Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 10, 2016 · 97 comments

  1. My husband and I have our taxes almost ready to file. Instead of owing money, as we have over the past few years, we’re actually getting money back due to having paid college tuition in 2015. Also, I was extremely specific with last year’s Goodwill donation receipts which allowed us to realize impressive full deductions. Thank you, TurboTax!
  2. I completed another Clark Howard piece, (which won’t run until later in the week) and will work both Wednesday and Thursday at the hospital. February is looking to be a nicely profitable month.
  3. I stopped at The Grocery Outlet on the way from dropping my son at school this morning. I filled three grocery bags for only $30. Nice stuff too.
  4. I mended an ancient potholder that had a thin burn-tastic spot in the middle. It looks a little odd, but I was able to extend the life of this object and avoid a purchase. Plus, really . . . who cares what my potholders look like.
  5. My husband stopped at the Dave’s Killer Bread outlet store to buy a dozen loaves of their addictive bread. This brings the price down to $1.99 from $5.49. Good thing we have a chest freezer!

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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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan February 10, 2016 at 4:07 am

Ah, Katy, you brought back sweet memories of my mum, who always somehow burned her potholders. It was a family joke.
So, my frugal five:
1) Walked from a free parking space this morning instead of paying to park closer to work.
2) Volunteered for another five-hour shift per week at my second job. Who needs sleep?
3) Brought lunch, as usual. Trying hard-boiled eggs these days. Very filling.
4) Ordered a book for a b-day present for my sister, from at less than 1/3 the price it would have been new.
5) Did not order stuff for myself.


Juhli February 10, 2016 at 4:16 am

We are in the midst of a lot of medical expenses to determine a yet to be known diagnosis for my husband plus physical therapy for me so I am extra conscious of savings I can control.
– Stayed home yesterday and did chores while enjoying the view of intermittent snow showers which are unusual in Atlanta.
– Decided I can do this year’s tax returns manually and not even buy tax software. Last year’s were complicated due to an inheritance but this year is very simple. Did a first pass at the Federal return and we do owe money.
– Convinced the dog that she does need her teeth brushed and hair pulled out of her ears saving future vet bills. (Actually she cooperates pretty well)
– All meals at home and my husband took his lunch as usual.
– Spent time thinking about a Spring capsule wardrobe using what I have except for needing new walking/athletic shoes. That may be the only full price need. Summer clothing is a different matter LOL but I can thrift shop most of it if I start planning soon.


Juhli February 10, 2016 at 8:01 am

Oh, and your mention of Its Deductible made me log in and start input for 2016. We are putting our house up for sale in early 2017 so lots will be leaving this year I hope.


K D February 10, 2016 at 4:43 am

1. On Monday, I noticed a yellow windbreaker-type jacket in the coat closet and realized no one had worn it in years. I pulled it out to give it away. A few hours later I realized that it would be good to keep it and wear it over my black jackets when walking in the winter (for visibility, since some people can’t seem to shovel their sidewalks I end up walking in the street). Yesterday it was snowing all day so I was happy to have the jacket to wear when walking.

2. Yesterday was a “snow day”. My regular activity was cancelled (saving 12 miles of driving) so I walked to a yoga class (I pay monthly so this was a bonus class). I found a dime on the sidewalk on the way.

3. I had kale from a produce box and had cooked a couple pounds of pinto beans. I searched on-line for a recipe and the one that looked good also used potatoes (I had an abundance of leftover potato cubes). Score: I liked the recipe and it used up a bunch of foods.

4. I walked to the drug store to pick up an Rx. I passed by an Asian market and stopped in to buy a head of garlic. They also had golden delicious apples for $.49/# and Galia melons for $.99.

5. We are almost out of bread so I’ll make some today, once I figure out what sounds good. Thank you to my faithful KitchenAid mixer of almost 20 years.


A. Marie February 10, 2016 at 5:21 am

(1) Good job on the tax forms and the deductions, Katy. DH is almost ready to hand our paperwork over to our preparer (our situation is a little too complicated for us to want to do it ourselves), and I’m hoping that keeping itemized records on the thrift donations will pan out for us too.

(2-3) After reading the post and comments about beauty products, I just tried some Trader Joe’s coconut oil on my hair and face in the shower. Now DH says he’s going to be chasing me around the house all day because I smell like a macaroon. Happy early Valentine’s Day!

(4-5) We enjoyed an excellent day out last Saturday at a local suburb’s library: a grand book sale, plus a tour of a small museum on the top floor that we didn’t know they had. (We did buy lunch at the in-house cafe, but all profits from that go to the library.)


Katy February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

Okay, the image of your husband chasing your macaroon sexy self around the house made me laugh!


A. Marie February 10, 2016 at 11:38 am

Don’t you think Trader Joe’s would sell a whole bunch more coconut oil if more people knew about this?


Jennifer February 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

1. Kids had kroger brand gogurts for breakfast that were marked down to 99 cents per box and bananas from the reduced bin. $1.89 for A LOT of bananas. I see banana bread in my future which my kids love toasted with PB for more frugal breakfasts.
2. I am repairing my daughter’s favorite pink skirt to wear with her favorite Valentines shirt for her school party on Friday.
3. Just completed helping my children fill out their Valentines Day cards to take to class. I got these marked down to 10 cents last year so all I had to do is dig them out of the closet. I do this every year since my kids aren’t really picky about what kind of cards they take.
4. My husband brought home several packs of reduced ground beef for $2 a pkg so I threw them in the freezer.I was proud that he is on board with my tactics because normally he gets whatever he wants at the store. I know the only reason he noticed them at the store is because he thought of me. It’s the little things in life.
5. Going to eat lunch with my daughter at school and taking my younger daughter with me. I will not eat but today I will let them both eat the school lunch because the youngest feels big when she gets to go thru the lunch line. Normally, I pack the lunch but this planned frugal fail makes me happy.


priskill February 10, 2016 at 7:06 am

#5 What a nice “fail” — your girls will be so happy for relatively small price. I


Kim from Philadelphia February 10, 2016 at 5:58 am

Our Costco just stated carrying Dave’s bread. I will have to give it a try.

My income from 4 months job severance and 6 months unemployment is a lot less than my usual salary, which kicks us into a lower tax bracket- so I’m hopeful we will not owe as much this year.
Always need to look at the bright side of things!


Diane C February 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

So has our Costco. Thinking of Katy’s devotion to it and not how freaking expensive it was, even at Costco prices, I gave it a try. DH loves it! I use it just for his lunches. Since packing his lunch is still frugal and he happily eats the same thing every day, it kind of evens out. I will say that I have never had better bread heels. I make those into toast for me, yum!

Couple of things about getting hooked on DKB at Costco. First, they move it all.the.time, ack! If it’s not on the bread racks, look in the organic section and vice versa. Next, they carry three kinds. We don’t do white bread (clear+white bag), so I can’t speak to that one, but we’ve tried the other two seeded breads. The green bag variety has so many seeds that they scattered all over my kitchen, fail! The yellow bag seems like the Goldilocks choice, so I recommend starting with that.

And, Costco is a great resource for giant tubs of organic coconut oil! Besides face and hair, it is an awesome, natural “personal lubricant “. Could be a great Valentine’s Day present! Costs less and lasts far longer than a dozen roses…


Marcia February 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Save those seeds BEFORE they fall on the floor and use them on homemade bread, rolls, granola, or trail mix!! I used to mix crumbs from the bottom of cereal boxes into my “cracked wheat” bread—right in there with the flour, etc.–no one ever knew it wasn’t all cracked wheat!


cathy February 10, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Marcia, that sounds like a great use of the seeds. Just a suggestion, though, be sure that if you ever offer your homemade bread, etc to someone new you know they don’t have food allergies. I have a kid who’s deathly allergic to sesame seeds. It’s become such a common allergy that there is proposed legislation to add it to the list of Top Allergens (along w/ peanuts, nuts, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, fish, and shellfish). In fact, sesame is already on the list in Europe and Canada.


Diane C February 11, 2016 at 9:04 am

Been doing that for years, Marcia, and that’s a great tip! They’re also good on salads.

What I’m referring to us the stuff that falls off the bread while you’re getting it out of the bag, making something with it and then while you’re eating that sonething. It was hailing seeds everywhere, and it was not fun to chase down all over my kitchen. IIRC the green bag is 21 Seed Bread, which seems to be a conservative estimate of how many seeds fall every time you look at it. The yellow bag is called Good Seed Bread. It really is killer. You won’t be disappointed because there will still be seeds at the bottom of the bag, which are a lot easier to repurpose than the ones on the kitchen floor or scattered all over the interior of DH’s work truck 😉


Bee February 10, 2016 at 6:47 am

1) I have not driven anywhere for four days saving gas. To get out of the house, I have walked and gardened enjoying the sunshine. It was cold, gray and raining much of the previous week, so this is a treat.
2) The cold, northeast wind picked up yesterday afternoon. I put another layer on under my sweater. I did not turn up the thermostat. I am proud of myself for this. As a Florida native, I have a hard time acclimating to cold weather which is anything under 50.
3) After falling off the wagon last week, I have cooked at home and from scratch everyday. I need to plan meals this morning for the rest of the week. I am hoping to use what’s on hand including that giant Napa cabbage that I have mentioned before.
4) I reviewed my bank account, spending and budget. I am trying to get everyday costs down. If I look at these things often, I find it keeps me in check. Yesterday’s post gave me food for thought. Sadly, I have never really tried to cut back in the “personal care” category until recently.
5) I am continuing my major clean out. I am currently working on my closet. I have a mending pile, and I have pulled out many items to be donated or sold. My life has changed over the last few years, and there is no need to hang on to items that I will not wear.
Wow! I didn’t think that I had five. Yippee!


AN February 10, 2016 at 6:49 am

Re: your #4, I also find that reviewing these things often helps me keep my spending in check. I went a week without checking it and ended up spending way more than I usually do. It’s amazing what a difference it can make!


Jennifer February 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

4.Great idea! I call my cell phone company, satellite TV carrier, credit card carrier, etc. every few months to re-evaluate my plan to see if any money can be saved. You will be surprised at what customer service reps will do for a customer that isn’t really complaining about anything.


IsabelI February 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Was asked in the Bank today about my house insurance provider! They said I could get a better deal if I insured with them! Am to make a time and go in and discuss it with them! Have never done this before with anything! Have a quirky way of handling finances which keep me feeling in control! Will start with this! Also distrust change!


Mairsydoats February 10, 2016 at 10:41 am

Re: Giant Napa Cabbages – Those are my absolute favorites for slicing up REALLY thin and adding to/or just making salad! It disappears without a discernible cabbage vibe into romaine, and fills out equally thinly sliced kale. Then there’s a mango slaw over on smittenkitchen that just sends me over the edge of happiness.

Hmh – might need a head of my own… 🙂


Bee February 11, 2016 at 4:46 am

Mango/Napa slaw sounds awesome. I will look up the recipe. Thank you!


AN February 10, 2016 at 6:47 am

1. A coworker surprised us with bagels yesterday, which I had for lunch. Today for lunch, I brought yesterday’s lunch that I didn’t eat.
2. Left for work 5 minutes early and avoided sitting in a traffic jam.
3. Wore a $6 pair of boots to work that I’ve had for 8 years to keep my good work shoes from getting ruined by the snow and salt.
4. Taking two paid vacation days this week which will save on gas costs for the month
5. Frugal fail: my utility bill was about $35 more than I budgeted for the month. The unexpected expense has hit my wallet hard, but also inspired me to turn the thermostat down a few degrees, invest in a programmable thermostat, and be more aware of how much electricity I am using. Perhaps this will inspire a future frugal win.


Jennifer February 10, 2016 at 7:59 am

2. I pick my daughter up from school each day. Instead of sitting in the long line to pick her up I either A. leave very late so I am near the end of the line thereby not burning gas for so long or B. Pull over to the side, turn off my car, and then get back in the line when it is significantly shorter. Even though gas is cheap right now, I hate to burn it for no reason.


tonya parham February 10, 2016 at 7:22 am

1. Ate at home yesterday– strawberry smoothie, hummus toast, black bean burger, chana masala over short grain brown rice.

2. Didn’t leave the house yesterday so that saved some gas.

3. Ordered a book used for $4. I know not getting it would have been MORE frugal and I looked at the library (all of the local and regional and university I have access to!) and none of them have it. I can’t NEVER buy a book! LOL

4. Am keeping the heat low so as to save on gas. It’s rather like a meat locker in here, honestly, but I tolerate cold well. I don’t tolerate the hot well so I save little in summer but I don’t mind keeping the thermostat low this time of year.

5. Requested practical gift cards (to grocery store, Sam’s, Target) for our upcoming wedding shower. I don’t know if anyone will give us anything but I figure we’ve been together 26 years and have all the STUFF we need. If I get grocery gift cards, then I can just take that much cash and put it in savings!

W00T! I really didn’t think I had five today! Go me!


tonya parham February 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

As to taxes, I’m STILL waiting on a form from my former employer. They are pretty lousy about sending them out (too cheap to mail them) and I have called twice. I’m about to call the IRS on them. It’s absurd. I don’t like to be mean and ugly but I am anxious to know what my taxes will be since I got married AND quit my job last year!


Karissa February 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

1. Printing valentines from the Nintendo site, to glue onto construction paper hearts that we will cut out ourselves.
2. Making sugar cookies tonight for kid’s class.
3. He wanted to go to the dollar store to buy paper for drawing, so I gave him a stack of old dot-matrix paper to take to school.
4. Found a Star Wars colouring book in the scrap paper box. He doesn’t remember it, so it’s like getting something new!
5. Brought my lunch and coffee from home to work.


Alison February 10, 2016 at 7:38 am

1. I used some card stock from my stash of scrapbooking supplies to help my daughters make heart-shaped cards to bring to school for Valentine’s Day. I also bought Hershey’s Kisses and will give them one for each classmate to hand out with the cards.
2. I’ve been watching the sales like a hawk, waiting for whole wheat pasta to go on for $1 a box (375g). But with food prices in Canada rising so much lately, it wasn’t happening. Yesterday I stumbled upon a clearance rack at the grocery store with 11 boxes of pasta marked down to $0.94 each. They also had a pink 50% off sticker, so I got each one for $0.47!! Score!
3. I ordered a few more cloth menstrual pads from a good friend who is a WAHM, so I’ll now have enough to avoid using any disposable ones.
4. Baked cookies with my preschooler, and therefore was able to deliver a few to my neighbour, who kindly snowblowed the end of my driveway after the plough went by yesterday.
5. Picked up a stack of DVDs and books at the library after dropping my older daughters at their Girl Guide meeting last night. Love my library!
6. Bonus one! Registered my daughter for a free preschool/school readiness program at our school. It is 2 mornings a week for 8 weeks. She’s so excited!


Bettypants February 10, 2016 at 8:26 am

1. Bringing food from home for my work snacks. English muffins, crackers and cheese, yogurts. Boring, but keeps me from fast food. Some of the people in my office eat out every day.
2. Used a $3 off your shopping trip coupon at Meijer, and one for a free 2 liter of pop. I don’t buy pop for our house anymore, so that was a nice treat.
3. Bought an Under Armour shirt for $2 off a local FB site on Monday, but turned out to be too large for me. Sold it on ebay for $10 today.
4. Working on cleaning out our deep freeze, and then I will be unplugging it. It’s just too large for our small family.
5. Sold a cookbook on a local FB site yesterday for $3.


Shelia February 10, 2016 at 8:50 am

1. Haven’t ventured out since church on Sunday so the van is happily sitting in the driveway with a full tank.
2. Made valentines for our adult daughters and young nieces and nephews out of card stock and scrapbook paper I already had. I do need to go to the post office for stamps today. Our oldest daughter is getting a pack of deluxe Hershey candy that was a Friday freebie at Kroger. The younger two are getting two dollars in their card for 1/2 price Valentine’s Day candy. It’s become a fun, frugal tradition!
3. Eating from the pantry and freezer so just milk, bread and produce on this week’s list. My husband can stop at the Kroger on his way home from work to pick those up as they’re all on sale there this week. And I have a 2.00 catalina for him to use there.
4. We recently got a Costco near my doctor/dentist/and hairdresser. I got the Living Social Costco deal this week. We need to buy a new mattress this year and had planned on buying one of their highly rated mattresses. In addition to our daughter getting married, the membership will be well used this year.
5. Continuing to clear out drawers, dressers and storage areas. Our extra hats, gloves and scarves are going to a homeless shelter that’s requested those items in addition to clean socks. So very blessed to be able to share things we no longer need!


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

Frugal win: all lunches and dinners are homemade this week, and I even figured a way to get DH to pitch in with the cooking (he’s a great cook and happy to help, but somehow our system just wasn’t including him).
Frugal (planned) fail: I took my daughter out to breakfast after her orthodontist appoint this morning. It was relatively inexpensive and well worth it – she doesn’t like to eat before the appointment, as she says it makes her nauseous, and I got to have a bit of quiet, quality conversation with my 16 year old daughter who is normally not all that interested in hanging out with mom.


Bobbi February 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

I have boring frugal stuff, but like you wrote about earlier this week Katy, it all adds up:
1. Coffee and oatmeal at home for breakfast all week.
2. Leftover soup in mason jars for lunch all week, with a piece of fruit and my water bottle.
3. A friend mentioned buying razor heads for her Venus razor, which reminded me that I haven’t money on razors since I switched to a safety razor last year. I’m only on my 2nd or 3rd blade, and I bought a box of them last year.
4. Batching errands and working at home a couple days saved on gas this past week.
5. Cooking from scratch, hanging out with friends and family, walking my dog, “shopping” my craft stash at home for inspiration for projects — all free entertainment that makes me happier than buying stuff.


Catherine February 10, 2016 at 9:25 am

1. Bought Dum Dums at the 99 cent store and scored cards for my sons class. Classmates will get 4 times the candy they would compared to the amount I would have given at the same price.

2. Husbands company is moving to another location so all the furniture, computer equipment, and amenities has to go since the other placed is furnished. Husband claimed the $900 espresso machine along with 2 monitors and a computer chair.

3. Since company is moving to another location, it cuts down my husbands commute by 40 minutes each way. Saves money and quality time.

4. Son is middle of toilet training so overnights can be nail biting. Instead of buying the chuks/bed liners just in case he wets the bed, I use the doggie pee pads my mom gave me. Parents had a box of 100 that had been sitting there for 6 yrs. The dog took to doing his business outside quite early.

5. Eating leftover superbowl food the past 2 days.


Denise February 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm

#2 Wow! Nice score!


Amy February 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm

We bought a mattress protector at Dollar General when my oldest was potty training. It cost $3 plus tax and was a great investment! LOL That was for a twin sized bed. If your son is in a toddler bed, you could use trash bags to cover the mattress, taping down in certain places. 😉


Catherine February 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm

That is a great idea! Never thought of the trash bags.

My son went straight to a full. His room was the guest room that was never in use. Through trial and error, I figured out where to place the liners.


Kim February 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

Love that you repair your potholder so, too. My favorite is a reindeer that I use all year long. Certain usable items don’t get put away after their holidays…a couple dish towels, potholders, etc. You never know what you’ll see in my kitchen. Lol
1. Enjoyed coffee and homemade blueberry muffins this morning.
2. Realized that I have enough points from previous purchases to get everyone a foot long sub this weekend from Subway for Free…hello Saturday’s lunch. Son and hubby will love it!!
3. Caught up with a friend that haven’t spoken too in awhile
4. Menu planned for weekend and next week.
5. Polished up sons electric scooter he outgrew for my nephews 7th birthday. Son is so excited to pass along to his cousin and my nephew will love it. Gave my son the option of selling or giving it away and this is what he came up with. Love it!!


Odette February 10, 2016 at 10:08 am

1. Recorded more than $3,000 in charity deductions on Its Deductible from TurboTax. We still owe $. [Sad face]
2. Made a card for my sister in law’s birthday.
3. Made a little “remembrance” gift for a co-worker who is leaving. I re-covered a small notebook with scrapbook paper, added a bookmark using a leftover charm, added a “card” and envelope made from an old calendar, and tied it with cording scrounged from my office’s cabinet-of-doom.
4. Reminded husband that he can clean the boat seats himself, now that he’s retired, instead of paying someone to do it. Still trying to get him into “retiree budget” mindset.
5. Got two books from the library and a few “free” ones that come with Amazon Prime. LOL….not really free, right?


Elise @ Simply Scaled Down February 10, 2016 at 10:10 am

Great job on the potholder. I’m a little jealous, mine have mysteriously dissappeared. I blame my children but still…who steals potholders?

Today I:
1) have chicken in the crock pot to make pot pies for dinner from leftovers.
2) babysat for a bible study and earned $25 for my 2 hours of watching The Little Mermaid and playing with trains.
3) I forced my children to eat leftovers. I almost had to hold their mouths open and shove that food in, but it is gone and there isn’t any food waste.
4) I didn’t buy an elephant.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 10, 2016 at 10:35 am

When I was in high school, I had a regular job every Sunday babysitting the pre-schoolers during church services. It was a great job for a Jewish girl! I got to play with dolls and trains, read lots of picture books (all bible-themed, of course), and I totally loved the kids. The pay wasn’t much, but it was steady, and I met a lot of parents who needed babysitters sometimes on other days. 🙂


Su Mama February 10, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Hmmm . . . do you have a dog, Elise? A not-often-washed potholder might be a tasty treat! (Your comment about holding the kids’ mouths open for leftovers had me laughing out loud!)


Su Mama February 10, 2016 at 10:57 pm

Oops, sorry Barb! Obviously, that comment was for Elise. (I trust you’re not having to hold your teenage daughter’s mouth open for leftovers!)


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

No worries, I understood it was a comment for Elise, whose lines about holding the kids’ mouths open made me laugh too!

And as for forcing my 16-year-old, 5’8″ daughter to do anything at all, well, let’s just say she has her own mind, and though I am usually glad for it, there are times when I wouldn’t mind being able to put her in her crib as I used to once upon a time!


Andrea February 10, 2016 at 10:28 am

Whenever I am in need of sandwich bread, I hit up the 99 cent only store. During my last visit, they had Dave’s Killer Bread.


Diane C February 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

Color me green with envy, Andrea. I generally ignore the bread section at 99 Only because I’m a bit of a bread/additives snob. You can bet I’ll start paying better attention immediately. I have seen udi’s bread there, because it’s in the freezer section, lol. BTW, 99 Only is based in CA and has more stores in Nevada, Arizona and Texas. They used to be one of my accounts and calling on them was a frugal girl’s dream come true.

As to Costco Australia, there are now about eight stores, clustered in Melbourne, Sidney and Brisbane. They’re planning for a total of twenty stores in the next few years. I went to the Docklands location in Melbourne in February of 2010, not long after they opened. It’s the mothership and that sucker is hu-u-u-uge!

Costco may not be close to your home yet, Isabell, but they just might be coming soon. If you encounter one in your travels, it’s worth popping in for a visual treat. In the US you can get in without a membership to buy liquor or pharmacy products or even just to use the restroom. You could also head to Member Services to inquire about a membership and take a gander around the store first. They’re so busy, no one will notice or care. Once you’re in the door, you only need your card to make purchases. However, the Food Court never asks for your card if you’re paying cash, so you could try a famous Costco hot dog and soda combo for only $2.50 AUS (It’s $1.50 US in the States). Also, they let you take pictures. I have some shots of things that tickled my funnybone, like the bright yellow 5 gallon metal drum of “Lucky” brand cooking oil from China, which totally cracked me up. I’d expect it would be easier to peek inside the AUS stores, because they want people to learn of the treasures that lie within. Everything’s much more expensive Down Under, so a Costco membership is a huge savings.


Andrea February 10, 2016 at 10:39 am

Awwww……. forget I said that. I did not know that the 99 cent only store is not located in Oregon.


priskill February 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

NO way!! I must rush to 99 cent store !


A. Marie February 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Don’t forget that a lot of us commenters are not located in Oregon, either. (I’m speaking from Upstate NY, and I’ve noticed commenters from even further afield–Australia, etc.) So just give us an idea of where you are (no need to be too specific) and what this 99 cent only store is, and it may help some folks.


Jennifer February 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

There are no 99 cent stores in my area which is the Deep South but I have been to some in Southern California and they are awesome. Would love to have one here. The closest thing we have to it is the Dollar Tree, which is pretty awesome too.


priskill February 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

Hey, anytime you can get a 16 year old girl chatting with her mom is a win win win:)


IsabelI February 10, 2016 at 9:59 pm

I am in Australia and I have an entertaining time looking up things like Cosco! Seemingly they have a couple in Australia ….. Not my side of Australia!


Mand01 February 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

1. Ate homemade pea and ham
Soup for lunch and dinner yesterday. I may regret this today…
2. Last night I made banana muffins and cheese and bacon scrolls for lunchbox snacks
3. Wrote my budget while watching MadMen on Netflix. Nearly set aside a category for cigarettes and fabulous dresses 😉
4. Almost finished The Happiness Project and am going to read it again
5. Trawled through my email to make sure I had not missed any bills after forgetting a BIG one last week.


Anne February 10, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Oh yes, the dresses on Mad Men, half the reason I watched the show. 😀


priskill February 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

“Cigarettes and fabulous dresses. . .” hah! 🙂


Madeline February 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm

1.Repaired buttons and small rip on a favorite shirt.

2. Ate all meals at home,Used up leftover Christmas ham in split pea soup and old gr. beef from back of freezer, into meatballs.

3. Free entry to the Desert Botanical Garden WHENEVER I WANT TO,since I am a volunteer! Enjoyed quiet, birds, quail, and desert scenery.

4. Bartering with my neighbor who can sew big stuff–she is helping me make patio door drapes in exchange for home cooked Italian meal.

5. Couponed at Walmart and stocked up on deodorant,hair color, razors, cat food.

6. STAYED OUT OF THRIFT STORES AND DROVE PAST YARD SALES. I do not need to buy anything at all except groceries….for quite some time!! I have enough of everything ….


Krystal February 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm

1. Have improvised on a few recipes and stretched ingredients these past 2 weeks. Sometimes we get lazy and decide if we don’t have one ingredients, we should just order a pizza instead.
2. Received a $2 rebate from Ibotta for butter. However, I think my time with them is done as soon as I can cash out my current stash. They have pretty poor customer service and I am still waiting to hear on $2 more of rebates. 2 requests, no responses. Ugh. It could be such a cool way to save a few bucks if they were helpful. They also raised their cashout minimum from $10 to $20. Now it just feels like a chore, and not one that is worth it either. Really liked it at first!
3. Taking my visiting brother bowling, as it’s his favorite thing to do, but noticed the day rates are about half of the nighttime rates. We have arranged our schedule to do just that on Friday afternoon.
4. Met with a landscaper that was AWESOME and we will be installing a rain garden and a cistern as part of a county-wide rebate program to keep the Puget Sound clean by helping to keep rainfall/sewer overflow out of the waterways when possible. The county will rebate EVERYTHING as I requested a design that would match our qualifying rebate. Now we will also save money and resources in the summer by using our own rainwater to keep our edibles watered (we let the rest go to hell–a green lawn is not a source of pride in Seattle). Did I also mention new gutters as part of it?
5. Keeping our budget reasonable and spending some nights at home playing games and watching movies. Not anything special, but doing this consistently makes huge impacts in our future retirement savings!


Elizabeth February 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Put questions on Ibotta’s facebook page. A problem was solved for me!!


Krystal February 11, 2016 at 9:52 pm

Oh crap, I don’t have FB (or Twitter). But I’ll look for another route!


Marcia February 10, 2016 at 2:04 pm

My potholders are always burned along the edges too–I blame it on my electric stove. It burns anything that gets CLOSE to the coil–those things are HOT! I make my own potholders anyhow, either with woven cotton loops, kid style, or with scrap fabric and the sewing machine.

Only been home from vacation 2 days, but:
made one trip today to Dr’s office for order for EKG, new order for blood work since I moved my appt due to vacation and old blood order expired last week–and got both tests done during the same trip.

Came home and managed to do three loads of laundry from the last couple days at home prior to vacation and what came home dirty with us.

Was lacking a key ingredient for what I wanted to make for dinner, so improvised another meal from ground beef: burgers on buns that I bought yesterday, with fried onions, peppers, potatoes and carrots on the side. Have an abundance of potatoes and peppers this week, so have to use them up. Need to go cook it right now–it’s all prepped, and DH is hungry!!

Snow is coming–good excuse to stay home and cook from what I already have on hand for the rest of the week!!


Ruby February 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Today was a training day for my new part-time job. It’s at a place where I worked before, but the management has changed and everyone seems much happier.

1. Wore three very nice thrifted items of clothing with a favorite red turtleneck bought four years ago on sale.
2. Packed my lunch.
3. Got a pass so I did not have to pay for parking today.
4. Made coffee and oatmeal at home for breakfast.
5. Did not spend any money on soda from the vending machine, as I brought my own cold drinks.


Amy February 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I love hearing everyone else’s 5’s!! Such inspiration!
1. I haven’t driven anywhere since Sunday. Gas money saved! 🙂
2. Hubs came home from work on Monday and I wasn’t feeling well. So I thawed out taco meat from the freezer and all he had to do was heat it up, and put together his own tacos. Frugal because we used up leftovers, and he didn’t feel like he needed to grab fast food on the way home (nasty stuff).
3. Free entertainment over the weekend was putting together more puzzles. I got my DR table back last night. 😉 But now the boys are doing puzzles on it today. LOL
4. Hubs is home sick today and he has free nursing via me, a paid sick day via his work, and extra gas in the tank via not going to work. He has been sleeping most of the day. Hope he feels better soon. 🙁
5. I went to check an account we usually pay for online and found out they had charged me an extra $4 . I disputed the amount (they said I had signed up for it. Um…nope.) and it was taken care of. Hey….$4 is $4 folks!


Jennifer February 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm

2. Sometimes we have something we call “chippy stuff”. I heat up frozen taco meat then we just pile taco-ish type things on top of tortilla chips.Cheese, salsa, tomatoes, jalapenos, lettuce, onions, beans, olives, sour cream, etc. Just throw whatever you have on hand and it keeps anyone from actually having to make individual tacos which is lazy, I know. I guess this is technically nachos or taco salad,lol.


Catherine February 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

I had to laugh BC it sounded exactly what i had at Lazy Dog yesterday. Yesterday was a splurge day for our family since it was Fat Tuesday. Stomach is kind of paying for it BC it had too much jalepeno and not used to it.


Betty Winslow February 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

1. A dear friend whose friend loves to shop and then discard things gave me a Coldwater Creek wool cardigan that I LOVE!!
2. It was my birthday today, so I took my gifted travel mug (one I admired at Xmas and hubby bought and stashed away, presenting it to me this morning in a reused gift bag with a handwritten birthday greeting 🙂 ) to Kroger with me for shopping and got a free coffee!
3. Bought some marked-down buns and really nice bread, some cookies, and a bunch of other stuff that had coupons, all stuff I would have bought anyway – score!! I even bought a 2-pack of bake-em-at-home pizzas for half off, to stash in the freezer to feed my sons some night hubby and I are going out…. yes, they could make them from scratch, but they won’t, so….
4. Cleaned out under the bathroom and kitchen sinks recently and found so much redundancy that I made a new shopping list: Things NOT to buy……
5. Found 30 cents!


Gina February 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Happy birthday! I hope you had a fun day!


Jennifer February 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm

2. Happy Birthday! I wanted to tell you that Kroger has an instant win game going on right now on the website. I just won some cheez-its and I had a my best customer bonus of a free full size bag of chips. I don’t win many things so this was a surprise and it pays to scan all the way down through all of your digital coupons or you may miss the freebies randomly posted there.


Beth Anne February 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm

1. Took daughter to dinner at Noodles. We received a free appetizer because of the receipt survey I completed previously and we both drank water.

2. Completed three receipt surveys, will get another free appetizer, a dessert at Culvers but sadly I did not win the $1,000 from the Dollar Tree receipt survey, better luck next time! 😉

3. Went to Costco at lunch and ate free samples!

4. Redeemed my Costco membership I bought through Living Social – used part of the $20 gift card I got back for strawberries and a $1.50 lunch! Can’t wait to redeem the other coupons, saving until my next trip. TIP to new Costco members – Tried to get gas but didn’t realize it only takes Costco credit card or debit card (at least in my area) – going back with debit card in hand another day.

5. Dinner – working until 8:30 and didn’t plan ahead. Eating misc. food I had brought to the office for breakfast (yogurt/mandarins) and Chex Mix instead of running out for something.


Lesley February 10, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Wow, you already got your $20gc and Costco coupons in the mail? Waiting on mine from that same deal last week; I know it said it could take 4 weeks in the mail.

1. Sending homemade Valentine cards with dollar bills to niece and nephews; cheaper than store-bought and everyone loves cash.

2. Trimmed and colored my hair over the kitchen sink, like always (I always wonder if my neighbors are watching me).

3. Took paid-for car into the shop for preventive maintenance as I plan to pass it on to my daughter in a few short years.

4. Along the Mexican theme in these comments, I shredded some baked chicken onto a tortilla for lunch and covered in sour cream, cheese, salsa and lettuce, all things I always have on hand.

5. Filled my usual plastic jug while waiting for the shower water to get hot. I use this to water plants, pour into the dog’s water bowl, or pour into my own water filter for eventual drinking.


Jill A February 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

1. Filled daughters prescription using a GoodRx coupon.
2. Bought some more LED lightbulbs on sale at Costco. We should be almost done replacing bulbs for now.
3. Had lunch with my Mother at Costco. Brat & Soda for 1.50.
4. Eating chicken this week from the freezer and using up leftovers.
5. Frugal/Not so frugal. Went up north with friends skiing. Fantastic deal on lodging & lift tickets. Also came with breakfast buffet that was amazing. Everyone was so full we only needed to buy dinner. Also brought food along and ate sandwiches in the car on the way there.


Teri February 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm

1. Between yesterday and today I found $1.71…I’m determined to beat Katy this year!
2. Just added leftover peppers and onions to our hash browns after reading Marcia’s post (thanks for the reminder!) for our “breakfast” dinner.
3. Stopped at FM for sale/coupon items and discovered I have enough points (I usually price match at Walmart) for 10 cents off per gallon. This will help when we don’t want to drive to Costco just for gas.
4. Keeping thermostat at 60, not as low as some of you, but we’ll get there–gotta acclimatize ourselves.
5. Reading this blog to get all sorts of ideas and inspiration–and still not buying a Lear jet.


Katy February 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

I found a penny yesterday, so you are winning so far!


Gina February 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm

I am really fallen off the Frugal Horse this week starting with the purchase of a stained glass window for my rehab house. However, I am determined to get back on and keep on, so here are my <5FTs:
1. Found 4 pennies in the parking lot of Panera.
2. Friend treated me to Panera soup and a cookie which I appreciated.
3. Ate leftovers from the meals I made using items on hand.
4. Stayed in after work due to the cold instead of shopping or paying for any entertainment.

Now I can only go up from here! 🙂


cathy February 10, 2016 at 7:42 pm

I bet that stained glass is beautiful! To me, one of the reasons to be frugal with the everyday stuff is so we can splurge now and again. Unless you’re really in dire straights financially, there’s no reason to live a life of deprivation, to be frugal just for the sake of frugality. Enjoy your window!


JD February 11, 2016 at 10:30 am

I got two small stained glass windows from a torn down church for my house when we built it. It wasn’t frugal, but almost 17 years later, I still LOVE those windows and still sometimes sneak outside at night to see how pretty they look with the lights on inside. I agree with Cathy, spend your money where it counts, and save where it doesn’t.


Florencia February 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

1. Ate breakfast and lunch at work today. Free food.
2. Called a lady who needed help organizing (Craigslist ad). I hope she calls me.
3. Emailed research study representative. It’s tomorrow, so I hope I qualify.
4. Haven’t spent money eating out. Got sushi on Saturday in between tango classes. I paid, but later my friend paid me back his share and mine, too.
5. Resisted getting breakfast out on the way to friend’s house yesterday.
6. Stayed about 40 minutes later at work today.
7. Will take pictures tonight of perfume gift sets to sell on Facebook groups for Valentine’s day.
8. Haven’t been to the thrift store since last year. I hope in and find tons of great stuff, but nothing essential, so the best way to not spend is to not go.


kathleen February 10, 2016 at 7:37 pm

1. Picked up prescriptions from Costco. May be monetarily frugal, but it costs me a lot in aggravation.

2. Scheduled 4 1/2 work days over this week and next.

3. Hubs is working out of town for Valentine’s Day, so we had early dinner out together using two gift cards that had been languishing in my purse for over a year. Covered all but tip.

4. Began work on emptying a rented storage unit. It won’t be quick, but hope to have it done and off my budget by summer. Attics in our part of the country are not storage worthy, nor do we have basements, and husband is OCD about garage neatness. So we have have a storage unit, but just need to get rid of stuff instead of paying to not look at it.

5. Used a slow time at work to change paycheck deductions. Had 401k contribution set high when I was full time, and neglected to lower when I went part time.


Chris February 10, 2016 at 7:41 pm

1. Went to DC to visit favorite (OK only) grandchild last weekend with my daughter. Great price on airfare. Spent more on meals out/groceries than I have in the past but worth it for the time together.
2. While I was gone, my husband ate every meal at home! So unlike him – thanks, honey.
3. Need to go back to DC next week to cover emergency babysitting duties. Have already made a list of meals that I will prepare when there so that they don’t eat cereal for dinner plus have food in the freezer when I leave.
4. This pay period was an extra (one of 2 for this year) and our house insurance is due next month – covered from this check!
5. Fail? Won’t be working next week to due #3 and will have to pay some extra dog day care costs since my husband will be at work but so worth it to spend time with the sweetest 6 month old EVER!!!!


cathy February 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

1. Filled up gas tank and got 10 cents off per gallon. They don’t let you roll over points anymore so it’s better to use it than lose it.
2. Always use miscellaneous leftover water for houseplants (partial glasses of drinking water, soaking water from lettuce, etc). And I have A LOT of houseplants.
3. Son was really craving pizza from the local spot. Every week on Tightwad Tuesday they sell ginormous cheese pizzas for $12. Husband decided he wanted pizza too. We had a $5 off $25 coupon, and they let my son use it. These pizzas are so large, one pizza has fed my teenager one dinner, two lunches (including tomorrow’s), an afternoon snack, and there’s still a slice for tomorrow after school. My husband doctored his pizza with additions we had at home (garlic, sundried tomatoes, sausage). So far he’s gotten two dinners out of it and there’s still half a pizza. And my son earned points toward a free pizza.
4. Aside from the pizzas, all meals (including school lunches) were homemade. I regularly make a big pot of rice that we eat from all week, sometimes with dinner and often warmed up to make creamy rice for breakfast. I did the same with pasta as well as a pot of marinara (which becomes everything from pizza sauce to tomato soup). Pulling all kinds of stuff out of the freezer, too, including ground beef, salmon, and BBQ pulled chicken.
5. Oldest son turned 18. He went online tonight and registered to vote. Online!!! I love that he doesn’t have to go anywhere to register or mail in anything.


Vickie February 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

I do the same thing with leftover water. I hate to pour it down the drain!


Diana February 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

1. Overnight fridge oats & free work coffee.
2. Took home free leftover fruits & veggies from work (kale, spinach, banana, strawberry, cantaloupe) added chia seeds, almond butter, yogurt, coconut milk, dates and made a freezer batch of 15 toddler smoothies.
3. Clean out the fridge soup, portioned into mason jars for easy access & cleanup & transport.
4. Washed laundry & hang dry.
5. Have been wanting a new work coffee travel mug…and have been thinking about it even more since the blog post about Katy’s… Found a thrifted one today, 1.29 brand new. Brought it home to wash & found a coupon inside for a free hot beverage! Yay!


Katy February 10, 2016 at 10:00 pm



Chris February 11, 2016 at 7:05 pm

#5 Nice!!


Jade February 11, 2016 at 12:52 am

1. Walked to movies and theatre (15 min walk each way) instead of paying for parking.

2. Harvesting tomatoes and herbs from the garden. Set up my walk-in green house (purchased last year from Aldi). Will plant Autumn seeds tomorrow and hopefully the greenhouse will extend my growing period (cool climate area in Australia).

3. Resisted a strong craving to buy diet coke the other day. Have been drinking water this year, saving $$$. Also had a craving for takeaway chips but spent a gift vochure (from surveys) and bought some frozen chips from the supermarket instead. Still a naughty treat, but cheaper.

4. Baked bread and all other meals. Husband continues to take left overs to work. Added lentils to a dish of spagbol to bulk mince out – was tasty.

5. Still enjoying my extended holiday from work. I am enjoying pottering around the home and working in the garden. Slowing down has been such a wonderful gift.


Vickie February 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

This hasn’t been a frugal few days for me – food budget wise. I’m enjoying reading everyone’s responses though!


JD February 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

1. Today I’m finishing the last of a dish I made last week . It still tastes, smells and looks good, so it passes my ick test.
2. Took a walk at lunch time to get away from my desk and get free exercise. In Florida, nice walking weather isn’t all that easy to come by, so I’m enjoying today.
3. Looking for some cute free stuff to download for St. Valentine’s Day for the granddaughters.
4. Yesterday being Ash Wednesday, I saved by not eating until after sundown. The noon time service is my favorite, and it keeps me from thinking about my missed lunch, too.
5. I rarely use coupons, but yesterday I was able to use $3 worth on stuff I normally buy anyway.


Catherine February 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

My husband and I fasted for Ash Wednesday too but until midnight. Made a huge mistake looking at the grocery ads and meal planning on an empty stomach. Now I have to go back and revise a bit. Haha.

This year was a bit brutal because we went to the 6:30am service and stayed up pretty much until breaking the fast. Keeping up with an rambunctious (exempted) toddler to the mix and stir.


JD February 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Yes, I went to the grocery store while fasting. Fortunately, I had made a list before Wednesday and forced myself to stick to it. What was I thinking, though?
That was a long day, with a toddler to boot! Wow!


Ellie February 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm

#5 – And that’s un-taxed money!


marie February 11, 2016 at 10:51 am

!. I’ve started all my vegetable seeds in the greenhouse, so in a few months I won’t have to buy any veggies.

2. I had 2 led lightbulbs that went out, after 8 months. So much for 22 yrs. I wrote GE a nice letter about this and received in the mail, 5 coupons for free up to $5 lightbulbs! I’ve been slowly replacing every bulb in the house with led’s.

3.At Freddies, I returned a clearance nightgown that I decided I didn’t really need. By returning that, I only paid .67 for my order of milk and odds and ends.

4. While in the town with the Freddies, I hit up the bread store, and got enough bread to last for 3 weeks for $3

5. that’s it!


janine February 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

1. Cooked homemade chili for dinner last evening – made from dried beans and home canned tomatoes.
2. Grocery shopping today with purchases of sale fruits and veg. – then splurged on valentine candy.
3. found a cute card sponsored by the Humane Society to welcome a friend’s dog into her household.
4. Planning a vacation next week – checked out the area’s budget priced attractions and we have decided to eat dinners from the deli counter at Publix instead of pricy restaurants every evening.
5. Tonight will enjoy a fire in the fireplace from wood picked up and cut from our own trees.


Sarah G. February 11, 2016 at 1:42 pm

1. I’ve been enjoying warm cups of Chai in the morning from a container of Tazo chai tea latte concentrate that I found on clearance at target. It’s pumpkin spice flavour which feels like fall, but oh well.

2. I made delicious Huevos rancheros last night for dinner using random ingredients I had on hand.

3. I read on another blog that you can use used dryer sheets for dusting. I tried it this morning and it did seem to work pretty well. Definitely cheaper than buying swiffer dusting cloths.

4. My mother-in-law gave us an almost full container of almonds milk that she didn’t like. I don’t care for it but I’m using it on my cereal. With two little kids we go through a lot of milk in our house.

5. Our cat has had a cold for a little while now. Rather than taking her to the vet, I purchased some inexpensive cat multivitamins for her instead. This will hopefully give her an extra boost to fight it off herself. Cheaper than a vet visit and probably healthier for her too.


Bee February 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

If it goes on too long, please take your kitty to the vet . In an older cat, it can be a sign of a heart problem. Of course, sometimes it is just virus.


Sarah G. February 12, 2016 at 4:42 am

Oh, okay… Thanks for sharing that. :-). I didn’t know that. She does seem better already actually. She is soon to turn 8 years old. She was a pitiful stray kitten when I took her in and she’s been extremely healthy her whole life thus far (knock on wood).


Bee February 12, 2016 at 5:14 am

I am glad to hear that she is better. It sounds like a cold. She is still really young for heart issues. I don’t mean to be alarmist. I just love my pets. I have had three pitiful stays in the last 20 years. They have added much to my life. I have one on my lap now while I am having my morning coffee.


Chris February 11, 2016 at 4:01 pm

My Five:
1. Did a tour of the grocery store last night and picked up a lot of 50% off (or more) items that we use anyway. The biggest scores were a huge bag of clearance green beans, Morning Rounds breakfast pitas that all 4 of us like, and …. a large haddock for $3 (had been cleaned, but had head & tail intact as it was a display case fish. The guy from the fish counter came out to tell that it was fresh but had been in the case for a day and had to be moved, also told us the easiest way to prepare it).
2. Had an annual meeting with our financial planner to look at where we’re at with our saving/investing for our retirement and kids’ education. No point saving a few bucks on groceries but not minding what the rest of our money does.
3. Filled my tank for under $40 (that’s a huge deal here!) because someone whose employer pays their gas gave me a 25 cents off per litre coupon.
4. Online “shopped” for home and clothing items, but didn’t buy anything.
5. I need a wall calendar and the one I printed out is driving me nuts. Asked around if anyone has a freebie they’re not using. Got a few offers 🙂


Bee February 12, 2016 at 5:19 am

#2 is so true!


Jean February 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm

i am on vacation. I needed more reading material. Instead of going to a nice bookstore, we went to a Goodwill and scored 3 great books for $9 total. That should hold me for the duration. We packed lunches and snacks for the plane trip -which was good because we had a 3 hour delay and really needed them. Have 2 oranges left for snacks. Thought of these things because of Katy’s blogging about her travel adventures.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 8:56 am

Sorry about your delay, but happy to hear that you had the snacks to survive!


MsSF February 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

I have burn-tastic pot holders as well! Glad I’m not the only one. I thought of replacing them but have never bothered, as the new ones would turn into burn-tastic ones too fairly quickly.


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