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Five Frugal Things | When in doubt, buy a mirror

1. I bought a round mirror on FB Marketplace

I’d been wanting a round mirror to hang in my office because the walls are awfully empty in here.

And when I don’t know what to do with a wall, I usually buy a mirror. Or a clock.Ha.

A round mirror with Kristen reflected in it.

Even at Target, these things sell for $70, and at a lot of other places, they are $150 or more.

That was a little steep for me, so I looked on Facebook Marketplace and found one for $15. Yay!

round mirror.

Now I just need to pop by Home Depot to get a hanger for it.

2. I got $15 worth of bagels for almost free

Zoe really likes Panera’s cinnamon crunch bagels, so on her birthday, I stopped in and redeemed a $15 Panera reward and paid $0.96 for ten bagels.

A toasted bagel half on a table.

I don’t really know how I got the $15 reward, but it was in my app. Sweet.

3. I got free cream cheese and marked-down rice cakes at Safeway

Safeway is expensive, yes, but sometimes I get good deals there!

I had a reward in my app for free cream cheese, and of course, while I was in the store, I took a glance at the mark-down rack and found a bag of chocolate rice cakes marked down to $1.50.

Yes, please.

I also noticed that the Safeway brand of butter was $3.49/pound, which is actually a good price at this point in time! Of late, it’s been more expensive than that even at Sam’s Club and Aldi.

4. I inadvertently got a discount on a ski rental

I don’t deserve credit for this, but it did save me money!

I rented skis and boots for four days, and unbeknownst to me, you get the fourth day free.

rented skis.

Then when I was checking out, the guy said, “Are you staying at the Marriott resort nearby? Because that can get you 10% off.”

I said, “I’m staying at a condo further up the mountain, so nope!”

And he said, “Actually, I heard you say yes. Here’s 10% off.”

So I just said, “Thank you.” 🙂

And I didn’t feel guilty because it’s not like I lied! I told him exactly where I was staying.

5. I did a post-trip food rescue

butternut squash broth.

I took inventory of the food situation yesterday for the first time since getting home, and I:

A cut up squash.

my hand is there for size reference!

steamed butternut squash in a pan.

  • refreshed some Romaine lettuce in cold water
  • sliced up a cucumber
  • sauteed and froze some bendable celery

sliced celery.

  • froze some slightly “off” heavy cream to add to bread the next time I make a batch

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

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Saturday 25th of February 2023

I use Buy nothing on FB to find items I need.

Hawaii Planner

Friday 24th of February 2023

Love the mirror!

We took my two teens & one of their friends with us on a ski trip this week, and that's not a super frugal activity. But, we did save a bit here & there: 1) Ate most of our meals at the condo, minus one (planned) dinner out. I ended up with the soup & bread, because it's my favorite & also happens to be the most inexpensive item on the menu. 2) Needed to pick up a few items from the store (Safeway) & loaded coupons on my phone before I went in, to save an extra $2. 3) Used my pass discount for the snacks we purchased on the slopes. Split a lunch with my husband each day, and paired mine with a protein bar. It was the right amount of food, and much less expensive. 4) Bought lunch on the drive to Tahoe at Costco. Lunch for three teenagers for under $6 is a steal. 5) We got home yesterday, and I really, really wanted to order takeout Thai. We agreed to do that, but have never ordered since we moved to California (almost 10 years), & after doing some research, nothing looked great, so I just made dinner at home. We don't eat out a lot, which means we don't have many favorites to tempt us, which saves a lot over time!


Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Even though I was a 100% sure I was out of some personal care items, I actually checked the hallway closet before running in out to the drug store and found I actually needed nothing!

I made the trek to the lower-cost grocery store this week even though I have had a cold and desperately wanted to just pop into the nearest (and most expensive store) to pick up a few groceries.

I tried out the slow cooker function on my instant pot instead of replacing the crockpot I broke on New Year's Eve. It worked ok but it is definitely different than how I am used to slow cookers working. I think I will probably, eventually, get a new slow cooker but for now the IP is fine. And it was nice to finally make use of the slow cooker lid I bought when I first got the IP several years ago.

The usual stuff - packing work lunches, using the library, mending clothes, streaming tv shows and movies from free platforms. Blah blah blah. :-)

Amanda P

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Love your frugal stories from this week! The discount especially made me smile; extra-nice customer service really stands out lately since it seems less common.

My five frugals (trying not to repeat from NCA too much):

1. Just got back from a local ladies' craft night. It was too short but a much-needed couple of hours away. Instead of buying the supplies to do the night's craft (a cute spring pillow when I have plenty), I brought my own craft - handmade cards made from vintage photos and snarky captions. I got to enjoy the big girl time while a got a bit done and didn't spend a dime. Plus, they sent me home with some leftover snacks.

2. Scored 11 precooked hams from Aldi marked 53% off plus $5 off that! When the savings cleared they were about 50 cents a pound.

3. My husband was doing some handyman work this weekend and came home with several pieces of furniture the customer didn't need anymore. We can use some of it and will sell or donate the rest. We got a round mirror too and you inspired me to find just the perfect place for it!

4. Because of my husband's position on the local chamber of commerce, he often gets calls when the local food bank needs to get excess donations out to folks. As a thank you for delivering, they often give us extra goodies as well. This Sunday afternoon he came home with cereal, chips, juice, milk, corn, and more. We got to share a lot and still had plenty left over. It sure helps the grocery budget and is also a good experience for our kids to be involved with the needs of others in the community.

5. Kristin @ going country, you reminded me of how frugal clothing mending/repair is, along with thrifting it! My Senior is headed out tomorrow for a 3-day speech tournament that requires suits and ties every day. He's beautifully turned out in thrifted finds, looks like a million bucks, and his most expensive purchase was a $20 Banana Republic navy suit (a deal for a guy 6 feet tall!). I heard one of the other moms talking about what a great find her son's $100 suit was, and that was for a child size!


Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Just to explain one of the reasons we are going to the Outer Banks this year is that last year we rented a 3 bedroom, 2 bath tiny condo at the shore in Jersey and it cost $3,130 for the week. No in ground private or condo association pool. About a block from the ocean. We will drive down to SC in hubby's company car and the company will pay for our gas. It's part of his compensation for his job. He hardly goes anywhere with it as he works from home 3 days a week and goes into work 2 days. So I'm planning this vakay frugally. Invited my sister and she's in charge of buying and cooking most of the food in exchange for her free stay at the house. We've done this before.

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