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Five Frugal Things | You guys, I gardened (a little bit)

It’s always somewhat noteworthy when I do something plant-related. 😉

So three plant things is VERY noteworthy.

1. I planted some green onion ends.

You can do this indoors in colder weather (in a glass of water), but I always forget to change the water in mine, and they end up getting stinky.

But it’s pretty warm outside now, so I stuck two onion ends into a pot.

regrowing green onions

2. I planted some marigold seeds.

It seems somewhat unlikely that a trip to pick out flower flats will happen at all this spring.

But I did find a package of marigold seeds on my laundry room shelf, so I planted those.

marigold seeds

Better than nothing, I say.

And even I can grow marigolds.

(If you are a non-gardener like me, here’s a list of frugal plants for black thumbs.)

3. I bought three peony plants

I did a grocery stop at Aldi (hopefully enough to last us two weeks), and I noticed they had peonies!

I bought one there years ago, and it’s done really well in my front border.

Aldi peony

My original Aldi peony

I haven’t seen them at Aldi in recent years, so when I saw these ($1.99 apiece), I put some in my cart.

Aldi peonies

They’re just a root right now, but I don’t mind patiently waiting.

(Remember my hydrangea that started out as a lowly stick with a bud? I’m super patient if it means I save money. 😉 )

4. I cut up some veggies for snacking.

Our love for fruit usually compels us to grab it out of the fridge and wash/slice/peel it.

But veggies are not quite as motivating to us, and they tend to sit, unloved and uneaten.

cut up peppers and carrots

I noticed the carrots and red peppers had been in the drawer for a little while, so I cut them up to make them easier to grab and eat.

I do still have two bags of carrots, though, so I think some roasted carrots might be in order.

produce drawer

(The silicone cover on the red onion half is from a Food Huggers set that I got in my Mighty Fix. They’re really awesome for when you have half an item of produce to store, like an onion or a lime.)

5. Because of the current situation:

  • We’re spending almost nothing on gas
  • Our cars are getting less wear and tear
  • Mr. FG is not spending money on work lunches
  • We’re doing almost no shopping (even Amazon isn’t tempting, since it takes weeks for things to arrive now!)
  • We are using basically no cellular date with Ting because we are always on home wifi.
  • Our regular retirement account contributions are buying more shares now (I wouldn’t know how many more, because I have steadfastly refused to log in and look at our stock market accounts! I’m happier not knowing where they sit.)

Your turn! Tell us five frugal things you’ve done lately.

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Marilyn Patterson

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Take your carrots and celery and cut them snack size and put them in two containers each of water in the fridge and they will keep a long time...plant the root ends and grow your next


Saturday 4th of April 2020

1) Same as you we are spending $0 on gas right now. Our biggest expense each month (even more than our mortgage) was daycare and aftercare for our four kids. So it is nice to get a break on that.

2) We haven't bought any homeschool supplies. We've got lots of books, science experiments we got for Christmas and haven't had time to use until now, and crayons. I even have the Sweet Pickles set that my mom used to homeschool preschool me eons ago. I used it with our oldest, and it has since been gathering dust waiting for me to ebay it.

3) Our youngest turns one on Tuesday. We made a smash cake from an Aldi box cake mix and used our business zoom account to bring in our relatives to watch him carefully poke holes in the cake while our four year old tried to be stealthy and sneak pieces off of his high chair. :)

4) Today is my birthday. My husband gifted me a full quiet Saturday in our office (which is of course now empty of people) since I have spent the last month with our four children touching me every second of the day. I sincerely appreciate the privilege I enjoy to stay home during the pandemic to care for and educate my children. I also don't mean to imply that I in any way judge folks who choose to homeschool. (I am a huge fan, Kristen!) And I love my children dearly. But I am also an introvert who isn't really a kid person. I usually spend my workday quietly working on my dissertation. So after a month I was ready for a perfectly free break.

5) I don't keep a lot in the freezer, but I did intentionally buy less at Aldi last weekend so we could eat the pantry down a bit and be sure to eat all the produce before we get more this weekend.


Friday 3rd of April 2020

1. Working from home is saving all things mentioned and since I'm working in my dinning room I can make tea and preheat the oven for dinner while in "my office" and no temptation to visit Hy-Vee across from work for Starbucks or on my way home for dinner take out. 2. Using this time to do project 333 in my spare bedroom. 3. Our library is hosting a junk drawer craft challenge on Instagram and I made a heart for our front storm door. 4. Saving wear and tear on my fancy work clothes by wearing my casual lounge wear and it's still cold in Iowa so sweaters are great for work meetings. 5. Using my years of Frugal readership to use what we have and fix things ourselves

A. Marie

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Late to the FFT party here, but this is what I've got, in common with many others:

(1) No gas expenditures, since you have to burn gas to buy any. (2) Very little extra spending, since you generally have to leave home to do much. I confess to having bought a new pair of slippers at LL Bean (the kind without laces) for my DH with Alzheimer's who can no longer tie shoes. Free shipping, though. (3) Continuing to work on the "dribs and drabs" use-up. Since our housecleaning service isn't coming in "for the duration," I've been using up a lot of odd bits of cleaning supplies. Working on the food pantry as well. (4) Trying to make contact at least twice a week with older neighbors living alone. (5) And trying to stay in cheerful email contact with my friends and family living elsewhere, many of whom have problems as bad as mine or worse. We're all in the same badly leaking boat here. (5)


Friday 3rd of April 2020

It's never too late to join FFT!


Thursday 2nd of April 2020

1. On top of Amazon taking too long to really appeal to me when I'm tempted toward an impulse buy right now, our street has been under construction for the last two months, so we have had to park a block and a half away. So big shopping trips out are unappealing, since we have to do several treks to get stuff home, and we're never sure if a delivery person will actually make their way to our door, so we are pretty much buying the bare necessities right now.

2. There is so much free homeschool stuff being offered right now, which as far as I can tell those of us who were already homeschooling are more excited about than anybody else. :) So I've gotten a number of really useful things for free.

3. We are starting our garden this weekend. Our city has a fantastic program where for $15/year you get a ton of seeds and transplants and access to a lot of gardening workshops (which will be online this year). Last year we only made it to two of the four crop pick-ups and we still got way, way more than our money's worth.

4. This isn't really our doing, but my husband filled our car up today at BJs and gas was $1.19/gallon. He filled his car for $15. He called me from the pump because he could not believe it.

5. I have been sewing fabric masks for family/friends/neighbors out of leftover fabric and elastic I have in my craft stash.


Friday 3rd of April 2020

Would you be willing to sell some? My middle son is a police officer and my youngest daughter is a 9-1-1 dispatcher. There is such a shortage here in New York that I fear they will bring this virus home to their families. If so, please let me know

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