Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 9, 2016 · 92 comments

  1. I made a large crockpot of chicken noodle soup from a leftover meal a few nights ago. Everyone seemed happy to eat it, and I spent maybe $1.25 to create the meal. There’s enough left in the fridge for multiple lunches, which should help stave off the “Mom, there’s nothing to eat!” complaints.
  2. I finally used up all the pages from my twenty-year-old son’s Crayola sketchbook. (I’d been using the pages to make large monthly family calendars.) I was thinking that I’d need to actually buy a large desk calendar, but them I realized that, duh . . . I could just tape a few pieces of paper together to create what I needed. Whew . . . crisis averted!
  3. I was texted a Redbox code, and I used it rent the movie Eddie The Eagle. My husband and I lived in London in 1988, and fondly remember the hype surrounding Britain’s goofy olympic ski jumper. The movie was no Oscar contender, but we enjoyed it anyway.
  4. My younger son and I stopped in at The Dollar Tree to pick up dorm essentials of shampoo, conditioner, soap and dental floss. Less money spent on stuff = more money available for tuition.
  5. I’ve been deep diving into the archives of the Things I Find in The Garbage blog, and am more inspired than ever to continue on my journey to resell, repurpose and just say no to to casual throwing away of useful items. Things I Find in The Garbage (genius title!) is written by a Montreal based man whose entire living is composed of reselling stuff he finds in the garbage! I consider myself an informed garbage picker, but I am nothing compared to this guy.  I highly recommend that you ch-ch-check it out!

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

hector September 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I thought your kids were away in college?

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Katy September 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Oregon’s state universities don’t start until the end of the month.

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Lisa W. September 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Since I am no longer on Facebook, I don’t have anywhere else to crow about this…

I rented a car in Baltimore at the end of July and returned it without incident. On Aug 29, I got a letter from a collections agency saying that the car was damaged and I owed $3,000+. This was total crap, and the car rental company didn’t even contact me themselves. I was completely freaked out, both by the injustice and by the fact that even if my personal insurance was going to cover it (which was definitely in question), I’d be out the $500 deductible, plus whatever hit my premiums were going to take.

I fought it tooth and nail. My husband has a legal benefit through his work, so I got to talk to an attorney on the phone for free. Between her advice and guidance I found on a few internet forums, I unleashed a volley of letters and emails and made it clear I was going to be the most painful thing that collection agency had ever tried to remove from its butt. Yesterday, I got a letter letting me know that my claim was closed and that I am in no way responsible for the damage.

I feel like a huge load has been lifted, AND I feel like a total badass.

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Denise September 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Badass-a-go-go. Well done!!

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Is it a need or a want September 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I take dated pictures the day I pick up a rental and the day I return it.
I once got charged before I started taking pictures.

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Lisa W. September 9, 2016 at 3:08 pm

I’m going to START taking pictures for sure.

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kathleen September 11, 2016 at 11:12 am

We are planning on renting a car this fall for a trip. SO happy to have read this tip, and will definitely be taking before/after photos of car!

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Carla September 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm

A frugal hero! Seriously, I mean it. This is inspiring.

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Bee September 9, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Good job, ! How frustrating for you. Your situation made me think. Although I have never done this, I believe that I will start taking photos of my rental car at the time or pick up and at return. It only would take a moment and could save a lot of headache.

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Laura September 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

I also take pictures. I take a flashlight, too, because the rental car pickup is usually in a dark gloomy garage. It’s my belief that when they see you taking pictures they know not to try to pin damage on you that wasn’t yours. Good job on fighting that.

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Renee D September 9, 2016 at 4:03 pm

They clearly had no idea who they were messing with…

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Lisa W. September 10, 2016 at 8:44 am

Oh, no they did not.

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Katy September 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Honey, you were a badass before you even rented the car. XXOO

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Lisa W. September 10, 2016 at 8:45 am

Aw. xxxxx

Miss you. Your visit with JWS looked like so much fun.

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Katy September 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

It was. And there was a certain 16-year-old boy who was crestfallen that there was not an addition trip to Seattle.

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K D September 10, 2016 at 5:58 am

Great job. Too bad you had to deal with this. Did you look into reporting the rental car company (I’m dying to know who you rented from)?

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Lisa W. September 10, 2016 at 8:50 am

It was Budget*. I filed complaints against Budget and the collections agency to the Better Business Bureau, which I somehow thought wouldn’t do anything useful–but it’s what ultimately worked. The letters I got from both Budget and the collections place absolving me of the claim came via the BBB. So, go BBB!

*But they all do this. It’s getting more and more common–I think rental car companies are losing so much market share to Uber and car-sharing services like Car2Go that they’re looking to new revenue streams. It’s really appalling. The forums here were really helpful: http://forum.elliott.org/forums/car-rental/

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K D September 10, 2016 at 10:07 am

I know this has become more common. (Fingers crossed) we have had good luck with Alamo.

