Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 21, 2016 · 66 comments


  1. I brought home two dozen long stem roses from the hospital for free. There were multiple wilted bouquets up for grabs, but they perked up after I trimmed the ends and set them in water. I feel so luxurious!
  2. I lucked out with The Grocery Outlet’s scratch-and-dent shelf and brought home a 99¢ bag of Roma tomatoes and a large 99¢ bag of apples. (I transformed them into salsa and apple crisp.)
  3. I happened to be making a slightly rather delicious for tonight’s dinner, (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and apple crisp) so I went ahead and invited my mother and step-father to join us. No extra expense to include them, and very enjoyable company.
  4. I work tomorrow and will bring leftovers from earlier in the week instead of the more desirable meatloaf.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie February 21, 2016 at 12:29 am

The roses are gorgeous! Very jealous… last time I had ‘proper’ flowers in my home (other than frugally self picked displays) were those given to me when I had a baby – my youngest is almost 11 years old! lol!


A. Marie February 21, 2016 at 2:54 am

My FFT–a “celebrations” edition:
(1) Question/suggestion for Katy: Do your patients leave wilted bouquets at the hospital all the time, or was this just a Valentine’s Day thing? If it happens regularly, you may just have stumbled into a new sideline: frugal florist! 🙂
(2) A good friend in the literary group I belong to is turning 90 this week. Instead of buying one of the few “Happy 90th Birthday” cards available (they were all sickly/sentimental, and this is a lady of taste and sense), I wrote a suitable inscription in a suitable blank Jane Austen card I had on hand, and had everybody at yesterday’s meeting sign a separate sheet on the group’s letterhead to go into the card. I believe she was much more pleased with this than she would have been with the other card.
(3) A note on DH’s and my gift exchange policy: We don’t do anything conventional on Christmas, birthday’s, or Valentine’s (unless scooping up the occasional half-price chocolate bar the day after a holiday counts). But we do give each other presents whenever the notion hits us–and these days, even DH’s are usually frugal finds. (He’s a late-life convert!)
(4) Most of our entertaining at meals also tends to occur whenever the notion hits us/whenever I’ve made something exceptionally good (much like Katy’s meatloaf dinner).
(5) And we never, ever charter a Lear Jet for special occasions!


Isabelle February 21, 2016 at 3:56 am

* My daughter is being seen by a speech therapist and it cost 110$/hour. They wanted to charge me for a “full evaluation” costing 220$ yesterday… are you kidding me??? So I fought this in favor of a “semi-evaluation” for 110$. We have a 500$ insurance (paying 80% back), which means that it will at least cover a part. I don’t intend staying there forever (her speech problem is minor), we will gather as much infos and practice stuff and do it at home after a couple of sessions.
* Went to supper at a fancy fish place yesterday and the service was TERRIBLE. I was so disappointed. Asked for cheese for my (30$!) plate of pasta and by the time hubby was DONE eating I was still sitting there waiting… So I returned my meal and said I would not be paying for this. First time doing this in my life! But I am done shutting my mouth to not offend someone when I don’t get a decent service!! So they credited my meal and hubby’s starter. Will not go back there for sure! We then went to a dinner next door and I got a chili bowl+chips for 9$ instead. And we had good service this time!
* Exchanged PC Points for 20$ of free groceries.
* Daughter going to her ballet class today. “Ballet” sounds expensive, but it actually is a class given by the city costing us only 30$/session.
* Daughter need more pants. Waiting for the 50% off sale at Value Village (in 2 weeks) to buy some.
Have a great frugal day!


Bee February 21, 2016 at 4:40 am

In reference to #1, I don’t know the age of your daughter, but the public elementary school in my area had an outreach program for preschoolers. It was designed to prepare them for school if they had special needs. My daughter had a minor speech problem and saw a speech therapist 3x a week for free. It was a wonderful program and open to anyone. I found out about it because her older brother attended the school. You may want to check into it.


Kristin February 21, 2016 at 4:56 am

Yes, this. If this child is in the US, she can be receiving speech therapy through her municipality if not yet school age or the school district if of school age [even if she is home schooled or attends a private school].

For younger kids 0-2 it is called Early Intervention. As your doc about it.


LisaC February 21, 2016 at 5:39 am

Yes, it is the law. Age 3 and up, the school district in which you live will provide (or guide you to what school to call) an evaluation and speech therapy if needed. In the US.


Isabelle February 21, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Thanks ladies, but I live in Quebec, Canada, and our public health care pretty much sucks, so if I want her seen before she’s too old (she’s almost 4 now) we have to go the public way.

Beth Anne February 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm

My daughter received speech through our school district. Her doctor diagnosed it when she was about two and a half. Doctor wrote letter for me and I took it to the school district. School district did some testing and she then attended part-time pre-school with special teachers and speech therapist. She also received in school speech therapy through the 1st grade. People who meet her now can’t believe she was in speech, worth checking it out. 🙂


Isabelle February 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

* I meant “I have to go the private way”, not public way of course.


chris February 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

Isabelle, For what it is worth (admittedly, not much), we pay out of pocket for private speech for two of our kids. The oldest has finished but the 7 year old just started. The district that would provide his speech services had such an inefficient process (it takes weeks just to finish getting evals) and group sessions. That would never work for my social butterfly kid. He’d never focus at all. Sometimes all of our savings in our frugal endeavors benefit us when it is time to spend on what matters. A closet of Goodwill t shirts is my jam, but I want my kid in and out if speec therapy in as short of a time as possible so I am willing to spend the money. No time to waste with a stutter…it is driving him nuts. We know this therapist well and after ONLY THREE SESSIONS we are seeing almost zero stuttering, plus he can correctly pronounce his brother’s name for the first time. Well worth it.


Kathleen February 21, 2016 at 4:08 am

Grocery shopping for four without a car was starting to feel like a chore, and I was starting to think about buying a car. Instead I bought a used $15 granny cart.

I had friends over yesterday for a little crafting party. The goal was to work only with scrap fabric from clothes that were beyond repair. We had a lovely and frugal time.

Last week was school vacation week here. We went to two museums using membership cards and brought our own lunch. We went to a free dance party at the local library and had a playdate here at the house. Some money was spent this week, but we definitely kept it under control.

We’re reading a picture book from the library called the Cloud Spinner. It’s a lovely story that essentially teaches about how greed can lead to one person getting what they want and other people not having what they even need. I’ve been struggling to figure out how to talk to my kids about frugality and the difference between needs and wants. This book was a great find.


Lesley February 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Kathleen, “The Quilt Maker” is another wonderful children’s book about greed and service to others and needs vs wants … and the illustrations are to die for.


Kathleen February 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm

We love The Quilt Maker and the prequel The Quiltmaker’s Journey. Great books.


Mand01 February 21, 2016 at 4:20 am

It’s been a mix of non-frugal and frugal lately. It is our local arts festival this month so we went out last night and saw a live band, and had dinner out, plus paid a babysitter. We have eaten out three times this week, which is very out of the ordinary for us. Back to normal this week!
But in frugal news:
1. Baked muffins, cookies and scrolls yesterday.
2. Baked tea cakes, bread and made soup today.
3. With the homemade bread and my mother’s chickens’ eggs, made a Martha Stewart recipe for dinner – ricotta eggs in a nest, and it was amazing
4. My sister gave me a bag of free clothes and they are lovely
5. My husband & daughter watched Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, from the library, while our other daughter was at respite. It was great to spend time one on one with her.


Bettypants February 21, 2016 at 5:28 am

1. Our office provided a pizza lunch this week. There were cookies for dessert, and man, did I eat a lot of cookies this week.
2. Sold 3 shirts for $10 on a local FB sale board.
3. Lost one winter glove while running errands, but I was frazzled by the nasty weather and power outages, so I didn’t notice until I got home. 🙁 I checked back in 2 spots and left my phone number just in case. The nice customer service woman found it in the grocery store parking lot later in the day and I retrieved it!
4. Sold two children’s books on ebay for $10.
5. Picked up several brand new books at the library that I have been waiting for. I say it all the time, but I just love our library so much. Such a steady stream of new releases that I never buy or rent elsewhere. Even their magazine selection is extensive, so I check a stack of those out every week.


Marilyn February 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

I am with you on loving the library! I have moved a number of times in my life and every time I move to a new town, the first ordervof business is getting a new library card.


Bettypants February 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

I love the smell of libraries. I’ve had two jobs in my professional career and both offices (on opposite sides of the state) were one block from the public library. I feel like it’s a job perk being able to walk over on my lunch hour.


Jen February 21, 2016 at 5:42 am

This is my first time posting on FFT. I enjoy reading it so much I decided to post.

1. Made a lot of food this week using up odd bits from the pantry and freezer.
2. A few weeks ago we went to Qdoba to get my freebie bday meal with their rewards card, which is only good for one week. They didn’t have internet that evening so they couldn’t redeem it off my card and the manager on duty was unsympathetic. I had my hubby take the receipt back in yesterday and explain the situation. We received an apology, a belated happy birthday, and a coupon for a free meal from the usual manager. I really like this place (queso!) so glad they resolved it.
3. My daughter had a semi formal dance last night. Her outfit cost $15 including the shoes and hose. She wore my late mothers’ costume jewelry that I had saved for these occasions. She looked like a million bucks and it was a sweet connection to her Nana.
4. Instead of going out for dinner before these dances, she and her boyfriend like to eat a fancy candlelight dinner at home that I make for them. I go all out with sparkling cider in champagne glasses, flowers on the table, etc. I waitress for them and they love it. We all have a lot of fun with it.
5. Made my own chipotle chicken as part of my earlier bulk cooking so we had a restaurant quality Mexican dinner at home by adding in the chips and queso ($4) from Qdoba. Found a free redbox rental coupon so we got The Martian and had a lovely date night at home with the hubs.


