Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 17, 2016 · 55 comments


  1. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, so we spent the day celebrating his 51st year of life. I took him to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, and used a frequent buyer’s card that I always keep in my wallet. I didn’t get a discount, but I filled up enough punches that my next meal will be free. (This is one of my father’s favorite places, so he takes me here a couple times per month.) We then walked down to Starbucks for his free birthday drink, and had them split the venti size into two smaller cups for a frugal treat. Afterwards we drove over to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for a stroll. It’s free on Mondays and we enjoyed watching all the baby ducklings and goslings. (So cute!) Lastly, we had my mother and step father over for dinner, and I served Costco steaks along with asparagus and roasted potatoes. Not cheap, but exponentially less than any restaurant would have been for the five of us. Dessert was a homebaked blueberry pie, which I made using Grocery Outlet frozen blueberries. A lovely day, a frugal day. A birthday.
  2. Tonight I’m speaking at the Belmont branch library about the buy-nothing-new Compact. The location is close to the house, so I’ll walk. (6 P.M. for any locals who’d like to attend.)
  3. I stopped at the swanky N.W. Portland Goodwill after dropping my son off at Sunday’s Portland Timbers soccer game. I’m low on clothes at the moment and have budgeted $20 for the month. I found an adorable skirt, which was half-off at $3.50. My husband and son have their sports, I have mine.
  4. My local recycling depot has stopped accepting styrofoam, although there was a sign saying that their Tualitin location accepts it. This would be a huge schlep from the house, so I was pretty bummed. (I have two paper bags filled with styrofoam meat trays.) My area is about to have their annual neighborhood clean up day, where people can drop off hard to get rid of items. Sadly I have to work this Saturday, so I posted on my street’s Facebook group asking if someone could bring my styrofoam. A neighbor offered to help which is a huge relief, as these trays have been accumulating for over a year.
  5. I didn’t buy a physical gift for my husband, and I certainly 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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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Marilyn May 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

When my husband and I go to Starbucks or Peet’s, we always ask them to split the drink in two coffee mugs. It’s still a nice treat. (I thought we were the only people who did this).


lauren May 17, 2016 at 9:06 am

1. Used 7th generation coupon I requested to get the biggest bottle of laundry soap for free. I’ve never used it before, but I’m willing to give anything free a try.

2. Had to go to the bank to pick up a new credit card (THANKS A LOT! person who stole my info), and the town hall to buy parking passes, parked a little further away in a free parking space instead of parking closer at a metered space.

3. Went to a rummage sale and picked up some nice floral pieces to decorate my house. It looks like I raided a Home Goods! But so so much cheaper and it benefitted a local school so it was a win-win.

4. Swung by Lowes to see if they had any clearance plants and scored 23 6 packs of Impatients for $2.50 ! Bought enough to plant some in at my Mother and Grandmother’s houses to spread the cheer around. I hate seeing the plants turning to dust on the carts at the store so I’m glad some of the stores mark them down so we can take them home and give them some life. (Wish they would all do this!)

5. Have been checking out all of my “free” money accounts to see if I should cash any out (Swagbucks/Mypoints/Ebates) since they’ve all been having special deals lately. Nothing too great so far so I’ll continue to watch videos, click emails, etc like I do every day.

6! I’ve been trying to eat more from the pantry and clean out the freezer as well. I hate eating leftovers and cooking so I’m really really trying this time around.

7! Spent time out on my fire escape transferring some of my herbs and flowers to different pots to make room to plant more seeds. I’m currently growing basil, sage, spearmint, oregano, peppermint, green peppers, and tomatoes. I like to have the plants around and it calms me down to work with them. I can’t possibly keep up with the herbs so I’m cutting a lot of leaves and setting them aside to dry to use later on. It’s very relaxing to do this, except for the part when I climb out my window to get there, but I tell myself if I keep saving one day I’ll be able to buy my own house and have a giant garden there.


Elizabeth May 17, 2016 at 10:34 am

Lauren, you have a pretty nice garden going on already! We have a small garden (we just moved here last year) so starting small. It is enjoyable eating the things you’ve grown yourself. Enjoy!

As you know I had the same problem with my info being stolen. I’ve closed all my online accounts because I just don’t trust buying online anymore. I received my pin number today. Now waiting for my new card to arrive.


K D May 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

1. We received a check for $146 from BC/BS for my husband’s eyeglasses. He likes to get them at Lens Crafters and they have a policy that they’ll either give you the promotion price (I believe it was 1/2 price lenses this time) or submit insurance for you (while you pay the full price difference). We always go with the promotion and make sure to get a detailed receipt. I printed the claim form (one page) and filled out the minimal information needed and sent it in with the receipt. I placed a sticky on the form noting that the lenses were tri-focals (they have processed incorrectly in the past and it’s a small difference so I haven’t hassled them over it).

2. I discover last night that one of my headlights is out. In a few minutes I’ll head to the Honda dealership. In the past they have replaced a light for me, as long as I buy it from them. It’s worth it to me to get the right high-quality light and not have to install it myself. I also don’t want to end up with a ticket for a burned out headlight.

3. I continue to read library books (physical and electronic and listen to them on CD in the car). I borrowed the Paddington movie the other day and we enjoyed just as much the second time around.

4. We rented East Side Sushi from the Redbox, using a $1.25 off code. It was low budget but enjoyable.

5. I’m still using my 3-1/2 year old smart phone. It works fine and my daughter and I share a Ting account that is ~$40/month, including taxes and fees.


Diane C May 18, 2016 at 5:17 am

Oh, KD, on most cars, replacing head/tail lamps is super easy. Try YouTube before the dealership. It gives me a frugal thrill when I look at the front of my car, knowing I replaced the bulb myself.


Bettypants May 17, 2016 at 9:53 am

1. Walked to the library today at lunch and picked up three movies and two books.
2. The ice maker on our fridge suddenly stopped working, so I googled a couple things to try, and got it running again. I tossed out our “manual” ice trays last year in a fit of cleaning because we hadn’t used them in ages.
3. Sold a basic armoire for $20, that someone had given me years ago. It was stashed unloved in the garage and I was glad to see it go.
4. Sold a random assortment of goods today on local FB boards for a total of $28. Funny how nobody wants anything for a bit, and then there is a flurry of activity.
5. Let down the hem on a pair of work pants that felt a bit too flappy on my ankles. Now they are perfect and it only took a bit of ironing and stitching.


Mand01 May 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

1. Brought my lunch to work as usual.
2. We have come under our petrol budget for this fortnight by about $50. I’m not exactly sure why, as we have been commuting as usual. But I’ll take that $50 and make an additional little payment on our mortgage.
3. Whole outfit yesterday was either thrifted or free. On Monday I received compliments from the whole team about an outfit that was entirely thrifted. Chortle.
4. Frugal fail/win. I was feeling restless, so decided to step out of the office for a coffee. Spent $5, drank it in five minutes, realised I didn’t really enjoy it anymore (still love coffee but not paying $5 for it), and have resolved not to do that again. Can’t believe that was once a regular habit.
5. Came home to leftovers for dinner, and it was good.


Elizabeth May 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

The ducklings are adorable.

I love the birthtday gifts you give, shared experiences rather than stuff. I always look forward to reading about those!

1. We’ve been harvesting our broccoli, so what I haven’t cooked I’ve blanched and frozen.

2. My daughter was in town last week for a dentist appointment, so we met at the library, then I treated her to lunch at our local “Cook Out”.
We each ordered a BLT and shared a five piece chicken nuggets. We both ordered water. Total for both of us, including tax, $3.27.

3. I used a couple of small over ripe bananas this morning make banana nut muffins.

4. Continuing to work on a cross-stitch for my daughter. I guess it cost money initially, but compared to the hours of relaxation I’m getting out of it, it’s a very frugal hobby.

5. I’m still driving my old paid for beater and grateful for every mile she gets.


jennifer May 17, 2016 at 11:18 am

1. I gave my daughter a very nice $28 gift set from bath and body works for her 21st birthday that I only paid $3 for. I found a bath and body works gift card a couple weeks ago and could never track down the owner. I don’t usually wear perfume anymore so this was perfect for her. I still feel a bit guilty because I have lost gift cards before and it makes me feel terrible.
2.The tomatoes and zucchini my kids and I planted are thriving in pots the front yard. Hopefully, we will get some free food from these soon. I got the seeds in the mail for free so nothing out of pocket.
3. I have purposely been avoiding grocery stores and stores in general as much as possible. I am going to have to pick up a few things soon as we are getting low on everything.
4.I’m signing my kids up for the summer reading program at the library. It is one of the few forms of entertainment that is completely free. Ours has scheduled shows and activities throughout the summer such as a magician, balloon artist, and movies. I agree with someone that posted earlier that it’s important that we introduce our children to the library so when they are older they are more likely to come back.
5.I’m making rice crispy treats tonight with the leftover bag of marshmallows from camping and some rice crispy’s I got a great deal on with a coupon a few weeks ago. Thoughts about what to make for tonight’s meal are swirling around in my head. I have tons of leftover bread and eggs I got reduced at Kroger so I may make meatloaf. I’m not too sure if I have any ground beef though. I have got to get a system to better inventory the contents of my freezer.


Nancy Drew May 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Jennifer, re: your #5, “system to better inventory the contents of my freezer.”
I haven’t yet devised the perfect system, but in my chest freezer I find it helpful to use rigid plastic crates of different sizes/colours.
The largest one holds breads, the red medium sized one all the meat, etc.
Then I can just move around a crate or two when I’m wondering if I have a certain item left.


Jennifer May 17, 2016 at 2:35 pm

That sounds doable! I have trouble because I buy meat when I find it on sale then divide it into meal sized portions, re-wrap it, then throw it in. Maybe if I kept the meats together it would work better. I tend to run out of one particular meat without really realizing it. I guess because I wrap it in foil, freezer bags, or cling wrap it looks mostly all the same. I do label them but because I wrap my meats pretty well, so they can be in there for long periods of time, they sorta all look the same. I only buy bread about 4 loaves at a time so it is pretty visible. I need to try your tip because it would make it easier to get things on the bottom. Thanks!


Ella May 17, 2016 at 11:57 am

1) I went grocery shopping and managed to only spend $30 for the week for two of us. No eating out this week for us.
2) I am doing an online focus group for a $50 gift card for about half an hour of my time.
3) We are making chicken stock from chicken bones left from clearance rotisserie chickens (our store sells yesterday’s rotisserie chickens for 3.99).
4) I’m resisting turning the heater’s pilot light back on, even though it’s been a little chilly at night here in SoCal. More blankets!
5) Decided to split a hotel room with another couple for a wedding we’re attending next month. Splitting Ubers with them as well instead of renting a car. The wedding venue should be walkable from the hotel, and the hotel has an airport shuttle.


janine May 18, 2016 at 4:17 am

Wow! Your frugal wedding plans (#5) sound good. We are also attending a family out of town wedding in September and have the tradition of paying for separate hotel rooms for everyone, which is expensive. We usually give fairly modest gifts at these occasions because of heavy travel costs.


Ella May 18, 2016 at 9:24 am

Yeah, we had to pay for plane tix from the West Coast to North Carolina, so we’re trying to save money wherever possible. I’ve known this other couple since I was little, so it will be a great time with old friends too!


Rachel H May 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Love the ducklings! Things were not frugal for awhile. My mother was in the hospital for a week and I was picking up meals on the way to and from visiting her. But she is now home and feeling much better.

1. My husband and I had a date on Saturday. First we toured some homes in a new development. Nice, but no yards. We didn’t ask the listing prices, but we are guessing in the $400,000 range and up. Won’t be moving there. After that a slice of pizza and a $1 movie. We filled our $4 bucket of popcorn. A very nice frugal day!
2. Did some grocery shopping and got French fries on close out for .50 a bag. Nice for quick and easy meals.
3. Went to Dillards with a gift card to buy some Capri pants for summer. Didn’t find any for less than $38, so left without buying them. I will look at Wal-Mart or Ross. I can rarely find pants my size at thrift stores.
4. Watching Downton Abbey in the evenings. Our friends loaned us the DVD’s.
5. Continue to buy puzzles at the thrift shop for .50 each. Many hours of entertainment!


A. Marie May 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm

(1) DH’s former partner in the university-area landlord biz brought over three bags of stuff abandoned by tenants in the rentals the partner still owns solo. This must have been an especially fussy bunch, because I scored several usable sheets and other linens, plus socks, gloves, and hats. Big winner, though, was a European-made pair of “desert boots” for DH with very little wear. And I’ll be able to save the partner a trip to the thrift store donation site with the rejects.

(2) Taking a much-needed week off from my day job, to work on a Jane Austen project and start doing some serious gardening. DH and two neighbors helped me get the leeks planted yesterday, since I’ve got a partial knee replacement and can’t kneel to do this any more. Bless ’em all three.

(3) Roasted two chickens over the weekend and did the “use every bit of the birds” thing, from meat to chicken salad to soup stock.

(4) Used the very last of my 2015 kale (dang, that last plant just wouldn’t die!) plus various fridge cleanouts in the soup.

(5) Planning my own hot date with DH tomorrow: Going to Ollie’s with a 15% discount coupon!


JD May 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Love the fuzzy ducklings.
1. I keep my cat food in a lidded tote with a center handle on top. The handle was splitting apart, so I got out my trusty roll of duct tape and taped it up. That’ll hold it. I felt like I was channeling my late dad 🙂
2. A local organic farmer was selling off packages of ground beef from his cows that he was afraid had been frozen a bit too long — it was almost 1/2 off, selling as meat for pet food. I thawed and opened the still sealed package and the meat was fine. We ate grass-fed ground beef for much less.
3. I found another pencil, with lead. I might not find much change this year, but I’ll be set for mechanical pencils.
4. I went to a grand re-opening of a store I sometimes frequent for wild bird food and supplies. I got in and out without buying a thing; I just admired the lovely new store building, walked around a bit and left.
5. We have a dog who has a dry eye condition and needs daily prescribed drops. As the bottle nears empty, it is almost impossible to get the last drops out, and with the tiny pointed tip, we can’t stand it on its head to drain it. My husband found a pvc coupling in the shed just the right size, that holds the bottle upside down when not in use — now we can get it all out without cutting the bottle open and risking contamination. We can go at least a week longer than we were,before having to buy more.
6. Bonus; I was grocery shopping at a health food coop, and the deli had quartered sandwiches out for sampling. Since the sandwiches were over 2″ tall, one quarter sandwich was about all I needed. I finished with a sample of melon and another of cheese, and my lunch was done.


Bettypants May 18, 2016 at 2:58 am

I feel my late grandpa’s approval EVERY time I duct tape something.


JD May 18, 2016 at 5:45 am

It feels good, too, doesn’t it?!


Lindsey May 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

1. My husband is severely color blind. I sent him to the store for some deli roast beef for French dip sandwiches for a dinner for friends. He knows form the past that he is to tell the deli clerk that he cannot see red so is depending on her or him to select the rarest meat. Well, he came home with meat that really was not rare at all and I knew at least two of the four of us would not eat it so overdone. Plus, deli meat is expensive so I felt like I should get what I want if I am digging in my pocket for a special treat. The store is close by so I took the meat in and talked to the deli supervisor. He told me to keep the meat I had and then gave me DOUBLE the amount of roast beef free for my trouble—and it was really, really rare. So what started out as a real splurge ended up a freebie. And my husband is happy because I told him I won’t make him go shopping for meat again. I have learned my lesson.

2. A friend of mine joined Sam’s Club and got a free rotisserie chicken. She won’t eat chicken and asked me if I wanted it. Yes, please! I’m making rolls tomorrow, so shall give her a dozen of those—the recipe makes a lot more than we can eat without freezing most of it, so I am happy to give some away.

3. Found five cans of dented pumpkin in the special grocery store bin for damaged items; I love going through that when I shop. My dog loves pumpkin and it is good for him so half price pumpkin will be put to good use. (I know a dog is not frugal, but I fell in love with him and all thoughts of frugality went out the window. Never go to the pound to donate old towels; you will not walk out of there empty handed.)

4. Traded my neighbor two jars of my homemade jam for a large jar of her homemade salsa. We both love to can and frequently will end up trading our excess.

5. I had lost track of three potatoes and when I discovered them this week they were soft. No bad spots though, so I made potato/spinach soup that was quite yummy.

6. Threw away a King Arthur catalog today. If I let myself open one, I will either end up ordering something or baking some sort of treat that my husband and I don’t need.


Emily May 19, 2016 at 4:43 am

Dogs are a health investment, lowers stress and blood pressure, increase happiness! Boom, frugal!


pattilou May 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm

1. I finally received a reimbursement from a drug company for the medication I take. The medication I take is not generic yet and rather expensive. I found that the drug company had a reimbursement program (which I wish I knew about earlier!). My insurance won’t accept the drug company’s discount card but I can submit my receipts directly to them. I saved over $300.00. Woo hoo!
2. my neighbor was getting rid of brand new, still in the box Fiesta ware dishes. She gave them to me even though I offered to pay for them. I am thrilled. They will replace the 25 year old dishes I have been using – and they are such pretty colors.
3. I finished my last gifted Blue Apron meal. It enabled me to save a ton on groceries over the past month. I was able to get three meals out of each two person serving. I was able to share with my above mentioned neighbor. We got to try things I would not have necessarily made.
4. I spent the entire day cutting grass and weeding flower beds in my yard. I feel really satisfied to sit on my deck and look at the finished product!
5. I am resisting running to grab an ice cream. I will eat fruit instead. I have to fast tomorrow in order to have a medical test and I really want to eat something that tastes great and isn’t so good for me! It’s amazing how I can eat breakfast then work all day in the yard until dinner without thinking of food, yet now that I know that I have to fast for a day I will be obsessed with eating!


JD May 18, 2016 at 5:48 am

#2 is fantastic!


Kim May 18, 2016 at 8:07 am

I have collected vintage Fiestaware for the past 35 years and we use it as our everyday dishes. I still smile every time I use any of it and refer to them as my “Happy Dishes”!


Cara May 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm

1. My favorite frugal week of the year: college move-out! After my graduation ceremony my friends, boyfriend, sister, and I ventured into all of the hidden and not-so-hidden free piles that I have dove into for many years. We scored some great finds- three pairs of shoes for him and a vintage leather jacket, vest, and some pajama pants. For my sister: several really stylish shirts and a nice peach sweater. For me: black boots, tights, a dress, and several shirts. Many things need tiny repairs or have small, easy-to-remove stains. The fun of digging through weird piles of stuff with friends kept us from being tempted to spend money going out!
2. Cooked a big breakfast with leftover potatoes and sausages, and turned buttermilk waffle mix into buttermilk biscuits by mixing it with plain flour.
3. Cooked leftover chicken with rice for my guests instead of ordering takeout.
4. Saved free pile books from getting rained on; will sell them at a bookstore for cash.
5. Decided on a $200 used, good-quality bike instead of a $50 used department store brand. The search has been frustrating because my neck/shoulder pain means I can’t ride road bikes. This month has been very expense-heavy but better quality used bike is worth it in the long run. Plus it’s very cute!


Susie's Daughter May 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

It was college graduation this weekend here as well and I was trying to figure out where the good stuff might be!


Cara May 18, 2016 at 10:38 am

Hmm… it depends. For schools where upperclassmen or grad students live in apartments, the neigborhoods around campus are good. Also clothes piles end up in campus laundry rooms (look for clothes in boxes/ plastic bags because other clothes still belong to someone who forgot to take their laundry out!)

Campuses usually rent massive dumpsters. While I do not go dumpser diving, furniture/ bikes/ home goods/ clothes often end piled next to them.

I’d check out a campus map to see where the resident halls are and show up a day before moveout or right before houses close. But be careful! I end up double- washing clothes sometimes. Students often throw their underwear or towels into the free piles. I usually spray rubbing alchohol on shoes and soak clothes in v hot water in case there are bedbugs.


Cheri May 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday as well. We celebrated with Costco steaks, asparagus, and roasted potatoes :).


Jenn May 17, 2016 at 4:31 pm

1. Sold 2 items on FB swap yesterday–$55 in my pocket!
2. Family fun night at my son’s school. Free entertainment and free dinner.
3. Cleaned carpets yesterday with our own floor cleaner machine.
4. Reading free books on my Kindle.
5. Furnace off and open windows! Love spring in Iowa.


pam mccoy May 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm

i’m from iowa too


Susie's Daughter May 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm

1) One of the local banks is sponsoring a “Free Shred” event this weekend so it is good deadline driven inspiration to go through the remaining boxes of paper from last year’s move and pitch stuff. We had been debating buying a shredder and now will not need to!

2) Made a tasty strata from neglected stuff in the fridge – 3 stray mushrooms, quarter of an onion, yummy cheese, some ham, 5 eggs and 4 squished pieces of bread. Lunch yesterday, today and some for tomorrow.

3) Spring cleaned DS’s room last week and realized he needed some bookends for his bureau. Wrapped two bricks in some cute fabric with glue gun and they are doing a stellar job for free! (Bricks and fabric were from my mom’s stash.)

4) Saved my receipt from our local grocery yesterday to start logging items into a spreadsheet that dear spouse has offered to make to track cost and frequency of purchases. Anyone with suggestions to share? I would love to hear them! I know that someone mentioned a notebook for tracking previously.

5) Combining a trip to bring family to airport in the city this weekend with trips to Staples, Once Upon a Child (to sell), Trader Joe’s and Costco. It makes for an expensive day, but we are there about every 6 weeks (90 miles each way) and try to capitalize on the opportunity when it happens. Made detailed lists and will shop sales as much as possible. The trick will be actually remembering to bring the lists – ha!


PaperCraneFarm May 18, 2016 at 1:52 am

Can you snap a picture of each list using your phone? It might be a good back up plan!


Susie's Daughter May 18, 2016 at 4:38 am

Great idea – thank you!


auntiali May 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm

1. Took daughter to The Picture People to have portraits done for her college graduation. I had a groupon that I paid $16 + $1.12 tax and got a great shot of her in her cap, gown, medal and honors stole. Got plenty of pictures to give out to the dwindling relatives.

2. Daughter paid for her own shirts for hiking today at Dicks. Nice not to be reaching into my wallet.

3. Hubby got a free round of golf on the company. He played with district managers that were in for meetings and they played at the country club the company belongs to. Free dinner too.

4. Got info on how to get my insulin refilled as my insurance doesn’t like Humalog and the other brand doesn’t like me. Pain in the rear to have to go through the doctor to fill out a form, send it to the insurance co and then have the ins. co. ok the refill at the pharmacy. But I won’t pay $600 out of pocket either.

5. Even though it was chilly I didn’t turn the heat on.


JD May 18, 2016 at 5:57 am

#4 — And our insurance tries to put my husband on Humalog when he needs Novalog. So weird. He got some Novalog that the doctors have as samples, for free, a bottle or two every six months. Maybe your doctor has some Humalog samples?


Elizabeth May 17, 2016 at 6:16 pm

1. Went to Meijer to grocery shop yesterday and they were giving away free lunches for an anniversary special. It was a bratwurst, a bag of chips and a bottle of water. I had just come from the gym and was hungry too (although bratwurst and chips right after the gym seems to have cancelled that gym visit out!).
2. Received two checks for $51 from Verizon and we’re not entirely sure why, but it was really fun to deposit them. Surprise money!
3. Received a bill for $192 from my doctor. I called to ask about it and they said it was the deductible but it turns out they had used the wrong codes for the billing (they actually used some pregnancy codes and I’m not pregnant…I called my gynecology office just to make sure that they didn’t have information that I should know about!). So after talking to the insurance company and having the bill recoded it looks like the insurance company will pay for the whole bill. I was really close to just paying the bill because I thought maybe our deductibles had changed. So glad I called and found that out!
4. The phlox that I got for SUPER cheap last May and planted have really spread and are looking just beautiful and adding gorgeous color to my landscaping beds.
5. Was attending a casual luncheon today and needed something I could quickly make this morning and take with me as I had a meeting before the lunch. I had purchased a sweet potato cinnamon muffin mix at aldi on clearance for 25 cents. I made those with some added chocolate chips and everyone really liked them!


Is it a need or a want May 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm

(1) Looking through old emails saw I had submitted a rebate for a new furnace in Feb. Checked online and saw they had stated I had not submitted appropriate information on time. Resent the photos of my receipt and form filled out . Customer service is expediting my $300.00 rebate. Think my mother was channeling through me. She always marked rebates on the calendar. I had some extra expenses this month and was looking at ways to tighten my belt and save myself from using my savings. Thanks Mom.
(2) Went to a church rummage sale and purchased home made Imperial cookies, a favourite of my FIL.
(3) At same rummage sale found many household items on my list for pennies on the dollar. One favourite item was a small sauce pan. I make 4 lemon loaves at a time but only have 3 small sauce pans to make the glaze. The time saved washing a hot pot and applying the 4th glaze is worth the $1.00 price tag.
(4) Been wanting to try out a bread machine but in my area they are still generally around $25.00+ at the thrift stores. Found one with manual and cook book at another church sale for $5.00.
(5) Received a free book and packet of coffee at my Ten Thousand Villages on World Fairtrade Day.


PaperCraneFarm May 18, 2016 at 2:20 am

I just had to google imperial cookies to learn what they are! We have the King Arthur Flour Company’s cookie cookbook and keep joking about starting at one end and working our way through to the end. But then we get distracted by trying stuff out of order – like the imperial cookies I’ll put in the queue!


PaperCraneFarm May 18, 2016 at 2:15 am

Tired today, the baby is teething and is waking up multiple times a night.

1. Went to a networking event in our town last night and ate enough appetizers I didn’t need dinner when I got home. Got some valuable advice about which groups to join vs. skip so I can prioritize my time.

2. Making coffee at home and packing yesterday’s leftover coffee as iced coffee to take to work.

3. Researching free things to do this weekend. There’s a family fun day at a camp in our town with free ice cream and kid games. Sounds right up our alley!

4. Tracking and rotating leftovers so everything gets used up. We were away visiting family over the weekend and have lots of odd leftovers we took home with us.

5. Birthday week for us parents this week, meaning we’ll have two days the kids will want to tear apart a pile of presents. We’re wrapping both some real gifts and some some stuff from around the house so each kid can help us open a few wrapped packages. The baby gets very sad when the toddler opens all of the presents so we need 5-6 wrapped packages for the baby to have at least one or two to open.


janine May 18, 2016 at 4:58 am

1. Continuing to cook from scratch and shop around for needed sale items. The trick is to buy needed stuff and leave the attractive, but unnecessary goods in the store!
2. Scored some clearance pre-cooked and prepped chicken breasts and potatoes for my son who is single and needs a little help in preparing home cooked meals.
3. Thrifted what looked like a brand new straw handbag for $2.99. Refused to pay $30 for something similar.
4. Husband and I plan a drive across country. We will pick up a cooler, fill it with cold beverages and snacks to munch on at roadside parks. Saves on expensive convenience store junk food.
5. Still using my archaic non-smart phone but am looking for a cheap as possible upgrade. Any ideas?


PaperCraneFarm May 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

re: #1 – I’ve been trying to force myself just before I get in the check-out line to reevaluate what I’ve put in the cart. Often, there’s one or two things that I’ve impulse picked up around the store that I decide either we aren’t likely to use in time before it goes bad, that we could do without, or that we already have something at home that we could use instead. And then I hand those back to the cashier telling them that I changed my mind. It is increasing my awareness as I shop so that I now ask myself those questions, is reducing the grocery bill a little each shopping trip, and reducing our waste at home.


PaperCraneFarm May 18, 2016 at 10:12 am

Oh, oops, I meant to comment on the phone. I got my first smart phone this year through Cricket, which uses the Sprint network. $50 discount if you transfer a number. Some phones are nearly free ($.99) or relatively cheap ($20-$30). I have the $40/month unlimited call/text/internet plan and then get a $5 per month discount for having it auto charge to my credit card (my reward credit card which I pay off monthly, of course). There’s a $25 credit available to you if someone refers you to Cricket.

My husband uses Republic Wireless and has been happy with the service. He has a cheaper monthly cost than I do since he does calls/texts/internet primarily over wifi at home, work, and friends’ houses. But their phones are more expensive out of pocket.


Diane May 18, 2016 at 5:07 am

I have a big summer project, an alphabet quilt for a baby. Made completely with vintage fabric given to me by an older family member who gave me all her quilting supplies, patterns and notebooks. A really fun project tied to memories. Today I am stitching all the appliqued squares together. Letter Q is my favorite. I put a picture on my blog.

Also enjoying the free daily beauty in the wildflower meadow behind my apartment. Changing every day and makes me feel so fortunate to live in this little piece of heaven.


Vickie May 18, 2016 at 6:52 am

1) I’m heading out to buy dog food today and I have a $3 off coupon I’ve been saving.
2) I took my friend out to her favorite place for a birthday lunch last Friday. She brought her own birthday coupon – she’s as frugal as me, LOL! So I only ended up buying my lunch and her drink (since I drink water). I thought that was so nice of her and really funny. I did buy her a cute gift last month at the Staff Craft fair. She loves dogs and it was a small wooden sign with a cute quip on it she loved it. I like supporting local artisans.
3) I had to head home at lunch yesterday to meet the AC repairman, so I ate the leftover pizza in the fridge for lunch. I didn’t have to use my leave either, since I can remote in from home and pretty much everything I do is on the computer or by email, since I work in .I.T. – that’s a huge perk!
4) I watch a lot of You-Tube videos about self-reliance. There’s a lady in Arkansas that lives off-grid and uses the bamboo she grows for everything in her garden – fencing, building hoop houses, building container gardening boxes. She said she could show me how to grow it and keep it from taking over – SCORE!
5) I have a pair of shoes that I love to wear with, but they are getting pretty worn. I decided to polish them again anyway and see if they looked okay. They do, so I intend to wear them until the soles are worn off, then I might just have them resoled, if possible. I know they are at least 5 years old, if not older, but they are so comfortable.


rjr May 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

I am buying a house and opening my own psychotherapy office all in the month of June. It is expensive and stressful! I am trying to be frugal.
1. Using some furniture and prints for the wall donations from from my parents basement and 2 lovely chairs from freinds for the office.
2. Cancelled dinner out with a friend and offered wine and snacks here from ingredients I already have. I am thinking spinach quiche and brownies.
3. Drinking my own coffee and made coffee at work yesterday instead of buying one.
4. Selling a few things at 2 consignment shops that I found while purging my condo for showing.
5.Donated 6 bags of stuff to Savers. I love that they support the Epilepsy Foundation. I also can’t believe how much stuff I have accumulated…….


Kim May 18, 2016 at 8:45 am

1. Found 4 boxes of Glucerna bars on the clearance shelf at the grocery store so $2.99, reg. $5.99. DH was recently diagnosed with diabetes so he said if I found a deal for these to please get some. Didn’t have any coupons with me but bought them anyway. Yesterday I took back my receipt with 4 $3 coupons and got back $12 so FREE!
2. Took 2 shopping bags of books to the used book store. They took 1 bags worth and I now have an additional $22 of credit to use there. Bonus of less clutter!
3. Made French toast for dinner and used up loaf of bread before it went bad. Also finished off the open package of bacon and grilled some very ripe bananas. Delicious dinner for a rainy cold day. Where oh where did spring go?
4. Went to the grocery store and took advantage of sale, special offer and coupons and got 8 bottles of BBQ sauce, 2 bottles each of mustard and 2 A1 all for $6.58. Let the grilling begin!
5. Enjoying that due to all the rain we have gotten (18 of the last 21 days!) in the Mid Atlantic, my pansies I bought last fall on clearance look absolutely wonderful. I love frugal flowers!


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 18, 2016 at 8:51 am

We’ve been quite frugal this past week!
1. We only bought vegetables at the store this week, which saved us a lot of money. Meat is expensive, people!
2. Mr. Picky Pincher made stock from leftover chicken bones. Yum!
3. I ate my homemade (cheap!) lunch even when I really wanted to go buy something.
4. My coworker gave me a free mixer that I will use for baking
5. I used whey from making homemade yogurt to bake homemade bread.


shelia May 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

1. Bought a pack of two rib eye roasts at Costco and cut them into steaks, packing and freezing by twos. Used the leftover ends as a roast for dinner today. It brought the cost down to 2.00 a meal for the steaks.
2. My husband needs to replace his twelve year old car. He found one that was a possibility at a local dealership which was offering a coupon for 2 large 3 ingredient pizzas, an order of breaksticks and a 2-liter of soda if you test drove a car. Oddly, the car he went to test drive had just been sold but they gave him the coupon anyway!
3. Painting a coffee table as a wedding gift for a young couple at church. It’s driving me a bit nutty but is almost finished so that’s good. It’s fun getting young people started with up cycled used furniture. They’re always so thrilled at the amount of money they’re saving and proud of the work they’ve done to create such handsome pieces.
4. Just registered for a free entree salad from Noodles and Company for next week. It includes a guest so that will be supper one night!
5. Haven’t gotten the garden in because of weird weather but already have the beans and some onions. Only need to pick up some tomatoes and cucumbers.


MW May 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm

DUCKLINGS! I have to go get my fix this (rainy) weekend.
1- Got my hair cut at the beauty college- it took 1.5 hours, but only cost $5 (plus a $5 tip).
2- Scored several jars of mayo at Grocery Outlet for $0.25 a piece.
3- Found a vinyl tablecloth at Salvation Army for $2 that I will use to recover an outdoor cushion.
4- Our ancient hand-me-down diaper genie finally fell to (unfixable) pieces, but my husband is fine using a small, covered trashcan for a year or so before my toddler toilet trains.
5- Still taking the bus, packing lunch, and making coffee at home.


Katy May 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Wow, I would totally would have bought a few extra jars at that price!


Karen May 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm

1. I accumulate change from returning refundable containers, today $45 was added to savings.
2. Daughter is learning to drive. On our route, something was in the road for a couple days before she asked if we should pull over and pick it up. Starbucks stainless steel travel cup. Checked online. Sold in gift box at Christmas for $25. I smoothed the scuff on the cap with a paring knife and replaced my old, not so heat retentive plastic travel cup.
3. Nearly finished a memory quilt for my brother from our mother’s fabric stash. Bought crib size batting at half price, will piece off cuts from other quilt projects to fit. Back is a sheet that has lost it’s mate.
4. Spent a day doing paperwork then cleaning the office. Tempted by takeout, but remembered the baked french toast in the freezer. I had made a huge batch with marked down bread and an excess of eggs.
5. Washed car in the driveway with a hose and bucket. Good for another year.

Wow! That was easier than I thought it would be.


Lindsay May 19, 2016 at 6:30 am

1. I chaperoned the senior class trip and got three free meals out of it.
2. Landed a new job that pays $3k a year more in an area with a significantly lower cost of living.
3. Took back roads instead of major highway when traveling for interviews to avoid tolls.
4. Avoided buying for fast food or snacks while traveling. Got a sandwich and coffee at my parents’ home instead.
5. Having a beer at home with a friend today instead of going out for happy hour, which would involve more expensive beer and probably appetizers.


Emily May 19, 2016 at 4:24 pm

1. Still on vacation but had a chilly day and bought a clearance shirt at banana republic for 3.75 vs a novelty store beach shirt for 29 plus
2. Have lined up a few garage sale purchases for when I return for necessities
3. Went to the thrift store on key west and bought a pair of shorts I can flip for probably 40+ profit
4. Have been splitting meals with the man while we’re on vacation. Even when we are not paying, we like to order less and get more of we need it versus the opposite
5. I have a few overnight babysitting jobs lined up for next week when o return !


Sarah m May 20, 2016 at 2:56 am

1. Used my free delivery + free coupon for instancart and stuck to strict mealplanning. Plus delivery meant no impulse buys.
2. Used up my carrots and parsnips to make soup, and made yogurt. Next soup should be cream of spinach to use up my backof- the-freezer-spinach, but won’t count that till next week
3. Wanted a sweet treat, so made apple pie from the filing I made in March to use up sad apples, and from leftover cornbread mix, and garden rosemary. Next up will be peanut butter cookies since my boyfriend discovered I have three open jars of peanut butter. Oops
4. My neighbor has seen me gardening and gave me sunflower seeds. Planted them!
5. Well didn’t buy a Lear jet, or any other things, though did grab coffee or a bagel out a few times.


Mandy May 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

Got free lunch today at work, drank the water w/my reusable bottle and plenty of free coffee.
The supervisor at my other job texted me and asked if I wanted to change locations on where I go to work next week – one lady needs to be off unexpectedly. I said yes because it’s closer to home and also closer to the nursing home where I work, so I should be able to swing by there and combine two work days into one, saving me time and gas. And I’ll get an extra day at home next week.
Grocery budget coming in tight for the rest of the month, so I looked through what we have left and made a very specific list of things to get tomorrow.
Left the kids this morning with my mom – free babysitting!
Stopped by Goodwill yesterday home from work and picked up 2 like-new prints for my daughter’s room – $0.99 each, still had the Target tags on them.


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