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Five Frugal Things | Plumbing Probs Edition

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We are having some rather expensive plumbing problems right now (FYI, a crack in your vent pipe makes for a very smelly kitchen. So gross.)

So I thought a Five Frugal Things post might remind me that I actually am doing more than just paying plumbing bills at the moment.

(Though I have to add, thank heavens for good plumbers.   Mr. FG and I wouldn’t even have been able to properly diagnose this problem, let alone fix it! The plumbers did this cool thing where they sent smoke into the house thru the septic clean-out so they could trace where the problem was.   That is, umm, waaay beyond our skill set/tool set!)

1. I froze collard greens.

My Hungry Harvest box recently sent me a big bag of collard greens.   Since no one here is a fan of cooked greens, including me, I googled to see if they could be used in a smoothie.

The internet’s verdict: yes!

I cautiously tried it, and I have to say, collard greens are possibly a little milder than kale, which I put in smoothies all the time.

So, I destemmed the greens and froze them for future smoothie use.

There’s no need to chop the greens…they become rather brittle when frozen, which means they break up anyway.

And they’re easy to grab and throw into the blender even if you don’t break them.

At least, this is true if you have a Vitamix or Blendtec.   I know some cheaper blenders struggle to liquefy greens like kale or collard greens.

The Vitamix model I bought is available refurbished on Amazon, by the way. I love my Vitamix so much!

It’s a slightly older style, but I keep reading that it works better than the newer models with the wider, shorter container.   Just so ya know!

2. I froze bananas.

I ended up with a bunch that were getting ripe a little too quickly.

So, I sliced and froze them either for use in smoothies or in this no sugar added strawberry-banana ice cream.

Seriously so good! You need to make a batch!

I know you CAN freeze bananas whole, but I find that they blend up a lot more easily if I slice them.

And it takes all of about 2 minutes to do anyway. 😉

I like to line the pan with a silicone sheet (I got mine at Aldi), freeze the slices for about an hour, and then transfer them to a plastic bag for storage.

The silicone sheet makes the bananas very easy to remove from the pan.

3. I mended Zoe’s shorts.

(And a kitchen towel.   WHYYYY do my new towel seams keep coming apart? What are they doing wrong at the towel factories these days??)

Zoe’s shorts spontaneously sprouted a hole, but luckily, it was right on the seam.


That makes for an insanely easy fix.

I did have to hand-sew the bit right down by the rolled bottom of the shorts, but it was still a fast job.

4. I got an AdoramaPix coupon.

I did start working on a photo book (one of the things on my summer bucket list!) and when I hopped over to the site, I got a popup with a 10% off coupon offer with email signup. Yay!

adorama pix

5. I…

froze some slightly squishy grapes (for snacking and smoothies), froze tomato paste in 1-tablespoon portions (WHO uses a whole can at once?   Geez.), made granola and yogurt, and cut up some fruit that needed to be used (putting it out, ready-to-eat, in a bowl, ensures it’ll get eaten by someone!)

Your turn!

Share your own Five Frugal Things in the comments.ave



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Friday 21st of July 2017

Sorry about the pipe vent problem. We are having a similar issue here - seems like when I wash several loads of laundry, it smells downstairs (not in the laundry room). How expensive (ball park since I know each area and situation is different) is it/was it to fix? What will/did the plumbers do after the smoke thing? Cut out walls, flooring? Sometimes I hate house ownership :(


Friday 21st of July 2017

They fixed a few other plumbing probs we had too, so it's hard to say exactly. Ummm...I'd venture to guesstimate that the vent portion of the bill was about $1300. They did cut holes in the wall where the smell was, and then they could see the smoke. We didn't have to have flooring cut, mercifully. They were able to access quite a bit of the wall thru our unfinished attic, which was a mercy.

Home ownership is awful at a time like this!

Randi MacDonald

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

When I make Ina Garten's turkey sausage lasagna, i use a whole can of tomato paste.


Wednesday 19th of July 2017

What great ideas! This week: 1. The gas stove didn't light on one burner. I tried everything, was thinking of calling a repairman. I'm a little afraid of tinkering with gas stoves. DH poked a pin into the hole that makes a spark, which cleared it out. Problem solved for free. 2. Sold some plus sized items on ebay that a relative gave me after losing weight. She gave me her blessings to "do whatever you want" with the clothes. 3. Bought DH a practical gift (electric can opener, he has arthritis in his hands) and he loved it. 4. Planted dill seeds. A lot of my garden isn't doing well this year with the extreme heat and drenching rains. 5. Someone dropped off a large hanging fern at work. Nobody wanted it, and its lush and beautiful. Will gift it to my SIL as part of her bday gift. I was going to buy her a plant anyway. :) NOT FRUGAL: new kitten chewed apart the wire on my postal scale. Will research tubing for my wires in my home office now! Bought a new scale, I use it to save money on shipping from home vs. going to the post office.


Wednesday 19th of July 2017

I believe that my five frugal things are in my granddaughter room. I began redecorating her room for her birthday.

1. I repainted. I used the same color on the top of the walls which used less paint. The bottom was painted a darker color which made it cover better. I had some white leftover paint to repaint the trim. I only had to purchase 2 gallons of paint. 2. At our annual family yard sale in June I got a desk and a sleigh bed frame free. I painted these to match the room's decor. 3. I bought a desk chair at Hobby Lobby using my 40% off coupon. 4. I found the material for her curtains and bedspread at a discount craft store where I shop at. 5. As we were putting the room back together, we were able to lessen the amount of toys and clothes by donating them to various charities. A win-win for me.

Annie Bremer

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

Here are my frugal things (with homage to FG) including washing and reusing Zip Locks, military showers, clean-the-fridge pasta salad, etc.


Wednesday 19th of July 2017

DH takes military showers. Not me. Mine are short but feel so good and wake me up.

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