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Five Frugal Things | with one almost-fail

1. I got a bike pump for $10 (almost a fail)

I have been wanting to ride my bike, but my tires were pretty flat after a winter of sitting in the shed.

So, I looked on Facebook Marketplace and found a bike pump for $10, which is better than the $25-$30 price range that seems typical for most decent bike pumps.

gray bike pump.

And the guy who was selling it happened to be driving near my house, so I just met him at a nearby parking lot. I am appreciative of the gas savings!

But then I got the bike pump home, tried to use it to pump my tires, and instead, the pump just let all the air out. Ugh.

A bike in front of a railroad embankment.

I do know how to use a bike pump, so I knew it wasn’t user error (I also popped into a local bike shop to have the owner look at the pump, just to be totally sure it was actually broken!).

I contacted the seller, politely let him know (I said something like, “I think you may have accidentally sold me a pump that doesn’t work.” so as not to be accusatory), and he said he had another one he could give me instead.


So, now I have a working bike pump and I did not actually end up wasting $10.

2. I soaked a limp cucumber in cold water

When I got back from my trip, I found a not-that-crisp cucumber in my fridge. So, I sliced it and covered the slices with cold water for an afternoon.

After their soak, the slices were so much crispier.

sliced cucumbers in water.

This works so, so well with lettuce too, by the way.

3. I got some free drill bits and screwdriver bits

I had a drill already, but no bits. Lisey has a set of bits I can borrow anytime while she’s here, but obviously, she (and her tools) are only a temporary presence.

And even she doesn’t have any screwdriver bits.

I almost stopped in at Home Depot to buy some for myself, but then someone on the Buy Nothing group had a few bits and screwdriver heads they no longer needed. Yay!

4. I made some plant starts from an old Aldi plant

I picked up a plant (maybe a succulent? I don’t know!) from Aldi quite a few years ago, and I have to tell you: it was a seriously good purchase!

succulent in white pot.

It’s basically impossible to kill, and it is extremely easy to root the cuttings and make new plant babies. Basically, I just cut a section off of the plant, stick it in the dirt, and it grows roots.

three succulents in a white pot.

5. I sold an old pair of Sonia’s glasses

I think it was my friend Katy who alerted me to the fact that you can actually sell old eyeglasses on eBay. I’ve done this successfully with several pairs of Sonia’s glasses, so when she got a new pair about six months ago, I listed her old ones on eBay.

It usually takes a while for these to sell, but that’s ok. I’m not in a rush!

a pair of kid glasses in Kristen's hand.

the first pair of her glasses that I sold

Happily, someone bought ’em this week, so they’re on their way to a new wearer, and I’m $50 richer. 😉

I have a pair of mine listed as well, so we shall see if anyone buys those. This is my first time trying to sell my own glasses, which are not as fun and colorful as Sonia’s usually are.

So, they might sit even longer before I get a sale. I’ll let you know!

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

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Terri Cheney

Saturday 13th of August 2022

Wow! I just got new glasses and never thought to sell my old ones on eBay... 1. I made pickles from cucumbers gifted me by daughter in law. Both bread and butter and kosher dill refrigerator pickles. I got four jars total. Reused old pickle jars to store them. 2. I keep pinching back a hanging basket of coleus and rooting new bits of it to add to other planters. 3. A magazine offer for a new to me publication came in that intrigued me. I took time to look it up online. It's a so so good buy but I realized in looking at the previews that I'm not that keen on it, so saved spending that money. 4. I have had an Amazon subscription list for a while now because it's convenient and easy but at present, I'm looking online to see if I can get a better price elsewhere before approving my monthly shipments. So far, I've been pleased to find that I am getting the lowest cost. As well, I'm checking my supplies to see if I need every item that's coming up. I cancelled all but one item this month because I have more than enough to meet our needs until the next scheduled shipment of those items. 5. We had a cheap date on Friday morning. We picked up fast food breakfast and took it to a very old cemetery we love and had a picnic. The air was considerably cooler and less humid and it's always quiet in that spot surrounded by very old cedars and yews. We had a great conversation while we ate a leisurely breakfast and then came home to work our bottoms off!


Friday 12th of August 2022

My frugal five: 1. Batched errands for after a foot doctor appointment. 2. Borrowed two New Jersey Monthly magazines from the library. One is on things to do at the shore, which we will soon be at, and the other is on museums in the state. 3. Cashed in $16 of rolled change and exchanged a torn $10 bill for a new one at the bank. 4. We had a "happy hour" with a friend of hubby's who he works with. I had enormous shrimp that I make shrimp cocktail with, we had ground beef to make burgers which we skipped, and I made a box of brownies which we didn't. It was gorgeous outside and his buddy wanted to see our deck and gazebo. 5. Making up a list of things to bring on vacation. We rented a condo "down the shore" as we call it here in NJ. I have tons of stuff that I don't have to buy like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, breakfast and lunch stuff. We will get dinner out every night specifically seafood as we haven't been out to eat in at least 2.5 years. We may just get take away and bring it back to the condo so we aren't around any Covid.

Ginger Bruce

Friday 12th of August 2022

#1 I got my hair cut at work. I work at a prison. For $1/month I can get my hair cut and my boots blacked/shined. Certain inmates are able to do different jobs. Barber is one of them. I have gotten so many comments on how good my hair looks. #2 I didn't make extra trips to the store. Waiting to make my list and get everything in one trip after I go to a reoccurring meeting in the morning. #3 This one is something my roommate did. She haggled with the neighbor to trade some work on her lawnmowers for something she has that he wants. She is not using it so it's a win-win. #4 I have been picking up gifts for my friends and family back home for when I go next month. I got some Coca Cola collectables at a yard sale for my friend who is letting me stay with her for a few days. I picked up a fall decor piece for my mom because she loves decorating for fall, also found at a yard sale. #5 I eat at work for free at the Officer's Dining Hall. Sometimes for breakfast lunch and dinner. If I get it for dinner I take it home to eat. I'm single without dependents to feed, except for my fur babies. I didn't like cooking for several people, so I like it less when it is just me. I love hearing how many people on here cook in creative ways. Maybe I will try some of those ideas.


Friday 12th of August 2022

1) Yesterday I submitted receipts for my recent book purchases to my university for reimbursement.

2) I am working on a fall wardrobe refresh to get the kids ready for school. I am returning things from last week's Thredup order that didn't fit, and I placed a new order this week.

3) I had dental work done last week that my insurance won't cover, so I offered to pay with a check in full up front and got a 5% discount.

4) I have been strategically cooking up things that will go bad first for meals this week.

5) I batched errands and bought only exactly what I needed when I went to Target.


Thursday 11th of August 2022

Well, first thing I'll do when I get home is to rummage through my cabinet to find my old glasses, and then list them on ebay! But here are my five frugal things for this week: 1. No takeout. Well, my husband did get a salad one day instead of the lunch I packed because I must have grabbed some spoiled veggies for his lunch because by lunchtime his whole lunch box stank! We thought it was the roasted cabbage but we still had some at home and that one didn't stink. So his lunch that day went into the garbage. 2. New recipes for using up zucchinis! I saw in one of the Facebook groups someone posted a grilled cheese zucchini sandwich so I ended up making it last night and it was great, leftovers for lunch today. I didn't use any of the "fancy" cheeses they listed, I just used what I had, some cheddar, shredded mozzarella, and a bit of parmesan but it was great! 3. I froze whatever veggies I had in the fridge that I knew we weren't going to use up this week. 4. Only $60ish in groceries this week because I am trying to work through our fridge and some older stuff in the freezer. 5. Went into Old Navy to swap out pants I got for my husband for a different size and didn't buy anything else! My family is basically a walking commercial for Old Navy. I have their credit card and use it for regular expenses so I rack up anywhere between $50 and $100 per month which we then use to buy clothes for all 4 of us, from underwear to jackets. My husband jokes that I am going to bankrupt them because I often buy $200-300 worth of clothes which, after whatever promo they have going on and the money I get from using the card ends up being $1-2, literally.

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