Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 18, 2016 · 59 comments

  1. I gathered the sales circulars which made their way into my home and clipped out the Halloween coupons, and then doubled at Safeway. And since I’d also loaded a $3-off-$25 e-coupon to my account, I was able to inexpensively stock up on candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Now, if my husband and I can only stay out of it until the 31st!
  2. My husband picked up a $4.99 roasted chicken at Costco, which will serve for at least four meals. Especially since I put the very meaty carcass into the crockpot after dinner for soup!
  3. My husband is headed up to Vancouver, Canada for the weekend, so I signed up for an eight-hour hospital shift on Saturday. When a person is used to working twelve hours, eight hours flies by in a jiffy. I normally hate leaving work at 3:30 P.M. when rush hour traffic is starting to peak, but that’s a non-issue on the weekends.
  4. I’ve been taking care of my neighbor’s cats while they’ve been out of town over the past week. By providing this service I know they’ll be happy to return the favor when the situation is reversed. My neighbors and I have an unspoken understanding that we can borrow from one another, as well as ask for help when needed. And since it’s reciprocal, no one feels taken advantage of, and everyone benefits from one another.
  5. I spent an hour raking my backyard instead of hiring it out, I’ve been snacking on bananas as my husband and I both picked them up today, I’m having my mother and step-father to the house for her birthday on Friday instead of going to a restaurant, I have a work lunch already packed for tomorrow 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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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie October 19, 2016 at 12:27 am

1. Using elderly friend’s vege garden to grow extra produce, as well as planting out in my own garden. She is happy for the space to be used in exchange for a small amount of veges and I’m happy to use her soil – which has had 90+ years of compost & TLC!! Can you fall in love with soil?!! (She is a 94 yo spinster that still lives in the house her parents built!)
2. Stocked up on half price beef, lamb and venison to freeze.
3. Have taken on 2 new regular clients, grateful that positive word of mouth brings me extra work!!
4. My younger son and his best friend take karate lessons 3-4 days a week. We Mums take turns about picking them up from school, giving them dinner and dropping them to classes. Boys love hanging out and we love an alternate day off!
5. So far have found $1.10 on the ground this week


Stacy October 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

Where do you buy venison?? Nobody I’m close to hunts anymore, but I’d love to be able to have some.


tonya parham October 20, 2016 at 11:27 am

There was someone on Craig’s List near where I live who was looking for people to take Deer he hunted and killed. You could maybe ask on there or social media. Some hunters don’t want the meat and will let you take the kill if you pay for your own processing,


melanie October 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Just at the supermarket (grocery) but I’m in NewZealand, sorry! We have some excellent export quality deer farming here – 99% of our meat farming is pasture fed which i guess we take for granted. We also have hunting (deer, goats, pigs, etc) but I don’t know anyone that hunts either!


Mand01 October 19, 2016 at 3:34 am

1. Worked late, packed a dinner as I knew I was going to. No more $17 baked potatoes for me!
2. Got home and had a workout with my husband on our secondhand exercise equipment.
3. Watched the last episode of Bones s9 on DVD while we worked out. One episode is the perfect workout length. I bought the boxed sets on super special at the after Christmas sales last year. Cheap entertainment- we love that show.
4. Started packing my lunch ready for tomorrow.
5. Listened to free podcasts while I worked to drown out annoying office noise.


Mariana October 19, 2016 at 3:40 am

1. My husband insisted on going out to eat at a ‘happy hour’ it is ‘only’ $8 per person. With a tip it is a $20. I put my foot down and we ended up eating leftovers, just as I planned.
2. Packing work lunches every day without fail
3. Purchased our Christmas flights to LA using miles. 3 legs out of 4 were free.
4. Fixed another thing from my ‘sewing pile’. Now only if I can make a dent on my ‘ironing pile’ ha!


Carrie October 19, 2016 at 3:43 am

– Took a PTA bath instead of a regular shower, spritzed my hair with water
– Took breakfast to work
– Shared child care duties with hubby to avoid child care costs (I work for a couple of hours in the early AM, then come home so he can leave for work)
– Cooked lunch and dinner at home
– Made a huge vat of chili from one pound of ground meat, added leftover quinoa that may have gone bad otherwise
– Hung a load of laundry
– Entertained kids with free stuff: playing outside, bike ride, read-aloud, paint
– Drank water instead of milk, juice, tea or other fancy stuff
– Chopped up a half-eaten apple, artfully hiding browned bits, for use as a kid snack
– Stayed away from stores, online and off
– Cleaned my own house


Bettypants October 19, 2016 at 5:49 am

1. My library didn’t have any marble books, but we have a program where we can order from other libraries around the state, so I now have two books to learn about marble values.
2. Ordered a jacket for myself from an online consignment site. Adding a pair of leggings from the same seller gave me a bundle discount and didn’t increase the shipping fee. Sold the leggings on ebay for more than I paid for both items, including shipping.
3. Made baked potatoes a regular dinner item, using every single potato in the bag. Usually I have to toss a couple unsalvageable shriveled ones.
4. My office provided lunch for us yesterday, including dessert.
5. Found a percussion practice kit on CL. for $40. It is right in the area that I will be passing through this Sunday and she said she would hold it for me. Even if my son doesn’t use it much, I know I can easily sell it on CL for the same price, or more. Much smarter than renting a set.


WilliamB October 21, 2016 at 6:28 am

Your #2 is thoroughly fantastic. Congratulations!

Out of curiosity, are the shriveled potatoes rotten? If they’re only old and shriveled, they can be used in soup. Elderly potatoes are classics for soups such as chowder and vichyssoise; they release a lot of starch into the liquid, making a nicely thickened soup.


Bettypants October 21, 2016 at 7:34 am

Thank you!

The term “elderly potatoes” made me laugh. The last couple times, they have been rotten, I think due to the summer weather. Great idea to use in soup, going forward.


JD October 19, 2016 at 5:53 am

1. I’ll have a meeting after work that will get me home late-ish tonight, and last night I couldn’t think of a thing that would be quick to make when I get home tonight. I had almost convinced myself that I had a good reason to pick up a frozen meal when I remembered I had some leftover black beans and rice in the freezer. I have fruit in the frig and raw veggies I can cut up. Dinner is served.
2. I transferred weekly money to my property and vehicle registration savings accounts. And here’s one I did many years ago, continuing through today– I did NOT buy a custom license plate when registering my car. In Florida, drivers with custom/specialty plates pay for them every year, even though they don’t get new plates every year. It at least doubles the cost of renewing the plate each year.
3. I have brought my lunch to work in reusable containers and lunch box every day for so long, I can barely remember ordering in or eating out.
4. The weather cooled off at night a little again, for which we’re thankful. We’ve kept the air conditioning off, but it got awfully hot in the house for a few days. We soldiered through it. Kudos to my husband, who was home in the heat those days. A.C. uses so much electricity.
5. Like my mom used to do, I saved the fat from cooking bacon, pouring it in a jar I keep it in the refrigerator (note — let the fat cool down before pouring it in a cold jar! ). With winter greens about to be in season, we’ll use the fat to sauté them, without having to buy and cook more bacon. I also use it to grease my cast iron skillet when I bake cornbread, among other things. Southerners do like their bacon fat. 🙂


jennifer October 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

5. Is it necessary to store the fat in the fridge or do you do that for a specific purpose? My grandparents never did and so I haven’t either. I have seen those “bacon drippings’ crocks that sit out on the counter but I store mine in a jar also, just not refrigerated.


JD October 19, 2016 at 12:56 pm

My house stays pretty warm much of the year, so I just play it safe and refrigerate it. My mom used to keep it out on the counter in the winter and in the frig in the summer. It may not be necessary; I just do it because she did!


WilliamB October 21, 2016 at 6:50 am

How well bacon grease will keep on the counter depends on what’s in it and the temperature of the spot. Pure fat (veg, dairy, meat) will keep at room temp for a long time, what goes bad are the non-fat bits in it (bacon crumbs, dairy proteins, etc). So the more you purify your grease, the longer it will last.

If you don’t purify it, then you want to keep it cool. If your kitchen is always cool, it’ll last longer. If you don’t keep the jar near the stove, oven, or lights, it will also keep longer.


jennifer October 21, 2016 at 8:14 am

Good info, thanks!


janine October 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

1. Putting together menus for the next few days including a chicken from Costco which will feed us for several meals.
2. Am “cleaning” my own house. My part time cleaner got a job with benefits – I miss her but am happy that she has found this opportunity. Saving $$, but would rather have a cleaner house.
3. Regularly meet with a lunch group. When I am notified of the restaurant, I check their web site so I can estimate my bill and find the best deal.
4. A friend and I are taking advantage of a dinner put on by a group to advise us on “retirement strategies”. Free dinner and not obligated to buy/ invest in anything.
5. Plan to follow Katy’s lead and find some sale Halloween candy. Remembered that a certain store has double coupon days. Don’t dare buy it early – there are self control issues in this household!


jennifer October 19, 2016 at 6:44 am

I take my kids trick -or- treating so I don’t ever buy any candy. However, I do buy the candy corn after Halloweeen when it is dirt cheap to melt and mix with peanut butter then dip in chocolate for homemade Butterfinger candy and bring it to Thanksgiving dinner for dessert for the kids. I always wait a few weeks after Halloween to give everyone a break from candy. Look it up, it’s pretty awesome.
1. I found sugar-free Nature’s own bread at the dollar tree for $1! My husband has insulin dependent diabetes due to pancreatic cancer that is causing him to lose his eyesight at age 50 so we are really buckling down on the amount of sugar we bring in the house. Of course, it doesn’t taste that great but it’s edible.
2. I ate the leftover pieces of cheese toast that my kids didn’t eat this morning for breakfast. This prevents waste so I’m glad to eat their leftovers. I think they didn’t eat it all because they don’t like the sugar free bread, lol. Will try something different tomorrow.
3.I found big packs of boneless skinless chicken thighs marked down to $ 3 yesterday so I picked up a couple packs to pair with frozen veggies I already have on hand. We probably will eat chicken again tonight prepared a different way than last night because I forgot to put the ribs in the crock pot that we were going to have, ugh!
4.I have been feeling less than attractive lately because I have not had a haircut in awhile, have not had time to color my hair, and I ran out of some of my make-up. When I was checking out at the grocery store yesterday a young girl said, “you are pretty”. I said, “Huh?” and looked around assuming she must be talking to someone else. Then she said it again. I said, “Wow, thanks I really needed that!”. I really did need that because I was so tired, my head was pounding, and I just felt rough. So this is not frugal but I am going to make a point to compliment people more because it was just what I needed.
5. No Lear jet for me


kathleen October 19, 2016 at 7:13 pm

I just love your #4! Give more compliments…yes! I’ve been in such need of a hair cut for so long. Last weekend I had my son-in-law cut off three inches. He did a great job for a railroad conductor! LOL Of course, it’s long, so it was pretty simple. First I clipped my hair up on top of my head and had him put a strip of tape across the back of my tee shirt to use as a guide to keep his cut straight. I have actually been really happy with it all this week.


Jennifer October 20, 2016 at 6:59 am

Oh wow, the strip of tape is a really good idea for us DIY barber’s. Thanks!


tonya parham October 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

1. Bought a set of knife sharpeners for $20 (there were three) and am keeping one for myself and giving the other two as gifts. That keeps me from buying another set of knives (and means I can buy used knives) and just keep what I have. Plus, two Xmas gifts bought!

2. I have to go to dinner out tonight with the Missus’ family. I know I will get water and probably just go for tacos. I kind of don’t want to go because there aren’t many vegan options and vegetarian is rather a worse choice in Mexican places because that generally means loads of cheese (sodium!) and fat. I’ll figure out something– maybe veggie fajitas.

3. Made lunch for the missus to take to work.

4. Just finished listening to my free Audible edition of Lolita in celebration of banned books week. I had read it before so it was interesting to hear it read aloud. It’s such a disturbing book but so beautifully written. It’s given me and idea to research and maybe write a paper or essay on.

5. I also did not buy a Lear Jet. Nor did I get that country estate in England I was considering…..


BJS October 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

1. I know a lot of people on here suggest calling one’s utility companies to see if there are better rates. Without my saying anything to him, my husband called two of our utility companies this week, and got lower monthly rates on both (and for one of them, the service we’ll get is slightly better, which makes no sense to me). The total savings will be about $100 per month! I still can’t believe it. From now on I will absolutely echo what everyone else on here says about doing that.

2. As usual for the autumn, I’m not tempted to buy any mums or pumpkins to decorate my front porch, even though they’re so pretty. I’m feeling thankful for my across-the-street neighbor, who faithfully (and beautifully) decorates her porch with both items every fall.

3. For my to-do lists and whatever else I need them for, I’m using a stack of cut-up papers. I get them from junk mail we’ve received that has at least one side blank. My favorite is thick, shiny paper, but I’ll use almost anything that’s blank and doesn’t have anything offensive on the opposite side.

4. My husband had a follow-up appointment at a downtown hospital and we made sure to get the parking garage ticket validated, again.

5. Continuing to pack work and school lunches.


Betty Winslow October 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

1. Took some juice and some ladyfingers we didn’t like to work, where the teachers were happy to enjoy it. No waste!
2. Still using my ancient cell phone – it only texts and makes/receives calls and is older than dirt (It’s a stick phone with a stubby antenna!!), but it’s pay as you go cheap and does what I need.
3. Packing leftovers for work lunch both days this week.
4. Repaired two pairs of earrings for two different people as well as five necklaces and made $38 to add to my savings. I love making it possible for people to wear favorite things that have been out of commission!
5. Didn’t buy a Lear jet.


kathleen October 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Hey! I love your #4 also! 🙂 I frequently repair jewelry for friends. One day I was filling in at an office…they needed me there, but didn’t have a lot for me to do. The main administrator and I were talking about jewelry, and she said she had so many favorites that needed repair. I told her to bring it the next day and I’d bring my tools, and if it was slow again I’d repair what I could. Got it done, and she was thrilled.


Sheila October 19, 2016 at 8:52 am

1. Going with some friends to a day spa that charges $49. That’s a lot but I discovered that if you go on Thursday, they’re open until 9pm, so that makes it seem less like a frugal fail.
2. Made some jam I’ll use as Christmas gifts with fruit I had or traded through my Facebook backyard garden group.
3. Found a baker’s rack on the side of the road while walking my dog. Was afraid it would be gone by the time I walked home to drive back, so I schlepped it back with me and got a weight workout, ha!
4. Went to a home improvement store over the weekend to buy spray paint for the rack because they advertised spray paint on sale. The color we wanted was not – in fact, it was almost $10 a can which seemed ridiculous – so I went to another store when I was out yesterday and got it for much less.
5. Met a friend for coffee because I had a boatload of pineapple guavas to give her. She bought my tea, which was a sweet and frugal surprise.


Jennifer October 20, 2016 at 7:04 am

3. Yes! Never leave anything you want even if you are you just driving around the corner. I lost 2 really awesome bar stools that way and I am still pissed about it.


Canadian Girl October 19, 2016 at 9:01 am

Hey Katy your husband is coming up to my neck of the woods! How cool is that!!


K D October 19, 2016 at 11:42 am

1. A friend and I went to the orchard and split the purchase of 2 half-bushels of apples and a giant cabbage. We stopped for lunch at a favorite place and I used a buy one get one free coupon. Since she drove I bought lunch.

2. I resisted the urge yesterday to buy a chocolate cupcake and a soda. I saw them and felt a huge craving but I made it through my time near them without buying/eating anything.

3. I went to SAM’S Club for cheap gas and avocados. I also scored an apple because they have refreshments during business hours.

4. I picked up a ream of $.01 after rebate paper at Staples. I had to stop there to drop off a free return postage UPS package.

5. I didn’t buy a Lear jet


Susie's Daughter October 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Though I didn’t comment earlier, I really appreciated the Frugal Fails posts. There are some days when it just doesn’t go right at all…

On the positive front:

1) Had friends for dinner last night who are recently moved back to the area and hustling hard to find jobs. Yummy dinner with a total outlay of $1.80. Pasta and sauce on sale enhanced with garden veggies, Italian sausage (free gift to us) and chocolate pudding cake from ingredients in the pantry.

2) Walked the dog and myself and collected .45 in bottles and cans. My goal is to reach $52 in “bottle money” before it starts snowing = a dollar per week for the year.

3) Am trying to battle off a cold/cough and using all my available supplements and teas to help. Not being sick = a frugal win.

4) Visited three different stores yesterday and bought nothing. I had a case of the spendies, but managed to get out with nothing.

5) We had an update to our household security system today and the work came in under budget. Leftover money – hurray!


Ruby October 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

1. Made a loaf of pumpkin bread for a fundraiser at work using stuff from the pantry, including a 50 cent can of Libby’s pumpkin bought at the clearance store.
2. A volunteer at work gave me a $25 restaurant card — to one of our favorite places — that she won in a raffle because she never eats dinner out.
3. Still doing all the usual: packing my lunch and drinks to work; driving with a light foot; using the drying rack; totally rocking a thrifted outfit every day. 😀
4. Had our application approved to adopt a 15-week-old puppy from a rescue. We won’t have to buy much for her because we still have the crate and collar used by our last puppy, and she’ll come to us with all her shots and spayed.
5. Sometimes four is all you got.


Gina October 20, 2016 at 12:08 am

Congrats on the new puppy!


Lindsay October 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

1. I have been eating leftovers from my bridal shower all week. Last night, leftover salad and cheese and crackers for dinner. Leftover quiche for lunches. Leftover bagels in the freezer to last for weeks. Leftover scones, cookies, and fruit salad for snacks. It’s been paradise.
2. Our can opener broke. Instead of going out and buying one RIGHT NOW, as I wanted to, I ordered one on Amazon using gift cards. I’ll cook without canned goods for a few days.
3. My friend (who is also my maid of honor) is in a terrible place financially due to debt from a failed marriage. I helped her make a get-out-of-debt plan yesterday, and I bought her an Aldi gift card today to thank her for the shower. I’m also passing on my copies of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Anna Newell Jones’s Spender’s Guide to Deb-Free Living.
4. I got a bunch of new house stuff from my shower, so I’ve been posting our old stuff on Freecycle.
5. My students requested that I add a few specific titles to my classroom library, so I made the purchases on ThriftBooks and saved a bunch of money. I’ve also been using leftover candy from my shower to reward positive behavior in the classroom.


Anna October 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Congrats on the bridal shower and upcoming wedding!


Sarah October 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm

1. Sold a lamp on CL for $40.

2. Stocked up on local apples and squash at a store that had them for $.69 and .49 cents a pound.

3. Didn’t buy a piece of pizza on my way home last night, ate dinner at home instead.

4. Made a loaf of cumin fennel bread – yummy!

5. Line dried a load of laundry.


Stephanie October 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm

1. I attended a free talk at the public library by Mike Love of the Beach Boys. It was one of the library’s “Civility in America” series.
2. We saw a FREE advance screening of an interesting movie at the art theater where we are members!
3. In my continuing quest to eat down the pantry and freezer, I used up the HALF PRICE frozen duck breast. At $7.00 per pound (not $14) this was really not “cheap”, but it was frugal. I made my own mandarin pancakes from scratch and we enjoyed “Peking Duck” for 2 people twice.
4. My best friend’s husband is a boating enthusiast. At the last day of a tag sale, I bought a linen tea towel for 50 cents with drawings of different kinds of boats. I put it in a box we had saved for Christmas presents, wrapped it in golden lame fabric rescued from a garage sale, and stuck on the front a much loved postcard featuring the home/museum of Isak Dinesan on the outskirts of Nairobi. My friend is a huge Isak Dinesan friend, so I think she will also enjoy the post card.
5. I bought a first printing of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children for $1.00. I have collected modern first editions and old paperbacks for much of my life. Finding something I like is always fun.


Gina in KY October 20, 2016 at 12:29 am

Wow, two free entertainment opportunities! They both sound great!


Marcia October 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm

1. Today I started cleaning out my bedroom closet. I found a pair of yoga pants that still fit me. I was looking for a few pair I have put away and can’t find, but these will help for now.
2. I went through two dresser drawers, and put away all the capris and shorts for summer, all the sandals, and straightened up one additional drawer.
3. I delivered a large bag of donations to the Goodwill, permanently removing that stuff from my house. This was done on a scheduled trip for errands, so I didn’t have to drive anywhere out of my way.
4. I also straightened out the winter shoes I have–most of which are pretty worn. I plan to wash some in the washing machine and fix a couple ripped heel sections with tape–they are all “clog” style sneakers which I plan on wearing around the house until completely shot. I have regular sneakers which are in better shape for wearing outdoors.
5. Also found a new pair of slippers I had forgotten about, which will come in handy as the weather gets colder.
Not bad for the first of SEVERAL days of closet cleaning–I have lots of stuff packed away in the closet to go through still!


meg October 19, 2016 at 5:42 pm

1. only using loss leader or reduced for quick sale proteins
2. Shopping around for martial arts lessons for my oldest. Sadly, they are all about the same price and more than I expected it to be. At least we get to do several free trial lessons.
3. Getting new/additional attic insulation installed. Should pay for itself relatively quickly in lower energy costs.
4. Halloween costumes are made entirely out of items from around the house. $0 spent.
5. Have gotten enough hand me downs to outfit my three kids for the winter…including coats! Yay! $0 spent.


Beth October 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm

1. This past month requested over 20 books between my daughter and I – HUGE savings 🙂

2. Worked my extra night job tonight so will bank extra cash.

3. Stopped at the store on the way home to pick up fruit. Got 6 clementines for 99 cents as they were marked down. Said know to buying three limes as I figured I probably wouldn’t use them.

4. Said NO to the vending machine tonight and didn’t buy a pop during my night shift but brought one from home. I bought an eight pack on sale for $1.65 and the vending machine charge is $1.25 per pop, big savings I would say 😉

5. Parents were super generous and sent $100 check to go towards my daughters trip to Washington DC. 🙂

6. As always doing Swagbucks while working on the computer using my phone and my daughters computer. I complained about not getting my last $25 Paypal card when they said they had sent it i.e. it was shipped – they awarded me 500 Swagbucks, I’ll take em’ 😉

7. Saw on Facebook someone is giving away a dishwasher because they are replacing with new ones, said I would love it. Now I just have to figure out how to get it to my house and installed (if they pick me to receive it). Our old one died over two years ago – I currently use it to store cookie sheets, bread pans, etc., I have a super small kitchen. Not sure where i will put all of that if I am selected to receive it, lol.


Beth October 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Opps! Meant to say for #1 requested the books from the library


Kim October 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm

1. Sold a box of new hanging folders for $6 on FB yard sale page. I got them when I drove by a house that had a free pile of post yard sale leftovers. College fund!
2. Sold a book for $35 on Amazon. I’ve sold 5 items in the past week. Yippee!
3. I’ve been going through my Amazon inventory- adjusting prices and purging old stock. I now have a bag of books to take to the used book store.
4. Picked up 9 used toner cartridges from my church office. They used to throw them away. I recycle them at Staples and get $2 each in Rewards. My college age sons can have their preferred Ticonderoga pencils and G2 pens when I get them free!
5. Made a pot of Autumn chowder which is DS#1’s favorite. Used up the last of the potatoes, some carrots that would have soon been compost and the bits and bobs of cheese. Yummy deliciousness!


kathleen October 19, 2016 at 8:23 pm

1. Did a big grocery shop today to restock the freezer. Bought large packs of ground beef, came home and browned and seasoned it all, and vacuum sealed for freezer storage. Quick starts to meals in the freezer.
2. Three pound bag of onions was $3.20, individual onions were 69¢ a pound. Went with the individuals.
3. Bought beef soup bones that had lots of meat on them instead of stew meat, and saved a pretty penny. Will vacuum seal for freezer storage.
4. Bought ham hocks with lots of meat on them instead of ham, and saved another pretty penny. Will vacuum seal for freezer storage.
5. Bought a big sack of rice and a package of lentils. Put them in the freezer for a few days to make sure to kill any unhatched larvae. I had weevils hatch in rice recently, and pantry moths in lentils once. No waste and no infestations this way.
And a bonus…I clipped digital coupons before I went. Didn’t have many for things on my list, but there was one for a free pumpkin up to $3.98 value. Got a good one!


Gina in KY October 20, 2016 at 12:15 am

A previously mentioned on the last episode of 5FTs, I am in the midst of a financial emergency, but I am staying positive. I am thinking of it as a challenge in extreme frugal-ism, seeking ways to trim back even further and moving forward to end a bad situation once and for all (hopefully).

1. Working an extra day this week. I am tired, but I can catch up on rest this weekend and I will have a couple of hundred extra for the budget.

2. Checked out books and a movie from the library. I know this is so often a cheer here amongst us all, but I love the library with all my heart! 😉 I finally remembered to reserve a documentary that I heard about called “Wonder” the lives of Anna and Harlan Hubbard. This couple was a frugal couple, spending much of their time traveling the rivers of the US in a shanty boat. I love blocks from the Ohio River, so I have been eager to watch this one. They spent a lot of time in my city.

3. I’ve been making some paper mache artwork for fun. I saw some recent art by a woman name Bethany Lowe at a museum gift shop and I remembered I used to dabble in paper mache once upon a time. It’s a really cheap medium(newspaper, something to make a form, and flour/water or whatever recipe you have to make the paste). I am making retro Halloween baskets (a skull, pumpkin and a black cat). It’s very therapeutic!

4. I started a list of free or really cheap activities to do around my locality. It’s basically a revamp of a 101 things in 1001 days list I made almost 2 years ago while going through a painful divorce. Many of the items I still have left require funds I just won’t have for a while and making an alternative frugal list will provide a way to continue using this technique to move forward from some painful past items I am that I am still dealing with currently. My previous 101 list helped me stay focused on positive things during that very bleak period in life and I highly recommend one if you are ever “stuck” in a loop of misery. They cost nothing to make! The internet has many examples.

5. I have an overnight work trip tomorrow and will get a little per diem money. I already have my meals and reusable water bottle packed.


JD October 20, 2016 at 4:38 am

Thanks for the tip on the documentary, I’ll have to see if I can get that at my library. I grew up in a town right on the Ohio, so that is interesting to me, too. One of my favorite books as a child was “Houseboat Girl” by Lois Lenski.


Gina in KY October 20, 2016 at 5:14 pm

I bet it’s a great book!


Bee October 20, 2016 at 4:51 am

So sorry that things are tough right now. I am sending positive thoughts your way. You have an amazing attitude. Attitude is everything. Enjoy your paper mache. My kids and I used to make paper mache pumpkins all the time. Art is good for the soul.


Gina in KY October 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Thank you, Bee! I agree with you so much on art being good for the soul!


Gina in KY October 20, 2016 at 12:17 am

Ugh, excuse my typos!!


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 20, 2016 at 5:38 am

Let’s see. This week:

1. Yesterday’s dinner didn’t work out, so I used a BOGO coupon for dinner at Taco Cabana. Huge dinner portions for 2 people for $8. Not bad!

2. Otherwise we’ve been on track with our meals this week, which is AWESOME considering that it’s our last week in the apartment and all of our possessions are AWOL.

3. We’re almost done painting the kitchen at the house. We move in this weekend, so it haaaas to be done before Saturday. We just have to touch up the paint today and Mr. Picky Pincher will start sealing our DIY concrete counters.

4. I got a headboard for free on Freecycle. I just need to wait for Mr. Picky Pincher to repair a part on it, and then I’ll give it a fresh coat of paint. It should look pretty badass once it’s all done!

5. I used two bunches of green onions for dinner early in the week. I left portions of the leaves intact and put the onions in a glass of water. Hopefully they can recover a bit and I can plant them in our garden at the house. Love me some green onions!


janine October 20, 2016 at 6:11 am

Congratulations on the new house. It sounds as though you have put your heart and soul into this new adventure!


Jill October 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

1. Have been Christmas shopping all year and able to use coupons and get some good deals.
2. Been on a road trip and have been eating breakfast at our hotel, lunch out and dinner out of the cooler on most days. Room for improvement but proud of myself for not falling into restaurant meals all the time.
3. Traded cat sitting with my neighbor for this trip.
4. Only one souvenir purchase so far – a t-shirt that I actually bought to wear on the trip when the weather was a bit warmer than anticipated.
5.Brought along my library books to read on the plane.


Is it a need or a want October 20, 2016 at 10:58 am

(1) purchased .19 a pound yams
(2) purchased .19 a pound Brussels sprouts
(3) purchased .49 per bag of cranberries . Making a delicious cranberry conserve to give at holidays.
(4) gifted tickets to live theatre for tonight
(5) working hard to remember to put items in vehicle with receipt that need to be returned. Have to make a point of visualizing the cash when the transactions have all been done with a credit card.


Elizabeth October 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

1. I was out of town on a vacation with a friend over the weekend. We stayed at her parents’ house. They treated us to dinner twice. We treated twice and they had food for breakfasts and lunch as well as a car that we could use. I only spent a little over $100 on the whole four day trip which was amazing!
2. My birthday was last week. I kept all the free birthday stuff emails in an email folder and used some before I left. I got a free pretzel at Aunt Annie’s. A free stack of pumpkin pancakes at IHOP. A free entree when my husband bought his entree at a local restaurant. A free rice crispy at noodles. Still have emails left for a free burger at Red Robin. A buy one get one free pizza at Pieology. And a free frozen yogurt. This year I decided to keep in my notes app a list of the free birthday stuff and the expiration dates so I don’t let them pass up as I used to.
3. Two things sold on eBay when I was out of town so I mailed those when I got back. Went through my closet and got about twenty shirts to get rid of. Some I’m going to try to sell and some I’m just taking to goodwill. I already took pictures and listed the ones I’m trying to sell, as well as some jewelry that I’m getting rid of.
4. As I’m typing this the guy was here to clear out the sprinkler lines for the winter (they came with the house!) and noticed we had a dog crate in the garage with a sale sign on it because it didn’t sell in the garage sale we had in the spring and I hadn’t listed it on Craigslist yet. He’s getting money from his truck now to buy it! That was the easiest, unexpected sale ever!
5. Bought a groupon on sale during the summer for a ziplining course with my friends. We were never able to get a date that worked for all of us. It expires the end of the month and is only available on Fridays. We are finally all able to go tomorrow. Should be fun and I never like to let those things expire.


Florencia October 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Mind sharing a list of the cool birthday freebies? 🙂 And I love your phone list!
Also, enjoy the zipline!


Elizabeth October 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Sure! If you sign up for these companies “club” on-line they’ll send you free birthday coupons: IHOP, Red Robin, Baskin Robbins, Aunt Annie’s (that’s actually an app that you download), Noodles & Co., and PF Changs. You can eat pretty well your birthday week!


Kim October 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Also Godiva and Sephora.


Florencia October 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm



jennifer October 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

Caption D’s will send a coupon for a free 2 peice meal when you sign up for their birthday club. Also toys’R us sends a coupon for $3 off a $3 purchase.They also give a birthday crown and a balloon to the birthday child then announce the birthday to the whole store. I always let my daughter go in and pick a $3 present for a little treat. There are alot of $3 items at the front of the store. Also, if you don’t have a younger child remember that toy’r us sells candy, gift bags/wrap, and greeting cards if your kids aren’t into toys anymore. The coupon doesn’t show any restrictions so it should work for those things.

Lauren October 22, 2016 at 4:33 am

Dunkin donuts app also gives you a free beverage. Victoria’s Secret may be a free pair of underwear. Au Bon Pain was a free meal, and I think some movie theatres give you free popcorn coupon emails. My birthday is coming up so I’m trying to make sure I’ve got everything signed up too 🙂


WilliamB October 21, 2016 at 7:24 am

1. During decluttering, found many small pads and chapsticks.

2. Not only started meal planning again, planned so as to use all the iceberg and cilantro. I have trouble using those things up.

3. Library! Including online reminders for books almost overdue, and online checkout renewals.

4. Called New York Times to ask why I was getting their Sunday edition. Turns out “someone” had signed me up and I’d be getting a bill soon. Cancelled it and will be reporting this to the FCC, since this is a common scam by companies to take advantage of those not paying attention. The most common offenders are cell phone companies but others do so as well.

5. Got great deal on canned soup, bought 24 cans. I’ll get tired of Chix Noodle Soup but $.75/can is hard to beat. I keep a few at work for when I don’t pack my lunch.

6. Considering making cold/hot packs as family holiday gifts. Just sew a long tube and fill it with rice; can be kept in freezer or heated in microwave. I hope to find suitable fabric from the donate pile at my local maker space.


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