Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 20, 2016 · 56 comments

I’ve gone a few days without blogging as my computer was hit with a death-ray level virus that shut it down and required a complete erase and restart. I lost everything on my desktop, and only time will tell what important files and photos are now but a faint memory. I could wallow in grief or choose to move forward, and I choose the forward path. So here you go, a fresh blog post to cover the past three days that went wholly undocumented.

  1. I worked both Friday and Saturday, although I only brought food one of those day as my older son is home from college and leftovers are being consumed again. However, I took it as an opportunity to treat myself to the hospital salad bar, which has the most delicious poached salmon priced at the same amount as everything else.
  2. I threw a huge graduation party for my younger son at the house last night. I made all the food from scratch, served lemonade and iced tea, used our own dishes, cloth napkins and silverware instead of disposable, (even though it meant having to wash dishes halfway through the party) borrowed a fire pit to create a s’more station, bought zero grad theme decor and encouraged invitees to not bring a gift, as I want to promote frugality not just for my family but for our friends as well. It was a huge success and my son really appreciated the effort. I was in a panic an hour or so before the party, as I didn’t feel prepared enough due to working the previous two days. But in the end everything turned out perfectly.
  3. I brought my Dansko clogs home from work with a plan to replace the insoles. My feet have been torturing me after my 12-1/2 hour shifts lately, so this action will pamper my feet and give me a few more years until I need to replace the shoes.
  4. I made black bean and corn salad for the party using beans that I threw into the crockpot after work on Saturday night. By morning the beans were done cooking, and the dish was was as easy as throwing in a bag of frozen corn kernels, cilantro, minced red onion and some tea towel salad dressing. This dish is always a hit, plus it’s cheap, healthy and delicious.
  5. I bagged up some unused grocery store items that were specifically bought for the party. I’ll return them to the store this afternoon for a refund.

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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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

amanda June 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

1. My daughter’s replacement BOG boots were taking forever to get to her, over 2 months of badgering when I finally received a reply: oops, they were sent to the wrong house! By the time they arrived (overnight shipping) they were too small for her, but are perfect for her little sister.
2. Hubby vended breakfasts at an expo over the weekend 2 hours from home. We had the leftover pancakes for brunch and used the bacon in blt’s for dinner, the lettuce from our greenhouse. While the weather sucked and not many people showed for the expo, it was a fun weekend for the kids to play with other kids and camp out. They were able to have s’mores, too, from the leftover crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate that I had squirreled away once our county enacted their burn ban.
3. Found 15 cents on the ground in Costco. Didn’t care about the people giving me odd looks as I walked around picking it up.
4. At the expo, I traded some of my hubby’s pancakes for 67 articles of almost new clothing for my eldest. She tried them on this morning and while most fit, the smaller stuff will go to her little sister (then on to the littlest). It will make the middle daughter happy until I buy her new bigger boots.
5. Last week our company had ‘safety week’ and every employee was given a fire extinguisher. I decided to leave it in my rig tucked behind the back seat. Hopefully, I’ll never need to use it!


JD June 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about the computer’s demise. I’d wondered what happened. I hope the data losses will be minimal.
Here’s my five frugal.
1. Father’s Day — my kids and I picked up groceries requested by the father we were celebrating (my husband) and cooked at my house. So much cheaper than a deli or eating out, even though we got shrimp and steak for four (the frozen shrimp was BOGO, yay, and the four of us split two small steaks).
2. I made dessert from blueberries I’d picked the day before, a fruit crumble from the More With Less cookbook. Only I left the sugar out of the crumble topping. I realized it just as I was about to put it in the oven, so I sprinkled the sugar on top of the topping and tossed it slightly with a fork, and it was delicious. Saved!
3. We have a formal pond with fish, and the algae is so hard to keep under control in this Florida sun. Algae treatments are expensive. We found that floating planters help, as they block the sun and the plants in them help clean the water. They are also expensive, though, even online, and used ones are non-existent it seems. We found a plant nursery which had several large ones which they’d not been able to sell. With some negotiation, we got them for $104 for all of them — the sticker prices had added up to, no kidding, $399.99.
4. My husband’s pillowcase split just alongside one of the long seams. The sheets are getting old, but I sewed a new seam anyway. We’ll see how long this lasts. I know it just made it through another washing.
5. I continue to go to Goodwill to look for specific items that I need and walk out without a purchase if they don’t have exactly what I wanted. It can be hard, but the more I do it, the easier it’s getting.


A. Marie June 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

First, my condolences on the computer disaster. I’ve been expecting the elderly laptop I use for web-surfing (as opposed to the desktop I use for telecommuting) to go the way of all electronics for some time now.

Now, my FFT, Weekend Edition:

(1) DH and I spent the weekend solving our “Are we having fun yet?” problem by rambling around the county and having thrifty good times. First, we hit the bimonthly book sale at an excellent suburban library and came away with two sagging bags of books for $16.

(2) Next, we enjoyed a delicious chicken BBQ dinner at a rural church. (Churches, volunteer fire departments, and other nonprofits in our area traditionally hold chicken BBQs as fundraisers, using an absolutely yummy recipe developed at Cornell. DH and I are connoisseurs.)

(3) I also bought some very reaaonably priced soaps and candles from the youth group craft table at the church. (The blushing, tongue-tied 12-year-old at the table melted my heart.)

(4) Our next stop was a 100-year-old feed and grain store south of town, where DH and I found an integral hose/hose reel set on the sales floor, in a box with a thick coating of dust. It had evidently been sitting there so long that the clerk, when asked for a price, said we could have it for $20. I found it priced on Amazon for $188.20 when we finally returned home. Woo-hoo on the deal–plus I no longer have to worry about tripping over 40 feet of hose when I’m watering my garden!

(5) Finally, we stopped at a just-reopened (after renovations) thrift shop in the same area, where DH found himself a pair of Levis cargo shorts with pockets galore for $5.


meg June 20, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Around here, the churches and VFDs do fried oyster suppers…fond memories of attending those with my father. Hadn’t thought of that in years…I’ll have to look one up when it’s oyster season…


PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

That sounds like a perfect day to me!


janine June 21, 2016 at 4:48 pm

What a great day! I am envious – have so much yard work it is hard to get away. Will try and make sure we attend a couple of church dinner this summer/fall. I remember them very fondly!


MW June 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm

– Patched my eldest son’s pants. He’s hard on knees.
– Crafted a Pride Parade hat out of scarves, a fake rose, a gigantic straw hat and some beads that I had hanging around.
– Made a Father’s Day dinner mostly on Saturday, then chucked the pork into the slow cooker for pulled pork sandwiches as we headed out to the parade.
– Altered a gigantic dress with a beautiful pattern into a summer dress for myself. $0.69, and it turned out rather well.
– With all the left overs I figure I won’t have to cook much this week as we do the swim lesson shuffle. I should probably freeze some of the pork in small portions to avoid it going bad. . .


Lindsay June 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm

1. I’ve been using Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish skills for free.
2. I saw a call for donations for a rural school library. I wanted to help, so I donated books I already had and shipped them in a re-used box.
3. I made bookmarks out of a thank you card and a wedding invitation that I otherwise would’ve just recycled.
4. My coworkers ordered lunch from the deli today. I walked with them but didn’t buy anything, instead eating the leftovers I had brought from home.
5. I picked up a library book (Real Murders by Charlaine Harris) for free entertainment.


Beth June 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Katy, I read the bit about splurging on poached salmon and salad and chuckled a little. I thought, “so she DOES splurge, just not on Cherries” 🙂

Also, a graduation party with real plates, silverware, and cloth napkins? How cool!

1. Drank free coffee/water at work and brought my own lunch (which is pretty typical of me)
2. Cooked and ate food at home this weekend instead of going out
3. Didn’t drive a lot this weekend, which saved gas
4. Went to the Goodwill outlet and bought only what I needed.
5. ????


Betty Winslow June 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

1. Picked up marked-down steaks and croissants for our Father’s Day cookout. Yum!! (Will wash and save the clear plastic clamshell to use for delivering goodies to a friend.)
2. Dinner tonight is leftovers.
3. Have been staving off going to the ice cream parlor by eating the frozen treats we already have.
4. Picked up a castoff computer version of Scrabble at school, installed it today, and have already lost to the computer twice. Fun, though….
5. Was gifted a bag of castoff costume jewelry to take apart and make into new pieces for my Etsy store. It’s like Xmas!!


lindsey June 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm

1. Was offered a small contract that I did not feel like doing, but I said yes and will put the money into savings.

2. Was longing for a gyro from a new restaurant in town but made myself eat leftovers instead. Once my hunger was gone, I stopped longing for the gyro.

3. Called an internet eyeglass provider (Goggles4U) when my husband’s glasses did not fit right. Their return date had passed but when I explained that my husband had purchased them as backup glasses so never wore them when they arrived. His main glasses broke and it was only then he pulled out the new glasses and realized that the prescription was somehow off and the nose piece was broken. I really did not think they would do anything, since it was more than 60 days after purchase, and figured we’d be spending another $50 plus for bifocals. I was thrilled when they immediately offered to replace the glasses and even offered that he could select different frames. Their customer service was so excellent, we will use them again. And I am really happy that we saved having to pay for new glasses.

4. Found a booklet of stamps in the parking lot of the post office. They were muddy on the outside, so obviously had been there for a while and I would not be able to find the owners. Inside they were perfect, so I got 20 Forever stamps for free.

5. The grocery store was remarking hamburger for immediate sale, since today was the sell-by date. They marked it down by $2 per pound, so it sold for $2.99 a pound (here in Fairbanks, 80/20 hamburger is $4.99 a pound). Snagged 10 pounds, which is perfect for the beginning of grilling season.


Marilyn June 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Wow, that was a great find on the stamps.


Susan Robinson June 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

I’m so glad you mentioned the Tea Towel Dressing! I used to make it all the time and I had forgotten where I had seen it. We just love it.


jennifer June 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1. I cooked a reduced pork roast yesterday in the crock pot. We will be eating BBQ sandwiches tonight for a quick meal with some fruit for dessert.
2.I’m planning for my upcoming beach trip by making a running list on my phone. I am also planning to take several pre-prepared things to throw is the crock-pot each morning so while we are there we will have healthy cheap meals to feed a crowd.
3. I gathered up all our beach toys and floats that we got free last year from someone that was leaving that day and didn’t want to lug it all home.
4. I am going to the library to check out some DVD’s that the kids haven’t already seen to watch on the long ride to the beach
5. Going thrifting to find my middle child a new swimsuit because hers is too small. Wish me luck!


PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 2:12 am

What a great idea to use the crock pot on vacation to reduce the cooking burden. Hmmm, maybe I can do the same on our cabin camping this summer as there will be electricity.


Jennifer June 21, 2016 at 6:18 am

The are many recipes for overnight French toast and breakfast bakes made in a crockpot for waking up to a cooked breakfast that are nice too. I guess my favorite thing to do is put a bunch of hotdogs in it on low and after a couple hours they will be perfect, plump, hot dogs that we graze on all day. I have just spent so many hours of vacation over the years, over the stove. It really helps and is perfect for a large family that is hungry at different times.


PaperCraneFarm June 22, 2016 at 2:45 am

Oh yum. I do think it is time to find new recipes for the crockpot. I haven’t made breakfast in it yet.


Beth Anne June 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm

1. Sitting at the health dept evening clinic to get my daughters immunization shots at the cheaper price. Because I had not gotten prior approval for my shots from my insurance in advance they wanted me to agree to pay120 if not covered. Got her shots and I will come back another time for mine.

2. Made due with a bean burrito lunch at home instead of lunch at Costco

3.Borrowed books from the library and signed my girl up for the summer reading program

4. We have been enjoying free Netflix trial online and eve

5. Got cheap oil change over the weekend. They tried to up sell me, I so hate that!


Beth June 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Not eve meant DVD, rolls eyes. Forgot to mention its 80 in the house upstairs in the bedrooms but refuse to turn the air down. Also had to breakdown and water everything, think I could hear the water meter ticking around as I watered!


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones June 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm

I’m a big fan of making beans from dried in the slow cooker myself, especially since beans are usually the main protein on our menus. I keep a few cups in the fridge and freeze the rest.


pattilou June 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Oh Katy, sorry about the computer. I feel your pain. I hope you can recover your photos. I once had a friend offer to “fix” a problem with my phone and before I knew it all of my photos were wiped out. This was before I had icloud. Needless to say, I back up a lot now and my friend is never allowed to touch my phone again!

1. I got to go to an amusement park for free this weekend.
2. was given a free meal voucher so dinner at the park was paid for.
3. I packed the snack bag for the group for the day. We had pretzels and Kashi bars that I already had. I also froze all of the water bottles that I was given from a friend so we had cold water to drink all day.
4. I downloaded the Amazon app and will receive a 5 dollar gift card for doing so.
5. Earned enough Swagbucks to get a $25.00 gift card.


Katy June 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

I actually have my photos in Dropbox, so they should be okay. A few on the computer, but mostly just fine.


Marilyn June 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

1. Earlier this month, I took a one-week vacation to visit my sisters in CT. This meant flying from Portland, OR to Hartford-Springfield. I read that the best budget-friendly day to fly is Wednesday, so I left on a Wed and returned the following Wed. I believe I saved at least $100 by flying mid-week.
2. Packed very carefully for my trip so I could fit everything in a carry-on bag and avoid the checked-bag fees. This had the added advantage of persuading me not to buy anything while in CT since I had no room in my carry-on bag.
3. Took a tip from NCA and packed snacks for the trip – crackers, apple slices and cheese. Did not have to buy any airport food or beverages.
4. I am now looking into getting a cash rewards credit card. (I do not carry a balance on any cards so I think this will work for me).
5. I planned a simple Father’s Day for my husband. We saw a movie (“Money Monster”. Tickets were $3.75 for the matinee). Then, I made my husband’s favorite casserole for dinner. Our son and our daughter called and we spent time talking with them. All in all, a nice day and not expensive.


Kristen June 20, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Oh man, I’m so sorry about your computer! And on an Apple too. Geez.


Katy June 20, 2016 at 10:36 pm

I’ve had the computer for at least seven years and don’t expect to replace it anytime soon, so I’m certainly getting my money’s worth from it!


Emily June 21, 2016 at 3:14 am

I’ve had my MacBook since my Sr. Year of hs, almost 9 years! It’s old and heavy but I love it .


Kristen June 21, 2016 at 7:54 am

My main computer is a PC that Mr. FG built, but last year I bought a refurbished macbook so that I have something portable. So far I really like it, although I prefer my ergonomic PC keyboard for lots of typing.


Katy June 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

I love my laptop, which I hope for continue using for at least a few more years!


Karen June 22, 2016 at 8:29 am

My laptop will be 9 years old in August. My son in law is responsible for keeping this computer going. I asked him last weekend if it would be cost effective to build the whole laptop again with faster better software, ram and battery. My computer is starting to have old age issues. I love the how the hardware on this computer is so substantial.

Sadly he said it would not be worth it, so I will work with this computer until it dies. It was definitely worth the money.

Isabelle June 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm

* Grabbed 2 free lunchs at work
* Bought ice cream and cones to have at home instead of going out for ice cream It’s like 10 times cheaper.
* Eating all the leftovers in the fridge before leaving for a trip. Will do a grocery once there instead of eating out every day.
* Went to a day of mostly free activities suited for the kids. Cost : 6$ for 2 pancakes breakfasts for the kids. The rest, we did for free. Hubby and I ate at home beforehand and brought snacks and water for all.
* Daughter hurt her knee. Rented walking aid (15$/week) instead of buying it (40$). Asked the physical therapist at my work for what to do next instead of going to an outside clinic and pay 80$ for the same recommendations. (And she’s already better, yay!)

Have a great frugal day!


Mand01 June 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Right now I am frugal failing at a cafe, buying a flat white for $4.60!!! Lord. It’s my own spending money though. Work is crazy right now and this is my little treat.

1. I’m having leftover black bean and beef chilli made over the weekend, for lunch today, which we also had for dinner the last two nights. Fine by me – it was awesome.
2. I made fresh tortillas using lard I rendered myself.
3. My boss is paying for over $3K of courses for me over the next month, which are all things I personally need for my career as well as benefiting his business. That’s about $5K in after tax benefits if I had to pay for that myself so I am really happy.
4. We have peas in the garden
5. I’m listening to another audiobook in the car: The Seven Money Rules For Life


PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 2:15 am

Our peas are in too but the hot weather out here in MA is ending their season too early. Boo.


Tricia June 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

1. Hung towels on the line yesterday.
2. Bought half price steaks for Father’s Day.
3. Did not stop at DD after work–training nursing students is tough work!
4. Husband painted the shutters of our house instead of hiring someone.
5. Picking blackberries getting ready to make preserves this weekend!
*And vowing to save cash for two in college this Fall!*


PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 2:18 am

Blackberry preserves sound amazing and like a great Christmas present to give so you don’t spend cash on presents.

If you use it the Ibotta app has a weekly $.75 rebate on one pectin. I’ve been getting one box every shopping trip as it never goes on sale out here.


Tricia June 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

That is my plan for Christmas gifts. I also have a huge Concord grape vine that I hope to get greater than 20 lbs this year, if the black rot I have been dealing with doesn’t get the best of them. My first year we harvested 20 lbs so fingers crossed!


Marie-Josée June 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I’m sorry for your computer tragedy, Katy. Hope you manage to salvage some files! And bravo for your frugal and successful graduation bonanza.

Mega frugal fail:
We have been neck deep in renovations on and off since last October. Only frugal win is that we benefited from IKEA’s kitchen sale and got $ 800 worth of store gift cards. We will NEVER EVER do the kind of major renovations that we are currently doing while actually living in our home. We rented a condo for two weeks while my husband demolished and re-built the kitchen and ripped the floors out and replaced them mid-May. Four weeks later nothing is finished. My husband did his best, but ran into so many surprises (uneven cement floors galore, uneven walls, etc.) Their is cement and plaster dust everywhere and on everything and we have been eating out and buying prepared foods galore. Budget? It got busted a long time ago. Uh! I feel totally overwhelmed, and feel like I have lost control over my life. It will be gorgeous though when finished, if only I could stop feeling like weeping!


Isabelle June 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Renovations are the worst, I feel your pain!


Madeline June 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

1. Met 3 other retired friends at the clubhouse of one friend’s apartment building, for card playing.Free kerugi,coffee pods included! Free Hand and Foot card game! Free conversation! Priceless friendship!! From 1 -4 PM we sat and used someone elses air conditioning (it’s Arizona!)

2. Used leftover frozen rice to stretch some stir fried eggplant for supper.

3. Came home and had Happy Hour with hubby on our patio, $4.00 wine (cheap taste,here, a good thing!) and some hummus and crackers from pantry.

4. Wearing outfit totally from thrift store, including shoes, great gladiator sandals that fit perfectly!!

5. Signed up for Uber on both my husbands and my phones, so we could both use a $22 off coupon, which will pay for our trips to and from airport to go see family next month.. and save the BIG FEE it would have cost to drive ourselves and park our car for too many days!


Bee June 20, 2016 at 5:28 pm

My son is home this summer also, and he is a human garbage disposal. No leftovers are left behind once he raids the frig. He has a hollow leg!

My FFT include:
1) I was in charge of dessert for our Father’s Day. I made three key lime pies. I needed 6 egg yolks which left me with 6 egg whites. To use them up, I made meringues. These are wonderful with strawberries and whip cream.
I also broke 3 eggs when separating them, so I made a crustless quiche for breakfast. I bit of work, but zero waste.
2. Made some white jeans that I seldom wore into peddle pushers. I think I will wear them much more often. It is just too hot for long pants.
3. I bought some vintage dansk cookware at an estate auction for resale, but oh it is lovely. I don’t know if I can let it go.
4. I went thrifting on Friday and I found a wonder blouse which I am wearing today.
5. For entertainment, I have been reading from my stack of books from the Friends of the Library sale. I just finished The Art Forger.


Bee June 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

That is a wonderful blouse.


meg June 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

1.husband will do an electrical repair that he knows he has the skill to do instead of hiring it out. (But he is having a hard time finding the right part.)

2. Took advantage of the summer meal program at our area school. Free hot lunch for kids and good experience getting my soon to be school age kids comfortable in the school.

3. Value village had 25 percent off clothing and shoes. I wanted swim trunks and wide width shoes for my oldest and I found both!

4. Free used book giveaway at the hot lunch program. Just took one as they will be doing that everything every Monday.

5. Looking forward to Wednesday’s loss leader at local market: $2/lb cherries!



PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 2:40 am

I am paranoid about backing up pictures but am less on top of other home and business file back ups. Hmmm. I think I’ll add that to today’s to do list. Sometimes someone else’s bad experience is your strong reminder!

1. Was so grateful to be awoken at 3:15 am by a thunderstorm. It hasn’t rained in weeks and there isn’t any rain the forecast. A thunderstorm with rain is a blessing even if it woke me up!

2. Have family visiting from out of town and made way too much food this weekend. They will be eating leftovers all week with us.

3. Made a Mexican style meal in the crock pot by pulling a bag of garden tomatoes out of the freezer, adding a bag of frozen shredded garden zucchini, a container of frozen cooked beans made from our garden beans, a bag of leftover rice frozen after a meal, leftover corn, leftover sautéed mushrooms, leftover caramelized onions and two discounted cans of refried beans. We have too much stuff in the freezer and I’m anxious to clear out last year’s garden harvest ASAP with this year’s harvest on the way.

4. There is a little town beach on a pond that is free to residents with maybe a 50 foot beach, playground, picnic tables and lots of shade! We took the out of town family there and our toddlers had a blast. Just a short car ride, sand, warm water, breeze, small waves, some shells = just perfect when you’re a toddler!

5. I’m slowly decluttering and unearthed another box of class notes from grad school. I saved the binders and recycled the notes. If I haven’t needed them over the last eight years, I think I can continue onwards without them.


Emily June 21, 2016 at 3:21 am

1. Babysat last night and will today. The Parents brought me home subway last night and I’ll eat lunch with the kids today. Two free meals!
2. Am lined up to pick up a dresser and night stand for 80 dollars on Craig’s list. I’ll fix up both and sell the night stand (along with a chair that is where the dresser will be). Bf and I haven’t had a dresser in almost a year, but I finally have the time to look and fix one up!
3. Have my Harris Teeter list ready to go for super doubles tomorrow! I stock pile toiletries and personal care items for the school year when I’m too busy to mess with coupons, and for items to add to Christmas care baskets.
4. Got a new dress form for my online listings. Re-took a lot of pictures for my poshmark closet to make them look more clean and clear. Hopefully this will increase sales!
5. I may have a dog sitting gig lined up in a few weeks. Just got my account activated on dogvacay. This would be awesome as I start allergy shots soon and am living off of savings until school starts again in August :).


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 21, 2016 at 5:01 am

Bravo for throwing a frugal party! It’s challenging but it can so be done. 🙂

1. We went on a five-hour road trip last weekend to visit my dad. Instead of eating fast food on the road like usual, we packed a picnic lunch. We ate at a gorgeous rest stop off the highway and ate a healthy lunch–perfection!

2. We were house hunting this past week, which has thrown our meal plan out the window. Instead of throwing in the towel and buying dinner at a restaurant, we made an impromptu meal of bean tostadas.

3. Instead of buying the fancy $10 chocolate at the store, I made a chocolate cake at home with ingredients I already had. This was my first attempt making icing, and I have to say that I need more practice. 😉

4. My in-laws gave us a free dozen of eggs from their free range chickens, so we saved $6 on our grocery bill there. Woohoo!

5. I almost bought a $40 perfume online, but I’m looking into ways to make perfume at home with my essential oils instead.


Bettypants June 21, 2016 at 5:11 am

I’m impressed by your frugal party planning. I love the smores station idea.
1. Sold an old Wii game on ebay for $10.
2. My car needed a new battery, so I bought one to install myself instead of paying mechanic. My neighbor bailed me out by helping with a bolt and a clamp, and refused to take payment. His wife picked out several perennials from my garden, which I dug up and delivered.
3. Finished painting my antique desk and listed on FB and CL. No buyer yet, but some favorable comments, so hopefully soon.
4. Listed 4 items on freecycle on Saturday, and 3 were picked up that afternoon. Obviously this is petty, but I feel annoyed when someone can’t be bothered to write “Thanks” after they pick up free items. This time I put a container in the middle of my driveway to prevent them from coming up to turn around and driving across my lawn, like the last person.
5. My son is staying at my parents’ house this week. They all have a wonderful time, and I get to skip paying for an entire week of summer camp.


Katy June 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

Not only was the s’more station a hit, but it required zero prep on my part. Buy it, set it out, and then let party guests make the s’mores themselves!


Vickie June 21, 2016 at 5:56 am

1) We have leftovers from the weekend. I made steaks, potato salad and western beans for hubby on Father’s day. I made myself a steak meat burrito last night for dinner. Yum!
2) I worked from home yesterday, waiting on the delivery of the TV he bought from Best Buy. They messed up the delivery dates and had to reschedule, but I had time to take breaks from working online, so I cleaned, decluttered and did a few loads of laundry. I saved gas too, since I didn’t go anywhere.
3) I’m sticking to my healthy morning nut/berry/yogurt mix and drinking the coffee provided by the Department.
4) I have 3 signed prints/paintings I’ve decided to sell. Two I can place in a friend’s gallery and the other I’m going to sell online.
5) I have a compost pile in my backyard, where I throw non-meat food debri and seeds. I noticed a few weeks back we have a voluntary Sand Plum Tree coming up next to it. Free fruit in a few years, yay!!


PaperCraneFarm June 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm

I had to go google sand plums. They’re not native to MA but could grow here if we look at the zone. Are they yummy? Can you eat them fresh? One site said they had bad thorns?

I love finding new plants to investigate and possibly add to our must buy list!


K D June 21, 2016 at 8:01 am

1. We need a rental car next month when we travel to a family gathering. I had booked one last month but the rate seemed high (added taxes and fees can really cost you). I checked on COSTCO Travel the other day and their rate was almost 50% less (I had checked them earlier and there was no discernible difference).

2. Through today Safeway has a deal where you save $10 on a purchase when you buy $50 or more of certain gift cards. I did the deal once last week and did it again today, to get $50 Lowe’s gift cards. Of course my only purchases were greatly discounted items.

3. A friend is having a party this weekend. She has faced many challenging situations recently. Yesterday I asked her if she wants any help this week. I helped with some cleaning and will lend her a few items. Mostly she just appreciated the support.

4. We continue to make heavy use of the library: books, e-books, DVDs. What a wonderful use of our tax dollars.

5. I made a big batch of “everything but the kitchen sink soup” yesterday. It will be good for lunches this week.


Juliette Lanvers June 21, 2016 at 11:58 am

we are not a frugal family per se but I enjoy your blog a lot, I am more of a minimalist and just do not buy a lot of stuff if I can help it. I do buy nice quality things though when they are needed and I am very grateful I have that option.

We did a frugal thing though for father’s day so I think I will share it you:
We discovered that with our expired ski season passes we can use the tram to get to the top of the resort all summer for free. It is a $57 value for three people each time. We are going to take a picnic there next time since the food is horribly expensive and the beer is $7 to $9 each!


janine June 21, 2016 at 5:49 pm

1. Made homemade banana bread this afternoon with mushy bananas.
2. Stayed home and made ice cream cones from a package of cones I had on hand – not as good as Dairy Queen, but adequate and cheap.
3. Ate ‘not too tasty’ leftovers for dinner tonight supplemented by burgers.
4 Attended a graduation party this weekend – gifted $$ and a card I already had on hand which was a savings over a Hallmark purchase. Bonus was wonderful conversations with new graduates about their college plans at schools across the country.
5. Made huge batch of sun tea – best drink on the planet on hot and humid summer days.


MamaMinou June 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm

1. Eating blueberries from garden for breakfast every day
2. Finished our CSA farm box this week with zero waste, even the veggies we aren’t crazy about (garlic scrapes and spicy radishes)
3. Library books and movies! The best entertainment
4. Finished leftovers for lunch
5. Exchanged clothes with a friend…already secondhand shopping finds, now new wardrobe items for both of us


tonya parham June 22, 2016 at 7:54 am

1. Did groceries yesterday and (mostly) stuck to my list. Found yogurt for .59 each on closeout.

2. Went to work in Nashville (two hour drive away) and kept food cost down by grabbing some bread, cheese, and fruit for dinner in the hotel room.

3. Went to a couple of yard sale Friday and found an awesome old library chair to sit in for my work station at home!

4. Reserved two books I want to read at the local library.

5. Signed up for some online work that will be scheduled the end of July. Plan to either put that money in savings or pay it extra on the house. (My goal is to get our home paid off in 10 years!)

6. This may or may not be frugal. The cats needed a new fountain (they love running water and it helps prevent any sort of kidney issues if you get them to drink plenty) and I had enough gift cards to pay for it, but there was a credit card offer with a $50 gift card. So, I applied. I don’t ever plan to use it and think when it comes I will either freeze it or cut it up. I just wanted the gift card! I know I won’t cancel it since that would be a hit to my credit but I may just use that card to renew my prime membership and then just pay it off.


tonya parham June 22, 2016 at 8:15 am


I forgot the most frugal thing!

2 years ago, my wife ordered a Tuft and Needle mattress. We sleep on the floor (or did at the old house that had carpet) and a 5 inch mattress was fine for there. But getting the new home, we decided to get a nice bed but that the 5 inch mattress would be too thin and is too thin for the hardness of these hardwood floors.

She emailed them and told them our situation and ask if since she wasn’t sure if the discomfort was compression of the mattress (there’s a 10 year warranty for comfort) or the new floors but that she wanted to get the thicker mattress and wondered if they might offer a discount.

THEY ARE SENDING A NEW FREE MATTRESS! I’ve been very happy with the product they offer and would be happy to purchase the new model (mattresses are something I would never ever buy used) but I was just gobsmacked that they stand behind their product to this extent and was so happy with her for asking for the discount! So, as we furnish our home, I’m going to look for a bed for the spare bed room and when I find one, you can guess what company will get the business for the new mattress to go on it.


Sarah C June 27, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Please do not return food to the grocery store. They are legally obligated to throw it away and cannot resell it to other customers. That’s waste on an extreme level.


Mand01 June 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

I had to chuckle a little reading this. My husband is the son and son in law who keep the family laptops going. When his parents finally got a new one he took it and rebuilt it with a new Linux system. Good as (almost) new. I swear he pays for our fortnightly dinner at my parents’ with free tech support.


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