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Five Frugal Things | I got free furniture

1. My dad and I picked up furniture from the abandoned house

old furniture in a truck bed.

When my brother first bought the abandoned house, I had no idea I would have any use for the furniture in it.

But, here we are. Life comes at you fast!

My dad kindly helped me go scavenge a dining table, four chairs, two nightstands, and a small table, and now all of that stuff is in his garage, waiting for me to sand it down.

a view of the abandoned house.

Where the dining table used to be

I have fun plans for the big round dining table, which I will hopefully share in an Instagram reel sometime today. Spoiler: I plan to branch out from my usual black or white paint choices! 

oak furniture in a garage.

So…some before and after furniture posts will be coming your way in the next few weeks. 

(I’m guessing most of you have already seen this, but in case you are wondering why I need furniture…here’s what’s going on.)

2. I used a $15 birthday gift coupon

It’s my birthday at the end of this month, so I have been receiving birthday offers from various companies. I know that people who are into digital privacy would never do this, but when I sign up for reward programs, I always opt to put my birthday in, and every April, it pays off pretty nicely. 😉

(If you are seriously into digital privacy, you could always opt to put in an incorrect birthdate…it’s not like they check your ID before they send you a coupon/discount/freebie.)

Anyway, I had a $15 coupon for a restaurant near the college, so when Zoe had an evening class, I went and used it to order a shrimp sandwich and duck fat fries.

A sandwich and fries on a white plate.

I know sometimes people feel very odd about dining out alone, but I just brought along one of my library books and happily ate my dinner in my booth. 

An Oliver Sacks book on a wood table.

My book this time was The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, which I have now added to my list of medical memoirs (along with two others, one of which I did not like. And it takes a lot for me to not like a medical memoir-ish book!)

3. A friend is giving me a frying pan

I deserve no credit for this, but I’m just sharing because I am so happy! One of my book club members, who is also a blog reader, emailed to say she has an extra All Clad frying pan that she doesn’t need (she got a new pan for Christmas).

And she offered to give it to me!

So, a thousand thanks to my friend Elaine. What a wonderful hand-me-down.

4. I used a discount code to buy a mattress

I am a person who is quite willing to use secondhand stuff (see the earlier parts of this post.)

But when it comes to mattresses? NO.

So, I ordered one for myself and used a discount code to save 30%. And now it’s sitting in a box in my dad’s garage, waiting until I get a rental.

Thank goodness for my dad’s big garages! 

5. Um. I fixed my joggers.

Kristen wearing joggers and a tshirt.

from a previous mending session

You have seen me mend these American Giant joggers a billion times before; my goal was to keep them going through the cold weather walking season. 

And I really will pay for a new pair in the fall.

We are almost past the cold days here, but my joggers sprouted a few new holes by the waistband and needed a quick mend. 

So, I got out my mom’s sewing machine (the one I learned to sew on!) and did a few quick zig-zag repairs.

A vintage Kenmore sewing machine.

And I think that will be the last repair necessary before these hit the rag bag because very soon, it’ll be shorts weather for morning walks.

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

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Monday 25th of April 2022

I was wondering now that your are staying at your parents home what has become of your cat? Is she/he with you? Is she stressed not being at he/ her home.


Monday 25th of April 2022

Once I get my rental, then I will be able to take the cat with me. I just can't have her here at my parents' house because there are some extended family allergies.

Lindsay B

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

1. Signed up for another three free months of Panera’s unlimited coffee. They are about 20 minutes away, so I will not get much use out of this, but if I am in the area… sure!

2. Just now realized I should have already mentioned this on a FFT, but we regularly walk to church rather than driving as it is only a mile each way. We listen to the birds, enjoy the weather, and save a little on gas.

3. Finally got around to cutting DH’s hair after several months. Much better now!

4. My parents came to visit and brought lots of food including a ham, which was a delicious Easter dinner and the bone will be turned into ham and bean soup. Mom also bought some freebies and discounted baked goods she thought I would want.

5. Have been using up honey butter and salad dressing that we saved from takeout. Also have been using slightly sour milk that was previously frozen for baking. Trying to avoid food waste... but I just saw that one of the jars I froze the milk in cracked (despite leaving enough head room, having a jar with straight sides, etc.). Oh well!

Susan Hansen

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

I have lived being on a Facebook group where you buy nothing. Some if the items are really neat. Everything is listed and a person can express an interest in the item. All the items are available for porch pick up. It has been a perfect way to find great treasures and meet neighbors that are helping to prevent waste and improve the environment.


Wednesday 20th of April 2022

1. Sewed up a hole in my son's pants. 2. Used apples that were getting old to make some apple bread. 3. Got 50 cents per bag back on 5 bags of Kraft cheese. The Walmart brand where I am has lots of their Great Value products more expensive than name brands, Kraft cheese was already cheaper, plus the additional rebates was nice. 4. Saved $30 by buying an open box high chair. The only thing wrong is the packaging is supposed to be a bit rough and that happens a lot anyways so hopefully it'll work out in my favor (it's not arrived yet). 5. Got 30 free cans of food. My aunt is disabled and receives a lot of free food from programs. She is picky about what she eats and when they start piling up she gives them all to my parents and they split them between us and my siblings.


Tuesday 19th of April 2022

1. I meal planned for a whole week. I haven't done that in months if not years. I'm already changing it but at least I have a plan.

2. I'm making confit with duck fat (not frugal). However I'm going to use the fat to make smashed potatoes and I cooked the marinade (parsley, onion, shallot, and garlic minced together) to use later.

3. Lunch today was scrambled eggs made with: the leftover panko-parmesan mix from last night's asparagus, the egg dip ditto plus the cracked egg.

4. I tried my hand at making cheese using fancy delivered milk that my neighbor didn't cancel in time, and saffron because I don't have tumeric (saffron is vastly pricier than tumeric, but saffron I already have is cheaper than tumeric I'd have to buy).

5. I failed at making cheese because my candy thermometer is broken, but my roommate decided that milk very lightly flavored with saffron and smoked paprika tasted good enough to have with cereal, and the dog loves the coagulated milk solids.

6. Called AAA to check my battery rather than going to the place that sold me the battery because only will AAA come to me, if the problem wasn't dirty connectors (which the shop would fix) but a dead battery, AAA's prices are lower than most stores and their price includes on-site work and disposal.

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