Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 18, 2015 · 71 comments

  1. My hospital unit was over staffed today, which meant I was placed on call. Because I had to be ready to come in at a moment’s notice, I chose to hunker down at home and get some writing done. So essentially I went nowhere which is about as frugal as it gets. Good thing too, as I missed out on a day’s wages.
  2. I was able to submit a completed article to the Clark Howard website. That’ll help make up for a small amount of the lost income.
  3. My husband drove to Costco for gasoline, cat food, dog food and coffee. While he was gone the mail was delivered, which included a $54 Costco rebate that could have paid for most of the trip. I went ahead and stapled the receipt to the rebate and will take it to Costo’s customer service and see if they can retroactively apply it to the purchase.
  4. I was able to put together a dinner using home cooked pinto beans and leftover rice. Yes, you guessed it . . . burrito night! (I also packed an extra one for today’s work lunch, which has magically transformed into tomorrow’s work lunch!)
  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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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Bettypants November 18, 2015 at 4:59 am

1. I sold $9 of items (from closet clean out) on local FB boards yesterday, have $14 scheduled for today, and $11 for Friday. That is 14 unwanted items out of my house!
2. Kroger sends out coupons for free items, and mine this week were Keebler fudge cookies and Colgate. I chose the fancy Sensitive teeth Colgate, marked $4.29. Also free: a pack of crispy m&m’s and some little Reese’s dipper thing – both of which are going in the Christmas stocking.
3. The $7 work pants I ordered from ebay arrived and fit exactly like the pair I already own (different color), which I am super happy about.
4. Bought a pair of fur lined Columbia snow boots from a local board for $25. They are $120 online. Fit perfectly and look nearly brand new.
5. Picked up a pair of men’s Lands’ End slip on shoes from Freecycle. Gave away a reading timer, a bag of clean stuffed animals, and a t-shirt on Freecycle.

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Jennifer November 18, 2015 at 7:19 am

I’m putting the k-cups I got from the Kroger free Friday download in my daughter’s stocking. I also got some mints a month or so ago I am putting in the stocking. I do this every year!

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Bettypants November 18, 2015 at 8:09 am

Ha ha, I do too! Beats buying random junk to fill the stocking, right?

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Jennifer November 18, 2015 at 8:45 am

Love it!

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Jennifer November 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

Hey Bettypants! Just FYI, I just got on the Kroger website because they have not sent me any of the coupons with a “free” item in them for awhile. I had 2 freebies in the form of a best customer bonus in the coupons. Oscar Mayer hotdogs and a Betty Crocker cake mix! The best customer bonuses were randomly scattered within the other coupons. Seems like in the past they had a specific best customer bonus tab to click on. Oh well, at least I found them. Thought I would share.

Cheyanne November 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

This is such a good idea! I never even thought of that. I don’t have kids so I don’t do stockings but I bet I could have been stocking up all year for gifts for my brother! I’ll have to keep this in mind for 2016 🙂

Bettypants November 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for the FYI. I just checked and my “best customer bonus” coupons are nothing to write home about. I should get in the habit of looking over the digital coupons though, because there are some good ones mixed in there.

tonya parham November 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm

That’s a great idea!

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K D November 18, 2015 at 5:21 am

1. Dinner for four was just a few dollars (chicken strips that were $.50 with sale and coupon), oven roasted potatoes (5 pounds for $1.49), oven roasted carrots (2 pounds for $.69). It was served with fresh pineapple ($1.50), homemade applesauce, and homemade ginger snaps.

2. A friend had surgery on Monday. I have a get well card for her that came in a box (purchased at Walgreens). The cards are about $.10/each when you buy two boxes and receive the senior discount.

3. Kohl’s sent me a $5 “gift card”. I was at the shopping center with one of their stores. I used the gift card to get two Godiva dark chocolate bars for less than $1 out of pocket.

4. De-cluttering continues. I found cookbooks to get rid of.

5. I didn’t buy a new car, trash barrel, or much of anything.

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Bettypants November 18, 2015 at 5:27 am

I have that $5 Kohl’s card too, and am heading there at lunch today to use it. I was planning to browse for cheap earrings, but if that’s a bust, I will use your idea and get Godiva for my mom’s stocking. Thanks!

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Monica November 18, 2015 at 7:42 am

Oooh, good idea on spending the ‘free’ Kohl’s money on stocking stuffers like chocolate bars! I don’t care for any of their fashions lately, and hate to let the gift money go to waste…

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lauren November 18, 2015 at 8:28 am

I forgot about this! Gotta check the expiration date and get some stocking stuffers. 🙂

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Nancy from Mass November 19, 2015 at 4:41 am

When i have $5 from Kohls, i always check the clearance underwear section….i have found some great pairs for a buck or so a piece!

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Lucy November 22, 2015 at 6:01 am

Kohl’s sends me stuff all the time, but I never use it. I need to find the clearance section!

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Mariana Cisowska November 18, 2015 at 5:56 am

I am visiting my family in Poland and staying home helping with the nieces most of the time.
I am treating my sister with some ‘stocking up’ shopping. Yesterday we purchased 6 bags full of staples (oils, flour, sugar, buttermilk, butter, pasta, cleaning supplies etc). That cost me a small fortune in Polish zloty but only $65! That’s was the best part. As my dad says it: ‘make money there, spend it here’.
Well, all in all, it was a frugal thing in my book.

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Cheyanne November 18, 2015 at 11:29 am

Definitely a frugal thing! 🙂 And I’m sure your sister will really be able to use it all. 🙂 Enjoy your visit!

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Hannah November 19, 2015 at 7:38 pm

What part of Poland? I lived in Gdynia for a year when I was a kid. Fond memories of the drunken man driving the horse drawn potato cart, corner skleps and the weird markets that have new cars and women’s underwear sold next to each other.

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Kim from Philadelphia November 18, 2015 at 5:59 am

Well, at least you made lemons out if lemonade!
Costco is so incredibly reasonable. I’m sure they will credit you the rebate. I think they have some of the best customer service around!

– we blew our own leaves to the curb for pickup. Several years ago we purchased a good quality gas blower on sale. We have a lot of leaves, so to pay someone to do this would be an easy $175…ridiculous!

– my cash back rewards credit card (which I pay in full each month) has a new option. Instead of mailing me a check, if your account is linked to checking for payment purchases (which mine is) you can request the rebate be directly deposited into savings. So now my checking is $100 fatter.

-I found an overpayment error regarding our local tax admin. Apparently they never received documentation that it was taken out of our pay and previously submitted. So we have a check for $1251 headed back to our savings account

– I didn’t plan well for last night’s dinner, so we suffered through box Mac and cheese, hot dogs, and sliced apples instead of takeout.

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celina boulanger November 19, 2015 at 4:37 am

my old town did the curb side leave sucking….(we called it the sukapater 300…like in curious george..lol) ..no bags…easy to compost…

we also had composting by the city with curb pick up weekly and then in the spring we could fill up bins with nice compost

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Kim from Philadelphia November 18, 2015 at 6:00 am

I mean lemonade out of lemons- duh Kim!!

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Cheyanne November 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

HA! 🙂 This cracked me up

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Beth November 18, 2015 at 6:50 am

1. Have continued my streak of eating at home versus out at fast food restaurants- also have not purchased anything this week
2. Cooking for our small group tonight with items from our pantry/freezer (we usually just bring $5 pizzas and breadsticks-easy but expensive!)
3. Drinking free office coffee and water from my reusable water bottle
4. Eating random leftovers from my fridge for lunch today
5. Ate a free dinner at a friend’s house last night. I brought homemade cookies for dessert-made with items I already had on hand 🙂

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Beth November 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Forgot to say that my meal tonight (#3) is being rounded out by Katy’s One-Hour Bread. It’s fabulous, fast, cheap, and my husband loves it! Thanks so much for the amazing recipe.

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Jennifer November 18, 2015 at 7:49 am

1. I made meatloaf last night out of several leftover items including a tiny bit of refried beans, grated carrots, lots of old bread from the freezer,a small chunk of ground beef that wasn’t enough to make anything for a full meal, herbs/ spices, then topped with ketchup. My bunch will eat anything topped with ketchup.
2. Used coupons with some great sale items from Kroger. Cake mixes were $.19! That’s gonna be a Thanksgiving dessert.
3. I’m planning my Thanksgiving meals with plans to make simpler dishes. I have a another wonderful cran-apple dessert planned from some cranberries I froze last year and some apples that have been laying on the cabinet for a couple weeks. So excited that all the other ingredients are basic staples I already have.
4. I’m reading the Tightwad Gazette again, it’s been 15 years since I read it. It amazes me how much almost everything still applies to today. Lots of holiday ideas in there I had forgot about. Of course, I checked this out at the library and will be calling soon to recheck it out.
5. Planning on my kids watching Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown, next week , at home, on TV, for free! Turns out if you make a big deal out of a program that is coming on regular old TV, such as with popcorn, hot cocoa, big cuddly pillows on the floor, etc. ,to the kids it is a big deal!

