Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 7, 2016 · 75 comments

  1. A co-worker brought in two huge bags of plums on Friday. I brought home a small bag for eating, but talked to her about buying a larger amount for making plum jam.
  2. I’m not working very much this due to a number of reasons, but I’ll make up for it in September, as it’ll be another five paycheck month. (Three for my husband, two for me) Less will go into savings this month, but we’ll be fine.
  3. My older son has been sick all week, and worsened yesterday. Of course, it happened on a Saturday. I brought him to a local private urgent care center instead of an emergency room. Not only were we seen almost immediately, but our out of pocket expense was only $47 which included a variety of different lab tests. I was pleased until I remembered that I’d forgotten to use our HSA card.
  4. Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary, so my husband and I are planning to dine at a local fancy-schmancy restaurant. However, we’ll sit in the bar and enjoy food from the happy hour menu. This exactly what we did the evening after our wedding. Great food, but nice and simple. Plus of course, frugal.
  5. I didn’t 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.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay August 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

1. I got a big ol’ box of organic tomatoes from a Freecycler’s garden. I made a big batch of pico de gallo for home and will also make a batch as a hostess gift.
2. I took advantage of Blue Apron’s introductory offer of $50 off my first box, so I got three days’ worth of dinners for $10. I’ll cancel immediately to avoid paying the steep price of future boxes.
3. I also took advantage of Book of the Month Club’s introductory offer to get my mom a beautiful hardcover book for Christmas (for $5). Will also cancel this immediately.
4. We needed a baby gate to corral our dog, and we found one listed on Craigslist for $15. I haggled it down to $10 and picked it up today.
5. Set up e-pay for our gas bill to save on stamps!


Amy Jo August 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I did the same with the Blue Apron………..excited to get my box tomorrow!


Bettypants August 8, 2016 at 6:34 am

Is the $50 coupon still valid? I only found $30 off the first order. Thanks!


Bettypants August 8, 2016 at 6:45 am

Weird, now it shows $50 on their site for me.


BJS August 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

1. I made cookies for our wonderful next-door neighbor who kindly kept an eye on our house and got the mail while my family was on vacation. A tiny price to pay for peace of mind while we were away!

2. I’m still plugging away at drinking 64 ounces of water a day, to replace some of the tea I used to drink. Unfortunately, this is still far from a habit for me yet.

3. I got a sign-up sheet from church asking for food for an event. I signed up for an item that I have plenty of at home.

4. I found a dime on the ground this week.

5. My friend gave me a bag of hand-me-downs that fit my son perfectly! Love, love, love hand-me-downs. Conversely, another friend wanted some old lawn chairs that I was planning to get rid of, and I was more than happy to give them to her. 🙂


LisaC August 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

1. Sold an item I’d gotten from a dollar a bag sale. I’m using the other items, and gained $10 from this item. Score!
2. Using websites that suggest recipes to eat up the tomatoes from the garden.
3. Eating leftovers that company left us. Using that website to make new and interesting dinners.
4. Went to Goodwill, bought a black leather purse that I love for 1.99. Thought about selling it because its a nice name brand, but then noticed a small rip in the lining. I only sell things that have no damage at all, so I scored a cheap leather purse for myself, and I’d been looking for one to replace my tattered purse.
5. Using my freezer inventory list to remind me of the wealth of food I have to eat before I buy anything else to go in there. Found some local fish I’d bought in March, yummy. Broiling it for dinner tonight.


LisaC August 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Oh, and Happy Anniversary Katie!


Jessica August 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm

My husband volunteers as a GIS specialist for the state Search and Rescue Incident Management Team, and got called out on a search yesterday to a location about 75 minutes from our house. (They haven’t found the guy, and things aren’t looking good, so send good energies!)

The location (Girdwood, Alaska) is a great spot for blueberries and huckleberries, and I’d been planning to head down there in the next week or so for some picking. It was short notice and I had to juggle some scheduling around, but I drove down with him in my better-gas-mileage vehicle and spent a few hours picking two big yogurt tubs-full of berries! I also spent part of the day reading by the fire in one of the resort lounges (hey, I was stuck there, so I might as well enjoy it!), and eating a couple of tasty meals. I’ve spent some time at the resort before, so I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve to find some more inexpensive, while still tasty, dining experiences: I knew that the least-expensive, grab-and-go food shop, had bowls of soup that would fill me up quite nicely for lunch, and I had one of the least expensive items in the nicer restaurant, which was a high-quality burger, but had it without the bun and with some Gorgonzola cheese on top. Yum!

The husband had to go back today, so I’m home prepping to freeze half the berries for desserts during the year, and turn the other half into blueberry syrup–my husband’s favorite!

I have a lead on some raspberry picking later on this week, which I’ll couple with one of my runs into town for meetings or errands, and then do the same thing. Alaska in the summer is my time to squirrel away goodies for the winter, when produce is so expensive and not all that great!

No Lear Jets here, though we are in discussions to save for a small travel trailer, that we could take to search locations, camp with during the summers (I’ve rather grown out of sleeping in tents), and maybe use on hunting trips.


A. Marie August 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Hearty cheers for both the work your DH is doing and your own Alaska summer harvest, Jessica. I never cease to be amazed at what I learn here from folks in other parts of the US and the world.


Vickie August 8, 2016 at 7:34 am

Girdwood is beautiful. My best friend’s SIL used to be the chef & manager of the Double Musky. His family owns the restaurant. Great place to eat!


Bee August 8, 2016 at 8:13 am

I visited your beautiful state for the first time this spring. Now I am trying to figure out when and how I can go back. The views were breathtaking. The wildlife amazing. The people were friendly. The coffee was fabulous. I could go on and on…


A. Marie August 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

My FFT, Beginnings and Endings Edition:

(1) Happy anniversary to Katy and SoccaDad! Live long and prosper.

(2) Your modest celebration (both original and current) prompts me to reminisce about our wedding nearly 40 years ago: DH and I got married at the county courthouse in my hometown down South with only immediate family on both sides present, and the “reception” was a modest dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. My parents were so relieved I didn’t go the “whole nine yards of white lace” route that they gave us the money they’d been budgeting for a wedding–which we promptly spent on major appliances and other necessities for our first house. I come from a long and proud line of tightwads.

(3) Estate sale this weekend at a house on our street, where a 92-year-old neighbor died in April and the house is being cleaned out before being put on the market. A younger neighbor said she thought this was sad. Me, my only regret about the estate sale that will eventually take place at our house is that I won’t be able to attend. (My feeling is the same as that of a 90-year-old friend and mentor: She says she got most of her stuff at estate sales and auctions, and it’s completely OK by her if it goes the same way.)

(4) Swung by the remains of another estate sale in the ‘hood Saturday afternoon, and picked up a new-in-box Ball canning kit for $20. Was cheered on returning home to see this currently selling on Amazon for $49.99. And maybe now I’ll finally get off my duff and learn to can.

(5) Re: (4): Finally starting to harvest some serious tomatoes, plus a “second coming” of cucumbers, in spite of the drought and the deer problem.


Bee August 8, 2016 at 8:05 am

I love a good estate sale. They are the perfect source for kitchen and garage items.


Denise August 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

How do you know they are “serious tomatoes”? They may be quite cheerful, if a little shy….


A. Marie August 9, 2016 at 5:51 am

For “serious tomatoes,” read “a serious number of tomatoes.” Sorry about that

And, actually, my heirloom tomatoes have a great sense of humor. They’re always teasing each other about how ugly but utterly delicious they are. 🙂


Juhli August 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm

We are prepping our home for sale while being as frugal as possible since there are some larger costs involved that are unavoidable.
1. Washed down the walls in the bedroom we use as an office. Helped a friend move 2 of our book cases to her house and donated an area rug. Much less in the room now and it looks large and bright. Just a bit of touch up with paint we already have and hang some paintings that are in storage and it will be done.
2. My husband spent the day chopping down a dying giant bush and then decided to take down a decrepit fence that was behind it. Won’t have to have that fence pressure washed and painted LOL. Some minor landscaping still to be done by us but it already looks much nicer and more appealing.
3. Instead of going out for dinner we went our for gelato and shared a small cup. Delicious on a hot August night.
4. I found that I had worn a hole in a pair of sandals. No luck finding used ones so I have ordered discounted ones from Amazon and have my fingers crossed that they will fit. Free shipping/free returns.
5. We have been wanting salmon and I found some frozen filets at Trader Joe’s today that were very reasonably priced. We are splitting on and popping the other in the freezer for later.


Mand01 August 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I hope your son is recovering.

1. My daughter had a friend sleep over. Their entertainment was a trip to the library, a McDonalds soft serve, a Harry Potter DVD, and skateboarding down the hill. We ordered pizza but that was budgeted from our eating out fund, and there was a whole pizza leftover. I packaged it up for lunches and put it in the freezer.
2. We had friends over for breakfast and babysat my niece and nephew at the same time. We fed pancakes, fresh rolls, jam, cream, raspberry coulis and yoghurt to 8 with only what we had at home.
3. We had late lunch at my parents and all ate too much. None of us had any dinner when we got home. Free linner!
4. Working from home for the next two days, saving 4 hours of driving.
5. Petrol is down to 90 cents a litre, the cheapest it has been since 2005. We have filled up our tanks. We have a rewards cards that drops it even lower.


pattilou August 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm

I’ve had a stressful few days since discovering that my home was broken into while I was away helping a family member. So, I dealt with the stress the first day by treating myself to dinner out with friend’s and to the new Harry Potter book. Now I need to get through the rest of the stress without stress eating! It is such a violation!
I still managed to have some frugal moments.
1. I sold some clothes at one consignment store and dropped off clothes at another.
2. made pesto from the large amount of basil I grew from seed. I was able to freeze some and share some with friends.
3. made salt dough Christmas ornaments with my nieces as a craft this week. They loved it and they will give them out as gifts. We used only what we had on hand to decorate them.
4. made some birthday cards
5. continue to use the library


kathleen August 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Sorry you are having to deal with the aftermath of a break in. Hope you things are back to normal for you soon.


Jennifer August 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm

I’m so sorry that happened to you. I can’t imagine how violated you must feel.
3. We made salt dough ornaments years ago and just left them un-painted. They are my favorite ornaments!


Gina in KY August 7, 2016 at 5:23 pm

So sorry to hear about the break-in. I know exactly that feeling having had it happen to me. It wasn’t even the missing stuff; it was that icky feeling of having someone in my house with the intent to violate my space. {hugs}


Carrie August 8, 2016 at 3:12 am

I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s a horrible feeling.
Saturday morning we watched a car pull up to our mailbox and steal our outgoing mail. We found out that this thug who has been casing our neighborhood, walking around for hours with no destination, is recently out of jail, staying with an aunt who lives on my street. His other favorite pastimes include smoking dope all day watching the mail truck so he can call his buddies after it arrives. So wrong. He has been intimidating people in our neighborhood, including jumping out of the bushes in the dark early one morning to interrogate a female neighbor.


pattilou August 8, 2016 at 7:52 am

Thanks all. As Gina said, the worst part is the fact that someone else was in my space, and they used the bathroom. Carrie, I hope they have arrested your thug! Stealing mail = federal offense right? Hopefully you and your neighbors no longer have to deal with that situation.


Emily August 8, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Absolutely a federal offense. You should catch him on camera . Seems like he’s asking to go back to jail!


amanda August 8, 2016 at 12:01 pm

YIKES! I hope you called the police on him!


Kimberly August 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Hope your son is feeling better soon. And happy anniversary!
1. Hubby out of town. Eating leftovers & using up odds & ends out of freezer.
2. Breakfast with my parents yesterday. Mom sent me home with a bag of jewelry she didn’t want. Will look thru it & donate the rest.
3. Refrigerator quit a couple days ago. Plugged it back in this morning & it seems to be working fine. Fingers crossed no money will need to be spent on repairs.
4. Just found a great price on an item for my niece’s Christmas gift. I only buy for a couple people (we don’t get in to the whole gift buying frenzy anymore) but it helps to start early and find a good sale!
5. Starting to save seeds from the flower garden for next year.


Krystal August 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm

1. Stopped by Goodwill when I was running errands yesterday (all at once, of course) to drop off quite a few things. I stopped in to see if I could find any treasures and found an infant Seahawks jersey for $4, quicky checked eBay where they retail for around $20. Listed it that afternoon. Can’t stand the Seahawks but happy to make some money off of the 🙂 Also, didn’t forget a receipt for my tax deduction!
2. Also took my car through the car wash for free while I was out, using a coupon from when I replaced my windshield a few years ago.
3. Leftover lunches yesterday and today and leftover dinner last night, only bought a baguette to go with dinner.
4. Cleaned out the shed and found some things to sell, but listed the ones I don’t need to clean up first on Craigslist: a dozen mason jars and a set of Crate and Barrel Margarita glasses we have used maybe twice in 2 years.
5. We went grocery shopping on Sunday and also stopped at our favorite beer shop. We don’t drink much beer at home, but wanted to try something. Instead of staying there and having a pint, we took a half growler home for nearly half the price. There’s a big markup for drinking in-store as opposed to carry out. And Growlers are zero waste, especially our smaller size for just the two of us (we have bigger sizes for bigger beer appetites).


Jennifer August 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

1. I have a small slender wooden box with a rope hanger on it that some flavored salts came in that was a gift from my husband. The salts have been gone for awhile but I didn’t really want to get rid of the box. I hung it on an existing nail above my kitchen sink. It now houses dish liquid, sponges, etc. and is so cute!
2. I made a lemon meringue pie from my wonderfully easy peasy no-roll pie crust, lemons that I froze in 2014, and eggs that were a gift from a good friend. It was a blast from the past as my mom used to make these all the time when I was growing up..delish!
3. My kids and I spent 2 hours in the pool today. I spend the whole time doing laps and other exercises while I am watching them play. I have to say I have been feeling much better getting this extra exercise each day for free. Well, except for the pool maintenance which is much less expensive than going to the public pool each day.
4. I got a loaf of bread at the dollar tree then I picked up Jiff peanut butter and Smucker’s jelly for $1 each on sale this week at Kroger. I will make the entire loaf into homemade uncrustables and put them in the freezer to toss into my daughters lunch box each morning and they cost mere pennies per sandwich. If you haven’t tried these I highly recommend them, I occasionally sneak some for myself.
5. I guess it’s all about food this week but I also picked up my free Friday download at Kroger which was a Hormel completes meal. Not my favorite but I will pass these on to my jobless brother who is not picky at all.


Kim August 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm

1. Freecycled some weights and weight bar DS#1 no longer wanted. Nice couple picked up when they said they would and were thrilled to have them. Not as thrilled as I was to have them out of the way!
2. Sold a book on Amazon. I packed it and though I normally put in my mailbox for pickup, I knew I would be driving right past the PO. Dropped in inside which should speed up delivery for buyer.
3. Taking DS#2 back to college on Thursday. Campus apartment means lots more to take. I’ve been gathering all summer. Bought set of Farberware pans from FB yard sale group for $20, full size sheets from GW, free duvet cover from neighbor, free blackout curtains from friend, bed risers from freecycle, Johnson Brothers dishes from charity shop for $5. Free rug from someone moving, lamp for $1 at charity shop and lampshade for $1.25 at different charity shop.
4. Made big batch of mushroom soup to use up cheap mushrooms from Aldi’s. Gave some as a thank you to friends who let us use their truck to move DS#1 back home. They were thrilled and told me to come over and pick lots of herbs from their garden.
5. Dinner tonight chicken tacos with homemade tortillas, Spanish rice and grilled romaine salad. Yummy!


kathleen August 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

1. Nice dinner out covered by gift certificate sent to me by company after a rather unpleasant experience previously.
2. Returned a $20 item that didn’t work for us for refund.
3. Took grandson (who is a voracious reader) to used book store today. Neither of us found anything we had to have and left without any purchases.
4. No purchases other than food for the past week.
5. Still putting off haircut.


Chris August 7, 2016 at 3:00 pm

1. Bought 11 boxes of white lights for $3 each for upcoming wedding. The woman has been in her house for 40 plus years and told me she had over 300 collectible Barbie dolls in her basement – another reminder that when we are done with the lights, they will be passed on!
2. Tried on the dress I planned to wear at said wedding and let’s just say – not the look I was going for – Talbots had 60% off if you bought 2 items – went to try on dresses to be sure of my size and came home and ordered 2 items. A relative bargain and I will be comfortable.
3. Washed screen porch floor today – have I ever done that before? Yesterday took off the screens and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. Got them re-hung today and can’t believe how much better the view is.
4. Have started a list for errands with husband for Tuesday rather than running out as soon as we think of what we need to do. 5
5. Planning meals, reading library books, walking the dog, cutting flowers from the garden, watering for a friend and bringing home extra produce – all those things that make our lives frugal and meaningful!


Anna August 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Oh, no! Collections are my nightmare. (I hate to judge; it’s just me. I really dislike collections!)


Lori August 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Happy Anniversary!


Amy Jo August 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

1. Picked up the $4 Guess purse I bought from a swap. I could decide whether to keep or sell till I saw all the room and pockets it had. KEEPING! 😉 Hubs saw it, and said, um where did you get the expensive purse. (Bought it hunny.) For HOW MUCH??? ($4 dear) Oh…..I like it. 😉
2. Found 10 cents in the purse…..
3. Found several grocery staples at the Dollar Tree for less than our grocery stores.
4. My church outfit cost me $6 today and I had a few compliments on how pretty it was.
5. Hubs wore a new to him shirt today for $1.


Is it a need or a want August 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm

(1) Made two vats of applesauce from first pickings of crab apple tree. Got to pace myself, there is still so much coming:)
(2) Have become a freezer ninja, I am determined to clean up all the bits and bobs.
(3) All the following I purchased for 25 cents each at my unbelievable community garage sale. (1) Package of recipe cards, (2)new tea towel (I’m in a season of hosting and attending bridal showers). (3)Small tongs for use on the pickle tray I always bring to a group BBQ. (4) vintage made in GDR Christmas incense smoker (5)large outside ceramic plant pot (6)two separate IKEA packages for hanging curtains and pictures with wire (7) small Oneida wire strainer (8) vegetable peeler (9) mesh bag for buying fruits and vegetables (10) child’s original Tilley hat. I also picked up a griddle for a dollar . Rounded up for the charity and took an awesome metal edged photo box to carry these treasures.
(4) Using up all those candles we save for ” someday” . Someday came:)
(5) Present self thanked past self for the awesome Foley food mill I faintly remember scoring at a church sale along with other canning goods.
This one item made the applesauce so easy to make, I highly recommend looking out for one.


Gina in KY August 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Applesauce from a crabapple? Oh, do tell how you make it! I know of four trees in a public space that has those lovely big yellow crabapples on it and I am planning on getting them this year (they always just fall off and rot under the tree).


Is it a need or a want August 7, 2016 at 5:47 pm

The ones I used were not as nice looking as the ones you describe.
Take the stems off. I chose to quarter them, next time I might just halve them . I threw out really bruised ones ( I had so many). Put in large pot , squirt with lemon juice as you are filling pot to prevent browning. Put water in pot about a third of the way up the apples. Boil till soft. Scoop into Foley mill. Turn crank.applesauce comes out . Discard skins and seeds which really are a small amount. You can add sugar/cinnamon to taste. I’m sure other readers have additional points to consider.
Wow. Yours apples sound big enough to can/freeze for pies, crisps or fruit leather.


Is it a need or a want August 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

I have a bunny eating them. Two bites than onto another one. Too bad I don’t like rabbit. I’m sure he’d taste delish( jk folks).
They need to be picked up everyday to keep wildlife visits down and wasps are attracted to them.


Gina August 8, 2016 at 5:29 am

LOL! I’m sure he would be tasty (coming from a vegetarian! 😉 ) Thanks! I wasn’t sure if sugar or sweetener needed to be added to counteract the tartness. Yes, these crabapples are really nice. I’ve never seen them as big. I guess they must be some sort of heirloom type.

Julie August 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm

I have been following for over a year , 1st time posting. I love, love NCA. it’s my fave blog.
Here is my very first 5 FT:
Only DH and I home for dinner so it was a yummy clear out of the fridge for supper.
Enjoyed tomatoes and kale from our very 1st garden attempt.
Dryed the laundry on the clothesline that I put up this year after being inspired by all the NCA readers.
Was able to take a huge amount of groceries to a friend experiencing some tough times and it all came from the pantry.
Lunch is packed for Monday, again inspired by NCA I stopped buying my lunch and have packed lunch every day this year.
Did I mention I am a huge fan. Thanks Katy for your amazing blog.


jennifer August 8, 2016 at 6:29 am

Packing lunch saves so much money. People just don’t realize how much they can save by not eating out. Even if you pack your lunch most of the time you are bettering your situation. I love to see new people posting here because that is one more person I can learn new ideas from. Welcome!


Anna August 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Frugalish Five

1. We’ve traveled for two important funerals in the last month, and I realize that b/c we are more frugal now, we truly don’t have to think twice about spending the money on airfare and car rentals. It’s a blessing amidst sorrow, and I am grateful.
2. I’m still chugging away, learning to program for free (via Free Code Camp). For me, it’s fun, challenging and keeps my brain working. Instead of watching Netflix at night, I do some coding!
3. Our baby is almost a year old, and officially stopped breastfeeding this week. It was a peaceful process, one that she led. Again, I’m so thankful. We’ve found a formula we like (organic, etc.,) and realized you can sign in on the website for a free can of it. She’ll only use formula for a little while, so again, a fortunate frugal thing.
4. Library books!
5. I organized our closet, baby’s closet, and some kitchen cabinets. Any time I organize or clean, I am re-energized in my non-consumer ways. (I loathe keeping things tidy and clean, but love to have them tidy and clean.)


janine August 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Strongly agree on #5!


Teri August 7, 2016 at 6:12 pm

amen to #5!


janine August 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Happy Anniversary and many more!
1. Spent the day swimming at a state park. Brought the dog along and husband took her hiking around the lake while I went swimming. Have a season pass so no entrance change.
2. Stopped at a KFC drive through for $5 boxes, then found a roadside area for a picnic lunch shared with our beagle who loves chicken and biscuits.
3. Traded excess lemons with a friend for several cucumbers from her garden.
4. Tasked with the job of buying a wedding gift on behalf of son who will be a groomsman in a friend’s wedding. Purchased a good bottle of sparkling French wine – was given the “wine club” discount.
5. One of our cars needs an oil change – have trained husband to remember to print out a coupon before taking it in!


Anna-Catherine August 7, 2016 at 5:44 pm

1. Spent the week volunteering at bible school. I was able to give of my talents and my 3yo got to go to “church camp. ” Our rec center for the church provided free childcare for my infant.

2. Ate lunch at home all week instead of swinging through the drive thru, though it was tempting

3. Our local health food store had antibiotic-free grass-fed meat at my stock up price. I spent $65 but it will last us 3 months.

4. Had a child-free event tonight and needed childcare. Our normal sitters are out of town so I contacted a friend who was also attending about sharing a sitter. Friends MIL came and watched the kids for no cost!!

5. Took several items to church for use during bible school and then brought them home after. Taught my 3yo about sharing and no money used from the Vbs budget.


Teri August 7, 2016 at 6:27 pm

1. Got our free root beer floats from A&W on Saturday–tasted great after playing tennis.
2. Cooled off a bit this weekend so thermostat was adjusted accordingly.
3. Friends dropped off a box of fresh corn on the cob–enough for dinner and to share as well!
4. Saved over $100 by calling doctors office for a free sample of rx instead of filling prescription. My motto: It never hurts to ask.
5. Watching lots of Olympics–go USA!


Helene August 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm

1. I knew I’d see those plums on here 2. You can apparently get the urgent care place to change the charge to your has card if you act within a week or so. 3. Happy anniversary and congrats!


Katy August 7, 2016 at 10:30 pm

See, you’re my fact checker!


Jenny August 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm

And even if they can’t change it you should be able to submit it for reimbursement.


nancy from mass August 8, 2016 at 4:06 am

1. Hung a few loads of laundry on the line (the sheets dried in about 10 minutes!)
2. Visited my mom and then met my sister at my moms’ apartment (I just had to put her in a nursing home – thank GOD she put money away for this AND has nursing home insurance AND that my dad was a veteran – woohoo! veterans assisted living benefits!). We went through a bureau and a half of fabric and sewing notions my mom had, pulled out what we like and bagged up the rest to donate. We are cleaning out her apartment at the end of the month but are trying to clean out what we can to make moving day easier.
3. Hugged my son and thanked him for telling me when he was 8 that he didn’t want to go to college (thinking Army or Police). I have been running into his friends parents who are ‘college shopping’ and telling me horror stories about financing. (he is going to be a senior).
4. once my house is painted this week, (by a co-workers cousin, who is a painter, who gave me a price that was so great, i decided to let him paint the rest of my house so i can do other things – already had the money put aside). i am going to start my new back walkway with the cobblestones that are everywhere in my yard and river rock and slate that is also everywhere. my brother has more river rock to give me in case i need more.
5. trying to keep my shades down to keep the house cool so i don’t have to run the central air.


nancy from mass August 8, 2016 at 4:10 am

the back walkway will be heavy work but i could use some extra exercise!


Bee August 8, 2016 at 7:50 am

I send you happy thoughts and good wishes while you clean out your mom’s apartment. It can be difficult, but my sisters and I made short work out of this chore. We were on the same page and my mother was brilliantly organized. My MIL’s house was a different story. She had lived in her home for 50 years and saved everything. It took nearly 8 months to clear out this 1600 sq foot home. After that experience, I promised my children to not leave them much to clean up.


nancy from mass August 8, 2016 at 11:19 am

Thank you Bee! she was in a senior housing apartment so there are really only 3 rooms but my mom was always knitting, crocheting and quilting. she will continue to knit/crochet at the nursing home, but quilting will be out of the question. Thankfully, my niece is taking her piano – she has a perfect spot in her living room for it. (wasn’t sure what we were going to do with it otherwise)

There’s a lot of stuff in those 3 rooms though!


Denise August 9, 2016 at 12:00 am


I have just been through the same thing with my mother here in England. We pay for our National Health Service and social care through our taxes, so we are fortunate that mum’s residential care home is paid for without it impinging on our lives (other than the taxes she and we have paid/will pay for decades – soooo worth it!).

I was more fortunate than it sounds you are in terms of effort level in doing the sorting through of her unwanted possessions. She smokes 50 (yes, fifty) cigarettes a day (about $9 for 20 cigarettes!), so everything “soft” from clothing to sofas just had to be thrown away. I tried washing or dry cleaning (for a couple of hardly-worn, beautiful coats) and everything still just stank of cigarettes. Other things have had to be trashed too: an electric tower fan which is so encased in nicotine stains, inside and out, that it blows stinky air out. Yuk.

So it turns out that smoking is not just a massive frugal fail in terms of burning your money, damaging your health and making you stinky to be around, but it becomes a frugal fail for recycling your possessions too.

Out of interest – how many NCA contributors smoke??


nancy from mass August 9, 2016 at 4:49 am

I used to smoke yyyeeeeaaaaarrrrssss ago but thankfully, gave it up. I am really glad my mom did not smoke (and since i always see other residents smoking outside, i wonder if they are allowed to smoke in the senior apartments). but man, could she buy yarn, fabric and notions! every place we looked we were like “OMG Another bin!?!”. i didn’t realize she had 6 large ones under her bed.
One a good note though; i found my dads’ wedding band that she said she lost years ago…as well as her second husbands band and her mothers ring. she had put them in a small bin (with my grandparents jewelry) and put that small bin in a large bin with notions. i was very happy when i found that!

K D August 8, 2016 at 5:20 am

1. We have not had any meals out since returning from vacation on Wednesday. I bought a rotisserie chicken on Thursday and it fed us for four days. And I will make soup today to use the results of boiling the carcass.

2. We did go out for soft serve ice cream yesterday. I had a buy 1 get 1 free coupon. It was enjoyable an enjoyable experience, sitting outside in the shade, but we decided the ice cream is not worth the calories nor the price going forward.

3. I dropped my Kitchen Aid mixer (20 years old) on the counter and bent the switch that turns it on. It still works and I’ll look into seeing if it can be straightened.

4. I hadn’t talked to a friend for a while. I called to ask if she wanted to take a walk. We walked on a shady trail and caught up, then had tea at her house.

5. I wore a shirt my mom was giving away, cut up a $2.99 watermelon, and baked cookies using ingredients on hand.


Vickie August 8, 2016 at 6:14 am

1) Leftovers for dinner yesterday, since I fixed a batch of chicken & cheese quesadillas for dinner Saturday. If we have some left tonight I’ll take them for lunch tomorrow.
2) Borrowed my neighbor’s cat carrier, so I can get our new kitty spade and get her shots this week. I couldn’t find our carrier and he was more than happy to share his. I’m so thankful this young stray showed up. She is a good hunter. Our mouse and vole population has plummeted in the past month. Yay!!
3) My granddaughters spent Saturday evening with me. I took them to the free Splashpad in the park for entertainment yesterday. They had fun and it cooled us all off from the heat.
4) I’m returning a pair of athletic walking shoes I bought at Ross a week ago. The right one doesn’t fit properly, so that will be $32 back on my card. I’ve decided my slip-on sneakers are fine for the walking track.
5) Time to give myself a mani & pedi tonight. May not be as professional as a nail tech, but definitely cheaper.


rjr August 8, 2016 at 6:18 am

1. My niece came for the weekend and she helped me unpack some things, hang pictures and she gave some some great decorating advice. She has a really good eye!
2. Made a gluten free chocolate banana bread for her and a regular one for her brother who cam for dinner last night. All from ingredients bought on sale.
3. Gave her all the leftovers to take back to her father’s place. They are both staying there for the summer and report there isn’t much food. I gave her $40 to buy some groceries for the 2 of them. They are both students and while it’s not frugal, it doesn’t matter.
4. It is my niece’s birthday in the beginning of September and she will be at school. I asked her what she would like and we discussed that instead of something, she would rather we have an experience together. I love her!!!! Since I am driving her back to school, I bought tickets to see a Mets-Cardinals game for a reasonable price.
5. Making delicious NY Times recipe for cucumber salad for $1 english cucumbers. yum! I know not frugal compare to the folks here who grow their own but for this black thumb I am very happy! 🙂


JD August 8, 2016 at 6:18 am

1. My daughter won a homemade dinner for four at a charity auction. It turned out to be huge, so she invited her dad and I over to help her, our grandchild and some friends eat it, and gave us some of the leftovers to take home. She still had leftover after six people had eaten! She also has enough left for lunch today and probably tomorrow for her. We got a free meal (plus leftovers), she got a deal, and the charity got some much-needed cash.
2. I’m drying more herbs from my herb garden. The dried herbs will be nice later this year when the plants die back.
3. I successfully walked though a grocery store and a thrift store without any impulse purchases this weekend. That’s big, for me.
4. We are in for about a week of rain, some very heavy, so I’m using my drying rack indoors. I also have a loft area over our living room, with a long balcony rail that I hang things on, and of course I use the shower rods for shirts and slacks on plastic hangers.
5. I found a lonely flannel flat sheet left out of a long gone set when I organized a linen closet. Then I found a lonely percale sheet, both the same size. I’m going to sew them back to back and make a lightweight “blanket” for those spring and fall nights when the windows are open, but part of the night is too cool for just sheets, but too warm for a bedspread or regular blanket.


Susie's Daughter August 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

JD – #5 is a brilliant idea!! We have an odd assortment of sheets (they came with the house 🙂 ) and this would be a perfect use for a couple. Thank you for sharing!


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 8, 2016 at 6:27 am

Wow, congrats on 23 years. 🙂

This week:

1. I made a batch of yogurt. I made this batch thicker, so we ended up only getting three jars of it, but the flavor is amazing!

2. We had leftover pineapple in our fridge that was about to go bad. So I did what any sugar-loving lady would do: I made a pineapple upside down cake. It was one of the most delicious on-the-fly desserts I’ve ever made, and we have enough for the rest of the week. Plus we have company coming over on Friday, so we have something fun to serve them so we don’t have to go out.

3. We went to the library. I remembered to bring my card this time, so we were able to rent 10 movies instead of just 5. We’ve really gotten into watching more movies at home, since work has been kicking our butts. It’s awesome that we can watch new stuff for free. 🙂

4. Mr. Picky Pincher made a large batch of beans and bacon. The beans used to last us about a month, but I’ve recently become quite the bean-eater, so they last for a few weeks. Oops! But they’re delicious, so whatever.

5. I baked a few loaves of ciabatta bread. And I FINALLY got some great air holes in them. The crust was delightfully crunchy and the inside was porous, warm, and wonderful. I want to make some kind of aioli this week to dip with the bread. Mmmmm.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones August 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

Every time I have made yogurt (in the slow cooker) mine would never thicken up well. I tried letting it “yog” for over 24 hours, but it was still runny. Do you have a secret?


Katy August 8, 2016 at 11:21 am

To have thicker yogurt you have to strain it.


amanda August 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

I add a packet of gelatin to mine. Works great.


Kristen August 8, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Whole milk also helps a lot with getting thick yogurt.


Bettypants August 8, 2016 at 6:44 am

1. I sold two items on ebay for $10 each. Both were bought at yard sales for 60 cents total.
2. Made a trip to Costco with a friend who has a membership. We split a couple items that would have been too much for just one person, so that was nice.
3. Kohls sent me a $10 birthday coupon, a $5 reward coupon, and Discover had another $10 coupon available. I combined them all to order 2 shirts and a pair of shorts for my son for $2.34.
4. My dad gave me tomatoes, green peppers, and onions from his garden.
5. My neighbor helped me with a car issue. I’m baking a loaf of bread tonight to take over as a thank you.


amanda August 8, 2016 at 6:53 am

We vended at the Saturday market and had a float in the fair parade. The hay bales came out of our barn, so no cost there, my bff is a mad couponer, so all the candy was free. Unfortunately, we had a blow-out on the trailer tire and no spare, so that was $215 that we hadn’t intended to spend!
I finally sold our Burley trailer! I had it listed on craigslist for months but sold it to a co-worker of my friend instead.
We need new tires for both of our rigs, but hubby decided to wait until the rain starts. We’ve been putting all our spare $$ towards them. I doubt I’ll score a good deal like last time, the owner of the tire shop took pity on my plight (another store ordered us less heavy duty tires and we had major issues with flats every week) and gave me a barely used set for FREE! Guess where we’re going for the new sets?
Our biggest frugal thing: we canceled our DISH satellite service. I’m glad to get rid of the tv shows, propaganda, and monthly bill. We still have a netflix dvd subscription, library books, and our growing library of board games.


Gina August 8, 2016 at 8:26 am

My frugal moments haven’t been really noteworthy this week. I am traveling yet again (back to my hometown) for maintenance on the rental I want to sell soon and other business. While not terribly expensive (gas is really the only expense as I stay with relatives), it does keep me from getting my own things in order where I live.

So, I will try to think of 5:

1. Trimmed back my own trees at the rental to please the insurance powers. This has been a multi-trip task as I can’t seem to please them. This time I brought a longer ladder and I hope they will finally be happy. It really opened up the sky around my house.

2. Turned the AC off when I left on Saturday and am freezing in my mom’s house using her AC. She has also fed us several meals.

3. Watched movies from my mom’s extensive DVD collection.

4. I have not gone thrifting while here. This is probably my biggest this time around as I can hear they calling me as I type and the picking/prices are wonderful here. Sigh. I really don’t need anything, so best to keep the dollars for the debts.

5. I needed paintbrushes as I am repainting the exterior trim on the investment house. I had the paint, but never bought brushes. I saw a new dollar tree has opened up a few blocks from the house and I was able to find little paint kits (with a small roller, extra rollers, brush, and tray) for $1. I bought three and this should be enough to get the job done.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones August 8, 2016 at 9:23 am

Choosing the urgent care over the ER (when appropriate) can be a big help to the budget. Our toddler was scratched in the face by a cat while on vacation in Cleveland last week, and we googled and found there was a pediatric urgent care 15 minutes form my in-laws’ house. That meant only a $25 office copay versus a $100 ER copay.


Katy August 8, 2016 at 11:22 am

The problem is that we can’t call to follow up, so we’re having to take him in to his PCP today as well.


Isabelle August 8, 2016 at 5:58 pm

* Got free lunch and cake at a birthday celebration (for me and the kids). Got invited to a movie night (kids)/wine and cheese (adults) on the same day.
* Used a pass to get in the museum for free (2 adults and 2 kids). Parked for free on the street instead of paying for it at the museum.
* Went to Boston Pizza tonight for their 5$ pizza offer. Total cost : 36$ for our family of four.
* Used Airmiles to get 30$ of free gas
* Getting as many shifts as I can right now (hospital/on call).

Have a great frugal day!


Beth August 9, 2016 at 6:15 am

I know I’m late to this particular party, but Happy Anniversary!


sarah m August 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm

just got back from a vacation, felt a little spendy the last day but overall stayed in budget, so not a frugal win but not quite a fail either.
1. got home and picked half a dozen garden tomatoes. those seeds just paid for themselves. gonna eat them with basil tomorrow.
2. was low on food from being away, but found bread in the freezer and almond butter in the back of the fridge for breakfast. also signed up for a free almond butter offer that involved signing up for a “thrive” membership which i then cancelled. the almond butter just arrived. also made crock pot chicken and squash, with garden squash, for work lunches.
3. signed up for hungryharvest, a $15/week produce delivery. i listed my friend who referred me and we each got an order discounted by 50%
4. free food around dinner for a work-related event. didn’t get a whole dinner but overall not bad.
5. biked too and from work- free transportation and free exercise.


Mand01 August 9, 2016 at 5:37 am

Not sure who could afford it in Australia- cigarettes are about $30 a pack!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: