Five Frugal Things – Mildly Profitable Errands

by Katy on October 31, 2018 · 82 comments

Today’s Five Frugal Things blog post is an overview of the errands I ran in my neighborhood this afternoon. They all have the same theme, which was to:

A) Get stuff out of the house.
B) Earn a bit of money/avoid losing money through library fines.

  1. I brought a book and DVD set to the library as the DVD was due. I also went up to the customer service desk and had the librarian explain their cultural passes, which turn out to be called My Discovery Pass, and allow patrons to “Visit local museums and cultural institutions for free.” Unfortunately, almost all the passes have been given out for the rest of 2018. However, there were still free movie passes to the historic Hollywood Theater, so I’ll take a look at my schedule so my husband and I can enjoy an evening of free entertainment.

    And you already know that I’ll be hitting the library website on January 1st to see what’s available for 2019!

    This frugal hack may seem specific to Portland, Oregon, but my research tells me that many library systems have similar programs. Please visit your local library (or library website) to discover what free stuff is available to you!

  2. I brought two books into Powell’s Bookstore that I’d received for free from a local bookstore reading. (They weren’t exactly “free,” as I did pay $10 for the event, which was a reading/talk from Cheryl Strayed.) I received $6 in store credit, which’ll come in handy towards holiday gifts. I did read one of the books, (an excellent collection of travel essays) but know myself well enough to admit the other one was destined to gather dust.

  3. I then walked over to the CD Game Exchange store and sold two unopened blu ray movies that had been gifts. They gave me $12 in store credit, which I’ll also use towards holiday gifts.

  4. My last errand was to return an adorable vintage kitchen timer to the Boutique Goodwill, as it had been a unapologetic impulse purchase. (Seriously, wasn’t it the cutest?!) Because even though it looked freaking adorable in my vintage kitchen, it was still destined to become yet another piece of clutter in my home. Luckily, Goodwill has an excellent return policy, and I’m now in possession of a $10 store credit to use at any Portland area Goodwill retail store.

  5. I didn’t buy (or sell) 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.”

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

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

WilliamB October 31, 2018 at 6:08 am

Public libraries in Vermont have similar passes. Other libraries have tools and equipment: my roommate just rented a thermal camera, so he can do a thermal efficiency before-and-after our window replacement project.

Reply

Mary in VA November 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

There’s a library where I live that loans out gardening equipment in the summer.

Reply

Christine November 1, 2018 at 1:39 pm

My town’s library has passes for various museums and attractions in our state, including day passes to state parks. We use them fairly frequently, especially to a nearby city’s art museum, which is world renowned. Their exhibits change frequently so it’s a valuable pass for us.

Reply

anna October 31, 2018 at 6:20 am

I am amazed that your goodwill has a return policy that is so generous. The return policy in my area, Western Connecticut, only applies to nonworking electronics and with in two days of purchase.

I am well versed in the free things our library offers, we’ve used their free passes many times. I always feel a little extra thrill when I partake of their services, like it’s something that is too good to be true.

Reply

Roberta October 31, 2018 at 6:42 am

anna, our Goodwill has a similar crummy return policy — 24 hours, electronics only.
1. Combined errands at the DMV. I got a replacement drivers license, and my son passed his driving test! (I know its not frugal, but it will allow me to substitute teach while he drives himslef to the community college.)
2. Made dinner at home, instead of taking him out to celebrate. He called the family to announce his news.
3. I have an appointment today to drop off my sub application with the district. I’ll be dressing like an adult in clothes from Goodwill (rather than wearing my usual jeans and t-shirt combo.)
4. I’m making pumpkin pie for Halloween tonight, and I need to bake the pumpkin first. So I’ll be making banana bread at the same time, to take advantage of the oven being on.
5. My son dropped off his first scholarship contest entry yesterday, at the VFW. Here’s hoping his scholarship account starts to grow!

Reply

janine October 31, 2018 at 9:28 am

It was a banner day when my son got his license for both of us! It freed me up and enabled him to find a job outside of our limited bus routes. Good luck on your teaching job.

Reply

Bee October 31, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Congratulations to both you and your son. Major milestones!

Reply

MommaL October 31, 2018 at 8:24 am

Our Goodwill has no returns, all electronics say “as is” written on the cord.
Here’s mine:
1. Voted early. I read somewhere that if you vote, the mailings stop because there is a list populated daily of who still hasn’t voted, so hopefully this will reduce waste from the junkmail sent by local politicians.
2. Got some cute pink jewelry to wear to a Get Pinked charity. I have nothing pink to wear, so this was a comprimise. Found a pink tie at GW for DH.
3. Spreading the word: someone at work said she read about a woman who shops from her own home for what she needs, I told her about NCA, and she wrote it down, excited to read it. New concepts for her, but she is excited.
4. Shopped from my own closet for what we needed to wear for each special day this week at work (Homecoming/Red Ribbon week) instead of going out to buy something.
5. Got a 50 dollar Amazon gift card for filling out a survey at work. Used part of it for some supplies I already planned to purchase somewhere. Saving the rest for needs, not wants.

Reply

Kristen | The Frugal Girl October 31, 2018 at 8:35 am

That is SUCH A CUTE TIMER! You couldn’t sell it?

Reply

Katy October 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm

I doubt the profit margin would have made it worth my while.

Reply

Joanie October 31, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Wish I could see the cute timer. Don’t see a link and don’t see it on instagram

Reply

Katy October 31, 2018 at 2:20 pm

It’s at the top of the blog post.

Reply

Joanie October 31, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Second attempt…now I see the timer and feel like an idiot. I was expecting something really cute…like a jolly chef.

Reply

Mary in VA November 1, 2018 at 8:07 am

A jolly chef timer would definitely have been a keeper, clutter or not. 🙂

Alison R November 1, 2018 at 5:42 am

I thought the timer was cute too, but I’m with ya on the clutter reduction!

Reply

Jennifer October 31, 2018 at 8:41 am

I love the kitchen timer and would have kept it. I, admittedly, do have a bit of a clutter problem lately.

Reply

Nancy from Mass October 31, 2018 at 9:41 am

Was that the Sunshine Tour you went on? I’m going to that on Saturday night. (i received free tickets from work).

Reply

cathy October 31, 2018 at 9:55 am

1. Reading library books (New Minimalism by Kyle Quilici & Cary Fortin; The Year of Less by Cait Flanders; Simple Matters by Erin Boyle–highly recommend all three for great inspiration on decluttering and sustainable living). These have helped me stayed motivated to:
2. Take a fresh look at all the stuff in my house and either sell or donate things I never considered before. I LOVE our Buy Nothing group and NextDoor. In the past couple weeks, we’ve given away a convertible crib/toddler bed/day bed, series of National Forest Service flora & fauna posters, a kid’s bedspread, a box of misc costume parts, and a vintage decanter. I used NextDoor to sell a “gift set” of two Beatles CDs and a Beatles-themed notebook. I’ve also got 3 more bags to donate to the thrift store.
3. Finally made it a priority to hang as much of our art as possible (as opposed to having it lean in a pile against the wall). Much of it is on a new salon-style wall in the LR (I’ve wanted to do this for 2 years). The rest is in the Room of Requirement, which is now a clean office/guest room. I also pulled a rocking chair, plant & ceramic pot, lamp, books and misc decor items from other parts of the house. The only thing I needed to purchase was a blanket. This room gets the best morning light in the house and I find myself hanging out here to enjoy it.
4. Son was due for a Well Child Check-up. Doctor decided he needed to run labs. Since we had them done as part of the check-up, there was zero co-pay for either the office visit or the labs. Follow-up appointment for a couple of vaccinations also no co-pay.
5. I earned a reward at Starbucks for either a free beverage or food item. It just happened that the day I went to redeem it, that location was running a special–buy a panini and get your drink free. So I redeemed the reward for the panini and then also got a free latte. An unexpected treat.

Reply

tracy October 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Good for you on #3– I have been in my house for three years and keep meaning to get around to hanging my art…

Reply

cathy November 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Well, I’m stuck now! I’ve put up all but 2 pieces. One needs a frame, and both are too small ffor the next available spot. I think I need 5 pieces to fill in the installation so I’ll have to keep my eyes open for art I like/can afford. At least I’m enjoying what I have now!

Reply

Bethany M October 31, 2018 at 11:13 am

Went to a free bariatric seminar yesterday as the first step with my new surgeon. Was impressed that he gave us 2 hours of his time and didn’t just pawn the job off on a tech or nurse. Answered some important questions I had, it almost felt like a free consultation.

Free weight loss class tonight ordered by the previous surgeon.

Leftovers for lunch.

Not handing out candy tonight, because none of us will be home to acquiesce to the trick-or-treat ultimatums. 🙂 Saves us $10.

The kids can enjoy their trick-or-treat haul to an extent, but we’ll also donate some to our piano teacher, who likes to hand out candy at the end of each lesson. Free gift to give.

Reply

K D October 31, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Five Frugal Things – Mildly Profitable Errands

1. I returned a couple unneeded items to the local discount store.

2. I bought a gift card for a big box hardware store at the closest grocery store. That enabled me to receive $30 worth of groceries free.

3. I walked to a yoga class this morning. Both the walk and the yoga are good for my health, which should help save money in the long run.

4. All Halloween candy was purchased at a big discount. I’ll give extra candy to a friend that will pass it along to a program at the local mental health hospital.

5. I returned a couple items my husband purchased at an office supply store that my husband decided he didn’t need.

Reply

Rose October 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I would have bought that timer on eBay.

Reply

A. Marie October 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm

FFT, Getting a Grip on Things Edition:

(1) Took last Thursday through yesterday (this Tuesday) off from my work to attend to necessary business, much of it connected with life planning related to DH’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Had already met with our financial planner last Tuesday, and the FP offered to sit in (free of charge) on our first meeting with our new lawyer yesterday. (New lawyer is a young guy who bought the practice of our old lawyer last year when she got elected to a judgeship. FP wanted to meet NL anyway, and mutual approval was expressed.) Long story short, our finances are in pretty good shape, thanks to lifelong frugality in general and our purchase 10 years ago of long-term care policies in particular. I am hugely relieved, and this has translated into happier faces all around today. (I think even Betty the cat is relieved.)

(2) Frugal fail/win: I also took some time Friday (while DH was in one of his two 4-hour memory care programs) to go to a local specialty bra shop and have a fitting. Although the jury is still out on the bra I bought at their full retail price (= not cheap), I at least have a much better sense of how my bras should fit me now, and can purchase some less expensive over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders on that basis.

(3) This past weekend was a hot one for rummage sales, and DH and I hit two of my favorites (one at a Unitarian Universalist congregation on Saturday, and one at a synagogue on Sunday). Spent a total of $47.50 at the two, mainly on consumables I know we will use (candles, body lotion, foil baking pans, etc.). But sad commentary on our times was that a county sheriff’s deputy was on hand at the synagogue sale, in the wake of the horrendous shootings in Pittsburgh. I can’t even.

(4) Made a thick lentil/veg soup Monday with many ingredients we already had on hand (ranging from homegrown carrots, garlic, and herbs to frozen chicken stock), and shared it with the Bestest Neighbors. (Some of Ms. BN’s homemade hot mustard was another ingredient.)

(5) We’re prepped and ready for trick-or-treaters, but we may not get many, since a cold drizzle is falling. Am already planning to donate excess candy to the local Rescue Mission.

Reply

A. Marie October 31, 2018 at 2:10 pm

P.S. to preceding: Thanks to all who expressed sympathy/solidarity on my most recent comment (two FFTs ago). Knowing that my NCA friends have my back is another great help.

Reply

Nancy from mass November 1, 2018 at 3:53 am

A. Marie, I had gone for a bra fitting and found the perfect bra for me. I bought one, also at a higher price, but then did a search and found the same bras on Amazon two for the price I paid for the one. If you like how this bra fits, do a search and see if Amazon has the same bras. Or Walmart or anyone else

Reply

Jennifer November 1, 2018 at 7:37 am

Great tip

Reply

Bee October 31, 2018 at 2:06 pm

I love Cheryl Strayed! My son who hiked the Appalachian Trail last year will set out on the Pacific Crest Trail in April of 2019. I have given him my copy of her book, Wild.
Here are my FFT — the errand edition
1) I had an orthodontist appointment today, so I grouped my errands doing several near the doctor’s office. This saved both gas and time.
2) I returned several things to the Home Depot that we did not need for a recently completed project. I received money back and did not add to the existing clutter in garage.
3) I stop into Trader Joes and bought a few things there. I stuck to my list and spent a little under $20. These items would be twice that cost at the nearest grocery store.
4) I picked up 3 items at the dry cleaners including a wool pea coat that I just purchased at the Goodwill for $3. Dry cleaning is so expensive, but I used a $15 coupon from a booklet gifted to me by my son who received it as a reward for being a NFL season ticket holders.
5) I had to buy a new phone 🙁 This was not frugal, but sadly necessary. While I was at the phone store, however, I had them review our plan and saved a few dollars. I have put my kiddos — all adults–on notice. By the first of the year, they need to pay for their phones and service in their entirety or find a carrier that suits their needs. The family plan is going away. The time has come.

Reply

Nancy from Mass November 2, 2018 at 3:14 am

Bee, He’s Hiking the PCT!!??!! I can’t wait to hear updates on his hike.

I read Wild when it first came out and I’m am going to hear her speak on Saturday night.

Reply

Bee November 2, 2018 at 3:30 am

I am so jealous that you get to see Cheryl Strayed speak. Yes, my son is going to hike the PCT. He is planning the trip now. I wish that I could do this with him, but I would slow him down.

Reply

Nancy from Mass November 5, 2018 at 5:09 am

Hi Bee, I ended up not being able to go see her speak. 🙁 DH last uncle was moved to Hospice in Maine and we headed up there to see him instead. I would have loved to have seen her.

Reply

Cindy in the South November 3, 2018 at 10:38 am

Love Cheryl Strayed! I think it is fabulous your son will hike the PCT!!!

Reply

tracy October 31, 2018 at 5:25 pm

1. Bought a ridiculous amount of Halloween candy as we had tons of trick or treaters — two giant bags. Not frugal, the only frugal bit is that I am hoping one giant bag will suffice and I can return the other (saved the receipt).
2. Doing my usual — bringing breakfast and lunch to work, reading library books, wearing thrifted clothes to work.
3. Am determined to have a lower key Christmas with less buying. My “kids” (who are 14, 22, 24, 27 and 28) are fine with it. In part this is because I am having surgery in a couple weeks and need to not overdo and in part it is just to avoid the excess…
4. Am having a birthday dinner for my daughter and mom this Saturday night, will keep it inexpensive using items on hand.
5. Am happy to have a health savings account that is fully funded and will hopefully cover my out of pocket costs for surgery.

Reply

Sarah October 31, 2018 at 5:41 pm

I live in Ontario, Canada and our libraries have passes to great attractions that would usually cost a lot of money like an aquarium and 20 museums!. We attended them all. I just moved this year and while I’ve been at my library many times, I forgot to ask about any local attractions. Thanks for the reminder.

I am always impressed by your frugal mind. You either have it or you don’t and you do.

Reply

Stephanie November 1, 2018 at 4:16 am

Cute timer, but I agree with your decision to return. Who needs more clutter?

1. I cleaned out my daughter’s room. SO. MUCH. STUFF. to haul to the thrift store, which I’ll do when my husband empties out the trunk of the stuff he packed in there to take camping…in August. *grump*

2. I picked up last week’s free Friday download from Mariano’s, which was a bottle of ketchup, something I can always use!

3. I cooked (even on busy days/nights) and ate the leftovers.

4. I’ve been doing yoga videos on YouTube. No fees for a class, no using gas to get there, no one to laugh at my ridiculous lack of balance when I topple over, it’s a win all around!

5. I watched a free documentary at our local community college. It was fascinating, and there was a great discussion afterwards. I’m going to be keeping my eye out for more of these.

Reply

Crosby November 1, 2018 at 5:47 am

1. We reused our Halloween costumes from last year (and I love mine so much that I’ll probably use it every year for the next 60 years).
2. We live in an apartment with no outdoor area for a clothesline so I’ve always used drying racks for my clothes, but our towles have always been dried in our dryer. My partner can’t stand the feel of air dried towels but I realized yesterday that didn’t mean I had to dry our rags in the dryer. So I did a load and hung those up yesterday. I’m really trying to cut back on our dryer usage.
3. Our landlord was handing out candy to kids last night and pizza to the adults so yay for free dinner
4. We currently pay $90/year for a composting service (apartment living!) that picks up our bucket every two weeks. I told my landlord about it and connected him with the company. They’re going to start the service for the whole building, and my landlord won’t be charging the tenants so I’ll be able to not renew my service next year!
5. We’re going to a free seminar tonight hosted by our financial planner to learn more about owning your own business. My partner has started his own personal training and photography businesses in the past year and we have questions about taxes and LLCs and some other things. So we’re going to the seminar tonight to get some of the basic questions answered.

Reply

priskill November 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

#4 — wow you effected a big change, both financially and for the planet (if i read this correctly) — go you!

Reply

Jenny November 1, 2018 at 6:12 am

You don’t need to dry your towels the full time to get the softening of the dryer. With most of my clothes and towels, I air/hang dry them, and then throw them in the dryer for about 10 minutes to get them soft again. I’m lazier than you though. I’m not a fan of hanging smaller laundry, so all rags, socks, etc, get a full trip though the dryer, but with only several small things in a load, it doens’t take nearly as long as a full one would.

Reply

Crosby November 1, 2018 at 7:14 am

Ooo thank you for the tip, Jenny! I love this group

Reply

rebeca November 1, 2018 at 7:03 am

1. made a pasta bake with all ingredients on hand
2. invited to brunch last Sunday and made a delicious apple sour cream coffee cake with all ingredients on hand and got the recipe from the food
network
3. making coffee at home with my coffee maker. I am so glad I gave up my keurig
4. starting to stock up on baking ingredients on sale
5. my sister gave me 2 coats she is tired of. She has great taste and more $ to spend on clothes. love them and her.

Reply

Katy November 1, 2018 at 7:37 am

1.We made both our kids’ Halloween costumes, a bee and a robot, the robot wasn’t super cheap, but almost everything will get re-used.
Bee:
Yellow shirt (will get reused) with black ducktape, wings and tutu from Goodwill, headband (will get reused) with pipecleaner antennae.
Robot:
Trash can with hole for mouth/eyes, and arms, spray painted silver, 2 lights for eyes, small colored lights for buttons, we poked holes in the trash can in a grid shape and taped the lights to the inside of the holes. Dryer vent for arms.
2. While trick-or-treating I found 2 dimes.
3. We went to a great Goodwill and got:
Old Navy tunic for me
Grey long sleeve polo for my son
Grey sweater for my daughter
Checkered dress shirt for my husband
Button up shirt for my husband
2 trick-or-treat buckets
Old radio my husband wants to fix up and resell
Batterie charger or some kind of electronic, not sure what it was lol
Total: $50
4. Went to Ihop with a giftcard, paid for 2 adult entrees and got 2 kid entrees free. Still have about $5 left on the card.
5. Up to 810 swagbucks, $1.60 Ibotta, and $6.88 at the consignment store. Every little bit helps.

Reply

Ava November 1, 2018 at 7:44 am

1. My bonus son (son’s high school friend who lived with us for years) came over twice to help with weed pulling, tearing down garden boxes, hauling and shoveling, filling in dog- dug holes. He works for a nominal fee and lunch. It was a good deal for both of us.
2. Found an insurance plan for next year that is cheaper than what we have been paying through Cobra.
3. Twice have done maintenance on our robot vac by checking fixes on line. He is up and running again. His services were badly needed.
4. After ordering an extra fridge for our porch from a big box store, and getting the wrong one delivered TWICE, we bought a bargain used fridge. After getting it though, we found that it needed a new seal. Ordered a seal through an appliance parts supply that a friend recommended. He said it was the cheapest place. He will put the seal on for us when it comes.

Reply

Mand01 November 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

My parents also had a bonus son for quite a while- I ended up marrying him 🙂

Reply

Ava November 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm

That’s a good story. My daughter had no interest in that, as he was her younger brother’s age. She referred to him like her brother as Monkeyboy.

Reply

Mand01 November 1, 2018 at 8:36 am

1. Really wanted to go out for dinner tonight as I have multiple deadlines and I was buggered. But we made a healthy stir fry instead. And it was delicious.
2. Put out the word on a Facebook group I’m in re fancy schmancy dresses and now have several leads.
3. Worked from home yesterday, saving petrol – and time, and even more precious commodity at the moment.
4. Working, working, working. Every time I feel the temptation to complain or quit, I remind myself of the money. That really helps!
5. Wrote a letter to my local member regarding an issue with disability services funding that no-one can seem to resolve. They might not be able to help either but at least they have been made aware. I might send another letter to some more representatives. I found it quite easy and liberating.

Reply

Mary in Maryland November 1, 2018 at 8:51 am

1. Big honking win—our Prius keys had both lost enough structural integrity that the internal motherboard was visible. Buying a new key and having it programmed costs $240 per key. The mister asked me to figure out a way to keep the keys usable. Duct tape not an option because we need to slide the key into a slot to start the car.
I had hoped to repair the defect using glue, and thought silicone most likely to work. After buying some, I looked at the internet, since someone else has always had my problem and made a YouTube video of the solution. It turns out that rather than buying new keys, for 12.88 you can buy a replacement fob (the plastic case) and very carefully take apart the old one and transfer motherboard, battery and ID chip to the new fob. The first surgery took half an hour. The second took five minutes. Both transplants perform all their former functions.

2. Instead of having the replacement emergency metal keys cut, I cleaned the old ones and slid them into the new cases.

3. I returned the unopened silicone glue and got my money back.

4. I used the tiny screwdrivers, etc. from my sewing stuff to do the transplant.

5. The mister spent the morning replacing one of the rear lights on the afore-mentioned Prius. He also made use of my tiny tools. The first transplant wouldn’t have taken that long, but I kept being called to the driveway to step on the brakes, use the right turn signal, and put the car in reverse so he could evaluate his work.

Reply

Jennifer November 2, 2018 at 3:06 am

Wow on the key fix! I would have never thought that was something you could do at home!

Reply

janine November 2, 2018 at 8:32 am

This is truly impressive! DIY smarts for sure! Resent how much those things cost – have priced them out when they inevitably stop working.

Reply

Tonya November 3, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Our Prius doesn’t need to have the key in the slot to start.

Reply

LB November 1, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Love that timer! I almost always use my phone to track though, so i feel your pain on adding clutter.

1. Opened a marcus savings account–2% APR which means that the tuition reimbursement check I got from my company can sit and accrue a bit. There is a chance I will leave the company before the year required to not have to pay back the reimbursement, so I’m glad that cash will have a job in the meantime.

2. Using things about to spoil in the fridge to curate lunches and have had some great success!

3. Started accumulating magazines to create fun collage christmas cards. Love having something different to do with my brain and a great result.

And that’s about it…this week is decidedly un-frugal but hopefully will turn a corner soon! Lots of shopping and deadlines for payments, but hopefully all investments in the future.

Reply

Christine November 1, 2018 at 3:15 pm

1. Our library has a display in one bookcase featuring the books in their collection which were featured on the Great American Read, a PBS series. It was a good reminder to me to borrow a couple of them that I had always meant to read. Looking forward to reading A Confederacy of Dunces and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
2. I’m keeping ahead of library fines by returning books on time and renewing online.
3. DH and I received our free flu shots. When I received the insurance company statement, I saw we had each saved almost $100.
4. I’ve been volunteering at the set up for our church’s Harvest Fair. Bonuses include first dibs on the second hand items and leftover cake from a special event last Sunday! I scored a $1 gift for my friend’s birthday, stationary in a beautiful box, never opened.
5. Working at the elections next week, one of this retiree’s side gigs.

Reply

Mand01 November 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Although I wouldn’t claim it is representative of all autistic people, as a parent of two autistic young people, I found The Curious Incident to be an extremely accurate representation of my eldest child’s way of thinking in many ways. I loved that book, even though I found it very difficult. Another fictional story, the movie Snowcake, starring Sigourney Weaver and the late Alan Rickman, is probably the best screen representation of a female autistic I have ever seen. It was like watching my eldest daughter 20 years into the future. I sobbed my eyes out.

Reply

Christine November 2, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for your insights. It must not have been an easy read for you. I will look for Snowcake. I had never heard of it. I love Sigourney Weaver and find she does a marvelous portrayal of the characters she takes on. Any source that opens my eyes more to things I’m not familiar with is worth reading/viewing. Thank you and good thoughts coming your way from me.

Reply

Mary in VA November 5, 2018 at 7:22 am

I love Sigourney Weaver, too. And it always makes me sad to have to say “the late Alan Rickman.” He was wonderful in the Harry Potter movies, among other things. I saw an interview with Christine Baranski a few years ago where she was asked who would be her dream guest star on her show “The Good Wife.” She said Alan Rickman and I remember thinking, “Yes!!” Unfortunately, he died not long after that.

Reply

Lindsey November 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm

I was lucky enough to see Alan Rickman live, front row seats, in a play in London. It was all I could do to control myself. The voice…

Nancy from Mass November 2, 2018 at 3:45 am

1. Found a dime and penny yesterday while out and about!
2. finished another large quilt with fabric i had on hand. that’s the 3rd one since summer. now i am going to make 11 XL twin quilts with fabric i inherited from my mom and the rest of the fabric i have. (I have 11 grand nieces and nephews so i am making ‘dorm’ quilts for each of them ‘from memere’ so they have a memory from her).
3. regrowing scallions from the bottoms of ones i cut up. i do this often.
4. after 9 months of Invisalign, I had one stubborn tooth that is still crooked so I had to have wired braces put on 8 teeth this week. (included in the plan). I pulled out my waterpik, charged it up and it still works well. (I cleaned it too). I even had a new ‘pik’ thing to use. Flossing is going to be the hardest thing about this. I won’t need them long.
5. bought a large, fresh whole turkey breast yesterday at a smaller NE grocery chain. 12 pounds and paid….$2.73. it had a $10 coupon on it and I had a $3 coupon on any turkey. The sell by date was for next Monday. It’s now in my deep freeze. I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and I will make that, plus another full turkey to serve the 20 or so people coming to the house.
Not frugal but these 3 things made me laugh this week (don’t you burn calories by laughing?). 1. my DH received a letter – just to him – from a guy that wants to buy our house. He started the letter with “hey”. “Hey”? is that really how you start a letter to someone hoping they’ll sell you their house? 2. Every now and then I get a call from my phone number at a job I worked at about 10 years ago. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, I’m calling myself from the past to tell me something. I wonder what it is. 3. And today, I got an email from my husband. he was supposedly sending me a link from a charity golf tournament he used to score at. Pretty sure it wasn’t him.

Reply

Linda November 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm

We keep getting cards in the mail and email from a realtor in the town that my deceased in-laws used to live. They claim that they are the most knowledgeable agents in the local area and can get the best price for my in-laws house. If they were actually knowledgeable, they would know that the house exploded and burned to the ground with my sleeping brother-in-law inside and stop sending the stuff,

Reply

Nancy from mass November 2, 2018 at 5:31 pm

The weird thing is, we never got those letters until after my husband passed away. When I changed the house to just my name, my husband started getting letters asking to sell our house. One of them was actually to sell my in-laws house, which they are still living in, in another state. My favorite though was the handwritten letter that look like a fourth grade writing assignment.

Reply

Nancy from mass November 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm

And I’m sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. How tragic.

Reply

Christine November 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Great score on the turkey! Nice to get one for that low a price especially when you are hosting 20 people for Thanksgiving.

Reply

Susie's Daughter November 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Nancy – I found a dime recently and thought of you and your DH…

Reply

Danielle November 2, 2018 at 7:53 am

1. Said no to a whiny teen that wanted a Jamba Juice smoothie, and meant it. I offered her and her brother a gift card for free mini treats from PinkBerry, compliments of their dentist.

2. Washed and dried my car myself.

3. Made a lunch dish from leftover vegan cheese stuffed peppers sent home by a friend after a party. They wouldn’t be reheated well as they were, so they were recreated into a dip.

4. Planned simple but filling meals (pasta, burritos) for the days I had extra kids this week.

5. Free flu shot for myself and my son by stopping into a shot clinic in the middle of our errands.

Reply

Marybeth November 3, 2018 at 6:06 am

I love my library. They have passes and we use them all the time. I’m already paying for it in my taxes so might as well get as much use out of them as possible. I wrote an article a while ago about all the library has to offer. https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/04/why-i-love-library.html

Reply

Christine November 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm

I’m with you on getting the most of my tax dollars from everything my town, state and country has to offer. I frequent my library too and am looking forward to reading your article. Thank you.

Reply

priskill November 3, 2018 at 8:12 am

An up and down week but it did include some errands:

1. Used ECBs and 2fers to keep Halloween cheap at school. Spent only 2 dollars and change at CVS to cover all candy and will be reimbursed for 14.00 spent on materials at dollar store.

2. Did a whirlwind shopping to replenish emptied ‘frig and pantry . Spent $60 dollars to get 2 rewards points for free food or gas. 6 rewards points to use by end of the month.

3. Continued to eat a bunch of stuff from pantry and made a yummy chicken and dumpling dish from stuff on hand. Recipe from my free Cooking Light subscription.

4. Found a dime and a penny on Sunday walk with friend.

5. Volunteered to phone bank for a great candidate several nights. Okay, not frugal, but a good use of time 😉

Fails 🙁

1. Chipotle one of those nights –did take 1/2 to lunch the next day at least.

Reply

Teresa November 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

1) Found a bunch of pennies in the parking lot at Target and picked them up.
2) Fixing my old laptop to give to my brother (no point having it sit around unused.)
3) Using my “birthday coupons” for misc. lunches and treats
4) Planning Thanksgiving dinner — probably less elaborate than in years past because my mom is really old and only a few of us will be here, so I’ll make fewer dishes, too. Things are not as joyful here as they once were, which is quite a bummer.
5) Just turned 62 and am assessing major purchase needs. Some things that really help me out in life are starting to break (like the dishdrawer-dishwasher.) In the next year I am thinking about buying: a new couch and a car (both are 21 years old), a new refrigerator, major electrical repair, refurbing the shower (a necessity) and maybe refurb kitchen cabinets (a want.) These will hopefully be my last large item purchases, and I hope they last 20 years. If I live past 80, then I don’t know what will happen. I realize that #5 is all about spending but it’s on my mind. I’ll assess, reassess and shop carefully. Writing it out helps.

Reply

Christine November 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm

I know what you mean about the holidays. My parents are both gone and my kids and step kids are all grown up and are on their own. Holidays don’t seem to have the same “Ooomph!” On the upside, when my Mom passed away my husband said “That’s it! No more cooking big holiday meals for you!” I agreed except Christmas Eve. I’m Swedish and it’s always been a big deal. Now we go where we’re invited for holiday meals. If we don’t get invite, we stay home and watch movies. And I like it.

Reply

Teresa November 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm

My ex-mom-in-law came from Swedes… she introduced me to that whipped-cream rice dessert with almonds in it and berry sauce over the top. You just reminded me of that! YUM! Your new way of holiday sounds good too. These changes take some getting used to. Have fun!

Reply

ouvickie November 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm

#4 – I really miss my parents and the big gatherings, but I will admit, I don’t miss all the prep and cooking. Not anymore. I’m 60 and it’s exhausting. We usually have holiday meals at my daughter’s house now, but I do cook the turkey, slice it up and take it over. That way she only has to cook the sides.

BTW – You deserve some new things. Mine are always well used by the time they need to be replaced. I buy new appliances, because I don’t want to deal with repairs.

Reply

Teresa November 6, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Thanks, I will definitely buy appliances new for the same reason you do. Cars were always purchased new in the past (kept this one for 21 years!) but the next one will probably be used. Have a good holiday with your family. 🙂

Reply

Jennifer November 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

I wish I lived in a walkable area but we are 2 miles from town with no sidewalks….

1) I really wanted to go out to eat this week when it was just 2 of the 6 of us home for dinner. I talked myself out of it throughout the day and made chocolate chip pancakes for us instead (a treat and my ds’s favorite).
2) Actually cooked all meals from scratch this week – even though I didn’t want to. For the past month or so I am so tired of always having to feed people LOL.
3) Paid a bill online to save a stamp, sold an unused, unopened bottle of essential oils on Ebay, listed some things on our local garage sale page and a leotard on Ebay.
4) New gymnastics leotards run $50-$60 a piece. I found a name brand, Olympian sponsored worn one time for a picture (seriously, who does that) leotard for $25 on a resale page. This will be a Christmas present.
5) a Girls in Politics program I paid $165 for and was supposed to take my dd to in another town today was canceled. I don’t have to kill 9 hours out of town AND I get my money back. yay! I had been questioning why I signed her up for it anyway so this works out nicely.

Reply

ouvickie November 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm

#2 – Me too! I get tired of being the only one expected to cook or figure out what to prepare for meals. Thank you – I needed to vent that!! LOL! 😉

Reply

Susie's Daughter November 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I have been in the frugal doldrums of late. Time to rev it up again. Thanks to Katy for inspiring and to all for sharing their experiences.

1) Gratefully received a giant garbage bag full of hand me downs from a family in our friend pool. Kept some for DS, handed two piles over to two different friends with sons in the size bracket and gave one pile to our local thrift store. Thrift store is always looking for boys clothes.

2) Assembled DS’s ‘Ron Weasley’ Halloween costume from clothes and props on hand. It helps that Gryffindor colors match those of Dear Wife’s favorite football team :).

3) Cooked one of our pumpkins and pureed it last night. Enough for two pies and two batches of pumpkin waffles.

4) Had a late fee and interest refunded on my primary credit card. I had been away and completely spaced paying it online. Best part was I was able to have both waived via the “chat” function online.

5) In the midst of what another poster on FFT calls a “chicken cycle” with a rotisserie chicken from Costco bought on a day trip to our ‘big city’. Roast chicken that night, chicken noodle soup last night to help with colds and chicken pie (VT style with biscuits, not crust) next week.

Reply

Tonya November 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm

1) DH and I had a budget meeting today. We scrutinized our bills and called to cancel a couple of things, saving probably $100/mo.
2) Frozen pizza and salad for dinner.
3) using leftovers and cooking from what we have on hand.
4) Took some video games to sell. Sadly, a new, unopened copy of Madden 15 would only bring $.50. I find that ridiculous! Kept it instead.
5) I worked on call last month and my paycheck was $200 more. Woo!!

Reply

Momma L November 4, 2018 at 5:55 am

Budget meetings and calendar meetings have made a HUGE difference in our communication, being on board with each other, and saving money!

Reply

Tonya November 4, 2018 at 11:47 am

Momma L, yes, agree with you!

Reply

Kara November 5, 2018 at 6:22 am

Consumer cellular is our favorite. Very cheap rates, US based customer service that is excellent. AND they just upped our data plan from 4 GB to 5 GB, at no charge. We didn’t even ask for it, we just got an email saying it was increasing. And if you go over your data limit, there’s no penalty. They just charge you the regular amount for the amount of data you used. We are NOT retired, we just happened to check them out and have been beyond happy with them
. Our adult kids, 21 and 23 voluntarily got their own plans, so that was lovely

Reply

ouvickie November 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm

1) I dropped by Smart Saver to p/u lunch and breakfast items for weekday work meals.
2) I needed a Vintage or Vintage looking dress for our OKWIT Gala at the end of the month. The theme is the Roaring 20s. I found one for $19 and a cute headband that will go along with it. I can’t wear heels, but I found a pair of cute flats for 4.99 that fit the theme. I have a set of faux long strand pearls, vintage looking earrings and a velvet purse, that will look cute with the outfit. Now I just need to check out YouTube videos on how to style my hair and do my makeup for that era.
3) The Aldi in our area has good produce. I spent $54 on food over the weekend.
4) Wearing a thrifted blouse and black slacks. Most of my clothes are thrifted and I take good care of them, so they usually last me for years.
5) I’m getting ready to recycle thrifted toys from the playroom. My grandkids are getting older, so they can be donated to GW again. I always bought the ones in really good shape and my grandkids weren’t hard on them, so they’re definitely resaleable.

Reply

TJ November 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm

I had to read 4 posts to catch up, my daughter and I just bought a mobile home in central Florida together. I am 61, she is 30. We paid cash. I just retired from my job, as my 92 year old father needs more of my help at his home, as my mother died in April. Our new to us house has leaks, so a new roof is going on Monday, $5000 cash, had to have new toilets put in, due to leaks. Had to buy a washing machine, since we rented for 5 years and didn’t have one. I have the ultimate pleasure of hanging out my wash again, listening to bird song. Florida sun will dry bath towels in 3 hours.
Our next big project will be tearing out the counter in the kitchen, as the sink leaked during the previous owner’s reign, and the particle board countertop is now slowly crumbling into sawdust under the sink. (it smells).
My daughter is highly allergic to dust mites, so before we moved, we ripped out the awful wall to wall carpet in both bedrooms and bought linoleum and installed it ourselves. I did the baseboards too, with a handsaw and a compass, and a staple gun. Yes I got the 45 degree angles to match up.
Having been a single mother since Amanda was 7, when her father left us after 17 years of marriage, I have learned to just do it myself. I shopped at flea markets for dented cans, yard sales for clothes, and thrift shops for appliances. My parents were thrifty too, and I can sew, do electrical work, woodwork, etc. All except that darn plumbing. Water can do so much damage, I like to leave it to the experts. I am using my father’s plumber, so I know I can trust in the work. I am so glad to have time to read your blog again, Katy, you inspire me to keep on being frugal.

Reply

Emily November 10, 2018 at 6:56 pm

In the midst of attempting a no spend month. At least until Black Friday when I will inevitably grab some gifts and a few necessities I have been holding out on.

1. Yesterday my apartment complex has chick fil a at the clubhouse. I don’t eat meat, but grabbed some chicken nuggets for my boyfriend for when he got home later that evening. I figure our rent money pays for those things, so take advantage when we can.

2. There was a small hole forming in one of our couch covers . I used an iron on patch I had on hand to reinforce it, and hope it doesn’t get any bigger!

3. I signed my boyfriend up for a bunch of birthday freebies earlier this year. He redeemed one for lunch today.

4. A Lidl (similar to Aldi) opened right down the road from us . They sent our a flyer that gives 5 dollar off coupons for 6 weeks. Considering it is the closest grocery store, and is already affordable, we will be shopping exclusively there for the next few weeks (unless they are out of items).

5. Have been sewing toys my pup tears open using clear, nylon thread . It holds up really well!

Reply

Judy Kiesow November 12, 2018 at 4:58 am

When you take free tickets from the library it means someone that is low income will not have an opportunity to use them. I understand and think what you do is great but you and your husband have great incomes. You could pay for those tickets. I live on $1,700 a month and I can’t afford things like movies or other places. I love what you do but this just seemed wrong in my mind. Just saying.

Reply

Katy November 14, 2018 at 10:27 am

I see your point, but the library really is for everyone.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: