machine.

Plus, I saved time on top of saving money. 

3. I got some free bamboo chopsticks 

The other day, one of the girls said something about wishing we had some chopsticks here (maybe for some ramen?) 

Japanese Pork Ramen soup

We had a couple of reusable pairs at the other house, but I had left them there because Sonia uses chopsticks a lot.

Anyway, a few days later, someone on my Buy Nothing group happened to be offering a little set of kitchen odds and ends, and it included multiple pairs of bamboo chopsticks. Yay!

Happily, a spatula (the kind you flip things with) was also included; I do have two of those, but sometimes by dinnertime, both of them are in the dishwasher.

So it will be nice to have three. 

4. I found a watering can in my yard

Remember how I was doing yard cleanup last week?

lawn tractor.

Well, in the process, I discovered a plastic watering can in the wooded part of my yard.

dirty watering can.

I’d been wanting to buy a watering can to make it easier to water the plants in my big front window, and now I don’t even have to buy one!

This one is obviously dirty, but that’s ok; I can just clean it up.

5. I got a free mac and cheese at Panera

I have not figured out a pattern yet, but every now and then there is an offer for a free item in my Panera app, and this time it was for a full-size mac and cheese.

And surprisingly enough, it was free even after I chose to do bacon as an extra add-on.


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

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Wednesday 25th of January 2023

I used app coupons to get a few free products at our Hannaford grocery store, which included a free reusable grocery bag, chips, chili powder and coffee.

My husband and I spent an hour or so shoveling out after a recent storm and told our plow guy we didn't need him. $40 saved and exercise done.

We used a gift card my kids gave me for Mother's Day (we don't get out much...ha!) to have a free meal at Texas Roadhouse. It was delicious.

When I went to register my car today at the town office, I took advantage of the "free table" and picked up a few magazines to enjoy.

Amazon had some really great sales on mens' dress clothes and my husband needed a couple pairs of dress pants for work. He's an odd size, so I was happy to find them for only $12 or so. He's not hard on clothes, so these should last him for a good long while.


Wednesday 25th of January 2023

I love that it seems you’ve passed on your “don’t need whiskers for that” attitude to your girls! My dad has always been my sisters’ and my number one encourager about being able to do things ourselves and I’m so grateful he instilled that attitude in us.

My five frugal things:

-Friends gave us a membership to the children’s museum in our area for Christmas, so my son and I used it for the first time yesterday. It was fantastic, and perfect for a busy toddler in the winter. -I shoveled our driveway myself after a big storm. -I’ve made a few loaves of bread this week, including my first (successful) sourdough loaf! -I started our taxes with discounted turbo tax software from Sam’s Club. -We had a night of leftovers, which prevents food waste and is frugal. -bonus: I’ve started getting better at tracking our expenses, and realized I’m spending too much on coffee, so I will be adjusting that.


Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Yes, Lisey in particular has bought into the whole idea. And she's encouraging Zoe to learn to work on her car herself too. :)


Wednesday 25th of January 2023

I found a plastic watering can that was quite pretty, out in the shed, however when I brought it in to fill it had split seams so went into the trash. No recycling of that baby! However I found a replacement for $2 at the dollar store which beats any other place for garden supplies, but only in their weird season.. 1. not really frugal however I used the McDonald's app to get my son a Big Mac at less than half price- on Hockey Game days they often have an offer. Mind you, I bought myself a Filet o Fish, and two medium waffle fries, yet that is the first takeout for me in over two months. 2. Taught my daughter how to make coleslaw after we went on a frugal teaching-her-how-to-shop trip to the veggie store. Then I figured out how to make dressing from what we had rather than paying $6 for the 'good' stuff. Sent her home with Dressing on the side, and a big bucket of shredded cabbage and carrots. #2 son and I ate the remainder that was left here, tonight I made up more slaw. Now need to make more dressing. Cabbage is one of the cheapest greens these days, i keep forgetting how much I like it. the chewing can be tiring, but what is a good newspaper article for if not to read while one slogs through a lot of tasty salad? 3. While she was visiting, I again cut Daughter's hair - well, buzzed the back. I had cut the top a bit too short before she went to New York, it is about perfect length on top. she and #2 son like me to shave quite a bit of the sides and back, so I am becoming quite proficient. She also assisted me in eating up the last of a soup/stew that I was getting VERY Tired of - much tastier with company, and she took the last pint home - SCORE! 4. Saved all the bones and skin from some chicken thighs and drumsticks that I had baked. in the freezer along with some tips and tails of the celery from Cabbage slaw #2, waiting for a few more bones and I will make more broth 5. I am on a pre-travel get fitter and stronger and slimmer plan, with April 1 as my travel deadline --- this means I am buying a lot fewer of the tempting yet unhealthy snacks, and being mindful about what and how much I am eating. it is feeling great and so much better on my pocketbook! 6. Part of the pre-travel prep is exercise. Besides the one program I purchased for under $60 and stuck with last summer with reasonable enthusiasm and measurable results, I avoided buying all the advertised 'get strong quick with..' programs and instead have noted what those are called ,then researched on free Youtube. Pilates and Qijong are now on the playlist. Big Frugal Fail - drove to a town over an hour away to get vaccinations for an upcoming trip to Ecuador. Got totally lost and missed the appointment. Went to Costco with my list and boy HOWDY I need to go to Costco more frequently so it doesn't sting so hard when I do get there. However, I had asked a girlfriend to ride shotgun and that was a great opportunity to spend time together which we both have been missing. and now I have found a travel vaccination appointment right in my own town so all is not lost


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Some weeks I feel like I'm coming up with nothing exciting, but then I realize that the "same old, same old" may be something new to someone else, so:

1. Packed (creative since it's an off grocery week) lunches. Examples: leftovers (always my jam), yogurt with frozen fruit and almonds mixed in, leftover overnight oats (for lunch because why not?), teen made homemade trail mix (chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, oats, raisins), two kids had cream cheese and olive sandwiches for lunch, and other weird but edible combinations...

2. Used leftover creamers I saved from a work event to put cream in my coffee. This was after cutting open the cream carton to scrape the last bits out on the weekend.

3. Added sugar packets saved from the same event to a batch of fruit compote made with frozen mixed berries to top homemade waffles.

4. Saved bacon grease in the fridge for future cooking.

5. Put water in a seemingly empty conditioner bottle and got about three more showers worth out of the bottle.

Linda in Canada

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Frugal win: I received my invoice for my house insurance. I noticed that it said roof: 2006. We put a new roof on the house in 2022, so I called the Ins. co. and gave them this new information: I received an updated invoice for $43.20 less. I also get discounts for bundling house and car ins., for paying in a one-pay, good credit rating, and installing a tankless water heater.

The usual: coffee at home (which I love, I'm spoiled: I dislike take-out coffee); most meals cooked at home, though (unfrugal) we did do a chicken wing take-out which we will not do again ($15.00 each x 2 orders) and it wasn't a great meal. Drinking tap water, we have good tap water. For treats I have leftover chocolates I bought on sale in case I needed extra Christmas presents, which I did not, so enjoying those.

Unfrugal: bought myself a pair of slippers ($32). Frugal: found a similar pair at the thrift store for $1.99. Will keep both as I rotate them, while one pair is in the wash I wear the other pair. They last me for years.

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