Daily Frugality

by Katy on June 18, 2015 · 19 comments

Clothesline Selfie

I just got home from dropping my son at work. Of course I combined the cross town errand with as much other stuff as possible.

  • I dropped off some Sears gift cards at my mom’s house. (We’d earned from these from credit card points.) My mother is buying a Land’s End swimsuit, so she bought the cards from us.
  • I stopped at a free pile and brought home six nice empty tea tins. I’ll use them for a craft project using Mod-Podge and some old maps I bought at the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet store.
  • I then swung by Safeway to buy toothpaste and mustard, which are both items I always buy with a coupon. Safeway doubles up to four coupons, so the Colgate was free and the French’s mustard was damned close to it, as it was BOGO, plus I was able to double the $1 coupon. I found a cute orange hair elastic on the ground, which I brought home and washed for my long haired sons.
  • Later I’ll clean one of my mother’s guest cottages, deposit money in my credit union savings account, sell a garbage picked chair for $20, make dinner from scratch and take my son and a friend to the mall next to Costco, where I’ll buy coffee and have a snack-lunch. I have laundry on the clothesline which I’ll leave up in an attempt to sun-bleach the white towels.

Frugality is part of every day I spend on this earth, which wouldn’t change even if I won the lottery.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane June 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Once frugality becomes a part of daily living, it is second nature. I still like to call my life Living Large On Little. I may not have much, but what I have I cherish.

Keep on setting the example, Katy!


Katy June 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm

“Living Large on Little.” <--- I like that!


Ruby June 18, 2015 at 1:07 pm

We have lived frugally for so long that it’s basically woven into the fabric of our lives.

1.Today I bought luncheon ham, cat litter and a box of Belgian cookies, and used $2.85 worth of coupons, which essentially made the ham free.
2. Also stopped by the Salvation Army and discovered their $1 jeans sale is still on and has extended to any slacks that look vaguely jeans-esque. So I snagged two pairs of much needed slacks (Travelsmith and Coldwater Canyon brands) for $2 total.
3. Got my glasses repaired for free under warranty.
4. Snagged a couple of free e-books from Bookbub.
5. For years now, the Mister and I have had a Thursday night cheap date for Mexican food and a couple of beers. Money is tight right now, so I cooked up a big pot of homemade chili with chorizo and corn muffins — all ingredients from Aldi, so super-cheap and GOOD — and bought some beer. The cost of our meal, with beer and the aforementioned fancy cookies for dessert, was less than two beers at the local Mexican restaurant.


gloria June 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Do you ever give anything away? It’s always “I got this from the free pile and sold it” and “Freecycle didn’t have a wallet for me” and “sold gift cards to my mother” etc.


Katy June 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

I give stuff away as well, although mostly I donate to Goodwill. And right now I’m working on putting nosey aside for my sons’ college fund.


Susanne g June 18, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Money aside for college fund, took me awhile. Think the question posed is slightly snarky. As stated before, saving on purchases is sometimes easier than bringing more money into the household. I love how you have good ideas for both.


Betty Winslow June 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm

My frugal events today:
1. went to the coffeeshop and intentionally bought a coffee and scone which I planned for (that, for me, is frugal, since it wasn’t an impulse) and had Bible study with the women I meet with regularly. (No kids today, which made the meeting more peaceful than usual!)
2. Bought a box of jumbo crayons at the local dime store, to go with a thrifted Hello Kitty coloring book, so my granddaughter will have something to do next time she’s here that doesn’t involve throwing a ball in the house….
3. Took leftover curry and rice to my daughter at her job, for her to share with her BF when she gets off work, so she didn’t have to cook and I didn’t have to waste the food.
4. Dinner for me was homemade tamales bought from a friend who makes them for sale to help support her family of nine, eaten with a friend who loves Mexican food (which my hubby does not). Enjoyed the food AND the visit!
5. And now, I’m going to watch a movie I borrowed from the library. (Watched one last night, too…)
Frugal living is the way to go, and if I won the lottery, I’d pay off our house, buy two new cars, and probably bank the rest while we thought about how best to use it to bless others.


marie June 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I have a same thoughts as you about the lottery.
Pay of the mortage, buy newer cars, and ???


marie June 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm

When we talk about winnning the lottery at our house. { would be hard to win since we never buy a ticket!} My husband has such different ideas than mine.
His involves buying expensive {to us} things, like a motorhome!
I really wouldn’t change how I do things.
I am quite content thinking of creative ways to live


Linda M June 18, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I agree….when you start your journey to daily being frugal it is a daily thing of discipline to form new habits. After not too long you are automatically doing these new habits without even thinking…plus seeing the financial as well as the ecological benefits. At that point, the light bulb really comes on and you find yourself looking for new ways to save, reuse, recycle and repurpose and you feel like it is a game. A pretty fun game that continues challenge me.

I love reading your blog as it motivates me, challenges me, and gives me new ideas. I also thank the commenters because there is always some humor along with many new suggestions and encouragement. Plus the feeling of contentment is great when you know you know how to economize and if times get worse you will survive…..you know how to live below your means.. But I am sure many of the readers find it a way to survive with much less than their income says they should be able to….what a blessing!


Lucy June 19, 2015 at 4:03 am

I too get inspiration from this blog and its wonderful commenters, more so than all the other blogs I read put together.


Kathleen June 19, 2015 at 3:04 am

Thank you for the morning inspiration. We’ve had a bit of an unavoidably expensive month, and I was starting to fall into the “why bother with the small things when these big things happen” mentality. I’m going to pull myself together today.


Isabelle June 19, 2015 at 3:52 am

Hmm…. I’m right there with you. Moving, old house not sold yet, everything costing a leg and a arm at the moment, I tend to forget about the small stuff that can make a difference in the long run.


K D June 19, 2015 at 4:03 am

“Frugality is part of every day I spend on this earth, which wouldn’t change even if I won the lottery. ”

That truly is how I feel. And as someone else said, it would be hard to win the lottery, as we don’t play.

An older friend of mine, that collects old linens, swears by grass bleaching for stains. Here is a link:



Ann Y. June 19, 2015 at 5:17 am

Frugal events this week….
Had a great lasagna and salad dinner from leftovers at an end of the school year luncheon. The PTO was bagging it up and giving it away – dinner done and free!
Got several books and the JAWS dvd (40th anniversary this weekend) for free at my wonderful library.
Went shopping ( my vice, but I shop frugally) with my best friend of over 40 years…made sure I had email coupons, codes, and picked up a free Redbox card with my loyalty card.
Right now I am going to clean my home…so many people have a cleaning service, but I like to save the money and get the exercise.
Topping the day off with cutting my lawn ( as I always do) and my neighbors…who will do the same for me, saving both of us from hiring someone when we can’t do it !
Oh, and getting energy by having a cup of coffee by using my “frugal Keurig”…a melita one cup drip that my husband won as a door prize and I use clearance priced filters and coffee I got for cheap stacking store and manufacturer coupons.
Keep on saving !


Swetas June 19, 2015 at 10:39 am

I went to the mall an hour ago to get my birthday freebies (Great America cookie, Marble Slab, and Sephora) at the entrance to the mall I found $.50 outside of Nordstrom (of course) and totally thought of you!


Kim June 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Happy birthday!


Marcia June 19, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I agree I wouldn’t change much of my life. We are retired and have so few needs or wants beyond medical, food, and upkeep on cars and house. Doing it ourselves has been a way of life for so long, we rarely pay anyone else to do for us. A few things we can’t keep up with as we get older, but not much.

I still use coupons as much as possible–to NOT use them would be like ignoring free money. Although I try to buy “from scratch” cooking items, I still can save on soaps, shampoos, and occasional other ingredients. Coupons have been pretty scarce lately for things I do use, but I use the ones I can. I also stock up on sale items for the pantry when they are especially low. My secret vice (Rice-a-Roni) was only 88 cents a box last week–never goes on sale for less than $1 so I bought enough for a few weeks.

This week I hemmed and sewed a button on a pair of thrift shop pants for DGD. She is working full time at a Consignment shop and finds things she likes now and then. Plus they get a discount AND they get store credit for every day that they go over their “sales goal” and that adds up to considerable savings. I also cut off a pair of ill fitting jeans for myself and hemmed them into shorts. I tried them on and I think they are going to work just fine. I also moved a couple pair of khaki pants from hangers in the closet to my pants drawerr–because I just don’t wear them enough if I don’t “see” them in the drawer.

While messing around in my closet I filled two bags with unneeded clothes and shoes, and some things I have had a long time and just got tired of, or didn’t like too much to start with. I drove those over to the local migrant ministry office after reading in the paper that the more rural areas don’t get as many donations as they need—Salvation Army and Goodwill are mostly in the larger towns and cities. This was my second trip to the migrant ministry drop off and I think I’m going to try and remember to go there instead of Goodwill. Especially because the clothes were extremely wearable–just mostly I didn’t WANT them around any more. I’m working MORE on de-cluttering this year, and also carried some old books out to the recycling bin in time for pick up this week. (No, I can’t sell them or give them away–no one wants old encyclopedias anymore!)

My aim is twofold—to get rid of stuff we no longer need or use, and to make the house easier to clean for me in my “old age.” We have way more STUFF than we need at this point in our lives.


Elise @ SimplyScaledDown June 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Awesome job! Today has not been a good day on the frugal front. I had every intention of going to the library, then home for lunch, then to a Dr appointment for the littles. It turned into errands (with treats for kids because my nerves couldn’t take the whining), lunch out because traffic was too bad to make it home, and now I’m contemplating dinner out. Oye!


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