Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 17, 2016 · 58 comments

  1. I went to a coworker’s retirement party on Friday, which called for people to bring “an appetizer.” My day had been busy, as my friend Denise was in town and I wanted to make sure we got a chance to meet up in person. I was tempted to A: Buy something to bring or B: Flake out as I really didn’t have time to shop for appetizer ingredients. Instead I baked up a long skinny loaf of my one-hour bread and mixed up a pot of my kale pesto from ingredients I already had on hand. My addition to the potluck was a hit as people were impressed that I’d made my own bread. I’m so happy that I went as it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening!
  2. Denise and I met to catch up and enjoy a cup of coffee together. The concierge at her hotel had recommended a nearby chain, but instead we drove over to a locally owned cafe where coffee was priced at just $1.50 per cup, plus served in reusable mugs with stainless steel spoons. We enjoyed a nice walk together and reconnected without creating any garbage or spending too much money.
  3. I worked both Thursday and Saturday at the hospital and brought the last of some leftover homemade black bean chili that no one else in my family seemed to want. It was perfectly good and served to fill me up in the middle of my busy labor and delivery shifts. I packed my own cloth napkins from home, as well as reusable silverware and my ceramic travel mug. Striving for zero waste is often pretty simple.
  4. I woke this morning to find we were out of milk. I start each day with a cup of milky tea, so I almost started crying. (I really like my tea!) However, my next door neighbor was generous enough to fill a mug with milk so the three of us could enjoy our teas and coffee. That was a close one, people. That was a close one.
  5. I wrote two Clark Howard pieces this week which will help bolster the never ending college fund. I plan on starting a draft on one more today, and will hopefully get that one turned in by tomorrow.

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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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

K D April 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

1. It has been a big week for finding coins, on the ground. One day I found $.11. Thursday night we walked to the grocery store to buy one item. While on the way home we found 39 pennies in the street. It must have been cheap entertainment for someone to watch us pick up all those pennies.

2. My tech challenged mother likes to get e-mails with pictures attached. I try to send her one most days. She does not pay for internet service, but her nice neighbor lets her use hers. I occasionally send the neighbor a gift card to thank her.

3. Our trash is picked up very early on Thursdays. Wednesday night I cut up a cantaloupe, made chocolate zucchini bread, and also made a big pot of cabbage soup. I use trash day as an opportunity to use up produce. The scraps cannot be composted where we live so I like to get them into the trash, if they can’t be put into the disposal.

4. I am still reading library books, both physical and e-books.

5. My hair cutter moved to a new salon. It’s farther away, and undoubtedly more expensive. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks (and saving money while my hair grew) I called the old salon and asked for someone good with short haircuts. On Friday I had my hair cut and everything is okay. Even if it wasn’t, it’s hair, it grows.


Mand01 April 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

1. We have been trying our hand at painting the interior of our home. We have never done this before, and it is made more complicated by our 14 ft ceilings and wood paneling throughout. To pay someone would have been astronomical, so we are tackling it in stages ourselves. It has been a fun, learning experience, albeit very challenging for our autistic daughter who does not like change at all.
2. We were able to get a substantial discount and free advice from a friend who works in a paint shop. We got premium paint for half price, along with some free brushes and roller handles. So far the whole operation has cost us about $350, which is less than I had budgeted.
3. I’ve still managed to cook and feed everyone, including a couple of ring ins, without resorting to takeaway yet. As we are painting the kitchen first, that’s not bad!
4. It’s Autumn her and fresh fruit and vegetables are at rock bottom prices. I bought pumpkin for 49 cents a kilogram and am thinking of ways to cook it. We love it.
5. I’m on holidays for a week and it will be spent painting and cooking, and catching up with friends in between. Aside from painting costs, there will be no big expenditures, just lovely times.


Jennifer April 17, 2016 at 4:15 pm

I love reading your posts because where you live is so very different from here in the southern U.S. So interesting to learn so much about others from this blog. For me it is spring, for others it is snowing. Good luck on the painting. We always do our own painting. I also have high ceilings, which is kinda scary. It is very rewarding when you are finished.


Mand01 April 18, 2016 at 4:31 am

Thank you, that’s so nice! It is interesting to see how other people in different countries live. I’m always interested in how much food costs in other parts of the world. Food is expensive in Australia compared to the US, but it is lovely quality. I’m always amazed that you all seem to be able to buy meat so cheaply compared to us.
The painting is going very well. Couple of minor bumps is the road, but overall we are feeling really happy with it.


Lauren April 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Food is expensive in Australia. However, the produce is of high quality so we luck in there. I just came back from my first shop at Aldi and spent less than $50! *happy dance*


Sherie April 17, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Hi Katy! Just wondering, as a fellow nurse, do you only bring one meal with you for your 12 hour shift and then eat dinner once you get home? I work 12 hour shifts in the NICU and find I’m always having to bring 3 meals to get through, which is a challenge. What do you do?


Katy April 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I get one meal break, so I eat when I get home.


rosa rugosa April 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm

1. Just finished a GREAT book from the library (The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian in case you are wondering)
2. Sat night entertainment for the last three weeks in a row has been DVDs from the library
3. Long holiday weekend and seriously tempted to eat out at least once, but beloved put together such awesome meals every night, that I think we ate BETTER than if we had gone out 🙂
4. Had some assorted citrus that was about to go south and some aging bananas. DH turned them into yummy juice and smoothies.
5. Other recreation for the weekend included a walk around a local pond and a bunch of time working in the garden.


Deborah April 18, 2016 at 9:52 am

I love that author and didn’t’ know he had a new book out. Will be checking it out at the library, so thanks!!


Rosanne April 19, 2016 at 6:05 am

I just read the NY Times summary on ‘The Guest Room”. Wow- sounds riveting. I must check it out. Thanks


Jamie April 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm

1. I went to visit my boyfriend for the night in Baltimore – topped off my tank in Delaware using my Plenti card at an Exxon. We didn’t spend beyond groceries – took our dogs to see his niece and had a dinner at home while watching Cops and Kimmy Schmidt (which has kept me in most of the weekend) and he let me bring my laundry to do at his place in my ongoing postponement of buying a washer and dryer.
2. I had my first Aldi experience today – I had only been once before for a very quick snack grab. Today….today I shopped. I spent $63 and got a LOT of staples and produce. Tomorrow I’m going to make a smoothie for breakfast and make a salad for lunch!
3. Giving myself a “spa treatment” at home tonight with coconut oil and a complimentary shower cap from a past hotel stay.
4. Spending a little time reorganizing and updating my accounts – keeps me mindful.
5. I have a nice pile of things I can let go of and put on ebay….so why am I so lazy about something as simple as taking pictures???


Bee April 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm

1) I harvested some herbs from my garden. I arranged some of them in a vase in the kitchen. I will use them in a pot of vegatable soup that I am making tomorrow. The remainder are hanging to dry to be used later.
2) it is another beautiful spring day, so I have all the windows open. No heat or AC required. I have been trying to reduce my electric bill and last month was one of the least expensive one ever. Yippee!
3) I organized the freezer and made a big pot of vegatable stock from scraps. I froze sme and set a little aside for tomorrow nights soup. I also mmade a list of dinners that I can make with only buying a few ingredients.
4) I used my bank’s online service to pay bills and set up several things on auto pay. I was distracted last month and was late on two bill money down the drain! That won’t happen again.
5) I spent the week reading a book that I purchased for $1 at my favorite thrift shop. Not as inexpensive as the library, but hours of enjoyment for very little.


pattilou April 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm

1. I’ve been sitting on the deck in the sun listeing to the Moth on the radio. I had to work today so I am now enjoying the beautiful weather here in the Northeast.
2. resisted getting take out on my way home from work and made a simple, somewhat healthy dinner.
3. there was an event at work on Friday night and there was a ton of leftover food. We ate it for dinner last night and lunch today.
4. Tonight I will finish a gift that I am making for next Christmas. My plan is to make quite a few things this year so I’m trying to stay ahead of the game.
5. Going to a cook out tomorrow night and I will make deviled eggs – easy and oh so good!


tonya April 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm

1. I cut my husband’s hair.
2. We had a snow day. Spring in Colorado brought us almost 2 feet of snow in 24 hours!! I downloaded free Kindle books, built a fire, and scrounged the freezer and cupboards for some easy meals.
3. While looking through the freezer I noticed a bunch of forgotten food. Taking a cue from The Frugal Girl and doing a clean out the freezer challenge this week.
4. Set up a carpool for a kids’ activity this week.
5. Loaned my neighbor a chainsaw and a steamcleaner. We were paying it forward as another neighbor loaned my husband his miter saw for a big project.


Marie-Josée April 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Great job Katy, at socializing and being a wonderful stuart of the Earth.


Jennifer April 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Sometimes, I take one for the team and eat the last of whatever it is that everyone else doesn’t seem to want.I have to admit sometimes I want to just throw it out but more often than not it is satisfying and filling.
1. I have banana bread in the oven to rescue some bananas that were going bad.
2. My youngest daughter left the refrigerator door open all night***gah!!! So I am trying to rush and cook everything that is at risk of spoilage. It’s also a good opportunity to clean it out.Not what I planned to do on Sunday but necessary. It’s a good thing she is so cute because it keeps me from pinching her little head off!
3. Had a great weekend camping and visiting with my family. Everyone brought food so I have plenty of leftovers for the kids lunches this week avoiding pricy school lunch or me having to buy groceries.
4. I opened the windows to get some fresh air but it’s kinda a frugal fail because my husband said he is too hot so I had to close them and turn on the air.
5. Rented some red box movies instead of going to see a movie this afternoon.


Mand01 April 18, 2016 at 4:42 am

My husband has left the freezer open *three* times in the past two years. I swear the last time he did it I just about blew a blood vessel!


Lucy April 18, 2016 at 5:03 am

This is a recurring thing here too. He slams it down and it bounces up a half-inch.


Isabelle April 18, 2016 at 6:45 am

Our fridge does that too, it’s annoying!!


jennifer April 18, 2016 at 6:07 am

If she would have left the freezer open we would have lost a lot more money. Luckily, most everything in the fridge was almost empty like milk, eggs.etc.


Kim April 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

In the past 6 months my husband has unplugged our small extra freezer that we keep in our shed. He does it so he can plug in a tool and then forgets to replug the freezer when he is done. When he informed me of this happening again over the weekend I really had nothing to say. My mom always taught us if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. I was not a happy girl and I am now working to reconfigure the laundry room so I can fit the freezer in there where it will be under my watchful eye!


Vickie April 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

1) I picked up groceries on the way home Friday evening. I had planned to go to our church revival, but I was exhausted and would have been late getting there. I opted to stay home. I saved gas.
2) I ate cereal and made coffee Saturday morning to fill my thermal mug, so I could get my caffeine fix on the way to the city. Filled the car with gas and picked up 3 audiobooks I had on hold at the library. I wiped down our folding chairs, before we headed to my granddaughter’s soccer game. They won – woohoo! That was our morning entertainment.
3) I baked chicken thighs & french fries for Saturday dinner, made mac & cheese to go with it. The kids watched videos, while hubby and I watched the Thunder in the NBA playoffs.
4) I fixed the kids their favorite Sunday breakfast when they are over – biscuits and sausage gravy. Any gravy left goes to the dogs – they love the treat.
5) I came back, after taking the kids home & visiting with my daughter, deboned and shredded the leftover chicken thighs; mixed the meat in with the leftover mac & cheese, added some stewed tomatoes, seasoned with pepper and a little garlic salt mix. Sprinkled some shredded cheddar on top and baked it for about 35 minutes. I made garlic toast from some leftover hamburger buns and mixed up a salad. That was dinner, and since there’s leftovers, it will be lunch for me this week too.
A pretty frugal and homey weekend. We’ve gotten about 2″ of rain with more on the way, so that breaks the dry weather we had – thank goodness, it protects us from season wildfires!


Lindsey April 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm

1. Convinced my small work group to do a pot luck instead of going out to a restaurant to eat, which will save all of us money. I am going to make bread.

2. Traded excess tomato seedlings to a friend who had literally dozens of potted dahlia bulbs so she needed to give away 10 of them. This is a steal so I offered her other seedlings but she only grows dahlias and tomatoes in her limited space.

3. A friend’s birthday is the middle of May, so for her gift I took some of my seedlings and recycled a lovely container to make an herb bowl that will look quite full and lovely by her birthday.

4. I send a lot of cards and that can get expensive. A friend of mine makes cards every week—it is her Saturday relaxation activity. Traded her 9 cucumber, 4 artichoke and 6 basil seedlings for two dozen cards. (I always start an excess of seedlings, in case I have some massive germination failure, but this is the first year I have used them to barter.)

5. I was lamenting the fact that I still have about a dozen containers of basil pesto in the freezer, from last year’s garden. My friend said she felt the same way about the many packages of pak choi she had in her freezer from her 2015 garden. Then the light bulb went off in both of our brains and we ended up trading six containers of our excess to each other. I have no greens left for soups and she has no pesto left, so it was a win-win. And most welcome, as I am about pesto-ed out for the year. Time to take a break so that I will be thrilled when I start harvesting this year’s leaves in July.


Gina in KY April 18, 2016 at 10:06 am

Fabulous idea trading with seedlings! I have no idea why I never thought of that as I have little space and always grow an excess too. I gave dozens of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant and peppers to friends in previous years.


Mariana April 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

My work supplies with me some extra things that I would otherwise not purchase or gotten.
1. I got 2 free tickets to Billy Joel concert last Friday!! Floor tickets. That was amazing
2. I got a free book ‘The Sleep Revolution’ by Arianna Huffington (also from work)
3. Made $10 on Ebates
4. Brought all my boring lunches to work with me
5. Darned a LOT of socks


Kim in Los Alamitos April 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm

A huge frugal fail many years ago regarding Billy Joel.
Bought 2 tickets (at $40 each) for me and the boyfriend. We are having a late
lunch Sunday afternoon before we leave for the concert, and his mom says
‘Funny that the concert is Sunday night and not Saturday night’…..
Me looking horrified as I check the tickets in my purse, yes, it was for the night before! Chalk it up as ‘stupid tax’.
I always feel a twinge when I hear one of his songs.


jennifer April 18, 2016 at 6:09 am

Oh my goodness! That gets me bummed just thinking about it.


AnnW April 17, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Why don’t you freeze a few separate cups of milk, that only you have access to, then you will never run out of milk for your tea.


jennifer April 18, 2016 at 6:11 am

Freeze some milk in ice cubes trays. That’s what I do for my oatmeal.


Lucy April 18, 2016 at 2:36 pm



Beth April 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm

1. Booked a last minute dog sit this morning for tonight, cha-ching! Beautiful weather to take a walk and get paid for it. 😉

2. Pushed through and got my taxes done finally last night at about 1pm. Tempted by all the possibilities of what the tax refund will buy but in the end will end up banking it all to save for my emergency fund.

3. Washed three loads of laundry and mostly air dried them.

4. Saved $42 using coupons and buying items on sale at the store today. Worth the 45 minutes spent reading the ads and coupon site. Also remembered to bring in my returnable bottles to the store taking off three dollars from the bill.

5. Ordered “The 5th Wave” book from the library and will be returning several books in a series my daughter liked.


Lindy April 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

1. My husband cut down a dead tree in our yard and I had the job of picking up the limbs. Free exercise and saved hundreds by DIY.

2. I waxed my own eyebrows. I noticed the beauty shop charges $10 to do this. I bought a wax kit for $10 2 years ago and I still have tons left. I ran out of strips and used coffee filters instead and it worked just as well.

3. I made the mistake of online browsing for a couple of “wants” and had them in my shopping cart. I didn’t check out and told myself to think about it. By the next day, I talked myself out of it. Saved $50.00. 🙂

4. As usual bringing lunches to work.

5. Continue reading Katy’s blog for inspiration.


shelia April 17, 2016 at 6:25 pm

1. I helped decorate for a wedding shower on Thursday. I didn’t want to take time to shop so I used a basket I already had and filled it with cleaning supplies from my pantry. The bride was thrilled and the guests requested the same!
2. My husband continues to get new dvd releases from the library. This week was the last of the Mockingjay series. I was really glad we hadn’t paid to see it. And we had Moose Munch I got at a closeout store for snack.
3. I hit the jackpot at the thrift shop for top brand shoes in almost new condition: Birki sandals and clogs, boc shoes and Josef Seibel shoes. I’m set for a very long time!
4. Dug up succulents from my husband’s outdoor railroad to use as decor for a wedding rehearsal dinner this week. I was shocked to find out succulents are now 2.99-3,99 per plant at our local garden centers.
5. Windows were open all day for the gorgeous weather we’re having. I love, love, love fresh air flowing through the house!


Emily April 17, 2016 at 6:29 pm

1. Overnight babysat Friday -Sunday, free food, free showers, and minimal use of my car
2. Switched a prescription to Harris teeter and got 25 dollars on my Vic card
3. Took advantage of some double coupon deals at HT including free hand soap, conditioner, deodorant; toothpaste and a few others. These freebies help my boyfriend and me keep expenses low while I pay off student loans and he pays his way through school!
4. Bought discount gift card for gas, chipotle and Michaels
5. Sold some goodwill finds online, so earned about 60 dollars this weekend!


Sarah G. April 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm

1. I made a trip to Target today to pick up a few things, namely cold medicine for my two kids with colds. Even though Target holds more temptation for me than a date with Channing Tatum, I was soooo disciplined… I stuck to my list and totally impressed myself.

2. After making a huge crockpot full of pinto beans and bacon, I stupidly left the pot out all night long… (not sure how I forgot it- oh wait, I have a 3 year old and 1 year old, which means I’m constantly tired… yes that’s it.) Anyway, I checked with my mom to see what she thought, and she said they’re probably still fine. My husband the guinea pig ate some to see if they were indeed okay, and lo and behold, they were perfectly fine. Save.

3. My kiddos and hubby wanted some hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow, and I found some Hersey bars that had been languishing in the cupboard for a year or two… I melted them in a pot with milk, added a dash of cinnamon, and the result was some really delicious hot chocolate! And I saved my cocoa powder, which I prefer to use for baking.

4. Made a big crockpot of chicken quarters, which yielded tons of amazing chicken, plus the bones, which I used to make a few jars of some pretty amazing and nutritious bone broth.

5. Both of my children have head colds, so today I made a lovely pot of soup with the homemade bone broth, some noodles, carrots, and some celery that desperately needed using up. They loved it and I’m sure it will set them on their way to being better soon.


cathy April 17, 2016 at 7:34 pm

1. Made odds & ends for dinner: leftover pasta+chicken+seasonings=alfredo for one kid, leftover tomato soup+grilled cheese for the other, and knock-off Chipotle bowls for husband & me using BBQ shredded chicken I made & froze last fall+bell peppers that needed to be used up. Everyone was well fed and happy.
2. Found a beautiful purse at the thrift shop. Sort of a carpet bag style with Indian block print fabric sides, leather bottom, corners & handles. $2.00!
3. Watered all the houseplants in my kitchen (27 of them! though some are small pots of succulents, others are large geraniums) using miscellaneous leftover water.
4. Out city has an annual free curbside pickup for large yard waste and any other household stuff you want to get rid of (nothing toxic, no tires, etc). Taking advantage of our pickup the week of the 25th to put out the acoustic ceiling tiles (not asbestos) we took down from a room we’re updating as well as all the weedy sod from the side yard I’m xeriscaping.
5. Mended a tear in my favorite (ok, only) jeans. I’m so uninspired to shop, I don’t even want to go thrifting.


jennifer April 18, 2016 at 6:16 am

5. Can totally relate. I would rather do without than try to find any.


Betty Winslow April 17, 2016 at 8:09 pm

1. Son dug out an 8-cup bag of frozen apple slices I’d forgotten about since 2013….. thawed them out, tasted for quality (were fine, no freezer taste) and used them to make a big batch of apple crisp to take to today’s church potluck. Sadly, if there was any left, hubby forgot to bring home (I was at another function).
2. Someone broke in our garage last night or early this morning, stole my son’s beta Play Station, but no cords or controllers. Should be pretty easy to track it down, he says, but it really rattled me. However, at least nothing else was taken and no one was hurt.
3. Checked out 4 ebooks in the James Patterson series I’m reading. Love my Kindle!!
4. Still using my ancinet Kyocera K9 cell phone – it still works, calls and texts, on a pay as you go plan that saves us tons of money.
5. Had some time to kill between church and the Eagle Scout event I attended, so bought a coffee from Starbucks with the rest of my card and went to a local greenhouse to browse and didn’t spend any money. Yay me!


janine April 18, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I also have an ancient Kyocera cell which still works and I use ‘pay as you go.’ However, the battery no longer holds a charge for very long . Have you ever replaced a battery? When I checked (not recently) batteries seemed to be as expensive as these low priced phones.


Melissa Lin April 17, 2016 at 9:23 pm

1. Went to the garden store to buy vegetables for our garden. We choose plants with high yields to get the biggest bang for the buck. Expect to be eating lots of veggies this summer.

2. Sold random kid stuff on Craigslist and Nextdoor. We live in a neighborhood full of families. As soon as my kid outgrows anything, it goes on Craigslist.

3. Pre-made meals in advance for the week. If I don’t have meals ready to go, we are highly tempted to buy pizza.

4. Went to a church rummage sale and bought a bunch of clothes dirt cheap for the kid.

5. Made delicious bone broth for future dinners. I throw bones left over from dinner into the freezer, and when the container gets full, I make broth. Throw bones into the pressure cooker with an onion, celery and carrots and cook for 30 minutes. I get broth that’s richer and tastier than any of the canned stuff.


Diane April 18, 2016 at 5:04 am

Doing a deep clean of all my rooms and posting unwanted, unused items on my Buy Nothing South Austin group during our stormy weather. Then rewarding myself with movie time in the afternoons when my work is done. And also a Papa John’s pizza with a giftcard from

No money spent, a sparkling home, some good eats and free entertainment to boot!


Emily April 18, 2016 at 5:29 am

1) Ate lunch at home on both Saturday and Sunday which is a big change for us. We also used up leftovers that could have ended up in the trash as well.
2) Hung up 5 loads of laundry this weekend to dry.
3) Started a pile of clothes and household items to drop off at the shelter next weekend. I also packed up some outgrown clothes and toys from the kids to take to the consignment shop soon.
4) Started to re-organize pantry and earmarked some food to use in the next week. Also, found some food to donate.
5) Went grocery shopping and used coupons and 3 money saving apps on my phone. I saved over $70!
6) Husband listed some lawn things on craigslist. Just sold 3 lamps for $60.
7) Used some chicken for dinner last night that was either use or pitch…everyone was happy with dinner too.


Isabelle April 18, 2016 at 5:52 am

* Hubby repaired his bicycle buying all necessary material for 100$ instead of bringing it at the shop for what would have cost 450$ in repairs
* Hubby (again!) learned to change our car tires this week-end. So we saved time not having to go to the garage and about 40$ too.
* Exchanged PC points for 30$ of free groceries
* Starting to work full time for at least 6 weeks, maybe more (replacing a sick co-worker). So I will double my pay for those weeks! And will bring my lunch every day, and walk on my lunch hour (free exercice)
* Took inventory of my summer clothes. Happy to see that the clothes from last year still fit (I yoyo with my weight…), so I only “had” to buy a skirt (new- 20$) and a black tank top (new – 12$), and 2 pairs of capris (used – 4$ each) and my summer wardrobe is complete! Oops, I also need black sandals (new – 20$?) But that’s it. Will soon do the same for my daughters, as the school is holding a used clothes sale on Thursday, so I need to figure out before then if they need anything (but sandals will be bought new).

Have a great frugal day!


Diane C April 18, 2016 at 6:03 am

This should probably be called Frugal/Not Frugal, but here goes: I started volunteering at my library’s book sales years ago as a way to save money on books. Eventually, I joined the Friends Board, then a second Library Board. Along the way, my years of frugality paid off, and we lead a much more comfortable life. This weekend was the library’s annual fundraising gala. It’s a dressy event, so I

1. Found a fancy-schmancy designer dress at a consignment store that…
1(a) went with shoes I had super sale purchased for a previous event…
1(b) that required no special underthings…
1(c) and a friend loaned me jewelry to match.
2. I will probably re-consign the dress to recoup half of the cost.
3. I wanted to wear an updo, but my hair’s a little too short to do it myself. I called around until I found a place that was less than half the going rate. (This was also prom weekend.) She did a wonderful job and I will post photos on Yelp to support her shop. Yeah, not totally necessary, but it’s fun to be sprinkled with fairy dust once in a while.
4. DH looked wonderful in his previously thrifted tuxedo.
5. We supported the Silent Auction by donating a couple of items that sold well.

Lest this sound braggy, my point is that now that money is less tight, I am happy to be able to donate generously to the libraries which have been so good to me. And the less I spend on fancy clothes, the more I can give to my favorite cause.


JD April 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

1. We have a co-worker getting married and four of us threw a little shower here at work on a miniscule budget. Among our ideas: we picked wild phlox and bachelor buttons from our work property (with permission) plus ivy from my yard to put in mason jars from our kitchens, and gifts were wrapped in my giant roll of gloss white wrapping paper I bought years ago — it’s 500 ft. x 30″ of wrapping paper and I use it for everything. The bows were holiday leftovers we all brought from home. We took up a collection for refreshments and got inexpensive locally made treats. We brought serving dishes from our houses. The bride-to-be said it looked nicer than the shower she had at her church.
2. I made a quart of kefir again for just the cost of milk. The grains grow, so I always have plenty of them even after giving some away.
3. I roasted a chicken last night. I have it in my lunch today, and a version of it will show up tonight. I’ll serve it other ways, but I’ll spread those meals out a bit to avoid a rebellion at home.
4. My daughter brought her two kids to visit this weekend. Her baby was wearing the little romper I bought at a kids’ consignment store. She looked adorable.
5. We went grocery shopping and I found some really good sales on things I use. I also filled out a survey from my receipt, good for $5 off my next $35 or more purchase. I put it right by my debit card, so maybe I won’t forget and have a frugal fail!


Jennifer April 18, 2016 at 7:00 am

1. Built a firepit from used concrete blocks that we inherited with our house. It’s not terribly pretty but it will function until I can acquire the materials to make something nicer.

2. The hubby’s work situation has been tenuous the past few weeks so we have been very very strapped. I have managed to feed our family of four since Friday with $20 of groceries plus what we had on hand (we don’t usually keep a lot of food in the house).

3. Related to number 2, rather than go out for our typical girls’ night with my good friend, I had her over for spaghetti alfredo and garlic bread. Not only was it super cheap for me, but she ate for the cost of gas to get to me!

4. I spent some time teaching the oldest how to plant marigold seeds around my tomato plants. He kept asking to buy marigolds in flats from Lowe’s, so I decided to show how to plant a lot of them from $1.50 worth of seeds. I might get him to help me harvest the seeds in the fall so we can keep planting marigolds for years to come!

5. I’ve been keeping an eye on Craigslist for free shipping pallets with which to create an organized composting site in the backyard. It’s been tricky to find pallets that haven’t been chemically treated.


Florencia April 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

1. Eating free breakfast at work today. I brought the rest of a salad made with odds and ends from home to make it healthier.
2. Heard back from an entrepreneurial women’s conference. I wanted to attend, but tickets were $60, so I wrote asking if there was a student discount or volunteer pass. They’ll take me on as a volunteer and I’ll get in for free. 😀
3. I’ll atend a study that pays $125/4 hrs next Tuesday. Originally scheduled for today, but it’s okay because it I have a bug project due for school tomorrow.
4. Still working for As. 🙂
5. Got my mom a cleaning gig! Kind of like what you do, Katy, cleaning in between vacation stays. I wrote the lady because my mom doesn’t speak English, and she didn’t mind. Plus, she’s really happy with my mom’s work. She started last week and she came home with leftovers. They can communicate in person and it’s not too far from home.
5. Used my symphony pass last Friday with my best friend. Great show! We’ll be using it this weekend as well. We’ll also be sharing some tickets with some friends of ours.
6. Sold some perfumes yesterday. Will meet a lady after work for another sale.
7. Gotta do my free taxes today!


Katie Gravdahl April 18, 2016 at 8:54 am

That bread and kale pesto was very yummy!


Katy April 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

Glad you liked it. I guess it’s officially “Katie approved.”


Rachel H April 18, 2016 at 8:58 am

1. I bought ground beef for $2.48 a lb. it is in a chub pack, which I never buy, but it is 80/20, so I decided to give it a try. Cut the chub down the middle and packaged each half for the freezer.
2. Weather is so perfect we don’t need heat or air conditioning. I open the windows and turn on ceiling fans. Will be a lower power bill. A nice change, because summer here in north Florida is extremely hot!
3. I have had a tankful of gas in my van that has lasted for about 3 weeks. I think I have a little less than half a tank now. My husband drives his motorcycle when it doesn’t rain. So not spending too much on gas.
4. I needed a new swim suit, mine is very old! I have some money on a Dillards gift card and was planning to go there for one. But I decided to check at T.J. Maxx and got one for $29.99. Dillards would have been much more, and I will use that gift card for some capri pants.
5. Going to eat at a bbq place tonight. they are having half price rib plates tonight, so we decided we could not pass that up. they have delicious food!!


Sandy April 18, 2016 at 10:13 am

Finally, we had a beautiful day on Saturday. Hubby and I took a little road trip to an Audubon Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the Mississippi River. We were checking it out as a possible place to take our grandsons next time they visit. Totally free! We left a small donation.
Hubby’s brother was in a hospital 35 miles/ one hour drive away. We ate a quick bite at Costco once as we got gas there. Decided to pack a meal from food we had at home for the other nights. We ate in the car before going in. This allowed us to spend all the time with brother in law, while his daughter went to get dinner. I spen one whole day with him, but, took a packed lunch.
Grocery shopped with our own bags.
Dinner and lunch at home.
Taxes done by hubby, I’m putting check in the mail today.


Ruby April 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

I’ve also had some frugal/not frugal moments the past week.:

1. Broke down and got my hair cut at Fantastic Sam’s for $33 plus tip. The cost has gone up since I started growing my hair out ten months ago, but $33 after ten months is not too bad.
2. Have had 13 days of no spending this month so far.
3. Let Amazon Prime lapse. The $99 charge is just not in the budget any more.
4. Used our health care savings account debit card to pay a doctor bill for my husband. Over the weekend, I read the fine print on the card and discovered that it’s riddled with fees at eat up any savings, so we’ll be cancelling it as soon as possible. The not-frugal comes in because I should have looked at it closely sooner than I did.
5. Spent only $56 at the grocery store for a week’s worth of food. I usually spend about $86, so the $30 savings can go toward purchasing a library card at the city library. (Those who don’t live within the city limits have to pay $50 a year to use the city library, which is a bummer.)


Katy April 19, 2016 at 8:31 am

That’s expensive for a chain haircut.


Amy April 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

1. Movies and books from the library
2. Odds-n-ends (use up the leftovers)night for supper
3. Did not buy a lear jet


janine April 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm

1. Managed to get through the weekend without going out for dinner at our favorite BBQ place.
2. Frugal neutral – bought books at used book store for $1-$2 each.
3. Shopped at three stores today – scored a really good clearance on some meat that my family likes.
4. Made Liptauer cheese spread instead of buying the high priced kind.
5. Husband continues to cut down invasive trees in our yard which we use for firewood.


Katy April 19, 2016 at 8:31 am

Ooh . . . “frugal neutral.” I like that!


Laurie S April 25, 2016 at 3:36 am

I just made the one-hour bread! Delicious! I ate almost one of them before I could stop myself! Thank you for the recipe.
I have the Complete Tightwad Gazette and don’t remember that recipe. I will be looking for it!


Katy April 25, 2016 at 9:23 am

So yummy!


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