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celina boulanger November 19, 2015 at 4:40 am

awesome, we rarely watch reg. tv with our streaming devices…but for the peanuts we’ll definitely tune in…do you know which network?

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Isabelle November 19, 2015 at 6:15 am

I am with you for number 1 (ketchup saves the day!) and number 5! My kids are 3 and 5 so they get excited very easily about things like this, witch is really cool.

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Karen. November 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

My library expanded a couple years ago and used the opportunity to weed while they were closed.

They weeded the complete Tightwad.

First of all, if only I had known, I’d have volunteered to take it and save them the disposal. Second, now I don’t have ready access. :/

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Monica November 18, 2015 at 7:55 am

1) Lesson learned from this blog: we are ‘eating down’ the stocks in our pantry and freezer before shopping again
2) Took a free yoga class yesterday, and noticed the studio offers a $5 class on Sunday morning. I am going to check that out. That is 1/4 the going rate for a class around here
3) Raking leaves and walking are my free exerise vs. a gym membership
4) Using my daughter’s handmade school project-holiday decorations to decorate for the holidays. They are fun to take out of storage and see every year, and she gets a kick out of seeing them again. My Mom still displays me and my siblings Christmas works of art each year! Still going strong after 50 years of displaying!
5) First year in a long time we will qualify to get a free turkey from the local grocery store (spend $400 over a 6-week period to qualify). We usually don’t even pay attention to the promotion because we don’t come near that total. I think we’ll qualify because food prices rose so much this year I am spending an extra $20 a week on our staples. I’ll buy some store-brand cold medicines and pain relievers we need soon there, instead of Bed Bath and Beyond where they are cheaper, and get that turkey next week.

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lauren November 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

These are my favorite posts. They inspire with ideas and spark self-reflection.

1. Used a $1 bag of perfectly fresh, green and crunchy clearance romaine lettuc as a base for a nice salad for my daughter to share at her Thanksgiving feast at school.
2. I am nailing the whole bring-your-lunch-to-work thing again this week. Getting into the groove of it…
3. I’m keeping track of my savings from #2 and transferring them into savings. Gotta “capture” the savings, so to speak. Anyone else do this?
4. Am attending a conference tomorrow (free through work) with fabulous speakers. Bonus: breakfast, lunch and cocktails included.
5. Found a new free personal finance podcast that I have been enjoying while driving home in the evening.

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chigdon November 18, 2015 at 1:26 pm

What is the new podcast? I drive a lot for work and listen to loads of podcasts. Always looking for more free entertainment.

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Lauren November 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm

I should have said “new to me.” It’s Farnoosh Tarobi. 30 min usually with a guest talking about personal finance, business, etc.

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Juhli November 18, 2015 at 8:38 am

Great ideas as always!
1. Shopped Kroger on senior discount day which helped since I bought everything I could for Thanksgiving and week long visit of relatives who only eat Paleo. I’ll have to buy some veggies closer to the day but got pricier things today. We used Pinterest & email to create a fairly easy Thanksgiving dinner that suits everyone as they don’t want to make a fuss and we want them happy.
2. Stretched leftover chili by making a large salad for dinner last night so that everything would be ready when I got home from my exercise class. Fortunately my husband had eaten lunch late as it was definitely a light dinner.
3. I am spending November seeing how if I can create a different outfit each day just using what is in my closet. So far so good and I’m sharing the results on my blog.
4. Raking leaves myself rather than hiring someone like most neighbors. They have to be bagged or in bins for pickup so that limits how many I do a week but eventually it will get done. Free exercise.
5. Bought a 10% off coupon to use for my haircut today.

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Ruby November 18, 2015 at 8:51 am

Everyone’s great scores at Kroger are making me homesick for Kroger. It’s the only thing I really miss about my hometown.

The Frugal Five:
1) Have enjoyed delicious meals of homemade soup, tea and rye bread all week thanks to cooking on Sunday.
2) Also been sticking close to home this week, doing chores and not spending.
3) Yesterday used a bottle of apple cider vinegar 11 months past its use-by date — it had been accidentally pushed to the back of the cupboard — with some baking soda and a kettle of very hot water to clean out a slow drain.
4) My husband’s new employer included him in the “you get a ham for Christmas” gifting, even though he hasn’t been there very long. Yay!
5) Am very pleased that the $5 for 25 pounds cat litter from the farm supply store is working just as well as the expensive stuff. It works out to a savings of $32 a month.

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Diane C November 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

Hi Katy,
Costco will ALWAYS cash your rebate checks, no questions asked! In fact, a savvy non-consumer makes all her Costco purchases via the free AMEX (soon to be Visa), thus earning two rebate checks, one from Costco, one from AMEX.

