Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 12, 2016 · 86 comments

  1. My husband’s new promotion comes with a free iPhone 6 plus service plan, which is an upgrade from his iPhone 5. I currently use his hand-me-down iPhone 4 and had planned to take over his old phone. But I realized this morning that I’m actually completely content with my current phone and instead will look into selling the iPhone 5. #collegefund
  2. I was called off from work for the first four hours on Wednesday, so I used my time to assemble two pans of lasagna. We then enjoyed this ready made meal for the two days that my husband and I both worked, and we now have a backup lasagna in the freezer.
  3. My friend Sasha brought back a cute solid wood bookshelf that I’d handed down to her a number of years ago. I used it to replace a cheap-o particle board/melamine bookcase that hold been holding DVD’s and video games. I’ll go ahead and list the perfectly good melamine shelf on Craigslist for ten bucks or so. Update: Sold for $15!
  4. I stopped into Trader Joe’s this morning after dropping my son at school. I bought toilet paper, dishwasher detergent and nothing else. Medal, please!
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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


{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

Great job at not giving in to Trader Joes! I have the iPhone 6 plus only because my husband thought I needed it, otherwise I would still have the 4s. You don’t realize the difference in the phone until you actually experience the new phone. Steve Jobs said that they have to show us want we want. We are content until we see otherwise.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

So true.


Kristen February 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm

I’m considering upgrading my 4S to a refurb 5S, only because my 4 cannot handle any more ios updates, and I’m starting to feel the pain of some features that don’t work with my old IOS.

If it weren’t for that, I’d be totally happy with this phone.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I just don’t do the updates.


Nan February 13, 2016 at 3:19 am

How old is your husband’s phone? I have been researching used I Phones and trying to decide if I want to buy a used one. My I Phone 4 is 3 years old and starting to give my issues- voice mail freezes up and I must have a phone for my job. It looks like I’m going to have to go new for $400 ugh… if I want another I phone which I do. I need one with a good warranty.

Jade February 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

That is what really irks me about iphones; in my experience they don’t last for than a few years. I would not expect to pay $800 or so on a TV and then accept that it only lasts two years, so why is it accetable for a snazzy phone to die after two years? It has happended to me twice, and also my husband, hence the ill feelings towards apple / iphone.

My vent for the day…. 🙂

tonya parham February 14, 2016 at 11:03 am

I always just buy the older phone for $50 refurbished and my last one lasted 4 years. I think iphones are worth the money and you needn’t be an early adopted to get a product that will last a very long time.

Sadye February 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm

I wish I’d known that a year-plus ago, when I ruined my then-perfectly-good iPhone 4S by doing upgrades. So instead of replacing it with a no-longer-discounted new iPhone, I picked the first $1 Android device my tech buddy found me.

Jade February 15, 2016 at 12:21 am

I agree, I would not personally pay $800 for a new phone. In Australia, we generally sign a two year contract and get the phone with it (we might pay $5 of the contract per month towards the phone, and then you own the phone outright after 24months. Or you may get your phone “free” with the contract). Twice now, I have finished my contract and, voila, iphone then has issues. This of couse means you then have to resign, unless you want to go and buy an expensive new phone.
I agree, buying an older refurbed model is a great idea.

I also have had issues with my phone going funny after accepting those updates. I decline all updates now.

Bettypants February 12, 2016 at 11:12 am

1. I sold two Aeropostale shirts yesterday on a local FB board for $10. I bought them at a garage sale last summer, new with the tags, for 50 cents each. I intended on keeping them, but they had elasticized waists and I couldn’t stand the way they felt on.
2. Have started working a few hours of overtime at work, and thus broke out my Farberware coffee percolator. It’s a baby model, just big enough to make myself two cups of afternoon coffee. Best of all, I found it at a garage sale two summers ago for a quarter.
3. Posted an xbox Kinect with several games on ebay, and relisted a few of my expired duds.
4. Finally, FINALLY, sorted a tub of children’s books into lots and listed them on local FB boards. I listed 89 books, and put one on ebay.
5. Aldi had Ghirardelli brownie mixes for $1.89. I only bought two and wished I had bought more. So good. Probably better I didn’t buy more.


Saryn February 15, 2016 at 6:53 am

I just recently inherited my parents Farberware coffee percolator which they received as a wedding present over 40 years ago after we broke 2 glass coffee pots in a week. I love it! It makes the best tasting coffee I have ever had.


pattilou February 12, 2016 at 11:22 am

1.Making a few more draft stoppers to go in front of my doors. they will look nicer than the rolled up rugs and towels I am now using. I got nice material from work that was going to be tossed. Getting ready for the cold snap that is upon us.
2. I’m using the sewing machine that my co-workers gave me as aChristmas gift a few years ago.
3. I’m still able to keep the heat low even with single digit temperatures outside. It gives me a chance to wear a couple of sweaters I’ve had forever that are really heavy.
4. making a cake from scratch for a co-worker’s birthday instead of buying the over priced bakery cake.
5. I also went to the grocery store and stuck to my list!


livingrichonthecheap February 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

I love my iphone 4s. Just the right size. Our company bought it 3.5 years ago and hubby keeps saying I should upgrade – why? Just to have another company expense?!? Part of the reason our company is successful is because we treat it’s money like ours. I am going to keep it until it dies which based on the way it has acted until now might be another several years.


Mand01 February 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I think that makes such a difference. People don’t understand that a company’s money is not an endless pit – it has to be earned! If the company and the people in it don’t pay attention to these things it won’t be successful.


Anne February 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

People don’t understand that about the government’s money, either.


SKM February 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

Is the TJ’s toilet paper good? I actually found a recommendation on the NCA Facebook thread and ordered a case of Angel Soft commercial-grade toilet paper from Amazon. It’s good and while I don’t anticipate running out for a good year or so, I’m always interested in decent toilet paper.

^^ I lead an exciting life. 🙂


Bobbi February 12, 2016 at 11:54 am

SKM, your TP recommendation might have come from me! I remember mentioning this in a NCA Facebook thread in the past several months, and linking to it. I love the low price, and the TP itself is perfectly acceptable to all members of my household. Yes, our lives are indeed a thrill! 🙂


skm February 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Bobbi – it was a great recommendation. I especially appreciate that there was no plastic involved in the packaging!


Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 11:38 am

1. I made my traditional heart shaped pink pancakes for brinner last night using very old heart shaped metal cookie cutters in a pan as a form. I saved a few and popped them into the toaster for a repeat Valentine’s themed frugal breakfast.
2.I picked up a hair tie in the ground and stuck it in a small ziploc bag that I keep in my glove compartment. I just leave it in there for a couple weeks to kill any cooties. Like others I believe there is no reason to ever buy ballpoint pens or elastic hair ties.
3. I woke up this morning to find that I scratched myself a lot during the night probably because I ran out lotion a few days ago.The cold weather has left my skin terribly dry.I’m going to experiment with some different cooking oils that I already have on hand for my skin. I have heard that crisco is excellant for dry skin but I think I will give olive oil a try first.
4. I made my daughter an appointment with a pediatric dentist for an initial visit and she may has a cavity. We do not have dental insurance. I made a list of pediatric dentists with address and phone numbers in the area. I called each one to find out the prices, what they offer, and the pros and cons of each dentist, Ex. long commute, appointments too far out, bad reviews. I found this is the best way to tackle any decision with more than one option. This way it is written down so I can put it away and ruminate about it and all the information will be there when I need it.
5. I played an instant win game Kroger is offering when I downloaded my Free Friday Download and I won, AGAIN! I just won cheez-its yesterday from this game and today I won a box of Hamburger Helper!I usually never win anything so this may be worth a try for others. Hubby hates Hamburger Helper but I will pass it along to brother who lost his job.The FFD is a yummy Moonstruck Chocolate bar which I heard it is manufactured in none other than Portland, Oregon so I’m excited to try it. Just FYI, if you use Kroger, be sure to check all your digital coupons because I have a free bag of store brand chips just randomly put in with the coupons. I know some of this stuff is junky but I just pass things we don’t use onto others who will.


Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Lots of typos! Sorry, was in a hurry.


Susanne g February 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

If you have white sheets, using cooking oils will stain them yellow and will never come out…of course this is just one persons experience, but I was thinking the same way as you but it was in summer and I made skin scrubs with vegetable oils and when I came out of shower was so skin-tastic I went to sleep au natural. What a great feeling! Until my sheets came out of wash a disaster. I still used them of course but eventually it was too nasty looking. Have been using coconut oil and wearing pajamas ever since!


Susanne g February 12, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Also, when I lived in Portland, Moonstruck chocolates were a delicious indulgence!


Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

I’m so excited to get them for a free Valentine’s treat to myself. I never buy myself fancy chocolate.

Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Wow, I hadn’t considered that. I may try it and just wear some old pajamas. I just got some brand “new to me” sheets that are good quality high thread count. I don’t want to stain them if possible and I hope they last me a very long time. Whew,thanks so much!


cathy February 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I also loaded the Moonstruck chocolate FFD to my card. Planning to give it to my husband for Valentine’s Day. They make delicious chocolate.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for the heads up, I just loaded it as well!


Stacy February 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm

My daughter’s pediatrician suggested Crisco when she was an infant with extremely dry skin a few years ago. Worked perfectly!


Anna-Catherine February 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm

If you put oil on your wet skin when you get out of the shower or bath it will soak in better than putting it on dry skin. I have been using oil instead of lotion for several years. It works better on my very dry skin that the fancy expensive lotions. I get out of the shower and dont dry off. I apply the oil and rub it in, finish my after shower routine then rub in any oil that has not soaked in. I have had no trouble with oil on my sheets or clothes.


Carol M. February 12, 2016 at 7:51 pm

If you don’t have a lot of experience using oil, mix it in your palm with water. This helps it go on as a lotion.


Jennifer February 13, 2016 at 5:59 am

Thank you all for the great tips! Don’t know why I am just now trying the oil instead of buying some type of lotion. I tried it last night and I love the silky way my skin feels. I did wear pajamas so I don’t know about the staining. May use crisco on my heels with old socks at night. Thanks again for the tips!


Beth Anne February 13, 2016 at 11:14 am

Love the heart pancake tip, will make tomorrow for daughter, thanks. Had also seen on Facebook making peanut blossom cookies using heart shaped chocolates, looking forward to making those tonight. 🙂


A. Marie February 12, 2016 at 11:49 am

(1) What, Katy? You stopped at Trader Joe’s and didn’t buy any coconut oil? 🙂
(2) Cooked one of the two half-hams we get as part of the half-pig we buy every year from a friend who raises his own, and have been eating variations on ham all week. Could be worse.
(3) Am about to take the shelter kitty we adopted last year to our new and much more reasonably priced vet for her 2016 shots. Betty has been an absolute joy: She’s placid, adaptable, friendly, and fun. (She also has what seems to be cast-iron digestion: She’s been here for 13 months and has yet to hack a hairball!)
(4) We’re anticipating extreme cold here in Upstate NY this weekend. But DH went out today to do necessary shopping, and we now don’t have to go out unless we’re absolute gluttons for punishment.
(5) Have compiled a list of tightwad things to do at home during the cold spell: making soap bars out of soap scraps, making dishcloths out of the still-usable parts of holey dish towels, etc.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Nope, no cocoanut oil here. It’s not something that I buy.


trevor February 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Thnx for adopting the shelter kitty! I have a calico stray that had moved into my woodpile one frosty November (5 years ago). A good little buddy.


Ruby February 12, 2016 at 12:04 pm

1. Had yesterday off work and took the time to drive to the Aldi over the state line, where the sales tax on food is much lower. Dairy and egg prices tend to be lower there too.
2. Also made breakfast bars and cookies from scratch for the family, and refilled my stash of reusable K-cups for the week with sale coffee.
3. My husband has been unclogging some slow drains by pouring a hefty slug of bleach down them at night. The guy who installed our dishwasher recommended doing this several nights a week as an inexpensive and relatively mild drain cleaner.
4. Still growing out my hair to save on haircuts. Soon it will be long enough that I can trim the ends myself.
5. Sometimes four is all you got.


Jennifer February 12, 2016 at 12:14 pm

You must have purchased a Lear Jet then, lol.


Ruby February 13, 2016 at 7:10 am

Hehee! If I ever see a toy Lear Jet at the thrift store, I’m going to buy it just for “bought a Lear Jet” bragging rights. 😀


cathy February 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

You can also help your drains using a mix of baking soda, salt & white vinegar, then chasing it with boiling water.


Ruby February 13, 2016 at 7:12 am

We have done the vinegar and baking soda treatment successfully in the past, especially on drains that might have grease or soap build up.

The problem with these two drains is pet hair from washing the dogs and washing pet bedding. The appliance installer, who does the bleach trick at his home, where he has four daughters with long hair, said the bleach will gently dissolve the hair in the pipes after three or four overnight treatments. And so far he’s been right, as the drains are working much better.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm

I did the same thing with some unexpected free time — made lasagna. I love lasagna, and I especially love having the extra in the freezer for whenever the need arises. 🙂


Katy February 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

It’s like a gift from past me!


LisaC February 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm

1. Making chicken n dumplings with marked down (hormone/antibiotic free too!) chicken legs and 1/2 box of dumplings my family left when they visited.
2. Will make brownies and a heart shaped meatloaf for Valentine’s day, he loves meatloaf and I rarely make it. Better than going out to a crowded restaurant.
3. Hubs n I decided on no cards this year. I’m pretty sure we’ve bought every kind there is after being married so long.
4. Learned to hook up a router on my computer, didn’t hire our computer guy this time.
5. Brought home leftovers from a staff breakfast, I’ll use the hash browns in a casserole.
Boring, but frugal.


