Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 3, 2016 · 70 comments

Meatloaf cake

  1. My husband was given Portland Thorns (women’s MLS) soccer tickets, but we were unable to use them which was a huge bummer since they were in a fancy suite. However, we were able to pass them along to a friend, who then thanked us with a nice bottle of red wine.
  2. I splurged on last night’s April Fool’s dinner, which was a meatloaf, prepared in the shape of a layer cake and frosted with mashed potatoes. (My proud vegetarian father was with me when I bought the hamburger, and was shocked that it cost $7.99-per-pound at schwanky New Seasons.) However, I balanced it out with tonight’s burrito meal featuring slow cooked black beans and roasted potatoes. One expensive meal plus one extremely cheap meal level out to two reasonably priced meals.
  3. I put together a Buy Nothing group post offering a stack of recent decor magazines, and then wrote an additional post asking for a pair of sunglasses. Crossing my fingers, as my old sunglasses are an embarrassment due to one arm being missing. Yeah, I’m that lady.
  4. Our backyard lawn has once again bitten the dust, and it’s my husband’s instinct to reseed it as we do, every damned year. This means a yard that can’t be walked on for ages, plus watering and mowing. I say let the moss take over and accept it for what it is, which is deeply shady. I’m tempted to throw down a bed of mulch and then arrange outdoor furniture and potted plants. I am done fighting nature!
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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


{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey April 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

1. For dinner yesterday I made soup using up frozen pak choi, canned tomatoes, and frozen onions, all preserved from last summer’s garden. Threw in random meat bits from the freezer and some home made pesto. Sounds awful, but it was quite good, especially when topped with a bit of sour cream. Happy to clean more out of the freezer.
2. Needed four birthday cards for this month, so spent last night digging through craft supplies and making them. They actually came out quite good, with a tea cup motif where one of the tea cups on the front had a packet of herb tea stuck in (packets I received free from a sales promo a few weeks ago). Corny, but sweet and all of these ladies like tea.
3. Made bagels, which was a real hassle but someone gifted me 45 pounds of flower when they recently moved out of state and I don’t want it to go stale. And warm homemade bagels for lunch will be yummy (they are in the oven right now).
4. Found three things to donate to Goodwill. My goal for the year is modest, three things a week, but if I go too fast my husband gets twitchy that I might be giving away some hidden jewels he has forgotten about.
5. Cut the husband’s hair. SOOOO glad it is thick and curly so hides all mistakes.


Mand01 April 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm

I love making bagels – they are fiddly but worth it


Mandy Erasmus April 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm

I love he idea of finding three things to give to Goodwill. I feel inspired! Will start looking at my piles in the garage with new eyes…there”s probably lots I can give away!


tonya parham April 4, 2016 at 5:08 am

I think that’s a good plan, too! Three things is very manageable!

Inspired here, too!


Lindsey April 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

YIKES! Flour, not flower. When will I learn to proof before hitting submit?


Dawn April 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I vote yes on the mulch, outdoor furniture, and potted plants for your shady spot rather than reseeding. I have a similar area like that set up in my yard. I always get comments on what a nice sitting area it is. Our focal point is a sturdy metal table that my husband picked up off the side of the road. One leg needed to be welded, but it works perfectly since his repair.


Joyce April 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

I second the moss/mulch idea. If the grass seed hasn’t worked more than once give up on it. Waste of money and time. Thanks.


janine April 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Right on with the moss/mulch idea. We also have a shaded back yard where nothing grows especially since it is also does duty as the dog’s fenced play-space. The only winners are the birds who seem to like the grass seed. I have been entertaining the same idea.


Lesley April 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Hamburger is $7.99 a pound?! I’m with your father; that is a surprise, given that the last time I bought it I think it was under a buck!


Katy April 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

New Seasons. Regular grocery store hamburger gives me the heebie-jeebies!


Diane C April 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

IIRC, the fancy-schmancy stuff is $5.99/lb. at Costco.

I’m with you on the heebie-jeebies, so I throw it in the cart without paying too much attention to the price. Yeah, I buy the expensive chicken, too. Primary reason is that I’m vegetarian, but my family is not. I don’t mind cooking meat for them, but only the “good” stuff.


Marcia April 3, 2016 at 6:22 pm

I paid$2.98 a lb for 90% lean at Sam’s Club a couple weeks ago. I use 3/4 of a lb at most for a meal for the 2 of us, and usually it stretches to at least one lunch, sometimes even a second dinner. That’s my best price in the area and they also have the best meat–except they cut it into HUGE servings so I have to pare them down. I don’t buy steaks there as they are about an inch or more thick and I simply don’t want them that thick. I don’t buy steaks a lot anyhow–if we want it, we’ll order it when we’re eating out.
We are not big meat eaters, but we do eat some. We prefer casserole and mixed dishes, actually. Sloppy joes and a tossed salad–that’s my idea of great food. I appreciate fine dining, but I cook more “down home.”


Julie C April 4, 2016 at 4:47 am

When I need to buy ground beef from the grocer store, I always pick out a nice-looking, reasonably priced roast and have them grind it for me. Then you know exactly what meat you’re getting in your hamburger.


AFS April 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Where do you live?


Jill A April 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

1. Invited friends over for dinner last night. I made homemade from scratch pizza and carrot cake. Sent some leftovers home with them and kept some for ourselves. We have enough for at least one more meal, plus we had some for lunch. Played games after dinner. Fun night. We usually go out for dinner together. Staying in was more fun and cheap.
2. Dinner tonight will be burritos made with mexican chicken made in my slow cooker with cuban black beans also made in the slow cooker.
3. We had water leak from our bathroom vent. Husband installed new insulated vent piping in the attic. Hopefully that does the trick.
4. Negotiated cheaper insurance. We added a car for my daughter who just got her license. We eliminated car rental coverage in case of an accident. With four cars we can manage if one is out of commission. We also raised collision deductible.
5. Received a recall notice on other daughter car for something we’ve already had fixed a few years ago. Will be taking it to be checked that repairs were made correctly and then hopefully we’ll get that money we paid refunded. Here’s hoping.


Julie C April 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm

Love the “cake” !!! It looks yummy


Mand01 April 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm

1. Used frozen pasta dough from last week to make fresh pasta with zucchini and ricotta for dinner
2. Baked cookies, mini pizzas and tea bread for lunch boxes
3. Hubs and I cleaned the house from top to bottom yesterday. Boring way to spend a Sunday, but these things have to be done.
4. I have a vintage tablecloth on my table given to me by my sister, that cracks me up. It has a map of Kangaroo Island on it, and kangaroos and Pelicans and other native animals on it. Of course, she gave it to me with the Salvos tags still on it, and I know it cost $3.25. I love stuff like that displayed in my vintage 1970s house.
5. I planted a Lamb’s Ear in my garden yesterday. My daughter, who is autistic and who is not very interested in the garden, sat outside in the garden for about an hour stroking the leaves very happily. Best $6 I have spent this year.


Katy April 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Your tablecloth sounds adorable!


Sarah April 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm

I love the lamb’s ear story! So sweet!


rosa rugosa April 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Katy: I agree with giving up on the lawn. Fighting Mother Nature is a never-ending battle, and she will eventually win. Gravel might be an even better option, since even mulch will need to be replenished pretty often. Sustainability is the way to go!


Katy April 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

But mulch is something I can get for free! Plus mulch would be local with a minimal footprint. Manufacture of gravel isn’t so eco-friendly.


Bee April 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I love the cake. how fun is that!
1) Picked up a check for clothes that I consigned. While there, I picked up a beautiful merino wool sweater and jacket on clearance. Even with this purchase, I am still ahead. I spent less than I made.
2) It is beautiful out. The AC and heat are off. The windows are open and the breeze is blowing. Heavenly!
3) We took advantage of the weather and spent the morning hiking at a nearby state park. Fresh air and sunshine make me happy! Total cost of this lovely morning — $3.
4) We have eaten all meals at home this weekend. There are a ton of veggies and fruit in the frig, because my CSA basket was delivered. So most meals have been built around vegetables: stir-fry, salad, smoothies. I have greens cooking on the stove top flavored with leftover Easter ham. A southern delicacy.
5) I am ready to settle in tonight and watch Grantchester on PBS. A frugal end to a pleasant weekend!


Marilyn April 3, 2016 at 9:15 pm

I like Grantchester too.


Jamie April 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm

1. I did a huge shop at Save-A-Lot yesterday which was $53 of seasonings, pantry essentials, and chicken…oh so much chicken. I didn’t notice until I got home that these chicken packs were all frozen previously….so I’m just cooking all of them over the next 2 days and will freeze the pre-cooked meals to fight food fatigue by the end of the month! Mexican chicken thighs, pickle chicken strips (bake-fried so these will be eaten the quickest), and teriyaki chicken thighs….and 1 pack of chicken breast that I cook up to put in my dog’s food because it’s good for him! That’s what i’m doing with $13 of chicken for the whole month!!
2. I had a Rite Aid 4 off $20 coupon and used that in combination with 50% off gardening stuff and my Plenti card so I got some gardening essentials to grow herbs and vegetables this year! I’m going to go to a local place to pick up basil and rosemary plants to start (because I have exactly 2 pots handy in the house) and will expand when I obtain my pots…and I’m determined for that to happen for free.
3. Spending my Sunday playing on Swagbucks and catching up on my other sites like InboxDollars and Recyclebank.
4. I’m not drinking alcohol this month and it’s going to save me a TON of money.
5. I know I’m going to a convention in September so I went ahead and bought everything now with my tax return so it’s taken care of with this money and not future money. Tickets were SUPER cheap as well since I went so far in advance.


Michelle H. April 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Love the Fiesta platter!

Sounds like it would be easiest to accept the lawn you have and do a shade loving ground cover and let the moss fill in around it. Good luck!


Kathleen April 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

March was expensive. A whole bunch of stuff happened at once. So we are trying to tighten things up a bit this month. Oh, and my clothes washer is going to need to be repaired. So there’s that.

1. We have been eating down veg and fruit frozen last summer. I made peach cobbler on Friday for snack and we had two kinds of squash mixed together with dinner tonight. I put sweet potato into a batch of gf biscuits.
2. I mended some socks and a pair of undies. I always have a “stick to the man” type smile when I mend things.
3. My husband made a stir fry to take to lunch next week.
4. I am using my credit card more in order to get the points. I pay it off every month. I am avoiding the temptation to spend the points on frivolous stuff and am saving them up for vacation and birthday expenses this summer.
5. That whole lear jet thing.


Lori April 3, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Love the meatloaf cake. Until I read your post I thought you were using up a Christmas fruitcake! Totally fooled me and my 7 year old thought it was amazing!


Krystal April 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

1) Worked over a ton of leftovers, and doing well to start off our grocery budget for April right.
2) Planted more edibles in our backyard, from existing seeds. Also, cheap workout.
3) Walked to both volunteer shifts this week therefore kept the car in the driveway, drove it to batch errands that involved filling up with the cheapest gas in the neighborhood as well a a coffee date with a friend, where I got a free donut offered to me since the barista accidentally messed up my order last time, and even remembered! I had forgotten and she mentioned it. I happily accepted.
4) Checked out a pole pruner from our neighborhood tool library, to get our broken pole pruner out of our cherry tree. Free and saved us the hundreds of dollars from hiring an arborist when we were not budgeted for it!
5) Worked over the April budget to put in a LOT of money into the vacation fund! We are bringing in more this month but without a plan, it gets wasted. Must plan to stay on track and meet savings goals!


Elizabeth April 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Lol The meatloaf is so creative and i really love the pea decorations! Wonderful!

ROFL at the visual of your one stemmed shades! I hope you are offered a cool pair soon. You’ll have to post before and after pics.

As always, adoring every second of my time spent in your blog. Thanks for the fun!


Katy April 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm

That very sweet. Thank you for reading it!


Sarah April 3, 2016 at 7:22 pm

I agree with the reader above…I also adore your blog! Thank you for taking the time to write it!


Katy April 3, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Thank you so much!


Sarah G. April 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

1. I found two Paas brand egg dye kits on clearance for 15 cents each, so I bought them for next year.
2. Yesterday was my sister’s wedding shower, and my aunt (who hosted the event) sent me home with some great leftover food, including pretzel buns, chicken salad, grape tomatoes, and fruit salad.
3. I had mayonnaise on my shopping list, but I was just given a half-full jar of mayonnaise which would have been unused otherwise. So it’s now crossed off my list and I didn’t have to pay for it.
4. Today my husband blessed me with a glorious day to myself while he went out for several hours with our 3 year old and 1 year old daughters. I was sorely tempted to treat myself to a tray of sushi and a pricey bottle of kombucha (my personal fave comfort foods) but I resisted the temptation. Instead I ate yummy and healthy leftover Lebanese food leftover from when we had friends over for dinner last week.
5. My mom’s birthday is on Tuesday and for her gift, I went to JoAnn and purchased a frame which was on sale, plus I used a gift card to pay for it, so I paid nothing for the frame. My plan for the frame is to transform it into a chalkboard, which my mom has been wanting. I have a can of chalkboard spray paint already, so this is a very frugal gift, and also something she will really appreciate.


Mandy Erasmus April 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Really love this Five Frugal things post! I learn so many things from reading everyone’s comments!

1. I bought a gift voucher for a very special 21st birthday coming up. Paid R52 for a pedicure voucher worth R175. VERY happy with that!
2. I hosted a ‘pledge your support’ wall at an Autism Awareness Day and managed to get the cardstock, paint and markers needed, entirely free! All I asked for was a discount and the stationery store GAVE me what I needed! R215 worth!
3. I saved tomato and green pepper seeds while peeling veg for a salad. There will be planted indoors tomorrow.
4. I reused an old puzzle by painting the pieces blue and adding them to Autism posters that made.
5. I signed up to participate in surveys in South Africa to earn some extra cash! Hoping I do well with that,

Goodnight from a breezy, cool South Africa!


Jake April 3, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Cool meatloaf cake.

1. Spend the weekend spading in the garden. Good exercise, decided not to fire up the rototiller, veg planting in a few weeks. Also started tomatoes, kale, broccoli indoor – old seeds, recycled containers.
2. Piecing together cut up old blue jeans and indigo shirts for a Japanese style Boro (aka rag) quilt. I do not sew but the miles of running stitch is fun, so far. Lots of random patching, a few Sashiko designs. A longer term project. Google Images of Boro textiles. Interesting history, basically the result of poverty and the philosophy of too good to waste.
3. Made a few frugal things over the weekend.
Meals for the week/ freezer. Navy bean soup, blueberry muffins, asparagus/ goat cheese pizza, kale quinoa salad with addictive tahini cider vinegar dressing. Mostly from stuff in the fridge/pantry. Sort of fancy bakery-cafe food for about a quarter the cost.
4. Started using the aero press coffee gizmo I received as a gift. I like it, easy to use and tasty coffee. Fresh coffee as required. I don’t like all the plastic of k cups, and there is always leftover coffee with the drip machine.
5. Still haven’t replaced the dead clothes dryer, still not used to crunchy towels.


shelia April 4, 2016 at 11:37 am

Jake, could you post the kale quinoa salad recipe? The dressing sounds amazing! Thanks!


Mariana April 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm

1. Ate two lunches at work. Yes! Even tough I did not see it coming and still brought my own lunch, it was nice to eat something different than the boring lunch I cooked the night before. Ha.
2. I found some Christmas tree ornaments in the recycling bin at work (still in original packaging). Christmas tree ornaments in April? Sure, the recycling bin is always full of surprises.
3. Made most coffees at home (purchased one deli coffee on Tuesday and a latte today – latte is a part of spending time with a girlfriend on a weekend. Hard to cut on this)
4. Got some shoes on clearance for a niece. 2 pairs on FabShoes for $9.95 for both. Went through Ebates of course. Every penny counts 🙂


Jennifer April 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm

I made my friend the cornbread cake with potatoes and gravy frosting topped with fried chicken for her birthday. This made me think of it. Potatoes are easier to spread than frosting!!

1. I cooked a whole hen that I got for $4 at Kroger in the crockpot to use for chicken salad and bone broth. I read the book The Stash Plan by Laura Prepon.I became really interested in trying it, as I was looking for a fresh approach to lose weight. I know I won’t be able to do all the recipes etc. due to my frugality keeping it real. The plan really advocates all organic, grass-fed, perfect food. I am working my way up to it as best I can.
2. This diet will save me money as I will be preparing all my meals at home and not eating out.
3. Stayed home today and enjoyed the beautiful weather which is always frugal. Even took a few cat naps!
4. Got 2 gallons of acidophilus milk at kroger for $2. I really needed this because I got 10 boxes of cereal dirt cheap with coupons that were waiting for a milk deal. Unfornately, my family loves cereal.
5. My mom gifted me some frozen pancakes so for a few days I will have a free easy peasy breakfast for the kiddos this week paired with some apples and peanut butter that need to be used up.

Katy, I have read every post on your blog recently from way back following the continuing bald yard saga. I feel the need to encourage you to wave the flag and surrender. You just aren’t meant to have grass there. Mulch it and forget about it.☺️


Marcia April 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm

We had another spendy week-second in a row, but things wear out after a while. I bought myself a new electric toothbrush and a new Mr. Coffee pot, and both were are great prices online, with free shipping. I also bought my granddaughter a new ironing board and cover, which were really leftover from Christmas. I gave her a new iron for Christmas and wanted her to pick out the ironing board because space is a problem at her place. So then she nipped off to NYC for 4 months, and now she is ready to move to a new apartment shortly and the ironing board she chose is waiting here until she is ready for it.
On the other hand, we barely left the house last week and haven’t spent much “spending money” for the past two months. Our friends are at their winter home several states away, so we have not gone anywhere expensive to eat out. We have our own cheap favorites in the immediate area when I want a break from cooking. Last week’s grocery stop was $38 worth. Sales have been good lately and my cupboards and freezers are full so it’s time to slow down and rest on the acquiring for a bit. I need to clean the refrigerator in anticipation of replacing it also, so I’m going to use down what’s in it now. We have hit a slew of things that need replacing—the fridge is nearly 21 years old and fading fast.
Not five frugal things, exactly, but when things wear out, they have to be replaced.


meg April 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

I’m with you on the sunglasses. For me the frame is cracked kind of and one of the lenses pops out sometimes. And our backyards sound similar. We have given up and just let the dog have free reign. There is a dirt track around the perimeter and Sandy mossy ground in the middle.

My five:
1. Leftover buffet for dinner. No one was particularly happy, so we all took one for the team.
2. Went to grocery and only bought loss leaders: $1.29 boneless skinless chicken breast, and local apples for 59 cents a lb.
3. Been drinking only iced tea and water from home. And haven’t left my reusable bottle anywhere yet!!
4. Cancelled txt notification from son’s school. They send emails out when there is a message for me in the communication system. Don’t need double notification and since I pay per txt, it will save me a lot of messages per month.
5. My son loves Disney comics, and since he is so young, he doesn’t care if they are the latest greatest, so instead of buying new editions, I buy them from the vintage $1 bin. Can stock up for gifts and rewards for next to nothing.


Beth April 3, 2016 at 7:41 pm

House and dog sitting starting today as well as working my day job. Enjoyed a walk with the dogs along a stream, cold but pretty.

Turned water heater down before we left. Packed food, will eat some of there’s as well.

Took daughter to the mall to return some things her dad bought her,exchanged and didn’t spend more. Treated to dinner at Rainforest Cafe and used our Landrys rewards card $25.

Watched Pitch Perfect 2 for free on their cable with the gas fireplace on (we got snow today, brrr) and did Swagbucks.


Florencia April 3, 2016 at 11:17 pm

1. Stopped at Sprouts on Tuesday on the way home to buy lettuce at $0.49. Bought three. We eat a lot of salad at home, so that’s a smart thing. Went on Wednesday as well.
2. I attended a free class on home buying. I learned a lot. So glad I went!
3. Dinner Tuesday night was pretty frugal. My sister cooked and she used things we had on hand. She made white rice with stir-fried vegetables and tofu with home-made peanut sauce. We have a lot of peanut butter a friend gave us. We also had a rack of ribs from the freezer for the carnivores, with fries.
4. Just talked to my credit union’s customer service. They were able to award me the Amazon shopping credits I couldn’t redeem at the beginning of the month. It’s only $3, but they help pay for school books.
5. Instead of going out Saturday night, I went with my parents to a friend’s house. Great conversation and company and we even got sent home with dessert.
6. Entertained at home for my dad’s birthday. We used pantry items for almost everything. We did buy a cake, some sodas, and some mayo for a salad. We also had someone bring a big pan of rice.
7. On Wednesday, I attended a survey and got paid $50 cash. Pretty great for 20 minutes of my time.
8. Went to the doctor. He prescribed a second round of antibiotics, nose spray, another allergy medicine, and a daily inhaler. I was given an application for the inhaler, to get it free from the manufacturer. Wish me luck so I don’t have to pay $300 out of pocket for it.


Isabelle April 4, 2016 at 4:40 am

As I don’t eat desserts, I know exactly what I’ll have for my next birthday, ahah! I WILL eat “cake” too!

* Trying to find a used gymnastic leotard for daughter instead of buying new… Contacted someone on Kijjiji, will see how that turns out.
* Daughter broke her backpack zipper so we got a new (10$ – cheap – since the tastes change fast…) one. Coming back home, hubby had fixed the zipper, so we are storing the new bag for later use.
* I am doing a sugar detox at the moment and eating way way less as a result, because the appetite is reduced (and already lost 7 pounds, yay!). Feeling great too!
* Using my gym membership at least 3-4 times/week (instead of paying for it and not going, like other times….). While gym memberships are not frugal, I believe it is for me because I am much more motivated to exercice when I go to the gym that when I try doing it at home. Healthier me = cheaper in the long run!
* Will go throught all my old (too small for now…) clothes tonight and make piles with the different sizes to see what I have. That way when I switch size (I am in the process of losing 100 pounds, so there will be a lot of sizes switchs!) I will know exactly what I already have on hands and what I need to buy (used!). Il will not invest in a entire “new” wardrobe until I am at goal weight, so there will be a couple of Goodwill visits for sure!

Have a great frugal day!


Mandy Erasmus April 4, 2016 at 11:56 am

Hi Isabelle. I’m seriously addicted to sugar and I really need to lose weight. Have you cut sugar out completely on your detox and is there anything else you are doing that has helped you lose weight quickly? I’m not sure how I will handle suddenly not having any sugar at all. Any advice would be appreciated 🙂

I like you plan with your clothes as you lose weight! I’m going to do something similar!


Jennifer April 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I too am cutting out sugar. I Stopped drinking diet drinks again today and wow do I feel the lethargy. I know I will feel phenomenal in a few days but right now is sooo tough.


Mandy Erasmus April 5, 2016 at 10:37 am

Jennifer…I know how you feel. Its like the sugar gives me the energy to get through everything I have to do! Its so hard!


tonya parham April 4, 2016 at 5:07 am

It’s just never frugal to fight nature. It’s always gonna win, eventually.

1. Went to an orientation for my trip to Italy. (The missus is teaching there this summer and I get to go at a lower cost than what it would cost just on my own. It’s three weeks in 4 places and I am nervous/excited/terrified.) Anyway, breakfast and lunch there were free. Dinner was not free but it was covered by the missus work so we will be reimbursed for that and travel costs.

2. We found a house we love and want to buy. We will be making an offer on it tomorrow. Not sure if the offer will be accepted but we are accepted for the mortgage and our rent would change into a house payment that is $150 less! (Will have to really be frugal to do this but I think it’s a case of just being careful and mindful of how I spend in order to do this. We’d thought we might buy a house at the end of summer when we’d built savings back up from the Italy trip, but I think it might be a July 1st closing. Harder, but doable if I am mindful of the grocery budget.)

3. Mowed my own yard yesterday.

4. Canceled Netflix yesterday. I never watch streaming. I just use my Amazon. I have a friend who shares the netflix but has never paid half– he said twice he would but never made moves to do so. I might keep it if I split it but I just figure he can get his own since he’s not helping me and I never watch it. That’s $120 a year saved!

5. Am taking my library books back today, looking for overripe bananas at the store (to freeze for smoothies), and doing the week’s food prep– including a meal plan.


Bettypants April 4, 2016 at 6:05 am

1. Sold two Boyds Bears on ebay. So 2 down, 20 to go. But better than sitting in a box in the closet.
2. Discover offered $10 off a $30 Kohls coupon, but it works on a $10 order, so I ordered a pair of bed pillows for free, with store pickup.
3. Got rid of my home printer, so I gave the remaining reams of paper to my mom, who does print at home.
4. Made a big batch of chicken soup last night for dinner. Would have had leftovers today, but stupid me forgot to pack it this morning.
5. Have been cleaning out closets and making a pile of unwanted items to be sold or given away.


Gina in KY April 4, 2016 at 6:42 am

I’ll just echo the sentiments on the yard: Give it back to nature!

1. Returned to “no spend” today and will be eating from the pantry again now that Spring Break is over and kids are back at school.

2. I made vegetable broth from the scraps bag I keep in the freezer. This will help with the above goal.

3. Planted early crop seeds around the house: Bok choi, radishes, mesclun mix and the cucumber and tomato seeds I planted indoors a few weeks ago are happy and growing.

4. Also, found several six-packs of pansies and snapdragons marked down to a $1 at the hardware store, so I bought six and planted them in the porch flower pots. I rarely buy annuals because I am trying to plant an edible and/or perennial garden around the house, but these are a nice burst of color and make my house look happy!

5. Reading library books for entertainment and a cultural preparation for my New Orleans trip next month (which I plan to make as frugal as I possibly can).



Lazyretirementgirl April 4, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Gina, in NOLA City Park, there is a fantastic ( free) sculpture garden right off the street car line. The Botanic garden is there too, but it is pricey.


Gina in KY April 6, 2016 at 6:42 am

Thanks for the tip! I will check it out!


AN April 4, 2016 at 7:08 am

1. Watched a family member’s dog and house over the weekend, which meant I saved money on groceries by eating the food she left for me.
2. Her house is farther outside of town, so I filled up on gas for less than what I normally pay.
3. I shut the heat off when we had a beautiful day yesterday. I forgot to turn it back on so I had a very chilly house this morning, but my forgetfulness saved me some money.
4. Putting off grocery shopping as long as possible by eating down what I have in the pantry and freezer.
5. Library books and Netflix for entertainment


Vickie April 4, 2016 at 7:20 am

I’m with you! A moss yard would be awesome – pretty and green, soft to walk on and no mowing!

1) I had an awesome weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday in a town about 80 miles north at a Spiritual Retreat Center learning about making wildcrafted medicinals, dying cloth with natural substances, making dandelion wine, red bud syrup and eating food made from herbs/weeds in our area. $40 for the whole weekend, including a night in one of the cabins. I came home with a small bottle of wine, a bottle of syrup, bee balm oil and plantain & bee balm salve. I made new friends and saw old ones. I wish I could do that about once a month!
2) Since I ate lunch at the retreat I wasn’t hungry last night, so hubby ate cereal and I ate a little hummus later on. No cooking, so we saved money on meals.
3) I’m listening to Nicholas Sparks’ novel “I See” on audio. It’s a good story. I love shopping on the Library website for audiobooks.
4) Listening to my free Amazon music downloads.
5) I donate blood about 6 times a year. I usually end up with a free t-shirt or tickets to an outdoor event. If I don’t care for the t-shirt, I donate it back or donate it to the local homeless shelter. They usually have one or two t-shirts with our college team, per year, so if my old one is worn out I have a new one for free.


Gina in KY April 4, 2016 at 8:14 am

The wildcrafting retreat does sound fantastic!


LT April 4, 2016 at 9:07 am

Lots of frugal wins this weekend!
1) Hosted my son’s 1st birthday party at my house. (no rental fees!)
2) Hubby took cake smash pictures & we’ll order some from his vendor. (No photographer fees & markup)
3) Made & decorated all the cakes instead of buying a smash cake & fancy decorated party cake – My smoking volcano & dinosaur cake was awesome!
4)Served maidrites made with free hamburger (my in-laws give us all our beef) & buns from the Sara Lee Outlet store ($1/dozen!!)
5)Scored Melissa & Doug toys at 50% off, so we got some awesome blocks & toys for my son.
6)I’ve cloth diapered for a year! We bought disposible newborn diapers for the first month, but haven’t bought diapers since (except when we went on vacation & didn’t want to pack diapers) I may have spent $300 on cloth diapers, but we won’t need to buy anymore.


Ruby April 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Congratulations on the year of cloth diapering! We cloth-diapered our son back in the early 1990s and it saved us a ton of money.


Mand01 April 5, 2016 at 12:11 am

We cloth diapered both our kids too. I know that some people say that the environmental impact is the same as disposable but I don’t believe that is possible.


Chris April 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

Ditched our lawn last year – sold the mower, edger, etc. We covered the area with several layers of newsprint and piled on soil and decorative rock. It was 2 weeks of work, but once we had it planted (half of the plants were starts shared by neighbors!) it has been amazingly weed-free, saves on water, and by now looks quite attractive. So far this year, have spent less than an hour on upkeep. Plus, huge water savings. I highly recommend the mulch idea!


johanna April 4, 2016 at 11:12 am

1. Our local grocery store (HyVee) has an awesome deal where they give shoppers discounts off Casey’s gasoline, and I earned 8 cents off on my fuel card by purchasing things that were already on my list..
2. Sold all my infant gear in one sale: Made 37$ and cleared out the baby swing, bouncy seat, and many other things we had been moving from room to room…
3. I had been searching !!! for an affordable couch to replace the mansectional (ha ha lol ) that became mine when I moved in with my Guy a few years back.. I was getting desperate enough to look for new furniture.. FINALLY someone listed a couch and loveseat, in excellent condition for 100$, on a SWAP sight.. I snagged them up! I sold the sectional for 100$ and broke even on the whole couch deal. Could NOT be happier about it.. 🙂
4. Called Direct TV the other day to cancel, since I was out contract (for the first time ever I think lol). They dropped my bill from $99 to around $50 (after taxes ).. Saving me 49$ a month for a year.. Almost $600 total.
5. Made the decision today to drop our car insurance on our car that is not being driven due to leaky radiator.. I will find out if that helps or hurts (due to multi vehicle discounts) when I call. Also the savings in gasoline per week is saving $ 20 to 30$ a week. Every little bit helps.


JD April 4, 2016 at 11:20 am

Count me in with the “give up on the grass” group. Will all these votes convince your husband?
1. I picked up my farm delivery this weekend, and the guy who delivers it gave me free produce that he gets from a healthier type food store in another city. We shop there, too, sometimes, so we are going to ask about their leftover produce. He said they can give it away to individuals, but are prohibited from donating to a food bank or selling it marked down. If that’s true, that’s just dumb. But we’ll ask if we can get some anyway. I sure appreciated him giving us some of it.
2. I buy grass-fed, local/humanely raised beef, and it’s $7.50 to $8.00 a pound for ground beef, so I hear you on the beef prices. It’s worth it to me, but I stretch it as far as it will go. I’m picking up a large order of beef cuts from a local farm this evening, and that is going to last me a loooong while. I can get six to eight servings out of a pound of beef, no problem. And this will keep me from having to shop so much. I already have local pork cuts and whole chickens in there, so we’ll be set for a good while.
3. In anticipation of the beef, I defrosted my freezer. It needed it to run more efficiently, and I now have a clear list of what I have inside, again. My list had gotten a little confusing, but when I keep it current, I cut food waste to the bone. I got that idea from The Tightwad Gazette.
4. Except for veggies, I’ve concentrated on planting native plants in my yard for several years. They grow so much better and take so much less resources. I’m also slowly spreading native wildflowers across the road side of my yard — they only need to be cut once or twice a year, and look so pretty.
5. I made a delicious meal from the “Good and Cheap” SNAP cookbook — the jambalaya. It included leftover rice, free bell pepper from my delivery guy, canned tomatoes I put up last year (instead of expensive fresh tomatoes), and I threw in some cut up leftover wild shrimp that was bought on sale. We had it last night and had leftovers today for lunch. Yum.


Bee April 5, 2016 at 3:31 am

#5 – Good and Cheap is a wonderful cookbook for anyone on a really tight budget. I have used it too. The PDF is available online for free. It was originally a Kickstarter project.


janine April 4, 2016 at 11:24 am

1. Treated to lunch by a friend who is in town today for a meeting.
2. Scouring the back yard for wood for our fireplace. No need to pay when we can find it for free.
3. Checked out Grocery Outlet in our area but discovered that my usual markets are much cleaner and almost as cheap. However, very interesting meat department with unusual cuts.
4. Purchased a couple of $1 books on sale rack – not as good as the library, but the next best thing. If they are “light reading” I donate them to Goodwill for another person to own and enjoy without the threat of library fines!
5. No Lear jet just yet.


LisaC April 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm

1. Made a batch of shrimp enchiladas, had 1/2 cabbage left over, so I made cole slaw from scratch ( is awesome for finding recipes to use up food ingredients).
2. Patio furniture is peeling, so I’ve been looking at craigslist, etc for better furniture. Finally decided to just sand and paint our old stuff. Not sure yet how to get newer cushions since I don’t sew and the new ones are really expensive.
3. Walked 3 miles after work, felt much better after a stressful day.
4. Used a gift card to buy hubs a highly rated shower mirror, because his last one broke.
5. Put a shower mirror (for shaving) in the guest bath for our sons, made it from a hand held mirror, hung upside down on a shower curtain hook.


Elizabeth April 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Love the upside down mirror idea. Very creative!


Betty Winslow April 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm

1. Made black beans and rice tonight using a Zataran’s mix I forgot I had, some leftover rice, and a couple scoops of beans I did yesterday in the crockpot. (I’ll freeze the rest…) To my surprise, both sons were present for dinner (an almost unheard-of occurrence, due to their restaurant job hours), so there were no leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, but it was nice for us to spend a little time with them.
2. Entertainment after dinner while doing the dishes and making tomorrow’s lunch: listening to a James Galway CD I got at a garage sale a while back. I love his music.
3. Donated two pieces of my handmade jewelry to a fund-raising event for an organization I support, packaged with a business card for each, which I hope will give me some new exposure.
4. Have been doing a bit of decluttering every day since I got well enough (was really sick for about a week and am still recovering) – I love to see the recycling bin filling up with clippings, magazines, and boxes.
5. Got my IT brother to check out two discarded laptops from work, so that I can give one to my daughter and one to my husband. $10 each – they’re running on Windows XP, which isn’t supported any more, but for the purpose they’ll use them for (Pinterest and FB for DD and doing docs for work on the MS Office 2007 software for DH) they’re fine. Also scored 5 Ideabooks, for $2 each, which we fixed up for everyone else in family!


debra April 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Wow lots of comments!
I have 2 stems on my prescription sun glasses but one is fastened on with a paperclip. The little screws in my eyeglasses repair kit are too short.
1. Sold more stuff on ebay. Sold more stuff on Facebook garage sale sites.
2. Got some Bobli pizza crusts for free from my local thrift shop. Gave the big ones to my daughter and kept the small ones for myself. I cook half of one with tomato paste, Italian spices, shredded cheese & bacon bits in my toaster oven.
3. Said thrift store had their monthly blow out sale for 3 days instead of one. Got 3 pairs of curtains in the package, a cool nubby vintage bedspread, a hand crocheted afghan all for a dollar each.
4. I’m gathering buckets and tubs for container gardening. Ive trashpicked several smaller ones for herbs.
5. Got one of my closest friends an llbean monogrammed tote for her birthday. Used my visa bean bucks so it only cost me a few dollars.


Ruby April 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

1. Made homemade pizza for supper Sunday night, and I doubled the crust recipe to make two instead of the usual one. So we’ve had leftover pizza to take in our lunches — yum! Also made a pitcher of tea so I can have iced tea in my thermos at work.
2. Made 15 servings of “wet” food — canned salmon, brown rice, peas and carrots — for my dog with allergies on Saturday. Because the servings are frozen in muffin pans, my son refers to these as “nutrient pucks.” 😀
3. Hit a half-price sale at the humane society thrift shop and scored three more dress shirts for my husband, this time for $2 each. He now has a full week of very nice shirts for work.
4. Had 20 days in March in which I did absolutely no spending.
5. Plastic containers have to be washed clean here before they can be recycled. I rinsed and swished the laundry detergent jug to get a couple of extra loads of laundry out of it, and then used the last foamy dregs to wash out the litter boxes. It did a great job and got the boxes nice and clean.


Bee April 5, 2016 at 3:44 am

#4 is pretty amazing. You are a frugal champion for certain!


Amanda April 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm

1. My husband gave me an Iceland guidebook for my birthday. After flipping through it I came up with a few must-haves for our vacay, but I saved the list instead of ordering anything. We’re not going until July, so I have time to hit up thrift stores and change my mind on “nesessities.”
2. I ordered another box of contacts from Costco and mentioned that two in my last box of six were defective. The woman told me that she would add two free contacts to my order.
3. I had leftovers for lunch.
4. I had to go to cvs for a prescription and also needed a few personal care items like soap and contact solution. Usually I avoid buying from cvs because they seem to gauge you if you don’t know how to take advantage of their sales. I hate playing that game. But I didn’t have time for multiple stores, so I used coupons and bought a few things with my prescription. Then on the way out the store I used extra value bucks from the first purchase on the other things I needed. I think I at least accomplished reasonable prices.
5. My dryer broke, so I hauled the loss out to my clothes line.


Sarah m April 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm

1. Went on vacation to Asheville and the Smokies, and stayed in a hostel the first few days.
2. Before I left I cooked and froze everything in my fridge that night go bad- ended up with 8 ready meals for lunch, apple pie filling, and home fries.
3. Related to the archive, trying to pack my lunch every day this month. 2 for 2 so far.
4. Gave my own hair a trim in my bathroom.
5. Didn’t buy a lear jet?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: