Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 5, 2015 · 64 comments

Craigslist listing

  1. I worked both Saturday and Sunday, so I’m starting my weekend today. I helped some amazing women welcome babies into their families, and of course I brought leftovers to eat during my lunch breaks.
  2. My son is home sick from school, so I put the last of some cooked chicken thighs into the crockpot for a chicken soup supper. (Sick? Give ’em some chicken soup!) I’m feeling a bit draggy and suspect I’m in the honeymoon stage before I succumb to virusland myself. #netipot #itaintpretty #inhalertime
  3. My husband texted as I left work asking me to pick up bananas and milk. I stopped at Safeway and was able to use a $10 gift card that my husband was given as a thank you for working an overtime shift. I added a pound of margarine, as I want to bake up a double batch of ginger snaps to mail off to my son. (We normally only buy butter, but this particular recipe simply doesn’t work unless margarine is used.) I still have $3.03 left on the card.
  4. I’m arranging for someone to come by to see a clawfoot tub/shower conversion kit that I listed on Craiglist. We overspent on it ten years ago, but are happy resigned to get whatever we can from it at this point. This is a true lesson in sunk cost fallacy. (Essentially it’s throwing good money after bad, or holding onto something simply because you spent too much money on it.) The guilt with this purchase makes me want to bury my head under the covers, but putting it into the hands of someone who will actually use it should help me to let go of this financial mistake.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie October 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm

(1) I feel your pain on your #4. I have had a few things of that type hanging around myself–but I’m happy to report that I now have fewer of them since reading blogs like yours.

(2) Absolutely brain-dead after work today, so I rummaged around in the freezer and found a seafood quiche I’d bought earlier this year from our favorite local fishmonger for just such an emergency. Supporting a local merchant, plus still cheaper than going out to eat.

(3) Giving tomatoes to the neighbors all along the street. I’ve put 17 quarts in the freezer (setting a new record) and have no room for more. Plus I got to hear one eccentric neighbor’s unique take (shall we say) on local events. Well worth the price of a few tomatoes.

(4) Still mild enough here in Upstate NY to hang laundry in front of open windows. It won’t last much longer, so I’m enjoying it this afternoon.

(5) And it’s not raining here. Sympathies to the folks on the Eastern seaboard who are getting inundated.


MW October 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

– Scavenged enough ugly-looking tomatoes off of the vines to make a batch of oven-roasted tomatoes for pizza sauce. We might get another ripe one or two, but I sort of doubt it.
– Finished making some baby & cat-proof ornaments out of felt for baby and Christmas gifts.
– Returned a $90 pair of shoes after finding a serviceable pair for $20. (I wear a size 12. Bargain shoes are hard to come by.)
– Cut up half a left-over pork shoulder into stew meat, and froze it for future batches of pozole.
– Congratulating my husband for replacing the ancient garbage disposal on his own. And it only took an hour!


Juhli October 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

1. Made depression era recipe chocolate cake (the one with vinegar and cocoa powder) in an effort to keep my afternoon coffee and treat outings to a minimum
2. Used my CVS xtra bucks to get Kleenex on sale and sandwich bags
3. Looked on to find ways to use up the cilantro I had bought to make chicken enchiladas. Spicy chicken and sweet potato stew is now cooking.
4. Found a penny! Not much money on the ground here – people must take care to not drop it or they don’t carry any in the first place LOL.
5. Read a free book on my Kindle.


Bellen October 5, 2015 at 3:08 pm

For the cake recipe, we’ve used this recipe in my family for over 65 years. Some changes: use raspberry vinegar, homemade of course; add chopped nuts; add mini chocolate chips; spread with cherry jam and top with whipped cream; top with minted whipped cream; sprinkle with coconut before baking


Juhli October 6, 2015 at 1:08 am

Great changes to try – thanks!


Sharon H. October 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Great list, Katy. I hope your immune system revs up and you don’t succumb.

1. My health insurance is going to get a workout, I went to see an allergist, the chiropractor, and called to check on the status of a compounded prescription today. Times like this are what I’ve been paying insurance premiums for. It’s too bad I need it, but glad I don’t have to pay the entire cost on my own.

2. Stopped on my way home from the allergist at the natural foods store to buy bulk black beans, split peas, dried chopped onion, decaf coffee, oat bran, and oats. Also got some of the 75% off grass fed dairy half and half that will make creme fraiche (just add whey from the yogurt in the fridge, and let it sit on top of the stove overnight).

3. Picked up a cup of coffee, paying with a gift card I got as a gift.

4. Hanging laundry out to dry, and laying some hand towels out on the green grass to help bleach stains.

5. Also picked up two short novellas from the library in a series I’m enjoying. Much better than the $10 price for each on kindle.


Beth October 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

1. Went out to the food truck today to buy an early lunch and I ended up walking away, yeah! Made do with the some pretzels I had stashed until I could go to lunch two hours later. Went home and ate leftovers from Olive Garden which was paid for by my parents for dinner yesterday.
2. Still hanging up loads of laundry but I feel like I failed in the savings department as I turned our heat on, it was 60 degrees on the 2nd floor where heat supposedly rises.
3. Got a free 3-4 year old lawn mower from my parents this weekend. My old one I bought used over 20 years ago and its still working. Will probably put a sign up and try to sell it. Wonder if $25 is to low or to high? Its a Craftsman but does have a crack in the main case, doesn’t hurt anything.
4. Have enough tomatoes ripened to make a batch of something, haven’t decided yet. Picked up free sticks at my daughters soccer practice to anchor my “tomato gone wild” plant which the cage completely tipped over, its huge!
5. Had a dog walk/sit this weekend and got a $5 tip, all will go in my daughters “brace face” fund. Gave a $1 of it to my daughters Washington DC 8th grade trip, we are a quarter of the way there.


Roberta October 6, 2015 at 6:59 am

If you don’t come up with something to do with the tomatoes, pop them in the freezer on a cookie sheet. When they are frozen solid, transfer them to a bag and use them when you need them in place of canned.

I’m making apple sauce today with apple culls from a local orchard. Also running errands this afternoon, after my friend and her daughter come over for a (cheap) cup of tea and to visit with the (not cheap) rescue puppy.


Catherine October 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Two frugal things so far.

1) Thrifted and scored a Kitson bag that usually range from $34-$68 and got it for 3 bucks.
2) Hung dry kiddos clothes and saved myself 1.25 for the dryer.


Jamie Deangelis October 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

1. I’ve been carting leftovers all over creation with me this weekend to ensure I could get them home and eat them this week – no waste!
2. Today I checked my listings on Amazon and changed the prices to be lowest
3. Spent a lot of my vacation days indoors doing very little – just the way I like it. I’m spending the end of this day doing Swagbucks and laundry
4. I’m going to eat out of the fridge/freezer and not buy groceries this week! We have enough of everything to survive.
5. I haven’t blown all of my mint budgets yet


LisaC October 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

– I looked through my stash of possible Christmas gifts, picked out a few that I haven’t given to anyone and its been sitting there for a couple of years, and listed them on ebay.
– I looked in my craft closet, found the makings of candles that I intended to make, and listed them on a local site, sold them immediately to someone planning a wedding, so that made me feel good too.
– I bought a pair of shoes with my ebay earnings, so that didn’t disrupt my budget.
– batch cooked so I could use the chicken breasts in my lunches for the rest of the week.
-went on a breakfast date with my husband. Much cheaper than lunch or dinner.
-inspected my health insurance statements, comparing them to the Dr. bills. No mistakes this time, but I have caught them in the past.


Betty Winslow October 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm

1. Spent part of the morning at the park with our adopted daughter & granddaughter and a little friend; took a bag of clothes to give to the friend’s mom when she picks her son up. One less pile in the diniing room – yay!
2. Sorted out some girl baby clothes to give my nephew’s GF who is due with a girl in March. The rest of the pile will go to our local pregnancy center or Goodwill.
3. Ate dinner at the park with some of the food pantry crew (I’m on the governing board) – pizza, salad, and cookies. The pizza was left over from the CROP Hunger Walk lunch yesterday and got reheated for tonight – still good! So – free dinner, no need to cook, and no dishes to do!
4. Will be headed over to my older brother’s house here in a few minutes, where some of us from church are gathering on Mondays to read and discuss the book that the church bought for each member. My younger brother and SIL will be there, too, so it’ll be a family reunion, too. 🙂
5. Got together with my GF on Saturday to watch the Navy-Air Force football game (33-11 Yay NAVY!!) and she asked me to bring munchies. I brought tortilla chips, sweet potato ships, and baby carrots, and made a dip out of the left portion of a cottage cheese container, some snipped fresh herbs, a few shakes of seasoned salt, and some pepper. It was ok, but at least it was (more or less) free….


Erica October 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I made a commitment to stop living this suburban lifestyle I despise, get rid of everything and travel the world in a sustainable converted school bus. I was already dreaming that life, but I lost my job (not really frugal) due to cutbacks (worked at a non-profit) and I decided to take the plunge.

The rest of the day I mostly spent listening to Spotify (free) and sipping water out of my reusable bottle while scribbling plans furiously in my notebook.


Phyllis October 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

That sounds like a great plan. I have a friend who sort of doing that with the difference being that she is house sitting along the way. It’s helping to pay her bills and reducing the time she needs to pay to plug in. Godspeed on your planning phase!


Erica October 6, 2015 at 4:32 pm

If I didn’t have a little I think that I would be open to do that. I used to work the convention circuit for an animal sanctuary during college and spent my weekends touring up and down the east coast. It was some of the best time I had in my life, but with a family it becomes more complicated!


Bettypants October 6, 2015 at 5:19 am

That is very interesting. I am also sort of dreaming of getting rid of everything I own. How freeing that must be.


tonya October 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm

I made freezer burrios for quick work lunches.

I baked two loaves of homemade pumpkin bread.

Have a whole ham and veggies roasting for dinner. This was a super cheap Easter clearance ham that I pulled from our deep freeze. I see ham soup, ham sandwiches and other ham meals in the future!

Watched Netflix and read library books.

Stocked up on loss leader flour, yogurt, roasts, pasta sauce and body wash. All future items not to buy at full price. Used coupons for the yogurt, sauce and body wash, showing that judicious use of coupons makes total sense when buying items that we use.


Bellen October 5, 2015 at 3:13 pm

1.Last week planted raw sunflower seeds in the garden, I’ve never done this before, just use them on my salad. They came up!
2. Soaked 40 black beans and planted them today – hope they’ll come up too
3. Harvested 2 leaves each of napa cabbage, kale, collards, swiss chard and 6 radish seedlings/thinnings for my wrap sandwich
4. Trimmed the viburnums that shield the pool mechanics and saved the leaves for mulch – they turn a medium golden brown and look quite nice
5. Didn’t book a trip to DisneyWorld at their newly inflated prices


Deborah October 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm

1) Loaded up clothesline with all bedding today to dry in the sunshine.
2) Enjoying new to me coffee table (formerly a bench left for bulk pick up that my friend/neighbor and I dragged home from our daily walk). With sanding, stain and paint it is attractive and fits our living space perfectly.
3) Learned painting the table above that Lowe’s provides basically quart size Sherwin Williams paint samples mixed in any color in interior flat for $3.48!! Sure beats the $16.48 they charge normally for a quart–a nice employee clued me in and saved me $13. I wrote a complimentary email about the employee and sent it to store management.
4) Picked up an empty beer can on today’s walk and will redeem for a nickel.
5) Found a perfect present for a friend’s BD today at Goodwill but there was no price tag so they had to send it back to receiving to price check and tag (sigh) so I couldn’t purchase. A frugal attempt at least!! LOL


Amanda October 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

1. I overbought groceries last week, but luckily nothing went to waste, and now I can under buy this week.
2. Our oil furnace didn’t come on this first chilly weekend of fall. We tried a new thermostat thinking that might be the problem before calling for service, but that wasn’t the issue. Instead of paying weekend service rates we rotated a space heater around to knock the chill off.
3. My wonderful husband mashed a bunch of too-small-to-use soap bits together to make a bonus bar. This man knows the way to my heart.
4. My husband and I planned out our Brunswick stew prep for next weekend. We cook at this festival each year because it is a family tradition. If we are careful planners the stew we sell will cover our cost of ingredients. I am less about traditions when they cost me money, but we both really love this one, so I’m glad we can financially continue to participate.
5. Washed a bunch of my older son’s clothes that my younger son has grown into.


tonya October 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

My depression-era mother in law used to save the soap bits and put them in a pantyhose tied on the end, and use it in the shower like a washcloth.


Diane C October 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm

LOL! I do the same thing with the mesh bags that garlic or shallots come in. I stick the old piece of soap on top of the new bar and slip both into the bag. The soap makes better lather and the bag acts as a mild exfoliant. Win-win.


Chris October 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

1) The woman I work for asked me if I would stop at Starbucks each day on my way into work to buy her 2 large coffee drinks – since I drive right by one I am happy to (though, of course, I think she is nuts). She gives me $3 each day to compensate me for my time. I finally started using the SB reward card so at some point I will be “rewarded” – whatever form that takes. I load the card with a credit card and take her cash and put it in the check book so I can deposit it to pay the credit card. Kind of crazy but at least I am working the system. . . .
2) Worked through lunch today and brought home 2 meals worth of food – normally I get lunch as part of my work day.
3) Our daughter and her fiance are coming for dinner tomorrow and part of the menu is a butternut squash given to us by a neighbor. The main course is a pork tenderloin bought at Costco by my boss – who picks up what I need each week saving me a Costco membership as well as the temptation of buying things I don’t need.
4) Finally decided to give away a bike rack for our car that we purchased in 2007 and used once!! I’ll list it on our neighborhood social network group tomorrow so I will be home to leave it out for whoever can use it. One more thing out of the garage.
5) We took out a wood table (scarred from years of family use and a dog who chewed a leg) from our kitchen and replaced it with a vintage Formica topped table I had been using in a craft/sewing room. Spent part of this weekend putting away everything that had been on the table – another box ready to be donated and another ready for the next garage sale.


Lucy October 6, 2015 at 4:03 am

LOL @ the dog and the table. One of our chewed all the corners off the coffee table.


Bettypants October 6, 2015 at 5:26 am

A word of caution on Starbucks cards. They are having a big problem with fraud and their accounts/gift cards. I personally had a friend who loaded $$ onto the card, and had it stolen. Starbucks is doing nothing to help her. Just google Starbucks cards fraud and plenty of articles will pop up.


Diane C October 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

@Chris – If you want to really rack up the points on that SB card, pay for each one separately. They count number of transactions, not cups of coffee. Soon you will get to gold status and earn even more freebies for yourself. This is completely legitimate. I was taught it at the SB store, ’cause my friend and I used to take turns buying until a staffer wised us up.

@Bettypants – sad that this happened to your friend, but virtually all gift cards are use it or lose it. Expecting SB to be responsible for her behavior/experience is just plain wrong, IMO. These cards are just like cash and the merchant is not responsible for your cash getting lost or stolen, either. Since I tend to be forgetful, I never load my card with more than $24.00. I used to do $25.00 until a friendly store employee mentioned that at $24.00, no signature is required. No signature is nice, and so is the promise of never losing a very high dollar value gift card.

Note of explanation: In my pre-FIRE days, I rarely graced a Starbucks. Now that I’m retired and can take nice long walks during business hours, I have discovered an awesome walking partner. She has a slight(-ly huge) caffeine addiction, so the majority of our fast-and-hilly walks include good conversation and a SB pit stop. I limit my spending by not buying anything but a basic beverage. I learn a ton from my very-connected-in-the-community friend, who is way smarter than me, so the small SB expense is totally worth it. Plus, she keeps me motivated to get out and exercise, which is also a good thing. I never registered my card, but now that I’ve finally done it, I’m kicking myself over the lost credits.


cathy October 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

I actually had the opposite situation. I recently misplaced my SB card. I just went online to my account, and there’s a spot where you can report a lost/stolen card. I canceled the card and SB sent me a new one with my old balance transferred to it. No hassle at all.


Heather October 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm

1. Sold some paintbrushes (think artist) on ebay. I was working a job in my early twenties and some timelines ran over. They didn’t have any more money in salary and so offered a barter on time for some materials (the paintbrushes). I accepted and shortly after suffered a wrist injury that left painting to the wayside. I’ve been moving around this beautiful set of brushes (unused) for years!

2. Completed a trade for two kitchen items (passed down from my Gram in new condition but simply taking up room in my cabinets) for a Bumbo seat for DD on-the-way! BONUS: met up just down the street from the kids’ school right before pick-up.

3. Organized a box of HBA products that had been shoved here and there. Knowing what I have helps keep things in check!

4. Turned off bubblers since we had some good, steady rain here in the desert.

5. DD9 broke the pump on her conditioner bottle and asked me to try and fix it. After no luck, I finally finished a bottle today with a cap that would fit her bottle. Made the switch and put the conditioner back in her shower.


Anne October 6, 2015 at 7:45 am

Sorry, but I have to ask. You have 9 daughters? 😀


Heather October 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

ha! 3, Anne. DD9 meant Dear Daughter who is 9 years old, but I’m glad the comment left an impression!


Katy October 6, 2015 at 11:34 am

I wondered as well.


Stephanie October 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm

1. I continued working on cleaning up the dirty and moldy outdoor teak furniture that I bought for literally cents on the dollar. Two chaise lounges: done. One table with leaf: done. Five folding chairs: done. One folding chair and two sunbrella chaise lounge covers remain. We used rags, a scrub brush, a dead nail brush, and dead toothbrushes to clean them up, using one cup of white vinegar to four quarts of warm water, and plenty of rinsing from the outdoors hose. I bought them to use, not to re-sell.
2. I went to the library and took out a good selection of books. The husband checked out two books on tape. Frugal fail: I had a fine of $1.35. No excuse…
3.I answered a Freecycle offer for five pounds of new unshelled nuts: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans. The buyer did not know they were in the shell, and did not want to deal with them. I sat on the deck (with the renewed teak table and a cleaned teak chair) and shelled them while listening to free music, speaking to my kids on FaceTime for free, and reading online about good uses for nut shells
4. I bought organic skinless, boneless chicken thighs marked down to $2.99/pound, and deposited them into the deep freezer in the basement. I cooked skinless organic chicken drumsticks for dinner from the deep freezer. I used some of the almond shells, which I soaked in water, to smoke them on the full size Weber grill that I bought at an estate sale for $5.00 years ago. The almond shells worked as a smoke factor.
5. I used more of the organic instant oatmeal that came to me for free to make more Oatmeal Cookies, which again came out well. I will take a dozen to work for my always hungry colleagues.


Katy October 5, 2015 at 7:54 pm

I have a 75¢ library fine that I’ve been avoiding the months now . . .


Mariana Cisowska October 6, 2015 at 11:11 am

I had a $17.89 fine (how did that happen?) last year. I was avoiding paying it as well, until last May (which is a month of a book I think or something like that) which is when my library ‘forgave’ all the fines. Phew.


Tracy Morrell October 6, 2015 at 4:04 pm

My library does a food for fines every year in December and for every food item they take a dollar off your fines. This is how I pay my fines each year. I really have no excuse for running up fines being that I am a librarian and spend a part of everyday there.


Diane October 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Don’t beat yourself up over lost costs. Everyone does it. I, myself have credit card debt that I am sure has made me pay more than double for everything that is on the card. I have learned my lesson and don’t use credit cards any longer. But, I gave up the feelings of regret about all the interest I pay.

You’re a good Mom to send homemade cookies to your son!


Heidi October 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Finally I have something frugal to share!!!
1. Found a dime on sidewalk.
2. Shopped my freezer for dinner and found some chicken taquitos.
3. Shopped my pantry and found pumpkin, cake mix, and chocolate chips. Made cookies.
4. Only had to heat the oven once but doubled up on the cooking.
5. Refilled my 20 oz. water bottle 4 times today with tap water. Also discovered my local gas station will let you fill your own water bottle with ice and water for free! I filled mine and didn’t buy anything else.


Carol M. October 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm

1. I took a walk during my break last week and picked some wild edible greens from suburbia to put on my avocado sandwich: plantain, dandelion, malva, and goosefoot. Delicious!
2. We visited San Diego over the weekend and I was feeling adventurous so I gathered a few pieces of seaweed from the surf and dried them to eat them. San Diego may very well have polluted waters, so I only gathered a few pieces. And I ate them! I recently learned that most seaweed is edible.
3. I was still feeling like I was getting over a cold (teachers often have low-grade colds that last weeks), and instead of skipping tutoring, I bought a $2 bottle of grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice always help me, and it is much cheaper than losing wages.
4. I told them to skip the paper bag that came with my medicine at the pharmacy. Not necessarily frugal, but environmental.
5. Happy to see that I have enough yarn to finish my first pair of crocheted socks. They are kind of awkward looking, but my dad will be happy. A cheap(er) birthday present.


Roberta October 7, 2015 at 6:11 am

Some parts of San Diego have much more polluted waters than others. I wouldn’t eat anything that came out of Mission Bay, San Diego Bay has a lot of petroleum pollution, and Imperial Beach has a lot of sewage pollution after it rains (but there are warning signs posted then). Other than that, enjoy your seaweed. How did it turn out? (Obviously) I live in San Diego, and might be interested in repeating your experiment.


Carol M. October 8, 2015 at 6:58 am

I think the first spot was near the Pacific Beach Ale House, a very crowded area. I only got a couple pieces from there. The second place was the Children’s Cove at La Jolla Cove. I had a much better feeling about that spot. I mostly got red seaweed from there.


Carol M. October 8, 2015 at 7:00 am

And it was pretty tasty!


Bobbi October 5, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Regular frugal daily routine stuff, nothing new:
1) Made coffee at home.
2) Brought leftovers to work for lunch.
3) Cooked dinner from pantry – homemade corn tortillas with bean filling, and steamed broccoli on the side.
4) Exercised at home for free.
5) Watched some Netflix to relax.


Lee October 5, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Last week I had free lunch Monday-Friday at work and brought home a few snacks for my children, too.

Free work lunch today and tomorrow; free work dinners Wednesday and Thursday.

I’l brown bag my lunch on Thursday and Friday. (Wednesday is a special treat — lunch out with a dear friend!)

I wore one of my thrift store outfits today.

I used overripe bananas for banana bread.

I read a library book and the newspapers someone else brought over.

And tonight my kid and I had a good talk about how you can be happy without a lot of stuff, and sometimes having too much stuff can actually make you unhappy.


Katy October 6, 2015 at 11:36 am

I know a few adults who could use that talk as well.


Bettypants October 6, 2015 at 4:45 am

1. I found Mascarpone on clearance at Kroger. I have a bad habit of buying TOO much when I find something good on clearance, so I have been conscious of being more reasonable. I bought only two tubs, enough to make one Tiramisu. I also found wheat bread for 49 cents a loaf, and bought two.
2. Sold 24 photo frames that I had bought several years ago and was no longer using.
3. Gave away a box of yarn on Freecycle. This is very petty, but I find it so irritating when someone can’t be bothered to say “Thank you” after they pick up their item. I have been the beneficiary of free items, and I am always grateful to the person for giving them to me, a total stranger, for FREE.
4. I had bought a lovely comforter set a couple weeks ago. I really loved the color and style, but determined it wasn’t the best match for the bedroom walls. Seems silly to repaint when I am happy with the room as is, so I resold the set to a friend for what I had paid.
5. Stumbled across Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars on a weird special at Kroger. $3.29 per box, but marked with a very small Manager’s Special sign in a bin at the back the store, $1 per box. No mention of this sale in the granola bar aisle. I bought a couple boxes, we tried them, and then I went back and bought about 15 boxes. Excellent item to toss in my son’s lunchbox.


Diane C October 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Re #3 Freecycle. I’ve had that happen too. What I do is create a “Taken” post, stating that the item has been picked up. Then I add something vaguely complimentary about the responder, like” “Oh, I’m so glad you picked up the [widget] promptly. I hope you will really enjoy using it. Thanks, Freecycle.” A tiny bit petty, but I assure you it helps.

In addition, there is a person in my FC group who is so demanding in her requests that I ignore everything she publishes. Demanding as in “I’ll take any laundry soap/dishwasher detergent/paper towels from Costco that you have laying around.” Seriously? Not even a please or a thank you. Gads! And if you read this blog, TM, I’m talking about you.

Please don’t lose faith in Freeecycle, Bettypants, it does do a lot of good, despite the few ungrateful wretches.

Sidebar: Last week, a person I “know” via freecycle selected me to give something that she had posted on FC and had several requests for. I know her circumstances are very limited, so I raided my fridge and pantry and brought her two bags of food. We both went away happy.


Amanda October 6, 2015 at 6:10 am

1. Gleaned about 2000 pounds of apples from 2 different orchards. Brought home 1/2 the apples (the rest went to 3 different food banks) and turned them into applesauce, and used my
2. freecycled/gifted canning jars to can them in!
3. attended a free picnic put on by a local political party supporting our veterans, used the experience to teach our homeschooled kids about the different branches of the military, talking to veterans about their experience. 4.It took place at a golf course, and the manager came out and showed the kids how to tee off!
5. I had a negative experience at a joann fabric’s store a couple weeks ago, I wrote to the company asking them to train their staff on this particular topic and they are sending me a gift certificate!


Katy October 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

Wow, that’s a lot of apples!


Ruby October 6, 2015 at 7:23 am

My husband started his new job yesterday. Great happiness at our house, and black-belt frugality continues:

1. Made a batch of homemade peanut butter cookies to use up some baking mix that had been open for a while and some natural peanut butter that was too runny to make good sandwiches.
2. Mended a shirt for my husband.
3. Am participating in an October spending fast led by another frugal blogger. I don’t have a lot of un-frugal habits left to stomp out, but this is helping me work on them, and in the process cut our grocery budget way back.
4. Continuing to fix some cosmetic issues with our house, using supplies on hand and good old elbow grease. Also continuing to declutter along the way. Now is a great time to declutter closets, since we’re transitioning from summer clothes to stuff for cooler weather.
5. Sometimes four is all you got. 🙂


Katy October 6, 2015 at 11:34 am

Ahh . . . elbow grease. The cheapest and most difficult home improvement tool.


Ruby October 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Yep, you gotta make that elbow grease yourself. I need a vat of it every time I even think about regrouting our shower, which has to be done soon. 🙂


Vickie October 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

1) I bought new car tires yesterday. They were $100 less expensive at the local tire shop than the national chain in town. Plus, the guy who owns it is one of my hubby’s customers. Now I’m ready for my trip out of state at the end of the month.
2) I went into the the nearest town where we live to get horse feed and cat food – the tax is cheaper there than the one where I work.
3) I shopped at the Tribal grocers, which means the tax is 1/2 what I pay if I shop in the town where I work. Just a few groceries and they had some good sale items.
4) Made polish sausage and kraut hot dogs for dinner, instead of picking up ready-made food and now I have leftovers for tonight’s dinner.
5) I finished another audio book, so I’m headed to the Library at lunch to pick up some more.


Kate October 6, 2015 at 8:01 am

Katy, I’d love to see your chicken soup recipe!


Katy October 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

Recipe?! I put three leftover chicken thighs m the crock pot with some saved bones. I added seasoned salt, chopped garlic and onion. I then took the chicken out after a few hours and pulled the meat from the bones. I added chopped carrots and cooked for a few more hours. When it was basically done I splashed in a bit of worchester sauce and added frozen peas, more salt and pepper and broken pieces of uncooked lasagna noodles. SOUP!


JD October 6, 2015 at 8:05 am

1. I fell victim to the creeping crud, so I didn’t spend or do much of anything! Letting my body heal itself with elderberry and vitamin C I already own instead of running out for prescriptions or expensive OTC meds.
2. Convinced my husband to use what we had to fix our mailbox instead of replacing the whole thing.
3. Another CFL bulb is dead, and I will replace it with an LED. They are more expensive to buy, but they last for so, so long, and cost next to nothing to use. Plus they are brighter than CFL, so I turn on fewer lights and need less lamps overall.
4. Leftovers for lunch — black beans cooked from dried beans and rice with salsa.
5. Made my own kefir this weekend and brought some sweetened with raw local honey for a snack today. Good, and good for me.

Katy, don’t feel bad about the tub thing. We bought an outbuilding kit and when we opened it, we discovered it was total assembly required; not any two pieces were put together. My husband worked out of town and didn’t have time or energy, and the four different people I called to put it together never showed up to actually do it. I couldn’t assemble it by myself, and I don’t have that much skill either. Poor buying and planning on our part. We didn’t protect it as well as we thought we did, and now we can’t even give it away. It’s rotting. It was over $1000. Now THAT, is a true frugal fail!


K D October 6, 2015 at 10:08 am

1. I didn’t stop in the middle of rush hour traffic last night to pick up the quarter in the middle of the street but I did find a quarter this morning on my walk.

2. I make banana walnut muffins with some very ripe bananas. I didn’t have dates so I used canned pumpkin and a bit of brown sugar and they are good.

3. A friend invited me to a knit/crochet group she recently joined. I had a wonderful time meeting interesting new people and I also knew a couple of the people already.

4. My frugal fail is that I left a loaf of cheddar bread on the counter and today I noticed mold in it. Into the trash it went.

5. I made apple sauce the other day and put some paw paw in the crock pot with a bunch of apples. You can’t tell it’s in there and it helped clean out the freezer.


Mariana Cisowska October 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

I scored a huge amount of free stuff, which I will not count as ‘accomplishments’.
The things that actually took effort are:

1. Washed out all the ziplock baggies I used and put away for future use
2. Used re-usuable coffee mug each morning
3. Ate leftovers for lunch
4. Got a few free kindle books
5. Returned a mouthwash that tasted horrible ($6 so worth the trip back to the store)


Marcia October 6, 2015 at 11:31 am

Everyone is definitely more ambitious than I am today.

1. Went to yoga and consolidated errands–deposited $ in granddaughter’s account and got gas while I was there.

2. Walked around the Goodwill without finding a single thing I wanted today.

3. Am coveting your tub fixture—but I don’t want to pay $800 for it. We have one which works fine except that the faucet is leaking. You can’t JUST buy washers or even just the faucet. And the one we have (which is probably 35 years old) is OBSOLETE. No longer made. Had bought replacement at Home Depot last time and just used the faucet. Can’t find one to buy this time. I swear we didn’t pay over $200 for ours when we bought it new and I don’t know how much we spent for the replacement one–but it wouldn’t have been that much or I would have remembered!! Husband tried to fix it today, spent $10 on a part at the hardware store and it didn’t work. Still contemplating how we are going to fix this without spending another fortune. It’s leaking like crazy and it’s too hard for me to enjoy my shower when I know water is squirting across the top of the toilet seat lid which I will have to wipe up when shower is over. And it’s HOT water, which we pay to heat besides. And husband hates plumbing jobs so I have to try and help with enthusiasm to get him to even try!

4. Planned overs for dinner tonight, so no extra effort today for cooking. Pot roast will be cut up and reheated in gravy. Potatoes and carrots will be fried in fat free frying pan. Apple tart left for dessert. That should leave me time for HOUSEWORK and instead I’ve spent half the afternoon on the computer and trying to stay awake. I do need to peel and cut up the beets I cooked yesterday while the oven was on anyhow, and put them in the freezer until needed.

5. I WILL go upstairs and put all my sandals away for the winter and switch some long sleeved shirts out of storage closet and into my closet– and swap the short sleeved shirts in their place. It’s getting too chilly to wear short sleeves anyhow.


Diane C October 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

#3 Home Depot’s selection is very limited. I’d look on the internet or at a plumbing supply store. Also there are countless hot-to-fix [insert any DIY problem here] instructionals on the world wide web.
We’re in CA enduring a severe drought and DH works for the water district, so I can f-e-e-e-l that hot water dripping. Good luck to you!


Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life October 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

1. Been trying to reuse my tea bags so that I get double the amount in each box. Around this time of year my tea consumption goes way up and being at work can me lots of money on tea bags instead of the cheaper loose leaf.

2. My new job has nowhere close to even buy take out food and no vending machine for the perusing. It forces me to bring my meals and snacks everyday!


Isabelle October 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm

* I had to have blood work done. My choices were to go through the public services for 0$ and have to miss work (not getting paid) because of the waiting time, or go through private before work for 40$. I opted for private, considering that I don’t have to miss work, so it’s “cheaper” this way for me.
* Only spent 35$ on groceries so far in october, and we are visiting the in-laws for 3 days, so the next grocery will only be done around mid-october.
* Stretched a pound of salmon. Used half+quinoa+veggies for 2 meals, other half still in freezer.
* Went to a family activity organized by the city. Skipped the on-site BBQ in favor of an home made pic-nic. Also skipped the face painting ($). Kids had fun, we took some fresh air, and it was free.
* I sometimes do mystery clients missios. There was one at a chicken place, to evaluate the take-out. So I choose the half-chicken with extra rice in place of bbq sauce and coleslaw. Came back home with it, dumped it all in a pot, added a cooked brocoli and, voilà, supper is served. Best part : ended up costing me only 2,12$ (+ brocoli) out of pocket, instead of 15,12$.

Have a great frugal day!


Melissa October 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

Wish I was closer to you! We just purchased a home with a clawfoot tub and need a new shower conversion kit! The one you have is so nice.


Katy October 7, 2015 at 11:23 am

I wish you lived closer as well! 😉


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