Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 1, 2018 · 69 comments

  1. Our single day garage sale was a huge success, in terms of sales as well as crap that left my house never to return. (My secret tagline for this blog is “crap out of the house, money in.”) And although I did sell two bikes for $40 and $45 apiece, most sales were between 50¢ and $2. In total I brought in $300 from stuff that had been serving no purpose other than to take up space in my house. And with the exception of five items, all unsold item got immediately loaded into my minivan and driven straight to Goodwill for donation.

    Hopefully this round of decluttering will keep my home easy to manage and completely and effortlessly tidy. At all times. Because that’s a realistic goal.

  2. I work the next two days and have already prepped the food for my work lunches. Since I work 12-1/2 hour shifts, it can get expensive pretty quickly when buying food at the hospital. You know . . . because of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  3. I went to a friend’s party last night and brought homemade scones with a fancy 99¢ jar of lemon curd that I’d picked up from The Grocery Outlet. Super yummy yet frugal as can be, as scones are nothing more than sweetened biscuits.

  4. I brought in a DVD and X Box controller that I’d pulled from a university dumpster to the CD Game Exchange store in my neighborhood. They gave me $12.50 in store credit which my son used to buy himself a game that he’d been wanting.

  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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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

FrugalAussie July 2, 2018 at 1:47 am

$300! Bonus!

1. Cheap date night. Received two theatre tickets for $6 rather than $35 each. Travelled into the big city theatre via public transport. My partner has been diagnosed recently as Coeliac and after a news report claimed many ‘gluten free’ meals served at restaurants are not my partner is nervous about eating out so we took dinner with us, homemade quiche and salad. Money saved! Also visited a free light show which was fun and something different.
2. Found some supermarket bargains, cheap day old bread and 60% – 80% off our favourite cheeses. Have put a couple in the freezer as a trial. If the texture isn’t pleasant I’ll use them in cooking.
3. Partner moved approximately 1650 brinks in about 25 car loads from our old house to the new. They have now been laid. The old rustic look works well against our newly built home. We have some of the bricks left over. I’m told they sell for $1 each so leftovers will go onto FB Marketplace.
4. A friend wanted a catch up. I suggested a curry night at our house, we both made a curry and I did some extras eg. Onion Bhajis which cost cents, homemade roti, a fruit salad for dessert. It was tasty and safely gluten free for my partner. I invited another couple so the six of us had a great night for 10% of the cost of going to a restaurant + we shared leftovers so had curry for lunch the next day. We should make this a regular thing.
5. I’m going back to university next semester so looked on Gumtree (Craiglist type of site for Aussies) for textbooks. Entered a conversation with one of the sellers who has done the course I’m enrolled in, at the same uni. She suggested the book I was going to buy from her was not a requirement. Isn’t that so generous of her?

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Christine July 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

Sounds like you had a nice dinner party! I much prefer having friends over or going to a friend’s house for dinner instead of a restaurant. The money saved is good, there is no feeling rushed and there is no crowd noise to contend with. Just had a friend over last night for Sunday night dinner. Stir fry and cold wine…yum!

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FrugalAussie July 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm

There is also the controversial issue of payment when dining with friends. I do realise it’s uncharitable thinking but I get annoyed when I choose not to overorder/overeat and I don’t drink alcohol and yet we split the bill evenly, which is general practice here. If I can’t pay only for what I order then I need to give myself a firm talking too as I don’t want $20 to come between me and my friendships.

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Pattilou July 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

A few years ago, a bunch of friends decided that we need to be better about getting together. We have been having a regular pot luck dinner ever since. We try to do monthly and rarely let two months pass without having one. It is a great way to make sure we take the time to see each other in person. We share good food and conversation. I love it.

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Mand01 July 2, 2018 at 9:14 pm

I don’t drink alcohol, but if I’m going out I just go assuming that I will split the bill whether I’ve had a few beers or not. I’ve found it’s best not to stress it. Over time I’ve found it all comes out evenly.

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Mand01 July 2, 2018 at 2:32 am

1. Enjoyed free coffee and fruit at work.
2. Made hot sauce with homegrown chillies and lime curd from some limes that needed to be used up. Yum.
3. Ate green tomato and quinoa dal from the last of my tomato crop for lunch.
4. We had a kid free weekend. We did go out for an Indian dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary but aside from that we stayed in, cooked dinner and sat by the fireplace reading books. Good times.
5. Checked my retirement balance and contributions to make sure we are on track for a healthy retirement. All good, barring any ballsups.

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Jennifer July 2, 2018 at 3:54 am

We had a garage sale too! I liked reading through your tips prior to having it. We made about $100 – not smashing, but again – crap out, money in and stuff avoiding the landfill. I am inventorying what is left to make a Goodwill donation this week. I am pulling what looks like it will sell well on Ebay and will try my hand at that again. Been a few years, but a couple of weeks ago I had success with some Boy Scout items, so I will try again.

1) Neighbors came to our garage sale and asked if we wanted a rarely used couch – an Arhaus couch that is super comfy. They also gave us leftover fish from their fish fry the night before and a 1lb of cherries – yum!
2) I avoided the farmer’s market and have been trying to use up the veggies I have on hand first. I am totally out of fruit and milk at this point though, so I will have to go to the store today. But the Farmer’s market gets pricey pretty quick.
3) Heading up to Presque Isle today in PA for a free day of fun biking and swimming around the island.
4) Was trying to find something else for my ds to do this summer. He was looking at 6 weeks of downtime, which is too much in my mind. Was looking into pricey camps, but in the end decided to contact our church to see if they had any last minute openings to volunteer on ASP – and 2 days later they called with an opening. Now for $100 he gets a week of volunteering repairing people’s homes – which is a win for everyone involved. He is slightly too young to get a real job around here, so this works.
5) HEaded to Goodwill to get him the necessary jeans for his ASP trip and came away with 3 decent pairs for $5 each. Not the cheapest I could get them maybe, but a win for sure.
6) Made a batch of black raspberry jam from volunteer berries growing up all over my yard. Should be able to make another batch tomorrow at the rate they are producing.

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Jenelle July 2, 2018 at 4:42 am

Ahh, I went to college and then lived outside of Erie for about 10 years. I love and miss Presque Isle every summer…I do not miss it in the winter!

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Jennifer July 2, 2018 at 5:10 pm

LOL, we live just south of the snow belt and I am grateful! Erie gets hammered with snow.

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Gina July 2, 2018 at 5:35 am

I live in Erie and Presque Isle park is a beautiful place! Lots of frugal activities to be done there. We spend lots of time there

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Jennifer July 2, 2018 at 5:12 pm

It was gorgeous! We biked around the whole island and swam until the thunder rolled in. The water was so cold!

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A. Marie July 2, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Shout-out to #6 on the wild black raspberries. Whatever your local wild berries may be, folks, now’s the time. DH and I ventured out in the heat yesterday evening with our next-door neighbor to get the first of the “blackcaps” (local name for black raspberries) that she and we have agreed to let flourish in our back 40s.

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Jennifer July 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

We LOVE the wild berries growing in our yard. We have 2 patches of black raspberries and a huge patch of blackberries. Blackberries usually ripen at the end of the raspberry season. I love the free food.

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Elizabeth July 2, 2018 at 4:01 am

1. A local thrift store was having a 50% off sale, so I found six tops that will freshen up my dwindling wardrobe for $12.
2. My father is having a cow processed this week, so I am buying a 1/4 of it for around $2 a pound (we are having it mostly done in steaks and roasts, with a little ground beef thrown in because we still have lots of ground beef from the last time)
3. I have been enjoying fresh blueberries from our bushes every day
4. Kroger had great deals on dish soap, cookies, crackers, Beanitos, ice cream, and frozen veggies last week, so I stocked up.
5. I replaced the burner covers inside my grill to hopefully extend its life for a few more years.

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Cindy in the South July 2, 2018 at 4:59 am

1. I bought 30 lbs of chicken leg quarter for $10 total, from my local grocery store.
I will give some to my kids. 2. I wore thrifted clothes….this is one of those mundane things that I do over, and over. 3. I am reading paperback novels from the free little bookshelf at my local laundry mat. 4. I am desperately trying to keep the air conditioner off as much as possible. We have had 105 heat index for days in a row, so that has basically been an exercise in futility. 5. I did the usual of bringing my lunch to work and I will be participating in the no spend challenge over at Frugalwoods, this month.

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Jenelle July 2, 2018 at 5:26 am

1. We utilized our annual passes to the local amusement/water park this weekend. We had also purchased one unlimited drink pass for the entire season. This has worked out amazing for our family. Our children are younger and enjoy the water park and the kiddie rides in the morning hours (when it’s cooler) and then we go home before the park get super busy. And we can refill our drinks as much as we want. Best money spent.
2. Because of the heat we stayed at home on Sunday and worked inside. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you stay home and stay inside all day. I tackled projects that have been looking at me for weeks.
3. Calling today for an estimate of how much it will be to have someone come out and look at our water softner. We moved into this house two years ago and really have just been adding salt to it and nothing more. Now it’s beeping at us and we don’t know what to do. Guess we might have to put out the money =(
4. Our garden is starting to produce! Our cucumbers are coming in but hubby may have planted pickling cucumbers instead of the true eating kind! I guess we’ll be canning this year instead of eating them raw. Oh well, not wasted.
5. Selling a few items here and there every week on Ebay.

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Norma July 2, 2018 at 9:47 am

See if you find a filter on it. It might just be a matter of changing the filter which you should be able to get on Amazon (a generic instead of their brand name). This is what we do with our refrigerator filter.

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Nancy July 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

You can eat pickling cucumbers. they are just small – but very tasty. I do that all the time.

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Lindsey July 2, 2018 at 4:28 pm

We eat pickling cukes just fine—if you peel off the skin, they are great.

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Mary W July 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Those pickling cukes still taste delish. Don’t be afraid to eat them fresh!

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K D July 2, 2018 at 5:38 am

1. I took my found money, for the first half of the year, to a Coinstar. Usually I opt to receive an Amazon gift card (there is no fee if you choose a gift card option). For some reason that option was not working so I received a full value cash voucher (even better). All told my husband and I had found almost $36. Plus he had kept silver dimes and foreign coins.

2. I made a grocery store run this morning. I did a lot of combining sales, with promotions (like spend $15 on certain products and take $5 off your order) and coupons. Some items may even give me a Savings Star rebate.

3. We returned from visiting my mother. She was in a cleaning out the closets mood. I gleaned a pair of shorts, a pair of jeans, and a short sleeve shirt from her discard pile. The rest we carted to a charity thrift shop.

4. A very low spend weekend. We caught up on some things around the house. I did go to Staples to use a -$5/$10 school supply coupon. I bought colored pencils for my art teacher friend. They were on sale and the person ahead of me in line gave me their gift card (with a balance of $1.80) on it.

5. My daughter checked with me to see if I have a spare waffle iron. I do (I use to make a big batch of yeast raised waffles, freezing extras for quick breakfasts, before we went gluten-free) and I’m happy to pass it along to her.

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susanna d July 2, 2018 at 5:40 am

Five frugal things, vacation edition:

1. Took a week-long vacation in the Smoky Mountains along with 3 other couples. Chose to drive instead of fly, and another couple from our state went along with us. Total travel cost per couple was $250 for gasoline and hotel stays there and back. And because we took our car, we didn’t need to rent a vehicle to get from an airport to our destination – an additional saving.
2. Rented a log home with 4 master suites rather than hotel it. Rented early and took advantage of a big discount. Cost per couple for the week was less than the cost of hotel rooms. Plus, we had a whole house, with full kitchen, game room, three decks and plenty of space to hang out and NOT spend money.
3. Because of having a whole house at our disposal, we ate all breakfasts and all but one dinner prepared at the house. We did go out to dinner one night, but the rest of the time our dining out was done as late lunches – cheaper than dinners, and after a big lunch, dinners were minimal by choice.
4. Purchased only one “souvenir”, a small framed photograph of the Smoky Mountains in autumn (just the size and color for the guest bath). I bought it at a local gallery, keeping with my tradition that if I buy a souvenir on vacation, it must be made/produced in the area I’m vacationing.
5. A friend and I took 3 free winery tasting tours (each one on a different day) and received a really nice souvenir wine glass. Yes, another souvenir, but it didn’t cost me a penny, and I’d recently broken my favorite wine glass so I have a cool replacement.
6. The gorgeous and hilly area was great for hiking, one of my favorite frugal activities.

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Beth July 2, 2018 at 6:57 am

Love the smokies, sounds wonderful 🙂

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Denise July 3, 2018 at 4:45 am

That sounds like a wonderful, relaxing, well-balanced vacation; it makes me want to go there!

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Rebecca July 4, 2018 at 5:24 am

LOVE the smokie mts & hiking! Also love your requirement for souvenirs so I think I’ll adopt it. Thabks for sharing.

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Bee July 2, 2018 at 6:31 am

I am glad your garage sale was a success, Katy! (Yours too, Jennifer).
1) I have been enjoying inexpensive, in season fruits and vegetables at nearly every meal. I am a member of a CSA, but I am also finding it hard to resist the fresh corn, watermelon, peaches, and cherries that are in my local market. I just made a smoothie and peach salsa to go with the fish tacos that are on tonight’s menu. I do love the variety that is available this time of year.

2) Like Jenelle, I have also been spending the hottest part of the day indoors doing lots of little things that need my attention. Little by little, our to-do list is getting shorter. Last week, we cleaned out and painted the linen closet as well as painting the hall.

3) I stopped at a garage sale on Saturday when I was running errands. Boy, I wish that I had been there earlier. There were many beautiful English antiques. I bought a set of 4 chinoiserie dining chairs for $20 that I fell in love with. They need a little TLC, but will look great around my kitchen table. I will sell the one’s I have now to pay for the new ones. I left many treasures behind, because I didn’t need them and I didn’t have an immediate outlet to sell them.

4) My son needed a lap top. I mentioned this to a good friend of mine. Amazingly, she had just bought a new Mac Book, and she gave me her old one which is less than a year old. She just couldn’t get used to Windows.

5) I bought a 4 inch binder with dividers at GW last week. ($0.49) With hurricane season upon us, I have decided to make a grab and go Evacuation Book. It contains a) My homeowners, flood, and auto policies b) birth certificates, marriage license, passports c) emergency contact numbers and lists d) household inventory and photos e) a list of other account and policy numbers. Although I will have copies in my safe deposit box, I will also be sending copies of these things to my daughter who lives out of state. Sadly, over the last year, entire communities have been destroyed by fire and flood including the banks. I hope I never need it.

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Christine July 2, 2018 at 10:36 am

Great idea on the Evacuation Book. And I also hope that you never have to use it.

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Tracy July 2, 2018 at 6:33 am

1. Went to a friend’s home for dinner Saturday. Made a salad with mostly things I had on hand, made dressing from ingredients on hand. Purchased lovely lettuce on sale for .99 and bulk walnuts for $2.50 which I caramelized myself. Had strawberries and chevre on hand that I added. Total out of pocket $3.50 and everyone said it was delicious! It was certainly pretty.
2. Also took friend an arrangement of flowers in a Goodwill vase I had on hand. Purchased some alstromeria for $5 but cut everything else from yard. Looked as beautiful as if I’d spent $30 at florist.
3. Watched world cup soccer for free this weekend. (Well free with my husband’s existing cable package, which I have not been able to dissuade him from.)
4. Made a yummy dinner last night from this and that in fridge that needed to be used up. Will take leftovers from that dinner for lunch today.
5. Used coupons and shopped sales to buy food for the week, including our vacation to the coast 7/3-8. Bought food for our annual July 4 BBQ there to feed a crowd. Also bought treats we don’t usually have (chips, cookies, soda etc.). Total cost for 8 FULL bags of groceries was $150. Would easily be double that if I bought at beach.

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Beth July 2, 2018 at 6:49 am

Katy that’s awesome, my one day sale last year did $125, this year I would love to double that.
1. Daughter is attending 2 weeks of day camp on scholarship so while she is gone each day I plan on dedicating the time to cleaning, organizing, and gathering more junk to sell at a garage sale by the end of the month if not sooner. 🙂

2. Dog walking client asked me to come water her plants daily while she is on vacation (dog going with her) – $10 bucks a visit, the extra cash from that paid for the transportation I needed to/from a medical procedure which required a driver be present costing $70.

3. Attending an optional work meeting today which I will get paid to attend and will drop off some donations to the library bookstore.

4. Bought daughter, me, and a friend tickets to see Pentatonix’s concert who she loves for mid-September – saved $10 on each ticket for lawn seats through Groupon. Looking forward to other concerts I booked for the summer! Affordable experiences we can have.

5. Doing Swagbucks (almost earned a $25 PayPal certificate), turning up the air, closing bedroom doors/shades to keep heat out/contained, using ceiling fans when possible, unplugging things, put out buckets to collect rain water, eating from the freezers as they are full, returning bottles and using the cash to buy staples we need, clipping around the dogs eyes to extend her not getting groomed, making sun tea with cheap tea bags and one “good one” for flavor, listening to free hoopla audio books Maisy Dobbs mysteries is my new listening binge – thankful July just started so my account & daughters is reloaded for 10 more free books/movies/CD’s!, sat down Saturday and planned my July Everydollar budget/paid bills.
6. Frugal Fails- each month we go over what I budget for restaurants and groceries. We don’t go on vacations or have expensive hobbies, cable, go to Starbucks, etc. – but I do like to treat my daughter at the museum to dessert/coffee, evening half off shakes at Sonic once in a while, etc., and just recognize that is our thing and a chance for one on one conversations with her.

Very sad a client whom we have been walking her dog over five years just put him to sleep. They were our first clients and we walked her dog sometimes two or more times a week. He was a little sweetie and I will miss him. Also sadly that was money I used for meals out, walking around money, etc.

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Jennifer July 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Realizing that you go over budget and WHY and that it is important to you – makes me think you just need to up your budget in that area. My dh and I DO go to Starbucks on dates a couple of times a week. But we almost never go out to eat or do any other date nights or entertainment. We have made it a priority for our relationship. These things are important!

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Kathy Hairston July 2, 2018 at 7:05 am

1. Helped friend clean out her grandmas house. Grandma died a couple of months ago and had lived in house since 1962.
2. I was rewarded with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus came home with unopened tubes of toothpaste, cans of coffee, creamer, swifter sheets, framed prints and bottles of wine.
3. Used coupon for hair cut at great clips.
4. Bought my sister an airline ticket with the fun my fund fun. Have a week of frugal or free activities planned.
5. Not so frugal adopted an adult dog, Betty. Our dog, Maggie isn’t happy about the new member of the family

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Crosby July 2, 2018 at 7:34 am

It has been a while since I posted:

1. Cooked up a huge batch of white bean chili yesterday afternoon using up white beans that I had cooke earlier in the week. I usually use canned beans but I’ve been trying my hand at cooking and using dried beans. The chili will be enough for at least 3 dinners this week.
2. Went for a hike in a beautiful park yesterday morning before the heat index hit 100. I spent of the the hike walking/wading in the creek. Kept me cool, got me my exercise, and didn’t cost a dime except the gas to get there.
3. Brought a salad for lunch today which I topped with leftover chicken that wasn’t getting eaten and veggies from our CSA.
4. Keeping our blinds closed and using as little electricity as possible. We only have AC in our bedroom and we only are using it when we sleep if its not cooling off outside.
5. I drove 3 hours south to visit my best friend and her kids this weekend. I took my partner’s car since it gets better gas mileage than mine. And while I normally am one of those people who goes 10 over the speed limit, I worked reallly hard to reduce my speed and increase my MPG. Talk about practicing patience! During my visit, we went out to dinner and my friend treated me. She said that she and her husband appreciate me being the one who always drives to them (they have a 3 year old, a 5 month old, and my friend is a surgical resident so she is always working) so she enjoys paying for my beverages and meal.

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Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early July 2, 2018 at 8:03 am

We never have enough stuff all at once to do a garage sale, but I love making sure our cast offs go to a particular person because they’re more likely to be used that way. If they pay a little bit, even better, because you know they actually want the item enough to exchange a bit of money for it. Probably the best way to keep things out of landfills.

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Juhli July 2, 2018 at 8:12 am

Great garage sale results!

Had a quiet week with a few things to share.
1. Invited to see a friends new home and have lunch there so made brownies to take. Used ingredients on hand and my Mom’s recipe. It was nice to see her handwriting again.
2. Hubby managed to get the light spots on the front of our stainless steel frig to be less noticeable with the right cleaner and lots of elbow grease.
3. I didn’t feel like cooking dinner due to little sleep so he cooked it all (we usually work together) instead of us going out.
4. Working on upping my exercise and stretching plus strength training are my needs. Heading to nearby yoga class which offers a senior discount. $10 for 1 1/2 hours of personalized instruction as the teacher comes around and offers help. Got to do this regularly!
5. Didn’t buy anything extravagant.

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LB July 2, 2018 at 8:26 am

1. Making a schedule/habit of going to the free gym in my area. Combining that with Aaptiv, a phone app with on demand workouts, and I have a workout plan for $15/month.

2. Went to a whole bunch of parties this weekend and as someone who never says no to leftovers, I’m swimming in roasted chicken legs, beet salad, corn on the cob, and pulled pork. Definitely enough for lunches for the week!

3. Driving to Boston for the 4th of July and pushed back on getting a hotel room. Instead, we’re crashing with friends for both nights–a cool savings of $400!

4. Went to the gym and ran errands during the heat of the day yesterday to avoid turning on the AC at home. It’s our first month in the new apartment and I’m all skittish about having a really high energy bill.

5. Had a bunch of friends in town on Saturday and couldn’t bear to spend money on brunch. Had them all over for brunch at my place instead–using food in the fridge and freezer, total cost was $10. Success!

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Norma July 2, 2018 at 9:43 am

Good frugal week. All of this and more allows to pursue our passion for travelling.

1. Got carrots, celery, eggs and butter from my neighbor who is moving and couldn’t take it with her.
2. Took advantage of Kroger promotions and sales and got 7 pounds Oscar Meyer hot dogs, potato chips, 3 bags cookies and a half-gallon of ice cream for $16 and got double gas points. Double win.
3. Made $82 selling miscellaneous things from my garage. Taking car load of stuff to the auction to sell.
4. Scored 6 packs of 50 envelopes for 50 cents each for my card making. Usually pay at least $5 for 50.
5. Took a cart back at Aldi and got the 25 cents. Not a lot but every little bit helps.
6. Finally got reimbursement from Verizon that they owed us when we switched carriers.

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Christine July 2, 2018 at 10:22 am

Congratulations on your successful garage sale. Nice profit and declutter.
1. I’m thinking of soaking and cooking a large quantity of black beans for future use. Does anyone know if they freeze well after this process?
2. Sitting here at my kitchen table looking out my screen door at the 2009 Dodge Journey sitting in the driveway. We purchased it on Obama’s Cash for Clunkers Deal back then. DH and I, both retired now, share one car as we did during our working years. We both worked the same hours at the same place so it worked. The Journey is still purring like a kitten.
3.DH wanted to go out to breakfast after church. I plied him with the promise of a homemade fried egg sandwich with cheese and mayo. He took the bait and we probably saved $20.
4. Keeping cool (or trying) during the NE heatwave with window fans and shades pulled down against the sun. Air conditioner in our bedroom only, is saved for sleeping.
5.Continuing to make homemade ice tea with tea bags with my trusty old ice tea maker.

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Mand01 July 3, 2018 at 3:27 am

They freeze very well.

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Christine July 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Thank you. I have a few meals in mind for the next few weeks that call for black beans so I want to make a big batch of them and use small portions of them as needed.

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Teresa Lawrence July 2, 2018 at 10:32 am

1. Visited a friend the other day – gave her some extra scrapbooking supplies I have that I won’t use. She was thrilled.
2. She gave me some pantry supplies that she’s not able to finish up. I was thrilled.
3. Served at our Vacation Bible School this last week. Free dinner was offered each night for the volunteers.
4. I know we have lots of picnics, potlucks, etc coming up so I’ve been stockpiling food that I’ve purchased on sale to take.
5. I’ve been much more intentional about not spending so much. Still a work in progress, but have spent much less on frivolous things.

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Julie July 2, 2018 at 10:37 am

I have had success freezing both white and black beans. I no longer buy cannned beans. I just soak them and then freeze for future use.

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Christine July 2, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Julie. I appreciate it.

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nancy from mass July 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

Good yard sale results everyone!
1. saw a quilt kit in a quilting store magazine and realized how easy it would be for me to create it with fabric on hand….the contrast is white on white fabric and i had 4yds from my mom. I started cutting the fabric yesterday and ended up with a 4×7 piece left over from the white…just enough fabric! for the color fabric, i’m about 1/3 of the way through cutting that…i’ll finish up tonight.
2. hitting some campus tours/info sessions later this week. gassed up the other day at BJ’s for 2.57/gal. i should have enough gas to get to/from both without needing more gas. (one is in NH, the other in VT. staying overnight between the two schools).
3. planed the fir wood that the guys took off my house the other day while visiting my in-laws. I started measuring and cutting the first birdhouse. i’ll use the cedar shakes from my house for the bird house roof.
4. brought home a box of panera bread last thursday from a company luncheon. i made a large batch of chocolate chip bread pudding and brought it into work this morning. it didn’t make it through mid morning. it was devoured!
5. didn’t need a lot at groceries but bought: .99 pack of Klondike bars, $2 tub of local baby lettuce, free euro cuke, cherries for 1.27/lb, 2 for $3 bags of the tortilla chips my son likes and some free yogurt. Oh, and a sirloin steak for DS for $3.99/lb. I don’t think we’ll need anything else. Must. Clean. Out. Freezer!!

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nancy from mass July 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

Oh! I have a #6:

this spring i won the following from Shutterfly, ordered all of them at once AND qualified for free shipping:

5, reusable shopping bags (used my AZ/Grand Canyon pictures for them)
1 magnet (again, grand canyon pictures)
1 box of greeting cards (guess what pictures i used!)
1 notepad
2 sets of stickers (bet you can’t guess which pictures I used!!!)

i only paid 2.62 in tax!

Lots of Christmas gifts…

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Val Y from MN July 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

Frugalistas,
Can anyone tell me if they have ever replaced an igniter on a gas oven? Ours went out over the weekend. The stove top is working fine but our pilot light in the oven seems to not be lit. We would prefer not to get a new stove. Thanks to anyone who has advice…

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Nancy from mass July 3, 2018 at 8:13 am

Did you try you-tubing for the directions? You’d be amazed at the FYI videos you can find there

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val from MN July 3, 2018 at 9:46 am

We haven’t You-tubed it yet but I did see there are directions on there. Unfortunately neither of us is too handy and I am afraid we might cause harm to ourselves or the house if we do this incorrectly. (which wouldn’t be frugal). Just wondered if anyone on here has had to do it. I think we will You Tube it and if it seems doable, try it, if it seems too hard, we’ll get it professionally replaced. I think still cheaper than buying new stove. Thanks!

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A. Marie July 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Kudos to Katy et al. on your successful garage sales. I envy you younger folks the energy it takes to run a sale. DH and I used to enjoy doing it with the neighbors back in the day, but since our dead-end street is pretty much a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), we’ve all run out of energy at about the same time. These days, I’m just donating stuff here and there and taking the deductions.

Now, FFT, Heat Wave/Cloudburst Edition:

(1) It’s been essentially too hot to exist here (yes, even in Upstate NY) without central AC for the past three days. Fortunately, we have it, and even more fortunately, the solar panels DH had installed on our garage roof circa 2010 are paying for it.

(2) Like many others commenting here, I have been doing my best to stay busy indoors. In particular, I’m taking the opportunity to process dried herbs from the attic for gift-giving, since the temp in the attic must be topping 130 F right now and the herbs are crunchy and ready for processing. (Heck, the 24 heads of garlic I dug up and put in the attic last weekend are practically ready for use.) And I’m enjoying the little bounce I get every time I come down from the attic and cool off.

(3) To grind the herbs, I’m using a favorite old piece of kitchenalia I found for $10 at an antiques sale 4 years ago: a sieve outfitted with a hand crank and a wooden thing that forces the dried herbs through the sieve. A big improvement on the days when I used to push the herbs through an ordinary sieve with my bare fingers.

(4) Once there was enough shade on one side of the house to do this on Sunday (I wouldn’t do it in full sun), I had DH haul my largest houseplants outside, where I hosed them off and let them dry before having DH bring them back in. The plants all enjoyed the bath, and I enjoyed the hose play.

(5) And if I’d known that today’s unexpected T-storm was coming, I wouldn’t have had to use the hose. As it was, some of the neighbors might have reported a crazy lady dancing around in the downpour if they didn’t already know I’m nuts. And I’m so happy not to have to be OLPWC (Our Lady of the Perpetual Watering Can) tomorrow morning, I could just…well, you know.

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Norma July 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Loved NORC. We actually lived in one of those too – all the kids had grown up. And since we already lived in a “retirement community” with none of the amenities, we decided to move to a real one in Myrtle Beach. We have a yearly community yard sale so that helps bring in people.

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Patti Lou July 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm

I loved OLPWC. That’s me too!

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A. Marie July 3, 2018 at 10:05 am

I’m glad you’ve found a good community, Norma, and I envy that annual yard sale. But the advantage of a good NORC–which DH and I have–is that almost everyone’s known us for 30+ years and has our backs. I’m afraid that if I’d been seen doing my rain dance (see #5 above) in a real retirement community, someone would have called 911. And, more seriously and much more importantly, our neighbors know and understand about DH’s memory problems and occasional confusion–and several of them are helping out. I can’t thank them enough, but I’m trying.

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Norma July 4, 2018 at 3:18 am

Yes, there are advantages to both. We lived in a fairly small community and always knew we could count on our neighbors if we needed help. We moved partially for the lower taxes and better weather. We are in a community of about 400 houses and someone is always there to help. Glad you are getting help with your husband and prayers for both of you.

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Bethany M July 2, 2018 at 5:25 pm

The church service we attended Sunday had a rummage sale after the service. 50% off. Which I thought was funny after we sang “He Giveth More Grace.” which mentions “hoarded resources.” I did pick up a shirt for myself, a Razor scooter for the kids, a game of Scrabble, and my husband bought a book. I’d actually been planning to purchase a Razor for the kids so it was timely!

Hosted VBS in our home this summer. I farmed out the snacks for other mothers to bring. It saved me a bit.

I didn’t defrost any meat for dinner tonight with all our VBS festivities. Fish sticks to the rescue.

Planning on a free fireworks show. My friends invited us over. They live right by a mountain where a big show is put on.

Having a night alone with my husband at our house later this week. My friend offered to have my kids spend the night. Cheaper than a getaway.

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Susie's Daughter July 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

1) It is hot here – unusually hot for our part of the world. And humid. So we went to a frugal matinee yesterday as a family (using our 2017 found money stash from returnable bottles and cans) and today, DS and I enjoyed doing errands in my car with the a/c on. The vast majority of homes here do not have a/c – ours included.

2) I cooked dinner. I am giving myself a gold star on this one today, friends. Everyone ate something reasonably healthy out of the pantry and we had garden radishes and baby kale! And then we went out for ice cream. 🙂

3) Our friends who are moving to the area ended up staying with us for three weeks. This was delightful in many ways and tiring in others. The frugal portion of this is that I leaned heavily on our freezer and pantry supplies and our grocery budget did not increase even though there were two extra adults eating most meals at home each day. Freezer has plenty of space now for upcoming garden produce.

4) Our short term rental property has been busy and most recent renters wrote us a check rather than pay by credit card. This check was deposited in the credit union that holds our energy loan (for our wood pellet boiler/furnace) and it will be applied as a payment to principal. I am hoping to pay off loan before the end of this calendar year.

5) I bought a “new” pair of jeans at the thrift store today for $1 on sale. I am making my own iced coffee and iced tea. I am collecting rainwater for watering our trees and garden. And we are using the library even more than usual. DS is in the summer reading program and I am on my 4th book of young adult historical fiction by Laurie Halse Anderson. Oh, how I love the library…

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Christine July 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm

I loved reading your very interesting Frugal Five!

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Susie's Daughter July 4, 2018 at 11:11 am

Christine – Thank you for your kind comment! I feel – as many of us have said – that most of my frugality is the same small things over and over. I try to make a note to myself when I remember a good item for FFT. The support of this forum continues to be so helpful to me!

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Pattilou July 2, 2018 at 8:05 pm

FFT 98 degrees and above:
1. Keeping the air off as long as possible each day. Usually by mid day we need to turn it on because the heat has been unbearable.

2. I’ve been spending some time swimming in my niece’s pool each day. It’s good exercise, refreshing and I get to spend time with her beautiful girls.

3. We have been eating lots of fresh fruit purchased from Aldi. They also had Organic milk on sale for .99 cents. Because the sell by date was the 7th. I bought 3 cartons for my niece. She is going to try freezing some.

4. I desperately needed a new swim suit. I found one that actually looks and feels good on me for 20% off.

5. Meal plan includes easy meals that are no-cook or something that can be grilled. Trying to keep the house as cool as possible.

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Mrs. Picky Pincher July 3, 2018 at 5:36 am

Ahh, scones are so tasty. I learned how to make savory scones with a homemade apple chutney and it’s so good! Easy to make, cheap, and it impresses your guests. 😉

This week:

1. I ate my way through the fridge, using up odds and ends. Some surprisingly tasty meals were had from scraps!

2. I did a load of laundry with my homemade soap.

3. My sister sent me starflower, which I’ll dry and use for anxiety-soothing tea.

4. I pre-cooked apple pie bites, apricot snacks, and broccoli cheddar soup. It’s nice having food prepared in advance. 🙂

5. I’m pricing out some solar screens to put over certain windows in our house. Summer is BRUTAL in Texas, and I’m hoping better shade will lower our A/C bill.

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Sarah D July 3, 2018 at 3:20 pm

1. Husband and I get a date night and even though we would have liked to go out for dinner and drinks, we’re opting for homemade cocktails and dinner from ingredients we already own and a movie from netflix.
2. I wanted to give up cotton balls so my mom bought an 88-cent piece of terry cloth and sewed little squares (by zig-zagging the edges so they won’t unravel), which I’ve been using for facial toner and then washing in a small delicate-wash laundry bag. No more waste!
3. It’s time for haircuts for husband and daughter, and a bath for the dog. It’s been averaging 105 degrees in the afternoons though, so I keep putting this off. Hopefully taking credit for the tasks here will motivate me to do them some evening after it’s cooled off.
4. I wanted to knit something (not sure why, given how how it is here) but not to buy new yarn, so I found an unfinished project from years ago and unraveled it to make something new (that I’ll hopefully finish this time!).
5. Was given a few massive zucchinis from a friend’s garden so I made a huge batch of muffins with one of them, and I’ve frozen a dozen and a half of them for future snacking. I have to figure out what to do with the other one since I don’t want to waste it.

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Lindsey July 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

We make zucchini tots. Lots of recipes on line. They are like tater tots but from zukes—not a perfect substitute, but everyone scarfs them down.

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Mary W July 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm

We grate and freeze zucchini in recipe sized portions for later use. Works well.

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Mati July 4, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I roast or grill zucchini and summer squash with a little salt and olive oil, then pack it tightly for the freezer. The roasting drives off the excess moisture so it stores more compactly, and the flavor is wonderful and summery for later in the year.

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Sarah C July 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Thanks, Mati, what a great idea!

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Sarah C July 4, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Thanks, Lindsey and Mary W – both great ideas! I’m super excited to try them both!

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Mand01 July 4, 2018 at 7:32 pm

We do this too. Currently working through my stash. I put it in pasta sauce, soups, curries, muffins, brownies – almost anything really. I had such a huge crop last summer. Pulling it out of the freezer in the middle of winter reminds me of my summer successes, especially as the out of season zucchini is so expensive.

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Marilyn Bain July 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm

1. Used a FM coupon for $10 off a $40 grocery order.
2. Went on a 5-day business trip to Los Angeles. Five days of meals covered by my per diem.
3. Have not turned on the AC at our house yet this year. We’re doing OK so far with 2 electric fans.
4. Still enjoying early morning walk, my favorite form of exercise.
5. Reading everyone’s FFTs daily for ideas and inspiration.

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Mary W July 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm

FFT for the first time in a long time:

1. A dear friend/neighbor brought me 2 huge bags of beautiful, like new clothing in my size and the next size down. They’d been given to her by her sister who loves, loves, loves clothes. I’m set for all seasons, a brand new wardrobe, plus plenty left to share with others or sell.
2. Went to dinner and game night at my other dear neighbor friends. Took cubed up watermelon and a bouquet of flowers from my yard, came home with a plate of ribs we’ve been eating for the last 3 days. Yum, and good fun with friends.
3. Have a date tomorrow night… Chinese dinner!
4. Figured out how to assemble our new pool… cheap exercise all summer and cuts down on the need for AC.
5. Driving a few miles to watch free fireworks tonight… Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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Mati July 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm

1) Found two pairs of new Birks in my husband’s favorite styles for $75/ea instead of $225. He’s a disabled vet with complex orthopedic issues and these keep him as comfortable as possible. The extra pairs allow him to rotate and get more wear out of what he has.

2) It’s been absurdly hot so what was supposed to be a cabin vacation will be a partial staycation because staying inside here is a lot cheaper. We’ll still find some time at the beach.

3) I’ve been eating down the fridge and freezer, adding fresh stuff from the FM, and keeping meals simple. It’s hot, nobody cares – now is the perfect time.

4) Both window units are on pretty much around the clock, because UGH. All the windows with solar gain are covered with white reflectors made from offcut sign materials we picked up at Zero Landfill. They’re surprisingly effective and we didn’t even try that hard. I’m feeling even more interested in restoring all of this Victorian house’s passive cooling features, including the original awnings, which would have been even more effective than the reflectors. I’ve also been reading up on traditional passive cooling techniques and have realized we have other possibilities to try, like tapping the cool air under the concrete porch.

5) I found three $500 fans for $30 apiece at the Habitat ReStore and need to plan and collect the materials for frugal installation on our front and back porches. Also, a $40 dining table that fits our dining room much better. The old one was expensive even on clearance and perfect in the old house but never really fit here. We’re already using the DR more and the old one is up for sale.

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Rosanne July 8, 2018 at 7:45 am

Um… am I the only one who has a weird love of goofy red, white and blue desserts? I am known for my cakes shaped like pineapples or coconuts or American flags. I will not be offended, I think goofiness is a virtue

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