Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 4, 2016 · 52 comments

Big sister

  1. My refrigerator had developed an impressive echo, so I stopped at The Grocery Outlet this morning, where I purchased four huge bags of groceries for a little over $50.
  2. My husband and I finally sat down this afternoon to plan out our September budget. It’s another five paycheck month for the two of us, so it was an enjoyable job.
  3. I stopped at the library to return books my sister had checked out during her visit. I was able to score the newest Anne Tyler book from the Lucky Day section.
  4. I cooked a batch of white bean soup, which I spiced up with a leftover tube of soy chorizo from my sister’s visit. Very yummy and super frugal!
  5. My mother, sister and I stopped into the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet on my sister’s last full day in Portland. For the low, low price of only $16.40 the three of us bought:
  • One chair back cushion.
  • One twin contour sheet.
  • Two glass storage containers.
  • One pair of Ralph Lauren shorts.
  • One Pyrex lid.
  • One Ikea store tub.
  • One Crystal candle holder.
  • One mini-blinder cleaner.
  • One vintage canning funnel.
  • One pair of wool socks.
  • Silkscreening fabric.
  • One Talbots jacket.
  • One Forever 21 tunic top.
  • One pair of Hanna Andersson pajama bottoms.
  • One pair of H&M jeans.
  • One pair of “STS” blue jeans.
  • One T-shirt.
  • Vintage recipe cards.
  • One reproduction 1953 Queen’s coronation saucer.
  • One box of plastic archival sleeves.
  • Did not buy the “So You’re going to be a Big Sister” book.

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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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 September 4, 2016 at 2:15 am

1. Friends of ours just had another baby, and the birth was very difficult. We made them dinner and dessert (big pasta bake and an apple and blackberry pie) from scratch and brought it over. We also made a big pasta bake for us at the same time, and an extra Bolognese sauce and put them both in the freezer for when we have a busy night during the week. The cost of everything was probably $20 to feed both families and then some.
2. I found a lovely leather hat for my dad for half price for Fathers Day. He looked great in it.
3. We hosted Fathers Day lunch here, and the weather was fine. We served a BBQ mostly made by my eldest daughter, who did a great job preparing pork and apple burgers and Haloumi and vegetable skewers. We made everything from scratch and she learned a lot of great skills in the kitchen.
4. My husband and I split the chores after my family left. I asked the kids what they wanted in their lunch boxes this week, and my daughter helped make muffins, pizza scrolls and biscuits from what we had on hand, while my husband did the ironing. We have a full freezer for the week now.
5. I’ve been saving my ‘blow’ money for a FitBit. The new Flex 2 was just released, which means the ‘old’ model has dropped in price by a third. Planned obsolescence: 0, Me: 1. I saved $50. It’s a luxury but one I’ve been budgeting for.


melanie September 4, 2016 at 3:14 am

1. Made $10 on a couple of bags of aluminium cans at the recycling depot. Takes a while to collect a reasonable amount but better $ back in my pocket than in the kerbside recycling contractors!
2. Teenage son had an out of town football (soccer) rep game – sent him with a bunch of marked down ‘special’ snacks that I had stored away that had been 80% off because the cardboard packaging was slightly squashed.
3. Gave my Mum nicely packaged strawberry plants from my runners as her birthday gift – a gift that keeps on giving + it will save her pilfering mine;)
4. Her birthday also falls on Fathers Day this year so baked and decorated a ‘joint’ celebration cake for them both. My sister had done the same thing so we were sent home with big pieces of cake as my parents wouldn’t get through it all – bonus school lunch treats.
5. Found a $2.00 coin in the washing machine & especiallly grateful that it didn’t end up in the filter…


melanie September 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

Sorry Mand01… didn’t mean to post this as a reply to yours!


Effie September 4, 2016 at 3:12 am

What a haul! Can you try on clothes or are they for resale?


Jason Pickering September 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Unfortunately the Outlets do not have fitting rooms to try clothes on, but if you happen to be wearing a t-shirt they are okay with you trying on a shirt or a sweater. The clothes, goods and furniture are for everyone regardless if you are re-selling, buying for yourself, buying for friends all items are up for grabs for everyone. Outlets are located in SE Portland (Milwaukie), Hillsboro, Salem, Vancouver and the newest one is on Airport way just east of the Portland Airport at 122nd ave.


Effie September 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Thanks for the answer.


Bettypants September 4, 2016 at 3:53 am

1. Bought a nativity set for $10 at an estate sale a couple weeks ago and sold it for $45 this week.
2. Sold two large cabinets, a gigantic mirror, a cement bird bath, and a shelf for a total of $118. We’re getting ready to move, so getting rid of the large and heavy stuff is a huge win.
3. Peeled and chopped all my ripe tomatoes and froze them. Only tossed a few that were past their prime. Saved the freshest ones for a batch of salsa.
4. Had our porch rebuilt this past spring, and had to let the wood age. Bought a can of stain at Lowe’s and got a $10 rebate due to Labor Day sales. Perfect timing.
5. Bought an Ann Taylor sweater at a yard sale for $1. Not great on me, so sold on ebay yesterday for $8.


Lindsay September 4, 2016 at 4:36 am

1. I bought a bunch of books for my classroom library at Salvation Army.
2. We took home a bunch of leftovers from a family gathering yesterday.
3. I got free bagels and coffee from the PTO at school this week.
4. We got our full deposit back on our last apartment due to our careful cleaning.
5. I have been desperately needing new shoes for my professional wardrobe, as my others were falling apart. I have been looking in thrift stores without success for a couple months, but I finally found a great pair in a consignment store on Friday.


Gina in KY September 4, 2016 at 4:48 am

I found a Hannah Andersson sweater at a thrift store a few months ago for $2. I bought it thinking it must be a good resale thing (I had boys and am so out of it when it comes to brand names for girls), but if not I will gift it to one of my nieces. I still haven’t looked it up, but it’s quite cute.

1. My city had it’s Worldfest and it is a yearly traditional for my boys and I to go to it. It’s free to get in and showcases song and dance from many different cultures. The expense is usually from the wonderful food vendors and handicraft booths. We did fairly well this year in that I did not get food and just bought my sons something. I did, however, buy my annual wrap around skirt from the African vendor who is always there. It is $20 and I love them. This year I found a blue and black long one with camels and elephants on it. I wear them until they shred, but they are very high quality and hand dyed. We also walked there as it was only a mile or so from my house. This is one of the perks of putting up with the noises, smells and sounds of the city-the convenience of social activities.
2. Speaking of hand dyed: I wash a small load of ‘delicates’ and threw in one of my sari skirts. This one is black and purple. Well, the color bled into the two lighter shirts I threw in with it. At first I was dismayed, but I put them on the clothesline and they are actually now a very pretty soft lavender that I like better than the original cream color. Accidental frugal win?
3. Made red beans in the ($4! I never tired of saying this as I count this thing as one of my best thrift scores of all time) pressure cooker. We had them with rice and corn-on-the-cob from the CSA share. I also sliced up fresh tomatoes gifted to me from a friend’s garden. Yum!
4. The said gardening friend is going with her husband to Australia for most of Sept so they had me come over and raid their garden. I received so many lovely vegetables: tomatoes, green beans, two kinds of basil, banana peppers, cucumbers, more pawpaws (this is KY!) I am grateful for all my generous friends!
5. A new friend has joined us for 9 cents spaghetti night! I have mentioned this one before but a local bakery had a slow night on Thurs so they decided to try bringing people in by having a night of 9c spaghetti (upcharge on things like meatballs, garlic bread, salads, etc.) There is a $2 minimum purchase. This is now one of the bakery’s biggest selling nights. I always buy a sweet which I bring home and give to my kids or eat for breakfast. This time I bought four different types of Italian cookies and they are, by far, the best sweets I have had there! My total for a big bowl of marinara spaghetti, water and those four cookies? $2.09 with tax! If anyone reading here wants to open a bakery café, I highly suggest this method of getting people into your door.


Jennifer September 4, 2016 at 8:13 am

5. Loving that 9 cents spaghetti night.


Elizabeth September 4, 2016 at 5:31 am

1. Sold a MegaBlocks Call of Duty set that my son hadn’t used on eBay.
2. Went to our friend’s lake cottage yesterday for the day. Went tubing, hanging on the beach, had dinner, watched the sunset, etc. I brought with me stuff I already had…some stuff to make a salad, some cheese and crackers, some grapes, some beer and a bottle of margaritas. Didn’t need to spend any money on things to bring. Took my husband’s work car so didn’t have to pay for gas on the way up (although there is money taken out of each of his pay checks to cover “personal miles”). Was a nice end of summer celebration.
3. Going to a friends for a barbecue tonight. Will bring a side dish or something to share but it shouldn’t be too much out of pocket (I’ll have to look and see what I have here first that I can use).
4. Project Use it Up: finished a bath and body works Aloha Waikiki candle and a bath and body works shower gel. It feels good to be using the things I currently own (sometimes in the past I haven’t been so good about using them which is why I have a big stash of candles and body lotions/gels to get through!). Also cleaned out the leftover wax from the bottom of the candle and put the glass container through the dishwasher. Those bath and body works candles always make for a nice little glass storage container! My daughter loves them in her room to hold little things.
5. Declined the offer to stay at our friends lake cottage overnight like we did last month so we wouldn’t have to pay $25 for our dog to stay in a kennel overnight. Plus, sleeping at home is always nice!


Denise September 4, 2016 at 6:08 am

We travelled this weekend to our little place in the mountains, and so far, it has been frugal…
1) Brought leftover sub sandwiches that were delivered to my work place on Friday.
2) Brought leftover pizza that no one wanted from a separate event I helped with at work.
3) I found eleven cents on the ground while stopping to get gas.
4) we only spent $17.00 at the grocery store stocking up on a few groceries we needed.
5) We went to a local casino (we usually never go there), and I won $30.00 playing slot machines. That more than paid for our groceries.


Bee September 4, 2016 at 6:17 am

I visited the Goodwill in my town yesterday. Although GW used to be among my favorite stops, it is no longer fun or productive. I do still stop from time to time, but I do not think it is up to the same standard as the stores in Portland. How I wish it was! Here are my FFT:
1) A friend of a friend works for a gourmet/health food company. She knows that I cannot have gluten. This week she sent me two large boxes of GF flour, pancake mix, brown rice pasta, GF pretzels and crackers. I brought her flowers as a thank you.
2) I did my weekly grocery shopping on Thursday. I combined BOGO and digital coupons to save approximately $30.
3) A friend gave me a double purple Devils Trumpet from her garden. I have transplanted it and hope that soon it will take. They are such a showy flower.
4) I did a bit of thrifting yesterday. With Fall around the corner, I need a few things to jazz up my wardrobe. I found a great pair of skinny jeans that fit perfectly and a long sleeve blouse. Total out of pocket with tax less than $9.
5) Hurricane Hermine put a damper on our outdoor holiday plans in North Florida. Our entertainment for the weekend so far has included cleaning up our yard and helping our son clean up his. He had a neighbor’s tree come down in his backyard yard. It cost quite a bit to have someone else do this. Insurance does not kick in unless the tree hits the house and then there are hurricane deductible.
Aside from that the weekend has included college football and a library book.


LisaC September 4, 2016 at 6:31 am

Frugality in a storm!
1. Hermine took out all of my tomato plants. When the wind finally died down, I pulled up the plants, picked off all of the tomatoes, and looked up some green tomato recipes. I have a giant bowl full of green tomatoes.
2. Made sure our cell phones were fully charged ahead of time.
3. Preventing Dr visits: using gloves to pick up limbs, using OFF and long sleeves to keep ticks away during clean up.
4. Part of our fence broke when a neighbor’s tree limb fell on it. We had saved some of the extra fence parts when we had it installed, and hubs knows how to repair it. So, no cost except elbow grease.
5. A tree that is exactly on our property line fell in the neighbor’s driveway. Using another neighbor’s pickup truck to chain saw it up and haul it out. The driveway neighbors are ill, and we hope to have it done before they come home from church today. I love surprising people.

6. Didn’t go anywhere this weekend! Not safe.


Gina in KY September 5, 2016 at 5:00 am

You are a wonderful neighbor!


LisaC September 5, 2016 at 10:48 am

Well, my husband is. He did the chain saw, I watched. 🙂


Bellen September 4, 2016 at 7:00 am

It’s time to start gardening in SW FL so
1. emptied the composter and sifted it to use for potting soil with some peat moss a neighbor gave us
2. made 2 dozen starter pots from the brown paper used as cushioning in our Walmart home delivery (no shipping fee, no gas that we used and no impulse buying being in the store)
3. inventoried our seeds and ordered only what was needed (that was majorly hard)
4. harvested all the mushrooms growing in the yard,from the 4+” of rain from Hermine, added to the composter as they add lots of good stuff to it and help it break down
5. set final date to harvest the Seminole pumpkins, Oct 1st, and will compost the 40+ feet of vines


LisaC September 4, 2016 at 7:42 am

I didn’t know you could compost mushrooms, thanks for the tip! I guess I thought they would just grow more mushrooms in there.


Bellen September 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

I pretty much compost anything including 1″ squares of 100% denim, unbleached muslin, shredded paper napkins, all the stuff left in the kitchen drain basket, hair from my brush, toothpicks, shredded paper, 1″ sections of corncobs – you get the idea.


Marilyn September 4, 2016 at 7:09 am

1. Googled “museum day 2016” and found that Museum Day will be September 24 this year. All kinds of museums participate with free admission on that day. My husband and I are planning to go to the Maryhill Museum (art museum)this year.
2. Worked 40 hours per week for the past 2 weeks. Since I usually work 20 hours per week, this will double my normal income for this pay period. I am looking at 2 more 40-hour weeks before I go back to my part-time schedule.
3. Working full time has meant I am not able to join my neighbors for a morning walk very often. I am happy to have the Labor Day weekend so I can get some exercise and catch up with my little group of friends.
4. Found 2 pennies in the road when I was out walking yesterday.
5. Frugal fail: This year hired someone to clean our roof. This has to be done every year or the moss will take over. It was expensive, but probably worth it.


Alison September 4, 2016 at 8:15 am

1. Picked up a paperback from a free pile that’s by a popular author. I’ve read it, but my local used book store will give me a $5 credit for it.

2. still giving away loads of pears. I’ll be cooking/baking with them today.
3, purchased a $200 gift card for our local grocer in order to get 200 airlines.
95 airmiles = $10 for groceries.
4. Met out of town friends at Starbucks to meet their new baby. Dh and I took our own cups. Non consuming paper cups.
5. Doing a no spend September.


Nancy smith September 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

Goodwill is opening an outlet near where I work. It will only be open to the public in Fridays though. The rest of the week it is only open to licensed resellers. I guess I know what I’m doing on my lunch hour in Fridays!


Bellen September 4, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Never heard of such a thing – what state are you in?


Amanda September 4, 2016 at 8:36 am

This weekend was our final weekend at our Saturday market. Everyone was looking to deal their wares away rather than eat them put them up for another 9 months. I scored cookies and cakes, plus some fabric

The market also coincided with the communities annual rummage sale, so we were incredibly busy and I was able to score some great stuff to resell on ebay (Thank you Katy for planting that idea in my head!!)
1. A pair of very cute Privo shoes, look like they had never been worn.
2. A painted beer stein in its box, complete with tags. Ebay listings show for the minimum of $15.
3. A very cute shirt/jacket for my daughter, she now calls herself Jane Bond.
4. Found some cowboy boots for the same daughter (the other 2 kids refused to come to the sale with me!)
5. 2 pairs of ski bibs for the kids.
6. Hair dryer. I cracked the handle of my old one, and while it still works, it’s not very stable (don’t worry, no wires are showing). I’ll keep using it until it completely falls apart, then use the new-to-me one.
All this for the low-low price of $7.


sarah m September 4, 2016 at 9:27 am

1. used up my tomatoes and peppers that were close to going bad to make roasted tomato and pepper soup. came out delicious! eating it now and getting a million servings of veggies per cup. recipe: roast 4 tomatoes 3 peppers and 1/2 large onion for an hour. blend with some stock and half and half. add a little celery salt and cayenne.
2. a coworkers told me he’s trying to save money, so i taught him how to use overdrive to get library audiobooks. previously he’s been buying them on audible.
3. reviewed my september budget. i’d like to get away from strict budgeting eventually but for now it’s helping me change my habits and i want to try to push that a bit further.
4. after working a 24 hr shift at the hospital i did buy cafeteria breakfast but eggs and a biscuit were $1.50
5. not grocery shopping this week, just using up what i have.


Beth September 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

Lots of my usual daily frugal baby steps i.e. unplugging things, turning the shower off while shaving, saved over three large buckets of rain water using to water tomatoes with,leaving windows open at night to cool the house instead of air conditioning, etc.

Non-consumer fail yesterday is daughter is away with grandparents for the weekend and I spent the day shopping, yes gasp shopping!!! Two weeks ago started a new position at a job requiring me to be more business like than usual. I am a large size woman and cannot find things in thrift stores my size or when I do they are not anything I would like to purchase. I treated myself to a afternoon of shopping BUT frugal shopping.

1. Shopped the clearance racks at Dressbarn and found a a pair of jeans and a long sleeved top, jeans were actually a short and fit! Woo hoo no hemming so basically saved myself another $10 or worse case scenario pants left hanging in the closet for year waiting to be hemmed by me. Have not bought jeans for three years and the current two I wear one of the pairs the thigh section has worn through.

2. Before leaving the house I searched and found a 40% off one item coupon for Barnes and Noble. Grabbed 5 current books that looked interesting and treated myself to soup and a sandwich using the coupon bringing lunch to less than $5. I perused the books while eating and put in a hold on my phone for my local library for the book that looked good. True confession I also treated myself to a piece of Hershey cheesecake as I figured the $2.50 I saved on lunch and drinking water allowed me to.

3. Went to Kohls and and before leaving the house I printed off 20% off coupon. Shopped only clearance items and bought daughter a new lunch box originally $20 with discount cost $6.40. Bought two pairs of earrings each less than $4 and a ring for daughter for Christmas less than $4 as well. Bought a sweater for me for $8.64, another pair of jeans and a work shirt as well as a pair of shoes for work for $6.72 and Fila tennis shoes for $14.40 . Have been looking at a waffle maker for the last two years and bought myself a Black and Decker which was $16.00 with the discount. Bought new underwear for me which was buy one pack get another pack for 50% off plus received the 20 % discount on top of that. Also received $30 in Kohls cash to be used next week which I will put towards a pair of warm up pants or jeans for my daughter for school.

3. Went to JCPenney with a $10 off of a $25 purchase and bought a new black Liz Claiborn purse for $22 and change.

4. Came home and enjoyed watching Orange is the New Black, okay a mini marathon of several episodes and coloring in my adult color book. Made a great homemade burrito with food from my pantry and tomatoes from the yard and drank beer from the fridge, no nothing exciting but a fun evening of doing what I wanted.

5. Got up this morning after sleeping in extremely late (never do and much appreciated since new job starts at 7 am now!) and tried out the new waffle maker, not bad but need to find a better recipe than the one on the box. Spending the day with Pandora working on home projects interspersed with reading, another no cost day but much appreciated since last week I worked over 13 hours of uncompensated overtime at the new job. Feeling refreshed and self cared for.


janine September 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Everyone could use a wonderful shopping day as you describe. You seem to have done very well with your sales and coupons.


Sue September 5, 2016 at 9:38 am

Could you learn to hem your own pants! I am short, and my entire life hem pants.. though I sew, I taught myself in college.. which was 40 years ago! BUT today, you can use iron on hem tape. Truly you could handle that..
AND look up the waffle recipe on King Arthur Baking site.. you can make it ahead of time, sits on the counter the first round.. then keep in the fridge for a few days. I did look it up. Belgian Waffle..

I have a Waring flip waffle iron for years, and now alone, I still make these for me! You can skip the maple syrup, add a teaspoon of sugar, though I only use real Maple syrup to eat! My iron non stick and this always works!


K D September 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

1. All meals will be at home this weekend. Yesterday I baked a bunch of BBQ chicken and also made macaroni & cheese and nectarine/blueberry crisp. There was enough for lunch today and there is still some of it left for tomorrow.

2. We drove out to a state park that has part of the Appalachain Trail running through it. We hiked a few miles on the trail. The weather was perfect. On the way home we stopped at an orchard and bought half-bushels of Gala apples and Red Bartlett pears. It’s much cheaper to buy it in larger quantities. I’ll pass along some apples and pears to a friend that will appreciate them.

3. I just finished reading The Orphan Train on my Kindle, courtesy of the overdrive app and our public library. On Friday I was near the library, so I stopped to borrow some DVDs for the weekend. Since I’m able to renew them twice we can keep them until Tuesday.

4. I needed to renew my driver’s license so I arrived at the MVA about 15 minutes before they opened. I was done less than 10 minutes after they opened but there was a huge line by the time I was done. Somehow saving my time felt frugal.

5. I had a coupon for a free COSTCO pizza. I used it before it expired. I had no idea they charge the same for combo pizzas as they do for cheese pizza. The combo seems like quite a deal.


LisaC September 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

UPDATE: I posted my green tomato salsa on FB and a friend texted me to please go to her house and pick all of her tomatoes and basil since she had to go out of town on a family emergency. More salsa is coming!


Patti September 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

After several unplanned large expenses, we are on the cut-way-back budget.
1). We usually go out to eat on Friday night, but since we have just come home from an unplanned trip (where we ate very well), we decided to forgo this expense and just have something light from the fridge. This will be our “go-to” for awhile since dining out is one expense we can cut without feeling a pinch.
2) We were invited to a noon wedding yesterday that included appetizers, an open bar, and a sit-down dinner at the reception. We did not abuse our situation, but we did enjoy every bite and it was our only meal of the day. Bonus: the going away treat was flavored popcorn – a bag for each of us- which we were able to choose from an array of fun flavors, so we are enjoying a snack today of white cheddar popcorn and buffalo hot sauce popcorn. YUM!
3) We had a church potluck today which featured BBQ and hot dogs provided by the church. Our side dishes were easily concocted from items at home (the favorite being “potato chip cookies”) so we were able to enjoy a large meal again with very little cost to us. It will be our only meal, also, with the popcorn for a snack tonight.
4) Tomorrow we have been invited for Labor Day at a friend’s lake house so once again, we will have all the food and drink provided for the “cost” of a plate of brownies. Plus we have “free” entertainment on their boat and deck.
5) I am headed to Joann’s to use some coupons to purchase supplies to begin my Christmas gifts in earnest. Even though this is an expense, it is carefully planned to take advantage of the best price possible.


Krystal September 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

1. We were driving home from morning errands and saw a pile that said “Free Rocks” two block away. My husband was like “whatevs” but I INSISTED, explaining how we could use them to keep the grass out of our new rain garden with a rock border. He obliged and we’ll have a free landscaped border this afternoon!
2. My husband has very vey limited luck finding his smaller framed size of pants second hand. We had to stop by the mall for a few body care items and we popped into Macy’s. The guy at the register liked us enough to give us an extra $10 for no reason. Rarely frugal to buy new, but as frugal as we could get. $30 Levis!
3. I got a free upgrade to first class for my work flight tomorrow. Though I don’t pay for my travel, I saved my contractee money and I get free alcohol, fancy!
4. Sold a Goodwill $3 infants Seahawks jersey for $24 on eBay.
5. Received a free candle from a recent purchase online of my absolute favorite splurge in the world. I’ll take it!


Betty Winslow September 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

1. So excited about the upcoming 3 day arts festival in town! Although you have to pay for the art on display, it’s free to walk around and admire it (and I always buy something – depending on finances, it has ranged from a $150.oo painting for over our couch to a $4 metal flamingo on a stick to put in one of my potted plants). The music is all free, the food is yummy (not free, but worth the $$), the beer is fine, the whole downtown turns into a block party and it’s a BLAST! People who’ve moved away come back just for this, my grown children all volunteer to cook for and serve the musicians, so they get backstage passes…. it’s awesome.
2. We’re going to my nephew’s house tomorrow for a housewarming party, and I’m taking my specialty, potato salad, made with potatoes that were on sale, Aldi 49 cent a dozen eggs, Aldi olives and dill pickles, and Kroger mayo, so cheap and GOOD!
3. Tonight’s dinner is butternut squash and sausage lasagna (made with Aldi’s pasta sauce from last fall, noodles, cottage cheese and mozzarella on sale at Kroger, and more eggs from Aldi), with garlic bread made from a bag of hot dog buns we ended up not needing.
4. Husband is enjoying his frugal Sunday afternoon outside on the patio, drinking Aldi lemonade, listening to music on Spotify and playing games on his Kindle that I bought him for Xmas last yr on Black Friday. He’s gotten so much use and pleasure from it, it was worth every penny!
5. Lunch (eaten outside on the patio in the shade) was two large subs made with marked-down whole wheat buns, garden veggies, and bits and pieces of leftover cheese, lunchmeat, and condiments. It was yummy!


Ruby September 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm

1. Our older rescue dog needs a badly cracked/chipped molar removed. We use two different vets: one for dental problems, as our younger rescue dog has a birth defect that malformed her teeth, and a second vet for general veterinary. The canine dentist estimated $692 for the extraction, the regular vet $452. Since the older dog has otherwise perfectly sound teeth, the regular vet will be removing her tooth.
2. Made a delicious supper tonight by combining fabulous leftovers from the freezer.
3. Am so happy to announce that my family finally has health insurance through an employer again, so our co-pays have gone from $102, as they were with our self-paid insurance, to $38. Whoo-hoo!
4. We will celebrate Labor Day by staying home and enjoying each other’s company.
5. Still enjoying the clearance clementines, carrots, pears and plums bought last week at Save-a-Lot.


Lindsey September 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

1. Every so often a good deed is rewarded: an elderly neighbor needs to buy a wheelchair for her husband. She was telling me how expensive they were and I offered to go on Amazon and see if she could get the model she wanted/needed for cheaper. I found one for almost $100 cheaper and delivered with Prime. I told her about it and she said they don’t use Amazon so could I order it for her? She gave me the money. I drove to Safeway and bought the equivalent amount in Amazon gift cards, and since t was double points week I earned over 500 points in gas credits for buying the cards—meaning 50 cents per gallon off next time I buy Safeway gas. I ordered the chair under my prime account so she didn’t have to pay shipping. Win/win for each of us! I would have done it without the ability to use gift cards but this really made it nice.
2. A few years ago I found an accordion in someone’s garbage pile. Old but perfectly good condition. I already had one so didn’t need a second but kept my find off in the corner. This week I finally shamed myself into listing it on Craigs List, which I meant to do years ago. It sold in less than an hour, for $175! Yippy for trash picking.
3. Found a dime in the Safeway parking lot.
4. Felt like something sweet and found a can of pumpkin pulp—God alone knows how old it was. Passed the sniff test when opened so I made pumpkin chocolate cookies. Delicious and much cheaper than the grocery store.
5. Made enough bread to last us for two weeks. Some weeks I am too lazy to do this so when I am feeling like playing baker I make several loaves of bread. Besides, it was frugal to use the stove still warm from making cookies instead of preheating a cold oven. Small savings but the pennies count!


Kimberly September 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm

1. My three young nieces spent the day with me yesterday. We packed a picnic lunch and spent a couple hours at a park with a playground for frugal entertainment.
2. Still using up zucchini from the garden. Made a batch of zucchini salsa which freezes well.
3. Found an old ivory-colored cupboard door stored in the garage. Hubby had some leftover chalkboard paint & painted the center portion of the door. He’s handsome and handy. 😉
4. Didn’t feel like making dinner yesterday, but warmed up leftover soup and made the last of the sweetcorn from the garden. Always happy later that we didn’t resort to take-out.
5. Gave the dog a bath. Fortunately, she has short hair and doesn’t seem to mind so it saves on grooming fees.


tonya parham September 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm

1. Had friends over last night to thank them for picking up our new (to us) dining room set. It’s Mid Century and was marked at $230 at the vintage mart but we asked if they would come down and they sold it to us for $170. We made salmon patties (croquettes), cornbread, mac and cheese, mashed ‘taters and a sweet potato pie then played Ticket to Ride. It was a pleasant and frugal evening.

2. Went to see one of the missus coworkers who just had surgery. We passed a pleasant couple of hours with her and didn’t stop anywhere else while out and therefore spent no money.

3. Just had our 2nd of 3 Blue Apron meals. It was really good. I think I will keep it a couple of weeks because it’s keeping me from eating out and it is also teaching me some new ways of cooking that I find helpful. I’ve always wanted to take cooking classes and I think this has much the same effect in that I’ve already learned a couple of new techniques in just two meals. Since I am self taught, this is really a nice learning experience!

4. My Bose radio went out. Makes no sound, even though it has power. Bose is completely unhelpful and even though I paid $500 for this radio 4 years ago, they will only offer to repair it for $99 plus tax and if they can’t they will “sell me a new one for a discount.” I just decided to look for another (used) radio since I just use that one in the bedroom and mostly as an alarm. I spent so much on it hoping it would last 20 years. SO DISAPPOINTED.

5. Had the air off and windows open for most of yesterday and today. Supposed to be hot tomorrow but I sense fall is approaching!


Alison September 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm

On the Bose, put “how to fix my Bose radio” into your browser’s search bar, and you will find some articles that describe a variety of problems and how to fix them.


VanessaKC September 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm

1- I’m restoring a 64 VW bug. Bought a Baja for $150, kept the engine for my bug and sold the rest of the Baja for $400. (Score!)
2- spent the day at the lake with family. Took our lunch and drinks, only cost $13 for the 3 of us for a full day of fun.
3- changed the oil in my daily driver myself. Got top quality synthetic oil at cost thanks to my dad’s discount.
4- let the crock pot cook pinto beans while we swam all day. Cheap and delicious burrito bowls tonight, plenty of pinto for the freezer as well.
5- harvested tons of peppers from my garden for atomic child oil and peppers for the freezer. (Enough to get us through the winter.)


VanessaKC September 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Chili oil, not child oil. (Made me laugh though)


Bee September 5, 2016 at 7:26 am

Are you doing the work on the VW yourself?


VanessaKC September 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm

With the help of my awesome dad, who is a VW expert (aircooled). I save money and get to spend time with my dad, which is outstanding. You vdub?


janine September 4, 2016 at 5:05 pm

1.Shredded and chopped an enormous zucchini – will use it to make bread and as ingredient for other meals – one more to go before I am finished with this chore.
2. Husband treated me to breakfast – hurt my foot so had to stay home from fair today = no $$ spent.
3. Using fan and no a/c in bedroom. Weather has cooled off – this is probably mother nature helping us frugalistas out.
4. Visited gourmet wholesale bread outlet and scored kalamata olive bread – 75 cents a loaf if you buy three loaves.
5. Great no-spend plans for September except for a couple of contributions and a wedding which will blow the budget if I’m not careful.


Marcia September 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

1. Both my daughter and my granddaughter each sold an item on Craigslist. This is good for me because both items were stored at my house!
2. Went over a week without eating out, but did stop on the way home from a car show today and had BBQ. Husband won first place in his class with his car, so he was feeling good!
3. Planned the weekend to include minimal activities and maximum staying at home and getting things done. Today was our whole day out, and Friday there was a large yard sale where we spent $6 only.
4. Laundry is caught up, except for changing the sheets tomorrow. Hope to get some weeding done and the dehydrator running with a full load of parsley.
5. Definite decrease in the amount of A/C being used, and I’m very happy with that. Still will have a couple hot days later this week, but at least it’s not 7 days a week of A/C.


Chris September 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

5 Frugal Things Wedding Edition:
1. Hung 4 of the 11 strands of lights (white on white wire) – will sell the rest on the FB wedding site I have been following.
2. 2 friends offered their cutting gardens for fresh flowers – no florist purchase for us.
3. Groom’s work will give us pizza (he’s a cook) at no cost for the pre-wedding dinner in recognition of his amazing work ethic and general good guy-ness.
4. Cookie buffet at pre wedding dinner provided by family members.
5. Tables, chairs, tents via local church for a donation to their youth mission trip, parking at a different church yard behind our house for a donation, invited neighbors to offset any bad feelings when the music gets loud.


rebecca September 5, 2016 at 5:14 am

1. Eaten at home all weekend.
2. Watching the U. S Open for entertainment as I write/revamp my syllabi for the upcoming fall semester.
3. Drove my parents to the airport yesterday. Saved them money and I got to spend time with them. Plus had a lovely breakfast with them at their house before that. I was also able to help my 78-yr-old dad bring in patio furniture out of concern for the winds of Hermine.
4. Generous friend gifted me her CSA this week as she and her husband are away. I will pick it up on Thursday.
5. Grocery shopped the fliers this week. I spent about$110 on groceries but stocked the the freezer and pantry for things I will use and saved about $50 according to the summary on the sales receipts.


RD September 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

Katy, I have one question before I give my list. Do you ever do a garage sale yourself, instead of posting them online?

1. Was invited to a neighbors for dinner…after we already ate dinner. Went just for the company and came home with leftovers.
2. My boss bought a whole bag of grapes to munch on at the office and was leaving that day for the airport. He gave me a 1/2 a bag to take home instead of throwing them away.
3. My daughter is participating in a festival and needs a costume. I scrounged my house for leftover stuff from past halloweens…Have not bought anything yet.
4. Found money in a jacket that was put away for the summer.
5. Made a tomato, pepper, carrot and cucumber salad. All from our garden.


Katy September 5, 2016 at 10:43 am

I have done multiple garage sales through the years, but certain items sell better when you can find a specific buyer. Especially for midcentury furniture.

Here’s a piece I wrote about how to run a profitable garage sale:


VanessaKC September 6, 2016 at 12:19 am

Finding stashed money is the greatest!


Gladys September 5, 2016 at 10:15 am

I wish we have a Goodwill Outlet here that offers pay-by-the-pound.


Isabelle September 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Me too!!


Isabelle September 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm

* Using veggies from our garden to make salads for lunchs (see number 3…)
* Picked-up 7 cucumbers for 2$, about 3 pounds of “imperfect” potatoes for 1$, a gigantic cabbage for 2$ and 4 peppers for 2$ at the Farmers market. I always look on the shelves close to the ground where they put the “imperfect” produces for a buck or two.
* Refraining from buying new clothes for autumn, so far…. I gained weight from last year (10 lbs?), so my pants are tight. But I’m focusing on eating better to lose the weight (and fit my pants!) instead of buying bigger pants.
* We were at a festival all weekend with the kids. Told them we were paying for food and rides but that the rest, if wanted, was to be bought with their savings. My 6yo used all she had saved for months (about 30$), so now she’s back on the savings-wagon! Loved hearing her say :” 12$ for this? No, it’s not worth it!”, and move on.
* Decided to do a no-spending september regarding to restaurant/take-out. This is by far my biggest weakness (see number 3!) and I can easily spend 150$/month on it. The only exception will be this Thursday, because it was already planned : a bbq at my daughter’s school to raise money for the school activities. 1$/item. Also decided to use up all the body wash and soaps+shampoos we have at home before buying more. I always have coupons that I “have” to use, but now it’s getting out of hands! We must be good for 2 years with what ws already have.
* Picked-up crab apples from a city tree and made many jars of jelly with them. Yummy!!

Have a great frugal day!


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