Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 3, 2017 · 112 comments

  1. It’s apparently reseller season at Casa Wolk-Stanley, because I’ve been doing very well this past week with my eBay and Craigslist sales. I sold three items from my previously dormant eBay listings. (A pair of boots I got for free, a toy from the house and a cool throw blanket from Goodwill.) I sold a vintage office office chair that I’d fixed up, and then I sold the free garage sale leftover Yamika rack component pieces. The best part about the Yakima rack parts is that I simply took them into a local business that specializes in used racks and they gave me $74. Plus, my friend Lise handed me another part that she’d unsuccessfully tried to give away for free and they gave me $20 for it! Money for me, money for her . . . woohoo!

  2. My sisters, niece and I drove to the beach for the day and although we did stop for a splurge of a lunch, our dinner was a perfect Mexican food cart meal that cost a grand total of $20 for the five of us! Seriously, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory, almost worth the 2-1/2 hour drive just to eat it again!

  3. My sister, niece and I drove to the Mount St Helen’s Johnston Ridge Observatory which was awe inspiring. I can’t believe that I’ve lived so close to this recently active volcano without taking the time to get up close and personal. We did pay $12.50 for entry to the visitor’s center along the way, which I would not repeat, but now I know better for future trips. (I learned afterwards that the cool Forest Learning Center along the way is free.) Heads up all future house guests, you will be visiting Mount St. Helens! It’s hard to capture the magnitude of Mt. St. Helens in photographic form, so I added some perspective in the above photo. Day trips are a great way to feel like you’re on vacation without the associated travel expenses. I love day trips!

  4. I picked up the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer from the library, as I’ve been in withdrawal since it left Netflix in April, I’ve been eating raspberries from the garden, we’ve been eating leftovers from a huge out of control kegger work party my husband threw at the house, I worked all weekend and of course I drank the free crappy coffee and the free lovely tea.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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


{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

tonya July 3, 2017 at 8:54 am

Hunkering down with frugal habits this long, holiday weekend:

1) I baked banana bread and pumpkin bread with ingredients on hand. We love treats and hopefully this will make it easier to resist the allure of Sonic!
2) Meal plan for the week includes frittata, otherwise known as, “use up all the tiny scraps of food”.
3) Listed a couple of items on our Nextdoor classifieds. We’ll see what happens.
4) Deep cleaning my disgusting house with cleaning supplies on hand.
5) Decluttering clothing.


Shevaun July 3, 2017 at 10:18 am

We must have the same cookbook! I also cook “use up stuff in the fridge” frittata!
My SIL decided to go green and so gave me all her chemical based cleaning supplies. We are *finally* finished using them up! Now back to our homemade and better cleaner: into a spray bottle, one healthy squirt of dishsoap, one inch of rubbing alcohol, up to half with white vinegar, then fill with water.


tonya July 3, 2017 at 10:38 am

Great, frugal minds think alike!


Beth July 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Sonic, my teen daughter tries to lure me there because they have half off shakes after 8 pm in our area, two smalls run $3.50 ish. I think to myself I could get ice cream at the store for $2.00 on sale and get several servings out of it vs. theur shakes BUT they are so yummy!


tonya July 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

I agree, Sonic is delicious and the happy hour and half price deals are pretty good!


Phyllis July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Hi Katy, Can you share the local business that buys rack components? We have an entire system that we need to move. Thanks much!


Katy July 3, 2017 at 9:29 am

It’s called “ReRack,” and it’s at 2240 N.E. Sandy Blvd.


Phil July 3, 2017 at 9:03 am

Which Mexican food cart? Was it in Newberg?


Katy July 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

No, it was in Tillamook, pretty close to the cheese factory. West side of 101.


Tracy July 4, 2017 at 6:26 am

So glad for this tip, in Manzanita right now! Love the Tillamook Goodwill right near there!


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:04 am

I passed that Goodwill, yet somehow resisted its siren song.


Marilyn July 3, 2017 at 9:17 am

Yes indeed, the Mt. St. Helens’ visitors’ centers are worth the price of admission. I have been taking visitors there for the 30 years that we’ve lived in SW Washington. Everyone has found it fascinating. And for me, it’s been so amazing to see how the landscape has recovered over the years.


tia July 3, 2017 at 9:20 am

1.broke the shoulder strap to my purse and found a replacement at goodwill for a buck.
2.while at goodwill bought a 90 cent pima cotton tshirt, like brand new.
3. bought some 10 cent recent magazine at goodwill, with the usable coupons inside i made money. i’ll return the mags to the store so they can sell them again.
4. my buying food with little or no packaging is going great. there is hardly anything in the trash can!!!
5. my attemps to make my own stuffs without packaging is questionable. made a small batch of shampoo and used it. hahahahahahahaha. will keep trying.


Julie July 3, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Have you tried going shampoo free? Baking soda as shampoo and cider vinegar as conditioner?

For the first 1-2 weeks, your hair totally loses it’s s”*&$, and gets insane oily. But then, it is amazing and silken and shampoo-commercial perfect from then on.

It’s super cheap and uses safe stuff you probably keep around.


tia July 4, 2017 at 10:41 am

Thanks Julie,
I tried your suggestion last night. I color my hair so it may not work, “woke up this morning” and my hair had a personality all its own.


Jill A July 3, 2017 at 9:34 am

Thanks for the heads up on Mt St Helens. We’ll be visiting Portland next month.

1. My husband has a four day weekend and my daughter is off two of those days. Saturday we went to the farmers market, cheap movie theater and picked up some delicious but inexpensive subs for dinner. Afterwards we had a bonfire and swam in the pool together.
2. Yesterday we spent nothing. My brother has access to a hangar next to the airfield that is holding a airshow/balloon festival. We got in for free, free parking and I brought a cooler full of drinks and sandwiches. The airshow was amazing and we had a great view of it all. The F-22’s were parked right next door. Dinner was ribs my husband smoked in the morning.
3. Today we went to Costco to pick up some meat to smoke for tomorrow. I also picked up some cheap avocados, organic spinach, Costco brand allergy meds and some other good stuff. We got gas there. I picked up TP for my Mom. She has a Sam’s Club membership and I have Costco so we share. My daughters bought a cheap frozen drink but my husband and I skipped the food. We had some free samples instead.
4. Tonight we are going to the fireworks show in my Mom’s town. If we can’t see it from her house, we’ll walk up and sit in the grass at the school. No admission charge. We’ll eat leftover ribs for dinner.
5. Tomorrow we’ll smoke some brisket and fry some potatoes. My Mom, Brother and In-laws will bring salads, etc. We’ll have a relaxing frugal potluck dinner with them.


MommaL July 3, 2017 at 9:48 am

1. Made a dinner with a friend’s leftover fresh grilled tuna, her salad mix, her Mattammaskeet sweet onions, another friend gave me cherry tomatoes, and a guest left soft tortillas and homemade yum yum sauce. Four free fresh tuna tacos, thanks to my friends’ abundance and generosity!
2. Cleaned out a hall closet by pulling EVERYTHING out, filled five shopping bags for GW donation, threw out expired cold and pain meds, put everything back, used cute bins I’d inherited, and now I can find everything in that closet. I have enough batteries and vacuum cleaner bags to last a year.
3. DH hosed off an old dusty giant wreath my DSIL gave to me a while back and I didn’t know what to do with it. It cleaned up so well, so I took a burlap bow off of a gift, and got out my hot glue gun and a bucket of shells I’d collected over the years. A few hours later, I have a beautiful wreath for my screened in porch. For free.
4. Listening to Pandora while floating in the pool. Sleeping in. Relaxing on one of my days off.
5. Went to celebrate a friend’s bday at a local outdoor restaurant/bar with free outdoor live music. Ate dinner ahead of time, shared an app with DH and got a glass of wine. I noticed several of my friends did the same thing, though some bought dinner. Frugality is contagious.

ICKY frugal: I have sold women’s shoes on ebay for a long time, mostly professional, leather, good condition. This week I got a message from a buyer asking me to photograph the shoes being worn. I then discovered that there are men who buy very used women’s shoes just to get turned on looking at the photos of them being worn and ….ew. When my current inventory is gone, I’m not selling shoes anymore. Apparently this is a lucrative business, selling old shoes with foot photos to men. Not for me though. I’m going to stick to household items and books from now on.


Julie July 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

This probably isn’t healthy, but if a shoe is beyond salvation (no repairable) I would rather have someone perving on a shoe than have it immediately in a landfill. There just needs to be some “you never see me in the shoe” caveat.

I realize my threshold for gross may be way too high. Blame 13 years in hard news in a major metropolitan area. After awhile, nothing fazes you.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:12 am

Pervy frugality for the win?


MommaL July 4, 2017 at 9:16 am

haha I’m not selling photos of my feet. Too weird for this gal. I’d rather turn the shoe into a dog chew toy. 🙂


Lauren July 5, 2017 at 4:16 am

Don’t know if your threshold is too high because my first thought was hmm could I make a side business out of that? Ha!


Bellen July 3, 2017 at 9:54 am

Getting ready for a 1 week visit from 2 grandkids ages 15 (girl) and 10 (boy).
1. Bought 3 games, a 1000 pc puzzle and a new multi-puzzle activity book at thrift store for $3. Afternoons are usually stormy here in SW FL.
2. Have planned to visit 5 of our favorite local parks, all free, all offer different things to do and will do to one so-called must see, the “Shell Factory”, that can be free or cost us $30 if we do activities. Mostly it’s just a giant gift shop with multiple displays of shells, sea life, local artifacts and taxidermy local wildlife.
3. Planned meals around already have foods, reduced for clearance breads, hamburger and Dollar Tree foods – frozen individual pizzas, 18 ct eggs, 4 ct ice cream treats. Don’t want leftovers of foods we don’t eat.
4. Had to go to a walk-in clinic, instead of the emergency room, that is part of the system my primary care belongs to. Saved lots of time by not having to fill out forms – it was all in the computer system. And no hassle with insurance as they had all that info and will just bill me if needed.
5. Did not renew subscription to Acorn TV. Only saves $5/mo but we have Amazon Prime, Hulu and a Roku box – more than enough choices of stuff to watch.


YouWilliamB July 3, 2017 at 10:14 am

1. To deal with summertime traffic, I’ve been listening to audiobooks. From the library or borrowed from friends, natch.

2. Keeping an eye out at work for interesting foods that people leave out for others. Today’s haul was hamburger and hot dog buns. I took one package of each, leaving plenty for others.

3. Today’s lunch was a PB sandwich made from the jar of PB I keep at work and a lightly toasted hamburger bun. I don’t buy squishy white bread so this was a real treat for me.

4. One of the many events of my busy weekend was a $29 intro seminar to a new martial art. I saved a few bucks by buying my ticket at the dojo rather than going through an on-line ticket seller ($3 “convenience fee”? What definition of “convenience” are you using?!?).

5. I also set the stage for saving money in the future – if I do join this dojo, the owner will give me the same deal that he gave people who signed up today. It Never Hurts To Ask! The dojo fees come with a gym membership, too.

Bonus: Mitigated Spendiness: While buying lunch, I asked if the chain offers a discount for a group I’m a member of. It does – a whopping 50%. It Never Hurts To Ask strikes again!


BJS July 3, 2017 at 11:51 am

2. That’s generous of your coworkers! How lovely.

Is there a difference between WilliamB and YouWilliamB? 🙂


WilliamB July 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Nope, and I have no idea how I managed that typo.

Re #2: I think it’s cool. The break room has become a dumping ground for consumables that people don’t want, such as division lunch leftovers or Easter candy. Or foodstuffs we make deliberately to share. Most things get taken pretty quickly.


Julie July 3, 2017 at 4:47 pm

My company has community (company-bought) peanut butter, in addition to coffee, tea, and cocoa or lemonade, depending on the season.

How awesome is that? So you could just bring bread. It the tolls you found. ☺️

We had one bad apple who was sticking his finger in the jar, but he is gone now.

A manager tried to stop buying PB (citing hygiene fears) but the company founder said that if they had free PB in the office 40 years ago, they were not going to stop, despite having 190 more employees now. So sweet.


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Where I work (food service department in a hospital), we used to have what everyone referred to as “the free store” – basically, any food item they wanted to share with anyone who was interested. We had a chef manager who would put out pre-packaged items that had just expired that day, items received in error (after proper credit had been arranged), etc. People would also share homemade cookies and the like. I once scored a HUGE bag of Dutch processed cocoa that had expired. Unfortunately, management has since changed, and the free store is no more. I hate to think of the foods and ingredients being tossed.

K D July 3, 2017 at 10:18 am

1. Today I am wearing a shirt that belonged to my daughter’s friend and my daughter is wearing shorts that belong to the same friend.

2. I took about 14 months worth of found money to the Coinstar and I had found over $50 in the past 14 months (my sweet husband always brings me what he finds. This total was boosted by the finding of some bills (which is unusual). I opted for a gift card code so paid no fee to Coinstar.

3. I am currently product testing dishwasher detergent and shampoo. So free product (they usually send a lot more than you need) and I’ll earn points towards airline miles when I complete the online surveys.

4. I am doing a bit of stocking up at the grocery store during the holiday sales.

5. I paid $2.009/gallon for gas at SAM’S Club. I dislike all the gas guzzlers I’m seeing on the road. The low gas price just means that we can save and give more.


Lindsey July 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Not all gas guzzlers are unnecessary. We were parked at Safeway and the woman who’d parked next to us came over and said sarcastically, “Thanks for polluting the air for the rest of us by driving a van.” My husband quickly pushed a button and the door opened to reveal the wheelchair inside and he said, “Believe me, if my wife could give this up in exchange for driving a tiny car, she would.” (I have a disorder that causes muscle weakness that comes and goes. On bad days I cannot walk, hence the chair.) The woman didn’t say anything else.


Shevaun July 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Someone said something similar to DH and I when we were in our 12 passenger van (btw, bought for $500 at an auction). At the time, we had 2 adults, 1 teenager, 2 toddlers (one our own, one a niece) in carseats, 2 babies (one ours, one another niece) in carseats, 2 dogs, two strollers, a travel crib, and groceries and luggage for a week. Some people are just ignorant. Breathe and forgive.


Mia July 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Good for your husband. I wish I could have seen the look on the woman’s face.


Julie July 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I am sorry you must use a wheelchair, but I love that your husband told her off. That it was polite is even better.

I hate gas guzzlers, but I do check for handicapped plates and the sticker of the company that does most mobility mods to vehicles before hating on them (silently).

What I don’t stay silent on I’d folks who illegally parked in the area next to the handicapped spot, the striped part for the lift. A coworker did it. I called her out and told her to move her car. She said she left the actual spot free. I explained what the stripes were for. She rolled her eyes, got back in, and told me that wheelchair users ever come here anyway…as our new intern pulled in her van with the lift for her wheelchair. Beautiful timing.


Susan July 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm

AWESOME! A great reminder not to judge. I love the mantra, “I know nothing” as a reminder that we don’t know anything about the lives of others and their struggles or reality.


dawnelle July 4, 2017 at 7:45 am

Thank you. I also drive a Suburban since I’m single with 7 kids, not a lot of options. You never know the situation.


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Yes. Yay to your husband for politely but firmly letting that woman know your basic circumstances. I have learned over the years that it’s easy to judge someone else – but you never know what they are dealing with in their life. It could be something not readily apparent, so best to give them the benefit of the doubt.


VanessaKC July 4, 2017 at 7:37 am

An improperly maintained high mpg vehicle can pollute just as much, perhaps more, than a properly maintained guzzler.


Edith July 3, 2017 at 10:21 am

Hey All!

4 day Holiday weekend!

1) Did a frugal stay cation this weekend in Portland: Biked along the Esplanande on Saturday, took the bus to Multnomah Falls and hiked to the top on Sunday. Both days I packed lunch – a luxurious homemade Chinese chopped salad mixed with udon noodles and topped with smoked salmon, a mango and plenty of iced tea. Not bad at all!

2) I will be washing and re-oiling my bike and the chains. Much needed!

3) Found summer tops in a almost forgotten bag, so I just need a couple of shorts for the summer and I am set. Shorts I will be getting from GoodWill. Dug out all the old sandals for work and lounging about the house. Bought cute sandals for $20 for going to work this summer.

4) Was invited to a block cookout, so will be bringing soda and beer- I am the new kid on the block, after all!

5) Re-up my Costco Membership. I have found the convenience of shopping at Costco beats running about on my bike for ‘deals”at this or other place. The cost comes down to $1.15/week for discounted stuff hat I need- even if I only buy 4-5 times a year. Plus, since I eat a lot of veggies and fruits, including green smoothies, that works out for budget eating.


tonya July 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Edith, I just reupped my Costco membership today and I agree, it’s well worth it! I filled the car with $1.95/gallon gas and stocked up on coffee, soymilk, and a 24 pack of LaCroix for $7.80!!


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 5:21 pm

We use the heck out of our Costco membership. Last year, hubs and I both bought prescription eyeglasses & sunglasses, as well as a set of 4 new Bridgestone tires for my car – all very much needed, and way cheaper than anywhere else. In addition to buying gas, food, etc all year long.


Edith July 4, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Oh yes- the glasses alone are worth the membership!


Shevaun July 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

1. Found a Noah’s Ark Advent sculpture thingy at Amvets for $8. Nearly all the animals are missing, but we’ll fill the little doors with chocolate. Similar quality pieces were $150-200 new when DH and I were looking, so I’m pretty happy.
2. Noah did manage to save one zebra and one sheep from the great flood. So now DD has two new friends for her dollhouse.
3. DD’s dollhouse was found at Amvets for $2. It’s a Melissa and Doug castle, but didn’t have any people or furniture inside. Now, though, it has a zebra and a sheep…
4. Found little doll-blanks at craft store–they are little wood bodies with heads, but no faces/clothes/etc. Got big, medium, and small ones, 15 in total, for total of $4. DD is loving them in her dollhouse, DS is trying to eat them, and momma is feeling like a Waldorf wonderwoman.
5. DH and I have finally firmly decided to homeschool DD and DS and D?. Organized hs is several years away, but I’m enjoying walking around my house finding curriculum materials and books all over the place. Stuff that I would just call a “toy” is apparently a “manipulative.” Who’da thunk?


Shevaun July 3, 2017 at 10:31 am

*And concerning #1, I’m looking forward to explaining to the kids that Noah is preparing for Baby Jesus and that Santa likes zebras. What any of that has to do with chocolate I’m still working out…


Mary W July 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

Lol, your description is hilarious. Maybe you can say the three Kings brought chocolate with their other gifts to the Christ Child, haha.


Shevaun July 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

During our church’s Christmas pageant, there are always three kings and a donkey. The kings bring gold, frankinscence, and myhrr. And the donkey always brings diapers and wipes. No matter how many times I see the kids put on the pageant, I always laugh my guts out. Frugal and practical.


A. Marie July 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Shevaun: Your church rocks.

Sandy July 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

My proudest NCA achievement! I repaired a hole, about the size of my hand, in drywall! I’m a good diyer, but, had never done this before. Between my husband and I, we can do many repairs around the house. We’ve been renting for 2 1/2 years, so not many diy activities. I’d forgotten the satisfaction from doing it ourself!
We’ll have grandchildren visiting for a week, so, I’m planning easy meals and kid friendly snacks for their stay.
The grands have asked for a visit to a museum they visited last year. We’re going to invest in a grandparents pass to reduce cost of admission plus, we’ll use it again later in the year when the other grands visit! Experience gift–the gift that pays for itself!


MommaL July 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

Sandy, I’d love that. My kids ask me for a family pass as a Christmas gift, and I add on the guests so I can go too when I visit.


Beth July 3, 2017 at 10:52 am

1. Reviewed 4 grocery ads and compared to the list of what we needed and who had what the cheapest. Used coupons, went online and reviewed store coupons for two of the grocery stores, received my free item from Kroger, love me some gummy bears! 🙂

2. Used a coupon for $1.25 to watch Hidden Figures, enjoyed it. Went on Facebook to the Redbox website, requested a promo code. Received a response with a code, got another free movie – we watched Fantastic Beasts, sure miss Harry Potter movies.

3. Did two cat pet sits this weekend, Bengal cats are gorgeous and fun to play with.

4. Going to my parents for a family party, taking a watermelon that was on sale for $2.00. Also going to make No-Bake Cookies to take. Will use items I already have in the house. Wanted to try a new dessert but the cookies should be great and I can make just peanut butter and another batch of peanut butter and chocolate. The secret to a moist, chewy no-bake is using old fashioned oats. Also it won’t heat the house up.

5. Stuck to budget tracking last month and managed to make it through the month without over spending for June, yeah! This month will need to be extra villigent as I am off from my fulltime school job and do not get paid in the summer. Did not access/request medical reimbursements on purpose so I could use the funds to tide us through and also using other sources.

6. Taking the tires to get rotated for free through Discount Tire.

7. Taking DD to the library to pick up books she requested, love when she finds a series she loves and actually puts her phone down!!!


Mary W July 3, 2017 at 10:55 am

Katy, was your trip to the mountain on Thursday and did you stop at the Chevron station at exit 49 around 11ish? I was there and saw someone who looked enough like you that I stared and nearly called, “Katy!”, just to see if she turned around, lol. Then I thought, ” That’s a little creepy to do” , and didn’t.

For future reference, admission is free at the visitors centers up there on May 18th, the anniversary of the blast. Also free on a couple other days during the year, but that’s the easiest one to remember. You can Google the others. 😉


Mary W July 3, 2017 at 11:14 am

I will add one piece of advice. Most of the locals up Spirit Lake Hwy drive a bit over the speed limit whenever possible to make up for getting stuck behind tourists who drive below the speed limit for miles out of an abundance of caution. Please, if you are one of the folks that creep along under the speed limit because you don’t know the road, please, please, pull over and let others through. It’s common courtesy, common sense and very uncommon in most tourist areas! There are very few passing lanes, especially on the first 10 miles, but plenty of wide shoulders. On behalf of the natives, thank you in advance! 😀

I’ll add, when I’m on unfamiliar roads, I also drive a bit slower, and follow my own advice. No offense meant to anyone. We value your visits, but enjoy them more at 55 mph, lol.


BJS July 3, 2017 at 11:15 am

1. While I was waiting to have my oil changed at the repair shop, I charged my cell phone. I had asked a few oil changes ago if it was okay to use the outlets they have on the tables in the waiting room and was told, “Absolutely … that’s what they’re there for.” (A while back I started carrying around an extra phone charger to have at work, etc. and it comes in handy.)

2. My family went on a half-week vacation last week. Gave all my outdoor potted plants – wax begonias – a really good watering right before we went away, and soon after we got home. Although they’re nice and hardy (my kind of plant), I didn’t want to stress them. Also, I turned the air conditioning way down right before we left home.

3. Gas was about 20 cents a gallon cheaper there, so we filled up when we got there and topped off the tank right before we left to come back home.

4. We went to a Walmart there to get bread and a few other things to fix lunches. My son loves Icebreakers (mints), which aren’t frugal in any way, shape, or form. But there they were less than half-price what I pay for them at home, so I bought 10 containers. I’m stocked up on Icebreakers for a while!

5. My family took advantage of the breakfast that was included at the hotel, and my kids also enjoyed the putt-putt golf course and exercise room there. Both the mini golf course and the exercise room were extremely small and scaled-down but there was an element of novelty with both, so they were a treat.


Julie July 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm

If wax begonias are like ruby begonias, they can give you some price of mind, too.

Came home once to find every leaf had fallen off my hardy ruby begonia (a Dumpster rescue years earlier).

Googled it, and it turned out to be a sign if a natural gas leak! Sure enough, our stove was leaking, but not enough to smell it.

So those plants can save your life. ,


Bee July 4, 2017 at 4:00 am

This is an amazing story. I love begonias. Now I feel everyone should have one not only for beauty but for safety. Did you begonia recover?


Mary W July 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

I’m not sure if I have FFT.
1. Our handbell choir performed yesterday for the last time until we resume practicing in mid-August. It went extremely well, and we were treated to a standing ovation and cheers! We worked really hard on a difficult patriotic medley, and it was gratifying to have done well. As I’d nearly overslept and missed breakfast, I really enjoyed the ice cream sundaes that were served afterwards. Ice cream for brunch? Yes, please!
2. On the way home, I stopped by the transfer station, where folks often set out usable items next to the recycling bins. I found 4 molded plastic lawn chairs that appear in good shape other than being filthy, covered with PNW green (algae). I will try the pressure washer on them today. Extra seating is always welcome.
3. I also brought home a blow-up pool toy, called a “Water-Totter”. It doesn’t even appear to have any leaks so far. If it does, I have patch kits on hand. The grandkids will enjoy it, and I can use it for my water aerobics.
4. I’m thawing steaks from the freezer for dinner tomorrow. I bought salad supplies, a watermelon and ice cream last time I went grocery shopping, so with the garage-sale purchased charcoal, I’m set for our Independence Day celebration. Everything was purchased on sale, too.
5. My daughter and I will drive a few miles to local fireworks tomorrow, where we will park at the Grange Hall and watch from the comfort of our vehicle, as the mosquitoes are usually pretty bad. Then we’ll come home and watch the neighbors set off theirs. No crowds and other than a gallon of gas, no expense.

Well, I did have 5! And, of course, we continue to do all the daily frugal things that make it possible to live a wonderful country life and be retired much earlier than I ever thought I’d be able to manage. 🙂


Kim in Maryland July 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm

I realize these are almost all food related but it’s that time of year for those of us that preserve food!
1. Going to a swap at church tonight so have been gathering things to take. Stuff out and will only bring home things that we absolutely need.
2. Picked first blueberries this year from my 2 bushes I put in a few years ago. Also picking blackberries and raspberries from my plants. Mind you it’s only a handful of each a day but snacks from the yard are great!
3. Whole Foods has corn 10¢ an ear through tomorrow. I got 24 ears the other day and we had some for dinner the past 2 nights and I blanched and froze the rest after cutting it off the cob. My $2 thrift store Food Saver came in handy.
I’m going to buy 5 dozen more ears of corn tonight at WF so I can pressure can it tomorrow. The funny thing is I never shop at WF but decided to put the app on my phone so I can check out their loss leaders. That’s how I discovered the corn was at least half the price of all the other stores in the area. I composted the shucks and put the cooled cooking water on my always thirsty hydrangeas.
4. Going to Safeway as I have a JustForU offer for sweet cherries for $1.69/lb. Limit 5 lbs. I also have a $2 off when you buy $8 in produce, so I should be able to get them for $6.45, $1.29 a lb. I’ll go right by on my way home from the swap.
5. Making mint simple syrup with mint from my yard for the first time. There’s a bottled green tea with honey and mint that I treat myself to occasionally. I’m determined to reproduce it at home so this is the first step.
6. I’m also hanging out laundry, sold 2 things on Amazon, found 10¢ and am practicing contentment with what I have.


cathy July 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Mint simple syrup is really easy to make. We use garden-grown mint to make syrup for mint juleps for Kentucky Derby day 🙂


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Great idea about using the WF app to find out about loss leaders….will have to check if Fresh Thyme stores have an app? There’s one close to where I work.


Madeline July 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm

1. Played cards for FOUR HOURS at a friend’s air conditioned fancy shmancy club house attached to her apartment building. (Set my A/C at home at 85 degrees for the day!!) and enjoyed the free keurig coffee they provide. It’s 110 in Phoenix so a nice lazy day is in order. My next door neighbor drove,saved gas.. but it’s only a mile away anyway!

2. Husband is out of town so I am eating out of the refrig and freezer. While in there, have inventoried freezer and will :cook it down” during July.

3. Rest of today and part of tomorrow: Making greeting cards in batches,some to use and some to use as gifts for others at Christmas.I bI make hand decorated bags and fill them with 5 home made greeting cards and gift these to friends for holidays> Have not spent money on a greeting card for years. Have NO NEED for any art supplies..the stash will last me till I am dead, no doubt.

4. Made a month’s meal plans. Meal plans + grocery lists always save money!!

5. Took a dip this morning and will go out again this evening, into my own backyard pool. No expensive “Hotel” vacations this July. They market summer “staycation ” rooms and meal plans for locals, at Az. hotels every summer.We used to spend time doing that when we worked, now,retired, it’s too pricey for our frugality genes.. and the prices have gone WAY UP since we used to do that .


Lindsey July 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I have a friend who makes cards and every single Christmas the present she gives me is a package of 10 cards. I love that gift!


Alison July 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm

1. Sold two tables lamps for $30. Clutter out, money in.
2. Doing errands today, could easily have convinced DH to have a bite out, came home and had lunch instead.
3. Eating my own home grown lettuce. This doesn’t sound like a big deal for most gardeners, but I have never grown it before and it’s on a pot on my deck so super convenient, and delicious!
4. One more week of work and then I’m retired. Not frugal yet, but I anticipate saving money on gas, and workplace expenses like gift giving, etc.
5. Still planting flowers given to me for retirement in trash picked pots.


BJS July 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm

4. Congratulations, Alison — how exciting!


Cindy in the South I July 5, 2017 at 8:38 am

Oh, I so long for the day when I can retire and not starve…lol. Congrats!!!!


Jennifer July 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Question: I have a pair of copper/mica sconces that I want to sell on Craigslist (also in PDX). Very bungalow aesthetic. They retail new for $400. What would you list them at?


Julie July 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

With luck, an expert will weigh in, but know that as soon as they aren’t at the store, they are “used, good condition” to those if us buying.

My mother in law tried to still everything at the three-quarters its retail price. She sells nothing. I tell her to drop the price, and she whines about the original price. Sunk cost theory? Anyway, when it is at a garage sale, people openly mock her for being crazy with her prices while they buy my stuff.

So, moral of the story? Think how much someone will pay for cute used sconces, not how much they retail for, unless you have space and patience.


MommaL July 4, 2017 at 6:55 am

When I sell, I look things up on Ebay under “used” and “sold” and my country. That gives me an idea of what people will pay for it.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:03 am

I look at “Completed Listings,” that way I’m looking not only at what sold, but what didn’t sell. I get a better sense of whether it’s worth listing.

I wrote this, which should help:


Jennifer July 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Thanks all – good tips!


ouvickie July 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Spending a lovely four day weekend at home. It’s been a mixture of sunshine and rain, so it’s cooler than normal.
1) Payday was Friday, so I went to shopping to get monthly supplies and some groceries for the week/two weeks. I don’t have to go back into town out until tomorrow. I spent $45 at Aldi’s and got some great deals. So, lots of good meals at home this weekend.
2) The feed store had $5 off on bags of Blue Buffalo dog food, that’s our brand so I snapped up a 30 lb bag which will last the rest of the month.
3) I stopped at the GW store and finally found a pair of mules that fit comfortably and they look new. Now I can either retire my old ones, or see if they can be resoled as backups. Four new blouses, seriously, one still had the tags on it. Now I can cull a few out of the closet that are looking pretty worn. I have many that are several years old and I wear them constantly, especially to work.
4) Stopped at Sonic to use a coupon I had for a 99 cent large drink – made mine a Cranberry Ice Tea (yum) and got a corn dog, so I wouldn’t be hungry when I went to the grocers.
5) The University gave us a medical insurance holiday at the end of June (which ends our fiscal year), so I had an extra $300 on my check. I hope to add $200 to savings. The University has a free wellness program and they said they saved a lot of money this past year – they self-insure and I have an HSA account, which I love.


Tere July 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Learn how to extreme coupon for free on youtube, print free coupons on and check out hip2save, southern savers and Krazy coupons ladies. Have fun!


Chris July 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

1. Our Aldi’s re-opened after remodeling – bought nothing outside of my normal purchases but so glad it is open again.
2. Returned a new bathing suit that I decided I really wanted but when I look at my 20 year old suit (I don’t swim a lot and it still fits), I decided that it was actually more flattering. Also returned the swim cover up – that again, I really wanted – but mostly had ordered so I could get free shipping.
3. Saw the movie “Big Sick”-loved it! But chose to not upgrade our seats to the balcony or buy a drink/pop/popcorn.
4.Drinking less diet coke and finding that I don’t crave candy/sugar as much – though I do miss my DC.
5.Going to see fireworks at a friends house where we stand on her deck – 14 floors up. No mosquitoes. We all bring something to share – I have some cookies that I made last week.


ouvickie July 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

#3 – Thanks for the movie review. I looked it up and it does sound good!
#4 – I’ve been trying to get away from high carbs and sugary food.
Giving up Dr. Pepper a few years back was one of the best things I did. I’m hoping lowering my carb/sugar intake will get rid of my cravings too. It’s hard!


Jennifer July 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm

1. White washed a wood wall in my livingroom. It looks just like vertical shiplap. The frugal thing about this is the whitewashing technique I used is dirt cheap. Equal parts water to flat paint. It took barely any actual paint for the whole wall.
2. I have been home painting the past couple days so that’s keeping me from spending anything. I avoided the half price sale at the local thrift store. Kinda bummed about that one.
3. I ate toast with eggs from my chickens this morning for breakfast and I ate vegemite toast for my evening meal. Not from Australia but have learned to enjoy vegemite. I purchased a jar online last year. Takes a while to get through a jar as you just use a small scraping per peice of toast. I also like to put some in my brown gravy.
4. Reading a book called ‘While I was gone’ by sue Miller in my spare time for entertainment. It is very suspenseful so far.
5. We are staying home for July 4th. We usually go camping but we have been gone a lot lately so staying home just feels right. We will grill some stuff we already have on hand and just ride right down the road to watch a free local firework show.


Laura July 3, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Oh yes, vegemite is a very frugal spread, a little goes a long way and it really does put “a rose in every cheek”


Roberta July 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm

1. Stopped by the county fair to exchange an item that was defective. We had a couple leftover exhibitor passes, used the free shuttle for parking, and did not buy snacks. We replaced our chair-thingy for $0!
2. I found lots of shelves and a couple sets of shelf brackets in the garage. We will not need to buy supplies for a shelf in my daughter’s room.
3. I went through Pinterest and created a list of Christmas gifts for friends and family, except for the kids. I found a cheese board and knife, new in package, for one of the gifts at Goodwill. Most of the gifts will be consumable, but I will need a few components, like linen for bread bags and glass jars, and preparation will allow me to make gifts economically and low-stress. This year I’m mostly giving food, as I realized that I don’t really enjoy making things that will become clutter.
4. Made lunch at home out of leftovers. I combined some leftover black beans, leftover brown rice and iffy lettuce to make a yummy salad for lunch.
5. Started a half-gallon of suntea on the back porch with yummy Red Rose tea, to help break our soda habit.
Bonus: We’ll be watching a library movie on the back porch tonight. Either Book of Life or Tangled.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:17 am

“This year I’m mostly giving food, as I realized that I don’t really enjoy making things that will become clutter.”

Thank you! It’s so hard to receive handmade gifts that are essentially clutter, as the person put their time and love into the gift. And yet . . . meh.


rebecca July 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thank you! It is so hard to be given a homemade gift that isn’t consumable. It does add to the clutter, as Katy said. A friend used to always give me homemade ornaments. I appreciated her thoughtfulness but I don’t have a tree. I always said thank you but I did think, wow, we should just go get a coffee and have a chat instead! I read an article somewhere that suggested gifts for adults should be
a) consumable
b) an experience
c) a donation
Words I now gift by!


Mand01 July 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Ugh, so true. My mother, bless her, gave me a flamingo garden ornament for my birthday. I absolutely hate it. As in – I couldn’t loathe something more. It also doesn’t even stand up properly. I’m desperate to get rid of the bloody thing.
What I love is to be given really good consumables like tea, coffee, and caramel chocolate or a gift card. I honestly do not want or need anything else. I’m one of those people who actually does appreciate a donation in my name.
I’ve asked my mother to give up gift giving but she loves to do it. Just please, no more garden ornaments!!!


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Omgosh….I feel your pain. My mom loves to shop. I’m a cat lover, so my mom thinks I want all kinds of cat-related. One year, she gave me a matching cat teapot and tea cups – really cutesy, totally not me. (I like tea, but usually have one cup at a time!). I’ve never used it, just basically boxed it back up and shoved it in the basement. It WILL be leaving my home so someone else can enjoy it.

Beth L July 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

1. Dried an abundance of mint leaves for evening tea and cooking uses. Gave a Ball jar full of them to a friend. (Pulverized dried leaves with boiling water and simple syrup if you take sugar) makes a great digestive tea.

2. Picked up my free Halo at Safeway (catalina coupon). On my way in, was able to pick up some items to eat from the clearance half off section (including milk!) and noticed someone left their catalina for Halo. 2 free pints – Happy 4th treats!

3. Picked up a Saturday work shift. Walked to and from work and packed a lunch. Didn’t want to pick up a shift and then spend unnecessary money on transit and food.

4. At said shift, friends saved me their weekend coupons. They don’t use them and I sure will.

5. Waited out two days last week where it was a will it or won’t it rain today. Turns out it would. Saved water and let nature handle it.

Have a happy, fun and safe 4th!


Kim in MD July 4, 2017 at 7:20 am

Beth, there’s also a $1 rebate for the Halo ice cream on Ibotta. You can redeem 2 offers so your free ice cream could be a $2 money maker.


Beth L July 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

One more! I had a cup of coffee that was a day or two old. Used it in my brownie mix. It definitely added a little extra richness.


yvette from down under July 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Winter down under
1 today started with -5 and frost, so I am using up every stick of firewood to keep warm and lots of clothing layers, knee rugs, UG boots.
2 made minestrone soup to use over next few days whilst weather is so cold
3 having a ‘no spend month’ as lots of bills arrive this time of year and have no paid work at the moment. All fridge and freezer food, pantry stores and vege garden produce will be used up, hopefully can survive with walking everywhere using umbrella and boots
4 power bill is too high and prices went up AGAIN on July 1st. I have it down to minimum use so can’t see where else I can save except to turn it off at the meter!! Still need it to run fridge and one light, have insulation, gap fillers under doors, draft strips, thick curtains etc but still feels cold without extra heating !!! Need hot food and drinks this time of year, use top of wood stove where possible.
5 decided to use rebounder trampoline to get more exercise in doors and warm up…. good way to keep fit and not hurt leg joints.
Life is a lot easier when the Australian weather is mild, I don’t know how you cope in Oregon !!!


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

It’s all about what’s you’re used to when it comes to weather.


Amanda July 3, 2017 at 4:56 pm

1) Bought a bread knife this weekend, which didn’t feel frugal. But I haven’t been able to find one used, and we need one for homemade bread, which is actually frugal. We’ve been making do with a single serated blade from an electronic knife, but it’s time to upgrade.

2) I also bought a book recommended by a friend on how to get a job in our field. I’m confident that I’m mostly on the right track, but I know I still have so much to learn. I’m usually pretty strict about getting books at the library only, but this one was cheap and I plan to reference it over and over as I work through grad school.

3) Lunch today was on the company. I own the company, so it wasn’t free to me, but at least I get a tax break.

4) My outfit today, with the exception of my shoes, was thrifted.

5) My three children were dressed in mostly thrifted and hand-me-downs today. (I think the shirt my middle child wore today was one I bought new (on clearance) for my oldest, which I guess makes it hand-me-down at this point.)

6) Bonus! On a whim I emailed our business accountant about having our personal taxes done professionally. I’ve used turbo tax for years, but we recently discovered a mistake I made, and things are so complicated now (a business, a rental, graduate student stipend, kids, charitable contributions and so on and so on). Our accountant revised our last three years and got us a combined extra refund of $4,300!!! He charged us $700/year. But we are still very much to the good, and it will be cheaper when he just does it right the first time in 2017.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

I consider things done that make life more frugal for others to be a “frugal thing,” which your work lunch was. And hooray on your pending tax refund!


Jenzer July 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Mount St. Helens was our first stop on our honeymoon!


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:09 am

Aww . . . that’s sweet!


Bee July 3, 2017 at 5:42 pm

1) The household chore list has gotten rather long. DH and I have been working on things over this holiday weekend and crossing them off one by one. Cleaning drains, pulling weeds, fertilizing the yard and fixing dry wall is time consuming, but it saves so much money to do it ourselves.

2) The heat is on in the Southeast. DH and I tried to escape it for a while and headed to the beach early in the day. I realized that I wore a $2 estate-sale sun hat, a $4 Goodwill cover-up, and a 3-year old bathing suit. I carried a decade-old beach bag given to me by a friend. We sat in beach chairs that we have used nearly every weekend for 7 years, and I read a library book after my swim — The Cheapskates Next Door by Jeff Yeager. How appropriate!

3) As always, I am eating nearly all meals at home, trying not to waste food, drinking water, and brewing my own coffee . However, we will be going to a friend’s house for a cookout and fireworks tomorrow evening. I will be making banana pudding which was requested by the hostess. I will NOT bring home any leftover pudding.

4) I took a small job for two days at the end of the week. It is always nice to have a little extra $$$$$$.

5) Enjoying PBS and library videos. I have convinced DH to cut the cord.


Mand01 July 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm

1. Working from home today and heating my house with our wood stove. Yvette and I are doing a lot of the same things actually, except I made pumpkin soup – made minestrone last week!
2. Tidied up my garden the other day and divided my rhubarb crown. Gave one to my neighbour, who popped over to say hi. He’s also a keen gardener and was talking about planting rhubarb. Hopefully it takes ok, as I’ve never divided rhubarb before. I also picked almost a kilo of stalks, gave him some and cooked the rest as stewed rhubarb and a rhubarb cake which was truly amazing. I also gave him some cosmos seeds as mine are setting seed heads now and have been prolific. He was pretty happy.
3. Had dinner at my parents’ last night.
4. Its end of our tax year here in Australia and I’m feeling happy because both my husband and I have made extra contributions to our retirement funds for the first time like actual grown ups. Future me will be really happy with present me.
5. Like Katy, we are still watching our old well-loved Buffy box sets (purchased when we were younger and less frugal) with our 12 year old, although I have to say that I’m finding S4 a little grown up for her. She seems fine, but I’m challenged by it – I keep checking she’s ok with all the romantic stuff that’s going on now the Scoobies are in college!
At least this entertainment is now free – or at least a sunk cost!


yvette from down under July 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Yep I put a bit into my super too , can’t afford to retire and the govt keeps moving the age criteria !! Currently not working after surgery and now not sure of my future, physically can’t do nursing anymore so I am trying to think laterally. …any ideas ??


Mand01 July 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Well the NDIS will have many opportunities for someone with a health background. Also the phone triage service for people to call and ask their health questions employs nurses to work from home. My dad is a nurse with 50 years experience, he has been doing that job now for five years and loves it. They pay for your set up costs and have some great benefits. I think it’s called Health Direct.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:08 am

I know exactly which episode you’re talking about!


Ava July 3, 2017 at 6:21 pm

1. I bought cucumbers at the farmer’s market and made bread and butter pickles . I also had to purchase sugar and vinegar but I already had all the jars, spices and equipment I needed. I was able to make 14 pints for about $22.00 , plus 2 jars of mixed peppers, cauliflower and carrots with the same pickling solution.
2. We took the puppy to the vet along with her records from the previous vet, to see what she needed next. She was up to date on everything so there was no charge. We got free advice on training her. Housebreaking is a foreign concept for her.
3. On the vet’s advice, we went to the pet store to get a crate to start crate training. We had a coupon for 15% off the total purchase. As I got in the car, I looked at the receipt and couldn’t see where the discount was taken off. I went right back into the store and they corrected the error. $22.00 saved! My husband will check the credit card statement to make sure the credit for the first charge is applied.
4. We helped with a lunch at church Sunday and were given leftover hamburgers and rolls to take home.
5. We will be staying home on the 4th, not fighting the traffic and crowds.


BJS July 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

How is your cousin doing?


Ava July 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

He had his first chemo and is feeling bad from flu like symptoms and mouth sores. But he is tough. Thank you for asking.


Bee July 4, 2017 at 4:32 am

Some dogs are harder to housebreak than others, but crate training works very well for most dogs. It is so kind of you to give the pup a home.


Ava July 4, 2017 at 7:09 am

It has been 10 yrs since I had a dog and I was not prepared. She has to unlearn behaviors that were allowed before and relearn new. It is hard on all of us. I believe it would be easier with a shelter dog who was glad to get a home. She already had a home she liked, so it is confusing for her.


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:07 am

Sounds delicious! I love bread and butter pickles!


Ava July 4, 2017 at 7:12 am

I have a really good recipe. They will be tasty. I don’t know how my mother grew, froze and canned everything as a lifestyle the way she did. I had to lie down after the pickle canning episode.


TJS July 3, 2017 at 6:42 pm

I was stationed at McChord AFB the year Mt. St. Helens blew her top. I still have the pictures I took of the ash clouds using my 110 camera. The earthquake before the explosion woke us up, 200 miles away! I kept the special edition of the newspaper that was printed with full color photos of the mountain. My daughter was born in 1988 and she is looking forward to seeing the site when we relocate to Oregon in 2 years, when I retire.


Morgan July 3, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Katy, if you have Hulu or someone will give you their passwords to their hulu account Buffy is there too!


Katy July 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

I don’t. 🙁


Suzanne Hulme July 4, 2017 at 3:14 am

1. Made homemade pizzas on the grill with my guests-it turned out my very talented sister in law had 13 years on the job training-so she upped my game soo much on rolling them out. I made sauce and crust from scratch and everyone kept commenting how delicious.-a frugal delicious participatory dinner, and I learned a new school. Yayyy!
2. Eating snow pea pods from garden, and succession planting more, and exploring ways to keep the birds from my future raspberries without resorting to netting-I heard that nets can entrap and harm the birds. Continuing to compost.
3. Needed freezer space, so thawed a turkey and cooked it for lunches for this week of houseful of people. Used herbs from garden to season it, and stuffed the insides with leaves from leeks from my garden.
4. Am repairing Sunfish sailboat myself. (said Sunfish was bought used, inexpensively, 10 years ago, and gives so much joy!)and as able to gift an older sail to a friend whose boat was stolen out of their driveway.
5. Am counseling a relative how to get college credit very inexpensively through the CLEP college board program.

Happy 4th!


Bee July 4, 2017 at 4:28 am

A little Sunfish is so much fun to sail! I used one in the summer time during my childhood and early teens. However, it has been years since I have seen one in use. I hope you are back in the water soon.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 4, 2017 at 6:41 am

Grah, sorry about the fees during your hike. Boo! Oh well, it’s a lesson for next time. 🙂

This week:

1. Mr. Picky Pincher cooked a pot of beans and pickled cucumbers from our garden.

2. I just decluttered my craft room and have a few bags of items to donate to Goodwill. I found a lot of items I’d forgotten about, so it was like a treasure hunt!

3. Today we’re going to my SIL’s for a Fourth of July barbecue. No eating out for us. 🙂

4. Tonight I’m making homemade ice cream with some locally grown peaches. I hope it tastes good!

5. I’m also making Rice Krispy treats again since Mr. Picky Pincher inhaled them over the weekend!


Tracy July 4, 2017 at 6:46 am

1. Am at beach for long holiday weekend with 3 of my 5 kids, their friends/SOs, my nephew, my brother his wife and their two kids and my Mom (who has a house here) for free! Plus 4 dogs. Thanks Mom…
2. Brought most groceries from home (everything costs pretty much double here). Have cooked all meals in, no restaurants.
3. Went for a hike yesterday for free entertainment, rewarded with a stunning view.
4. Today will be free entertainment as well, 4th of July parade goes right by our house.
5. Did spend a little money garage sale-ing and thrift shopping with my mom – 3 cool necklaces & bracelet from J. Crew, two great canvas beach bags, 4 gorgeous vintage brass candlesticks, a great round tablecloth for patio table in a bright vintage fabric, a novel, 2 brass bowls and some vintage Christmas ornaments plus two large Pyrex pie plates + 8 VCR movies to leave at beach house along with a large crossword puzzle all for about $40. Looked online and one of the necklaces retails for $120 so pretty good haul!


Nancy P July 4, 2017 at 7:45 am

Happy Fourth everyone! Here are my frugal five.
Found a free bed for my son offered on the Next Door App. We were able to bring it home and set it up.
Listed a few items on Ebay and already getting some interest.
Discovered that researching the current prices of my clutter helps me disengage more easily. Four boxes ready for the Goodwill !
Got to talk to my daughter who is in Residential treatment and am relieved she is adjusting well to the changes. I have been missing her a lot
Dinner at home last night and planning a potluck Fourth with friends.


Nancy July 4, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Just a heads up, unless I am mistaken, or things have changed, there is no free option for the Johnston Ridge Observatory. We were there last fall and had a conversation with the ranger about it because someone outside taking in the views said they didn’t care about going inside and seeing the movies/exhibits so they weren’t going to pay. The ranger said that technically if you park there and walk around you are required to pay–even if you don’t go inside. It is how they get most of their funding.


rebecca July 4, 2017 at 2:50 pm

1. Switched from verizon to direct tv when I went to get a new phone as the one I had for 3 + years was dying. I will save at least $100 a month.
2. Will use a coupon for valvoline tomorrow to get my oil changed.
3. Reading books from the library.
4. Made iced tea from some mint green tea I had in the cupboard. So refreshing!
5. Getting solar panels put on my roof in at the end of the summer. I wish it was sooner but they are booked up-over the years, it will save me some $ eventually and so good for the planet! I’m excited!


janine July 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Incredible – Mt. St. Helen’s has always been one of those lessons on the power and volatility of nature. Glad you could take it in! It’s going on my bucket list.

1. Low spend 4th for me – it’s my birthday so am not asked to bring anything to annual brunch. Friends and former colleagues with similar political views gather together to celebrate our nation’s birth.
2. Son took me shopping for an hour and let me pick out a number of items that I was fond of and he paid for. Happy Birthday Mom!
3. Had sons over for dinner – although we bought a couple of items at the deli, I roasted a turkey which was far cheaper than going out for dinner. (Rain was predicted so we decided not to BBQ.)
4. No AC so far this summer, but it is getting hot!
5. Found and cleaned up an old pair of red shoes which were perfect for this holiday as well as a summer weight pair of jeans which I had packed away. No $$ spent.


Liz B. July 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Katy, thank you for sharing that link to your article about checking “completed listings” on eBay. You all have inspired me to give selling some of my clutter a try – some maybe on eBay, some on local fb groups and Nextdoor classifieds. Hoping to do a yard sale this summer, but every weekend is pretty full already. In a good way.

1) Took full advantage of the $200/year my employer offers to help pay for continuing education (required in my field). Was able to buy some self-study programs, and got my reimbursement request in by the skin of my teeth! The reimbursement check will pay off that part of the credit card bill.
2) Bought 4 more pair of my favorite Wigwam hiking socks for $1.99 a pair at Krogers. Will gift them to family members who live in cold climates.
3) Enjoyed the July 4th fireworks provided by our town from our backyard deck. Awesome display, and I so love not having to deal with crowds or traffic.
4) Made a no-bake cheesecake to share at a family potluck on the 4th. The graham cracker crumbs for the crust came from my freezer (offered by former chef manager at work a few months ago), I bought store brand cream cheese, plus strawberries and blueberries from Aldi. I’ve decided I love shopping at Aldi, and intend to do it more often.
5)Took a 5 minute professional survey online, and earned $10.

Habe a good week, everyone!:-)


Linda in MA July 7, 2017 at 3:53 am

Check your local library for free tickets to the Observatory. Our local library has State Park passes. My daughters use them to get in to the state beaches and parks for free.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: