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Welcome to another post in the Frugal Wins & Frugal Fails series!
Mr. FAF left DC about three weeks ago. I spent most of the three days off on the Memorial weekend working on my blog: writing new posts, responding to comments, interacting with other bloggers on Twitter.
This past weekend involved more fun and hanging out with friends.
Below are the 5 frugal wins and 2 frugal fails for the past two weeks.
5 Frugal Wins
1. Free Pizza
We had a pool party with free pizza in our community two weeks ago. The pizza was actually not entirely free since it came from our monthly HOA fee. But it’s ok. It’s better than no free food at all.
I looked forward to this event the whole week. Sometimes I crave pizza but don’t want to buy it. I usually try to hold out for a while. Then there will be a free pizza event at work or in the community.
It was also great to see the neighbors whom I hadn’t seen for the whole winter. Summer is the time of fun activities in our community. I just can’t wait to have more summer joy with my neighbors!
I had six (small) slices of pizza. I knew there was going to be free food that day, so I had a small breakfast and let my stomach protest until lunch time. There was so much pizza that day, so I was encouraged to take some pizza home. I got four slices for lunch the next day.
Free pizza rocks!
2. Free astronomy club
Mr. FAF recently told me he’s interested in astronomy and wants to join some clubs. I’m all for exploring interests and passion, so I encouraged him to do so.
I think it’s partly because Mr. FAF has seen how much I’ve liked my newfound passion – blogging, so he wants to find his.
Mr. FAF went to a free astronomy club. I think he liked it but was a bit overwhelmed by all the terminology. I guess that’s part of the learning process.
He still wants to go to future meetings. As long as it’s a free or not expensive hobby, I’m all for it.
3. Not doing grocery shopping the last week of May
Whenever the weekend rolls around, I often feel the urge to go grocery shopping no matter what food we still have at home. It always starts with something running low (i.e. milk, fruit) and turns into a list of other purchases at the store.
Given our exploded food expenses for May, I reminded myself about what we still had in the fridge and pantry. The milk and fruit were running low, but there was enough for another week.
Some of the groceries we bought in May
4. Using up all the leftover ingredients
Mr. FAF loves putting garlic, cilantro, ginger, and green onions in his dishes. I, on the other hand, don’t really use them that much. Before he left, Mr. FAF left me 3 small bowls of already chopped greens.
I wasn’t going to make anything that would call for such ingredients but didn’t want to throw them away either. Then a light bulb went on in my head.
I used the leftover chicken hearts stir-fried with jalapeno and some frozen green beans to make soup. I then put all of the chopped garlic, cilantro, and green onions in it.
It turned out to be pretty fragrant and tasty. I felt great about saving the ingredients and getting lots of greens in my system on one day.
I boiled a whole chicken the next day and put the ginger in the soup. Ginger always goes perfectly with boiled chicken.
5. Mending old clothes
I mended a T-shirt I got for free four years ago, a pair of socks I’ve had for eight years, a hand-me-down sweater and a shirt for Baby FAF I had gotten for free from a neighbor.
I got a free Capital One T-shirt at an on-campus event a while back. Mr. FAF and I have taken turns wearing it at home. Sometimes Mr. FAF also wears it to go out (i.e. grocery shopping, going on a date with me).
We’ve gotten a lot of use out of this free item. There were two big holes in the underarm areas. But part of me didn’t want to throw it away. I just gave the holes a few stitches, and the T-shirt became a great addition to our wardrobe again.
I put off this project for a while since sewing is not my most favorite thing to do. But it needed to get done. Mr. FAF said he really likes seeing me sewing since I look like a good housewife (hmm I think I am regardless).
I learned sewing in elementary school, so my skills are pretty rudimentary. But it has saved me so much money on clothing. I can sew back a button or patch up a torn area in a shirt instead of throwing the whole thing a way. And it usually takes me a couple of minutes to mend something.
1. Wasted food
I’m embarrassed to say that I wasted a lot of food this past week both intentionally and unintentionally. Before going back to his city, Mr. FAF and I cooked a batch of food for the week, among which was breaded pork. I ate some pieces of the pork, but the rest didn’t sit well in my stomach.
I have a sensitive digestive system due to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). If Mr. FAF were in DC, he would help me finish the food with no problem. But since he’s gone back to his city, I had no choice but to throw them away. I felt guilty, but I needed to prioritize my health over saving money.
That’s not all of the food waste. I totally forgot about the expiration dates of the whole milk and soy milk in the fridge. There were probably two cups of whole milk and three cups of soy milk that had gone bad by the time I found out.
The soy milk didn’t taste so bad, so I tried to drink one cup in the morning, and my stomach just reacted violently. Well, at least I learned my lesson about paying close attention to when milk expires.
Wasted deep-fried breaded pork & Kirkland organic soy milk
2. New socks
This one was totally my fault. I prepared Mr. FAF’s clothes for him to go back to his city and put only three pairs of socks in his suitcase, thinking he had more at his place. It turned out that he didn’t and got by with 3 pairs of socks for the whole week.
Mr. FAF had to go buy some socks, which could have been avoided if I had been more careful. Oh well, at least socks are a necessity, and we won’t have to buy more for him at least for a couple of years.
I think the free food and wasted food balanced each other out in terms of money saved and wasted. I usually try to eat all the leftovers, but sometimes my IBS just won’t let me, so I have to listen to my body.
Mr. FAF going to an astronomy club was an unexpected frugal win. He’s talked about wanting Baby FAF to be an astronaut one day, but I think I’d prefer having Baby FAF working on our planet instead.
What about you? Did you have any frugal wins or frugal fails these past weeks?