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Five Frugal Things | bare minimum haircut

1. I got the bare minimum haircut service

I generally get a haircut about once a year, and it seemed like it was time.

Kristen with long hair.

So, I went to Haircuttery and got the cheapest haircut they offer.

I always skip the blowdry/style service because it costs extra and my hair is so thin, it dries on its own by the time I get home anyway! 

Kristen after a haircut.

I’m glad to have healthier ends again. And it’s still plenty long to tie back for nursing labs and clinical.

2. I’ve been faithfully packing my lunches

My building at the college has an in-house Chick Fil A, and in my two years of attending classes there, I’ve managed to not buy food there at all.

metal container of salad.

Before, this has been pretty easy because I have not had all-day classes.

But now I’m often at college over lunchtime, so I’ve been needing to pack food to eat during breaks. 

chicken salad sandwich.

So far, so good! 

And I’ve found that if I pack a bunch of veggies, I will almost always eat them all, so I pack a prodigious amount of things like carrot sticks and cucumber slices along with the more substantial portions of my lunch.  

3. I chose slower shipping for a $1.50 reward

Whenever Amazon offers me a little bonus for choosing slow shipping, I generally say, “yes, please.”

amazon package leaning against door.

The rewards usually are a little credit toward a digital purchase, and since Sonia and Zoe sometimes like to stream things on Amazon Prime, the little credits do always get used. 

Inside my package: an eye mask to use for my dry eye issues.

I used to have one with little beads in it, but unfortunately it exploded in the microwave last time I went to use it (I don’t think it was built to last!), so I decided to try a different type.

opts dry eye mask.

I did see that there’s a very highly rated type of eye mask for this problem, but the masks are disposable! Not only would that produce a lot of trash, it would also be stupid expensive over time.

Hopefully the new one I ordered will serve me well for a while.

4. I ordered a previous edition of my Nursing Fundamentals book

We were required to purchase the digital version, since it come with online assignments that are mandatory.

But man, I hate reading textbooks online.

So, I hopped onto eBay and bought a hard copy previous edition of the book for $15.71.

eBay screenshot.

This will suffice for the time when I want to read chapters or flip back through previously read chapters, and I still have the current online version available too.

I did this for my Anatomy and Physiology classes and I didn’t regret it one bit. In fact, I’ve referred back to my hard copy A&P book several times since (including already this semester!)

5. We fixed Zoe’s skirt with scissors

checkered skirt.

She’d thrifted this checked skirt, which had a sort of odd belt thing at the bottom.

black and white belt.

The buckle was very poorly-designed and would not ever stay in place (which is probably why this skirt ended up at the thrift store in the first place!)

She didn’t really care about the belt, so we decided to just carefully cut it off with a pair of sharp sewing scissors.

closeup of checkered skirt.

Since it’s cut so close to the seam, and it’s a patterned skirt, the snip is basically imperceptible.

black and white skirt with no belt.

Obviously the “right” way to do this would have been to pick apart the side seam, removed the belt ends, and then re-sew the side seams.

But this is a case where I decided to use my “good enough is good enough” philosophy. This took about two minutes, and now the skirt is usable.


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

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Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Love your blog and wanted to share some tips. I have dry eye syndrome and right before being diagnosed I lived with my microwavable (with beads) eye mask. I've found the following extremely helpful (after much research): take flaxseed pills every day, truly helps lubrication. Best sleep mask because it has small pillows to actually keep your eyes closed all night: "Earth Therapeutics Dream Zone Sleep Mask – Comfortable & Versatile – Soft & Plush Cushioning for Peaceful Slumber – Elastic Strap Adjusting". I will end with the best frugal tip ever, I was prescribed Restasis eye drops (which are miracles, I could not live without. I've actually moved from the south to the mountains with zero issues). I get the generic of Restasis eye drops, cyclosporine, via Mark Cuban's online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs for only $90-120 a box. Even generic Restasis at my pharmacy is $500-$1,500, much less name brand for $3,000 a box. [I only need 2.4 boxes per year with one drop in each eye morning & evening, never had any issues for 3+years now with using the same dropper for multiple days(2.5), just keep the tip clean.]


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Oh, I feel like I've heard my eye doctor mention these drops and how expensive they are. I will keep the online pharmacy advice in mind. Thank you!


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

I love the haircut!

1. I’m currently on a little vacation and used credit card points so the whole flight was free! 2. I’m staying in an Airbnb for the same price as a hotel, but I have a kitchen here and laundry, so I’m cooking dinner and breakfast here instead of going out. (I do go out to lunch, which is usually cheaper anyway) 3. I downloaded a kindle book from Libby for free for the plane. 4. I needed to replace my running shoes and found an older version on Amazon for half the price. 5. We had carrots, celery, onion and corn that I didn’t use before I left and knew my family would not cook in my absence so I diced it, labeled it and froze it and will use it in soup when I get back.


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Oooooh, a solo vacation? If so, enjoy the solitude!!


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

I hope you'll continue to avoid the Chick Fil A for frugal sense and also for human rights reasons.

Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Of course my "Five Frugal Things" are over at my blog, so I'll try and figure out five fresh new things for you.

1) Someone in my Buy Nothing group was giving away some random high end cat food items, so I raised my hand and was chosen for them. My son just got a kitten and she's staying with us until he moves to a new apartment in January. He's paying all expenses, so this doesn't really save *me* any money, but I like to spread the frugality.

2) I made an extremely frugal dinner last night of pinto beans cooked in the Instant Pot and then mashed up with bulk purchased taco seasoning and sprinkled with lots of yummy items like the last of a tomato, chilis in adobo sauce, avocado, salsa, etc. I then served it with corn tortillas and chips.

3) I'm reading a library copy of "Eligible" by Curtis Sittenfeld. She's a newly discovered author for me and this is my third book of hers over a two week period. It's a modern retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" so it's a no brainer!

4) A friend of mine just had a new book published, so I ordered it through Powell's Books. I purchased it by phone so it can be sent to the store that's walking distance from my house to save on shipping. I also used a gift card that's been gathering dust in my wallet.

5) I removed my extremely mildewy shower curtain liner and scrubbed it down and then put it through the washing machine with Dollar Tree Oxyclean. This job is a pain in the tuchus and I imagine that many people would just replace it, but I get satisfaction knowing I'm not participating in a throwaway society and that I'm saving money!

Ohio Farmwife

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Thanks for the dry eye mask product idea. Didn't know anything like that existed. My FIL suffers from dry eyes. We will check it out.


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

@Kristen, I also use Optase brand products, but haven’t used the masks yet as I didn’t realize that they also made some. Consitantly using the products does help.


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

I know there are multiple causes for dry eyes; mine is called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Basically the oils from my skin clog the ducts that carry lubricating fluid to my eyes. The heated eye mask helps to clear out those ducts, and then my eye can lubricate better.


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

@Ohio Farmwife, I'm finding this whole mention of dry eyes and masks interesting. I never heard of them before. I was diagnosed with dry eyes and told to use drops twice a day.

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