Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 16, 2016 · 76 comments

Voodoo Donuts

  1. I stopped by Voodoo Donuts this afternoon to pick up a dozen donuts for my son to share with his dorm mates. For those who many not recall, my father was given a gift certificate for a year of free donuts, (a dozen per month) as a thank you for his fifty years of teaching at Portland State University. He’s no donut fan, so he gave it to me. I’m also not a donut fan, so I try to get the donuts when we have large numbers of people to share with. I missed last month, but can now check this odd chore from my October to-do list.
  2. The Pacific Northwest just came through a weekend of stormy weather that had been forecasted to be one of the worst storms on record. Our basement did flood, but since it’s unfinished, it does no harm. Especially since I know from experience that flooding in my basement always seeps back underground. However, I was chatting with a neighbor who has a finished basement and was not so lucky. I’m relieved that our maple enormous tree didn’t fall onto the house, and that we never even considered laying carpet in our basement. Oregon is wet, and water will always prevail.
  3. Although I was tempted to treat ourselves to a restaurant meal this evening, I decided instead to cook at home. I went ahead and bought the ingredients for a pot roast, plus all the sides and regular groceries. I spent $34.31, which was much less than a restaurant meal would’ve been. We now have delicious leftovers to look forward to, as well as milk for our coffee and ingredients for future meals.
  4. I’ve been successful in hustling up a few extra hospital shifts for next month. I still want to pick up two more, but we’re usually desperate for extra nurses, so it should be no problem. Also, my continuing education inbox is fit to burst, so I can always come in and chip away at that without the stress of patient care.
  5. I soaked an unused postage stamp from an envelope, my mother brought over ice cream last night, I batched errands this afternoon, I used fridge-frozen spinach to saute with eggs and 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.”

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Pattilou October 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Glad to hear you didn’t have any damage Katy.
1. I got a free theatre ticket and had a great night out with friends.
2. I also got a free ticket to see Alan Cumming. He read from his new book which I will be getting from the library. Although after hearing him live I might wait to see if he records the audio version of the book. I could have listened to him read the whole thing!
3. I found free parking for both above mentioned events.
4. I baked a banana/Apple bread for the person who gave me the theatre ticket as a thank you with ingredients I had on hand.
5. A co-worker mentioned that he got his flu shot and it was totally paid for by our insurance. I have been paying for the it for the past few years. I called my insurance company for clarification and they told me that the pharmacy I was using was using my prescription card instead of my medical card which is why it was being denied. So now I know what to do to get my shot covered.


tonya parham October 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm

I listened to Alan Cumming read his last book _Not My Father’s Son_ and it was so good, I love him so much. If you can find that book at your library it is an amazing story and I just love him!


Mand01 October 17, 2016 at 9:45 pm

He is such a great actor. I’ve been watching The Good Wife on Netflix- never watched it when it was on TV. He was so good in that.


Pattilou October 18, 2016 at 10:58 am

Tonya, I have read Not My Father’s Son. I love him too! The accent doesn’t hurt either!


Brenda October 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Can’t believe you missed last month’s donuts, but now we know you are human, too!! Good idea to make it a part of your to do list.
1-last week I planned my meals ahead of time before grocery shopping so I could get what I needed, and had everything I needed all week. I didn’t need to stop for anything extra last week! Money saver, but time saver too!
2- carved pumpkins tonight. Already roasted the seeds, saved the inside for pumpkin guts bread. Google it- its good!!
3-already prepped to make dinner time quicker tomorrow as my daughter has a game. We haven’t had to eat out at all this season after a game because I’ve been planning better, so money saved.
4- got a tv stand for a dollar and old newspapers from 1916-1917, and the 1940’s, for free. Decoupaging the tv stand, so it keeps me busy and was super cheap. Still need to buy acrylic to seal it with, but a new tv stand for less than $10!
5- didn’t leave the house today- such a nice treat since I’m usually running my kids around on the weekends. And no gas used, no money spent.


Lindsey October 16, 2016 at 7:34 pm

First let me say that I cannot fathom not liking donuts.

Now to the five:
1. Found a quarter on the ground.
2. Cut the husband’s hair. It is curly so hides all mistakes.
3. My birthday was this week and I took full advantage of various food freebies I have signed up for over the years. Also got a free Redbox movie.
4. Accepted a gift of apples that my friend thought would go bad while she was on vacation.
5. Went to a meeting and was offered a bag of leftovers—bread AND sliced deli turkey and roast beef. Enough for lunches for the entire week for the two of us. I seldom buy deli meat so this is a treat.
6. Did a mystery shop and got a free oil change out of it.


Odette October 17, 2016 at 7:55 am

LOL. Me either, Lindsey!


Jennifer October 17, 2016 at 10:07 am



Teri October 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

same here


Marcia October 16, 2016 at 7:42 pm

1. Did not eat out at all this week–mostly because we had too many leftovers!! I cooked 4 nights and the rest were taken care of.
2. Dried three trays of parsley and 1 of sage from the garden. Weather might co-operate enough so I can cut more this week. I have tons in the garden.
3. Went to a niece’s birthday party yesterday and they bought cake way in excess of the amount needed. We were sent home with enough for dessert for about 3 nights, and it’s good cake, too!
4. Made two loaves of pumpkin bread this week–using frozen pumpkin left over from the last big can I opened! Eating one and froze the other one.
5. Froze 2 overripe bananas today–mashed and labeled for banana bread in the future. I try to do this with all bananas that don’t get eaten promptly. My freezer is full of dibs and dabs of stuff. Good news is that my new refrigerator has a freezer on the bottom which is a drawer rather than a door–it’s much easier to see what’s in it, and I think I will be able to use up my small portions more easily now. In the old one, it was easy for stuff to get shoved to the back and “lost”.


Marilyn October 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

1. Last Friday’s mail brought Fred Meyer coupons for free Private Selection frozen pizza and free Private Selection ice cream. Not exactly the healthiest, but if we add a salad…
2. Stayed home all day Saturday due to the rain and wind (I’m in SW Washington state.). Finished reading “The Boys in the Boat” which I got from the library of course. Enjoyed leftovers for dinner. Watched an episode of “Brokenwood Mysteries” (also from the library). A nice day which cost nothing.
3. A neighbor gave me a coupon for $5 off a haircut at Great Clips. I gave her a coupon for free Dutch Bros coffee. We’re both happy.
4. For my job, I am scheduled to attend a training class in LA in early November. A week away from the rainy NW — almost feels like a paid vacation.


Carla October 16, 2016 at 11:47 pm

I just had some mushrooms for breakfast, mixed in with scrambled eggs with onion and bacon. For somreason over the last couple of years, I have gone off mushrooms, something just makes me shake my head when I eat them on their own These were leftover from Thanksgiving last week so they were about to go bad. I feel that eating theum counts for 5 frugal things. I took one, five, for the team. Haha


Beth October 17, 2016 at 1:53 am

1. Did five pet sits this weekend with my daughter bringing in $60 towards her trip to DC. Walked the dog 3 of the five sits so I feel like I am getting paid to exercise. 😉 Actually appreciated the sunrise, the cute neighborhood halloween decorations and the wonderful fall weather. Extra bonus is chatting with my daughter.

2. Used a coupon for a free Brueggers bagel with cream cheese if you bought a drink. Bought a large pumpkin spice coffee which i split with the daughter and another bagel. It was a nice treat after our 7 am pet sit as we never do this.

3. Worked a school sporting event banking another $30 this week.

4. Used a coupon to get a Dominos brand bag of sugar for 88 cents. Also got eggs for 38 cents and Kraft mac and cheese for 38 cents a box on special.

5. I made the biggest batch of cream of brocolli soup ever!!! Great recipe, love the soup. Bad thing is I am desperate for freezer space to store the stuff. I love making big batches of soup, weird since there is only the two of us.

One negative – I have really been stocking up on groceries, some really great sales lately I have a hard time not taking advantage of. Still within budget but I need to cool it and use up what I have. When your kid starts commenting guess its time to cool it.


Amy K. October 17, 2016 at 3:00 am

Our weekends have been pretty quiet lately. I think my teen/tween girls would rather be out and about, at movies, malls, or restaurants. At least one of them lamented their lack of a social life. Sorry kid. Instead weekends are for housework, homework, tv/books/games…whatever we have at home. Replaced broken wheels on tv stand (that we bought used in the first place) with a set I had on hand, from another project that never happened. I looked at buying a new tv stand, but decided to fix this one and hold off on that. My husband took off and replaced the wheels while I thoroughly dusted the stand, all the electronics and the floor underneath. It was satisfying. I also Spent a good chunk of the weekend sorting through craft items that were given to me for free. This week I’m going to paint and craft my little heart out and get things up on Etsy. I’m pretty excited to have gotten cute stuff to work with at no cost!


Mariana October 17, 2016 at 3:34 am

Just yesterday:
1. Handwashed and ironed a couple of pieces most people would usually take to a dry cleaner.
2. Made a huge batch of beef chilli, had some for dinner and froze 3 containers for future dinners
3. Precooked work lunches for the next 3 days
4. During the weekend spent only $8 for entertaintment. And I met with two friends on two separate occasions. To avoid ‘brunch’ expenses I made plans with them at 3pm. Hello? I am not hungry, latte it is.
5. I did some more sewing.


Lide October 17, 2016 at 3:56 am

1. Between clearance items, coupons & rewards program – saved over $40 on groceries this week. Most of it was restocking the pantry stuff.
2. Earned 86 cents/gallon off gas with rewards program – my car never needs 20 gallons so Hubby is going to fill our gas cans for the generator (ready for winter storm) with whatever isn’t needed to fill the tank on the car.
3. Got some great deals online on Christmas gifts for family.
4. Found 2 pair of expensive name brand pants @ goodwill for $4.99 each – now I have all the clothes I need for work. Been making due with what I had for months – checked Goodwill every 2 weeks til I finally found what I was looking for. Gotta love Goodwill!
5. Picked up a small wooden shelf at a yardsale for $5 – repainted it to match my kitchen & it fits perfectly in the weird empty space that I have been trying to find a way to utilize since we remodeled the kitchen.
6. Went to an auction (they are my kryptonite!) Didn’t see anything I had to have so I left – for me that’s an amazing accomplishment! LOL!


Bee October 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I love an auction too. Even if you are not in the market for anything, they are great entertainment. Really, there is no place better to people watch, and there are so many unique items selling for pennies on the dollar!


Bettypants October 17, 2016 at 3:57 am

1. I sold four random items on ebay for a total of $39. Two were items we were no longer enjoying, but the other two I had bought specifically to sell, so I was pleased to move those along.
2. Picked up a box of breakfast biscuits, a package of m&ms, and laffy taffy from Kroger, all free. Also found clearance Noosa yogurt and Kind granola bars.
3. Finally found roasted pepitas at Aldi, and made a batch of pumpkin muffins yesterday with pepitas on top.
4. Dragged an old grandfather clock to the road for free pick up. I was going to fix it up for sale, but I ran out of steam. I’m glad it’s gone.
5. Used a free $10 Kohls card from Discover to order fleece pj pants for my son, which he needs.


Gina in KY October 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

Lucky on the Noosa yogurt. I love the pumpkin and coconut ones so much, but I only buy them if I find them on clearance (then I buy a lot and freeze them).


Bettypantsq October 19, 2016 at 5:47 am

I can find Noosa on clearance so regularly at our Kroger, that I also only buy them on clearance also. Coconut is one of my favorites too! It’s a bummer when I find the clearance tag on flavors (Mango, Pineapple, and Honey) I have tried and not cared for.

What is the difference in texture on frozen and thawed yogurt? I have never frozen any.


Mand01 October 17, 2016 at 4:01 am

1. I’m going through the house to find items for a planned garage sale in a month’s time. It’s amazing what you can find.
2. Made cheesymite scrolls for lunchboxes.
3. Negotiated new insurance deals with our insurer. Was able to score a refund of $80 and upgrade my car insurance.
4. I got our favourite tea for $1/box on a half price sale. I take it to work as well as drink it at home. The work tea is poison.
5. Fortnightly dinner at my parents’. Free three course dinner and great conversation.


Susie's Daughter October 17, 2016 at 5:48 am

#4 work tea = Ha!


Denise October 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

I’m going to make all tea drinkers jealous. My employer provides free Twining’s teas of every type, black teas, green teas, white teas and every herbal flavour under the sun. Also free ground coffee for everyone to make their own cafetière of coffee as needed.

Yum. Only problem is that Twining’s is the best tea and so my plebby tea at home is a bit disappointing after acclimatising to Twining’s!


K D October 17, 2016 at 4:15 am

1. My husband asked that I make BBQ Chicken pizza instead of going out. Much cheaper, healthier, and just as good. Since I was making pizza dough I made enough dough for a loaf of bread. I added some toasted sesame seeds to the bread, delicious.

2. Put out Halloween decorations (the same ones we’ve had for years) that were either home made or bought on super clearance.

3. Cleaned out the basement closet and reorganized. Recycled boxes we don’t need to keep and found I have enough toilet paper that I don’t need to buy any for a while.

4. The weather is perfect for yard work and no need for any HVAC. Free exercise and money saving.

5. I forgot to mention in the “Cutting Expenses” post that one thing we have done for many years is to shop for electricity. We have switched providers a couple of times, this last time we scored the best rate and a small gift card.


Bee October 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm

I find it interesting that you can shop for utility and garbage providers. Where I live, electricity, garbage, water and sewer service are all provided by local government. Yet, I have always believed our price are relatively low. Now I wonder.


nancy from mass October 17, 2016 at 4:24 am



nancy from mass October 17, 2016 at 4:34 am

1. I typically make my own veggie stock, but found an organic 32oz container on clearance for $1.
2. Went to the local consignment shop and found a pair of Vineyard Vines and Bonobos pants that were my son’s size. $11/each (the bonobos pants go for 90-100 a pair!) He was thrilled! He’s kind of a fashion guy and loves to dress like that.
3. Was my 50th birthday on tuesday. I had a friend that was in the area and he joined us for supper. made chicken, rice, acorn squash, broccoli and a free loaf of italian bread. the whole meal cost less than $5. and i made a chocolate cake too with stuff on hand.
4. was brought out for sushi on friday with a friend to celebrate my birthday. She also gave me some handmade soap and a special soapholder (we usually don’t do gifts but she saw it and thought of me while she was on vacation)
5. making some cross stitch Christmas gifts with free patterns and everything i already had on hand.


BJS October 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Happy birthday, Nancy! I hope it was wonderful!


janine October 17, 2016 at 4:46 am

We spent some time during the last month on a committee developing our neighborhood’s first Ciderfest. Beautiful weather blessed out event yesterday. 1. Both adults and children enjoyed good conversation with neighbors, samples of apple varieties, ciders and cookies.
2. Community spirit was promoted among the great variety of folks who inhabit our part of town. Kids especially enjoyed turning the wheel of the ciderpress to see how cider is made. A couple from Korea were amazed at the number of varieties – they had experienced only Fuji. Our University of Minnesota is famous for developing apple varieties – especially the famous Honeycrisp.
3. As an added bonus I received about half a gallon of leftover cider to take home.
4. We bought most of our supplies at the local Co-op.
5. We had a grant to cover expenses so the cost was FREE!


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 17, 2016 at 5:59 am

Okay, okay, so I have 8 frugal things. It was a busy week. 🙂

This week:

1. I bought strawberries for $1.50 a pound.
Normally I don’t buy strawberries right now, since they aren’t in season. But our HEB was trying to get rid of a bunch of strawberries, so they were on fire sale! They were past their prime to eat fresh, so I quartered and froze them. They’ll be great on a pie or in some homemade yogurt!

2. I made homemade yogurt.
I discovered that I can make the yogurt in just one hour when I cook it on the stove instead of the crockpot. Eureka!

3. I made my own pumpkin puree
I made a pumpkin cheesecake spread and, instead of buying canned pumpkin puree like the recipe suggested, I made my own from scratch. Breaking down pumpkins is serious work, but it’s super cheap! I ended up making more puree than I needed for the spread, so I froze the extra. I plan to make pumpkin ravioli with it once we’re in the new house!

4. I made my own pumpkin pie spice
This stuff sells for $4 an ounce at the grocery store. I just made my own for about $2 using the bulk foods aisle at my grocery store, which carries bulk spices.

5. I cooked and froze bacon
I hate cooking bacon in the morning, so we bulk cook it and freeze it for later.

6. I made homemade biscuits
Mr. Picky Pincher wasn’t a fan of my old recipe, so I tried out a recipe that was in my Food Network Magazine this month. They look awfully tasty!

7. I made homemade flan
I personally hate flan, but Mr. Picky Pincher loves this stuff! I made 6 flan with a 40 cent mix from HEB.

8. I precooked meals for the week
Over the weekend I made pho and Thai curry cauliflower. It’ll save my weeknight sanity!


Jennifer October 17, 2016 at 10:15 am

3. Pumpkin ravioli, yum!


Johanna October 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

Can you please tell me a bit more about your stove-top method for making yogurt? Thanks!

Or, if you think it’s something everyone would be interested in, maybe email Katie and she’d post it? Either way, I’m intrigued…..


Jennifer October 17, 2016 at 7:04 am

1. My electric Halloween pumpkin has faded to a light pink color from several years of sunbleaching. I painted it with some orange paint, gave it a distressed look with a little brown paint, then put on a coat of polyurethane, all from another project. It actually looks a lot more realistic than when it was brand new.
2. The other project that I had leftover paint from was one of those cute scarecrow/snowman that are reversible and made from a pallet. My husband deconstructed, sanded, cut, and put together the pallet for me. All I had to do was go to Joann’s, with a coupon, and buy the color paints I didn’t already have on hand. I let the kids paint a lot of it, which was good free entertainment. It turned out really nice
and was very inexpensive decor that will work for more than just one holiday.
3. We went to Sam’s club yesterday and enjoyed free samples. I did buy a few things to put in the freezer but resisted some things I really wanted like more caramel apple dip. We ordered a pizza and got 2 large drinks that my kids, husband, and I shared. So it was a little over $11 to feed the four of us and we had a lot of leftovers.
Frugal fail- we left the leftover pizza in car so no more leftovers, boo!
4. I so love the holidays and try to keep stress to a minimum. I have been putting up some of my Kroger free Friday downloads for stocking stuffers. It was Airheads candy this week so that will be perfect. I almost have all the Christmas presents for this year. I like to just relax in December while so many other are bustling around in the crowds spending too much.
5. No Lear jet.


Ethel October 17, 2016 at 7:08 am

I did a lot of unfrugal things this weekend. I treated myself to breakfast at a nice, local, but expensive place. I also treated myself to dinner one night. And I bought a breakfast burrito at our church on Sunday morning. I may have a weakness for good food, no?

The frugal things I achieved this weekend (not surprisingly, they are not food related):
1. Mended one of my LO’s shirts.
2. Finally found a jean jacket a the thrift store. It was not on sale, but at $7 it wasn’t a bad price. I’ve been patiently waiting for a used one for about a year.
3. I’m making LO’s Halloween costume this year from things I have around the house. It’s going great so far 🙂
4. Borrowed books from the library for entertainment this weekend
5. Took some fall pictures of LO with my own camera. They aren’t professional quality or anything, but they turned out pretty good and are much cheaper than setting up a professional photo session.


JD October 17, 2016 at 7:12 am

How great that you had no damage in the storm. It’s rough, listening to the wind and rain, and wondering what is happening to your property.
1. I made a new batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent to fill my five-gallon bucket. I know it doesn’t clean well for everyone — my sister, for example — but it does great in my machine and water. I decided to sit down and do the math, and came out with: each load using homemade detergent, including tax, costs me 1.7 cents in detergent. I buy the white Zote soap flakes so I don’t have to grate soap.
2. I made two different homemade dressings for salads and raw veggies. They are cheaper and better than store bought.
3. I made sure to catch the sale on birdseed at the wild bird store and got a big bag. I use this store because I’ve never gotten weevils or pantry moths in their bags of seed, and any other brands I’ve tried have introduced those critters into my house!
4. We turned off the A.C. and now the air is muggy again, with a high near 90 today. I refuse to give in. The A.C. stays off. It’s got to become and stay cooler at some point soon, right?
5. My husband replaced a switch on his lawnmower that looked formidable. It turned out to be much easier to get to than it looked. He paid $28 for the part, vs. $100+ for part and labor at the shop.


Gina in KY October 17, 2016 at 9:53 am

I hear you on finding quality seed! I have had moths from my pet dove’s food and my chickens’ food. Frustrating when it happens!


Johanna October 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

When you buy seed, if you put it in the freezer for several days, it really helps control the moths/pests it would bring into your home.


JD October 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I did that but still ended up with bugs on the cheaper brands. Some bugs survive freezing, it seems. I know I froze corn in the shuck one year and thawed it out a month or so later, and discovered it had a live, crawling earworm. Yuck!


jennifer October 18, 2016 at 5:38 am

-exactly why I quit freezing in the shuck, yuck!


katie October 17, 2016 at 7:30 am

1. Husband replaced the brake pads on our 15 year old wagon. It took less than an hour and cost under $25.
2. Mended a sweater and a pair of my son’s pajama bottoms.
3. Parked off campus for the football game Friday night saving $5.
4. Finished sewing a skirt for my daughter and trimmed it out with lace gifted from my seamstress neighbor.
5. Same neighbor gifted us a jar of applesauce. In return I gave her a jar of blackberry fig jam. Made with figs from her trees. She is a great neighbor!


Gina in KY October 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

My life has been the opposite of frugal lately. I have had a lot of stressful, expensive things thrown at me and am dealing with them (without too much detail, it centers around ongoing legal crap with ex). Anyway, my frugality has helped me pay for said items despite the many tears I have shed at having been sent back to “start” in the finance game.

So here is what I have been able to do while in the eye of the storm:

1. We obtained my 4th graders free National Park pass (thanks to fans of NCA for alerting me to this great opportunity! Here in KY, we have many National parks even if we can’t afford vacation elsewhere this year).

2. Frugal Food: Made a pot of red beans in the pressure cooker and finished them New Orleans style on the stove. We ate on them for two days and I froze the rest for future meal. I also made a delicious recipe for vegan BBQ portabella mushrooms. I highly recommend this recipe: (my exception was no soy sauce, but added a dash of smoke flavoring while the ‘srooms simmered in the BBQ sauce that I bought at outlet store. I also served on ciabatta buns bought on clearance).

3. Thrifted two frozen Charlotte dolls to sell on Ebay.

4. A while back I paid off some credit cards and closed them and the companies sent me checks for my rewards points. I gathered the checks, plus birthday checks from family (I am also a Libra) and put them all into savings. I actually would like a “one thing pissing me off here” about the bank, but I will let it go.

5. Hanging clothes on the line, fixed some issues on my frugal house, and took a load of unneeded items to the thrift store. This is the first of many steps to getting ready for winter.


JD October 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm

1. Does that include Mammoth Cave? I loved Mammoth Cave as a kid! I sure miss Kentucky.


Gina in KY October 17, 2016 at 3:59 pm

It does! 🙂


BJS October 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Gina, it sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of great frugal activities. And in the midst of turmoil that’s even more of an accomplishment. We’re rooting for you.


Gina in KY October 17, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Thank you!


Kristen October 17, 2016 at 10:19 am

I’m not a huge donut fan either with one glaring exception: there is a place here that fries donuts to order, so you get a donut warm and crispy from the fryer. Those donuts are totally worth the calories, in my opinion!


Kim October 17, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Sandy Pony or The Fractured Prune? I have avoided the Sandy Pony shop in Annapolis because I know I would want one every day!


Katy October 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

That does sound delicious!


Jennifer October 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

1 .Went to a fall festival at a local church this weekend. Free entertainment for my daughter, plus a donations only lunch.
2. My dad and stepmom were in town this weekend. Instead of spending lots of money eating out, I meal planned and cooked all our meals at home. More time spent with family, and the food was yummier too!
3. Forgot to use a coupon checking out at the grocery store, and realized it after I had already strapped both kids in their car seats. Luckily we weren’t in a rush, so I unstrapped them both and went back in to get my $1. Took a bit of extra effort, but every dollar saved adds up!
4. Sold an item on ebay after relisting it two times.
5. A local grocery store was re-modeling and they had several huge carts of wine they were trying to get rid of after reducing the size of the wine section (Crazy! I know!) I had been eyeing it for a week or so to see if the price would drop any more, and they did. They finally marked them down to $1 to $1.50 each (regularly $15-$20+!), plus if you bought six you got another 10% off, AND a few of them had ibotta rebates on them. I bought 18 bottles for less than $14. We are all set for the holidays!


rebecca October 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Great score on the wine!


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones October 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

I picked up three shifts myself this week. I usually can book mine up to a few months in advance, and I had done so, but they canceled on me for most of the November ones. I am reaching out to another team to see if they need me to cover for them. The life of a PRN nurse…


Bee October 17, 2016 at 2:52 pm

I have never cared for donuts either. I thought I was the only one in the world who felt that way. I am glad to know there are a few more!
1) I am working on a side project and making a little extra money in the process. I put in 5 hours today.
2) I went to a meeting for my women’s group yesterday. I brought home a couple of dozen tea sandwiches. My husband and son are thrilled. These are a quick and easy snack.
3) I brought several package of kitchen sponges at The Dollar Store. There are 2 in a pack, so they are only 50 cents each. A sponge costs nearly $2 each at my local market. I extend the life of the sponge by washing them in the dishwasher and then sterilizing them in the microwave.
4) I took a little journey to the nearby docks on Sunday to buy shrimp. I do this periodically. There is a fishermen’s co-op that sell shrimp fresh off the boat. The fisherman receive a fair price for their catch, and I save the grocery store markup. What could be better?
5) The family continues our work on my older son’s fixer upper. Although it will be a definite financial boost for him, it has also been indirectly frugal for us. This has been our entertainment for the last six months taking up a good bit of our free time. Therefore, we do have the time or energy to spend money on other things. Only two more weeks until he moves in!

I hope everyone has a happy and frugal week!


Mand01 October 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm

The only time I like donuts is at a carnival or fair – the hot cinnamon covered donuts they sell there. I don’t like them otherwise, so I probably have them once a year.


Marion October 18, 2016 at 12:40 am

I don’t like donuts at all. On the other hand, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.


Teri October 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

1. Found 31 cents on a rare Saturday errand run (I hate crowds).
2. Brought home baked potatoes and a bag of salad from a church pot luck along with half the chili I contributed.
3. Updating pillows by pulling out the down inserts in the old ones for the new covers.
4. Found a large terra cotta plant tray at Goodwill for less than 1/3 the cost of new.
5. Weather changing here, still keeping house below 63.


Krystal October 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

i love doughnuts, but always heard the staff at VooDoo can be super rude (?) so I haven’t been. Not like I need another doughnut place to like.
1. We went to a free party on Saturday during the alleged storm that never really hit here (sounds like it was worse in PDX), ended up getting 2 more free yoga passes than we though we would have for showing up and volunteering.
2. Made a salad with our garden greens for lunch.
3. Called Les Schwab since our brakes are under warranty for another 900 miles and they will fix/flush or dirty brake line for free, saving us about $120 from paying our other mechanic to do it.
4. Picking up hours at a third contract now through mid-December.
5. One pair of my jeans but the dust, so I shopped my closet for existing items that can be consigned, so I can build up my store credit and buy a new to me pair of jeans.


Florencia October 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

What kind of work so you do, as in side job? Just curious.


Krystal October 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

I am 100% self employed, though the bulk of my work comes from one contract (TV). My side jobs are running conferences in different industries, which also involves mostly fun and paid-for-by-someone-else travel!


Connie October 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

I recently moved from the Portland, OR area (goodbye Katy) to the Eugene, OR area (hello Katy’s son). In the process I have been stressed about food because I left behind all my favorite grocery stores and have yet to make new favorite grocery stores. As a result, we have taken to eating out a lot more than we ever did before, and the siren song of pizza plays in my ear often. Every time I manage to drown out the song and make a big pot of crockpot soup or bean dish I consider it a job well done.


Susie's Daughter October 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Connie – I have said before that people who manage to get something prepared and on the table at home on nights like those you described deserve a medal. So consider yourself a medal winner!


Connie October 18, 2016 at 9:23 am

Thank you Susie’s Daughter, I needed to hear that!


Emily Wyman October 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

1. Hit CVS on my way home from work. Grabbed a few clearance items for Christmas shoe boxes for kids, a 24 cent Powerade, and backup makeup . Spent 14 but got 10 dollars back in ECB. I typically buy allergy and stomach meds here, so the ECB will work.

2. Used one of our BOGO chipotle coupons for dinner. I think these are such a steal. We get burrito bowls with a tortilla on the side. I typically get 3 meals out of mine and my bf gets 2. 5 meals (plus some Tostitos chips) for 8 dollars I can handle!

3. signed up for Nordstroms rewards program. If you sign up before the 13th of November , you get a 10 dollar coupon with no minimum purchase to use over Xmas time. Will be good for a small gift.

4. Bought k cups on sale at HT to bring to work. I don’t have a machine, !$( I use someone else’s and share supplies. Still cheaper than store bought!

5. Poshmark has been bumping lately,, allowed me to put a pretty large chunk down on my student loans this month. Ugh, can’t wait to get it to 4 figures instead of 5!


cathy October 17, 2016 at 6:54 pm

How do you get Chipotle BOGO coupons?


tonya parham October 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm

1. I did groceries today and stayed under budget– no junk, no convenience food, just all healthy stuff! Frugal today and in the future.

2, Consolidated my student loans. Huge weight off my shoulders, as this will lower what I am currently paying by probably about $50 a month,

3, Took a long walk today for free in the woods. No gym costs.

4, I’m returning my library books in the morning on the way to class.

5. I made veggie broth in the crockpot today. I made black beans in the crockpot yesterday so that was prep for homecooked meals for the week. Ate at home tonight with a huge salad and baked potatoes (plain with just a bit of salt and pepper!)


cathy October 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Great job with the groceries and the home cooking!


rebecca October 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm

I have had many frugal fails (lots of take out) and need to get back on the frugal wagon
1. My sister bought me a roku while I have been healing from knee surgery. She was so generous to do this. It will help me save $ on cable as well.
2. Went grocery shopping yesterday and bought holiday baking supplies (flour, baking chocolate and sugar) on sale.
3. Eating from freezer and fridge the past 2 days
4. Charged my phone while teaching a class tonight.
5. Haven’t turned the heat on yet.


VanessaKC October 17, 2016 at 7:49 pm

1. There was a recent frost threat, so I harvested a ton of peppers, tomatoes and tender herbs. Never did frost, but the harvest inspired me to make salsa and freeze lots of things.

2. Made veg stock using scraps.

3. Took the kiddo to a pumpkin patch. Free hayride, popcorn and face painting. Bought an organic pie pumpkin for 2 bucks.

4. Scored a nice flannel for work in the winter at a half off sale at the DAV thrift store down the road.

5. In helping my dad prep his beloved hippie bus for winter, I’ve acquired some new skills and kept my hands busy. (this is key in my quitting smoking.)


Susanne g October 18, 2016 at 9:04 am

You will never regret quitting. Congratulations for giving them up.


Betty Winslow October 18, 2016 at 10:27 am

1. Went to a writer’s conference on Saturday (I’m a freelancer), bought an early bird entry a month ago which saved me $20, and was given my pick of left-overs from the catered lunch, so brought home 4 baked potatoes, a container of chili, a container of cheese sauce, a half bag of shredded cheese, a large mostly full sour cream container, almost a dozen cookies, some chopped green onions and sliced cukes, and several chocolate bars – and there was still lot for everyone else!
2. Had dinner from left-overs!
3. been reading free books from library and review copies sent to me by publishers as entertainment.
4. had free tea and donuts before church. (I love donuts…)
5. Am having a blast with our current school library fund-raiser – it’s a penny contest and it is almost free to run, with empty mayo jars, penny wrappers from bank, and prizes donated by local merchants and supporters. Kids love it and it raises about $700 a year for our library, with almost 100% of it profit.


Susie's Daughter October 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

Betty – Woohoo for you on the writer’s conference catered leftovers! Baked potatoes with chili and cheese sound delicious right now…


Bethany October 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

Question- when you soak a stamp off an envelope, how do you stick it back down later?
I have some stamps that got dirt on the backs down in my purse. I was thinking of using tape until someone told me you can’t mail something with tape over the stamp…so now I’m wondering how to salvage them.


katie October 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

Good old fashioned glue stick!


Vickie October 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

1) Hubby is back in the hospital and they approached me about our balance, since this was his second admit in a month. Praise the Lord for my HSA – I paid a 1/3rd of what will end up being our maximum out of pocket for the year. I’ll deal with the balance later and hopefully we’ll get enough tax refund to pay it off.
2) I stopped at Dollar Tree and bought food and snacks, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat out while I’m here with him. That has worked for the most part.
3) Once I’m home for the evening, I’ve been eating a snack or small meal instead of eating out or having to cook.
4) I’ve been make coffee in my 4 cup pot in the morning and bringing it in my thermal mug. The allow me to fill my water bottle with ice and water here at the hospital.
5) My daughter filled my car up with gas yesterday, since her’s is broke down and I helped her with errands yesterday. We picked up my old Toyota from home, so she can drive that until her car is fixed. She found an audiobook I had out from the Library and returned it for me. I couldn’t find it when I returned two others on Sunday.

Frugal fail – I was depressed this morning and truly didn’t feel like eating beef sticks and canned food for lunch. I wanted a hot meal, so when I ran an errand at lunch I bought myself a hot meal at a local diner not far from the hospital. Comfort food.


Kim October 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Vickie, I am so sorry about your husband being back in the hospital. Please don’t think of wanting to a hot meal as a frugal fail. I think of it as frugal therapy that sustains you. I hope that he is well soon and I will keep you in my prayers.


Ellie October 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Vickie – comfort food is never a fail, sometimes its a necessity! Good luck to you and your husband.


Pliv October 18, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I made a little challenge to do enough things each week to warrent commenting here with my five things.

1. Listed a textbook on ebay and sold it right away for $38.00.
2. Listed some items I got in a gift bag at a conference.
3. Got $1.00 in the mail from Neilson and they said if I answered their phone call they would send me more. I did and got $2.00 more
4. Got foreign students for a month which will pay 1/2 of the rent.
5. Bought espadrills at Value Village and they were on 1/2 off, so only paid $2.


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