Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 21, 2017 · 122 comments

  1. I sold a vintage Descoware saucepan on eBay that I’d picked up at Goodwill awhile back. I bought it for $6.99 and sold it for $39.99, so that’s a nice chunk of free money. I even arranged for a free porch pickup through USPS to save an errand to the post office. Of course, I packed up the box using freebie bubble wrap.
  2. I made my Women’s March protest sign from a free cardboard box. It read “Never Normalize Trump!” It costs nothing to stand up for my citizen rights. Nazi-era Jews didn’t have this right, but I do.
  3. My mother treated us to dinner tonight, which included enough leftover food to bring as tomorrow’s work lunch. Thanks, mom!
  4. My son came home for the weekend, and we were able to find used copies of two required textbooks at Powell’s Books. I even had enough on a gift card to cover the cost!
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or 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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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 January 22, 2017 at 12:30 am

1. I took my 12 year old daughter and my friend and her daughter and we went marching on Saturday. We were so proud of our girls, who strode out in front of the March like proud little new generation feminists. Cost: free. My daughter said it was the greatest experience of her life.
2. We are in a cash crunch right now due to some unexpected bills. We have reduced our food bill by one third and I have spent the afternoon cooking ahead for the week using food from my freezer.
3. Making everything last so we don’t have to buy anything.
4. Had a serious discussion with my kids about being more helpful around the house. They are good kids but with us both working full time we just need them to contribute more to keep this household going. Today I had my daughter help do all the cooking for the week ahead. Important life skills.
5. Free workouts on our secondhand gym equipment.


mel January 22, 2017 at 1:06 am

1 – found 20c on the footpath 2 – gifted some plums from my Mum that had been given to her… Sweet and yum!
3 – we are having a burst of winter weather in the middle of summer (here in New Zealand)… Staying home and ‘pottering around’ is free and relaxing
4 – given a rice cooker and steam mop that a client no longer wanted. I try to be reasonably minimalist with possessions so I don’t think I’ll use them. I will probably try selling on Facebook instead.
5 – picked up another client through word of mouth recommendation… Nice to feel my work is pleasing to others as much as it it to me! (Plus extra $ doesn’t hurt!)


Frugal In The Valley January 22, 2017 at 2:14 am

You go girl. Well done on the protest sign. We here in Australia feel your pain, perhaps not as acutely, but we feel for you as human beings and decent people. He is a scourge.


Jill A January 22, 2017 at 5:03 am

1. Shopped around for airline tickets. Pounced on a good price and used points to pay for them.
2. Cooking from my freezer and pantry. I managed to avoid the grocery store all week.
3. Spent a day with my Mom, bought her and I a coffee using her Bogo coupon. We went for a ride in the country using my hybrid vehicle instead of her car, to save on gas.
4. Returned a couple Christmas items that I didn’t end up giving, did this while I was on my Mom’s side of town to save a trip and gas money.
5. Went to a nice retirement party for a friend, company paid for drinks and appetizers. Free dinner and got to catch up with old friends.


April January 22, 2017 at 5:31 am

1. Cooking and eating at home now more than ever.
2. Going to a friend for super cheap haircuts instead of a salon. Adds up for me and my two kids. I also color my hair at home.
3. We drove 2 hours yesterday on a road trip for a fun day out. The gas was the only expense, as we used up 4 gift cards for entertainment.
4. We recently moved, and have now officially emptied our storage unit. That frees up $70 more dollars a month.
5. Staying home as much as possible. I’m finding tremendous joy in decluttering my house and getting rid of everything unwanted and unneeded. I love open space.


Mariana January 22, 2017 at 5:47 am

1. I found a hat on a pavement. After rain and snow it looked pretty nasty. I am pretty sure it was also stepping on several times. After soaking and hand wash it looks awesome!

2. I returned 3 things to Trader Joe’s (accumulated over 3 months or so) the items were quite untasty actually.

3. My root canal cost a fracture of what I thought it would! Thanks to using a different coding and 80/20 insurance coverage (since I had a full $1,500 on it as of January) my out of pocket was only $237

4. I turned a dress I did not wear for a couple of years into a skirt I hope to wear this summer.

5. Staying out of shops and cooking all at home. Boring but the key to keeping money in the wallet. Xx


LisaC January 22, 2017 at 6:09 am

1. Watched the cash register closely at the grocery store because I knew they had a new system. Caught a couple of mistakes, so they fixed it.
2. Sold a couple of things on ebay that I had sitting in my kitchen, hadn’t used in a while. Purging and selling makes me feel good.
3. Had company, made a big pot of soup out of what I have, bought a marked down loaf of fresh bread to go with it.
4. Grandson’s bday is coming up, found a free subscription to a kids sports magazine to send him. Wrote on a bday card from my stash, only out of pocket cost was the stamp to mail it.
5. Found another free subscription to a women’s magazine, sent it to my daughter in law as a surprise.


Karen January 22, 2017 at 6:16 am

Enjoy your blog. Disappointed in the political comments though. They do nothing to change the situation or other readers votes. I am a Catholic of Polish descent. Have always had deep feelings for the atrocities brought upon our Jewish brothers, as I do today for Christians being persecuted here and abroad.. The hatred expressed against our gov and new President scares me also. Just my very humble opinion….which I guess you are expressing yours to. For some reason, from your blog to some of your readers, ie Trump supporters,, it feels very personal. But I understand the internet does that, makes you feel connected to a blog host, but there is no real relationship there at all. Just a perceived pleasure and hurt.


Mandy January 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

If you feel uncomfortable about the way you voted, that’s your business. It’s not up to anybody who disagrees or doesn’t like trump to make you feel comfortable about it. And stating that we should not” normalize” trump is not expressing hatred. The reason he makes so many people uncomfortable, I think, it that he did nothing but stir up hatred duting his campaign and pander to the lowest common denominator in this country to get votes. THAT is what should disturb you, and the fact that it didn’t bother you enough to keep from voting for him. Not a handful of words on a cardboard sign.


A. Marie January 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Karen: I hope you never feel as if you can’t express your opinion civilly and respectfully, as you have done. More power to you.–Unfortunately, Mr. Trump and many of his supporters have made me and others feel as if we can’t express our opinions without being exposed to massive disrespect. If you think that the discourse you have been seeing on this blog is “hatred,” I’m afraid you have not been paying close attention to our new President and his followers.


Karen January 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm

A. Marie: I guess it is totally beyond anyone to give a respectful response. Yours began that way. More power to you & me both – we are human beings and made in God’s image equally! Sad you have to follow up your kind words with misquotes from me. I don’t find ‘hatred’ from Katy’s blog – those are your words coming out of the gate with “If you think…” – A. Marie, you don’t speak for me, my words do. You also don’t know the level of attention I pay to anything or anyone just because my views are different from yours – if you did, it might surprise you greatly – bottom line is you don’t know me at all. Please stop speaking for me whether you are ‘afraid’ or not to say it – just don’t. Katy’s blog comments today about speaking up are great – thank you Katy – thanks for both of our sakes.


A. Marie January 24, 2017 at 3:23 am

Thank you for your response, Karen. It’s possible (note the “It’s possible”) that we both should have chosen our words more carefully. I was dismayed by your original phrase “The hatred against our gov and new President…,” which I read (and I still think it was possible to read) as your description of many opinions you have been seeing on the NCA. And you have certainly voiced your objections to my word choice eloquently; I will try to express myself with greater care in the future.

Peace be with you, and with us all. And I join you in thanking Katy for hosting the NCA and giving us all a platform for “speaking our minds, even if our voices shake.”


tracy January 22, 2017 at 6:30 am

1. Free entertainment with a purpose yesterday — went to women’s march (Portland) with my 78 year old mom, 25 year old daughter, 22 year old son and two dear friends. Amazing experience, despite the pouring rain.
2. Shopped from a list for my first Costco trip in ages, only bought items on list and stayed within $600 grocery/household items budget for the month (for 5 people 13, 22, 25, hubby and me) even with $65 worth of household supplies (tp, zip lock bags, laundry stuff etc).
3. Bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco and will get three meals from it — first night, slice up meat from one breast and 3 of us had for dinner with leftover lentils and salad. Last night made a chicken enchilada casserole with meat from other breast which fed 4 adults with leftovers. Through rest of chicken in crockpot with some liquid and will take meat off bones for chicken and dumplings.
4. Got a free box of Annie’s mac-n-cheese at Freddy’s using Friday freebie, my 22 year old would live on the stuff if he could so will definitely get inhaled (er, eaten).
5. Found and washed a perfectly good pair of pink fabric gloves on the street — were very muddy but came out great – that my 13 year old will wear. She still loves pink.


tracy January 22, 2017 at 6:31 am

oops “threw” not “through”


Seattle Nancy January 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

My teen sons can each eat their own box of Annie’s mac & cheese in one sitting. The free box from Freddy was gone within an hour of hitting the house.


Kim in MD January 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

I’m 58 and pink is my favorite color!


Kim in MD January 22, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Went to the DC March and had my hope restored. So powerful.
Friday I mourned.
Saturday I marched.
Sunday I rested and
on Monday I will call more Senators!

1. Last week I said I was trying to decide what my sign should say and several of you offered suggestions. I settled on Woman’s Rights-Not Up for Grabs! and I Support a Free Press! Made my sign with some plastic corrugated board and pink glitter vinyl letters both of which I had on hand. No cost.
2. Went to the March with 6 women in a minivan. Parking garage space $20 for the day, which was reserved with Parking Panda.
3. Packed snacks, reusable water bottle and Starbucks reusable coffee cup. Used gift cards to pay for my coffee with my cup. I was charged 55¢ for my coffee and when I said they had undercharged me, they said no and they were trying to keep the line moving quickly and thanks so much!
4. Sold 4 items on Amazon this weekend. College fund!
5. We went out to dinner after the March once we got back home. I live 35 miles from DC. I called DH to tell him we were leaving DC and where we were going to dinner. He said we had a GC for the restaurant. I didn’t have it with me but he met us at the restaurant to give me the card. After GC I spent $8 for dinner.


janine January 22, 2017 at 7:02 am

1. Attended Minnesota Women’s March – reported in this morning’s Tribune as the largest political march in MN. history! Free, cathartic, fun! Loved Katy’s slogan on her sign. Someone resurrected the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s signature phrase: “We all do better when we all do better!” Great diversity of marchers – people watching was fabulous – hand-knit pink hats and also cat signs galore.
2. Found two loaves of French Bread in freezer -therefore going to put off going to grocery store for one more day.
3. Recycled dog’s collar and harness from former pets for our new dog. Reminds us of our loved but deceased animals and saves $$ too.
4. Making soup from chicken carcass in the slow-cooker. Will add leftover veggies and pasta for diversity soup.
5. Frugal fail: After the march treated friend to a belated Xmas lunch. Our favorite restaurant/deli was packed so spent $$ on inferior meal elsewhere. However, it was fun to get together, and we split a chocolate dessert which saved the day.


Roberta January 22, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I found this “Dog’s Will and Testament” that my family found comforting after we lost our dog. We adopted another dog right after, and he helped us feel better. (Sometimes, you just need to hug a dog).


Trish January 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Roberta– thank you for sharing that!


Joyce January 23, 2017 at 6:40 am

OK, I cried. My two big lunks of dogs just looked at me. We don’t plan to ever be without a dog or so. I love these guys and all who went before them.


MW January 22, 2017 at 7:22 am

1- Planned a week’s meals using quite a lot from the freezer. Soup!!
2- Baked two loaves of 1 hour bread and realized I like it better than bread a co-worker brought in from a fancy grocery store.
3- Made an apple pie from some on-the-edge apples. Ugly crust, but it tasted good.
4- Went looking for shoes at Ross. They had one pair of size 12 shoes, but I walked away since my quota of black dressy flats is filled. Saved $35.
5- Cheered on the marchers on Facebook yesterday, but I couldn’t see taking a 6 year old and 3 year old on my own in that madness. A previous career working with large crowds in special events has made me leery of crowds.


Kathy Hairston January 22, 2017 at 7:27 am

1. Sold 2 things via Amazon.
2. Received $15 class action check
3. $22 from consignment store
4. Got home gym set up
5. Treated to business lunch on Friday

Feeling torn with $$$ asks at church this month. Youth winter camp, Big Serve (law enforcement baskets) and 5th Sunday gleaning. I do contribute $$ weekly to church and gave $5 to youth winter camp. Not sure I can give to the others


Trish January 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I have similar feelings at Christmas time at work. My employers put a lot of pressure on us to donate money to Unicef, money to a school supply fund for high school students, to bring money (they specify that they prefer money to food ) for the food bank, sponsoring a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, donating new stuffed animals and books to local at-risk preschoolers, and to donate money or new fleece fabric for making no-sew fleece blankets for the homeless.

I just can’t afford to give to all of the good causes. There is heavy, daily pressure to participate in all of these events. I just pick 2.


Kathy Hairston January 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I’ve worked for non profits since 2000. I am paid less, however we are still expected to volunteer our time and donate to every fundraising event


Jill D January 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

Tell your employers that if they give you a raise you’ll be able to donate more to “their” causes.


Mand01 January 22, 2017 at 6:16 pm

I am not a church goer but I do have two charities that donate to regularly (one monthly, one quarterly). I believe that if you try to give to everything you end up not really being able to make a real difference to the causes you really care about. I have zero guilt turning down requests from other causes because I know that I’m giving the most I can give to my two chosen charities.
Maybe you can donate a portrait of yourself 😀


Joyce January 23, 2017 at 6:45 am

Portrait — Funny!
I agree, especially when it comes to non-local causes. It seems the charity spends a lot of money acknowledging your donation and then sending all the follow up appeals.


Patti January 22, 2017 at 7:35 am

1. My husband just announced that I can have all of his loose change to pay for the spray-on truck liner he put on his new truck yesterday. He thinks he has $400 in change in his jars. I am excited he has thought about this in a new light. We are going to call the bank on Monday to see if they will roll it for free – otherwise, a new frugal activity for our entertainment!! As a last resort, I will take it to the Coin Star machine and exchange it for free grocery cards.
2. I have found 11 cents on the ground this week.
3. I packed snacks in my tiny crossover bag for the march yesterday. Rode with a car load of women to save on gas.
4. Have eaten out of the freezer again this week. Just adding a few fresh vegetables to make complete meals.
5. Purchased gift cards for Bunko gifts – not the most frugal way but I am tied of receiving so much decorative stuff (the usual gifts) that I end up decluttering and thought the others might feel that way, too. All of the gift cards are for breakfast spots and new restaurants that need support to get going.
Frugal Fail? Gave all my friends movie tickets for Christmas and now they are all wanting me to go to the movies with them. I went to two this week – meant changing my work schedule and paying my own way. I did get to see two wonderful movies and did get the senior, matinee price and did have a great time with my friends so it benefitted me, too. Just didn’t plan that in the budget!!


Gina in KY January 22, 2017 at 7:45 am

1. Attended Kindness Gathering on Saturday near my house (walked to it) and this included a Women’s Rights march and rally. I also went to a meet and greet vegan potluck for a food justice group I am hoping to start volunteering with soon.
2. Made my own hot dog buns for veggie hot dogs I bought with a coupon and froze some time ago. My BF and I paired the veggie dogs with left over chili and onions and I made homemade fries. This was on Friday and, despite that pit in our stomach, we called it our ‘Murica Meal.
3. Last night, I made garlic toast with some leftover buns^^ and paired it with a deconstructed cabbage roll meal (layered the ingredients lasagna style instead of rolling) I made up using too thin cabbage leaves (two heads given to me), frozen tempeh and instant grain meals that have been in the pantry forever. I used a jar of canned tomatoes from a past garden. It was ok tasting, but very filling. I am doing fabulous on the Eat-from-the-Pantry challenge.
4. We are visiting the local art museum today. It is free on Sundays.
5. Checked out some urban homesteading and canning books from the library. I plan to build some raised beds this season using some pallets I collected a while ago. Our community garden ended this year (to make room for high rise apartment building 🙁 ). We have a meeting this week to work on moving the garden to city donated land somewhere in the ‘hood. Meanwhile, I want to be sure I have my garden, so I am working on permaculturing my small urban lot. The books are helping me make a plan and the small batch canning books are giving me ideas on what to do with the small crop I may harvest/forage.


Bee January 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I think it’s wonderful that you are volunteering to help those who are food insecure and that continue to work in your community garden. No one should go hungry when there is so much food waste.


Gina in KY January 23, 2017 at 5:50 am

Thanks! I feel the same as you and it just amazes and disgusts me that people go hungry in the USA. The food waste here is incredible.


Vickie January 23, 2017 at 9:31 am

I think Community Gardens are probably better than food pantries, in many ways. People need to invest time growing what they eat, if they are going to appreciate the food.
A friend of mine volunteers at a pantry, in the town where I work, and told me he was appalled at the people complaining about the donated food at the pantry. He told me he asked to be switched to the back, where they unloaded the donated food, because he couldn’t believe people would come in for free food and complain about what was offered.
He gave me an entire box full of fresh ears of corn, back in the Summer, because the people picking up food at the pantry wouldn’t take it. I have to say I was shocked.


Susie's Daughter January 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

Vickie – I will say that in my experience working with food pantries sometime it is an issue of ability – ability to actually cook the food (people limited to a microwave or hot plate only for example) and/or physical ability to cook (shuck the corn, stand at a stove etc). I also believe that a significant number of people have never had the opportunity to experience fresh fruits and vegetables that actually require preparation and understanding of the food.

So community gardens are absolutely helpful in this process, but in many places I have lived in our country, folks also needed cooking classes to understand how and what to do with their food. This need for cooking classes was not limited to people using food banks by the way. I will never forget a colleague who was financially successful and at age 50 had never cooked fresh broccoli. Or one at a similar age who had never cut a potato before. As individuals we bear some responsibility for this lack of knowledge, but I also know that I cook because my parents cooked and that was a great blessing. Our convenience culture has made some life skills harder to come by for many folks.


KJD509 January 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

Vickie, I live in a community where events at the school always include a truck from the food bank with items to hand out to everyone, no questions asked. We were among the last to leave, and the school counselor begged us to take potatoes – she couldn’t believe so many people had turned them down. But plenty of my daughter’s friends live several hilly blocks from the nearest bus stop, and parents carrying babies or toddlers can’t always juggle 20-lb bags of potatoes, too. The bread was totally gone . . . because a first grader or kindergartener can carry bread bags. Fresh corn on the cob, with its sharp ends that pierce plastic bags and small amount of edible food per weight, seems like something I might turn down, too, if I knew I were going to have to lug items home via public transportation. Just food for thought for those lucky enough not to have to make those calculations every day.


Bee January 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

It is important when helping those in need to address barriers that may prevent them from seeking help and/or benefiting from it. In my community, we have an emergency assistance ministry. It is a cooperative effort among our churches to offer comprehensive help to those who need it. There is food pantry, a community garden, and a free store. There is also help available to apply for government aid such as Medicaid, food stamps, and utilities grants. Legal aid is available, and they also cooperate with the YMCA to provide sliding scale day for the working poor. It is wonderful!


Elizabeth January 22, 2017 at 7:48 am

Loved all the pictures from all the marches around the world. One of my favorite signs said, “So bad, the introverts are even here!”

1. Project Use It Up: 2 big Patriot Candles Seasons Greetings candles and a Wood Wick Pine Forest three wick candle.
2. Sold two things on eBay yesterday and one today. Relisting items that don’t sell.
3. Went with a friend to a store while our kids were at a party. I had some stuff in my cart and put it back because I didn’t really need it (I’m getting better at thinking about if I really need something before I buy it. Usually the answer is no). She bought a bunch of clothes for $100 and I got some dry shampoo and eye shadow primer bother of which I needed for $13. And I used a gift card to pay for it!
4. Got a code from shutterfly for a free photo book. I’m going to create that today. I have created a whole bunch of photo books and used free codes for all of them! I have another code that doesn’t expire until spring so I’m saving that to use one for our Florida trip in February.
5. I asked my husband to go to Aldi to get chocolate covered pretzels that my son requested. They were all out so he stopped at another (expensive) grocery store and picked up two bags for $3 each!! They are $1.67 at Aldi. I kept the receipt and will be returning those bags!
6. My husband got a Kindle for Christmas and I went with him to the library yesterday to get a library card for him! He downloaded the Overdrive app and is now trying to figure out how to get the books he borrows n his kindle (it’s not a Fire so the Amazon app isn’t there so it isn’t as intuitive as we were hoping!).


Kathy Hairston January 22, 2017 at 7:51 am

Check out for free or cheap online books


Juhli January 22, 2017 at 9:03 am

Most libraries will walk you through the process for whatever device you have. Give them a call.


Katherine in AL January 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

As an extreme introvert I loved that sign too!!! I’m so proud of all the political activism that’s happening right now.


MamaMinou January 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm

As an introvert, I heart that sign!!


Barbara January 22, 2017 at 10:13 pm

He should find the book and check it out. Once it is checked out, you may need to go to check outs. It usually says something like choose your method of download. Once you choose that, it should take you to amazon to download the book, if your library doesn’t do that my it will be very close.


Marilyn January 22, 2017 at 8:09 am

Hooray for the Women’s March!


Ruby January 22, 2017 at 8:12 am

1. Except for replacing a few items of clothing — new pajamas and underwear for the Mister, three secondhand shirts for me — we have stuck to a very low-spend January. It actually started in December, right after Christmas. The immediate result is we had enough left in savings to buy a certificate of deposit this week. We’re going to build a CD ladder to save up for rebuilding our back porch, and this is the first rung.
2. Until the porch can be professionally taken care of, we’re going to do inexpensive minor repairs ourselves, which will include a trip to the Habitat ReStore for supplies.
3. The usual: packing my lunch every day, buying the contents of said lunch with coupons, bringing cold drinks from home, wearing cute thrifted/secondhand office outfits, hanging some of the laundry to dry.
4. Absolutely loving our veterinarian, who gives a senior citizen’s discount and also waived the office visit fee for checking the new puppy’s teeth.
5. As part of the low-spend/no-spend January, we’ve using up the summer’s bounty of sweet peppers from the freezer. It’s made for some awesome spaghetti sauce!


Tarah January 22, 2017 at 9:47 am

1–Started recording all of my purchases since January 1st.
(including bills, etc) I’m just trying to be more aware of money going out….especially on little things here and there. It will be interesting to see the total at the end of the month and then compare to other months, etc.
2–Working on small painting projects around the house.
3–Returned unsatisfactory food at the store–$3.50 back in pocket!
4–Relisting on ebay
5–Going to make some banana bread with the collection of bananas in the freezer!


Michele January 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

1. Spent yesterday pulling meat off soup bones I’d cooked in crockpot for hours and then added rotel and diced tomatoes and rice. It turned out pretty well. I added rice and leftover gravy to the other bits of soup bone beef to make a white version and it came out thicker. It looks good, too. #feedteenboys
2. Returned an oil filter to Walmart. Used it to buy groceries.
3. Banked a Christmas check our generous parents gave us. Rainy days are ahead. We have good insurance, but son with newly diagnosed Crohns and expensive treatments ahead.
4. Friends visiting us from up North ( were in central Fl) next weekend and they want to do nothing but visit. Yeah! Will probably do a barbecue, which they will get a kick out of, as it is 30 there. Will use our own beef and do easy appetizers.
5. Buy 5 pound bags of mozzarella, mix with 8 oz of sharp cheddar and freeze in 2 cup bags. Works out way cheaper than buying 8 oz. bags at grocery!


jennifer p January 22, 2017 at 10:21 am

Saturday was a wonderful day.the marches here and around the world gave me hope.after seeing that i know we will be okay.


K D January 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

1. We were running low on checks so I ordered more (we have free checking which includes free checks). The credit union website leads you to a check printing company website). Their recommendation was to pay over $20 in shipping. I figured out how to opt for the free (take your chances) USPS shipping. What a racket.

2. I went to ALDI to buy some produce. They are in the same shopping center as Office Depot, which had a good price on Wite Out correction tape (and I had coupons). They were out of stock and I decided not to ask for a rain check or a substitution. I figured God was reminding me of no spend January.

3. I watched the first two episodes of Grantchester, using Amazon Prime and I’m listening to The Dorito Effect using a library OverDrive download. Thank you commenters for your suggestions.

4. The Saving Star produce promotion is $.25 off a bulk onion purchase. I paid $.27 for a small one so it should be $.02 after “rebate”. Cheap fun!!

5. I continue to walk outside and pick up nails/screws/other potential tire-puncturers.


Marybeth January 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Thank you for #5


A. Marie January 22, 2017 at 10:44 am

FFT, January Thaw edition:

(1) Loud cheers to all of you who were able to go to your local Women’s March. I wasn’t, because my Literary Society was meeting in the early afternoon and I was filling in at short notice (with a presentation requiring a lot of set-up) for a speaker who had to cancel. But several Lit Soc members did attend the march and came to the meeting from the march, wearing the Pussy Love caps that one talented member had knit for all of them.

(2) The thaw we’re enjoying this weekend here in Upstate NY (a) was kind to the marchers, (b) enabled DH and me to travel to the meeting (in the next city over from ours) with no weather worries, and (c) is enabling me to get out in the yard and garden today.

(3) However, the repeated freeze/thaw cycles this winter are *not* being kind to my overwintering vegetables in the garden, so I’m about to go out and harvest some of the increasingly limp kale, parsley, and leeks.

(4) Meanwhile, DH is voluntarily pulling weeds. (Sorry, ladies, he’s already taken!)

(5) One of Bestest Neighbors’ Xmas presents to DH was a jar of Trader Joe’s olives stuffed with blue cheese. I’m about to use the remaining blue-cheese-flavored olive oil in the jar (the olives are history by now) and some Dijon mustard we weren’t crazy about as a spread to make a dressing for the kale.


Stephanie January 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Way to go on #5 using every last bit of goodness!


Shevaun January 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

1. Potty-training toddler used only three diapers today (church, nap, and bed). Hooray!
2. Ate dinner-leftovers for lunch.
3. Wearing a hand-me-down cardigan. (Thank you, beloved SIL for giving me bags and bags of barely-worn clothes!!)
4. Getting ready to go back to work after maternity leave so we can keep our health insurance. BUT I only have to work 6 hours/week on campus, plus 12 hours of telework from home, so we have no daycare costs.
5. Pumped milk for little baby so we don’t have to buy formula as I return to work.


Marybeth January 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Great job on #5. Its so important for the baby and you. It also saves you a small fortune.


Dmarie January 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

well done! love these frugal things posts.


Katherine in AL January 22, 2017 at 12:17 pm

1. Went to a comedy show with tickets that were an Xmas gift. We packed snacks and water bottles so our bellies would be full when we got there. We’ve felt very isolated since the election so it was good to see a sold out crowd at a southern liberal’s show.
2. Not grocery shopping this week to save for a much needed trip to Sam’s Club. Baking cinnamon rolls with the last of my flour right now.
3. Listed several things on Craigslist.
4. Getting more strict with the wearing more than once before washing rule. I’d like to reduce our utilities by at least 30%.
5. Enjoying the 70 degree weather. I’ve had the windows open everyday for two weeks now. Fresh air and savings FTW!!!


Kathleen January 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I like your sign, Katie. I made my sign for the march by stapling two file folders to cardboard. I used a wooden paint stirred as my handle. Mine said Women’s Rights are Not Up for Grabs on side and Truth Matters. This IS Not Fake News.


Bettypants January 22, 2017 at 12:39 pm

1. I found a nice twin size bed frame at a yard sale this summer for $5. I intended on sanding and painting, but we’re moving, so instead I sold it on CL for $45.
2. Wheeled our seen-better-days grill to the curb, and someone picked it up an hour later.
3. Forced myself out into the misting weather on Friday for a walk on my lunch hour and found a quarter in a parking lot.
4. Sold a card game on ebay.
5. Made a half batch of rice pudding to use up some elderly milk.


Jeana January 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm

We marched in Washington DC. It was as awesome as it looked. So much love and goodness.


Karen B January 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm

My daughter has severe anxiety and avoids crowds. She crocheted her hat and with cousin in tow, she attended the march in Washington, DC! I am so proud of her! It was a frugal trip into the city, just Metro fare and they took water and snacks with them. They said it was indeed awesome!


Jeana January 23, 2017 at 3:46 am

The metro ride alone was anxiety producing. But we chanted & cheered and made room for a woman in her wheel chair who has voted in every election where women could vote. It’s sad that she still has to march for her rights. But, I’m glad she’s still willing to do it.


Bee January 22, 2017 at 12:51 pm

The heavy rains and winds that have pummeled the Southeast are moving into North Florida this afternoon. My heart goes out to those of you in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia who are affected by this strong and dangerous front.

1) As always, I am enjoying low-cost diversions this weekend, DH and I took a long walk on the beach at one of our state parks. We also walked the dog and rode our bikes. On this stormy afternoon, we will read, do our chores, and watch football.
2) Worked at a friend’s business on Friday and Saturday. I brought my lunch and drinks, so no unnecessary money spent. I am happy to have extra money going in our travel savings account.
3) Sold an item this week on eBay. I almost received full-asking price after turning down some low-ball offers.
4) Opened the windows to let the fresh air in. No AC or heat needed for most of the week.
5) Of course, there is always an entry on frugal food. Although I was tired from a long day of work last night, I made a pot of chili from items in the pantry and freezer. This included using some wonderful ground elk that was gifted to us. I have cinnamon apples in the crock pot to have on my oatmeal in the morning. We are having fish my husband caught for dinner this evening. Later, I am “processing ” the veggies I received in my CSA bag. We harvested a lemon from our tree to use with our fish.


Susan January 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

My 81 year old mother, my 12 and 15 year old daughters, my friend and I went to the Chicago march. It was a fabulous day!

Frugal wins:
1. Had our march signs printed at UPC store for $8 total. Staples and FedEx wanted > $70!
2. Meal planned for the week using many pantry items.
3. Did most of weekly shop at Aldi. Stopped at 2nd store only for the items Aldi doesn’t carry.
4.Parked far away from the march for $8. Bargain in downtown Chicago. It would have cost that much in train fare for one of us.
5.Watched a movie on Saturday night at home on TV instead of hitting the theater.


tia January 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm

I love it. A group of frugal people who aren’t willing to sacrifice the earth or whole groups of people to put a little extra green in their pockets each year. They are smart enough and principled enough to make changes in their own life so everyone can have a chance at a better life. Amazing people are simply doing it right to make a difference.

I love it. Ya’ll are awesome!


Jamie January 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm

1. Today I cleaned out the fridge! Not only did I realize we have SO MUCH SPACE but it helped me get some ideas for meals next week. I also cleaned out a lot of jars and tubs and have squirreled them away – I plan to save enough through the year that I can take them to Thanksgiving and everyone can take leftovers home because my aunt always ends up using all of her jars and ziplocs. REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!
2. I’ve been learning a lot about blogging in the past few weeks and took a free webinar that I found in an Online Business BFF Facebook group. I also have everything set up in a way that I don’t need to spend any money on it anytime soon. My boyfriend is letting me use his fancy DSLR camera to go take pictures later this week – good, free fun!
3. I joined a StepBet challenge that starts tomorrow – yes, I put down $40. But if I meet goal 4 days a week and exceed it 2 days a week with my FitBit I will make that back and then some! Another reason to go walking around for stock photo fodder.
4. We’ve spent the last 2 days at home. I’ve been binge watching Brooklyn Nine Nine on our free Hulu trial, reading my library book, housework, and doing blog stuff. Even though I’ve been home for over a week for the most part from surgery I wanted to spend these last two days really getting my life back together in preparation for what’s going to be a crazy work week.
5. Running some videos on Swagbucks as well while I bump around. I’m almost to $5 again since cashing out last week for a $25 PayPal card!


Mand01 January 22, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Brooklyn 99 is my favourite.


Marybeth January 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

1. It was a beautiful day out so we went for a walk around the lake by our house. The community has been trying to clean up the lake area. The lake is at its lowest point in over 30years. First time since we live here that you are able to walk around the whole lake.We picked up 2 garbage bags of broken bottles and plastic crap. Got some free exercise and helped out my community too.
2. Brought our own reusable water bottle with us.
3. Made chili in my crockpot with tomatoes that I froze from my garden. Added extra beans to stretch it out. Made cornbread from scratch to go with chili. Made enough chili that I will freeze half for another night.
4. Kids have only 1 day of school this week so I made a batch of lentil and ham soup in my second crockpot. I will be working 2 days that they will be home so it is an easy thing for them to reheat.
5. After the lake we went to Dunkin Donuts and got 6 donuts for free. I had a coupon and a gift card.


Krystal January 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm

1. Free exercise and socializing and sun at the Seattle Women’s March. My friends daughter had made me a sign the nights before, with a quote from my favorite lady, Betty Ford.
2. Took 2 free exercise classes this week with a free intro week that the studio gave to me. I likely won’t go there even with my Classpass after the week is up because I don’t enjoy it much, but will go once more and walk to and from.
3. Binge watching Gilmore Girls for some cheap date evenings. We don’t really like it as each season and the new episodes go on, but we’ve gone this far and Luke (he’s perfect) and the non-Rory characters make it enjoyable enough.
4. Our washer broke, officially. We knew it was on its last legs. We will be using the laundromat a few blocks away in the meantime so we carefully select w/d combo and we will also finally be taking on our mudroom remodel with saved cash.
5. I started our taxes (free software I use for the place I volunteer) to see an estimate of where we’ll be at when we file and I looks like we finally will be close to even. We didn’t let the government hold or money interest free by overpaying, and my quarterly estimates were spot on so we won’t owe.


Tracy January 23, 2017 at 5:26 am

I had never watched Gilmore Girls but my 13 year old daughter and i were looking for something to watch together and it’s perfect for that. We’re only in season 1, but even though it’s not my favorite ever I’m enjoying it and she loves it!


KJD509 January 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

1) I kinda hate crowds (oh, that is putting it so mildly), but felt like the march was as much a civic duty as voting. Dragged the daughters along – 11-year old was fascinated, and 17-year old refused to go with her boring parents so walked with a friend’s family and was part of a terrific 4-generation-of-marchers photo with friend’s grandmother, mom, and niece. We exercised our first amendment rights for 75 cents in parking.
2) Our Friday dinner-and-drinks was such a frugal success we’re doing it again next week. One failure: crackers. Dang, they are so expensive! And they go so fast! So next week I’ll either make my own or think of something else for appetizers.
3) Using downed wood from last year’s wind storm in the fireplace each evening has kept the furnace off. The bedrooms are FREEZING – thermostat is in the living room near the fireplace – but we’re saving on oil.
4) Baked cinnamon bread yesterday to spice up a leftovers meal. Holy smokes is that a delicious frugality!
5) Had a basket of store-bought grape tomatoes and one of green-picked garden tomatoes both molding on the counter. I’d been ignoring them for a couple of days because, eww. But with the house cold they didn’t seem to be getting any worse, so instead of dumping them, I sorted through. Turns out there were only a few moldy or totally desiccated tomatoes in each basket – saved enough for two salads and a relish plate so far, with at least one more salad’s worth left.

And a large frugal fail: our electricity bill is the highest it has ever been. I’m beginning to suspect the electric blanket, purchased in October for a house guest but getting a lot of use on my side of the bed these cold nights, is to blame. It’s the only way I can figure that our usage has changed. So, so not looking forward to cold nights under 100lbs of blankets, but for $100 / month, that’s clearly the best choice. Brrrr!


Roberta January 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm

I have a hot water bottle I use instead of an electric blanket, and I LOVE it! I fill it up with four cups of (recycled) water every night, that I heat in the microwave. It keeps my feet warm all night, and if I’m especially cold I cuddle it against my tummy. It keeps me nice and warm, while my husband doesn’t have to swelter under 100 lbs of blankets!
1. It is rainy and blustery here, so we stayed home most of the weekend. Very nice! I didn’t get to go to the march because I was serving at a funeral, though.
2. Did all my grocery shopping for the week Friday and Saturday morning. No more shopping for me this week, and I’m pretty chuffed with how much I spent.
3. Took a couple items of clothing to the consignment store. They offered the same amount of money for cash or store credit, so I took the credit.
4. Took my husband his lunch Friday when he forgot it. It was near the consignment store, and he didn’t have to buy lunch.
5. Making minestrone out of random veg parts and dried beans, and I’m making drop biscuits from scratch. Thrift store candles are lit, just in case the electricity goes out. For the rest, we’re playing board games and rading library books (except when I stopped by to check in here).


Sandy January 22, 2017 at 7:12 pm

I use a microwaveable heating pad. Put under the covers by your feet and it will stay warm for hours! Much more economical than an electric blanket.


Gina in KY January 23, 2017 at 5:53 am

I use a dog to keep warm! LOL! Works great! 😉


KJD509 January 23, 2017 at 9:10 am

Ha! Great suggestions, thank you! I have all of those items already – just have to try them. (Although I don’t think the smelly 125-lb dog is going to be invited on to the bed, no matter how cold it is.) I tend to get chilled in waves all night long, which I think is why the electric blanket has been so lovely . . . but an increase of 40% in the bill just isn’t sustainable.


Jenny January 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm

It really doesn’t seem to me that an electric blanket would use that much electricity. I got one last year and used it most nights all winter and didn’t notice an increase like that in electricity. But maybe mine is smaller that yours or more efficient (sunbeam, throw size).

One way that I found to use it more efficiently was to use it under me rather than as a blanket. I laid in on the bottom sheet, then put a thin blanket over it, and slept on top of that. 15 min or so before bed I would turn in on to medium (and make sure my top sheet and blanket was spread out on top of it), and that would make the bed so nice and toasty warm when I got in. Then I would turn the heat to low and go to sleep. It turned itself off after 4 hours, and I would turn it back on if I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, but other than that just left it off.

Annette January 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

1-Carpooled with my fellow Ventura County (CA) protestors to the march in L.A. We filled six charter buses and there was a waiting list! Downtown L.A. was so unbelievably packed that driving there would have been a nightmare.
2-Brought lunch, snacks and water (in re-usable bottle) which sufficed for the long day.
3-Will return brand new rain poncho that thankfully was not needed
4-Was quite tired (but exhilarated and encouraged) from the day’s excitement, and almost asked DH to pick up dinner, but instead whipped up some boxed smoked salmon, onions, and eggs that we had on hand.
5-Still enjoying a grapefruit a day, courtesy of my friend who has a prolific tree. Depending on the price, this saves me an average of .75 a day.


Jennifer January 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm

1. My husband replaced the starter in my car for just the cost of the part.
2. I made homemade chocolate pudding using a $.38 avocado
3. Made slushies for everyone today using fruit from the freezer that we picked last summer
4. Made do with food we had in the house for 2 days longer than I wanted so that we would make it to the next payday.
5. Turned in all my library items on time to avoid a fine. This is a goal of mine for 2017.


Teri January 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Did NOT march as this “women’s march” did not include all women, (denied pro-life marchers). Instead, I showed my support of women by volunteering at a Women’s Shelter. Can’ t help but think how much good all the marchers could have accomplished if they had volunteered or donated to various women’s causes.

1. Eating quite old food items from the freezer, still edible, but not very tasty.
2. Husband was able to convince airline to change return trip with no additional cost or miles.
3. Sister gave us delicious desserts from son’s wedding reception.
4. Brought lunch to ski hill saving high resort prices on food.
5. Repaired cashmere sweater, hate it when those moths get hungry!


Krystal January 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm

I’m pleased to know that marching and donating/volunteering are not mutually exclusive. Thrilled to participate in both.


Karen B January 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

The March was inclusive to everyone!


Mand01 January 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

I don’t know why it has to be an either-or proposition. Why assume that the women who marched *don’t* work with women, support women, donate to women’s causes? I do.


Barbara January 22, 2017 at 10:24 pm

I’ll third or fourth on the “why would you think helping women and marching are mutually exclusive?”. I work at a residential womens shelter a day a week (for women with mental health issues who have been homeless more than two years) and volunteer with low income seniors. Both those groups of women are on the margins and will most likely be the first to suffer in the next year or so, so I walked for them. And my daughter who relies totally on Planned Parenthood for her health care (no abortions involved), and for other women for a hundred other reasons.


Bee January 23, 2017 at 7:30 am

Teri, I respect the fact that you are pro-life, and I understand how you felt that this point of view excluded from the march. I appreciate that you choose to help woman in a way that was more consistent with your belief system. Although I was not comfortable marching for many reasons, I also respect the right of those who did.
My political views sometimes differ greatly from those expressed in this blog over the last few months. However, I believe that non-consumerism, self-sufficency and environmental conservation — central tenets of this blog– are of extreme importance now and in the future.
I hope that our leaders and we as citizens can open our hearts and minds. We need to reach an understanding of one another and reach a political consensus. United we stand; divided we fall.


Ani Mia January 23, 2017 at 8:48 am

Mand01 and Barbara,

I would say they are not. I hope that those who do not agree with Pro Life individuals would believe that about us as well as I often hear that Pro Life people do not care about children once they are born. I know that that is not the case in my family while I was growing up or now. Kindness and generosity of spirit should always win the day!


Krystal January 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

“However, I believe that non-consumerism, self-sufficency and environmental conservation — central tenets of this blog– are of extreme importance now and in the future.”

Well said Bee!


JD January 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Thank you Bee, for your kindness to all in your comments. Well said.


Tracy January 24, 2017 at 5:10 am

Bee thank you for your thoughtfulness. While I did march, and had no reservations doing so, I strongly believe that it is important for all of us to recognize that there are good people in all political camps and that we should look first for what we agree on and build on those areas, rather than looking first for what divides us. One of the things I dislike the most about the current political climate is that it pits people against one another.


KJD509 January 23, 2017 at 10:01 am

Teri, it’s great that you volunteered! But I think it’s important to remember that individual contributions cannot replace collective action, and in our country the role of collective action belongs in some cases to the government. For example, I live thousands of miles from the areas that were hard-hit by tornadoes this weekend. I can reach out to folks in my neighborhood who are also having trouble with the weather, but no matter how much I do that, those hit by tornadoes in Georgia will not be affected. Instead, I gladly – not cheerfully, but gladly – pay taxes so that skilled emergency management folks can step in. I also make sure the older folks on my street have the snow shoveled off their front walks so they aren’t housebound. We all can and should do both.

Support for women is similar. It’s great that you were able to volunteer at your nearby shelter! But that action cannot, in and of itself, make it possible for other women to be confident their kids’ after school care will remain funded so they can work, or get that funny swelling in a breast checked at Planned Parenthood for a sliding scale fee, or find support to leave an abusive relationship, or look for a better job – this one hits really close to home for me – knowing that my pre-existing condition would make my healthcare costs skyrocket if the ACA were repealed. Remember those days of “no insurance coverage even though you’re paying for it until you’ve been at the job for 6 months”? I do.

I didn’t agree with everything I saw and heard at the march I attended, and it pained me no end to have to say to my littlest, “You may read each and every sign, but you may not repeat many of them out loud, especially at school.” (Even though most of the words she’s not allowed to say were quotes from the new president, but that’s a topic for another rant.) But I can’t imagine my personal disagreement with a few topics could lead me to believe that the many women in this country fearing for their lives, their safety, their ability to work or not work, their children’s education and future, etc., do not deserve my support.


Annette January 24, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Beautifully stated!


Lindsey January 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

1. So far this month have purchased only milk and dog food. Everything else that went in our mouths has been from the cupboards or freezer. My goal is to do this for January, February and March. We don’t have many fruits in the freezer but we do have a lot of vegetables from last summer’s garden, but we will just suffer through it.

2. A friend from Florida flew to Alaska to visit. She brought a box of lemons with her as a gift. I took the zest off each one (for the freezer and future cooking) and then reamed each one out for maximum juice and froze the juice. I took the still a bit pulpy rinds and used six of them to clean off my wooden cutting boards (salt and lemon scrubbie makes for a nice smell and great cleaning). I froze the lemon husks I did not use, for future cleaning tasks. Then I put the used salted lemon husks that I’d used for cleaning and put them down the garbage disposal; there was still enough life in them to give the machine a nice smell and a good workout. I feel like I got the most I could out of those free lemons!
3. Husband and I each have a potluck to go to tomorrow, for different places. Rather than go out and buy something, I searched around and ended up making meat hand pies from some puff pastry I unearthed from the bottom of the freezer, using moose ground meat that was given to us in November as well as scallions from my garden and dehydrated in August. I also made Nutella and cream cheese brownies, using cream cheese that I had purchased on sale and frozen months ago. I needed a dipping sauce for the hand pies so I mixed us sour cream and sweet chili sauce and it actually tasted quite good. I was pretty pleased with myself for finding stuff in the house to use, when in the past I would have purchased something.
4. Used the grease left over from frying the moose burger to flavor the dogs’ food. It is still 30 below here and they can use the extra fat. My wonderful husband still takes them for a mile hike even in these temps—that is not far but it if far enough to at least tire them (and the husband) out.
5. I have an illness that results in muscle weakness that sometimes means I use a wheelchair and I sit in a recliner that lifts my feet up (and me, if I am too weak to hoist myself up). I have been getting by with putting my computer on my lap, but that is not that comfortable. This week my handy husband rummaged around in the garage and using lumber, a 35 year old table made of solid oak and some wheels he took off something or other before throwing the item away, he made me a table I can pull up and over the wheelchair or recliner arms. After only two days I can feel the difference—no more stiff neck or back from being bent over my lap to type. I think he spent $5 for some varnish to finish it.
6. Found an old wallet in the back of a drawer. Inside were gift cards for Walgreens and one for Barnes and Noble. Only 35 cents left on Walgreens and $6 on B and N, but money is money!

Frugal fail: bought a bag of potting soil at Lowes and then stopped by Sam’s Club for dog food and found the same bag for a few bucks cheaper.


Roberta January 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm

If you find yourself by the Lowes again very soon, you can ask them to do a price adjustment. It might not work, but it might!


Sherri D. January 22, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Absolutely love all your uses for lemons. Wow, impressive! !


Shannon January 23, 2017 at 8:29 am

Hooray for your handy and resourceful husband too!


Vickie January 23, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for listing uses of the lemons – I’m going to try that.
I have a lap desk for my laptop, however it doesn’t work as well as yours does and it cost me $35 – I’m just glad I can take the cost off on taxes, since I use it for my work computer when I’m not at the office.
Hooray for your husband – that’s great!


Tiffany January 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm

1. Have been exercising at the campus gym since it is part of my student health fee and they have a new program if you work out five times you get a health assessment for free instead of $5.00 so working on my punches for that!
2. Have brought my lunch everyday since Jan. 5th!
3. Was able to do a $10.00 mystery shop yesterday. Yay for side hustle!
4. My neighbors friend gifted her three bags of new or gently used clothes. Got a lularoe tunic, 2 new with tags target shirts and a really cute black old Navy Cardigan!
5. Someone paid it forward at Starbucks for me on Inauguration Day. Will return the kindness (no one after me in line!)

*Have been making Mason Jar Coldbrew Tea in my mini fridge at work. I LOVE Red Rose Tea Katy! Thanks for introducing it to me. A bit hard to find in my neck of the woods but yummy..


Tiffany January 22, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Non Consumerism is political..


Tiffany January 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

and its Katy..


Mrs. Picky Pincher January 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

I love it! This weekend:

1. I used up old bread and whipping cream to make a fantastic homemade French toast.

2. We had a day trip where we spent $40-ish. That sounds like a lot, but it was money very well spent for a beautiful outing. It got us out of a funk and it was awesome. That’s cheaper than drinking your problems away. 🙂

3. I pre-cooked a few freezer meals, since I’m running low. I made pasta with a romesco sauce, Thai cauliflower with rice, and a spicy sweet potato breakfast bake.

4. Instead of tossing a pair of pants that are too short for me, I plan to turn them into dressy shorts.

5. I used our homemade laundry soap to wash clothes, used homemade hankies to blow my nose, and ate homemade meals.


Isabelle January 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm

* I am serving as a maid of honor for a good friend’s upcoming wedding. While I feel honored to have been chosen to fill that role, it implies A LOT of money. My 2 daughters are also playing a role as flower girls. So after adding the expenses I ended up with a 1200$ (minimum) tab! I freaked out and thought about dropping out of the wedding party. Instead I had an honest discussion with my friend about the financial strain and I told her I would not be able to give a shower or wedding gift on top of all the other expenses, that I would try to find the flowergirls dresses cheaper online (she then told that she was paying for this), that I would not have the kids hair done professionally (we have a hairdresser in the wedding party who can simply braid their hair and add flowers), and that I would do my own makeup. I then asked the other bridesmaid to agree on a maximum price for the dresses (200$). And we are now planning a fun but cheaper bachelorette than what was the initial plan (renting a cabine for a weekend+spa VS spa day and party at a friend’s house). And we are not staying at the 350$/night hôtel where the wedding is happening. Instead we rented a 100$/night room at a motel near buy. And we might end up just going back home instead (45 minutes away). So this is decreasing my number by about 500$, which is considerable. I don’t like feeling like the “party pooper” but, to me, paying 1200$ to be part of a wedding is just ridiculous.


LisaC January 23, 2017 at 5:10 am

Honesty is always a good idea!


Vickie January 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

I agree, that is a lot of money. Good for you being honest with her and finding alternatives!


mel January 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm

And good on your true friend for understanding and accommodating!


Sandy January 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I didn’t get to go to the Women’s March and was sorely disappointed to miss it. Had plans to go and then woke up ill yesterday! I cheered everyone on from my couch and twitter!

1. Was invited out to lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in over a year. I decided to go, even though I am on a no spend January. Turns out he offered to buy lunch for me so double win! (FYI: I did offer several times to pay. I didn’t go for the free lunch.)
2. Unfortunately I am having to get unforeseen home repairs done. I’m doing my best to keep costs low, but have no choice but to replace the flooring in my living room. (Health issues).
3. Bought minimal groceries today at the store. I’m trying to use up everything in my pantry and freezer.
4. I made a big pot of soup using leftover veg from the fridge and a bit of stew meat. This will be lunches at work all week.
5. Returned library books on time to not incur any late fees.


Katy January 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm

I stand by this sentiment. The inaugural speech was written by a proud white supremacist and anti-semite, so it is not a stretch. If this truth bothers you, please feel free to read the 99% of frugality blogs that ignore the political climate.


MamaMinou January 22, 2017 at 8:48 pm

1. Marched with my mom. Right here in our small University city there were at least 7000 people. Many different causes, but shared values. It was incredible (and unexpected) to see so many people. We did not make signs but we loved reading them and did make hats.

2. Inspired by the photos of marches around the world.

3. Signed up for the NYTimes online for 99 cents (for 1 month). So cheap, but I will continue after. As a friend pointed out, now more than ever we need to support independent, investigative journalism.

4. Made a giant pot of tasty lentils and rice with siracha and veggies for lunches all week. Set.

5. Volunteered at a race event this morning for about 3-4 hours. It was outside, fun to encourage people, and got me inspired to be active. The organizer gave me a $20 credit to use toward a future race plus lunch.


JESSICA January 22, 2017 at 9:13 pm

1. Made a very impulsive purchase Friday night, because I thought it was something I needed “right away.” I slept on it, and bought a much less expensive version Sunday and returned the original.
2. Went for a free and fun bike ride Sunday even though it isn’t the season for it here. The weather was good enough.
3. Am working hard to get out of the bad habit of buying breakfast on my way to work. Freezer and fridge are stocked with lots of good options.


Carole R January 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Regretfully I had to miss the marches because I had kidney dialysis. But at least I’m still alive and not sick anymore. I haven’t posted for quite awhile but read this every day. Love you Katy!


Nancy January 22, 2017 at 9:38 pm

I do many frugal things. So many things are just common things to me now. I make my own washing powder and rinse with vinegar. I save food scraps for the compost, chicken and pigs. I sew most all of our Christmas gifts. I sew a lot of my Fabric scraps into quilts and crafts. I cut my husbands hair. I cut the boys hair when they were still at home. I do a lot of crafts …. mostly for grandchildren. We buy a lot of our clothes from thrift stores. I garden and can our food. We raise a lot of our food between the garden and live stock. We gave our TV dish up and use Netflix . It is cheaper. We do many other things. Thanks for letting me share.


Diane C January 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Here’s my walk story. Not exactly a FFT, but I’m calling it a win. This Saturday was our library’s Friends Quarterly Book Sale, scheduled months in advance, alas. The preview sale on Friday night is usually about half our total. We knew we were in deep trouble when we only took in $600 on Friday. We hastily made up coupons that said “Thanks for walking in the rain. Redeem this coupon for a free book after the walk.” I passed out about 350 of them at the Walk in our town, because, duh, that’s where the people were. I am thrilled to pieces to report that when people brought their pink coupons in for their free books, they bought more books! Our total for the sale was $2200! Of course this money goes straight back to the library.
Standing among the crowd and passing out coupons was an amazing experience. People were so mellow, and happy and kind! The vibe was amazing!! Since I’m getting over a wicked cold and it was pouring, I decided not to walk the route, but headed back to the library book sale. It was so fun to see people come in later with their tickets and to thank them for walking. Win-win!


Gina in KY January 23, 2017 at 6:15 am

Fabulous idea on your part. Supporting the libraries is such an important and wonderful cause too!


lisa January 23, 2017 at 9:27 am

This is so great, as a library employee I know how much friends groups do for their libraries and our patrons. Thank you! I was happy to be among library workers for social justice at a march in Olympia Washington.


Vickie January 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

1) I spent the entire weekend at home with my grandkids, with only two trips out – to church on the Sabbath and to the DG to p/u a few staples.
2) Last week I picked up 2 boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese for 50 cents a box on sale. I fixed those for our church potluck and brought home the leftovers. Score on the sale and the potluck fed all of us lunch on Sabbath.
3) We ate at home all weekend and I used leftovers as sides for dinner, with baked fish last night. What was left from that I brought for lunch today.
4) Oatmeal w/blueberries & dried cranberries for breakfast this morning and coffee provided by my employer.
5) I have a return to take to the Library today, so I’ll p/u more audiobooks while I’m there – shopping with my favorite card!


Jen January 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm

#2 is cheap, not frugal. There’s a reason you had leftovers.


Mary January 23, 2017 at 7:33 am

Love #2!


Katy Hope January 23, 2017 at 10:21 am

1. Reading hand me down magazines from a friend.
2. Sunday brunch playdate at our house for the kids instead of going out.
3. Got tickets to the local conservatory of flowers through the library discover and go program.
4. Found parking a few blocks away for free instead of paying a meter to park closer.
5. Made banana bread with my rotting bananas, yum, delicious use of leftover food.
Check out my recent post on: revolutionizing your wardrobe (and closet) by rethinking how you shop at


Amanda January 23, 2017 at 10:55 am

1. Used a credit card reward gift card for part of our groceries.
2. Mailed a book back to my school library that is due today. I was out of online renewals. It would have been even cheaper to remember to return it when I was on campus last week, but that didn’t happen. Mailing it was much cheaper than the gas it would have taken to drive there. Not to mention the time.
3. The truck wouldn’t start this morning, so I am so glad I signed up for the cheap towing package with metromile. A free tow, and the truck is being looked at now. Please be something cheap!
4. Planned meals, shopped at Aldi, made bread, rented our house on airbnb, currently wearing Goodwill and gifts, and we send our kids to public school.
5. I loaned a friend my entire cloth diapering set up, including the diapers. She wants to try it. This way she can do so without a financial commitment. That’s a frugal thing for her at least!


WilliamB January 23, 2017 at 11:49 am

– Spent nothing while protesting and marching, except public transit fare.

– Used what I had on hand to make multi-legume soup, including turkey stock instead of veggie, quinoa instead of barley, extra flavoring via the skin from home-made bacon, an accidentally frozen tomato, and extra greens via kale from a fruit platter.

– The simmered skin will be cut up small to be training treats for a dog.

– Made chicken stock from the bones of the roast chicken that was dinner a few nights ago.

– Checked out a cookbook (“Cook It In Cast Iron”) to decide whether it’s worth buying. Probably isn’t.


Vickie January 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Let us know what you think of the cookbook. I would love cook more things in my cast-iron pans. I didn’t even realize they had a cookbook specifically for that!


WilliamB January 24, 2017 at 10:18 am

So far I haven’t been impressed, but for reasons that may not apply to you.

1. Many of the recipes are either straight from ATK’s magazines or only lightly adapted. Since I’ve had a CI subscription for about 15 years the cookbook does not add value for me.

2. Some of the recipes are more techniques than recipes. For example, Grilled Onion Cheeseburgers comes down to sautéing burgers on top of sliced onions till onions are well cooked, then put on buns that already have the cheese on them. Skillet Roast Chicken is: cook a butterflied roaster, breast side down, in a very hot skillet till about breast is about 150F, then flip and finish cooking.

Lodge has several interesting looking cookbooks as well. Cook It In Cast Iron has recipes only for a skillet, the Lodge books use a wider variety of pots and pans. Unfortunately no local library has any of ’em so I can’t report back.


Louise January 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Thank you for marching! I wish I had been able to, too.


The One Income Dollar February 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

I really love hearing about how a person bought something cheap at the thrift store and it turned out to be a diamond in the rough!! Please continue posting these.


Kathy Hairston January 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

I’ve read keeping feet warm wearing socks and something on the head like a beanie will keep you warm


Mand01 January 27, 2017 at 8:05 pm

It sounds to me that the blanket is faulty. We have one and it doesn’t cost that much to run.


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