Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 14, 2018 · 101 comments

  1. I finished up a group of eBay listings from items that I’d photographed last week. I also relisted a bunch of items that had somehow not automatically renewed. Hopefully I should realize some profits throughout the week from these efforts.

    I scrubbed down and listed the Timberland boots that I picked up at Goodwill. Those I’ll sell locally as they’re heavy and not in perfect enough condition for a picky eBay buyer. (eBay always sides with the buyer, so if there are *any* flaws, the seller can get royally screwed, even when all flaws are described and photographed.)

    My husband replaced a $10 part on a Kitchenmaid Professional standing mixer that I picked up at Goodwill for $16. It now works perfectly. We’ll sell it locally as it weighs 742 pounds.

    I worked two days at the hospital and took call for an additional eight hours one day. I also offered to stay late one day as I had an amazing patient. Sadly, we were fully staffed.

  2. I garbage picked a laundry basket, and by “garbage picked” I do mean literal nasty garbage, as this item was not plucked from some neat and tidy free pile. Why would I do such a thing? I bought a couple of these exact baskets for $2 apiece at Wal-Mart while in nursing school in 1991, and they are somehow still going strong 27 years later. They are so effing sturdy that I expect them to last the rest of my laundry-lovin’ days! (I did give it a hose down in the backyard as well as a vigorous scrub with sanitizing wipes.) In an era of planned obsolescence where flimsy laundry basket end up needing to be replaced every few years, I will walk over hot coals for a quality item.

    Or in this case . . . shake off some soggy cigarette butts.

  3. My husband and I have been subsisting on budget lockdown meals all week, as the combination of double tuition payments, taxes and my decision to go two weeks without pay hardy have our banks account flush with riches. However, neither of us mind the perpetual meal of rice, beans and veggies to fill our bellies and protect our finances.

  4. I continue to read library books, wear thrifted clothing, (including socks and underwear) enjoy free samples at the expensive grocery store down the street, bring dull leftovers to work and accept the generosity of others, (my mother is taking my son and I to lunch this afternoon as he’s home for the first Portland Timbers home game, and my husband scored free tickets to tomorrow’s Thorns women’s soccer game!)

  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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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie April 14, 2018 at 10:02 am

FFT, Impatiently Waiting for Spring Edition:

(1) DH and I would both love to be out prepping the gardens for spring, but the weather is not cooperating (“winter weather advisory” for sleet tonight!). So we’re doing other stuff that needs doing. For instance, we ran a load of NYS deposit containers to our favorite independent bottle return this morning and pocketed $15.10. (I take bottles and cans periodically to Wegmans, but the accumulation of stuff that wouldn’t go through the Wegmans machines or be accepted there couldn’t be ignored any longer.)

(2) I then treated myself to a stop at the Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper store next to the bottle return (first proper thrifting stop for ages). DH rambled through the book and bric-a-brac depts., and then waited patiently for me on a comfy sofa. I came away with two knit tops (one at half price) plus a fairly tall camera tripod, which I plan to use as a tepee-style support for snow peas if and when spring ever gets here.

(3) Leek, shallot, and tomato seedlings have all now come up under our homemade lighting setup, and I planted cukes and melons in midweek. Okra seeds get started today. (It’s a labor of love to grow okra in Upstate NY, but I do it in homage to my Southern roots. Besides, even DH likes gumbo and fried okra.)

(4) In less happy pre-gardening news, at least one woodchuck seems to have moved into our back 40. Have been researching ‘chuck deterrents online–one of which involves soaking old tennis balls in ammonia overnight and then putting these into the burrows. The neighbor for whom DH and I do dog-walking has cheerfully contributed a supply of well-used tennis balls. I have no illusions that this method will work any better than any other I’ve tried, but at least I’ll only be paying for a jug of ammonia!

(5) Finally, DH and I are scouring the neighborhood (before the sleet starts!) for dry branches we can use in the wood-burner. We’ve still got plenty of logs, but we’re short of kindling at the moment.

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A. Marie April 14, 2018 at 11:35 am

P.S. Kudos to Katy and all the other trashpickers of laundry baskets. I’ve only ever paid for one, and that was before I was old enough to know better. All the others (and I have quite the collection, some serving purposes other than laundry) were either out of DH’s rental properties back in the day or off the curb.

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Marybeth April 15, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Your #1 is great. I just returned $7.15 and was happy.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 16, 2018 at 3:59 am

My is husband is always waiting for me on whatever chair or sofa is available in stores, lol

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Cindy in the South I April 17, 2018 at 11:04 am

Love okra and gumbo!

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K D April 14, 2018 at 10:21 am

1. I continue to follow your blog and so appreciate it and the readers that comment. It helps keep me on my toes, as I seem to be surrounded by non-frugal people most of the time.

2. I have laundry baskets that date to the 1990s. They are the only ones I have. I suspect they were made in USA and despite decades of use do not show signs of wear.

3. The weather has warmed up and yard work is providing plenty of fresh air and exercise. There are branches to pick up, vines to tame, and on and on. It is a welcome change from cooler weather.

4. My husband walked up to the grocery store on the last night of a sale to buy his favorite snack bars for less than half price. We also found $.65.

5. I attended a memorial gathering and service for a friend. Attendees provided fruit and pastries before the service. It was nice, appropriate for my friend, and frugal.

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Linda Gertig April 14, 2018 at 10:39 am

My laundry baskets were purchased in what was then East Berlin when I was stationed in West Berlin in the early 1980’s. It tickles me that they have outlasted the country they were made in.

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Tracymakes me wish I were going to be in Rochester! April 14, 2018 at 10:45 am

1. Grocery shopped from sale list and with coupons. 5 FULL bags of groceries for $90 should feed five of us all week. LOTS of fruits and veggies including 6 “red net bag” mangoes for $ 1 and 3 bell peppers and a lemon also $1.
2. Inspired by Katy I made black beans in slow cooker for first time the other day and we have been eating black bean, rice and chicken bowls this week garnished with lettuce and little individually packaged guacamoles that were leftover from DD’s volleyball last weekend. Would never have purchased but they ended up in our cooler so putting them to good use.
3. Black beans in slow cooker worked so well that I just tossed two pounds in with water and a bunch of veggies and Mexican spices. Once done I will blend with my immersion blender for a big batch of black bean soup.
4. Hubby and youngest daughter (14) have father-daughter dance tonight– she will wear beautiful baby blue lace dress that fits her like a glove which she also wore on Easter. Purchased at Goodwill for $3!
5. Purchased 5 little potted plants on sale a couple weeks ago (2 mini daffodils and 3 primroses) for $8 that I used for centerpiece for Easter dinner in a basket. Will plant outside today so we can enjoy primroses this spring and daffodils again next spring!

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Tracy April 14, 2018 at 10:47 am

Please ignore my weird name above last two posts weird text ended up in there!

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Katy in Africa April 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Great deal on the $3 dress!

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Karen April 14, 2018 at 10:48 am

My mom sent me off to college in 1991 with a Rubbermaid laundry basket and years later I was still using it, until my third kid stood on it once too often–it was used a lot for playtime, because it was so sturdy– and it cracked and couldn’t be duct taped together. I think it was in 2010 that happened. That thing was sturdy! I haven’t seen its like since, the handles were super reinforced and it was square, I loved it.

1. Went for my haircut at Supercuts and then to pick up the mail at our box, managed to stop in at Trader Joe’s and almost only buy the one thing I needed (I did splurge on the 99 cent bag of dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Haven’t tried them before).

2. I managed only one big grocery run this week–that’s very good for our family of 6! I do not have a chest freezer, so it’s hard to get all the food for our meals (we cook nearly every meal at home) for the week in one go, as i have limited space. And no, we don’t have room for a chest freezer. I wish we did.

3. Three free workouts this week at DH’s workplace, with the kids, my running is getting better and the kids are getting fitter!

4. By batching my errands together with gym visits I’ve made my gas last a lot longer this week–probably won’t need to fill up again for another week at least.

5. Still reading library books and using my husband’s Youtube account to listen to songs instead of buying CDs or subscribing to Pandora or Spotify or whatever the kids use these days.

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Sarah D April 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Those dark choc pb cups are AMAZING. I have to keep myself from buying them!

I wish I had room for a chest freezer too – I keep trying, but I just have no clue where it would fit!

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Liz B. April 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm

I listen to some of my favorite songs and albums on YouTube….but i hate the ads that cut in randomly during songs,(but not enough to get me to pay for the ad-free YouTube, lol!). I also listen to the free level of Pandora.

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Karen April 18, 2018 at 10:16 am

I did use the free pandora, but my husband hated hearing the radio ads, so he paid for a Pandora subscription for me. Then when things were really tight last year I cancelled it. He signed up for a Youtube subscription a few weeks ago, again because he likes to use it sometimes but hates ads. The kids and I have been greatly enjoying finding our favorite Irish bands and listening to the songs while we do chores.

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cynthia huntington April 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

You do so well with trash picking Katy! Out here in the country trash gets hauled to the dump or picked up by independent trash guys–so no curbside piles. (Well, no curbs either!) But I have found some treasures at the exchange section of our town recycling center.

Still, there’s something so adventurous about your street finds!

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Rosanne April 17, 2018 at 5:06 am

I think New Jersey is a trashpicking nirvana. I don’t know any frugal people nearby, and I think wastefulness is the norm. I have picked up antique paintings, brass firplace screens, flat screen tvs. My husband once picked up a box of old trains we pieced out and sold on ebay for over a thousand dollars! I wish I had some of you ladies nearby.

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Betty Winslow April 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

1. Picked up my diabetes meds from Meijer – free, so good!!
2. Got our older son over here two wks in a row to help his dad with yard work, rather than pay someone.
3. Turned heat off yesterday. Cold today, so wearing sweaters and draping legs in afghans when sitting. Hubs has a fire going in the fireplace, too, with wood off trees.
4. Entertainment this week – books from the library, plus a few from my stockpile of to-be-read’s. Read ones from stockpile will go to local used book store for credit. Also been watching old episodes of Warehouse 13.
5. Had 2 rosemary bushes at Xmas, one a gift, one a prize at a women’s ministry event. Both died. I don’t cook with it. Hubs wanted to toss. Instead, I advertised them on FB and a young friend of our who loves to cook claimed them. Happy – hated to throw away good food.

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Betty Winslow April 14, 2018 at 12:59 pm

oh, and I’ve repaired several laundry baskets with duct tape.

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Katy in Africa April 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

1. We ordered a tent…it was expensive. BUT we will be doing a lot of traveling and this should in the long run save us money, not counting the memories we hope to make and things we plan to learn. My husband did a lot of research before choosing a tent. He wanted durable, water proof, big enough to hang a curtain making it 2 rooms, and to be able to stand in it. He found 2 that fit what we were wanting, both with good reviews, so we opted for the cheaper of the 2 brands. We also found it cheaper through amazon than the manufactures site, plus we had some amazon giftcard that we used towards it.
2. I’ve been unhappy with the amount of wasted food, so I’m staying on top of that better.  My ultra clever trick? Keep serving and eating it…who’da thought?
3. I hand stitched the slit of a dress that was coming undone.
4. So there’s this book I’m wanting to read, it just came out. We can afford it, but I also have my brain on saving for visiting my sis-law and family who live half way around the world. So I googled giveaways and sure enough I found one. My chances of winning our slim, but we’ll see. Pretty soon we’ll be Stateside and I can look into other options, like the library or seeing if any friends have one to loan me if I don’t win.
5. Made edible cookie dough for the first time using ingredients I had….why heat up the house and use energy to bake when this is yummy too?

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janine April 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Katy: Know you are looking forward to a return to the US. We had friends who were missionaries and peace corp volunteers who experienced real culture shock upon their return. Still, they were happy to be home too! Love your frugal ability to use the resources available to you.

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Laura April 14, 2018 at 1:26 pm

You should make a nice profit on that Kitchenaid!

I paid $20 for the digital download of my son’s school pictures. It was cheaper to do that and print the sizes we want then get one of the packages with a bunch of extra pictures we didn’t need.

Went to lunch with a friend who was in town and used a coupon.

Submitted medical and childcare expenses to my flex spending account for reimbursement.

Registered my son for summer camp during early registration and received a discount.

Helped a friend save money by pet sitting their cat so they avoided boarding it.

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Mand01 April 14, 2018 at 2:07 pm

1. We have finally had rain for the first time this year. Not having to water our extensive garden for the first weekend this year is very frugal.
2. I booked myself in for the work funded flu shot.
3. Tonight’s dinner of a big roast chicken will also be tomorrow night’s dinner of quesadillas.
4. I got tortillas half price. And they are really huge so we won’t need to use two for quesadillas- we can fold them in half.
5. All the autumn fruit is super cheap right now so I got lots of fruit for a low price yesterday.

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janine April 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm

1. Re-reading some books husband found in attic. Will donate others that we stored but are no longer interested in.
2. Blizzard conditions are forcing us to stay home tonight.
3. Also have old but sturdy laundry basket alongside of newer less sturdy varieties. Love IKEA bags to haul laundry and other stuff around in. Have found them to be really sturdy.
4. Bought groceries for son who was stuck at home because of blizzard and couldn’t get out to work today. Cheaper than getting him restaurant meal, although I did break down and get him deli chicken soup. (his favorite)
5. Used up a ham bone and split peas to make soup that seems to be in keeping for Christmas in April weather.

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FrannyandDanny April 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Blogged, worked with 7.5 kg of green tomatoes to create magic feasts, gave my kid some second hand clothes that were mine, but he loves instead of new ones, had lunch at a friend’s house instead of going out for dinner and made soup from some found carrots.

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Christine April 14, 2018 at 4:11 pm

1. Had granddaughter and friend over for supper. She asked if I would make her “breakfast for supper”. Easy and frugal …pancakes.
2. Managed to find 36 cents this week between walking and finding coins on the ground and one coin in my pocket.
3. DH and I went walking in the woods yesterday on an old surveyor’s trail. Very cool to find buttons in rocks on the trail that they use to mount their equipment on. DH thought they were placed in the rocks in the late 1800s.
4. Neilsen Ratings sent me $10 cash to take a four page survey. Um ….okay.
5. No gold plated anything for this family. No Lear jets either. We fly coach on the rare occasions we do get away.

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Jenny April 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm

#3 very cool!

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Lindsey April 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm

1. Planted 50 poppy seeds, 50 giant asters and 25 sunflowers that will become cut flowers this summer.
2. Wanted to go to the store for taco ingredients when husband said, “Why do we have lasagna noodles in the back of the cupboard? You never make lasagna.” A light went off in the brain and I realized we had all the ingredients for lasagna in the house, so no money spent on taco ingredients and we had a terrific meal for two nights in a row. (We owed taxes this year, so really need to be frugal for the rest of the month. Every meal helps.)
3. Accepted a bag of super-hot chips from someone at the place I volunteer every week. I no longer buy chips but I love hot stuff so I thankfully accepted these. Alas, it turns out I still have no self-restraint when it comes to chips…
4. Almost convinced myself to buy a Cook’s Illustrated book on making sauces when it occurred to me that the library might have it. Score! Money saved and some new ways to spice up things.
5. Found a brand new ball of thick twine in the snow. It had been snowed on, so not a recent loss. I picked it up and dried it out–perfect for tying up my tomatoes this summer.

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Bee April 16, 2018 at 2:53 am

I love cut flowers. I imagine that grocery store bouquets are extraordinarily expensive in Alaska. I have heard that they are successfully growing peonies in southern part of the state for the commercial market. Are you able to grow them where you are? I suspect you may be too far north.

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Lindsey April 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm

No, Fairbanks ships peony blossoms all over the world. We have several peony farms here. Our weather produces them here when they have finished blooming everywhere else.

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Karen April 18, 2018 at 10:23 am

I love using the library for cookbooks. So often I get a cookbook I’m excited about and realize I would really only make a couple of the recipes–so I just type those recipes into my computer, print them out and put them in a binder with page protectors. I do the same with recipes I find on the internet.

The exceptions to my cookbook rule: I do own Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook (the first one), it’s beautiful and I’ve made more than a few recipes out of it. The lemon bars are the best, handsdown. I also own an old church cookbook, one of those spiral ones, that I helped edit, the More With Less cookbook because it has not just recipes but tips on being more frugal in the kitchen, and a vegan cupcake cookbook that has been very well used.

As for #3, I’m with you–I wouldn’t buy chips if I didn’t have kids who loved them once in a while. Instead for snacks i keep pretzels around–not tempted at all by those.

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Jennifer April 14, 2018 at 5:31 pm

I despise paying money for laundry baskets!

1) We cook every Friday with our students at school and I brought home a tub of leftover pepperoni. I used that with the remains of a jar of plain tomato sauce (among other things) to make delicious pizza! Felt good to use up both items.
2) Got a 2nd hand brand new Lands End swim shirt for $7. It will fit either of my dd’s We are going to the beach this summer and I wanted to have this option for them to throw on over a swimsuit to avoid the sun more without using tons of sunscreen. We only go to the beach every 5 years and we always get way too sunburned. Hoping to avoid some of that this year.
3) We got a dog. I posted on our local Facebook garage sale group ISO baby gates. I got one offer of a cheap plastic one for $25, which I ignored. We have been using chairs to block a door. While walking my dog yesterday my neighbor said she saw my post and she had extra baby gates that I could have for free. Yay!
4) Meatless dinner tonight – and cheap – baked potatoes!
5) Went on my weekly date with my dh to Starbucks and ordered the cheapest drink that I like there (I can’t drink just coffee, bleh!)

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Roberta April 16, 2018 at 6:06 am

Congrats on your dog, and the baby gates!

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Ava April 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm

I am still using the clothes basket that went overseas with us when I was a military wife pregnant with my son. He turns 36 this year.

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Marilyn April 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm

The discussion of laundry baskets reminds me that when my kids were little, they each had a laundry basket in their room which served as a toybox. They were sturdy, colorful and much cheaper than a real toybox. They were also large enough to hold almost all of their toys in one place.

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Christine April 15, 2018 at 12:13 pm

I did the same with my kids. They really hold a lot and are easy to lift up and walk around the house with to gather scattered toys!

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Gina April 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm

1. Found some money.
I took my work vehicle to the carwash to vacuum before heading on my work trip on Monday. I noticed a penny on the ground and bent down to retrieve it when I noticed a bunch more coins. Tally: 73c

2. Returned library books so they don’t be late while I’m away for a month. I also saw some I hope to read and put them on my list for when I return.

3. Instead of eating out tonight, bf and I bought expensive Beyond Beef burgers from While Foods. Ho!y cow, they taste like non-plant based meat. I also made a cabbage salad from stuff on hand (and after we perused the salad bar at WF for ideas).

4. We dropped Goodwill donations (more clutter out!)and batched errands.

5. I also love IKEA bags for laundry and always grab them at Goodwill Outlet when I spot them (they’re super easy to disinfect).

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Sarah D April 14, 2018 at 8:52 pm

I’ve been really curious about the Beyond Beef burgers – I’m a long-time veg*n so I’m not accustomed to meaty texture so I don’t know if I’d be grossed out or enjoy them!

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Gina in KY April 15, 2018 at 4:35 am

I am also a long term Vegetarian (a little less on the Vegan years) and they did gross me out a bit. My bf is vegetarian friendly (and is aspiring to change his diet) but likes meat. These taste like what I remember hamburger tasting like. I’m glad I tried them, but I doubt I will buy them again. It was mainly the smell of the “raw” patties that got me.

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Sarah D April 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm

That is seriously creepy, tbh, that the “raw” smell was so “real.” I’m totally in favor of such foods being made for folks like your BF, but I’ll be they’re not going to be my fave…still, I’ll try them at least once!

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Vickey April 16, 2018 at 1:19 pm

I can see them as a transitional food, but really – why would we want to emulate long-term an unhealthy food? Why not just focus on the foods that are healthy in their “real” state? It’s easier, cheaper, healthier in the long run. IMHO. 😉

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Sarah D April 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Heading home from Las Vegas edition:
1. Turned out that we bought zero beers here in Las Vegas because the hotel had nightly happy hours with free drinks.
2. The hotel had a free breakfast buffet so we only paid for two meals a day, and one day that meant leftovers for lunch (thanks to hotel mini fridge).
3. One night we found an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner (which we love but rarely get to eat because there are none in our state), where we shared a combo platter that cost 12.99 total and provided more food than the two of us could eat!
4. Kept to the plan of not gambling and whatever folks do in “Sin City.” Not hard, given our lack of interest and busy-ness at the conference but still frugal. Took the free conference shuttle to the university campus instead of paying for parking.
5. Will stop at Hoover Dam on the way home tomorrow. I think that should be free because of our NPS annual pass.

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Gina in KY April 15, 2018 at 4:36 am

Ethiopian is my absolute favorite type of food!

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Sarah D April 15, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Mine too and we get it so rarely – this was a great treat!

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Bethany April 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Had company for dinner tonight. It was frugal and delightful. Kids had a blast too!

Some of my basil has sprouted. The birds stole a lot of the seed, but not all of it. Hope it will multiply.

We haven’t always been birdwatchers, but we found out this year that there are burrowing owls nesting across the street from us in a vacant field. Lately they’ve been perching on the utility box in the front yard. Fun free and educational!!!

Having leftovers for lunch tomorrow and an church picnic for dinner. Frugal Frugal!

Had some bouts of fatigue lately and thought about making a dr. appointment. Had some vitamin B12 on hand and tried that for a few days. I feel like a new woman!!! Saved the $20 copay!

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Roberta April 16, 2018 at 6:09 am

I am jealous of your owls. The burrowing owls are so cute!

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Mrs. Picky Pincher April 15, 2018 at 4:14 am

Sorry to hear it’s been a lean month. Speaking as a kid whose parents covered a portion of college, I can say your sons will really appreciate the leg up. 🙂 It’s all a season of life, eh? I’m STILL waiting for my medical bills from March to hit us. That’s going to be a crappy $6,000 experience. :/

Anyway, this week:

1. Yesterday I treated myself to a DIY spa day. I splurged on $9 Essie nail polish and even bought a face mask for $1.30. I fully enjoyed myself and was pleasantly surprised by the nail polish quality. For $9 it looks like I paid for a $30 manicure. I like treating myself in these little ways without spending a lot of money.

2. I’m a little overwhelmed with freelance work, but in a good way. I’ve been looking for clients and finally have an avalanche of work to do. It’s great for the wallet, but I confess I’m a bit strapped for time these days. Urf!

3. Hubs made a batch of tasty beans in the Instant Pot last night. Much cheaper (and probably healthier) than canned beans.

4. I’ve been watching our grocery bills like a hawk and, so far, we’re under budget. Woohoo!

5. I started a new batch of homemade strawberry wine and got a crock to brew my kombucha without plastic.

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Lydia April 15, 2018 at 5:38 am

We have one of those laundry baskets. I put it in the kids’ room because it seemed so indestructible, but you know kids will always put that theory to the test. My little one was apparently using it as a stage and broke the bottom out. Luckily it was just a massive crack, so I repaired it with a bunch of duct tape and reminded them that it’s really only made to hold laundry. Maybe we can get another couple years out of it, barring any more stage performances.

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Norma April 15, 2018 at 5:45 am

1.Found a penny on the ground. Not much but every little bit adds up.
2. Sent husband looking for Cocktail Sauce. He looked near the shrimp and found a 12 ounce bottle for $2.29. Got thinking that it would probably be cheaper in the condiments aisle. Sure enough found a bottle of store brand for $1.19. So proud of himself for saving $1.10.
3. Seeking the services of a chiropractor (which is being paid for by my insurance) to try to prevent back surgery (costly even with insurance and painful recovery). We’ll see.
4.Attended a free health seminar at my chiropractor’s office. Learned a lot and will try to start making small changes in my life.
5. Community yard sale yesterday made $25. Not ready for the sale so only put out five larger items. Sold three. Hopefully next year will be a lot more organized. Lots going on prevented preparation.

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Bee April 15, 2018 at 6:15 am

Everyone’s FFT are so inspiring. Here are mine….
1) I participated in a semi-annual vintage flea market yesterday. I sold my decorating mistakes, things that lingered on eBay for too long, and odds and ends from around the house. It was a successful day. I made $500 and hardly brought a thing home with the exception of a piece of turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) milk glass that I purchased. I guess trading 100 unwanted things for just one and some cash isn’t too bad!

2) The clean-out-the-freezer project is finally coming to a close. There is little left except a turkey carcass, veggies, and broth. I will process the turkey this week — turkey soup I suppose. The pantry is also manageable again. It is nice to have a clean slate. Of course, the lower grocery bills have been wonderful too.

3) Household chores are on the agenda today. My hubby borrowed a pressure washer to do some outdoor cleaning. The dog will get a bath a home. I have some cleaning to do. So many people pay for these services.

4) We used the streaming service PlayStation Vue. There was a glitch with our credit card as I forgot to put in the new expiration date. Therefore, the automatic payment did not go through. I made several attempts online to correct this and contacted customer service. They locked our account for 24 hours for accessing it too often and could not unlock it. So we found another service with more access for less money and will save us $200. When will companies learn the importance of good customer service.

5) I continue selling on eBay, cooking from scratch, eating at home, drinking primarily water and brewing my own coffee.

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Stephanie V April 15, 2018 at 8:29 am

I love reading everyone’s FFTs. Last week was an expensive week for us, though. We went on spring break with our high school senior son and my car needed repairs. The first was budgeted for and the second was unexpected, but we have an emergency fund so it’s affordable. Those two big expenses, however, made us focus even more on saving elsewhere.

1. I planned meals for the week, and we stuck to our grocery list. When we got home, I found two Checkout 51 rebates on items that we purchased.
2. I went to lunch with friends on Friday. This doesn’t sound frugal, BUT they picked a place where I had a gift card given to us for Christmas. I ordered a simple salad and drank water and there’s plenty of money left over for another meal (or two) there.
3. I returned a bag of spring greens to the grocery store for a refund because it had gone bad three days before the date on the package.
4. I stocked up on Amish chicken that is on a half-off sale at a local grocery store. This happens about once every eight weeks, so we will be in good shape until the next sale.
5. We stayed home this weekend due to the weather.

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Lisa M. April 15, 2018 at 9:52 am

5FF, Blizzard edition:

1. Blizzard wins: Staying at home, not spending $, time to catch up on laundry, making homemade cookies to share with neighbors.
Blizzard fails: Unable to get to p-t job, DD unable to get to p-t job or dance class, hub’s international flight to visit family cancelled.
2. Hub received postcard with complimentary dinner for a retirement info session. Since he will be out of the country, I called and will be enjoying that free meal at a local restaurant.
3. Juggle2 p-t jobs. One job is occ. f-t when owner traveling which she has been recently, so working additional hours.
4. Working additional hours=less time to grocery shop. That combined with hub’s upcoming travel means reduced food costs. Just finished last of Easter ham in Ham & Potatoes crockpot recipe. Delicious!
5. When my DD recently had her annual vision exam, the kind receptionist mentioned that a cash discount is available since our vision insurance is not accepted there. Upon receiving the bill, I promptly called and got a 15% discount. This info is not posted anywhere in their office. I also recently ordered her contacts and requested a receipt to use for documentation to receive a rebate in the form of a VISA prepaid card from the contact maker. DD looks forward to this “fun $” card every year.

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Lisa M. April 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Sorry, intended as a post, not a reply… 🙁

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Carole April 15, 2018 at 10:35 am

Does that professional mixer really weigh 742 pounds or is that a misprint?

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Ruby April 15, 2018 at 10:40 am

She was joking. It probably does weigh enough to use for weight lifting exercise, though. Even the home models are ridiculously heavy.

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Ruby April 15, 2018 at 10:49 am

1. Found a dime in a bag of old handbags a colleague gave me to donate. Also, with her blessings, saved for personal use a nice tote bag that just needed the bottom repaired and to be laundered.
2. Wearing a cute thrifted shirt and shoes with an old pair of jeans and a pair of socks from Dollar Tree. DT actually has pretty durable socks, as I have about five pairs that have seen several years of wear.
3. DH has discovered that there’s a usage meter on our electricity provider’s website. He was astonished at how much juice it takes to run a dryer. I just smiled. Drying rack use for the win!
4. We are having more than a day of spring thunderstorms and the temperature has dropped again, but we’re keeping the heat off and enjoying how the landscape has greened up after the rain.
5. Have not bought a single unnecessary thing so far this year!

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Cindy in the South I April 15, 2018 at 10:57 am

1. I mailed my tax payment. The phrase “broker than a church mouse” applies to me at the moment. But, the frugal then is that I incurred no late fee.
2. I made a huge amount of pinto beans and ground beef soup in the crockpot. Actually it is watered down chili. See #1 above.
3. I walked in my hood. See #1 above.
4. I listened to the radio for entertainment. See #1 above.
5. My grocery shopping this week consisted of bread for a buck, cheese, and eggs. I am eating dandelion greens with the already mentioned soup. See #1 above…lol

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Bee April 15, 2018 at 11:48 am

I can empathize. See #1 above. 🙂

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 16, 2018 at 4:12 am

Looks like you are handling number 1 pretty well! I think I am ready for April to be over. With the weird weather we are having and taxes, it’s time to move on. Ugh, I just had to reload my comment ..and put a dollar in the swear jar because of it….geez!

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Cindy in the South I April 15, 2018 at 10:58 am

“thing” not “then”…groan

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Danielle April 15, 2018 at 11:41 am

Party Edition:

We had a special speaker come into town a few weeks ago, so we offered to host a potluck at our home.

1. Between my mom and I, we have enough Corelle plates to feed about 30, so we used those for dinner and some small Styrofoam disposable plates (left over from something else) for dessert. Reusable is always better for the environment and the budget!

2. I have approx 30 forks/knives/spoons that I had bought for less than $25 a few years ago when I hosted my cousin’s rehearsal dinner. We used those for the meal, and only a few disposable forks for desserts.

3. Along with the invite, I sent everyone a GoogleDocs Spreadsheet link with the general categories for the meal. This way, I didn’t have to micro-manage who brought what and everyone could see what was needed and sign up for what they wanted to bring. Many people took a look at it and then told me directly what they wanted to bring, I didn’t mind adding that to the spreadsheet. Someone did mess it up and delete everything, but with GoogleDocs you can RESTORE a previous version of the document, so I did that and nothing was lost. This method was also a win because a friend who didn’t know she could come until the last minute was able to view the list and create a side dish that went along perfectly with everything else we had planned- no duplicates.

4. My family and I are all eating vegan/plant based so I did NOT volunteer to purchase the meat. Our friends who are on a keto eating plan took care of that (I suggested tri-tip roasts that we could slice thinly and chicken parts), and we helped grill it.

5. Knowing that I’m the first person at any party at my own house, I took care of the appetizers. A giant veggie tray with homemade vegan ranch was cheap and healthy, and a big bowl of salsa made from Rotel canned tomatoes (3 for $1 at grocery outlet!!) and a big bag of Costco chips and we all got to much while the meat was on the grill. I also made a huge salad (in place of a friend who couldn’t make it at the last minute) and a bunch of zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus to grill – all on sale (except the mushrooms). To us these were our main meal, to everyone else these were healthy side dishes. Our keto friends brought the meat, others brought the carb salads (pasta, potato) and desserts and wine. Bam! Such a nice event and no hardship on any one family!

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Christine April 17, 2018 at 6:56 am

Love how you and your Mom pooled your Corelle to serve on. I stopped buying disposable plates and cups and am now working on napkins. Keep that small footprint going!

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Ruby April 15, 2018 at 11:47 am

I read right over the “then.” 🙂

We were smacked with a staggering tax payment too. Thank goodness for frugality because we were able to pay it out of savings and get back on track with a month of extreme belt-tightening.

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MommaL April 15, 2018 at 12:53 pm

My tax bill was horrible. I adjusted my withholdings to avoid the smack next year.

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MommaL April 15, 2018 at 12:52 pm

1. Community yard sale. Invited some friends and we all made some money! Plus time with friends, for me, is priceless.
2. Boiled some eggs for sandwiches and cut up some veggies I had for my friends to eat.
3. We all “shopped” each other’s tables when it was over. I got some cute jars to use as gifts (I love glass jars!), and some other items. We all got something from someone.
4. Doing research on some old tools DH dug up that were his grandfather’s. Might list them on ebay.. Want to research them a bit more.
5. Took all that change from the yard sale to Coinstar, converted it into a gift card.
Frugal fail: My camisoles are really looking terrible, so I broke down and ordered some new ones to wear under my blouses at work. One friend said Duluth no yank tanks are good, but I got some cheaper options at Old Navy. I yank on all of my tanks, can’t seem to find any good ones so I just walk around yanking them down all day long at work. I envy the men and their easy to wear professional clothes.

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Bee April 15, 2018 at 3:43 pm

My friends and I always end up trading “stuff.” Garage sales with friends can be a great deal of fun. A win for everyone!

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Gina in KY April 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Ugh! I can so relate to the yanking of tanks. I wear them under my work clothes too and have yet to find one I like. I may have to check out Duluth Trading (we just got one here).

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Jennifer April 15, 2018 at 5:38 pm

I wear tanks under my work clothes too and make sure I get them long enough to tuck in, then I don’t have to pull them down all the time.

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Christine April 17, 2018 at 6:58 am

I like Old Navy tanks. They’re quite long but then again I’m only 5’5″. May not be the right fit for you lucky tall girls.

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Minimal Steph April 15, 2018 at 5:56 pm

The Duluth no tank tanks are the best. I’ve found a few at Goodwill.

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Lindsey April 17, 2018 at 11:51 am

Here is another plug for Duluth clothing. I have ordered quite a bit from them, for myself, the husband and as gifts. The stuff lasts forever and the fit is comfortable. My husband so loves their underpants that I have to stop him from ordering them for men friends as gifts!

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susanna d April 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Some frugal things , some not as frugal…
1. Spent the last 4 days at our son’s home downstate. Frugal for us in that we stayed at their home and they covered most of the meals. Frugal for them in that we helped them install new flooring. They are always up for learning DIY skills, and my husband has DIY skills in abundance due to growing up in a family of building contractors.
2. Frugal – grandchildren time – priceless frugal fun!
3. Not frugal – we’re holed up in a hotel partway home due to Snowmageddon. While I don’t know how much snow we actually got at home (more than a foot of snow, I think) areas in between had roads listed as “travel not recommended”. We wanted to get closer to home than 4.5 hours out. Frugal: We’re eating leftover Pad Thai that ds and ddil paid for, rather than spending money for the not nearly as delicious fast food options nearby.
4. Why are we not still at our son’s home? Husband has continuing ed training starting on Tuesday in yet another part of the state, and we absolutely need to get home tomorrow and dig out the l-o-n-g (did I mention it’s long?) driveway so we CAN get to the training Tuesday. Oh, and to get clean, presentable clothes rather than ripped-up-jean work clothes. Husband keeps up his certifications Just. In. Case he decides he wants to go back to work part time in the future. So it could be frugal…
5. Frugal – free vacation for me by tagging along to training with husband. A very good friend of mine is tagging along with her husband as well. Fun times ahead! While not a free vacation…it’s a cheap one.

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Alison April 15, 2018 at 2:52 pm

I also love reading the FFT. We haven’t been very frugal as we are planning a trip to Ireland and Spain at the end of May to celebrate the end of DHs medical treatment, and also, are buying a new Subaru for me.

But, here I go anyway:
1. Picked up a prescription for myself and and DH. Mine was free as expected, while his was not. I asked the pharmacist to make sure he had the insurance information for both of our plans, and he just cancelled the charge for DHs meds. It was only $6, but still.
2. Took a large bag of men’s golf shirts from my Dad’s closet clean out, and donated them to our street community. They are always happy to get men’s clothes.
3. Took my car back to the garage that had just serviced it, when a warning light appeared, they checked it and it was some lightbulbs that were burnt out. Replaced them at no charge.
4. Doing my own weeding this year instead of paying my tenant like I did last year, even tho it kills my back.
5. I got nothing else.

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Christine April 17, 2018 at 7:13 am

We’re all frugal on different things. Plus it’s all the frugal things we do, little and big, that allows us to put our money towards our dreams…such as trips and cars. I’m planning a trip to South Dakota this year to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites, one of my lifelong dreams.

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Susie's Daughter April 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

1) Like Cindy, Bee and several other folks, the tax man cometh. We are looking at strategies to improve this scenario for next year. The irony for me is that after years of minimal employment, I made more money last year than I have since before DS was born…and it is about the same amount that we will end up owing.

2) Almost finished mending ANOTHER pair of DS’s pants (left knee obliterated, but I patched both sides to prepare for the inevitable).

3) I did a ‘big city procurement tactical strike’ last week – Costco, Trader Joe’s, CVS and Once Upon a Child (primarily for pants – see #2). This makes for a costly day even though it only happens about 5 times a year. The win was selling a coat that I bought 8 years ago at TJ Maxx for $26 at Style Encore. Paid for the pants and hot dog lunch at Costco and still had $10 leftover. It did not, however, cover the rest of the Costco bill. 🙂

4) Surveying what was able to be fixed easily for dinner led me to ham and cheese biscuits with a fried egg and fruit. Yum.

5) Dear Wife asked me to look up three books at our library for her. Library usage for the win!

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Bee April 17, 2018 at 3:39 am

Regarding #1 , I again can empathize. When my children were small, I wanted to work part-time to keep my skills sharp and my mind from turning to mush. However, it always seemed to be just enough to push us into the next tax bracket. I ended up bringing very little home — if anything. I tried freelance work, but the 15% that you were required to pay for social security taxes was a killer too. I eventually went back to work full-time when the kids were older, but it had a huge impact on my career to be out of the workforce for so long.

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Lee April 15, 2018 at 3:20 pm

Hooray for sturdy old dumpster baskets! I have a laundry basket I fished out of a dumpster 30 years ago and it’s still going strong.

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Marybeth April 15, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I also garbage picked this week. It was a huge pile with countless empty shoe boxes. They had a sold sign on the front lawn.
1. I took 7 rolls of wrapping paper (2 were unopened) and a 3/4 bag of charcoal from the pile.
2. Found a cart of empty beer bottles in Aldi’s parking lot. Aldi doesn’t take beer bottles since they don’t sell beer. I took them over to BJ’s with the ones I collected on walks and made $7.15. I also got the quarter from the Aldi cart.
3. I am soaking black beans as I type this.
4. My son brought home 2 loaves of bread, 15 bagels and a dozen pastries from his job last night. All of them would have gone in the garbage if he didn’t. I brought a bunch over to a friend.
5. Cat and house sitting for a friend. When I go away she always watches my house so I am happy to do the same for her.

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Isitaneedorawant April 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Had to copy this post before I could refresh and post.
Here goes.
Marybeth, great to hear about the baking your son brings home.
One of my daughters is a dumpster diver. So many baked goods that will not be held to the next day are left beside the dumpsters well wrapped and packaged. They always found takers at university common areas and areas where they knew people would use them.
In our city in an area of high public housing a “cupboard” like a “Little Free Library” exists where any and all food stuffs can be left. There are a couple of volunteers who make sure it is repackaged and shared amoung the tenants. What’s even better they have drop off zones at houses and businesses in other areas of the city.
Recently my husband brought home a flat of pastries that would have been tossed after the meeting. So glad he thought to bring it home. One of my staff( we work out of my house) volunteers on a crisis line . She was working that evening and gladly took the lion’s share of the baking.
When I asked my daughter what I should do with the baking before my staff took it. She said, post it to the dumpster diver group (fb) someone will come and pick it up immediately.
Any how this long ramble was to give suggestions to others. My church group generally drops left over food from functions at the one of two programs.
I’d love to hear from others what they do and places they have found that are open to food donations.
Marybeth (the apple didn’t fall far from the tree:) your son sounds amazing!

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Marybeth April 16, 2018 at 5:01 am

Thank you. We are always open to take leftovers after events. Most people I know won’t even look at leftovers. I hate food waste. I have an extra freezer that my husband bought me as a birthday present one year. Best present ever! We had just visited my oldest daughter and brought her lots of goodies from the freezer. She is happy to take free food. I did bring some to a friend that I know will take leftovers also. I’m bringing some pastries to work today. The teenagers will eat them. Thanks for sharing the info. As Americans we waste a ridiculous amount of food. I heard recently about 1/5 of our food goes to waste. I don’t understand it.

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Lindsey April 17, 2018 at 11:59 am

My theory about food waste is that we are spoiled. When I hear someone say they “don’t like leftovers” I think, “You have never been hungry.” We grew up so poor that when we did get hamburger, we ate the meat one night and the grease leftover the next night, ladled onto bread. No sure where we got the notion that you have to love everything you eat. It is in the fridge, it will spoil if not consumed, so we eat it. It is like folks who throw away clothes because they are bored with them. Inexplicable to me.

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Jenny April 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Yeah, it’s a different world these days. I will always be frugal, though.
I had tried to post yesterday but couldn’t, so I will add on now that at an event I went to last week, we had dozens of big bagels and muffins left over, and we tried to take them to the homeless shelter and food pantry, and they refused them because they were not still in packaging from the manufacturer. I mean, really? There was breakfast for 50 people.

cathy April 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm

1. Batched errands which included returning library books and checking out one waiting for me on the hold shelf; stopping by Einstein’s to use $2 off coupon. I selected a specialty bagel that I prefer warm, no shmear. It was $1.95+tax, so free with the coupon. Found two pennies while there.
2. Also on errands, stopped at the cobbler. One of the buttons on my boots had come off and two others were loose. Cobbler said it would be at least $15-$18 for the repair since it required hand sewing. Instead, they GAVE me thread and suggested I give it a go. The hardest part is threading the waxed thread through my not-quite-large-enough needle. Two buttons down, one to go.
3. There’s a very good yarn shop around the corner from one of my other stops. I picked up yarn to try repairing my old, but much-loved Irish fisherman cardigan (hand-me-down from my grandmother). I’m not a knitter, but this is more like sewing and darning. The yarn is wool and was half the price I expected.
4. Had to do a large grocery shop the first of the month, but since then have just filled in with small purchases (milk, butter, etc). Eating from fridge/freezer/pantry. Today I’m making chicken soup from roasted chicken carcass and tricolored slaw (purple & green cabbage, carrots, onions, cilantro, lime vinaigrette).
5. We had a free Redbox offer. Rented Murder on the Orient Express (the new one) and made homemade pizzas/strombolis.

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Jenny April 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

I’d like to hear more about the “Little Free Pantry” thing- is it just a thing in the neighborhood by you, or is it a widespread thing, do you know?

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Isitaneedorawant April 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I think it is just in my city. I’m sure the majority of citizens don’t even know it exists. But one o father residents thought up the idea of the cupboard. They built a shelf and then dropped off an old wardrobe and so they used this for donations. I follow them on Facebook. Their latest request is for new or used water bottles that folks might need anymore and ball caps in anticipation of the heat this summer.
When Marybeth posted about the items her son rescues from the dumpster I thought I’d mention a group in my city that will recycle just about anything. There have been calls out for food needs but also if people want to get rid of their leftovers there is a huge need for meals. Especially amoung the poor elderly. (Birthday)Parties are not something that is often celebrated in this neighbourhood. So a call for any donations of decorations or leftovers for goodie bags would be put to good use.

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Isitaneedorawant April 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Not “ o father” but “of the “

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Susie's Daughter April 16, 2018 at 6:43 am

They are becoming more wide spread and are sometimes also called “blessing boxes”. My church is planning to install one on the church lawn for the summer and then move it closer to the building for winter months (snow, ice etc make the lawn inaccessible). Our church runs the area food pantry and we know that food insecurity is a big issue in our part of the world. The blessing box makes 24/7 access to a limited amount of resources possible as our food pantry is only open 2 days a month.

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Lindsey April 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm

We have them in Alaska, so they must be somewhat widespread (since we seem to hear about and adopt things later than other places).

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Elizabeth April 16, 2018 at 3:08 am

1. Found great deals on mushrooms, cheese! and cereal. I also discovered they were clearancing out my favorite coffee creamer for 25% off..so I bought 4 to tide me over until I find them in another store.
2. Discovered two free homeschooling sites Khan academy and The Good and the beautiful
3. Gave away almost 100 children’s books at our homeschool co-op. They were series books that my daughter had outgrown but did not love enough to keep. This saves me shelf space and brings joy to other children, which is priceless:)
4. Bought only groceries this week
5. Paid my car and home insurance annual/semi-annual premiums in one lump payment, which will save me almost $80 this year

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Roberta April 16, 2018 at 6:26 am

I love Khan Academy! I resisted signing up initially, but our homeschool adviser lobbied so hard I finally caved, and I have not regretted it at all. I only regret taking so long! Both kids use it for math, my son uses it for programming and SAT prep. And it’t totally free, always! Love, love, love!

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Elizabeth April 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

I feel so bad that I did not try it sooner:(

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nancy from mass April 16, 2018 at 4:31 am

1. My son is artistic and i found him working hunched-over to create his pieces. I realized a potting bench would probably work out best for him. I went on the Ana White page and found and easy one and the best part is, i had most of the wood already and at the right size! I only needed to buy a 1×6 and 1×3 board (which Lowes cut to the right length) to complete the project. I will be working on that this week. (he doesn’t know what i’m doing).
2. Making more hats for the homeless from my wool yarn i still have left. I went on their website and saw a picture of all the hats they received this winter to hand out. I could see at least one of my hats!
3. having an issue with one of my speakers not working with my old receiver. After some finagling, i found that the left main and remote connection isn’t working. I moved the wire to the right remote speaker connection and now i have 2 speakers that work. the next time my engineer sister is visiting me, she said she would take the receiver apart and check the board. we think something may just need to be soldered (and she can do that). I love my receiver and it’s over 34 years old, i really don’t want to replace it.
4. i told my neighbor that they could grab any felled trees in the woods behind my house and any tree that is just about ready to fall (there are a few). They supplement with wood heat and burn way more wood than i do. I did have a Maple that fell in my back yard so he said he would cut that up for me. I will keep some of that wood and give him the rest.
5. Not frugal for me but i added to someones ‘found money’ for this year. On thursday, my son had his wisdom teeth out and i went thru the wendys’ drive thru for a large frosty for him. i put the $7 in my jeans pocket (all the while thinking “this is going to fall out”), went to the store for a few items he could eat that i forgot to pick up and realized later that the money was no longer in my pocket. I hope whoever found it could really use it.

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Christine April 17, 2018 at 7:43 am

Your #5…so sweet!

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Marybeth April 16, 2018 at 5:01 am

Thank you. We are always open to take leftovers after events. Most people I know won’t even look at leftovers. I hate food waste. I have an extra freezer that my husband bought me as a birthday present one year. Best present ever! We had just visited my oldest daughter and brought her lots of goodies from the freezer. She is happy to take free food. I did bring some to a friend that I know will take leftovers also. I’m bringing some pastries to work today. The teenagers will eat them. Thanks for sharing the info. As Americans we waste a ridiculous amount of food. I heard recently about 1/5 of our food goes to waste. I don’t understand it.

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Roberta April 16, 2018 at 6:59 am

1. Yesterday, my mom had a clearance sale at her shop, in conjunction with a local festival. Unfortunately, we were too far off the main street to benefit from the festival, but the advertising beforehand seemed to bring a lot of people by the shop. We didn’t sell much of the clearance merchandise, but we sold a lot of regular store merchandise. Best of all, we’re donating all the clearance merchandise that didn’t sell, so we’re getting our storage space back!
2. Mom took us all out to dinner after we cleaned up the shop. Not my favorite restaurant, but we were desperate for food after, and the company was good.
3. I managed to hit a couple of garage sales before my son’s speech competition Saturday, and score the thing we most needed for the shop, so I will be able to skip next weekend, and I’ll be able to attend my son’s entire robotics meet!
4. I made dinner loaf (vegetarian meatloaf) Friday night for dinner, forestalling my husbands pizza suggestion. Even though pizza would have been yummy, I was just about to pull dinner out of the oven so we went with cheap. I planned leftovers, so we had lunch ready for the weekend, and I didn’t have to eat out at the sale. We also managed to eat breakfast in, although we had to wake up much too early, and breakfast burritos were singing their siren song from the taco shop!
5. My husband is testing an engineering project with his class today. He gave his students a task, and they have to complete make a car or projectile launcher for under $10. The price limit is his favorite part of the project, and has driven the most creativity in his students. It also leveled the playing field, for all the kids, because some of them have the resources to spend $30 on this, and some just don’t. Frugal for the win!

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LB April 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Ugh. Breakfast is my weak spot. I can’t ever seem to stomach what I’d planned to eat when there’s a bagel or breakfast burrito calling my name! Props for staying strong!

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LB April 16, 2018 at 12:26 pm

1. Sandwiches for the week are made, packed in baggies that are washed and dried from last week. Sure we’re still using single-use zip locs but we’re using em until they don’t wash clean anymore!

2. Making coffee at home continues to be a hit, and has seriously impacted my weekly budget by reducing tiny incidentals that add up (and the compulsion to get a brownie to go with my coffee!).

3. Had budgeted cash to go out on Saturday night with a friend in town–but instead some beers on the couch worked even better, and saved me the $50 I was planning to throw down on dinner and drinks.

4. Created a long-term strategy document for all the big expenses I have coming up. Budgeting monthly does nothing for me, but week to week feels more tangible.

5. While all I want more than anything is a new set of skis, I held off for another season. The $39 to get the bases repaired and the edges tuned is certainly a better cost than the $600 that almost fell out of my wallet when I saw the pair I wanted at my repair shop.

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Christine April 17, 2018 at 7:47 am

I wash and reuse sandwich bags and storage bags too. They just seem to fit in my freezer better than the hard plastic food storage containers.

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Jen April 17, 2018 at 4:04 am

1. We got our taxes done by the AARP volunteers at the library

2. Been getting books and cd’s to listen to in the car from the library and taking my kids to some of their free cultural events that happen on a Saturday

3. Been using re-usable containers for kids sandwiches and snacks instead of ziplock bags. Try to re-use plastic bags that come with items I buy.

4. Make my own green smoothies for hubby and I and take to work.

5. Throwing a work anniversary party for an employee and one of our grateful clients offered to buy the Costco sheetcake for us which I accepted.

Rice, beans and veggies for an economical meal. Sounds good! Any recipes?

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Michelle April 17, 2018 at 8:43 am

We, like Katy, have 2 tuition payments at once – twins. Though my son attends community college and saves us money in that respect. However, this past weekend, we found out that my daughter is receiving two more scholarships for the Fall semester. She now is the recipient of 3 scholarships from her college. One is for good grades and the other two are for her major. The 2 new ones for about 30 minutes of her time. We are very appreciative. Every little bit helps.

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ouvickie April 17, 2018 at 12:25 pm

1) I tore a tendon in my shoulder last Friday. I had hubby take me to the after hours clinic for an x-ray, instead of going to the ER. They sent me to an independent Imaging Center down the block. The cost for the Dr visit and the MRI will cost me half of what an ER visit would have.
It will require surgery, but I told the Dr to make certain and keep me in Network. You have to think strategically about ER visits in the U.S., otherwise you pay out the nose for them.
2) Thankfully I had gone to the grocers, before my accident. Hubby was home all weekend, so he kept us fed with what was in the fridge and pantry.
3) I took a day of PTO Monday, since I was having an MRI. I ran a few errands and picked up the Amazon Firesticks I bought my daughter and grandkids a few years back. They aren’t using them anymore and since I’ve gotten rid of cable, I can install them on our TV so we have extra channels to watch. Hubby’s especially excited about having the Sports channels again.
4) Thankfully I still had a few frozen entrees in the freezer, here at work. I popped one in the microwave for lunch today and avoided eating out.
5) Hubby got a new job and started yesterday. I think he’s going to make more working at the new place, than he was having his own business. Plus, he’ll have healthcare benefits. I’m waiting to find out how much money that will save us each month.

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Karen April 18, 2018 at 10:45 am

Some frugal, some very not frugal things:

1. Yesterday was our 19th anniversary; we have not hired sitters in over a decade, after a bad experience, so we took our three younger kids (oldest was at a CAP meeting) out to what we consider a fancy restaurant. The food was great, but the server was slow as molasses. Good reminder as to why we don’t eat out more unless we’re on the road. I did stick with my favorite salad, cheaper than an entree and just as filling, with a side of roasted veggies. Someday we’ll have romantic couple dinners, but for now we enjoy spending time with our kids and they love being included in our special day.

2. Then we had a 30% off Kohl’s coupon, and the kids needed some summer clothes, they are growing like weeds, so we took them there and DH sent me off to look for clothes as well. I found a few awesome modest running tanks on sale, and got some new unmentionables that I had been needing/wanting.

3. Prior to our splurge at Koh’ls I did a thorough sweep of my youngest’s wardrobe and was delighted to find he’s finally fitting into a lot of the hand me downs I’ve saved from his brothers! He needed absolutely nothing new except a pair of pajamas—all of his were too small and the older boys just sleep in t shirts and shorts. I absolutely love purging outgrown, wornout clothes and shopping in the closet!

4. My strategy of batching errands and outings and staying home four days a week is paying off; I was able to make a tank of gas last nearly two weeks AND when I filled it up I was told I had enough Kroger fuel points to give me gas for 1.25 a gallon! I haven’t seen a price like that in years! Handy tip, sometimes the cashier will tell you there’s info on your receipt about an online survey you can do to earn fuel points. KEEP the receipt and do the survey, it takes about five minutes or so and I earn 500 fuel points every time!

5. Even though we went out to eat yesterday, I planned ahead and had some frozen cheesecakes at home, and made some homemade blueberry sauce (and splurged on a Daiya dairy free cheesecake for me, very good), so that we could have dessert at home after our shopping trip. I know that desserts are where they get you in restaurants, and I am always so full after eating a restaurant meal I can’t really enjoy my dessert if I get one. The family liked this option a lot. I like to think it saved us some time and money.

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