Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 9, 2016 · 63 comments

  1. My sister and I spent yesterday running errands, which included dropping off a few donations at the New Rochelle Goodwill. (She lives in The Bronx, so it’s easier to drive north to Westchester county than it is to drive south into Manhattan.) I found lots of great things to photograph for a future “Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will” blog post. But most importantly, I actually bought something, which was an Ibex brand merino wool black hoodie. It fits me like a dream and only set me back five dollars! These sell for $130 new, so this was a great score. I expect to wear this garment every day for the rest of the winter, so I just wanted to give ya’ll a heads up!
  2. We then stopped into a church thrift shop where I rifled through a huge basket of Christmas ornaments to pick out some adorable vintage specimens. I had hoped to use vintage ornaments for my holiday wreaths last week, so now I’ll be ready for the next time I attempt this craft project. And the price for all these adorable ornaments? $2.50.
  3. I spent a minutes or two on to find an Italian bakery near where my sister had a doctor’s appointment. The west coast simply doesn’t have the same kind of old school Italian businesses that can be found in the NYC area, so I like to take full advantage of the the cultural differences when I travel. Needless to say, it was money deliciously well spent. Plus, we were the only people there not speaking Italian, which was very cool.
  4. I relisted a couple of things on eBay that had expired.
  5. I e-mailed my boss to point out that a day that I’d called in sick was showing up as “unpaid.” She was able to go into the system and fix this error, which is important since it was the only shift for my next paycheck. I also signed up for the next hospital schedule and was able to get two 12-hour shifts per week, which is my goal.

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 }

Rebecca December 9, 2016 at 6:08 am

For your college fund! I sell lots of ornaments just like those on ebay. As a a lot, I’d charge 24.99 and add $4.00 for 1st class shipping. Mention Hong Kong or Japan labels if they have them still.


Katy December 9, 2016 at 7:03 am

I may do that!


Tass December 9, 2016 at 6:29 am

How much will Goodwill pay to promote them on a blog???? It must be a lot!


Katy December 9, 2016 at 7:02 am

I don’t get paid.


Mrs. Picky Pincher December 9, 2016 at 6:40 am

Way to keep it frugal in the Big Apple! This week:

1. Tonight is Mr. Picky Pincher’s company Christmas party, which means we get a free dinner and an open bar! Unfortunately we can’t take leftovers home, but I do love me some free barbecue!

2. We’re driving a little further this weekend to shop at a grocery store with bulk food bins to save money. We only need to buy a certain amount of foods for making Christmas presents, and the bulk food bins are by far the cheapest way to do it. We spend more in gas, but make up for it in food savings!

3. This weekend I’m getting several errands done in one trip to save gas, instead of doing several small, scattered trips.

4. This week I started wearing sweaters–all of which I’ve owned for eight years! It doesn’t get cold in Texas very much, so my cold weather clothes tend to last quite a while. I’m not complaining!

5. Instead of throwing away used paper towel rolls, I gave them to our kitten to play with. It’s funny how he won’t play with a $5 toy but a free piece of cardboard is heaven to him!


susanna d December 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

1. I cut open my husband’s almost-used-up toothpaste tube. He uses the expensive “sensitive teeth” toothpaste (necessity) while I use whatever I can get for less than $1 per tube. He doesn’t cut open the toothpaste tubes, but he does give them to me rather than trash them. As always, I got an entire week’s worth of brushing out of the “spent” tube.
2. While downstate last weekend, we stayed at our son’s house (free lodging) and showed them how to install a hardwood floor. I love teaching valuable do-it-yourself skills to our son and his wife – they both want to learn, and being able to do most things ourselves has saved us many tens of thousands of dollars over the past 30+ years. We’re happy they want to learn, and they know they’re welcome to borrow any and all of our tools as needed – which will save them money, too.
3. Son and his wife also wanted to get rid of an ugly homemade built in book shelf and open a hallway that the previous owner had closed off. We were able easily remove the added drywall – which revealed the most beautiful arched hallway opening. Can’t believe it was covered up. Cost? Just elbow grease and the use of a few tools. They have paint and patch materials left from previous jobs.
4. Son and his wife took us out to dinner as a “thank you”. Living in the city, they have so many more restaurant choices than we do, so it was a super treat.
5. One of the temple stems broke on my favorite pair of cheapy reading glasses – right in the middle of the stem. Husband duct taped it back together. I have a pair in my purse for “outside the home” use, but hey – I’m fine with the silvery addition to my at-home glasses.


Susie's Daughter December 9, 2016 at 6:59 am

#1 – Love this toothpaste trick. I have been doing it with DS’s kid flavored toothpaste too (free from dentist visit). Here’s to berry blast???
#5 – Duct tape has come the rescue for our shower curtain recently. Works like a charm.


susanna d December 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

#1 – I cut open the free sample toothpaste tubes from the dentist, too. I figure even if something’s a free sample, there’s no reason to waste any of it, right?


tonya parham December 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I thought I needed the sensitive toothpaste too– until I completely quite toothpaste and used baking soda instead. My teeth don’t hurt and I haven’t had a cavity since! (And it’s been three years!)


susanna d December 11, 2016 at 7:57 am

Do you use plain baking soda, or do you flavor it somehow? Not sure if I can get my husband to try baking soda, but I’m intrigued!


Tracy December 9, 2016 at 6:58 am

Long time reader, first time poster and fellow Portlander. Here’s my list:

1. Made a resolution to buy nothing new in 2017.
2. Made ham and bean soup with leftover ham bone from family party this past weekend.
3. Took the bus to work using my work-subsidized transit pass 2 x so far this week plus will today (saves $12/day in parking)
4. Snow/ice day yesterday so didn’t leave the house and hence spent no money on coffee, lunch etc. Did order one of my last Christmas gifts online though…
5. Took advantage of snow day to mend several items of clothing (buttons, hems etc.)


Susie's Daughter December 9, 2016 at 7:13 am

Katy – sounds like you are having a great visit in NYC. I love the ornament photo! I inherited all my Nana’s vintage glass bulbs and we will take them out tonight when we decorate the tree. And I saw an Ibex sweater at our thrift store yesterday and may go back for it today!

1) Put out the “Be Merry” doormat which is coconut fiber with red lettering. I repainted the red lettering last winter before I put it away. This is the second year doing that – I am hoping for at least a few more.

2) Rescued dinner from the clutches of disaster last night with two frozen pizza crusts bought at 50% off. DS had cheese, parents had chicken with ricotta and kalamata olives. Everyone happy – meltdown averted.

3) We did a gift inventory this week to find out what is still in need of procuring. Just a couple of gifts to go, hopefully saving us from last minute buying.

4) Made a ‘payment’ to our online savings account used for taxes. I am trying to avoid any unpleasant January financial surprises if possible.

5) Discovered that dear wife’s app for our gas station chain had three free coffees already one it – score! (Especially since I am the only coffee drinker 🙂 )


Bee December 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Frozen pizza crust has saved me more than once. Trader Joes has come out with a wonderful GF flatbread. I think you deserve a medal! 🙂


Susie's Daughter December 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Thank you, Bee!!


Vickie December 9, 2016 at 8:03 am

Nice score on the hoodie and those ornaments are adorable!
1) I’m going to a birthday party Saturday night, so I’m heading to the Dollar Tree for a card and trying to figure out what kind of inexpensive food gift I can give my friend/coworker.
2) I’ve been able to make it all week long, back and forth to work, on a half tank of gas. I’m hoping I won’t need to fill up again until Monday.
3) My old Winter coat is showing a bit of wear, but not really anywhere that’s noticeable. Thankfully I can launder it, so I plan to do that this weekend while the weather is a bit warmer. I’ve had this coat for nearly 20 years now and it has come in handy this week, since the morning temps have been below 20 degrees.
4) I used the last of the Thanksgiving turkey fat last night on the food for our farm dogs. I try to put fat into their evening meals, during the Winter, to help keep them warm and keep their thick fur in good shape. They love it.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a $1000 Christmas tree.


jennifer December 9, 2016 at 8:17 am

Katy, I absolutely love your ornaments!

1. Downloaded my free Friday download from Kroger today which was Werther’s original candy. Hello, yummy stocking stuffer for free!
2. We went to Disney on Ice last night with our free tickets we got from donating 10 cans of food per ticket to a needy family. I made a quick meal of BBQ chicken and potato salad to eat before we left to hopefully be too full to be tempted by the funnel cakes, popcorn, and Disney themed cotton candy for $12!!!!! My kids asked anyway. I said, “No, just sit back and enjoy the show”. They quickly forgot about it. I did splurge and buy a couple drinks but that wasn’t too bad.
3. My kids have Disney Princess costumes that they wore last night. One came from a yard sale the other I got on sale after Halloween. I noticed that one of the dresses was tearing apart at the waist(cheaply made) right as we were walking out the door so I quickly, but not so neatly, hand stitched it temporarily back together. It got the job done and I will make it neater some time later when I’m not so rushed.
4. My kids and I do lots of frugal projects around the holidays. We made gingerbread-like houses out of graham crackers, homemade frosting, candy canes, and leftover candy from the Christmas parade. They are really pretty and good holiday decor.
5.I am feeling so blessed to have received so many nice quality items from my friend whose mother passed. So many high quality items that are too much to mention. I am keeping the things I need and passing others along. I donated all her underwear, bras, etc to the Salvation Army. The lady that works there was so thankful. She said that it is a common misconception that they won’t accept these type items. She said when people have nothing, squeamishness isn’t a factor . All facilities may not accept these type of items but it’s worth a call, IMO.


nancy from mass December 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

1. Since i am past the ‘contagious’ stage of shingles, i put a patch over the area and went to my company holiday party last night. one of my managers lives around the corner so she and her husband picked me up. I ate some fantastic food in the Federal Hill section of Providence (little Italy), actually drank a beer (free), laughed a lot and was able to pass along some free/cheap things-to-do expertise to newer people on the team.
2. went to Walgreens to buy some ‘on-sale stuff, Christmas gifts and other needed things for 4.8% of the total (after cashing in my register rewards i earned by purchasing things needed for work – i get to keep the rewards for myself). i bought almost $96 for $4.57. 36 rolls of toilet paper, 6 rolls of paper towels (will last us 7 or 8 months), stocking stuffer candy, gum, etc. 2 body sprays for the boy and needed items.
3. was rummaging through the cabinet to pull out the fixins for tonights taco pie recipe and found a package of tofu miso soup. had that for part of my lunch. helped warm me up on this frigid day.
4. also found 1/2 box of gluten free crackers we had to buy for my son’s temp diet that expired the end of october. they were okay on their own (sort of) so i cut up some blue cheese and diagonally cut a string cheese stick to make them more, well, palatable. it was…well, lets say, it filled my stomach and nothing went to waste.
5. went around the house this morning unplugging all chargers that were left plugged in with nothing attached. arrrggg, i wish they would remember to unplug them when they are done.


nancy from mass December 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

I have a #6!!

Just found about $60 on for my mom! yay! every little bit helps for her nursing home care 🙂


Heidi December 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Nancy, Thanks for mentioning this site. I didn’t know it existed. I’m an American that now resides in Canada and I think I might have some funds in one of the many states I lived in during uni, grad school and early yrs of my marriage! I had no idea!!! That’s pretty cool. Thanks again.


Jennifer December 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

We got $175 from this site!


Elizabeth December 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

My husband got $2200! It was the coolest surprise ever!

Nancy from mass December 9, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Yay!! Glad to hear it. 🙂


Susan December 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Nancy! My MIL has been deceased for a couple years and we found some funds toward her mom’s care. Appreciate it!

Jennifer December 10, 2016 at 6:17 am

Hey Nancy, I read a tip somewhere about shingles that I wanted to pass along to you just in case you need it later. After the wound heals you may have post-herpetic neuralgia. Sounds awful, I know, but it’s basically pretty intense pain from the damage to the nerves underneath where your lesions were. When the area is hurting, roll up a towel and gently rub across the healed area. Somehow, it interrupts the way the brain receives the message from the nerve as pain and may help your discomfort. That annoying nerve damage pain can last for years after shingles so I hope this helps you or someone else.


Nancy from mass December 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the tip! I have a friend who had a bad case about 5 years ago that still has the pain every now and then. I’ll be sure to pass that tip on to her too.


K D December 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

1. Eating a bowl of split pea soup for lunch. The huge pot of it probably cost about the same as a can of Progresso soup at regular price. Cheaper and healthier.

2. Dinner will be potato chowder and muffins, with fruit on the side. Leftover muffins will go into a food basket for a bunch of hungry college students.

3. It’s cold and windy outside but I’m wearing an extra layer inside, to keep the hear turned down.

4. When my car was leaking oil (there was a bit on the floor of the garage) last week they thought there were two leaks, only one of which was important to address. Both of which were expensive to fix. I had the crucial one done and it took care of all the problems. I threw away the newspaper I had put on the floor of the garage. I made sure to thank the service adviser for all his help when I picked up my car.

5. I’ve resorted to Twitter to try to resolve an issue that did not resolve with a phone call nor with web based contact the company. It’s a brave new world.


tia December 9, 2016 at 10:11 am

1. Bought a rotisserie chicken and have enjoyed the many meals it makes. I’m making soup with the carcass and not loving the process. Ew, straining out all the icky bits and fat and not sure it’s all that tasty, will have to see. and I’m not sure all that cooking time and cost makes it worthwhile or frugal. Maybe with a pressure cooker.
2. I’m painting some furniture. I need to google all sorts of stuff to not have a disaster on my hands. If it works it will save $ and look nice.
3. I put a shallow plastic pan in the shower to catch all the water and let it help warm the room instead of running down the drain. Once it’s all cool I’ll use it to water plants or flush the toilet.
4 and 5 ? The art of omission…all the money I’m saving not doing all sorts of stuff.


Debra Oehlberg December 9, 2016 at 4:56 pm

I am very fond of making all kinds of meals out of rotisserie chicken. We especially love the chicken bowl – with rice or potatoes, and veggies to choose from. I esp love avocado and tomato.


Susan December 9, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Tia-I throw it all in a crock pot on low for 8 plus hours. Then I dump it into a huge strainer over my soup pot , dump the strainer stuff into the trash/compost and I’m ready to go. Easy peasy and not gross and greasy. 🙂


Lindsey December 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

1. Fixed a pair of mittens instead of buying new ones.
2. Used the library instead of buying books and renting a video
3. Made a soup using items entirely from the freezer, all of which (except the chicken stock) were from last summer’s garden. This is the second week in a row I have done this. Very frugal.
4. Averted my eyes when passing a display of very tempting fresh green wreaths. The temperatures continue to be in the 20 to 30 below range at our house so I am not going to go out harvesting greenery from the woods. Spruced up an artificial wreath instead. (I had already done this for the outside door but I wanted greenery looking things inside, too).
5. Was very tempted to go out to eat. Instead made mac and cheese and we were both very happy with that. Comfort food and not the healthiest but better than spending $25 or more. And who wants to leave a warm house to drive in the cold?



Vickey December 12, 2016 at 9:11 am

I hear ya on nos. 4 & 5! We’re skipping some of the holiday bits n baubles this year to save up for more important things, and those cheap wreaths have tempted me sorely. Meanwhile, we’re reveling in the comfort of cooking from our deep pantry – soups atop the wood stove while it’s snowin’ & blowin’ outside. Brrr.


Betty Winslow December 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

1. Listening to Xmas music while cleaning the kitchen vs. going out where I’ll spend money.
2. Brought home a huge whole wheat Panera’s bagel from work that no one wanted since it was too hard. Broke into pieces and buzzed in my blender, made great crumbs for future casserole topping. Also buzzed some stale garlic bread and added that to the jar.
3. Accepted a new freelance writing assignment from the editor I work with. $150, baby!
4. Used my new Instapot a few days ago. Wasn’t impressed, but will give it a few more chances before I resell it. Made chicken breasts and veggies, which I will chop up, mix with a cream soup and some herbs, and stick in a casserole.
5. I love Kroger jalapeno cheese bagels, but they’re almost $2 apiece, so I was thrilled to find a marked down day-old package of SIX for $1.79! Made one into a sandwich for lunch today, will wrap the rest individually and freeze, for future lunches. (Hubby doesn’t like them…)


Denise B December 10, 2016 at 6:03 am

#5 Those are SO good with cream cheese! There’s just something about the combination with the jalapenos!


A. Marie December 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Ah, I see you’ve been shopping “Upstate.” (Natives of the five boroughs think that anything north of the Bronx is Upstate. But this isn’t the time to get into a rant about Downstaters’ blind spots, which are numerous.)

Great scores on the hoodies and the ornaments.

My FFT 1-5 this week = working too bloody hard to be able to leave the house to spend any money! I’ll report at greater length on a future FFT when I may be able to come up for air.


kathleen December 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm

1. Leaving thermostat low and wearing a cardigan and a Jack Russell (he’s wanting to cuddle for warmth too. LOL)
2. I had no inspiration for dinner last night, so I Googled my ingredients and came across a recipe for Haluski. I had never had it before, but will be making it again…budget friendly and tasty.
3. I’m hanging some vintage crocheted snowflakes in a window today. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use to hang them, until with my son-in-law the other day I realized he was sure to have fishing line I could ‘borrow.’
4. Hubs worked two extra days for a friend who needed time off. Two extra days of pay! Bless him!
5. The Jack Russell just saw one of his favorite toys hanging over the edge of the ironing board where I set it until I could get it mended. Now that he’s begging to have it back, I guess I’ll will get right on it and make us both happy. 🙂


Bee December 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm

I had to look up Haluski, because I had never heard of it before. It sounds interesting and relatively easy to fix. There was a huge cabbage in my recent farm bag, so it may be on our dining room table soon.


Marcia December 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

We love it and have it often. That it’s inexpensive to make, is a bonus!!


Hana December 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm

It’s from Slovakia. Traditional food of the poor folks but still very popular over here. And yes, yummmmy


kathleen December 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

The recipe I used had some sausage in it. Really made it a one skillet meal. Hope you like it.


Marybeth December 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm

1. Keeping the heat low so I am wearing extra layers and a blanket when I sit.
2. Went thru the stack of cards I have and I am using up all the old Christmas ones from years past before I buy new ones this year. There is always a few leftover every year. I always keep the cards I get from others and turn them into gift tags for the next year.
3.We had leftover pancakes for breakfast and my husband and I had mix and match leftovers for lunch. The kids brought their lunches to school. I’m cooking dinner. No more leftovers, no food waste and I only had to cook once today.
4.Fixing up some of our older Christmas decorations. A friend gave us her old Mickey Mouse shaped wreath. It has fake red berries on it and they were chipping. Pulled out some red nail polish and 20 minutes later it looks great. We have another wreath that has all different things on it. Some had fallen off or were loose. Got out the glue gun and it looks great too.
5. Didn’t go anywhere today and didn’t spend any money.


Bee December 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Katy, the recounts of your vacation reminds me of that quote by Neil Gaiman, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” It doesn’t matter if you are in Portland or NYC; you are always the real deal. Your frugality is inspiring.
Here are my FFT:
1) It must be cold in most of the United States this weekend. Even in Florida temps are to dip into the 30s tonight. Like many of you, I have on an extra layer – a cashmere sweater that I bought at Goodwill last summer for just $4.
2) My husband’s flight is late getting in this evening, so I made myself a simple supper of cheese toast, onion soup, and a sliced apple for dessert. I currently have 4 different kinds of homemade soup in the freezer for nights like this one.
3) I went to a free art class at the library yesterday. It was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the season.
4) I have been cleaning out closets. I know this sounds a bit repetitive, but this has been a focus for me for several weeks now. Yesterday I tackled the linen closet. I now have a nice stack of blankets to go to the local emergency assistance ministry. I can’t quite figure out how I manage to acquire 12 quilts and blankets. There are only 3 of us in the household and only 3 beds. Did I mention I live in Florida?
5) I went for my yearly eye exam. I paid for my exam and contact lenses in pre-tax dollar using my Flexible Spending Account. Then I sent in a $40 rebate for the lenses.

Thank you JD and others for writing about the availability $4 prescription at Wal-mart. I had never really thought about changing pharmacies, but I can save $100 a year if I do.


JD December 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm

Bee, you’re welcome!
1. We bought a tree but I won’t decorate fully until closer to Christmas. This year we got the tree from a lot that donates to an organization I belong to when you buy the tree! Win!
2. We found we can save money by switching our car insurance but not by switching the home insurance. Hm, a dilemma. We get a discount for bundling our insurance at our current carrier. We’ll talk it over.
3. I’m wrapping jars of relish, pear butter and jelly for gifts, made with mostly items from our yard. Cheap and good. It’s amazing how many people are afraid of canning and are eager to get my home canned goods.
4. It’s cold tonight here in Florida so out come the old sheets we use year after year to protect tender plants. Each spring they get washed and put away again.
5. We went to see the lights at the Suwannee tonight and I wore my wool peacoat that is at least 20 years old.


tonya parham December 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Finally did groceries. Decided that I just have to be an omnivore who counts calories for now– I can eat 20 our of 21 meals vegan but if I think I’m “not allowed” to have something, it’s what I want. With county calories, it ensures I eat lots of whole foods and less processed stuff. It also keeps me realistic about weight loss and goals.

2. I called the vet about the cat who won’t stop sneezing (she’s been for three visits already) and he just prescribed a new med for $9 instead of another $80 visit.

3. Stayed home and watched tv with the cats.

4. Went to Sam’s Club for tomatoes and they were having samples. Me and the missus stopped at every station and after called it a fun date and were pleased that we were people who are “easily amused.” (No, we didn’t buy anything we sampled, but the meatballs WERE tempting!)

5. Made plans to go with friends to see another friend sang in our hometown about an hour away tomorrow. It’ll be free other than dinner and will be our Christmas get together.


Denise B December 10, 2016 at 6:06 am

#4 I had “dinner” at Sam’s the other day too, and they were sampling the meatballs that had been in a crockpot with a grape jelly/hot sauce mix. They were surprisingly good; I usually don’t like frozen meatballs.


Isabelle December 9, 2016 at 9:57 pm

* Invited friends over for a game night. Did make a cheesecake costing me about 17$ but it’s fine. It feed 4 people and we still have 1/2 of it left. Rest of the night was free. And fun!!
* Got exercice programs I really wanted for a 1/4 of the regular price, on Craigslist. Litteraly saved 300$ right there (if I had bought new). I paid 90$ for programs costing 350$ + shipping on Amazon. This will replace my expensive gym membership (1000$/year) finishing in 2 weeks.
* Skipping the work Christmas lunch. Since they are too cheap to offer it to us for free and asking us to pay 5$ to participate, I am then too “cheap” to go (read: insulted!)
* Got invited to the premiere of Christmas party ( funny!!). Also won tickets to go see Collateral damages next week. Yay free movies!!
* Taking advantage of the Employees Help Program to see a therapist for free, and hubby too. Considering a therapist is at least 75$/hour this is major savings right there.
* Buying the cheap no-name cat litter and cat food on sale (not no-name tho, still quality like Meow Mix) for the rescued cat. No point paying cat litter 15$ when I can pay 8$. And the cat throws up all the time anyways, no matter what she’s feed. She’s just old (14 years old) and her digestive system is going down.

Have a great frugal day!


Melody Pond December 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Fun fact – you can use wood pellets (as in, for a pellet stove) as kitty litter, if your cat isn’t too fussy about their litter. (some cats, especially if they’ve been declawed, can find the texture of the pellets uncomfortable for their paws)

A 40 lb bag of it costs about $5 in places like Home Depot and Lowe’s. AND, it smells so much better than traditional clay-based cat litter, and it “tracks” out of the litter box way less.


Kathleen in Kansas December 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

My daughter is taking care of her deceased Dad’s elderly cat (18). Poor thing wasn’t looked after very well and has many allergies, including food. We found a pea protein based food that she can actually tolerate. She constantly throws up any common inexpensive food. Vet theorizes it’s the grains, so hence the pea protein with no grains. Whatever works! She’s keeping it down and looking much better, shinier etc. Stuff costs twice the price of the common stuff, but not having to clean up every day, or not stepping in it first thing in the morning? Priceless, as they say.
DD’s other cat sneaks a bite now and again, shrugs, and goes off to eat the cheap stuff, and she’s healthy.


Hana in Prague December 10, 2016 at 3:37 am

1) I bought a present for my mom which I later saw for 1/4 of the price. So returned the first one and bought the cheaper. $20 saved
2) The car window replacement shop filed the replacement as an accident with my insurance company. So from original $2000 quoted, it is $250 copay. $1750 saved.
3) as we are all sick, we skipped on nephew/niece birthdays. They don’t come to my kids birthdays either so no hard feelings. $30 saved in presents and gas
4) I used a free trial month of Audible to get Gone with the Wind (mandatory reading). $45 saved. Probably will cancel the membership when I am done even though I really enjoy listening to the books.
5) ordered all my gifts well in advance to prevent expedite shipping. They are all here and I am happy.


rebecca December 10, 2016 at 5:03 am

1. Looking through fliers for grocery shopping.
2. Will bake some Christmas and Channukah gifts, starbucks gifts cards for the receptionists at work and then I’m done.
3.Used my gym membership 3x this week.
4. Took a friend out for dinner last night. I used a %20 off groupon. we had a lovely time catching up.
5. Watching House Hunters International instead of buying an Italian villa………


Mariana December 10, 2016 at 5:58 am

I did absolutely zero shopping this past week. T. picked up one milk and some bananas for smoothies and that’s pretty much all.
We had two lunches at work too, I saved the leftovers from being trashed so that was dinner as well 🙂 saved money and most importantly time.
After getting a weekly free past the previous week, we got another free pass to another gym this past week as well. We went 4 times!
I am ignoring all the NYC holiday sales and clearance. Some of it is tempting but what is tempting more is financial freedom at one point (and paying for my upcoming root canal and crown :/


Denise B December 10, 2016 at 6:18 am

1. We had a school wide party at the high school where I teach, and I helped with the clean-up, which meant I got to bring home leftovers no one else wanted: paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, 3 containers of cookies, 3 bags of chips, 2 containers of ranch dip, 2 large bottles of soft drinks and a gallon of milk.

2. I went to a Favorite Four Things party this week, and there was a $6 cap on each gift. I bought holiday paper goods at Target last year for 75% off, so I gave a collections of paper goods for my gifts with a tag that said, “For Christmas, it is my wish that you will not have to wash a dish”! I only spent about $3 per gift due to the discount. It’s kind of an odd gift for me to give since I rarely use paper goods, but it might make someone’s life a little easier during the crazy holidays!

3. I have received some nice gifts from my students…Bath and Body Works lotion and a collection of homemade snacks. I have been grazing on those all week!

4. I took a Bath and Body Works car air freshener plastic container, and, instead of buying their scent replacements, I put a round cotton pad in it’s place and dropped peppermint essential oil, that I already had, onto the cotton pad. My car smells so good, and the peppermint makes me feel more alert while driving.

5. I have been watching The Crown on Netflix…cheap entertainment, and one of the best things I’ve watched in ages!


Bettypants December 10, 2016 at 9:10 am

1. My 12 year old son asked for one thing for Christmas – the new Pokémon DS game. I had a $5 coupon to use, but at the store I found it was buy one, get 40% off a second game, and I was able to use a $10 coupon. I also picked up free moving boxes from the bakery while I was there, and the register printed a $20 coupon at checkout, which I will sell on ebay.
2. Sold two items on the FB boards yesterday for $8. We are moving and every little bit I can get rid of before then is a win.
3. Bought a sports jersey at a yard sale this summer for 50 cents, but my son didn’t care for it. Sold that on ebay this week for $10.
4. Stocked up on 99 cent bags of flour and sugar at Kroger this week, and got barbecue sauce and Dove ice cream bars for free.
5. Listed a handful of video games on ebay, and I’m listing another stack today.


Mand01 December 10, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Those ornaments are adorable.
The lead up to Christmas has not been very frugal! But I have managed a few things:
1. Our local supermarket chain has been luring us in with rewards points and $10 off vouchers. I bought $55 of Christmas gifts for teachers and vitamins, already at half price, the other day for $35. So I saved $75.
2. Our garden is producing beautiful onions and beetroot. I swapped some onions for some garlic with my neighbour. We were both happy. Homegrown garlic is indescribable.
3. I’m making fruit mince today, and I’ll make the pies with my kids once we are all on holidays.
4. I was just offered a writing side gig that pays well.
5. This in so not NCA but we bought a drone for Xmas. We have an enormous house and I don’t want my husband climbing on the roof to inspect it after a storm – we’ve had huge storms lately. I was emailed an amazing deal, and scored a drone for $50, saving $250. Now the robot can do it and my husband can save his neck.


kathleen December 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

The drone will be incredibly frugal if it saves you husband from a serious injury.


Juhli December 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

We are in the midst of a spendy time as we prepare our house to sell. Right now the main floor bath is torn up and being remodeled so savings matter!
1. The contractor for the remodel said he could fix the live wire DH found under our back porch when he was cleaning under it. $0 additional cost.
2. DH is painting our front door with leftover paint.
3. We are not getting each other Christmas gifts but rather going out for dinner on Christmas Eve. We live far from family at the moment so not much holiday happenings.
4. I am going to make jam thumbprint cookies to take to the neighborhood party tomorrow evening. If they are good I will do the same thing for my book club party later in the week. I just had to buy butter.
5. Did not buy anything else this week except food and gasoline.


Alison December 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm

1. Went to my staff party last night. For $10, had many different delicious appetizers, most were vegetarian as well, so added bonus. It was enough for dinner. I did, however, pay $20 for two glasses of wine, but they were 9 oz. each, and I don’t drink often, so worth it. I didn’t buy a new outfit.
2. Got a $25 credit on our gas bill, but paid $2300 for a new gas hot water tank!
3. DH did some plumbing repair at our rental property, saving the cost of a plumber.
4. Acted as cashier for a friend’s art show and sale. This is the 12th year I’ve done this. It’s a fun day in a very small studio, and I know lots of the artisans and the people who look forward to shopping for unique gifts in a small environment. I spent only $54 dollars on a calendar, 3 pottery bowls that my friends made, and a calendar her husband made, as well as 4 jars of her jam. I never make jam so I look forward to hers every year. Not completely nonconsumer, but a very enjoyable day, and I feel good about supporting local artists.
5. Haven’t got caught up in the mall craziness. DD got some luggage for Christmas, that should last her forever. DH gets a stocking, (instead if gifts we donate to the Puerto Vallarta SPCA, which is where our dog came from) a few neices and nephews get gift cards, my tenants get wine and chocolates, and that’s about it.


Joyce December 10, 2016 at 3:41 pm

My Christmas shopping is pretty much done so I am enjoying listening to the spendypants stories I hear this time each year!
My frugal things:
1.Found 6 cents in Target parking lot today.
2. Am wearing my brand new Coldwater Creek jacket bought on Senior’s 50% day at the ARC
3. Made huge pot of soup from free turkey carcass leftover from a community meal. It’s enough for 3 or 4 meals.
4. Took apart old Xmas wreath and remade it to last another couple of years.
5. Found enough Holiday cards in my stash that I could combine them with dollar store holiday pot holders as gifts for the gals in my book club.


Chris December 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

1. Went to a church Christmas/bake sale today – ornaments were .10!! I didn’t buy any though found a box of vintage ornaments for .75 for 10. I did buy my husband some garlic pretzels and some homemade english toffee covered in chocolate.
2. My husband got his check from the county for being an election judge.
3. My son asked for his Christmas gift that we pay for one airline ticket for he, his wife and perfect grandson to fly to MN for the state fair in August – can’t wait!
4. My sister found a great vintage sweater at a thrift shop that may be perfect for our son-in-law and if not, she will buy it from me for her husband.
5. Working all next week so will have some $$ in my pocket and no chance to spend $$.


janine December 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm

The Minnesota State Fair is the Best! Am nostalgic for those little donuts, seed art, and all the great people watching this event provides.


Emily December 11, 2016 at 6:23 am

1. Dog sitting this week. Some serious cash in my pocket. Much needed since I missed 2 days of work last week. I don’t have paid sick days :/.
2. Babysitting today. Again, cash in my pocket!
3. Seriously looking at every penny I am spending. I did okay in November even with thanksgiving week off, but the school I work at has 2 weeks off for Christmas and I was sick last week. I won’t get another full paycheck until February 15th! Scary, but have plans to do a lot of ebaying over my 2 week break to bring in some extra cash.
4. Keeping up with shopkick, receipt hog, -!/ other apps for cashback. I tend to ignore these when I get really busy, but pick them back up again when I’m tight on cash. These will help out with some last minute Christmas gifts!
5. Stayed on with the gym after the 10 week training. 50 dollars a month and classes are all day everyday. It’s a mile from my apartment. I love the people and group fitness atmosphere, it’s worth every penny to me. I know that many people can get the excersise they need without a gym but I can’t. you can’t put a price on health and happiness!


Ruby December 11, 2016 at 6:58 am

1. Worked a half-day on Friday, which gave me overtime pay (cha-ching!) and the opportunity to go by Aldi at mid-day, when it’s not so crowded, to buy the ham and fixings for our Christmas Eve/Christmas morning with family meals.
2. Used a spool of gifted thread and a retired foam mattress pad to craft a slipcover for our big ottoman to save it from dog claw damage. We already had the fabric.
3. Also mended our cats’ carpeted cat tree with some yarn. Our cats are both large kitties and sometimes tear holes in the upright scratching sections. Sewing the carpet back together with yarn keeps the tree reasonably presentable and extends its life.
4. Scored a free e-book from Bookbub yesterday.
5. Did the weekly usual frugal things: Packed my lunch and drinks to work, wore cute thrifted outfits, drove with a light foot, hung laundry on the drying rack, froze supper leftovers for future quick lunches.


Diane C December 11, 2016 at 9:45 am

Re: #3 carpet stores give away or sell very cheaply their discontinued carpet samples. Remove the old torn-up carpet, trim the new piece to size and attach securely with a staple gun. You can nail it if you don’t have a staple gun, but it’s a lot more work. Don’t use a glue gun because it’s too hard to pull off for future replacements. Piece of cake.


Danielle December 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

1. Hosted an anniversary dinner for a family member. We had initially offered to take them to a trendy, new, expensive sushi restaurant as their gift/celebration. When that idea didn’t work out and I found the perfect gift (purchased partially with a gift card) – we had them over for burgers instead. Kids were happier anyway.

2. It’s not a party to me without a cake with words on it, but the anniversary family doesn’t like cake. Bought a $6 Sams club pumpkin pie and made a vegan carrot cake with supplies on hand.

3. Wanted to take a meal to two elderly couples we know. Purchased an $8 pork loin and added sides to make a meal that fed my family, the two couples, and somehow we still had leftovers.

4. Circled back around the grocery store to trade the $2.50 long hot dog buns for the $1.50 regular buns when I ended up picking out regular size hot dogs.

5. Winter clothes shopping at Goodwill with my glorious few minutes of being alone. Texted a few pictures of what I was trying on to my 14 year old daughter. Apparently one sweater made me look like “a hobo” so I put it back and saved $6.50.


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