Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 21, 2016 · 83 comments

  1. I transformed three free Halloween pumpkins into puree. It was as easy as cutting them into big chunks and then baking on a sheet until fork tender. A minute in the food processor and each small pumpkin created approximately six cups of puree. (I then freeze it in two-cup portions, as that seems to be a common amount in recipes.)
  2. I saved all the pumpkin seeds, which I’ll turn into a spicy Thanksgiving appetizer.
  3. I’m working my way through an impressive to-do list, as I’m scheduled at the hospital tomorrow and will most likely be unavailable to do any Thanksgiving prep on Wednesday. I prefer everything completely homemade, which is both cheaper and better quality. However, it sure is a lot of extra work!
  4. I agreed to work on Saturday instead of staying home on call, even though it meant being floated to the pediatrics emergency room. I was certainly out of my element, but I would have missed out on hundreds of dollars if I’d chosen the easy route.
  5. I drank the free crappy hospital coffee both Saturday and Sunday. The nurse in the ER was flabbergasted that I would drink the stuff, even asking me repeatedly “Are you sure?!” and “You do know which coffee I’m talking about?!” I guess none of the staff downstairs deigns to touch the stuff. I explained my line about how “I’m here to make money, not spend it.”

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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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

LisaC November 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Fun family weekend:
1. Rehearsal dinner: free night at a local pizza place. Didn’t order from the cash bar.
2. Ate the free breakfast at the hotel.
3. Visited a relative nearby, who fed us lunch.
4. Dinner: yummy wedding food
5. Used Google maps for the fastest route: save on gas.


LisaC November 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

AND went to a local church bazaar, picked up some strawberry/chocolate jam to give to our cat sitter. Will combine with a pretty candle regifted.


K D November 21, 2016 at 2:54 pm

1. Talked friends out of going to a buffet for lunch. We went to a local cafe where meals are much more reasonable.

2. I brought in the pumpkins my daughter bought for fall decoration before it turned cold the other night. I’ll bake them in the next few days.

3. I used the last of my frozen fruit (ripe bananas, pineapple cores, fruit that would have gone bad) to make smoothies.

4. We watched DVDs borrowed from the library over the weekend. We don’t care about seeing the latest movies.

5. I made soup using up various odds and ends from the refrigerator and freezer.


susanna d November 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm

I love homemade roasted pumpkin seeds, but I never thought about making them (or other seeds) SPICY. We love spicy food. Thanks for the inspiration! I just happen to have a bunch of seeds from the giant spaghetti squash I roasted today.

1. Grocery shopped on a Pump Perks bonus day – two days a week, I can earn 2 cents in Pump Perks for every $10 spent – in addition to the usual Pump Perks items. We save our perks just about as long as we can before they start expiring (90 days), then use them on a gas purchase for our vehicle that has the larger gas tank. Our last gasoline purchase? 20 gallons of gas (the limit) for just under 24 cents per gallon. Sure, it only happens a few times a year, but it’s a supreme frugal thrill for me and my husband.
2. Used my wristband to save $5 off $50. My grocery store participates in a wristband savings promo with $5 off $50 purchases if you show your wristband (other stores have discounts as well). It runs from summer through the end of the year. I’ve saved an even $100 on groceries so far (I deducted the $5 I paid for the wristband from my tally, so the $100 really is pure savings).
3. Had to go to the city where we used to live, and while we stay with our son and his family on weekends, if it’s a weekday we try not to – the grandchildren don’t want to go to school/day care if we’re in the house. Had enough points built up from previous years of hotel stays that our room was free. We did stay with family on the weekend, though.
4. Made a bunch of garlic croutons with leftover sourdough bread that I’d frozen two months ago. They’ll add interest to a few salad-based meals.
5. Cancelled our subscription to the online newspaper for the city where we used to live. I never read it, and my husband – who originally wanted the subscription – has been complaining that it’s “mostly advertising”. I asked if he wanted to cancel, and yes, he did. Yippee. That will save us over $100 a year. Every little bit of saving adds up.


Susie's Daughter November 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

1) I substituted for the 4th day this fall at DS’s former preschool. I told the two teachers who run it that I wanted to barter my time for tuition to their summer camps (2 weeks) for DS rather than be paid in cash. Saves them money and I think one week of camp is already covered by subbing.

2) Bringing two bags of hand me downs to Thanksgiving – one for 2 year old nephew and one for 6 mth old nephew. Paying it forward in the hand me down department always makes me happy.

3) Bought 4 books for $2. for DS at church on Sunday, post Saturday’s Christmas bazaar. One is in excellent shape and will be a gift for Christmas.

4) Used double coupon to get 2 bags of white sugar today for $1.14 each. Have all supplies I need now for holiday baking.

5) Been reading snippets of Complete Tightwad Gazette for inspiration and entertainment. Always more to learn.

Happy Thanksgiving to all – I am thankful for Katy and the NCA community!


Jennifer November 22, 2016 at 5:29 am

2. Thanks for the reminder! I have some clothes piled up to bring my mom for her to give to a friend.


Bee November 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

My library no longer has the Tightwad Gazette. 🙁 I think I will have to breakdown and buy a copy. I have been on the lookout, but I haven’t had any luck.


Melissa November 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I recently bought a copy of the Complete Tightwad Gazette (I’m in Australia and had never read it before!) I definitely is an eye opener to the world of tightwaddery – I love it!


tia November 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm

1. I drained the hot water heater all by myself!
2. I’m trying to figure out how to find the best price on things I need without getting all the paper flyers. Like I need mayo and found the best price this week, now if I can find an online coupon. I’m not sure how everyone does it but it could save a good chunk over time.
3. Cutting back on more data and researching a future plan that will save even more $.
4. Still staying warm with sweaters instead of heat. When it goes below 60 in the house I’ll switch it on.
5. Surprised that cooking from scratch has so many benefits! Tastes better, costs less, so much less packaging to recycle, and even losing weight…if I want a snack I can’t just open a box or bag, I have to make it.


sarah November 21, 2016 at 8:16 pm

Have you ever used the app Flipp? You typebin what item you need, and it gives you the sale prices for all the stores around you. I use it all the time!


tia November 22, 2016 at 3:10 am

I haven’t tried Flipp, thanks, I’ll give it a go.


lauren November 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm has a “coupon database” that you can search


Stephanie November 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

1. In the quest to eat down the pantry/freezer, I soaked all the chickpeas left in the pantry, cooked them, and froze them. I also used a few containers of previously frozen beans (white, pinto, kidney, and black) to make a delicious four-bean soup for lunch, which will make four meals.
2. We scored a good airfare from NY to CA for the XMAS holidays to visit our daughter, round trip for $190 per person. I think it is pretty amazing that we can fly that far so cheaply.
3. We saw another free movie at the public library (The Infiltrator); I attended a free talk on the theme of Civility in America there, (also picking up a free book on Thanksgiving in America); and we saw a free film (Lion) at the art cinema where we became members. We’re signed up for another free sneak preview in early December.
4. I am really enjoying doing more with using all parts of food. I already make homemade stock, and compost, but now I’m working on using all parts of vegetables. Today, I had 2 pounds of collard greens (at .99 cents/pound). I stripped out the tough inner rib, and chopped the leaves, which I lightly steamed prior to freezing. Then I cut the ribs into about ¼ inch slices, and lightly steamed them before flash freezing them. (I used some in fried rice, and they are perfectly edible.) I did the same with some kale. With the huge head of cauliflower I bought (again for 99 cents for the whole thing—not per pound), I steamed the florets (and froze them) and used all of the stems and leaves, which I grated, lightly roasted, and then froze. I also processed two pounds of green beans. I put the ends into the stock container in the freezer. It’s quite eye opening to see how much edible food we sometimes throw away. Even though we’re eating down the pantry, we still need some vegetables on hand.
5. Retirement has kicked in–my job had mandatory retirement pretty early, and my husband also retired. I had practiced living on what we would get from my pension for about a year (while maintaining the usual frugal habits). I feel very fortunate to have had a job with any kind of a pension in this challenging economic climate.


Bellen November 22, 2016 at 3:20 am

#5 – how very very smart of you. We’re watching a neighborhood couple really struggle with retirement. They can’t quite comprehend that eating dinner out 4 nights a week, movie/date night on Saturday and buying the latest gizmo or fashion is out of their budget. If and when they ask how we do it, I’ll let them in on the frugal lifestyle.


susanna d November 22, 2016 at 7:01 am

Re: #5 also – I agree, to practice living on your retirement income is a really smart thing to do. We lived on our projected pension amounts for two years before retiring, and banked the rest of our income. The result was that we didn’t have the “learning curve” of adjusting to a greatly reduced income, since we’d gotten accustomed to living on that amount (actually, less than that). An added bonus was a healthy additional savings account from the money we didn’t spend. Good for you!


Karen November 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for writing your blog. I always look forward to reading it. I t encourages me to be more frugal.I’m having an argument with myself right now… I really want 2 new throw pillows to decorate with for Christmas. I was online at Target with 2 in my cart, however I couldn’t justify it! I kept thinking what would the non-consumer advocate do??? Well we all know the answer to that!! So I didn’t buy them. VERY difficult for me, but I did it. Small steps…


AFS November 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Even if crafting/sewing aren’t your thing.
Pillows are VERY easy projects
check on-line for ideas and instructions.
Check thrift stores too. Holiday pillows don’t get much wear & tear so what you find will still be in good condition.


LisaC November 22, 2016 at 2:56 am

I see nice pillows all the time at GW, but I’m afraid of bedbugs?


Diane C November 22, 2016 at 9:34 am

A tip that helps me is to think about having to store them for the other eleven months of the year. I have a couple that were passed on to me and boy, do they take up space.
Another trick is to make your own covers and slip them over existing pillows. Much less bulk to store.


Lucy November 22, 2016 at 10:38 am

My solution to the bedbug possibility is to put items in a plastic bag, seal (just a twist tie), and pop into the deep freezer for a week. I saw on a TV show about bedbugs that freezing for 72 hours is enough to kill them and their eggs, but a week makes me feel better. Easier than the also recommended high heat treatment – some stuff can’t take the heat but almost everything can withstand freezing. Besides, I worry that the critters might find a way to survive inside the dryer somewhere.


isabelle November 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

I would too. Or that a cat peed on it…. Anything that is stuffed I never buy used.


Julie November 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Check out the sewing blog MADE EVERDAY. Very easy instructions for pillows and a whole lot more. Purchase the pillow insert @ JoAnns (with a great coupon) and just follow her. My 9 year old made a pillow from this blog and did a great job. She has about 3 different pillow “types”. I make the envelope back style–so they can be tossed in the washer when needed.


Julie November 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm

The blog is MADE EVERYDAY. Sorry about the typo !!


marie November 21, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Frugal Thanksgiving at our home too.
Thought I wasn’t going to bother, than my son wanted to come up (50 miles from him to us} and bring his new girlfriend.
I had a turkey in the freezer, grew potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes.
I’m making a relish tray out of the pickled garlic, and pickled peppers, we canned.
Making homemade stuffing out of the bread in freezer.
Spent under #15 for all the extras I needed for the dinner!
Thawed the frozen pumpkin to make a pie, and using the apples I gleaned from a neighbor for an apple pie.
Should have a nice meal, and meet someone new.


Mand01 November 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

1. I made tabouli from homegrown parsley and mint. A huge bowl of it lasts us a couple of days. I took some for lunch today and it was delicious.
2. I put fruit on to soak in brandy for our annual Christmas cakes plus I’ve decided to make traditional Christmas puddings this year. Some of these will be gifts.
3. I’ve organised my annual leave and I’m excited to be having three weeks paid holidays. We will be tackling some home improvement jobs.
4. I’ve organised to swap childcare for a few days with a friend, saving each of us several hundred dollars in fees.
5. We are attending our daughter’s school Christmas carols night, which will include free dinner.


Marilyn November 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm

1. Sold 2 items on Craigslist recently. Both were things we had stored in cupboards and had not used in years. So no actual profit, but still $50 and the cupboard is no longer so cluttered.
2. Worked a full week rather than my normal part-time schedule. This left me with no time or energy to spend money- a good thing.
3. Planning a “practical Christmas” which means I will only buy gifts that I KNOW people want and will use. I’ll probably end up giving some people gift cards, which is not very creative of me, but I think they will be appreciated.
4. My daughter was home for the weekend. Visiting with her is always free entertainment for me.
5. Planning only one bit of bargain shopping on Black Friday, namely the 1/2 price socks at FM.


Bethanne November 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm

1. Have 2 non-paid days off from work this week , booked 6 cat/dog sits this weekend which will help compensate a little for the no income.

2. Found a bin of returnable bottles in the break room with coke bottle caps, took the bottle caps only to redeem for points.

3. Went grocery shopping and had $13 in cash rewards and $6 in coupons which included $3 of free bananas and one free gallon of milk.

4. Had $20 coupon from American Eagle used to get daughter a pair of jeans costing me $10 overall, one happy child.

5. Figured out have enough Discover card rewards to use for daughters big ticket item gift for Christmas a camera.

6. Swagbucking and only 90 Swagbucks away from a $25 PayPal card. 🙂

7. Faithfully putting in budget daily updates, will be very close this month on staying on budget.


Kristen November 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Do you get to have your boys home for Thanksgiving? Hope you have a great holiday!


kathleen November 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Totally blew my entire year’s worth of frugal goals by wrecking my car Saturday. I’m not sure yet whether it will be considered totaled or not, but it is 11 years old, so I don’t have high hopes. And we were down to one…ONE!…payment left on husband’s truck! <<>> Was SO looking forward to putting that amount in savings monthly.
1. No injuries due to car accident…so very thankful.
2. Daughter on vacation all week, and gave me a whole day today helping me around the house…dusting, mopping, hanging a gallery wall of art, and putting the Christmas tree up (up, but not yet decorated). I love my grandkids, but we got so much done without dividing our attention, and such a rare occurrence for just the two of us to get to spend a whole day together. I told her today could be my Christmas present, I appreciated it so much. 🙂
3. Ate from the fridge.
4. I’ve been wearing wool socks to bed. Today I changed the bed linens to the flannel sheet set and down blanket. No heater use yet.
5. Staying home (groan again…no car!)


Denise November 22, 2016 at 10:27 am

Oh the car is such grim bad luck! Here’s hoping that a little old lady near you decides to give up driving her very-low-mileage car and sells it to you for a good price! Glad you’re unhurt.


Ellie November 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm

#2 – Exactly how I feel. My daughter drives 7 hours (round trip) to give me a day in Spring and Fall. Best present ever!!


janine November 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Not a very frugal day. Forgot to bring water bottle and ended up buying drinks and snacks as I shopped for Thanksgiving goodies.
1. Found previously frozen peaches in freezer and will combine them with frozen blueberries for a peach /blueberry dessert.
2. Day-old rolls were for sale on a grocery back shelf. Bought six bags and gifted three packages to a friend who has gifted me from time to time with home-grown produce.
3. Trying to make use of pantry items and stuff I have on hand to make Thanksgiving dinner. We will also be guests of relatives so we will have two celebrations due to work schedules.
4. Husband bought furnace filter and new bathroom light fixture from neighborhood hardware store. Not the cheapest place, but he walked up there, got free exercise and saved on gas.
5. We went out for Sunday breakfast yesterday – portions were so huge that I brought home a large box of leftovers. I was able to incorporate them into dinner last evening as well as a rice dish I served up tonight.
Thankful for all our blessings including this blog which keeps us thinking how to stretch our resources.


Bari November 22, 2016 at 8:23 am

#4. I want to pitch-in to the idea of buying from a neighborhood hardware store. Great to give business to the local small business owner.
For me, it IS actually cheaper, albeit sometimes at a higher price.
Here’s my logic: I can walk three blocks to the neighborhood hardware store, visit with the staff, and buy exactly what I need at maybe a higher price. HOWEVER, I’m saving money INSTEAD of going to the big-box chain store and, as a result, buying MORE items (thereby spending more) that I often don’t really need.
There is a national movement focused on “Small Business Saturday” for the day AFTER Black Friday, encouraging people to patronize those small “mom & pop stores” that are often ignored.
I live in Portland, OR and there is a local campaign called “Little Boxes” that has a “free raffle that makes exploring your local shopping scene even more rewarding that it already is.”
Happy Frugalmas!


cathy November 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

I completely agree with you about supporting small businesses! I think it’s important to shop at those small businesses year ’round though. Don’t default to big box stores just because one-stop shopping seems more convenient. When AmEx started “Small Business Saturday” they offered their cardholders a great perk. Since they no longer do that, it doesn’t really matter if you “shop small” this Saturday or any other day of the week. Plus lots of small businesses either don’t qualify to participate (by AmEx’s standards) or don’t accept that card since their fees are higher than Visa & MC. #DisappointedInAmEx #SupportSmallBusinessesEveryday


Lucy November 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

I love our small-town hardware store. I can walk in with a problem and no idea what to do about it, and leave with a complete solution – parts, tools, instructions, and an offer of more help by phone if needed. So what if they charge a bit more?


janine November 22, 2016 at 1:38 pm

The hardware store I was referring to in my post is a new one in our neighborhood, replacing a beloved former store that went out of business. We are delighted they chose our neighborhood and we try to shop there as much as possible. This is a neighborhood of older homes which always need fixing so hopefully they will stay here with us.


Pliv November 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm

I LOVE this blog. I am SO thankful that you write it and can’t tell you how much I love it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!


Ll November 22, 2016 at 1:46 am

1. I sold 3 items on eBay and 2 on Facebook selling sites. Donated another garbage bag of clothes and passed on a bag to friends.
2. Went out for lunch and for the price of a regular sandwich I got a huge one that I was able to split for two days lunches.
3. Have been using up freezer leftovers for meals including cooking up some frozen cookie dough.
4. Did a big bake up with some sale choc chips, eggs that are near use by date and honey which we have an abundance of.
5. Returned a broken Tupperware item for a free replacement. I love their free replacement policy as their products are amazing!


Bellen November 22, 2016 at 3:29 am

1. It’s my gardening season so have been planting lots of lettuce, asian greens, pole beans, etc. Won’t have to buy anything but celery and onions at the store
2. Rounded up all the clothes that don’t fit, Christmas jewelry from our flea market stall, odds and ends of unused kitchen tools & knickknacks split all of it between 3 thrift stores and will drop off today
3. Put together a collection of items to take to the consignment store – a ship’s clock, Asian tea set, bone handled carving set and Mickey Mouse sterling inlaid ring and pendant – haven’t used any of these items in over 5 years and the money would be nice
4. Instead of buying the Christmas issues of magazines for recipes and ideas am using the free magazine app from the library – ours is Zinio
5.Hubby wanted to join a gym – talked him into walking 20-30 min 3 times a week in our neighborhood. Saved money and the gas and time needed to go back and forth to the gym.


rebecca November 22, 2016 at 4:33 am

1. Borrowing an aerobed for my niece to sleep on instead of buying one.
2. My sister is bringing me some containers for clothes ect that she isn’t using.
3. Baking 2 pumpkin cheesecakes from all sale bought ingredients for my offering to Thanksgiving and one for a friend.
4. Focusing on paying off the balance on my credit card. I am determined that it will be done by March!
5. Passed on a lovely compliment to a friend who guest spoke in my class. My grad students were impressed.


Bee November 22, 2016 at 4:36 am

I agree that homemade is so much better! This was my weekend to get organized before the holiday season.
1) I updated my living room for the holidays at no cost. I rearranged furniture, re-hung paintings, and moved accessories from one room to the next. It looks completely different, and so much better.
2) DH and I cleaned the garage. (Something that I have been putting off). Things are much more organized and I found a few things to go on our local Facebook site.
3) I walked to my neighborhood farmer’s market. There was some wonderful live music, and I was able to buy a few things that I needed.
4) I also cleaned out a closet. I have a box of clothes and such to go to the thrift store.
5) Before shopping for Thanksgiving, I straightened and reorganized the pantry. There is no need to buy duplicate items. I decided to use my stash of white all-purpose potatoes for mashed potatoes rather than buying my favorite Yukon golds. I also realized that I had an abundance of onions. Time to make onion soup!


BJS November 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

1, 2, 4, and 5 … your house must be super-organized now, Bee! That’s such a good feeling.


