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Five Frugal Things | stupid yellow jackets

1. I mowed my grass and used the leaf blower

My house sits on about 2/3 acre, and luckily, my dear neighbor lets me borrow her riding mower when I need to mow. 

riding lawn mower steering wheel.

Still, it is not a job that I love, and every time I mow, I consider just hiring someone to do it for me.

I may crack at some point this semester and hire someone to do my leaf removal this fall. We shall see. 

For the moment, though, I have resisted, and every time I do the yard work, I give myself a pat on the back.

All was fine during the mowing, but as I was leaf blowing, things took a turn for the worse because I inadvertently disturbed a yellow jacket nest.



2. I used wisdom tooth ice packs on my ankle

I got stung on my hand, but the worst were the stings I got on my ankle.

My foot, ankle, and lower calf swelled up something terrible; I looked like I had some kind of one-sided edema going on.

ankle wrapped in ice packs.

Luckily, I had saved the gel packs and stretch band that the oral surgeon gave Zoe last summer after her wisdom teeth removal, and I was able to make those work to go around my ankle and foot.

So, yay for a free ice pack! 

I did end up going to Patient First because the swelling got so bad, I could barely walk. The doctor gave me some Prednisone and my foot has improved a lot!

Still, I’m needing to elevate it and ice it, and so I am thankful that my past self saved these ice packs. 

chiquita sleeping next to Kristen.

I’m not delighted with my sting situation, but Chiquita has been very pleased about my increased couch time, because now she can snuggle with me more easily. 

Chiquita sleeping.

She might be a little disappointed when my foot is better 😉

3. I got my rusty knife sharpened

When I was at the beach with Sonia in June, I came across a rusty knife in the sand during one of my morning walks.

ocean waves under dock.

I noticed it, walked past, and then a few steps down the beach, I thought, “Hmm, maybe I will grab it and see if I can fix it up.”

rusty knife.

It was extremely rusty and sandy, but when I got back to our rental, I looked the knife up and discovered that it’s sort of an expensive little pocket knife.

(As in, $70!)

rusty knife.

I let the knife sit here for a while, but eventually I used my rust-removing jelly (the same stuff I used on my old rusty Christmas tree stand), and that did a pretty bang-up job of getting the rust off.

rust dissolver.

Of course, the blade was very dull after the salt and sand bath, so I popped up to the knife sharpening truck here, and he got it restored pretty well.

sharpened knife blade.

(He took one look at the knife blade and was like, “What happened to this thing??” Ha.)

QAD knife.

I thought he’d charge me a few dollars, but he said he sharpens pocket knives for free all the time. So this ended up being even more frugal than I’d anticipated. 

4. I bought a “cooking for two” cookbook on eBay

I saw that America’s Test Kitchen had published a cooking-for-two cookbook at some point, and I hopped over to my library website to see if I could put a hold on it.

Sadly, my library did not buy this one. So, I went to eBay (always my second stop when I’m hunting for a book) and found a copy for just a few dollars.

cooking for two cookbook.

I spent my teen years doing most of the cooking for my family of six, and I spent most of my adult years cooking for my own family of six.

So, I have spent most of my life cooking for way more than two people and I thought I could perhaps clean some good ideas from a cookbook on the topic. 

5. I did not buy the Snoopy hoodie at Sam’s

I saw a black hoodie with a Snoopy on the front for $14, and I said to myself, “Hmm, I don’t have any oversize hoodies in my closet.”

I went so far as to pick up the size Large and try it on, and while it was very comfy and cozy, I reminded myself that I have eleventy billion hoodies already.

A sampling:

Kristen with her cat.

Kristen sitting on a bed.

Kristen making a happy face.

Kristen in a blue hoodie.

Kristen wearing a coral sweatshirt, with slightly frizzy hair.

I will be fine without that hoodie. 😉

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

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Thursday 14th of September 2023

My husband carried an EpiPen as a child for yellowjackets. (Why not anymore? Good luck getting a needle terrified person to go to an allergist) He was recently stung while mowing, thankfully on his leg. It hurt him for probably 2 weeks. We sprayed the hole and put out a bait trap. We will put I out again in early summer to prevent more nests from being made in our yard. I learned that yellow jackets will go after you even if you don't disturb them, especially in fall when they're hungry and grumpy. Basically the worst. I let all the other pollinators be in my garden but not yellow jackets.

Jenny Young

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

I followed the advice from the frugal girl FB group & cooked some chicken quarters in my freezer in the crockpot. I used the meat to make a chicken bacon ranch dinner salad & the rest to make chicken salad.

I've spend $90 in total for 3 vintage cabinets/hutches that I'll use for kitchen cabinets & laundry room cabinets in our new house. I'm looking for one more hutch set for the pantry & am hoping to find one for free.

I scanned my receipts on Fetch. I scan one a day so I can spin for extra points on every receipt.

I got 2 free bags of apples & 2 free bags of nectarines. I gave one bag of apples to a friend, shared the nectarines with my son & his ex wife & have really been enjoying the rest myself.


Wednesday 13th of September 2023

You can always ask your library to order a book that you want to read. Or there is inter-library loan where they can get it from another library.

1. Dh and I got up early - me at 5:45 a.m! - to go to the somewhat local Lidl grocery store grand opening. Dh and I were #6 and 7 in line. First 100 people got gift cards and swag. We got 2 $5 gift cards and two reusable grocery bags. The store offered free coffee, oj and croissants. I passed on those and dh had coffee and a croissant. We both spent our $5 gift cards. I was less than impressed with the store and prices. I still say Aldi for the win! But I got to go to a store opening and I can cross that off my bucket list.

2. Dh went grocery shopping and only spent $158 and got enough chicken for at least 3 months. Thighs were .99/lb and boneless/skinless were $1.99/lb. I'll fill in with eggs and milk from Aldi.

3. Electric bill was only $62 this month. That's cause dd moved out and so less electric usage. Dh like to watch tv in the dark.

4. Natural gas payment plan went from $97 to $82. Again, due to dd moving out.

5. Got an iPad cover, protein shakes and a book from Amazon. Haven't had an iPad cover since I got this iPad - which dh thought I needed and I don't - two years ago. I only use it on vacation.

Amanda in VA

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

1) I decided that I can clean the house myself through chemo. I like a tidy house, but I am not a natural at cleaning and fitting cleaning into my life. We ended up bringing in a really talented cleaning person when things got out of hand after a couple of babies. But two years ago I decided to take it back on because the youngest is now four, so I don't have the babies excuse anymore. And I've gotten used to not having that line in my budget. When I was diagnosed and learned that I would be undergoing chemo, I thought, "well, this is something I can take off my plate." But after a round of chemo, I am learning what to expect and what I can handle. The regular cleaning is making me feel like I accomplish something and doing it myself will save me a good $500 in my monthly budget.

2) I also didn't buy a thing! I got a $20 off any purchase coupon from Ann Taylor. I did go to the website to see if a good, basic item could be had for $21. But using this coupon would still have me spending at least $20 for something I don't need.

3) I made mac and cheese and incorporated odds and ends of cheese from the freezer. The last slice of swiss that had been tossed in the freezer. The rest of a block of monterey jack bought for who knows what. It was delicious.

4) My husband and I are putting lots of shoe leather into buying a commercial building. We have been renting space for our business for years. Then the perfect building in the perfect location came up for sale. The current owner loves us and really wants us to get the space, but we have to get the financing right. And we don't know what we are doing. We have a mortgage, but have no experience with any other kind of loan or property purchase. So instead of jumping in we are being cautious, asking tons of questions, and talking to lots of people. This makes sense for a lot of reasons, but we will only take the plunge when we know exactly what we are doing. I think that is the only way to do this without spending a lot of money we don't have to.

5) My whole experience with cancer and chemo has made me so thankful that I have access to short term disability through my work (which is not our business). Without it we would have to go without income and health insurance, or I would have to work through chemo and surgery. What a difficult decision. It is something I had never thought about in our own business. What if we had an employee get sick? Morally, how could we make them work or go without income? So I've been working with our insurance agent to check prices on plans that would allow us to do the right thing by our employees. And it is actually much cheaper than I thought! Hopefully we never have to use it, but in the long term, paying these premiums is a whole lot cheaper for us than paying an employee who is unable to work. And it will give us and them peace of mind.


Wednesday 13th of September 2023

Hope you’re feeling better today!

1. Found a discount code before ordering tickets to a waterpark. Saved something like $50. 2. Thrift store was my first stop for kids school clothes, I did find a few needed things. 3. Continue making meals around what’s growing in the garden. 4. Made a gorgeous bouquet for a friend, with flowers from my garden. I grew the flowers from seeds saved last fall. 5. Saying no to a lot of seasonal decor purchases.

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