Juhli February 12, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I did not make it out of Trader Joe’s with just what was on my (mental) list but we will use all of it. Here are my 5:
1. Free Palmolive & Jet Dry using coupons saving $7.08
2. Stocked up on sale & couponed groceries saving $14.15
3. Senior discount Kroger saving $3.66
4. Made chicken broth and froze it
5. I am doing our taxes manually saving at least $72.00 at software prices


Mand01 February 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

1. Date night last night. Hubs and I made steaks from almost the last of our 1/4 cow in the freezer, baked potatoes and veg and watched V for Vendetta again from the library. We hadn’t seen it in so long that it was like watching a new movie. It was so good.
2. Today we are seeing a good friend of ours for dinner. We are using some more of our almost end of the 1/4 cow and making chilli, potatoes and salad, and if I have time I will make a peach pie. The peaches were freeeeeeeee. I will serve with strawberry ice cream I made last weekend. It is seriously delish.
3. I’m helping a friend move today and tomorrow. I consider this frugal because what goes around comes around in the great wheel of the mutual mooch. Actually I am just happy to help out my best buddy.
4. Have done my meal plan and am heading to the shops with a strict list. I’m trying to beat my fortnightly budget by $50.
That’s it.


Jade February 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Love #3. I’ll take this one too.


cathy February 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

1. Batched errands. First stop was to drop off something for work. There’s a yarn shop next door so I dropped off my favorite Irish fisherman’s sweater–a hand-me-down from my grandmother–to be repaired. It’s got some holes and some unraveling. Probably under $10 for the repair.
2. Circling back, I “paid” my library fines by donating canned food during their food drive. I almost always miss the drives, but this time the Main library sent out an email. They’ll knock off $1.00 for every item you donate. Yesterday I was able to pick up some 2/$1 tuna @Smith’s while I was in that neighborhood. I won’t tell you how many cans I had to donate to eliminate my fines…
3. Picked up a free coffee I earned since Starbucks is around the corner from the library. It takes me months to earn a free one!
4. We’re experiencing a temperature inversion so our air quality is bad, bad, bad. My husband’s working from home this afternoon so I was able to drive the Camry hybrid. I did everything I could to help it draw from the battery instead of the gas.
5. Defrosting BBQ shredded chicken for sandwiches this weekend. Cooked it up last summer.


auntiali February 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm

I was out late this afternoon and boy, is it cold out!
1. Did a couple of errands in a circle to save gas.
2. Got gas for $1.51 today. Half a tank was $11.
3. Went to Aldi and got graham crackers, sour cream and onion soup mix for much less than the grocery store.
4. Went through the drive through at the pharmacy which shares the same parking lot with Aldi.
5. Got a “free” cart at Aldi as it was in the parking lot and not with the other carts. I left it out in the lot to pay it forward.
6. My daughter made dean’s list again this past fall. Proud parent moment – priceless.
7. Same daughter was picked to go to California to present her thesis at a conference. Everything will be paid for by her college.
8. Got a letter from the dealership where I bought my 2010 paid off Honda CRV. They want me to come in so I can get a 2016 CRV with lower payments. No, I don’t think so…


NEY February 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Yesterday, a nice lady gave me a quarter at Aldi because I forgot mine so I left my cart in the parking lot to pay it forward! How funny!


Isabelle February 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm

* Made very simple valentines at home for the kids friends instead of buying them (pink construction paper and red ribbons)
* Supper is cheap gluten-free pasta (1$) with tomates sauce (1$), broccoli salad (2$) and cheese (2$). 6$ for 4 people, not bad.
* Valentine will be take-out sushi with chocolate fondue and Netflix movie. Avoiding the crowds and the restaurant parking and tip!
* Daughter is still contributing to her school saving account. She saved 15$ since October with her allowance (1$/week, which 0.25$ mandatorly goes to this account each week, 0.25$ goes to her spending piggy bank at home and 0.50$ goes to long term saving account at the real bank), gift money and money from the toothfairy (she’s 6!!). I’m proud of her!
* Not planning grocery shopping this week. Fridge, freezer and pantry are overflowing, it needs to get used (nice “problem” to have!).

Have a great frugal day!


Cheryl February 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm

1. Made the kids valentines from construction paper and made cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries versus buying them for gift.
2. Bourbon chicken in the crockpot served with pearled barley for Valentine’s Day dinner at home rather than going out to the restaurant.
3. My husband gave the children haircuts this week, a few cents of electricity and his time versus running them to the barbershop. No arguments or complaints as they like the haircuts he gives them, they did not like the barbershop. Beats $30 plus tip and transportation costs, and no waiting.
4. Getting my hair trimmed Saturday morning and root touch up with leftover henna from coloring my hair in January. I freeze the leftover henna for the six week root touch up. Net cost ZERO because my husband cuts and colors my hair for me at home. My neighbor pays $130 for cut and color every six weeks, and I think mine looks better and I like the price. He doesn’t have a license, but learned to do mine and the children’s haircuts because he is as frugal as me. He has a knack for it, never a bad haircut.


