Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 30, 2016 · 88 comments

  1. I made my younger son’s payment for his winter term tuition/room/board. This $8000+ amount would not normally fall under any sane person’s category of “frugal,” but it’s only because of frugality and myriad side gigs that it’s possible to save $5,000 per month towards having two kids in college at the same time. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Next payment? April 1st, then we’ll have a leisurely six months to save up for the fall tuition payments.
  2. I called Comcast and spoke to a “retention specialist” who was able to drop $14 from our monthly internet bill, as well as extend the free HBO that they’ve been giving us since last summer. Because of “bundling,” it’s cheaper to have internet plus basic cable than it is to simply have internet. And my internet service? It’s a blogging expense that I deduct from my taxes.
  3. My husband and I watched a library DVD of Singing in The Rain last night. I’ve always loved this movie, especially since my grandmother was friends with Gene Kelly. (He taught dance classes at my family’s Pittsburgh synagogue before he was famous.) I actually put the movie on hold before Debbie Reynold’s death, which made it especially meaningful. My young father actually took dance classes from Gene Kelly, which is sadly undocumented. I would pay big bucks to see a photograph of my dad and Gene Kelly tap dancing together!
  4. My younger son and I cleaned one of my mother’s rental cottages between tenants, the same son picked up two shifts at the art supply store where he’s worked since age 14, I got another Clark Howard article assignment, I sold books to my nearby Powell’s bookstore, we ate heated leftovers for last night’s dinner and I have two “free burrito” coupons from Chipotle that expire tomorrow that I’ll be hacking for optimal tonnage.
  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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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Madeline December 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Cox cable here in the Phoenix area has NO INTEREST in retaining customers who only need internet service vs. all the extras. My bill went from the $29.99 one year intro rate all the way up to $57.99 and they say next month to expect another increase.Just for middle of the road internet! I might look into Direct TV (only other provider,I think) , or maybe I need to buy TV channels I won’t watch and get a “deal?? “UUughghghgh.

Frugal Week:
1. It was a burden but we ate ALL the leftover cranberry cake from our Christmas Eve open house! WASTE NOT WANT NOT!!

2. Did not go out to any fancy holiday meals.Cooked pan of manicottis to pop into oven on Christmas Day. Neighbors brougth pot luck to Open House on Christmas Eve and the crock pot party meatballs I made were with ground beef I got on sale and froze about a month ago.

3. Did not attend any expensive holiday concerts this year.. usually I do splurge on one.But this year we found a lot of freebie musical and other entertainment around town.

4. Letting my hair grow out. Short hair is costing me a haircut every 5-6 weeks and I am tired of short hair.Growing out should take a while– can trim myself on the way to the next hairdo. Trimmed my bangs with my craft scissors just this morning!

5. Put two books I really wanna read onto the wait list at the library.L OVE MY LIBRARY.


A. Marie December 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm

(1) As I just noted over on Twitter, SITR is one of the few DVDs I actually own, I love it that much. RIP Debbie and Carrie. (And that’s additionally awesome about your family’s connections with Gene Kelly.)

(2) A loud shout-out to you on the whole family’s efforts to keep your sons out of Student Load Debt Hell. Well worth doing, and well done, y’all!

(3) Got into Soup Nazi mode this afternoon and made a winter vegetable/pinto bean soup (I even remembered to pre-soak the beans) with the stock I made off chicken bones yesterday.

(4) Made a bread machine rye to go with the soup.

(5) Invited Bestest Neighbors to do take-out on the soup and bread. They’re reciprocating with New Year’s Eve champagne tomorrow night at a reasonable hour for all four of us senior citizens. No need to leave the street.


A. Marie December 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm

That should be Student Loan Debt Hell in (2), of course. (On the other hand, as typos go, that one isn’t bad.)


Katherine in AL December 30, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Katy, I love your Gene Kelly story and Singing In The Rain is such a lovely movie!
1. Haven’t grocery shopped since the 17th. I’ve been using my Irish and Amish cookbooks Santa brought me and oddly I’ve had all the ingredients on hand. Tonight dinner is Irish beef roast with herbed dumplings. It has the house smelling nice.
2. I’ve taught my daughter to pick up coins and she found $.12 on our walk today.
3. I’ve been able to walk most errands and the weather has been above sixty degrees for over a week now.
4. My husband had the week off which saved $30 in gas.
5. Used the economy setting for all laundry then air dried it.


Bethanny December 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Interesting read about the burrito hacking. 🙂 College students take note.

1. Seeing your post in my email list somehow reminded me to call my energy provider before they closed at 5 pm to see if they offered a different rate for customers who use medical equipment (previous post someone mentioned their provider did). Unfortunately they don’t but they did say they offer a $3 senior discount, note to self call back in a few years. 😉

2. Doing three pet/dog walks with DD. 6:30 on a day off came early as we had to be there by 7 am to let the dog out. Have to go back at 10 for the last sit but making money to help not getting paid for time off over the holidays.

3. Took daughter in to a kind of “she she” fun decorator store. We partook of the free coffee (super cold out) and free ice water to dilute the strong coffee 😉 but declined the popcorn, DD doesn’t care for it. I checked out the 50% off Christmas items as in years past got some super cool Christmas items for gifts for the next year but did not find anything I liked enough to buy this year. Always fun to look around and i did put a dollar into the little red Salvation Army kettle they had sitting out.

4. Treated daughter to go see Rogue One and paid the matinee price of $5.50 each and did not spring for the 3D movie. This will allow us to go see another movie this weekend at matinee price vs. only seeing one at $9 each for later times.

5. Brought to the movie candy we had received for Christmas to enjoy while watching the movie.

6. Proud to say I applied for a scholarship for DD, updated my December budget, gulp! over budget but thank God for the three pay checks this month vs. tw0. Also worked on the January budget, its now ready to go.

7. Received notification my retirement is going to be adjusted up 1 percent this year and I decided to not opt out (state wants us all to reach 10 employee contributions). I receive my employers match of 3/% to my 6% but have not been able to afford to go higher. I do however contribute more beyond my base pay as I get paid extra to work sporting events and work a part-time evening job 2 nights a week which also gets a percentage deducted towards retirement.

8. 2:30 pm came today after the movie and shopping and we had not eaten lunch yet and still had a pet sit to go do at 3 pm. I treated us to the McDonalds pick 2 for $2.50 and got a free water to drink. DD was very happy and acted like I had taken her out to a super nice restaurant.

