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Five Frugal Things | A lunch-y edition

1. I’m using metal containers to pack my lunches

Reusable containers make for a greener lunch, and a cheaper lunch.

metal lunch containers.

I love glass containers for food storage at home, largely because they are see-through. Food that’s visible is food that’s less likely to go to waste!

Silicone Pyrex replacement lid

But for lunches, I love metal containers. They’re lightweight, they take up less space than glass containers, and they’re unbreakable. 

And since I’m gonna eat my food pretty promptly, I don’t care that metal containers are opaque. It’s not like I’m going to forget about my strawberries in a few hours. 😉

I found a metal tiffin-style container (kinda like this one) at Goodwill years ago, and it’s been super helpful for packing lunches.

metal lunch containers.

I also have a couple of small metal containers by To-Go Ware that I use almost every time I pack a lunch. I’ve owned them for years, they’ve been used incessantly, and they look none the worse for the wear.

2. I did not buy a new lunchbox

I have an old one that my kids used for packing lunches for their tutorial classes. It is not my favorite style (I don’t usually buy things that have flower prints!) and it’s a little on the small side.

flowered lunchbox.

But I figure I will just use this one until it wears out, and then I will buy a lunchbox that is exactly what I want.

(Not gonna lie, I did look at new lunchboxes when I was at Target last. But I decided to be responsible and just use the one I already own.)

3. I fixed a thrifted hoodie

This thrifted Vans hoodie sprouted a hole but mercifully, it was right on the side seam! That’s the best kind of hole for mending.

hoodie with a hole.

I turned it inside out, used some matching thread from my sewing box, and closed up the hole.

mended hole.

And then I used my fabric shaver to get rid of some of the pilling around my mended spot.

shaved hoodie.

My fabric shaver is from Aldi, but it looks a LOT like this one, which comes with some replacement blades.

4. I made a batch of granola

Zoe and I have been eating a lot of homemade yogurt, and I have sometimes been tempted to buy a box of granola to sprinkle on top of our yogurt/fruit combos.

jar of granola.

But for some reason, I have a hard time bringing myself to buy granola. I just think it’s so stupidly expensive for something that is mainly…oatmeal.

So, we have just been sprinkling chia seeds on top of our yogurt, which is a healthy option, of course.

To switch things up, though, I made a batch of granola this past weekend, and now we have an affordably-priced crunchy topping for our yogurt.

ball mason jar of granola.

I used this recipe, which I LOVE because you don’t have to stir it while it bakes. Seriously life-changing, guys.

5. I got a free drink at Starbucks so I could use the wifi

This past weekend, Tropical Storm Ophelia moved up the east coast, and although it mostly just dumped a lot of rain, we lost power early in the storm.

I had some schoolwork I needed to do online (and it was not remotely dangerous to be out), so I went to the nearby Starbucks and redeemed some of my Erie Your Turn rewards for a Starbucks gift card.

I chose a pumpkin spice latte because I saw there was a bonus star offer, so now I am super close to getting a free drink with stars.

I got my schoolwork done, and by then the power was on at home, amazingly enough!

(I had figured it would take eons to get restored because my neighborhood is small and only 49 homes were affected in that outage.)

schoolwork at starbucks table.

Sometimes it helps to go somewhere else to get schoolwork done anyway; at Starbucks, I can’t decide to paint or fold laundry or wash dishes. 😉

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

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Friday 29th of September 2023

Here’s my FFT this week: 1. I sold a foot massager that I can no longer use for $40. 2. I sold a high chair for $15. 3. I bought 2 pork loins for $1.69/lb, and my husband, (a retired butcher) cut them up into chops and ribs and made 8 packages for the freezer. 4. I bought a book for .50 from the book table at the grocery store. A good read! 5. Used a $15 coupon for an oil change on my car and got a free car wash and cup of coffee, too!


Friday 29th of September 2023

Congratulations, everyone, on frugal practices. I continue this tradition: 1) Make lunches daily for DH, and eat at home myself (I am retired, him not yet). 2) Cook dinners and breakfasts at home, eat them at home, with very occasional adventures out. We live in a rural area where the restaurants are very limited, and the appeal of going out is for a change of scenery, not the food. 3) Mend and sew, and hang more clothes to dry rather than beat them up in the dryer. 4) "Window shop" by browsing in mail catalogs, then recycling them. 5) Shop more at Aldi's. Shop at Kroger only for items Aldi doesn't carry.


Friday 29th of September 2023

I used my kids' lunch boxes for years until they wore out and the kids grew up! Upon retirement, it felt good to throw away the last lunch box I expect to need. Couldn't burn it ceremonially, not a good material, but saying goodbye to packing lunches was a good feeling.


Thursday 28th of September 2023

I vouch for your granola recipe - it is the BEST I have ever found.


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Starbucks has a new design: They are extending the counters into the seating area, pushing all the seating outside. Boo!

About that yummy granola: I make it on the regular, thank you very much. Recently, I read that chia seeds should be soaked in water before using, so I tried it with your recipe. It worked great! I just put a scoop or two in a large measuring cup, add cold water and allow to sit for an hour or two. Stir it occasionally. When it's thickened, it's ready. I then add all the other liquids, stir well, dump on top of the oatmeal, and mix well. DH noticed the difference and really likes it.


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Several Starbucks in my area have remodeled lately, and every single one has less seating than it used to!

So good to know about the chia seeds. I wondered how I might add them to granola!

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