Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 31, 2015 · 48 comments

Aldo vs. Aldi

  1. My 17-year-old son wanted to go downtown yesterday to spend his Christmas bonus on a new pair of Nikes. (He doesn’t do the buy-nothing-new Compact, and is free to spend his money as he wishes, although he certainly receives much input from his dear mother. Lucky guy.) We took the city bus, which was free with my work pass and his school pass. Although we window shopped a tiny bit, nothing was bought other than the shoes. He independently refused a bag and was very deliberate with his purchase. While downtown, I texted my friend Kristen from The Frugal Girl about Aldi, her favorite grocery store.
  2. This same son got very sick from eating at Chipotle back in October, and was sent six free burrito cards as an apology from the company. I knew they were about to expire, so we stopped by the closest location and had them assemble four enormous burritos as our dinner. We won’t be able to use the other two burrito cards before they expire tonight, so I e-mailed our contact at corporate to have them send new ones. (They’d said to do this if they expired before we could use them.) So far, no one’s been sick, so . . . yay!
  3. I’m assembling all our financial information today so I can update our FAFSA financial aid application at the stroke of midnight. I’m crossing my fingers that having two kids in college will award us even the tiniest amount of non-loan financial aid!
  4. I poured a jar of navy beans into the crock pot so I can serve a batch of The Prudent Homemaker’s white bean-rosemary soup for tonight’s dinner. I’m hoping to avoid any grocery shopping today as we went a hundred dollars over our $400 grocery budget for the month. Tomorrow is a new start!
  5. I went spelunking into my mother’s basement the other night looking for a ream of paper. I didn’t find any, (it turns out she’d donated it to a teacher friend) but I did score two enormous Mason jars that fit the large mouth lid. I brought them home and have added them to my arsenal of kitchen storage.

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.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Levasseur December 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for the reminder of FAFSA 🙂 Happy Frugal New Year 🙂


Michele December 31, 2015 at 2:55 pm

1. Cooked up some peppers and onions that were on this side of mushy. Used some in spaghetti sauce and will use others in cheesy scrambled eggs.
2. Having friends over for New Year’s eve and will stay in and watch Netflix movie. Cheaper and safer than going out tonight.
3. Copying a pricy appetizer from World of Beer. Tavern Tots…… Nothing more than tater tots , a white sauce, and bacon bits, as near as I can tell.
4. Stuck to my list at Wal-Mart….hard to do when my husband is with me. He lacks focus in a grocery store.
5. Going to tally my 2015 grocery store spending tonight. Would like to get my average monthly and then put a little less than that in envelope and do a modified Dave Ramsey in 2016.
Happy New Year!


Ruby December 31, 2015 at 3:00 pm

1. We had an amazing and amazingly frugal New Year’s Eve supper tonight: A Swift’s petite pork roast ($4 after store coupon), cooked in the slow cooker with sliced carrots from the remaindered produce section at Save-a-lot. We also had baked Pink Lady apples courtesy of the remaindered produce, a big pan of oven-fried potatoes and corn muffins. The wine was a gift leftover from Christmas, and we had homemade brownies for dessert. The whole meal, which made plentiful leftovers, cost about $7.

2. I decided to go paper-free (except for toilet paper) around the house. In three days, I have used two paper towels and that was only when greasing baking pans. It finally occurred to me that the pans can be greased with a little bit of wax paper that can be tucked back in the fridge in a bag for next time.

3. Used a grocery store coupon to save $5 on the elderly cat’s food. The checkout kid looked at me kind of funny because my order yesterday was entirely little cans of cat food.

4. Ate the last of the duck soup made from the Christmas roast duck for supper on Tuesday with the heel of a loaf of homemade bread. That little duck made 11 servings of food, and all that was thrown away was the bare bones.

5. Had a cup of morning coffee that went cold when I got distracted. I put the mug in the fridge until an afternoon pick-me-up was needed, added some homemade chocolate syrup and a little milk, and had a delicious super-frugal iced mocha.


Lindsey January 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

I have a baggie with empty butter wrappers. When I need to grease a tin, I use one of them and then discard. If there is not enough butter left on the wrapper, I put extra grease on the butter wrapper—no extra paper used.

I’m with you–no extra paper used but I am not willing to go to rags for toilet paper. I admire people with that level of dedication to frugality and saving the environment, but washing toilet rags hits the top of my disgust-o-meter.


Tricia in NC December 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Happy New Year!
1. Ate a free breakfast at the hotel before heading home from a trip.
2. Opted for frozen pizzas (on sale) instead of seafood for New Year’s eve dinner.
3. Bought nothing frivolous on our trip.
4. Had a great rate on the hotel room–treated my Dad.
5. My Dad paid for our dinner out.
Ready to start the new year!


A. Marie December 31, 2015 at 3:41 pm

(1) I just ran the grand total for 2015 on found NY State deposit cans/bottles plus found change: $287.40. This is actually a little below my yearly average, but January and February weather plus two bouts of knee trouble slowed down the bottlepicking a bit.

(2) I like Katy’s “spelunking in my mother’s basement.” I “went shopping” in DH’s closet this afternoon and found a pair of brand-new fleece-lined Carhartt jeans (purchased at a local workwear store’s going-out-of-business sale a few years ago, and then apparently stashed and forgotten about). DH is even more delighted than I am, since real winter weather is moving in.

(3) Bestest Neighbors are leaving tomorrow for a 2.5-week trip to London. One BN complained this afternoon that one of her suitcases needs a duct tape patch. I was delighted to be able to offer her some Union Jack-pattern duct tape out of the Great Trashpick of last January. She should have no problem finding her luggage on the conveyor belt!

(4) After DH and I drop the BNs at the airport tomorrow, we will go thrifting at a big store near the airport (well off our beaten path).

(5) And, Katy, good luck on those financial aid applications. It’s incredible what college costs these days.


Lindsey January 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Holy Smokes!! Great on the bottle deposits and found money!


hippierunner December 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Have chosen convenience over frugality lately but having to pay my first bill for Masters in Library Science classes has snapped me back to reality.

1) Craved burgers from VeggieGrill but their rewards program is a little off-putting now (nothing back ’til you spend $99) so I tried to recreate their quinoa burgers. Even managed to use up back-of-the-fridge carrots and black beans!

2)My brother had longed for the latest FIFA game for Xbox for Christmas. I said I’d get it for him…then got to Target & saw it was $60. When did video games become so costly?! Thank god there was a Cartwheel coupon for it, saving 20%. That same Target trip I managed to find a Cartwheel for every item on my list.

3)Living car-free which saves me a ton of $$. I love never having to worry about paying traffic tickets, gas, parking, car maintenance , etc.

4)Boyfriend got me the very practical Xmas gift of fenders for my bike. Great for the rainy season approaching!

5)Re-gifted gifts and gift bags quite resourcefully this holiday season…Really would have been glad to receive nothing but that’s not how the rest of society works. I want to be grateful but I do hate the accumulation of stuff! :/


Elizabeth December 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

1. Ate leftover chili for lunch that I had frozen a couple weeks ago.

2. Stayed in today, so no spending.

3. Realized that tomorrow is the new year and I still am using the same steel wool pad since the beginning of August. I don’t use it very often but keeping it frozen between uses keeps it from turning to a ball of rust.

4. Working on using up what’s in freezer and fridge before doing any more grocery shopping.

5. Joining The Compact in 2016, exceptions being consumables, underwear, socks and shoes.


KT December 31, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Elizabeth, exactly how do you freeze your steel wool pad? Interested, but have never read this before.


tonya parham December 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Just use it then pop in an a ziploc (or bread bag or mason jar or anything, really) and put in freezer until the next time you need it. Then, take it out when you next need it, run some warm water on it and it’s fine to use. Repeat!

Used to do this all the time but I never buy then pads any more…


Elizabeth December 31, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Hi KT, I do a quick squeeze to get most of the water out and put it on a baggie and store in the corner door of my freezer so I know where it is when I need it. Works great! 🙂


KT December 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Of course! My brain just wasn’t working when I read that. I use (and re-use) Ziploc Bags all the time for things like that and for organizing.


holly December 31, 2015 at 5:49 pm

You can also wrap it completely in aluminum foil (so no air reaches it) and theres no need to freeze.


Krystal December 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

1) Batched errands to Safeway to fill up with gas and pick up a prescription. Prescription was $0 thanks to insurance, gas is cheaper there with a debit card, and I found a quarter on the ground.
2) Found my Whole Food receipt from last week when Ibotta was having a deal on the butter I buy frequently. Will submit my receipt momentarily, just in time for an extra $1 bonus.
3) My dad treated me to coffee today when I met up with him and my stepmom for a quick break while they were in town.
4) Didn’t drive out of the way in a bad-traffic day to wash our car (we have free coupons). Our car isn’t in dire need, but will remember to stop by next time we are in the neighborhood, no need to waste gas and time now.
5) Drinking a second press of tea leaves before they head to the compost. They are just fine the second time around as the first. Double-duty.

Happy New Year!


auntiali December 31, 2015 at 5:30 pm

KT I put my brillo in a small Ziploc and toss it in the freezer.
Good luck on the FAFSA Katy. Ds went to community college and a state college and had a state scholarship as well as a golf caddy scholarship. Dd was awarded a $7000 scholarship based on her grades for her out of state college. She got work study the two years she and my son were both in college.


Betty Winslow December 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

1. Was able (through an Amazon wish list) to get mostly consumables for Xmas: dark chocs, peppermint bark, an Amazon GC, a Hobby Lobby GC, lavender bath salts from two different people, a coupon good for a manicure trip with my younger daughter, and a new photo of my little GD for the frig. Adopted daughter also bought me a set of nutcracker ornaments (she knows I collect them), hubby bought me a black dog ornament to remind me of the year our sons and dog moved back home (as if I could forget LOL), and daughter’s BF’s mom gave me a Tigger and Eeyore figurine that had belonged to her late daughter, a friend of mine, because my son’s nicknames are Eeyore and Tigger. So nice not to end up with a bunch of stuff I would have to find room for!
2. Dinner the last few nights has been out of the pantry – my 2016 goal is to use up a lot of the backlog of food in the frig/freezer/pantry.
3. Organized the wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon before putting it away and came to the conclusion I should not need to buy any more the rest of my life. :/
4. Have been reading a thriller series that I bought a partial set of at the library for 10 cents each. Instead of buying the missing ones, I’m reserving them through the library and as I read the ones I bought, they’re going in a box to go to the local used book store, for credit.
5. Set up two large trash bags (stretched over the legs from old TV trays) upstair,s one for trash and one for recycle, and a box for donations nad have been working on filling them up.
My word for 2016: simplify!


Lynn D. December 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Cooked up a big batch of mayocoba beans last week. First batch mixed with chorizo from the Mexican mercado. Delicious. This week I mixed the leftover beans with ham stock and bits of ham from our Christmas ham. Just as delicious. I still have leftover ham which I think I’ll freeze.

Cooked Chinese food tonight and didn’t have enough green onions for the garnish. Went out to the garden and picked the babiest leeks I could find. No need to go back to the store.

Went to Fred Meyer today to get more mayocoba beans (my new favorite bean!) and some produce. Cursed myself for not bringing my rinsed produce bags. This year I want to reduce my plastic use and waste. What else was in my cart? A plastic storage bin and plastic coat hangers. D’oh!


tonya parham December 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm

1. Went to the bookstore. Bought nothing. Not even a calendar. I love calendars and they were half off. Half off, however, is still not free. So, I refrained. I think I will print my own calendar out tomorrow and fill it in with the dates that matter to me.

2. Used my book trade in credit on Amazon to order cashews, sundried tomatoes, and dates. I’m vegan and also eat some raw food, so these items are staples. Am thrilled they were really free– I just cleared out some books!

3. Went to see The Big Short yesterday. Wasn’t frugal (well, it WAS a matinee) but it was informative and scary. Really reinforced my desire to pay off my debts and save money. So, it was $7 well spent! (I’m sorry– I have to see Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, AND Ryan Gosling together in the theater!)

4. I love to cook garlic but HATE to peel it! I’ve been buying it already peeled. That’s not frugal but I felt like, if it keeps me from going out spending $8 a month on pre-peeled garlic is worth it. But, I watched this show, Hack My Life and they said, just take the entire head, hit it with the end of a bowl and then put in in two bowls that are over each other– shake vigorously for 10 seconds. No way this would work, I figured. BUT IT DOES!!! I’M SO STOKED!

5. I’m not going out tonight for new years. I never do. I will probably read. Or, I might just start that calendar tonight!


KT December 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Tonya, I have been making my own calendar pages for years and love them! Not fancy with pics or anything, just efficient use of space and time. I make a template on a spreadsheet program. These are the steps I took so I could use the templates forever:
1. Only fill in the DAYS OF THE WEEK on your template, then make 6 duplicates of it. Each template will be filled in, not for the months, but by the day of the week when a month could begin.
2. The first template I made, the 1st was on Sunday and had 31 days. Named that tab “Sun”. Next template the 1st started on Monday and had 31 days. Named that tab “Mon”. Repeat process for 7 template tabs and 31 days on every template.
2. Now you are ready to make the calendar pages for a year. Since Jan. 2016 starts on a Friday, I DUPLICATED template “Fri” for Jan and named that tab “Jan ’16”. Feb starts on a Monday AND I deleted days 30 and 31 before printing. Does this make sense? Now you can use the original 7 templates forever.
3. Used online calendar for 2016 to determine holidays and entered those in red on each calendar page.
5. I actually only print 3 months at a time because we are senior citizens and have medical appointments spaced over 3 months. I like to have those and other appointments printed on the calendars. I type those on template of the month as scheduled and only print Jan – Mar. Mid-March, I print calendar pages Apri – Jun, etc.
6. Fill in birthdates/anniversaries in blue ink. Next year I copy/paste those events to the appropriate date (not day). Also will copy/paste the red holidays to appropriates dates.
7. On the original 7 templates, I fill in events/reminders that occur EVERY MONTH. Most of those have an empty box in front that I can check off & show the event was completed, such as direct deposits added into my checkbook register, etc. If I pre-decease my husband, this calendar will be his life-saver!

It does take time to set up the original 7 templates, then the 12 months of the current year. (Remember to DUPLICATE the Fri. template before filling it in on the computer for Jan. Keep the original 7 blank except for dates 1-31.) Sorry this was so lengthy, but after the original work is done, it’s all a snap after that!


tonya parham January 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

KT, thanks for the tips! I hadn’t thought to do that but that would make it super easy (once it was set up!) and would save work down the line! Thank you!


Vicki January 1, 2016 at 6:56 am

I use this site for calendar pages. 🙂


Katy January 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

Ooh . . . cool. thanks!


Lindsey January 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

You can do the same thing by putting the garlic in a jar with a lid and shaking the bejeebers out of it. I found keeping the bowls together to be a pain so switched to this method.


Megg December 31, 2015 at 6:49 pm

I had paid time off hours that we’re going to expire so I took Monday off and was able to round out my 6 hour shift so I will still be paid for a full week of work, yay!

We are having a super low-key New Year’s Eve with friends coming over and sharing appetizers for dinner.

Of the 5 things I put in my husband’s stocking, 2 were acquired for free.

We didn’t travel for Christmas and instead spent the day at home and made dinner instead of going out.

We’re seeing our financial planner on Monday for a large (unavoidable) expense were hoping to make this coming year. I hope this counts as frugal, or at least fiscally responsible.


Bee December 31, 2015 at 6:51 pm

1) I am defrosting a left-over ham bone that I had frozen earlier in December, and I have dried black-eyed peas soaking. These are essential ingredients for our traditional New Years Day dinner of hopping John, collard greens, and cornbread.
2) My husband, adult son , and I stayed in this evening. I cooked a special New Years Eve supper, but we are forgoing the champagne . We will be happy to see this year in the rear view mirror.
3) Groceries are expensive where I live, but the local grocery store had whole pork loins on special for $1.89. I bought 2 ,cut them into chops and roasts, and pop them in the freezer. This will last us quite awhile. Also took advantage of several BOGO deals.
4) My daughter, son, and I watched a documentary on PBS last night, Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food.” It is an interesting look at food and nutrition in America. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in health an nutrition. What’s more, it was entertaining, educational and free!
5) I have begun wearing a bid style apron whenever I cook or clean. This is saving my clothes. No more stains or bleach spots! I want to try making a heavy duty one out of recycle denim , so I can wear it when gardening.

Happy New Year! May all your dreams come true in 2016!


Jennifer December 31, 2015 at 7:26 pm

I usually get my butcher to chop up a whole pork loan for me when I find a great sale on them. Most butchers don’t mind at all.You may prefer to cut them yourself but I just thought I would mention it. I just love being able to throw them in bags in the freezer and not dirty up my utensils. They always cut them exactly the size I ask for no extra charge and they put them right back in the exact same package so no extra waste.


Bee January 1, 2016 at 4:15 am

I used to have the butcher do this too. Not sure why I stopped. I probably ran across too many grumpy butchers. You are right though it is such a mess to clean up! Lots of bleach and antibacterial soap.


Marcia December 31, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Let’s see if I can get to five:
1. Stayed in all day today–nothing spent.
2. Got all errands done in one trip yesterday: credit union, gas station, granddaughter’s bank, grocery store, and pharmacy–then back home!
3. Made a good New Year’s Eve dinner—meatloaf, some leftover scalloped potatoes with ham, butternut squash, Christmas cookies for dessert.
4. “New Year’s Eve” snack time consisted of one bag of potato chips (which I do not normally eat due to salt) and one container of dip. Pretty frugal celebration for two people! Drinking extra water already….not used to salt but I indulge myself one day a year by purposely eating chips.
5. Kept grocery shopping tab to under $400 this month despite stocking up on many good bargains offered all month. The store did send out 8 –$5 off a $35 order coupons—still have a week or two to go but I have used them all. Also a lot of extra gas coupons—Husband used $1.30 off per gallon and I still have two weeks to go and already have another 30 cents a gallon off. Consistently saving over 20% per week on groceries with coupons and sales—and went over 35% a couple weeks last month. That includes supplies for 1 cat, plus all household things as well as food.
Things are looking hopeful for the new year—we had a lot of work this year on the house, car, and yard, but we got it all done, all paid for, and all is in order once again!


Jennifer December 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Congrats on getting all the work done and paid for on house, yard, and cars! I feel like that may never happen for me so it’s good to see others get there. Happy New Year!


Gail January 1, 2016 at 4:11 am

Katy–I am still smiling over the Aldi/Aldo bit. You went to some trouble to give us all a good laugh. Thank you for that and for your blog. I get your humor and lifestyle sense and tune in every day.


Bettypants January 1, 2016 at 4:12 am

1. My dad always goes to the 50% clothing sale on NY’s day at “the good” Salvation Army near his house and this year I am tagging along.
2. Brought a stack of read magazines to my mom’s house and picked up a stack she had waiting for me. I am occasionally tempted to buy a magazine subscription, but am easily reminded what a waste of money that would be for me.
3. Went to the bulk foods store yesterday, but only bought dutch cocoa. I took note of many interesting items they had, for future use.
4. Ebay sent me a gift card that said “Thanks for selling.” The amount was $15.17, so although it must be some sort of calculation from my sales, I don’t know how. I can spend it on anything.
5. My coworker asked if it was ebay bucks, which I have never heard of. I signed up for that after he explained it.


K D January 1, 2016 at 5:22 am

1. I have cinnamon roll dough rising next to the crock pot (which holds pulled beef for our lunch).

2. We went to CT to visit in-laws. I thought of Katy as we drove past the exit for City island. We stayed with my niece instead of a hotel. Both cheaper and more fun. We took her out for dinner, since we arrived at dinner time and she was just getting home from work. I was able to use Outback Tuck Away cards to pay for about 2/3 of the bill. I received them after I emailed to tell them of our disappointing experience with take-out.

3. We ordered pizza for lunch with my MIL. She is not able to get out much and it is a real treat for her. We ordered extra because it is a consumable gift. I called to inquire as to the sizes/prices of their pizzas and did a quick calculation to figure out that the larger pizza was a better deal.

4. I need some cloth place-mats. I am trying to decide the best way to obtain them: attempt to make them out of an old table cloth, buy them on etsy (not cheap but supporting work done locally(ish) or check thrift stores. I know I don’t want to buy anything made in China.

5. I have done no after Christmas shopping. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I guess I am inching towards the Compact, like so many of you dear readers/commenters.


LisaC January 1, 2016 at 5:48 am

Put up a new calendar that we got for free from a junk mail solicitor. Its pretty, with photos of birds.
Served chili with cornbread for the small crowd that stopped by for NYE. Used beans and tomatoes that were loss leaders at the local store as a base.
Thawed out all of the Christmas goodie/sweet gifts to put out for company.
Needed cat bowls, went to Goodwill and found them for less than a dollar total.
Used old decorations for NYE, put them back in a ziploc this morning.


Gina January 1, 2016 at 6:21 am

Happy New Year!

For the past decade or so, I have loved the feeling of NY better than any other holiday during the year (even my beloved Halloween!). I love the idea (figuratively, literally, traditionally) of a fresh start. So, here we all go…!

1. I also stayed in with my two boys on NYE. I had visited the library earlier in the day to pick up a couple of books I had on hold and we found “Sound of Music”. I had not watched this movie for many years and I love it-maybe I will make it a yearly tradition!

