Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 19, 2016 · 46 comments

My Twinn

  1. My sister is visiting and wants to learn how to sell on eBay. I took that as an opportunity to list my thrifted Goodwill doll and show her how easy it is to put together an eBay listing.
  2. I mopped my kitchen last night using a garbage picked Swiffer and a pair of those overly puffy socks which stretch perfectly over the mop head. The socks were a gift from my charge nurses and work perfectly with a Swiffer. (The true savings is that I rarely mop my kitchen, but that’s a blog post for another day. 😉 )
  3. I was able to hang three loads of laundry on the clothesline yesterday.
  4. My sister brought food both as gifts, (a loaf of homemade bread) and leftovers from packed plane food. (Trader Joe’s snack-age.) She wants me to add that she also brought tomatoes from her neighbor’s garden plus hard boiled eggs and string cheese!
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

tonya parham August 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm

1. Am getting brake pads and new shocks today ($513 worth! Ouch!) and asked if I could use a $10 off purchase of $50 coupon and was told since it was two things, they’d let me use it twice. $20 doesn’t seem like a lot when you look at the total purchase but $20 saved is $20 earned.

2. Found a penny on the ground and picked it up.

3. Ate dinner at home last night and froze the veggie scraps for broth.

4. Bought .29 cent bananas from Aldi to freeze for smoothies. Need to stop by this afternoon and get more!

5. Pearl Jam is playing in Chicago this weekend. I wanted to go, but no only would it be too expensive, it would be prohibited time constraints since classes start Monday.

— on the eating at home front, I made a huge batch of rice, a crock pot of marinara, and a crock pot of black beans which have all been very helpful in keeping me from ordering out. I’ve had one slip up– getting subway– but I opted for a footlong, no chips, no drink. Progress, not perfection.


Odette August 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

I wish I could have seen the TSA agent’s face with the egg and tomato haul!


LisaC August 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm

My daughter worked for TSA. She said she has seen it all! haha


Karen August 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Boy, tell your sister I am impressed about the tomatoes and eggs. I hate to take them across town! Hope you all have a great visit.


Bettypants August 19, 2016 at 12:47 pm

1. Ebay sent out a promotion offering 50% off fees on items sold over $50. I relisted a nice purse at $10 lower than my initial listing, and it sold the next day.
2. Walked my package to the post office and stopped at a yard sales three blocks over. Bought a cardigan, two necklaces, and a candle new in the box, all for $1.75. I will list the cardigan on ebay, and keep the rest. The candle was a quarter, and the burn time is up to 25 hours.
3. My office offered a free breakfast this morning. Was better than I expected and they had excellent coffee, so I filled up my travel mug.
4. Picked up my hold books at the library.
5. Stopping at Kroger on the way home to get two free Friday items, and one free coupon item.


BJS August 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

1. Made sure to return a DVD to the library on the day it was due (we had maxed out our renewals!) to avoid the $1 per day late fee.

2. On the library theme, I’m almost finished with one book (a biography of Vivian Vance which I’m enjoying immensely), and have another one checked out and am ready to start it when I finish the first one (a novel called Light on Snow, that someone recommended).

3. I cut my own hair. I know this doesn’t work for everybody, but my hairstyle is somewhat forgiving so I do it sometimes.

4. Used up a travel-size shampoo that my husband brought home from a hotel stay.

5. Rinsed, cut up, and ate all the strawberries I’d bought several days before.

Frugal fail: I was organizing my coupons and saw that one for a free taco at a nearby Mexican place, with no purchase necessary, expired a couple of weeks ago. 🙁


Kim August 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

1. DH was able to get his company’s corporate box tickets to see Barbra Streisand last night in DC! we had 4 tickets so we took my MIL and my favorite neighbor who is also very frugal. The show was great and corporate box seats with a separate entrance are such a treat!
2. Found a $10 bill on the ground today outside the grocery store.
3. have done 10 mystery shops this week. College fund!
4. Need to battle the mending pile. I will use my gifted featherweight. It is possible to fall in love with a machine!
5. Hoping to get my fall garden planted over the weekend. It’s time to pull out all the plants that died while we were taking DS#2 to college last week during the extreme heat event. Left with beautiful petunias in my flower box, came home to fried dead plants! 🙁


Denise August 20, 2016 at 2:18 am

Way to go on both the Streisand tickets (legend!) and the box.


LisaC August 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

1. A coworker gave me two tickets to a local fish fry. I got 2 great dinners to go, and met some lovely people there.
2. Katie, you’ll love this one: my cats steal my hair ties, they love to play with them. I keep them in the cat-toy basket now and get one when I need one. Yesterday, my husband came home with 2 hair ties he found in the parking lot! For the cats, he said. I washed them before adding them to the cat toy basket.
3. Planted fall lettuce seeds in my garden.
4. Brought my coupons to work after I cut out what I wanted, gave them to a coworker.
5. Got a free food processor from a coworker when I said I wanted to make hummus at home but the blender didn’t do so well. She said she had an extra one just sitting in her kitchen, now its mine.


Mand01 August 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm

1. Homemade BLT muffins for dinner last night- and they were very enjoyable.
2. We are having mates over for crockpot Boston baked beans and homemade rolls this afternoon. We will sit by the fireplace and natter like the middle aged ladies we are. Plus my husband, who will make us coffee.
3. Off to the library to pick up my requests that are waiting for me.
4. Working from home on Monday- savings somewhat offset by paying for trees to be removed that day to the tune of $3000 – ARGH!
5. I spent yesterday’s lunch break figuring out that we can live on my husband’s income and use mine just to attack our mortgage and save. It’ll be tight but achievable. Other people go out for a smoke or a sandwich, I do a budget.


Vickie August 19, 2016 at 1:40 pm

I have got to learn to do Ebay!

1) I p/u two audiobooks I had on hold from the Library with my favorite shopping card. I’m finishing up Honey & Oil by Bill McKibben, great book.
2) I ate the free sausage breakfast burrito from the Food Truck breakfast my coworker won for our Team. It included a bowl of fruit. Yay for sharing coworkers.
3) I bought a pair of Nike Sneakers at Goodwill for $2. I need these to work out in and I don’t want to spend money on new ones. They are in good shape, just need to shoe strings and some.
4) For lunch I warmed up three taquitos from the box I have in the freezer here at work and ate another bowl of the free fruit from breakfast.
5) Filled up my water bottle from the Ozarka fountain here in the office, since I’m headed to workout at the Campus Fitness Center shortly.
Have a great Friday evening everyone!


Chris August 19, 2016 at 2:39 pm

1) Made tons of applesauce for the freezer from “gifted” apples.
2) Used the last of our free rain barrel water for the garden.
3) Cleaned the bathroom stashes – tidied up our supplies in our hall bathroom which gets very little use, so it’s easy to see what’s low and what we have a lot of (like 8/$1 bars of Dial soap!).
4) Hung out a load of laundry.
5) Crock pot roast tonight which should yield 3 dinners (pot roast, stroganoff, and stew) for use the next few days – it’s too hot to cook in Portland!


Is it a need or a want August 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Some of my 5 are due to other’s blessing me:)
(1) Friends invited us to an American League baseball game and meal. It happened to be the hosts birthday.
My son, husband and I attended. Gave craft beer with a thrift store card and recycled helium balloon from my husbands birthday.
(2) Friends invited a group to come and swim at the outdoor swimming pool in their area. The couple treated the group to the first hour of rental and ice cream. We split the second hour.
(3) We were treated to weekend passes to a music festival. We were only able to attend one evening. The passes allowed us a special viewing area and some free munchies. So nice:)
(4) I’ve been corresponding with a friend who is currently undergoing chemo and has had a recent hospitalization. She too is frugal and had been responding to my emails with e cards from Blue Mountain. It’s been fun finding different free ones to send back and forth.
(5) Canned pickles and beets from overzealous purchases at the farmer’s market. Now that I have brought my canning supplies upstairs and started sorting the jars I’m on a role to can the additional apple sauce I’m making. Frees up freezer space.


Betty Winslow August 19, 2016 at 3:47 pm

1. Spent the day at a teacher prep meeting, but got two free meals out of it, plus two bottles of water and a chocolate chip cookie to bring home.
2. Picked up my free Friday download when I went to the store Wed. (senior day discount 5% whoot!) and it wasn’t something we’ll eat, so I put it in the food pantry donation box.
3. Instead of leaving dinner up to hubby (who was liable to think we needed to go out again), I got a crockpot of beef stew put together last night, then got up early, did last night’s dishes, and got the crockpot going. So glad I did – I was whipped when I got home. All I did most of the day was sit and listen to blah blah blah…..??
4. Hubby wants to make curtains for the sunroom (to shield all the junk stored in there since the boys came home), so we went to Hobby Lobby (my kryptonite) and Home Depot (his) to look at prices/ideas and then we walked to two garage sales after we got back home. AND WE BOUGHT NOTHING!! So proud….
5. Found a hairtie in the HD parking lot and picked it up in honor of Katie, although I have plenty right now.


Anna-Catherine August 19, 2016 at 4:14 pm

1. Pulled a chicken carcass out of the freezer and made chicken broth instead of using $2 store bought broth. The used broth to make ramen noodle soup at my toddlers request. Also known as, “the noodles daddy makes but not the way he makes them. The way you do. ”

2. Used remaining chicken broth a bag of black beans and a onion to make black bean soup. Toddler at 4 ladles full. Used beans tonight with a bit of rice, tortillas and cheese to bake burritos. Will freeze some of the remaining beans and take dinner to a friend who just had a baby.

3. Returned several things to target. 1 item shipped to me damaged. The in store price was almost 4 times the online price plus it was not the exact same. Ordered a replacement online with free shipping.

4. I have been taking advantage of my target red card free shipping and school supply sales. I have been able to replace used supplies at stock up prices without using gas or buying things I don’t need. Also means I don’t have to take a 3 year old and 3 month old on extra errands.

5. Baby has got to be at the top of the growth chart. At not quite 4 mo I have packed up the 6 month clothing and pulled out 9&12. Both my boys are April babies but this one is 3-5 months ahead of my clothes. instead of buying more because 9/12 are winter, I pulled out the little but that will work with the weather and we will wash as needed. Nothing wrong with white onesies everyday.


Anna August 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Can you do a tutorial ffor everyone how to sell stuff on eBay/Craig’s list. I don’t know how to do it either.


Jennifer August 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm

1. I purchased some blue and pink paper today for my daughter’s gender reveal party. I am cutting out a bunch of pink/blue stars to hang from the chandeliers in the restaurant we are having the party in. I am planning a simple menu of finger food that consists mostly of things I have already. I am making deviled eggs, chicken salad sandwiches, and cupcakes. My daughter is making rice crispy treats drizzled with white chocolate because she already has the ingredients and a few other things. I am borrowing a few fancy serving dishes from my mom and using a few of my own. Her husband’s mom is taking care of the punch so overall it will be a frugal party. As I said before I’m still coming around to the idea of a gender reveal party but at least it’s frugal and I am so thankful for the free venue.
2. I ate a late lunch so when my family went out to a nice restaurant tonight I was still full from lunch so I simply did not order an entree.
3. Again this morning, I ate my children’s leftovers for my breakfast which was a fair amount cheesy eggs between the 2 plates. No reason to waste those perfectly good eggs!
4. It’s going to be raining most of the weekend so I am planning to stay home as much as possible. I will be volunteering my nursing skills at the free clinic tomorrow since I am committed to that already. They usually provide a really nice lunch for us. We see hundreds of patient in a few short hours so it’s very fast paced yet interesting work.
5. No Lear jet


WilliamB August 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm

1. Learned to use a sewing machine (at a ~very~ basic level) and mended the over-the-seat-back map holder from my car as my first exercise. I bought this doodad at least 12 years ago so if I messed up the sewing, or the mend made the holder too small for my maps, no harm done.

2. Ever since I ate down my freezer, I’ve been watching the food sales for Happy Meat at a better price. A few weeks ago it a Slightly Happy chix drumsticks for $1/lb. My least favorite part but excellent price. This week Whole Paycheck is selling pasture-raised 93% lean ground beef for $6/lb instead of the usual $10/lb. In my area this is an excellent price.

3. Bought clothes at 3 different stores on 5 different receipts. Kept careful track of the receipts so I could return what I didn’t like or was duplicative.

