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Four Frugal Things | plus one fail that I will redeem

1. I picked up some more free chairs

You know how I was painting those two Buy Nothing group chairs so that they’d match my table?

A sanded dining chair.

Well, one of my cousins let me know that another cousin was getting rid of his current table and chairs, and his chairs actually almost match the two I’d refinished.

So, I went over there with my van and picked ’em up.

brown dining chair.

I probably will not get around to refinishing any of them until the semester is over, but that’s ok. They’re very usable as-is!

2. I got a free Starbucks drink using stars

This was sort of an inadvertent savings: Zoe and I stopped in at Starbucks after church for a little treat, and when I opened the app, I saw that I had enough stars for a free drink. Yay!

3. I got two bottles of Maui Moisture at CVS for $2

I got the shampoo and conditioner B1G1 50% off, which brought the price for the two down to $18.

Which is still high, but hang on!

Then I used a $2 off any purchase coupon, my $10 Carepass credit, and a $4 shampoo coupon, and that brought it from $18 to $2.

I do pay $4/month for the Carepass credit, but that still was a wash because my purchase gave me $4 in ExtraCare Bucks to use on my next purchase.

4. I…

  • got a few more pumpkin carving knives for 75% off after Halloween
  • got a vitamin supplement for 50% off
  • corrected insurance information with LabCorp (bc what was supposed to be a free Covid test caused a $100 bill)
  • bought chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts because they were actually cheaper due to a sale (I was making Aussie Chicken and I figured chicken tenders would work just as well as chicken breasts)

5. The fail: I bought men’s shoes

Not too long ago, Lisey said, “Mom, I know you’ve been wanting a pair of light purple Converse forever. I bet if you bought a pair, it would really help you finish this semester strong.”

Lisey with purple hair.

Lisey IS on a bit of a purple arc right now…

Her logic seemed air-tight to me (ha!), so I hopped on eBay and found a pair in my size right away for a very good price.

Buttttt…when they arrived in the mail, I realized I’d made a fatal mistake. They’re men’s 8, not women’s 8.


Kristen's foot next to a too-big pair of converse.

I can’t return them, but I can list them on eBay myself.

So, I will clean them up, take nice photographs of them, and hopefully sell them for at least as much as I paid for them.

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

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Wednesday 16th of November 2022

I'm late here too. The week before last I went to South Carolina to visit my sister, brother in law, their granddaughter and their 2 daughters and hubbies.

1. Free flight with my hubbie's frequent flyer miles. He even upgraded me to first class. The flight was 1.5 hours. 2. Stayed at sister's house in her lovely guest room with it's own bathroom. 3. Sis or brother in law cooked two nights. I was able to have a fab meatball on two nights. BIL made spaghetti and meatballs and we had leftovers. The Harris Teeter grocery store has a prime rib meal special on Thursdays for $15.99 each. Sis got some and we went over to neice's house to eat. I had three bites of prime rib and it was delicious. 4. We went to Buc-ees in Florence for a road trip. I coughed the whole time. Friday sis took me to Urgent Care and I had post Covid bronchitis. Got an antibiotic and cough syrup. 5. Sis and brother in law picked me up and brought me back to the airport. Charlotte NC airport is huge! I think it's bigger than Newark Liberty where I flew out of. I've since gone back to Urgent Care on Monday of this week and now I have pneumonia. Joy. More antibiotics and another cough med. I had to cancel my colonoscopy.


Wednesday 16th of November 2022

A day late, but keeping myself accountable:

I'm doing my annual looking into insurance/utility/phone plans to make sure we are getting the best possible deals. Not fun, but a good habit.

I'm continuing to clean out the basement/attic and either trash, sell or give away. Such a freeing activity. It's taking longer than I want, but I have nothing but time and it needs to be done. I keep repeating, "some is better than none."

I've been keeping my grocery spending at around $65 a week or less on average for the 2 of us. I could go lower, but don't need to, (this includes a little stockpiling also) and I'm pleased that even with inflation, my numbers are less than last year.

Our neighbor gave me a thank you gift of homemade soup for helping on election day. It was enough for 2 dinners and one lunch. Yum.

I walk almost daily for exercise. Free, and clears my mind.

Amanda P

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Definitely agree with Lisey that purple shoes would be a fabulous pick-me-up! Hope you find some in your size.

This week's frugal things: (November is proving to be a "do for others" month, so lots of budget stretches in the hospitality/gift department)

1. We had 20+ people over Sunday week and I made a huge batch of spaghetti sauce with lots of fridge/freezer extras thrown in and dolled up a big batch of basic macaroni and cheese. With Aldi pasta it was an extremely inexpensive meal for so many, and we were able to send leftovers home with folks.

2. I organized lunch hospitality for 50 judges during a speech tournament for under $150 by making my own club sandwiches and buying thru Costco, Aldi and even Dollar Tree for all of the other food and supplies. Decor was borrowed from our church and the whole setup was lavish and beautiful. We even had some supplies left over for next month's debate tournament.

3. Last Sunday we had about 45 folks over for bonfire and ATV fun. We provided chili (dried beans and ground beef already on hand), baked potatoes (from Aldi), and hot chocolate (Walmart generic with some extra vanilla and cocoa powder). All the decor was things we already had like 10-cent plastic checked tablecloths. We had a ball, everyone was safe, and yes, I'm tired!

4. This week is drop off time for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, so we're putting ours together. It looks like we'll be able to have enough for about 45 boxes this year, thanks to inexpensive goodies we collected over the last 12 months, like 20-cent balls and 4/$1 stuffed animals. We like to make it one of the primary ways to give and bless, and especially involve our children.

5. Using my $6 electric vinyl cutter (including the vinyl) today on 50 clearance rack wooden stars to make pretty ornament gift tags for Christmas. It's easy and so very satisfying!


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Too bad about the shoes because the color is cute! 1. I roasted and pureed 5 pumpkins my kids got for running a race recently. It made 1 1/2 gallons of pumpkin puree. 2. Aldi had pumpkin and cinnamon waffles on clearance for $1.80 for 10 waffles. We bought at least 6 boxes for the kids to eat for breakfast. 3. I used kale from my garden, homemade pesto using basil from my garden, homemade sundried tomatoes, and 3 partial boxes of pasta to make my lunch for work. 4. My mother-in-law dropped off clothes for my daughter that will fit her next year. 5. I made homemade salsa to go with tacos this week. I only had to purchase onions to make it. I was able to freeze 4 jars of it too.


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

I had a similar "fail" with converse. I found a pair on marketplace for a good price and the right size, grabbed them for my kiddo. Got home and realized that the "style" was slightly different, and they were too small. So I placed them back on marketplace and waited and waited but they finally sold, and the timing was perfect, because the weekend they sold, I found another pair on marketplace, this time the right size and style - so it was even steven!

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