Thirteen Frugal Things

Cabbage rolls

Kristen from The Frugal Girl and Katy from The Non-Consumer Advocate often post lists of five frugal things they’ve done recently. Since I’ve been MIA from the blog lately I thought I would post a longer list. Thirteen frugal things is almost alliteration!


I moved in with my boyfriend (Mr S) in April. We split the rent equally and even though it’s a whole house, it’s $10 cheaper a week than my old apartment. We joke that we live in the cheapest house in Brisbane!

Plus we save in petrol money since we don’t have to travel several times a week to see each other.


I picked up two fish tanks for free. The first was an enormous turtle tank for Toby (4ft x 2ft x 2.5ft), which we on permanent loan from friends of Mr S.

The second one was a smaller tank that was being thrown away at uni. We’re going to use that one and Toby’s old one to grow plants for him to eat/destroy.


I bought epsom salts in bulk online. For the first time in ten years I live in a house that has a bathtub, and I’ve been adding epsom salts to my baths to make them extra-relaxing. I was initially buying small boxes from the supermarket, but they worked out to be $10 a kilo, which was a bit too pricey.

Earlier this year I bought an 11kg bucket on eBay, which worked out to be just over $4 a kilo including postage. Jut recently I bought 25kg from the same seller, which worked out to $2.64 per kilo, a much more reasonable price.

Homemade worm farm


We built a own worm farm using plastic tubs from Ikea (similar to this one). The worms are now chowing down on our kitchen scraps and by summer we should have heaps of lovely soil for the garden.


I stopped watching TV. I never plugged my TV in after I moved in and haven’t missed it. I guess it’s more time-saving than money-saving, but I am hardly exposed to any ads now. Instead, we watch movies on our computers and I have just signed up for a free trial of Netflix (which only recently launched in Australia).

Spring onion shoots


Last weekend I planted the ends of spring onions in the garden to see if they would regrow. Most of them have already sprouted, meaning free spring onions.


I checked out a new op shop (thrift store) near my new place and it was super-cheap. On my first visit I bought three T-shirts for $1 each, and on my second, I got four items of clothing for $10. Not bad for a city op shop!


A friend gave me a free cabbage that her family would not eat, and I used it to make cabbage rolls (above) and sauerkraut.

iHerb order Australia


I ordered several supplements, salt toothpaste and henna for my hair from iHerb. I love iHerb because everything is reasonably priced, including postage to Australia. In fact, this time because I spent over $50, postage was free through Australia Post. If you want to try iHerb out, you can use the code MCC437 to get $10 off your first order (this is a referral link).


I bought a refurbished laptop instead of a new one after my laptop died unexpectedly (luckily I have an emergency fund). It’s a model from 2013, and although there were some hiccups initially with the installation of Windows, it’s now working perfectly. I even managed to remove some RAM from my old computer and install it in the new one, to make it faster.


I use my old bed as a couch. Our house is a little strange and doesn’t really have a living room, so instead I use the second bedroom. Since I already owned a queen-sized bed and didn’t own a couch, I piled a beanbag and lots of pillows onto the bed and use it as a couch. Plus, it can still be used as a bed if we have guests.

Veggie garden


We (okay this one was mostly Mr S.) dug up a part the front lawn to put in a huge veggie patch. We’re pretty lucky in this respect because our landlord has given us free reign in the garden (hopefully chickens are in the future too!).


I figured out I could borrow books from the uni library with my staff ID, even though I am only a casual staff member. Even better, staff members don’t get charged late fees!

It’s great to be back, please share some frugal things that you have done lately in the comments. 

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  1. All good things! I love buying in bulk as well – less shopping trips and cheaper prices! As for me, we recently found a 0-6 month snowsuit for the baby at a yard sale for 25 cents! I’m due in November, so I’m hoping that will last us the whole winter 🙂

    • Nice bargain on the snowsuit – my sister and I went op shopping recently for my nephew (okay, and also for me!), and got so many cheap clothes for him. And they all looked new 🙂

  2. I”m happy to hear from you again, Liz. A new house all for you and your boyfriend with so much room both inside and out. I’m looking forward to hear what else you are up to.

    • Thanks, I’m having trouble finding time for this blogging thing recently, but am trying to do it more regularly 🙂

  3. Hi Liz, Glad you are back! Lots of changes for you. Working in a library now! Hearing about Toby’s new tank made me feel all happy.

    • Whoops, I’m not actually working in the library, I’m working at the university doing tutoring, but that gives me access to the library 🙂 Toby is still loving his new tank, and we just added a bunch of plants for him.

  4. That’s quite a few things! I would love to sample your cabbage treats. I don’t know if I can pinpoint anything in particular that I’ve done to be frugal – I have really cut down on eating out this year, if that counts.

    • Good for you! Eating out has been one of my big expenses this year – it’s a lot easier to say “let’s go out” when there’s someone else living with you! I’m trying to cut down for the remainder of the year.

  5. Not watching TV really ist the best. And also, I want to work where you work. No late fees? Amazing.

  6. Welcome back. Many changes afoot here as well. Returning to F/t work has made being frugal more challenging.

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