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Five Frugal Things | basil, lasagna noodles, & more

Hello, hello! Time for your regular midweek dose of normalcy. 🙂

1. I planted basil

When I made my last grocery trip, I picked up a packet of basil seeds for $2.

I’m kind of a black thumb, as I’ve mentioned before, but basil is pretty easy even for black thumbs to grow. You just need a nice sunny spot for it.

basil seedlings

Basil is an herb that is really lovely to have growing, since it does not do at all well once it’s cut.

It’s gonna be a while before these plants are useful, but at least I’ve got them started.

2. I am using zero cellular data.

This is a very handy time to have a pay-as-you-go kind of plan!

I’m on wifi all the time now, and since Ting only charges for what you use, this is making my cell bill nice and low.

Ting $0 bill

(If you want to switch to Ting, go to this link for $25-$50 off your first month’s bill)

Over here, I wrote some thoughts about Republic Wireless, if you’re looking for other inexpensive options.

3. I used up 3 packages of lasagna noodles.

Partial packages, that is.

I had three packages that had just a few noodles in them, so I combined them all and made a skillet lasagna, using a recipe from Cook’s Country.

lasagna noodles

4. I made no-knead bread for panini.

I normally have a one pound Costco bag of yeast in my freezer, but sadly, I do not right now.

(WHYYYYYY? My timing is terrible.)

So, I’ve been trying to be conservative with my yeast usage. 

no knead bread

I made a big loaf of no-knead bread, which only uses 1/2 teaspoon of yeast.

We ate half, and then I used the other half to make some panini for dinner.


5. We defrosted our frozen freezer coils.

I think that someone accidentally didn’t shut the freezer door all the way, because everything inside was covered with frost, the coils were totally frozen, and the fridge was warm.

The last time this happened, we had someone come out to look at it, and I watched him take apart the freezer and defrost the coils.

So this time, I thought we could probably handle it ourselves.

how to defrost frozen freezer coils

It took a little YouTube watching, but Mr. FG and I did get it apart and then we used a hair dryer to melt all the ice.

So far, so good; the fridge is cold for now.

how to defrost frozen freezer coils

If it’s a problem from something other than the door being left open, time will tell. But hopefully it will turn out that we have indeed saved ourselves an appliance repair bill.

(plus this is a win on the trying-to-stay-away-from-other-people side of things!)

What frugal things have you been up to? Share in the comments!

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Saturday 11th of April 2020

1. Picked up some free packing boxes from a friend who recently moved. I also had my bf pick some up from the supermarket near him on his way over. 2. I picked up some extra hours at work and have been making sure to take my breakfast/ lunch/ dinner with me. 3. Eating down the freezer. Only 3 weeks until we move so using up what we have. By doing this I saved $60 on shopping this week. 4. I filled up on almost a whole tank of petrol while the prices were low. 5. I have been enjoying warm coffees instead of putting the heater on during the day.


Thursday 9th of April 2020

* Not being able to go out sure cut costs! So this is a frugal upside related to the current situation

* I've been working full-time instead of my usual part-time for the last 2 weeks and will do so until everything is back to normal (healthcare worker)

* My main hobbies are reading book (free or super cheap), watching Netflix, playing boardgames and exercising outside or at home on my thread mill. Again, super frugal

* Not going to the grocery every 2 days helps to avoid impulse buying. Trying to go only once a week, sometimes twice.

* My baby girl is turning 8 on saturday. The birthday with friends is cancelled, but we are still planning a birthday party...with us and her favorites stuffed animals as special guests! We will play games, have a special lunch, homemade jello cake (!) and gifts. Family members will join us online to sing Happy Birthday. Pandemic or not, birthdays still deserve to be celebrated!

* Daughter needed pants. Right now. When everything except Walmart is closed. So I went to Walmart and got her 2 pairs of leggings for 10$.

Have a great day!

Jennifer Y.

Thursday 9th of April 2020

I am not sure that I have 5 frugal things to share, but I have been spending so little with staying home:

1. I have not purchased gas in a month. 2. I have not purchased take out in a month (this one has surprised even me). 3. All entertainment is the no extra cost kind of home based stuff: streaming Netflix, board games, video games, re-reading old books. 4. Only real frugal item: landscaper wanted $100 to clean up old leaves and mow lawn. As a family we saved he money and cleaned up the back and front lawns ourselves: picking up sticks and leaves, weeding front bushes, mowing lawn, line trimming edges. We had nice weather too!


Thursday 9th of April 2020

You can stretch your yeast out pretty much indefinitely, by making a poolish, and keeping it alive exactly like you do with sourdough starter. So you start with a bit of yeast, and equal parts flour and water. When you go to bake, sub in like 20% of the weight of flour and yeast with poolish you fed like 8 hours prior, and that yeast will multiply. I've got like 3 tbsp left of dry yeast, so I've just got a poolish hanging in the fridge ready to feed next time I need it (I use that plus sourdough starter when I make bread)

Patti D

Thursday 9th of April 2020

Both on and off topic: I just downloaded a new free app (no affiliation) called “Supercook.” It lets me speak the name of all my on hand ingredients and then it gives me recipes to try. Fingers crossed it helps me lengthen my visits to the store (although, I’m a little nervous to run low on anything important right now). If anyone else has used it, I’m curious as to your results. I’m hoping it’s handy for inspiration as I think the idea is brilliant.

I’ve been meaning to tell you, I got a salad spinner because of your recommendation. You’re exactly right, I wouldn’t take it as one of my three things to a dessert island but man oh man does it extend the life of lettuce! Well worth the $10-$15 (can’t remember now) I spent.


Thursday 9th of April 2020

Oooh....I'm saving that app name! That sounds handy!!

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