Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 25, 2018 · 82 comments

  1. My son and I spent the afternoon hitting up a couple of nearby Goodwills. He bought a green sweater and pink dress shirt as he’s been wanting to put together a “Ned Flanders outfit,” and I bought a number of miscellaneous items including:

    – A pair of brand new Smart Wool work socks for my husband.

    – A set of brand new Tommy Hilfiger flannel sheets for my soon to visit nephew. (We’re low on extra twin sheets, since both my kids took sets to school with them.)

    – A pair of Ferragamo pumps to sell.

    – A Thule bike rack, which I’ll sell at an local store.

  2. I told my son “we have food at home” when he wanted to drive through Popeye’s (his favorite) while we were out and about. My id desperately wanted to splurge on a treat for him, but my ego was hyperaware of the looming April 1st double tuition deadline. Instead we came home and I sautéed a mess of onions, peppers and mushrooms to create a huge omelette for my husband and son to share. And since the peppers and mushrooms were from the Grocery Outlet clearance shelf, it was a truly frugal meal which ended up winning rave reviews.

  3. The Portland Timbers soccer team played yet another away game, as their stadium is being upgraded. I decided to make the at home game is little more fun than usual, so I put together a snacky feast, which I normally only do for the Super Bowl. My plan had been somewhat elaborate, but I slept in and didn’t have time to grocery shop. Instead I served cut apples, carrots, hummus and sausage bits on toothpicks. (Everything’s more fun on a toothpick!) I then set out bowls of dipping sauces for the sausage pieces, which was a huge hit. My husband’s friend was a last minute addition to the fun and there was plenty of food to go around. And the best part was that the sausages were 99¢ per six-pack from (you guessed it) the Grocery Outlet!

  4. My husband signed up for a free 30-day trial of CBS All Access so we can binge watch Star Trek Discovery while he’s on medical leave, I’ve been reading a library copy of Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, I’m wearing a 100% thrifted outfit today, (including socks and underwear!) I found two pennies on the ground as well as a cute purple pony tail holder, I saved the plastic bags that the aforementioned clearance shelf veggies came in for my friend to use as dog poop bags and I potted up some spider plant babies which I’d pinched off a plant at my father’s house.

  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 }

ouvickie March 25, 2018 at 11:07 am

1. Payday is coming up, so going to the Goodwill Outlet will be in my plans this next month. I’m on the hunt for a rain coat or a short all-weather hoodie of some type. I know I can find one at the thrift store, if I’m patient. All my coats and jackets are thrifted, or have been given to me over the years and they’re all still in good shape.
2. I color my hair at home, which makes it much cheaper since it’s only $7 for the color I use. I’d save money if I could just past wanting to look elderly at 60. Just not ready to be white headed yet.
3. I bought bottle of Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM w/D3 at the A-Z store for a $1 about 3 weeks ago and I’ve been taking 1-2 per day. They’ve really helped the arthritis in my hands. I try to drink Tumeric & Dandelion tea everyday. It seems to be reducing the pain and inflammation. I don’t want to take pharmaceuticals – too expensive and too many side affects.
4. I cleaned the carpet in the living and dining room yesterday, using a solution of White Vinegar mixed with water in my thrifted $7 Bissell carpet cleaner. It looks so much better today. I’ll be glad when I can rip up the carpet and put down regular flooring.
5. I’d bought some sausage, Rotel w/sweet onions and Queso Cheese on sale at the Tribal grocers last week, so I whipped that up last night and we had chips and dip for dinner. Since there’s still plenty left, it looks like that’s what we’ll be having tonight too. Cheap and easy – gotta love it!

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Karen March 25, 2018 at 11:38 am

I just started taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM s Turmeric a couple of months ago, after being diagnosed with a herniated cervical disc that has been causing a lot of pain. That’s helped a lot, along with collagen. I signed up for Amazon Subscribe and Save, since it seems I’ll be taking this for a while. I’m glad it’s working for you! I’ve also seen that supplement at Trader Joe’s, I’m going to see if it’s a better deal.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 25, 2018 at 2:29 pm

They have glucosamine at the Dollar Tree and a friend of mine swears they are working well for her herniated disc. I take some that I got at a close out store that are actually expired but they are working well for me. I also drink a turmeric and apple cider drink every couple days or so. I have noticed that drink has stopped my acid reflux. I think the cider may be neutralizing the acid.

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Jenny March 25, 2018 at 6:33 pm

I have taken the Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM for several years and think it does nothing since my arthritis/disc problems are pretty bad, BUT maybe it would be worse if I didn’t take it. My doctor thinks it’s worthless. I can’t take any NSAID because of other meds. I usually get the cheapest at discount store and/or wait until BOGO but have never tried the dollar stores or Amazon.

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Mand01 March 25, 2018 at 7:45 pm

I’m pretty sure rct have found no benefit to glucosamine

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 26, 2018 at 4:42 am

Something is helping me but I guess it could be the turmeric cider drink.

Ruby March 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Our veterinarian swears by that mixture for his bad back and for arthritis in his canine patients. Our oldest dog has arthritis in her shoulder and she does not limp when she gets her supplement.

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Mary W March 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

I do notice a difference when I’m taking the joint supplements. Or, more accurately, I notice how much more I hurt about a week after I HAVEN’T been taking them. I’m not terribly consistent about taking them because I absolutely hate swallowing “horse pills”, but they do make a difference. Not a placebo effect, either, as I hadn’t put two and two together at the time, although I’d be fine with it being a placebo effect, as long as it decreased my pain, lol!

Karen March 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

I am not sure what is helping, but I know when my doctor diagnosed me he gave me two weeks worth of Prednisone, and muscle relaxers, and said basically time is the best healer. I used up the Prednisone, which really did help but I didn’t want to be on it long term, and I only use the muscle relaxers if I’m having a very hard time going to sleep at night.

I think the G/C/MSM thing is one of those anecdotal things, maybe. I remember reading that collagen supplements can help with herniated discs, so I started taking 2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen, 1 scoop in a cup of coffee, per day–maybe that is having an effect. As my old-school doc would say, if you feel it’s helping you, keep it up, if you feel it’s not or it’s hurting, then cut it out.

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kathy March 27, 2018 at 8:18 am

I have a size 8 London Fog rain coat I’d be glad to give to you if you’ll pay for postage. You can PM

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cynthia huntington March 25, 2018 at 11:25 am

GREAT FIND on the Smart Wool socks! Love them!

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Terri March 25, 2018 at 11:29 am

I’ve been blogging my frugal list every day over at my blog, but here are my five highlights:
1. I’m wearing a 100% thrifted outfit today too (apart from my undergarments)!
2. I scored some major finds at the thrift store on friday, including: 2 Lularoe Julia dresses, a Lularoe maxi skirt, and a Lularoe shirt, all new with tags. This store had loads of brand new Lularoe products in various sizes and I am tempted to go back and get some to resell online.
3. I picked up a free 8×10 photo print from Walgreen’s today.
4. I made homemade chocolate chip cookies yesterday. The flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and butter were all purchase on sale at the lowest possible prices.
5. Last night I made copy-cat grilled Chipotle chicken using the Zaycon Fresh chicken breasts that I got for 99 cents a pound.

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Roberta March 26, 2018 at 7:06 am

I would definitely get some Lularoe to sell online! (Check the prices of sold items on ebay before you commit, though.)

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Liz B. March 26, 2018 at 7:53 am

Hmmmm…..one of my local GWs had a LLR dress for sale (I’m not familiar with the dress names). Weeks later when I shopped there again, it was still there, making me think it’s not a popular style or fabric pattern (large irregularly spaced polka dots). If it won’t sell for $6.99 at GW, not sure it would sell for more on ebay, but I haven’t checked “sold items” on ebay.

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Jennifer March 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

I love a good snacky meal while watching a special game. It is just different enough to keep life interesting.

1) Found spicy turkey sausages marked down to $1.99 per 1 lb package + a $0.55 coupon on the package. I bought all 3!
2) dd needs to make a “how-to” video for school – she wanted to make a cake, but I don’t have the ingredients on hand and didn’t want to go to the store. Convinced her to make a brownie in a mug instead.
3) Opted not to go anywhere for vacation for spring break. The kids are all earning money dog sitting for people in the neighborhood.
4) We are doing a college tour 3 hours away that starts at 8 am, a special all day long thing for honors kids. I used Priceline to find a hotel about 50 minutes away for only $51, yay!
5) Making a list of things I want to accomplish on spring break – to include cleaning out the freezer and making a menu plan for the coming weeks. Sent my dh to Costco with a small list. If I go I keep finding things to buy, he sticks to the list.

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Ruby March 25, 2018 at 11:42 am

Awesome find on the socks!

1. Cooked a yummy rice-bean-veggie casserole for my lunches that used up the last of a bag of frozen shredded cheese.
2. Combined a sale and store coupon to buy a Newman’s Own pizza instead of going out for supper. My picky husband really enjoyed it.
3. Hit Walgreens for a super sale on laundry deterent and raisins.
4. Gleaned some more frugally purchased groceries from our pantry for the food bank.
5. Have managed to drop what we spend on groceries by about $30 a week this year.

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naiveorbrave March 25, 2018 at 11:55 am

1. Inspired by Kates lifesavers-shirt-cutting I turned an old no-longer-used night gown into rags while I watched Netflix. Will use them for household- and bicycle cleaning – which actually was part of my Saturday-evening entertainment. Really like it when being frugal is being good for the environment!
2. Resisted to buy B&J-icecream even though it was vegan and I was craving sweets. I got different sweets though. But for like a fourth of the price.
3. Bought used pyjama-pants for 1 Euro. And a piece of decoration for the same price but the money for the latter goes to schools in Ghana so that’s alright and I really like the new dust-catcher on my shelf.
4. Made Okara-burgers with things I had at home. Okara is the stuff that’s left over when you make soymilk. I am really pleased with the result – they taste like falafel and some will be my work-lunch tomorrow. I packed an empty bottle to fill with tap water after work as I wont be going straight home and don’t want to have to go to the store to buy some in a newly produced plastic-bottle. Saving resources.
5. A friend convinced me on downloading library books, magazines and audio-books on my phone. So much entertaining and education for free. I am very pleased. Almost finished a great book that I borrowed from another friend. Bought more used books and took some from the free table, where I dropped of a pair of shoes I never wore and that have been in my way for ages. Hope someone else will be happy about them!

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A. Marie March 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm

FFT, Just Regular Stuff Edition:

I join other commenters in envy of Katy’s Goodwill finds, especially the SmartWool socks (I think most of us know what those puppies cost at retail prices!).

(1) I too am a fan of glucosamine/chondroitin for arthritis. I am also a fan of soaking in a hot bathtub for pain relief–and since I leave the hot water in the bathtub to contribute its BTUs to the air anyway, I bucket-flush the upstairs toilet with the bathwater after it’s cold. Only pennies saved, perhaps, but who here is going to criticize that?

(2) The lovely sunny weather here continues, so I got out for a long, luxurious, and solo bottlepick early this morning. I tell DH I need the “alone time” for about 30-45 minutes, and this is working OK so far.

(3) While doing (2), I scouted out several piles of potential firewood on nearby curbs. The winter weather has taken down a lot of big branches. DH and I will go after these as we have the time (brush collection here isn’t going to start till April 1 at the earliest), and I’ll get some of his guy friends over here to help him cut them up. (All parties agree that he shouldn’t be running power tools without assistance any more.)

(4) Doing laundry on the lowest possible setting in our front-loader, and then hanging it to dry on our indoor racks as usual. This never changes.

(5) Making turkey drumsticks for dinner (Reduced for Quick Sale at Wegmans), and I’ll shove in some cauliflower to roast alongside it in about 20 minutes.

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Christine March 25, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for the great tip about leaving the hot water in the bathtub to heat the air. I like HOT baths so this a way I can lessen my guilt at burning oil to heat my bath water. Also the tip on using the water after it cools to flush the toilet. Like Katy says, it’s all the little things that add up.

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Liz B. March 26, 2018 at 7:55 am

A. Marie, I’m glad you’re taking time for yourself. So important to recharge your batteries, and glad your DH understands that. I always enjoy reading your comments and FFTs.

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Mary W March 27, 2018 at 10:33 am

A. Marie, I am fairly new to the NCA family, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Both your frugal tips and your positive attitude toward life and all that it is throwing at you and your husband are an inspiration to me. Thank you, dear lady!

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Mrs. Picky Pincher March 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

I salute your ability to reject the siren song of Popeye’s when out and about and hungry! I still have much to learn about self-discipline. 😉

I admit I’ve been un-frugal lately, but here goes:

1. We had to repair our A/C on Friday. We rejected an upgrade and paid $400 less for the entire ordeal.

2. I made waffles for breakfast this morning while we hosted family.

3. I washed a few loads of clothes with homemade laundry soap. I’m trying to wash everything on Sundays and Wednesdays so laundry is never an emergency.

4. I’m putting Soft Paws on my cat today. This will prevent him from destroying our furniture with his sharp, cute claws. As a bonus, I bought the Soft Paws with a membership discount at PetSmart.

5. I postponed buying nice-to-have grocery ingredients for next month so we could stay on budget for March.

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Mand01 March 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

1. We hosted a last minute event at our house after the outdoor plans were cancelled due to poor weather. We managed to pull it off by calling on a friend and asking my kids for some help. And just cleaning like crazy. The house came up great and we spent nothing as the brides brought everything with them.
2. We ended up with a fridge and freezer full of leftovers. We passed them out to as many departing guests as possible but we still had a full tray of steaks and lamb chops. We won’t be buying meat for some time.
3. We had leftovers for dinner last night and we are all taking them for lunch today.
4. I’ve finally shifted the weight I put on over Christmas. Just in time for Easter! But my clothes fit properly again. And I’ve mostly stuck to my no clothes shopping ban. I’ve slipped up twice.
That’s all.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 25, 2018 at 2:20 pm

I’m still trying to shift my weight fromChristmas, and a few other months. I had lost 16 pounds then fell off the wagon 3weeks ago. Your comment inspires me to quit being lazy.

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Sue Robinson March 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm

I’m always impressed at your inventiveness and dedication to thrift. I loved the post, but my eyes were dazzled with the Fiesta dishes!! I can be thrifty in lots of places, but Fiesta is my downfall (even though I always buy them at Goodwill!)

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WilliamB March 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm

1. After a dojo event, the group – as always – went to a local restaurant for a late lunch. I’ve learned that I drink so much (water and free-refill soda) that I’m not hungry; I finally got smart and did not buy the lunch. My friend gave me his unwanted soda, which comes with the fixed-price meal. So I could have gotten away with spending $0. Instead I bought one of the instructors a beer and left a tip for the waitstaff.

2. Will soothe the post-event soreness with an epsom salts bath. Just as good for DOMS as a fancy-dancy bath bomb but 80% cheaper. (Epsom salts are the main ingredient in most bath salts. I don’t know why they soothe sore muscles but they do. Perhaps some of the medically-trained on this list could answer?)

3. Saving money on an upcoming trip: carpooling with a fellow vacationer, bringing my own alcohol, kenneling the dog near the hotel where the kennels are cheaper.

4. Continued to gather fallen wood while dog walking, to use in the fire pit this summer.

5. Really wanted a lot of lunch and/or junk food after today’s dojo class. Instead I bought a small bag of Cadbury eggs on sale for $.88 then ate lunch at home.

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Hobart Chic March 26, 2018 at 2:27 am

Epsom salts contain magnesium which helps the muscles relax. That’s what I was told anyway. I imagine the body is depleted in salts. Certainly soaking in salt and. Epsom salts is reputed to help the body draw out nasties. But check with your doc if you are concerned.

For DOMS I find that coffee helps. There was research to back this up somewhere if you feel like a read.

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Roberta March 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

I have also learned that, instead of a soak in the tub, “magnesium oil” works as well. Just mix equal parts of water and epsom salts, then rub the mixture on the sore parts. It’s called magnesium oil because it’s slippery. I find it really useful when I don’t have time for a bath, but I’ve been pulling weeds.

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Kathy Hairston March 25, 2018 at 12:46 pm

1. Used gift card to get an award matted in a
3.99 frame from goodwill. Still have $29 on gift card.
2. Used two $10 jcpennys coupons and$10 mall gift card to buy 10 pairs of Nike socks for great nephew age 13, 4 pairs of Columbia socks for daughter in law (she’s a horsewoman and does lots of outdoor activities), hair ties for another friend and I still have $5.55 left on gift card
3. Culled closet again and sent box to swap.com
4. Doctor says I need to loose weight and wanted me to go to Lindora weight loss clinics. Utilizing diet/protein shakes from pantry. Actually feel better and it’s only been 6 days.
5. Did not buy souvenirs during visit to Louisville

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Gina in KY March 27, 2018 at 12:45 am

Not even a bourbon…? LOL! Just kidding! I hope you enjoyed your time in Louisville (it is near and dear to my heart and address). 🙂

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Bethany March 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Used 2 MasterCard gift cards from our big brand tax office for a dinner out last night. Out of pocket with tip it came to an additional $13. I have no clue who would have said that we referred them, because, we haven’t. We did however start an unexpectedly good friendship with our tax preparer. I have a feeling she sneaks our name into some kind of “referral” tab when she gets a walk in that hasn’t been to that big brand tax office before. LOL! Love that lady!

Made a shepherd’s pie to come home to for Sunday lunch. Also made one for the freezer.

Have some brownies in the oven. Snuck a banana that was about to be tossed into the batter and used up some hot fudge to make an icing.

Had the sprinklers turned off because we’ve been getting some rain lately. Water doesn’t come cheap around here. So this is a little help.

I was about to make my first Costco grocery order, but right before I submitted it, I noticed that one of the prices was higher than in store. Plus, you have to add additional shipping expense if you don’t reach a $75 total. I wrote down the prices of everything I was about to buy and I think I’ll swoop these up when I’m in store the next time or at least check the prices.

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kathleen March 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm

1. I make a dessert on Sundays to take to supper at daughter’s house. Today I had a bag of apples that needed using. For an ‘Apple Upside-Down Cake’ I peeled and sliced them, and sauteed in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread them in the bottom of a cake pan, poured the box yellow cake batter over, and baked. No leaving house for supplies.
2. I think some kind of topping might be nice, but have no cream, no frozen whipped topping. I’m going to mix some cold coconut milk (I always keep a can or two in the fridge) with some sugar, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix in my smoothie blender. Yeah, I think it will work fine. LOL Again, using what I have. Nobody has to know I made up the recipe on the fly.
3. I usually work for 2 or 3 days at a time filling in as needed. This month I work for a month straight. I’ve made sure my very limited work wardrobe are all clean, and I made a necklace from supplies on hand. I hope to make another necklace this evening. Hoping changes of jewelry and mixing and matching tops and bottom will distract from reality of wearing same clothes over and over.
4. Moving my phone service to a shared plan with daughter’s family. Massive savings.
5. I put just enough gasoline in car yesterday to make my work commute tomorrow morning. Cheapest gas in area is about a block from office I will be in for the next month, so waiting to fill-up there.

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Gina in KY March 27, 2018 at 12:42 am

I’m glad you shared your apple-upside-down-cake. I am on a quest to use veggies and fruits with little waste and I am struggling with the abundant apples I have been gifted in the past month. I am going to make this next week for a spring break treat!

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Wow Katy, your #4 could have been a whole separate FFT’s post! You are right about the toothpicks. I put cut up hotdogs, cheese, and pickles on them sometimes to make my kids think they are fancy. Plus, toothpicks are dirt cheap!
1. Cooking frugal meals at home and am blogging about a few of them soon.
2. I love that blogging is keeping me accountable for my actions. Just today I cleaned out the fridge and realized how much I had wasted. Must.do.better.
3. Went on a nature walk with my husband and daughter. Free fun!
4. Went browsing in some local stores yesterday, bought nothing.
5. I found a long lost tube of hydrocortisone cream that some how fell under the bed. I was glad because I was about to buy a new tube.

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Jenny Young March 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm

It was spring break this past week in our area so one of my dear friends who is a school teacher took an afternoon to spend with me & my grandson. I can’t get out while I’m watching him. As she always does….she brought a bag of free clothes. She has a gift/ministry of finding & distributing nice clothes. She has clothed my family for close to 30 yrs! So, I have two very nice new blouses for church, a new set of gym clothes & a new three-quarter length sleeve t-shirt. She knows the sizes of all my family members & what we each love or hate to wear.

We ate all of our meals at home again this week except last night…DH broke down & wanted a trailblazer from Cotton Patch so we got it to go & watched a movie online while we ate.

I’ve been taking advantage of the free Pandora & Youtube a lot lately. We stream it through Roku onto our television. I play Pandora while my grandson is here because he loves music. I also let him watch one Youtube children’s video. I rarely do that but was having trouble with my back that day & needed to occupy him.

I picked another fresh bouquet of daffodils for my screened porch after the first one dies. I should be able to keep fresh flowers now through frost all for free!

I tried a new recipe from Skinnytaste.com (one of my favorite recipe sites) for tuna deviled eggs. I tweaked it a little to our taste & am very happy with it. Our schedules have been nuts between the baby & my health. There are enough for dh & I to eat one each a day for breakfast or lunch while things are in such a rush.

I bought honey on sale at Walgreens last week & a few special buy foods at Aldi to help us eat at home instead of eating out while life is so full.

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Jenny March 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

I would love to know what a “Trailblazer from Cotton Patch” is!

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Christine March 25, 2018 at 2:20 pm

1. Pleasantly surprised that a large pot of annuals made it through the winter inside my house next to a sliding glass door which gets a lot of morning sun. Begonias and Dusty Miller.
2. Continuing my rock painting and then hiding them out on my favorite trail here in my neighborhood for others to find, keep or re-hide. Inexpensive fun. Once you purchase the paint, the rest is free. Honing my painting skills and then getting free exercise when I hide them. If anybody’s interested it’s: Facebook. Go to 860 Rocks.
3. I’ve got husband ordering books online instead of buying them. He’s really getting into the frugal lifestyle.
4. Cooking all meals at home per usual.
5. Enjoying watching Spring creep into New England on my walks.

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Sarah D March 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm

1. Combined our family weekend bike ride with a trip to the library – it’s on a bike path, so we got to have our free exercise/family fun AND a visit to the library to pick up a book I had on hold.
2. Coming home to eat leftovers instead of hanging out at the brewery that’s along the bike path and eating pizza like we sometimes do (we did get a beer and fries, but that’s way better than our usual 2 beers, fries, and ice cream!).
3. Planted the seeds and seedlings I got yesterday using a $5 coupon to the hardware store. That of course didn’t cover all of the garden supplies I needed, but it helped!
4. Cooked up a big pot of chickpeas to make into hummus. It’s a million times cheaper to make from scratch and this way we avoid preservatives, too much salt, and all the garlic store-bought hummus contains (which upsets my stomach). Dried beans are a regular thing in my house – canned beans taste nasty in comparison and cost 10X as much.
5. This week is my daughter’s spring break, so my husband and I are taking a few days off and we’ll go camping. For about $5 a night, we’ll get fresh air, exercise, and family time in a beautiful location.

