Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 13, 2016 · 76 comments

Griswold cast iron skillet

  1. I relisted all of my Craigslist ads and immediately got multiple offers on a Griswold cast iron skillet that I’ve been trying to sell for a couple of weeks. It took just a couple of hours before the buyer showed up with $50 for the pan, which I’d thrifted for just $10. #collegefund
  2. I took a jar of homemade applesauce over to a neighbor who’s been hit hard by the past week.
  3. I stopped at two Goodwills this afternoon for craft supplies, and only spent $3.97, which was easily covered by a gift card. I didn’t spend any money on myself, which is the true savings.
  4. My husband picked up a Costco roasted chicken, which has since been transformed into multiple meals. Tonight I made a large pot of curried lentil chicken soup, which was deeee-licious. And there’s still more leftover chicken. (It’s amazing how little food we actually go through now that both of our sons are off to college.)
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a gold plated apartment in the sky.

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 }

Mand01 November 13, 2016 at 1:43 am

Katy, I hope that you weren’t too upset by all the negativity resulting from your post after the election. I thought one of the most cherished freedoms in America was freedom of speech. As this is your blog, surely it is your right to express your disappointment as you see fit. One reason I read this blog over other frugal blogs is your more liberal mindset. Many frugal blogs are too right wing for my tastes. I appreciate that this is a blog for people that care about the environment, love their LGTBI neighbors, accept all people from all religions and cultures, and want a community in which inclusivity doesn’t mean only including me.
Anyway, my FFT:
1. We held my daughter’s 17th birthday party at home. She has a disability and so do all her friends, so it meant also entertaining all of their parents. I decided to order pizza as many of the kids are particular about their food preferences and this was a safe choice. I searched online for vouchers first. I ordered 12 pizzas, garlic bread and drinks for $122 delivered. We ended up with three pizzas leftover – some for lunch tomorrow and some went into the freezer. We already had sodas bought on sale so the drinks went into the cellar for Christmas. The pizzas fed 11 kids and 11 adults.
2. I made dip from scratch and cheese and fruit platters. I bought the cheese, olives, and crackers on sale all for half price.
3. I made a chocolate mud cake and a gluten free mud cake from scratch, and decorated them myself this morning.
4. We didn’t serve alcohol for the adults and they all survived on coffee, Diet Pepsi and lemonade. We don’t drink and we never buy it for parties. If people want it they can bring it.
5. I make big blocks of ice by freezing water in ice cream tubs instead of buying bags of ice. I make about 8 giant blocks before every party and this saves at least $7. I hate paying for frozen water. It works perfectly.
This party would have been cheaper if I hadn’t bought the pizza and instead had cooked them myself, but I had 11 very happy teenagers and very relaxed parents – as our kids don’t often get included in parties I consider it money well spent. My daughter loved it.


Denise November 13, 2016 at 2:14 am


I think your post was lovely from beginning to end – a great life model for all of us: the simple art of inclusivity. It has cheered me up on this cold, sunny Sunday morning.



janine November 13, 2016 at 8:14 am

What a lovely post! Loved your ice-cream-ice idea for large gatherings. It seems to me that inclusivity is a more interesting way to live. Also the mix of home-made and purchased items for the birthday party seemed to make sense and allowed your family to enjoy the celebration.


susanna d November 13, 2016 at 8:36 am

I agree! Mand01, your post was truly lovely.


Mand01 November 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Thank you
Our girl has taught us what we needed to learn about inclusivity. Before she came along, we knew nothing about disability, access, inclusion. Now we live it every day and we are very thankful for it.


cathy November 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Isn’t it a great feeling when you can tell kids to go ahead and eat anything you’ve put out, and you know it works for whatever restrictions they have? Great job with your daughter’s birthday!


Emily November 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

Definitely agree that many frugal blogs are heavy on the religion and ultra conservative. Nothing wrong with that but this blog matches my style much better 🙂


Shannon November 14, 2016 at 6:53 am

yes. this.


Nancy/MPLS November 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm

I agree with Mando. You are such a breath of fresh air and have internalized an understanding of our Oneness, so I love your blog best
of all. I have been frugal all my life, but in Nov., 1995 I was introduced
to ‘ Your Money or Your Life” and in 2 years I was debt free. Then I bought
a condo right before the collapse. Ouch. My frugal lifestyle has saved
me and my mortgage is almost out from being “under water”. I am continually re-inspired with your spirit and ideas along with those of
your readers. Much love from another great city.


Jackie November 13, 2016 at 9:45 pm



Jill A November 13, 2016 at 4:44 am

1. Sold many items on ebay. Clearing out my basement and making a little money.

No more frugals to add. Not a great week. Ate out multiple times. Sad and frustrated. I just didn’t feel like cooking. This week is a new week. I’ll have some to add next time.


Bethanne November 13, 2016 at 6:04 am

Frugal but not so frugal week livin’ the dream. Still tempted to buy, the key is not to expose myself by going into the stores, then I don’t feel deprived, left feeling like I want more or how old and run down everything is around here. The dentist office had some fixer homes show playing where the family had 100 K to use to remodel their house. That’s four years of income for my daughter and me. I need basic things fixed around here like the front steps I can’t afford to have done, electrical lights fixed that don’t work anymore and the kitchen faucet started dripping again, etc. Why isn’t their a show on that? Not so glamorous I guess no one would watch. Looking into a low income home repair loan.

1. Daughter and I walked the snow blower half a mile to the repair store to save $45 to get it fixed. To have it picked up would have cost $45 and we couldn’t get it into the car, wouldn’t fit in the trunk.

2. Stayed home Friday/Saturday doing stuff around the house. Dinner from food we have, finishing Gilmore Girls on Netflix and a walk for entertainment. May splurge for a matinee movie today.

3.Bought socks from Kohls with my $5 rewards card and a few more dollars.

4. Used coupons to get daughter gifts from Bath and Body Works for Christmas.

5. Saving on utilities since this has been such a mild fall.


cathy November 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Is there an organization in your area that offers help with home repairs for low-income households? You might find that if there’s a program you qualify for that takes care of some of smaller things you’d planned to repair or pay for, you can re-direct your money toward other things like your steps. In my area, there’s a non-profit that helps with rent/mortgage, utilities, weatherization, etc. Anyway, just a thought.


Diane C November 14, 2016 at 6:26 am

Bethanne, there is a show like that. It’s called YouTube, seriously. You can find instructions on how to fix anything there. DH is a seriously good handyman and he uses it to learn now skills constantly.
And please check into cathy’s suggestion if you haven’t done so in the past.
Finally, you might also hop over to the Frugalwoods blog. She has some great stuff on building a spending plan from the ground up. If could help you discover a tiny bit more wiggle room in your budget.

Love me some Gilmore Girls!!


Sarah m November 13, 2016 at 6:07 am

1. Biking to work more since the new bike lane opened.
2. Planted winter peas in my garden beds as a cover crop to improve the soil and also to eat pea shoots this winter.
3. Was tempted to get coffee and a bagel or but decided to have j leftover roasted veggies and coffee at home.
4. Still going running outdoors and not rejoining the gym.
5. Working in turning a blouse with a torn sleeve into a short sleeved blouse.
This election results also concern me deeply, and I made some larger donations to groups that support immigrants and civil liberties. Not a frugal thing, but a reminder of part of why I try to be frugal- so I can spend my money where


Roberta November 14, 2016 at 6:49 am

I did some research recently on gyms for a writing project. Apparently many gyms allow you to pay per use. I don’t know what the weather is like by you, but if it gets so bad you can’t run outside you might choose to use the gym for $10 a visit. (Still better than a year’s membership.)


Anne November 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

I just joined LA Fitness. It’s only $24.99/month with no annual contract. For that I get use of all the equipment, the pool, and most of the exercise classes, such as water aerobics (the reason I joined). Normally there is a $99 joining fee, but I signed up at the end of the month and the manager was anxious to meet his quota so waived it for me. I’m in rainy Seattle, so I think it will be a good deal for the winter. And no, I’m not affiliated with LA Fitness in any way, haha.


Lindsay November 13, 2016 at 6:19 am

1. I returned some stuff to Marshall’s that I didn’t need.
2. I resisted the temptation to order takeout on election night. Instead I got a frozen pizza and snacks from the grocery store (along with a cheap bottle of wine). Not as good as cooking from scratch, but still definitely cheaper than takeout.
3. I purchased my mom’s Christmas gift at Salvation Army. I bought her five books for a total of $10. She always says that I am better than her at picking books she’ll like.
4. We had a potluck lunch at work on Friday. I signed up to bring soda, as I couldn’t bring myself to think about cooking extra this week, so I ended up eating for cheap.
5. I gave away my cracked Chromebook on Freecycle. I had gotten sick of dealing with the crack in the exterior, but there was a huge response to my posting. I am happy that someone else can get use and joy out of something I definitely didn’t want anymore.
Because I am generally frugal, I was able to set up a small monthly donation to Earth Justice as a way to support a cause I care about post-election.


Bethc November 13, 2016 at 6:36 am

1. We decided to drown our post election sorrow in a meal of pizza and wine using food and wine that we had on hand.
2. Used the Target Cartwheel app to save about 20 per cent off our food bill.
3. Submitted a Checkout 51 rebate and got 2.75 back.
4. Starred in Friday night and watched House of Cards instead of going out to dinner.
5. Our gas tax when up 23 cents a gallon on 11/1. We were going to be away then, so we made sure that we filled our cars up before we left.


Tia November 13, 2016 at 6:42 am

1. Cable is gone. Who knew I had 19 free TV channels beaming their way through my house every hour of every day.
2. Woke up with two furry kitties curled up and keeping me warm on this cold Sunday morning, I’ll eventually have to turn the heat on, one day, but until then this is cozy and free.
3. The frost is definately on the pumpkin this morning….No More Mowing! finally.
4. Cancelled my standing arrangements for holidays this year, so I will save money not traveling. Yep, I blame you, how could you support such an evil, vile creature. You did a bad, bad thing.
5. I needed a picture frame and found one on sale at Goodwill for 33 cents.

Katy, I did wonder just how much your grocery shopping and cooking had changed in your new situation. Do you just freeze more or have you had to adjust recipes or find new ones?


susanna d November 13, 2016 at 8:01 am

1. We picked up my husband’s new hearing aids from Costco – he’s worn hearing aids since he was in his late 30’s (industrial hearing loss). They cost less than half of what he paid for his last pair, and 3 years insurance was included in the price – not $400 extra, as it had been with the last ones. Costco may be 2.5 hours from us, but this little drive was definitely worth the gasoline expense.
2. Speaking of gasoline, we filled the tank at the Costco gas station. 18 cents per gallon cheaper than where we normally buy gasoline, and 24 cents per gallon cheaper than the stations in our town.
3. Had a list and stuck to it. Only bought things that I needed, and that were cheaper there than I can get anywhere else: olive oil, organic butter, spinach, cheese – and Dave’s Killer Bread.
4. We were pretty full from all the yummy food samples, so dinner – at home – just meant opening a jar of home canned beef broth and adding a few leftover veggies and some cooked barley. Oh, and a spinach salad, of course.
5. We brought coffee and water with us, as well as sandwiches for lunch and nuts for snacking. We turned down the heat in the house before we left – no sense in heating an empty house.

I guess this was “Five Frugal Things: Costco Edition” for me.


Krystal November 13, 2016 at 9:11 am

I have not been very frugal this week, at all. But let me see what I can come up with.
1. We cooked at home 5 nights this week, only caving in 2 times for pizza/restaurant.

Yeah, not great.


Anne November 13, 2016 at 9:46 am

Hi Katie, I have 2 large Griswold cast iron skillets with lids that were hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law, but they need work to make them sellable (is that even a word??). Do you have any tips on cast iron rehab?

As for my frugal habits, which are legion, I just picked up a book from the library, The Refashionista handbook, and plan to spend my Sunday remaking a pile of dresses, skirts and shirts that I snagged at Goodwill for $.99 each into my new fall wardrobe 🙂

As a fellow Goodwill junkie, I absolutely love your blog!


tonya parham November 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

This dumpster fire of a week was not an easy one so I will see what I can come up with.

1. I didn’t go to brunch with friends this morning. We stayed home and had tofu scramble and potatoes instead.

2. Finally planted some bulbs and raked leaves yesterday (cheaper than hiring it done!). Plus, free exercise.

3. Instead of having a “I deserve a night in the big city because this week has sucked” evening, I got a free pizza from Papa John’s with no cheese and we watched some tv instead.

4. Went to Harbor Freight yesterday and used coupons to get some gloves and a free magnetic strip to hang my knives. The missus got a hex set and free 36 inch reacher.

5. Had to finally turn on the heat. I’ve never had radiant heat before so it’s very strange to me, but it’s working well and have it set on 64 which is where it will stay all winter. Thank got I am hot natured.

6. I did not opt for the gold plated apartment in the sky, either as I see that’s a sure path to being miserable and hateful! 😉


tonya parham November 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

OH! I had one more!

6. I ordered my cat litter and paid for it online and can go pick it up at Sam’s tomorrow. I would have bought it and paid for it anyone but by doing it online I can get swagbucks for it! (every little bit counts, right?)


Emily November 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

Oh my gosh dumpster fire of a week just made me LOL!


Julia B November 13, 2016 at 10:30 am

Five frugal things (you’ll notice a pattern here):

1. Baked innards from left-over Hallowe’en pumpkin to make dog biscuits (pumpkin and peanut butter)
2. Made chicken jerky from scratch as a dog treat as we ran out of the expensive shop-bought kind and I don’t have the $$ to buy more
3. Made up a bunch of dog kongs (we have five kongs–for M-F work week 🙂 with frozen pumpkin and cottage cheese
4. Listed a dog harness that we don’t use for sale on Craigslist
5. And one non-dog item: meal planning for the week, which will be an extra frugal one


A. Marie November 13, 2016 at 10:32 am

(1) Thanks to Katy for her (2)–the frugal sharing with a hard-hit neighbor. I’ve been trying to do a version of this just by lending a sympathetic ear to folks who want to vent about last week. Compassionate listening is sometimes the best frugal gift we can offer.

(2) DH is extremely low as well (not just the election results, but his depression and memory/cognitive problems rearing their ugly heads again). We went for a long walk around the ‘hood this noon–mainly picking up trash, but we ended up doing some trashpicking at a dumpster behind our local educational nonprofit, where someone had offloaded a nice camera bag, a basket, 1.30 in loose change, and some small odds and ends. A nice pick-me-up for both of us, in more than one sense.

(3) Made a chicken stock yesterday, and am preparing to make a white bean and winter veg soup today. I’ve even soaked and cooked dried beans. (The story of why we don’t own a slow cooker will have to be told some other time. It involves an unfortunate culinary experiment with a 1970s CrockPot to which my mother subjected an unsuspecting DH. I loved Mom dearly, but cooking was not her strong point.)

(4) Spent much of yesterday spreading finished compost around the garden. Satisfying, but a bit hard on elderly muscles (both DH’s and mine).

(5) Watering houseplants with rain water DH saved (at my request) from our rain barrels before he put them in storage for the winter.


Susie's Daughter November 14, 2016 at 9:58 am

A. Marie – #3 is making me chuckle! My grandmother in law once made an infamous “ham loaf” which scarred my dear wife and her siblings for life…


Ani Mia November 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm

We still talk about my mom’s infamous turkey enchilada Sunday dinner. They were pink…even my mom wouldn’t eat them. 25+ years later, 11 years after my mom passed way too young, the siblings can still laugh about this day that lives in infamy for my family:)


Bee November 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

You always say (paraphrased) some days you should get a medal for trying to cook.


Susie's Daughter November 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

🙂 True!


Tara November 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

Is the curried chicken lentil soup recipe on your site somewhere? That sounds delicious!

I’m enjoying your blog. Hang in there.


Elizabeth November 13, 2016 at 11:05 am

1. I just made $200 by selling 4 snow tires. And realized I could have made a lot more had I not been in a hurry while listing. When I looked them up they are almost $200 a tire and these were only used one season. My husband suggested listing for $200 before he knew how much each tire sells for normally and I was in such a hurry I just listed them at his original suggestion. Although they came with the car when we got it so we didn’t pay anything for them upfront, the $200 is still nice but $400 would have been better. Oh well. I’m just trying to remember that I gave an amazing deal to the couple that got them and they were very happy with the tires. Anyone else ever feel like you’ve sold something for way less than you could have?!
2. In an attempt to make myself feel better for that missed opportunity I’ve been trying to calculate savings of money that I might have spent but changed my mind on spending. For example the Avett Brothers were in town last night and I LOVE them! Tickets were actually really affordable at around $30 a piece (before fees and taxes) but after buying two ticket plus fees, paying for parking, etc it would have been close to $100 evening. Plus my husband really didn’t want to go. My daughter was not home so we would have needed a babysitter for my son and I just saw a concert on Monday night!
3. Really wanted to grab a buy one get one free sub at FireHouse subs on Friday to share with my husband but we ended up just eating food we had at home instead (saved about $7 there to add to my $100 saved by not going to the concert! I’m determined to feel like I made up that extra money I could have sold the tires for!).
4. This one is really awesome. Every once in a while throughout the year my husband’s boss awards him points that he can cash in for gift cards. He saved them and cashed them all in to get about a $600 gift card that we are planning on using for Christmas. It only works at certain stores but it will definitely be put to good use.
5. Invited my sister and her family here for Thanksgiving. We went there last year (it’s about a six hour drive) so while we will need to pay for the food and lunch and breakfast food, etc for the weekend we won’t have to pay for the gas or do the drive there this year.
6. Sold two older Yankee candles that I never really liked the smell of on eBay. Scents that are discontinued sell, even if they are used.


Emily November 13, 2016 at 11:07 am

1. Sent three emails , one for grapes and one for bread that molded prematurely. Another to “method” as I purchased hand soap that was extremely overpowering. In fear it would be tossed if I returned it, I gave it away. For these more natural brands, I felt like the scent was overkill, still have a headache ugh.

2. Babysat last night and today, free lunch and dinner. I don’t take advantage, but they tell me to eat so I do!

3. Already planning for our trip back to PA for thanksgiving. My boyfriend and I are both from there originally, and it’s about a 7 hour drive. Have 2 gas cards I bought discounted, and will make sure to bring snacks and energy drinks bought in advance so we don’t purchase at gas stations. Not super frugal, but we usually leave really early or drive late at night so kind of necessary!

4. My local Aldi re-opens this week after a month and a half long Reno! I’m so exited. I have been stuck trying to shop at Food lion, Publix and Harris Teeter for the best deals, !$( which is a pain. I like going to aldi , not messing with coupons, getting in and out quick and getting the best deals. Plus I ive all the organic and pesticide free options they provide.

5. Have been using the app “benefit” to buy gift cards for purchases. Kicks back a rebate similar to ebates. I used to use “raise” but had 3 bad cards in a row. They refunded me but not worth the hassle if they don’t work most of the time.

P.S. Need suggestions!!! Trying to get an electric blanket. I’m seeing that anything below 50 has not so good reviews, shed or break or are poor quality, but would like to keep it under 100 for a queen. I definitely would rather pay a bit more for quality then have one that is flimsy or uncomfortable. Any suggestions? Where to get one or what brands? Thanks!


Diane C November 14, 2016 at 6:39 am

Costco?? One of the things I love about shopping there is that everything has been vetted by their buying staff and they stand behind their products. I’d check the website, as I don’t remember seeing them in the store (but then, I tend to ignore everything but the food aisles).


Jennifer November 13, 2016 at 12:11 pm

1. I made a homemade sweet potato pie. I used my easy-peasy, perfect, no-roll pie crust. I love that I can create a pie with minimal ingredients that I usually have around.
2. I have been enjoying housework and keeping the TV off. I can’t keep putting the negative energy of politics before enjoyment of my life anymore. I just want to just move past this. I don’t want to offend anybody but I’m just tired of it. It’s almost Thanksgiving and I have lots to be thankful for. My husband is, still terminally ill, but very much alive and I’m just thankful for each day so I will turn a deaf ear to political drama from now on. Not frugal but necessary.
3. I signed my daughter up for the Toys R’Us birthday club. They sent a coupon for a $3 off a $3 or more purchase. They gave her a paper crown, a nice Mylar birthday balloon, and lots of happy birthday wishes. Right near the front of the store is a section of toys from $1 to $3 so I let her pick out $3 dollars worth of toys for completely free. It was pretty awesome!
4. I won a Amazon $10 gift card and was able to use that toward a pottery making toy my daughter wanted for her birthday so I only paid $3 for it. She loves it so much!
5. My mother and I pretty much cook the entire Thanksgiving meal for our family so I have lots to buy and prepare. I am watching the sales and pairing with coupons to help. Edward’s pecan pies are on sale at Kroger for $3.99 and I have a 50 cents off coupon so that will be a easy dessert. I can’t buy a bag of pecans for that price!


kathleen November 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Sounds like you and I may have the same pie crust recipe. 🙂 I whipped one up this afternoon to take a pie to my daughter’s house for Sunday dinner with the family. Mine mixes and pats out all in the pie plate, so no extra dishes to wash. <3 I use it for everything: pies, quiches, even chicken pot pie.


jennifer November 14, 2016 at 8:20 am

Yes, it sounds the same and it’s great. I do love it for chicken pot pie, also. It can be rolled out, if needed, but I have also just sort of crumbled it up on top of the chicken pot pie for times sake and that was good too.


Ethel November 14, 2016 at 11:46 am

Would either of you be willing to share the recipe?


Julie November 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Katy: I am inspired to visit thrift stores. My 16 yr old son has asked for a cast iron fry pan for Christmas and he would love vintage.
1- both DH and I have free bagels on our Panera cards. So each time it is convenient we stop in, makes for cheap lunch for the kids.
2-we have all been hit with a cold so I took advantage of a sale and a great points offer and restocked the required meds. The points will come in handy at Christmas for treats and small gifts
3- our local ski swap was last week so we finally cleared out what does not fit the kids and made 170.00 for our efforts.
4- sold a few old postings on my FB group and added 70.00 to savings.
5-we still have not turned on the heat which is amazing for this part of Canada.
Not frugal but I wanted to add that my thoughts are with all of you in the US now. It is sad to see such a divide in a country that is literally and emotionally so close to home.


Juhli November 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I am focusing on limiting my spending some more in the future so:
1. Ordered dog’s canned food by Amazon subscription.
2. Did a Fall/Winter wardrobe audit complete with photos of each item. Have made both a need and want/would be good to get shopping lists. I am carefully deciding what I truly want in each item before shopping and then starting at the least costly option. So far I have found 3 of the items at the TJMaxx/Marshall’s level of cost. Shoes will be the big non-frugal item but happy feet are a must.
3. Using up those sauces/condiments that collect so we won’t have to throw them out when we move. Only buying basics as they run out.
4. We have decided to get another bid for the exterior house painting we have to have done after our realtor gives another look at the fence and carport to see if we can just wash them down instead of painting. Anticipating savings!
5. Did not take a trip to the tropics!


K D November 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

1. We ate all meals at home this weekend, as well as most of the week. I paid for lunch out last Monday, but that was it for the week.

2. I broke my glass stove top. I ordered a new one and then helped my husband replace it. It’s quite complicated but he’s good at that kind of stuff. Not cheap but much more frugal than hiring it done (and I’m sure they would have charged me a lot more for the part as well as a lot for labor).

3. I made a large batch of oatmeal cookies. They will be given, with a large basket of fruit (basket was curb picked) to a group that invited us to a special dinner last week. The butter was free, and the raisins and oatmeal were half price.

4. I knit a beaded necklace and a sweater for an art show (the theme is stitched stuff). When they are returned they’ll be given to a group that will sell them to raise money for charity. All materials were from my stash.

5. It was a bit chilly in the house last night. Instead of turning up the heat I’ll add another layer to our bed.


Bettypants November 13, 2016 at 1:48 pm

1. I got a few more things listed on ebay. I found a pair of Lularoe pants at a consignment shop for $15. They sold on ebay for $60, apparently a desirable style. The buyer had zero feedback, which always concerns me, but I shipped them out. The next day she messaged me to ask about size and condition. Ugh. Hoping she won’t be a problem when they arrive.
2. Refreshed 3 of my CL listings, and also listed an adjustable dog gate.
3. Picked up a movie from the library and watched 1/3 of it walking on the treadmill.
4. Aldi has Kerrygold cheeses and butter in, and I picked up both.
5. Used the $5 Kohls coupon they mailed me to pick up a pair of merino wool socks for 73 cents.


janine November 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Yesterday was an unusually frugal day:
1. Spent part of the morning at a free energy and transition fair – heard an excellent presentation about climate change/trends in our area from a U of M climatologist .
2. Continued on to a church bazaar to help out a friend who was a vendor. Spent no $$, but intend to buy some of her tea products for small Xmas gifts in the future.
3. Last evening went to a meeting to discuss the election aftermath and future action plans . May be able to donate to the cause if I institute some black belt frugality. Again, did not spend any dollars so a free but informative day all around.
4. Stress = eating for two so I will not buy any more unhealthy snack food.
5. Stayed hone today and made a simple dinner of baked chicken with a splash of organic apple cider for interest, peas and a wild rice mix. Not very exciting but the price was right.


Ruby November 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm

1. Yesterday evening I sat down with a huge pile of mending and my box of second-hand gifted spools of thread and mended seven items of clothing: three for my son and four for me.
2. Went to the dollar store for training pads for the puppy and managed to resist buying her a new toy. She gets plenty of play value out of what she already has and gnawing on the ears of the older dogs, who are incredibly patient.
3. Did go ahead and buy a milk chocolate “orange” for my son for Christmas. It’s a family tradition and they’re often hard for me to find. When I saw the display at the dollar store, I swooped one up.
4. Bought a box of Krusteaz pumpkin pie bar mix for $1 on clearance (the store way overstocked pumpkin everything) and baked it for dessert for an out-of-town guest.
5. Polished my shoes today. Takes only a few minutes and makes them look so nice.


Betty Winslow November 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm

that happened last yr, too – got 6 boxes of pumpkin baked good mixes for a quarter each!!


Katherine from AL November 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm

1. Bought a gallon of buttermilk for the price of a quart. Have made several pans of cornbread for Thanksgiving stuffing. As soon as the cornbread cools I store it in the freezer. I’ve also made waffles for the week, pralines and biscuits.
2. Sold a pair of expensive sandals I found in a parking lot over the summer.
3. Now that the weather has cooled we are getting more that one wear out of clothing (within reason) and I’m looking forward to a lessening laundry burden.
4. Binge watched Cook’s Country. This may not sound frugal but it was a nice distraction and motivated me to get back into the kitchen. Cooking does bring me happiness and I accomplished #1 thanks to the inspiration the show provided.
5. It is getting into the low 40s at night but I’m trying to hold off on turning on the heat. I’ve added extra blankets to all the beds and my goal is to make it to Dec. 1 without it. We’ll see.


Susie's Daughter November 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

Katherine – another buttermilk option may be powdered buttermilk in a small orange canister by Saco? I am trying to remember if I could get it in Food Lion, Publix etc when I lived in the South. It has saved me SO many times from having to buy fresh buttermilk, like two weeks ago when I was also out of biscuit mix!


Katherine from AL November 14, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for the tip. I’ll look ilnto it the next time I need buttermilk.


Mariana November 13, 2016 at 6:23 pm

I found a child blanket on a street. It looked really poorly just lying on a curb, but after I washed it and gave it some overall TLC it is absolutely lovely. My sister is due with a baby boy in early February so perfect timing.

Found stuffed toys in front of a storage unit near my work. Someone was moving out and was not taking any of the toys with them. Some of them still have tags on them. Great gift for my nieces.

I am overwhelmed by expenses this time of the year so I am cooking at home, spending no money on wants, drink home made coffee and entertain myself for free.


WilliamB November 13, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Katy – I mentioned you to someone who does various bits of work for me. She’s been trying to get a steady 9-5 job and was a bit unhappy she hasn’t found one yet. I told her about you and your theory of multiple revenue streams. This hit home for her, as she does baby sitting (including special needs kids), cleaning, housework, makeup sessions and consulting, yard work, and probably many other tasks as well.


Sandy November 13, 2016 at 7:09 pm

1. I’ve found a new-to-me thrift store! They sell everything by the pound! I found 3! Denim shirt/jackets that will be comfy and useful. A jeans style jacket in a lovely pink that was very grubby around the neck and a few other places. Pre-treated and washed once and it wasn’t clean. Didn’t dry it but pre-treated it again and it looks like this time it will be clean after one more wash! Also, a black linen shell, embroidered with the same pink as the jacket. I washed it in a lingerie bag on cold and hung it to dry. It will look good with a black skirt or pants already in my closet! Just realized, this could have been my frugal five all by itself!
2. I’ve got Thanksgiving week menu planned, just have to shop for the dishes I’m making ahead to freeze. Then, I’ll shop for shelf stable groceries and next week for perishables. All while eating at home every day!
3. My brother in law is very ill, but is still enjoying food! I’m spending the day with him on Tuesday and will make a fish dish I know he’ll like. I’ll also make pork chops and sweet potato for him to enjoy another day.
4. Raked leaves and trimmed bushes at the house we’re renting. Hubby and I worked together on this tiresome chore. Last time we’ll rake leaves! Our new house won’t have trees close by, so any leaves that do find our yard will go into the compost.
5. I’m enjoying free books on my Kindle and from our library.


Marcia November 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

This was kind of a dull week. I had two different doctor appointments. One was routine checkup and one was with dermatologist where I had a few small spots burned off with liquid nitrogen. My first time but familiar with the process because I used to take my Mom for the same treatment.
So–two yoga classes, two dr. appts, one day of grocery shopping including a haircut and one Christmas gift bought), left me little time for much fun.
1. Made all meals at home except one. Made bread. Cooked everything from scratch or took from freezer.
2. Did all my usual thrifty things–reusing foil without tossing it out, making granola at home, washing out used vacuum seal bags for reuse, etc.
3. Made my husband a really nice Veteran’s Day dinner because he would be mortified to go out to a restaurant for a “free” anything because he’s a vet.
4. Bought our Thanksgiving turkey for 58 cents a pound with a $25 order at supermarket.
5. Kept the grocery buying to a minimum because my shelves are stocked. I have everything I need for Thanksgiving dinner except potatoes and whipping cream, which I will buy this week. I invited my family members for Thanksgiving too.


pattilou November 13, 2016 at 8:01 pm

1. awhile ago a friend gave me a laptop they no longer use. I was stuggling with it and another friend offered to help. He loves a challenge and is great with computers. He cleaned it up and updated it and all he wanted in exchange was my buffalo chicken dip.
2. I caulked my bathtub by myself. It’s a task I really don’t enjoy but needs to be done and it looks much nicer now.
3. I usually rake and pick up the leaves at my mother’s house. It’s a really big task because there are a lot of trees. Before I got there today two of the neighbors has blown the leaves and picked them up. My mom made them homemade bread and I gave them some of the jam I made.
4. I stopped at my brother’s house on my way to see my mother. I left with a bag of books. I love that my family is full of readers and that we can share books with each other.
5. I used my fuel perks to get 10 cents a gallon off of gas and filled up my tires at the free air pump at the gas station.


Bettypants November 14, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Nice job caulking your bath tub. I like to hear of women handling their own home improvement projects/maintenance.


Jennifer November 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

1. A Good Samitarian found my phone in a parking lot. We were able to connect and they returned the phone and wouldn’t even take a reward. I won’t have to pay for a new phone and go through the hassle of a transfer. It was an extremely nice exchange that made me feel very good about my community.

2. Found two dimes on the ground.

3. Picked up lots of redeemble cans on my walks. They will be donated to the Cub Scout recycling fundraiser.

4. Made pizza at home tonight. The dough was made in the breadmaker, and one of the toppings was homegrown basil from the garden.

5. After turning off the high heat from the pizza cooking, slid in two hotel pans: (1) raw almonds to roast, (2) chicken bones to dry and later crush as a calcium amendment for the garden.

6. It continues to be very warm and sunny here in SoCal–very little sign of winter yet–so have been drying clothes outside all week instead of using the dryer.

7. Sold a book on Amazon and the payment was automatically transferred to an investment account.

8. Found a nice glass chess set at Goodwill. Wrapped it in wrapping paper that I’d gotten for free from a Buy Nothing group last year and used it for a friend’s kid’s birthday present. Nice to not bring more plastic junk into the world or make an extra trip to the children’s bookstore.


Bee November 14, 2016 at 4:59 am

1) Went to a cover dish supper on Saturday. I brought a homemade pineapple upside down cake which I baked in my #8 Wagner cast iron skillet. I purchased this skillet over 15 years ago for $5 at auction.
2) I made a pot of jambalaya early in the week. There was quite a bit leftover, so I ate it for lunch and dinner 3 days in row. I really didn’t want it again by the third day, but I ate it anyway. Waste not, want not.
3) I bought a piece of furniture at an estate sale last week — not frugal. However, it prompted a wave of rearranging and editing of household items. This was followed by the realization that I have too much stuff. So I listed 26 items on eBay last week. I also donated two boxes of nice things to my favorite thrift shop which provides emergency assistance to those in need and maintains our local food pantry.
4) Since I had made the above-mentioned jambalaya and DH was out of town, I needed very little at the grocery store this past week. I did, however, buy 14 pounds of coffee. My local store has my favorite everyday coffee on sale once every quarter for 50% off. I always stock-up then. This one little thing saves approximately $200 a year.
5) I did many other little things. I used a $5 off $50 coupon at the grocery that was on the back of DH’s football ticket. I ate my meals at home. I “processed” the veggies in my farm share. Other than coffee, I only drank water as usual. I am reading a thrifted book and wearing thrifted clothes.


Susie's Daughter November 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

#4 – Woohoo on the coffee sale!!!


Joyce November 14, 2016 at 5:26 am

1. Dug up my dahlias and canna lilies to store over the winter so I don’t have to buy any.
2. Found a huge mum plant, discarded in a leaf pile. Woo hoo. Free plants. I can cut it in two and have two plants grow in the spring.
3. I am borrrowing my neighbors leaf vacuum / mulched to use on my gardens. No buying compost for the soil.
4. Line dried laundry even though it was only
45° out . I had to rehang part of it but that’s ok.
5. I borrowed clothes to wear on our anniversary trip (not frugal but …..30 years) instead of buying.


Roberta November 14, 2016 at 7:24 am

1. Our kids spent the long weekend with my parents getting spoiled. Instead of eating out and going somewhere (shopping or what-have-you) went on a hike with my husband. Apparently I needed the exercise, as I felt it the next day!
2. My daughter left an important piece of luggage with my parents. Instead of driving up to get it (an hour each way) my son was able to stop by. Someone offered to take him flying (not in a Lear Jet!) and he was able to stop by the airport by my parents instead of a different one near by. He had SO much fun, btw. He says flying through turbulence is the best part!
3. Gave homegrown eggs and persimmon muffins as a thank you to the man who took my son flying. Persimmons and eggs are plentiful this time of year!
4. Managed to finish up the gallon of milk that moved to the back of the fridge without it going bad. I found a great deal on milk at grocery outlet, but the kids used the new milk before the old milk. I found it in time!
5. Sold on ebay something I thought my husband would want, but he didn’t after all. Made more than I spent initially!
6. Celebrated my daughter’s half birthday with a movie we own, the next Harry Potter book (they get them on subsequent birthdays because the later ones are a little too harsh for my kids) and Trader Joes chocolate bundt cakes. She was debating between two things, and an employee let her try the new thing. Not as good as the bundts, so she got a dessert taste AND she was really happy with her birthday dessert. (I know it would have been less expensive to make it, but they get to choose a treat for half-birthdays).


Mrs. Picky Pincher November 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

Good find on that cast iron pan!

This week:

1. We got $200 back from our apartment deposit, which was a surprise to me. That’s $200 we just gave back to ourselves. 🙂

2. We celebrated Mr. Picky Pincher’s birthday at home. I think total we spent $30 on cake, hot dogs, and chips for a small get-together with family. We all had a good time and didn’t have to drop a lot of change. 🙂

3. I packed homemade snacks for work instead of processed snacks.

4. I cooked homemade brisket chili this weekend and it made a lot of food! We had some for dinner with homemade jalapeno cheddar scones. We’re also having it for lunch today as Frito chili pies, and we’ll have it again for dinner sometime this week. After that, we’ll probably still have a few servings to freeze for emergency meals. I love bulk cooking!

5. This weekend I’m taking cuttings from a plant in my back yard to a nursery to identify it. I have a feeling that it’s an anise hyssop and will be great for making tea, but I need to make sure first. Waste not!


JD November 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm

1. I pulled some frozen cooked roast out of the freezer, seasoned it, heated it, shredded it, and served pulled beef sandwiches for supper. We had beans on the side that had been cooked in bulk and frozen in portions. A little seasoning and heating and they were ready.
2. My very young grandchildren visited and one of them is potty-training. I pulled out the potty seat from my older grandchild’s training days, which I’ve kept clean and in good shape, and used it with the training toddler. The seat is 8 years old, but it still does what a child needs it to do.
3. Not exactly frugal for me especially, but I bought a pretty textile art piece from an annual sale at church, which supports the Peruvian women who make the textiles. It will be a gift. I like that my church holds events such as fair-trade coffee sales to support small farmers and help end coffee plantation slavery on the big farms, textile sales to support struggling women in South America, and raffles and bake sales to support our church’s 80 sponsored orphans in Uganda. Since the aid organizations are volunteer-run, the money goes much further to help the ones in need. I consider it good value for my money and a more efficient way to get the most money possible where it’s needed.
4. I’m working on earning more Swagbucks for Christmas gifts and just found a Coinstar machine that gives a Game Stop gift card, something a young family member wants. I have a lot of loose change, so this may be a gift idea.
5. Trying to eat up and not produce more leftovers, what with Thanksgiving coming up. It always fills my frig and I sure don’t want to throw away good food because I’m out of room. It’s too warm here to set the food outside overnight in a secure place.


Bettypants November 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Your church sounds interesting. I love the programs you mentioned.


Diane C November 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Re: #4. Just FYI – Coinstar doesn’t provide an actual gift card, it just looks like a printed receipt. I deposit the coins from our library’s book sale once a month at Coinstar and get a “gift card” to avoid the usurious fee. I then write a personal check to the library and use the gift cards throughout the year. Faves are Lowe’s (HD is no longer participating), Southwest and Amazon. Doesn’t save any money really, but it’s easier than rolling coins.


JD November 15, 2016 at 8:03 am

We do too, thanks! That’s just some of the international and local projects the church provides. We love that they emphasize outreach and showing love to others as well as personal spiritual growth.


Betty Winslow November 14, 2016 at 12:28 pm

1. Bought a pound of frozen raw shrimp when my sons were still living here, since all the guys love it and I don’t, but they moved out before I was able to make anything. Younger son came over for dinner Tuesday, so I used them to make shrimp alfredo, and sent the leftovers home with him, in a reusable frig container he really needed. (And by the way, peeling and deveining raw shrimp is gross and time-consuming and I’ll never do it again…)
2. Had honorary daughter and 4 y0 granddaughter over for lunch Sunday (left-over chili made by hubby and a pan of cornbread, which thrilled daughter no end) and an hour’s play in the humongous leaf pile in the backyard. Took a bunch of photos….
3. Bought a new toaster at Kroger on senior discount day, since it was on sale and hubby was insistent we needed one. Doesn’t pop up high enough, so will be returning on Wed., when I’ll buy a few things we need and take in some knives to be sharpened for free.
4. Dropped off three Operation Xmas Child boxes today – not frugal, exactly (although almost every item was bought throughout the year on sale) but one of the reasons I am frugal is to be able to be generous.
5. Sold another book through (I have my own bookstore there, and sell brand-new books for less than half-price, for the most part) and mailed it in a padded envelope I bought at Dollar Tree, 2/$1.00. $5.00 more dollars in my account!


Susie's Daughter November 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1) Like Betty W, I dropped off my Christmas Child shoebox yesterday. I was so pleased that I finally had my act together early enough this year to do it!

2) Bought our bargain turkey this year at our local market rather than the bigger interstate chain store one town over. It was a .10/lb more expensive, but I saved the gas, the hassle and supported the family that owns these 3 local stores.

3) Last week I got a new to me Christmas sweater from our thrift shop. When I told my mom this yesterday, she told me how much she wanted one as well. So today I stopped by and got her two for $10 total and will give her a Thanksgiving present!

4) I also got a 500 piece puzzle for .50 which I will bring to Thanksgiving at the in laws to keep everyone’s hands busy.

5) Cashed in my latest round of returnable cans I found on the roadside for $1.25 today which brings my total since June 1st to $52.10. I made my goal of $52 before it snows! This will be movie matinee money for our family over the winter.


Vickie November 14, 2016 at 2:15 pm

1) I found a great purse at the GW for $2.99. My other one is getting pretty shabby, so I need to change them out.
2) I bought homemade tamales from our church youth pastors, they are funding a Youth trip this Winter. I stopped and picked up a can of Stagg Chili, some cheese and an onion, layered everything in a glass baking dish and that was Supper last night. Yummy!
3) I brought leftover baked fish, corn on the cob and tater tots for lunch today. Using up leftovers!
4) I’m heading out the gym for a workout – using my University gym membership of $10 per month. I’ve lost 19 pounds and my cholesterol has come down 20 points. Healthy is frugal!
5) I didn’t by a Lear Jet or a Yacht.


Susie's Daughter November 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

#4 – WAY TO GO! Very inspiring


pattilou November 14, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Congrats on the weight loss Vickie!


Ll November 15, 2016 at 1:44 am

1. Scored an extra shift at work this week.
2. Saved $14 on my annual contents insurance by doing a comparison online and switching companies.
3. Sold a few bags of the kids clothes they’ve grown out of. We’ll donate any that don’t sell. I also sold their highchair online.
4. Lunch and coffee provided at work two days this week.
5. I used up last nights leftovers at lunch and added a pear for dessert that was on it’s last legs. I’m doing much better at eating up leftovers.


Isabelle November 15, 2016 at 3:50 am

* I thought I had lost (got stolen) my Camelbak glass bottle at the gym. I checked on Amazon for another one and was shocked by the price (35$+). (I had received the other one as a gift). Luckily, I found it! At home…!
* Putting extra money on the mortgage
* Eating a lot less lately (diet) and no personal restaurants
* Got to go to Goodwill to find a “ugly Christmas sweater” for a party. There is no way I am paying 30$ for a new shirt that I’ll never wear again! (x2, since hubby is coming too).

Have a great frugal day!


mama minou November 15, 2016 at 6:32 am

1. Bought Xmas present books at our library’s secondhand book store. Almost new books, local authors, for a few bucks…benefitting the library!
2. Knit a bunch of hats last summer for a super fun white elephant solstice party we attend every year. Hoping they will be among the “good” gifts, but who knows?
3. Splurged on a roast chicken, but planning to make it LAST! Leftovers and soup for days….
4. Made muffins to feed my teenage son’s late night kitchen raids. Used some older pancake mix, since I shockingly was out of flour.
5. Found a wet and crumpled sweet skins scoop neck top in the street while jogging to work(the color caught my eye). Picked it up, bagged it, brought it home and washed it. New top or Xmas gift for mom who loves purple.


Amanda November 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

1. I made meatloaf and potatoes last night with hamburger that was reduced at Aldi and potatoes left over from our last stew.

2. Our dentist’s office called to reschedule my husband’s cavity filling. It probably won’t get done this month. It will obviously cost the same amount to do it next month, but it feels nice to celebrate this month having no planned health expenses.

3. I emailed the Y to cancel our oldest son’s aftercare as of my last day of class. I’ll be home studying for comps next semester, so it will be easy to walk over and get him when school is out. The extra $95/week in our budget will be nice.

4. Now that we have weaned I am back to riding my bike to lose the baby weight. It is an old bike I bought on craigslist a few years ago. Every year or so I have to do about $20 in work to it, but otherwise my exercise is very frugal. No special clothing (t shirts and yoga pants from years ago) and no gym memberships.

5. With my last cell phone plan I had unlimited data, so when I rode my bike I listened to Slacker. Now that I am on ting I pay for that data, so I downloaded a few songs to create a playlist. I had a $10 itunes credit from several Christmases ago (I never download music), so I was able to make my ride more fun for $0.

6. I only have to drive to school (a fifty mile commute one way) six more times this semester! It costs between $10 and $15 per day, so this will save us a little bit of change.

7. This paycheck was my first to get paid an extra stipend. I took on another research internship not because it was worth the money, but for the opportunity to do more research and to work with a professor I admire. Even though I’m not doing it for the money, seeing an extra $400 a month in my paycheck feels good.


rebecca November 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

1. Eating at home and leftovers all week.
2. It’s getting colder but leaving the heat at 64 for right now.
3. Haven’t spent any $ since Sunday’s grocery shopping.
4. I was offered another class to teach next semester and even though I don’t like teaching it, I am. The extra money always comes in handy.
5. I had 4 new clients at my group practice this week.


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