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Five Frugal Things | I appreciate you guys

Before we get to the frugal stuff, I want to say that I tried to respond to most of the comments on Monday’s post, but if I missed yours:

Thank you so much for your prayers and love and thank you for sharing your stories.


You all are the kindest and best group of readers and I am so grateful for you. I wish I could give all of you a hug, especially those of you who are suffering from heartbreak too.

And thank you to everyone who sent me an email or a message elsewhere as well. I appreciate you!

There’s a Sara Groves lyric that says, “Lord, help us wait in kindness.”, and that is my prayer during this time, however long it might be. I don’t get to choose my circumstances, but I do get to choose my response.

So, my heart may be sad, but it can also be kind, and I can still choose to find contentment and joy on this path.

pink flower

I can keep doing the next thing while I wait in kindness.

And today’s next thing is a five frugal things post.

1. I helped Lisey get the Erie app

Erie recently came out with a safe driving app that checks for speeding, sharp turns, sudden braking, and so on.

If you are a youthful driver and you get good driving scores, Erie gives you a $10 gift card every two weeks.

Corolla dashboard cluster

For a college student like Lisey, this is a happy prospect, particularly since she is a pretty mellow driver to begin with. Might as well get credit for good driving!

(Obviously, if you are sensitive to privacy concerns, this is not the app for you, as it uses GPS to monitor speeding and such.)

2. I started a college book return

Apparently, the bookstore listed the wrong book for one of Sonia’s classes, so we need to send it back.

Luckily, I told her not to remove the shrink wrap until day one of classes, which means we are eligible for a full refund.

college English book

And I submitted an email for a prepaid return label, so the return will not cost anything out of pocket.

3. I helped Zoe with an eBay auction for some Converse

She’s been wanting some black high tops, and since she’s trying to stretch her allotted clothing budget, I helped her find an auction with almost no bids.

I showed her how to bid at the last minute, and we paid $20, plus $15 shipping. These usually sell for $60 new, so even with the shipping ($35 total), this was a good deal.

(This Q&A post explains the clothing budget Sonia and Zoe have.)

I am always so happy when I can help my kids learn some tricks for saving money because those skills are going to serve them for years in the future.

4. I retouched some of my kitchen cabinets.

I had the Benjamin Moore Advance paint out because I painted Sonia’s nightstand.

(I need to take photos of it; I promise I’ll show you soon.)

sanded nightstand

obviously this is the pre-painting stage!

Once I finished the nightstand, I still had some paint left in my tray, so I used it up by retouching some worn spots on a few cabinets.

white kitchen cabinets

So white! So fresh!

This is one of my favorite things about painting my own furniture: since I did it myself, it’s super easy to fix dings or scuffs.

Here’s how I painted my kitchen cabinets.

pickled oak cabinets

If you just want a post full of before and after kitchen cabinet photos, click here.

And in case you just want the color but it’s too hard to click on the links above (heh), it’s Cloud White, a slightly warm shade of white.

5. I made biscuits last night to use up some cream

I had bought one of those very large containers of cream, and it had been stored on the door of the fridge (one of the warmest places in the fridge).

I noticed the last quarter was getting slightly “off” smelling, and since that type of dairy product usually works fine for baking, I made cream biscuits to go with dinner last night.

I don’t have the recipe posted, but it’s the same one in this chicken and biscuits recipe.

cream biscuit dough

Just bake them at 450° F for 15 minutes. 🙂

Bonus: I made a main dish salad for dinner because I found spinach and romaine that really needed to be used. So, it was a nice anti-food-waste dinner.

Your turn; share your five frugal things in the comments.

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Hawaii Planner

Saturday 5th of September 2020

We had some non frugal moments (kitchen unexpectedly unavailable due to final remodel work), so we had takeout twice, but kept it reasonably inexpensive.

1) Continued to list & sell things on eBay, using repurposed Amazon bags for all mailings 2) Used garden produce in salads this week 3) Took advantage of a couple of Walgreens offers for $5 off and $4 off a $12 purchase - picked up extra toiletries we will need 4) Discovered a $25 eBay offer, for $25 off a $25.01+ purchase. What a deal! Used it to buy an item I'd never be willing to pay out of pocket for (expensive lipgloss) & just had to pay for the tax 5) Returned a couple of online items that didn't work out

Michelle H

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

1. Local library had free bags of books sorted by genre, picked up 2 bags of sci fi for husband and son. Library said the only requirement was that the books not come back, so we will put them in the free little library at the park after reading.

2. Monday was my birthday, and we made a steakhouse feast for 6 at home for less than the cost of a single entree at my favorite steakhouse. Grilled sirloin, loaded baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, green salad, and cheesecake.

3. Leftover steak and mushrooms and a wrinkly bell pepper went into quesadillas.

4. DH has been organizing his shop and letting go of things he's realized he will never have time to fix. As fast as he decides maybe he could sell something I have been posting it on Marketplace and Craigslist and trying to get the items gone before he can change his mind. Stuff out, money in, and less stuff in his way.

5. Turned bread heels into 2 batches of croutons.


Thursday 3rd of September 2020

* Pulled all the rhubarb from the garden and made sauce with it. Gave me 15 cups, so a couple of Masson jars. Better than letting it go to waste!

* After waiting for 2 years, I finally got a sleep study done at the hospital. The alternative was to have it done quickly, privately, for 1200$.

* We have been trying use all the food in the freezers and pantry. August groceries were less than 400$, yay! (For 4, in Canada, so really cheap!)

* Picked up 5 pair of pants for DD at Goodwill for 15$ or so.

* Went to the dentist and the massage therapist this week. 500$ out of pocket now, but thank god for private health insurance (no, not everything is covered in Canada!), I should receive about 350$ back.


Thursday 3rd of September 2020

I will keep your family in my prayers and wish you strength through this trying time.

This week's five frugal things:

1. I cut the satellite cord! It was time. They wanted me to upgrade my equipment - which, incidentally, did not include a reduction to the already inflated price I was paying and would lock me into a new two-year contract. So, right now we have Netflix and YouTube. After a little research I plan on investing in an antenna and something like Roku or Chrome Cast. Any thoughts on what would be best? I'm not the most tech-savvy person around.

2. After cutting the cord, I decided to call and negotiate with my internet provider. Lowered my rate by $32 a month for the next 12 months.

3. Paid off the balance of my car loan early to save some interest.

4. I have a credit card that gives me 3% cash back on groceries and 2% on everything else. With COVID, I've been ordering groceries and pumping gas using a card, so I amassed a little chunk of change. It was available to use, so I applied it back to my card as a credit before paying the balance.

5. A little gift store I have worked for on weekends for 16 years has closed down because of COVID. It is the saddest thing ever for the owner. We had sales to get rid of most of the product but, of course, there's always leftovers. The owner gave me what she didn't want to keep to do with what I want. Some things I'll list on a local marketplace, some I'll keep, the rest I'll put aside for birthday and holiday gift-giving.


Thursday 3rd of September 2020


1. Packed lunch every day 2. Made drinks at home and took them with me 3. Got 5 new shirts for less than 30 dollars on KOHLS app. Shipped right to me 4. Used slow cooker twice this week to avoid take out 5 CREATED very yummy baked potato topper to use up random quarantine buys

1 can Hormel no beans chili 1 can drained kidney beans 1 can drained black beans 1 can partially drained ALDI rotel 1 fresh jalepeno diced 4 shakes of chili powder

I cooked it on low in slow cooker for 3 hours. Could easily heat it up on stove or in micro.

Heat up and serve on top of baked potatoes or tortilla chips.

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