9. Have been doing Swagbucks as much as possible while on holiday vacation on DD’s spare computer and cell phone.

10. Received some really wonderful things for Christmas and feeling very blessed.


Bethanny December 30, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Forgot to mention we celebrated Christmas with the family yesterday and I brought a holiday German spiced wine to share I found at Aldi’s for a great price, very delish 😉


Valerie December 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I love that Gene Kelly story, I am a huge fan of him. I love the way he moves.

I really applaud your thriftyness , that is wonderful how you are paying for your sons education. All the odd jobs, the savings, the imagination!

Wow! i am a big fan! May 2017 be happy, healthy and wealthy!




Mand01 December 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

1. We braved the big mall in our area as our kids had Christmas gift vouchers and so did we. Everyone had very clear ideas of what they wanted to buy, and stuck to their decisions. My husband and I both had a couple of dollars left on old cards from last year- that made me laugh because obviously we had not been back since the last time we received gift cards! I bought a dress by Dangerfield, which makes 1950s style clothing, for half price. It’s very hard to find second hand because people don’t get rid of it. The dress is covered in a chilli pepper print.
2. We came home and had leftover homemade pizza for lunch before going back out again. I had planned to cook dinner when I got home but we were late home so we had more pizza!
3. My husband and I have started back up our exercise regime that was derailed over Christmas so we worked out on our secondhand gym equipment and watched a DVD.
4. We watched Die Hard from the library last night. I had never seen it but now I get a lot more jokes from The Simpsons.
5. Today and tomorrow we are tackling our backyard, which is a disaster zone. But I don’t want to pay someone to do it, so there it is.


JD December 30, 2016 at 2:47 pm

1. Pulled cooked adzuki beans out of the freezer and home canned tomato sauce from the pantry and made chili for supper last night.
2. The rest of the ground beef and tomato sauce will make sloppy joes tonight.
The beans will become “baked beans”
3. Hung out laundry now that the humidity is below 99%. Not kidding!
4. Washing the slipcover that came on my couch. A good purchase 15 years ago especially since we have pets.
5. I took home leftover napkins from work to mop up grease from pans.


Monics December 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm

I finally washed the cream colored slipcovers from my Pottery Barn couch, just yesterday, after 15 years of ownership! I have spot cleaned them before, but was afraid a big wash would shrink them! After gaining courage and advice from the internet, I took them to the laudromat for a thorough wash in the big machine (my HE washer doesn’t use enough water to get anything as clean as I would like-I hate it). They came out very clean and easily went back onto the chair-while damp- with ease! Now that I know how well they did, I will wash the other chair’s and sofa’s as well! $4.75 Well Spent!


pattilou December 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Lordy, I not only fell off the frugal wagon this past month, I was thrown in front of the cart and run over by the horses! I could not believe how much over budget I went. Between everyone being sick, helping my niece paint her house so she could move in by Jan 1st (don’t get me started on the contractor who totally put us in last minue panic mode because he did not do his job), last minute unexpected gifts to buy and having to buy some convienience foods because nobody had time or energy to cook for two of the days, I totally blew it.
So January and February will be no spend months -except for food.
I did manage a few frugal things.
1. I went to put air in my tires at the only free pump in town. The pump was broken and when I told the woman behind the counter she actually gave me a dollar from her drawer to pay for gas across the street.
2. I also saved bags and and boxes. I was able to replenish some wrapping supplies and ribbon for 50-75% off.
3. Been eating left overs all week.
4. the best frugal thing is I am back to work after a two month lay off!!
5. a friend stayed at my house for awhile before the holiday and insisted on chipping in for utilities. I did save her a good deal by hosting her.


pattilou December 30, 2016 at 6:11 pm

1. oops pay for air not gas


Susie's Daughter December 31, 2016 at 6:11 am

Your opening description had me smiling! And big congratulations on #4.


Roberta December 30, 2016 at 4:09 pm

1. Today is “Fine Free Friday” at my library. I was able to return past due videos without a fine (otherwise, it’s $1 a day!) Picked up new books while I was there.
2. Frugal fail: the Groupon I got my son for Christmas for go-carts had a blackout day today. I found out after we arrived. Fortunately, the friend we brought with us came back to our house afterwards, and they are playing games with my husband right now. So that was a win.
3. My avocados didn’t ripen, but I have ingredients for black bean soup for dinner instead. I can simmer that all afternoon, feed two teen-age boys, and maybe even have leftovers for next week!
4. I will get to return the sheets and calendar I bought last week. My son didn’t like the sheets (I will keep looking) and my daughter already had a calendar for next year.
5. Sitting in the living room, reading library books and drinking tea with my daughter. This is about a perfect afternoon! We’re even getting rain this weekend, which we desperately need. It allows us to keep the water turned off to the fruit trees.
Some time this week I will need to post some of the DVDs we decluttered this morning, but for now I’m just enjoying my afternoon.


Roberta December 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Updated to say: I underestimated how much the boys ate! At least I filled them up, and sold off some Christmas cookies, but I will not have leftover soup for next week!


Bee December 30, 2016 at 4:19 pm

I love your movie choice! Does your library have An American in Paris? These are my FFT in time for the new year:
1) I accepted an offer for some Christmas napkin rings that I had listed on ebay. This set had been for sale for nearly 60 days before the holiday. Although I thought the offer was a little low, I had these rings for over 10 years and only used them once. It was time to let go. $20 is $20.
2) My daughter and I went to our local used book store –one of her favorite things to do when visiting. While there, I treated her to a shopping spree which was solely financed by trade-ins. I had collected a small box of books from around the house that we had finished reading.
3) My older son was going away for the week, so he had us “shop” his refrigerator. I brought home some kale, red leaf lettuce, baby bok choy, an onion, a head of orange cauliflower, and three tomatoes. He hates to waste food.
4) We are eating leftovers for dinner. I had made a large batch of fried rice to use up several of the items above.
5) Planning on using the bone from the Christmas ham for the traditional Southern lNew Year’s meal of black-eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread.

Happy New Year! May the coming year be filled with good things for all.


Katherine in AL December 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I had the chance to see An American in Paris on Broadway in February. It was a bucket list experience!
Your #5!!! Now is the time to stock up on black-eyed peas and anything ham related in the South as the sales are awesome. I will walk to the store late tomorrow afternoon to stock up, when prices are slashed even more.


Lindsey December 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

1. Made a cheesecake instead of buying one for a friend’s birthday (They were $16.99 at the grocery store!!!) Used some old chocolate covered graham crackers no one had wanted to eat for the crust—by the time I added warm butter to stick the crumbs together, you could not taste the staleness.

2. Have a cough and made an old home remedy using crushed candy canes, honey and whiskey as cough medicine. I only had amaretto in the house but my friend was coming for lunch and she had whiskey at her house, so I traded her a dozen free packets of Cadbury hot chocolate mix I’d accumulate over the last month of travel. Most of the hotels in this chain had the packets available so I took one home each night, since I preferred to drink ice water but the husband likes hot chocolate.

3. When it is 20 below zero, we plug our car in at night. For three weeks we had 20 below or colder and after the first day, my husband turned his garage upside down and found a cold weather timer. That means instead of plugging it in at 5 pm for the entire night, we can set it to go off at 4 am, as four hours of a warming block heater will keep the engine from freezing. Plugging in your car is very expensive, so reducing our plugging in by 10 or 11 hours is a real savings.

4. Took a box to Salvation Army today, so I could use the tax write-off this year. I finally got over my grief that an injury has resulted in permanent leg paralysis so I have to wear a brace whenever I am not asleep, which means I will never wear my fancy ballroom dancing shoes or my Crocs again (sneer, but I love my Crocs). As a result, my box contained 14 pairs of dancing shoes, some very expensive, and 4 pairs of Crocs. I am so vain that it took about two years for me to make myself dance in a leg brace and orthopedic shoes. No more polka or fast waltz numbers but I can still clomp around to slow songs and the husband doesn’t seem to mind my lack of grace…but I still get a stab of envy when I see someone doing and Argentine tango. I hope someone who loves dancing will be thrilled to find shoes that were made by a company specializing in men’s and women’s shoes for ballroom dancing.

5. Pried 11 cents out of the ice in the grocery store parking lot, using my car key as a tiny pick-axe.


Lazyretirementgirl December 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm



Lazyretirementgirl December 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Did not show my weeping icon. So sad for you.


Jennifer December 31, 2016 at 5:37 am

Lindsey, I can relate to the leg issue. I have a back condition that caused my left foot to be numb. It’s hard to explain to others that I couldn’t wear my flip flops anymore because they wouldn’t stay on my left foot. I’m in the south and down here we love our flip flops. It’s practically all I would wear in the summer! It’s also strange how the straps of the flip flop could cause so much pain when my foot was so numb. Anyway, I’m sorry you are having to give up your beloved shoes.


SDiane C January 1, 2017 at 2:40 am

I agree with Jennifer and Lindsay. Moreover, your ability to adapt to the new “normal” and let go of the well-loved things from the past that no longer serve you is very commendable. Kudos to you for turning your eyes to the future. I hope letting go makes room for wonderful new things in your life.


Vickey January 2, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Lindsey, the grit and determination you evidenced in 4 & 5 are inspiring!


K D December 30, 2016 at 4:49 pm

1. We’re glad to be home after travelling to see family for Christmas. We didn’t buy anything in the airports, packing food and drinking American Airlines water.

2. My husband has gone gluten free for health reasons. I am figuring out meals I can make and trying to avoid buying “special” gluten free products. They tend to be expensive, not healthy, and generally not all that good tasting.

3. Returned some dishes I had bought. There is nothing wrong with what we have.

4. Checked out post-holiday clearance at SAM’S Club this morning, and bought gas. I found nuts to gift a friend that invited us for New Years Eve.

5. Continuing to go to yoga and Pilates classes on a regular basis. Last night I had a private class, as I was the only student there (and accomplished my first ever head stand). I want to be a healthy old lady.


Bee December 31, 2016 at 4:29 am

I became quite sick two years ago and found that I was allergic to wheat/gluten. Although there is a lot of hype around this diet, so many things are naturally gluten or wheat free. Since there are many hidden glutens in processed food, I cook nearly everything from scratch.
I buy very few processed specialty foods with a few exceptions. I keep Tamarai sauce in my pantry as a substitute for soy sauce. I also buy brown rice pasta, frozen flat bread for pizza, and 100% corn tortillas at Trader Joes. I have found that these items are less expensive there. TJs will also provide you with a list of gluten-free items that they carry. Many items are GF but not marked or marketed that way. So this list can be helpful.
I rarely eat out. When I do, I am extremely careful. I have had hives from hidden wheat in food. There are a handful of places that I know will accommodate me. Thankfully my friends and family are supportive. They understand that I don’t drink alcohol or eat certain things. As a rule, I cannot eat Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, and Italian restaurants.
Although it can be challenging at first, my food bill has gone down rather than up. Best of all, I feel good! BTW, congratulations on your headstand!!


K D December 31, 2016 at 9:49 am

Thank you for all your gluten free ideas. I went mostly gluten free about five years ago after my sleep suffered from hot flashes. It really makes a difference for me. I like vegetables and legumes that husband does not like, so this is more of a challenge for him. We’ll have to check out Trader Joes, there is one a couple suburbs away.


Isabelle December 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

* Watching a movie on Netflix tonight instead of renting one for 6$
* Used a prepaid card to attend a trampoline class. Bonus: I was the only one there, so it ended up being a private class
* Used a 50% off coupon at Michaels to get new coloring pens
* Tommorow night is put luck at a friend’s house for New Year. I bought 3 pounds of meatballs for 11$ (on sale). So it will be our contribution for the 4 of us (2 adults and 2 kids)
* Got the latest season of Modern Family for only 10$ on Boxing day. It was on my Christmas wishlist.

Have a great frugal day!


Vickie December 30, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Katy – I love that movie – I’m an old movie buff and TCM is one of my favorite channels. That’s a really cool story about your family and Gene Kelly – how awesome!

1) I just washed my Winter coat, which was used when it was given to me 18 years ago. It’s a big, all weather coat – very warm and still in great shape. I just have to launder it about once a year. It’s supposed to get cold again next week and my vacation is over on Tuesday, so I’ll be prepared.
2) I hooked up the desktop computer I got for my grandkids yesterday at my daughter’s house, cleaned some unneeded programs off and updated all dat files and anti-virus program. My oldest granddaughter was thrilled. Those pawn shop electronics are the bomb – that computer was a 2014 model for less than $150. Score!
3) I hooked up the Amazon Fire TV gaming edition to my grandson’s HDTV today. It basically installed itself – nice!
We moved the Firestick I got him last year to the HDTV in my granddaughters room. Now the girls can watch what they want in their room. My daughter has a Netflix account which allows them to watch movies from all their TVs on Amazon Fire TV. Cheaper than cable and that gaming edition cost about 1/3 of the price of other gaming consoles. My grandson can download all the free games they offer – which is hundreds.
4) Hubby and I used the Red Lobster gift card, my daughter gave us for Christmas, and had dinner out Wednesday night. They now have a special for $16.99 with soup, salad, entree and desert. It was yummy. I was full after the entree so I asked for my dessert to go. It was chocolate molten lava cake with a creme icing. I ate the cake with coffee the next morning and has some creme leftover, so I’ve poured some in my coffee the last two mornings. SO good!
5) The grocers had their 2 liter bottles of Ginger Ale on sale for 99 cents each so I bought 3 bottles, since my grandkids are spending New Year’s Eve with us. That’s the only soda I will buy for them, otherwise it’s tea.
I spent $309 total on Christmas this year, it was very frugal and I’m a happy camper.


John December 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm

CenturyLink has a great deal on fiber internet in the Portland area (not advertised nationally): $20 / month (discount price good for 24 months). The modem is $10 / month or $100 if you purchase it. Install is free.

We just made the transition and are very happy with the service and price.

You need to go into the Halsey office to get this deal…


Bari December 31, 2016 at 8:59 pm

I live in Portland and was solicited by CenturyLink sales force (going door-to-door here in my Buckman neighborhood). It sounded like a great deal for faster internet AND Prism TV (I now have Comcast TV).
The deal sounded so very good, but I have an unwritten rule to never buy from solicitors unless they provide me with printed documentation so I can consider all factors prudently.
As it turned-out, I use the “Nextdoor” telephone app on my iPhone and there were numerous postings about how the deal offered was not honored by CenturyLink and it was sort of a bait-and-switch. It seems the solicitors were contractors and not employed by CenturyLink.
Upon reading the Nextdoor postings, I was so glad I didn’t “bite!”


Mrs. Picky Pincher December 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Nice! This week:

1. We stayed on track with our homemade meals. Woohoo!

2. I baked homemade waffles and crepes. I froze them for later in our reach-in freezer for fast weekday breakfasts.

3. Mr. Picky Pincher installed our new dishwasher instead of paying for installation. As an added bonus the new dishwasher is energy efficient and will get us a tax rebate.

4. I made my own powdered laundry soap instead of buying expensive liquid detergent.

5. I used Christmas leftover ingredients to make a very berry tart. I froze the leftover tart to have a fancy dessert for later!


Elizabeth December 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I LOVE Singing in the Rain and Gene Kelly!

1. Needed to go to the grocery store today. It’s the flagship Meijer so it has everything you could ever need! I bought some really nice gifts on clearance. Already finished my friend, brother-in-law, sister and part of my niece’s Christmas gifts for next year. Plus birthday gifts for my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. Spent $200 (including gifts, food, toiletries, Etc) but saved $223!!!
2. Sat down and did the yearly averages for each spending category. Compared to last year we had some that were about the same and quite a few that were better (eating out was down by about $140 a month! Yea!). And two in particular that were worse…clothing and toiletries…and I can chalk that increase up to having a daughter in junior high this year!
3. Project Use it Up: Its a Ten Hair Mask, some votive candles (and I’ve started using my votive holders and candles again which I haven’t used in years!), a big tube of Colgate Epic White and some samples of shampoo and conditioner.
4. Ate up leftovers today and cooked with what was in the refrigerator tonight.
5. Going to a friend’s tomorrow for New Years and am bringing a round of Brie and crackers that I already have as well as a bottle of champagne that I already have (bought a while ago at Aldi). All I had to do was buy some lettuce and veggies to throw together for a salad that she requested I bring.


Cindy in the South December 30, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Awesome story about Gene Kelly! 1. I walked in a local park, and then came home and did some exercises. 2. I ate my beans and greens dish I made yesterday. I made it from dried pinto beans, chili paste, and collards. 3. I paid my mortgage two weeks early, from the paycheck I received today. I also paid my electric bill, my accountant, and put some money in savings. 4. I bought gas when visiting my sons.It is about 15 cents cheaper per gallon where they live. 5. I have turned my heat down to 62. It is supposed to get down to 40 degrees tonight. I know folks farther north are laughing….lol.,We had 75 at Thanksgiving, a record 82 for Christmas, and supoised to have mid 70’s New Years. It has been a warm year.


rebecca December 30, 2016 at 6:20 pm

1. Had a coffee at an appointment yesterday that they offered.
2. Having friends over for drinks tomorrow night.
3. Made a fritatta for breakfast today from .59 cent eggs and older mushrooms and an onion that had been hanging out.
4. Shopped at Aldi yesterday.
5. Brought my lunch to work and cooked dinner from ingredients in the fridge.


kathleen December 30, 2016 at 6:20 pm

1. Property taxes have been paid without dipping into savings. We have been working hard the last few months to accomplish that.
2. Phone/internet/cable bill arrived and was $13 higher than previously. I called company and they offered to lower it by $10 a month for a year. I mentioned some dissatisfaction we have had since bundling. They offered to lower it by $15 a month. I’ll take it.
3. Keeping thermostat low. I’m happy to put on a sweater or blanket to be warm enough. Much better than the 80 degrees with super high humidity like last week.
4. I’ve been thinking about cutting my hair short again. Then I think about the need for regular trims. Decided to hold out awhile longer.
5. Still staying home without a car. I think the hubs may be getting tired of being my chauffeur on his days off. (I don’t like to drive his monster truck…I don’t like the monster truck, period. It is what happened when I let him car shop without me.) He is wanting to buy car for me on his next days off. I’m not in a hurry.


Kim December 30, 2016 at 6:35 pm

1. Did 2 merchandising jobs today. Each only took about 15 minutes. College fund! While I was there I found on the clearance rack chocolate lava cake and brownie mix that are ready to bake. All you do is dump them in a pan. 87¢ for a pan of brownies and only the pan to clean. Perfect for my son who is away at college and lives in an apartment! I also found a 2¢ Euro on the floor of the grocery store near the Coinstar machine.
2. Using my pressure cooker to cook a pot roast for tomorrow’s dinner. The roast was a markdown, 49¢ baby carrots from Aldi, 2 onions from the 69¢ 3 lb. bag, some baby potatoes and garlic that my neighbor grew. Also a little red wine from Aldi’s. DH is on call for work so having it cooked ahead means a better chance we will get to eat a meal.
3. Using my homemade wool dryer balls. I made them a few weeks ago once I had finally accumulated enough free wool yarn.
4. Picked up more free coupons from a Freecycle buddy.
5. Ds#2, who is home from college, has worked 5 days this week at his restaurant job. He will also work New Year’s Eve and Day so should make some big bucks for his personal expenses while at school. He’s gotten quite a few shifts since he got home mid December.


Denise January 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Kim – what are wool dryer balls (have never heard of them!)?


Tina S. January 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm
Amanda December 30, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Our cable + internet is actually cheaper than just internet too, so we have the same deal. We still don’t actually watch the cable tv because we would have to stretch the cable across the room.

1. We didn’t get together with my family until today, so I got my brother’s gift on after-Christmas sale.

2. My husband and I went to a fiftieth anniversary party for friends from church. Instead of a babysitter my mother in law watched the kids and we made them pizza.

3. Here at our country house we don’t have Internet at all but instead have a jet pack. We pay $10/gig for Internet. After the kids go to bed I’m going to walk up to Daddy’s and log in to the wifi so I can download another audiobook, which would cost me $5 over our wifi.

4. I realized today that most of the clothes I wear here at the country house were gifts or hand me downs. I guess I keep clothes where I receive them.

5. Almost bought two bulbs today for the light in the range hood before I realized the lights themselves were a little loose.


Frugal In The Valley December 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm

I have set my no spend intentions for the year. No non essential spending whatsoever and will be blogging the whole way to keep me focussed.


Danielle December 30, 2016 at 8:17 pm

1. Didn’t have big plans for the weekend, so we signed up to bring a dog “Home for the Holidays” through a program at our shelter. Ended up with 6 adorable puppies!! Frugal because this will keep us home, is endlessly entertaining, and has been bringing friends over for a cuteness fix! (And they go back Tuesday.)

2. Meal planning with the purpose of using up unpopular pantry items. So far this week every dinner has snuck in something that has been sitting untouched for months.

3. Ate lunch at home before running errands so no temptation for a meal out.

4. Signed up for a library card in the next county over (local residency not required). They have some books that my library doesn’t – which have been sitting in my Amazon wish list for months. Now I don’t have to buy them!

5. Balanced entertainment for my kids this week with outings with a cost (ice skating, matinee movie) and free activities (playdates at home and sleepovers with cousins). Good memories and not breaking the bank.


Marcia December 30, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Not five frugal things, but one I forgot to mention previously:

Granddaughter has some student loan debt, and I have been making payments while she has been underemployed. In her Christmas stocking, she got a rolled up copy of a letter that says “Your student loan has been paid in full.” It is not the MAJOR loan, but it’s just one year when she had to take a state loan as well as federal loans. It was just a few thousand, but I paid extra and paid it off last August, and saved the letter for her Christmas stocking. She was VERY pleased to receive it!! Much more thankful than I expected her to be, which makes me happy. I am now making extra payments on the remaining federal loans (3 years worth) and will continue doing so as long as it works into my budget. She will eventually get the responsibility back for repaying the loan, but in the meantime, I’m paying extra every month and saving on interest. She thinks I am paying the minimum monthly until she gets a job with more hours/money. One of the reasons I am willing to do this is that she saved her graduation money, and money she earned during the summer and paid for the entire first year of school herself. She did have scholarships too, so I wanted to pay some of it off for her as long as I can afford to do so.


LisaC December 31, 2016 at 5:31 am

What a wonderful Christmas gift.


KJD509 December 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm

1) Writing my first college tuition check on Monday . . . for kid #3. Don’t really want to talk about the parent plus loan situation we’re in. Let’s just say we’re slow learners.

And for those of you not yet in the paying-for-tuition demographic, let this be a warning: there is zero concern from one school that you are also paying tuition at another one. Many schools treats grant and aid applications as though their tuition is your only expense. At one point our expected family contribution was higher than our total (single) income. That’s when I a) went back to paying work and b) took over the budgeting. We’ll never be able to cashflow the remaining tuitions (yes, there are more to come) as effectively as Katy and her family, but barring crisis, we’ll not add to our parent loans, we’ll keep the kids’ cost upon graduation at $10k or below, and we might even be able to retire someday. Thanks largely due to this community and your great ideas.
2) Have cooked and eaten at home every single meal, including snacks taken while traveling, since Dec. 21. . . while working full time, kids are at home, and husband is out of town.
3) Still avoiding adding up the final Christmas gift tally, but for the first time ever, we didn’t dip into savings for holidays (well, except for the savings set aside specifically FOR Christmas).
4) Wrapped Goodwill and garage sale clothes for a) the littlest, who’s growing so fast she may have outstretched her “new” jeans already, b) the adult child who needs very specific and very much hated items for her job, figuring she won’t wear them a single moment longer than she needs to, and c) the clothes horse college student who prefers high quality yard sale clothing to fast fashion, and can pull off wearing clothes bought by old men. Also cleaned and wrapped toys the kids have outgrown for much younger cousins, and rather than trying to pretend they weren’t hand-me-downs, gifted them with notes talking about how much the older cousins had adored the items. This is maybe the first time we actually wrapped up pre-owned items as gifts, in spite of many years of good intentions. Spent $17 total for those categories. This goes a long way toward explaining how we stayed in budget, now that I think of it.

(Did I mention I’m a slow learner?)

5) Decided to spend $120 on a new car battery now rather than risk it dying again. Last week it quit in a crowded grocery store parking lot and it still took us an hour before a good samaritan helped jump start, then another hour-plus to get it running. We’re driving across snowy mountain passes with expected closures for avalanche control next week, then expecting sub-zero temps on the way home the next day. Potential expense of a dead battery up there is mind-boggling, so this is a frugal precaution.


Katy December 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm

I naively thought that having two kids in the same state university system at the same time would prompt some financial aid. Nope.


Shevaun December 31, 2016 at 2:46 am

I’m so glad you’re using the state system.

I’m a college professor and at various times I have worked at a for-profit school, an elite private school, a selective state school, and done private tutoring. I am the same “me” where ever I teach, so I never really understood the radical differences in tuition.


Kristen December 31, 2016 at 8:19 am

Yes! This is the same deal with our community college, which is super highly ranked. Lots of the professors are from the local four-year colleges…but you just pay a lot less at the community college.

And my son, who is still in high school, gets 50% off the already low rates. Woohoo! He’ll graduate high school with almost half the credits he needs for an associates, all at 50% off.


Shevaun December 31, 2016 at 11:21 am

THIS is the class they need to teach in high school: realistic college strategy. We can abbreviate it to RCS so it sounds cooler.

Kristen, I think I remember that you homeschool. Can you do AP credits with homeschool as long as the kids do the exam? I ask because DD1 went to traditional school and is now a sophomore in high school, but DD2 and DS are babies and we think we’re going to homeschool. It would be nice to think RCS now…

K D December 31, 2016 at 11:36 am

Anybody can take AP tests. Also, still around from when I was in school are CLEP tests. They seem to have been eclipsed by AP but they are still available and accepted. Always check the institution to see if they accept either test for college credit.

Shevaun December 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm

K D — Thank you!

Katy December 31, 2016 at 1:11 pm

That’s great!

janie December 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Just wanted to add my own cautionary tale about college. My daughter at age 17 started college in another state. We were unable to go with her to sign up. Unbeknownst to us there are credit card companies set up in the beginning of the enrollment process! Our unemployed daughter – at 17 – was all signed up for a credit card! When the credit company started dunning us for money, I was horrified! Normally I would make the daughter live up to her obligation somehow. But was so angry at the company (and the school) I told them she had no way to pay, and I wouldn’t! They had set her up, as a minor, for disaster.


Drasa January 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

Perhaps I am naive too – but we will have 3 children in college at the same time (1st going next year) and I thought your financial aid grants did increase by how many were actively in college? When/why did that change? That was a big benefit when both DH and I were married and attending college.

Also, love your # 4. I too will gift from thrift stores and have found that those gifts can sometimes be the best to give- because so much went in to finding them!


IsabelI December 30, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Loved your Gene Kelly stories! Cover Girl with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly was the first movie I ever saw in my life and I love it still! Always made sure I saw all Gene Kelly movies!
You are doing marvellously for the education of your boys! Come from a different era and student debt horrifies me!
Have done very well with adding to my Savings Account this year and make sure I waste as little as possible!
Keep up the good work everyone! Love reading all your posts!


Teri December 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm

1. Dinner with sister and husband, they refused my offer to bring something.
2. Returned a few Christmas gifts, since no receipt, gift cards were given, but thats better than having unwanted gifts sitting around.
3. Shared unused food items with sister. Children did not eat nearly what I expected.
4. Continuing to eat left overs from Christmas…(see above).
5. Shoveling snow, running errands for a new mother, and cleaning the house–maybe not especially frugal but makes me feel good.


janine December 30, 2016 at 11:13 pm

1. Got frugal cold today. No expenditures except husband didn’t want to eat my cooking, so we shared Chinese Take-out – (under $10).
2. Missed breakfast to meet a new legislator, ( because of cold) but didn’t have to spend $$ on gas to get there.
3. Returned unwanted item and got a gift card.
4. New Years Resolution: reduce impulse spending in 2017.
5. Gained knowledge from this blog that translates into a more frugal lifestyle.


Shevaun December 31, 2016 at 2:51 am

1. On a lazy cottage-on-the-lake vacation with family. I love my in-laws so much, and it’s way cheaper than a Disney-style resort. Plus, everyone **wants** to hold the baby, so I finally have a few minutes to shower or eat!!
2. Dinners at the cottage are all homemade, and breakfasts are eggs or cereal, lunches are dinner leftovers from the night before.
3. Our big “trip” was into town to go to the vintage candy shop. Three happy children for $3 worth of candy.
4. 2-year old prefers playing with seashells to fancy new toys. Score one for mama.
5. Nursing 3-month-old still going well. Formula is so expensive!! Made it 11 months with DD1 and 7 months with DD2. Hoping DS will stay with mama milk for as long as possible.


Sam December 31, 2016 at 3:55 am

This week has not been frugal, but I
1-home cooked restaurant caliber meals
2-reworked and old outfit into something newish
3-used old braces rubber bands in daughters hair rather than but new clear
4-used 7 cents off has
5-handwashed carefully a dry clean only dress


LisaC December 31, 2016 at 5:29 am

1. Eating from the freezer, found some nice corned beef a friend gave me in there. I love it when my friends give me food, makes me feel loved.
2. Finally cut the cord, woo hoo, dropped satellite tv service entirely, taught DH how to use TV apps to find what he likes. Bought 4 apps, but will track each app usage to find what we actually use. This means we dropped Redbox too. Convinced DH when I showed him the figures on paper.
3. Learning how to make vinegar and orange peel cleaner. Found the recipe on a no waste FB group:
4. Asked our friends to not come over tonight, still recovering from a bad head cold. Surprisingly enjoyable staying in with DH all week, even if sick.
5. Found my favorite wine (9 dollars a glass at a local restaurant) for less than 5.50 a bottle. Ordered a case online for a discount. Will work on self control to make it last!


susanna d December 31, 2016 at 6:29 am

#2 – good for you! My husband has finally agreed to cut satellite tv for the new year. Our bill was inching close to $100 a month for pretty basic stuff – by that I mean no “premium” channels, nothing special. The house came with a giant tower antenna that pulls in over 20 stations for free, and we seem to watch Netflix more than satellite tv anyway. I can’t wait to cut the cord! I wish I’d gotten him to agree sooner.


LisaC December 31, 2016 at 6:47 am

susanna d it took a few months of “weaning”. What I did was call the satellite company and say we were considering cancelling. They reduced our monthly bill for a few months in response. That gave me wiggle room to add apps slowly. This weekend we went through all of the apps together and agreed to cancel service. He even made the phone call (“his decision”).


susanna d December 31, 2016 at 6:22 am

1. Used $50 in Walgreen’s Balance Rewards to have a little shopping spree for very little money. Spent $4 and change out of pocket, and we won’t have to buy contact lens solution, toilet paper, toothpaste or ibuprofen for several months. The toilet paper stockpile alone excites me. I’m easily amused.
2. I needed orange juice to make more cranberry relish. The grocery store had several shelves in the refrigerator section with half gallon containers of orange juice marked down to 49 cents per container. It had a sell-by date of two days after the current date, but I know from the last short-dated orange juice sale that it freezes very well in mason jars. A gallon of orange juice for 98 cents is one heck of a bargain basement price – at least around here.
3. Used some of the cheap orange juice to cook up a bunch of cranberries that I’d gotten for 49 cents per pound during Cranberry Fest. Cranberries also freeze well, both uncooked and when made into cranberry sauce/relish.
4. Cooked up a bunch of potatoes that were looking kind of sad, and made several quart bags of mashed potatoes for the freezer.
5. I love my freezer – it truly IS a frugal thing.


Bee December 31, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I have never frozen mashed potatoes. Any special requirements ?


Mand01 December 31, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Not when I’ve ever done it – I just whack them in a container and put them in the freezer. I use them in fish burgers or in bread.


susanna d January 1, 2017 at 6:52 am

I just make them as I usually do – which can be anything from just mashing with milk and butter to adding cream cheese and onion or garlic powder to change them out a bit. I freeze them in quart zipper bags, which I smash as flat as possible (for easy freezer storage).

After thawing, they look pretty wet – I was worried the first time because they looked watery – but heating them (I use the microwave) restores the texture pretty well. I started doing this after going kind of overboard buying 50 pound sacks of potatoes (we’re about an hour north of “potato country” in this state), and $5 for 50 pounds made me think “If one bag is good, two are better.” Wrong. There was just no way our small family was going to blast through 100 pounds of potatoes before they started going bad.


Laura December 31, 2016 at 6:23 am

I am from the Pittsburgh area and your Pittsburgh stories make me smile.

1. Made lentil cakes/patties using some leftover mujadarrah, leftover shredded carrots, scallions on their last legs, the dregs of a package of grated parmesan and the last two eggs in a carton. They are delicious! I also ended up with 8 patties, more than I expected, so they will be nice for lunch/breakfast.
2. Took our car in for it’s scheduled service check — it’s a new car and part of our contract is a year’s worth of free oil changes and reg. maintenance. I want to get in the habit of doing this on time and very regularly as I know that reg. maintenance will help prolong the life of our car.
3. Have made a point of tidying the kitchen every evening. This may not seem frugal, but I am much more likely to want to cook if I have a clean kitchen. When it’s dirty I am tempted by take out.
4. Prepared our budget and financial goals for next year.
5. Applied for some additional part time work so that I can earn extra income and help pay down debt faster.


Gina in KY December 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I love mujadarrah, so I bet the lentil patties are delicious! Great idea!


Bethc December 31, 2016 at 6:28 am

Happy New Year to all!
1. Got a very nice bonus at work. DH said, ” Let’s think about redoing the master bathroom cabinets. I said, ” Let’s put in in the bank and celebrate Frugal January.”
2. DH is making a ham and bean soup in the crockpot using leftover Christmas ham. This is the second batch-the first went into the freezer and made for some yummy lunches this week.
3. We were due to have my oldest dear friend visit with her husband for New Year’s weekend. They had to cancel due to her husband’s health issues. Instead, We are going to use movie passes that I was gifted for my birthday this year to se “Hidden Figures.” Also going to Outback for a late lunch before the 4 pm movie using a gift card that I received as a gift and an AARP discount.
4. Will spend next weekend in DC using up 3 free hotel nights we earned from credit cards that would otherwise expire. Will spend time at free SmithsoniAn during the day and will also journey to the suburbs to take my friend and her husband who are mentioned in item 2 out for brunch. They are going throug major life changes due to his illness. Brunch will be spendy, but her life long friendship (since age 2!) has been an incredible gift.
5. We bought some restaurant gift cards with bonuses attached during the holidays. I am going to spend New Year’s Day as a planning day for the year ahead, and one element will be to put meals using the gift cards on the calendar so that they don’t expire. Will also go through frequent flyer and hotel packages into accounts to make sure none are expiring.


Kim in MD December 31, 2016 at 7:10 am

Bethc, I live about 45 minutes outside of DC and used to work a few blocks from the National Mall. I highly recommend the Botanical Gardens which is on the Capitol grounds, basically to the left of the Air and Space Museum. It’s particularly nice when the weather is cold and nasty. Feels like a mini-vacation!
The National Portrait Gallery is a few blocks from the Mall so it’s often overlooked but is a wonderful place. My son and I went to see an exhibit on the art of video games a few years ago and fell in love with the place. Also, it’s adjacent to Chinatown so you can find reasonably priced food compared to the prices in the museum food places. Also a Chipotle 1/2 block away. There’s a fabulous courtyard with tables in the Portrait Gallery and you can bring in your food to eat there. The fountain is unique and fun.


BETHC January 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

I LOVE the National Portrait Gallery~and the courtyard there. Have been there twice. We went to the Botanical Garden last New Year’s weekend and loved the holiday decor. We get to DC about once a year-I will never run out of things to do there.


BETHC January 1, 2017 at 4:37 pm

But if you have any other ideas, let me know 🙂


BJS December 31, 2016 at 7:57 am

#1 made me laugh!


BETHC January 1, 2017 at 4:37 pm

He was surprised 🙂


Diane December 31, 2016 at 6:38 am

I have spent no money beyond basic needs and am enjoying all the free activities I can find plus working on a baby quilt with materials I had on hand. Deep cleaning my tiny abode to make it sparkle costs nothing but elbow grease. And a friend invited me to be her guest to see La La Land at a fancy eat and dine theater downtown!

Happy New Year!


Vickey January 6, 2017 at 10:51 am

Diane, I followed the link to your site. What beautiful quilts! They’re real works of art. It looks like you turn one out about every two weeks or so. Impressive! And that you do it all so frugally, too. What a lovely “retirement job”.


Ruby December 31, 2016 at 8:28 am

1. Did spend some this week buying DH two pairs of pajamas. He prefers old-fashioned pajamas, which are more expensive than the modern t-shirt and lounge pants style. Used a discount code and some Kohl’s cash to bring the price down from $50 to $32.50 each. He gets 4-plus years out of a pair, so that’s pretty reasonable in the long run.
2. Gave all three dogs a bath this morning wearing the awesome $2 rubber beauty salon apron I bought last year at the Humane Society Thrift Shop. I stay mostly dry no matter how hard the suds and water fly. 🙂
3. Due to having a nasty head cold over Christmas, I cooked less on Christmas morning and thus had a package of bacon and sweet roll fixings on hand to make a New Year’s Eve breakfast today. We won’t be having a fancy dinner because son has to work. Breakfast worked out nicely.
4. Am wearing my glasses today to stretch the remaining contact lenses in my prescription another day farther. I really need the contacts most for driving, so if I stay home, I don’t wear them.
5. Gave the puppy a pricey pork hide roll to chew on today to see if it will loosen up her retained upper baby fangs and save us a trip to the vet to get her baby teeth extracted. It worked well on her lower baby fangs, so we’ll see.


Krystal December 31, 2016 at 9:13 am

My husband did the contact thing for a few months this summer while we worked through some emergency vet issues. It was very helpful!


Krystal December 31, 2016 at 9:12 am

Paying cash for college is frugal! No loans, no wasted interest payments, and your sons can start saving right away for retirement. Wish I would have done the last one even though I had no college loans!
1. I work for a very flaky contract and I have to remind the company to pay me on time. I have a hard time asking for these things, but I I did and they paid me within our contracted time frame. Staying on top of this really keeps my household budget in tact.
2. My friend came into town yesterday and we attended an exercise class together, which I had a free pass for.
3. My husband and I will take a dog walk here in a bit with lattes, our favorite treat, and he snagged a 50% off coupon, which we will of course use to split a large drink.
4. I saved another one of my contracts a couple thousand dollars for our upcoming trip in hotel room costs, and another couple in meeting expenses by following cancellation dates closely and negotiating prices with the hotel. This is a new skill set for me, learned by another colleague at another contract (I have 5 total) and I am happy to apply frugality to save our wonderful work group money!
5. I have someone coming by to look at some bookshelves I have patiently listed for months on Craigslist. Hoping for a sale!

Happy New Year Katy!


Jill A December 31, 2016 at 9:42 am

1. Going to the downtown New Years Fest. My husband bought buttons at the local grocery store for $5 instead of paying $10 at the venue. Cheap entertainment.
2. Found a sale on some tri-ply frying pans to replace our coated ones. The coating is coming off ours. I’ve been looking for awhile, couldn’t find any at the thrift store. Used a code for free shipping.
3. Found a vintage glass set last week for my daughter at the thrift store. It was half price, so $10 for 20 pieces. It was water goblets, wine glasses and appertifs. She loved it.
4. Still eating leftovers. I was tempted to pick up some takeout last night, but I resisted.
5. Called Expedia about a hotel reservation I have for next month, it was $10 cheaper on their site. Once I’ve gotten the bill from the hotel stay, I will fill in a form online and send it to them. I will receive a partial refund and a coupon for $50 off a hotel stay.


Juhli December 31, 2016 at 10:00 am

Persistence paid off in frugal savings. The tile we had ordered for our bathroom did not go with the shower tile so we found a less expensive floor tile that is perfect. I’ve had to “nag” our designer to get approval to return the first batch without a 30% restocking fee – but early next week it will go back for a full refund of $492.53. So happy.
Other frugalities:
1. I had bought a small turkey breast at a great sale price while I was looking for an affordable right size brisket for Christmas dinner. New Year’s Eve dinner is going to be turkey breast! Looking forward to the leftovers too.
2. Hubby keeps raking leaves. No cost to us.
3. We found we have basically nothing of worry to disclose to potential buyers of our house. Hopefully that means once there is a contract the inspection will find basically nothing of note and we won’t have to pay for repairs.
4. We have not been out to eat for 2 weeks.
5. Not under my control but our dog recovered quickly from a mystery illness so no additional vet bills.


tia December 31, 2016 at 11:23 am

Whole Foods had eggnog ice cream marked down to 2 dollars. I bought one and hid it in the freezer for a secret treat.
I didn’t buy bar stools because they won’t assemble them. I will continue to eat standing up I reckon.
Made some pumpkin bread from sale pumpkin.
Continued to be cheap and content.


Michele December 31, 2016 at 12:59 pm

1. Braved Sams this AM for the things I need for youngest son’s birthday party. My New Years “baby” is 15!
2. Crowd of 20, but so happy to have family together- some from out of state. Everyone brings food/drinks. Very generous family always contribute to get togethers.
2. Made cakes for tonight. Husband grilling sale chicken. Appetizer made with ingredients on hand.
3. Worked a little from home today. Every little bit helps.
4. Using my white Corelle, a happy birthday banner I’ve had for ten years and a red tablecloth for decorations. Bought 2 rolls of Christmas wrap that doesn’t look Christmasy to wrap son’s gifts.
5. Bought hand tools for son, as he enjoys woodworking. Not frugal, but not plasticy crap toys.


cindi December 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Terrific Gene Kelly story! Makes watching his movies all the more interesting!
1. Dropped off a bunch of stuff at Goodwill this am so as to get that all important tax receipt! Popped inside, as one does, and bought a set of Williams Sonoma ceramic veggie spreaders still in the box. Will use these to pair with homemade pesto as a gift for someone next year.
2. Went by Aldi’s and picked up a couple things to make white bean and chicken chili for our kids and their SO’s tomorrow. Only bought what I needed.
3. Spent some time this week looking at money spent this year and where I can tighten up. Will use cash only for the month of January and see how it affects my spending.
4. Went to the dump Thursday and dropped off recyclables. Picked up a book from 1882 about Pope Leo that was in the book closet there and have listed it on eBay.
5. Paid our childrens spring tuition this week as well…:/


Marybeth December 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm

1. Paid off the last of my Parent Plus student loans that we took out for our daughter. She graduated a year and a half ago. Now have to start saving for my son. Going to try to not take any loans out for him.
2. Not feeling great so just stayed home yesterday and today to rest.
3. Got my husband a pasta maker for Christmas from Goodwill. He is making some for dinner tonight.
4. My daughter told her boyfriend about the pasta maker so he got us ravioli makers for Christmas. Will try those out next.
Have a Healthy, Happy, and Frugal 2017


Emily December 31, 2016 at 7:21 pm

1. Staying in on NYE. No money spent on outfit, no nail appointment, no fancy food. Cozy night in watching hacked tv in my new bathrobe I got for Christmas.
2. Setting goals for 2017. This will be the year for student loan payoff. Can’t wait.
3. Sorted Christmas presents we won’t be needing/using and can’t return. Will list on versus sale. Makes me feel a bit guilty but, can’t have too much stored in 900 sq feet.
4. Gathering tax stuff tomorrow.
5. Getting back on the frugal wagon!


Gina in KY January 1, 2017 at 12:07 pm

1. Dug up some giant sweet potatoes from the community garden. These were what were left after all the harvesting had been completed. I also picked a bunch of chickweed (and edible plant) to add to my hens’ food.
2. Stocked up on library books mainly about gardening and cooking (I am still reading _Season of the Witch_).
3. Started a 2017 Bullet type journal using one I already had for years. I just cut out the 4-5 pages I had used and began anew! I have been filling it with my regular stuff, as well as sections for all the challenges I am doing (centered on No Spending and such). I have yet to fill in my New Year’s goals, but I know that being frugal and paying off the remaining divorce debt is high on the priority list. I am also keeping track of items that cost me nothing (I did this last January and it helped spark creativity and I was able to pay more on the debts).
4. On the last day of 2016, I stocked up on some clearance items from the grocery store. Normally, I would not say this is a good idea, but the products and prices were excellent! I am ready for the Eat the Pantry challenge I began today (NY2017) and it really should not be that hard. I plan to continue this one until I feel like Mother Hubbard.
5. And, speaking of NYE, my children, SO and I stayed in for the night, watched a Redbox movie and ate junk food. We were all content and enjoyed the night!


Vanessa KC January 1, 2017 at 9:15 pm

1. We were child free on NYE. Chose to stay home and order pizza witha coupon.
2. Glued a broken boot back together. Just needs a quick swipe of black paint to cover the glue line, which i can do at work for free.
3. Applied window film to 2 drafty windows and hung heavy curtains. i usually do this in November but it was so warm this year.
4. Made a meal plan for the week and prepped a few things to make it easier on me.
5. whipped up a killer potato soup accented by the last little bit of smoked brisket from Christmas. Made enough to share with both of my parents.


Denise January 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

How well does the window film work, Vanessa?

I am moving to my new apartment next Monday and three of the windows are beautiful but freezing cold single-glazed double hung sash windows (old Victorian house). I was thinking of trying window film (do you mean the stuff you run a hair dryer over to make it go taut? That’s what I’m thinking of).

Thanks for any advice on draughty windows!



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