Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 28, 2016 · 73 comments

eBay watches

  1. I listed all of my Goodwill watches on eBay using supplies I had on hand and then posted the ones that didn’t make the cut in my local Buy Nothing Group. So far, only one of my eBay listings has a bid, but I am happy to be patient. I only spent $19.99 for the 42 watches, so it should be easy to make a lovely profit.
  2. I helped my mother clean one of her guest cottages on Monday, which earned me a tidy sum towards building my sons’ college fund back up again for the next tuition deadline. Yes, I should have been saving towards this goal from the day I became a parent, but I didn’t. Let me be your cautionary tale, and start contributing to college savings accounts when your kids are babies!
  3. I showed up at my hospital yesterday only to be told that I wasn’t actually scheduled to work. It’s annoying to go through the effort to get up, showered, dressed and drive to work for no reason, but the endorphin rush of this adult snow day is indescribable. I made up for it by dedicating the entire day to the eBay stuff, which really did take a looooong time to complete. Also, with the kids both in college, (and my husband out of town for the weekend) I can always pick up an extra shift later in the week. And even if I hadn’t made up for the lost income, choosing to live below my means has a result that we can pay our bills despite any income fluctuations.
  4. My husband and I are enjoying some simpler meals now that it’s just the two of us. Whether it’s eating up leftovers or breakfast for dinner, it’s nice (and frugal) to not plan a sit down meal for four every evening.
  5. We only bought a couple of things for our sons to start college. (We spent maybe $10) We had them outfit their dorm rooms with supplies we already owned and if there’s anything they think of after we get to school, they can certainly pay for it themselves.

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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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

JD September 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

1. I’m putting the last of my yard sale earnings in the house improvement fund, instead of blowing it, as I’ve been tempted to do. I spent part of it on groceries, and part of it on some pet supplies, saving the money I had earmarked for those items out of my normal cash flow.
2. I am using some cooked pan sausage from the freezer for supper. It came in a large package, some of which I used, and the rest which I cooked and froze for days like this, when I have little time to cook in the evening.
3. I started a load of clothes before work yesterday morning, and my husband voluntarily hung them on the line and brought them in — he’s getting the frugal fever.
4. I have, over time, sold a lot of my Christmas décor, and sold more at this latest yard sale. I love to decorate the house, but I have a cedar, a holly, two cypress, and two pines in my yard, plus a loquat which has big, glossy, evergreen leaves. I can use cuttings from my yard every year, have nice swags and wreaths and not spend a dime. I re-use ribbon from year to year.
5. I walked through Goodwill this week, didn’t see what I was looking for, and left without making a purchase.


Mand01 September 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm

If I had a dollar for all the things I should have prepared for financially…well I wouldn’t have been 40 before I bought my own home and I’d have a million dollars in my retirement fund. All we can do is move forward with the knowledge we have.

1. I made soup from the bottom of my vegetable crisper and homemade chicken stock and some red lentils. We ended up having a statewide blackout, so I was able to reheat it on our fireplace. I’m labelling this recipe ‘Blackout Soup.’ There was also enough to feed our friends who came to shelter at our place.
2. I arranged to work from home, knowing this storm was coming. I knew my daughter would be very stressed (she’s autistic). I was able to light the fire, pile up the wood, and fill up water jugs just in case.
3. Our woodpile has been supplemented by some fallen branches, delivered to us by my husband’s parents. As it’s almost October we would normally not be using the fire and would probably have run out, so this extra has saved us from having to run out and buy some, as one of the parents at my daughter’s school was telling me they did yesterday. Buying small lots of wood is the most expensive way of buying it.
4. Just found out my friend can get me all the pallets I want. I’ve been looking for pallets to build a compost bin and chook shed.
5. We had all the candles, torches and batteries we needed in our house. No panic buying. I’m not a prepper but it was good to be nice and calm and to just focus on keeping my daughter calm.


Bee September 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm

What type of storm did you have?


Mand01 September 28, 2016 at 6:36 pm

It’s still going, but we are having what would be called a cyclone if we lived in a tropical area. On the radar maps it looks like a cyclone, but I don’t think it is technically. We also had a mini tornado that knocked down out the power. It’s lasting 48 hours


Krystal September 28, 2016 at 4:14 pm

My little brothers have autism so I understand prepping for environment change! Good job 🙂


Katy September 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm

The only thing I could make from the bottom of my crisper would be Penicillin.


Mand01 September 28, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Not much left in there now so that’s probably my next recipe


dawnelle September 28, 2016 at 8:51 pm

ha! this made me laugh out loud 🙂


Mand01 September 28, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Blackouts and storms are two of her biggest worries, but she was remarkably calm all things considered.


Joy September 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm

If that’s the case, Katy, you and I could go into business for ourselves from our crispers!


megan September 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1. Did NOT go out to dinner tonight, even though I was very, very tempted.
2. Picked up Halloween costumes (yes, multiple!) for my two kids at a wonderful, wonderful Christian Ministry thrift store nearby for $3.50 TOTAL. Both kids have a costume they like!
3. I’ve been entertaining myself with Podcasts and Library books.
4. Stayed within my budget last week at the grocery store. That’s a big one for me!
5. At the aforementioned thrift store, picked up an adorable Hallmark wedding card for .25 cents for an upcoming wedding. Cards can be outrageous and just get thrown out!


BJS September 28, 2016 at 3:36 pm

1. Great job! I love to eat out (that’s my frugal weakness), so I always admire success in that area.

2. Again, that’s great! It always bugs me to spend a bunch of money on Halloween costumes that get worn for 2 or 2 1/2 hours total!


jennifer September 29, 2016 at 6:21 am

I am going to a however many miles long yard sale tomorrow. Halloween costumes are on my list of things to hopefully find!~


Amy K. September 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

1.) Sold another item on eBay, a denim jacket, and shipped it out today. Very excited to get hits on my listings finally! 2.) I spent time taking pictures of all the things that have been gathering in my garage…toys, clothes, books and put them up on Craigslist, and letgo, in order to up my chances of selling. I’m selling clothes and books in lots hoping it will be more enticing. 3.) Finally got my husband on board with using reusable containers to pack lunch. I’ve actually been doing it now for a while, but I’m a new follower, so I wanted to mention it. I’m so pleased. For years he used a lunch bag, and always packed, but insisted on plastic lunch bags, which I don’t like. 4.) My older daughter’s laundry basket broke. My younger daughter has a spare she uses to store stuffed animals. I repurposed plastic drawers from a broken rolling storage unit to house the toys, and slid them under her bed. Put the basket in older one’s closet. Recycled broken basket. 5.) Today is my Birthday! I’d signed up for rewards programs at every restaurant/store near me that had free things for your Birthday. I printed out a whole bunch of coupons from free coffees and a travel much, sandwiches, drinks, froyo, makeup, etc. Many of them are good into October, so I have time to redeem them. I had a lovely free Original Grand Slam Breakfast for brunch at my local Denny’s today just for showing my I.D. I left a generous tip based on what the cost would have been though. Support your servers!


Kim September 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

1. My MIL cut and colored my hair with a box of color I found on the clearance shelf at the grocery store. It was free with a coupon! I bought a yummy white pizza for us to enjoy after my hair was done. $12 for cut, color and dinner!
2. Redeemed my free product coupon at BB&W. Free travel size body was- yes, thank you!
3. Had another free tall Starbucks on my Safeway card which was set to expire yesterday. I had a mystery shop at Safeway so I made sure to get my free Caramel Macchiato. Free $4+ coffee treat!
4. Did 10 mystery shops yesterday to add to the college fund.
5. Woke up not feeling well and was able to get in to see my NP. Bronchitis-UGH! Did take my prescriptions to Safeway as I would qualify for $50 GC with 3 more scripts. Paid for them with our HSA.


Mia September 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Hi Kim,
What kind of mystery shop program do you use? What kind of things do you do? Thanks.


Kim September 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm

They are app based mystery shops and vendor requested product and advertising checks. I look for products, signage, displays, etc. depending on what is required. I then answer questions, take pictures and then upload the data. I’ve done these at grocery, home improvement, convenience, national drug, liquor and electronics stores. I hope that answers your question!


Bee September 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Your fourth frugal thing made me smile, Katy. After years of cooking massive meals nearly every night for my family of five – plus any friends who were in the house at meal time – it was acbsolutely wonderful not to worry about dinner. I still have trouble cooking for two sometimes, but I just freeze it now for later. 🙂 Some habits are hard to break.
Here are my frugal five:
1) I was out of town for nearly two weeks, but forgot to stop my CSA delivery. So I dealt with all the veggies before they went bad. I made a batch of roasted butternut squash soup, a double recipe of pasta sauce to serve with spaghetti squash, and a veggie quiche with bits of different types of leftover cheeses. I processed the peppers earlier in the week. Peeled the cucumbers, chopped the cabbage, and washed the lettuce.

2) I sold another item on eBay.

3) Since it’s the end of the month, I updated my tracking spreadsheets and balanced October’s budget. I also set up bill-pay for the next 30 days. No stamps needed!

4) I bought a beautiful piece of Amerian Brillant Cut Crystal at the thrift shop for $6. It is perfect in my guest bath as a soap dish. I love to repurpose antique and vintage items.

5) We are having a leftover buffet for dinner. There are lots of odds and ends that need to be eaten, but I can’t quite figure out how to make them work together. So we will have a little of this and that.


BJS September 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm

3) Yay for your spreadsheets, Bee! 🙂


Krystal September 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Spreadsheets forever! I still keep a hard copy of my budget in one even though I used Every Dollar for day to day management. I like having a hard electronic copy of my historical budgets, rather than on a website.


Bee September 29, 2016 at 4:38 am

I appreciate the encouragement. I find that the spreadsheets have been very helpful for me. I am slowly decreasing my spending on such items as clothing, groceries, pet care, haircuts, and dining out. It is hard to ignore overspending in particular areas when it is right in front of you!


BJS September 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm

1. Last Saturday, I had about an hour between dropping my kids off and picking them up from activities. There’s a Goodwill nearby so I stopped in. I found two pairs of jeans, a pair of shorts, and four blouses for myself, and a shirt for my son. When I got to the cash register I found out everything was 50% off that day – I had no idea! I paid $21, which included tax and a tiny donation. I’m normally not much of a clothes shopper and was low on all of these things, so I know the clothes I bought will be worn a lot. 🙂

2. After I left Goodwill, I found a quarter in the parking lot of the shopping center. I never find a quarter!

3. My son outgrew his snow boots from last year. I was about to put them in my “donate” bag, but on a whim decided to text a friend to see if she was interested in them for her (younger) sons. She wrote back and said, “oh my gosh – yes!” So I’ll drop them off at her house one of these days.

4. Carpooling on Friday with another school family. Our boys (who are the same age) have school at the regular time and place, but our girls (also the same age as each other) have an offsite field trip they need to be driven to. I was wondering how I was going to get both my kids to their respective locations. I talked to another mom, and she’s going to take care of getting the two boys to school and I’ll drive both girls to their activity.

5. Used up the last of our flexible spending money for 2016. This money is use-it-or-lose-it, so each year I make a point to keep track of it as it nears the end.


Denise September 29, 2016 at 11:29 am


I have never heard of “use it or lose it” in budgeting terms – how does it work?? And how do you “lose it” if you don’t spend it by 31 December ?



BJS September 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Hi Denise! I’m sorry that I was unclear. It’s money from my husband’s salary that gets set aside in a medical spending account at the beginning of each year. We decide how much we’re going to put into it each year, and it’s more or less a guess each time. It has to be used on medical-related purchases (doctors’ visits, medicine, etc.). We get a credit card to use for those purchases, and the money in the account decreases as we use it. If it’s not all spent by the end of the year it disappears from the account. 🙁 So I try to make sure that every penny gets spent each year!


janine September 28, 2016 at 4:13 pm

1. Spent the day at home with no expenditures at all – as others have noted, staying home and away from temptation doesn’t cost anything except self control.
2. Skipping meeting tonight – spent some time today on a volunteer activity from home. No $$ spent for gas.
4. Slow-cooked chicken parts- then deboned and used for creamed chicken tonight and sandwiches in packed lunches. Very few scraps – leftovers plus rice to dog who needs mild food.
5. Sorting through our sock-box looking for matching socks and throwing out those which are no long fit to wear . Hoping when all this is organized we will have enough to get through winter months. Loved the summer when I never need to put them on! Weather outlook indicates that this is about to change.


Nicola September 28, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Old socks can be cut into loops and made into potholders. I so want to try this!


Susie's Daughter September 29, 2016 at 4:33 am

I have been using DS’s old/lost/holey socks over my hand to dust the baseboard heaters. If they are really gross (as one was) I can toss the sock after. 🙂


Bee September 29, 2016 at 4:42 am

If they are clean enough, they are also great to polish silver or brass. Just put them over your hands like those very expensive polishing gloves.


janine September 29, 2016 at 5:24 am

Thanks for the good suggestions from someone who hates to throw out anything that has a potential useful future!

jennifer September 29, 2016 at 6:22 am

They are great to dust anything. I use them to dust blinds and ceiling fans and they work perfect!


Denise September 29, 2016 at 11:35 am

These are genius ideas! I’m such a dunderhead, they would never have thought of them. I was going to do a sock attack on Saturday, so some will move on to new jobs. Who knew that even socks can have a “portfolio career”!

nicola September 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Also discovered this week that one worn on your hand,dipped in warm water, is great for cleaning the dogs ears. I am happy to toss them after this task!


meg September 30, 2016 at 12:18 am

I use them as erasers for the dry erase boards in my classroom.


Krystal September 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm

1. Listed some replacement Club cookware handles on sale on eBay. I bought them a while ago to replace a broken handle on mine and I couldn’t get the old one off. I’ll continue to use the half-broken one on my existing pot, and hope to pocket a little bit of money reselling the ones I purchased. I considered throwing them in the Goodwill donation bag, but thought better of it.
2. After a long workday, both my husband and I wanted to order sushi takeout last night. After a minute of adding up the cost of that, we made the meal that was on our list. And it was very good.
3. Checked our vision insurance to see my annual benefits. My vision has not changed in a very long time, and I still had a valid contact prescription, so I called my optometrist to order the exact amount of contacts my benefit covers. $0 out of pocket and I used up my benefit before EOY.
4. Picked up another extra work-study shift that would allow me to take a 2 hour workshop this weekend for FREE, as well as earn extra classes. I wanted to take the workshop, but the cost was $40 so I am happy I was able to trade for it!
5. Stopped into the nursery to pick up a few plants (not frugal) and was awarded a coupon for buy 2 get 1 free compost, which I desperately need as we prepare a brand new garden bed in our backyard in the coming week!


Denise September 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

On the handles point, I couldn’t get a handle off a 32 year old RenaWare pan, and so I swabbed it with olive oil and tied the soaked cotton wool pads on the handle overnight. All the rust loosened off and I got the handle off.


Choices September 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Only one frugal effort but it was not without pain. I got my flu shot on Monday, at Safeway, free because of insurance and today I pulled my coupons together and used those and my 10% off coupon from my shot to buy groceries. Saved a bundle and my arm no longer hurts.
I send my husband in for his shot on Sat. The 10 % coupon he will get is good until March.
I did get a really cute bandaid to cover the injection site


Savannah September 30, 2016 at 6:30 am

My local Target is giving $5 gift cards for getting your flu shot at their pharmacy! We get them every year, so why not get them there are get $20 back?! The shot is free, covered by insurance. Win-win!


Katy September 30, 2016 at 10:57 am

The trick is to not spend money you wouldn’t have in the first place once you pass those big red doors!


Chris September 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

1. Had listed 3 Gap Halloween costumes last years and sold 2 – had re-photo’d the last one but hadn’t got it listed on our neighborhood list serve yet. Came home to an email from a woman who asked if there was any chance I still had it! Score!!
2. Volunteered to serve a meal at church and came home with lots of left overs – chicken, rice, beans and pumpkin pie – yum.
3. I don’t work for a full week (I work on an as needed basis) – going to catch up on some TV watching, reading, listing leftover wedding items on a wedding FB page and start listing Christmas items in my etsy shop.
4. I’ve been trying to find a new craft that challenges yet calms me. I’ve been looking at needle felting and thought of my sister who has a small fiber arts business and she is sending me a bag of rovings for me to play around with. I am sending her a tote bag made of sweet vintage material as thanks.
5. We joined a fitness club (me being dragged kicking and screaming!) but it has been so easy getting in the minimum of 8 visits a month – we receive the amount from our health insurance that this costs us so that’s good. And I watch HGTV (no cable here) when I walk on the treadmill so times goes fast – although I may not walk at quite the same clip I would if I was listening to music – hmmm……


Mariana September 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

1. I have a bid on a. Ed at item as well $29. It have been up for a few months now so I am pretty much sure this is the only bid I am getting. Happy with it though. Declutter in and making $ all at the same time
2. I eliminated paper towels in 95% at this point. I am using them only as oil absorbing towel after I fry meat or make fries. Feels good to be using cotton cloths.
3. I continue all the cooking at home. I can relate that cooking for two is not extremely challenging. Lots of breakfasts for dinner here as well!
4. I found a pair of sunglasses in a park. Ray bans!
5. Avoiding clothing clearance like a plague. I know if I walk into a store it will be easy to justify a clearance purchase (hey, I deserve it)


Gina September 29, 2016 at 12:04 am

I did away with paper towels a few years ago. I LOVE using dish towels and dish clothes in the kitchen and microfiber and old hand towels or cut up old bath towels, tshirts, etc. for cleaning. For the grease absorption – anytime I get lunch take out (every two weeks) I ask for extra napkins and keep them in a kitchen drawer next to the stove. And the craft paper stores use to wrap up fragile items, I fold it up neatly and keep it in my pantry closet and use it for that purpose too.


JD September 29, 2016 at 4:48 am

I’ve used newspaper to catch grease or some really old — but clean! — rags that can be tossed once they are used for grease. I also save take-out napkins, even though I don’t get take out or hardly ever eat out — people here at work get take-out a lot, and leave extra napkins lying around all over our breakroom. They never get used — we keep napkins on hand already in there — so I take the leftover lunch napkins home. I store packing paper, too, like Gina does, for when I really need some paper.


Krystal September 29, 2016 at 8:25 am

Exactly my method as well! I always have a few napkins from coffee or take out runs.


Betty Winslow September 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm

My husband still likes us to use paper napkins, so when one is barely used, I stick it in a box under the sink. They are then used for cleaning up spills and other nasty jobs, then tossed.


Ruby September 29, 2016 at 2:50 am

1. Doing all the usual: brown bagging lunch to work, wearing cute thrifted outfits, having no spend days, rack drying some of our laundry.
2. A co-worker abruptly moved her retirement day up, and we quickly put together a no cost little party of home-baked goodies and a recycled vase with flowers from my garden.
3. The Mister and I have been sick with head colds and did get a take-out meal of therapuetic Thai food. My leftovers stretched to three more meals.
4. Home-baked goodies mentioned in #2 used up two partial jars of peanut butter. No purchase needed to bake because my offering was planned around what I knew was in the baking cupboard.
5. Have not been thrifting in a month because there’s nothing we need.


jennifer September 29, 2016 at 6:26 am

3. We are all sick here too. I was up at 3 am fixing my husband some hot apple cider with a splash of cider vinegar in it because he could not breathe due to the snot overload.


Gina September 30, 2016 at 1:10 am

Try a netii pot. Most of my friends refuse to try them because they associate water up the nose with pain, like when your swimming and accidentally inhale water and get that terrible pain. It’s nothing like that at all. The water gently travels up your nasal cavity and back out the other nostril without going up your air passage or into your mouth. The gunk that comes out when you are really sick with congestion is unbelievable and gives you such relief. You could never blow your nose hard enough to get that stuff out. Once you try it you will swear by it. Always use distilled water – never tap water (tap water will sting).


Katy September 30, 2016 at 10:58 am

I use boiled water that’s been cooled to a comfortably warm temperature.


Bettypants September 29, 2016 at 3:59 am

1. I bought two large bottles of home fragrance oil on clearance because they were such a good deal. Turns out I couldn’t stand the scent, so not such a good deal for me. Sold them on ebay this week for much more than I had paid.
2. Free gum and a package of sour patch kids with free Friday Kroger items.
3. Didn’t buy the waxy chocolate mini Hostess donuts, although I eyed them for quite awhile. Made a loaf of chocolate bread when I got home instead, using all ingredients I already had on hand.
4. Cooked chicken for dinner last night, and have the leftovers earmarked for soup or pasta tonight.
5. Someone on a local FB site posted a 5 foot vintage Santa blow mold for $10. I picked it up at her yard sale and also found a Coach scarf for $2. Keeping the Santa and sold the scarf for $20. She had a big pile of beautiful vintage rolling pins with a sign marked $10. Unfortunately, it tuned out to be $10 for each, not the whole pile. I probably didn’t need 20 rolling pins anyway.


K D September 29, 2016 at 4:05 am

Katy, it sounds like you have been saving for retirement for a long time. I believe financial advisors recommend that over saving for college. I know a lot of people that have compromised their futures by putting their kids education over everything else. I think you are doing an amazing job.

Frugal things:

1. We went to Target to get flu shots. Insurance will cover that cost and we each received $5 gift cards (we left the store without buying anything).

2. I turned several months of found change into the CoinStar (electing to receive an Amazon gift card, so there was no transaction fee). I had collected $24+ in less than 10 months. Not great but …

3. Yesterday I wore an outfit that included a tank top handed up from my mom and a blouse handed up from my daughter’s friend. The capris were purchased on clearance many years ago and the sandals I’ve had forever.

4. Last night I roasted sweet potatoes, a cauliflower, and garlic so that I can quickly assemble soup at lunch time. The day before I used semi-comatose bananas to make muffins.

5. It’s raining a lot. We recently had some work done on our basement stairwell/door because water sometimes came in when there was heavy rain. So far things are dry. The work was not too expensive and will give us much peace of mind.


JD September 29, 2016 at 10:42 am

Loving the banana description in #4.


Denise September 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

I must check on whether my old banana is now officially in a permanently vegetative state, in which case I can eat it without it having any awareness of pain…

I love the “handed up” phrase, instead of handed down. It’s all about perception and that is a really clever turnaround. I once read someone saying that credit cards should be forced by law to be labelled as “debt cards” to raise awareness: I still use that phrase too!


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 29, 2016 at 5:28 am

This week:

1. I listed a lot of our stuff on Craigslist. I listed my entire vintage Pokémon collection (is 2001 “vintage?”), the prettg decent oven that came in our house (we’re building a custom kitchen and don’t need it), an old handbag, and a laptop case my dad gave me. Hopefully we can scrape in a little extra cash on the side. 🙂

2. We’ve been really on-point with our dinners lately! I made pho and orecchiete pasta with roasted pumpkin and spinach–it was all divine. Tonight we’re having French dip sandwiches and I hope they’ll be amazing!

3. Mr. Picky Pincher bought some house supplies at Lowe’s and used our 10% off coupon, which saved us $18.

4. I’m going through our fridge and pantry tonight to plan our menu. We’re woefully over-budget on food this month, so next month I want to step up our game. I like to think of it as “Chopped” in my own kitchen. 🙂

5. The house is coming along and shockingly under budget. I’ve spent the last two days scraping paint off tile in the master bath and bedroom. Most of it is from the previous homeowners, but some of it is from me. 🙂 Oops! I’ve almost got the master rooms completely done; it’ll be nice to know our living spaces will be ready when we move in next month. Tonight I’m painting doors, while Mr. Picky Pincher will be fiddling with organizing and measuring in the kitchen. Phew! We both need naps.


jennifer September 29, 2016 at 6:32 am

Katy, I have also been eating leftovers or whatever is on hand for breakfast. I have found that it doesn’t have to be a breakfast food to be filling and satisfying. I have worked many different shifts as a RN so I can eat any thing at any time.


Denise September 29, 2016 at 11:51 am


I confess: apart from cereal, which I can eat at any time of the day/evening, I really gross out at the thought of “dinner items” for breakfast. I know people who like cold pizza for breakfast. I think I’d opt for a glass of water…

What kinds of things do you eat?



Isabelle September 29, 2016 at 4:40 pm

I do that sometime too, and you just reminded me that I have a chicken fried rice and brocoli to finish quickly and I won’t be able to use it at lunch tomorrow, so breakfast it will be!


Denise September 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Right, as usual, more fails than wins…

My wins:

I walked out of my favourite store (Boots, here in the UK – like CVS but pleasanter shop fittings/ambience to tempt you) having bought the two necessities on my list and used my points store loyalty card to pay for them. Act. Of. Will.

I have sold my petrol lawn mower and an unused IKEA daybed (both of which I bought second-hand from e-bay) as I am moving from large four bed detached house, to a much smaller 2 bed apartment. Only £80 in total, but glad to get rid.

The move to smaller home: I complete the sale on my house on 21 October, and will move in with my sister for a few weeks while I get my purchase pushed through. She laughed when I offered to contribute to bills etc, which is very generous of her, as always. So I’ll be living for free (other than food which as I’ve just gone veggie, I’ll be prepping separately from them) for a few weeks.

I have taken the advice of Mr. Money Mustache, and am moving closer to work, to a smaller and cheaper property (not per sq.foot, as I’m going into London, but overall) which will (i) cut my commute round-trip from 3 hours a day to 1.5 hours per day, (I). cut my commuting costs in half and (I I) will be cheaper and easier to care for. For instance, I won’t need a cleaner any more as I’ll have the time and energy to do it myself, and it won’t be so much space to clean! Does all that count as it’s still in the future??

I will have my own garden at the new place and am going to install two raised beds for veggies.

Fails: got given a load of home-grown tomatoes and courgettes and only ate half before they went mouldy. I hate food waste and I am so mad about that. It does at least all go to our local council’s anaerobic digester to produce gas for heating public buildings…

Bought processed veggie foods, as I have been too lazy even to do simple stir -fries, so my food budget is £14 over for the month.

Someone slap me.


Bari September 29, 2016 at 2:33 pm

I feel so provincial!
Must admit that I had to Google the word “courgettes” to learn that they are what we (in the US) call “zucchini” (I guess).


Denise September 30, 2016 at 12:22 am

Yes they are. Sorry – usually remember to add the “translations” – I have had to google so many things on this site (or just ask the question!).

And why provincial? London is overcrowded (although, to be fair, not over-rated!) and I wouldn’t choose to live there but for my job as a lawyer and the retraining I am doing, to become a psychotherapist which is also central London based. Once I am qualified for all that, I am outta there: to a lovely, picturesque and friendly small place! With lots of people needing help to live a happier life. In a beautiful, friendly community. Oh dear, just seen a flaw in my career plan. Ok – needs to be near a stressy, unhappy town so I can pay the bills!


Isabelle September 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm

* My 6yo is very interested in money. She’s grasping the concept of saving and spending. She receives a small weekly allowance and is always on the lookout for money on the ground (and she always find some, it’s crazy!!). We take daily walks and tonight I explained the concept of bringing bags to pickup cans off the ground and separate between recyclable ones and the ones you can bring back for money. Told her I would pay her for the cans and bring them to the store later. She’s really exciting to get started. Good for her and for the environment. I bet she won’t complain again about the walks!
* Got lot’s of groceries on sale

Can’t think of anything else…

Have a great frugal day!


Lindsay September 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I had a very not-frugal week last week, and I feel like I’m in a rut. We had a bunch of bomb threats at school, which led to a major treat-yourself mentality. I’m struggling to get back to my normal frugal self.

1. I fully meal planned for the week and did my shopping at Aldi to avoid eating out.
2. I didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so we ate simple meals of whatever was in the fridge.
3. I made and froze a batch of burritos over the weekend so we would still have packed lunches even if we ran out of leftovers.
4. I used a card I had lying around (which I had bought at a thrift store) for a group wedding gift for a co-worker.
5. I researched and found cheap templates for DIY programs and place-cards for our wedding.

Frugal fail:
1. I can’t stop “treating myself!” I bought a few fun things on Etsy, and I stopped at a coffee shop for a pumpkin spice latte today, just because. I need to switch gears!


Susie's Daughter September 30, 2016 at 4:42 am

Stress – big stress especially (like bomb threats!) – requires that we be gentler with ourselves. It is hard to treat ourselves as kindly as we would a dear friend sometimes, but still necessary. It sounds like, in light of things, you had some measurable wins. Go you!


Emily September 29, 2016 at 3:58 pm

My frugal-ness has been pathetic lately, however I am made some conscious decisions to spend more money out of convenience (ordering something on amazon for an extra few dollars rather than take 45-hr to battle traffic, waste gas, and go into a store for 1 item). I can always make more money, I can’t create more time.

1. It was a co-workers birthday. I pulled some things out of my “gift” stash to make a mini spa kit. Used a bag and card I already had. She was totally un-enthused, and kinda made me irritated but, oh well.

2. My boyfriend brought me home half a dozen roses last weekend. He worked a wedding and grabbed them before they tossed them out 🙂

3. Made a huge pot of chili from ingredients we already had, I can’t eat a ton of tomato based things, but the bf can.

4. Babysitting from 5pm tomorrow to 5pm sunday, then taking a sabbatical from babysitting for a bit. I have been working like crazy since I graduated 2 years ago, and am realizing I am just spreading myself too thin. I need to focus on my actual career,, and not side gigs that pay so much less and leave me exhausted, sleep deprived, and too crunched for time. I also need to get myself in better health mentally and physically. I have made HUGE progress on my student loans the past year and a half (28,000!!!), but it has absolutely come at a cost. I still have poshmark and other apps I sell on, and I may occasionally sit for an easy kid here or there, but being a part time parent to children whose actual parents are top of the corporate ladder individuals and never home is just too much right now. I need to focus on being a good SLP, and make some time for friends and my health!


Bee September 30, 2016 at 5:41 am

Congratulations on paying down that much of your student loan! But, do take care of yourself.


Emily wyman September 30, 2016 at 9:50 am

Thank you!


Hobart Chic October 4, 2016 at 7:11 am

Your co worker sounds incredibly rude and ungrateful. Sounds like next time you might want to forget their birthday…


Emily September 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm

oh and #5. Used chic fil a app to get free chicken minis today! Those coupons expire tomorrow to anyone interested (have to download the app!).


Betty Winslow September 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm

1. Made Serendipity Soup this week from some leftovers I combined with chicken stock. Also made corned bread to go with, and have been eating the leftovers for breakfast the last couple of mornings.
2. My younger son (32), who has no insurance, was really ill this week and ended up having to go to the ER. They prescribed Motrin and Tylenol, but he threw the scrips away, saying he’d just take what we had at home. Frugal win! (Let’s not talk about the ER cost….)
3. It was heavy pick-up recently and I rescued a lovely adjustable wooden easel, which I listed on FB, and two really nice large stoneware planters, which hubby fell on with cries of delight. The small folding table turned out to be a no, so it went into the GW stack.
4. No cough meds in the house, so instead of running out just for that, I made some with cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon, Very soothing and pretty tasty!
5. Needed a small desk-sized fan for work and found one on 50% clearance that plugs into a USB port and also has an adapter. So nice to not be so hot all the time (darned menopause hanging around too long).


Denise September 30, 2016 at 12:27 am

Menopause: I feel for you – and the memory loss! Maybe I can use that to justify frugal fails: I forgot to be frugal….


Katy September 30, 2016 at 10:58 am

I love the term “Serendipity soup!” I’m going to have to steal it!


Sheila September 30, 2016 at 6:37 am

Kind of relieved to see some frugal fails here, as I’ve not been as good lately. But let’s see how I can do:
1. Filled up our car with Costco gas for my husband’s work trip and he gets reimbursed for mileage.
2. On the fail side, we took our son and two friends from college out to dinner. But we all had water, and the guys signed up for a promotion to get a free dessert so we had freshly baked cookies topped with ice cream. However when
I think about what a great time we had together, I don’t mind the cost. We were planning on doing something more budget friendly but my husband tweaked his back and we needed to go for easy instead.
3. We’re staying at a very fancy hotel for my husband’s work so that’s a frugal win. I’m loving the ultra comfy bed, cushy pillows, and down comforter. And the sheets! What is it about hotel sheets that makes them feel so luxurious? And then there’s the free HGTV 🙂
4. Our son doesn’t have classes today so while my husband is at his convention we’ll spend some good time together, including some free activities like walking on the beach.
5. I have a box of stuff for GW but am thinking of trying to sell some stuff instead. So inspired by many of you making $ through eBay, Craigslist, and the like.
6. Another frugal win: our car was filthy after a recent rain. I got an old towel damp and wiped off the dirt and it looked so much better!
7. Wearing almost an entire wardrobe of thrifted clothing and will check out some thrift stores while we’re in LA.


Katy September 30, 2016 at 10:56 am

I think taking your son and his friends to dinner sounds wonderful. Frugality is there so that you can save money for what really counts, and spending time with your son and getting to know his friends is priceless!


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