Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 9, 2013 · 32 comments

A Week in Winter

  1. I took my sons downtown for much begged-for hair cuts. The woman who cuts their hair used to be in the neighborhood, but she sadly relocated her business. Parking downtown is both irritatingly A) difficult and B) expensive, so we drove halfway and then walked over the bridge and then over to the barbershop.
  2. I donned my “Katy The Cleaning Lady” cap last night and cleaned one of my mother’s guest cottages between tenants. (Anyone out there remember those ads? They were most unwelcome to me throughout my already mortifying middle-school years.) As always, I brought home the still-usable food. Sadly, it was only a half-gallon of organic milk. But you know I snagged it anyway.
  3. I hung two loads of laundry on the clothesline yesterday.
  4. I am listening to a library audiobook, (Maeve Binchy’s A Week in Winter”) and also reading a reading a library book, (Janet Evanovich’s “Something or Other, a Number.”)
  5. I brought very dull leftovers to work on both Friday and Saturday. They filled me up, and somehow I survived. Plus it saved me from spending money while at work, (an oxymoron if there ever was one) and from having to spend my precious 30 minute break walking to and from the cafeteria.

Now your turn. What frugal activities have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Garner July 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

Have you tried

It’s real – I’ve downloaded over 20 books for free in the last month. Some are good, some are not. Great resource.

Zen Presence – Ideas for Meaningful Living


Katy July 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

I don’t have a Kindle, a smart phone or an iPod. I do have a CD Walkman, which I use to listen to library CD’s on.



AnnW July 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Katy, you would LOVE a kindle! I still read real books, but the KindleFire is great. I wore out my first one.


tonya July 10, 2013 at 5:17 am

I thought I was the only one who owned none of those gadgets!


cathy July 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

OK, this is only frugal in a very roundabout way, but I couldn’t resist passing along this article I just read about Twinkies:


Maureen July 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

The only frugal thing I can think of right now is getting all the paperwork together to grieve my property taxes. Some of you might remember that I started this process in May. Well the town did not approve it, so I now have to go the next step which is in front of a hearing officer. I have to pay $40. and provide 7 copies to different county departments of my grievience which included a 20 page appraisal. So while all that paper is a waste, I truly hope the county will hear my side of the story and reduce my taxes. The town I live in just sucks the life out of me. And NO, I will not move because I plan to only make 1 more move in my lifetime as it’s such a hassle and it will definately not be in this county.

My crockpot died, but the ceramic bowls that lifted out are still good, so I will be listing them (I got 2 of them with my crockpot) and the thermal carrier on Craig’s List to earn some money to buy a new one.

I will be changing what I had planned for dinner tonight to another night when I can get a crockpot. Tonight’s dinner is now what was going to be tomorrow’s dinner. Skipping out on the going out!

I will be listing more items on Ebay tonight.

Going to see a free concert in the park tomorrow night of one of our favorite bands.


Katy July 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

Good luck! We grieved our property taxes once right after we bought our house. It was pretty straightforward as we were able to show the price we paid as a concrete example of what the house was worth.



Maureen July 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

Thanks Katy. Unfortunately I’ve been in the house for 16 years and the county did a reassessment of all the properties in the county a few years back before the downturn of the market. And they refuse to drop prices even though houses are selling anywhere from $10,000 – $40,000 less that market assessment. I grieve them every year, so this year I will take it to the step. If all goes right I could save $600. a year in taxes. That’s why I can’t sit back.


Atsquared July 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

I’ve been working really hard to get back on the frugal bandwagon, since I’ve just left my job to become a SAHM, and my maternity leave payments are about to end. So in the last couple of weeks I’ve:
Hung lots of laundry out to dry.
Started meal planning again, starting with food we already have plus what is coming in our CSA delivery.
Held a yard sale, and applied the proceeds to our credit line.
Started tracking our spending more carefully.
Cooked all meals at home.


Angela in Denver July 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Good for you! – from a former SAHM. I learned to be an awesome thrifter/frugal lady in my years as a SAHM, it was so fun. I miss those years now that two of my three are grown and I am a FTWM.


Amanda July 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

1. I have a meal plan for the rest of the week.
2. Just treated the family to donuts at the new local donut shop. $4 was cheap concidering I now feel like a baller.
3. Just found out the baby we are expecting is a boy, which means I will have to purchase a grand total of zero anything for this baby. I realize this wasn’t a choice I got to make, but it still saves me cash!


Hal from Swagbucks July 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm

And when you walk, think of the exercise you’re getting! Summers were made for walking.


Sadye July 10, 2013 at 4:43 am

You’re exactly right!


Kailey July 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I only have three so far….
1. I’ve been riding my bike to work; not getting a bus pass this month will save me $91
2. Brought left over salad, left over chicken wings (and a lentil salad to make sure I’m full) to work today for lunch
3. Last night opted out of ordering pizza and instead made a delicious meal of things I had in the house which also used my homemade kimchi.


Trish July 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Gardening – pulling weeds, fertilizing, harvesting, making pickles (I have a fantastic pickle recipe. The only problem is that once people try it they beg me for more. I can’t supply the world with pickles! I must see to my family’s needs first!).

I find it so sad that there will be no more Maeve Binchy books. There are some authors whom I adore, and it always makes me sad when I get to the end of their book line.


Katy July 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I’m trying to make this book last as long s possible. 🙁



Bonnie Ellsworth July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

Will you share your pickle recipe? Pretty please?


Jill July 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

1. Just took my 2 teenagers to the drive-in which is $8 for 2 movies and you can bring your own food. A summer tradition for us.

2.Took another load to the consignment store . Will use the money towards summer vacation.

3.Went to Girls Night Out – we visit potluck style at each other’s houses with the hostess providing wine.

4. Tracked my eating out and realized I set a new record and only ate out once in the month of June – for my nephew’s 30th birthday party. Woo hoo!


SueS July 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

At the end of last month, trying to avoid eating out at lunchtime (working) I ate a can of kidney beans from the can. It wasn’t that big a trial, tho, as I like all beans that way, particularly Campbell Bean with Bacon. I know. I’m weird. Whatever it takes, right? 😉


Katy July 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Right. 😀



Peggy Hamlin July 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I love Bean with Bacon straight from the can. My dh thinks I’m nuts. LOL!!


Taylor-Made Ranch July 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Had a 4th of July gathering here at the ranch and spent this week making sure all the food left in the fridge was used while it was still good, harvested many veggies from the garden for supper sides, washed 4 loads of laundry in cold water using homemade laundry soap and hung them on the line to dry courtesy of mother nature, ordered a restaurant gift card using points from our credit card so we can enjoy a dinner out without it coming from our budget and make smoked ham salad for lunches using pork harvested from our property by my hunter husband – used the bone for a crockpot full of beans as well! I’m enjoying reading everyone’s accomplishments.

~Taylor-Made Ranch~
Wolfe City, Texas


Mary July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

1. My best moment this week was actually picking a small bowl of blueberries from 2 bushes I planted several years ago. I am thrilled!
2. Managed to get one load of laundry dried on the line between daily thunderstorms. New record was just set here in Ohio for the most consecutive rainy days.
3. Borrowed (did not buy) a dehumidifier for damp basement ( see #2 above) and always dump collected water into washing machine for the next load.
4. Made another batch of homemade laundry soap.
5. Have been eating yummy CSA produce and eating from pantry…I made some rocking pickles!
6. Helped my elderly aunt with some of her decluttering and scored a few great items for free, making us both happy in the process.
7. Had a finance powow with hubby this weekend to start our family’s new fiscal year…made a bare bones budget with goal to attack our credit card debt. Have been reading Your Money or Your Life and various blogs for guidance.


Kris July 16, 2013 at 1:45 am

Try if you haven’t already.


Alison July 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

This week I made a batch of bread crumbs from several leftover end slices that no one wanted. I took a pile of things to the thrift store. I set the timer on my coffee pot to cycle off at night to save on electricity. Took my kids to the $1 morning movies (parents get in free!). And, picked up some reduced for quick sale meat.


greenstrivings July 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Spent time this weekend with friends who are leaving shortly for vacations, so each family gave us some food — lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes in one case and stuff from the freezer in the other, 4 boxes of veggie burgers and a party-size (!) lasagna. The lasagna’s way too big for us so we will pass on the thriftiness by inviting another family over for dinner.


Calico ginger July 10, 2013 at 12:56 am

Replaced a dead hard drive in a $900 dollar 18 month old laptop for $65 and then canabilised another dead laptop we had to replace the cd drive in the same machine.I am not at all techy, but there are videos on YouTube to show you how to do ANYTHING!


Dawn July 10, 2013 at 4:11 am

Hung up my laundry.
Cooked everything in the fridge that was nearing the point of no return.
Crocheted a reusable cover for my swiffer mop.
As usual all dinners at home and lunches packed for work!


Deb July 10, 2013 at 4:30 am

1. Found a couple of boards in the garage I could paint on, and primed them using left over primer, saving buying canvases.
2. Did all my washing over past two days and dried it on the line. The timing was perfect, even though its the middle of winter, thanks to the New Zealand Met service
3. Fixed the loose connection in my daughters hair straightener.
4. Recycled an unpopular tomato and pasta soup into a tasty lentil and tomato stew
5. Used a free online budgeting tool to track spending and make a new budget


Allotment adventures with Jean July 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I love my library. I borrow DVD’s, CD’s and books of course. Some weeks I’m there two or three times to read the newspapers and magazines. They also have great workshops, and it’s all free to library members.
But the latest thing I use, and love the convenience, is the “OverDrive” app that enables me to download books onto my iPad from libraries all over Australia if you have a library card. The app is free, and you can borrow a book for a week, or more, at a time. I needed a specific book the other day and the library would not be open until the Tuesday, (it was Saturday afternoon), and I was able to source it with the app and spent the weekend reading it on my iPad. Brilliant.


Allotment adventures with Jean July 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

P.S. I love Maeve Binchy too and mourn her passing.


Nikki July 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

1. Make my own laundry soap
2.Bought a clipper for my boys hair (after they both sat for a $15 haircut at Sportsclips and asked for a “summer buzz”)
3. Planted a garden this year
4. Make my own bug spray. This is more of a health decision rather than a frugal decision – but it works for both :-0
5. When the Tuscaloosa tornado in 2011 took out our power and gas for 4 days, we used our outdoor fireplace to cook all our food. For the last two years, anytime it is nice outside (Fall, Winter, and Spring), I try to cook outside on the fire. We had 2 grates custom-made to fit our fireplace, so that we can easily cook food outside. Not only is it frugal, the children LOVE the food fresh off the grill! *Disclaimer – I live on a wooded property so I don’t have to pay for firewood!


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