Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 11, 2016 · 70 comments

Vaginal tarp

  1. I sanded and stained my thrifted midcentury Lane end table from a few weeks ago. I’d love to keep it, but it doesn’t really fit with our 1914 house. I’ll photograph it for Craigslist later on today, but if it takes awhile to sell? That’s fine, as I enjoy looking at it.
  2. I’ve been resurrecting my habit of daily detailed to-do lists, which got set aside during my sister’s 2-1/2 week visit from NYC. It helps me to be more productive and resist the sinister draw of the internet. I’ve found inspiration by this quote from Gretchen Rubin, “Things that can be done at any time are often done at no time.” I don’t know if she’s quoting someone else, but I just love the truth in this simple statement. So much of what I do has no external deadline, which makes it too easy to procrastinate.
  3. My neighbors are out of town, which means we’ll be rolling their garbage cans and recycling out to the curb. This is always a good opportunity to go through our house for anything we can add to their pickup. (They know we do this and encourage us to add to their bins.)
  4. I used a free mango teabag from the sample section at New Seasons to make sun tea, I found five pennies and a nickel on the ground at Fred Meyer, I cooked black beans in the crock pot for Mexi-bowls, I cut my husband’s hair, I’ve hung daily loads of laundry on the clothesline, I needed vanilla ice cream to accompany a blueberry crumble, but chose the small $1.50 tub and I used a sterilization wrap from work for my furniture staining project, which delightfully featured the word “vaginal.”
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

hippierunner September 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for always being an inspiration & for being so down to earth, Katy!

1.Spent $1.75 last holiday weekend to travel via light rail all the way to Santa Monica from LA.

2.We had planned to splurge on lunch there, at a new (pricey) vegan restaurant. We were enjoying our sandwiches when my face got hot/nose runny suddenly. When server asked how food was, I said good but spicier than I expected. She said ‘What?! That’s my favorite sandwich and it’s not at all spicy’. Turns out new cook had added wrong sauce. They insisted on comping the meal and sent us home with dessert as well. We did tip generously but had gone in expecting to shell out big time for the meal. Since we didn’t, I felt almost guilty (since sandwich was satisfying) & wonder if I would have got more pleasure from paying? Has anyone else had that experience?

3. Gifted lots of grapefruit, courtesy of a relative’s tree

4.Writing to-do lists for the week on whiteboard I carried home from a free pile.

5.Used Amazon giftcard we got via Coinstar to buy kitty litter.


Katy September 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Thank you so much for the kind words, they are greatly appreciated.


Mand01 September 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

haha – I come from a family of nurses and we had stuff like that around our house all the time as well.
1. I recovered one of my favourite cardigans, that I thought I had lost – it has been at a friend’s house for almost a year. Whoops!
2. Our first lost of ciabatta bread turned out so well, we made another batch. We have two loaves in the freezer and are munching on some ciabatta toast for breakfast right now. It is time consuming to make but very cheap.
3. I will be working late so I have packed dinner to take with me to avoid buying dinner on our hideously expensive street. Once when I was not so organised I spent $18 on a baked potato.
4. We had friends over last night for an impromptu get together. We made gnocchi (my husband did, anyway), with a vegetarian artichoke sauce, apple and strawberry crumble, arugula salad, ciabatta – did not spend a cent. We had a fun time.
Not frugal: we went out to our daughter’s competition yesterday and spent almost $30 on snacks. We had budgeted for it knowing it would be expensive, but wowsers! $30 on coffee and donuts!


Emily Wyman September 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Not sure why but the 18 dollars on a baked potatoe made me lol.


Katy September 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm

I know! I am picturing a baked potato with $17 on the side.


Mand01 September 11, 2016 at 10:49 pm

I know, right? I just about hurled when they told me the price. I didn’t enjoy it at all.


Jennifer September 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

1. I’m baking banana bread with bananas that I hope aren’t too old as they seemed a little dry while mashing. I am still out of eggs so I just left them out. I have done this before with banana bread and it turns out exactly the same as when I use them.
2. We drove to my mom’s, which is about an hour away, to wish her a happy grandparents day and give her a neat picture my daughter made at school. I was very hungry on the way home because I had only ate an apple for breakfast. I talked myself out of getting fast food and cooked us a nice and healthy meal of baked salmon with broccoli when we got home.
3. I’m still putting off a haircut. It’s been several months now. It really could use a nice trim but I have been wearing it up or in a braid until I get around to getting my daughter to cut it.
4. I’m really in the mood for fall, I put out all my fall decorations. One of my plastic outdoor pumpkins was sadly looking faded to more of a pink color than orange. I dug around in some of bottles of craft paint and found a little bit of orange and a whole lotta red and white paint. So I did a little mixing until, with a little water added, I mixed the perfect pumpkin color.
5. No Lear jet but the timer just went off so the banana bread is done, yay!


Susie's Daughter September 11, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Jennifer on #1 – Hope the bread is delicious! You can also substitute 1 to 2 TB of ground flaxseed for an egg as well. I ran out of eggs half way through making muffins once last year and we decided we like the flax seed addition better than the original recipe.


jennifer September 12, 2016 at 6:16 am

Oh, good to know.Thanks!


Bee September 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

I have to say that I was curious when the words, “Vaginal Delivery Tray” were featured so boldly at the top of your blog. I am glad you finally explained near the end of FFT. The suspense was killing me.
My weekend 5 included:
1) I now have 13 items listed for sale on eBay. I sold 2 within the first 12 hours. I have thrifted some packing materials and am preparing my shipment. It’s exciting for me!

2) My aversion to cooking is not going away. When I told DH that leftovers were on the menu AGAIN, he insisted we go out. However, I used a coupon for a free dinner entree, brought the leftovers home, and ate them for lunch. I do have a roast in the crock pot for dinner tonight. Very little effort required.

3) I bought a pair of vintage Ray Ban aviator sunglasses at an estate sale for $1. They are in excellent condition. I have thought about selling them, but here in sunny Florida sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes from cataracts. I may keep them.

4) I had my son help me wash our 100 pound dog. This is something I cannot do alone, so I often bring him to the vet. His help saved me $35. I am happy,;the dog is happy;and my checking account is happy.

5) We continue to help our older son renovate his home. I have been encouraging him to salvage as many materials as possible. The things not being used are put on the curb with a free sign or recycled.


Ellie September 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

Bee – #2 – I’ve been cooking daily for the 62 years we have been married, and I go through these spells every few years. It will pass, but enjoy eating out while you can!


BJS September 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Katy, your quote from Gretchen Rubin reminds me of the four quadrants in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, Dr. Covey talked about the “important but not urgent” quadrant being the one to focus on. I probably read that book 20 years ago, and that has stuck with me all this time!

1. I drove my husband to a medical procedure at a downtown hospital, and made sure to have my parking garage ticket stamped/validated. And his (wonderful!) nurses checked with us to make sure we had gotten it stamped.

2. Continuing to pack my husband and kids’ lunches. I’m not sure why I haven’t listed this yet … I spend a fair amount of time on Sunday through Thursday evenings on this!

3. Found a penny on the ground. A non-event for most people, but fun for me. 🙂

4. My husband needed a part for a project and checked the internet to see what stores carried it. The only store was one that’s right on the way to church, so he waited until today to get it.

5. Continuing to water my wax begonias, which are in pots outside. It’s been fairly dry here, and they’re so pretty I want to keep them alive as long as I can (and stretch out summer as long as I can!).


Bee September 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Stephen Covey’s book is a classic. The phrase that has always stuck with me reads, “Begin with an end in mind.” It is important to know what you want to accomplish before you start. I guess that why lists are so wonderful.


cathy September 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

You can keep wax begonias as a houseplant. So…summer all winter long!


BJS September 12, 2016 at 9:10 am

Bee, you’re making me want to put that book on hold at the library!

Cathy, I had no idea. Thanks so much for letting me know!


Cari September 11, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Include the “vaginal” tidbit in your listing and that end table will sell for sure! (Those Lane tables sell so fast in KC, so I would think you’d have no problem with it. I just missed out on a pair of them for $50 to someone else who makes a living off of relisting things from Craigslist.)


Lindsey September 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

1. My husband, who is not a fan of digging through other people’s garbage, saw a Kitchen Aid mixer next to a pile of trash. He stopped and the owner happened to be carrying out another bag of trash. My husband asked if he could take the mixer and the guy said, “Sure. My wife bought a professional model so has no use for this one.” I was certain it must be broken but since it landed in my kitchen four days ago I have used it every day and it works perfectly! I cannot believe someone would throw away a working Kitchen Aid, but then I reminded myself that I once found a perfectly good accordion by a bag of garbage. I bake all our breads and snacks like cookies, so I am now officially in hog heaven.
2. Canned 23 quarts of spaghetti sauce, using tomatoes, garlic and oregano harvested from my garden.
3. For almost two weeks I have been fighting myself daily not to buy a pizza. It just seemed like such a chore to make my own. Well, with my new mixer I made the dough and finally had the pizza I have been craving, made from moose sausage and mozz cheese in my freezer and onions from my garden. Yum and had enough for the same meal the next night.
4. Found some really old preformed Ortega corn taco shells in the back of a cupboard. They were not moldy but were soft. I broke them into pieces, crisped them up in the oven and we had nachos for dinner one night and then used the rest in taco soup the next night.
5. Took a friend with a broken leg (so can’t drive right now) to several doctor and PT appointments. This has gone on for about three weeks but she is careful to fit the appointment times into my schedule so really it has not been much trouble; when I was very ill at one time, I had several friends who extended themselves considerably for me and so this was a way to pay it forward. Friday in the mail I received a gas gift card for $75 that she’d ordered online and had sent to me. Way more than I spent on gas but very thoughtful of her. At first I wanted to force her to take it back but then I remembered a time or two someone was not a graceful recipient of a gift from me and how it really made me feel bad—so I gave her profuse thanks and left it at that.


