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Five Frugal Things | an Oui yogurt pot upcycle

I sat here for several minutes trying to figure out if I phrased that title right. “A” doesn’t sound quite right, but, “an” also seems iffy.

I think the issue is whether you pronounce “Oui” as “Wee” or more of a blended, “Ooh-ee”. I’m going with the latter, so I chose “an”.

Feel free to discuss if you have a different opinion! 

1. I gave Sonia a little yogurt container for a cactus

Cactus in a hanging macrame holder.

I had bought one of those Oui dairy-free yogurts for her to try, and those come in little glass jars/lots.

I hate to throw them away, so I removed the label and set it aside.

Oui yogurt pot reused for a succulent, in a green hanger.

She bought a tiny little cactus the other day and was going to buy a little ceramic pot for it, but then I remembered about the little yogurt container.

She potted the cactus, made a little macrame hanger, and now it’s hanging from her ceiling.

Four plants in handmade macrame holders.

2. I did some CVS finagling

My monthly $10 CarePass credit was about to expire, so I popped in to get a few things.

Two Maui Moisture products.

The initial total was $40 and I used:

  • an $8/40 coupon
  • a $2 Maui Moisture coupon
  • my $10 CVS carepass credit
  • a 30% off a single item coupon

And then my total was down to $18 for two Maui Moisture products*, two $5 eyebrow pencils, and a three-pack of lotion tissues (poor Zoe has a cold right now).

*Sonia uses these for her curly hair

That might not seem like a great deal, but Maui Moisture products are usually about $7-$8/apiece even at Target or Wal-Mart.

3. I did a subscribe and save for my iron supplement

I tried again to donate blood last week and alas, my iron levels were not quite high enough, despite all the iron-rich food I have been eating.

It’s not that I’m anemic; it’s that the blood donation center wants donor’s levels to be above average before donating.

So, they suggest I take some iron pills for a couple of weeks before I try again.

I did some reading about the best type to take and then ordered a bottle off Amazon. I clicked subscribe and save to get a discount because I can always cancel the subscription after the fact.

And at least this way, I get the savings.

Here’s to the third time being the charm!!

4. I cut up an old American Giant shirt into cleaning rags

One of my original American Giant t-shirts sprouted a small hole right in the front, at the bottom of the v-neck, and it had multiple holes in the armpits as well.

Tshirt with holes in the armpit.

Which is fine; I’ve had these shirts for almost ten years and I’ve worn them a lot! Even high-quality t-shirts don’t last forever.

Interestingly, as I type this post, I’m wearing another one of those same shirts, just in a different color. This one’s still going strong.

Kristen wearing a purple v-neck shirt, holding a white coffee mug.

Anyway, I cut the hole-y one into two big rags.

Two navy blue t-shirt rags.

Happily, since the shirt is cotton, not polyester, it will make great cleaning rags.

(Here’s a little more about the t-shirt rags I use.)

And when the rags are too worn to be useful, they can go into my compost bin.

That will really be full-circle on American soil since American Giant cotton is grown here in the United States.

(You can see all of AG’s women’s tees here; the basic ones are $33/apiece if you buy three. Also, use code FRUGALGIRL for 20% off your first order!)

5. I’m working on using up extras from the food pantry

Last Saturday was our monthly shift helping at the food pantry, and as usual, they sent some extras home with us.

The extras are random things they don’t have space to store, so it takes a little flexibility to use them.

Cabbage salad in a metal bowl.

I ate a salad kit for lunch two days, I used a big loaf of bread to make French bread pizzas, and I used a bag of frozen catfish to make fish sticks.

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

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Coral Clarke

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, we rarely get coupons other than those for takeaways etc, almost never for basic food, which is pretty much all I buy new ! Our thrift stores are not as cheap as yours, often similar in price to new from KMart, and not necessarily better quality. Food prices here in general, are much dearer ( check out a Coles catalogue online!) our big pluses are a minimum basic wage of $AUD20 ( about $US 14.65, and good quality free health care. Paying for private health care speeds up non urgent operations, and allows a choice of specialists, but anything urgent is quickly attended to without private insurance, and the specialists I have had publicly also see private patients, so I have been happy with my free colonoscopies and thyroid surgery, obstetrician etc.. We have had a total of 7 COVID deaths in Queensland,, population roughly 5.2 million, but strict rules regarding mask wearing in public places, social distancing , 1.5 metres, hand sanitising, checking in to stores, cafes, hospitals etc (QRcodes) for contact tracing, , if you have been in contact with a positive case you are tested and isolated until given an all clear. We have had frequent lock downs when there have been cases in the community, reduced numbers allowed for functions and public gatherings etc, and are really pushing vaccinations. Happy to answer any questions, regardless of topic, for those who are interested in life Down Under!


Friday 27th of August 2021

Here's our Frugal Five for the week.

1. I dried some fresh tarragon gifted by a friend for future use. 2. Frugal, yes; or frugal, no, depending on how you want look at this one. My daughter's college offered tuition insurance from Liberty Mutual. We decided to opt for it given the cost of tuition and the fact that she is a nursing student in clinicals. I hope we don't have to use it, but it could cost us thousands if we have to use it. Her sister, who works at a hospital in the cardiology department, was out of work for over two weeks when she contracted COVID early on. 3. My daughter showed me a Pin of a cute halter top she wanted. I drafted a pattern out of a paper bag and used leftover blue and white gingham fabric from another project to make it for her. 4. We have to wear masks when people come into our building at work. We are provided with disposable masks that I may wear for a couple of hours each day depending on how busy the office is. I didn't want to waste them, so I spray them with Lysol and reuse them for dusting cloths. A couple of times I have used the ear loops when I forget a hair tie. 5. I got a deal on toilet paper! Since I was not one of the people who has hoarded toilet paper during the pandemic (my hoard was butter), I decided I was ok to get a bunch now. I have a specific, generic store brand that I always buy. I usually get the 20 pack because it has the best unit price at $15.99 plus tax. However, I saw a sign that the individual rolls were on sale 4 for $1. I bought 48 rolls for less than $13 with tax. No, I didn't take them all, either! There was plenty left on the shelf. This isn't pandemic hoarding, this is smart shopping. I would have done it with or without a pandemic.

Maria Martoral

Thursday 26th of August 2021

1. All fridge leftovers for dinner 2. Old Navy clearance clothes 3. All Clear Laundry detergent 50% off 4. At home manicure and facial 5. Hoopla Audio Books


Thursday 26th of August 2021

At one of my last blood donations, the phlebotomist told me that overhydrating before a blood donation can make your iron levels appear lower on the test than they actually are. 1. I found a new place for a corner shelf after getting a larger shelving unit. 2. I returned a too-small dress my kiddo bought on Amazon for a refund. 3. I used up the last of a forgotten bag of chia seeds and fruit cups i found at the back of the pantry. 4. It's been in the 90s here. Despite the heat, we've been limiting our AC usage. 5. We've all needed various medical appointments recently. I checked our insurance site to determine which specialists are in our network.


Wednesday 25th of August 2021

I really don't think I ever have anything frugal but I am going to try: 1. Ate at home ALL week (well I guess I never really eat out ever!) 2. Had my cabinet doors replaced under my home warranty. Purchased a new house a year ago and under the warranty any issues would be repaired within the first year, so I am taking advantage. 3. Purchased new carpets for my house and I paid in cash. I am so glad I've been good at saving. 4. I scheduled my first oil change in 8 months for next week. Thanks to covid I haven't been driving much. 5. I was able to share some snacks and goodies I had received from my parents with my neighbors as the snacks were things I personally wouldn't eat.

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