Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 18, 2016 · 75 comments


  1. I took some rosemary and spider plant babies that I’d been rooting and planted them in a crock that I’d pulled from a free pile. The rosemary was from a neighbor’s bush, the spider plants were from a prolific plant at my father’s house and the soil was from a chipped terra cotta pot that someone had put out in front of their house. It’ll live on my porch as my cats enjoy eating spider plants.
  2. My younger son and I went an hour early to pick up my older son from work, which allowed us the time to walk around the park and hunt for Pokémon. Healthy quality time without any expense.
  3. I’ve been very uninspired with meal planning lately, but I did assemble a pan of baked ziti last night. I used leftover marinara sauce, pasta and a can of tomatoes from the pantry, two sprouting onions, cheese we already had and a half-pound of spicy bulk sausage from New Seasons. Not your average summer meal, but it was gobbled up and so nice to sit around the dining room table with the family. I’ll make pizzas tonight using the last of the sauce.
  4. I updated my Every Dollar budget this morning and remembered that December and July are the months when we pay our next door neighbor for our half of the garbage bill. We split a single pickup which saves us both $168 per year.
  5. I put together a listing to sell a Queen Bee messenger bag/purse that I picked up for $10 from a consignment shop. These popular bags sell new for $168, so I’m pretty sure I can get $40 for it.

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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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifer July 18, 2016 at 11:29 am

Nice plant!
1. I cooked potatoes that I had blanched and frozen 2 years ago and put in the freezer. I almost threw them away because every time I have tried using them they had a mealy consistency. I just gave them a quick whir in the blender and they were perfect. I also used purple onions slices on top of my hamburger steaks from the same year. Delicious meal!
2. Still putting off a haircut. My hair is quite long now. The air conditioning at our business is not working well so I wash my hair and put it in a bun still wet to keep cool throughout the day.`


jennifer July 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

Wow, I hit submit too early but it’s just as well since I have a dentist appt in 30 min and I have a bit of a drive to get there. It’s root canal day, yay me!


Jennifer July 18, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I went to the dentist. She said they could fill it and NOT do a root canal. I’m so happy!!
I came prepared to hand over $600+ and that’s not including the crown I would have to buy in a couple weeks. Instead, I paid $300 for 2 fillings(she went ahead and took care of the cavity next it). I do have some more things that need to be taken care of soon so keeping the extra $300 will help with that. I almost cried when she said she could just fill it. I just never get any good news at the dentist.


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Yah for good news at the dentist! I was thinking happy thoughts when I saw you were headed there!


jennifer July 19, 2016 at 6:45 am

Thank you!

Vanessa July 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Yay for You! Dental appointments….not my favorite thing. “Is it safe?”


jennifer July 19, 2016 at 6:45 am

I do think the dentist is safe, Vanessa. I personally feel that the benefits outweigh the risk. In my case I have attractive, straight teeth and I never wore braces yet they seem to be prone to decay no matter how much I take care of them(porous maybe?). When you have dental pain it can reduce the quality of your life by making it difficult to eat and making any activity less enjoyable due to pain. I also feel that maintenance is the ultimate frugality. If I had teeth, like those people that don’t brush and rarely get decay, I would not put so much money into dental care but in my case I feel it’s necessary.

cathy July 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

I think “Is it safe?” is a reference to the movie “The Marathon Man” with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier.

Betty Winslow July 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

1. Our new pastor’s family (2 adults, a 4 yo and a 7 yo) is moving into their house on Saturday, so I saved the divided plastic to-go thing from the veggie tray I bought last week on super-sale and will fill it with cheese cubes, pretzels, grapes, M&Ms, cracker jack, and baby carrots, to give them something to snack on while they work. I already gave them a reusable shopping bag with our town’s logo on it, filled with town info from the chamber of commerce, library, park system, etc.
Inexpensive welcome gifts!
2. The cookbook club meets tonight and the theme is Hispanic. All of the recipes I found needed something I didn’t have, so I finally went to my ethnic breads cookbook and found a recipe for Orange and Chocolate Bread, which was perfect. I already had all the ingredients!
3. Got a bag of clothes dropped off for me by a friend, most too big for me (!), but all name brands, so will be selling them.
4. Went to a farewell party for our current pastor and his wife and came home with a bunch of leftovers!
5. Friends of my daughter’s are getting married in September and I took a chance on their style and bought two lovely stainless steel baskets for their kitchen, on super-sale. Just got the shower invite with their registry – and they will look perfect in her kitchen!


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm

That sounds like a lovely housewarming present – easy to eat food for a family with young kids!


Ella July 18, 2016 at 12:12 pm

1) A friend gave me a pair of almost new flats that didn’t fit her quite right, but are perfect for me.
2) I put some dried beans in the crockpot this morning, and will have beans and rice with about-to-go-bad squash tonight.
3) I’ve been air drying everything, even though I have no outdoor space. Sheets go over doors, towels over the shower rod, etc.
4) Got a new swimsuit that I really needed with store credit I had saved up.
5) Cashed out credit card rewards points. It pays to put everything on your card if you pay it all off at the end of the month!


Shawn July 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

I have five frugal things, and one that is pissing me off.

1) Carpooled to work this morning.
2) Purchased discounted bus pass for my spouse, who is working downtown where parking is expensive. Bus pass alone should save nearly 70 dollars over the next two months.
3) Dropped my car off at the garage this morning. While this is a bit of a frugal thing/frugal fail, they are checking to make sure the back end of my car (which developed a new noise) is safe. I picked it up last week, but it developed a new noise after that. The garage was far less expensive than my previous work, and even if this new noise is a fault, I like them much better.
4) leftovers for supper tonight.
5) Going to visit my Grandmother in the hospital, using the shared parking pass that is already paid for.

What is pissing me off? The necklace I repaired last night broke again. The findings I purchased at Michaels keep failing. While they were not expensive I do not wish to lose the men’s black pearl necklace I looked so hard for.


lauren July 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I would return them and explain why and ask for your money back. Then buy some from a local jeweler maybe?


Bonnie July 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I agree with Lauren. Return the baddies to Lauren, go to a jeweler or at least a good bead shop for good parts. It’s bad economy to lose a pearl necklace over a few bucks worth of findings.


Bonnie July 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Oops. Don’t return them to Lauren, although she may have some use for them. Return them to Micheal’s.


Bettypants July 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

1. I brought a large container of Skittles to my office that were not being appreciated at home. All day long, I’ve heard the rattling of coworkers helping themselves.
2. Cleaned out some bins in my basement and got rid of a bunch of skeins of yarn and a box of supplies to make paper stars. I’ve lost interest in both projects. Someone bought it all for $10 and picked up today.
3. Walked over to the library at lunch time and picked out a stack of magazines and books.
4. A book I listed on ebay sold today for $10.
5. Updated my albums of sale items on FB sale boards. It’s kind of a pain loading photos and descriptions on multiple boards, but it does pay off.


JD July 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

1. We divided our oregano plant and it’s so far re-growing in its two new homes.
2. I slept on repaired sheets last night. A tear in one corner, which I’ve stitched up.
3. I’m planning what to pack for a visit to my sister across the state this weekend. I’m not buying anything new, but I am going to hem some consignment shorts I already own. I’ve been rolling them up, but I’d rather just hem them.
4. My sister already has a day trip for us planned to her local Habitat and consignment store. I’m in need of a few more summer things, so I’ll see what I can find. It’s been waaaayyyy too long since I’ve gotten some more casual clothes for summer.
5. I found a flip top bottle at Goodwill that I then used for my herbal class’ mead making project, and a lovely frame for a print I’ve owned for three years, waiting to find a good frame that wasn’t more expensive than the print.


tonya parham July 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

1. Traded a pone of cornbread and a peach cobbler for a box of garden fresh veggies. I like to bake, but I hate to garden. This was the best barter ever. I’m hoping the lady wants to keep it up!

2.Am keeping my air on 75. Not as high as some recommend but higher than I have ever had it.

3. Finished one audiobook from the library over the weekend over my work trip. (Joe Gould’s Teeth) and finished an actual physical book (Kill ’em and Leave– about James Brown) and started another audiobook yesterday while baking, All library, all free.

4. Reserved a couple of movies at the library.

5. Didn’t buy a ham off QVC yesterday– though I was so tempted!


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I would happily barter games goods for veggies! Either side of that exchange is a great deal!


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Stupid autocorrect! I meant baked goods!


Mariana July 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Ate free lunch at work today. Leftovers were headed for trash so I am taking them home instead. 3 sandwiches and some salad. This means no cooking tonight! 🙂 yepee!


Bee July 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

I love FFT. It is amazing what a difference all these little things make in my bank account in both the long and short run. It is nice to have a blog that truly supports thrift. Thank you!

1) I sent flowers to a sick friend today. She absolutely loves flowers. I was able to get 25% off with my USAA membership.

2) The dollar store had the brand of glycerin face soap I love. It is usually $3 – $5 a bar in the big box and chain stores. So I bought 10 bars.

3) I headed to the beach this weekend for a swim. It is still very hot. I did some gardening. Read from my stack of books that I bought at the Friends of the Library Sale. I watched PBS. All free or nearly free activities.

4) I spent the afternoon on the phone with our internet/cable provider discussing our rates. I was offered a deal saving $78 a month, but I would rather go to Internet only and stream. That would save $150 a month, and 90% of what I watch is on PBS anyway. I am a nerd. But because my husband enjoys TV much more than I do especially sports and news, I will let him make the final decision. Changes will be made tomorrow.

5. I received my annual homeowners policy. My premium went down considerably. I plan to call my mortgage company after my call to the cable company. I will have them recalculate my escrow. This should result in a $50 – $60 a month savings — maybe even a small refund.

Non-frugal confession: I treated my husband to lunch on Saturday while we were running errands. ( I used my mad money) It had been a long time since I had eaten out, and it wasn’t nearly as good as I remember it. Our Sunday lunch of leftovers was just as good. So next time the extra $$$$$ will stay in my wallet where it belongs.


Megan July 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Look into slingtv for sports, etc.


Mand01 July 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

I always find that – it’s never as good as you think it will be.


Marilyn July 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

My favorite soap is from the Dollar Store as well. (The Yardley’s lavender).


Denise July 19, 2016 at 4:39 am

I will have to try that; I love lavender!


Mand01 July 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

1. Our friend came to visit with her twin boys and brought sandwich fixings. We heated up homemade black bean soup to go with the sandwiches.
2. I’ve injured my back and I’m stuck in bed & feeling crabby as hell. While home in bed I’m not using any petrol or spending any money.
3. Our in laws are moving and are giving us their almost new fridge. Ours is about 15 years old, and while not dead yet is probably not the most energy efficient.
4. Sticking to the meal plan and grocery budget.
5. Lying here reading library books and watching Netflix, and reading the newspaper subscription paid for by my company.


kathleen July 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Hope your back feels better soon! Staying in bed reading and watching tv is not as fun when it’s not voluntary. 🙂


Marilyn July 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

So sorry you’re stuck in bed. Hope you’re feeling better soon.


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Some utility providers (aka electric companies) will give you cash for old working fridges. Does yours? That way you don’t have to move it or pay to dispose of yours.


Mand01 July 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

I have no idea- I will look into it, thanks for the tip!


Sandy July 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

I live in Oregon and my electric co-op gave me $50 off my electric bill when they picked up my old fridge and hauled it away. Couldn’t believe it!


Bee July 19, 2016 at 2:59 am

Hope you are back on your feet again soon.


Mand01 July 19, 2016 at 3:39 am

Thank you! After a visit to the doctor, it looks as though I am out of action for the rest of the week. At least my sick leave is covered and I have plenty of it accrued due to general good health.


kathleen July 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

1. Signed up for ‘membership’ at pet store saving $3 on today’s dog food purchase alone.
2. Made some purchases today, but put back as much as I purchased.
3. Didn’t have lunch while out and about.
4. Still putting off haircut.
5. Making to-do list and doing chores myself instead of hiring it done like I sometimes yearn for.


PaperCraneFarm July 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm

I’ve been making a point to inventory my shopping cart just before the register to make triple sure there isn’t anything I can do without. I’ve been finding an item or two a week that I think we can skip, saving us a few dollars each week. It adds up.


Marilyn July 18, 2016 at 4:11 pm

1. Received a small tax refund check today. This was a surprise! Not sure why it took so long to get to us. And not sure why we are entitled to a refund, but I’ll take it.
2. Our water bill is quite a bit less than the bill for this month in 2015. This is due to the fact that it’s been somewhat cool and rainy all summer so far and we have not had to do much watering of the lawn or gardens this year.
3. Went for an eye exam and ordered new glasses. I was very careful to stay within the amounts allowed by my insurance. So out-of-pocket expense was only $20 (co-pay of $10 for the exam and $10 for the glasses).
4. Went to the Friends of the Library book sale and bought a nice hardcover copy of Audubon’s “Birds of America” for $1. It features 127 large, full -color prints (which could be framed). I haven’t decided if I will keep it or try to sell it.
5. Trying hard not to waste food. We had half a jar of spaghetti sauce in the frig which I poured over some left-over chicken pieces and baked. Served over spaghetti. Added a salad and it all made a nice dinner.


Bee July 19, 2016 at 3:04 am

Number 4 is a great find. What year was the book published?


Marilyn July 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

The only publication date I found is 1908, but that has to be the original date for this version of the book. This book looks much newer than that. It’s in perfect condition.


Bee July 19, 2016 at 8:02 am

I love Audubon. I find that time in history extremely dynamic. The interest in the natural world and science was growing by leaps and bounds. I hope you enjoy the book!


Kim July 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm

1. Got a great Coke coupon in the mail today for a free 12 pack. I collect caps from bottles at work and use the codes to earn points that can be used for free sodas. We don’t drink it normally, but sometimes it’s fun to have on pizza night. Picked up 12 pack and two pizza crusts for a grand total of .81 cents. Purchased with found change. Love it!!
2. Made yummy pizzas for dinner using up more ingredients we already had on hand.
3. Watched the movie…Zootopia from the library. Super cute movie!
4. Did some research on son taking classes in high school that will earn college credit. Very interesting stuff and he could possibly have enough credits to graduate high school and be considered a sophomore in college. Cha-Ching!!
5. Still no villa in St. Maarten


Sarah m July 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm

1. Made bread dough with garden herbs
2. Ate lunch packed from home, and coffee from home. Did buy seltzer and a snack since I had to work late. Relatedly, just ordered a used soda stream on eBay to try get myself to stop buying seltzer. So a bit mixed this week but hopefully leading to an improvement.
3.went to a potluck this weejend and brought bulghur wheat with garden herbs.
4. Visited my sister and brought her garden mint. (Noticing a theme here)
5 spent $15 on groceries this week at the discount supermarket, otherwise eating up things I already have.


Diane C July 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm

If you just bought a SodaStream, then this hack’s for you, with my compliments, free of charge:

Shhh, I love the Frugalwoods, but not quite as much as I love Katy and Kristen. There’s no such thing as too many frugal ideas, and I do identify with being a frugal weirdo, especially when doing so makes dreams come true, so there’s always room for one more frugal internet friend, riiiight?.


Mand01 July 19, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Eep! There’s no way I’m doing that! We have a soda stream, and while we enjoy our plain bubbly water, there’s no way I’m going to try to hack a giant CO2 tank. I’m likely to blow myself up!


Florencia July 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

1. My dad’s boss ordered the wrong thing for the pizzeria. He ordered 6 jumbo cans of beets. We love beets at home, so my dad traded a few reams of paper he bought for $12. What a bargain!
2. My family and I cleaned out a half-size chest freezery friend’s parents gave us a few weeks ago. It’s lovely! Ice cream doesn’t melt.
3. Stayed home all weekend, didn’t spend any money.
4. Took leftovers for lunch today.
5. I’m about to send my resume to a couple of jobs.
6. I signed up for a couple classesfor next semester. The sooner I sign up and email teachers asking about books, the cheaper they might be.
7. Will be baking some bread to use up apples and bananas tonight. My sister went to do laundry at the laundromat and my mom’s friend that works there gave her a bag of each.


Jennifer July 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

1. Worked an extra shift on Friday after being called off Thursday night. Summer is our slow time on my hospital unit.

2. I have 2 extra 8 hour shifts this week on top oft weekend package hours.

3. Hung out laundry on the drying rack today.

4. Cooked the last of the sweet corn I bought last week for my son for lunch. He finally decided corn on the cob is ok.

5. Made chicken salad for my lunch today. Brought some to work tonight along with some watermelon for my dinner.

6. My doodles get groomed tomorrow and I found a coupon for our groomer! We got a refund from health insurance which will cover the cost after the coupon.


Elizabeth July 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm

It’s nice to be reminded of frugal things that happen because my husband is much less frugal than I am and I feel like sometimes it’s two steps forward, three steps backward. He’s getting better but is much looser with money than I am. It’s funny how people’s backgrounds can really form their “money personalities”!

1. My husband and I were treated to an outdoor symphony pops by friends that included classical music and fireworks. Our friends had two extra tickets and invited us. I used what we had on hand to bring with us for the picnic…cheese and fancy crackers, wine, potato salad, olives, etc. It was a great concert and wonderful fireworks.
2. My aunt invited us up to her house on the lake for the day. We went boating and swimming and had great food. I got a couple bottles of wine to because that’s what was requested from my aunt. The non frugal thing that happened was my husband bought $35 worth of food for my son, daughter and her friend at Noodles on the way home instead of just feeding them what we had. But my daughter’s friend’s parents always treat my daughter to different stuff so I didn’t mind too much.
3. I won another $200 of training at the gym from winning a challenge in the spring so I’m starting my first of those free sessions tomorrow.
4. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” we own and have been working pretty consistently on decluttering but I’m getting more ruthless now! I listed 16 things on eBay today just from one room!
5. We are going to my hometown tomorrow through the weekend for my niece’s high school graduation. It will be a basically free mini vacation as we’ll be staying with my parents, eating mostly what they have in the house (with some supplements we bring!), and it gets us out of town for a bit.


Emily July 20, 2016 at 5:00 am

I totally know what you mean. My boyfriend is similar! It can be difficult.


Emily July 20, 2016 at 5:24 am

1. Really trying to purge over here. Gave a bag of clothes to a lady who had bought stuff off me last week on varage sale, and also sold 20 dollars worth of tops to someone else.

2. Listed by Ikea Ektorp chair on varage sale, someone is coming to pick it up over the weekend. I have had it 3 years and will get 15 more dollars than I paid for it (although I did buy a new cover for it).

3. Wanted to go to goodwill today, but I will wait until tomorrow since it is right next to where I get my allergy shots, and I have to wait one more day for my next shot.

4. Need to run to the dollar tree for a few things, printed out a coupon that will hopefully give me free floss picks. I use these in my therapy sessions to help kids who have /r/ errors with tongue placement. I will also buy a new bag of popcorn. Our other one lasted so long, and I love fresh stove popped pop corn!

5. Trying to plan some frugal meals as my boyfriends younger brother is coming down for the weekend. He will sleep here on an air mattress, we will grill out, swim in our apartment pool, and maybe head for a daytrip to the mountains (1.5 hour drive).

6. I really wanted to make a trip home this weekend for my best friends birthday, but 7 hours there and back in 3 days is really rough. I also need to “rest” my car this summer as I drive 125 miles (roundtrip) to get to work during the year. I also just drove to see her and her family in myrtle beach, which is 3.5 hours away. She will just have to understand :/.


Vanessa July 18, 2016 at 5:39 pm

1. Sold my sideboard on Craig’s list (we’ve downsized and don’t need it).
2. Spouse and I are starting a “Kitchen Kitty”…extra funds like from #1 above will go in it. We’ll use it to treat ourselves periodically.
3. Received my first retirement check! Yaaaay! We’ve managed to live 9 months on one income. God is good!
4. Celebrated #3 by having lunch at favorite BBQ restaurant. Had leftovers for dinner. (My leftovers did double time, I had 2 more meals from them.)
5. Reduced cable bill by cancelling extra services,i.e., premium channel. (Kept it for three months just to watch Game of Thrones.)


Sharon July 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm

1. I forgot my sandwich for my lunch today, so I just ate what I did have and my back up granola bar.
2. Ate breakfast on my way to work. The meal consisted of “gourmet” coffee and a bagel with Dubliner cheese from home.
3. Meatless Monday dinner tonight of quesadillas with home grown red peppers in them.
4. Cleaned my own carpets yesterday. The machine wouldn’t put out solution except on the tools setting, so I did all the major spots and will work on fixing the machine another time.
5. Breakfast tomorrow will be today’s sandwich and more coffee from home.


Marcia July 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm

After cleaning out freezer last week, I have been using some of the obviously older packages of food. 1, Last night I sliced a little freezer burn off the outside of bscb and used the rest for dinner. 2. Today I made a pie with a bag of frozen sour cherries dated 2009! It made a good pie. 3. Also used undated package of pork chops which were a little freezer burned but mostly the fatty edges,which we trim off anyhow. 4. Finished the last of the ice cream flavor that I wasn’t too happy with but ate anyhow. Had a small cone with the last of it–chocolate nut sundae flavor ice cream but it had skins on the peanuts in it, which was a little off-putting to me. I’m not overly fond of peanuts, but I really don’t like the skins still on them in the ice cream. 5. Took a ride in the car yesterday to the lake front shops nearby. Browsed all the shops (mostly second hand stuff) and didn’t see anything I needed to bring home with me. Had a nice ride and only cost was the gas for the car. We ate at home after our ride.
6. No spend day today because I went no where and neither did husband. I did a few things and read part of the afternoon.


Katie July 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm

1. Resisted the urge to order lunch at work today and instead went home and had a no cost lunch from my fridge
2. Had 3 no-spend days in the past week.
3. Made a delicious salad from the lettuce in my garden. I had a gap in my lettuce plantings and actually had to buy lettuce last week (oh the horrors!)
4. Looking at switching internet companies since I am not getting anywhere near the speed that I am paying for. Plus the new one is $5 per month cheaper. I have been thinking about this for a couple months, I just cant bring myself to call them because its always such a fight. Time to put on the big girl pants….
5. Working on painting a kitchen table in the next 2 weeks so I can list my old table on craigslist in early August when bunches of College kids return to town and are buying everything they can to furnish their new apartments.


Gina in Ky July 19, 2016 at 2:38 am

Oh, I can so relate to your #4. I even tried uping my speed at the tune of $20/month extra (I work from home) and I saw no difference. My house is less than 1600 sf and I can get it reliably in two rooms and its sloooow. I’m thinking about the switch too, but dread it.


Bee July 19, 2016 at 3:24 am

I called the cable/internet company yesterday myself. I agree that it is an awful experience. It is like buying a used car from an unscrupulous dealer. The customer service representative actually said, “If you don’t take this deal right now, I can’t guarantee that it will be available tomorrow.” Really!?!


Sandy July 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

1. Gave a friend a skirt and top that was too small for me. She is one size smaller than me so she benefits!
2. In return she gave me several pounds of plums from her plum tree. Delicious! Better than anything you can buy in the store.
3. Went to the library this weekend and picked up several books and books on CD to enjoy.
4. Went to my favorite consignment shop to purchase some clothes for work (see the aforementioned weight gain implied in #1) I walked out with a new Cole Hahn purse, two new pairs of shoes (one never even worn — Donald Plimer sandals), one pair of capris, two skirts, a brand new hand painted scarf with the tags still on it, and a shirt — all for $154. Ah-may-zing.
5. am on second week of killing an ants nest using ant bait that I’m setting out myself. I’m sure an exterminator could make shorter work of it, but this is considerably cheaper. The ants are horrible this year in the Valley!

Frugal fail: My car has an electric steering wheel that for some reason is stuck in the upright position. I feel like I’m driving a mac truck! Not only is it inconvenient but the airbag is pointing right at my face. A short internet search implies that this is not a cheap fix. I cannot fix it myself so I have no choice but to take it to a garage to be fixed. I certainly hope it’s not as expensive as I think it’s going to be. Positive thoughts!


cathy July 18, 2016 at 8:07 pm

What are you using to kill the ants? They are terrible in my yard this year too!


Sandy July 19, 2016 at 5:34 am

I have a wrap around porch and they are living in the ceiling of the porch and running up and down one of the support pillars to go under the porch. Ugg! I was dripping Terro down the pillar and they were eating it up, but after two weeks I found Raid Ant Gel at Walgreens. Works a charm. Its been three days and there are considerably less ants already. Walgreens had a $1 off coupon so I think it was $6.99. Good luck. Seriously, everyone I talk to has been dealing with ants this year. I’m not sure what the deal is!!!


meg July 18, 2016 at 6:44 pm

1. Sent back my 15 y.o. jansport to be repaired. I have an even older one that I will send back next. Then my kids will have backpacks for school.
2. Got some fancy pants calendula lotion for baby that was on deep clearance. Pleased as I was ready to order it full price online
3. Been carrying my reusable bottle everywhere in this hot weather and haven’t lost it yet! Hooray!
4. Not replacing my cheap plastic containers as they deteriorate. Trying to determine the smallest number I need and replace them with second hand glass or repurposed glass jars. It’s an ongoing project.
5. Eating down pantry and fridge as much as possible between grocery trips. Grocery bills are lower but it’s probably due to the fact that I take the kids to the school for free lunch almost every day.. the program also hands out free (day old) breads/bagels and breakfast items that I take and freeze so essentially we are getting two (mostly) free meals a day.


Florencia July 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm

I don’t know if you’re in the US, but at ShopKo, they periodically have Anchor brand glass containers with rubber lids on sale and with a rebate. I know they’re not the best quality, but they work just fine if you can’t afford the Pyrex ones. Last time I bought 10 bowls with lids for less than $10 after rebate.


Katy July 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

I sent in my son’s Jansport back in April and it took a couple months to be repaired. It’s good you’re sending it early.


NaiveorBrave July 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Let’s see if I can come up with 5.

1. Had someone over who will move into my room while I’m on vacation.
2. Packed lunch for work and had dinner at home, using what I had in hand and wanted to use.up before I travel.
3. Someone bought one of my Craigslist listings.
4. Got a very good deal on train tickets.
5. No Learjet.


janine July 19, 2016 at 3:43 am

We are on vacation. Not too many opportunities for the frugal fix.
1. Had lunch yesterday at an expensive steak house. Brought home leftovers and combined them with some grocery store food for dinner in our cabin.
2. These state-park cabins have been upgraded so we can make use of restaurant leftovers and grocery store merchandise. They now have microwaves and refrigerators! (liked the ambience of the old ones better, but eating in during vacation is the better frugal option.)
3. Shopped up here yesterday – purchased a small handmade rug made by a group of mentally disabled people. Not as cheap as machine made, but a reasonable price and for a good cause. A useful souvenir.
4. Purchased a newspaper and bookstore clerk showed me a box of free books so I helped myself to free light summer reading.
5. No Lear Jets or fancy boats that look so attractive were purchased.


Ll July 19, 2016 at 4:26 am

1. We had leftovers from the freezer three times this week as well as a lovely meal at a family members house.
2. I switched a few expensive brands for store brands in this week’s shop. I’ll see how the family likes them!
3. I’ve been reminding the kids to turn lights off when they’re leaving a room. They’re getting much better (probably because they’re sick of me nagging)!
4. I was shouted coffee and cake by a good friend I was catching up with.
5. I’ve been baking lots and freezing for my daughters school lunches. This way she has a variety to choose from and we’re saving money on store bought baked goods.


Gina in KY July 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

1. We went to the matinee for the new Ghostbuster movie on Sunday (it’s very good and I can hardly believe that I was the same age as my oldest when the original one came out). More frugal would have been waiting for it to go to the second run theater, but we enjoyed it and the A/C very much.

2. I made veggie bean burritos last night with the black beans I cooked on Sunday. They were gobbled up (yay!).

3. We went for a walk so my kids could catch Pokémon and the dogs and I could get some exercise. Unfortunately, like a lot of urban (and probably rural as well) areas around the US, we encountered some uncomfortable activity near the public river walking path that led to some discussions I would have rather not with my sons, but I had to suck it up since it was pretty much handed to us on a poo poo platter (thanks to drugs and desperation-I really wish we could get a handle on this before it’s too late, but it’s pretty dismal out there in some places). Anyway, all frugal and I hope it was a teaching moment. I also reported it to the police who I know are overwhelmed here. Sadly, I am going to have to alter my walking path (one I have been enjoying for three years!) 🙁

4. Bills are all paid for July. I am looking forward to next month’s three paycheck month, per diem business trip and the end of expensive summer camps. I still need to work on the budget for August, but I plan to do a no spend month and pay off two more debts.

5. Instead of another movie last night, we opted for a Redbox movie.


Katy July 19, 2016 at 6:20 am

You must not get paid on Fridays then. For us, our next three paycheck month is September.


Gina in KY July 20, 2016 at 6:20 am

Oddly, we get paid on Mondays! lol


Denise July 19, 2016 at 4:55 am

1. My mother is giving me her treadmill, so I will be able to cancel my membership at Planet Fitness.

2. We watched movies on Netflix: Mystic River, Insomnia, Philomena, Finding Vivian Maier and Iris Apfel documentary.

3. A friend gave me fresh peaches she just picked from her tree.

4. I found some good deals on school supplies at Big Lots. I teach school and have to pay for my own supplies, so it’s always nice to find good deals!

5. I found some great clothes for work at Goodwill. We have a very nice, well-kept Goodwill with super friendly/helpful employees. They also had their books on sale for 4 for $1…I purchased 8 that I will either give away or will donate when I finish.


Bee July 19, 2016 at 8:40 am

Wasn’t Iris Apfel a character. What a sense of style! But oh my soooooo much stuff.


Gina in KY July 20, 2016 at 6:22 am

We are all great minds thinking alike here: I just watched Mystic River too (and it’s definitely not a current movie!) 🙂


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 19, 2016 at 5:19 am

I’ve never heard of a spider plant before; very cool!

I totally feel you on the menu planning burnout. Not sure if it will be helpful for you, but I’ve found that renting cookbooks from the library (for free of course!) helps me get out of a meal planning rut.

This week:

1. Mr. Picky Pincher made peach kombucha
It tasted so, so heavenly. My hubby has mad skills! This stuff is $4 a bottle at the store and it costs about half that amount to make it at home–and you can make any flavor you want. It’s tasty and it has beneficial bacteria to boot. 🙂

2. I made yogurt over the weekend.
For once, I did not make anything weird or experiment with the whey. I wanted to make more yogurt cheese, but Mr. Picky Pincher said he prefers to have more yogurt over having yogurt cheese.

Maybe I’ll make some another weekend. I’ve found the yogurt cheese is a great substitute for goat cheese and cream cheese.

3. I made an absolutely H-U-G-E loaf of ciabatta bread that we nicknamed Ciabatta the Hut.

I was trying to perfect my ciabatta skills and get better air holes in the dough, but still not much luck. I was able to get evenly-spaced holes throughout the whole loaf, so that was a small win at least.

4. Mr. Picky Pincher made meatballs
He made enough for about 40 servings, so we’ll have meatballs for many months to come. We decided to have them for Sunday supper as meatball subs and they were so good!! Not healthy, but delicious and cheap nonetheless.

5. I made homemade lotion out of coconut oil and vitamin E oil–both of which I had on hand.
I wanted to try out a more natural alternative to storebought lotion. I came upon this easy recipe in one of my library books using ingredients I already had on hand. The lotion stays in liquid form, but my skin is silky smooth and I look like a shiny goddess. I added a touch of lavender for scent and it smells divine.


Katy July 19, 2016 at 6:17 am

“Ciabatta The Hut?!” Pure genius!!!!!!


Amy Jo July 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

I love all the 5’s!!! I get such inspiration from reading them!!
1. A neighbor gave us some grape tomatoes this week. Delish! I had a handful of spinach leaves in the fridge with a 1/2 chicken breast and made a salad from them, the tomatoes, a small bit of cheese, some sunflower seeds, and dressing. YUM!
2. We went to a friends house for a cookout, and took baked beans and a cobbler. Came home with some yummy leftovers and a cantaloupe. Good time with friends, good food, and I love leftovers. lol
3. Listed some homeschool books and curriculum on an online site. Hoping they sell quickly!
4. I bought some goodies from a local online auction site this week. 2 pairs of jeans for my 10 year old (he needs slims and adjustable waists and it is often hard to find used ones in good shape at affordable so I was SOOOO excited), barely worn for $15, and a polo for the hubs for $1, plus a beautiful top for me $1 and an adorable fall jacket for my daughter for $2. I love a good bargain!
5. Bought butter on sale this week as well as chicken breasts and froze both. The guy at the checkout was amazed you could freeze butter. And when I mentioned it to a girlfriend later, she had never thought of it either. Amazing how we see things so normal to us, but to others it is new info. 😉


Amy Jo July 20, 2016 at 6:25 pm

#6. Found 4 pair of jeans for my son today on a local swap, not name brand, but will be fine for everyday use. For $10
#7. Sold a box of my daughters outgrown clothing today for $25. That pays for the jeans I bought (#4 and #6).


Jill A July 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

1. I got a postcard from another garbage service offering a price quite a bit lower than my own service. I called my service to see if they natched which they did and more saving me $160 a year.
2.A hotel we stayed in Toronto refunded us one night stay. We had a small problem with an AC drain leak in our room. We didn’t want to change rooms so instead they gave us free breakfast vouchers and on top of that I found out today they refunded one night stay. We didn’t even complain, just informed them they had a leak. The hotel was InterContinental Toronto Centre.
3. Used a Good RX coupon today to pick up a prescription today.
4. Have several items listed on Ebay. My daughter has an almost new pair of scrubs that she wore for one of her classes. I will also be listing her marching band shoes since she won’t be doing band anymore.
5. My weed sprayer blew up on me yesterday. I think I fixed it. In the past I would have just gone out and bought a new one. I will be making more homemade weed spray – vinegar and a squirt of dawn dish soap. Healthier and cheaper than roundup.


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