Katy September 11, 2016 at 2:54 pm

A free Kitchenmaid mixer?! Score!


janine September 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Really impressed with this post.
Canning is not my forte but I love the great results. Hooray for spaghetti sauce. Good job helping out a friend who must be frustrated with her lack of mobility and really thankful she has someone like you in her life! And, last but not least a great score on the free mixer.


Betty Winslow September 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm

how does one *tell* that an accordion is perfectly good?? LOL


Lindsey September 11, 2016 at 5:08 pm

I play the accordion so I can tell but even if I didn’t I would have dragged it home and found someone who could tell me its value.


LisaC September 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Music concert edition of FFT:

1. Went to a concert with family members, none of who drink. Saw a sign for 2 free sodas for the DD, I was the only one in my group who signed up for the sodas. All I had to do was show him my driver’s license.
2. When I went to pick up the 2 sodas, they said “keep the coupons for 2 more”, so I did. Everyone in my group got a free soda. (don’t normally drink sodas, but this was FREE and we were out and it was hot!).
3. Tailgated with a picnic of fruit, egg salad sandwiches, chips, dip, and water before the concert.
4. The concert tickets weren’t free, but they were purchased as bday gifts for 2 out of the 4 of us. Got lawn tickets, brought our own chairs and blankets.
5. Didn’t buy Tshirts or anything at the concert.


LisaC September 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Disclaimer: yes, I drink wine, but not with these folks. 🙂


rebecca September 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

!. Made a ton of arugula and pea pesto. Gave some to 2 different friends in old salsa jars I had saved. Also shared more arugula, watermelon and tomatoes with both.
2. Made french toast for my sister and me this morning from a challah bought for $1.99 on the day old rack. I had sliced it and kept it in the freezer for a yummy brunch at some point. Usually they are $5.99.
3. Giving a lamp to a young man who just moved into an apt. He was happy and I get to share frugality.
4. Have a bunch of cut up fruits and vegetables, turkey breast and chicken ready for meals for this coming week so I don’t buy lunch on campus and office or stop for take out on the way home for dinner.
5. Trying to get rid of alarge print that I will never use and am hoping someone else will enjoy it.


Emily Wyman September 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm

1. The family I babysat over night last night and this morning. I got home and realized I was grossly underpaid. It was a family that is friends with a family I sit for regularly. I got home and looked at my check, and ended up messaging her and explaining what I usually pay vs what she paid. We came to an agreement, and she is sending me a check for the 100 dollars she was off by. Not a comfortable situation but I’m proud of myself for sticking to my guns. Time is something you can’t replace, I want to make sure I am getting paid adequately for mine!

2. Don’t feel well, ate rice for dinner.

3. Still using the 90 degree heat and southern sun to dry my clothes lightning speed. Not caring that I am the only person in my apartment complex that puts their clothes outside on a rack #sorrynotsorry.

4. Got 2 Anthropologie maxi dresses for a total of 6 dollars today at a resale store clearance rack. One is NWT. Will be great for resale. –hint for all you thrifters, Anthropolgie sells really well on eBay too, if you can remember all the 100+ labels that place carries!

5. Had free Oreo thins loaded onto my Harris teeter card yesterday. Realized it wasn’t worth the energy or time to go into there for one thing, as I probably would have came out with other things. Not to mention they have no nutritional value so, save the future cavities and diabetes lol.


Marcia September 11, 2016 at 7:57 pm

My granddaughter has worked part time at Anthropologie, and I do believe she sold some clothes that she bought there at her last yard sale. They are expensive, but she got a good employee discount, plus was always on the lookout for sale prices plus employee discount!! They have a lot of misc. items that are useful for gifts as well–or for resale.


Emily September 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

Yes I have made quite a bit of extra cash doing so. I use the app “Poshmark”. I think I could get more on ebay sometimes, but I like the setup of Posh better. You should let her know about that app, she would likely get much more (maybe even more than she originally spent) on there then at a yard sale!


Elizabeth September 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm

1. I love Gretchen Rubin. I listen to her podcast and love her books. She talks about a “Power Hour” where she takes those annoying to do’s like calling the cable company or scheduling dentist appointments and sits down for an hour and gets them done. I have also started my daily to do lists after not really having one in the summer. It does help me be more productive and stay on track with stuff that needs to be done and not forget things!
2. Went to the beach with a friend on Friday while the kids were in school to celebrate back to school. Took snacks and drinks and had a great free day (unfortunately I was too tired to cook dinner after and my husband suggested pizza which I’d been craving all week so we ordered pizza!).
3. Saturday I went for a walk for exercise with a friend and got caught in what felt like a monsoon! We were soaked! It was kind of funny though and we got some exercise in on the weekend!
4. Other than the pizza we didn’t go out to eat this weekend at all. I made white chicken chili for dinner tonight, last night my daughter was at a friends so my husband, son and I just ate whatever.
5. Made lunches tonight for school tomorrow. My son never buys lunch and my daughter usually doesn’t but she’s in middle school now so she may want to try it now that there’s a more “grown up” menu.


Betty Winslow September 11, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Although we did some of the usual NCA stuff (reused cereal waxed paper, washed a ziploc to reuse, took an homemade iced tea with me each time I went out), it was our town’s annual fall arts festival this weekend and we enjoyed it to the fullest.

We ate dinner there on Friday, had fries and a sweet roll on Saturday (ate dinner at home first), and met my younger brother and his wife for lunch today. Enjoyed looking at all the great art and only bought a few inexpensive things (I buy something every year, to enjoy and to support the artists), spent $2 on the shuttle, to avoid a parking ticket, drank free bottled water and ate hot dogs gifted from the downtown storefront church, listened to some awesome free music, and loved it all. It was like a three day block party!


Susie's Daughter September 11, 2016 at 5:12 pm

1) Spent some time last week on the phone and email dealing with things that are broken and therefore sitting around not being used. Had great success with Stanley (an insulated thermos needs a part) and Melissa and Doug (timer on play kitchen is busted). Both companies responded quickly and both sent parts for free!

2) Made zucchini veggie burgers today. Quadruple batch made 34 and I figured out cost per burger (.35). Checked grocery flyer and mushrooms are on sale (most expensive ingredient in recipe) so I will make another big batch this week. There is STILL plenty of zucchini!

3) Am inching my way into making a price book. I don’t know why this one thing feels so overwhelming. I am enthusiastic about most other frugality practices…

4) Went for a walk yesterday with a new friend and her kids who are in school with DS. Fun, free, and gives us a chance to get to know each other better.

5) Made microwave chocolate pudding yesterday for a sweet treat. Fast and yummy (and now all gone 🙂 ).


Nancy September 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm

How do you make zucchini veggie burgers? a recipe please? I have zucs coming out of my ears.


Susie's Daughter September 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Oh Nancy I feel you! It may frost here later this week and I don’t think I will try to cover the zucchini plants. I do love them – the prolific bunny rabbits of the veggie world…

Our favorite veggie burger is made with bulgur wheat, mushrooms, tomato paste, shredded mozzarella and – of course – shredded zucchini! This recipe below 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!


Amanda September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

1. Attended a free BBQ luncheon on Saturday. They had food, drinks, and lots of things for kids to do. It was a beautiful day and the kids were very happy.

2. Today we went to a festival, free music and ran into a bunch of friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I didn’t pay the extra for the kids to play laser tag, but they were very happy to play on the playground structure.

3. We were in a parade yesterday, and all the candy we handed out was bought by my wonderful BFF who is a mad couponer. She got all the candy for free.

4. Our garden is coming to an end. I’ve put up over 15 quarts of frozen corn, 10 quarts of green beans, and so far all the tomatoes have gone towards soup. There are a zillion green tomatoes out there still, so the rest will be canned.

5. We are trying to eat out of the freezer, there’s hardly any room for the veggies. We have a bunch of meat that needs to be eaten soon.

6. My hair….ugh. The sunshine and swimming bleached out the ends while the roots are dark. I hate the look, so I finally just dyed it using at home color that I got on sale. The results look great and I’m happy!

7. A friend sent me a gift card as a thank you for lending her baby clothes. It’s a store that I object to shopping at, so I am sending it on to another friend who doesn’t care.


Susie's Daughter September 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

#7 – You may also be able to sell it/trade it for another retailer on Cardpool dot com or another gift card exchange site as well.


Amanda September 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

I looked into that, but you only get about 50% of the value. I’d rather gift it to a friend who will enjoy it.


Susie's Daughter September 11, 2016 at 5:52 pm

That is really thoughtful! Your friend is fortunate to have you.


WilliamB September 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

How does a sterilization wrap help a staining project?

Since we’re talking about treating wood, maybe you – or one of your other readers – can help me with a project. A small shelf I bought from Goodwill, turns out to be a handsome hardwood . Oak, maybe? I want to protect the wood and bring out the handsome rather than covering it up, so painting and probably staining are out. (Also, staining scares me; I’m sure I’ll screw it up and end up with a streaky, unevenly colored thing.) Can you help me figure out what are my options are? Thank you.


Katy September 11, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I used it under the table as a tarp to catch any stain drips.


Jennifer C September 12, 2016 at 11:17 am
Bee September 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Not sure what the specific problem is.
If the finish is marred and dull. I use 0000 steel wool with Howard’s Furniture Restorer, then I use paste wax. I make sure I use it in a well ventilated area and wear gloves. I were a mask because I am super sensitive. It is available at Home Depot as well as many antique stores.
If it is just dirty try Gojo without pumice. This is available at automotive stores. It removes grease and dirt without water or drying. .
If the finish is dull and dry only liquid bee’s wax – also Howard’s- with 0000 steel wool. One last thing if you use steel wool go with the grain.
If you have teak or rosewood, you special oil that can be found in hardware stores


Terri W September 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Katy, I bet the Lane table looks wonderful!
1. We had a free-will offering yard sale at my church this Saturday, so I got to clean out a closet and some misc. stuff laying around. Our women’s group netted $304 to use toward helping the needy in our community.
2. It’s calving season here on the farm! 4 little adorable babies so far and 6 more momma cows to go! Unfortunately we did lose a set of twin calves.
3. My garden is winding down. We dug the potatoes last week. I canned 21 quarts of the smaller potatoes and we have about 75 lbs going into the cellar.
4. Planted turnip seeds in the area of garden where the potatoes were.
5. Bought a watermelon from as Amish neighbor for $2.50. It was much larger and tastier than the ones in the grocery store that sell for $3.99!


cathy September 11, 2016 at 5:54 pm

1. My son was given some books as a gift, but not all appealed to him. My husband was given a DVD for his last birthday but, again, not something he wanted to watch. Both were from Barnes & Noble. Since I had another errand to run in the same shopping center as B&N, I returned the gifts and got them both B&N gift cards to buy something they really want.
2. The rivalry football game for the university we root for was last night. I made BBQ chicken in the crockpot and served it on buns leftover (and frozen) from a huge party we hosted a year ago.Enough BBQ for leftovers this week and plenty to freeze for the future. Served alongside a tricolored slaw with cilantro-lime dressing. Had all ingredients on-hand except cilantro. I even salvaged four limes. Peels were hard, but inside they were still juicy.
3. Made pasta on Thursday with homegrown basil, garlic, and slow-roasted tomatoes, Topped with garlic chicken brats. I cooked three: one was sliced for the pasta, the second was crumbled into a salad the next night (featuring yet more tomatoes & basil), and the third will go into something tomorrow (unless my husband already ate it for lunch!).
4. As always, reading library books. Returned some DVDs my son checked out along with all but one of the books. It’s overdue, but too good to return without finishing. I’ll probably wait to pay the fine for when the library is having a food drive. Every can you donate knocks off $1.
5. This time of year is perfect weather. Warm enough to be nice, but cool enough to keep the house open all day and most nights. No AC, no heat!


Michelle Hart September 11, 2016 at 6:02 pm

I was very proud of my “Katy” moment this week. Walking into the grocery store during a rain storm, I past what I thought was a shirt on the ground. I picked it up, and it turned out to be 3 reusable produce bags. I started to leave them, but picked them up, took them back to my car and took them home and washed them. I was looking at some to purchase, but head to have the freebie! A year ago I would never have even bothered to give them a second glance!


Katy September 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I love that your “Katy moment” was picking up a sodden lump of fabric!


Michelle Hart September 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm

You never know what that sodden piece of fabric may be-a fancy expensive shirt would have been nice-but I’ll take free produce bags!


Michelle Hart September 11, 2016 at 6:03 pm

* Glad to have the freebie


Kim September 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

1. At Aldi I found 2 organic whole chickens that had 3 $2 off stickers on each. Made each chicken about $6 each which means approximately $1 lb. for organic chicken. One for the freezer and one for Monday’s dinner.
2. Did 4 mystery shops today- college fund!
3. I found a British pound in a Coinstar recently. My neighbor who’s originally from the UK is flying to see her mom this week so I gave her the pound. She thought it was great.
4. When I took her the pound, she gave me a bag of homegrown tomatoes and a cucumber since she wasn’t going to be able to eat them before she leaves.
5. DS#2 goes to college at U of Tennessee and went to the Battle of Bristol football game this weekend. He texted me some pictures and I did screen grabs of some others including the picture of he and his friends being on ESPN Game Day and the Tennessee Football FB page. I plan to turn them into a photo book which I will give him for Christmas. He will love it! I’ll wait until I find a great deal on making the book.


Bethski September 11, 2016 at 6:32 pm

1. Collected rain water yesterday and had enough today to water the two mum plants I planted.

2. Tried a new app for a local grocery store and received one Goodness Knows Bar for free, a six pack of flavored water for 50 cents, etc., and a few other good coupons.

3. Before leaving for shopping at the local grocery store reviewed the store circular and bought a dozen eggs for 88 cents, and a few other things we needed through the circular.

4. Today and yesterday said no a lot to my daughter while shopping and walking through the stores. Said no to adopting a puppy today at the Petco puppy adoption event.

4. Used $30 Kohls cash and 25 percent off to get daughter new Adidas soccers pants for under $8. Took her to Bath and Body and she happily picked out the free candle we got with a coupon.

5. Requested free napkins from Little Caesars and stuck to the $5 pizza for dinner not the $8 deep dish.

6. Did two surveys from receipts for Panda Express and McDonalds. Will receive a free entree and a free sandwich if i choose to use them.

7. Skipped two meals this weekend, doing Swagbucks at the same time I am writing this, reused paper towels I had used from making baked potatoes, wrote notes/to do lists on the back on envelopes that came in the mail and saved shopping bags from the store to be used for trash or to be donated to the library for the bookstore.


Deb September 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

#4 — Did the math on our cats… for every cat we get it costs $50 (about) per month. Cat food, litter, yearly vet visit, misc vet visit, treats, toys (I’m a sucker for cat toys if I go into a pet store lol). So not getting a puppy…very frugal!


Marcia September 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm

1. Good sales at grocery store this week. Bags of fun size candy bars, usually 2/$6 were $1.99 if you bought 5. I bought 5. Halloween treats!!
2. 8 oz tomato sauce for 50 cents a can–bought 6.
3. Redeemed $10 off coupon at local department store, so I got two birthday gifts for $22 each. Since one included a pair of Levis, I was happy with that price, although I have done better.
4. Stayed home except for the birthday gift shopping, so didn’t spend any entertainment money this weekend. Would have gone to peach festival, but severe thunderstorms blew in with hail and 70 MPH winds—and except for about 3/4 inch of rain, we somehow missed the storm parts! Warnings like mad on the TV, so we unplugged stuff and hunkered down but only heard a little far off thunder. Lucky us. Missed the peach shortcake but still have peaches to eat!
5. Made bread in the bread machine today and it came out of the oven just in time to eat with our spaghetti for dinner. Warm!! Good deal!


Roberta September 12, 2016 at 6:20 am

Marcia, you’re a better woman than I if Halloween chocolate can stick around your house so long without you eating it!

1. Finally sold our teardrop trailer I’ve been posting to Craigslist for a year. The guy who bought it was really excited to have it!
2. Used tiny old grapefruits off the tree for breakfast Sunday. Still tasty, even though they’ve been hanging there for almost a year! Made muffins out of cranberries my son found in the freezer — I thought they were frozen grapes and I’ve been ignoring them (stuck them in blueberry muffin recipe).
3. My mom gave me extra lettuce and tomatoes from her plant when we were going home yesterday. I can’t grow tomatoes because they always attract rats. Yuck!
4. Sold my first ever ebay posting! Sold a Hudson Bay blanket I spent less than 3 dollars on at a thrift shop. Looking around for more things I can get rid of for money.
5.Not frugal: took the dogs to the beach, and afterwards went to a pizza place we’ve been to lots of times before. They had raised their prices so much (rent went up) I almost walked out, but the family was too hungry to search for cheap food in that area. Pizza was yummy though!


Bee September 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

Congratulations on your first eBay listing. I sold in the early years and have just started back. I was so happy to sell my first item this week since returning. It is fun!


Is it a need or a want September 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Did you sell on the American or Canadian eBay site?
How much did you list and sell the Hudson’s Bay blanket for?
Oh my that thrift store price was amazing, I’m thinking they did not know what it was?


Roberta September 12, 2016 at 5:51 pm

I’m on the American site. I sold it for $60 (it had a tiny hole, and I had failed to sell it on Craigslist so I just wanted it to move. I also was afraid I’d fail on ebay, so my buy it now was a little low, but it sold!). I was so excited when I first found it in the thrift shop I was nervous when checking out, because I kept thinking someone would realize what I was getting away with!


Alison September 11, 2016 at 9:45 pm

1. Running my dishwasher on the express setting that only take an hour, with just a teaspoon of soap.
2. DH and I were at a large gathering at a Chinese restaurant for “100 day birthday” party for a friend’s baby. There was so much food left over, the waiter brought styrofoam containers and insisted we take leftovers. I felt a bit awkward bringing so much home, at first, then I thought of this group! Took enough for DD lunches for a few days.
3. Wanted to get a small give of appreciation to my boss. Thought about chocolates, which would probably been around $10. Instead I bought a single piece of carrot cake, which is her favourite, from an upscale bakery, for only $3and she was thrilled with it.
4. Was asked to contribute to a family dinner and made a quinoa salad from ingredients I had at home, and tomatoes from my garden.
5. Bought some office supplies for work at a thrift store. I love saving the school district money! Also couldn’t help myself and got a beautiful hand knit sweater for my great niece for $5, and a denim jumper for her for $3. I love thrift stores for baby clothes, so many of them are hardly worn.


Kim from Philadelphia September 12, 2016 at 4:32 am

I’d often bring home unused, disposable OR towels home. They were great for dusting or washing the car- otherwise they’d end up in the trash!


Katy September 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

Exactly, because they’re lint free and I have a few at home as well. It’s tempting to save all the unused ones, but I don’t want to be a hoarder!


Is it a need or a want September 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

Sometimes you can find charities in your city that are sending a container by ship overseas. I mention, because just yesterday I found out about one going to Zambia. They gladly would and do take “hospital” leftovers” like you mention.


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 12, 2016 at 5:04 am

This week:
1. On Friday we made sure to cook at home, even though we really wanted to eat out. The meal was spaghetti and meatballs–with homemade meatballs and sauce. Yum!

2. I precooked meals this weekend, since we’re renovating and seem to have zero down time. I cooked corn and poblano soup, prepped two heads of cauliflower, and made Swedish meatballs with a dill sauce.

3. We got a $70 rebate on the paint we bought for the house, as well as a $50 reward from Best Buy after buying appliances. I’ll take any savings I can get. 🙂

4. Instead of having to buy a new couch for our house, my dad offered to let us take his old couch for free. It does mean hauling it across the state, but that’s still cheaper than buying a new couch (and we know where this couch has been).

5. We used old rags to clean up messes at the new house, so it’s great that we got to put old stuff to use!


K D September 12, 2016 at 5:20 am

Just this morning I made a detailed list of all I need to do today. I love the Gretchen Rubin quote, I had not heard that one.

1. I listed a bunch of items on freecycle yesterday. Many of the items have already found new homes.

2. I made cupcakes for a family birthday. I have a friend, that lives alone and doesn’t bake, with the same birthday so I took them some cupcakes. My husband enjoyed leftover buttercream frosting on toast this morning.

3. A friend gave me some tomatoes and a pepper from his garden. He has been the recipient of furniture and baked goods in the past.

4. I’m continuing to cook with what’s in the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. I bought some fruit and vegetables last week but not much else.

5. I had saved potato water when I made mashed potatoes. I just started two loaves of potato water bread. It’s easy, cheap, and delicious.

That’s a lot of food related frugality but I feel like that’s an area where we save a lot of money.


JD September 12, 2016 at 5:25 am

1. We went grocery shopping after church again yesterday and only bought a 2/$1 snack instead of $15 worth of lunch while out. The stores are still re-stocking after the hurricane, so we had to go to three stores to find all we needed and we shopped right through lunch time. (Both church and the stores are not located in the town where we live)
2. The heavy hurricane rains just about killed some of my herbs that can’t handle so much water in the herb bed, and the rain did kill one of them. I’m transplanting the struggling ones to see if I can salvage them in a drier place. The herbs that liked all that water can stay in that original bed, and I’ll keep them watered regularly.
3. I picked more pears from our tree and will make pear sauce this week.
4. I made my own face cream yesterday, from Rosemary Gladstar’s recipes. I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I had little to buy, and I got six full jars of cream.
5. While grocery shopping, I kept my budget in mind and stayed under it, instead of shopping carelessly, as I too often do.


tonya parham September 12, 2016 at 5:42 am

1. Making banana nut bread today with some overripe bananas. I think while I am at it I will make some cornbread since I have an excess of milk and eggs. What I won’t need for eating I will freeze and use for Thanksgiving!

2. Spent all day yesterday reading and never turned on the tv– less electricity used!

3. Ate all my meals at home yesterday and plan on doing the same today.

4. Finally got the last messy cluttered “I just moved here” room put to rights. Not necessarily frugal but it does make me feel better and I enjoy staying in my home now even more!

5. Slept with the windows open and AC off! YAY! They are saying it will be up in the high 80’s today but I’m hoping it will be pleasant out with low humidity. (It’s always the humidity in TN that kills me! It’s just too high!!!!)


cathy September 12, 2016 at 6:46 am

Impressed with your #3. Unless I’m mistaking you for another reader, haven’t you been working on eating at home more and eating out less?


tonya parham September 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I am! Great memory!

I don’t know when it became so hard for me to eat at home, but at some point it really became a huge cost that we ate out so much! We’re talking several hundred dollars a month spent on eating out and the thing is I AM A VERY GOOD COOK! Plus, I REALLY LIKE TO COOK! (The problem I think, is that I hate to clean up after I cook!)


cathy September 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Our house rule used to be that if you cooked, then you didn’t clean up. It doesn’t always work that way in reality (haha). One of my coping strategies is to try to cook simpler food that doesn’t require too many pots/pans/serving pieces. This can be tough since we are a household of food allergies, and sometimes that means everyone has something different.

Could you, maybe, make more involved meals on the weekends and simpler ones on weeknights? I’m a huge fan of one-pot and crockpot meals. And anything I can eat out of a bowl. Of course, plenty of people think that’s a little too casual! Good luck staying home to eat! It sounds like you’re really working at it.


Vickie September 12, 2016 at 6:31 am

LOL! The title on that wrap in the photo had me laughing and earnestly waiting for the explanation. That’s hilarious!

1) I bought a bag of chicken quarters for $5 at the grocers on Saturday. They were frozen solid, so I put the bag in a brown paper bag, in the fridge to let them thaw a bit, so I can divide them up for meals.
2) I’m excited that Fall is here. Soup, chili and stew season. I love my crockpot!
3) The two Lisa Frank clip boards my granddaughters have used for the past 5-6 years got old and broke on top. I’m going to reuse the clips for chip bags. One of them I bought at the Goodwill store, so no telling how old it was when I bought it several years back.
4) I’m sticking to my breakfast and lunches here at work, so I don’t get tempted to eat fast food. Saves money and calories.
5) Big Lots has the boxes of Whiska’s cat food for $5. That’s a savings of about $1.50 from elsewhere. I’ve been comparing prices on staples and animal food lately, so I can find the best price each month. Every penny counts!


Florencia September 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Regarding pet food: I worked for the PetSmart house brand for about a month and I got given several coupons for 50% off pet food. If you want to shoot me an email, I can send you a picture of them and see if you’d like me to mail you some. My Google email is florenciacya 🙂


MW September 12, 2016 at 7:42 am

– Made a Superman Cape out of fleece for a little boy’s 2nd birthday. He was thrilled, and it cost me less than $5.
– I made a batch of black beans for various dishes in the Crockpot with a dollop of home-rendered lard and a small onion that was starting to go bad. It was SO GOOD! I ended up eating a small bowl for lunch.
– For the birthday party, I made a batch of bean, corn, tomato and cilantro salad. It was good, healthy and cheap.
– After two years of looking, I found the shoes that I really wanted at TJ Max at a very nice price. With a size 12 foot, finding affordable and nice looking shoes is a challenge. Especially flat shoes.
– I’ve finally got my home- pedicure routine down well enough that I don’t miss the spa. Epsom salts, a scrubber, and some heavy lotion keep things looking presentable. And I get a few minutes to read while things soak.


Is it a need or a want September 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

(1) A charity I follow on FB asked if any gardeners had herbs they would like to donate from their gardens so their kitchen staff could use them in their menu’s .
What a neat request:) looking in my garden before the frost comes. I know I have large amounts of sage and rosemary.
(2) Regifted an unused $25.00 iTunes card.
(3) used 10.00 coupon issued in my birthday month. Did not buy anything else in store but paid the difference the coupon did not cover. Prices had gone up. Won’t renew card.
(4) Had family celebration and ordered in Chinese food. Made it last for two meals and four lunches ( last one today). They give a 10% discount for pick up or cash payment plus free chicken fried rice. Lately I have been intentional about freezing the leftovers immediately for a future meal. Then once that meal is finished taking all those leftovers and making up lunches. Future me always thanks past me:)
(5) received 4 insulated glasses at an event my husband attended. We both agreed that these would come in handy at an event we attend every year and bring beverages to.


Madeline September 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Funny vagina theme to this post! LOL!! The lamp and the cloth.. enjoy touches of humor !!


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