Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 21, 2015 · 64 comments

  1. I mended a hole in one of my favorite T-shirts. The hole was dab-smack on the front, so I didn’t have high hopes for the result. However, since it was in an area of machine embroidery, the mend ended up being completely camouflaged. Yay!
  2. Dinner last night was everyone raiding the refrigerator and grabbing leftovers. Meals included chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, red lentil soup, cereal and rice with tilapia. We avoided wasting food and freed up a number of nice Pyrex leftover containers, which is always a plus.
  3. My next-door-neighbor noticed a rat in our front yard, and set up traps for us. He apparently caught a huge black rat, which he thinks was the one that he’d seen. Having a neighbor who will do this kind of disgusting chore for us is absolutely priceless. We are very lucky. Revoltingly lucky, but lucky.
  4. I sold my congratulations-on-twenty-years-of-employment cookware set for $110, which was immediately added to the ol’ college fund.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa W. September 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

I just know that someday you are going to slip up and buy a Lear jet.


Kristen September 21, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I want to see the mended tshirt. We demand pictures!

(well, at least I do.)


Katy September 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm

It’s in the washing machine, otherwise I would have included a photo.


deb September 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

please show the shirt when you can!


Carlen September 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I wanted to let you know that I’ve been inspired by your website to try to be less consumeristic. I’ve always been theoretically non-consumeristic, but I hadn’t ever put my money where my mouth is so to speak (which is to say put it back in my wallet and go without). So, last week when my favorite vintage store posted a picture on FB of something that I *had* to have, I resisted the urge to drive over that day and buy it. And the next day I realized I didn’t really want it that bad. And this weekend, my daughter and I walked to the grocery store instead of driving. We stopped by our neighborhood local library on the way AND found a box of disgarded books and plates, out of which she picked up a Food Face Dinner Plate which retails for $17.49!


A. Marie September 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

(1) Have not rushed out and spent a couple of recent windfalls (profit-sharing bonus from my company, and small gratuity for a presentation last year to my beloved literary society) on profligate living. To quote one of Hoagy Carmichael’s lesser-known songs (he did write other stuff besides “Stardust”): “Tomorrow is unpredictable, so it may be sound advice/To put away some extra fish on ice.”

(2) Did spend a bit on a pair of orthopedic shoes I’ve been putting off buying for a month or so. Being able to walk without limping: Important.

(3) Working on cleaning out the freezer, in anticipation of the 1/4 cow and 1/2 pig we buy each year from a friend who raises the animals.

(4) Working with DH on starting to winterize the garden as spent crops are pulled out. Also starting a list of things that didn’t do well this year so I won’t grown them again, although there weren’t many of those.

(5) Hanging laundry on my vintage indoor racks as usual, and thinking of the racks’ original owners (householders in this neighborhood a couple of generations ago).



A. Marie September 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

P.S. Sorry for the typos in the preceding. I just knocked off work for the day, and I’m not seeing quite straight.


Susan (Eastendmom) September 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I just love the idea of vintage clothes racks that have been in the neighborhood for many years.


A. Marie September 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Thanks, Susan. DH and his partner bought several houses in the ‘hood back in their active landlording days, and DH saved two racks out of basements that must be at least 75 years old. One still has a broken rung with a cloth-tape mend that is still holding up well. I just put lighter stuff (t-shirts and underwear) on that rung.

And speaking of t-shirts, my hat’s off to Katy and everyone else who can do a successful darn. Every time I try, a new hole springs up immediately next to the darned one.


Nancy from Mass September 22, 2015 at 8:44 am

Hogey Carmichael!?! I haven’t heard that name in years. My dad loved his son “Hugging and Chalking”.

Hogey Carmichael. Wow. that brings back memories.


Nancy from Mass September 22, 2015 at 8:44 am

song, not son.


sherri September 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm

We went to Baltimore this weekend to visit my son, and stayed for 2 nights in a pricey hotel (that was less pricey than others in area). Anyway, we were woken up at 6:30 am Saturday morning by construction workers directly out side of our room, working on the roof! We complained and received $200 off of our hotel bill (plus any tax that would have been added to that amount). Yay for us…came home and had a dead car battery. Guess how much? Yup, $200 plus tax.


JD September 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

That’s how it works for me! Do we live parallel lives by chance?


auntiali September 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm

1. Cut up dh’s fresh fruit yesterday and packed it in the free Rubbermaid set I got years ago from going to a bank and asking about their savings account. I didn’t open an account but got the Rubbermaid.
2. It’s gorgeous and fall like here today so no AC on.
3. No extra lights on. Opened living room curtains to let the sunlight in.
4. I’m taking a shower today but I skipped one yesterday saving on hot water, soap and shampoo.
5. Picking up my prescriptions tomorrow while I’m out. Bad thing is I’ve met my meds deductible on my insurance. Good news is free meds til the end of the year.


JD September 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm

1. Set out my old Clark’s shoes to polish tonight. They will look so much nicer and newer when they are polished again and I’ll feel good about wearing them even longer. The shoeshine kit was my father-in-law’s, who died when my husband was young, 43 years ago. It still is sturdy and the brushes are still good!
2. Funny thing, I set out a dark pink shirt to mend a hole in the front of it just today and here’s Katy darning. What’s with all these knit shirts developing holes at the tummy level? I don’t wear belts hardly ever, and I don’t stand around leaning up against countertops. Grrrr.
3. Bought my first Christmas gifts — used books for a daughter who loves the author’s work.
4. Watching a relative’s pets while she’s out of town. It saves her money, costs me none, and I get repaid with a nice meal or little gift.
5. Eagerly awaiting the cooler weather — yard sales! My favorite purchase so far — a 12″ heavy cast iron skillet, known locally as a “chicken fryer” because a while cut-up chicken can be fried at once in it. It was rusty and dirty, but I scrubbed it and seasoned it and it’s great. It cost me all of $1.00.


Isabelle September 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm

I have the same problem with shirts (small holes appearing from nowhere at the belly area), posted about this once. It’s just too wird! Someone suggested it might be the car seat belt… who knows!


Diane C September 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

I’d point the finger at seatbelts, JD and Katy. Inspect same for possible snags at your earliest convenience.


Kristi H September 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I have the same problem. One of my friends suggested maybe the pull from zippers on jeans/slacks.


Emily N. September 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

I have the exact same problem with pretty much all of my knit shirts. So frustrating! I’ve been vaguely blaming the counter that I do lean against when I do dishes, but the commenters below have my curious to examine my seatbelt. The holes did start around the same time as I started driving this car (although this was also the same time I moved to my current place)


LisaC September 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Mine and my husband’s shirts have those little holes! I wish someone knew what it was, so they’d stop. They are in some of my favorite soft shirts.


Canadian Girl September 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm

What has helped me is all of our pants, jackets etc. with zippers are zipped and buttoned up prior to going into the washing machine. And all of the shirts are then hung to dry (year round) This hasn’t completely stopped the problem but it has helped immensely.


Katy September 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm

I’m actually really good about zipping zippers before putting them in the wash. And the hole was up by the top of the shirt.


Isabelle September 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Nice job on the cookware sale!

* Went to the farmers market and got a gigantic cabbage (2.50$) , potatoes (1$) carrots (1$) 12 corn on the cob (5$) and peppers (1$) and tomatoes (1$). All organic.
* Got a book from a free pile and adding it to the Christmas gifts
* All my book club meetings are taking place at restaurants. As much as I love eating out, it’s getting expensive (every 2 weeks, or so), so I’m contemplating ordering only a tea from now on when the meetings are taking place at 7h pm, instead of a full meal.
* Bought 8 toothpastes on special, 170ml for 1,28$ (each).
* Brought my mom to the restaurant for her birthday. We were 5 (3 adults and 2 kids). Used a groupon. Ended up costing 72$ all together, for the 5 of us (instead of 122$). Because we also eat out once a month as a family (Dh, myself and the kids), this outing is also our family one for September. So it’s kind of a 2 for 1, money wise.

Have a great frugal day!


Betty Winslow September 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm

1. wore a favorite black Tshirt with a floral print on the chest despite some tiny pinholes around the belly button area – no one would know they were there unless they were looking really closely, and no one gets that close to my belly area except my husband (who would approve of still wearing the shirt LOL)
2. I don’t make monetary donations to the private school I work at, but I do make in-kind donations to various events and hunt down others. The fall festival is soon – I donated 2 pr of earrings I made, 2 bracelets one SIL made, and 2 patchwork table runners the other SIL made (and she also donated three quilted purse tissue holders for gift bags of an upcoming library fund-raiser).
3. My contribution to our local food pantry (where I serve on the board) was to set up their FB page, including photos I took today. Almost finished with it….
4. Last two times I was in our post office, I found stuff someone left: the new issue of Oprah’s magazine (which I will pass on) and a package of Harry Potter stamps (which I’m sending to our neighbor’s daughter in her next care package).
5. Forgot to take coupons to Meijer for free items when I shopped the other day, but did think to ask if I could bring them back with the receipt and they said yes; was able to pick up a free bag of kettle chips (for a rare treat) and a free package of Puffs tissues when I stopped there today to pick up my (free) RX refill. (I love that Meijer offers the diabetic meds I take daily for FREE!)


Ruby September 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm

1. We’re having gorgeous weather here in Tennessee, so the air conditioning has been off and the windows open for the past several days.
2. Went grocery shopping today and had some really good store brand coupons (beef, peanut butter, produce) along with a $2 coupon for dry cat food hat helped me come in under budget.
3. Found a quarter in the washer.
4. Cleaned the house with a stack of cleaning rags. Washed those and the reusable cleaning pads for our Libman Freedom spray mop and hung them on the drying rack to dry. Cleaning solution for the mop is some 409 cleaner, bought on sale with coupons, diluted with some water.
5. Received a $20 reimbursement for an overcharge from our former doctor’s office. That went right into Christmas savings.


Monica September 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

1. Making a new recipe tonight that calls for Bisquick as one of the ingredients. Don’t have (or want to have) Bisquick on hand, so I made my own out of ingredients I had already. $0.00 for the NCA win!
2. Doing laundry using my very good Dollar Tree laundry soap. I mean this stuff is terrific and smells ok to boot. I have been making my own laundry soap for years but was in a pinch and bought this stuff. I have to say it may be even better than my make-at-home stuff. $1.00 for many, many loads of stinky laundry.
3. Will NOT stop at Salvation Army or Goodwill today when I go out to pick up my sons’ rx, even though they are both within 1 block of the office. I don’t NEED anything and am quite content with what I have.
4. Typing up minutes from latest PTSA board meeting instead of going to Starbucks (my weakness). Crushed the temptation for another NCA win!!


Carol M. September 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm

1. I have a cold, but it’s mild, so I subbed today anyway. May skip tutoring.
2. Taking supplements I already have on hand, like Emergen-C and garlic, for said cold.
3. Went to the free cactus fruit spot over the weekend and got three more pieces.
4. Using library a lot. Emailed library regarding renewal problem, and they renewed books for me, saving me fines. Have Tuesdays with Morrie, the audiobook, coming to me. I haven’t used a lot of audiobooks in my life, but I recently listened to Circle of Quilters on a road trip, and it made me cry. The dramatization was very good. I plan on reading more from that series. So I’m getting Tuesdays with Morrie on audio, hedging my bets that it will make me cry. As a (mostly) noncryer from a family full of cryers, I find it very therapeutic.
5. I handwashed a beautiful linen shirt that had been sitting in a laundry basket for months. I was going to take it to the consignment store, because it’s no longer my size, but I tried it and it fits. That’s one more thing I don’t have to buy for my work wardrobe.


AFS September 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I really enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie. I don’t remember but I probably cried.


Carol M. September 22, 2015 at 5:43 am

I think I’ll enjoy it! I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven and cried a little for that one. The topic of Tuesdays with Morrie–conversations with a dying man–sounds depressing to me, but I imagine it’s heartwarming as well.


K D September 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

1. We ate in all weekend as we most likely will all week.

2. A friend gave me some orchard peaches. We didn’t think they were that great. Hello peach crisp, which everyone is enjoying.

