Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 10, 2017 · 120 comments

  1. I popped over to the Goodwill Outlet this morning to look for more kitchen supplies for off-campus apartments. I paid just $14 for all of the above stuff, which is not too shabby. The pan in the background is Revere Ware and there’s also a spatula and slotted spoon hiding behind the bowls. I made a decision to only buy white dishes, which made it easier to narrow my search. I especially love that there is 0.0% wasteful packaging that comes when choosing to buy used. (Zero waste, bay-beee!!!!) I’m closing in on completing this project, although there are still a few miscellaneous items to be found. Click HERE to read what the mug says.

  2. We were planning on buying rental insurance to cover both boys’ apartments, but learned through our insurance broker that our current home owner’s policy will cover them as long as they’re still financially dependent on us.

  3. I worked the last couple of days at the hospital and brought leftovers for lunch. I drank the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. I enjoyed hanging out with my co-workers and assisting some cute babies to enter the world. I tried my darndest to influence patients to choose the names “Harvey” or “Irma” for their newborns, but that project was a bust.

  4. I wore pay-by-the-pound thrifted solmate socks to work, I went to Safeway to buy milk  and Bon Ami scouring powder and bought . . . milk and Bon Ami scouring powder, I stopped into a women’s consignment shop that always has free plastic tubular hangers, I sold a few more items at Buffalo Exchange from the Goodwill Outlet, (my goal is to load up two $100 gift cards for the boys’ holiday gifts) and I donated a few items to Goodwill.

  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.

{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life September 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Our rug padding is shedding itself out of existence. We could pay $30-40 for a new one but I contacted our local carpet supplier we befriended recently to see if they had any padding to sell us, they offered the ends of their rolls free!

I also sold another item on Poshmark so I listed a few more things to keep the shop active. None of my things are fancy but they’re in good condition so they’re just about worth the effort to sell through Poshmark anyway.

Reply

WilliamB September 11, 2017 at 4:54 am

Can you tell us more about Poshmark? I’m particularly interesting in the quirks and shortcomings; its easy to find company trumpeting the good things.

Reply

Emily September 11, 2017 at 5:32 am

ive been on poshmark for almost 3 years and I love it. There are no returns (unless you dont describe the item properly), and the buyer always pays shipping.

Reply

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life September 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm

I haven’t written an update but this was my post after I tried it for a few months with all my criticisms: http://agaishanlife.com/2016/08/side-money-experiment-selling-on-poshmark/

It’s been one good, but slow, way to move things out of our closets and making a few dollars from it.

Reply

Nicole September 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm

This morning my ten year old was telling me about making some crank calls with her bestie this morning (not at my house!!!) and I remembered MY mom telling me about crank calling shops to ask “do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well let him out!”

I’ve never crank called anyone. I suppose it skips a generation.

Reply

Katy September 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm

I’m about to start back up on my crank calling career.

Reply

Karen September 10, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Boy, did we make crank calls! I grew up in the 60s and that was the thing to do. Yeah, Prince Albert in a can, and this old joke: hello, is your refrigerator running? And if the person answered yes, we’d say, “well, you better go catch it then”. Oh, such good memories of the old days

Reply

A. Marie September 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

A couple of comments on Prince Albert and the running refrigerator:

(1) Because DH and I have a collection of British royal commemorative items, it seems to be a standard joke for people who look at the collection to ask, “So where’s your Prince Albert can?”

(2) And the running fridge joke has come back to bite me in the butt: The digital control panel on our upright freezer in the basement quit over Labor Day weekend, and the @#$%!! thing was running **constantly** (although, thank goodness, it never quit altogether). Replacing the panel looked from online research as if it was (and it actually was) pretty simple, but I couldn’t get the part here any faster than I could get the local appliance repair service here, so I just called the service and had them do it. An educational experience.

Reply

ouvickie September 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

Me too, Karen!
Of course that’s when almost every household in the neighborhood had home phones and there was no such thing as Caller ID. I bet most of those calls were made during the Summer when we were out of school and got bored. Probably annoyed the crap out of the housewives back during the day. My Mom would just laugh about it after she got one.

Reply

WilliamB September 11, 2017 at 4:54 am

Except now caller ID is just about universal.

Reply

Kathy Hairston September 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm

1. Did my dog show gig this weekend so FREE lunch
2. Donated 4 blankets/towels to local shelter and received 4 raffle tickets. I won a gift basket which I opened at shared with a couple of friends at the dog show
3. Attended a fundraising bunco last night. Did not buy any raffle tickets. Just ate, drank and enjoyed the $20 I paid.
4. Received a $14.82 payout from Amazon for a couple things I sold
5. Bag of recyclables in car to cash in tomorrow

Reply

Mand01 September 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

1. It was my child’s birthday yesterday. They requested spaghetti bolognese and salad for dinner. I also made her an ice cream cake. I only needed to buy the beef for the spaghetti and some cherry tomatoes for the salad, and some berries for the cake, all on sale as it’s berry season right now. They were delighted with the cake, which was super easy to make. I made two as we are having a bunch of their friends over next weekend.
2. I spent most of the weekend in the garden. I gave some fresh produce to my neighbors and one of them gave me a dozen huge free range eggs. I put fresh produce on the Grow Free cart and took some fresh lemons.
3. I made broccoli and fennel soup for lunches this week. Both of those vegetables are super cheap right now. I made 6 serves of soup for about $2
4. While in the garden I propogated a heap of perennial plants for Xmas gifts, including thyme, parsley, mint, violets, Vietnamese mint, strawberries and spider plants. I’ll buy some nice pots and these will be my gifts this year.
That’s all folks!

Reply

susanna d September 11, 2017 at 5:50 am

#4 – What a good idea, propagating plants to use for Christmas gifts. I bet people just love to receive them – I know I would!

Reply

Lorraine September 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I agree. I love the idea of propagating plants for gifts.

Reply

Mand01 September 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I’m fortunate to have a large garden and lots of plants to propagate from. I found a few more that I will pot up over the weekend.

Reply

Stacie M September 15, 2017 at 2:42 am

Ooh I might have to steal the plant idea! I usually just give them away for housewarming gifts…but Christmas gifts are a great idea too!

Reply

Suzanne Percy September 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Katie, have you calculated how much money (total) you’ve made flipping stuff this year? I have been wondering if I should start doing that. It seems like a fun hobby.

Reply

Katy September 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

I usually keep track of it, but it’s kind of impossible when an item is from the Goodwill Outlet and I paid a bulk price for everything together.

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

I suppose you could always weigh each item before you sell it, but it seems like it might take some of the fun out of it. 😉

Reply

Pam E-P September 13, 2017 at 7:14 am

Or just divide the total by the number of items. Might not be completely accurate, but it would give you a ballpark.

Reply

Karen September 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

1. Spent only 100 bucks this week, on groceries (second grocery day of the week was free thanks to my rewards certificates, and I kept my bill well under the amount I was given).

2. used up a bunch of veggies and made my own “takeout” to enjoy while the kids and husband had pizza, our weekly splurge. I don’t enjoy paying out the nose for a gluten free pizza, which upsets my stomach anyway, so I enjoyed rice noodle stir fry instead.

