Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 26, 2016 · 58 comments

  1. I goofed around enough on Swagbucks while watching TV to earn a $25 Paypal gift card. I need to remember to do this more often.
  2. I wrote and submitted two more Clark Howard articles. I’ve been kind of unfocused lately with so much free time on my hands, so it’s a relief to get some writing under my belt. Reminds of the quote, “Things that can be done at any time are often done at no time.”
  3. I have a four hour meeting at the hospital tomorrow, and plan on forcing myself to spend a few extra hours working on continuing education as long as I’m already clocked in.
  4. One of the feet on our metal frame bed bent inwards after my son took a running leap onto it this summer. It’s at the foot of the bed, so we’ve just been ignoring it. Today my husband took the bed apart and somehow fixed the foot. Fixing is pretty much always better than replacing.
  5. I put extra cash into savings, I returned library books before they were overdue, (yay!) I went to the grocery store and only bought what was on my list, I bought enough lids and lemon juice to make applesauce, but am keeping the receipt so I can return any unused supplies, and 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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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

JD October 26, 2016 at 5:31 am

1. Thanks to this site, I am also accruing Swagbucks. I have already used $40 for Christmas gifts, and I have about $15 more accrued, which I’ll use for Christmas most likely.
2. I started some more homemade Christmas gifts last night, a variety of herb-infused oils for a nephew who cooks. I’ll make jelly tonight for some other family members out of beautyberries from my yard and a low-sugar pectin. Since I use organic sugar, I like to use low-sugar pectin like Pomona’s, to keep the cost down. I’ve already made lemon balm jelly for gifts, from my lemon balm plant — it’s lemony-minty good.
3. I’ll cut and dry some more lemongrass from the lemongrass plant growing like crazy in my yard, since I used what I had to make one of the oils. I’ll also harvest and dry some of my basil. Herbs are cheap to grow and expensive to buy.
4. I didn’t “do” this to be frugal, but one frugal benefit of living in the country is that we get no trick or treaters. I never have to buy bags of candy at Halloween.
5. I checked my credit report yesterday and everything looked correct.
6. Bonus — when we went on the farm tour this weekend, we ate lunch at the farms two days, with a total cost for lunch for two adults on two days — $13.00.


Dawn October 26, 2016 at 8:41 am

I love Pomona’s for making jam/jelly. The resulting products actually taste like the fruit rather than sugar.


JD October 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I agree. I like it so much better than the other pectins.


annette October 27, 2016 at 6:15 am

I save my swagbucks up so I can take my 5 grandchildren shopping for back to school, they each get 100 dollars!!!


Jessica October 26, 2016 at 5:38 am

I’m beginning the “frugal cleanse” from the Picky Pinchers blog…

1. Signed up for the Honey extension in Chrome to get the best discounts on online purchases
2. Arranged to do an extra freelance editing assignment that pays well
3. Checked my credit score
4. bought a bag of mixed nuts to keep in my desk for a snack to avoid going to the vending machine (old habit that I had kicked that has crept back recently)
5. Signed up for 2 money-saving programs through our electric company

6. Frugal fail: had planned a lunch to take to work and walked out of the house without it.


tonya parham October 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

1. Went and taught my classes despite having a migraine. I know that’s not necessarily frugal but being an adjunct, I don’t like to miss because I know how replaceable I am! So, I just had some coffee and headache medicine. When the Missus got home, I had her pop my back and that helped immensely. (Yay, no money spent on chiropractor!)

2. Had lunch at home– spaghetti and dinner at home–tofu scramble.

3. Am feeling out of sorts with my reading. I’ve read a lot of contemporary fiction lately and think I am in the mood for some non fiction or some European or Middle Eastern history. I have a few books of that ilk but need to peruse the library. Will catch up on some New Yorkers while I figure out what longer forms I want to read.

4. Am returning the 14 books I have of fiction that I seem to have no interest in reading currently. I’m not sure what the slump is about but it does happen to me sometimes. I tend to want to blame my re-reading of Lolita for Banned Books week (such a good book but so disturbing!) but I think it’s probably teaching World History, too, that has me wanting to read less fiction.

5. Roasted some butternut squash and made soup out of it for the week. The squash was .99 each at Aldi and the broth was homemade from scraps that I froze.


Elizabeth October 26, 2016 at 6:47 am

1. Spent five hours cleaning out unfinished section of the basement while I listened to an audible library book on the Overdrive app. It was the book for my book club next month. Filled my trunk and backseat with stuff to donate to goodwill. Also found some things to list on eBay. Took photos and got them listed. Plus, my basement is now organized and I know where everything is.
2. Sold four items on eBay for $76.
3. It’s been getting cold at night and in the mornings and we have a broken furnace that we discovered on Friday. The repair guys couldn’t get the part until this week unless they did a special order for $300. We decided to wait (they’re coming today) as it won’t cost us anything because we have insurance through our electric company. We did buy a space heater to use in the family room during the days (and had just sold out previous one at a garage sale in the spring because we didn’t think we needed it anymore!).
4. Have continued to use my birthday freebies. Had a free frozen yogurt on Tuesday.
5. Got a coupon for $25 off your first google express order for Costco. I needed to buy Halloween candy for trick or treaters and was planning on getting it at Costco anyway. I ordered $30 worth of candy and paid $10 ($25 off plus $5 for shipping). It was overnight delivery and I saved gas money driving there too! Now if I can just not open the bags until Halloween!


Amy October 26, 2016 at 7:09 am

1.) My sales of items on eBay, CL and letgo have picked up.
2.) Did not buying anything other than groceries and gas this past month. I’ve also stuck exclusively to sale items, BOGO’s and the like. That includes candy for Trick-or-Treat.
3.) My kids finally got behind the idea that they had to make or make-do when it came to their costumes this year. They complained at first, but then hit on a cute idea for matching costumes that they can make from things we have.
4.) I had been looking to buy an art table for myself, but there’s no studio space in this smaller home. I scrapped that idea in favor of using a flannel-backed, vinyl tablecloth on the dining table to do my work. Keeps everything clean, and folds up/stores easily. Then I started looking for an armoire online to store my art supplies. We currently have an old dresser in the dining room that serves as a buffet and storage for napkins and serving pieces. Instead of buying an armoire, I simply rearranged my kitchen and made room for the buffet items there, and moved my art supplies to the buffet. Everything is neatly stored right where I need it, and no money spent.
5.) Finished cleaning and organizing my garage. Because of that, I was able to empty out a lot of bins of different sizes. Also still had pencil boxes from the kid’s elementary school days. So I was able to organize my art and crafting supplies down to every last paint tube and bead without buying any storage bins or furniture (as mentioned above.)


Gina October 26, 2016 at 7:33 am

Great job on repurposing your furniture to fit your needs…and finding bins and boxes in your garage that you can use! I’m sure you’ll be very happy with your craft space now. My favorite thing in the world is to repurpose and redecorate using furniture and décor that I already own. A few times each year I go “shopping” in my basement or rooms in my house to find something that will suit my needs.


Amy October 26, 2016 at 7:45 am

Thank you! It is a great feeling, I agree! Good for you too. I want new pillows/décor and my new plan is to thrift fabrics and just recover the pillows I have. 😀


BJS October 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

Amy, what Halloween costumes did you and your kids come up with? Sadly, I paid full price for my kids’ costumes again this year.


jennifer October 26, 2016 at 9:26 am

My friend’s kids are going as walkers from the walking dead. Controversial show but making kids into zombies is cheap! So too are scarecrows and ghosts.


Amy K. October 26, 2016 at 4:12 pm

They love the cartoon The Loud House. They’re dressing as the twins Lana and Lola…I think those are the names. One is a tomboy in T-shirt and overalls and one is a beauty queen in a pink dress. We just so happen to have clothing items that work.


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 26, 2016 at 7:14 am


This week:

1. We ate the ridiculous amount of green onions we now have for dinner last night. I decided to revive some storebought green onions and boy, did they grow! We now have at least a cup of green onions left, I kid you not. They’ll be on the menu for a week or two, to say the least. I plan on putting them in pots this weekend so they can be outside.

2. Our house flooded yesterday morning, so instead of calling in a cleaning crew, we took care of it ourselves. It took us about an hour to clean up with a shop vac and a few pairs of sponges. It was not fun, to say the least. We learned the lesson about using subpar plumbing equipment. I still think we got off pretty easy on this one.

3. I’ve been cleaning our old apartment every day this week after work. While I could just outsource the cleaning or not clean at all, I want to get our $200 deposit back. Hopefully tonight will be my last night out there and we’ll get our whole deposit!

4. Tonight I’m registering our new appliances for their warranties. Take no chances!

5. As an added plus, we’ve been so busy that we haven’t been able to watch TV or otherwise laze around. I’ll call that a frugal win. 🙂


BJS October 26, 2016 at 8:42 am

1. I had a physical with my primary care doctor. I’m going to follow her recommendations. I think healthy stuff is frugal! (And I was even able to make my appointment for next year’s physical with her. It feels good to have that on the calendar.)

2. Stopped at the dollar store and stuck to my list. When I got to the checkout, my total was an odd amount. I asked the cashier about it and she kindly told me that the greeting card I’d bought was 50 cents, rather than a dollar.

3. Went to Sam’s with my daughter and stuck to my list. Also while we were there, we got a package of cookies from the free sample machine, and had a record number of free samples of food! We were cracking up, and kept saying to each other, “Here’s another one!” Thank you, Sam’s, for the samples and for the lighthearted time with my teenager.

4. Found two pennies on the ground.

5. This was a biggie – our water heater developed a leak. My husband spent a not-so-fun weekend trying to fix it but the fixes didn’t work. He then realized it might still be under warranty, and it is! He called and we’ll get a new water heater, with a new warranty, delivered next week. I’m feeling so thankful that he thought about the warranty, that we had the receipt (from 2009!) filed, and that he didn’t get a hassle when he called about a replacement.


BJS October 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

I said something wrong in my #5. I’m not getting a brand new warranty … the one from the old water heater will still be in effect. It was a 12-year warranty and we’re 7 years in so we’ll have 5 years left on it. I’m sorry I was confusing!


Bee October 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

I could not agree with you more — the most frugal thing you can do is take care of yourself.


jennifer October 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

1. I was gifted 2 very large brass lamps and a very large stash of gift bags, bows, and greeting cards from a friend whose mom recently passed away. I don’t really love the lamps but they are nice and high quality so I am going to try to use them because I could use more light in my living room. I may never have to buy a gift bag, card, or bow again! I am thankful for this gift. It seems this lady lived a lot like me.
2. My kids ate cereal this morning and, like a mouse, I scurried in there and ate their leftovers for my own breakfast. I just got tired of throwing food and between 2 kids there is enough left for a whole meal for me. Not a fan of the soggy milk but it’s still doable.
3. I am making my daughter a mermaid costume to wear for Halloween. I made “seashells’ to sew onto a shirt for the top out of leftover ribbon. The bottom is made out of a a aqua color gown I got a the thrift store for $2. I attached 2 tulle tutus to the bottom of it from Dollar tree. All I have left to do is make her a seashell crown out of some seashells from a beach trip a few years ago. I think $4 and some change for a mermaid costume is not too shabby.
4.I found some good quality organic loaves of bread in the reduced bin at Kroger yesterday while I was shopping for canned tomatoes that I got a deal on by pairing coupons with a sale. I paid 24 cents for 2 cans of tomatoes and I picked up my Free Friday downloads which were a lovely Hershey bar and Airheads chewy candy. I was able to pay for a whole bag of stuff with a little bit of change from the bottom of my purse.
5. I got some Crest white strips from the reduced rack at Sam’s. I usually skip this kind of stuff but I have been eyeing this stuff for awhile and I paid less than half the regular price at Amazon and Walmart for a large pack that included toothpaste.

Frugal funny- I put the Crest white strips on my teeth last night before bed while watching TV. I had planned on removing them after 30 minutes but I fell asleep. This morning I can’t find them anywhere! I must have swallowed them
Guess my stomach and colon will be a little whiter too.


Denise October 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm

I love your strips story! Let us know if they – ahem – make an appearance. Then again, perhaps not!


Vickie October 26, 2016 at 9:39 am

1) I found two small replacement chairs, at GW, for my granddaughters table set. One was torn up by a visiting neighbor’s child last Spring. I also found one of those 3 tier spice holders for my kitchen cabinet.
2) I had to rebandage one of my husband’s surgical wounds, so I used the gauze and tape the nurse from the hospital gave me. I’m so glad I didn’t have to go out and buy any for this task.
3) We ate leftovers for dinner last night.
4) My grandson’s birthday is Saturday, so I’ll get him a gift certificate for Gamestop – his favorite place. He gets reward points anytime he buys or trades games and he’s good about finding used games to buy.
5) I’ve been sticking to a low carb diet and exercising the past 3 months. I’ve lost 15 pounds and my cholesterol went down by 25 points. Although I got a bit off track while hubby was in the hospital, I’m working to get back on the wagon this week.


Denise October 26, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Gosh, well done on the weight loss and the exercise plan. Has it made you feel better too?


Bee October 26, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss, and a 25 point drop in your cholesterol is just awesome!


nancy from mass October 26, 2016 at 9:59 am

1. took ‘one for the team’ the other night and ate the leftover garlic pizza for supper. it was getting kind of tough, but couldn’t stand wasting it.
2. turned the thermostat down immediately after my son turned it up yesterday. then had a discussion with him about the price of oil and found him some slippers to wear to help keep him warm (we have hardwood floors and they are COLD!
3. made beef stew for supper with stew meat i vacuum froze last december. my son devoured the meal!
4. feeling sleepy so having a free cup of tea at work. the free coffee is so crappy (to me) that i can’t bring myself to drink it.
5. stopping at the Aldi’s near work, on my way home, to get a gallon of milk (for 1.79) and some pesto sauce for 1.29. then stopping at the Freihofers/Arnold bakery thrift shop for some country white bread for .89/loaf. hopefully they have the arnold brand today – it flies off the shelf.
6) made muffins yesterday morning to help heat the house and have something good for breakfast. (this was hours before my son touched the thermostat.)


K D October 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

1. A friend invited me over for lunch. She served leftover pizza.

2. The only pair of “dress” pants that I have are over ten years old. I figure there are betting pools on when I’ll show up in another pair (I usually only wear them once a week, in colder weather).

3. I printed a few coupons using Swagbucks. Each coupon redeemed will earn 10 Swagbucks.

4. I’m using stash yarn to make baby and toddlers sweaters to donate to a fund raiser.

5. I’m continuing to walk every day and attend yoga classes regularly. Staying active help me stay healthy.


amanda October 26, 2016 at 11:50 am

I’ve had some fails this week!
1. Eldest DD couldn’t check out a library book at the U-scan, so she took it to the librarian who informed her that 3 books had been returned damaged. We went over the books and she admitted that she possibly damaged 2 of them, but 1 was definitely not her fault. She still has to pay for 2 of them and she received a small lecture from me on taking care of something that is not ours!
2. I bought a training collar for our livestock guard dog. “Somehow” the controller has gone missing after only 7 days of use. Not sure if the dog was smart enough to steal and hide it, or the kids dropped it somewhere on the farm.
3. Dyson vacuum stopped working. Luckily, it just got overheated due to being too full and shut itself down, but I was freaking out thinking about having to replace it. The 6yo is in charge of vacuuming, so it’s to be expected that she would forget, so I sat her down and showed her (again) how to tell when it needs removing.

1. Attended an annual dinner last night, didn’t have to drive, didn’t have to pay. Wasn’t the best food, but it was plenty and I didn’t have to cook! Plus, free wine!
2. Co-worker brought in donuts for a treat yesterday morning.
3. Dinners have been all homemade out of our pantry/freezer all week, leftovers brought to work for lunch.
4. The couple who took me to the dinner last night gave me a large bag of organic apples. They’ll be snacks for the next week or two.


Denise October 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm

What’s a training collar and controller? Never heard of them!


amanda October 27, 2016 at 6:43 am

It’s basically a shock collar, but it has ‘beep’ and ‘vibrate’ options, which I prefer to use. We are training her to guard the chickens and goats rather than eat them. Also good to stop her from jumping up on us (living on a farm this results in poo-covered clothing).


Bobbi October 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm

1. Got a free birthday coffee drink at Starbucks yesterday. I used to have a bad Starbucks habit, but I make coffee at home now almost all the time.
2. Went grocery shopping and only bought what was on my list, using the bulk bins for everything I could. Shopping from the bulk bins is very frugal… 29 cents for enough cinnamon to refill my cinnamon jar, 67 cents for a bag of panko bread crumbs that would have cost at least a couple of dollars in a container.
3. I got tired of eating from the huge batch of homemade veggie soup I made a few days ago, so I poured it into several pint canning jars and put them in the freezer. In a couple weeks when I am craving soup again I’ll be glad!
4. I’m slowly downsizing for a cross-country move next year. I dropped off one big bag of clothes at Goodwill, and gave away a small kitchen appliance on my local Facebook buy nothing group.
5. Made pizza dough from scratch and cooked up pizza for dinner the other night. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my teenage daughter posted a picture of the pizza on one of her social media accounts (snapchat) with a caption “my mom makes the best pizza.” Most of the time it seems like they don’t notice the things we do!


Amy K. October 26, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Hi…what store do you get your bulk items from?


A. Marie October 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm

FFT, Back from “the Show” Edition:

(1) Biggest frugal win: I already knew I was getting complimentary valet parking at the conference hotel because of the number of props I had to lug in, but I almost fainted from happy shock when I got my bill and found I’d been given a substantial discount on the room rate as well. All in all, the hotel expenses came in at about $600 less than I’d budgeted for them. Woo hoo!

(2) Smallest frugal win: I found a penny on the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Ave. Not everybody comes out money ahead on the streets of DC!

(3) My presentation was a mixed bag. I used posters because I’m allergic to PowerPoint and because PowerPoint so often fails at conference presentations–but in this case, the posters were a fail. However, the other items I brought to exhibit attracted great interest, and my talk got very good feedback.

(4) DH and I also had a blast at the conference banquet and promenade. We dressed as servants–a lot more comfortable than full period-correct formal attire, and also a lot more fun. We rented DH’s costume from a good friend who rents costumes, and my costume came from garments I had on hand plus a few accessories rented from the friend.

(5) Finally, we stayed with other friends both coming to and going from the conference. Although this was hard on DH (with his memory problems) because of having to cope with too many different bed/bathroom arrangements in a little over a week, it was also a good opportunity to catch up with folks we hadn’t seen in a long time.


Stephanie October 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

1. The family ate all the leftovers and nothing was thrown out.
2. I am reading up a storm with my free trial of kindle unlimited. The date to cancel is in the calendar.
3. Earned $123 in credit at the kid consignment store. Bought good snow pants and a few pieces for later. I have a lot of credit left and another smaller bag to sell next week.
4. Bagged up outgrown clothes for a girl younger than ours
5. Already talking summer plans with my husband. We are planning to attend a wedding on the other side of the world and need to deal with child care, passport renewal, money, etc… Planning ahead is cheaper than an expedited passport and last minute airfare.


Bee October 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm

October has not been a thrifty month. This is partially due to Hurricane Matthew and his aftermath which was out of my control. But to be honest, I have also not been exceedingly frugal lately. Nothing brings me back to reality quicker than trying to come up with FFT.
1) Over the last three days I have made a little extra money working a side job and selling an item on eBay. I have also listed a few new items. Since I have busted my budget, this is a good thing!

2) I was given 30 beautiful, brushed nickel cabinet pulls that were leftover from a expensive remodel. I have in turned gifted these to my older son who is using them in his new kitchen. He is renovating his grandmother’s home which he purchased after she passed away. This was a huge undertaking, so he was happy when I pulled these out of my stash. After all, free is the perfect price.

3) I visited my daughter who is a graduate student last week during her fall break. I discovered that she really needed some warm clothes. I was able to find two beautiful cashmere sweaters for her at the thrift store today.

4) They are closing DH’s local office. He was given some beautiful signed and numbered prints by a popular local artist. There are too many to keep, so I hope to make some money selling them. After 30 years, I have finally rubbed off on him. 🙂

5) Before I left last week to visit my daughter, I cooked for DH and my younger son. The frig was full of things that they loved to eat. This prevented them from spending too much on food while I was gone. (DH cannot cook – seriously.). I also cooked and froze food to eat this week, so there wasn’t any food waste. At least food will be under budget this month even with losses related to the storm.


pattilou October 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

1. The doctor called in a perscription for me that, with insurance, was going to cost over $200.00 for the month. I called to ask if there was another alternative or if they had some samples. They ended up giving me enough samples for the month.
2. A friend came to visit and treated me to dinner. I will make her a banana bread and give her some of the jam I made when she comes through town again next week.
3. I was given a free ticket to see another play.
4. Found free parking when we went to see the play. This saves at least $10.00.
5. Had our monthly pot luck with friends. I made apple/banana bread and an apple pie and came home with left over beet salad which was lunch the next day.


jennifer October 27, 2016 at 6:01 am

Pattilou, I know people mention this on here all the time but have you looked up your med on the GoodRX app? I have insurance too but most of my husband’s meds cost less by using that app. I usually just ask the doctor to hand write my prescriptions and tell them I am using the app. Most doctors are now familiar with it so they don’t mind.


pattilou October 27, 2016 at 7:09 am

Thanks Jennifer. I will check it out.


Madeline Kasian October 26, 2016 at 5:23 pm

1. Did NOT join local ladies’ book club even though I really wanted to. My local library never has the books that are being read and I don’t BUY books. Sorry to miss the fun but I don’t want to buy a hardback or kindle book every month!

2. Took frugal drive- trip vacay to Mexico (4 hour trip) with dear husband,and packed a lot of food,did not have to go out to eat hardly at all.Cheap beach trips are a necessity for my Soul,living in the desert. We’re retired and don’t travel NEARLY as much as I see most retirees do..saves a LOT! Living NEAR a lot of fun places helps.

3. Planning 5 vegan meals for next week. Saves a ton of money and we’re trying to go 100% vegan,for health, not so much money.

4. Cleaning out closet,STILL have “work” clothes in there..stuff I will never wear again–will make big trip to consignment shop and get credits towards the jeans and casual clothes I now wear every day.

5. Signed up for 2 FREE collage art classes online.. ! A favorite hobby.


Gina in KY October 27, 2016 at 4:03 am

The online classes sound fun.


kathleen October 26, 2016 at 5:59 pm

1. Bathed the dog, trimmed his nails, cleaned his ears. No groomer’s fee.
2. No late fees on bills.
3. No fines at the library.
4. Cooking at home even when I don’t feel like it. I keep a list of what we eat when, and it is very satisfying seeing how much more we are eating at home than we had been.
5. Noticed lately that the brakes on my car feel funny. Hubs is back from working out of town tomorrow, and he can do almost all of the maintenance needed on our vehicles. Handy hubs = major frugal win!


jennifer October 27, 2016 at 6:04 am

5. Handy husband=frugal…so true!


Bethany October 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm

1. Just used the leftover rotisserie chicken to make crock pot chicken soup with. Even prepared it tonight and put in the fridge to turn on tomorrow. Got The chicken for 399 and saved three dollars.
2. Parent teacher conferences were tonight and was able to have a free dinner prior to going to my other job at my other school tonight. Saved tonight’s dinner for tomorrow night.
3. Booked a vacation sit gig for two weekends from now for a family we ❤️To sit for, super cute dogs and a lovely home.
4. While working tonight had Swagbucks going on two computers and my cell phone. I only earned 27 points as I was working ahem, I want to know how you earned 25 in one sitting Katie!! It takes me several weeks to earn that much.
5. Returned books on time at the library, checked out my favorite authors new book without purchasing it.
6. Target had a great pumpkin spice items selection and was able to stock up on things with great sale prices, purchased two of each so I will have them when it’s no longer carried.


Mand01 October 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm

1. I traded some rewards points from a survey site for a free movie ticket. My husband and I are going on a long awaited date night on Saturday. Looking forward to Dr Strange !
2. My husband paved a path up a slope in our front yard. It was previously a gravel path and not accessible for several friends and family with mobility challenges. He used bricks already at the house when we moved in, and bought some paving sand and a mallet. The whole path cost $17 and it looks amazing.
3. Came home from working late to discover he’d made a soup from all the veggies hanging around the fridge. He’s a keeper!
4. I planted summer veggies last weekend and will plant some more this weekend.
5. I’m spending my lunch breaks writing blogposts instead of gossiping in the lunchroom. I want to use my time more productively.


cathy October 27, 2016 at 9:24 am

RE Dr. Strange: My husband and kids are all into Marvel stuff. I’m happy to watch anything with Benedict Cumberbatch.


Mand01 October 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm

I love Marvel comics AND Cumberbatch – so it has everything as far as I’m concerned!


JennC October 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

1. Dropped off curriculum we are no longer using at the homeschool consignment store and only bought books on my list even though all the literature was 50% off.

2. Picked up long sleeved shirts for the ever growing children at the thrift store.

3. Sewed a small tear in a shirt we picked up free last week and patched a pair of jeans. (I cut the patches into cute shapes and backstitch around the edges with colored sparkly thread I’ve had for ages and my daughters are still young enough to love this.)

4. Made my son’s Halloween costume mostly from things we had around the house and found the few extra bits I needed at the thrift store.

5. Celebrated that we are ahead on our savings goal by looking for more ways to boost savings. 🙂


JennC October 26, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I forgot the other fun one…I’ve been selling many unused items this week and one person asked if we could drop his purchase off at his coffee shop. Since we were heading out that way anyways I agreed in exchange for free coffee and hot cocoas for me and the kiddos.


Katy October 26, 2016 at 10:23 pm

I once sold a fishtank to someone who owned a coffee shop, I delivered it in person in exchange for some free yummies. It’ wasn’t far from the house.


Lazyretirementgirl October 27, 2016 at 5:53 am

Jenn, relative to your #4, when I was six, the pinafore I wore with my school uniform developed a hole in the pocket, which my mother patched with a heart shaped patch. I am 64 now, and still remember the patch and how it made me feel loved. I hope your girls feel the same way.


JennC October 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

That’s such a sweet memory Lazyretirementgirl! Thanks for sharing.


Stacie M. October 27, 2016 at 3:08 am

Good job on your husband for fixing the bed! Handiness is a great trait 😉

Here are mine!
1) Canned both pear butter and pear ginger jam this week, using pears I got for free from a family friend and sugar I bought when it was super cheap. They’ll make great Christmas gifts!
2) Went to the dollar store for birthday cards and hot sauce, came out with birthday cards and hot sauce (I did myself a favor and didn’t walk down the candy aisle, LOL)
3) Have been doing mturk religiously (checking the reddit listings and doing them asap). I’m hoping to get a good chunk to put towards Xmas gifts. I don’t buy much, but like to get my husband a few things. Many people don’t buy gifts for their spouses, I know, but we scrimp and save all year and hardly buy anything for ourselves so this is our time to get something snazzy.
4) My Nana who is notoriously hard to buy for mentioned to my mom she needed a new scarf and that her coat was grey, so I searched through the yarn I had and found a fancy grey yarn I had been gifted and whipped her one up!
5) Found a good website with some troubleshooting ideas for my grandmother’s old sewing machine. I am going to try those before I ask my husband to bring it in to the sewing shop to be fixed for my birthday. I have a big tote of fabric that was my grandmother’s, plus all my husband’s old USMC cammies that I’d like to do something with. Maybe I can fix it myself (fingers crossed!)

Love the blog, as always


Stephanie October 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

1. Last weekend, we went to Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History on a rare free day. (Normal admission is $13.) Parking is also free in New Haven on Sunday. We live about 45 miles away, which in our car is under 2 gallons of gas round trip. The new minerology exhibit was very impressive, and the museum offers free audio guides.
2. Our public library showed a free film, Song of Lahore, about traditional Pakistani musicians from Lahore who played jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis ( The director has won both Academy and Emmy awards.
3. I successfully used kale stems in a South Asian recipe after steaming them quite thoroughly and then chopping them in the food processor. This dish should provide plenty of (virtually free) fiber to the body. I also experimentally threw some in with the very marked down cherry peppers I am pickling. The leafy parts I used in minestrone soup. That .99 cent/pound kale is really giving its all. This is part of my quest to avoid waste. We’ve also noticed our garbage output has gone down a lot since we started composting.
4. In the eating down the pantry and freezer quest, I finally used up an assiduously hoarded container of duck stock in an attempt to make duck pho from the stock despite having no actual duck on hand. I simmered the stock with an onion, a little ginger, a few garlic cloves, a couple of dried red peppers, a cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, a small handful of frozen cilantro stems, a few whole cloves, and one star anise. After it had cooked a while, I added a little of the boiling stock to some dried mushrooms in my pantry. After finely chopping the mushrooms, I added them and their strained liquid to the stock. The end result was just wonderfully tasty.
5. I bought a BIG bag of marked down unknown red peppers that looked a little like red cubanelles. (Well, they were not!) I roasted them on the charcoal grill—very spicy. I am preserving them in the fridge in oil.


Marcia October 27, 2016 at 6:58 pm

1. Went to the supermarket today with a carefully made list and both manufacturer and store coupons–saved 47.20 off my 99.23 total, paying 52.91 including tax. I have been doing very well lately–our store has great stock up prices between the beginning of school and the holidays, so in some sense I am stocking up for the year in that time period.
2. Using a written “to do” list, I have managed to get through almost everything I wanted to do this week. Tomorrow includes laundry, blood work, pick up a prescription, and with any luck, time to clean the bathroom and work some more on my closet–although truthfully, that sounds like Saturday’s job as well as Friday’s. Sometimes I forget I’ve gotten older.
3. Bought subs last night for dinner and ate them at home. Aside from that, have cooked every meal at home this week. I ran out of steam at the end of the day but accomplished a lot before that.
4. I finished one cotton loop potholder this week so far. My only grandchild is too grown up to make them any more, so I have to make my own! I hope to do a few for Christmas gifts as well, if time allows. Found two bags of loops on clearance at Joanne Fabrics for $2.97 each!
5. Made an apple pie this week to keep husband happy. It was especially good and we were both happy. Tonight’s dessert was not as good–bought 3 almond pastries at the store today for $3.29, using a $3 off coupon. So for a dime apiece, not bad, although not that great either.


isabelle October 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

* Hubby returned a coconut that was already spoiled (2 days after buying it). Got our 3$ back.
* Joining friends for a show tonight with tickets bought on Groupon. Skipping the restaurant before hands
* Kids are using Halloween costumes we already own
* Booked time off around Christmas. While I am not getting paid for those days, I need the time off and I will save about 300$ not having to rent a second car (+gaz) to travel to meet hubby and kids (we will all leave the same date in our own car).
* trying really hard to stick to a reduced-calories diet (I really need to lose weight!!). Less food = cheaper groceries.

Have a great frugal day!


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones October 28, 2016 at 11:26 am

That reminds me, I really need to fiddle around on Swagbucks a bit today!

I got a card with coupons in the mail from CVS, and almost tossed it before flipping it over and seeing the back side had a coupon for $2 in Extra Care Bucks, no purchase required!

I picked up 6 PRN shifts in November,even though it’s doing boring outpatient authorizations, because the money will be nice.


Mariana October 28, 2016 at 7:47 pm

1. Not sure if mentioned already but cashed out $10 Amazon gift card from ‘Receipt Hog’ app. It took me forever but the reward was very sweet!

2. My husband scored at the Crossroads store (trendy clothes exchange). he got brand new, still with all the tags DKNY 100% wool dress pants for $28. Original? $350 – still on a tag. Made in Italy. All I had to do was hemming them to fit, which I happily did.

3. Got 6 samples of coffee sachets (pop up store in Williamsburg), we also ordered 2 cups of free latte that day 🙂

4. I usually mention home made meals and taking lunches to work but this week was totally out of whack for me and I purchased 2 lunches out :/ I worked 12 hours a day every day and had zero energy to prep / cook.


sarah m October 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

1. listening to library audiobooks off my phone’s overdrive app. finished Jade Dragon Mountain, and just got Hillbilly Elegy off the holds list.
2. keeping my tv watching to things i can find for free online.
3. had two slightly old pears in my fridge. roasted them with an onion and a small butternut squash. mixed up a dressing of miso, tahini, lemon, and maples syrup. mixed this all up and ate it for lunch. scraps go in the compost.
4. getting my produce through a local delivery service of supermarket rejects. my friend signed up too and we each got $10 off this week, so i got 2 more squashes (acorn and spaghetti), a huge cauliflower, 2 cucumbers, 6 peppers, 3 carrots, a bag of tomatoes, a bag of salad greens, and 3 sweet potatoes, all for $10. i’m planning on making chicken curry, stuffed peppers, and a tabouli salad that will also include garden parsley.
5. played around on swagbucks, earned about 50 of them so far. not quite sure how people rack up the big bucks but will keep trying.

still having some frugal fails. I went over-budget for October, by about $63 but still. I’m still putting money in savings just very slowly. And still working on getting licensed to earn more money. A car repair and the usual medical bills are hitting me, and travel is a weak spot of mine, and then i also figure I’m healthy and can travel now, I should see old friends and new places.
And buying food out, including 7-11 and the hospital cafeteria, is a recurrent situation though I’m mostly managing to bring my own coffee and pack a lunch.


janine October 29, 2016 at 12:38 pm

1. Reading a Halloween type mystery located on the sale rack of our bookstore.
2. Shopped at Target using a $5 coupon and received another $5 coupon for later. ( Frugal fail – charged 69c over price marked in aisle but didn’t care to stand in line to get it fixed. – annoyed that they fail to update their computers)
3. Husband opened up a charge account at Home Depot and received a $50 credit on his order of household DIY items. (He has no plans to use it beyond today’s purchases but the offer was too good to pass up!)
4. Am planning to attend a fundraiser-potluck tomorrow. Found a coupon for $2 off an apple pie making it about the same price as home-made. I won’t have to make a dessert from scratch. It won’t taste as good, but time is also valuable.
5. A new thrift-overstock outlet opened in our area and I scored a small Farberware pot with lid for $1 and two new children’s books for 29c each! They weigh some items and price books at 29c each.


priskill October 29, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Congrats to all — Spent a bit on Hallowe’en for my class, now trying to rein self back in after weeks of splurge.

1. Made soup from mostly stuff on hand plus a few fresh veggies — ate it for 2 nights this week and will probably have at least 2 more nights. Pretty yummy and healthy.

2. Bought marked down box o’ salad and actually pawed through it to pull out the spinach leaves and sugar snap peas (all six of them) for the soup and left the lettuces, tomatoes, carrots to eat as, well, salad.

3. Brought lunch every Mon – Fri (see above).

4. Eked a few more squirts out of my L’oreal Quit-Looking-So-Old cream container by jamming the pump down fast — lo and behold, enough squirted out for 2 -3 extra applications. Then, when even that failed, I twisted off the top and, wow, there was quite a bit more. I figure I got an extra 5 -6 days worth 🙂
5. Late Autumn in SoCal — no heat or air conditioning = cha-ching!

6. During routine check of grocery markdowns found 1.5 liter megabottle of Livingstone White Zinfandel marked down 50% (from $6.50 –so yeah, not an oenophile 😉 Then, at checkout, they awarded some kind of in-store coupon bringing the final tally to – $2.21! I went back for a second and it was not a fluke. And really, for a wine ignoramuses such as us, it was great, not too sweet and perfect for spritzers.

Frugal fails — too many to mention! So focusing on the positive


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