Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 16, 2016 · 89 comments

Ugg sheepskin care kit

  1. I succumbed to an impulse purchase of cherries at the grocery store, as the bags were marked at $3.99. However, the price seemed too good to be true, so I kept an eye on the register. I about had a heart attack when the cherries rang up at over $9, so I quickly asked the clerk to reverse the charge. I was kind of bummed that I wouldn’t be enjoying a bowl of cherries that evening, until I remembered that our raspberries are currently ripe.
  2. Our dinner last night was leftovers from dinner out with my mother and step father the night before. There wasn’t quite enough for an entire meal, but each of us scrounged the fridge and were able locate enough to eat.
  3. I earned enough Swagbucks to buy a $25 PayPal gift card.  My goal is to earn $75/month, (which I haven’t been reaching lately) so I’m reminding myself to click around whenever I’m mindlessly watching TV.
  4. I brought home a brand new Ugg sheepskin care kit from one of my mother’s guest cottages that someone left behind. These sell new for $30, so I listed it on Craigslist for $10. (We tried to track down the owner, but were unsuccessful.)
  5. I got pulled over by the police a few weeks ago for driving with expired license plates. (Oops . . . ) However, the officer told me that he’d forgive the ticket if I registered the car within 30 days and contacted him. I’d been having a hard time getting through to the police station until today and was finally able to speak over the phone with the officer. I still need to jump through a few more hoops, but it’ll be worth it.

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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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

rosa rugosa June 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I believe most grocery stores in our area will give you the product for the marked price if they have labelled it incorrectly; some places will even give it to you for free.


Meredith June 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm

I was going to say this! The best in town is King Soopers (Kroger owned) but I think Safeway would be just as helpful, which is what I think you have by you Katy. Although,i know you also shop a place I *wish* we had called Grocery Outlet and I can see a place like that being less willing to override the price or offer it up gratis for the mismarked pricing. :/


Katy June 16, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Naw, it was $3.99 per pound, but vaguely priced. I knew better.


Trish June 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Ha – that happened to me this winter with grapes. They looked so tempting and it was that time of year (feb) when I am craving something fresh. $3.99/pound, about $9 for the bag. put it back


Jennifer June 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I have found that in my area the sign says $3.99 and then in small writing below it says”per pound”. Very sneaky pricing on the cherries.


WilliamB June 16, 2016 at 7:07 pm

It’s not just “most.” Stores are legally required to sell you the thing at the posted price, even if they’ve made a mistake.


Jennifer N. June 17, 2016 at 5:31 am

I bought a $9 bag of grapes last night. It was a splurge for sure, but I think the boys are tired of bananas and the bag will last us through the weekend, so I justified it. I probably buy grapes twice a year. Cherries are expensive but delicious! My kids aren’t completely on board yet, so the uncertainty that they’d be eaten before spoiling is enough to make me skip that purchase more often than not.


jennifer June 17, 2016 at 6:53 am

I just wanted to mention a trick for grapes and bananas and probably lots of fruits. If my grapes are close to spoilage I wash them and pop them in the freezer. They are exactly like a juicy sweet non-messy freezer pop that is actually healthy. Often times we buy a bag and freeze them to put in the cooler to eat and keep other stuff cold on beach trips. Sliced bananas frozen on a cookie sheet are also a great healthy snack and can prevent spoilage.


Jodi June 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

My son likes to snack on frozen cherries. Bonus–they are already pitted and easy to eat.

Alexia June 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Yup, what Rosa said. At least for my area. I believe federal law prevents them from selling an item for higher than the marked price (on the item itself or on the shelf), but at least one store I go to gives you the item free if it rings up for a price higher than marked.


Alexia June 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm
Tracy June 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

I succumbed to the cherry purchase for you. They were really good too.


Bee June 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Publix Supermarkets will give you the product for free if it rings up incorrectly. I found this out by accident, and I was pleased.
1) I have been home alone this week while my husband and son travelled. I haven’t been to the grocery store at all. I have made wonderful meals from the odds and ends in the frig. I had cobbler for breakfast! I used the heel of the bread, the last slice of cheese, two pieces of bacon, the remaining 5 strawberries, a tiny bit of salad dressing, and so forth. It is hard to use these things up when you are cooking for three adults.

2) While they were away, I deep cleaned the house. I even moved the refrigerator. When my house is so clean it shines, it makes me feel content with what I have. That doesn’t cost a thing,

3) I saved four Amaryllis bulbs from the trash. They are among my favorites, so I will find a spot for them in my yard.

4) I am reading two books that I purchased at the Friends of the Library sale. Hours of enjoyment for so little!

5) To pass the time while cleaning, I listen to several podcasts. They were free and entertaining. However, I wished I had an audiobook, but I just didn’t want to lose my momentum by going to the library. Has anyone used any of the audio book apps out there?


Jennifer June 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Cobbler for breakfast sounds delightful!


Sharon June 16, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I love your # 2 and I love cobbler for breakfast… Fruit and biscuits!


Vickie June 17, 2016 at 7:04 am

I love cleaning when my hubby isn’t home, so much easier!

I’ve used the audio book app once, it worked well. I need to set it up on my phone. I just downloaded our Library app – so nice.


Beea June 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

It helps not to have anyone behind you messing things up! You can accomplish much more.


Susan June 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Through my library, I have access to hoopla, over drive and one click digital. I can download audio books from all of them all though the selection varies. I can’t usually find a specific book I am looking for available, but it works fine if I am open to browsing.


Teresa June 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Hoopla is an app that you use with your library card. Love it.


Phyllis June 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

We have hoopla and overdrive. I use both and love them. Many of the books I want to read are available.


Jennifer June 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I got cherries the other day and they were $7! I got home and several were moldy or squishy. I took the bag back to Kroger and they left me get a new bag.

1. I picked up my kids at daycare and one of them cried the whole way home because she was “sooo thirsty”and I wouldn’t get her a drink at a store. I told her we had plenty of very cold homemade lemonade in the fridge less than 10 minutes away. I started talking about something on the side of the road causing her to forget about her thirst-Crisis overted.
2. This is kinda morbid I guess but my husband’s brother died suddenly yesterday. They don’t have a lot of money and I knew he would need something nice to be buried in. I remembered seeing a very nice suit at a yardsale over the weekend but had no need for it at the time. I went back to that house and they still have the beautiful suit and it cost only $5. It never hurts to ask even if the yardsale is over. Please don’t think bad of me because I got him a yardsale suit for him to be buried in. I would be okay with a yardsale suit myself to be buried in and it is a perfect suit.
3. Tonight I have been stressed from the passing of my husband’s brother and seeing my husband in pain causes me more stress. I was tempted to grab a pizza on the way home but instead I opened a can of baked beans and added cut up hotdogs for a cheap meal of homemade beanie weinies..Cheap and filling..
4. I am continuing to try to stay out of stores which forces me to come up with creative meals and solutions. My husband needed some foot powder for his sweaty feet during the current hot humid weather. I found an old olive jar(tall skinny one),filled it with cornstarch, poked holes in the lid with a screwdriver, then wrote “foot powder” on it with a sharpie. My husband is using it and it he said it works just as well as the powder did.
5. I got a huge cake from Sam’s club from my family for my birthday last week. It is really rich chocolate so I can only eat a little at time. I cut it in half and put part of it in the freezer and I will pull it out and bring it with us for a sweet treat when we go on vacation next week.


Alexia June 16, 2016 at 5:14 pm

I don’t think anyone here would think badly of you for buying a used suit in which to bury a dead man. First, it was a kindness for you to take care of this issue so that other family members don’t have to deal with it. Second, I’m sure you’re right that it’s a nice suit. Third, it sounds like he didn’t have anything comparable and buying something more expensive would have been a financial burden for all concerned. Fourth, it seems rather wasteful to buy a new and/or expensive suit to bury someone in when a nice, inexpensive option is available.

I’m sorry for the sadness your BIL’s passing is causing you and your husband and hope the pain eases soon.


Jennifer June 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Thanks for your kind words. You reinforced the things I was thinking. The family is not frugal so they may not feel the same way. They may think I am being stingy, as my husband and I have a better income. People just get really strange when someone dies. It’s just a very sensitive time. I just didn’t tell them where I got it to avoid any unecessary drama.
Thanks again!


Elizabeth B June 16, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Jennifer, I agree with Alexia: it was a lovely gesture and anyone who thinks badly of you for it is a poopyhead.

I am so sorry for your loss.


Alexia June 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm

I am sure that I am just voicing what many who read this will think. Besides, someone has to be nice on the internet once in a while, right? 🙂

And Elizabeth is right — the naysayers are poopyheads.


Jackie June 17, 2016 at 6:40 am

I’m sorry for your loss. I think you did well to go back and get the suit. I remember 20 years ago when my FIL passed away, his daughter and niece bought a $300 suit – on a credit card no less, to buy him in. Very wasteful!

Is it a need or a want June 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm

A friend’s daughter was a funeral,director.
She mentioned the huge need that funeral homes had for burying individuals that would be buried by the government. I gave her numerous bags of my husbands shirts, suits, dress pants , ties, socks, underwear etc. She mentioned afterwards that they had frequently used them. They would just tuck in if things were too large.
This was sometimes the last kind act to do for someone dying alone or with very limited means.
They also were in high demand for woman’s undergarments , larger dresses, hosiery, scarves, etcetera.

A. Marie June 17, 2016 at 1:49 am

My condolences to you and your DH on your loss, Jennifer. I’m always wary of saying “I know exactly how you feel” (since none of us can know exactly what someone else is feeling), but since my DH and I lost his older brother so recently, we do feel for you. And I’m 100% with you and all the commenters re: what you did in regard to the suit.

My BIL’s wife and daughters, incidentally, took an interesting approach to the “burial clothing” question. My BIL absolutely hated wearing suits, so they decided to bury him in his favorite flannel shirt, khakis, and bedroom slippers. We all liked that.


Jill A June 17, 2016 at 3:47 am

I’m sorry for your loss. I think it was really kind of you to buy your brother-in-law the suit. If he had owned a suit, it too would have been used. I’m sure his family appreciated it.


Vickie June 17, 2016 at 7:10 am

I’m so sorry about your BIL. Decisions are hard when something like that happens and saving money is a good thing.
My Mom was a Thrift Store queen and the dress, jacket shoes, earrings and necklace she was buried in were all thrifted. She looked nice in it and it would have thrilled her to know I picked one of her favorite thrift store finds to bury her in. You did the right thing, Jennifer!!


jennifer June 17, 2016 at 7:15 am

Thank you all, I needed to hear this. You all are just great people.


Lea June 17, 2016 at 7:28 am

So sorry for your loss. It was very kind of you to buy the suit. They never need know how little you spent on it.

You just gave me a wonderful idea – my husband is a pastor at a small rural congregation with mostly elderly congregants. Many haven’t worn a suit in years but feel it is only appropriate to be buried in a suit. I think I’m going to scout out the thrift stores in the larger town I work in and see what I can find for those who have that need. Thank you so much!



jennifer June 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Such a great idea!


jennifer June 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

Thinking about Kroger, don’t forget to download your free Friday download today. It’s aquafina sparkling water. I don’t usually drink that but would be nice to have on hand for a treat on a hot day.


Tricia June 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm

This week has been better so far with the graduation party behind us.
1. As per my plan, I shut down the garage fridge/freezer for the summer. It is like freezing items inside an oven here in NC. Also saves on opening the garage door to get to the items.
2. We ate leftovers all week.
3. I brought home cookies from the new student orientation yesterday for the family to share.
4. Tending to the garden in hopes of a good harvest.
5. I used my rewards card for gas and filled up the van for $1.30 a gallon!


PaperCraneFarm June 17, 2016 at 2:15 am

I am amazed that you emptied the freezer! That sounds like a pipe dream to me as the contents change but it is always stuffed to the brim! Need to find a good way to move through stuff more efficiently.


lindsey June 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm

1. Needed a dessert and used stale bread to make an excellent amaretto bread pudding. Didn’t buy anything for the dessert.

2. Saved $189 on a medication for my beloved dog by finding a generic version of the drug he must take each day—exactly half price of what I would have paid otherwise.

3. Made refrigerator dill pickles from the garden cukes and saved juice from Clausen dills we ate during the winter. I read about this tip a few years ago—fill the jar with fresh cukes, heat the juice leftover from commercial pickles and pour it over the fresh cukes. I did this last summer and it worked like a charm. I don’t care for home canned pickles because they come out too mushy after processing. Doing this trick, which means no canning just putting the jar into the fridge when the juice has cools, is now what we use all summer and then go to Clausens (which is the only non-mushy pickle in my opinion) for the winter—saving the juice in the fridge or freezer all winter.

4. Found a sad bag of shredded zuchinni in the freezer, from last summer’s garden. Made it into chocolate muffins my husband can grab on his way out the door.

5. This is shameless, I know, but I did it anyway. I was in Safeway and the guy in front of me had two carts of food, as if buying for a group. The total came to over $200. The clerk asked him if he had a loyalty card and he said he could not be bothered with stuff like that. I immediately jumped in and asked him if I could punch in my loyalty number to get his credits. He laughed and said, “Go for it!” That ended up being worth 20 cents a gallon off on my next fuel purchase. Since I had two Amazon gift cars in my basket, as gifts for older nephews, today’s grocery store trip ended up giving me his 20 cents off and my own 10 cents off next time I want gas. I was glad my husband was not with me, he would have died of embarrassment.


Elizabeth B June 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Ffff, for that much benefit your husband should be applauding you, not embarrassed. What a NCA coup!


Jennifer June 17, 2016 at 3:37 am

3. Along the same lines, I learned from a friend years ago you can make pickled eggs similarly. Boil the eggs and just drop the hot eggs into the cold leftover pickle juice. If you like pickled eggs it’s a great little treat after it sits for a few hours and it’s another use for the pickle juice. Not sure how long they can sit in the refrigerator. My husband gobbles them up so fast I never got to think about it, lol.


lulu too June 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm

I’ve done that too (shared my Safeway card with the careless person in front of me at Safeway) but I always felt like it is a good deed–they are getting your discounts. So don’t worry, you did nothing ‘selfish’. (I don’t even have a car so grrrr..can’t use those gasoline credits!)


pattilou June 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

I’ve had a run of unexpected expenses ( a major car repair, some dental work and a large plumbing bill) which have occurred while I am unemployed. I’ve been able to weather the storm because of practicing frugality on a regular basis. I get a lot of inspiration from all of you!

1. I have vinca that had come up again in my yard and it has gone wild. I dug up a bunch of it and used it to fill in the flower boxes at my Mother’s house.
2. A friend had a flat of leftover flowers that she didn’t use. Another friend and I split them. They needed a little TLC but they a looking good now.
3. I was given leftover water bottles, tortilla chips and iced tea from a party at a friend’s. She was going to toss the chips and didn’t have room for the bottles.
4. My brother and sister-in-law came to stay with me for a few days. They treated me to lunch and dinner and left me a gift card for a local bakery
5. Listening to audio books from the library .


Mand01 June 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

1. I’m eating homemade chicken cacciatore with couscous in my lunch break, made a couple of weeks ago and frozen ahead for just this occasion. We also had it for a quick dinner last night, but that’s fine.
2. Snacks at work today were also brought to me by my freezer and fridge: homemade muffins, a chocolate, fruit.
3. I’m going to ask to work from home one day a week, saving on petrol and lots of time.
4. We are buying our new fruit trees tomorrow. These have been a planned expense, and we are making a day of the trip with our youngest while her sister is in respite. We are buying a mulberry, apricot and pomegranate to plant in our front yard. I’m looking forward to mulberry jam one day.


PaperCraneFarm June 17, 2016 at 2:13 am

Woohoo for fruit trees! We’re getting mulberries this year and suggest you think about jelly. The mulberries we have a hard core that isn’t super yummy.


Mand01 June 17, 2016 at 4:59 am

Do you mind telling me the variety, if you know?


PaperCraneFarm June 17, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Weeping mulberries from Raintree Nursery.


Mand01 June 18, 2016 at 3:43 am

Thank you. We are in Australia, so we might have different varieties. A weeping mulberry sounds beautiful.

Bonnie June 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

I’m fairly new to this blog, although I’ve been practicing this philosophy my entire life. “Use it up…” was my mother’s mantra back in a Maine fishing village. But’ I’m struggling with the concepts of frugality versus parsimony. Fresh cherries are one of the fleeting joys of life. Fresh cherries cannot possibly be priced at $3.99/bag. The grower could not produce, harvest, market and ship a crop for that little, especially if the grower pays anywhere near a fair wage. So, once or twice a year, spend nine bucks and thoroughly enjoy those wonderful cherries. A life without cherries in order to save a few bucks is not a life worth living, to me.
Frugality means a life without waste or ostentation. It doesn’t mean a life without savor. Well-planned leftovers or bread and beans is a frugal meal. A glass of water and the remainder of a child’s smushed PB&J is parsimony. My fear is that parsimony leads to a smaller soul. I don’t advocate waste. I have no debt, I grow my own food and thrift everything I can. But there’s a difference between frugal and stingy, and I think we must be careful. I welcome your response.


Katy June 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

I think you missed the part about how I had fresh ripe raspberries already growing in my garden. Joyful and delicious. Also, I’ll have two kids in college at the same time this fall and will be paying cash, so the deprivation in the here and now supports the big picture goal of them graduating debt free.


PaperCraneFarm June 17, 2016 at 2:11 am

I skipped the cherries too but have been buying peaches at $.99 a lb. Still a seasonal treat for us.

1. My husband is on a hiring committee and is doing several full days of interviewing candidates which meant he had lunch with colleagues he doesn’t normally eat with. One looked on in amazement as my husband pulled out a insulated lunch bag with ice pack and proceeded to eat a sandwich, watermelon, leftover potato salad, and a leftover homemade cookie. She asked if it was a special occasion and he was like, “nope, I pack my lunch everyday.”

2. We’re supplying the birthday cakes for a huge birthday party tomorrow for a grandparent. I’m going to make a few 9×13 cakes this morning, frost them later, and then let the toddlers decorate them with sprinkles. I think this crowd would have preferred a store bought ice cream cake but since I got volunteered to bring the cake, they’ll make do with sprinkles.

3. Diligently saved my receipts yesterday while traveling for work and will submit them for reimbursement today.

4. Got a call the other night from a credit card company that said my auto-pay didn’t go through. It was a new card with a company I already had another card through. The customer service representative compared the bank account from which the two cards were supposed to auto pay and we realized that the new card’s auto pay had only captured the first three digits of the bank account. She fixed that and made sure there were no late fees or interest accruing. Yikes! I’m going to be tracking that account carefully to make sure everything works as expected.

5. Feeling pretty tired after a full 5 am – 10:30 pm day of work travel yesterday that began at 1:30 am when I got up with a toddler. I could have made it a two day trip and the company would have paid for it, but I highly value family time. (Although I much prefer family time during daylight hours, not during 1:30 am – 5 am like I did yesterday…)


Isabelle June 17, 2016 at 2:58 am

I been kind of “off the frugal wagon” for a couple of months, but I need to get back on if I want to meet my financial goals…. So nothing big for me this week, but:
* Brought daughter to a clinic for an eyes exam (paid by the government until she turns 18), and then took the prescription for glasses at Costco. I don’t have a membership there, but this service is opened to everyone. I did use my mother’s membership number to get a rebate, and we ended up with 2 pairs of glasses for 200$ (less than what I would have paid for ONE pair at the clinic!), and this will be reimbursed at 80% by our private insurance. I also need new glasses and will go to Costco as well.
* Used PC Points for free groceries
* It’s nursery school graduation day today! Will probably treat my daughter and her friend (that we are babysitting today) to a round of mini golf, using a 2 for 1 coupon, as a reward for an awesome 1st year in school.
* Planning a trip for our family of 4. It will be pretty expensive because of plane cost (around 3000$ just for the plane), so we are giving ourselves a couple years to come up with the money and pay it in full instead of getting in debts for a trip. This is where frugality takes it’s meaning *saving on the things you can in order to get/do the things you really want.

Have a great frugal day!


Jill A June 17, 2016 at 3:58 am

1. Ordered a box of contacts from Costco. I am running out and have another month before my next insurance benefit kicks in. Luckily I have the same prescription for both eyes. The box of contacts was almost half the price of where I normally get them. Guess I’m going to Costco from now on.
2. Called my Dentist and insurance company to sort out a bill for my daughter that should have been covered but wasn’t. After several calls back and forth I got it sorted out.
3.Picking up ingredients today to make a chocolate cake for my daughters birthday. We have the grandparents over for Father’s Day/My birthday/ Daughters birthday in one celebration. They bring a dish and we provide the main course.
4. Used a $5 off coupon on a gift certificate for Meijer. They had it on mperks and also have paper coupons sometimes. I bought the gift certificate in my first transaction then used it to buy my groceries. The cashier must have been new. I don’t think he’d seen anyone do that before. I’m sure that’s not there intent with the coupon,but who am I to turn down 10% discount on groceries.
5. I’ve been trying to kick my soda habit, so I have been drinking more water instead. It will save us on the cost of the soda and it’s healthier. Wish me luck.


Tammy June 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm

We just moved from Michigan to South Carolina and I miss Meijer!!! When they ran that deal with $5/off gift certificate, I always used grocery money and bought gift cards and then bought groceries in the next transaction!


LisaC June 17, 2016 at 4:49 am

1. Went to a work luncheon that was catered. The person in charge brought out a new box of ziploc bags at the end for whoever wanted to bring home the leftovers, as the office would be closed today. Brought home enough for dinner and lunch today, yum!
2. Birthdays coming up: I remembered to shop early, and I am wrapping gifts bought and saved in my gift bin.
3. Using gift bags and tissues from previous gifts, and cards from Dollar Tree. I keep the gift bags tidy in a larger gift bag, on the floor of the coat closet. No clutter, easy to sort through. Less clutter = less spending on what I can’t find.
4. Drinking coffee at home. I’d shopped clearance sales on coffee and stocked up a few months ago.
5. Tip from a friend: ask the butcher to cut up sale items into what I want. I’m hosting a fancy dinner soon, and a local store had filet on sale CHEAP and the steaks were priced outrageous. The butcher sliced the larger filet into nice steaks for me.


Lide June 17, 2016 at 4:53 am

1. Used rebate to buy paint for exterior house trim – cost $0.
2. Ate leftovers while hubby was out of town for his job.
3. Keeping insulated curtains closed in every room in the house – keeps the a/c from running as often. Cooler this morning – so opened all the windows – Yes! Fresh air!
4. More free delicious treats from DD’s baking class.
5. Called insurance company about denied claim – finally convinced them that it was dated incorrectly; the service was actually a month earlier than was shown on account- it pays to check everything & call if there’s an error – saved $120.


Vickie June 17, 2016 at 5:39 am

I’ve had that happen with cherries too, it’s frustrating. I love cherries, but I’m not willing to pay a fortune to eat them.

1) Stuck to my morning breakfast mix all week. I’ve been adding a tsp of flax oil, since that’s supposed to help fight inflammation.
2) I’ve been eating small portions of hummus w/veggies or sea salt crackers with spreadable cheese for dinner.
3) Tomorrow is our church potluck, so I’ll eat a nice lunch, visit with friends, go to the Tribal grocers afterwards and then be home for the remainder of the weekend.
4) I’m going to fill-up my gas tank today and that should last me all next week. My fill-up last weekend has lasted all week. I love saving money on gas.
5) I needed some black-out curtains for my dining room, but never have luck finding curtains like that at the Thrift stores. I found them at Big Lots for $10 a pair. Not free, but much cheaper than anywhere else.


marie June 17, 2016 at 5:43 am

I stopped at a roadside stand for cherries. The sign said $1 a basket, and there were lots of cars. Too my surprise, the baskets were tiny, and had about 8 cherries in each. so sad!


Shannon June 17, 2016 at 6:33 am

I wouldn’t feel too bad on not hitting $75/month on swagbucks.
I’ve done it before (as a SAHM) and it is VERY tiring. A couple of months I could get “$100” ($75 in paypal $25 in giftcard since it was discounted), but it took a lot of work and I would end up spending more time than I wanted doing it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Just don’t feel too bad about it. SB has gotten a lot stingier than they used to be a few years ago and DEFINITELY within the past few months!


JD June 17, 2016 at 6:47 am

1. I had a third of a pound of ground beef left after my husband and I had burgers one night. I froze it, then thawed it for use later, didn’t use it, re-froze it, and thawed it with trepidation one more time to mix in with other ground beef for a meatloaf. This is undoubtedly coincidence, but my husband declared this meatloaf to be the best meatloaf I’ve ever made.
2. I’m wearing a nice Columbia shirt my sister gave me — she got it from the hospice thrift store for a dollar.
3. I’m picking blueberries this weekend at an organic farm, for the fourth year in a row. The owner sent an email this year showing the per pound price of organic and conventional berries at the local stores, and listed each store by name with price, so the prices could be verified (which I did). Buying blueberries in those little 4-6 ounce clamshells, some berries came out to almost $20 a pound for organic! The u-pick farm is certified organic, lets folks eat all they want as they pick, and sells them for $4.50 a pound. I can sweat a bit for that kind of savings, and we LOVE blueberries: frozen, in jam, in cobblers, in pies, on oatmeal, you name it.
4. It’s so humid these days that windows stay fogged up. I, for now, dry my clothes on a wooden drying rack, under the ceiling fan, and they actually dry pretty fast. The ceiling fan is on anyway, so no extra electricity.
5. The fan is on because we’re keeping the a/c set at 79 degrees. It’s warm in the house in the mid-afternoon, but the fans help a lot, and the air in the house is dryer with the a/c even set that high, keeping the constant threat of mold and mildew at bay.


Lindsay June 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

1. I opened a checking account for my wedding expenses with Ally. This account has a much higher interest rate than my previous account.
2. Wearing a thrifted dress that I recently mended, along with thrifted shoes.
3. A friend is going through a hard time. I sent her a care package made entirely of things I had on hand– homemade blonde brownies and bottles of nail polish, face cream, and body lotion that I had previously been gifted and never used.
4. Using Receipt Hog to get rewards on necessary purchases.
5. Last night, I thought ahead and knew I didn’t have anything to bring for lunch today, so I used the remains of a box of pasta to whip up a batch of Budget Bytes’ Dragon Noodles:
Super cheap, and I saved myself a trip to the corner store to buy lunch!


AN June 17, 2016 at 7:28 am

1. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers from a family graduation party all week. While I’m tired of eating the same thing for dinner, it has kept me out of the grocery store and made meal planning very simple.
2. Having a friend over for dinner tomorrow and should be able to make the entire meal from what I already have on hand.
3. Preparing for a house/cat sitter for next week. I will need to stock up on food for her to eat, but am going to make her some of it from scratch.
4. Received a few leads on picking up some extra work beginning in the fall. They are good experience for my career and will bring in extra money.
5. Found an excellent deal on a tool set (love Father’s Day deals) and will use a 10% off coupon I received in the mail for being a new homeowner. Stocking up now means less expense later!


Carmen Shenk June 17, 2016 at 7:55 am

You were smart to watch the register, I often forget and then end up paying way too much for something. We’ve got raspberries coming in also, yum!

My win of the week was placing an order online only to realize that the three items were going to be shipped in three different boxes, and I would be charged $11 shipping. I went back and picked different products, got it all coming in one box, and the shipping was free.

I’ve started to read some of the zero waste people and decided it’s time to make some grocery bags. That will be kind of fun I think. It may not save me a pile of money, but it should be a little kinder to the planet.

Thanks for your blog, you’re inspiring!


Bettypants June 17, 2016 at 7:59 am

1. Sold several items on local FB boards this week, including an abundance of tomato cages.
2. Cleaning out the garage, I decided to make a couple birdhouses using scrap wood with old license plates for the roofs. Two done, and it was fun. I’m going to see how many I can get out of the scrap wood.
3. Although it’s been hot here during the day, it cools down enough at night to justify not cranking on the A/C. Our downstairs stays very cool, and I just run the fans upstairs at night.
4. Got one last coat of poly on the antique desk I painted. I think the final result is beautiful, and will be listing it for sale this weekend.
5. A friend from work gave me some irises that were not faring well in her yard, and also promised some lilies.


Deborah June 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

June is an epic BD month for our family so I am unlikely to have five this past week but here goes:
1. In May I began seriously batching my errands, chores and work so I leave my car home in the driveway 3 days a week. I am lucky that I can walk to the bank, drug store, farm stand in a pinch.
2. Eating black bean quesadillas 3x this week to use up the leftovers. Blah!
3. Redeeming discarded bottles/cans from street for bottle deposit.
4. Strategized Amazon BD gift shopping to avoid shipping charges and was able to purchase my son a small gift with the savings.
5. Rescued three baseball hats in great condition DH put in the trash (think he no longer likes logos on them) so I could add to my GW donation.


Mand01 June 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Love black beans, and quesadillas!


Is it a need or a want June 17, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Ball caps are one of the summer needed items, along with sneakers and water bottles our homeless shelter will advertise for.


nalani June 17, 2016 at 9:54 am

Funny. I bought Rainier cherries at Aldi for $3.99 on Monday. They are so good but season is short so I bought more yesterday.


Mand01 June 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm

I picked cherries for a wholes summer just before I was married- about 20 years ago now. It’s very hard work! I happily pay for them if I’m buying them (December/January over here). The grower deserves it.


cathy June 19, 2016 at 12:26 am

my mum loved ranier cherries. when I see them now I think of her and wish I could buy her a pound to enjoy.


K D June 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

I have avoided cherries because they have been $4.99/# or more this year. They are just not worth it to me.

1. We continue to eat a lot of produce. I bought four pints of blueberries at Aldi, they were $1.39/pint. I also bought very large cantaloupes for $2.50 each at Safeway.

2. I stopped at the grocery this morning for their deal of the day, 1-1/2#s of happy chicken breasts for $3.99, a free carton of organic yogurt, a few bananas, and a package of Dry Erase pens that were 75% off. The total was $5.99 and I had a rebate Visa card with that exact amount on it. A cheap thrill.

3. Dinner last night was leftovers: Soup, pasta with sauce, etc. Tonight dinner will be leftovers from lunch/dinner on Wednesday.

4. I met a friend for lunch yesterday. I used a gift card that I received last fall when I complained about what a horrible meal a friend and I had had..

5. It’s a beautiful day. I’m going to spend some time on my screened porch reading library books.


LisaC June 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

this afternoon, I thought of this blog and “the little things” as I cut some ties off of the back of a thrifted dress and saved the string ties in a bag for later. We use string ties, like the kind on the back of older dresses or on hoodies, for all sorts of uses around here.


Ruby June 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I did buy cherries today. They were $2.99 a pound and it’s something we indulge in only once or twice during cherry season.

1. Have been driving around listening to a great audio book from the free pile at work.
2. Picked a double handful of cherry tomatoes from our container garden today. All this very hot weather is making them ripen quickly.
3. There was a big stack of packages of copier paper left in a closet of this house when we bought it almost four years ago. I realized last night that we’re still using that paper and probably will be for several more years.
4. Looked through the wastepaper basket under the coupon machine at the grocery store and snagged a $1 off coupon for an item on my grocery list.
5. Went through the fridge this morning while making up the grocery list and cleaned out the leftovers. I plated them up in flat Rubbermaid containers for my lunch next week and popped them into the freezer.


Beth Anne June 17, 2016 at 2:22 pm

1. Turned in mileage and a lunch receipt for work, stayed late to do it but figured it was well worth it!
2. Power grocery shopped at lunch and got some great deals!!!!! 33cent canned peas, 69 cent eggs, 49 cents a pound chicken thighs, and more
3. Not watering the grass, just my plants.
4. Called the library and got a fee removed I didn’t owe.
5. Earned a $25 PayPal finally through Swagbucks, yeah!
6. Got a free piece of cherry pie at work today.


janine June 17, 2016 at 5:12 pm

1, Combined two celebrations for dinner out tonight. One son split the bill with me. – Not very frugal, but less expensive than full price plus it was a combination celebration. Also had a $10 coupon which made the meal a tad less expensive.
2, Other son will cook dinner for us on Sunday= no expenditure on our part!
3. Antique and hot rod car show is in town this weekend. We watched the old and restored cars for free as they paraded down a nearby street.
4. We plan a low-spend summer – refurbishing our current clothing, cleaning out clutter, bringing bouquets of flowers into the house and attempting a small vegetable garden again this year. Our gardening efforts are never very successful, but hope springs eternal.
5. No Lear Jet – need to keep reminding myself that this is a want – not a need.


Kim June 17, 2016 at 6:19 pm

1. So here is my cherry story. There is a gas station that is owned by a large grocery store chain at the entrance to our community. Last year while waiting for the light to turn, I looked over and realized that there is a sour cherry tree growing on the gas station’s grass island next to the road. I had lived here 26 years and never realized it was growing there! The only creatures that had been enjoying the cherries were the birds. So I went up at night when it is cooler and gleaned cherries from the tree. Last year I ended up with 25 lbs. and this year after picking twice, I have 9.5 lbs. These will be turned into cherry/ vanilla jam, pie and tucked into the freezer for winter. A whole different kind of Gas Rewards!
2. Found 2¢ in the generic coin counter machine at the grocery store- 1 US and 1 Canadian!
3. Making homemade tortillas! Two weeks ago I bought a brand new tortilla griddle at the charity shop for $3. It seems that they sold at Williams Sonoma for over $50. Funny thing was I bought it right before Katy posted about uni-taskers. I made flour tortillas last week with it for the first time and they were easy, delicious and scarfed down by my family! Making corn and flour ones tonight so I can make enchiladas over the weekend.
4. Spray painting my vintage aluminum patio furniture that I got several years ago from a fellow Freecycler. The yellow paint has faded and so now it will be oiled rubbed bronze. I finished the table and 1 chair and I love how it looks! One more chair and the love seat to paint and then I’m recovering the cushions with fabric I bought on clearance.
5. Continue to do mystery shops, sell on Amazon and FB yardsale groups, hang laundry to dry, enter Coke codes, compost, etc. College fund!


Gina in Ky June 19, 2016 at 5:50 am

Your cherry story is great!! I have done this with public space fruit in the past (lately, my busy life has prevented the super-fun hobby of urban foraging, but even this year I snagged a few yummy white mulberries off a tree near Aldi). When I first moved to the city I live in, I involved myself in some community tree planting and community gardening groups. A small group of us started an group with mission to plant more edible plants in public spaces. We mapped out where someone could find existing fruit and nut trees around the city. We linked it to a national group called Fallen Fruit started in Los Angeles. Here is the link if anyone is curious to see if their city is on there:


Gina in Ky June 19, 2016 at 5:57 am

OOPS! The national map is found here: (the other one is for LA area only).


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 18, 2016 at 3:56 am

Bravo for avoiding those $9 cherries! We recently bought a $7 cabbage and it almost ended our marriage lol. 🙂

This week:
1. We didn’t go out to eat. This was very difficult to accomplish since we’ve started house shopping and our schedule is all topsy-turvy.
2. We went out for drinks with friends and strictly kept it to one beer each, and did not buy food.
3. We went on a roadtrip to visit family and we packed our lunches ahead of time, instead of buying meals on the road.
4. We went over our weekly grocery budget by $1 or so, but we’re still on track to cut our grocery expenses in half this month ($800 to $400) and put the excess in the house fund. Woohoo!
5. I brought my family a yogurt starter as well as three jars of homemade jam. gotta share the wealth!


Mary June 18, 2016 at 4:33 am

In NY, you receive 10 times the difference between the mis-marked price and correct price. The extra amount you receive is at least $1 and not more than $10.

I have had this happen twice at a grocery store. They knew the law and offered the money immediately…..well, after they completed some paperwork.


MamaMinou June 18, 2016 at 8:57 am

I pass by a laden cherry tree regularly on my way home. It didn’t appear that the ripe cherries were being harvested so I worked up my courage and knocked on the door a few days ago, introduced myself as a neighbor, and asked if the owners would mind if I picked a few. They said they were too busy, thought they might be wormy, and I was welcome to take all I liked. They even offered me a ladder! I plan to go back with a step stool and a bucket this weekend. Hooray for neighborhood gleaning (with permission of course)!


PaperCraneFarm June 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I happened across a Craigslist ad last year from someone offering free apples from their tree – they would collect the apples that dropped off their tree. We got 3 copy paper boxes and I made loads of apple sauce to freeze for the winter. I now regularly check the free listings on Craigslist to see what there might be.


Trish June 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

After reading your blog for a year or so, I finally decided to take some things into my local kids consignment shop. It was about 3 armloads of baby things we don’t need: a wooden activity block, a bag of plastic blocks, two unopened 3-packs of bibs, two shirts, a pair of PJ bottoms, and some little sunglasses. They gave me over $60 in in-store credit– which I used to buy clothes for my preschool-aged son. I found a pair of like-new jeans, sweatpants, nice REI hiking shorts, and a sweater. I have over $40 in credit left to spend!

I figure that the benefits of consignment are virtually endless. It helps the economy by supporting a local small business as well as the family who consigned the clothes. It prevents extraction of oil and the air pollution,water pollution, etc. associated with shipping clothes from overseas. It doesn’t support the fast fashion industry with its child-labor and unsafe unfair working conditions. It prevents the water, air, and soil pollution associated with cotton farming. It keeps these used items out of landfills and incinerators and it keeps money in my pocket and clothes on my son. What a win! Thanks for all of the inspiration Katy!


PaperCraneFarm June 18, 2016 at 5:20 pm

You also might look for seasonal consignment sales – we go to several each year to get the next round of clothing. Look for one near you:


Gina in Ky June 19, 2016 at 8:34 am

Late to party as usual! I have been so busy with work for the last YEAR I can barely find time to do anything else. We are finally hiring me a co-worker, though, so relief is coming!

1. Getting ready for the summer parenting time with my two boys (I share custody with their father and have extended time in the summer due to school schedule). This includes three weeks of day camps while I work. They are expensive (like any childcare) and I feel like I am pretty much breaking even between salary and expenses in the summer, but I think they are worth it to my boys (plus it is really hard to find childcare for teen and tween boys) and my frugal ways this year has made it much less of a financial burden.

(All of that being said, I am curious to know at what age did some of you start to leave your children home alone for short-as in 2-3 hour intervals? I am sure it varies by the child’s maturity, but, oddly enough, there is no law in place for this number and I have been hesitant to do it more than an hour or so.)

2. Cleaning the house. I mean as in I am trying so hard to break my hoarding tendencies. I love the quote from the movie Boyhood that goes something like “I spent the first half of my life obtaining all this stuff and I’ll spend the second half getting rid of it”. I have two big boxes of crap to go to the thrifts and recycled a forest of old paperwork. I am letting go of projects I will never do and items that remind me of not-so-fond past. It’s a lot harder (for me at least) than it sounds, but I am not out shopping (I don’t want to add to the problem) and I will be able to take the donation credit on next year’s taxes. Plus, I am loving the reclaiming of my house’s space.

3. Shopped our equivalent of the outlet store (I wish we had the west coast one). I bought a lot of food for summer including granola bars, coffee, canned goods, rice milk, and other pantry items. I m not sure everything is a bargain there, but I think I did ok (I spent $35 and came out with quite a few bags).

4. Stayed home all weekend. I had thought about going downtown for the Pride Festival, but I decided to clean the house instead. If I had gone, I am sure I would have bought expensive beers, possible food and this is not frugal. I did attend one free event to support the community.

5. I think I have been using this one a lot: I used the pressure cooker to make beans for the week (black and red). I absolutely LOVE that I can make a batch from dry beans in under 30 minutes. I m a vegetarian and this helps with the protein balance in our meals. I will make quite a bit of variety using these beans and freeze some for later on.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s or dad-like folks!


LisaC June 19, 2016 at 8:56 am

I did something future- frugal for my husband today (Father’s Day). I cleaned out and organized our financial and medical paperwork, and wrote a cover letter to explain where everything is, what amounts are owed or invested, and how to contact people to get more information. I do the books for our home, and if something happened to me, this will hopefully help him to be financially ok.


Florencia June 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

There’s a great book for this kind of thing. It’s called “Get It Together.”


meg June 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

1. Summer “camp” season starts tomorrow for my 4 year old. Scouted out as many of the free community and church camps that I could find.
2. Instead of going out to celebrate birthday/father’s day we stayed home and had in-laws over. We grilled london broil and pork tenderloin all bought on deep discount. Much less money and better, too.
3. Have not succumbed to the siren song of 99 cent iced teas for a month!! This is a big deal for me 🙂
4. I need to renew my teaching certification and have chosen to do book studies that are completely online. The school system provides the books and I don’t need to find child care to attend any classes.
5. Cancelled the roadside assistance from our insurance since we were given a free AAA membership. We didn’t renew AAA this year because roadside assistance from insurance was much cheaper and provided the same services. We also experienced some horrible service from them, so I guess they’re trying to win back some customers. We probably still won’t renew, but it’s nice to have it for free for a stint.


Emily June 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

1. Last minute weekend trip to visit my boyfriends family. We stayed at s hotel the second night, which wasn’t part of the plan but due to some unexpected circumstances , they paid. We ate the included breakfast this morning and took a few pieces of fruit to go.
2. Bought an electric toothbrush. Used a coupon; so it was only about 23 dollars. Shipped free with prime; so didn’t even have to go to the store. Hoping this will help decrease my dental costs.
3. Made a pitcher of iced tea with the iced tea packets I just bought. I used a b1g1 coupon so got 2 boxes for 3.50. Cheap drinks all summer!
4.harris teeter may be having super doubles this week so I’m getting my coupons ready! Since I have the time over summer, I really stock the personal care items for Christmas baskets.
5. Sold some little things here and there on mercari and varage sale. Money toward my allergy shots!
6. Inventoried the freezer and pantry!


IsabelI June 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

1. Did my weekly shop today and thought of you! Out of season cherries advertised for $20! Didn’t look to see for how many! Cherries are sold here at
Xmas and I buy a few then and appreciate them as they deserve!
2. Forgot my weekly shopping list but bought everything on it from memory at $1 less than my budget allowed!
3. Cleaned out a drawer and found 5cents!
4. Think I have saved enough for my Taxation now!
5. Am inspired by all of you!


rjr June 20, 2016 at 3:12 am

1. Made a pasta salad from pasta, beans, olives, lemons, tuna and olive oil that I had.
2. Made egg salad to have on hand as well. I am moving and will put in new fridge with pasta salad to hopefully offset the urge to get take out.
3. Made father’s day brunch here from things I had on hand, even a key lime pie as my dad loves it.
4. My kind neighbor has allowed me to use her storage space in the basement of our condo building to store items. Need to get her a bouquet of flowers as a thank you.
5.I found a piece of lasgana in the freezer last nigh. Had that for dinner.


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