Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 18, 2016 · 63 comments

Hamilton soundtrack

  1. My husband and I stopped for coffees before a car trip, and received 25¢ apiece from the price because we brought our own reusable mugs. We did have to grab them from the car, but that was but the work of a moment.
  2. Today was my payday, so I was able to transfer a large chunk of money into savings. Because we  work hard and make frugal choices to live below our income, we’re able to put slightly more than 50% into savings. Our first two paychecks of the month go towards set expenses, and the last two are then set aside for general savings and the kids’ college accounts.
  3. I wrote down a list of everyone I’m buying holiday gifts for, plus ideas and what I’ve gathered so far. The key to avoiding last minute holiday panic buying is to get organized ahead of time. My goal is to have everything for my sister’s family before I visit them at the beginning of December, which is perfect as I work best under a deadline. Of course, I’ll be gifting exclusively used, experiential and homemade gifts.
  4. One of my husband’s co-workers gave him some persimmons, I goofed around on Swagbucks while watching last night’s Project Runway, I downloaded the soundtrack to Hamilton to my phone through the free Hoopla app, we invited extra guests to our Thanksgiving meal and I relisted all my Craigslist posts.
  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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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Picky Pincher November 18, 2016 at 11:43 am

1. I used a warranty to replace the broken grate on my (brand new) gas cooktop. They sent an entire set of grates instead of just a replacement for the broken one, so now we have two extra grates. We’re saving them in case the other grates crap out on us.

2. I ate some homemade chili for lunch today instead of buying lunch–even though I really wanted to.

3. This weekend I’m buying lots of whole foods like fruits and nuts for snacks, since we’ll be doing an eight-hour drive to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving.

4. I’m bad about planning out my meals for the weekend. I have the house to myself this weekend, which means I’m extra bad about planning meals, so I went ahead and made a menu for the weekend. Hopefully this means I won’t eat out!

5. Tomorrow I’m checking out our local nursery to identify what I *think* is an herb growing in my back yard. Hopefully I can get some use out of it. Or if it’s a weed, out of the yard it goes!


tonya parham November 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

You could also post it on FB in a Naturalist group for your area! They’ve helped me identify several bugs in my yard. I just joined a group for my state.


Michele November 18, 2016 at 11:46 am

1. A family friend is taking our family photo, and I found 2 shirts at Goodwill that may work for me. Know the boys and my husband have appropriate stuff.
2. Ate my packed lunch in my car after above trip, although I was surrounded by fast food restaurants who were calling my name.
3. Refused to buy boneless skinless chicken at 4.39 a lb. yesterday and bought leg quarters and cooked in a pot, cooled, and pulled out enough to make 2 chicken lunch salads for me and a casserole.
4. Finally! No air conditioning in Florida!
5. Paying huge car insurance bill in one payment to save $183.
6. Payed off loan that was 10.25% and will start working on car loan. Only loans are car and mortgage. No credit card!


Katy November 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

Hooray for paying off loans!


Dmarie November 19, 2016 at 7:14 am

well done on the loan pay off!!!


Betty Winslow November 18, 2016 at 11:50 am

1. Downloading this week’s Friday Freebie from Kroger.
2. Using groupons to order two Xmas gifts.
3. Made and delivered a dinner to a new mom & her family and a plate of brownies to the library staff, using mostly ingredients from Aldi or on sale.
4. Gathering up the plethora of plastic bags around here to take to Meijer to recycle when I go shopping for sale sneakers and my free RX later.
5. Had steamed potatoes two days in a row, garnished with fresk parsley from the community garden (now abandoned for the year, but still has some good stuff).
6. Prepped a bunch of green tomatoes (washed, dried, wrapped in newspaper and put in a single layer in a box lid under a living room chair.) Ripe tomatoes into December, y’all!


alunatunes November 18, 2016 at 12:43 pm

1. I changed the key in my key fob for my Jeep. I missed having the fob work as I like being able to unlock the car remotely and have the light on as I approach the vehicle with my hands full. Next up is changing the battery in my beloved and very old Bulova watch. Kay’s Jewelers charges me $20 to replace the battery because it is REALLY HARD to get the back off the watch. But I am determined to give it my best shot!
2. I went to a fast food joint today to redeem my calendar card for a nice iced tea. The receipt had a survey listed and in a few minutes I had a free sandwich for next time I eat there.
3. The dollar store is FINALLY stocking our fav pot stickers! They disappeared for awhile and we missed our homemade Chinese meals. Also picked up a bag of cheese ravioli. I didn’t purchase pinto beans (2 lbs for a buck) or black beans or rice because I am stocked up on those items.
4. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I’ll be celebrating by digging through my gift drawer and choosing gifts for my family and friends. I’m going to visit mom and dad at the end of the month (doctor’s apt for dad) and will transport gifts for that side of the family to them to distribute Christmas morning. NO POSTAGE!
5. My friend gave me tons of 8.5 x 14 copy paper. Her husband was cleaning an office and all the paper was being thrown away. I make art journals so she called me and now I have TONS of paper! I trimmed the paper to make it into 8.5 x 11 copy paper and used the three inch trimmings to make Matchbook Mini books for gifts! I also am making box books from toothpaste cartons. If it’s OK with Katy, I’ll post a couple of pics!

I love this group. Yall always make me feel better about making ends meet as a freelancer. Very grateful for Katy and all of yall!


Mand01 November 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm

1. I’m taking my daughter to see Fantastic Beasts today. She is an intense Harry Potter fan and was still awake at 11:30 last night, she was so excited. She has an adorkable Ravenclaw outfit that she has cobbled together from thrifted and ebayed items that she is planning to wear. I have one free ticket earned through a survey site, a discount ticket for her, and a coupon for discounted ice creams. Movies are expensive here so I’m happy to be getting out of the exercise for $20.
2. I am soaking the fruit for my annual Christmas cakes tonight. We do homemade gifts for my side of the family so everyone always receives a fruit cake. I soak the fruit in brandy for a week first. I have been buying the fruit for the past few months so that the cost is spread out, but really each cake only costs about $5. I do a couple of gluten free cakes as well. I bake them in large recycled fruit cans as they are the perfect size for individual gifts.
3. I’m going to pick herbs to dry for gifts tomorrow as well. Our new garden has proved to be perfect for herbs.
4. I have been saving Christmas money all year but I’m trying to cashflow as much as I can so I don’t have to use what I’ve saved unless I have to. It’s like a game to see if I can have Christmas sorted without touching that money. I don’t know why. I have issues.
5. I continue to listen to free podcasts at home and at work for my entertainment and edification.


Dmarie November 19, 2016 at 8:32 am

love the “make a game of it” savings!!


jennifer November 18, 2016 at 1:18 pm

1. I used my mother’s $10 off any $10 purchase to buy a Sharper Image brand pillow for my family to use as bingo prizes only spending $3 out of pocket. I also took advantage of my own $10 of a $10 purchase to buy a nice 7 quart crockpot to use as a bingo prize. With coupons, promo codes, and a $10 rebate I only paid $1.25 for it! I had one more coupon to use from kohl’s that was $5 off a $5 purchase so I found one of my daughter’s a cute purse for $3.00 and a matching wallet for $2.60. That’s 60 cents out of pocket for such nice present. The purse is in more of spring colors but my kids are young and don’t care about that kind of stuff yet.
2. I downloaded my free Friday download to my Kroger card which is cat food. I also downloaded several coupons to my Kroger card in preparation for my upcoming Thanksgiving meal shopping trip. Luckily, my mother and I have strategically planned what we are making so that what I have to buy will work for more than one dish. I currently have 3 different recipes planned that use apples and 2 with cranberries. I am also buying only the small amount of pecans I need from the bulk bin at Kroger.
3.I am bringing a new guest to our Thanksgiving meal.His mom just passed away last month and he would be alone otherwise. He has gifted me several of his mom’s things that he doesn’t need and he brought some more kitchen items today.I just love kitchen utensils that are older yet well made.
4.My daughter fell in love with the Elf of the shelf clothes that can be purchased, for around $15 a dress, for her Elf. I am making the perfect ‘elf size’ dress out of some of the clothes my kids have outgrown. I may even make a coat for those cold nights at the North pole.
5. The kids and I have been snacking on yogurt that I got at Kroger for 19 cents per cup. I purchased 40 cups of it! The expiration date isn’t until November 28th so I figured it was a no brainer. I got various different kinds and have been adding cereal, oats, or a spoonful of peanut butter to it make them a nice filling breakfast.

Just one more!! Disney on Ice is in my area soon and my kids wanted to go so badly. I told them no because we have a vacation planned the first of the year. However, a local business was giving away free tickets with a donation of 10 cans of food per ticket. Kroger had Green Giant veggies on sale last week for 49 cents so I got us 4 Disney on Ice tickets for 19.60 while helping someone,too. I really wanted to buy some more cans and gift Disney on Ice tickets to someone special.I got 40 more cans, got more tickets, and my husband gave them to a family who is having a hard time. When my husband gave them to the mother he said she was about to cry. Makes me so happy to be able to make someone else’s day a little brighter. The frugal part of me did kick in, though, so I told my husband to tell hem to eat before they go because food/drinks at Disney on Ice are ridiculously expensive.


jennifer November 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

1. Guess I should have mentioned I was talking about Kohl’s first. That’s what I get for being in a hurry.


st November 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

I love what you did for someone else! I’m sure that they will never forget your kindness!


E November 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I love this too! How wonderful for your family and the other family! Good on you for thinking creatively!


Diane C November 19, 2016 at 6:08 am

Jennifer, I love your plus one!

Commenting to say yogurt keeps long past its expiration date, as does ricotta cheese. Plain yogurt tends to sour a tiny bit as it ages, but the sweetened stuff seems not to. I found 32 oz. tubs of Mountain High plain yogurt for 2.49 each at Grocery Outlet (3.99 at Costco) this week. I bought four tubs with no worry about the expiration date. Turning the containers upside down in the fridge seems a to help it last even longer, so don’t feel you have to rush through your lovely stockpile.


Jennifer November 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Thank you all! Oh, great idea to turn them upside down. My kids are eating them so fast it may be a non issue.

Heather November 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

I have frozen the small tubs of fruit yogurt when I get them cheap ( I don’t buy them usually) They can separate a bit when they defrost, but a quick stir and they look fine. Also they are great straight from the freezer into the blender for smoothies.


Isabelle November 18, 2016 at 1:47 pm

* I worked on a unit I dislike today. I could have refused, but I was risking having no shift at all (I’m on call). Money in our pockets is something worth sucking it up sometimes.
* Daughter going to a friend birthday. The gift will be a board game I bought a while ago on sale for half-price. (10$ instead of 20$). Same for another birthday next week.

Have a great frugal day!


Katy November 18, 2016 at 4:00 pm

I hear you on working on a disliked unit. Yuck.


Kristen November 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I haven’t done much that’s frugal this week.

Except I haven’t gone anywhere, so that’s kind of frugal. And I’ve watched lots of free episodes of Downton Abbey.

So goes life after nose surgery. 😉


Dmarie November 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery, Kristen!!


Krystal November 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

1. My husband and I went out for dinner for free on Wednesday night as I was assigned to secret shop the restaurant. I will also receive a small stipend, so technically, we got paid to go on a date night.
2. I treated my husband and our 2 friends to a free movie with some Fandango passes I received last year at a work event. I still have a small stack left and they expire by EOY. We did not purchase any snacks or drinks at the theater. And we spent a few extra minutes to find free street parking rather than paying for a garage.
3. Our friend came by on Tuesday night to install our dishwasher that some others friends had gifted to us. We treated our friends to dinner as a thank you, and our other friend who installed the dishwasher for us will be treated to an afternoon visiting a few breweries in a couple weeks.
4. I sold an item that didn’t work out for us on eBay. I even considered just donating it, but waited about 6 weeks and made a few bucks off of it!
5. I was struggling to find a few things of my wardrobe and ended up buying new. I bought the colors that were on sale and found a new pair of athletic shoes on the clearance rack. By preferring the sale items over full price, I saved around $100. It’s still expensive to buy new clothes even on sale, so I try to limit whenever possible, but this was one of those exceptions.


Ruby November 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm

1. Took a couple of minutes this morning to print out two coupons and saved $9.50 on dog food and cleaning supplies.
2. The humane society thrift store was having a $3 a bag sale today, and I wound up getting a flannel sheet and pillowcase, a dressy sweater for work, and a tiny piece of art already on a mat to use as a gift.
3. The local bread outlet sells 20 oz. jars of very good jams and jellies for $2.69 each. The jars are reusable as drinking mugs, so we save them up and donate them to the thrift store. We had eaten up our jam/jelly supply, so today I dropped in and bought a half dozen jars. Since the store is just across the state line, I saved 6 percent on the sales tax on food.
4. Was glad we saved the harness our middle dog used when she first came to us because she was so skinny then that the new puppy can wear it now if we snug up the adjustable straps as tight as they’ll go.
5. Downloaded two free e-books this morning from Bookbub.


tia November 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm

1. Made a big pot of chili soup and froze most of it in single servings for quick warm up meals.
2. Mended some warm cashmere sweaters and wraps I bought super cheap because they
had a sleeve seam ravel or neck seam ravel. Good as new now.
3. It’s finally cold outside but the house is still warm and I have sweaters and stuff if it gets a little chilly.
4. Bought some seasonal sale groceries like 69 cent canned pumpkin and 33 cent a pound onions and sweet potatoes.
5. Enjoying free NPR radio in car, cut back on cell and internet, watching 3 free PBS TV stations and other local free TV, and checking out GrabYourWallet list so I don’t make any purchases that finance things I dont support.


Erica November 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

1. I completely repainted and gave new life to my mother’s childhood dresser. It will now be my daughter’s childhood dresser. I only purchased a sample size of the paint (black chalkboard) which is enough to cover and leave a small amount extra. Everything else for the project was repurposed or on hand!

2. Played “chalk” with my two year old instead of watching TV. We also spent time cuddling and reading. It won’t be long until her baby sister is here (4 weeks!)

4. Gathered a bunch of baskets and containers together to make myself small baby/breastfeeding kits to stash around the house. Since I am having a cesarean, I want to be prepared to take it easy and have what I need. Kits were made with things I had on hand and cost me nothing.

5. Kept the windows open all night and it was 64 in the house this morning. It’s so nice to have the windows open and get fresh air! It’s also great to finally have the a/C off!


Suzanne November 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Don’t you LOVE Hamilton?!!!


Bee November 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

1) I mended a merino wool sweater that had a small hole at the elbow while watching The Durells of Corfu on PBS.

2) I have been home alone for the last week. My husband has been away on business. I have been cobbling together small meals made of things that were already in the refrigerator and freezer. This is frugal, but most importantly, it has made room for Thanksgiving food.

3) I continue to sort through the excess around my home. I have sold a total of 10 items on eBay this month. I have given things to friends and family. I have brought many items to the thrift store. It makes me feel good to find new homes for the things that I don’t need. It is also nice to make some extra cash.

4) I have been preparing for next week’s company by cooking ahead. I made a big batch of granola. I roasted 8 ears of fresh corn, then cut off the kernels and froze them. (I’ll make corn and crab chowder). I have three chicken carcasses defrosting to make chicken stock tomorrow.

5) I stopped at an estate sale yesterday and bought 2 DVD’s for $2. Both are movies that I have wanted to see for some time. I know DVDs are old technology, but sometimes they are so handy. Once I watch them, I will pass them on to friends.


Susie's Daughter November 19, 2016 at 4:48 am

1) I just love the Durells! Once our internet quota resets for the month (we have satellite internet) I am hoping to watch the episode I missed on the PBS site.


Denise B November 19, 2016 at 5:40 am

I had not heard of The Durells, so I looked it up…it looks so good! I can’t wait to watch it! Thanks for sharing!


Katherine in AL November 19, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Love the Durrells in Corfu. It is such a lovely distraction.


Bee November 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

I would be truly lost without PBS.


JD November 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Oh my gosh I almost never watch TV but now I may have to. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell is one of my favorite books!


rebecca November 18, 2016 at 6:58 pm

1. A friend bought me coffee yesterday.
2. Charged my phone at work.
3. Eating leftovers and out of the freezer.
4. Transferred a good sum into savings.
5. Saw 8 clients today and is 1 self -pay. No having to go through insurance!


Mariana November 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

I love your 5 frugal things, Rebecca.
I charge my laptop and phone all day long at my office but never thought of it twice. It surely does save money now that I think about it 🙂

My biggest frugal accomplishment this week (or this month) is finally qualifying for 401k at my new work. It was a nice surprise too as I thought I would qualify after 6 months but my first deduction went through last Wednesday. This means that I am able to put more pre-tax money away in 2016, rather than waiting till 2017 (as I thought it would be). Thrilled about it!


rebecca November 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

lthat’s great about the 401k!


Elizabeth November 18, 2016 at 7:17 pm

1. Tonight I sold a few of my son’s Minecraft books for $7. Yesterday I sold some of his old Star Wars books for $10. Those were on local Facebook selling groups. I also sold some more books, a bottle of perfume and a candle on eBay…54 more dollars there.
2. I redeemed a coupon for a free knockout taco at Qdoba. That was lunch yesterday.
3. For years I have wanted fresh greens in pots on my front porch and haven’t had them. I went with a friend today to a local greenhouse and they had pots with fresh greens beautifully arranged in them for $25 a pot. Since I only have dying ash trees in my backyard I don’t have access to get enough of my own greens so I got two pots (not frugal). But they had a pick a discount sort of card and I got 15% off. Afterwards my friend gave me some extra stuff to put in it…some pokey sticks with kind of pod like things on top, some red branches and some glittery orange and lime green swirls and sticks. They look perfect for Thanksgiving (which I am hosting). And after Thanksgiving I’m going to take out the orange sticks and put in some red ones for Christmas. And then take those out for the rest of winter. So they will last me from now until spring!
4. Went to Aldi and again am blown away by how much money you can save shopping there. For example, fresh cranberries were 89 cents versus $2 at Meijer and a can of evaporated milk was 89 cents versus 1.59 at Meijer. Plus they had big Butterball frozen turkeys for 99 cents a pound. I got a 20 pounder for $20!!
5. Got an estimate for a neighborhood group discount for the plow service we used last year (we live in Western Michigan which gets LOADS of snow and we have a big driveway so after learning our lesson the first winter we lived here when we didn’t think we needed a plow service and snowblowed ourselves which took forever and had to happen many times a day, we soon discovered that plow services are worth the cost in these parts!). The estimate was the same as the estimate I received without the group rate so I emailed them to ask. She emailed back and said there was a mistake and she was glad I asked about it and the new estimate was $32 less!


pattilou November 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm

1. I earned enough Swagbucks for a 25.00 gift card. I will use it to purchase a Christmas gift.
2. My niece was buying a tin Santa to put on her front door. The sale was 25% off already. I noticed that there were a few small dings on it so I asked if they could offer any more off. They gave it to her for 35% off. The dings are easily touched up with paint we already have.
3. While checking out at Target I noticed that something I was buying rang up at the wrong price. Luckily I noticed it as it happened so a manager was able to correct the price right away.
4. finished my nieces Christmas gifts today – everything purchased on sale.
5. Took my nieces to the library to make free Thanksgiving crafts. I now have cute turkey decorations. While there we also entered a drawing for free tickets to a play I plan on taking the girls to. We are hoping they draw our name.


Marilyn November 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

A savings rate of 50% is very impressive, Katy.


Katy November 18, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Thanks, we work hard to make it happen.


lee November 18, 2016 at 8:06 pm

1. After being not very frugal last week when it came to buying snacks and meals on campus, I was very good this week and only ate what I brought from home!

2. At the end of last winter, I finally said goodbye to my much-loved and much-worn winter coat (that I’d had since 2006!). This week, I took advantage of LLBean’s 20% off sale to purchase a new winter coat that was already marked down significantly, and ended up saving over $100. The color wasn’t my first choice, but for that level of savings, I’m okay with my second choice.

3. I stopped at Michael’s in search of a birthday gift for my friend’s almost three-year old daughter; and they were having a “Buy one, get one 50% off” sale on all Crayola products. I was thrilled to buy more items than I’d anticipated as a result; and was proud to be buying art supplies that she’ll be able to play with and be creative with (v. regular toys).

4. I did not stop at Barnes & Noble to browse their magazine section.

5. I bought the first Christmas present of the year, to take advantage of a coupon that expired at the end of the week.


tonya parham November 18, 2016 at 9:29 pm

I’m not sure how many I have since I just did this earlier on an old post! LOL

1. I ordered a tv from Sam’s Club. Our tv is 7 years old and too small for where we live now. I cant read the words on the tv! So, for xmas we agreed that’s the only new thing we buy and Sam’s had a Samsung Saturday sale. We got a 40″ SmartTv for $238 with free shipping. I am pretty happy about this as I figured we’d probably pay closer to $400.

2. I’ve decided to cancel one of the monthly bills I had and spend that money to support the ACLU. That’s not frugal per se, but I think it’s wise.

3. I’ve taken to wearing a safety pin to silently protest hate. It’s free and it opens dialogue.

4. I cleaned the kitchen today and reorganized so cooking will be easier and more likely.

5. Raked my own leaves. Again. Keeping the heat low. Wearing house shoes.


Christine November 18, 2016 at 9:33 pm

1. Gave $10 to the homeless man today – frugal because it was half of the parking-lot-found $20 bill from last week. The other $10 from that find will be used for another random act of kindness.
2. Had a group of kids come to the door this evening playing “Bigger or Better.” Traded a BIGGER framed print (didn’t go with our decor) for a brand new 11×13 frame that included matting.
3. Enjoyed a free cup of hot cocoa from my bank on the way out.
4. Received my free phone upgrade (from 2G to 4G basic phone) in the mail because my carrier is phasing out the 2G phones and I’m not embracing the smartphones.
5. Caught up on some recorded TV shows rather than going out to see a latest release.


Bettypants November 19, 2016 at 4:03 am

I had to google “Bigger or Better” as I had never heard of it. It sounds so fun.


rebecca November 19, 2016 at 1:18 pm

love your random acts of kindness with found money! what a great idea!


Juhli November 20, 2016 at 4:24 am

Love what you are doing with your found money! My husband did the same when we found quite a bit of money in the street while visiting out of state family and was very moved by the experience.


Bethc November 19, 2016 at 6:03 am

1. Also went out for a secret shopping financed dinner last night. Husband was the shopper.
2. has an offer for $20 off a gift card purchase of $100 or more if you link your Amex. I bought a $100 Target gift card and acccessed through Ebates which gives 2 per cent back. Hoping to use the gift card today using the $10 off $50 grocery purchase coupon from Target and Target Cartwheel.
3. I have a couple of secret santas gifts to buy this year. Got lager beer glasses at Kohl’s for $4 (originally $20$ ) and got a Christmas decorative item for $8 (regular price 39.99).
4. Worked from home twice this week so gas savings.
5. We had an aged Birds Eye Voila frozen meal in the freezer. Made it for dinner and husband thought it was awful. I sucked it up and ate it, while he dined on leftover enchiladas. A cheap meal for all!
6. We harvested our remaining tomatoes this week due to cold temps and have been enjoying them night for dinner-simply sliced and served with salt and pepper. Nothing like homemade veggies!


kathy November 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

Not a stellar week frugal wise.
1.Hubby is out of town and I’ve had “lunch dates” with friends which means I don’t fix or eat dinner.
2. Picked up a pair of sneakers at DSW to donate to their holiday drive for battered women. Sneakers were on sale for $18 plus I had a $20 off coupon when I spent $99. Yes, I bought shoes for me and a couple of holiday gifts
3. Returned two items to Dress Barn
4. Pulled 3 dz pieces of clothing out of my closet/drawers to either donate or sell. I’m working on a capsule wardrobe.
5. Inventoried holiday supplies, only need a box of holiday cards which I’ll pick up at thrift store.


Dmarie November 19, 2016 at 9:50 am

1. eating veggie chili that I made to use up the leftover spaghetti sauce that was in fridge threatening to go to waste
2. just baked a tray of homemade Peanut Butter Cookies and will scoop and freeze remaining dough for future bakes
3. turned off oven before cookies finished baking to save electricity
4. plan to bake and freeze a couple of homemade pizza crusts today to make a future “don’t feel like cooking” quick dinner
5. plan to read back through Non-Consumer archives today to get more inspiration to become more NC myself. 50% of take-home pay saved–WOW!


kathleen November 19, 2016 at 11:02 am

1. I was wanting to go to the city yesterday to run an errand. It isn’t urgent, so I saved the gas for later when I can batch errands. I did the Thanksgiving dinner grocery shop instead…now I don’t have to deal with crowds this weekend or next week.
2. Bought a small turkey for 75¢ a pound even though daughter is doing turkey for the family feast. I will roast this one and make gravy from the pan drippings (can never have too much gravy on Thanksgiving) and divide the meat…some for sandwiches and some to freeze for soups and casseroles.
3. Still doing my own chores (no matter how much I would love hired help).
4. Ate leftovers for dinner last night.
5. Wearing lightly worn clothing more than once before laundering.


K D November 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm

1. I walked to the drug store to pick up Rxs. While there I looked at the clearance sections. They had pedometers for half price. It’s the perfect gift for a friend that lost theirs. I used rewards to pay for all but $.99 of the purchase.

2. Kohl’s emailed me a $19 certificate. We were near the store and my husband remembered that we could really use place mats. Between the sale, and additional 20% off and the certificate it was just over $4 out of pocket, for 6 nice place mats.

3. I stocked up on Sargento shredded and sliced cheese while it was on sale, I also used coupons, the store took $5 off a $15 purchase, and I’ll get $4 back from Saving Star. It was about $1/package (~$2/#).

4. Found $.21 while walking this morning. I also picked up a Macy’s gift card that was in the street. It had no value but will be properly disposed of.

5. My husband wanted home made pizza and cupcakes for his birthday. There were enough leftovers for another meal.


Susie's Daughter November 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

1) DS makes gifts each year for grandparents, aunts, uncles, Godparents etc. I am trying to bring all gifts for in law side of family to Thanksgiving this week. Figured out that we have all supplies already on hand to make ornaments out of recycled toilet paper tubes. (I promise they are cuter than they sound!)

2) Made an additional payment on Friday to principal on Dear Wife’s truck. I am trying to pay off 10% of remaining balance each quarter of the year.

3) Making soup and a pie tomorrow for dinner with all items bought on sale or from our garden stores.

4) At neighbor’s invitation, relocated a rosemary plant from their garden to an indoor pot in our house. Snow predicted for tomorrow so I figured I ‘d better hurry up.

5) Reading a set of Christmas themed novels given to me by a friend from church for entertainment/distraction. I will pass them on to another friend when I am done.


ouvickie November 19, 2016 at 5:10 pm

1) Replenished my oatmeal and 1/2 & 1/2 for breakfast meals at work.
2) My department sponsored a chili cook-off at work on Thursday to fund the United Way Drive. It was $5 to eat all the chili, corn bread, etc. that we wanted. I was stuffed, had a great time talking with a co-worker who is retiring in December and I didn’t need dinner that night.
3) Hubby bought my lunch Friday, since I met him at the mechanics shop where he was having his car fixed and let him take my car to work. Lunch at the Garage Restaurant was yummy! We don’t have lunch together often, so it was a nice treat for me.
4) I headed to the grocers today to get my Thanksgiving Turkey and pick up a few groceries. I bought some chili meat and fixed homemade chili and cornbread for dinner. It smells divine in the house and that will last us for meals the next two days.
5) I’m home for the weekend, no more errands to run, so I’m watching the Sooners football game as entertainment tonight. I plan to clean the house for tomorrow and I looking forward to just relaxing at home this weekend.


Katherine in AL November 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm

1. Made $52 on Craigslist in 12 hours on items that were taking up space.
2. My brother’s employer gives out free turkey vouchers every Thanksgiving and he passes it along to me as we host the meal. He will be sent home with plenty of leftovers.
3. Bought a Christmas gift for my 12yo son on Craigslist. He doesn’t mind used and we cannot wait to see his face on Christmas morning!
4. Switched the kids’ dental care to a non-profit pediatric dental center. They had a check up today (yay for a Saturday appointment) with no cavities and any money made off us will be used to treat the poorest of the poor.
5. We will have our first frost of the season tonight. We are bundled up with extra blankets and sweaters and are determined not to use heating until Dec. 1.


janine November 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm

1. Went to Costco – mostly frugal – skipped the hotdogs, ate the free snacks and bought inexpensive cheese and milk for the family.
2.Also found some well priced and interesting flavored olive oils to give as gifts at our holiday TV cast party. Confession: Son and I were following football game on his smart phone as we came across a display of good quality U of M stocking caps – broke down and bought him one as an “early Xmas gift.”
3. Stayed home for dinner tonight – it seemed that everyone else was enjoying dinner out!
4. Harvested the last few tomatoes right ahead of our first snowstorm. This has been the warmest fall on record – beautiful weather, but our climatologist says it will lead to increased insect infestations that we usually don’t experience this far north. (among other nasty outcomes )
5. Instead of sending flowers to the families of some friends who recently passed away, we donated to Friends of the Parks and Planned Parenthood as requested. A better use of $$.


Teri November 19, 2016 at 7:07 pm

1. Between Target’s $10 off $50 grocery coupon and additional cartwheel and manufacturer’s coupons I got $50 of groceries for $28. Only item not truly necessary was the caramels I got as a surprise for my husband.
2. Finally had to turn on the heat tonight due to freezing temps, but we keep it at 64.
3. Brought in all my green tomatoes to ripen inside so they didn’t freeze.
4. Enjoyed “early opening” at TJMaxx where I received a free roll of Christmas gift wrap.
5. Made soup and bread for this cold evening using all ingredients I already had, including some potatoes that were getting old.


Christine November 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm

1) A fruit tray was brought into my workplace late in the day, and by end of day there were still a lot of melon leftovers. Rather than throwing it out, I brought it home to freeze for smoothies. Kept the disposable tray and lid for future potluck use.
2) Hosted some friends from work yesterday for a potluck lunch. I provided fruit and veggie trays and beverages. I used the saved disposable tray to store/serve the fruit. I bought grapes and a quarter watermelon on sale, and used an orange and assorted veggies I already had, just had to cut them up. Saved packaging waste and the cost of a pre-made tray.
3) Set up a hand-me down play tent for the toddlers to use at the potluck (it was all moms of young kids whose partners are out of town for various reasons this weekend). It was a reasonably relaxing afternoon because by and large the kids entertained each other. One woman joked that this might be the benefit of the sister wives lifestyle?
4)Not non-consumer, but free ( to me): I took my sons to ToysRUs to cash in gift cards they’d received from a relative for their birthdays earlier in the Fall. It was my 5 year old’s first time there, and I was very proud that he didn’t pout or whine and simply asked “do I have enough for this?” when he saw things he liked. I was glad I’d saved this outing for a rainy weekend, it killed about 90 minutes.
5) Despite the rain, I line-dried my laundry (in the basement).
6) I had a promo code for photo Christmas cards, but even after the discount it was more than I expected (forgot it was a US site, so exchange and shipping to Canada made it $$$). I was so tempted to say, “whatever, my time is worth it” and just press Order…. But ended up finding another site I’ve used before (also had a promotion on), selecting a new template, etc… the cards will be slightly less nice but less than half the other price. **This is something I don’t mind consuming every year as it shares a photo of my kids and lets me write a few handwritten lines to friends and family, they can save it as a photo in their album or recycle it (it’s not on glossy photo paper).**

And one failure…

1) I meant to pack snacks for our toy store outing but there were calls of “Mommy” every 15 seconds while I was getting ready, and I forgot. Ended up getting fast food while out.


Amy Jo November 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm

1. Enjoyed a free concert today at church. Wonderful music. WOW!
2. Soup supper and silent auction fundraiser for the youth group afterwards. I ate till my heart was content and came home with 5 quarts of broccoli cheese soup, 3 pans of cornbread (each was a 9×13), a dozen handmade authentic tamales and 3 cupcakes (which works out for dessert for my 3 kids)
3. Bought 3 body washes at DG today for stocking stuffers. I do this every year. They need body wash anyway, and at Christmas time, they have cute characters, and fun scents. 😉 $1 each.
4. Needed to buy a bottle of cough/cold meds for my kids, and DG had a deal on the generic (which is a lot cheaper than the name brand anyway), of buy 1 , get the other 1/2 price.
5. Went to the store tonight and got a few sales. It’s amazing to me sometimes how you can get an item for so much cheaper just by buying a generic item. I needed another container of dried onions, and generic was the SAME SIZE and ounces, but was over $3 cheaper.


dawn November 21, 2016 at 2:42 am

1. Went to see a free documentary screening at a local junior college. Free popcorn too!
2. Visited a city park we hadn’t been to before. Enjoyed the playgrounds and the lake and another family kindly offered some duck food to us so my daughter could feed the ducks.
3. My daughter needed a bigger, warmer blanket for her bed for the winter. A visit to Goodwill didn’t help, but did get us a $5 scooter that someone has been asking for months. While loading it into my car, I realized that the $2 Goodwill quilt I keep in there for picnics and beach trips would actually work. Daughter agreed, I washed it, and threw a thin blanket over it to hide some light stains on the top of it.
4. Walked to the library to return books and check out new ones. It’s kind of a long walk but I needed it and now more than ever I’m trying to drive as little as possible.
5. Washed out a gallon size ziplock bag that had been holding shredded cabbage, to reuse.


janine November 21, 2016 at 7:19 am

Thanks for the reminder that local colleges often have free/low cost entertainment. What documentary did you see?
The rest of your list showed some good frugal- thinking too.
Loved the idea of repurposing the quilt!


nancy from mass November 21, 2016 at 6:02 am

1. raked and mowed/mulched my front and side yards. after the wind yesterday, i’ll have to do it again though. but, i’m saving money because i’m not paying someone else to do it (although, i would LOVE to).
2. pulled steak from the freezer for the boys to go with baked potatoes. the potato was my supper with a little cheese, sour cream and scallions (vegetarian). The steak was purchased OS for 2.99# and it was enough for both of them. The potatoes were purchased for 99# for the heaviest 5# bag I could find.
3. hosting Thanksgiving this year and bought a 24# turkey for .58# plus a 3# boneless spiral ham at 2.49#. 2 bags of potatoes at 99 each. the turkey will heat my house on thursday so i can keep the thermostat low and my house will be filled with 20 family members laughing and enjoying each others company. all are bringing something to add to the party.
4. have a baby shower this saturday so i have been furiously knitting. I made a sweater and 3 pairs of booties in different sizes. All with leftover soft green baby yarn that was gifted to me. i have enough yarn for another set for another person plus, if there’s time, i will whip up a bonnet too. (it’s a girl)
5. Oh, you’re cold? Well, here’s a quilt to throw over your lap and would you like tea or hot cocoa to warm you? thermostat has not gone above 62 for 3 days now. and its been cccooollllldddd and windy lately.


susanna d November 21, 2016 at 7:43 am

1. Rounded up all my drying racks, since I have a couple of loads of laundry to do today. I’ve enjoyed hanging laundry outdoors in the (almost unheard of around these parts) 60 degree weather the past several weeks. However, reality has bitten, and bitten hard – it was 14 degrees outside when I got up today. I’ve seen frozen laundry, but don’t have any desire to experience it for myself.
2. Used up the very last bit of conditioner by adding water and giving the bottle a good shake. Normally I just mix a little conditioner with a lot more water in a small spray bottle and have homemade, leave-in conditioner. But of course, there’s always a little more hiding in the original bottle…or so I figure, anyway.
3. Made some more homemade, healthy breadcrumbs using the immersion blender and a few slices of Dave’s Killer Bread. I will never buy pre-made, store bought breadcrumbs again.
4. Dug out the Denali fleece blankets that I got for a ridiculously low price online many years ago – seriously, they were maybe 1/6 the cost they normally are. So warm – and so nice on cold, cold nights.
5. Using up more free firewood in the fireplace (one of the joys of living in the woods is the abundance of free wood), since otherwise the heat has been wanting to run almost constantly – even at lower settings.


Amanda November 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

We used to save half of our income too. Sigh. That was before I went back to school and we had two kids in full time daycare. But I am confident that we will get back to it once I am gainfully employed again.

Here are my five:
1. We had friends over for dinner Saturday night instead of going out. It was cheap and so much easier too now that we all have kids. I could not imagine taking four kids under six to a restaurant.
2. Usually Sunday is church and then driving back to town from the weekend house, but we stayed in town this weekend. Yesterday we didn’t even leave the house, so no gas was purchased.
3. Like all parents of small children my husband and I are floored by how much they prefer things out of the recycling bin to their toys. So we decided last night that for Christmas we’ll get them a couple of small things, but their big gift will be three refrigerator boxes shaped into houses. They are going to lose their little freaking minds, twice. Once when they see the living room full of a village and again when they are 22 and have no college debt because their parents didn’t buy them a bunch of crap every Christmas.
4. I’ve got bread going in the bread machine and chicken roasting in the crockpot as I type. Having cooked chicken on hand makes dinner prep so much easier. Easier means we’re less likely to get takeout.
5. We had a budget check in meeting last night, and my husband literally said, “I want to save as much as possible.” It is the sexiest thing he could say to this frugally-minded person. He’s always been pretty frugal, but I am kind of off the charts, so it is cool to see that he is on my level.


Susie's Daughter November 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

Amanda – I had a #3 experience yesterday when DS asked us to help construct a ‘hideout’ in the family room from the four big pieces of cardboard that came with our new insulating window inserts. I thought of the $25 -$50 cardboard playhouses that people buy for kids. Here’s to the re-imagined box!


JD November 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

We had a bit of a frugal fail this weekend — after months of not eating out when we shop after church, we ate out at a legendary restaurant that finally re-opened after a series of mis-adventures. Since we got lunch, it was not too bad, though — we had fried oysters, shrimp and grits, hushpuppies, a beer and for me, a soft drink, for $27.00.
1. My husband tried to convince me to buy oriental sweet potatoes to make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving. I reminded him that I already have winter squash pureed and frozen to make “pumpkin” pies. I won.
2. We finally had to turn on some heat. It reached 31 last night and is supposed to get colder tonight. However, this is the first time of turning it on, and the thermostats are set low, so not too bad.
3. We have eaten nearly all the leftovers in the refrigerator, so now I can start filling it for Thanksgiving.
4. I’m looking about for good interior entry rugs to replace ours which are simply shredding. Any suggestions? I’ve found one decent used rug so far at thrift stores, and it was totally the wrong color and style.
5. We have cuttings rooted and growing inside from some of our more tender plants. They’ll be ready to plant when the weather warms again. We hope to spread some of these into patches.
6. Bonus — I’ve picked hibiscus “flowers” and made yummy red jelly. We grew the six plants from seed.


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