Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 18, 2014 · 23 comments

hand me up nikes

  1. I needed a pair of new athletic shoes, so I usurped a pair of my son’s many new looking pairs of Nikes. I will reimburse him the $20 he paid for them at Goodwill and spare myself the unpleasant task of thrifting for sneakers. 
  2. My sons had a soccer game yesterday, and it was sunny outside. I grabbed my sun hat from the coat closet, where it had been languishing since last fall only to find that it had been squashed into a weird shape. Fixable, yes, but not in an instant. Instead I grabbed a Transformers movie one-size-fits-all baseball hat a friend sent to my younger son and wore it to shade my delicate flower face. (My friend’s husband had worked as an editor on the Transformer movies.) I think I can truly embrace this hand-me-up style of clothing myself.
  3. My husband and younger son went to last night’s Portland Timbers soccer game, which left my older son and I on our own. No problem, as I had a Redbox code for a free movie and coupons for ice cream. (Grocery store circular, plus manufacturer’s coupon brought the price of Dreyer’s half-gallons down to $2 apiece.) We rented This is The End, which was absolutely hilarious, (although not for the young ‘uns.) And since the coupon required me to buy two ice creams, I stashed the second one in the basement freezer for next week’s dessert night.
  4. This Tuesday is election day, and we Oregonians only vote by mail. But instead of spending the 49¢ apiece for first class stamps, I’ll walk our ballots over to the library. Every little bit counts baby, every little bit counts.
  5. I have a practice of buying a single $80-ish expensive bra at a time and then wearing it to death. And let me overshare that death had most definitely come. But instead of going to Nordstrom like I usually do, I took a JCPenney gift card I’ve been chipping away at, (my aunt and uncle sent it a few years ago) and hit the lingerie department. I worked with the saleswoman to find what I needed, and walked out with two!!!! incredibly comfortable brassieres and only $23 out of pocket. Yes, my life is both glamorous and exciting.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin May 18, 2014 at 9:21 am

I just engaged in some hand-me-upping a little while ago! This was my first time. My nephew is 14 and growing like the proverbial weed, so we had a bunch of summer clothes that are too small for him. Most of them we are giving to a friend whose son is two years younger, but I kept a couple of the t-shirts for myself. I predict a lot more of this in my future…


Sharon H. May 18, 2014 at 9:35 am


We’re spending cash like water over here, so I can’t share many frugal wins. But I did de-clutter a big stack of decorating books to a local charity shop, and then found some items that will stretch my summer wardrobe out nicely.


Megg May 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

Spending cash sometimes is frugal though! Much better than putting it on the debit card even, because you’re more in control of your spending. We’ve been trying a 90% cash diet lately and it’s worked pretty well.


jill May 18, 2014 at 10:28 am

Used leftover pasta I made for a bridal shower to make pasta salad and got a package of hotdogs out of the freezer that a guest had brought to our house and made dinner last night – so that I could travel with my husband for business to Asheville tomorrow where we will splurge and eat out.
Spent the weekend cleaning our filthy wrap around front porch within an inch of it’s life. Exhausting work but at least we didn’t pay someone else to do it – and we had no other weekend plans anyways.
Any free time this weekend was spent researching info on the Study Abroad program and it’s scholarships for my youngest who will travel to South Korea next spring semester. Hoping that I can visit also – gonna need alot of found change 🙂


Becky May 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

Now that you own TWO bras, have you read that it is better to wear them every other day and let the elastic “rest” in between? Supposedly your bras will last longer 🙂


Maggie May 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

Rocking our cloth diapers, and washing them in Tide bought on clearance/with stacked coupons. We usually dry them outside during the summer, but we’ve had serious fires all around us so ash was an issue. They air-dried inside instead.
Summer semester classes started, and all my books were secondhand. I shopped around and used Swagbucks to get something back.
Clipped my Sunday coupons!
Pulled out my son’s clothes and sorted through them for Baby #2. We also tried to set up our old crib, but my son was Baby #8 in that crib and it’s finally dying a death. My husband is going to take the adorable vintage headboard and turn it into something for our son.


Jen May 18, 2014 at 11:58 am

The bras will last forever if you rotate and hand wash them. I have two I bought at Victorias Secret over a year ago and they both still seem pretty new. I bet I can get three years out of these guys easy!


Laure May 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Was going to share the same tip. It works! I have 2 from TEN years ago. Not kidding. Have had a few others in the mix, but these two — identical — have been my 2 favorites that I wear most of the time, but never the same bra 2 days in a row.


Katy May 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Last twice as long if you wear them half as much? 😉


tna May 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm

1. Try to have some meals with my Dad at the med center and they always offer me a free plate too! They have great food with fresh fruit and salad.
2. Trying to salvage some shoes and gloves that got moldy during weeks of kayaking.
3. Going to have nearly an acre of lawn to mow … I want to just get a hand push reel mower…I needs me some muscles!
4. My cat is the most awesome cat ever. Survives my crazy life and still gives me a nudge and a purr.
5. Needed to do laundry and brought my quarters but the machines are free! Thank you!


Lisa May 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

1. Took an inventory of all items in my freezers and pantry. I am making a menu plan to see how long we can eat from foods we already have on hand.
2. We are listing unused items on eBay.
3. Looking for pine straw that we can rake ourselves instead have having to buy and place in our flower beds.
4. Staying at home more and avoiding window shopping.
5. Unplugging electronic devices not being used.


chrissy May 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm

1.Made lunches and dinner for me and my husband to take to work from the freezer and a meal my mom dropped off.
2. Hung cloth diapers in the basement to dry.
3. Used a free friday kroger coupon to get a package of crackers.
4. Crawled under the vending machines at work to find $1.06 straight into baby’s 529!
5. Found a really smushed banana in the bottom of my bag, chopped it up and froze it for smoothies.


Katy May 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

I love that you crawled under the machine for your college fund! Of course, you’re being smart and working on it for a baby, rather than an 18-year-old.


Diane C May 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

1. Made over 5K by holding an estate sale before selling house.
2. Worked like mad, using liberal amounts of elbow grease, to make house shine from top to bottom.
3. Handy DH completely redid one bath and gave second bath a face lift by replacing the cabinet/drawer faces, which he gave a lovely antique finish. (Doors didn’t arrive until Thursday afternoon, house was listed on Friday – ugh!)
4. Scored a new bathroom light fixture at my favorite locally-owned lighting store for $20. He literally climbed into the attic when I described what I needed and he wouldn’t let me pay for it until I was sure it would work.
5. Bought new drawer pulls that match the existing faucet on line for less than half the big box price.
6. Had first open house today and over 40 groups walked through.
Whew! We are tired, but happy.


Katy May 19, 2014 at 7:14 am

Wow, very impressive!


Charli May 19, 2014 at 1:19 am

My husband just chopped up an old banana from the freezer to put in a cage trap to capture and remove whatever creature is eating its way through our veggie garden. He also just got $200 off our car insurance bill by calling the company and asking if they have any deals or offers that could bring down the bill. $200!!! I also got my car serviced today and instead of waiting out the service time in the local shopping mall as I have made a habit of doing drinking lattes and spending money I organised a lift home where I cleaned and went for a run to get an endorphins high as opposed to a shopping high.


K D May 19, 2014 at 4:08 am

Decided tonight is leftover night for dinner, so no cooking and the refrigerator will be cleaned out (and no food waste).

After dinner I will boil the chicken carcass that still has a meals worth of chicken on it. I will then make soup using whatever is in stock.

My daughter is home from college for the summer so no bills related to college until fall (not really frugal but nice both financially and otherwise).

I put on hold at the library a couple of TV series on DVD. My husband and I will relax for a bit in the evening watching these shows, and we love that there are no commercials.

I made your softened butter recipe for the first time the other day. I think I will be making it again.

I will go to Giant grocery store today and buy items on sale with coupons and combine that with a save $5 on a $15 purchase deal. Included with be Breyers ice cream, for a very low price. That is a triple whammy in my book.

Yard work today, while the weather is beautiful, will keep me frugally busy in my “free” time.


Katy May 19, 2014 at 7:13 am

Sorry to hear the softened butter recipe was not to your liking. What kind of oil did you use?


K D May 19, 2014 at 10:38 am


I know my eyesight isn’t good but I it looks like I wrote “I think I will be making it again”. I used half EVOO and half canola oil.


Katy May 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

I guess it’s my eyesight that needs help, you were right!


Megg May 19, 2014 at 8:39 am

I found this amazing group on Facebook called the Buy Nothing Project. It’s like Freecycle but only for my city. I love it because you can easily post things from your phone, which is way easier than Freecycle or even craigslist, and it’s all free! So far I’ve received free rhubarb and 4 pairs of brand new work pants for my husband! I’ve also been purging and listing things on there that are just gathering dust so now they’re off to a good home! Listing things to give away is my new favorite activity.

Also! We’ve been menu planning and I’m happy to say we’ve only eaten out twice in the past 2 weeks which is huge for us. My grocery shopping has been under $30/week because we’re cooking from our freezer and pantry and have most of the stuff. We’re also trying new recipes which is a good thing!

I worked all day Saturday (as in, 13 hours all day!) and got 2 free meals which was also awesome. Chipotle and Dominos!

I also repurposed old maps from a road trip (free from AAA) to make a Christmas gift and a banner for our mantle to decorate for the summer.

And of course I’m taking advantage of every sunny day we get here in Seattle to hang clothes on the line. Of course as I say that there are clothes in our dryer because it’s forecasted to rain today. 🙁


Katy May 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

Four pairs of work pants? That’s fantasic! And I wish my employer fed me when I worked all day, which is every work day.



Jen May 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Just made a dog bed for our puppy out of an old sweatshirt and a throw pillow. Stuffed the arms with some leftover batting and random fabric scraps. I foundthe how-to on pinterest. I’m very happy to not spend $50 on a dog bed and the pup is snoozing happily on it as I type!


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