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Five Frugal Things | when it feels pointless

1. I packed my lunch and my coffee for my weekend clinicals

This past weekend, our “clinicals” were just at college, doing simulation and paperwork. Next weekend, we actually go to an assisted living place. With real live patients!


Don’t worry! It’s a fake patient. No HIPAA rules were violated. 🙂


Anyway, I packed a little lunch both days this weekend: a peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread, plus an apple, red pepper slices, and a granola bar for a snack.

apple from a packed lunch.

I brought the coffee that I made at home, plus water in my metal water bottle.

yellow metal water bottle.

And I walked to and from school for one of the clinical days.

I know I’ve said this before, but I sometimes feel like, “What’s the point??” when it comes to doing stuff like this, given the Very Large Financial Problem going on in my life right now. I had one of those “Why am I even bothering?” moments just now as I typed this.


But I’m reminding myself:

  • these practices are good for the environment
  • these things (like walking to school) are good for my body
  • these habits that will help me get back on my feet financially in the future

2. I used the Upside app again

For whatever reason, the offers on my Upside app have been regularly beating the Royal Farms prices of late. I keep being able to get gas for less than $3/gallon!

(I see $2.90/gallon on my app as I type this.)

gas tank.

Relatedly: every time I have been to Sam’s Club, I’ve been pretty unimpressed with their gas prices. Is that just at my Sam’s Club? Do you find their gas prices to be competitive?

Also, there’s often a long line, and I just think to myself, “Why would I wait in a long line for not-very-cheap gas??”

3. I’ve been using my Citi card for my groceries

My Citi credit card offers 5x the points for any one single category you spend the most on in a single month, on up to $500 of spending.

Aldi grocery cart.

Since the main spending I do (besides rent) is in the grocery category, I always try to use the Citi card for that.

4. I turned my lotion upside down into a container to get the last bit out

I use exactly one skin care product: Cerave lotion. I know this probably-too-minimal routine would be horrifying to someone who is quite into skincare, but it works for me.

I have a skin that is oily and acne-prone (yes, even at the age of 45. Sigh.) but also dry in places. Soo, the lotion is helpful for the dry areas.

Anyway, I have a pump bottle of the lotion, and when the bottle got so low that I could not pump any more lotion out, I turned it upside down into a little plastic lidded container.

Now I can easily use up the last little bit before I start on a new bottle.

I also have an upside-down bottle of honey in my kitchen right now. 😉

It’s what we frugal people do!

5. I got some Target deals

I needed some eyeliner and hair clips, so I stopped in and I used $11.77 of Target Circle credit I had in my app.

Target circle app.

Also, I picked the eyeliner package that was a two-fer deal. It’s kinda like how I always look for the shampoo/conditioner bottles that say, “50% more, free!”

eyeliner and hair clips.

It’s hard to see, but there are two eyeliner pencils in that package

I will pretty much always pick the bonus package if there’s one offered. 😉

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



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Wednesday 15th of November 2023

-I made lattes at home & either enjoyed at home or brought on outings - am letting a coworker stay at the house in guest room & she will pet sit while I’m out of town - walked to & from church 3x this week -used a coupon & a giftcard to purchase new headphones for when I walk & listen to audiobooks - am on my 2nd week of pantry meals & am able to use up cheeses for a fellowship time Friday *bonus* discovered there are farm fresh eggs 3 houses up the street from me for $2/dozen!


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

I did my hipaa retraining this week, so I loved your disclaimer! Also, I’m glad to see you’re in the peanut butter and honey club! I thought I was alone, except for the time my 2yo niece tried it and declared it “yummy in my tummy” - but she’s 8 now and peanut butter is on the outs this year. (She still eats anchovies, tofu and sushi with me, though)


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

1. Received my quarterly payment for using Rakuten, netting about $15 back. 2. Received a surprise check from our house insurance for $21 due to a change in the policy which means we overpaid when we paid the full amount a couple months ago. 3. My son needs to wear a pair of jeans for his school choir concert. He normally wears shorts almost all year round and the only pair of jeans in his drawer were too small. Thankfully his older brother has a pair he handed down which fit perfectly and I didn't have to buy a pair just for the concert. 4. Packed 4 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child using shoeboxes we had on hand and covering with Christmas wrapping paper. I normally buy items to fill the boxes throughout the year when they are on sale (like school supplies) and had leftover items from years past so I was able to pack full boxes without buying anymore items. 5. I'm in charge of "Pie Day" for my son's high school orchestra class, where we serve pies to about 250 kids before Thanksgiving. I took advantage of a sale at one of our local grocery stores, HEB, where you could get $5 off 2 pies totaling $30 and stood at the self-checkout paying for 2 pies at a time to take advantage of the coupon. Even though its not my money, I ended up saving $45 for our booster club. Every little bit helps, since we're helping to support our orchestra's trip to NYC next spring!


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Hmmm.... I really have to think, how to come up with 5 frugals this week....

* I stopped psychotherapy, saving me 35$/session after insurances (did not stop for financial reasons)

* Getting massages at a massage therapy school, 1 hour for 35$. (so, I'm basically exchanging psychotherapy for massage therapy when I think of it, aha)

* Working extra shifts

* Avoiding multiples trips to the grocery store

* Using Temu and Shein. Controversial, I know. But as I am losing weight fast and can't get everything, I need from Buy Nothing or thrift stores, I'm replacing key pieces by cheap fast fashion that I'll then pass on when it becomes too big for me. (Plus, I don't think it's worse than, let's say, Wal-mart or Target. It all comes from the same place)


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

I agree about Sam's gas. Although ours does tend to be quite a bit cheaper--this week Sam's was $2.67 while other stations are around $2.80, the lines aren't worth it to me. I laugh at my mom, who will drive 10 minutes out of her way to save 2¢ on a gallon of gas! When you calculate it out, she MAYBE saved $.60! My time is more valuable!

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