Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 21, 2017 · 107 comments

  1. I was finally able to assemble the very last of the supplies for my older son’s off-campus apartment. I joke that I’m doing pre-production for a HGTV show titled “The Hundred Dollar Apartment,” as that’s pretty much been my life over the past few weeks. (By the way, HGTV. I would watch the hell out of that show!) I was able to snag the perfect shower curtain, as well as butter and steak knives, and few other Goodwill Outlet items that are escaping my middle-aged brain at the moment. I’ll hit up the thrift shops in my son’s college town later on, as he still needs a coffee table, but I figured it would be easier to buy one in place rather than schlep one across the state. Let’s face it, there’s only so much that’ll fit into a minivan.

  2. I noticed that one of my son’s bed pillows was completely misshapen, so I cut it open to reconfigure the batting and then sewed it shut again. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s “as good as new,” but it’s certainly 90% better than it had been which is a frugal win in my library book. Click HERE for photos.

  3. I sold a thrifted suitcase and a doll that I picked up in Seattle last month. My eBay/Craiglist sales have been slower than imaginable lately, so I’m hoping this is a sign that business is picking up. Especially since I’ve been trying to sell this suitcase for at least a month, and then suddenly had three (!!) people inquiring about it this morning! I did scoop up three Garnet Hill curtain panels at the Goodwill Outlet and already have them up on eBay. I’m cautiously optimistic, as a single pair of the same curtains just sold for $112 today.

  4. The hotel where we always stay in our son’s college town is giving us a senior discount, (my husband is over 50) I mended a tear in an otherwise fine twin sheet, I took a big armload of scrappy old sheets to the textile recycling drop off, I received a review copy of Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies, (which I’m very excited to read!) I put a couple of items up on my local Buy Nothing group, my husband diagnosed and then fixed our wobbly Lane recliner and I traded a cup of strong Red Rose tea for the use of my mother’s extra large washing machine.

  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.”

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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life September 21, 2017 at 12:43 am

We sold some nursing equipment and a piece of material that was the wrong fit for our reno project this week, clearing up a bit of space in our garage and putting money in our pockets.
We’re saving friends significant money sending them our used baby equipment, and passed along some really good quality water filters that we bought in bulk a long time ago but won’t be using anymore.
We’re experimenting with using the smallest trash bin the city offers to see if we can keep our monthly trash bill under $30.


Mand01 September 21, 2017 at 2:44 am

1. Worked from home three days this week.
2. I’m harvesting peas, carrots, lettuce, greens, onions, and lots of herbs from my garden. Cauliflower will be ready soon.
3. My husband made soup and pasta when he got home, using beans we got on sale, and vegetables we needed to use.
4. Only buying lovely seasonal vegetables and fruit at the moment and saving a bundle
That’s all


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life September 21, 2017 at 11:04 am

Did you start any of your plants from seed? I’m starting to plan our veggie garden and am asking everyone how they did theirs 🙂


Mand01 September 21, 2017 at 11:42 am

Everything except the lettuce and cauliflower.


A. Marie September 22, 2017 at 1:50 pm

It’s easier to start plants from seed than people think, if you have enough room somewhere in your house for a couple of fluorescent shop lights (they don’t even have to be “full-spectrum” lights) that you can put seedlings under. Another thing a lot of folks don’t know is that most garden seeds (with some exceptions–carrots, parsley, onions) keep very well for many years in an airtight container in the freezer. My all-time freezer record is 15 years for some lettuce seeds.


Sandra September 21, 2017 at 2:59 am

We were able to do that by ferociously recycling and composting. I see my neighbors putting out two large cans to my one small can and their’s are brimming over.


Amy K. September 21, 2017 at 3:03 am

I have an old dollhouse that my grandfather built more than thirty years ago. I’ve been working on it off and on for the past couple of years. Since we moved, I sold the table that it used to sit on, because we had no space for it since we downsized to an apartment. I was looking online and locally for a wheeled cart or coffee table. Everything I liked was so expensive. Instead, I repurposed an old coffee table that I’d picked up on the curb a long time ago. My husband and I drilled holes in the legs and added pretty brass casters. Now it easily swivels in and out of my closet.

Also, my daughter is q high school Freshman, and she is going to the homecoming dance on Saturday. Since she’s in a new school with new people, no one has seen her in the dress (bought on clearance!) she wore to her 8th grade semi formal. So instead of buying a new outfit, she’s wearing that again.


Jennifer September 21, 2017 at 6:24 am

I bet that dollhouse is so neat. I have one that I am trying to restore but have made very little progress. It’s so hard to find the extra time, it seems.


Amy K. September 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm

I hope you get a chance to finish it some day. Honestly I have a smaller one for my daughter, who’s now 12. Still not done with that one. *sigh*


Jill A September 21, 2017 at 3:12 am

1. Went out to dinner on Sunday with my husband. I was too tired to cook having gotten home late Saturday night from a week visiting my daughter. We shared an appetizer, he ordered a cheap beer and I had water.
2. Picked up a few needed items at the store yesterday. Stuck to my list and remembered to use coupons and rebates for what I did buy.
3. Going to visit my youngest at her college for lunch today. I will drive my hybrid to save on gas. We will eat in the cafeteria and use one of the free visitors passes that come with her meal plan.
4. Doing laundry which I will hang dry on my drying racks (one belonged to my Grandmother) and I will hang shirts & pants on hangers and hang from a coat rack made by my Grandfather for his childrens coats.
5. Today is an energy savings day for our power company. It should be an easy one since our air conditioner is still broken. We’ve been having some warmer days. I have the windows open this morning to bring in the cooler air. We’ve been using fans and spending more time in our basement where it’s nice and cool.


Sandra September 21, 2017 at 3:18 am

1. A friend let me know that a thrift store where she volunteers was having a $5.00 a bag for clothing sale. I had to be in that area anyway so I stopped by to check it out. I couldn’t even find five things to put in a sack, let alone a sack full. I’m pretty sure that means that I really didn’t need anything. In any case, no money spent.

2. Stopped by an out of the way grocery store that was near the above mentioned thrift store and took advantage of loss leaders. Some were already on this weeks shopping list, the rest is good to put by for later.

3. I carried a beverage with me when I went out. The meeting I attended offered a cup of hot soup and assorted appetizers so that took care of lunch.

4. Received compliments on a thrifted outfit that I wore to the meeting. That always feels good and just reinforces that thrifted clothing can be smart and stylish, also warm, practical, and useful. I find that most anything I want or need can be thrifted. How about you?

5. Finished reading a book that I picked up at the community center and started another one. When I finish the books I will return them to the free shelf for someone else. I also regularly drop off magazines and pick up ones that others have dropped off.


ouvickie September 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm

#4 – Sandra – I feel the same way. Most of my blouses/tops are thrifted. I choose ones I can wear for work or anywhere we go to an event. Most last me for years. I bought 3 or 4, in the past few months and took them on vacation with me this month. They were perfect – they looked stylish and elegant enough to wear out for two evening dinners. I love thrift store finds!


Bee September 21, 2017 at 3:46 am

1) I sold 2 items on eBay this week. I am using found boxes to pack and ship them. My sales have also been a bit slow this month, so the influx of a little extra $$$$$$$ was appreciated. I have been using my eBay proceeds to help my AT-hiking son who is running a little low on funds. (We will discuss budgeting when he returns home.) He is almost done!

2) I made a stop at the GW and my favorite thrift store while running an errand in the same area of town. I purchased an wonderful 12″ All-Clad skillet for $10. If I had purchased it new, it would have been over $100. I needed this particular size, so I’m happy! 🙂

3) I picked up some side work and have several jobs scheduled over the next month. I love a side hustle.



Bee September 21, 2017 at 4:53 am

Oops, the cat bumped the submit key. She curls up in my lap while I drink my coffee and read my morning blogs.
4) I picked up a box of kitchen items that have been put out for the trash. I kept a funnel to be used for crafts. Everything in the box is in good condition, so I will donate the rest.

5) I had a precancerous spot removed from my nose. How is this frugal? I have worried about this spot for a while and kept an eye on it. As soon as I noticed a change, I made an appointment with my dermatologist. She was able to remove it in the office — no anesthesia needed and no need to visit the surgeon. It was a relatively inexpensive procedure. I always where a hat and sunscreen now, and I have for years. As a Florida girl, I am sure this damage was done when I was quite young –before sunscreen.


nancy from mass September 21, 2017 at 6:16 am

Those darn cats always get in the way!

Glad to hear your son is nearing the end of his hike. Is he in Maine now? how close to the 100 mile wilderness is he? keeping my fingers crossed for good weather through Mt Katahdin!!


Cindy in the South I September 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

I hope he has good weather! I understand about the needs of watching our skin as we age…Alabama gal here.


Bee September 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

The Southern sun is so hard on your skin isn’t it. No wonder our mothers wore hats and gloves.

Bee September 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

He will actually cross over into Maine today which is around the 1900 mile mark. So, he roughly has 275 miles left or 2 – 3 weeks. Yippee!


Della September 21, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I’ve just returned from Monson, Maine a few days ago, which is the last “town” at the beginning of the “100 mile wilderness”. Monson is very accommodating to thru hikers & your son should check with Shaw’s thru hiker hostel if he’d like a place to stay. They are wonderful and will make him feel at home. He should be able to re-supply quite well in Monson as well. A walk up the street from Shaw’s is Spring Creek BBQ…voted the best BBQ in Maine recently.
I was on the AT up there recently and came across some “trail magic” of a cooler filled with ice cold soda & snacks that a previous thru-hiker left for us thirsty folks! I wish the best for your son’s “final push” for Katahdin’s summit! I’m sure he appreciates your support over the past several months, it always make a difference.

Bee September 22, 2017 at 3:08 am

Della, thank you so much for the information. It has been a wonderful experience. The kindness and support of complete strangers along the route has been amazing. It has restored his faith in humanity.

Anne V. September 21, 2017 at 4:36 am

Lots of small things recently. My oldest child is heading off to college next year and we are not in as good a position with tuition savings as we thought we were.

1) Placed a book request at the library instead of my usual habit of instantly purchasing a used copy through Amazon marketplace (Mary Hunt – The Complete Cheapskate, which I read initially many, many years ago).

2) Returned $10.30 of craft/sewing supplies at Michaels for a project I probably will never get around to doing. Normally I would have just let the supplies lie around the house for a while before donating them.

3) Unearthed some ancient Trader Joe’s frozen chicken potstickers from the back of the freezer and cooked them up for lunch, instead of buying something newer and perhaps more appetizing. The potstickers were fine.

4) Listed a “designer” linen throw pillow on Ebay that has been sitting in a closet for 10 years.

5) Frugal Fail: Our 12 year old Volvo (only 125,000 miles) finally kicked the bucket last weekend. The transmission failed less than 2 months after we had spent over $1000 for new brake pads, suspension and steering column repairs and an oil change. We had hoped to keep the car going another few years for my 15 year old to practice driving, and my 17 year old to take to college next year.


Jennifer September 21, 2017 at 4:36 am

Great job, Katy! I’m learning all these ideas from you so when my kids go to college I will be ready.
1. I have been packing my kids lunches and eating sandwiches myself at work this week. I admit, I do splurge and go out to eat at lunch too often so I am back on track this week.
2. A friend of mine gave me several miscellaneous brands of laundry detergent that he didn’t want anymore because..get this… he likes the pods better. I couldn’t help but laugh. I think those little individual laundry pods are nice but also overpriced. Plus, I like to use a little less detergent than is suggested in the directions. I also like to use regular detergent as a spot remover and the pod would interfere with that. Anyway, I gladly thanked him for the bottles and gave him a lovely serving of caramel apple bread pudding in return.
3. Last night we we had New York strip steaks. I found them marked down at the grocery store. I paid $7.63 for a pack of three steaks! That is just enough to feed my family. My kids only eat about half a steak.
4. I made a delicious caramel apple bread pudding out of frozen hot dog buns, regular bread, and whole grain bread end peices. I put pecans in it that I froze last Christmas but I toasted them a bit first. I used eggs from my chickens and boxed milk that my daughter gave me that her family wouldn’t drink. I made caramel sauce from a blend of a small amount of caramel ice cream topping that I had hanging around in the fridge with milk, salt, flour, butter, and sugar. It was delicious and the sauce turned out so thick, creamy, buttery, decadent, and oh so cheap. Good thing I was able to give away the leftovers so I wouldn’t eat it all myself. The only thing that was purchased recently for this was the apples.
Fall cooking has started!
5. I have already began to collect things for Christmas gifts. I made a running list of my family members/friends on my phone so I won’t forget what gifts I have. Nothing like finding a hidden present a couple months later in the closet.


Karen September 21, 2017 at 7:09 am

Regarding laundry pods, I have noticed the ads for those (at least for Tide) are all about “keeping kids safe” and they’ve put them in a child-safe container, apparently very young children have been putting them in their mouths! They look very enticing to little ones. I’ll stick with liquid that I keep up on a shelf.


Jennifer September 21, 2017 at 7:36 am

Yes, I have seen those too…so scary. My detergent is kept high on a shelf so it wouldn’t be a problem for me. I can see how a small child or baby would see it as candy because they are so bright and colorful. I just don’t like that they are ‘one size fits all’ loads of laundry. I like the control of being able to choose how much I pour.


Mrs Stookey September 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

I too don’t like the pods cause I like to decide for each load the appropriate amount of liquid to pour in. Plus the Brand EXTRA I just got a 34 load size bottle for 89 cents at Walgreens this past week, it was a special they had and I was super happy to get it for that price and since I only do four loads a month that bottle size last me and my husband about 6 months so our laundry detergent cost for each month is 14 almost 15 cents !! that is an awesome deal to me 🙂


Mand01 September 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

It’s funny, I’ve never even looked at the pods. I buy a bottle of biodegradable liquid for sensitive skin. It costs $3.80 and lasts us about 6 weeks. The cost saving outweigh the hassle factor of the extra second measuring and pouring.


tia September 21, 2017 at 6:49 pm

I love the pods. They save me money. Everyone in the house does their own laundry and most are over generous with the detergent…with the pods that doesn’t happen. Plus there is no more mess with detergent spilled all over the place. I get huge containers of pods when they are on sale at Sam’s.


Bee September 22, 2017 at 3:21 am

DH likes to do the laundry, but he also uses twice as much detergent than necessary. He always fills the dispenser to the max line regardless of need. I pointed this out a time or two, but old habits are hard to break. I certainly do not want to nag him this. So I now split the bottle in half and fill the other half with water and mix. I am happy. He is happy. The clothes are clean. Fatter wallet. Domestic tranquility.


Jennifer September 22, 2017 at 4:19 am

Yeah, I am the only one who does the laundry but I have a friend with teenagers that use too much so she uses pods for the very same reason.


Ruby September 22, 2017 at 6:25 am

My husband uses too much dishwasher detergent — so much I can taste it on the rim of the glasses — so I started buying the dishwasher tablets or pods. Can usually get a great deal on them at the clearance discount store, so no more yucky glasses.


cathy September 22, 2017 at 9:57 am

My solution to pouring out too much laundry soap was to mark a line on the cap in black sharpie. It’s half as much as the manufacturer recommends, and seems to be the perfect amount for most of our regular loads. Definitely helps with teenagers learning to do laundry!


tracy September 21, 2017 at 4:57 am

1. Wore thrifted clothes to work every day so far this week.
2. Bought “day old” cookies for my contribution to bring a treat for birthdays day at work yesterday. Instead of $2 per cookie, I got 5 cookies for $2 and I can’t tell the difference…
3. Made a big pot of ham and bean soup from things I had on hand on Sunday and we’ve eaten for 2 dinners so far, I will take some for lunches too.
4. Making daughter’s lunches (slipped on this last school year and fell into habit of having her get the hot lunch at school, prices have gone up so resolving to do better this year).
5. Going to cut back on Christmas this year with my young adult kids, last year I overdid. This year for each of them their main gift is going to be a Roth IRA that I start for each of them with a small amount of money hoping to kick start their own savings habits.


Cindy in the South I September 21, 2017 at 4:59 am

Love your $100 apartment idea, as I did the same with my kid. All used furniture, sheets, food from my food storage, etc. 1. I am eating my 99 cent Aldi’s bologna for lunch sandwiches all week. 2. I am still eating on my turnip green casserole I made with leftover turnip greens. I am still eating on my leftover meatless spaghetti. I think tonight, both will be gone, and that means Friday night, I will probably make mashed potatoes and peas…which I love. 3. I trimmed my hair last night when I noticed it was looking a little scraggly. 4. I kept the air off, even though the summer heat is back. 5. I went to bed early, so that I did not have to run the lights after it was dark.


nancy from mass September 21, 2017 at 6:18 am

I love mashed potatoes and peas! something about those 2 things together…YUMMMYYYYYYY


Mary W September 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Count me in on mashed potatoes and peas, too! No canned peas, though. They have to be fresh or frozen for me – canned are too mushy. 😛


Ava September 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Cindy, what is in the casserole? Turnip green casserole sounds good.


Cindy in the South I September 22, 2017 at 10:40 am

It is from a recipe book called Mississippi’s Best…or something like that….lol. It calls for a can turnip greens, a can of condensed soup (which I made my own from the Tightwad Gazette recipe), horseradish, onion, garlic, topped with breadcrumbs. I think I added sour cream, or maybe it was in the recipe…lol It seems like there was something else but I cannot remember right off hand…lol. Baked at 350 for about 20 min.


Ava September 22, 2017 at 11:38 am



Cindy in the South I September 25, 2017 at 5:14 am

Ava: I forgot to add that recipe contains two eggs beaten, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, one teaspoon of sugar, ,mayo (although I actually perfect sour cream), horseradish, can of condensed soup, and can of drained turnip greens, salt and pepper to taste, with garlic, top with toasted bread crumbs, crackers, etc….geez, I am bad at remembering all the ingredients.

Patti September 21, 2017 at 5:58 am

1. Went to our local thrift store which was having a one year anniversary sale and picked up three pieces of fabric, some sewing notions, and two Tightwad Gazette books for $5.00!!!
2. We were gifted a grocery sack full of okra so I found a recipe for that last night that also used some of our garden produce. I will freeze the rest today.
3. Working hard this week to use up our bits and pieces of food and produce so that there is very little food waste.
4. Utilized the library for some books to improve my sewing skills. Been sewing for 50 years but still learning new techniques. I also am a firm believer in learning something new to keep the brain active.
5. Trying to tackle something each day that is hanging over me (I am a profound procrastinator).
Frugal fails include: letting a coupon expire that would give me some $$ back for greeting cards. I did make a list of who I needed to buy for in the upcoming months so I went ahead and bought them anyway. Saves gas and time later. Also went to the Country Treasurer to reduce my car taxes – had waited too late for this year but marked my calendar for next year.


Jennifer September 21, 2017 at 7:39 am

1. Great find on the Tightwad Gazette books! Wished I could run across one around here.They make a great gift for a frugal newlywed..or anybody.


Crosby September 21, 2017 at 6:03 am

1. My dog LOVES stuffed animals, it is the only toy she’ll play with, but she rips them apart within a week. So instead of paying full-price for dog-specific stuffed animals, I stocked up at our thift store (don’t worry, I make sure to only get plushies that don’t have any peices she can choke on, and I wash them in our sanitize cycle on our washing machine).
2. Based on some suggestions from the NCA FB group, I also purchased a wool sweater to wash and unravel so I can use the yarn for my new crochet hobby.
3. Didn’t go out once to eat this week, ate leftovers last night and tonight will be a frittata made from things hanging out in our fridge.
4. The dress and belt I’m wearing are both from thrift stores, and I’ve had them both for a few years. I keep my clothing for years, which surprises a lot of my coworkers as I work in a very professional setting and most people buy a new wardrobe every year, if not every season.
5. I’m obessess with Wonder Woman, but I fought the urge to buy the DVD as it was just released….I succeeded, but then came home to find that my husband had bought it for me as a surprise. Although not frugal, it was a joy to receive it from him as a gift so I’m happy I didn’t buy it myself.


Roberta September 21, 2017 at 6:07 am

I’m glad other people’s Craiglist and ebay sales are picking up. Maybe mine will now!

1. Made “strata” for dinner last night. It’s a fancy name for savory bread pudding, but I’m ok with fancy. Used up the bread ends and filled up my family at the same time. Best of all, I prepped it in advance and my son was able to put it in the oven when I called, and I avoided succumbing to take-out.
2. Went down to the bins yesterday. I got 34.2 pounds of children’s clothes for $14, most of which I will sell in the shop. I also got a floofy skirt for my daughter to wear to an ’80’s dance, and several parts of her Halloween costume. (My daughter is seriously concerned about me in relation to the ’80’s dance. She cannot believe we really did that with our hair!)
3. Using short rations of soap, and line drying the clothes for the shop. They’re not really that dirty — most smell like a mix of fabric softeners — but a run through the laundry with vinegar and a line dry will fix that.
4. My wonderful, amazing son is fixing my daughter’s computer, which has a problem staying on. Here’s to in-house computer repair!
5. I will make my own almond milk today. I’m just about out of the packaged stuff, and rather than make a special trip, I’ll make my own. Plus, I get almond meal for baking. (Sadly, dairy milk is no longer my friend, so I have to substitute!)


Lissa September 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

Have your son keep an eye out for moving sales around campus. There are always students moving so they may have a coffee table up for grabs. Also landlords cleaning out apartments from students who have left. You may get lucky and find super cheap or (even better) free.


Angela September 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

Item #1 reminded me of this article I read last night about how HGTV may be driving the next real estate bubble:


nancy from mass September 21, 2017 at 6:36 am

i hate watching those shows. first of all, not everyone needs/wants an open kitchen to the house. (plus you lose ‘rooms’ when you do that. suddenly a 5 room house becomes a 4 room house, etc.) Also, I HATE it when people state that perfectly good kitchens need to be redone, or they wont buy a house because there aren’t 2 sinks in the bathroom or the closet isn’t a walk in closet to house their billion dollar clothing budget. i do like watching the tiny homes shows – but more for the proof that people can live with less stuff and to see storage options.


Karen September 21, 2017 at 7:13 am

We’ve been working on selling a 1920s craftsman house now for three months, and our realtor said, “Well, people don’t seem to like that there’s no family room on the main floor.” Um…if you’re looking for that kind of floor plan, stay away from three-floor Craftsman houses! Nobody had “family” rooms in the 1920s, they had one living room and that was enough! And no, we cannot add a family room to the main floor, mr. realtor, so why don’t you give us USEFUL feedback? Things we can work on? Ugh. Our house is a bargain for its size and location, but people have these “ideas” planted by these HGTV shows about how a house should look and they don’t want to put any work into it themselves. /endrant/


Liz B. September 23, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Oh, what a shame that people want, want, want…..we just looked at a 1920’s Arts & Crafts style home not too long ago… was wonderful. The only reason we didn’t buy it was because of the condition of the huge barn/garage in the back of the house….termites, roof caved in, a structural nightmare, in a town that is ultra-picky about letting old structures be torn down. Hubs and I just don’t have the time, $, or desire to take on a project like that. Will be interesting to see from afar what the new owners do.


Jennifer September 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

My pet peeve is how they always rip out beautiful, well made, functional cabinets! A simple sanding and a coat of paint would make them look similar to the new cabinets that they always install on those shows. That’s what I am doing to my own cabinets. My redo is costing me the price of sandpaper and a can of paint! I recently did a faux granite treatment using paint and epoxy on top of my old worn Formica countertops and, not to brag, but I have to pat myself on the back because it is a huge transformation. Of course there is work involved but I only spent about $100. I will email anyone a picture if you are curious. I kept my old worn Formica out of the landfills and didn’t shell out money for expensive slabs of granite. It’s just sad that those shows make people believe what they have isn’t desirable. I remember when my grandmother was alive, she thought of antiques as undesirable because that is what she grew up with and had grown tired of looking at them, now they are all the rage. The whole thing makes me want to throw out my TV.


Lucy September 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

Jennifer, I am interested to know how to transform an old worn Formica. Thanks.


Jennifer September 22, 2017 at 4:38 am

Hey Lucy, they have several tutorials on Pinterest that have great instructions and you tube videos, which I highly recommend, to show exactly how it is done. Basically, you clean your countertops VERY WELL then sand them a little and apply primer. Honestly, I left primer off most of my Formica because the paint adhered to well to the dry, old, porous material it didn’t really need it. I used cheap craft paints and sponges to make it look like faux granite. I also applied small amounts of silver leafing and micro fine glitter. Then once that is dry, you apply an epoxy coat. I used one called Famowood. I have read that Envirotechlite is good but I can’t find that in my area. The epoxy shines like glass!
Lowe’s has kits that have everything you need but I preferred to choose my own paints, which actually cost less. I also didn’t buy any new sponges to paint with, I just used old ones I had on hand. The result is truly beautiful. Watch several videos first. They will show you all the little things that come up. It’s been a couple months since I did mine and they are still beautiful. I was concerned about how they hold up long term but I have read reviews from people who had theirs for many years and they still look good. The big expense here is the epoxy. It costs about $70. I have heard you can get a coupon for 40-60% off at Joann’s or Michael’s but it’s not available in my area.

Mand01 September 21, 2017 at 7:38 pm

We did exactly the same. Our 70s kitchen had solid, well made pine cabinets but they were outdated. We repainted along with all the wood paneling. Total cost was $100. It looks nice.
If we had replaced them it would have cost thousands, plus the quality would not have been there. The new cabinets are mostly just laminated chipboard.
Our next job is painting the 70s tiles although if we wait long enough they might come back in style again


Jennifer September 22, 2017 at 4:40 am

The 70’s tile really is coming back. I have heard tile painting is easy and lasts forever.

Vickey October 7, 2017 at 7:02 am

And how! I quit watching home makeovers shows because I’d get so upset at the waste. And they always had to make a big deal out of throwing things away in as aggressive a manner as possible. As if what our culture needs is more aggressive displays. :roll eyes:


Rejena September 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

I, too, would totally watch the heck out of an “$100 apartment” HGTV Show!!!!


Alexandra September 21, 2017 at 7:35 am

1. Got to eat breakfast and lunch for free at an all day meeting. Wish I could have offered to take home the leftovers but wasn’t feasible.
2. making clean-out-the-fridge soup. The last batch was over the top delicious, trying to make it that good again. I had some leftover gravy that I added to last batch and I think that was the deliciousness factor.
3. Had a birthday dinner last night. Bought seafood on sale. $60 worth for 5 adults. I stretched it with cucumber salad, tater tots, corn on the cob and BOGO ice cream for dessert. Everyone had a good time and it would have cost well over $200 if we had taken everyone out.
4. Just adjusted our mortgage payment through our credit union, who holds our mortgage, to take a payment every week. We rounded it up so that by the end of each year, we have made an extra payment. Got idea from “the Automatic millionaire”
5. We both keep increasing our 401K contributions as we are in our 50s and woefully behind. It has gotten so much that we are really starting to feel the pinch. We’ll sit with it and if need be back off. We hope to adjust.


Alison September 21, 2017 at 7:40 am

1. Took DD shopping for her birthday gift, she wanted a warm vest, and had an idea of what she wanted. Found the perfect Patagonia vest, but the store didn’t have her size. They suggested we try the Patagonia outlet store just around the corner. They did have the right size, but it was $19 more! So I asked if they would match the price of the other store, which they did. The vest was not cheap, but DD says she should wear it for the next 10 years at least. And she wore it out of the store, so I saved on wrapping paper, and this will be her only gift.
2. DH did another plumbing job at our rental house, fixing the toilet.
3. I made my own dog cookies, they have 4 ingredients, were relatively cheap to make, and the dog LOVES them.
4. Our local grocery store had BOGO and I got only things we always use: pesto, havarti slices, rice crackers.
5.DH and I went for coffee at Starbucks, using gift cards his mother gets him for birthdays and Christmas. He had earned 2 free rewards so it was cheap.


