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Five Frugal Things | free tools for me!

1. I got some free tools

My friend Elaine,  a blog reader that I met at book club, said her husband had duplicates of a lot of tools. So, she invited me over for a cup of coffee and a little tool rummaging.

coffee cup.

So now I have some small tools, more screwdrivers, and a rake and shovel!

bag of tools.

It’s not like you need a rake and a shovel every day, but there have definitely been a couple of times in the last year-plus of living here that I wished I owned them.

rake and shovel.

Funny thing: Elaine said she can never seem to come home from a yard sale without a rake, which is why she had extras. Ha.

Her rake-buying habit worked out very well for me. 😉

2. I used a couple of discount strategies at Target

Zoe’s sick this week, and I wanted some Mucinex for her. I saw Target had it for a good price, and I also noticed they had a deal on some color-friendly shampoo and conditioner if you did a store pick-up option.

Sooo, I did that and got a $5 gift card. Plus I used my Target Red Card (debit) for 5% off and I used my Target Circle rewards, which were something like $4.70.

I know some people are verrrry tempted to overspend at Target, and if that’s you, a Target Red Card is probably a bad idea, especially the credit card version. But I’m not particularly prone to Target sprees, so the Red Card 5% discount works for me.

You just gotta do what works for you!

3. I got some free botanical prints

Someone in my Buy Nothing group had bought a set of nine botanical prints, and she only needed five.

two botamical prints.

So she offered the other four and surprisingly enough, no one had jumped on them when I saw the post. Yay for me!

4. I used some old frames to hang up the prints

When I moved out of my other house, I grabbed a stack of old frames that I bought eons ago, and had used in various parts of that house in my kids’ rooms over the years.

flower prints in frames.

They’ve been sitting here at my rental house for over a year because I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do with them.

framed flower prints.

But I was able to make four of them work for the prints! I just had to cut one down to fit in the smaller wooden frame.

By the way, one of these is missing the glass, and I wrote a while back about how I had a realization that it is actually ok if picture frames don’t have glass.

(My children broke the glass in many frames over the years, and eventually, I just decided to be at peace with it! I wrote about that here: “How Second-Hand Items Help Me Be More Gracious.” The second paragraph of that post has a sentence that is probably going to make you laugh; I almost wanted to delete it just now, but I left it in as a self-roast.)

5. I got some mark-downs at Safeway

As I’ve said a million times, Safeway is not the cheapest grocery store.

But it IS very close to my house, so when I stop in for a last-minute necessity, I always peek at the clearance rack. Most of the time it’s stuff I have no use for, but sometimes I luck out!

This time I found a medicine I use and also a dented box of cereal, both 50% off.

I also grabbed an enormous bag of peanut M&Ms that were 50% off. Are peanut M&Ms a necessity? No. But I hardly ever buy them and they are making Zoe and me pretty happy.

jar of peanut M&Ms.

Sometimes frugal skills save you money; other times, they allow you to get joy-adding items for cheap. 😉

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

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Heather Mar

Thursday 24th of August 2023

Hahaha love that "self-roast." How many of us have said "I will never _______" and be SO wrong lol. My entire career is one of those!

1. I used Kristen as an inspiration to submit a medical bill from an office that doesn't bill insurance and, it worked! Feels like a great rebate is coming my way, and it was easy to do.

2. I made a batch of yummy lunch and a pan of baked oatmeal over the weekend so I have been eating only homemade food all week.

3. My husband made 2 pizzas with Kristen's perfect dough recipe, continuing my delicious homemade food trend.

4. My credit card number was stolen, so while waiting for the new card, making purchases with other sources messes up my system. So I didn't want to deal with it and I didn't spend much. (I use credit like debit basically and pay off monthly. Better rewards than debit).

5. My sweet sweet coworker offered to buy me classroom supplies of my choosing, which really alleviates the budget! I thought I would never be one of "those" teachers, but there are just things that a teacher needs that the school either can't afford or can't get in time. Also, I get 2 tissue boxes per semester. They're gone already, so......

Wishing everyone a frugal and joy filled week!


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Love the botanical prints with the black frames. Sure does make them pop


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Free tools are a great thing, provided they are tools that you can use, otherwise they add to clutter. My fiancé is a DIY guy that has a lot of tools, and they have come in handy when he has a project or a repair to do. I do a lot of different crafts, so I appreciate the value of good tools. I have a pair of Wiss sewing shears that are over 50 years old that I got from my mom, they are a high quality steel that hold a sharp edge versus the low quality plastic handle garbage that they currently sell in craft stores. We are enjoying fresh produce from his garden now. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, herbs, carrots, beets and berries. And then we will be doing a lot of canning. He still has some venison left in the freezer from last year’s harvest, so we are using creative ways to use it up before this coming season. I do love venison, so I am not complaining. I injured my wrist a couple months ago and now I am back to getting full use of my right hand. So Sunday night I informed him that my wrist was in good enough shape to give him an overdue haircut. In his defense, he said he would take care of it, but I asked him to wait because I wanted to cut his hair. So he took a seat and I gave him a haircut. He was happy with the results, and Monday we were visiting friends, and one friend noticed that he had gotten a haircut. She complimented on how nice it looked, and he told her that I was his barber. She said nice job lady. Now I need to convince my daughter to let me give my three grandsons their haircuts. They look pretty straggly as she lets them go way too long without haircuts. I told her that it would save her money, and she remembers that I always cut her brother’s hair. A few more weeks of warm weather, then it will be time to fire up the wood stove. I love the warmth, seeing it burning, but hate splitting wood and hauling it in.

Becca C

Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Have been using lots of local beaches and splash pads for free entertainment in the last weeks before school starts.

Made sourdough discard pancakes for breakfast.

Made cucumber salad with cucumbers from our garden.

Made focaccia with veggies on top as a dish to pass for a party we went to instead of buying anything.

Trimmed my own bangs and ends instead of going to the salon.


Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

I found chocolate & almond candy bars on sale 50% off. Like your candies...they weren't a necessity, but some days they feel like they may be, and now I'm stocked for those days! I called the dentist about my EOB from my insurance showing that I overpaid. Sure enough, I had a $97 credit that they just put on my account. Being my insurance usually pays most everything, that could be there a bit, so I asked them to send me the reimbursement instead. I ran by the commissary while I was near the military base to stock up on a few items. Got lucky and found my husband's cereal on sale for $1.50. I bought enough for a few weeks. My car A/C keeps having issues, but we had it fixed and it continues to not work properly. It is under warranty so we took it back again (100 degrees today in my part of SC, so A/C is a must when you travel for work). They charged me $10 for some type of fee, but the manager was there and said there should have been no charge so they gave me a gift certificate for a free oil change. Great for $10! I found a storage cabinet that was desperately needed in my garage at Goodwill for a great price!

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