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Five Frugal Things | eBay fangirling

I started listing my five frugal things and realized I have kind of an inadvertent eBay theme going on here. It IS an awesome website for both making and saving money.

eBay schoolbook package

And I am not affiliated. 🙂

1. I listed many books on eBay

I went through my big bookshelf and found lots of no-longer-needed schoolbooks to offload. I’m hoping there will maybe be a big market for these right now, since more people will probably be homeschooling this fall.

eBay DVD package


Thus far, seven listings have sold, so I’m pretty pleased about that. Less clutter, more money!

(Here’s how I sell books on eBay.)

2. I bought a flour storage bucket from Lowe’s

I poked around on Webstaurant Supply and Amazon, but the options were pretty expensive.

I was reading comments on an Amazon listing, though, and someone pointed out that Lowe’s sells food grade white buckets with screw lids for a fraction of the price that Amazon charges.

white food storage buckets

So I did an online order with Lowe’s and chose the store pickup option.

The bucket does not hold an entire 50 pounds worth of flour, but I was able to easily store the rest of the flour in a few other smaller containers.

white food storage buckets

So now I have a big bucket of King Arthur bread flour and a bucket of King Arthur all-purpose flour in my laundry room. I am set for flour for a nice long time!

two loaves egg bread

3. I sold an anime jacket on eBay

I rarely sell things other than books, but the girls had an outgrown silky jacket with anime embroidery on it, and I figured it might be worth something.

Also: I wanted it to go to someone who really wanted it. Anime clothing is sort of niche!

Now I’ve got $20, and I know the jacket is going to a home that will appreciate it.

4. I bought a pair of earbuds on eBay

The cat got to my earbud cord, and my beloved Yurbud earbuds work no longer.


tuxedo cat

I don’t even think she feels bad about what she did.

I’m not that mad at the cat (she rarely breaks things), but I am sad because Yurbuds got bought out, and they no longer make these earbuds that fit my difficult-to-fit ears.

cat ruined earbud cable

(I have tiny ear openings, which means most earbuds are painful!)

I found a new pair on eBay for $11, though. They are a slightly different design than my old ones, but I am hopeful that they will work out ok for me.

5. I…

  • made more banana chocolate chip muffins (thank goodness my girls like these!)
  • baked my sweet potatoes in the crock pot (cooler than using the oven)
  • made coffee at home
  • ordered a bunch of Stitch Fix items (with Lisey’s help, to use my credit. Stay tuned…)

Your turn! Share your five frugal things in the comments.

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Thursday 30th of July 2020

This list highlights my roommate's efforts than mine:

1. He thought to check if you could buy a dishwasher rack (the tines on my new-to-me one are rusting and falling off) rather than replace the whole thing.

2. He split (some of the) logs from the tree I had to take down, rather than buying or scrounging wood.

3. He used $10 of parts to repair two multi-head standing lamps.

4. He swapped screen door panels. Now the one I don't use has a ripped panel and the one we do use has intact panels.


Thursday 30th of July 2020

I scrounged a dishwasher rack from a dishwasher by the side of the road. It fit my dishwasher just fine. It’s was just a different color than the top rack.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

1. Trash picked a like new cat condo for my cat 2. Mailroom at my apartment complex usually has stuff people no longer want. Today I got a garbage bag full of clothes for my mom. 3. Eating down the pantry and donated food that was probably not going to be eaten before it expires. 4. Negotiated the lease on my apartment saving $30/month. 5. I quit drinking soda which saves $, MI health, and the environment since I’m just drinking filtered tap water now.

Diane C

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Hi Kristen, just wanted you to know that your granola recipe has saved me from buying cereal during this entire pandemic! I love it so much, let me see if I can devote a whole FFT to celebrating it...

1. I shared the recipe with a friend who is a professional recipe writer (not sure the exact job title, but she creates recipes for a living.) She tried cutting the syrup and oil by half, and it's still delicious! A bit less clump-a-licious, but since I'm eating it as cereal, it's fine.

2. I don't normally measure it out, but I'm struggling with pandemic cooking/baking-related weight gain, so I'm trying a new tactic. 1/2 cup granola, topped with some plain yogurt and fresh berries turns out to be quite filling. Now each batch lasts longer.

3. I've discovered a store that sells Costco returns. I found a giant Costco-size box of Quaker Old Fashion Oats for about $6. That's 25% less than the normal warehouse price. The outer carton had been opened and resealed, but the inner bags were perfectly intact.

4. I'm on my last jug of Costco Maple Syrup. I didn't want to make a Costco run just yet, so I was poking around the pantry and discovered a bottle of fancy bourbon flavored syrup that Costco stocked over the holidays. I like to give syrup or olive oil for hostess gifts; they're much more memorable than a bottle of wine. This syrup got so many raves that I picked up an extra for us, then stuck it in the pantry and promptly forgot about it.

5. We made a Winco run when we happened to be near one. (No Winco or Aldi near home, but both are close to our rentals.) I stocked up on reasonably priced coconut for granola and still have plenty left in a well-sealed container. I usually mix sweetened and unsweetened in equal parts with good results.

6. All the nuts and spices are from Costco or Winco, so I have enough on hand to make many more batches. (I usually add Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves and Nutmeg for added flavor. )

7. I chop up the almonds in my old Cuisinart, which has a brand-new, free blade, thanks to a tip from The Frugal Girl.

8. It's relatively cool today, so I will mix up a double batch this afternoon and bake it while I'm making dinner.

9. Of course I use Kristen-recommended silicone pan liners (purchased on sale at Costco), so less oil used, and easier clean-up.

10. Far less packaging waste than buying cereal in boxes.

There! I did it! Now I'm hungry for breakfast.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Goodness, that's a TEN frugal things. :) I am so happy that that recipe has been so helpful for you. Yay!!

Corrine Wilson

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

1. Picked up a ton of heirloom tomatoes off Buy Nothing and made a ridiculous amount of salsa. Total cost was maybe $2. 2. Made a year's worth of homemade pickles. Total cost was $4. 3. Picked up a vintage Christmas decoration off a free site. It's worth $100 on eBay. I will sell closer to Christmas. 4. My aunt gave me a barely used Vera Bradley laptop bag to bring my laptop back and forth to work. I needed one and it's super cute! 5. We are enrolling my son in a private school this week. Public schools here are not opening full time in September. But some private schools are able to maintain social distancing due to smaller class size. We are very impressed with the school and it is substantially cheaper than enrolling him in daycare. So, ultimately not cheap but better than quitting my job and losing my pension.

A. Marie

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

FFT, Immediate Post-Retirement Edition:

As noted in my comment on the most recent NCA post, I handed in my final editing project on 7/14, and my employers are letting me run out the clock on accumulated vacation time till my official retirement date of 8/1. Here's what I've got for my first two weeks, large and small:

(1) Much of this time, alas, has been taken up by DH's ongoing Alzheimer's-related decline. The good news, however, is that his latest new med (Risperdal) seems to be kicking in and helping with the most distressing symptoms (anxiety, agitation, and delusions). Relief, however temporary, from worry about these = priceless.

(2) I'm also fighting the usual critter wars in the garden. I've decided that next year's garden will be A. Marie's Herb Farm, Onion Patch, and Pickle Factory--since herbs, onions/garlic, and cucumbers seem to be the only crops I can maintain against the deer/woodchuck onslaught. Adapting to reality = also priceless.

(3) This year's beef (1/4 steer, purchased as usual from a friend who raises the animals) will be arriving this weekend, so I'm doing whatever I can to clear out the freezer. Sadly, this friend is no longer raising pigs, since he and his wife aren't getting any younger and since pigs (by their account) are more trouble than steers.

(4) Made a half gallon of very fine sun tea (I used some of the Twinings English Breakfast bags I overbought at Ollie's some time ago) on the most recent broiling hot day.

(5) And we've had ratatouille twice in the past two weeks, using tomatoes, eggplants, and zucchini from our Farmers' Market to supplement the few tomatoes and eggplants I've been able to save from Bambi and Woody. Zucchini, IMHO, is not worth the garden space it takes up, but I'm happy to shell out 50 cents now and then for a zuke at the FM.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Ohhh, congratulations on your retirement! Well-deserved, I am sure.

And I am very happy to hear that your husband's meds are helping him.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Congratulations on your retirement - looking forward to your post-retirement frugal things!

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