Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 25, 2016 · 78 comments

  1. I had an extremely frugal weekend, as I worked Saturday and barely even left the house on Sunday. (I took the recycling to the curb, which was the only time I even left the house!) Northing more frugal than buying nothing and going nowhere! Heaven . . . .
  2. My eBay listings end tomorrow, and both will sell. One has two bids so far and I expect that both of them will get higher bids right before the very end. It’s always entertaining to sell on eBay!
  3. I defrosted two packets of Grocery Outlet beer brats from the freezer yesterday and served them with the last of some ginger curry lentil soup. Tonight I’ll stir fry the last of the brats with some broccoli for an easy and frugal dinner. And yes, the broccoli was from The Grocery Outlet as well. I stopped in after dropping my son at school this morning and bought two huge bags of groceries for $22.41.
  4. My small number of T-shirts all started disintegrating at once, so I plan on stopping into the Goodwill Outlet tomorrow to pick out a couple new ones. I didn’t budget for any clothing this month, so the small amount I’ll pay by the pound will easily slot into the $100 that I budget for “miscellaneous.”
  5. I was scheduled to work just one day this week, so I went onto the hospital website and found an eight-hour shift for this coming Friday. I normally work twelve-hour shifts, so this is very exciting for me, as eight hours fly by faster than Mrs. Duggar pushing out her 19th baby. I attended a four hour meeting last week, so my next paycheck will be exactly the amount that I prefer.

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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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Anne April 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

1. Currently doing the dogs/house sit through tomorrow morning which should bring close to $400 for staying at someone else’s home, eating their food, watching their cable etc., only expense is gas and time, which most of is spent sleeping. Totally OD’d on the Hallmark Mystery channel while we were there.

2. Decided to treat daughter using half of our tip money from the sit. We had a fun weekend with the following spread out – frugal cheap pizza dinner ($10), we went to the movies to see Batman Vs.Superman (matinee, first one so cost $8.50 for two people), and went to Sanders and got Sanders hot fudge ice cream puffs! Not frugal but definitely worth it as we do this about once a year.

3. Booked two more sits coming up – a “cats sit” for two sits a day for five days and a weekend sit for 6 sits over the coming weekend.

4. Found out have a big child support payment FINALLY coming my way after receiving nothing for 6 months! Luckily I am in a good place financially and feel like I can bank it for those times coming up I will not be working as much this summer.

5. Just went to Costco and gassed up for the week – $1.84 a gallon, other local gas station I passed on the way there wanted $2.09 a gallon, definite savings.


Katy April 25, 2016 at 10:35 am

That sounds like so much fun! I used to house sit when I was younger and I really enjoyed it. I remember wathcing way too much cable-TV, specifically the first season of MTV’s “The Real World.”


Beth Anne April 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

I know Katy, its really like a mini vacation for my daughter and I to relax and spend time together. The dogs are super cute too and we get lots of “pet therapy,” lol.

Katy – not sure if you already commented on this before but have you seen the Midwives show on PBS? I read the books and really enjoy the program.


jennifer April 25, 2016 at 10:36 am

4. Congrats!


Beth Anne April 25, 2016 at 10:57 am

Thanks Jennifer. We have a review on Friday with a referee to hopefully make it more equitable, fingers crossed!


jennifer April 25, 2016 at 10:34 am

My t-shirts are dwindling also and I don’t have many
1.I made banana bread yesterday. I only have one sad little banana but I didn’t want it to go to waste so I threw it and sweet potatos in the batter and made a crumby streusal for the top. It was delightful and oh so cheap.
2.I cleaned out my refrigerator completely. I told you the other day about my daughter leaving it open all night. Well, I threw out what I had to right then but I just got around to doing a deep clean yesterday. My refrigerator is now almost empty. It was good for me to take inventory of what I have so I wouldn’t buy excess thereby saving me $.
3.I washed my bathroom rugs and hug them outside over some chairs to dry. I looked at the clothesline I used to use all the time studied ways to repair it to make use of the hot summers we have in the south.
4. Planning a frugal meal for tonight. I’m diving into my freezer for hamburger patties and frozen buns. I’m loving that I don’t have to go to the store because I already have everything I need for many nice frugal meals. I would love to try a no spend month but I know my husband would just go nuts.
5.My sweet baby girl will turn 4 in a few weeks so I’m ruminating about these plans. I love spring/summer birthdays for kids because they can almost always be free at a local park. I will be making a homemade cake of some sort. The only plan I have so far is she told me she wants a cherry cake so cherry it is.


Katy April 25, 2016 at 10:36 am

I would recommend cupcakes for a 4 y.o.’s birthday in the park, as it’s much much simpler. No slicing, so silverware, no plates.


jennifer April 25, 2016 at 10:41 am

Great idea, easy peasy, and I can arrange them in the shape of a 4 for easy decor, thanks!


Lucy April 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

LOL, I never tell my husband we are doing a spending freeze and he never notices!

Um, he is soooo bad with $ he simply doesn’t have any in hand. Occasionally I may have to go “rescue” him, but not often.


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 6:22 am

My husband always has cash so he always buy whatever he wants. I don’t mind it too bad but I’m just not like that myself. We aren’t in debt so I guess we balance each other out. He would definatly not comply with a spending freeze.


Sandy April 25, 2016 at 11:04 am

We’re just keeping on the same path…plan meals, shop for those meals, prepare and eat those meals!
This week the meals will be a bit different, I’ll be making enough to freeze for my brother in law. He has very serious health issues and has to eat better for his life. We stopped to visit him, and I was able to get a list of his food preferences to make planning easier. I did get a peek into his fridge–diet soda, bottled water and a few bits of leftovers f ok the deli. Yikes! I did leave him so green produce keeper bags and explained how to use them, the greens we left him were the only fresh items in the kitchen.
In order to leave ‘heat n eat’ meals for him, I think I’ll have to use some plastic until I can gather some alternative baking dishes.
It was interesting hearing my husband telling his brother about choosing foods with the fewest ingredients! He, my husband, HAS been listening to me!
The biggest nca realization for us, in helping my bil, is how healthy we are, eating the way we do! We feel better, are healthier and have saved money, too!


Bee April 25, 2016 at 2:17 pm

There are just so many benefits of being frugal!


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

Is it strange that I love the challenge of being frugal? It’s very fulfilling for me to try to spend and waste the least amount that I can. My life is better for it.


Bettypants April 25, 2016 at 11:18 am

I complete agree that selling on ebay is super entertaining.

1. My favorite church rummage sale was on Friday. Everything is priced and everything is cheap. I found a Pampered Chef stoneware pan new in the box for $3, a pair of Merrell shoes for $1, quarter jewelry, a box of Partylite candles for 50 cents, and vintage cast iron pan for 75 cents.
2. Sold a Boyds Bear on ebay, and also an Irish cap that I had bought at a garage sale.
3. Posted a large rusty cabinet on Freecycle and had it picked up the next day.
4. Sold 3 random items on a FB board today for a total of $10.
5. My Hello Fresh free week box arrived on Saturday. I made one meal last night that was good, but I find $70 for three meals to be insane.


Mand01 April 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

A colleague orders from Hello Fresh all the time. I thought it looked expensive. She is always complaining that she is broke – maybe that’s why!


jennifer April 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm

So glad it’s rummage sale season again. I am trying to stay focused on kids clothes for when school starts back and only things I need.


lauren April 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I should have a bumper sticker that says I break for rummage sales. They make me so happy! It’s like a treasure hunt.


lauren April 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm




Betty Winslow April 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

Been wanting another small 2 shelf bookcase, but didn’t want to pay $20-30 or more for one. Found one this morning at an impromptu garage sale for $5!

Also bought a box of kitchenware for $3, which contained a stainless steel spatula, spaghetti grabber, and skimmer, a like-new teflon pan for hubby (I hate ’em, he loves ’em), a Revereware fry pan/lid, a grater, a cuke hollower, a wire rack that will fit in my crockpot, and an old-timey can opener (I opened a can of beans lat night with a REALLY old can opener, a a knife, and a pair of pliers, due to my can opener being broken. Didn’t cut myself, amazingly enough…) – and that’s just what I *kept*.

There were more pots, pans, and lids, random pieces of flatware, a sieve, and a few other odds and ends. I’ll let my kids take what they want, then donate the rest to a local parachurch organization that helps international students outfit their apartments. So happy!!


Karen April 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I went to a yard sale and the woman had her Revereware what I thought was a little high. I asked her how she set her prices and she said Revereware was getting popular as collector items so she thought she was appropriately priced.

I was glad because that is the cookware I have used since I was married. My mom bought me a set and my sisters also when they got married. When my grandmother died I took her dutch oven piece. Every time I use it, which is quite often, I think of her.


Marcia April 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Interesting. I have had mine almost since I got married (54 years) and did buy a few new pieces about halfway through. Unfortunately, I’m still using them all. I do have one dutch oven that is missing a handle–my own fault, as I put it in too hot an oven, but it doesn’t affect it’s usefulness. Something my DD can sell later if she doesn’t want to use them! I have the copper bottom ones–they don’t stay clean but a little vinegar does a great job on the copper. Once in a while I clean them up.


cathy April 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

I love my Revereware! My grandparents gave me both the 12 qt stockpot and the 6 qt (one was a birthday present when I was still in college). With the exception of the teakettle that I purchased new, all my other pots and pans were hand-me-downs or yard sale/thrift store purchases. My best score was at a local yard sale a few years ago where I was able to get both a small and an extra small sauce pan and a couple of lids, all for $5. They were in perfect condition. I usually hand wash them because they take up too much room in the dishwasher. On the rare occasions I do run them, something in the 7th Generation powdered dishwasher detergent reacts with and shines the copper.


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 6:26 am

I have my grandmother’s cast iron skillet so it makes me think of her often. I just love it.


JD April 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

1. My husband wanted steak and shrimp last night. We had hamburgers, and slaw made from homegrown cabbage instead; my husband not only survived, he enjoyed it.
2. I took my kitchen knives to be sharpened and a boot to be repaired along with other errands. They are quality items (the boots were a gift to my husband from his boss six years ago and the knives are an anniversary gift from 12 years ago) and I refuse to go buy new just because they need a little work. Years ago, I used to buy cheap knives and replace them when I could no longer get them sharp enough. So wasteful of me, I’m ashamed. I never bought cheaply made shoes, though, and have always repaired them and kept them a long time. A person wearing AA width with AAAA heel doesn’t find a lot of cheap shoes!
3. I bought some yarn to make a gift, and got it half off, plus found pretty blank journals at half off. A journal is now another gift for someone I know who likes to journal. I’m making headway on shopping ahead for Christmas.
4. I needed something to strain herb infusions with and was shopping for a special close-weave cheesecloth or cotton netting, when I remembered I already had a coarse-weave cotton muslin that came as a wrapping material from an environmentally friendly company. I washed it thoroughly and it’s ready to use.
5. I picked the meat off of a chicken carcass and since I didn’t have time right then to make stock, put it in the freezer. In a couple of days I’ll make chicken stock. The picked off meat goes in my well-known “this is the last of the roast chicken” pot pie which we’ll have tonight.


Rosanne April 27, 2016 at 7:18 am

Hi JD. I know what you mean about the shoes. I take a EE width and gave up a few years ago trying to be cheap about it. Good quality shoes that fit well are worth a little extra effort to upkeep and the extra outlay of cash. However, I am a little jealous of women who can buy cute shoes in Goodwill for only a few dollars. EE width shoes always look a little ‘grandma’.


Jennifer April 25, 2016 at 12:33 pm

1. I’m having TWO loads of free mulch/wood chips delivered to my house today from a local arborist. I am so freaking excited! The previous owners of our new (to us) house left a lot to be desired of their yard and this will go a long way toward improving the curb appeal.

2. I spent almost my entire day yesterday raking and cleaning up the yard. I have so, so, so much to do back there that I just can’t justify leaving the house on the weekends (and spending more money!). None of this cost any money – just calories and sweat.

3. I sprained my ankle Saturday night because I thought it would be okay if I jumped off my front porch while trying to get the cat back in the house. (?!?!?!) Thankfully, I took sports’ medicine in high school, so I was back at it after an ice compress and a good wrapping of an ace bandage.

4. My husband starts a new serving job tomorrow, for which he needs a pair of black slacks and long-sleeved button-down as part of his uniform. One trip to goodwill and his new uniform is secured for less than $10. I will probably retrofit an old apron of mine (from my waitress days) for him since he also has to provide his own apron.

5. I also grabbed a Green Planet dump truck from GW for my youngest son’s birthday (in less than two weeks.) He has and adores the fire truck from the same company, and I love that the company constructs kids toys from recycled plastic, so it’s a win-win.


Bettypants April 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

I spent a large part of my weekend breaking up large twigs and burning them, to be free of an unsightly brush pile. I feel your yard pain.


K D April 25, 2016 at 12:53 pm

1. We did not buy anything this weekend. Yesterday we did work in the yard, cleaned our vehicles, and I snuck in a yoga class (which I walked to).

2. Early this morning I made a pot of Red Lentil & Vegetables soup. It used up half a can of tomatoes and some old carrots. I will have that for dinner while everyone else will eat planned(left)-overs. It will also be lunch a few days this week.

3. We are continuing to enjoy Call the Midwives on Netflix.

4. I am not enjoying an e-book I borrowed from the library. It will be automatically returned in a couple of days.

5. I will work on Wednesday, as a sub.


Mand01 April 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm

1. Back to work today after a week off. I spent my week off painting our kitchen and dining room and although it doesn’t feel like I’ve had a holiday at all, it looks so nice that it was worth it.
2. I worked out that if we live on my income, we can use my husband’s income just to target our mortgage. If we do that, we can have it paid off in half the time. I’m feeling really excited about this. It will require some belt tightening, but not too much.
3. We had friends over for a BBQ yesterday. Aside from the meat, I home made the salad, bread rolls, and dessert (lemon poppyseed cake) and it was all lovely and received rave reviews. It was very relaxing sitting in the autumn sunshine and chatting.
4. In preparation my husband and I cleaned our house from top to bottom, so we also have a lovely clean and freshly painted house. That feels pretty great.
5. Dinner was BBQ leftovers, and tonight we are making burrito bowls from more leftovers. Still more went into the freezer for another meal. So although I just about died when I saw the price of meat (we don’t eat much meat), we have a lot left over for other meals, so it evened out.


Chris April 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

I have good luck with tee shirts at the Discovery Shops. They have nice quality clothing, usually have one color tag half off, and they have a $2 clearance rack!


Jenn April 25, 2016 at 1:49 pm

1. Took a frozen pizza to work on Saturday for lunch and shared with my co-worker. Win for us both!

2. Went through my 9 year old’s wi tee clothes today and pulled out what won’t fit next winter. I will give these to my same co-worker as she has 3 boys.

3. Dug in the freezer and found some leftover rice dish and warmed it up for lunch.

4. Furnace off and open windows!

5. Ordered contacts online and saved about $100 compared to buying from my optometrist!


Jenn April 25, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Winter clothes! Grr


Vickie April 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm

1) I stayed home on Sunday too and accomplished a lot. I agree, nothing nicer than a day at home and no money spent. I made stew yesterday, which means leftovers for 2 days of meals. Yum!
2) I got a coupon in my Harbor Freight mailer and bought a Power Plunger for my daughter – $8 with the coupon and SO worth every penny. We have one at home and they are awesome.
3) My co-worker and I are walking the Campus for an afternoon break. Free exercise and it also keeps me from wanting a snack. Another reason I keep peppermint gum too, it’s a good appetite suppressant and also calms nausea.
4) This week is staff week at work, so we get lots of swag and and free lunch on Friday – yay! Plus I get free lunch tomorrow, since I get my 15 year service award.
5) I filled the car with gas on the way home Saturday, which should last me all week. The station north of us had it for $1.99 per gallon. The cheapest I’ve found so far.


janine April 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm

I also had a frugal weekend. No spending except:
1. Saturday evening husband went to our favorite fish and chips place and purchased a la carte fish fillets. I filled in with the rest of the meal from the pantry and it was wonderful. A break from making the entrée makes all the difference in the world in terms of feeling pampered!
2. Shopped at Costco today – resisted all the goodies and stuck to my list. In addition they had great tasting pasta samples – free.
3. Finally broke down and got a much needed haircut. Now eligible for Sr. discount thus saving $2.
4. Received a $10 off $10 coupon from JCPenney – will use it for part of son’s birthday present. forgot to use my last coupon before it expired so was happy to get this one in the mail today. Also will make him a homemade cake.
5. Went to a church “garage sale” on Friday. Found a set of inexpensive steak knives and a book on how to fix stuff for $3.50 total.


Elizabeth April 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm

ROFL @ Mrs. Duggar’s labor.

I honestly can’t think of one frugal thing I did specifically. How sad is that? Just the usual frugality for this gal.

I guess reading these blogs and all the comments is a frugal thing because it keeps me focused! Thanks for all the sharing folks!


Bee April 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

1) I only spent $3 this weekend –the entrance fee to one of our local state park. A real bargain for a sunshine filled morning closed to nature.
2) My husband is traveling this week for business. So I am fixing simple meals with what’s on hand. I think that I will only need milk this week for my morning Joe. I have a new farm basket arriving on Thursday, so I am trying to finish up the veggies in the frig.
3) I have been paring down my wardrobe. My life has changed in the last few years, so I find that I am not wearing much of what I have. I seem to have a closet full of clothes , but not a thing to wear. It’s time for a change I will donate much of it to the woman’s shelter and perhaps sell those items which are extra-special. I have made a list of a few items I need and will soon head out thrifting.
4) While cleaning out my closet, I listen to a wonderful podcast. It made the time go faster, and I learned a thing or two.
5) I need to have something notarized. I sent out an SOS to my friends , and I have a friend who is taking care of it for me without charging me a fee.


reese April 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

If you’re looking for a notary, head to your local library! Our receptionists and one of the managers are all notaries. The service is 100% free (aside from the library cost coming from taxpayers dollars).


Elizabeth April 25, 2016 at 6:08 pm

I needed papers notorized recently and didn’t know where to start, thinking our library might be the ticket. Unfortunately, ours doesn’t offer notary service. But the librarian did tell me to try my bank and thankfully, since I do business there, it was free.


Juhli April 26, 2016 at 3:32 am

Our UPS store does it for under $5 if you can’t find a free source. They always have someone available when they are open.


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 6:33 am

My bank notarizes things for free if you have an account there. Many banks offer that service for free with an account .I would call and check with yours.


Mariana April 25, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Love the ‘stay in’ weekends myself from time to time. I mean anywhere you go, no way you will spend less than a ‘twenty’.
I cooked, sewed, ate a free lunch and drank free office coffee.
I also donated a full bag of clothing to the local ‘clothing drive’. It was a good week.


PaperCraneFarm April 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

How is it already the end of April? Oh dear!

1) We received a $14 gift card from Kohls from a class action lawsuit a few years ago. I have been watching the weekly ads and saw a door buster sale item that would make an acceptable birthday present. I bought it online by clicking through upromise first to get the extra % back.

2) Started more seeds under the grow lights. Come on little celery, celeriac, basil, tomato, pepper, nd ground cherry seeds – grow big and strong!

3) Picked through a neighbor’s yard sale leftovers. I’m keeping the lovely wine glasses but taking the books to the library book sale and the purse, scarf, Christmas stockings, Christmas wreath, and other miscellaneous things to Goodwill in my next trip. Would rather that the stuff doesn’t get thrown out and my dropping it off helps that to happen.

4) Produce at the grocery store was terrible this weekend. All of the bananas already had brown spots with neither a green banana or a yellow banana in sight. I shrugged and bought the brown speckled bananas off the discount rack. Why would I pay full price for the same speckleness.

5) The baby broke my husband’s glasses. We’ve used superglue three times in the last week but he needs new glasses. We’ve been researching online eye glass stores and may give one a try to see if we can find a more affordable option. I signed up for their email list to get a coupon code and checked ebates vs. upromise to see which one gave us the most back. I’ll try to stack as many coupons and discounts as possible.


Debbie April 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm

We have used with good success for low cost eyeglasses. Be sure to check for coupon codes first. I have friends who have used and said they were pleased.


PaperCraneFarm April 26, 2016 at 1:52 am

Thanks – I had found zenni but will check out the options at coastal too.


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 6:45 am

5.I have used Zenni and goggles4u lately and had no issues. They were so inexpensive that I got extras since my brother breaks his a lot.
4. For what it’s worth, I saw on Dr. Oz that the more brown bananas have more antioxidants in them.


Gina in KY April 25, 2016 at 5:19 pm

LOL, I love your analogies, Katy!
1. Applied for a personal loan at my credit union with a low interest rate so I can take care of all the debts I was gifted via divorce (long horrible story and the one area being frugal caused me harm 🙁 ). This is one step closer to my goal of total debt payoff in three years or less. Not as frugal as I’d like, but I’ve been working hard to pay off these blood-debts and this will shave off two years & tons in interest.
2. Filled a box with thrift store donations (ongoing cluttering project due in part to same in #1). I also itemized the contents for taxes.
3. Planted tomato and pepper seedlings around the yard.
4. Weekend entertainment was our city’s air show and fireworks. I live close to downtown where event was held, so we used river walking paths to bypass parking and headaches.
5. Made Sun tea using the tea bags bought for cheap at the grocery outlet store. I store it in jars in the refrigerator and grab one when I leave for work.


cathy April 26, 2016 at 6:49 am

Wasn’t Thunder last weekend? We used to live in KY, and that’s gotta be the best fireworks show in the country.


Gina in KY April 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

Yes, that’s the one!! 🙂 It starts Derby week too!


Reese April 25, 2016 at 6:35 pm

This might be a doozy of a list if I can come up with 5…

1) My house was built in 1958, and I still have the original windows. It’s unbelievably drafty in the winter, and all of them are painted shut or are broken, so they don’t open in the summer. I’m taking out a 0% interest for 5 years loan from the window company. I always pay on time, and this won’t cost me any interest…. and think of how much I’ll save on heat/AC with functioning windows!
2) The BF and I were running errands… and while we were both hungry, decided to go home and make food instead of buying anything.
3) Our local Habitat hosts an annual fundraiser called Jump into Jewels–where you can sift through thousands of donated scarves, hats, bags/purses, and jewelry. I ended up spending some money…but I now have three pairs of solid gold earrings that won’t irritate my sensitive skin…for less than $50! (I have three piercings in each ear)
4) It may have taken 8 hours…but I deep cleaned my entire house. I went through every nook, cranny, drawer, and closet..and put aside items in the spare bedroom to sell at a yard sale this summer. The pile is massive right now, as the BF and I are combining households and getting rid of duplicates.
5) I’m working the evening shift tonight. I brought dinner, snacks, and brewed my own ice tea to sip on at my desk. The nice thing is I have to get up and walk around every 45 minutes…so I’m getting in exercise too!


Marcia April 25, 2016 at 7:32 pm

My husband gets credit for the frugality here. Woke up the other morning and wanted to run the dishwasher after breakfast. Error code popped up, and owner’s manual said nothing about it. Friend looked it up online and it said an electrical short. (We had a problem with mice a couple months ago and knew they had been inside the dishwasher frame because insulation (sound-proofing) was messed up.)
Husband removed ALL the insulation and discarded it. Pulled out built in dishwasher, which ended up upside down in the middle of the kitchen floor. But he found a broken wire and fixed it!!! Cleaned up the whole mess, put it all back together and it works!! He filled in the space around the hoses, etc. with foam insulation material. Total cost: NOTHING! Dishwasher is no more noisy than it was to begin with–we were surprised about that.

Then he cleaned the cabinet under the sink, added the foam insulation around the pipes, let it all dry out and put the stuff back in. The following day he did purchase additional foam insulation (it sprays into cracks and then foams up and hardens.) He also purchased a few more packages of mouse traps. They (mice) have been into the drawer under the stove—I have started pulling out the pans and cleaning them and stacking until the drawer is empty and I can clean it well. We could tell because they have been hoarding cat food in there!!

No new mice captured but I’m sure there will be more bodies shortly! We only caught two originally and I doubted that we were finished. I had to work around husband in the kitchen all weekend, but I got most of my chores done, and finished a couple today. We didn’t spend any more than the mouse traps and insulation for the weekend—we were too tired to go anywhere or do anything else!! Being retired, we do our errands during the week and do our chores on the weekend. I cooked at home the whole time too. Today I made more granola and did some mending on the sewing machine. Husband looked around for mouse holes both outside the house and in the basement. Thinks he has them all filled up. Time will tell.
We live in a rural area and mice are not uncommon in the basement–but generally don’t bother coming upstairs. Our cat is getting too old to care I guess-she has caught them before but she is almost 15 years old now.


Gina in KY April 26, 2016 at 6:18 am

Grrr, I feel your mouse pain. I live in a circa 1900 house that is full of rodent doors.


Kim in Los Alamitos April 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Hubby and I just spent a ton of money to replace our antiquated (and dangerous)
heating and air-conditioning units. We are fairly frugal when it comes to our
home temps, but when the extremes hit in the summer we will be ready. And these units are much more efficient, so we hope it will save $.
We are in the process of redoing one of our bathrooms, which can be costly. But my husband and his best friend worked all weekend and changed out everything but the bathtub. Still needs some minor touch ups, but doing the work yourself can save lots of dough. (We waited 23 freaking years for this! Wooop)
Used a coupon for a free milk shake at Jack-in-the-box that my son earned in school.
Cleaning up left overs.
Hit up several yard sales on Saturday and only spent about 7 dollars total.


kathleen April 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm

1.) Cut down existing window seat foam cushions to fit after adding shelving which narrowed the seating area.
2.) Didn’t buy an electric carving knife to accomplish #1 even though that was recommended. With no more foam cutting on my horizon, I made do with a serrated knife for this one-time job, and it did just fine.
3.) Made fried rice with the remainders of vegetables in the fridge and bacon and eggs. Frugal, quick, and yummy.
4.) Making do car sharing until hail damage to son’s car repaired.
5.) Since #4 means I’m getting dropped off before work and picked up after work, it is forcing me to take a lunch from home.


Lee April 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

1. Saturday I took one of my kids and their friend to our local Earth Day festival, where they did free crafts and got free cookies. We saved the cookies and took them to the
2. movie theatre where I used discount tickets I get from work. the friend came home with us for dinner,
3. which I made with food we had on hand, including stale bread crusts I’d stashed in the freezer (they got turned into crumbs and went into the meatballs).
4. Earlier in the week I brought home a ton of food leftover from a work event (chips and salsa, half a veggie tray, grapes, cookies, cheese and crackers).
5. This week I’ll get lunch free every day. I’ll pack lunch for the kids to take to school instead of buying school lunch.
Bonus 6: we read library books and I listened to podcasts I download free.


Rose April 25, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Although I think the Duggars are super crazy, perhaps cracking a joke about their 19th kid that was born four months premature via emergency c section isn’t particularly appropriate, eh?


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 7:02 am

I don’t think that joke was meant to be taken literally. Most all jokes would not be funny if we looked at all the specifics.


Gabrielbus May 10, 2016 at 7:21 am

It’s the Duggers. Everyone feels they can take a whack, even if it is unChristlike. Perhaps I am a bit more sensitive about such things though.


Florencia April 26, 2016 at 1:31 am

1. Ate free lunch and snack at work on Saturday. Same thing today
2. I’m counting calories again. I don’t fit into most of my clothes! So I didn’t have dinner Friday. Because…
3. I had breakfast at work (free) Friday and my boss bought us Mexican food, a huge burrito for myself. So filling! Was still under my daily calories.
4. I don’t think I mentioned this previously, but I bought a purse at a salvage store for $31. It’s a bag that costs $185 on Amazon and is exactly what I wanted.
5. Used my symphony student season pass on Friday.
6. My mom went to clean a house and brought home a grocery bag full of a bunch of spices, including salt, yeast, soy sauce, and a little packet of our favorite curry.
7. I made a delicious Massaman curry dish using that packet and coconut milk, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cashews, an onion, a can of potatoes and some rice, all from the pantry. I also dumped in some peanut sauce from a few weeks ago that was about to go bad.
8. Brought home a bag of freeze dried snacks a customer gave me.
9. Brought home empty single use zipper bags from work, as well as a smoothie (my mom will use it in fruit salad) and a fish, mushroom and cheese sandwich for my sister. The food was part of my alloted daily amount.
10. I am going to a paid mock trial tomorrow. It’ll pay $125 and include dinner for about 4 hours.


Susan BEE April 26, 2016 at 3:31 am

I am preparing to become militant about budgeting for May. My written budget is done. I am also shopping from my pantry until May 31. I have fallen off track over the past few months and am ready to get down to it!


Roberta April 26, 2016 at 6:30 am

Not much frugal around here lately. My daughter has some food allergies, and we’ve been tracking them down. Looks like gluten, nuts and eggs (we have chickens). So I’ve been spending more on specialty food for her, but at Grocery Outlet and the like. I now have several types of flours, and I have been making food based on what flours we have, not buying flours for what I want to make.

Also, I was about to take the dog to the vet for itching, then remembered that we had switched his food recently. So I bought different food for him, and the itching went away. So I saved a vet visit (yeah!) and now both dogs are on different food (we switched because the first dog was allergic to the first food).

We have been dog sitting for our piano teacher’s dog, and that money will (mostly) go into the college fund.

My husband is reading _Seven_ now, and so he wants to get rid of things, not buy more.

A friend offered to lend us a suitcase for our summer trip, so I don’t have to store it, even at Goodwill prices.

I guess I’m doing better than I thought!


cathy April 26, 2016 at 7:01 am

Roberta, do you store your GF flours in the freezer? We always do and find they last much longer. Several of them are prone to going rancid pretty quickly at room temp.


Roberta April 27, 2016 at 6:27 am

Thanks for the tip, Cathy. I haven’t, but we’ve JUST discovered the allergy, so I haven’t had the need arise yet. I’m so glad I won’t have to find out the hard way!


Chris April 26, 2016 at 7:34 am

1. I sold a porch-type swing and a frame that we had repurposed from our kids swing set – they picked it up yesterday. $$ in my pocket.
2. We didn’t do our normal food plan for the week so I am winging it and so far no need to go to the grocery store.
3. A friend just stopped by to look at the garden to figure out where we should plant the grasses she will be bringing over once she starts digging up plants that need to be split.
4. The library sale I coordinate is this week so I will be at the library all weekend – no time for shopping.
5. I gave my friend some forsythia branches that a neighbor had given me and I can swing by her house to cut some pussy willows to add to my forsythia – pretty!


cathy April 26, 2016 at 7:40 am

I started reading FFT this morning while everyone was getting ready to get out the door, so…
1. Older kid got picked up for school by neighbors with whom we carpool. I drive in the afternoon.
2. I warmed up leftover rice to make creamy rice for younger kid’s breakfast. He’s allergic to wheat and oats, so this is a good alternative. I make a big pot of rice once a week specifically to use the leftovers throughout the week.
3. Both kids took their lunch to school in old-but-still-in-good-shape lunchboxes, equipped with stainless water bottle, cloth napkin, titanium spork, reusable storage containers, and freezer pack. Been doing this forever as they cannot eat school lunch.
4. Coffee. Saved yesterday’s grounds to top dress a tree that needs more acidic soil. Poured the bit of leftover coffee into the reusable glass jar I keep in the fridge for ice coffee. Made a new pot of coffee. Ground the beans in my 30+ year old coffee grinder, purchased when I worked for the Kobos Co. in college. Before there was Stumptown, there was Kobos. Brewed coffee in my lovely, low-tech Chemex (wish it were 30 years old!) lined w/ a reusable, stainless Kone (brand) filter (coincidentally made in Portland). After my husband and I each poured a cup (his in a thrifted to-go cup), I put the rest in our Thermos, which will keep it hot all day. That Thermos is one of the few things my husband has had since before we met (so it, too, is over 30 years old).
5. Made meatballs for dinner last night with defrosted ground beef (bought direct from the rancher around a year ago), breadcrumbs (from leftover homemade GF bread), parsley that needed to be used up, spices, and the last of some marinara. Not quite as good as my Italian MIL’s, but husband was pretty pleased.
6. Adding one more: Had a tooth that was bothering me, but able to combine getting it checked out with regular cleaning. Needed x-rays, but this is the visit where insurance will cover them. I like that my dentist’s office is very cost-conscious. They do their best to be on top of what services are covered by insurance and when.


4TruLady April 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

Excuse me for just blurting this out when I have only lurked here up until now, but could you please tell me what FFT is?

Thanks! I am quite frugal already, but I enjoy reading others comments and ideas so much!


Karen3848 April 26, 2016 at 10:58 am

FFT is just the acronym for Five Frugal Things 🙂


4TruLady April 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I hope all of you got as good a laugh out of my foolishness as I did! In my “defense” I am on Tamoxifen, and it makes me “sorta fuzzy”. Thanks very much for the good natured reply Karen!


Ruby April 26, 2016 at 8:04 am

Life appears to be working hard to thwart frugality at my house.

1. Washing machine broke. Husband and son made an attempt to fix it and determined it needs a new pump, which was beyond their skills to replace. Repairman was called. However, since we have a home warranty, it will cost only $65.

2. Dog with a trick elbow had it go out again. Taking her to the vet today. If she needs surgery, the $250 first-visit fee will be applied to her surgery. Not looking forward to any of that.

3. Older laptop is too slow to be useful, but otherwise in good shape. After some Googling around, I ordered extra RAM for it that cost less than $30. Got fingers crossed that this does the trick.

4. Did the same thing for a laptop at work, along with ordering a new battery. So we’re hoping to put it back into service for less than $100, as opposed to the department spending over $1,000 for a new one.

5. Our water bill suddenly tripled, with no sign of a leak or unusual usage. My husband is working with the water company to get it investigated. Meanwhile, we’ve gone into extreme water-frugality around here.

However, we’re continuing every day with all our usual frugal practices, so all this stings a lot less than it would have if we’d been living a non-frugal lifestyle.


JD April 26, 2016 at 8:58 am

I thought I’d mention my sister’s water bill suddenly spiked for two months and she couldn’t figure it out — finally a neighbor told her that her sprinklers were running late at night. She works during the early day, and they were programmed to run briefly early in the morning just after she left the house, but something had messed up her timer and they were running for about four hours each night instead.
I hope you find your mystery water problem!


jennifer April 26, 2016 at 10:00 am

Ruby, we have a veterinary school in my area that does surgery for a significantly reduced rate. You may have a trusted vet that you would rather use but I just thought I would mention. I know several people that have had great experiences using a school.


Ruby April 26, 2016 at 10:18 am

Our vets don’t do complicated orthopedics, so they would send us to the specialty veterinary hospital across town, which does have the policy of applying the bill for the first visit as a payment on the surgery.

I’m hoping our vets can show us how to wrap her elbow to help stabilize it and possibly give her a steroid shot for swelling to help with the tendons holding the joint in place.


Ruby April 26, 2016 at 10:15 am

We think it’s either the meter, which could be defective, or that one of our toilets is getting hung up and runs all day without anyone noticing. My husband has called the water company to come check the meter and we’ve all had a discussion about checking the toilets before leaving the house for the day.


LisaC April 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm

1. Eating from the freezer, haven’t bought any meat for a few weeks but eating pretty well so far. No wierd meals from whatever’s left yet.
2. Making my own coffee in the morning, now that I’ve used up my local coffee shop gift card.
3. Opening windows and loving the electric bill this month.
4. Found some administrative staff appreciation cards I’d forgotten to give out, so we are signing them this year and giving cut local flowers to our office staff.
5. Planning to take our son some local seafood as a birthday gift that he can’t find where he lives.
Frugal Fail: Thought I’d scored a Coach purse at Goodwill for 4.50, took it home and did the research. Its a fake, so I won’t try to sell it. So instead of making money on ebay like I thought, I wasted the 4.50. I put it back in my giveaway pile. Thought about throwing it out since its a fake, but I hate to put it in a landfill.

Question for my frugal friends: I don’t like styrofoam, because its not recyclable. What’s a not tacky way to bring home leftovers from a restaurant without using their styrofoam containers?


Elizabeth April 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I guess this might be tacky, but I don’t see a thing wrong with packing a small reusable divided dish in a large purse to pack leftovers in. I have no shame, so would have no trouble filling it and carrying it out of a restaurant. 😉


4TruLady April 27, 2016 at 3:11 am

I would do this too. With so many people more concerned for the environment now I’d think most people would nod approvingly.

I always take home whatever is left, someone (humans, dog, or chickens) will eat it,


K D April 27, 2016 at 4:03 am

I have occasionally remembered to bring my own containers with me for leftovers. Restaurants don’t mind, it saves them time and money when you pack up your own. Just tell them you’re being “green”.

I have a friend that likes to take leftovers when she comes for a meal (a busy single mother that I am happy to have take extra food with her). Last time she came I told her to bring a container if she’d like to take leftovers. I am out of plastic containers that I have gleaned over the years. She was fine with that.


Karen3848 April 27, 2016 at 9:36 am

Yes! When I’m going out, I purposely use a larger purse that will accomodate one or two of my containers for leftovers. No one has ever said a word (except my younger nieces who may have been mortified, but not surprised lol). I hate to bring home styrofoam just to toss it as soon as I get home, because I repackage for better storage in the fridge anyway.


LisaC April 27, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Thanks, I think I’ll try. I hate to throw food or styrofoam away!


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