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Five Frugal Things | I have a napkin holder!

I know we normally do a Meet a Reader post on Mondays, but I’m still waiting on all my volunteers to send their questions back to me.
(If you sent one in and I’ve somehow missed it, let me know!)

So, we’re gonna do Five Frugal Things today instead. 🙂

1. I got a free napkin holder

I don’t know why, but it never really occurred to me to buy one when the girls and I moved here. Our napkins have just been sitting in a pile on the table!

That was working, but it’s obviously nicer to have a napkin holder.

napkin holder.

So, when one popped up on my Buy Nothing group, I said, “Oh, yes please!”

2. I emailed Yoplait about some burst yogurt

On my last trip to BJ’s Warehouse Club, I’d bought a box of individual yogurt containers, and when I got home, I discovered that several of them had gotten squished to the point of bursting.

squashed yogurt container.

Oddly, the outside box was in perfect shape, which made me think something had gone wrong at the factory. So, I emailed the Yoplait customer service email, along with pictures of the product.

yoplait yogurt.

They apologized, of course, and a few days later, I got a $7 Yoplait coupon in the mail. Sweet!

yoplait coupon

3. I got two binders from my Buy Nothing group

two binders.

I anticipate that I will continue to need some binders as I go through nursing school, but some of my older binders are falling apart.

two binders.

So, I was delighted to get these two for free.

4. I got my printer working again

When I was trying to print some tax forms, the pages got a little faded and then the printer started sending out completely blank pages.


I tried the usual printer-cleaning tools that are installed with the software, but I kept getting errors.

So, I turned to YouTube and a guy on there suggested this ink flush operation, which I’d never tried before. It uses a lot of ink, but I didn’t care. What good is the ink doing for me if it won’t come out of the printer at all??

full ink lines in a printer.

I ran that for both the colored ink and the black ink, and 20 minutes later, the lines were full of fresh ink and the printer was working again. Yay!

5. I got 8 more free covid tests

My bout with covid used up the previous eight that we had, so I stopped in at CVS and asked them to run another batch through the health insurance.

covid tests.

So, now I have another pile of them to use in case one of the girls gets it at some point.

(Obviously, I’m not about to get it again anytime super soon!)

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

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Friday 10th of February 2023

A few frugal things I did this week:

- Filled up my gas tank using $1/off fuel reward points. - Fixed a pair of pants - Reprogrammed the programmable thermostat to slightly lower temps - Found a giftcard one of my kids recently won at an event and wrapped it up with candy for their friend's birthday party - Made a 2 week meal plan with mostly food already in our house - Then shopped at Aldi and purposely did not go through the "fun aisle" to avoid temptations - A friend gifted me a Kindle so I am checking out all the free books available


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Later as everyone else, we don't get your FFF feed until later in day but at least I read & add mine anyway. Used my free postable card reward from Tmobile Tuesdays app to send family in Florida free picture postcard for Valentine's day. Using my free puzzle (I pay $8.99 shipping) from Tmobile Tuesday app that I get to upload picture that is made into puzzle & shipped for gift. Used fuel rewards & met monthly goal for fill ups so recieved additionalb25 cents off this week fill up in addition to regular 10 cents off gallon up to 20 gallons. Used Tmobile tuesdays reward to get $3 little ceasers half pizza half cheese bread for take out this week. Wasn't that bad & cheap price (normally $7.99) Went to Sam's club & picked up only needed items on sale (except wheat thins out of & is my lunch item) saving additional money using scan & go. My reward points from credit card were not posted yet because billing cycle just ended so will have extra money off next trip. I have been trying to carefully calculate best choice for getting most rewards since bonus for first year on certain categories. 5% on gas (any station), 3% restaurant/take out (which has not been much plus takeout except pizza has been crappy) and 1% on everything else. It helps to stack those rewards on top of other discounts, which help keep costs down. Ordered 4 free covid tests for myself & other familys who do not do internet but will use.

Susan M.

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

My teen daughter won a concerto competition she entered on her viola. The prize she “won” was the opportunity to be a soloist with the university orchestra—an opportunity very rare for a young person. Normally, only someone in grad school for music gets a chance like this. Her concert was this past Sunday. She wore a lovely navy blue formal dress that we found several years ago at a thrift store for $7.50. I bought it thinking she may never have an opportunity to wear it (we homeschool, so no prom event) but I thought it wouldn’t be the worst thing if that happened at the price. I am SO thankful that I was prompted to purchase that dress when I saw it, because we looked around just for fun after she knew she was a winner (they choose six winners to solo) and dresses appropriate for what she needed are $200-$400!!! And she looked lovely! Her dad and I wanted to give her flowers after her solo, and I went earlier in the week to check out prices. I was quite dismayed to find the bouquet of roses that normally sell for $10.99 had already increased to $19.99, and an employee told me that in two days they would be increasing again to $26.99! All because of Valentine’s Day! This was on January 30 that I was looking, and since they are fresh flowers I couldn’t purchase super far in advance. I ended up talking with the store manager, and explaining why it was I wanted the flowers and I asked if the prices were raised because their costs were up as well. He confirmed that their suppliers really raise the prices on them, so they have no choice but to pass the cost onto the customers if they are going to stock the flowers in store that customers want this time of year. He then went on to say that he was going to gift our daughter a dozen red roses for the concert, and that he wished he could do that for every student but he could at least do it for one! I had not expected that at all, but was very grateful and thanked him profusely! I was so happy for our daughter, as she has worked literally a year and a half on learning well the concerto she entered and won with. There were many hoops to go through—submitting a professional recording, then if you were chosen to be a finalist doing a live audition before the judges. She has paid for all the expenses herself, the cost for the recording as well as twice hiring a professional pianist to accompany her for the judging. If anyone wants to hear a fantastic concert, it was actually recorded and is posted on the university website here: You will need to click on “Concerto Concert, Symphony Orchestra” that is on the right hand side. That will take you to the concert page where our daughter’s picture is the thumbnail. The orchestra plays a piece first without any soloist, then there is a piano soloist, our daughter on viola, two violin solos, a tuba, and another piano soloist. It was a lovely, lovely concert!

Susan M.

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

@Nancy, Thank you! She has worked SO hard! She is a role model to me, and is now teaching me how to play both the violin and the viola. I am a super beginner, so trust me, I sound NOTHING like she does!


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

@Susan M., Your daughter plays beautifully, you have every reason to be proud!

Susan M.

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

@Ecoteri, Thank you! She told me she was a bit nervous at the start, but then was able to relax and just really ENJOY playing!

Susan M.

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

@Stephanie D, Yes, that’s her! Thanks for getting the time her solo begins—I hadn’t had a chance to figure that out yet, and now I can tell my family that live far away and need to catch it on the recording.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

@Susan M., AWWWW all of this is wonderful and I just watched your daughter play (thanks @Stephanie D!!) a few tears happening here. She was so poised and PRESENT to the music and the experience. Brilliant.

Torrie @ To Love and To Learn

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

I always think it's the funny little things -- like napkin holders -- that actually can make the most difference in the function of our daily life. And so often, they're the things we never really think to buy! I wish there was a good buy nothing group down where I am, but I'm pretty rural. People do still post some things for free, but they're usually snatched up pretty quick. Maybe I should look into starting one?

Anyway, here's my list for the week:

Stephanie D

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

@Torrie @ To Love and To Learn, You don't even have to make it an official BN group. Just start a gifting group in your own location, name it, decide your boundary lines (how far are people willing to travel for something?), your own rules and there you go. FB makes it easy to start a group. Grab a friend or 2 to help you run the group, because...Life... and to consult for any issues that come up. DM me or email me if you want more info.


Tuesday 7th of February 2023

* Bought what I thought were counter height stools on Marketplace for 80$. Turns out they were too high (bar stools). Put them back on Marketplace for 10$ more what I paid (for wiggle room) and sold them at that price * Bought a pair of 25 pounds dumbells on Marketplace for 30$. Haven't seen a price this cheap since... forever? * A member of my BN group offered to lend me a piece of equipment (foam roller) needed for DD physical therapy, saving me about 25$. * Keep doing price matchs and buying on sale at the grocery store. And using Flashfood. And using my credit card points for free grocery. * Got 16 pounds of oranges for 10$, a screaming deal where I live

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