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Bethany March 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Begonias do so well for me on my porch! I ended up dumping them out to make room for some free plumerias my friend brought me. I’ll miss them this year. Should have done something with them! She also brought me a tiny little aloe. I didn’t have another pot, so I just stuck it in with my mint. The need differing amounts of water, so I wasn’t expecting it to make it. When the winter hit here in SoCal (as little of it as we get) suddenly it began to thrive. Who’d have guessed? Probably should find another place to put it. My mint has come back to life too! I thought I’d done killed it, but it decided to come back.

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Frannyanddanny March 25, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Car sharing, picking fruit, blogging, eating less and baking bread.

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Lindsey March 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm

1. Been extremely busy on a project and as a result nearly every day I feel like rewarding myself by going out for a meal. The husband is working from home, so every night for the last week for dinner he has made a meal that I love more than going out to eat, and using ingredients in the freezer or cupboard or fridge: Eggs Benedict, Mac and Cheese, pizza, hot dogs, and individual beef Wellingtons (that used up century old puff pastry from the freezer.) It was his idea so that we didn’t end up wasting a lot of money on fast food. The project is done, frugality maintained and this week back to healthier eating.
2. I have a friend who used to be a hairdresser, before retraining in her 40s to be a teacher. She told me straight out that my hair was looking “mangy” and offered to trade a hair cut for a coat she saw on my donation pile.
3. Something I read in the Frugalwoods blog gave me the guts to do this: the manager of the dog grooming place mentioned that his receptionist quit with no notice and he was going crazy trying to do the scheduling. I offered to fill in for free for a month, in exchange for grooming both my giant breed dogs this spring and next fall, including cutting their coats. He took me up on it, so starting tomorrow, I am filling in five hours a day four days a week for a month. This saves us literally hundreds of dollars and I can schedule my work projects around those hours.
4. My job involves doing projects for an agency, so I work from home a lot of the time and my hours totally depend on what free lance grants/reports/statistical analysis they need. I just finished a giant project and told them that for the next project I was going to charge a higher rate. They agreed. Frugal in that having the courage to say my time was worth more now will mean larger payoffs in the future. I’ve been doing this for over a decade for them and have never asked for an increase, and even the director thought I was being fair.
5. Took a load to Salvation Army and another to a non-profit used bookstores that takes donations. Tax receipts for next year.
Frugal fail: The husband and I make Easter treats for each other. After watching some cake decorating show, I decided I could make an Easter basket from cake. The handle and sides collapsed. I got mad at the cake and myself and threw it away. We could have eaten it…

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Karen Phillips March 25, 2018 at 5:10 pm

1. I am wearing an offcast pair of pants and a Goodwill sweater. Also a pair of socks that I don’t recal owning or buying.
2. Our househunt is still proving fruitless.
3. Had an early Easter dinner since I work next Sunday. Spiral ham from Aldi, potato salad with potatoes and salad dressing from Aldi.

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Valerie March 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Cooked pork and beef tamale pie with things I had in the freezer and the pantry and it was a great hit.
Ate leftovers for lunch, cooked breakfast from scratch.
Shopped my carport to replant plants in bigger pots. Did not spend a penny today.

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janine March 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Attended a political convention today. Didn’t buy hot dogs or other treats. Accepted a tangerine from someone handing around a bag.
2. Attended a luncheon at an expensive downtown hotel held just prior to a memorial service for a friend. Ordered only an appetizer.
3. Son bought me breakfast yesterday in return for picking him up at a car dealer where his car had been recalled for air bag problems. (Could have done better at home.)
4. Made frugal lentil stew with on-hand ingredients.
5. Am skipping husband’s law school reunion. The secret is out – school wants mega bucks in contributions and is not making a secret of their desires. Prefer to donate to social action causes and good political candidates this year.

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Pattilou March 25, 2018 at 8:03 pm

1. A friend ordered a shirt online which didn’t fit her. She didn’t want the hassle of returning it so she gave it to me instead.
2. I borrowed two movies from a friend. Free entertainment.
3. I wanted to make boo boo bunnies for my girls for their Easter baskets. I had all the supplies except some glue and the washcloths. I made extras and sold 8 of them. This covered the cost of the supplies and I made a profit as well.
4.a co-worker was given a lavender plant in a lovely pot. She neglected it and gave it to me because she no longer wanted it. I will try to bring it back to life . If not, at least I have a new to me pot.
5. I did not grocery shop all week. I hate all means from the freezer and pantry.

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Pattilou March 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Ate all meals – not hate!

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FrugalAussie March 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm

The booze edition:
My husband to be (we’re planning a frugal wedding which includes a dress I purchased for $15! He’s 55, I’m 52 so we have little interest in a big flash wedding) brews his own beer. He found cans of mix on special @ $14 so his beer costs about $20 for 23 L. He only drinks moderately on the weekends so probably only spends about $2 a week on beer. We also buy him some Irish Whiskey duty free when travelling. When we run out he doesn’t buy anymore at usual retail prices. He’s quite the catch, hey?

I decided to attempt 100 days without alcohol as I wasn’t happy with how much wine I was consuming, nor the side effects or potential health consequences. It’s now been 108 days since I last drank. I estimate I’ve saved about $300.

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Robin March 26, 2018 at 6:52 am

Congratulations on your 108 days of healthier for you and your pocketbook changes 🙂

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Sarah D March 26, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Good for you! My husband and I are trying to cut down on the drinking for the same reasons. I know it’s the healthier and cheaper option, but I don’t really want to cut it out entirely or forever but just cut down. I think I can already see a difference in our monthly spending!

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Bee March 26, 2018 at 3:11 am

1) I took some wonderful photos of my son’s dog when we went hiking over the Christmas holidays. I had FREE prints made of these doggie portraits on Shutterfly. I framed them at little cost and gave them to my son for his birthday. He loved them!

2) My dear hubby hung my $12 thrift-shop curtains over the weekend. They look beautiful. They replace a set of handkerchief linen ones that had been damaged. After taking the old ones down. I washed them and hung them to dry. I will reuse the linen in some way –placemats, embroidered a table runner, napkins, pillowcases, dish towels. There are so many options !

3) I have been using the free LibriVox app to listen to a dramatic reading of “Pride and Prejudice” as I do things around the house. Every once and a while I need a Jane Austen fix. My friend just named her two English spaniels puppies, Darcy and Bingley.

4) I combined a sale with my REI annual meeting dividends to purchase a pair of good sunglasses relatively inexpensively. The ones I have now need to be replaced. Since I live in Florida and I spend a great deal of time out of doors, I feel it is extremely important to buy good quality, polarized eyewear. It is much cheaper in the long run than dealing with sun damage in the form of cataracts or eye lens damage.

5) I gave to pretty dresses that no longer fit me to a friend. Her husband is running for public office, and she is concerned about her wardrobe. I am continuing my springtime declutter as I prepare for the vintage flea market. I am reading my book club tome. Books and friends are a good combo.

Have a great week everyone!

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Bee March 26, 2018 at 3:24 am

So many typos!!!!! Sorry all especially the English teachers among you. I was in a hurry to post and of course there is auto correct which is not a substitute for literacy.

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naiveorbrave March 26, 2018 at 11:05 am

Librivox is awesome and I just loved the “Pride and Prejudice”-reading!

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K D March 26, 2018 at 3:29 am

Katy, will this be your last double tuition payment? If so, will anything change going forward?

1. All meals were at home this weekend. We tried a new gluten free pizza crust, using cassava flour, and the recipe is a keeper. I also made three loaves of pumpkin bread, freezing two of them. I cut up a $1.99 pineapple and a $1.99 cantaloupe. Each yielded at least nine cups of cut fruit.

2. I was able to book a late spring trip for four using airline points and Southwest credit. I booked a car through the COSTCO Travel website. I’ll check the price again a few times before we leave, in case it goes down.

3. We watched the first two episodes of the new season of Call the Midwife. We usually only stream shows after the fact (only what is available for free) or watch Netflix. It was a treat to watch something as it aired.

4. I’m reading the ebook version of 12 Rules for Life and also have Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics loaded on my Kindle. Both were borrowed from the library.

5. We received our federal income tax refund. We already had our state refund. I’ll put them in our online bank savings account (which has a much higher interest rate than the local banks/credit unions).

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Katy March 26, 2018 at 11:40 am

Yes, this is the last double tuition payment! I’m not sure what the next step is, although I’d like to bump up our emergency fund as well as start adding extra to our mortgage payments again which we’ve paused over the past few years.

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Christine March 26, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Congratulations on your last double payment! Been there, done that. Time for you to breathe a sigh of relief.

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Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early March 26, 2018 at 5:37 am

I am newly in LOVE with Smartwool socks. I’ve bought them as Christmas gifts for others for years but never owned a pair myself until this past Christmas where they ended up in my stocking. They are seriously the best socks, but sooooo expensive. Now I may need to hunt through our Goodwill to see if I can get as lucky.

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Ruby March 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Sierra Trading Post online often sells them at a good price as the weather warms up. A couple of years ago, I got 5 pairs of Smartwool knee socks on sale that way. They made this miserable winter a lot more bearable.

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Elizabeth March 26, 2018 at 5:42 am

1. Bought a used car that has great gas mileage to replace my husband’s old truck
2. Having a no spend week (except for buying a new car!!)
3. Found ways to feed my family off of leftovers and forgotten pantry staples…oh and made sure we ate tons at a family get together so we didn’t have to eat dinner at home:)
4. Finally read most of the blogging books I bought in a bundle last year. Hopefully I gleaned enough info to make my blog profitable (eventually)…if not at least I love writing it!
5. Planning on decluttering our house this week and listing homeschool books for sale to avoid paying out of pocket for next year’s books

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Susie's Daughter March 26, 2018 at 5:52 am

1) Sending oldest nephew a birthday card from Trader Joe’s with a little cash inside. I have decided cash is more frugal for us than gift cards – saves me the effort of buying the card and saves on the plastic used to make the card.

2) Had friends to casual dinner last night to watch the NCAA tournament and made cost effective chili and corn bread muffins using mostly what was already in the pantry. Dear Wife did buy ground turkey for chili. Best part is leftovers for us and some sent home with friends.

3) Sorting sensitive documents for free community shred on Thursday of this week. More paper out of the house!

4) Sending DS to school in dress pants one day a week. This is the time of year when all the left knees are wearing out of school pants. My first thought was to buy a pair at consignment, but then I figured he could wear the “nice” ones since they won’t fit by next Christmas anyway.

5) Used Bing reward points to take $5 off an Amazon order of reusable food pouches for DS’s lunch box. Every little bit helps. 🙂

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Sandra March 26, 2018 at 5:55 am

You are such a marvel, Katy. I just love to read wheat you’ve been up to this past week. I’ve been out of town and your posting is just what I need to get back on the frugal side…..not that I really jumped off, but an out of town trip
costs money even when you’re careful, which is the way we live. Thanks for the great post.

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Katy March 26, 2018 at 11:39 am

Thank you for the kind words. I am super frugal in a desperate attempt to balance out the areas of my life that aren’t currently so frugal!

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KJD509 March 26, 2018 at 6:13 am

1) Came home yesterday from several days staying with a friend to discover the furnace was out of oil AGAIN. As the temperature should be approaching 60 this week, opted to climb under the electric blanket with cat instead of calling for an emergency weekend fill. Saved $150 plus the cost of the oil. We will probably need to put a little in the tank in order to show the house (by April 15th, fingers crossed) because not everyone would find frugal heating choices attractive in a home for sale, but at least I’m putting it off until after the next double tuition payment.
2) Have a work conference this week just a few blocks from my house. Will walk there each morning and hope to have the energy to trudge up the really steep hill home each evening, If not, three or four days of bus fare is still a LOT cheaper than a weeks’ worth of gas for my much longer regular commute.
3) With last week’s schedule adjustments, I’m way behind on the work needed to put the house on the market, plus with warmer temps the yard is exploding and not in a good way. Tracked down a young woman through the Nextdoor app who had done some work for me over the winter but had stopped posting. Turns out she’s left an abusive relationship and feels unsafe using any platform that discloses her location but is desperate to work. This will be win-win: she’s much cheaper than the local yard services, but unlike them she does a very careful job. I’m almost giddy thinking about the hours saved me by hiring her this week. Hope that means it’s a good choice.
4) Middle son can’t get the classes he wants because of schedule conflicts, so he’s going part-time at his state university for spring quarter instead of taking unneeded but convenient classes. Saves us more than a thousand bucks, and should allow him to work an off-campus job, which will help our budget and make him feel more adult and responsible. There’s a new girlfriend in the picture, which seems to be part of his sudden distaste for calling Mom for money. Works for me!

That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for the warm comments last week, all.

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rebecca March 26, 2018 at 6:31 am

1. I have a new client and will be meeting with her this week.
2. Using up things from the freezer.
3. Made a delicious brunch (if I may say so) for extended family for about $12.
4. Bought all groceries on sale for this week.
5. Am using a new credit card to gain air mileage points and to help track my spending.

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LB March 26, 2018 at 7:41 am

1. I DIDN’T buy a super cute dry-fit at my favorite ski resort, despite having pined over it for months AND it being on clearance–because I just don’t need it!
2. Made lunches for the week for me AND the boyfriend, complete with snacks
3. Brought lunch to the ski mountain instead of paying $15 for chicken tenders
4. Stayed in on Saturday night to avoid the temptations of beer pitchers and late night pizza
5. Set up a week of plans-none of which include eating out or going to the bar!

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Roberta March 26, 2018 at 7:59 am

1. Helped out a friend who was moving by taking in her 5 chickens. We’re now up to 24 chickens! Eggs will go to feed my growing 15 year old son! She’s really happy to give her chooks a good home.
2. Went out to dinner with a group of friends Friday night, while the kids played at my house. Skipped a drink and skipped dessert because I was so full. Had amazing Ethiopian food, which I cannot make at home. Carpooled to the restaurant.
3. Brought home raw potatoes, cabbage and carrots from a church lunch yesterday. The potatoes have already become part of breakfast. The cabbage will top tacos later today, and the carrots will go into the produce bin to be use whenever.
4. Stopped by the grocery for 79 cent organic apples after the (not entirely frugal) movie yesterday. Only bought what I went in for — apples and flour.
The un-frugal trip to the movies with friends was worth it. We saw Pacific Rim, which was a *lot* better than I expected. I liked the casting a lot, and the characterizations. Giant robots are not my thing, though.

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Liz B. March 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

As many have already mentioned….nice catch on the SmartWool socks, Katy! They are the BEST socks. I have two pair that I bought a few years ago (though not at a thrift store). And I *love* that your son is putting together a Ned Flanders outfit!!! Lol!
Mt FFT:
1) Doing my knee exercises that my physical therapist gave me. Anything to hasten my recovery is well worth it. My health insurance covers 60 PT visits a year, with no co-pay.
2) Ate all but one meal at home last week…went out to the movies over the weekend (not frugal), but did use Fandango gift cards for our movie admission – gift cards bought at Krogers to get 4x gas points. Used a coupon for $5 off at the restaurant after the movie.
3) Made a banana cream pie to use up bananas that were on the verge of over-ripe. Graham cracker crumbs for the crust had been gifted to me by a former chef manager at work (they had been recalled by the company due to possible peanut exposure at the processing plant – not a concern, as hubby and I are not peanut-allergic). Butter and brown sugar (in crust) bought on sale, and banana cream pudding bought on final clearance (79 cents). Biggest cost item was whipping cream, but seriously, the entire pie cost, maybe, $3.50 US. Making hubby happy by making his favorite dessert? Priceless.
4) Mended a huge rip dearest puppy made in his bed cover. The darn thing was crazy expensive, so good to get more life out of it.
5) Meal planned and used Kroger ClickList for free again this week. Took advantage of loss leaders, freebies, and “ClickList only” digital coupons, as well as paper coupons. Grocery purchase well under budget.
Frugal fail: finally able to clean out the refrigerator, and threw out a lot of moldy produce….vowing to do better once again.
Have a good week, everyone!

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Colleen March 26, 2018 at 9:56 am

1) Placed my first order with Zaycon Fresh. Chicken breast for $1.49/lb! It will arrive in the beginning of June, but I now have lots of incentive to eat down whats currently in my freezer in the meantime.

2) I am participating in a program with my grocery store where they send me coupons for free items and I post on my personal social media about them. I completed my first project a couple of weeks ago and this week was sent 4 coupons for $16 worth of free items from the freezer. I picked them all up yesterday, enjoyed one today for lunch, and will be posting about it when I get the chance.

3) It seems that I cannot do homework at home. My dogs and husband are just too distracting. Yesterday afternoon I went to Starbucks and used part of a gift card that I had redeemed hotel points for (the hotel stay was for a work trip). I was very productive!

4) My husband wears the same hoodie ALL THE TIME. I told him he needs to get more colors of the same hoodie. It is Under Armour brand, so kind of pricey. We shopped the outlet online, bought gift cards on Raise at a discounted rates, and used ebates. It took a little fancy footwork but we saved quite a bit.

5) My Amex card has an offer for a $25 statement credit when I spend $50 through Stitch Fix. It expires on the 31st but my first box will come on the 29th. Customer Service told me that it I choose what I want to keep on the 29th I should be charged the same day. Hopefully it works out and the clothes fit!

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Cindy in the South I March 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm

This is my frugal fail version and it is a doozy.
1. I got the emergency ph call that my uncle was seriously ill, and I left work and forgot my lunch.
2. I was supposed to get my oil changed for free at the dealership 60 miles from my home. The emergency, and 600 miles of driving this week caused me to use local place for $50… ouch.
3. My uncle died, and he had already paid for his plot. His wife was already buried there. He had not prepaid for the funeral. The funeral home was a total fricking ripoff. I threatened to dig up my aunt and move them both to the country family burial spot. I showed my tail big time. It cost $11,500, with no embalming, no visitation, graveside service only….long story. My other aunt wanted visitation for another flipping $1500 and I said no…it was not a pretty scene.
4. I ate greasy food while dealing with ripoff funeral homes, and bat sh@#$ crazy relatives.
5. My mental health took a toll. I am stressed and a complete a@#. The cost is immeasurable….sigh

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Susie's Daughter March 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Oh Cindy, I am so sorry to hear all of this. Grief is hard enough, but grief plus difficult people makes it so much harder. Sending you wishes for peace in the coming days…

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Bee March 26, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Oh my! I don’t blame you for being angry. The funeral charges were way,way out of line. It is difficult to be the family caregiver especially under such stressful circumstance. Take care of yourself — no more greasy food. Sending love and good thoughts your way.

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Caroline March 26, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Bless your heart and in the real way, not the snarky way. I have learned over time that most of the times I showed my tail (and there have been many…) it was because the person I showed it to needed to see it. Definitely sounds like the case here. Hang in there!

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Lindsey March 26, 2018 at 6:31 pm

I am staggered by the price you had to pay but am in awe that you did not back down when pushed by aunt or funeral home! Hope this is a much better mental health week for you!

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Gina in KY March 27, 2018 at 12:16 am

So, sorry for your loss, Cindy!

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 27, 2018 at 4:16 am

My goodness, they are taking advantage of people at the lowest point! Sorry to hear about your uncle and just the stress with this whole ordeal. This, too, shall pass-

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A. Marie March 27, 2018 at 9:40 am

Joining everyone else in condolences and sympathy, Cindy–not only on the loss of your uncle, but on the funeral home ripoff and the crazy relatives. (DH and I have some of those relatives ourselves, on both sides.)

As a general FYI, folks who are indignant about the funeral home industry as a ripoff machine might want to check out the Funeral Consumers Alliance (funerals.org). DH and I are members of our local chapter.

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Cindy in the South I March 28, 2018 at 5:14 am

Thank y’all. There was a funny part (somewhat)…The funeral home also wanted $650 for a reception afterward with food. The funeral home representative said “Y’all have to eat”…and I snapped and said, “we are all fat, we will just fast for Lent” (My uncle was Southern Baptist and did not observe Lent).

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Ruby March 26, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Oh, Cindy, hon! That is just awful! And sadly, nothing brings out the crazy like a family funeral.

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Gina in KY March 27, 2018 at 12:13 am

1. Used several limp vegetables to make a great Thai-inspired peanut carrot soup. It made a lot so I will be eating it all week.

2. Emailed my state reps about the Governor’s proposal to end ALL state library funds. WTF? What more can I ask? I so hope he is voted out and I really hope the teachers in my state are first in line (first he made rather offending comments about our teachers being selfish for wanting fair wages and benefits and now the libraries? Keep ’em dumb in the hills, right? Grrr…sorry so off topic, but I love the library as so many of you do and it is a prominent feature in so many of our 5FTs). OK, focus…

3. Traveling yet again for work this week. I have been busy, but I am also hoping to squeeze in my work travel before summer gets here. I will book at a hotel that has at least a microwave, bring food from home (it’s looking like carrot soup), and watch free cable for entertainment.

4. I made a large payment on a mortgage note and, while I cringed at writing the check, this is a big step in being debt free. This has been a long hard road post divorce and I am finally seeing progress (I honestly hesitated to write this one because the universe has a way of hearing me say I am making progress and finding some other challenge for me).

5. Planted radish and kale seeds in the garden. Again, Universe, please no more winter.

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Jenelle March 27, 2018 at 4:05 am

1. I’m keeping Easter very simple this year. The only non-candy item that will be in the kids’ baskets are a pair of sun glasses for each of them. They need no more toys. Candy, I can always eat!!

2. Kept my head up after seeing a picture of a past co-worker who always made people who did not “carry the right purse” feel awful. I’ve never felt that way around people before, but her “snobbery” just made my skin crawl. I saw a picture of her online this morning and reminded myself that I was better than that and I had this community of frugal minded people to back me up. So thank you all for the “frugal support”.

3. I keep our gift cards in my purse in a binder clip. I found a small dunkin donut gift card hiding in there!! I’ll treat myself sometime this week.

4. I’m really trying hard to supplement my income with a few side hustles. I sell on Ebay (learning) and I took on a position as an Asst. Publisher for a mommy e-newsletter. I’m hoping that with time, this hard work will pay off.

5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or anything gold plated!

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Roberta March 27, 2018 at 6:45 am

Hang in there, Janelle! It sounds like you’re making great progress, both financially and mentally. When you’re debt free, that will feel *so* much better inside than how it must feel to constantly be judging other people!

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Katy March 27, 2018 at 9:17 am

I have an former co-worker who was once talking about a $500 purse that she’d just bought. I commented that “for five hundred bucks, that purse have better have wheels and an engine.” She and I still laugh about that and I’ve caught her laughingly telling that story to other friends. She’s a hugely self motivated career person in a way that I’m not, so she does have more disposable income than I do. We’re still friends.

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Rachel April 2, 2018 at 9:43 am

Katy, I also recently read Goodbye, Things (borrowed from Multnomah County Library, in fact) and was a little surprised by how inspiring it was — initially I couldn’t fathom how that topic could fill an entire book, but somehow the repetition of his message was zen-like and soothing. I’ve offered a steady steam of items on Buy Nothing since then. I also just went to Japan, which piled on the inspiration to live small and simply. Would love to hear more of your thoughts on that book!

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