Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 17, 2018 · 136 comments

  1. My husband and I drove four hours to bring our son back to school on Sunday. Instead of using it as an excuse to enjoy a nice restaurant meal together, we took one for the team and chowed down on $1.50 Costco hotdogs as we were already stopping for cheap gasoline along the way. We also packed our own coffee instead of caffeinating up at Starbucks which had somehow become a routine. The way I calculate it, we saved at least $40. We enjoy supporting local restaurants and treating our son to nice meals, but we’re on budget lockdown and we can’t bury our heads in the sand. For those who may question the nutritional value of a hotdog, I’m counting sauerkraut as a vegetable.

  2. I sold a Heywood Wakefield “tall lamp table” that I’d picked up at the Goodwill Outlet. My plan had been to refurbish it myself, (the finish was in terrible condition) but my motivation was exactly what you’d expect when the opportunity for outdoor projects relies on sunny weather and I happen to live in Portland, Oregon. Within hours I had two interested buyers, and it had sold by evening.

  3. I attended a 4-1/2 unit meeting at the hospital even though the thought of the hour long commute for such a short event drives me crazy. I poured myself a free cup of coffee from the labor and delivery unit and reminded myself that the extra hours would be a welcome addition to my next paycheck. These meetings are mandatory, but I have a tendency to put them off, so I’m patting myself on the back that I got my tuchus into the very first one.

  4. I walked to the grocery store and found a quarter, two nickels and three pennies, I prepared an enormous batch of cabbage patch stew, (and even cooked the kidney beans from scratch) I’m using the same menstrual cup that I bought in 2008, my husband in actively shopping for a new cell phone provider as we’re currently paying too much, (it looks like we’ll go with Xfinity Wireless) I enjoyed hanging out with my friend Dezsea this morning which involved the cost of a single tea bag, I’m getting together with my friend Lise this afternoon which will occur at the Goodwill Outlet and I’m hosting my friend Carol tomorrow, which’ll set me back the price of a bowl of cabbage patch stew. Yup, I’m a cheap date!

  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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{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenelle April 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

LOL…I had to reread your comment about Cabbage Patch Stew and menstrual cup a few times. Don’t even ask what I was thinking!!

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Katy April 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm

No overlap there, I promise!

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Bethany April 17, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Haha!

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 18, 2018 at 10:51 am

Don’t feel bad, somehow in my mind, I blended menstrual cup and tea bag…blegh..

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Kathy Hairston April 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

1. spent $60 from the find my fun fund at my clubs dog show raffle. I won $250 gift certificate to local jewelry store which I’ll use to get some jewelry repaired. Also won a $50 gift card to Fleming’s which I’ll save for a special occasion
2. Frugal fail as I have an upper respiratory infection.. prescription was only $1, however I’ll loose $320 cause I can’t work the dog show gig this week
3. Did a secret shop=$25 and have another one scheduled end of week=$40
4. Received a$10 class action settlement
5. Taxes paid so we’re officially on a spending lockdown

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Stephanie V April 18, 2018 at 8:23 am

Flemings has an awesome bar menu (if you like burgers and flatbread, etc.) with great happy hour deals. Also, sign up for their newsletter and you get specials 🙂

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Kathy Hairston April 19, 2018 at 10:31 am

Will do thanks

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Ruth April 25, 2018 at 3:28 am

I have seen Class action settlements mentioned a couple of times in different places recently, must be something that is happening more and more, presume you are in USA?

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Madeline Kasian April 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm

1.Happy hour at girlfriend’s house, 1 cheap bottle of wine.No makeup.Lost of good conversation.

2. Almost ALL my clothes are from consignment shop locally. My underwear is new,though (Hanes, but wearing out.What’s a few holes?? )

3. Makeup: I wear it a few times a week.When I worked i bought at Nordstrums.Now: Walgreens. Two for one Cover Girl, good enough for Ellen, good enuf for me.

4. Sharing some video streaming with our son’s acct. : Hulu , that he gets a student rate on, and some other stuff.Easy entertainment.

5. Eat at home. Mostly. sweet potatoes= lunch!

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Betty Winslow April 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Sauerkraut is totally a vegetable!

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Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Honestly I love the occasional Costco hot dog (though they’re $1.65 up here in Washington thanks to sales tax…). I actually broke my no buying lunch at work streak this past week because I had the opportunity to have lunch out with my husband. That almost never happens, and our son was at preschool, so it was like a little mini day date. Totally worth breaking the 6 month brown bag streak 🙂

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Marybeth April 17, 2018 at 2:02 pm

The date with your husband is definitely worth it. 6 months of bringing you lunch is awesome. You saved yourself a fortune.

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Beth April 17, 2018 at 12:59 pm

1. Lost power early Sunday morning. After hearing how many thousands of people were out of power I booked a room online early afternoon which was good because hotels filled up. I need my CPAP machine for sleeping and that was the determining factor for me. I originally called to book the room but found out the room was a couple of bucks cheaper if I booked online, I also put in for the AAA insurance discount saving around another $5. Had to pay an additional $30 pet fee for the dog. Had to stay Monday night as well – looked at the bill today and the room rate went up $12 which the front desk said was because during the week rates are higher but at least I called to check.
2. Went to the store and bought a few things we needed prior to leaving and picked up a few of our Kroger Freebies for snacks. Second day went home to check on things and grabbed two frozen containers of chili and toppings. Used the microwave in our hotel room to heat up dinner, saving on hotel food charges or going out for take out. I did treat daughter to pastry from her favorite bakery and we got take out from the hotel restaurant Sunday night as I was maxed/stressed out.
3. We enjoyed the awesome hotel free breakfast of eggs, bacon, waffles, etc., making it breakfast lunch grabbing yogurt or fruit to take with us for later. Additionally made use of the wifi, cable, and electricity to charge all of our devices. Also, power was on the next day but since work was cancelled due to no power we stayed until check out time at noon sleeping in and both taking showers maximizing our stay and daughter completed homework using wifi since we didn’t know if it was working yet at home.
4. I had a gallon jug of water frozen in the freezer of one refrigerator so only bought 3 bags of ice to place in the refrigerator sections. Proud to say all food was saved accept a box of partially eaten popsicles – I call that a win as I had just gone to the store the day before! Will be placing another milk jug of water in the other freezer soon as power goes out often around here.
5. Will be contacting energy company for our $25 credit for power being out over 25 hours to help with the $200 hotel bill, and $40 emergency bark collar I had to buy for the dog (luckily had a coupon saving $5 for purchases over $30), ice costs and other incidentals such as mileage driving around town.
6. So glad I got my taxes finished on Saturday before the power went out! Looking forward to a good size refund. I also saved $30 as I was offered a $15 discount email coupon, system wanted me to upgrade insurance and when I found it wasen’t necessary called a representative who said I would lose all my work if I changed back. Rep gave me the $15 plus additianl $15 to make up for the un-needed upgrade. Later when I paid the bill saw it had given me the $15 discount so saved $45 overall.

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Linda Gertig April 18, 2018 at 4:47 am

Beth, you might want to get a 1200 Peak Amp Portable Power Station. It is generally used to recharge automotive batteries or plug in small appliances on camping trips. Mine cost about $90 a few years ago at Walmart in the automotive department. Other automotive and camping places have them , too. Mine has never charged a battery or gone camping but keeping it charged has saved me from having to take me and my CPAP somewhere else to sleep during a power outage.

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Beth April 18, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Thanks Linda, I will check it out. 🙂

How many nights were you able to have your CPAP machine run off of this on?

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Linda Gertig April 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm

I was able to run my CPAP one night on it and them my aon or daughter-in-law picked it up and took it to their apartment to recharge. My children live in the same metro area as I do but lots of times one household will have power when the others don’t. We have had power outages where there will be power on one side of the street but not the other. Then the heavy duty orange extension cords come into play.

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Jennifer April 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Sounds like you made the most of the situation and did what you had to do. Hopefully you can relax now.

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Bethany April 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

1. I have an article ready to write about frugal uses of such and such item. Any ideas a place that would take a guest writer? Krazycouponlady used to buy this stuff from me, but has quit taking submissions. 🙁

2. Gave my daughter a haircut.

3. Listed my Jack LaLanne power juicer for sale. I’m not using it. It needs to go one to someone who will use it more.

4. Bagged up some clothes for friends and bagged up some to donate. Will collect the tax write off.

5. Bought VBS materials for the church. Church will reimburse me, but I can enjoy the 2% rewards.

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Rosanne April 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

No judgement here on the hot dogs. I am not a lover of hot dogs in general, but there is just something about a Costco dog. And no, it is not just the $1.50 price tag that includes all you can drink lemonade.

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Lindsey April 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm

This should be titled my “Finish Everything” week.
1. Cut open a tube of toothpaste to get several more days out of it.
2. Found three hotel soaps in a bathroom drawer (partially used. I bring them home since I cannot stand to leave them to be thrown out) and used them to make liquid hand soap for our dispenser.
3. I throw ripped plastic bags into a box. Went through the box and doubled or tripled up ripped bags to make poop bags. I tie the finished product so they stay doubled or tripled and can be easily fished out of a canvas bag we keep in the car so we can pick up after our dogs when we are out and about.
4. Found a partially used jar of mustard seeds. With a few other pantry items, made rustic mustard for use on future hot dogs.
5. A century ago I bought a box of pie dough mix, for reasons I cannot fathom. I mixed it up and made a quiche using up bits and bobs of declining vegetables. Glad to be rid of the pie dough and vegetable parts and the end product (with cheese in it, of course) tasted pretty good.
6. Had two apples that were sad to have lived so long in the fridge. Not good enough to eat and not enough to make applesauce. Dug some frozen rhubarb from last summer’s garden out of the freezer, plus a partially used jar of rhubarb jam, and made apple sauce with rhubarb for dessert.

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Sarah D April 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Do you have a “recipe” for turning the bar soaps into liquid soaps? I tend to hate hotel bar soaps but, like you, I can’t leave them to go to waste. Unused ones I add to my church’s box of snacks etc for homeless people who come in needing immediate help (I figure some people would like a shower, so I put in the soaps and shampoos). But used ones I never know what to do with — they tend to be slimy and not rinse off very well, so I’m not keen on using them as bar soap, but I can see them being good as liquid soap.

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Bee April 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm

I have made liquid soap from bars. It is essentially water, soap, and glycerin. There are several recipes online. I think I used the one from The Wellness Mama. I added to much glycerin the first time that I made it, and it came out a little slimy.

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Bee April 17, 2018 at 6:33 pm

That would be too much glycerin.

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Lindsey April 18, 2018 at 9:20 am

Like Bee, I used the Wellness Mama recipe.

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Katy in Africa April 17, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Your #4, time with people matters…even if you are a cheap date. Sticking to a budget is no reason to not spend time with people, as you are an example of.
Here its been mostly same ol’, same ol’
1. I didn’t buy a pretty scarf a friend was selling…it was a beautiful color, but I just recently bought some other things from her. Maybe if she still has it in a couple weeks, I’ll reconsider, but for now I’m not buying it.
2. I made sun tea instead of using the stove. I figure the sun doesn’t charge me.
3. We were getting low on things, but it helps to use up what we have, for example when I ran out of sugar, I used up my last bit of honey. I put my warm coffee in the honey bottle and shook it up to sweeten it.
4. I pulled out all my plastic and glass jars and containers and sorted the ones I want to keep to reuse and plan on asking a couple of friends tomorrow if they want any.
5. My last one is going to be a question… What do y’all think of Thread Up? Is a good price? How has it compared to just shopping at thrift and consignment stores? Thanks!

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Ruby April 17, 2018 at 7:04 pm

I like Swap.com because one of the filters is for material — I prefer cotton clothes. Also, you don’t have to buy as much to get free shipping.

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Minimal Steph April 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

I personally don’t like thredup. They are much higher than most thrift stores. If you look at the visitor posts on their Facebook page, they’ve ripped a lot of people off.

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Bettypants April 19, 2018 at 5:58 am

I think Thred Up prices are higher than thrift/consignment stores, and you can’t try on the clothing. I ordered a dress that arrived with a hole in it. They offered a refund, but said they couldn’t refund the shipping charges. They ended up giving me a credit for the shipping charges, but only after some back and forth with emails. I wasn’t happy that they thought I should pay for shipping for their error.

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K D April 17, 2018 at 1:45 pm

1. A friend I volunteer with likes to go to lunch when we are done with our volunteer job. Yesterday I suggested we go to a place just down the street. We walked there and back. I ordered an omelet sandwich, which was $3.25 plus tax.

2. I walked up to the grocery store to buy garlic and pick up “free” cherry juice. I used my debit card to get cash back. Many of the ATMs that we previously could use for free are no longer in the network. I avoid banking fees so I use my debit card for small purchases and then get cash back as a solution.

3. I made a batch of cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and mashed sweet potatoes with produce that needed to be used. They will be great sides with dinner the next few nights.

4. A friend needed something from COSTCO (a product her doctor recommended). I told her we could probably order the item but she wanted to go. COSTCO is near a place where I had returns/exchanges to make. She doesn’t like riding with others so she drove me on my errands and she was able to pick up a couple items she wanted at COSTCO. It also gave us time to catch up, as we’ve both been busier than usual the past few weeks.

5. I have found more miscellaneous coins lately. usually one here and sometimes another one somewhere else. Most importantly, I continue to follow this blog and appreciate all the efforts of Katy and her commenting readers.

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Elizabeth April 17, 2018 at 1:49 pm

1. We believe in spending money on travel and experiencing other cultures with our kids while they are still home with us. This spring break we went to Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. It was an insanely cool trip. Although not frugal to take the trip, we did do some frugal things while there…
2. Our hotel came with breakfast which we ate every day and then usually ended up only eating one meal out per day that was a late lunch/early dinner. I had packed some snacks too so we ate those when hungry as well.
3. Other than one time when the subways were shut down and we had to take a cab to the Shonbrunn Palace for the easter market and palace tour, we basically walked everywhere, saving cab and subway money and good for our health.
4. We did pay for a tour to go from Vienna to Budapest and it was worth every penny because we were only there one day and the things we wanted to see were all spread out which would have made it really difficult to figure out on our own with public transportation. We did however, take a train to Bratislava and I used the Rick Steve’s book the hotel’s front desk lent us to to get us around while in Bratislava.
5. I took some clothes with me that I was planning on getting rid of (socks and undies that had about one more wear left in them, shirts that were fine but I didn’t love the fit of, a sweater with some pilling that wasn’t coming off). I gave all these things one last hurrah by wearing them on my trip and then getting rid of them. I threw out the socks and undies and folded the shirts and sweaters and left them on a bed with a note saying to please pass them on to someone who could use them. I also took some samples of lotion, eye cream, etc and used them up there. I came home with a much lighter suitcase.

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Juhli April 17, 2018 at 1:52 pm

1. Well, I finally found some money – only a penny but it is now mine.
2. Went to the local consignment store on 30% off day and got a tank top, exercise leggings and a necklace for only $20. Happy.
3. Was going to sign up for a private yoga session to make sure I could handle the next lever but instead after this morning’s class I had a chat with the instructor and she said it seems like I could handle it. As a senior I only pay $10 per class and am upping my attendance to two a week. A private session is $100 – more than a month’s worth of 2 per week.
4. Continue to get almost all books from the library. Love libraries!
5. Pillows have gotten uncomfortable for me but are probably ok for infrequent guest use so I only bought one new one.

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Marybeth April 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

1. Was given 150 donuts for free. You are reading that correctly. Full story here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/04/what-do-you-do-when-you-are-offered-150.html
2. Cooked a pot of black beans. Ate them last night, eating them tonight. Froze 4 containers for future meals. Having rice with them both nights.
3. Got pork roasts marked down so I froze 4 and I put the 5th in the crockpot for dinner with above beans and rice. Have to figure out a veggie.
4. Hung my laundry up on drying racks since the weather still stinks!
5. Everyone took lunch in reusable containers/ water bottles.

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Sarah D April 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Donuts can be frozen for future consumption – I know because I do this sometimes when I get more donuts than we can eat before they lose freshness!

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Marybeth April 18, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Thanks. I have loads of pastries in the freezer already. I figured I would share them. Good to know if I get some that I can’t give away.

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Bee April 17, 2018 at 3:20 pm

This seems to be the week of “nothing seems to be going as planned,” But frugality is the one true constant. Here are my FFT …
1) Yesterday– yes yesterday– my adult son asked me to help him finish his taxes. Of course, I told him that I’d be happy to. ( I was not totally honest. I could think of 100 things that I would rather do.) I did not expect it to take long. His taxes are usually straightforward,but he unfortunately didn’t have the right documents. Six hours after starting, I filed an extension for him. No, this wasn’t frugal for me. However, it was definitely frugal for him. There weren’t any tax preparation fees. Since the extension was filed on time, there were no tax penalties. Saving my kids money does make me happy.

2) I sold a item on eBay. The buyer insists that the item is flawed, but it is not. I offered the buyer her money back if she wanted return it. Such drama!!!! However, I also sold two additional items today at a nice profit. eBay can be such a pain, but it is nice to make a little extra money.

3) I have eaten the same thing for lunch and dinner –leftover egg roll in a bowl. It is cheap, filling, and good for you. I planned dinner, but I am just too tired to cook it.

4) I planned to do a quick, 2 hour appraisal today, but I ended up working 5 1/2. It took more time than I expected, but I made more money than expected. This is a good thing. However, I really need to clean my house.

5) I am sitting down to pay bills this evening. My budget is not going according to plan, so I need to rework things. I am trying so hard to increase my savings rate. April is only 1/2 over….sigh

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Cindy in the South I April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am

“My budget is not going according to plan”…I had to chuckle over that phrase because that is the story of my life, no matter how hard I try….lol.

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Bee April 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Some months are worse than others. April had been a doozy!

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Bettypants April 19, 2018 at 6:06 am

I hear you on the pain that ebay can be. I had a buyer throw a fit because he didn’t see the tag on an item he bought. The tag was visible in the first photo, and the second photo was a close up of the tag – clear and easy to read. He said it wasn’t his job as a buyer to scrutinize the listing, and I was negligent with my listing.

He also mentioned he was browsing on his phone, so I would guess he didn’t look at any of the photos or read the description. Just click, buy ….. oh, not what I wanted, you pay shipping.

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Bee April 19, 2018 at 6:41 pm

I was told that I was negligent also. I think this individual simply had buyer’s remorse or was trying to work a discounted price. When I get frustrated, I remind myself that most people are kind. But sometimes…….

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Bettypants April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am

I got the impression that my buyer was trying to work a discounted price too. They complain by nitpicking on a detail, and count on the seller to issue a partial refund rather than dealing with negative feedback or having to accept a refund if they report it to ebay.

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Sarah D April 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm

1. Brought home the shampoo and conditioner from the hotel we stayed at during our work conference. It’s only about two days’ worth of product, but better than wasting it (and two more days till I have to buy more of my own).
2. Put in the paperwork for reimbursement for (most of) the costs for the work trip – the sooner we get the paperwork in the sooner we get $ back, and the sooner we can pay it to the credit card. No late fees or interest charges for me!
3. Had a bunch of dried and crumbly corn tortillas in the freezer that were never going to be good for tacos, so we made an enchilada casserole that’s layered like a lasagna. It was totally delicious, saved some otherwise wasted ingredients, and it even made enough for a second dinner as leftovers!
4. One of my grad students works at the campus coffee shop and he was there when I was in line today, so I accepted his offer of a free fill-up of my travel mug. It’s only $1.06, and I put a dollar in the tip jar, but still – I like a free cup of coffee!
5. Reading library books, bringing lunch from home, riding my bike to work, hanging laundry on the line to dry—all the usual money-saving stuff!

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Emilee April 17, 2018 at 6:06 pm

I’m pretty sure that you and my husband work for the same hospital system. So make sure to check out your Life Balance benefits when searching for a cellular service provider. I think it’s a 24% discount on any plan through some common providers. If you already have, just ignore my unsolicited advice (I’m sure you have, as you are a very capable and knowledgeable adult….)

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Emilee April 17, 2018 at 6:08 pm

I just re-read that last part. It came out wrong…. I’m sure you’ve already checked your benefits….not ignored me…haha!

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Ava April 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm

1. Mended two socks, a pair of pants and a dog bed-again.
2. Made a dog toy from a sock and a plastic bottle. They loved it until they killed it.
3. My husband ebayed a large nutcracker that has been taking up space for years.
4. Went on a 2 night girl trip with friends. Not frugal, but it has been a long time since I did that. Gas and hotel split 4 ways, free hotel breakfast, senior discounts on some activities and others that were free, and very little spent on shopping. One night we skipped dinner and had snacks in the hotel room. Came back refreshed and energized.
5. Saw another movie with our Movie Pass card.
6. The usual of eating all leftovers, or feeding them to dogs, composting scraps, reading library books, wearing thrifted clothing.

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Roberta April 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm

1. Made falafal for dinner, out of Bob’s Red Mill recipe and some garbanoz/fava meal that’s been in the cupboard forever.
2. My wonderful husband took the kids to the dentist today. My daughter needed one small filling, and he got it filled while my son was getting his cleaning. This way I don’t need another dentist visit and two additional orthodontist appointments to get her wires on/off. It may have also saved on the copay, but it mostly saved my sanity be not having three more errands!
3. Cleaned the bathroom today with baking soda and vinegar. It needed it, it looks nice now, and the change was cheap.
4. The Laundry Fairy has been feeling unappreciated around here, and she quit. I taught my daughter to wash her clothes and hang them on the line.
5. I spent my free time, not doing other people’s laundry, generally tidying up the house. It makes the house look better, and it makes me feel better, for no money. I even decluttered a couple of movies which I will post to ebay.

