Five More Frugal Things

by Katy on December 18, 2014 · 15 comments


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

  1. I returned two sticks of full price deodorant to Fred Meyer as I had stocked up not realizing that I already had an extra stick on hand. (I normally only stock up on stuff like deodorant when it’s on sale and I have a coupon.) I also got my money back on a bag of Cutie clementines as five or six of them went moldy within a few days of purchase.
  2. I went to New Seasons to buy more menorah candles. (I’d had enough to get through the first two days of Chanukah.) My plan had been to splurge on the truly beautiful hand dipped ones, but lost my financial bravado when it came to actually spending $7.99 instead of $2 for the standard Streits ones. Once I got home I was perfectly content with the cheaper candles. It was only while in the store while looking at the expensive candles that I felt my purchase was a lesser option. A good lesson.
  3. My husband and I are still getting along with just the one car. So far it hasn’t been a problem, as he cycles to work and we simply plan our trips. However, we are aware that the only reason it’s working out so well is because I’m not working much this month.
  4. We still haven’t spent any money on Christmas gifts. We just chose a nice Sampsonite rolling suitcase from my husband’s congratulations-on-ten-years-of-employment catalog as the main gift for our older son who will off to college next year. We also used our $80 of free Sears gift cards (my husband has a Sears credit card he uses for work purposes) at Land’s End to buy gifts for both sons, plus a December 27th birthday gift for my mother-in-law. I shopped on Black Friday as everything was 40%-off.
  5. I made a Christmas reservation yesterday for our favorite Chinese restaurant. It’s become a tradition for my some-of-us-are-Jewish family to go out for nice Chinese food for our Christmas dinner. Last year we waited at least two hours before being seated, so booking a reservation makes me feel like the most organized person on earth. My generous step-father treats for dinner, so it does in fact fall under the category of frugality.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you continued to do?

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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom December 18, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Love all these examples of frugality in action!

– Getting the hang of hanging our clothes to dry (get it?) It’s been 24 hours and half the towel load is already dry.
– Everything I’m wearing is either a hand me down or bought with a giftcard.
– I’m going through photos of our Little Miss to give as inexpensive gifts to the grandparents.
– And, we had dinner at grandma’s today and we took home the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


Lauren December 19, 2014 at 2:10 am

-Enjoyed a delicious free lunch at a friends cafe
-Was given a box of cherries from my mum who was gifted a heap by her sister
-bought my mum a Christmas present she asked for with a 25% off voucher
-used up old vegetables with tonight’s tea (they wouldn’t have lasted another day)
-Asked my daughter if she would like to make her grandparents a Christmas card instead of purchasing one (they love her drawings and she loves doing them- total win-win).


chris December 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

– Almost all my work wardrobe today is “thrifty”
– Lunch is leftover turkey soup from the freezer
– Gifted a co-worker greens from my garden and a lovely ornament from my perpetual “gift box”


K D December 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm

1. Dinner last night (and my lunch today) was homemade chicken and rice soup. The rotisserie chicken was purchased for $5 on Monday and served as the base for dinner on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday I boiled the carcass and made coup last night.

2. My mother had given me a few miscellaneous stamps (some from the days when you licked them to apply them). I used them for send a large envelope. I still need to ask at the post office what the stamps marked First Class are worth.

3. I am using the holiday cards that I have from previous years. I gifted my yoga teachers boxes of Yogi tea I had stocked up on, when they were a good price along with said cards.

4. I met some friends at a “new to me” bakery for coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee and tea was $2.50 and up I just went without a beverage. I bought a few bagels, for the same price, to take home with me, so I wasn’t a mooch.

5. I am gifting my niece a couple of things that I bought at a deep discount, and not worrying about how little I spent. She just likes that she is remembered, as she is in her late 20s.


kris December 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

**Brought home a huge tub of pasta salad that was leftover from a banquet my work catered today. Seriously we’ll be eating this for a while, lol.

**Our family gift exchange with my husbands family is the white elephant. So I’ve got to bring 5 gifts. So I got a coupon code for a free item from Bath & Body Works if you spend $10 or more. I’ll buy a candle on sale for $12 and get the free item. That’s 2 gifts for $12. Then I have a coupon for $10 off $25 or more at Goody’s. And I have a $10 gift card, so there is another gift for $5. My boss gave me a brand new still in the box (small) crockpot that was left by someone, I will use that as a gift (free). And I have a ‘sample set’ of a skincare line called Perfectly Posh that I’ll use too (free). So all in all, I’ll spend $17.00 on 5 nice gifts! Not free but not too bad either!

**Making broth this weekend from a leftover chicken carcass

**Baking at some point this weekend & I have all my ingredients on hand. I remember the days when I wasn’t so frugal and would go to the grocery store without checking what I had and buy everything I would need to bake. Crazy!!

**Will be having some good family time tomorrow when we go over to St. Augustine and see the lights the city puts on. We’ll walk around the city instead of paying for the trolley. Free!!


Maggie December 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm

– Continued using cloth diapers that we bought for kid #1 to diaper both kid #1 and kid #2. I love that you can reuse the same diapers for multiple children!
-Air dryed all of our clothes.
-Visited a local store that’s closing to buy ammo for my husband’s hunting rifle. It was 40% off, and it’ll put 20 shots worth of meat on the table per box (and hubby doesn’t miss shots). I figured out once that it’s about $1.00/pound for fresh, free range, organic rabbit/deer/bird around here!
-Resisted buying a coffee before work, even though the coffee shop called my name. There’s free gourmet coffee offered all day, every day at work, and I use my own cup.
My not so frugal things for the day 🙁 :
-We replaced our not-worn-out tires on our car. The original tires were “all weather tires” we bought in California, and were just not cutting it in the snowy setting we’re in now. Even though there was lots of life left in them, I feel safer now that we have *beefy voice* TIRES on my car instead of *whimp voice* tires.
– I bought a heated pad and heated water bowl for the cat my husband unwittingly brought home from his last hunting trip. It stowed away in his truck, and isn’t looking so good now that it’s cold. These put us back almost $100, but I won’t be cruel to the poor thing.


Lori in Michigan December 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I approve 100% the cat care expenses!


Paige December 20, 2014 at 5:08 am

-I bought merchandise a while back to get a booth with a friend of mine at a local trade days and she has drug her heels about getting her inventory together. So I went into the merch and was able to find gifts for my two youngest sons teachers and my middle daughter’s best friend. I used saved gift bags and nearly all of my tissue stash to wrap them so all that was FREE!
-Said daughter also competes in a scholarship pageant system and her state director is a sister consultant of mine (I sell Mary Kay as my parttime job), so we will go back into the merch for her gift and give her a pair of earrings and I’ll re-gift to her also. I received a gift from one of my patrol officers yesterday and there was a great smelling candle in it. We’ll give her the candle too and I’ll be using saved gift bags and the last of my tissue stash for that. It’s baby shower tissue but who cares. LOL
-Our credit union offered a no questions asked $1000 Christmas loan this year which will help us rebuild our credit from our divorces. We had the loan money put on a Visa gift card and bought all the kids Christmas presents with it. I bought refurbished by the company electronics and smaller more personal gifts this year. Two of the five kids only wanted cash so I’m transferring that cash to other Visa gift cards. We told grandparents what we bought and they are gifting ITunes and Amazon gift cards this year. We still have $200 left on the Visa gift card which helped us out this month with food cause my husband just had an emergency appendectomy and hasn’t been able to work his two extra jobs.
-I participate in an ornament exchange in dispatch and this year I drew a girl who loves homemade things, so this weekend I’m crocheting and sewing/embroidering a set of ornaments for her. All done with materials I have on hand at home. I’ll also be embroidering towels this weekend for my husband’s shift. He promoted to Captain at the fire department this year and has three firefighters under him.
-I had another firefighter make a leather radio strap for my husband this year. It was at least %80 cheaper having it made locally than buying one from a firefighter website.
Not a complete zero spend Christmas but a lot better than previous years.


Trish December 20, 2014 at 10:25 am

Have you thought about making your own hand dipped candles for next year? You have a whole year to save up stubs of burned candles, to ask friends and neighbors to save them, to find them in free piles,etc. It might make for a fun, frugal, festive activity for the whole family!


Madeline December 20, 2014 at 11:04 am

Air dryed everything this week except my towels.

Wore my jeans for a couple of extra days before laundering.

Attended neighborhood cookie exchange: Got 9 varieties of cookies in exchange for my one type of cookie! SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Made huge batch of brown rice and made fried rice for the next couple of days lunch.Gonna be busy getting ready for holiday guests. Need easy lunches without temptation of running out for take out.

Invited a batch of friends over for Solstice celebration:asked for pot luck contributions:Cheap and happy group meal!!

Moved to cold climate this year:need more sweaters!!!! Found a great heavy cotton sweater at thrift store for $2.00. I received a $50 gift certificate to the store for my volunteering efforts= free sweater!

MADE home made greeting cards and gift bags to give to friends for gifts. Relaxing and creative and cheap.Friends love to receive a bag of cards they can use during the year!



A. Marie December 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Here’s the most frugal holiday plan I can think of: Take time to extend good thoughts to folks you know who are hurting either physically or psychologically. A lot of my neighbors, for example, are not in good shape this season: broken bones, sprains, loss of loved ones, and long-term bad situations. As the John Prine song from a long time ago reminds us, “Say hello in there.”


Randi December 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I didn’t realize you were Jewish. We were going to go out for Chinese food and a movie, then I realized that I could cook Italian food instead and save more $$ and still go to a movie.


Katy December 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm

The key is to have someone take you out to dinner. 😉


Linda December 24, 2014 at 6:53 am

I was tempted to buy the expensive Chanukah candles too, but decided that the regular inexpensive ones would do and they did, beautifully!


Katy December 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

Maybe I should splurge when they go on sale after Christmas. (I’ve noticed that stores don’t clearance price the Chanukah stuff until after December 25th!)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: