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Five Frugal Things | Unlimited Sipping

1. I got two free months of Panera’s Unlimited Sip club

I noticed that they had sent me a limited-time offer in the app, and I took advantage of it!

Unlimited Sip ad.

For two months, I can get any hot or cold coffee or tea, plus fountain drinks for free.

(After that, it’s $10.99/month, and I will likely cancel.)

Sometimes I like to go study somewhere other than my house, and this means I won’t even need to buy a drink when I go do that for the next two months.

2. I made a batch of chicken broth

I had two sets of rotisserie chicken bones, so I used them to make a pot of chicken broth.

(Here’s how I make my chicken broth.)

Not only is this super cheap (you get broth out of something you’d have thrown away), but I really do think homemade broth makes recipes taste better.

For instance, I think my Swedish meatball sauce is way better with homemade broth. 

Swedish meatballs in a red skillet.

3. I opted for no blow dry when I got my hair cut

I think it has probably been about 6 months to a year since I got a haircut, and I was noticing that the ends were getting rather uneven-looking!

So, I booked a haircut and chose just the basic wash and cut. I don’t usually like the way other people blow-dry and style my hair anyway, so there is literally no point in me paying for that part of the service.

Better to just drive home with a head of wet hair and then do it myself. 😉 

4. I called about a $600 medical bill

I got a bill that seemed abnormally high so I checked the insurance website and didn’t see it listed in the Explanation of Benefits column. 


Soo, I called and apparently they had not run this one through the insurance at all!

That explains why I didn’t see it listed in the EOBs.

I gave them the insurance info, they’ll run it through, and then the bill should mostly disappear.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again (and again and again): always regard your medical bills with an air of skepticism.

If something seems wrong, it probably is! And it will almost always be wrong in a direction that does not favor you.

5. I used some slightly-old milk to make egg bread

In case you didn’t know: when milk gets slightly sour, it’s not delicious for drinking or eating with cold cereal, but it does work fine for things like baking bread or making chocolate pudding.

(Here’s the chocolate pudding recipe I use.)

So, when I found myself with a neglected end-of-the-milk-gallon this week, I made a couple of loaves of egg bread, and then I froze the rest of the milk to use in some future baking.

Egg bread.

The lighting is…not good. It’s been dark and rainy and cloudy here for days.

And in case you’re worried…it’s not just me that thinks slightly sour milk is safe to cook/bake with. Here’s a Heathline article about it.  And another from NPR.

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

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Terri Cheney

Saturday 8th of October 2022

I've been tracking prices at a variety of stores via in person visits and sales ad prices. I took advantage of a sale on meat at a higher end grocery over last weekend. Then later in the week I was able to go into a store next to a salon that is known for it's clearance and mark-downs. However, in looking at prices, I was very well aware that their markdowns were HIGHER than the sales at the other stores. I passed on buying those items.

I made all meals at home.

We picked up our grandson early on the day we were already in the town where his nursery is located rather than make a long drive home and back again.

Used the clothesline to dry clothes.

Used leftovers. That meant going through the fridge several times this week and thinking on the fly when making meals. But nothing got wasted!