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Tracy April 17, 2018 at 8:13 pm

I am having an insane week at work which leads to more frugal fails than usual:
– bought lunch today
– had a little time after work before picking up DD from volleyball so decided to run an errand. Got the things I needed plus some things I didn’t. Stress reduction shopping. Sigh. But not too crazy on the spending ($65 total for 3 tubes of foundation (on sale), blush (on sale), , a hair flat iron, a pair of white leather sneakers (on sale) and two pairs of reading glasses (on sale)).
– registered DD for volleyball camp this summer $125
– paid our household’s local arts tax $105 (just glad I remembered since today was last day and I work for local government so most embarrassing if I forgot!

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Norma April 18, 2018 at 4:59 am

Never heard of a local arts tax. What is that?

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Tracy April 18, 2018 at 7:52 am

Portland Oregon has a local arts tax of $35/ per person (with exemptions for poverty households) that funds Arts Education in the schools and some other public art programs. Support the cause, just forgot until the very last moment to pay the tax!

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Cindy in the South I April 18, 2018 at 8:37 am

I have never heard of that also. I guess since it is a tax, it is a requirement? Sorry if it is a stupid question.

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Tracy April 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

Yup, it is required. It was referred to voters by the City Council for approval a few years ago and the voters approved it.

Mand01 April 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm

1. Still eating down the freezer. It’s taking a while.
2. Made chicken stock in the slow cooker from a roast chicken. The chicken was dinner two nights and lunch two days.
3. I got my free packets of seeds from my gardening club. Members get 8 packets of seeds a year, four in autumn and four in Spring. I almost always choose the vegetable seeds.
4. Last night’s dinner was lamb chops leftover from a party hosted a few weeks ago. We didn’t pay for them. Ended up in our freezer.
5. Tonight’s dinner will be pasta from the endless eggplant we continue to harvest from our garden.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 18, 2018 at 4:35 am

Yes, and think of all the probiotics you got in your vegetable. I dreamed that I found $15 on the ground last night. Wonder what that dream means?
1. Last night, we had No carb salmon patties that were good and didn’t cost much to make. They were delicious. I’m working on a recipe post soon.
2. My swear jar is almost full and I’m going broke.. its hopeless.
3. I got some books out of the little free library and have started reading a couple. Free entertainment..I love those things!
4. Some nights we are eating simple eggs and toast. Inexpensive and pretty healthy.
5. Walking for exercise instead of paying to join a gym. Still taking expired vitamins. Also, I did a trial of the glucosamine for anyone interested. A few post ago, in the comments some weren’t sure if glucosamine really works. I was curious as to if it was the glucosamine or the turmeric/cider drink that was causing me to have less joint pain. I was on both regularly. So I stopped taking glucosamine for about a week and in about two days in I was aching all over, especially my back where I have disc herniation. As soon as I started taking it again, I am mostly pain free. Oh, and my glucosamine is also expired. I believe in it for sure now…Just my two cents.

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Katy April 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

I approve of your dream!

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Mand01 April 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Technically that could still be the placebo effect. You didn’t take the glucosamine for a little while and then you did, and it made you feel better- confirming your unconscious belief that it works.
The way to really test it would be to take two identical pills in two different weeks- one glucosamine, one a placebo, and then measure the effects. Then find out what you were taking…

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 19, 2018 at 4:24 am

Yeah, that would take the mental part out of it. I don’t have anything that resembles my horse pill-like glucosamine, though. I feel confident that it’s working for me so I’m going to keep taking it even if it is a placebo effect, lol. The end result is the same..less pain.

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Mand01 April 19, 2018 at 5:01 am

I’m going through tests at the moment for arthritis so I’m very interested to know what does work. I’m hoping very much I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis.

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mcpare April 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Mandy,
I’m a naturopathic doctor and would be happy to provide you free recommendations with respect to arthritis, whether it is Osteo or auto-immune. There are many nutritional protocols and supplements that can help control symptoms. Glucosamine does work! It usually takes about eight weeks for patients to feel it’s full effect and patients should take a loading dose during that period, which is about 3ooo mg per day. You can find me on Facebook under Marie-Josée McDonald in Montreal if you want to connect. Also, I love reading your posts from down under.

Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 20, 2018 at 4:30 am

Sorry you are going through this, I have struggled with arthritic problems since my early 20’s. I suspect it’s mostly from a bad car accident I was in and many other broken bones from other accidents. It’s also hereditary in my case. I was rough on my body as a child, also. I did a lot of gymnastics, rode horses, and just lots of climbing and falls in general. Let me know what happens, I’m curious what they will start you on if you have RA. I have been tested and I do not have it per the bloodwork but the rheumatologist still thinks I do, so go figure. Lots of chemo drugs are being used now with some good results. Or would you go a more natural route? I personally only take supplements for now.

WilliamB April 20, 2018 at 6:30 am

Hey, don’t knock the placebo effect. Placebo effect = something that works for you.

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Mand01 April 20, 2018 at 8:07 pm

Not knocking it at all – I guess I was just wondering if the glucosamine works. I’m interested for myself as someone that may soon end up needing therapy for arthritis – but who also tends to want evidence for everything. My family are nurses, researchers, etc
and as a parent of an autistic person I’ve had just about every natural therapy that you can think of offered to me. I’m not saying I don’t accept that no natural therapy works – just that I want to see the science first.
But I can see how my comments could have come off a bit snippy.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Your comments are fine. I hate wasting money on things that are BS. I completely agree that it could be placebo effect and I’m fine with that since it’s working..and I am a nurse. Maybe you should try taking it for a few weeks. It’s super cheap and I can’t think of any reason that it would be harmful. For many drugs on the market, the experts never really know the mechanism of action, they just figured out it worked while using it for something else. Honestly, I think it works because when I would forget to take it for a few days because I was feeling so much better, the pain begins to come back. Again, that could be placebo..lol. As with all studies on the drugs, there are so many different factors involving the test subjects it’s very hard to rely on those results. Let us know if you try it, please!

Vickey April 23, 2018 at 6:25 am

I didn’t think you were snippy, I thought you were matter-of-fact. But then I tend to be that way myself. 😉
For **evidence-based** nutritional therapies, including for arthritis, please check out nutrition facts.org. And the content is all free!

Iris April 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

We use glucosamine and fish oil for one of our dogs that has joint pain. Helps her tremendously. But as mentioned above, does take six to eight weeks to get into system good. We started off with liquid then transitioned to pills. She gets both pills in the morning before breakfast.

Mrs. Picky Pincher April 18, 2018 at 4:56 am

Love it! I still have my menstrual cup that I bought over three years ago. It’s a money-saver for sure. 🙂

This week:

1. I cut green onions and chives from the garden and dehydrated them. They’re great to use up in wintertime soups.

2. An onion in our pantry sprouted. Instead of tossing it, I found directions online to plant it. We’ll see what happens!

3. I got more freelance side work yesterday.

4. I washed a load of laundry with homemade soap.

5. I sipped on homemade kombucha last night instead of a soda.

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Roberta April 18, 2018 at 5:46 am

I go ahead and use the sprouted onions anyway. We haven’t had a problem with them!

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Marybeth April 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Me too.

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WilliamB April 20, 2018 at 6:31 am

Use it if you want, definitely. The sprout itself can be bitter so I recommend cutting it out.

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livingrichonthecheap April 18, 2018 at 7:05 am

Hey – those costco hot dogs (with a shared order of fries with gravy) constitute a date at my house lol. I question the nutritional value of almost all food when eating out so in the big picture the hot dog was a win on the frugal side. We always feel super dissapointed about the cost versus yum ratio when we eat out – with the exception of the costco hot dogs as they are sold as a loss leader with 1980s pricing for a reason. Frugal this week – credit card got compromised so was without for a whole week and surprise surpise I spent far less at the grocery store than I normally do because I paid cash

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Katy April 18, 2018 at 2:50 pm

fries with gravy? Must be a regional thing! I always get the drink as plain seltzer as my not a fan of sugary soda, so that’s a healthy thing as well.

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JennyS April 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Canadian thing, eh?

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Mand01 April 19, 2018 at 12:10 am

We have it here too – they even sell it at McDonalds

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Marybeth April 19, 2018 at 4:21 am

We made fries and gravy the other night. SOOOO GOOD! I add some cheddar on top. Even Better!

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Gina April 18, 2018 at 7:41 am

1. We bought a camp last fall & i was curious as to when the tax bill might come in. i called the tax collector as she mentioned 3 parcels & we were under the impression we bought 2. I also called the assessment office & the guy i talked to is going to send out an assessor to re-assess the property which will save us in taxes as they said they have a mobile home as being on the place & there isn’t. Will save on taxes & i want everything correct.
2. Researched flea & tick medicine for our dogs. Can get the same type as vet gives for $40 cheaper online plus saves the cost of a vet visit.
3. got a $10 medical reimbursement I wasn’t expecting from a January visit.
4. Saw that Walgreens had toys for 90% off. I was going to stop by & check it out but decided against it saving me time and money both.
5. One of the seniors in our community brought me homemade lasagne & peach pie for dessert for my lunch. What a sweet surprise! She made my work day a whole lot brighter! I’m sending her a thank you card (that i got from a free pile at work).

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Kathy Worden April 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

I have a good report about Xfinity Cellular. Good price and coverage.

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Stephanie V April 18, 2018 at 8:46 am

Well, today my biggest client (I’m a freelance writer) cut my recurring project workload in half. With one son in college and another starting in the fall, this is not good news. I need to replace the client AND be even more focused on FFT. Here’s ours:
1. I recently mentioned that I had a big car repair. Well, the dealership sent me an email saying they were sorry I hadn’t done the recommended repairs, and gave me a coupon to save 10% off those repairs. Um … I had them do the recommended repairs. So, I’m currently in discussion with the service manager to get the money back I would have saved if I had held out and played their game. They offered a free detailing instead (not interested). I want the refund. It’s $188, so you can imagine I’m not letting this go.
2. We’re eating all of our meals at home this week with the exception of a party we’re going to on Friday.
3. Said party is a 40th birthday and the invite states no gifts. I’ve decided to not be one of those people who gives gifts anyway.
4. We brought home leftover pizza after visiting my in-law’s on Sunday. I froze it, which will come in handy for future lunches.
5. Last night’s dinner used up several shriveling veggies from our refrigerator, and everyone loved it.

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nancy from mass April 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

1. Got a call during work on monday that i needed to head to NH for my mom. I ran home, packed a few things (including snacks) and hit the road. I did step out monday evening to go across the street and buy a med. greek salad ($3) but i enjoyed free coffee, juice and snacks from the nursing home. My brother and sisters were there for a while and my brother and i were there when she took her last breath. My mother sang like an Angel and now she is singing with Angels! She will be missed, but glad she’s not suffering anymore.
2. The church was available for a saturday funeral and we can use their hall too! Since my mother pre-paid her funeral arrangements, i only have the tips for the organist (a very good friend of my mother) and the singer (another friend) and tips for the caterer and volunteers to take care of. My mother had some cash in an envelope tucked away and it should be enough to tip anyone we need to.
3. the caterer gave me a cesaer salad for free and discounted the desserts. We paid for it from my mom’s checking account (that’s why that money is there and none of us are expecting any inheritance since all her money went to taking care of her.)
4. Since DH passed last year, my DS already had a suit to wear and it was cleaned already. I’ll wear the same thing I wore for his funeral too.
5. got a check today for $25 for sending a friend of mine to my accountant. She had told me he got her more money back than she had ever received in the past!
6. DS and I are staying at my in-laws and one of my sisters has opened her home to nieces and nephews.
I think that’s it for now…

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A. Marie April 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

Nancy, please accept my sympathy on your mother’s passing–and my gratitude for sharing some anecdotes about her in your last few comments. She was one of a kind, and so are you. And condolences to all your family as you assemble for her funeral.

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cathy April 18, 2018 at 11:42 am

So sorry for the loss of your mother–and your DH. Sounds like you are surrounded by loved ones.

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Bee April 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Nancy, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May her love stay in your heart forever.

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Tracy April 18, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Nancy I am so sorry for your loss. Even though your mother is at peace now it is still a huge loss for you I am sure. And having lost your DH last year must make it all the harder.

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Marybeth April 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

I’m sorry for your loss.

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Katy April 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

So sorry to read of your news. ((hugs)) from Oregon!

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patricia April 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

So sorry for you loss. Grace to you.

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KJD509 April 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Nancy, so sorry for your loss. May you all feel peace as you’re together to remember her. And keep the stories coming! We are an eager audience.

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Nancy from mass April 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

I was thinking that maybe we should come up with a “memere- isms“ board for the funeral. And put quotes that she used to say to us kids and the grandkids. But then I realized, my mother had a very dirty mind and it probably wouldn’t be appropriate! Like the last time she spoke with my son she said, “if you remember nothing else about me, remember that I loved sex.” And my son replied “oh don’t worry, I will never forget you telling me that!!”

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JennyS April 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Thinking of you… and of my Mom, who liked to sing… and of her Mom…

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janine April 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Nancy:,
Condolences to you on the loss of your mother. Loved your ability to find humor in this most difficult of times.

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Debbie from Delaware April 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm

So sorry for your loss. It’s the fun memories like that one that will carry you and your family through this difficult time. My father passed 5 years ago and we still get together with my mom, sister and her family, and some of his closest friends to go out to dinner for his birthday. The funny stories (and there are so many) get shared and laughed about all over again.

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Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 19, 2018 at 4:34 am

Awe, so sorry to hear. I have so enjoyed your last few posts about your mom. They are beautiful stories that you can take with you. I’m sorry for your loss and hope you can find some much needed time for yourself.

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Cindy in the South I April 19, 2018 at 4:36 am

I am so sorry….hugs

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Christine April 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm

I’m so very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. Never an easy thing, to lose a mother. Hang in there.

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Pattilou April 21, 2018 at 6:27 pm

I am so sorry for your loss.

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Vickey April 23, 2018 at 10:38 am

Getting here late, but Nancy, you have my sympathies – and my admiration for your humor and grace. You are in my thoughts.

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ouvickie April 18, 2018 at 11:03 am

1) One of my co-workers wanted to go out for lunch today, but I had a frozen entree and didn’t really want to spend money on lunch. I decided to go anyway, since I’ll be off for awhile, once I have shoulder surgery. He paid for my lunch. I think he was thrilled to have the company, since we talked about the upcoming vacation he and his wife are taking in a few weeks. Free lunch and good company is always nice.
2) My friend, who is a military wife, asked me to join in on honoring the memory of Barbara Bush by wearing pearls today. The ones I have are faux pearls, but they belonged to my Mom. So I wore them and honored two gracious ladies today and they look nice.
3) Hubby started a new job Monday and won’t be able to take vacation until he’s been there a year, which means no vacation this year. No vacation no expense, I guess.
4) I cancelled an AD&D policy we’d had through our Credit Union for years and they refunded my last premium, since it was within 30 days. That’s an extra $22.50 into the bank account.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet, a yacht or a gold-plated apartment in the sky this week. Saved a fortune.

