Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 2, 2017 · 106 comments

  1. My son independently went though his room and decided to get rid of a large number of clothing and books. (Seriously, so much stuff!) Together we donated at Goodwill and then wandered the store without buying a single thing.
  2. Wednesday is my birthday, so I’ve been planning my own Birthday Day of Adventures which will be fun for the family without breaking the bank. My husband already knows not to buy any gifts for me, which is exactly what I want. Experiences over stuff, people. Experiences over stuff.
  3. I listed a compost aerator on my local Buy Nothing Group yesterday, which is now living at the home of someone who will actually use it. (We dump our compost into the yard debris can, which gets a curbside pickup.) I love this group, it’s so great to put my unused stuff into the hands of people who will use it. Conversely, it’s been wonderful for sourcing the occasional odds and ends that I need.
  4. We stopped by the Eastside Voodoo Donuts location to pick up our monthly free dozen donuts for December. (It was a gift to my father which he then handed over.) The plan had been to share with neighbors, but that didn’t exactly happen with both guys home from college.
  5. I’ve been giving my crock pot a workout, and have made three recent meals from dried beans to keep our grocery budget under control. Split pea soup, baked beans and black bean chili have graced our table. It’s amazing how many meals can be made from a single leftover ham!

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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{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 2, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Mmm, Voodoo Donuts!

We made a big donation trip and we have a second one planned for the end of the month if none of the clothes we’ve listed for sale go. We also found a company that recycles textiles so we can dispose of clothes that have been worn entirely out and aren’t any good for donation. This was all a great reminder not to buy anything but what we really need.


Bee January 3, 2017 at 4:24 am

I would love to have the info on the company that recycles textiles. Would you share?


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Check this site ( for drop-off locations. They say they take “clothes, shoes and household textiles that are ready to be re-worn, reused or recycled”. In the SF area, these folks also recycle textiles:


Tonya Parham January 2, 2017 at 11:27 pm

1. Am eating down the pantry. Only spent half my house money last week.

2. Made Indian food at home and had friends over last night.

3. Library books! Also, am reading all The Harry Potter books aloud with the missus. The fifth book had tiny type so I looked to see if it were even available on Amazon–turns out, all 7 are available with the prime library!

4. Haven’t left the house since Friday so no money spent!

5. Stayed in with my missus on NYE and played Yahtzee and read Tammy Eliot aloud. (Nerd love.)


Tonya Parham January 2, 2017 at 11:28 pm

T. S. Eliot….damned auto correct!


Bee January 3, 2017 at 4:32 am

I love to have books read aloud to me and to read them aloud. When I travel, I do this instead of audio books. Poetry … How wonderful!


Mand01 January 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm

FYI Katy, there seems to be some sort of spam attached to your site – when I read your posts I get an ‘Apple Rewards’ spam. It must be your site because it only happens when I click through to your site. It opens a new window and I have to shut down and reopen. Is anyone else getting this nuisance?

1. We went to visit my in laws. They are rarely around as they travel around the country in a caravan (always have, before grey nomads and tiny homes were a thing). They were nearby so we went to see them. We took the kids strawberry and cherry picking and had lunch with the in laws. It was cheap and frugal fun and the kids loved it. You could eat all the fruit you wanted as you were picking so my kids loved that.
2. I came home and made strawberry ice cream from milk about to be past it’s use by date and some fresh strawberries. It tastes amazing. As my husband said, “it makes store bought ice cream tastes like acid dirt”
I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s pretty great. It does have less sugar, but it is time consuming.
3. I cut up the rest of the meat from the Christmas ham and froze it , along with the bone, for later. It’s far too hot to make soup right now.
4. We are having carrots, beers as onions from our garden for dinner tonight.
5. My eldest daughter and I went to a thrift store today and I got newish Australian made designer label clothing for about 10% of their new value. I just paw through till I find the labels I am after. I found four pieces. Score!


Frugal In The Valley January 3, 2017 at 1:16 am

I get them spam thing too 🙁


Denise January 4, 2017 at 12:24 am

“…beers as onions…”??


Mand01 January 4, 2017 at 1:39 am

Gah, autocorrect!
Beets and onions


Denise January 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

Would not have got that one!


Frugal In The Valley January 3, 2017 at 1:15 am

Using leftovers for tea.

Using my herbs from the garden to make a cup of tea.

Doing the sniff test on dirty clothes and giving them another day to be worn.

Only drinking tap water, no pop.

Missing a meal having stuffed ourselves earlier.


IsabelI January 3, 2017 at 1:53 am

I get those spam things too!
Went to shops today,p! Spent $5 in one shop and got $10 in rewards that I had earned and $5 from a Scratchie ticket I had been given! Don’t buy them for myself!
Went to another shop and bought a new top using my seniors discount and a gift card I had been given! My outlay $11
Laughing such a cheap shopping day! The $5 for the magazine had come out of my change jar!
I shop for food once a week and use salads for the first two meals while they are the freshest, make meals and cook two meals at a time for the rest of week mainly. Have very little or no waste this way! Have been enriching potting mix in a large pot with veg. Cuttings!
Not perfect but good in my own way!
All best wishes to you lovely people for 2017! Keep safe!


Mrs. Picky Pincher January 3, 2017 at 3:13 am

Happy early birthday!

This week:

1. The phone repair place has had my phone for three weeks and last night they finally said it wasn’t fixable. So after shelling out $140, they’re buying me a new phone since they messed up. I’m getting a $400 phone for $140, so that’s not too shabby. 🙂

2. Yesterday I baked two loaves of ciabatta bread and a loaf of wheat three-seed bread–all with ingredients we had on hand.

3. We ate freezer meals yesterday instead of going out to eat.

4. I used our homemade laundry soap to do laundry.

5. All of our meals this week are based on our pantry stock, so we should dave a good chunk of change this week on food while avoiding waste.


Denise January 4, 2017 at 12:27 am

Mrs P P

Was it you who made Ciabatta the Hutt? If so, how are they turning out, size-wise, these days?


Kate January 3, 2017 at 5:07 am

1 – My 14-year-old son is doing a geometry project and found that both compasses we had were broken. Knowing full well that he would never use one again after this year, I had my daughter message a friend in our neighborhood who had one he could borrow. My first instinct was to drive him over, but then realized there was no reason he couldn’t walk, so he did. Free compass and a little exercise and fresh air.
2 – I’m thawing out a chunk of turkey from a while back to make soup with the veggies I bought at our small local discount produce shop.
3 – I returned most of the presents I got for Christmas. Other than the rubber boots that were too small I realized the rest was all just stuff I didn’t need.
4 – During a second round of returning things yesterday I was driving right by our Goodwill. I live in a relatively small town with a rather low standard of living so expecting to find good stuff all the time at thrift shops is unrealistic. I do drop by and do a quick run-through of certain areas and yesterday lucked upon a brand new pair of Hollister jeans for my skinny-and-getting-taller-by-the-week son. $5.49 and they’re only an inch too big in the waist. That’s what belts are for! Oh, and no returns at our Goodwill, so you have to make really sure you want what you buy!
5 – My daughter and her boyfriend want to watch all the Harry Potter movies and were on #3 yesterday, but the library wasn’t open. She texted the same neighborhood friend who gave us the compass and I stopped by to pick it up on the way out to run errands. I’ll have my son walk it back this afternoon to get a little more air and sunshine. Since my daughter did a lot of driving to and from tennis team last fall for this friend I don’t feel too bad about borrowing two things in one week. 🙂


Bee January 3, 2017 at 5:16 am

Happy New Year!!! I am starting off the year frugally. Here are my FFT:
1) When doing near-by errands, I have been riding my new Christmas bike. Good for me… Good for my bank account … Good for the environment.
2) I have been planning meals to use up the odds and ends around the house. I made a loaf of GF banana bread with overripe bananas. I used the ham bone to make black-eyed peas for New Years Day. Dinner was smoked salmon – a hostess gift –on salad. Of course, breakfast is salmon, bagels, and leftover cream cheese. Lunches are leftovers from the night before.
3) I have listed several items on eBay.
4) During the holiday weekend, entertainment included long walks, beach time, and reading.
5) I went to a wonderful estate sale last week and found some things that were needed. I bought my daughter a beautiful pair of lined red leather gloves for $3 and a vintage silk slip with tags dated 1952 for $2. I also bought some beautiful old storage jars $10 and like-new Le Creuset frying pan and pot $20.


lauren January 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm

The gloves and Le Creuset sound wonderful, what fabulous finds!


Mand01 January 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm

The Le Creuset is a great find!
About 15 years ago my FIL was at an estate sale and found an entire set of Le Creuset cookware for $20. He decided not to buy it as he didn’t have room for it, and just bought the little tiny pan for making sauce. A week later he visited and told us about it, bringing the pan to show us. ‘Oh!’ he says, ‘I guess you could have used the set!’
Every time I think about it I want to cry!! $20!!!


Bee January 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

It is fabulous cookware. I cannot imagine passing on a set at that price. I buy it secondhand when I see it. I think I would have cried too!


Tracy January 3, 2017 at 5:33 am

1. Bought one chicken on sale and made two meals so far (5 of us right now) plus have meat and stock left for chicken and dumplings this week.
2. No money spent on entertainment this long holiday weekend. Watched Netflix movies, played board games, cleaned house, cooked, took down Christmas stuff, walked with friends, did a few hours of work.
3. Packed food for breakfast all week plus lunch today to take to work.
4. Got library app (free) on my phone, reading a free e-book.
5. Washed and ironed my own “holiday” table cloth instead of sending to laundry, saved $ (linens are always surprisingly expensive to have laundered/ironed, but after ironing myself, I see why — it took quite awhile! Worth it though).


Jill January 3, 2017 at 5:38 am

1. My youngest daughter moved to Korea in the fall. We have been saving our credit card miles for a very long time (we don’t use our credit card much) and were able to pay $70 for 2 flights to Seoul using miles.Whoopee!
2. We cut down our Christmas tree from a local tree farm every year. Took it up to be recycled yesterday. Our town recycles them and you can pick up free mulch in the spring. Which we will do.
3.My MIL’s birthday was New Years Eve. We had a wedding to attend out of town and weren’t able to visit her – she is in a nursing home. She can’t really use any typical gifts so I used a coupon code and free shipping to send her flowers. A bit of a waste of money usually but something she will really enjoy looking at for a few weeks.
4.My youngest niece is pregnant and lives on the west coast – everyone else in our family is on the east coast. All the females are flying to San Diego to shower her next weekend. I put in a fare alert and we watched and waited. When the fare got to it’s very lowest we swooped in and made reservations. We will have a family weekend and see her new house. She is using hotel points to put us up as they are still in the moving process
5. Been eating at home, came in under budget for holiday shopping, my husband sold his old bike on Craigslist and my daughter just found out she got a scholarship for her grad school classes – which doesn’t affect my finances but is really good news 🙂


CarolineRSA January 3, 2017 at 6:20 am

Flowers for a lady in a nursing home, who doesn’t need or want stuff? I call that a frugal win!


Jennifer January 3, 2017 at 6:21 am

I haven’t posted five frugal things for awhile, for various reasons, but I’m gonna give it go now….Happy New Year, to all!
1. I was too lazy to slice my leftover ham from Christmas but I didn’t want to waste it so I basically cut it into large chunks. I wrapped the chunks and the bone in separate peices so I could use them in several batches of beans or soup.
2. Yesterday, I made a large batch of white beans and ham in my crockpot. We ate some last night and I put up several meal sized servings in the freezer.
3. I have stayed home with the kids for five days. Yesterday, we ate a baked spaghetti from 5-12-16 that I got out of freezer. Easy, filling, and delicious.
4. I still have my Christmas tree up. One of my kids was gone a lot over Christmas so she deserved a few extra days of holiday. My tree is obviously not a real tree so I able to leave it up. Not frugal but enjoyable.
5. My older daughter is pregnant. Her doctor put her on bed rest for preeclampsia. She and her husband struggle financially so she hasn’t been able to come up with a nursery. I have a white cabinet I repaired/painted and her nanna is getting some baskets to go inside to function as a dresser. I am putting the babies initials in an old frame I had and I painted an old curtain rod for the room. My mom has perfect curtains that were my grandma’s before she died. I did buy a crib set but I paid $26 for a 4 peice set and it will be able to be used for a toddler bed also. I also purchased a new crib for $100. I have been looking for a used crib for awhile and everytime I found one it was either sold already or they were asking much more than I wanted to pay. This crib is a convertible and comes with all the peices necessary to convert in the box( most do not). I know that a nursery is not necessary for the baby but I was happy to be able to do this for them.


Bee January 3, 2017 at 7:30 am

What a wonderful gift for your older daughter! My mother helped me with my first nursery too. I hope all will be well in the end. Sending positive thought and prayers your way.


jennifer January 4, 2017 at 6:40 am

Thank you so much!!!


Jill A January 3, 2017 at 6:37 am

1. Went to a matinee movie with my Mom and girls yesterday. It was the more expensive theater so not as frugal as I would have liked.
2. Ate all meals at home yesterday. Made a chicken pot pie with chicken I cooked in the crockpot last week. We’ve already eaten one meal out of it on mashed potatoes. Still have one small meal left of chicken my youngest will eat it with noodles, and almost half a pie. That will take care of tonights dinner.
3. My husband and I decided to buy the Ancestry DNA test with Christmas money given to us from his parents. Ordered it through Amazon Prime, so free shipping.
4. Going grocery shopping today to refill my pantry. I haven’t shopped for much food lately. I have two bags of pop cans to return and a pharmacy reward that I can use. I’m clipping some online coupons. I will make a trip to Meijer and one to Aldi to get the best deals.
5. Doing laundry this week. I do laundry every other week and hang it to dry. This saves us propane which is very expensive.


JD January 3, 2017 at 7:16 am

Jill, I think you’ll enjoy the Ancestry DNA. My husband and I got some funny surprises from our tests that absolutely delighted some members of the extended family and horrified others, which just showed us who really is okay with mixing the races and who isn’t. Just be prepared that some of your family might not enjoy what you find!


Roberta January 3, 2017 at 9:34 pm

My nephew (who is adopted) found a full sibling through ancestry. When we saw his picture, it was amazing how similar they looked! Really a blessing, as he has always longed for “someone to look like him.”


Bettypants January 3, 2017 at 6:41 am

1. My biggest resolution is to continue to declutter and stop buying extra things we don’t need. Although I don’t buy much new, I have a hard time passing up “good deals” on FB sale sites, ebay, and yard sales. I will be more discerning and keep edging towards minimalism!
2. I listed 5 new items on ebay yesterday.
3. Posted a handful of items on the FB sale boards and have meets set up tomorrow for three items. Have interest on 2 large items that need to be picked up here. Fingers crossed those pan out.
4. Packed up three big bags to drop off at Salvation Army, as I will be in that area tomorrow morning. I am going to try to fill a fourth today.
5. My husband had two trashed down jackets (small holes + busted zippers). I stitched them into the right shape for our wicker dog bed. The down is warmer than the blanket we had, easier to clean, lightweight and the dogs LOVE it.


janine January 3, 2017 at 7:06 am

#5 – good idea! We were thinking of making a dog bed from old clothes, but this seems to be a perfect solution. Wonder if we have any old down-type jackets hiding in plain sight? Will have to check the attic.


Bettypants January 3, 2017 at 8:07 am

Thanks! I just stitched the front and back straight through so it was double thick and wouldn’t shift around. Then curved the arms around and stitched those to make the “sides”. It fits in the basket perfectly. I like that the dog fur slides right off with a shake, for cleaning.


janine January 3, 2017 at 7:01 am

Happy Birthday and many more!
1. Staying home – keep thinking this heavy cold will disappear and then I have a relapse – this saves $$, but its hard to take credit for inability to get out.
2. Reading the comments of others, I remembered that I have a ham bone in the freezer which I will turn into soup in the crock pot today. Also have a chicken carcass that I will freeze for later use.
3. Moved exercise bike into bedroom – hopefully this will result in a morning ride, instead of being stored in another room.
4. Our environmental group has asked us to journal about climate change this year – got a diary/calendar for Christmas and am beginning this exercise.
4. Hopefully beginning NY’s resolution of cleaning and straightening up one room per week. No cost and probably find stuff to donate.


Gina in KY January 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

Your environmental group sounds interesting! Is it like a book club with discussions?


janine January 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm

It is the Science and Environmental Network. They have sponsored a number of meetings and conferences. Next month they will sponsor a potluck/working session in Minneapolis and we were asked to keep a spiritual and political journal of our experiences and reflections. They are known as the Women’s Congress for Future Generations.


JD January 3, 2017 at 7:31 am

Happy birthday Katy!
1. Like a lot of you, I used the ham bone from Christmas, to season our obligatory New Year’s black-eyed peas.
2. I have jeans hanging on my upstairs bannister right now, to get that last dampness out of them after washing. It may look like the Clampetts live at my house, but I don’t care.
3. I fixed the lace on a moccasin-type house shoe. It had broken and the shoe was coming apart.
4. I pruned the grape vines and made another grapevine wreath. I will probably give it to a daughter, but I may use it myself. I made my current wreath probably 10 years ago.
5. I bought greens for New Year’s day from a local gardener who was selling them. I paid $1 a bundle, and he gave me big bundles. I’ll have to put some of the greens in the freezer, even though I only bought 2 bundles.


Laura January 3, 2017 at 11:06 am

I use my upstairs bannister to dry my quilt covers – hot air rises and they dry flat and straight. I am happy to channel my “inner Clampett” 🙂


A. Marie January 3, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Amy Dacyczyn of Tightwad Gazette fame once wrote that after a family trashpicking expedition, their car looked “like the Beverly Hillbillies on the move.” And I fling stuff over the upstairs bannister to finish drying more days than not. Glad to find that so many of us remember the Clampetts fondly.


Denise January 4, 2017 at 12:39 am

Me too! I have airers that they will hang over as well, but they are all in storage till I move out of my sister’s house and into my new apartment next Monday. But the apartment has an internal staircase so I’ll still be able to do this.


jennifer January 4, 2017 at 6:46 am

I didn’t leave my house for 5 days so the only ” greens” I had to accompany my peas and pork was breaded okra. Hope that counts! These traditional foods are so interesting. I noticed this morning at the grocery store there was small prime rib marked down to $76!!!! Now I know why my family never ate prime rib for Christmas dinner like I see on all the cooking shows.


susanna d January 3, 2017 at 7:32 am

I love the Birthday Day of Adventures ideas. I also love giving and receiving experience gifts. While I remember a few of material gifts I’ve received, I remember in great detail the amazing adventure ones. Started doing experience gifts for my grandson last year – a year later, he still talks about the day at the aviation museum. Never had that happen with material gifts.

1. Received a couple of “bonus” chuck roasts with our last half side of beef purchase. I didn’t want to use them as roasts, because one was more bone than meat, and the other an interesting lasagna-like roast of meat, fat, bone, meat, fat, bone. My husband cut all the usable meat off both, and I made a big pot of crockpot chili, which will give us four – or most likely, more – meals. I roasted the bones and trimmings and made three quarts of beef broth for the freezer. We love beef barley soup, so there’s the basis for another three meals.
2. Mixed together a couple of bottles of laundry soap. Had way too much unscented, not enough scented. Now I have the right amount of unscented, and a LOT of nice, lightly scented detergent – which I like better than the full scent of the original one.
3. I’d bought several new t-shirts last year – I need the long, tall ones in a smaller size and have had zero luck finding them used. I did use a gift card and bought at 40% off so that wasn’t too bad. My last batch of t-shirts were at least 12 years old – seriously, I have a picture of me wearing one of them that was taken 12 years ago, so I do wear the heck out of them and they usually are in no condition to donate. They do, however, make great paper-towel-substitute rags. The rag box was getting low, so the old t-shirts have been cut up and filled the box quite nicely.
4. Made another batch of bread crumbs from bread heels. I recently started using the immersion blender to do this, and it works really well.
5. Had two entire days of meals from New Years Eve leftovers. Interesting combinations, but tasty – and no food went to waste.


susanna d January 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

And I wish you a very happy, adventurous birthday!


Marybeth January 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

1. Youngest daughter went to the mall with friends yesterday. The other 2 moms offered to drive. She brought a water bottle and snack with her.
2. Made a weeks worth of dog food from food scraps.
3. When my oldest was home for the holiday we went through all of her stuff still here. She took some with her, gave some to youngest daughter, boxed up some to keep here and donated the rest to our church outreach. Very little went in the garbage.
4. Kids went back to school today and brought lunch.
5. Doing laundry and hanging as much as possible on clothes racks.


Bee January 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

In reference to your #3, I have been doing this with my three children who are 25, 27, and 30. I decided that this must be done when cleaning out my in-laws home after they past away. My husband and his 4 siblings had left tons of stuff at his parents house. It was amazing!


Elizabeth January 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

1. Last night I read all of the new Harry Potter book on my library app (loved it!). I also have two other books checked out on there that I’m trying to hurry through before I need to “return” them!
2. Made pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s Day. Had leftovers for dinner last night and will have leftovers for lunch today.
3. My husband and I had a short financial talk yesterday morning about what financial plans we had for the year. It’s good to start off the year with the same financial goals.
4. Have some items to return to three different stores from Christmas. Have them bagged and in my car so that when I am in that area already I can pop in to make the returns without having to make a separate trip just for that.
5. My 13 year old daughter, who loves shopping and clothes, etc, asked for something the other day. After I told her to save money for it she said that she didn’t have any way to do that. And that got me thinking that she was right. We don’t give her an allowance and she’s too young to get a job. So I think I need to develop some sort of an allowance and chore situation. Any suggestions on what has worked for people so far?


Juhli January 3, 2017 at 8:47 am

At about that age I started transitioning both my sons to a clothing allowance. Initially we worked out together how to spend it to make sure they had what they needed and learned to shop in a smart way. By the time they were 15 I just handed over the money several times a year. Exceptions were made for growth spurts when shoes, etc. only lasted a short time and for athletic/sports gear. We also gave them an allowance for spending money and ways to earn money by doing non-routine chores for us.


Barbara January 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

My solution was to to Juhli’s way for a variety of reasons (one of which was that even then I did not regularly carry cash for those last mintue issues.

We sat down with our kids and figured out what they needed for spending (lunches at our schools were great, boy scout dues and camp fees, approximate school things throughout the year and all of that. Things like allowing for one movie with friends and month and so on? THEN I went and sat down and figured what I had spent clothing wise for each kid for one year. We added all up and divided it out by month-in the beginning. There was some negotiating and changing duringthat first year especially. When my kids left Junio high, that allowance changed to semesters for my high school kids (we lived in a place where getting a job was impossible for him, so he never had a chance to earn more than a tiny causal income on his own.


Kym Hopkins January 3, 2017 at 9:53 am

This might be the ideal time to teach laundry skills if she’s not currently doing her own laundry. It is the one household chore I was happy to have my teen girls do on their own; and then I paid them for doing it and they had spending money.


JD January 3, 2017 at 11:14 am

My younger daughter started cleaning all of the house but the master suite, which I preferred to do for myself, when she was in high school, and I paid her for it. I was strict — if she didn’t finish, or skipped portions, she didn’t get full pay, and no do-overs. But, both of my kids got teachers’ assistant jobs at their dance studio by ages 12-13, so they earned a little spending money already, and paying them for routine simple chores like doing the laundry didn’t even occur to me. It might be a good idea for your situation, though. Could your daughter also perhaps pet-sit/walk, tutor a younger student, or baby-sit for a trusted family?


Lindsey January 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm

When we had a teen, a friend also had a teen about the same age. We each paid the other’s teen for doing things like digging up the garden, cleaning and so on. It seemed to work better than paying our own kid for the same things—they learned to work under a different boss besides a parent and somehow they each worked harder for a non-relative than they did for Mom and Dad. It also cut out a lot of that emotional interference that comes from criticizing your own kid’s work—for the kids and for the parents. We did it from the time the kids were 13 until 17, when they each got regular jobs.


Mand01 January 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Our 12 year old has to keep her room tidy every day and it has to be clean by the end of the weekend. We give her a dollar per year per week (so $12 a week) and then I round it up slightly so she gets $25 a fortnight. If she wants more than that, she can earn it by doing additional jobs. For example, watering our enormous front garden = $2.
She is actually very frugal and will save half her money as a matter of course. She is trying to fill a big money tin as a personal challenge- it’s about a foot and a half tall! She saw what a struggle we had buying a house and she wants to start early.
Basically I tell my kids that there are tons of jobs they can do around here to earn money, starting at $1. But I also like them to get pocket money, which I also received as a child, because it teaches them to manage money. If they want something, they have to save for it. They know not to come asking me – my husband and I both get pocket money too, and the same rules apply!


Bethanny January 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I give my thirteen year old daughter $6 a week allowance (will go up a $1 a year from here on out). For this she helps around the house i.e. taking out trash/recycling, washing/drying dishes, vacuuming, sweeping etc. We have a super small yard and I will pay her $3 extra to mow it (takes 20 minutes) or during winter the same for shoveling the front/back steps and sidewalk. I use the snow blower for the super long driveway. In addition when we pet sit/dog walk I give her a $1 from each sit and if we get a tip I give her a portion of that. Per my budget she ends up with around $40 a month some months are less or more. I require her to save half of her money from dog walking which from the last few years we used to save close to $400 towards her 8th grade Washington DC trip, which she and I were both pretty proud of. I pay for her clothes mostly but she helps as grandparents are generous with cash and gift cards (she had six sets and two great grands) – we also use that to save to buy needed clothes, soccer stuff, etc.


Marcia January 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm

When my girls were teens, I gave them a clothing allowance. I made it low enough that they would have to shop sales, etc. They had a spread sheet to record their purchases. They got allowances also, and often put money in from their allowances to buy things. I got to look at the spread sheets on demand. It gave them experience in shopping (from which they learned, so expect a few poor purchases at first) but it really worked pretty well. At first shoes and coats were not included–I still bought those to make sure they had enough $ to buy them. Eventually they bought those also. I was happy with the results of that experiment. It taught them about shopping and budgeting.


Roberta January 3, 2017 at 9:41 pm

We do something really different with our kids. We give them $1 per year each week (my 11 year old gets $11 a week). Of that money, 10% has to go to tithe or charity, half of the remaining goes to savings (college fund or something big like that) and the remaining half goes to spending money. Out of that spending money they have to buy tickets to the school dance, t-shirts from dance class, birthday and Christmas presents and anything else recreational. The monthly outlay for us is high, but it simplifies things a lot, and the kids never ask us to buy them things. They get school clothes and shoes (essentials) but not discretionary stuff.

We’ve been doing this since they learned how to identify money and add/subtract the coins ( 6 years old?) so they’ve had a long time to get used to the ideas.


Roberta January 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

1. Sold two things on ebay! One was a lot of dvds my husband got rid of last week, but one was a lot of vintage 1960s Life magazines I’d had posted for a while. I’m really glad to see them move!
2. Went shopping everywhere yesterday, including Costco, Target, Goodwill and a local discount shop. Returned my things and only bought food.
3. Made dinner loaf (vegetarian meat loaf) or dinner last night, and we have leftovers to make into sandwiches this week.
4. Taking those sandwiches to the zoo with us. We have a membership, so that’s free.
5. Didn’t buy a Lear Jet!


shelia January 3, 2017 at 8:11 am

1. Combining two freezers when we moved means one very full freezer. Pulled what I thought were small packets of beef out only to discover after thawing, it was pork chops. Googled and came up with an excellent recipe for bbq pork using a can of free cola we had and leftover bbq sauce. Unintended pork for New Year’s Day!
2. This weekend cleaned out and rearranged the new utility closet and our closet. Using what we had and repurposing storage items worked! Looks great and both will serve us well.
3. Finally got out my winter clothes and sorted what didn’t fit or wouldn’t work. I’ve called a friend to see if she wants anything but will take whatever is left to Goodwill when I get out later this week.
4. Put away all the Christmas items and will again reuse our gift bags and ribbon for next year. And the next year. And….. I also have plenty of paper for next year.
5. My husband put up the new faux wood blinds the previous owners hadn’t put up and discovered they needed a ‘shim’. He found what he needed in the scrap lumber in the garage. We also found they were short a blind. Last year I had picked up a new in the box Levolor blind really, really cheap at the thrift shop. Same type and color as the ones here. We’ll ask either Lowes or Home Depot to cut it down.
Moving isn’t cheap but reusing what we had has certainly reduced the amount we would have had to spend!
Happy birthday, Katy!


Katy January 3, 2017 at 9:31 am

Thank you!


Nancy from Mass January 3, 2017 at 8:22 am

First, happy birthday to you!

1. went to a local HoneyDew Donuts place that still makes their own donuts (not the frozen ones the other franchises use). had a coupon – got 6 large donuts (had to put them into 2 boxes since they are too big for one) for the price of 3. They were wonderful! hadn’t had donuts in about 2 months.
2. didn’t go anywhere yesterday – even stayed in my jammies all day, knitting.
3. used what we had in the fridge/freezer for all meals
4. posted items on ebay – well, some of them anyway.
5. FINALLY found some larger bowls to replace the 3 I broke within 24 hours months ago. I didn’t want to buy new ones and really wanted to find some used Pfaltzgraf ones – although I would have been happy with any stoneware micro/dishwasher safe ones. I ended up with the winning bid on and they are being shipped to me. 6 bowls (8 1/2″ wide) for $5 plus $11 shipping/handling. and the best part – they ARE Pfaltzgraf!
6. went through my files and separated out the medical bills/tax bills/deductions for 2016 taxes. (we always spend way more than 10% of our income for medical and can deduct the expenses. yay that we get some money back and a major ‘boo’ that we spend so much freakin’ money every year on medical expenses.)


Vickie January 3, 2017 at 8:24 am

1) I was on vacation last week, so I saved gas money and stayed home most days.
2) I used the last dozen chicken tamales I’d bought from the church youth group and made tamale casserole Sunday, which ended up being dinner last night and tonight too.
3) I went shopping at Aldi’s before Christmas and we still have food in the freezer and fridge that will last the rest of the week.
4) I shampooed my living & dining room carpet over the break with the $7 Bissell shampooer I bought a few years back at GW. The carpet looks great, I just need to do that more often.
5) I have a trunk full of donations for the shelter, but I forgot to load a few things so I plan to wait until tomorrow. I’ll be glad to get more stuff out of the house.
Bonus (6) My daughter gave me a huge bag of dried cranberries. The bag she gave me last year, like this one lasted until the end of November 2016. I use them in my morning oatmeal. I am a happy camper!


Vickie January 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Happy Birthday on Wednesday, Katy!!!


Katy January 3, 2017 at 9:26 am

Tuesday thank you!


jennifer January 4, 2017 at 7:08 am

5. Vicki, I was gifted several bags of cranberries a few years ago and I love them too. I was too busy at the time to properly wash and store them so I just threw all the bags in the freezer. I have used them for cooking homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry cakes, waffles, cobblers,etc. They don’t seem to get freezer burn like a lot of other things I have frozen and taste exactly like the fresh ones! So if ever I find a sale on them I just chunk those bags in the freezer and wash them right before I use them.


Vickie January 4, 2017 at 8:20 am

I never thought of freezing them, but they are in a resealable bag and, since they are dried, I guess the natural sugars preserve them – they never went bad. I kept them in the cabinet here at work and threw a handful into my oatmeal every morning. This year, she gave me a large box of raisins too, so I’ll have plenty of dried fruit for my morning oatmeal. YUM!!
I need to experiment with making cranberry muffins. I LOVE baked goods with cranberries. Panera Bread has a 3 berry scone that is wonderful! I treat myself to one of those about every 2-3 months. 🙂


jennifer January 6, 2017 at 7:21 am

Oh sorry, I just realized yours were the dry cranberries! I wouldn’t freeze those either.


Gina in KY January 3, 2017 at 9:21 am

I decided to do this backwards today, enter my 5FTs first, then read all the great accomplishments of you all!

1. It is Day 2 of “No Spend” January. I am doing awful! I had a bad day yesterday with my boys and bought them happy hour shakes at Steak & Shake to turn frowns into smiles. Yes, I know that is consumerism at it’s peak, but it was an exceptionally bad day. Anyway, back on it today and doing good. This also goes with another challenge for the year to only eat or shop at small businesses (yep, strike one on yesterday for this one too).
2. Checked out two holds from the library. Both are on beekeeping (a hobby I did years ago, but am curious about again for our community garden).
3. We dumpster dived this weekend! Found two PS4 posters for the boys at a video game place (they have been bugging me to do this ever since seeing some Youtube videos about it…I finally caved this weekend as I actually enjoy it too). We also hit up a grocery store and was amazed at all the really fresh produce. Some may say it’s gross, but I brought home stuff that was packaged in lots of plastic (apples, pears, kale, mushrooms, blueberries…I’m not kidding, easily $20-30 in food and I only scratched the surface). If you are curious about this topic, I highly recommend the videos by Rob Greenfield ( I think he is a little arrogant, but he makes great points.
4. Wearing the same wrap-around skirt as yesterday. It is not dirty and I need to reduce laundry costs since I no longer have a washer thanks to a frozen pipe early last month. I need to wait until spring to rerun the pipes under the house.
5. I received a COLA raise at work!! I had no idea and it is noticeable for once! This should help Project: Get the F out of Debt this year.


Katy January 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

I love how you’ve titled your project!


