Five (Or Maybe Six) More Frugal Things

by Katy on December 16, 2014 · 25 comments

Selling books at Powell's

I’m doing another Five Frugal Things blog post today because frugality is an ever present part of my daily life, and not everything is about Christmas!

  1. I stopped at The Grocery Outlet on my way home from dropping my son at school, which is the only time I go as it’s across town and I always batch this errand. I bought seven half-pound packs of Columbus brand herb turkey breast for $2.49 apiece. I put six into the freezer, and will enjoy not spending the $10/pound that my husband’s deli meat normally costs for at least a month. This brand is normally sold at New Seasons and other fancy schmancy grocery stores for at least twice this price! Plus I used a $3-off-$25 coupon from my Chinook Book.
  2. I am cooking up pinto beans in the crock pot to make burritos for tonight’s dinner. My husband bought an enormous Costco bag of pinto beans a couple of years ago, and we’ve been using them up ever since.
  3. I did a Costco run yesterday for cat food and bought . . . nothing but cat food. I did sample Haagen Dazs ice cream, salmon, vegetarian orange chicken, a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, cheese and possibly something else. I had some eggs and toast before leaving the house to make sure I wouldn’t be hungry when passing the food court. I also filled up the gas tank of my minivan for $2.28/gallon.
  4. Last night’s dinner was a Rosemary White Bean Soup from a recipe I found on The Prudent Homemaker’s blog. It was huge hit and my sixteen-year-old son wanted to know what it was because he liked it so much. I already had the white beans on hand and the rosemary I snipped from a neighbor’s bush.
  5. My husband and I both texted ALAMPE to 727272 to get codes for a free Redox movies. And unlike most of their codes, they’ll actually be good to use until December 22nd!
  6. I took a BIG box of books to Powell’s bookstore yesterday to sell. They only bought a small number of the books, but since they’d been sitting in my father’s attic since 1991, I consider it a win! I took all the unsold books to Goodwill and will use the deduction when tax time comes. I used my store credit to buy a lovely kitchen item for my sister’s birthday at their Powell’s for Cooks and Gardeners store.

Now your turn. Did you do any more frugal things today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn December 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I <3 Powell's and can't wait to take my books there the next time I'm in PDX.


Leslie D. December 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Yesterday, I filled up my gas tank with $2.11/gallon gas. The gas station was on my route to work, so no out-of-the-way stop was required!


Jeana December 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm

I made yogurt from the milk I got when I milked my goat this morning. For dinner tonight we are having the breast meat from a chicken we butchered in August as a part of chicken and brown rice burritos. I painted my dining room with paint I bought for half price from a big box home improvement store. I check the mis-mixed paint every time I go in and always find great colors.


Anne December 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

You didn’t eat ANYTHING from Costco’s food court? No buck fifty hot dog? No humongous slice of pizza? No chocolate yogurt that goes down like ice cream?

Our food court is outside so we dine alfresco frequently. And I love those prices.


Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom December 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I turned leftovers into a hash for dinner.

I decluttered and gifted some Christmas decorations to another mom in my neighbourhood through a Facebook group.

I didn’t spend any money today? That’s frugal, right?


Patti December 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I cooked a turkey taco chili for a church chili cook off / caroling party tonight. It used turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, as well as, kidney beans and black beans from the freezer. I also used up some canned goods that had been on my shelf for awhile. It was not the most popular chili there, but it was different and lots of folks liked it. I feel like it was a “free” dinner for us since I had all the ingredients on hand and we got to sample lots of other entries. And I stayed home all day to finish some Christmas decorating and gift making.


Kathy December 16, 2014 at 6:16 pm

-I’ve been eating from the pantry freezer for two weeks, with the exception of milk and fresh vegetables and fruit.
-I have the goal of cleaning out my house and bit by bit I’m getting it accomplished. I’m also trying to get remove five things a day for the month of December. So far so good.
– I got my sewing machine out and mended aprons for the local Salvation Army bell ringers.
-I walked outside everyday this week even, if it was only around two blocks.
-Since I have asthma that can be triggered by cold, I made myself several infinity scarves to wear so I don’t have to wear a mask.
-I’ve been watching the Avonlea series lately and am enjoying it.

BTW what is vegetarian orange chicken?


Christine December 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I had gas points from our grocery store toward a fill up so I drove out of my way to use the discount prior to its expiration. I made sure my mini van’s tank was close to empty. I filled up for $1.06 a gallon!!! It was a little over $21 to fill it. Wahoo!


Randi December 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I used a coupon for a free travel size product from bath and body works. I combined that with another coupon for a free full size product with any purchase. I purchased a 1.00 nail file which I will use.

I use another coupon for a free entrée from Panda Express. Its a free entrée with any purchase, so my spouse and I got a 2 item combo( both chicken items) and I used the free item for shrimp( which is normally an upcharge). We shared the meal. 7.30 for dinner for 2.

Tomorrow I’m using leftover quinoa/red rice pilaf to make quinoa cakes.

My spouse needed a dessert for a work potluck. I dug around in the cabinets and made a pumpkin dump cake for her to take. I had all the ingredients.

I was at the hospital today for an outpatient remicade infusion. They provide lunch if I want it. I usually don’t, but today I took the sandwich( egg salad), ate the filling, dumped the bread, had a bag of doritos and took home the pudding for my spouse.


Alexandra December 17, 2014 at 4:46 am

Laid off from work yesterday! Whoo hoo! Not.
Regardless, THIS is the time that all the frugal practice we’ve been exercising pays off.
I know what i have in my pantry and freezer. We will not starve. We still have greens in the garden too.

I am almost done with Xmas gifts (thankfully) since won’t be buying anymore for this season. A few gifts will be additional homemade gifts to round it all out.

Husband and I both adept at saying “no” without regret to offers of eating out and attending functions that require $$

We have been through this before. There was very little difference in our lifestyle as we practice frugality when times aren’t tough.

We will watch the bank account much more closely. Surprisingly that can be satisfying when you feel like you WIN!

I am so grateful to the bloggers and commentators over the years who have helped us get to this point where losing half of our income isn’t a catastrophe (yet). We are counting our blessings.
Merry Christmas.


Nicole December 17, 2014 at 6:38 am

Best of luck to you! I hope you have a new job quickly. You have a wonderful attitude, and people respond to that kind of positivity. I’m sure things will work out for the best for you.


Katy December 17, 2014 at 11:12 am

We’ve also had a short term halving of our income, yet are doing just fine. Good things we’re doing our zero dollar Christmas!


erin @ dfmi designs December 17, 2014 at 6:16 am

I qualified for a Focus group that will be the end of this week. (So thankful to live in one of the biggest market research cities in the county!) It’s an hour and 15 minutes and pays $100. That will more than cover groceries for our family for the week!


Katy December 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

I need in on that action!


Monica December 17, 2014 at 7:33 am

Oooh! Is that “Hitty: Her First Hundred Years” in the book pile? One of my favorites! A story about a doll’s adventures over the course of 100 years. A charming read! One of my fave things to do is look at all the book titles I see in photos ex. in home decor magazines and see if I have the same books. Frugal activity today will be culling lunch and dinner together from all we have in the freezer and pantry.


Katy December 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

I tried vey hard to not bond with the books as I pulled them from their box. I did keep five or six books though, which have already been added to my color coordinated bookshelf.


Jennifer Nash December 17, 2014 at 8:11 am

Hmmm…. Frugal things:

1. I made homemade lemon bars for the teacher appreciation day today at my son’s school. I only needed to buy lemons, sugar, and a disposable container because I had everything else on hand! (A little miffed about the disposable container, but I get it.)

2. I, too, got the code for a free Redbox rental – though I wish I had this Saturday night!

3. I’m about halfway done getting the Goodwill drapes up in my room, and a little less than halfway done getting the plastic window wraps up on all the windows in our home (we have TONS of windows). After my last electric bill went up $70 – winter came a bit early to NC this year – I will be happy to see that number go down again.

I feel like I have a harder time being super frugal this time of year (for obvious reasons). Maybe I can get my husband to agree to a non-essential spending freeze in January to get us back on track!


Kale December 17, 2014 at 8:52 am

1. My partner flew back to our home town for work (flight paid plus per diem) so we were able to avoid postage costs over Christmas. He also brought presents back from our parents.
2. A friend came to visit and left a ton of groceries (which I tried to convince her NOT to buy because she was a guest!). So now we have three sausages, a full bottle of milk, a full carton of eggs (she only ate one!) and miscellaneous veggies and a bag of apples.
3. Lunch is leftovers from a dinner my friend made.


Katy December 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

I love your list!


Alexandra Evans December 18, 2014 at 4:10 am

What an excellent house guest. I will follow her lead next time I stay with someone.


K D December 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

1. I just texted Redbox and received my free rental code, thank you for the tip.

2. I took my car to have the tires rotated. That is free at Mr. Tire, where I bought them. They asked me about balancing and said $8.99/tire. Asked asked if there was a special and they said that was a special price, but I was able to get it done for $6.99/tire.

3. I deliver for Meals on Wheels. There is a new client on my route and there have been newspapers in her yard both times I have delivered to her (and several on a chair on her porch). I asked her if she wanted me to take the newspapers to recycle them and she said I could have them. There were coupon inserts in some of them. I clipped a few and added the inserts to my stack that I pass along to someone I “met” on (which she will pick up this evening).

4. My yoga studio (a big indulgence for me) is offering 10% off winter session classes if you register and pay by next week. Since I am not yet old enough for the senior discount it is a big deal to me.

5. I made Sweet Potato Carrot Soup for lunch. There are enough leftovers for a few more days. The carrots I used I froze last month, before they went bad.

Katy, I hope your “short term halving of our income” is very short term.


Liz December 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

How do you watch for those Redbox deals?


Katy December 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm

They just come across my radar by following frugality blogs.


Maryanne December 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for the Redbox code, Katy! 😊


Katy December 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

You’re welcome!


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