Five More Frugal Things

by Katy on December 20, 2014 · 23 comments

Found change challenge

I’m doing another Five Frugal Things blog post today because frugality is an ever present part of my daily life.

  1. I stopped at Safeway on my way home from dropping my son off to play soccer. I brought a yogurt back for a refund, (the foil top has significantly loosened which I hadn’t noticed when I bought it) and was refunded a dollar. I bought sour cream and milk that were close to their sell-by date which took 50% from their cost.
  2. I stopped at my father’s house (which is close to the soccer field) and helped myself to some fire wood. I already had my big blue Ikea bag in the car, which made it very easy to schlep the wood from my father’s garage to the car to my living room.
  3. I found a quarter on the ground while at Safeway, which has now been added to my found change challenge jar.
  4. I used Swagbucks to locate my Found Change Challenge blog post and was rewarded with seven swagbucks!
  5. I looked through the Redbox at Safeway to try and rent the movie Boyhood. They didn’t have it, so I decided to save my free movie code for a machine that had one in stock. And when I got home I added it to my “wish list” on the Redbox website and will get an e-mail when it’s in. (Text ALAMPE to 727272 for your own free movie code, which is good until December 22nd.)

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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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen December 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm

1) I also did a search for something and won 7 swagbucks.

2) Speaking of buck, I’m watching Uncle Buck on my cable free TV.

3) Hubby and I went to the fruit stand at the flea market here in FL, and they had 1 lb bags of pasta at 2 for $1.00. Since we do not need that much pasta, I made sure to buy some for the church food pantry.

4) We decorated our $20. Christmas tree. Since we are in a transition place of living, we thought buying an inexpensive Christmas tree is the way to go. The only Christmas decoration I bought this year was a giant paper light up star from Ikea.

5) Hubby and I did a deep cleaning of our apartment today. Boy did it need it!


Vickie December 21, 2014 at 9:57 am

-I went to a Dirty Santa party with friends last evening and used an unopened bottle of Spiced Cider as my gift, instead of buying something new to use.
-I rec’d a reimbursement for a work lunch I had purchased for my team a few months back. That helped me make it through the week.
-I’m totally enjoying gas being cheaper, but I’m still not driving anymore than I have been.
-I had a $5 Petco reward coupon and 10% off coupon on a receipt from my last purchase. So I saved over $10 on a bag of dog food this week.


Katy December 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

Okay, I give. What the hell is a “Dirty Santa party?!”


Vickie December 22, 2014 at 7:12 am

Everyone brings an inexpensive gift, you draw numbers and you pick a gift from the pile – going 1st to last number.
When it’s your turn, if you like someone else’s gift you can “steal” it, then they have to pick another gift. A gift can only be stolen twice though.
It’s a way to regift something, if you don’t want it and haven’t used it.
I ended up with a can of tootsie rolls and a Christmas g-string. I’ll eat the candy, but I don’t wear dental floss. Sometimes you end up with a worthless gift, but getting together with friends and laughing is fun!


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:14 am

That sounds like fun! I’ve heard of this party game, but never heard of it referred to like this.


Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom December 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

5 more frugal things?

1. Had photos printed out for Christmas gifts. Did the editing online myself to add text to one so I could get it printed for the regular price instead of paying for the design options in the store.
2. Skipped groceries this week because we’ll be travelling. So we’re eating down our pantry instead.
3. Been using Swagbucks search more after installing the button. Almost at my next Amazon giftcard level!
4. Make bookmarks of my daughter to put in the books we give away this Christmas. Bought a pack of contact laminating paper to make them at home without a machine.
5. Had a trip to the library to pick up our Christmas reading.


Lisa December 21, 2014 at 10:35 am

1 Yesterday, my husband cut my hair and I colored it myself.
2 I get my prescriptions through the mail which is more than a 50% savings than getting them at CVS. I will change my newer prescriptions over soon too.
3 I had leftover Chinese food for lunch.
4 I am making turkey rice soup tonight which will give us some leftover meals for Monday and Tuesday.
5 We made chocolate bark for the kids’ teachers this year instead of buying gifts or gift cards.


rebzellpat December 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I love reading your blog. I am not NCA….but just enjoy the words…..


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

C’mon . . . maybe you are, maybe just a little. 😉


Anne December 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm

1. Still had my $10 off coupon from Penney’s so today I got two tops for my granddaughter and am putting them away for her birthday, six months from now.
2. Went to a gift exchange last night and used a gift from my closet that I had completely forgotten I had. It was one of the top prizes sought after.
3. I cashed in my annual check for being an executive Costco member. It was for $129.00. My membership is $100 per year. Somehow I came out way ahead on that one.
4. I decided I had too many presents for my grandson so I’m putting one back in the closet for his birthday.
5. This one is tricky. I’m on a team with two other women, one I quite like, the other not so much. At the annual Christmas luncheon I couldn’t figure out how to give a gift to just the one I like as we would all be present. After much thought I gave a card to each one writing inside a long appreciative note to the one I like. Next week is her birthday and I will go all out for her.


Jen December 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Thanks! I love reading your blog and earned twenty Swagbucks!


CarrieP December 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

1. Did not go off the deep end and spend tons of money when we got very bad financial news yesterday. It concerns a regretful investment property we bought years ago and thought was going to finally sell after 2 years on the market. The contract fell yesterday. It puts us in the hole over 20K a year. Boo! Took the family to Steak and Shake b/c I was not in a condition to cook. Had a coupon and ordered waters. Set us back about $20 including tip. Not bare bones thrifty, but, at least for me, I’ll call it thrifty coping. Now we still have to figure out how to deal with this horrible, terrible, financially crippling situation. Luckily, my husband is a eternal optimist and will keep me from going to the dark side for long.

2. Got a free rental b/c of Katy’s Red Box code. Family sat down and watched a movie all together tonight. THANKS, Katy!!!

3. Batched errands.

4. Decided against attending a Christmas party earlier in the week for an organization I’m involved with (cost: $35 per person). I would have enjoyed it, but not $35 worth:) Didn’t know about our real estate sale falling at the time, so now I’m even more grateful I chose the thrifty path.

5. Got two .59 cartons of eggnog (near expiration date). I love my nog, but it’s expensive!


K D December 22, 2014 at 4:41 am

1. My daughter found a “Christmas” craft on-line. It was making stars out of origami paper. Since we didn’t have origami paper we used scrapbook paper. We were pleased with the results and it was “quality” time.

2. I made a pan of lasagna for lunch yesterday. Even though it is a bit pricier than most of my meals it is so much cheaper than eating out or take-out. There is enough left for dinner tonight, on Monday night I only have a little time to make dinner.

3. I needed a new toner cartridge for my printer. I price matched Amazon prices at Staples and used gift cards obtained at a discount with Discover points to pay.

4. I am preparing to return stuff due at the library in the next week today, when I’ll be a couple of blocks away. That way I won’t owe any fines if I am off schedule the next week and a half.

5. I am finalizing plans for my minimum spend January. The family says they are on board. I am trying not to pre-spend in anticipation of my January plan.


I thought of you when I read this in the latest issue of Woman’s Day:
“According to Feeding America, 58% of food stamp recipients visit food banks at least six months of the year.”.

So your successful Food Stamp Challenges are even more impressive in light of this statistic.


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

I was listening to a local public radio piece the other day about how Oregon which had recently been #1 in hunger is now only 17th in the nation. However, they said it because Oregon did huge outreach to get people using SNAP benefits and that other states are doing so much worse. It was not presented as any type of accomplishment.


Diane December 22, 2014 at 5:40 am

You will love Boyhood…especially sine you have sons. Such a marvel of a film!


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:15 am

I friend of mine is good friends with Patricia Arquette, so she posted a lot about the movie. It really wet my whistle.


Diane C December 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

This isn’t exactly five frugal things, but last night DH and I hosted a short-notice Neighborhood Cookie Party/Open House/Food Drive. We distributed 140 bags/invites in our immediate neighborhood. We baked a ton o’cookies and made tonnage of a few appetizers. We only had about 30 people show up. It was fun, but we have oh, so much food left over.
I’ve decided to take everything to the library and host an impromptu party there, based on space availability. It will either be for the library staff and volunteers, or possibly the general public. I’ll have to wait until the library crew gets in this morning to decide.
Making all of this food wasn’t exactly frugal, but it won’t break our budget and letting it go to waste would be unconscionable. We’ll be giving the leftovers away, so it’s more like 500 frugal things for other people, right?
Oh, and throwing another party back-to-back won’t be a problem since I’m not running around doing any crazy last-minute gift shopping 😉


Amanda Gibson December 22, 2014 at 7:29 am

1. Our menu this week includes recipes that use up the summer squash in the freezer that my dad grew, chicken soup that uses up a chicken carcass, and my own cheaper, homemade version of my favorite Amy’s frozen meal.
2. We rented our city house out on airbnb and are spending a quiet Christmas in our needs-renovating house. I prefer a quiet Christmas close to family anyway, and we’ll make enough money to more than cover our Christmas expenses.
3. I’m studying Spanish over the holidays for a test in January. A friend passed his study book on to me for free when he passed the test.
4. While Christmas shopping, I have managed to spend $0 on myself. It’s so easy to pick up a thing here or there, but I don’t need anything.
5. One of the items on my to do list over the break is to sign up for email alerts for Singapore airlines. I am assured this will win us cheaper fares for next summer’s vacation. It would be even cheaper to not fly half way around the world, but, hey, what is all that money saved for if not living!

I like this feature so much. Commenting with my own frugal things helps keep me focused on saving money. Thank you.


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

It keep me on track as well!


Cristie Glasheen December 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

1. Ate a brow-bag lunch.
2. Investigated and repaired the poor pressure in my kitchen sink without calling a plumber.
3. Worked from home to save gas.
4. Batched errands for my husband to do on his way back from an appointment.
5. Purchased a loss-leader ham and put it in the chest freezer (I get 6 Turkey around Thanksgiving and 6 ham around Christmas – then I alternate 1 each month for the year, they each give me over a weeks worth of meals [lunch and dinner] and as long as I’m creative we don’t get bored).


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:12 am

Wow, that’s a lot of turkey and ham!


Cristie Glasheen December 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Yes, it forces me to be creative 🙂 but given the cost of beef (and pork seems to be on the rise), it’s one of the more frugal ways to keep meat in our diet.


CarrieP December 22, 2014 at 9:58 pm

I really like your idea of buying 6 turkeys and 6 hams and using one every other month throughout the year!


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