Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 30, 2015 · 47 comments

  1. I worked yesterday and brought my own lunch and drank the free crappy coffee. I know this frugal thing comes up repeatedly, but it’s these dull but daily frugal opportunities that make a big difference in the long run.
  2. I took my bought-it-on-Craigslist rug shampooer over to one of my mother’s guest cottages and gave the wall-to-wall carpet a thorough cleaning. I absolutely was not in the mood for this physical job, but I forced myself over there with the thought of how so many billions of people on earth have it worse than I do. Sometimes it’s necessary to remind myself of my privilege and to get over any semblance of feeling sorry for myself. (Seriously, I was born into a supportive middle-class family in the United States. Doesn’t get much better than that!) I brought home an organic feta and spinach frozen pizza and two half-boxes of cereal for my family.
  3. My husband and I helped our older son fine tune his resume so he can start applying for jobs. Nothing more frugal than young adult children who have the ability to support themselves!
  4. My husband and I prepared for our son’s impending 20th birthday by purchasing gift certificates to a few of the local businesses in his college town. Sadly, we won’t be with him to participate in his Birthday Day of Adventures, but we’re still able to provide him with adventuresome activities that fill up his heart, not his dorm room. Click HERE to read how we celebrated his 19th birthday!
  5. My husband has been invited to the Oregon governor’s volunteer appreciation luncheon, and was able to snag me a plus-one to be his date!

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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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie September 30, 2015 at 10:44 am

Kudos on #5 in particular, Katy! And, yes, I also use #2 frequently to get my chin up off the floor.

Now, my small potatoes:

(1) Actually, I have both big and small tomatoes (didn’t grow potatoes this year) coming out my ears. Am still freezing them and giving them away left and right.

(2) Will use some of the tomatoes plus other end-of-season garden veg in a minestrone tomorrow, with the stock I’m making today from bones I’ve been accumulating in the freezer. (Time for my standard joke about getting arrested for practicing voodoo without a license if the authorities ever see what’s left over from my stock-making.)

(3) About to go wash and hang more laundry. Lather, rinse, repeat. (And count me in among those folks commenting on the earlier post who wouldn’t be without a modern washing machine.)

(4) About to go out and tap rain barrels for houseplant water. We’ve just had a good soaking rain today for the first time in ages.

(5) Postponing getting a haircut, but this is more laziness than frugality!


Cheyanne September 30, 2015 at 11:07 am

I just got a haircut last weekend for the first time in almost a year. Felt SO. GOOD. (I have curly hair and don’t trust many people — read, my boyfriend who cuts his own hair) to do it for me. $20 well spent. 🙂


Betty Winslow September 30, 2015 at 11:04 am

1. Ate leftovers for lunch yesterday and today.
2. Made dinner in the crockpot (beef stew) before I left for work yesterday, which meant no ordering pizza!
3. Shopped for groceries at Kroger today, to take advantage of the senior discount; scored a BOGO of calcium tabs, with $1 off coupon, too, 9 lbs of gr. chuck for $3.49 a lb. and 10 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breats for $1.88 a lb., two marked down containers of bella mushrooms (making chicken marsala on Saturday!), and three bottles of our fave dressing, $1.00 off each, plus a few other odds and ends. I do love the discount day!
4. Stopped at Aldi for somme of the stuff I always buy there (canola oil, olive oil, cream soups, milk, eggs, and so on.) No major mark-downs, but I’m always pleased with the regular prices for our standards.
5. Managed to track down a firewood supplier who’s bringing us a truckload Friday, seasoned hardwoods, for $75. Whoot!!


Cheyanne September 30, 2015 at 11:06 am

WOW! That’s CHEAP for firewood! SCORE!


Cheyanne September 30, 2015 at 11:05 am

1. My boyfriends sister just texted me to ask me what size I am because “I know we’re probably not the same style but I think I have some stuff that will fit you from my corporate days.” HA, me? Have a style? Noooope. I gleefully accepted as I hope to start looking for a new job in the next year or two.

2. Almost done with a crocheted baby shower gift for my cousin. Since my grandma sent me a bunch of her yarn (some from 1960 — NO JOKE), the total cost for this gift was $1.48 for a pair of big red buttons.

3. I made pinto beans a while back that didn’t QUITE turn out right so I turned them into vegetarian baked beans instead. Half the batch went into the freezer and we’re having that for dinner tonight.

4. I’m listening to an AMAZING book on Overdrive, “Gabi, A Girl In Pieces” that I desperately want to gift to my coworker’s daughter. Even the used price on Amazon and Abebooks is a little higher than I would normally spend right now but I’m still going to keep looking.

5. I allow myself to get a fancy coffee drink once a week (which is usually used up on Monday) but this week I have been saving it until 10/1/15 when ICD-10 hits the US. Since I work in medical billing for my 9-5 I’ve been nervous about this for a few years now. I’m excited to go into work tomorrow peppy. I think I’m also going to do a walk around the block (a mile in total) to calm my nerves a bit before I clock in.


Katy September 30, 2015 at 11:13 am

I hear you on medical charting anxiety. We switched over to Epic over three years ago and still don’t feel fluent yet.


Marcia September 30, 2015 at 11:57 am

When on vacation at a car club event, I walked past a seminar room where they were studying the ICD-10. I told my husband I wanted to go in there and spend the rest of the day. I used to do medical records in the 70’s and really liked it, but I didn’t want my degree in that (was an adult student then) so just had to do it under a consultant. Loved the medical field. Should have been a doctor–that’s what I really would have liked to do. Didn’t, though!


Marilyn September 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm

I recently read that ICD-10 contains so many new codes that there is huge need for new medical coders. Ever think about getting back into this?


Bobbi September 30, 2015 at 11:29 am

1. Brought snacks on a 4-1/2 hour flight, so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy overpriced airport or plane food. What I packed was healthier, too: almonds, an apple, carrot sticks, and soy yogurt.
2. I also brought my stainless steel water bottle on the trip, empty through airport security but filled it at a water fountain.
3. I wandered in outlet malls with family members who wanted to shop, and I didn’t buy a thing. I wasn’t really tempted to, but I kept my frugal mouth closed because I could tell that it was a treat for some relatives to have fun shopping, and I didn’t want to be a buzzkill. Besides, it was fun to visit with them.
4. Same old boring frugal stuff: making my own coffee in the mornings, eating at home, using up leftovers for work lunches, bringing my refillable water bottle everywhere.
5. Supervised by my doctor, I’ve been steadily losing weight for health reasons, and I have dropped a couple sizes in clothes. I am thrifting for clothes that fit me better, and having great luck. Even when I reach my goal weight, I plan to shop at thrift stores for new clothes. I end up with better quality clothes than if I bought new! Also, I am donating clothes that are too big for me back to the thrift stores.


Carrie Willard September 30, 2015 at 11:53 am

I ate leftover, warmed oatmeal for breakfast.
I created a menu out of inexpensive but healthy ingredients I had little bits of for supper.
And bought the rest of the ingredients at ALDI.
I said no to the $20 Elsa nightgown my 3 year old begged for at Target (but will look for it used on eBay because I know she’ll wear it threadbare!).
I walked around my neighborhood and did pushups, free, instead of paying for a gym or exercise DVDs for fitness and mental health


Kim from Philadelphia September 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

How are you doing post drop off oldest son at college? I’m sure it’s an adjustment!


Katy September 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I’m doing great! I feel really positive about where he is and what he’s studying, (Digital arts.)


Kim from Philadelphia September 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Marcia- regarding ICD-10; you
Might need a stiff drink in addition to that fancy coffee!!


Deb September 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm

1) Found an expanding shoe rack in a free pile on Sunday. Have one like it, and had just said I wish I had another for my husband’s shoes. (God provides!)
2) Used free Shop Your Way points they keep sending me from Sears & KMart to shop for nearly free baby gifts for upcoming shower, candy for Halloween, and toys for nephew’s Christmas gifts.
3) When picking up Kmart items in store to save shipping, got 4 bags corn chips on clearance for $0.50/bag and a box of lemon bar mix for $0.45. Got a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase with my register tape!
4) Shopped at a favorite Goodwill and got a like-new Cutter and Buck Dry Tec polo in a beautiful dark coral color for my husband for $4.00.
5) Used a coupon I received in the mail for a free Chik-Fil-A sandwich.


Ruby September 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

1. Used CVS Extra Bucks with a coupon to buy a refill container of hand soap. Paid only 49 cents out of pocket.
2. Used $6.25 in store/manufacturer coupons to buy a gallon of milk and a bag of cat food. Paid $1.93 out of pocket.
3. Our old china cabinet is dark wood and sits in a dark spot in the dining area. Today I used two $1 rolls of black on white toile Magic Cover paper from Dollar Tree to wallpaper the section behind the glass doors. It took me several hours to do it because of matching the pattern so it would look extra-nice. The white really makes the china stand out now.
4. Also decluttered the cabinet while doing the wallpapering and gleaned several items to donate, along with rediscovering a really cool chicken-shaped plate I forgot we had. DH is going to hang the plate on the kitchen wall for me. Free decor!
5. Got several free e-books to read.


Betsey September 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

1. I shampooed and clipped my puppy here at home. Messy, but frugal.
2. I found an old ice cream maker (electric) in one of the boxes from my parents’ home. It works wonderfully, and I’m so happy because now I can control the ingredients myself.
3. I received a flat of peaches for nothing from a friend. What I did not eat I canned a la peach jam.
4. I’m enjoying doing my own yard work this fall–raking, mowing, and general clean up.
5. I resisted the temptation to go to a 80% off sale at a local store. If I need nothing new to wear, then I figure I am ahead by pocketing the 20% I would have spent.


Katy September 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Ooh, ooh . . . peach ice cream!!!


Deb September 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Reminds me of another frugal item this week. Got a large grocery bag of peaches at local orchard market for $7. Peach ice cream sounds delicious.. I might have to try to make some.


Lynn D. September 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

1. Only bought a pair of extremely comfy shoes for my upcoming trip to Chile. I’ve been browsing Chilean sites and everyone seems to be casually dressed, so I hope I’ll fit in.
2. Received a nickel in the mail from a charity asking me for money (?). Put it in the ole travel fund. I must have received at least a dollar in nickels from various charities recently.
3. Dinner tonight is from the freezer, garden and pantry. I’m cooking a 25cent box of freekeh from the Wheeler Dealer in Salem. (Katy, you’ve got to check it out when you come down for the volunteer luncheon. It’s right on Market St. which is the exit you’ll take to get downtown. I’d suggest we meet, but I’ll be in Chile)
4. Washing clothes for our trip and hanging them to dry.
5. Recycling the rinse water from the washing to water the garden (this involves a plastic barrel and a hose)


Lucy September 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

My first time for this!
1. Sadly have met my out-of-pocket limit for prescriptions so picked up one today for $0.00.
2. Visited the thrift store and resisted a denim jacket in my size because I have jackets, just not a denim one.
3. Used the Furminator on the dogs outside, keeping a lot of hair off the carpet and thus saving on vacuum cleaner bags.
4. Aired up the slowly leaking tire on hubby’s car and drove it to town rather than take my truck, using less of a cheaper fuel.
5. Sticking to my new one cup of coffee per day limit, for health reasons, but saving money on coffee too.

Yes, I was a little whiney about airing up the tire myself as the compressor is awfully heavy and has to be dragged out of it’s “spot” to the car, but then knocked it off as I realized what a first world problem it really was!


Amanda September 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

1. Got a free coke with Pocket Points. It keeps me away from the machine.
2. Picked up a free sandwich in the faculty lounge left over from someone’s meeting. I planned to eat it immediately and then realized I had no mayonnaise, so I brought it home to my husband who thought it must have been his birthday.
3. I find it pretty easy to resist impulse buys, but as a grad student studying history books are my life. If I wasn’t frugal I would have piles and piles. But I resisted buying a book today that I instead got in ebook format at the library. I was tempted because the library didn’t have a printed edition, but I will make do.
4. My husband and I have gotten convenience take out exactly once in the last few months. Not only did we take advantage of a discount card we have, but I got a notification yesterday that Upromise gave us $1.05 in college savings for the transaction. It still wasn’t as cheap as pb&j, but every bit counts.
5. I read frugal blogs like yours to keep me keepin on.


Marilyn September 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Just back from 8 days in CT visiting my 2 sisters. Both sisters are frugal types, so:
1. We found that last Saturday was “Museum Day”. This is apparently an annual event when many museums do not charge admission. We went to 2 great museums in Mass (Edith Wharton house and Herman Melville house). It was a beautiful day, the leaves were just starting to turn and we really enjoyed the trip.
2. We skipped the gift shops.
3. One of my sisters found that she can borrow certain museum passes from the public library. We were able to borrow 2 free passes to the art museum in Hartford. It’s a great museum and recently renovated. We spent several happy hours roaming around the place.
4. We did look at the art museum gift shop, but did not buy anything.
5. Ate most meals at one of my sisters’ homes. They are both great cooks, so it was not a sacrifice.


Amy September 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Have your son check with the university to see if they need lifeguards. When I was in graduate school one of the other TAs would regularly lifeguard during swim team practices at 6 am. They had other times when the pool was open to the general public too that she sometimes covered when it didn’t conflict with classes, research or teaching. There’s usually a listing on the university website of on campus student jobs, some require that you be work study but not all of them do.


marleen September 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

1. I helped clean out the refrigerator at work and was able to bring home hot dogs, buns, pickles, cherry tomatoes, apples, and cheese slices that were going to be thrown out because no one wanted to be bothered with reclaiming them after our department’s summer picnics.
2. Checked the produce clearance rack at one store and came home with cheap, perfectly good mangoes and six smaller size apples. At another store I looked for the marked down meat, and came home with pork chops, beef sirloin, and bacon all for half price. They get broken down into serving size packages and frozen.
3. looked through my pantry inventory list and made a mental meal plan to use what I have on hand, so it looks like I won’t have to buy much in the way of groceries this weekend.
4. wrote a few letters to family this past week and used some stamps that were left to me by my husband’s grandfather. He collected new stamps back in the 60’s, and it takes quite a few to make 49-cents, but it makes quite a decorative envelope! I saved them for years until I was told that they had no more worth than the price printed on them.
5. I packed all my lunches for work, hung out my laundry which I washed in cold water, paid my bills online, kept turning off lights, collected returnable soda bottles that get abandoned at work, rinsed my hair in apple cider vinegar instead of using hair conditioner.

I enjoy reading what everyone is doing, and it keeps me motivated to have at least five things to report next time.


auntiali September 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

1. Had two doctor appointments today and put the ‘ol hypermilling to work. Lots of hills where I was going.
2. Got a new med and it was free – sadly because I’ve met my prescription out of pocket.
3. Refilled the foam soap dispensers from the big jug of liquid soap. I fill them 1/4 of the way and use water for the rest. The big jug lasts a long time.
4. Went to Dollar Tree looking something specific which they didn’t have. I did finally get a small picture frame for dd’s high school graduation photo, and I found the cutest little bottle of Tide. I’ll use the Tide and then use the bottle to put my sharps in.
5. Wondering what essentials I will need to pick up if the hurricane truly does come in our direction.


Isabelle September 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

* Made a gigantic batch of spaghetti sauce + kamut pasta. Cost estimated at 9$ (ingredients all bought on sale – kamut pasta, jars of tomato sauce, veggies, cottage cheese). Then divided it in 17 lunch size portions for my 5 year old’s school lunchs, and froze. 0.53$/portion, yay! And 17 upcoming lunchs here and there I won’t have to figure out = priceless
* Needing a air compressor. Looking for a used one first, 40$ instead of at least 100$tx new… will see.
* Looked at all the groceries flyers, made a list of the cheapest yet healthy food, and made a list for price matching to bring to our usual grocery store. Taking into consideration what we have at home, what we can substitute or avoid buying all-together, and sticking to the list. Then using the PC mastercard (fully paid each month and without annual cost), to get some PC points exchangeable for free groceries, and getting 0.02$ back for each reusable bag. Then using Zweet to get (sometimes) money back on selected products… This is our weekly routine. It saves a lot.
* We like to offer out of the ordinary birthday parties to our kids. This is not frugal at all, but it’s a once-a-year treat. We were thinking a science theme b-day for our soon 6 yo, but it’s not going to happen this year (it’s about 300$…), because we can’t afford it. I’m ok with it, we will do a simple at-home celebration with a couple of friends, home-made cake, simple goodies bags and it will be just fine.
* Hubby and I agreed on a 35$ Christmas gifts budget for each other this year, and I’m happy to say that my shopping is already done (and gifts already wrapped!). New badminton set for 18$, used board game for 2$, mystery solving book taken from a free pile and new teapot for 11,50$. I’m even under budget!
* Read an awesome book that talks about friendship and a coffee shop. I got it from a free pile, and was thinking about my best friend while reading it. The book is in perfect shape, so I will wrap it and add a bath bomb (3$?), a cool used cup (0.50$), and a couple of packets of tea (already have), as a Christmas gift for her. Book+hot bath+bath bomb+cup of tea = awesome!
* Every year we make personalized calendars for ourselves and the grandparents, for Christmas. Regular price for 4 is around 75$-120$, even with promos codes. Too much for our budget this year. Yesterday I got really lucky and found a company that does them in my city and that was offering a 40% discount until…. today! So I got to work and created them, ordered them, and it will cost me only 13$ per calendar (and we are buying 3 instead of 4 this year). Yay!!
* Christmas gifts will be minimal this year. Used stuff for the kids (books, clothes), and huge ladybug pillows that I got on clearance last Valentine. They are young, they don’t care, and the grandparents spoil them anyways. Plus, I hate clutter, so win-win.
As for adults, we are keeping it at 30$ each maximum (5 adults : my mom, his mom, his dad, his sister, his brother). And the gift for my best friend (5$). That’s it,

Have a great frugal day!


Jenny October 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

If you like zweet, check out ‘checkout 51’. It is a similar app, where you purchase specific products, then submit your receipt to them and receive the money to your account.

For other readers, I’m not sure if it’s available outside of Canada, but with the mention of PC points (great program, by the way), I’m pretty sure Isabelle is in Canada.


Megg September 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm

I haven’t bought lunch in 30 days! I’ve packed my lunch every day since starting a new position at work (although I actually spent 10 weeks prior to that packing my lunch so it’s been more like 4 months). I’m pretty darn proud of that. I used to buy lunch embarrassingly often when my schedule wasn’t so…scheduled.
I’m also stopping for coffee less, as it’s not as convenient in the mornings. It also helps that it’s cooler out and my new schedule doesn’t have me out if the house my 6:15 every morning so I have time to enjoy my homemade coffee.
I’m working on taking steps to contribute to my retirement, finally. My company has been contributing for almost 2 years but until a month ago I wasn’t full time so I needed every cent of my check. Now I feel like I’m in a place where I can and should contribute.
We booked a cruise for December 2016. This doesn’t sound frugal but it was a crazy sale, plus there’s no interest on the balance which isn’t due until next September. This leaves us plenty of time to keep saving for it and something to look forward to!
My husband has a conference he wants to attend next month, but luckily he’s able to stay with his mom, saving us hotel expenses.


Carol M. September 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Posted this on the last FFT tonight, feel I should have put it here:

1. I felt like my cold was coming back today, and I thought about skipping my tutoring job. But that would have meant less money for me, so I splurged on a Jamba Juice–orange/ginger. Although it was $5, it helped me to not skip the tutoring.
2. Have been making good use of a belt I bought at a thrift store 15 years ago. Banana Republic. Funny how when you buy something quality, it has a more timeless style.
3. Fiance made use of a pizza coupon for our weekly takeout. Many NCAers would never buy weekly takeout, but as adults with no kids, it’s a luxury we let ourselves have.
4. Going through supplements I’ve had in the closet to keep myself healthy–unused vitamins, etc.
5. I did not gallivant around town in a limo with my head sticking out the roof, shouting “woo hoo!”


Kimberly October 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

#5 lol!


Carol M. October 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm



Beth September 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm

1. Frantically doing Swagbucks, found out late, working on the ncrave points trying to get to 100 by tomorrow night. At least it got me motivated to work on these – sadly did not reach my September goal of reaching $25 Paypal card, need to make up for that in October!
2. Nothing says Non-Consumerism like working on your budget for October!!! Just did that on Everydollar and sadly income is down this month by $500. Managed to cut down on some items but still over by $400. Hoping a child support payment, more dog/cat sits and extra pay jobs will come up over the month.
3. Sick at the beginning of the week so I have not felt like eating, yeah, thus less grocery’s.
4. Went to upscale mall yesterday to return an item – left without buying a thing, win win!
5. Worked sporting events as security to earn extra cash for daughters braces and making sure I transfer the cash to a special account so it isn’t spent.
6. Said no to ordering Jimmy John’s and drove home to eat lunch. Would have spent over $8 I figured.
7. Hung up loads of laundry in the basement to air dry cutting down on my electric bill. Saw funny Facebook post today “As a child I used to be afraid of the dark, now as an adult I’m afraid of my electricity bill.”
8. Picked some free apples where my daughters soccer practice is held, home made applesauce anyone? 🙂
9. Went to Aldi’s and saved some cash on food for breakfast and lunch. I didn’t buy the autumn themed desserts, food i was tempted to but remembered we still have baking mixes at home to be used up.


Theresa October 1, 2015 at 7:16 am

That Facebook post is very funny!!


Robin September 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm

1) made cinnamon rolls for my son’s soccer team snack. I had all the ingredients and the kids were ecstatic.

2) had half an eggplant left from our Blue Apron meal for today so I sliced that sucker up, breaded and froze it for eggplant Parmesan in the future.

3) our fall/winter garden is growing well. I’m doing a much better job of maintaining it this year. Putting in the favas this weekend.

4) menu planned for the next 2 weeks, trying to keep buying groceries to a minimum.

5) took the kiddo to the library again, I had to stop him at 20 books.


Bettypants October 1, 2015 at 3:15 am

1. Bought a bottle of perfume from a local FB board for $10. Apparently is a discontinued, sought after scent that sells well on ebay. This is the fifth bottle I have bought for resale, so I guess perfume is becoming one of my ebay niches.
2. Picked up a king sized hollywood bed frame for free, which I will be listing on CL this weekend.
3. Ate leftover chili for lunch yesterday, and resisted the siren song of Qdoba nachos.
4. Love that the new fall shows are popping up on free Hulu.
5. Sold two small toys on ebay for $10, mailing them out today. So fun to find a paypal payment waiting for me in the morning, from a buy it now.


Diane October 1, 2015 at 4:15 am

Made the final payment on an educational loan that I took out 11 years ago. It feels so good to have that monkey off my back. Celebrated the payoff by a trip to the library to pick up The Girl On The Train and Love The Home You Have topping off the day with a nice long outdoor swim in the free warm spring fed pool near my home.


Monica October 1, 2015 at 5:33 am

Congrats on paying off your loan!


Diane October 1, 2015 at 5:58 am

Thank you!


K D October 1, 2015 at 5:02 am

1. Feeling exceptionally grateful that the projected path for Hurricane Joaquin shifted overnight.

2. I used the rest of a rotisserie chicken to make a pot pie last night. There are leftovers to boot. I also boiled the carcass and will make soup for a couple of lunches. Sad looking carrots were used for both the potpie and the stock.

3. We have been enjoying some fall shows, courtesy of streaming. We have a few that we keep up with,

4. I am sending something to my mother using an envelope that had a $.45 stamp on it (it came with a fund raising appeal). I covered the address with a label and added $.04.

5. I have several books due at the library today. I’ll drop them off when I am over that way and pick up a few I have on hold,


Mary October 1, 2015 at 5:21 am

Only one frugal thing today, but it will save money everyday of the year. I, with the help of a friend, cut the cable cord! I’ve been trying to do this for several years, as I only had basic cable to start with. So thrilled to save $29.06 per month and get 2 more PBS channels and a picture in high-def! And this is in a hilly, tree shaded neighborhood!


JD October 1, 2015 at 6:30 am

1. Scanning the ads for sales on things I might need for the holiday cooking down the road. I start early so I’m not buying it all at once, from picked over shelves. I don’t bake a lot of sweets with a diabetic in the family, but I have a couple of signature treats I make at Christmas that everyone loves and expects: a certain fancy cake that uses nuts, raisins and coconut, and my divinity. I live in a pecan growing area, so I also keep an eye out for locals giving away pecans from trees in their yards. I can crack and shell free ones rather than pay $13.00 a pound any day.
2. Eating a packed lunch of leftovers again.
3. Had our picture taken for the church directory and purchased only two 5×7’s to give to our grown kids at Christmas in addition to the free 8×10 we’ll receive. We haven’t had a professional portrait of the two of us in over 30 years or we wouldn’t have bought those, but we still couldn’t swallow the package prices that went up into the hundreds of dollars. I feel like I dodged buying a Lear jet!
4. Taking my dog to the low-cost vet clinic this weekend, which is held several times a year to raise money for the animal shelter. It is impossible for me to trim his nails, and they’ll do it for the cheapest price in town — $5. I’ve always trimmed my dogs’ nails myself in the past, but this dog has defeated me.
5. Trying a new flea treatment on said dog — putting drops of grapefruit seed extract in wet food. We’ll see if it helps. I already own the extract for other purposes, so this is basically free. Around here, fleas are active nine months of the year.


Bonnie October 1, 2015 at 10:21 am

I have the same nail problem with one of our dogs. Her nails are black and I can’t see where the quick is. The fact that both I and my husband have made her bleed sealed the deal. I don’t have it done as often as I should. Wish I could find a $5 deal!


Joy October 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Awesome frugal things! A huge favor….would you mind emailing me down the road and letting me know how the grapefruit seed extract works for fleas? We use frontline plus and while my babies have never had any issues (knockin’ on that wood), I hate putting chemicals on them AND it is pricey! I would be so appreciative!

Thank you!


Theresa October 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

1- We make pour-over coffee at home rather than using an electric coffee maker and we purchased cloth filters from Etsy to avoid the waste from disposable paper filters. It’s better for the environment, definitely more frugal since they last a long a time, and it supports an Etsy artist. Triple win!
2- Had two $5.00 off coupons (no spending minimum attached–yay!) for Staples so bought office supplies and filed for the $3.80 rebate for the ream of paper.
3- Hubby used up leftovers, including greens that would’ve gone bad soon–the meal was delicious!
4- Eating free apples collected from the ground after days of heavy winds. They taste amazing–better than store-bought.
5- Planned ahead yesterday while out in the community for various meetings and brought a snack from home rather than grabbing one out–thrifty and healthy.


Jill A October 1, 2015 at 9:47 am

1. Bought my daughter 2 new bras at Kohl’s with a reward certificate and a coupon. they were on clearance. Paid .63 for one and 1.24 for the other. That was nice since she needed new ones.
2. Sold a jacket on ebay for $26.
3. Resisted stopping for takeout when I was running errands yesterday.
4. Saved 35 cents per gallon on gas at Costco – I bought 14 gallons almost $5 saved.
5. Made my own weed killler from vinegar, salt and dawn dish detergent. It seems to work OK.


Cindy October 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

1- I picked up a busted barbie jeep off the side of the road (I am a proud garbage picker) and my dad gave it an overhaul, now my boys are cruising the neighborhood in their stylish second hand bubblegum pink barbie jeep. Grandpa wants to give it a “manly” paint job but the boys don’t care.
2- I’ve been getting seeds from friends, clients and family all season since everyone knows we just moved to a new home, I’ve been planting all these donations and am looking forward to the spring when (hopefully) everything blooms. I don’t even remember what I planted where so it should be exciting… even if 1/3 of what I planted grows we will still be getting a great start on some free landscaping.
3- going to a HUGE rummage sale tomorrow to pick up some stuff for the house that we’ve needed. I keep a list of household stuff all year and when this sale comes around I pick it all up for nearly nothing. I also love rummage sale shopping- it’s a total guilty pleasure.
4- took out an interesting book from the library relevant here… “the scavenger’s manifesto” by anneli rufus and krista lawson. Interesting read, I fall into several of their categories: “treasure hunter”, “seed swapper”, “clothing swapper”, “finder”, “free box forager” and “thrift shopper”. what can I say, i was born this way.
5- called the pharmacy and worked it out with them and my son’s doctor to switch his perscription to the generic, saving us $65. next up this week is to finally get us signed up for supplemental disability insurance for him because it looks like he might need another surgery and it sure would be nice to have that insurance in place before it comes to that. disability programs are great but they sure make you jump through hoops to get the help you’re entitled to.


Carol M. October 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Besides, boys can use a little gentleness in their lives!


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