Free Dough . . . Edible and Otherwise

by Katy on January 2, 2012 · 19 comments

It may sound too single minded, but almost everything I do in my life is related to frugality. I batch my errands, I take advantage of great local deals and there’s nothing I enjoy more than going to thrift stores.

Recent frugal activities include:

  • After dropping my mother and step-father at the airport I took my younger son to Ikea, (which is right next door.) I registered for their Ikea Family program, (which gives you a free coffee or tea with every visit) and then treated my son to a lunch, as they’re running a kids-eat-free promotion at the moment. So . . . lunch for him and coffee for me, yet I didn’t spend any money. And of course, I found a penny in the parking lot, as well as an unused Forever Stamp worth 44¢.
  • My son then wanted to go to thrift stores, so we drove over to the main Goodwill, where I bought an adorable cast iron pan with tempered glass lid, a vintage blank “Memory Book” from 1953, (which I will sell on eBay) and a nice 4X6 photo album for the pictures I just had printed of all the Japanese exchange students and teachers we’ve hosted through the years. (Walgreens just had a promotion of 25 free 4X6 prints!) My son bought a wooden box that’s the perfect size for his comic books, a few comics, as well a brand new Domo T-shirt. Grand total was $19.88, and I found 4 pennies in the parking lot. Not to mention that I was spending a $20 gift card I received for Christmas!
  • My younger sister and I hung out on Friday night, and the highlights of our evening included going over my $25 Pottery Barn rug with a UV light to look for possible cat urine stains, (didn’t really find any, although I gave the rug a few squirts with the enzymatic cleaner for good measure.) as well as watching a library DVD of Away We Go. 
  • I took my sons to the local nickel video arcade, for which I had coupons for free admission and $4 bags of nickels. (Seriously, these were great coupons!) The boys played for around an hour-and-a-half, and I found $1.47 in change on the ground and in the coin-return slots. Fun for young and old alike!
  • Working to keep food waste to a minimum, yesterday’s dinner included a potatoes au gratin dish which incorporated the last of some Christmas dinner mashed potatoes; and today’s dinner of fettucini alfredo included the last of the whipping cream that had originally been paired with pumpkin pie.
  • Tonight we baked, (and then ate) chocolate chip cookies, using a tub of pre-made cookie dough from Papa Murphy’s. Apparently, I had signed up for their e-mails, which include a free tub of cookie dough for your birthday. (My birthday is January 4th.) I also walked my plastics recycling over to New Season’s on my way to get my free dough.

There’s not a single day when I’m not enjoying all the frugal pleasures that life has to offer. Sometimes it’s the obvious stuff like library books and found change, but it’s not uncommon to discover new and wonderful frugal opportunities.

It all adds up to a wonderfully rich life.

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 }

Bellen January 2, 2012 at 4:37 am

Love this post. I think in these hard economic times we all should do more of the ‘count your blessings’. By the way, I always used to find coins on the ground, especially pennies, and change in the coin slots of machines – not any more! I think everybody’s out there looking and picking up too.


jude January 2, 2012 at 6:07 am

I don’t find as much money on the ground as I used to either. I did find a dime at the mall the other day. My fondest memory of found money goes back about five years when I found a $20 bill in a puddle in an alley behind a strip mall. That’s a once in a lifetime experience!


Linda January 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I have found a $20 bill too. But for me it was a twice in a lifetime experience. One was on the sidewalk outside a store and the second in a mud puddle in the parking lot of my work place. I too tend to find less change on the ground than I used to. I attribute it to people using credit or debit cards rather than carrying cash like they used to.


Jinger January 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

Living Large on Little….excellent!


Jessica January 2, 2012 at 6:05 am

Agreed! Loved this post. It’s so nice to see how so many small things add up. Really enjoy this blog. It helps me count my blessings also.


Cheapchick January 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

Quickly on your way to a full “found money” coin jar. Sounds like a great day


Andrea January 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I also love using the library for DVDs (along with many other materials). I usually have to wait a little longer for new release DVDs (usually a month or two after they are released – depending when I get on the hold list) but after I got a good list going, I’ve had a steady stream relatively new movies that I want to watch for free. An added bonus is that they check out for a week, versus one night with Redbox, so I have time to fit it into my schedule. Not that I don’t pay for rented movies at all now, but $1 here and there for a new movie does add up! Plus, it supports my library, which is very important to me.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl January 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Ooh, free cookie dough on one’s birthday is most excellent.


Anne Weber-Falk January 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm



Lilypad January 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I just went to Ikea on Friday and signed up for the family program. My store here in the Seattle area offered a free frozen yogurt cone for signing up. Yahoo!


Katy January 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Actually we got that as well, but I didn’t want to make it sound like all I feed my kids is crap.



Katie January 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

heehee. 🙂

Happy New Year, Katy! This post has me looking forward to a year full of satisfyingly frugal activities of my own.


Roxanne Heard January 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Sounds like you are having a great week!!!!


Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land January 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Katy, I think some of us are just thrifty to the core!

Having heard that blogging is good for an Etsy shop’s SEO, I started one. Somehow, I can write about any random life experience, and without even trying, there’s always at least an undercurrent of thrift.


AnnW January 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Okay, we want a total each week of the money you find. Remember in the Great Gatsby when Nick said that Daisy and Gatsby were careless people? You are just living life with care and deliberation. It’s admirable. Ann


Laura January 3, 2012 at 9:28 am



HeatherS January 3, 2012 at 3:10 am

My son finds change (and sometimes $1 and $5 bills!) on the ground all the time. I always figured it was because he was busy looking down and not looking where he was going! LOL I will have to start looking down more often too!

Wondering what kind of cleaner you used on the rug and if it would get out cat urine if there had been any? Our elderly cat is having “troubles” and I have had to throw out some things recently but would have loved to be able to save them if possible.


emma January 3, 2012 at 6:19 am

Natures Miracle is fantastic.


hippierunner January 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

yay for finding so much change!! And I love Away We Go, such a sweet movie!


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