Cindy in the South I September 21, 2017 at 7:58 am

What is your dog cookie recipe please?


Alison September 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm
Bettypants September 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

Ooh, thanks. This is a much simpler recipe than the one I had been using, and my dogs LOVE pumpkin.

I made up little bags of homemade dog treats and handed them out to coworkers/friends at Christmas last year. I think I might do the same again this year.


Cindy in the South I September 22, 2017 at 1:24 pm


Debb September 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

1. Painted the bathroom with paint that a friend gave me. (She didn’t like the color, but I love it!) 2. Instead of buying new plants for my front planter, I dug up some small growing Nasturtiums from the garden and replanted them. 3. Cooked a chicken and made several meals out of them: Chicken salad, Chicken enchiladas, and Chicken soup. 4. Pre-made 5 mason jar salads for school lunch and so far has helped me to resist buying those fries. 5. Eating out of pantry and freezer.


Ruby September 21, 2017 at 8:35 am

I also would watch the heck out of “$100 Apartment” if such a show was ever produced.

1. Been doing the Frugal Four faithfully: bringing my food and drinks from home to work, driving with a light foot, drying my clothes on a rack indoors, and wearing at least one thrifted item every day. The only day I didn’t was to a job interview this week, but the outfit was purchased four years ago on clearance.
2. Through five months of diligently combing through online sales and returning stuff that didn’t fit, I have finally replaced my shoes with orthopedic-friendly new ones that don’t cause me heel pain, thus avoiding more expensive physical therapy and steroid shots in my feet. I paid about one-third to one-quarter of what the shoes would have cost had they not been on clearance.
3. The Mister is allowed to have nuts on his new diet, but I could not find any mixed nuts that were not no salt or lightly salted. So I poured portions of nuts onto a clean dishtowel and lightly rubbed to dust the salt off, then put them into a Rubbermaid container. He loves them.
4. Consulted with the Mister about his diet and whipped up an amazing new vegetarian dish that he loved from stuff I had on hand. It also used a lot of the sweet bell pepper strips I had frozen for future use quite a while back. Present Me thanks Past Me for taking the time to do that.
5. Gathered up some dollar store plastic baskets from around the house to organize our little chest freezer, which is mostly full of bread from Aldi, bagels from the bakery outlet, and milk jugs of frozen water. The baskets hold the smaller items nicely.


Ellie September 21, 2017 at 2:47 pm

#3 – What a good idea! I would not have thought of that.


cathy September 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Ruby, I’m betting you went through the effort of de-salting the nuts because you had them on hand. Have you tried buying nuts from the bulk bins, though? We only eat raw, unsalted almonds and I can find them in bulk at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Natural Grocers and bagged at Trader Joe’s. Not sure about mixed nuts, but you could make your own mix.


Ruby September 22, 2017 at 6:14 am

I did go to the trouble because we already had the nuts. They’re a nice blend, reasonably priced as nuts go, but super salty. I had looked for unsalted or lightly salted, but the store was out.

No bulk bins where I live, alas.


Emily September 22, 2017 at 2:49 am

Aldi has bags of unsalted nuts as well!


Ruby September 22, 2017 at 6:18 am

Our Aldi is currently closed for renovations, but we’ll be back there as soon as they re-open.


Denise September 22, 2017 at 9:06 am

If your heel pain is related to plantar fasciitis, my physio gave me a great exercise. Get a 14oz tin (as in a can of food) of something super-cheap, doesn’t matter what the contents are.

Freeze it solid, then each evening get it out of the freezer, fold a tea towel over it to stop freezer burn, and roll the can with your foot, while also rolling your foot over it, slowly, heel to toe, for about five minutes to start with.

Build up to ten minutes on both feet. The cold reduces inflammation, while the heel to toe motion exercises your foot in a controlled way, to stretch tendons and ligaments gently.

Hope that helps.



Jennifer September 22, 2017 at 11:13 am

This is a great solution for sore, achy, or tired feet. I may have to put two cans in my freezer so I can do both at the same time. I don’t have planter fasciitis but I do have sore feet at times.

Ruby September 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

That sounds wonderful, Denise. Thank you.

Mary W September 23, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Would using frozen water bottles work for this? I’d be afraid the frozen tins of food might burst at a seam or something, plus it seems kind of wasteful. I always have frozen bottles of water in the freezer for when I pack a lunch or need ice for a cooler. I reuse these over and over, and refill them if we use the thawed water for drinking. I suppose if I’m rolling them under my feet, I’d want to wash them off before using them for something else, lol!

Mrs Stookey September 21, 2017 at 9:41 am

my frugalness and a frugal fail
I’m home from having my partial hystercomy and we’re using the freezer meals I had made earlier this month the frugal fail I had to throw out 7 clementines as they did not get ate fast enough and they spoiled 🙁 but I was able to freeze the 4 bananas that were way past my desired ripeness so they went into the freezer for banana walnut muffins, waffles, and bread.


Bee September 22, 2017 at 3:41 am

I hope you are feeling well soon. How smart of you to prepare ahead with freezer meals.


Mrs Stookey September 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Thank you Bee and yes I made sure to have over 2 weeks worth of freezer meals made because with surgery I just knew I was going to need 2 weeks worth of easy suppers and lunches.


Mary W September 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Hope you are healing up nicely. Present you is lucky past you planned ahead. 🙂


Juhli September 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

We are very close to both being retired as Hubby retires at the end of September. Managing our new cash flow will be interesting. Recent frugals and fails:
1. Hubby painted the last room in our new to us house & washed the windows and screens for an amazingly lighter and larger appearing room with no stains on the walls.
2. I signed up for a free yoga fundamentals class at a studio within walking distance.
3. Found a very cute raincoat for my 10 mo old granddaughter on sale at a consignment shop. DIL really likes it.
4. Hubby found needed shoes and underwear for good prices at the outlet mall.
5. Frugal Fail – and not much fun either. We drove to the nearby coast to have dinner and it was not tasty at all so wished we had eaten at home and saved the money. The sunset over the ocean was great though.


Juhli September 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

And one I forgot – We recently moved, the closet & dresser situation is different so we needed more nice hanger. Got 20 at Goodwill for $1.98.


Roberta September 22, 2017 at 5:58 am

I’m disappointed SO often with meals out, but I’m usually happy with drinks and and appetizer . The bill is lower, and you can still enjoy the sunset.


Katy in Africa September 21, 2017 at 10:25 am

Good show idea!
1. We ate 3 fruits from our tree, don’t know what they’re called, but they’re yummy. And had spinach from the garden in our lunch today.
2. I got several free ebooks.
3. To save a little on electricity, I’ve stopped turning on the light every time I go in the bathroom. Unless it’s night or I’m doing my make-up or something its plenty bright in there from the window.
4. I cut open an almost empty tooth paste tube and have gotten 4 more uses out of it so far. I keep it in a plastic bag, that helps it from drying out.
5. I gave some empty plastic bottles to a lady that sells homemade liquid soap in reused plastic bottles. I guess that didn’t save me any money, but I prefer to give things to someone who will use them, and now I have less stuff in my house.


Mary in Maryland September 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm

I was thinking it would be hard to find sponsors for “The hundred dollar apartment”. But then I thought —Goodwill! I tried a couple years ago to get my frugal locals to organize a “green house tour” to show a different life from the usual house and garden tour. Homemade compost bins, shelves full of home-canned tomatoes, fruit dryer made from old a dog crate pieces, etc. People thought I was crazy, but I get so many good ideas visiting other non-consumers.
1. I’ve canned 38 jars of tomatoes. My records show that we ate 52 jars last year, so I have two loads left to do. A young friend who wanted to learn came by to help and we did 14 pts for her. I told her not to buy equipment until she’d done it a couple times.
2. I used the extra cooked crushed tomatoes to make dal. One supper and three lunches.
3. Met friends at a coffee house to chat. It was so noisy that I suggested we walk and talk instead. Exercise and saved a few bucks.
4. The tomatoes were seconds at $18 for 25 pounds. Further discount for buying two boxes.
5. Chestnuts are falling in the neighborhood. Picked a couple pounds from a deserted house on our morning walk. This is only the beginning.


Vickey October 8, 2017 at 7:30 am

Mary, I love your “green house tour” idea! I’d also love to see garden tours of food-producing yards and gardens.


KJD509 September 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

1) Continuing to collect items from around the house and our storage shed (not a rented one, just one out back of our rental near a college campus) full of stuff left behind by renters for the two college students. Funny side note: son who’s already in his off-campus apartment requested a few things I’m not sure we have. I thought, “Hmmm, wonder if I can figure out a good second-hand store in that town.” Googled it, and one popped right up, like I’d searched it before. Which I had. . . because it’s the one my son works at. Guess I can find a thrift store if I need one. . .
2) Forced myself out in the cold and near-dark one evening to transplant the lettuce and kale that I started from seed but had been languishing in its too small planter. I’d used up out of date seed packets, so one type of kale and two lettuces were thickly sown. Got a couple dozen dug into the garden boxes before it got dark, and by the time I’d washed my hands the skies had opened. It’s been raining ever since, and most of them have happily put on new leaves already.
3) Had an event at work yesterday with food trucks (free for employees!) in the parking lot. Lots of people were ordering extra servings for later or to take home, but I asked one truck at the very end of the day, “What are you trying to get rid of?” and they happily passed me some of their non-spicy offerings. Apparently my coworkers like hot-wing sauce. . . but my kids don’t! Kids were thrilled, and the food didn’t get thrown away.
4) Servers in one of the other food trucks were wearing sweatshirts from the college near our rental. Last spring the tenants left 3 big boxes of textbooks behind, and the new tenants aren’t students. I mentioned it to the food truck guys who were, as I suspected, starving students serving snacks in the rain, not the truck owners . They’ll take the books off my hands, use what they can, and offer the rest to fellow students. Frugal for them, boxes out of my front hall: win/win.
5) So far, we’ve packed up several rooms using mostly boxes stored in the basement since our last move 12 years ago. Paid no one for packing, organizing, cleaning, or to haul things to the dump (although we fill our garbage can – the smallest size – within about 10 minutes of it being picked up each week). There’s no way moving will be cheap, but we’re keeping costs as low as possible. And eating down the pantry and freezer while we do it!


ouvickie September 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Wow, good job, Katy!!
1) I went to lunch with co-workers today – something I rarely do and one of them paid for my lunch – that was such a sweet thing to do and a nice surprise!
2) Now that we’re back from vacation I’m back to eating oatmeal at work and drinking coffee provided by my generous employer.
3) I shopped with my favorite card yesterday at the Library and picked up 2 audiobooks to listen to on my work commute. I went through withdrawals on vacation. I put two more on hold today.
4) I cleaned out and shined up my wonderful 2007 Sebring to drive. I love that car!
5) I lost one of my Fitbit armbands, but remembered receiving two in the box when we received them, so I found the box today and won’t have to buy a replacement. YAY!


janine September 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm

1. Went out for an expensive lunch today and remembered that they served a good sized salad on the side. Was able to bring home half the order which will feed my husband for dinner tonight. This makes the lunch a somewhat better deal.
2. Leaving tomorrow for a friend’s funeral in another part of the state. We originally were going to spend an extra day seeing the sights, but instead will return home which means that our hotel bill will be less and we will have one less day to pay for our dog’s care. Packing snacks to munch on during the trip.
3. Drove right past temptation in the form of a thrift outlet place. Saved time and $$.
4. Costco was giving our free laundry pods which did a good job, but I always buy which ever product is on sale and my clothes come out about the same regardless of brand. ( Have one kid who has sensitive skin. Ivory and Dreft seem to work better for him.)
5. Passed on getting my hair cut and the car washed this week.



Lindsey September 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm

I feel like this one thing qualifies for five frugal things:
I was making hamburger soup, with very little hamburger but a ton of garden vegetables that were sad. I was going to add a cube of the basil I preserved this summer by chopping it up and packing it into ice cube trays with a bit of oil. Once they froze, I popped them out of the trays and put them in a freezer bag. So I open the bag and the dog starts howling. I turn to see if something is wrong (sometimes he howls for the joy of it) and somehow managed to turn the gallon bag open side down…23 cubes of oil and basil plopped into the soup. It was horrible. So, I added a lot more chicken stock, more vegetables I’d harvested and frozen at the end of summer, and found a cooked hamburger in the freezer that I broke up and threw in. When served dinner, husband said, “You’ve never made pesto soup before. It is not bad.” Unfortunately, I now had an industrial sized stock pot of the stuff and could not freeze any of it because our freezer is packed to the gills with salmon from summer’s fishing and garden fruits and vegetables. So, for the next FIVE days we ate pesto soup for dinner plus took it for three lunches. Oh, yes, and we put the dregs of broth on the dogs’ dinners the last night. I may never eat pesto again.


Jennifer September 22, 2017 at 6:20 am

Oh my..good save, though!


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I love how much you’ve been mending things! Why pay more money for new things when you can mend, after all?

This week:

1. Our fall garden seeds have sprouted! I’m shocked at how fast they’ve come up. I’m hoping we’ll get a lot of pumpkins this year.

2. I’m in the process of fermenting plum wine, using fruit that I bought and froze a few months ago when it went on sale.

3. This weekend I’m making yogurt and plan to make a “mysost” cheese with the leftover whey. I also plan to bake a soaked grain loaf of bread with the whey, too.

4. I went through my clothes and plan to sell some to a consignment shop. Yay for less crap in the house!

5. This morning I did a free strength training workout on YouTube.


Julie September 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Sometimes I need to type out the frugal things to remind myself it all adds up. DH was downsized last month being frugal has resulted in this having very little freak out factor, for us at least, not so much for the people around us.
So here is my 5, it’s the taking advantage of newfound freedom version:
1. DH is finishing odd jobs around the house, no need to pay a contractor.
2. DH is cooking all meals so everything is ready when I get in. No temptation for take out.
3. DH is driving the kids back and forth to school. We don’t live within bus boundaries so it’s a city bus, and many days they walk home. This saves 50.00 a week in transit.
4. I am taking the public transit to work and my employer pays so this is significant.
5. We are having a last blast of summer. No AC because the nights are cool


A. Marie September 22, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Good for you and your DH on rolling with the downsize punch, Julie. Hang in there.


