Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 20, 2016 · 83 comments


  1. My family treated our Japanese exchange student to the Portland Timbers soccer game last night, which was a hit. Kentaro wore the Timbers T-shirt that we’d gifted to him and he picked out a scarf to borrow for the game. My son later told him to keep the scarf as a gift, which was much appreciated.
  2. I spent a satisfying hour pruning our hydrangea hedge yesterday, which completely filled our yard debris can. I’m taking care of the neighbor’s cats while they’re out of town, so I rolled the can to their curb, which is a nice perk of this arrangement. (I share garbage/recycling/yard debris services with a different neighbor, which is only a problem when it comes to yard debris.)
  3. It’s very easy to spend a ton of money when hosting exchange students, and so far we’ve been very deliberate with the budget. I assembled a lunch of tasty tapas yesterday, even though it was tempting to eat in a restaurant. However, I did spontaneously drive through Burgerville for my older son and Kentaro last night, which set me back $20. (They’re delicious, but so expensive!) I kept things under control by eating the leftover tapas as my dinner. I took one for the team, because man-o-man did those cheeseburgers smell amazing!
  4. My older son is home from college for spring break, which is wonderful. His luxurious blond hair is longer than ever, and I’m always reminded of the hundreds of dollars we’ve saved through the years by his refusal to get haircuts. I’ve never been particularly bothered by his long hair, even when he was an elementary school student, as I always figured “it’s just hair.” My younger son likes a haircut every six weeks or so, which becomes less financially painful when balanced with his brother.
  5. I relisted my curbside rocking chair on Craigslist, I’ve been cooking from the pantry, I got paid for a Clark Howard piece, I listened to free podcasts on my hand-me down iPhone, I kept up with my Every Dollar budget, I wore my ancient clothing 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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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane March 20, 2016 at 9:50 am

Took a Coach wristlet I bought at the Factory Outlet store to see if there was anything they could do for me since the zipper no longer zips. It’s less then a year old and was told that they have a one -year guarantee. So they are sending it back to the factory to fix the zipper at no cost to me.

I have been eating out of the fridge/freezer.

I did not buy a lear jet.


LisaC March 20, 2016 at 10:14 am

1. Stocking up on coffee, pasta, and other items before the summer prices hit here.
2. Made our adult son a care package using sale items (food), kitchen and garden items we no longer use, and a few basic kitchen items from Goodwill. He is happy, and he’s visiting, so no shipping charges.
3. Tried on some shoes at TJMaxx, put them back. They’re not as comfortable as the ones I have now. I’ll polish those soon, to make them look nicer for work.
4. Used leftover bits in my fridge (1/2 chicken breast, beans, cheese, chopped onions, and dollar tree tortillas) to make “burritos” for the week, and froze them.
5. Son is hungry all the time! Made big bowls of popcorn (paper bag, kernels, olive oil and cayenne pepper) as nighttime snacks.


Krystal March 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

1) Cashed in $20.70 from Ibotta, then closed my account because it wasn’t worth the hassle. Put the cash in our grocery fund which was massive this month (needed to stock up on wine–of course). The bar codes wouldn’t scan, they had poor customer service, and the rebates were rare for stores I shopped at.
2) Sold a stack of comics and a hand-reel mower sharpening kit on eBay (which I had been relisting for MONTHS). Glad I was patient, and it brought in about $55 dollars for the two sales.
3) Instead of going out for coffee/happy hour with a friend, I invited her for dinner, since we were planning on having leftovers from this meal anyhow!
4) Working extra hours because it’s busy season for my work. Not letting those extra hours take away from meal planning and grocery shopping or other chores–the convenience of eating out or hiring someone to do housework is expensive–why work extra if you don’t keep the rewards?
5) Keeping track of my miles for volunteering (entering in my notes into my spreadsheet)–I itemize and they are deductible!


Kristie March 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

I just started Ibotta and I, too, think it’s a hassle. Glad I’m not the only one! =)


LT March 21, 2016 at 9:33 am

I really hated Ibotta. When I remember, I use Receipt Hog, which you literally snap a picture of your receipt & earn points to redeem. No earning coupons or selecting deals (like Checkout 51). Its slow going but I’m up to $5 in rewards.


Sandy March 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

We hosted a student from France the summer before my son’s senior year of high school. It was great fun for all of us!
Recently, I was summoned to serve jury duty. Never done this before. I got on a jury and served 6 days. From my downsized wardrobe, I was able to wear something nice each day! So, lesson learned–I only need a week’s worth of clothes!! I’ll be removing quite a few more items of clothing in the very near future.
Took my lunch all days, but one of jury duty. I was not alone! Mine was the only no waste lunch, though!
Being on a jury meant we had a room to leave our personal items during court. We had coffee available, so I took a small jar of my favorite creamer, don’t like powdered stuff. I even remembered to bring the jar home with left over creamer.
The small amount I received for serving on the jury is going in our ‘build our dream house fund’.
To plan our kitchen, we plotted the cabinets and appliances on the basement floor in life size to best determine location of the island. Before the new house is built, I’ll know exactly where everything will live! I anticipate this will be a smooth move! Next, plan the closet for our bedroom.
When we purchased our kitchen appliances, we qualified for a nice rebate. The rebate came on a Visa card, which expires at the end of this month, so we’ll buy 2 or 3 kitchen cabinets. And, really enjoy spending that money.
Cooking most meals at home. Planning shopping based on sales.
Planning to have a garden at the New house, once we know the bulldozers and trucks won’t destroy it, I hope to start building raised beds and composting!


kathleen March 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Sandy, your comment just reminded me that when I canceled our satellite service, we received a rebate on a Visa card which I tucked away and forgot about. It is now found, activated, and in my wallet where it will be used before it expires. Thanks!


Ruby March 20, 2016 at 11:03 am

1. Bought a package of coffee off the clearance rack at the grocery store, really liked it, and went back today to buy what was left.
2. Spent some time this morning listening to public radio while altering a pair of corduroy slacks and a hoodie (both thrifted for $1 each) so that they fit shortie me better.
3. Took along my tall, sturdy son to help me buy discount cat litter at Big Lots. He has no trouble hefting the really large boxes.
4. Boiled the last of the half-price eggs to make frugal protein-packed snacks.
5. Spent a good bit of yesterday making homemade bread and homemade “kibble addition” wet dog food, especially for our dog with allergies.


Mariana March 20, 2016 at 11:18 am

I do love your sons’ hair I have to say. Luxurious is the right word here, for sure.
Most of the ladies would be envious 😉

As far as my frugal ways this past week, I was NOT at my best. I was going strong with my ‘no clothing / no shoes’ resolution since the beginning of January and yesterday total fiasco. My friend and I made it to payless (I gave her a ride since she does not have a car). She was wanting to buy a pair of flats and I was just tagging along as a driver. Well, she picked up a pair and I picked up two.. :/ Ugh.
I did not need any, but I do mostly wear flats in spring and summer and they were not too pricey (and so comfy!). I could return them I guess but that’s another 40min (back and forth). I will just swallow it I guess.

I did save money by cooking all meals at home and bringing lunch with me to work every single day. In my book – that’s always an accomplishment.


K D March 20, 2016 at 11:58 am

1. I had stocked up on almond and coconut flour months and ago and then let them languish. The past couple weeks I have found several recipes online that use these flours. We have enjoyed various treats.

2. My daughter bought a veggie tray for a party. She gave me the leftovers and I cooked the veggies and used the celery in soup. No waste.

3. Redbox sent a code for $1.25 off on a rental. We watched the new James Bond movie last night and returned the DVD today.

4. I made it to four yoga classes this week. I pay by the month so the more I attend the lower the cost per class.

5. I have been tracking my physical activity at You get points for walking and such. Not big rewards but some Balance Rewards points.


Bee March 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

1) Although we will be eating out for my son’s birthday this evening, my family ate all other meals at home this week. They were built around the veggies received in Thursday’s CSA box. We seem to have a ton of cabbage this week which is a bit of a challenge.
2) Our weekend activities were frugal. For fun we walked the dog, watched basketball and read.
3)I also worked on two big projects. Spring has sprung, so I did some gardening. I mixed a few flowering annuals in with my perennials for color, cleaned up my herb garden and potted a Meyer lemon tree. It has many blossoms so hopefully I will have a few lemons this year. Fingers crossed!
4) For some time, I have been trying to rid myself of excess. We need to do some work on our house and the more stuff we have to contend with the more difficult it will be. My current focus is my home office. I set aside a few items to sell online and I also added to the garage sale heap. I hope to have that in two – three weeks.
5) I read the NCA for continued inspiration!


Gina in KY March 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Search for “Cabbage Steaks”. Basically slices of cabbages seasoned just like a steak eater would do and then “broiled” in the oven. Delicious and a great way to use up a lot of cabbage! 🙂


Marcia March 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Cabbage will keep quite a while, so there is no real hurry to use it all at once! I often keep mine a month or more.


Jennifer March 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

I do these all the time. I also like to just cut the cabbage up into chunks instead of “steaks” because it’s just easier. Love this!


Sandy March 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm

My new favorite cabbage salad recipe. It’s from Molly Wizenberg’s book A Homemade Life:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pressed garlic
1/8 teaspoon
1-1/2 lbs red (or green) cabbage
1/4 cup gated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Black pepper

whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Set aside.
finely slice cabbage. This is crucial, cut as thin as you can. Like angel hair.
Toss cabbage with dressing. Add cheese and toss. Season generously with pepper. Serve.


Sandy March 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm

the 1/8 teaspoon is salt!


Teresa Lawrence March 20, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Google “Egg Roll in a Bowl” – super yummy recipe that takes cabbage. It calls for pork, but I prefer hamburger. My son and hubby don’t care for it, but I LOVE it!!!!! I might make more tomorrow! 😉


Bee March 21, 2016 at 4:28 am

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. Many I had not thought about. I will try quite a few of these over the next couple of weeks. I have 10 lbs in the frig!


cathy March 21, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I found an awesome slaw recipe last summer on I think they called it tri-color slaw and was super easy: shredded green cabbage, shredded purple cabbage, grated carrots and a dressing made of lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, S & P. Might have had a little bit of sliced bermuda onion. We served it alongside (and on top of) pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches.


Florencia March 21, 2016 at 11:05 pm

I was on the kitchen crew as a volunteer at a tango retreat I attend every year and we had cabbage left. We cut it up and made a big salad with black canned beans, tomatoes and mayo. Everyone loved it!


Marilyn March 20, 2016 at 12:38 pm

1. My son has found a new job with better pay. Very good news!
2. I worked out-of-town one day last week and planned ahead by packing a lunch. I did buy a cup of coffee in the afternoon, something I don’t usually do, so I wasn’t totally frugal.
3. The tiny pin in the arm of my prescription sunglasses fell out. Took them back to the optometrist who replaced the pin, cleaned the lenses, tightened the arms and gave me some cleaning fluid. A free tune-up for my glasses.
4. After our plastic bag clip broke, used a small binder clip to keep a half bag of frozen peas securely closed in the freezer. No need to go out and buy a special bag clip.
5. I’ve been wondering what to do with a bunch of mailing labels I received. I don’t send out a lot of letters so it would take me forever to use them as return address labels. Finally, decided to use them them to label a few small possessions I don’t want to lose – some books, cell phone, glasses cases.


Kate March 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm

We have a little container(it held a candle in its first life) in our kitchen windowsill that is filled with binder clips for food bags – chips, flour, frozen food, cereal bags – all of them are binder clipped. 🙂


Michele March 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Actually the best ” chip clips” we have are the pants hangers clips we cut off the plastic hangers. Work better than the ones we bought specifically for it.


Jennifer March 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

I totally do this too!


priskill March 21, 2016 at 6:21 am

Have to giggle — we use so many clips and binder clips for frozen and frigerated foods that husband proudly gave me a huge box of binder clips he found when cleaning up. They get more use in the ice box than the office 😉

Isabelle March 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

Can also use regular wood clothepins.

Jodi March 23, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I reuse bread tabs to close opened bags of frozen veggies. Free!


Kate March 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

1 – Found two pristine and current magazines for my daughter’s and my Easter baskets in our library’s magazine swap area. The one for my daughter was the one I’d planned to buy her anyway, so it was a very happy find!
2 – My husband just got back from a run wearing sweatpants from a hand-me-down bag from a friend. Since her 15-year-old son is bigger than my husband, we often find things that will suit my husband more than our 13-year-old son. The sweatpants recently had a literal run-in with a tree on a run that resulted in some underwear-baring holes, but rather than cut them up into rags I sat down and stitched them back together.
3 – Currently wearing a fleece pullover my husband gave me in our first year or so of marriage. I’ve had it nearly 20 years now. Still don’t care for the color, but the darn thing won’t wear out, so I just keep wearing it!
4 – Planned to make reuben baked potatoes tonight but forgot to buy more sour cream to make the thousand island dressing. We used up virtually all of it last night with potato skins, but I just got out a rubber scraper and managed to get just enough out of the container to make the dressing. It would be fine without it, but much better with. Kept me from going back to the grocery store where I would have been tempted to buy more food we don’t need!


Bettypants March 20, 2016 at 1:34 pm

1. Sold a stack of small dishes and a platter on a local FB site for $11.
2. My parents had brought over a bounce back baseball net for my son, and it finally warmed up enough to put it together. Assembled, it is super sturdy and quite nice, but we discovered it needs new elastic clips.
3. I bought three Xbox games on a local site for $6 each, which sell well on ebay. Refrained from buying more from her, because even though they were cheap, it wasn’t worth making just a couple dollars on each.
4. Cleaning the house today and listing a few random items on ebay.
5. I have been browsing Nike flyknit shoes on ebay, but even the used ones are fairly expensive. I happened to see someone had posted a pair in my size on a local board, for only $15. I figured they would be long sold, but they were available and are the coziest tennis shoes I’ve ever owned.


Mand01 March 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

1. Took the kids on our annual trip to the chocolate factory in the Hills to buy Easter gifts. We only give consumables (no toys) at Easter, and we do this trip because it’s fun, it supports a local small business and local jobs, and we are not buying from Big Chocolate.
(That was a joke – I don’t know if there is Big Chocolate but it seems there is always ‘Big’ something to fight against!
2. We stopped by on the way back at a roadside stall and bought apples, pumpkin and zucchini. $12.50 AUD for 6 kg fresh produce.
3. We had an impromptu dinner party, and I made lasagna and focaccia
4. I had to make a food from my culture for a Harmony Day lunch at work so I made Cheesymites Scrolls (Cheese and Vegemite, lol).
5. I had to do a presentation to clients this morning and wore my $20 thrifter suit. I received several compliments on the outfit.


Jennifer March 20, 2016 at 6:12 pm

4. I am from the South where most people have never heard of Vegemite. I recently figured out what it was after hearing the “down under” song, some research, and having a healthy argument with my husband. Sooo, I did a very unfrugal thing and ordered a jar of it that should be here around the first of April. My husband is sick so I do some weird stuff others might think is silly so we can have meaningful experiences. Eating a thin smear of Vegemite on buttery toast is a unique experience for southerners. Plus, he thinks Vegemite is not a real thing! Should be fun.


IsabelI March 20, 2016 at 9:17 pm

I am an Aussie so Vegemite has been a regular part of my life! I think I have eaten it every day of my life! It is also something that can be eaten when not well! If I was on a desert island I think I would be happy with a cup of tea and a vegemite sandwich forever!


Laura March 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Vegemite is a very frugal spread – you only need a little of it on a piece of toast so it lasts forever and it doesn’t need refrigerating. And yes it really does “put a rose in every cheek” –


Mand01 March 22, 2016 at 12:14 am

We had a work lunch yesterday and had to bring a food representing our culture. I made cheesymite scrolls – they were a hit.

Tanya March 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm

1. I caught a mistake on a receipt that I missed at the register – $9 back in my pocket where it belongs!

2. Going through the junk in the garage, sold an old weight bench for $20 and for the space back!

3. S.O. fixed his own breaklines! Had to buy the parts and tools, but still saved HUNDREDS by not taking it to the shop!

4. Daughter went through some of her old things to give to her cousin (thrifty for them, and not wasteful on our end – double win!)

5. Left overs re-invented for dinner tonight. Still yummy!


Florencia March 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

I don’t know where you live, but O’Reilly let’s you borrow tools for a deposit. The use ends up being free as long as you take it back.


Sandy March 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Went grocery shopping only after going through my pantry to make sure I was buying only what I needed. Bought off a list and kept my grocery costs way down.
Went to a local used book store and bought a book I wanted for $4 instead of paying $18 for a new one. (it looks brand new!)
Pretreated a cream cotton shirt I thought for sure was ruined with stains. Almost tossed it, but thought, well, I’ve nothing to lose by trying. Unbelievably all the stains came right out! Cream shirt back in rotation!
Did not go to a car wash even though my car needs to be washed badly! We had a break in the rain for a short time today (gotta love Oregon) but I didn’t make it outside in time to wash the car. I will have to wait for the next break in the weather. So super tempting to just go to the car wash! But that’s $12 saved.
Cooked all my lunches for the week this afternoon (which is why I didn’t get out to wash the car!) That will save me quite a bit in restaurant/takeout costs. Not to mention much healthier eating.


Jenny March 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

I just consider a good hard rain to be a free car wash.


Jennifer March 20, 2016 at 5:51 pm

1. We ate more out on our vacation than I had planned, ugh! It was really cold so sometimes picnics were out of the question. My husband is a neat freak so there is no eating in the vehicle which only meant eating out. I shared drinks and food with my kids so it wasn’t too bad.
2. We went to a touristy kids attraction that I had a groupon for and of course at the very end was a strategically places gift shop. My kids eyes became glazed over with the allure of all the crappy overpriced merchandise. Of course I said no and right as we exited the door was one of those squished penny machines. Yes I know this is technically ruining real money, but it is a great 51 cent souvenir. It was perfect.
3. I made sure to get a hotel with an indoor pool so the kids and I spent hours in there. That was the highlight of the trip for my kids. I had researched before going and found out hotels with continental breakfast cost much more with the amenities we were looking for. I took easy quick breakfasts that we could make in the room and it worked out great.
4. Brought home all the leftovers to use up for mine and my kids lunches this week.
5. Used a puddle jumper for my youngest daughter in the pool that I got for $2 at a yardsale the end of summer last year. Those things are awesome!

Whew, I barely got 5! Rough week I gues.


Gina in KY March 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

My sons and I love the squashed pennies and that is the souvenirs we collect too!


Gina in KY March 20, 2016 at 6:31 pm

(excuse the typo! :))


Jennifer March 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm

I think it’s a small price to pay for a souvenir and most places have at least one of those penny machines. Much better than a t-shirt or stuffed animal.


Katy March 20, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Those are my favorites as well, as they transform something you already own and hardly take up any space. And for 51¢, it’s a bargain!


Lynda March 21, 2016 at 2:59 am

Sadly, it’s £1 ($1.44) to squash a penny in one of the London museums…

So that was one frugal thing last Friday… didn’t smoosh a penny!
Oh… 2 frugal things: there was a 2 for 1 deal to that museum as we’d attended one of their guided tours less than a month before 😀


Nicole from Canada March 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm

And I was about to say us Canadians are stuck paying $1.05 for a squished nickel but that’s a lot cheaper than a pound with our exchange rate. Once we got rid of the penny the machines had to switch over to nickels 🙂

AFS March 20, 2016 at 8:26 pm

I heard the machines substitute a copper slug and doesn’t really smash a penny


Katy March 20, 2016 at 9:12 pm

You can see the penny being transformed.


Jennifer March 21, 2016 at 6:17 am

You actually see your penny being smashed. For instance my daughter had a bright shiny penny so hers looked a lot better than the older penny that I used for mine.Tip: Try to use newer pennies and be sure and check the date before you smash. Don’t want to smash one that is worth a lot of money.


Nicole from Canada March 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

In Canada when we still had the penny it was a copper slug because you can’t squish the queen. But now we use nickels and that only has a beaver on it so squish away!
By the way I work at a tourist trap and know way too much about the squished coin market!


Jenny March 26, 2016 at 9:34 pm

The queen is on the other side of the nickel, just like the penny has the queen on one side and a maple leaf on the other.


Nicole from Canada March 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

haha you’re totally right, brain fart last night writing this!

Sarah G. March 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm

1. Today’s Sunday dinner and lunch were both cobbled together using random leftovers. We managed to finish up the St. Patrick’s Day corned beef/potatoes/cabbage, some cucumbers, bread pudding, half a chicken breast, and leftover pizza. We also chipped away at some salad greens and strawberries. This was done rather than our usual Sunday habit of going out to Chipotle for lunch.

2. My breakfast this morning was leftover scrambled eggs which my toddler had refused 2 days ago. They were a bit tough, but they were transformed into a tasty breakfast with some greens, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

3. Easter is approaching, as is my sister’s wedding. The Easter dresses I bought my 2 girls (which weren’t at all expensive to start with) were carefully selected so as to also be appropriate for my sister’s pastel wedding colors and vintage theme. No wasting money on double dress purchases which they would only wear once or twice anyway.

4. Being a finance-guy, my husband always does the taxes for several of our family members every year. He buys one copy of Turbo Tax each year, and we all share the cost. Cost-sharing is always frugal!

5. My husband and I went out this past week on a much-needed date. We had a gift card, so the meal was paid for. And of course, we tipped on the full amount! Frugal yet fair.


Beth March 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

1. Worked a vacation dog/house sit this weekend banking some much appreciated money. Turned the water tank and heat down before left. Watched their free cable for entertainment and played with the dogs taking them for a walk along a stream complete with mallards. Was left by the client a gift card to Subway and to Buffalo Wild Wings. Decided to save those as our birthday rewards will expire soon.

2. Used birthday freebies to treat ourselves this weekend to celebrate. Have you gotten the Champps restaurant free birthday dessert The Mile High Ice Cream Pie? Wish I could post a photo. Also redeemed my free cheeseburger for joining their club. Overall I end up spending money so it does cost to redeem birthday rewards (at a minimum leaving the tip) but its worth it since we live pretty frugally throughout the year.

3. Did Swagbucks this weekend.

4. Used a $10 gift card to Dressbarn to buy bracelets and socks for my daughters birthday. Used $15 from Kohls gift cards to buy daughter some slip on shoes for soccer as part of bday gift. Ended up spending $16 for $60 worth of gifts.

5. Tonight used a buy one get one free Redbox code to rent Suffragette and Pixels for daughter. Suffragette was so worth watching! Made for great conversations with my daughter about how far woman have come and the sacrifices they made for us. My life now as a single parent vs. how it would have been for us back then.


Gina in KY March 21, 2016 at 4:31 am

Thanks for the recommendation on Suffragette! I wanted to see it while it was at our second run theatre (they also play Indie movies on weekends), but couldn’t find the time. I will look at Redbox!


janine March 21, 2016 at 5:47 am

I also loved this movie – our local Women’s Press had a pre-opening showing of this film – free and a great discussion afterwards. Makes you think and remember how far we have come! As a history buff, I was aware of the struggles, but many in the audience were surprised.


Teri March 20, 2016 at 8:47 pm

1. Had a great pot luck “Easter” dinner after church, brought most of my salad home, along with enough left overs for another meal.
2.Price matched salad mix for salad above and saved not only gas/time but 25%.
3. Found 26 cents.
4. Painted two lamps purchased at Goodwill for $4.99 ea. instead of buying similar lamps for $34.99 ea.
5. Using coupons and sales for planning Easter weekend menu, along with batching errands will save me more time and money.


IsabelI March 20, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Was feeling myself a bit of a let down about being being frugal but found when I checked my gas bill that I had cut down by 50%. Hope I find some more hidden savings and economies! Feel sure they are there as am much more aware!


Paige March 20, 2016 at 11:56 pm

1. We’re moving and I finally have space in our bedroom to have vanity. I’m repurposing a table I used for sewing and found odds and ends in the previous owners trashed items to make it look more shabby chic.
2. I needed a makeup brush holder so I spray painted an HEB Fresh Market spice bottle to go with said vanity décor.
3. In the midst of moving we left our dishwasher detergent cubes at the old house and I needed to do a load of dishes. (I had been handwashing and had to give up because of fibromyalgia pain) So I mixed up a jar of homemade detergent using the ingredients I had in my laundry room for the homemade laundry detergent I have. 1/2 cup 20 Mule Borax and 1/2 cup super washing soda. I put it in a mason jar I had in my canning stash and only use 1 spoonful every load. Now I won’t need dishwashing detergent for months.
4. Selling our queen sleigh bed bedframe to a firefighter on my husband’s shift. If we kept it there would be no room to walk in our bedroom so we downsized to a bed frame my mom had at her house that she gave us.
5. I made a bad business decision…TOTALLY NOT NCA….so my husband and I will have to tighten the belt a little further for a while. So ALL of us,(me, husband and five kids) will be taking our lunch to work and school. The kids like eating at school normally, but they’re understanding when we say they will brown bag it for the week…or more.
****The one bright spot about the situation. I discussed it all with my husband and he is now more onboard with some of my NCA ideas. Which helps me to follow through****


Juhli March 21, 2016 at 2:48 am

In my effort to use up or get rid of things we will not move in a year, I have done several things.
1. Cleaned the grill and cover thoroughly. The starter is broken but a match works so we are going to be grilling a lot to use up the tank of propane we have before the grill is a curb giveaway.
2. Cleaning the garden shed using the shopvac which stopped working but my husband took it apart and got it working again.
3. Decided to list my Kitchen Aid stand mixer on Craigslist as it rarely gets used and would be heavy to move. Looking for other things to donate or list.
4. Using ItsDeductibleOnline to keep really good track of donations for tax purposes.
5. Library books!
* Not truly frugal, but we have rescheduled the family visit we had to cancel due to my husband’s illness. Thank goodness Southwest lets you have credit on the plane tickets and no extra fee for rebooking.


Joyce March 21, 2016 at 3:35 am

Ancient clothing. That made me laugh. I’m in that same boat. But I don’t even care.


Gina in KY March 21, 2016 at 4:44 am

At best I will classify the weekend as “frugal-ish”. I had to travel to my old hometown to take care of a vacant rental house (I was hoping to sell this year) and spend time with family. For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I end up spending extra money. 🙁

Anyway, here are my 5:

1. Stayed at my mom’s house, so no cost for hotel.
2. Ate at my mom’s house for most meals, but did take my son out for one meal (he is 9, so not too expensive).
3. Went to Goodwill (again, with my mom), but only spent a $3 on three books and a $1 donation.
4. Son #2 and I spent quality time together (older son had another event to attend), so we went to the cheap theatre and saw Mockingjay Part II for $6 total. We did not buy any concessions as we had just ate (see #2). Time with son (priceless!)
5. And, in the not so frugal category: I left my work cell phone at my mom’s house and will have to find the most frugal and time-sensitive way to get it back to me (I am 8 hours roundtrip away). 🙁


Vickie March 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

1) I fixed Shepherds pie for dinner Friday night. My daughter and grandkids spent the night with us.
2) We ate lunch at church on Sabbath. That filled everyone up for the afternoon.
3) We shopped at the Goodwill store. I found an over the door organizer, i think it was $2 and an iphone charger for $2. My daughter and the kids found a few clothing items and she picked up a juicing book for a $1. I think all totaled I spent about $20.
4) I treated everyone to slushies & limeades on the way home. It was Happy Hour at Sonic (between 2-4 pm everyday) so everyone got a treat and the total was $5. It wasn’t a free weekend, but frugal and fun nonetheless.
5) I didn’t feel much like cooking yesterday, but hubby hates going out on his Sunday off. I boiled some white rice and sauteed some canned white meat chicken with the chopped onions I had in the fridge and some mixed veggies I had in the freezer. I spiced it up, combined it all in a casserole dish, topped it with shredded cheddar on top and let it bake for 30 mins. while I took the dogs for a walk. We ate dinner and watched Tyler Perry’s “The Passion Live”.
A nice low-key weekend. And we got our tax return back – it auto-deposited in our account. YAY!!!


Chris March 21, 2016 at 6:43 am

1. Worked a church dinner and brought home several pieces of pecan crusted fish. Didn’t like the breading so I scraped it all off and will finish it today (it made 3 lunches worth of food).

2. Used the vegetables left over from same dinner as part of the stir fry that we had for dinner last night.

3. Re-posted a 1957 wedding dress on craigslist. A friend was going to throw it away because his mom had died and no one in the family wanted it.

4. Went to 2 estate sales and found a few items for my etsy shop.

5. Volunteered at a food shelf and got some good advice about things that they regularly need (personal hygiene items) that they cannot buy at a significant discount – will keep my eyes open for coupons to combine with sale prices for donation.


lauren March 21, 2016 at 10:27 am

Do the vintage items sell well on etsy? Have you had success with any types of sales in particular? My grandmother keeps trying to have me sell things for her but I’m not sure it’s worth it.


Bettypants March 22, 2016 at 2:00 am

I think vintage items sell pretty well on ebay. It is free to list, even if your things don’t sell, so you could try a couple items and see if think it’s worth it. Figure netting about 85% of your sale price, to allow for ebay and paypal fees.


Chris March 23, 2016 at 3:36 am

I have had fairly good success on etsy. I have done especially well with vintage quilt squares, embroidered and cross-stitched samplers – although I never quite know what is going to sell and what will languish.

There is a .20 per listing charge every 4 months. I struggle to get postage right – have been known to bite into my profits with underestimating postage.

It never hurts to try!


Lori March 21, 2016 at 8:29 am

1. Colored my own hair this weekend, and went a little darker which will mean I’ll not have to color as often, I’ve grown quite tired of the whole process.
2. Cooked and canned 14 quarts of chicken stock
3. Made yogurt using raw milk… love it!
4. Made a big pot of veggie beef soup using up leftover crock pot roast.
5. Tonight making homemade bread from a sourdough started I started last week, hopefully it will turn out well and not turn into chicken food.


Mand01 March 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm

I gave up dyeing my hair about a year ago and just went silver. I’m only 41, so that was a hard thing. But I was tired of the hours each month dyeing it – I wear my hair short, and it meant monthly trips. Since I stopped I have received many compliments about how it looks.


Marilyn March 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

I agree the hair dyes are too much trouble. I had red hair when I was young and it became a big part of my identity. (I was “The Red Head”). So it was hard when I lost that distinction. I dyed my hair for many years, but it was never really the same. Now, I have short white hair and it’s fine. In fact, I recently read that white or gray hair is trendy now.


Nicole from Canada March 26, 2016 at 6:40 pm

I have stopped dyeing my hair in the past few years because of money and because the grey hair has started to come in. When I didn’t have grey I dyed it just cause I liked being more blonde but now I feel like I would be trying to cover the grey and I’m not the type of person to try to cover who I am. I’m proud of my age, my laugh lines, my post-prego belly that never went away and now I can be proud of my grey hair too!


Cheryl March 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm

I stopped going to the salon years ago. My husband trims my hair and colors it with henna. I keep my hair long, I look 10-15 years younger, and I get a lot of nice comments how great it looks from men, jealous snide remarks from catty women. That’s ok, I don’t want to look like a frumpy old man. Haircuts are free, henna less than $40 a year.
Antenna TV, 20+ channels in high definition, neighbor’s cable tv channels she pays for look like garbage vs mine free.
Started plants from seeds for garden.
Ate home jarred (frozen) pesto from last year on chicken.
Garlic is sprouting as are chives.


Isabelle March 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

* We had a water infiltration in our new-to-us house. Insurance sent someone to demolish some walls and find the cause. At first we were suspecting a drain problem, and fixing it would have cost around 20000$!! Not covered. But it seems it’s only a negative pent problem, which will cost us “only” a couple of thousands to fix. And the interior of the house will be fixed for 1000$ because insurance covers this. So 5000$ (?) is better than 20000$+!!
* Going to visit the in-laws for the long week end, so the only cost will be for gas (6 hours away), since they feed and lodge the 4 of us.
* Eating leftovers and from freezer/pantry in order to make space for a 1/4 beef. Saving money doing so.
* Will use our 400$ insurance coverage for daughter’s speech therapy sessions, then I will find some exercises on-line to do with her, by myself. She’s been to 4 sessions and quite frankly I feel like nothing is being accomplished there, so…. She might be too young still (turning 4 in 3 weeks), so we might just have to give her mouth/tongue muscles the time to grow stronger to fix the problem.
* Calling a far away friend using a calling card instead of paying for a monthly plan. We have a land-line with no extras, which makes it pretty cheap. And no cable. Viva Netflix!

Have a great frugal day!


Cheryl March 21, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Get an Ooma, long distance is free, pay around $4.00 a month fee for access, saves hundreds a year, better sound quality with telio handset than Verizon or vonage. Best kept frugal secret.


Sheila March 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

1. Went to Costco and managed to talk my husband out of something – which was just the opposite of a few years ago, when he would be talking me out of buying something!
2. Washed a couple IKEA pillows I use as back cushions for an outdoor loveseat instead of buying new ones. Also washed a down comforter and dried it over and over (with tennis balls in the dryer to fluff it!) instead of buying a new one. We got it for a wedding present 31+ years ago so if it didn’t survive the washer or dryer, no worries.
3. Our son is home on spring break and we’re thinking of things to do that don’t cost money. So far we’ve eaten at home and are planning on eating out once just because a favorite place – that’s been around 30+ years – is going out of business. Good to support a local business and we’ll have leftovers for sure.
4. Cleaned our glass doors with newspaper and a tiny bit of Windex – works so much better than paper towels that I’ve been trying not to use so much.
5. Planning on going to the library to get a book for my book group instead of buying it. Really trying to cut down on expenses and this is one good way. Plus, I heard that you can borrow books on a Kindle, which is even easier. Plan to try that and spend some time on this overcast day reading!


Marion March 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I borrow books via local library system to read on my Kindle often. Free and simple. Overdrive and Project Gutenberg are excellent resources too. No muss, no fuss, no cost, no shelf space used, no dusting. Love it.


Sheila March 21, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Marion, I looked up how to get Overdrive on my Kindle and even went to the library and could not figure that out. Was hoping to hear from someone who’s done it so if you could share a quick how-to I’d so appreciate it!


cathy March 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

When I borrow books for my Kindle, they load into our amazon account (I don’t know why) and then I download from there. If there aren’t step-by-step instructions on your library’s website, the reference librarians can usually walk you through it.


JD March 21, 2016 at 10:00 am

1. Well, I got sick (sinus/the creeping crud) so I stayed in a couple of days, which saved some money. I get sick pay, thank heavens. While I was home and able to be up but not do a lot, I sat down in front of my filing cabinet and purged it, putting all my papers in order. I had joined Katy’s resolution to get some TCB paperwork done, so I felt good about getting more done than I anticipated. I’m shredding the “clean” papers, to compost.
2. I also sat down at my sewing machine and started a long-neglected project. I got most of it done. Being sick is good for my project list, it seems.
3. We ate leftovers and creative meals from our pantry and freezer all last week. My husband made bacon and tomato sandwiches with potatoes for me on my sickest night. No purchases needed!
4. Since I’ve gone almost too long with no clothing purchases, I’ve started getting a few items. I found two items with tags still on at Goodwill, and two very nice used items.
5. We used an old wooden needlework frame, scrap wood and fasteners we already owned to fashion another bird feeder. I also found that the local, old-fashioned feed store has peanuts in the shell for much cheaper than other stores. The woodpeckers, squirrels and some other birds love them. My husband bought a 25 pound sack to go with our other seeds. The birds and squirrels are cheap entertainment and we sometimes find an endangered species of woodpecker out there.


tonya parham March 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

Went to the store the other day and got stuff for french toast and bacon rather than eating out. I try to be mostly vegan but sometimes I find that I’m just more prone to eating out that way. I’m not sure if this is a “must have it because it’s forbidden” thing or what but I just have decided that I’m someone who does better if I just allow myself to be moderate instead of setting hard and fast forbidden things.

While at the store, the missus found ham that was $4.99 instead of $8.99. So far as we could tell, it was the same ham but some of it was labeled the cheaper price. Since she’s been wanting ham (and canadian bacon for breakfast) we got a couple of them.

Took an audiobook back to the library and it was a day late but that’s all. I don’t mind giving them a dime. While over in that area, I went to Target to get sinus rinse and spent $3 instead of $10 by using a gift card.

Thought about eating out for lunch but came home instead and had a ham sandwich with a fried egg on it.

Mowed part of my front yard. (Will mow more tomorrow.)

Pulled weeds out of the garden bed in the back yard. Saw we have some parsley coming up– did a little dance of joy.


amanda March 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm

1. Celebrated our daughter’s birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. I scrounged the internet for as many deals and coupons as I could and we didn’t pay for a birthday package. We went light on the dinner and had water for drinks. We went on a Thurday afternoon to avoid the crowds (we homeschool, so can go anytime we want.) All had a good time.
2. Brown-bagged lunch every day last week.
3. I carry a quart canning jar and refill it with hot water all day long, only using 2 tea bags initially. The caffeine is strongest in the morning when I need it the most.
4. We ran out of hay for our livestock so we made a deal to swap tractor work for hay from our friend who luckily has extra.
5. I received a kindle for Christmas, so I’ve been reading e-books for free from the library. The closest library branch is a 50 mile round trip, so this saves gas money!!
6. We need new tires on our truck but I really don’t want to pay over $1100, so my hubby is taking the studs out of the tires we have now.
7. I use for all the books I want or no longer need.


meg March 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

1. Traveled to my mom’s to relieve my brother as caregiver. Brought both kids for the week, but left the bag of toys at home!! So I went to Goodwill and bought a game, a puzzle and HUGE bag of matchbox/misc. toys for less than $8, that will just stay here. Luckily, she still has coloring/crafty stuff from long ago that we can use.
2. Called internet provider to negotiate a lower bill. All I get is that, no phone, no cable and they always want to bundle!! I really like using my local company and not one of the “big guys”. So glad they could accommodate and beat their price.
3. Ate down the perishables in the fridge before we left for my mom’s and now we are eating down her’s before we leave. (she’s not eating too much)
4. Mom letting me have her Kleen Kanteen that she does not use anymore. It has a neoprene sleeve, so it will be a little for resistant to denting. I had one before that was so dented up and then finally I dropped it so I broke the cap!! Hopefully I’ll have better luck with this one.
5. Making many small portioned healthy freezer meals for my mom to encourage her to eat when I am gone and hopefully reduce her food waste, too.


Kim March 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm

1. Did some cooking yesterday to have some things ready for the week. Made banana muffins with some bananas that needed a purpose in life and pumpkin spice cookies with a mix I bought at Aldis on clearance awhile back. I also made Autumn chowder since it was snowing on the first day of Spring and I was cold.
2. My neighbors gave me 4 quart canning jars they bought me at an estate sale they had gone to, a Freecycle friend gave me a bag of quilting fabric and I got a box of candles free from my FB yard sale group. We make our own fire starters with dryer lint, egg cartons and candle rejects and we had run out of candles so now we are fully stocked with 11 pillar candles that had been lit once.
3. Patchwork income from mystery shopper apps and sold 5 items on Amazon. Found 26¢, a quarter in the Coinstar machine and a penny on the floor at Aldis. Also worked at my job 25 hours.
4. Went to 2 church thrift stores that I hadn’t been to since last summer. At the first I found 5 New Fiesta coffee mugs for 3 dollars and a Lenox Curious George Christmas ornament for $3.75 total. I will keep 2 of the purple mugs and gift the 2 cobalt and other purple one to a friend and fellow collector when I go to TN and we get together. We are going next month to see our son at his university and she lives in the area. At the second I got a really large plastic flower pot for 50¢ and a stack of quilting fabric, a vintage feed sack, 2 packages of seam binding and a $15 sewing magazine all for $3. The flower pot would be at least $10 new and the ugly color will get a face lift with some spray paint I already have. I will plant spring peas in it.
5. I bought candy for DSs Easter basket at Walgreens combining sales and coupons. I also found Pop Chips on clearance for 79¢/ bag and Popcorn Indiana for $1.07/bag. I remembered I had coupons for these in my car so I went out and got them and got 7 bags of snacks for $2.06! Taking them to DS next month for his team to snack on after their tournament. Love cheap and healthy snacks!


Katy March 21, 2016 at 8:40 am

Binder clips are the best!


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