1. Puzzling problems…
Like many people, one of the things that we are enjoying during this stay at home period are puzzles. I was lucky enough to buy a selection of puzzles the day before the stay at home order was announced and have been thankful ever since. However, I quickly realized that having only one table in the house (my kitchen table) didn’t really work for our family and our love of puzzles, so I bought a small card table to set up in our living room. Then…I realized that the soft top of the table didn’t really work for puzzles, so I thought about buying a puzzle board off of Amazon. After seeing how expensive they were (!!!) I started to look around my house for other options. Strangely enough, the best thing I found was a rigid canvas board that worked wonderfully. The rough texture keeps the pieces from sliding everywhere and it was the perfect size too. So now we are happily back to doing puzzles again….but are down to our last one!!!!
2. School books
We lucked out twice this week on school books. My daughter will be taking an astronomy class at a nearby community college this summer and so I hoped online to see what the cost of the book would be. Once I saw how expensive the textbook was (!!!) I emailed the professor to see if we could substitute in an older edition. Thankfully the instructor said that was perfectly okay and that he encourages students to buy older editions anyways. Which begs the question….why would they tell the students they need a new textbook to start with??? Anyways…that means that we saved over $100:)
Faced with a long boring summer, my daughter also decided to start Algebra 2 early instead of waiting for the fall. We lucked out and found the curriculum set we were looking for at our homeschool co-op that we can borrow for free. That saved us $60.
If you have followed my blog over the years, you know that I love the humble pothos plant. It is my favorite house plant simply because it is beautiful, grows fast, and it extremely easy to care for. In fact, it loves to be neglected and that makes me its perfect partner! Another great thing about the pothos is that it is really easy to propagate more plants from the mother. You just clip off one of the leggy vines, stick it in water, and then replant it after the roots grow two inches. I have used this process over the last few years to great success and turned two plants into seven quite easily. However, I have been going stir crazy lately and had the brilliant idea to turn my stair case ledge into a beautiful plant exhibit, but I needed more plants. Sadly none of my current plants had the right size vines for propagation. Luckily, our Lowe’s had a nice selection of pothos plants available, so I slapped on my mask and brought my hand sanitizer and headed off to the store. The frugal part about this whole adventure was that the plant I chose had six mini plants in one planter. I guess the plant seller just potted up a few of their newly rooted plantings and sold them that way. So I got six new plants for only $12. Now my ledge is overflowing with new plants:)
**The plant I bought had two really long vines, so I snipped them in half and now I have four cuttings rooting in water….I may be addicted….
4. Dollar Tree
So far during this quarantine, I have mostly stuck to only grocery shopping and the occasional trip to the home improvement store (thanks to plumbing issues and my current plant obsession!) But after weeks of hearing my kids complain of boredom, I decided to head to the Dollar Tree and see what I could find to keep them entertained. I forgot all of the wonderful things that you can find there. We got slime, silly putty, a table top football set, Nutella snack packs, sponges, tooth paste, candy, and the most adorable little garden figurines to keep my new staircase plants company. **I was surprised (and delighted) that the garden figurines were completely solid and not hollow!
5. Plumbing Issues
I mentioned plumbing issues earlier. We live in an older house plagued with many issues. But hey, its paid for so we cope! Over the past few weeks, we have had three plumbing issues that have popped up: a broken toilet seat (I fixed that…$15), a broken shower arm that got somehow melted into the copper pipe in the wall (my husband and my father fixed that…$15) and a leaky pipe that had been slowly flooding our kitchen for a few days apparently (my husband fixed that…$5) We were very lucky to be able to fix all of these things ourselves because I cannot imagine what the plumber’s bill would have been…
How have you been frugal lately??