Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 7, 2017 · 81 comments

  1. I had a two hour class at the hospital yesterday morning, which put me way across town into suburban territory. I used it as an opportunity to visit a couple of Goodwills that don’t normally enter my orbit. I ended up buying two items to sell on eBay, (a vintage sports theme glass lighting shade and a pair of designer sneakers) as well as a $2.99 padded lap desk so I won’t overheat my laptop. I’m still chipping away at a Goodwill gift card from Christmas, so no money was spent.
  2. I invited my mother and step father over for dinner last night to belatedly celebrate his birthday. I was able to pull together the food from groceries I already had on hand, which was perfect since I was exhausted and had indulged in a two hour nap. We enjoyed our meal and then watched a Netflix comedy special.
  3. I stopped into a Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet while doing my suburban adventures and bought $1 tissue paper, a $1 jar of pickles, a $2.99 packet of Columbus brand roast beef and some 50¢ Tillamook/Bob’s Red Mill yogurts. I later passed a Costco and made a quickie stop to take full advantage of their cheap gasoline. (Unrelated to frugality, but I passed some groovy looking buildings that caught my attention, and then realized that they were part of the Nike world headquarters campus. Oh right, that . . . )
  4. Our hospital census was down earlier this week, and I got called off for eight hours of my twelve hour shift. I used the time to do the legwork for a couple different Clark Howard articles. Also, I chose to work on continuing education the day before instead of accepting the offer to go home early.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a a vulgar Квартира в небе.

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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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariana April 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

1. I had one free lunch and one free dinner at work this week. I also charged one uber ride home after work (we are allowed to do it if leave work after 8pm). That saved me time and one metro card swipe (did not buy monthly this time)
2. I rejected a dinner ‘hang out’ suggestion which saved me at least $30. I met with a friend at a cafe instead.
3. I combined 30% off, coupons and beauty bucks at CVS for a VERY affordable make up.
4. Got a pair of flats at a second hand store. They are almost new and go with most of my work outfits.


K D April 7, 2017 at 11:11 am

1. I have been doing a lot of yard work. It’s good exercise and makes the house look better. I wear a sunhat to keep from getting too much sun.

2. I got together with four friends for lunch the other day. One friend picked up 2 take-out meals, it was more than enough food for us. Other than that all meals have been at home or packed from home.

3. I woke up with a horrible leg cramp the other day. After Dr. Google assured me it was most likely not a DVT I calmed down, then later that day I saw a nurse friend and she told me that a teaspoon of yellow mustard is good for quelling leg cramps (a tip via The People’s Pharmacy). I bought sotre brand yellow mustard but have not needed it, so far.

4. Apparently SwagBucks lets you redeem 2200 points for 1 $25 gift card per month. I will keep this in mind and wait to redeem points.

5. I probably found more money this week than I had in the past six months. There were pennies, dimes, quarters, and even a few dollar bills found on sidewalks, streets, and in parking lots. Crazy!


Jennifer April 7, 2017 at 12:23 pm

KD, leg cramps are often a sign of low magnesium. You can take OTC magnesium or snack on things like pumpkin seeds and mushrooms. Eating mag-rich foods has completely stopped my leg cramps. A spoonful of yellow mustard will help a bout of heartburn, too. Weird but true. I used it a lot when I was pregnant.


Marcia April 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Why is it that mustard cures leg cramps for everyone but me? Mine were cured by 3 stents in my arteries. Just a little reminder that if your leg cramps happen with walking or exercise, you should skip the mustard and see a doctor. Not run of the mill night time cramps, unfortunately.


Bee April 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

An afternoon nap is a great luxury and sometimes necessary —

1) I recorded Wuthering Heights on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, I only recorded 1/2 of it — not sure how that happened. Since it was on PBS, I checked online, but it was not available. I was extremely disappointed. However, I checked my local library, and they have the version that I was watching available on DVD. Yippee! The public library to the rescue!!!

2) When I go to the library to pick up the DVD mentioned above, I will check out the semi-annuL library book sale. Everything you can fit in a brown grocery bag is $8.

3) DH and I continued on work on our inexpensive landscaping projects. We recycled some bricks from an old retaining wall to edge a new raised bed. The grass we removed to create the bed is being used to plug areas where our grass has thinned We are re-using the sandy soil that we filled our sandbags with during Hurricane Matthew as a base layer in this bed. In the center of the bed, we have put an vintage garden fountain that I found at an estate sale for $35. We will need to purchase plants. However, we have rescued a few hedges from the yard trash piles.

4) The weather is cool in Florida today. Imagine it is only 67 in April! The temperatures were in the high 80s last week. So, we have turned off the air and opened all the windows.

5) All meals continue to be at home. I had frozen a ham bone a few months back. Since there is a chill in the air, I plan to make a pot of ham and bean soup for dinner tonight. I have had no food waste the last two weeks. I am sure this is partially attributed to the fact that DH is working from home for the first part of the month, and he absolutely loves leftovers.

Have a frugal and happy weekend!


BJS April 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

How is your son doing on the trail, Bee?


Bee April 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Thank you for asking. He is doing well and enjoying the experience. He has started slowly (10 miles a day). He has made some equipment changes and adjustments to his diet along the way. Thankfully the first 60 miles of the AT are fairly close to civilization, so this was easily done. He did leave the trail yesterday and went into Franklin,NC for a couple of days. After days of heavy rains and strong winds in the Southeast, temperatures were dipping into the 20s and it was snowing in the higher altitudes. He was not prepared for temperatures that were quite that cold. He will head back to the trail tomorrow. It won’t be long until he heads into the Great Smokey Mountains.


Nancy from mass April 9, 2017 at 4:32 am

Thanks for letting us know! I wondered how his trek was coming along. 🙂


yvette from down under April 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

Well it’s the last of the warm weather before a cold and wet forecast starts tomorrow, so I have been having lovely autumn walks in the bush with my dog admiring the bird life and changes in the trees. Colors everywhere of red , gold and orange as the leaves fall and the days shorten. The kookaburras have been laughing and the currawongs have come down from the hills to steal the berries off the native trees. Tiny wrens and pardalotes chase each other in the shrubbery and I see bulbs in the garden pushing up shfoots already. 5 frugal things
1. Had to re-oil the deck for winter and found half tins of deck cleaner and oil in the shed to use up, and re-purposed a child broom with a long handle as a scrubbing brush for cleaning. Deck has had 2 coats and is now waterproof , as well as looking great
2. Bought a brand new slow cooker at the thrift shop for $10 and threw in lamb chops and ends of veges for a delicious Irish stew.
3. Planted out vege garden with broad beans, peas, beetroot, broccoli. Seeds saved from last season and seedlings shared by a friend who also grows her own, no cost.
4. Picked up a lot of windfall apples and quinces to make desserts with this week. Stewed up and sprinkled with crumble , these are delicious with custard and cream.
5. Don’t need a mansion or a million to be happy.


Andrea April 10, 2017 at 7:31 pm

I love your description of the nature that surrounds you. I wanted to keep reading!


Jessica April 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

I need new dining chairs and am shopping around (craigslist, etc.) to try to find an affordable set that would be nice in my diningroom, since I do not need them RightNow.


Lindsey April 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

1. Interior Alaska had a burst of warm weather, in the mid 40s one day, so there was a lot of snow melt (too bad it snowed three inches last night). The disappearing snow revealed lots of dog poop and coins on sidewalks. Husband, who is really a good man, came with me on my walk and used our pooper scooper to pick up the droppings of random dogs, while I picked up the coins. Net: a five gallon can of poop and 67 cents.
2. Found a pumpkin in the corner of our garage. It had escaped when I cooked down all the others harvested last fall. Amazingly, it was in great shape so I cooked it down before it ran away again and made six loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Gave two away and cut the others in thirds and froze them for future snacks.
3. Made chicken soup, all from things in the freezer. Had enough to feed the two of us and the two Danes for three days.
4. Tried a new bread recipe. It sucked but we ate it anyway despite the dry texture. Toasting makes a lot of breads tolerable, especially when served with soup.
5. About a year ago, we switched from pop to drinking iced tea. We make it in gallon jugs and we buy boxes of 300 plus tea bags at a time. We are down to five bags (need four for every gallon), so I went through a gallon jar I have of random tea bags picked up at conferences or hotels or as free samples in the mail. Found enough non-herbal (not so good as iced tea to us) bags to last us at least a month. Years ago I would have thrown them away. What an idiot I was.


Vickey April 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

Lindsey, it’s a delight to read of you and your husband being able to get out and about!
Re your #5: look how much wiser you are now! 😀


Jennifer April 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

1. Last night I made salsa chicken using a jar of free salsa from last weeks Kroger download. I added a little lemon juice and tomato sauce to the jar to stretch it further allowing me to made a second pan to send home with my daughter who has I also threw in a bag of frozen green beans before baking and served it over rice.
2. I downloaded my Kroger free Friday download today which is some type of jello, I think.
3. We are planning to go to another nearby auction tonight. Not really planning to buy anything but it’s fun to people watch.
4. The weather is nice here so we are planning to have a picnic in the park this weekend.
5. I’m kinda bummed that a girl in my daughter’s class noticed that her favorite pink North face jacket came from a yard sale( I failed to notice the previous owners name written in tiny letters on the tag)and called negative attention to it. She is 8 years old and kids can be mean. My daughter told me that the girl doesn’t have any friends and she is going to try to offer to be her friend because she thinks that will make her less mean to others. I love this and hope it works!


Jennifer April 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm

1. Daughter who has a new baby. Sorry, I typed this in a rush…lots of errors.


BJS April 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

5. What a kind (and well thought-out) response from your daughter! I love it!


Isabelle April 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Hmm…. my kids have a couple items with “other names” on them and I never really paid attention. I guess I’ll have to take care of this before they get teased…


lauren April 7, 2017 at 6:51 pm

If it doesn’t have a recognizable last name (of someone you know) I’ve always said – “they were my cousin’s”

Nobody knows how many cousins I have or their names, so there!


jennifer April 8, 2017 at 8:06 am

Oh, that’s a good idea! Strangely enough, my daughter is proud of all her clothes no matter where they came from. She is still pretty young so that may change. She couldn’t really figure out why yard sale clothes were something to be made fun of.


Marybeth April 8, 2017 at 10:21 am

My friends and I always passed clothes back and forth. My youngest daughter used to love to see whos name was on the tag. I learned long ago to just put the last name on the item so that any of my kids could use it. Worked great on other items too such as lunch boxes, backpacks and water bottles. My daughter went to the school lost and found one time and was looking for her sweatshirt. She found her brother’s water bottle instead.


jennifer April 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

Well, that was neat!


BJS April 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm

1. Stopped in Goodwill and found a pretty pink button-down sweater. I can wear it to church or with jeans. This will replace another similar sweater that’s about 25 years old and starting to show its age.

2. For years I passed by the half-price baked goods rack at the grocery store (I have no idea why!) but in the last several months have been checking it out. The best deal is six big donuts for $1.39. The only downside is that the sell-by date is the current date. That’s not a problem at my house, though, because they always get eaten within a day or so, easily.

3. I bought the ingredients to make your rosemary white bean soup, Katy. My husband loves soups so I need to be making this a lot more.

4. Found a penny.

5. Free exercise and therapy … I walked and talked with my friend. She and I have been doing the same one-hour loop at the same park for years and years, and it never seems to get old.


jennifer April 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

2. I buy those reduced donuts, too. I have found if you microwave them for just a few seconds they taste practically fresh!


Bee April 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm

It’s funny my husband loves soup too. He will even eat it for breakfast! I made white bean and ham in the pressure cooker this afternoon.


Ruby April 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Katy, that sports-themed light shade is just the cutest thing. You find the neatest stuff!

1. We’re having a return bout of cold weather here in the deep South. Got out my amazing thrift shop flannel pajamas (new for $3) yet again to stay cozy in bed. I keep thinking winter is over, wash the pajamas and put them away, and out of the drawer they come again!
2. Packed my lunch, cold drinks and coffee from home this week. Discovered that my fave heavy ceramic coffee mug will fit in the console cup holder in my car.
3. Am steamed, as I paid $5.98 extra for fast shipping on flea/tick/heartworm medications for our dogs a week and a half ago and it hasn’t shipped yet. Won’t do that again!
4. Did some household decluttering that is making the place much easier to keep clean.
5. Made a paste of liquid dish detergent and baking soda to gently scour two paint-transfer scuffs off my car. It cleaned up without a trace left behind. Used the leftover paste to clean all the sinks in the house.


Marybeth April 8, 2017 at 10:24 am

I would call the company regarding #3.


Ruby April 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm

I did. The hold-up is that our vet hasn’t approved it. The company called and reminded him, but it still hasn’t shipped.


Roberta April 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm

1. Picked up a yummy British cheddar for our picnic lunch tomorrow. It was $1.99 at Grocery outlet, and it will make our picnic seem fancy, not cheap. We will be out of the house all day with kid activities, and a picnic is cheaper than eating out, and doesn’t require we park twice.
2. Making a birthday card for my nephew. We have a leftover, brand new with packaging gift card for him, so no money spent.
3. Using up a couple cups of dried beans and a half cup leftover quinoa to make chili Sunday. I’ll start soaking the beans tonight. This is likely the last of our cold weather, and I don’t want to have to store the beans until next winter.
4. Returned library materials that were due yesterday early this morning, before the library opened. They will be checked in “yesterday” and I will not be fined. I’m especially pleased because I had a movie out, and those have $1/day fines.
5. Earlier this week I did something, and thought “I’ll have to remember to post that to FFT” because I thought I was clever. Apparently, I wasn’t clever enough to remember what my clever thing was, though.


Mia April 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm

#5 – made me laugh. I do that all the time. LOL


Amanda April 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm

1. I stopped for my Friday Aldi trip and found two packets of chicken marked down, and the cashier gave me a $5 coupon that was recently mailed out.

2. Went to three different libraries around the city (the city library and those of two universities) to get all the books I needed.

3. We rented our home on airbnb for the weekend while we are out.

4. Had leftovers for lunch and pulled together supper for the kids from the fridge.

5. I have for a long time been planning to start learning French once I finished comps. I expected to buy Rosetta Stone. Instead I am trying Duolingo for free, and so far I like it.


A. Marie April 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm

(1) Bless me, fellow NCA’ers, for I have sinned–but in a good way. My local SA superstore has had two pairs of brand-new Merrell leather slip-on shoes in my size up front behind the cash registers, priced at 49.99 apiece in pink tags, for the last month. I finally went down there on “four-tag Wednesday” this week, noted that pink tags were one of the four tag colors at 50% off, and made the manager an offer on the shoes. They don’t usually include the “up front” stuff in the 50% off, but because these shoes had been sitting for a month and I’m a regular customer, the manager did the deal for me. Granted, I still paid $50 for two pairs of new shoes. But I don’t feel as guilty about this as I should.

(2) I’m starting seeds for warm-weather crops under my shop-light setup in the basement. Planted my peppers and half of my tomatoes today; will do the rest of the tomatoes, plus the cucumbers, melons, and okra, this weekend. (The okra is especially important. I’m an expatriate Southerner and can only rarely find decent fresh okra here in area code 315.)

(3) Enjoyed Lindsey’s #1 about the dog poop and coin collection. This sounds pretty close to DH’s and my typical daily walk, except that it’s more general trash pickup and less dog poop. (Most of our neighbors, bless their hearts, pick up after their dogs.)

(4) And I enjoyed Yvette’s notes from Down Under, as I always do. I’ve been singing “Kookaburra Sits on the Old Gum Tree” (learned at age 9 at YWCA day camp) to myself for the last hour or so. Free entertainment!

(5) Finally, our forecast for the next 10 days is for much better weather (we’re having what I hope is a last blast of wet snow today–bleah!), so DH and I are planning to spend as much of that time in the yard as possible. More free entertainment and exercise.


Isabelle April 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

You should never feel guilty about buying good quality shoes! Merell shoes for 25$?? That’s a steal!


Nancy from mass April 9, 2017 at 4:37 am

I agree!! I would gladly pay $25 for a pair of Merrells!!! Good score!


Lauren April 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm

1. I talked the other half down when we were both hungry and two steps from getting take out. We cooked less than exciting dinners instead from what we had on hand.
2. Found .06 in coins while walking the dog
3. We stopped at Lidl and found lean mince beef on sale for an extra 30% off. We’ll eat one package and put the other in the freezer.
4. On our way out of a discount store there was a shelf of recently expired drinks for free with purchase, so Husband has a couple free sports drinks for work this week!
5. We made plans to spend time with the in-laws this weekend at a local carboot sale. We’ve found great deals each time so it will be fun AND a good way to keep padding our nest.


Mand01 April 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm

1. We have both been working very hard lately and we are exhausted. When we get home, dinner is less than fascinating but we have managed to keep the kids fed every night without resorting to takeaway. I call that a frugal win.
2. I found raspberries on sale yesterday. They are usually really expensive so I bought 2 punnets for a treat.
3. I did the grocery shopping online, saving me several hours of my weekend. I just do not have time right now so the $10 delivery fee is worth it for someone to pick it, pack it and bring it to my door.
4. Our entertainment has been watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD we already own with our youngest daughter. It’s so much fun.
5. I recycled a frame from a church jumble sale and made a collage of photos and ticket stubs from our recent ‘Family Fun March’. Total cost about $10 including frame and printing some photos, but it will remind us of our festival fun. Our elder daughter is autistic so despite living in a city with an annual arts festival, we have never attended. This year we decided to brave it. I took photos, kept ticket stubs and collected other little mementos. All framed together it looks really cool.


VanessaKC April 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm

1-5 all in one shot:
I was in the right place at the right time, resulting in a fabulously frugal opportunity. Bought a nice looking, awd station wagon for $150. (Tow will cost $50, so $200.). It needs about a grand in parts (I pay cost) which will make this the $5k car it should be. I’ve already lined up a cash buyer for our second daily driver, which means I’ll basically break even but end up with a way better second car. We are over the moon!

Tow tip: if you need to schedule an out of pocket tow, ask the driver if they offer cash discounts. Doing so knocked $25 off my bill.


Katy April 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm



Betty Winslow April 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

1. Continuing to force myself to go to the gym 5 times a wk, to work out and walk the track. I hate every moment (when exactly is that rumored burst of endorphins that will make me love it supposed to happen??) but bringing my blood sugar numbers and my weight down makes it worth every stinking moment.
2. Slowly working our way through backlogged food in the freezer and pantry.
3. Ordered pizza for dinner, but did it online, so we got points towards a free one, plus paid with credit card for more points so not totally non-NCA….
4. Picked up more books and audio stuff from library. Nice to be over 65, so no fines anymore, too! LOL
5. Held a book sale open house over the last week and a half, made $222 so far and gotten about 60 books out of the house. When my last customer comes, sunday afternoon, I’ll pack up the rest and call a used bookstore owner who will come pick them up for $1 apiece. Not much, but beats nothing, and gets them out of our dining room!


Hobart Chic April 11, 2017 at 5:16 am

Good on you for sticking with your exercise program! Unfortunately, in order to get the endorphin rush you are looking for you will probably need some guidance in working out harder and maybe a little longer. It may take losing a little more weight and balancing blood sugars too before you get a rush. Spending a little money now on a personal trainer who understands how to help someone with your health profile may be money well spent. It would probably only take 2-3 sessions (every twelve months for the next few years) to understand how to get the best out of your gym time.


MommaL April 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm

1. Made meals every day this week with a pot of beans that I cooked from dry last weekend. (salads, chili, burritos, wraps) I’m a little over beans right now, going to take a break for a couple of days. The “side effects” of us eating so many beans need a break too. Ha.
2. Printing out coupons for an upcoming road trip where I’m sure we might stop for food. (DH needs to take walking breaks on trips) Found a BOGO natural burger coupon (Hardees) and realize I have some Dunkin Donut gift cards in my wallet I can use, too.
3. Did a potluck breakfast at work to celebrate a birthday. Enough leftovers made lunch for all of the office for a few days. Took home bagels and granola today, leftover.
4. Made brownies from scratch for the BIG GAME Monday, took home a couple of leftovers to freeze. DH loves finding treats in the freezer to heat up and put ice cream on.
5. Opening the windows in this nice weather!


Mrs. Picky Pincher April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Great job saving moolah this week!

This week:

1. I ate strawberries and radishes grown in our garden. 🙂

2. Today I used a Starbucks gift card to buy coffee when I realized I forgot to make some at home (don’t judge–I had a huge interview and barely had my head screwed on straight!).

3. This weekend I’m planning to FINALLY finish the dress I’ve been sewing for a few months.

4. I got free makeup from my sister in law last week, which I wore to a job interview this week.

5. I plan on making my own dishwasher soap this weekend. I bought a 5-pound bag of citric acid just for the occasion.


MommaL April 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Good luck on your job interview!


kathy April 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

1. Continuing the archeological dig (aka decluttering) at our house. I rehomed with receivers OK a couple of items. One is being donated to a dog club for the fundraiser.
2. I mailed a $10 gift card to younger son and wife for Easter.
3. Sold 4 things that I deliver to dog show next weekend ($70)
4. Sent via pay pal $$ for my sister to buy our 12 year old nephew something for Easter and mail my diamond eternity band back (daughter in law won’t use it). The band will be given to older son as a wedding band for his bride to be.
5. Regifting a cup w/tea to daughter in law to be for Easter. Bought son some mints and chap stick. Regifting a Chinese motif tin with tea for our Easter hostess (daughter in law to be mom)


Susie's Daughter April 8, 2017 at 8:29 am

Kathy – loved your description of #1!


tonya April 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm

1) Dinner is in the Crock-Pot.
2) Bought a wedding gift for a dear friend’s upcoming nuptials. I shopped her registry, used a discounted gift card (bought through plus an extra 10% site discount for signing up for email. I took advantage of free shipping and had it shipped (wrapping paper free) directly to her.
3) Walked with a friend for exercise.
4) Read library books and watched Hulu today.
5) Called my insurance to negotiate a bill. Sometimes adulting is such a pain in the ass!!


Isabelle April 7, 2017 at 4:29 pm

* Cheap Friday night. Hubby gone to a friend for a game night while I’m staying in with the kids. Will do my (free) workout later on while watching a DVD that I own.
* Eating mostly from freezers and pantry right now. Less food waste, less groceries to buy.
* I want to buy good quality shoes for summer, for work. I’m looking for Ecco sandals with closed toes, required at my job, as I am totally in love with my regular Ecco sandals. They don’t come cheap but I work on my feet all day so I am not cheaping-out on shoes anymore. That said, I’m waiting, hoping for a sale.
* Bought a dishes set for 12 at Ikea for 67$. It comes to 2$/plate. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years now and we’ve never had a matching set. It was always used plates gathered here and there for 0,25$. But now that we have a new dinning table (also a first), it was time to upgrade. Did not buy anything else.
* Ate lunch at said Ikea. Wow, it’s cheap! 10$ to feed myself and my daughter.
* Took an extra shift this week.

Have a great frugal day!


Shelia April 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I’ve been trying to do this regularly to keep me focused and I think it’s helping!
1. We have one more meal to eat from the .99 a lb. honeysuckle turkey breast I cooked last Sunday. We had it for lunch and dinner all week.
2. I stopped at my favorite thrift store today while running errands and found lots of goodies. The pricing there has been uneven lately but today I did really well.
3. I was gone all day but I packed two cheese sticks and a soda. That wasn’t quite enough for lunch but I have a free bagel everyday in April at Panera so coupled with my cheese sticks, I had a really nice lunch. And I brought home my free birthday pastry to share with my husband.
4. Meijers had some really good deals on their two day sale so I stopped there on the way home and picked up a few things including a .97 cent a lb. spiral sliced Cooks ham. Last week, .99 a lb. turkey breast supplied our meals for the week, this week we’ll be eating ham!
5. I picked up a free travel size body wash for my oldest daughter for Easter. Having just learned the two youngest girls were coming home for Easter, I wanted to get them something to put in a basket. My hairdresser’s elderly father makes chocolate Easter eggs so I picked up two while getting my hair cut and will add those to Star Wars Disney socks I found still in the package at Goodwill. They love Peeps so if they’re really cheap next week, I’ll add those.


Marybeth April 8, 2017 at 10:43 am

I did the same as your #3. Love the free bagels everyback.


Shelia April 8, 2017 at 4:39 pm

It’s such a fun treat, isn’t it? I can’t think of anything I get more excited about when I pull up email!!!


auntiali April 7, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Bee, my daughter hiked the AT a few years ago starting when she was 18. She hiked alone and loved it – except for rainy, cold days. She did it in two parts. First part was hot and dry second part was rainy. Franklin NC is near where hubby and I honeymooned almost 28 years ago.

My frugal fives?
1. Hubby is off playing golf so my dinners have been easy and cheap. Only running the dishwasher every other day.
2. Went to the dentist for a cleaning and no cavities Mom! Got my goodie bag of toothbrush, floss and travel size toothpaste. I also bought a Water Pik as it will keep my gums healthy. I have type 2 diabetes and need to keep everything healthy. I hate flossing cause I’m afraid I’ll rip a cap off my tooth.
3. Hubby had his car repair done while he’s been away. It’s body work and we didn’t report it to the insurance company as our deductible is $1,000. The cost was $1122 and our tax return money was a little over that amount.
4. Keeping lights off and heat down. Had to turn the heat up tonight cause it’s cold!
5. Put my leftover allowance away for spending money on a trip we will be taking soon.


Bee April 8, 2017 at 9:01 am

Thank you for sharing your daughters experience. It’s amazing that she hiked the AT at only 18! I am sure that she has some wonderful memories. Franklin, NC is central to some of the most beautiful –and romantic — places in Western Carolina. We used to rent a cabin in that area when my children were little. We spent many days hiking? 🙂


Lisa P. April 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm

My Frugal 5 from SC:
I use vinegar and water to clean the counters and the floors.
I watch movies on Youtube and documentaries, etc… for free.
I loaded the Kroger freebie for today, a Jello mix or something.
I buy my pet meds from I saved over $21 the other day plus got free shipping.
Make sure to do price checks on your medicines. Hubby found out one he had been buying from Walgreens or somewhere was cheaper at Sam’s by about $30 a month, I think. If you don’t have prescriptions covered and even if you do, check on If it’s cheaper to not run your insurance, they will do that!
You all have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for sharing ideas with me!


MommaL April 8, 2017 at 3:45 am

petwellbeing? I’ve never heard of it, I’m going to check it out, thank you!


Lisa P. April 8, 2017 at 4:17 am

You are very welcome. Here’s what says-
Discover our All NaturalSupplements For Effective Pet Treatment For 120+ Ailments



Cindy in the South April 7, 2017 at 9:32 pm

1. Turned on tax returns for house refinance, to pay for vesting in retirement if loan goes through. 2. I brought ham and cheese with bread for the week’s lunches and left in office fridge. That way I will not forget my lunch, it is already there. 3. Fixed old truck for $300. Hopefully, it will last a few more months.4. My newer vehicle seems to be having transmission issues, so I made an appt to have it looked at, while it is still under warranty…barely.5. I shopped for groceries at the Wal-Mart on the way to visit my son, so no extra gas was spent running to store. He is able to eat again, I am so grateful, and I am very happy to be spending this money. Thanks to everyone for your kind words, wishes, and prayers. He is stable for now.


Katy April 8, 2017 at 12:10 am

Let’s see if I can come up with 5 different ones than what I shared at the Frugal Girl:
1. I needed lemon juice for a marinade, so I picked a couple of lemons from our tree instead of buying the juice. Most of the lemons are still small, but I was able to find 2 good ones.
2. We ate a rice based main meal (with fish or beef and veggies) each day this week except one.
3. I made a b-day card for my sister out of a used card, some paper I had and my handy “Happy Birthday” rubber stamp.
4. We also each made a homemade card for my nephew, using paper and stickers we already had.
5. I’m eating leftovers for breakfast today…who invented the differences between breakfast foods and other meals anyways?


Bettypants April 8, 2017 at 4:41 am

1. We moved and the water in our new place does not taste good. I knew it would be bad as my office is in the same city. I ordered a PUR water dispenser and four filters from Amazon. Signed up for the Amazon credit card for a $50 credit, bringing my total to $1.85.
2. Someone brought doughnuts to work yesterday, and someone else brought bagels. I ate both, and there are leftovers today.
3. Bought a pet crate a couple years ago second hand for $10, and only used it for showings when our house was listed. Sold it last week for $35.
4. Made lentil soup on Monday and have had it for lunch every day this week.
5. Lands End has 30% sale on everything, including sale items. Considered buying a new down coat as mine is several years old and has a mended patch, but talked myself out of it.


Tracy April 8, 2017 at 4:48 am

1. Doing my own taxes this weekend.
2. Making a big pot of lentil soup this weekend using some chorizo sausage I thawed but didn’t get around to cooking this week.
3. Wore a 100% thrifted outfit to work yesterday.
4. Eating from pantry/freezer this week, will do a tiny grocery shop today for produce and peanut butter.
5. Took son (who moved out) off car insurance, saving $40/month.

Frugal Fail: Work has been exhausting lately and when I got home at the end of a long week last night and hubby said “Let’s go to dinner at [favorite local place]” I didn’t even demur…


Kim in MD April 8, 2017 at 5:20 am

1. Found Land of Lakes butter marked down at Safeway. Regular price 5.49/lb., on sale 2.99 and then 50%off so $1.49/lb. Bought 5 which I will throw in freezer due to BIUB date of 4/10. It’s light butter which won’t work for most baking but will certainly be good for most other uses.
2. Found $1.70 plus a dozen Euros and UK pence in 1 Coinstar machine this week. Only found $ so far.
3. Using up lemons that got seriously neglected while I was sick with flu and then out of town. Tried new lemon chicken recipe that was a winner and last night made lemon pasta that was good. With a few tweaks it can be great. Composted the rinds. Might make lemons bars today!
4. Dropped off a bag of donations at LMS when I was in area yesterday. Bought a book for resale and a Peacock Fiesta salad plate for a gift, $2 spent.
5. Got 2 green peppers from the free box at LMS. They were a bit tired looking but fine to eat. Chopped them up last night and now have 3 portions in freezer ready for red beans and rice which will be made with Easter ham bone. In the past I would have put them in the fridge and they would have been bad when I needed them after Easter. Free food isn’t frugal when it’s wasted.


A. Marie April 9, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Re: Kim’s #2: I too have found non-US change in the Coinstar machine at my local Wegmans from time to time. Canadian is the most common, since we’re only 90 miles from Canada; most local merchants will accept Canadian coins under $1 at US face value, and I save “loonies” for when we or friends are going up to Canada. But other currencies, especially UK, turn up from time to time. I save these for friends who travel more than we do.

My favorite UK find is worth a mention: It was a King George VI 1947 shilling. I tucked this one away in my collection of British royal commemorative memorabilia!


janine April 8, 2017 at 6:40 am

1. When shopping at Target, Husband forgot to pickup a bag of canned pet food at checkout- called them and they graciously refunded our $$ upon showing them receipt.
2. As long as I was in the store, I checked for sales and found turkey breast for 99c #. Will cook it for Easter along with ham. One son doesn’t care for ham and this was the right size.
3. We also ventured out for dinner last evening with disastrous results. Perhaps the sign in front of the restaurant saying ‘now hiring’ should have warned us. They described rice as a garnish and refused to substitute a baked potato and the fish (this is a well known chain seafood restaurant) was inedible. Terrible service, BUT the manager noticed and comped us on my entrée. Husband left a healthy tip – felt sorry for overworked staff. We saved a few $$ and the cheese sandwich I enjoyed when we got home was good.
4. Visited favorite small thrift shop and found a like-new set of pot holders in a pattern I liked. More expensive than the dollar store but going to a good cause. Still relatively inexpensive at $3.
5. Continuing to boycott the purchase of a gold-plated apartment, Lear Jet and other material goods that don’t help the earth or make me happy.


Susie's Daughter April 8, 2017 at 8:40 am

1) Bought new to me pants which I love, an Ann Taylor shirt for work and Eddie Bauer white turtleneck at our thrift store this week for $9/total.

2) Week for consignment! In previous post I mentioned selling while in the “big city”. Also took 4 items to our local consignment (and picked up two checks – hello $20!) and left 14 pieces of clothing/accessories at the shop near where I get my hair cut (35 min away). No special trip needed and the stuff is out of the house.

3) Lots of returnable cans and bottles emerging from snow banks here and migrating to the box in the back of my car.

4) Planning an overnight in aforementioned “big city” for DS’s school vacation upcoming. Will use library pass for heavily discounted science museum visit and planning to stay in hotel which includes free wine and dinner on week nights (suite style inn with good rate) in community room. Will bring kid alternatives for our in room kitchenette as well.

5) Went through our seeds this week to see what we will need to buy before starting our garden. Realized I have plenty of pumpkin seeds! Looking forward to warmer weather and playing in the dirt.


Marybeth April 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

1. My daughter needed the puffy thing that you were under a gown for July. I put an SOS out to friends and family. I figured someone would have one. My friend dropped it off yesterday and said to keep it. She spent $60 on it 2 years ago and has wanted to get rid of it but wouldn’t throw it away. No way was I paying $60 for that when she will only wear it one night and no one is even going to see it.
2. Went to Goodwill and found a k-cup holder for $2.99. My son got a machine in February and I have been looking for one since.
3. Put the used coffee grounds from the k-cups around my blueberry plant.
4. Used the empty k-cups to start some seeds inside. They are the perfect size and have a hole punched in them already.
5. Went to Stop and Shop to pick up my last 2 weeks of free items. They were rearranging the detergent/soap aisle. I got 10 bottles/bags of Tide and All for $3.84 after coupons. I am giving my daughter 2 bags when we go see her for Easter.
6. I went in early for work to set up food for a meeting. Got free bagel and juice for breakfast. When the meeting was over, my boss told me to take some home to my kids. Got 10 free bagels and cream cheese too.


kathleen April 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm

1. Called bank regarding what looked like a pending overcharge on cc. Was assured that the charge was not accepted and will ‘drop off’ in a couple of days. My mind feels easier about it, but I will check next week to make sure it does indeed drop off. 🙂
2. Finishing up a special handmade gift for a special birthday girl.
3. Working on magazine article/photos which will bring in a decent paycheck.
4. Wearing good shoes every waking minute. Living in a house with a cement foundation (and carrying around too much weight) is hard on the feet/legs/back, and making sure of proper cushioning and that arches are supported helps keep me going.
5. Hair still growing longer. 🙂


Mary W April 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

My frugal five include a lot of staying home and not spending money.

1. Was planning to go to karaoke at the Eagles last night, but we had a windstorm that knocked out our power yesterday and I fell asleep listening to a Diana Gabaldon audiobook and slept through the evening. Stayed warm under a down comforter, didn’t need to light a fire in the stove, didn’t spend $$ on gas or dinner or anything.
2. Returned my 2 library books and paid 1.20 in fines, still cheaper than the gas to make a special trip to return them before my holds were in. Picked up the first season of Outlander, as well as other holds.
3. Continue to walk with a friend for exercise…Free and it never gets old.
4. Waited to make my trip to town for groceries and prescriptions until I had a meeting to attend in the town halfway…Saves glad the gas that way.
5. Cut my own hair. It’s not perfect, but I can pretend I meant to have a short, croppy cut until it grows out a bit, lol! Just need to play with it a bit with the curling brush and trim up the nape a little more and it’ll do.


Mary W April 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

My frugal five include a lot of staying home and not spending money.

1. Was planning to go to karaoke at the Eagles last night, but we had a windstorm that knocked out our power yesterday and I fell asleep listening to a Diana Gabaldon audiobook and slept through the evening. Stayed warm under a down comforter, didn’t need to light a fire in the stove, didn’t spend $$ on gas or dinner or anything.
2. Returned my 2 library books and paid 1.20 in fines, still cheaper than the gas to make a special trip to return them before my holds were in. Picked up the first season of Outlander, as well as other holds.
3. Continue to walk with a friend for exercise…Free and it never gets old.
4. Waited to make my trip to town for groceries and prescriptions until I had a meeting to attend in the town halfway…Saves half the gas that way.
5. Cut my own hair. It’s not perfect, but I can pretend I meant to have a short, croppy cut until it grows out a bit, lol! Just need to play with it a bit with the curling brush and trim up the nape a little more and it’ll do.


Marilyn April 9, 2017 at 8:55 am

I’m with you on #3, walking with a friend for exercise. I walk in the morning with a small group of neighbors. It’s fun and as you say, it never gets old.


Caroline April 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

Vacation last week so this could be a little thin on the ground! I am not nearly as good as most on this site for planning ahead for vacation meals, etc but did my best.
1. Spent first few days with in-laws and they cooked/were lovely hosts. We bought local strawberries and treated one meal out, helped with some tech issues to try to be good guests.
2. Made a Trader Joes run early in the week for snacks/alcohol/sandwich fixings. Kept in mind Katy’s recent post and didn’t go too crazy.
3. I am vegetarian and husband is not, so I “subsidized” him when we did eat out, ordering just sides, etc.
4. Went to the beach, rode bikes and did other outdoor free activities both to be frugal and counteract my normal long commute/office job work weeks.
5. Read library books all week and listened to e-audio books from library to make the drive to/from Fla more pleasant.


Gina in KY April 9, 2017 at 11:48 am

I’m so glad to read all the inspiration here. I haven’t done a 5FT check-in for a long time. I’ve been terrible!

1. Built bookshelves in an alcove in my middle/dining room (house is a circa 1900 Shotgun house). I did have to buy wood, brackets, a stud finder and screws, but the shelves span a five foot area and are 12 feet total space and cost a fraction of kits or custom shelves. They probably took me ten Xs longer to build, but, as a certified book hoarder, I love and needed them!

2. Returned to the volunteering job that yields leftover produce every.single time (actually, this one is frugal for me but kind of sad in general too). This time I had a bunch of romaine hearts, blackberries and green beans and shared most of it forward to friends.

3. Reading library books (of course!!!)
4. My sons and I went to Pittsburgh for spring break and, while not really frugal, we stayed with a friend and went thrifting for junk we didn’t need. I picked up some very cheap Steelers items to gift my brother (a life long fan in Indiana!) for Xmas. We did go to the Andy Warhol museum which my friend generously paid for using a bogo coupon from his work.
5. Planted red cabbage plants in various spots around the yard (lovely and edible!) and a bag of sprouting potatoes (organic) in big tree pots I salvaged a few years ago. They are coming up nicely.


Tricia SM April 9, 2017 at 11:58 am

Nice Gina! I am going to Pittsburgh for a conference at the end of this month, and now I want to go see the Andy Warhol museum too! Thanks for the tip!! Any other recommendations? =)


Pattilou April 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Tricia, there is a ton to do in Pittsburgh. The Oakland Neighborhood is when Pitt’s campus is. On their campus is The Cathedral of Learning. The main floor, which is know as the Commons Room, is beautiful and there are the Nationality Rooms. These are class rooms designed in the architecture of various countries (for example: The Irish Room or The Chinese room). Both of these things are really worth seeing and free. I believe you. Have to rent the audio tape for the Nationality rooms but you can just wander room to room without it. You just have to make sure there isn’t a class going on.
-On the top of that building (36th or 38th floor) there is a place to look out over the neighborhood.
-Behind The Cathedral is Heinz chapel. That too is worth a look and open to the public for free. There is a stained glass reproduction of the Mona Lisa in one of the Windows on the right hand side.
-Across the street from The Cathedral is The Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. Admission is half price from 3-5 on week days. The Iris Van Herpin Exhibit is fantastic and there until May 1st.
-Down the road from the museum is Phipps Conservatory. It is not free but if the spring show is happening it’s very pretty. The outside garden is free , not sure what will be blooming but it’s a nice walk and the outside of the building is great.
-If you like museums, The Frick is free. It is on the grounds of Clayton, which is the home of the Frick family. The house tour is not free but I believe you can still see the cars in the garage for free and they are pretty cool *they have old horse drawn sleighs but I think they are there only in the winter)
-Of course there is Point State Park which has an amazing fountain at the tip where the three rivers meet and there are nice walking paths.
-There are free walking tours of downtown
-Last but not least, you need to see the view of the city at night from the top of
Mount Washington. You can take an incline ride (it is part of our public transportation so not expensive) while up there.
So, those are some suggestions for you visit to my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy!


Pattilou April 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Sorry for all of the typos!!


Vickey April 10, 2017 at 7:31 am

PattiLou, thanks for all the great suggestions!

Tricia SM April 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

Haven’t done a frugal 5 in a while, was on a Spring Break vacay last week to the Denver area, and even that can be included! Yay!
1. Traveled in our RV, that we paid cash for, ate only two meals out, we brought all our food with us.
2. Since it was quite a rainy week, we went on 6 fun free (indoor) tours – U.S. Mint, State Capital building, Money Museum, Coors beer, Celestial Season’s tea, and Hammond’s Candy. And we only spent about $10 total in the gift shops. A 51 cent smashed penny, & can’t beat 4 $1.63 boxes of tea, and a case of chocolate/peanut butter covered peanuts for $3! Yum!
3. We did a fun hike in Boulder on a non-rainy/non-snowy day.
4. Our entertainment at night in RV was free dvds, and books from the library, plus one night: a dinner at our cousins with air hockey tournament for the kids!
5. Sold 4 things since Friday on Facebook Marketplace for $270!
Now back to work/adulting! lol


Mary in Maryland April 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm

1) The next-door neighbors who moved out had asked me to take the last of their trash to the curb. I looked inside the paper recycling bin. It was full of cleaning products. Too scented for me, but I free-cycled them to a woman who offered me two quarts of strawberries that needed some extirpative surgery.
2) There were also foodstuffs in the neighbor’s trash. We’ve eaten two servings of quinoa and two of jasmine rice. I got enough couscous and bulgur for another two meals and a 20 oz of instant oatmeal (which I don’t like as oatmeal, but it thickens a soup very nicely.)
3) I took the laundry stuff to a friend in the neighborhood. She asked where I was going next–Patel’s, for spices. She buys there, too, and filled my jars with the largesse from her last shopping trip. Had a fun chat and didn’t need to drive to the store.
4) I got lucky at the timebank kitchen swap. A 6 liter fagor pressure cooker with the steamer tray, a lemon zester, a corkscrew (we’ve needed one that works for three years), and a 2 cup Pyrex rectangular storage container. If I can find another Pyrex at the thrift store, I can make oatmeal in the pressure cooker in the Pyrex. Less mess, fewer dirty dishes.
5) The friend in 2) and I went out for Mexican on Friday when DH was out of town. She declined a box for her leftovers. I snarfed them up, and DH and I split them for a light dinner last night.


Nancy from Mass April 10, 2017 at 4:30 am

Here goes:
1. won some $ at work (for gift cards) and used part of it for Columbia. Went to the outlets this weekend and bought a spring water resistant coat (beautiful pink color) and a hiking skirt. paid $20 oop. Jacket will work for hiking also.
2. received coupons in the mail for a grocery store i don’t normally shop at but i have a GC someone gave me. I bought: 2 bags Utz pretzels (ended up free because they came up with incorrect price), free bag of snack sticks, free case of water, 6 roll Charmin for $2.79, a monster for DS for $1.50 (he doesn’t drink soda and likes these occasionally so i treat him now and then) and 2 bags of veggie steak tips $4.99 (one was free). actually, since i had a gift card, everything was free! 🙂
3. started cleaning up the back yard with all the fallen branches. trying to decide what to do with the back yard. needs more work than i can give it. Will have to get some estimates.
4. called credit card companies to cancel my husbands cards. shredded the cards in his name.
5. bought a beautiful hank of fingering yarn for a shawl. so soft! on row 56 already! 🙂


Mrs. Daisy @ Dirt Road Daisy April 10, 2017 at 4:31 am

1. We are giving new life to several 5 gallon buckets from my work that were going to be thrown away. We are going to container garden tomatoes and peppers in them this summer.
2. A few of my listings on eBay sold.
3. I stayed under budget for groceries this week!
4. I haven’t gone into a Target in 2 weeks. Recovering shopper here.
5. I did not spend any money on non-necessities this weekend.


Cara April 10, 2017 at 6:10 am

1. Stretched my groceries and used farm-share vegetables that were about to go bad. This lets me postpone grocery shopping for a few days.

2. Bought bandaids at target and received a $5 target gift card!

3. SCORED at a yard sale… our neighbor, a photographer, was having a studio sale. For $50 I bought a very sturdy bookshelf, desk, beautiful glass and brass vanity table with matching stool, sturdy kitchen chair, and a folding chair. Rearranging books made the house look much neater and I ended up free piling many items. The vanity table wasn’t necessary, but something I wanted since I was a little girl (and only $8!).

4. Dipped my toes into the world of online selling by listing on Ebay.

5. Sold some used books for bookstore credit, which I will use to buy friends’ presents!


Beth April 10, 2017 at 6:22 am

1. Finally got in a routine of cooking at home-we ate one meal out last week.
2. Shopped at thrift stores this weekend-found a few things I needed; only bought things that were 50% off. I wore a new-to-me dress to church yesterday and received several compliments.
3. Planning on staying home this week (outside of work).
4. Planning a date night with hubby for this next weekend…I’m going to try and make it free, or as cheap as possible.
5. Working on things around the house (productive and free).


MW April 10, 2017 at 9:50 am

1- I had a slow cooker emergency where the pork shoulder wasn’t done at the same time as the rest of the meal. My husband wanted to get take out, I managed to throw together crab/ salmon cakes from canned fish in time to rescue the rest of the meal.
2- On that note, I have pulled pork ready to go for tonight with leftover mashed potatoes.
3- My husband is without work, but the older son wore out his shoes. I scrounged up some gift cards to Fred Meyer that I had been saving for a treat and got him a pair on sale. Maybe little brother’s shoes will hold out for a few weeks. . .
4- My husband attended a panel for a law firm on Saturday and walked away with $200 and a free lunch. There’s grocery money and money towards a new (used) jacket for our older son.
5- I’m prepping our vegetable bed with an eye towards a lean summer, the older boy and I covered it with black plastic to cut down on weeds and watering bare dirt. Bought bean seeds on sale and I know of a source for cheap tomato and basil starts. And I snagged a few sunflower seeds for the boys- they love to check on their progress.


MommaL April 23, 2017 at 9:42 am

Maybe its not truly pissing me off, but I’m overwhelmed. My car will need a new battery soon and I can’t figure out how to tell what battery is a good deal or not. Can anyone help me here?

Other than that, the weather, my DH, my sprouting seeds in my garden, blooming flowers, and a beautiful woodpecker that visits every day are making me happy!


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