Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 27, 2016 · 98 comments

Replacement mug

  1. I was able to replace my broken ceramic travel mug with almost zero effort. I saved the silicone lid, which I brought with me to Goodwill. Like Prince Charming and the glass slipper, I quickly located my Cinderella. A buck-ninety-nine later, and the two of us are living happily ever after. (Or until I break this one.)
  2. I stopped at The Grocery Outlet this morning and was able to fill two reusable bags with food for only $16.49. What did I buy? Two jars of natural peanut butter, one jar of jam, one huge bag of corn flakes, red peppers, broccoli, two cans of diced tomatoes, three containers of frozen chocolate custard, two gingerbread cookie mixes and eight yogurts.
  3. I ran errands with my son yesterday which included Costco. We gassed up the Prius for $1.79/gallon and then bought nothing more than a bag of cat litter that was heavier than sin Thor’s hammer. Also, we walked right past the food court without even breaking our stride.
  4. I stocked up on Tillamook cheese, as it’s on sale at Fred Meyer right now for $5.49/2-lb loaf. I even Instagrammed a photo of them stacked Jenga-style. Because yeah, I’m cool that way.
  5. I put together our February budget, I’m delaying a haircut until next month, (not in the January budget) I took a small amount of leftover hamburger to flavor a large pot of pasta sauce and 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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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 4:12 am

LOL @ the Jenga cheese set. Awesome! And the deal! My goodness, I wish we had a Fred Meyer store!

I’m so happy you found a replacement mug so quickly! Wonderful!

I honestly don’t know of anything frugal I’ve done except for simply not spending money the past few days. Except to say we haven’t broken our vow to not eat out at all this month. Though we don’t eat out very often, it’s been wonderful only eating in and thinking of the money we’re saving each meal compared to eating out.


Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 4:18 am

Quick question. Is there a way to sign up for follow-up comments without commenting myself? Sometimes I simply don’t have anything to add, but enjoy reading all the comments for inspiration!


Anne January 27, 2016 at 7:59 am

Elizabeth, unless I’m misunderstanding something you don’t need to comment yourself to read other comments. When you have finished reading the blog itself, simply click on the word “comments”. It will take you right here.


Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 8:19 am

Anne, thank you so much for your answer. I should have made myself clear about subscribing to “new” comments. I love receiving the emails when new ones come in. There are so many comments to go through (if clicking “comments”) and I’d have to keep scrolling past ones I’ve read to get to new ones. I hope this makes sense. Thank you again for your response in helping me out. 🙂


Jade January 27, 2016 at 12:51 pm

If I revisit the FFT post I just start scrolling from the bottom of the comments, and read them until I reach one I have already read. I love FFT and the comments too! I find this the easist way to read the additional commenst that come in between each post.


Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Thank you Jade for this common sense approach. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but honestly, I do everything the hard way first. Always have, always will! 😉 I appreciate the help from you and Anne so much! 🙂

Elise @ Simply Scaled Down January 27, 2016 at 5:09 am

I’m so glad your Cinderella has her slipper back (or is it her slipper has her Cinderalla? meh).

Yesterday I
1) I may or may not have started a grease fire in the kitchen Monday night. The smell after was horrible, but instead of running out and buying chemical cleaners I’ve been airing out the house and using vinegar and baking soda.
2) Didn’t leave the house…even with 2 kids. So no gas money spent and no impulse purchases made.
3) I made a tasty mexican potato hot dish in the crock pot out of leftover taco meat from my daughter’s party. Frugal and yummy.
4) I didn’t burn the house down in the aforementioned fire, so no deductible needing to be paid. 🙂
5) My toddler has been particularly whiny and instead of trading her in I decided to see if I could fix her (results are still pending).


Stacie M January 27, 2016 at 11:12 am

That mexican potato dish sounds soo yummy


Su Mama January 27, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Elise, if you can figure out a way to eliminate toddler-whining, you could become a very, very wealthy woman. Just sayin’ . . . .


Elise @ Simply Scaled Down January 28, 2016 at 9:51 am

I suppose “shoving a brownie in their mouth” doesn’t count, huh?


joanna January 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm

If I may recommend this method….
this woman is hilarious.

Bettypants January 27, 2016 at 5:25 am

1. I sold a handful of children’s picture books yesterday for $3. The woman said her son is a recently hired first grade teacher and would be delighted to have them.
2. I used up the leftover jasmine rice by making fried rice and was really pleased with how it turned out. I tossed in the leftover roasted broccoli and sliced chicken and brought it as my office lunch yesterday.
3. Sold two vintage boxes of Christmas icicles and 3 boxes of wooden toys on ebay this week, netting $24 on all.
4. I bought Jonagold apples for 99 cents per pound and they were the best apples I’ve had in a loooong time. The same store had them on sale again this week and I zipped right over and filled up.
5. For dinner on Monday night, we had fresh bread, sliced apples, and cheese. And since then I’ve been making toast from that leftover bread.


Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 5:34 am

Thank you for the left over chicken, rice, broccoli dish. We’re bound to have leftover chicken today so I know what tomorrow’s supper will be.:-)


Bee January 27, 2016 at 5:54 am

Fried rice is a great go-to for leftovers. It is one of my favorites. You can add assorted veggies and meat. I have made it meatless with just egg. Yum!


Patience January 27, 2016 at 6:32 am

Indeed, I always make a point of streaming extra rice whenever I’m preparing it for a meal, specifically to have some at the ready for a Fried Rice dinner later in the week (planned leftovers) .


Bettypants January 27, 2016 at 8:00 am

I’m glad it was helpful to you!


Kim from Philadelphia January 27, 2016 at 5:32 am

I’ve used the snow ( and my desire to avoid parking hassles due to said snow) as an excuse to eat from the freezer and pantry. My husband is in a work trip, so I’m enjoying slightly bizarre food combos in the name of avoiding food waste. Had a hunk of leftover pizza and mixed veggies for lunch, and a veggie burger, salad, and frozen corn concoction for dinner last night.

I made one of my rare visits to Target yesterday for 1) waterproof spray for my hiking boots (which are 23 years old and lost their waterproof oomph), a heater filter, and conditioner for my leather couch. Only splurge was a deeply discounted tube of toothpaste!


Bee January 27, 2016 at 5:46 am

I wish we had a Grocery Outlet! The prices are amazing!
1) I have taken 2 side jobs this week that pay hourly as well as a larger freelance project. I’ll have a little extra money to put towards a home repair.
2) I continue to plan meals around my CSA bag. We have always enjoyed veggies, but now they are a focus when meal planning not an afterthought. Healthier eating means a healthier family and all the good that comes with that.
3) My husband and I took several long walks outdoors this week. We bundled up and got moving.
4) Keeping my grocery budget down is a focus. I made homemade pizza and used up odds and ends for toppings — cheese, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, olives and pepper. These were all leftover from other recipes that I made during the week. I also made crockpot Mac ‘n Cheese and served with salad. Two meatless dinners in one week and my family didn’t notice!
5) I have started my yearly clean out. I am really trying to get rid of things, because we may need to relocate. It is amazing what you can get rid of when you ask yourself, “Do I like or use this enough to pack it, move it, unpack it and put it away again?” I have a pile of things to be listed online and a pile to be donated. But, I also have a pile of stuff that I am unsure about. Should I sell on Craigslist, donate, garage sale, freecycle? There are a lot of options.


tonya parham January 27, 2016 at 6:04 am

I was happy when I came to the page and saw you had replaced your mug! SCORE!

1. Went to Aldi yesterday and spent $59.79, coming in under the $60 I’d planned-I did stock up on my canned tomatoes and canned kidney beans (I won’t make those dried at home as we don’t eat that many of them) and stuck to my list except for a couple items that will be used as treats. (They had Toffifay from Xmas for $1.50! I got two and they will last for months just having one after dinner as my mini dessert.)

2. Got a $25 swagbucks gift card for Starbucks for 2200 sb. Since I’m trying to go out and get myself writing more, this will prove helpful–I won’t write at home every day, I need a change of scenery– but going out anywhere would require at least the purchase of a drink. So, this keeps me from spending which helps me save!

3. Took my reusable coffee mug to Starbucks and saved a dime. Again, just because it’s a gift card, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t stretch it out!

4. Before I left the store, I noticed they had used grounds. I don’t have a compost heap but I figured I could put them around my rose bush and in my herb bed.

5. Am making dinner tonight in the crock pot. Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. The chicken is from the freezer (bought before I gave up meat) and I’m not gonna waste it. The garlic is from a 5 lb bag I bought because….well, I REALLY love garlic!


JD January 27, 2016 at 6:23 am

1. Eating a weird leftover lunch of spaghetti sauce with meat and spinach in it, baby carrots, and an orange. Odd, but it works.
2. Got 3 meals out of one pound of grass fed ground beef for the two of us, plus one lunch for one. I stretched that beef as far as I could.
3. Rain is predicted today, so I’m hanging laundry on my drying rack inside.
4. Not frugal for me, really, but I’m pet-sitting for my daughter, saving her about $50 in sitting fees. She returns favors, so it evens out.
5. Found some free patterns online for some gifts I want to sew. Now I’m on the hunt for materials I already have so I don’t have to buy so much of it.


Juhli January 27, 2016 at 6:37 am

1. Earned $50 on my Blue Cross Blue Shield wellness debit card by answering a survey online that took less than 10 minutes.
2. Washed dog at home.
3. Found 11 cents.
4. Took advantage of a warmish day and finished raking the driveway and swept the carport, porches, walk and basement stairs. Picked up downed branches. 5 trash barrels filled for no money and great exercise.
5. Used e coupon, paper coupon and senior discount day to save $3.68 at Kroger. Only bought what was on my list.

Of course when I pick up my new retainer today to replace the one the dog chewed that will make this a non-frugal day!


janine January 27, 2016 at 7:10 am

Congratulations on new mug – may your partnership prove longlasting!
1. As part of their interim project , local college students led a free workshop on a new method of indoor gardening. They provided soil and seeds as well as instruction and had an overflow crowd in a neighborhood church basement. My plants are actually growing and I expect to harvest sprouts this week!
2. Husband is getting his car fixed this evening. He is planning to use a gift card at a coffee house (located near the repair shop) for dinner tonight. I won’t have to cook dinner which saves me $$.
3. Needed to replace microwave . Did online research and netted a good price plus 11% rebate.
4. Tonight I am substituting at our cable TV studio and the host is in charge of providing beverages for crew and guests. No tap water available but I scored a case of bottled water for just $2.95 at Walgreens on sale. (This low price may indicate that fewer people are buying this stuff!)
5. No Lear jet – if my savings program works who knows what the future will hold?


priskill January 27, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Hah to #5 🙂


janine January 28, 2016 at 6:10 am

Yes, obtaining a Lear jet may have to put in the ‘long term goal’ category!
Never too early to look for a good sale price.


Jennifer January 27, 2016 at 7:17 am

I also frequently use small amounts of meat to flavor large dishes and no one seems to notice. So much that when I got ground beef on sale last week I didn’t have time to cook it right then so I froze it in smallish flat(cooks quicker than a thick lump) patties so I can have the perfect size for whatever I make.

1.I didn’t stop anywhere on the way to work thereby saving me money. I have all I need so I’m good for now.
2. Still putting off the haircut and I am not really minding. A week or so ago I really wanted a haircut but now I am sorta embracing it.
3. Taking boiled eggs for breakfast to work. I am also taking simple ham sandwiches, apples, and oranges for lunch and snacks.
4.Last night we had delicious peach mustard pork chops,green beans, mac&cheese, and I made a small peach cobbler with the leftover bag of freezer peaches. I was blessed with tons of peaches for free 2 years ago and am so happy I cut them all up and froze them. Entire meal-chops $1.60, green beans$.49,mac&cheese FFD from Kroger, cobbler around $.75-so this meal cost around $3 with tax for four people. I’m pretty happy about that. I have this little game I play with myself to see how little I can spend on each meal yet still be sorta healthy. I’m weird that way.
5.Yesterday I got a 5 lb roast marked down for $9 that was a great cut of beef. My family won’t eat that much and doesn’t like leftovers*grrr* so I cut the roast in half and froze for another day. I put the roast in the crock pot with some potatoes. I will roast a small chunk of cabbage that needs to used up and make some homemade popovers to go with it. This meal will be closer to $ 6 for my family of 4 but we don’t eat roast very often. Also, we could possibly have cleverly disguised leftovers for sandwiches for the next day’s lunch.


Karen January 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I play the exact same game. And no, you are not weird because then I would be weird too.


Mand01 January 28, 2016 at 12:50 am

Me too.


Jennifer January 28, 2016 at 6:21 am

I get this strange kind of a high from the self gratification. Glad to here I’m not alone.


Jen T January 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm

I play the same game!


Marilyn January 27, 2016 at 8:21 am

1. I did get a haircut this week. I put it off and put it off, but then saw that a nearby Great Clips was having a special — $7.99 for haircuts this week.
2. Found 6 cents at the Fred Meyer self-checkout station when I was getting my groceries. I rarely find coins so this was a tiny thrill.
3. Working 5 days this week instead of my usual 2.5. More money and less time to spend it.
4. Now that DH and I are empty-nesters, we have down-scaled our garbage collection program. We are only paying for a 20-gallon can every week instead of the 30-gallon deal.


Chris January 27, 2016 at 6:19 pm

We also switched to the smaller collection bin – saving $3/month – but it’s so cute!! And I’m not dragging down a HUGE container with a handful of trash. We will have organics recycling in the spring which will mean even less in the trash. Now what to do with my composting bins??


Mand01 January 28, 2016 at 12:53 am

You will never get a women’s haircut in Australia for $7.99! I pay $40 and count myself well out of it. Some women I know pay over $200 for a haircut (I think that’s insanity, but oh well). The cheapest I have ever seen is $26, at Supercuts.


Anne January 29, 2016 at 8:12 am



Melissa February 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I’m in Sydney and I’ve found that the trick is to go to the barber!! I have straight hair and when I get a trim it’s a simple cut so the barber is fine for me – and for $10 it’s even better!


Beth January 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

It has been a pretty un-frugal week (does anyone else ever just hit a slump?)…but here goes.
1. Eating food from home for lunch, breakfast, snacks, dinner, etc…
2. Picked up two pineapples at the store for $1/each-we’ll see if they’re any good, but even if they’re not, I can always freeze them for smoothies.
3. Drinking free coffee and water at work, out of reusable glass containers

Well, I managed three, which is more than I thought I’d get. Eh, motivation to do better next time, right? 😉


Jennifer January 27, 2016 at 8:55 am

Yeah, I think we all have unfrugal things we do at times. For instance, I had to buy more expensive gas yesterday because I didn’t plan ahead.I try to remember that this is 5 frugal things so we hear mostly the good stuff. Kinda like everything looks perfect on Pinterest, ya know what I mean? Looks like you did pretty good!


Bee January 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

You are doing well. Although I had 5 frugal things, I could have easily listed 5 unfrugal things. I am still a frugalista in training.


Mandy January 27, 2016 at 9:03 am

1. Scraped together a lunch at work today from the odds and ends left in the break room – instant oatmeal and peanut butter, a banana from home, and plenty of free coffee.
2. Frugal fail! – Last week was my mother-in-law’s birthday. I bought groceries to make a birthday feast for 6, but they instead opted to eat at Red Robin – not my idea. $120 for mediocre burgers. However, the groceries for the planned dinner that never happened have made for some nice meals for my husband and myself.
3. I missed two days of work last week due to the big snow, but got a call yesterday to work some extra days in February, so I hope that will make up the lost income.
4. As a New Year’s resolution, I have really wanted to be more creative and spend more time on crafty projects. Instead of going out and buying new stuff, I went through my sewing supplies and found several unfinished projects – a quilt, a needlepoint, and a dress I cut out and never sewed. So they’ve all gotten some attention this week.
5. My mom’s birthday was this week. I made her a chocolate cake, and my daughter and I made her a card. The cake was basically a wacky cake recipe that Katie has mentioned here – easiest cake ever, and so tasty. I found my recipe in a book called Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. One of my new favorite cookbooks. Well, not “new”, I found it at Goodwill.


pattilou January 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

1. I’ve worked so much the last week and a half that I haven’t spent any money except on groceries.
2. brought all meals from home to work – except lunch today which was leftover food from a work event from last night.
3. I’m wearing a great sweater that my Mom no longer wanted and gave to me.
4. I made birthday cards this week instead of buying them.
5. Keeping the heat lower than usual (which is usually pretty low!) because I have been at work so much.


Krystal January 27, 2016 at 10:09 am

1. We went ahead and adopted the two cats (6.5 years) we had been considering, which is of course, not frugal. But we made do with what we had for them around the house with our previous cat’s supplies while we observed what they needed. We have a few things we will need for them, but waiting until Feb for the new budget, and making a specific list and checking out Goodwill first will definitely save me the “THIS IS SO CUTE” impulse purchases at the pet store. (I recently asked my husband how much money we would save without pets. The answer is “a lot” but it’s so worth it to have them in our lives!) And these cats are really perfect for our family. The dog has accepted them well and now has an animal buddy again!
2) Went to a clothing swap, picked up a new pair of leggings, socks and a worn-once winter jacket, which would likely retail for around $150, all for free! I was dreading buying a waterproof winter jacket, as it isn’t winter ever here in Seattle, but it’s nice for when I go home or hiking, etc. Also, picked up a dress and a skirt that didn’t end up working out. All the clothing swap items always go to donation for what isn’t picked up, but I will consign these two items first if I can.
3) Shopping around first on eBay for a pair of nice rainboots. I know what I want (I need adjustable calf), but not sure I will be able to find them used 🙁 I can sure try.
4) Batching errands today for gas, final grocery items for the month, and prescription pick-up.
5) Revamping and revisiting our Feb budget. We need room for our every-other-month electricity bill as it is BIG this season. We are also saving cash for a new couch, vacation and eventual car replacement. One savings area will have to suffer–February always does this to us as we generally have friends and family and birthday commitments too.


Marilyn January 27, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Krystal, I think it’s great about your new cats. I am a ” cat person” myself so I agree with the notion that they are worth the money spent.


Elizabeth January 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

I agree with you both about cats being worth the expense. 🙂 We are frugal but with all the love we get from our cat, it’s nice to spoil her in return. 🙂


Krystal January 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Can’t put a price on that love!


Gina January 28, 2016 at 5:27 am

I cannot agree more!! My dogs are family. I think it’s wonderful you found room in your house and heart for an older pair too! 🙂

Lucy January 28, 2016 at 5:17 am

I’m so happy you have given those 2 cats a new home!


Jennifer January 28, 2016 at 6:22 am

People with pets are healthier which is frugal. It is fact!


tonya parham January 28, 2016 at 7:06 am

I’m so glad you adopted those cats! No one wants older cats. It breaks my heart.

And, it’s true, life without pets would be much more frugal without these 7 furbabies. But, you know, they need me and I need them. I’m willing to go without a Lear Jet so they can have good food and litter.

I think that the point in doing things that are frugal is we can spend money on things that matter to us, like seven cats. Frugal is a way in which we can live so that we don’t have to life a life that is cheap– if you get my drift!

(Now, I should go take care of litterboxes!)


Randi MacDonald January 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

We’ve spent over a thousand on our dog( we even had pet insurance) but we still have to pay 20percent because his disc blew and he had surgery and rehab. We feed our dogs dehydrated raw food( 130.00 every 2 months), but we don’t drink, smoke or have any real vices so for us, we don’t blink an eye when it comes to our babies.


Ruby January 27, 2016 at 10:43 am

Katy, your “new” mug is so pretty! It goes really nicely with the old top.

Our frugal five:
1. Shopped my husband’s closet for two pairs of no-longer-worn slacks for our grown son. The guys are the same height and weight but built differently, so I’ll have to take them up a bit to fit our son, but a little work saves a lot of money.

2. Turned some leftover Rice-a-Phony (seasoned rice made from the recipe in The Complete Tightwad Gazette) and some leftover steamed spinach into a stir-fry by adding eggs. It made two hearty, delicious meals for me.

3. Received a coupon for $10 off $150 at Food Lion. Fortunately this coincides with us needing to stock up on some things I can get only at FL. I have been inventorying the freezer and pantry and compiling a list.

4. Everybody has been taking one for the team this month. We have had no food waste and nobody has grumbled. Well, except maybe the dogs, who would prefer their expensive chewies to homemade dog biscuits, but they’re getting used to it.

5. Sticking like glue to a strict budget and finding it’s not as tight as I’d feared. Living a frugal life is kind of like deep-sea diving in that one acclimates to the depths and can go lower with practice. Six months ago I would have said there was no way we could managed a $280 a month grocery budget for three adults, but it’s turned out to be not that hard to do.


priskill January 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm

#5 — awesome!


Diane C January 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm

I just learned the term “Stealership” over at MMM, and now Rice-a-Phoney! ROFL and LMAO. This California girl grew up eating “The San Francisco Treat” and though I’m a huge Tightwad Gazette fan, I don’t remember this term…
Okay, I just checked my Big Blue Book and I think see the recipe, but not the funny name, so kudos to you for your wit. Love it!


Ruby January 29, 2016 at 8:22 am

Thank you! My husband and son absolutely cracked up when I told them the new name for homemade Rice-a-Roni. 😀


Elizabeth January 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

I have to agree that Rice-a-Phoney is hilarious! 😀


Beth Anne January 27, 2016 at 10:56 am

1. Just gassed up the car – looked at and found a cheap place for $1.49 a gallon instead of paying $1.61 at other stations.

2. Used my 5% off groceries and 15% off general merchandise at the grocery store in conjunction with other Meijer MPerks coupons – saved over $33.00.

3. Said know to fast food on my lunch home and went home and made peanut butter and honey toast, yummo!

4. Haven’t washed my car in months!!! I never think of it and with all the snow and salt used so much kinda whats the point? God has been washing it for free. 😉 Savings there I guess.

5. My usual unplugging things, closing bedroom doors in the am when we leave, cooked in the crock pot instead of the stove, etc.


Isabelle January 27, 2016 at 11:33 am

I like your new mug!

* Stayed 75$ under budget for food (groceries and restaurants) this month, and this included 2 outings. (Budget is 575$)
* Valentine’s day is planned and it will be inexpensive : hubby and I going to a cheap restaurant using a Groupon, then going to the movies using a 2 for 1 coupon+paying with points+coupon for a free popcorn, and the babysitting will be free (grandma). We agreed to not exchange gifts, only a card, and I have a couple in stock bought on a 90% off sale for about 1$/each. For the kids, only a small chocolate heart each (1.30$ total).
* I decided that from now on I will live in yoga pants just because I can (I work in physio)! No, but seriously it’s so comfy! I found a pair I totally love about 2 months ago and am wearing them to death. So I got 2 more pairs today, before the store stops selling those exact ones. I am a Plus Size petite, finding those at thrift stores is not happening, so I’m happy to pay 40$ for those 2 pairs that will carry me comfortably from weekend to work to work outs!
* Did an extra 4 hours of work on monday.
* Using my gym membership diligently and doing my 3 workouts per week.
* Bought a shoes tray to put winter boots. But then thought about using a Rubbermaid bin top I had laying around instead, and it works just fine. Looks a bit silly maybe but whatever, it’s saving me money. So I have to return the tray now.

Have a great frugal day!


A. Marie January 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

Your last item about the bin tops is a great one; we just started doing this a year ago. DH has a wide assortment of bins and bin tops salvaged from his rental properties back in landlord days, so we figured we might as well start using the orphan tops for boots. (And as everyone who lives in snow/mud country knows, we need a lot of boots!)


Mary G January 27, 2016 at 11:44 am

Ooh, I like the design on the new mug. Very nice.
1. I made pear-havarti grilled cheese sandwiches last night with an 8 oz. block of cheese that was given to my husband
2. Bought a new pair of Levis at my local thrift store on Monday during a dollar day sale, and they fit very well, including the length
3. Asked my son if he could repair the outdoor portion of our weather reader, and he did; it’s nice to know the outside temperature before taking the dog out for a walk without needing to check a phone app
4. Repaired a fleece pullover of my husband’s
5. Blended and froze freezer cubes of kale so I wouldn’t waste any this time


Katie January 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm

1. We didn’t go anywhere on Saturday and Sunday. We cleared 30″ of snow and chatted with/helped neighbors. It’s a good time to catch up.

2. On Monday we stopped at the grocery for a few items on sale. I was happy they were well stocked (except in the bread and water aisle).

3. Yesterday I stopped at Staples to pick up a ream of $.01 paper (after store coupon and rebate). I also picked up a laser printer cartridge. I price matched the Amazon price. I used gift cards that I had from redeeming Discover points.

4. I made loaves of French bread. I used some for French Toast, so will be used for breakfast and sandwiches, and some I froze.

5. I am putting together all the documents I need for taxes so once all information is available I’ll be able to file. We usually receive a refund so the sooner we file the sooner we’ll receive it.


A. Marie January 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm

An unconventional Frugal Thing, which may be worth five in the long run: DH and I found a weapon at the end of our driveway yesterday, and we lost no time calling 911 and reporting it. Although I don’t want to go into detail about it, an ounce of prevention may be worth several pounds of cure in this case–and that’s a very Frugal Thing indeed.


Wow!Diane C January 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Wow! I just can’t let this one pass without comment. This is a FFT first, I’m sure.


momsav January 29, 2016 at 4:20 am

Holy cow! Glad an adult found it!!!


Jade January 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm

1. Made all meals from shopping from pantry /freezer. Used some items that I was gifted; golden syrup, chicken stock and tomato paste. Yesterday I made a really healthy and frugal tomato pasta sauce from canned tomatoes – I think it was much tastier than store-bought jars loaded with sugar.
My neighbour had a fall so I made honey jumble cookies (using free golden syrup) and cut sunflowers from the garden as a gift.

2. Stocked up on dog food which was on sale. Our dogs’ brand of food goes onsale infrequently so I like to grab it when it is cheaper. Applied some of my grocery gift cards I earned from completing surveys.

3. Have stayed at home most of my holidays just pottering at home (my idea of heaven) which has saved lots of $$. Have been xstitching whilst watching Netflix on a 30 day free trial.

4. Have a friend and her son coming to visit this weekend. For her belated Christmas gift I put together a gingerbread house, using an Aldi kit I had leftover. I decorated it with leftover chocolates and lollies I had in the sitting in the pantry. Wrapped it in celeophane and ribbon from my stash – it looks very pretty! I know this friend wont mind that we are now almost in Feb and she is receving a gingerbread house!

5. Have been trying to increase exercise. Completed a few weights sessions with husband in his ‘home gym’, aka the garage. I consider this a free workout. I cringe when I think of all the wasted money I spent on gym memberships over the years. Never again!! Will be doing some hikes with friend this weekend – free and fun!


Teri January 27, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Can you tell me more about these surveys that you get paid to do?


Jade January 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Sure, Terri. I am in Australia and use MySurvey. I believe you can participate if in other countries aswell. It’s not a big amount of money but I probably cash in $10 every second week – I trade for Coles and Woolworths (grocery stores) $10 vochures.


Lisa January 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Love Grocery Outlet – that Dreyer’s Chocolate Custard is the best! I just went back today to get a few more cartons…


priskill January 27, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Love reading all of these, and am really trying. We have some non-frugal repairs looming (possible animal under house –need to get catch and release traps, then close up the gaping hole) and 22 year old alarm system finally bit it — may be related to animal chewing wires under the house?? So these seem small . . .

1. Buying just enough fresh groceries to get through the week and trying to use up pantry/freezer stuff. Spending less . . .

2. Local Ralphs is reconfiguring store so tons of stuff way marked down — trying to stick with the stuff I really need.

3. Wearing all my old clothes until more weight is lost — shopping all the old stuff I outgrew that fits again. Trying to only buy bathing suit (must exercise), sneaks, and possibly winter stuff for trip to colder clime. Will check thrift stores for a coat — thank you all for that suggestion!

4. Eating in breakfasts and dinners; taking lunch. Since I have doctor’s appointment after work at 4:45 tomorrow, arranged leftover lentil soup so we don’t even THINK about going out.

5. Found 26 cents on my Sunday walk. That much closer to my jet . . .


Lil January 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

I love everyone’s list!
1-took leftovers to work for lunch everyday
2-quit my habit of going to the drive thru for tea and a bagel every morning-I get 15 extra minutes of sleep now too!
3-did not attend a comedy show as planned last night saving 20 dollar ticket fee and drunk cost
4-went thrusting and picked up some great gifts for next Christmas
5-going to a birthday dinner for a friend this weekend and will be using a gift card I received as a gift to cover our dinner


Lil January 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Lil drink cost not drunk cost. Jeeze


Susanne g January 28, 2016 at 12:31 am

Not as bad as auto correct #4!!!! Yikes!!!!


Jennifer January 28, 2016 at 6:29 am

#4 I only know of one thrusting and it’s probably not a good idea to do it while shopping. Jail time isn’t frugal, lol. I needed this little laugh!


Mindy January 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

I’m new to your blog and it has quickly become my favorite one! I’m much more conscious about saving money now – thanks!

1. Cut out the perfume samples from my (free) magazine subscriptions before I recycled them. I haven’t bought perfume in years and I get to wear a new fragrance everyday.

2. Picked up the sleeved advertisements and coupons from this past weekend’s newspaper that are lying on sidewalks in my neighborhood. I’m helping to keep the neighborhood clean (the homeowners obviously don’t want them if they haven’t picked them up in four days) and I’m stocking up on extra coupons.

3. Cleaned out my kid’s closets and took some clothes and shoes to the resale shop. I made $33 and donated the leftover clothes to the thrift shop run by the seniors at our community center.

4. I also made $4 at Play it Again Sports when I took in some soccer gear that my kids outgrew.

5. Donated some books to my son’s class (his teacher was appreciative) and will donate more to the library. I will receive a receipt and can use it for a tax deduction next year.


Teri January 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm

1. Bought 10 items of clothing on super clearance at Ross, sold to Platos and doubled my money.
2.Found 32 cents, 30 of it under the cushion of a
3.Chair I sold on Craig’s List for $50, before the purchase was made!
4.Returned impulse buys back to Target…why does that store always get me?
5. Sold 4 books back to our local “Book Worm” resale store and was able to purchase 2 more for only 84 cents (the tax). And I didn’t buy a lear jet either…would someone on here please buy one and tell us how it is? 🙂


Chris January 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm

1. Found a quarter when I got out of my car at Aldi’s.
2. Switched the 2 upstairs bedrooms and found items for donation/garage sale/etsy.
3. Was scheduled to fly to DC last week – able to switch tickets to 2/4 – when big snow is being expected here in MN – but we know how to deal with snow!
4.Making a point of at least 2 no drive/no spend days each week.
5. My neighbor had her 1950s tiled bathroom torn out this week – I pulled 3 complete tiles from the dumpster bag – same color as my bathroom – insurance for future damage. You never know! And, really, you tore out 1950s tile?!?!?!?


cathy January 27, 2016 at 10:50 pm

Pink, blue, green or yellow??? Mine is mint green w/ a dark green Rorshach-type splatter pattern. So cool. It’s one of the things that sold me on the house. That and the original 1954 unpainted wood kitchen cabinets 🙂


Mand01 January 28, 2016 at 1:09 am

I love those cabinets. They really built them to last back then


Chris January 28, 2016 at 5:11 am

It’s tan so no quite as exciting! However my second bathroom is mint green – very cute.


Bobbi January 27, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I like your new mug Katy! I also like your cheese jenga! Stocking up during a sale = frugal! My frugal five:

1. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t bring my lunch from home. It’s been months! I usually pack leftovers and a piece of fruit, including today: chili mac, from dinner night before last, and a pear.
2. I spent over $12 on a pound of coffee beans yesterday. Crazy, right? But that will give me over two weeks of morning coffee, averaging much less than a dollar a cup. More frugal than my old morning Starbucks habit! I know this pales in frugal comparison to your morning tea habit, Katy, but coffee is my one vice and I’m counting this as a win for me!
3. I have a formal event coming up in several months, and there is not really a dress in my closet that will work. I’ve started scoping out thrift stores so that I’m more likely to find something that I love, that is cheap, and that is secondhand. So far, no luck, but I will be patient. I stopped by Goodwill yesterday, and didn’t buy anything.
4. My Grocery Outlet finds this week: more packages of vegan sliced cheese for $1.99 (retails for around six bucks!) and organic canned beans for $.99 a can.
5. I didn’t buy a Lear jet this week, or anything, really, except groceries. 🙂


cathy January 27, 2016 at 11:01 pm

1. Made chipotle butternut squash soup for dinner w/ a squash I bought last fall. Made it vegetarian (water instead of chicken stock) in case my son wanted some.
2. Cooked all meals at home including kids’ lunches for school.
3. Blew my monthly grocery budget, but it was because Sprouts had Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flours 40% off. I bought all they had of the types we use and got rainchecks since I wanted to buy more than they had. Found 2 pennies on the ground as I returned my cart.
4. My son is putting together what I hope will be his last science fair presentation. Ever. Using an extra tri-fold board we happen to have.
5. Was able to buy three cartons of soymilk, all with free coupons. Saved over $10!


Betty Winslow January 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm

#4 – I understand this – I will NEVER have to help do a science fair board again. Ever. YAY!!


Anne January 28, 2016 at 5:46 pm

I still have boys in 9th and 11th, I sure hope we are done with the science fairs too! I think we are!


Mand01 January 28, 2016 at 1:07 am

1. I just finished The Story of Stuff, borrowed from the library, and just started The Happiness Project, also from the library. The former book has had a deep effect on me. I am still processing it.
2. My entire wardrobe was thrifted today from top to shoes. I received several compliments. Hehe. I can’t remember total cost, but probably about $20.
3. I have officially broken my daily coffee buying habit, and the cafe down the road is no longer the place where everybody knows my name. It’s ok, I don’t miss it. I do enjoy the cash in my pocket. I know some finance wizards say the latte effect is overstated but I can tell ya that $4.40 per day is a bloody lot of money to pour into a cup of joe. I’m also ashamed to admit it was all in disposable cups
4. I set my financial goals for 2016 last night and wrote them down in my notes app on my phone so I can track them. Exact numbers. Now to achieve them. I’m one of those concrete types – I like to work toward a specific targeted goal.
5. I also set some career goals for the year.


Chigdon January 28, 2016 at 5:24 am

1. Made rice pudding for dessert with some leftover rice. It was a nice treat.
2. Baked pears in raspberry vinegar since we had too many get ripe at the same time. Served them on top of the rice.
3. Drank 166 oz of water all day. Nothing fancy. But did have coffee in the am that had been a Christmas gift.
4. For dinner made something I got from Costco a Thai peanut dinner. We usually buy this but this was super cheap $1.50 a box instead of the usual $8. (4 servings). Costco deeply discounts food when it get a month or two near the sell by date. I have gotten huge jars of jam for $1 before.
5. have a great deal on a gym membership. Showered there and use as many amenities as possible to get the bang out of the buck.


Gina January 28, 2016 at 5:40 am


1-Traveling for work this week (expenses paid by employer), but brought my own food or ate my fill from the breakfast buffet hotel offers. I was also offered a “to go” bag by the sweet hotel staff (it contained a water, apple and yogurt bar). I saved the contents for lunch.

2-After work, I used the hotel gym to work-out and went for a hike on a trail in the area. I really need to get back in the habit of doing the latter. It was so quiet and beautiful and I felt great afterwards!

3-This is not exactly frugal, per se, but it does affect my employment which helps me pay bills and save money: I found out last night I am being honored at a work ceremony for work I did with another entity last year! They will have cake and coffee and I am beyond humbled (although, I am proud too).

4-A friend is pet sitting for me (like Krystal, I feel my pets have no price and my life is infinitely better with them around) and we agreed to trade service instead of money (and my dogs love this friend and I think they like his house better than mine too…but I’m not jealous 😉

5-This one is big and too complicated to say all the details, but a lingering financial issue from my divorce may have been resolved yesterday. I received word that the ex has finally refinanced the marital property into his name. I am still awaiting confirmation, but this is a huge relief off my back, mind and finances.


Jennifer January 28, 2016 at 6:38 am

#3 and5- Congrats on your hard work and peace of mind!


MW January 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

1- Planned a week’s menu around the free potatoes my husband brought home,and the beans that are hanging out in the cupboard.
2- Planned for leftovers for lunches so that my husband doesn’t have an excuse to go to Burger King. Grrr. . .
3- A friend offered me her little-used yogurt maker. I’m going to give it a try as I go through a lot of yogurt and my preschooler is starting to ask for it. I haven’t wanted to mess around with the more DIY set ups, but with a FREE maker? Sure!
4- Still taking the bus to work every day (with a free pass). Good thing as our POS car is finding new and novel ways to break down.
5- Still taking my lunch every day.

And, on the income front, I’m attempting to drum up some freelance work cleaning up for my neighbor’s construction business. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but a a bit of extra income would help the family’s finances.


Kim January 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

1. Pleasantly surprised to realize I still had a half a tank of gas when I went to work on Tuesday. I guess that’s what 30″ of snow can do when you don’t move your car for 4 days!
2. Took time before Snowzilla to analyze some of my Amazon listings and tweaked prices. Sold 2 of the items within 24 hours and have sold several other items since. Shipped all items in new packing materials received from Freecycle. College fund!
3. Happy that my storm prep, of cleaning my fridge and prepping food, has this week led to easy meals, no food waste and no eating out. Plus really good eating! Happily we never lost power which is what I always have to prepare for since we often do.
4. Have been picking up Easy Shift store audits that are in my area. They pay anywhere from $4-13 and I do them after work or as I run my errands. I’ve made $74 in the past few weeks and have $60 pending to be paid. College fund!
5. Have put together a bag to take to Plato’s Closet. All name brand- AE, Aero, Nike etc. which were purchased for 50¢ each from charity shop. Hope to triple my money.

As an aside, the parent’s association from my son’s university had a young lady call the other night. After a few questions about what my son was involved in and how he liked the university, she then proceeds to tell me about “all the things’ that the parent association does for the students. She then asks for a donation
$250 to be made while we are on the phone. I explain that’s not possible as I have 2 sons in college and it’s not in my budget. After a few more pleasantries, she than asks if $100 is possible. I then politely tell her that my son is going to school over 500 miles from home at great personal sacrifice to our family and that no donation is forthcoming because I would like to be able to pay for his tuition and fees going forward. I said I paid the fees for the parent association and that was all I was giving. I then bid her a good evening and went to do a store audit so I can have the money to pay for that education.


JD January 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

Kim, get ready — you’ve just started with the calls. My daughters’ college called asking me to donate all the time while they were in school, and once they each graduated, kept asking! I’m an alumnus of that school, too, so they call me as an alumnus asking me to “give back” (hey, I paid for that education — they didn’t “give” it to me) and even after I explained my husband was out of work, I got, “Well would $75 be better for you than $100?”


Betty Winslow January 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm

yeah, my hubby’s alma mater (in the town we live in) calls a couple times a yr, despite the fact that since his graduation in 1980, we have never – not once – donated anything. And won’t.


Patty January 29, 2016 at 8:07 am

A funny little story that is the opposite of the usual college begging. My husband and I somehow got on the “big donor” list for my alma mater. Once a year we get invited to very fancy dinners in huge mansions with the most delicious and amazing food and world class speakers. There are rarely more than 30 people. We think they have me confused with a wealthy heiress with the same name as mine. We’re scared that if we ever donate the pittance we could, that they’ll see our “drop” in donations and kick us off the list.


Anne January 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

Patty, that is a hilarious story. I would have a really hard time keeping the guilty look off my face at the events.

It reminds me of an “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy and Ethel thought they were donating five dollars to a charity and it turns out they had actually promised five hundred.

Katy January 29, 2016 at 9:17 am

That’s pretty funny.

priskill January 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Oh, too too funny! Enjoy every minute! 🙂

Katy January 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

Yup. Nothing is quite so cheap is going nowhere and doing nothing!


Vickie January 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

Nice mug!!

1) I saved on gas and food yesterday. I attended a family funeral, but I rode with others to and from the funeral and my cousin bought lunch for a group of us. It was a very late lunch, so I didn’t need dinner last night.
2) Hubby gave me money for lunch yesterday, but I didn’t have to use it, so that’s staying in my wallet.
3) I’ve been shopping twice this week with my Library card. I’ve picked up 3 audio books I had on hold and returned one. These will keep me entertained during my commutes for at least a 2-3 weeks.
4) I’ve been sticking to the grocery list this past month and using food my daughter gave me for Christmas. Saved a lot of money – which is a good thing because we only get paid once a month and the last time was December 23rd. Long stretch to the 29th of January!
5) I didn’t buy a yacht or a Lear jet! 🙂


amanda January 28, 2016 at 10:55 am

1. I desperately need a haircut, so I youtubed DIY ponytail haircut and will be doing that tonight.
2. We’ve cooked from scratch all week, but went out on Tuesday for an impromtu dinner with rarely seen friends. The leftovers provided lunch on Wed.
3. I’m teaching a truffle making class next weekend. Rather than make up a bunch of new tasting samples, I froze the extra ones I made at Christmas time.
4. The stores don’t carry the dipping chocolate that I wanted to use for my class. I youtubed how to temper chocolate using a microwave, rather than order the special chocolate OR buying a hot plate. I hope it works!
5. Went to Costco last week and stuck to our list. Rather than go out to dinner, we bought the $1.50 hotdogs.


Katy January 28, 2016 at 11:02 am
Randi MacDonald January 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Our 99 cents only stores had that frozen custard. I was not a fan.


Florencia January 28, 2016 at 9:40 pm

1. Ate lunch both Tuesday and today at the institute of religion. Not the most nutritious, but it’s food. They had sloppy joes and chips. The other day they had cheesy baked pasta. They are satisfying all my cravings! I usually bring a small salad, fruit and a yogurt to round out the meal. I eat those things either with or later in between classes. Really helps not come home famished and want to eat everything!
2. Went grocery shopping today. Bought fruits and veggies (most on markdown, with sales and a couple coupons), four bottles 1915 beet juice for my mom (markdown and coupons made them 50¢ each), marked down deli sliced ham, Laughing Cow cheese (with online coupon and on sale), and for free (online coupons) a 6-pack of flavored water and a box of Uncle Ben’s rice.
3. Made sure to get the right price on markdowns (even went back when I got overcharged $1.50 on one of the juices), used coupons I had and checked store’s online app and Ibotta and Checkout51, and asked to get credit for bags for fuel.
4. I’ve been very vigilant about looking out for coins. I found a pen on the way to my car at school. From the moment I got off my car at the grocery store I kept thinking and looking out for paper money. I don’t find any bills, but I did find a penny and a hair tie. 🙂 I go through a lot of hair ties due to my thick, long hair, so I’m trying to see how long I can go without buying new ones and how many I pick up that help me in this endeavor.
5. Cleaned out the fridge. Had to throw away some food, but we’ve been doing pretty well eating leftovers and today we cooked rice to eat with some really good bolognese sauce my mom made last week.
6. Still eating lettuce from the food bank. We’re on the last bag of washed, chopped lettuce and then on to the heads that still had roots.


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