2. I did my last shopping for the old year: Thrift store and Aldi’s (ha!) where I bought a couple of long-sleeve t-shirts and hoodies for my sons and (oddly enough) two half-gallon Mason jars with lids for the pantry.

3. The library books I am reading right now: _$2.00 a Day_ and _Hand to Foot: Bootstrap America_. Both eye-openers. Due to a wicked divorce and other catastrophes in the past couple of years, I am definitely living more pay-cheque to paycheque, but I am no where near the people in these two books and I have so much to be grateful for in my life. I can be frugal by choice and makes me want to be sure to budget for giving this year.

4. Worked on the end-of-year “To Do” list and made routine appointments for dental and veterinarian. These won’t be frugal unless you count the benefits of health related to them. However, I did space them out to accommodate my budget for the next few months.

5. I am putting up a free calendar that was handed out at the Indian grocery store. I love the Hindi art work in it.


NMPatricia January 1, 2016 at 6:21 am

I am grateful I am past the whole FAFSA thing. Not a fun thing to do.

I am impressed that, after being sick, you went back to Chipotle. Good for you for not condemning them on the basis of one episode. Though I am not sure I would be as brave.

Happy New Year, Katy.


Jennifer January 1, 2016 at 6:45 am

1. Made some hair ties out of an old pair of cheetah print panties,yes cheetah- don’t judge. We were at a hotel for New Years and I forgot to bring one so we could take advantage of the spa/ pool without getting my hair wet. I never liked the way these panties fit so they make much better hair ties.
2. I also collected the keurig k-cups that the hotel provided for the in-room keurig brewer. I don’t drink coffee but my oldest daughters loves it.
3. I also grabbed the soaps, lotions, and shampoos from the hotel. I keep a ziploc Baggie full of these for our camping trips. Perfect size and no biggie if the kids accidently leave or spill one.
4. Headed to Kroger to pick up my free Friday download. It’s Natures Valley bread! A whole loaf of bread for free! Also, I never picked up last week’s FFD which was Mentos and I have a free cake mix from a downloaded my best customer bonus coupon. So 3 free items, yay!
5. Filled up on gas at the cheapest place I have seen in awhile on the way to drop off kids with my mom. It is $1.59!!!

Frugal fail-We ate out for New Year’s Eve which cost $80+ AND stayed in a hotel. We did bring a bottle of Moscato that we have had for about a year instead of buying champagne but overall we spent too much. My husband does not follow the compact and this was all him but I have to admit we had a,long overdue, really great time together.


Amanda January 1, 2016 at 7:29 am

1. Avoided $45 a plate New Years celebrations to stay home, which is my preference anyway.
2. Returned a spigot that didn’t fit to Home Depot.
3. Breastfeeding and cloth diapering.
4. Making a stew today to put away for the winter. It takes $160 to make a half a pot, but it will become at least one supper a week for the rest of the winter.
5. Finishing out the year’s bookkeeping for our business. We do pay an accountant to do the taxes, but I can do the bookkeeping. Then I get to start on our personal taxes. I do them myself through turbotax. It’s like a treasure hunt and organizing expedition all rolled into one!


Ellie January 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

Amanda, Could you share the recipe for the stew? Happy New Year!


Debra Mize January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

I lose my insurance today due to a last minute change in coverage notification from the company so yesterday I got all the possible prescriptions filled until this is worked out.

My son losteoporosis weight so I convinced him to go thrifting with me and he got 2 pairs of jeans, new with tags, for $19.00 at Platos Closet. We couldn’t find decent ones at 2 other stores.

Stayed home last night and read, cleaned and prepped for the coming year.


Isabelle January 1, 2016 at 5:05 pm

* Prepared a very specific budget for 2016. Since we are still carrying expenses for 2 houses (old one not selling!!!) since last july, money is tight and we need to keep a close tab on all expenses. So every spent penny gets entered into the spreadsheet.
* Skipped on rental movies and sushi ($$) yesterday and joined friends at a private house for a new year party instead. They offered drinks, supper, bed for the night and breakfast this morning, and gave us a big box of cereals and a jug of juice to go. Thanks friends! (We did have them over for a racquelette 2 days prior)
* Skipped an offer to join said friends for a restaurant brunch. Ate frugally at home instead (pasta+veggies+bit of sausages for lunch, rice&beans for supper)
* No special event for us tonight. Staying quietly at home with the kids tucked-in, a wood-stove fire, puzzle and Netflix show.
* Daughter tried on the skates I got her at the thrift store for 5$ and they fit perfectly, yay!!
* I had booked 5 days off next week but only had vacation hours to cover 2.5 days, so I decided to cancel 3 of my 5 days off.
* Worked a double shift this week, which will cover the unpaid off day (today)
* Was thinking about cutting my hair short, but I have thick curly hair that would require monthly trims and special hair products ($$). Keeping them long is much cheaper and low maintenance (poney tails!)
* Exchanged Petro Points for 20$ off gas

Have a great frugal day!


Kathleen January 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Bought used pants for my older daughter and a friend gave me some dresses her daughter had outgrown for my younger daughter. I really try hard not to buy any new clothes for me and my kids.

I did a freezer inventory, and my plan is to not buy any meat this month. I’m also going to try and get us back to more meatless days. My older daughter is a vegetarian, but my younger daughter is allergic to eggs and cow’s milk and she doesn’t like tofu, so this one is a bit tough.

We’ve been keeping the heat turned down. 60 at night. 62 in the morning. 64 when the sun goes down. Back to 60 at night.

My husband started a new job. The first two months he was in a different office every week which resulted in a lot of lunches out. He’s settling into an office on Monday, so he can start taking his lunch most days again.

I keep thinking about the Buy Nothing New Compact. We don’t own a car which greatly complicates our ability to buy used. I think I’m just going to be really thoughtful about any buying decisions we need to make this year. I’ve been finding more and more that when I think I “need” something, if I put some thought into it I realize that I really don’t need it after all.


janine January 1, 2016 at 6:35 pm

1. After the excess of the holidays a no-spend day!
2. Used up leftovers from Chinese take out where we seriously over-ordered.
3. Found a new recipe in a cookbook that can be adapted to pantry items I have on hand.
4. Attended a gala New Year’s Eve Party – free except for the hostess gift – opportunity to chat with friends we rarely see during the year. (lots of discussion about unusual political scene and the polarization of American society.)
5. Made a gallon of iced tea – yes I know it is the middle of winter- but much cheaper and better than the soft drinks we guzzle if they are on hand.


Lucy January 2, 2016 at 5:03 am

1. Used grocery points to put gas in the car.
2. Bought tins for next year’s cookie gifts for $1.80 each, reduced from $3.99 with clearance plus a rebate.
3. Hubby made a double-batch of cookies we decided weren’t up to gift standard, and we have been nibbling on them rather that pitching them. They seem to be getting better, or else we are just getting used to their funkiness.
4. Got a screaming deal on canned tuna and block cheese.
5. Used the car to get feed instead of the truck. LOL, I did not have much to get! The car both uses cheaper fuel and gets better mileage.


Sheila January 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Katy, we did our FAFSA on January 1st last year – with two boys in college – and did receive a nice reward. Our younger son received a pretty hefty scholarship and we think that was from doing the FAFSA on the first day possible and having a pretty modest income. Of course we did it again this year and are hoping for more of the same scholarship goodness. Fingers crossed that you do too!


Chris January 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

1. Sold a tackle box that came from my dad’s house (and has been sitting here for almost 10 years) on CL.
2. I paid $1 for a pair of dog boots at a church sale – they didn’t fit my dog – sold them today for $10 with the $44(!!) price tag still attached.
3. Yesterday was a no drive/no spend day here.
4. Today was a bit of shopping for my husband and a day of quick volunteering at the library for me.
5. My husband remarked today “no food goes to waste here does it?” SCORE!!


Vickie January 3, 2016 at 8:36 am

1) I had to buy horse feed yesterday and it was on sale $2 cheaper than usual. Yay!!
2) My cousin sent me a Hoppin’ John recipe for black eyed peas. I intend to use next weekend.
3) The Tribal grocer had a huge sale. Large avocados for 59 cents each, usually they’re over a $1 each by Winter. I bought 3 and made guacamole to go with the chicken fajitas I made for dinner last night.
4) Tonight we’re having fajita salad for dinner – love leftovers!
5) Tomorrow is my first day of work after two weeks off. I saved a lot of gas staying home during my vacation. Plus, I’m heading to the Library tomorrow to use my favorite shopping card! 🙂


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary January 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Is it really so much better to do the FAFSA early? I had no idea…

Happy new year to all! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and frugal 2016!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: