Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 31, 2016 · 107 comments

Dumpster Dale

  1. We took a day trip to Hood River, Oregon to watch the amazing kiteboarders and enjoy the town. Although the lunch was pricey, the rest of the day was quite frugal and featured my husband gleaning a wall bike rack from a literal pile of garbage.
  2. We stopped after lunch for some “walking around coffee.” I was about to accept the paper cup, when I suddenly remembered that I’d brought a reusable mug, which was in the nearby car. Luckily it was a serve-your-own coffee situation, so we caught this before a cup/lid was used. My husband and sister had also packed reusable mugs, so we were all able to enjoy zero-waste beverages.
  3. We’d initially planned on staying a few nights at the Oregon coast during my sister’s two-week visit, but then realized that none of us welcomed the expense. Instead we planned a few day trips, (beach, mountain, gorge) which have been very enjoyable without the cost of a motel. This plan has justified some lovely restaurant meals which still leave us with more money in our wallets than if we’d stayed the night.
  4. I stopped into the Boutique Goodwill in Hood River, but didn’t buy anything. I zipped over to Fred Meyer this morning to buy milk, butter, tea and bananas and only bought milk, butter, tea and bananas. (Seriously, it’s always a frugal win when you stick to your list!) I received payment on some Clark Howard articles, I keep re-listing all my Craigslist listings* and I just learned that my younger son’s dorm bed will be a regular twin, not “twin-XL” size. Much easier to thrift for!
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

* I sold a comforter/sham set as a direct result of re-listing my Craigslist ads. It was one that I’d gleaned for free from a garage sale leftovers pile a few weeks ago.


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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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

{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth August 31, 2016 at 10:30 am

1. I’ve been tracking our expenses for the second year in a row and sat down today to add things up and average them out so far for the year. While some things look better than last year (groceries and eating out…yea!), some look worse (namely clothes, entertainment and toiletries). This is honestly mostly due to my very consumer driven almost thirteen year old daughter who LOVES clothes and Bath and Body Works stuff, and my husband who gets serious pleasure buying her things that she wants. Sigh. It’s been a conversation all year in our house and I am almost tired of hearing myself talk about it with both of them.
2. Had to host a brunch for the board meeting of the club in which I’m president. Bought lots of stuff and got reimbursed for all of it. Had a lot of stuff left over. I’ve had yogurt, fruit and granola each morning for breakfast that wasn’t finished up. My family has been eating the mini muffins and Danish. And I have some stuff leftover that I froze and will bring to a back to school brunch someone is throwing next week.
3. Really, really wanted to stop and pick up lunch for myself but came home and threw together leftovers instead like I’ve done all week.
4. Sold $50 worth of things on eBay. Relisted what didn’t sell.
5. Told my book club that unless I could get the book at the library I want going to take part in that’s month’s meeting. I have so many books I haven’t read in my basement and a whole bunch on my mom’s old kindle that she gave me that I refuse to buy any new books, even for book club like I would have done in the past. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll rarely ever purchase a book again as the library has so many that I want to read and it’s so easy with that Overdrive app. I don’t even have to physically go into the library!


Kristin August 31, 2016 at 11:16 am

I often take a pass on my book group if I can’t get the book through our library. One of our members ALWAYS buys the NOOK version, and then the other members who have NOOKs can access it. I don’t have a NOOK, but this potentially leaves more copies in the library for me! I sometimes get the audiobook if it is available.


Emily September 1, 2016 at 9:34 am

Ah 13 is a tough age! I’m 26 and my mom still rolls her eyes when my dad tries to pay for things for me! Now I can politely decline things that I feel are unnecessary, but when they come to visit they will usually stock me up with groceries, and maybe get me a few small things for my apartment. I will say my parents struggled with this when I was younger too. Have you tried to compromise on those things? Maybe buy discount gift cards ahead of time if she wants the bath and body works? Does she have a phone? Maybe she could start using apps like shopkicks and receipt hog to earn points for things. Could she maybe babysit a neighbors kids, or do other sorts of work to earn money to help pay for her wants?

I remember being 13 and EVERYTHING feels like its the end of the world. I also always felt like my mom and I were butting heads. Have you tried taking her to thrift shops or places like Platos closet and explaining to her that if you purchase things there, she can pick out an extra item or two? My mom did that when I was younger, she gave me an x amount of money to school shop so the thriftier I was the more I benefited. I always find trendy name brands at my Good will (hollister, abercrombie, forever21, rue21) I always think to myself man if I was a teenage girl this would be my dream!! Just my thoughts 🙂


Elizabeth September 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Thanks! Yes, 13 is tough! So excited about growing up and not quite sure how to go about doing it!

She did walk a neighbor’s dog all last year after school for $5 a walk but won’t be able to do that this year due to after school activities schedules. She is just getting to the age where she can start to babysit and she’s willing to do it but jobs aren’t plentiful yet (she’s done a couple during the day). And she is good at least at understanding “sales” and the fact that she can get more for the money if she buys things that are on sale. But it just always seems like she’s constantly wanting more and more stuff. I’ve talked to her about not “window shopping” on line and learning how to be satisfied with what you have but I don’t know how much of that a thirteen year old takes in! Plus the area we live in has a lot of privileged kids so her friends are constantly getting stuff and it’s hard to keep them grounded to reality in that sort of environment. Which is why I think I talk about it even more than normal…to counteract what she sees at school and other people’s houses, etc.

I LOVE goodwill and thrift shops and buy 90% of my clothes from there. I buy my son stuff from there too. But my daughter has made it clear that she absolutely won’t wear anything from a thrift shop. (little does she know that when she was younger she wore a bunch of clothes from thrift shops or bought off eBay!!!). Silly kid! Maybe she’ll grow out of that!

Thanks for the advice!


Diane C September 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Sounds like you’re doing all the right things, but as I was reading your post the words “mission trip” popped into my head. Perhaps a little time helping the undeserved at home or away, even far away, might help her develop a little perspective. If your church or civic group don’t have a program, they will know who does.

I went on one with a friend’s church to Mexico. I have been there many times, but they didn’t know that. For many of them it was their first experience out of the country. Somehow, they expected me to be uncomfortable, but I took it in stride. I was the one who pushed them to do more (“C’mon, I know we’re tired, but let’s finish. We can rest on the plane and when we get home.”) They buckled down and much was accomplished. It was pretty exhilarating to watch them step up to the challenge. And the family who ran the school and church were amazing frugal ninjas. It was a great experience.

Side bar: I went with a guy I was dating. When he was one of the most reluctant to give more, I learned a valuable lesson. I am happily married now, but he is not my husband.


Jill August 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

I enjoyed Hood River when I was in Oregon a few years back. And the Goodwill was awesome but I didn’t purchase anything either as I was flying back to the East Coast. Nor was I lucky enough to find a bike rack in the garbage – but I did find $1.06 on the ground yesterday at the South Street Seaport here in New York where I am moving my daughter this week.


BJS August 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

1. I got in a carpool with two other families for after-school sports. Instead of picking up every day, I only have to do once every three days. I’m very grateful for the savings in gas money, but I might just be a little bit more excited about and thankful for the time it’ll save me!

2. I found two funny and perfectly-suited birthday cards for two extended family members. Both birthdays are several months away. I already have their names on my calendar on their birthdays, so I wrote a note next to each name telling myself I already had a card for them, so I don’t forget and buy another one.

3. Worked a shift this week. 🙂

4. My mother-in-law bought my lunch for doing her a small favor. She and I were both hungry when we sat down to eat, and it was delicious.

5. Got free samples of fruit and cookies at Sam’s.


jennifer August 31, 2016 at 11:07 am

1. I made curry chicken last night to try something different.My plan was to serve it over rice. When I poured the dry rice in the pan and filled it with water little bugs rose to the top, yuck! So, I thickened the sauce and served it alongside some baby limas from the freezer. It was really good!
2. Lunch today was a 50 cent corn dog from Sonic. Could have brought food from home for less but since I didn’t this was a very frugal meal not from home.
3. I am steadily chipping away at having all my Christmas presents acquired before December. I have not found any used gifts that I would give but I do feel confident that everything I have purchased is the lowest price I will see for the item.
4.No lear jet
5. or trip to Paris


Chrissy September 1, 2016 at 4:24 am

Basmati rice typically does have small bugs in it. You need to fill it with water, let the bugs rise to top and then pour the water out. 3 or 4 times at least. My husband’s Pakistani aunts were shocked when I told them I had never washed rice. Hey, we ate Uncle Ben’s when I was growing up! Ha! Basmati is more like beans…you need to pick through dried beans for stones, yucky beans and very occasionally a bug. Once basmati is cleaned it is the best, though.


jennifer September 1, 2016 at 7:14 am

I’m just really weirded out by bugs. If I see one then I just can’t make myself eat the food. Realistically, I know there are bugs and mouse turds in everything we eat. I just can’t look at them then eat the food. Most people probably aren’t so squeamish. I do always rinse my rice, which is how I found the bugs. This was not basmati, just plain brown rice with some really dark brown bugs in it.I got it marked down at the grocery store so it wasn’t a huge loss. At first I thought it was just pieces of really brown rice but when they all rose to the top and I saw the little legs I got grossed out.


Katy September 1, 2016 at 7:15 am

I’m the same way. *shudder*


Isabelle September 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

What?????? I use this rice and never rinced it. Ok, I think I’m gonna go throw up now…….


Mand01 September 2, 2016 at 2:28 am

It makes a nicer dish if you rinse the rice in any case. Some of the starch is rinsed out and the grains are more seperate when they are cooked.


Gina in KY September 3, 2016 at 6:11 am

Wow, Chrissy! I never knew this was why the washing step was in the prep instructions! I already know bugs are throughout our food (especially grains and rice) and am not really squeamish, but I had no idea this is why the extra step. Thanks!


Kristin August 31, 2016 at 11:13 am

Five frugal things, The Great New York State Fair Edition:

1. Knew we would go in advance, so I bought presale tickets for $6 each, instead of $10 each at the door, so total $8 savings.

2. Picked up a bunch of free stuff, including two reusable bags, pens and pencils, and a couple of magazines my nephew wanted.

3. Brought our own reusable water bottles (it was HOT out!), and a couple of granola bars for snacks.

4. The only food we bought was lunch and ice cream as we were leaving.

5. Didn’t spend a gazillion dollars on games in order to win a super-useful gigantic stuffed dinosaur that we would have to cart around the Fair all day! In fact, we spent $0 on games, and no rides either. Just the buildings and the animals for us.


A. Marie August 31, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Hi, Kristin (and Katy)–

Kristin, I believe I remember from earlier comments on earlier NCA posts that you and I live in the same area. Good job on the thrifty NYS Fair outing. DH and I haven’t been to the Fair since we went for the llama show in 1998, but I hope you caught some of the llama events.

And, Katy, I’ve been appreciating the Wolk-Stanley sisters’ thrifty times from afar. I happily recall many of the Portland-area scenic stops from DH’s and my visit to Portland in 2010. Mr. NCA’s bike rack rocks!


Kristin September 1, 2016 at 5:22 am

Hi A. Marie –

Yes, I recall that we do both live in the same area! We did see the llamas, and my sister even walked one with the young man who was showing it (not sure of the llamas gender).

Funny, my sisters got to the Fair before we did, and went in the Center of “Progress” building. They decided that no progress has been made there in at least twenty years, so my DN and I skipped it this year. And when we left, I felt like maybe I could skip the whole thing next year, for the Extra-Frugal Win!


A. Marie September 1, 2016 at 3:13 pm

From your sisters’ account, the much-ballyhooed renovation of the Fairgrounds seems to have been spotty at best. And I find that the older I get, the more your “Extra-Frugal Win” appeals to me (re: various things, not just the Fair).

But you gotta llove those llamas–or at least DH and I do! Fortunately, we have two sets of friends who own them, so we don’t feel llama-deprived.


Bettypants August 31, 2016 at 11:52 am

I would have sworn that photo was captioned “Dumpster Dale” just before it loaded. If so, it made me laugh.
1. I bought a set of 6 hardcover books for $5, a Disney kitchen for $5, and some antique wooden spindles for $2. The books sold for $20 on ebay.
2. I’m taking two vacation days this week, as it’s the last week of summer for us. That will save me two days of camp fees.
3. I bought two upholstered chairs from an estate sale last summer for $25. They were stained, and I thought I could get the stains out. Could not and I was sick of looking at them. Sold them yesterday for $60.
4. It was cool enough here to walk at lunch, and I’ve had the A/C off at our house since the weekend.
5. Picked up groceries at Aldi and tried their Asian salad mix in a bag. It was decent for 2 lunches, though I would not buy again.


tonya parham August 31, 2016 at 12:06 pm

1. Have a chicken cooking in the slow cooker right now. Will have chicken for dinner, save the extra meat for chicken tacos, chicken in some soup, and if I am very good, I can make some stock from the bones. (I’ve tried that before and it’s pretty tasteless when I make it, but I keep trying.)

2. The missus made shortbread last night while I was teaching last night and we agree that we should just stick with homemade sweets such as that. Cheaper and healthier.

3. Finally got that $50 off coupon code for Blue Apron. I got my package today. I’m excited to try this and hope it keeps me eating at home. I spend too much eating out because I often want the experience of dining out. But it seems everywhere I eat out, the food is not as good as the cost demands. I don’t like take out and never have. I think the thing is, it’s not about the food, it’s about the experience. So, if I could use the (probably more $60) money I spend eating out on Blue Apron and get healthier food that kept me at home, that would be worthwhile. (NOT ENTIRELY FRUGAL, BUT AN IMPROVEMENT! And improving is what I want to do as eating out is the huge money hole where we spend way too much, way too often.)