Gina in KY January 5, 2017 at 5:42 am

Haha-Thanks! It’s a surprisingly difficult project.


Bee January 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm

There was a great article in “Wired” a few months ago. The individual who wrote the article had some intense tech skills and collected mostly computer-related equipment. Amazing what people — and businesses– throw away!


Bee January 4, 2017 at 4:53 am

This article was in reference to dumpster diving. It helps to complete a thought doesn’t it?


Gina in KY January 5, 2017 at 5:41 am

I think I read that one! And, the guy to the north that Katy interviewed. My kids (all on their own) apparently stumbled upon some YouTube videos and had been begging for months to go.


K D January 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

Happy Birthday Katy!


1. I walked to the grocery store to buy avocados, they were on sale and I had coupons. I paid $1.53 for 6 avocados. I also found a penny and enjoyed a quiet early morning walk.

2. I broke down and had my eyebrows threaded. It had been 2 months and I use to go every 3 weeks.

3. While visiting family over the holiday break we had ordered a Holiday Meal from a grocery store, in an attempt to minimize cooking. The meals was awful so I emailed the store. They offered to refund the money.

4. I realized I had a few credit card points on a credit card that is only used to replenish our EZ-Pass account. Because points expire after a few years I went ahead and ordered a drug store gift card, to avoid losing (any more) points.

5. I’m continuing to read e-books and listen to audio books (via CDs and downloaded to my phone) borrowed from the library.


pattilou January 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

Happy Birthday Katy.
1. I reserved a movie from the library that I could rent from Redbox. I will have to wait to get it but it will be free.
2. Yesterday was my day off and I slept a ton. No money spent and giving my body time to recover from this cold that just won’t go away.
3. After waking from my long winters nap I found I didn’t have all the ingredients for the meal I was planning. Instead of going to the store, which would have required putting presentable clothes on, I just made something different with what I had on hand. I also froze a lot of the left overs for future meals.
4. I also needed to make a cake to bring to work today. I had to change my plan there too because I didn’t have enough cocoa powder. Everything worked fine and everyone is happily enjoying the cake I ended up making.
5. I found some cooked chicken in the freezer that I had forgotten about. I will use that for some lunches this week.

I know this Christmas is just over but winter is the best time for me to begin making gifts for next year. If anyone has any suggestions for homemade gifts, I’d really love to hear them. I can knit (not on a advanced level yet! I did easy scarves this year – knit/purl), cross stitch and I am slowly getting better with a sewing machine. Gifts for the guys are a bigger challenge than the girls.


Nancy January 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I have made pajama pants for the three men in my family. These are easy to make, and they really just wear them to lounge around the house.


Susie's Daughter January 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Anyone a bird lover? We gave my dad a homemade bird house this year. In years past, we have given birdseed “ornaments” for folks who feed the birds in winter.
Also for next gift giving season I am hoping to make “ice” candles and use a glass etching kit to make some personalized glasses/vases. Here’s to starting early! 🙂


Pattilou January 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Thanks for the ideas!


Melinda January 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm

I made both of my boys bow ties (the kind you actually have to tie) this year for Christmas from this pattern ( It is a pretty simple project and both of the boys loved them. My one son has to wear a tie to work and the other likes to occasionally get dressed up……I also taught them how to tie it. They are 16 and 17 years old.


Nancy from Mass January 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

My 17yo loves bow ties too! He has been wearing them for a couple of years now and his friends like them also. i have made ties for them before and it’s funny how teenagers get so excited to have new bow ties to wear!


Roberta January 3, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I made handkerchiefs for my father-in-law this year. I used a fancy stitch on the edge instead of hemming them properly, and they turned out really well. I’ve also knitted socks for my father. They require knitting in the round, but once you join the round, I like it better than flat knitting. All you need is a little grit to get it started, and you can do it from there!


pattilou January 4, 2017 at 6:43 pm



Ella January 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

1. Made chicken soup from the remains of a rotisserie chicken. Saved the bones to make chicken stock later (along with the onion tops.) We used the carrots out of a bag of Costco frozen veggies for the soup; we don’t like these when cooked along with the other veggies as a side, so into the soup they went.
2. Am rescuing a Pyrex measuring cup with worn-off measuring marks by making new marks with nail polish.
3. Resisted the urge to go to Target with friends to buy Christmas clearance items. They were so excited about how cheap everything is, but cheap stuff I don’t need is still stuff I don’t need.
4. Cleaning the house today with rags and homemade cleaners. Throwing the rags in with the regular load of towels, which will hang dry near the heater (which I’ll only be turning on when it gets colder this evening).
5. Am listing some unwanted gifts on ebay. I don’t feel bad about this because they’re from a relative who lives across the country and really doesn’t know me, and the clothes didn’t fit anyway. The items will go to someone who wants them and will use them, and I’ll get cash to buy something I’ll actually use and enjoy (like, say, the new underwear I need, haha.) Many thanks were already given to said relative for their kind gesture. 🙂


Betty Winslow January 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

good idea for the measuring cup – I need to do that!


A. Marie January 3, 2017 at 2:22 pm

(1) Happy birthday, Katy, and many frugal returns!

(2) I just saw Katy’s Instagram photo of her accumulated change for the Found Change Challenge; impressive! My 2016 found money totals are only $17.01 for actual hard currency (Katy’s Coinstar machine must be better than mine), but $324.10 for NY State deposit cans and bottles collected off the streets.

(3) DH lost his credit card yesterday–which wouldn’t count as a Frugal Thing ordinarily, but (a) no one had found it and charged anything on it before we reported the card missing; and (b) we’re going to be on a cash-only basis till our new cards arrive (we have only one shared CC account). It’s not as if we go out on the town charging the thing to the hilt regularly, but not having the cards handy is an additional incentive for frugality.

(4) In common with many others, we had ham (from our annual 1/2 pig, in our case) for New Year’s dinner, along with braised kale (from the still productive plants in my otherwise frozen garden) and cornbread. Despite being a TN native, I never have liked black-eyed peas. (But don’t ever try putting sugar in my cornbread.)

(5) Just ran Bestest Neighbors to the airport for their annual London theatre trip. They will bring us English teas (Whittards of Chelsea) in return.


Susie's Daughter January 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

A. Marie! Way to go on the returnable totals from #2! My goal was $52 for the year (2016) and you are inspiring me to step it up for ’17. One nickel at a time…


Denise January 4, 2017 at 11:35 pm

Best tea in the UK remains Twining’s, which you can get in the US too – I acknowledge an interest in this, as I work for the company which owns Twining’s but we buy better quality tea than anyone else, according to the tea buyers. That’s a great job by the way: it’s like becoming a Master of Wine. They spend years in the tea growing regions of the world, can distinguish not only which country and individual tea plantation a tea comes from, but what altitude the tea was grown at and at what direction the terrace was facing.

Interestingly, they only use fresh water (every time, to maintain optimal oxygen content) boiled to 100 degrees exactly and always in a stove top copper kettle.

Anyway, tea lesson over!


Mand01 January 5, 2017 at 12:14 am

I usually only buy Twinings tea – except just recently when I have started to purchase T2 leaf tea. That is really lovely as well.
In Twinings I love the Irish Breakfast and the English Breakfast.


Cindy in the South I January 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Super Happy Early Birthday Katy!!!!
1. Brought my lunch of beans and greens to work. I also used a glass jar to transport it, so I am trying to be zero waste. I also brought water in a thermos.
2. Walked before work for exercise.
3. Turned the heat off at the house. It is in the 60’s today. I will have to turn it back on when it gets dark but it did save power for the day.
4. No money, no shopping, no problem….lol.
5. I made breakfast at home, and will be making dinner at home.


Bethanny January 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

1. Just returned from a trip to the library with a half dozen library books on training a puppy and DD checked out several books as well. Also going to go to the free seminar advertised on tv for next weekend at the Pet Smart stores and get their puppy guide. Just planning on buying a crate, pee pads and collar.

2. Batched our errands today (movie, deposit holiday checks, Aldi, orthodontist appt, library), and even Googled the closest credit union to where we were at at the time to make a deposit to prevent ATM fees and save on mileage. Unfortunately the ATM was down but googled the next closest one, perks of living in the city there were several choices in a mile radius.

3. Took DD to see Sing at the matinee time saving a few bucks on each ticket. New Years resolution is to join the movie theater club, I keep on forgetting until I get to the theater and then I remember!!!! we just don’t go that often.

4. DD gave me candy as part of my Christmas gift, put some in my purse for the movie so we wouldn’t have to pay big fees. I did spurge on a small drink and popcorn and did make sure and got the free refill on each.

5. Watching This is Us through the NBC app. It let me watch three and then yesterday it told me I could sign up for three more free views, not sure how I will get the last 3 or 4 shows in. 🙁 We don’t have OnDemand and the app asks who our local provider is i.e. cable which we don’t have.

6. Sent a reminder to the company I pet sit for I was not paid for the sits I had done within the 7 day window they promise. Also billed them yesterday for nine more sits over the New years holiday. It was rough getting up early and going late at night to check on the animals but the nice thing is for holidays I earn an extra $3 per visit holiday pay, win win since i don;t go out for new years.

7.Frugal fails – I have to confess I made a turkey yesterday and after getting every little bit of meat off of it I threw the carcass away, gasp! I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I also turned the ham bone down my parents wanted to give me to take home at Christmas because I couldn’t deal with that either, no room in the freezer or fridge. I also had to throw some veggies away that went bad.


jennifer January 4, 2017 at 7:22 am

7. I try my best to make sure I don’t waste either but sometimes I just get overwhelmed. My kids and I made gingerbread houses for Christmas that they want to keep ..FOREVER! After accidentally knocking one off the coffee table for the umpteenth time causing bits of every candy confection type imaginable all over my floor, I told the kids they would now be a fun dog or squirrel treat and chunked them outside. Don’t worry pet lovers, all said confections were pet friendly. Well, I guess I didn’t waste after all.


jodi January 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I just discovered “This is Us” too and am loving it!!


Lazyretirementgirl January 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

7. That happens to me sometimes too, with food scraps, or rags or stuff I could salvage and it is just.too.much.


Denise January 4, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Best tea in the UK remains Twining’s, which you can get in the US too – I acknowledge an interest in this, as I work for the company which owns Twining’s but we buy better quality tea than anyone else, according to the tea buyers. That’s a great job by the way: it’s like becoming a Master of Wine. They spend years in the tea growing regions of the world, can distinguish not only which country and individual tea plantation a tea comes from, but what altitude the tea was grown at and at what direction the terrace was facing.

Interestingly, they only use fresh water (every time, to maintain optimal oxygen content) boiled to 100 degrees exactly and always in a stove top copper kettle.

Anyway, tea lesson over!


Denise January 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Bethany (sorry about odd tea post – it popped up twice!)

Best book on dog training I have ever found is by Pamela Dennison, an American trainer who uses only kind, rewards based training methods, and explains why they work. If your books talk about you as the “pack alpha” and establishing dominance over your dog, they are out of date and based on faulty and often unkind canine behavioural science. Book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Positive Dog Training.

Good luck. I am so jealous!


BJS January 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

1. Leftovers, leftovers, and more leftovers!

2. My family stayed in for New Year’s Eve, as usual. This year, though, we were surprised when people in our neighborhood set off a beautiful fireworks display. Free entertainment right outside our front door.

3. I’ve been walking more. The older I get, the more I hear and read that exercise staves off a multitude of (potentially costly) health issues.

4. I cut my hair. I fully understand that this doesn’t work for many people, so am thankful that I can get away with it.

5. I’ve made two entries (checking and savings account balances) so far in my 12/31/16 money chart. This is a spreadsheet that I’ve kept since 12/31/94 that tracks how much money I have, quarterly. It helps me see the big picture, and is motivating when I feel like I’m not making progress or saving enough.


Bee January 3, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Hurray for spreadsheets! It helps to know where you stand.


kathleen January 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

1. Making an eternity scarf for a friend from supplies on hand.
2. I am racking up no-spend days like nobody’s business, because…
3. …I still haven’t replaced my car.
4. Gave up a $65 a month habit.
5. Cooking from fridge and freezer.

Happy Birthday, Katy!


Denise January 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Got to ask: what $65 habit??


Susie's Daughter January 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

This is mostly the kitchen round up edition of FFT…

1) Renters from New Years left a ton of groceries – including unopened packages of pork chops, organic cauliflower, and bag salad. We brought home what we could use -our fridge is at capacity as are freezers – and then offered our neighbors the remainder. They are coming off a period of un +/- underemployment and have embraced “waste not, want not” wholeheartedly.

2) Used apples (see above) to make 4 individual apple crisps. Used leftover baby carrots (which seem to have multiplied like bunnies since Christmas) and a couple of sad small potatoes mixed with leftover turkey gravy plus water to make what I called “creamy carrot soup”. Pureed it in the blender with some celery bits from the freezer and had it for dinner with pork chops (see above). Soup was not bad – and it counts for a veggie serving!

3) Copied my blank weekly menu planners to cover thru the end of Feb. After a grocery trip later this week, I am trying to only spend $45 for next 45 days in the grocery category for dairy, OJ and eggs. We will see how it goes…

4) Started my “rehoming” challenge with my sister in law by sending a box of hand me downs home with friends for their Godson. 28 items on the books.

5) Frugal fail turned happy ending today – I had bought some pet meds and supplies online through Drs Foster and Smith on Cyber Monday and gotten a $50 e-gift card once I reached a certain amount. I tried to use it this weekend and realized it had expired within 30 day of issue. Very bummed. I called them today and the lovely customer service rep was able to apply a $50 credit to my account as a courtesy! I was thrilled and used it on the phone with her to place the next order for our dog’s regular medication. Woo hoo for good customer service!


Debbie January 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

1. Ordered a gift card for my son’s upcoming birthday using my Pampers rewards points. Have a lot saved up from our diapering days (now over!) and not much that I want to redeem from their rewards.
2. Batched errands and bought mainly food staples (milk, fruit, veggies). Very hard, but refrained from buying discounted Christmas chocolate as we’re trying to be healthier this year.
3. Borrowed books from the library and put an audiobook my husband wanted on reserve. One fail: I got an email notice from the library that a DVD I put on hold had come in…after I had already been there today! It will have to wait until I go next week.
4. Gave my husband leftovers for lunch at work instead of him buying lunch.
5. Will go back to packing school lunches and biking with the kids to/from school tomorrow.


Betty Winslow January 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Happy birthday, Katy!

1. Husband and I have been fighting colds, so we did not go out to eat for his birthday on the 30th and we didn’t have people over for NYE. Unintentional NCA, but it still counts, right?
2. Eating leftovers all week, plus the soups hubby stocked up on last time I was sick, that never got eaten, means emptier cabinets and a fuller purse!
3. Forgot today was a teacher in-service that I was not required to attend, so got up and dressed and drove to work. Boo. But since I was out, I went to the library to return the books I had in the car and made a bank run. The rest of the day I spent working on making some jewelry and organizing my jewelry studio.
4. The huge snowflakes I usually hang from our porch eaves broke this year and I waited until Hobby Lobby had everything 80% off to buy something to replace them – bright gold bells trimmed with greenery and ribbons. Turns out hubby never did like the snowflakes, so it was a win-win!
5. Used our ham bone to make 15 bean soup – no black eyed peas in the house and since I’d been sick, I didn’t make it to the store for them. Oh, well, it’s just a tradition, not a magic spell…. Added diced potatoes and a little bit of shredded ham for flavor and thickening. Yum!!


Michele January 3, 2017 at 5:23 pm

1. Almost made my goal of 600 a month for groceries in the year 2016. Ended up at 620, but I feel pretty good about it, as that includes pet food and health and beauty. We have our own beef, so that helps!
2. Have been using my home made powdered laundry soap with good results.
3. Have 2 crockpots going. One with taco soup and the other with Aldi chicken thighs. Will shred chicken and use the broth to make chicken soup- so two meals.
4. Packing my lunch every day.
5. Working near an Aldi on Thursday, so putting off shopping until then.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones January 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm

We are having slow cooker Boston Baked Beans ourselves this week, with a side of homemade beer bread. I’ve been playing around on Swagbucks enough over the 2 week winter break that I earned a $25 gift card right before Christmas and another $25 today.


Katherine in AL January 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm

1. Received a free 2017 calender and t-shirt in the mail today.
2. Completed a class action lawsuit postcard I received and dropped it back in the mail while out running errands. I complete these every time I receive one and while it’s not fast money a check in the mail is always nice.
3. Cleaned out my closet today. Found $1 in change and some things to list on Craigslist. I plan to purge the paperwork tomorrow. Not fun but less clutter.
4. I took the children to see Rogue One yesterday. They paid for their own tickets and popcorn with Christmas money. The last time we saw a movie in a theater was when The Force Awakens was released! We went to the earliest showing, got good seats and fresh popcorn. It was a real treat!
5. I’m setting lofty savings goals for 2017 so I need to get creative in menu planning and utility bill reduction as these are our two biggest expenses.


Kim in MD January 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm

1. I’ve sold 10 items on Amazon in the past 7 days, including a book for $50!
2. Found a penny on the floor at the grocery store on the 1/1. Starting the new found $ tally for 2017! I also found a ponytail elastic and picked up a soda can in the parking lot. I take our aluminum cans to the recycling place that pays cash rather than using curbside recycle.
3. Made a big pot of pasta sauce with markdown Laura’s lean beef. Yummy dinner and lots for future meals.
4. I’m taking my son back to college this weekend. My mom wants to go with me so we’ll take her car, since it’s brand new and gets better mpg than mine. Made reservations through to get great rate on hotel.
5. Picked up Christmas candy at Target 70% off. M&Ms, Rolos and Kisses that I use in baking so I stock up after holidays when I can get them really cheap. Also bought 2 Nautica gift sets 75% off at Rite Aid. Used Plenti points so no OOP and gifts for my sons for next Christmas.


rebecca January 3, 2017 at 7:26 pm

1. My sister took me out for lunch yesterday.
2. Ate leftovers for dinner.
3. Keeping the heat at 63 degrees
4. Hosted a girls game night and we all brought holiday leftovers, gift basket goodies and I baked brownies from ingredients I had on hand.
5. Reading library books. I love the library so much!!


Amanda January 4, 2017 at 5:59 am

1. Got a $25 statement credit on a credit card I’m planning to close, so I bought exactly $25 in gas. That should get us through the week, which means that our January gas budget is still at zero.
2. I’m in fridge and freezer clean out mode, which will hopefully result in a lower grocery bill over the next couple weeks.
3. Cleaned out a drawer in the bathroom and finally threw out the makeup I haven’t worn in a decade. Also found a bottle of fragrance free body wash I bathed the kids with.
4. I have two houses, so I have two bikes, and both were purchased on Craigslist. My weekend bike had gotten ragged, so I brought it to town, and took it to my bike mechanic, who specializes in used parts. Everything is broken on this bike. Everything. He says it will be tops $40. My husband jokes that I could take him a metal cube, and $50 later it would be a working bike.
5. Bought tea from target online. Target seems to be the cheapest place to buy king author flour and twinnings tea. I order online because the delivery is free, keeping me from having to drive to target or be subjected to the sights and smells of all that future goodwill junk.


KJD509 January 4, 2017 at 1:23 pm

1) In spite of SO MUCH SPENDING on crises these past few days – broken cars, stuck travelers, etc. – we did not have to just abandon anyone or anything (tempting though it was to leave the car on the side of the road, perhaps with curse words written in the dirt on its sides), thanks to having been frugalish over the holidays.
2) Saved on a dentist visit by reading the tube of toothpaste a little more closely and discovering that my teeth hurt because I was using super-whitening toothpaste, not the sensitive teeth I usually use in a tube of similar size and color.
3) Really did write that tuition check for the college student. It was both painful and exhilirating to do it without a loan.
4) Fondue for NYE – expensive, but nothing like either a meal out or the Dungeness crab we sometimes choose – and it seized. We ate it anyway, and I’m using the leftovers in casseroles. It’s surprisingly delicious.
5) Didn’t buy a Lear jet, but probably could have for what we spent on car repairs . . .


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