Thursday, February 13, 2020

Some frugal things we've done

I know this might come as a surprise to many, but we do lots of little things that helps us continue to live way below our means. I rarely post about it, because most of the items will just be repeated in new posts.

1. Used our bottle of Cascade dishwashing liquid for just 10 days shy of 6 months. I mark most items to see just how long they last us. I've been doing this since I was a teenager, because I've always been an independent person and wanted to see how long my toiletries lasted, until I had to buy more (with my own money of course)

2. Found these bags of reduced oranges (there were some grapefruit and minneolas too) for $1 each at the produce market. There were 8-10 oranges per bag. I used it to make fresh squeezed juice.

Last month I found a huge box of apples for $2 and made some applesauce and juiced the rest. The juice tastes so much better than store bought (we all know that store bought isn't even 100% juice) and it only contains natural sugars (we use very little sugar)

Then I used to apple pulp to make muffins. I don't know if there's any nutritional value left in the pulp, but I hate having to throw it all out. I started doing this years ago, trying to reduce food waste. Sometimes I'll freeze the pulp and add it to our smoothies.

I haven't juiced in years, because I have a very old Jack Lalane juicer that's a pita to clean. I told DH that I'm so happy with fresh juice that I'm gonna look for markdown boxes every time I go to the produce market (which is every fortnite).

3. I zest all my lemons, limes and oranges, before using the rest. Let me just tell you that lemon blueberry pancakes and muffins are the absolute best!! The zest adds so much flavor to it. I used some for holiday cookies and they were amazing.

4. Cleaned out a drawer and removed all those open holiday napkin packages to use up. It's crazy that we only use the napkins one time and forget about the rest. So that's what we're using until it's gone.

5. Finally opened a package of reusable straws I bought at Burlington a few months ago. We drink lots of smoothies and once again I hate all the plastic waste. It's not a big money saver, but it will greatly reduce the amount of straws we constantly have to buy.

6. DS desperately needed some new jeans, so when Gap had an extra 60% off clearance I redeemed points (IGC and Mypoints) for $20 Gap gc and added it to that balance I had on an old card. I also added a long sleeve top (I love these Gap tops and it was on clearance for $3) and shorts for myself. Paid $14.34 and earned $2.94 from Rakuten.

I used Old Navy through Rakuten, because they had a higher cash back % than Gap. The shorts was from Old Navy, that's probably why I qualified for the higher amount. That's the only clothing we've purchased for the year to date.

7. Cleaned out my sock drawer and replaced the old ones with new pairs from my stockpile. Several years ago Macy's had 6pk (6 pairs) Fila crew socks clearanced to $2-3 per pack. I bought 8-10 packs and paid with a gc. Then I saved those sets for a rainy day. So whenever we run out of something, we just shop from our spare closet. I've been shopping like this for years. I'd rather buy items at deep discounts, than wait until we need something and pay full price.

We've never ever done back to school clothes shopping. We always shopped for new items from our spare closet. Our athletic shoes come from Kohls BF sales. You can't beat that price.

8. Maybe not frugal, but Rakuten always offers bonus gcs instead of a check during their first quarter payout. I always get a Kohls gc, but went a different route this year. I settled for a JCP gc, because it offered a 15% bonus compared to 8% from Kohls. This added $11 to my balance. Whoo-hoo. I love free money!

I didn't shop that much over the holidays. I had a nice balance, because most of my shopping was done on days when they had high cash back percentages like 12-30% cash back. Most of my shopping was paid for with gcs too, so this is basically free money to me.

9. Scored 27 FREE Russell Stover single candies for a Valentine's gift project. They were on sale for 3/$1 at WAGS last week and I used points to pay for it all. That's 9 people I could bless for free this week.

10. Refilled my fabric softener bottle and diluted it with water 50/50

11. Refilled our foaming hand soap bottles by adding a teaspoon Softsoap hand soap to water. Also diluted the Softsoap body wash to use as foam bath. I've found that it foams more & better when diluted with water. Not to mention, it lasts longer too ;)

12. We are completely off grid, but we're still mindful of our energy consumption. Turn off the dryer 5 minutes before the cycle ends. The last part of the cycle is just a cool down, so I turn it off and unload the dryer a few minutes after.

13. I'm back to cooking/baking once a week. I love cooking this way, cause it frees up lots of time for work during the week. I use the oven for whatever needs to be cooked/grilled or baked for the week. I make double or triple batches and freeze the rest. It's really hard for me to make small amounts of food, because I grew up in a large family.

14. Cleaned out my makeup bag and replaced old items with new products from my stockpile.

That's about all I can think of right now.


  1. Someone recently chastised me for buy ten dishtowels for $0.44 each. Once I bought dish cloths, dishtowels, and potholders for ten cents each. I quickly realized that they were sets torn apart. Once, I gave a set of two potholders, two dishcloths, and four dishtowels for a going away gift for a friend's son who was 28 and finally on his own. I did not know him, never met him, and didn't particularly care for his mother. I used a shirt box and gift wrap I got for a quarter from a yard sale. So, I spent $0.80 on the gift and probably a dime on wrapping. Plus, I gave the stash away slowly and used the rest slowly for myself. I have bought dirt cheap stuff like that for years. I am continually shocked at the disapproval of others. You did well in my book.

    1. I stopped caring about other people's opinions long ago Linda. They don't work for my money, nor do they know what or just how much I do with all the extra stuff I buy.

      That's a great deal you scored and you were able to bless others in the process. Win-win!

  2. Great buy on the fruit, isn't it nice when you get extras you can share with people.

    1. Thanks Kim. That's my favorite part of shopping the way I do :)


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