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Five Frugal Things | are croutons a garnish?

1. I made a single serving of croutons for my soup

I made a pot of this butternut squash soup for myself, to use a squash that came in my Hungry Harvest box.

Zoe doesn’t like butternut squash, so it’s all up to me in this department. 

butternut squash.

I noticed there was a small piece of baguette left, so I cut it up and made some quick skillet croutons to put on top of my soup.

I always think pureed soups are better with a little crunchy condiment (garnish? what in the world do you call a crouton on top of soup??)

2. I made more flash cards with abandoned house notecards

I rescued several unopened packs of notecards when my sister in law and I combed through the abandoned house.

pile of flashcards.

Even though they were in shrink wrap, they did still initially smell kind of bad. But by now, two years later, they smell very normal, and I am currently using them to learn types of needles for injections.

(Forrrrr instance: 29 gauge, 1/2 inch for insulin injections, which are given subcutaneously, often in the abdomen. But with hospital patients, we should consider using sites such as the back of upper arms, since patients can’t reach those themselves, and this way we can offer more injection site rotation. IN CASE YOU WANTED TO KNOW.)

3. I fixed a knitted dishcloth

Sonia had knitted these a while back, and the pink and white one sprouted a hole.

dishcloth with hole.

Luckily, I had a little bit of white cotton yarn in my drawer, and I found a big needle in the sewing box I had grabbed from the abandoned house.

So, I was able to sew it up, and while my fix is not beautiful, it IS functional, and that is what matters when it comes to dishcloths. 

mended dishcloth.

(Relatedly, here are 8 ways to keep towels and dishcloths sanitary.)

4. I fixed a hole in my jeans

I was sitting in class yesterday and when I reached back to adjust my shirt, I realized that OH NO there was a hole above the back pocket of my jeans. 

hole in jeans.

So I cut a square of black fabric from my scrap bag, pinned it on the inside of the pants, and sewed it on, mostly over the existing seams (that way my repair seams are kind of hidden.)

I had to use my reading glasses to thread the needle. My mid-40s are showing!

Kristen in red glasses.

After fixing the first hole, then I realized that there was a hole above another pocket corner. And another.

So, I fixed them all. 

repaired jeans.

Here’s the inside.

inside of jeans.

Then I put my jeans back on and wore them the rest of the day!

5. I…`

  • scanned my receipts with my Fetch app (that’s my referral link, and it will give you 500 points to start off)
  • listed a pair of Zoe’s old eyeglasses on eBay
  • packed my lunch
  • was organized enough to make a stock-up trip to Aldi (which helps me avoid random Safeway runs)

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

P.S. In last week’s Five Frugal Things post, some of you wondered if Zoe’s skirt was gray or blue. I would say that it’s a blue-ish gray, and the last picture of it hanging by the fireplace is the most accurate color-wise.  🙂 

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Sunday 15th of October 2023

Hi Kristen, I am an over 10 year reader finally commenting! My kids taught me about Quizlet, a free online app for study notecards. You have to create them, just like your own paper ones, but you can quiz yourself AND it saves paper. For when your free notecards run out.


Sunday 15th of October 2023

Oh, yes, my microbio professor last fall had a bunch of Quizlets premade for us and I used those so much! I did the matching games over and over. So handy.

And I'm so glad you commented!


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

1. We made all our meals at home. The kids and I packed all of our lunches. 2. We forgot to get food for a dessert potluck. Oops! But, I remembered to pull something out of the freezer for the allergy kid. (I refuse to feel bad that we forgot this one time.) This is frugal because an allergy-friendly cupcake is like $10... for 1 cupcake. 3. I fixed my jean jacket, bought in 2005, with some scrape denim. 4. I fixed my son's pants and my husband's shirt. 5. I bought a few Christmas presents during recent sales.

Lindsay B

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

We had a busy couple of weeks, so I'm combining several weeks' worth here!

1. I picked up an unopened bottle of red wine vinegar from BN. I also picked up a box of food that someone else was offering. I told the donor I wouldn’t be able to use some of it but that I would pass along what I couldn’t. I was thrilled to have some items we really will enjoy like canned salmon and a can of wild blueberries that will go on waffles, and the rest will be donated to our church food drive.

2. Ordered more free Covid tests from USPS. We have about 4 tests left from previous orders, but I would feel more comfortable going into the fall virus season with more on hand.

3. Our local convenience store had butter for $2.49/lb which is better than the usual $4/lb prices around here.

4. Dropped off two items at the consignment shop and picked up a check for $48. Hopefully that’s the last time I’ll go there, as I’ve consigned the items my mom wanted me to, and also cleared out anything in my own closet that was worth consigning. I’ve already left a SASE for the last check they will issue.

5. Some of the same weekly items: eating out of the freezer/pantry, cutting open tubes of hair gel/toothpaste etc. to get out the last bits, using a skinny small spatula to clean out peanut butter jars, etc.

6. Had a free dessert for some reason in my Red Lobster app, and was able to redeem it while out and about to share with family, no purchase required.


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

I have a pattern for a dishcloth but no cotton yarn. I tried with the regular yarn (acrylic?) but it did NOT work. I was terrible. So now I am on the hunt for cotton yarn. I have two dishcloths but they are soooo ragedy.


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

We call those options "toppings." As in, toppings on a salad: croutons, other crunchies, cheese, sunflower seeds. Toppings on a taco: hot sauce, salsa, extra cheese, jalepenos. Items that each individual adds to their taste, "topping" their serving.

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