Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 7, 2016 · 77 comments

  1. I worked Saturday and practiced my regular frugal routine of bringing my own lunch and drinking the free crappy coffee. My back had been bothering me the day before, but that’s a common occurrence so I didn’t give it a second thought. However, my back got worse and worse as the day drew on until I could no longer stand in an upright position. Luckily my patient delivered somewhat early in the shift, so I was still able to continue as her nurse, even if it was in an awkward and stooped position. My charge nurse encouraged me to go home, but I chose to finish out my shift sitting in front of the computer catching up on continuing education. The way I saw it, I could either be in pain at work or in pain at home. At least I’d be paid at work.
  2. I lay flat in bed yesterday, which is kind of a blur although there are some vague memories of shuffling to the kitchen for Ibuprofen. There was much watching of TV, and I started on the Amazon series Mozart in The Jungle as Netflix wouldn’t load. (Excellent show, I highly recommend it!) How is this frugal? I share an Amazon Prime account with my mother.
  3. I kind of assumed that restaurant takeout would seep into the weekend as my husband’s days were already full, but instead he prepared frozen pierogis with a salad. This made me happy since we’ll be hosting a Japanese exchange student next week and we’ll definitely be eating out a time or two.
  4. I’ll be setting up the new full-size bed in my son’s room later this week, but needed to source a set of sheets. I posted on my Buy Nothing Group that I was looking for double sheets and got a reply from someone who’d bought a set and washed them before realizing that her bed was actually a queen. Bummer for her, but hooray for me!
  5. I signed up for a required three-hour class this Friday. I’ll see if the unit needs an extra nurse afterwards as I did call in sick today. (I get zero sick pay as I’m a per diem employee.) I’ll already be in the building, so I might as well.

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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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie March 7, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I’m so sorry about your back, and I hope you’re feeling better soon! I can sympathize as one sufferer to another, since I took a hard fall more or less directly on my writing/computer hand Thursday evening and have not been 100% since. (I did go to urgent care Saturday a.m. and get x-rays to verify that nothing was broken–and I am managing to type with a wrist brace, as you can see. Not so easy to do what you do at the hospital with a bad back.)

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Megg March 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I needed certain beanie babies for my preschool class (26 in all) so I asked on my local buy nothing group and got 12 of the animals I needed. The girl was thrilled they’d be used, and I was thrilled she still had them lying around. I bought 7 more at goodwill for $6.50.

I brought my lunch to work instead of buying and will be served dinner at a staff meeting tonight.

We opened up our garage to friends who are in the process of moving and needed short-term storage. Not frugal for us necessarily but frugal and helpful for them!

We played games with friends this weekend. All food was provided and we didn’t partake in pizza when it was ordered (there were enough finger foods).

I didn’t buy a Lear jet.

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Tammy Brackett March 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

1. I truly thought my 11 year old printer was kaput when it stopped printing after I inserted a new cartridge. The orange warning light wouldn’t go off. After speaking with Son#2 about the possibilities of a bad ink cartridge, I decided to return the cartridge to Office Max and ask if I could have gotten a bad cartridge. I explained the situation and was soon on my way with a new print cartridge which solved my problems. No new printer!
2. I sewed my boyfriend’s car cover back together at the corners where it had come undone. I used heavy duty twine thread and a tapestry needle. No new car cover!
3. I purchased two plastic votive candles for my altar space at Rite Aid for 90% off after Christmas. I love them even though they are plastic. They light up in various colors and they provide just the right amount of glow without a real candle. When one burned out, instead of ditching it, I checked the battery and discovered I could easily buy a pack of button batteries at the dollar store and continue to use my lovely candles. No NEW plastic!
4. I continue to make my own bread and dog snacks. I’ve discovered I can make a very good load of French Bread WITHOUT a food processor (I don’t own a mixer.) This has made me really happy as my food processor is at least 25 years old and on its last leg. I can knock out a loaf of bread every other morning and I make dog treats once a week. No store bought bread or dog treats for us!
5. I did not buy a Lear Jet.

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Lindsey March 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

1. Resisted buying a newly released book and instead got on the wait list for it at the library.
2. Instead of stopping at a fast food joint for dinner one night, came home and ate a variety of small amounts of leftovers from the fridge.
3. Made bread instead of buying it.
4. Used a free Redbox code this weekend
5. Had a coupon for $1 off every gallon of gas, up to 50 gallons. Although it was a pain, husband and I drove both vehicles (one an old truck we only use to haul dirt or wood) to the gas station, plus two five gallon gas cans, and were able to fill both vehicles and the cans for $1.29 a gallon!
6. Disputed a hospital bill and ended up being reimbursed $166 for a duplicate charge.

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Krystal March 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

I hope your back gets to feeling better! I have struggled with back issues on and off for the past decade, it’s absolutely frustrating when you are in a lot of pain, but glad you could finish your shift!

1) I have been on a roll meal planning with no existing ingredients going to waste. This always saves a couple dollars here and there for every meal
2) Clicking around for extra air miles promotions (had to send flowers for my job to a colleague, went through my e-miles site). I travel often for work, and love to travel for pleasure, so free miles are solid for me. I use miles for about half of my personal travel now.
3) Batched errands yesterday, including dropping of donations at Goodwill and not leaving until I had a receipt for my deductions. Filled up at the cheapest gas station in the neighborhood, bought only what my pets NEEDED at the pet food store (and one $2 treat for the dog–who has been such a good boy throughout the past several months of losing one cat and gaining 2 more).
4) Checked grocery receipts for Ibotta rebates to get to my $20 minimum, and am using my 10% off coupon on my bigger grocery trip (if you save your receipt, you can apply it at any time throughout the month).
5) We cracked down on our dining out this month, but are able to try a new place or two through a city-wide prix fix special event this month. Shaving about a third off our budget this month and still finding cheap(er) ways to have date night!

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Bettypants March 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

1. I sold the stoneware pan on ebay that my coworker had given me. Also sold a lot of children’s books that I had relisted several times. Walked to the post office today to drop both packages off.
2. Several people commented on items in my local FB album on Saturday, and I was super excited. But then only one person actually picked up on Sunday. Oh well, still got rid of a shirt that was quite unflattering on me.
3. Currently reading the new Marie Kondo book “Spark Joy” from the library. Although it is very similar to her first book, and sometimes ridiculous, I am still feeling motivated to get rid of more things.
4. The drawstring came out of my son’s hoodie in the wash, and I showed him how to thread it back through himself with a safety pin. I know that’s not really frugal, but I have several adult friends who are incapable of making simple clothing fixes. I don’t want him to be one.
5. Have been listening to podcasts at work to make my OT less boring.

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Elizabeth March 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for mentioning Mozart in the Jungle. I forgot that my son told me I’d probably enjoy that one, so I’ll check it out.

I’m so far behind on your blogs, but look forward to catching up this week! I need my frugal fix!

I hope you’re back is feeling better soon. Total empathy from here.

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Sandy March 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

I spent Monday through Friday serving on a jury. Took my lunch everyday but one. Coffee was provided and there was a fridge in the jury room, so I took a small jar of my favorite coffee creamer, only yucky powdered creamer was provided.
One non-nca thing, though, I had a real fork in my lunch bag which wasn’t allowed! I had to throw away a fork from our everyday silverware. NOWHERE in the paper work was it indicated that dorks were forbidden, I was not a happy camper! Also, the security people said nothing about the GLASS jars in my lunch bag! My cloth napkin raised no eyebrows!

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pattilou March 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Katy, I hope your back feels better.
1. Went to a friends for dinner and to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey. My contribution was a salad that only cost 1.99.
2. I’m roasting a chicken for meals for the week. The chicken was a Bogo deal so I have another one in the freezer.
3. I made cookies and muffins to take to work as a treat for my staff because we have some long days ahead.
4. I went for a walk for free exercise. Listened to podcasts and I found 9 cents.
5. Had a work provided dinner this past weekend.

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Jennifer March 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm

1. Found a basket at Walgreens full of Chapsticks, nail polishes, lipglosses, eyelashes curlers, etc. for 25 cents per item. This was great because I have 3 girls and Easter is around the corner. I don’t like to give much candy and my girls love all of this stuff. Cheaper than the dollar tree!
2. Reorganized my girls clothes closet. It’s sorta a non traditional closet. I have all of their clothes, accessories, shoes, etc in one walk-in closet together so when I have to put up laundry I only have one place to go to. I have a bad back so I avoid going upstairs daily to put up my kids things in their rooms. I use the closets in their rooms for storing other lesser used things. The frugal part- I keep their clothes on hanging rods from the size they are in now at the beginning with the varying sizes they will grow into on the far end moving them down as needed. This way I can buy used clothes for them to grow into and not forget them because they are organized by size and very visible. I don’t put away summer clothes in the winter either because our weather here is shorts today then coats tomorrow. Wordy to explain but this is a really great method as it has completely simplified clothing/laundry for me so I try to tell anyone I think it will help. I am not a very organized person but that closet is the best organizational method I have ever come up with.
3. I have several big orange bell peppers that I am dicing up to freeze. They are beginning to wrinkle some and I don’t want them to ruin. Was going to use them tonight but I got a great deal on a pizza today and we will have leftovers tonight. No cooking for me, yay!
4. I found a recipe for the Pioneer Women’s breakfast burritos. I am going to make several to freeze for our spring break trip. Should be perfect to microwave for breakfast so we can avoid eating breakfast out. I still have a lot of eggs so these will be a great way to make use of those.
5. Found my daughter some cute shirts at a Goodwill equivalent store in my area that was having 30% off for nurses for one day only. I struggled to come up with proof that I was actually a nurse. I finally found a CPR card in my purse so they accepted that. I haven’t worked as a RN for a little bit because I am helping my husband who is sick with our business but I am going to be working again soon a little bit to keep my licensure.

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Jen T March 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I love the closet idea! I remember when my kids were younger I would forget clothes I had saved and by the time I found them they were too small! It would make me crazy

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Jennifer March 8, 2016 at 9:53 am

Also, my kids would tear down the clothes I put in their closets upstairs or they would fall down because they would play in the closet which was so disheartening after I worked so hard to get things organized. Now I store boring things, like the Christmas tree, in their closet and they never bother it.

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Monica March 8, 2016 at 8:53 am

Kudos on the closet idea!

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Jennifer March 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

Thanks so much! I feel like that closet idea has been life changing. Sometimes the normal way for everybody doesn’t always work for each individual household.It helped me simplify things and keep me from forgetting what we had. I wasn’t saving money if I buy the things then forget about them but now it just doesn’t happen anymore. Hope this helps some else out there!

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Laura March 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

I really agree that we should think outside the box with home organisation. When I moved to a place with a low pull out drawer under the small dishwasher for pots I found it completely annoying and hard on the back to get things out. I repurposed that drawer for my dry goods (rice, beans, lentils, soup mixes etc) I label the jar tops – it works far better like this for me.

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Loretta March 7, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Back pain is no fun. Have just come out of a blur of pain from it which lasted 2 weeks. Very Strong Painkillers were my friend. Realised that I *need* monthly physio massages, and weekly yoga to keep it at bay as I am no longer a spring chicken at 49:-)

1. Drank my daughter’s leftover smoothie and had leftover gingerbread pancakes and stewed apple for breakfast.

2. Hung 2 loads of washing on the line as it is going to be hot today.

3. This is a potential frugal thing: I’m going to ask the local nursery of they would like to barter with me as I have some excess plants which are apparently in great demand around here. Never done anything like that before, so feel very nervous!

4. Made delicious banana bread with some frozen bananas which were lurking in the freezer, for the kids’ school lunches.

5. Am batching all my errands today when I drive into town so I don’t have to drive tomorrow. (Plus doing my first Mystery Shop, which should be interesting…)

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Jennifer March 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm

I forgot to say sorry about your back, Katy! I completely understand. When I was pregnant I turned over in my bed in the middle of the night and had immediate searing back pain. I lost my bladder function and had foot drop. I have never been the same since. That was almost 4 years ago and while I am much better now I still have issues. The back problem started many years before that pregnancy when I helped a morbidly obese patient reposition herself in the bed. Big mistake on my part, I should have asked for help but everybody was so busy I just did it by myself. From one nurse to another, take care of yourself first.

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Ruth March 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm

Nursing is hard on or backs, I’ve recently been seeing an osteopath in the hope she can help out with my back pain

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Jill A March 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Sorry your back is hurting. Hope it’s better soon.

1. Volunteered to help build rabbit habitat on state land Saturday with husband and daughter. Free lunch and t shirt. Cheap family time and got to spend it outside on a beautiful day.
2. Rented a redbox to watch sunday since we were too tired to do anything else.
3. Husband got free hockey tickets from work for tomorrow night.
4. Researching cheap smart phones and plans for daughters.
5. Changed hotel reservations for this summers vacation saving $140.

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IsabelI March 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Commiserations to all the back pain sufferers! How common it is ….. Me too! Am an ex nurse! Take care everyone! Wonderful and inspiring hints and lives as usual! Kept up my frugal habits in keeping with my life style! Xxx

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Kristen March 7, 2016 at 3:13 pm

I hope your back is up and running again soon!

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LisaC March 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm

1. Bought a lot of fresh veggies and cut them up for snacking, putting them mixed together into 6 small containers in the fridge.
2. Made potato soup, but first boiled the veggie “scraps” (broccoli stems, celery leaves, etc) until soft and mashed them to put into the soup. It made it a wierd green color but tasted so good and added vitamins to the soup.
3. Went to my SIL’s house, she fed me dinner and wine in exchange for teaching her how to do some things on her computer.
4. Wanted to buy a new suit for an upcoming interview. Instead, looked at what I own. My skirt suit needed a hook-eye thing, so I cut one off of a skirt I was donating, sewed it on to my skirt.
5. Thought I needed a new blouse to go with the suit. Instead, I looked at my scarves for inspiration, found one with a color that matched my suit, then looked at the other colors, and found a blouse shell I already owned that matched the scarf. I have a “new” interview outfit for no money. If it weren’t for the scarf I never would have put maroon and brown together but it looks nice.

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Bee March 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Hope you are better soon, Katy.
1) I picked up a side job and worked six days in a row, so there was no time for recreational spending. I brought my lunch, coffee and water every day. I also car pooled 2 of the 6 days!!!
2) I was able to purchase secondhand, glass storage containers with resealable lids today at a fraction of retail. They are perfect for holding and reheating leftovers without the worry of the environmental or health problems associated with plastic.
3) Despite my long work week, we cooked at home 5 out 6 nights. They night we ate out was planned as we were celebrating a family birthday.
4) I am trying to get rid of bits and pieces this week. I am having house guest beginning Friday and through the weekend. I will have to do some menu planning.
5) I worked in my garage today. I am trying to clean it out. I took some items to Goodwill. Making better use of this space is thrifty.

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Mand01 March 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Back pain is awful- hope it gets better soon!
1. I’ve put on weight and I’m instituting my own calorie counting regime to lose 2kg. So far I’ve lost 1kg.
2. We’ve started planning our front garden. We have so far done it all ourselves and on the cheap, except for the removal of some trees.
3. I made Hot Cross Buns this weekend
4. I gave all of my shoes a good cleaning on Sunday. Keeping them clean helps them last longer and keeps my appearance looking better. This makes me feel better
5. Reading books from the library

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kathleen March 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

1. Made from-scratch banana cake for family using up all the too-ripe bananas.
2. Making a fabulous (well, yummy and nourishing, at least) supper from odds and ends from freezer.
3. Delayed visits to chiropractor and recycle center, so we can take care of them while visiting CPA and make the 40 mile trip just once.
4. The hubs received annual bonus this week…saving instead of splurging.
5. Postponing replacing printer as long as absolutely possible.

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Madeline March 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm

5 FRUGAL THINGS:

1. I used up some frozen brown rice .Made Lentil Dal to serve over it for dinner,and have enough for a lunch also.

2. Saved the leftover coffee in refrig. and will heat it up in the morning instead of brewing more.

3. Cleaned out my craft room so I am not tempted to buy any more supplies..as I can SEE WHAT I HAVE NOW!! I save money all year round on greeting cards..my hobby is fun,uses mostly recycled supplies, and provides me with a way to give cards for mostly free.I also make small bags of card sets to give as gifts all year long instead of buying presents. Friends LOVE homemade!!

4. Got my husband to paint my toenails so I could skip the salon pedicure!! He’s really good at it! I used to go to the salon a few times a year but no more!

5. Colored my own hair with box of L’Oreal.It was on sale 2 boxes for $14 and I had a FIVE DOLLAR OFF coupon if I bought two!! SCORE!!

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Lindsey March 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

I have a friend who gives me a box of her homemade cards every Christmas and on my birthday and I love it! They are lovely and make my life more frugal because I use them up before I buy any cards.

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Is it a need or a want March 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm

I have a friend who scrapbooks and gives me cards also on my birthday.
My children are adults now and to wean her off giving them gifts. (It was time).I had her give gifts from her home as they were downsizing . Last Christmas she gave nativity scenes from the collection she had created over the years.

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Ruby March 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm

1. My husband’s need for new shoes happened to correspond with receiving an Amazon coupon for 20 percent off shoe or clothing orders of $100 or more. It saved us $23. I had though we’d never use it and had thrown it away, then had to dig it out of the trash to use it. Literally trash to treasure! 🙂
2. Made baked goods for a fundraiser at work. Was a banana short of the three needed for banana bread and substituted a cup of chopped dates. It turns out banana-date bread is crazy delicious and it was a big hit.
3. Took leftovers and drinks from home for my lunch for work.
4. Did laundry over the weekend and had the drying rack hung full of towels and bath mats to save a lot of expensive time in the dryer.
5. Cut my son’s hair Saturday, saving $15 plus a tip. He has thick, curly hair, so it’s easy to cut.
Frugal fail: Got a $20 parking ticket at work because my pass wasn’t displayed correctly. I am going to see if my boss can intervene and get it forgiven for me, since the pass was on the dashboard but had slipped toward one side due to the way the car’s interior is designed.

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Jennifer March 8, 2016 at 10:24 am

2. I the exact same thing except I put half a cooked sweet potato in mine. It was delicious! Banana bread is so forgiving.

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Ruby March 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

Banana and pear is delicious together too.

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janine March 7, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Katy: back problems are the worst! Hope it all gets better soon.
1. Renewed Costco membership with husband. It is on his way to work and he will take advantage of lower gas prices.
2. Disputed a $5.99 charge on a grocery bill and they were accommodating.
(was charged for item that I didn’t buy.) I have an overcharge at another store – didn’t get the coupon price although I handed in the coupon. It was late at night and cashier would not (or did not know how to0 credit me the difference in price.) Tomorrow I will talk to customer service during regular hours. I rarely dispute this stuff, but it is happening much more frequently at a certain chain in our area so I am going to take a stand even though the actual dollar amount is small.
3. Spent yesterday afternoon at Home and Garden Show in small town outside of city. Free admittance and parking along with vendors who were very willing to chat about their products. in a more relaxed atmosphere. Didn’t buy anything, but had some good conversations.
4. Drove friends to Home and Garden Show who paid for my lunch afterwards.
5. Making soup from leftovers – always an interesting experiment!

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Melinda March 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

1. I mended a sheet and is now good as new!

2. I colored my hair myself instead of having it professionally done. It doesn’t look as good but I did save quite a bit!

3. I found 10 cents on the ground.

4. I cooked extra chicken for supper tonight to take for lunch for the next two days at work.

5. As usual I took my lunches, drinks and snacks to work.

I hope your back gets better!

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Madeline March 9, 2016 at 8:31 am

I actually used to get my hair colored at the salon years ago but their results were never just the right shade for me.. I like the results I get with L’Oreal better! It also makes my hair very shiny and silky! Maybe experiment with different shades? I vary between Medium Golden brown and Medium Maple Brown.. gives nice highlights! With coupon I rarely pay more than $6 a box!!

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Melinda March 10, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Thanks for your reply! Yes, maybe I need to try experimenting with something different. It is a huge savings doing it myself!

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Elizabeth March 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

1. – my favorite frugal thing of the week so far is the clothing and accessory swap party I went to. I brought four big bags. What’s left from those bags I’m going to take to goodwill. And I came home with some great stuff: 4 scarves, 4 bracelets, 3 necklaces, one tote bag, one gym bag, one cosmetics bag, one big purse, one shirt, one dress, two pairs of shoes, two gym headbands, Avon foot lotion, a belt and a water bottle. Awesome stuff for free! I got to declutter my closet with clothes I no longer wear, gift some of those clothes to my friends and pick up some of their “new-to-me” clothes!
2. – very little food waste. My daughter cracked two eggs thinking she wanted to make scrambled eggs but decided on pancakes instead. I took those eggs and scrambled them with the rest of the leftover potatoes for a yummy breakfast for myself and no food went to waste. Used bananas that had gone bad and some chocolate chips my aunt had leftover from Christmas and gave to me to make chocolate chip banana bread. Had a rotisserie chicken the other night and I made a yummy chicken pot pie with the leftovers. We had baked ziti last night and my kids both took the leftovers to school in thermos’ for lunch.
3.- dropped off the leftover bags from the swap at the thrift store and saw that they were having a 50% off clothing sale. I picked up 3 skirts, a fleece, a sweater and a shirt for $17.
4.- I have my husband (who is normally more of a spender than myself) to thank for this one. Since he was home today I asked him if he wanted to go out and get lunch with me. He said no because we had food in the house and didn’t need to spend money on going out to eat. We ended up making lunch with what we had and eating it together and enjoying a little time together.
5.- we were guests at a chef-cooked dinner party. My friend moved and wanted to have a dinner to thank people that helped with the move. The food was great and I brought an appetizer (spanakopita) that I had in the freezer from making before so it didn’t cost me anything.

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Bethski March 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm

1. Filled three empty copy paper boxes with stuff for the Thrift Store appointment tonight. Excited three more boxes of stuff gone and hopefully money for daughters braces fund. Parted with many things had not used in years, some sadly had never been used and were brand new. Saw lots of things at the thrift store I liked but said no. Booked my next appointment for early May.

2. Used a $10 free gift card for my favorite store for my birthday.Walked around enjoying the free coffee and cookie the store provides.

3. Did five loads of laundry and air dried in the house over the weekend.

4. Used a coupon for B1G1 free at Subway for daughter and I since we busted butt getting the Thrift Store stuff together after work until after 7PM and got a free cookie from doing the survey on the receipt, cost less than $5.

5. Got cash at Costco for $1.64 instead of $1.84 at other gas stations.

6. Daughter and I went to Red Robin Saturday and used our free bday cheeseburger meals and bday desserts, delicious! Gonna be sad when our bdays are over. 😉 We even took home some fries which I turned into chili fries for lunch today.

7. Managed to bank my med insurance reimbursement BEFORE the credit card payment is due I had charged the expense, garnering a little interest.

8. Took daughter to the CU and turned in coins saved so far for vacation fund using the free coin counting machine. Withdrew money I had in the account and will take to another CU so I can earn interest on it as this CU requires a high min. balance to get interest. Also because it was daughters bday she got to dig in to a fake change jar. The bank then counts what she was able to grab and deposits to her account. She grabbed over $10 in one hand! Great program and money will be saved for her 8th grade trip to Washing DC. She also deposited $6 from her share of dog walking money. She is definitely getting the message to save for things she wants since we started this account a year ago for the trip and still have another year to go.

9. Booked an extra dog walk this weekend. The two walks will pay for the tank of gas I will use this weekend for a 3 hour drive.

10. While daughter stayed at a friend overnight this weekend I watched two Redbox movies for my “Mom’s Night Off” using two codes – only paid 25 cents, gotta love it! I got R & R and she had fun at the friends, plus she ate at their house.

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Florencia March 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

1. After having waited for a long time for legal paperwork to be done, I should be able to apply to any job I want by the end of this month. I’ll have a better, higher paying job in something I like and will be able to use my technical degree. 🙂 I had to leave 45 minutes earlier from work to finish the last step, but the sooner I got it done, the sooner I can apply to the jobs.
2. Ate lunch and breakfast at work today, for free.
3. Haven’t paid to eat out so far this year. My mom and I were tempted on Saturday, on the way home from running errands, but resisted.
4. Attended a solar panel sales rep classes a couple of days for a new company that’s coming into my state. I’m not sure if I’d like to work doing that, but it never hurts to go check it out. Fed me cookies Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning.
5. Went grocery shopping with my mom on Saturday. Bought marked down ground beef (w/ coupon), marked down lemons, sour cream (w/ coupon), a few sales items and my Kroger freebies.
6. Found a penny and a whole bunch of change at work.
7. Started watering down my conditioner. It takes more work to brush my hair, but hey, that’s money saved. With long hair I use A LOT.

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Isabelle March 7, 2016 at 7:13 pm

* Eating less
* Reusing specialties tea bags (good twice)
* Making lunchs for husband and daughter everyday
* Looking at registering daughter to the summer city camp at 100$/week instead of specialized camps running around 200-250$/week. Hopefully we will get spots.
* Just gained a forth annual week of paid vacations at work after 7.5 years there.

Have a great frugal day!

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Juniper Sky March 7, 2016 at 8:48 pm

I never eat at restaurants. It is the biggest waste out there that people seem to overlook. The food is (usually) high in salt and fat and far too expensive. So this week I planted the snowpeas for salads and my own stirfrys. As I get older, smaller portions, use leftovers, take my own lunch.
Coffee: reuseable kerig cup
Water: tap
Clothes: I have it down to about 15-20 work items. Goal: 10

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Teri March 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm

1. Picked free grapefruit at resort to take home-a nice bag full, and they encourage guests to do this!
2. Used free Chipotle coupons for dinner last night.
3. Bought a dress at Goodwill for 1/2 price will resale on eBay for profit–sold two items this week for decent profit.
4. Filled up rental car with cheapest gas at Costco before returning and got the $1.50 hot dog/soda for a cheap dinner, after which we enjoyed a free piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. (saved my coupons to use on this anniversary trip)
5. Watched in-room movie which worked out to 1/2 price traditional price tickets

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Marilyn March 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Katy, sorry to hear your back is bothering you. Hope it’s better soon. Take care.

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Lee March 7, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Ugh, I am sorry about your back. I hope you’re feeling better soon. That is miserable (I’ve had sciatica a couple of times and truly would only wish it on my worst enemy).

1) My daughter continued to carpool to her theater activities; I drove one night and other parents drove the other four nights. We all saved gas and time.

2) I ate lunch free at work and drank the free coffee for the past 5 work days. I also brought home some leftover snacks for my family.

3) I showered regularly at the gym, which provides towels and body wash (and electricity for the hairdryer!).

4) We cooked dinner at home every night, including the weekend.

5) Not free, but non-consumerish: I gave my mother her holiday present, a trip to the opera. We had a wonderful time together.

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Joyce March 8, 2016 at 4:22 am

You do crack me up when you mention crappy hospital coffee. I am an administrative assistant in an ICU and also drink the free coffee. That need for the first cup in the morning seems to take a bit of the crappiness out of it if you know what I mean. I drink half decaf half regular so the crappibess is one and a half times more crappy. Lol.

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Allison March 8, 2016 at 5:59 am

1. Had my best friend visit this weekend. Used a coupon for lunch (she ended up treating because she is awesome) but I purposefully chose the restaurant because they have coupons available (it’s a local Mexican place, not a chain).

2. Got gas on Tuesday at Shell, when premium gas is discounted.

3. Resisted the urge to buy candy when I was craving chocolate.

4. Purchased shampoo and conditioner from the Dollar Tree, $1 each obviously.

5. Bought a watercolor starter set at Joann’s 1/2 off with coupon. I’ve been wanting to try a new hobby. I’m liking it so far and I love that the set was only about $4-5 to start with, so I can see if I like it before I purchase more expensive/quality materials.

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Gina March 9, 2016 at 4:43 am

I also bought a paint set with the coupon! Only I decided to try acrylics. Good luck with the new hobby!

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AN March 8, 2016 at 6:36 am

1. Had regular maintenance work done on my car this morning. I was able to use a coupon and received a $20 gift card for the next visit. They also gave me a free car wash, which was great!
2. My treadmill quit working last night while I was using it. It’s been working off and on lately and I’ve tried everything in the manual to make it start working again. Rather than quitting, I simply got my hand weights out and used those and did some body weight training.
3. Volunteered last night with some friends at church. Two of us carpooled and we had a good time without spending any money.
4. About a month ago, I had some whipping cream that was about to expire. I made a double batch of scones and experimented with freezing some of them. I’m pleased to say that I enjoyed one for breakfast this morning and the freezing didn’t affect the scones at all!
5. Free Starbucks coffee at the car place this morning, and I was able to get some work done for my second job while waiting for my car.

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Ruth March 11, 2016 at 12:30 am

My treadmill died one day, I thought about buying a new one but decided to see how much it would cost to repair…it was a fraction of the cost

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Tish March 8, 2016 at 8:10 am

Cooked meals at home and resisted urge to not cook. Made big batches of chili and mini meatloaves for future easy freezer meals and used up a bunch of odds and ends in each.

Took my teen to the mall to return a few Christmas items (can’t believe it is already March), did not get anything extra.

Worked on taxes, we pay a CPA for the business taxes, but I do our personal myself. Complicated this year due to two state returns, rental house and moving expenses.

Had a new charging portal put in my teen’s cast off iphone 4S. My cheapo smartphone was three years old and had all but stopped working. Downloaded mobisave and ibotta, I’ll see how easy they are to use. I like the idea of money back on milk, meat, veggies and other basics that are my main grocery purchases.

Paid all my bills online as usual, saving paper checks, envelopes and stamps.

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MW March 8, 2016 at 8:29 am

Bad backs are the worst. When I used to work on my feet, the chiropractor became a part of my budget.

– Figured out my own taxes (for the first time in 10 years). It took longer than it should have, but it was a good learning experience (my usual line for painful stuff).
– Roasted a chicken over the weekend. My husband is making enchiladas for dinner with the left overs. I unearthed some frozen beans, so I’ll make refried beans and saute some chard.
– My mother-in-law is sending Easter outfits for my two boys, so I crossed that off my “to find” list at thrift stores. I figure that will take care of summer dress up needs.
– My dad’s wife is going to help me alter a 1960’s dress to work with my lack of hips. I’m nervous about cutting in to such a nice dress without a bit of knowledgeable help. If it pans out, I’ll have a classy Easter dress/ summer dress.
– Still using my free bus pass, bringing my lunch every day and bringing my own tea bags to work.

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cathy March 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

1. We closed on the refi of our mortgage, and will be saving ~$325/month!!
2. Husband’s doctor wants him on a new medication that is usually VERY expensive. The manufacturer has a special coupon that we thought was going to bring it down to $5/pill (~$150/month). It turns out it’s just a $5 monthly co-pay!
3. Treated ourselves to take-out last night using two gift cards (given to us).
4. Continuing to carpool with neighbors to get our kids to/from school; husband takes bus to work most days, and rides with pass provided free by employer.
5. Enjoying reading a stack of lovely coffee table books and armchair travel I checked out from the library.

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priskill March 9, 2016 at 7:18 am

#1 — wow — nice!

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cathy March 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

Thanks! We actually had a good interest rate, so we needed to wait until we could get a phenomenal one to make the refi worth it. That and waiting for the market to rebound 🙂

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Vickie March 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

OUCH!! I’m sorry you’re down in your back, Katy. I hope it gets better soon!

1) I ate a bun-less hot dog for dinner last night – no garnishes. I had a full lunch and wasn’t very hungry.
2) I bought gas on the way home. The station closer to my house was actually cheaper than the one close to where I ate lunch yesterday afternoon – that’s new.
3) Hubby has my car today, since his is at the mechanics. That should save him gas, as his vehicle is a Jeep Cherokee. He usually fills my tank back up though, so it’s all good.
4) I started another audiobook, from the Library, about the history of the Pacific ring. I learn more now that I ever did in History class!
5) Several friends and coworkers have come down with a cold bordering on bronchitis. I keep drinking my daily Emergen-C packet everyday, hoping to fend off any germs and such. Hopefully I won’t catch what’s going around. I’ve had a few sinus headaches, but I take allergy meds when that happens. I do NOT want to pay for a doctor’s visit.

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Lesley March 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

After reading Wheat Belly, I eat bunless hot dogs as well as burgers! Love saying goodbye to bloating.

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JD March 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

1. Lunch is leftovers, as it is 99% of my workdays and Saturdays.
2. I trimmed my own bangs again last night. The cheapest I can get them trimmed at a salon is $10, just for bangs, so I cut my own.
3. We’re having good weather, so I’ve been drying the laundry outside instead of on my drying rack inside — to me, it’s quicker and fresher to hang them outside. However, it can be hazardous! I placed a pair of folded jeans in my dresser only to hear a loud, ominous buzzing. Turns out I had folded a bumble bee in with my jeans!
4. I resisted the siren song of dark chocolate while at the store buying groceries.
5. I cooked a roast from a locally raised happy pig, which came with a thick layer of fat on one side. I sliced off the fat before cooking, cut it up and rendered it in my small crockpot. Today I have lovely pure white lard, perfect for biscuits, pie crusts, or frying.

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Katy March 8, 2016 at 10:36 am

Wow, that’s kind of funny!

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JD March 9, 2016 at 7:30 am

It was funny, once I got over the unnerved feeling I got when I heard the angry bzzzzzzzzzzzzz! I confess I made my husband get my jeans back out to get the bee out.

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Anne March 9, 2016 at 7:34 am

I have a serious phobia about bees. I may never dry anything outside again. 😀

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Diane C March 10, 2016 at 6:54 am

Re: #2 – I trimmed my bangs yesterday too. I considered it convenient, not frugal. Duh! Nice when the easier option is also a money saver.

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Jennifer March 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

#5 Great idea on something that might otherwise be thrown out and will give nice flavor!

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JD March 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

And it’s so easy — just slow cook the fat until you get as much liquid as it looks like you will get, after a few hours in the crockpot, then strain into a heatproof container and store in the refrigerator. And sometimes we get enough cracklings to make crackling corn bread.

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Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life March 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Hope you are feeling a bit better!

1. Being at home the past week is making me catch up on housework and lost art projects. It’s been keeping me occupied and gas in my tank.
2. TV! Which has been great because my bf works some long days and it makes for a great break between the quiet hours of reading. I count it as a frugal activity due to the fact that we get internet and cable for free, so it makes for a cheap fun activity to fit in.
3. Home cooked meals. My mom came up this weekend to buy some groceries for me and cook some hearty meals for the week.

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Jill March 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I’m sorry that your back is bothering you. Take care of yourself!

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Amy March 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

So sorry about your back!!! OUCH! Hope you are feeling better today!

1. Went grocery shopping last night. Stayed under budget and earned another 9 cents off per gallon at the gas station.
2. Hubs talked me out of the family eating out. LOL I was caving hard and craving Chinese, but he stood firm! 🙂
3. Making a new batch of homemade laundry soap tomorrow (I know there is controversy about this on the FB page, but we have used it for 10 years and I am convinced it works well for us. )
4. Accidentally bought a book ($11.99) for Kindle on my Amazon account. I realized it immediately but it was already showing on my bank account (FAST SERVICE!) I called them and they took care of it. By the next day the amount had been put back into my account.
5. Cancelled a subscription we realized we weren’t using and just wasn’t worth the money to us anymore. $19.95 a month back in my pocket.

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tonya parham March 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

I don’t know how frugal these are, but the felt frugal to me…

1. Decided to go over spring break to a cabin at a state park since my wife gets a 50% discount during the off season. Two nights in nature for $102!

2. Took groceries from home with about $25 of other food (bacon, eggs, bread, oj, and some fruit) to eat for the 5 meals (one breakfast, one dinner, then one full day of meals) we’d have there.

3. Hiked for 5 1/2 hours yesterday…ended up walking 8 miles of uphill, downhill, through swampy bogs, and over some lakes. I don’t know that it’s frugal but it didn’t cost anything and today I’m so tired I couldn’t go spend money if I wanted to! I figure it’s also very good for my body and my health. My back, though super sore, is completely knot free which is something it hasn’t been in years! Cheaper than a massage!

4. We did stop on the way home for tranditional country ham, eggs, grits, and biscuit meal. It was $22 for us both and there was plenty of ham to bring home for another meal.

5. Brought home all the food we took to the cabin and I unpacked it as soon as we got home. (There’s still plenty of bacon and eggs and about half the container of oj.)

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LisaC March 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

I think all of those are very frugal! Plus, you spent time together, I love that. Knowing personally how expensive divorce is, I am investing in my marriage now. You inspired me to plan a trip away, thank you.

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tonya parham March 9, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Awww! Thanks! And that is true. We had a good time and we both freaked out during our hike at different times (tears of sheer exhaustion for me and complete panic attack for her sure we were lost in the woods) but were super supportive and really were great for each other!

I hope you post and let us know where you go! (and how you save money doing it!)

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Gina in KY March 9, 2016 at 5:21 pm

#1 wonderful for the mind and spirit and a lot cheaper than therapy! 🙂

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tonya parham March 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm

AMEN! And you know, here in TN and up your way in KY is some beautiful country!

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Gina in KY March 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

It is wonderful county! 🙂

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Randi March 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

We didnt buy a 480k house. Seriously. We were so close to making an offer but I was sick to my stomach and having a panic attack and it didnt feel right( and very rushed) so I said to my spouse. I really don’t think the time is right. Let’s pay off our small debts first and save more and maybe next year will be better.

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Lesley March 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

Wise move listening to your body.

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Michele March 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

Bummer about your back. I have a “carseat injury”to my back that flares up occasionally and the baby is 14!
1. Just spent 41 minutes on the phone to save money on satellite and internet service, but saved $600 a year. Woo Hoo!
2. Cooked down some chicken thighs to shred and used the broth to make chicken and rice soup.
3. Repaired a bra with a torture wire. Before reading the NCA, I would’ve thrown it out.
4. Have been planning meals and keeping within my $20/day or $600 a month grocery budget.
5. Putting $1000 of our tax refund into an emergency fund. We used to just blow it. The rest is going to our highest interest debt.

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Katy March 10, 2016 at 7:21 am

“Torture wire?” I’m totally stealing that term!

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Su Mama March 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

1. Called Comcast to cancel phone service at our two guest houses, only to learn that because of the package we were using, doing that would actually RAISE our bill. But the nice guy on the phone fixed me up with a new package including the never-used phones (sigh!), with added features including a Netflix-type thing — and costing $34 less each month for each house — over $800 annual savings. I knew renegotiating cable bills could save $$, but wow!

2. I love writing with fountain pens, and have four Waterman pens. But I haven’t been able to find any of the little pump thingies you use to flush out the old ink residue. I was seriously on the cusp of ordering a new pen (gee, only $71!), but decided to look once again for a pump thingy. And I found one — where I’d looked for it a dozen times. (Don’t tell ME such things are inanimate!) So I closed down the laptop and spent many happy minutes cleaning out two pens. Now I have to find the two missing ones.

3. DH wan’t coming home for dinner, so I had a lovely solo dinner of canned baked beans on toast. (Then he came home after all, but had bought his favorite takeout. But this is MY frugal list, OK?)

4. After a long, long recuperation from double knee surgeries, I finally feel like writing for money again. Since print media is teetering on the edge of extinction, I’m investigating online sites that pay.

5. I’m reorganizing our kitchen using stuff we already have, and tossing miscellaneous clutter. Only thing I bought is a smaller dish drain. The other, large one always ended up as a tower of dishes infrequently deconstructed!

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Gina in KY March 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Aww, I hope you’re on the mend soon!

1. Traveling once again for work this week with the usual microwave provisions (we get a set food per diem based on locality, so the cheaper I eat, the more I save).
2. Started cleaning out my home office. This is not exactly frugal, per se, but it’s been cluttered, messy, dumping ground for orphan crap for way too long. I can’t stand working in there. It’s a work-in-progress, but just the work I was able to complete makes the room so much more pleasant.
3. Boyfriend and I went for a long hike on Sunday. Our county has some lovely public wilderness areas for free hiking just outside the city limits. It was free exercise and the weather was spring-like and perfect!!
4. Also took the dogs for some nice longs walks nearly every evening.
5. The four urban hens are laying 4 eggs with the increasing sunlight. I gathered edible chickweed and dandelions on my walks to help supplement feed and give them much needed nutrients.

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