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Five Frugal Things | an uninspired edition

Some weeks, I have a running list of interesting frugal things I’ve done (such as trash-picking a cool glass vase). On such weeks, I have lots to choose from when I sit down to write this post.

A glass pitched with a plant cutting in it.

But this week, I don’t think I have done any particularly interesting frugal things.

So. This is going to be a very regular, everyday edition. Let’s see what I can come up with!

1. I made Rice Krispy treats

When I was at Noodles and Company last week, I saw that their Rice Krispy treats looked pretty tasty and I considered buying one.

But then I remembered that commercial Rice Krispy treats usually have a weird flavor. Plus, I knew I had a box of Rice Krispies on my laundry room pantry shelf (and I knew the box had been there for a bit, which meant it really should be used up!)

So, I bought a $0.99 bag of marshmallows and made a whole pan of treats for less than what one serving would have cost me at Noodles and Company.

Rice Krispy treats

We ate that first pan awfully quickly, so then I made a second one.

I always think that Rice Krispy treats are curiously delicious, given how few ingredients they have!

(By the way, we have tried making them with cocoa krispies and with fruity pebbles, and I think the plain ones are far and away the best. The ones made with sugared cereals are too sweet for my taste.)

2. I did the yellowed-armpit treatment on two of my shirts

I discovered that a white Old Navy cardigan, and this white shirt, which I obviously have had for a long time:

Kristen with her girls.

…both had yellowing in the armpit area.

I haven’t used aluminum-containing deodorant in years, so all of my newer shirts are free of this problem (the aluminum mixing with your underarm sweat is what causes the yellow stains!).

But for these older ones, the homemade oxi-clean solution works quite well, although it does usually require two applications for old, set-in stains.

laundered white shirt

For the record, I tried the Dollar Tree version of oxi-clean, but concluded that it does not work quite as well as the homemade version.

Interestingly, I see that the aluminum site I linked to above has a recipe for a paste and theirs involves vinegar and salt in addition to baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. So, maybe I should dig up some more old shirts and do some experimenting!

3. I transferred my Upromise money

Long ago when I first became a mom, I opened up a Upromise account (a college savings reward program). I think one of our grocery stores participated at the time or something and we got rewards for shopping.

Anyway, I remembered about it randomly this week, so I logged in and saw that I had $174 in the account. I transferred that out and I’ll send it on over to Lisey for her aviation mechanic schooling.

I haven’t actively used Upromise in ages, so I don’t know how great it is these days, but if you open a free account, they will give you $5.29 to start you out (a nod to a 529 account) and you can get another free $25 bonus if you link your account to a 529 plan.

So, if you already have a 529 account going, that could be worth a few minutes of your time!

4. I’m on my way to another $20 Old Navy reward

Remember how my Gap/Old Navy credit card sent me a reward offer for making five purchases outside their brands in October?

Gap Visa advertising mailer.

Well, they sent me another one for November. So I am making sure to use that card five times because I am not going to say no to a free $40 in total!

I don’t need much in the way of clothes (ok, and neither does Sonia, as her closet is stuffed full!), but since Zoe is still growing, she can likely make use of this.

5. I…

  • got more dollars from my Erie Your Turn app. I have $107 in my account right now.
  • used a $5 Grove coupon
  • made coffee at home
  • got gas at Royal Farms because I earn rewards there that translate to free chicken meals (or sometimes free chocolate bars!)

All right. I made it to a solid five. Whew.

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

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Ian Golightly

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Thank you for sharing these things! It's surprising how such small things add up over time or just in general.

-Ian @

Susan H.

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Noodles' krispy treats are my favorite BIRTHDAY FREEBIE! (have never actually bought one though...) They definitely taste homemade, with none of that chemical-y flavor! :)


Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Oh, good to know! The packaged ones you can buy at the grocery store taste terrible to me; I think we got a free box one time and I did not think they were worth eating.

Elaine N

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Your blog is always the first one I check each day. Thank you for consistently providing good suggestions, useful topics, fun family stories and attitude encouragement.

Last weekend I made your ice cream cake for my grandson's 5th birthday. (I made it for his daddy years ago but no one but me seems to remember it. It's OK, they think I'm an ice cream cake rock star now, thanks to Kristen.) Anyway, it is sort of like fancy chocolate rice krispy treat made even better with ice cream. My daughter-in-law wants to make one for Christmas with green ice cream, red ice cream, and rice krispy with white chocolate between the red and green. Sounds like a plan!


Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Yay!! That ice cream cake is so good and so simple; we love it. I'm really glad your family liked it too.

Lindsay B

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

1. Asked for a pair of Apple ear buds on Buy Nothing, and gratefully received a new pair! I’d previously lost my very old, nearly broken ones while traveling and this is a wonderful gift. 2. Traveled the last two days for work providing float coverage at several different clinics. Spent per diem money carefully to maximize leftovers; stayed at hotels with free breakfasts; kept track of mileage for reimbursement. 3. Grateful for safe driving late last night in the dark-- we saw lots of deer along the road, but thankfully didn’t have any jump in front of our car. Not having to meet our car insurance deductible = frugal. 4. Bought an excessive amount of cheese at $1/lb due to employee discount available at one clinic that provides health care for a large cheese distributor. Will give some to family and friends as part of early Christmas gifts. 5. Will return two chairs to Ikea that we purchased previously but never unpacked as they were out of stock for the cushions. Now that I’ve rearranged our living room furniture, I don’t think we need them. As someone else said, I am glad I was able to “shop the house.” 6. Finally got around to making an appointment at the local consignment store for some vintage clothes my mom didn’t want to deal with. Although they charge $20 to set up an account, they use that money to do social media promotions. So while it wasn’t 100% frugal, finally moving these items out of the spare room closet and into a place where they might actually sell is good peace of mind.


Wednesday 10th of November 2021

1. Made breakfast rolls out of leftover oatmeal porridge. (I make slow porridge on Sundays, and often end up making more than we eat. Nobody finds leftover porridge appetizing so it's nice when it keeps feeding us with delicious rolls instead.) 2. Combined baking times/heated oven and also made an apple crumb for Sunday dessert. 3. Found a nice wool pea coat on FB marketplace, which I have been on the lookout for. We had our first deeper freeze the other night, and I hung it outside to air as wool likes a freeze clean. 4. My work gives us a pass to use for cultural or wellness activities. Used it for a movie I have been wanting to see (first movie in 3 years!) 5. Not frugal for me, but bought some home knit mittens from a friend made from Icelandic yarn. She also makes Icelandic sweaters and this was from leftover yarn.

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