I’m glad the BBB was helpful and since this is now on their radar screen maybe something good will occur down the road.

Thank you for your reply.

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Florencia September 10, 2016 at 8:27 am

Way to go! I’ll be out of town with my tango partner/BFF, and we’ll be flying, so we’ll rent a car. I will definitely be taking pictures. Thanks for the tip!

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Tricia SM September 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

Sounded like a scam. Good on you for fighting it!

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Drasa September 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

We are going through this exact same thing with National Rental Car. I have also emailed, sent certified letters and called – but am getting “non-responsive” letters back from them. It is really scary. We totally did not cause damage to this car – and in fact when we picked it up from them – our radar of scamminess was going full throttle. Always should listen to your intuition.

I hadn’t considered using the legal thing from work or the BBB – but think I will do both now as I am not getting much traction from my letters.

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Lisa W. September 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I just wrote up a thing about what all I did. If you think you would find it helpful, I’d be happy to send it to you. You can email me at lisawhip at msn dot com. Just put NCA in the subject line.

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Isabelle September 10, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Whaaaaat? Crazy sh*t! When we rent cars we make sure to have them write every little scratch on the contract, and when we bring it back they sign again to certifie that the car is fine, then give us a copie. Doesn’t it work like this everywhere??!?

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Lisa W. September 10, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Ideally.

Mand01 September 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

1. We went to the fair yesterday. We packed snacks and water. The kids all saved so they had their own spending money for rides and show junk. My rules were clear – we would buy them lunch, they’d have to buy junk and rides. We don’t care really whether we go, but they really wanted to go, so that was the deal. They were brilliant- they didn’t ask for anything. We went around tasting samples and looking at new products, and looking at the animals. We only bought consumables: nut-free soy ‘peanut’ butter, a cheese bag, bagels, locally made soda, honey. We got home early and still had half our money.
2. We were wiped out and I briefly considered pizza but forced myself to get up and cook a healthy dinner. It was good and I used what we had in the freezer.
3. We took one of my daughter’s friends to the show. School was closed (our state fair is so huge that each school is allowed to close for one day so that kids can attend) and the school did not run daycare. We swap childcare with her parents, so we took her for the day to help out, and they will help us out another time. This arrangement saves each family $100 per month.
4. While making dinner I also used the oven to make a birthday cake for a party on the weekend.
5. I’m trying to make my own ciabatta bread this weekend.

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Bee September 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

1) Inspired by the NCA and it’s readership, I listed 11 items on eBay that were just sitting around the house –another 40 or so to go!

2) I checked several books out from the library this week including All the Light We Cannot See. I am excited to read this. I also brought home some new-to-me magazines and a few “home economics ” books. I always learn something.

3) I am tired of cooking. Last night, I felt like I was going to go into meltdown if I cooked another meal. So I took out two frozen Pizzas. I doctored them up with fresh spinach, tomatoes, sweet peppers, fresh basil, olive oil, and mozzarella cheese. They were really good maybe even better than take out, especially the Gluten free version. But best of all, they were little effort and cost much less!

4) I picked up another little side job, so I will work Sunday. This leaves DH to an uninterrupted afternoon of football. A happy husband and extra money for my travel fund — a great way to spend the afternoon. 🙂

5) Although I had clipped a digital coupon for an item that I purchased at the store, it was not properly deducted at check out. I stopped at the service desk, pulled up my account and handed the store rep my receipt. He promptly refunded my $3. This may not seem like much money to some. However, if I save $3 a day that is over $1100 a year. There is a lot you can do with that!

Have a happy, safe and frugal weekend.

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Susie's Daughter September 9, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Bee – I am sitting here nodding my head on #3. I said a while ago that some days it feels like you ought to get a medal for cooking at home on nights like those. (Plus the pizza sounds delicious!)
#2 – I LOVED this book! My other favorite from my summer reading was The Summer Before the War.

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Bee September 10, 2016 at 5:20 am

I will add The Summer Before the War to my library list. Thank you for the recommendation. Also, I believe you are right- we do deserve a medal!

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April September 9, 2016 at 4:44 pm

I love #4. 🙂

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Bee September 10, 2016 at 5:25 am

Men and their football. Wish I understood.

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Nancy September 10, 2016 at 10:20 am

Actually, in my family it is women and their football. The men would rather go hunting.

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Bee September 11, 2016 at 3:22 am

I am with the men in your family. I would rather be outdoors. Shame on me for being gender bias. Have a fun Sunday whatever you do! 🙂

Mimi September 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Are you familiar with GOMI website? I was shocked to see your blog was on that website! You are most definitely a SOMI for me! (Stay on my interwebs )

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Katy September 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Ooh . . . I guess I’m big time now! 😉

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Katy September 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

I just looked and apparently someone doesn’t like the way the way I use the word “tuchus.” Umm . . . I’m Jewish!

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Beth September 12, 2016 at 6:06 am

#NoLearJets. HAHAHAHAHA!

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Gina in Ky September 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

I love that blog! The profit from his finds is amazing!

Oh, man, my five are super-boring this time around. 🙂

1. I have not gone grocery shopping in over a week. Eating down the gifted veggies and pantry.
2. Visited Doc this week for monthly B12 injection (I have a condition requiring them and I had switched to supplements late last year. I still tested low, so back to injections) and we talked about me giving myself my own injections to save office charge. So, I am!
3. Walking everyday! I think maintaining health is super-frugal.
4. Read a library book for entertainment last two nights.
5. Taking my bottles of water (in reused glass bottles) everywhere (not just frugal, but great for hydration!)

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Trish September 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm

The guy behind ‘Things I find in the garbage’ is my hero! or idol! or anyway, I admire him tremendously. I believe he made about $23,000 last year. Not too shabby!!!

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JD September 9, 2016 at 3:08 pm

1. Getting back in gear after Hermine and patting myself on the back for not succumbing to take out even though I was tired and cooking wasn’t easy
2. I found a dime.
3. My daughter and I are planning a yard sale.
4. I just brought laundry in from the line
5. I’m reading my library book and renewed it on time. It’s a thick book so this will take a while to read

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Jennifer September 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

1. Worked 4 hours on Labor Day so got time and half plus shift differential.

2. Accepted a part time (2 days week) clinic position to supplement my weekend package hours at the hospital. Pays better than my base rate. Bonus: less than 4 blocks from home!

3. Sold some stuff on the local swap this week.

4. Was able to donate a huge stash of school supplies to the hospital back to school drive.

5. Eating at home tonight. My 10 year old and I have a standing Friday night date after his swim team practice but he wanted tacos and the meat was already in the fridge. I made a pot of goulash also so I have lunches for work this weekend too!

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Amy September 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Tomorrow we’re going over to my Grandparent’s house, they both passed away a few years ago, to rescue the big deep freeze from the fate of being placed out by the road. Grandma’s freezer is six years old and still functions. We’ll end up throwing out all the food that’s been sitting in there for the past 4 years. The glass jars that things are stored in we’re going to try to save. My Dad said he wants everything that isn’t tools out of the garage so I’ll see if there’s anything that we, or my sister who lives locally, can use. He’s also got 9 large Rubbermaid tubs full of books that he said I can go through to see if there’s anything I want to read.

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Susanne g September 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

As I write I’m WEARING a sterling silver triskele pattern pair of earrings he (things I find in the garbage) rescued and I bought on etsy!! Love his blog. I always get compliments on the earrings and sometimes I tell where I got them and other times I just say “thanks, I like them too.”

Have talked to numerous people about your shirt makers factory fire/foreign made low wages article. So much to think about and respond to. My friends are talking after I shared it on FB, which I rarely do. Thank you for such a well written article.

I was asked to work an extra 6 hour day again this week.
Sold a vase I bought for $1 for $20 (still a good price, maybe that person is going to resell it yet again!!)
Fixed a piece of jewelry myself.
Brought miscellaneous donations to thrift shop.
Asked neighbor to drill some holes in Masonite for a project I’m doing, brought his dog a chicken broth popcicle three days in a row. Yum!! It’s hot out.
Was commissioned to do some “artwork” to be completed soon at a very decent price.

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Karen September 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

I have been following the blog What I Find in the Garbage for several years now. I think I heard about this on your blog. Anyway, it is very well written and he does a lot of research about the things he find.

My family was just at the ocean and in the surf I found a pair of sunglasses. I asked around to the people who were sitting close by but no one said they were theirs. I thought about the blog What I find in the Garbage because some of his best selling finds is sunglasses.

As far as my found sunglasses my son said they were very expensive glasses so when we got back to our beach house he looked them up and showed me they were listed for $150.

He was going to give them to his girlfriend. I suggested he wait and wrap them up for Christmas but he just looked at me with his tired look he gives me when he thinks I have said something stupid. I think I have mentioned before he is our consumer and is taking baby steps to frugality.

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Karen September 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Meant to write Things I Find in the Garbage. As I was writing this I could have looked up on my bookmark browser and seen the correct title but obviously I did not. Oh well.

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Susie's Daughter September 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

We had two large one time bills this month (one anticipated and one surprise – eek!) and frugality practices are helping me keep my wits about me.

1) No grocery shopping this week. Will stock up on a few sale items next week based on flyer ($15 or less total).
2) Planning DS’s lunches for school the night before. Many thanks to everyone for their great suggestions. This week I tried mini pizza, salami and cheese, hot dog and mac and cheese. Most were a go. He’s not a sandwich eater (except grilled cheese) so we are working on developing a “go to” list for things he will reliably eat. He is prone to the “hangries” as we call it in our family so it is better for all involved if he eats well. 🙂
3) Gathered a grocery bag of wild apples at my parents yesterday and will make my third batch of applesauce for the freezer this weekend. Still freezing produce from the garden – zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, cabbage. Carrots and onions still growing. We may start a pickle company – we have already made 41 pints of sweet pickles. Cucumbers are still producing like mad.
4) Used my drying rack for towels and whites this week. Someone on NCA calls it the “Amish appliance” and I laughed again thinking of that when I brought it out onto the porch. Hoping to put in a clothesline this fall.
5) Assembling the piles to go to my various consignment shops next week. It can’t make me any money sitting in the front hall!

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Susie's Daughter September 9, 2016 at 4:34 pm

PS – The “Things I Find” site is going in my favorites right now!

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Bellen September 10, 2016 at 2:42 am

Back in the 70s or 80s somebody made a bunch of money selling a Solar Clothes Dryer – yup, clothesline and clothespins 🙂

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Marilyn September 9, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I always enjoy “Things I Find in the Garbage.” He not only finds things which have resale value, but many interesting things as well (unusual coins, photos, jewelry, etc). There’s a lot to be learned from so-called “trash.”

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Lindsey September 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

1. Checked out three library books instead of buying them.
2. canned excess garden tomatoes into tomato confit that will be sooo wonderful in the middle of winter.
3. Accepted bagels from a friend leaving town who does not like “bagels that have been frozen and then I have to thaw them.”
4. Made garden garbage soup from bits and pieces of vegetables and the remains of a baked chicken.
5. Saved the brown paper that came as cushioning in an item I ordered and used the paper to send off two books I sold on Amazon.

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Mand01 September 10, 2016 at 12:55 am

Lol, doesn’t like to thaw bagels. Definition of a first world problem right there.

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Bellen September 10, 2016 at 2:44 am

#5 I used the brown paper to make 14 seed starter pots. 3 sections cut about 5″ wide, rolled around a 16oz PB jar, fold in the bottom edges, fold down the top. I’ve planted in them and they’re much better than newspaper – especially because I read my local paper on line

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Lindsey September 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

What a great idea! I start literally hundreds of seedlings every spring and make some of the pots from newspaper but never thought of using the brown paper. I will be doing that this spring, for sure. Thanks for sharing that idea.

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Barbara September 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

I just bookmarked the blog “Things I Find in the Garbage” – what a great read, and very inspiring. We moved from a neighborhood where people put things out by the curb like a Barbie Dream House…a Step II roller coaster…and almost new kids bicycles and riding toys. Our new neighborhood…only “real” trash.

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Jill A September 10, 2016 at 3:15 am

1. Celebrated my FIL birthday with steaks bought at Costco, plus I made a carrot cake which was delicious. We had enough steak leftover for another meal.
2. Returned from a trip with my Mother and girls. Stayed in Mom’s time share. I paid for gas, food, activities. We ate in for both breakfast and lunch. Pretty cheap vacation and had a blast.
3. My girls picked up their school supplies but forgot to put my mperks no. in. Took receipts to Meijer and got my $4 refunded.
4. Went out for a date with my husband. Used a BOGO coupon, so only $10 for our meal at Qdoba.
5. My husband was invited to a college football game/tailgate party for work, hosted by area businesses. Cheap date for us – free food and tickets.

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Diane September 10, 2016 at 4:27 am

That blog is so interesting!

Does he say anywhere how he finds these things? Does he open garbage bags and paw through them? And what is his radius?

I am so gun shy after bedbugs that bringing anything found or used home causes me anxiety. I did , however, tour the Goodwill Last Resort in Austin behind the scenes to see how all the stuff they don’t sell by the pound gets recycled. It is amazing to watch the operation. The book section is set up like a library so when something sells online they can find it easily. And it e commerce
workroom was just bustling with workers on laptops selling items. The amount of goods Goodwill in Austin recycles is astounding. They are close to zero waste.

I couldn’t resist going through the retail part before I left and did score a Loft striped 3/4 length sleeve top for 88 cents!

Of course, the minute I got home, I tossed all my clothing in the washer and sprayed my sandals and purse with alcohol….just in case!

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Marianne September 10, 2016 at 4:51 am

Very interesting article about the fire in the earlier post. Very sad, along with watching a 9-11 special which stated that those on the upper floors could not get to the roof because the doorway to the roof was padlocked. Such a sad situation.

I’m on week 4 of no regular grocery shopping, using garden and already purchased items. Only pick up fruit and veggies that are not in my garden.
Also picked up some hamburg for a taco bake for my dad.

Made 2 large batches of veggie and split pea soup from garden veggies and froze them for lunches. I could have soup every day during winter months. Gave some to my dad.

Froze several bags of tomatoes and gave some to in-laws. They gave me zucchini in return. I made bread and brownies with the zucs and my family proclaimed they were the best brownies ever. They are so moist. Used the recipe on AllRecipes.

I need to pick up cheese and eggs at Kroger sale..can’t pass up cheese for $1 and the egg price.

Washer drawer broke, hubby fixed for free..yay!

I have done well on Swagbucks last month, already have $75 without much effort. Donating some $ to a local rescue lady. She assists injured pets who either don’t have an owner (or can’t locate them) or those who pets need help and don’t have the money. This gal is a true angel. 🙂

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janine September 10, 2016 at 5:02 am

1. zucchini cutting up and shredding – need creative energy with these squash!
2. Making large batch of minestrone for supper and freezer – using dry beans, garden vegetables including – zucchinis.
3. Baked bread for eating and freezing made with a pepita topping and -zucchini.
4. Trip to Costco – spent zero $$ except for a hot dog to take home to my husband who loves them. Son treated me to a bag of cheese curds – yum!
5. Went to a community meeting and out for drinks afterward – got there a little late, they had already ordered, and waiter never showed up to take my order so no expenditure – someone else didn’t have any cash so paid for her drink and she actually paid me back! lol.
In any case net zero cash outlay – drank iced tea when I got home.

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Susie's Daughter September 10, 2016 at 11:24 am

Janine – I am making (sometime this weekend) our favorite veggie burger with bulgur wheat, mushrooms, tomato paste, shredded mozzarella and – of course – shredded zucchini! This recipe is pretty close, but I use only bulgur or brown rice and don’t bother to cook it first. I just combine mushrooms, bulgur, onion etc in food processor. Also I cook the burgers in the oven and then freeze for easy lunches. Good luck with the zucchini!
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/great-grain-burgers

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K D September 10, 2016 at 6:16 am

1. I have been picking up pens that are in the street and using them. I figure that if I don’t pick them up they’ll be run over and smashed to smithereens.

2. I tagged along with a friend on her errands on Wednesday, we both needed to go to some of the same places.

3. On Tuesday a couple friends and I packed lunches and visited a local state park. We walked about four miles and made plans to return on a regular basis. We have a state park pass so entry was “free”.

4. I called General Mills because a box of cereal had very hard things in it. They send me coupons for four free boxes of cereal.

5. I finished a loaf of bread that was languishing, toasting it and using it for sandwiches. I went to Aldi the other day but the produce did not look good and they were out of the sale potatoes so I left without buying anything. I made rice instead of potatoes for dinner (I added some Vege Base, black pepper, and a bit of butter) and it was delicious. I’ll buy potatoes when they are cheap, until then there are a lot of alternatives.

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Susanne g September 11, 2016 at 7:47 am

To your #1…thank you for doing that. It’s those small pieces of crushed plastic that easily go down the drain into our water and are difficult to pick up. Good work!

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Florencia September 11, 2016 at 11:20 am

I’ve been doing the same with pens, and hair ties, like Katie. 🙂

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Choices September 10, 2016 at 8:06 am

Love ” Things I Find…” Wish he posted every day!
My frugal bits for the week:
1. Re wired and cleaned table lamp my dad made in high school shop class in late ’30s.
2. Picked my first zuch of the season, it and two small tomatoes were dinner last night.
3. Pickled some fresh beans from the garden for tonight’s veg.
4. Helped with local Community Meal so got free dinner.
5. Brought home free “special” lotion sample from my dr’s office. Maybe it will help my husband’s dry hands and finger splits.

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K D September 10, 2016 at 10:12 am

Regarding your husband’s dry hands and finger splits, my dad had the same problem until we bought him Working Hands. It was originally sold at Lowe’s but I have been it at Walgreens and the local Hardware store.

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Florencia September 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

Another thing that’s really good is Udder Cream. The kind that comes in the green square tin.

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Susie's Daughter September 10, 2016 at 11:27 am

Florencia – If you are talking about Bag Balm in the green tin, I agree! And it is made here in Northern Vermont. Farmers have been using it on cows and themselves for years. 🙂

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Alison September 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

1. Sold two chairs that came with a rental property we bought furnished. Both for $350.00. I have a feeling they will be sold, but I don’t care. They are out of my house, and I got some cash for them.
2. Paid off DH’s mid life crisis car!! Paid early, with additional payments. That money will now go to pay off line of credit, then mortgage. This is a big relief to me! Now to keep him from looking at getting a new car!
3. Am owed some retro from work, will get around $400.
4. Drying clothes on line (I’m grasping here).
5. Didn’t buy a Lear jet.

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rebecca September 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

1. Need to break down tons (and I mean tons) of tomatoes from friend’s CSA she gave me while they are away.
2. In the same csa, there is a HUGE bag of arugula. I am looking up arugula pesto recipes to use. Anyone by chance have one they like? I am also going to make a frittata with it. I have asked people if the would like some but no one seems to care for it. Any other ideas? Please?
3. A friend is helping me with paperwork I am struggling with. I am going to make a chocolate chip banana bread as a thank you with ingredients on home.
4. Returned and took out more library books.
5. Using water from melted ice packs to water plants.

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Susie's Daughter September 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

#2 – I love arugula! Try subbing in any recipe where you might use spinach. NY times has a couple of good chickpea and spinach recipes that might work.

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Bee September 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

I love arugula and use it just like lettuce. It’s peppery flavor pairs especially well with citrus, beets and avocado. It is tasty in sandwiches, on tacos and great on Pizza.

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rebecca September 11, 2016 at 4:20 am

thank you both for the suggestions.

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sarah m September 10, 2016 at 11:21 am

1. didn’t do a good job packing lunches this week. but did get the leftover quinoa, meat and veggies into freezer tupperwares for next week. also eating some now. still good.
2. finally cooked my kale with blue cheese before it went bad. also bolked my slightly shriveled beets to make beet salad next week.
3. going to dinner with friends. cooked up bulgur wheat, then added tons of parsley, and a little mint tomato and pepper for a tabbouli salad. everything but the bulgur, oil, and lime (didn’t have lemon) is from the garden.
4. had a job interview today. wore a suit i’ve had since my applying to med school days, and used ebay shoes and i’m sure no one was wise.
5. still working on my library books, and added more books to my wishlist. it’s gonna be a while before i even consider buying a book.

otherwise, it’s been a week of frugal fails. I got a haircut (job interview season, cutting it myself is not . . . cutting it), then I got a parking ticket. Then I bought bagels and ice cream and things out a few times. I’ve been trying to save my eating out budget for dates with the boyfriend. oh well, here’s to next week going better.

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Ruby September 10, 2016 at 11:35 am

Just returned from a short vacation. We haven’t had one in three years, so splurged a little on a nice hotel. Saved by eating only two meals a day: a hearty breakfast and a nice dinner. Our big event was touring (free tour) Replacements Ltd., the china and silver reseller, and then buying a few reduced items from their clearance shop at about what Goodwill would charge.

I wore a variety of cute thrifted outfits on the trip and DH kept an eagle eye out for the best price on gas when we needed to fill up the car. We had a great time without breaking the bank.

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Florencia September 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

Yeah! That! 😀

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A. Marie September 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

FFT, End of Summer Edition:

(1) Not quite on a par with the Things I Find in the Garbage guy (I too am a fan), but not bad either: I found at least 40 packets of discarded 2016 garden seed, clean and dry, in the dumpster of a nearby dollar store into which I just *happened* (cough) to be taking a peek. I could have gotten a lot more loose packets if I’d had a pinchy-pinchy device with me, but I did a pretty good job of using my cane as a fishing pole to hook out half-full display boxes and then put the emptied boxes back in the dumpster. I kept 10-15 packets and gave the rest to the male half of the Bestest Neighbors, who is a certified Master Gardener and will see to it that they get used.

(2) And for those who may be interested in trying this, it’s perfectly possible to save most seeds in the freezer for years. I use a large plastic deli tub, plus various saved packets of silicone gel and other drying agents. My all-time record of preservation is 15 years for some packets of lettuce seed. No need whatever to buy fresh seed every year.

(3) Went down to my local thrift superstore this morning for a little secondhand retail therapy (haven’t had time for this in weeks, so that probably counts as another FT itself). End of summer sale there = two pairs of capris (one of which was Chicos), one pair of shorts, and three shirts, for a total of 14.50. Needed them all, too.

(4) Have spent rest of day chilling out–hanging laundry, harvesting veggies (the tomatoes, after a slow start due to drought, are finally coming in like gangbusters), and prepping salads for dinner.

(5) Plan to spend the rest of September clearing out the freezer. Will need the space for our annual purchase of 1/2 pig and 1/4 cow from the friend who raises the animals.

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Nancy Drew September 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm

1. Used checkout 51 rebate app after grocery shop today, and earned $4.50. I’m expecting a $51 cheque from them any day now, from cashing out.
2. Looked up extra points list for my grocery store before shopping, and racked up an extra $6 in store points.
3. Eating lots of veggies from the garden. Tonight’s dinner will be chicken stir-fry with our own onion, carrots and cauliflower. Will also make the sauce from scratch.
4. Bought 2 cans of chickpeas on sale to make hummus instead of buying it.
5. Going to the library to pick up some mysteries I requested on-line.
Question – I’m putting all my “found money” like the rebate cheque, garage sale proceeds, bottle deposits, etc. into a jar to save for “something”.
What would you save for? I’m thinking of saving it for DD’s high school grad expenses in a couple of years, but I’m not sure that is enough of a “wow” factor. Any thoughts?

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Susie's Daughter September 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

#5 – Ours gets saved in an online account which gives a little interest and gets used for birthday and holiday gifts as well as vacations or special day trips. The exception to that is bottle/can money which is going directly toward family movie dates – matinees here are amazingly affordable so that helps with the wow factor.

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Susie's Daughter September 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Sorry that was a reply to your question, not #5!

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Nancy Drew September 10, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Thanks for your ideas!
I think I will put the found money into an account. That would not only add interest, but also take away the temptation to “borrow” a few dollars from the jar occasionally.

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Is it a need or a want September 10, 2016 at 6:28 pm

I take all my coupon $$ and keep in a separate envelope.
When I hear of a need above regular donations, I access this cash.
Those one off opportunities that regularly fall in our lives.
People facing unexpected medical needs, employment loss or family tragedies can be blessed by these funds. So much so the amounts of savings seem to multiply even more

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Isabelle September 10, 2016 at 7:41 pm

We are saving for a family trip to BC right now. Plane fair only will be around 3000$ for the 4 of us so, yikes, saving is definitely in order!!

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Nancy Drew September 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Such great ideas – thanks!

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Tricia SM September 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm

1. Hubby is cleaning out our garage(!)today, and took a load to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Yay more space in garage!
2. Found some things to list for a few bucks & get rid of too. Sharing is caring.
3. My brother,a single guy, ‘overshops’ at Costco, brought us some fish burgers and some veggie mushroom burgers(he didn’t like these – we love them!) Cooked them outside on the grill.
4. Hubby had made potato wedges on the grill while my daughter and I volunteered at local food pantry this am.
5. Got to try some new granola and fruit bars while there, and were gifted a few for their lunches next week.
All in all a fun/busy/productive day.
Now off to do homemade cupcakes for my nephew’s dinosaur themed bday party tomorrow. We already made a fun “feed the T-rex” game on a borrowed bags game from my sis-in-law.

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Monica September 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm

1. My youngest dd works in a kitchen and at the end of an event, she brings home a lot of food. Last night we had tacos. I paired up the black beans and ranch sauce she brought from work with our dinner. Today DH used most of the bacon bits she brought home in some leftover pumpkin soup I made earlier this week.

2. We used part of our emergency fund to pay for repair work on our truck. A year ago we would have put the repair on a credit card.

3. I took back a wreath stand to a craft store that didn’t work out as a purse stand for use during photos. I’m a reseller. I’ll keep searching for an alternative or try to find a purse stand on sale.

4. Bought whole chickens on sale at a grocery store near our cable company where I dropped off all their equipment. We are now cord cutters and will save over $60 a month on our bill.

5. I’m using up a terrible bottle of shampoo I bought for 29 cents after clearance markdowns and a coupon as body wash.

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K D September 11, 2016 at 2:44 am

Congratulations on your emergency fund and on cutting the cord. They’re both great accomplishments that will pay many dividends.

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Emily Wyman September 10, 2016 at 4:08 pm

1. Babysitting overnight, meaning total of 3 free meals, a shower, and snacks!

2. Boyfriend is working tonight too, so will eat the employee meal.

3. Spent 30 dollars for my boyfriend and I to take a 2 hour tennis clinic. Only lne other person showed, so it was a great deal. Already had the equipment , and I think it was a great investment. Exercise and developing a lifelong skill! I never feel guilty spending money on self improvement, health and happiness!

4. Realized I can refill water jugs for 1.75 at publix instead of paying 7 dollars for a new one at Food Lion (even after recycling) Way better deal.

5. Rsvped for bingo night at our apartment complex Monday night. Prizes, free food, free beer, and just have to walk to the clubhouse. I love when they have events like this. Hopefully we win a prize!

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Rachel September 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

1. We used a gift card for a date night out and stuck to the 2 for $20 dinners so we could stay within the limit of the card plus a few dollars tip. Returned home to our kids who now babysit themselves and made coffee and sat on the back deck to continue the date.
2. Picked apples from our tree and put up 15 qts of applesauce and 10 jelly jars of apple butter, free except for a day of work, a bit of sugar and spice and electricity.
3. We’re trying to do a no/low spend September so I sat down with grocery flyers and made a detailed list, choosing the store which was most advantageous this week. Stocked up on cheese at $2 a pound and happened upon many meat markdowns.
4. Made some decor with the end of a couple cans of spray paint, a scrap of new siding and license plates we’ve kept. Adds a fun touch to our sons’ room with a nod to the places we’ve lived, for free.
5. Planned a last minute birthday party for our teenager. We grilled up some of those grocery markdowns and used food on hand, then went to our YMCA and used guest passes to get the boys in for free entrainment/activity. I brought all the boys home, saving 3 moms the time and gas to get them home. Fail: had my husband grab a cake at Costco because I ran out of time to make one. Usually I’d make myself a frantic mess in that situation, but I’m glad today that I opted for less stress.

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Isabelle September 10, 2016 at 8:01 pm

* Went to a garage sale. Got a sturdy Adidas backpack for 10$, which will be perfect for my daughter once her cheap backpack bites the dust. We were planning on getting her a good (expensive) one next, hoping it lasts many years. I hope this one will. Also got 5 puzzles for 5$ (date nights at home with hubby), a pair of Nike running shoes for 2$, a roll-on Toy’s Story suitcase in perfect condition for 4$ (added to the Christmas pile for daughter) and a Thermos box and water bottle (big format for both) for 2$.
* Game night with 2 friends and their kids, at our place, tonight. Snacks were bags of chips I got for 0.88$ and air popcorn. We offered pop, juice and beer ($), but they also brought gluten-free beer to share. Then we borrowed some of their games.
* Hubby fixed second part of roof that was affected by raccoons.
* Tommorow is plum picking (free) and neighborhood activities (free). Also getting our eggs directly at the farm for 3,50/dozen, much cheaper than the same eggs at the grocery store or farmers market (5-6$/dozen).
* Resisting signing up for a diet club. I need to lose weight and I absolutely know HOW to do it. I do not need a diet club to teach me or support me, I just need to get going. Yet, I sometime start thinking that “If I was part of the right diet club” bull-crap….. No Need!!!! This is such a waste of my money (not judging others who choose to do it, just speaking for myself), and time, and self-esteem even. I have to trust Myself.

Have a great frugal day!

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Madeline September 10, 2016 at 8:31 pm

1. I had to put together my outfit for my volunteer gig at the Botanical Garden which starts up again in 2 weeks. Used coupon at Kohl’s for a white shirt and did NOT buy socks..I dug up an old pair of white cotton socks to wear with old,but newly washed sneakers..we must wear closed toe shoes.. and at home I NEVER wear closed toe shoes (it’s Arizona)..so my one pair of found socks and OLD sneakers will suffice for my once a week gig. (SOCKS at Kohl’s were shockingly expensive! So i figured I’d dredge up an old pair and I did.)

2. Ate out of freezer. A friend also brought us some soup she made..enough for tomorrow’s supper!

3. Went to a $5 per person meetup group with my husband..we shopped at a large ethnic market with new group of friends,went to someone’s home and cooked up an authentic African meal!!Score.Date night for $10 and I made a new friend who I’ll visit with next week..

4. Had my husband paint my toe nails (better angle) –saved price of pedicure (used to have them regularly at salon for 25 bucks plus tip when I worked..)

5. Husband bartered some work for a massage with a friend of ours.A nice relaxed hour!!

Did not buy a lear jet or a car.. working on getting 250,000 miles outta my 2002 Highlander.I will do this!!

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tonya parham September 11, 2016 at 9:27 am

Too much eating out lately– not as much as when we moved to this house but still more than I would like. We went to Memphis for Indian Friday night which we’d done the week before and that isn’t frugal….

1. Even though we went to Memphis for Indian, we did bring a lot of it home for lunch yesterday.

2. Since we’d had so much (salty) Indian food, we just had popcorn and watermelon for dinner.

3. We thought about going to the movies this weekend but opted to watch tv and read instead.

4. Am reading _Homegoing_ Yaa Gyasi. It’s one of about 16 I have out of the library right now! Really good book! I did buy a book at Barnes and Noble Friday but it was a Faulkner (I’m a writer and English professor who also teaches history) I didn’t own (_Flags in the Dust_) and is part of my attempt to collect them all in the Vintage Editions.

5. It’s cool out today so the windows are open and the AC is off! (I wish it would stay this nice!)

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Mand01 September 12, 2016 at 2:19 am

English professor was always my goal job when I was at university! I got an honours in English but decided to study law after that. Which courses do you teach? I loved the Modernists – my honours thesis topic was Gertrude Stein. My kids have to put up with me quoting The Waste Land at them at random moments.

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Carol September 11, 2016 at 10:17 am

1. I discovered that I can get a lunch for 60 cents at one of the schools I work at–if I just forego the entree. I can get tater tots, salad, and beans for that amount, all I need, and very filling. The normal price, with the entree, is $2.75. I know I could make my lunch, but 60 cents isn’t bad. Worth it to me to not have to spend that extra time.

2. We went to dinner with a coupon last weekend, buy one entree and get the second for $3.49. We would have gone to dinner anyway, we are DINKs (double income, no kids). So this saved a little money.

3. I volunteered to work an extra hour this weekend tutoring one of my clients, so that’s that much more money I can use to pay off my debts.

4. I found about 4 cents over the past week, and started a found change jar. Curious to see how it adds up.

5. I signed up for Swagbucks about two weeks ago, and already have cashed in my first $25. Those surveys are really addictive.

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Heather September 19, 2016 at 6:24 pm

Check out mom the ebayer on you tube!! She will make you jealous!!

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