5 Frugal Wins & 2 Frugal Fails – June 7

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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 floating in the universe one day

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.

Frugal fails
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?

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14 thoughts on “5 Frugal Wins & 2 Frugal Fails – June 7”

    • Agreed! Sewing is so useful, and it’s not hard at all sewing back a button that fell off. ^.^

  • Sewing is such a useful skill! I am self taught and terrible at it, but I can get the job done. I have a basket full of clothes that need some kind of mending done, but I just haven’t sat down to do it. I would like to get better at it, and really practice is the only way.

    Good job on your free pizza!

    This week I treated my partner to drinks at a bar after work which wasn’t necessary, but was a lot of fun. We’ve also done a good job of buying only the food we need so hopefully we won’t see much food waste this weekend.

    • For some reason, I thought everyone knew how to sew at least at the basic level until I found out otherwise. I totally agree with you it’s such a useful skill to have and to teach yourself. 🙂

      I’m glad you had fun with your friends and stick with your meal plan. Great job on the frugal wins!

  • Frugal win – shopping at a new Aldi they just built semi close to our house. Aldi is amazing.

    Frugal fail – Not having enough diapers for our trip to the zoo and having to buy some over priced ones at the grocery store while having a hundred at home. Kind of like the socks.

    • Haha socks and diapers or frugal fails of the week ;). Sounds amazing though that you spent time with the family at the zoo. I hope you baby enjoyed seeing all the cute animals there too!

  • Hey can’t beat free food, always take advantage of that.
    I just found out at my local library offers various online classes for free so I just signed up for an advanced Excel class to enhance my skills even more. And my wife signed up for a class on the best ways to teach your kid to read and write. Frugal Win.
    However, I compiled our expenditures last month and saw that our groceries spending were higher than usual because we did paid a good amount of impulsive items at Costco. Frugal Defeat.
    We talked about it and we plan to cut down on the impulse buying. Lesson learned.

    • Mr. FAF and I fall into the impulsive purchase trap when we do grocery shopping too, especially when we’re hungry @_@. It’s great your library offers such great free courses! I also found a lot of free e-books on rental property and management at my local library one time and took advantage of that. 😀

  • You’ve had some great frugal wins this time, Ms. FAF! I also won’t eat if I know there’s a free food event coming, to “prime” myself.

    The next time you’ve got milk that’s just about to go bad, use it to make pancakes or crepes: the heat from the cooking will kill off more bacteria in it than just drinking it straight. I’ve actually found a coffee cake recipe that calls specifically for sour milk, if you’d like me to send it to you.

    Either way it’s not worth it to eat food that’s actually expired and will make you sick: that’s the “sunk cost fallacy” in action!!

    Anyways, cheers on having more frugal wins than fails!

    • That’s a great idea. I would love to have the recipe! It sounds delicious. Thank you! ^.^ I totally agree with you. It’s not worth it getting sick to eat food that’s no longer good. Our health is more important. 😉

  • Hi Ms. Faf! One of the criticisms of the Western diet is its focus on meat and utilization of only certain animal parts (i.e. chicken breast, steaks). I was wondering if maybe in the future you could do a post about using non traditional ingredients like hearts and wings and how that relates to cooking frugal and nutritious meals?

    • Hi Millie, that’s a great idea. I will do a bit of brainstorming about the topic and will probably write a post about it soon. Thank you so much for the suggestion! =)

  • I pulled my hamstring yesterday during my bootcamp which means I need to sit out for a couple of days to let it rest and heal. I feel like this is a frugal loss since I paid for a monthly bootcamp that I can use 🙁

    • Oh noo…I hope you will get better soon. Your health is more important than being frugal, so don’t worry too much about the bootcamp and just rest until you’re well again. This incident was by no means your fault, so I wouldn’t count it as a frugal loss. Enjoy the sunny weather! ^.^

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