Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 24, 2017 · 123 comments

  1. I went to The Dollar Tree to pick up a couple of the LA’s Awesome brand cleaning supplies. I already buy their knock-off Oxyclean, which I confirm to be “awesome.” (I use it in my laundry, but also in my Bissell rug shampooer.) I’d read in the Laundry Love and Cleaning Science Facebook group that some of the other products in this line are amazing as well, so I thought I’d give them a try.
  2. I then pointed the Prius towards Costco for a roasted chicken plus a couple other items. I only bought the items on my list, (yogurt and coffee) and enjoyed a couple free tasty samples. This $5 chicken will get my husband and I through at least four meals, and make meal times easier for a certain frugality blogger who’s going through a thoroughly unmotivated cooking phase.
  3. I stopped into one of my favorite Goodwill stores to see if I could find anything to either flip or photograph for a blog post. Nothing really caught my eye, although I did see that they were selling one of the newborn blankets from my place of work. I’m sure that other local hospitals have the same blankets, but I still thought it was kind of funny. Some patient enjoyed her five finger discount.
  4. I realized that my husband has a work conference this spring at nearby Timberline Lodge. I love, love, love Timberline Lodge, but have never stayed there. (It’s the place used for the exteriors in the original The Shining.) I might as well tag along and enjoy a free vacation, as his employer will be paying for the room. Of course I won’t take advantage of any unearned freebies, (and he’ll let his employer know) but since he’ll have a room, I’m totally horning in!
  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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{ 123 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Picky Pincher January 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Hey, it’s all about doing what you can, so I salute you with that rotisserie chicken.

This week:

1. Tonight my local thrift store is having a 75% off sale, so I’ll go see what I can find.

2. Tonight I’m also going to the library to return books and movies and to check out more. I get a lot of great ideas from cookbooks at the library, so that’s how I stay out of a cooking rut.

3. I ate pre-cooked chocolate chip waffles for breakfast with a homemade whipped cream. It was all made ahead of time and with ingredients I needed to use up.

4. I just realized my savings rate is more like 57%. I haven’t been counting my Roth IRA contributions–silly me!

5. I cleaned some super-smelly but otherwise nice shoes this weekend. I’ll try to be better about cleaning them regularly to keep them wearable for a long time.


Jill A January 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

1. I stopped at Goodwill to look for a belt for my husband. I didn’t find one, but I did find a winter hat, which I’ve been needing. It wasn’t marked, so they gave it to me for 99 cents.
2. I picked up some paint at Lowes to paint my half bath. I’ll be able to use what’s left of a can of primer and I will only paint the bottom half, so I only bought a quart. I used a merchandise credit that I had from returning some pipe and fittings my husband had bought and didn’t use.
3. I stopped at Costco for some gas and only bought some bread, which were the only things on my list.
4. I also stopped at Aldi and picked up a few more groceries. I stuck to my list. I used a rebate gift card, so my out of pocket was only a couple dollars.
5. I reserved a car for a trip this summer. I used Costco and the cost was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than other options. You can’t pay ahead there, so I’ll keep my eye open in case I find a better deal.


Jill A January 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Oh and I forgot. I stopped at my dentist on my way to a hair appointment to pay my bill and save the cost of a stamp.


AFS January 24, 2017 at 11:07 pm

I heard somewhere that just stopping and starting your car costs 50 cents. If it true the stamp would be cheaper. I use my banks bill pay service no postage.


Vickey February 7, 2017 at 11:47 am

I do my utmost to pay the bill before I leave their office. That way I get their “didn’t have to mail a bill and wait to get paid” discount, which is about 3%. Since I don’t have dental insurance, there’s no waiting to see how much I owe.


K D January 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

We too have found rental cars cheaper through COSTCO. It is a good idea to keep checking the price because it sometimes goes down.


Sandy January 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

We attended a luncheon yesterday, hosted by our niece. She knows about my not using styrofoam take out containers. So, she wanted to divvy up any leftovers, and told me to bring my containers! You know I did just that! We had delicious ‘planned-overs’ for dinner last night while our son and daughter were still in town.
There were plants for my brother in law’s funeral that our niece sent home with me! She knew I would still have them months or even years from now, and they would be dead if she took them! I’m enjoying having the greenery during this drab time of year and happily anticipating seeing the plants in our new home!
Now, to search our local thrift stores for the planters I need!


SKM January 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Your niece sounds pretty awesome. 🙂


Tracy January 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm

1. Took the bus to work today even though I was tempted to drive… saves $12 on parking as I already have a bus pass (subsidized through my work)
2. Bought cheapest item on menu (yummy salad rolls) at Thai restaurant where I met friend for lunch today, drank free water and had a great time for $6 including generous tip!
3. Before I left for work this a.m., took remaining meat off bones of my Costco rotisserie chicken — having meal #3 from this chicken tonight (chicken and dumplings)
4. Haven’t gone to Dollar Store or Goodwill (although tempted) as I am still trying to have a “Buy Nothing (Non-essential) Month” for January
5. Last night I watched the second episode of Victoria (on PBS) for free on husband’s iPad (mine died and I’m not buying another one at least for now) and then read my library book for free entertainment!


KJD509 January 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Ooh, I forgot about Victoria! I enjoyed the first episode a lot more than expected – how was the second one?


Tracy January 25, 2017 at 4:48 am

Very good as well — I’m hooked! Half as long as first episode.


A. Marie January 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm

(1) Two neighbors are undergoing surgery this week (a hip replacement and a colon cancer operation). DH and I are gearing up to offer help as needed (laundry, cooking, dog-walking, whatever).

(2) Am starting to enlist other neighbors to save newsprint for us for starting fires in our wood-burner. Our local fish-wrapper is down to 3x/week delivery and is a shadow of its former self, so we’ve just about depleted our newsprint supply.

(3) Update on the kale dressing I put together last FFT from refrigerator-scrounged ingredients: Two thumbs up from DH!

(4) DH and I have both just had our annual physicals, and we’ve both lost weight. On the one hand, this is good. On the other hand, our pants are falling off–so I may have to cruise a few thrifts soon to look for better-fitting pants for us both. Modest frugal fail, but in a good cause.

(5) Congratulations to Katy on her #4. You totally deserve the break, m’dear!



Bee January 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Your neighborhood sounds like a wonderful place to live! Congrats on the weight loss.


Vickie January 25, 2017 at 10:08 am

# 1 – what a wonderful neighbor you are!

# 4 – Good for you both getting healthy! I am working out and watching my diet. I’ve lost over 10 lbs and hoping my pants fit looser soon! 🙂


A. Marie January 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Thanks re: #1, Bee and Vickie. But neighbors and friends stepped in similarly for me 5 years ago after my knee surgery, so I’m just paying it forward.

Both patients had their surgeries today, and both are doing as well for the moment as we could hope. Only time will tell on our friend with the colon cancer, of course, but we’re keeping all fingers and toes crossed–and our friend with the hip replacement may be able to come home either Friday or Saturday.

As for #4, neither DH nor I can really account for the weight loss, except that we’ve just been trying to eat healthier and a little less. No actual dieting is going on. But whatever works is good!


Dale Emanuel January 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Hey Katy —

After she pinched the blanket – she donated it. I wonder if her bad choice turned good makes the event a nonevent. Humm….


Katy January 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

I know, funny. Right?


Su Mama January 24, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Any chance she thought it was one of the freebies that come with every baby?


Katy January 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm

I don’t try and stop people who take one to wrap around the babies once they’re in their car seats. But why take it if you’re just going to donate it?


Rhonda January 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Maybe baby’s not a baby anymore.

Kristen January 26, 2017 at 10:18 am

I believe my hospital gave us the option of taking a blanket home. I don’t still have any of mine, though, so I’m wondering if I donated them. I have no memory of it!

tia January 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

1. I combined a few coupons and store sale items to save over half on needed stuff.
2. I communicated repeatedly with an insurance company and they finally stopped billing me for services I did not ask for or use.
3. Sold a few items at a consignment shop.
4. I seem to be in a rut… I could go on about the many ways I’ve been eating eggs like Bubba Gump did about shrimp…eggs and rice, egg salad, fritata, scrambled eggs, fried egg sandwich, egg stir fry…
5. Sometimes I don’t need nothin’ and it’s a good day.


Gina in KY January 24, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Haha, Tia! Your egg comment is so great! I feel like this too when my four urban hens are laying. Right now, they are molting and I am only dreaming of all those egg dishes.


Gina in KY January 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Most of my frugal accomplishments seem to center around food, but then food is my biggest expense and the area I tend to “cheat” the most in as well.
1. I am still eating down the pantry. We have not had a restaurant meal all month (except one $1 bean and rice burrito a friend bought for me). I reorganized the cupboards at my bf’s condo (where I tend to spend evenings) and found all sorts of pasta, rice, and peanut butter. I need to still do this for my own house.
2. Tonight, we are having Buddha bowls made with various veggies (including one of the $1 heirloom pumpkins I scored back in early December-this squash will also make soup later in the week) and Asian noodles I found behind boxes and cans. The sauce for the bowls will be a peanut sauce since BF has at least four or five opened jars of peanut butter.
3. I canned six jelly jars of an apple compote from apples from last fall’s community orchard harvest. We used some on a plain cheesecake (again, a box mix from the stash at bf’s) and the compote improved it greatly. The rest will be used in oatmeal and yogurt.
4. I’ll stray from food and say I have not cut my hair since October (trimmed). It’s long and I wear it in a braid most days. I had planned to cut it off and donate the hair (I do this every two years or so), but I decided to wait until summer. I also have not been shampooing it often and it is really healthy now. I have dry to normal type hair so this is a savings for me. And, on the cleaning front, my work travel stay at a crappy hotel a few weeks ago forced me to buy bar soap. I found a deal on 3 bars at a discount store near the hotel and we have been using them up. One of the splurge items I love is this handmade soap from our local health food store (it smells amazing), but it is super expensive. Once I am caught back up, I will go back to supporting the soap artisan.
5. I set my phone to remind me on Fridays to download the free coupon from Kroger. This week I caught up on the stored coupons. The refried beans contains lard, so I won’t eat it (mentioned 1000x’s I am a vegetarian), but I will gift it forward to my omnivore friends. The only other thing I bought was some marked down cheese and spinach.

Happy Tuesday, Y’all.


Chigdon January 25, 2017 at 6:19 am

I always grab the free Friday even if it contains meat. You don’t have to pay tax so it is free either to gift to someone or a good bank.


Gina in KY January 25, 2017 at 7:27 am

Great point! 🙂


Monica January 25, 2017 at 8:51 am

I “splurge” on fancy soap from TJ Maxx myself. European or American made in lovely scents, already discounted. Huge bars for 3.99–and I check the weight of the bars to make sure I am getting the heaviest. The soap is triple milled, which means it lasts longer than other bars of soap I might spend 99 cents on, so its actually good value for the money.


Vickie January 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

Food is always my frugal fail too, especially when it comes to grabbing something at lunch, when I’m running errands. At least it’s a gastric consumable and not wasted though.
My dogs often get leftovers I forget are in the fridge – if it’s meat or a safe vegetable I know they can eat, or if it’s veggie matter, it goes into the compost pile so it’s feeding worms, plants and trees.
You’ve reminded me of how bad I need to organize my fridge & pantry to eat up what we have on hand!!


Gina January 25, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Why don’t you sign up for the FF email from Kroger? Each Friday morning I get an email with the FF deal. It has a button you click to automatically download the coupon to your account…no need to logon to the app or go online. Quick and easy – the email is the reminder.


Jill January 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

I always try to horn in on any work trips my husband has – and of course, pay for any unearned freebies also. I actually paid for a flight to Oregon several years ago when my husband was going on a work trip to Camas, Washington. We visited Timberline for an afternoon – didn’t stay there – and took advantage of the free historical tour given by a very cute and peppy tour guide. Lots of good memories.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones January 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I am going to be teaching OB clinicals as part of my MSN education practicum. The hospital I will be at has switched over to sleep sacks instead of the swaddling blankets. Patients get one to take home, but if they get dirty during the stay we are not allowed to give a clean one until they hand over the dirty one. Apparently those sacks are pricey and they don’t want anyone walking off with more than one.


Sheila January 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

OK so bear with me…it didn’t go as planned…
Made bean soup outta dried beans I had available. It wasn’t good so I adjusted it and threw in a hard cheese rind the next night. Made it better, but meh so ate it anyway, and for lunch the next day.
Made stuffed peppers using only two peppers, cut in half, instead of four whole ones. Had too much stuffing leftover. Yay.
Used the stuffing for the peppers antd turned it into spaghetti, oh and Remember the bean soup? Still available, so added what was left soup
Was going through some items , photographing, for sale, and came across a stash of cash I had forgotten about, $80! Yay
Did not want to go to the chronic pain management meeting , but made myself go, came home to make lunch for daughters who came to via and the sliced turkey was just very slightly off, double checked and it was ok, eldest worked in a deli and is vey hard nosed about if it’s good or not and she declared it good, thankfully.
Am feeling more than a little depressed and this is where it fell apart…bought something online that I totally could do without.


lauren January 24, 2017 at 6:52 pm

you can always return it (usually lol) !


Connie January 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Katy, I really love your website, and in particular, the five frugals topic. I am always on the look out for new, different, out-of-the ordinary tips and your readers are so good at sharing theirs. I’ve been around frugal life a long time (69th yr) but I’m still searching for that one I might have missed.

My five today:
1. no spend day, my 8th in a row.
2. craved chicken fingers, so I made them and sides from scratch
3. washed one load, hung it to dry all over my home
4. diligently hovered over small appliance usage as well as lighting
5. watched a library DVD for entertainment

My home is a 600 sq ft high rise style condo which I own, no mortgage. I do pay a monthly maintenance/common fee which until Feb. 1 included all utilities. The condo corp. will then switch to metered electrical usage which I will be able to control so I’ll have to be uber vigilant until I have a good idea how much to budget each month. I’m a little anxious about the impending increase since I live in Ontario, Canada which has the highest electricity rates in North America… rates have doubled over the past 10 years. I’m researching how to save on usage, but I’ll be happy to hear everyone’s tips. Thx.


tia January 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Connie, I’ve read that unplugging anything electric that is not being used adds up to saving $$ over the course of a year. Some can be real energy suckers even when not in use.


tia January 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Also, I use a solar light by Luci to read before I sleep at night. I bought it for camping and I just stick it on the windowsill during the day to recharge. I had some friends who would keep their water heater turned off during the day and turned it on at night and did dishes and took showers then turned it back off.


Crosby January 26, 2017 at 7:45 am

Unplugging is a great suggestion. Something to make that easier is to plug multiple things into a power strip so you just have to switch the power strip off. We do this with our entertainment center – our TV, Apple TV, speakers, and Xbox are all plugged into a strip that we turn off unless we’re using it


Carol in CT January 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I am also a big fan of La’s amazing cleaning products. That said, I have been in the process of replacing cleaning chemicals, where I can, for homemade, natually based substitutes. I also want to reduce the number of bottles or types of cleaners that I use. As I’ve used up items, I start with DIY recipes, with pretty good success. Re the baby flannel blanket: back in the day when I had my kids, the nurses would swaddle the babies in flannel receiving blankets as we readied to be discharged and go home, they were gifts from the hospital.


Marybeth January 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

1. My oldest daughter had $5 off an online order for Panera. She forgot about it. I reminded her about it on the last day and she told me to use it. I got the 6 pack of mixed bagels. Paid the extra with a gift card I got for Christmas. Said no thanks to the plastic knives. I have knives at home.
2.Went to 4 stores within a mile of each other. Trying to batch my errands
3. Wasn’t going anywhere near the library so I renewed everything online. Will return them when I’m in that direction.
4. Saved $ while shopping with coupons at Stop & Shop and CVS. I love that they let you use a manufactures coupon and a store coupon on the same item. Only bought things we will use.
5. Cooked a chicken for dinner and brought leftovers to work for lunch.

Frugal Fail: Our dog’s face was all swollen on the one side this morning. Called the vet to bring her in. $270 later it is an abscess on a tooth. Bloodwork, office visit and antibiotics. They are recommending we pull the tooth. It will be about $1000. This is why I am frugal everyday so I don’t have to freak out when things like this happen.


Lindsey January 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Marybeth, we carry pet insurance on our two dogs. It is pricy but it has paid for itself all but one year in the last decade. It made the difference between being able to pay for all the surgeries after the dog was hit by a car and having to put him down.


Susie's Daughter January 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Like Lindsey, we have had pet insurance on our woofer since we adopted her at 8 years ago. She was a “bargain” humane society adoption who needed treatment for kennel cough and a couple of other things right off. Two years ago, pet insurance made it possible for us to agree to surgery to correct a torn doggie acl equivalent, allowing her to walk properly again. Insurance might be worth checking out when you get through this dental ordeal. Hoping it goes well!


Lindsey January 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

1. Cleared out enough to take four boxes to Goodwill. Good for taxes, even if no immediate money in my pocket.
2. Someone moving gave me a case of stuffed ravioli, about six months ago. I don’t love the taste but they were free and have been convenient to take to work for lunches when I don’t bring anything from home. Finally finished the case. Yippie!!
3. Ran out of bread and was tempted to buy some, even though I said that for January we would buy only milk and live off stuff in freezer and cupboard. I finally just ate some crackers with my tuna and made a loaf of bread for that evening’s meal. Then I remembered I had a loaf in the freezer, made a few weeks ago!
4. Argued with insurance and they finally paid a bill, so saved $67 out of pocket
5. One of the dogs decided to try and eat his pad. I found an old polar fleece blanket and made a new cover for it, saving about 50 bucks since a new pad for a giant breed dog is very expensive.
6. Our truck needed yet more work (40 below having made its problems very obvious). My husband was quoted a price of over $1000 and ended up giving the guy an extremely polite but intense lecture on how much we have spent there in the last few decades on new vehicles and repairs and the price ended up being dropped by $300. I think the key to success can be found in the head mechanic’s rely, “Jesus, you sound like my father!” Whatever works, I say.


Bee January 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Your 6th comment brought a smile to my face. We all begin to sound like our parents eventually — or in this case, someone else’s parents.


splendidcakes January 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm

LA’s cleaners are great, EXCEPT they are highly scented. I can’t use them 🙁


Vickey February 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

Thanks for the heads up! I was going to stop and pick up some of the Oxy clean equiv., but won’t bother now. I have “Canary Syndrome” when it comes to the neuro-toxic scents.


KJD509 January 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm

1) Still carpooling. Funny how long the gas lasts when we “chain” errands on the way home. I’m starting to wonder if hubs drives to Canada for groceries when we’re not riding together.
2) A frozen container of homemade meaty spaghetti sauce fell out of the freezer and cracked. I thought I had put it in a different container (it was plastic so I wasn’t worried about shards) and stuck it back in the freezer, but apparently I left it on the counter and hubs thoughtfully stuck it in the fridge. We had spaghetti for dinner last night even though it wasn’t planned.
3) Got a free lunch at work Monday so stuck my brought-from-home lunch in the fridge and enjoyed it immensely today. Enjoyed yesterday’s tater tots an awful lot, too.
4) Realized I hadn’t shaved my legs / armpits since the company Christmas party in early December, so did so. Ugh, dry itchy skin – and it’s not like legs or pits show in this weather. So I’m making the frugal choice to just let it all grow out until shorts weather – saves about 2-3 very expensive razor blades per month.
5) Yeah, that’s all I’ve got today.


Susie's Daughter January 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm

#1 Canada comment = 🙂


Bee January 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

1) My meal plan did not go the way it was supposed to. I thought that I had defrosted red fish that my husband had caught. When I unwrapped the fish to cook it, there were two big eyes staring back at me — fish heads yuck! The storage bag had been mislabeled. Rather than ordering take out, I made red lentils and rice with sautéed greens. Now, I have to figure out what to do with the fish heads — fertilizer or stock. I usually give the heads away. They just smell so bad.

2) I finished my library book and returned it early. I didn’t check out anything new. I am reading from my stash of secondhand books. “The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) is currently on my nightstand. This book is about Venice after the great fire that destroyed the city’s opera house in 1996. I am an arm chair traveler this month and love it.

3) I stopped into my favorite thrift store. I did buy a shirt — brand new with tags. However, it was an item on my clothing list. I am trying to build a more workable wardrobe. I find that the hardest thing about thrifting is finding pieces that work with the pieces I already have. I have been trying to think through each purchase and buy items I need. I did try on a pair of nearly-new, $8 Ferragamo shoes. Unfortunately, they were a bit too narrow, so I put them back. I decided not to buy them to eBay either. I already have plenty to sell.

4) I mailed an eBay item today and I just sold another. I bought a beautiful CatherineHolm sauté pan for resale earlier in the week. Hopefully, I will get it listed tomorrow along with a few other items.

5) I spent an afternoon with my niece and adorable great nephew. He turned 5 today. I purchased a gift for him, but the day was absolutely priceless.

Thank you all for the continued inspiration as I seek a life of frugality, simplicity and conservation.


kathleen January 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

1. Picked up 3 books I had reserved at the library today.
2. Found (and picked up, of course) 3 pennies in the library parking lot.
3. Mailed a handmade sympathy card; mailed a handmade ‘hello’ card and inside I attached a necklace extender that the addressee had mentioned needing; mailed them both using forever stamps that I purchased before the postage rate went up this past Sunday. (Thank you, to whoever mentioned the increase here beforehand.)
4. Making a menu and grocery list for the next week, as hubs will be working out of town, and I will be stuck at home with no transportation. (Nearest grocery store is 5+ miles away via highway; you guys who are within walking distance are so smart!)
5. Test drove a car yesterday. It wasn’t for me. I’ve eliminated this model from my list of possibles. Still taking my time with the search.


Susie's Daughter January 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

1) Still eating from pantry and freezer except for a few things from grocery store. Last week’s “reduced for quick sale” produce went into last night’s sausage and grain dish and became tonight’s potato soup (.08 for the onion and .67 for the potatoes). Soup recipe came from a library book.

2) I keep thinking of the folks on here who reference “bits and bobs” of stuff – old graham cookies plus half a bag of sticky marshmallows plus chocolate from LAST Christmas (yikes) became Smores Bars. Best use of bits and bobs yet!

3) Made playdough with DS today as he had a “snow” day due to last night’s ice storm.

4) Since we couldn’t play outside, I revved up the old Wii, which had been languishing since our move two years ago. DS loved it and I had a great time too. Perhaps I will return to the Wii Fit workouts on bad weather days…

5) Ordered a Christmas gift for next year with a $20 credit on Shutterfly. I am writing it down in my Christmas organizing book so I won’t forget between now and then.

Bonus 6) In an effort to seek as much balanced reporting as we can take in, dear wife and I researched online national paper subscriptions. Ordered the Wall St Journal for $12 for 3 months, Washington Post $100 for the year and an ongoing monthly subscription to the NY Times. That plus NPR/PBS will hopefully keep us reliably informed.


Bee January 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

I find that I am also listening, reading, and watching multiple news sources. Because the news has become so editorialized, I am finding this necessary in order to develop a greater understanding of events as they really happen. I read WSJ, Congressional Quarterly, and The Economist. Of course, I listen to PBS News Hour and NPR.


Shannon January 25, 2017 at 8:30 am

Trump just eliminated funding for NPR and PBS. ( I think 😉


Bee January 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

I haven’t seen that. Unfortunately, the use of executive action has been expanded over the last decade or so. Many believe, as do I, that it’s use is often unconstitutional especially when it’s meant to circumvent the Congress. I hope it’s challenged. It is unsettling.


Lucy January 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm

It’s on a list he wants to eliminate, but I don’t think it is actually done yet. The list was of 17 federal agencies he wants to defund.


Shannon January 26, 2017 at 8:42 am

Yes, that was the article that I read.

cathy January 25, 2017 at 8:38 pm

He hasn’t cut the funding. Yet. For those of us who are big fans of NPR and PBS, it will be yet one more reason to live frugally. We’ll have to donate more to public broadcasting.


tia January 26, 2017 at 12:33 am

this makes me sad. anyone who loves the arts and doesnt like reality tv must now be punished. the little man with power in his pen will have his way. bye bye NPR and PBS, maybe we will meet again when hell freezes over.


Susie's Daughter January 26, 2017 at 3:49 am

NPR is a daily mainstay and a comfort for me and I feel an crucially important part of our national discussions. However, it is also important to remember that NPR receives a small fraction of funding from the Feds. (Your local station should have it’s own stats.) So as Cathy says, our frugality enables us to give more to the causes we believe in strongly. I am considering upping my “sustainer” pledge for the year.

Bee January 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

Our family has agreed to cut the cord after this contract period is over. I will put some of the additional funds saved by not having cable towards PBS. After all, it accounts for 75% of the television that I watch. Masterpiece, Frontline, Antique Road Show, The Independent Lens and The American Experience to name just a few are all high- quality programming.

K D January 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm

1. My daughter asked me to list three college texts for sale on Amazon. One sold within a day and is on its way to a new owner. I’m glad she is willing to sell books she won’t use again.

2. I walked to Giant to pick up my free 1/2 gallon of Silk Cashew Milk. I also picked up one item on our “we have run out of” list. I am still trying to focus on using up pantry, refrigerator, freezer items.

3. I am loving the Dove shampoo I bought a few months ago. It was a big bottle marked down 75% at the grocery store.

4. My husband and I will go away for a long weekend for our anniversary. We l used airline points for our airfare. I have books on hold at the library to help us better decide what we want to see and where we want to stay. I rented a car using COSTCO Travel but will check again for a lower rate.

5. I gained 3 pounds over the holidays because I didn’t stop the overindulging once they were over. I am unhappy about this so I have cut way down on sugar, and am keeping in mind all the healthy things I like to eat.


Madeline January 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm

1. Spend more to save a lot: Some weeks I, too, get cooking burn out.So I always have a few “goodies” in the freezer from Trader Joe, ready made stuff that feels like a treat and this keeps us from a spendy take out or restaurant meal.I made us “Shepherd’s Pie” this week from the frozen case, and added a half of the bagged spinach/cranberry salad. Yum. Something different,easy. A not-expensive splurge.

2. Recycled some old beach towels into towels to use in my watercolor class.

3. Did NOT go out and replace any of my watercolor supplies for a class I am taking,even though the new teacher swears we needed “better” paper, “better” paints and a few specialty items I am doing fine without. I am going to USE IT UP!

4. Was home sick with a cold for 5 days so did not go anywhere. Used no gas in car. Used handkerchiefs,NEVER “kleenex!!” Generic brand Ny-Quil.

5. Wore the socks with holes in them instead of throwing them away. No one sees the bottoms!!


LisaC January 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

My best friend is Asian, we always remove our shoes at her house. I can’t wear holey socks there!


isabelle January 27, 2017 at 9:55 am

Don’t you remove your shoes at home as well? Or anywhere else for that matter (houses)? I know at my place it’s shoes off automatically, and anywhere else I visit also is the same (and no one is Asian), no matter the time of the year (snow, rain or sunny). Just curious!


Vickey February 12, 2017 at 12:56 pm

We do this here, too. Partly because the road salt spread in the winter scars the floor if it gets tracked in. But mostly because you can reduce pesticide levels in the home by 85% by removing outside shoes when entering the home. “Ounce of prevention” = frugal win, right?


LisaC January 24, 2017 at 4:44 pm

1. Used 1/2 roast and lots of carrots n potatoes to make a nice roast dinner for a couple of days.
2. Ate lunch at our favorite restaurant and got a coupon for a free entree. When we go to the dr together we eat out. Old people date.
3. Drank water at the restaurant, and brought home leftovers.
4. Gave in to DH when we got a coupon for a BOGO movie at Redbox. He loves his movies, and haven’t been using Redbox because of Netflix. Because of getting that one movie, ended up getting another email for a free movie code, good for 60 days. Watched Sully, and he got a shootemup for his own viewing the next day.
5. My robe arms keep shrinking, which frustrated me so I pulled open the cuffs to lengthen them. That tore a hole in them. I mended it, and after washing you can’t tell they tore.


Mand01 January 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm

1. I worked from home yesterday, saving petrol and at least 3 hours in the car. It’s school holidays and I’m having to take my daughter to vacation care, which is very time consuming. She stayed home with me instead.
2. I wear my hair short but I’m growing it out into a slightly longer style. This means instead of four weekly appointments I’m dragging it out to six-weekly. This is a big deal. And I’m not growing it long – it doesn’t suit me at all and I have no patience with it.
3. I made a lovely vegetarian pasta using ingredients from my fridge and freezer and all were happy, including our Resolute Omnivore.
4. Our evening workout routine in our home gym continues. It’s a great way to spend time with my husband. We watch a DVD, chat, and get fit.
5. I’m taking my fancy tea flask to work along with leaf tea. I do buy a more expensive brand but it lasts a long time. I almost never buy coffee now – I’m hooked on homemade freshly brewed tea. The flask is insulated and it stays hot for 8 hours. My husband bought it for me for Christmas and it’s my favourite gift ever.
6. I’m avoiding all news media as much as possible and all discussion of politics for mental health reasons. This is frugal- don’t want to have to pay for anti-anxiety medication!! It’s all too much!


janine January 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm

I certainly can understand your avoidance of the news media! I found myself being thankful for public radio’s classical music station today as I ran errands – Mozart is uplifting – I understand this is his birthday week – who knew??


Marcia January 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm

I did the same one day last week, and then my husband used my car and said he turned the radio on and was surprised to hear classical music. It’s usually more his thing than mine, but the politics is unbearable lately!

I have not contributed much to frugal fives lately as I’m doing the same old boring things.
1. still saving the bags from inside cereal boxes–I flatten them and use them for everything possible in the kitchen–from grating cheese onto to chopping veggies for a stir fry to rolling out pie crust between 2 of them
2. Still doing errands on my way home from the gym twice a week, so as to save trips to the next town, which is 8-10 miles per trip.
3. Making “leftovers” that aren’t the same thing twice by changing the meal to something else the second time. Husband loved a stir fry last week from leftover pork. Cooked another pork roast yesterday and will reuse on Thursday in some form or other. Leftover meatloaf is on the agenda for tomorrow night, although the form is still to be determined.
4. Frugal fail–making an error in math in the checkbook which cost me an additional $5 fee for the credit union to take it from my savings account. At least it’s the credit union—a bank would charge $35 for that mistake. I quickly transferred more to checking as there are a couple more checks to clear and I’m not paying more to use my own money.
5. My birthday “date” today made use of a gc from two Christmases ago for the movie cost, so the only true cost was lunch afterwards. DD brought a cake over later on, so it was a low cost day all in all.


Mary W January 25, 2017 at 11:31 am

You should call your credit union and ask them to reverse the $5 change. They will usually do it if you have a good track record with them. Never hurts to ask…The worst thing they can tell you is no, in which case you are not any worse off than you are now.


Bee January 25, 2017 at 4:22 am

Janine, have you ever read “The Mozart Effect?” The author explores and documents the psychological benefits of classical music, especially Mozart. Among these are reducing depression and anxiety. Listening to Mozart while working also supposed to engage the part of the brain that is distracted; thus, helping to increase your power of concentration.


janine January 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

No, but I have heard about the theory/fact? that this type of music helps your power of concentration and of course uplifts the spirit which probably is a psychological plus. I will look into this book. Thanks for the recommendation.


Gina in KY January 25, 2017 at 8:06 am

I just had to look this info up! I found Mozart for studying and concentration on Youtube. I have been so distracted at work lately and I hope this helps. Thanks for the tip!


Josie January 26, 2017 at 12:27 am

Funny – I am a classically trained musician and I have always needed total silence to study!


janine January 26, 2017 at 7:14 am

Josie: You are probably able to “dissect” the music – know the instruments, how they should be played, the makeup of the music etc. I too have some classical training and can sometimes be distracted by the technicalities of the music. A trained ear can also detect mistakes or be distracted by a “different” interpretation of any given piece of music.

jennifer January 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

I want to avoid politics also but everywhere I am, it comes up. The negativity is smothering me. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand..well, maybe I do, for just a little bit…but I don’t want my entire life to be consumed by it.


Mand01 January 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

It helps that I don’t live in the USA. Although the coverage has been intense here, he’s not our President and we have other news. I can’t imagine how it must be to be living in the States right now with so much division.


Vickey February 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I find that trimming my bangs in between cuts allows me to go longer between salon visits for maintaining my short style.


Miss Colorado January 24, 2017 at 6:15 pm

1. KD,I am also fighting the holiday pounds….. so easy to gain … so difficult to lose. I too am reducing sugar… and carbohydrates. So… the frugal side is not buying any bread or dessert or snacks. And not stopping for these fresh treasures on the way home adds time to the short stay at home before returning to work.
2.Took advantage of Target buy X , get one free on regularly used products. I am buy it later anyway!
3. Enjoyed post holiday sales and spent 25%of my annual clothing budget on work clothes. It is the best time of year to buy staples for a frugal and beautiful professional wardrobe.
4. Started saving for vacation… not until August …but looking forward to spending a week on a lovely mountain getaway with my dear husband.
5. Not wasting… aware of habits and being mindful every minute.


Betty Winslow January 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm

1. Dinner: made meatloaf (with on sale gr. beef), buttered parsley potatoes (from a bag of red potatoes that were sprouting and hubs wanted to pitch), two steamed veggies, and warmed up salmon from two nights ago (which I ate instead of the meatloaf).
2. Joined the community gym two wks ago – for both of us, it was $30 cheaper than one membership at a fancier gym I tried for a wk. I don’t need fancy, I just need exercise and weights! Could save money by working out at home, but I won’t (I keep thinking, Ah, I can do it later… and don’t), and by spending money, I will make myself do it. I’m doing a workout and weights three days a wk, walking the other two, and taking weekends off. Lost 5 lbs. already (!) and my blood sugar numbers are dropping, so am going to see doctor tomorrow, hoping to drop some of the meds I’m on. Hubby still hasn’t used the gym, but I am happy he can when he wants to, and I still saved $30….
3. Still using up stuff: spices, bits and bobs from freezer, canned foods, toothpaste samples from dentist, etc…
4. Went to get my teeth cleaned – I bought an electric toothbrush several yrs ago and since then, my report for healthy gums, no plaque, etc. has been great! And the receptionist caught a glitch in the billing which will save us $50!
5. I agree with people who say pro-life needs to mean more than no abortions, so I’m part of our church’s program to support and help the families in our church that are fostering and adopting. One family, after a flooded house, has been going through everything as they get the house back in order, and the mom had me pick up an entire van full of stuff they didn’t want.

I pulled out 2 coats for our local coats for the needy program, some books for our school, some more for credit at the local used book store, some household linens for our international student help program, and a couple of things for me, then took the rest to GW. Bev was happy I was able to rescue some of it, while getting it all out of her house and giving her time to keep working with the house renovation!


tricia January 25, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Yes to #5 – and the big march is this weekend (no hats though)…east and west coasts!


rebecca January 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

1. Eating from the fridge and freezer.
2. Found a dime on the ground at work.
3. Selling some books.
4. Watching the Australian Open for entertainment.
5. I have a new client on Thursday.


janine January 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Love Timberline Lodge – happy memories of long ago visit.
1. A local grocery store had ham for 99c per pound – got a large one, cut it up into three sections. Used one for dinner tonight, sandwiches for a packed lunch tomorrow, and leftovers for dinner tomorrow night.
2. Made a homemade apple crisp with apples that had seen better days – turned out well.
3. Car problems – some expensive and some turned out to be less $$ than anticipated – I count this as a half win/half loss.
4. Have been making as many vegetarian meals as I can get away with – veg. lasagna is a favorite.
5. Filled a huge “IKEA bag” with stuff destined for GW. Can hardly wait until the weekend when we plan to take it to their donation center!


Pattilou January 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm

1. I was having a problem with the internet on my Ipad. I called AT&T and the woman helping me with the problem was able to fix the problem. She then reset my data so I wouldn’t go over my usage for the month, gave me a credit of $30.00 and found a way to save me 10.00 a month on my bill.
2. I’m also eating from the freezer and pantry as much as possible. I have been eating both lunch and dinner at work lately and even though I am often tired I have been really good about making myself pack every meal.
3. I was unhappy with my rewards credit card so I opened a new cash back card. I always pay the balance each month.
4. I picked up some forever stamps before the price went up. Thanks to the person who gave us that tip.
5. I have managed to go an additional month without getting a haircut.
6. I was able to give my co-workers coupons for two local restaurants that I had received in the mail. Not eating out at all is frugal for me and using the coupons is frugal for them.


Roberta January 25, 2017 at 7:23 am

I’m so glad you had excellent customer service from AT&T. Too often companies don’t realize great customer service retains customers, and makes more money in the long run!


Debbie January 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm

I would love to save some money on Oxyclean as I use it a lot. Could you please list the exact names of the products that you would endorse from Dollar Tree?


Bettypants January 25, 2017 at 3:32 am

1. The people who are buying our house insisted on closing early so they wouldn’t lose their locked in interest rate. We’re staying in the house another month, so we agreed if we get free occupancy through the original closing date, which they agreed to. 18 days free for us.
2. Bought 2 Xbox video games on a local FB board for $5 each. They are good titles that will be easy to sell on ebay.
3. Found two quarters left in the cart corral at Aldi yesterday.
4. Sold a rustic crate on CL this week for $20. I had bought it from a garage sale this summer for $7.50.
5. Made a batch of biscotti last night to use up my sliced almonds and dried cherries.


Cindy in the South I January 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Good luck with the move! I find moving to be so stressful.


LisaC January 26, 2017 at 2:57 am

After you move, take advantage of local discounts. Often hardware stores have good coupons for that situation.


Sherri January 25, 2017 at 5:18 am

Katie, Just wondering if you have any idea how much you have earned from selling items on Craigslist, etc. over the years? Thanks, Sherri


Ruby January 25, 2017 at 7:24 am

1. Found a quarter under the edge of our washing machine and another in my car that had somehow slipped inside a pocket pack of paper tissues.
2. Whipped up a quick pot of chili last night from pantry ingredients.
3. Continuing to fine-tune my wardrobe, which is now mostly thrifted/secondhand items. Collected a small bag of thrifting goofs to give back to the thrift shop. Found some boot socks that supposedly were in my size but are huge, so I think our son can wear them.
4. The Mister came down with the same “coughing winter virus” as our son has had. Son did not use up all his cough medication — the young bounce back very quickly — so The Mister, who was prescribed the same thing, is using up the bottle.
5. Will get the oil changed at the dealership this Saturday for free. The dealership failed to plug in the airbag when we took the car in for recall repairs, so we got a coupon for a free oil change for being polite about it.


Vickie January 25, 2017 at 7:30 am

1) I ordered more audiobooks from the Library yesterday, so I’ll drop one off and pick up 6 more to listen to. Shopping with my favorite card makes me happy!
2) I donated blood yesterday and received free snacks and good conversation in return, plus, I got to head home at 4:30. I love getting home before the sun goes down.
3) I bought 4 microwavable dinners at the Dollar Tree on Monday, so my output for lunch this week will only be $4, since I ate leftovers on Monday.
4) I washed and soaked my water bottle overnight and I’m ready to fill it up today with the bottled water provided by work.
5) I had planned to attend an OKWIT event in downtown OKC this evening, but I don’t want to spend the extra gas, so I plan to work out then head home after work. The Sinclair station closest to our house had gas for $2.15 per gallon this morning, so I think I’ll fillup on the way home. That should last me until payday, which is next Tuesday.


Roberta January 25, 2017 at 7:34 am

1. Well, my food waste is still pretty low. I made a large pot of black beans and rice Monday, to supply dinner AND leftovers through the week. My teenage son ate all the rice, and left barely enough leftovers for two meals this week (I was planning to feed at least three people for two meals more). At least we’re vegetarian! My friend spend $600 at Costco yesterday, mostly meat. That’s about what I spend a month — during spendy months!
2. I altered the shipping on a couple of ebay items. I hadn’t realized I was listing shipping for $8-12, instead of media mail for $3. Maybe things will sell better now!
3. Decluttered more things. I’m hoping to sell them to Powells or on ebay.
4. The rain stopped here. We got about half our annual average rain in the last month. I held off doing laundry, and I will wash and hang laundry today, instead of having to run it through the dryer.
5. Not really frugal for me specifically, but in general: We’re putting on a free meal at our church for the community (especially to target people who are short at the end of the month). Instead of providing dessert with the meal, I will harvest extra oranges from my neighbor and provide them as the dessert. All leftovers will be sent home with people who need the food.
6. Bonus: I will be taking advantage in the change of weather to dry oranges. Dried orange pieces can be used at my house as substitutes for (store bought) raisins.


Gina in KY January 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

Awesome what your church is doing. I think the paycheck-to-barely-paycheck folks are so overlooked in our society. They can’t qualify for help “on paper” and, in my mind, are overlooked in the empathy department too often as well.


Mand01 January 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm

I agree.
My husband and I were just saying that the other night. We were doing our budget and working out how to fit in all our bills. He said “how do people that earn less than us even cope?”
We are not living a life of Reilly, but we can manage to figure out how to pay the bills and the mortgage.
Of course we do know the answer because we have been in the position of earning a lot less- but it was a while ago now. It’s tough – so good on you and your church for helping out.


Lazyretirementgirl January 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm

I agree — working people without many resources are often high and dry, especially when they have no “Bank of Mom and Dad” to help them. We give regularly to a 501(c)(3) called Modest Needs, which provides a safety net for people who are one giant car repair or one unpaid illness away from homeless. Modest Needs will help people get caught up on their rent or electricity bill when ” life got in the way”. It serves a need which is often otherwise unmet unless friends or family step in.


Gina in KY January 26, 2017 at 1:36 pm

This sounds like a great resource as well! You all are really awesome!


MamaMinou January 25, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Roberta, I just went to one of those church dinners (I was there to help with the Point-in-Time Homeless Count) and it was *wonderful*. The people there having dinner were so appreciative. I was especially impressed that the church folks putting it on have been doing so week after week for a period of years. I was also really glad to see that they included salad and fruit!


Sheila January 25, 2017 at 8:35 am

1. We’ve had torrential rain (at least for San Diego) so I’ve mostly stayed put, eating leftovers for lunch, using what we have to make dinner.
2. It’s been unseasonably cold so I’m bundled up with an undershirt, long sleeved shirt, ratty but deliciously warm sweater, and down vest. That, plus copious cups of tea and a microwave rice bag gets me through most days!
3. I made my favorite chicken vegetable soup with the dark meat and bones of a Costco rotisserie chicken and it was mighty fine for many meals.
4. When I have gone out I’ve batched errands. Today after my cardio class I’m stopping at Goodwill to search for sweaters for my brother.
5. I’ve watered my indoor plants with rainwater I collected from the past storms. There’s something magical about the rain!


jennifer January 25, 2017 at 8:52 am

Wow, the blankets that our women’s hospital has are a plain worn looking white with a few pink/blue stripes.
1.I have am back on track with sending my daughter’s lunch to school.
2.I am drinking exclusively water again. I fell off the wagon with the Dt. Mountain Dew recently.
3.We are going on a cruise in March. Yes, this is NOT all. However, I am trying to make sure I take advantage of all the things I can do there without paying any extra money. I have a notepad that I am jotting down all the tips I get from other cruisers/websites that will save us money. We are driving, instead of flying, for instance. I also found a pair of Crocs flip flops for my daughter for $1 at the thrift store. Since these are virtually indestructible, they will work great for my daughter on the cruise and then last through the summer. This is an extravagant vacation, unlike any other we have ever taken, or probably ever will. I have said many times here that my husband has terminal cancer and since we have small kids we feel it important to do things we really want to do now because he may not be around when they are older. Not that a cruise is something that has to done in life to make it complete but it is a dream of ours.
4. I have been getting up early to drive over and help my oldest daughter with her new baby after I drop the younger kids off at school. This is causing me to use extra gas. I put some money on a Wal-mart gift card so that I can get an extra 3 cents off per gallon. Every little bit helps!
5. No lear jet for me


Vickie January 25, 2017 at 10:18 am

I’m sorry to hear your husband has cancer. I think it’s wonderful that you are taking a dream trip. I hope you have a wonderful time!!
I scrimp and save during the year, so we can have fun on our vacations and not worry about being overly frugal. Vacations are for rest and recreation and I feel like that’s a personal investment in my mental and physical health. 🙂


jennifer January 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Thank you, Vicki! I can’t wait to go and just chill for awhile.


Lauren January 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

I think planning this special trip is wonderful. Your children will have those memories forever, so enjoy it! (While getting your money’s worth)! Eat seconds, and thirds!

Wishing you all the best,


jennifer January 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Thanks you! Yes, eating seconds and thirds is definately on my list of ways to make the most of my trip!!


isabelle January 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

* We are picking up our new mattress from the store instead of having it delivered, saving 58$
* Coworker gave me a set of 8 Corelle cups. Yay for matching (free) cups!
* Decided to cut out all junk food (for myself in general and coming into the house, a.k.a groceries). While eating healthy is not cheap, it will be cheaper in the long run (less medical problems, less sick days, less restaurants, etc). I firmly believe that “you are what you eat” and right now I am in a less than good physical shape so… Also, I want healthy and happy kids. (They already are, but I want it to continue!) that won’t (hopefully) struggle with their weight all their life like me.
* Asked for a discount for a re-take of a class I didn’t finish last year because of differences of opinions. They are giving me a 25$ discount to retake it (100$ instead of 125$).

Not frugal
* the 4000$ price tag attached to the plane tickets for a trip to British Columbia this summer (for the 4 of us). Grrrrrr!
* Hubby deciding that we NEED a dutch oven from Pampered Chef (his mom sells it and he want to encourage her…), at a hefty 167$ (plus taxes) price. Grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!! Choose your battles I guess…….

Have a great frugal day!


jennifer January 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I love Corelle, it practically never breaks!


Michele January 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

1. Added a can of rotel to last bit of soup to make two more servings for work lunches.
2. Brought 2 litre soda bottle to work to pour into reusable cup, as I bought a soda from machine yesterday. Sigh.
3. Walked last night with good friend. Good talk therapy and no gym fees.
4. Using up what’s in freezer. Looks sad In there.
5. Have finally convinced husband to sell one car. We have whole Toyota line between work cars and teenager vehicles. We will survive.


Nancy from Mass January 25, 2017 at 10:43 am

1. found a dime in the gas station parking lot yesterday. so far this year i’ve found 73 cents!
2. brought a potato to work today to cook up in the micro for lunch. we had butter and shredded cheese in the fridge (for anyone) and salt and pepper. lunch was good!
3. worked at home yesterday so i didn’t use any gas (but in work today – oh well)
4. last night dinner was leftovers. must. use. what’s. in. freezer.!

frugal fail – needed an oil change, rear brakes and 2 new tires on my Jeep. was talking to the mechanic about the radiator smell (after replacing the radiator a few months ago) and it might be my heater coil. too expensive to replace on a 13yo vehicle with 240k miles on it. he told me to start looking for a new-to-me car by this summer. haven’t had a car payment in forever so hopefully i can find a decent car that still wont need one. (he’s going to look too). the mechanic found decent tires for little money to help (really needed them). also helped that i started crying when we were talking. Got a free hug from him! does that count as frugal? it WAS free! in case you’re wondering, i love my mechanic, he’s awesome. a small business owner and we’ve been using him for about a dozen or so years.


Lauren January 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

I’m doing the potato lunch tomorrow (been meaning to do it all week but my brain hasn’t really been getting it in my bag before I leave) – what I also usually do is keep a container of plain greek yogurt at work (for breakfast with fruit), and add a little to the top of the potato like you would sour cream. yummy!


jennifer January 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Great idea for a healthy yet low cost lunch.


Amanda January 25, 2017 at 10:53 am

1. Realized I had miscalculated the price of our business license and was about to pay an extra $600! This is my favorite mistake I didn’t even up making ever.

2. Continuing to eat up the bushel of sweet potatoes my cousin gave me by roasting them each day for lunch.

3. Spent $400 on an electrical system tune up for our 21 year old truck yesterday because it wouldn’t start Monday. Once they got the old plugs and wires off you could see that it was a miracle that it cranked every time I was an hour away at school. Now I’m back in business again. Hoping to keep the truck on the road for a few more years.

4. Found a cheaper whiteboard than we thought was possible for the office.

5. I was blown away by the taste of the food from Blue Apron. (My brother gave us a Groupon for Blue Apron for Christmas. I would not, under any circumstances, pay for the service.) Instead of signing up I downloaded another recipe from their website, picked up the ingredients at the grocery store for a fraction of the price, and made it for supper. We enjoyed it immensely.


Chris January 25, 2017 at 6:37 pm

#5 I’ve never tried Blue Apron but have heard good things – didn’t know recipes were available. Thanks! I’ve already taken a peak and expect to use it very soon.


Chris January 25, 2017 at 6:40 pm

oops – a peek that is…..


Lucy January 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm

1. Got an oil change, which is frugal for the long term life of the car.
2. Declined a new battery for the car. I was thinking I had a battery at home than would work, although it turns out not to fit the available space, but the car starts fine for now, and money is very tight this winter.
3. The winds we had a few weeks ago blew away a some signs on the barn required by our insurance, so rather than spending $46 for new ones, I printed them myself. They can be inside as long as they are near the doors.
4. I finally have managed to mostly use the (cheaper to run) car for personal use and the (more expensive to run) truck for farm use. The percentages were 20% farm use and 80% personal for the car and 72% farm use and 28% personal use for the truck. This was hard for me because I HATE the car.
5. We are eating out of the pantry and freezer except for bananas, milk, and bread, which has encouraged me to clean and organize the fridge, freezer, and pantry shelves. They really needed it!


VanessaKC January 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm

I’ve begun to type a few nights in a row, on 2 different posts but couldn’t get the words together. Each day, there’s some tragic new sh*t from the trump admin that sickens me. I press on. When you’ve got a young child/children, gotta keep on truckin’ regardless. In addition to the stress of our air/water/reproductive rights, my dad is getting tests done to determine whether or not he needs cardiac attention. I realize these procedures are pretty common and generally non-invasive. I’m still nervous. This stress has not impacted my frugality. (Mostly not.) Here goes:
1. Have only spent minimally so far this week at Aldi, to supplement what we have. (Except for the 6 pack tonight. I really wanted beer, got Budweiser instead of Boulevard so that saved me $3)
2. Still cooking at home, always taking lunches and beverages to work.
3. Got a free new shirt for my son that fits and he loves the graphics.
4. Swapped labor (sanded paint off a brass mailbox) in exchange for a chrome plated emergency brake handle for my bug.
5. Mentally frugal score: good Ol boy strolled into the body shop to “shoot the breeze with the guys” and made a sexist comment about (me) the woman cleaning (shop vac’n) the dust from the interior area I had sanded to bare metal. Like it was my place as a woman to be cleaning. Grabbed a square of random sheet metal, my safety glasses, and a die grinder. Could no longer be heard so he left. Seriously, no sexism in my shop. All the guys were happy after he left. Turns out nobody likes what he has to say.


Vickey February 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

Your #5 gives me hope! Yay for the stereotype-busting guys in your shop who disliked the sexism!


VanessaKC January 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm

A huge thank you to Katy for always standing up for what you believe in. You are exactly why we all read so frequently. ✌️


MamaMinou January 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm

1. Comparison grocery shopping–to find the best prices on all our staples.
2. Walked to work 3 times (home twice) so far this week. Whew.
3. Oatmeal with freezer blueberries (I picked ’em last summer) and cinnamon for breakfast every day! Delicious, healthy, and cheap.
4. Reading Agatha Christie murder mysteries from the library.
5. Knitting socks for my husband’s birthday present (two pairs).
6. Sending my college-age son a food package for his birthday present (with some slightly fancy/spendier extras, like pesto and nuts and jam), along with the “Good and Cheap” cookbook by Leanne Brown.


Denise B January 26, 2017 at 4:59 am

1. Reading another Tony Hillerman book that I picked up at Goodwill’s 1/2 off books sale.
2. Received two free Diet Cokes at work.
3. I’m on Day #4 of a 9-day “no spend”.
4. No food waste in a week, even though we definitely had some strange combinations.
5. Picked up a 1-day job working at an art show, and it will pay $125.00. I teach school, and this is on a Saturday, so it worked out perfectly.


Katherine in AL January 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

1. Sporting my free hilarious anti-Trump t-shirt my husband caught when the comedian tossed it into the crowd at the comedy club last week. #carnyhandedmangoman
2. Started tax prep so I’m not tied to it for hours.
3. Filled up both cars on $.10 off day.
4. Used a gift card to treat myself to lunch on grocery shopping day.
5. Used a high value coupon at Lowe’s for supplies for our 77yo fixer upper home we paid cash for almost 3 years ago.


Sweta January 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Have you heard “The Minimalists” podcast? I think you might like it. The creators of the podcast also have a documentary on Netflix.


Vivian January 26, 2017 at 4:38 pm

The elephant hospital blankets are sold via 3rd party vendors on Amazon.


Katy Hope January 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm

1. Went to the library to get some new DVDs for movie night with the kids this weekend.
2. Listened to some great (free!) podcasts this week, including the startup and wait wait don’t tell me.
3. Ate leftovers for lunch all week!
4. Started crafting valentines with the kids from supplies we already had instead of buying them.
5. Fixed my own website by spending hours on webchat with the free tech services instead of hiring someone to build it for me.


alunatunes January 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

I want to say how much I enjoy this group! I learn so much!
My five frugals
1. A recent cray cold spell meant I needed to leave my taps dripping to keep pipes from freezing. I saved the water and used it in my washing machine.
2. Yesterday I scored a free side and a free coffee from Wawa with coupons I received in the mail. Today I picked up a box of frozen mozzarella sticks which was a freebie at my Farm Fresh store. Later this week, I’ll pick up a free Power Bar from Kroger.
3. I sold my vintage sewing machine on craigslist and listed several other things to sell. I am always so excited to sell anything on craigslist. I’ve also been using Next Door to sell unwanted items.
4. I received a sample of Posh cosmetics from a friend. I don’t wear make up but the package contained face wash and lip protector.
5. Saved 90% off at CVS on Christmas items that I can turn into craft supplies.
Fail- my car had to have work done AGAIN to the tune of $200 bucks. I am more determined than ever to build an emergency fund, a retirement fund (I am 59) and a Rainy Day fund this year. On my income, this is not just a challenge, it is a MIRACLE!


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