3. my new technique for staying in a budget at the store: I plug a number I want to stay under in my calculator, and every time I put something in my cart I subtract its price. This really helps, especially at Trader Joe’s. I kept my grocery bill low this week by doing this and making sure I was buying the produce that was on sale.

4. Got a great deal on Disney Infinity stuff at ToysRUs, so the kids got a new game for half the price it would have cost. We just rediscovering our Infinity set, so we didn’t mind adding a few figurines.

5. Frugal fail: I picked up a nice looking bell pepper at the store–I like these in stir fries a lot–but I didn’t inspect it well enough; got it home and there was a big rotted hole in the very bottom. Ugh. And none of it was salvageable, either! Ew.

Reply

Kathleen in Kansas September 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Karen, I have the same problem with gluten free pizza. It seems most of them use tapioca/cassava flour – and my innards do NOT like it.

Reply

Karen September 11, 2017 at 4:25 am

With me I think it’s the cheese–you just can’t have pizza without cheese, and dairy does a number on me. I’ve tried light cheese, and no cheese (yuck) so it’s just easier and cheaper to make my own takeout. Healthier, too.

Reply

Liz B. September 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

I’ve wondered at times if restaurants (pizza places, etc) know to use designated pots/pans/pizza pans just for gluten free menu items? If they just use the “regular” pans, there could be some cross-contamination. Or so I’ve been led to believe….?

Reply

Karen September 13, 2017 at 7:37 am

That is entirely possible. I’ve watched them make pizzas at Domino’s and while the crusts are made in a safe facility, I doubt they wash those pans after using them for the regular dough. The dough isn’t mixed there, and they use cornmeal on the counter when they stretch it out. I’m just happy to save 10 bucks (for a teeny weeny pizza) and make my own huge pile of stirfry.

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Two thumbs up for your #3!
Are you close enough to the store to return the rotten pepper for an exchange or at least your money back?

Reply

Karen September 13, 2017 at 7:25 am

Mary, I thought about it but I try to limit my driving to 3x a week (grocery store, library, store) and I was icked out by the idea of having the rotten pepper around my fridge until later in the week. So, frugal fail. You can believe I will be inspecting my produce better from now on!

Reply

Petey September 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm

1.ZERO Food waste this week.It is not easy, but takes conscious thought….Maybe more for me that it does for others.
2..Frugal Save.:Cost Avoidance .My husband is the best spouse house partner ever. We share always shared household responsibilities. He manages the laundry ie his stuff, household towels& linens. I only do my own personal items. I am spending a lot of time at work. His unrequested offer today “just leave it in my basket”. Otherwise ,I would HAVE to take things to the cleaners…I love him.
3. Lots of free Entertainment on Non-Cable TV with the return of Football.
4.Resisted the shopping urge today. Shopped from my own closet and put 5 great Outfits together for the week that are comfortable and cute. Feeling confident , priceless.
5. Meal planning. Ready for the week with delicious and nutritious dinner entrées ready to go for my late returns from work.

Reply

Sandra September 10, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Drying grapes into raisins. This has been going on for about three weeks now. I already have several quarts put up for the coming year.

Cooked all meals from home this week, including snacks and drinks.

Put out Fall themed decorations, like baskets of colorful dried leaves, gourds, and Indian Corn. These have all been stored from previous years.

Still gathering tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, peppers, and butternut squash, from the garden. I have also picked apples and pears.

Between drying grapes, I also process herbs.

Reply

Mand01 September 11, 2017 at 4:15 am

I notice from this and previous years that decorating for the seasons seems to be a thing in the US. WE do Christmas decorating but I can’t say we do any seasonal decorating. Not that I’ve noticed anyway.

Reply

Jennifer September 11, 2017 at 6:34 am

I don’t really decorate for every season. I do decorate for Fall/Halloween because I can put it up very late in the summer and leave that decor up until Christmas, but that’s about it. On Easter, Valentine’s Day, St.Patrick’s Day, etc. I usually do a craft with my kids that may inadvertently end up as a holiday display. I do see lots of holiday decor on other people’s homes in my area, though. The stores in my area of the South, and pretty much all over the United States, are filled with holiday decor.They put it out very early prior to each holiday so that may be what urges people here to decorate. It seems that we are getting more and more each year. Luckily, the Dollar Tree(where everything in the store is a dollar) has lots of nice decorations. I’m curious if you all have stores like that there? I have also picked up decorations at thrift stores, yard sales, or the pine cones from my front yard. I love to learn how things are in other areas. It’s one of my favorite side effect of these blog comments.

Reply

Mand01 September 11, 2017 at 11:56 am

We don’t have stores where everything is a dollar. That’d be sweet. We do have what we in our area call “cheap shops” – low cost shops that are in every suburb that sell ubiquitous stuff for a low price. Some are chains (Cheap As Chips, Browse in n Save, Getta Bargain), others are independent. They sell cards, wrapping paper, kitchen gear, small hardware, cheap toys. Some of the chains sell discontinued groceeies.

Reply

Beth September 11, 2017 at 6:38 am

US person here. I try to decorate with simple seasonal decorations. Fresh-cut pine branches around Christmas and through winter, fall foliage in fall and for thanksgiving, etc… I basically bring the outdoors into my home, and compost when I’m done.

I do know many people, though, who have decor for New Years, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every little thing they can think of in between. They also generally have room to store their very specific decor items, whereas I do not.

Reply

Mand01 September 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

Wowsers. Seems like a lot of effort to decorate that often! Once Christmas is over I am done for another year. And all I do is put the tree up and let my kids go nuts.

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Another USA person. I have fall and Halloween decorations that go up this time of year – reminder to self, get out the decorations, and Christmas stuff goes up right after Thanksgiving Day and comes down by New Year’s Eve. I enjoy a decluttered house after that, but do have some Spring stuff I remember to get out every few years, and a few patriotic decorations I sometimes use in summer. Everything came from close-out sales, garage sales and thrift stores, if I didn’t get it free! I do have storage space, luckily.

I like the names of your stores…. Cheaper Than Chips, love it, lol.

ouvickie September 17, 2017 at 9:54 am

Me too, Mand01!
I’m not big on holiday decorating. I think it’s a way for the stores here in the U.S. to keep the consumers buying stuff all year round.
I have a silk flower arrangement for Autumn & Christmas, along with cute tablecloths with those colors. Other than a small Christmas tree my grandkids decorate, that’s as complicated as it gets for me.

Stacie M September 15, 2017 at 3:37 am

I have one plastic bin and if it can’t fit in there…too bad. I make a lot of my decorations. I have a fall leaf bunting I crocheted with leftover yarn and a couple pumpkins I crocheted. That’s about as crazy as I go, haha. I love the idea of the fall foliage and pine branches (especially because the scent of pine is my absolute favorite!!).

Reply

Mrs Stookey September 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm

I too put my fall decor out, I love changing it from summery flowers to my fall decor. I use faux flowers in reused glass soda bottles for the vases and I have three that I use for my faux flowers for the four seasons, but I’m in love with my faux mums as the dark rich vibrant colors pop in my livingroom.

Reply

Minimalist45 September 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Just had a five day getaway in the big smoke. Only spent half our budgeted allowance. I guess that’s good.

Reply

Pattilou September 10, 2017 at 6:26 pm

1. A friend and I made many many jars of jam. The rhubarb we used was given to us by a friend who grew it and the rest of the ingredients we purchased on sale. I will use my share of the jars as Christmas gifts.
2. The above mentioned friend is cleaning out her basement and gave me a box full of kitchen items. I kept the ninja blender because I didn’t have a blender. I have used it to make smoothies and soup already. I also kept one of the pots in the box and the rest of the items will go to my niece who just bought her first house.
3. I received free tickets to see the Scott Brothers (Property Brothers). It was a really fun evening. They were really very entertaining.
4. Found 13 cents on the ground at the gas station.
5. Went to a potluck dinner and my contribution for the evening was a dish made with all ingredients I had on hand. There were left overs for all at the end of the night so I brought them to work today for lunch. I love left overs!

Reply

Kelly September 10, 2017 at 7:12 pm

If you are still looking for glasses for your sons – Patak’s curry paste jars make excellent glasses! (they are so sturdy and go through the dishwasher no problem!) Mason jars work too… Since making the switch we have had zero broken glasses. Good luck on finishing your hunt!

Reply

Denise September 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I laughed at this post for two reasons:

1. In England we usually call “spectacles” – “glasses”, so I had a genuine
moment of quizzically wondering whether you weren’t taking frugality too far.

2. I am a big fan of Bonne Maman jam jars for use as drinking glasses – great grip.

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

They are glasses here, too… you weren’t the only one that had to shift mental gears!

I grew up drinking out of dried beef glasses, and still have some on hand for the grandkids. Plus with reusable lids, I still like them for dabs of leftovers, fermenting tomato seeds for seed saving, and temporary storage for screws when I’m working on a project. My brother’s family still uses the original glasses we grew up with – counting his grandkids, that’s 4 generations of use – sturdy!

Reply

A. Marie September 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Mary W: “Dried beef glasses”? Can you explain?

But I too have become a big fan of reusable jars as glasses. In fact, I’m phasing in my rather large (ahem) collection of Ball half-pint and pint canning jars as drinking glasses, as my “real” glasses bite the dust one by one. The only “real” glasses that absolutely refuse to die are the remaining two of a set of six 8-ounce glasses with pictures of the Kilgore College Rangerettes on them. How this college drill team’s glasses made it to one of our local Salvation Army stores in Upstate NY some 20 years ago I can’t say, but DH swears he isn’t getting rid of the last two of these till the Rangerettes are completely see-through! (Thank goodness, his sense of humor is still there…)

Reply

Mary W September 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm

A. Marie, Armour brand dried beef (some call it “chipped beef” or s–t on a shingle” for dried beef gravy on toast) comes in a very sturdy pressed glass container with a band of stars stamped into the glass just below the rim. They come in 2 sizes, so you can have matching “juice” and “milk” glasses.

susanna d September 12, 2017 at 6:07 am

Wow, Mary, that was a memory I’d tucked away and kind of forgotten – dried beef glasses! My dad loved dried beef, so we had a full set of dried beef glasses and then some – the fact that the covers could be used again and again was a bonus. My favorite glasses, though, were the jelly glasses with cartoon characters on them – and I thought the Flintstone ones were the absolute best.

Reply

Mary W September 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm

We had plenty of them for the same reason! I have one of those jelly jar glasses, too… there’s a green dinosaur on it. When the grandkids were little, they loved using the “dino-glass”.

ouvickie September 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

We had Flintstone glasses when I was a kid too. I can’t remember what came in them or if they were a giveaway at one of the Service Stations. I drank a lot of Kool-Aid out of cartoon glasses and Jelly Jar glasses.

cathy September 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I love Bonne Maman jars, though I use them more for refrigerator jams and salad dressings and use 1/2 pint quilted mason jars for drinking. Of course it helps that I LOVE Bonne Maman raspberry jam!

Reply

Kelly September 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

🙂
I love sparking discussion and laughter!

Reply

Liz B. September 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm

I bought some Patak’s jars (to use for drinking glasses) at the thrift shop a few years ago…..I didn’t realize it when I bought them, lol! They are the perfect size and shape – and super sturdy!

Reply

Susie's Daughter September 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

For several years, my favorite “glass” was an old Marshmallow Fluff jar. Since we started canning in earnest last year, my glass of choice is a pint mason jar (or the quart if I am really dry).
I also inherited a set of the dinosaur themed Welch’s jars which I love!

Reply

Beth September 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm

1. Super tired from working a lot this week but still managed to hold a garage sale this weekend. Made less than a $100 but feel lighter as I got rid of a lot, met some interesting people for sure at my sale!
2. Treated us to dinner out after the sale as pretty wiped and Used Culver’s coupons.
3. Found reduced price salads for our lunches and collected our Kroger free yogurt.
4. Working two evenings doing school sporting events next week.
5. Also Working two shifts at the library. Next week.
6. Frugal fail but really a win for everyone -priced garage sale stuff waaayyy to cheap but priced to move and made a lot of people’s day. Loved to see the retired ladies smile when she tried out and rode my daughter bike she had just bought with me and her husband cheering her on. She had not rode a bike since she was in her teens and was pretty nervous and wobbly but she did it!

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm

That last comment could have been written about me! I just started riding a bike again after many years…boy was I wobbly!

Reply

Lindsey September 10, 2017 at 7:39 pm

1. Had to take one of my dogs to day care due to a surgery that meant we might be gone for many hours. They promise to trim nails as part of the service and he really needed it as they grow really fast and both he and the husband who trims them tend to avoid doing them if possible—they are in cahoots until I force the issue. Anyway, they didn’t do the trim. I called and asked if I could bring him buy for them to do that today and they told me to bring him for a whole day’s free play sometime this week. A huge savings.
2. Painted a room using paint left by last owner of this house. She must have liked yellow, too.
3. Scavenged a wicker chair from a roadside “for free” pile.
4. No food waste this week.
5. Picked up a dime and two pennies on an evening walk.

Reply

Lindsey September 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

by, not buy. When will I learn to proof before I submit?

Reply

Isitaneedorawanta September 10, 2017 at 7:51 pm

(1) Received 3x$5.00 from a cereal rebate. Made myself enter the codes immediately when I got home. Received the cards Friday and again immediately made myself enter verification codes. Would probably never do it again, seriously so many steps to enter, verify and implement. But have gas in my hybrid:)
(2) After hosting a bridal shower this summer I immediately froze all the leftover dainties/sweets. This is the first of many posts as I use them up. Took some in a recycled subway container to a meeting at someone’s home. I left them. They are also having a meeting this week.
(3) On a burn that every piece/bag of plastic gets a minimum of two uses. It comes in packaging something but must go out , usually packaging wet garbage.
(4) Rented a car through Costco. Would need a cab to and from airport, subtracting that from the rental cost meant I only was out $10.00 extra per day on this trip for a vehicle to use.
(5)Husband thawed item in freezer that he thought was rice. It was shredded mozzarella cheese. I repurposed the melted mess a couple of days later in biscuits. Yum!

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Lol, I’m always thinking, “I know what this is, no label needed.”. Yeah, right…..

Reply

Laur September 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm

1. I had time to kill in between appointments today so hit up Target to buy myself a must needed backpack for our upcoming trip to the city and to Disneyland next year. I didn’t like the adults backpacks so bought a kids one (same size) for $4 less. I also bought:
-Discounted long sleeve Tshirt for my daughter for next year.
-Discounted boys underwear for my son for next year.
2. Continued with my freezer cleanout. For lunch yesterday we had friends over and ate chicken nuggets, fries, spring rolls, and homemade pizza from the freezer, the kids had freezer found hot cross buns and crumpets for breakfast, and I thawed out some mince and tomato soup to make a batch of spaghetti bolognaise for dinner.
3. Received a voucher in the mail for a free ice cream sundae and a chicken & cheese wrap from McDonalds as they had screwed up an order we put in a couple of weeks ago.
4. Used 2x free kids cinema tickets (leftover from a Christmas present last year) and brought our own snacks (my son and I are lactose intolerant and I’m gluten intolerant so we find it very difficult to find cinema snacks we can consume). I used my concession card to purchase my own ticket.
5. My friend gifted me some toxin-free washing powder that wasn’t suitable for her front loader washing machine. In return I’ll give her some shampoo in the same brand that I have an abundance of. The same friend and I are going halves in tickets to a health seminar we are both interested in (it was $10 each cheaper to book together than separately).

Reply

tia September 10, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Got a letter asking to log tv viewing and 2 dollars fell out of the envelope, then when I received the log a bunch of 5 dollar bills fell out of that envelope. Cool.
I guess I have to watch tv now.

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Wow, how cool is that?! How did you get picked for it?

Reply

tia September 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm

It just came in the mail. The frugal fairy?

Reply

Stacie M September 15, 2017 at 3:55 am

I’ve gotten picked for those before too! Both radio and TV (usually from Nielsen). It seems totally random but hey, who doesn’t like random dollar bills in the mail, haha!

Reply

Happy Mum September 11, 2017 at 2:10 am

Speaking of naming babies Harvey and Irma, see this sweet story from the NY Times. Some light-hearted news for a tough time… And they’re from the NW like you, Katy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/us/harvey-irma-couple.html?_r=0

Reply

nancy from mass September 11, 2017 at 4:25 am

1. DS and I were craving Thai food. He ordered something different (thought it was like General Gao’s chicken but had a lot of orange in it. He’s actually allergic to oranges but can tolerate a little. I brought it to work today – someone will scoff that down (I’m vegetarian or i would eat it). I am eating my pad thai for the 3rd meal for my lunch.
2. Went to an amusement park for a company outing saturday with my DS and my best friend (my wild-and-crazy-widow friend). we had a lot of fun and ended up with $10 in park bucks left over. I bought a chicken hat with the money.
3. went to visit my mother in the nursing home after the amusement park (only 10 miles away). brought her afghan to her that she had me bring home last month and gave her the chicken hat. I have 2 hilarious videos of her with the hat! we made her laugh so much, she fell backwards onto her bed (she was sitting on it). She was planning on wearing it yesterday morning to breakfast. I’m sure that brought laughter to the room (and I REALLY, REALLY hope they were serving scrambled eggs yesterday!)
4. since my patio is complete, i ate breakfast and had 2 cups of coffee yesterday morning on it. i also ate my lunch there too! I did go to the store to buy some bulbs to plant around the outer edge of the walkways.
5. spent a few hours ripping the bittersweet from my Rose of Sharon and Lilac bushes yesterday. I had to do some severe pruning for both sections (i have 2 RoS bush sections each about 10 feet long and my lilac was very overgrown) but one of the masons that did the patio has a degree in landscape design and had told me what to do. now that the bittersweet is off those, i have a huge pile of yard debris in my front yard and need to find someone to bring it to the town dump or pay someone to remove. I can’t put that stuff in my car….one way i miss the jeep! have to tackle the section between me and the neighbors, but he will be helping and he has a truck….i may have to barter with him….

Reply

tonya September 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

Nancy, I got a big kick out of reading how a coworker of yours is going to “scoff down” the leftovers. I know around here this phrase is, ” scarf down” something delicious to eat but I’m hearing it with a Boston accent…..and it IS ” scoff down”. Haha!

Reply

nancy from mass September 11, 2017 at 10:17 am

you’re right! It IS scarf down! It’s funny, i try and ‘voice text’ long text messages but end up changing quite a few words because it can’t figure out my accent!

Also, my last name has 2 “R’s” in it and i have to speak slowly to enunciate each one otherwise it sounds like i’m saying “ahs” and people look at me funny. 🙂

Reply

tonya September 11, 2017 at 10:22 am

I love it!

Reply

Bee September 12, 2017 at 6:10 am

I am trying to visualize the chicken hat. Is it a hat shaped like a live chicken? Regardless, it sounds like a wonderfully fun day for your mother and the wild-and-crazy widows.

Reply

nancy from mass September 12, 2017 at 9:34 am

It looks just like this one:

http://www.mastgeneralstore.com/products/id-68052/the_clucker_chicken_hat

now imagine it on a short (4’5″ish), 89 1/2 year old lady with the brightest blue eyes anyone has ever seen (honestly).

Reply

ouvickie September 17, 2017 at 10:17 am

Oh Nancy, that is hilarious!!! Thank you for sharing. I hope she had a blast with the chicken hat!! 🙂

Reply

nancy from mass September 12, 2017 at 9:39 am

the funniest thing was when we gave the hat to my mom. She kept saying “are you sure you want me to keep it?” and my son said “of course Memere (french for Grandmother), we’re not clucking with you”. My friend and i were crying! it went right over my mothers head….

Reply

Liz B. September 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Nancy, that’s hilarious!!

Reply

marieann September 11, 2017 at 4:25 am

Hahahaha….I love that mug. This is for your son right? I’ll bet he’ll love it.

My son went to school in the “good old days” when it didn’t bankrupt us to foot the bill…..and we didn’t even have a college fund

Reply

Jill September 11, 2017 at 5:09 am

About 5 years ago when my wedding registry stoneware dishes started taking a dive (after 25 years), I bought white dishes for the same reason you have. It was a great decision. And when my niece was married, she registered for only white dishes and white towels – which you can always bleach.

Reply

susanna d September 11, 2017 at 5:56 am

After having two different stoneware patterns that I owned discontinued over the years – making it extremely hard to get replacement pieces – I chose to go with a white stoneware, too. And while yes, THAT particular white pattern was also discontinued (what IS it with me and my stoneware choices?) the company makes a number of other white patterns, and they look just fine as replacement pieces to the original white set.

Reply

tonya September 11, 2017 at 9:50 am

Jill, We do the same. White dishes and white towels throughout the house. Makes laundry and buying replacements from thrift stores a breeze!

Reply

Katy in Africa September 11, 2017 at 5:29 am

1. The rainy season seems to be dying down here so I’m starting to save water used in the house to water plants.
2. After a long drive home I just heated some sauce from the freezer and cooked up some rice, and voila an easy, cheap, healthy meal.
3. I composted.
4. My husband did an oil change on our car himself.
5. I made a pasta and beef concoction using a seasoning packet my mother in-law had bought on clearance and gave me probably a year ago. It tasted good! Using random things in the cupboard happens when you get home from a trip and haven’t been out to shop yet. 🙂
Hope all of you affected by the hurricane are safe!

Reply

WilliamB September 11, 2017 at 5:33 am

1. Having gotten a Shell gas card to take advantage of a short-term deal, I discovered that it’s still yields benefits: using it saved me almost 25% while buying snacks at a Shell station. OTOH: buying snacks at a Shell station.

2. Still making good progress clearing out the deep freezer.

3. Last night, after a long day out doing a good deed (herding kiddies at an amusement park, to support military members), I didn’t get take out and I did go to my gym class. Membership is flat rate so the more often I go, the greater value I receive.

4. Grocery shopping: I have the written list, and I have the mental list. The mental list is things to buy if they’re on sale. This weekend I found several items from my mental list on sale, including “good food only” canned soup for work lunches. This is why I walk all the aisles at the supermarket, rather than only getting just what’s on my mental list.

5. Added the tag ends of spinach to the smoothie I made over the weekend. The smoothie itself was made with tag ends of fruit.

FAIL: I’ve been wasting a lot of food recently. Not just bits of produce but – twice! – actual entrees. Need to focus on not doing that. The trend is that I make something in advance, then either don’t like it (CI Oven Fajitas, I’m looking at you) or because of multiple schedule changes I don’t serve it. Lesson: stop making in advance.

Reply

susanna d September 11, 2017 at 5:36 am

1. We finally had two days without rain or high wind so we could have outdoor fires (with all the rain, the fire danger has never gone above “LOW” this year). We had a bunch of wood things left from our many remodeling projects – just a huge amount of scrap wood. Spent part of the day cutting everything into firepit size pieces and had outdoor fires for the past two evenings. A win on many fronts: Finally got the wood scraps out of the house; we were low on outdoor firewood and I wasn’t about to pay to have a campfire; we got a little exercise cutting the stuff up; we didn’t have to pay to get rid of it ($60 per truckload at the dump); and we had two cheap date nights of sitting around the fire, enjoying nature and eating dinner cooked over the fire.
2. Speaking of wood and fires, we did an inventory of the indoor firewood and realized we didn’t have quite enough from what we’d cut last year, what our neighbors gave us (they no longer use their wood burner and had asked if we wanted the wood from a few trees they’d cut down – we did!) and the little bit left from last season. So we did have to buy a little, but chose to pick it up – and load it – ourselves, saving us $18 (after deducting the cost of a gallon of gasoline). Bonus in that filling a truck with wood and stacking it on the racks when we got home gave us a nice little workout. Free exercise for us, free entertainment for the ridiculously tame deer up here who watched the whole wood stacking operation.
3. After finding three jars of liquid I’d drained from various batches of salsa and pico de gallo, I decided salsa rice (rice cooked in that liquid instead of water) was on the menu. Served the rice as a side two nights, and in burritos another night. We we now have only one jar of the liquid left, and the freezer is a tiny bit less full.
4. Picked up weekly freebie at one of the grocery stores (it was free yogurt this week).
5. Used one of the many “$1 worth of free gasoline coupons” while I was in town. We get 7 of the $1 off coupons each month, so we normally pick up gasoline when we’ve used 3 or 4 gallons from the tank. That way it saves us at least 25 cents per gallon, since there’s no minimum purchase required to use the coupons.

Reply

WilliamB September 11, 2017 at 7:00 am

I’m a big fan of Salsa Juice Rice, too; also of Salsa Juice Beans. You can make Leftover Beer Beans, too – cooking beans in beer makes them quite tasty.

Reply

susanna d September 12, 2017 at 5:27 am

I’ve used beer that we were gifted (and didn’t care for – chocolate beer comes to mind) in chili, but never thought to cook beans in beer. I think I’ll give beans cooked in beer a try this winter.

Reply

WilliamB September 12, 2017 at 8:11 am

I bet the chocolate beer was good in chili: there’s a subset of chili recipes that call for some cocoa powder as part of the spice pack.

Leftover bean-beer cooking liquid is good for cooking rice. But probably not bean-chocolate beer cooking liquid.

Reply

Alexandra September 13, 2017 at 4:55 am

I once made salsa rice and it was a disaster! The rice would not cook….I made it in a rice cooker. I have not tried again. I thought i’d just use same amount of liquid and it would be fine. what did i do wrong? Did you use a rice cooker?

Reply

WilliamB September 15, 2017 at 5:41 am

I do use a rice cooker. Did you use actual salsa, or the liquids that can be strained from salsa?

I use the liquids, which can be substituted 1:1 for the water. Salsa itself can’t be – the solids replace some of the needed liquid volume.

Reply

Kim in MD September 11, 2017 at 5:45 am

1. Sold 4 items on Amazon- a book, 2 sewing patterns and a NIP Leapfrog cartridge.
2. Made a big pot of Autumn chowder for dinner. Was out of fresh carrots so I added a jar of carrots I had canned a few years back near the end of the cooking time. Yummy!
3. Went to a few yard sales and church sales Sat. morning. Bought a sealed NIP DVD set of The Dog Whisperer TV show for 25¢ at a neighborhood yardsale. Only 2 copies on Amazon and they are listed for $90+. I listed mine at a lower price with free upgraded shipping to encourage the sale. I also bought a like new wire tower scrapbook paper organizer for $4. It sells for $199 on Amazon. I bought it to organize my craft/sewing room but may decide to sell it.
4. Found DH 3 RL polo’s for $4 total at a church charity shop. He wears them for work and had to “retire” a few recently due to wear issues.
5. Found DS#1 3 RL dress shirts for $7.50 total at a different charity shop. He needed some more dress clothes since he starts his new job today working for our state’s Democratic Party headquarters. He worked for the party last fall as a community field organizer; he’ll now be a district field organizer and responsible for half of state. At 22, he’s one of the youngest DFO’s in the country. I figured he needed a wardrobe upgrade.

Reply

Roberta September 11, 2017 at 5:52 am

1. I went garage sale-ing for the resale shop this weekend, and found a bunch of things we needed: a high chair, 2 pack and plays, a (closed) Medela breast pump. I also found a couple things for me: a toy for my son, and a new-in-box game for a Christmas present. I know I used to find Christmas presents second hand, but lately I’ve been making my own as I had cut down on my shopping. I think this year I’ll be buying a lot more gifts!
2. Brought more empty copy paper boxes up to the shop. We use them to sort and store clothes, rather than buying plastic storage totes. When the boxes get too damaged, we’ll recycle them and get more (free) boxes, rather than use plastic!
3. Stopped by my parents after we drove an hour to pick up my daughter from a sleepover. Mom made dinner, and we had a nice visit NOT at the shop.
4. Since I’m turning on the oven for enchiladas tonight, I’ll make banana bread at the same time. We’ll have that for breakfast for the rest of the week.
5. Eating dinner at home before we have to go out tonight, to reduce the temptation of eating out with friends.

Reply

Gigi September 11, 2017 at 6:17 am

1. Aldi sent me a $10 off $40 purchase for a grand reopening. I used it to buy needed pantry items and produce. Shoppers were also given one of their higher quality shopping bags (and you could enter for a chance for free produce for a year-a vegetarian’s dream!)

2. Probably not really non-consumer, but Half-Price Books had a giant clearance sale at our expo center. Everything was $2 or less. I bought several books for gifts (and several more to add to the ever-growing “to be read” pile).

3. Speaking of HPB, I boxed up several books to be sold there in the next months. I take them in shifts.

4. The stairs to my front porch were in rough condition. My neighbor pointed it out! (Yikes). So, I went to the hardware store over the weekend to buy and have cut a treated board for new treads. Lo and behold, a perfect board in the right width and length was on the 70% off clearance rack. It worked perfectly! I now have new treads on the front steps for a fraction of the cost (plus, another friend helped me with the project).

5. I took home a head of cauliflower, bell peppers and 4 cans of peaches after my routine food distribution volunteer work (these are the left-overs the volunteers split up in order not to waste-sadly, it is sometimes a bigger issue than other times in that certain food items are passed by).

6. Bonus: This weekend, I volunteered at my neighborhood’s 4th annual art festival. I live in an urban center that is going through a revitalization. The event was fun and free and I always feel good when I give some of my time to a great cause.

Reply

Ruby September 11, 2017 at 6:42 am

1. We are scheduled to get bad weather in Tennessee tonight and tomorrow from Hurricane Irma, so yesterday I cooked a nice supper dish that could be reheated on the top of our gas stove. Aside from a box of couscous that I bought for the meal, it used ingredients entirely from our pantry and freezer. It also used up a big red bell pepper, a lime, and a sweet onion that were getting a bit old.
2. Used up a couple of slightly elderly sweet potatoes cooking a meal for my work lunches.
3. Put a couple more recycled milk jugs of water in our little chest freezer to make it run more efficiently and to help it keep things cold if we lose power in the predicted storm.
4. All the usual: packing my drinks and home-cooked lunch to work, driving with a light foot, rack drying my laundry, wearing at least one thrifted or second-hand clothing item every day. (Some days the whole outfit is thrifted, which I look on as a major triumph.)
5. Reading a book loaned to me by a co-worker for free entertainment.

Reply

April September 11, 2017 at 7:14 am

I hope the storm loses strength by the time it reaches Tennessee. I’m in South Georgia and it’s coming through now. Terrifying is an understatement. I’ve never seen anything like it in nearly 40 years of living here.

Reply

Mary W September 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Stay safe. I heard it still had 80 mph sustained winds. We get big windstorms most winter’s, and I know how hairy it can get.

Reply

Kim in Maryland September 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

Ruby where in TN are you? my son is in Knoxville at UT so I am keeping an eye on the Weather Channel.

Reply

Ruby September 11, 2017 at 11:24 am

We are outside Chattanoooga, on the Georgia side.

Reply

Lori September 11, 2017 at 7:37 am

I am impressed that you were able to get a good deal on the Corning Ware plates. The Goodwills and Salvation Armys around me have caught onto the fact that people are collecting Corning Ware and Pyrex and they jack up the prices. Just that stack of plates would have cost you $14 here!

Reply

Denise September 11, 2017 at 9:53 am

My thoughts exactly, DO NOT send those boys off to college with that Corelle, keep it and sell it, those plates are brining lots of money on line. Check out the prices on Replacements.com. Pyrex prices are off the charts now.

Reply

Liz B. September 11, 2017 at 5:19 pm

I’ve definitely noticed Pyrex going for $$, especially vintage Pyrex. My local church-connected thrift shop used to sell everything at low, rock-bottom prices….at some point, they caught on, and started marking collectible items “eBay price: $25. Our price:$12.50”. I don’t blame them, but it’s made those items more costly than what I would typically want to pay.

Reply

Cindy in the South I September 11, 2017 at 9:33 am

1. I made a pot of pinto beans, and turnip greens. I also made pimento cheese with random finds in my pantry and frig. I took that to work for lunch today. I did not grocery shopping and I am trying to eat what I have.
2. Hurricane Irma cancelled a work conference I was going to attend on the coast, and I am planning on staying at home, reading books at night. It is windy and rainy here.
3. This is good sleeping weather, so I intend to do that…lol.
4. I have finally envisioned what I want to do with my tiny kitchen. I think it will costs me under $500, if I do it right, depending on the paint prices. That includes the cost of the cabinets ($248) that are sitting in their wrapper in my kitchen (I had no cabinets,previously, so I could not just paint the ones I had)…..I am assuming my current appliances will keep working. I can do all the labor, so that part should be free.
5. FRUGAL FAIL: I had an unexpected bill that wiped out my emergency fund.
Oh, well. I have just grateful to have shelter, considering the mess in the BVI, St. Marten, Florida, Texas…etc. So, I am not complaining.

Reply

Cindy in the South I September 11, 2017 at 9:33 am

I really need to proofread before I post…lol.

Reply

tonya September 11, 2017 at 9:57 am

1) Went to the library’s annual book sale. Bought some really lovely holiday gifts for several people.
2) My daughter, who is as frugal as me, decided she is going to sell clothing online. We went thrifting yesterday and she only bought items that were marked down to .99. She focused on good brands and has already listed them. I love spending time with my clever, resourceful girl.
3) I cooked three casseroles and popped them in the freezer. Future me is already thankful!
4) Meal planned for the week!
5) Asked for another weekly shift at work and got it! It was easy to ask and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they said yes. I am a diabetes educator at a busy clinic so demand is high. Never hurts to ask!

Reply

KJD509 September 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

1) Wow, really miss the son who went back to college and Littlest, who is living in our soon-to-be-new-hometown with her dad. In the past, I would have bought them things to let them know I was thinking of them. This weekend instead I called and texted and then slept when I was really feeling mopey. Not productive, but frugal.
2) Only one daughter and I were home all weekend. (I know that’s a perfectly normal household size, but it’s a significant percentage drop from the 7-9 people we “normally” have.) We decided neither of us cared enough to cook, so we grabbed odds and ends all weekend instead of ordering something in. She misses her siblings, too, but isn’t quite ready to pack for college – still 10 days away.
3) Happily opened the doors and windows for cool breezes once the smoke started to dissipate. We survived 8 whole days without ac, and now it looks cool enough that we won’t need it again.
4) Packed a lunch, drinking the free coffee at work, painted my own toenails so I can continue to wear sandals a little while longer (my closed toed work shoes fell all the way apart last spring) even though I do a terrible job, and enjoying the treats people are bringing to share from their gardens.

That’s all I’ve got today.

Reply

MommaL September 11, 2017 at 11:36 am

1. SIL said she is overwhelmed with all of her STUFF and has physical limitations. DH and I decided to clean and organize her garage the week before her neighborhood has a yard sale, and that would be her Christmas present from us.
2. Bringing tea to work and drinking that when I get hunger pangs. Keeps me away from the vending machine.
3. SIL wanted to go out for one meal so we went out for brunch, not dinner.
4. Picked all of the green tomatoes before the storm hits, will try to ripen them in the sunshine. If not, then green salsa it is!
5. Funny Frugal: BIL spilled 1/2 of his bloody mary so they gave him a new one. They started to take the old one away, and SIL said “oh we don’t waste!”, and kept it on the table. haha

Reply

janine September 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

#1 I can’t think of a better Christmas present! A clean garage is a wonderful gift. Good timing too.

Reply

WaThriftFamily September 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm

1. Have extended our meatless Mondays to meatless dinners Mon-Sat. My family enjoys burrito bowls and I find those are easily to do vegetarian. I thought they’d get tired of them but so far so good. Since we are eating down the rice and beans in the pantry it is a win-win.

2. Sunday we always have dinner with my in-laws. So free food and family time!

3. Cleaned out the garage so we can finally get our cars back in. My husband wanted to send a bunch of what he called “junk” to the dump but instead I posted it on our Buy Nothing and most has already been picked up. Just goes to show one man’s junk is someone else’s treasure, and we save on dumping fees.

4. Doing a childcare swap with a neighbor. I’m watching her kiddo this week and she is watching mine next week.

5. All the smoke has cleared from the wildfires so I’m currently drying laundry outside in the sun. Hooray!

Reply

Diane September 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Hi Katy! Regarding the boys’ insurance while away at school… check to see if their coverage includes the same deductible you have for your homeowner’s insurance. If it’s like mine, it’s way more than the value of anything they have in their dorm/apartment. We got student plans from NSSI for about $90/year that covered all their stuff and included breakage with only a $25 deductible. When my daughter dropped her BRAND NEW (ugh!) cell phone, they paid to have the screen replaced less the $25.

Reply

Josie September 17, 2017 at 3:28 am

Wow! Here in Australia our excess (deductible?) is $500!

Reply

Juhli September 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

1. Found a number of items at the grocery store that we use regularly were on sale but weren’t on my list. Bought them anyway – ground turkey, laundry and dishwasher soap, etc. They will get used eventually.
2. We have to replace some plantation shutters and have now received 3 bids with each one being less than the last. So we went from $3400 to $1890 for 3 windows. Still a lot but glad we kept going.
3. Between borrowing magazines from the rec center library in my community and DIL dropping some off, I have no desire to have any subscriptions. Also getting all books from libraries.
4. Exercise is walking and stretch DVD. Need to add weights or stretch band work and swimming as we now have community pool. May still pay $5 for community yoga class periodically but no expensive options.
5. DH vetoed going out for dinner tonight as I am feeling tired from my flu shot and said he would cook everything. We usually do it together. I took him up on the offer.

Reply

rebecca September 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm

1. I got a free basil plant yesterday. I will make pesto as I have the other ingredients in the freezer.
2. Eating from the fridge and freezer.
3. Bought everything on sale at the grocery store
4. Coffee from home
5. Library books

Reply

Mrs. Picky Pincher September 12, 2017 at 4:49 am

Great find with the insurance coverage! Always check with your insurer; it’s really surprising what is included in coverage. A while back our truck broke down and we had to tow it to the shop. Thankfully we didn’t have to pay for a tow because it was covered by our insurance. 🙂

This week:

1. I salvaged a tire from a neighbor’s bulk pickup pile. I’m in the process of turning it into a heavy-duty tuffet that we can use for meditation.

2. I made my Halloween costume using only items bought from the thrift store, for a total of $20. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I’ll wear this costume for years, so it’s all good.

3. Instead of buying canned beans from the store we bought dried beans and cooked them ourselves. This gives us a lot more flavor in our meals since we cook with more seasoning (and pork fat!).

4. This morning I exercised for free thanks to YouTube tutorials. Mr. Picky Pincher went on a wallet-friendly run for his morning workout.

5. I wanted a treat yesterday. Instead of going to the store and buying Oreos, I made King Arthur’s espresso cream cookies. They’re heavenly and give me a little jolt of caffeine, so it’s a win-win. 🙂

Reply

deanna ar September 12, 2017 at 11:51 am

FFT:

1. We are refinancing our house…lowering our interest rate, thus lowering house note
2. Traded a stepladder for house repairs
3.Used up some metal roofing and supplies and a bag of cement we had on hand
4. Bought apples that were a bit of a soft texture (Jonathons), so I made applesauce in my Instant Pot…so delicious. I only used apples, a cup of water and a little cinnamon. It tastes decadent!
5. Hubby gave away 2 lawn mower grass catchers that we could not use
6. Got rid of 4 outside electric lights and 2 solar lights that no longer worked
7. Continuing to declutter…a stained glass cross that would no longer hang in the window

Frugal fails (ugh):
1. Ordered an off brand part by mistake. If I had used it, our warranty would have been voided. So I returned it and ordered the name brand. However, I had to pay return shipping
2. Ordered from Vitacost. Had a hard time getting the order in, but I persevered. The next day I received a coupon from them for 20% off. If I had waited one day, I would’ve saved about $20

Reply

janine September 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Some frugal wins in a sea of failures.
1. Toaster died – bought the cheapest one I could find. If it doesn’t work, will ask for a fancy model for Xmas. My thought is that toaster technology is old and in place by now?
2. Found loss leader eggs for 48c a dozen and other bargains. Splurged and treated DH to KFC takeout which was running a $5 sale. Terrible decision – loaded with salt and mushy at the stand I visited. Dog enjoyed tidbits. I guess I’d call this even. Lesson: Packed lunches are healthy and frugal. However, it is the “thought that counts.”
4. DH is cutting firewood for winter – anticipate we will not need to buy wood for the fireplace again this winter.
5. Reorganized recycle, compost and garbage collection. It looks as though we will be able to reduce our garbage down to one container.
Bonus: Florida friends OK. Their house on high ground and withstood the winds and water of southern Fla. They have refugees with them including children who are amusing themselves playing with a Noah’s Ark game!

Reply

Karen September 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

1. Made my own brown sugar to have on hand for the Best Cookies; I had blackstrap molasses hiding in my cupboard and white sugar is always cheaper than brown sugar. Took about 3 minutes with my stand mixer. Now to see if it stays moist until I need to use it.

2. Got back from the library to discover that one of my books had not been checked out properly (I use the online system to check my books that are out/on reserve). The library has an “ask the librarian” system, so I emailed them and they were able to check it out for me remotely using the barcode. No gas spent and I wasn’t worried about the library police coming at me! Libraries are awesome.

3. We are still going through random stuff we found while moving, and one of our military-style jackets fits a kid perfectly, so he has an interesting jacket to wear when it gets cooler.

4. We are working on getting a loan from our retirement fund to pay off some debt–this will work because the payments for the loan will be automatically deducted from the paycheck, and my husband just got a raise that will cover those payments, so we won’t notice it at all. Woot.

5. Gave one of my kids a haircut. One of these days I’m going to calculate how much money I’ve saved by cutting husband’s and four boys’ hair for the past 17 years.

Reply

Teresa September 13, 2017 at 8:30 am

This week I don’t have 5 frugal things but I did have an NCA epiphany. Went to Target because I needed a few toiletry items. Looked around for awhile and realized that I am now so used to NOT shopping that I don’t enjoy looking around anymore! Came to the conclusion that there is nothing I really need, so what is the point? Also found that the second hand clothing stores around here are very snooty about what they will accept — only brands from upscale stores. That was a real eye-opener. Will try Buffalo Exchange and ebay and if no luck, then I’m back to donating grown daughters gently used clothing. Katy Wolk-Stanley I don’t know how you do it!

Reply

Lauren September 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

1. Found a local crafter who is focused on a no-waste lifestyle! She is making me two unsponges and has agreed to let me know the next time she makes beeswax wraps so I can buy those as well.

2. Picked up a brand new in box baby monitor of the brand we wanted for less than half the price found on a used goods site.

3. Have made my Christmas lists and begun shopping for items on the list within our budget. Spreading these purchases out, and giving myself a chance to find the items used or on sale is both fun and frugal. I also only chose items that are useful or I know the recipient wants/needs because they’ve mentioned it before. (i.e. socks, a favorite coffee flavor that is hard to find…)

4. There was a large warehouse sale on at a large baby supply shop. We found a great stroller that was a little more expensive than we were hoping to spend. However, after searching for it online and buy and sell sites the price we paid brand new was less than what people are selling them for used. We will keep it in the box until we need it so we have the option of selling it on if we find a similar one cheaper. We either get a great new stroller, or offset some of our costs, so win-win.

5. I’ve found that the secret to getting out of my anti-cooking funk is to not feel bad about making the laziest meals I know. This means we’re living on tacos, bagel sandwiches, roast chicken with mashed potatoes, and steak and sweet potato fries. Add in a couple leftover nights, one takeaway and movie night, and our weekly menu is done! Inventive? No. Effective… yes!

Reply

Karen September 15, 2017 at 7:42 am

Some nights our dinners are “Your choice” which means the kids can make English muffin pizzas, or they can have leftovers or grilled cheese and soup. I am blessed with a husband who is more than happy to eat leftovers or just have a very good grilled cheese and ham with some soup. One night is always, always, burgers/hot dogs and either oven fries or chips if they were on sale, and any fresh fruit or veg we have. We also *gasp* do pizza one night a week, and we use coupons. Sunday is always a frozen lasagna and salad and bread. In this way I only have think of “new” menus 2x a week, and I try to rotate those so there’s variety.

Reply

Katy Hope September 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

1. I sold a dresser on craigslist that no longer worked in our house (the drawers were too small).

2. Went to visit our aunt and uncle and left with figs, apples, and lemons, from their backyard.

3. Made a salad with the free figs to take to a dinner party at a friend’s house.

4. Went on a morning walk with a friend to catch up and brought my own tea in a to-go mug. Saved the $5 on starbucks and had a great time catching up.

5. Went to see the new exhibit at the art museum (degas at the Legion of honor https://legionofhonor.famsf.org). I joined the museum last year when I realized it was cheaper to join than to pay for a one day ticket for two people. Treated my friend to museum entrance (1 free guest with my membership) and she bought me lunch!

Reply

Alexandra September 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm

1. Carried iced tea in a mason jar to business meeting 1 hour instead of buying at fast food restaurant at destination.
2. made awesome clean-out-fridge soup with leftover chicken and lots of tired veggies. so delicious!
3. Bought some much needed clothes at Clothes Mentor. One pair of pants still had tags on. Yes! Was disappointed that lots of the clothes I tried on were pretty tired out. I tried on clothes for a solid hour. I guess a good hourly rate when i consider what I came away with…
4. Got my knives sharpened with gift certificate given to me from Xmas. GREAT gift.
5. tired but made cupcakes for DIL birthday. So tempted to buy some…
Unfortunate Frugal fail/disappointment: Had a night out with step daughter and her fiance and DH. We treated all to eat at Thai restaurant, nothing to write home about and cost $50! disappointing. Then we all went to see “It” at 7:15pm movie. Got almost the last seats. Up front. and not pleasant. Seats in this theater recline fully (who knew? we rarely go to movies) so we could at least see the movie. $22 for 2 tickets! Loved the book and original movie. Remake very disappointing. $77 less in bank account. Best part was seeing Step daughter. I knew we should have eaten at home!

Reply

ouvickie September 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm

We returned from a family vacation Tuesday evening. It was fun and frugal.
1) I’ve bought some cute tops at GW over the past few months to replace others that were worn out. They were perfect for our trip. I love having cute thrifted clothes to wear with pants and capris I’ve had fro several years now.
2) We shared a VRBO condo village with my in-laws, BIL & SIL and hubby’s auntie on Table Rock Lake in MO. We had the lake, two pools, outdoor fireplace and patio, along with a really cute lake gazebo/patio to enjoy together.
We met and bought food and supplies in town before we headed to the condo.
3) My SIL pre-purchased tickets to a play and a combo ride & dinner on the Branson Belle paddle boat – which allowed us to take advantage of discounts. Both were fun and the food on the boat ride was wonderful.
4) We also went on a golf-cart tour at Top of the Rock Nature Preserve, ate lunch at the restaurant and toured the natural history museum there. I highly recommend going, if you visit Branson.
5) Our last full vacation day together we took the free Trolley tour of old town Branson, wondered around town, ate ice cream at an old fashioned ice cream parlor, then finished the afternoon in town having a beer and appetizers at the Fish Camp restaurant. We grilled out that evening – my BIL is wonderful at grilling steaks.
Definitely not a no cost vacation, but we really enjoyed our time together and saved money by eating at the condo for most meals. I’ve made use of the extra days at home by cleaning and enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve had here. Fortunately for us, September has proven to be perfect time to vacation with hubby’s family. Things are cheaper and less crowded during that time and the weather is always milder in our area.

Reply

ouvickie September 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm

#2 is supposed to say ” We shared a VRBO condo in a resort village”.
We certainly can’t afford an entire village! LOL!!

Reply

Carol September 17, 2017 at 9:53 am

1. Went to Santa Monica yesterday with my husband, where he sat at a sports bar and watched the football game. He gets about 40% off his bill because they support his team. I had a bowl of chili and a water, which must have come to $4.

2. I then went out to the promenade and got myself a cup of coffee and wandered around and sat on benches and people watched for a couple of hours. It’s a lot of entertainment for $3. I buy coffee that I wouldn’t otherwise buy when I people watch, but at once a week, it’s a modest splurge.

3. Speaking of people watching, I’ve been very into fashion lately. I’ve been watching Erin Busbee of Busbee Style on Youtube, and she’s always talking about clothing to buy. I thought it’d be hard for me to watch these videos, since I can’t really afford to buy a bunch of new clothes, but it’s suprisingly fun. Even when I was in Santa Monica, I didn’t really look in the stores, I just looked at the people. It’s refreshing not to shop.

4. We were going to order takeout last night, but got the carryout pizza down the street to save over half. The pizzas are only $6.

5. Not regretting getting rid of my car yet. Got rid of it a couple of weeks ago, and I have been fine on the bus. Luckily we live in a central area, so we can connect up with a lot of areas.

Reply

Mand01 September 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Some people do put up flags for Australia Day in January. But that’s a very contentious day here – sort of like I think Columbus Day is contentious?
We don’t decorate for that either.
I don’t know, maybe I’m the lazy Aussie!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: