Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 15, 2016 · 59 comments

Queen bee purse

  1. I agreed to stay late at the hospital as my patient wasn’t too much work, and with the kids at college and my husband at work (he works nights) I was coming home to an empty house anyway. I earned overtime without an extra commute and will enjoy a plush paycheck next Friday. I think I’ll start accepting this opportunity more often, even though it’s tiring to work 14+ hour days as an RN.
  2. I didn’t have much in the fridge, but I was able to cobble together a batch of white bean rosemary soup, which was extra yummy as I had a few strips of bacon. I also altered the recipe by removing about half of the beans before pureeing the soup to make it less paste-y. Very delicious, and perfect for yesterday’s work lunch.
  3. My son surprised me by coming home for the weekend to attend a Portland Timbers soccer game. This is a benefit of him attending a university that’s only a couple hours from the house. I spent my first year away from home in Israel, and then went to college in Ohio, so there were exactly zero casual trips back home. He doesn’t own a car, but he casually hopped on a $15 Bolt Bus, (which would have been cheaper if he’d planned ahead.) Either way, much cheaper than buying a plane ticket!
  4. I sold a Queen Bee purse that I’d had on Craigslist for months and had almost given up on. I picked it up at a consignment shop, as I knew it was an in demand brand. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to remove a Sharpie mark, which is why I think it took so long to sell. I only turned a $15 profit in the end, but that’s still better than nothing. Once a Craigslist listing is created, it’s just a matter of hitting “renew” every few days, so it’s not a big deal to be patient with the sale.
  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.”

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

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

livingrichonthecheap October 15, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Your kid wanting to come home from College for $15? Best $15 spent 🙂


Krystal October 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Bolt bus is so awesome. I love it for my Portland trips!


A. Marie October 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm

FFT, Harvest Home/”Going to the Show” Edition:

(1) Our friend who provides us with beef and pork from the animals he raises brought the beef yesterday (the pork is still about a month away). Somewhat smaller allotment than usual (he had to contend with this summer’s drought like everyone else), but he’s still charging only $2.05 a pound when all’s said and done. Blessings on his and his wife’s heads!

(2) Made a beef stew tonight with a package of the stew beef plus an assortment of last-minute garden harvests (tomatoes, okra) and bottom-of-the fridge salvage (cauliflower, onions).

(3) I have a slight cold, so I stayed home today and nursed it instead of doing several other things I might have done. I want to be in good shape to hit the road Monday morning.

(4) I’m spending part of today and most of tomorrow packing for “going to the show,” as the actors referred to going up to the big leagues in “Bull Durham.” In this case, it’s my Literary Society’s national conference next weekend, where I’m giving a presentation. Leaving Monday, staying with two sets of friends traveling down, and staying with another set coming back. More travel than we’ve done lately, so I’m packing plenty of snacks and otherwise trying not to spend more money en route than we can avoid.

(5) However, I’m budgeting for spending money where it matters: with a mother-daughters team of specialty booksellers at “the show” who offer titles that can’t be found elsewhere, plus on dinners out with friends I see only at this conference. It’s all a matter of priorities.


Caroline October 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Love the Bull Durham reference 🙂 The one I use all the time is “a little excessive for the Carolina League”.


Bee October 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

I hope you have a wonderful trip. It is amazing that Jane Austin is still having an impact on society 200 years after her books were written.


A. Marie October 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

Thank you, Caroline and Bee. I have so many favorite lines from “BD” that I can’t quote them all, but here’s one from Annie Savoy (aka Susan Sarandon:) “I am, within the framework of the baseball season, monogamous.” Of course, that would mean that my personal baseball season has lasted 38 years and counting… 🙂


K D October 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

1. I’d made brownies for an event that was cancelled then received a last minute invitation for dinner and a fire. I took half the brownies as my contribution and it was a beautiful night to sit around a fire and socialize.

2. I had one cheap meal out this week, a bowl of soup. All other meals were from what we had at home and I pretty much use the Pantry method of shopping/cooking, as detailed in The Tightwad Gazette.

3. I’ve made it to four yoga or pilates classes each of the past two weeks, thus lowering my price per class (I have a monthly membership).

4. I stopped at the library to borrow DVDs for the weekend. I was right by there and I’ll be near there on Monday, when they are due.

5. Now that the weather has cooled off I’ve simply dug into my old cold weather clothes. They still fit and they are good enough. No need to spend time and money shopping for new ones.


Bee October 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Our library no longer has a copy of the Tightwad Gazette. :-(. I am afraid that I may have to buy it. There are so many things that I would like to read again.


BJS October 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm

1. A year or two ago, my daughter was given one of those egg-shaped lip balm things. She didn’t want it so I told her I’d take it. I used it so much it got to the point that the lip balm was lower than the edges of the egg, so I was having to stick each lip into it and twist it just right to put it on. (Sorry for that visual!) I finally used up the very last little bit of it.

2. Found 23 cents on the ground, at different times.

3. My husband likes a very specific type of travel coffee mug, and his recently broke. He looked online for a replacement, and only used ones of that type were being sold, so he ordered a used one!

4. I used the last of some 2”x4” labels that we had. I was about to put a replacement package on my grocery list, but then realized I use them only once in a blue moon, so I’ll make do without. If I need to, I can put two smaller labels (of which I have an abundance) together.

5. Wrote “Goodwill” on my calendar on the next Saturday that they have their half-off day. I don’t know if I’ll make it there or not, but I had so much success with outfits I bought there last month, I’ll go again that day if I can.


Mand01 October 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

I am the same with travel mugs. There are some awful mugs out there that spill in your lap when you are driving.


Jenny October 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

I use the basic tube type of chapstick where you twist the bottom to push more out. When it won’t push up anymore, but there is still more in there, I use my thumbnail to dig it out and smear it on my lips, then spread it around with my finger. I often get months more use out of a tube this way.

And my favorite brand of travel mug is contigo (sold at costco). They are a little expensive, but they really don’t leak. If you get one with a button lock, you can even throw them loose in a bag or backpack with no worries of leaks. I’ve actually never even paid for one. I got one as a gift, then found a couple more in the lost and found at church at different times, and figure if they’re still there after about a month, they’re free to take, and then I found one by the side of the road in a puddle where it must have been put on top of the car roof and forgotten when someone drove off.


Jodi October 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm

A lip brush can be purchased at a drugstore to get the last bits of lipstick and lip balm out of the container.


Mand01 October 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

1. My husband’s car died and we bought another one yesterday. After toying with the idea of buying a shiny new car with a low interest loan, we decided that we didn’t want to go back into car debt. I set a strict budget and parameters and based my search on only those parameters. We found exactly what we were looking for and came in right on budget. My husband was shocked we found such a great car in our price range. He is more of a ‘chuck mud at the wall and see what sticks’ kind of searcher. I’m very unhappy to be buying another big purchase but happy we have the savings and happy to have avoided debt.
2. I got 6 kg of chicken at a half price sale.
3. I’m baking bread to take to a brunch with friends.
4. We’ve finally had warm weather so our line dried washing has dried really quickly.
5. Our neighbor dropped by with a dozen of their free range eggs. This is the first time we have ever lived in an area where the neighbors are so nice.


Elizabeth October 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Mand, You are very fortunate on the good neighbor! What a nice gift!


Mand01 October 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I know, it was lovely. We reciprocate with vegetables from our garden and jam when I make it.


Elizabeth October 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

Nice! Your neighbor has good neighbors as well! 🙂


Krystal October 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Nice job on the car!


Marilyn October 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm

Good for you for finding a car you wanted at a price you could afford. I am currently car shopping and it’s a little overwhelming. Hope I do as well as you did when I finally find my next car.


Mand01 October 16, 2016 at 3:56 am

Instead of widening my search, I tightened it to exactly what I was looking for including location, budget and mileage on the car. This reduced the number of hits in my price range down to just 39, and then further refining reduced to just four cars. I also took Dave Ramsey’s advice that it’s best to find a car owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday. While I can’t account for her age, the annual mileage on the car from looking at the log books suggests only 3000 km per year annual mileage – so I think I found a church car.


Elizabeth October 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Awesome that your son wanted to come home for a visit! 🙂

1. Had a free birthday meal at Captain D’s. I ordered water with my meal so I ended up owing $0.

2. We moved here just over a year ago and for paying our electric bill on time all year got a refund on our deposit last month, making our bill $0, and then got another $20 off this month’s bill.

3. Decided finally to bite the bullet and start drinking tap water. I just couldn’t get used to the taste of the water when we moved here. So I’ve been drinking bottled water for the past year and decided this week I’m drinking tap from now on..and surprisingly I’m getting used to it pretty quickly.

4. I’m getting stricter with the grocery budget and using the “envelope system” and purchasing groceries with cash only. This way, when it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s too easy to buy a little “extra” when shopping with the debit card.

5. We put our unused treadmill on a local sell site today. Hopefully someone will be interested soon.


Krystal October 15, 2016 at 2:45 pm

1. Took a free yoga class with my husband this AM in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the studio. We will attend the party tonight (with snacks) and volunteered to clean up after–our compensation will be a 3 class pass or $25–my husband is taking the class pass I am taking the cash since I already do trade for my practice.
2. I registered and was accepted to a secret shopping hospitality program. I am required to bring a guest on my first assignment, and will take my husband for a free date night, and I will receive a small stipend.
3. Finally sold a stack of comics my husband had listed on eBay about 6 months ago. $6 but hey, we’ll take it!
4. Turned down a Sounders ticket offer at face value to save money and I would of had to cut elsewhere from the budget.
5. Picked up a penny walking the dog!


kathleen October 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm

1. Cooking from pantry and freezer. Not one meal out last week. Yea me!
2. Found Mikasa Antique White pattern plates at Goodwill for $1 each. Mikasa website has them listed at $17.99 each. I’ve been ‘shopping’ for white dishes for 3 yrs, so 9 dinner plates and 9 salad plates was a real find for me. All I really wanted was plates to coordinate with other sets I have, so didn’t want bowls or cups/saucers anyway. Guess I can’t say I never find bargains at my Goodwill anymore.
3. My car is ten years old. Still works fine, and dh takes great care of its maintenance. His truck (source of constant angst since he came home with that…will teach me to let him shop alone) will be paid off in two months. That $ will now be going into a savings for eventual need of vehicle.
4. Picked up two days work this week.
5. Staying home, reading library book, putting off haircut.


Roberta October 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Hope you’re doing well with the weather, Katy. The reports down here make it sound pretty bad.

1. Split lunch (and water) out with a friend, instead of eating the enormous burrito myself.
2. Feeding the kids Grocery Outlet Gluten Free Mac and cheese tonight. My daughter has a friend coming over, and I usually like to feed mac and cheese at meals with friends because it avoids picky eater issues. Since my daughter does not have Celiac (yay!) we’ll use up the GF foods I bought on sale anyway.
3. Volunteered in the ballet office instead of shopping during class.
4. Ran to the store afterwards and only bought sale items we really need (and kale).
5. Finally sold the kid size bean bag chair on Craigslist. She didn’t have change, I didn’t have change, so she gave me an extra five for it!


Janelle October 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm

1. Bought son’s desired Ninja Turtle Halloween costume at our local kids resale place for $8.50! It’s probably 3 sizes too big, but I’ll just sew it up in a few spots, and it’s guaranteed to be freezing in MI on Halloween, so he can layer up. #buyused
2. Bid on daughter #1’s desired frog costume on eBay. #buyused
3. Bought foster daughter #2’s desired Anna costume on eBay. #buyused
4. Gave foster daughter #1 the choice of either getting an Elsa dress, or wearing the blue sequin dress she got for my brother’s wedding and getting a blond wig to go along with it. She chose the wig. Couldn’t find one used, but found a good one on Amazon.
5. Got daughter #2 the Despicable Me unicorn on EBay to go with her Agnes costume, and the shirt at our kids resale shop. #buyused

DIYing the costumes might be cheaper, but if you were counting, that’s 5 kids, plus a 3 week old, and AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!


Emily Wyman October 16, 2016 at 8:51 am

I really hope to be a foster parent one day. I saw a woman at the grocery store with 6-7 kids yesterday and given by the United Nations vibe their family, most had to have been adopted or foster. I hope developing frugal habits In my 20s, and focusing on getting rid of my student loans will set me up for a more financially stable future that will allow me those opportunities.

I think you are incredibly generous and brave to foster kids. I’m an SLP and work with many low income/fostered kids, so I see the challenges in those scenarios. Thank you for being a kind and loving foster parent, I would give anything to put some of my patients/students in any other home than the one that they are in.


Jennifer October 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

My daughter is going to be a mermaid. I made a tail out of an adult turquoise blue nightgown I got at the thrift store for $2 and attached fins made out of tutus I got at dollar tree. I sprayed “scales” onto the fin by laying a clothes basket on the tail and spraying metallic spray paint( leftover from another project) through the holes of the basket for scale like effect. I am making the top and a headband out of shells I have laying around. I love homemade costumes. I have a little game with myself to see how little I can actually spend each year on costumes. So far around $4 for this costume. My other daughter is wearing a Tinkerbell costume we got at a yardsale for $1.


Stephanie October 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm

1. I finally decided to make compost, so we’ll be adding less to landfills. I am starting this project with huge planters I bought at yard sales, and I will also do trench composting in my raised beds. I save everything I can to make stock, but it is certainly eye opening to see how much we otherwise toss (cantaloupe rinds, tea leaves, banana peels, etc.).
2. I have almost finished upcycling a vintage high chair that cost $5.00, intact with all hardware, for my grandson when he visits. I scored the paint for this project from a member of my local Freecycle group, who had sample paints from Sherman Williams and passed them on. It’s in shades of red, terra cotta and something called Navajo White.
3. I am using the stash of beautiful cards I have from garage sales to catch up with people via snail mail. It may not be frugal, because of the cost of postage, but I like paper mail, and I think that the people I write to also enjoy it.
4. We are still working on eating down the pantry and the freezer…Perhaps somewhere down the line I can announce this is done.
5. Now that we have retired, the husband and I joined the local “art theater,” which we had considered for years. This brings the film cost down to $7.00 (instead of $11), we received 4 free tickets for movies of our choice and we get invited to free showings. We’re also supporting a worthwhile local institution.


Kimberly October 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm

#3 Always makes my day to receive something by snail mail!


Caroline October 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

1. Ate a take one for the team lunch of a couple different bits of leftover soup mixed together-not the best thing i’ve ever eaten but not the worst, either.
2. We made homemade pizza and chocolate chess pie for dinner-pretty close to the best things i’ve ever eaten!
3. Still mixing my (cheap) wine with seltzer water for spritzes even though summer is over, I like it and it stretches the alcohol and dollars.
4. Offered some dead wood to neighbors who use a wood stove all winter; they are great people who run a community garden I eat from all year. This board has been blessed with good neighbors!
5. Will go hiking tomorrow, a new Sunday routine for us-cheap activity and need to burn off tonight’s dinner!


Emily Wyman October 16, 2016 at 8:53 am

Good idea with the seltzer! I bought some wine that is too sweet and I bet this would help with that!


Tonya Tawana October 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I don’t know how much I’ll have this time– I feel like I haven’t been very frugal lately!

1. Downgraded my Netflix discs– we never watch them. I’m keeping the one disc plan for a week (I hope to cancel it before it renews) as the missus needs a documentary off there for an honors class she is teaching.

2. Had an apple with my dinner and the apple was soft– I hate soft apples– so instead of throwing it away, I’m just putting in the fridge to throw in my next smoothie.

3, Signed up for a free month of Acorn. I am such an Anglophile and while I don’t know if I will keep the service, I’ve been meaning to watch Brideshead Revisited. I’m on a total Jeremy Irons kick so….YAY!

4. Windows are open and I am loving fall and the lower electric bill! Still continuing to air dry clothes.

5. Over our fall break earlier this week, we opted to stay home and paint our dining room and front door. This was probably about the same cost as our usual overnight get away to a state park, BUT I feel okay about that because I love the colors of the door and the dining room and while I cringed at buying the expensive paint (I opted for Behr) I feel like I’ve always got very cheap paint for rental homes where I lived but I want my home to look its absolute best. The paint covered in one coat and there’s enough left to do our kitchen cabinets. Plus the cost of the rollers and brushes will be spread out because we will use them again and again!

On another note– the wife told me tonight she wants a new car. She doesn’t “Love” her car and it’s running very rough. She wants to trade it in and get something she loves. I really can’t say much as she is the primary wage earner. Still, this made me think about that we really should start a car fund.


Kimberly October 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

1. Ate less than awesome leftovers for lunch today instead of throwing them out.
2. Have been using a couple cardboard coasters for past few years. Found a set of “real” coasters at thrift store for $1.00.
3. Rearranging things in the house, changing out curtains, pillow shams, etc., with things I already own. That and a really good cleaning makes things feel new with no cost.
4. Cleaned out clothes closet… again. Did this a couple months ago, but was ready to let go of more. Oddly enough, it feels like I have a better wardrobe now.
5. Used warm water, a scrubbie, an old sock and flour sack towels to wash & dry the windows. Very clean & no streaks.


Bee October 15, 2016 at 6:23 pm

I agree with your third comment. When my house is clean, I feel like I live in a grand home.


LisaC October 16, 2016 at 4:49 am

I love a clean closet. It feels good to look in there and like everything in it, instead of digging through.


Bee October 15, 2016 at 6:20 pm

October has not been a frugal month. We are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Reading NCA and trying to recall FFT makes me feel as though life is returning to normal. 🙂 I hope the windstorm in the Northwest does not have a negative affect on you, Katy or others in the NCA community.
1) I sold 3 things on eBay this week and re-listed 3 that had not sold. I only have about 100 more things to sell. This is not hyperbole. I had a booth in an antique mall before the Great Recession. When the mall closed, I sold most of my inventory. However, I saved my favorites which have been stuffed in drawers and closets for 6 years now. It’s now time to say good-bye.
2) I am reading a paperback that I purchased at our fall Friends of the Library Book Sale. It is a nice diversion, and I’ll donate it back to them when I am finished.
3) I found one of my favorite movies, The Red Violin, for $1 at an estate sale this week. It has been years since I have watched it. I am thrilled.
4) I lost most of the contents of my refrigerator as a result of the long-term power outage during and after Hurricane Matthew. So this week, I have been carefully planning my meals to use as much as I can that is on hand. A storm like this is a real budget buster. Fortunately, the items in my deep freeze stayed frozen. So I took out all the chicken carcasses to make a big pot of soup. (JD thank you for the tip about adding vinegar to water before cooking. It does make very rich stock). I made flatbreads with spinach, mushrooms, carmelized onions, cheese and one sad little Italian sausage. I also made enchiladas from dried pinto beans. All simple and inexpensive meals.
5) I stopped at the thrift store when I was on the Northside of town. I bought my son a wonderful vintage leather bomber jacket for $3.20. It was a great bargain to be certain, but he actually liked it too. This is a miracle!


Gina October 17, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Bee, I’m so glad you weathered the storm safely.

I remember reading about the chicken soup and adding vinegar but I don’t remember which FFT post it was on. I have a chicken carcasses I would like to make soup with. Can you please share your recipe? Thanks!!


janine October 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

1. Thrifted a Scottish made lambs wool scarf for $2.99. Dress Stewart Plaid. If it had been cashmere it would have sold new for around $100. However, it was plain wool so around $25-$30. Still, a nice attractive bargain for winter.
2. Went to IKEA today – bought nothing except an inexpensive lunch.
3. Line drying some towels and rugs.
4. Son and I voted early – he has an irregular work schedule so needed to get it done . Feel relieved that we won’t have to wait in line on November 8. Frees up time for other activities.
5. We are looking for another dog. Researching rescue sites as well as breeders.


Barb October 16, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Please adopt your next dog. I’ve volunteered at several shelters & there are so many wonderful dogs needing homes. And, if you want a specific breed, there are a lot of rescue groups that specialize in a variety of breeds from chihuahuas to Great Danes.


janine October 16, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Our first choice is always a rescue dog. We have had them from both breeders and the humane society – and loved them all. The dog we just lost was an elderly Beagle rescue.


LisaC October 16, 2016 at 4:47 am

1. My mums are blooming in the front yard. Last year’s mums died and didn’t come back, so last Spring I worked compost into that dirt, transplanted mums from my back yard, cut them back in July, and now they look really beautiful and healthy in their new spot. Just elbow grease, no cost.
2. Nice cool weather for sightseeing, making a list of free local spots for hubs and I to visit. I just found out he likes touring historical places (after 17+ years married).
3. Inventorying my fall/winter wardrobe, keeping a list for the thrift stores of what I’d like to add.
4. Looked through my kitchen to find what I haven’t used in over a year. Sold one appliance I’d bought new at a yard sale, made a profit, and plan to re-gift a bbq gadget I’ve never used to my son for Christmas.
5. Sister gave me some beautiful large flower pots she no longer uses, so I put them on the porch, will dig up something pretty from the yard to put into them.


Emily Wyman October 16, 2016 at 5:31 am

1. Found a nice Ralph Lauren fleece at GW for 3.75 for my boyfriend. Wasn’t sure he’d like it, but if he didn’t I could have sold it. Took it home, washed it and threw it in the dryer with tennis balls and he loves it!

2. Went to two free fall events yesterday. Between food and drinks we spent probably 40 dollars (both lunch and dinner) but all were local businesses (food trucks and breweries) so I felt good about that. Plus we were out the entire day, saw a few live bands, played some games, and talked to a bunch of local vendors.

3. Dog sat for 3 nights , 4 days. Brought her to our apartment so was very little inconvience for the amount of extra cash. She was abused, so the first day I have her she is very timid and barks a lot, but settles down as her stay continues. Dog sitting is almost passive income in some ways.

4. Going to make some beef stew with clearance organic beef I got from target. I love when I hit a good deal there!

5. Got my first real paycheck of the school year. I’m an SLP in a school , -‘s I get paid 1x a month. Funds were getting scare! Going to sit down today with the bf and do some planning.

Bonus 2 since I haven’t posted in a while!

6. Decided I am NOT partaking in Harris Teeter super doubles this week. I don’t have any coupons saved and I’m too busy right now to spend a bunch of time printing, searching, and running to the store. There will surely be another one before Christmas in which I will plan better for (stock up on items for care baskets for family members for xmas). Not this time though.

7. Using gift cards to buy clearance items for operation Christmas child shoe boxes. I have done this every year since I was little and I love it. I do have a bin of small items I have grabbed throughout the year, then hit the dollar stree (things like hair clips, candy, an some nicer toys I can find) Tuesday morning and ollies. All 3 of these stores are right in a row near me, and can usually find everything for the boxes. I will likely choose a family at my school too, so need to start putting aside money for that!


Susie's Daughter October 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

Emily – This is the first year I am actually doing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. I have given stuff to friends for boxes they were providing in the past, but this year I got my act together early enough to participate. It feels great!


Emily Wyman October 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Yes! They collect around thanksgiving so you have to do it early!


