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Five Frugal Things | abandoned treasures

1. My sister-in-law and I did some more treasure hunting

It’s been a while since we did a hunt at the abandoned house that my brother bought, but we found out he’s sending in demo crews this week.

a messy, dirty old kitchen.

So then she and I were like, “AHHHHH! We have to rescue all the things!”

We loaded up tubs of kitchenware and other household goods, so now she has a bunch of bins full of treasures (!), and so do I.

bins of dirty dishes.

What will we do with it all?

Well, we’re not sure. We just both hate to have useful things thrown away, so whether we sell or give away this stuff, we will be happy!

A dirty cow cookie jar.

2. I snagged a bowl as a jewelry dish

You know how you have a few favorite pieces of jewelry that you wear all the time, and you don’t feel like actually putting them away in your jewelry box? 

Well, I saw this little dish in one of the abandoned house bins and I thought it would be perfect to hold a few earrings.

A dirty china bowl

I gave it a good scrub and now it looks like a whole new dish.

A blue china bowl holding jewelry.

This is much better than being thrown in the trash by the demo crew. 🙂

A white china bowl with blue flowers.

3. I tried to fix my glasses

I hopped into the car the other day, picked up my glasses, and tried to clean them off with my t-shirt. But, the one side just cracked, even though I was doing nothing out of the ordinary.

My dad offered to try some of his special plastic glue on them, which was very sweet because left to myself, I totally would have just used Krazy glue.

The jury is still out on whether the fix will hold, but I am giving myself points for not just throwing them away. 

4. I batched trips with Sonia to drop her car off

She had a check engine light situation to address on the same day I had to take Zoe to and from some classes right by the mechanic.

So, we just coordinated the pickup and drop-off time with the already-necessary trips to ferry Zoe around.

I dunno if you have looked at pump prices lately, but this is a very good time to not use lots of gas! 

5. I got Zoe a different gift

So you know how last week I gave Zoe some birthday earrings that were absolutely obliterated, and then I was all, “Yay, I complained and now a pair of replacement earrings is on the way!”?

smashed earring backs.

This is what we called a flattened pair of earrings. Yikes.

Well. The second pair arrived in even worse condition.

(My theory? A dump truck rolled over the first pair. Then they brought in a steamroller to flatten the next ones. 😉 )

I am not about to pay for earrings that are repeatedly ruined, so I got a refund from that seller, and Zoe picked out a cute frog pin from Etsy instead.

And I am happy to report that this pin arrived intact. Whew. 

What frugal things have you been up to lately?

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Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Ah, always nice to see what folk have been up to. 1. Not sure if this is a win or fail or both>. Went to Costco with a comprehensive and carefully debated list, taking the two rebate cheques I got (one for purchases made at costco last year, and one from my cash back costco Mastercard. ). those cheques were over $350! I wasn't able to get some of the things on my list, and I did 'splurge' on some spring bulbs (at better prices than I am seeing elsewhere, so I went for it). I did pick up one thing for a friend, and she will pay me back. At the end of the receipt, prior to the cheques, I had a large bill - the cheques more than halved it, and I came away feeling virtuous for having used the cheques before they run out. I don't go to Costco often, however when I do I purchase enough to earn my membership, and the credit card is used for so much that cheque is welcome indeed. 2. bought the costco chips on my way out = there are so many, #2 son got a bit of a feast when I got home 3. I purchased 2 small chickens when they were loss-leadered at the local grocery store, and then ran out of time, so they were in the downstairs fridge for a few days. Finally just roasted them late one evening, and tore them apart before bed, putting the meat in the fridge and the bones into a pot on the stove with some aged veggies from the fridge. 4. Visited my mom on the costco trip day, and took her two of the chicken breasts - her favourite meat and the part we don't really prefer here. I thought we would share for lunch at her house but she bought me a small lunch and coffee at the local coffee shop that she has been diligently supporting since COVID hit. we had gone for a walk and she insisted that this is where we were going to eat rather than her house, It was a beautiful day, we sat outside, and I felt great about leaving her the chicken for a few meals (and she likely will freeze some for another time. I didn't expect to stop for lunch so wasn't able to treat her, and she was happy to treat me... 5. The stock was cooked and strained, and I then boiled it down to reduce it. Today I got my pressure canner out and got it canned - 3 litres and a pint! In addition, my son and I have been creating random meals (chicken salad, sandwiches, or just straight leftovers) so those two chickens have been stretched a long way. 6. Bonus frugal win - my son and daughter had a variety of foods that came home to me when one moved home and the other rejected food that had passed the best by dated. I had two stale dated packets of scalloped potatoes, and I put them together and baked while the chicken was in the oven (put a bit of random shredded cheese on top). they were delicious, and #2 son has been really enjoying them. 7. Fail - made fried rice but made too much. That will be chicken feed tomorrow. oh well.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Could you tell us more about the abandoned house! So curious to know what happened. Is there a half read newspaper on the table? Some dishes that needed to be done? A dress hanging in the bedroom waiting to be worn.. ahhh I need to know more!

Sandy Taylor

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Can you tell me what you used to clean the bowl? I have some old dishes of my mother's that are starting to turn brown and I am not sure what I can use to stop the brown from taking over because just washing them is not taking any of the brown off. Thank you.


Thursday 3rd of March 2022

These dishes have a brown coating because of being in a smoker's home, so the brown is all on the surface. It comes off fairly easily with dish soap and some scrubbing.

It sounds like yours are brown for some other reason. Does it seem like the browning is under the surface somehow? I wonder if a magic eraser cleaning tool might help; I have used that on some of these more stubborn dishes.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

What a beautiful little bowl! I love those kinds of discoveries!


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I understand your motivation to rescue as much as you can before the demo crew arrives. My Mom was a massive hoarder and we're trying to clean up her house now that she has passed. There is so much there that none of us need but I loathe the idea of it going into the landfill. So I've been packing up stuff and trying to give it away on our local Buy Nothing group. That also turns out to be frugal because the estimate we received for a crew to come clean up everything was over $18,000 so the more I can clean out, the less we'll have to pay for someone else to do it!

Frugal things this week: 1) combined errands when I went to Costco for my eye exam 2) Purchased items my kids requested from Costco so they wouldn't have to make the trip themselves. While not frugal for me, it at least helps them out 3) My son twisted his ankle at work and instead of him going to buy an ice pack, I grabbed a ziplock bag from the kitchen at work and filled it with ice from the ice machine for him 4) A coworker has lost weight and gifted me a bag of nice work clothes. What doesn't fit my body or style will be passed along. Was nice to have a "new to me" top to wear this week. 5) The usual things of meal planning and bringing my lunch everyday.

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