Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 14, 2017 · 66 comments

  1. I remembered that I had a nice Gap boy’s coat that I’d picked up last summer as a garage sale leftovers freebie. New ones sell for up to $105, so I listed mine for $20 and hope to do a quick turnaround thanks to the frigid Portland weather. I kind of wish this insanely warm coat was my size!
  2. I baked up a loaf of English muffin bread from a recipe that my friend Lise said was both delicious and easy. My plan had been to have toast and runny fried eggs for dinner last night, but instead I had a couple pieces of freshly baked bread with butter and then conked out for the night. I guess I was tired from my 38 hours of working-sleeping-working at the hospital! If I were to make this bread again I’d use less salt.
  3. I finally sold a thrifted bike that’s I’ve had on Craigslist since Christmas eve. I think that the snowstorm-icestorm-snowstorm has kept people from running unnecessary errands. I’ve had three or four people who’d enquired about it so I knew it would sell eventually, so it’s nice to get it out of our dining room and back onto the road.
  4. I’m continuing to eat down a huge batch of white bean-ham soup that used up the last of our Christmas ham. Today’s lunch should be the last of it which’ll be a relief as I’m pretty sick of it at this point. #TakingOneForTheTeam
  5. I used my Buy Nothing Group to give away a small insulated bag that someone dropped in front of house, (I tried, but was unable to find the owner) I turned the heat down from 63° to 65°, I helped myself to a small blank notebook from my son’s room for my to-do lists as I’d filled up the last one, I saved a $5 hospital food voucher for my next work shift instead of treating myself on my way out as I was tempted to do, I didn’t buy a Lear Jet and I didn’t buy a vulgar 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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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie January 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm

(1) Found a catastrophe in progress yesterday at a vacant house on our street (water pipes had burst inside). Contacted neighbor who knew how to get in touch with the recently departed owners. Situation inside is not pretty, but I hope the intervention prevented it from becoming Noah’s flood. Frugality for all (including owners of adjacent properties) in the long run.

(2) DH and I did some serious decluttering today by donating a whole bunch of DVDs, books, and other stuff to one of our local thrift chains. Got two $5 coupons in exchange for the DVDs, plus a nice donation write-off unless the tax laws change next year. (Rumors are swirling about the tax law change, but my guess is that there will be so much confusion and cross-talk about everything this year that things may stay pretty much the same.)

(3) Am sprouting mung beans in a jar for some cheap fresh veggies–a favorite winter “gardening” trick.

(4) Temperatures rose far enough out of the teens (Fahrenheit) this afternoon that DH was able to go out and cut up/split some firewood, to both his and my relief. (Cabin fever has been something of a problem this week. We love each other dearly, but…)

(5) Having our widowed next-door neighbor over for dinner for her birthday tonight–her favorite pot roast.


Evelyn January 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm

I had to read this twice, Your neighbor knows how to get in touch with the recently departed owners?


A. Marie January 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Bad choice of words on my part. The owners recently moved out of the area; they’re not deceased, and my neighbor does not communicate with the deceased, despite having many other fine qualities!


Evelyn January 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Ha! Ha! That’s good to know. I was about to ask how they go such a great “gift”.


Jill A January 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

1. Took an unintentional cold shower this morning. Didn’t realize my youngest had just used up all the hot water. I guess that’s one way to save some money.
2. Went to the matinee movie with my mother yesterday. It wasn’t the cheap theater that I like to use, but the movie wasn’t playing there. Just bought the ticket.
3. Keeping my heat down also…62 when it’s just me at home, 64 for everyone else,62 to sleep.
4. Stayed home and watched Netflix last night instead of going on a date with my husband. We were both too tired. I guess that’s another way to save money.
5. Traded cars with my husband one day, he had a trip to another city to make and he drove our hybrid vehicle instead of the gas guzzling van.


Florencia January 15, 2017 at 8:20 am

Being too tired to go out has been one of my often-used frugal tactics lately as well. I had a tango party on Friday ($10) and a free concert last night (free, but since you’re there you usually buy a drink, <$5). I didn't go and went to bed early.


Mand01 January 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

1. Had a home based date night watching Netflix and eating ice cream.
2. Made cookies and muffins for vacation care snacks next week.
3. It’s my husband’s birthday so I’m about to make him pancakes for breakfast.
4. I bought a whole watermelon yesterday and a small part of it was bruised so I made sorbet.
5. I’m making curries for my husband’s birthday dinner and we are having friends over as well. Making it all from scratch for about a tenth of a restaurant meal.


Denise B January 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm

This week was filled with these usuals…
1) Eating from the pantry/freezer/fridge to support a low-spend January.
2) Brought my breakfast, lunch, and coffee to work every day this week.
3) Wore thrifted clothes, mainly found at GW.
In addition…
4) A friend gave me a full length, black, wool coat she purchased years ago at Harold’s. It’s a timeless style, and it’s in mint condition. I was so grateful!
5) I went to Sam’s Club this morning to order contacts and decided to do the free health screening. I was thrilled to know that my cholesterol is at a healthy, level, good blood pressure, etc.!


Marie-Josée January 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Good for you!


Tracy January 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

1. For first time, used Kroger’s coupon download system for my shopping trip at Fred Meyer and got discounts plus free item (can of refried beans).
2. Shopped from a list and, since I’m using pantry items as well, was able to buy a week’s worth of groceries for our family of 5 (teens and up) for $90. Trying to keep groceries to $600/month.
3. Borrowed a sled instead of buying one so our 13 year old could take advantage of the Portland snow!
4. Am making some food for coming week (beef stew, Mexican lentil casserole) so we won’t be tempted to do restaurants or take out.
5. Went for a hike in a beautiful park near us to enjoy the gorgeous sun and brilliant snow in the very cold but clear weather. Will stay in and watch a movie on Netflix tonight. No spending except for aforementioned frugal grocery shopping!
6. And unlike Katy who took one for the team, I got my husband to eat the last bowl of our ham and bean soup from our holiday ham!


Alison January 14, 2017 at 4:19 pm

I’m intrigued by Mexican lentil casserole. Can you please tell me where I can find the recipe?


Tracy January 15, 2017 at 5:50 am

Here ya go, it’s in the fridge waiting to be baked this week so I can’t report yet on whether it’s a keeper:


susanna d January 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

The Mexican lentil casserole looks yummy – thanks for sharing the link!


Katherine in AL January 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

1. Spent a whopping total of $11.76 on groceries this week.
2. Found $.06 yesterday and $.04 today.
3. Walked to the grocery store and utility office instead of driving.
4. No heat or ac being used right now. It hit 75 degrees today and we’ve spent a lazy day on the front porch reading hand me down books.
5. Will schedule everyone a check-up while we still have health insurance. I


Mariana January 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

1. A friend gave us a login to his Netflix ! Ha.
2. T. wanted us to go to Long Islamd this afternoon and return tomorrow (to have homemade dinner with our friends. This snow made me not want to go at all and also 4 hours of driving just to have dinner so I talked him out of it. Saved us 4 hour of driving and gas. I am making dinner with what I have on hand.
3. Instead of buying liquid soap (that my husband prefers) we are using up a solid soap that I got as secret Santa. Neither of us likes the smell but hey, it’s free.


Kim January 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

I have been reading through your archives and your annual “Coin Girl” successes are way more than my brick and mortar bank account interest. I move most of my money to an online account with Captial one, but for the little bit I leave behind in my “traditional bank savings account”, the interest is so low. It’s just another way the picking up change when you see it pays off.


Joyce January 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm

1. Hung all the laundry I washed.
2. Bought broccoli on sale and blanched /froze it for later use.
3. Finally put our reusable bags back in the car for use at the store. It’s not really frugal for me but for the environment.
4. Handed out a few invitations to our February volleyball in the snow party rather than Sebring them in the mail. The party is semi frugal as guests contribute as a potluck. It’s so fun to play volleyball in the snow.
5. No Lear jet here either.


Vickey January 22, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Volleyball in the snow! Awesome! DH is gonna be all over that. Thanks for the inspiration!


Mrs. Picky Pincher January 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Great job! This week:

1. Pasta was on firesale at the grocery store so we stocked up. We won’t need pasta for a while! I do like homemade pasta better, but I’m waiting on a pasta roller sale to take the plunge.

2. I baked focaccia bread today. I paired it with homemade ricotta cheese (made from a leftover half gallon of milk) and homemade rosemary olive oil (seeped rosemary in olive oil in a crock pot all day). It was mighty tasty! Mr. Picky Pincher is having a guy’s night this weekend, so he plans to take the bread to the festivities.

3. I reserved the whey from making ricotta cheese. I’m also making yogurt today, so I’ll save that whey as well. I’ll use it in the future for baking bread; it tends to come out fluffier when I use whey instead of water.

4. I cooked homemade mayonnaise. We’re having fancy sandwiches this week that call for chipotle mayo. Mayo is, like, $3 for a tiny bottle at the store. I made my own mayo and HOLY HELL it’s delicious. And it didn’t cost $3. 🙂

5. The former resident of my house mistakenly sent beauty products to my house. I called the company to let them know and to ask what I should do. They said they’d send the lady a new box of product and instructed me to throw away the package. Well! I couldn’t have that, so I now have a few sample-sized hair products to use. Waste not. 🙂


Marilyn January 14, 2017 at 5:07 pm

1. Did not leave the house Wed, Thurs or Fri due to the 12″ – 18″ of snow in our area of SW Washington. No money at all spent for these 3 days.
2. My next-door neighbor gave me one of her delicious coffee cakes which has been a real treat for breakfast on these cold mornings.
3. Called our internet/landline phone provider about the 5 days we had no service last month. We will be getting a credit applied to our next bill.
4. Finally, got out of the house today to go to – where else — the library. I picked up 3 books and 2 videos. These will be our entertainment the next couple weeks.
5. My son’s 29th birthday is coming up. He has a full time job (thank goodness!) but he lives in a very expensive city (SAN Diego) so he has to really watch the pennies. I will send him a card and a check. I know ut will be most welcome.


tonya January 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

1) Katy, “gold-plated apartment in the sky” keeps cracking me up! I hope your usage of this phrase will continue for the next four years.

2) Took my lunch to work, as usual.

3) Baked a cake for our dessert.

4) Had my nephews over for dinner.

5) Baked take away pizza at home for #4. Everyone got lots to eat. I also have some bean and ham soup in the fridge but will save it for another day.


Vickey January 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm

I agree re #1! But… I also harbor the hope that it won’t last that long…emoluments being impeachable and all. 😉


janine January 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

1. Shopped at Costco with son. Bought only a sale jar of vitamins. Son treated us to hotdogs ($1.50) after snacks being given out seemed to be of the better-for-you than tasty variety.
2. Found 25c in a parking lot – almost given up hope of finding change – no luck for quite a while.
3. Cabin Fever set in and we visited our favorite Chinese restaurant this evening. Not frugal except that there was enough food left for another meal and manager gifted us with a free dessert to take home.
4. Entertainment this weekend has been walking the dog and enjoying his antics as he dreams of rabbit and squirrel conquests. (never successful)
5. Patched a pair of good pants after being ripped by a nail sticking out of a piece of furniture. Husband fixed the furniture and I was able to salvage the pants. Win!


Bettypants January 14, 2017 at 6:37 pm

1. I had someone comment on a whole bunch of my photos on a FB sale board. Rarely do those people follow through, but this one picked up everything this morning. $100 and lots of stuff out of my house.
2. I have two plastic carts with drawers that I use to store craft and sewing materials. Cleaned them up and organized everything, enough to get rid of an extra three drawer bin.
3. No longer need three pressed wood bookcases that we used for storage in the garage. Sold them for $15 (they weren’t very nice).
4. Just made a batch of brownies for dessert/snacking.
5. Have started a new bag for Salvation Army. I will be near there the first week in Feb, and would like to have 3 or 4 bags filled by then.


kathleen January 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm

1. Had to rearrange some stuff in the freezer. Found some frozen berries. Made smoothies.
2. Also found a container of sweetened strawberries which I’ll use to make a dessert for our Sunday family dinner tomorrow.
3. Made a simple Honey Garlic Chicken recipe in the slow cooker. It was yummy! Froze two individual portions for the hubs to take to work.
4. Mild temps the last few days, no heater needed.
5. No car means I’m not spending any gas or doing any shopping out. I’ve not really done any online shopping either. I did put some new undies in my amazon shopping basket a few days ago, but haven’t clicked ‘checkout’ yet. 🙂


Betty Winslow January 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm

1. Dinner tonight was free, since we got invited to our church’s annual leadership/service party. Tenderloin slices, 2 kinds of shrimp, hummus and chips, veggies and dip, stuffed mushrooms, tiny desserts, and wine/beer/soda to drink – yum!
2. Didn’t get the note about the White Elephant exchange, so didn’t take anything, but still ended up with something someone else didn’t want but I did.
3. Got a compliment on my outfit (a new top I bought on super sale last year and haven’t worn before) and my earrings (made by me to coordinate with the top). My church group is pretty fashionable (mostly gals in their 30s), so I was stoked!
4. Spent way less at the grocery store this week, since we’re trying to eat up the pantry/freezer backlog, but still picked up some salmon on sale, which will be tomorrow night’s dinner.
5. The lettering on my laptop is wearing off, so I bought a silver sharpie to redraw them on. It rubs off after a few uses, but it’s easy to reapply and should keep me going until I get a new laptop, which I need (my OS is no longer supported….)


kathleen January 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Some of the letters on my keyboard have rubbed off as well. I wonder if a tiny bit of clear fingernail polish over the Sharpie would make it last, or if it would just smear the Sharpie?


Emily January 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

1. Found a bunch of really high end lingerie at GW yesterday. Got it pictured and listed on eBay today. Hoping with Valentine’s Day around the corner that it will sell for good prices!

2. Streamed the penguins game tonight. We don’t have cable (haven’t for over a year).

3. Ate ramen for dinner. Definitely not healthy, but am not feeling well so that’s really all I wanted. Added some green onions and siracha and it was satisfying.

4. Trying to eat cheap this month. Oatmeal, peanut butter and jellies, bananas, frozen veggies.

5. NOT engaging in after Christmas “clearance bargains”. You save the most when you don’t spend any!


kathleen January 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Or as my husband said about 3 decades ago (and it has stuck with me), “It’s not a bargain if you don’t need it.”


Vickie January 15, 2017 at 9:44 am

# 5 & kathleen – absolutely agree!!


MamaMinou January 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

1. Planning to go grocery shopping in the freezer tomorrow (I’m actually not sure what all I put in there now, it’s shared with my mother & lives at her house)
2. Trying to have as many “no spend” days as possible. Today was one.
3. Sorry if this is TMI, but “toothbrushed” my night guard since we are out of denture cleaner. Darned teeth grinding! Night guards are not cheap, but much cheaper and healthier than cracked teeth….eek.
4. Knitting cute baby sweaters for a coworker’s shower in a few weeks. A big office gift will be purchased, but donations are voluntary. I’m opting to use a skill I have instead, to create something personalized. Is this too cheap??
5. Did some satisfying cleaning today (it was high time), and worked on decluttering as I went. For me, the key to living comfortably in a small home is not having too many possessions.


E January 15, 2017 at 2:23 am

I think a hand knitted sweater is beautiful and not cheap at all. Everyone always oohs and aahs over them. I love having something someone made for my baby! It’s a lot more thoughtful than buying something at the store. Enjoy!


Tracy January 15, 2017 at 5:58 am

Agree! In my opinion “too cheap” would be not and contributing to the group gift AND not getting/making a gift of your own, but a hand knitted baby sweater is an AWESOME gift!


Bee January 15, 2017 at 5:58 am

As far a the baby sweater goes, I think that it’s a wonderful gift. When I had my first child 30 years ago, a friend crocheted a baby blanket for my son. It is the one baby thing that I have kept. It was so beautiful and made with love. I hope that one day I can give it to his child. Anyone can go to the store to buy something. It takes someone special to take the time to create a gift.


Gina in KY January 15, 2017 at 6:42 am

I am going to chime in with the rest and say how much thoughtful and loving a handmade sweater is. I only kept the sweater and baby booties made by a co-worker in my saved items for my older son and I still have the blanket my aunt knitted for baby me back in the 70s! I used it with my babies.


Jill A January 15, 2017 at 6:57 am

I would have loved a hand made sweater. I still have every home made blanket I received for my girls. I have a rubbermaid container full of them. I’m hoping I have some grandkids to use on someday.


Lila January 15, 2017 at 8:03 am

My dental hygenist told me to use Dawn Antibacterial dish soap to clean my dentures – use it just like the expensive tablets. A drop or two and soak like usual – works great & it is so much less expensive! Should work for your night guard too.


Mand01 January 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm

My husband and I both have nightguards – we are both grinders. Our dentist told us that the best way to clean it is a drop of liquid handwash and some warm water.


Gina in KY January 15, 2017 at 6:38 am

1. Gifted two bags of oranges and used two in the veggie stir fry last night. It was excellent! I used vegetables that were on their last days, bits of various partial jars of sauces to make my own, and the last of a package of dried vegan “beef” I had in the pantry. I also used up the last of the jasmine rice (will need to replace after I use up the rest of the white). I actually think it’s beneficial to use up the old and make a better replacement plan for the remainder of the year.
2. Made French toast this weekend for my boys using an older loaf of sprouted 7 grain bread (also gifted with the oranges). I used up some old pears to make a compote and the last of the caramel apples cream cheese spread (bought on clearance a few weeks ago) to make a stuffed French toast thing. This
“Iron Chef” inspired breakfast was delicious.
3. My boyfriend treated my boys and I to a movie at the second run theater. We say Fantastic Beast… and it was wonderful! I just mentioned I had been disappointed in the movies I had seen recently, but this one I loved!
4. Other than the movie, we stayed in this weekend. It’s been chilly and rainy. I worked on some tedious items that really need to be completed and sent out this week (It’s not exactly fun to work the weekend away, but isn’t frugal to get stressful work projects out of the way? 🙂 ) and my boys entertained themselves with DVDs, Lego projects and video games.
5. Oh, I also found 16c this past week! I think I am going to pull a Katy and see how much I find until next January!


Gina in KY January 15, 2017 at 6:46 am

Ugh! Excuse my many typos and grammar errors! I must be sleepy this morning!


Bee January 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Your “Iron Chef” reference made me smile. I often say that I cook like I am on “Chopped.” There are always a few things that I must use, and then take the rest from the pantry and refrigerator. 🙂


susanna d January 15, 2017 at 7:27 am

Yesterday was five frugal things, date-night edition:

1. Cooked up a steak on the charcoal grill – husband is an uber-carnivore so this date night dinner was his choice. Steak was from the half-side of grass fed beef purchase, meaning the cost of that fantastic porterhouse steak was $3.69 per pound. Charcoal was left from summer grilling season – and purchased at a rock bottom price.
2. Rounded out the meal with previously cooked up and frozen 69 cent per pound mushrooms, packaged Caesar salad kit that was marked down to $1.50, and home grow veggies – also previously frozen.
3. Dragged the sofa table and two chairs in front of the fireplace for fine dining atmosphere. Bonus in that while the fireplace was crackling away, the heat didn’t go on.
4. Had cocoa around the fire instead of dessert. I’d cleaned the spice cabinet last week and found a jar of Penzey’s cocoa that had been a freebie – and that I’d forgotten I had. Mixed with a little sugar and vanilla – and cooked up in milk – it made for the best cup of cocoa we’d had in recent memory.
5. Entertained ourselves with a little game of “do you know how much this meal would have cost in a restaurant?” We are so very easily amused…


cathy January 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

My husband and I play the “Do you know…” game all the time! It works for anything you do yourself, but seems especially fun with a good meal.


Marybeth January 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm

We do this all the time. It always amazes me how much cheaper it is to cook an amazing meal at home versus getting one out at a restaurant. I would rather spend $30 on say lobster at home for 4 versus $150 out at a nice restaurant.


Ruby January 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

Katy, the “gold-plated apartment in the sky” always reminds me of the theme song of the long-ago TV show “The Jeffersons,” which mentions their “deluxe apartment in the sky.” So your reference makes me smile twice. 🙂


Ruby January 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

Well, shoot, was smiling so much I forgot to post my FFTs:

1. After making a huge payment on his hospital bill Friday, DH came home to find a letter from said hospital saying there had been an insurance adjustment and we’d been overcharged about $1,000. So we should be getting the huge payment back. Refund=happiness!
2. While in search of flaxseed, I visited the fancier grocery store in our neighborhood that we can’t really afford to shop at. Found a yellow-stickered for quick sale package of limes with an enormous tomato for 99 cents. Salsa, here we come!
3. Stopped in at the humane society thrift shop for a quick walk-around. Paperbacks were 20 cents each, so I got two cookbooks (slow cooker recipes and root vegetable cookery), along with two novels that I’ll read and then donate back. Also snagged a red fleece & cable knit sweater suitable for wearing to work — where our office is freezing in the winter — for $3. Paid with pocket money.
4. My husband got busy with his pile of scrap wood yesterday and built a very clever dog gate for our bedroom door. It’s held in place by friction provided by strips of leftover felt weatherstripping from repairing our back door, so it’s easy to take down and leaves no marks on the woodwork. This would not work for very rambunctious or large dogs, which ours are not. Once the new puppy outgrows her explore & pee stage of life, he can reuse the wood again.
5. Set up a budgeting spreadsheet for January and have been sticking to it. I abandoned the effort in December due to lack of time and frustration. After looking back over a year of record-keeping, I realized that I had set the budget targets too low, due to being overly optimistic about not spending money when one has very little free time. Frugality is a learning experience, despite years of practice.


Lindsey January 15, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Your dog door story made me laugh. We have Danes and Irish wolfhounds. Our dog door is half of our backdoor. Last summer we caught our dogs holding the door open so the free range chickens could come into the house. We thought we had it fixed so the chickens would not be able to get to the part of the yard. The next week the dogs led our two sheep into the living room. We came home to find the dogs lying on the carpet and a sheep on each one of the huge dog beds.


Ruby January 15, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Mine are all dachshund-some other little breed mixes, so they’re too short to cause much trouble. The mental picture of sheep in your living room is hilarious!


Vickie January 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

1) Due to the ice storm, the music gig we were attending last night was postponed. So, I put a rump roast w/carrots, onions & potatoes in the oven. It was yummy and we have plenty of leftovers.
2) I had some pinto beans that were getting a bit old, so I soaked & rinsed them for a few days and put them in the crock-pot w/a ham steak. I’ll make some cornbread and we should have enough leftovers between the two dinners to use for lunches and dinner this next week.
3) The ice storm passed and now it’s raining, so I’ve used my time at home to clean, do laundry and read. It’s been wonderful. No travelling so I saved fuel.
4) We decided to stay home tonight and watch the Thunder game and eat dinner here, saving the gift certificate for when they reschedule the music gig we want to attend.
5) I have another day off tomorrow for the MLK holiday. I don’t have any plans to go out. I need to gather up stuff to donate next week and stuff to give my daughter for her Spring yard sale. Which means I only have a four day work week and will that will save fuel too. Yay!


cathy January 15, 2017 at 11:26 am

1. We finished remodeling a downstairs bedroom (bringing it out of the 1970s) for our college-aged son. Had to hire out the drywall (because…ceiling & two walls), but husband did all the demo+rewired/replaced lighting+replaced/improved plumbing to outdoor spigot (while he was in the ceiling). We painted (and, in the process, taught son & his GF how to prep & paint).
2. Son wanted a TV for his “apartment.” Met his request with a nearly-new LG my husband found at campus surplus for $25, a trash-picked remote (w/ a sticky button), a lot of troubleshooting to unlock the TV from hospital mode and re-program the channels, and free, new-in-box mounting hardware (for the wall) from a job site.
3. Turning the newly-vacated upstairs bedroom into a sort of Room of Requirement (though less messy!). It’ll be a space to do homework, to read, play guitar, etc. Shopping the house for furniture/art/plants/decor. Room seems to be taking on a Mission/Arts and Crafts vibe.
4. I make a breakfast dish–recreated from a cafe in Port Townsend, WA over 30 years ago. It calls for sauteed mushrooms, but I’ll sub almost any veg. Made it the other day w/ the last, languishing bit of roasted root veggies and it was delicious. Planning to make quiche today from odds and ends, and a turkey potpie from the last of the defrosted, leftover T-Day turkey. Mostly following along w/ the Frugalwoods’ Uber Frugal Month Challenge, and eating from fridge/freezer/pantry has been big.
5. Went “shopping in the basement” and found my son dress slacks & shirts, coordinating suit jacket, casual pants, turtleneck, and slippers. Hand-me-downs from his brother, and all fit perfectly. I use a box system I picked up from Amy Dacyczn (Tightwad Gazette) where things are stored by size and labeled on the outside of the box. It means I never have to hunt around for the size anyone needs.


Bee January 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Your fifth frugal thing made me smile. I am always redecorating with what I have. When I move something into a different room, my husband inevitably asks, “Is that new?”


Susie's Daughter January 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Port Townsend… Sigh. Some lovely memories there for this East Coast girl!


LisaC January 15, 2017 at 11:27 am

1. Wore a long wool coat my son gave me on the coldest days. It fit, though the large shoulder pads reminded me of the 80s a bit.
2. Made soup out of all the leftover bits of veggies I’d saved. Added some leftover roast that had been a bit tough, some leftover potatoes and gravy from the roast, and some barley. Made enough for at least 3 dinners. My secret is to really chop up the veggies and “pop” the little cherry tomatoes so the flavors blend well.
3. Sold a pair of shoes on ebay.
4. Taking a veggie tray to a friend’s for a dinner/football party. Using what we have, mainly bought from the re-wrap shelf.
5. My crown popped off! I’m taking care not to break it, hoping that the dentist can glue it back in instead of making a whole new expensive one. I will find out tomorrow.


LisaC January 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

It was my son’s coat. Mens clothes always seem to fit well, and the pockets are huge!


Bee January 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

1) I have listed several more items on eBay today. Sales have been a bit slow. I guess that I am not the only one trying to have a low spend January.

2) My hubby and I rode our bikes to the store to buy a few household and grocery item. We saved gas and got some exercise. We can only can carry so much, so we always stick to list when we do this.

3) We ate every meal at home. I roasted a large free-range chicken last night. I suspect I will get five meals from this one bird. I also made a crust-less quiche to use up some cheese, ham, and half ‘n half. I turned some corn tortillas that were past their prime into chips to eat with homemade guacamole.

4) My coffeemaker would not work this morning. For me, this is an unmitigated disaster. Coffee is my vice. Then I remembered that I had a Starbucks gift card which I used for a morning latte. This was a special treat. As much as I love coffee, I make at home to save $$$$. Once I was awake. I cleaned and adjusted my coffeemaker and was able to brew a pot. Since I had already had my morning allotment, I have put today’s coffee in the refrigerator. If my coffeemaker won’t work tomorrow, I will have iced coffee and then order a new one. Not very NCA-like, but coffee is a necessity.

5) The weather was nice, so we took the dog for a long walk, let him roll around in the morning dew, and then bathed him at home. This saves $35!


Susie's Daughter January 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Bee – I love your descriptions in #4. I went a whole week without coffee because of this rotten head cold and cough. I am savoring the last of the eggnog for morning coffee purposes only. And I drink day old coffee on a regular basis as it is bad news for everyone else if I have the whole pot in one am!


K D January 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

1. Last weekend I lost an old pair of 180s ear warmers at Home Depot. I retraced my steps after checking with lost and found but couldn’t find them. Yesterday my husband was going there to buy something so I tagged along. I asked about the 180s at lost and found and sure enough a kind soul had turned them in.

2. I had bought thank you cards at Staples after Christmas (for my husband that needs cards that look professional). The box had not been opened so last week when I stopped to drop off a UPS package I asked if I could return them and buy them back with a 20% off coupon. A savings of $2.20 plus tax.

3. I had planned to get a haircut after six weeks (short hair cut in lots of layers can look scraggly after that) but that would have been last week and I decided to just wait it out. I don’t have to have hair that looks like a million bucks in my life (It never does anyway because I wash, towel dry, brush and go).

4. We have had meals in all weekend. I have been working on a lentil soup I made the the other day.

5. I didn’t buy anything the past several days.


Jennifer January 15, 2017 at 2:22 pm

I’m sorta late posting FFT but anyway, here goes nothing.
1. I was gifted 3 large flats of tomatoes. Normally this would make me so happy but since my daughter had her baby prematurely, this was a strain. I had to get them all cut, blanched, and frozen quickly. It was tiring but I got it done. They will be great to make lower sodium sauces for my family. BTW, I have a beautiful grandson who weighs 4 pounds! He is so tiny but doing really well and so is his momma. I’m so proud of them!
2. It’s not been a frugal week as I had to unexpectedly buy a lot of hospital cafeteria food. I did bring myself some pears and Christmas peppermint Oreos I got for 90% off to offset some of the costs.
3. I also found some Christmas tin containers at Walgreens for 29 cents. I got 6 of them to fill with some kind of goodies for teacher gifts next year.
4. My kids were given free skate passes for Martin Luther King day so I think I will surprise them with a fun skate night for free. We usually eat before we go and I bring a couple drinks in my purse to keep from buying the snacks there.
5. Well, since I haven’t been very frugal I will just mention that I love snuggling my new grand baby and it doesn’t cost me anything. It’s such a different feeling for me. I have always been in the role of exhausted mother trying to recover from the birth and take care of a new baby but now I can just enjoy this one without so much exhaustion and worry. Grandchildren=priceless


Bee January 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your grandson! So glad that all is well


Marybeth January 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Congratulations on your grandson. My Dad always says if he knew how much fun grandkids were he would of had them first.


Jennifer January 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Thank you!


LisaC January 16, 2017 at 5:11 am

Congratulations, Grandma! Grandkids are the best. 🙂


Marybeth January 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

1. My husband and I ran some errands together. I needed to go to library and to return a gift. He needed Home Depot and a car store. They are all pretty close together so we did them together. Got more books and movies from the library. Used a coupon at the car store.
2 Made pasta fagioli soup. Made potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes. Made waffles for breakfast and made extra for the kids for before school.
3. My sister had everyone over for my Dad’s birthday. She mentioned that she was having a problem with her dishwasher. She is single and doesn’t use it much. I took the filters and the water jets out and gave them a good scrubbing, then put it back together. Ran it empty and its working great now. The repair man was going to come later in the week for $140 to just look at it. She didn’t know all of those parts came out. We have similar models so it took me about 10 minutes. My other sister asked me what I was doing? I explained. She had know clue either. She said she was going to go home and do hers that night.
4. Ate a great meal at my sisters with some of my favorite people. We played Giant Jenga that we made her a few years ago for her birthday. She had so much food that she sent us home with leftovers. I now have my lunch for work tomorrow.
5. We drove in my 10 year old car that I love ! No car payments.
6. Working on scholarships with my son. There are so many out there.


Vickey January 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

I love your #3! Way to spread the thriftiness!


Nancy Drew January 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm

I think I have developed an addiction to reading FFT posts and comments… could be worse. Mine:
1. Bought DD 2 more tops from the Gap online. I combined an ebates rebate, a discounted gift card, and an online 40% off code for maximum effect. Also earned store dollars for another time.
2. Trying to throw out less food, so – sour apples became apple sauce, old lemons became lemon bread, and sour oranges (with some added sugar) became orange juice. Remembered to put supper leftovers in fridge for future lunches.
3. Used a 2 for 1 pita and drink coupon from mailbox for lunch with DH at Pita Express. They hadn’t seen the coupon before. Did everyone else throw their coupons out? That coupon saved us about $10.
4. Made squash soup with our own squash, carrots, onions, and garlic. Just bought the ginger and broth. So tasty on a cold day.
5. Ordered needed bedding on sale from Sears. Added extra towels to qualify for free shipping. But free shipping didn’t show up on online cart, so I removed the “extra” towels.


Laurie January 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for the tip about the salt in the english muffin bread. Made it tonight and decreased salt to 1t. Perfect!


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