Five Frugal Things — Everything Tastes Better With Goodwill!

by Katy on May 7, 2013 · 42 comments

  1. When Winco was selling two-pound packages of strawberries for $1.48, I made sure to buy the limit of four. I then whipped up a quickie batch of freezer jam. I don’t know about you, but I always run out of homemade jam sooner than I think I will. Slurp, yum, urp.
  2. I used a set of a dozen canning jars, which I bought at Goodwill still in their shrink-wrap. Not bad for $3.99. Because, duh . . . everything tastes better with Goodwill!
  3. I gifted a jar of jam to my next door neighbor, who returned the favor by giving us a big bowl of potato salad. And I learned that using large chunks of red potatoes and generous amounts of bacon make potato salad taste most very delicious!
  4. Yesterday’s work lunch was a combination of the Cinco de Mayo Mexican restaurant leftovers from myself and my two sons. When I mentioned this in the lunch room, one of my co-workers was completely disgusted and said that she “Never once has eaten from her kids’ plates.” I did not touch that one with a ten-foot fork.
  5. Portland, Oregon has been experiencing rare hot weather, so I walked down the boulevard on Sunday to treat the boys to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cones. (Yes, my neighborhood is awesome!) I used a buy-one-get-one-free coupon and abstained from my own cone. Metabolism at age 45 is not very forgiving. Then again, it might be all the jam and bacon. Nahh . . . it’s probably just the metabolism.

Now you. What frugal activities have you been up to lately?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany (NatureMom) May 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

Bacon in potato salad…why has this never occurred to me?! Sounds yum. 🙂

Do you have a recipe for your freezer jam?


Katy May 7, 2013 at 9:24 am

I use this recipe from The Frugal Girl:



Megg May 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

I’ve made her freezer jam! In fact I still have some from 2 years ago. Oops. I used strawberries that were good, but not so yummy to eat straight.

Why the heck doesn’t that lady eat off her kid’s plates?? Weird.


Jane in Seattle May 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

My sister in law makes red potato salad with some mayo and some olive oil, pickle, a little grated onion. She is the original fat police and wouldn’t have cheese, beef, or bacon in the house LOL , but I add bacon. We grew up with a very germ conscious mother.My sister commented the other day that she was surprised we didn’t get ammonia poisoning!


Vivian May 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

lol, I was complaining about my weight to my doctor years ago and he said that it was all the finishing off of my son’s meals that make it hard to get back to pre pregnancy weight. Yup I do finish his food and I’m not ashamed to admit it.


bella May 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

I just got a food dehydrator from Walmart, it was around $50. We have Aldi in our town and they are selling Strawberries $1lb, Cantaloupe 89c, Bananas 39c lb, Mango’s 39c each.. I have made a ton off strawberry leather, Strawberry and Mango leather. Strawberry chips. Currently making Cantaloupe chips and will do some more strawberry leather over night.. Ohh my goodness it is the best thing I have ever bought! I am also going to make some strawberry freezer jam as well! yum yum yum yum


Leslie K. May 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

Regarding #3 – Goodwill, perhaps, but EVERYTHING tastes better with bacon!


Trish May 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

My daughter’s Aunt (my ex’s sister) lives in Beaverton, and we correspond regularly. I was stationed in Tacoma for 4 years (USAF) and miss the Pacific NW a lot. My daughter went to college in Portland for 1 year, and loved it. We both hope to return and become residents, as I love the mindset of OR residents, all the recycle, reuse, etc that is already a part of my life. (I grew up in hand-me-downs from 2 older sisters.) I currently live in FL, near my 80’s parents, but once they don’t need me anymore, I am so outta here. BTW, are there any good church thrift shops there? The Goodwill here in town is much more expensive than yours, and I shop a lot at Hospice Thrift shops and church shops. I got a pair of Calvin Klein Jeans (black) for $1 and an Alfred Dunner embroidered sweatshirt for 75 cents. Gotta love thrifting!


Stephanie May 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

I routinely scrape together my leftovers lunch from my kids plates from dinner. I guess I’m uncouth. Whatev.


Christy May 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

I eat from my 2 year old daughter’s plate after she’s finished all the time. She was in my body for 9 months, I can eat her leftovers.


Katy May 7, 2013 at 10:34 am

I love that!

Great way of thinking!



Rubymay1029 May 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

My Middlest has finally embraced the GW. We ran in at the end of special mommy and me time Friday and she scored a sweater still with tags from Target that she had been watching all season. Original cost in store: $25. Cost at GW: $4.49. Life is good. She has also purchased two pairs of jeans in the last month to make high-waisted shorts for summer. They are crazy expensive at the mall.


Megyn May 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

For #4, I’m 100% with your friend! I don’t even let my kids touch my mouth! YUCK!

P.S. Sharing food is one of the easiest ways to get gastroenteritis. And since puking is the worst, I do what I gotta to avoid it.


Katy May 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

Luckily, we all survived. 🙂



PoppyEcho May 8, 2013 at 5:31 am

Katy, you’re awesome.


Karen May 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

I Freecycled some requested items over the weekend. Maybe this was more of an instance of the person asking being frugal, but what I gave was excess to me, and I also kept it out of the landfill.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary May 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

sharing food in our family is all part of the regular events of the day. no one in my household even blinks when forks come up to eat something off another’s plate. and somehow or other we very rarely get sick! the only time we were suddenly careful about this, especially with drinks, was for a few months while my son recouperated from mono, since some other family members hadn’t had it. even though the food and drink sharing took place for weeks while we didn’t know he had mono, no one else got it. obviously, germs can be passed along, but for the most part i think sharing germs is something our society has much more concern with than is necessary.


Vicky May 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

With 3 kids, 2 who are picky eaters, we would waste sooo much food if my husband and I didn’t take their leftovers to work. It’s not like they regurgitated them for goodness sakes!! I hate wasting food when people in the world are starving. Visiting a third world country 10 years ago really changed my thinking…


Lynn D. May 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

I read recently that parents who put their baby’s pacifier in their mouths signicantly reduce their child’s chances of getting food allergies, asthma and excema by passing on good microbes. A very successful treatment for severe gastric problems introduces healthy fecal matter into the patient. People need to get over it.


Maureen May 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

We gave a way a bicycle to a tween girl down the block who has a bicycle that is getting a little small for her. Our daughter out grew it and it’s been sitting in the garage for about 10 years. Less clutter!

Then we dug up some bleeding heart plants and I transplanted 1 and gave 2 to our neighbor who went and picked up and delivered some mulch for us.

And I have no problem eating off someone’s plate that is family. It’s the people who dumpster dive for food just to be frugal. That’s going over the deep end.


Taylor-Made Ranch May 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

So far this week: I ran out of laundry detergent and made another batch (super easy). I begged for a recipe from a friend for homemade cornbread and made it from scratch, marking the first time EVER my homemade cornbread could not substitute for sawdust. 😉 We made an appointment with our insurance agent to go over our renewal policy, which inched up a little more than we thought it should. That’s about it so far, but the week is young!

~Taylor-Made Ranch~
Wolfe City, Texas


Kate May 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm

We moved this weekend using a combination of boxes my husband got from work and those a friend saved from her move last year. Her boxes had been used by a woman who used them to first move across the country, then again when she moved back. As we empty them they’re going in the garage attic to await our friends’ move this summer. Moving involves a LOT of waste, but at least I can feel good about this part. 🙂


Karen May 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I thought exposure to bacteria, germs and viruses is what caused our bodies to produce antibodies, building a resistance to the diseases caused by the nasties. Isn’t that essentially how vaccines work?


Karen May 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Different Karen. I made a vertical file folder for my computer desk by cutting down an empty cereal box. I did reinforce it with some cut cardboard inside, for sturdiness.
Not a big deal, but still frugal.


Linda in Indiana May 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

For my sister’s birthday I crocheted two scarves, made Epsom salt bath salts, cleaned an empty parmesan cheese shaker to put them in and rubber stamped a cute label for it.
Made tortilla pizzas for lunch from leftover this and that in the frig.
Hubby is crafting with gourds for future gifts…cute!
Hubby made a barn quilt for our son’s birthday gift…nothing like a gift you make yourself.
Using up canned goods and freezer items we put up last summer/fall.
Planting garden in hopes of having more of the same this year.


marie May 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Ahh, loving the weather. I live farther north than portland, but the weather !!!
It’s weird though, usually it’s too wet to plant veggies now it’s too hot
Also been trying to find a recipes someone told me about for cinnamon rolls. You use a box of cake mix, 6 cups of flour, and that’s all I remember. Does anyone know this one?


Calico ginger May 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Kailey May 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I don’t know how frugal this is when it’s origins are very UNfrugal. We have a house guest who decided to make my partner and I dinner. I came home and our guest cooked ALL of our rice (I buy bulk and keep it in a jar). He said it didn’t look like a lot of rice so he decided to cook it all. There was probably at least 3 cups in there and there were only three of us and two of were gone for the weekend! After teasing him we had a great meal and just yesterday FINALLY finished off the rice.
I normally have a low tolerance for similar meals 5 times in a row but luckily he’s adventurous in the kitchen and all the meals were different that we didn’t even notice.
On a side note: I used to suck the pimentos out of olives, spit them into my hand and give them to my dad because I didn’t like them…until he saw how I was getting them out. That was too much for him hahaha.


Heather May 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I reserved the ham bone from our Easter dinner by freezing it in a freezer bag. This week crockpot beans and cornbread were on the menu and I added the bone to the beans. Voila!


Vivian May 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

This week is teacher appreciation week in B.C. Our PAC made a lunch for the teachers and support staff at the school. I helped with the set up and clean up and scored enough left overs for dinner to feed my family tonight and my husband and myself for lunch tomorrow. Taco salad never tasted so good! I also have to say the two ladies who did all the planning and prep before hand did not even spend all the money allotted to them. So cudos to my fellow PAC members.


AnnW May 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Are you telling me that nurse never picked up her kids’ pacifiers from the floor and licked them off? Also, chia seeds and fresh berries equals jam. Haven’t tried it yet. I love those teacher’s luncheons, you get so many different kinds of dishes.


Peggy May 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I spent the afternoon letting my MOB wedding shoes rub my toes while taking pics at Hobby Lobby and Kohls and sending them to the bride.
What makes shoes rub – too tight or movement in the shoe?


Kathleen May 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I found a nickel on my walk today. The last couple of days have been drying laundry outside. I rescued one of my husband’s shirts from the dry cleaning pile and washed it myself.


Kim Stewart May 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm

1) Found a brand new tablet case at the thrift for $2! I got my tablet at Christmas and hadn’t found a cover at a price I could live with. Pays to be patient.
2) Also I’ve been wanting to get a digital scale for my online business but have been procrastinating trying to find a good deal. Well last night my neighbor called to tell me he was getting a bigger scale and he was giving me his old one for FREE!
3) Several manager specials on produce at Aldis today- Vidalia onions 2lbs/.49, zucchini/.89, 4 ears corn/$1.19, Roma tomatoes 4/.49. Love cheap produce!
4) Found 6 ink cartridges at church sale for 75 cents. I’ll take them to Staples for recycle and get $12 in Rewards.
5) Free salad greens from my neighbor’s garden!


Katy May 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Great X 5!



Sadye May 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

You get the all-clear on eating family members’ leftovers from me. I figure we’ve got the same germs. The only caveat is, if it’s a grown-up’s food, you better get his/her permission first. (With the kids — you paid for it, probably, so dig in!)


Shelly May 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

We too live in Portland and I am missing the rain. This week I grabbed 5 loaves of free bread from church. It’s hard to beat free food. I bought 4-lb of strawberries at Everyday Deals for $.50 a pound and they will go into the dehydrator tomorrow. We love strawberry chips. I just started hardening off my vegetable plants that I started from the seeds I saved from last year. My rhubarb is begging to be picked so I will be making some rhubarb jam and rhubarb quick bread. I also found a recipe for rhubarb salad dressing that looks good too.


Rachel Gillespie May 8, 2013 at 2:50 am

My husband is away so my daughter is using my car. (She doesn’t have one.) Our local train isn’t going at the moment so she drives a little further to park and catch a tram into the city for university. Twice this week she has offered to drive the carpool for my younger child and the two other children we take because she would be going in that direction. That saved the environment, lowered the gas bill on my husband’s car and gave me the gift of time. The day that really warmed my heart was the one where she even got up thirty minutes earlier to take them. What a sweetheart and what a frugalista in the making.


Diane May 8, 2013 at 4:17 am

Picking up freebies today…an 8 oz paint sample from Lowe’s and a container of chicken salad from Zoe’s Kitchen plus my usual stash of library books. And the fresh produce sale items at Sprouts. Also making bagels to go with some cream cheese in the fridge. Makes for a deliciously free and fabulous day!


Sarah May 8, 2013 at 6:56 am

1) Made yogurt from milk that was about to reach its expiration date

2) Made taco salads for dinner using leftover corn chips and salsa my parents brought over last Friday… among other ingredients, of course, which we already had.

3) Have been dressing my eleven-month-old daughter in the cute summer clothes I found for her at Goodwill.

4) I need a new tea kettle and I’ve decided to get a used one… the closeout store which I frequent had none.

5) Made cream cheese from the abundance of yogurt I was accumulating (using cheesecloth that was given to me).

6) Planning to use the leftover whey to make corn relish and tomato salsa… we have everything already, except the tomatoes; the corn is still frozen from two falls ago… possibly freezer burnt now, but oh well.

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who cleans off my daughter’s pacifier by sticking it in my mouth for a few seconds… probably why she seems to have a great immune system! Also, we all eat after each other (hubby, daughter, myself) and we rarely get sick… I think we need some germs in order to maintain a decent immune system! The germophobia in our society is getting ridiculous… and the germs are only getting worse because of it!


cathy May 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

I made chicken noodle soup for dinner last night (inspired by sick child) using ingredients I had on hand, including a frozen on-sale chicken. Vegetarian child ate only the pasta.

Packed a lunch for healthy kid in his lunchbox, with stainless water bottle, real utensils and cloth napkin. Quandary: The water-resistant liner of the cloth sandwich bags I purchased has started to smell rancid–even after a good washing. Does anyone have a method for eliminating the smell? What about another frugal, eco-friendly method for packing sandwiches? (I’d prefer to avoid glass.)

Made “creamy rice” for breakfast out of leftover rice. Added nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate. Yummy.

Getting ready to start planting veg garden. I’m experimenting with growing edibles instead of ornamentals in my large containers. I LOVE the idea of edible landscaping. I’m also going to try germinating some older seeds instead of tossing them out. Ya never know!

Hubby’s handy so he did a plumbing repair that would have cost a lot to hire out.


Michelle H. May 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

No problem here with eating my kids leftovers! For some reason the same kids that will eat everything in sight at home will just pick at their food in a restaurant. Good thing we don’t go out much.

Brought home the used coffee grounds from work for my garden.

Recently found out a coworker is a fellow Fiestaware junkie! I am downsizing my collection to just the stuff I use everyday and brought her 2 boxes of dishes this week.

Knew we were going to be gone all day Saturday, and threw a roast in the crockpot to cook while we were gone, using up the last few potatoes, a few carrots about to go soft, and half an onion.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: