Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 11, 2016 · 64 comments

Bulk basil

  1. I stopped at Fred Meyer on my way home from dropping my son at school. I was able to pick up two gallons of milks for $1.29 apiece and fill a jar with bulk basil for 55¢. Bulk spices are an amazing bargain, and it always gives me a spicy thrill!
  2. I pulled all the food and spices from my kitchen cupboards to consolidate and organize. I was able to free up a couple dozen spice-size jars that functioned for no other reason than to overcrowd my shelves. I scrubbed them up and then posted the whole shebang on my local Buy Nothing group. They’re currently on the porch and waiting to go to their new home. My cupboards are now all organized and decidedly uncrowded. (I may or may not be keeping the doors open just so I can gaze at the pretty contents.)
  3. The person who was supposed to pick up my neighbor’s tire chains flaked out, so I deleted the dormant Buy Nothing post and put together a Craigslist posting instead. I listed them for $15 and will treat to my neighbor to a coffee date if I can find a buyer. They’ve only been used once and cost $64 new, so I’m confident that I can offload them.
  4. I returned a library book right on the brink of facing a fine. I’m kind of a hermit this time of year, so any successful outside errand is a bit of an accomplishment. The constant rain and dampness? It gets old, people. Real old.
  5. I cancelled the class I was supposed to take at work today and rescheduled it for next week. It overcomplicated my day but the new class will be within the same pay period. We’re hosting a Japanese exchange student next week and I deliberately didn’t sign up for any shifts while he’s here. I’ll have a very light paycheck as a consequence, but I want to make sure all goes smoothly while he’s here. (I’ll see about working a couple hours of continuing education after my class as long as I’m already on the clock.) There is one free pizza party for the host families, plus there’s a small stipend to offset the cost of hosting. I know we can show Kentaro a good time without breaking the budget.

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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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie March 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

(1) Frugal fail: Managing to injure myself twice in the same week. In addition to taking a hard fall on my right hand last week, I managed to poke a twig into my eye this Tuesday while reaching into a hedge for a soda can.
(2) Frugal win: Neither injury was frugal-career-ending, and my FSA at work covered the co-pays on the medical follow-ups. Peace of mind = priceless.
(3) Wish I’d been in the Portland area for your spice jar giveaway. I’m constantly copping jars for my homegrown dried herbs. (But I found one this week in a neighbor’s recycling bin.)
(4) For spices I don’t grow, I find that my local Asian grocery stores are good bulk sources. (Probably a well-known tip, but it’s worth repeating.)
(5) Planning some frugal fun outings with DH this weekend, to celebrate 38 years of togetherness. Nearly 40 happy years = also priceless.


Katy March 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

No, it’s good reminder about Asian grocery stores. Thanks!


Vickie March 13, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Ouch! Sorry to hear about the injuries!!
Happy Anniversary – you are so right, that’s priceless! 🙂


Odette March 15, 2016 at 8:43 am

Also, because we have such a large Hispanic population in Florida, grocery stores have specific “ethnic” sections where spices are MUCH less expensive than in the regular spice aisle.


Bettypants March 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

We don’t have any stores around here that sell bulk spices. Man, I wish we did.

1. I have been looking for vintage fur coats for 2 years, to make throw pillows. They are always more than I want to spend, even at Salvation Army. Someone posted two coats and a stole yesterday for $20 total. I know there’s a good chance that people who comment will flake out, and the lady first in line did, so I nabbed them.
2. Sold a set of vintage Christmas ornaments on ebay.
3. Our office bought us a pizza lunch today.
4. I sold $109 of items on a local FB board this week, which is a lot for me. One woman commented on a multitude of items, and didn’t offer less, which was shocking. I am meeting someone else tonight for another $3.
5. Bought some truly excellent apples for 99 cents a pound, which is as cheap as it gets around here.


Betty Winslow March 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

1. Had a yummy box lunch on Feb. 29, thanks to a local car dealership which did a “Day It Forward” event and picked our school as the recepient!
2. Got a $5 off coupon for MoveFree, a joint supplement that I use that offers free coupons if you enter the loyalty codes.
3. Also entered codes from my vitamin bottles, which will enter me in a sweepstakes. May not win, but it doesn’t cost anything but a few seconds to enter, so…
4. Got 10 CD-R disks from work, from a free pile, which I’ll use to download some stuff off my laptopn to free up space.
5. Have developed a painful case of scalp psoriasis, and a fellow teacher recommended some scalp treatment and shampoo that worked for her. Went to Walgreen’s for it, and discovered they offer a store brand of it, which is 100% guaranteed, plus they had a buy 2 hair care products, get one free deal, so I bought the Walgreen’s brand and got a bottle of Axe 3-in-1 shampoo/body wash/conditioner for my son. Also scored a box of sidewalk chalk for the granddaughter’s Easter basket for $1!


Trina March 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Would you mind sharing the scalp treatment and shampoo that you used for your scalp psoriasis. Thanks


Sharon March 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

1) There’s an unopened serving bowl of gourmet salad (pears, apples, blue cheese crumbles, nuts, etc) and an unopened bottle of Sherry Vinagrette leftover from a catered work event that I’m bring to tonight’s Girls Night Get-Together.
2) My son fixed our faucet issue this week so no expensive plumber needed!
3) My relative is downsizing her depression glass collection and I get first dibs this weekend and she’s letting it go for free!
4) I already have a date with the son to shop Costo & Winco this weekend, with a meal plan & list in-hand.
5) I didn’t buy a lear jet…thanks to Katy.


Jennifer March 11, 2016 at 4:56 pm

3. I’m jealous! I love all kinds of antique glass and have a small collection myself. I love vaseline glass but I don’t have a lot of it.


Jennifer March 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

1. Dropped cable! Not sure what caused my husband to reconsider after talking to him for about a year! $120/month saved. Bought a cheap antenna for our local stations, which is where the bulk of the stuff we watch is anyway.

2. 12 extra hours at work this week. And I volunteered to work tomorrow (Saturday) for 3-4 hours. It’s technically my weekend off (Weekend package RN) but they needed someone to run the tele-med equipment. Bonus: weekend pay.

3. I have not been to Target this week. This is huge. I’ve stuck close to home, other than working, school drop off and getting groceries.

4. Using up odds and ends from the freezer/fridge tonight for supper for my son and I. He requested sloppy joe’s (already in the freezer) and I’ll warm up some spaghetti I had froze for him also.

5. Had the furnace off every day this week due to above average Iowa temperatures. Currently sitting with a window open. My dogs love it too, as they get a lot of play time in the backyard.


Katy March 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

My hospital doesn’t give weekend incentive. Kind of a bummer.


Ruth March 11, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Just wondering – What’s weekend incentive?


Katy March 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Extra pay for a weekend shift. Very common for nurses.


Ruth March 11, 2016 at 9:28 pm

We have that here, penalties they are called , more for a late then an early, more for night shift, more for weekends and more for public holidays

Mand01 March 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm

1. My husband and daughter have just chosen to become vegetarian. I would happily eat vegetarian food, but my eldest is resolute in her omnivorous diet, which is fair enough. So I’ve spent the morning meal planning around two diets and I think I’ve come up with a way to feed everyone healthily and frugally, within our constraints (allergies and full time work)
2. My budget this week and next week has covered off all our big bills from the start of the school year (school fees, rates etc). That’s a relief because I know there are a new pile of bills just around the corner.
3. My change counter jar is full and there is $132 in there. I will make an additional small payment on the mortgage with that. We have decided to find an extra something each pay period to throw on the mortgage. It’s our only debt but it is new and quite large.
4. We are buying herbs to plant in our new garden today, and I am excited about that. Looking forward to fresh herbs.
That’s about it I’d say


Ruth March 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

How’s your back Katie?
My five this week
1. Was given half a dozen home grown tomatoes by my sister in law , they are always nicer then shop bought
2. Visited my daughter at her rural university interstate , found cheap flights, cheapish car hire , didn’t hire a GPS instead I borrowed my sons car phone holder and took my charger cord from home, connected it all up in the hire car and had a hands free “free” GPS .
3. My daughter organised a room in the dorm she lives in while at Uni for me normally costing $30 but she had a conversation with the dorm supervisor and I slept there for free. We also ate breakfast at the cafe ( her meals are included in the cost of her dorm room) which would have cost me $8 for my breakfast, instead I sat down and she got herself two extra pieces of toast and vegemite which I enjoyed as a free breakfast! …this place gets enough of our money .
4. Going back to work today after 6 weeks holidays … Looking forward to a bit more money, holiday pay doesn’t pay all the penalties nurses get.
5 have had some quotes to fix my roof and gutters …. Top quote $18,000 ouch , then $14,000 , then they dropped it to $13,000, now they want to come talk to me about a cheaper quote because business is slow…. None of these are making me feel great but my roof is quite unhealthy and a difficult roof because years ago we had an extension put on and because it was so wide we had to have a box gutter which is causing problems ….sigh….this isn’t non consumer but hopefully the lowering cost helps a tad ” insert crying mum face here”


Jennifer March 11, 2016 at 4:53 pm

3. I just recently learned what Vegemite is! We don’t really have it in the southern U.S. I would love to try that stuff someday.


Ruth March 11, 2016 at 9:31 pm

When you do try it have it on toast with butter and just a very fine scraping of vegemite, it’s quite strong. Don’t know if this link will work but it’s Hugh Jackman teaching Jimmy Fallon how to eat vegemite


Jennifer March 12, 2016 at 5:44 am

Wow, that is awesome! Thanks!


Mand01 March 12, 2016 at 10:07 pm

I love it in a toasted sandwich with tomato and cheese. It’s the best


melanie March 13, 2016 at 1:27 am

Vegemite and lettuce sandwiches are yummy, also vegemite and potato chips (crisps?)! I agree Ruth that it has to be spread thinly…


Lynda March 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

And if you’re in the UK, there’s a similar product called Marmite.
Marmite or Vegemite and peanut butter on crusty bread or toast… oh heaven!

Melissa March 16, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Don’t forget Vegemite on toast with either boiled egg or avocado!


Gigi March 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Katie, how do you buy spices without using a plastic bag? Do you take the empty jars to the register first and ask them to write down the weight?


Katy March 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Yes. I took the jar to be weighed first.


AFS March 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

I tried this at FM. The cashier couldn’t figure out how to tare the jar. Her supervisor couldn’t help I got FREE parsley.


Katy March 11, 2016 at 9:30 pm

The parsley scammer!


Susan March 12, 2016 at 7:07 am

I do this at Sprout’s, which the cashiers usually know how to do. I got the store manager as cashier one particularily busy day; got all my spices free since he got flustered with it. Lol


Diane C March 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Anybody do this at Winco? I love their bulk bins, but not the plastic bags.

Jennifer March 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

1. I had to break down and get a couple pair of pants. I sat down in my car and felt a cold spot on my upper leg where a hole had completely worn through the jeans material and my thigh was touching the cold leather. I have put this off for awhile so it was time. Will still wear the old ones around the house.
2. I’m planning to foil highlight my hair at home this weekend. It costs me $100 for a cut/color at the salon so it’s a huge savings to do this at home myself. My daughter is in cosmetology school so I will beg her to come give me a trim in exchange for a meal. I’m actually getting kinda good at doing my own hair.
3. Bought a frozen chicken, a small chunk of ham, and a roll of sausage reduced at the grocery store the other day. Planning to make ham and chicken salad sandwiches and breakfast burritos next week for our spring break trip.
4. I’m also planning to bring refillable water bottles on our trip to avoid unnecessary beverage expenses. My kids don’t love water(bad I know!) but they do like it with a small squirt of flavoring in it. I got several of those crystal light squirt bottles marked down to 25 cents for the trip.
5. Downloaded my free Friday download to my Kroger card. It’s Michelina’s pot pies this week. Probably not the healthiest thing ever but good for a quick lunch. I have to admit I love a junky boxed pot pie occasionally. Or I could pick one of the fruit pot pies for a dessert treat one night. Don’t forget you have until midnight tonight so it’s not too late! You get a week or so before you actually have to pick it up. Free food fellow frugal peeps, lol!


Bee March 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

1) It wouldn’t be a FFT list without mentioning food. This week I used up a large number of veggies in a yummie stir-fry. It provided dinner and lunch for three adults. I also used up a withering orange in a breakfast smoothie, saved a chicken carcass to make stock, and froze the outside leaves of cabbage, onions, carrot peels, and celery leaves for veggie broth.
2) I will have house guest beginning tomorrow. I cooked pinto beans in the crock pot earlier today and will prepare enchiladas tonight for Saturday night supper. Since I am cleaning the house, I made a simple dinner tonight – baked potatoes and salad.
3) There was an estate sale in my neighborhood today. I purchase a beautiful leather coat ! I also bought two books, a piece of upholstery fabric for throw pillows, and a table runner. Everything was less than $15.
4) I worked a little side job for a few hours this week earned estate sale money.
5) I reviewed my spending so far this month. Despite my efforts, my food is over budget. I live in a city without a Fred Meyer, Aldi, or Grocery Outlet. I am going to try and serve less meat. It is better for you and the environment. Wish me husband and son are true carnivores.


janine March 11, 2016 at 6:13 pm

1. Son treated me to a late lunch today and I received enough fish to bring home and feed my husband dinner tonight. (probably the last of the luncheon Fish Fry!)
2. Stopped at a sidewalk sale and purchased a couple of items of clothing(new) for $2 each including a spring sweater for my son.
3. Planning all meals at home this weekend.
4. Meeting with lunch at a restaurant this week cancelled saving me around $10.
5. No Lear Jet.


Cindy in the South March 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm

1. I gave up soda. I have only had water this week. I am having horrible headaches and since I was drinking 6 to 8 diet Mt Dews during jury trial weeks, I am sure it is the withdrawal from these sodas. 2. I brought food from home for lunch every day. I ate all my other meals at home. 3. I wore a dress I already had to a political function I had to attend. 4. It has been very warm and both the heat and the air are off. 5. I stayed with relatives when I went out of town overnight.


Jennifer March 12, 2016 at 5:46 am

1. You’re gonna feel so much better soon! It will be worth it. I just treat myself to an occasional Dt. Dew now.


Nancy March 12, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Your headaches might be from the caffeine or they might be from dehydration. Be sure to increase your intake of water.


Mand01 March 12, 2016 at 10:00 pm

It’ll be the caffeine- but also if it was diet soft drink, they are also high in sodium.
Mountain Dew is as high in caffeine as Coke. If it was the sugary kind, the sugar is also very hard to wean from.
I used to drink 2 L of Diet Coke a day (about 17 years ago). When I gave it up, the shock to my system was profound. Now I still drink tea and coffee, and I do drink plain soda water, but I rarely drink Coke or caffeinated sodas.


Florencia March 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Mountain Few has more caffeine from all the sodas on the market.


Lesley March 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Think of all the $$ you will be saving on Mt Dew!!


Jen T March 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm

1. Made a great vegetarian indian recipe I found online. Very inexpensive and I brought it for lunch everyday this week.
2. Spent tonight cleaning my house. I hate it and I’m bad at it but I cancelled our cleaners and every other week I transfer the money I would have spent on it to my debt.
3. I forgot to pre make my iced coffee for work on Wednesday. I felt bad because I hadn’t bought an iced coffee out this year..and then I felt good because I have only bought one iced coffee our this year!
4. My kids don’t feel well so I made them frappes with ice cream, milk and coffee syrup we already own!
5. Still not smoking (but gaining weight so I have to work on my portion control 🙁 )!


Michele March 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

1. Went to Sam’s and only bought cheese and chicken. I find that I’m buying less and less there, as Aldi’s is cheaper and stuff not in huge quantities.
2. Had a great day with my Mom. She rode with me to get my oil changed. Exciting day out!
3. Put Bounce under my car seats instead of buying air freshener.
4. Just read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Have $1000 emergency fund set aside and now starting debt repayment- making chart for bathroom mirror. I think seeing it daily will help me.
5. Made plans with friends tomorrow. Bonfire. Cheap and fun.


Sandy March 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm

1) went for a walk at lunch instead of staying inside. I’d rather stay inside during this gloomy PNW weather, but it’s healthier to get out and walk around a bit so I consider that frugal.
2) saw a book I wanted to buy but refrained. When I got back to the office I checked the library on line and sure enough, they have it! $15.99 saved.
3) Have been eating all the leftovers from a large crock pot full of chicken/veg/enchilada sauce for lunch/dinners this week. No eating out at restaurants at all.
4) Returned all my library books before I had to pay a fine (there were 8 of them, so at 25 cents a day per book that would have added up fast!)
5) Line hung clothes in the laundry room instead of putting them in the dryer. I just make sure the wooden clothes hanger-thingie is located over/near the vents and they dry pretty quickly.


Carla March 12, 2016 at 4:12 am

1. Saved $105 on my electric bill through the referral program that my electric company offers. Total bill was $14.65.
2. Netted $7.58 on an ebay sale.
3. Took over my son’s blog. This will save my sanity!
4. Made $10 by selling our fresh eggs.
5. Husband bought 25 more baby chicks to increasw our egg production.


Jade March 12, 2016 at 4:52 am

1. Gave my husband a haircut using clippers – saved $20

2. Picked the last of the tomatoes from the garden (3 big baskets full) before pulling the plants out to make way for Autumn seedlings. I will turn the green tomatoes into relish.

3. Shopping from the pantry. Made a big batch of lentil pasta, using homegrown tomatoes and herbs.

4. Have made easter baskets for friends and family using craft materials I have on hand. Have filled these with homemade easter cookies and a few small eggs in each. Have popped these in the freezer and will take out when needed.

5. Continuing to watch $$ and save for our end of year holiday. Spending money will come from our grocery budget, so will be looking for ways to save more $$.


LisaC March 12, 2016 at 7:03 am

1. Gleaning through free items sent to our home from charities that my MIL supported. Got Bday cards, stickers, and note pads. Will donate some of the cards to our work hospitality stash.
2. Using a gift certificate to go out tonight. First real date since the surgery. 🙂
3. Hubs wanted to watch basketball (not my interest at all), so I took a time out for me bath with drugstore epsom salts and a good book. Cheaper than a massage, and therapy for me. Slept like a baby.
4. Moved my spices to the lowest shelf. Voila. I can see them now, and won’t waste the ones way in the back. Might seem like a silly frugal thing, but it made me really happy that I can see them now. Wish I’d thought of that 20 years ago.
5. Walking every day, using a local monument with a giant HILL to get a better workout now. There’s free parking for locals.


Alison March 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

1. Have been packing my lunch everyday, instead of buying. I often walk to the grocery store at lunch and buy their salads, etc so it’s not too expensive, but my own is cheaper.
2. I’m off right now for 18 days (spring break), so I’m planning to get more creative in the kitchen, as I’ll have more time. Should be NCA as I’ll use up what I have.
3. Won’t be driving as much as I’ll be at home more.
4. Not going on expensive spring break vacation to Mexico, as I would wish.
That’s all for now.


Gina March 12, 2016 at 8:41 am

Hope your back is getting better, Katy!

My last few days have not really been frugal. I’ve had some known expensive projects on the list for some time and I am slowly getting them crossed off.

1. The last of major dental work (to cure a headache issue I’ve had due to crazy growing roots in my wisdom teeth and it is pricey. I had them out in stages to help on cost and I am fortunate to have excellent insurance that pays a good portion). Despite the huge co-pay bill, I am including this because the major cost has kept me vigilant on my teeth care and my bi-annual check-ups have been great.
2. I was tempted to purchase a book called _The Man Who Quit Money_, but decided to check the library first and they have several available copies!
3. Cooking meals at home.
4. Watching Amazon Prime movies from the Firestick device.
5. The (formerly boarded up) house next to me is getting rehabbed (I live in a renaissance neighborhood that is becoming a neighborhood called “Artist Way” if that tells you anything). The contractors let me put a pile of shingles that have been in my backyard forever into the dumpster in exchange for using my parking spot. I am so glad they are gone (I hate that they are going to landfill, but until we come up with better green options for building and all the old stuff cycles thru, this is what we are stuck with 🙁 ).


Susanne g March 12, 2016 at 9:25 am

This is not a business idea, as the money could almost never be worth the time. This is about pennies. But I thought I’d throw it out there. Smashed cans can NOT be redeemed in states that have bottle bills, and most states do not even have bottle bills. I live in NY which does. So there are people who collect cans and redeem them for 5 cents each. But the smashed cans remain in the street as trash. And some cans, like tea and juice, are not redeemable because they don’t charge the .05 when you buy it.

Aluminum pays about 50 cents a pound retail, and it takes about 25 cans to make a pound. So you only get 2 cents each. But I walk a lot and bring a bag and pick up smashed cans and eventually take to scrap metal place, also walkable to me.

It’s not much at all. But if you’re walking anyway, it gives you something to do, it cleans up the gutters, and wouldn’t be a bad thing for older kids to do either for a little change or just for the good it does.


Gina March 12, 2016 at 9:33 am

I think it’s an excellent suggestion and those of us living in “messy” neighborhoods really appreciate this effort to help clean up the streets! Thanks!


Ruby March 12, 2016 at 9:45 am

That’s a great idea. We used to collect cans in our neighborhood when my son was in high school. It was easy way for him to make to $7 or so in gas money.


Ruby March 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

1. Another work week of brown-bag lunches and beverages. I figured out that I’m often not very hungry, so a couple of days it’s been a PB&J sandwich and a small pear brought in my son’s old high school lunchbox. Can’t get much more frugal than that!
2. My son and husband wear the same size shoes, so today we’ve been going through the shoes to see what’s worn out and what will be wearable with some cleaning and any small repairs. So far it looks like we won’t have to buy any shoes for our son this year.
3. Bought a month’s supply (80 pounds) of cat litter at the farm store yesterday for $22. We have three large kitties who have jumbo size litter boxes, so it takes a lot of litter.
4. Bought my husband a beautiful dress shirt at the humane society thrift store this week. It’s a major victory to get him to wear second-hand stuff, but I always buy him dress shirts that still have the dry cleaning tags on them. That way he knows the first owner took excellent care of them. Also bought three spring/summer blouses for myself there and at the Salvation Army. Spent $12 total on the four items.
5. Took advantage of the first really warm day to get a discount car wash and use the free super-sucker vac there to clean the dog hair out of my car. It was well worth the $5 to have a really clean car for the first time all winter.


K D March 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm

1. We heat our house with oil and have automatic delivery. When they brought oil a couple weeks ago I thought the price was really high. I called yesterday and they reduced the price by $.64/gallon, netting a savings of $113. The big question is why did they charge so much to begin with. I will have to investigate other options.

2. I stopped at Aldi for bananas, oranges, baby carrots, eggs, and potatoes. The Asian market had strawberries for $.89/pound.

3. We had to go out of town for a family funeral. We had no option but to stay in a hotel. I packed food for breakfasts and we actually ended up eating packed food for dinners as well. Lunch was provided.

4. I made pizza for dinner last night. There are enough leftovers for a couple of meals.

5. I usually have a knit or crochet project going. For a while I used the same patterns over and over again. Lately I have been bored by them so I have tried several free on-line patterns. It’s been fun to work on new projects.


Diane C March 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Not sure I can do 5, but I’ll try.
1. Had two meetings Thursday afternoon about a mile apart. Parked at the site of meeting #2, then walked to meeting #1. Walked back in plenty of time for #2. The exercise helped me stay alert. Bonus points because it was raining. (I do not live in Portland, we’re rain wimps in NorCal.)
2. At above meeting, brainstormed on how to provide nibbles for a conference on a tight budget, since a caterer is too rich for our budget. Piece of cake for this frugal girl who loves to entertain.
3. Mail ordered a prescription refill, saved time and gas.
4. Grocery shopped lightly this week, as the freezer needs to be defrosted. Grocery Outlet, 99 Only and Costco.
5. Frugal/Not Frugal Got a new car today! Erm, new to me, ’cause of course my new car is used, and purchased through a private party. Paid cash. My birthday was earlier this week, so it made for a rocking good belated birthday gift.


cathy March 12, 2016 at 10:34 pm

1. Attended a free lecture at the university library on Thursday. One of my favorite historians/authors. Bonus: They gave parking validations to EVERYONE, and there was a nice reception as well. Good thing, because I missed dinner!
2. Went to a community event today and lunch was provided.
3. Made chicken soup tonight from the carcass of Wednesday’s roast chicken.
4. Stopped at our local Kroger affiliate and picked up a potpie from this week’s Free Friday Download and a Greek yogurt from a few weeks ago. My big win: It turned out I had 2 days left to pick up the Moonstruck chocolate bar, but they were out of stock. I asked the manager if I could substitute another chocolate bar of comparable price, and he said “Sure.” So glad that one didn’t go to waste!
5. We’re staying home and watching LOTS of college basketball on TV. Love March Madness.


PaperCraneFarm March 13, 2016 at 2:40 am

1) Hubby has been sick for weeks with a worsening cough. Sent him to urgent care, which has the same copayment as primary care. They diagnosed strep, bronchitis, and pneumonia but wanted X-rays to confirm the pneumonia. X-rays have a 150 buck deductible so he asked if they were absolutely necessary and the doc said they were just for confirmation. He skipped them!
2) Spring has come early to New England. We’ve been starting to plant peas and plan to start other cold crops this weekend. Gardening is a hobby with many health and financial returns.
3) Sorted through the bookcases again with the goal of filling a box to drop at the library book sale.
4) With hubby sick, it will be a quiet weekend at home. I’m pulling leftovers from the freezer to make warm comforting meals. And we’re enjoying a sweet potato pie we found on the two day reduced rack at the grocery store for $0.50! Can’t make one that cheap!
5) Renewed Craigslist ads. Sold some stuff in January but not even an inquiry since. Maybe time to lower prices…


Tina March 13, 2016 at 4:36 am

1) Made the most of the unseasonable sunshine here in Hampshire, England, by hanging out all of our washing for the first time this year (we usually rack dry indoors).
2) Boyfriend used a gift token to download a phone app showing all the public footpaths and rights of way in the South Downs National Park where we live and we have taken a number of beautiful long walks across the countryside without even having to start the car.
3) Found an as-new pair of Abercrombie skinny jeans in my eldest step-daughter’s size in a charity (thrift) store for £1. Lots of brownie points for me!
4) Replaced buttons on a dress and pair of trousers, and darned the big hole in boyfriend’s favourite (expensive) ski socks. I did it in bright orange wool and he loves it!
5) Finally got back on top of my blog and shared how I re-upholstered the chairs from our second-hand dining set bargain.


Isabelle March 13, 2016 at 4:49 am

* Daughter got invited for dinner at friends twice this week
* Found a restaurant where EVERY item on the menu is 4.95$ (pasta, burgers, tacos, etc). And I don’t mean a fast food joint, but an actual sit down, with servers, restaurant. I asked how they could pull this off and they explained that they are making their money off the booze, which is priced at regular prices. As I don’t drink, it really is a good deal for me! I smell a cheap date night coming!
* Reading from library or free piles books.
* We have been going to the restaurant more than usual, as a family, lately (not frugal), but at least we are using Groupons (a bit more frugal). I know a lot of people consider restaurants as a silly waste of money, but we love it, and it’s worth it for us as experiences. We save on other things.
* Starting to plan our one week summer vacation. Looking for cheap/free alternatives for sleeping and activities. If we could stay under 1000$ for the week, that would be great (a week in Toronto is expensive, about 150$/night for a basic hotel room…).

Have a great frugal day!


LisaC March 13, 2016 at 8:07 am

I think the nice thing about going out as a family is that you focus on each other. Making memories around the dinner table. 🙂


Vickie March 13, 2016 at 12:04 pm

1) I took Friday off to take my daughter for an out-patient medical procedure. We packed snacks and games for my youngest granddaughter, while I waited. She’s very good at entertaining herself. We ended up getting her to school a little late, but there for her Pre-K class anyway. Not an entirely frugal few days, but the procedure went okay and I got to spend time with my kids.
2) I’ve spent today at home. Hubby is working, so I’m getting laundry and some housework done. I did spend the morning watching two movies, fixing myself breakfast and opening the windows to the nice Spring air.
3) I’m glad Facebook is free. I started a group page for my maternal family line and invited all my cousins and Aunts. We can share family news and I’ve scanned in a lot of old photos that belonged to my Mom and my Grandmother. It’s a way got share family genealogy without having to pay for a website of our own.
4) I pulled the last two chicken leg quarters out of the freezer for dinner. I have some frozen corn on the cob and I think I’ll fix mashed potatoes to go with it. I haven’t bought groceries in a few weeks.
5) Hubby just had $1500 worth of work done on his 2001 Jeep Cherokee. Although that doesn’t sound too frugal, getting our cars repaired to keep them chugging along is cheaper than making a car payment.
My own 2005 Corolla reached 299,999 miles a few weeks back and then the odometer promptly quit working. It made me laugh – in my head my car’s voice was saying, “Are you serious? I’m done!”
I was hoping I could watch it turn towards 500,000 miles. I turned on the miles counter for trips and I’ll just leave that on and see how many more miles I can get out of her. I don’t want another car until I can pay cash for another good, used one. That will be awhile!


Mariana March 13, 2016 at 12:14 pm

1. I have been able to save some money being away on a work retreat. For 3 days I dined and wined on my company’s dine. For 3 days I spent $5

2. Except a few bananas and a couple of avocados, I did not do grocery shopping last week. Still cleaning out the fridge, still not going hungry. Money spent $9.

3. Mended some buttons, darned some socks.

4. Staying out of stores, enjoying beautiful spring OUTSIDE.


Florencia March 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

1. Last night my best friend and I went to see the opera. We got season passes last year at a great student discount.
2. Friday my best friend invited me to his other best friend’s birthday party at a restaurant. He treated. We went to a church dance after that (free).
3. I went to a conference on a great cause yesterday. It ran for most of the day. Registration cost $5, with 25-and-under discount. To keep costs down, no lunch was provided. I brought my own snacks and my mom brought me lunch. I was also dropped off and picked up by her, saving on parking. Pretty good choice, since the venue was less than 10 minutes away from home. It was a great conference! Totally worth my $5.
4. At said conference I bought two books, for $10 each. A bargain considering list price and shipping, since I can’t get them anywhere but online. I also got a T-shirt for $10. I went back later to get one for my best friend and they were selling them for $5. I talked to the guy and he offered a refund, but since I did want another shirt, I ended up getting both for the original $10 I’d paid.
5. Tuesday and Thursday I ate lunch at institute. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I ate at work. Of course, I ate all my other meals at home or with stuff from home.
6. Went to the grocery store on Friday to get my Kroger freebie and whatever good stuff was marked down. I got sausages, red bell peppers, bananas, bagged salad and a sale cantaloupe. I only paid $7.
7. I’ll have spring break this week. I asked for the week off work (will only work tomorrow) and instead will study and do a few fun things. I’m hoping to be able to apply to jobs starting next week.


sarah m March 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm

1. made salmon patties with canned salmon that had been in my pantry forever, and some teriyaki sauce i need to be using up. yum! ate some tonight, will bring some in lunches.
2. considered buying coffee out but made espresso at home instead.
3. planted my dill seeds and now have seedlings. hoping to have (almost) free herbs in the future.
4. framed a dried daffodil in a frame from goodwill. this will go in my ugly-as-sin bathroom.
5. made my slightly sad apples into apple pie filling and froze it.


JD March 14, 2016 at 5:30 am

1. We got free lunch on Saturday at my granddaughter’s birthday party.
2. I got some good deals in a nearby town on items I always use, at a grocery store’s BOGO sale, which, for a nice change, actually meant buy one get one FREE, not buy one get one half price, something I see too often these days. Even better, they didn’t jack up the price of the “buy one,” which my hometown store does regularly. I hate my hometown store.
3. Another grocery store in the nearby town has some good in-store coupons, from $1 to $3 off items on stuff I use, too, on top of sale prices. But when I checked out, I forgot to hand them the coupons! Luckily I realized it before I left the store, and customer service kindly gave me credit back for the amount of the coupons. I wouldn’t have wanted to drive back there later.
4. I needed a trellis for some climbing beans, and found a piece of fence wire in our shed, which I rolled to make a bean tower. Free is good.
5. For the birthday party, I made homemade ice cream in the 1928 model White Mountain hand crank freezer that I bought cheap in a “junktique” store years ago. For 20 to 25 minutes of mild aerobics, we had a gallon of luscious, creamy vanilla ice cream, no electricity needed. We used to get electric freezers, but the motors burned out every year. I’ve been using this hand crank one every summer for years, and it still works great.


tonya parham March 14, 2016 at 5:35 am

Not sure if I have five this time. Here goes…

1. Had a potluck with friends and played games. I think the only thing I bought specifically was some mac and cheese and the eggs and milk to make a pie.

2. HOWEVER, I got the stuff to make pie for the friend because he cat sat for us while we were on our frugal getaway. Since one of the cats is diabetic and needs a shot twice a day, this saved us about $30 (cost of boarding the cat for two days!) or more. (My friend is also a nurse, so I trust him to give the shot!)

3. Since we are in the market for a new house (we currently rent) we went to an open house yesterday. It was a house that didn’t look that impressive online but when the missus told me that there was “an open house Sunday but there’s probably no point in going” I replied, “Well, it’s free so why not go and just look at it?” So we did, and it was quite cute. Not sure it’s the place for us, but it was a nice little excursion.

4. We are (mostly) plant based and I’m trying to be strictly plant based. We really wanted to have sushi so we went to a local place and got tofu steaks, green tea, veggie udon soup, a vegetable maki roll, and an avocado roll. That was our breakfast and lunch yesterday and it was under $30. Now, that’s not exactly frugal BUT I figure it was a nice treat and a good way to end our spring break week. I also enjoyed the avocado roll so much I think I need to learn how to make them!

5. Have three movies from the library to watch– _Steve Jobs_, _Black Mass_, and _Straight Outta Compton_ and will watch one today after I finish my writing and other to do list (the missus is pickier about movies than I am and I have decided that I’m watching some movies she has no interest in when I am home alone after I finish my work.)

Woot! I really didn’t think I would have five! Awesome!


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones March 14, 2016 at 10:38 am

We turned off the heat almost a week ago and have yet to turn it back on. It’s been around 66 in here and though I am cold intolerant usually, I have been fine. I can’t wait to see what our heat bill looks like.


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