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Five Frugal Things | a medical watch discount

1. I ordered a watch with a discount code

When I mentioned that I needed a watch with a second hand for nursing school, a reader let me know about the Speidel brand of watches that are made specifically for medical professionals.

speidel watch.

The watches aren’t terribly expensive as is, but I found one that was marked down (because of course).

Then I clicked the button to sign up for their email newsletter, and I got another 10% off.

2. I got some free fluorescent bulbs

Someone on a Facebook group was getting rid of some, which was very fortunate timing for me because several of the bulbs in my basement boiler room are on their way out.

I’m delighted to not have to buy any!

3. I paid cash for knife sharpening

I had two knives that were very dull (one being a paring knife I’ve had since 1997!), plus I had a paring knife from the abandoned house that was pretty dull.

So, I stopped by the knife-sharpening truck that’s in my area once a week, and I got them sharpened.

The price was $5 cheaper if you pay in cash, so OBVIOUSLY that’s what I did.

ten dollar bill.

And now I’m gonna have to remember to be a little more careful with my knives. I’ve probably developed a carelessly cavalier attitude towards them because they’ve been so not-sharp.

(I know that sharp knives are actually safer because they don’t slip and slide. But still: I’m gonna need to be mindful as I adjust!)

three knives in a box.

I’m a little skeered of these knives now.

Relevant: maintaining items that I already own is ultimately cheaper than paying for new items. And it’s better for the environment.

Also, also: cheap items are frequently not worth maintaining or are not possible to maintain/fix. But if you buy good stuff to begin with, it’s usually possible to fix/maintain it!

4. I made yogurt and whole-wheat bread

These are classics for me!

two loaves of whole wheat bread.

And while both of them do require a lot of time from start to finish, they don’t require a whole lot in the way of hands-on time.

So I’m hoping that maybe I can keep these two habits going even when I start school. Maybe on a day when I’m studying at home, I can pop in and out of the kitchen and get some yogurt and bread made.

Here’s how I make yogurt, with no special equipment required.

And here’s how I make whole wheat bread.

5. I fixed a hand towel

I have entirely lost count of how many times I’ve done this for my kitchen and bath towels. These end seams seem to come apart so often in the wash.

And it’s important to catch it and fix it promptly because otherwise the small problem morphs into a larger one.

fraying bath towel.

Obviously a pre-mending photo

Happily, it’s a super quick fix; it takes more time to get the machine out than it does to do the actual fix.

And I am grateful I know how to do these easy fixes; they’ve extended the life of my towels so, so many times.

How to keep towels and dishcloths sanitary

Like I always say, if you want to save big money with your sewing skills, learn how to mend! You get the most bang for your buck that way.

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

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Wednesday 21st of June 2023

1. My parents moved from their house of 20 years to a senior independent community apt last week, so I've been busy helping them pack and get rid of their remaining things in their house (its a LOT!). They've given me food, kitchen supplies (foil, plastic wrap etc), dishwasher tabs, wipes, paper towels, and even home defense insect repellant (perfect timing since we just finished using ours). 2. I've also been trying to sell some of their things that are too new or nice to just donate. I was able to sell several items last week netting $82. 3. Also sold 2 boxes of their music CDs and random historical DVDs to Half-Price Books (which gave me almost nothing for it, but at least it was 2 less boxes to stuff to take home and deal with). 4. Harvesting tons of cherry tomatoes and peppers from our garden, will try to find a salsa or sauce recipe to use them up before we go on vacation next week because we can't eat them fast enough. 5. Friends are going to keep our dog for us while we are gone so we don't have to pay to board him. They love dogs and this will be a good way to let them try having a dog of their own for a couple of weeks. I plan to buy them a nice gift (of consumables!) from our travel destination when we get back.

Cindy Brick

Wednesday 21st of June 2023

Hey Kristen -- Have you thought about getting a knife sharpener? Ours looks something like this...and it works.

It's one of the few chores that the Brick doesn't mind doing. (And yes, I seem to cut myself at least once everytime he sharpens them.)

*I had an appraiser meeting to go to -- at Elway's, a very snooty restaurant in Denver. Brought home leftover sliders (nobody else was eating them at meeting's end!), the chance to say I'd eaten at Elway's -- and the realization that while their food was good, it wasn't THAT good.

*Packing lunch meat and other sandwich fixings, plus carrots/celery, our crockpot and canned stew/tamales for supper meals, while we head out on a vacation. (We're already staying a lot at hotels...usually we camp. Not this time. And I usually get a place with a swimming pool and free breakfast.

*We have had a ton of rain here in Colorado -- far more than usual. Unfortunately, it's also been cold. So even though I planted garden stuff, it's just now coming up, in spite of all the moisture. It's stopped raining so much, too. So now we have to gripe about how hot it is, instead!


Wednesday 21st of June 2023

This is nothing new to the frugal world, but I have begun batch cooking my lunches for work on the weekends. I am not a big one for eating out, so it's about the time I save by doing all four lunches at once!


Wednesday 21st of June 2023

1) We ate the free dinner (and only the free dinner) at the ball park last night. We bought our tickets discounted through our neighborhood association for the game last night, which were also supposed to come with a "free buffet" beforehand. I thought, okay, no way this food will be enough for dinner. Guys, it was amazing. Hotdogs and hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and a soda machine! My soon-to-be-a-teenager had three hamburgers and a hotdog. We all filled up enough that we were not even tempted to buy more food once the game started.

2) I didn't impulse a pack of pens at Target. I was tempted because I haven't been able to find any pens in the house. And I was right there buying toothpaste. But then I realized there are probably some at the office I can use. (The office belongs to us; I'm not stealing pens from my employer.) Low and behold, I was able to find a bunch of freebee pens that had been tossed in a drawer.

3) The big boys and I walked down to the library yesterday. I love to watch their faces when they go from complaining about how mom made them walk to sitting quietly with a book they love. And all for free!

4) I went through kids' clothes yesterday to assess what they all need for the summer and what they already have for when I start thinking about school in the fall. I put a few things in the Goodwill bin, but overall everyone is good on clothes for now. I now know what I will probably need in the fall, but I have some time to shop Goodwill to find it.

5) I caught up on bookkeeping, I menu-planned and shopped at Aldi, I returned what turned out to be a crappy vacuum to Amazon for a better one instead of wrestling with it for years, I cleaned the house myself while my husband took the kids to swim lessons, and I kept the AC at 74 degrees.


Wednesday 21st of June 2023

Late to the game today! I bought a knife sharpener off Amazon a few years back, and what a difference! Mine, too, were from the mid '90s, and had never been sharpened. Now I do it every few weeks, so I don't get careless, either.

We are still hemorrhaging money over here. Sweet dog tore the ligament in her leg and will need surgery on Mon. Cha-ching! And hubby had 4 more teeth pulled, and I paid for hearing aids for me. smh At times like these, my frugalilty looks pretty pitiful. But we keep on keeping on.

1) Gifting group to the rescue again! I have an old 3-seater patio swing I got about 15 years ago. The canopy finally rotted, as did the mattress, so I haven't been able to enjoy it for several years. One of the members was giving away a bench cushion and 2 chair cushions, and chose me. I was able to use the bench cushion and one of the chair ones for the seat, and have one chair cushion for the back. 2) Then, at a yard sale, I paid $1 for a red double bed fitted sheet, that I was able to stretch over the canopy frame, and voila! Backyard sweet spot! 3) Figured out how to pull my online grocery receipt up on the desktop, take pics with my phone, and then submit them to Fetch, who would never recognize that store's receipt as an E-receipt. 4) Found several books at a yard sale for $3, including a brand new New Testament I had just told my husband I needed. 5. Dug up a small hosta that had been planted in too sunny a spot by the last owner, and struggled every summer. Divided it up and replanted it in several spots, and most seem to be doing well.

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