jennifer February 12, 2016 at 3:23 pm

1. It’s been cold and/or snowy here all week so I only left to take my son to school or to/from swim team.

2. Filled my gas tank at Sam’s Club that is just down the road from us. 5 cents cheaper than anywhere else around.

3. Been reading free Kindle books this week while I pedal my exercise bike.

4. Received a $6 check in the mail for selling back a gift card.

5. Know for sure I am working tomorrow after getting called off for an 8 hour shift on Wednesday. Our behavioral health unit is limited to admissions the last couple weeks due to norovirus and our only psychiatrist on vacation. That leaves our NP to see all patients so they limit the number of admits. My supervisor called and said I’ll be doing the tele-med set up tomorrow so that solidifies my weekend. (Which is good since I’m weekend package-if I don’t work, I don’t get paid since I don’t get PTO). I will take my lunch and water glass and drink the coffee from the unit.


Katy February 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I don’t get sick or vacation either.


Lucy February 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

1. Bought only basic needs and a few stock-up items on sale at grocery store.
2. On same trip, picked up a free with loyalty points pizza.
3. Drove car instead of truck on said trip, which was the only time off the farm all week.
4. Cooked from the freezer and pantry except for the free pizza.
5. Cut my own hair in the same way I learned from a model friend in high school.


Kathy February 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

1. Thrilled to get a handmade Valentine card! I got others but this was less expensive and more meaningful.
2. Walked every day,, several times a day – this is huge for me.
3. Got a pedometer and hooked it up to my work’s online health program.
4. Took advantage of a wellness clinic at the hospital to get some bloodwork done.
5. Enjoyed some down time with a library book.


Carol M. February 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

1. I forgot to bring my water bottle to work today. Was tempted to buy a water or juice from the vending machine, but instead filled my coffee mug with tap water. I’ll survive!
2. Had a doctor’s appointment today, and forgot to get my parking ticket validated. Thought, for a minute, “It’ll only cost me a dollar,” then realized it was worth the effort to go back into the office to get it validated. A dollar saved is a dollar earned!
3. Fiance has brought home bean burritos, string cheeses and Cheerios from his high school…all unwanted breakfasts that the kids would have thrown away. Less grocery bills for us.
4. My library is doing an “amnesty” thing with book fines–clearing them for the new year. I didn’t have big fines, but hey, that’s $1.50 I’ll never have to spend!
5. On my walk today, I ate the heads of two dandelions. It’s an acquired taste, but they’re edible and excellent for your liver.


Marcia February 12, 2016 at 7:29 pm

1. I got my first ever E-bates check today for $28.68. Free money!!
2. Went to the bank today to make a deposit and to the grocery store. Roads were clear and dry when I went IN the store. When I came OUT, there was 4 inches of snow on my car, and the roads were slippery as heck all the way home. I took my time and arrived home safely. Mad at myself for not leaving earlier! Storm was predicted but time was uncertain. Anyhow bought needed grocery items and was able to try a new recipe tonight which we liked a lot–and it’s cheap to make.
3. All set to spend a very cold (-30 wind chills and lots of snow) weekend in the house without spending any more money!!
4. Well, I’m reaching now….had cabbage and recipe called for a bag of cole slaw mix. Enlisted husband’s help to julienne the cabbage with the mandolin. It turned out great. The mandolin was a Christmas gift to me, but I haven’t quite learned to deal with it yet–it takes both of us to figure out how to change the blades and slice or shred whatever we’re using–but I used what I had without buying cole slaw mix, and still have 1/4 of a cabbage left!
5. Regular old boring but frugal stuff: shredded that cabbage onto a piece of waxed paper saved from the bag inside the cereal box–which I open out and fold and keep until I need to use it. I use them for prepping ingredients more often than not—-but I also roll out pie crust between two of them, and use them for all kinds of other things too. The roll of waxed paper I have in the cupboard has been there for about two years now and isn’t empty yet.


NancyP February 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Taking my son to see the Olympic Marathon Trials tomorrow in downtown LA. We will drive to the closest subway stop. Will bring water and sandwiches and snacks. Its free.
Made two tamale pies ( one vegan, one meat) tonight with home canned salsa, homemade beans and masa flour left over from tamale event in December. Used homemade vegan cheese (cultured macadamia nuts, delish) in the vegan version.
Wife delivered one load to goodwill.
Borrowed jumper cables from neighbor to get the old car moved.
Did not go shopping today.


Patience February 13, 2016 at 4:57 am

That cultured nut vegan cheese sounds awesome!


Gina February 13, 2016 at 6:29 am

Agree! I’ve had the cashew version, but macadamia sounds delicious!


Diana February 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Please bring some to work!


Florencia February 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

1. Went to a leadership workshop today. It counts for 4 hours of a required 12 hours for a free certificate. Event was free.
2. Parked for free at the institute of religion. I was going to pay for parking, but forgot my wallet and expected a ticket, but thankfully didn’t get one.
3. Lunch was not provided, but they had snacks. Nice surprise because someone asked if lunch was provided and they said no, but they didn’t say there’d be snacks. I had two brownies and a cookie, and a Coke. There were snacks left, so I brought a can of Coke, a can of root beer, a bottled water, and two Diet Cokes, as well as five big cookies and two brownies.
4. Have still not paid for eating out this year. I had lunch at the institute at school yesterday. Rice with cheese, Asian crispy noodles, and a little chicken sauce.
5. Found a sidewalk I can go sell Victoria’s Secret perfumes I bought on sale for Valentine’s. Posted on Facebook, KSL, and Craigslist. Will make some signs for more appeal. Wish me luck!


Bee February 13, 2016 at 6:36 am

1) I used my CVS rewards card and extra bucks to save an additional 20% on health and beauty items that were on sale.
2) I worked a little side job and made $60 for a couple of hours fun and easy work.
3) I have needed to replace my family room sofa. I found a wonderful deal on a new sofa at an estate sale. It was new, my color, and from a high end furniture maker. But best of all, it was inexpensive. Yeah!
4) We are in need of a new roof. Our neighborhood was built 20-25 years ago, so many of my neighbors do too. We have been cooperating with each other to get bids. Many companies have offered us a $500 discount since we are shopping together.
5) The weather yesterday was lovely, but it will be turning bitterly cold today. I decided to enjoy it. I stayed at home where I did some gardening, walked the dog and read in the sunshine. A frugal and enjoyable day.


Gina February 13, 2016 at 6:45 am

Still struggling, but am being strict with myself this weekend. Here are the five I managed to accomplish:

1. Took a very large haul to Goodwill and picked up my receipt for next year’s taxes.
2. Speaking of taxes, did my own and will be getting a refund this year. I itemized modestly the donations I gave to thrift stores last year and it was a significant deduction.
3. Went to our local version of the infamous Outlet Store and bought a lot of groceries for $32, including a very large box (roughly 20 packages) of near expired flour tortillas for $1! I will ramp up our burrito eating with the frozen black and pinto beans in the freezer and freeze many. I also plan to give some to a struggling friend. I actually prefer corn and I know I could make them myself, but, dang, $1!
4. It is finally intolerably brrrrrr cold here this weekend and the plan is to make lasagna (I should make an extra pan as learned from here!) and rent some Redbox movies. I also have some library books to read.
5. And, perhaps a bit controversial (but so it food waste), the aforementioned struggling (but very resourceful) friend took me dumpster diving with her (I’ve been curious ever since I watched Just Eat It) and I ended up with a whole bunch of perfectly good oranges. I plan to scrub them, juice them and freeze the concentrate for future uses. My friend and her boyfriend have subsisted on this foraging for over a year now (along with community garden plots and they are vegan also). Her boyfriend is putting two kids through college and rides his bike to and from work even in the middle of winter. Like me, she bought an abandoned home in our renaissance neighborhood for something like $3500. I bought my abandoned Camelback Shotgun house for $8,900. We met through a city inspector who said, “Hey, I just met a woman a lot like you!” It’s been a great friendship ever since! Her home is a beautiful 1800’s home with a very bohemian feel to it. She has learned to do most of the work herself and just recently installed a wood burning stove for extra heat that she bought off of Craigslist. I learn much from her and she encourages me to try new home improvements myself. Not everyone could live this lifestyle, but I have loved this house like no others, flaws and all! I love my neighbors and think our neighborhood of urban pioneers would make a great reality TV show.


Gina February 13, 2016 at 6:50 am

I should mention I am long versed in the art of garbage picking and have furnished my home with said treasures. I meant food DD.


LLB February 13, 2016 at 10:30 am

Very inspiring, Gina! So much perfectly good food to be rescued via DD and not controversial at all in my book. Thanks so much for sharing.


Gina February 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm



Jennifer February 13, 2016 at 10:38 am

I have found most people that comment on here are not judgy and are here to learn. I love the ideas of the freegan lifstyle and think it’s just fine.Probably smart, actually! I have trashed picked things myself. Not any food, only because I haven’t ran across any. If I see a bunch of perfectly good oranges discarded somewhere, you can bet they are coming home with me!


Gina February 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

I am definitely inspired by my Freegan friends! I agree with the folks here; I learn so much from the posts!


Stacie M February 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

wow! I can’t believe the price point of both of your places. and I would love to dumpster dive…I just honestly wouldn’t know where to start!


Gina February 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

I’ll admit that while I was 100% onboard for giving it a go, I was timid to go alone. It was actually an Aldi’s where we found the produce and there was also a case of eggs in there with exp. date late February. I have four hens that supply me with more than enough eggs and friend is a vegan so we left them, but I thought about those dumb eggs for days afterwards! 🙂


Jennifer February 13, 2016 at 2:38 pm

You sound exactly like me. I ruminate about deals I should have gotten so many times after the fact.


Jade February 13, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Another one who thinks your liefstyle is inspiring THe less resources going to landfill, the better!
During my teenage years, I worked part time at a bakery. The amount of food we threw out each day was horrendous! We had charities that were allocated to come and collect leftover bread each day, however they were not always reliable, so a huge amount of perfectly good food was thrown straight into the bin each day.


Gina February 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

I agree! Landfill waste, particularly food products, is such an issue to resolve if you ask me! 🙂


Adriana February 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Would love to know your city Gina?! Your neighborhood sounds awesome!


Gina February 14, 2016 at 9:55 am

I am in Louisville, KY, but I believe these neighborhoods are popping up all over America (possibly other parts of the world too). I think people are returning to urban cores because they are designed to use less resources (if designed well) and they are affordable (you can buy a house without a mortgage if you save). When I bought into my neighborhood I was going to be going through a divorce and did not want a mortgage. I ate beans and rice and saved everything I could and then shopped for a house that fit the budget. It didn’t take long to realize I was going to have to look in the underserved neighborhoods for said house. Once there (and not having a mortgage was more important to me than the socioeconomic class of my neighbors), I became involved in neighborhood activism. I helped write a grant that funded a new tree program (to increase the severely lacking tree canopy), started another group to bring beautification, clean up and the end of other neighborhoods and nearby cities from using our neighborhood as a dump (big problem that still rears it’s ugly head) and helped build a community garden on the grounds of an old abandoned school. I met existing neighbors and new ones buying up the historic homes this way. What I had no idea of when I bought the house was that a movement to revitalize our riverfront neighborhood was being planned and implemented. This, I guess, was just luck. Since 2012 (when I bought the house), we have had a brewery, art galleries, restaurants go in, investors and occupants (the better!) have bought up abandoned, historic structures and soon a new road connecting our downtown (1.5 miles to the east) and a riverfront park will be coming to our ‘hood. A group of us, to counteract the absentee investors, are starting a co-op to buy and renovate properties for small, local businesses and apartments. we are copying off of a group in Minneapolis, MN. It is becoming an awesome, artistic neighborhood that is trying to resist gentrification, yet restore it to it’s former glory (hopefully this is possible). I’ll include the link to the blog I started about my experiences of buying the house, but I’ll admit I am horrible at posting on it! 🙂


Adriana February 15, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Wow. So inspiring! Why build new when you can fix up the old?!?!
I would love to follow you blog!


Beth Anne February 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

Happy Valentines weekend everyone! 🙂

Definitely earned the medal, Trader Joe’s is so tempting!

1. Hung two loads of laundry this morning to dry in my freezing Brrrrr basement! So cold in Michigan right now, hope this savings will help counteract the furnace going constantly today even though I turned it down a few notches.

2. Put old baking soda down the drain in bathroom with some vinegar to clean them out instead of just throwing it out. Gave it a boiling hot water chaser for extra measure 😉

3. Went to Subway with daughter last night and split a $6 sub, drank water and got a free cookie through the online receipt survey.

4. Watched The Martian through free Redbox coupon – loved it! Read the book recently to through the library – all about da free!

5. Did a dog walk (brrrrrr again! Negative number outside windchill) last night and a cat sit and two more cat sits this weekend making extra cash. Cat sit tipped me $30 bucks cash (tip for last cat sit as well). Win win as daughter and I get our pet therapy fix as well, super cute animals and so playful. 🙂

6. Requested a review for childcare payment from ex, report finally came back after months of waiting and it went up several hundred, that’s the win. Sadly will not see any of it for a long time. Ex currently has a bench warrant as he blows off hearings and continues to ignore payments. Have learned to live with it and move on as best we can working extra part time jobs so when a payment does come grateful for it.


Beth Anne February 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

To funny posted before I read the other comments and saw the drain baking soda/vinegar mention earlier, great minds think alike. Think i will try the bleach trick at night as I have a daughter with super long hair. Wondering though I have the original galvanized pipes in the house from when the house was built in 1920, wonder if it would damage them?


Ruby February 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Our house was built in 1952 and has galvanized pipes. The bleach doesn’t seem to have caused any problems with them. It’s nowhere near as corrosive as drain cleaner, so we’re not worried about using it.


K D February 13, 2016 at 11:11 am

1. Thursday was a cold and windy day so I did not feel like walking outside. I ran errands, which consisted of doing returns at Aldi, Marshall’s, and Home Depot. I also walked around the stores to get some steps in but only bought oranges and oatmeal at Aldi and nothing anywhere else.

2. A friend had another friend and I over for tea. I asked her what I could bring and she mentioned the fruit salad I served last week, when she came for lunch. It is simply cut up mandarin oranges and apples mixed with a tiny bit of sugar. I buy both when they are a good price so I was happy to make that. We caught up and it was inexpensive.

3. Another friend asked where I bought my 180s ear warmers. I later realized I have a practically unworn pair that my husband brought home form an about to be thrown out lost and found pile. I offered them to her and she’s happy to get them from me next week.

4. I continue to do e-Rewards surveys. I use the earnings for airline miles.

5. We continue to have a perpetual homeowners insurance policy. I’m not sure where you can buy it outside of Pennsylvania and Maryland but it has saved us a ton of money over the years. You pay a one time deposit (like a super-premium) and the insurance continues indefinitely. When you cancel it you get your money back. We have sent additional money over the years to boost our coverage, as rebuilding costs increase and to add earthquake insurance, but that is optional and again it is a refundable deposit.


Betty Winslow February 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

1. Bought a bunch of “buy 6, save $3” items from Kroger to give to the food pantry.
2. Bought a Subaru Baja from a friend this morning, paid cash, so 2nd ride and no car payment!!
3. Have a halfloaf of stale bread that got pushed behind something in the kitchen, so gonna make bread pudding.
4. Got several little candy gifts for V. Day at school, which I didn’t really want/need, so donated (discreetly) to the 4th grade’s “Support the Troops” upcoming goodie shipment.
5. Filled the Focus’s gas tank up with 79 cents a gallow gas from Kroger (neither of our sons who are currently living here has a car, so when they shop, they use our loyalty card…. adds up!)


LisaC February 14, 2016 at 6:25 am

Great idea with the Valentine treats for the troops. I threw some away, didn’t want to waste the calories on cheap chocolate and sticky candy that would have ripped out my crowns. So I guess that’s a frugal fail, but I still have my crowns!


Mariana February 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

1. My office received a huge and delicious cake (along with some cupcakes) from Magnolia Bakery (the best in NYC I dare to say). It arrived when most of my colleagues were on a retreat so only 1/2 got eaten. The other half? It would have probably be trashed if I did not step in (which I happily did). I saved 7 nice slices which I brought home and froze. This means free dessert for up to two weeks.

2. Watched a puppy for a friend who then took me and T. for a sushi dinner.

3. Got more $$ through Ebates. I am up $20 or so since last week.

4. Got organic fruit baby squeezable pouches of GoGo Apple Mousse for 25cents each. Stocked up and got 25. I am including these in my work lunches 😉

5. Attended a Bday of a very wealthy friend. He truly went all the way. This included Broadway show tickets to all guests (300 people or so) + amazing dinner at a restaurant (blocked off just for this event). Freebies? Scarves for everyone (it was super cold that night in NYC). T. and I grabbed one each + I found one on the floor when we were leaving. Grabbed that one as well.
Shall I even mention that I was the only one taking a doggy bag with the chicken back home? the portions were huge and I just did not manage to clean my plate. I used the chicken to make lunch next day.

It was a great week.


janine February 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

Hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day!
1. Attended a Valentine’s party sponsored by a business associate’s non-profit to benefit Human Trafficking Victims. Free, but we made a donation so it was fun plus $$ to good cause.
2. Made home-made Valentine cake for husband .
3. Today is last day of $10 off $10 at JC Penney’s which I will redeem for a piece of sale merchandise of some sort for husband.
4. Giving both kids grocery gift certs for Valentines Day – frugal and practical!
5. Dinner out at favorite Chinese Restaurant Saturday evening. Enough leftovers for another meal plus gifted two pieces of cheesecake by management.


Mama February 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Instead of buying salt for my driveway I chipped away at it for hours


Bethany February 16, 2016 at 11:50 am

1. My neighbors just moved and they left a bunch of stuff by their trash can. Mostly trash, but some great chairs and a set of water skis. The chairs got grabbed fast, but the water skis were still there when I got home last night. I plan to sell them on craigslist.
2. My ankle’s twisted and I was thinking of renewing my YMCA membership for the pool since I can’t exercise other ways, when I thought to google. It turns out Metro pools are free during certain hours for lap swimming.
3. I brought my lunch two days this week and will eat at home tonight before heading out to Bible study at Panera. I will also let myself have dessert or hot chocolate at home so I won’t be tempted by all the pastries.
4. I renewed a bunch of library books today and made a list of ones about to be due so as to avoid fines.
5. I am researching low cost activities to do with out of town friends this weekend, rather than doing pricey things just because they’re “local.”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: