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Five Frugal Things | my oddest Buy Nothing Group find

1. I got turkey necks from my Buy Nothing group

I know people often get food from their Buy Nothing groups but this is my first time!

A pot of chicken broth.


Someone was offering frozen turkey necks, and I figured that I could use them to make broth. It is winter, after all, and that’s a prime time to have broth in the freezer for soup-making.

Here’s how I make broth that is actually tasty.

And here’s a post about Buy Nothing groups.

2. I avoided lots of food waste

This week I:

  • made cinnamon bread with some extra milk
  • baked a spaghetti squash that I’d been ignoring for a while
  • steamed some small squashes from Hungry Harvest
  • crisped up some stale tortilla chips in the oven and used them for a salad topping
  • cut up all the wrinkly apples and made a small pot of applesauce

jar of applesauce.

3. I used the last bit of squash in my oatmeal

I have added pumpkin to my oatmeal before, so I figured the last bit of butternut squash would be fine in my oats.

squash oatmeal in a bowl.

I would give this a 5/10…it was tolerable, and I did use up the squash, but it wasn’t my favorite oatmeal iteration.

My chocolate oatmeal is way better. 😉

4. I got two bags of hamster bedding for free

Someone on a Facebook group was offering two almost-full bags of the exact bedding Zoe uses for her hamster! So, I picked them up for her.

(This was on a local Free Stuff group, which is fairly similar to the Buy Nothing group).

5. I made seven new eBay listings

With my newfound free time now that I’m not in school, I’ve been doing some decluttering. I’ve given away quite a bit of stuff on my Buy Nothing group, but I also listed some of our extra stuff on eBay.

eBay package

This isn’t an immediately rewarding frugal activity, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that most things do eventually sell on eBay. The time investment will pay off later.

(And honestly, with the eBay app, it’s so fast to add photos to listings. That really speeds up the listing process!)

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

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Thursday 12th of January 2023

1. My daughter's daycare often has leftover bread. My husband took 2 loaves of whole wheat. I used it to make baked french toast, which the kids ate for breakfast all week. 2. My son's birthday was Wednesday. His 2 gifts I had found on Buy Nothing and saved through the year. His decorations I originally got from Buy Nothing also and pull them out for every birthday. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and tater tots for his birthday dinner. The cake was from a box. He had a great day! 3. I paid my state professional license even though it's not due until June. I have to take 36 CEUs to recertify it, which I found all for free. 4. My sister dropped off a huge bag of clothes she didn't want anymore. I love free clothes. I spend very little on clothes or shoes for myself. 5. I made my own salad dressing for my saladd for this week's dinner


Thursday 12th of January 2023

I’m picking up my strangest buy nothing item today. I’ve read several times that the lids from jarred cheese fit on canning jars and can be used as shakers. I don’t and won’t buy that cheese, so I asked my group a few months ago if anyone had one to get rid of. Not surprisingly, no one did, but one member uses that cheese with her kids and said I could have it when they finished the jar. I had forgotten all about it until I got a message about it yesterday. Not entirely sure what I will use it for, but yay for keeping it out of the landfill for at least a little longer.

Lindsay B

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

1. Redeemed a coupon for a free pizza while on a road trip, saving the cost of eating out. (We usually pack meals but wanted to use the coupon before it expired.) We did tip well!

2. Also on the road trip, we stopped for some coffee and it ended up being free- the person in front of us didn’t redeem their free coffee for members, so the clerk gave it to us for free. So nice.

3. Took advantage of free breakfast at the motel.

4. We received some hot chocolate bombs and other sweets for Christmas that we won’t use, but we can re-gift them to the neighbors who will take care of our plants for the next few weeks while we are away from home again.

5. Took some really bland teas I’d been given on our current road trip– it’s nice to have a hot drink, many places don’t supply tea, and this way I get the duds out of the home inventory.


Wednesday 11th of January 2023

1. I used the remaining navel oranges I had on hand to make a giant pot of orange marmalade. This recipe made a dozen pints and I have given several to neighbors, colleagues and friends to enjoy. I count that a frugal win. 2. I used old apples and some old raisins in a pot of oatmeal. 3. I took the plunge and made a healthy banana bread recipe using only whole wheat flour and applesauce in place of the tablespoon of oil it called for. I was nervous that this would taste awful but it is delicious & now I have another use for my old bananas. Yay! 4. Soup. I made a large pot of vegetable beef soup that we have been eating from all week. I used lots of veggies that needed to be used so it helped me clean out the fridge & has fed the 4 of us countless meals over the last several days. 5. Made smoothies with frozen fruit from this past summer. turned down/off the HVAC whenever outside temps allowed for it. Combined laundry loads. Began using a set of wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets - thought I would hate them but I love them! Contacted our insurance company to sign up the newest pup in our family which will save us hundreds if not thousands on the costs of her care over the course of her life.


Wednesday 11th of January 2023

By biggest frugal win was getting my muffler pipe replaced on my dear "Ellie" - a 2004 Honda Element. It's the original muffler & pipe, so it has had a good life. I went to a budget brake & muffler place, rather than the mechanic shop I usually use. The original shop while giving great service has moved further away and into a sketchy neighborhood. The quote from the muffler place was...gulp...over $1200.00...I said "Wow -but okay". Then the guy asked if I cared if the muffler came with a warranty? Well, no I guess I don't, this vehicle does not go through mufflers/pipes like a Toyota I had years ago. He was able with some welding and replacing pipe to bring the bill down to $425 - and that included an oil change, with the more expensive synthetic oil I like to use.

Funny, but I was working on reorganizing my pantry to this evening. Sure gives a good idea of what needs to be used or stocked up on. I made myself a grocery list "Stock Up on When on Sale"...nuts are at the top of the list.

Other than almonds perhaps. I was able to find whole almonds for $9 for a 28 oz container. That's a very good price where I am, so bought all they had - 4 tubs. Tonight I transferred the almonds to quart sized jars, and used the Food Saver to vacuum seal them. And extra step I take is to put a canning ring on top. I don't do this with real canned food, leaving the lid off, so I can tell right away if a jar has come open. But with staples that are dried, I DO put a lid on. The product will still be good, but the ring keeps the lid on (and ugh - mouse proof). The tubs the almonds came in, fit nice on a shelf, being square, so I'm saving them - for used batteries. The recycling place the batteries go to like them set on an outside pallet with the other electronics. A plastic container keeps the snow & rain out for them.

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