Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 15, 2017 · 61 comments

  1. I went for a walk with my friend Lise yesterday. We dropped off plastics recycling, deposited checks at our credit union, returned library materials and then stopped into Fred Meyer, where I bought bananas and two loaves of 79¢ clearance-priced bread. I didn’t use Pi Day (3/14) as an excuse to buy a $3.14 apple pie, as 1) I don’t understand what “Pi” really is, and 2) I’m better off without a gross but delicious grocery store pie.
  2. I ran my hand under the coin counting machine at the credit union and was rewarded with four quarters, one nickel and a single penny. I added this money to my Found Change Challenge jar.
  3. I put together two quick offers for my Buy Nothing Group. I now have people in a hippity-hoppity mood to come over to pick up boxes of leftover sparklers and four packets of matcha green tea powder that I received as gifts. Slightly less clutter in my kitchen and I put already manufactured goods into the hands of people who will use them, I call that a win!
  4. I wrote and submitted two new articles for Clark Howard yesterday. The next tuition/room/board payment is looming large, (April 1st) so I’m taking full advantage of any and all income opportunities. I’m puttering around the house today to get ready for house guests, but hope to put together at least one more article.
  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie March 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm

FFT, Upstate NY Blizzard Endurance Edition:

(1) We’ve heeded all warnings from various agencies not to try to go out in this. (We have about 24″ in our yard and more coming–and areas to the east and south of us have over 30″.) Not getting into an unnecessary traffic accident = priceless.

(2) I’m thanking goodness that DH regards running a snowblower as a winter sport. By the time this is over, he’ll qualify for a gold medal.

(3) However, we haven’t lost power, so I’m able to do laundry (and then hang it on racks), cook, etc., as usual.

(4) I’m repotting several houseplants that need it. It’s a good opportunity to attend to their needs before seed-starting for the veggie/herb garden starts. I used to try to rush the season on seed-starting, but not any more. Around here, if you set out seedlings before the soil warms up enough, they just sit there–and I’m not heavily into plant protectors, hoop houses, etc. (Too much plastic.)

(5) And I can hardly wait for the next thaw, so I can really get going with found money again. See several of my recent comments. (The Coinstar machine at my local Wegmans produces for me about 10% of the time–but the really big payoff is from parking lots after snowmelt.)


susanna d March 16, 2017 at 5:28 am

Regarding your #5 – one of the few things I miss about living in a big city is coin hunting downtown after the snow melted. Especially around parking meters (the grassy strips of ground near the curbs making the hunt a little more challenging and therefore more exciting – at least to me) and the parking meter “pay stations” that only took quarters and credit cards – fertile hunting grounds for most coins but dimes especially!


Vickie March 16, 2017 at 7:39 am

Wow! You are socked in. Good for you staying home and being productive and your hubby is definitely an Olympian. It’s a good thing he likes working the snowblower. LOL!!


Cindy in the South I March 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

1. I brought my lunch to work and I ate my breakfast at home.
2. I slept, and slept, and slept…yesterday…..and I will today…..
3. Slept.
4. Slept.
5. Slept. Yea, that is about it.


Betty Winslow March 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm

1. Working on an article for a magazine I write for.
2. Continuing to go to the gym 5 days a week, so I can keep my A1C under control and maybe bring my weight down, too.
3. Picking up more free entertainment at the library.
4. My main med for diabetes is ready for pickup at Meijers – FREE!
5. Bought 3 doz. eggs for 59 cents a dozen, plus $1.99 a lb. asparagus. Frittata soon to come!
bonus – Had a meeting with my cookbook book club this week and was given a container of deviled eggs and a piece of rum cake. Free food = awesome!!


Yvette down under March 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

At last a few spots of rain and a little less heat, but the humidity is high so I still feel hot!!
1. Using up the last of the abundance of fruit, pears and plums, some to eat fresh, some to give away
2. Made a pear upside-down cake to share with the neighbors
3. Swapped 2 jars of jam for a dozen free range eggs
4. My food processor broke, bought a bigger and better one at the thrift shop for only $10
5. Got lots of marked down meat to fill my freezer up, chicken, lamb, etc less than half price .. very happy!!!


nancy from mass March 15, 2017 at 1:59 pm

1. went to a local store, got a free chocolate bar (that actually looks too sweet for me or my son, but I will bring it to work next week and someone will eat it) plus a 42oz bottle of sweetened lemon tea. i’m not a big fan of cold tea, but i’ll drink it anyway. (My son may have some too).
2. found 2 ‘pennies from heaven’ when leaving the store.
3. had my son go through his loaded closet and take out items he no longer wears. I now have 2 large bags to donate. I also have about 40 extra hangers – I put out a call to people asking if they need any. received one reply, the rest i’ll donate to my mothers nursing home.
4. took a nice nap this afternoon. i’m getting used to napping in the afternoon – gonna have a problem when I go back to work next week!
5. pressed some quilting squares so I can finish putting the 100 blocks together. (I am making a ‘storm at sea’ quilt for my son for his HS graduation gift. I’m using blue (and some blue-green) batik fabric. it’s gonna be beautiful!)


nancy from mass March 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm

the tea was free also (in #1)


kathleen March 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Nancy, I love the Storm at Sea pattern. So beautiful. I WILL make one someday. I have two grandsons graduating from hs this year, and I want to give them each a quilt. I have one top done and need to get it to the quilter.

I wish I could see your quilt, it sounds gorgeous.


Lesley March 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

1–Bought eggs for 59 cents/dozen and been making meals out of them all week.
2–Wore thrifted clothes to work; drove there in my paid-for secondhand old boat-of-a-car.
3–Turned in all my receipts and paperwork for a business trip (because it’s not really a perk if I end up paying for it myself).
4–Took my IRS refund and put it straight into the college fund.
5–Made a twin-size blanket by combining a shabby old blanket and a huge, swanky pillowcase that I found at GoodWill and took apart to use as backing.


Kim from Philadelphia March 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I think frugal adventures are often the best kind of adventures!

My credit union coin cashing machine prints out a receipt which is then redeemed at the teller window for your money. So I can’t swipe my hand under.., Boo!!


Katy March 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm

That’s the same is this machine. I am literally crouching on the ground with my hand under the machine. No shame in my game.


Karen B. March 15, 2017 at 4:20 pm

OMG Katy! I dont think I realized until just now that is what you were doing!


Beth March 16, 2017 at 6:11 am


Hey, at least you own it 🙂


Lindsey March 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm

1 and 2) Every spring two friends and I have a seed swapping meeting, where we bring excess seeds to trade. One of the other two had no seeds to share, so she brought pizza for us to eat as a way to “pay” for seeds she wanted. We would have given them to her for free! The pizza had anchovies, which I love but the third person in our group did not. So, I went home with a bunch of seeds plus the leftover pizza–a double win.
3) Last fall I cooked up and packaged tons of pumpkin pulp. Somehow the bags froze together so I had to thaw what ended up being 12 cups of pulp. Made three loaves of bread, put two cups in a batch of chili (husband will not notice taste and adds nutrition), and baked two trays of pumpkin dog treats.
4) The person in front of me at the grocery store declined to participate in the Monopoly game being run by the store. She offered what turned out to be 18 tickets to me so I took them. Opened them up at home to find I had won a one pound bag of peeled carrots, two 16 oz boxes of pasta, a carton of yogurt and two boxes (each a four pack) of microwave popcorn. Didn’t win the million bucks but I was happy with free food. Years ago I would have been too snooty to play.
5) Years of shrinkage made two cotton shirts shorter than a baby doll nighty—so I trimmed off a few more inches, hemmed them up and now am wearing them as shirts.
6) Need to bring rice crackers to a book club meeting where I am the only one who does not appear to have a wheat allergy. As I was walking by, I decided to check out the 50% off bin at the grocery store. There were three boxes of rice crackers, with a best-if-used-by date of May 1. I snagged two of the three and will be bringing them and homemade hummus to the meeting.


MommaL March 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Pumpkin makes good doggie biscuits too!


nancy from mass March 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

RE: #4, I ALWAYS ask if I can have the monopoly cards that others don’t….I have won a few things that way…the popcorn, donuts, free tickets. I am currently waiting for 1 or 2 of every item on that board – and most of the tickets were from other people! I wont win anything though. I never win on those. but it’s fun to dream


MommaL March 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm

1. I have a pair of cashmere lined leather gloves I got from a friend who had a lot of them from an auction. One button on each was messed up. I ignored it for a year, then yesterday I took them off, rearranged the other ones, cut off the loops nearest to my wrist, and they look brand new.
2. Double batched soup and chili and eating from both all week.
3. Celebrating a friend’s birthday who can’t afford to attend an upcoming charity event. We pooled our money to buying him a ticket so he can go with us, as his birthday gift. I have a great group of friends here, and we love spending time together.
4. Shopped at a different Dollar Tree and found my favorite bread there. Stocked up, put 4 loaves in the freezer.
5. Maybe this doesn’t sound frugal but to me it is: making sure all of the different kinds of wine from a recent bday party for DH is consumed before buying my favorite kind again. Nobody touched the reds and I prefer white, but oh, I will “take one for the team” haha.


Katy March 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Today, not so frugal, it ended in takeout. But I did…
1) make coffee at home instead of getting it out
2) eat a packed salad for lunch
3) resisted an afternoon coffee treat/snack


Dori March 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Ha ha, a “hippity-hoppity mood” indeed! I read the latest update on that story with the reporter working from home who got interrupted by his two children and that phrase jumped out at me too. You make me laugh!!


Mary in Maryland March 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

1. Found a 2 lb bag of jalapenos in the dollar bins. I seeded and chopped and put them in the freezer. It’s hard not to use a whole one when they’re fresh, but it makes my potluck dish resistible. Safer to break off a chunk.
2. Making a vat of soup for my husband, as I’m leaving town for two days.
3. Said soup is garnished with cilantro. I chopped the cilantro as the soup came to a boil–and threw in the chopped stems.
4. Frugal fail–I think my worm bin died of starvation, as I’ve started using up all the oddments of veg in soups.
5. Herbs are said to last longer if wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag in the fridge. I hate paper towels–and have found that pieces of old sheet do the job just as well. Even if the sheet was half polyester.


AnnaLee March 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm

brown packing paper works well also. Wrap fresh herbs in brown paper, and keep rolled up with a rubber band. No plastic. The herbs will dehydrate without spoiling, which means your fresh herbs will become dried herbs but still usable. I write the kind of herb on the paper or risk ending up with the wrong herb in the wrong dish.


MommaL March 19, 2017 at 5:52 am

I wonder if brown paper bags would do the same thing? I get brown bags from all of the local retailers, there’s a plastic ban here.


Mrs. Picky Pincher March 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

1. I used up some pizza crusts in the pantry last night to make pizza for dinner. I used up leftover bits of cheese and homemade frozen marinara, as well as old tomatoes.

2. I finished crocheting an ear warmer–with yarn and a crochet hook I bought with a gift card.

3. Tonight’s dinner uses up some wild rice we’ve had in the pantry for months. Wild rice soup it is! I’m also using up some old veggies that need to be eaten in said soup.

4. We’re carpooling with friends this weekend to save gas.

5. I’m giving my sister some of our old egg cartons. In exchange I hope she’ll send me home with a couple dozen eggs from her chickens. 🙂


janine March 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

1. Had a no-spend day this week – unfortunately not today when I had a Dr. co-pay.
2. Resisted urge to indulge myself after doctor visit with lunch at favorite restaurant in that part of town. Came home and ate leftover tuna pasta salad. Am still among the living, but hard to resist impulse. Also resisted a visit to a favorite liquor and deli store as long as I was being a “martyr”.
3. Bargain day yesterday – visited a clearance center and got two sweaters at the unbelievable price of 50 cents after coupon. Also purchased socks at JC Penney – three pair for 49c after $10 coupon. Almost free is next-best to free.
4. In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, Corned Beef Roast was on sale for $2.99 per pound. Our family expects the traditional dinner on Friday evening. We are going to honor tradition this year.
5. Non frugal happenings: Our new dog has chewed through several pair of husband’s dress leather gloves this winter (welcome spring!) and took a bite out of a cushion on son’s downstairs couch. He might not find it amusing. We will find someone to patch it back up. Luckily, it was not the new one located in his den!


Marcia March 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Also sitting around in about 27 inches of snow. Last week we had 70 mph winds and power off for 47 hours. Not spending a lot of money when we can’t get out of the house. I missed 2 days at the gym, which I hate to do.

I made Italian wedding soup yesterday–will feed us at least one more day. Today we ate day #2 of a pork roast and #3 meal went into the freezer along with some extra mashed potatoes. Four of the five of us (including DD, SIL, and DGD) have already had our birthdays this year—now I need to think of something to give my husband next month and I’ll have the hard ones over for this year!! We think he is in the early stages of some kind of dementia and today I am running out of patience. I’ve been waiting to hire my DD’s grandson to shovel the walk, and he hired two other kids today. Just heard on TV we’re having MORE snow on the weekend. Maybe there will be a chance to hire him after all. I am pretty good at being patient (because my mother died of dementia so I’ve been through this before) but some days it gets to me. He does not want to be tested because he thinks “it’s not that bad.” It is worse than he thinks, of course. I still don’t want to force it because it’s such a devastating diagnosis to get, I’d as soon let him think it’s normal for as long as I can.

Also set up a day to have the Viet Nam Vet’s truck to pick up donations in a couple weeks. Husband wants to take shirts he doesn’t like from the closet–I already have a little over one bag sorted out, but I can do a little more also.

FRUGAL WIN–have a fairly new mattress which is saggy like a hammock and I’m annoyed it wasn’t better so rather than buy another one, I sort of fixed it. I bought new pillows for Christmas and saved a couple old ones to use for this. I washed and bleached two of them, and then dried them thoroughly on the radiator until they were for sure dry in the middle. Then I split the two of them down the middle with a scissors, making them half as fat as they were once. I took the two halves and spread them out a little in the saggy spots on each side of the bed, putting them between the mattress pad and a foam mattress topper that’s a couple inches thick. (Previously bought when husband thought an older mattress was too hard.) Now we are sleeping on a pretty level bed and so far, it’s not sagging a bit after 3-4 nights. I am hoping it holds out for a while!!

Meals planned through Saturday this week, which I don’t normally do, but have done this week. Friday’s corned beef and cabbage is my favorite!!


Lisa P. March 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Praying for healing for your husband and praying for you too.


Lindsey March 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm

I am sorry to hear about your husband. I wish that I had something to offer besides prayers…I hope you find ways to care for yourself during the more exhausting parts of his illness.


Roberta March 16, 2017 at 6:00 am

I have heard that there are medications that can slow the progress of the disease if taken early in its progress. You might want to speak to a doctor about this. If you can slow the progress, it might be worth diagnosis. Alternatively, it might be caused by a prescription interaction. If your husband takes a number of medicines, that is an avenue worth pursuing.

Either way, if you speak to a doctor or not, I will pray for you.


Nancy from mass March 16, 2017 at 6:34 am

My heart goes out to you and your husband. Prayers for you.


A. Marie March 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

Marcia, dear, I hear you re: both the snow and your DH. You may recall from earlier comments of mine that my DH also has mild cognitive impairment (serious short-term memory problems, plus he’s starting to have trouble with some bigger issues, such as navigating even some familiar routes around town). In our case, he and I are both well aware that he has problems; we just wish we could get clearer answers from his doctors. (So far, all we know is that the brain problems may stem from the major depression he’s had for 20 years, the major-league antidepressants he’s been taking for 20 years, or some combination of both with advancing age.) And I too definitely have moments where my patience–not my strong point to begin with–is severely tested.

But we also try to take time to realize that we’re fortunate in many ways: Many of his skills (such as snowblowing!) are well preserved; the sweet temper for which I married him in the first place is also well preserved; and we can still laugh at things. I’m also finding that the more open I am with friends, neighbors, and service people about the situation, the more understanding and willing to help they are.

Hope this helps. Hang in there.


Vickey March 17, 2017 at 6:27 am

Marcia, I’m so touched by your care for and consideration of your husband. I wonder if you’ve looked into nutrition as one aspect of a wholistic approach to slowing or stopping the disease progression? My favorite resource for that is, and I’ve seen several things there regarding Alzheimer’s/dementia. They’re stuff is solidly science-based (“we read 8,000 nutrition studies a year so you don’t have to,”), they don’t sell any products, and all of the information on their site is free – our favorite price! (They are a nonprofit, so I do make modest donations there when I can.)
I’ll be thinking of you. {{{}}}


Sue March 17, 2017 at 8:53 am

I did something similar with my mattress. I had done some research, and shocked to find like appliances, mattresses now cost 3000 dollars! AND they do not last, so many people said sagging after a few years! I used a bed pillow, but I put it between the box spring and the mattress! Since I am now alone, it works for now! It does not shift and my upper shoulder now not hurts! Buy me some time to shop for a mattress if when!

My thrifty great aunt, who now looking back was not that well off, came to city like I did as young woman, and stayed here all her life, til 94.. She married later in life and widowed at 50, slept one month on one side of the bed, and the next month the other! I get that now!
Best to you with your husband, it sounds like he is retired and home together. Going to the gym, I hope you can continue to go alone? Not sure if you have your married kids living there or not. I hope they can help!


Jenzer March 15, 2017 at 4:54 pm

1 – I’ve spent most of the last two weeks battling a virus that left me flat on the couch for an entire weekend. I used some of my couch time to catch up on mending.

2 – We had enough food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry that we were able to avoid take-out during the worst of my sickness. I did grab a few meals to go before I regained enough stamina for a full grocery store run.

3 – I cut back on the amount of detergent I put in the dishwasher. The dishes are getting clean with barely a tablespoon of powder, which is about a third of the amount I used to use.

4 – We tried the Prudent Homemaker’s recipe for taco soup ( ) and it was a winner: delicious, cheap, and easy to make. It’ll go into our regular dinner rotation.

5 – I let a magazine subscription lapse instead of renewing it. Our library has it available if I really want to read future issues.


Leah @ The Frugal South March 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm

I’m so glad I clicked the “hippity hoppity” link out of curiosity. My husband and I both laughed so hard we cried. Thanks for brightening our day, Katy!


Katy March 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

I love that video from the depths of my being!


kathleen March 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm

1. Going through clutter on horizontal surfaces this week. I came across the ‘ashtray’ from my old car. It was meant for the ashtray, but it has a hinged lid and fits in a cup holder, so I always kept spare change in it. My sweet hubs got it out of the old car before surrendering the car to the insurance company. It has been hiding in the dining room ever since. I was so happy to find it so I could put it in my new (to me) car. It fits perfectly. AND it had two $5 bills, a $1 bill, and change! I was shocked. I don’t ever remember putting that much paper money in there.
2. I didn’t want to cook supper tonight (insert annoying whine here), but I prepared sausage gravy to have over potatoes I baked, and warmed up some broccoli. My husband not only rescues belongings from old cars, but he isn’t a picky eater either. In other words, he’s a keeper. 🙂
3. I’m decluttering my office/craft room (still) and I am clearing out a lot of books. One I looked up on Amazon to see what the asking price was for used… good condition $61! Mine is in very good condition with no tears on dust jacket and is a 1st edition. I think I will be reading up tonight on how to list a book for sale.
4. Today was a no-spend day.
5. Did the floors, laundry, and general chores myself instead of hiring it out.


Lindsey March 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

If I made sausage gravy for my husband, he’d be in heaven!


Mand01 March 16, 2017 at 12:01 am

1. Free wifi at the hotel.
2. I’m having fruit and cereal here in my hotel room instead of eating out for breakfast, saving some dollars. I brought tea and protein bars from home so I wouldn’t eat cookies and other junky snacks.
3. Using coffee bags and my reusable coffee cup instead of buying a coffee in the morning. This has saved me about $20 this trip. I bought the coffee cup last trip from a local op shop for $3, brand new. It’s a good one to bring on the plane in my luggage because it’s a lightweight plastic.
4. I’m getting free seeds from my gardening club.
That’s about it.


WilliamB March 17, 2017 at 7:06 am

It’s ridiculous how expensive it is to eat a small breakfast out, and how cheap breakfast is, if you buy some something from the grocery store.


Mand01 March 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Yes – breakfast with coffee would have cost at least $15 a day. Eating out is expensive in Australia because our labour costs are high. Even paying remote supermarket prices (higher than I’d pay in an urban area) it was still much cheaper.


Mrs. Daisy @ Dirt Road Daisy March 16, 2017 at 4:17 am

1. I made some homemade chicken nuggets last night for our 3 year old. She has gone an entire week without an accident so we asked her what she wanted for dinner. Anything she wanted…chicken nuggets, yogurt, and ice cream. Rather than running through a drive-thru, I made them myself.
2. I found some change in the parking lot at work this morning.
3. My husband’s best friend is renting a room from us for a while and he’s amazing at gobbling up leftovers. No food waste is frugal in my mind.
4. Drinking coffee and tea from home and work.
5. Sold a few things on eBay and


Diane March 16, 2017 at 4:22 am

You always inspire me to keep on living the ultra frugal lifestyle. I was just thinking today that I haven’t stepped foot in a store beyond the grocery store and Walmart for basic needs since Christmas. And yet, I continue to live Large on Little. So many free events in my town, places to explore and projects at home to keep me happy. Plus still enjoying my birthday club lunch freebies at eateries around town.


Ruby March 16, 2017 at 5:22 am

1. Wearing an almost entirely thrifted/secondhand cute outfit to work today. It’s so much nicer brands than I could ever afford “first-hand.”
2. Once again, packed my lunch, snacks and cold drinks from home, as did my son. We are so pleased that he finally has an office job and is being frugal and packing his lunch.
3. Our family eye doc, who is an awesome guy, did a major repair on my glasses for free. Now I can use my glasses post-cataract surgery on my left eye while waiting to get the other eye fixed. It beats walking into things! 🙂
4. Managed to cut $30 off our grocery total last week. Hoping to do the same again this week.
5. Need to have a budget meeting with the Mister this weekend. We have an uncomfortable amount of medical debt right now and need to find more ways to black-belt frugal that down in a hurry.


Roberta March 16, 2017 at 6:17 am

1. Went walking with a friend last night instead of hitting a restaurant. I usually only get water, but sometimes I am weak and get sweet potato fries. Walking for exercise is a mush better choice! We have to do something during our daughters’ 2.5 hour dance class.
2. Scrubbed the white (!) shower curtain in the kids bathroom, and hung it in the sun. It will now be clean enough for people to see. Just running it through the machine was not good enough. Why did I choose to put anything white in my house?
3. Made deviled eggs for tea yesterday, before heading to dance class. The chickens are producing, and I am trying to be creative about how to feed them to my family.
4. Next week we should have some rain, so I am trying to get am much laundry done this week as possible. I will do another load today, and hang it out. Hopefully, this will take us through to the next sunny period.
5. Read library books, cooked at home, used up leftovers, eating up the freezer food. I thought I have a new box of veggie burgers for dinner Tuesday. It was only half a box of fake chicken burgers, so two of us had chick’n patties and the other two had chicken nuggets on buns. It worked, got us fed, and cleared a couple of things out of the freezer.


Beth March 16, 2017 at 6:17 am

1. Drinking free coffee at work (and have been the whole week).
2. Visited a friend on her Birthday…brought her coffee and a pastry from a local Cuban place by her house, so not necessarily frugal for me, but nice for her and good for a local cafe 😉
3. Am in a phase right now where I really want to love my clothes, but I’m determined to only by second-hand…found a nice denim shirt at the Goodwill Outlet!!
4. Meal-planned this week, and am on-track to cook from home
5. DH took DS to a museum on his day off this week, which also happened to be a “free day” at said museum. They had a fun experience and spent nothing.


Vickie March 16, 2017 at 6:49 am

1) I ran out of oatmeal here at work this morning, but I had a low-fat brownie snack stashed in my desk, so I ate that and drank my free coffee for breakfast.
2) A friend sent me a step challenge on my free FitBit and I’ve already met 14% of the goal, so hopefully a trip to the gym this evening will increase my completion.
3) I thought I’d found a replacement for the broken tension spring on my curling iron at Sally’s Beauty for 99 cents. However, it was the wrong size and the only size they had, so I kept the receipt and plan to take it back. I may just find a round brush at home and use that, until I can find the right size spring online.
4) Cheerios has a Bring Back the Bees campaign going and if you fill out the form, they will send you FREE Wildflower Seeds. I filled it out and submitted. Here’s the link if your interested:
5) I found gas a penny cheaper per gallon, than what I’ve been paying, last evening at a farm/convenience store near our house, so I took the time to fill up before I went home. Every penny counts!


Amanda March 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

1. Ordered tea from because Target has it cheaper than the grocery store, and with my target card I get 5% off and free shipping. Plus it saves the gas and time I would need to go to Kroger because they don’t sell Twinnings at Aldi.

2. For lunch I am enjoying a hot ham and cheese made with homemade bread, ground ham from my parents (My mama and daddy are just two people, but my dad is still in “feed all the children” mode and periodically buys an entire ham and grinds it up and freezes it in batches. Our family invariably is gifted repurposed cool whip tubs of ground ham. I’m not complaining. It is the best.), and swiss cheese that they decided they didn’t want. (My parents also seem to randomly decide they don’t want to eat food items they have purchased and pass they along to us.)

3. The cleaning lady cannot make it tomorrow, so I am cleaning the house for our airbnb guests. Ordinarily I would consider this a waste of my time that could otherwise be devoted to work, but I am finishing up written comps today, so there is no way I was going to do anything remotely productive with my brain tomorrow anyway. Instead I’ll put on an audiobook and mindlessly clean.

4. Our daycare offers us the option of pulling the kids out in the summer. Last summer we took advantage of this option because our oldest was out of school anyway and it would save us $2K a month for the younger two. I was home with them during the day and then after supper I retreated to the office to study for comprehensive exams while my husband took a turn. It was hard because three was a lot of work on both of us and we missed being together in the evenings as a family. I started to regret it this winter too when I feared that my comps prep was inadequate. But I am right now a couple of hours from confidently finishing my last written exam proving that I didn’t actually need to work eight hours every day over the summer. It was still a rough summer, but we saved the money, I am passing comps, and we will concentrate on an easier, more relaxed summer this year.

5. We learned this week that our design firm won a prestigious local award. It doesn’t save us any money, but winning feels like it justifies the price to enter, and the publicity might get us more work.


Annye March 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Congratulations, Amanda! Recognition from your peers is priceless, so surely that counts as a frugal win? (Not the mention the free publicity you mentioned, which I hope boosts your profile and your client base.)


Susie's Daughter March 16, 2017 at 9:54 am

1) I am with Ruby on the new to me clothes I would not, or could not, buy first hand. I am currently back on a modified (aka old) version of Weight Watchers (materials from previous programs already paid for) so that I can be more comfortable in my thrifted North Face corduroys.

2) Cleaning our short term rental unit for a couple who are headed back again from Mid Atlantic to enjoy the 16″ of snow we got this week. I thought about hiring a friend to help this week with Dear Wife laid up, but I think I can still do it myself in two days, working around DS’s school schedule.

3) Cross country skiied for exercise this morning with my 30 year old equipment.

4) Made high protein fruit smoothies from ingredients in pantry and freezer for Dear Wife to help with bone healing. Also added whey powder to muffins and homemade pudding to up the protein content.

5) Watching NCAA March Madness for entertainment. Go UVM Catamounts!!!


Tracy March 16, 2017 at 10:01 am

1. Found an amazing Vince brand black cashmere dress at the Goodwill for $14, originally over $400, handwashed and air dried and it looks gorgeous! (Not sure that buying something should count as “frugal” but it’s such a screaming deal!)
2. Continuing to plan frugal activities for our LA mini-vacation starting today, our early morning flight got cancelled 🙁 so we lose half a day of our vacation (leaving at 3 p.m.) but we each are receiving a $200 coupon for Alaska Air travel, score! Thanks for the tip on the Getty, visited there previously so not this trip, but we have other free museums etc. on our agenda! Have also scoped out lots of (relatively) inexpensive but yummy places to eat.
3. My young adult daughter who is living with me got a job, so she is paying her recent medical bill (I’ve been paying, this is good for her to learn to be financially responsible and good for me to get my young adult kids financially independent!)
4. We need a new mattress and I’ve been trying to convince my husband to buy one from one of the new online-only retailers at a significant savings. He’s been dubious but once I showed him the “try for 100 days and return with no shipping charges if you don’t like it” policy he seems game. Should save us several hundred dollars.
5. Gearing up to do my own taxes again this year, again should save at least a couple hundred dollars.


Annye March 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I can’t believe no one has answered Katy’s Pi question, but I’ll happily unfurl my Math Nerd Flag (major for two years, graduated with a minor):

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference — the measurement around the outside — to its diameter — the measurement from side to side directly through the center. Measure any circle or sphere you like; its measurement around the outside will always be a little more than three times (3x) the measurement across its center. That’s why Pi is a constant 3.14159265359… even if we’ll never know its final digit!

As my friend said when I explained it to her yesterday, it’s appropriate most pies are round so they contain Pi!

Hope that helps demystify Pi and why March 14 — 3.14 in the US– is Pi Day!


Kristen March 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Being not a mathy person, under normal circumstances, I might have forgotten what Pi was….but homechooling four children has kept my math skills up to par! Like it or not, Pi is a part of my daily life.

Now, pie? Not so much. I really do not love pie.


Katy March 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm

This is where you and I will have to agree to disagree.


Mand01 March 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Our youngest nephew is born on Pi day, so on his birthday his parents serve pie instead of cake. My daughter, the math nerd, is particularly delighted by this. She has been known to spend her Friday evenings calculating Pi as far as she can (she’s only 12). I’m not a math nerd so I can only look on in wonder at this small person I have created.


Chris March 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm

1. My husband had cataract surgery yesterday – I missed a total of 1.5 hours of work – he is healing well and our out of pocket is anticipated to be our $100 deductible.
2. We wanted to repaint the dated walls of our bathrooms and are using paint from our stash – the first is done and is great. Decided it needed art and found a print in a stash given to me by my sister. This weekend will be painting in the second bathroom.
3. Will need to replace curtains/valance and will use fabric stash.
4.Our 1-1/2 year old grandson in DC has been home for three days with low grade fever so our son has face timed with us each day for a lovely time to sing, talk, and watch him eat snack! He kisses the phone to say good-bye to us!
5. Volunteered at the library post-work and picked up books on hold. I organize the semi-annual book sales and sorted donations – some are not appropriate for us so will drop off at Value Village this weekend in my errands. Please don’t donate text books, old travel guides, and generally weird stuff to your library – my public service announcement of the day.


MommaL March 17, 2017 at 1:28 am

Face time is so nice for grandparents. 🙂


Gina in KY March 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

1. I had my bi-annual teeth cleaning appointment today. My check-up was excellent, so no added expenses. Plus, I took home my free toothbrush, paste, floss and hand sanitizer.

2. Thrifted a personal blender that will be perfect for some small blending jobs (like smoothies). It was never-used complete with the paperwork.

3. I went on a date and my date paid for our meals. He also turned out to be a great guy and we have another date planned for next Monday! Anyway, this is big for me as I have not dated much since a divorce 4 years ago and it is not easy to meet single men at 46. Bonus, he is frugal and sensible!

4. Received a bonus at work!

5. Other than fuel, the blender and a new shirt at the thrift store, I have not spent anything this week. I am still eating from the pantry and avoiding the grocery store until all the fresh stuff around the house gets consumed. I am down to onions, peppers, potatoes, cauliflower and cabbage. I also have a couple of bananas, tons of apples and a few nectarines.


BJS March 19, 2017 at 6:14 am

3. Keep us posted, Gina!


Pennonen March 16, 2017 at 10:45 pm

1. I’m hoping to replace the probiotic capsules with live cultures from my own kitchen = savings. Experiments with fermenting now include sourdough starter, sauerkraut and fruit kvass.
2. Bought a second back-up disk. Wimpedout on buying this used for various reasons. This is frugal because come that evident theft/fire/meteorite my business assets will be savely living in the bank’s safe and I can continue to put food on the table.
3. Tried zero waste shopping for the first time yesterday. All the mom and pop shops were very accomodating for me to bring my own bags. Have yet to try this in a conventional grocery.
4. Having lots of business meeting today but keeping them light in spending department. A coffee and another meeting where we decided to each bring a dish. I will grab something from home.
5. Signed up for a CSA this summer. Fresh, organic, biodynamic goodness that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.


Katy Hope March 17, 2017 at 10:27 am

1. I returned a pair of 9 year old sunglasses that had broken to the manufacturer and they replaced them for FREE. Thanks Smith Optics!
2. Went to the museum to see the new flower exhibit with free passes a friend gave me.
3. Played tennis with a friend on the free city courts near my son’s school after drop off.
4. Made dinner at home every night this week.
5. Went on a hike with my toddler to enjoy the beautiful day on Tuesday and ate picnic lunch.


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