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cathy April 18, 2018 at 11:44 am

RE your #2: I just read that Barbara Bush wore faux pearls 🙂

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A. Marie April 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm

FFT, Frugal Fails Edition:

(1) Got a call from our accountant on Monday that (a) we unexpectedly owed $396 on federal taxes, and (b) we’d better come around and do the necessary to pay this PDQ (which we did as soon as DH got out of his Monday memory care program). Fortunately, we’re getting a generous refund on NYS taxes. What President Voldemort taketh away, Governor Dubious Ethics Cuomo giveth. (As you can see, I’m not too bummed out to be cheerfully cynical on all fronts.)

(2) Had to take DH to our dentist yesterday for the first stage of yet another crown. (And the dentist and I still haven’t really started discussing the implant he wants to do on me. Sigh.) At least the dentist gives a modest discount if major work like crowning is paid for by check, which we did.

(3) On the way back from the dentist, I got busted for running a stop sign in a school zone. (Nolo contendere; I don’t even remember doing it, but all of a sudden there were flashing gumballs in my rear view mirror. Double sigh.)

(4) Had to stand in line at the PO for 20 minutes today to send in my guilty plea for (3) via certified mail. Somehow, I don’t feel that the combined punishment fits the crime. Triple sigh.

(5) Finally, my current project for work has been downgraded from “EPA brownfield” to “nuclear waste” on my personal hierarchy. The original due date was today, and I’m now not likely to get out from under it for another month. Quadruple sigh. (The frugal fail here is that this project is a giant energy suck and doesn’t leave me the gumption I need for a lot of other stuff.)

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KJD509 April 18, 2018 at 3:55 pm

A Marie, so sorry about the ticket! I had a gigantic pickup truck nearly run me off the road, then pull in front and stop suddenly, all while flashing the international one-fingered symbol for mild annoyance. I must have cut it off, but like your stop sign, it didn’t quite merit my notice at the time. Very grateful not to have either a ticket or a smashed car to show for it.

(Perhaps coincidentally, also have an energy suck project – heh, literally, I’m in an energy-related job – so maybe traffic laws just can’t compete.)

Hang in there!

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Roberta April 19, 2018 at 5:52 am

I let a guy turn in to my street, from his driveway. He proceeded to honk and flip me off through the stoplight, around the turn and until he turned onto a different road. I still wonder if he thought I was someone else.

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Lisa M. April 18, 2018 at 4:03 pm

5FF: Perpetual Winter Edition

1. Found a dime at the store but never find multiple coins!
2. Successful shopping finding great bargains on clearance jar candle and mascara at one store and >50% off day old baked goods at another store.
3. Attended low-cost CE program today. Enjoyed complimentary AM coffee but took my own lunch, snacks and other beverages.
4. Recently restocked my elbow macaroni supply, as I buy a less expensive 5# bag and divide in to 5 bags of 1# pasta.
5. Ongoing efforts to turn heat down when no one is home, turn lights off that are left on by family members and packing lunches.

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Vickey April 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

Hmm. I wonder if a “Burning jar, similar to the swearing jar, would work to encourage turning lights off? Or maybe a chart showing energy useage, with the 2hole team working to push that line down?

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Vickey April 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

(Oops)

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Vickey April 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

Hmm. I wonder if a “Burning jar, similar to the swearing jar, would work to encourage turning lights off? Or maybe a chart showing energy useage, with the whole team working to push that line down?

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Lisa M. April 24, 2018 at 3:48 am

I like both of your ideas but they would require team cooperation which I feel is sadly lacking. Definitely food for thought! 🙂

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FrugalAussie April 18, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Frugal Five, ‘establishing a new garden’ edition

Two and a half years ago my partner and I bought a block of land by the coast to downsize into our retirement. We’ve had a house built and move in very soon.

1. For two years we’ve been educating ourselves about what will grow in our climate with windy, salty conditions. The hope is that we will choose suitable plants so have less loses. Our theme is Mediterranean Coastal with as much food growing as possible. Some areas will not be reticulated so plants need to be very drought tolerant eg. Olive, Pomegranate, Bay
2. I’ve been propagating plants from what we and our friends and family have that could be suitable.
3. We have an initial plan for the garden. What works well will stay and be a windbreak for newer plants that replace those that are struggling. This ensures we don’t make to many costly mistakes by planting more sensitive plants too early.
3. I haven’t bought many plants. The ones I have bought have come heavily discounted, nearly dead. We’ve had some loses but most have come good with some TLC.
4. We’ve sourced a supply of clean, cheap mulch.
5. We’ll do all the laboring ourselves. The block is level and all sand so there isn’t any site works required.
6. One more! We have been cultivating our own compost and worm castings and did pay for soil improvers so each plants gets a very good start in the garden.

My next edition for ‘Frugal Five’ will be, ‘moving house’. Finally! The building process has certainly required massive amounts of patience.

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Marybeth April 19, 2018 at 4:47 am

Good luck with the move.

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KJD509 April 18, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Five frugals, pulled from a gigantic steaming heap of expenditures:

1) Grocery shopped on Friday and have been dutifully eating entirely home-cooked meals ever since. (In contrast to the previous two weeks of almost constant dining out – even breakfast [hangs head in shame] during a dreadful project crunch at work.)
2) Middle daughter has been accepted to a summer-long study abroad program. It includes an internship for which she’ll be paid (woohoo!) but also costs thousands and her academic scholarships don’t apply. Yowch! More frugal, though, than elder son’s study abroad year, which cost a full year of tuition. We’ll pay cash. . . but not this week because holy smokes, those taxes were a surprise.
3) Younger son announced a surprise engagement. Like, such a surprise we have not met the betrothed. Entire extended family is trekking to their university town for an introduction in two weeks, and I found a fabulous, large home to rent that will even allow us to bring the dog for much less than the cost of 4 or 5 hotel rooms. Dog with us means realtor can show the house while we’re gone. And we’ll cook all but one meal, which we’ll invite fiancee’s family to – they have even more kids than we do, so I fear we’ll need to rent out an entire pizza parlor.
4) Curiosity drove me to search out permits and previous sales records for a house we admire but is waaaay out of our price range in city we’re trying to move to. Sold 18 months ago for $250k. Complete remodel but no structural or rebuilding – probably $200k worth. On the market for a million bucks. Hubs and I looked at those numbers and decided this is a bubble. We’re putting in a bid on a small condo that needs refurbishing so we can live in the same place, and we’re riding it out.
5. See #4. No gold plating, barely room for the two of us and the dog.

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janine April 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm

We are also looking at real estate both for us ( a little downsizing) and for my son who would like to sell his condo and move into a house – but you are right about the “bubble”. Also got news from a relative about her son and family buying a new house and she termed the prices “insane’. Will just have to wait and see. Good luck with your real estate adventures in your new city.

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Jennifer April 18, 2018 at 5:20 pm

1) We had a school musical tonight and most of the staff was going out to dinner between school and the musical. I opted to come home and fix up leftovers for the family. Saved at least $20.
2) Using my menstrual cup and Thinx this week.
3) Have avoided the grocery store for the past 3 days – might be a record with 4 teens in the house.
4) Turned in our library books before a fine accrued.
5) Got needed plane tickets on a Frontier 2-day sale, saving $30 over the Southwest price I had been eyeing. Every little bit helps.

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rebecca April 18, 2018 at 7:46 pm

1. Shopped at Aldi and stocked up on a few things
2. Had friends over for dinner and made a chicken pot pie with things I had on hand and cookies for dessert. I had all the baking ingredients on hand as well.
3. Returned a few cans I found
4. Library books
5. It is still cold here in MA but no snow. This is a relief financially as no snow means no paying the plow guy. He works are but it sure was an expensive winter.

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rebecca April 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

sorry-it should read he works hard

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Rosanne April 19, 2018 at 4:56 am

1. Happened upon a very interesting free pile. My first thought when I pulled out a perfectly new Wilson Lizard golf cart bag still with tickets and paper padding in the pockets- Holy %&(#! My second thought- I have to do a frugal five!
2. Hubs sliced up some leftover london broil, added gravy and mushrooms and we had delicious hot steak sandwiches for dinner
3. Donated 5 bags of garden soil to my sons garden club. An expenditure, but I did get them for 5 for $10 at Lowes Spring sale
4. Wearing jeans and shirt that are at least 10 years old but somehow still look good,
5. Nothing gold plated

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Amanda April 19, 2018 at 8:10 am

1) My husband is at a conference through the weekend, and you know what they say, when the cat is away, the mouse will take the opportunity to get even more frugal! I’ve been getting creative with meals to keep from going to the grocery store at all. The kids could eat grilled cheese sandwiches with sliced apples and boiled eggs for supper every single day.

2) I used my Jason’s Deli $5 birthday coupon today for lunch. I paid the $2 difference for my sandwich, then went home to eat it with chips from Aldi.

3) I emailed Norton for a free desk copy of the textbook I’m using for the course I’m teaching in June.

4) I made a Goodwill donation of more kid’s clothes. Every four donations gets me 20% off a Goodwill purchase.

5) We bought a city house with about eight square feet of “front yard” in part because we both hate yard work. I thought if I only had a little bit of land on which things grew, surely I would be cool maintaining it. Silly me. I desperately want to hire out this chore. But for now I am sucking it up and spending an hour this afternoon raking and weed eating.

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Kathleen April 23, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Your #5 made me laugh. Thanks!

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Colleen April 19, 2018 at 10:06 am

1) My plan for Monday evening was to read necessary material and then take my online (3.5 hour!) final exam on Tuesday evening. I then decided that I wanted the material to be really fresh in my mind so I wanted to knock it all out in one evening. My dogs and husband are too distracting so I went to Panera Bread to read the material. I only bought a drink (which is very expensive at Panera) because I feel bad sitting somewhere without buying something. However, when I was walking out at closing time, an employee offered me a free bagel of my choice since they were going to throw it out anyway! Threw it in the freezer for another day.

2) I won 2 tickets to a Brunch event next Saturday that normally cost $40 each!

3) I had purchased 2 chuck roasts for BOGO awhile ago and had one left. I threw it in my Instant Pot Sunday evening and had planned out several meals I wanted to use it for. The meat must’ve been terrible quality because I prepared it my usual way and it was pure rubber. I had already made mashed potatoes for Shephard’s Pie for Monday’s dinner! Ended up thawing several frozen burger patties so that we could have Shephard’s Pie anyway. Nothing went to waste (except for the rubbery meat, of course).

4) Made a trip to my local grocery store for $0.25 greek yogurt, free mayo, 2 jars of $0.50 salsa, and $2/lb strawberries. Most of these savings were through ibotta.

5) Loved all the tax day deals going on at the restaurant chains Tuesday. I took advantage of only 1 – a $4.17 sandwich at Honeybaked Ham. Their sandwiches are delicious and usually around $7. Plus I used a gift card I had to pay!

Frugal fail (but oh well) – my dog has some eye issues which required us to take him to a vet ophthalmologist. We got good news at our appt yesterday and we decided to celebrate with dinner & drinks at a local dog-friendly BBQ joint. It is overpriced, but since we could bring our dog we went anyway. We really enjoyed it!

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Bee April 19, 2018 at 11:08 am

I made a pot roast in my instant pot also, but it was tough –not quite rubbery. I was terribly disappointed. I find the only way to get a good pot roast is to slow cook it in the Dutch oven.

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Norma April 19, 2018 at 11:14 am

I usually cook my pot roasts in my slow cooker especially if they are bought on sale because sometimes there is a reason they are on sale. Good results in the slow cooker.

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Ann April 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Tracfone….best bargain for cell phone.
Used bananas that were being thrown out of a buffet for banana bread
Used scraps of fabric to make a new pillow
Bought day old 50 % off bread at grocery store
Used the public library to get great books!

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WilliamB April 20, 2018 at 7:13 am

1. Out of town for a few days:
– turned heat off;
– ate or froze all the perishables in the fridge;
– flew one-way on miles, drove back with a friend;
– brownbagged dinner on the flight;
– brownbagged snacks (but not meals) for drive back.

2. Stayed on top of medical bills and insurance issues. Double-checkng my insurance company’s work probably saves me more money than any other frugal thing I do.

3. Brown-bagged lunch and snacks all week.

4. Will be making soup for future lunches, using mostly leftovers and scraps: turkducken stock, turducken drippings (umami gold!), turducken scraps, Rancho Gordo beans (pricy but incredibly flavorful), onion, celery, carrot, leftover bits of veggies.

5. Under a crunch for a personal thing:
– still brownbagged all lunches this week;
– put my gym membership on hold for a month, since the crunch means I won’t go for several weeks.

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LB April 20, 2018 at 9:23 am

1. I brought my lunch every day this week and only caved on a to-go coffee once!
2. I quit an organization I was working with that I realized besides the impact on my stress level, was also v expensive. Like, two trips to NYC and obligatory $65+ galas or dinners. I quit for my mental health, but my wallet is also very happy.
3. Going to Ireland next month and convinced the BF to stay almost exclusively in hostels. Total cost of lodging per person: $300 for the week.
4. I impulse bought a dress and it does not fit well. It’s going back to Marshall’s today before I can lose the receipt.
5. Created a spreadsheet to track my budget and project out costs for the next month. Even if I don’t update it, it’s a good frame of reference to be in. The next few months are going to be wicked expensive and I want to be ready for it.

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Terri April 20, 2018 at 9:38 am

1.) I’m in the midst of Spring cleaning. In the past, I would have hired someone to do it, but this time around, I’m DIY-ing it.
2.) I’m picking up a package sanitary napkins from a member of my Buy Nothing group later today.
3.) I downloaded Kroger’s Free Friday Download coupon to my rewards card.
4.) I checked out 2 free digital audio books from my library to listen to while I’m doing booooooring housework.
5.) I’ve been spending some time every day unsubscribing from spam emails. I noticed that certain emails that come through my inbox leave me wanting things that I don’t need.

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Christine April 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

Just got booted off while trying to post FFTs. Will try again with a Fast Five Version.1. Book sale at local library yielded two books: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success by Ernie J.Zelinski and The Happiness myth by Jennifer Michael Hecht. Hopefully will be interesting and valuable reading.2. DH taking me out for a rare dinner out…it’s my birthday. Of course we have a $10 off coupon. 3. Bought 3 summer tops at the thrift shop. Hope it warms up enough to wear them. 4. The cat is all better. We actually took him off all meds and put him on hospice. Then he got better.5. Went for a walk on a trail that used to be an old train track. Through the woods and over streams. Ahhhhh…

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Mand01 April 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I’ll give you some of our weather. It’s almost May and we still have summer weather. I have tomatoes ripening and my eggplant bushes are still producing more flowers and fruit. Two weeks ago it was 35 degrees C. Yesterday was 31. I should be ordering wood for the fireplace. Instead I’m picking tomatoes.

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Christine April 21, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Send it this way Mando1! Nice you’re still harvesting veggies. Enjoy them while you can. We’ll be starting planting season up here in about a month. I have a woodchuck problem in this neighborhood…he ate every bit of my garden 2 years ago and I haven’t the heart to try again as he’s still around…so I do container gardening on my deck. Tomatoes and peppers mostly.

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FrannyandDanny April 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

My dad gave us a free home-grown pumpkin, I blogged to keep me straight, decided I am not buying herbal tea anymore and using the mint form the garden, made bread from flour and beer and planted some winter veg.

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MommaL April 22, 2018 at 6:22 am

1. Planted seeds for basil, dill, tomatoes and peppers today.
2. Took an egg carton, started some tomato plants. I have cats so I couldn’t figure out where to put them to grow. Realized my office at work has a nice sunny windowsill..problem solved, plus maybe I won’t forget to water them there.
3. Decided I no longer want the hassle of growing squash. Taking packs of squash seeds to work to give to a fellow gardener. I really hate fighting those squash bugs.
4. Cats have been licking our futon, I don’t know why, and it looks really terrible with the saliva stains. Looked up futon covers online, then decided a blanket I already have will do just fine as a cover. Its in the man cave anyway!
5. Bought 4 cauliflower heads, they were less than 1/2 price. Researching recipes for them….might try cauliflower pizza, though DH gave me a horrible look when I suggested that! I made mashed cauliflower last night, he said they were ok but he’d rather have potatoes.

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WilliamB April 23, 2018 at 9:21 am

I tried cauliflower pizza – nopity nope nope. Not as pizza crust, not at all! HOWEVER, I thought it was nice as a cauliflower dish. It consisted of cauliflower, some flour, egg, cheese, flavorings; baked crisp in a thin round.

Which leads me to my overall point: I’ve noticed that trying to use a food as a substitute for another, usually doesn’t work for most people (frex, tofu or cauliflower). OTOH, treating that food as its own thing, often comes out well. So rather than cauliflower pizza, try cauliflower for its own sake. Preparations I like are pan-browned in bacon grease (top with panko sauteed in bacon grease for even more yum); and riced with lots of cheese, garlic, and some butter.

If what you’re looking for is a more nutritious crust for pizza, try egg instead. Scramble the eggs really well; cook as a thin round; then top with pizza sauce and toppings.

If you want something more bready but still less starchy than pizza crust, try a tortilla. Even if you use a white-flour tortilla, it’ll be less starch than a pizza crust.

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MommaL April 23, 2018 at 10:47 am

Thank you WilliamB! I made the “pizza”, didn’t tell him until 1/2 way through it was cauliflower. He said he liked pizza better, so I asked him, if he thought of it as just a cauliflower dish, did he like it? And surprise, he said yes!
Egg pizza, yum, I’ll have to try that. 🙂

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Iris April 23, 2018 at 11:54 am

At our house we like to make bell pepper pizzas. Instead of a bread crust, use green bell pepper. So good. Brush a little oil on the peppers that you cut in half. Sprinkle a little salt/pepper. Then sauce and toppings of choosing and then cheese. Then another layer of above items. Usually is deep enough. Then sprinkle with basil or oregano. Cook at 350 temp about 40 minutes. So good. The flavors come together nicely.

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Mand01 April 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Cauliflower and potato curry (aloo gobi); cauliflower and bacon soup; cauliflower and white bean pasta with chilli. We love cauliflower.

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Kathleen April 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

It’s been a banner day for selling stuff.
1. During my winter-run-away-from-the-cold-&-snow, I stopped at a junk sale in western TN. And I do mean Junk! And much of it was overpriced junk. But I did see, buried under some other junk, 2 unused large Olfa Rotary Cutting Mats. I can’t say they were brand new—they were quite dirty and a little worse for the wear. But for the dollar each that the lady was asking, I thought I might be able to clean them up and sell them for a little profit. A couple of weeks on Craigslist and some cleaning w/ a magic eraser and they are in almost perfect shape. Bought for $2 total, and sold for $20 each!
2. Last summer, I rescued a Little Tykes picnic table from a free pile on the side of the road. Very little clean-up necessary, posted it on a FB sale page and I have someone coming in the morning to buy it for $25. If she bails, there are several others in the queue. I’m optimistic.
3. It’s got me motivated to post more stuff on Craigslist. I sold 4 more dozen canning jars—-I gather them all fall and winter for free – 25cents, then sell them in the spring/summer for $5 or $6/ dozen. I’ve learned a little (a very little) about selling antique/vintage canning jars and I’m going to try to learn more—-then test the waters.
4. Now that I came back after my winter-run-away-from-the-cold-&-snow, I took clothes up to the consignment store and will take another load this week. More junk out and a little more cash in. Yay!
5. I’m still trying to use up more food from both the freezer and the cellar. So we’ve decided to not raise hogs this summer and we’re scaling back the garden. I’m struggling a bit with disappointing friends who buy their pork from us, and all the fresh food I share with others….. but I’m cheerfully plodding through those concerns toward the prospect of much less work this summer and fall………

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Ruth April 25, 2018 at 3:38 am

1. I didn’t buy a soft top Mini a friend offered to sell me …sigh… would have loved it, it was red!!
2. I ate a couple of pears at work a friend bought but they were too soft for her and I love them soft and juicy
3. ANZAC day here in Australia, so paid public holiday rates to stay at home and eat at home, also organising tomorrows lunch from left overs so I wont have to buy them tomorrow.
4. Bought a book off ebay – cheaper then buying new
5. Was given some cute shoes and a couple of tops by a work mate… free is always nice

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Marsha in West Texas April 30, 2018 at 8:02 am

This is my first post although I read others’ posts frequently. I love this site! 1. Went to a free Travel Talk on Friday night at the library (local person gives a talk about an interested trip they took). 2. Resisted the urge to buy a new dress for a wedding. Instead, wore a really old dress that I had bought second hand about 10 years ago and got lots of compliments!! 3. Exchanged 2 home cooked meals for technical work from my techie ex on things I can’t do myself (he doesn’t cook well so it’s a win for both of us). 4. Participated in a clothing swap at a local college and got a skirt that I can wear to church and work. 5. Got a pet sitting gig through NextDoor.com

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Mand01 April 20, 2018 at 2:03 am

Thank you- that’s very kind of you

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Mand01 April 21, 2018 at 1:23 am

I’m very hopeful that is not what it is. We do have a family history of RA and other autoimmune conditions. But I’m still hoping it’s not!
Honestly I’m not sure what I’d do if that is what I have. Still in the information gathering phase and trying not to worry too much until I get blood work back.

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Christine April 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Hope it’s not RA. Tough diagnosis but can be managed. My friend’s father had it and there were many treatments…some better than others. Best of luck.

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Mand01 April 23, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I will, thank you. Blood test this week. Fingers crossed.

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