Applying the rebate check to a new purchase means you will miss out on the CC rebate, which is kind of like leaving change in the Coinstar machine.

There is a time limit to cash the check, but it’s at least 60 days, IIRC, so there’s no need to make an extra trip, either. Just take it along on your next trip and cash that puppy, so it can go straight to the – yes, wait for it – college fund!

P.S. In most cases, you can cash it right at the register, in a separate transaction, so no need to wait in another line. Yes, they put that folding green money right in the palm of your hand. Did I mention that I l-o-o-o-o-v-e Costco?

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Leah @ The Frugal South November 19, 2015 at 2:51 am

You are making me want to learn more about Costco rebate checks and get a membership!

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Marilyn November 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

1 Listed a decorative Christmas nutcracker on Craigslist. I actually won this nutcracker several years ago when I stopped in at the opening of a new shop in the building where I was working. (If you gave them your business card, they put your name into a drawing for various prizes). Anyway, the nutcracker did not sell the first time I listed it or even the second time, but I renewed the listing one more time and it finally sold for $15. Persistence pays.
2. My daughter who lives in Seattle was home for a visit last weekend. She has a small apartment in Seattle and she left a lot of clothes, books and numerous other things here at home. On this trip, she packed up a box of books to take back to Seattle. She also left a pile of books which she does not want anymore. More things for me to sell.
3. Took my daughter and her boyfriend out to lunch using a gift certificate which I received last Christmas. It’s probably not a good idea to save a gift certificate for 10 months. There’s always the risk it will be lost or it will expire. But in this case, it was okay because we had a delicious lunch and a nice time and I was happy to be able to treat them.

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Su Mama November 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Marilyn, there’s now a law — and I don’t think it’s just in Oregon — that says gift cards and certificates can NEVER expire! (Bet that ticked off a whole lot of merchants, huh!)

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Marilyn November 19, 2015 at 7:09 am

That’s good to know. Thanks, SuMama.

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Diane C November 19, 2015 at 10:17 am

There’s also a rule when the balance gets below $5 or $10 (depending on your state) they have to give you the balance back in cash, but only if you ask.

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Beth Anne November 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

1. Hung two loads of laundry to dry in the house and not in the dryer.
2. Used Gasbuddys.com, found the cheapest gas at $1.90 if you paid by cash, cheapest I have paid for gas in ALONG time!
3. Yesterday I was craving potato chips but said no to the vending machine.
4. Doing Swagbucks at work again (shhhhh!) not going fast though, keep forgetting to click as I am “watching” videos on the daughters Kindle. Also signed up for the team challenge so should get some extra swag that way.
5. Went home at lunch and picked the last of my green tomatoes off my last plant and pulled it up by the roots, expecting snow this weekend. They will slowly ripen on my front porch.
6. Made a refried bean, cheese, sour cream and home grown tomato burrito (okay I confess I had two) for lunch instead of going to Subway like I wanted to. I figure what I would have paid for one burrito at Taco Bell, if I used the same amount of money I can make a half dozen homemade and freeze them for future lunches.

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Cheyanne November 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

1. Made THE BEST gnocchi soup this week out of an onion, some garlic, a bag of frozen spinach, a can of tomato, a couple drained cans of garbanzo beans and a package of gnocchi purchased at the dollar tree. It was delicious, nutritious and fed me for days for under $4! Win!

2. Last week I transferred two prescriptions to Rite Aid that I would have filled anyway. I got $50 in Plenti Points which I used to get some snacky food things, razor blades, deodorant, toilet paper and a gift for my niece (her mama’s NOT NCA-friendly). My total out of pocket cost was $0.03. The manager rang me up and he went through my order three times saying, “this can’t be right!” At the end he told me he was really impressed with my purchase. 🙂

3. I joined ibotta about a month ago and I have $24.90 to cash out. I’m going grocery shopping this weekend for a few things that should put me over the $25.00 threshold for an Amazon gift card. I will then use that to cover the last few (not NCA-friendly) gifts on my list including 4 adult coloring books (did you know they make actual ADULT-THEMED adult coloring books? I mean, WHY!?!?!) and a lego video game for my nephew.

4. I learned how to re-ink the cartridge on one of those fancy-pants work calculators. Not super exciting, but definitely an NCA skill!

5. I haven’t been reading much lately because I’ve been spending so much time crocheting Christmas gifts so I downloaded two audiobooks on Overdrive this morning to listen to while I crochet/work on certain stuff. I started the first book on the way to work this morning and I’m loving it so far!

NCA fail? Forgot my headphones at home so I had to go to the store and buy a new pair 😉

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tonya November 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

We had a snow day! I worked from home, saving on gas.

I made baked chicken thighs for dinner. So much yummier and cheaper than chicken breast.

I read library books.

I found out that due to some staffing changes at work I am going to be able to renegotiate my salary and get some temporary extra hours.

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Chigdon November 18, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Costco will cash the rebate checks for you. You do not have to apply them to a purchase. Just an FYI

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JD November 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm

1. I have some non-NCA compliant gifts to buy, but I got a coupon for total purchase, and saved on shipping as well by combining purchases. I’ve mostly shopped online, because what I’ve found in the stores so far has been less than stellar.
2. I wish I had a Kroger in my area! At the stores where I shop, though, I at least get coupons sent to me and get cash credit or points toward a discount for bringing my own bags, buying certain products – only ones I would buy anyway, though- and signing in when I shop. I saved 35% last time I shopped.
3. I watch all the people buying disposable dinnerware for the holidays and keep walking without even considering buying any. I wonder if some of these people ever added up the cost of all disposable dinnerware as compared to buying a few extra thrifted plates, glasses and cloth napkins to use over and over again when they have extra people over.
4. For the holiday, I will use my wedding china plus the real silverware I bought second hand, and if I don’t have enough silverware, I will break out my late mother’s silverplate. It’s 70 years old and just silverplate, but it works a whole lot better than plastic.
5. I stopped myself from 3 impulse buys — whew!

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hector November 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm

In our case, our parents are not young and not healthy. We drive from a good distance away to bring them Thanksgiving dinner, and at the end of the day, face a good drive back. We’re tired. Disposable plates are a lot easier and less stressful than expecting either me or my sibling to wash everything or expecting a disabled parent to do so. Maybe stop judging.

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JD November 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Sorry if I offended you by that. I live in a small town and know a LOT of people whose entire family lives here as well, 10 minutes away, yet they buy paper products for the holidays. That’s what I was talking about. Please don’t misunderstand my comment; when my parents were alive, we drove 700 miles each way to share holidays with them. I’m familiar with that situation, believe me.

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janine November 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Kind of a mixed bag here!
1. Talked my son into helping me take some books to used book store for credit and cash next weekend. In return (and in anticipation) I bought him lunch today at our favorite deli – locally owned of course, but not cheap!
2. Purchased green peppers, cukes, greens and meat on sale and clearance today.
3. Was treated to a soup lunch and a tour of a decorated holiday house by a friend. In exchange I gave her a ride to meet her husband at his doctor’s appointment.
4. It is raining which helped make the outside of my car look cleaner; instead of car wash, cleaned out inside of car myself – not professionally done, but OK.
5. Continued to pack lunches, use my gas discount card, and eat most meals at home.

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Teri November 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm

1. Negotiated a cash price with podiatrist for a small in-office surgery, saving almost 50%.
2. Enjoyed home-canned tomato juice for lunch on this cold grey day, costing mere pennies.
3. Got price adjustments on items previously purchased at ON, saving 50% on one and over 50% on the other.
4. Price matched (saving on gas) 4# sugar for .99 at Walmart.
5. Didn’t buy a Lear jet.

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Isabel November 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Didn’t shop this week as only needed yoghurt and potatoes so saved on fuel!
About fuel … Because no bus service in country town where I live W.Aust … We get a $500 fuel card yearly that can be used for fuel or taxis …. Lucky eh!
Am recording spending!
Always cook! Grow some of own vegs! Trench compost!
More aware and frugal with awareness!
Love reading all of you posts!

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Monica. November 18, 2015 at 8:27 pm

1. Got the A-ok from my youngest kiddo’s school that she could use my oldest kiddo’s cap & gown from a few years ago for her graduation. $43 saved

2. I had to fill a new prescription & got a $25 grocery store gift card I used the same day since I was also grocery shopping.

3. I filled another new prescription at a different pharmacy. After some phone calls, I found out the pharmacy overcharged me (filled it thru their “savings” plan rather than my insurance) so I will be picking up my $24 refund tomorrow.

4. Sold some things on eBay & Swap.

5. Used the food dehydrator to make apple chips.

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BethD November 18, 2015 at 9:04 pm

We packed home leftovers from music club and are eating them until they are gone. I love the pumpkin sage dip and cranberry chutney. Rather than just have turkey sandwiches again for supper I pulled the meat off the rolls and made turkey Alfredo. I made the empty rolls into garlic bread.

My mom in law gave me a stack of things she collected for me including an old textile that had belonged to her mother. I’m going to wrap it and give it to her daughter for Christmas…free and it will make a sentimental gift.

Received a freebie sample in the mail that I can pass on….

My husband’s T-shirt that I made him on Zazzle and paid for completely out of royalties came today so we won’t have to buy him a holiday themed shirt for the one day at work he is supposed to wear one.

Not a frugal but a thankful my mom didn’t have any complications with her test today.

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Jen November 18, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Husband told me he is participating in a gift swap at work with a $10 limit. He told me after I did he budget, but he is just a few swagbucks away from enough for $10 in gift cards, so he will be using that.

Added a house cleaning for the day before Thanksiving. An extra $100.

Husband had a potluck at work today and he only had to contribute plates. He stuffed himself so full that he didn’t even need dinner.

I ate lunch off of leftovers all week, so now I have saved all the ingredients for the crockpot meal I was going to make for my lunches for next week’s lunches.

Bought my daughter’s Christmas present off of a fb buy/sell site. $25 for a $60 tricycle and I didn’t have to put it together myself. Looks brand new!

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Heidi November 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

1. Found $.26 cents on ground
2. Read book from library
3. Had dinner at Cafe rio for free (although I had to eat there 10 times to get a free meal)
4. Used Fred Meyer points to get gas for $1.99 for 87 octane. Only cost $20.00 for a full tank of gas.
5. Shopped at two thrift stores and didn’t buy a thing. Found some things I wanted but didn’t need so I left them there.

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Lauren November 19, 2015 at 2:22 am

1. Picked up an extra 3 hours at work this week, and partner picked up 6.5.
2. Sold $20 worth of unused items.
3. Make $1.50 selling an item on eBay (every little bit counts right?).
4. Picked up an item for free I can sell for $20 in an upcoming garage sale.
5. Picked up free air mattresses for our next camping trip!
6. Changed my roadside assistance over and saved $450 over 5 years. I also received a free $500 holiday voucher! ( I have saved over $110 per year and received $609 in free items this last month by switching and cancelling unused services such as my gym and my private health insurance).
7. Opened the mail this week: a $25 grocery card, a free nappy, 4 free pass, 2 rolls of toilet paper.
8. Taking the kids to the local pool instead of their favourite okay centre on the weekend, will save around $30.
9. Partners tax came through, meaning he has enough money to fix his car, shout dinner and buy a new video game he has been paying off.
10. Have been offered an extra shift at work next year, meaning and extra $46 in my pocket.

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Betty Winslow November 19, 2015 at 5:07 am

1. Did most of my grocery shopping yesterday at Kroger, to take advantage of good coupons and senior discount, and Aldi, for – well, everything else.
2. Wanted to give my son’s friend who’s been staying with us a bon voyage gift; pulled out an extra reusable shopping bag and put some snacks and a bottle of water (all already in the pantry) in it, with a hand-written note.
3. Will be baking one of my daughter’s friends a birthday cake tonight, using a sale priced cake mix, frosting from Aldi, and a foil pan from Dollar Tree. It’ll cost about $4 total! Also bought her a cute card at Dollar Tree for 50 cents.
4. Picking up the rest of the groceries tonight after work at Meijer, since I have to go there for a (free) prescription and they have a great “buy $20, get a turkey for 58 cents a lb.” deal.
5. Lunch and dinner today will both feature leftovers.

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JD November 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Betty, you reminded me of something with your item 2. When I had to leave town suddenly when my parents died, a dear friend brought over a large bag packed with sandwiches, chips, drinks, and homemade brownies. She didn’t spend nearly what she would have spent on flowers, and it enabled us to just stop at a nice rest area in Monteagle, TN for lunch and some much-needed relaxation time, instead of eating in a restaurant. We had so much to do in order to leave town, there was no time for me to make lunch to pack. As a bonus, my sister and her husband pulled in behind us by sheer coincidence, and there was enough to feed them too! A wonderful, frugal way to show love during a time of loss. She was repaying me for the two times I sent my kids over to babysit her little ones for free when she had to pack and prepare for out-of-town funerals. So much better than an arrangement to throw away.

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Melissa November 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Betty your item 2 reminds me of what I do when my Mum visits (usually after coming up to see my 90 year old grandmother!). I always pack her lunch for her train trip home as it saves her money and having to rush around and find something to eat in the short time between train and bus trip (she lives 10 hours away by public transport!) She always appreciates it and other passengers have been envious of her homemade treats I always put in there. Frozen brownies seem to be the most popular item so far!

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Jean November 19, 2015 at 5:21 am

1. Went to a private wine tasting Tuesday night and came home with lunch for. My daughter and her husband and supper for my husband and me.
2. Went to my Spanish class at the Sr. Center–offered up free by the local university.
3. Then I went to one of our local libraries for a free craft class. I plan to give the item to my SIL.
4. Was able to pick up some more books in a collection I want for my grandchildren’s education at our library book sale.
5. I was given an age-appropriate math program for my granddaughter.
The last 2 will be stocking items for Christmas.

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Isabelle November 19, 2015 at 6:10 am

* Well on our way to stay under budget for groceries this month again (500$)
* Needed a keyboard (computer) and received one via Freecycle
* More strikes days coming at our school (3 days next week…), working it out with neighbors to take care of my daughter and their daughter (one day them, one day us, one day shared) for free instead of paying for a private babysitter to come to my house
* Hubby working from home tomorrow because school is closed, so not having to send daughter to daycare (saving 12$)
* Found 5 cents on the ground
* Using the library a lot lately and discovering a bunch of awesome books
* Eating gluten-free + no snacks except fruits+ no sweets = cheaper and healthier + bringing me closer to a healthy weight (down 8 pounds, many more to go)

Have a great frugal day!

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Isabelle November 19, 2015 at 6:19 am

* friend gave me a home made meat pate, good enough for daughters 2 next supper
* Bought 2 turkeys for 1$/pound
* breakfast offered by daughter’s daycare yeaterday
… ok, I’m done!

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Bobbi November 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

1. I went into Goodwill and did not buy anything. I was really just looking for black trousers for work, and I know if I check back regularly I will find a pair I like in my size.
2. My usual frugal morning habits: coffee and oatmeal at home, packed leftovers for work lunch. The oatmeal is bought in bulk. The leftovers are a lentil-veggie stew that I made Sunday night specifically to eat for lunch all week.
3. Socializing that was frugal, even though that wasn’t the goal: I had a friend over for dinner the other night. She and the kids and I feasted on four Ethiopian dishes I made from scratch: spicy red lentils, braised kale, a roasted cabbage/potato dish, and green beans in a ginger/tomato sauce. The only cost was a pack of injera from the African market: $8 for ten pieces. And I love supporting this business, it’s small and local and owned by the nicest people. Dinner was great times, and the two hours I spent in the kitchen preparing the meal was fun for me. I played Ethiopian music from YouTube (free) and I like cooking.
4. Saving on gas by hypermiling and using fuel points to fill up my tank at Fred Meyer. I am able to go two weeks on a tank of gas, unless I have a trip or something.
5. The QFC nearest my house was remodeled recently, and sent some good coupons in the mail to get neighbors in to see the finished remodel (it was chaos for weeks, I’m sure they want to regain any customers they lost in the transition). The coupons are dated over the next several weeks, and include $5 off a $10 purchase, and similar gems. I don’t usually put a lot of energy into coupons, but these are worth it to me and I clipped them on my fridge to use them, especially for some ingredients I will use for Thanksgiving dishes next week.

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tonya parham November 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm

OH! Ethiopian food is the best!

And a great idea about the music from YouTube. I’m stealing this idea. Now, I just need some Ethiopian recipes. Are there some online you recommend?

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Florencia November 19, 2015 at 9:33 am

1. I am using up my weekeday off day to run errands instead of asking to leave early or refusing to stay late at work.
2. Scheduled my Groupon window tinting at 3 P.M. today. $99 for 5 windows. Will surely help with keeping the car cooler in the summer (it doesn’t have any AC).
3. Picked up $2.13 off the floor at work yesterday.
4. Stayed over an hour later at work yesterday. With this, I’ll be getting at least an hour of overtime this week. 🙂
5. I’m in charge of the schedule at work and had to call the office about some labor laws. The lady answered my question and offered me to come sit through an orientation class (paid time) and also to learn how do teach it. She wants me to be her second back up. Will heighten my status at work and I will get paid through the office any time I do one.
6. My mom just told me if I wanted to treat her Mexican food for lunch. I asked if we had leftovers (she cooks really well and has cooked the last two nights). We have booked pasta and she will make a stew with that. Saved money, calories and resources.

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tonya parham November 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

1. I got some sort of strange virus and felt lousy Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (fever, chills, etc) and that’s given me a nice rash of canker sores. Man alive, are these things painful! So, I’ve not left the house all week! No leaving home, no spending money!

2. Finally went to Target today to get insulin for my diabetic cat and considered some anbesol– I’ve been using honey and it works reasonably well on the pain as does the salt water, so I decided NOT to spend $7 on something that would probably not help that much.

3. Put two books on hold at the library.

4. Am reading Steve Jobs on my iphone (ah sweet irony) which I got from the library and am also reading The Walking Dead comics on loan from THE LIBRARY! (I love the library!)

5. Need to get some windshield wiper fluid for the car and looked at Target but then decided I would see if I could research and find out if I could make my own? Maybe not, but I think it’s probably cheaper somewhere other than Target anyway.

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Tammy Brackett November 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

1. Baked up a couple loaves of The Frugal Girls French Bread. I used a can of .39 white beans and some pasta to make a White Bean Soup. I’ll use the bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches and that’s supper on this rainy day!
2. I continue to de-clutter and sell on ebay and facebook sites and so far I’ve netted $65 this week. Much needed as boyfriend and I are freelancers and it is a SLOW time of year.
3. I went to double coupon Wednesday at my local market yesterday and spent $5 and saved $11.00. Some items were free.
4. Boyfriend and I cleaned our gutters yesterday which was fantastic timing cause…did I mention RAIN? Buckets of rain…
5. I did not buy a Lear Jet.

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Madeline November 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

1. Went to a FREE YOGA class. (We have a yoga school near here and students give great free classes every single day! It’s a little further from home than I care to drive but gas prices have come way down so it is a bargain,once in a while.)

2.Stayed home a few days this week. Read books from library.Did my own housecleaning! Listen to free Pandora music.

3. Rode our bikes on a local Riparian trail for this week’s date. Trader Joe wine on patio for happy hour, then dinner ,also on the patio, and a movie on netflix .

4. Mostly ate dinner from freezer..using up the forgotten stuff in there.

5. DID NOT GO to Goodwill or any other Thrift stores ( I don’t need a thing!!!!)

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Betty Winslow November 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Have to share my best recent NCA win: hubby made breakfast one Saturday, including biscuits, and he put the leftover biscuits back in the oven to keep them warm. He thought the oven was off. It wasn’t. The biscuits ended up toasted to a dark brown hockey puck state. Instead of pitching them, like hubby wanted, I ground them into crumbs in my blender and used them this week, half and half with regular crumbs, some parmesan cheese, and some seasoning, to make a shake and bake for a chicken strip dinner. It was AWESOME!!

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Melissa November 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm

1. took my lunch to work everyday this week – even though I really wanted pizza!
2. Filled up with petrol and then realised that I didn’t fill up last week! Two weeks on $20AUD worth of petrol – I love my Mazda 2!
3. Having homemade fried chicken and salad rolls for dinner rather than takeaway Chinese food.
4. Taking my suitcase to my grandmother’s house for her to pack her belongings for when she moves into a nursing home next week. Wanted to get rid of it as it’s far too big but wasn’t sure whether to ebay/gumtree etc. Out of the house and for a good cause!
5. Will pick up a couple of vintage items from my grandmother’s house that I can resell – she has many vintage items as she never got rid of anything! Some are very groovy like her portable hair dryer that is like a shower cap that I recently saw on sale in a vintage shop for nearly $200!!

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Jennifer November 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

I am currently looking to purchase one of those old hair dryers. I highlight my own hair using foil. I make a homemade version of this by wrapping my hair in a bag that I have secured then I blow hot air into to the bag with a regular old hair dryer. I have been doing my own highlights at home for years with this method and no formal training. My hair looks as good as when I pay a salon almost $100, including the tip, for a cut and highlights. Highlighting at home is very tricky so not sure it’s a great idea for everyone.If you can master this though, it saves hundreds of dollars. Hair color for me is a non-negotiable and we all have some of those. I have found what works for me. I have made many mistakes to get to the point where I am now. Just a word of friendly caution.

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Amanda November 20, 2015 at 10:51 am

1. I had a business trip last week, paid for my mileage, lodging, and meals. I took a cooler with me and used hotel ice to keep my leftovers cold and ate them for 2 meals when I got home.
2. Took full advantage of the hot breakfast that came with my hotel room.
3. Gratefully accepted the free apple at check-in and check-out, plus grabbed an apple and banana with breakfast. No one else went for the fruit, which made me sad, they are great apples!
4. My co-worker’s daughter is 1 size ahead of my own, so we received a nice pair of hiking shoes!
5. My friend came over to teach my daughter how to decorate cakes and cupcakes for her birthday. (NCA win there, didn’t buy a gift, gave an experience instead!) and after my friend left, I noticed a monster box (40#’s) of beautiful apples that she placed on my deck!

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barbara November 21, 2015 at 8:55 am

This may sound silly (I am really new at this) but I unpacked my winter clothes and was thankful I had not gone out and bought anything new for winter!! And I will not in the future! I will be giving away some to our homeless clothes closet at church.

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