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Five Frugal Things | Yes, on a Wednesday!

So you know what’s funny? All semester long, I pretty much didn’t miss posting a day! But now I’ve missed a couple while on break.

Snow on winter trees.

I think the reason is that while Lisey was home for winter break, I didn’t have access to my usual desk setup, so I got all out of my groove! She’s back at school now (boo!), so I’m back at my desk (a small consolation prize. Ha.)

A setting sun peeking through a snow-covered tree.

It wasn’t even until yesterday afternoon that I realized I hadn’t published a post. So that’s why we are having a Wednesday Five Frugal Things.

Wind chimes on a snowy day.

1. I helped Zoe get $40 of Amazon credit

Her orthodontist has a rewards program that she’d never logged into because she figured it wouldn’t be very good.

But you know how I feel about rewards programs, so I registered her card number, and lo and behold, she had quite a few points racked up! I helped her redeem for $40 worth of Amazon credit, which is nothing to sneeze at especially if you are 15.

(Orthodontic patients get points for things like brushing their teeth, being on time to appointments, and so on.)

2. I used YourTurn rewards to get a venti frappuccino for Zoe

A frappucino, viewed from above.

Speaking of rewards…I wanted to get a celebratory treat for Zoe after her brace-removal appointment, so I redeemed some of my Erie YourTurn rewards for a Starbucks credit.

(YourTurn is the Erie Insurance app that rewards you for safe driving.)

3. I helped Zoe get free shipping

Huh. This is turning out to be kind of a Zoe-themed Five Frugal Things! She was buying a gift online for a friend, and I noticed that you could skip the $8 shipping fee if you made an account.

So of course, that’s what we did.

4. I helped Zoe modify two skirts

Again with the Zoe-theme! One of her skirts needed to be shortened and one needed a waist adjustment, so I got out my machine and pins and we made both of the skirts fit better.

5. I made baked ziti with a combo of pasta shapes

I wanted to go to the grocery store on Monday, but we got a bunch of out-of-the-blue snow (see the photos at the top of this post!)

So, I needed a pantry meal, and baked ziti fits the bill.

I did not have enough ziti, though, so I combined several packages of pasta to make it work. I also used up the last bit of a jar of tomato sauce in combo with the canned tomatoes the recipe calls for.

baked ziti in a steel skillet.

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

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Tuesday 11th of January 2022

Was not especially frugal this week! Spent some money on post holiday sales: mostly food items. Also trying to eat more whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables. My grocery budget is creeping upwards but I have to remember money spent on healthier food options is an investment in myself/my family. 1. Making weekly lunches on Sunday so I have no excuse to pack a lunch. Overnight oats with apple, chia and cinnamon. 2. Drinking more water. Filtered tap water. 3. Using a very inexpensive exercise app for workouts. 30 dollars for six months. If you are out of practice I HIGHLY recommend JA. Justin Augustin. For true beginners. 4. Saving change again! 5. Cooking and eating at home.


Monday 10th of January 2022

Washed and sorted a bunch of hand me down clothes from my sister in law for future use when the kids grow into them.

Made tapioca pudding with milk that was several days past it’s date, made rice crackers with leftover dried out rice, and mini muffins with the pineapple juice from a can of pineapple.

Instead of buying a gift, had my parents over for a brunch for my dad’s birthday. Made homemade caramel cinnamon rolls which are his favorite treat.

Went to the cheaper grocery store and scored a bunch of clearance produce and a ton of super cheap clearance chicken thighs.

Picked up an extra shift at work for bonus pay.


Thursday 6th of January 2022

Our insurance carrier offers weekly Wellness virtual meetings.

My boss was really understanding due to some time I will need to miss from work.

It took me about a 1/2 hour to clean out my freezer and fridge. Now I know exactly what I have. Mission accomplished.

That everyone around me has caught Covid, most all had their vax and all are doing ok. Honestly it is like a tsunami of covid cases here.

I am not a fan of snow, I will be thankful when it melts, my youngest pup loves it. It is fun to watch him run and jump in that cold, wet white stuff.


Thursday 6th of January 2022

The only things I'm really doing to be frugal lately are trying not to eat out and instead using up what I already have in the freezer, staying off Amazon!, waiting until the dishwasher is FULL before I run it (ditto for the washing machine), and keeping the thermostat set very low and dressing more warmly. Today I plan on sewing myself a jumper, converting some old jeans into a skirt, and eating up some dibs and dabs of stuff I have in the fridge. Hooray for mental health days!

Hawaii Planner

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

I don't feel like it was a very frugal few weeks, but here goes: 1) We had to adjust our vacation plans (for unfun reasons, due to COVID, but all is well & everyone is healthy). Canceled the rental car, one flight & took one night off of a vacation rental. I would have much rather spent the money, but nonetheless. 2) My husband largely ate from the pantry while he was stuck at home in quarantine. He had one grocery delivery, but made a dent in our freezer/fridge items as well. 3) I was upgraded (for free, due to status) on United on the way home, and enjoyed a (free) adult beverage. It was a wild trip, filled with lots of twists & turns, so I enjoyed the drink & quiet. ;-) 4) I listed a few things on eBay, after a brief hiatus. 5) A neighbor was giving away riced cauliflower, which I've actually been looking for & couldn't find (multiple stores are out near us). She gave me a few items (including the cauliflower rice). I already made blueberry muffins out of one of the mixes, and will put the chicken broth to good use. I need to incorporate the other items before they take up space on my pantry shelves.

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