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Five Frugal Things (mostly tiny)

1. I mended a fleece glove

I’ve had these North Face gloves for a long time, and I mainly use them for driving when my steering wheel is freezing.

Well, last week I was driving to my mammogram appointment (whee!) and I was like, “Man, this steering wheel is feeling cold even though my gloves!”

And as it turns out, there was a good reason for that.

black glove with hole in it.

I pulled out some black thread and did a quick hand-mending job; since polar fleece doesn’t fray, it’s super easy to stitch it up by hand.

mended black glove.

The fix is not perfect upon close inspection, but who cares? I wear these in the car, where only I see them.

Function is the most important thing.

2. I mended one of Zoe’s shirts

She’s had this little gray tank top since she was 15 or so, and the stitch around the neckline was coming undone.

gray shirt with hole at neckline.

I carefully chose the most appropriate shade of gray thread that I had and used my machine to sew the trim down.

mended gray shirt.

When I turned it over, though, I saw that I had not caught the underside properly.

If I used the machine to stitch it down, it was gonna show on the other side, so I just did a quick invisible stitch by hand to tack that down, and now Zoe’s back in business.

hand sewn gray shirt fix.

Obviously, that’s visible from the back side. But from the front you cannot see those stitches, promise!

3. I got a rain check for bacon and peanut butter

Safeway had a great deal on their peanut butter ($0.99!) and a pretty good deal on Hormel bacon ($4.99/package) so I popped in when I was driving by.

Safeway app screenshot.

Unfortunately, everyone else had also noticed that this was a good deal and neither item was in stock.

No biggie, though! I got a rain check, and it’s not like I wasted any gas going there because it was right on my way home.

Sooo, I will get some peanut butter and bacon in the future.

4. I got two bottles of Maui Moisture for $4 total

When I was at CVS to get my Covid vaccine, I happened to notice that one variety of Maui Moisture was on clearance, so I picked up two bottles. I searched the app to see if there were any coupons, and yep, there was a $2 coupon!

I added that to my app, and I also redeemed a $5 reward for filling prescriptions there.

So, I got the bottles for $2 apiece, which is great because even at Target, a single bottle costs $7.99.

5. I did not buy a quart of paint

I don’t deserve much credit for this one, but here you go.

white bookshelf.

I was fairly sure I was gonna run out of paint before I finished the bookshelf I was painting. So, when I went to buy caulk, I tried to buy a quart of paint (which costs around $30, since Benjamin Moore Advance paint is pretty pricy!)

However, the paint mixing machine was broken, and I walked out with no paint.

As it turns out, though, that was a blessing because the last bit of paint I had was enough to finish my bookshelf.

That’s perfect because although I’m sure I will use more Cloud White paint in the future, I’m quite likely not going to be doing that while I’m in school this semester.

And since paint only lasts for so long, I’m glad that I didn’t have to open a fresh can right before school starts.

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


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Lindsay B

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

1. I’m trying to work on finishing little bits from the freezer before Baby #2 comes and it becomes difficult/impossible to care about much less work on little twiddly things like that. Jalapenos went into a soup, and a few little rhubarb bits into my morning oatmeal. Elderberries are also good in my oatmeal.

2. Took one for the team and ate two small items from the freezer that were leftovers from Little E.

3. I worked a half day, and wanted to eat out afterwards rather than pack a lunch. I redeemed a free sandwich from Jersey Mike’s that had been on my account since my birthday in May. I did buy a cookie and tip generously, but it was still a cheap lunch out.

4. I was able to complete some required continuing education while at work on a wintry day when I had a few patient cancellations.

5. Made an effort to do two out-of-the-way errands while on the other side of town: dropping off sharps and a broken CFL at our county hazardous waste drop off, and dropping a mirror at our Habitat for Humanity Restore.


Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Last Thursday I (finally) picked up my prescriptions. While walking through the seasonal aisle, I saw a couple of things I could use for next year and also for a raffle basket I have to create for this month. But there was a line. I did go back and bought them. One item I did put back because I figured I have materials to create the same theme--not the same item. I'll have fun and I'll be working on reducing my clutter. And in the same range, I have found some free patterns to create from fibers, threads and yarns that I have right here to use up.

Brenda D

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Good savings on the shampoo, Kristen! My FFT this week are pretty limited since the “cold” my husband shared with me turned out to be Covid, so I have been confined to home, and pretty sick for a few days, but happily I’m on the mend now. 1. I used the reward dollars on my groceries and saved $9.55 on my total! 2. I used random coupons to save another $9.00 3. I bought a toy for one of my grandkids, then I read that it had a dangerous piece, so returned it, saving $8.00. She didn’t need it anyway. 4. I drank all water from the fridge while sick. And actually always, because I have a real problem with companies who pour water into plastic bottles and then try to sell it to us like it’s something special. It’s horrible for the earth. 5. I put my leftover chai tea bags into a pot of simmering water with some of my leftover mulling spices and an old cinnamon stick and the end piece of my orange. Even though I can’t smell anything, my husband says the house smells nice. And that’s good enough for now!


Tuesday 9th of January 2024

1 - This is the big one. Our microwave broke so I ordered a new microwave after Christmas. It arrived with a big dent. Thankfully, big box store was willing to accept pictures of the dent to initiate a return so I was able to take it to the UPS store, which is not that far out of my way. But, the replacement they sent just didn't work. Specifically, it kept microwaving forever, long after any sensor should have told it to stop, turning things to lava rock. I texted again and said big box store told me that the manufacturer would fix it under warranty because it was an appliance. Yeah, no. Anybody could tell that would not be worth their time. Anyway, I drove to the "local" store today and returned it, no questions asked. 30 highway minutes of gas is well worth the reimbursement, but that was way more hassle than it should have been. In the meantime, we drove to a local store and bought a different brand in stock. It works great. 2 - I cleaned / reorganized the linen closet. In so doing, I now know how much of some items we regularly use we actually have. And, I found a sizeable stack of razor blades we didn't know we had, in good condition. 3 - With the storm coming, I have rearranged things so we only need to use one fridge should the power go out again. They keep the temp pretty well, but it definitely helps not to open them. 4 - I also planned meals and staged to need the fridge less and only use the cooktop (which works when the power is out). 5 - I did some online price comparing since I knew that I would be at two different grocery stores today.

Lazy Budget Chef

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

I also have glove related things to share :)

1. I kept myself busy during a flight delay and layover on a trip by finishing a crochet mitten project I started last year with yarn I accidentally over bought when I made a winter hat (beginner problems.) I printed the pattern (how old fashioned!) so I didn't have to pay for wifi on the plane(s) to access it on line. I also used the free in flight entertainment to watch a movie I wanted to see but would to have buy or rent to it to watch it at home.

2. I hand sewed small rip I discovered in our mattress pad after I washed it while it was on the bed - otherwise I wouldn't have found it to repair it. I hand sewed a small hole in a pair of knit gloves I've had forever so they can live another day. I ran new elastic in the waist band of my "silk" long underwear that still looks new everywhere else.

3. Our ancient artificial Christmas tree was shedding worse than Charlie Brown's Christmas tree and triggered a severe allergy attack. The no cost solution was to immediacy take the tree down while keeping the rest of the Christmas decor up so the house looks festive even though it took a week or so before we felt 100%. It wasn't until after Christmas that we felt up to shopping for a new tree which worked out for the best because we bought the replacement at 50% off (just like its predecessor over 20 years ago) with free shipping because we picked it up at the store.

4. When it was time to put the Christmas decorations away, I went sorted though the containers, made peace with tossing the things I keep repairing and they breaking at the end of the season I donated the items we haven't used in a very long time to a charity shop. I got an afternoon of entertainment, free storage space in the storage containers I don't plan on filling back up, and a tax donation.

5. The oil light and filter came on our new to us car even though we hadn't driven it enough miles for the next oil change. My husband wanted to take it in for service, but I figured it might just need a new filter or additional oil - an easy DIY. The oil was fine. The filter was almost pristine. A bit of online research suggested that the oil and filter sensor hadn't been reset. One Youtube tutorial later and no dollars spent - problem solved!

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