Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 18, 2016 · 84 comments

 Seasoning salt

1. I was annoyed with how enormous the pour holes were on my bottle of Dollar Tree seasoning salt, so I covered four of the holes with electrical tape. Now I can enjoy my eggs without feeling like a deer at a salt lick. Or conversely, like that kid from the original Star Trek who killed people for their salt. Remember him? So sad without his salt.

Edit: This is not the salt sucking Star Trek creature. I am deeply ashamed to be outed as not knowing the original Star Trek inside and out. Please forgive me.

Salt kid from Star Trek

2.  I went to Fred Meyer (Kroger) last night, but actually took the time to load e-coupons onto my card before leaving the house. Just a couple bucks of savings, but every penny counts. Right?

3.  My mother brought me a large bag of plums that her friend had given her for free. I immediately put them into the fridge since we have fruit flies. #PlumTart

4.  My sister and her kids are flying in from New York City tonight, and will stay with us for a couple of weeks. I’ll only work one shift while she’s here which I only have the luxury to do because I am so frugal the rest of the year. (I’m in an on-call position, which means I get no sick or vacation pay.)

5.  We’re heading into a heat wave, and our second floor gets pretty hot after a couple days of high temperatures. We don’t have central air conditioning, so I was feeling bad for my nephew who will be sharing a room with my younger son. (Note that I don’t feel bad for my son, as he’s survived 18 summers in his room with nothing more than a window fan.) My mother had offered a window air conditioner from a room she no longer uses. Instead, she remembered that she actually had a brand new air conditioner that had never been installed. My husband and I drove over, picked it up and installed it that night. Now my son and his cousin will have a nice comfortable room for sleeping and hanging out.

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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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen August 18, 2016 at 10:20 am

Yay for the AC!

(That one stuck out to me because we’ve had a long streak of 90+degree days over here on the other coast.)


Katy August 18, 2016 at 11:08 am

Yay indeed! Of course, he’s getting an AC unit in his room a month before he moves out to go to college.


jennifer August 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

He is probably so used to it being warm up there he may need an extra blanket.


Katy August 18, 2016 at 11:27 am



Mariana August 18, 2016 at 10:30 am

🙂 when I lived in Poland (for 23 years) I did not even know AC existed. And some Summer’s were HOT! When I moved to NYC I did not have AC for the first 2-3 years but I had a fan. I was sweating and dying at times but it did not occur to me to buy an AC unit. It just was not something j thought of as necessity as j never had one.
Well, now is a different story but I do try to turn it on only when I basically can’t function otherwise.


Katy August 18, 2016 at 11:10 am

Same with me. We never had air conditioning, and I lived in NYC without one for a couple of years. Lots of cold showers right before bed!


tonya parham August 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

Ah, air conditioning. I understand in the NW and North, it’s not so bad to go without, but living in the South, I don’ t know how anyone ever did it!

1. Took car in for oil change yesterday and used the $10 coupon from the paper.

2. I got the missus her box for this month (the mystery box we have started doing) and I got her a toolbox (20% with coupon with some 3 in 1 oil, another coupon, and two tarps for around the house painting/work) I added to this a bottle of room spray I got with a gift card someone gave me, two pieces of vegan jerky, and a battery for her watch. I only spent $25 ( though I don’t include the battery because she wanted that for her birthday, it was $10 and some money off the gift card I was given.) I think it went well. She gave me a figurine of Loki (have ALWAYS wanted that, too!), a book on mythology, and a window thermometer with birds on it– oh, and a box to organize my things! It’s amazing how much $25 will buy when you are careful and thoughful. Looking forward to next month because I will have more time to plan!

3. Am eating at home.

4.Temps are lower so the AC isn’t running so much. We are using our new clothes drying rack and saving on electricity there, too.

5 Am not eating after 7pm to 7am. This cuts down on my food intake (I will eat all night if allowed) and has made me less hungry during the day as well as cutting down on calorie intake. Hoping it will provide some health benefits which will translate into long term health benefits.


jennifer August 18, 2016 at 11:15 am

Yeah, in Mississippi I practically need a shower after walking to my mailbox and back.


Bee August 18, 2016 at 11:47 am

I dread July and August every year, but this year has been especially bad in the South. Hang in there. We are almost half way through August. Cooler temps are around the corner. Next month will only be in the 80s and the humidity will be less than 90%. 🙂


Julie C August 19, 2016 at 3:49 am

The North has been hit really hard this summer with the heat. Family members that currently live in Miami are cooler than we are. Even the weather people have stated that the current conditions “are very much like what the South experiences” So thankful for AC !!


Michele August 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

1. Have packed my lunch every day. I travel for my job, and I don’t like to eat breakfast until 9ish, so I pack my breakfast, too.
2. Have kept the air at 78 instead of the normal 76.
3. Still tracking my groceries, health and beauty, and household stuff. Staying close to my $600/ month goal.
4. Made 2 pounds of pinto beans in crockpot for $1.00. Not sick of bean burritos for lunch yet.
5. Made my own dishwasher tabs and they seem to work fine.


Alison August 18, 2016 at 11:08 am

1. DHS “mid-life crisis” car will be paid off in a couple of months, so I increased the payments on our mortgage by 20% starting in September. We can do this once a year after the anniversary date of the loan, so I will be doing it again in March. Would like to get that sucker paid off ASAP.
2. Picked up my sister early from the airport, after she missed her connecting flight from the last city, and had to stay in a hotel. Airline gave her food vouchers, so we spent them at the Starbucks when I picked her up. Free coffee for me.
3. Dropped off some items I needed to buy for the school I work at on the way home from airport. No gas wasted on extra trip.
4. Bought 4 used tops from the local consignment store at 50% off their last price. $40.00 for all 4, and as they are summer stock, I can wear year round with a sweater.
5. Getting lots of pears off our tree, will make pear crumble with some, and give others to my niece so she can make baby food.


Denise August 18, 2016 at 11:02 pm

It’s not a “MenoPorsche” crisis car is it??


Alison August 19, 2016 at 12:56 pm

He he, no. I hadn’t hear that before.
It’s a BMW, he always wanted one, and he didn’t buy it new, it was a lease return in new condition. So I shouldn’t whine.


jennifer August 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

We have kind of a fruit fly problem right now. If I leave anything out it’s completely covered.

1. I ate my kid’s leftovers for breakfast all week instead of making myself something. Monday-cheese toast with the middle torn out of it that I wrapped around a boiled egg, Tues- pineapple spears(before the fruit flies got to them), half a glass of milk, and a half a piece of cinnamon toast, Wed-both girl’s leftover portions made me one full bowl of oatmeal, Thurs-one piece of cheese toast, half a piece of cinnamon toast and a half a glass of milk.
2. I have started walking at the the public walking track near a ball field. I love to walk near the ball field because I find many treasures on the ground. Today did not disappoint as I found a dime and a slightly used sanding block.
3. My daughter has decided to have a gender reveal party and her baby is due in January. I am not fond of this idea because I feel that a baby shower should be enough but I am slowly coming around. Also, I am not fond of having a lot of people I don’t know well in my home and her apartment is too small to have the party there. A friend of mine pulled a few strings and got us a nice restaurant that has been closed down for awhile to have the party. We just have to clean it then leave it clean.
4. I cleaned out my medicine cabinet. Basically, it was a bunch of bottles and miscellaneous pills, creams, and lotions dumped in a small plastic hospital basin. I used a box that beer came in with cardboard dividers in it to organize everything. Works great, not pretty, but is more efficient. Maybe I will cover the box in paper sometime.
5.I have to admit we have been eating out a lot lately but I am back on the frugal track this week. I am trying to keep all of the evening meals for my family under $5. Most have been even less but under $5 is a comfortable goal. Boneless chicken thighs were $3 a pack this week so I am coming up with many inventive chicken dishes. Last night was a lemon pepper chicken rice bake with a lemony butter sauce that I made from frozen lemons from 2014. I froze so many that year I may never run out!


Denise August 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

Does the party involve people having to bring gifts? We don’t do “showers” etc. in England so I am never sure of the etiquette in such matters.


Jennifer August 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Honestly, the etiquette for gender reveal parties is new to me. Some of them ask guests to bring wipes or diapers to be entered in a drawing for a prize but we decided not to do that. Some ask you to bring a book for the baby. They even have diaper parties where you specifically bring a pack of diapers. I don’t think it’s fair to ask guests to bring gifts then ask them to come to a baby shower in a few months where they will bring gifts and it will be mostly the same people. For most wedding and baby showers guests will bring a gift of their choosing or some more elaborate showers have a “registry” at stores where you can go and purchase things that the recipient previously picked out . The gender reveal party is a new type of party that the newer generation of mom’s have where the gender of the baby is revealed such as by cutting into a specially made cake and if it is pink on the inside its a girl and if blue it’s a boy. Also you will eat finger foods and play pregnancy/ baby related games. A little hard to explain it but look up gender reveal parties sometimes, it’s kinda neat. Oh, and I think I shall move to England! Lol


Lindsey August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

To me, these reveal parties are in the same category as push gifts—where the father of the baby gives the mother expensive jewelry for giving birth. Or kids going home from a birthday party with goodie bags from the birthday child…or having to bring food to every meeting and gathering and child’s soccer game. God, I’m starting to sound like my father!


Jennifer August 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I think I would like your father. I’m ok with ONE simple baby shower but adding in the diaper parties and gender reveal seems excessive to me. This is my daughter’s first baby. She is super excited and emotional so I’m trying to go along as best I can with some, not all, of her wishes. She just left a few minutes ago almost in tears because she purchased cute little paper straws for the party and I just simply told her I didn’t think they were needed. Emotional roller coaster is an understatement.

Gina August 21, 2016 at 4:11 am

I agree! It’s all too much. The push gifts, gender reveal, 4-5 showers, etc. are excessive and remind me of when the limos for prom began. Now, it’s the norm. I guess some wealthy family did it and then EVERYONE had to have it, whether they could afford it or not. I work with someone who insisted on a gift from her husband for getting pregnant, and had already picked out her “push” gift too, and got an upgrade to her engagement ring, and she’s having 5 showers. I was invited to three. I will attend one, sent regrets to others. She has decided she is only having one child, so I guess she wants to get everything possible.

Mand01 August 21, 2016 at 4:37 am

The ‘push gift’ is the worst I think. Isn’t a healthy baby the gift?

Isabelle August 19, 2016 at 6:03 am

” I don’t think it’s fair to ask guests to bring gifts then ask them to come to a baby shower in a few months where they will bring gifts and it will be mostly the same people”

Totally agree. What’ up with all those “I’m so important that the world HAS to stop and celebrate every little thing about my life” trend lately??? Not judging YOUR daughter, just…. well, judging everyone I guess, oops, sorry. I’m an introvert, I don’t get people who need to share and celebrate everything and anything while expecting people to get alllll excited about it. A baby shower should be more than enough, no? (I might be having a bad day, sorry for the rant, but I’m still agreeing with you on this)


Vickey August 19, 2016 at 7:45 am

Fruit Fly Death Trap: put a drop of dish soap in a pretty wine glass or small ice cream dish (something narrower at the bottom than the top). Add a splash of hot water, stir it around to dissolve the soap. Then fill the glass nearly to the rim with apple cider vinegar. Place it in the middle of or near your fruit basket, bowl, or stand.
The ACV attracts the flies, the soap creates surface tension so they can’t escape once they land. You’ll know it’s working by the number of tiny little flies that accumulate at the bottom of the glass. Dump out and refresh as needed. (The liquid will evaporate over a few days).
“Fruit Fly Facial” problem solved!


Vickey August 19, 2016 at 7:49 am

p.s. This extrovert totally agrees that we shouldn’t have to “pay” with gifts to celebrate every life moment. Can’t we all just rejoice in being together, without the “social tax” that is imposed by giving expectations?!


jennifer August 19, 2016 at 10:00 am

I am okay with the judging. This whole “celebration of every life event with a party” generation has got out of hand. I tried to get them to send out a nice gender reveal face book announcement but her,and her husband, are dead set on this party so I am embracing it. My goal is to have a nice small party with a few finger foods and games. She is paying for it and I am contributing my cleaning ability, a few decorations, glass serving dishes, and snacks but these are things I already have so no biggie. We have asked for no gifts. I recognize they are young and have lots to learn. I am trying the fruit fly trap as soon as I get home today!! Thanks!


Mairsydoats August 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Put out several of the fruit fly traps, spread around the area. If you have an actual piece of rotten fruit, or a juicy pit or peel or something, toss that in there too. They will all eventually drown themselves, then you can start fresh.

This is my very favorite kind of hack – since the flies do all the real work of getting rid of themselves, and all I have to do is make them an offer they can’t refuse. 🙂

Emily August 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm

I am in said generation and I am fed up. All of my friends now get engaged (then get engagement gifts?), have a bachelorette party (more gifts), then have a bridal shower (another d*** gift), and then the wedding (AN EXPENSIVE GIFT). Seriously it is out of control, and I don’t want all those gifts when I get married so, they aren’t getting four from me. I’m sorry but my retirement and student loans are more urgent than filling up your home with a bunch of junk.

Rachel H August 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

My sister presented me with a birthday cake last year that was sitting in a beer box. Enough said.


Emily August 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

1. First day of school today, back to work for me! Excited to have a steady paycheck again.

2. Just bough a huge bag of discounted bananas. I will eat them until they are too brown, then freeze for muffins and such.

3. Made my boyfriend call around for best tire prices/find a place that rotates them for free after you purchase tires with them.

4. Have been paying more attention to my shopkicks lately and I have enough for a 25 dollar gift card, hasn’t taken me very long to reach this time. Need to remember to download on my boyfriends phone. He won’t remember by himself I’m sure, but if we are out shopping together he can get them too!

5. Will be hiding out all weekend writing eval reports. The beginning of a new school year is rough for me… So.many.evaluations. BUT, I probably won’t go anywhere or spend any money this weekend which is good because I don’t get s paycheck until mid September and I hope to have some summer savings left over to invest or pay off a student loan!


PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm

I’m not familiar with shop kicks. What types of stores qualify?


Dmarie August 19, 2016 at 4:50 am

yay to paying off the student loan…an investment in your future solvency!! (and thanks for being a teacher!)


Emily August 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Thanks! I’m actually a speech therapist but I take no offense and most days I feel like I am a melting pot of 9 different jobs in one.

Shop kicks is an app. You get “kicks” or points when you purchase things at certain stores (you must link cards) or when you walk into certain stores (uses gps) or you can scan items for points.

A lot of stores can get you kicks! Target, Harris Teeter, Macy’s, American Eagle, Tj maxx, marshalls, and on!


Jenny August 18, 2016 at 11:57 am

Wrong Star Trek episode: I’m pretty sure the picture is of a kid who had psychokinetic powers given to him by aliens to help him survive alone on a planet. The salt sucking creature was a shapeshifter who could look like anyone, but on the show never transformed into that kid.

The two episodes are “Charlie X” and “The Man Trap” in case you were interested.

There, now that I’ve corrected the wrong on the internet for the day, I can get on with mine.


Su Mama August 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

And I do believe the foto Katy posted is of Robert Walker, Jr., whose mother was Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones. She dumped Walker Sr. for producer David O. Selznick. After he died, she married multi-gazzionaire Norton Simon. Walker Jr. was the only one of her three kids who didn’t predecease her. (Yes, I DO carry this kind of useless information around in my head, tho Wikipedia kindly added a few details today.)


Katy August 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I have lost my Star Trek cred. 🙁


Kay August 18, 2016 at 7:31 pm



gepee August 19, 2016 at 4:13 am

Wow, I thought at once the photo was from Charlie X and not a salt sucking creature, but don’t really remember “The Man Trap” anymore, so much for my Star Trek cred. Will have to watch it tonight 😉


Lide August 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

1. Went back to work yesterday – school starts for the kids tomorrow. Will have 12 1/2 hours of flex time by the end of this week to use later.
2. Went through all the stuff leftover from last year, pens, paper, etc. Found enough to start the school year without having to buy anything new.
3. New dress code this year – no jeans! Argh! Went to local goodwill and added enough pieces to my wardrobe to only need to do laundry once a week – cost less than $4 per item.
4. Spent a couple of days last week making & freezing individual size portions of several recipes for my self & hubby; have about 3 weeks worth of heat & eat suppers ready so no need to wonder what we are going to eat.
5. Turned the a/c off – working in a school that has no a/c, this seems to help keep me from overheating while I am at work even though it’s starting to heat up again here in the midwest.
6. Free lunch at work today! Taking my own drinks, snacks and lunch the rest of the week.


amanda August 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I had a massive fail last Friday on my way home. The tires on our pickup that we thought would last until the rain came didn’t. The front passenger tire unpeeled itself, scratching the heck out of the side of the rig, punched out the front right light housing (luckily, only the blinker is inoperable), bent the hood, dented the bottom of the door, and ripped off the wheel well. Luckily no one was with me, and no one else was on the road at the time. I had just stopped at the grocery store to buy ice cream treats for my kids, so I was freaking out about wasting it all on that 100-degree day. Luckily my friends drove by as I was on the phone with AAA and gave me a ride home. Hubby and I had the money put away for the tires, so waiting seems like a huge waste now with all the damage that we may have to fix (or live with).

Now on to my FFT:
1. Our garden is continuing to produce wonderfully. I’ve been bringing salads to work for lunch, everything from the garden.
2. I made zucchini bread for the family’s breakfasts and even made enough to treat my co-workers.
3. Rather than buy ice cream by the scoop, I bought some on sale and treated the kiddos. I was able to be the cool mom for days rather than just once.
4. My friend’s daughter is interested in beekeeping and since I’m an abject failure at it, so I offered her the use of my equipment in exchange for honey. She’s in a less austere environment than I am and should have better success.
5. While visiting my friend’s daughter’s new house, we picked blackberries. Unfortunately, most were past their prime, so she gifted me a gallon bag of them that she had frozen. I was especially grateful since BB jam is my kids’ all time favorite jam and I hate picking them because of the pickers.


PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:47 pm

So glad you are ok! How scary!


Bettypants August 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm

1. I had bought two items at a garage sale last week for $2.10, and sold them both on ebay for $35.
2. Decided to sell my collection of vintage train cases. I bought them years ago from garage sales, and paid no more than $2 each. Now they are much more collectible and harder to find, so I made a nice profit.
3. Went to yard sales on my lunch hour today and found a few things. Trying hard to only buy items for resale, but sometimes I find it’s hard to pass up the random cheap stuff for myself.
4. Sold a plastic organizer, a vintage tablecloth and napkins, and some vintage quilt squares this week on local FB boards. I also bought an Xbox game for $3 on same boards, which I will be listing on ebay.
5. Made apple muffins and used up some unloved apple cinnamon yogurt. Sent half the batch home with my mom. She had brought me a dozen ears of corn and a few cucumbers. I have those earmarked for corn salad and gazpacho.


LisaC August 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

1. Met friends at our weekly free music in the park, took caprise using home grown basil and tomatoes. Sliced up a block of mozzerella, a friend (who buys the fancy mozzerella balls) was impressed as she said, “oh wow, how did you get the cheese into little squares?” Funny.

2. Brought home leftovers from the park: a bag of fruit, a jar of stuffed olives, a few sandwiches, that friends didn’t want.

3. Made a great pasta by using leftovers from the picnic: caprice, chopped up the stuffed olives and pickled garlic in olive oil, chopped up leftover onion. Put some parmesan on top, it was so good!

4. Went through a large box of photos on a day too hot to go outside. Divided them up to give to my adult kids for Christmas.

5. Still eating from my freezer inventory. Made homemade gumbo for the first time, without the okra. So good.

Frugal fail: drinking bottled water for a while. They flushed out the water lines at work, and seeing the brown water coming out of the faucets made me switch for a while to nice clear bottled water.


PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:46 pm

I’m not sure that was a frugal fail – brown water would give most people the heebie jeebies!


Bee August 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm

I don’t know if I would have thought about taping over the pour holes, Katy. That is simple and smart. I had to make up for lost time this week. I was under the weather for a few weeks and not terribly productive. so here’s my frugal five:

1) I hadn’t done much cooking. It seemed there was a house full of food and nothing to eat. There were also a lot of fruits and veggies that need to be eaten before they went bad. So I put on my apron and went to work. I froze bananas and raspberries, I used a sad little mango and wilted spinach in breakfast smoothie. I baked a batch of granola, pumpkin bread and GF blueberry-basil muffins. I used 1/2 a head of cabbage nd 3 carrots to makes coleslaw and
cooked a pound of chick peas for falafel and hummus. Veggie pasta is on the menu tonight. I am now tired of being in the kitchen.

2) Since we are 1/2 through the month, I updated my budget, checked my accounts and tracked my spending. I haven’t eaten out all month!

3) I saw a great trash pile and could not resist. I found a beautiful, old oriental carpet It is amazing what people throw away! I have cleaned it, and it looks wonderful. I think it will be perfect in the entry way of my daughter’s apartment. In the same pile, I also found a very old oil painting circa 1900 based on the stretchers. It has significant damage. Since it is not by a listed artist, I am going to attempt the repair myself. I need the practice.

4) I had planned to visit a cousin, but I could not fly when I was sick. Southwest allows customers to make changes and does not charge them a fee.
So I will go next month when I am at 100%. I believe they are the only airline that does this without trip insurance. I was extremely happy not to lose this money and to still go on my trip.

5) I purchased three vintage etchings of Paris at the thrift store today — $5 each. They are in nice condition, but the silver leaf and black frames were in sad shape. I was able to cover the damage to the frames with a sharpie marker. Now they look quite respectable, and they retained their patina. I love a sharpie!



PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Nice safe on the fruit and veggies! The future you will thank you for that big push!


Bee August 19, 2016 at 5:14 am

Inspired by the NCA, I try really hard not to waste food — almost obsessively. It is amazing how much money it saves when you focus on it. Despite everything this month, I only threw away a bit of fresh cilantro, but that is $0.25 in the trash. I really need to add cilantro to my herb garden.


Dmarie August 18, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Does your Fred Meyer have a Community Rewards Program where a % of your purchases are donated to your charity of choice? Our Kroger does, and I just found out August is Kroger’s comm. rewards reenlistment month…if you want them to keep giving, you must re-enroll your fav charity. Sharing just in case that’s going on with your store too!


Katy August 18, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Yes, and my card is linked the the high school’s PTA.


Dmarie August 19, 2016 at 4:59 am

wonderful choice. It was a fluke that I read the notice to re-enroll on the store receipt. I never read those & it kinda irks me that they didn’t send me an e-mail notice. Still, I love that the store has these rewards…glad to hear yours does too!


janine August 19, 2016 at 6:02 am

In the Twin Cities Kowalskis – an upscale market- donates a percentage of receipts to an array of local charities. On your way out you drop your receipt in whatever charity’s box you choose and they distribute the funds in accordance with that charity’s collection. It is an easy way for me to contribute to the human society.

I usually like to keep receipts in case of an issue with the products but in this case they are very good about refunds (seldom happens).


Dmarie August 19, 2016 at 10:06 am

Definitely a win-win, Janine. Supporting farmers & your favorite charity. Wonderful.

Mand01 August 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm

1. Worked from home 3 days this week, saving 6 hours of travel time and petrol. Plus my daughter ended up being unwell and I didn’t have to take time off to care for her. Back in the office today.
2. Made a pork and black bean taco dish in the crock pot using leftover roast pork frozen from the weekend. It was really good.
3. My husband and I are continuing our evening workout routine. We watch a DVD, he does free weights, I go on the treadmill. We’ve had a gym in our house since we moved a year ago and are finally using it. Equipment we have had for years, so ‘free’ in my book.
4. Frugal/not frugal: we had to instal new light fixtures and fans in our house after a year of bare bulbs in half the house and 70s perspex chandeliers in the rest. After going crazy and pricing some gorgeous lights ($2000 – eep!) I was sensible and spent $200 on 7 IKEA fixtures that look lovely, and two lovely wooden ceiling fans I found half price online. All take LEDs, making running costs low. Not frugal? Installation! And he’s coming back Monday to finish. Seriously, once the trees are removed next week we are not spending any more money on this house for at least a year. I swear renting is cheaper.
5. By working at home I’ve spent almost no money this week.


LisaC August 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm

I love #3. I need to do that too. We have a gym, I just never feel like doing anything when we get home from work.


Nancy August 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

1. Picked beans, tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden.
2. Brought lunch to work and bacon, cucumber and tomato salad. YUM!
3. Made zucchini muffins, a savory rather than a sweet muffin using zucchini and onions from the garden. Muffins rather that bread make it an automatic portion control.
4. Gave cucumbers and zucchini to my neighbor. While not inherently frugal for me, she had company and appreciated it. she also supplies me with eggs from her chickens most of the year, so I supply her with produce whenever I can.
5. Am picking basil tonight to make some pesto. Will use walnuts rather than pine nuts since my Mother has a walnut tree and keeps us supplied with walnuts. Then will make pesto chicken with it. An easy recipe, that looks elegant.


PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Savory zucchini muffins? Sounds good! Could I use summer squash instead? I have a monster summer squash that needs a plan!


Marilyn August 18, 2016 at 1:44 pm

I like the Fred Meyer e-coupons, too. So much easier than clipping coupons. Only problem is that there are usually only a few coupons for items I want.
Oh, well.


Susan August 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Living in the UK, I can’t say air conditioning is something I have to think about. This hasn’t been that frugal of a week, I’m ashamed to say.
I bought my son two new tops for £30.
But I made muffins with some ripe bananas and two sad looking nectarines.
We have had leftovers once this week.
My son and I have walked over 12 miles this week.


PaperCraneFarm August 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I’ve totally fallen off the frugal horse. Give me a helping hand back up on it, please?

1. Ate leftovers for lunch and are planning tomorrow’s meals around leftovers next on the list.

2. We’re having a terrible garden year but I froze peppers and beans for future meals.

3. I’m cleaning out our storage room to turn it into an office. I’ve set a goal of 1 bag for goodwilleach day out of there.

4. We have several bottles of vinegar that we’ve had for a long time. I’ve been using oil and vinegar on salads, which isn’t my favorite, but discovered that a dash of pepper and a punch of salt really kicks it up to almost yummy.

5. Cooked extra pasta the other night so we could have an easy, quick dinner on a night my husband was coming home late from work.


Jennifer August 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm

We all have less than frugal periods of time I think. It will come back, I promise!
4. I make homemade Italian dressing from vinegar. I don’t use any specific recipe. Just add vinegar to olive oil then add sugar,salt, and spices to taste. I use whatever spices I have on hand such as Italian herbs, pepper flakes, garlic powder, etc. I just whip it up right before I am about to use it. For instance, last night I poured some all over diced potatoes, poured on a baking sheet, and cooked till crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My family was begging me to make it again tonite. Works really well on chicken and other roasted veggies, like your squash, too! Also, remember that vinegar works really well as a cleaner. I mop my kitchen floors with it and pour some in clothes that I accidently let sour in the washer.


PaperCraneFarm August 19, 2016 at 1:48 am

I roast veggies all the time with oil and spices but have never done it with a dash of vinegar. I’ll try that this weekend.

Sadly, the year the outside of the summer squash is in edible (maybe the drought toughened it up?) so I will need to peel the big one I think.


jennifer August 19, 2016 at 5:43 am

We hardly got any veggies out of my small garden this year. Too many birds, squirrels, etc. eating it all. I had the most beautiful perfect zucchini and before I know something bit huge chunks out of it. Will cover everything next year, but for now, off to the farmer’s market.


Mairsydoats August 19, 2016 at 9:52 am

Other add-ins to make the salad dressing more interesting and yummy – a dollop of fancy mustard or mayo – each of these helps keep the emulsion longer, and thickens it up. Or even a dollop of yogurt, or tahini or nut butter. And lots of herbs/spices, as everyone else says. If the vinegar is too sharp, a bit of sweetness will tone it down (doesn’t always have to be sugar, could be maple or barley syrup). I LOVE making homemade oil-vinegar dressing, though it was never my favorite in restaurants or storebought.


jennifer August 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

Yum! I have added plain mustard and dry mustard to my mixture before and put it on small diced potatoes and it is delicious. Never put mayo in there, may try that next, thanks!


Caroline August 18, 2016 at 5:17 pm

1. Went to costco while nearby for work and stuck to my list. It was a big list, but still.
2. Went to ikea after visiting my parents and.only.bought.breakfast! So relieved when we breezed through the warehouse area and then checkout; the people who bought things looked so tired.
3. Took my lunch every day.
4. Cut up 3 small seeded watermelons my dad grew vs the 1 seedless one I would have preferred to buy. Free is free but I do hate dealing with those seeds.
5. Splurged on peaches because summer is almost over and they are what i’ll miss eating out of hand this winter the most–calling this a frugal thing because it’s actually priceless to me 🙂 And compared to the pricy ones from halfway across the hemisphere in February that I won’t be buying, they really were cheap!


Pattilou August 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm

1. I wanted to add a few more perennials to my Mom’s garden. I picked out a few and asked at the customer service desk for a discount because the looked a little sad. I got $1.50 off each plant and they are now looking happy as can be in the yard.
2. I drove to my niece’s house for a few days to babysit. She surprised me by scheduling a massage as a gift for me the day I arrived. She refused to cancel the appointment when I told her that she didn’t need to treat me so I went and am very happy I did!
3. Did my final free craft day with my little nieces before they head to school. We also went to a free end of summer Dance, ice cream and face painting party at the
Library. The girls had a great time.
4. I saved about $20.00 at Target today on a stock up trip using their Cartwheel app, a text coupon and a gift card.
5. Washed and vacuumed my car out at home. I can do it really quickly so I conserve on water and electricity.


Sandy August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Had a week of company, during that time we packed lunch for 4 adults and 4 children on one day. Used almost all reusable containers for that lunch.
Dinner one night, tacos, at home and had meat cooked and frozen ahead of time.
Replaced the elastic in a pair of shorts, repaired 2 holes in another pair. Probably had these shorts for 20 years and wore them every summer!
Located shoe polish so I refreshed the leather on a favorite pair of Birkenstock sandals. They look so much better and will last many more years.
Going to go through as many boxes as necessary to locate a glass candy jar that was my late mother in law’s, I’ll give it to our niece for her 40th birthday in a couple of weeks.
Eating at home for the very meal after the week of company and a few meals out!


Marie-Josée August 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm

For the life of me, before I clicked on the link to visit your blog, the picture of your seasoning container looked like a waste basket filled with green condom rappers! I was very intrigued!


Julie August 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Love FFT
1-I washed three loads of laundry during the cheapest hydro time. Our hydro rates are brutal so it’s best to do everything in off hours.
2-They will all go on the line in the morning.
Discovered after 4 months of non use that my dryer is broke. But I figure I can wait at least a month before I need to fix it. It’s a gas dryer so I am not sure I want to try and figure it out myself. So this may end up being non frugal.
3-Back to school consisted of only new socks and a couple of new t-shirts for each boy. Buying quality backpacks and lunch bags means rarely having to replace them. With 2 teen boys I know better then to buy shoes or pants until they actually need them.
4-enjoying the fresh garden veggies
5-finally trying my hand at selling unwanted items, I made 10.00 this week. Not bad for getting rid of clutter.


Kay August 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Be sure to You tube the dryer. I’ve heard they can often be a simple fix.


Suzy August 18, 2016 at 11:37 pm

I know nothing about gas dryers. But when our dryer didn’t work after 6 ,on this of non-use, the problem turned out to be a fuse on the dryer itself. Easy fix.


JD August 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm

1. Made chicken and rice soup with stock from a roasted chicken frame and pre-cooked rice from the freezer. It will make 3 meals.
2. An overloaded branch on the pear tree broke off. It was too high for us to thin it. The pears are not quite ready but I picked them off the branch anyway. I made a decent pear crisp tonight out of some.
3. I am so grateful for the VA in spite of some problems. Today my husband was set up with a $13,000 pump and monitor for his Type 1 diabetes. We could not have afforded it otherwise.
4. I promptly sent in our portion of the prescriptions he gets from the VA with money set aside for it in my new budget.
5. I found a penny. It was really dirty but I picked it up anyway.


Susie's Daughter August 19, 2016 at 4:33 am

#5 – I picked up one in a restroom yesterday. Even I thought twice about it! (But I washed it when I washed my hands 🙂 )


cathy August 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Do you know that pears are one of the few fruits that you’re actually supposed to pick a little underripe because they ripen off the tree? Though August may be a little early even for that. Good job saving the pears!


Amy Jo August 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm

1. Eating from the freezer and pantry…..saving money on groceries and cleaning out the freezer at the same time.
2. Resisted ordering a ebook cookbook I have been wanting for some time. It was only $1.99 on Amazon, but when I read the reviews, I found out it wasn’t exactly up my alley.
3. Found a new recipe for red beans and rice that I am going to try using sazon seasoning and sofritos. I have never made either. Excited to try it. Won’t be quite ass cheap as before, but tastier hopefully!
4. Expected to have guests tonight, that ended up canceling at the last minute, so I have lots of leftovers from dinner that was already cooked. We will have leftovers tomorrow and possibly one meal Saturday as well. 😉
5. Made an appointment to get the kids pictures taken next weekend. Local group is doing a fundraiser and it is $10 for a 10×13 picture and they provide outfits for the kids. I do it every year and resist the sales pitch to buy more when you pic up for 10×13. The last 2 years the photos were amazing!


Marcia August 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

The canister of Comet that I usually buy has way too many holes for me. Even when I was still at home with my parents, we always pulled the tape back just halfway and only used half the holes. Lasts twice as long that way! Still do it and I’ve been married 54 years now.

Used leftovers tonight for what I like to call “smorgasbord.” We couldn’t finish everything, but it made a good meal. Roasted a chicken earlier this week–two meals from it plus made it a part of the smorgasbord tonight, and there is still some left. I also made stock from the carcass and froze two containers of stock.

Today we got a new fridge, so spent the day unloading food from the old one into coolers and then unloading into new fridge after it was delivered. New one is a little smaller and realized that I can buy less to have on hand and keep a better inventory of what’s in there so I don’t forget what is there. Overstocking means putting things in available space and forgetting they are there. I can do better!!

Gave my grand-daughter fair warning that she is going to lose her credit card privileges if she doesn’t stop spending too much. She just doesn’t understand the need to live on her own income and not depend on mine. She might this time. Am cutting her limit down but have to wait for her car repair bill to come through on the bill first. Already agreed to pay that.

That’s it so far, but tomorrow is another day.


mel August 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Not judging but just wondering why you are funding your working granddaughter?


nancy from mass August 19, 2016 at 4:07 am

Had a pretty decent week.

1. went to CVS and Walgreens, used my extracare bucks and walgreens rewards and got 184.85 worth of stuff for free! (I had a lot of rewards from picking up things for work on my corporate card – work pays for the items but i get to keep any rewards i earn!) I bought my expensive non-prescription lotion (needed), 3 bottles of curel, axe stuff for the boy, 12 bars of dove soap, ibuprofen and tylenol to last us a year, laundry detergent to last at least 6 months, paper goods, food stuff and a bunch of arizona ice tea things that my son loves. (there’s more but i can’t remember)
2. was gifted some produce from my neighbors who were going away for the week and have been sauteeing spinach and summer squash to go with every meal (including breakfast)
3. used up leftovers for most meals, brought home extra food from a work lunch to eat as well.
4. worked at home 2 days this week – no gas used!
5. earned a free 7# bag of holistic cat food for my pretty girl. (saved $16)
6. enjoyed my neighbors pool while they were away…so relaxing on these brutally hot days!

not frugal – my central air has been running quite a bit this month.

I grew up in a 200+yo house that did not have plumbing upstairs. (so no radiator heat). i shared a room with another sister (at one point, 2 sisters) until i was 16 and we kept a thermometer in our room. during the summer, it was not unusual for our room to hit 100 degrees and during the winter, 50. I can sleep, no matter how hot it is, as long as there is a fan blowing air onto me. but i cannot sleep during the winter if the room is too hot. I like my room COLD during the winter!! 🙂


Bee August 19, 2016 at 9:04 am

Your first frugal thing is quite an accomplishment. Amazing!!!!


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 19, 2016 at 5:10 am

I absolutely loooooove plum tarts! Good use of some free plums. 🙂

This week:

1. I had jury duty on Tuesday and instead of buying water or snacks, I brought my own from home.

2. I did have to eat at the courtroom food court, since bringing/reheating my lunch wasn’t a good option. But hey, it was $6.50 for a ridiculous amount of food and a soda, so I’m not too mad about that.

3. Today we’re babysitting our nephew, which means my SIL is buying us dinner. So we get to play with a cute little munchkin and score some free food. Win!

4. This weekend I’m making churros for the first time! We’ve been craving them, and they look similar to the eclairs that I like to make. I’m going to fill them with a vanilla pudding and coat them in a cinnamon sugar. They’re not healthy, but it’s fun to challenge myself with new baking projects (and have cheap sweets around the house!).

5. Next week Mr. Picky Pincher and I are planning on going to our local museum’s free admission night. There’s an exhibit going on related to Mr. Picky Pincher’s career, so I think he’ll find it super interesting!


Vickie August 19, 2016 at 7:00 am

1) Free breakfast this morning. A co-worker won a BIS Food Truck breakfast for 50, so she arranged to have them deliver the breakfast to our office, since they couldn’t bring the truck on Campus. Yay for free breakfast burritos, fruit and a co-worker that loves to share!
2) The same co-worker picked up a free fanny pack for my daughter at the Back-to-School tent she was working. Said daughter was thrilled – she hates carrying a purse.
3) I wanted to give my youngest granddaughter a birthday bag to open at her Birthday dinner we had last night (I bought her roller-skates on sale at Academy Sports on Monday). I got a card, colorful hairbands, a Frozen Spiral Notebook of paper, a card of different colored pens, multi-color crayon pencils and two books for her to practice numbers, writing and spelling. Cost = $8 at the Dollar Tree.
4) I’ve worked out twice this week and plan to work out again today on my Campus Fitness membership. So far I’ve only lost 8 lbs, but I’m feeling better, eating better and moving, so I consider that $10 per month a good investment in my health.
5) Hubby’s parents are in for a visit, so we’re heading south on Sunday to the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Cheap fun for an all day outing and we get to spend the day with his parents. They live in south Texas, so we usually only see them once or twice a year.


janine August 19, 2016 at 7:05 am

1. Have been eating seasonal (and cheap) produce this month.
2. Scored some deals on a meat sale – $4 off steak and chicken quarters for 49 cents per pound if purchased in 10# quantities.
3. Working with our neighborhood transition group towards a sustainable future – an artist member created a beautiful tiny brochure – to quote one of the Testimonials – “Trying to keep a no waste refrigerator is a lot like eating Kosher or observing Lent…it’s a daily reminder of the spiritual connection that unites us all.”
4. Brochures can be downloaded for free from Transition
5. Keeping to a frugal budget is a good intellectual challenge – always good to keep the brain as well as the body in shape!


Krystal August 19, 2016 at 7:35 am

1. Sold an old, useless-to-me pair of Smith sunglasses (from the 90s!) on eBay as well as an old band t-shirt from my husband.
2. Stopped in at consignment to drop off some items, used my credit to buy a new work dress (I work from home but need conference attire for when I travel). I had to pay $2.38 to cover the difference. It was a really nice Calvin Klein dress!
3. Walked to the post office for some exercise and to drop off our eBay sales, a neighbor a few blocks away had free plums outside their house, we took about 10. 4. My brother was visiting (he went home yesterday), and we treated him to a movie, used my Fandango coupons so we didn’t pay a dime for 3 tickets. No snack foods purchased either! Total cost = $0 + gas.
5. I have done a lot of driving this past week with my brother in town (he has special needs and cannot drive), so he needs family for transport. Though I spent more on gas, I got a lot of free meals and entertainment including watching his S.O. softball tournament (he got the gold!), visiting my step-grandmother for a family reunion (free food!), and meeting with my step-mom yesterday to bring my brother back home (free dinner!)


kathleen August 19, 2016 at 8:12 am

1. Saved 25¢ a gallon when filling up gas tank this week.
2. Scored 4 free custom return address label sheets from Shutterfly (regularly $9.99 each!). Paid shipping with a prepaid Visa received as a refund when canceled satellite service.
3. Turned a frugal fail into a win by disassembling a recently purchased pet gate that didn’t fit doorway and reconfiguring it using zip-ties instead of ordering a more expensive replacement. Hey, it works!
4. Attended auction preview. No purchases made.
5. Paid bills on time, put off haircut, and produced some deeelicious meals from the kitchen this week.


rebecca August 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

1. Used up a lot of food for 2 meetings and a family bbq here.
2. Bought gas for 1.94 a gallon
3. Dried shirts in the sun. It took 25 minutes if that.
4. Taking on more clients at my group practice because my independent practice has resulted in 1 client so far.
5. Continue to watch the Olympics for fun and entertainment. I will need to resume life when they are over.


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