Jennifer February 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

Love #3 and#4


Bee February 21, 2016 at 5:43 am

Having flowers in the house is sooooooo luxurious – especially roses. I know you will enjoy them, Katy.
I too have had a week that consisted if a few unfrugal things. It was my son’s 30th birthday, and we had a party for him. He invited a lot of people. It wasn’t frugal but fun. But as always, I try to be frugal with the every day, so we can have these special times.
1) I spent an afternoon in the kitchen using up odds and ends. I made chicken soup using two carcasses; granola tossing in some trail mix that no one was eating; quick pickles reusing some tasty pickle brine; and making a casserole of enchiladas using leftover pinto beans that had been frozen for later use.
2) I did not have time to plan dinner and cook on Friday. So we had clean out the frig night. I was happy to have the leftover chicken soup and enchiladas as well as some extra room in the refrigerator.
3) While cooking, I watched the long, A&E/ BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It was given to me as a gift on DVD, and it is one of my all time favorites. When watching this version, I feel as though I am transported to a different place and time.
4) I took my husband and my dog for several long walks this week. We are all getting older and need to keep moving. Use it or lose it!
5) I continue to track my spending and review it 2-3 times a week. It keeps my in line. I am not very happy after this birthday week and feeling a bit anxious. But as Mr. Bennet says in the above mentioned movie and I paraphrase, “No need to make yourself uneasy, the feeling will soon pass.”


Marilyn February 21, 2016 at 7:32 am

I love that quote from Mr. Bennett!


Bee February 21, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I love the dialogue in Jane Austen’s novels — so clever!


Beth Anne February 21, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Just watched Pride and Prejudice last weekend with my 12 year-old daughter, she loved it! Colin Firth is awesome. My daughter chose to read the book now for school. She was amazed, and said it was a little tough reading but thought they took the words for the movie right off the page. I will have to show her Sense and Sensibility another weekend. 😉


Karen February 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm

That is my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice, so well done.


A. Marie February 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

I invite you all to check out the Jane Austen Society of North America at (A nonprofit organization totally staffed by volunteers, Katy; I hope you won’t mind my posting the link.)


Anne February 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Colin Firth is sooooo well known for this role that he said if he ever decided to change careers and become and astronaut, he was quite sure the headlines would read, “Mr. D’arcy lands on moon.”


Mand01 February 22, 2016 at 3:36 am

After two decades it remains the unequaled film version


LisaC February 21, 2016 at 5:46 am

1. Went to a party and was asked to bring a sweet or side dish. Went on and typed in some ingredients I already have, and found a recipe to make. It was scarfed up! I used a plastic plate that someone had left at my house.
2. Found out that a friend just started to shop at thrift stores. I now have a thrifting buddy and I can teach her some of my tips.
3. Freezing a bunch of spinach that was 1/2 price, going to use them in my a.m. smoothies.
4. Exercising in the mornings using You Tube Yoga Today. I especially like Neesha Zollinger’s stretching in the morning.
5. At work, we decided no more birthday gifts in our office, we will chip in to buy lunch. Works out to about a dollar a person, and still makes them feel special. No pressure to buy anything ourselves, just to eat together that day.


That Other Jean February 21, 2016 at 6:46 am

Beautiful roses, Katy!
This week, I have/will be:

1. Found two of my favorite sets of sheets on clearance to replace a couple of 18 year old sets that are seriously worn out and starting to split in places that would be uncomfortable to sleep on if they were repaired. The old ones will be recycled into quilts.

2. Found material and batting for two baby quilts in my stash, so I don’t have to buy anything to make them. They will be given to the quilt guild I belong to to donate to area homeless shelters.

3. Boiled down a chicken carcass for chicken broth and meat for soup (and/or for the picky cat).

4. Changed another light bulb to LED when the old one burned out.

5 Will be making dinner from leftover BBQ pork from a couple of nights ago and leftover rice from last night. Should be tasty.


Jennifer February 21, 2016 at 7:03 am

My husband got me beautiful orange, pinkish roses mixed with some kind of pretty purple flowers. Sadly, they are already dead. He also got me a balloon that somehow my kids got loose and it is now on the ceiling. I have very high ceilings so it’s gonna be up there for awhile. He isn’t very frugal, obviously, but they were a beautiful gift for which I am thankful.
1. I got my kids one of those huge Hershey’s kisses that was marked down from Christmas for Valentines. Of course, they only ate a tiny bit of it so I scraped off their bite marks, wrapped them in foil,and chunked in the freezer for when I need chocolate for baking.
2. I got paid for walking at the park. I found 46 cents, a tennis ball, and some note cards in a shoe box.
3. Got several random pieces of fruit and vegetables in Kroger’s reduced bin that I am working into our meals this week for 99 per bag so I snagged 2 bags.
4. I am planning to make a ham and cheese quiche this week with all those great reduced eggs I got last week and the Christmas ham from the freezer. I’m gonna to try to work a few veggies into my quiche to make it a little healthier. My meals have been lacking in fresh veggies lately.
5 . I plan to stay home today with the kids. I’m fortunate that my kids LOVE to be at home. They would much rather be home than go to a store. I will putter around and get little things done.

I am also making a meatloaf to eat this week and deviled eggs. Which will use up lots more eggs! I have a few small carrots that need to be used that I will shred and put in there also. I gues this is technically a #6


e February 23, 2016 at 3:06 am

I love your number 1! I “recycle” food my kids discard all the time too.


Mariana February 21, 2016 at 7:13 am

1. Got $13 more in my ebates account
2. Returned a bathroom scale to Bed Bath and beyond for $43 store credit
3. Switched prescription, which will save me a whooping $480 a year!
4. Paid all co-pays and medication with FSA card
5. Got $5 staples ‘money’ via email
6. Found a new photo frame in the recycling bin (on top of it) at work
7. Free bagel breakfast at work
8. Cooked all dinners at home
It was a frugal week for me ☺


tonya February 21, 2016 at 7:15 am

-Found spiral sliced hams marked down to .50/lb. Bought three. Put two in the freezer and gave one away. $15 well-spent.

-Worked yesterday, and we all brought food to share. Brought home some leftovers too.

-Used a coupon on our usual Saturday night pizza. Dinner for four for $8.

-Had to go to Walmart, a place I don’t usually go. Stocked up on their .50 each bd and thank you cards while I was there. Saves us from the last minute drugstore run to buy a $3.99 card.

-Stayed home on my day off. Cleaned, read library books, took a walk, took a bath, and made a homemade dinner.


K D February 21, 2016 at 8:20 am

1. I by-passed the $2/half=dozen roses at Aldi yesterday but bought a bunch of produce: potatoes, cauliflower, oranges, bananas, zucchini. I also stopped in Dollar Tree to buy $.50 Easter and St. Patrick’s Day cards

2. On Valentines day Safeway had Catalina’s printing for $5 off your next purchase. I used my coupon to buy jam (which we were out of). I also found another coupon someone had left behind.

3. I attended a potluck lunch with friends. I made The Frugal Girl’s Roasted Carrots recipe. An inexpensive and fun gathering.

4. All meals have been at home this week. I have a list of foods to do something with today.

5. I did order a new toaster oven, as our 25+ year old Black & Decker is dying. I used a Groupon and went through SavingStar to earn a rebate.


Madeline February 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

Planning ahead.This coming week’s frugals will be:

1. Free date with husband..using passes I can check out for free entry to our local Art Museum.We’ll take the light rail and spend a day visiting some historic places near the museum,too.

2. Will be starting new vegan diet, should save money at the grocery.

3. Will make greeting cards in my craft room,with already available materials, for gifts for birthdays coming up.

4. My husband and I are going to try doing an apple fast one day per week for health purposes.. this will reduce grocery bill! But health is our goal.

5. FREE DAY at the Desert Botanical Garden again, as I am a volunteer and give tours while soaking up all that natural beauty. Other volunteers have been bringing in free citrus from their trees, too, so I usually snag a few free pieces of fruit to take home.


Ruby February 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

1. Made a pot of potato-lentil-mushroom soup for dinner that created leftovers to take to work. So frugal, filling and delicious!
2. Took my husband out for dinner last night — a planned expense for his birthday — and brought home enough leftovers to make two brown-bag lunches for me. We skipped the expensive dessert and got ice cream on the way home.
3. His other gift was a dress shirt bought at the thrift shop. It’s in perfect condition, made by a high-end company, and cost $2. He’s very particular about shirts and this one had all the features he insists on. While I was at the shop, I also snagged a bag of two over-the-door laundry hangers and an over-the-door coat hook for $1.50. Glad I didn’t buy them earlier at full price at the hardware store!
4. For Valentine’s Day, my husband gave me two bags of fancy coffee and a hand-drawn card. Unfortunately, the coffee was whole bean and we don’t have a grinder. But one of his co-workers had a grinder he no longer used and gave it to him. Frugal win!
5. After extensive searching of second-hand sources, I finally had to break down and buy a large steel thermos at Walgreen’s to take to work. It should pay back its $19 cost in a few weeks, and I earned more shopping points toward a future purchase.


Jennifer February 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

4. Awe, your hubby tried so hard to get you something nice. So glad it worked out!


Practically Waste Free February 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm

I once bought someone a coffee grinder and, by mistake, a bag of ground coffee 🙂


Krystal February 21, 2016 at 9:45 am

1. Made a frugal, focused on existing pantry and fridge grocery list and meal plan, end of the month is almost here.
2. Did yard work, walked the dog at the neighborhood waterfront park (with a free latte!) means of enjoying our amazing sunshine in Seattle yesterday and spending good time with my husband.
3. Confirmed with my vet we can use some of my former cat’s food to feed our newish cats. She was on a special diet so I called to make sure as we had an almost full big bag when she died (and local rescues only accept unopened, and the homeless encampments only accept wet food).
4. Stayed in last night and played board games. Watched a movie from Netflix at home on Friday night.
5. We are expecting rain so today will be about mending 2 pairs of jeans to extend wear, selecting some clothes for consignment to drop of next week, and cleaning. Posting a few “valuable” items on eBay.


Bobbi February 21, 2016 at 10:08 am

1. Frugal/not-frugal: I passed my 2003 Subaru down to my 17-year-old daughter last year, and I bought myself a Prius. Last week she rear-ended someone; no one was hurt, so I’m keeping it in perspective. But the damage to the Subaru was expensive enough to fix (I only carry liability on such an old car) that I sold it to a junkyard for $500 cash. I put the cash in our “college visit” travel fund. I will get a refund on the Subaru insurance policy that was paid through June, which will also go in the college travel fund. She is carless, but her dad (my ex, a good guy) has a 1995 Jeep Cherokee he’d been meaning to sell, which he cleaned up for her. I’m sad about the inglorious end to the Subaru’s life, after serving us faithfully for 13 years. But I’m glad no one was hurt, and we have all made the best of what will be (hopefully) a life lesson for her to drive more carefully.
2. Used fuel points plus the already low prices at Fred Meyer to fill up my Prius for $1.62/gallon yesterday.
3. Treated myself to a free lunch at Veggie Grill, using points that took me a couple years to accumulate since I don’t eat out often. While I was out, I batched errands: post office, bank, gas, grocery, Veggie Grill.
4. Bought a refurbished Instant Pot pressure cooker for $66 on Amazon a couple of weeks ago. It has upped my dried-bean cooking tenfold! I’m forgetful about soaking beans and end up using canned, but not anymore!
5. Besides my free lunch, cooked from scratch all weekend, including a dinner I brought to friends last night who have a 5-week-old baby. Holding a little baby was the best. My kids are late teens/early 20’s and I’m not around babies very often. The dinner I made them included curried chickpeas made in my new (to me) Instant Pot, rice, and collard greens (we’re all vegan). Did I mention that I love holding babies? 🙂


Krystal February 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

Silver lining for #1! So great you have a used car in the wings for your daughter. I wish I would have driven cheaply at that age while I gained experience!


Alison February 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

Trying to have a frugal month. I discovered that my incidental spending on my credit card every month was getting ridiculous, so I allowed myself $125 cash for miscellaneous. This is supposed to cover gifts, lunch if I don’t pack my own, hair products, etc.
I ran out of money with 10 days left in the month! I’ll have to budget more money, or be more careful in my spending.
1. I did get 31 forks and spoons for my workplace at $.10 each! These go missing all the time from our staff room. I also bought two t-shirts for my grandniece for $2 each.
2. Went into Eddie Bauer to buy some workout pants that were a great deal, put them back before trying them on, realizing I have enough workout gear for now.
3. Walked downtown, saved parking money and gas.
4. Have listed a couple of items of clothing for sale online. Have never done this before, so we’ll see how that works.
Fail: purchased the $31 tube of curl enhancer. The cheap stuff just doesn’t cut it, I find.


tonya parham February 21, 2016 at 10:57 am

Not sure if I have 5 but here goes nothing…

1. Am making some food ahead today for the week so I won’t be tempted to eat out. (Brown rice, baked potatoes, vegan sour cream).

2. Will be reading this afternoon instead of watching tv– saving on electricity.

3. Decided to get rid of cable on Feb. 29th. I probably SHOULD get rid of it tomorrow but I want to watch the Oscars. I may see if I can find the antenna and check to see if I can pick the channel up and return the cable box tomorrow.

4. Used a gift card yesterday from our wedding shower to buy 44 lbs of cat food, hair dye (which we split, both having very short hair) and make up. Out of pocket cost once I got the $5 gift card for buying two bags of catfood? $1.76! I nearly did carwheels out of the store!

5. Was asked to go to Memphis (an hour away) to go for dinner. I was so tempted, but turned the invite down. Partly because none of the options were in line with my eating goals (vegan) and all of them were more expensive than staying in and making my own dinner which was sautéed kale, roasted potatoes and a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes.

Well, lookee there! I DID have five things!


Bee February 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm

I too will be cutting the cable cord but not until March Madness is over. Hubby is a huge basketball fan. No need to set oneself up for failure. But you could consider the purchase of a digital antenna to get network stations — including the Oscars.


Jennifer February 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

4. Great that you two can share the dye!


Marcia February 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

1. Have made all meals at home since returning from vacation on 2/8–but today have a reservation to use a gift card we got at Christmas.
2. Made a double batch of granola and used up some misc. nuts from the bottom of several bags, and also some dried fruit that also needed using. Enjoying the granola so much that I intend to keep making it.
3. Have worked almost ALL leftovers into later meals this week, with only a couple tiny things left to use in fridge.
4. Used less than half a tank of gas this week, so haven’t filled the tank yet. Staying home and trying to get things caught up, cleaning, and laundry-wise.
5. Have been staying out of stores, so except for the supermarket, have managed to keep my money in my pocket all week!


pattilou February 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm

1. My Fisker scissors broke. They have a lifetime warrenty so I went on their website and sent a photo of mine. They are sending me a new pair.
2. Got free tickets to see a play
3. My boss treated us to appetizers before the play , which was my dinner.
4. spent time at the Apple store figuring out some things with my new to me laptop. A friend gave it to me which is a hugh bonus because I really need a computer. The battery doesn’t hold much of a charge anymore but that is ok with me.
5. Have been eating out of the freezer for over a week.

I did treat myself to going to the movies with friends last night. I rarely have a weekend night off so it was fun to be in a full movie theatre to experience a movie. Plus, I rarely go to the movie theater at all anymore so this was a real treat.


Carol M. February 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

1. Took three half tubs of old takeout rice and am making congee, or rice porridge. Also using half onion that would have gone bad. All you need is water, rice, bullion, and an onion (if desired).
2. Made margaritas at home on Friday instead of going to happy hour. My fiance makes them, taking one more chore off my list.
3. Putting my first self-help book on hold from the library. Think and Grow Rich. I have a tendency to buy these books instead of borrow them, so this will be the beginning of a new, frugal habit. If it’s good enough, I’ll buy a (secondhand) copy.
4. Need new hair clips, but instead found a couple in my stash. Paint is peeling off, so I will sharpie in the missing black.
5. Took a walk (free exercise) today to the 99 cent store. Bought nothing, save for a handsoap refill for $1.49. Fiance bought fancy new pens. We differ on this issue. I never buy pens, because they’re one of those things, like plastic bags or hairties, that just turn up. But he loves the multicolored pens, and office supplies bring him pleasure.


Beth Anne February 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

1. Cleaned and washed the filters in my vacuum instead of buying new ones. Every day last week in the AM before going to work unplugged 6 electric cords, closed 2 bedroom doors to conserve.

2. Went to Costco and redeemed my coupons for free batteries and taco chips. Saving pizza coupon for a sleepover night. Also found daughter a new one piece Speedo swimming suit for $20 there. Altered the straps myself by sewing them as they were a little lose on her for doing laps during swim for gym class at school.

3. Treated myself to a large salad for lunch and split it for two lunches last week.

4. Hung three loads of laundry to dry this weekend in the house. Just did another food receipt survey for free food.

5. Going to work four 12 hour days next week, Monday through Thursday. Picked up two more nights to cover for a co-worker with shingles. Just booked a bday party for my daughter for her 13th birthday and didn’t have it budgeted. The extra 8 hours will help pay for it. 🙂 Also booked another dog vacation sit for next month which will cover the rest of the expense. The universe provides, now I pray it provides energy so my eyes hold out on the computer for all that time, lol.


Bridget February 21, 2016 at 3:03 pm

1. I batched cooked for the upcoming work week.

2. Washed laundry last night with my homemade laundry detergent. I hung most to dry and used the dryer at night for 1-load.

3. Compost my cooking scraps.

4. Did not turn on lights during the day and use natural sunlight instead.

5. I bought a $20 red dress for an event that was required attire. I was not able to attend the event and returned the (never worn) dress for a full refund.


Florencia February 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm

1. Won tickets to a concert last night. I’ve seen the band before, and wanted to go, but since I’ve been working so little, I decided my budget can’t handle it, in addition to having to get up super early today. They were giving away a couple of tickets on Facebook, so I entered (feeling lucky after winning two giveaways this way). I gifted the other ticket to my sister so she and her husband could save the $15.
2. Have been eating moat of my meals at work (free) on days I work.
3. Brought home leftover little pies, 7 strawberry créme and 2 apple.
4. Have been sticking to my budget really well. No eating out, or little purchases. I’m going to be under budget for groceries this month. I always end up spending $100+, many times stocking up on drlas and spending almost twice that! I set my budget at $75 this month and going to the food bank and shopping my pantry has helped.
5. I have been getting really good scores on my homework and tests despite not studying as diligently as I should. This is definitely a frugal thing because these classes are retakes from when I was in high school, enrolled to get credit at the college and high school at the same time. I didn’t have to pay anything for those classes except the application fee, but I’d get sick often and would miss school. I passes the classes, but not with the higher grade I wanted. I paid $1522 for 10 credits, definitely frugal to get As and also choosing the community college over the U for now.
6. Went to the grocery store on Friday and got my two Smith’s freebies, two smoothies for $0.99 each and a bag of green bell peppers for $0.99 as well.
7. Our water heater broke last week and my parents were able to get a handyman to fix it for a $10 part and $65 in labor. He also checked out our toilets and told my dad exactly what tool to buy, and how to fix them. Best handyman we’ve ever hired, and so honest.


Vickie February 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Beautiful roses and free to boot, awesome!

1) I made a garlic avocado paste yesterday and ate avocado and cheese tortillas for lunch.
2) A friend had an extra ticket to the FerVent tour, taking place at her church, so I spent Saturday evening at Journey church with her and had a wonderful time.
3) I baked BBQ chicken quarters, baked potatoes and opened a can of baked beans for dinner this evening.
4) I spent this afternoon reading a book I bought at Goodwill. I love leisurely Sundays when I spend time with a book.
5) I found a pair of cleets and two sets of shin-guards at GW Friday for my granddaughter. She starts Soccer this week and my daughter is thrilled she doesn’t have to buy those items now.


Melinda February 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

First time participating. Your Five frugal Things is my favorite to read and I always read everyone’s comments. It really keeps me motivated to do frugal things.

1. I cut my husband’s hair.

2. When I was in a Dollar Store a while back, I bought a few birthday cards for upcoming birthdays. I always seem to forget them and end up paying a higher price at another store.

3. I hosted a family birthday party. We always seem to buy pizza for birthday celebrations. Instead of buying pizza, I made taco’s with our own homegrown beef , everything else I needed I had in my stockpile that I had bought previously with coupons/sales. So saved several dollars there feeding 11 people!

4. I packed lunches for work and drank the free coffee and water all week.

5. I did price comparison shopping at Wal-Mart for the Aldi produce. (The nearest Aldi is 20 miles away) and other loss leaders from other stores in my area. Price comparison shopping even the local stores saves time and a few miles.


auntiali February 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

1. Cut hubby’s hair today.
2. Hubby went grocery shopping and I asked him to pick up some filet mignon. It was $14 for the two steaks and much cheaper than going out to eat.
3. Hubby used the store coupon and the manufacturers coupon for a bag of chicken today. Chicken was on sale today.
4. Didn’t go far from home last week so I still have a tank of gas.
5. Hubby worked on the taxes and I will transfer money into my IRA and that will get us a refund instead of paying plus putting money aside for retirement.


janine February 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Loved the roses!
Husband got me flowers for Valentines Day but had to leave them behind when we left on vacation.
1. Shopped around and saved $1,000 on airline tickets by changing airports.
2. Purchased ingredients for our lunch today at grocery store – made sandwiches, fruit and potato salad lunch from deli finds.
3. Had dinner tonight at Waffle House Nation – an iconic southern joint we don’t have in MN – much cheaper than restaurants in our vacation beach area and cheap fun.
4. Spending part of our vacation hanging out on hotel beach – free – or to be more precise included in the “resort fees” they charge these days.
5. Found a church run thrift shop in the area and bought cute cups for kids and friends for fifty cents each plus a like-new baseball cap and t-shirt for husband.
Frugal Fails: bought a drink at outdoor bar – they must have factored in the musical entertainment into the price! Made a trip to big box store for forgotten items including bathing suit which was not in the budget.


Chris February 22, 2016 at 6:13 am

1. Worked a catering event and brought home lunch for the next day.
2. Went to a craft store with the intent to be “inspired” and by something new for the house – came home with the bubble wrap (60% discount) which was the only thing I needed – everything looked so typically “now” even the faux-vintage items.
3. Grocery shopped – first Aldi’s then the rest at a local grocery store – so lunches this week as well as dinners are all covered.
4. Our daughter’s band played a show that was a benefit for band camps for girls – we paid $10 admission and she gave us her free drink tickets which she didn’t plan on using.
5. No Lear jet here!


JD February 22, 2016 at 6:23 am

1. We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a meal cooked at my daughter’s house — she made dessert, the other daughter made two veggie dishes, and I provided the meat, which the son-in-law grilled. Seven people ate very, very well for a fraction of the restaurant cost.
2. This must be a trend — I cut my husband’s hair, too!
3. Batched errands this weekend so I wasn’t running to town every time I turned around.
4. I’m trench composting my kitchen scraps, getting an area ready for planting. I also planted some climbing bean seedlings that my husband grew from seed. It’s early, but we think we can protect them from frost. This is Florida, so the days are warming up already.
5. My daughter made the birthday dessert from a cookbook I gave her one year — I gave a copy to her sister as well. I made the book; typing up favorite recipes, old family recipes, etc., and adding my own cooking notes, history or any funny stories we had about a dish. I printed the pages, which were illustrated in my “unique” style, and put them in purchased, inexpensive binders with dividers (I usually buy binders second hand, but I wanted the two to match). I put the pages in clear sheet protectors that we already owned. It was a frugal gift, but one that has been greatly loved and used by both daughters. When I saw her using it yesterday, it made me smile.


Jennifer February 22, 2016 at 8:36 am

Love #5!!


AN February 22, 2016 at 7:05 am

1. A free Chipotle burrito will be tonight’s dinner. I’ll eat half and save the other half for lunch tomorrow.
2. Planned the rest of the week’s meals around what I already had at home, since my grocery budget for the month has been spent.
3. Not having anywhere to buy lunch at work forces me to bring leftovers from home each day. Today it’s a delicious garlic butter chicken breast and brown rice that I made yesterday.
4. Completed my tax returns this weekend. I asked my dad if he would help me, rather than purchasing software or paying someone to prepare them. He did help me, and I brought a reduced-price Valentine’s treat as a thank-you.
5. I will do a beginning of the month stock-up at the grocery store next weekend. I am taking time this week to plan and organize for a busy month to make sure I do enough freezer cooking and prep work to continue eating at home rather than eating out.


Juhli February 22, 2016 at 8:16 am

Love the roses! Fresh flowers occasionally add so much to our homes.
1. Decided to stay home today rather than accompany my husband to a follow up Dr. appointment or go anywhere else. Turns out the appt. was uneventful thankfully. No need to drive a second car across town.
2. I have shortened two tops in my effort to make my wardrobe work better for me. Another in the queue for today. They look so much better the right length for my shape and height.
3. I researched current savings and 1 year CD rates and opened an account at the best of the bunch so I can transfer the money from a maturing CD to that account.
4. Cleaning my own house today.
5. Using leftover rotisserie chicken to make sweet n sour chicken for tonight’s dinner.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones February 22, 2016 at 10:45 am

I convinced my friend Bridget not to buy my girls any birthday gifts. Instead, she made homemade Easy Bake Oven recipes she found on the internet, and made fancy labels for them. They looked amazing.


Lesley February 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

>trimmed and colored my hair
>wore my usual thrifted wardrobe to both of my jobs
>ate meals at home
>collected water for plants while waiting for it to get hot
>thought about a Lear jet but decided to wait


Kim February 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

1. DH and I spent all afternoon Saturday cleaning out a storage closet in anticipation of our church hosting Winter Relief for the homeless this week. He is in charge of setup and I am in charge of bed linens and towels for the 2nd year. Cleaned, organized and threw away 2 big bags of trash and broken sports equipment. I took a large bag of things that we can’t use but are still good to the thrift store and I brought home a used comforter that someone gave me that is too big for the provided beds. DS#1 just moved out so I am setting up a guest room and this will be perfect.
2. Did a mystery shop yesterday which took me near the cheapest gas station around. Filled up for $1.53/ gallon.
3. Stopped by the grocery store to take advantage of a frozen food promotion. Buy $25 of selected products, get $$15 off automatically. Cam home with 8 boxes of frozen yogurt bars and fruit bars for $10. cheaper than making my own!
4. DH added power steering fluid to my car since I told him it seemed sluggish and making a “sound”. We know there is a very slow leak but mechanic said there is no rush to fix it and it’s over a $1500 repair. He also fixed the shower faucet since the cold was acting up and the temperature control was becoming difficult to get just right. I hate freezing showers but scalding ones aren’t fun either! He had what he needed and knew where it was, so no trip to the hardware store.
5. Popped into my favorite charity shop on Saturday and everything was 1/2 off. Bought an LL Bean oxford shirt for DH, a piece of miniature pottery for my collection and an Amish cookbook. I also bought 2 ceramic rabbits, a few books, a new Aden & Anais blanket, and a piece of Winnie the Pooh fabric all for resale. Not bad for $9. Met a wonderful young woman who is also a reseller. We hit it off and we are going to get together to share our knowledge with each other.


Kim February 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Hi All….love reading everyone’s FFT’s. Here is mine so far this week…
1. Made the best dill potato salad with ingredients I had on hand to complement burgers on the grill. Family thought it was delicious and way better than store bought.
2. It was my nephews bday…he turned 7 and loves LEGOS. I did buy him a new little set for $10 and my son wanted to gift him his electric scooter that he has outgrown. Nephew was thrilled and so we were we.
3. Looking into moving money from our current retirement account into a Vanguard account to save a bunch of money on fees. Super excited about this….more needs to stay in our pockets, not theirs.
4. Finished the taxes and turned into our accountant. Even though we pay for this….he is worth it…we have too many different things going on and he gives us a fantastic rate.
5. Just noticed our wonderful Toyota is getting ready to roll 285,000 miles on the original engine. You go little truck!!


Joyce February 23, 2016 at 5:12 am

Oh don’t you love getting free flowers from work? My boss has no patience-if family members don’t take them home ASAP out they go. She puts them on my desk in the office (away from icu patients and allergic nurses) and I get to tske them home. My last bunch were also roses-pink.


Jane February 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1:Ate at home all week & brought leftovers for lunch
2: used up over ripe bananas & plums in smoothies
3: have not bought 1 new item in last month- have avoided the shops like the plague apart from the grocery store
4: Leaving colour in hair another month before I get it redone & always get it done on Tues as salon prices are cheaper & they have 20 percent off
5: used coupons to buy coffees on a outing


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