4. On my way to class last night, I really wanted a coke. I even pulled into the convience store lot, but decided I wouldn’t spend the money on it and would just drink my water.

5. Instead of calling an electrician, I spent .59 on a new plug. When we got down there to replace it (it’s underneath a built in) and could see it, we noticed it had a reset button, and after pushing the reset button fixed it! YAY! I’m so relieved we took care of it ourselves and didn’t immediately call a repair person. Yes, I spent $1 for a part that I ended up not needing but I will just save that and see if I can repair one of the other plugs where one of the outlets does not work!


Susie's Daughter August 31, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Tonya – I love chicken in the slow cooker! I had never had much luck with stock until we started slow cooking chicken. Once we take the bird out, I leave all the remaining juice in the slow cooker. After dear wife takes off all the meat, I stick the bones right back in the slow cooker and add the odd celery leaf +/or end of carrot or onion from fridge/freezer, some whole peppercorn and salt and cover bones with water. I cook it overnight for stock and then deal with it in the morning.
And way to go on #5!


JD August 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

I second the juices, celery, carrot and onion and I also add any skin that was pulled off the meat, garlic, sage, rosemary, and a tiny bit of vinegar to pull calcium from the bones. And like Susie’s Daughter, I leave that cooking all night and strain it in the morning. I generally get good stock out of it that way. If you roast chicken, add the drippings and any roasted bones to the crockpot — I store such things in the freezer until I’m ready to make stock, sometimes.


Bee August 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Do you use white vinegar?


JD September 1, 2016 at 4:51 am

I use white or apple cider vinegar, doesn’t seem to matter.

meg September 1, 2016 at 1:08 am

Does it gel when cooled? I try to make bone broth like this but it’s always an epic fail. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. It’s always horrible….


Chrissy September 1, 2016 at 4:33 am

My broth usually won’t gel unless I use really good chicken. I don’t have a reason to explain this but I have noticed it numerous times. Organic or otherwise well-treated chickens = broth that I can turn upside down. Typical grocery store chicken that was lovely and cheap? Nope. Makes you wonder about what accelerated growth, crowded conditions and whathaveyou does to bone development. Nothing good, apparently.

JD September 1, 2016 at 4:52 am

I’m using farm raised chickens, so like Chrissy said, that may help.

Heather G. September 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

I do the same as above, and yes it gels but that is the cartilage, it’s not a fail and will only thicken any sauce or soup you make it with. I throw a bag of leg quarters in the crockpot each week. They are on sale in my area typically less than $3 for a #10 bag. I season it with rosemary, peppercorn, odds and ends of celery, onion, carrot and bay, sometimes I throw lemon in. Either before bed or before work and when I come home or wake up it takes just a few minutes to debone for meat and strain for broth.

Bee September 1, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I made a pot of soup and used the a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. My broth did seem richer tasting. Thanks for the tip.

Mand01 September 2, 2016 at 2:30 am

We cook our stock in the slow cooker always. It doesn’t always gel but it always tastes good. Our trick is to cook it slowly for 48 hours

tonya parham September 2, 2016 at 7:44 am

That’s a great idea!

I’m gonna try that next time!


Pat August 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm

I was in Hood River in July on for a day and ate in a wonderful bar there. Food was excellent and not overpriced at all. Best french fries I have ever had and worth a trip back again some day in the future.


amanda August 31, 2016 at 12:24 pm

1. The tread came off my front passenger tire a couple weeks ago and messed up the rig. Most importantly, it punched out the headlight assembly, breaking off one of the holder-on thingamabobs and the blinker stopped working. I priced replacements and they ranged from $57 with free shipping to $180. Neither option sounded good to me. My handy hubby checked the blinker bulb and it was the culprit. I bought a new bulb for $4 and he drilled a hole into the body to ziptie the housing in place. Yay!!
2. Our county fair was last weekend, so I took 2 of our kids on the free admission night.
3. I bought 1 BBQ meal for the 3 of us to share. There was food left over, so I’m glad I didn’t buy each of them a plate!
4. Attended a candidate forum last night at a brewpub, tons of munchies and a beer for $5. Just had to listen to candidates drone on. As a bonus, this brewpub was where my hubby and I had our first date, so we re-played our date and had a friend snap some pics. BTW, I was one of the candidates. 😉
5. The local pool changed their schedule today, so no more swimming for me. Instead, I walked on my lunch break. I didn’t mind spending the $3/swim, but walking is free!


Kim August 31, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Amanda, I cracked up at #4! My son is working as a Community Field Organizer for the MD Dem Committee. I will be sure to read this to him because he will get a total kick out of it!


K D August 31, 2016 at 12:30 pm

1. We did not eat out at all last weekend and I have made dinner at home every night for the past many days.

2. The local grocery had a promotion where I netted 2 packages of natural deli meat and a package of sliced cheese for $4, because I also had coupons for the deli meat. I did a couple of transactions to take advantage of the deal. They also had toothpaste marked down to $.26/tube and Chap Stick for $.36, and bottles of V8 juice that were $.27 each after discount and doubled coupons. That is not my normal shopping experience.

3. I am still using dishwasher capsules that I received as a trial. I earned survey points for using them, hello Southwest points(miles).

4. We have an old tiller that has not been used for many years. It needs work. A friend is going to work on it for us, we told him to go ahead and use it as much as he wants.

5. Plans for yesterday were cancelled by a friend. I spent much of the day at home, catching up on paperwork, laundry, cleaning, etc. We’ll get together another day so the cancellation was a blessing in disguise.


Mand01 August 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm

1. Took our change jars into the bank and cashed them in. There was $82 in there, which I took straightaway to buy a cheaper family pass to our state fair (we call it The Show). I used the rest to buy part of my daughter’s birthday present and a gift for a friend.
2. Traded some rewards points from a survey site for a voucher and used it to order another part of my daughter’s birthday gift.
3. The usual cooking from scratch, free exercise on our equipment, and wearing thrifted clothes.
4. My friend and I are trading child care two nights a week, saving us each $25 a week in fees. I’m also helping her out next week when we have a student free day by taking her child to The Show with us, and she helps us out when we need it.
5. I made chicken stock using the wing tips of wings I got on sale. I jointed out all the wings and threw all the tips in the slow cooker for two days. I ended up with 6 cups of clear stock, and five packages of wings in the freezer.


Gina in Ky August 31, 2016 at 12:48 pm

1. Attended a free class at the library on reusing/reskilling. I probably won’t go back because I am still not sure what the point of it was. It was all over the place.
2. However, one of the attendees gave me three paw paws and some bitter melons. I’ll look up what to do with them both.
3. Walking in the evening when it’s cooler. Tonight I plan to walk to the river to see if the big, heirloom crabapples on some public trees are ready.
4 Made apple butter with the free orchard apples and small batch canned a few jars.
5. I’ve been eating small meals of gifted fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Simple, but so good!


