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Five Frugal Things | My shoes are off the ground!

1. I got a free shoe rack

I don’t have any specific shoe storage in my closet, so my shoes have just been sitting in a somewhat disorganized fashion on the floor.

messy closet floor.

So when I saw someone was offering a shoe rack for free (before taking it to the dump), I said, “Oh, yes please!”

The rack was pretty wobbly, so I tightened up all the screws with my screwdriver, and that improved things considerably.

old shoe rack.

It could theoretically use a refinishing job, but I have a LOT of other things on my refinishing list already, and besides, this is going in the closet. It’s not like I am really going to be seeing it.

So, I loaded it up with my shoes.

shoe rack with converse on top shelf.

And I pushed it into my closet.

shoe rack in closet.

Now it’s way easier to see all my shoes, and none of them will end up stacked on top of each other anymore. Yay!

2. I re-potted my grandma’s chrysanthemum

You may remember that a South Dakota aunt of mine dug up part of a mum that my beloved grandma had owned, and this aunt packed it in the back of her car and brought it with her when she came to visit in 2020.

I planted it in front of my other house, but obviously I do not live there anymore.

A blooming yellow mum.

And while I’m sad about leaving many plants (like the hydrangea I grew from a stick!), I really really couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my grandma’s mum there.

So, I dug up part of it and put it into a disposable plastic plant pot to bring it over here.

Someone on my Buy Nothing group put out an, “I’m moving and you can come take anything from this pile of stuff in my front yard.” announcement, and I saw a large-ish plant pot in the picture. So, I popped in and picked it up, and now my mum is in a better pot.

potted mum.

It looks a little wonky right now, but I am sure that it will fill out with time now that it’s properly potted.

Obviously, once I am living in a home that I own, I’ll plant it in the ground.

But for now, a pot is good.

3. I picked and ate some chanterelles

Since I have been having fun picking edible berries on my hikes, I joined a Facebook foraging group for my area.

blackberry bush.

Sooo, now I am getting very educated about all the edible mushrooms that grow here too. I have seen lots of people gathering chanterelles, and I found some on a recent walk!

orange chanterelle mushroom.

Chanterelles are quite easy to identify, given their unique shape and color, so I felt confident enough to pick and eat them, especially after checking with my group.

mashed potato bowl.

4. I got a free Mod Pizza

Zoe and I got dinner out together the other night, and I had enough points in my app for one free pizza. Woohoo!

Pizza topped with greens.

This is not the pizza I got with Zoe; this is an older Mod pizza I tried. It was a limited-time flavor, which had kale on it and I decided that I am not a fan of kale on my pizza!

5. I dealt with a half gallon of iffy milk

Sooo, I have decided that Zoe and I are in a stage of life where I need to buy half gallons of milk. The two of us just do not go through a whole gallon quickly enough!

As a result, I had a half gallon that was slightly off, and I didn’t really want to dump it down the drain.

I used a little bit to make a yogurt/milk mixture to sub for buttermilk in my whole wheat pancakes.

blueberry pancakes.

In the process, I accidentally dumped my whole box of recipe cards out, and the pancake one fell into my oil/milk mixture. Sooo, I made a new card.

recipe card.

And in the process of organizing the recipe cards, I decided that my other buttermilk pancake recipe card really needed a reboot as well.

two recipe cards.

I am not the tidiest pancake maker in the world, as evidenced by this recipe card.


I also used two cups of the milk to make some chocolate pudding.

chocolate pudding in a bowl.

And then I froze the rest of the milk in two containers. I know, I know…I’m trying to clean out my freezer.

But look! I labeled these! And I have specific plans in mind. One container will make another batch of pudding, and the other will go into a batch of cinnamon bread.

frozen milk containers.

So, I feel optimistic that I will actually use these containers of milk.

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

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Lindsay B

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

1. Continuing from last week’s aspirational beet greens, I sauteed them and ate some on toasted sourdough with feta cheese. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was nice to try something new. The rest of the bunch still needs to be eaten somehow.

2. Avoiding food waste, continued: I incorporated potatoes that were starting to sprout into a soup, even though the weather is really too hot for soup. Sweet husband doesn’t complain, thankfully.

3. Picked up a free ranch dressing ($5) and a bottle of free gummy prenatal vitamins ($14) courtesy of a review panel called Social Nature.

4. We are currently on a family road trip for DH to present at a conference. We were able to stay overnight with family on the way, and they generously sent us with homegrown tomatoes and breakfast in the morning.

5. We were also all able to attend the first evening social hour of the conference, which included sliders and fish tacos, saving us finding a place nearby for dinner. Plus it was fun to see old friends!


Thursday 10th of August 2023

@Lindsay B, I love to add a splash of balsamic on Beet Greens or Swiss Chard after they've been wilted and are almost ready to eat. Black pepper, too. and if I take my Feta and cut into cubes and throw them on top for the final minute of cooking, I am usually moaning with joy as I eat them. Yes, I am weird, LOL

Lindsay B

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

PS-- I hope you enjoyed your chanterelles. I love chanterelles and I love foraging-- it's like gardening without the upkeep.


Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Hi there! Your friendly and frugal Garden center owner. I would suggest if possible at your new place, to plant the mum. It will do better over winter in the ground than in a pot. Perennails don't love being in pots for too long. They actually don't mind being split and re-planted so give it a better shot at life in the ground if you can! :)


Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Oh, that is good to know! Thank you. I will stick it in the ground.

Jenny Young

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

1 - I packed a picnic for the park with my grandson. 2 - I cooked all of our meals at home. 3 - I was given 10 lbs of chicken quarters, a bag of fresh peaches, a few sweet peppers, some garden tomatoes & cucumbers.....I can't remember it all! Basically I've had 4 different friends give me a lot of goodies over the past week from food to books to things for my grandson of fun things for my house. 4 - We've been turning off the ac when it August!

Central Calif. Artist

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

1. After the phone company finally was able to drive up the hill, we decided to not get a phone at the cabin this year ($54/month adds up). We can use the neighbor's unlimited long distance (he has offered for years) and he has no intention of disconnecting in the winter. 2. I bought some LLBean shorts for no $$ because they were on sale and I had "points". 3. I've been trying to switch cell providers. . . since I haven't succeeded yet, perhaps this doesn't belong here. 4. When I "medicated" by yarn shopping and ordered 4 colors to complete a sweater made (almost) entirely of scraps, the 4th color wasn’t available so I saved money there. 5. I've been reading a ton of books, ordering anything that suits my fancy from the library or using Libby. So many books, so little time.


Tuesday 8th of August 2023

So happy for your chrysanthemum save! You might give it a little help by feeding it a diluted plant food. Make it half strength and plan a date for a second feeding; usually a very good treat for potted plants. (Takes off Master Gardener hat.) My five frugal things: 1. Instead of buying a pizza, made a pan bagnat (French dialect "bathed bread") to share with other poll workers in the Ohio election today. It was a bit of work but much appreciated and since the pot luck lunch is also dinner, better nutrition for everyone. 2. Resisted the impulse to buy beautiful fabric with 15% discount from class I took yesterday. The store puts the classroom in sight of the fabric on purpose, and I already have at least ten years worth tottering in my sewing room. 3. Ate lunch at home every day, passing up convenient fast options. 4. Packed lunches for my husband, who is back to work in the classroom preparing for fall classes to begin in two weeks. 5. Found a cheap table with legs at Ikea for my new computer setup, after my laptop imploded. It was cheaper by a factor of four than if I had bought a table the right size and height.

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