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Five Frugal Things | I changed my oil!

1. Lisey helped me change my oil

Despite my whole, “You don’t need whiskers to do that” philosophy, I have never really done much work on my car. I usually just dropped the van off at a trusted mechanic for any maintenance needs.

oil-changing supplies.

But Lisey said, “Mom, let’s change your oil together next time!”

And last week, my oil change light came on.

Sooo, Lisey picked up the supplies for me, and we jacked up my car (don’t worry, we used jack stands!), drained the old oil, changed the filter, and filled it back up with new oil.

Kristen under her van.

And as it turns out, it’s not really rocket science. 😉

I think I could do it by myself next time, actually!

oil cap in van.

(In case you’re new here, Lisey started working at Valvoline a few years ago, and she’s been working on cars pretty much ever since. So she was more than capable of teaching me how to change my oil.)

2. I used leftover frying oil to grease my grill

The grates on the grill my dad rescued had a few rusty spots on them.

So, the first time I used it, I cleaned them as best I could, brushed the grates with oil saved from the last time I fried something, and then I heated the grill up to season the grates.

oil for greasing grill grates.

This little mug is from the abandoned house

And then when I was smoking the chicken last week, I brushed the grates with oil again.

This is a pretty great use for leftover cooking oil!

3. I used dry buns to make a French toast casserole

I had bought a store-brand package of burger buns from Lidl and they were kinda dry to start with.

And a few days later, they’d gone way past the “kinda dry” stage.

So, I cut them up along with a few other bread odds and ends and made Pioneer Woman’s overnight French toast casserole.

French toast casserole

I haven’t made that in so long! Definitely not since before I left my other house.

Look at me, getting back into my old grooves at my new place. 🙂

4. I renewed our rec center gym membership for a year

Right before Christmas, I signed the girls and me up for a 90-day membership at the local rec center. I did the 90-day one because I wasn’t sure how much we’d all use it, and I didn’t want to commit.

But Sonia and I have been regularly going to the yoga classes, and Lisey and Zoe have been using the weight room regularly, so I re-upped us for a year.  It works out to be less than $60/month for all four of us, unlimited classes included, so that’s a pretty good deal!

5. I…

  • used the heels of the bread to make a peanut butter sandwich for myself
  • made a batch of homemade yogurt
  • made one of my classic random-leftovers skillet meals for breakfast

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

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Tuesday 4th of April 2023

1. I walked home from work (rather than commuting with a coworker, my neighborhood isn’t really on her way home).

2. I gifted neighbors my gas points from a grocery store and they both used it to fill up.

3. I used coupons & store credit for shopping trips.

4. I at vegetarian meals for more than half my week.

5. I walked to/from the Farmers Market every week in March! Round trip it is 3.5/4miles.


Tuesday 4th of April 2023

How do your de-rust grill grates? I would love to be able to surprise my Gent with working on the grill while he’s out of town!


Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Mine weren't super rusty, so I just oiled mine.

You could use naval jelly on them, although I would wash the grates really well after that.

You could also go the old-fashioned route of sanding the rust off.

Lindsay B

Thursday 30th of March 2023

I'm super impressed about the oil change-- way to go!

1. I’ve been taking one for the team by eating little bits that Baby E hasn’t eaten because he’s been sick. I did have to throw away a little bit of oatmeal because it was forgotten in the back of the fridge and the milk went off.

2. Since Baby E was sick, we didn’t drive to visit a friend of mine last week, saving money on gas. Unfortunately she was the one with the sewing machine, so I didn’t get some knee holes patched for Baby E like I wanted to. I would rather have been able to go visit her, but I’m looking for a bright spot, so gas savings it is.

3. Mended a tiny hole in a crib sheet before it could get any bigger.

4. Our car battery died unexpectedly, and this is about the third time in 5 years! Hubby went back to Walmart as it had a three-year warranty with one year left on it, and they gave him a new one for free. But I’d rather just have a battery that doesn’t die prematurely. I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem with batteries from Walmart?

5. I was invited to a year-end work dinner, even though I am a casual employee. I enjoyed a free cider and meal, and it was nice to have time with coworkers outside of work.

Heather Mar

Thursday 30th of March 2023

1. Washed my cell phone with a load of clothes (AAAH!) while out of town visiting family. Explored repair options, but settled on buying an economy-level good brand phone, which was cheaper than the repair. My low price/month plan will make it pay off after a few months. Of course, not washing my phone would have been the most frugal option!!!

2. Used EZ pass on toll roads while traveling this week and took the back way (to avoid tolls) when it made more sense. West Virginia has really beautiful and quality back-roads, with no tolls in the sections of the state I drive through!

3. Appreciated my family for treating me to a couple restaurant meals while visiting ;)

4. Visited an Amish store in a small town in PA, spent less than $5, and got some frugal goodies (goat milk soap, popcorn kernels, garlic bulbs).

5. Did not buy any beverages this week aside from what is available at home (water, hot drinks like tea).

Maria Martoral

Wednesday 29th of March 2023

1. Read my Hoopla Library Audio Book… Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey. 2. Made gourmet coffee, protein balls, yogurt desserts and protein shakes at home. 3. Did my own manicure at home. 4. Propagated my plants from cuttings. 5. Attended two free courses …one to learn embroidery on line and the other a Financial Peace University money course at our church.

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