Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 19, 2016 · 57 comments

  1. My husband, younger son and I all had yesterday off from school/work, so we forced ourselves out of our comfy yet sluggish home in search of fun. Keeping an eye on the budget, we treated ourselves to delicious $6.50 falafel wraps and then redeemed a gift card for Burgerville milk shakes. Lastly, we hit up a local arcade/fun center. Luckily, we had a coupon which gave us both free entrance plus $6 in free nickels. Two ways that we stayed frugal was to order $6.50 ala carte instead of $13.00 plates, and we chose the less expensive chocolate/vanilla/strawberry milkshakes instead of the chocolate hazelnut/cherry chocolate/triple berry. Plenty indulgent, but our money stayed in the bank, yo!
  2. I scheduled another consumer opinion panel, which pays $125 for an hour-and-half of my time. As I did last time, I’ll show up early to be entered in the $25 early bird drawing. (Which I won last time!)
  3. I only have one scheduled day at the hospital this week. However, I’ll be coming in for a mandatory 4-1/2 hour unit meeting on Thursday. I may ask if I can spend an additional couple hours chipping away at my endless continuing education.
  4. I picked up our bicycles from my Airbnb friend. (I’d rented them out to her weekend tenants.) My friend has refused a cut in the past, but I was able to get her to take three unopened packets of fancy origami paper that she can use for her art students.
  5. I mended my favorite pajama pants, I made squash soup from squash that I bought over a month ago, I roasted the seeds for a delicious snack, I defrosted a gallon of $1.39 milk that’s I’d bought on clearance and I paid the bill for my son’s $535 wisdom teeth panoramic X-ray, but only after appealing our insurance’s refusal to pay,

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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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheyanne January 19, 2016 at 3:47 pm

1. Got an order for a bunch homemade crocheted baby hats. I won’t make a whole lot of profit BUT I’ll be able to help a friend provide gifts to her clients (she’s a doula) AND clear out some of my stash.

2. Three books I’ve had on hold came in through Overdrive on Sunday. I’m a reading MACHINE as I only have all three for 14 days. I’m currently reading Lila by Marilynne Robinson. It’s amazing how books about the Depression put things in perspective a bit. 🙂

3. I paid a bit extra on my student loans this month. Huzzah!

4. I resisted the urge to go to Walgreens to “find $30 worth of stuff I need” to get the $5 back in rewards points today. All I REALLY need is conditioner (I’m particular) which is on sale buy one get one free this week. BUT I stayed out of the rain at lunch and read instead of buying stuff I don’t need yet.

5. A rep brought lunch into work last week. There’s still some uneaten bread in the kitchen. I think I’m going to take it home and try to make some bread pudding with it. 🙂 I might even take one of the tangerines my coworker brought from her tree to add some tangerine zest to the sauce.

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Katy January 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for the book tip. I’ve put it on hold at the library.

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kathleen January 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Not sure what device you use for reading ebooks, but wanted to share a tip in case it helps you or someone else.

I have a Kindle, and I love being able to check out ebooks from my library. If it is getting close to the end of my check out period, and I’m not finished reading, I turn off the wireless on my Kindle. As long as you leave the wireless off on the device, the book will stay on it, and you can continue reading. Amazon returns the book from my account to the library, so there are no late fees, nor does it inconvenience anyone else waiting on it, because it IS returned to the library from Amazon. But without the wireless connection being turned on, it stays on your device and can continue to be read. Just don’t accidentally turn the wireless back on until you finish reading.

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Odette January 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

How does that work — getting library ebooks through Amazon?

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kathleen January 20, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Library website asks what format…I click on Kindle…it sends book to Amazon account which I then download from. Here’s a link to info about borrowing Public Library ebooks for your Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200747550

Hope that helps.

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Odette January 21, 2016 at 5:10 am

Thanks, Kathleen!

Karen3848 January 20, 2016 at 5:40 am

I read Lila as a book club choice last year. Beautifully written and we have now all read most of Marilynne Robinson’s novels on our own, as follow-up reading.

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priskill January 20, 2016 at 11:57 am

Marilynne Robinson is a wonderful writer!

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Ruby January 19, 2016 at 3:59 pm

1. I did some hand-sewing to partially close up the too long side slits in a wonderful corduroy jumper bought at a thrift shop. It’s too cold to be flashing that much leg!
2. Our dogs are loving the homemade kibble-stretching dog food I made for them. It’s canned salmon, rice, peas and carrots mixed together (safe for the dog with food allergies) and added to their dry food to make it go farther.
3. Bought some inexpensive foam insoles to resurrect a pair of slippers that are warm but too flattened out inside to be comfortable.
4. Also mended a rather expensive pair of Smartwool knee socks that keep getting little holes in the legs just below the ribbed trim.
5. With some kitchen magic, Sunday’s leftover pizza sauce and some toppings were morphed into spaghetti sauce for the first half of the week. It made a very yummy batch.

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Jill January 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm

1.Took a package of bacon out of the freezer and baked it in the oven along with my dinner to save energy. Will use it for blt’s for lunch the next few days and maybe an omelet dinner.
2. We go to a beer festival with friends every other year. When purchasing our tickets I inquired about a Designated Driver ticket since I don’t drink beer. I still had to pay but it was deeply discounted for me and a friend who doesn’t drink either. Never hurts to ask.
3.Sorted through my books to take to the used bookstore tomorrow. Used my credit there for Christmas so it’s time to get some more.
4.Stayed home over the weekend, ate leftovers and watched 2 movies on regular tv along with too much NFL football – oh wait, that belongs on my husband’s list.
5.Cleaned out my jewelry box and gathered some together to take to consignment next time I go.

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A. Marie January 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

(1) Thanks for the reminder about squash soup/seeds, Katy. Three of the four fancy little pumpkins I purloined off a neighbor’s brush pile in November are still waiting to be used.

(2) Have gone nowhere and spent nothing for the past two days. Lake effect blizzard in progress.

(3) DH did venture out, but only to do a UPS package dropoff on my behalf (work-related) and to visit the public library. My hero!

(4) Frittata for dinner, with kale harvested from garden before real winter weather set in. Kale keeps a long time in the fridge if stored correctly.

(5) Have joined several commenters on recent FFT posts in saving $$ by postponing a haircut, but this can’t last much longer. I’m starting to look like an English sheepdog!

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Lindsey January 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm

1. Hit the cancel button for three books I was going to purchase from Amazon and got them from the library instead. (A resolution this year is to stop buying so many books and use our library more, and to take old books to the used bookstore for credits to use on future used book purchases from there.) This is very hard for me because I am used to/love buying new books that I read reviews of, and using the library usually involves a wait of several weeks or more. I am more of an instant gratification person.

2. Cut the husband’s hair. Glad he has thick curly hair so it hides all my mistakes. Glad he is not fussy.

3. Took all the soap scraps and had enough to melt down into two full size bars of soap that we’ll be able to use in three weeks after they have cured. This is one of those weird things I like doing because I can feel thrifty and Little House on the Prairie-ish at the same time.

4. A friend and I coordinated our seed buying order so, a) it came in at over $50 and thus qualified for $10 off, b) the shipping was flat rate so we divided one rate when we would have paid for two shipping charges if we’d ordered separately, and c) since for many of the items we wanted the same vegetable seeds but not the full pack we were able to divide one pack between us—in other years I have had to save excess seeds until the next season when germination rates might decrease or I managed to get the packet wet and thus wasted half a pack.

5. This same friend has trouble successfully starting tomato seeds, but she has a ton of dahlia tubers that she has saved from year to year (getting more of them each year because one plant will have numerous baby tubers that can be planted the next year). So, I am going to give her eight six packs of tomatoes, each six pack with a different variety, and fill one of her window planters with three different kinds of mint. In exchange, she is going to start a dozen dinner plate dahlias for me and bring them over when it is time to transplant them. I still cannot figure out how she kills mint, which would take over the planet if humans were not so vigilant, but it certainly works out to my advantage.

Frugal gift: A neighbor received an unexpected job offer in another state and had two weeks to get there. We spent two weekend days helping them pack boxes for the movers and, in exchange, received 51 pounds of moose steaks from their freezer that I am going to make into jerky to take on summer camping trips. Well, I should save them for those events, but more likely (because I love moose jerky so much) I will eat them for dinner whenever the husband is out of town for work. Yum.

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Canadian Lily January 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

1-Work gave us all cell phones so I cancelled mine-this will save me about $90 per month.
2-Noticed cable bill was $100 higher than usual due to my son downloading some games-once I gave son Royal Hell I called the cable company and due to being a loyal customer they removed the overage. Little do they know I will be cancelling all my cable once the Superbowl ends.
3-Spend one afternoon of the weekend cooking and have been enjoying pasta, chilli, cabbage bacon and onion stirfry, and other delicious dinners.
4-Using leftovers of said dinners to take my lunch to work each and every day.
5-A local thrift store had a great sale on all their clothing–bought myself a much needed sweater and an NFL (brand new!) jacket for my step son for next Christmas, also got some other sweaters (tags still on) for some other gifts. Added all the purchases up and it was over $300 worth of clothes all for only $30!
Happy Frugal-ling!:)

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Nancy January 19, 2016 at 5:42 pm

1. Paid for a year of my health club membership. I have a lifetime rate of $50 a year – so it is worth it to me, as my favorite form of exercise is swimming.
2. Brought breakfast, lunch and drinks to work.
3. Saved 10¢ a gallon on gas with a loyalty card – not much but every bit helps
4. Received 2 free memory foam pillows
5. Only other thing – I bough 3 pounds of split peas from the bulk bins at Winco for 69¢ a pound, instead of the ones in a bag for $2.00 a pound.

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Bettypants January 20, 2016 at 5:19 am

$50 a year seems dirt cheap to me. You’re so lucky!

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Jennifer January 20, 2016 at 7:23 am

What a steal for use of a pool for a year!

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Carol M. January 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm

1. Continuing to take my lunch to work everyday and eat what I have on days I work from home.
2. Ate up some leftover yogurt today for a snack with granola that’s been on top of our fridge forever.
3. Have resisted the temptation to buy new clothes–partially because there’s no Goodwills that I pass by on a regular basis.
4. Managed to get some prescriptions at a highly discounted rate, even though my insurance wouldn’t cover it. My pharmacist is the BEST.
5. Haven’t bought pens in what feels like years. Either I get them as gifts, my fiance brings them home, or we get freebies. I’m convinced pens are not something you need to buy.

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Jennifer January 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Ditto #5. It’s just like hair bands, they’re everywhere.

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Bee January 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm

I don’t have a very exciting list. It’s the little things though, right?
1) I didn’t leave the house today except to walk the dog. No money spent, but I have a long list of errands to batch tomorrow.
2) I had forgotten my coupons this past weekend when I was a the grocery store. Brought them in yesterday with my receipt and received a refund.
3) A friend gave me some nice blankets that she was not using. I was happy to have them. I had given the my extras to my children who left the nest.
4) I was also given several different types of stir fry sauce. I used some tonight to make chicken lo mein for my visiting son. This allowed me to make on of his favorites while using up some foods in my pantry that I am unable to eat. I am gluten intolerant. I joined him as he ate, but I had a salad.
5) I ate leftovers for lunch!

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Teresa Lawrence January 19, 2016 at 6:55 pm

1) I picked up a nickel off the ground – it was snow covered but it will spend the same.
2) I dropped off a bag of donations at the local sharing house.
3) At the sharing house I chose a new (to us) game.
4) I had lunch with a friend and she treated.
5) I LOVE books and keep them forever. I bought a new book by a favorite author that I thought I *should* love, but I read the first page and couldn’t get into it. I returned it to the store. Instead I’m re-reading some of the books I already have on my shelves that are old favorites.

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Beth Anne January 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm

1. I paid my mortgage payment early yesterday thus putting an extra $20 or so towards the principle and not the interest and stilled made the same amount in payment.

2. REALLY wanted to treat daughter and I to the Red Robin deal I saw for 2 for $15. It had been a super stressful day at work, I stayed late and was super tired. BUT came home instead and made breakfast dinner – pumpkin pancakes and bacon as I had thawed out the frozen pumpkin this weekend for breakfast and never used. I made a double batch so we now have breakfast tomorrow, with even some bacon left! (Love me some bacon!).

3. Then I found the energy to make the Italian stuffed shells I want but saw was super involved to make. Italian sausage was thawed and needed to use it. Daughter helped and I will have two pans of shells – one for the freezer and one for dinner tomorrow. Working late tomorrow so it will be nice to just pop it in the oven.

4. Got great deals on meat this weekend shopping. Packaged it up in smaller packs and put it in our freezer.

5. Got paid on Friday. Sat down yesterday and paid the bills first sticking to my budget so it wouldn’t get frittered away. Not much left but its a good feeling to have all this months bills taken care of. Also billed my employer for the dog/cat sits I did this weekend earning $110. Been paying myself each day in a savings program for vacation – on my way to making it a habit!

6. My boss keeps telling me about the sales at JC Penney etc., and the really great deals she is getting for her and her family and how I should go out shopping. Have not done that. Sure I would love some new winter tops but I have more than enough clothes and many, many more in the closet I can’t wear because they got to small.

7. Going to focus on making hand made gifts this year. Added to my list of ideas pine cone firestarters (will use old candles, found pine cones) and also want to make birdseed ornaments using different holiday cookie cutters – hearts for Valentines Day coming up. Going to get the bird seed at The Dollar Store. Should be fun for daughter and me.

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Jennifer January 19, 2016 at 7:01 pm

1. I got up off the couch and exercised for 20 minutes on the elliptical and treadmill as I promised myself I would. Free exercise at my home. Taking care of my body will hopefully maintain and improve my health therefore will save money.
2. Picked up all my Free Friday Downloads from Kroger. Free groceries I will actually use. Also found some cute gloves for my kids for $.49 at Kroger(weird item for Kroger I know) Picked up some reduced ground turkey, a small bag of reduced potatoes, and some marked down portabellas while I was there.
3. Cleaned out and reorganized my kids closet. Found several articles of clothing they need to be wearing before they out grow them. It really pays to inventory things every few months.
4. Stopped by Dollar General on the way home to pick up a poster board for a school project and noticed the Christmas stuff is marked down to 25 cents. I got a can of pumpkin that was included in the sale and let them keep the rest.
5. I am thankful that my husband is embracing my frozen milk without any kickback.

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Gina January 19, 2016 at 7:13 pm

1-Again with the pantry meals, I made delicious mango rice (basically sautéed onions and peppers in coconut oil, added diced fresh mango, and seasonings and then mixed in cooked rice). I said this last 5FT, but I am eating so well from the stores!
2-Broke down and went thrifting with a friend on Monday (50% day). I was very selective and mindful about my purchases. I ended up with a couple of blankets for the car (to hand out if I see a homeless person. I saw a man that same day sitting against a building with nothing more than a hoodie on. It is bitterly cold here right now); 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes.
3-Read library borrowed _Radioactive_ (a beautiful art-book about Marie & Pierre Curie). I am participating in a science book reading club and almost all of the books on the list are in my excellent city library’s collection.
4-Was given a small bonus from my employer and I put it directly into savings.
5-Tomorrow I am staying in because it is suppose to snow 2-4 inches tonight. To this former Great Lakes girl that’s dusting; however, in KY where I call home now, it’s Donner Party condition so best to stay frugally indoors in my 60 F heated home wearing layers. 😉

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Melissa January 20, 2016 at 4:10 am

Are you willing to share the reading list for your science book reading club? I would love to know of other good science oriented books!

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nerokitty1 January 19, 2016 at 7:29 pm

What panel do you sit for to get paid? (If you don’t mind sharing)

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Marcia January 19, 2016 at 7:37 pm

1. Husband reminded me that I had not finished covering the second lumbar pillow we use in the car on trips. I had the cover partly done, but was disappointed in the fit I got on the first pillow cover. So I did the second one by entirely hand-sewing it on to the pillow. Got a much better fit even if it did take a little longer. We will be taking a road trip next week.
2. While in the vicinity of the sewing machine, also mended 2 other items.
3. Quite snowy, cold and windy last week–did a lot of cooking at home. Have cornbread in the freezer for 8 more meals, have a smorgasbord (i.e. leftovers) for tomorrow night’s supper, and maybe even more. Enchiladas, beer, brat and cheese soup, chili for the freezer, and sausage and Swiss quiche we had tonight with salad.
4. Managed to keep myself out of Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores so far this month!! Have a birthday next week and after that may look up a few thrift stores while we are away, just to be different!!
5. Still eating Christmas cookies (kept in Tuppeware) and they are still fine. They are not my favorite kind, but they are cookies, and they are already made!!

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Betty Winslow January 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

1. Son and hubby made a huge pot of pulled pork and a vat of cole slaw for the playoff games this past weekend – made dinner for two nights, lunches for today, and coleslaw with tonight’s dinner (and there’s still more….) Froze the rest of the shredded veggies (son got carried away) and will make a Chinese stir try or egg rolls with it…
2. Am in the process of blessing our teachers with boxes of freebie teachers’ magazines that we no longer have room for in the library and that they never have time to come look at. Am putting one box of them at a time in the teachers’ lounge (AKA the small kitchen in our building) and will recycle the rest, reuse the plastic cases, and have more room for books!!
3. Since our sons have moved back home, we have been buying coffee beans again (my men are coffee snobs – no ground or instant for them), so I’ve been sneaking in some of the flavored ones we had left when hubby stopped drinking it. A 1/2 cup of flavored beans per mason jar of regular beans and no one has even noticed (and the regular beans are from Aldi – I fill the jar and bury the bag in the trash! LOL)
4. Used some stale bread to make bread pudding – only hubby and I like it, but it’s a good use for it and it makes a nice change for breakfast.
5. Cleaned under the bathroom and kitchen sinks this week – wow, I have a LOT of cleaning supplies! Won’t be buying any for a loooong time!

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Karen3848 January 20, 2016 at 5:54 am

My husband and I love bread pudding too, but if it’s there, we will eat it…ALL! After we’ve eaten it a couple says in a row, I freeze the rest of it into individual portions so that we can control how often we eat it.

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Jennifer January 20, 2016 at 7:29 am

3. I have to disguise ground turkey or my husband won’t eat it so I can relate.

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auntiali January 19, 2016 at 9:04 pm

1. I’ve stayed home yesterday and today. Yesterday dh had my CRV for the 4 wheel drive as it was slippery out. I stayed home today cause it was too cold to go out.
2. Cut dh’s hair last night.
3. Got my credit reports for free and my FICO score for $7.95. Very, very happy with mine, have to do hubby’s next.
4. Made supper the last two nights. Tonight was very tasty spaghetti with meat sauce.
5. Ordered books from inter library loan. I don’t really need to pay for books to download. Hope the books get in before the predicted snow storm this weekend.

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JenniferK January 19, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Went to a local garden center. I love plants but hate paying top dollar. Found an “orphan plant” shelf in the greenhouse. Got a beautiful, healthy African violet for 1.99 and a lovely orchid (including pot!) for $5 simply because they are not currently in bloom. Savings of at least $8 and they will provide lots of enjoyment in our home.

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Krystal January 19, 2016 at 9:43 pm

1. I have been sick, as has my husband, with quite the cold. It hasn’t made it impossible for us to cook, but we aren’t hungry hardly at all. Which means we’ve saved money on food, and chosen leftovers over having to go to the store. I’ve delayed grocery shopping for 5 days!
2. This month, I took out cash for my personal “blow money” category instead of tracking it like I generally do in Mint. I tend to spend less and find myself wanting to stretch my pre-set limit even further, and carry over to next month or save for new hiking boots. I’m starting to see why Dave Ramsey encourages cash for spending–you definitely feel it more.
3. Taking time here and there to gather tax documents. I learned not to try to do it all at once or something gets overlooked. So far, I have found forms I forgot to use for deductions last year, that I won’t forget this year, allowing myself a bit more time to prepare.
4. Attending a clothing swap at my friend’s house this weekend. Last time I found designer colorful jeggings that I still wear, not to mention 3-4 other items I wore for a bit then consigned. Yay!
5. I bought tickets to SF for my godsons spring break. Not frugal, but I shopped around for flights, found the cheapest airport for car rental, and then used a $66 credit I had for a flight change from a work trip! Took an extra 30-40 minutes, but I saved money plotting out the cheapest way possible for our flights (including flying on a weekday and not Easter weekend!) We always have a free place to stay there, too.

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Mand01 January 20, 2016 at 12:15 am

1. Sticking to the food budget like a gecko on a stone.
2. Trying to wait an extra 2 weeks for a haircut. I wear my hair short so I can’t drag it out too long but two weeks is actually a 50% saving.
3. Packed a picnic to eat on the way to my daughter’s singing lesson after work. Avoided a drive thru trip.
4. Drank the truly craptacular coffee at work. Shudder.
5. Not really frugal because I spent money but hopefully it will pay off. Registered my daughter for a scholarship exam for private school. Hopefully she does well and she is accepted. There was a fee.

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Isabel January 20, 2016 at 3:41 am

Am going to use Overdrive to get books from Library instead of buying so many books! Sometimes I read the sample before buying books …. Can be a saving!
Love Dave Ramsey and am convinced I would be a millioniare now if I had met him earlier! He also provides me with entertainment which I wifi when I can at cheaper time,
God has been doing the watering for me over the past couple of days which as it is summer is very handy! My lettuce and strawberries are growing well
Impressed as usual by all your ideas!
No one has dropped any coins in the town where live, that I have seen! Am often tempted to throw out the 5cent pieces Iaccumulate but have taken to saving all small change in a bag and buying my weekly TV magazine with it!

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Elaine shannin January 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

How do you connect with a consumer panel survey group? I have searched online for one in my area (Boise), with no luck! Thanks

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Diane January 20, 2016 at 5:14 am

Those local focus groups are the best! I’ve kind of aged out of them now as they have a certain demographic, but I still do online surveys and love the small cash payments I receive every once in awhile.

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Bettypants January 20, 2016 at 5:18 am

1. I stayed home yesterday, as our schools were closed for MLK day. I made a batch of granola to use up some applesauce from the freezer, and baked a fresh loaf of bread.
2. Rewired a lamp base using parts from a broken lamp. Listed the fixed lamp for sale as part of a set, and threw away the broken one. So 3 lamp bases OUT of my basement.
3. Listed more random household items on local FB sale boards. Collected $10 yesterday from a bag of kid clothing, and have four pickups today for $34 total.
4. I cleaned out our misc kitchen drawer and brought a fistful of pens and some binder clips to the office. Pretty sure we will never need 20 pens at home.
5. Took down the paper star lantern that was hanging in a corner of our living room. I haven’t turned it on a single time in the last year and had to dust off the cobwebs. Obviously, I am not appreciating it and it needs to go.

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Elise @ Simply Scaled Down January 20, 2016 at 6:36 am

Sounds like it was a good day!

1) My kids and I hit up the museum on the free day this month (free parking, too!). We even packed our lunches so it was a totally free day (minus the gas for the hybrid).
2) I later took the kids to the library so I could get some work done and they could play. No need to pay a babysitter when other moms do such a good job (j/k)
3) I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies after craving something sweet (and ignoring all those gas stations on our way home!)
4) We ate up a hodge podge of leftovers last night and assembled a make-your-own wrap station. I had a spinach, corn, rice, tortilla chip and vinaigrette wrap…mmm.
5) I reviewed a product (I got for free) for a $25 amazon card. Double score!

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JD January 20, 2016 at 7:07 am

1. We don’t have a greenhouse but my husband sells veggie transplants each spring, so we are steadily carrying plants in at night when it freezes and out again in the day once it warms up. He’s made $200-500 each of the last few springs selling his plants.
2. I had made chicken stock and wanted noodles so I could make chicken soup out of it. It occurred to me that making noodles had to be cheaper most of the time (since I only buy organic), so I found a recipe and made them last night after work for the first time ever. The recipe said the dough should be as “smooth as a baby’s bottom,” which I found amusing. And, making them was indeed cheaper than buying them.
3. I had to send a package at the post office yesterday, so I included errands in town while I was at it. I knocked out four errands and saved my husband a trip (and gas) today with one of them.
4. I’m defrosting leftover sweet potato casserole from Thanksgiving. We’ll have it at supper tonight.
5. I looked at buying oats in bulk online. I found a great price for organic oats in a couple of places, but the shipping always brought the price up to above the coop’s price for bulk oats. I’ll keep looking online, but in the meantime, I stock up when the coop has sales. I’m a coop member, so I get extra discounts on some items.

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Lisa January 20, 2016 at 9:26 am

I don’t know if you have a Winco in your area, but I buy bulk organic oats there for a lot cheaper than our coop.

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JD January 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm

No, no Winco, unhappily! So far, I’ve not found any cheaper than the coop where I live, because there aren’t many places that sell in bulk, and they are normally $1.49 per pound. I usually stock up only when they are on sale.

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Irene January 20, 2016 at 7:41 am

Thank You so much for this blog. I absolutely am in love with your sense of humor. You make me giggle. What a talent You have finding frugal living in life. I was wondering if you would mind letting me know who you are with in regards to consumer panel opinions that you get paid to do. I live in the northeast so maybe we don’t have that option here but I’m very interested.

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Beth January 20, 2016 at 8:43 am

1. Still drinking free coffee/water at work-it’s becoming the norm for me.
2. Washed a glass spaghetti jar to reuse for storing soups and broths.
3. Was tempted to eat out last night (my husband was lobbying hard for Chipotle), but came home and ate what was in our fridge instead.
4. Am continuing to pack lunches for myself for work, generally leftovers or soup.
5. Have not bought anything this week, not even at a thrift store.

Fail: Yesterday, I locked my keys in my car when I got out to brush it off, and to make it even more awesome, the car was running and my purse, phone, and house key were all locked inside. I had an amazing neighbor who let me come in and use her phone to call my insurance company. The locksmith service was free (which is the only frugal part of this story), but it took them 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to me, which meant that my car was idling, with the heat going full-blast, for TWO HOURS. I felt very foolish, but tried to remember that at least I didn’t have to pay for the locksmith!

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cathy January 21, 2016 at 11:20 am

Beth, we don’t eat out a lot, but I love Chipotle’s burrito bowl w/ barbacoa beef. Not sure if you’re meat-eaters, but this knock-off of the Chipotle recipe is really good (and it’s for a slow cooker!). I make a batch, then portion it out and freeze it. Whenever we get a craving for Chipotle, I just heat a package and make bowls at home: http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2014/02/chipotles-copycat-barbacoa-recipe.html

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Shannon January 22, 2016 at 8:49 am

I’m not a meat eater but this made me look up a recipe for copycat sofritas which looks amazing and not too tricky! Thank you! Our closest Chipotle is 45 minutes away- which is sad but probably for the best. 🙂

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Juhli January 20, 2016 at 8:48 am

1. Finally signed up for Kroger online coupons. Those plus paper coupons plus senior discount day and I saved $17.20 (22%) on my shopping today. Did not buy anything wouldn’t have anyway.
2. Hubby took his car in as we thought it needed new struts but it just needed more air in the tires and a new taillight bulb. Not frugal per se but save wear on the tires.
3. We are selling our house in Spring 2017. A large bush is not doing well so we had the arborist out. It has a fungal canker but he thinks he can keep it alive and looking decent through 2017. He offered to have it treated at no additional cost when our oaks are treated for scale in March. We have been profitable customers for them LOL.
4. Have restrained my book purchases and used the library instead except for one ebook. Goal for next month is zero purchases.

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Swetas January 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

1. Cashed in my Amex rewards for a $25 Amazon gift card.

2. About to cash in my Bing rewards for a $5 Amazon gift card.
Referral link:
https://www.bing.com/explore/rewards?PUBL=REFERAFRIEND&CREA=RAW&rrid=_331490ab-0c4e-8313-ad15-29d871d5f68b

3. Picked up Martian dvd from the library.

4. Yesterday I used a coupon for a $1 dental appt that included an exam and xrays. I was told I need to wear a mouthguard at night that would cost ~$500. I went online and found a company that makes them for under $200 and I was able to use a $15 off coupon by asking the agent in the chat window.

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Kim January 20, 2016 at 10:55 am

1. Found a quarter on the ground inside Target yesterday. (Only bought items on my list while there!)
2. Found pork shoulder country ribs marked down from $16 to just $4 and change so I bought two packages. (From Vons market) Use one pack last night, froze one.
3. Been cooking at home and using left overs up – food waste is a no-no.
4. Met with a friend at the park this morning after school drop off, we call it
‘walkie-talkie’. Good exercise and way cheaper than therapy.
5. Like many of you, have been enjoying free reading from the various libraries around town.

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Isabelle January 20, 2016 at 10:56 am

* Won passes for 3 different advanced screenings (movies) coming up in the next couple of weeks. Inviting friends to come along.
* Will probably use my half-price coupon and a gift card to pay for a nacho at the free screening tonight (as a supper). Will drink free water.
* Buying the first 3 seasons of Modern Family from Craigslist for 20$ and will resell them after watching. Makes for cheap entertainment at home.
* Worked an extra half-day yesterday and grabbed an extra tray (hospital) as free lunch
* I’m a low maintenance woman in general : long hair always in ponytails, barely no makeup, no fancy bags, shoes or clothes I save a fortune for sure, and lots of time too!

Have a great frugal day!

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Bobbi January 20, 2016 at 11:22 am

1. I used a $6 off $60 or more grocery order at QFC (Kroger) on a $61 grocery bill. I stuck to my list and stocked up on some basics. I don’t use coupons often, but this came in the mail and seemed worthwhile. I prefer Winco for my grocery basics, and I paid attention to the prices at QFC to make sure that higher prices weren’t wiping out any coupon savings. I think I did well.
2. Saved $.10/gallon using fuel points from QFC shopping, filled my empty Prius tank for $17 and change. Feels good!
3. Working from home today, will not spend any money or use any gas.
4. All of my food and drink today is made from scratch and bought in bulk and/or with no packaging: coffee, oatmeal, apple, veggie soup, salad, beans and rice, broccoli, tap water. (Oops, coffee beans came in packaging… not sure if there is a way around this.)
5. This month I have been more aggressive about automatically saving a higher percentage of my income, before I even realize it’s there, as part of my new year resolution. I haven’t felt the pinch yet, and I’m hoping that my frugal ways help me to keep this up without stressing about covering the usual monthly expenses. Besides saving for quarterly taxes (self-employed), my savings is earmarked for retirement, younger daughter’s college, and travel.

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Vickie January 20, 2016 at 12:02 pm

1) I had Monday off, so I stayed home and watched the movie War Room, my friend gave me for my birthday and did some housework.
2) I roasted a hen and plan to use the remainder of the meat in dinner tonight.
3) I picked up horse feed today, which was on sale at the farm store.
4) Yesterday I picked up lotion, a package of Dark chocolate covered Achia berries and a bottle of Oatmeal & Shea butter body wash at the Dollar Tree, while I was over on that side of town.
5) Gas is down to $1.65 a gallon, so I plan to fill up tomorrow.

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tonya parham January 20, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Today I

1. saved a dime on my coffee by taking my own mug.

2. Started a pot of black beans in the crockpot before I left the house.

3. Made my morning oats with an apple that had been bought marked down– I’m picky about apples but find that if I put them in a smoothie or my oats I can eat almost any sort of apple!

4. Filled up my gas tank and saved .20 per gallon at Kroger.

5. My spouse’s co-workers are having a wedding shower (?) for us– since we are both brides, I’m not sure what to call it but in any case, they wanted to know what we wanted– if we were registered somewhere or would like gift cards. I requested Kroger, Amazon, Sam’s, or Target. Places where I can buy food and put the food budget toward savings or bills!

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Florencia January 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

1. Signed up for a religion institute classs (free) and found out I can get free lunch Tuesday through Thursday there. I go to school Tuesday and Thursday, so I went to get my institute ID and parking pass (free) yesterday and the lady offered lunch. They had meatball marinara sandwiches on hot dog bread with carrots and chips. Such a treat! Since my sister became a vegetarian our meatballs have been mostly meat-free. They also always have bread and peanut butter and jelly for those who are still hungry or just passing by. I really didn’t want the chips, so I saved the Cheetos I got for my best friend (as a thank you for getting me a box of free fabric scraps someone gave away), and had an open faced sandwich instead of an unhealthy side.
2. Got a school year parking pass for $27, good until August 29, 2016. My sister and brother-in-law will begin studying during the summer semester and when they do, they’ll pay me half of this permit. I made sure to get the hangtag instead of the sticker and the disabled one, for my sister.
3. School has a food pantry at another campus, so I’ll be hurrying to get to it after school tomorrow. While my dad studied there last year he went and it certainly helped.
4. My mom made quiche the night before last. We used pantry/fridge items: 25¢ pastry shells (2/$0.25 in a box), eggs bought on clearance, food bank canned corn, tuna and spinach, and onions bought in bulk. I took that for lunch the next day, which I ended up having as a snack in the evening.
5. Went to a super cheap University of Utah volunteer clinic, for a follow up after being sick last week. They moved to a more permanent location, so they now charge $15 per visit. They used to not charge anything,which saved me a lot last year, even though I aonly went a few months, but with how much I get sick, it was a life-saver.
6. Going to Smith’s tonight to get my freebies from last week, get fuel points, stock up on sale femenine napkins and request a refund for a couple coupons I forgot last time for cold meficine. Will check Ibotta and Checkout51 for any rebates.

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Florencia January 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

7. I found a quarter on the floor in the dance room as I left my class.
8. Got gas with $1 discount from grocery store fuel points.
I love how each FFT inspires me to look for ways to be frugal!

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cathy January 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

Have out Student Health Services? If you’re on the main campus, it’s in the Madsen Bldg. (right next to the institute). Not sure, but they used to have sliding fee.

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cathy January 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

Sorry…having typing issues. Meant to say “have you checked out SHS…”

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Jade January 20, 2016 at 11:46 pm

1. Completed some more surveys – generally do this whilst watching TV. I trade points in for supermarket e-cards.

2. Ate all meals at home using pantry and freezer items. Used a few gifted food items (someone from work was moving and was giving away her pantry items). Husband is away so puchased some camping supplies for him using a supermarket gift vochure. After my shop at Aldi this week, I looked in a our deep freezer and it looks like I won’t have to do a grocery shop for a few weeks at least – will save that week’s grocery budget for our Sep holiday.

3. Was not happy with our gas ‘estimate’ bill, which has happened two bills in a row now. I knew the estimate was too high, considering we are conscious of our energy consumption and make an effort to keep consumption low. The energy company sent someone round to do an actual reading and we were overcharged nearly $500 for the two latest bills. They refunded the overpaid money – I would rather my money sitting in my mortgage offset than earning them interest. I am ok with one estimate, but two in a row is annoying.

4. Used 2L frozen bottles of water as iceblocks that husband could take with him camping – one night with friends. This saved us having to buy ice from the service station. (Thanks for the tip about frozen water bottles, Katy). The bottles will go back in the freezer when he gets back.

5. Harvested tomatoes from the patch. I found a recipe for green tomato relish. Made this up (subtituting a few ingredients for things I had on hand) so I could use my green tomatoes BEFORE those pesky possums had a feast again.

Bonus – It’s raning here – saves me watering the vegie patch today!

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