3. I gave away several items using I like to put items out for porch pick-up because it seems easier for both me and the recipients. We had cream cheese we were not going to use so I put that out in a cooler with ice blocks (it is a cool day anyway).

4. We watched a couple of movies that I borrowed from the library over the weekend.

5. Our local grocery store is having a promotion with CoinStar. If you cash in $50 worth of coins you receive a $10 coupon towards a grocery purchase. I will count my found change and other change hanging around the house/car. If you take the funds as a gift card you do not pay a fee (I’ll likely do an Amazon gift card).


Patti September 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

1. Did not go out for dinner on Friday (which we usually do) because I was just too tired to enjoy it. Hubby did just fine with snacks and leftovers and we both enjoyed an evening in.
2. Scrubbed our screened porch (using old rags and dish soap) so it can be painted. Planning to enjoy it more now that the weather is cool and fresh. My painter recommended a fix for my floors that will save us the $1000 it would be to replace. YAY! Looking at fabric for reupholstery for the cushions for next summer – if we buy now, it will be extremely cheap with sales on outdoor fabric. I plan to do the sewing, too.
3. Spent Sunday afternoon at a free concert called Jam in the Park. Took the cooler with drinks and shared snacks with friends so no purchases there.
4. Made a trap for fruit flies with cider vinegar.
5. Making homemade tomato soup tonight using our newest garden tomatoes.


Tracy September 21, 2015 at 2:52 pm

You have totally motivated me to try to consume less as well. Although I don’t have five things (and I am not quite sure you will consider this *frugal*), I thought I would share my one triumph of the past week. We needed new living room furniture something fierce — My youngest daughter loved using the old stuff as a trampoline and all the cushions had many holes/rips on both sides. On our walk up to the local farm, my husband and I noticed a tag sale with a gorgeous couch and loveseat set. We decided to check it out further and found out the owners are moving to New Hampshire by the end of fall and….the set was only $200! Pristine condition besides one small tear in the back of the loveseat (which goes against the wall anyway). We bought it on the spot AND the guy offered to deliver them to our house in his pick up truck so I didn’t have to figure out how to get them home. (The thought of trying to carry these pieces six houses down was terrifying! LOL)
Thanks so much for inspiring me to continue to strive to be more frugal and to think out of the box!


Katy September 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm

That sure as heck is frugal! Way to go!!!!


Jill September 21, 2015 at 3:06 pm

1. Had a coupon for a fancy/schmancy shoe store. Headed to the clearance section and found a pair of black pumps in my size -$40 and half price. When I checked out the cashier said I had another $10 rewards so dress shoes for $5! They will replace a pair I bought 30 years ago. Man, I’m old as dirt!
2. Bought a whole chicken on sale and made drunken chicken over the weekend. My husband has mad “get all the meat you can off the bone” skills so will get a few more meals out of it and put the carcass in the freezer (still way too hot here for soup)
3.Used a $10 dept store coupon and bought my husband 2 shirts on clearance for Christmas – ended up paying$4! I always leave the tags on so he can see how inexpensive all his presents were which makes him happy.
4.Picked up my library copy of “The Luckiest Girl in the World”
5.Am hosting our neighborhood supper club this week. I provide the wine and main ingredient while everyone else chips in with a contribution of some sort. Fun and inexpensive.


Chris September 21, 2015 at 3:09 pm

– Went to a neighborhood wide sale with a friend for fun on Saturday. Bought 3 Baby Gap halloween costumes and sold 2 of them yesterday.
– Made stuffed peppers using peppers given to me and tomatoes from our garden.
– Working a lot this week and anticipate no shopping besides typical groceries – 90% at Aldis
– Got Minneapolis – Washington DC air fare for $200 RT for next visit to see the new grandson.
– Using daughter’s Hulu membership to watch the first season of Empire – love it!!


marleen September 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm

1. made granola in the oven and yogurt in the crockpot over the weekend.
2. just ground up some dried bread pieces in my food processor and added some homemade Italian seasoning for seasoned bread crumbs.
3. picked the last of our rhubarb for the season and will freeze it.
4. bought two rolls of wrapping paper and several individual Christmas cards at the Salvation Army. The cards were a penny each, and I have found twenty-five that will serve my needs this Christmas. I usually spend about $8 for a box.
5. did all my washing in cold water this past week, used less detergent than suggested on the bottle, and hung the loads out to dry.


JD September 22, 2015 at 5:28 am

That’s a great deal on Christmas cards and beats what I used to do, which was buy them at 50-75% off after Christmas. But, now I have Christmas cards out the wazoo for free — my sister works as setup for a greeting card company and is allowed to keep a few of the items they take down when it’s time for the new displays to go up. I think I have 12 boxes of cards, plus she’s given me journals, notebooks, photo books, and even a baby toy when a grandchild was born. All free and still in the package.
The rest of that stuff is thrown away when the display is taken down! So wasteful! Her area supervisor finally convinced the company to let them donate some of the stuff to non-profits, but most is tossed. Isn’t that awful?


Sharon H. September 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

1. Participating in a 31-day Evolve Your Style challenge, and I’m finding all sorts of new ways to wear things I already have. Feeling great about my wardrobe, which is a huge boon. I get most of my clothes from thrift stores, and this has made me feel like a million bucks. Getting lots of compliments too.

2. Made my son a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust Sunday as a delayed birthday gift. He had agreed to serving brownies to his party guests last month, so we didn’t have to buy an expensive huge cheesecake from the gourmet shop. It gave me time to bake a smaller specialty version for just the family. It came out beautifully.

3. Going to batch errands this evening when I take that son to his karate lesson. I’ll drop him off at the dojo, then go to the library to pick up two books they have on hold for me. Then I’ll buy gas at the grocery store, saving .30 per gallon with their loyalty card perks.

4. Supper was leftovers and homemade sausage, white bean, and kale soup.

5. I set up a monthly auto payment of our older son’s first year college tuition. It allows us to pay more of it from current income, despite the one-time $20 service fee.



Kim from Philadelphia September 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Rats- oh my gosh!! Panic attack!!

Are they attracted to a compost bin?
Why do you think they hang out there?
I’m thinking about embarking on a compost adventure- but I have to say if it might lure rats to my yard I’ll take a pass!


Sharon September 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm

~ I was taken to lunch for my birthday, which was 9 months ago… Better late than never! Lol
~ I helped a friend load her truck and mine (and unload at her house) with wood from a friend’s cut down tree. One friend got rid of wood she could not use, one got wood she could use, I got free exercise.
~ After unloading the wood, the same friends, their dogs, me & mine went to the river to play. They drove so no gas spent for fun social time.
~ Dinner was simply toast with sunbutter as I had such a great lunch.
~ my evening’s entertainment is catching up on some magazines from a friend. We swap with each other.


Anne September 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

I need to learn to sell stuff. For some reason that intimidates me…

1. Husband made from-scratch pizza last night that was sooooooo good. Topped with garden tomatoes and leftover bbq chicken.
2. Took leftover pizza for lunch today and sat in my car munching on it and reading my thrift store copy of the The Girl on the Train. Small pizza stain ensued, glad it wasn’t a library copy.
3. Washed my second load of laundry in the Wonder Washer. So far I think it’s a nifty contraption. Very easy to use and the clothes are coming out clean!
4. Laundry is hanging on the line.
5. I’m letting some unattractive potted plants die since we’re having such a prolonged drought here. I’ve been mindlessly watering them but they’re ugly so why bother?


Jenny September 21, 2015 at 5:34 pm

You might want to offer those plants you don’t want to someone else, maybe on your local freecycle group. I once found a potted plant by my dumpster, brought it home and gave it some plant loving, and now it’s about 3 feet tall and growing out of it’s container.

Also giving something away on freecycle might be a good first step to selling things.


Anne September 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Good idea! They are rhizomes so I can dig them up after the plants dry up.


Beth September 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm

1. Hung up two loads of clothes to dry in the basement this weekend.
2. Used up some long expired carrots and peas in my “cream of chicken vegetable rice soup” this weekend, pretty tasty.
3. Made dessert (lemon bar mix) instead of buying more ice cream using up another expired item (expired in May so figured it was fine, tasted fine).
4. After making corn muffins tonight to go with the left over chicken soup from yesterday left the oven door open to help heat up the house. No heat on yet, yeah! Just closed the downstairs door to the basement as I have the window open down there to help dry the clothes, a little chilly.
5. Didn’t buy my daughter a candy bar at the library tonight but brought her some cookies from the meeting I attended there.
6. Said NO to the vending machine today and brought an apple and cheese stick from home for a snack and drank water.
7. Haven’t gotten Netflix even though daughter keeps asking, she can watch Amazon Prime (which we have).
8.Used a buy one entree get one entree free coupon at Noodles and Co., a few days ago treating daughter to dinner at her favorite place.
9. Did the online survey and now have a free appetizer from there to redeem another time.
10.Also did another survey for a free Subway cookie.


pattilou September 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm

I had a really frugal and fun few days of intertainment.
1. We go free tickets to the Symphony over the weekend so had a great night out for free.
2. friends paid for parking for the Symphony because I drove
3. My friends and I decided to stay in and have dinner instead of going to a restaurant. All I was asked to bring was some lemonade.
4. Spent 3 hours wandering in our city’s botanical garden. The admission was free for the day. It was a bit crowded but still really relaxing and enjoyable
5. A friend paid for my movie ticket the other night because I have been giving him some rides because he doesn’t have a car right now.


pattilou September 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm

oops “entertainment”


Vickie September 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

1) Leftover baked chicken, baked potato and cooked carrots for dinner. Yummy!
2) I put duct tape over the missing door handle on my car. Keeps the rain out. I started looking at the prices for a used Toyota RAV4, which is the next new-to-me vehicle I would like to have. I’ll need to save 10k to buy a 3 year old used RAV4. I’ll have about 1/2 soon. My car is still going, but starting to come undone at 300k and now 10 years old. No hurry, but at least now I know how much I’ll need.
3) Saving electric now that Fall temps are setting-in. I love Autumn!
4) I took my granddaughters to the State Fair on Sunday. The wrist bands for the carnival rides were the best option. $22 each for the kids and they rode all the rides they wanted for over 4 hours. They had a blast and I took some cute pics of them having fun.
5) We have a fellowship dinner at church once a month. I picked up a box of Hungry Man Au Gratin potatoes for a buck at the Dollar Tree last week. It was quick and easy to make & bake Sabbath morning, then pack in the car for the dinner.


Lindsey September 21, 2015 at 10:18 pm

My frugal moves this week:
1. When I harvested my potatoes a few weeks ago, some were injured by my pitchfork and I wanted to use them before rot set in. I made crockpot scalloped potatoes and ended up with WAY more than I realized I would when I was focused on using up the damaged spuds. My husband and I ate them every night for five nights. He never complained and kept saying they were not boring because I served a different protein every night (chicken, hamburger, sunny side up eggs, vegetarian mushroom burgers and salmon) but when we finished dinner tonight he asked if we could have soup for the next few days–and not potato soup. (I always try to cook for two nights so I don’t have to bother with anything but reheating every other day.)

2, Next door neighbor traded me 8 huge spring rolls for two gallon bags of bok choi I had harvested from our garden, blanched and frozen. She heard me saying to my husband that I perhaps over-planted bok this year because we ate it all summer (it is the only green he likes) and I still ended up with 8 gallon bags of the stuff for winter soups. Glad to get it off my hands and I love her spring rolls!

3. Was tempted to buy expensive salmon to make salmon patties (I detest canned salmon, so only use fresh) but decided that if I put in enough spices we would be just as happy with tuna patties on homemade buns from the Frugal Girl blog and tarter sauce I made from my homemade zucchini and homemade mayo. We didn’t miss the salmon at all!

4. Got a discount magazine email, picked four magazines to order for less than $5 for a year’s subscription. As I was pulling out my credit card I thought, “What the heck is the matter with you? You worked hard for the 20 bucks you are about to spend.” I clicked off the site.

5. Went to the library and raided the box they have where folks drop in their magazines and take magazines others have dropped off. Fixed my magazine fix for free (I keep them in the car so I have something to read when in lines or am waiting for my husband to come back to the car after appointments or grocery shopping He likes to shop, I do not, but he always ask that I go along for company in the car. After 33 years of marriage, that is sweet. What could be more important than spending time with him?

6. My next door neighbor had a baby, her third under 4. I wanted to buy her something but then I thought that she probably had all the baby gear she needed from her other kids. She is a stay at home mom and her husband is a minister and I know she worries about their finances a lot. (I think I am so much older and we both spend a lot of time in our gardens just across the fence from each other, so I think she feels safe in talking to me. Her mother lives far away and she can hardly tell her friends, who are all members of the congregation, their money troubles.) I realized that they could make much better use of food, so I made a big vat of mac and cheese, 12 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (pumpkin from my garden) and a tomato salad from the tomatoes turning red on my counter. I thought it might seem cheap (because it cost me a lot less to use my cupboard ingredients than it would have to buy a blanket or something) but she cried (hormones, I know) when I showed up with enough to feed them for several meals with no added work from her.


cc September 22, 2015 at 1:15 am

That is sweet and I’m sure she appreciated it better than another blanket. Sounds like a nice neighborhood to live in.


Lindsey September 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

I meant my next door neighbor on the other side from the spring roll maker had a baby. We have a pretty tight neighborhood so interact a lot with each other. I am lucky.


Bettypants September 22, 2015 at 4:13 am

1. Made a batch of biscotti to use up the rest of my sliced almonds and dried cranberries. I’m trying very hard to not waste food, which feels harder for me than it should.
2. After reading about the Buy Nothing groups on here, we are going to start one for our area. There is already a FB Freecycle group, but there is nothing but fighting over items coupled with the same greedy people trying to grab it all. It’s so depressing.
3. Bought two hand held video systems locally and sold them on ebay for a $56 profit. I find it astonishing that those old gaming units are that desirable.
4. Sold a lot of vintage wedding photos that I used previously for decoration, and have just been sitting in a closet. However, winning bidder has yet to pay. I’ll never understand why people buy on ebay, but drag their feet on paying, or don’t pay at all.
5. Fail: saw a pair of rubber boots at local rummage sale and dithered about buying them for resale. I chose not to, and now I think they would have been a good buy.


Katy September 22, 2015 at 8:04 am

I used to sell on eBay a lot, and would joke that buying from me was very dangerous for both buyers and their family members. Why? Because buyers would often have sudden and dire family emergencies that kept them from paying on time. I remember a few heart attacks from extended family members. Right . . . .


Theresa September 22, 2015 at 5:17 am

1- Sprayed shower down with hydrogen peroxide (so much less expensive than special shower cleaners–I just buy the bottle of hydrogen peroxide and screw a spray nozzle on from another emptied bottle)
2- Dried off my razor and put it in the cabinet after shaving–Clark Howard says this is the secret to making razors last a very long time (moisture dulls the blade) and I’ve found it to be true
3- Cut up an old cotton pillow case for ‘hankies’ to combat fall allergies rather than always using disposable tissues
4- Brought a sandwich for lunch even though I was right by Whole Foods for a mid-day meeting
5- Finished up bits of leftovers that needed to be eaten rather than creating food waste


Katy September 22, 2015 at 8:01 am

I’m going to try that hydrogen peroxide tip. Thanks!


Roberta September 22, 2015 at 6:21 am

1. Picked enough cherry tomatoes at my neighbor’s house to make bruschetta with my 4H group. Used rosemary from my garden instead of basil (which is looking a little thin right now). Ended up only having to “buy” olives and olive oil from my cupboard. They will reimburse me for costs, but I’d rather save that for when I need it.

2. I got a call from my sister. The big box of hand-me-down sporting equipment I gave her years ago outfitted three of her children for baseball, with the exception of one belt. Then she called me back to offer me a winter jacket for my daughter, in her favorite color, that she found at a garage sale for 50 cents.

3. Found a Hudson Bay blanket at the thrift store for $2.50. I’ll be selling that for $100 on Craigslist!

4. Had dinner in the crockpot readt to eat when we got home from the car dealership.

Not so frugal: bought a new Prius. With rebates, it was cheaper to buy new than used from the dealer, and I couldn’t find newish ones on Craigslist. And the old car was feeling really untrustworthy. At 12 years and 189000 mils, it was time.


Katy September 22, 2015 at 8:01 am

Sister power!


Rachel September 22, 2015 at 7:59 am

1. I used rewards (earned from school supply shopping) to get a nice pair of Sony headphones for 53 cents which will be saved for one of my kids for a Christmas gift.
2. We are successfully on day 22 of a pantry/freezer challenge, having spent only $80 on groceries this month for our family of 7. It feels good to save money and use up what we have to avoid food waste and keep stock fresh.
3. I received hand-me-downs from a friend for my kids, sorted through everything that day and posted 2/3 of it for free on a local kids site. We have limited closet space so I never feel obligated to keep more than we can use and store easily.
4. We enjoyed a park potluck dinner with a few other families and I was able to find things to make and bring without going to the store.
5. I sold a couple items on FB groups. They were not big ticket items but every bit helps and I’m happy to be releasing items from our household bit by bit.


Katy September 22, 2015 at 8:08 am

Every little bit does count, both as money saved and money earned. Great job with your list!


Amanda September 22, 2015 at 10:40 am

1. I have trouble finding nice little boy shoes and coats at my favorite Goodwill, so I try to look at more expensive consignment stores and then break down and buy new when I can’t find what I need. But Sunday I scored some major finds at one of my favorite consignment stores–shoes, coats, and church clothes for both boys. I spend $143, but it was still way cheaper than if I had bought everything new.
2. Our microwave suddenly stopped working this weekend. The repairman diagnosed the problem as the main bit that makes it work. The cost of repair is about the same amount to buy new. We’ve opted for repair because the repairman says if you replace said part, you pretty much are getting a new microwave, other than this very important part, the microwave is in excellent condition, and newer appliances just seem to die earlier (our first microwave was 30 years old–we only got rid of it because it was starting to rust a little inside). Plus getting a new microwave would require shopping and decisions and installation–who wants all that hassle.
3. We almost never get takeout, but (see 2 above) our microwave is not just broken, but covering my kitchen with its taken-apart pieces. So we opted for some glorious takeout. I did use a discount card for my sushi.
4. As a grad student studying history I read about 50 books a semester. I am now regularly patronizing six (SIX!) different libraries (not branches, distinct library systems) in the area to get the books without having to borrow.
5. A mistake on behalf of our doctor’s office resulted in a bill for $50. I confirmed with insurance today that it was a mistake and should not have been billed in this way. So I have started the uphill battle of correcting an incorrect health care charge. It is partly the $50 and partly the principle of the thing.


Juhli September 23, 2015 at 7:24 am

I had this happen in the past and simply sent the insurance statement showing what I actually owed. The provider refunded the difference with no problem. If you have any documentation from your insurance it should help a lot.


Jamie Deangelis September 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

1. Went to grab subway tokens and ran my fingers through the change slots and came up with a bonus dime!
2. Cooking meats out of the freezer this week to keep grocery costs down – I stocked up on these when they were on sale at the Acme.
3. So far I’ve earned a $25 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks, about $5 in Perk and probably $7 across my other apps/websites.
4. Sitting at home with my dog watching rabbit ears TV instead of going out for drinks and dinner.
5. Im going to sleep early. Sleeping people don’t consume.


Monica September 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm

1. Started a found change jar. 🙂

2. Realized I grabbed the full price pasta instead of the sale pasta while running errands today. Got $1.20 back in cash.

3. Picked up a prescription yesterday and realized they billed my insurance instead of the store’s prescription plan. I phone to see if I could bring my receipt & if they would issue me the difference. They said they would and it will be an extra $5 in my pocket.

4. Set up a budget with DH over the weekend through Mint. This was 1.5 years overdue as employment and educational situations have changed.

5. Earned my first $25 Paypal through Swagbucks.


Jill September 23, 2015 at 11:03 am

I made another batch of homemade soap for my family over the weekend. No one even considers store-bought soap to be “real” soap in our house any more. No more plastic body wash containers or soap box packaging! I store all the soap in a couple of large candy boxes that I rescued from work. Reduce, reuse, recycle, baby!


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