Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 10, 2016 · 43 comments

  1. My husband and I walked to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. I found two pennies and then picked up a DVD of Ricky & The Flash from the library. We were able to distract ourselves for an hour and forty-ish minutes watching the movie.
  2. I helped my mother clean one of her guest cottages this afternoon, and then she treated to me to lunch. The woman in front of us didn’t want the coffee that they’d poured for her, so she gave it to me.
  3. My husband made a dinner of scrambled eggs with salmon using the leftovers from last night’s meal.
  4. I updated our November budget with the new information that we’ll spend exactly zero dollars for natural gas this month, as we participate in an equal pay program. Each November either charges extra or gives a refund for money spent. That’s an extra $75 back into the budget.
  5. I realized that December is another five paycheck month for me and my husband, I bought a huge bag of those Crown Royal drawstring purple bags to sell on eBay 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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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Ll November 10, 2016 at 1:18 am

1. Lunch will be provided by work for the next 3 days (+ tea and coffee).
2. The kids had breakfast club at school tohis morning so only had a small bowl of cereal each. (They get to pick from a selection of flavoured milks, fruit and toast).
3. I made a batch of banana bread from two browning bananas. Whilst I had the oven going I popped in some berry cupcake mixture I had frozen.
4. Bought drink bottles and snacks to the kids after school activities this week.
5. Used our pool membership for a morning at our local pool.


Mand01 November 10, 2016 at 3:37 am

1. I went to the movies with an old friend. He shouted so all I paid was the cost of parking.
2. I got my parking ticket validated at Target by buying $5.50 worth of goods. They had fair trade coffee and tea out for $2 a box so I got some plus a new phone charger for my car. As these were all things I needed and would have purchased anyway, i didn’t mind spending a little to get a free hour of parking.
3. I packed a roll and banana for dinner and ate them at work before I left.
4. My workplace has had a massive spring cleaning this week. I scored several folders and notebooks for my kids.
That’s it – I don’t have five today.


SueB November 10, 2016 at 3:43 am

I’ve read your blog for a long time but I thought I’d subscribe to make up for any losses 🙂

1. Made bread and rolls from scratchish (actually used some cheap bread mix so each loaf is about 12p plus anything I add, like seeds)
2. When making bread, tried to batch cook things like biscuits to save heat and shop bought treats.
3. We’ve been walking the dogs locally instead of using the car to take them to a walk so saving on petrol (gas for you people :p)
4. Cut my husband’s hair for the first time – it look…ahem interesting but I will improve, only saves £10 but it all adds up.
5. Bought £40 worth of vouchers for Christmas presents (hate giving them but they asked) for £26. It’s for two little girls so very pleased.


Carrie November 10, 2016 at 3:54 am

1 – I got a free energy audit on my house from my electric company. So informative! Everyone should do this, even if they’re in a rental.
2 – I killed a huge bug crawling around on a table at Starbucks. The barista gave me free coffee.
3 – I checked out Hillbilly Elegy from the library.
4 – This isn’t frugal, but it is smart – I invested another $200 in my Stash investment account yesterday.


celina November 10, 2016 at 4:04 am

I do not understand the demand for those bags on ebay??? anyhow…this was really cool.


Ann November 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

I wish I had known about that when my dear MIL died. Crown Royal bags covered every crystal piece she and my FIL owned. Would have made a fortune!!!


Michelle November 10, 2016 at 4:08 am

1.). I stocked up on free shampoos and conditioners from Rite Aid with coupons and rebates. This is a good thing since my hair has been so tangled this past month of using no conditioner since I ran out of cheap/free conditioner.
2.). I’m making chicken fajitas in the crock pot. I’m first making chicken stock from boiling the chicken in water in the crock pot. I’ll make chicken noodle soup for my sick kid with the chicken stock then the fajitas.
3.). We will pay off our Honda Odyssey off tomorrow. We will be paying it off 3 years early saving us the extra interest.
4.) I’ve been very meticulous this month with budgeting.
5.). I’m planning our wedding for May. I bought $4 a bottle Winking Owl wine from Aldi’s for our reception. We bought 2 cases of Cabernet and 2 cases of Chardonnay. It’s pretty good wine!


Jill A November 10, 2016 at 4:28 am

Congratulations on paying your van off.


Michelle November 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm



AFS November 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

When I paid off my last car loan, I started a NEXT car fund. I put the $300/mo. that had been my payment in a dedicated savings account. When it came time to buy a new car I had more than enough to pay CASH. My present car is doing fine and my car fund is up to $30k when I need it.


Jill A November 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

1. My car which hit a deer is fixable. It is considered comprehensive and not collision so my deductible is less than I thought. Saving me $250 over what I thought it would be and I don’t have to buy a new car.
2. My husbands birthday was Tuesday. I made lasagne and carrot cake and it was a delicious meal for us and for my Mom, MIL, FIL and brother. We ate leftovers last night and had cake for breakfast. We don’t really buy each other gifts anymore. When we need something we usually call it a gift. We bought a new chain saw a few weeks ago. That’s his gift.
3. I have no car this week, so no gas spent.
4. Found a similar version of a light fixture I wanted for my foyer. It is half the price of the other and is identical in appearance except for being a couple inches smaller. This will be my Christmas gift.
5.I will stay home again today and rake more leaves. Free exercise.


Dmarie November 10, 2016 at 5:08 am

I am having a fist-shaking Scarlet O’Hara moment declaring that it is time I finally become a non-consumer & when I must buy, I will buy from companies that share my values regarding the earth & human rights. Today’s starting line-up:
1. turned off lights immediately! when not necessary
2. taken something out of freezer to thaw in fridge for tomorrow’s dinner
3. working on plan to use up leftovers in fridge for today’s lunch
4. will be fuzz-busting a shirt that has pilled enough that I don’t want to wear it any more
The day is young but full of non-consumer possibilities!


Laura November 10, 2016 at 2:04 pm

“The day is young but full of non-consumer possibilities!” LOVE it!


Sandy November 10, 2016 at 6:22 am

So many opportunities to not spend or spend thoughtfully!
1. Spent most of the day with my ill BIL, packed my lunch, snack and water.
2. Even though I had to drive in early rush hour traffic (rare for me!), I made dinner from freezer.
3. Eating out of freezer and pantry to make room for #4 below.
4. We will have family staying with us for Thanksgiving. So, I’ve planned menues for the entire time. And, will cook as much as possible to freeze so I will have time to enjoy our family! Any meals that are a particular success, will get repeated for use during December.
5. We’ll celebrate birthdays with a scratch cake and little gifts I’ve been picking up when I find a treasure. Our son’s family flies here, so gifts need to be small. I hope they have some room for a few extra goodies I have in the gift stash.
6. #5, above, will empty my gift drawer, which will help with our move next year. Once in our new house, I’ll go back to a box for each family, where I keep gifts as I find them. No more hiding a gift anywhere and then not remembering where I put the item.
7. I’m going to our library for some books to read with our grandsons while they are here. Our collection of children’s book is still packed!
8. Using a picture I found online, I’ve made a pattern and am creating gifts for girl friends, using mostly materials from my sewing stash. These are turning out so well, I may make a few more for family!
9. Checking, daily, to snag the best price for an appliance that will never see the inside of a cabinet, because it will be used daily!
10. Using yarn already in my stash to make a baby gift. I know the yarn was on sale when I bought it! It will make a lightweight gift as it will have to be mailed.
I really enjoy finding ways to save without sacrificing quality and value! And, am continuing inspiration here, thank you all! Especially, you, Katy!


Nancy Smith November 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

May I ask what kind of pattern/gift you are making? I want to get into making gifts from thrifted fabrics.


Melissa November 10, 2016 at 6:41 am

… people buy Crown Royal bags? Why?

Serious question, not trying to be snarky. I have just never heard of this before!


tonya parham November 10, 2016 at 7:01 am

I’d buy one…just because it would be good to hold little items like scrabble tiles or buttons or the like. Plus, purple!

Now, I wouldn’t pay a lot, mind you 50 cents or so but still I can imagine if I’d pay 50 cents for them just to hold ephemera, then someone would pay a lot for them.


meg November 10, 2016 at 7:03 am

I use them to put on the stands I use to hold up my trumpet, trombone, etc when I am at rehearsals while I am waiting to play. The inside of the bell won’t get scratched up. They have a nice drawstring that never seems to break so you can tie it on the stand so it stays put. Maybe I’ll check out her sale, since I don’t drink the stuff they can be hard to come by otherwise.


Jill A November 10, 2016 at 7:59 am

I wondered about that too. It’s not something I would have ever thought about selling. Always good to see different ideas.


tonya parham November 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm
Mrs. Picky Pincher November 10, 2016 at 6:54 am

Let’s see; this week:

1. I picked more chiles from our back yard to dry. I also picked oregano, basil, and rosemary to dry and cook with!

2. I sold my old Macbook CD drive on Craigslist for $20, which was awesome! I plan on relisting my other items to see if I can get a bite on them.

3. We’ve been pretty good about eating leftovers and using our freezer meals. We did eat out last night, so that was a frugal fail! Hopefully the rest of the week goes well for our food costs.

4. Mr. Picky Pincher’s birthday party is this weekend. We’re doing a small get-together with friends and family, so the costs shouldn’t be too bad. The theme is “Tinfoil Hats” since he loves aliens/space, so we’ll all be wearing tinfoil on our heads. Should be a good time! 🙂

5. Mr. Picky Pincher is almost done installing our tile backsplash. He just needs to do the grouting and he’ll be done! We’ve saved probably several hundred dollars with him doing the backsplash, so that’s a win!


Mand01 November 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Honestly the best theme party idea I’ve ever heard. Next year we are planning two big parties- I might have to steal that one if you don’t mind!


tonya parham November 10, 2016 at 7:12 am

1. I rejoined Sam’s Club (I wish we had a costco) but waited three months between expiration and getting a new (cheaper) deal off Groupon. I love salads and spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers are nicely priced there. As are mushrooms, hummus, and maple syrup.

2. I’ve switched over to water from soda. I haven’t had a pop in a week except yesterday I did have one.

3. I am making a concerted effort to use only washable kitchen towels.

4. Am having our weekly writer’s group tonight. Free entertainment!

5. Went to see Dr Strange and went to the matinee and didn’t get any popcorn or coke.

Mine aren’t very exciting….oh well….OH– I did find a baby blanket at the movie theater and brought it home for the cats to lay on.


BJS November 11, 2016 at 8:17 am

#2 — Great job! I’m trying to do this too (with both soda and iced tea) and it’s sooo much easier said than done!


Mimi November 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

1 walked to pick up my daughter from school
2 listed some items on eBay
3 ate leftover thai soup for dinner
4 gathered old books for a book exchange night at my daughters school
5 gave some salad dressing to a friend in a recycled bottle


Juhli November 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

1. Raking leaves seems to be a theme – 8 barrels full so far this week. The neighbor’s gardener stopped to chat with me and said that I sure was saving a lot of money over the season by doing it myself. Note he was here to do our neighbors LOL.
2. DH and I both ate leftovers for lunch today. Almost always lunch at home/brought to work.
3. Grocery shopped on Sr. 5% discount day as I try to do and scored some great sale items too. DH has been driving to Target to buy the special floss he uses and I noticed it was in stock and very much on sale at the grocery store. Got a coupon for $1.50 off on the next 2 bought so will be back for more and hope they still are on sale.
That is it for today.


Brenda November 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

1-brought my lunch today and yesterday- and they were both very good! Can’t always say that!
2-wrote an incredibly great review of my self for the year- hard to do but have gotten better each year. I really wish management would review everyone but we each do our own then discuss with them, so if you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will! A couple hours at home doing it when I had peace and quiet, so thinking my raise will be decent this year.
3-found 11 cents on the ground and picked it up.
4- I earned some recognition points at work , they have a catalog of things to choose from- now need to see if there is anything I want- or my family would like for Christmas gifts- for free!!
5-choosing benefits at work this week too. Keeping what we have as it has been great- daughter broke her arm and had 2 surgeries last year and what we paid was minimal compared to actual costs. Very thankful, and making sure everything needed is submitted.


JD November 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

We had a big frugal fail yesterday — my husband had an appointment at 9 a.m. in a city 60 miles away, and I had one at 2:30 p.m. in the same city — and I couldn’t miss the morning’s work to go with him. He drove the efficient car there and came back, then I drove it there and came back. In our defense, the 9:00 appt. had been made a year before, just after his cancer treatments finished, and they didn’t call to remind us until 3 p.m. of the day before this appointment. He needed to go, and his doctor was booked for weeks if he missed this. I tried to change mine to another time, but nothing else was available this week or next, and since I had to go to get checked for new contacts and I’m on my last pair of my old ones, I couldn’t put it off until the following month.
1. On the good side, we neither of us ate out while in the big city, so one frugal thing about it.
2. Today my husband sold the cans we collected. We find them everywhere and add them to ours. People throw their trash out the car window so badly around here!
3. I used Swagbucks and a discount code to order a Christmas gift. Even with shipping, I paid 40% off the total that I would have.
4. We were so tired last night after staying up way too late on Tuesday night and then driving to doctors’ appointments and going to work the next day. I didn’t pick up anything to eat, though; we found enough leftovers to put together a meal.
5. It finally cooled off last night after several days in the mid-80’s F. We added a blanket to the bed and kept the heat off. It will be in the 70’s today, so the house will warm up enough.


Katherine from AL November 10, 2016 at 10:51 am

1. Finally sorted through the Halloween candy. Stored all the good stuff in the freezer for Christmas stockings. Still have plenty left over for the kids to enjoy a small piece after dinner.
2. My birthday was Saturday so my husband replicated my favorite restaurant meal, made depression cake, and painted some trim on the house for me. It was a great day!
3. Picked up a 6pk of men’s boot socks from the thrift store. I will add lace trim and gift these to the teen girls in the family.
4. Added extra quilts to all the beds instead of using the heat at night.
5. Watching our energy usage carefully. In light of recent events we have vowed to pay utilities for a needy family in our town. We will do so anonymously and throughout the holiday and winter months, maybe longer. Every person deserves care, compassion and respect and this is the most beneficial way I can think to protest racism and hate.


Madeline Kasian November 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm

1. Girlfriend I had not seen in a while wanted to “meet and go out for coffee.” I invited her to my house where we drank home brewed coffee for pennies, I heard all about her recent vacation, and we sat outside by my pool=free entertainment and no one minded that we spent 2 hours!!

2. I made up a pot of chicken and noodles for supper at home tonight,son coming to dinner. We’ll watch a movie as a family and catch up–no fancy restaurants.

3. Date with husband tomorrow: Free Bike ride through our local Riparian Park then the happy hour special at a local restaurant, appetizers half price. Portions large enough for dinner.

4. Lots of free entertainment onto the calendar for the next two weeks: Free art walk in Chandler, free multi-cultural concert in Tempe, free lecture on life after a lightning strike, at our local Unity Church , almost-free Gong sound healing evening also at Unity.

5. LOTS of Free entertainment this week, on Facebook, the election, you know!!


chris November 10, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Lol. Facebook has been unusually interesting!


janine November 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

1. Am eating for two – myself and my depression over the election. Am stopping this behavior which will save $$.
2. Clearance center coupon came in flyer – found great bargains and enjoyed 50% off too. Negative was the long lines – others were buying substantially more than I was, but two traditional Xmas sweaters have been purchased.
3. Free events planned for this weekend – one is an energy fair and offers free snacks and the other is a political meeting – also free except for everyone responsible for purchasing their own drinks and food if desired. I will volunteer for the first get-together.
4. Husband is raking our gigantic large yard full of leaves himself – some will go into the compost.
5. Am scheduling free holiday concert for December.


susannah November 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm

1. My old cell phone was not holding a charge well – two days on standby rather than the usual two weeks. And of course, the battery was not replaceable. Googled it and found a possible fix that just required allowing the battery to full drain down twice – not hard when the battery is draining and shutting off in 2 days, right? Well it seems to have worked! I’m at 5 days on this battery charge, with 81% still left on the charge.
2. After realizing that several of the ingredients I’d planned to use in next week’s meals would not survive that long, I switched up the menu plan and we’ll have those meals this week. I absolutely hate to waste food.
3. When we finally took the shower caddy we’d purchased a month ago out of the box earlier this week,we found two pieces were missing. One we didn’t need, the other was an “it would be nice to have” thing. Of course, this was the one receipt I couldn’t locate. Contacted the company that manufactured it, since it was new in box. They’re sending the missing part and we should have it next week.
4. Used a cash card from a rebate to buy the next batch of supplies we needed for our (never ending) bathroom/bedroom remodel. Door trim, floor trim, two colors of stain, paint, painters tape, and molding for zero out of pocket. And there’s still money left on the cash card.
5. Found a nickel. Finding any cash is a rarity in my area – unlike when we lived in the “big city” and parking meters/parking pay stations were very fertile hunting grounds for dropped coins.


Stephanie November 10, 2016 at 5:23 pm

1. We are still raking our own leaves, which costs us nothing, gives us some exercise, and helps us appreciate nature.
2. We’ve put our first installment of “semi-compost” into a trench we’ve dug in one of our raised beds. I hope it works its magic over the coming months. We also dug trenches into our other raised beds so that we can bury other semi-composted waste over winter. I discovered we’re using too much food waste, so we’re mixing in some leaves. This is an experiment.
3. In my seemingly never ending quest to eat down the pantry/freezer, I made Alton Brown’s taco potion, using marked down ground turkey from the freezer instead of beef, stretched with ½ cup of pink lentils from the pantry that I cooked in stock I had previously used. And continuing this quest, I now have ONLY FOUR TINS OF CANNED TOMATOES, after making a big batch of salsa, which I have frozen. I mentioned earlier pickling kale stems with homemade pickled hot cherry peppers, and I finally used some in cole slaw. I finally finished the almond meal left by my husband’s apartment tenant, most recently in butterscotch almond cake. I have to say trying to use this ingredient has increased my respect for it. I made some tasty and moist vegan cookies with almond meal.
4. We saw the movie Testament of Youth for free at the public library. Very interesting and well made, with an outstanding performance by Alicia Vikander. Don’t see it if you are in the mood for a comedy.
5. Frugal fail: I bought some nice looking corn tortillas at a local market, and kept them in a cupboard. They turned moldy! The upside is that we could compost them.


Deb November 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Because I am deplorable , I would like to be “unsubscribed” from your blog posts at your earliest possible covenience. Obviously you have no interest in my opinions and ideas and you are so bigoted that I have no interest in yours.


rebecca November 10, 2016 at 6:58 pm

1. Free coffee at work yesterday before I held office hours.
2. Was invited to friends’ for dinner tonight. Delicious and came home with leftovers.
3. Grocery shopped for some staples at Aldi today.
4. I have a potential new client.
5. Found a quarter in the parking lot.


Practical Parsimony November 10, 2016 at 11:51 pm

1–washed clothes in cold water
2–dried clothes on the line or in house
3–the ac and heat are off even though I am cold.
4–did not drive two days this week.
5–bought a $5 LED bulb for $1 since someone brought it back to Lowe’s
6–fed my hen scraps (oats, chicken, and salad) and she gave me an egg


LisaC November 11, 2016 at 5:26 am

1. Was going to decline a birthday dinner outing at a restaurant, instead, I stopped by, drank water, enjoyed conversation with friends, and left early. It was over my budget to stay and eat, but she texted me to say thank you for stopping by. Hope she felt the love anyway.
2. Used my free Restoration Hardware gift card (Verizon points) to buy twinkly lights for our porch. Wanted the lights, and couldn’t afford anything else on their website.
3. Reviewing all bills with DH this weekend to see if there’s anywhere to trim.
4. Got 3 very nice, new looking brand name sweaters from GW to wear to work.
5. Haven’t turned on the heat yet. Using natural gas fireplace in the evening, gas is the cheapest energy where I live.


Sheila November 11, 2016 at 7:58 am

1. Washed in cold water using the quick cycle and hung clothes dry. It’s been unseasonably hot in San Diego so we continue to take advantage of not using the dryer.
2. Met some friends for lunch and we all brought our own. Frugal and fun
3. Need new tires for my car and my dh shopped the best price/quality.
4. Met a friend for lunch at her place instead of going out. We do this regularly at each other’s homes and it’s much more fun and definitely a frugal win.
5. I’ve been amending the soil in one area of our garden by digging in some compost. Have a big tumbler of compost and need to use it more! Trying to decide what to plant there. Have been not buying new plants this year but using cuttings of what we have.


Janet November 11, 2016 at 8:40 am

1. Just finished grouting the kitchen tile that I installed myself.
2. Added to our compost pile.
3. Cutting my own dogs nails.
4. Using a water filter, not bottled water.
5. Went to the library for a book I want to read. I had to order it as simeone else got it first 🙂


lisa November 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Where did you buy the crown royal bags?


Katy November 12, 2016 at 6:48 pm



Madeline Kasian November 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

1. A day at the Desert Botanical Garden,leading tours and talking with people form all over the world made me happy today.

2. Watching West World on TV.. Wow, what a series!!

3. I was happy to take a simple 40 minute walk with my husband this evening after supper, and know we are doing pretty good with our nightly walk commitment!

4. It made me happy to read about your rol win labor and delivery,Katy, as I retired form L and D nursing and it brings back great memories.

5. Having the donald moving into my White House is pissing me off bad.


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