Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 13, 2016 · 64 comments

Grocery Outlet produce

  1. I returned a lice treatment kit that we didn’t end up needing, which put $16 back into our credit union account. (The glamour never ends!)
  2. I dropped by The Grocery Outlet and loaded up on deals. Of course, I stopped by the scratch-and-dent produce shelf. I chose a bag of tangerines and a bag of apples, 99¢ apiece.
  3. I’m cooking up some black beans in the crock pot for a batch of chili. I’ll add some nice sausage to the mix, as it too was on sale for 99¢.
  4. My son handed me a handful of change yesterday, that he “picked up in the mud.” I added it to my Found Change Challenge jar.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, and I saved $2 by not buying a Powerball ticket.

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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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele January 13, 2016 at 12:19 pm

1. Have brought my lunch to work all week. Also bought snacks for son, as I work at his school. Otherwise, the siren call of the vending machine calls for him! Grocery money up front, but pays off in the end.
2. Have been trying not to stomp on gas, etc. I DO get hypnotized by the mileage indicator, though.
3. Went back to using a teaspoon to measure dish soap. Otherwise, I just use a big squirt.
4. Trying to do wash loads efficiently, but not too big, as they take too long to dry. Can’t line dry, as they seem to get a funk. Humid Florida maybe?
5. Trying to use up all pantry and freezer foods AND stay on Weight Watchers.


Jennifer January 13, 2016 at 12:38 pm

1. Also, bringing lunch to work with me. Ham sandwiched from the marked down spiral sliced Christmas ham($9!) slices from the freezer, reduced cheese slices, and $.79 french bread from the reduced bin at Kroger.
2. Speaking of Kroger, I downloaded a free Friday download for mac and cheese. It’s not Friday but Kroger is having a week long promotion of free downloads. You download a new item each day for a week, yay!
3. Tonight we are having organic chicken legs that I got for $2.05 reduced at the grocery store. I grabbed 4 packs and put 3 in the freezer. Will probably pair that with some cabbage that I need to use.
4.I cleaned out my car. I cleaned so much random stuff out of it surely I am saving money on gas.
5.I purchased a high end leather recliner, queen mattress set, king mattress set complete with pillows/sheets/comforter, and a super nice quality wooden bed all for the bargain price of $800. I got this from an elderly women that never used any of it! I cannot describe how beautiful and high quality this stuff is. I am selling my whole bedroom suite to recoup the $800. Should be an easy sell. My bedroom furniture is much less desirable.


Heather January 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for reminding me about the Kroger download!


Jennifer January 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Your welcome!


Tammy Brackett January 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Got mine too! THANK YOU


Jennifer January 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Yw! I love freebies, especially when they are things I really use.

A. Marie January 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm

(1) We’re having our first real snow day here in my part of Upstate NY today (obviously, I don’t live on the Tug Hill Plateau!). So I am taking inventory on garden seeds today, to cheer myself up. Bestest Neighbors and I will be sending in a shared order (to save on S&H costs) when they get back from their trip.

(2) Also, for folks who garden and don’t already do this, you may want to know: Garden seeds keep beautifully in the freezer over time, with a few exceptions (carrots, parsley, legumes). Just use a waterproof container, with enough silica gel packets (from electronics, shoes, etc.) to keep them dry. My all-time saving record is 15 years for a packet of lettuce seeds. So I don’t really need to order that much.

(3) DH ran the snowblower and I shoveled today. Free workouts!

(4) Black beans from scratch, with leftover rice, for dinner last night.

(5) Having another neighbor (a widow with no family nearby) over for dinner tomorrow night for her birthday.


Carol M. January 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

1. I’m between tutoring jobs right now, so killing time and planning for teaching in the library (free) instead of Starbucks. Actually, I was at Starbucks, but they said I couldn’t eat my brought lunch there. Was going to buy a coffee, but decided to just come to the library. Win-win.

2. Fiance was out of town, and I managed to not buy ANY take-out/dinners out/coffees while he was gone. It was hard, but I remembered “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

3. Was going to go to happy hour with a friend, but she didn’t feel like leaving the house, so I brought over a bottle of wine that I had gotten as a Christmas gift, and she provided cheese and fruit. Total spent=$0!

4. Took the subway to tutoring today instead of trying to do downtown parking rates.

5. Had an exercise jacket to return that my dad had gotten me. Exchanged it for some exercise pants on sale, plus two sets of running socks. Both of those were less than the original jacket, and I just had them put the rest on his card.

Frugal fail: overspent on Christmas presents by $60. But that was better than years prior. It’s amazing how quickly gifts add up.


tonya parham January 13, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Reminds me of a friend of mine who I met at a local coffee place when I was in grad school. We were just meeting to talk and she ordered coffee. She asked me, “Do you mind if I have lunch?” I said, “No, go ahead! I ate at home.” I fully expected her to order food there.

Instead, she opens up her purse and slides out a sandwich bag with a pj&j sandwich and sheepishly began to eat it. I can’t tell you how much I admired her after that….just the coolest thing. Ever.


Carol M. January 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Yeah, it should really be allowed, if you buy coffee. There’s not really any public spaces to eat your lunch, and some of us don’t have an office or lounge!


Beth January 13, 2016 at 1:33 pm

1. Have eaten at home all week so far (including snacks, lunches, breakfast, dinner, beverages, etc…).
2. When packing my lunch today, I noticed that all of my packaging is reusable and that most of it is good quality, glass. My lunch bag is also reusable. I used to go through a lot of sandwich bags, but not any more!
3. Really wanted ice cream on Monday night. Swung into the store on my way home from a meeting and bought a reasonably priced 1/2 gallon of chocolate peanut butter ice cream using spare change from my coin purse. The last time I wanted ice cream, I spent about the same amount on ONE snack-sized McFlurry. So while maybe the most frugal thing would have been to just not stop and buy ice cream, I think I made a somewhat frugal choice 🙂
4. Buying shrimp at the store this week because it’s on sale. I’m planning on buying 2 pounds and freezing them in 3 equal portions for 3 meals instead of 2.
5. ???


Florencia January 13, 2016 at 6:25 pm

5. Didn’t buy an over-priced 12 oz cup of ice cream with cookie bits and crumbs
I work at McDonald’s. I don’t know why people spend so much on them!


Jennifer January 14, 2016 at 9:49 am

me either!


Deborah January 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

1. Car insurance renewal mid-Jan. prompted a call to my son (and insurance agent) who found me the same coverage as current car/homeoner’s policy for $600 less per year. No brainer changeover!
2) Cancellng cable as my husband and champion TV watcher got a Roku for Christmas and is happy to transition over to Hulu. Should save another $1,000/yr.
3) Ongoing process of collecting discarded bottles/cans for redemption of a nickel a piece. Proceeds we donate to food bank, neighborhood cleaner and we take donation as tax deduction , approx. $100/yr. Win, win, win.
4) Eating leftovers I am truly sick of but can’t stand the thought of wasting.
5) Began the Compact for the first Time and haven’t bought a thing in Jan except groceries and gas for the car. Hope it gets easier as year goes on.


Cheyanne January 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm

1. Made some amazing black bean chili over the weekend with cornbread baked right on top in my crock pot. Delicious, (fairly) nutritious and it used up 1 lb of beans my mom gave me a while back.

2. Am (sadly) taking a break from crochet to give my hands a break which has given me PLENTY of time for reading. Finished a book during lunch and was able to download (and start!) a new one from the library thanks to Overdrive.

3. I have used less than half a tank of gas in the first 13 days of January! I usually use about 3/8 of a tank per week but I’ve been trying to cut back on driving somewhere just for ONE THING.

4. Dropped my phone today with zero worry as I’m still just using a $30 “disposable” phone from Vons with my AT&T sim card in it. I can’t do much in terms of going online, and the camera is not the best, but it’s served me well for about 2 years now.

5. One of my “goals” for January was to start moisturizing. I started 1/1/16 and my skin feels great! Usually my hands get so chapped and dry they crack and bleed and it’s just super uncomfortable. This is not exactly a FRUGAL thing, but the almond oil was only $2, it works and smells great, I’m not allergic to it and I’m just HAPPY about not having gross, painful hands. Wins all around! 🙂


Betty Winslow January 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

I stopped having that happen to my hands when I started wearing rubber gloves to do dishes and clean…..


Bee January 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

1) My husband was charged twice at the grocery store for a bottle of Advil and did not notice. I brought the receipt into the store and was refunded our $7.99.
2) I have been stocking up on grocery items that have been deeply discounted the first two weeks of the year such as coffee, pork loin, boneless chicken breast and oatmeal.
3) I have set aside several items for resale. I have photographed them and hope to have between 10-12 of these listed by tomorrow afternoon.
4) My eldest son has gifted me with approximately 100lbs of elk. I am a Florida Native. Elk has never been in my recipe rotation. So I am trying something new: I am going to make an Elk Bourguignon tonight. I am keeping my finger crossed.
5) My middle son is in need of clothes. I was going a little stir crazy today. So I got out of the house and went to my favorite thrift shop. I bought two shirts for him. If he doesn’t like them I have a plan b for both.


Stacy January 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

My family loves elk meat, even better than venison. I cook it the same as I do venison (if you’ve cooked that at all), but the roasts are better. We tend to use venison ground meat more than steaks/roasts. You can google and find recipes online as well. 100 lbs is a lot of meat to use up!


Bee January 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

The meat is so lean! It cooks very fast.


Linda M January 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

1. Went to a local event yesterday that was promoting a neighboring big city. Free handouts….ink pens, candy, etc. And free food….crackers and cheese, sandwiches and cookies and brownies. Free and wonderful music also. A nice day out…and free!
2. Reading library books. Went to a bookstore yesterday to look around for authors I might like so I have new ideas whom I want to read when I go to pick up new to me books at the library. Win-win!
3. Making potato salad to take to the potluck tomorrow. We go weekly. This is our week to bring a salad. I have all the ingredients on hand. Nice fellowship and a delightful meal for the price of a homemade dish.
4. My week to make baked goods for the coffee hour after church. I am making coffee cake and peanut butter/chocolate kiss cookies. Bought all ingredients ahead of time on sale and had the chocolate kisses left from Christmas baking.
5. Clipping coupons….only the ones I would use anyway. Mostly items for personal care or over the counter meds….as we eat very little processed food. However, the coupons for the above really add up over time.


Betty Winslow January 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

1. Am bartering use of my laundry machines for a home-cooked dinner, including doing the dishes, with my older son’s ladyfriend. Also being entertained by her 3 yo pretending to feed everyone food made out of a pile of mardi gras beads.
2. Making a huge pot of clean-out-the-freezer soup for dinner.
3. The 3 yo needs snowpants, so I chatted with a lady on FB who was giving away some and she dropped them off – nice like-new and FREE!
4. Went to Target, my favorite store, with a friend, and spent $3, plus tax! A pair of My Little Pony socks for my nephew’s little girl, due in March, a pair of socks with a fox on them, for my 3 yo granddaughter, whose last night is Fox, and a Darth Vader head keychain, for my older son’s Xmas stocking. (Yes, I’m one of those shop-ahead crazies….)
5. I didn’t buy another coloring book for myself (I have three already), even though it was cheap.


LisaC January 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

I love clean out the freezer soup! I freeze leftover veggies, even if its just a little bit, in a freezer container. When it is full, I make soup.


pattilou January 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Betty, I shop all year long for Christmas. I already have gifts for 4 of my nieces and my sister!


Jennifer January 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Me too! It’s how I keep from feeling overwhelmed during the holidays. I try to have most gifts purchased before December.


K D January 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

1. I picked up chicken and chicken sausages marked down 50% at Safeway. I boiled the sausages and have chicken in the oven. I made three different marinades for the three different packages of chicken, using what I had on hand. Most of the meat will be frozen, once it is cooked. I also picked up free (after coupons) packages of Colgate toothpaste.

2. I calculated our net worth for year-end 2015. Thanks to aggressive savings and some investment gains it is up about 5% from 2014 (I’m not going to look at where it is now, with the stock market implosion).

3. Aldi had my favorite seasonal cookies marked down so I bought a few boxes.

4. I made a couple of loaves of French bread. I served it with dinner and leftovers have been used for breakfast and sandwiches.

5. I have been reading a stack of magazines that were delivered a while ago. When I am finished I will pass them along to a friend. I probably paid $4-$5
for a one year subscription.


Gina January 17, 2016 at 5:21 am

You should ask your friend to return the magazines once she is done with them. I donate my magazines along with books, CDs, DVDs and software to the Library for their resale and I get a tax deduction for the donation.


Vickie January 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

1) I have a Board meeting tonight, so I told hubby to grab some frozen lasagna out of the freezer for dinner. Saving on food!
2) I dropped by the pawn shop to day, to see if they have a Wii microphone for the used console I bought my grandkids for Christmas. They didn’t, but I know Gamestop sells things like that used too, so I’ll drop by there tomorrow and see how much they cost. My granddaughter’s birthday is the end of this month.
3) I have Amazon points to us, so I think I’m going to download some free music to my computer. I love listening to online music while I work.
4) I’ve been sticking to my morning breakfast mix regimen of fruit & nuts w/half & half poured over it. It’s heart healthy, low carb and keeps me from grabbing fast food. The coffee here at work is free, so it makes for a cheap breakfast and much of the food was a Christmas gift from my daughter.
5) My best friend is coming to spend the Summer with us. She’s a teacher in Anchorage and has family here in Oklahoma. She offered to cook and clean, if we could let her use our house as a base camp. I’m thrilled to have the help – I have a lot of projects she can help me with around the house and we’ll get to have fun together for the whole summer. Yippee!!


Katie January 13, 2016 at 4:39 pm

If you have Amazon Prime you can stream tons of music at no additional cost!


Debby January 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

I don’t know if this will help, but we have unfortunately brought lice home from school in my daughter’s very long thick hair a couple of years ago. Anyways, we used Listerine. It was way cheaper, worked better and I didn’t feel so bad about it being on her scalp and hair instead of all the nasty stuff in those treatments. Plus, you can put it in a spray bottle and spray there hair and neck to repel the little guys away as well. I think we used one with a gold label. I want to say that the type does matter, but I am not totally sure. Just thought I would share, but I hope you don’t need it.


Isabelle January 14, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Good to know after having had lice (×3 person) TWICE in December!!


Beth Anne January 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

1. No vending machine purchases this week! Beth Anne 3 vs. 0 vending machine 😉

2. Went to Aldi’s and spent half of what I usually spend on groceries and still managed to buy some treats. Scored holiday Andi mints for 69 cents! Will melt and use on top of brownies to “glam” them up sometime. Said know to buying the cute star tree topper they had. Went on my lunch hour so I had to “power shop.”

3. Using up meat/food in the freezer pantry to not go beyond expiration dates.

4. Picked up some dog and cat sits this weekend, will go in the braces/car repair fund.

5. Pink faced, bought 2 Power Ball tickets yesterday – sometimes you gotta feel extravagant! I have never bought one before and wanted to see what all the hype was about.

3. S


Jennifer January 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm

So if you win, will we ever hear from you again, lol?


Tish January 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm

1. No spend days on Monday and Tuesday.
2. Today at Kroger, I found marked down $1 lb organic ground pork, $1 lb seasoned beef fajita meat and $1 boxes of clearance k cups (rang up wrong so got one for free), also got a 1lb Kroger rice (after 50c ecoupon is only 19c a pound) and the bread, chobani and Annie’s freebies that were on my card. Resisted everything else since I have a fairly full freezer and pantry.
3. Eating from home except for a mystery shop today and one tomorrow.
4. Keeping the heat low and bundling up
5. Marked my laundry detergent with the date I started using it. I’m interested to know how long a bottle lasts. I have fairly new HE washer and I’m afraid to use homemade, so buy detergent whenever I can get it for 99 cents a bottle.


WilliamB January 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

I have a HE front-loader and have never had problems with my homemade detergent (made from bar soap, washing soda, and borax). OTOH I calculated that homemade detergent while costing 90% less than purchased, saved only about $30/year. Tish, your $1 detergent might be cheaper than homemade – my recipe costs me 5.5 cents a load, and I get very good deals on the ingredients.


Bee January 14, 2016 at 5:29 am

Do you just place the detergent directly in the tub or do you liquefy it an put it in the detergent cup?


JD January 14, 2016 at 7:16 am

Bee, I have an HE washer and I liquefy my homemade soap, since the HE adds so little water in the tub. I figured I’m spending about 3.5 cents per load for mine. However, some people don’t get good results with homemade — my sister doesn’t, and had to go back to store bought. My laundry is nice and clean, though, so I’ve been making my own for a few years now. I use white vinegar for the softener.


Amanda January 14, 2016 at 10:55 am

I make my own homemade liquid laundry detergent and use it in our HE front loading washer. I bought the ingredients in bulk, so each batch only costs me $2.41 to make and lasts our farming family of 5 about 10 months. I use the Duggar family recipe.


Jennifer H. January 13, 2016 at 6:59 pm

1- Choosing to prepare meals based on what produce has the shortest shelf/fridge life (to reduce waste AND to avoid having to make extra trips to replace spoiled/over ripe produce when a recipe calls for it)
2- Began driving my Husband’s smaller and more fuel efficient vehicle for short trips, despite being quite cramped with three little ones in car seats
3- Entirely gave up my Starbuck’s frappuccino addiction
4- Traded canned beans in for dry beans, though they’re 4x the effort 😛
5- Finally settled on a laundry detergent brand that smells great, does the job, and is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than the brand(s) we were previously using


Amanda January 14, 2016 at 10:56 am

I also got rid of canned beans, instead I make a huge batch and either freeze them in serving sizes for my recipes or I pressure can them. It’s nice being able to make chili without planning ahead!


Isabelle January 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I also make big batch and freeze in mason jars. Little tip : keep the cooking water to freeze your beans in it, and rince off just before using. This way they don’t get freezer burn.


WilliamB January 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm

This isn’t quite an anti-frugal post, more like “this is why I’m frugal” post:

1. Ordered half a happy pig. This pastured, non-medicated, not stressed-out, not abused pig (I’ve visited them at the farm) costs $6-7/lb once the excess fat is trimmed off.

2. Ordered about 10 lbs of beans from organic-ish, heirloom provider Rancho Gordo, at $6/lb. These are the best beans I’ve ever eaten, beating store-bought hands down.

Neither is remotely close to the least I could pay. Both incredibly tasty and consistent with food goals I’m trying to implement.

A bit of frugality:
3. Made the bean order slightly frugal by ordering with a friend so shipping was free.

4. Bought used books rather than new. (Except for the gift books for some friends who did something immensely helpful. They would not have appreciated used books. Gotta know your audience.)

5. As usual, bought enough from Amazon to get free shipping.

6. Using an out-of-state library card (via public library reciprocity) to get books I want to read but not own.


melanie January 13, 2016 at 10:57 pm

We also refer to meat being from ‘happy pigs’ and ‘happy chickens’! I will only purchase freefarm meat now (our beef is 99% pasture raised here in NZ anyway). However, I will only buy it on clearance and freeze for later – full price is equivalent to NZ$10 – $12 a pound!


melanie January 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

But it ends up being frugal as marked down ends up cheaper than ‘normal’ chicken, just needs eaten/frozen sooner!


Monica. January 13, 2016 at 7:31 pm

1. Bought a grocery sack full of yellow squash & zucchini marked down to $1.99. Zucchini bread is in our future.

2. Sold a desk at a consignment store & added $23 to our emergency fund.

3. Picked up books & movies on hold at the library.

4. Received a reimbursement check from the insurance company for my contact lenses.

5. I didn’t buy any lottery tickets.


Krystal January 13, 2016 at 10:15 pm

1) Spoke with my massage therapist about billing my insurance again, and she’s going to prepare a submission for me. It used to be covered, but my insurance company has fought everything the past 3 years, and cut down on their coverage. If not, I have the money put aside in our budget. Caring for my body is so important, massage had helped me with chronic pain and recovery. Fingers crossed, last time the insurance said they would only cover major painkillers (ugh!) For pain management.
2) went out for a scheduled event with a husband and friend. Ordered the cheapest item on the menu and drank water.
3) double-checked my email for charity receipts for taxes. Found some that may have gone unnoticed had I not done a thorough check.
4) I am likely having my flight back from my summer vacation paid for by a contract since I will stay overseas for an few extra days for work. They’ll cover my change fee of a whopping $12.50 and I get all my miles back plus taxes, so we have our next trip miles saved up already!
5) leftovers, leftovers, leftovers!


Florencia January 13, 2016 at 10:32 pm

1. Went to Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale and bought a lot of perfume gift sets to sell for Valentine’s day. Even if I don’t sell all of them, I can still return some or save them to give as gifts. With so much time out of work due to sickness, I’m getting creative. With me luck! 🙂
2. I decided I’d try The Compact, but it hasn’t gone so well. I do realize I am making a lot more conscious purchases and not going so crazy at the grocery store.
3. Bought two $50 bras at Victoria’s Secret for $16.20 plus tax each, one in nude, one in black. So well made! Totally worth the money, since those colors are the ones I can wear with anything and my nude one has been looking sad. With good care they should last me until at least the next sale.
4. Started college yesterday. So far I’ve only spent $45 on my accounting book and $14.48 (including shipping) for the two books for my personal finance class. Will spend on an online code for the accounting program ($62) and a few art supplies. My best friend took the same art class years ago and he’s letting me borrow everything he has, including the books. Dance shoes for my dance class will be my current tango shoes. Aside from the set amount for in-state tuition (for which I’ve saved since I was 16 and will be paying in cash), I think I’ve done a pretty good job of being frugal.
5. I took my own lunch to school yesterday. I felt kinda self-conscious at first, but then I realized that there were A LOT of people who took their own.
6. Made $70 dollars last Saturday helping a lady host her birthday party. We’d agreed on $60, but I stayed later making conversation in Spanish with her Spanish-studying daughter and she gave me a tip. My first off-Craigslist gig went super-well.


Shelly January 13, 2016 at 10:46 pm

The frugal things I did this week are,
1. Repaired 4 pairs of my son’s pants, I sewed on two patches and did two seam repairs. I’m not sure if it’s the cheaply made fabric or my son is extra hard on these pants.
2. I made 4 loaves of bread, I can pick up organic bread at the bread store for a dollar but I can make it at home for less so this week I did. My son exclaimed it was the best mom bread ever.
3. Made a batch of sugar scrub, it works great on my winter dry skin.
4. I picked up a few good coupon deals at Costco and stuck to my list.


Juhli January 14, 2016 at 2:31 am

1. I ended up returning the 2 tops I had purchased on sale from Lands End @ $20 each and went thrift shopping instead. Lovely warm sweater for $13 and a cotton top and corduroy pants for $4 each. Still need to find one more warm sweater but am happy.
2. Finding ways to use up the last of odd for us ingredients left from the holidays. Almond flour went into banana strawberry almond muffins yesterday. Cocktail sauce will go on tilapia tonight.
3. Have not bought any books/ebooks this year – great progress for me.
4. Stocked up on Kleenex on sale at CVS. Save over $7.
5. I am using my stretching dvd and walking a lot. Frugal in that health is frugal.


Ruby January 14, 2016 at 3:45 am

1. Made a loaf of oatmeal bread from the Fannie Farmer cookbook that was a wedding gift 30 years ago. My husband said it’s the best homemade bread yet.
2. Bought three beautiful winter sweaters at the Salvation Army for $14. I suspect they were thrifted (they look brand new) because they can’t be machine dried, but hey, that’s the frugal way! We were in need of extra coziness due to keeping the heat so low.
3. Husband is doing much better about packing his lunch for work, possibly because of the availability of amazing homemade bread. 🙂
4. Doing The Compact is going great! Having an almost no-spending December helped get me in the mindset for it.
5. Mostly giving up paper towel use is also going well. We do keep a roll in the laundry room for the worst kind of pet messes (our very old cat sometimes can’t make it to the litter box in time), but otherwise it’s been amazingly painless.


Mand01 January 14, 2016 at 3:54 am

1. Still making my own coffee at work. From a serious latte habit to a no-spend coffee habit. I didn’t think I could do it.
2. We do a zero-based budget. Have hit our budget perfectly this week; came under actually.
3. Did break my non-official compact by buying a pair of Havaianas today. But got them half price. So there’s that.
4. Picked up The Story Of Stuff and Tve Happiness Project from the library today.
5. I’m with Katy – no lottery tickets. Although we don’t have a billion dollars on the line in ours, or whatever it is.


Diane January 14, 2016 at 4:38 am

I did buy a Powerball ticket with $2 of the $5 cash I received from Scarborough Institute for mailing in a survey. The fun of dreaming about how I would spend and share the jackpot certainly gave me, my family and friends a lot of joy for the last few days. Of course, I didn’t win, but am still on a high from all the excitement.

Sometimes a few dollars can add novelty and fun to a very frugal life!


Bettypants January 14, 2016 at 5:51 am

1. A friend brought me a giant bag of leftover Halloween candy. So. Much. Candy.
2. Painted the shelves in our living room and made a stack of books to get rid of. I posted 2 cookbooks on ebay and they sold the next day for $10. Also sold a quilting book on a local board for $3.
3. My 11 year old has been wanting a new soccer ball. At the store last night, he scoured the balls looking for a good deal, taking a couple over to the self scanner to check prices. He was delighted to find a Messi marked 50% off for $9.99, telling me “I saw this ball before for $30 at another store.”
4. A local store went out of business and I bought their nearly new shake machine for $50. I unsuccessfully listed it on CL a couple times, before listing on ebay. Sold for $150 this week, and I found a nice fitting box to mail it out.
5. With a blast of bad weather this week, my office ordered pizza for everyone the day the roads were the worst.
Frugal fail: I discovered the clearance section on Lia Sophia and ordered some jewelry I didn’t need. I wavered on it for three days and finally decided I couldn’t pass up those prices.


Isabelle January 14, 2016 at 6:15 am

* I never buy lottery tickets, so I’m saving there.
* Daughter asked for a pinata to bust on her birthday (filled with candies of course). I immediately thought : ” Oh no, not another 20$ on a pinata + 10$ for candies….” but then I put on my creativity cap and we did 4 small piñatas at home using ballons, newspaper, glue made of water and cheap flour and paint/stickers, and then I got 2 bags of individually wrapped Frozen candies on sale for 0.99 each. So the cost of 4 piñatas+candies (there will be 4 kids at the b-day) will have been around 2.50$!
* Being very frugal since the beginning of the month. And I stopped eating between meals and eating out/junk food every week so it adds up (already lost 5 pounds, yay!)
* Found a bit of money yesterday
* A snowblower would be great in our weather, but it’s really expensive (+ cost of gas) so hubby is shoveling by hand. Exercice for him and cheaper for us is a win-win!
* Hubby bikes to work every day, rain or shine or snow. We have one car, a 2004 (long ago paid for). This saves soooooo much money!

Have a great frugal day!


Kristen | The Frugal Girl January 14, 2016 at 6:23 am

Love the scratch and dent produce section. I wish more stores here would do that.


Chris January 14, 2016 at 6:32 am

1. Sold a large box of decorating weight fabric via Craigslist to a dad who was buying it for his daughter who is learning to sew.
2. Will swing into the consignment store while running errands today – hoping for a nice check to add to my bank deposit that will be done also while out and about.
3. Worked a church event last night and had free dinner.
4. Going to spend time today cooking for the freezer.
5. Donated blood on Monday – free cookies – they know I love the Lorna Doones and always hand me several packages!


JD January 14, 2016 at 7:42 am

1. I had hotdog buns that weren’t going to make it much longer and we’d run out of hotdogs. I tore the buns into pieces, “toasted” them while roasting meat in the oven, and made bread pudding — we had a wealth of eggs and fresh milk from local farms, and raisins left from Christmas already. My husband loved it.
2. Lunch is a pint jar of soup grabbed from the freezer. I like to make large pots of soups and stews so I can portion out single serving amounts to freeze and have handy for days when there aren’t enough leftovers for my lunch.
3. I’ve been batching errands to save time and gas, so when I had a dentist appointment in the city yesterday, I made sure to run errands while there, and buy the cheaper (than in my town) gas with my cents off card — I got it for $1.79 a gallon, yippee!
4. I used to buy a Christmas present each month, years ago. I think, seeing others here who are already Christmas shopping, I’ll try to get back to that. No last minute rushing and paying too much because I’m out of time.
5. Hereby making the commitment to try to sell on Craiglist. I had NO luck last time and kind of gave up, but I’ll try again.


Jennifer January 14, 2016 at 9:48 am

Awe, my grandma used to make hot dog bun pie. She passed away 2 years ago. She used hot dog buns open then lay on the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with a mixture of egg, milk, sugar and then dotted with butter. It”s a delicious quick bread pudding! Thanks for the reminder!


Bobbi January 14, 2016 at 9:52 am

1. As usual, I’ve eaten at home all week, including using up all leftovers for dinner last night, and making my second big pot of soup tonight because the one I made a few days ago was used up in several lunches and snacks.
2. A Grocery Outlet trip a few days ago was notable for $1.99 packages of Field Roast brand vegan cheese slices called Chao. These retail for $5.99 or higher, so I only buy them when I see them at Grocery Outlet. I like them, but not six dollar like them!
3. The best way for me to make some extra money: catch up on work projects so I can bill for them (I’m self-employed). The more I finish, the more new work I can take on. I usually prefer not to work too much, but with the lousy Portland January weather this week, I am happy to spend some extra time in the evenings, cozy on my couch, typing up reports that will turn into extra savings for travel or college or retirement, or some combination of these goals.
4. This isn’t new, but I thought of it when I live-streamed the president’s State of the Union address on my laptop the other night. I haven’t had cable TV for years, and I continue to NOT miss it. In fact, I think it enhances our lives to not have dozens (hundreds?) of channels of TV. We use Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the internet, and all is well.
5. I bought zero lottery tickets. No judgment towards people who did, but it’s just not my thing.


Amanda January 14, 2016 at 10:44 am

1. Living off-grid, we only use the washer/dryer when we are producing energy, so I had 7 laundry loads saved up and did them all yesterday, a particularly blustery day.
2. Brought my lunch to work every day this week.
3. Organized our living and bedroom, found quite a few things to list for sale online. No offers yet, but I can be patient.
4. I vaccinated our new puppy myself, saving the trip (50+ miles) to the vet and vet fees for the very same vaccination.
5. Co-worker attended a trade show and brought home goody bags for each of us. Notepads, pencils, a carabiner, and a 2016 calendar! Stuff we all use and usually bring in ourselves. 🙁
6. Had an ice storm on Tuesday, which prevented us from taking the kids to their extracurricular classes both Tues and Wed. Of course, I was unable to work on Wed., so I lost a day’s pay, but also didn’t drive the 150 miles. We can make up the lessons at a later time (back to back lessons, so no extra driving!)


Jen T January 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

My first frugal 5

1. For the first time ever I have a resolution. I quit smoking (I hope) on 1.1.16!
2. Every 3 days I have been putting $34.00 straight to my debt. Thats about how much it cost for coffee and cigarettes for 3 days. I figured I would forget to transfer money every day and a week worth would seem like a lot. $34.00 is manageable.
3. Brought my lunch to work every day this year.
4. Brought coffee from home every day this year
5. Did I mention I quit smoking?!


Marion January 15, 2016 at 1:02 am

Go you! My nephew used what he saved every month when he quit smoking to make a truck payment. It was a great incentive and 12 years later he’s still smoke free.


Hobart Chic January 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

Excellent work. I’ve never smoked but it’s purported to be one of the most addictive substances on earth. Keep up the good work, I hope you body and bank balance thank you!


janine January 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

Had a marathon cooking day – unfortunately was forced to throw out some food gone bad- husband was temporarily on a restricted diet which threw my menu plans off. Here is the list of what I did get accomplished:
1. two loaves of banana bread – one for a meeting tomorrow
2. broth based vegetable soup – will freeze some and use some for tomorrow
3. used leftover chicken and broccoli as ingredients in pasta dish for dinner tonight.
4. two layered potato/smoked sausage casseroles – one for son and one for our use this weekend
5. After losing my first try at the lottery, abstained yesterday and allowed someone else to win!


LisaC January 16, 2016 at 8:40 am

1. Using a gift card for a lunch date with my husband (cheaper than a dinner date). I actually paid for the gift card in a silent auction, but the auction supported a friend with cancer, so..that’s one thing I will always buy!
2. Sold a desk quickly after another buyer backed out. Texted all the others with a first come, first served message and 30 minutes later it is out of my house.
3. Found a gift card to LL Bean I’d gotten from a gift return. I need socks, so I ordered four pairs, got free shipping too. Everything else there is too expensive.
4. Haven’t done this yet: but looking for new sheets. Our are very old and tearing. I don’t buy used sheets, so I’m looking for a deal on soft, long lasting sheets.
5. Cleaned out my fridge, planning meals around what I have. Threw out some expired sauces that were gifts. Wanted to use them creatively, never thought of a good way to use flavored sesame oil and yum yum sauce.

Looking for a good recipe to use some leftover (in my freezer now) steak stuffed with garganzola. Maybe a cheesy beef broccoli soup? Ideas, anyone?


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