Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 19, 2017 · 86 comments

  1. My mother and I spent an afternoon going to Goodwills, including one that was selling this large-for-a-toy-but-small-for-a-human Clone Trooper. Needless to say, I couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with it before putting it back on the shelf. We also stopped into a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet where I bought a hand embroidered pillow, a nice thick potholder, a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, a laser cut Star Wars clock up-cycled from an old record and some greeting card and vintage paper napkins for my mother. Total cost? $4.97. Guess which items are for my son’s upcoming 19th birthday?
  2. I wrote five Clark Howard articles this week, I worked two hospital shifts, I helped my mother clean one of her guest cottages and I gave away multiple items through my Buy Nothing Group.
  3. I binge watched The Kindness Diaries on Netflix. A great project from Leon Logothetis chronicling his around the world journey to rely solely on the kindness of strangers. Very much a message about non-consumerism, and I highly recommend for readers of this blog.
  4. I drove my mother through a Wendy’s restaurant, and treated her to a free Frosty Jr. using my $1 Frosty key tag that supports the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. (You buy the key tag once for $1 and then get a year of Frosty Jr.’s for free.)
  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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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

MommaL March 19, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Thank you for reminding me we have a Frosty key tag too, Katy! DH loves Frostys.

1. Making two squash casseroles out of squash found on the rewrap shelf, all other ingredients I already had on hand, except stuffing mix. Substituted crushed crackers mixed with spices like thyme, sage, garlic salt, oregano, pepper.
2. Went to CVS for a prescription, saw they were doing inventory, so I looked for clearance items, including a jar of oregano for 47 cents and canned soup for 87 cents in DH’s favorite kind.
3. Make a huge batch of ground turkey/ground beef/onions, all bought on mark down, and froze it into 6 batches. I can easily teach DH how to mix it in with other ingredients for lots of things: chili, enchiladas, etc.
4. Breakfast today was poached eggs gifted from a friend with chickens over brand name whole wheat bread bought at the Dollar Tree. pennies!
5. Doing yoga from You Tube to help my pinched nerve in my neck:

Most mornings I do this one:

A friend taught me about yoga online. I love advice on how to get what I need for free. 🙂 Like on this blog!


A. Marie March 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Are you sure the Storm Trooper wouldn’t have been another good b’day present, Katy? (But I assume that the price was too high, especially since you’re playing “beat the clock” with tuition payments. Great job on getting out all those Clark articles plus doing all the other stuff, BTW.)

Now, FFT, Upstate NY Thaw Edition:

(1) The sun came out today, and has already melted a good proportion of last week’s blizzard dump. Did a welcome catch-up on news with several neighbors out strolling. Good neighborly relations = very thrifty, in various ways.

(2) Am taking Monday and Tuesday off to let brain cool down after three long, demanding projects at work in a row. Have also just read Thich Nhat Hanh’s “How to Relax.” Working on it. (Also thrifty, in the long run.)

(3) Took DH to local Lenscrafters today for free glasses repair. We’re trying to keep his ancient current specs going till his ophthalmologist appointment next month–and the friendly folks at Lenscrafters have been extremely kind and helpful.

(4) Dropping cat off at vet tomorrow morning for what is likely to be extensive dental work. (Not thrifty in short run, but, again, thrifty in terms of improving beloved pet’s health and probable lifespan.)

(5) Was finally inspired by thaw today to clean out my seed-starting area in the basement and start spring garden plans. The weather up to now has deprived me of motivation for these activities, but it’s finally starting to feel as if it might actually be spring someday.


Mand01 March 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

1. I helped my parents clean out my grandmother’s house. I took leftover homemade pizza for lunch. We took our time. We did her linen cupboard and kitchen cabinets. We took a few bits but most is going to a refugee family my aunt knows who is setting up their house for the first time. We are keeping all of her plants and I got her rolling pin, which made me cry. I’m also keeping her painting table and some of her paintings.
2. I’m having a rostered day off today. Paid time off is the best.
3. I’m going to make a pasta sauce from all the accumulated bits in my fridge.
4. It’s my sister’s birthday this week and I already have her gift purchased and set aside since November last year- yessss!
5. I redecorated by moving all our art and photos around, and reframing a few things. It looks much nicer. Total cost: $25 for a couple of new (sale) frames and some prints of photos I ordered. That’s for the whole house! Everything seems more in ‘flow’ now – it was all a bit haphazard before.


Ash March 19, 2017 at 5:16 pm

I saw a really cute idea for displaying her rolling pin. If you had any of her recipes, I saw someone frame some and then place the pin in the middle. I thought that was very sweet and affordable.


Ingrid March 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

1. Eating my 3rd meal of corned beef since Friday. My feet don’t miss working in a Jewish deli, but my belly does!
2. Using my solar clothes dryer before the rain.
3. About to plant 12 trees I received from the Arbor Day Foundation. This will hopefully make up for the epic frugal fail of several thousands spent having to remove beetle infested trees last fall.
4. No longer needing to use the heater.
5. Attending free exercise class 3 days every week.


susanna d March 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for recommending The Kindness Diaries. It sounds great, and I added it to my list on Netflix.

1. We saved as many cedar boards as we could when we removed a wall for the remodel. A total pain because the wood was old, brittle and it seemed to take forever to get the boards down intact. But definitely worth it. The mudroom wall where we reinstalled it looks amazing, very little in the way of cedar went to the firepit for burning, and no additional money was spent to have the new cedar wall. A win in several ways, at least in my book.
2. The grandchildren will be visiting in a few weeks. I went through the multitude of return address labels I receive in the mail. While I’ve been successful in stopping most of the “gifts” charities send, the return address labels keep on coming. I cut out a lot of little “pictures” from the labels, and most sheets of labels had larger sticky pictures as well. Making pictures with the free stickers always makes the grandbabies happy.
3. I’ve also been saving larger boxes that some of the remodeling materials came in. The smaller of those will be cut open and laid flat for the grandchildren to create crayon masterpieces on. The larger ones will be put together for a “fort”.
4. I’ve been craving Chinese takeout – again. Luckily for me, it would require a lot of driving , which I’m not willing to do. But I’m very willing to make a stir fry from all the leftover bits of meat and veggies. I know from past experience that WILL satisfy my craving – and will help keep some food items from becoming science experiments.
5. Froze some leftover fresh dill that I wouldn’t be using before it would go bad.

Frugal fail – for quite awhile I’ve been really good about checking the fridge EVERY DAY to make sure food didn’t go bad. Things got away from me, I didn’t check for a few days – and when I did several items were beyond saving and hit the compost bin. Or worse, contained meat and ended up in the trash. Believe me, I’m going back to checking every day. It’s amazing how quickly food can turn bad.


Pattilou March 19, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Susanna, we do the same thing with address labels for my nieces. They love stickers and, like you, I keep getting them in the mail. They also love a good box. Just add some stickers and let them go to town with crayons and it’s amazing where their imaginations can take them. It takes so little to make them happy. I wish I could say the same for everyone!


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 9:12 am

Same here with the stickers, I save them for my granddaughters. They love to do artwork and the youngest puts stickers everywhere, it’s hilarious.
I created an art basket for them from one of those cleaning supply carriers. I buy water colors and markers at the Dollar Tree and found an entire ream of thick, white paper at the Goodwill store, then found a set of craft scissors with different cutting edges – I think at Big Lots. Now they spend hours at our dining room table creating art treasures. Gotta love those grandbabies!! 🙂


Cindy in the South March 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm

1. Paid $4 and went hiking at a beautiful state park on a river south of here. I usually go walking or hiking in free parks, but our state closed several state parks because they were not profitable, and I occasionally pay to go walk or swim at one….especially since our governor’s alleged mistress allegedly said that state parks were only for poor people…lots of alleged stuff in that sentence…whatever. Anyways, I go to a state park every could if months or so, and pay to use it because it is important to me to keep parks…unlike other certain government officials…but I digress. 2. I packed cheese, drinks, and popcorn for snacks to consume on my state park trip. 3. I listened to the car radio on the way down to my state park visit and enjoyed the music. 4. I walked at the free river park, closer to my house, yesterday. 5. I cleaned my house. When my life sucks, there is something refreshing about a tidy house.


Cindy in the South March 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

God, what happened to my sentence…I am gonna go nap….sigh


susanna d March 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

While we have lots of free trails in the area, my husband and I do purchase a state park admission sticker each year. There are some amazingly gorgeous state parks. And even with paying for the pass, it’s still very reasonably priced entertainment – I think it’s money very well spent. Riverfront parks are beautiful – it sounds like you had a great trip!


Pattilou March 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm

I agree Cindy, our parks are very important and should be supported by us and our government.


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 8:42 am

Same kind of political issues here. Our Governor wants to close them, due to a budget deficit she and her minions caused. The last time she closed some, she sold them off to the Oil & Gas industry. God save us from useless politicians.


BethATL March 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

Your library might have a state park pass that you can check out — ours does and we use it all the time!


BJS March 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm

1. A friend’s teenage son sent an email saying he was collecting gently-used children’s books for a service project (donating them to a women’s shelter). I checked my bookshelf and found 11 books that my own kids have outgrown. Eleven things out of my house, and they’ll be reused.

2. Used a gift card that I’d been carrying around in my coupon bag for probably two or three years. It was for a store I’m not interested in. But this weekend my daughter needed something from there for school, so we went and used up the gift card.

3. Keeping up with my checkbook so that I’ll be able to enter my checking account balance right away in my 3/31 money chart entry (a spreadsheet in which I keep track of my money, quarterly).

4. I recently started putting food in the oven and then turning the oven on, and adding a minute or two to the baking time, rather than preheating the oven beforehand. I guess it wouldn’t work for fussy baked dishes, but I don’t make anything all that fussy. 🙂

5. I won’t be working next week as much as I usually do, so I put two books on hold at the library. One of them is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I read it when I was a girl and I’ve always wanted to reread it but never have.


Bee March 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Three cheers for spreadsheets! I have designed my own that provide a snapshot of my financial progress. I know there are apps available, but I do worry about security and privacy.


BJS March 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

You’re always so kind, Bee! I sort of feel like a broken record on here about my money chart, but I do love it. I can’t believe I’ve kept it since the mid-90s. Thanks for your encouragement.


Jennifer March 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

4. I don’t preheat everything either unless it’s a cake or something.


Susie's Daughter March 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorite books of all time. For a while, I was rereading it every year – before DS :). I hope you enjoy it again!


Jenny March 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

If you like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you would probably enjoy her other books! Joy in the Morning and Maggie Now come to mind.


Mary W March 19, 2017 at 11:03 pm

I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Thank you for the recommendation of the other books by the same author. I’m somewhat ashamed to say I didn’t even look to see if if she had written anything else!

susanna d March 20, 2017 at 5:12 am

I love A Tree Grows In Brooklyn! It’s one of my favorite books, too – and is one of the relatively few books I actually own. My copy is getting pretty worn and tattered from all the re-reads!


dawnelle March 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm

One of my all-time favorites also!!!!

BJS March 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

Jennifer, now I’m wondering if others (or at least other frugal people) have been doing this forever and I’m the only one who hasn’t, at least until recently!


Jennifer March 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Yeah, probably. As I commented a little further down, I’m always last to the party.


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 8:38 am

I love that book too. I just read it last year. I found out today it was made into a movie years ago, starring Joan Blondell. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) had an update about it on their FB page. I never knew that. Now I can’t wait to see the old movie. Hopefully our Library has a copy.


isabelle March 21, 2017 at 10:44 am

I never pre-heat, cakes included! I just add 5 minutes to the official cooking time and go from there.


Evans March 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

I loved the Kindness Diaries. I binged on them a few weeks ago. It is so wonderful to watch something uplifting instead of violent. It really reminds us that most of our problems are very first world and not true problems at all. Just a few weeks before watching the show I visited Thailand and Cambodia just like he did in episode 10 and 11. I’m forever change by the experience. Until you have been to a place like Cambodia you can not feel how truely privileged you are. I will go back.


Nalani March 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

I travelled to South East Asia years ago and of all the places I visited, Cambodia was my favorite place. We went to an orphanage to drop off some donations and got to meet and hang out with the kids. It was an unforgettable experience and while I haven’t been able to go back, my family continues to donate and send things over when a local group travels there.


Ruby March 19, 2017 at 1:57 pm

1. Spent the weekend at home cleaning our house and doing a mountain of laundry, half of which was pet towels and bedding because we bathed the dogs yesterday and always wash their blankets when we do. Used the practically free after coupons laundry detergent from the drug store.
2. Used $10 worth of store coupons at the grocery store yesterday for stuff I was going to buy anyhow. Yes!
3. Made chili for supper with some of the free sausage my co-worker gave me.
4. Used up the last of some on-sale grated cheese from the freezer making cheesy-corn muffins to go with the chili.
5. Found instructions online on how to tape my painful heel. Used some of the big roll of paper tape given to me after eye surgery recently, and my heel feels much better. This is much cheaper than trying to find the perfect pair of shoes!
Frugal fail: Went to the grocery store with a list but hungry. Came home with the list plus ice cream and cookies.


Alison March 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

1. Walked downtown with DH in beautiful sunshine, for exercise, and to run errands. Bought tea on sale, and foundation, also on sale. Didn’t stop at the pub on the way as he suggested, but instead he picked up a bag of chips to have at home with beer we already have. I’m having tea at home.
2. Had a lovely evening last night with friends at their house. Made a salad, took a bottle of wine, and they paid for pizza. Played “Catch Phrase” afterwards. Laughed ALOT. Fun and frugal!
3. Took the hostess from last night some crocheted dish cloths that I made. Buying the yarn isn’t really frugal, but I whipped up an inexpensive gift that she actually really liked. And I’m liking doing something whilst watching TV in the evenings.
4. Hired my tenant to weed my flower beds. DH and I both have bad backs, she is a student who could use the money, and it’s cheaper than hiring a professional company.
That’s it!


Juhli March 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

We are moving across the country in mid-April and that affects our frugals.
1. Used up the salsa in the frig
2. Welcomed offers of free moving boxes. Already thrilled with free packing paper and bubble wrap I received after posting on
3. Took all the meat off of a roasted chicken carcass. DH bought it the night I flew home from babysitting our tiny granddaughter.
4. Washed the dog myself. Thankfully she loves having a bath.
5. Sold our oldest car. We are going to try to live with one car supplemented by Uber and Lyftt.
Not frugal but it made me happy. We gave away many pieces of furniture, plants and decor that we have decided not to move. Today was a busy day with happy neighbors collecting new to then items.


Jill A March 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm

1. Went to the cheap theater with my husband and two daughters. We saw Beauty & The Beast for a total of $18. We purchased tickets online beforehand for an extra $2 as it kept selling out. No treats as the line was too long.
2. I had called Krusteaz to tell them about a muffin mix – the can of blueberries was difficult to open and they had sent me four coupons for free mixes. They also sent me a box with a muffin mix, rubber spatula all wrapped in red ribbon with a nice letter. I will make the muffin mix for breakfasts and the rubber spatula will go in the stash I have for my daughter when she moves out.
3. Drove my Mom to the airport so she didn’t have to pay for parking. More frugal for her then for me, but I drove my little Hybrid so that helps. I will also be keeping her dogs for her, so she saves on a dogsitter.
4. Stopped at Costco to get gas twice this week to fill both vehicles saving us over $6.
5. Went to JcPenney with my Mom, used my $10 off coupon to buy new underwear. Afterward my Mom fed me lunch. Inexpensive day spent with my Mom. We also took her to dinner one night and used a gift card, so very inexpensive night out. We kept her company for a couple hours and watched a couple cable shows. A novelty since we no longer have cable.


Katy March 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

I am going to look into the frosty’s keytag!

1) I meal planned and grocery shopped for this upcoming week (hoping to prevent last minute takeout)

2) We attended a marriage conference on Saturday, and although we REALLY wanted to stop for a coffee or treat afterwards, we headed home and made something there.

3) My parents babysit for us during the conference so we didn’t have to pay for a babysitter for 8 hours.

4) I have been talking to people about better meal planning, weeknight meal strategies to avoid takeout.


Sarah March 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm

1–I planted my lettuce seeds inside.
2–Air drying my laundry.
3–Made my dog a new, soft bed for his crate.
4–Hemmed a skirt.
5–Mended some of dog’s blankets to help them stretch longer.


Jennifer March 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

1. My family just returned from a cruise so it feels as though I am back to reality. I did not use the laundry services onboard to save a bit and wore things twice. I did have several loads of clothes to wash when I got home but I didn’t really want to wash on vacation anyway.
2. I made a delicious BBQ sauce from ketchup packets that were lingering in the fridge door, the last bit of honey in a jar, some vinegar, herbs, and spices, etc. I only had two chicken breasts but was able to feed my family of four by cutting each breast in half and serving with extra veggies.
3. My husband’s birthday was yesterday so we went to see an REO speedwagon concert which was on his bucket list. It was so fun! We drove back home, which is over 2 hours away, but it saved us from paying for a hotel room.
4. We were hungry on the way home from the concert but we decided not to eat and then just went to bed. We saved money, calories, and the inevitable heartburn that I will get from eating then laying down.
5. I got my husband some cupcakes for his birthday marked down in the bakery section of Walmart to $1.34.


Danielle March 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Hope it was an awesome cruise!


jennifer March 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

Thank you, Danielle! It was really awesome but not frugal at all. We save money on the every day things so we can do awesome things sometimes. Everyone in my family suffered from motion sickness except me, which is strange as I get sick just on long car rides, but we were able to still enjoy the trip.


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 7:35 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed your cruise, Jennifer, and the concert. Making memories is a frugal and rich way to live. Happy Birthday to your hubby!


Jennifer March 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I will pass those birthday wishes along, thanks!

Danielle March 20, 2017 at 7:53 am

Motion sickness is such a bummer! My parents didn’t know they’d experience it u til our first cruise together. Now they keep a prescription of Zofran current and that helps them cruise/ride/whatever! We also learned on that cruise that we needed a window to keep our son feeling okay and a balcony is even better. 🙂


Jennifer March 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm

We used Dramamine, which helped a lot. I have found that it is best to medicate before you ever get in the car. Something about the premedication stops it before it starts. I had zofran on hand,too, but luckily we didn’t have to use it. I think the Dramamine is what saved me from getting sick. My husband is a pilot and does aerobatics so we never thought he would get sick on a cruise but he did. I never considered that a balcony might actually help.

Pattilou March 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

1. I found $50.00 the other night. No one came to the staff where I was to say they lost it so I got to keep it. I am holding on to it for a few more days just in case someone comes forward. If not I am using it to treat my very overworked staff to some pizza.
2. We were provided food at work and I was able to get two lunches out of the left overs.
3. I’m going to a pot luck and my contribution will be made with food I have on hand. I will also be using up all of the little packets of mustard and mayo that came with the work meal mentioned above. They were headed for the trash and I hate to see that happen.
4. I needed some Seventh Generation supplies that my Target no longer carries so I ordered them on line and I will pick them up at my local store. That way I won’t have to pay shipping.
5. I am using up left over yarn to make myself some dishcloths. The colors may not all go together but that doesn’t matter to me. I need the dishcloths and I don’t want to waste the yarn.
6. I am writing my senators again about my distress with the state of affairs. Not only is rushing a new healthcare act through just plain reckless but the budget proposals have me pulling my hair out. The lack of respect for the arts, which can only enrich our lives, the environment, which needs to be taken care of in order for us to continue to thrive , and our elderly, who deserve our care and respect, is just mind boggling to me. These are things that transcend party lines.


Katherine in AL March 19, 2017 at 4:36 pm

1. Been on an internet hiatus due to 2 deaths in the family. One expected one not. Hubs and I are now focused on getting our affairs in order and will be researching the most frugal options.
2. Scored a very expensive model tiller for a fraction of the cost on Craigslist. We’ve had a large summer garden for the past 3 years without a tiller. We are looking forward to expanding without breaking our backs.
3. Husband worked a side gig to pay for the tiller.
4. Sold 2 items on letgo. Was ready to delete the app but made $72 in two days so I guess I’ll keep it.
5. My sister sent us some Venison (steaks and hamburger). I will give her some home-canned goods on our next visit as a thank you.


Florencia March 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

There’s a book called Get It Together that’s great to get your affairs in order for when one passes. I saw it at several libraries close to me, so you’ll want to check there first.


Katherine in AL March 20, 2017 at 4:46 am

Thank you, Florencia. Gorgeous name, btw.


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 7:30 am

My condolences on your loss. Thanks for the reminder on getting affairs in order. I’ve been thinking about that lately.
Florencia – thanks for the book suggestion!!


Bee March 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

Having your affairs in order is one of the greatest gifts that you can give your loved ones. I have experienced after-death chaos more than once. Thus, I have sworn I would never do this to my children. You have reminded me that I need to update a few things.


Marion March 21, 2017 at 2:15 am

When you get that paperwork in order, go get a fireproof file box to keep copies in and let whoever will be in charge know where it’s located. Go over the contents with them periodically to update and make any changes.
Safe deposit boxes can be a problem when decisions need to be made NOW.
It’s difficult and emotional but have these discussions sooner rather than later.


rebecca March 19, 2017 at 4:49 pm

1. Bought gas for 2.10 a gallon yesterday.
2. Making a frittatta for this week’s breakfasts.
3. Making chili for dinners this week.
4. Returned somethings to Target that I didn’t need.
5. I opened a bank account at a credit union and need to keep $20 in it. I decided to put extra 5’s and 10’s in there for a rainy day. It’s better for me than having it in the house as I have to think before I use it as opposed to grabbing cash from an envelope ect.


rebecca March 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

4. some things


janine March 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm

1. Took a friend whose car isn’t working with me to a small local grocery store and then to an overstock/discount store.
2. Purchased less than perfect green onions, celery and salad mixes for about 65% off. With the savings purchased Finnish pasties from the frozen case for a Sunday supper treat.
3. Had luncheon meeting this week. Checked menu items on line before date so I could figure out prices and make sure I don’t overspend my budget.
4. Re-reading a couple of good books instead of buying new ones.
5. Attended a sustainability/self sufficiency meeting. May be helpful in the long run.


Bee March 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm

I just returned from a long trip with my sister and daughter. We have been planning it for a nearly 4 years. Although traveling is not a really frugal activity, we did many things to save money.
1) We stayed in an apartment rather than a hotel. This allowed us to make our own coffee and breakfast in the morning and split these expenses 3 ways.
2) We ate take away from the local organic market at dinner rather than pricey restaurant fare.
3) We primarily used local public transportation and walked everywhere.
4) I did not stop in gift shops or shop in expensive department stores. We did go to a street market where I spent roughly $2.50 on a wonderful, vintage photograph.
5) I made sure all bills were paid before leaving and stopped my farm delivery for the week, I had a family member care for the animals and bring in the mail.
DH left for a business trip the same day I did, so we drove to the airport together which saved on gas and parking. I made airline reservations during a fare sale 7 months ago.


Bee March 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Holy Moley Katy, you had a super productive week!!!


AFS March 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm

You probably want to surprise your son by not adding a picture of the embroidered pillow and pot holder that you got him. A 19 year old will be setting up housekeeping for himself soon and will need those things. It would be fun for the rest of us to see the treasures you picked up though.
Just kidding he’s probably getting the clock and shirt:)


Danielle March 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Babysitting my 6 and 9 year old nephews all weekend:
1. Didn’t plan any activities, all they really want is unstructured play them with their cousins anyway
2. Treats: lollipops at the bank, free cookies at the grocery store
3. Didn’t shop ahead for them. Took them to the grocery store and accepted their input so as to get the “right” type of milk​, etc. It’s a good thing, or I would have bought some stuff they don’t eat anymore.
4. Searched Netflix for new movies they hadn’t seen
5. Made lunches at home, despite the temptation to eat lunch out. (So. Many. Dishes!)


Lisa P. March 19, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Won a free pack of corn dogs on the Kroger Instant win contest.
Tryin’ to make sure we are utilizing what we have in the fridge. We bought some fried chicken for lunch for $4.99. I made cheesy potatoes, cabbage, and coleslaw to go with it.
Staying out of stores for the most part so as not to be tempted to spend unnecessarily.
Hubby saved approx. $78 using coupons and sales at Publix.
I read the free ebook someone mentioned on this site, I think , about minimalism.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your frugal five. I so enjoy reading this!


Lee March 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

1) I donated books to the Prison Library Project
2) I took some used clothes to the thrift store
3) Since I was at the thrift store, I got a new-to-me purse, some jeans, and two shirts for work. The jeans and shirts were half-off, I discovered at the register. Extra bargain!
4) I sold some jewelry I’d been given and didn’t want and made more money than I thought I would
5) I took my child and a friend to the beach with cheap parking and we packed our own snacks for an afternoon of seaside fun.


Pennonen March 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm

It was a really productive weekend!
1. Treated a friend for a coffee out. It’s a bit of a luxury, but super important for her as she’s had a baby and needs to get out. We supported an all-organic locally owned coffee shop that only employs hard-to-employ young people. The shop is so cute!
2. While out, we visited a grocers that’s closing. The eerily empty aisles provided us with some basics half price.
3. Boyfriend fixed a wooden work desk that I designed as a student. It was way too high, but I didn’t know better! So he cut the legs to a more appropriate height.
4. I made sunflower seed butter. So delish! It will pair with another batch of sourdough bread that I’m still learning. Thanks to a reader here who sent some tips for sourdough baking!
5. I also made oat milk. In my opinion it’s the best smoothie base for it has a very mild flavor, not to mention it’s by far the cheapest.


Krystal March 19, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Could someone please explain to me what “DH” stands for? I’ve always wondered.

I have been entertaining my brother, who I tend to spoil, so I haven’t been that frugal, but I’ll try to find a few…
1. We are staying at a hotel for his birthday present, so we will be taking advantage of the free breakfast tomorrow. Getting in free workouts at the hotel gym tonight and tomorrow.
2. We rode the bus to and from the Sounders game today, and will ride the bus home tomorrow from the hotel, rather than pay for parking.
3. Lots of leftovers consumed last week and even tonight to supplement our extra dining out.
4. Walked out and about yesterday to enjoy the free sunshine, and though we dined out for lunch, we kept our expenses low, had family visit for hours of entertainment, and enjoyed my cousin’s son’s (free) soccer game in the sun, just blocks from our house. On our walk home I found a book from a Little Free Library from an author I had enjoyed in the past but forgot about!
5. Being extremely patient with our upcoming mini laundry room remodel. We have the cash for nearly everything now, and no debt will be incurred. Have been slowly paying for our items with cash, and have enough cash for our contractor as well.


Jane March 19, 2017 at 10:37 pm

DH= Dear Husband


jennifer March 20, 2017 at 7:21 am

I just learned what that meant fairly recently myself. I’m always last to the party.


Krystal March 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Glad to know I wasn’t the only one!


Vickey March 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

It can also stand for Darned Husband, depending on circumstances of the moment. 😀 But I try when reading it to always assume the D stands for Dear. 😉

Shevaun March 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

And for completeness,
DD = dear daughter
DS = dear son
DD1, DD2, DS1, etc., are markers for when you have multiple kids and their birth order is relevant to the story.


Mary W March 19, 2017 at 11:43 pm

My first time posting my FFTs, I think.

1. Found a dime on my walk today. Very rare to find money on my rural gravel road, but every so often….
2. I’ve been losing weight and just went down another size. I thought I needed new underwear in a smaller size, until I realized all I need to do is take my now-too-big panties in on the side seams. As they are fairly new, I’m happy to be able to get more use out of them.
3. While on a quick trip to see my dentist in Mexico, I shopped the Goodwill Outlet store in Nogales. I found a down pillow and 3 down comforters… evidently these are not big sellers in AZ! For high-end goose down comforters, it’s worth the $25 for a checked bag to take them home, and I even found a couple duffels to squeeze them into there, too. .98/lb for everything is a great price, even adding in the baggage fee.
4. I enjoyed a visit to a free museum and interpretative center in Tubac, AZ and walked a portion of the Anza Trail nearby. Beautiful area along a small creek, lots of new-to-me birds and butterflies, and free exercise. The whole town is an artists’ colony, and I could have spent hours just window shopping.
5. I’ve been cleaning and rehabbing the down items I brought home. It’s so easy to do, as they are totally machine washable. I think people assume you need to take them to the cleaner’s for dry cleaning. Not only is it unnecessary, but who wants to sleep under all those chemicals!


susanna d March 20, 2017 at 5:28 am

Great score on the down comforters! And reading about you washing down items at home is inspiring me to try that myself. I’m going to start with a down vest that really needs cleaning but I paid so little for it originally that I could never bring myself to pay to have it dry cleaned.


Roberta March 20, 2017 at 5:51 am

I’m in southern California, so I don’t wear a lot of down, but I understand that you have to fluff down after you wash is. I’ve heard that putting it in the dryer with a couple clean tennis balls, on no-heat, is a good way to do it. However, this is all hearsay, as I’ve not tried it at home!


Mary W March 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

I don’t bother with the tennis ball and it still fluffs up nicely in my dryer. In fact, the down pillow comes out with so much loft, it looks like it’s going to explode (I did have one come apart in the dryer once – that was SUCH a nightmare to clean up!). I had to sq


Mary W March 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm

squash it before I could put it in the pillow case!

Don’t know what happened there – my post posted itself before I wanted it to. Color me puzzled.

I also take the comforters out and shake them partway through the drying process, which gives me a chance to dry them more evenly. Usually takes a couple trips through the dryer cycle, 3 for a really big one.

Mary W March 20, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Definitely give it a try, susanna – vests are really easy to wash and can be dried on a line. You might need to hand fluff it a bit since you’re not using a dryer.


Mrs. Daisy @ Dirt Road Daisy March 20, 2017 at 4:40 am

It was a frugal weekend in our house, thank goodness! We ate from home all weekend (except one dinner out that my in-laws paid for, we covered the tip), we went to an auction and walked away without a purchase (although all proceeds benefit the local fire department so it would have been money well spent), I made some DIY dryer sheets, made up some DIY spice blends rathan than buying the prepackaged pouches, made some meatballs Sunday evening for meatball subs today, cooked up 3 lbs of ground venison for future meals this week, and we binge-watched Limitless on Netflix.


jennifer March 20, 2017 at 7:27 am

I have just recently been to a few local auctions. I got a 16 piece set of beautiful white Corelle dishes for just $6 there. I couldn’t pass that up as I have been looking for Corelle for awhile and that price was unbeatable for brand new dishes in the box, IMO. My husband and I have started going just for date night entertainment more than spending. It’s a lot of fun!


Bee March 20, 2017 at 9:58 am

I love an auction. My husband and I go from time to time. Although I don’t buy often, I love to people watch. However, I purchased one of my favorite paintings for $20 — oil on canvas and beautifully framed.


Tracy March 20, 2017 at 5:28 am

Was traveling in Los Angeles, so not a super frugal weekend, but had a wonderful trip! Did work to keep costs down though:
1. Stayed in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Not cheap, but waaaay cheaper than a nice hotel.
2. Brought my coffee cone and coffee (the Airbnb host provided tea, cups etc. with a hot water pot so was able to make coffee) instead of walking to the close-by Starbucks in a.m.
3. Did many free things — the Broad museum, walking around DT LA, hike in Griffith Park, walk on path from Santa Monica Beach to Venice Beach and back, driving the length of Mulholland Drive….
4. Ate at some wonderful hole in the wall restaurants (thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, cheeseburgers). Also ate at one high-end restaurant in West Hollywood – where we met friends, who chose the restaurant, but they paid the check before it even got delivered to the table! Wonderfully generous of them.
5. Shopped at a thrift store and a Goodwill in L.A., got a silk dress, a silk top and a cool graphic t-shirt for a total of $10! (Looked online and Neiman Marcus currently has the same brand of silk dress, in a very similar style, for $400! Score!)


Roberta March 20, 2017 at 6:03 am

This weekend was crazy-hectic, but other than gas, pretty frugal.
1. Made chilaquiles for breakfast Saturday morning, using up leftover chips and a wealth of eggs from our chickens. Made the enchilada sauce from scratch, and we were able to eat at home before running out to get the kids to every place they needed to go.
2. Drove the hybrid 20 min to drop off my daughter, 45 min to get to my son’s speech competition, another 45 minutes to get to a talk he was giving at the library. We ate lunch at home (hooray!), then drove a half hour to pick up my daughter, then home again. Made dinner for the kids, then half hour drive in the hybrid to have dinner and a free play with my in-laws. One of the benefits of living in southern California — driving all over the place! 🙁
3. Used a coupon from the last play we attended with my in-laws for our dinner out. The food wasn’t great, but the company was. We hadn’t seen my brother-in-law or sister-in-law in a while, so it was good to catch up with them. My husband had leftovers from his meal that will be two lunches.
4. Drove up to see my parents Sunday (more driving!). It was good to visit with them. My mom sent home some lettuce, but I forgot to grab the milk she gave me.
5. I did get my menu made for the coming week, and all grocery shopping accomplished. I’ve been saving a lot of stress this way, and I think I’m saving money too, but I need to check that to be sure.


Vickie March 20, 2017 at 6:25 am

Thanks for the tip about the Wendy’s key tag. What a wonderful campaign!
And, good score on all the GW stuff!

1) I ate fellowship dinner on Sabbath, with my church family. Lots of good free food and fun talking with friends.
2) After church I stopped to visit my cousin, who’s recovering from knee surgery. She gave me a beautiful new top she’d bought, that she said didn’t fit her once she got it home. Score! So thankful for those who share.
3) Her husband gave me a 5 lb. tube of Venison summer sausage. He hunts deer on our land every year, so when he scores one, he shares some of the meat. I ate some when I got home – it is YUMMY! There was enough there to separate it into 4 rolls and freeze most of it for holidays.
4) Hubby came home with a loaf of banana bread. I don’t know if someone gifted it to him, or he bought it off a local vendor. Either way it’s a yummy snack to go with my morning coffee.
5) I spent all day Sunday at home enjoying the beautiful weather and getting more steps on my free FitBit. Today I’m working from home – so no fuel used going anywhere for a few days.


Mrs. Picky Pincher March 20, 2017 at 7:28 am

This week:
1. I baked a few batches of macarons from scratch.

2. I baked cupcakes to thank coworkers for pitching in at work last Friday.

3. We plan to eat at home each night this week. Our dinners are pretty fancy this week, so I’m excited!

4. Instead of spending moolah on a 5-hour road trip, we stayed home once our weekend plans fell through.

5. We bought fruit trees for the back yard and earned coupons!


Beth March 20, 2017 at 7:41 am

1. Attempting a no-spend week (except for groceries and toiletries if needed…I won’t forgo toilet paper if we run out).

2. Am currently priming a shelf that I got at the Goodwill Outlet. It’s not the best quality, which means it was super cheap because it doesn’t weigh very much, but with a few coats of primer and paint, it’ll be perfectly functional and (dare I say?) pretty.

3. Doing some home improvements with things I already have on-hand. Caulking and painting baseboards, finishing up an abandoned drywall patch, and priming/sanding cabinet drawers.

4. Going to eat out of our cupboards as much as possible this week.

5. Bought some used summer clothes for LO over the weekend-spent very little, bought used, and now he’s pretty much set for the summer 🙂


isabelle March 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

* Daughter’s zip of winter jacket broke. We still have about a month to go over here before it gets warm enough for spring jacket, so a replacement was needed. I got super lucky with end of season’s sale and found not one but two winter jackets (current size and size up) for only 18$!! Jackpot!
* Shopping for our upcoming BC trip. Booked with Airbnb for lodging (cheaper than hotels), got a reduction rate on a rental car because of my husband work field. Booked our plane ticket in a city 5 hours from our local airport because we are saving 1200$ this way (!!) so we will just sleep there the night before. Skipping the hop-on/hop-off bus tour that my husband originally wanted to do and mapping out the activities we really want to do instead (saving 375$ just for the bus part). The trip will be expensive, but at least we are trying to cut costs where it doesn’t hurt!
* Doing Zumba with my kids once a week for the low price of 2$/week for the three of us
* Used PC points to get free groceries
* I had registered for a running club and really didn’t want to go anymore. It was suppose to be non-refundable (250$!) but the business owner agreed to put back the money in my account to be used at a later time. So while I did not get my money back, I’ll use it on yoga classes instead, so all is not lost! Fiouf!

Frugal fail?? Went to Costco this weekend. We go like 2 times per year only. It ended up costing 500$!!!! Not all food, granted (movie tickets, batteries, light bulbs, etc), but still… 500$!!!

Have a great frugal day!


Amanda March 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

1. We updated our budget last night to make sure we stay on track with our saving goals. So far so good for this month.

2. Our Airbnb renters left us one and a half cartons of orange juice. Unfortunately they took the vodka with them. 😉

3. My dad gave us some sausage. Like a lot of sausage. So we’ll work it into a few breakfasts, but probably also do omelets or a frittata for supper one night.

4. We meal-planned last night, and today I will go to Aldi.

5. I have a personal shopping appointment Wednesday. I buy most of my clothes at Goodwill, especially now that I am a graduate student. But I am starting to need to look professional, and I get easily overwhelmed trying to put together outfits. (I am a jeans and tshirt girl for the world.) Nordstroms shoppers are free, and I’ll be using gift cards for at least part of the bill.


MommaL March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Italian zoup is really good with sausage in it too, though it is better with italian sausage.


Katy Hope March 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

1. Spent a beautiful sunny Sunday sledding at our favorite hill and eating a picnic lunch on the snow (cost = free!)

2. Wrote a blog post about where to donate ANYTHING in San Francisco (

3. Played tennis with a friend at the local park (cost = free!)

4. Made green pasta with edamame and pesto from leftover supplies in our fridge for a festive green St. Patty’s Day Dinner. (

5. Sent out a free evite for our soon to be 3 year old’s birthday party.


KJD509 March 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

FFT, birthday weekend edition:

1) Celebrated at the beach condo we own, which is primarily used as a rental for income (though it barely breaks even, so not sure that’s frugal). We can fit 10, which includes grandma, all the kids, plus some friends and the dog – it’s chummy, but who spends much time inside at the beach anyway? The same number of people would require 3 or more hotel rooms, so free = frugal.
2) Brought most food from home, and planned and budgeted for a dinner of take-out. Extra frugal when my mom picked up the dinner tab!
3) Who doesn’t love kitschy, last-minute gifts from adult kids who can’t really afford to spend on that junk anyway? Well, me. And there were two other March birthdays among the kids’ friends who came along, so at lunch on the non-birthday day, I pulled out small gifts of local food for the other two, and a local item I really wanted and had purchased with our littlest the day before with instructions for her to put a bow on it. The older kids were first a little nonplussed at not having wrapped anything up, but they eventually believed me that the effort and gas $ they had put in to join us for the weekend was all I really wanted. It was true!
4) Used a long-forgotten gift certificate to purchase some artwork for the condo. The gallery honored it with no questions in spite of its being nearly 4 years out of date, and my mom and I were able to support local artists and pretend to be big spenders for an hour, which is all the longer I can keep up the pretense anyway.
5) Meanwhile, the adult kids took (budgeted) spending $ I had sent them out with to show their guests the local sights. They chose mostly free or low-cost activities – walking the boardwalk, $1 on the historic carousel – and then found a thrift shop with a 60% off everything sale and refreshed their wardrobes for pennies. (Giant son just cheered them on – he works in scrubs which are provided by his clinic, so his wardrobe needs are minimal these days.) They had a great time together.
Bonus 6) In spite of a loooooong drive home yesterday and the overwhelming temptation to stop and snack every few miles, we only bought french fries and a coke, and I cooked a perfectly serviceable meal for a late dinner when we got home. This is a tremendous improvement over our longstanding tradition of stopping for Burgerville on the drive because there aren’t any where we live. For non-Northwesterners, Burgerville is a tasty local burger joint that uses local beef, potatoes, cheese, etc., but whose burger prices are approaching $10. Six full meals would easily have run us $80.

Now back to the real world . . .


Annette March 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm

1-While visiting my sister she directed me to throw out an large organic apple that was on the old side. Instead, I took it home and used it, along with another oldish apple from my refrigerator, to make a dozen oatmeal-cinnamon-apple muffins
2-Said sister had two canisters of “old coffee” beans in her fridge which she also advised me to throw out. I combined the two canisters to take home. I’m sure it will be fine.
3-Instead of picking up delicious-smelling airport food while waiting for my flight, I ate a pre-packed lunch. This is what I call a pre-empetive frugal move.
4-Spent two hours going through some of the 20+ years of accumulated stuff in the garage for an upcoming yard sale. Set aside a brand new set of dishes for a great-niece who will be getting her own apartment
5-Made a trip to Winco early this morning to stock up on reasonably-priced food. This way I wouldn’t be tempted to shop at the higher end but closer-to-home grocery stores. Also picked up two items for a friend that were considerably cheaper than what she pays at her local grocery store. Gotta help each other out in these lean times.


Kit March 25, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Looks like a fun week for you and your mom. I always do frugal things because we are a simple family. We usually just binge watch on Netflix too and take the kids to the park on their free days.


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