Michelle September 23, 2017 at 4:19 am

Julie (and others) …. have your husband call in to FedEx Ground terminal and ask if the contractors need help for the Christmas season. They start hiring and training about now, and i’m sure a lot of contractors could use good people. Could be temporary but turn into permanent. Just a thought for you…


Adriana @MoneyJourney September 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm

You’re so resourceful! I’m all for using things until they break. Until then, I think most stuff can be repaired, rather than thrown out.

My biggest frugal wins of the week involve food 😀

1. On Monday, a coupon saved us from paying full price. We were out of town and hungry, so I remembered I had a coupon in my wallet! Yay!

and 2. The grocery shopping done last Saturday was enough for the whole week. It’s not the first time that happens, but it’s always nice to be able to cook with what I already have on hand, rather than run to the store every 2-3 days. (we make our own bread at home, so we don’t need to run to the store for that either).


TJ September 22, 2017 at 6:31 am

Hurricane Irma tried to ruin my frugalness, but I won!
My birthday was the Saturday she came to Florida, but I had prepared.
I signed up for birthday clubs with my junk email, and on Wed, I picked up my free Steak N Shake double cheeseburger and fries, then my free Sonny’s BBQ smoke turkey sandwich, fries and drink, then I got a $5 pizza at Little Caesar’s, as that was what I wanted to have.
DD and I shared the food for 5 days, during which we couldn’t go out anyway!
I had taken 2 days of paid annual leave from work in conjunction with my days off, so I had 7 days off, and then work closed 2 extra days for Irma, so I wound up with 9 days of paid vacation!!
We never lost our power, just our internet, as I rent a condo a block from my place of work. (I walk to work everyday).
Our phone carrier (ATT) texted us that our texting, calling and INTERNET use would be free for 7 days, because of the impacts from IRMA. (thanks Irma). This meant that DD was able to play phone games, text friends, etc, without going cabin crazy.
We offered our shower and water, and shelter to family and friends who lost power.
While at home, I worked on sewing the 25 Christmas ornaments I am making for my co-workers. I do this annually, and everyone likes their gift. It doesn’t cost me anything but time, as I pick something I can make with supplies on hand. Pinterest has great ideas.
Once back at work, one of my co-workers gave me a bunch of bananas that went soft, so I made banana bread (from scratch) and took it to work on Saturday (I work every other weekend) to share.
Also read all 20 of my borrowed library books, returned them and reserved more. Libraries are the best!
Today I am going to my sister’s for lunch, as we had to cancel my birthday lunch thanks to IRMA!
Katy, I have been taking pillows from people at work that they don’t want, washing them, and then sewing new covers for them, then I make a removable cover from thrifted shams, and donate to the Animal Shelter for dog beds. The shelter really appreciates it, and it makes me feel like I am doing something to help, since we cannot have a pet, as DD is highly allergic.
Keep on Thrifting!


Debra September 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

You win! Bowing to the queen. To be able to survive a hurricane, make it a vacation, eat for free, and even work on Christmas gifts, well, I want to be kin to you. Heck, I want to be you! Glad you are OK. Not only that, you were generous in helping others. LOVE!


K D September 22, 2017 at 7:18 am

1. My husband needed a new pair of shoelaces for a pair of dress shoes. We hadn’t bought shoelaces in many years. I ordered them from Target and a few days later they were delivered. Becuase I used my RedCard the shipping was free and the 5% savings almost covered the sales tax. As far as I could tell they were regularly priced.

2. All meals at home this week expect going with a friend to Chick-Fil-A, where I ordered a kids meal.

3. I spent some time doing yard work. The county will pick up yard waste next week, we pay for the service as part of our property tax bill (not optional). It’s good to get exercise and fresh air while improving the looks of your home.

4. I am reading a Kindle book that I’m able to download for free since we have Amazon Prime.

5. My daughter wants a new bed. We will pay for part of it for her birthday and Christmas gift. I like to give things that I know will get a lot of use.


Emily September 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

1. I am heading north to visit my family for a few days. I always pack a pb & j, snacks, and water bottles. It’s way cheaper, and I don’t eat meat which makes finding anything you can eat while driving quite difficult !
2. Some of the nice neighborhoods near me are having yard sales tomorrow. Before I hit the road tomorrow, in going to peruse for inventory in eBay store.
3. Have been using the calculator trick at the grocery store that someone has mentioned on other FFT threads. Put a price you want to spend at the grocery store, then subtract from that every time you you put something in the cart!
4. We had friends over last night who just moved nearby from our hometown. They got engaged float weekend, so we popped a bottle of champagne that we have had forever, made a salad, and picked up the best authentic Italian pizza from our favorite place. They brought cupcakes and drinks. Enjoyed the outdoor fireplace at our apartment complex and caught up with friends with very little money spent.
5. Taking my dyson vaccuum in to replace the cord. I got it off craiglist 3 years ago for 40 dollars, but the electrical tape holding the cord together is not the safest. The cord gets really hot even after only a few minutes, but the vaccuum works great otherwise!


Mariana September 22, 2017 at 11:34 am

I had the best trip to CVS this past Thursday. It was like it used to be in the ‘old couponing days’. I was able to combine two % off coupons, in-app coupons and saved around 90%. I purchased 4 jumbo packs of diapers, neosporin, Olay body wash, Always feminine products, Jason deodorant and Physicians Formula BB Cream. I discovered a while ago that I am able to pay for Always feminine products with my FSA card (pre tax funds through employer). Even though CVS and manufacturers coupons and % email coupons attach to the products I am able to put the entire full price on the FSA card. Which basically covers the rest of the shopping, the diapers and all the other goodies. I put $18 on my FSA card and paid $4.56 cash.


Carol September 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm

1. Was going to buy a snack this afternoon, since I had a tiny lunch. Was waiting for my husband to pick me up from the mall. Instead decided I could wait until I got home.

2. I discovered that my nude lipliner, which I’ve had for years, doubles as a blond eyebrow pencil.

3. Continuing to enjoy watching fashion Youtube videos while not buying anything. It’s amazing how many clothes those women buy. When next month’s budget comes through, I will consider maybe buying a basic, like blue jeans or black boots. But Goodwill first!

4. Got my permanent Metro card, which I get a discount on. Now I’m no longer paying per ride, but one monthly discounted fee. It brings me peace–I can just zoom around town for one price.

5. We hadn’t bought wine in a couple months, so we finally restocked this month. Instead of around $20/bottle, we reduced it to around $10 bottle, but managed to get in some values there, that were worth more but on sale. We just opened a Napa cabernet that is brawny and masculine with overtones of cologne. 🙂


Liz B. September 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Lol!! Hopefully a manly cologne.:-)


Carol September 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

Yes! Very manly. 🙂


Tina September 23, 2017 at 6:51 am

Hi Katy,

I just wanted to let you know how much I cling to your posts.

We currently have an 11 and 12 year old who and w really are trying to save for college but for about the first eight years of their lives the recession was hitting us hard.

When you post numbers of what you pay, I see that we can do the same if our kids work hard, offset some of the costs with our savings and maybe scholarships we might make it.

I think I may have missed how the apartments are paid for. Do your sons contribute to rent? I know they pay for a lot of their things, but I wasn’t sure about this.



Bethany M September 23, 2017 at 7:59 pm

My family notified me of some sour milk in the fridge today. Made some blueberry muffins out of it and there was more batter than I wanted to handle at one time, so I froze the extra.


Mary W September 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Reading through the link about HGTV, I was reminded of the show, Decorating Cents, that used to air on that channel. I loved that show, as it showed ways to redecorate with what you already had on hand, or showed inexpensive ways to update your home. I wish they’d bring that type of show back…. and It would totally watch “The $100 Apartment”!

The closest thing I’ve found to my kind of renovation show is Rehab Addict on DIY. Nicole Curtis rehabs older homes and returns them to the time period in which they were built. She saves all kinds of building materials to use on other homes, and donates to Habitat ReStore, as well as shopping there and at other second hand stores. She uses creativity, and the homes are beautiful on a budget.

My frugal five today:
1. I went to Fall Rally for TOPS today with 8 other members of my club. We carpooled there and back, and we all packed our lunches. We wore matching club T-shirts and made our name tag/club sashes using felt and sticky-backed “jewels” to spell out our names and club. We added 2 strings of battery powered led lights in blue and white ( our club colors are blue and silver) from Dollar Tree for each of us, draping them around our necks with our sashes. There was a contest for look-alike clubs, and we WON! There was a $25 cash prize for the club for first place, so for a little money and creativity, we added to the club coffers. Yay, us! We did a great original song skit that was well received by the crowd, and everyone said they had a great time and are looking forward to next year.
2. I skipped karaoke last night in favor of working on my wood pile and getting to bed early…had to be up at the literal crack of dawn this morning, as a couple of us were volunteers at Fall Rally. Not going out saved me $$, and I added a lot more firewood to the woodshed. Most of the wood I cut up and stacked was stuff many people would just take into a brush pile and burn, but it will heat my home this winter quite nicely, plus I burned some calories and neatened up the side yard.
3. Wilco has their entire selection of tarps 40-50%off through the 24th, so when we got back from Vancouver, I ran back to town to stock up. Only had to drive about 10 miles farther than where we met to carpool, which saved gas, and my old tarps were no longer waterproof. The old tarps will be used for things like putting under the pool, so I’ll get a little more use out off them. I keep large tarps in our emergency repairs kit, to cover the roof if a tree falls on it or a windstorm damages shingles. I also need enough on hand to cover woodpiles between work sessions and many other uses, so when I can get them at 50% off, I buy a good supply.
4. Considered buying a used RV a few days ago, but asked a neighbor friend who knows a lot more about them than I do to go take a look at it with me. After he showed me some problems with it, I decided to pass on this one, and now that he knows what I’m looking for and my price range, he’ll be looking for a good deal on a dependable RV for me.
5. Washed a couple pair of my athletic shoes and used blank newsprint stuffed into them to stretch the toe box out a bit (to fit my short, fat feet better) and to dry them quickly. They came out looking like new and fitting comfortably. The newsprint is air-dried and reused each time I wash shoes.


susanna d September 24, 2017 at 5:32 am

Decorating Cents! I was just thinking that the trend in home improvement shows used to be how to make do by switching around what you have, using thrifted finds, seeing how frugally things could be done, etc. But I couldn’t remember the names of any of them – has it been that long ago? Decorating Cents was one of them. I miss shows like that. I’d sure watch a show called “The $100 Apartment” – and love it!


Mary W September 27, 2017 at 11:15 am

Unfortunately, yes, it’s been that long, lol. Although I enjoy the flipping shows, I deplore the wastefulness of destroying still usable cabinets, etc, in the process. I love shows on budget friendly home updates, like Design on a Dime, but I guess not enough of us did to keep them on the air.


Debra September 24, 2017 at 10:49 am

My Five Frugal Things:

1. Got a free month trial from Hulu from Swagbucks during one of their promotions. I have been watching all the Home Interior shows I can, since I never get those on my regular channels (no satellite or cable). I have been taking good notes and getting inexpensive ideas on how to decorate and renovate.
2. Been reviewing for Amazon. I carefully choose products that I can use or give as gifts once evaluated. I give a carefully worded and honest review. The sellers are happy, and I am compensated in free products that save me money for bills that have no wiggle room. If you want sellers to contact you to do the same, make sure your Amazon profile states that you are interested in being an Amazon Reviewer. Also, if you know you are interested in only certain categories, like electronics, you can list your preferences. Interested sellers will contact you by email.
3. I have been planning my food budget around what I already have, my incentives, and e-coupons online. Lately, in my area, Publix, Food Lion, and Kroger grocery stores have been very generous with several “frees” in coupons. Also, I recently won a $100 Food Lion gift card for groceries. I also had earned $70 in Kroger checks from my Kroger VISA to use on future Kroger grocery purchases. I love the couponing hobby. It is fun to try to figure out how many ways I can do “free” combined with one shopping trip legally! Sometimes, I have rebates back from the purchases, too. It is like the gift that keeps snowballing!
4. I have been wanting to organize my nail polishes and other pedicure-related accessories. A Youtube video showed how you could spray paint a spice rack and use that. I don’t have a spare one but will go to Goodwill to check for what I need. It is better to organize what you have rather than let it go bad and throw it away. Youtube has taught me a lot and saved me a lot of money. There are TONS of videos on how to earn extra income, sell stuff effectively, bargain shop, coupon, etc. You could spend days on Youtube and never come up for air. Free to use the commercial version. Commercials don’t bother me and give me time to stretch or grab something I need quickly.
5. Until I can find permanent employment, I am finding all kinds of odd jobs to bring in extra income. I also am not wasting anything we already have that can be used, versus purchasing the same type of stuff again.

My Frugal Fails: I bought an ornamental pepper plant because I didn’t have much left blooming for the Fall in my front yard. They don’t recommend for you to eat the peppers, but it is SO pretty! If this plant is a perennial, then this won’t be a big fail, as I will have it yearly. Also, I really needed some clothes for work, but I did buy a lot of it at a discount store with name brands. I just “had” to have a $30 moto jacket that was a red-rust color. The cashier even liked it. It will go with a lot and was recommended as fashionable by an over age 50 person similar to me. LOL! I want to sell some old winter accessories, but if I can’t get better than a giveaway price, I will just donate to charity.


Michele September 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm

1. Had two things on my list to buy and looked around and used what I had. Found Command hook for fall wreath and used beige pillar candle instead of buying orange one.
2. Was in Home Goods looking at beautiful fall decorations- Inspired me to get out my fall decorations. $ 0.00 spent.
3. Need to go grocery shopping, but trying to delay until tomorrow when I’ll be in town anyway for work.
4. Made up another batch of homemade laundry detergent.
5. Making fajitas tonight from wrinkly peppers that need to be used up.


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