Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 25, 2016 · 60 comments

Thrifted Arsenal Shirt

  1. My younger son realized that his learner’s permit had expired last month, so he stopped driving. However, he passed his driver’s test last May through his driver’s education class, and was given the paperwork to bring to the DMV to activate the license. This paperwork is good for one calendar year, and we held off from activating the license as it would immediately increase our car insurance rates. (We live in a very accessible urban neighborhood. so my son doesn’t actually need to drive.) We realize that we’re in an odd situation with an approved license, yet an expired permit, so we’re going to the DMV today to activate the license. My son wants to stop worrying about this, and has agreed to pay for his own insurance. Our gift for his eighteenth birthday was going to be the license, so we’ll take over the insurance payments in May. (Boy is this convoluted, I’m not sure if I explained it well!)
  2. Since his eighteenth birthday was on my mind, I went ahead and reserved a Portland Art Museum cultural pass through the Multnomah County Library for my son’s birthday weekend. This free admission will save us $40 and be the anchor for a downtown birthday day of adventures. My son is an artist and really enjoys museums, so this will be greatly appreciated.
  3. My son asked to go Goodwill yesterday, so we drove down to the main store. I spent my time photographing odd and wonderful items, while my son scoured the store for hidden gems. He found a genuine Arsenal soccer jersey in his size for $6.99, which sells for up to $90 on the internet. He had a gift card leftover from Christmas, so his out of pocket cost was zero.
  4. I gassed up my Prius at Costco, since I was already in the neighborhood after dropping our exchange student at the airport. I paid $1.93/gallon, and noticed that the gas stations on the way home were selling for $2.20/gallon. I drove a lot more than normal over the past week, which sent us over our budgeted amount for gasoline this month.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth March 25, 2016 at 11:58 am

I love how your son wants to go to goodwill. He got a super nice deal to boot! 🙂

Someone in the background giving you a thumbs up. Lol


Katy March 25, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Yup, he got photobombed!


Laura March 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

When our son got his driver’s license back in the day we had him pay us the difference between our regular payment and the increase. It was a fairly big increase, but he had a job and learned early on that actually owning a car was only the first step, that gasoline, insurance and maintenance costs were also part of the package. The increase for adding our daughters to our insurance has been negligible. I couldn’t believe the difference between what it costs to add a boy vs. a girl.


Stacy March 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Oh yes, we had 3 teen boys at one time and it hurts!!!!! Ugh


Ruby March 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

1. Was glad I took the time to stop at the coupon machine at the front door of Food Lion, as it provided me with a high-value coupon for my cats’ favorite kibble just as they were running low on it.
2. Packed lunch and drinks from home to work all week.
3. Had today off work and spent a good chunk of it in the backyard cleaning up the fence we share with our neighbors and weeding my herb garden.
4. Got out my warm weather clothes this morning and culled out some winter things, thus creating a nice bag of stuff to donate to the thrift shop. It tickled me to see how many of my shirts came from the thrift store. 😀
5. Had a moment of frugal fail: My son’s cat needed flea treatment and I, who had not planned ahead and bought it online on sale, had to pay the premium price (more than double) at the vet’s office. Eeeyowch, but I guess it beats getting a flea infestation in the house.


Mand01 March 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm

1. We went to the local Easter fair yesterday, and spent what was budgeted. We go annually, and there are things we do each year. It’s more a traditional craft and secondhand fair,not a rides and games fair. We go with our best mate nice and early and leave when it gets busy. I always get the marshmallow rabbits from the old ladies, and the zucchini pickles from the other old lady. So much fun, and while we do consume it is still NCA because it is all home crafts and secondhand items. I found an old plate in the shape of a pineapple for my sister, who has an obsession with anything pineapple related.
2. After the fair we came home and had espressos made by my husband, and then went to the park for a walk with the kids. My husband followed us around playing his guitar and it felt like we were being serenaded, medieval court style.
3. Came home and made fresh pasta with ricotta and pumpkin filling.
4. After dinner I did the meal planning, and checked my retirement fund balance, which had just updated.
5. Went to bed earlyish so I could be up early to do the shopping before the Easter crowds set in. Oops – better go! Happy Easter from down under!


Kate March 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm

That sounds like a truly lovely day!


Bee March 25, 2016 at 12:52 pm

1) Cut the ends off a tube off hair conditioner and a tube off face cream to use it all up.
2) Did all my weekly grocery and household shopping. I was able to take advantage of digital coupons and BOGO deals. I saved $9 in coupons and another $30 or so on 2f for 1 deals.
3) Of course, it’s not a frugal five without mentioning food. I have two chicken carcasses cooking in the crock pot to make broth. It will become Asian chicken soup. I took out bread odds and ends out of the freezer to toast and make a bread salad.
4) I am reading the Big Short. I purchased it at the library book sale long before the movie came out, and I am enjoying it. I have quite a number of these bargain books that I am trying to read and pass on before the next sale. I love the all you can put in a bag for $5 day.
5. I traded a book in on Amazon and received a credit of $4.50. I also sold some plates to

I am slowly using up a large amount of cabbage that came my way. Thank you to the NCA community for giving me great ideas. A special shout out to Teresa who suggest egg rolls in a bowl. Yum!! I will try some of the other suggested recipes in the next few weeks.


Madeline March 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

1. Was really in a “go out to eat a hearty dinner” mood a couple of days ago.Went to Costco instead and bought some ready made ribs, and potatoes and tossed a big spinach salad to go with.Lit some candles on our patio and put the waterfall on.Voila: A break from cooking and a “night out” without breaking the bank.Total cost of the ready made meal was about $10 vs. how much a restaurant,gas, and tip might have been!

2. Scheduled a play day Saturday at Falcon Air Field,FREE air show with World War two planes, 1950’s music, and a classic car show all in one place.

3. Did not buy any new items for a vacation we have coming up.Old bathing suit and old summer clothes are all in great shape.

4. Letting my hair grow =saves $$ on frequent haircuts for a shorter ‘do.

5. Got mucho books out at the library.Always free.. my favorite place, and the actual library day is a free date that I love to go on with my husband!


Becky March 25, 2016 at 2:13 pm

While it is true that having an extra driver increases your insurance, if you have a licensed driver in your household that does not drive – you do not need to insure them. It is enough to insure your cars. One example is if your kid goes to college and is not going to drive your cars, you can suspend them from your policy. I do this every year. If your son is okay with not driving right now, then you do not need to insure him. This I know to be true.
However, it is also my belief that all car insurance belongs to the car. This way, if someone outside your family drives your car and gets in an accident – the insurance works. I believe that if your kid drives one of your insured cars, he is covered. Whether or not he is on your policy. Does anyone else think this might be true? I’d love to know for sure.


Elizabeth March 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Becky, In our case (quite a few years back) our daughter was involved in a light fender bender and our insurance covered, though she wasn’t added as a driver. So unless things have changed, I’m sure you’re right. PS Every state may be different. We are in South Carolina.


Bee March 25, 2016 at 3:22 pm

I don’t mean to sound contrary; but having retired from insurance field, I feel compelled to reply. In most cases, your insurance company will require you to pay for a youthful operator who lives in your household — even if you only expect him to drive on rare occasion. The insurance company considers your teenager to be a possible, inexperienced, licensed driver living in your home with access to your vehicle. This makes him a greater risk to the company.
However, your insurer may possibly allow you to exclude him as a driver on your policy depending on the company’s underwriting rules. If it is allowed and you choose to do this, please make sure you fully understand what this means to you. Once your child leaves for college, your premium may be based on a student away from home.
Regardless, it is always best to check with you insurer. Laws vary from state to state – and company to company. No one wants to find themselves without proper coverage when it’s needed.


cathy March 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm

I can tell you that–as odd as this sounds–in Utah, even though you feel like you’re insuring your cars, you are actually insuring the drivers. Though most people don’t know it, the way the insurance law is written, if you have a license–regardless of whether or not you own a car–you are supposed to carry insurance. I had this explained to me in excruciating detail by the head of the insurance division of state government. There’s actually a loophole of sorts. If you have a motorized scooter, you can get an endorsement on your driver’s license (much like for a motorcycle), but because the scooters have such small engines, the insurance on them is around a couple hundred dollars a year. IF you buy your insurance for the driver to drive the scooter, even if you never ride it, you are then considered covered to drive any car. I know several people who’ve done this with their teen drivers (buying second-hand scooters for the purpose) and I called the state office to see if it really was legit. It is. Though we didn’t go this route, we could have.
Bottom line: It really does depend what state you live in as insurance laws will vary, even with an insurance company that does business in multiple states.


auntiali March 25, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Interesting on the car insurance. Since my daughter has been in college and has not really driven that much she’s been on the policy but gets a discount for being away from home more than 100 miles. That ends at the end of April though.

1. Hubby has been away and meals have been scrounge up whatever.
2. Went to the library in the next town over and stocked up on books.
3. I’ve spent money this week but I have paid cash. No credit card which gets paid in full every month.
4. Looked at some of my online points to see what I have. Decided not to cash out just yet.
5. It’s been nice enough out that I don’t need heat or AC.
6. I paid cash for the Girl Scout cookies I got today. I like to support a good cause …cookies….yummy.


Bethski March 25, 2016 at 3:24 pm

1. A student brought in a HUGE bag of free bagels from the bagel place she works at last night, she said otherwise they make her throw them out. Had a bagel for dinner while working my night clerk job. As there were hardly any students or staff (people tend to skip school the day before a 3 day weekend) I took home a dozen bagels for my daughter and I. Oh the delish smell! I will freeze some, great variety too. Ever tried a chocolate chip bagel? I wouldn’t buy that kind but my daughter loved it.

2. Treated daughter to an early dinner at Subway since we both skipped lunch. Got a free footlong sub (from points I had accrued), a free cookie (from doing the receipt survey) and paid for our drink using a Subway gift card from a client.

3. Walked a dog tonight which will pay for gas for the car this weekend/week.

4. Had lunch at Del Taco yesterday using birthday club emails – 2 chicken tacos and one shake, yum! Daughter also redeemed the free Cinnabon mini bun we received for joining the e-club. We still have a few birthday freebies need to be redeemed by mid-April.

5. Went grocery shopping and spent an hour before doing Meijer Mperks and reading the sale ads. Saved alot such as avacodos were on sale 5 for $5 plus I clicked on the coupon for buy two avacodos save a $1. Got a good price on the ham ($1.17 per lb. ) for Easter dinner and got chicken legs for 47 cents a lb. Of course I forgot to return the two bags of bottles in my back seat!!!

6. Dentist told me I needed to use an electric toothbrush for my gums as mine are recessed a lot. They particularly recommended a Soniccare tooth brush because of the brush head on it gets below the gum line. Managed to get one at Costco, two actually and saved $20 as I just made the sale promotion before it ended in March. Walked out of the store with just that even though I was REALLY tempted by all the stuff in the store. Figured the 2nd brush is well worth it as daughters orthodontist recommended it for her braces as well and had not gotten her one yet.

7. Took my daughter in today for a free skin consultation as she is starting to have major skin issues. Bought one of the products recommended as I felt I should and then went to Meijers to get the rest of the products (special face wash, toner, primer) same products in the Neutrogena line for half the price. The consultant knows our family financial situation and stressed what ingredients to look for in the products.

8. For Easter I got my daughter things she needed instead of the kid Easter stuff I used to buy i.e. a new soccer bag, two sports bras (which are never cheap!), soccer socks – got everything on sale. Did buy her the chocolate bunny she wanted and a few single Easter candy items (Cadbury egg, Reeces peanut butter cup) instead of multi packs – used the 20% off of Easter candy discount at Meijer. Going to use the soccer bag as the “Easter” basket and hide it.


Melinda March 25, 2016 at 3:38 pm

1. Worked out in the yard and afterwards, really, really, really did not want to cook supper. Contemplated going out to get something but sucked it up and cooked a quick meal of sausage and eggs.

2. Gave myself a pedicure.

3. Being a grandma, I love getting things for the holidays for the grandkids but this year I have been cutting back. Instead of an Easter basket, I just bought small boxes (looks like a Chinese take out box), with an Easter décor and bought 3 $1.00 bags of candy and divided up between them. Only spent $6 for 3 Easter boxes. I did the same for valentines day but instead of boxes I bought cups with a valentine theme. The grandkids seemed to enjoy them just as much. Saved a small fortune. And my children were hinting they didn’t need more stuffed animals or cheap small toys. 🙂

4. Continue to always read Five Frugal Things and all the comments to motivate me to save money.

5. My Saturday evening entertainment is to read a free Kindle book.



Mary March 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

1. Purchased 4 dozen eggs for .79 each and 6 butter for 1.99 at Aldi.
2. Off today, leftovers for lunch, husband unexpected free pizza at lunch at work.
3. Entertained grandsons with old craft supplies I had at home.
4. Finishing crocheting small bunny purse with scrap yarn for granddaughter.
5. Thought about buying a sewing machine for some mending – but instead watching- reading how to clean the one I have. It is old but I barely used it, so thought we would try.


Kim March 25, 2016 at 5:04 pm

1. Used a coupon for a free B&BW travel size and then walked 2 doors down to redeem my coupon for a free Chipotle burrito that I received in the mail. I was doing a mystery shop in the same shopping center and DH called to say he wasn’t going to be done work until late. So free dinner since I had the coupon in my purse. Also found 35¢!
2. Did 3 mystery shops today since I was off work. I’ll make $23 and I did my errands in between. College fund!
3. Dropped off a bag of books at the used book store. They took most and gave me $21 in credit. Added to the credit I already have, I now have $130 in credit. In addition to getting books there, DH gets books on CD to listen to in the car since he drives 500 miles a week for work.
4. Planting some lambs ear plants in some empty spots in my garden. I dug them up a few weeks ago at a fellow Freecycler’s and the weather is now nice enough to plant them.
5. Defrosted a ham I bought after Christmas when Aldi had $5 off each ham. $3.50 for Easter ham! I also plan to stock the freezer with $1.99 butter from Aldi.


Lucy March 26, 2016 at 4:20 am

My Aldi was out of the butter but WalMart price-matched them.


Jen T March 25, 2016 at 6:24 pm

1. Everyone was hungry and we almost ordered out…instead my hubbie had his leftovers, I had different leftovers, my daughter had a bacon sandwich on a bagel and my son had soup..score!
2. I drove past the animal hospital and remembered a long ago message telling us we had a credit from my dog being sick…I was all excited for my windfall!…It’s turned out to be $8.50 🙂
3. Spent the day cleaning the house.
4. Sat down and really figured out a budget..I’m excited!
5. No smoking!


Ruby March 26, 2016 at 7:43 am

Your #5 remains the most awesome frugal thing ever. 🙂


jennifer March 26, 2016 at 8:36 am



LisaC March 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm

You inspire me to quit drinking, it would save a lot of money. I’ve cut way back though, so far. Not quit altogether just yet.


Jen T March 27, 2016 at 4:42 am

I admit it’s not easy and I have stumbled a few times but I’m doing it..I bet you can too Lisa! It’s odd the health benefits…smoke free clothes..that stuff would not make me quit. Now I’m really trying to get my finances together and it’s the money spent that got me! Now I can go a few days without thinking about it. Keep cutting back if that works and every time you don’t drink put $10 to a debt or savings or something you like to do! It works!

Elizabeth March 27, 2016 at 5:48 am

LisaC and Jen, I am also working on quitting drinking. I quit smoking several years ago and actually quit drinking for more than two years. Had a very rough 2015 (the loss of both my parents very close together and the stress of dealing with a narcissistic sibling, that I hope to soon have out of my life after putting up with years of emotional abuse…very stressful time) and went back to drinking just to calm my nerves. Huge mistake. Weaning myself off of it and hoping to fully be done with it before the end of 2016.

Just think of the money that is being saved by cutting back and will be saved by no more spending on it! That’s incentive enough to continue the battle and win! 🙂

Jen T March 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Elizabeth I totally get it. I quit smoking for about 6 months then in June 2014 my father has a massive heart attack..I got the call and literally drove and bought cigarettes for my drive to the hospital. It was the first thing I thought to do. I smoked through his ICU, hospital stays, nursing homes, hospice and his passing in September of last year. So dumb when you think about it but I decided thats what I needed (probably more like wanted) to do. I’m not really one for resolutions but I gave myself until Jan 1 to get into the mindset to quit. I have to keep reminding myself I’m stronger than I think I am..we all are

Jennifer March 27, 2016 at 7:10 am

You guys are awesome! By telling your stories you will continue to inspire others.


cc March 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

Jen T, good job on the not smoking. Hubby quit smoking and drinking 2 years ago. Smoked for 40 years, think about how much money that was. When he quit we put away $100 a week, that is almost $10,000 saved. And cigaretts have gone up since he quit. He was ready to quit but the money saved kept him going when it was tough. Now he chews gum all the time but it’s a much cheaper habit. Good Luck.


Jen T March 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Wow that’s great! I’m working on a debt snowball so all the money saved is going right to it! That’s helping to keep me going!


Elizabeth March 28, 2016 at 2:41 am

Jen T, I’m so sorry about your dad passing away. I completely understand why you would want to pick cigarettes up again. As a matter of fact, when my grandfather died my mom hadn’t been a smoker for nearly 20 years, but she started smoking again. She soon quit again but she said it was a lot harder to quite than the time before. She did it though and I know you and I can kick our bad habits, too . I still kick myself for ever picking it back up (drinking). My father was a severe alcoholic but conquered it and hadn’t had a drink in probably 30 years when he passed away. After seeing him do it and knowing I’ve quit previously, I know that all things are possible.

I feel sure that you and I both will succeed. And the money saved is a true incentive!


Tanya March 25, 2016 at 6:32 pm

1. Today I picked up over 350 canning jars for $100! (needed more to be able to can the tomatoes that I want to this year and this saved me well over $150 than it would have cost me at retail price!)

2. Family and I are planning a memorial service and was able to pick up the drinks at 1/2 price.

3. I sold some items that I no longer use that were taking up space in the garage. 2nd week in a row for this!

4. We ate all the leftovers for dinner last night. Added bonus is that everyone got exactly what they wanted to eat.

5. I dropped off a few boxes of clothes from my daughter and myself at the thrift store and they have started giving out 25% off your next purchase with every donation. Guess what will be on my list next week?!


Florencia March 25, 2016 at 9:18 pm

I haven’t posted on FFT in a while, so I may ght have several. 😀
1. Did an over-the-phone survey last week and received $50 in Amazon gift cards for less than 50 minutes of my time.
2. Answered a paid market research ad and already scheduled the study. $50 cash for 30 minutes not too far from my house.
3. Went on Monday (day off) to work at a friend’s girlfriend’s dress and tuxedo store. Made $50 cash for 5 hours of work. I like doing that work! I also told her how I organized my sister’s wedding and she agreed to call me when she needs extra help.
4. Ate lunch at institute at work, and breakfast and lunch at work today, free.
5. Haven’t paid for going out to eat since the beginning of the year.
6. Attended a free workshop at school today. Found out about scholarships and another free certified skills program in the fall.
7. Volunteered at a tango festival last weekend. Since I volunteered all three days I got free access to all three days of classes free. I’m so happy! There’s no way I can afford a $120+ pass without dipping into my school funds.
8. Volunteered at TEDxBYU yesterday. Tickets were $20 for students, but free if you volunteered. I got free entry and dinner, plus a goodie bag that had a book, a really nice notebook, an essential oil sample, bottled water and an energy drink sample. It was a very inspiring event and the best part is taht I got to help and do it with my best friend.
9. Have been eating at home for all meals and bringing snacks to eat if I’m out and about. Of course, shopping sales.
That’s all I can think of for now. 🙂


Vickie March 27, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Good job!!!
I’m so encouraged when I see young people being frugal. Keep up the good work and it will become a lifetime habit. 🙂


Florencia March 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Vickie! I appreciate any tips I might not have thought of. 😀


Krystal March 25, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Oh man, I would buy that Arsenal jersey so fast and then sell it for $$$ on eBay and then apologize to my soccer gods for ever allowing anything Arsneal into my home, while thanking them for the money it brought that I may spend it on future soccer matches.


Bettypants March 26, 2016 at 2:41 am

1. I have been working tons of overtime at work. It’s nice to have the extra money, but I’m ready to be done.
2. Kroger had chicken breasts for $1.77 a pound, which is the cheapest it gets around here. I bought 7 or 8 pounds, trimmed and froze them. I cooked one pound last night and shredded it for meals this week. Maybe everyone already knows this, but the fastest way to shred chicken is to toss it in the stand mixer on low speed. Shreds perfectly.
3. Sold one book on ebay for $8, and I hoofed it to the post office.
4. Listed a few more lots of children’s books, as well as a few pieces of clothing and some random household items. One of my under the bed bins is now empty. Makes me feel so good when I sell/give away enough things to have an empty space.
5. My son had a DTE visit at school, where they gave the children energy saving kits, including two LED light bulbs, a shower nozzle, sink aerators and an LED nightlight.


Jennifer March 26, 2016 at 5:25 am

1. My husband cuts his hair with a flowbee, yes, I said flowbee. His original died a few years ago and he was able to find another one on eBay. I can cut his hair but he says I cut it too short. When we first me, he used the flowbee and was embarrassed about it, he didn’t tell me for a long time till I finally found it. Of course that was silly because it has saved a fortune in haircuts over all these years.
2. Each year the Easter bunny brings back the exact same basket from the year before. I fill it with different items so the kids have never noticed as it is a very basic cheap basket. About 3 weeks after Easter,I will collect the baskets, dump the old candy wrappers, etc., save the grass, and put them up in a closet to use for the next year. Last year, I found stuffed bunnies on clearance after Easter that I put up so they will get those plus a few trinkets I found marked down from December till now. I try to only put a small amount of candy.
3. Picked up my free Friday download this week from Kroger. It was Michelina’s pot pies so that was a meal for us this past week. Not very healthy, yet filling. I also got some organic beets, orange bell peppers, and boneless skinless breasts that were all reduced. My youngest daughter loves the beets. I think it was because it was the orange variety which sorta looked like peaches after I roasted them.
4. My daughter’s school sent home a note from school that she had to bring 6 plastic eggs filled with candy for school. I found 6 plastic eggs in the closest from last year and I filled them with jelly belly mini packs of jelly beans. The jelly beans were free because my husband and I guessed how many jelly beans were in a jar at Cracker Barrel so we won them as the prize. I will definately be putting all her plastic eggs up again this year as schools tend to do similar things each year.
5. I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, again. I found it in a drawer and read a couple pages which completely sucked me in. It was a short read that I enjoyed just as much as the first time I read it. Free entertainment! I will also be enjoying the great weather we are having this weekend to get some more free entertainment outdoors. Maybe a bike ride or spend some time at the park.


Shannon March 29, 2016 at 9:21 am

My parents are both avid flowbee users. They were also able to find an unopened replacement a few years ago. I bet it has been at least 20-25 years that they have been using them. They must have saved a lot of money over the years! 🙂


Jane March 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

1.Shopped at Aldi using a €10.00 off coupon from the Sunday paper
2. Ate at home all week, using up all leftovers for lunch and fruit in smoothies
3. Used up extra potatoes in potato salad for lunch
4. Bought drugstore foundation on a 3 for 2 deal Revlon colour stay instead of Mac studio fix got 3 bottles for the price of 1 Mac bottle! Well impressed:-)
5. Read books from library
6. Bought son jacket using a gift card meaning I had to part with no cash
7. Lined dryer clothes as much as was possible this week as weather was very dry..
8. Made scones to bring as gift to friends house, went down v well and are quick to make..
Happy Easter 😉


LisaC March 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

1. Made an Easter basket for our son who just got a car. Instead of a basket, we used a bucket, filled with RainX, auto air freshener, detergent, window cleaner, some of our best rags, and a coupon for us to take it in for a good oil change. Decorated it with some easter-y tissue and packs of gum that I’d already bought on sale.
2. Really wanted to go out for Easter, instead found a good pork roast in the freezer, will dress it up with potatoes and rosemary. (We’re eating light these days)
3. Bought more Vitamin C powder on sale. Cheaper than getting sick!
4. Went thrift store shopping to several stores today. Decided nothing there, though beautiful, was better than what I already have, so I bought nothing.
5. Priced some furniture at a nice furniture to get an idea of what they cost new. Was dressed in old thrifted shirts, and nobody bothered me. It pays to dress down in a store where the sales people are on commission!


Marilyn March 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

I like your idea for your son’s Easter basket.


LisaC March 27, 2016 at 9:11 am

He was really excited about it!


janine March 26, 2016 at 11:37 am

1. Bought some of Husband’s birthday gifts on sale, from clearance and with coupon. He keeps losing stocking caps so I bought him three on JC Penney’s clearance rack plus sweaters which are very good deals in March. (Who would pay $18 original price for a plain stocking cap anyway??)
2. Purchased Easter dinner ham on sale.
3. Resisted invitation to go to upscale specialty market to buy gourmet items for tomorrow’s feast.
4. Stocked up on $1 clearance books at half price books – read and donate it is my motto; still not as cheap as the library, but like to own my own books – a hangup I need to get over.
5. Frugal fail – took family out for dinner at an expensive restaurant to celebrate birthday. Frankly, it wasn’t worth the price, but was worth the lesson learned.


Emily March 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

1. Packed snacks, drinks and sandwiches for my boyfriend and I for our 7.5 hour ride home for Easter
2. Hanging out with old friends at their homes/apartments this weekend instead of going to bars
3. Wore a pair of brand new jean capris I got from a thrift store for 3 dollars!
4. Went to kohls, used two coupons to get the bf almost free undershirts , and saved the sales tax by buying them in PA!
5. Really need a new purse, bought one and decided I didn’t love it so I returned it. I don’t mind buying things when they are needed but, am going to keep waiting until I find one I love!


Mariana March 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

NYC Goodwill is nothing like your Goodwill, Katy. I am sure you know that since you are visiting once in a while. The one they opened in Union Square has dresses ‘starting at $14.99. What is that about? And the quality is horrible.
For that price (or cheaper) I go to Crossroads Trading and get great quality for a penny in a dollar. Goodwill is not created equal I guess :/


Amanda March 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm

1. We haven’t been out to eat or had takeout in weeks. When life gets crazy (crazy has become the new normal now that we have three children) it is so much faster to make sandwiches than to get takeout. So we make sure there are sandwich-making materials in the fridge at all times.
2. I haven’t bought a single book this semester. This is quite a feat as I am a history grad student, and we usually read about 50 a semester, not including the ones we need for papers. I’ve been frequenting about six libraries to find them all.
3. I’m going to a shower for my childhood best friend next weekend. I did buy her a milk catcher and a tube of lanolin–two of my breastfeeding must-haves. I am also making her my own washable breast pads. I prefer them to disposable or store bought reusable. And they are made completely of repurposed materials, so free.
4. My cousin, whose son is a couple years older than our oldest, brought us four trashbags of clothes and shoes and coats.
5. I got a chase sapphire card to try out the travel points. We are vacationing in Iceland this summer, so I am packing the card (and of course paying it off fully each month). I find the points system difficult to understand, so I’m just going to buy our tickets with the points and compare the value to the points I would have gotten on our upromise card. We can charge daycare, so it will be no problem to rack up points.


Nicole from Canada March 26, 2016 at 5:41 pm

1. Got a haircut – frugal because I used to spend about $150 twice a year for a cut and highlights. I hadn’t gone in almost two years so I got a $20 cut and took off enough to donate. I gave up on the highlights too.
2. When daycare and everything else was closed yesterday I took my son to the zoo which is free for me and only a few minutes away. He got to see the baby pandas finally and the only cost was a small amount of bulk candy that I got him from the shop.
3. While at the zoo I was cold and tired and dying for a cup of coffee but I waited until I got home and put a whole pot on. I also brought snacks and water with us and made sure we were home before lunch.
4. Easter bunny will be bringing two new for us star wars toys that my supervisor’s sons didn’t want and valentine’s chocolates that I got 75% off and we will be using the same basket and plastic eggs that we have for the past 3 years
5. Have been sticking to the compact for the first time this year. So far I’ve only fallen off the wagon when my son’s daycare asked for him to have “ski” type gloves instead of cloth ones since he would say his hands were cold. I found some at the department store for 50% off and they will fit him next year (if he doesn’t lose them)
Bonus #6 – last night on kijiji I found someone just a few blocks away from me selling the Harry Potter Lego Board Game, which was discontinued years ago. It was opened but had all the pieces. I’m a super big HP fan and my son is a Lego nut so win-win. We’ve been playing with it all day since we picked it up this morning 🙂


tonya parham March 26, 2016 at 8:18 pm

1. Took a long walk in the woods today. Free!

2. Sat down and discussed with the missus the way we do groceries and decided that we should simplify how we do it with me doing one week and her doing another and limiting our shopping list to and agreed set of staples, 7 veggies, 6 fruits, 2 herbs, 2 grains, 2 beans per week. Sounds complicated but I think it will be awesome, cut down on waste, and make meals easier.

3. Got cat food and used a coupon that made it 30% off!

4. Decided to not spend any money this next week. (Eat from pantry especially!)

5. Watched Inception from the library. (Not sure why I waited so long to see that!)


Robbie March 26, 2016 at 9:08 pm

The comments about reusing Easter baskets made me glad I’m not the only one that reuses them. I just filled my 15 yo’s basket with goodies for Easter morning. We’ve used the same basket every year for him and it is the same basket my 56 year old husband used when he was a chap 🙂 They don’t make them like they used to!


PaperCraneFarm March 27, 2016 at 2:19 am

1. Family visiting from out of town. Made soup in the crockpot using loads of veggies frozen from last year’s garden – tomatoes, celery, walking onion, corn, beets, green beans, purple beans, okra, herbs. Added lots of garlic and homemade canned stewed tomatoes.
2. Sold some eggs to a co-worker. We’re getting them faster than we can eat them so its a win win for everyone.
3. Sold something on Craigslist. Took up too much space in our small house. We sold a bunch of stuff in January but had had no interest on anything since then. Relieved to have my faith in Craigslist renewed.
4. Husband’s pneumonia, bronchitis, and strep is lingering. Called and talked to the nurse at primary care who told us to wait it out and that we don’t need him to be seen again before he finishes this round of antibiotics. Saves us the copayment to call for advice.
5. Packing up a birthday present for a sibling who lives out of state. Will be sending it home with the visiting family. Present is a combination of used books we picked up over the year and some homemade jam.


Vickie March 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

1) I stopped at Aldi’s Friday, before picking up the grandkids and bought groceries. I usually spend about $20 less there than the local grocers. I fixed tortellini with Alfredo sauce for 4 of us, which cost about $5-6.
2) We went to church on Sabbath, then I fixed hamburgers and french fries for lunch. Thankfully there were leftovers, which will be dinner tonight for me an hubby.
3) I dropped the kids off at my daughters church last evening for going away party they were having for another family. They were serving dinner, so I didn’t have to feed the kids supper.
4) I filled up on my way home last night for $1.82 a gallon at the 7/11 near my daughter’s house.
5) My entertainment for last night was attending our annual O.U. pow-wow put on my the American Indian Student group. I took some great pictures and shared them on Facebook with friends and family. I saw several friends, so it was fun visiting and watching them dance. The tiny-tots are the cutest in all their regalia.
Having a nice laid-back Sunday with hubby.


K D March 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

1. I had baked a bag of sweet potatoes. After several days there were a few left so I used them with some leftover canned pumpkin to make pumpkin bread.

2. I soaked two pounds of dried red beans and then cooked them in the crock pot. I froze them in canned bean portions for future use.

3. I stocked up on $1.99/# butter at Aldi and also bought the produce on sale this week (including $1.29 pineapples).

4. We stopped at Goodwill yesterday. They had baby/toddler zip fleeces (new from Target) for $2.99/each. I bought the six that they had. I will donate them to a group that assembles layette kits that are used to entice poor pregnant women to access pre-natal and post-natal care.

5. For twenty years I have used the same basket for our daughter’s Easter basket. It contained a flower arrangement my husband sent when we were dating (during less frugal days).


Stephanie March 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm

1. I stretched a marked down ($1.99) one pound package of ground turkey within an inch of its life.
2. I used eight ounces that I mixed with 1/2 cup of tvp, which I reconstituted with 1/2 cup of boiling whey left over from making Greek yogurt, fortified by half a chicken bouillon cube, plus chopped onions, garlic, a little Romano cheese, a bit of chopped hot pepper, some homemade bread crumbs, frozen home grown basil, other herbs, some leftover cooked and frozen scraps of turkey bacon AND some scrimply slices of leftover turkey sausage to make mini Italian meatballs. This made at least 2-3 dozen mini meatballs, which I turned into something resembling Italian wedding soup, using homemade frozen stock from the freezer, frozen garbanzos from the freezer, about a half pound fresh collard greens on sale for 89 cents/pound, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, canned tomato liquid, onions, and pasta. It’s delish.
3. With the other 8 ounces of ground turkey, inspired by a recipe in Budget Bytes, but taking it yet further, I made sloppy joes with the turkey, and the recommended lentils in the recipe AND the last of the TVP inherited from my daughter. There are a lot of sloppy joe sandwiches awaiting us. As you can tell, we are moving gradually away from animal protein to healthy low fat vegetable protein.
4. While consumption may not be frugal, our older daughter is having a baby, and I scored a wonderful very lightly used high quality bassinet at a great price ($30) from Craigslist. The seller had received a lot of baby shower gifts–and had twins. I am glad she is passing things on to a new life.
5. I continue to practice hyper-miling.


Mand01 March 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm

We quit drinking four years ago. The change to our lives has been phenomenal, not to mention the money we have saved. Totally worth it.


Elizabeth March 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Mand01, Thank you for sharing. After having quit for a long time, I can tell you I was much happier without it. But it only took a few days of having drinks to fall back into that old pattern. I am determined to quit again and be a tea totaler by or before the end of this year.

One thing that I’m doing to help give me incentive is creating a glass ceiling of no more than two drinks on any given day. On the days I stay within my glass ceiling or don’t partake at all, I am putting back a dollar a day to donate to our local humane society at the end of the year. I am using a calendar and filling in the days that I do well with a green marker (green meaning $1) This is helping me to keep myself in check for the most part. Weekends are the hardest time of all, or course, but I’m getting there. 🙂

Congrats to you on quitting and enjoying life so much more! That’s what being a quitter will do for ya! 😉 I’m very happy for your success and look forward to all of us who are quitting being right there with you soon! 🙂


Mand01 March 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Good luck! It’s not easy, especially when so much of our culture revolves around alcohol.
We started by replacing all of our alcohol with soft drinks, cold turkey. Then phasing them out. Now we don’t notice the lack, but we initially needed the crutch of a replacement drink.


Elizabeth March 29, 2016 at 2:34 am

Thank you Mand01. You’re so fortunate that you and your partner decided together to quit. Maybe one day my husband will be decide to give it up, also. It would sure make it a lot easier.

That being said, I love your advice on finding a substitute and I’m going to do that today. Awesome idea! Thank you!


Mand01 March 29, 2016 at 4:08 am

My decision was due to health, his was personal.
The replacement drink we used was Diet Coke, and sparkling apple juice for special occasions. Now we just drink water, and soda water for occasions. We never miss drinking. I estimate we save $120 per month, although we were moderate drinkers. Other effects are improved general stamina and better sleep. My partner also is much happier and more resilient. I also feel like a better parent, although that’s probably psychological as we really only drank one or two drinks a night.


Elizabeth March 29, 2016 at 5:00 am

The benefits sure outweigh the negatives, don’t they? I understand about the parenting, though our children are adults now. Thankfully neither has ever smoked or taken up the habit of drinking. I kid with them that we taught them everything not to do. I’m planning to substitute grape juice with sparkling water. I think your suggestion on finding a substitute is going to help tremendously. Thank you again 🙂


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