Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 14, 2016 · 60 comments

NASA backpack

  1. I took the bones from a batch of oven fried chicken drumsticks and cooked them up in the crock pot for broth. I added chopped onions, carrots, peas and broken lasagna noodles for a hearty yet frugal soup. There was one uneaten drumstick, which provided enough chicken for the entire batch.
  2. I gave away a 2016 engagement calendar that my son brought home from work, yet didn’t actually want. I posted it on my local Buy Nothing group, which helped it to find usefulness again. I ended up giving my neighbor’s tire chains to my sister who was sure she could either use them herself or give them to a friend, and I rounded up a bag of random stuff from around the house to donate to Goodwill.
  3. I mopped my kitchen floor by pushing an old wet towel around on the floor. I know it’s not a million dollar idea like the Spin Mop, but it works better than anything else in my experience.
  4. I relisted an adorable child’s NASA backpack on Craigslist that I’d previously been unsuccessfully in selling. (I lowered the price which should help.) It really is an awesome item, as it functions both for dress-ups and as a functional backpack. I’m surprised that this Goodwill goodie didn’t sell before, as my sons would have gone crazy for this backpack!
  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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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Lesley March 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

1. Drinking homemade iced tea (was able to get enough sun over this past balmy week to make it outside here in Iowa City!).

2. Worked my second job this morning; all income will go toward having 2 kids in college this August.

3. Wore my usual thrifted clothes to said job.

4. Drove my “boat” to/from work: a 2000 gold Grand Marquis which I stole for the price of $6k … it had 24k miles on it! One of those “granny cars” that Dave Ramsey is always saying to buy. It has been the most comfortable and luxurious car I’ve ever owned (leather interior, all the bells and whistles). If you can get past driving something that many consider to be dorky, it is totally worth it. At 45, I’m tired of caring what people think anyway.

5. I was gifted a 5-pound bag of organic Ethiopian coffee from a friend who works in a local coffee shop; they couldn’t sell it because the outer flaps to the bag were glued wrong. SCORE for me!


janine March 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

My husband drives a ’97 Grand Marquis – bought it with low miles from a senior citizen years ago, and although it has been banged up a lot, it still gets him to work. Great ride, poor gas mileage but overall very cheap transportation.


Lesley March 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Exactly right.


auntiali March 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm

About 15 years ago I bought the neighbor’s big ol’ Oldsmobile. I loved that it had all the bells and whistles. Got it for 1k and drove it for about 18 months til the transmission gave out. Bench seat in the front so I could cart around 5 kids if I had to. I loved that car.


Jennifer March 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

4. Love the last couple sentences of #4. My mother, who is a great mom, always worried about what everybody thought about everything. This bled over in to me and it is truly exhausting. I’m still a work in progress and hope I can teach my kids that what others think doesn’t matter so much.

Lazyretirementgirl March 15, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Dork Power!


Odette March 16, 2016 at 7:10 am

We currently have a “boat” that my husband inherited from his dad. That Lincoln rides GREAT! The post, though, reminded me of when my older son was in elementary school. We sent him to a private school where even the students drove BMWs. At the time, I was pretty embarrassed to drive up in our diesel VW Rabbit. Now, I would drive it as a badge of courage!


Rachel H March 14, 2016 at 10:56 am

My husband just finished working two weeks straight. They do this every spring, long hours. I make sure to stay busy, spending a lot of time with friends. I have visited our local history museum, seen a movie, a musical Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Some lunches and dinners thrown in. Lots of fun! But time to get back to Frugal ways!

I also mop with a rag, just moving it around with my foot. Works great! Using a mop gives me extremely sore muscles in my arms and shoulders.

Eating up the last of the Christmas ham we had frozen. We will have it tonight with sides, and in a potato soup on Wednesday.
I have been trying to buy organic meat, and frequently find it marked down at Winn Dixie. This is beef and pork. The whole organic chickens are about the same price as the other chicken. I noticed that the milk I buy at Save a lot says from cows not given antibiotics. I believe it is $3.59 a gallon.

Went to the thrift store in our neighborhood. Bought two puzzles for my husband, a paperback book, a set of stationery and a pack of envelopes for $1.50. The cashier said that if the puzzles are missing any pieces to bring them back for another. What a great bargain!

Hope everyone has a good week!


Lindsey March 14, 2016 at 11:06 am

1. My husband does not think he has eaten unless a meal contains meat. I managed to stretch one pound of hamburger for three meals, with enchiladas, tacos, and homemade mac and cheese with a bit of burger mixed in.

2. Sold two accordions that had been sitting around our house for years, making $240.

3. Altered three pairs of pants, to make them fit better. I have lost weight and they were literally falling off of me. This way I avoided buying new, even though it was tempting.

4. Traded vegetable seeds with a friend, so didn’t have to buy any new ones for this year’s garden.

5. Asked for a discount when I was buying a case of something and got 20% off!!! I never have the guts to do this, so have no idea why I decided to try it this time. Will be doing so in the future!


Bettypants March 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

1. Listed some random books on ebay, and sold one for $8.
2. Made a tomato Italian chicken soup for dinner last night, and brought the leftovers in for lunch today. Instead of fresh herbs, I threw in a few cubes of pesto that I made this summer and tossed in our freezer. I’m still patting myself on the back for thinking to do that before my basil froze. It’s this recipe, which I heartily recommend.
3. Cleared out the deep freeze and chipped off the ice. Scrubbed it out good this weekend so I can leave it unplugged without growing mold. We just weren’t getting enough benefit to justify the electricity use.
4. Spent most of yesterday cleaning the house. I have discovered the more stuff I get rid of, the more I enjoy cleaning my house.
5. Rummaged around and found more items in the house to list on ebay and the local FB boards. It seems we have a never ending supply of stuff that we don’t want.


Lesley March 14, 2016 at 11:43 am

I so agree with 4 and 5.

And your soup description made me drool!


Bettypants March 15, 2016 at 2:46 am

Are you decluttering too? It really IS addictive.


Lesley March 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

I never stop decluttering! It is what I do for fun. I remain amazed that there are still things to get rid of, but it seems we are always bringing something into the house, or being gifted something, etc.


Bobbi March 14, 2016 at 11:38 am

I love the mop-with-a-wet-towel technique, and I wonder why I haven’t thought of it sooner! I am a lazy housekeeper at best, so this is totally going into my cleaning repertoire.

1. I bought dried beans and brown rice from the bulk bins at Winco yesterday. So much cheaper, and no packaging because I used my own cloth drawstring bags. I didn’t buy anything else there, I was really just running low on these basics and had plenty of produce at home.
2. I cooked said beans and rice in my pressure cooker (that I bought recently, a refurbished Instant Pot for $66 on Amazon!) with onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Totally yummy and will eat it all week in burritos, salads, tacos, etc.
3. I was going to put diced avocado on top of my beans and rice for dinner last night, but when I cut it open, the avocado was overripe and brown/mushy. I mashed it up and used it later that evening as a hair mask, just smearing it all over my hair and then washing it out in the shower about 20 minutes later. It makes for really soft hair!
4. Had my usual coffee and oatmeal at home this morning – oatmeal is also bought from bulk bins, in my own cloth bag, and transferred to a jar at home.
5. I will take my car in for a regular service appointment this afternoon. I consider this frugal because good maintenance will maintain fuel efficiency and prolong the life of my car.


Betty Winslow March 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm

great idea for the avocado – will have to remember that!!


A. Marie March 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm

(1) Here’s an early nominee for Best Thrift Shop Score of 2016: Found a Columbia Bugaboo jacket in DH’s size for .99. (The thrift shop folks neglected to enter a dollar amount on the preprinted “.99” tag.) The funniest part of this was actually the reaction of the manager, who was on the till when I came up: I handed him the jacket with the price tag, we exchanged glances, we both burst out laughing, and he let me have it for .99. I think my being a long-time customer helped here.
(2) Used up two oddball cuts of beef (from the 1/4 cow we order every year) and a leftover bottle of porter (from a 12-pack of mixed beers from a local brewer) in an early St. Paddy’s Day beef stew. Erin Go Bragh!
(3) Sold some of said beef to a neighbor, at the price we paid. We don’t use all of the meat by any means, and are happy to share the wealth with our neighbors at our cost.
(4) Did some office cleanup and found a small check (January expenses on behalf of my employer) that I’d forgotten to bank. Banked it.
(5) DH brought home several NYS deposit plastic bottles from his volunteer gig at our Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Can’t help lovin’ that man!

(4) Went


Jennifer March 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm

1.Oh my gah!!How awesome!


Jennifer March 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I, too, mop with a wet towel! It’s really the best way for me and I have been doing it for years. I push it around with my foot and it gives a great leg work out.
1. Found both my kids Contigo refillable cups so we can use them for water throughout our vacation. Saves money on buying drinks and those cups do not spill, ever. They are expensive but we have had our several years now so they have payed for themselves. One was lost in the trunk of my car for a bit but luckily I just found it.
2.I am using our beach towels for double duty. We are using them to cover the seats of our vehicle to help catch any food spills. This also saves space in our luggage. We also let the kids cover up with them on the long drive. Not necessarily frugal but has really been helpful the past few years.
3. I am freezing bottles of water 2 days before we leave. This is perfect to use as ice for the cooler and as they melt they make the coldest, thirst quenching, water for drinking.
4. I am planning many frugal picnics. One of which will be a birthday party for my amazing husband complete with a homemade sheet cake and candles. There is nothing my family enjoys more than a picnic and game of frisbee in a park or rest area we have never visited to break up the super long drive.
5. I found a groupon for a fun activity for us to do on our trip. Groupon sent me a fabulous 50% off any purchase so I was able to get these tickets CHEAP!
I usually let my kids choose one “thing to do” when we take vacation within reason but this time, I chose myself. I’m pretty sure they will love it since they are young and not very picky yet. I have found that when I look at touristy activities online, most times they cost less there than to buy at the door.


Ruby March 14, 2016 at 12:41 pm

1. Will be getting the first paycheck from my new job tomorrow. It will go straight to mortgage principal, as the grand plan is pay off our house by making a whopping three extra payments a month.
2. Wore a great thrift store cotton sweater to work today that cost $2.
3. Packed my lunch and drinks from home, and got free chips at work.
4. Had a guest for dinner last night who specifically requested take-out pizza. We got smaller pizzas that I supplemented with homemade salad — loss leader lettuce for the win — along with homemade iced tea and coconut-walnut-raisin snack bars.
5. Took the rest of the homemade snack bars to work for a fundraiser we have going. They were a huge hit.


Reese March 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm

So jealous of your extra payments to your mortgage! I have student loans that are currently $597. I’m making a $1,000 payment. At this rate, I’ll have the rest paid off in about 18 months (which is 4 years sooner than if I paid the minimum!).

After? I think I may pay off my car. Then save a ton. I can’t get motivated with a mortgage that is $100k+. :/


Melissa March 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

You can do it Reese! Even the mortgage! Especially by the time you can add the student loan/car payment money to your payments. We also slogged through a huge pile of student loans and then the significant remainder of our mortgage but we made it! It’s worth it!


Isabelle March 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

You are probably paying way more interest money (calculated at the end of all those years) on the house than the car, so perhaps you should look into putting that extra on the house instead of the car. It’s always tempting to pay off a smaller debt completely because it’s so rewarding to see a big 0$, but it’s not always the best financial move. Good luck, you can do it!! And kudos in the school debt repayment!


Robin March 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Just pay off the loan(s) with the highest interest rates first. Not to mention, that your mortgage is a tax deduct when your car is not.


Mand01 March 14, 2016 at 12:55 pm

1. Planted our new garden with herbs. Our next step is fruit trees and raised beds for veggies. It’s been years since we have had the opportunity to have a garden. We are loving it. The yard was overgrown and full of terrible plants that shouldn’t have been planted together. It’s taken us about a year since moving here to clear it all and get it ready for new trees.
2. I made Hot Cross Buns
3. It was a three day weekend here. I got organised for the week ahead by baking and cleaning and I feel ready to go.
4. I made a vegetarian paella last night that was a hit with the team
5. Stopped by a garage sale and scored some vintage china and housewares for $12.35


Betty Winslow March 14, 2016 at 3:09 pm

1. Made sure I checked with the insurance company before setting up my MRI – sure enough, it needs pre-certification for them to pay it! Whew.
2. Had an EMG done recently; neurologist says I need surgery on my left (dominant) hand. Can’t be off work that long, so will have to wait until June, but meanwhile, I’m having my chiropractor work on it. She’s had good results on other cases. And I scheduled her first session for a Friday (when the masseuse -sp? – is there), which means a 15 min. mini-massage is part of it, which insurance pays for as part of the treatment.
3. Draining two almost empty bottles of salad dressing into the new bottles = at least one more salad’s worth.
4. Chives are up in the garden!!
5. Bought 2 tiny pies (3″ across each) for me and hubby to celebrate Rounded Pi Day…. $2, instead of $7 for a full-sized pie, which neither of us need.


Lesley March 14, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Good luck with your left hand (from a fellow lefty)!


Harriet March 14, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Seriously girlfriend, can’t you substitute something else for that tired old “lear jet”? You’re imaginative, how about something new and snappy each time you do FFT? You know, like a cocktail ring, round the world cruise, breast enhancement surgery, rare Amazonian parrot that was smuggled into the U.S., an entire new wardrobe designed by Kim Kardashian.

Let your imagination roam free. 😀


Katy March 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm

I have the right to my terrible sense of humor!


Sandy March 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

1. Shopping around for new glasses. I’ve had a prescription for about six months now that I haven’t filled because I hate spending the money on glasses! However, I am starting to get eyestrain so it’s time to saddle up and find a fashionable yet frugal pair.
2. Have really been keeping an eye on my grocery budget. This week I spent under $86 for the week, and that included a few toiletries and a supplement as well.
3. Went to Powell Books Saturday for two hours. I didn’t buy anything, but I did browse and enjoy looking through the books. Came home and found several at my local library for free.
4. Ran out of milk at work for my coffee. Instead of going to Starbux for a latte I had a hot cup of black tea instead.
5. I didn’t by a lear jet.


Beth March 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

1. Had to go get my drivers license after work and stopped at the grocery store. Bought what we needed and even though it was late whipped up some tuna patties, peas, and noodles. Did buy the store promotion of 2 boxes of spaghetti for $1.00, we love pasta!

2. Called around for cake prices for my daughters cake for her party this weekend. Costco’s cake is huge which we really did not need that large but the others were $10 more. Gave the girls HUGE pieces and took the rest home and froze some and have the rest in Tupperware in the fridge.Also gave slices away to the staff and parents who picked up and wanted some. Our party host brought us tons of extra bottled water for the party (supposed to only get one per person). Tipped him some cash for his thoughtfulness as I would have paid an additional $20 for the water.

3. Birthday celebrations continue. Just printed up some great email freebies that came – rice crispy treat at Noodles, ice cream cone at Baskin Robbin. Going to pass on the IHOP kid breakfast as I will end up paying a bit for adult meal. Saving the Landrys $25 gift card for this weekend for RainForest Cafe. We manage to make it work for two meals and I don’t mind the tip as we go once a year and my daughter loves it. We will be dog sitting this weekend on our birthdays so this will help make it fun for my daughter, something to look forward to and not taking away from the money we are earning. We went to Frankenmuth Zehnders restaurant on Saturday and got our free birthday family style chicken dinner meals and free Bronner Christmas ornaments,they turned out really nice, I had our names and the year added, wish i could post a photo. If you live in Michigan or visiting around your birthday, check it out and go to Zehnders webpage and sign-up!

4. Redeemed my free Bath and Body coupon for a $5 lotion. Saving it for my daughters Easter basket. Was super tempted to get the lemon lotion but I made myself walk away as I still have lotions to use up at home. Talked daughter out of making a purchase and saving her money. Received $15 to Kohls want to use as well for underware for my daughter.

5. Had a Amazon Pantry coupon i just redeemed for some coffee which will be free and no shipping. Can’t wait to try, its caramel chocolate brownie. Love my flavored coffees. 😉 Bummed my Fitbit band just cracked/ripped, no way to fix it so had to buy a replacement. 🙁 Sounds like lots of shopping/buying but after this month will be back to normal.

6. Still doing all my frugals – air drying clothes, unplugging electronics, opening blinds for sun to warm up the house, packing lunches for daughter and I, working all the extra hours I can. Applied for and was awarded a scholarship for my daughter to go to camp this summer for two weeks, feeling very blessed!


Ashley March 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm


Did you try contacting Fitbit first? They have EXCELLENT customer support. My band tore last summer and they replaced my whole Charge with no questions asked. They have fast response time as well!

Bravo for the scholarships! I asked my library last year if they had any discounts because a summer worth of camps was going to be over $110. I got her enrolled in all of them for $44!


Beth March 16, 2016 at 2:05 am

Thanks Ashley, will look into it.


Marcia March 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

1. Made birthday cake for granddaughter on Thursday, using a cake mix from the cupboard.
2. Cake was kind of not very high rising, so I made homemade icing from a recipe I had with exact amounts instead of winging it, and it came out REALLY good. No one noticed that the cake didn’t get very high.
3. Made baked custard yesterday with the egg yolks left from the cake, which used only whites. (Eggs were free from friend with chickens, can’t waste.)
4. Today made a buttermilk pie from recipe in Penzey’s Spice catalog. It was good, and it was Pi Day. Not sure I will make it again as it had both lemon and vanilla flavoring—I didn’t think the lemon would predominate as much as it did.
5. After a couple weeks worth of troubleshooting with the credit union rep, I got my Bill Pay online working again for the first time since we traded up from Windows XP to Windows 7. (In all fairness, I tried several times with a rep in another office without success and gave up for a while because she couldn’t get it done.) Paid two bills so far–$.98 saved on postage ALREADY! It worked for a couple years and I’m so happy it is working again!. Especially because I have a Mastercard that DGD uses and it makes it so much faster to pay it online—she goes dangerously near her $$ limit some months, and I’m NOT raising her limit. But I do like to get it paid quickly so she has it available for emergencies.


Teri March 14, 2016 at 8:37 pm

1. Found 52 cents today…over $3 so far this year, how much have you found, Katy?
2. Bought some items at Goodwill today w/senior discount to resale on eBay.
3. Made my own hot chocolate when I got home instead of buying one while I was out.
4. Batched my errands, making a big loop to save on gas.
5. No extravagant purchases, but a suggestion that I wish we had done on our little vacay, will try it next time: using Uber instead of renting a car. We got a good rate, but between the daily parking fee, gas and rental, it wasn’t cheap. I think Uber would have been a lot better deal.


A. Marie March 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Re: Teri’s #1: It’s found change season here in Upstate NY as the “icebergs” (giant mountains of plowed snow) melt in store parking lots. I found 51 cents on Sunday, and DH has been coming home all week with odd coins.


Katy March 15, 2016 at 7:26 pm

That is so funny!


Sarah G. March 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm

1. I made a delicious smoothie for my breakfast which used up lots of fruit lurking in my fridge (bits of fruit servings rejected by my children which then got stuck in the fridge and were threatening to spoil).

2. I am slowly drinking up the contents of my tea drawer. I adore buying tea, so this requires self-discipline for me. I’m still working through a little green tea, some red raspberry leaf tea, Christmas tea, chamomile, and lemon verbena. They’re all delicious and it’s fun to watch the drawer empty out and look forward to picking out some new kinds when it’s all gone.

3. I almost caved and purchased a set of Resurrection Eggs (a religious Easter craft to do with my preschooler) but I thought better of it and am doing a homemade version instead.

4. I’m skipping my haircuts until June. It’s because I want my hair to be a little longer than usual, as I’m the matron of honor in my sister’s May wedding, but hey! It’s money saved!

5. My daughter ran out of her hair detangler which costs about $8 per bottle. She has very fine, breakable hair, so she definitely needs it. Instead of buying one, I consulted Pinterest and made some myself using water, a tbsp of conditioner, and a few drops of lavender oil. Smells great! I also re-used the bottle from the store-bought stuff!


Sarah G. March 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

Oh I forgot another!
6. I made a yummy old-fashioned bread pudding out of half a loaf of crusty bread that definitely was not going to get eaten. We had bought it to eat with soup, but no one seemed to have much interest in it.


janine March 14, 2016 at 11:45 pm

1. Accompanied friend to airport post office tonight to mail packages including a baby present for nephew. It was a large stuffed Easter Bunny that actually cost as much to mail as original sale price tag. However, got it out of my house, it is really cute, and right in season! Also since I purchased it several months ago, I didn’t feel the postage pain as much as if I had purchased it this week.
2. Getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home with sale corned beef and 9cents per pound cabbage.
3. Purchased sale books at GW today – may come in handy tomorrow when I babysit son’s condo waiting for plumber. This evening sink backed up – don’t know if he is responsible or an overall condo problem. He came home from work to a terrible mess! Husband is helping him clean tonight.
4. Sock project – am going through socks to match up singles and avoid new purchases. Problem of too many holes and they seem to walk off by themselves.
5, Continuing to meal plan, pack lunches, use pantry staples, shop sales etc. Goal is to drive less with better planning.


PaperCraneFarm March 15, 2016 at 3:10 am

Hubby is still sick with pneumonia so quiet days continue.

1) Submitted last receipt to drain medical flex spending account until July 1st new plan year. Since flex spending accounts are use it or lose it, I had estimated based on our regular medical use. Kiddo broken fingers are both unexpected and costly.

2) dropped box off books off at the library for their book sale and eyeing another bookcase to see if I can pull together another today.

3) Using quiet days to use up leftovers and random bits and bobs in meals. Did leftover cheesy toast, with sautéed random veggies topped with one of our own fried eggs for dinner.

4) Had a terrible experience with Lowes’ order online and pick up in the store process (the order wasn’t ready despite my having received an email that it was). So I had to wait more than 30 minutes while they pulled it. I wrote an email complaining hoping to make the experience better for others.

5) Trying to remember to use ebates whenever I can (see 4) to eek out a little more savings. Not engrained yet on my habits but trying!


Mairsydoats March 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

I had a similarly horrible experience with Lowes. Same issues – also gave very negative feedback. I suppose I’m naive, but if they advertise this service, I think it actually should work. Crazy-talk!


PaperCraneFarm March 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm

The store manager called me tonight and apologized, saying this was a key teaching moment for him and his team. I emphasized that I didn’t see any one person as being at fault but that the system felt broken.

He asked me to stop in and he’d comp me $15 towards my next purchase. Looks like I need to make a list to claim that soon.


Gina in KY March 15, 2016 at 4:56 am

1. I have all but one of my monthly bills paid by the half-way mark of the month. My goal is to get in this routine and then whatever is left (outside the other expenses of food, transportation, etc.) will be applied to bills Dave Ramsey style.
2. Returned some items bought a month ago (one a cheap, but ill-fitting dress and a small can of trim paint that turned out to be a base for tinting and not the plain white I wanted). I really need to look at my receipts and keep track of time. I had to take store credit for the dress due to being 4 days outside the 30-day return policy. Where o where does time go?
3. Reminder gleaned from the NCA FB page: I entered a huge stack of lottery tickets (we picked them out of a small trash basket next to the lottery supply station at Kroger or found in parking lots) into the second chance drawing. Why not? 🙂 Well, out of the stack, we ended up being $23 ahead! Do people just not notice the tickets are winners or are they dropped? I have no idea!
4. Returned non-renewable library books to avoid fines (I am horrible at this one and trying to improve).
5. Spring has sprung in Kentucky and I have turned off the furnace for the season. It is suppose to get back down in the high-30’s next week, but I will play it by ear and only turn on if I fear frozen pipes. Otherwise, extra blankets work wonders and it seems to warm up quickly with the rising sun.

I am always amazed I can think of 5 items on the FFT days! Thanks as always for the inspiration!


tonya parham March 15, 2016 at 5:08 am

1. Spent all morning yesterday working on stories to submit so I didn’t go anywhere to spend any money.

2. For lunch I had a salad with rice and salsa on it. Some tortilla chips on the side kept me from going to Mo’s for a burrito and chips later in the day. Watched half of Straight Outta Compton while I ate. Saved second half for lunch today. Copy is from the library, natch.

3. Made smoothies for breakfast from bananas bought on clearance and frozen, Aldi Peanut Butter, and bulk cocoa powder. (like a healthy Reese’s PB Cup in a glass but way healthier!)

4. For dinner last night the missus made chana masala. Keeps us from going out to the Indian place to eat. When coupled with naan from Aldi, it is JUST as satisfying as going out. (Kroger carries naan too but it’s about twice as expensive! $2.49 for 2 pieces at Kroger vs $3.49 for 4 pieces. Okay, that’s not twice as expensive but it is more expensive per piece!) The only drawback was we only had one can of chickpeas for it (it called for two) so there weren’t enough leftovers for my lunch.

5.Stayed home to work on a paper that needs to be written. I made my own coffee and am not leaving table for a few hours. Am debating going to Kroger and getting the 5 for $5 Almond/Coconut milk that’s on sale. It’s such a good deal and we use the stuff like crazy. I just have to stay strong and ONLY buy that if I go!


tonya parham March 15, 2016 at 5:12 am

OH! and I have a 6th!

6. Ordered small batteries for my cat’s laser toy. In the past, I’ve just bought a new toy (terrible, I know) but I got 20 batteries for the cost of one laser toy. I played with him last night for 20 minutes (not constantly) and he was so happy and it delighted me to see him so happy!


Dayna March 15, 2016 at 5:24 am

I love that backpack.


Bee March 15, 2016 at 6:24 am

1. I returned items that I had bought for a project, but I found that did not need them. I saved $18 by doing so.
2. I was charged twice for a large package of toilet paper. I went to the service desk and received my money back — $10.97
3. There was a sign at the same store indicating that organic chicken was on sale –BOGO on chicken thighs. I picked up 6 packages. However, when I was checking out, the clerk insisted that the price only applied to skinless thighs. I had bought a mix of skinless and ones with skin. The clerk was so rude that I dug in my heels. I don’t normally do this. I was right the sign was not specific and the store manager honored the deal.
4. I received rutabagas in my CSA box. I had never cooked them before and didn’t want to waste them. I googled it and learned how.Stretching one’s cooking skills is thrifty and fun. Supporting local farmers priceless.
5. I continue to buy items secondhand. My son needed a desk chair, so I bought one that was nearly new at auction for 1/10th of the price of a new one. I have on a thrifted t-shirt . I wore a thrifted outfit yesterday. I am currently reading a pre-owned book purchased at the library book sale.


Juhli March 15, 2016 at 7:03 am

I’m having a get it done day at home and making progress.
1. So far I followed up on an insurance claim for physical therapy only to find out they need more info to process it. I requested that from the provider who will get it done today so we can get reimbursed the covered portion.
2. Called about a medical bill I hadn’t received and had them put in the correct lower copay since I had over payed by $20 according to my insurance statement. I rarely find a mistake in medical billing but sometimes it pays off.
3. Managed to update the software on my 2013 Kindle – hope to keep it working which it was not doing well before this – so much so that I was considering trading it in and getting a new version.
4. Picked up my free bag of dog food (buy 12 get 1 free deal).
5. Thawing leftover homemade split pea soup for dinner. Will add a salad and garlic bread.


JD March 15, 2016 at 7:19 am

1. Last night’s dinner was truly turning leftovers into another meal. The last of the roast pork was chopped and cooked in homemade barbecue sauce, then served on the last two slices of bread we had. The barbecue sauce used up the last of a jar of tomato paste, the juice of a partially juiced and refrigerated lemon, and the juice of three blood oranges which were starting to shrivel. I turned some leftover apples into fried apples with cinnamon. My husband loved it.
2. Our birthday gift to our granddaughter was long and awkward to wrap. I used a real British Royal Mail bag that I had stored for years to wrap it. I tied it with our gardening twine for a bow. I had received something from England in it and thought it was neat looking.
3. I found an old forever stamp in a coat pocket and set it out to use on my next envelope.
4. My sister makes lovely birthday cards on her computer. I cut them into strips on my thrifted paper cutter, and make cute bookmarks out of them. As a reader who might be into several books at once, I always need some. Her cards get a new life and I get free bookmarks.
5. I bought a Christmas gift the other day. I want to have a lot of them bought well before the holidays. Shopping this early lets me wait for the true bargains.


tonya parham March 15, 2016 at 8:42 am

I love using fun new things as book marks. That’s an awesome idea! I also will use index cards with quotes on them (I love index cards!) or used gift cards.


Susanne g March 15, 2016 at 8:37 am

This week I’m calling “Redemption Week”:

1. Brought back two cream bottles I bought last summer to make ice cream and paid a deposit. Got $3.21 back.
2. While picking up smashed cans, picked up some not so smashed cans and brought back to grocery store machine, $.90.
3. Found 12 cents.
4. Emptied piggy bank and took to Coinstar. Was opting for Home Depot credit, no surcharge, but was short 60 cents for ten dollar minimum. Had to take cash minus the surcharge. $8.30
5. Restyled a navy knit LLBean dress ($1 at thrift store) by removing the elastic around waist which was really low and made the top part look out of date. Cute cute cute dress resulted after wash, no signs of elastic being there. Now the pockets are down around my knees!! and will sew up side seams.
6. Neighbors gifted me with homemade Irish soda bread, corned beef, Irish stew and a piece of birthday cake from their combo two birthdays and St Patrick’s Day weekend!!


JD March 15, 2016 at 10:45 am

6. May I borrow your neighbor?


amanda March 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

1. Recovering from surgery the last 3 weeks so all my food has been in liquid form, from our own food that we raised and preserved. Tomato soup, bone broth, etc.
2. We need a new mattress, but I hate debt, so we’re saving up for it and waiting for a sale.
3. Met with friends for dinner (real food!!) last night and I saved the leftovers for lunch today.
4. My Brother-in-law passed away last week and I have a close friend who is a florist. She ordered the flowers from the market, we picked them up and delivered them to her and she created the most amazing sprays for a fraction of the price. My SIL wasn’t up to making frugal decisions and the flowers were created by a loved one. Funerals are so expensive!!
5. My daughter’s birthday is this week and we promised her Chuck E. Cheese {gulp}. I invited just a few friends and family and signed up online for deals and coupons. Not going with the whole ‘birthday’ package, as that has more bells and whistles (and cost) than I want.


Vickie March 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

Love the backpack, that’s really cute!

1) I bought 4 frozen meals for about $2 each yesterday for the freezer here at work. Those will supplement any meals I don’t bring from home. It’s definitely cheaper than going out to eat.
2) I ate leftovers for dinner last night. The last bit from a bag of leg quarters I bought a few months back. I’ve been scrounging for the last bits of food in the freezer this month and trying to avoid grocery shopping.
3) I decided to go back to using Almond Milk in my breakfast mix and in my morning coffee. I had been using 1/2 & 1/2, but it’s bothering my stomach too much. The Almond Milk was on sale for $1.99 at Buy-4-Less. 1/2 gallon of that should last quite awhile.
4) I love watching frugal life and prepper videos on YouTube. I get a lot of great, money saving ideas from everyone on them. People are really innovative!
5) We are getting money back on taxes and not having to pay in. There’s a win for sure!


Isabelle March 15, 2016 at 10:52 am

* Daughter’s 4th birthday is coming up. Instead of suggesting toys, I suggested practical gifts for the grandparents (we are giving her a game, books and a shirt) : her “big girl” booster car seat and a gymnastic leotard, both things she needs. My daughter is not materialistic at all and already have too much stuff laying around. We will have a family celebration at home, with a cake made by me, and then she will get to pick an activity she would like us to do as a family.
* Got 6 big bags of corn chips for 1,14$ each because they have an expiration date of march 23rd. So tonight is nachos night! (Top with chicken and veggies, cover with cheese, put in oven, then add a mix of salsa and plain Greek yogurt, and voilà!).
* Using the PC mastercard for everything, racking the points to exchange for free groceries (about 500$/year) and paying it completely every month, so no interest fees.
* Planning our Toronto vacation. Will be able to spend 3 nights, maybe 4, at a friend’s house. She is living downtown, so it’s super amazing! Right there, will save at least 400$. Then, will buy a family “city pass” in order to save close to 50% of the admission price of 5 activities. So, saving about another 200$ there. And we will grocery shop instead of eating out. And will park at my friend’s house and get a city bus pass, which will save on parking (can cost up to 25$ to park).
* My friend invited me to go see a movie that I am not really interested in, at this VIP cinema where tickets are 20$. I said I would pass, but would be happy to use a 2 for 1 ticket I have to see a regular movie, so 5$/each. Makes more sense to me.

Have a great frugal day!


Jennifer March 15, 2016 at 11:43 am

1. I have been making my kids cakes for years. I am not a professional cake decorator but I have learned a few skills by just researching online.I have been able to make cakes with Barbie in the middle by baking the cake in a large pyrex mixing bowl then covering in home made buttercream. I even made my oldest daughter a 3 tier wedding cake using online tutorials for less than $15!It’s not as hard as I thought it would be and silk flowers cover a multitude of imperfections. One thing I learned is fancy equipment is not needed. I used a ziploc bag filled with frosting with a hole cut in the end to do most of the swirls and dots of frosting and it works just fine. Also, I used bamboos skewers for tiers and I cut my own cardboard disks then covered them in foil. I know you probably didn’t need all this extra info but maybe it will help someone who needs a nice cake on a budget. For the wedding cake topper I found a clearance Christmas ornament that was the initial “D” for the topper. It looked very fancy. I just used cake mixes I had on hand already. One was red velvet! So when you cut the cake it had a red layer and a white layer.It actually looked like it was meant to be that way because it matched the silk flowers I used for decorating the cake. I wish I could show a picture! I hope your daughter has a great birthday!


amanda March 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm

I make all our own cakes too, now my daughters have learned to pipe decorations! My favorite was a barbie doll cake with marshmallow fondant. At the restaurant, everyone thought it was made by a professional! 🙂


K D March 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

1. I found $1.36 today. The most money I have found in months.

2. I made French Toast for dinner, using stale bread from the freezer.. Leftovers were frozen for future breakfasts.

3. Dinner tonight will be pulled beef from the freezer with potatoes, a vegetable, and fruit.

4. I called a friend that is not able to drive at this time (post-surgery). I’ll pick her up for a group get together later this week. The extra driving will be worth her company and the ability to get her out and about.

5. Since we do take-out pizza occasionally I bought the Papa Johns Groupon voucher (two free large pizzas when you buy a $25 gift certificate). I went through SavingStar to earn 10% cash back.


Amy March 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

1. I was at the store picking up milk and our grocery store had a cart full of large bags of pretzels for 50 cents. So I got one. We don’t do “packaged” snacks very often, so my boys are loving this. 🙂
2. Free desert today at Dairy Queen as they are giving out small cones to all customers. So after dinner we thought we would drive the few miles across town to do that. We never eat there, and rarely do dairy ice cream. So another treat for the boys!
3. Resisted the urge to eat out at Chinese when the hubs asked and instead ate food from home.
4. Hubs bought my birthday present last night instead of waiting till next month (my bday is the end of April) because he found it for 50% off! Yeah for hubs and I am excited to get it as I know what he bought.
5. Selling some of my daughter’s outgrown toddler clothing to fund her Spring and Summer wardrobe. I buy used, and she wears them, and then I resell for what I paid for them, and then buy the next season of clothing. I had guessed wrong on her growth curve though, so I am a season behind what I normally like to be.
6. Making homemade laundry soap. Have used homemade for 10 years now and while I know it doesn’t work for everyone, it has served us well.


Jane March 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

1. Used up over ripe tomatoes to make a spaghetti bolognese with lots of vegetables to bulk it up and had it for our lunch for 2 days
2. Shopped at Aldi and have a 10 euro voucher off next weeks shop
3. Bought 2 liquid detergent on half price special, will do for ages
4. Dried all clothes last wkend on the line outside and finished in dryer
5.Used up all fruit in smoothies so nothing went to waste
6. Made homemade desert for bringing to friends house instead of expensive shop bought version..ate at home all week, for books from library, turned off lights & appliances when not in use.


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