Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 10, 2019 · 68 comments

  1. I sold a cute vintage barstool as well as that kid’s Trek bike that I scrubbed up and featured in a previous blog post. Both of these sales were through Facebook Marketplace. I also sold a streaming Blu-ray player through eBay. The barstool and bike were $5 Goodwill items, and I think I forked out $20 for the Blu-ray player. I try not to buy stuff to sell unless I can clear at least $20 from the sale, although I’ve been known to disobey my own rules. This may sound like a lot of work, but putting together a listing takes less than five minutes, and it’s something I can do while inventing new ways to split the atom watching TV in the evenings.

  2. I just worked three days and packed my own lunches and slurped up a tremendous amount of the free mediocre coffee. I know this is far from a lightning bolt piece of advice, but the money I’ve saved from twenty four years of forgoing on-site hospital food would likely run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Have I ever bought lunch from the cafeteria? Sure, but it’s just a couple times per year when real life has gotten in the way of my best intentions.

    The hospital where I work allows you to activate your work badge as a debit card, thus deducting all on-site purchases from your paycheck. I long ago made a conscious decision to decline this program, (even when it provided a 5% discount on all purchases) as I felt it would make it way too painless to inadvertently nickel and dime my paycheck away. I’m there to make money, not spend it.

  3. Portland has been oppressively grey and rainy over the past week, which doesn’t exactly inspire me to to go and about and live my best life. However, there’s an upside to cocooning indoors, which is that it’s hard to spend $5 here and $10 there if you’re embracing the indoor life. I don’t have a habit of online shopping, which means that indoor days = zero spend days. Having said this, I’ll welcome the sunshine if it ever deigns to return.

  4. I popped into The Dollar Tree to pick up shampoo, conditioner and quality surplus bread, I’m stopping at the library to return a DVD that’s due as well as pick up a hold copy of Susan Orlean’s The Library Book, I accepted an offer from my father to take me to lunch and I’m scheduling a time to help my mother clean her Airbnb guest cottage whose long term tenant vamoosed in the night.

  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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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Tonya Parham April 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

1. Returned library books and got no fine. Checked out some new ones.

2. Watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. (I didn’t expect to like it but I am enjoying it!)

3. Am traveling tomorrow for work so I will be taking my own food, even though I get a “food and incidentals” budget.

4. My wife is going to be gone to Greece for three weeks to teach and we are learning Greek and she’s teaching me about Greece because she’s learning and wants to be “the person” who is an expert on the places they travel to. This is free and fun! The internet is a wonderful tool!

5. Paid some extra on a credit card and am focusing on paying those off this year.

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Mand01 April 10, 2019 at 12:38 pm

I love Titus – I could watch that guy all day.

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Tonya Parham April 11, 2019 at 5:14 am

He really IS awesome!

I put off watching this show because I didn’t like Ellie Kempler (sp?) character in the office. So I thought I might not like this show. But I was wrong, it’s pretty freaking delightful!

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Tonya April 12, 2019 at 9:26 am

Our family loved singing the theme song together, “oooh, dammit!”

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Debranurse1 April 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

Still waiting to hear about the black light experiment…..
Not feeling very frugal lately. Doing too much thrift store shopping. I do get some things for my daughter to list on fb marketplace, but I buy for me, the grandmonsters, my kids etc.
I have hit a target in my quest for retirement savings/investments, so very happy about that.

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ouvickie April 11, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Congratulations on the target savings for retirement!!
I’ve been moving my money around in my retirement account to increase the gains in interest. I’m hoping I’ll be right on target when I retire in a few years

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KJD509 April 10, 2019 at 11:55 am

1. Picked up a high-paying freelance project even though I start a full-time job with a lousy commute in two weeks and all I really want to do between now and then is watch Netflix.

2. When the washer stopped draining, hubs identified the problem and then looked up a repair shop. But I thought maybe we could do it ourselves so checked youtube, found a number of very clear videos, and ordered the $28 part. Comments on the videos say that hiring out the repair is generally more expensive than replacing the washing machine, so fingers crossed that when the part arrives this afternoon, we can figure it out.

3. Have made several meals incorporating canned goods that came home from son’s apartment when he moved into a dorm and from my mom’s refrigerator, which I am monitoring while she’s out of the country for three weeks. This includes sucking it up and making pasta-with-whatever last night when I really, really wanted to order out for anything that didn’t include cooking or dishes.

4. Hubs and I are walking along the riverfront almost every day when he gets home from work, watching the sailboats. He sailed competitively in college and would love to get a boat but is, um, easily tempted by more immediate wishes and unpracticed at saving for big wants. This every day reminder about a fun long-term goal is having a huge effect on his spending. He even sat down this weekend to un-f&%* the 18 months of budget tracking spreadsheets that fell apart while we were living in two different cities. Free exercise with bonus frugal benefits!

5. Drinking coffee at home, cheering on kids and hubs when they pack lunches, teaching Littlest to cook in hopes of staving off take-out when I’m back to work, walking for errands several days per week, celebrating that Littlest selected a free afterschool activity at her middle school instead of the expensive neighborhood sports she had begged for, breathing a sigh of relief that middle two kids have been accepted into their majors at colleges and have graduation dates set so tuition payments will someday end, and avoiding Lear jet purchases like the plague.

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Rosanne April 11, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Good luck with the washer. Youtube has saved us so much over the years- computers, tvs, our dishwasher, the list goes on. It seems that particular models of an appliance or gizmo tends to always have the same thing go wrong, so I am grateful to the posters on youtube who give us their free advice.

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Lisa M. April 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Double 5FF: April Shower/Snow Edition

Continues cool and very damp. Looking forward to flowers but not my early spring tree allergies which have already started. Boo hiss Maple & Box Elder.

1. My family REALLY loves our local carry-out pizza place, so I indulge them a few times a year. I have noticed that if I wait long enough between visits, they will email a 50% off coupon for ordering over $20. I combined that discount with a free item for doing a survey from my last visit to get 2 large pizzas and a cheese bread for the cost of 1 large pizza. I received $33 worth of items for $14. And of course, I immediately completed the survey for my next trip. I also faithfully take in a stamp card each visit which is now full, making our next family size pizza free.

2. DH & I enjoyed two complimentary & fabulous gourmet meals with wine at an upscale restaurant due to an apparently insatiable desire to market to baby boomers approaching retirement age. This was free meals #15 & #16, even with DH not attending a couple. That means we have been offered 18 free meals in the last ~1.5 years, all at upscale locations that we do not patronize.

3. DD will be needing new tires soon. My DDad is a retiree from a major tire manufacturer which has a friends & family discount program. He provided codes for 35% off each tire. We are still able to use any rebate offer they have as well. This has saved us many $ over the years & allowed us to have premium tires affording greater safety & comfort at significant savings.

4. Finding many extra costs with a graduating HS senior. Looking for bright spots. Photo printing site recommended by photographer friend very reasonable & generated a first-time customer discount of 25% -YES! Also planning to use DD’s restaurant employee discount for food to have on hand during festivities & at her graduation party. Saved 2 mylar congratulations & princess balloons that friends provided for her 16th birthday to re-inflate for graduation.

5. After working on DD’s taxes, realized a 1-month employer had not sent her a W2. Although no taxes were taken out, glad to have the W2 to avoid underreporting wages & a potential fine. Who ever heard of needing to request a W2 in April??

6. My boss is taking extra time off now that I only have 1 part-time job & she is not encouraging a HS student to work hours during the summer as she has in the past (apparent disinterest on the part of the student), both of which translate into greater earnings for yours truly. Bring on the $$!

7. With the upcoming increase in Netflix prices, DH was reviewing means to decrease our costs. He discovered that we are paying $8/month for the DVD option which we used constantly years ago when there were few offerings online. We now very rarely use the DVD option so that was cancelled = $96 savings/year.

8. Took advantage of still-cool weather to cook dry beans in the crockpot for yet another bean-based soup/stew. Substituted gifted partial package of ham shanks (which I have never used) in place of turkey sausage & it tuned out delish.

9. A couple of plant care hacks. DD’s garden sage plant grew dangerously high over the winter. During weekly maintenance, observed stress to the longest stem from bending that was affecting sage leaves. Fashioned plant supports out of NIP disposable chopsticks that were laying around. For Katy’s amusement as a L&D nurse, using nearly 18 yr. old plastic peri bottle from DD’s delivery to provide water in a slow stream to large plant that requires water delivery d/t its massive size. Both hacks work perfectly. Make it do!

10. On the way home from work, mailed DD’s tax returns to get back small refunds, along with our tax payments, in advance of due date. Also stopped at local grocer for loss leaders, Aldi, big box grocer & gas station. Used 2 manufacturer coupons, a store sale & found a dime on the floor of the check-out lane at the grocery store. Was in a hurry to get to free gourmet dinner (see #2 above) & didn’t check receipts immediately. Discovered that gas station had overcharged, so stopped the next day on the way home from work to get item in lieu of refund.

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Lisa M. April 11, 2019 at 11:35 am

Clarification of #1 above – When I referenced carry out pizza, I meant carry out take & bake pizza. Way too frugal to purchase ready-made pizza. The last ready to eat pizzas I ordered were free courtesy of mandatory fundraising cards for HS track. I used every single free item on the cards & several discount deals & ended up with significantly more value than we paid for the obligatory cards, even gifting a free oil change that we were unable to use to one of DD’s friends.

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Mand01 April 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

It’s a very expensive month around here, but I’ll try.
1. We are going away for a week. I had booked accommodation already but not paid yet. I was looking to see if I could find somewhere better (cheaper) when I saw the same place for $350 less. I canceled and rebooked. Annoyingly, it was through the exact same booking company we used originally. Bit of a rigmarole but $350 is a lot of money.
2. Our car is dead and it wasn’t very old to us so I’m very cranky about it. We have to buy a new one. I toyed with the idea of a loan but we are going to buy it outright and suffer the pain of handing over the cash. I’m very cross but better to do that than be in debt. I guess. Cars just don’t interest me at all.
3. I’m sick. Aside from a trip to the doctor, no money spent. I can’t even eat right now. Frugal?
4. Sticking to the meal plan like glue (see 1 and 2).
5. Still so many pumpkins!

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Patricia Koernig April 11, 2019 at 12:53 am

Hope you are feeling better!
Patricia Fl/USA

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Mand01 April 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Thank you. Unfortunately still quite sick. I’m so bored and cross.

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Pattilou April 10, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Ugh Katy, I’m sorry that your Mom’s tenant skipped out on her. That’s awful.

1. Dropped off a few pieces of clothing at a consignment shop and picked up a check for $7.00.
2. Picked up my birthday freebie from Sephora
3. Got a free birthday meal at a local restaurant.
4. My Mom and sister bought me shoes for my birthday. I got one pair on clearance and one pair on sale. I desperately needed shoes. I destroyed my only good pair at work recently.
5. I have wanted a dog for quite some time. Well, I now have two. My niece’s baby is allergic to dogs so I have taken her two 10 year old dogs. While dogs can be expensive, my niece has insisted on paying all vet bills for them. She also is having their food and treats delivered right to my house. They are quite adorable and I am getting much more exercise!

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Karen B April 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Free vet care and food to go with your new dogs is such a nice bonus! Our 7 year old cat had a bad month, what was thought to be cancer turned out not to be fortunately, but it was over $1000 for testing and fixing what was wrong, plus 3 days off work for my husband who drove her to the place best able to handle the testing and suspected problem, and later to a recommended vet who could handle the actual problem for $300 less than the one we would have gone with locally.

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Pattilou April 11, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Karen, I know how expensive it can be and you want to do everything to keep them healthy. That is one of the reasons I had been putting off getting a dog. My niece is so sad that she had to give them up and so grateful that I could take them. I realize how lucky I am.

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Jill A April 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm

1. I took my daughter to the movie on Sunday. I used a coupon for a free movie ticket, free popcorn and free soda that I got with my coke rewards codes. All total I spent $6 since it was a matinee.
2. I took my dog to the vet for her vaccinations. I also picked up a years worth of heart worm medicine since it came with a rebate for the purchase of twelve doses. Since she’s going to use it I’ll at least get it as cheaply as possible.
3. I took my other daughter out to the movie yesterday. We went to a matinee again so the cost was only twelve dollars. I did treat her to lunch where we ordered water instead of drinks.
4. I did my laundry and hung it to dry on racks inside.
5. I ran out of deodorant. I had read something about using vodka as deodorant as it kills the bacteria. I have vodka that I don’t drink so I gave it a try and it works better than any deodorant I’ve ever used.

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Pattilou April 11, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Jill, vodka can also be sprayed on your clothes to keep odors at bay. We do it all the time.

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Helena April 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Hi Marimekko lampshade!

1) Made devilled eggs and tahini date truffles for a potluck, which cost me about $4 in ingredients (including the portion I kept at home for snacking). Devilled eggs are my husband’s favourite, so it was also my way of thanking him for staying home with the kids when I doubled back for the drunken board games part of the evening.

2) Feeling dissatisfied with my home, so I am making a special effort to clear clutter and put up pictures. The nice thing about preschooler artwork is that it gives a great pop of colour!

3) Trying to keep us to keep us on a once-a-week grocery schedule (excluding milk). Now that we’ve cut out a lot of animal protein, it seems that we’re spending almost exactly $100 per shopping trip, which I love!

4) Doing what Brandy from The Prudent Homemaker calls The Great Clothing Swap. It feels like my whole life is kids’ clothes right now, but I’m grateful that we have space to store everything that has been given to us and we don’t need to buy anything new (or new-to-us) this year.

5) Preparing to help a friend do her small business taxes. It is keeping me current in my field and I suspect she will send me home with some of her amazing biryani.

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Christine April 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm

1. While DH is off hiking the Appalachian Trail I’m eating mostly vegetarian. I grocery shopped today at two stores for their sales and spent $65 total. This food, in addition to what I have in my pantry, is projected to last 2.5 weeks for myself and the occasional grandchild.
2. DH had to purchase a sleeping bag liner in a town nearby the AT. Turns out the sleeping bag he originally purchased was not what the company claimed which was warm down to 30 degrees. Worth it to know my guy is warm in his tent and cheaper than buying a whole new sleeping bag.
3 I’m so thrilled to be finding money. 61 cents over the last week plus 20 cents of deposit bottles.
4. 14 year old granddaughter and I went “thrifting” as she calls it. At the Salvation Army store we got 2 thick hoody sweatshirts and 5 shirts for $15 and at the consignment shop she found 2 dresses and I found a beautiful old pin all for $8.
5. I’ve been watching a lot of reruns of Til Debt Do Us Part and am implementing Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s budget ideas. Two days in I feel my finances are more organized.

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Bee April 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm

How is your DH doing so far on the trail? I hope he is enjoying the journey. When my son hiked it, we had a few equipment adjustments along the way.

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Christine April 11, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for asking Bee! Yes, he already has had a few adjustments besides the sleeping bag. He mailed home his fleece and a waterproof food bag which both proved to be unnecessary and too heavy. He also had to swap out his Merrill shoes for a different brand as the Merrills were really causing pain to his feet. On the up side, he has already experienced “trail magic” a couple of times and has garnered some free expensive food from someone going off trail.

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Karen K Butler April 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Haven’t done much this week, but haven’t spent much unnecessarily, either.

1) Picked up a book for my son at the library, $19.99 retail, our cost free, and the local library system even sent it to the branch closest to us for convenient pick up.

2) Husband took the full day off work to take a pet to a vet for needed work (dental extractions). He went to one well recommended that was approximately $300 less than locally, but an hour of driving each way with several hours between drop off and pick up, but not enough time to make it worth driving 2 extra hours, so while there he got his driver’s license renewed with much less waiting than here and made a planned purchase from a locally owned store (bike helmet).

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Bethany April 10, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Brought snacks and gum for our flight to IN and took advantage of flight complementary snacks.

I caved to hubbys wishes to have 3 checked bags.

No airplane headphones for us. Kids just looked at the movie.

Utilizing my neighbor to keep our plants alive and pool clear not green.

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Kathy April 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm

1. Picked up a NWT Coldwater Creek blouse .50 at thrift store, Sag Harbor Suit $8 (I’ll list these online) and a Worthington pant suit .50 (I’ll keep) at thrift store.
2. Listed multiple items on ebay and have sold almost $150.
3. Cleaned out “dog show” brief case from a year ago and found $50
4. Free breakfast and lunch this weekend at upcoming dog show
5. Invited dog friend to stay with me over the weekend saving her at least $250 in hotel costs. Hubby will be gone..so it’s girls weekend.

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tracy April 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm

1. Bought 2 packages of pork tenderloins (with 2 to a package) when they were BOGO. Threw one package in freezer, roasted other package Sunday night for dinner 1. Cut up leftovers and Monday was dinner 2 — spicy stir fry over rice made with the leftover pork and a bunch of reduced price veggies. Last night was stir fried rice with the last of the pork minced up in it plus diced veggies and the leftover rice from the stir fry. Three yummy meals for cheap!
2. Wanted to bring treats for co-workers, stopped by the cookie place which sells packages of day old cookies in the morning, 6/$2. (They’re usually $1.50 each). Bought 7 packages (over 40 big yummy cookies) for $14 and put out for folks to grab one.
3. Really trying to cut down on disposable products, reusing plastic bread bags for veggies, washing out plastic bags and reusing and using little washable bar towels instead of paper towels. Take my lunch to work in re-used glass jars from salsa, jelly etc., have a little covered corning wear casserole dish with a handle I use to reheat the food in the microwave.
4. After a couple of months falling off the no-shopping wagon I’m trying to get creative about combining things I already have (and I have plenty!) to create fresh looking seasonal outfits without buying anything else. I really want to cull my wardrobe to only things I love and feel good in. And, since I’m on the 21 month countdown to retirement, I don’t want to spend money on work clothes I’ll never wear again after that!
5. Went to dinner at in-laws on Sunday, offered to bring appetizers and made things I could make mostly with stuff on hand — two nice appetizers which people loved and ate up and I only spent $5 or so (by using some items I already had).

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tracy April 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

One more! I am sitting at my desk eating corn chowder brought from home for third time this week. Made it on Sunday to use up milk (bought too much) and some squishy potatoes. Tasty, healthy enough and cheap!

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Lisa M. April 13, 2019 at 6:37 am

Good on you for the multiple lunches of Corn Chowder. This is our family’s favorite soup & I make it multiple times from fall through spring. Prep is so easy & I typically have all the ingredients on hand – potatoes, onion, corn, cream corn, evaporated milk & turkey sausage. In fact, I just might make it for dinner this evening, so thank you for the inspiration!

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Connie C April 14, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Recipe please.???

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Lisa M. April 14, 2019 at 8:11 pm

I can post my recipe but maybe you want Tracy’s as well? I’ll post mine here on Monday.

Lisa M. April 15, 2019 at 5:09 am

CORN CHOWDER
1 lb. link sausage
4 diced potatoes
½ C. diced onion
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 C. water
1 can whole corn (do not drain)
1 can cream corn
1 can evaporated milk
Slice sausage in 1 inch chunks & brown. Drain well, set aside. Cook potatoes, onion & salt in water until potatoes are done. Add sausage, corn, cream corn, pepper & evaporated milk. Heat through, but do not boil.

janine April 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

1. Winter Storms have reappeared so am prepared to stay indoors , enjoy the snow, make a fire and save $$.
2. Made fried rice with leftovers for a tasty dinner dish tonight.
3. Picked up couple of dollar store greeting cards which were much cheaper than the $4+ cards sold at the Walgreens across the street.
4. Filled out my political contribution form so I can be reimbursed for a contribution to a state senate candidate. (You can get up to $50 dollars back per person!)
5. Trying to solidify habits of menu planning, limiting myself to sale items, going slightly out of my way to patronize a wholesale bakery etc.

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Katy April 10, 2019 at 8:36 pm

1. Kids bought 2 Goodwill scooters, $10 each. We bought a chain saw and hedge cutter from a thrift shop, and a lawn mower from a pawn shop. Used items can save so much money.
2. I earned another $3 Amazon gift card from swagbucks.
3. Went to a Family Dollar and got multiple toiletry items on clearance, like 99 cent aluminum free deodorant. Then went to the grocery store where most of the items I bought were on sale or just food that’s usually cheap (like bulk dry beans, carrots, etc…)
4. Running the dryer after 9o’clock, when we have free electric rates.
5. Went through my clothes and found 3 items that are so old or paint stained they’ll be turned into cleaning rags.

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Alison Hicinbothem April 10, 2019 at 10:00 pm

My five frugal things:
1. Got hubs and mine’s and daughter’s taxes in the mail. We had to pay and daughter will get a refund.
2. Did the tax mailing while out doing other things. No wasted gas.
3. Saw retinal specialist for my yearly visit – I have type 2 diabetes and macular degeneration. Also saw podiatrist and had my yearly foot check, nails trimmed – do that more than once a year – and had some callouses shaved off and filed off.
4. Don’t know if I mentioned this but I’m changing my cable to fiber optic and will get a good price for two years on tv, phone and internet. Will also get Netflix free for 1 year. I will return cable boxes. After two years will reassess the situation and look for either a better deal or go to streaming, dump the house phone and just have internet.
5. I still have 1.5+ weeks of allowance left in my wallet. Nothing to buy really as I’m home. I will not let hubs order pizza again this weekend!

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Shevaun April 11, 2019 at 2:52 am

1. First, thanks to all the NCA friends who sent me kindness when I was feeling so discouraged a few weeks ago. I printed the comments out and posted them on my mirror.
2. DH and I have come to a decision on homeschool curriculum: “Intelligent Parents Make Thrifty Choices.” [Which is to say, we have finally decided we are reasonable, intelligent people with good intellectual taste. So we’ve been filling up our closets with library book sales, etc. We might get phonics and math curricula, but all the “subjects” are covered amply by our sincere interests]
3. DS is finally starting to potty train with some success. The warm weather and a naked bum outside help. Soon the diaper party will be over.
4. Eating odd meals from freezer and pantry ingredients. The grocery store is about an hour away, so we really eat down the house inventory before making a big shopping trip.
5. Last grocery trip, I averaged $80/week for 2 adults, 2 tots, 2 dogs, plus household sundries. I say averaged because I make a 3-week meal plan, spend $200 at grocery store, then have another $40 to fill in with milk and fresh fruit.

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Christine April 15, 2019 at 11:18 am

Your #3…I had 3 kids in 4.5 years and I can tell you that it is indeed a happy day when the diaper party is over.

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Mrs. Picky Pincher April 11, 2019 at 4:13 am

I love the point about the cafeteria food. It’s the little things that we do every day that tend to add up and eat our paychecks. Good on you. 🙂

This week:

1. I treated myself to Starbucks with the remnants of a birthday gift card.

2. We haven’t eaten out this week, which is a big win for us. 🙂

3. I used Amazon Wardrobe to try on some new bras. Nothing fit right and I sent it all back, with zero cost to me.

4. I started a free trial with Gamefly. I finished the only game I have on PS4 (twice, mind you) and I need some new ideas. I know this doesn’t sound frugal, but since gaming is my main hobby, it’s worth it. I only plan to keep Gamefly through the free trial and then purchase the games I like as I can afford them.

5. I’m wearing thrift store clothes today.

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Jennifer April 11, 2019 at 4:25 am

I started getting my shampoo/conditioner at Walmart because they have the same one that I used to get at Dollar tree for 78 cents for the same amount. Not saving that much but if I’m already there anyway, I grab it. I also pour it in an old pump bottle limiting my kids to 2 squirts or we lose a lot down the drain.

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Teresa Young April 11, 2019 at 4:35 am

1 – We are having a new home built. Builder wanted thousands of dollars to paint the interior. We are doing it ourselves.

2- We filed our taxes and realized 2 days later an investment account form was overlooked – amended our taxes and will end up having to pay less on Federal & get a larger refund from state.

3- I found a local train shop that buys old trains – will be taking my 1960s Lionel Alaska railroad set in this weekend to sell.

4- Planning a moving sale, gathering & pricing items – I was going to have it tomorrow but there’s rain in the forecast.

5- Celebrating DH’s birthday by eating out at our favorite local reasonably priced Mexican restaurant with our sons. This one is actually more frugal for the boys because we’ll pay for their meals to thank them for helping with painting.

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Jennifer April 11, 2019 at 4:57 am

1. Got a stuffed crust pizza at Walmart last night on clearance for $6. Everyone kept talking about how delicious it was. Since I can’t have gluten, I just ate a couple spoons of peanut butter since I wasn’t very hungry.
2. I also picked up two big family packs of boneless chicken thighs that were reduced to $5. I separated these out into meal-size servings and stuck in the freezer. Should be close to $1.66 per meal for my family of four! I rarely eat meat anymore but I still allow a serving for myself in case I do and if I don’t, leftovers are never a bad thing.
3. I am painting the outside of my home. It has two levels and a steeply pitched roof. I decided to paint the lower half myself the old fashioned way, with a paint can and a brush. I have been rediculed for this decision. Everybody keeps telling me I’m crazy for not spraying it. The upper level will definately have to be sprayed on. So far, I have one side almost done. I chose to do it this way so I can paint a couple hours here and there in between working, kids, etc. with minimal cleanup. One of my hecklers asked me how much paint I have used. When I told him 2 gallons, his jaw dropped. He said he had to use 16 sprayed-on gallons on his home which is much smaller than mine. Also, there is a $10 rebate available for this paint so I will be getting a bit of money back.
4. I am doing mani/pedis at home. Not sure I can really call it that since I’m basically just filing off the winter…um..layers…I guess I will call it….then applying a coat of polish I received as a free sample in the mail. Looks pretty good!
5. I did not buy my kids school pictures this time. I really struggle with this but I just can’t keep paying for expensive crappy pictures.

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Carolyn April 11, 2019 at 6:03 am

Facebook marketplace is great. I have sold numerous things there, bought a few items there used, and we advertise and sell eggs there.
We have plants popping up that we started from seeds. A $1.59 packet of seeds to fill a tray is cheaper that buying plants at the big box stores to plant in our garden. I save thousands on my grocery bill by growing, canning and freezing. Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables fresh picked from your own garden. We invested in fruit trees and berry bushes and there were blueberry bushes already there when we bough our house. Neglected but after proper winter pruning, they are producing large, juicy berries. Summer starts the busy season for our vacation rental in the association on the lake. So we have to prepare for that getting some outside chores done there.

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Connie C. April 11, 2019 at 6:46 am

1) Redeemed my Swagbuck points for a gift card this week. This is how I help fund eating out for Hubs and I.
2) Continued working on Swagbucks to earn more points.
3) Called cable/internet/home phone provider to discuss cheaper alternatives. Now have info that Hubs and I will review this weekend to see if it will meet our needs.
4) Hubs, myself and two of our sons volunteer at the local fire station. At our monthly meeting we get a meal. Enjoyed that at no cost last week!
5) Used coupons and sales to save some cash on necessities at the grocery store this week.

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Andrea April 11, 2019 at 8:07 am

1) Spring weather is allowing us to open doors and windows and not run the heater.

2) Downloaded Michele Obama’s Becoming and picked up season 8 of Doc Martin from the library.

3) Because we are retired, we have time to grocery shop every few days and have been making meals out of veggies found in the clearance bin. Not only are we saving money but we are finding different and delicious ways to prepare the veggies so we don’t get tired of it.

4) Scheduling the next trip to Tijuana for dental work. This will be the fourth time. Not only do they do wonderful, fast, and near painless work at about half the cost but my dental insurance reimburses about 90% of what I paid out of pocket (not all services are covered so check your insurance). Bonus is a short trip to another country where it is mostly warm and very, very safe.

5) Found some “I forgot we even had that” items in the back of a closet that will be posted for sale locally. Bonus: Now I want to clean out more storage areas to see what else we can sell.

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Marilyn E Bain April 11, 2019 at 9:43 am

1. Have been finding lots of pennies on the sidewalk lately. Last week, I found what looked like a large penny but turned out to be a Japanese coin. When I looked online, I found this coin offered for sale for $3 – $39. Interesting. I suppose it depends on the date the coin was minted and I really can not figure out my coin’s date. For now I will just keep it in the jar with the rest of my pennies and nickels found on the street.
2. When I went to the optical shop this week, they noticed that the glasses I am wearing were slightly scratched. They informed me that they have a warranty on lenses — who knew? So I am getting new unscratched lenses at no cost. Nice.
3. Found at the library the videos of “A French Village.” I pretty quickly became addicted. Since the library has 7 seasons of this series, I will have free entertainment for months.

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K D April 11, 2019 at 10:05 am

1. A flight we’re scheduled to take next month was cancelled. We were put on an earlier flight so I needed to rebook a rental car. For some reason it will be $42 for three days. It had started around $200, then was about $120. I used COSTCO Travel.

2. The grocery store offered 8x points for certain gift cards. I knew we would use them for ourselves and for gifts. I bought enough to max out my 5% Discover cash back for the 1st quarter. We were able to save $1.50/gallon on three fill ups.

3. Inspired by Katy, I requested season one of Star Trek: Discovery from the library. We have watched some of the episodes.

4. I have been buying pineapples and taking the time to cut them. They are often on sale for $1.50 or less. You get a lot of fruit from one pineapple.

5. The weather has been warmer so I switched the sheets on our bed, washing and putting away the flannels until fall. No need to even think of running air conditioning yet.

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ouvickie April 11, 2019 at 10:48 am

1) Someone at work shares their morning paper in the breakroom and, apparently, the coupons are free for the taking. I don’t necessarily buy a lot of well known products, but it’s nice to have a coupon for the ones I do use.
2) I couldn’t find frames at my house for granddaughters school pics, but I found two nice 3×4 frames at the Dollar Tree. Now I can look at my beautiful girls every day at work.
3) I’m so thankful for the insulated lunch bag provided free to us at our Health Fair several years back. It comes in very handy for packing my lunch.
4) Spring is the time of year I start buying Buteless to keep my horse from getting colic. I can put a measured scoop of that in with a cup or two of his oats, each morning, and it keeps me from paying high Vet bills. $17 per month from March to October vs a few thousand, or more for a Vet? Yes, thank you.
5) Salonpas patches help me manage my neck and shoulder pain. I spend less than $10 per month on a box.
6) Since I now have a car with Bluetooth/iPod capabilities, I’ve started borrowing and downloading e-audiobooks on my iPhone with the OverDrive App. YAY! Now I don’t have to worry about returning CDs to the Library and having issues with discs that are scratched. I can return the download through my phone. I’m managing at about a book per week now. I LOVE it!

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Roberta April 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm

1. I sold two items on ebay (yay!) and made a Frankenbox for one of them. I had to buy tape, at the dollar store, to finish the box. They had fancy 10 yards of boxing tape with a cutter, or 45 yards of cheap packing tape with no cutter. I went with the greater yardage and used my own scissors.
2. I went shopping at goodwill for new clothes to spice up my wardrobe — my t-shirts are all stretched out at the neck, and things are just looking shabby. I found nothing that looked good on me. Which brings me to …
3. I am now on a diet, and eating kale salad and navy beans for lunch three times this week. Vegetables are good for me, and keep me full (enough) until dinner. Beans were cooked from dried.
4. Made cupcakes for my daughter’s teacher, who won’t be back after break. I was tempted to stop by the grocery and buy some, but I saved money and packaging by making my own.
5. Rescued some chicken parts when I went to the food bank to pick up their surplus (for my alive chickens). The chicken parts will supplement the dogs’ dinner — preventing methane in the landfill and creating happy dogs.

Frugal fail: I have been stopping by the convenience store almost every day when I go out on errands and picking up a soda refill for a dollar. I need to stop with the soda — it makes me feel ill, it’s costly, other things — but I have been succumbing to temptation too often.

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Cindy in the South April 11, 2019 at 2:27 pm

1. I pretended to be Elvis and have eaten peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch every day this week. 2. I love crawfish so I waited until it was on sale to buy a bag to cook. It was wonderful and yes, I am in touch with my Louisiana side and sucked de heads. 3. I am powering through the dried beans and ground beef I cooked in the Crock-Pot. My dog is helping me. 4. I enjoyed walking at the river park. The river is high and it looks beautiful with the Spanish Moss. I just tread carefully because of Cottonmouth moccasins. 5. I found out my new CPA charges less than half of what my old CPA charged.

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Bee April 11, 2019 at 3:14 pm

I love peanut butter and bananas as well as crawfish, but never together. I too love spring.

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Cindy in the South April 11, 2019 at 4:38 pm

LoL. I ate the crawfish for supper.

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Bee April 11, 2019 at 3:09 pm

1) My adult son is finally cleaning out his childhood bedroom. He has tons and tons of books. He wasn’t sure what to do with them. We do not have a secondhand bookstore nearby any longer. 🙁 So I downloaded the Bookscouter app. I scan the ISBN on the reverse and sold a large majority of them to online booksellers. It was quick, easy and now they are out of the house!

2) I have wanted a copy of The Tightwad Gazette for a long time. I found one at GW where books are 5 for $0.99. If I bought one or five, the price was the same. Thus, chose a stack of interesting books and scanned the ISBN with my Bookscouter app. I made a stack or 4 additional books which I can sell for approximately $15.

3) I read my new to me copy of The Tightwad Gazette. It is amazing how many of those tightwad tips that I incorporate into my life. It was also interesting to see how many tips were no longer relevant. What is a long distance telephone call? LOL

4) I attended the first class on retirement planning at the local University. It was fabulous, informative and free. We were even given workbooks. This class is offered throughout the country and will post the info regarding it if anyone is interested. Three hours into the course and no sales pitch …just info. Of course, everything could change by the time that we retire.

5) I donated a few nice items to the thrift store that supports the food pantry where I volunteer. Worked a little side job to make some pocket money. I did my usual – ate my meals at home, drank primarily filtered tap water, brewed my own coffee, wore thrifted clothing, baked banana bread to use up overly ripe fruit, walked the dog, and used my YMCA membership. Have I ever mentioned that the Y has sliding scale memberships and scholarships for individuals and families.

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Kara April 11, 2019 at 4:15 pm

I’d love that information on the retirement class

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Jill A Korendyke April 12, 2019 at 1:47 am

I would be interested in your retirement planning course.I’ll have to try that bookscouter app. Thanks.

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Liz Bishop April 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

Hi, Bee. I’ve never had much luck using the Bookscouter app – all of the books I scan have essentially no resale value…..??
I’d love it if you shared the retirement program web site. Retirement is at least 10 years away for me, but I’m trying to start learning now, so I have a little time to correct any errors, etc. Please and thank you.

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Jill A April 14, 2019 at 8:27 am

I would be interested in the retirement workshop. I will also try the bookscouter app. Thanks.

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Bee April 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The seminar on retirement is sponsored by The National Society of Financial Educators. Info can be found at NSFE.org.
I hope you will have good luck with Bookscouter. It was helpful since we were doing such large clean out and wanted the items out of the house. We literally went through 100s of books. I hope that they will find second homes. I sent several all the way to Powells in Portland. 🙂
If your goal is just to sell just a few books, you may do better selling them on eBay or Amazon. I listed a few of the more valuable ones online. Of course, some cities have wonderful secondhand stores where you can buy, sell and trade.

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Jennifer April 11, 2019 at 6:03 pm

1. Dh is working lots of extra and got paid $605 for the most recent work. I transferred it straight to savings to cover some expenses coming up this summer.
2. Had a snacky grab-n-go lunch from home today. I had to leave the house at 7 (1.5 hours early). it was a random lunch and I was hungry when I got home, but no money spent on eating out.
3. Chased down a $10 Starbucks gift card code that was sent to me, but would never work.
4. A couple of months ago dh FINALLY fixed several drippy sinks and a toilet that frequently got stuck running. It wasn’t constant dripping, but it adds up! My latest electric bill was down over $25 – yay!
5. Cooked dinner from scratch all week, washed ziploc bags to reuse, walked the neighborhood for exercise, borrowed from the library and returned on time, and made homemade muffins for our breakfast.

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Sheila April 11, 2019 at 6:15 pm

I hope you like The Library Book. I really enjoyed it.

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Jessica April 12, 2019 at 5:59 am

1. Used Katy’s app hacks from NYC to get a free $15 tartine at Pain Quotidien, and a $4 iced coffee from Pret. Yay.
2. Have cleared a huge number of things out of my basement either by buy nothing group, freecycle, or selling on facebook marketplace. I have only made about $100 from the sales I have done, but that’s something. Getting the basement fully cleared out would be great for a lot of reasons.

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rose April 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm

LOVED The Library Book. Really fascinating.
Thank you for all you post and the ideas you share. I appreciate that you take and make the time. You keep me on Compact awareness.
Sunshine wishes for you!

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Momma L April 13, 2019 at 1:03 pm

1. Found a Columbia fishing shirt for 50cents at a yard sale. Giving it to my fishing loving son in law. Those are usually very expensive.
2. Shopped our community yard sale and found nothing, so spent nothing. I missed on an item I’ve been wanting for a long time by 5 minutes. The buyer looked happy, oh well.
3. Eating up our produce in preparation for a short trip to see some relatives. Stir fry and salads!
4. Downloaded the bookfinder app, thanks to Bee (see a few above my post) for posting that, and will use it to scan some of my books!
5. Got some gift cards for Starbucks as a gift, plan to call a friend to meet me there after work. Cheap “date with friends” time, its good to get out of the house every once in a while, and no cost to either one of us.

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Teresa April 13, 2019 at 2:27 pm

1. Tired but did not hire a maid (never have but I’ve been thinking about it…)
2. Worked overtime and actually included it on my timecard. That’s a plus.
3. Tempted to take the dog to the groomer for everything but will wash him myself and just get his nails trimmed.
4. Preparing to fix garden umbrella instead of buying a new one.
5. Will wash the car, maybe.
Today I wish I was one of those people who could just pay for all these things. At 62 I’m beginning to want my free time to do things instead of working and cleaning all the time.

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Susan April 14, 2019 at 3:51 am

-Sold a few items on eBay and marketplace
-Stomach bug kept me home for a few days, no spending when you can’t get off the couch
-Finished taxes, fully funded IRAs for myself and my husband, so we’re in no spend mode as we owed a lot of money
-Used a gift card from Dominos that was about to expire to buy a free lunch for my husband
-We have free garbage pickup. Hauled half a garage full of garbage to the curb at a house we are renovating instead of renting a dumpster. I’ll take the other half of junk out this week. Due to many holes in the roof, everything was wet and gross
-Used a free reward for a Starbucks coffee, but resisted buying coffee out every other day
-Continuing to breastfeed and make my son homemade food instead of buying expensive wasteful pouches
-Cancelling my YMCA membership for the summer now that its decent to run outside

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LB April 15, 2019 at 7:06 am

I hear you on the “here to get paid, not spend money” train! My coworkers spend a lot of money on lunches and I would much rather aggregate some of that dough and get something tastier than a nasty sandwich.

1. Found a nescafe instant coffee that I actually don’t mind! It was $5 for the jar and will last me at least 6 weeks. I still make coffee at home often but this saves me in a pinch from buying out when I’m feeling sleepy. Plus the jar is glass!

2. We got approved for an apartment and it’s $500 a month less than we were expecting to pay! Talked the BF out of requiring a dishwasher in return for better location and proximity to train stops.

3. On the moving vein, have begun listing things on FB marketplace. Made $40 off a patio set that I got for free when my friends moved back in 2015, and very surprised at the amount of interest in a toaster listed for $5 that I bought for $10 at a Home Goods.

4. Picked up 2 extra shifts at my side gig this weekend and one of them turned out to pay tips! Made $35 in cash and am waiting to see how the credit card ones turned out as well.

5. Brought food home from a plated dinner last Thursday that I worked-vegetarian ravioli. BF was hungry so I offered him some. He wound up throwing it away because he didn’t care for it–I was annoyed until I tried it myself and yeah…it was not good! Lucky for me I was hungry enough that some garlic powder and parmesan made it palatable enough!

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Mand01 April 15, 2019 at 7:56 am

Uber Eats arrives at my workplace multiple times a day. I don’t understand why people choose to waste their money on it.

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Sweta April 15, 2019 at 7:50 am

I have enough Swagbucks to redeem for $25 in my paypal which I will use to pay like half of a bill…lol

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Crosby April 15, 2019 at 8:22 am

Conference Edition!
1. I brought my own water bottle so I didn’t use plastic cups or bottled water the entire time (and I want to find a way on to the planning committee for next year to help increase sustainability – so.much.single use plastic!!
2. I didn’t take any swag (water bottles, pens, mugs, notebooks – I didn’t need any of it and it would have made my luggage heavier).
3. I drank tea out of mugs provided instead of paper cups provided – again, I’d love to join the committee to suggest some changes.
4. Was careful not to take more than I could eat from the buffets.
5. Used as few of the mini toiletries as possible – I usually bring my own in containers that I refill. I had forgotten conditioner so I did use one bottle.
6. For conference information, they offered information papers and a bound booklet, but they also had a free mobile app. I used the app instead of taking any of the physical papers since it had all the same info, and was updated regularly. I’m also able to connect with other attendees on the app so I could refrain from handing out or receiving business cards unless someone really wanted one.

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Liz B. April 20, 2019 at 4:41 am

My FFT, Sorta-Frugal edition:
1. Hubs and I decided to forgo getting his 16 year old pick up truck repaired, thus saving $5200 (US) for an engine rebuild. Our mechanic mentioned there was no guarantee that something else big wouldn’t go wrong on such an old truck. Sad to let the old beast go, but it’s time. Will save on auto insurance. Now we need to decide which way to go – donate it to a worthy cause, sell it (with full disclosure of its issues), sell it for scrap, we don’t know yet.

2) Postponed a planned vacation to Disney World, after realizing we need to save more and plan for a less-busy time (original plan was before Thanksgiving this year). Have benefitted from many free planning resources mentioned by friends and family. Will continue to accept any advice.
3) Will be stopping my Audible subscription (see #2), onceI use up all of my credits. My public library offers free apps (Hoopla, Libby, and there’s another one I can’t think of right now) for e-books and audiobooks, so I’m set.
4) Will be examining every recurring expense – insurance, cell/Internet/streaming services, etc., to see if better deals are out there for the same coverage (see #2 above, plus needs to be done even without #2).
5) Will use three vacation days to care for my mother in law this coming week. Not really frugal for me, but saves some of her $ resources while her usual caregiver (my brother in law) has a medical procedure. I lucked out in the mother in law area – she’s always been like a second mom to me.
Bonus #6) Signed up for a free library event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Hubby is a space nut (so am I), and an astronaut will be giving a talk as part of the event (I forget his name).

Didn’t buy anything gold plated, and while I sometimes wish for a Lear jet, I didn’t buy one.

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