Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 10, 2017 · 82 comments

  1. My mother and I took our $3 stipends to the Goodwill Outlet to try our luck at recreating Bargain Hunt in our own cheap American fashion. I chose a number of lightweight items with an eye for resale, while my mother bought a single heavier item that actually cost $3.86. (She gave me the gift of life, so I let this slide.) The idea is that we’ll now list our items for sale, and the “golden gavel” will go to whichever of us realizes the highest profit. I am much more into the premise than she is, but I think I can lure her into my goofy game. (Silly woman kept wasting her time reassembling puzzles and chatting up the other shoppers. Mom!)

  2. I sold a Tardis jewelry box that I’d plucked from an outlet bin, (not part of the challenge) I sold my North Face down vest, I almost sold a Trek trail-a-bike that I’ve been listing and relisting (and relisting) for the better part of two months, (I regret ever having bought it, but it’s a helpful reminder to not not invest too much money on resale items.) I miraculously sold one of my eBay items, which was a Marimekko latté cup that I’d picked up for $1.99 or so. Of course I packaged the cup using secondhand supplies.

  3. My husband works night shifts, which means that I’m on my own most evenings. Because of this, I’m able to prepare dinners that cater to my own picky frugal palate. Last night’s dinner was the last of some refried beans with a sautéed onion, lettuce and salsa. Nothing I would ever serve to anyone but myself, but it was tasty, filling, healthy and frugal. Let’s just agree that this meal is unlikely to ever be featured on Pinterest. Beans smeared on lettuce? Mmmm . . . .

  4. I went to lunch yesterday at a locally owned restaurant with my father, which was quite frugal for him as I’d filled up a punch card from previous visits to this same restaurant. Greedy (Id) me was tempted to save the punch card to treat my husband to lunch at some point, but rational me (Ego) took over and handed over the punch card since my generous father is the one who always pays for lunch. Damn you, Freud!

  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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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

kathy October 10, 2017 at 9:50 am

1. Sending adult sons and their wives a “Halloween” package. Regifted and found some new seasonal items I had on hand plus bought one item for $5 on FB garage sale site. Using USPS priority boxes plus packing material I already had.
2. Did not stop at Panera on my way home from Barre Pilates. Made myself a late breakfast of 3 strips of bacon and a very ripe avocado.
3. Donating some magazines to library…less clutter at the house.
4. Cut open a tube of face serum to get the last bit.
5. My new mantra (shameless borrowed) is “Live More With Less.

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Lauren October 10, 2017 at 9:53 am

I am pretty sure if you posted a pic and recipe for beans smeared on lettuce and your NCA crew all pinned it, you could really get a groundswell movement going and take over pinterest! Fetch may never happen, but I think beans smeared on lettuce could

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MW October 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Sort of a low carb/ gluten free tostada? Or a Mexican lettuce wrap? There are possibilities. . .

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yvette from down under October 10, 2017 at 9:56 am

Warmer weather down under means the start of summer plantings for tomatoes, zucchini, capsicum, and harvesting peas , broadbeans and broccoli. Our local agricultural show is on this week so entering jars of jams, marmalade and chutney to see if I can compete with other locals. Frugal activities for school holidays included painting rocks to hide at the playground, nature walks, basket making from willow sticks, planting seeds, etc NO technology,TV etc good outside fun!! Avoiding supermarket to lower grocery bill, makes me use up fridge and pantry supplies, have to be inventive with recipes sometimes, but leftovers can be jazzed up. Petrol prices have increased here so making sure I walk more or combine errands into one trip or car pool. Washed and polished car using up old bottles of car products hiding in the shed. Trying to be smart with my dollars to build emergency fund up after needing to dip into it to help another family member who was in greater need than me. Thankful I have shelter, good health and enough food , my family is safe and not faced with the tragedies I see so often on the news.

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Laura October 10, 2017 at 10:23 am

1. My phone provider “retired” my $20 pm plan and was going to swap me over to one that was $30 pm. I hardly use this phone, but need to keep it active, so when they would budge, I ditched them and transferred to an Aldi plan – $15pm!
2. Not frugal for me, but I convinced the builders fixing our apartments that a $8 piece of neoprene seal would do a necessary repair job, instead of their plan to buy a whole new external light fitting and hire an expensive electrician to install it.
3. Glued the flapping sole of my Teva sandal with glue I found in the cupboard, using bulldog clips for a clamp – all worked fine.
4. Reviewed summer wardrobe – nothing needed at all, so will stay out of the shops.
5. Spring cleaning with supplies on hand and shopping out of my cupboards for any containers etc to organise things.
Frugal fail: food wastage – got to get better on this!

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Cindy in the South I October 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

Could some of you fine frugal minded folks tell me how to get petroleum jelly out of my cat scratched, and admittedly raggedly looking cloth suitcase? I took a full tube of the stuff on a trip. Somehow, the lid came off, and during an exceptionally hot day, even for here, it soaked (I guess that is what you call it) through the entire suitcase. I really hate to spend money, and I am pissed that my suitcase is unusable in its current state, and that a whole container of petroleum jelly was melted/smeared….. sigh

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Beth October 10, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Baking soda will soak up grease-it’s what I use if I get a grease stain on my clothing. You could try scraping as much of it out as possible and then washing and rewashing with a baking soda/dawn dish soap combo (rinsing between washes).

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Cindy in the South I October 10, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Thanks!

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Ava October 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Cornstarch also does a good job of soaking up grease.

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Liz B. October 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

I second using Dawn to get any leftover grease out, after soaking it up with baking soda or corn starch. Blue Dawn is awesome….has gotten out old grease stains on clothes that have been through the dryer.

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Cindy in the South I October 11, 2017 at 4:56 am

Thanks y’all!

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tonya October 10, 2017 at 10:32 am

My FFT are all from Monday-
1) Made my coffee at work.
2) Rode the light rail to work and listened to a podcast. All the other people in cars were cursing our first snow of the season, but I was relaxing!
3) Meatless Monday dinner was burrito bowls.
4) Ate lunch at my desk.
5) Not frugal- both cars in the shop yesterday, for a total of $1100!! Thankfully they have been paid off for a while (we drive a glamorous 2003 Dodge Durango and a 2007 Prius status symbol), so repairs are still better than car payments.

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Betty Winslow October 10, 2017 at 10:43 am

1. Dinner was leftover chili dropped off by a friend, stretched with a can of tomatoes, plus the last bag of on-sale chopped salad (and leftovers from this will be my lunch and my son’s).
2. Sent a tip into The Dollar Stretcher and got an additional 3 mo. added to my subscription. I haven’t ever paid for it!
3. Headed to the library to pick up some reserved material and renew a DVD.
4. Then, I’ll go to the gym. $140 a yr isn’t really frugal when you consider I could walk around the block or in the mall, but I know me – if I’ve spent good money on it, I’ll do it! Pretty much 5 days a wk since January…. an investment in my health, so frugal in the long run.
5. Dinner tonight will include meatloaf, made with ketchup packets from our last trip to Burger King and bread crumbs made from a couple of stale slices of rosemary sourdough bread brought home from a potluck dinner.

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susanna d October 10, 2017 at 10:56 am

Looking forward to hearing the results of your “Bargain Hunt”, Katy!

Not sure if I have five frugal things but here goes:

1. With my renewed enthusiasm for the pursuit of swagbucks, I managed to have earned enough to cash in for a $25 Amazon gift card (hello, several months worth of “free” coffee!).
2. Spent many hours on a very rainy Saturday reading old posts here, working my way through Clark Howard’s website, and basically recharging my frugal batteries. I’ve picked up a lot of new ideas to try, and learned a lot of things I hadn’t known previously. And yes, earned swagbucks while doing so.
3. Did all of the food shopping for our upcoming family waterpark vacation at Aldi instead of my regular grocery store. And spent 60% less than I had for last year’s trip.
4. Making a batch of chili in the crockpot for tonight’s cooler weather dinner. Tomatoes and peppers were some of the veggies friends gifted us and I froze for later, and the package of beef stew meat was the very last package left from last year’s half side of beef purchase. Add in some previously cooked beans and we’ll eat around the campfire tonight for a fun frugal dinner.
5. All wood for the above mentioned campfire was free courtesy of last year’s thinning of the woods.

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Rhonda October 10, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Does anyone else think Swagbucks is complicated? I’m having trouble figuring it out (I’ll admit I’m not a technological wiz, but I’m fairly smart – lol).

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susanna d October 11, 2017 at 6:07 am

I know there are a lot of ways to earn that I haven’t figured out and probably never will, so I just normally do searches, answer surveys and watch videos. Which can give me a lot of swagbucks – particularly if I qualify for a lot of surveys. But there were times – particularly if there was a team challenge – that I’d see how many points some people earned to contribute to the team and I can’t for the life of me figure out how they do it.

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John October 10, 2017 at 11:03 am

I buy / fix /sell a lot of bicycles in the Portland area and think you’re just out of season with the Trek. You’d have no issue selling it in June / July (not that you want to hold on to it for that long… just good reference when scouting other bikes for resale… bikes are very seasonal).

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Carol October 10, 2017 at 11:25 am

1. Have been tempted by take-out lately, but have resisted so far. Sunday was homemade vegetable soup with garlic bread, and last night was roasted edamame with spaghetti squash. I highly recommend the second as an easy meal, because you can roast both the edamame and the squash at the same time in the oven.

2. Drinking a glass of orange juice which is the frozen, concentrated kind.

3. Reviewed our September spending with the instructions of Your Money or Your Life, and saw that we spent a lot less than we earned. I transferred some of that extra to savings.

4. Free entertainment–finally finished The Tin Drum, a classic book that had been given to me by my father, because he loved it in high school. It took me several years of putting it down for months at a time to finish. Anyway, now I feel more cultured.

5. Looked up online criticism and analysis upon finishing the book. Who needs literature classes when you can teach yourself?

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Megyn October 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Hey, if peanut butter slices are a thing, beans on lettuce will for sure be a hit 😉

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Jennifer October 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

1. My middle daughter has been really begging me to get her a Evie from Disney’s Desendants Two costume. I have been looking online for several days and every one I find is $30+ and most have been out of stock. I ran by my local thrift store,feeling certain it would be a wasted trip, and I found one for $5.98! I could have made her one but I’m just not really up to trying to concoct a costume this year.
2. I got an old, large, window that has a white, chippy paint frame for free at a yardsale this past weekend. My husband and I decided on a quote to put on it in vinyl lettering. We had all the tools to do this ourselves for free. So we put it on the glass and it looks so nice.
3. Tonight, we are having hamburger steaks from the super good deal my husband found on meat this weekend.
4. I picked up my Free Friday download at Kroger today, instead of yesterday, like I had originally planned. I was glad I waited because I also picked up an angel food cake that was marked down to $1.49 and I also had a $1 off coupon loaded to my Kroger card. So I paid 49 cents for the cake. I’m going to put it in the freezer for the next time I need a quick dessert.
5. I picked up some cabinet enamel at Lowe’s after researching it pretty extensively. I didn’t count on the fact that I couldn’t tolerate the smell(it is oil-enriched). I wasn’t sure if I could return it but they did allow me to. The paint was $50 so I was so glad they would take it back. I got a different type of paint for $33, after talking with some of the employees at Lowe’s, and it doesn’t smell much at all. I just hope it works just as well.

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VanessaKC October 11, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Always use a respirator for enamels and lacquers. The warning labels speak for themselves.

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VanessaKC October 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Great paints, last years and years with proper care.

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Jennifer October 12, 2017 at 4:11 am

I did while I was painting but I have small kids running around and then it still smelled so strong the next morning. I didn’t plan on being so sensitive to it. I had read such great reviews and the pictures I have seen online look exactly like what a I was looking for. Wish I could get someone to paint it for me!

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Roberta October 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm

1. I have been unable to find shoes for my teenage son. We tried Goodwill one last time (there just is no selection in his size, and it’s only a 10!), then stopped by a scratch-and-dent store. He found shoes he liked, marked $23. I had a 25% off coupon, so they were less than that! Now he has shoes without holes.
2. Everyone was starving, so I used that as motivation to finish shopping quickly, instead of treating them to lunch out. Otherwise they dawdle horribly!
3. Sent my daughter out to the car to grab her student id for a new sweater. They gave me 10% with student id! I also found a new-to-me pair of TOMS knock-offs for $6, to replace my shoes with holes in the toes.
4. It’s hot today, and I am getting a lot of laundry washed and hung on the line.
5. Used walnuts to make “taco filling” for lunch. No one else in the house likes walnuts, but with the taco seasoning I couldn’t taste the walnut flavor. It’s close in spirit to beans smeared on lettuce!

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K D October 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm

1. A friend and I went for a walk on a local trail. Good exercise and therapy. We both have problems vexing us this week. We ran into a mutual friend and will plan an in-home brunch with her soon.

2. My husband is away for a few days so meals are catch as catch can. Like Katy I “enjoy” some unusual combinations.

3. I’ve been making smoothies using what’s in the freezer and refrigerator combined with free samples of protein powder a friend gave me.

4. I’ll attend a yoga class this evening. I pay a monthly membership fee so I attend a lot of classes. My cost per class is low and my fitness level is high, as a result.

5. I volunteer at a school once a week. Today we encountered a stapler that is jammed. I brought it home to look at it rather than allow it to be thrown away. Time will tell if I can get it to work.

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Minimalist45 October 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

1. Made dinner with leftovers for three days.
2. Drank coffee with gifted coffee card credit.
3. Answered a survey for free coffee.
4. Registered coffee card for free coffee.
5. Bought a cooked chicken at half original price.

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Beth Anne October 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Noticing a coffee theme for your 5, lol. Gotta love coffee 🙂

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MW October 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

– Packed ultra-light for a work trip to avoid a baggage fee (and a sore back)
– Packed lunches, made coffee at home, and took the bus to work
– Sorted through hand-me-downs to outfit my younger son for the fall
– Unearthed a bag of hand-me-down snow boots to try on both kiddos
– Rocking thrift-store clothes for work and play

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ouvickie October 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Your Mom looks like fun to shop with!
1) Picked up the next book in the Lumby series at the Library today. Yay! Reading material for tonight.
2) Wore my swag fleece jacket I rec’d from a work Vendor. It’s SO warm and it was free – the best!
3) Ate PB&J sandwich for dinner last night. Hubby ate leftovers from Chicken & Biscuit casserole. LOVE not cooking during the week!
4) Going to fill up my car with $20 in cash on the way home tonight. I’ve saved so much for the last two weeks by staying home on the weekends.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet, a yacht or an overpriced apartment or McMansion in the sky.

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Jill A October 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

1. I woke up early again today to put a load of laundry in the washing machine to take advantage of the cheaper electric rate. I then hung the load on my drying racks in my kitchen.
2. I’ve been working everyday on swagbucks in order to earn some gift cards. I also earn on another survey sight. I try to work on it each morning.
3. My mother and I drove to another town for lunch and to check out the amish bulk grocery store. We’d never been. It had some pretty amazing deals. It looks to have some salvage almost ready to or expired foods. I purchased several items and so did my Mom. My mother bought her Halloween candy there – 48 full size snickers bars that came to .31 cents apiece.
4. I drove to this town in my hybrid car saving us gas money and in exchange my Mom left the tip for lunch.
5. I went to my husbands work after my outing to get my free flu shot.
6. Dinner tonight was from the fridge – spinach salad using some of the huge clamshell of spinach I purchased at Costco, strawberries that were on their last legs (and three strawberries that my plant produced mysteriously) Blueberries, red onion, candied pecans, blue cheese, a chicken breast that my culinary student daughter left in my fridge and poppyseed dressing that I made. It was delicious and cheap.

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Kim in Maryland October 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm

1. Yesterday after 2 weeks and trying everything I could, I raised the white flag and went to the doctor for my sinus infection. I have asthma and Mucinex, sudafed, saline rinse had not cleared it up so off I went. Used our HSA to pay my now higher copay.
2. The new Harris Teeter is still giving $25 Gift Card for each coupon filled. Filled my 2 scripts and now have $50 to spend on groceries. Got back more than my co-pays.
3. DH works for one of the largest franchises of a certain bakery cafe chain. Since I wasn’t feeling well he brought home soup for me. Love free food especially when I don’t have to cook it.
4. Did manage to channel my prednisone hyperness into doing laundry. Four loads and hung the sheets out in our 81° weather in mid October!
5. Bestest Neighbor emailed me to ask if I wanted the hanging metal flower window containers that someone had given her. I admired them when they were sitting in her foyer last week and she said she didn’t think they would work for her railings. Turns out they won’t and her 2 DILs didn’t want them so I’m the lucky recipient. I’m taking my homemade caramel apple dip over to thank her.

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Liz B. October 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Kim, I hope you’re feeling better. This time of year in my area (Ohio Valley) is notoriously bad for seasonal allergies….I’ve had many, many sinus infections. Those meds can make such a difference.

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Kim in Maryland October 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Thanks Liz! I too have lots of allergies and had sinus surgery 13 years ago. Seems it’s time to have it done again. My ENT said at the time, that my sinus openings were so scarred that they were almost closed. That meant I had a constant sinus infection with big flare ups. The surgery was fabulous since I finally knew what it was to breath like a “normal person.” I’m thankful for adequate insurance.

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Amanda S. October 11, 2017 at 7:25 am

I had been plagued with sinus infections in the past, so miserable and expensive! Whenever I got a cold it turned into a sinus infection. Then I read somewhere that inhaling eucalyptus essential oils whenever you start to get a stuffy nose can help. I now keep a bottle of the oil in my pocket when I’m getting a cold and sniff it throughout the day. I haven’t had a sinus infection since I started this 4 years ago.

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karen October 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Thanks Amanda I will try that with my next cold. I too had many many sinus infections in my past. Two things made a difference to me. The first one was getting rid of all the carpet in our house esp. my bedroom. And the second one was using a neti pot. I use one with distilled water every evening before bed. My sinuses were so messed up that the doctor said using the neti pot for an extended period of time can actually repair your sinuses. So I used one every night for about 5 years. Now I use one 2x a day when I have a cold.

Hope this helps someone. When my sinuses were messed up I was desperate to find something to help. And when you get a cold start right away with Mucinex. Doctor said best thing over the counter.

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Ruby October 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm

1. Last week I worked a weird early schedule that kept me out of rush hour traffic and used half as much gas in my tiny Honda Fit as usual. This week I started a new job and the hours are such that rush hour is also avoided. Gonna like the gas savings!
2. Ordered food for our oldest cat from Chewy.com for about half what it costs in the grocery store.
3. Bought sandwich and pasta salad for lunch out the first day of new job and it was so huge that it fed me again the next day. Back to brown bagging tomorrow.
4. Been working so much that groceries and cat litter are the only things I have spent money on lately.
5. Getting $93 back on a prepaid parking pass at my old job. New employer is paying for my parking, which is a very nice perk.

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Denise October 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

The Honda Fit isn’t “tiny”, Ruby (finally looked it up – it’s sold as the Honda Jazz in England): the Smart car is “tiny”!! Loads of them in London…

https://www.smart.com/uk/en/index/smart-fortwo-453.html?pid=smart_hp_fortwo-coupe_TopNav_140616

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Ruby October 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

There are some Smart cars in the US, and they are really tiny. My Fit looks miniscule when it’s parked between a couple of sport utility vehicles. I have had people interested in it because it is an unusual ice blue color, but then they tell me it’s too small for them! 😀

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A. Marie October 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

Our Respected Elder Member of our Literary Society is still (at age 91.5) able to drive her Smart Car for short trips around town. Vanity plate: ITSMYSUV.

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Mary W October 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Lol, A. Marie, that is priceless. One of my favorite “moms” is in her 80s and drives a red Dodge Charger with a hemi engine, and a license plate that reads IMA10. Not exactly a Smart car, but I love her attitude.

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KJD509 October 10, 2017 at 4:11 pm

1. Have been fanatical about putting dinner leftovers into lunch containers for the past week because we’ve had so much food loss. Now have a large collection of lunch options in the freezer.
2. Hung a load of wash to dry. I don’t do this often enough – the cat and dog hair floating around discourages it.
3. Bought a used (very used) car this weekend. It had problems almost immediately. Dealership took it back, fixed it at their cost, and allowed us to add a powertrain warranty. Not frugal to add that cost – it popped it right over my budgeted amount. But it was also exactly the cost of a transmission repair, a number I know well because we have paid for 3 of them over the past year, and it covers a whole laundry list of potential (and, I’m guessing, likely) problems over the next 18 months.
4. Kids in college finally got their total tuition costs, about 72 hours before the payment deadline. The business office wants the kids to pay full freight and then have any extra refunded. That would have been about $6k extra – no, thank you! Transferred $ to their checking accounts as soon as we had the numbers and then watched online as they paid. Helicoptering? Yes. But worth it to avoid the 3% late fee.
5. Fed littlest, who is growing like a weed and constantly hungry, almost exclusively out of the pantry and freezer for the 5 days we were together. Oh, except for ice cream. But it was on sale.

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Patti October 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

1. I researched and found the “transforming paste” that I use on my hair on Amazon. Normally I buy a 1 oz. tube for around $15.00 at my hairdresser’s. They have a gigantic tube (5 oz)for $17.00. I hope it doesn’t dry out – will buy one of those toothpaste squeeze things to keep the air out. Of course I will cut open the container to get even more out of my old one!
2. Today I was treated to lunch for my birthday by a friend. I only ate 1/2 of my huge sandwich so brought the other half home for hubbies dinner. When she went to pay, they treated me to a free artisan donut since it was my birthday and I had chosen their restaurant. So tonight my husband and I are enjoying salads, he has his sandwich, and sharing bites of a raspberry cream cheese glazed donut for dessert. The rest of the donut will be for breakfast tomorrow.
3.Today my husband received his Lifetime Senior Pass to all the National Parks. We are looking forward to using it often in retirement and I am thinking of purchasing this for my brother and his wife for their Christmas gift. It covers up to 6 people in the car.
4. Today I mailed off my husband’s 40 year old watch for repair. I also mailed off 4 pairs of my sewing scissors for professional sharpening. None of these items could be repaired locally but all have service centers that will do the repair. Worth it to continue to use the same items we already own. They are better quality than can be purchased today.
5. Planned my week’s meals today utilizing as much food as possible that I already have at home. I am really proud of how little food waste we have had lately.

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

Patti, what is the name of this miraculous hair paste? Goodness knows my hair could use some help! Thanking you in advance – Kathleen

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Bee October 11, 2017 at 4:24 am

A Lifetime National Park Pass would be an awesome Christmas gift! Our parks are definitely one of our most wonderful ideas.

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Beth Anne October 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

1. Just earned another $25 Wal-mart gift card through Swagbucks – now have three I am saving towards purchasing a carpet cleaner.
2. Excited Consumers Power (gas) bill – only $17.50 – fabulous!!!
3. Made lunch at home from a reduced bag of salad (79 cents) and put together a Greek salad from what I had at home, loved it! Have plenty left for tomorrows lunch. 😉
4. Went to Ace Hardwares ladies night out event with my daughter and we both enjoyed the free cider and donuts, goody giveaways at the door and exploring what color to pick for our free pint of paint.
5. Saving my Kroger free pack of gum for daughter Christmas stocking, braces come off in November. Managed to hide it before she saw it. 😉

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Mrs. Picky Pincher October 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Love the thrift store finds. This week:

1. I realized we were out of marjoram when I tried to pre-cook tomorrow’s dinner (gyros). We thought up a new menu idea on the fly, and will use our pre-cooked turkey to make some nice bagel sandwiches instead.

2. I’ve had a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes today (ugh!). I’m treating it with ibuprofen and frugal home remedies like hot water with lemon and honey.

3. I cleaned our butcher block with vinegar.

4. Instead of using single-use tissues, I’m using homemade hankies.

5. I’m building a homemade lightbox out of an old cardboard box instead of buying one.

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Lindsey October 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm

HA! I misread your first line to say that you were out of marijuana that you needed to pre-cook gyros!

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Jennifer October 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Omg, I needed that laugh!

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A. Marie October 12, 2017 at 10:58 am

Yo, Mrs. Picky Pincher! Dinner’s at your house, right??

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Mary W October 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Wow, I thought I was the only one who read marijuana instead of marjoram. I wondered about that recipe, lol.

I can’t tell the difference between marjoram and oregano – I must not have a sophisticated palate. 😉

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auntiali October 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm

1. Got up and drove daughter to the travel doc so she could get her second rabies shot. The gas mileage will be deducted on our taxes.
2. We got fast food for supper. Dh wasn’t home and the hot dog stand will close for the season in a week. I used my allowance to pay. My mother worked at this hot dog stand 56 yrs ago when she was pregnant with me.
3. Got the gas bill today and while we are on the budget plan we only used $25.36 worth.
4. Kept the lights off today. Sunny day so not a problem.
5. Read my book that I downloaded from Apple. Used some of the money that was on two gift cards that I got 20% off.

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Lauren October 11, 2017 at 2:26 am

1. Have endeared myself to an outside contractor at work so they have requested me for their weekly caterings- this gives me a few more hours each week, and I enjoy working there and sampling from their well stocked snack cupboard that is on offer!
2. I bought a Groupon to print some wedding photos on canvas. The coupon code stated it would give me xx.xx off but the actual discount on the website was less. It’s only a 3 euro difference but I’ve emailed Groupon anyway and am hoping for the difference to be refunded. Takes 5 seconds to shoot off the email, and I think it’s important for the company to honor their obligation.
3. Picked up another mystery shop this week for a business that I really enjoy. It’s an excuse to visit a store I like, buy something I will use and be reimbursed for, plus I’m paid for my time.
4. Picked up a free to us crib off a local buy/sell app. We will buy a new mattress for it but it’s otherwise in great condition and means one more thing off the baby list!
5. I’ve found someone nearby who has offered to give me sewing lessons. I learn better by observing and doing so this should be really helpful and allow me to make my own small gifts and reusable items for the home like cloth napkins. I do need to buy a sewing machine now but I think it will be a worthy investment.

Frugal Fail: It was my birthday last week and I took full advantage by giving in to eating out and getting takeaway multiple times. We enjoyed almost all of our meals (birthday dinner was actually disappointing- new restaurants are always a gamble) but I feel a bit bad about all the spending. Taking it easy this week to recover and eating from the pantry & freezer.

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Susanne G October 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

Lauren, what does your #1 mean? Can’t quite figure it out. Thanks.

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Jill October 11, 2017 at 5:07 am

1. I tagged along with my husband for his work travels this week and was able to hang out with him, eat breakfast at the hotel and packed my own food for my other meals.
2. Brought along two Agatha Christie library books and put Gretchen Rubin’s new book on hold.
3.Took my mom and sister on a girls weekend last weekend. We shared the cost of 2 nights hotel, gas and a golf cart rental (we went to an island that doesn’t allow cars) A fun but economical weekend.
4.My husband hosted a buddy while I was gone and in between all their sports watching they completed a few honey do items around the house. I’ll take that kind of guys weekend anytime!
5. I batched my errands, only bought necessary items at the grocery store and continue to eat down the pantry. Would like to make a big pot of soup from freezer items but since it’s been almost 90 with what seems like 100% humidity everyday I haven’t done that yet.

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Cindy in the South I October 11, 2017 at 5:14 am

1. I made clam dip with stuff I had in my pantry and frig.
2. I made spaghetti, with chicken, peas, mushrooms, and a cream sauce, using food from my pantry and fridge. I cooked the spaghetti in the juice of the canned peas and mushrooms, to add more flavor. I also added a bunch of spices. Spices fix a lot of bland food….lol.
3. I have back issues. I have discovered that if I pull the mattress off my futon, and put it on my rug and plop down on the floor to sleep, my back will not hurt during the day….whatevah works…. My futon was a $125 dollar number from Wallyworld, that I had to assemble a couple of years ago. It is the only piece of furniture that was bought “new” in my house….lol.
4. I am still using my flip phone, after my cheap “smart” phone broke. I have discovered I really do not need a smart phone. I used it for entertainment purposes only.
5. I brought my lunch to work, as always. Today it is a repeat of yesterday’s lunch of homemade fig muffins, a bologna, fried rice, cheese combo (with lots of spices) and homemade no bake chocolate oatmeal peanut butter cookies.

