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Five Frugal Things | More mending + I was firmly assertive

1. I fixed Zoe’s chokers.

She bought a set that turned out to be terribly flimsy; they kept breaking after just a few wears.

Zoe's chokers

Luckily, I was able to get them back together with a pair of needlenose pliers.

How long will the repair last?

I dunno.

But at least she’ll get a little more wear out of them!

2. I resubmitted a medical bill.

The first bill was kicked back because it was missing a diagnosis code.

So, I got a new bill from the provider with the necessary code and I sent it back off to Cigna.

medical bill in mailbox

3. I fixed two placemats.

Hole one:

Placement mending repair

Hole two:

Placement mending repair

All fixed:

Placement mending repair

4. I sewed up a backless dress.

This one requires kind of a long explanation. Buckle up!

Zoe got this dress, which was perfect except for the back design.

dress with open back

I thought about closing it up with buttons, but Zoe suggested sewing it up entirely.

So, I grabbed an old pair of black knit leggings from my rag bag.

black leggings

I cut a long strip and sewed it to one side, sewing over the existing seam.

how to close an open back dress

Then I carefully lined up the other side and sewed it up. I left a section at the top unsewn so that Zoe could still get this over her head.

how to close an open back dress

The legging fabric is nice and soft, so it should be comfortable for Zoe’s back. And since it’s knit fabric, it’s not going to fray.

how to close an open back dress

Now the dress basically looks like it has a zipper, which is just fine.

how to close an open back dress

The dress is much more wearable now, and the fix just cost a little of my time.

5. I assertively insisted on a refund.

I used to have some domain name services through DYN, which has now been acquired by Oracle.

I canceled my account long ago, but they’ve auto charged a $26 bill that’s not mine to pay.  I finally got a refund in December, and then a month later, I got a notice saying the account is months overdue.


They keep closing my support tickets and marking them as resolved without responding, and it’s nigh onto impossible to contact anyone.

I finally managed to get on the phone with a guy, and he tried to insist I canceled my account in August 2019, when I actually sent in my cancellation in July 2018.

Kristen annoyed


Luckily, I still had the confirmation emails, which I sent to him, and I am really, really hoping that this is the last of this irritating saga.

And this is why I will forever have every blog service possible through Agathon. Their customer service is as fabulous as Oracle’s is terrible.

(I am definitely not the only person experiencing this with Dyn/Oracle, as evidenced by these forum threads. Do not ever work with this company.

Also: I’m not that fussed about paying $26. The reason I’m pursuing this is because who knows what else they will try to charge me if I don’t make sure this is all closed.)

Your turn! Share your Five Frugal Things in the comments.

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Saturday 8th of February 2020

1. Used all my target gift cards (buy $50 in groceries get $10, buy $15 in oral care get $5, etc) and got a new large cutting board that I've been wanting for ages. 2. Requested new books from the library 3. Printed off a blank weekly menu and framed it in a frame I already had to create some new useful art in my kitchen 4. Tackled the mending pile and fixed a dress, a sweatshirt, and a hat. Still have a quilt to go! 5. Cooked mainly from the pantry and freezer, only spent $45 on groceries this week for a family of 5!


Friday 7th of February 2020

Taped and glued a bunch of worn board books for my kids so they can continue using them

Redeemed some money from Ibotta

Went to the further away grocery store that has a good clearance section and stocked up on a bunch of super cheap produce, meat, & some pita bread.

Made homemade pizza when some family came over instead of ordering out.

Used leftover rice to make rice pudding for breakfasts this week.


Friday 7th of February 2020

1). We cancelled Direct TV now that our contract was finally up. We went without cable years and decided to get it again 2 years ago, mainly to watch/DVR sports. Eventually we realized that we just didn’t watch it enough to justify the high cost of the second year of the contract ($90/month).

2). My husbands birthday was this week. I used cake mix already in the pantry to make cupcakes. Decorated with the birthday banner we reuse for everyone’s birthday. We also continued with our family tradition of making birthday cards using whatever craft/art supplies we have on hand.

3). I listened to a podcast yesterday about easy eco friendly habits. Many of them were also frugal! Last night I put one into action while making dinner, always cover a pot of water when you are trying to boil it.

4). I shopped at Aldi before going to Wegmans. I had loaded my entire shopping list into my Wegmans app to see how many much I saved. According to the app I would have spent $30 more if I bought everything at Wegmans!

5). Picked my son’s next book club pick based on what youth book club kits our library system had available. I put the kit on hold and will pick it up while out running errands tomorrow. Now no one has to buy the book!


Thursday 6th of February 2020

Your" seriously?" picture is hilarious -- but the issue of customer service is not!

After runarounds with Lyft (no dispatch or ombudsman to step in and help with lost items, just a slew of emails expressing their profound sadness that they could do nothing to help me) and ridiculousness from Amazon (oops, we don't really have that thing you ordered but it took us 3 weeks and accepting your gift card to discover it) -- I am seriously not appreciating this new, digital world of no recourse. What happened to good old customer service??

So, when I had to get another CVS fob to replace the one lost in the Lyft, I was so astounded by the excellent customer service, I was dithering and thanking them all over the place. I hope supervisors were listening in, because the 2 ladies were so fabulous. Now, I will really make a point to applaud all the people who go above and beyond to help you -- or even just do a good job!

When CVS sent the survey, I happily filled it out with good news. It reminded how important it is to thank and appreciate the people who go above and beyond. Any way, I feel your pain and and how nervy to keep insisting you owe stuff -- you must prevail!

Katy in Africa

Thursday 6th of February 2020

Love the dress see up!

1. Canned 14 pints of fish, 11 of chicken and 9 of ground beef. First time pressure canning. I was super nervous, but my husband worked together with me on it. 2. We've been sending medical receipt pictures to our HSA and getting reimbursed (when in the US we just use the HSA card). 3. While we did order food tonight, we chose sandwiches that were cheaper than pizza. 4. I pulled out a skirt I plan to stitch a hole in....but maybe this shouldn't count, I haven't done it yet. 5. Putting off a big purchase.


Thursday 20th of February 2020

You orderd sandwiches? What, was putting 2 pieces of bread together with a filling to much for you?


Thursday 6th of February 2020

Awesome job on the canning! I love to can. Just follow a current canning guide, such as the Ball Canning Guide. I do love watching those jars add up.

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