Ruby October 16, 2016 at 5:31 am

1. Still doing all the daily stuff: packing lunch, snacks and drinks to work from home; wearing cute thrifted outfits; using the drying rack in the laundry room; driving with a light foot for best gas mileage.
2. Was able to stack some “X dollars off your next order” customer loyalty coupons while grocery shopping on Friday and saved $11.
3. On Saturday The Mister went through the considerable misery of getting the free repairs done on our cars for air bag recalls. (He was at the dealership six hours!) Because of an issue with sloppy service, the service manager gave us a free oil change for my car.
4. Sewed a replacement button on our son’s work slacks using a recycled button from my stash of sewing notions.
5. Was owed $70 in reimbursable work expenses that hadn’t been repaid and had to ask a supervisor to escalate the issue. He didn’t mind and it worked.

And a frugal fail: I apparently forgot to update my health insurance info. at the walk-in clinic, and just got a bill for $50 from them. Heaven only knows how much time on the phone that’s going to take to straighten out.


sarah m October 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

1. butchered one of my giant garden winter squashes. it was enough to make 2 squash pies, and the rest went in some soup with some about-to-go-bad kale, and turkey meatballs. the stock included old bones i’d frozen, and leftover celery i’d frozen (i can never use it up in time). yum!
2. used up some red peppers that were getting old, and some half and half that also needed to be used, and made a red pepper gratin with some potatoes. I also used up a tiny bit of goat cheese in that, and more butter than i care to admit. also yum!
3. swapped plants with a friend, now I have a tiny citron tree and she has a baby orange seedling.
4. not sure if this is frugal, but bought a nice pair of new work shoes that i’ve been setting aside money for since april. the price of the shoes wasn’t frugal, but the gradually setting aside money for them was.
5. hmm. that’s all i got.


LisaC October 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

#4: definitely frugal. You saved up for them, and good shoes are important, much cheaper than foot surgery. My mom taught me to buy decent shoes and undergarments, and the rest can be thrifty. 🙂


Bee October 17, 2016 at 3:59 am

Wonderful advice. It sounds very much like my mother who had the original capsule wardrobe.


Denise October 17, 2016 at 9:50 am

Someone, somewhere wrote that you should buy the best shoes and the best bed that you can afford, because if you’re not in your shoes, you’re in your bed!

I have followed that advice and have only been disappointed with good shoes once, when my shopping companion nagged me into buying some beautiful shoes in haste. I didn’t spend enough time walking round in them in the shoe shop, so I didn’t register that they were a bit narrow. Beautiful shoes which a slim-footed friend adores…


Amanda October 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

I had a day trip to Seattle and some time to kill so I ended up at REI. I perused the clearance racks but didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without and the prices on the new clothes gave me sticker shock. I left without buying anything.

I volunteered at a fall harvest event and the organizer bought everyone pizza for lunch.

We opened our property to Home With Heroes, a non-profit that takes veterans hunting and fishing. Cost me absolutely nothing to make a lot of people happy and it’s just a small way that I can say ‘thank you’.

I finally got hired on permanently with the job I’ve been temping with the last 16 months! I got a very nice raise and benefits, but since we are extremely frugal and debt free, we decided to put the ‘new’ money into different accounts for a newer car and a new mattress. My hubby maintains our vehicles, but sooner or later we will need a newer car. The one I’ve been driving is ready to roll over 300k miles. I’ve been researching new rigs for about a year, talking to people about their experiences with the ones that I like. I would really like to save enough to pay cash when we need new rig.

We developed a leak somewhere in our water system. Rather than call in the plumbers or (eek) the well company, my hubby dug and dug until he found the culprit: a tree root cracked the pipe going to our cow barn. He was able to fix it for 66c! We had worried that it was going to be the well, which is 480′ down and going to cost thousands!


Susie's Daughter October 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

Congrats on the permanent position. And thank you for sharing about Home with Heroes. It does my heart good to know how many different positive things people are committed to the NCA community!


BJS October 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Amanda, congratulations on being hired! That’s a wonderful feeling. And great job with being intentional with your extra money!


Susie's Daughter October 16, 2016 at 11:40 am

1) I have been on a campaign in our house to get things fixed or mended. Last week I took all the fuzz off dear wife’s favorite black fleece jacket which I accidentally washed and dried with something light colored. I bought a battery operated defuzzer online for about $10. and it was well worth the investment. Next I will try a couple of my sweaters.

2) Family visiting from VA and other than two lunches out and a church supper, we have been enjoying meals at home and lots of lovely drives to see leaves and mountains. A beautiful fall in Northern Vermont this year.

3) Continue to use and preserve the last of the garden. Still have broccoli, beets and carrots in the garden. Still cooking and freezing Roma tomatoes.

4) The big treat this afternoon is a trip to our ice cream shop in town which is about to close for the season. This weekend we can “buy” ice cream cones with a donation for our local food shelf. The family that runs the place is great!

5) We received a refund from our escrow account as our Vermont taxes were adjusted this year. For the first time ever (that I can recall) I sat down with pencil and paper and designated every cent of that surprise check. It felt great!

Many thanks to Katy and this group for keeping me accountable and on track!


Mariana October 16, 2016 at 3:48 pm

1. My best friend moved back to Poland and I ‘inherited’ a LOT of great items including MIele vacuum cleaner, a nice pot, French press, tea cattle, an iPhone 4, iPod, lots of office supplies plus a lot of other goodies.
2. I hammed 3 pairs of pants for T. This saved $10 per pair!
3. Got $5 gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond
4. Returned an old vacuum for a $60 store credit
5. Cooked at home 🙂


Ll October 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm

1. Free teabags at college
2. Bringing leftovers and snacks both days of school.
3. Used a free travel voucher for a 4 hour return bus trip.
4. Lunch privided at work both shifts this week.
5. Sold $25 of the kids old baby clothes that were collecting dust.


Chris October 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

1. Went to a concert of 20s and 30s big band music – very fun – free will donation.
2. Dinner was soup that I had frozen from last weekend’s catering job – free – yum!
3. Went to a thrift store – put a few things in the cart – then returned them to the shelf.
4. Brought down my fall shirts – how many long sleeved black tees can one woman own? Well this woman owns at least 8 – all thrifted – but enough already!
5. A co-worker gave me a pair of Keen shoes – so comfortable! I bought her favorite Starbucks as a thank you.


cathy October 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Lucky you on the Keens! That’s the one brand that fits our whole family, and they last and last. Expensive, but well worth it.
BTW Do you have a brand you recommend from your collection of LS black t’s? That’s one item on my “needed” list.


Florencia October 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm

I recommend Target’s Mossimo or Old Navy’s.


Diane C October 18, 2016 at 5:48 am

Can’t speak to Old Navy, because I never shop there, but I’m not impressed with Target’s Massimo L/S T’s. I purchased new ones several years ago. Over time, they have totally stretched out and look awful.
Also, needed a couple of L/S T’s while on a trip recently. Bought 2 at Wally World for 4.96 each. They served their purpose, but not a good value for the money.


cathy October 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm

1. The weather’s still been nice enough to (mainly) keep the house open. We’re past AC season, but occasionally have needed the heat.
2. Received free produce from a couple of sources: apples from neighbors and cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant from a community garden. Continuing to harvest herbs, tomatoes, and plums from my garden.
3. Husband did a major repair on our dryer. Found parts online for ~$23 and were able to get it shipped for free. It wasn’t a super difficult repair, but did entail removing the dryer drum. I’m sure it saved us at least a couple hundred $$ not calling an “expert” to do the repair.
4. Made chicken stock from a carcass I froze a couple months ago when I didn’t have time to deal with it. Then used the stock in chicken & black bean chili. All ingredients on hand and tomatoes, oregano, and bay leaves from the garden.
5. Reading library books.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: