Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 1, 2016 · 64 comments

eBay listing

  1. I finally used a paint repair kit that I bought over a year ago to touch up some tiny chips on our Toyota Prius. (Seriously, I blogged about it in March of 2015!) The previous owner had a tight parking spot in her apartment complex which resulted in her neighbor repeatedly opening his door into the driver side of her car. The chippy condition of the paint brought down the price of the car, so my husband and I were fine with it. We immediately bought the $18 repair kit and then set in on top of the piano where its sat ever since. The painting process took maybe 15 minutes, and the car now looks a million times better.
  2. I had to drive out to the suburbs yesterday to pick up my son from a friend’s house. People were feeling a bit hungry on the way back, so I treated everyone to $1.50 Costco Polish dogs. Costco was directly on our route, so it was just a matter of exiting the freeway. You simply can’t beat that buck-fifty price!
  3. I sold a pair of thrifted $20 Birkenstocks on eBay for $70.
  4. I’m arranging for someone to come by and take a vintage armchair that we no longer have room for. I posted it in the “Free” section of Craigslist as I simply want it gone. It got replaced by my $14 Goodwill Lane recliner, and its been cluttering up my living room ever since. I’m happy for it to go to a new home.
  5. I found a penny on the ground at Fred Meyer, put together August’s budget, hung two loads of laundry, stopped into a Goodwill but bought nothing, grabbed a half-price gallon of milk and I didn’t even buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie August 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

(1) Accompanied DH to a checkup with his GP, to make sure that all the bases got covered. Hadn’t previously met GP (we have separate PCPs; long story) and discovered that he’s a great guy, plus we got several useful new leads to pursue re: DH’s continuing mood and memory problems. These may be Frugal Things indeed, in the sense of saving worry and anxiety.

(2) After the doctor visit, went on an enjoyable ramble with DH through an unaccustomed part of town, to avoid local freeway construction. Stopped at an excellent branch of one of our two local thrift chains, and found a pair of nearly new black Sanita clogs for 6.99 (only a scuff on one toe, which doesn’t bother me). Now I’ll get to check out Sanita/Dansko footwear, which I know Katy is loyal to.

(3) Found a produce stand on the way home, selling the best sweet corn we’ve had thus far this summer. Just three things that money can’t buy: True love, homegrown tomatoes, and local sweet corn! (We can grow the love and tomatoes ourselves, but not the corn.)

(4) Continuing to conserve water every way we can, in our continuing drought. But I hugely enjoyed getting caught in an unexpected downpour early this morning on my usual walk. (Getting out of a day’s watering: Priceless.)

(5) Looking forward to a “clean out the fridge” dinner tonight (the weekend’s leftovers have made this an enjoyable necessity).



Beea August 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Nothing is as priceless as true love.


pattilou August 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Katy, can you share what you used for your car touch-up? My red car was keyed and the guy at the dealership suggested I buy some “as seen on TV ” product instead of getting touch-up from them. Well $10.00 later that didn’t work! I’d love to know what you used.

My five frugal things are:
1. my niece had a party and sent us all home with tons of left-overs
2. Same niece also gave me some clothes she no longer wears. Yeah new to me clothing!
3. I sold some clotes at the consignment store. $17.00 into the vcation fund for next year.
4. My father passed away in March and I have been trying to organize some family history that he and my late uncle had been working on. He used oversized card stock so I had to purchase an oversized photo album to put them in. I was able to find one and purchase it with a 50% off coupon.
5. My goal is to eat from the freezer/pantry this week with the exception of some fruit from the farmer’s market.

Frugal Frustration ( I won’t say fail because I tried!): The control knob on my Mother’s washer stopped working. After some you-tubing, I was able to get the piece off and go to the parts store. I was told that the knob wasn’t broken and that it was probably the timer. I could easily replace it but it was going to cost 137.00 to buy the timer and they would not take the part back if that wasn’t the problem. There was also no guarantee that it was the right timer because there was a number missing from the model number. So – the repairman was called. It cost $93.00 for less than 10 minutes for him to tell me the timer had moved out of place. If only I had fiddled around with it some more! Oh well, now I know what to do if it happens again, which he said may because it is a problem with this particular machine.


jennifer August 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm

1. I received my free t-shirt from the sushi company that I emailed to inquire about coupons. It’s a really nice shirt! To add to my severely lacking wardrobe.
2. Started back drinking tons of water. I fell off the wagon over the weekend and started back on Dt. Mountain Dew thinking I needed caffeine. Not! It has made me feel sluggish and terrible and is a waste of $.
3. My daughter’s school requests Ticonderoga brands pencils only and the only place that has a good deal on these is Staples. There is no Staples in my town anymore. I think I will send a few regular old pencils until I run across a deal on them. For those who don’t know, these pencils are much higher quality and don’t break as often the others and are recommended by most teachers.I don’t mind buying them but I need a little more time to get a better price and school starts in 2 days.
4.I decided to let my daughter use a lunch box she received as a gift a couple years ago that she never actually used for anything other than to play with. It still looks good and should work just fine.
5.I bought a pair of brand new Birkenstocks at a yardsale for $20. Not the sandal type, it’s the closed toe ones but they are original.Not sure if they are still in style but I thought I would rock them anyway.


Brandy August 1, 2016 at 7:54 pm

This week Office Max/Office Depot has Ticonderoga pencils 12pk on sale for $1.00. Awesome price!! If u don’t have Staples or Office Max/Depot maybe you could price match at Walmart.


Jennifer August 2, 2016 at 5:35 am

Oh great, I didn’t know! We do have Office Max, thanks.


Ellen August 2, 2016 at 5:14 am

If you have a Walgreens they usually run a sale on them. So keep your eyes open for that. Those are the ones that my kids love. If you don’t get them on sale they are very pricey!


Jennifer August 2, 2016 at 5:37 am

I know, I have been checking around. Each year it seems I get everything at a pretty decent price except these darn pencils, thanks!


Julie C 2 August 2, 2016 at 9:10 am

My husband really likes those pencils too. I found them (after school started) in CVS real cheap. Since you have to purchase them keep an eye for them after school is back in and keep them for next year. Just a suggestion !


Jennifer August 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Exactly! We buy them every year, great idea!


Emily August 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm

You can also price match at staples and they will further discount it by 10%, I will probably do this tomorrow actually! Office max is far from me, staples is much closer! I love these pencils too for my students.


Mand01 August 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Love those Costco hotdogs – it’s the relish that makes them so good.
1. I’ve been researching lighting and ceiling fans for our house. The lighting that was here when we moved is 35 years old and doesn’t really look right with LEDs. Plus – hideous. We’ve been waiting over a year and pricing it everywhere. Finally bit the bullet and bought it, at less than half the top quote – which included two lovely ceiling fans.
2. We have had 3 meals from one roasted chicken.
3. My youngest price matched The Cursed Child and got her copy for half price. She’s already finished it. Her review: “Mind. Blowing.”
4. Took my coffee & tea to work.
5. Thrifted clothes yesterday, thrifted clothes today.


Beth August 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Where did you get the book? 🙂 I read some Amazon reviews which were not very positive.


rjr August 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm

1. Ate leftovers for lunch.
2. Making dinner from last of the CSA vegetables and shrimp from the freezer.
3. Took a walk with my sister today to socialize.
4. Enjoyed gifted gazpacho.
5. Looking for things to consign and sell and continue to declutter.


Betty Winslow August 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

1. Again we have so much homegrown yellow squash that I’m giving it away. This has been balanced by the zucchini bombing from our neighbor…. too bad you can’t make yellow squash into awesome bread! So far, I have 20 cups of shredded zuke in the freezer….
2. Got a coupon for a free Venus razor in the mail, which we don’t need, so I will pick it up and put it in the box of donations for the food pantry.
3. I’ve been keeping track of leftovers better, so no throwing away!
4. Invited to a wedding shower 2 1/2 hrs away, so will carpool with a couple other ladies and chip in on gas. And I already bought the gift – on sale.
5. No Lear jet. Or boat.


Jennifer August 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

No ideas for your squash abundance but I was wondering if you have ever tried zucchini brownies? A great personal finance blog I follow some has a good recipe that I like if you are interested


JD August 2, 2016 at 5:38 am

My sister gave me a recipe for yellow squash puffs that are basically squash fritters and they were good. I don’t have it on me, but you could perhaps google it.
And, I make pickle relish with ground yellow squash in the place of cucumbers. I get raves on it.


Jennifer August 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm



Beth August 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

1. Went grocery shopping yesterday – win – took the time to go through the Meijer sale circular and do my MPerks coupons.

2. Fail – the MPerks coupons did not go through and I didn’t notice until I got out to the car. 🙁

3. Win – I had a $5 off my purchase coupon because our other local Meijer grocery store is under construction and they sent it out for the inconvenience. The cashier was having a hard time processing it and ended up putting the credit on twice and just smiled as she told me. I figured this made up for #2 as I had $10 off in total.

4. Fail – realized at 10 pm at night I didn’t remember putting the bananas away. Went out to the car to check, no bananas. 🙁 Asked daughter who helped put groceries away if she remembered seeing them, she said no. Someone elses gain. Thought about calling but just to busy at work this morning.

5. Rain storms lately – have not had to turn on sprinklers, yeah! 🙂 Have 5 buckets sitting out by the garage to collect the rain water. Should be enough to at least water the tomato plants.

6. Received 4 nice sized tomatoes from mother in law which will be used for BLT’s. Grandparents spent the day with daughter treating her to lunch and the movies and bought daughter 2 nice pairs of Nike shorts, very happy daughter. 🙂

7. Bought boss cute bday gift from Bath and Body and got $2 off with coupon. Also turned in coupon for free lotion which daughter quickly claimed. 😉

8. Craving chocolate this weekend, made a cake with mix and frosting had on hand. Short one egg – Googled a substitute and cake turned out great. 🙂

9. Have a dogs/house vacation sit for Thurs. – Sat. – will be a nice mini vaca as the home is literally a mansion and the dogs are little sweeties. Took two vacation days from work. We will spend time at the home, do a little school shopping and treat ourselves to a “fun” day using some of the tip money. 🙂

10.Was tempted to get the new Harry Potter book – looked up Amazon reviews and promptly put my name on the hold list for the library. Has anyone read it and how did you like it? 🙂 FYI – Meijers has a coupon for $1.50 off the price.


BJS August 1, 2016 at 2:12 pm

1. I have the insurance form to get reimbursed for my son’s glasses almost all filled out, and plan to put it in tomorrow’s mail.

2. I remembered to renew library books and DVDs while on vacation last week. This was the only “business-y” thing I had to do all week. Since the fine for DVDs is $1 per day, I’m thankful that I remembered.

3. Found 11 cents during my vacation. 🙂

4. Turned our thermostat up while we were gone for the week.

5. I’m a couple of weeks into making myself drink 64 ounces of water every day, and cutting way back on iced tea. Short-term savings … tea bags and sweetener; long-term savings … better overall health (I hope!).


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:37 am

I drink a ton of ice tea in the summer, and use it an an excuse to use up random tea bags that somehow kept into my pantry. However, I drink it unsweetened.


Teri August 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm

1. Used last years frozen blackberries to make freezer jam. Daughter will replace with berries picked fresh this year, for free.
2. Bought 32 oz. bag of mozzarella cheese on clearance for $3.47–the price of a 16 oz. bag. Into the freezer it went.
3. We continue to eat frozen left overs from our family reunion. I have only had to buy fresh produce for 2 weeks.
4. Needed some tassel trim to fix a rug that had been “eaten” by the vacuum cleaner one too many times. Found some “attached” to some linens at Goodwill for $2.25–less than the cost of 1 yard at the fabric store and plenty to fix both ends of my runner.
5. Did not buy a strawberry frappacino even though it would have tasted delicious on this 100 degree day.


Bee August 1, 2016 at 3:21 pm

I have had a summer cold, so I have not been very productive yesterday or today. It is funny, but it is times like this that make realize how ingrained frugality has become.

1) Last night my husband was able to make dinner for the family. Cooking isn’t his thing, but I had the ingredients needed for him to make one of the two dishes in his repertoire. Thank goodness for the a well-stocked freezer and pantry.

2) I made dinner tonight with odds and ends that needed to be eaten. I used the last tomato and green pepper from my last farm share. There have been as many as a dozen tomatoes in every delivery. Best of all, we didn’t have to order out and I didn’t have to drag myself to the grocery store.

3) I laid on the couch, rested and read back issues of the NCA. I didn’t find this wonderful blog until last year, so it was interesting to go back in time. I had forgotten how bleak 2008 and 2009 were.

4) I am reading The Lost Painting – The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece. It is extremely interesting to me — part art history, part detective story. It was in my stack of books that I purchased at our Friends of the Library Sale this past spring. I bought 30 books for $9.

5) I didn’t go anywhere except to walk the dog around the block.

Frugal fail: As soon as I finished watering the yard, a huge thunderstorm came through. It was the first bit of ran in many weeks.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:35 am

Hopefully my blog wasn’t too bleak as well!


Bee August 2, 2016 at 9:23 am

Your blog was not bleak at all. Your positive energy shined through. You started writing at a time when many people needed your encouragement and still do.


Tiffany August 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

1. Made a big pot of chili mac using all store brand items that will work for dinner and lunches
2. While making this had 4 ounces of chicken broth left so poured it into ice cube molds to use as needed.
3. Made trail mix for snacks for the week from the bulk section which made it much more thrifty as I bought peanuts, a small amount of raisin medley and a small amount of choc covered cranberries.
4. Back to work tomorrow after 2 glorious weeks of staycation since we didn’t have the funds to go out of town..
5. Printed the free walgreens 8 x 10 for new art for the bathroom we spiffed up during the staycation..


Janelle August 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm

1. Our fridge stopped working, and the repair guy says it would be $1000 to fix it! It’s only $600 brand new! But thankfully our house used to be two apartments and we still have the (smaller) fridge in the other apartment, so we won’t need to buy another one just yet. Plus lots of extra exercise going up and down stairs
2. Went to free Zumba in the outdoor park in the center of our city. Sweating in 85 degree sun is lovely.
3. I am putting off getting the air conditioning fixed in my car. We are almost past the hottest part of the summer, and my car should roll over 200k miles and die in the next couple months, so we are just going to drive it until it does. Then scrap it for some cash
4. All 4 kids in my house are now wearing the same size diaper (size 4, in case anyone cares). Makes shopping a lot easier and I get cash back with Mperks rewards through our local store, which comes to basically 10% off sale prices
5. Sold some clothes at the kids consignment store and the young professionals store. Yay!


Elizabeth August 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

1. While daughter was at dance class today I went to the mall because I had a coupon for a free 3-oz lotion at Bath and Body Works. Walked in, got my free lotion and walked out! Also went to kohls where I had $10 in kohls cash and got a necklace and earrings on clearance.
2. After dance class I had promised my daughter I’d take her to get sushi at her favorite place which has half off sushi on Mondays. She’s going to be 13 next month and is getting to the age where she spends lots of time on her electronics and talking with friends and in her room so any chance to spend some one on one time with her lately is so worth it!
3. Got invited to the symphony picnic pops tomorrow night. These are always so enjoyable and we get to go for free!!
4. Had a short financial talk with my husband about where our investments and 401k stand. It’s always nice when we are both on the same page in terms of future goals and present information.
5. I’ve been feeling slightly off today…like somehow wishing I lived near family or wishing my kids were younger when it was just physically exhausting but not so emotionally exhausting or wishing my kids were older so I could worry about them slightly less or wishing I lived where we used to live where I knew everyone and had such a comfortable daily routine. What always helps when I’m feeling a little down is to google the topic I’m sad about and read about other people going through it also and suggestions other people have. It’s like free therapy!!!


Kim in Los Alamitos August 1, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Elizabeth – I’ve been feeling the same way about my son who is 14. It seems the only thing he cares about is anything electronic and being away from mom and dad. I think back to the days when he would plop into my lap and hang around my neck, and everyone would tell me to enjoy it because they change into smarty-pants teens. But every age has it’s ups and downs I guess. Chin up.


Gina in KY August 2, 2016 at 4:11 am

I also have a 14 yo and this summer I have felt similarly on and off. I am watching him turn into a young man at rapid speed and I feel like electronics are the only thing he cares about often enough. Generally, we do get along, but this summer he became angry at me and told me to stop calling him the name I have called him since he was a little baby. I could not hold back my tears. Big hugs to you both!!


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:21 am

I feel for you. But let me share that both of my sons still let me snuggle them sometimes.


Emily August 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm

1. Where is everyone getting these bath and body works coupons?

2. I remember my early teen years. They are tough! We come back though. I’m in my twenties and I miss my parents tons (I live 7 hours from them). I promise your daughter loved your lunch together as well.


Diana August 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Katy can you elaborate more on how to buy a used car? I’m sure this seems captain obvious to most people…how old was your car & mileage? Tips etc?


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

Not obvious whatsoever. What we did was meet with our mechanic (Hawthorne Auto Clinic) last year and told them what we were looking for (a reliable compact car) and to give anyone looking to sell a good car our name. It took a few months, but we were in no hurry. In the end they gave two different sellers our name, and we bought our 2007 Prius for $6000. We didn’t need to spend the money having it inspected because the seller had just had maintenance work done and its records still reside with our mechanic.

This worked perfectly for both us and the seller as neither of us wanted to go through the process of selling or buying a used car.

The mechanic didn’t charge anything for this service. They were very happy to help us.


Krystal August 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

1. My insurance company covered a treatment it had rejected the past few years (but covered the years prior to that). However, I don’t trust it, because are terrible to deal with, so I am planning on saving a bit of money on the side for the expected “unexpected” bill in the next few months. If they do truly cover it, I have forced savings I can apply to our next used car fund.
2. I batched errands yesterday and today, even though I had a few frugal fails during those errands, it still counts!
3. Set my August budget for the month, and inquired about a work study position at my yoga studio. That could save me $70-$80 a month if it works out!
4. My dog will need a sling and a crate for the next couple months in his surgery recovery, so I have asked friends if I could borrow some of these items (he was never crated as a young dog), both said yes as soon as they locate them. Which also made me thankful I have a somewhat minimalist home with relatively few things, so I know where everything is, except that damn Lululemon jacket I misplaced 4 years ago I am still upset about. I do not think I’ll ever let that one go.
5. Washed towels tonight but avoided putting them in the dryer, because I’ll be able to hang them on the line in the AM.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:26 am

I had a Land’s End fleece that I bought brand new when I was pregnant with my now 18-year-old son that I still mourn over. It had an elastic drawstring at the waist, which meant it could expand for pregnancy. (Not a specific maternity piece, just a nice option.) It was a splurge, and the perfect size/color/softness.

The struggle is real. 😉


Kim August 2, 2016 at 3:26 am

Birthday Frugal Five…
1. It was my birthday yesterday and what made me super happy was the lack of anything purchased. I was hugged and pampered all day and actually told, ” we didn’t spend $5 on a card because we know you would have been bothered by that.” Yep, they know me.
2. Hubby went fishing, caught a few trout for a yummy fish fry dinner and turned a bunch of my onions into some delish onion rings
3. Had a store bought apple pie , which we had in the freezer, for dessert which we “enhanced” with a cinnamon crumble recipe on top. OMG…so good.
4. Family cleaned up kitchen, cut the grass, did the laundry….so I didn’t have to.
5. Finished up the day reading a couple books that I checked out from the library. It was a good birthday.


Gina in KY August 2, 2016 at 4:15 am

Happy birthday!! It sounds wonderful!


Jennifer August 2, 2016 at 5:40 am

Happy Birthday! So glad you had a great one.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:23 am

I love that your family knew to not waste money on a store bought card! It wasn’t that long ago that my husband kept trying to treat me with expensive gifts. Kind, but off mark. He now knows that I prefer experiential gifts, especially time together.


Vickie August 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

Happy Birthday. Sounds like a wonderful birthday – pampering is always preferable over stuff! 🙂


Gina in KY August 2, 2016 at 4:23 am

My frugal five:

1. I found $20! It was blowing around a parking lot.

2. I started No Spend August and, well, this is day two (8:15 am) and I am doing great!

3. I made the decision to reclaim my allotment at my neighborhood’s community garden. I helped build this garden and gardened/volunteered there for 3 years. This year it seemed anything weighty and busy that could come at me did and I gave up so many of my community activities. I missed the garden dearly and, at 20 X 20 and $20/year, it’s a bargain to rent. Plus, it will help reduce grocery costs. I am going to put in a fall garden.

4. Last night I made sloppy lentils (all pantry items) and my omnivorous sons claimed that other than the texture it is just like sloppy joes their dad makes. On that note, living between a meat/potatoes household and a vegetarian one (shared/joint custody), my sons eat pretty much all they are given and rarely complain. I am grateful for sons with diverse palates.

5. Put together a tentative budget for August. It still needs to be tweaked, but it’s a start.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:20 am

Any budget that doesn’t need some tweaking as the month continues on is far from realistic.


Lindsay August 2, 2016 at 5:28 am

1. Two of my friends moved to new homes. Since candles are a traditional housewarming gift, I bought candles for both of them at the Salvation Army. I also mailed my cousin a birthday card from my thrift store stash.

2. I’m preparing to decorate my classroom NCA style. I’m doing a Harry Potter theme, so I printed free online Harry Potter quote printables on cardstock I got from the local Buy Nothing group. I also got two pretty binders from Salvation Army.

3. I used an Amazon gift card to buy a bookshelf to organize our plethora of books.

4. I’ve been entertaining myself with a great pile of books from the library.

5. I’m spending time with a friend today. Instead of spending money, we are going to the local Intermediate Unit to get information for her on getting her GED.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:18 am

Ooh . . . I’d love to be in your classroom! I got tingly/teary the other day when I saw the new Harry Potter book/script at the grocery store. Good reminder that I want to put it upon hold at the library!


Beth August 2, 2016 at 5:57 am

1. I found a penny on the ground today, and I promptly picked it up and put it in my pocket.
2. I got coffee from a local coffee shop today because it’s “double punch Tuesday.” I don’t get coffee every week, but when I do I try to get it on Tuesdays so that I can earn two punches instead of one (and get a free drink after five purchases instead of ten).
3. I ate breakfast/lunch that I brought from home yesterday, and will do the same today.
4. Carpooled with a coworker to work one day last week, and am hoping to do it again this week.
5. Made dinner last night and followed my menu plan. With the baby fussing, and the husband napping (he had an extremely rough/exhausting day, so I told him to take a nap while I made dinner), it wasn’t easy. But I suppressed the urge to order Chinese and cooked a healthier, cheaper dinner at home 🙂


JD August 2, 2016 at 6:04 am

1. Lunch today is leftovers from last night that were leftovers from Sunday.
2. Found a freecycler in need of wedding supplies — I won’t make any money off of what I’m giving her, but it will empty out the area under the bed for sure. The first wedding, out of the two weddings and four showers they were used for, was in 2005, so I’m ready for them to get gone. Uncluttering is a goal for this year.
3. I’m re-reading a thick, out of print, hardback book I bought at a thrift store for a dollar. I keep books that I enjoy every time I read them, and this is one of them.
4. Paid some bills with billpay since the bank writes the check and mails it for me for free. Some bills I pay still have a “convenience fee” for paying electronically online. I hate it when they call it a convenience fee. Convenient for whom?
5. I have some things I need to hand launder and I always wonder how clean they get. I had heard of a breathable plunger type washer to use with hand laundry that’s supposed to really get it clean. But it was $20 when I looked it up. I got a new $1.66 rubber toilet plunger with wooden handle (not going used with a toilet plunger, sorry!), drilled holes in a circle in the rubber cup, and voila, a breathable laundry plunger. Then I googled it and found out lots of other people thought of that same idea, too. It just confirms to me that it’s a good idea. It works quite well.


Katy August 2, 2016 at 6:16 am

Yeah . . . I’m with you 100% on not buying a used toilet plunger!


Lucy August 3, 2016 at 4:13 am

Hey now! I bought a used toilet plunger (it looked sparkly new) at least 15 years ago and it is still serving it’s purpose – in the toilet. However, I sure would not buy a used one to do laundry with.


Mand01 August 3, 2016 at 4:17 am

I do that too – there are some books that I keep returning to, year after year. Some are high literature (former librarian, bachelor in English lit), others are just ‘trashy’ novels that I enjoy so much I read them over and over when I need a lift. They take up space but that’s ok because they bring enjoyment. It is funny though seeing the collected Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein side by side with Twilight and the Southern Vampire Mysteries.


Jennifer N. August 2, 2016 at 6:25 am

I must be getting pretty good at this, since I’m coming up with five frugal things pretty consistently and without a whole lot of thought these days. My five:

1. Packed my lunch today, which includes the last of my homemade yogurt (which wouldn’t have kept until the weekend to use as a starter for the next batch.)

2. Over the weekend, I started some perennial seeds (aster and phlox) after reading that it’s not too late for some things. I used seeds and potting soil I had on hand, as well as leftover containers from plants I put in the ground this spring. I plan to put them in the ground in the fall – we’ll see how this goes!

3. My three-year-old is nearly potty-trained! (Both of my boys were late starters…) The end of buying diapers is in full view! (Don’t judge our disposable diaper thing – my husband said “no way” and since he stayed home with both boys during their early years, I couldn’t very well force cloth on him.)

4. My husband is starting school in the fall and wanted to get a head start on one of his programming classes, so I put a hold on one of the three related books the library has and brought it home for him this past weekend. There are lots of free online resources, too, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a book you can thumb through.

5. We attended a special free event hosted by a local children’s museum at the library on Saturday. It was aimed towards pre-schoolers, but both boys loved the fun learning activities AND we got a free family pass to the children’s museum (which is not free and a pretty fun place for kids of all ages). I love when free things beget more free things. 🙂


Vickie August 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

1) I stopped at Buy for Less this morning to get coffee creamer – on sale for $2 and I picked up a Marie Callendar meal for lunch. Which will be cheaper than a meal out. It was less than $3.
2) This may be a repeat – I signed up for the Campus Fitness Center yesterday $10 per month, all classes, towels and a locker included. My first Pilates class is Friday.
3) Stuck to my morning breakfast mix and the coffee they provide here at work.
4) We have a new cat at home – it’s a stray that came up and adopted us. We live so far out in the country, someone had to have dumped it, abandoned it or quit feeding it. Thankfully I already had a box of food. My old cat died back in the Winter and I hadn’t gotten around to donating the cat food yet. Now all I need to do is take it to the Vet for shots and see if it needs to be spay/neutered. It’s a beautiful white, long haired cat. It finally got brave enough to let me pet it this morning. I’ll have to find out what sex it is, before I come up with a name. I noticed my issue with mice had ceased in the past few weeks. It’s a win-win for us both!
5) My youngest granddaughter has a birthday this month. I remembered this morning she wants a set of skates. I found them for less than $25 at Academy Sports. I looked for a pair of used ones, but haven’t found a pair in her size. My daughter has an annual Venture pass that gets them into the skating rink and several theme parks and such. They go skating 2 or 3x per month, so this will be a good gift for her.


Lucy August 3, 2016 at 4:18 am

I’m so glad the cat situation is beneficial for both of you! We also live in the sticks and get a steady stream of drop offs. This summer we got a rabbit tossed out at the end of the drive. People! Your pet bunny can’t survive if you turn it loose!

Sorry for the rant.


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 2, 2016 at 6:43 am

Let’s see; this week:

1. I purchased one month of boot camp classes through Groupon for just $30. The retail price was $150 and the Groupon was originally $50. But I used my coupon wizardry to bring it down $20 more! I’m excited to get out of the house more and work off some stress.

2. I made English muffins and biscuits from scratch. The biscuits are flaky and delicious; I overbaked the muffins a bit, but they were still edible.

3. I got inspired to cook some beautiful new dishes after checking out vegan and vegetarian books at the library. I’ve realized that plant-based dishes are often healthier and WAY cheaper than those with meat. While I’m not giving up my bacon, I think we do need to eat more veggies at the Picky Pincher household.

4. I tried to make a chocolate coffee-caramel tart. It was an absolute disaster because I overbaked and overfilled the tart. But it was made with ingredients I had on hand, so no harm done. It was a good learning experience!

5. I sold my very first item on eBay for $17, which paid for the shipping for my Dad’s birthday present.


Susie's Daughter August 2, 2016 at 11:30 am

#5 – Oooo congrats! I am getting up my nerve to learn how to sell on Ebay. I have been looking through stuff and realizing I have a handful items that I would be better off selling directly (rather than consignment). This group has inspired me to figure it out!


Amy Jo August 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

1. Received a free backpack and lunch bag (Doc McStuffins) from a friend. Her daughter is starting kindergarten and she bought them for her, but her daughter decided they were too babyish for her and refused to carry them. LOL My 2 year old ADORES Doc and we will use it as an overnight bag, etc. FREE…..
2. Resisting the urge this week to go buy ingredients for hubs favorite dinner. I told him I would make it next week instead and he agreed and told me the anticipation was a good thing. 😉
3. I bought 4 extremely large tshirts from a gal on the swap shop for $2. I have been looking up ideas on pinterest to redo them to fit me and to give them some character.
4. My FREE box from Hello Fresh came in today. I just unboxed it and I am impressed with the fresh ingredients, recipes, cold shipping container, etc. I just cancelled my subscription because $69 for 3 meals for 2 people is way too expensive for me. But it is a great experience, and I will post pics about it on my FB wall in case some of my friends are interested.
5. It’s been raining for 2 days straight now, which has been awesome to cool things down. We certainly needed it with 2 inch cracks in our front yard. And it has kept us at home, too. So no extra gas being used or spending going on. 🙂


janine August 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

1. Made an Italian pasta salad from ingredients on hand – pepperoni, olives and lots of fresh vegetables. Will supplement with a corn/potato chowder made with leftovers.
2. Enough left over to fuel husband’s lunch tomorrow
3. Was getting despondent about not finding any coins or $$. The mail came and with it a request for $$ – to entice us they included eleven cents plus two birthday cards – don’t care for this type of solicitation but there it was!
4. Made up a strict budget for August – I will host a birthday lunch, buy a wedding present and make a political contribution – all this needs to be factored into the mix.
5. The purchase of a Lear Jet will have to be postponed yet again.


Is it a need or a want August 2, 2016 at 11:35 am

(1) Made a dessert for a pot luck with ingredients I already had in my pantry.
(2) Also had some olives and pickles in abundance so brought those also.
(3) Went to volunteer at community garage sale. Enjoyed walk and conversation with neighbour. Created two tables (1) vintage items, you saw as soon as you came in, (2) cottage / vacation items . I started doing this a few years back and would find items in the other sections like glass wear, serving dishes, pictures, linens. It was amazing to see items that when they were in the individual sections never moved but when put with”like” items they flew off the table. The prices can’t be beat and Imcame home with a few ” treasures”. I can’t believe what is donated (odd things?), but then realize there is a buyer for just about anything.
(4) Oldest just purchased a house. In it was a large oil painting and needlepoint left by the previous owners. They aren’t to her taste but I knew of an non profit having an art fundraiser and they take anything. Many people come just for the frames, glass or mats.
(5) Tree came down in windstorm yesterday. Neighbour offered to come and clean it up to get the wood to heat his workshop. Told him I am proactively taking some others down and he is coming to remove the wood. Win/win.


Susie's Daughter August 2, 2016 at 11:43 am

1) Returned deposit cans/bottles yesterday on rainy day errands and put another $4.45 in the family entertainment fund. Here’s to picking up cans by the side of the road!

2) Made the first batch of modified “ratatouille” (we leave out eggplant and peppers) for the freezer. Zucchini is busting out all over. Should have no problem freezing 12-14 containers for winter.

3) Free shopping for supplies today at Staples (with my Staples rebates) and $6.50 for 2 new to us shirts for DS at consignment store next to Staples. YAY!

4) Packed a picnic (DS requested a picnic this week :)) for our shopping errands today since errands were 30 miles from home. Lovely time sitting by the river.

5) REALLY enjoying The Complete Tightwad Gazette and am thinking about the 5 things I would like to stop buying (I think that idea came from Amy D?). My goal for 2017 is to pay off the loan on our truck – even though we will be investing in a new business at the same time. Katy, you and the frugal faithful inspire me!


Chris August 2, 2016 at 2:12 pm

1. A friend asked me to water her plants when they are on vacation and gave me a quart sized bag of tomatoes, lettuce, some smoked trout, smoked brisket and soup in thanks. Plus I can pick from her garden while they are gone. I only need to water twice cause they are not gone that long.
2. Volunteered at a funeral on Saturday and the family did not want to take any of the flowers – I brought home a beautiful arrangement of white flowers.
3. We have scheduled “work days” at home – no lunches out, no golf plans – to work on projects on the house in anticipation of our daughter’s September wedding. Just doing things we should have been working on over the past few years.
4. Coming up with menus for easy ready to go meals for when family are here for the wedding so no temptation to order out. Stockpiling what I can in the freezer.
5. No Lear Jet!!


LisaC August 2, 2016 at 2:38 pm

This one is mostly tongue in cheek. Or, looking on the bright side?

1. Didn’t have to refill the birdseed in the bird feeder, as the birds helped themselves to many of my tomatoes. They did leave some for me.
2. Fed the compost with some leftover veggies I’d been saving for soup but dropped all over the garage floor.
3. Switched to paper napkins when my guests made bbq ribs, but I had enough to go around, many times over. It was a mess but delicious.
4. Got excited that a lottery ticket for second chance was on the ground, picked it up and it was a cigar wrapper called Lucky Chance. Threw it out, so I did prevent someone’s litter from laying around.
5. Convinced my husband (twice) NOT to go to Sam’s to get his favorite burgers, because we had so much other food choices in the freezer. Determined to eat them up!


Emily August 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Man I have been slacking!!!

1. Emailed the coordinator of a nearby community garden (really wish I would have done this in MAY) to see if they needed any volunteers, and asked if I could join even though I was from another town. She replied quickly and excitedly, saying that yes I could indeed join! The one in my town is pay by the foot kind of thing, and is far from my apartment. The neighboring community does rotations of groups by week with a weekly group harvest night. I am SO excited to check it out tomorrow. Good chance to volunteer AND we get to take home organic produce!

2. Attended a community out against crime event tonight. My boyfriend and I ate free pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and left with some snacks and cans of soda. All free.

3. My boyfriend needs a proper fitting suit for many reasons. Number 1 reason being a wedding we have at the end of August. We went to men’s warehouse where a gentlemen tried convincing me the buy one get one was a great deal, making each suit ONLY 400 dollars + tax + alterations. I went home and found ONE identical suit for 199 on ebay, and can have it altered locally. Saving of almost 700 dollars when all is said and done.

4. Washing and air drying allllll the couch covers. I love my ikea couch for this reason. Boy is it a pain though lol.

5. Hit Harris Teeter super doubles last weekend. Got some free and nearly free snacks and office supplies. Noticed they made a few errors on my receipt, so I went back and asked for a refund. 4.50 back in my pocket.

6. Stopped into rite aid for a few things. Noticed they had those scented kids markers on clearance for 2.00, and I remembered seeing a coupon in the paper for those. Went back out to my car and sure enough, 1.00 off, so I got the package for 1.07. I try to buy little things here and there throughout the year to fill Christmas shoe boxes for Sumaritans Purse. Lessens the blow around Christmas if I stock up on things during the year, and I can typically find some nicer things instead of only dollar tree goods.

7. My boyfriends brother was in over the weekend. He stayed with us and we kept things pretty low key. We have him over 12 articles of clothing that my dad and brother originally gave to my bf but didnt fit. Really nice dress shirts, sweaters, and a pair of birks. He was so happy to head home with a new wardrobe, and I was happy they are now out of our apartment :).


tonya parham August 3, 2016 at 8:05 am

I’m a bit late coming to this as I took a couple days off the internet– just needed a mental break. Don’t know that it’s frugal but it was healthy!

1. I had the Apple music family plan but I am canceling it as I rarely listen to it. I listen more to audiobooks from the library so that’s $15 a month saved!

2. Ate all meals at home yesterday– and made the best potatoes EVER with some small potatoes and lemon olive oil from TJs. Now, TJs is two hours away so I am going to have to try to replicate that oil…best potatoes ever!

3. Did groceries and took advantage of the $5 off 5 sale at Kroger and got some spaghetti sauce. I love the Classico and $1.49 for four servings of pasta? Yes! Plus, they have cute jars (that mason jar lids fit) that I save for projects around the house, making gifts, etc.

4. Am taking library books back today to avoid a fine and renewed the audiobook I’ve been listening to (The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace– really so good and makes me so grateful for all the advantages I was born into) so I can finish it.

5. This past weekend was tax free weekend. I didn’t buy any school supplies because I have so many notebooks and pens that I could write for at least 3 years and be good (AT LEAST) and let me say, I’m a writer and I write a lot! Still, I’m proud I haven’t succumb to the .20 notebook temptation. I usually buy at least 50 a year….at least.


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