Bee November 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

It’s getting there, but it is a big job to keep it that way. While my children are home this weekend, I am hoping I can talk them into letting go of a few things. I really do not think my daughter, a graduate student, is going to where her prom dress again. LOL


Bee November 22, 2016 at 11:57 am

That would be wear her prom dress? In a hurry! 🙂


Josie November 23, 2016 at 5:13 am

Hi Bee, I am a librarian and you should ask your library to get the Tightwad Gazette for you. At my library we purchase any book a patron requests. Also most libraries belong to a network and get books sent in from that network.


Bettypants November 22, 2016 at 5:01 am

1. Ordered myself a cardigan from an online consignment store and added an Anthropologie top from the same seller for an additional $3.30. Sold the top on ebay for $14.
2. Spied a package of won ton wrappers on clearance at Kroger. Then I saw a recipe for baking them in the oven to make into crispy crackers. Made a couple batches yesterday and they are great with sliced cheese.
3. Sold four wineglasses on a FB sale board.
4. Dragged a poor quality cabinet down to the end of our driveway last night. Gone this morning.
5. One of my coworkers brought in a handful of Christmas ornaments she no longer wanted. Someone picked the creepiest one and put it on my desk as a joke. I sold it on ebay for $6. Joke’s on her. Ha ha.


Diane C November 22, 2016 at 9:43 am

Glad I wasn’t drinking milk when I read your #5. Go you, Bettypants!


Brantlee November 23, 2016 at 3:46 am

Yes. I too had to giggle at #5! Way to go bettypants!


Mrs. Picky Pincher November 22, 2016 at 5:10 am

Bravo! I also broke down a pumpkin last weekend. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t save the seeds, which are really tasty when roasted and dusted with paprika and salt. Boo.

This week:

1. We’re going on a bit of a long drive to visit my family for the holiday. To make up for some of the expenses that are bound to occur, we’re packing our own snacks to minimize roadside purchases. Hopefully this means we won’t eat as much junk food, either!

2. We completely forgot to plan dinner for yesterday, but luckily we had plenty of freezer meals to choose from. We had a delightful dinner of pork pot stickers.

3. My sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I’m thrilled that I don’t have to put on a big, expensive dinner! I’m bringing a dessert, however, to help her out.

4. I made fluffy yeast rolls over the weekend and froze them. I also baked a few loaves of ciabatta bread; I’ll take one loaf to my family to try out.

5. I made a batch of yogurt and yogurt cheese, which should last us several weeks, since Mr. Picky Pincher hasn’t been in a yogurt-eating mood lately. The yogurt cheese is what you get when you strain yogurt for 12 hours. It’s a cream cheese-like texture and it’s a perfect replacement for processed cream cheese!


tonya parham November 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

I feel I haven’t been very frugal at all lately. A cat visit to the vet, too much eating out, and just general slacker-ness in the frugal department. Here’s what’s passing as frugal for me at the moment. (I think it’s just the end of the semester. I always get tired and lazy about money at semester’s end.)

1. I made breakfast at home instead of stopping at McDonald’s for sausage biscuit.

2. I got the $5.55 burrito for lunch yesterday and at it at about 3pm. It was so huge, I didn’t have supper!

3. I didn’t hire someone to rake leaves. (I didn’t rake them either.)

4. Renewed my library books and am returning two today that I can’t renew.

5. Am listening to an Audiobook from the library (Jacksonland by Steven Innskeep) on my phone while I make food and clean the kitchen.


Denise November 22, 2016 at 10:36 am

3. That made me laugh. I’m with you on the “no-hire but no-action” leaf management protocol!


Jen November 22, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Run over the leaves with the lawn mower. We call that good enough!


Kim November 22, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Us too! And then we dump them into the compost pile!


Chris November 22, 2016 at 8:16 am

1. I bought a lovely couch via our neighborhood list serve in late August and the other day the seller asked me if I was interested in 2 upholstered arm chairs that I had seen when I was there to get the couch – and they were FREE! She wants to get her garage cleaned out before it snows. We have a small car and she offered to deliver them if we would help her load and unload. My task today is to vacuum them well and get them in place.
2. I have hosted Thanksgiving at my house for over 20 years and this year decided I simply did not want to do it. One of my sisters waited a few days after I told her to say she would be happy to do it. I am bringing a side and a dessert – what a relief!
3. I have 10 days off work and a giant stack of library books to read and a bag of cotton to cut into squares for our church’s quilting group.
4. Brought home boiled potatoes and herring left over from our church’s lutefisk dinner.
5. Read current magazines through Amazon Prime – downloaded the Kindle app for our ipad.


Vickie November 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

1) I’m thankful to have Wednesday off to prep for Thursday’s dinner. I received a 20% discount on the turkey, since my total purchase of groceries on Saturday was over $25.
2) I’m going tomorrow to buy the rest of what I need. I’d rather the veggies be fresh. I don’t need much, but my daughter & grandkids will be at the house for two nights, so I have to make certain I have enough breakfast food to feed everyone. The Tribal grocers is the cheapest one close to us and they always have great sales before the holidays.
3) I’m listening to a Library audiobook by Fannie Flagg titled A Redbird Christmas. I love her books.
4) I wasn’t hungry much last night, so I ate some peanut butter & crackers. Apparently hubby wasn’t either, he ate popcorn. No cooking and no eating out!
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet.


jennifer November 22, 2016 at 8:58 am

1. I was gifted a whole bag of bath mesh sponges from the same friend whose mother died that I have mentioned in previous posts. Not something we normally use because I felt they were wasteful and germy but I do like the way they make my skin feel. I also feel like I am using less soap, go figure.
2. I just completed my Thanksgiving grocery trip. My mother and I cook for the whole family, which is not that big, but it’s still a challenge to get it all done at the proper time. I am doing my turkey breast and a smaller ham in my crock pots. I have done this for years and love the results. I use exactly the same spices I use in the oven, fresh herbs with butter under the skin, pineapple brown sugar ham,etc. and I sliced them so no one misses the fact that they aren’t that brown. This frees up my oven for the pies, casseroles, and other things I have to cook. Oh, and most importantly, I have never, ever, had a dry turkey.
3.I found 3 bags of apples at Kroger in the reduced bin for 99 cents. I was proud because I have 2 apple dishes. Apple pie and Cranberry Apple Pecan casserole. I purchased the 1/2 cup of pecans for my recipe from the bulk bin which cost less than the prepackaged 1/2 cup variety sold at Kroger.
4.I have put up my Christmas tree. Please do not give me a hard time because I have it up so early. I have several things going on the next few weeks so I don’t want to try to figure out when I could squeeze it in. Putting it up early, when I actually had the time, allowed me to enjoy the process more without rushing. I have a pre-lit Christmas tree that I bought from a friend about 7 years ago. Most of the lights wouldn’t work so I spent an hour or so, and a few blisters on my fingers, cutting them off. I already had string lights so it worked out perfectly. Several of the branches are broken but I put all the decorations on it and looks beautiful.
5.I am way behind on coloring my hair. My hair is blonde with very dark roots. I do my own highlights at home but I have just been so busy I haven’t been able to get it done. So this has been frugal but I am not looking so good.


LisaC November 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

# 5: Ombre is in style!


jennifer November 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

For some reason, on me, it just doesn’t work. My hair is very thin.The dark hair that is growing out seems to be greasy and without much texture and the blonde is manageable, yet dry. It’s like working with two separate sets of hair. I do love the look on others!


Mand01 November 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Is there such a thing as reverse Ombré? My hair is dark with grey roots. It grows really quickly so I have to keep getting it touched up!


Jennifer November 23, 2016 at 5:09 am

Not sure but maybe you could be a trendsetter!

Gina in KY November 29, 2016 at 6:56 am

I’m right there with you on the dark with grey roots thing! And, I am so not ready to go grey yet. 😉

VanessaKC November 25, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Our tree has been up for 2 weeks. 4 year old started in on me the day after Halloween. I typically take it all down before NYE, so I caved and made my boy happy this year.


JD November 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

1. I am making a fruitcake recipe from Alton Brown that is actually good. I don’t have the right size loaf pan so this year I tried it in a greased no stick bundt pan. The cake stuck in the bottom and only two thirds of it came out. That cake is expensive so I called on my old Play Doh skills and rebuilt the cake by mashing and shaping the broken off parts back on. It looks pretty decent! My family will laugh but it still will taste good.
2. I have company coming on Wednesday so I’m making iced tea and homemade snacks instead of buying a lot of snack food and soft drinks.
3. I’m wrapping gifts for them to take home with them for Christmas. No postage that way. The paper is from clearance and yard sales.
4. We Will also gift them with young plants we grew, for their garden.
5. Even though we will feed several extra people at several meals I am not buying paper plates and solo cups. I have enough dishes after all these years of housekeeping to manage just fine.


auberie November 23, 2016 at 12:59 am

#1 You should try putting breadcrumbs after the greasing. There should be breadcrumbs everywhere in the pan and then you remove the excess.
My mom used to do it and she didn’t have a problem. 🙂


Mand01 November 23, 2016 at 1:03 am

I always grease and line cake pans for fruit cake. It’s very sticky mix with all that fruit, so it can stick to the pan easily.


Amanda November 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

1. My lunch today is the last of a chicken dish some friends brought to our house for dinner on Saturday. They refused to take leftovers home.
2. I went to the library last night while my husband was putting the kids in bed. I attend a university about an hour away, but in Virginia I can check out books at any public university. So I get most of my books at the college in my neighborhood. Going at night means that free parking is easier to find, and there is less traffic. Plus university libraries are open 24 hours a day. Why waste my precious kids-are-in-school time when I can go late at night?
3. We’ll be back home at our weekend house for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re down in the country there where the living is cheap, but there is no Aldi and the nearest grocery store is about five miles away. So I planned our menu for the long weekend and what we will take for Thanksgiving. That way I can hit Aldi on the way out of the city and not have to drive into town at all.
4. The first graders at our son’s school are having a Thanksgiving party today, and so I had to contribute. The thought of baking tons of brownies appeals to me in absolutely no way, so I jumped at the chance to bring juice boxes. I can not bring myself to buy something made of pure high fructose corn syrup, but I also didn’t buy the organic, I-love-my-child-thiiiiis-much juice boxes. So I opted for the middle road, which maybe wasn’t the cheapest route to accomplish the objective, but cheaper than it could have been.
5. It has now been about a month since I originally put shampoo on the shopping list. Then I decided to clean out our growing collection of partially used haircare products left by guests (we airbnb). I think we’re good through the end of the year.

Our friends that were over on Friday night are a couple and their adorable two year old. The husband is a financial planner and frugal as all get out. His wife, bless her, likes to eat out and dress well. Their little girl got hungry again after dinner and the wife pulled out a cup of applesauce. The little girl ate a couple of bites and got bored, so the wife handed it to her husband and asked him to throw it away. He looked at her like she was crazy. I offered them aluminum foil to cover it until they got home, but the husband said he would just hold it in the car. “We have way more at home!” protested the wife with a laugh. Those two. They are perfect for each other in so many ways, but I think the frugality thing is a daily negotiation.


BJS November 22, 2016 at 10:44 am

#4 and your story about the couple were funny!


Emily November 22, 2016 at 10:47 am

1. Making sure to pack lots of snacks, halloween candy and sandwiches for our 7 hour drive tomorrow. Bought some energy drinks on sale too, so NO EXCUSES for gas station treats.

2. Decorated my tiny apartment for Christmas already. Since I am out of town for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I like to do it early so I can enjoy it. The only things I purchases were 2 stocking holder weighted hooks (at the dollar tree!), and materials for two mini wreaths. I dug out some lights I used to hang around my dorm room, and used Michael’s coupons, sales, and my teacher discount card. Spent about 10 bucks.

3. Sitting on my couch with 3 blankets, 2 pairs of socks, and a cup of tea to stay warm. NC weather took a nice 20 degree dip so, I am cold now! But trying to make it without heat a bit longer!

4. Doing some clothes shopping in PA while I’m there. No taxes on clothes there.

5. Renewing my gym membership before Dec 1 for a discounted rate. Preventative care is frugal. I went 2 years without a gym membership and it just doesn’t work for me. If it comes down to paying for the gym and actually going vs not paying and not staying healthy…pretty obvious answer!

Bonus! –Pulling names for xmas exchanged for my boyfriends family. He has 3 siblings plus their significant others, so the 8 of us are picking names. Last year one couple got everyone gifts after a strict “no gift” rule, so we found a compromise. 1 gift with a 25 dollar max. Everyone’s happy.


Marilyn November 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Emily, I loved your #3 above. That describes me as well. Sitting here in my fleece jacket wrapped in my fleece blanket and sometimes wearing fleece socks. I’m triple wrapped.


isabelle November 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

Question for you : why do you keep drinking the crappy coffee? It’s not a judgement, I’m just curious. If it’s so aweful why don’t you just skip it? I absolutely hate coffee so maybe I just don’t understand the “caffeine need” thing!

My 5 frugal :
* date night tonight using a Groupon for supper + cheap night at the movies. My mom is babysitting for free.
* Taking all the shifts that I can get until Christmas. I work on call and I’m taking 6 days off during the Holidays, so I’ve got to make up for them.
* Free breakfast at daughter’s daycare this morning (for her and me)
* I get myself a piece of pizza once a week from the hospital cafeteria (where I work). This pizza is out of this world, and at 3,85$ it’s a cheap treat for me. I bring veggies and fruits from home to round up my meal.
* Hubby and I are using our paid-for (by employers) work programs to get some services instead of paying for private services

Have a great frugal day!


Cindy in the South I November 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

I cannot speak for Katy, but I drink caffeine drinks during breaks when I am in a 12 hour trial day for days on end ….I assume it is the same for an RN working obgyn….you have to keep going during your shift and be on top of your game….


Isabelle November 22, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Makes sense, 12 hours is long!!


Kim November 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

1. Went to 2 church sales over the weekend. I look for things we need, gifts and things to sell. Found three items for gifts, new rug for my foyer $3, lifetime supply of felt pads for the bottom of my chair legs 50¢, new leather handbag $3 and a few things I collect. I will sell the CathrineHolm bowl 75¢, transfer ware plates 50¢ and the books, 2 bluerays and sealed 25th Anniversary CD set of Prairie Home Companion $12.50 total. They are already listed on Amazon.
2. Reminded DH to pay the water bill online on the due date so we avoided the 10% late fee. It’s a quarterly bill that he sometimes forgets. He thanked me for the reminder.
3. Rehoming some items with new owners. Magazines and a bag of “Box tops” to a teacher friend. Bag of books to a 2nd grader who is very excited to get some new to him chapter books. Bag full of new earrings made from fabric covered buttons, to a friend who sends things to Appalachia. The women love jewelry so I like to pass it on to her. Church friend is happy to get a quilt I no longer need for her photo shoots. It’s not old, we bought at a discount store years ago. It has seen better days but will be great for her use. I’m also giving her a box of Easter Egg dye bought quite awhile ago that I found in my back room. Her 3 girls will love it and my college age sons not so much!
4. Using up Free retail coupons I’ve gotten in the mail. Ulta $10/$10 or more purchase on my blush I need, $1.05 OOP. Kohl’s $5/$5 on 3 pairs of Trifari earring for $2.97 OOP. They were 80% off and will be used as Christmas gifts. Still have a BB&W free full size product and got a Staples $5 in the mail today. Put it right in my wallet so I don’t forget to use.
5. Driving to Tennessee to see DS#2 who is in school there. He has class on Wednesday and has no way to get home before Thursday night. We will make the 9 hour drive, bring all the food and stay in his apartment. I am also restocking his supplies for his 2 1/2 last weeks of the semester. Three days of classes and two study days next week and then finals!


Grey November 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I love Katy’s continued references to free crappy hospital coffee. I tended my great-aunt for 2 weeks when she was on the cardiac floor of a hospital. The free crappy coffee was DECAF crappy coffee on that floor. Thankfully one of the nurses took pity on me and told me real crappy coffee was available one flight up or down. My great-aunt tried to bribe me to bring her some but I didn’t give in…


Teri November 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

1. Volunteered to get bumped from a flight that I used miles on: $700 voucher.
2. Found $11 at Costco, left name and number in case anyone checks for it. (learned my lesson to do this instead of leave the $$)
3. Found 28 cents at Target.
4. Found 17 cents at Walmart, batching errands, wanted to keep going to see how much more I could find…
5. Eating leftovers in prep for Thanksgiving and needing more room in the fridge.


Mariana November 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

This week, while still visiting my family, I am eating and drinking everything home made. Whatever I am spending is from the ‘trip budget’ which is separate from any other money. It will feel like not much was spent when I get back to NYC this Sunday 🙂
Besides home made (and thus cheap) food I am enjoying free entertainment this week – coloring and playing games with my nieces, walking around the village enjoying the nature, watching movies on youtube.


cathy November 23, 2016 at 9:48 am

1. Mended 2 pr of leggings, some boys’ underwear (poor quality; won’t buy that brand again), and my jeans (again). I think the jeans have almost reached the unmendable stage.
2. Favorite pair of TerraSoles aren’t made anymore. I repaired the soles with Shoe Goo. The uppers are fleece and one had developed a hole. Used embroidery floss to repair the hole and stitch a leaf pattern around it. Now the shoe looks like it was designed w/ an accent.
3. Son overslept this morning. Since we live only 10 minutes from campus, I told him I’d drive him. I’ve wanted to confirm that there’s a glass recycling drop-off in the neighborhood, on one of the streets between home and the U. Found the bin and was able to recycle a large amount of glass on the drive home. Curbside pickup would be almost $10/month.
4. Needed to have some maintenance work done on our car. Dealership was cheapest since they offered coupons. Husband dropped off the car and then took light rail to work. His employer offers a free public transit pass to all employees.
5. Shopping for Thanksgiving and stocking up on all the sale items, especially baking supplies. Harvested the rest of my garden before it snowed last week, but still able to harvest perennial herbs. Brought my bay inside to try to overwinter it, but it started to dry out. I harvested two quart canning jars’ worth. Don’t think I’m going to need bay leaves for years!


Suzanne November 24, 2016 at 4:38 am

Thank you for the shoe goo tip!


cathy November 24, 2016 at 9:57 pm

I picked up the tip reading this blog. Thanks go to Katy!


Ruby November 23, 2016 at 10:35 am

1. Did some decluttering and took about ten grocery sacks of stuff to donate to Goodwill. Stopped at the Salvation Army on the way home and bought a light fleece jacket that replaces the warm yet very itchy wool-blend hoodie that was donated.
2. Used the jacket a lot this week, as the weather has turned quite cold and we’re keeping the heat low in the house. With the jacket, fuzzy socks and a quilt, I stayed warm while reading in the den with my husband.
3. Got a free holiday lunch at work this week. Free food — yay!
4. Planned the goodies I’m taking to the family Thanksgiving dinner around what I have on hand at home.
5. Did have to break down and buy some new slacks for work (extensive thrift shop trawling did not turn up anything in my size in the color needed), but took advantage of a discount coupon that brought the price way down.


cathy November 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm

For anyone who has allergies that require an EpiPen, Mylan still has a discount coupon on their website that’s good for up to 3 two-packs per prescription (can use two prescriptions per coupon card), but expires December 31. Apparently they raised the maximum allowable amount to $300 (based on what your insurance will cover). Since EpiPens are generally good for at least a year, I plan to refill my kids’ prescriptions in December. The last time we filled them, we paid about $6 per two-pack. Here’s the link:


Heather November 25, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Why not dump the pot and make new when you get in? I think I have asked this before…but forgot the answer!!


VanessaKC November 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm

1. Went to my aunt’s farm for thanksgiving. We carpool because it’s far and love the time to chat on the way. Everyone brings something. I took a kale salad which was pretty cheap to make. The costly ingredients were the almond slivers and parm. I stashed the cheese rind for a dead of winter soup. Could even cut it for 2 soups.
2. My online sales (primarily for my dad’s old school VW shop) are slow because aircooled car parts sell better in warmer weather. Lined up a sale to close on tomorrow via Craigslist for $150, better than nothing. Dad always throws me a meaty bone for my time.
3. My store list for the week is only about $20,
part of which is paper products.
4. Not frugal but felt good – gave my cousin 2 large bags of winter clothes and shoes for his son, year younger than mine. I get the vast majority of my kid’s threads from thrift or free. I feel good to give because it sure feels good to receive.
5. Not necessarily the most frugal, but I have a bogo Chipotle coupon and plan to surprise my dad with lunch at work tomorrow. He will be painting a car while I sand a bus. Saturday is my favorite work day because it’s usually just us. Good times, hard work, hippie music and silly inside jokes all day. I think we both deserve a break from thanksgiving leftovers.


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