Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 14, 2017 · 92 comments

  1. I worked the last two days, and of course I brought my own food and drank the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. I used cloth napkins and silverware from home, and all my food was packaged in reusable glass containers.
  2. I listed a few more things on eBay and quickly made two sales. One was a vintage key fob screwdriver that was included in a $2.99 bag of miscellaneous Goodwill sewing supplies, (sold for $19.99) and the other was an antique cast iron stove handle thingy that I bought a million years ago for 49¢. (Also sold for $19.99.) Both pieces were packaged in used padded envelopes, and I took advantage of free bubble wrap that a local business was giving away. I even arranged for a mail carrier to pickup from the house, which meant no extra errand for me! I just love that I was able to put these odd and specific items into the hands of people who will use and appreciate them!
  3. I’m looking forward to an upcoming freebie mini-vacation courtesy of my husband’s employer. He has a three-day work conference at an amazing historic mountain lodge, and his boss says that not only am I welcome to accompany him, but that I’m specifically invited! (For those of who’ve seen The Shining, this lodge was used as the exteriors for the movie!) I love this historic landmark, and have always wanted to stay there, but have never felt comfortable with the splurge. I’m already gathering library books and plan on doing some serious writing in in front of the massive lobby fireplace. I just hope to type more than “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”
  4. My $2.99 bag of Goodwill sewing notions included two darning eggs. I gave one to a co-worker, and in exchange she insisted on giving me two hand knit potholders. My sons will both be living off campus in the fall, so I’m starting to think about the household supplies that they’ll need.
  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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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

MommaL April 14, 2017 at 8:35 am

1. Making dump soup with a full gallon bag of leftover veggies stored in the freezer, 1/2 price beef bits, and browned them with a little leftover bacon grease (just a little!). I always keep a “leftovers” bag in the freezer.
2. Bought no new flowers this year, digging up and rearranging what I have. Most of what’s in my garden were gifted from friends’ gardens.
3. Read a tip on a local FB website that Roku offers a free movie channel XTV for Roku stick users. Logged on to my Roku account on the actual website (not on the tv) and signed up. No charge, and plenty to choose from! It took a day to show up, and now DH is very excited!
4. Switched my clothing from winter to spring, found a shirt that was not modest enough for work, sewed a button I already had about 1/2 inch up on the open part, and now it is appropriate. 🙂
5. Found a nice looking purse big enough for my thrifting/grocery days (holds lists, pens, wallet, glasses and coupons) at GW for $4. I have a smaller one for non shopping days.


Carolyn Arnett April 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

MommaL, my little Elija Blue ornamental grasses had lots of babies this year. I have rescued them and potted them up before the yard guys come with mulch. After they have come and gone, the babies can safely go into the border of my plant bed. I have ten babies that will be at least teen agers by mid summer!!


MommaL April 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

Awesome, Carolyn! I love looking out at my garden and seeing what I’ve done for “free”. My mums got so think I thinned them and some made it to the back yard, then suddenly the ones in my front yard died, so this year I transplanted some to the front again.


Amy April 14, 2017 at 8:41 am

I love reading your 5 thing posts! You find such interesting things at the Goodwill. I live in a college town in the middle of nowhere. I rarely find anything to buy at our Goodwill. My 5 frugal things are:

1. Paid an extra student loan payment for my husband’s loans today.
2. Paid $2,000 extra towards my student loans today.
3. Paid an extra payment on our van loan.
4. Made dinner last night with the produce items in our kitchen that needed to be used to avoid food waste.
5. Made 3 pizzas from scratch for $4.00. While at the grocery store I picked up a 4th pizza. They had a pepperoni pizza in their warmer on sale for $2.30. My oldest was excited to get a pizza with meat on it.


Bee April 15, 2017 at 2:49 am

Your 1-3 are amazing! It takes a lot of discipline to payoff those loans.


Kayleigh April 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm

It’s great to pay off loans quickly, but make sure it’s ok to pay off your car loan early. I paid off my 4 year car loan off in 3 years, but got charged $200 early pay off penalty( for not paying interest I guess) before the bank would give me my title saying the car was mine. Just check it out. Car dealerships play dirty.


Jill April 14, 2017 at 8:43 am

I may have already mentioned this but Timberline gives free tours of the historic lodge. We enjoyed ours very much on our visit there. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to sign up for one.


Katy April 14, 2017 at 9:23 am

Ooh . . . thanks for the tip!


Beth April 14, 2017 at 8:48 am

1. Found a quarter on the ground the other day
2. Eating at home this week (we’ll eat out tonight as a treat though)
3. Walking during my lunch break for free exercise
4. Played outside w/ LO after work this week for some free vitamin D
5. ???


Denise April 14, 2017 at 9:48 am

I give up: what is “w/LO”, Beth?

And for number 5, how about “did not spend my found quarter all week”?.


Lauren April 14, 2017 at 10:12 am

I think it’s played outside “with (w) [my] little one (LO)” but I could be wrong!


Beth April 17, 2017 at 6:52 am

Yep! Sorry for the confusion 🙂


Amanda April 14, 2017 at 8:49 am

The mountain trip sounds amazing! Congrats! One of the few downsides to owning our own business is that we never get to tag along on the other’s free business trips anymore. 🙁

1. Yesterday leaving a funeral my husband and I thought about stopping for lunch because it was such a beautiful day. But then we thought about needing to get back to the office and the fact that we have a fridge full of food, and decided to save the money. One day when we don’t have miltiple children in daycare and a mortgage we’ll take a few more opportunities to have leisurely lunches.

2. We’re renting our house on Airbnb this weekend while we are out of town.

3. I never made the trip to the non-Aldi grocery store that is often my follow up to the Aldi trip. We still need a couple of things that Aldi doesn’t carry, but at this point we can wait a few more days for balsamic vinegar. And it made my grocery bill this week a little smaller.

4. The kids and I are having sandwiches for lunch made from ham my dad gave us.

5. With daycare closed this week I had the kids, so my husband got to drive his motorcycle to work every day, which gets better gas mileage and doesn’t cost us per mile for insurance.


Lindsey April 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

Amanda, aren’t you afraid to leave your house to strangers from Air B&B? I don’t have a ton of valuable stuff, but when I was younger and more flush with money and lived in a remote Alaskan village where a lot of folks made money by carving ivory, I bought a lot of gorgeous ivory carvings. I would feel like I had to pack them up each time I rented our place while we were gone…or am I needlessly worrying? Thanks in advance for any info you give me.


MommaL April 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I live in an area where residents frequently rent their homes through rental agencies or Air B&B in the summer. They buy locks for certain closets and cabinets, and put waterproof covers on their mattresses, just for the season. The $$ earned is worth it, in their opinion.


Jill A April 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

1. Went to the cheap theater with my mom to see a movie. It was before noon so tickets were 2.50. Didn’t buy any snacks since we are both on diet.
2. Have been sick with vertigo for the past 3 1/2 weeks. I’ve been to sick to go out much so I’m still working on the same tank of gas in my hybrid that I bought weeks ago at Costco.
3. Washing my laundry in cold water and hanging to dry.
4. Eating up what’s in the house, my cupboards are getting bare.
5. Had to buy a new phone. Waited for a sale and saved $20.


kathleen April 14, 2017 at 10:50 am

Sorry about your vertigo, Jill. It is miserable. Hope your world stops spinning soon. 🙂


Jill A April 15, 2017 at 3:35 am

Haha!! Thank you.


lilli pickles April 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Jill, I am so sorry about your vertigo issues. Mine has been severe for some time now, Mine came from an auto accident. Do you have any tips on how to deal with it. I have tried the chiropractor and the over the counter pills. My neurologist only solution is Valium several times a day. I would really rather not take it as I am drug tested for work and it is incredibly addicting. On the other hand it works.


Marybeth April 17, 2017 at 3:08 am

I had severe vertigo 2 years ago. Woke up one morning and I couldn’t walk. Went to ENT and a neurologist. ENT sent me to a physical therapist that helped me so much. There are exercises that can be found online. I still get it occasionally so I always go back to the exercises.
Good luck ladies.


Ruby April 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

1. By driving with a light foot, my 7 year old little Honda is getting a smidge over 30 mpg in city traffic.
2. Packed my lunch and drinks from home every day.
3. Today’s cute outfit — capris, blouse, sandals, handbag and even the bra –was thrifted, gifted secondhand, or bought on eBay.
4. The Mister, our son and I gave all three dogs a bath and groomed them this morning. Family togetherness at its best.
5. Scored several free e-books to enjoy with various book company apps that were also free.


Kristen April 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

Have a wonderful trip!

Will your expenses be lower with your sons living off-campus?


Katy April 14, 2017 at 9:55 am

They should be. Although the town where my older son lives is very expensive, as it’s a genteel tourist town.


Shannon April 14, 2017 at 9:41 am

My parents actually have the cook stove that the handle goes to! Freaky!
It’s cooked many holiday meals when Mother Nature threw a hissy fit and power restoration was measured by calendar instead of time.

Thanks for sharing your frugalities!


Katy April 14, 2017 at 9:56 am

The handle was in amazing condition with a bright shiny nickel plating.


Jennifer April 14, 2017 at 9:54 am

What a fun trip you have planned!
1. We give each of our kids Easter baskets. To fill them, I got stuffed animals marked down from Valentine’s Day clearance


Jennifer April 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

Ugh, not sure what happened. Accidentally hit done…
Any way, I got the stuffed animals marked down and added them to baskets with Easter grass. I have used the same grass and basket every year and they never even notice. I also picked up my free Friday download from Kroger which was gummy candy and perfect to add to the baskets.
2. I got one of the reduced packages of ground beef from the freezer and cooked it along with mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions. I used half in baked spaghetti and put the other half up in the freezer for a meal next week.
3. We got several Easter baskets from a table deal at the auction last week. They were from last year so I took all the old candy out, added new, and added some other stuff to them. So the update is, I have had them sitting outside our business all week trying to sell them to recoup the cost of the table deal which was $50. I have sold 9 which is $45. I would like to sell 2 or 3 more before days end and that would cover the whole cost of the table deal. I was going to trash the baskets so making $45 is pretty awesome if I don’t sell another one.
4. My kids are also having a sidewalk sale of miscellaneous items today( more table deal items). They seem to have better luck selling things due to the fact that they are so cute.
5. I saw on the news last night that my local power company is giving out some type of kit as a power reducing promotion so I’m gonna get online and fill out that form right now!


Mrs. Picky Pincher April 14, 2017 at 10:20 am

Great job anticipating those future costs. 🙂 And the mini-vacation sounds amazing!!!

This week:

1. I successfully baked a batch of macarons. Today I plan on making the fillings for them. So excited!

2. I’m baking homemade pita bread this weekend to have with our chickpea curry.

3. I’m about to switch jobs, which means I won’t get as many paychecks. Thanks to our money-saving strategies, we’ll be okay without a paycheck for a while. 🙂

4. I plan on purchasing or making a standing desk for my future home office. Hopefully this will make me feel more alert and less stressed, which saves money.

5. I got a free pot of flowers with a grocery store coupon last week.


Karen April 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

You got the job? Spill all on your blog!


BJS April 14, 2017 at 10:32 am

1. My husband thought he was going to need a new shaver, or at least the head part of it. He said he’d try repairing it first, and was successful! I sure hope our kids inherit his fixing skills, because mine are pretty underwhelming.

2. My son needed a haircut, and we’re not sure when we’ll see his aunt (who usually cuts his hair) next. So I took him to the cheapest nearby place, and the person who cut it took almost 75% off the price because she said he didn’t need much cut off. I didn’t think that was the case but was very grateful, and gave her a big old tip.

3. Speaking of my son, he’s been shooting a lot of hoops lately, and loves when any of us go outside to play with him. I’ve realized that sometimes I need to set aside my to-do list and just play. It’s fun, free exercise, and I’m getting to spend time with someone I love with my whole heart.

4. Bought a bridal shower gift at the store where the bride was registered. It’s a fancy store, and one I’d never set foot in before. I spent what I always spend on shower gifts, but while I was there I got a free smoothie (there was a dispenser set up so I took full advantage of it!), and also used their free giftwrapping service. The person who wrapped my gift was really nice, and we ended up chatting the whole time she was wrapping. (I even called the manager after I got home to compliment her.)

5. I found out that the new Goodwill opening near me will be open for business in May or June. I’ve seen empty metal racks inside the store, but so far have resisted the urge to press my nose up against the glass.


Bee April 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm

#3) Exercise, laughter and love are definitely frugal, because those things are good for you! Besides children grow up before you know it, then you won’t always be included in his adventures. So enjoy this time! Although I spent many hours with my children’s hen they were young, I miss them now.


Bee April 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm

DYAC! I spent many hours with my children when they were young. I did not spend any time with my children’s hen.


Jenny April 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

That was really funny!


BJS April 14, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Bee, your encouraging and kind comments are always a treat, and I love them!


Mary in Maryland April 14, 2017 at 10:52 am

1) Bought masa harina and tried making my own tortillas Monday past. Hand-patted, which used my pottery skills. They were delicious. Will make a batch for company for dinner.
2) Cooking not-refried–but mushy enough to be mistaken for refried–beans in my instant pot for same dinner.
3) Making thin guacamole to dress make-your-own-tacos at tonight’s dinner party. (“Dinner party” used somewhat loosely in this case, but we are eating with friends before seeing a play in community theater.)
4) Still working on the food the neighbors who moved out left us.
5) Got the last sriracha out of the bottle by swishing with small aliquots of water for noodles with black bean sauce.


Cindy in the South April 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

1. I am off from work today, and I am cleaning the house for the refinance appraisal inspection, that is supposed to happen this afternoon. 2. I have eaten at the house, so no money spent eating out. I made popcorn, the old fashioned way, for a snack. 3. My youngest has a doctor’s appt., and depending on how that goes ,will determine if I drive the hour and a half up to see him late this evening.I at least have popcorn to snack on if I have to drive up, so no spending on snacks at gas station. 4. I slept late because I was off and it felt wonderful…. Late means 8 am…lol.5. I have trimmed my bushes out in front of my house, in anticipation of this appraisal and house refinance. The outside actually looks nice….fingers crossed….


Jennifer April 14, 2017 at 11:16 am

Good luck, Cindy!


Cindy in the South April 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm



Katherine in AL April 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I hope all goes well for you, Cindy.


Cindy in the South April 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm


MW April 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

Timberline! I’m jealous. I love visiting,but haven’t been able to stomach the cost of staying.

1- Went to the zoo with my family membership- I was able to get the lady and her kids behind me in for free (frugal for her, does that count?). Packed a lunch to avoid buying anything. We’re repeating the process this weekend for an egg hunt.
2- My older son needed a rain jacket. I found one for $10 at Deseret Industries complete with a zip in liner and zip on hood. Found a shirt for $1 for my husband (he’s hard on shirts) and didn’t buy anything for myself.
3- I was volunteered to bring dessert for Easter dinner- I’m not a great baker, but I figured out something using a box cake mix and frozen strawberries instead of buying a cake.
4- Scrounged through the boys’ closet to find shirts for each of them for Easter- nothing bought.
5- Still packing my lunch, making my coffee, and taking the bus every work day. We’re down to using only one vehicle and are saving on gas etc.

And, still rooting my husband on in the job-hunting process.


cathy April 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm

If you’re in Utah, do you have a DI you like best?
We have a word for when someone else signs you up to do something: You’ve been voluntold 🙂


BJS April 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Voluntold … hee-hee! I’ll have to remember that.


kathleen April 14, 2017 at 11:23 am

1. Freezer and pantry were pretty bare. Made a grocery list to cover the menu plan for the week as well as refill the larder with staples and stuck to it while shopping.
2. Yesterday was a special birthday for my adult daughter. I made her a unique gift with supplies on hand…a quilt pieced by her grandmother.
3. The puppy is (fingers crossed) FINALLY completely housebroken. Our paper towel usage is back down to almost nil.
4. The hubs did seasonal care/maintenance on our air conditioner this morning getting ready for the coming heat. No professional service call needed.
5. No haircut, no phone replacement, no maid.


Lindsey April 14, 2017 at 11:41 am

1. A friend gave me eight dahlia plants in pots. Too early to put them outside, since our last frost date isn’t until the end of May, but they are happily growing under the seed starting lights I already had set up in the garage for my tomatoes and cukes.
2. I had to do a large shop, since we spent the first three months of the year eating down the freezer and cupboards. I had four coupons, two for 18 eggs free if I spent over $25 and two others for $10 off a $50 purchase. Once I had reached $55 in groceries, so I could use the free egg and the $10 off coupon, husband did the rest of the shopping in his cart. His groceries came to $59, so he, too, got 18 eggs free and $10 off his total. So we paid $89 for $109 worth of groceries and got 3 dozen eggs for free. I am not a big couponer but this time it was worth the effort.
3. Was invited to a free day long training (on a topic I was interested in, for once) and they gave us breakfast and lunch. This led to an invitation to another evening training, sort of an advanced version of the original training, where they fed me dinner.
4. I stayed behind to help with clean up after the day long training and as a thank you the agency head gave me an unopened box packed with bakery cookies. It was purchased for the training but was hidden behind some piles of papers so no one had opened it. Husband was ecstatic, as I am not a cookie fan so he got them all.
5. Used some of the free eggs, plus the homemade croutons I make from stale bread and keep in the fridge, to make a strata. The cheese I used had been purchased on sale and kept in the freezer since Christmas. It was very tasty and fed us for three days!


Isabelle April 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

* Really sticking to my resolve to eat from freezers and pantry. Buying only the essentials right now, which for us are bread, milk, cheese, yogurt, fruits and vegetables. This reduces the grocery bills lately
* Hanging clothes outside to dry instead of using dryer
* Using city pass (12$/year) to go do Zumba tonight, and meeting a friend there.
* Got some clothes at thrift store. Best score: 0,25$ for a pair or Adidas pants! Wout, wout!
* Always buying my bread from the reduced rack. I buy “natural” breads with minimal ingredients, so after 1 day on the shelf it’s reduced 50% off. That’s when I buy it, slice and freeze. I refuse to pay 4$ per loaf. 2$ is fine.

Have a great frugal day! And Easter too!


Rachel April 14, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Timberline also has the best Bloody Marys ever – in case you feel like splurging on one thing during your stay! A favorite treat of mine when I’ve skied there in the past. 🙂


Mand01 April 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

FFT Holiday edition:
1. We are on our first family holiday in almost four years. All paid in cash before we left so no nasty bills to come home to, and all our spending money saved up before we left, so we can just focus on having fun.
2. We are staying in a slightly cheaper but still good enough apartment hotel right in the middle of the city, so that everything is within walking distance. We will only need to catch a couple of cabs the whole week- everything else will be powered by shoe leather.
3. We are mostly doing free activities with the exception of a science museum and a YouTube convention. Everything else is galleries, museums, markets and libraries. It helps to have raised a family of nerds.
4. The kids have saved their pocket money so I’m not expecting any “I wannas”
5. Our apartment has a kitchen so we can cook if we need to. This city has amazing food though so I’m planning to spoil the kids by taking them out a lot. However we will be eating breakfast in. Breakfast is breakfast and I’m not intending on spending $50 a day on it.


Bee April 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Having coffee and eating breakfast in are such huge money savers when traveling. Depending where you are at in the States, it can save $15-$20 a day per person. Over a week, that is quite a bit of money. BTW,. it really does help to be a bit of a nerd! :-).


Vickie April 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Have FUN!!
I love #2 “powered by shoe leather”! 🙂


Sandy April 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

1. Every Friday during Lent, there is a Fish Fry held nearby. Dinner there is $8 each, so tonight we will enjoy fish and chips/fries at home. There will be a last fish fry next week which we will attend and relish very bite!
2. Going out tomorrow, lunch will be eaten out, but, dinner is in fridge ready to heat when we get home.
3. Have dinner ingredients all ready for Sunday and will make a cheesecake from a new recipe.
4. At the thrift store I found some cookie molds, thinking they may have been good for resale, I called my daughter who checked eBay and found it wouldn’t have been that good of a deal. Didn’t even buy any for my own use, as I have cookie cutters that would work just as well!
5. Eating meals at home all week, breakfast, lunch and dinner! Planned meals out are a real treat for us. Heck, just having somewhere we both want to go together is a treat!


Bee April 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm

1) My farm share included arugula this week. It was packed with roots attached and wrapped so it would not dry. I cut the leaves off for salad and repotted it. I hope that it will grow and I will get on more bunch before it gets too hot.

2) Like many others, I have been working in my yard. My hubby and I have almost finished our giant landscape project. ( I so wish that I could learn to do things simply. I am trying.) I have arranged a plant swap with a friend who wants a bush that I have and dislike immensely. It will be replaced by a large yesterday, today and tomorrow from her yard. I also have gotten some free amaryllis bulbs.

3). While shopping at Trader Joes’s, I purchased two calla lily plants to use on my Easter table. — one large and one small. I was charged for two large ones. I brought them back to the store along with the receipt. I was given all my money back — not just the differenc –along with the plants and an apology. It is nice when a company goes above and beyond.

4) My older son bought and renovated his first home last year, and he is now putting up a new fence. There was quite a bit of damage during Hurricane Matthew to the old one. He has talked his dad and me –along with several of his friends– into helping him take the old one down. His dad is happy to work for pizza and beer. I am even happier to help him save nearly $1000 in labor costs. Besides it’s nice to spend time with him.

5) I continue all the usual things: cooking primarily from scratch, eating meals at home, reading library books, riding my bike instead of driving when I can, listing things on eBay, drinking water, and making my own coffee. No real sacrifices just enjoying simple things.

Have a great weekend and be frugal when you can!


Katherine in AL April 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm

1. We have been prepping and planting our summer veggie garden. Can’t wait for the great reduction in the grocery spending.
2. Gave my sister a birthday gift of homemade pickles and jams made from last summer’s harvest. She was happy and it cost just my time and a few jars I inherited when my husband’s aunt passed.
3. I filled up both cars on $.10 off day.
4. Our Easter tradition is coloring eggs, hiding them, eating them. The end.
5. Starting a home improvement project that will cost now but hopefully pay off later. We will curb the cost as much as possible by recycling, reusing and upcycling any materials we can get our hands on.


KAREN April 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

How cool is that, a getaway to the Overlook Hotel!


K D April 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

1. No eating out this week, except for burgers on Sunday (with a gift card) as planned.

2. The weather is perfect for not needing to heat or cool. I did schedule our utility company to come out and do a free Smart Energy check up.

3. I finished the taxes. I did not pay for Turbo Tax or any other software. It’s mostly the numbers that change from year to year. We’ll just about break even between the federal and state taxes.

4. A friend invited me to a jewelry party last night. That is not my kind of thing so I stayed home and made muffins and accomplished other things.

5. I just found ants in the outdoor window sill. I put a cotton ball soaked in a borax/sugar/water solution out and I’ll check tomorrow to see what’s going on.


Katy Hope April 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm

1. Found some free samples of shampoo/conditioner and face moisturizer in one of my magazines this week. Have been using them as well as some body lotion, I found at the back of the kids toiletry cabinet.

2. Downloaded a bunch of free TV shows for the kids to watch on our upcoming trip for free with our Amazon Prime membership.

3. Headed to a friends house for family dinner tonight, bringing a flourless chocolate cake that I made from baking supplies we already had in our cabinets.

4. My 6YO didn’t have school today, so we got a family pass to the SF Children’s Creativity Museum for FREE through the library Discover and Go program. It admitted 2 adults and up to 4 kids, so we took a friend too.

5. Went through our kids toys/clothes this week and set aside some for donations and some to give to our little cousins who were happy to get the new clothes.


Elizabeth April 14, 2017 at 6:16 pm

1. Husband called cable company and got our bill lowered by $40 a month.
2. Used a coupon for a free stack of pancakes at IHOP and treated myself to that after my annual gynecology appointment and mammogram. It was a nice treat after the squishing!
3. Found a thin crust for pizza at The Dollar Tree that is actually really good and all four of us like it. The brand is Golden Home. Really good for $1. Also found these Pizzetti snack crisps there too and they are amazing! I don’t really buy food from the Dollar Tree but after my good experience with these foods, maybe I will look more closely at their food!
4. Paid for son’s soccer camp with my PayPal earned from selling items I have in the house already.
5. Paid off the rest of my car loan!! Now our only debt is the mortgage! Woohooo!


Susie's Daughter April 15, 2017 at 6:02 am

Congrats on #5!!! Woohoo indeed!


Tracy April 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Hah, getting better after a few days of frugal fails.
1. Took bus to/from work two days this week.
2. Got a free lunch at a work event today.
3. Friend bought me a starbucks this morning after our run, a treat!
4. Went to Costco after work even though very tired and didn’t want to. BUT bought stuff for Easter baskets and for Easter brunch and for Easter dinner and a bunch of food and tp for us — am trying to only go to Costco once very six weeks or so, and its been that long, definitely saved money on holiday foods and made choices based on prices (there will be 10 of us and the ham I bought was only $19 which is way cheaper than beef or lamb, for example. Will also get an extra meal or two out of the leftover ham bone after Easter). Am trying to pay for the holiday meals and all of the baskets (re-using old ones just bought candy and eggs to fill them) from my regular grocery budget which means next week’s grocer shop will have to be frugal! Only real splurge at Costco was a lovely $10 bunch of flowers but for the holiday it’s worth it, and they’re alstromeria which I find last a long time…
5. Bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco for dinner tonight (way cheaper than take out) and served with some sweet potatoes that needed to be used and some green beans already on hand.


Teri April 14, 2017 at 8:12 pm

1. Tried to water-proof my ski pants after washing them, product left them all splotchy. I called the company and they said it needed to be applied while garment was wet. (stated in very small type on product, but common mistake according to customer service rep) He offered to send me some more product which I appreciated. Instead of the samples I expected I received 4 full sized and 2 pouches of their varied use products. Very consumer friendly, Nik Wax!
2. Priced matched many grocery items at Walmart, saved running around town and $$.
3. Using up perfume samples received free when I ordered Christmas gifts online.
4. Ordered boots I didn’t end up liking. Really glad I only order from companies that offer free shipping on returns.
5. Batched my errands and stopped at the bank on “free cookie” day. I save up my calories for their yummy cookies.


Lisa P. April 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm

My Frugal 5
1. Hubby fixed our lawn m0wer by going to a youtube video for instructions. He said this saved about $100 doing it himself. I am very proud of him as working on engines is not his thing.
2. Clean my counters, etc.. with vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
3. Downloaded the free gummie worms from Kroger today.
4. Downloaded and read a free book about being a cheapskate. It may have been mentioned on this site.
5. A friend of ours gifted us with free irises. This year is the first time any have bloomed. They are a gorgeous purple color!
Keep posting! Happy Easter!


Diane April 15, 2017 at 4:14 am

Continuing with no money spent beyond food, bills and basic needs. I finished a baby quilt using leftover fabric, began knitting little hats for Carry the Future with yarn given to me and am reading novels from my library. Also made my son an early birthday gift with a Boston Terrier coloring sheet that I colored at my library coloring group and framed in a frame I had on hand. He will love it. Tomorrow making a small brunch with fruit in the fridge and a sweetbread ring filled with cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon zest and topped with a lemon glaze. Also a lot of porch sitting and trail walking in our lovely Texas spring weather. And today The famous Jo’s Easter Pet Parade down South Congress Ave in Austin will definitely put a smile on my face!


Vickie April 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

That sweetbread ring sounds yummy and the Pet Parade sounds adorable. I visited Austin for the first time last Summer. What a beautiful city!!


CatherinefromFrance April 15, 2017 at 5:57 am

Hello ! I am french. read your blog with great pleasure.Is anybody can explain to me what is this vintage key fob screwdriver ? Thanks a lot.Catherine


Ruby April 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

Vintage means it is old. A key fob is attached to the metal ring of keys to make it easy to find in one’s pocket. The screwdriver is for inserting screws into wood.

So what Katy has is a small, old, screwdriver that is attached to a ring of keys so that it’s right at hand for use. Men who like to build things love little useful items like that.


CatherinefromFrance April 15, 2017 at 11:04 am

Thanks a lot ! Merci beaucoup !


tonya parham April 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm

That’s a good explanation. Hell, English is my first language and I wasn’t even sure what to picture, so I’m glad someone asked!


Sue April 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

Women like them too.. to me that looked like a screwdriver to use on a sewing machine! Small spots to fit in.. I have a Singer one that is red!


Lauren April 15, 2017 at 6:35 am

1. After much researching and consideration- I have purchased an instant pot used in good condition on Amazon. Free shipping and a discounted price, and I can skip the search for the other kitchen items I would have bought to fill it’s place.
2. I have some items stored at my mothers’ in a different country that I need in a few months. A friend will be coming over to where I live and is happy to bring them in her luggage instead of us paying postage or repurchasing.
3. Sold an old iPad my husband rarely uses- some money towards bills and less clutter!
4. We avoided temptation when looking at all of the Easter eggs this week and will buy some treats when they go on sale AFTER the holiday.
5. We purchased a used car for a good price. It is in good condition with low miles, is a make that has parts that are easily found, and we will share until we absolutely need to get a second car.


Betty Winslow April 15, 2017 at 6:57 am

1. I’ve discovered marked-down veggie trays – often, it’s as cheap to buy them as it is to buy the individual components, they come ready-to-eat, often with dip, and they make it easier for us to include more veggies in our diet. I then wash and save the plastic container, to use for taking snacks to a class I am part of.
2. Bought a basil plant instead of a bunch of fresh basil leaves (both same cost) and am babying it along until we can plant it. Meanwhile, any leaf that dies, I put in a small bowl to dry, for later use. Win-win!
3. One of my side hustles is repairing and upcycling costume jewelry. Recently remade a string of graduated beads (with sentimental value) into a trendy long chain and bead necklace. Customer was thrilled.
4. Attended a small business networking meeting on Monday – came away with several new marketing ideas, some new possible job contacts (I’m also a freelance writer), a free breakfast, and a reusable bag that says, “Shop small”.
5. Daughter duo, granddaughter, and younger son all coming over tonight to celebrate youngest daughter’s 31st birthday. All of her gifts were bought on sale and she’ll love them! Can’t wait. (Sadly, older son has to work.)


tonya April 15, 2017 at 2:32 pm

1) Went to a lovely bridal shower for a dear friend. Enjoyed the food and seeing her so happy! Wore a thrifted dress and shoes.

2) Found myself locked out of my house today! I broke in instead of calling a locksmith. I wonder if anyone has previously listed “broke into my house” as a FFT?

3) Checked out some books and magazines from the library.

4) Walked my neighborhood for exercise. Enjoyed the warmer temperature.

5) Going to get a take and bake pizza and watch Hulu tonight with my teenage daughter.


janine April 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm

#2 – have done this also – but never admitted it. Yesterday I had the foresight to have a book with me so I sat on the front steps and read until my husband came home and opened up. (not a long wait) Easy solution: a hidden extra key. I will try to make it over to the hardware store next week.


Vickie April 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

LOL! #2 – yep, I’ve done that too!


Alexandra April 18, 2017 at 4:17 am

We had this problem and wound up breaking a window to get into our house. Husband fixed it himself but not a great solution. My inlaws thought it was hysterical and bought us a gift of this lock box to hide a key. It gets lots of use!


Marion April 18, 2017 at 5:22 am

Oh yeah, been there, done that. Now I have a stash key hidden because climbing a ladder to crawl thru a window has definitely lost it’s charm.


Florencia April 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm

My sister figured how to open our front door using a credit card. I’ve done that twice. The most absurd time was when the key part of the lanyard stayed on the inside of the door.


Lindsay April 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

1. I wrote ten reviews for Wedding Wire and got a $10 gift card (I could choose from a list of vendors). I chose Panera because I had lunch with a friend scheduled there on Friday, so I ate for free!
2. Other than my free Panera lunch, we packed all lunches/ ate all meals at home this week.
3. I had friends over on Monday, instead of meeting them out. I served iced coffee and popcorn, both of which I already had on hand.
4. I registered for graduate courses that will be paid for by my employer and that will result in me moving up a column on the salary schedule.
5. I resolved to cut down on my drinking, which means that I saved money on alcohol this week. (I was having a glass of wine every night, but now I’m only drinking on the weekends or on social occasions.)


Mariana April 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Well done on the ebay sale.
I had an amazing sale this week myself. $299 for a blanket! After the fees and mailing I will net $250 or so. 🙂


Kim in MD April 15, 2017 at 7:32 pm

1. Sold 6 things on Amazon this week. College fund!
2. Won $5 with Safeway Monopoly game. Also a 2 lb. bag of shredded cheese and earned a movie ticket.
3. Found Starbucks coffee on the clearance rack for 50% off. Used coupons and got each bag for $3. Will send in for $5 gift cards for every 3 bags so $15 in Starbucks GCs.
4. Booked a hotel reservation online for next weekend. Traveling to Georgia to see DS#2’s college team play in District tournament. His 20th birthday is this week so we will take his gifts and bake a cake to celebrate with his friends. Well pack food, snacks and drinks for the 10 hour drive.
5. Enjoying all my daffodils and tulips that are blooming. The daffodil bulbs came from my neighbor and a fellow freecycler a few years back and the tulip bulbs have been bought over the years at Aldi. Frugal flowers.


Marybeth April 17, 2017 at 3:34 am

Please explain on #3 how you get the gift cards.


Kim in MD April 17, 2017 at 6:53 am

When you buy three selected Starbucks coffee or Tazo tea products at the grocery store, you can submit for a $5 GC. I just happened to see it on the side of a cardboard display fixture as I was walking down the aisle at Safeway. I’m going to buy 3 Tazo tea, which are on sale for $2.50 each and submit for the gift card and $1 on Ibotta. We drink a lot of tea and coffee both hot and iced!
Here’s the link.


Marybeth April 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Thank you


Kim in MD April 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm

You are very welcome!

CK April 17, 2017 at 8:21 am

There is a starbucks promotion that if you buy 3 products at a grocery store you get a $5 egift card. You can do up to 10 transactions.

I submitted one over the weekend and I got the gift card within 20 minutes via email.


MommaL April 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

Awesome moneymaker #3!


janine April 16, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Happy Easter and Passover everyone!
1. Hosted a women’s listening session. One of the participants gifted me with several extra granola type bars for inclusion in packed lunches next week.
2. We ate Easter dinner at home even though there was a siren call to Sunday brunch out.
3. Will send out Easter leftovers for son’s lunches next week.
4. Meal planning for next week incorporating leftovers and sale items.
5. New dog has heartworm after being give a clean bill of health by the shelter who sold him to us. Lessons to be learned: take FFT advice and get dog health insurance immediately. Sometimes it shows up in test months after initial test. Expensive and painful fix – estimated at around $1,000. He is a wonderful pet, but wish the circumstances were different.


Marybeth April 17, 2017 at 4:03 am

Happy Easter everyone!
There was no school last week so my husband took a few days off and we went to visit our oldest daughter who lives in Baltimore.
1. Stayed with her instead of getting hotel room. Borrowed my sister’s large air mattress so we had enough beds.
2. OD wanted us to bring the dog so we didn’t have to have anyone watch her.
3. BIL watched the house and got the mail for us.
4.Brought lots of OD’s favorite foods from NY. Brought 2 dozen bagels, challah bread, Italian bread, cannolis. We made French toast one morning for her and her roommates. All of the boyfriends ended up showing up for homemade breakfast too. Everyone enjoyed the bagels as well. One roommate is from NY, other roommate’s boyfriend is from NJ. They were loving the bagels.
5.OD got us free passes at the science center that she works at. While she worked one day we got to explore. Got to see a free IMAX as well. We brought our lunch with us and met up with her for lunch. Got to see her at her new job. She is great and all the kids loved working with her. Proud Mom!
6. ODlined up lots of free things for us to do. Explored the city, went to a tulip garden, went to a state park and had a picnic lunch, went to a conservatory and they were having a free fair. It was great to get to see so much.
We did splurge a little. We treated OD out to dinner. Took her to the grocery store and stocked her up on lots of things. Went on some ships in the Baltimore Harbor. Treated everyone at the used book store. We had set a budget before we left so we knew what we could spend. Had a wonderful time.


Ellie April 18, 2017 at 9:47 am

Setting the budget ahead of time –=Great idea!


WilliamB April 17, 2017 at 8:42 am

1. Continued to use reusable bags for grocery shopping, and to use other stores’ plastic bags to line my trash cans.

2. Sometime in the past year I got thoroughly tired of my usual cereal for breakfast, but gritted my teeth and hung in there till the boxes were empty.

3. Used the freezer to recoup my brining/smoking mistake. I should have brined the pork leg (4 days to brine) ~before~ the chickens (1 day to brine). So I put the chix in the freezer while the leg brines – in the same brine, natch. This weekend I’ll smoke them at the same time, natch.

4. The chickens were pastured and on sale, the pork pastured from my friend’s farm; neither were cheap but both were good deals for pastured meat. This supports my goal of eating more happy meat and less CAFO meat.

5. Continued to eat at home, despite not meal planning and not wanting to cook. Meals include: shrimp, kielbasa, steamed chix in leftover teriyaki sauce.


Vickie April 17, 2017 at 11:39 am

1) Bought oatmeal and blueberries, this morning, to restock my breakfast supplies here at work.
2) The store had energy/diet bars on sale for $2.45 per box, so I bought two. They make good afternoon snacks and that’s 1/2 price they cost at Walmart.
3) I wore one of my pretty Goodwill blouses to Easter Service at my daughter’s church yesterday. We had a great day with our daughter & grandkids.
4) I shared the FB page of my wonderful dog groomer. She told me she’d give me a discount for every referral. I only take my dog about every 2 months, but she does a wonderful job on her and my fur-baby loves her.
5) I’m reading two great library books and listening to an audiobook called Freedom by Jayce Duggard, during my work commute. Staying frugally entertained and gaining knowledge along the way.


Alexandra April 18, 2017 at 4:26 am

1. Came very close to splurging for Easter brunch but stayed strong and ate a good breakfast at home.
2. Had grandkids all day Friday and Saturday since school out/Mom working. Had a picnic on the deck for lunch. They are easy to please…PB and J!
3. took boys to the downtown farmers market and walked around downtown. We all looked longingly across the river at a bunch of bouncy houses and funnel cakes going on for $5 a head but had done free bouncy houses the weekend before so…went to a yard sale that was giving out free Easter cookies. Score!
4. Went for 2 bike rides with kids and got invited each time to join other kids on their trampolines! Kids in heaven! Nice neighbors.
5. Came very close to running to store for frozen pizzas as kids wearing me out. DH reminded me of lots of groceries in fridge. He played with kids while I made lunch then he took them to run errands and I got to read my library book!


Vic April 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

1. listed 2 items on fb and craigslist
2. landscaping in our yard using free/ natural materials like tree stumps
3. hanging out all our laundry to dry
4. We have signed up for a produce box. It get delivered to to the door. and we can add ther staples to the order. Its frugal only in that it prevents me from impulse purchases at the grocery store and means that I have to take meal planning seriously. But we are in budget and eating healthy…
5. Planted lots of basil seeds: planning to gift some at mothers day and eat the rest


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