Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 13, 2015 · 34 comments

Yankee Stadium

  1. My son and I went to a New York City Football Club (NYCFC) soccer game today at Yankee Stadium. We brought our own reusable water bottle which we filled repeatedly at their water fountain. I was very proud that I’d remembered to do this, since bottled water was being sold for $5 a pop!
  2. We took public transportation all day, which included five subways and two buses. I was able to use my brother-in-law’s unlimited fare MetroCard, while my son used a card I’d loaded with $20.
  3. We bought hot greasy slices of pizza for dinner, which added up to a budget-friendly $12.50.
  4. Instead of buying expensive movie theater candy or even cheap drug store candy for yesterday’s movie, I simply bought no candy.
  5. In exchange for being such a lengthy houseguest, I’m working to make myself a useful human. Laundry, dishes and general cleaning are well within my skill set, and certainly help with a household of six people. Staying in NYC for two weeks would be insanely expensive, so I really appreciate my sister’s hospitality. (We joke that I’m the homely au pair chosen by the jealous wife.)

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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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen July 13, 2015 at 4:16 am

I sometimes will splurge on movie theater concessions if it’s a cheap theater. $1 tickets? Popcorn will happen!


Katy July 13, 2015 at 4:28 am

$14 tickets? No Raisinettes for you!


K D July 13, 2015 at 4:17 am

1. I just made soup that I will eat for lunch or dinner.

2. I found $.26 and a Tanzanian coin while walking yesterday.

3. I’m continuing to do the PT exercises that were assigned to me, even though I have not been to PT since January. I want to stay strong and healthy.

4. I had a free rental code from Redbox but did not feel like dealing with the hassle of picking out a recent movie and then returning it the next day so I borrowed As Good As It Gets from the library. I can keep it a week or more.

5. I will hang laundry outside today. Even though it is humid it is hot and stuff will dry.


Bellen July 13, 2015 at 4:21 am

Love your tips on vacationing frugally. Knowing how expensive NYC can be it’s good to see it does NOT have to be. Your tips can be used anywhere – thanks.


Betty Winslow July 13, 2015 at 4:55 am

Our big expense this week will be paying the insurance deductable for the rental car we were driving when a piece of road debris (a hunk of truck tire) got thrown into our front bumper. No one was hurt, thank God, and we even made the wedding, but the car bumper looked like a giant had been gnawing on it. DH spent a lot of the weekend stressing over how much it would cost, poor guy. And I was so proud of the great deal I’d gotten for us….

But at least the reception food we’d thought would leave us needing to stop for dinner before we drove home turned out to be prime rib and chicken ranch sliders, a mashed potato bar, a nibbles bar (cheese, crackers, veggies, fruit) and an ice cream sundae bar. It qualified as dinner! We skipped the cake, grabbed mints on the way out, and brought home our bubbles, for our granddaughter.

Also unexpectedly ran into a friend who lives several states away now; she had my yoga socks with her, planning to give them to the groom’s mom to pass on. (I gave her 10 skeins of sock yarn a friend gave me, she’s knitting me two prs of socks in return.) Saved her some postage!

Most frugal touches of weekend? Neither of us bought anything new to wear, and we took a cooler of bottles of water and iced tea, so no vending machine drinks were purchased on the way to or from. (Came in handy sitting by the exit ramp for 45 min. waiting for the highway patrol, too!)


Charli July 13, 2015 at 4:57 am

We are buying chickens to give us eggs (and because they are lovely) but as our dog ate the neighbours chickens we aren’t too sure we want to invest in a chicken coop just yet. Our forgiving neighbours have kindly offered to lend us their now vacant coop as we test how terrier proof our outer fenced chicken run will be. I made up a big zucchini slice and an apricot and chocolate cake today for school lunches. My daughter needed a new desk as she had outgrown her old one. She picked out one she wanted new and I found exactly the same one on gumtree that was 2 months old and 1/3rd the price. It looks great.


Vickie July 14, 2015 at 8:31 am

Charli – you might check out how to make a Chicken Tractor.
If you’ve never heard of one, they are basically a mobile chicken coop (small enough to move around) with fencing around it like a rabbit hutch.
You can move them around a yard or pasture while keeping them penned for their safety. I’ve seen them built with latching nest boxes on the back, so you can easily gather the eggs. People make them with different materials. I saw one posted that was made from an old trampoline.
Google “the best chicken tractor plans” and look at all the images.


Rebecca@TheFamilyFinder.Net July 13, 2015 at 5:22 am

My kids are having a week-long stay-cation at the grandparents’ house so I am using this time to get some larger house projects done. My main focus will be to complete the small side deck on our house. Rather than pay a contractor to replace the rotting deck I have been buying materials as we have the money and soaking up the free YouTube Education that taught me some of the things I needed know when building a deck.
Spending money on supplies but saving because I am doing it myself and not hiring out the work!


Isabelle July 13, 2015 at 5:26 am

I have many frugal things, but I want to focus on my main frugal thing of the moment… I`ve started to read another blog yesterday, and the blogger is doing a year long ban of shopping (except for essentials). While I am not interested in banning everything myself, I`ve decided that I am embarking on my own year-long ban of solo-restaurants. This is a BIG problem for me, my main source of spending, and it`s really bad for my health too (I am quite overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol… you get the picture). So, no more solo-restaurant outing or take-out for the next year. In social context is OK (I don`t do much of those anyways, maybe once or twice a month, versus like 5 times/week solo…). This will save me a lot of money and improve my health for sure.

Have a great frugal day!


cathy July 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

What’s the other blog? Sounds interesting.
Have you ever read Not Buying It by Judith Levine? Same sort of challenge, but she has some astute observations about consumerism.


Isabelle July 14, 2015 at 3:18 am

Can I say a blog’s name on a different blog?? I don’t know the etiquette about this….
It’s “blonde on a budget”


Gina July 14, 2015 at 4:42 am

Good luck with your challenge! I did this two years ago including no restaurant outings with friends. When I met up with friends we went to an event or for a walk instead. I lost 20 lbs and felt better than I have in years. I changed jobs and it’s the norm to eat out at lunch – I’ve gained 8 lbs back. You have inspired me to get back on the challenge and “just say NO” to eating out.


Amanda July 13, 2015 at 5:39 am

1. I was at a church committee meeting past super time last night. When I got home my husband had made grilled ham and cheeses and cut fruit for us to eat in the car on the way back from our weekend house. It was so much easier than a drive through.
2. Most of my errands today are returning things we didn’t use at my cousin’s wedding shower on Saturday. My grocery stop at Aldi will be paid for with the cash my mom and aunt gave me for their portion of our shared gift. Feels like a free week!
3. My parents gave us tons of food this weekend: corn, zucchini, hot dogs, hot dog buns, basil. I don’t mind at all being the place they send food they don’t need.
4. Between the free food from my parents and making due with what was in the fridge we didn’t have to make a planned grocery run over the weekend.
5. I got the truck inspected on Friday. I take our nice, somewhat new car to our awesome mechanic who does a thorough inspection. He replaces things like windshield wipers. The 20 year old truck however, I took to Bear the mechanic. Bear could care less about the wipers and just concerns himself with the lights working and the brakes being in decent shape. I am guaranteed to pay no more than the state mandated $16.


Jill A July 13, 2015 at 7:28 am

1. Had a huge garage sale and got rid of a lot of clutter. I made a good amount of money which is going in the bank. I only have a few things that didn’t sell so I’m taking those to goodwill.
2. Hanging laundry to dry.
3. Making my own iced tea. I will sweeten it with simple syrup leftover from making candied citrus peels for my daughters wedding cupcakes.
4. Cleaned a few science projects out of my fridge and plan to use up some odds and ends for dinner tonight.
5. My handy husband fixed our pool brominator yesterday. A hose was clogged.
It’s nice to not have to pay someone to fix things around the house.


Carolyn July 13, 2015 at 7:34 am

Love that you are helping out your sister!

We just released 4 house guests and it was so much work!


Mary G July 13, 2015 at 7:42 am

I think it’s lovely that you are helping out, too. Our house guests don’t tend to do that, but it sure is appreciated when they do. 🙂


Chris July 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

I couldn’t believe how much it added to our grocery bill having 3 teenagers (well duh!) for 2 weekends in a row then 4th of July with family here – had meals here but paid for everything. Could someone at least throw their towels down the clothes chute???


Nancy July 13, 2015 at 9:27 am

My favorite house guest come’s and weeds while she is here, my second favorite is a relative who comes for the holidays and polishes the heirloom family silver. I don’t need more “stuff” (hostess gifts) but truly appreciate their thoughtful contributions because quite frankly I don’t like to weed or polish.


Katy July 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

Thanks for the idea. I just now completed polishing all my sister’s silverware!


Su Mama July 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I’m sure she appreciated it!


Kim from Philadelphia July 13, 2015 at 9:35 am

Sounds like a great trip so far!
I love NYC tap water. It’s so delicious!!


Katy July 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

I agree. Weird, huh?


Heather July 15, 2015 at 5:23 am

That’s because the majority of that water is coming from beautifully protected reservoirs in the lovely Catskill mountains!


LT July 13, 2015 at 9:38 am

1) eating leftover kabobs on a salad for lunch at work- I’m a terrible grilller, and the chicken was overdone.
2) enjoying my homemade pita bread that is much more delicious than store-bought
3) pumping over my lunch break so we don’t have to buy formula for my 3 month old.
4) tonight I will fold & prep the load of cloth diapers I washed yesterday, after they air dried overnight.
5) I plan on taking the baby swimming tonight, as long as it isn’t raining- in our backyard inflatable pool 🙂


marie July 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

for our upcoming camping trip, I froze 6 empty half-gallon milk jugs with water instead of buying blocks of ice. Did it last year, when we were gone for 6 days, and they lasted 5. Epic win.
Bringing all of our food, no stops for bread, goodies, though maybe will buy osyters!!


cathy July 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

* We had a free Redbox rental. My husband chose Interstellar, which we both liked a lot. Also got hooked on Longmire, which is on Netflix. We’re watching it sporadically.
* Read two ebooks checked out from library as well as a stack of actual books, also from library. Returning on time, so no late fees.
* Harvested basil and parsley from our community garden. Will be making pesto as well as garlic scape pesto (harvested the scapes from garlic in our yard).
* My son is taking a class this week that’s downtown, where I rarely go. Used the morning to run errands in the area including a stop at Sprouts to get a refund for the amount they inadvertently overcharged me on produce the other day. Plan to hit different thrift stores than usual during the week.
* Have gotten into the habit of rinsing fruits and veggies in a bowl so I can use the water to water house or garden plants.


Tammy July 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm

1) Removed some stains from a white plastic cutting board by putting lemon juice on it and putting it in the sun. I had soaked it in bleach water previously, but the stain was really stubborn!

2) Listened to Clark Howard podcast for money saving tips.

3) Took a long walk with a new friend who also has small dogs that my dog actually likes. Finally, my dog has new friends! Play dates are fun!

4) Washed and line dried all my socks and underwear. They last so much longer doing this. (Note: I do this year round on an indoor clothes rack.)

5) Made banana chocolate chip muffins out of some ugly but perfectly ripe bananas. Yum!! Shared them with some elderly neighbors who don’t have anyone to bake for them.


Jenn Fox July 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm

Please don’t call yourself homely! You’re a lovely person inside and out from everything I know about you from the blog. 🙂


pattilou July 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm

-I also used a free Redbox code to rent a movie tonight
-Hung my laundry outside on the line
-Played in the yard with my nieces. We did have the sprinkler on for just a little while but it was so hot today that we all needed a little cooling off. (and nobody complained about the scratchy, line dried towels)
-using the air conditioners only when absolutely necessary
-I have been cooking using the herbs I planted. I love going outside and picking fresh basil.


Mrs. LC@LooseChangeLiving July 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I am harvesting everything I can from the garden as it becomes ready.
Started revamping the pantry today. It’s now completely empty so we can run electricity and install lighting and an outlet. We also are re-configuring the shelves to better utilize the space. Hope to have the project done by the weekend as we are expecting guests and I don’t want a mess when they arrive.


Canadian Lilly July 14, 2015 at 5:46 am

Glad to see you and your son having such a fun and frugal trip!

-This week started out as a frugal bust–my wife was rushed to the hospital, we were there for 12 hours while she had tests done-food bought at the hospital cafe and the cost of parking had this frugal gal’s budget in a tither. The next day’s hospital trip was a little better–packed a cooler lunch but still the cost of parking–crazy! Best news–my wife is feeling better (and in the end THAT is what is important!)
-Hung laundry out to dry all week
-Scored a free bottle of laundry detergent from a co-worker who didn’t like the scent
-Scored a few bags of beautiful high dollar quality clothes from another friend who likes to purge her closet and then shop for more stuff. We shared these clothes between my wife, my self, and 2 friends.
-Enjoyed my monthly pot luck get together with my group of best friends-we used to meet at a restaurant each month but since changing my financial ways we do pot luck and we all enjoy it so much more.

Have a frugally fantastic day everyone!


Katy July 14, 2015 at 6:27 am

Happy to hear that your wife is felling better. And by the way, I kind of love your friend group!


Vickie July 14, 2015 at 8:01 am

Glad you’re having fun. It’s always nice to have family or friends in a tourist area to stay with!
1) I brought my lunch yesterday, but ended up running errands and didn’t take time to eat it. So, I have lunch for today!
2) I spent about $12.50 at Aldi’s yesterday buying breakfast stuff for my morning meals. I usually eat oatmeal, but add chopped walnuts, raisins and cranberries. Heart healthy and less expensive than eating out.
3) I ate leftover spaghetti for dinner last night. There was extra dressing from a cucumber, onion and tomato salad my cousin had made for the 4th. Since it was vinegar based, I knew it would keep well, so I poured it into a salad oil bottle I have for making my own. I’m going to get her recipe, that is good dressing!
4) Due to a postal snafu I was charged a reconnect fee by my phone/internet provider. However, they apparently realized it wasn’t my fault and credited it back to my account. Which means I have a $40 credit now. Yay!
5) I’m headed to the Library to pick up a book I had on hold. I get to use my favorite shopping card!!


Melissa July 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

I always seem to do this late!
1. Ate both breakfast and lunch at work – leftovers for lunch.
2. Cut up a rockmelon (cantaloupe) that my mum gave us for after dinner last night. It went well with some cut up oranges I got from my grandmother’s tree!
3. Am making peanut butter cookies as well as choc chip macadamia cookies (using up the macadamias in the shell that a friend gave us!)
4. Sold a cardigan that I bought in a moment of madness to my boss – why did I buy a royal blue cardigan?????
5. Was given a pay rise unexpectedly!!

Stay frugal people!!


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