Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 31, 2015 · 20 comments

Found change

Sorry about yesterday’s blog glitch. I had upgraded my hosting to accommodate increased traffic, which then created a domino effect that caused my blog to go offline on a day that I did not have time to sit down and troubleshoot computer issues that I barely understand. I was tempted to tap my old pals at WPFixit who will fix any WordPress problem for $39, but wanted to at least try on my own first. Thankfully I was able to work with Site Ground, (my current hosting company) Dreamhost, (my old hosting company) and WordPress, (my blogging platform) to get things straightened out. Somehow my last two blog posts have disappeared, plus one I had yet to publish. But I’ll deal with that later. Right now I have laundry to fold and strawberry jam to make.

Five Frugal Things

  1. My husband I finally finally bought a car to replace our beloved Subaru Outback that was totaled back in November. Our new car is a 2007 Prius, and we were able to keep the price low enough to pay for it using cash. It has a number of driver’s side dings, but I ordered a touch-up paint kit from Amazon using Swagbucks gift cards. Hooray for a second car for my family of four, and a double-hooray for not taking on a new car payment!
  2. When going to the credit union to withdraw money for the car, I made sure to sweep my hand under the coin counting machine. I was rewarded with $2.10 in quarters and nickels, which I dropped into my Found Change Challenge jar.
  3. I sold my son’s middle school saxophone through Craigslist. The $350 I received was directly added to my sons’ college fund, which helps to salve the pain of removing $700 for last quarter’s pointless health insurance. Plus, I got the attention of the neighbor ladies by entertaining a couple of handsome hipsters, who gave me a groovy jazz concert right on my front porch. Oh yeah . . .  mama’s got game! 😉
  4. I brought home the newest New Yorker magazine from a local Little Free Library.
  5. I made French bread from scratch last night, said “no” to my son who wanted an unnecessary haircut, brought home milks, eggs and butter left by guest cottage tenants, drank tap water and tea, filled up the gas tank with Costco gasoline, went to the Dave’s Killer Bread outlet to buy a dozen loaves for $1.99 each instead of $5, was gifted a fancy treat as a thank you for feeding the neighbor’s cats and bought absolutely nothing unnecessary.

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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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy March 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Please let me know if the blog is acting oddly in any way.


Nathalie March 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm


1) This new post doesn’t show on Feedly. The only reason why I even know about it is because I somehow received an email with your comment above, as if I had subscribed to the comments to this post… of which I was unaware… I am NOW officially signing up to receive follow-up comments by email for this post.


Nathalie March 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Me again… I never got the confirmation email to subscribe to the comments for this post via email… I thought it was because maybe it thought I was already subscribed to them (since I got the email with YOUR comment) but I didn’t get the emails with the comments of the people who commented after me either.


MW March 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm

1- I cut my son’s hair again. I’m getting better at it!
2- I made costumes for my sons for an upcoming Renaissance Faire from fabric and scraps that I had around the house. I’m not much of a seamstress, but I was able to cheat on a pattern by tracing some shirts that fit.
3- I’m working on a jacket for said Faire for my husband. I’m making it out of some cut off pieces of curtains that I had to shorten. As long as no one calls him Scarlet, we’re good to go!
4- I made a huge bowl of chickpea, orange and chipotle salad over the weekend for weekday lunches. Good, healthy, and filling.
5- A few weeks ago we did a seed exchange at work. I’ve got a summer’s worth of seeds in exchange for the remnants of some packets that I didn’t need. Hopefully this year I can manage to save some seeds from the garden for next year. . .


A. Marie March 31, 2015 at 12:38 pm

(1) Glad the site’s back up, sort of. Your non-Facebook readers appreciate your efforts. No problem so far–but then I haven’t tried to submit the comment yet!

(2) DH and I have found three $1 bills and about 50 cents in coins on the sidewalks in the past week. Early spring thaw is the season for found money in Upstate NY.

(3) Congratulations on the Prius. I enjoy mine. I suppose that the next major spending cut DH and I will be making as we both move into retirement will be to ditch one car, but we may have to resort to arm-wrestling to determine which one it will be!

(4) Preparing to dig horseradish for bestest neighbors’ Seder on Friday night. Horseradish is the first thing out of the ground in cold climates–which probably explains its central role in the Seder.

(5) Simply enjoying being out in my filthy muddy yard after a brutal winter. Enjoyment of this sort is highly frugal.


Jill March 31, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Glad you’re back! My blog is also hosted on Siteground, and I find them to be pretty good.

I am being frugal by being too busy to go anywhere near a shop.


K D March 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

1. I am cooking up a big batch of soup using items from the refrigerator, freezer, cupboard, and on the counter (onion and garlic). It was inspired by soup I had out yesterday. A friend and I tried lunch at a local place and it was only $4.25 for a big bowl of thick, delicious homemade soup. It was a quick casual type atmosphere, so we were able to linger and catch up.

2. I have been sending cards a couple times a week to a friend that is on hospice. Since I don’t believe Hallmark makes appropriate cards for such times (and I don’t pay Hallmark prices) I am using up miscellaneous old cards. I figure the important thing is the messages I write her.

3. My husband is on a trip for work. He will be reimbursed for mileage and fed healthy food three times a day for almost three days. I guess we’ll save a bit on the food bill.

4. It is finally warm and dry enough to be in the yard. I have been picking up branches that have come down the past few months. The county will pick up the yard waste, at the curb, in a few weeks.

5. The public library seems to have many more books available on Overdrive these days. I am able to read many things on my Kindle, for free. I do prefer it to physical books, but read both types.


Nathalie March 31, 2015 at 1:22 pm

1) I put the “We Had Everything But Money” but on hold at the library back when you recommended it and it came in today. I went to pick it up today instead of waiting until tomorrow (my regular errand run) so I could also redeem the last survey reward code from Racetrac for a free bakery item (it expired today). I froze it since I got it for my son who is away all week.
2) I picked up several coupon inserts from the library’s donation pile.
3) My best friend asked if she could meet me at Aldi tomorrow so I can initiate her in the ways of frugal shoppers. I told her to bring a notebook and pen so she can get started on a pricebook. In the meantime, I clipped all the extra coupons that I wasn’t going to use and also printed her a whole bunch more (her printer isn’t working) and organized them for her as well so she can save some money if she shops at other stores (Aldi doesn’t take coupons).
4) I baked fresh bread every day this past week… my weight loss is becoming a weight gain but boy is it frugal on top of being delicious 🙂
5) I’m enjoying watching the 1st season of “The Middle” on a DVD that I borrowed from the library while I’m catching up on my favorite blogs too. (I’d already seen this particular episode).


Maureen March 31, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Your bread story reminded me that when I was a kid, my father would stop by the day old Tip Top bread factory store on his way home from work and would buy 10 loaves of bread for $1.00. There was always bread in the freezer and with six kids, there as always bread in the house. Unfortunately, my parents insisted on keeping the un-frozen loaf of bread in the refrigerator making it hard as a rock. I can freeze my bread, but then I have to toast it. And I cannot put bread in my refrig because I love soft bread.


Madeline March 31, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Recent frugal fun:

1. Hiking for free in our local woods with friends .Free exercise,fun,friendship.

2. Said Yes to an Easter pot luck.I only have to cook a pan of scalloped potatoes.

3. Made a huge pot of soup using up lots of leftovers in refrig, and some grains from pantry that needed using up.

4. Colored my own hair with L’oreal which I purchased on a 2 for 1 sale a while back. Total cost of one hair color: $4.00!!!!!!

5. Taught my husband how to paint my toenails for me so I skip pedicures at a salon!!!

6. Made big pot of fresh iced tea, we never ever buy soda pop.

7. Having a girlfriend over for home made quiche and glass of wine in my own living room..much more fun than a pricey noisy bar.

8. Made a fresh lemon pie using free lemons someone brought to my workplace.


Betty Winslow March 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Yesterday’s frugal moves:
1. lunch was Jimmy John sub sections brought home from the church potluck Sunday that they had leftover.
2. Dinner included a salad and banana pudding, also from the potluck. I made the pudding and there was a half a dish left, so I took the rest of the pudding to my little brother and his wife.
3. Finished our adopted daughter’s necklace and earrings (using stuff I’d been stocking up on) and dropped it off for her birthday.
4. Went to Walmart for cranberry capsules and had two choices: bottle of 100 for $3.88 or two bottles of 100 each bundled together for $6.00. No brainer!
5. Baked a piece of salmon that was on sale, to eat for lunches.


Michelle March 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm

1. We had family over this weekend. We had an Italian night and made from scratch pizzas, stuffed shells, pizza rolls, and cinnamon rolls. Cooking from scratch is the best money saver! We were able to spend time with family without going out to eat or doing the traditional money spending get togethers. There were enough leftovers for all.
2. I made a menu for this week.
3. I scored one coupon insert from work, a couple my mom sent to me, and one from the library. I have decided not to buy any newspapers this month. I’m going to try to collect inserts for free. We’ll see how it goes.
4. I’ve resisted the urge to spend money on delicious coffee several times. Yay! I waited until I got home.
5. I’ve been really keeping an eye on the budget. I am trying to be consistent and vigilant. It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve been this consistent. I want this mortgage paid off early!!!


Michelle March 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Also, the target cashier that rung up my groceries was so nice and genuinely supportive of my coupons and savings. She said that she loves savings! She made my day.


Marilyn March 31, 2015 at 7:04 pm

1. Our 17-year old TV set finally gave up working altogether last Saturday. The only thing I know about new tv’s is the fact that they all have flat screens. So I spent a little time researching the subject at the library. Now I know a little about the newest technology (which I will resist). My plan is to look at last year’s models which will be fine for us and are reasonably priced.
2. Talked to my daughter who lives in Seattle where she recently started her first “real” job. She told me she bought some furniture for new apartment –paid cash at a moving/yard sale. Very proud of her.
3. Still working on organizing my errands so I can save both time and money. Since there is a grocery store, a branch library, a post office and a Goodwill truck all in one shopping center about five miles from my home, I should be able to make 1 trip per week and do most my errands (in theory). That’s my goal, anyway.
4. My neighbor gave me a book of crossword puzzles which she had received for Xmas and never used. With no tv to distract me, I am doing a couple of puzzles every evening.


cathy March 31, 2015 at 10:18 pm

1. I renewed a library book using auto-renewal, which helps me avoid late fees.
2. We have WASPS and have to deal with them. I discovered we have 3 traps and plenty of pheromone attractant. Hopefully this will do the trick as I hate resorting to poison, but they are nesting in at least three different places and get very aggressive as summer wears on.
3. We’ve been on a pie kick ever since Pi day. I had two butternut squashes left in the pantry. Added some butternut puree to a closeout-sale-priced can of pumpkin puree and made pumpkin pie. Froze the rest of the squash puree pre-measured for my pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe. I also made a chocolate tart. It normally calls for a shortbread crust, but I decided to try an alt graham cracker-type crust. I’d made choc chip pan cookies, but they came out extra crumbly. I saved the crumbs and then used them as the base for the pie crust. Not perfect, but it was yummy!
4. Cleaning up all the leaves that blew into my yard from neighbors’ yards over the winter. I xeriscaped the front yard in 2013 with trees and flowering perennials. It’s really exciting to see all the little plants start greening up and to take inventory of everything that made it through the winter. This has been the best thing for our yard–we get many more birds, bees, and butterflies, it’s in flower from spring until hard freeze, and we’re saving a ton on the water bill.
5. Getting ready to make chicken soup tomorrow with chicken I bought on mega sale and froze a few months ago. I’m making the broth and my mom is making the matzo balls. I’m going to attempt GF “matzo” balls (maybe potato?) for my son who can’t eat wheat.
BTW I think you’ll love the Prius. We were offered a 2007 Camry hybrid last fall for a price we couldn’t refuse, so we let our 1996 Outback go. I was sad, but at least our niece is driving the Subaru now, and we’re enjoying the energy savings of the hybrid.


Chris April 1, 2015 at 4:20 am

#1 My daughter received a coupon from the local pet store which she didn’t want to bother with – I took it yesterday – the expiration date – and got free dog training treats.
#2 Bought a nice piece of ham at a great price from my boss (at a restaurant) which turned out much smaller than I (or she) anticipated so will supplement with some fresh salmon for Easter dinner.
#3 Hung my sheets out to dry for the second time this year!! Finally!!!
#4 Started cleaning out top shelves in the kitchen and brought at least 10 items to the garage sale pile.
#5 We are getting a new furnace and a/c system tomorrow – not frugal – but getting about 20% back in the form of rebates and a VISA card. The rebates will be returned to the money market account and the VISA card will pay for groceries – with the grocery $$ getting transferred to bank. It is anticipated that we will save 50% on heating costs and 25% on a/c.


Kim April 1, 2015 at 4:57 am

1. Filled my car with gas for $1.49/gallon for mid grade fuel thanks to -90¢/gallon in fuel rewards. I seemed to have gotten some gunky gas a few weeks ago and my car has been runny rough so DH said get the higher octane for 1 fill up. Regular grade would have been $1.27/gallon.
2. My BIL is going to change my fuel filter for me which should take care of the issue. He can’t do it till next week but it will only cost me the price of the part, about $10.
3. Picked up coupon inserts from a fellow freecycler and someone else who was giving them away on local FB yardsale group.
4. Pulled out my bread maker since I was able to get KA flour for $1.99/ bag. I’ve made bread the past 2 days. My guys have been loving it.
5. Went to Staples to use $5 Reward that was expiring. Got stapler for son to take to college, magic eraser and two cone shaped bags of caramel corn for free. Caramel corn was $1 on clearance originally $3.99. Good for DSs Easter baskets.


Lilypad April 1, 2015 at 7:59 am

Congrats on the “new” car without a car payment!! I think you’ll be happy with it, I have a 2006 Prius that I love.


Isabelle April 1, 2015 at 9:43 am

Can’t go wrong with a Toyota!


Isabelle April 2, 2015 at 5:25 am

* Baking a banana and chocolate cake for my daughter’s birthday. It has to be wheat and eggs free, so buying one would be expensive. I’ll splurge on high quality pre-made icing.
* Getting 5 free helium filled ballons with a coupon. Will decorate with what we already have at home.
* Doubling Easter and Birthday supper celebrations (2 in 1!). My girl is turning 3 so she doesn’t really care anyways.
* Used my Imax membership to see 2 movies last night
* Went to yoga using my one month unlimited yoga pass for 35$
* We are keeping the birthday gifts at a reasonable amount (a small rocking chair I got at Goodwill, a new book I got free, a coloring book, a duck toy for the bath and…. I think that’s it). And the grand parents will keep it small too, which I am happy about.

Have a great frugal day!


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