Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 8, 2016 · 85 comments

Retirement banks

  1. I sold my Goodwill table for $135, which is not too shabby since I picked it up for $24. It took a few days of e-mailing back and forth, but mostly because I worked long 12-hour shifts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
  2. I stopped by one of my mother’s guest cottages yesterday to her help finish cleaning between tenants. I didn’t get paid, but I did bring home two bags of groceries which included an untouched mini marionberry pie, orange juice, milk, bread, ice cream, peanut butter, jam, creamer and a power bar.
  3. My husband forgot to bring his packed lunch to work last night. Instead of buying lunch, he came home around midnight to pick it up. (The poor guy work 5 P.M. to 5 A.M.)
  4. My older son and I stopped at Goodwill, although I didn’t buy anything. However, I did spy a few 0f my favorite targeted savings banks. I’ve come across this elderly couple at least five or six times through the years. I kind of wish I’d been buying them all along as I think they’d look cool all lined up together on a shelf. Buying nothing? 100% savings!
  5. My fancy thrifted Lane recliner was kind of wobbly, so I turned it upside down and found that it was missing three bolts. I took one out and proceeded to have the hardware store match it. I spent a grand total of $1.80, and now the chair no longer wobbles. Not a bad investment, especially since it would have cost $775 to buy a new version of this chair.

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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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Lide July 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

Nothing fancy or exciting but everyday things add up to savings too.
1. Eating from pantry & freezer
2. Got rid of cable a couple years ago – don’t miss it; enjoying shows/movies on netflix.
3. Got power windows in 2 of our vehicles fixed for less than the cost of getting one fixed (if we had purchased the part from the repair shop) – Go Ebay!
4. Grouping errands to save gas
5. Reading free ebooks on my kindle.


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Same here for cable. We decided a long time ago to skip cable because we knew we would be watching too much mindless TV if we had it. And the cost nowadays, geez! So Netflix it is. And honestly if it wasn’t for the kids and hubby, I would get rid of that too.


Mand01 July 8, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Australia has a different system to the States – we have about 16 free to air channels. There is one ‘pay TV’ provider but not many people use it as the free to air is so good. We have just got Netflix in the past year and we have two other Streaming providers. Truthfully, I watch about one show on TV, and the rest I stream on Netflix- probably once a week. I agree that if it weren’t for my kids (actually one – the other doesn’t watch TV), we wouldn’t bother at all.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 8, 2016 at 11:43 am

Bravo for not buying those adorable little glass people, haha!

1. We watched “Around the World in 80 Days,” which we rented for free from the library.

2. I ate my homemade lunch today, even though I wasn’t really feeling it and would have much preferred fried chicken.

3. We mistakenly bought an extra carton of whipping cream at the store last week. Instead of letting it go to waste, I’m going to turn it into whipped cream. It’s been a long time since I’ve made pate de choux (eclairs), and I plan on making some with the whipped cream and bulk blueberries we bought last week.

4. We remembered to go through our pantry and fridge today before making a grocery list. This means we’re avoiding food waste and extra expenses by eating what we have on hand.

5. We went to a free craft beer tasting yesterday.


LisaC July 8, 2016 at 11:56 am

I would love a free craft beer tasting. We used to have free wine tastings here in the off season, but they are costly now.


LisaC July 8, 2016 at 11:54 am

1. Our company left 1/3 of a cabbage, so I made cole slaw from scratch.
2. Will heat up some leftover bbq brought home from a friend’s house to go with the cole slaw.
3. Stayed home and cleaned up after company today, then read my book in the new peace and quiet. No going out in this heat today.
4. Its my turn to host our monthly girls night, so I’m planning the menu and asking friends to borrow coolers, chairs, and other supplies. Will use some things from my garden too. It will be a picnic at a free music venue.
5. Stayed in my pjs all day, not even a shower…mostly because I’m tired from the company, but does that count as frugal too? I saved water, detergent, soap haha.


Dale Emanuel July 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Either your husband follows your example well and OR he just wanted to see you! That is a mighty long day! And thanks for stopping by, always- xoxo


Katy July 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm

It helps that there aren’t a lot of food choices in the middle of the night. Although he probably missed me. 🙂


Tricia July 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

1. & 2.I have a wellness rebate plan with work $100 per claim so this week I have submitted 2 claims.
3. Had no idea I was signed up for automatic renewal of a magazine subscription just cancelled and will be refunded $30
4. Cheap date at the beach with hubs.
5. Not increasing the AC despite this awful heat.


Vickie July 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm

1. I ate a leftover sloppy joe for dinner last night.
2. I saved at least $5 getting the dog food at the feed store. I’m sure glad they started carrying the brand we use, every $1 of savings counts.
3. Our neighbor patched our roof & roof vents and only charged hubby $50 for the labor and materials. Considering how hot of a job that is and how expensive it would have been to hire a roofer, I think we’re good for now. Hopefully that will give us enough time to save for a new roof.
4. I received an anniversary e-certificate for a free night on my Marriott Rewards card. I used it for our stay in Austin this month.
5. I renewed the Library material I have checked out and reserved 3 more audiobooks on their website yesterday. Shopping with my favorite card!


Denise July 9, 2016 at 1:46 am

What is a “Sloppy Joe”? We don’t have them in England!


Rb July 9, 2016 at 8:31 am

Its ground beef usually, thats cooked and drained of fat, then seasoned with a savory/ sweet tomato based sauce. Like bbq sauce or we like a combo of ketchup and mustard. Serve on bread or buns as a messy sandwich. Variations are endless.


Bee July 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

You have a great eye, Katie.
1) My son who is a fairly new driver had a little accident which broke the tail light on my husband’s car. Rather than going through our insurance or using a local body shop, my husband ordered the tail light assembly online for $79. He fixed it himself with a rubber mallet and a screwdriver. It looks brand new and he saved a bundle!

2) Speaking of auto insurance, ours went up considerably at renewal. I spent approximately 30 minutes on the phone with an agent and brought it down the 6-month premium by $400 . I am still not happy with the rate, but Florida’s auto insurance premiums are among the most expensive in the country.

3) I went to my favorite thrift store yesterday. I found a great, casual summer dress for $4. It always makes me happy to find something inexpensive and cute to wear.

4) Of course, FFT wouldn’t be complete without mentioning food. I made a big pot of lentils for lunch yesterday. I have frozen two quart jars for later use. I bought a great deal of corn because it is cheap, cheap, cheap right now. I made corn salsa to put on tonight’s crab tacos. ( I did this while listening to Dave Ramsey.) My farm-share bag came yesterday. I am happy it is so plentiful.

5) I am looking forward to a thrifty weekend. I will use my YMCA membership to swim laps,. I will read my from my stack of Friends of the Library books. But most of all, I am going to clean my house. It is my turn to host my women’s club at my house. I want it to shine.


Mand01 July 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm

I’d say my FFT are frugal/not frugal:
1. Had lunch with a dear friend/ex colleague who now lives in the Northern Territory, in a remote Aboriginal community. She comes home about four times a year and always makes time to see me, and always shouts lunch. We had a lot of laughs – her stories about life in the outback are always the best.
2. I brought my own coffee and tea to work and resisted the urge to ‘stretch my legs’ by going to the fancy coffee shop. Instead I stretched my legs by parking my car further away.
3. I redeemed points from ninerewards (surveys) to get a free movie ticket. I was going to the movies with a friend – the voucher arrived just in time. Thank goodness too, because the movie was terrible and I would have hated to pay my own money for it,
4. While we were waiting for it to start, I did a couple more surveys, this is the only survey site I use, and it takes a while to get enough points to redeem anything but I have enough waiting now for another free movie. Also, I still get my cinema rewards card stamped when I use a free voucher, so after six free movies I will get another free movie. Because I got a free ticket I shouted my friend coffee.
5. It’s school holidays. My husband has had his shifts changed to more weekends so we don’t need all the vacation Childcare we booked in advance. We managed to cancel some, saving $200.
Not frugal- went out for dinner before the movie and had a HUGE steak. And ate the whole thing, which is really unhealthy. Also still have not had time to return a DVD to the library, so fines coming my way. And I made muffins last night and forgot to put them away – came home last night to blackberry cannon balls. Sigh.


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Maybe you could save the muffins by grinding them and using small amounts at a time into future baking?? (Keeping the rest in the freezer).


Mand01 July 8, 2016 at 7:04 pm

My kids still ate them this morning! These kids are crazy!!


Carol M. July 8, 2016 at 1:22 pm

I’ve tried to turn around furniture, like you, but I don’t seem to have the discipline to repost multiple times. Oh, well. One day I’ll do it.

1. Finished our roadtrip today. Mostly drank water on the road, only the occasional splurge on orange soda or Gatorade on a hot day.
2. Stayed with relatives all through the second half of our road trip, so no hotel fees.
3. Read library books for entertainment in the car.
4. Needed shorts, so thrifted 3 pairs for around $12. Proud to not buy new. One seafoam green American Eagle pair for everyday use, one gray knit fabric for exercise/sleep, one cool neon pink Billabong pair for swimming.
5. Not frugal but environmental–remembered to bring my travel mug for coffee on our way out of town this morning. Though global warming’s at panic level, it still brings me a little peace to do things like this.

Frugal fail: we forgot to get our passport applications in on time (we are going to Italy for our honeymoon) so had to pay an extra $60 each for expedited service.


Lindsey July 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm

1. Evidently I have not been checking my zucchini plants as well as I thought. Yesterday I found 5 HUGE ones, weighing in at over 40 pounds total. I didn’t feel like it, but I forced myself to make and can my favorite sweet zuke relish—ended up with 18 jars of it. I use it a lot, including to make homemade tartar sauce, so it won’t go to waste. Plus, I give baskets of home canned goods for Christmas gifts to six older friends who are financially on a short leash. I know they appreciate getting foods that don’t need to be consumed right away (like cookies) and I think it helps them survive.

2. Helped my husband, who sews like a professional (Thanks, MIL!), make two new dog beds out of canvas I bought at a yard sale for 25 cents a yard! Would have been much more expensive to buy the beds and they are always too small for great Danes.

3. Made latkes for dinner, from left lover zucchini that had not been used in canning.

4. Made two loaves of bread, one for the freezer.

5. Dehydrated sage and basil for winter cooking. Still have plenty left so we can use fresh herbs for the rest of the summer.

6. Harvested a bunch of beets, using the bulb to make a flourless chocolate cake and the greens chopped up finely and hidden in a meatloaf.


Katy July 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm

That’s a lot of zucchini!


Mand01 July 8, 2016 at 4:24 pm

I read this to my husband as we were driving into the city and we were just laughing in amazement at the 40 pounds of zucchinis. We always have trouble growing them because our soil here in our State is low in calcium. I’m hoping that we have better luck now that we’ve moved house.


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Good idea for the beets greens, plus it’s really healthy. My husband uses them the same as lettuce (to make salads).


Denise July 9, 2016 at 1:54 am

Mand – I grow mine in a couple of pots (I am presuming that zucchinis are what we call courgettes?). I live alone so even the possibility of 40lbs of one short shelf-life) veg frightens me. I would look like a fat little courgette by the time I had eaten all that!


Emily July 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

Last year when I grew vegetables I would shove tums around the roots to help with lack of calcium. works like a charm!


Mand01 July 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Are tums an antacid?

Bee July 10, 2016 at 3:25 am

Egg shells also will help to increase calcium in your soil.

Isabelle July 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm



JD July 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

Gypsum powder mixed in the soil will also help — that’s what we use to prevent blossom end rot on our tomatoes, caused by calcium deficiency.
Tums are a calcium antacid, yes.
Organic growers also help boost their soil calcium and nutrients by spraying milk — raw, pasteurized, sour, mixed-up instant, whatever — and a little blackstrap molasses. I wouldn’t count on the milk providing all the calcium needed, however.

Ruby July 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Katy, your Mister gets major points for coming home to retrieve his lunch.

The frugal five:
1. Took a lunch of leftovers to work as usual, even though I was getting very tired of them by yesterday.
2. The up side to our hideously expensive self-paid health insurance is really cheap prescriptions. I can’t get over how little drugs cost with this plan as compared to the last employer-paid plan we had.
3. Our son works a physical job and is out in the heat, which lately has been 100 degrees. His dad gave him a large insulated steel water bottle we weren’t using so that he doesn’t have to spend money on cold drinks.
4. Still using the garage door opener I repaired.
5. Have not gone thrifting in a couple of weeks because there’s simply nothing we need.


Amy July 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Woke up at 7 am, I am usually asleep until 10 am, to go to a huge garage sale.

1. Scored 5 dressed barbies for $1.50, my 5 year old is in heaven right now. They are her first real barbies.

2. Found Tri-Onomos for $1, I’very had it on our homeschooling wish list for 3 years but couldn’t bring myself to buy a new one.

3. Found a maxi skirt long enough for my 36 inch inseam legs for 50 cents. That has been on my wants list for 7 years!

4. Making homemade pizza for dinner tonight. Our oldest will be 16 next month, he’said a 6’2″ 200 lbs manchild who can put away a lot of pizza.

5. Went grocery shopping without the kids so no impulse buys!

Paid 4 times my normal student loan payment, second month in a row, which means less available money in the bank. That means I’m going to have lots of frugalness all month long.


K D July 11, 2016 at 5:51 am

Congratulations on the big student loan payments, it sounds like a good form of forced frugality.


Patti July 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

My frugal five while on a “girlfriend trip”:
1) One of us is responsible each year for picking our location. This year we are staying in a “resort state park” In a cabin. This is a beautiful place!
2) Each of us brings breakfast foods, snack foods, drinks, and things needed to prepare one meal, We combine all items so there is no “yours or mine”. We grocery shop for everything else and split the costs. We have successfully made all our meals except one. Today for lunch, we combined odds and ends from other meals for omelets. I brought a casserole I had made and frozen earlier and fresh produce from our garden.
3) Our activities have been all free or low-cost and we have truly taken advantage of everything in the park, even asking for a private showing of a movie they showed another day (the Park Ranger suggested this).
4) No souvenirs for us! I HAVE bought an artist ‘s pottery pie dish for a wedding gift and will add my own recipes when I get home.
5) I am layering my clothing due to chilly temps – no need to buy a sweatshirt or long sleeve tee shirt. Making do with what I have even if it is stretching my wardrobe a bit !! With SC having raging hot temps, we were not prepared for rainy days and cold temperatures. It has rained a lot every day ( flood warnings) but it is not stopping us one bit. We have participated in everything anyway except swimming!


jennifer July 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

1. I was cooking 2 cans of corn was planning to add a little butter but when I pulled the butter container from the fridge it was practically gone except for the small amount stuck to the sides and bottom that I couldn’t even scrape out with a knife. I didn’t want to put plastic in the microwave. I scooped a large spoonful of the warm corn into the butter container, the warm corn melted the butter then I poured it back onto the stove to continue cooking. No waste and delicious!
2. I went to the dentist after a lengthy price comparison of all local dentists. I have to drive a little longer distance to get to this dentist but the savings are worth it. The bad news is I have to have a root canal. The good news is cleanings/ x-rays are also much less than my old dentist so I will be doing more maintenance care than I have in the past.
3.I am planning to get up early and go to some yard sales in the morning. School starts back in one month and my middle child has had a growth spurt. I am hoping to find some great deals but it’s just plain luck with the yard sales.
4. I went through Kroger sale paper and printed a few coupons to put with my store coupons for a much needed grocery trip. I have some pretty high value coupons for meat and produce. The cherries are on sale for $1.99/lb so I may splurge on those with my coupon. I also downloaded my free Friday download from Kroger which is some kind of gatorade bar.
5. No Lear jet!


Tracy July 8, 2016 at 5:18 pm

If you belong to a free cycle group you can post your want for your middle child’s clothing needs and some is sure to respond. I have done this a couple of times for my son with great success and I always pay it forward when I have clothing someone else can use.


April July 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

1. My kids and I have made numerous trips to the library this summer. A wonderful, free afternoon trip.
2. My in-laws treated us to lunch today.
3. My husband and I are kid-free tonight, so there was the temptation to go out and enjoy a restaurant meal. Instead, we decided to stay home and eat what’s here.
4. All back to school clothes and supplies for both kids are bought. And all were purchased with cash. No credit cards used.
5. Redeemed reward points on our credit card and chose to use momentary value toward balance on card. It made a sizable reduction in the balance.


kathleen July 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1. Filled up car in advance of trip to visit m-i-l tomorrow. The station I regularly use was lowest price around.
2. Made 1 birthday card and 1 just-because card from supplies on hand, and bought 2 belated-birthday cards at Dollar Tree where they are 2 for $1 (and really cute). Letters included in each, and all are in the mail.
3. Submitted an article for publication which should bring in a little.
4. Was really hungry while running errands, and was near–and sorely tempted by–a great little vegetarian place, but I came home and had a sandwich.
5. I really…no, REALLY…need a haircut, but I’m still putting it off. And I haven’t succumbed to my quilting fabric addiction in over a month.


Krystal July 8, 2016 at 2:11 pm

1. I saw an apple with a big bruise and thought to compost it, but instead cut around it for an afternoon snack.
2. Leftovers for breakfast from our tummy burritos I made last night. Just add eggs!
3. No coffee or tea purchases this week, all homemade! Always a big one for me.
4. Cuddles with my sick cat, who is getting much better, free happiness!
5. Used my annual companion fare from my airline credit card to bring my husband on a work trip next week To somewhere he has never been! The company pays my expenses and hotel and food, so he is a minimal add on with expenses. He will take part in the free Smithsonian exhibits while I am in board meetings. His ticket was around $200 if you include our annual fee, on a $1,100 fare!


Kim July 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

Krystal are you coming to DC? If so I highly recommend the National Portrait Gallery which is not on the National Mall. It’s a few blocks over at 8th and F Streets. It’s right near China Town if he’s looking for lunch. Also there is a beautiful atrium in the museum and you can bring in your lunch.


tonya July 8, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I love FFT!

1) Daughter went on a camping trip. She borrowed my hiking shoes and her brother’s raincoat. Neither makes sense for her to have her own.
2) Hiked with my teenage son this morning after his sister left. He was offended to be woken up for a hike at 10:30am, bit he quickly got over it.
3) Weeded the veggie garden.
4) Drank .99 iced coffee from Dunkin doughnuts. Trying to wean off Starbucks iced coffee and this is doing the trick.
5) Dinner and Netflix at home tonight, as usual.


Jackie July 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm

This is my first Frugal Five,
1. Called my insurance’s behavioral health dept. about the free therapy visits if going through our company’s EAP. I desperately need them and it’s a new plan year for our insurance and can’t afford the out of pocket expense, so that saves me $500+.
2. It’s my day off because I work 10 hour days and typically go out to lunch or dinner, we stayed home for both, saved the $.
3. I wanted a fitness tracker because it helps earn rewards points with our insurance’s wellness program, used the points we’ve already earned for gift cards for Amazon, scored a Garmin with heart monitor that was $99 for $0.
4. Unsubscribed from all the restaurant email specials I had been receiving, reduces temptation and keeps us out of the places that cost too much for us to eat at.
5. Went through my closet to look at the professional clothes I have there for a temporary assignment with my company that if I accept it, will need to have since I’ll be working with the public in person, rather than by phone. Found enough for 5 days worth of dress clothes, no purchases required. That’s a huge savings because I can’t find clothing in my size at thrift stores/consignment shops due to being so obese.


cathy July 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Great score on the Garmin! And nice job “shopping” your closet. I dislike shopping, so I always check what I have before even considering going to the store.


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm

I’m right there with you on #5. I wear a size 18-20 and buying new at Plus Size stores is ridiculously expensive so people don’t tend to give away good looking clothes at thrift stores in those sizes… Once a size 10, I was able to buy 10$ pants (new) whenever… I wish! Looking for a bra at a Plus Size store last week : cheapest starting at 60$…. really?!?? So frustrating!!!


Bee July 9, 2016 at 2:32 am

If you live near a Marshall’s or TJMaxx, you may want to look for a bra there. I am a larger size and my daughter is an odd size. We often find Wachol bras for $15-$20 there rather than $60. It is hit or miss, but it can be worth the effort.


tonya parham July 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm

1. I got 9 containers of marked down yogurt for .25 each. It’s stupid how excited I was about that….

2. Got the new couch (which was free!) moved in last night and it looks really good. It’s only a couple years old and the cats (we have 7) are so excited that there are so many cushions to sleep on now. (It’s a sectional–which we have never had before.)

3. Wanted a sausage biscuit from McDonald’s today, made an english muffin with a fried egg on top instead.

4. Sold the extra stove, washer, and dryer that came with the house for $300. (Am going to see if I can’t just put that away and save it.

5. Have kept my air on 75 and been pleased with how cool the house is, I know many of you keep your air on 78 but I’m just not there yet– I always used to keep it on 72! So, I feel this is progress. Besides, during the winter, I keep the head rather low. I’ve got lots of padding for warmth and that works against me during the summer!


Michelle H. July 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm

1. Aldi had seedless watermelons for $1.45 each, limit 6. I texted neighbors to share the good deal and wound up dropping off 5 watermelons all over my neighborhood on the way home.

2. Husband is working evenings, so me and the single mom across the street invited other neighbor friends over to hang out around our fire pit after our kids were in bed. Cheap entertainment, great company, and I got some much needed grown up conversation.

3. Menu planning to use up what I already have before we go out of town. Only bought milk and fresh fruit this week.

4. Continuing to line dry all laundry.

5. Relative generously offered to let us borrow a car when we are visiting this month, saving me the cost of renting a car.

Fail(ish). Youngest moved up to a twin bed and I listed the toddler bed on Craigslist. Had zero interest in past month, even after dropping price twice. A coworker wanted it and I told her if she got it out of my house asap she could have it for free. The following day as she was loading it into her truck I got 2 separate texts wanting to buy the bed.


rjr July 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

It’s good karma though-it will pay off giving it to your coworker for free.


Kimberly July 8, 2016 at 4:29 pm

1. Using up leftovers for dinner tonight.
2. Found receipt for a dress I had bought on clearance and will return it. Even though it was less than $10, realized I just didn’t feel comfortable in it and would probably end up not wearing it. Horizontal stripes across the backside. What was I thinking??
3. Eating fresh veggies from the garden.
4. Organized the closet. Will help when getting ready for work in the a.m. and is a good reminder that I already own plenty of things to wear.
5. Supplementing the hens feed with a little kale from the garden. We planted waaay too much and can’t give it away fast enough.


Susie's Daughter July 8, 2016 at 7:17 pm

#2 is making me smile.
#5 is making the hens happy I am sure. When we had an overabundance, I froze the leaves whole in a ziploc bag and crunched them up (in the bag) after frozen solid, removed the stems and used it like chopped spinach.


Kimberly July 9, 2016 at 4:31 am

Thank you for the tip! Will try it today.


Katharine July 10, 2016 at 4:56 pm

You can also dry kale if you have a dehydrator. We dry it and store it in mason jars and it lasts forever. Then you can throw it in soups, omelets, quiches, or whatever, or make kale powder and hide it in almost anything without kids noticing!


rjr July 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm

1. Brought coffee from home to work instead of getting a .99 iced coffee from a fast food place.
2. After work, friend and I talked about going out for a bite to eat. We decided not to and I cam home and grilled leftovers.
3. Needed batteries and got them on sale, store brand and with a 30% store coupon.
4. While there, found citronella candles on sale.
5. I switched car and home insurance to Liberty mutual. They gave me an excellent rate, a discount due to university I went to and I will be saving around $500.00. I am so pleased with this!


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 5:54 pm

* Driving my daughters to my in-laws living 6 hours away, tommorow. They are taking them for a week. They kindly suggested meeting me halfway to pick up the girls and are bringing them back to us next week. So I’ll be saving 18 hours of driving and 3 tanks of gaz (+- 100$) in the process. Did I mention I have great in-laws?!
* Applied for a credit card that will give me a 200$ worth of airmiles after I spend a certain amount. Since credit cards are not problematic for me (I always pay in full each month) and I don’t intend to use this card pass the initial requested amount (will cancel it in couple of months), it’s free money baby!
* My coworker left for maternity leave a month ago and she left some food behind. My reasoning being that when she comes back a year from now everything will be spoiled, I took the chocolate truffles home. I’ll let her know.
* Got the old Super Nintendo out! Been playing Mario Bros a couple times now (on my old big-boxe style TV bought 20 years ago! Old school…). Free entertainment! And, yes, I still own a VCR…!
* Our union renegociated our contract that was pass due for like 2 years. Received a backpay of 840$ and deposited it in our vacation saving account. We are saving for a family trip that will cost about 6000$ (plane is super expensive!). Hoping to go in the next 3 years.

Have a great frugal day!


Isabelle July 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm

I’ve got more!
* Got 15 boxes of past date gluten-free pasta for 0.90$/box. Seriously, pasta is good way past expiration date. And cookies for 1$. And more, on sale.
* Needed eyes drop for daughter. Took the ones handed by the pharmacist. Got to the cast register and saw 22$. So I went back to the pharmacist to ask if they carry a generic version instead. Sure enough, they had it…. and on sale too. So I ended up paying 7$ instead of 22$. Whenever possible I choose the generic version, which is as good for a fraction of the price. I also got 2 bottles of Acetaminophen for the kids for 4$/bottle (generic) instead of 10$/bottle (Tylenol).
* Registered for a new book club. I love that it’s at people’s houses (we take turn), and we only have to provide an appetizer or dessert to share (as opposed to meeting in a restaurant like my prior book club, and having to order a meal). Bonus : my public library carries the book we are reading next, so I can just borrow it.


Teri July 8, 2016 at 7:24 pm

1. Eating fresh tomatoes from the 3 potted plants on my deck. Not a full fledged garden, but every little bit helps.
2. Returned items to Costco that had money back guarantees.
3. Made a successful trip to Goodwill, some business appropriate tops for daughter, plus items for son and daughter to sell on eBay.
4. Took a chance on a battery operated riding JD tractor and wagon at Goodwill, which just needed the battery charged and a few pieces replaced. Husband contacted company for parts and now we have a terrific toy for $65, new $300!
5. Continue to eat meals at home, shop sales ads, and batch errands.


Susie's Daughter July 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm

1) Put $3.50 in the family entertainment fund this week from recycled deposit cans/bottles. I am that crazy woman who now pulls over to the side of the road to pick up the beer can, but every little bit counts.

2) Every little bit counts especially because I had to have two filings today at the dentist. Check to the dentist was almost exactly the same amount I got paid last week for my part time job. Sigh. But at least it was already paid for!

3) While looking for something specific in my parents attic, I came across three bags of stuff that was mine from college (20 years ago…). Found some t-shirts to be reintroduced to the rotation and some silk blend long underwear still in the package! Embarrassing (to have that stuff and not remember) and delightful (I need the long johns) all at the same time. Extra clothes will go to our non profit thrift store.

4) Very minimal grocery shopping this week since we are still finishing up food brought by 4th of July guests. They brought great stuff!

5) Reading “Living Well on a Shoestring” from our library, published by Yankee magazine. Our library doesn’t seem to have Tightwad Gazette books, but librarian kindly offered to get them through Inter Library Loan. I heart the library so much.


Kim in Los Alamitos July 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm

We live close to a little league ball field and there are at least a dozen plastic
drink bottles or aluminum cans left in the gutter after the games. I’ve often pulled over, (hoping nobody sees me) and scoop up those little guys. My son rolls his eyes – as 14 yr old’s will do, but waste not want not.


Isabelle July 9, 2016 at 3:09 am

“That crazy woman”, ahahah!
When I take walks very early in the morning I carry a bag to pick them up (if no one is looking…)


janine July 9, 2016 at 5:29 am

I love “The Tightwad Gazette”. I’ve never been able to achieve Amy’s level of tightwaddery but she is an inspiration to all. I have given these books as gifts and ordered them off the internet for a good price too.


Laure July 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm

I love that you do this and thank you for picking up the cans (otherwise would stay litter). Where I live in an urban area, there are sometimes far too many beer cans/bottles littering certain streets, especially on weekends. You are truly doing a public service!


Susie's Daughter July 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

When we lived in DC, I could never understand why the District didn’t have a return for deposit bottle/can law. It costs a nickel to get a plastic bag at the grocery there – a law intended to reduce trash. I would have happily paid deposit on drinks for the same reason! Ok – enough of my soapbox. 🙂


Lucy July 9, 2016 at 4:26 am

1. Held out for a cheaper subscription offer on a magazine I really need for my profession. Finally pulled the trigger at 80% off. I love how the offers keep dropping the price over time.

2. Don’t know if this will end up frugal or not, but after looking at replacement trucks we decided to stick with the old one. This also meant cancelling insurance to cover a particular service we offer, as the truck is “too old”, and so not offering the service anymore. Hard to tell how this will affect the bottom line. The whole “too old” thing irks me terribly, but I’m not foolish enough to go on doing this without the insurance, either. This sort of my Lear Jet.

3. Scored some nice beef buys on clearance after the 4th.

4. Am working hard to heal and rehab my ankle and foot while still working rather than doing surgery. In addition to the medical costs, it would mean almost a year out of work – this after missing half a year (the busy half) last year due to a heart problem and surgery.

5. Actually got hubby to use up leftovers – even if he did feed them to our grandson.


Bettypants July 9, 2016 at 8:00 am

1. After our last yard sale, my friend and I each took a couple of the other person’s items that hadn’t sold. This week, a board game I had chosen sold for $9 on ebay.
2. Sold a clutch purse on local FB boards for $5. I had bought it a yard sale for less than $1, but never used it. After that, I went through my FB sale albums and lowered prices on items that haven’t sold. Deleted the very low priced items and boxed them up to be donated.
3. We put a not very nice table out by the road on Sunday afternoon. Every day this week, I was disappointed to see it still there. Last night …. gone!
4. Last week I bought a silk dress for 50 cents at a yard sale. Sold for $25 on ebay this morning.
5. Closed my account at the bank two miles from my office, and opened one at a bank within walking distance.


Bethski July 9, 2016 at 10:04 am

1. Hanging up two loads of laundry to air dry.

2. Turned off the air and opened all the windows, love cooler days!

3. Had a meeting for the library board this morning. Turned in a book that was due today checked out a book and will track the mileage for taxes for volunteer mileage.

4. Took daughter to our art museum last night, we both got in free for being local tri-county residents. Non-frugal thing was we bought dinner there which is on the expensive side but we really enjoyed. The one meal used up our going out to eat budget of $25 a week.

5. Took car in to three auto shops to see what they would recommend for needed repairs as will be driving several thousand miles on vacation. Of course each shop told me different things. Eleven year old car so now I have to decide what is priority. My dad did offer to let me borrow his car for the week which is super generous, may take him up on it.

Non-frugal thought/overall dilemma – I want to teach my daughter to manage her money well, to save and to work within a budget. I also don’t want her to always feel like the kid watching everyone else get ice cream, treats, clothes – fill in the blank item that their friends are getting and they are not. In her circle of friends she is the only one with a single parent and not a two income family. She has learned to save for things she really wants and has bought herself those things. Tough balancing act, sometimes.


Karen July 9, 2016 at 11:22 am

I know exactly how you feel. I am married but stayed at home with my kids. We live in a nice area so people have money.

This is a true story. When my daughter turned 16 and got her driver’s license we made her use our 20 year old Honda and share with her brother. She was responsible for gas and insurance. Every friend she hung around with had a new/used car waiting for them in the driveway. She was angry with us a lot.

I had ONE friend who made her kids pay for things. I talked with her a lot because I felt she was the only parent I could identify with.

We started in middle school making them pay for certain things. And every year they took on more and more, until their senior year in college they were almost on their own–money wise.

My son thanked us because he said in his senior year of college kids were freaking out because they did not know what they were going to do. Whereas for my son it was going to be business as usual. BTW my daughter is still a little angry. But I think it is personalities.

All of this is to say—hang in there it does get better. I know I was there.


Bethski July 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Thanks Karen for sharing. 🙂


Mand01 July 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Believe me, they are better off in the long run. We had jobs from the time we were 13, and if we didn’t have money for a car we didn’t have one. We all three moved out and were taking care of ourselves in early adulthood. In my case I was taking care of my husband’s sister and my own child by the age of 26. I have balanced my own budget since I was 18 and run my own house since I was 19. I have 3 degrees and a successful career. Independence is a gift and I think that it starts with teaching kids they have to earn what they want.


Emily July 10, 2016 at 9:49 am

I grew up in an upper middle class area (I am now 26). My parents too made a great income, however have always been very prudent with money (they both grew up poor). I got a job on my 15th birthday, my mom drove me to turn in my application. You can’t work before 15 in PA but I babysat, dog sat, did extra chores, watered people’s flowers because my parents didn’t cover my “wants” regardless of being high income earners. I drove a 20 year old Volvo, and worked my butt off all the time, but I have always liked earning my own money. I think it gives kids confidence and a sense of independence that in return, builds self worth/self esteem.

I’m glad my parents didn’t hand me everything. I still was extremely fortunate, and to most people spoiled, but my values are much different than most of my friends because I see money and material things differently. I also don’t have to worry about taking care of my parents financially because they were responsible, which is a great gift to your children as well.

Now I’m 26, and since finishing graduate school almost 2 years ago I don’t need to ask them for help, and I have paid over 20,000 on my student loans in the last year and a half. I wish I would have been more aware of debt, but it’s also taught me more about financial discipline and priorities.

It’s okay to let your kids struggle sometimes I think. Thats how we learn the most! My parents think I’m nuts for some of the things I’ve cut out and some of the things I do to save money but, I got it from them really!


Katy July 10, 2016 at 12:47 pm

My kids have been working since they were 15, and although my older son isn’t work through his first year of college, he paid for all his own books and general expenses. He’s now spending the summer lifeguarding to bring his account balance back up.


LisaC July 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

When our children were young, we began to teach them the difference between wants and needs. When they were teenagers and felt peer pressure to buy coffee at Starbucks and wear certain jeans or shoes, I came up with a budget. They also got paid for doing jobs at home beyond their chores. For example, when we bought shoes for school, I told them my budget, and if they wanted more, they had to come up with the difference. If they went below budget, I saved it in the bank for them.
I had saved for used cars for them. Two of the three traded those in for a car with a car payment. It was very hard for me to sit on my hands and not help when they got repo letters and had to scramble to come up with payments. But they learned!
Another thing that helped was watching the movie Beyond Borders…they saw how truly rich we all are compared to most of the world.
Now, as adults, I see them making frugal decisions, and it makes me smile.


Bethski July 9, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Lisa for sharing. A car is probably ahead in our future for her. By the time she can drive my old car will be 14, not sure if it will make it. After her school Washington DC trip next spring (she has been saving up for since two years ago, saved about $250 so far). She has been talking about getting a job at our local supermarket collecting grocery carts/bagging groceries. She could walk there and save for car, clothes, etc. 🙂


Bethski July 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Forgot to mention she will be 14 next spring and can work certain jobs I have been told. She will probably be the only one among her friends that young but shes not into babysitting so this would be a good alternative I think.


Susie's Daughter July 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Babysitting doesn’t have to be her thing and more power to her for knowing that. Might she want to pet or plant sit, dog walk, make jewelry to sell in some way (my nephew’s thing)? She sounds like a responsible level headed kid – that goes a long way! Good job Mama!

Lindsey July 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm

I spent time being mad at my father for not having the latest and best that my friends had. One day he sat me down with his paycheck (he was a single widowed father to three of us and then his second wife moved out but left her three young kids behind and he raised them, too) and all the bills and asked me to decide what to pay and what to put off. I cried when I realized how expensive it was just to keep seven people fed and housed and clothed. Every month was a juggling act for him. Not only did it change my attitude, it changed how the oldest ones behaved in terms of eating a lot of pasta without complaining and even suggesting pasta when my father clearly felt he should be able to give us meat after three days of meatless spaghetti. My brothers went to a neighbor who never picked his fruit trees and asked for past of the fruit in exchange for picking all of it—that is something they never would have done before the facts of life were explained to them.


Beth July 11, 2016 at 2:23 am

Thanks Lindsey, May give that a try next month when I pay the bills.


Emily July 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

1. Ran out of my St. Ives scrub I love. No coupons available and didnt want to run to the store just for that, so I am using coconut oil, sea salt, and a little bit of lemongrass essential oil as a replacement!

2. Babysat a ton this week, lots of free meals! Dog sitting this weekend and get to use their kayaks on the lake behind their house. Can’t wait! They are expensive to rent.

3. Went to a local brewery last night. Got 2 beers each and it was 12 dollars. Also ended up taking home and freezing about 10 soft pretzels that were free woo!

4. Continuing to purge as much as I can. Selling items I don’t wear or that don’t fit and replacing them with thrifted items. Giving away things on my local buy nothing group (WHICH I STARTED). The group is very small still, hoping it catches on more soon!

5. Think I will have girls day later tomorrow at my apartment complex pool! We can bring drinks and grill. It always has a party vibe on the weekends so its fun!

6. Needed a new straightener. I have had mine for about 7+ years and its cracked and not heating up. Not going to toss it until it really bites the dust, but I grabbed a new conair one off of a local site for $5 so when it does go, I have a nice new one on standby that I didn’t have to go run out and buy retail!

Frugal Fail: Tried to make pulled bbq chicken (which I make frequently) but left the crockpot on overnight. It was burned to a crisp and ruined :/ bummer.


Amy Jo July 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm

1. We are staying home this weekend. Our plans were cancelled and even though we are itching to get out and do something….we are saving the gas, and the kids have found things to do like read, chores, swimming in the pool, playing on the swing set, and riding bikes to keep them occupied instead.
2. I went shopping for groceries today, with a list. I only bought what was on the list, and after looking, decided a few things on my list I could forego and substitute with things from the pantry.
3. I have several items listed this week to sell on FB swaps, including books, clothing, kids toys, etc.
4. I resisted the urge to buy books that go along with our school curriculum (free curriculum) and will instead look for the books read aloud on youtube, or ask the library about inner library loan. No additional cost.
5. Hubs almost tossed out a few chicken strips last night after dinner. I saved them and ate them for lunch today.


Amy Jo July 9, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Oh and a BONUS:
6. I noticed I was charged for a service we no longer use. I called the company and asked for a refund for one month and they kindly refunded me for 2 months. $19.95 per month…… that was great of them.


LisaC July 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Frugal FAIL: I bought a Baby Einstein play mat at a local site for $5, thinking I could sell it on Ebay. I can’t find a thing to ship it in, since the smallest I can get it to is over 5 feet long. I put in on craigslist instead. Boo.


Mariana July 9, 2016 at 5:58 pm

1. I am baking two loaves of bread as I am typing this . One shall last for the entire week and I will freeze the other one for the week after.
2. No meals out that past entire week. All prepped and cooked at home. Frugal being one reason and the other reason being that I am going out for brunch with two girlfriends tomorrow (one of them have been away for a year so it’s her ‘come back’ celebration) I am thinking it will cost me $40 or so, so I was aware of it all week. I made it a point to make it the only meal out this week.
3. I got some free kindle books this week (all were ‘daily deals’ and actually great books normally going for $10+ each)
4. I FINALLY made the switch from paper cups to a portable coffee mug! Yep, have been using paper cups every morning to take my coffee in. I invested in $8 Contigo coffee mugs for both T. and me (usually $22 each but of course I got them on clearance!)
5. I got TIDE washing detergent for $1.88 a bottle. I got two 🙂


Emily July 10, 2016 at 9:34 am

I got 2 of those on target clearance too! What a deal. I actually bought 3 and and put the 3rd in the “Christmas gift” bin for next year. Good thing to have in the case I receive something from someone I wasn’t planning for!


Kim July 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm

1. Took my second load of books to the used book store for the week. $38 more credit and more books out of here!
2. Mixed up a box of “gourmet cupcakes” from a box I bought for 90% off at Tuesday Morning after Christmas sale. 40¢ for 12 cupcakes with cinnamon icing. Had to add eggs and butter but those were bought on sale.
3. Had pork loin for dinner that I picked up the other day at Target with $4 off coupon on the package. It was delicious, will provide several meals and was $2!
4. Went to Hancock Fabrics since they are closing all stores and it’s the last week. Was looking for quilting pins which were all gone. I did buy 32 spools of the European thread I use for 80% off.
5. Listing some of my ornamental grasses on FB yard sale group. They have really spread and we are finally able to redo the area where we had them. They are very pretty and fill in quickly. A trellis built with salvaged materials will replace the grasses and I will plant grapes in the spring to grow on it.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones July 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I signed up for a 30-day audible trial through Amazon and got two free audio books. I will cancel at the end of the month, but I am enjoying listening to audio books while I enter boring discharges at work.

I am doing those boring discharges because they are paying me my high float pool nurse rate to do nonclinical work due to a huge backlog. I am trying to do at least 8-16 hours a week, and I can do it during non working hours, meaning no child care is needed.


Lindsay July 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm

1. I batched my errands today to save on gas.
2. We got a matching coffee/end table set for $20 from Craigslist. When we got home, we noticed that the coffee table had some damage on the top. To cover it up, I got a pretty blue table cloth at the Salvation Army today. It was originally priced at $1.99 but it was on sale for half off!
3. I got surprise Amazon credit for the Kindle e-book settlement, so I used it to buy some pricey (but much needed) TOMS sandals. I found a nice pair of sandals for $1.99 at Salvation Army right after the package shipped. I’ll return the TOMS sandals to Amazon and use the credit for a “need.”
4. Scored patio furniture for the balcony in our new apartment for $20. Such a steal!
5. I had a great haul at Salvation Army today: a wedding picture frame that I will use as a gift, a new ice cube tray, a swimsuit top, a coat rack, two books, and a bunch of thank you cards I will use after my upcoming bridal shower.


Denise July 12, 2016 at 3:58 am

Errr…what about the swimsuit bottoms??


sarah m July 12, 2016 at 7:47 pm

1. just found out my prescription rebate program was approved, getting me back close to $1400 in drug costs (!!!). most of that will go to student loans.
2. went to a movie with friends but at the half price tuesday night showing.
3. keeping my AC off as much as possible and using fans. just got a $1.57 rebate from the electrical company from being a super low user during a peak time.
4. went berry picking with friends last week, and just made all the berries into pie filling, using half of it this week, and will freeze the other half for when I need a taste of summer.
5.visited friends at their rented beach house about 2 hours from where i live. they were adamant about me not chipping in for the rental since they were renting the space for a week regardless, and I was only there for one night. so i treated them to boardwalk ice cream and farm stand peaches and tomatoes. affordable for me, good times for everyone.
6. biked to and from work. free exercise, burn no gas.


Mand01 July 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Ok, thank you- I will try some of these things in the summer


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