Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 24, 2016 · 57 comments

  1. I brought home a cute vintage Pyrex dish from a free pile and was quickly sold it through Craigslist for $15.
  2. I made a big delicious pot of red lentil soup for last night’s dinner, which fed the four of us for less than a couple of bucks.
  3. I was able to get a free mailing box for my thrifted American Girl doll and her multitude of accessories. The eBay listing doesn’t end until tonight, but it already has a $299.99 bid, so I’ll take the time today to get everything ready for the post office. #Collegefund #Goodwill #Hustle
  4. I had some Trader Joe’s bagels which went moldy really quickly. I mentioned it to them while picking up bananas yesterday and they gave me a new bag of bagels for free.
  5. My younger son and I killed some time yesterday by hitting up a couple of Goodwills. We didn’t buy anything, which is the true savings. (I know many readers feel that my Goodwills must be better than their Goodwills, but most of the time I leave empty handed.)

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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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie July 24, 2016 at 11:29 am

Congrats on the sale of the AG doll–and on your and the family’s continuing hustle re: the college fund generally.

(1) As I mentioned in an FFT a few months back, I too found a cute vintage Pyrex dish for free (in a recycling bin, in my case). Was looking at Pyrex prices at a small antiques show DH and I attended yesterday, and realized I probably oughta do something about selling this puppy.

(2) DH and I practiced our newly learned restraint at the show: only a few small purchases for various collections, total under $30. Not bad when we remember the hundreds of dollars we used to spend.

(3) I’m still having to water the living daylights out of my poor parched garden, but I’m trying to be more sensible about balancing full watering cans and letting DH and others help. I’m reminding myself that chiropractors and orthopedists cost money.

(4) We’re enjoying the first local sweet corn this weekend (I can’t grow corn because of lack of space). A bit on the small and stunted side because of the drought; at least the flavor’s still good!

(5) We also enjoyed our own first ripe Italian Heirloom tomato this weekend, despite our Bambi problem. “Just two things that money can’t buy: True love and homegrown tomatoes.” So happy I’ve got both.


K D July 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

1. I boiled the carcass from the rotisserie chicken I bought last week. I will make soup tonight and a friend gave us a big zucchini. I’ll shred it and freeze some of it.

2. It’s hot here so we have turned the temperature on the thermostat up. It still feels cool inside. I also ran a box fan on low near the foot of our bed last night.

3. I made it to five yoga classes this week. Since I pay for a monthly membership that helps to lower the cost of each class.

4. I have been working a bit on Bing Rewards as well as Swagbucks.

5. I made several phone calls to deal with billing errors and the like. $30 here and there adds up.


tonya parham July 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

1. Finally completed the summer job that I had contracted with the state to do and it required one more trip out of town. I took my wife so we had a nice evening in the fancy hotel eating our grocery store meal (salad, popcorn, and cherries) and watching tv. (We so are not ‘exciting’ people! LOL)

2. Finally decided to go vegan/plant based for good. It’s cheaper and I feel better that way so I feel it’s a win/win.

3. Really wanted a watermelon while we were at the hotel but didn’t have a knife, Couldn’t bring myself to buy one, so I opted for cherries instead.

4. Made meals here today. Breakfast was Cheerios with soy milk, sliced banana and sliced berries on the side. Lunch was a chickpea spread on wheat bread with sliced cucumber and bell pepper.

5. I’m reading a library book today (Vegan for Her) and when I have to go cook am listening to another library audiobook (The Short Tragic Life of Robert Peace).


Madeline July 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm

We are trying to go fully vegan,are at about 80% so far.I have to recommend the Happy Herbivore cookbooks if you’re on this path! Lindsay Nixon ‘s cookbooks are so easy,USE ONLY NORMAL INGREDIENTS, not a bunch of expensive exotic stuff; she does not use texturized fake meats, and her recipes only make enough for 2 at a time,usually, so you’r e not eating a pan of spanish rice ALL WEEK.Her cookbooks are making it so easy..I consider it an investment in our health,which is then FRUGAL (less doctor bills!)


Gina in Ky July 24, 2016 at 7:36 pm

I am probably 98% vegan (still eat an occasional egg from my own hens and “cheat” if feta is in the salad I’m given-love the stuff) You will not regret the diet change! Your meals already sound yummy and creative!


Amy Jo July 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

I have been transitioning to plant based/vegan as well. I have been dairy free for some time, and now almost meat free. I do feel better and it is cheaper!! My family is still traditional western diet. It’s hard sometimes when they want to eat something I can’t have, so I try to find substitutes.

Way to go……


Amy Jo July 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm

1. Sold some baby items this week that we no longer need since our “baby” is 2 now and made $65.
2. Bought 4 pair of gently used jeans for $10 for my son. A girlfriend picked them up for me (they were in another town), and today when I went to pay her, she refused my money. 🙂 So sweet of her, and my son got 4 pairs of jeans for free.
3. Our church holds a Back to School Bash each year. Boy 2 sons got supplies this morning and decided on their own not to pick up the backpacks because we already have nice ones at home. Free school supplies are great, even for us homeschooling families.
4. Shopped from my pantry this week and only needed a few item to make out my menu for the week. So I saved money on groceries and only spent $45 for a family of 5.
5. I have some curriculum and other baby items that we do not need up for sale on online FB swaps. Hoping they sell quickly!
6. The $65 I made, as well as any money made on further items will go towards the emergency fund and Christmas fund. 🙂


Mand01 July 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

1. Watched The Hunger Games on DVD with my daughter while doing the ironing. Free DVD from the library. We are reading the trilogy aloud together.
2. Reading a book on kitchen design also from the library. Our house is 35 years old and in need of a makeover. I need exceptionally cheap ideas considering we have at least $12K of work that needs to be done this month, including a roof restoration. Amazing what you discover in winter. Sigh.
3. The kids don’t know it yet, but we will be on beans and rice, rice and beans, so we can afford all of this maintenance work on the house.
4. I made brioche yesterday and it was delicious.
5. I also made oat and pumpkin seed bread.


NaiveorBrave July 24, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Did you have a look at theprudenthomemaker.Com? She lists a two we meal plan on beans that gives you a lot of variety.


Mand01 July 25, 2016 at 4:55 am

I haven’t seen her blog before, I’ll check it out, thanks


cathy July 25, 2016 at 9:19 am

I was going to suggest her blog as well, and went back and had a look at her “How to eat beans everyday” post. It has a lot more variety than I even remembered because she uses so many different kinds of beans and different cuisines. If you have time, follow the link and read her story. It’s pretty interesting.


Terri W July 24, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Congrats on the American Girl doll sale!
Let’s see if I can think of 5 things:
1 The garden is beginning to produce! I picked 5 ripe tomatoes, several banana peppers and my first cucumber of the season! The first ones always taste the best!
2 I only bought loss leaders from the grocery store this week. 1/2 gallons of milk for 88 cents!! I bought 3 chocolate, which is a treat that I don’t usually buy. And 3 white, which I will freeze.
3 Our chickens are laying like crazy even in this excessive heat. I have 6 hens and the sweethearts are laying 6 eggs every day! Usually when the temps get into the 90’s, they drop off some.
4 Cleaned house yesterday with nothing but my microfiber cloth and water with a little baking soda and vinegar.
5 Supper is stew made from left over chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions and some barley. Served with sliced garden tomatoes and cucumber on the side Yum!


Krystal July 24, 2016 at 2:15 pm

That Molly doll and acessories is such a killer Goodwill find!

1. Went for a lovely walk with my husband this AM. Free exercise and we brought tea and water from home so we were not tempted to stop at a cafe like we sometimes do!
2. My MIL is coming up to visit tomorrow, so free dinner! Or no-monetary-cost, I should say
3. My husband is batching errands today, a few groceries and pet food.
4. Reading my free e-book I checked out from the library.
5. Working a few hours today to put away money for a big upcoming purchase.


Caroline July 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm

#2 made me chuckle in sympathy 🙂


A July 24, 2016 at 2:15 pm

1. starting a bag to send off to thred up.
2. made red lentil soup in my crock pot for dinner. No cooking plus a fantastic frugal meal!
3. Bought some 50 cent cards at the dollar store to send to friends
4. used Swagbucks earned gift cards to buy stuff from my wish list
5. started knitting for holiday gifts. one hat finished already!


Betty Winslow July 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm

1. Free evening at home – friend brought a War Room DVD and several cans of sparkling club soda over and we made popcorn. Fun!
2. Had meatball-ish sandwiches for dinner last night (meatballs sort of crumbled….), so added leftovers and the rest of the spaghetti sauce to a box of frozen sauce my hubby made a few months ago. Spaghetti for dinner!
3. I review kids’ books for a magazine, so always have stacks of them sitting around. Took some age-appropriate ones with me to our new pastor’s house when I dropped off their move-in day snack tray, for their daughters. Felt good to bless them, and got more books out of my house. 🙂
4. Stopped to pick a few things at the community garden – fresh-picked squash and cukes – yum!
5. Made sauted veggies the other night for dinner – almost all the veggies and herbs we grew ourselves or got from the farmer’s market. I love summer!


Jennifer July 24, 2016 at 2:56 pm

1. I had some brown sugar that was getting a little old and hard so I made a yummy pineapple upside down cake. The original recipe is for a rum pineapple upside down cake(drool) but since I have none I omitted that.
2. My family and I had a semi formal thing to attend. I was stressing a little because I knew my luck is not good enough to find us all new dress clothes on the cheap in a rush. I decided to try shopping in my closet. I found a dress in my closet that I wore to my daughter’s graduation that actually fit and paired ok with some sandals for myself. My two girls had dresses that I had got from a yard sale that I forgot about and one of my girls had grown into a cute pair of sandals that I thought were still too big. I did have to buy my other daughter a pair of shoes but I payed less than $10 for them. My husband was the frugal fail but It’s ok. Because he has terminal cancer he has lost a lot of weight so nothing he had fit anymore. We did buy him some nice clothes on our Kohl’s card, saving us 30% and paid it off with cash immediately at the register after purchase
3. Speaking of yard sales, I found my girls some really nice sets of age appropriate books specifically to help them with their reading skills. I think the couple homeschooled their children so they had lots of this kind of great stuff for $1 or less! I also found some kid movie DVD’s for $1 to add to our collection. I see a home movie night with popcorn in our future.
4. The stress I had trying to find nice clothes for all of us and the fact that school is starting back soon made me realize I need to take inventory of our clothes again. This has really saved me money because I found several pairs of shorts that my kids could wear to start school. It also made me realize what we lack. So I am getting a few new shirts, panties, and a pair of shoes and they will be set.
5. I go to the dentist tomorrow for another filling. Since I already had money set aside for the root canal I was going to have but they were able to fill instead, I decided to be proactive. I asked the dentist if everything else was ok. She studied my x-rays and told me that the tooth directly on the other side in the same spot as the one she was working on is in need of a filling or it will need a root canal in the future so I am getting it took care of hopefully saving me hundreds of dollars- fingers crossed!


Mand01 July 24, 2016 at 7:52 pm

Brown sugar can be softened by adding a piece of apple peel to the jar and leaving it there for a day or so.

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband.


jennifer July 25, 2016 at 6:30 am

I’m sure I have told here before that he has had pancreatic cancer for over five years, which is rare,considering most people don’t make it that long with this type of cancer. He does not take chemo anymore. Most times he does really well. He has lost quite a lot of weight, struggles with pain at times, and the cancer has caused severe diabetes. The bright side is that he is still able to run our business, enjoy our kids, go on short vacations, and do most things he wants to do. We take things day by day. Thanks for the tip and your kind words.


Jill A July 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm

1. Made Blackberry Jam and Blackberry Cobbler today that my daughters and I picked in our backyard yesterday.
2. Watched two Redbox movies that I’ve been wanting to see with my husband and daughters yesterday. Did not have a code. Boo!
3.Downloaded two more library books on my kindle to read.
4. Sold a purse and a few other items on Ebay this weekend.
5. Husband and I washed our cars in the driveway instead of going through the car wash.


Jill A July 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Haha!! We picked the blackberries not the cobbler and the jam.


Karen July 24, 2016 at 4:01 pm

So impressed with how you know what to look for and are able to resell it. I would love to do that, but we live in a tiny town. The nearest goodwill is 3 hrs away, and craigslist items would have to be mailed. But I sure enjoy all your deals!


Emily July 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm

1. cashed in my swag bucks for an amazon card to use towards a wedding gift for next month. Sometimes I am really not into swagbucks but, going to try to fund all wedding gifts through this. I figure if I am doing surveys and whatever while watching tv, or after kids go to bed while babysitting, it’s worth it. As long as it isn’t taking away from other aspects of my life.

2. Went to the “clubhouse” at my apartment complex for the free coffee, they also had apples and muffins out, so I grabbed a pack of muffins and a huge apple 🙂

3. Decided I am not going to buy anything to resell for 2 weeks, that way I can get rid of stuff I already have lying around. Too much clutter is happening, and I have a lot of things I have skipped over listing.

4. Printed out tons of free activities from teachers pay teachers to get ready for the school year. I print out one at our apartment “clubhouse”, then photo copy them at the school so im not using my own paper or ink. Colored activities I print at home. I laminate using the garage sale laminator I found last summer for 2.00, and the package of sheets I found at goodwill. I have been re-organizing my craft stuff to free up some containers to use in my classroom so I don’t have to buy more. I did purchase a discount giftcard from Raise for Michaels though, so when I do need some materials (which is inevitable), I can use my school discount and the discount giftcard =lots of savings!

5. Poshmark started selling mens and kids clothes!!! WOO! listed some stuff of my boyfriends and some other kids stuff I have tried to sell on other apps from free piles. Hopefully these categories will catch on too. P.S., if anyone needs a code let me know!

Frugal Fails:

1. Slept in on Saturday am, didn’t make it to a few potentially killer yard sales. There are still some things I am on the hunt for, a loaf pan, a shoe rack, etc. Small luxuries lol

2. Didn’t realize we were out of deodorant, purchases without a coupon or on sale, received coupon for same deodorant in the newspaper today. Blah.


Emily July 25, 2016 at 4:38 am

oo I forgot one!

6. I have been keeping my eye out for espresso size mugs, as that is all we have been using lately with the new espresso machine! I was about to get some through a local app, but then remembered I had 2 small boxes of dishes that match my set (a set that was thrifted from goodwill for my college house). Couldn’t remember exactly what was in there, but decided it was worth a shot. Sure enough, 7 short espresso mugs that are perfect! Felt like Christmas : D


Isabelle July 24, 2016 at 4:35 pm

* I have a “dinosaur cellphone” that we used only as an emergency phone, 100$ pre-paid card lasting the whole year. Now that I’ll be working casual, I need to be reacheable at all times, so I need a new cell phone/new plan. The thing is that it freaks me out to see the prices! 50$+ per month for a basic plan + cost of the phone, ischhh…… My mom has an IPhone 4 that she will soon switch for the new model and she said she would give it to me, so I’m holding off for now and using the pre-paid phone. I could add a 7$/month for 500 text messages (monthly) on my dinosaur, if scheduling is willing to text instead of call, and that would settle it. Will see.
* Spent the afternoon at a friend’s house with my kids, enjoying her company, her pool and her homemade hummus+pitas. Free fun! We are also planning a game night.
* Daughter’s new (used) bicycle was missing a brake part. Hubby was able to fix it himself, buying the material for 5$.
* Used my gym membership twice this weekend
* Daughter going to the dentist this week. Fees covered at 90% by our private insurances.
* Garden is producing lettuce, spinach and zucchinis like crazy. Eating a lot of it, freezing some and giving excess to happy neighbors and colleagues. No food waste here!
* Using my Netflix subscription a couple times a week watching Suits and Doctors Foster at the moment. The kids also use it almost daily (about 30 min… More on the weekend) to watch some tv shows. It’s pretty decent for 0.33$/day.
* My 2 favorite shows (Big Bang Theory and Modern family) are releasing their 2016 seasons on DVD soon (I don’t have cable and they are not on Netflix Canada). Instead of buying them myself, they are already on my Christmas list. I’ve been told I’m pretty difficult to shop for (because I don’t like too much stuff I guess!), so the family likes to have ideas. There you go! (Ps : I also like black socks and body wash! Practical stuff).

Have a great frugal day!


rjr July 24, 2016 at 5:13 pm

1. Went grocery shopping today and bought everything on sale.
2. Ate out of freezer today and took out Italian sausages for tomorrow.
3. Had brunch at my parents’ house this morning and hung out with them. Nice to catch up.
4. Played with my sister’s dog today. So much fun!
5. It has cooled off tonight and have opened the windows for the breeze.


Susie's Daughter July 24, 2016 at 5:25 pm

It is the post vacation version in our household –

1) Traveled to Boston and stayed with two sets of family. Living so much closer to extended family means more smiles, MANY hours less in the car and lots of gas saved.

2) We were treated mini golf and to several home cooked and one take out (Indian food – yum!) dinner. Lovely and lots of time to sit around and talk. Played Blokus (strategy board game) for the first time and loved it! Also love that our family wants to play games together.

3) Brought lots of snacks for us and extra “regular” food for DS who seems to be in a particular stage right now about food at age 5. Also frequented Trader Joe’s while we were there for basics. And remembered my sensitive skin laundry detergent since wife and son have sensitivities to most others. (Last trip I forgot it and had to buy it there…)

4) Was able to use several CVS coupons since we were in the big city and stocked up on necessities mostly. Our “local” CVS at home is 40 miles away.

5) Thoroughly enjoyed the free neighborhood splash park, our family’s membership to local pool and two trips to the ocean (paid parking and gas – oh and a yummy lemon ice!)

6) Tried very hard to stick to a ‘cash only’ policy to keep an eye on spending. This is a vacation change for me and I liked it. No surprises on credit card bill in 25 days.

7) Came home to a garden busting out of the fences – snap peas, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and the beginning of the zucchini onslaught. Hurray for zucchini!


Susie's Daughter July 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Oh and I forgot!
8) Amazon delivered my copy of Complete Tightwad Gazette just before we left and I have it now to savor! Used my settlement credit and bday money – I figured it will probably pay for itself.


jennifer July 25, 2016 at 6:36 am

8. I have noticed when I get off track on my frugal journey how I can read a little of that book and it gets me motivated again. Amy(and Katy) is a genius!


meg July 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm

1. Took some old pots and pans to the scrapper just to get rid of them and they actually gave me some money for them!
2. $3 large watermelons!
3. Finally got replacement switches for broken ceiling fan. Now we can finally fix it. It was so hard to find…the guy at the electrical components shop said he thinks the manufacturer does that on purpose so consumers just get frustrated and buy a new fan. I refused to cave!
4. Exploring the possibility of solar energy for our home??? Anyone have any insight on this? Don’t even know if it feasible without removing several trees, so determining that is step one.
5. Incorporated several meatless meals into the rotation this week…without too much complaining, too.


Lazyretirementgirl July 24, 2016 at 8:09 pm

When we built our home 8 years ago, we installed rooftop solar panels. We are in sunny Santa Fe, so in theory a good bet. The issue is that, when you have a problem, finding ( to say nothing of paying) someone who can fix it, and finding parts, is difficult and expensive. I would not do it again –‘just my two cents.


cathy July 24, 2016 at 8:20 pm

You might want to look into an estimate of how many years it would take to recoup the expense. Where I live, they say that for most households, it averages 10 years. We’re so conservative with our electricity–and our monthly bill is correspondingly low–that we found it would take closer to 20 years to recoup the cost. So as much as we support the idea of renewable energy, until the cost comes down further, it’s too expensive for us. Point is, there are plenty of other factors in addition to whether or not your roof is suitably sunny 🙂


Diane C July 25, 2016 at 5:11 am

Solar prices are expected to come down a fair amount in the next year or so.

Reminds me of when we bought our house in late 2013. After the first utility bill, we decided we urgently needed to replace our 120 +/- can light CFLs with LEDs. Yeah, dimmable LEDs, no less. We comparison shopped, but still it cost over $1200. Three years later, the same bulbs can be had for a quarter the price. Ouch, ouch ouch!


cathy July 25, 2016 at 9:27 am

We just rewired lighting for a basement bedroom and installed four can lights w/ dimmable LEDs. I think they were no more than $30/each including the cans. It seems everyone I know is buying LED bulbs, but can’t figure out what to do with their still-working CFLs. Our approach is to install the LEDS as the CFLs burn out. Takes a little longer to make the switch, but less waste.


Kim July 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Congrats on your AG sale….that is so exciting. I love flipping things.
My FFT’s today….
1. Had a wonderful early birthday surprise today…dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and a new pair of Birks all from my wonderful momma. We don’t do this type of thing often, but I really needed a new pair of Birks. I am like a happy kid right now.
2. Sold a couple more things on Facebook yard sale site. I purchased a Stanley mobile tool chest years ago at my Goodwill, used it for our needs and turned around and sold it for more than I paid for it three years ago. Love a profit. Hello extra mortgage principal payment.
3. Cleaned up our floor registers and spray painted them. They look brand new, spent $5, saved $100.
4. Stitched up a tear in one of son’s favorite tshirts. Hardly noticeable.
5. Did some research on a old coin I found and a piece of jewelry….may be worth a little moolah. Hope so.


Patti July 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

1). Our HBO subscription ran out (we used my son’s account) and my husband discovered he can check out the Game of Thrones DVDs from the library so he can finish watching the series. I didn’t even know he had a library card (he only reads books I buy for him from yard sales)!! He is starting to “get” this NCA thing!
2). I am running a tiny plastic fan I bought at a yard sale very cheaply to put in our camper just to circulate the air. I plug it in to blow on me wherever I am, hopefully saving $$ since it SO HOT right now and I do not want to lower the thermostat. I often do this in the winter with a space heater but never thought about using this tiny fan in the summer.
3). Eating out of the garden and putting up for winter. Very few meals using meat right now. I am also planning dishes for a family get-together in a few weeks so I can use this produce (such as making a zucchini lasagna to freeze now in case our zucchini is gone by then).
4). Planning some Christmas gifts so I can get started making them now.
5). I sew most of my clothing and love to get ideas from people watching and Pinterest. My latest idea is to add small colorful tassels to a boring shirt/tunic I have. My friends loved the idea so we got together and made lots of them from embroidery thread I had left over from my cross-stitching days. I am going to call this shirt my friendship shirt since they helped! The tassels were made from wrapping the thread around a fork so they are only about 1 inch long. So cute!


kathleen July 24, 2016 at 6:37 pm

1. Hemmed five pair of uniform slacks for son this weekend…short legs run in our family. 🙂
2. In the process of #1, I used the iron we received as a wedding gift FORTY years ago. It’s not sleek or pretty. It has had its cord replaced. But it’s still getting the job done. 🙂
3. Used last three apples in a bag that were past their prime to make apple blondies for Sunday family dinner’s dessert.
4. Using puppy’s halter to make a pattern, and fabric on hand to experiment with sewing and sizing up, which will be needed for growing pup.
5. Grocery bill will be low this week. Work trip for hubs and prepaid retreat for me means meal count will be way down.


sarah m July 24, 2016 at 7:13 pm

just posted on the last thread but lets see what I can do . . .
1. wanted to listen to the book “the buried giant” as an audiobook but only could get it from the library as an e-book. decided to do some old fashioned reading rather than spending $15 on audible.
2. went to a potluck at a public health community I’m part of. made biscuits out of flour, homemade yogurt and dill from the garden. they got eaten up quickly too.
3. trying to nurse my garden through the heat. the squash and herbs are doing real well, the rest is so-so. not sure if i save much money with it overall, but time spent gardening is rewarding and keeps me out of trouble 🙂
4. drank homemade coffee this morning.
5. made mango popsicles. hoping they’ll give me motivation to bike to and from work in the heat.


janine July 25, 2016 at 4:39 am

1. Gifted free strawberry-rhubarb pie – won’t have to bake in hot weather this week.
2. Stayed home yesterday; if you don’t go out you aren’t tempted to spend. (Noted before on this blog)
3. Drinking homemade iced tea as beverage of choice – – use a mixture of teas to make my blend. Cheap, easy, good.
4. Plan to make Goodwill part of my regular routine when I am out and about.(I have a small favorite thrift store, but am inspired by Katy to widen my “research” for good bargains.) Also need to scout out a few garage sales and make time to take a look at their offerings.
5. Incorporating meatless meals into my menu planning – easier in the summertime with so many fresh fruits and vegetables available.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 25, 2016 at 5:24 am

Gah! I wish I could make the time to browse my Goodwills more. Sometimes you really can find cool stuff; for me, though, it encourages too much spendy-ness!

This week we:

1. Made spicy fried chicken “wings” (small pieces of fried chicken, like the ones at Buffalo Wild Wings) with a cauliflower puree to look like mashed potatoes. Guys, this was one of the best meals we’ve ever made at home. It just cost a couple of bucks and even made enough for today’s lunch!

2. Mr. Picky Pincher had quite the adventure trying to change the oil in his truck, but he did eventually get it done. Poor thing!

3. I cleaned out my closet and listed a lot of things on eBay. Hopefully we can bring in a little bit of money for house expenses. 🙂

4. I cooked a few meals ahead of time this weekend to save my weeknight sanity. I made butternut squash soup, which we’ll eat with grilled cheese, and a big batch of sloppy joes. I made a large batch so we could replenish our stash of available freezer meals. I even froze hamburger buns to go with the sloppy joes.

5. We had a lot of leftover fruits and veggies, so I made a big bottle of juice with our juicer. The only downside is that I can’t drink juice with my current allergy medicine, so I need to switch allergy meds before I can drink it. So I froze the juice for another day!

6. Okay, okay, this is six frugal things, but this one was too good not to share. On Friday I was craving ice cream. Instead of spending a lot of money going out for ice cream or buying it at the store, I blended my stash of frozen bananas. We whipped them until they were fluffy in the blender, and topped with Nutella and peanuts. SO. GOOD.


JD July 25, 2016 at 6:22 am

1. I just returned from a weekend visiting some family. While our 2013 Hyundai is not the pricier car we really would have preferred to buy, that 41.5 mpg average on the drive there and back makes us like it a lot better.
2. My family and I love to thrift shop, so naturally, we did while we were visiting. I had recently found a really nice wooden frame in my local Goodwill for a gifted-to-me signed print, but it had no glass. At a thrift store in my sister’s town, I found an ugly frame with the right size glass for 75 cents. So now my print can be hung and the ugly frame will be painted and used in a craft.
3. My local Goodwill never has fabric, but hers does. I found muslin scraps there, and got some for 25 cents. I need it when straining my herbal tinctures and oils, so I will definitely use it.
4. I was given earthworms as promised and I drilled holes in buckets we owned and added shredded paper and dirt to start the “farm” when I got back home. I’ve been told it’s usually pretty successful so I feel hopeful.
5. Since I’ve been gone all weekend, I had no leftovers to pack for lunch today. I went to the freezer and pulled out one of the single-portion sizes of leftovers I’d frozen previously. Putting up leftovers like that has saved me from buying lunch so many times.


Jennifer July 25, 2016 at 6:23 am

1. Summer is a really slow time on my hospital unit (adolescent psych) so I’m always grateful to work my days. This weekend, I floated to another unit for 4 hours then came back and worked as the tech on the adult unit. Sunday, I worked as an adult nurse so got all 24 hours. (As weekend package, if I don’t work I don’t get paid!)

2. Took lunch both days. I usually do one and risk the cafeteria the other.

3. The extreme heat finally left Iowa so I have my windows open for the first time in 10 days.

4. Starting to look through all the school supply stuff we have to see what we don’t have to buy for our 4th grader.

5. He will only need new shoes for school. (Unless he sprouts up another 3″ in 5 weeks!)


Bettypants July 25, 2016 at 6:30 am

Red lentil soup is one of my go to recipes when I need a quick and easy dinner.
1. I sold three items on ebay this week, mailing them all out today.
2. Ran errands on Saturday afternoon and hit a few yard sales in town. Bought a Nike pro dri-fit pullover to list on ebay, and a pair of jeans for my son, fifty cents each.
3. We walked through an open house. I loved the layout, but the house was jam packed with furniture and overflowing with stuff. I’ve been working hard at decluttering our house and I know it will make a huge impact on how well the house shows.
4. Used up the rest of my free ebay listings for the month. They sent a promotional email for free auction style listings, so I’m relisting all my unsold stuff.
5. Cleaned out the garage and gave away a couple rolls of chicken wire on freecycle.


Vickie July 25, 2016 at 6:37 am

We have been on vacation, so we’ve tried to spend frugally, while having fun.
1) Eating mostly at home. I think we’ve had 3 meals out. We went to a Matisse’ exhibit yesterday, ate dinner then drove our friend around showing her all the renovations being done in our city. She hadn’t seen the area since the early 80s, so it was a nice surprise for her to see all the restoration and upgrades taking place. It was fun and the car tour was free!
2) I’m picking up a book, she suggested I read, from the Library today. I put it on hold along with another audiobook. Shopping with my favorite card.
3) I’m listening to my free Amazon music online this morning.
4) Our Art museum on Campus has free admission, so I suggested my friend drive me to work one day and spend the day cruising the free admissions on Campus. She’ll love it.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet.


DD July 25, 2016 at 7:28 am

1) Watched a free movie from the library with my hubby for fun this weekend.
2) Was tempted to go out to get some ice cream to enjoy while we watched the movie (it’s been SO HOT around here!!!), but scrounged together some tasty leftover (and as it turned out, much healthier than ice cream) snacks from the fridge instead.
3) Freecycling some unwanted outdoor furniture cushions and bricks that are lying around the house.
4) Hand repair sewing some woven placemats that started coming apart after getting washed.
5) Going to a free lecture about the history of our neighborhood given by a local historian! Sounds fascinating and the price is RIGHT.


Gina in KY July 25, 2016 at 9:44 am

#5 sounds great!!


DD July 28, 2016 at 9:54 am

Yeah, it’s fun to have a new frugal activity to try, and I love learning more about the history of where we live!


Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor July 25, 2016 at 7:32 am

I love your 5 Frugal Thing posts – they’re such great inspiration and always full of ideas of how we can save money ourselves! I’ve started to do my own 5 Frugal Thing posts about how we’re pinching pennies living on our sailboat and build up our “cruising kitty” so that we can spend more time traveling on our boat and exploring the world. I find blogging about it helps keep me focused on both the big and small things we can do to save money.


Jennifer N. July 25, 2016 at 9:23 am

I am amazed by your American Girl win! Congratulations (and I hope they buyer pays swiftly :-). ) My five:

1. I discovered Pioneer Woman’s cold-brew coffee recipe for iced coffee. Coffee is a daily habit for me, but with temperatures in the 90’s hot coffee is out and I was stopping at a local coffee shop for my morning caffeine dose. Now I’m making one batch of cold brew coffee that lasts a whole week for about $5 versus almost $3/day per drink.

2. I made crockpot yogurt yesterday – which in my experience is a great not-fussy way to halve the cost of greek yogurt, which I adore everything about EXCEPT the price. Bonus is the leftover whey, which I will use instead of milk in my homemade waffle mix (or any other baking thing that comes up.)

3. Last night we didn’t have anything to make dinner with at home, so rather than go out to a restaurant, I ran to the grocery store to buy food to make chicken Cesar salads. I bought frozen, pre-cooked chicken, which is a luxury but still cheaper than dining out AND the oven did not need to be turned on for any reason.

4. Over the past two weeks, I have gone out for lunch only two times! This may seem like not a big deal for many folks, but as a recently reformed “eat out every day” type person, I am proud of myself. I’m usually not organized enough in the mornings to throw lunch together, but I’ve found this heat (and the fact that my car’s AC is struggling) are great incentives to make my lunch so I can stay indoors.

5. I took advantage of my husband’s unexpected morning off Saturday and went to the library to pick up a new release I had on hold BY MYSELF. I typically have two kids 7 and under with me, which is not an ideal time for browsing the adult section. I quickly realized one of my retirement goals is to be able to leave with armfuls of books that I could actually read in the two-week lending period, versus taking only 3 – at least one of which I’m counting on a renewal period for.


st July 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Do you know where you found the crock pot yogurt recipe? Sounds like a great thing to know about. Thank you!


amanda July 25, 2016 at 9:48 am

1. Friends invited us over for a relaxing evening where they prepared all the food & drink. It was wonderful! Our life has been crazy lately, so it was nice to be pampered.
2. We helped out a political campaign by phone banking. Lunch and snacks were provided. Since we were the only volunteers, we were sent home with fruit, drinks, and granola bars.
3. Hubby didn’t sell all his pulled pork & coleslaw at the Saturday market, so we finally have leftovers! Of course we prefer to sell out, but we all love his bbq and now that it’s getting hot, less cooking.
4. I gave my coworker my youngest daughter’s bog boots that she outgrew. They have a lot of life left in them & I’m glad to no longer be tripping over them. We received a free replacement for my middle daughter’s torn boots, but by the time they arrived, she outgrew the size, but they are perfect for our youngest. I’m still looking for new boots for her, though, hoping to score some on a deep discount.
5. Our Zucchini plants are going gangbusters, gave some to coworkers and will be shredding & freezing what doesn’t get eaten quickly. I found a recipe for Zucchini brownies, kids can’t wait to try. They’re healthy, “diet” food, right? 🙂


Gina in KY July 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

Well, let’s see…

1. Tonight, we are attending the free showing of the latest Star Wars at our lovely local, outdoor amphitheater. We’ll take out water bottles.

2. Dropping off watched movies and read books to the library and picking up some new-to-us books and movies.

3. Found two like-new books at the thrift store to put back for the holidays for my boys.

4. Put the wash on the line this morning and a few hours later they received a tropical rain wash (yes, this was not exactly intended). It’s already hot and sunny again, so they should dry by end of the day.

5. Eating at home today and (hopefully) the rest of the week.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones July 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

Vintage Pyrex is a hot commodity. I’m always hoping to find a cheap or free one somewhere. So far, nada!


Madeline July 25, 2016 at 10:55 am

1. Cancelled the Costco membership we bought last year to save big time on tires we needed. I also used it to get a great deal on a car rental for a road trip but now we don’t need it anymore. I got some good deals on gas but can usually match it fairly closely somewhere else. I feel I got one good year use out of it.

2. Cooked up leftover bits and pieces from freezer and made two soups to carry us through the week.

3. Bought a kitchen tool I needed at Goodwill for $1.99 vs. $15 new.

4. Did not go to any consignment stores this week. I lose my frugal gene when I see nice clothes in a consignment store.I do not need any more clothes.So I just stay out of the stores.

5. Got 6 library books out for summer reading.Must stay indoors in this heat in Phoenix! Cheap date day for me and hubby and also–free books!!!!


WilliamB July 25, 2016 at 5:30 pm

1. Made about $22 dollars playing the drugstore game. I don’t need Xantac (Zantac?) and loathe the flavor of Colgate Max, so into the donate pile it goes.

2. I nabbed my colleague’s used 3 qt water bottle instead of buying a water jug for the fridge. (He’s not hopeless – he reuses one for about a week before buying a new one.)

3. Still bringing lunch and snacks to work. I realized I can add my own lettuce & spinach to premade foods such as the caf’s tasty Taco Salad, or a Subway salad, for a Partial Frugal (not a success, not a failure).

4. Another Partial Frugal. I bought things I didn’t strictly need, on good sale + discount. New wicker baskets for kindling (from broken-down clementine boxes) and crumpled paper (Sunday’s paper, natch); and nicer frames for photos I display prominently.

5. I’m gradually stocking up the deep freezer, as good sales develop, rather than leaping in all at once.

Katy – you didn’t list “I didn’t buy a Lear jet” as one of your frugal things. Has the day finally come? I hope you remained true to your principles and bought a USED Lear jet.


Katy July 26, 2016 at 6:23 am

Nope. I’m just borrowing a Lear Jet from a friend today.


Celeste L July 25, 2016 at 9:02 pm

1. Found a Lego storage box (the kind that looks like a giant Lego piece) for $1 at a PTO thrift store, delighting my granddaughter and supporting local schools at the same time.
2. Used a coupon for a free movie rental.
3. Bought a cute vintage bookshelf at a local market for less than it would have cost to buy an IKEA bookshelf of similar size. My books and my wallet are happy!
4. Waited until evening to visit the local art fair, thereby managing to secure free parking two nights in a row. Also avoided the scorching midday heat.
5. Resisted the urge to look at school supply ads. Did not resist the urge to get an extra 30% off of a few used books at Powell’s. Partial win? Books and school supplies are my downfalls. And coffee.


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