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Five Frugal Things | also, I PASSED

First up: I passed all of my competency tests yesterday, first try. Yay!!

Kristen in scrubs.

The two professors who watched me said that I did a great a job and that they could tell I’d gone to a bunch of the optional open labs (and that’s true; I did sign up for tons of those).

So….a big WHEW.

I have competency tests each semester, and I think future ones will feel slightly less nerve-wracking because at least I will know what to expect.

On to frugal things!

1. I got a $3 survey bonus from Acorns

I have a little Acorns investment account, and I noticed they sent me an email offering me a $3 investment for doing a survey.

acorn in Kristen's hand.

I can be easily bought, so I spent a few minutes doing the survey, and now I’ve got another $3 in my investment account. Sweet!

2. I got a box of free covid tests from the library

I studied at the library for a while the other day because I had some time to kill before an appointment, and on my way out, I noticed they had a bin of free covid tests, so I grabbed one. 

covid tests.

Do I hope to avoid needing these?


But just in case Zoe and I get sick, I will be glad to have some here. 

3. I got a free pizza from Safeway

I had to stop in for a package of bacon one day, and as usual, I took a quick peek at the app to see if there were any good offers.

frozen pizza.

Lo and behold, there was an offer for a completely free Safeway brand frozen pizza! 

So of course I picked that up.

4. I got a bottle of Maui Moisture for $0.51

I noticed I had a bunch of ExtraBucks in my account, plus a $2.50 coupon for a bottle of Maui Moisture.

Soo, I stopped in, purposely selected a variety that had “50% more free!”, and used all my ExtraBucks to bring my total down to $0.51. 

two bottles of Maui Moisture.

My CVS often has the 50% more free bottles, which sweetens any deals I have

I’m don’t spend a lot of time chasing deals at CVS, but here are my best CVS strategies.

5. I found a replacement pair of Vans

You know how I’ve mended my black Vans multiple times?

sewing vans.

Well, I’ve had this pair since 2017, and the wear is getting beyond my repair capabilities.

Like…the soles are wearing down, and I’ve worn the inside lining by the heel so thin, there’s not a lot of material left between my foot and the outside of the shoe!

I went to the Vans store, and could not find a pair exactly like mine; all the offerings had suede on the toe area, and I did not love that.

two pairs of black Vans.

This is the suede-toe variety


Suede looks nice but…I like to throw my Vans in the washing machine every now and then, and a 100% canvas shoe is good for that.

Luckily, the guy who works at the store told me that my particular style is still sold at Kohl’s.

Kristen's feet in black vans sneakers.

AND the Kohl’s variety was about half the price of the basic style at the Vans store. Sweet!

Given that my first pair of this style lasted me for so long, I feel pretty confident that the next pair will also serve me well. 

What frugal things have you been up to? 

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Friday 27th of October 2023

Congrat Kristen I knew you could do it. Aren't you glad that nurses no longer have to wear a dress, hose, white shoes and a silly hat?

My frugals for the week: 1. Went to a weight loss support group meeting and got samples of fruit chew calcium, iron and multivitamins. Also got a tube of protein powder to put in milk. 2. Sent a Dollar Tree card to my sister in law for her birthday and used one of my Forever stamps from forever ago. 3. Hubby went grocery shopping and stocked us up with on sale chicken thighs - .99/lb and ground beef. 4. Filled up the car with gas at Costco for $3.19/gallon. 5. Enjoyed the very warm fall days that we've had this week. 6. Couple of doctor appointments that will be free as I've met my deductible and my lung doctor filled out my form to get my handicap placard renewed for free.


Saturday 28th of October 2023

Yes. Especially about the hat and hose!


Friday 27th of October 2023

First of all Congratulations! What a wonderful blessing to have passed your competency exams! Your profession will be challenging but so worthwhile. Plus you will be richly rewarded.

My 5 free and frugal treats for my birthday week! 1. A free Jeremiah's Mango and Vanilla treat 2. A free Publix Carrot Bar Cake. 3. 10% off my birthday Pedi and Mani. 4. A free Chick-Fil-A milkshake. 5. A free Crumbl cookie. Bonus ... kids and hubby taking me out for Mexican dinner!!! So excited!

Martha O.

Friday 27th of October 2023

Congratulations on passing your competency exam!! So proud of you, Kristen!!

Kim from Philadelphia

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Totally not surprised you did so well on your competencies. Congrats!!

Lindsay B

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Like everyone else has said, congratulations on passing your competencies! It's nice to start being able to check off those skills.

1. My parents were in town the last two weeks, so it’s been a little unusual for us with regards to frugality. We took them out for dinner; they also took us out for dinner. Mom did bring us some venison and other food odds and ends.

2. Mom kindly rigged up my new sewing machine and mended several kitchen towels that were sprouting holes, and added new velcro to a bib.

3. Dad helped DH stain the deck, which sorely needed it. Unfortunately it rained the next day before everything dried (there was no rain in the forecast for days when they stained), so things look pretty mottled and it may need to be redone. But some progress is better than none. This is my first house, and it’s a little older, and I’m determined to try to keep things in good shape so nothing totally falls apart.

4. I was able to make a meal for friends going through a surgery with supplies on hand. I did buy some bread and cookies to go with it, but I was glad to use my freezer and pantry for the rest.

5. All the usual things– using up toiletries, avoiding food waste as much as possible, finishing up two pounds of coffee a friend gave me ages ago, and the like.

6. I almost forgot one thing: I found my favorite dark chocolate bar on sale for half off, so I bought an obscene amount that I will have my husband slowly ration out to me. :)

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