Mended a torn pair of jeans


Wednesday 5th of October 2022

1. I returned a pair of bike shorts with lace trim (sweet) because they had shipped the wrong size. the right size isn't available, so I took the credit. I had already ordered a pair of plain bike shorts on steeper discount so although i won't be fancy I saved a few bucks. 2. on that same errand I took in the wrapper for a pair of cotton capri leggins with lace trim. Because that is what I got, however what I had ordered was something different, and more expensive. The gal credited me for what I didn't get, and then charged me for what I got, which was now on sale for just $12. So the return $ I got for #1 was over $30. I often feel is isn't worth fussing about low value online purchases, but this could be dealt with as part of a town run and the store is a friendly place to visit, welcoming me even if all I was doing was returning something I bought online. 3. I got some of my enormous cherry tomato harvest pressure canned, saving them from the sudden influx of fruitflies. 4. Also canned some Broiled and stick-blended tomatillos (4 pints) and cherry tomatoes (not stickblended - 3 pints) and one 1/2 pint mixture. Pressure canning late at night isn't my favourite, but this is harvest season. 5. Eating from the pantry and garden - spent a bit too long [but had a great garden view out my kitchen window], while I scrubbed and hacked at some bug-bitten potatoes. Boiled them and a sad cauliflower that I rescued from the crisper. I had already made boiled eggs, so we filled up our plates with lots of white foods and ate them with homemade bright green chimichurri (sp?), made with my overabundance of parsley. I learned how to make chimmichuri (I do NOT know how to spell this) with a new-to-me friend, who had made me some after I gifted her an enormous bin fill of she-picked mint and parsley and other herbs. She came by to return a cookbook I had lent her, and ended up staying to show me how to make MORE chimmichurri (new spelling there... ) with some additional herbs I had harvested. My new favourite condiment! Yummy on just about anything from veggies to tofu to meats to salads... 6. Number One Daughter came up on Saturday so that she could pay for the car insurance on my car that she has and drives. I would give her the car but that would promptly increase her insurance by over $500, so we are staying with our current system - I own it, she is now taking on the maintenance costs. Big $1000+ savings win for me to not have to pay any more! 7. Said daughter bought ME coffee! 8. after I bought us lunch. However, we looked at many lovely things at stores and at the farmer's market, and I didn't buy anything else. She got herself a new pair of boots however that is totally justifiable, she had worn a previous pair until the sole was falling off. The new boots were cheaper than the other brand yet have a better warranty and reputation. She paid for her own boots, Momma is learning to keep her wallet in her pocket. 9. Mostly eating at home and ensuring that there are lunch-ready foods in the fridge for #2 son, who seems to have rather awful working hours. He loves it when I make a variety of things, an I love not getting bored. Win win. Much is garden harvest and pantry/freezer food, and I am inspired right now to make different foods. 10. Expensive and future frugal? Had my plumber come by because I had a rusty hosebib needing replacment. while we were investigating, he looked at the hot water heater in the barn and some water lines, and the end result was replacing said heater, and said-sad lines, plus the new hosebibs were twinned. The heater was 25 years old, he figures there is a foot of rust in it, frugal avoiding the fail by pre-emptive replacement. Ouch, however he always gives me a good deal. BONUS is he was very interested in the tall display cooler that my ex left in the barn (it works, but I use it for 3 days a year). He is a hunter and it would be perfect for hanging his bucks. I will gift it to him and HE will take it away, clearing many cubic feet of space out of my barn.


Wednesday 5th of October 2022

It is definitely future frugal to replace an elderly water heater before it causes a huge problem!


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

1. Bought a Groupon for a $5 Shutterfly photobook and paired it with a free unlimited photobook pages sale this past week. Essentially paid $5 + shipping for a photobook worth $40 and we have a great souvenir from our summer vacation. 2. Used a Groupon for dinner at a local restaurant that we love, giving us $15 off our bill. 3. Earlier in the summer, bought a Christmas themed puzzle at the thrift store for $3 and finished it last week. Someone in my FB puzzle group then posted that they were looking for that exact same puzzle and I was able to sell it for $8. I recycled an old Amazon envelope to mail it and dropped it off to the post office during errands. 4. My printer ran out of ink last week when I needed to print the shipping label to ship the puzzle. My new ink was still being shipped, so I stopped by the library to print the shipping label for 10 cents. 5. My son needed a specific book for English class and he was able to borrow it from a friend a couple years ahead in school instead of having to buy it.


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

1. Bought a brand new Costco dress at a flea market for $1.00 - bargain shopping at the local flea market is my absolute favorite thing ever. 2. Had a BBQ instead of eating out. There's five of us in our family so eating at home is always a frugal win. 3. Stopped myself from buying a new purse on Ebay. I loved it but do I really need a new purse? 4. Cancelled hotel reservations and stood with my daughter when we found out her roommate moved out saving us $353.00. 5. Returned a Costco jacket that I hadn't worn since purchasing it - saving almost $20. Thanks for creating a space where frugal living is embraced. :)


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Medical bills…I received one asking for full price for an anesthesiologist (insurance covered it) because the billing department couldn’t talk to the doctor or hospital about our insurance. I’m pretty sure they were just hoping if they sent enough out someone would just pay it out of fear or ignorance. This was 3.5 years ago and I’m still mad about it.

My frugal things: —found ground beef for under $3/lb (a steal here) because it needed to be cooked or frozen that day. I was planning to do a week of meal prepping following the grocery trip so it worked perfectly. —meal prepped for a week, thereby reducing the temptation to eat out and simplifying afternoons with kids. —purchased a solid maple dresser for $35 at an estate sale. Will need some work at some point but for now it’s staying the way it is. —Signed up for a library card in our new home. Excited about all the fun events the library has. And excited to read all kinds of books, especially those by local authors —Played outside at the local park, found an apple tree with public picking allowed, and picked some apples which we turned into just enough applesauce for dinner.


Wednesday 5th of October 2022

Yep-it's not like this doctor's billing office reached out for insurance info. They just sent the bill over as-is, with no note saying, "Hey, we need your insurance info!"

What the heck??

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