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Bee October 11, 2017 at 5:25 am

I love the Bargain Hunt challenge. I really wish I had a GW Outlet nearby. My FFT are a bit repetitive:
1) With the exception of birthday celebration meals, I have eaten simple meals at home eliminating almost all food waste. I will have to try Katy’s Mexican lettuce wrap. I also continue to drink primarily water and home-brewed coffee.

2) My farm share had many different kinds of squash in it. I used these to make a beautiful fall centerpiece on my dining table. When I need a squash, I take it off the table and rearrange the ones that remain.

3) I have spent several afternoons working on personal finances and household business. September was a bit of a blurr. Travel,Hurricane Irma, and post-storm clean up took a large portion of my time. I updated my spreadsheets, filed, budgeted and made list. Not my favorite way to spend my time but necessary.

4) DH and I went to the gym. It is still in the 90s in Florida, so I run indoors. Like Betty Winslow, I too believe that an investment in one’s health is frugal in the long run. With a variety of classes and activities, our YMCA membership keeps me motivated. This is my big extravagance.

5) Making plans to bring AT-hiking son home from Maine in a frugal manner. Thank goodness, there are many options. Money is tight after this long journey. I wish that I could be there at the end, but it’s not in the budget. We will have a party when he gets home. Perhaps we will splurge on champagne!

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Jennifer October 11, 2017 at 6:36 am

5. Even though money is tight, I am so glad you were able to support him as he follows his dreams. It’s been great to read about his journey in your posts, I will miss those. Thanks for sharing!

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nancy from mass October 11, 2017 at 8:21 am

I echo the Thanks for sharing his journey with us! I will also miss the updates on his trip.

Even though money is tight, the experience is immeasurable!!

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Cindy in the South I October 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

I have loved hearing about his journey!

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Bee October 11, 2017 at 11:28 am

You all are just wonderful. I feel like you are old friends! 🙂

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Katy October 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Aww . . . .

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Katy in Africa October 11, 2017 at 5:25 am

Can’t wait to tune in next time to hear who the winner is!
1. Tomorrow we we’re gonna do something as a family, I haven’t decided what yet, but it’ll probably end up being something at home, like doing a craft, playing a game, or watching a movie we already have.
2. Last night we ate leftovers, then the leftovers of leftovers went to the animals.
3. We’ve reinstated the egg-a-day rule as cheap and easy protien boost for the kids.
4. The kids had fruit from our garden yesterday when they got home from school.
5. I froze leftover pieces of bread, once we’ve accumulated enough I can make a casserole.

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Jennifer October 11, 2017 at 6:41 am

5. It amazes me how many people I know that actually throw away bread. I chunk it in the freezer then use it later in so many ways like meatloaf, bread pudding, bread crumbs, croutons, hot dog bun pie, etc.. Of course you can always just use it for it’s intended purpose like on a sandwich.

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Ava October 11, 2017 at 4:20 pm

I turn the leftover bread into crumbs in the food processor and keep them in the freezer for meatloaf and buttered as a mac and cheese topping.

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Denise October 11, 2017 at 10:23 am

Bread and a casserole. How???

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Cindy in the South I October 11, 2017 at 10:52 am

Denise, Amy Dacyczn, in the Tightwad Gazette, used to toast the bread pieces, and use them on top of her casseroles, to give them a little bit of crispy crunch. I do that also. I also flavor mine sometimes with a little butter and sea salt.

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Katy in Africa October 11, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Basically I mix up some eggs and milk and pour it over bread, then bake it. You can do it sweet,like French toast with sugar cinnamon, pieces of apple, etc..
Or savory with salt, pepper, sautéed onions, mushrooms, cheese, pieces of leftovers meat, ect…
You can get creative and come up with all kinds of concoctions!

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Lindsey October 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Bread crumb sausages! Yum.

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janine October 11, 2017 at 7:42 am

1. It has cooled off considerably so soup making weather is at hand tonight. I have a refrigerator full of odds and ends.
2. My escape mechanism are mysteries – reading a couple from the $1 shelf at the used book store.
3. Gifted with a bag of leftover produce from a friend’s farmers market table.
Beets, peppers and tomatoes. Also purchased sale green beans and brussel sprouts. Will freeze the excess – happy to have it.
3. We are suffering from seasonal allergies and colds. When tissue box ran out resorted to homemade hankies.
4. We plan to attend a free concert this Friday evening – they do ask for donations which we are happy to make.
5. No major purchases such as jets, or anything that reeks of conspicuous consumption. (Confession: I am ridiculously proud of the ‘hybrid’ label displayed prominently on my car.)

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Bettypants October 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

1. A payroll rep sent in a Halloween bucket of treats for us. I plucked out mini fudge striped Keebler cookies and a bag of cheetos.
2. Thank you to the person who reminded me that Hoopla has movies. I watched two over the last week.
3. Sold a purse and a pair of Dr. Martens on ebay for $38 and $30. I had bought the purse at a yard sale for $3 and the shoes at a church rummage sale for $1. Also sold a pair of boys dress shoes on a FB board.
4. I bought two pair of Lularoe leggings yesterday off a FB board, to sell on ebay. I checked the prints ahead of time on ebay, but will get them listed immediately as LLR is imploding.
5. And finally, my office provided lunch for everyone today, which was nice. I usually walk home, but it’s raining anyway, so great timing.

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Mary Beth Danielson October 11, 2017 at 9:05 am

Your mom is pretty. Says a woman who also has attractive daughters, as your mom does…

I just did a list of 10 things from last week and this week. http://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/mindful-chickens-1062017-and-10112017

The hardest frugal thing is not actually done yet; this afternoon I will learn how to “freeze our credit.” It appears someone may be practicing to use our credit. Years ago when our life was more complicated, our credit was not awesome – and this never happened. No one tries to steal your credit when it’s in the dumper. Now that we are A1 again – this is the third fraud attempt in three years. We check our credit card (we only have one) more than once a month so we catch this stuff, but it is not convenient.

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Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life October 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

If we were in the same state or it didn’t cost too much to ship, I’d ask about the details for the Trek trail-a-bike! I think we’re going to try cycling with our little one soon.

Mine is tiny today. I’ve been refusing to buy a laundry basket for our new place because I didn’t want to spend money on more plastic things, and a friend offered us his that he can’t use anymore! Frugal and kept it out of the landfill – double win!

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Sophie October 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm

1) I’m making big batches of chicken soup. I have digestive issues so I add a little jasmine rice to the soup and it makes a perfect frugal daily lunch that does not create digestive upset.
2) Spent $70 on groceries for the week at Trader Joe’s and Kroger which comes in under budget.
3) Resisted all the autumn flowers, cinnamon brooms and other various fall doodads at Trader Joe’s. I have enough stuff to decorate.
4)Swagbucks have been adding up lately. Every time I get to $25 I add it to paypal and transfer to my bank account. I’m going to put it towards buying a new oven/stovetop after Christmas.
5)Resisted going to Target because I don’t need a darn thing. Saving money on gas this week too.

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Amanda October 11, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I LOVE a meal I make just for myself! My works-days-like-I-do husband and three small children would never eat the “pile of roasted veggies from Aldi with a soft-boiled egg,” which is my favorite cheap, healthy, delicious meal right now. So once a week or so I let my husband assemble leftovers for himself and the kids and I am in brussels sprouts, bell pepper, cherry tomato, string bean, sweet potato heaven!

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Jen October 12, 2017 at 5:41 am

!. Meal planned using the ingredients in our fridge and pantry, so grocery run was only $30 at Aldi. It also happened to be a mystery shop, so I’ll get $8 back, bringing my cost to only $22!

2. DH’s truck needed an oil change, so found a mystery shop for that, which covered the full $60 service plus paid us $25. Making money doing something that has to be done anyway is definitely frugal!

3. Called around to see if we could get cheaper rates on our car insurance (something I usually do every 6 months, but somehow kept forgetting to do the last year or so) and have switched us to a new provider saving us almost $1K a year! I was floored!

4. Reserved a few Halloween books at the library for our kiddos. To me, this is even better than buying them used because I won’t have to hold on to them all year long.

5. Also at the library, signed up for a free Halloween celebration this weekend. Snacks, crafts, and storytime, all at no cost to us. I loooooove our local library!

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Jessica October 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

Frugal fail: tried to make a baby gift using things I had in the house and I managed to melt the intended gift. Oops. [Was trying to print a design onto the shade of a nightlight, but the nightlight shade was apparently a synthetic material that melted under the heat of the iron.]

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Caroline October 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm

1. Have been using kudzu as the fresh greens in my smoothies. Seriously, Cindy in the South and other southern readers–who knew??? I am mad I just learned it was edible at the end of the season! If you can’t beat em, eat em!
2. Other main ingredients in the smoothies are homemade yogurt and frozen peaches I bought as culls at the end of August. Cheap and so good this year.
3. Overnight oats for lunch everyday this week. Good for cholesterol, good for wallet.
4. Skipped a non-essential trip to Trader Joe’s like another commenter upthread, and inspired by Katy’s post from a while back.
5. Exchanged my soda stream co2 canister at bed bath and beyond while in a nearby town for work, used 20% coupon to bring the big size (60l) to about $13. Does anyone know another place that exchanges them? Walmart used to but no more, and Costco sells the machines but not the refills which kind of ticks me off. I know the Frugalwoods hacked theirs with a full sized canister but we are not that handy.

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Nancy P October 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond exchange them

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Caroline October 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

Thank you.

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Katy October 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm

I went to Trader Joe’s today for hummus and bananas and bought . . . hummus and bananas!

I always think this deserves an effing medal as that store is nothing but impulse items.

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Caroline October 13, 2017 at 10:28 am

☺️

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Caroline October 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

Oops tried to post a medal emoji but it didn’t go through.

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