4. Checked a half dozen books out of the library. Liked Sujata Massey’s book so much I might buy some deadtree versions. Used if in decent shape, and only after I read a few more of her books.

5. Donated some older shirts to people displaced by a local disaster. Did so at the local cake poppery that was offering 10% off for donating. Bought a cake pop. Dunno if this counts as frugal or not.


JD August 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm

1. Finished a 42hour week at noon today and came home with no idea for lunch. I have leftover cooked chicken so I put it in the food processor with some other stuff I had then added grapes from the bottom of a sale bag that’s almost gone to make chicken salad sandwiches. Friday noon is a time when I am really tempted to grab lunch out but this was better and cheaper.
2. I hung out laundry before work and brought it in when I got home.
3. I organized all my husband’s diabetic supplies in our hall closet using boxes they were shipped in as bins to hold the items instead of buying organizers.
4. I’m collecting flower seeds from my garden to plant later in the fall. Several of them will need a cool season before they will germinate.
5. Found a whole box of #2 pencils in my house, leftover from years, ago which I can use as the pencil supply was getting very slim.


janine August 19, 2016 at 7:39 pm

1. We face an expensive weekend so opted to stay home tonight for a pancake supper.
2. Looking for ways to lower a needed landline phone bill – will call provider to ask for help.
3. Shopped at Costco today and not only managed to stick to my list, but failed to pick up a large carton of spring mix for my promised salad at a potluck Sunday afternoon! – will have to retrace my steps back to the store for needed supplies. Attending empty handed is not an option.
4. Won’t need to cook either Saturday (dinner hour fundraiser) or Sunday dinner (potluck) so a few $$ saved there. Cutting our losses is probably the better term used here.
5. Recently went out with friends for late-night snacks after running some errands – was able to use my AARP card for a discount on the entire check.


cathy August 20, 2016 at 12:43 pm

If for some reason you need the landline because someone in your household is on SSI Disability, you can often get a discounted rate on the bill. Where I am, the provider is Century Link and they charge under $15/month.


janine August 20, 2016 at 7:28 pm

Thanks for the information. However, we need it for business reasons.


Marilyn August 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm

1. After work today, I found my car would not start. I was very much afraid it was a serious (expensive) electrical problem, but It turned out to be just a dead battery. (Not that batteries are cheap these days. This one set me back $127. As the “Car Talk” brothers used to say “Aren’t cars a pain?”)
2. Got home late today after dealing with the dead-car-battery situation. I was feeling tired and hungry and had no interest in cooking . I was tempted to pick up something from the grocery store deli, but instead my husband made a salad and cut up a leftover piece of chicken to add to the mix. We both enjoyed it.
3. My cell phone provider insisted I upgrade my old phone. I selected the free one they were offering, namely a new flip phone. Not much of an upgrade, but it was free.
4. Found 2 pennies on the ground. Of course, I pocketed them.
5. I will be working extra hours next week, helping a co-worker with a project. Should be a nice little boost to my paycheck.


gepee August 20, 2016 at 12:25 am

More a frugal question:
I just came home from a supermarket where they have great reduced fruit and veggies on saturday mornings, good quality, so that it doesn’t go to waste over sunday, when shops are closed in my country. Bought a lot of very cheap ripe bananas today, which I love to freeze and use for smoothies and banana ice cream. Very frugal.

But, besides being frugal, I also try to live environmentally friendly and reduce waste. And all these reduced things were packaged in plastic, even those that I can normally buy without, like the bananas. And they didn’t think that somebody would buy all the ripe bananas, so they put two in each bag and the reduced price sticker on top, so now I have six or seven totally unnessesary plastic bags. I could have gone to the farmers market instead, where I can shop totally without plastic, but of course much more expensive.

I hate that I have to choose – frugal or ecological – and would like your thoughts about this, Katy and all other frugalists.

In every other aspect, frugal and ecological go so well together, using things as long as possible, repairing before buying new, buying used, all that. But with the everyday things like food and cleaning things it’s difficult, soooooo much plastic everywhere, and the unpackaged versions so expensive. And no bulk shopping in my country, I hate that really


Denise August 20, 2016 at 2:31 am

Where do you live, Gepee?

I hate the packaging too, but I would have done the same thing as you. Since the items were cheap and may well have ended up in landfill if people don’t buy them, I wouldn’t have any problem buying them


Kristen August 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

Jonathan Bloom, a food waste expert, says that the amount of resources that go into growing, packing, and shipping food are so vast that it’s better to make the choice that avoids food waste, even if it involves more plastic.

I interviewed him about this because it’s something I’ve always wondered about too. The full interview is here:


gepee August 20, 2016 at 6:31 am

Interesting interview, thank you. Taking his advice I should buy the bananas, but also talk to the store manager and ask if they couldn’t put the “reduced” price tags on the bananas directly, without the plastic bags. Well … *sigh* I ran across this manager already on a saturday morning when they trashed some green beans that were exactly what I needed that day. I asked if I could buy them reduced and he said, no, they were too bad. But I saw that there was only a little brown at the tips that I would cut off anyway, otherwise totally fine, and I am 50 years old with much experience in cooking. But he said I couldnt get them, they were trained and knew better than me what vegetable is good and what not, and with all arguing, the only answer I got was: we know it better … as if I would get salmonella from green beans.

I’m from Germany, by the way


Karen August 20, 2016 at 7:15 am

How exasperating that store policies are tone deaf re obviously salvageable food! Maybe their bigger concern is being sued by an unhappy customer who through their own unawareness does not notice that to-be marked down produce has a few brown spots (oh no!!). Businesses sometimes have detrimental policies.

We had a chain of stores in California called Fresh and Easy, which went under last year. They were formerly owned by the British Tesco stores. They never seemed to grasp that people here do not like shrink-wrapped produce; besides for not liking all this unnecessary plastic, we like to actually smell, touch and examine produce for ripeness. So even after a litany of complaints over this issue, Tesco owners kept doing it, and fewer people bought the produce, which was part of the reason the chain failed here. I am also bothered by how Trader Joe’s puts almost all of their produce in plastic boxes or bags. At least the boxes are recyclable here, but it is my biggest annoyance with an otherwise great store.

LisaC August 21, 2016 at 4:33 am

In our store they put the expired food into paper bags. I get bags full of bananas for a dollar, take them home, freeze them, and put the bag in the recycling bin.

gepee August 20, 2016 at 7:35 am

Yeah, I also like the produce at aldi, they even have organic, and at reasonable prices, but everything packaged in plastic, often twice.
I always knew about the packaging problems, but only recently try to not only avoid plastic where it’s comfortably doable, bringing my own bag and reusable waterbottle, things like that, but to really really reduce my plastic waste. And that is a little bit overwhelming, I see pastic everywhere


Gina August 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

I love Aldi too, but I share your complaint about all the packaging! I try to reduce my waste in other areas to compensate for the price and quality I get there (which is excellent), but I really wish they would offer more open bins of veggies and fruits.

Emily August 22, 2016 at 1:35 pm

The packaging on all aldi products is unfortunately necessary for them to keep their prices so low. In order to keep prices low, they cut back on employees, like a cart boy or having tons of cashiers. They typically out multiple barcodes on items to ensure quick check out. They can’t afford to weigh everything; they must sell in bags or packages for one price to keep their efficiency. Again, frugal vs environmental type deal I guess.

Mand01 August 21, 2016 at 4:09 am

Bulk shopping doesn’t necessarily reduce the use of plastic and packaging- often it just displaces it – the consumer may not take it home but it is disposed of by the store instead.
I think you have to weigh it up and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. For example, when we moved into our (huge and expensive to light) house, I replaced all the old incandescent bulbs with LEDs to reduce my energy usage. Now I have a whole box of incandescent bulbs that I’m not sure what to do with – is it more wasteful to throw out still working but high power using bulbs or to keep using them and waste power? I chose the former but I can see either way is problematic – like the bananas in bags. But at least the bananas are being used instead of being thrown away, which would be the worst outcome of all.


Susie's Daughter August 21, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Mand – We did similarly with our large and fixture filled house. Our recycling center – or more specifically the lovely man who runs the center – has taken all our old incandescent bulbs. I am not sure what he does with them, but I trust at the very least he will find a use or recycle them.


Jill A August 20, 2016 at 3:57 am

1. Traded food with my Mom. She made two meatloafs and gave some to me. I invited her for wet burrito dinner and sent her home with a couple extra burritos. My Dad died recently and cooking is hard for her. She’s not eating real meals most of the time.
2. Having friends for dinner tonight. We will have the salmon my husband caught on a fishing trip with his Dad and brother. We will also pick up some steaks since my husband doesn’t eat fish. Still cheaper than going out to dinner.
3. Frugal win/fail. My daughter hurt her little toe, hit a wall , figure that one out. I would have just buddy taped it to the next toe and given her some motrin and ice. I was overruled. So we paid for a trip to the Pediatricians office. My husband thought she should have an xray. So we paid to have them tell us, no xray (probably not broken), just buddy tape it to the next toe, put some ice on it and give her some motrin. At least we don’t have to pay for an xray, and I skipped the emergency room, immediate care facility which would have been more expensive.
4. Bought a gift card at Meijer and used a $5 off coupon. So I’ll use it to get my groceries for 10% off.
5. Daughter submitted her first College Application. We also sent in her H.S. Transcript for free with the two free transcript code gifted from her H.S.


BJS August 20, 2016 at 6:10 am

Jill, I’m very sorry about your father. It sounds like you’re being a real blessing to your mom as she’s grieving.


Suzanne Hulme August 20, 2016 at 4:58 am

1. I brought a wonderful large tomato salad to a party using tomatoes from my garden. I also brought long a 12 pack of beer that had been brought to our barbecue and donated, and made many chicken kabobs using up homegrown and gifted veggies.

2. I repaired a tiller extension instead of buying a new one-I had to learn how, but it was not too hard.

3. I checked out many books from the library, including one on marlinspike, the art of making gifts from leftover rope. (as a sailor, I have a lot of rope that is retired from the sailboat, but too good to throw out.) I picked up several other great books, too.

4. I met with my husband to go over our finances and made an appointment to do the same next week. (he does not like to do this at all, but is a good sport, and I think this will be a great thing.)

5. I took a free gardening class from our cooperative extension, and received free zucchini and cucumber afterwards. I had a great time with my friends, learned a lot about gardening, and have some great veggies-it was a triple score!


Chris August 20, 2016 at 7:37 am

1. Ate all meals at home this week. Had planned to go to lunch on Tuesday but that was the only day our son-in-law (to be) was free to help us move some furniture out of the house. We grilled burgers and he joined us for lunch – very pleasant.
2. Went to value village with my $5 birthday rewards and spent an additional $1.80 for 3 items that I will list in my etsy shop as soon as I get them photographed.
3. Got 2 offers for free birthday meals but both at restaurants that are middling at best – since I don’t want to go alone, we’d buy a meal for my husband – but without the freebie we normally wouldn’t go – so free meal or not, think we are going to skip these!
4. Watching Netflix for entertainment – even wit the $2 price increase, it’s cheap entertainment. We also have Amazon Prime and share the free shipping with our kids, listen to a lot of music but rarely watch their TV programming. I should look into that.
5.Our daughter wanted a kind of wacky cookie as dessert for the “groom’s dinner” – it’s a stacked cut sugar cookie and you put sprinkles in the middle so it pours out like a rainbow – unicorn shaped – of course, my version didn’t quite look like the web site’s cookie. If nothing else, I can eat the cookies when I start jones-ing for some sugar. I am trying one more batch and then we will give up on that idea!


Ruby August 20, 2016 at 8:59 am

1. Started the week with $5 in one dollar bills in spending money in my wallet. Ended the week with the same $5 still in my wallet.
2. Packed my lunch and cold drinks from home to work all week. Wore cute thrifted outfits every day and carried one of my cute thrifted handbags.
3. Hung a couple of loads of laundry to dry on the rack in the laundry room.
4. Bought a pair of dress shoes off eBay for an excellent price, but they were a tad too tight in one spot in the toe box. I stretched them at home by putting heavy-duty Ziploc bags down in the toe area, filled that area of the bags with water, fastened them tightly with clothespins, and put them in the freezer for two days. The water slowly expanded as it froze and stretched the shoes. Success!
5. Mended another shirt for my son.

And a frugal frustration: We’re between family practice doctors and our medical records are in transit from one office to another. I ran out of thyroid medication during this medical hiatus and had to make a trip to our local walk-in clinic for a refill. Cost a $52 co-pay and two hours of my time waiting, but they were very nice and helpful.


Vickey August 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

Ruby, I love that shoe-expanding idea! I’m going to try it with a pair I can only wear for about half an hour at a time because they pinch a tiny bit. Thanks!


sarah m August 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm

1. Got my second “hungry harvest box” of $15 ugly produce, and meal planned around it. this weeks box is less random than last weeks, so hopefully the cooking will be easier.
2. Used said meal planning to grocery shop and stuck to my list. except for a chocolate covered peanut butter cup.
3. Using up leftover tofu that i stir fried with kimchi. im planning to make cold noodles with chicken and kimchi later this week, and i’ve never cooked with kimchi before, so i’m test driving this flavor combo to avoid a cooking fail. (for the record, pressed tofu sauteed with molasses and soy sauce and mixed with kimchi is delicious imho)
4. I really want linen sheets but they are expensive. I decided to start with a bottom sheet, since my spare set is really too shallow for the mattress anyway. And I’ve looked around and they are cheapest on etsy. I budget money each month for household goods, and I seem to keep spending the majority of it, but it looks like I don’t quite have the cost saved. And I can’t borrow from other categories because i’m already doing that for the 1/2 marathon registration. So i’m deferring it to next month. It’s a bit of artificial scarcity but it keeps me disciplined.
5. Listening to gloria steinem’s “life on the road” via my library’s overdrive app. also reading as a library ebook “the lifechanging magic of tidying up”. between overdrive and librivox i’m doing pretty good with free books.

In less frugal news, I signed up for a half marathon and will be rejoining the gym. Neither are particularly frugal, but I’m not where i want to be with fitness, so time to make changes. Hopefully being busy with training will keep me from spending money otherwise.


sarah m August 21, 2016 at 10:59 am

also wanted to eat out this morning but already did my weekend coffee shop trip yesterday. so i made fancy espresso at home. also, made bread dough and have yogurt fermenting in the yogurt maker. i’m partial to organic whole milk live cultured yogurt. buying it at the health food store is about $10 for a half gallon. homemade is $4 for the same volume. similarly, fancy bakery bread is about $5, home baked bread is less than a dollar.


Florencia August 20, 2016 at 10:06 pm

I need to declutter with Ebay! 😀

I haven’t posted in a while, so I’ll go off my little notebook where I write my daily FFTs.

1. I had an over-the-phone interview today with the HR lady at a local catering company and I got hired. It’ll be casual, where I pick my shifts and it pays well. This sounds great for me since I’ll start school again this week. 🙂
2. I didn’t really bring lunch to work this week except for one day. I ate off my desk’s stash. I had bread, toast, fruit, jam, nut butter, cereal, almond milk, and soup, supplemented by office snacks.
3. I volunteered at my local tango community’s annual retreat at a cabin at a ski resort last weekend. As I volunteer, I got the special price of $75 for the three days (including meals). Since I signed up early, I got to stay at the lodge and saved the gas for the 45 minute trip home and the hotel fee if I chose to stay close-by. The main organizer offered my BFF and I first choice for the volunteer shifts and also asked if we wanted to pick up an extra shift for an extra $25 off. So we got to spend three lovely days of tangoing, eating, mingling with friends from near and far, making new friends, classes, and most importantly loveliness all around for $50 bucks, plus about $6 of drinks and snacks to share. <3
4. I worked my brand promotion gig today for 4 hours and will do the same tomorrow.
5. I went to the thrift store yesterday and got a white polo for my gigs, a lace vest to sell and a replica sports shirt to sell for $6.40 after a 15% off coupon. I was looking for a black cap for a possible job, but didn't find any. They were still $2, so I might just ask for a freebie from my friends.
6. Yesterday, my job got us Friday lunch (as usual) and also got cake for a couple of people's birthdays. They gave us an extra half hour for lunch to mingle. We will be doing this monthly.
7. My work pays for girls to have lunch out once a month on the company's dime. We will go out on Thursday to Texas Roadhouse for dinner after work. 🙂
8. I've been hanging out at home and not spending money other than at the grocery store mostly. I apply to jobs almost every night.
9. I did buy a 1/2 off tango festival pass for $165. This will be my first festival out of town for tango and I am really looking forward to it. It's supposed to be a really wonderful one. I am pricing lodging and airplane tickets and will buy/book early. My BFF and dance partner will see if he can get buddy passes to fly, and I think a friend will be able to help me find a place to crash with festival volunteers.
10. I used a Groupon to buy Thai take-out on Tuesday. I got two entrees and paid ~$12 plus the $5.40 I spent on the Groupon. We warmed up extra rice at home and my mom, my dad, and I ate generous helpings for that little. 🙂
11. I bought slip-proof shoes for restaurant/brand promo work for 50% off and with a shipping discount. 3 pairs of sneakers for $61.77. Pretty great. I had them mailed at my restaurant job to be able to get the discount and while I picked them up, I got a couple free drinks for my mom and I.
12. I really wanted a new dress for my tango retreat. I didn't find much at the thrift store, so I just got a black dress and wore things I already had the rest of the time.
13. I had two coupons for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more: one for Kohl's and one for Famous Footwear. I bought my sister shoes on clearance and paid nothing. I got two tights for my self and two tights, a dress and a sport tank for $16 after the coupon. I checked that they sold well on Ebay. Now I just have to post them. I hope make a good profit. Wish me luck because it will be the first time I buy something to sell there.
14. My company is paying for me and someone else to go on a ghost tour next month. I'm taking my sister. They also invited me and someone else to a company conference dinner. I'm taking my mom. And they are also paying for a hotel room for us to stay at on Friday of that same week. I'll take my parents and go check out Park City, the city where Sundance Film Festival is, just 1/2 hour from my house.
15. I'm still collecting Coke points, Swabbucks, food left at my mom's Airbnb cleaning gig, receipts to keep my budget, as well as using reusable grocery bags, taking lunch to work, applying to gigs, doing my brand promotion work, eating leftovers, and studying while it's slow at work. 😀


rebecca August 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

1. Eating meals at home
2. Front door and slider are open for a lovely breeze
3. Gave a friend a trunk that I emptied and don’t need.
4. Hurt my knee and need to cancel the flight I was going to take. Hoping to get a credit or at least some $$ back.
5. Using melted ice from knee ice packs to water my flowers.


Lindsay August 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm

1. After selling my non-functioning Kindle back to Amazon, I used the resulting Amazon gift card money to send a donation of feminine hygiene products to the Junior League of New Orleans, to be given to victims of flooding in Louisiana. I was glad to be able to be frugal in my charity.
2. Fiance and I went bowling yesterday and did not give into the temptation to buy food at the bowling alley. It helped that we knew our dinner was waiting for us in the slow cooker.
3. I put together a photo collage of our engagement pictures (taken for free by my maid of honor) using a frame I got from my Buy Nothing group.
4. I’ve been stocking up on supplies for my classroom through Freecycle, hand-me-downs from friends, and local thrift stores. The only thing I bought new was a pad of chart paper.
5. I stocked up on audiobooks from the library to make my commute more enjoyable.


Gina August 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I had another travel week for work, so not as frugal as I would like, but not the worst.

1. Only ate out twice with co-workers and both times I ordered a salad and water. I mostly survived on food I brought in my bag, hotel happy hour and breakfast food and one small trip to a near-by grocery store. Per diem$$ will go towards debts.
2. The fig cuttings I was able to take off of a tree have sprouted little roots. I will pot them up in free pots I have in the shed. I am going to get a few more to start and maybe give as gifts.
3. Picked free apples from our community orchard (basically a vacant lot we planted with fruit trees. Anyone from the neighborhood can pick from the trees and vines. Amazingly, hardly anyone is picking the overload of delicious, sweet/tart apples and many are already on the ground. A neighbor and I are planning to pick a half bushel each and pick up some of the better fallen fruit and can applesauce).
4. Bought some books for a donation at a local non-profit sale. I received a receipt and will save for tax purposes.
5. Went thrifting with a friend on Saturday and found a $3 pair of Danskos and a $7 brand new weight set for a stow-away Xmas gift for my athletic oldest son. I was selective and stingy at the thrift store.


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