Skip to Content

Five Frugal Things | a tree edition

tree stump

But first, a homeschool frugal thing. 🙂

1. I did early renewal for the umbrella group.

The yearly family fee starts out at $85 and goes up each month from June-September.

So, I mailed mine off and it’ll get there long before the June 30th deadline.

envelope with a heart stamp

(An umbrella group is an organization that handles homeschool record-keeping and also sends records to the government homeschool office. It’s not required, but it is a service that can make homeschool families’ lives easier. It’s worth $85 to me!)

2. I split wood with my dad from our dead trees.

split oak firewood

We had the tree guys leave some of the good wood when they took the two dead trees down, and my dad brought over his log splitting machine. 

split oak firewood

Mr. FG’s shoulder is hurt right now (MRI coming this week with hopefully some answers), so I worked with my dad on the wood and now we have a lot of wood to burn in our fire pit in the fall!

In some senses, this is very expensive firewood (tree removal costs a lot), but we were going to have that bill one way or another. Getting firewood out of the deal helps soften the blow a bit.

split oak firewood

The extra logs we had went to my neighbors and my sister, so our dead trees blessed lots of people!

3. We paid to have dead branches removed from all the trees.

Tree companies usually offer a pretty good deal on additional work once you’ve already asked them to come remove dead trees.

So, while we were at it, we had them do a bunch of trimming on the rest of our many oak trees.

trimmed oak tree

It didn’t add a lot to the price of the job, and it will hopefully save us money by preventing branches from falling on our cars.

A single large branch can cause hundreds of dollars of damage, so an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure. 

4. My dad brought us a load of sand.

We’re working on a patio project in the back of our house that needs sand, and we have no vehicles good for picking up a ton of sand.

A ton seems like a lot, but it’s a small enough amount that the local companies won’t even do a delivery (and delivery fee is $75 anyway!)

concrete sand in driveway

Buying bags of sand is an option, but that’s expensive and it’s a lot of plastic waste too. So, my dad kindly picked up a load for us on his way over to help with our logs (see above), and that sand cost only $42.

Yay for a dad who is generous with his time!

5. A fail…

Since working on tree clean-up took a surprising amount of time, I spent less time in the kitchen over the weekend, which means that I was not as on top of my fridge as usual.

I know there are several containers of leftover meat-containing food that are bad, and I also know there’s a bag of spinach that is mostly liquid.


So, today I’m going to clean it out, throw away the bad food, and organize what’s left.

And I’m going to make muffins with my overripe bananas. I can at least save those! 

What frugal things have you been up to? Share in the comments.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Meghan Buchman

Sunday 14th of June 2020

I put a book that my sister bought for me, & I had read up on my local freecycle site. I gave it away & when the woman who brought the book, she left me one! It's one I've wanted to read & she didn't even know. Plus my sister came home to visit & she brought me another book I wanted to read b/c she was done with it. With the price of hardbacks, 2 free new titles are awesome!


Saturday 13th of June 2020

Commenting on you #1 we had a similar incident. A very large tree was in the process of falling over. We had the tree removed and the stump ground down. This left a very expensive pile of mulch, like your expensive fire wood. Lol but we had to have the tree removed so at least I didn’t have to buy mulch that year.


Thursday 11th of June 2020

1. Attended a yard sale across the street with mask firmly on and spent $9 for a new photo frame, three CDs from college-era favorite bands, two unopened packages of thank you notes, four soda can cozies for a friend who loves and uses the things, and an almost new Ralph Lauren summer handbag, which was good because I actually need a summer handbag.

2. I sewed valances for our bedroom windows from a huge length of fabric bought for $2 at another neighborhood yard sale. The best retail price I could find was $40, so definitely worth the effort.

3. Bought two blouses and a pair of shoes off eBay. One of the blouses unexpectedly has panels at the bottom of semi-sheer fabric, and I am too old for that, so I am lining it with some gauze fabric bought for $1 a while back from the Salvation Army thrift shop.

4. Our middle dog has many allergies, mostly to foods, and I have begun making her food, with our vet's approval, to get a bad flare-up of allergy-related colitis under control. The ingredients are inexpensive and she is doing great.

5. Had another good run of drugstore coupons and paid around a dollar for two jugs of laundry detergent and a small bottle of dishwashing liquid. I'm not sure I have paid full price for dish liquid in years at this point.

Suzanne Anderson

Friday 12th of June 2020

What kind of food do you make for your pup?


Wednesday 10th of June 2020

1. Made shortcake, pancake or ice cream sauce from yucky peaches and strawberries. 2. Made Chex mix from all bits and dabs of cereal, crackers and chips. Simple in the microwave. 3. Made granola from oats, walnuts, craisins and sunflowers seeds - easy in the microwave. (Didn’t wait for missing coconut or correct amounts) It is super tasty! 4. Made up game they LOVED with big empty container and cut-up foam (hide and seek the Unicorn poop!) 5. Dropped off load at recycle store.


Wednesday 10th of June 2020

Just a tip, I get fresh spinach a lot and when it's close to the end of it's life span I toss the whole bag in the freezer and use it in smoothies. Works great!

1. We have avoided the grocery this week and have eaten from the pantry and freezer 2. My son needed an end table for his room and by being patient I found one on a local site for FREE! In perfect shape too! 3. The library is JUST opening for reserves but this past weekend before I knew that I needed new books to read, borrowed a few and got several secondhand for $2 each 4. We are going camping this summer and I reached out to a friend to borrow some equipment. She ended up having even more than I thought so I was able to cancel several items I planned to order 5. Our dishwasher basket was falling apart. We really need a new dishwasher but now is not the time for big purchases, so I fixed the basket with zip ties. Should hold until we are able to replace the dishwasher!

Peter Collins

Thursday 11th of June 2020

All sounds good to me. I have been sawing up a large amount of old trellis for next winter kindling. I make my own fire lighters as well. Dry out used tea bags and when dry place in a oven tray and the place old candle ends in the tray. Heat them in the oven until the candle bits have melted and soaked into the tea bags. Take out, cool down and use each tea bag as a fire lighter. Works a treat. Talking of treats , how do you get a peanut out of a child’s ear? Pour in melted chocolate and it comes out a Treat. BOOM BOOM!


Wednesday 10th of June 2020

I know...freezing spinach is SO EASY. If only I had paid attention and rescued it before it was too late.

Next time.

Yay for a free end table!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.