Linda M August 31, 2016 at 1:44 pm

You can use the pawpaws to make similar to pumpkin bread…using the same recipe.


K D September 1, 2016 at 3:07 am

Last year I threw some paw paws in the crock pot with a bunch of apples when I made applesauce. Since I add a lot of cinnamon after the fruit is cooked the pawpaws were indiscernible. I also froze some and added small amount to smoothies.


Mand01 September 1, 2016 at 3:54 am

I’ve done this with kiwis too – turns out really well


jennifer September 1, 2016 at 7:21 am

I do the same thing with pears and plums. If you have a lot of apples they seem to take over the taste of any milder fruits. I have frozen mangoes and peaches together also and no one can tell the difference.


Gina in Ky September 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

Oh, thank you all!


JD August 31, 2016 at 1:08 pm

1. We have been eating at home even when the cook (me!) is tired of cooking.
2. With the new month here, I will budget for some more freezer re-stocking. I feel blessed to be able to find some money to do it.
3. Exchanging Christmas gift ideas with family and stressing that I will take used gifts anytime! I hope that the rest of them will join me, saving us all money.
4. I completed my first full month on a budget. Obviously, this is a learning phase as I figure out my normal expenditures, but at least I’m doing it, finally.
5. We have a tropical storm that is probably headed our way. I keep lamp oil on hand, so I need to fill the lamps and trim the wicks, store some more ice, and see if I need to stock up on any non-perishables.


Bee August 31, 2016 at 2:04 pm

We will also begin to feel the affects of Tropical Storm Hermione this evening. I am not as prepared as I should be, but I have my fingers crossed. Stay safe, JD!


Susie's Daughter August 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm

#3 – Thank you for this! For the first time EVER (even since I was a poor grad student) my wife and I are setting a $ limit for each other for Christmas. I told her yesterday I would be delighted with “after market” goods. 🙂 I will be able to suggest to some members of the family that we are happy to have them buy/give gifts for me and DS that are “new to us”, but this idea is a non starter with the other half.
Sending wishes for safety to you and all in the path!


JD September 1, 2016 at 4:55 am

You too! I’m so thankful my daughter and son-in-law recently got a huge oak in the yard of their recently purchased home trimmed back — one long limb had stretched out right over their little girl’s bedroom.


LisaC August 31, 2016 at 1:37 pm

1. Disciplining myself to not buy any lotions or anti-aging products (I’m a sucker for an ad for anti aging) until every bit of what I have left is used up.
2. Same for samples of shampoo.
3. Slowly learning how to use apps on my tv for the eventual goal of cutting the cord. Down to the minimum plan so far. Downloading hulu and sling are still a mystery to me.
4. Taking caprese from tomatoes and basil in my garden for lunch.
5. Still eating from the freezer, I can see the shelves now. Off season sales will start soon, I’m excited.
NOT frugal: gave my daughter money when she called me in a panic.


Bee August 31, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I help my children too from time to time. I know they are trying hard to transition into adulthood. I actually have a line item for this in my budget, so I am prepared. They don’t know this, of course. It is not the frugal choice, but I try to turn it into a learning opportunity when it does happen. I find that I am seldom needed anymore. Now I just dispense advice.


Bee August 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Day- tripping can be a lot of fun and so frugal. I am enjoying my sister’s company this week too. Here are my FFT:
1) I did a little consulting for a friend who works in the same industry as I do. Although I did not expect to be paid, she insisted upon giving me a little money and buying me lunch today. I think it was a win for both of us.

2) I am cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer this week. I made a pasta sauce for dinner that used up some portabella mushrooms and roasted tomatoes that were lingering. I took 6 chicken carcasses out of the freezer to make chicken broth. We don’t eat much soup during the summer months, but we often enjoy rotisserie chicken — obviously. 🙂 It will be the basis for a soup based dinner tomorrow night. Tonight we will have a leftover buffet.

3) I visited my favorite thrift store this week. I bought a nice dust ruffle. It was still in the bag, only $4, and perfect in my guest room.

4) It was payday. This means that it was time to take care of business. I used my bank’s bill-pay service as always to take care of my obligations; transferred money into savings so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend it; balanced my account; and closed out my budget for the month. I am very proud of one thing. Although I don’t eat out with frequency, my expenditures for dining out usually total over $100 for the month. I include prepared food, take-out food such as pizza, coffee with friends, Saturday lunch with my husband and so forth in this line item total. However, this month my only expenditure in this category was a birthday lunch for a dear friend. Much improved!!!!

5) I did not buy the Rolex watch that my sister , a jeweler, had me try on. I do love shiny things, but a watch that is the same price as a car seems a bit excessive.


Denise September 2, 2016 at 12:24 am

I had a solid gold Rolex when I was an over-spending idiot and all I can say is that it weighed a ton, was the first thing I took off when I got back from work and I was so, so happy when I sold it and used the money for house repairs! I now wear a £30 Sekonda. And I don’t have to worry about being mugged or having to pay extra to insure the damn thing. I was actually ashamed of spending that much money but at least I have learned my lesson!


Kim August 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

1. Started planting some of my cheap DG seeds I bought last weekend. Snap peas are in and have carrots, spinach, peas and lettuce to go in as I have time in the next few days.
2. My tire kept leaking air and DH kept saying it was my tire sensor not the tire. He finally agreed it was leaking air when he tested the tire in our pool and found I had a cracked rim. He went to the auto recyclers and found one for so much cheaper than the tire store. Had it mounted where I got my tires and no more low air pressure or worrying about a flat! While he was there, a man asked him if he could help him for a few minutes which DH was happy to do. DH now knows how to pull a windshield and that you can get the kit at Harbor Freight for $22.
3. My neighbor has a had a few things at the curb for the last several days including a rain barrel. I saw her last night and asked her is she was getting rid of it and she said please take it. DH will need to put the faucet part on but other than that it’s fine. We are now a 2 rain barrel family!
4. For dinner last night I made the chicken enchilada recipe that’s on the Aldi enchilada sauce can. DH and DS#1 decided it’s a keeper. I have made enchilada sauce before but bought this to have on hand.
5. Perfect weather for painting so I am trying to get lots of projects done before the leaves fall! I still had the love seat to my patio furniture to paint as I had painted the chairs and the table over the summer and hadn’t done the biggest piece. I scrubbed it today and have it drying and will get painted tomorrow. I also painted my wood plant stand and my wood window box. The patio table, 4 chairs, 2 flower pots and a stool are on the list for the weekend! I love spray paint and highly recommend the trigger handle that they sell for a couple of $!


Susie's Daughter August 31, 2016 at 4:08 pm

A big week here in our household as DS went off to Kindergarten yesterday. He did a great job. I only cried a little in the hallway…

1) Trying to use my new found daytime hours to double down on frugality efforts. Yesterday I ordered two additional shelves for our pantry shelving unit- not especially frugal except that they were on sale – and next week I will spend one day reorganizing and writing an pantry inventory.

2) Tomorrow, my mom (“Susie” to some of her family) and I will head to the big city to hit up Costco, CVS, Trader Joe’s, Joann’s Fabrics and have lunch. This will be my big spend for the month and I am planning not to shop for any additional groceries except milk and farmer’s market produce for the remainder of Sept.

3) DS is eating lunch at school now and given his pickiness plus food sensitivities (nuts, lentils, sesame) I am packing it. Also school lunch is $2.50 and I can do a lot for $2.50. If anyone has any non-nut butter lunch suggestions, I am looking for ideas! So far it has been cold pizza, yogurt, cheese and crackers, turkey roll ups etc.

4) Picked up a like new board book for our new baby nephew for Christmas and an unopened Ravensburger pirate puzzle for DS’s birthday at our local thrift store for $2.50 total.

5) Continuing to “put by”, as the folks here used to say, zucchini, broccoli, ratatouille for freezer. Anticipate a BIG squash harvest (butternut, spaghetti and pumpkin) if they can ripen before frost.


Kim August 31, 2016 at 6:22 pm

#3. My son loved to take peeled shrimp with cocktail sauce when he was in elementary and middle school. I’d steam them in the microwave in the morning since it only took a few minutes. He was the envy of his lunch table!


Susie's Daughter August 31, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Kim – Thank you for that idea!


K D September 1, 2016 at 3:36 am

Is your son able to eat Sun Butter (made from sunflower seeds)?


Mand01 September 1, 2016 at 3:52 am

We have allergies too (between us all it’s nuts, peanuts, chickpeas, coconut, mango, sesame), so I don’t buy much for lunches and bake most weekends. Also our schools have nut free policies.

I make mini pizzas, cheesymite scrolls (these are cheese and vegemite scrolls, for all you non-Aussies), pizza scrolls, mini tubs of pasta or chilli, wraps, tortilla bowls, muffins (usually berry or Apple, occasionally banana or chocolate chip), cookies, cake (usually fruit cake (nut free) or orange cake). I keep nut free muesli (granola) bars on hand for when I’m out of baked goods and I buy mini yoghurt tubs when they are on sale low enough for me to decide it’s worth it. Otherwise everything is homemade or fresh. Our schools don’t have a lunch program or canteen so most people pack a lunch, but kids do get a lot of processed foods. One good thing about allergies is that it reduces the junk you can buy!


jennifer September 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

Interesting that your school doesn’t have a lunch program. I struggle to keep from using so many processed foods and my child is easily bored with packed lunches . Seems like lots of things are carb loaded that I pack. Lately, I send leftovers of whatever we ate the night before such as pizza casserole since it taste pretty good when it’s not hot. I usually throw in a banana, apple, cherry tomatoes, cubed melon, orange slices, or grapes for good measure.


Mand01 September 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm

As far as I’m aware most Australian public schools don’t have a lunch program, although some do have breakfast programs if they are in low socioeconomic areas.
Parents are always asked to send a healthy fruit or vegetable snack as well and one of our daughters’ schools has a healthy eating policy which means no chips, candy or soft drinks.


Marcia September 1, 2016 at 2:02 pm

My favorite lunch when I was still in school was a piece of leftover fried chicken, along with a butter and lettuce sandwich. Mom made good fried chicken and I was happy to eat it cold. She also made great cookies.


cathy September 1, 2016 at 11:26 am

I was going to suggest hummus (made at home w/0 the tahini) until I saw the chickpea allergy. My kids have multiple food allergies, too, so they always take lunch. For my wheat-allergic kid, I’ll bake a batch of scones, then use those like you’d use bread. He likes jam since he can’t have PB or nuts. When I make tortillas for soft tacos for dinner, I put a couple of soft tacos in the next day’s lunch. I send a small salad in a reusable container and include a small reusable squeeze bottle (like a mini shampoo bottle) of salad dressing. What about a variety of cut veggies and a dip? Or strawberries with yogurt to dip in? You didn’t mention sandwiches, so I’m wondering if maybe your son isn’t a sandwich eater.


Bee September 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I do not eat wheat What type of flour do you use in your scones? Do you use sour cream or some extra moisture.


cathy September 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

I have a kid who’s allergic to wheat, rye, barley (all the same grains w/ gluten), and oats. We go through A LOT of gluten-free flour so we mix up our own blend, though you could use a pre-mixed GF flour. We buy Bob’s Red Mill flours, and mix one bag each of brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch (not flour). Each bag is 22-24 oz (which we buy by the case). My other kid has a whole host of different grain allergies, so this blend isn’t as whole-grain as I’d like, but it works well and the texture is similar to all-purpose flour. Since the flour blend doesn’t have gluten, it’s missing the part that makes it ‘stick together.’ The majority of GF recipes call for xanthan gum, but I don’t like to use it. Instead, I add a Tablespoon of potato flour (not the starch this time) for every 2 cups of flour. The potato flour is sticky when wet.
If I’m converting a recipe to make it GF, I use an equal amount of my flour blend to what they call for + the potato starch + all the regular ingredients. GF batters and doughs are usually WETTER than those made with AP flour so no need to add extra moisture (plus the kid with the wheat allergy is also allergic to dairy!). I find that my pancakes come out better if I cut back on the liquid a bit, but my scones will come out dry if I do so I mix the scone dough until it’s the same consistency it would be with “regular” ingredients. You just need to play around with your recipes a bit. Hope that helps!

Bee September 2, 2016 at 7:23 am

Thank you, Cathy!!! I have developed many allergies as I have gotten older. I am learning to cook for myself. I will buy some potato starch maybe that will prevent the crumbling.

Mand01 September 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

No hommous for us, unfortunately! I also make fruit purees and sugar free jelly (jello) with fruit set in it.


Isabelle September 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm

We don’t have school lunchs programs here eighter.
Idea for your son : tofu spread on crackers. It doesn’t taste like tofu (I don’t like tofu and I love this stuff).
Therd is also the easy tuna fish + mayo.

April September 2, 2016 at 5:59 am

Hugs regarding DS starting kindergarten, it’s a parental milestone of sorts! And you will adore that new window of freedom in your day.


Beth September 2, 2016 at 7:32 am

100 Days of Real Food (a website) had quite a few lunch ideas for school…I haven’t been on in a while, but I remember that the lunches were varied and healthy, and they were lunches that she actually sent with her kids to school, so they were kid-approved (at least by her two, lol).


meg September 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

Hummus and cucumber sandwiches are faves with my boys.


Susie's Daughter September 2, 2016 at 9:24 am

Thanks everyone for all these great suggestions and ideas! It is helpful for my thinking and I will try several new ideas next week. The other reminder for me is that I need to have stuff ready to go before the morning. 🙂


Chris August 31, 2016 at 4:34 pm

1. Picked up a free child’s wood kitchen play set through our neighborhood list serve – will paint it and sell it at our next garage sale – if it doesn’t go on Craigslist.
2. Cut up a 1/2 a melon that a friend gave me a few days ago – thought it might be too mushy but it was great.
3. Needed a guest mattress for upcoming guests – bought one off the Amazon Warehouse page – saved $13 – returnable in 30 days if we’re not happy. Will be using in next week so should know with plenty of time for return.
4. Gave 2 backs of books to my neighbor for her Little Free Library. Cleaned out some space in my garage.
5. For our daughter’s upcoming wedding, we are using tables, chairs , tents, and coolers from the local Catholic Church – their youth deliver, set up and pick up – all for a donation for their mission trips.


PaperCraneFarm August 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Been feeling pretty run down and tired. The frenetic nature of back-to-school time (even though my kids are toddlers) has hit us too.

1. I made breakfast, packed lunches, and rustled up dinner. All of those felt like huge victories in a busy day. Ok, dinner was a salad and a bagel with cream cheese – weird, but used up some stuff that needed to get used.

2. Sat on the floor of the kitchen while the kids broke the discount mushrooms into pieces and put them in the pan. Took them 20 minutes to do a 1 lb container of mushrooms!

3. The almost two year old then got out the broom to sweep up the mushroom bits that fell on the floor. Yeah for teaching them to clean up afterwards!

4. I found some extra bins of mega blocks and duplos in the closet that I got at a cheap tag sale. Passing them to my sister to give to other nieces for Christmas. Saves my sister money and time not having to shop.

5. I threw the reusable insulated lunch bag in the washing machine to help it recover from the “yogurt leaking incident” in today’s lunch drama. It has been well worth the money and even on a day like today, am grateful it contained the mess rather than having the mess across my bag!


jennifer September 1, 2016 at 7:37 am

5. My daughter loves mini pickles so I pack a small cup of those when I send a sandwich. We had a pickle juice incident yesterday.


PaperCraneFarm September 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Pickles leak every single time for us. Doesn’t matter what we put them, they always leak. But pickle juice smells better than old yogurt!


Betty Winslow August 31, 2016 at 4:50 pm

1. Took one for the team and ate leftovers for lunch on Monday. Tikki Masala over brown rice – good even if I wasn’t in the mood for it.
2. Neighbor lady found out I like to make zucchini bread and has been zuke-bombing our porch every few days with big ones. So far, the one I dealt with made 10 cups of grated zucchini!!
3. Dessert tonight was fruit salad, which used one a bruised pear and apple and the last of the poppy seed dressing I brought home from work.
4. One of our teachers bought a large (and expensive) package of organic spring mix and hated it, so another teacher and I split it. Hubby’s been growing tomatoes, so – free salad for several nights!
5. Saved almost $35 on groceries today, what with coupons, careful shopping, and a senior discount.


PaperCraneFarm September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I’m stealing the phrase Zuke-bombing! I need more enemies or friends as our zucchini plants didn’t grow this year. Darn drought!


Dmarie September 2, 2016 at 9:33 am

*chuckle* this brings to mind one of the Lake Woebegone tales: “Garrison Keillor says July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won’t put squash on the front seat.”


Alison August 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm

1. Sold a pair of Clark’s sandals on line for $15. They were too big for me and almost brand new.
2. My optometrist thinks I maybe only need one contact lens, so I’m trying that out. Will save $ as I will buy half as many contacts.
3. Have tons of pears this year so made pear sauce and froze it.
4. Had left over Indian food for dinner from previous night’s dinner out that sister paid for.
5. Will have catered lunch at work tomorrow.


Sandra August 31, 2016 at 7:42 pm

1. Bought fabric for a quilt out of the “ends bin”. It was at least 20% off and beautiful. I will make good use of it.
2. I went to Powell Books today and, unbelievably, did not buy one book. I looked around, enjoyed browsing for a couple of hours, and then went home empty handed. A first.
3. Instead of taking myself out to dinner I treated myself to going to a fancy grocery store instead. (Zupans for those of you who are local). I spent $39, but I will be able to enjoy that for several days instead of just one dinner out.
4. Drank only water today.
5. Frugal fail: yesterday while trying to plant a shrub I poked a hole in my sprinkler line. I had the plumber coming out to fix a toilet anyway, so I had him fix the line too. I was beyond upset with myself over such a foolish mistake, but these things happen.


pattilou August 31, 2016 at 8:19 pm

1. took a friend to the movies as a thank her for helping me out. We went to a matinee and brought our own water and snacks.
2. I was given a free ticket to go to The Moth. I love listening to the show on our NPR station and was thrilled to be able to attend.
3. I wore an outfit to The Moth that was from a pile of clothes my niece gave me. I have worn a few other pieces of clothes from the pile this week.
4. I need to replace a lot of spices and after doing some price comparison I bought most of them at Aldi and will pick up the rest at another store because prices were better there on a few things.
5. snacks were provided at work yesterday which ended up being my lunch.


gepee September 1, 2016 at 4:32 am

1. Borrowed a pressure cooker from a friend to try out if I would really use it before buying one myself. My plan is that I wouldn’t have to buy beans etc canned anymore. We will see how that works out

2. Cooked my first beans in that cooker, used a recipe, but the beans came out totally overcooked and couldn’t be used for chili and salads as I had planned. Was really tempted to throw them out, but then made bean burgers instead.

3. Had planned to go to the library and do some shopping today, but then saw I had enough books to read, nothing that had to go back today, and nothing urgent on my shopping list, so I stayed home. I will buy the things on my shopping list eventually, nothing fancy there, so no money saved, but it’s always a frugal experience for me to not go shopping, it reminds me how much I have already

4. Sanded and repainted the doorsteps in my new apartment myself, so only had to pay for the paint. But soooooo much dust. I would love to paint two small pieces of furniture, but don’t want to have all the dust from sanding in my apartment, don’t have a garden … perhaps on my balcony? If the weather holds up …. my neighbours sure would love me to use my small electrical sander in the open 😉

5. A frugal fail: Had to throw out a whole bag of carrots gone bad – that is something that really seldom happens to me, so I was a bit angry on myself


Bee September 1, 2016 at 4:55 am

Using chalk paint for your furniture could reduce the amount of sanding you need to do. I mix my own using plaster of Paris, bargain house paint and water. This is much cheaper than the name brands. There are lots of ideas online especially on Pinterest as well as YouTube.


Gina in Ky September 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm

So weird, I had to throw out carrots this week too and they usually keep for such a long time.


Savannah September 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

I generally do 5 Frugal Things over on Kristen’s blog, The Frugal Girl, but I’m happy that I hopped over here and now have 2 favorite frugal blogs to read!

1. We ate dinner at home each night this week and sort-of stuck to our meal plan.
2. Came in under budget at grocery shopping this week — only spend $47!


Katy September 1, 2016 at 7:18 am

Welcome, I love Kristen’s blog!


Savannah September 1, 2016 at 4:58 am

Oops, hit submit a little early!

3. My mother-in-law bought new furniture and offered her old furniture to us which we accepted graciously…it’s so comfy! And free!
4. In turn, we thrifted our old furniture to a newly married couple that are our best friends.
5. I spotted 2 pairs of True Religion jeans at Goodwill for $4.99 each. I have them listed at $34.99, hoping to make a profit on them! I’m just venturing into the re-sale community 🙂


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 1, 2016 at 6:39 am

This week:

1. I did the math and realized our savings rate for August was 58%! Woohoo!

2. I made homemade tomato bisque soup last night and it was even better than the bisque I used to buy at La Madeleine!

3. Tonight we’re eating quesadillas made from homemade tortillas.

4. I sold my PS3 on Craigslist yesterday for a whopping $80. I’ll use that money to buy better-fitting clothes, since my exercise regimen has beefed me up a bit and my pants don’t fit around my legs!!

5. This weekend we’re visiting Mr. Picky Pincher’s parents. Instead of grabbing dinner on the road, we will eat dinner at home to save money.


Katy September 1, 2016 at 7:17 am

That’s great! Our savings rate for August was terrible. However, I knew ahead of time that we’d be vacationing in town with my sister and that’s I’d hardly be working.


Juhli September 1, 2016 at 7:08 am

A few things recently.
1. The tire on our wheelbarrow was flat and we figured out how to take it off, took it to the gas station to fill with air and so far it is holding the pressure.
2. Made turkey burgers that were too dry. Threw the leftover ones into leftover veggie chili and both were better as a result.
3. Finally found someone who wants the large and heavy roll top desk we want to get rid off before moving. They get it free and we don’t have to pay someone to haul it away.
4. Went through my closet and found enough to make a Fall wardrobe capsule. Just need to alter a couple of things. Except I need shoes so on the look out for a good value there.
Not frugal but lovely: bought the crib and mattress for our soon to arrive first grandchild.


rebecca September 1, 2016 at 7:28 am

1. I bought a bunch of tomatoes in the seconds bin at the farmers market for $2 a lb. It was the organic farmer so I was quite pleased. I will make gazepacho. Yum! zero weight watchers points as well.
2. Had family here for dinner and made a bunch of it from items on hand.
3. Have not needed to fill up my gas tank for 1 1/2 weeks.
4. Reading library books.
5. I would like a side table next to my sofa so am looking at consignment shops.


katie September 1, 2016 at 7:36 am

1. Used my dry over, overcooked brownies in ice cream pie for hubby’s birthday. The kiddos loved it and couldn’t believe the inedible brownies were in there.
2. Made a batch of dinner rolls and soft pretzels. We’ll enjoy snacking on this all week.
3. Picked up my freebies from Kroger. They will be used as stocking stuffers.
4. Found $5 on the ground at the pool. The last day for swimming is Labor Day and we’ve enjoyed it so much I will start saving to buy the pass again on Memorial Day. The found $5 will start the fund.
5. Since the kids have started back to school I’m keeping the air off during the day. I hope to see the savings next month.


Carol September 1, 2016 at 10:27 am

1. I finally signed up for Swagbucks. In 4 days, I’ve earned about $16. Not bad for someone who works part-time!
2. When surveys are glitchy and I don’t get my points, I always message them to try and get my points–even the 1 point disqualifications. I estimate I’ve earned about $4.00 this way.
3. I made a smoothie with a leftover plum from a kid’s lunch and spirulina. The spirulina is a supplement , which some people would consider an indulgence, but I say supplements keep me healthy, therefore I can go to work and earn money.
4. Eating leftovers before they go bad instead of making something new.
5. Continuing to use the 25 cent dryer in my building by going on days when it’s less in demand. Would line dry, but we don’t have the space.

And I’ll give this a go…today I’ve changed my website to my Swagbucks link. If you click on my name, it’ll take you there, where you can check out the site in general.


cathy September 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

1. When I went to the grocery store a couple days ago, I talked to the manager about some ground beef I bought that went bad prematurely. He gave me a credit on the beef that I used toward my groceries.
2. Met my cousin for lunch, and she unexpectedly picked up the tab! My turn next time.
3. Got together with two other cousins for breakfast yesterday. One was in town visiting and staying with the other, so we met at her house. Full breakfast. I provided bagels & cream cheese, and tomatoes and herbs from my garden.
4. My younger son asked for help cleaning off his desk. I got started while he’s at school and found a nearly-new set of highlighters. I scrounged some up for him last week, but thought I would have to buy a few more. The benefits of a good , deep clean!
5. Pulled out all the worksheets from my physical therapist, trying to ramp up exercises for my SI joint. The joint is out of alignment worse than it has been in almost 20 years. But if my efforts pay off, I’ll avoid a costly visit to PT.
6. In the proud mama category: My college freshman discovered that an optional text book was going to be a necessity. He located a good condition used copy online and was able to order it 2-day free shipping thanks to the free Amazon Prime account he was offered as a college student.


Vickie September 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm

1) We’re buying a nice, used 2007 Sebring, with low mileage for 5K, from my niece. She inherited it when her Dad passed away last spring, but they are downsizing in order to move to Eugene, Oregon. It will help them and we will get a nice, used car for a good price. My Toyota has over 300K miles on it and the transmission is starting to give me fits. I’m going to drive my Toyota back and forth to work for as long as it will run, but we’ll have a nice car to take on trips and I can drive it on the weekends without putting a lot of mileage on it. Yahoo!
2) I went to Big Lots today to buy some new bath towels for my daughter, as a gift. They are nice, big thick towels and they were on sale for 2.49 each. I picked up some Asian Sesame noodle soup mix for lunch for the next two days.
3) I went to WIT (Women in Technology) meeting in the city last night. Two hours of socializing with a friend and coworker and meeting new friends and listening to female speakers in our profession. They charged for the wine, but the food was free. I stopped at one glass, so it was a cheap and fun meeting.
4) I finished up the audiobook “The Language of Bees” this morning, so I returned that to the Library while I was out. I need to look at my Good Reads list and find some more audiobooks at the Library.
5) I’m taking on more work, that belonged to coworker that left, but I received a $1500 increase in my annual pay, so it’s all good.
All in all, it’s been a pretty good week! 🙂


Isabelle September 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

* Going to book club tonight. We also do a potluck. I got a tray of Nanaimo bars from the grocery store at 30% off because the best-before date is tommorow. Pretty sure at least half of it will come back home with me too.
* Exchanged PC Points for 30$ worth of free groceries.
* Won a pair of tickets for an all weekend event worth 140$! So hubby and I will go. And it’s free for the kids, so we can all go free of charge! Will pack lunchs too.
* Did not buy any new clothes for daughters for back to school, everything from last year still fit (so far).
* Still driving my 2004 Toyota Echo. My friends complain that they don’t make much money, yet they post on Facebook about their new SUV…. they don’t even have kids, they live downtown Toronto, so what’s the use??? Ridiculous.

Have a great frugal day!


Lucy September 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

1. I remembered to use store rebate checks for a purchase of dog treats that were on sale.
2. I planned my big shopping day route to save fuel and make no left turns in town.
3. I stuck to my list except for one item. Only coupon and sale items.
4. The one item was a set of hooks for hanging shovels, rakes, and the like that were on clearance at 50% off. My makeshift hangers were a fail.
5. I combined a loyalty card and a survey reward coupon to get pizza and cheesy bread for less than free (they gave me a dime back)!


janine September 1, 2016 at 1:40 pm

1. Spent the last two days as the guest of friends who are themselves vacationing at a resort. They are using a townhouse they got through a barter arrangement with a client. As I look back I think we came close to splitting evenly the cost of our pleasures.
2. We spent last evening in the hot tub and swimming pool – free
3. Bought wine and chocolates for a housewarming gift at Trader Joes – reasonably good quality for a modest price.
4. Last evening we ate in – purchased corn on the cobb at a roadside stand for my contribution.
5. I drove my car and bought gas for our sightseeing trip yesterday. We ate two meals out – each of us paid for one – about the same price. Enjoyed good company and great surroundings.


A. Marie September 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Late comment, Frugal Birthday/Trashpicking Edition:

(1) Monday was my birthday. As one of my gifts, Bestest Neighbors took DH and me to the ballpark for our AAA baseball team’s last home game of the season. All foods and draft beers were BOGOF, so Neighbors got to kid me about being a cheap date.

(2) My other gift from the Neighbors was a smoked Lake Erie whitefish, on which I have been happily nomming all week.

(3) And a third Bestest Neighbor (I have several of them) baked me a batch of her incomparable brownies, on which I have also been happily nomming.

(4) Now the trashpicking: A set of not quite so Bestest Neighbors has been moving out over the last week and leaving stuff on the curb. (I keep telling the departing folks that our local Salvation Army superstore is just down the hill, but I might as well be talking to the wind.) Finds so far include a green wicker chair in good physical shape with only a few cosmetic issues, and what DH says is about $10 worth of nails/screws/other small hardware (dropped in the driveway).

(5) Finally, I mined over 45 cents from a dump-out some folks did from their car on a nearby street. (I also picked up the trash.)


Susanne g September 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Thank you for that.


tonya parham September 2, 2016 at 7:46 am

Yes, bless you for picking up after those folks!


Dmarie September 2, 2016 at 9:56 am

yea to the scavenged goods & yea to cleaning up the mess too!


Marcia September 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

1. Went grocery shopping today and used a $5 off $50 purchase certificate that was stuck to Sunday’s newspaper.
2. Found my lost nail file while moving furniture out of the way for delivery of new couch I bought. The nail files are diamond, and a bit pricey to buy so I was especially glad to find it–it had slipped under the old sofa, of course, and was so flat I couldn’t see it under there!
3. Feeling good about big purchases this past month–bought a new refrigerator and the new couch, which were both necessary and had been put off for long enough. Quite happy with both of them, and the money came from savings, so both are paid for without added interest. Decided it was in our best interests to get the new ones in here before cooler weather sets in, when it’s harder to shop and to deliver!
4. Bought zero chocolate this week. We have been eating too many chocolates lately and both need to cut back to lose a couple pounds before the situation worsens. I can bake more healthy treats than pure chocolate, and have tons of supplies on hand. And if it’s not 90 degrees F and humid, will feel much more like doing so.
5. When I went to the bank on the 31st, I still had 3/4 of last month’s “walking around cash” in my purse, so skipped getting this month’s out of the bank at all and decided to see how long I could make that amount stretch. I know I still had some left last month, but it wasn’t that much. Should be an interesting experiment this month. Planning on going to a big yard sale tomorrow, too!!


Teri September 1, 2016 at 7:40 pm

1. Friends treated us to a lovely dinner out.
2. Stopped delivery of an item I ordered when I found it in-store and also received a coupon for the store. Just called customer service and they said to decline delivery. I didn’t want to pay for shipping when I could buy it locally.
3. Talked a bakery into a 10% (hey, every little bit helps!) discount on a large order for an event we hosted.
4. Brought home almost a ream of paper that was headed to the trash (printed on one side). The other side is just fine for printing coupons.
5. Haven’t had a mani, pedi, or my hair done in 4 months. Monday is my birthday and I’m going to treat myself… saving up for something I enjoy once in awhile is pretty frugal!


NaiveorBrave September 1, 2016 at 11:42 pm

I love the paper reusing! So many resources are used to produce it, so it’s best if we make the most of it.


Kim in Los Alamitos September 2, 2016 at 6:58 am

Hope you have a very happy birthday! You will really enjoy that mani-pedi !


Monica. September 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

1. Donated some school supplies we had on hand (my kids have all graduated) to a relief drive at my dh’s work.

2. Received 2 large zucchinis from dh’s co-workers. My oldest has made 2 loaves of bread and there’s still a lot of zucchini left.

3. Bought DH 2 pairs of jeans for under $20 after coupons & store rewards.

4. Meant to do a no-spend challenge this month but bought #3. They were a need and in the budget. I’ll shoot for the rest of the month.

5. I’m trying to use up food in the freezers and pantry this month to keep our grocery bill down.


Ruby September 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

1. Once again, packed my lunch and drinks from home to work all week, wore cute thrifted outfits and carried a pretty thrifted handbag.
2. Used JCPenney discount codes to purchase some winter outerwear and dress slacks for DH on sale. The codes gave a discount of $36.
3. Did a little hand sewing to alter a very pretty dress bought on clearance. It now fits perfectly.
4. Took our dog to the canine dentist yesterday. The estimate to remove her chipped and cracked molar was $692. I am going to ask our regular vet what he’ll charge to remove it, since it will not be a complicated extraction. Regular Vet had thought the dentist could save the tooth, but that’s not to be.
5. Did some work on September’s household budget after a budget-busting August. Ouch!


sarah m September 3, 2016 at 8:21 am

1. used leftover stale bread to make french toast, and ate leftovers this morning
2. brought coffee from home.
3. canceled my “seconds” produce delivery from hungry harvest this week as I’m still working through a backlog from last week.
4. made soup with some slightly old romaine lettuce and back of the freezer spinach that had literally freeze dried. came out good too. added onion, nutmeg and basil. also made roasted tomato and pepper soup. will be getting my veggies this week.
5. still putting of gym membership and running outdoors. did 5.5 miles yesterday
6. submitted patient assistance fund reimbursals for my expensive medication. hoping to get $450 back. this stuff is no joke.

still playing around with my budget. really try to cut out the small incidental food purchases. been saving up for new dress shoes and new sheets, thinking after this next month of trying to do a budget fast for almost all of my “wants” category and see how it goes, to see my savings build faster.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: