Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 27, 2017 · 75 comments

  1. I had the privilege of receiving a behind the scenes tour of a Portland area Goodwill Outlet store yesterday, which of course was a total blast. (So interesting, and you can look forward to a stand alone blog post about it in a few days.) Afterwards I wandered around “the bins” for a bit, where I picked up a brand new pair of hand knit socks and a pair of classic vintage scissors. The total cost? 57¢. And yes, thank you for asking. I am an extremely practical person.
  2. I’m attending a consumer opinion focus group this evening, which will bring me $100 closer to my goal of exotic vacations, groovy clothing, gourmet restaurant meals, relaxing spa days paying for my sons’ college expenses. These are always very interesting and there’s something very Soprano-esque about being handed an envelope full of cash. I just wish they’d tell me that “you’re one of my top earners.”
  3. I borrowed my friend’s sweater shaver to tidy up a vintage needlepoint pillow that was looking a bit rough. This is a perfect example of how having a “mutually moochy relationship” supports a frugal life style. There is a 0% chance that the two of us will require this item at the same time, so there’s no need for duplicate ownership. She then has carte blanche to borrow anything that I own. Example? She borrows my rug shampooer from time to time.
  4. I accepted an invitation to meet up with the alumni outreach person from my college of nursing. He knew to not hit me up for a donation, and together we enjoyed delicious lattes on his expense account.
  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.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

kathy April 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

As my part time job has become very, very part time. I’m always searching for ways to be more frugal.
1. Completed online survey from my health insurance company which gave me a $25 gift card. I used that gift card to purchase a $25 gift card to PF Changs as I already had a $50 PF Changs gift card I won at dog show. Hubby and I will use these cards for dinner/drinks later this month.
2. Completed health assessment for insurance company which netted me a $50 gift card (don’t know to what retailer)
3. Received a $25 gift card to Spaghetti Warehouse at husband’s company dinner last week. I’ll give this to son for his birthday in July.
4. Clerked 4 days last week at local dog show. Made some $$ plus free parking, breakfast and lunch
5. Signed up for exercise classes thru community center. One free and one is $8.31 for 4 classes. Plus I walked 1.5 mile round trip to store today.


Jenny April 27, 2017 at 7:02 pm

How do you get to do the online survey and health assessment?


Mand01 April 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

1. I’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning up our backyard. I’ve hired a skip (not frugal) but doing the backyard myself definitely is frugal. I have two more days of holidays and am planning to knock out a lot before returning to life behind a desk.
2. I participated in a study and was rewarded with a $50 supermarket voucher.
3. I’m making Boston Baked Beans in my crockpot today.
4. A bunch of library books arrived for me and my daughter yesterday.
Frugal fails:
Went to the movies with an old friend. Had a discounted ticket but paid almost as much to park as the movie cost!
We went out for dinner and shouted a friend as well- totally blew our budget even with a coupon.


Jill A April 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm

The Goodwill Outlet sounds like fun. I don’t think we have any around here.

1. Made a delicious split pea with ham soup. Used the bone and some of the ham leftover from easter, used up celery that was close to composting and some hairy carrots. Cheap and very filling. We’ve had a few meals with it and gave some to my Mother and my In-laws.
2. Made a seven layer salad. Cheap ingredients that I had on hand and will make many meals.
3. Stocked up on cheap gas, toilet paper and some coupon items at Costco and stocked my freezer with sale roasts at Meijer and remembered to turn in my bottle deposit that I forgot the last time I was there.
4. I was admiring a large glass measuring/mixing bowl the other day when out with my Mother, I was going to keep an eye out at garage sales this summer as my tupperware one is falling apart. My Mom gifted one to me that she’d picked up a few years ago and never used.
5. Combined errands to save gas while at an appointment today.


BJS April 27, 2017 at 2:48 pm

1. I got an electric bill that was ridiculously low. I knew immediately that something was wrong. It showed two payments, the full amount that I paid online on my regular date, then a $200 payment a few days earlier. I called, and was told that a man had made the $200 payment over the phone. My husband never pays any of our bills, so I knew it was someone else who meant for it to go into their account. I’m going to pay the “real” amount I owe this coming month, and the $200 credit will stay in my account until the electric company figures out who it should’ve gone to. They’re going to start researching it. I feel bad for the man, and hope it gets credited to him soon. (So this is in the category of being frugal for someone else, I guess!)

2. Renewed my library books on time because I had a note on my calendar. When those were renewed I wrote the next due date on my calendar. I think most other people like email reminders, but this method has worked for me for years so I’m sticking with it!

3. Used a coupon that was about to expire for tissues that my husband likes. We already had a package but I went ahead and bought the next package a little early so I could use the coupon.

4. Got lunch at Wendy’s (not frugal), but remembered to use my key tag to get a frosty.

5. Tonight is catch-up-on-the-checkbook night! I’m way behind, and I feel much better when I know where I stand.


Sophie April 27, 2017 at 5:25 pm

BJS, I am the same way, write it on the calendar! I do not look at my emails that much. It works sooooo much better. And #5, I agree, I sleep much better when I know my checkbook balance matches what the bank has me balanced at (if that makes sense). 🙂


BJS April 28, 2017 at 8:00 am

It makes perfect sense, Sophie! I think a lot of people don’t even keep a checkbook anymore, which is great if it works for them — less work to do! But for me it feels so good when my number matches the credit union’s number … exactly how you described it.


WilliamB April 28, 2017 at 5:58 am

I once had a $12,000 credit on my water bill. Can you believe it? Of course it was a mistake – a typo on the account number – but it was fun while it lasted. I joked about getting the overage refunded to me, since I didn’t need 230 year’s worth of water bills paid in advance.

Then I called the company to let them know someone (I guessed a gym with a swimming pool) was going to be upset that their payment didn’t go through.


BJS April 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

$12,000! That’s so funny, William!


Beth April 28, 2017 at 7:17 am

Good for you for making it right on #1

There are people out there that wouldn’t have questioned it, or would have just waited for the company to figure out their mistake (and hope that they never did). Honesty is always the way to go in these situations.


BJS April 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

Thanks, Beth. I just knew that the money didn’t come from me, and if I were the man who’d paid it I’d want to know where my $200 had gone.


Vickey April 28, 2017 at 7:21 am

BJS, I love the honesty and integrity in your #1. Way to go, doing your part to help build a culture of honesty!


BJS April 28, 2017 at 8:09 am

Vickey, thank you for your kind and encouraging words!


Nancy from mass April 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

No time for a full post right now, but I knitted myself a pair of socks in that very same yarn!!


MW April 28, 2017 at 11:40 am

Hmmm. . . are you sure they didn’t end up in a Pacific NW Goodwill?


Nancy from mass April 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

I actually stopped to think if they were in my drawer! They are !


Katy April 29, 2017 at 11:24 am

We’re now sock twins!


Nancy from mass April 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm


KJD509 April 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

1) We have kept the furnace off even though winter has returned. It is so cold in the house it isn’t even funny anymore. On the plus side, I’ve caught up on months’ worth of lost sleep because the only warm place is in bed with the electric blanket and a layer of cats. This is frugal because a minimum order of oil for our tank would be more than $500 and it is definitely not in the budget right now.
2) Cooked every night this week even though I really really REALLY didn’t want to. Last night was grilled cheese sandwiches and French fries from real potatoes. (Didn’t say I cooked healthy . . . just that I cooked.)
3) Miserable desperation dinners tend not to provide good leftovers for lunch. This morning I grabbed a small mason jar of pea soup from the freezer. Boy were we sick of it when I froze a half dozen servings, but it’s been a couple of months so it tasted delicious today.
4) Watered indoor plants – including sad, shivering tomato, pepper, and basil starts – with shower water I catch in the bucket. Do this all the time, just don’t think to list it very often.
5) Hubs has good news and, I suspect, wants to go out to dinner to celebrate. I headed him off by saying I’d take him out for a beer on the way home. Still $ out, but a whole lot less than feeding 4 of us someplace fancy and he gets to pick the brewpub, which will make him happy.


Trish April 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

lol…”miserable desperation dinners”


Lindsey April 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

1. Made a batch of ham/potato/cheese soup. Ate it for two days.
Frugal fail: after the second night, left it on the stove to cool and forgot to put it in the fridge until I saw it the next morning. Had to trash it. Shed a little tear, as there was enough for two more nights and a lunch.

2. Found dog food for half price, since the store is discontinuing carrying that brand. We have Danes and they eat a lot. We bought all 18 of the bags they had.

3. As we were checking out, store clerk asked if I wanted two torn bags they had in the back that they were just going to ditch. Free! I think they lost about a cup out of each 40 pound bag, so this was about 79 pounds of feed for free!

4. Stood behind a guy at Safeway who was buying for some private school. He didn’t want the Monopoly tickets so I asked him if I could have them. 48 tickets! I didn’t win a million bucks but I won about $40 of free food, like bagged baby carrots, 3 avocados, a loaf of French bread…

5. I was asked to attend a meeting and to agree to stay afterwards to clean up, since usually only one or two people volunteer to stay behind. Besides a free dinner, I was given three fruit trays and a pan of Sam’s lasagna, plus about 100 napkins that had the sponsoring company’s logo on it so the agency didn’t want to give them out at the next meeting this company was not sponsoring. Heck, yup, I’d be happy for the napkins. We use cloth napkins and don’t buy paper towels but use rags. However, we will use these on road trips–they were going to throw them out!

6. Did three mystery shops, earning $90 total for about 2 or 3 hours of work including submitting the paperwork.

Another frugal fail: We had a five gallon can full of gas that I was too lazy to put in the garage so left it in the driveway. I thought it was hidden well enough but it was not. The only up side is that we’d gotten the gas for $1 off per gallon by using Safeway points accumulated while buying Home Depot cards for a remodeling project.

I have one question: I lost 150 lbs and am no longer diabetic but I have over 30 glargine insulin pens sitting in my fridge; it has been 6 months since I used any insulin and my weight has stayed steady so I don’t anticipate needing any for the foreseeable future. (Lest someone who needs to lose weight feels shamed reading that, I feel compelled to say I am not a master of my eating. I got a catastrophic illness and I lost all the ability to keep down food for over a year. At one point I actually was on IV feeding and doctors were urging me to drink milkshakes and drink full-fat milk. If I had not been in health hell, it would have been heavenly!) I have no idea how to donate these. As a nurse, Katy, do you know of a place I could donate them? They are in original packaging, so obviously never opened. There is a long time until they expire. I saw a news program on folks whose insurance won’t cover insulin and I would love to be able to donate it. It would break my heart to throw it away when someone else might be going without food or a car payment in order to pay for insulin. Any suggestions?


Jacque April 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm

My pcp said I can donate unopened meds to his office and his nurse will find needy patients to give it to . You may check with your personal care doctor. I’m like you it would break my heart to toss it when someone could use it .


Jenny April 27, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Lindsey, I’d love to know more about the mystery shopping . I’ve heard many bad stories about it but it sounds like it was good for you!


Lindsey April 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

Jenny, I do mystery shops for two companies: and

I’ve done mystery shops for these guys since 2010 and have never had a problem with getting paid (although there is a long lag time–they pay at the end of the month following the month you did the shop. So the shops I did this week will not be paid for until the end of May.) There is no commitment, if you don’t feel like doing a shop, you don’t request it. Sometimes if they are desperate, an assigner will call you and ask that you take on a shop. Some shops pay $2, for phone sops so you don’t have to leave the house, and others pay up to $150. Today, for instance, there is a motorcycle shop for $150. Last week there was a Well Fargo shop for $60…Sometimes a shop won’t pay much, like movie shops. They only pay you $5 cash, but you get two tickets and $15 worth of concessions so it is actually worth a lot more.

I can’t think what else to tell you. I’d suggest looking up the two sites and reading their material. My husband and I both do shops, since sometimes there is a shop for a men’s clothing store or some other gender-specific shop. Plus, he loves the electronics shops because he gets to scope out the latest gadgetry.

Hope this helps. You won’t make a living doing this but it is a nice little side gig. As I said someplace before, I have not paid for a lube job or a movie in literally years.


Jennifer April 27, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Lindsey! I need that Lantus(glargine). Our insurance pays very little for THAT insulin. My husband has pancreatic cancer so his pancreas doesn’t work at all which means he takes a higher dose than a normal person. Even using GoodRx it costs hundreds of dollars. Please email me:


Jennifer April 28, 2017 at 6:17 am

I am also a registered nurse. We rarely get samples anymore since Lantus has moved to generic. It costs us well over $200 out of pocket for one vial. I will cover any costs for you to ship it and compensate you for the trouble. Even with that it will save me money!


tonya April 29, 2017 at 6:49 am

Aww, this warms my heart. I am a diabetes educator and it sickens me to see how expensive insulin is.


Lauren April 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm

1. Shopped around for new (or used!) dog walking boots for weeks and finally found some on sale on Amazon with good reviews. I used ebates for some cash back as well.
2. Have just purchased an unsponge and reusable face cleaning rounds on Etsy. It’s also inspired me to look into free or low cost sewing classes.
3. Listed some used wedding items for sale for some extra cash.
4. My FIL bought me some muesli I can’t bring myself to eat (it has papaya in it yech). I’ll bring it back to them so they can eat it. I feel a little awkward doing this but better for it not to go to waste!
5. I’m job hunting at the moment so thought I might as well apply for side jobs as well. Maybe I can batch any interviews at the same time. We’re saving to build a home, and for future kids so now is the best time for me to take on any and all work I can!


Amanda April 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm

1) I transferred the $774 left over from our April budget to savings.

2) I thought reeeally hard about buying a Pepsi for the road today, but fought the urge and saved the $1.50.

3) I had to make the drive to my university today (50 miles away). While there I took care of all the little errands I could think of that might come up in the next week or two (returning books, picking up the bike helmet I left last week) so that I won’t have to spend the time or money to go for a while.

5) Yesterday my mom treated me to lunch for my birthday. My birthday was weeks ago, but we both don’t care and both prefer not to mess with splitting checks.


Amy April 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

1. The kids allergy medicine was buy one get one 50% off, I had a $4 off manufacturer coupon and I had a $5 off the order coupon from the last pharmacy trip. Since I bought 2 allergy meds I got another $5 off coupon for next time you shop.i had a digital coupon for $3 off my allergy meds so I used both the coupons to get my medicine for half off.

2. Easter candy 90% off so I bought a few things to keep on hand for treats.

3. Made pancakes with the discarded sourdough starter.

4. Bought an Angel cake mix to make my birthday cake at home.

5. Stopped in to pick up tortilla chips for dinner and found pasta on sale for 59 cents a pound. I bought 20 lbs because I have a teenage boy and his friend who eat here most nights.


Krystal April 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm

I have been in not-so-frugal Las Vegas for work, but managed a few:
1. Our expensive meeting suite came with 2 free breakfasts a day, so my husband and I took advantage of them today, and he took advantage of them the mornings I could not. In our 5 days, we paid for 1 breakfast for 1 person, rather than 10).
2. We had left over food from our business meetings 2 days, so I wrapped some leftovers and ran them down a few floors to our room for my husband to have a free lunch. Also avoided food waste. Avoiding waste is quite a pain in Vegas, more so than anywhere else I’ve ever been.
3. My husband has nearly 3 months of PTO saved up, so the only added costs for him were some meals and a plane ticket (luckily it’s fairly cheap for us to get to Vegas). We had a bit of fun within our spending budgets ($100), and he doubled his money so it lasted a bit longer. Coming back with 25% of our spending money.
4. We were at the airport very early so we checked on going standby, but it would have cost $50 and we aren’t in a rush. Saying “no” saved money.
5. We got a complimentary upgrade on our flight down here, and enjoyed free drinks and snacks to save money on buying food.


Lisa P. April 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Hi to you all! My frugal 5
1. I won some free Johnsonville grilling brats on the Kroger contest. There are a lot of legit instant win contests online.
2. Signed up for free sample of pet food
3. We went to Kroger today and spent about $31 or so and saved $33. We got lot of fresh vegetables. We also picked up some prev. Kroger Friday freebies that were on our card.
4. I took some of the free magazines that I get in the mail and used several to place in encouragement baskets that we make at our church.
5. Going to be planning our weekly food menu to try and make sure we utilize what we just bought. We also sent my Dad several dinners from food that my husband and I had made.


Bee April 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm

It has not been a very eventful week. I suppose that boring is a good thing. Of course, I have been drinking water, making my own coffee, and cooking my meals at home. I have also had a few opportunities to be frugal:

1) I reviewed my budget for May and scheduled my payments using my bank’s bill pay. It feels good to have that done. No late fees wil be incurred and no postage will be paid.
2) I went to a neighborhood estate sale and spent $2 on office supplies that I needed including 2 binders and an accordion file. I also purchased an immersion blender which has been on my want list for a while for only $5.
3) There were some bargains at the grocery store this week. I purchased 20lbs of jasmine rice and 10 lbs of organic chicken breasts at 1/2 price.
4) I cooked 7 of the 10 pounds of the chicken mentioned above in the crockpot. I have shreaded it and have frozen it into 4 cup bags. Soon it will be chicken salad, pot pie, tacos, and white chili. I have used all my veggies from my farm box. No food waste this week.
5) I am reading from my stack of books that I purchased at the library book sale. I borrowed a book and DVD from the library. I have enjoyed listening to a couple of installments of the podcast, Sounds of the Trail.


janine April 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm

1. Put together budget for next month and menu plan for next week.
2. Former colleague bought me lunch. Gave her some business advice.
3. Trying to batch errands and save on carbon footprints. On the way to work husband returned son’s car, and picked up mine. I stayed home and will combine haircut, grocery shopping etc. tomorrow.
4. A group I belong to rented a room at a coffee shop. They waived charges for coffee and tea up to the $10 rental fee for those who arrive first. Saved $7 – planned to treat our driver.
5. Saved $$ on gas by not driving across town to meeting.


Cindy in the South April 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm

1. I read the free paper, from a much larger city about 30 miles away. Apparently, there is a grant this newspaper has received to deliver newspapers for free to our much poorer town. I am not complaining…coupons!. 2. I spent about 30 minutes gathering more free mulberries from my military tree. I also gathered and roasted dandelion greens from my front yard since they are supposed to be good for you. 3. I cleaned my own rather dirty house, since I managed to tromp inside lots of mud from the storm last night, after picking the above mentioned mulberries and dandelion greens. I also feel satisified after I have cleaned my house. I do like a clean house! 4. I knew I would have a rather hectic day at work today, , so I got up early and fixed a fabulous egg, cheese, onion, tomato, jalapeno, and olive omelet. I also took my homemade beans for lunch today, and ate them again tonight, with the aforementioned roasted dandelion greens….and a few fresh mulberries for dessert. 5. I did my own nails.


Cindy in the South April 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Mulberry not military…autocorrect messes me up every time…..sigh


Vickey April 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

I was imagining a tree with epaulets…. 😉


Suesan April 27, 2017 at 7:49 pm

I did a research opinion study and was handed an envelope on my way out the door. I think I would almost do them for free because it is always fun to have someone listen to me and ask me my opinion because they actually care what I am thinking.


Kim in MD April 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

1. Found big bags of organic potting soil on clearance for $1 at the grocery store. Bought 7.
2. Picked up my free gourmet chocolate bar at the grocery store. Also used $5/$15 coupon to buy 3 strip steaks on sale for $4.99/lb, reg. $12.99/lb.
3. Did 8 merchandising jobs. College fund!
4. Going to divide some of my perennials and sell them on FB yardsale group. Last fall did this with my decorative grasses and made about $50.
5. Stopped at the Pepperidge Farm store since I was in the area. Restocked our snacks with lots of cheap goldfish!


Nancy from Mass April 28, 2017 at 3:15 am

1. found a small pumpkin quickbread i made in the fall in the back of the freezer. Having part of it this morning for breakfast! (has chocolate chips and walnuts in it too. mmmmm)
2. my son needed prescription sunglasses so we brought the Oakley presc sunglasses my husband had and they are turning them into my sons! not cheap, but cheaper than buying a brand new pair of presc sunglasses.
3. brought home 2 small file bins (the kind with a handle on top). one to keep my tax-related files in it, the other, to keep my mothers files. (she’s in a nursing home and i’m her POA and need to keep her files complete).
4. need a massage. (yes, i really do!) i have inguinal tendonitis in my hip and have been going to PT but need extra help with some deep tissue massage. I am using a ‘main street’ business and going to the MT that i used when i had both of my shoulder surgeries (she is AMAZING). her place had a special deal (3, 1hr or 2, 90mins) for just a little more than one somewhere else. my shoulders always benefit from massages too. I can’t wait for sunday!
5. redeeming cans today. will put that money aside for DS to get his subway fix later this week. (probably have about $4 in cans since we haven’t turned them in for a while). also have a $1 off coupon, so he can get a footlong for about a buck.


Lauren April 28, 2017 at 4:12 am

I use Zenni Optical for cheap glasses and sunglasses if you ever get stuck and need to buy new. I get my full prescription from my eye doctor every time I get checked and order myself online. I’ve had pairs for years they’re sturdy and have great styles!


Bee April 28, 2017 at 7:11 am

Nancy, thank you for the nice comment last week regarding my son’s hike. His adventure continues!


Nancy from Mass April 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

so happy to hear that Bee! If i lived closer to an AT trail, i would definitely leave some, okay, maybe alot of ‘trail magic’ for the hikers. (i’m about 3 hours from the AT).


Cheri R April 28, 2017 at 5:04 am

Cool! I made socks from that yarn. A merino/bamboo/nylon blend.


Mrs. Picky Pincher April 28, 2017 at 5:12 am

Great job with that free latte. 🙂

This week:

1. Instead of buying new accordion doors for our closets, I finally decided to paint them. It was such a pain in the neck, but I painted all five of them and we now have closets. My cat is pissed that he can’t lounge in my craft closet any more. 🙂

2. I ordered a standing desk for my work from home office. I used some Amazon credit and gift cards to pay for it. Hopefully this will help me feel more alert and energized while working at home. I really do prefer standing.

3. I have some leftover yarn and I’m going to crochet my cat funny clothes. I know he’ll rip them off immediately, but it’ll be worth the photos. And it’s a great way to use up little bits of yarn.

4. I’m going through my house this weekend and selling/Freecycling anything that we don’t need.

5. I made extra homemade jerk chicken marinade and froze it.


Roberta April 28, 2017 at 6:14 am

My parents took us and our kids (The Grandkids) to Hawaii last week. It was beautiful, and an amazing trip. I am so grateful, but I have never seen anything like the prices in Hawaii!
1. Went to the commissary and bought yogurt, granola, pinapples, instant oatmeal for breakfasts. Bought crackers, bread, almond butter, pineapple jelly, cheese. We had picnic breakfasts and lunches several times. It was really nice to have the option of eating lunch where ever we wanted — the scenery was gorgeous! And that way the kids didn’t have to wait for breakfast.
2. Didn’t buy souvenirs. We did bring home things we wove from palm fronds at the luau.
3. Froze a half gallon of milk before we left. Took it out of the freezer when we got home so we had milk for breakfast, and the milk didn’t spoil while we were gone.
4. We’ve eaten in since we got home. It’s felt really good to have homemade food! I used up some pantry food and made a quick grocery run.
5. My neighbor’s tree is still loaded with loquats (mine hasn’t started yet!). I picked a bunch, and I am drying some for later. The seeds will go to make liqueur for Christmas presents.
6. (Bonus) I sent dried oranges to school with the kids for lunch this week. If I hadn’t dried them this past winter, I would have had to buy fruit on an emergency grocery run this week!


Mrs. Daisy @ Dirt Road Daisy April 28, 2017 at 6:41 am

1. I rescued some buckets from work that would have been tossed. They are non-recyclable due to thick vitamin oil that comes in them. We are going to use them for experimenting with container gardening.
2. We have been using the same vet for years and their prices have steadily increased. I called around for some comparison prices and found a veterinarian 20 minutes further away that charges just about 50% less with the same level of care.
3. We set our financial goals and budgeted for May.
4. We de-cluttered our basement and found mounds of stuff that I’m slowly listing on eBay and Let It Go.
5. I mended several of our 3 year old’s jeans and pants that are too short but still fit in the waste into cut off shorts and capris.


SueB April 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

Feels very same old, same old here but I think I can scrub up 5 🙂

1. Woodstove on for a few evenings so I cooked 5 portions of soup and heated it up two days running on the woodstove, froze 3 portions for later. Using this, when it’s on for heat, really has made a difference to how often we buy LPG gas.

2. Is it cheating to say used the woodstove to also heat water for my coffee?

3. Did a Tesco survey, I could win £1000 Tesco gift card (I worked in marketing for a while so have a cynical view of chance of winning here), but the real reason I did it was for the 25 points you get every time you do one of these surveys. 500 points can be exchanged for £15 worth of gardening vouchers.

4. Used birthday cards from my store, I buy them in packs, much cheaper than buying individual ones through out the year.

5. We don’t live near our Godchildren any more so used Zeek to get £40 of cinema vouchers for £36 to send them for their birthday (they’re twins). I’ve used it a couple of times and it’s worked well so far. If it’s your first time then try and find a referral code in case the same offer is on from when I joined – you and the referrer gets £5 when you buy a gift card.


Lindsey April 28, 2017 at 11:02 am

Sue B—I was always very cynical about contests and then, in the same year, my 88 year old grandmother won a hot red convertible and my uncle won a trip for 4 to Hawaii! (Grandma never learned to drive, so uncle got her car, too.)


SueB April 29, 2017 at 4:32 am

Well done to your family 🙂

I used to work for a marketing company (as a secretary) where if you filled in a survey, you were entered into a free prize draw held monthly. What they didn’t mention is that everyone the survey was sent to was automatically entered but only if you sent your survey back was your entry valid.

So instead of a 1 in 100 chance of winning (all those who bothered doing the survey), it was more like a 1 in 10,000 and on top of that, if the details of someone was drawn who did not return the survey, the money was just kept.

It felt dishonest to me.


Leslie April 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

1. I was given several free bunches of asparagus, ginormous sweet potatoes and green onions. All organically grown.
2. I cashed in MyPoints points for an Amazon gift card.
3. I dropped off donations at my favorite local thrift store and scored a couple of books for beach reading next month, a brand new dog collar (his current collar is nearing the end of its life), and a lightweight, suitable for business casual, not faded black jacket (for when people in the office freeze me out with the AC).
4. Used up leftover ham in a pasta dish I found on pinterest that was really quite yummy.
5. Submitted a rebate for my dog’s heartworm meds because I bought a year’s supply at a time.


Jenzer April 28, 2017 at 7:20 am

1 – I used broken tortilla chips from the bottom of the bag to garnish my lunchtime soups and salads this week.

2 – DH fixed our gas-powered oven with a $13 replacement ignitor from Ebay. The oven is over twenty years old; hopefully this small fix keeps it going for several more years.

3 – I made red beans and rice for dinner yesterday, using a piece of tasso ham my parents gifted us from their New Orleans trip last month. Cheap and delish.

4 – I’m doing inventory of all my “aspirational” seed packet purchases from the last few years (i.e. flower and veggie seeds I bought with SUCH optimism … that never made it into the ground). I’m determined to get a few packets planted by the end of May.

5 – The kids and I are checking out library books and DVDs much more than we used to. When our property tax bill arrived last winter, I looked it over to see just how much of our money was going to the local library this year ($106 was the answer). I figured that if we didn’t use at least that amount’s worth of services, we were losing out. Plus, increased circulation statistics help the library, too. We’d fallen out of the habit of going to the library, but now I make a trip at least once a week.


Beth April 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

I’ve had some wins and some fails this week-here goes!

1. Purchased 3 whole, organic chickens for 1.79/lb. (they had a sell-by date of the date I purchased them but weren’t marked down, so I asked if they could discount them for me-and they did by more than 1.00/lb.) Put them in the freezer, and will cook them in the crockpot for future meals.

2. Downloaded the Free Friday Download last week and this week-both are items that my toddler and hubby will eat, so free food for them!

3. Was sick yesterday, so stayed home and ate practically nothing.

4. Mentioned in a previous post that I took a box of baby clothes to a consignment store-they bought the majority of the things for $30, and the box of clothes had been free to me originally!

1. Went to a friends house for dinner, and she asked us to pick up beans on our way. She said that she usually went to Chipotle and got two bowl-sized containers because that was easiest. I did just that, and paid $5/bowl. TEN DOLLARS for a dollar worth of black beans. It was our contribution, and she provided everything else, but my land! If I’d been thinking correctly, I would’ve just gone to the store and picked up a couple of cans.

2. Went to the gym with the same friend (free for me because she has a membership and I was her “visitor”). Afterwards, we stopped at a new smoothie shop for smoothies. Granted, my smoothie was clean, mostly organic, and no extra sugar-added, but it was $8. Again, If I’d been thinking correctly…

3. I’ve been buying from Poshmark lately, and I’m realizing that it’s not a good thing. I can’ try the items on, I can’t return them, and they have so far not worked out. Specifically, I’m looking for a knee-length, straight, dark, denim skirt. I’ve spent more money per item than I ever would’ve at a regular thrift store, and I’m settling for things that I don’t actually want. I’ll need to reign that in, and fast!


Emily April 29, 2017 at 11:19 am

Have you tried ebay? A lot of sellers allow you to return items.


Pattilou April 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

1. I was given some free theater tickets. I am so happy to live in a city with so many arts organizations and there is always something going on.
2. A friend had left over plants after working in his yard. They are now planted in my mother’s yard.
3. I have been so busy that I haven’t been able to make regular meals but I have managed to throw something together for each meal. I have to say that I am sick of lettuce but I’m not hungry!
4. I ordered prescription sunglasses for the first time. I got them from (Thanks to Frugalwoods for a recent blog post about this). I ended up paying $34.oo for a pair including shipping. I really hope they work out. My eye doctor’s office wanted $400.00 which was never going to happen!
5. Had a pot luck with friends last night. I brought some chicken I had in the freezer and some asparagus. My friend had a free movie rental from AppleTv so we then watched Lion. It’s a really good movie.


Pattilou April 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Oops #4 is Eyebuydirect


Vickie April 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm

1) It was Staff Appreciation Week here at work, so I attended as many of the festivities as I could. Lots of free food and swag. Today ended with the employee picnic – the weather was perfect!
2) It pays to fill up during lunch, that way I’m rarely hungry when I get home.
3) I’m picking up a book I put on hold, at the Library, about a month ago. It’s Beverly Lewis’s newest one. I get excited to read new ones by my favorite authors.
4) I attended the April OKWIT meeting in the city on Wednesday. Networking with other women in the technology field, eating a lite meal and drinking a little wine. We had a great female speaker from Gartner, it was a nice evening.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, a Yacht or gold-plated apartment in the sky.
Frugal Fail:
I had to replace my car tires today.
One went flat this morning, the same one I kept having problems with and since they were all getting pretty worn, I decided to replace them so I can travel safely and quit worrying.
The one good thing: The privately owned, local shop closest to my house was $100 cheaper than the discount chain store in town. Plus, the owner gives my husband his furniture business, so it’s a great trade-off. 🙂


WilliamB April 28, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Why do you consider getting a good deal on tires you need, to be a frugal fail? While it’s true you spent money, there’s nothing to indicate you did so foolishly, unnecessarily, or without thinking about it.


tonya April 29, 2017 at 6:58 am

Life has been really expensive lately! It can be easy to get discouraged. We had a contractor steal almost $5K from us in December (court case is in process) and an unexpected tax bill on top of that.

I continue my frugal ways. It could be a lot worse if we didn’t practice everyday money saving habits.

1) Took public transit to work one day this week. I work three days/week but sometimes my kids need rides after school and transit doesn’t work out.
2) Eating crockpot freezer meals for work night dinners. Present me is so glad that past me made 12 freezer meals.
3) Playing board games at home for free and fun entertainment. My son and I played Scrabble last night and we had a lovely evening!
4) Hubs is on a trip and he took transit to the airport. No parking fees.
5) Reading library books and watching Netflix.
6) Sending hateful thoughts to the jerk who stole money from us. Seriously hoping this mf’er gets his comeuppance. We discovered that he has several other local victims. My sense of Justice is in overdrive right now.


Jenny April 29, 2017 at 7:01 am

Who’s the jerk and what happened, if you can say? Maybe could help someone else not be a victim of a jerk.


tonya April 29, 2017 at 7:15 am

A local hardwood floor installer. We found him on a referral site that screens their providers! He asked for money to buy the materials and then we never heard anything. I went on a local radio show that exposes shady businesses and they now have him up on their website as part of their “sleaze brigade”. So hopefully we are preventing this from happening to others.


Jenny April 29, 2017 at 7:33 am

You probably have done this already, but I had sort of a similar experience in the past, before social media, and we went to small claims court, called the police and the State’s Attorney, and told everyone we knew!


Pattilou April 29, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Oh Tonya, I am so sorry that happened to you. Even though it is stressful, I’m glad that you can take them to court. I had something similar happen but not nearly that much money. Also, please report them to the Better Business Bureau.

tonya April 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Thanks, Jenny and Pattylou. Good support and ideas. Appreciate it!

Karen May 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

DH is a contractor and his first word of advice when anyone in business requests money up front for supplies, is find someone else. If they need money for supplies, it is likely because they either cannot pay their supplier bill or cannot qualify for a supplier account. There are rare exceptions, but for the most part if a business cannot afford their supplies, they cannot afford to be in business. You can also try getting referrals from the suppliers. They know who has the fewest issues.


Emily April 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

I LOVE MY SWEATER SHAVER! I use mine for my ebay business a few times a week so it is worth it to have my own, but man talk about cheap therapy. Shave all the fuzzies off everything you own.

1. I babysat last night for over 8 hours. Made cash, they bought me dinner, ate some snacks, watched their cable, loved on their dog. Good gig!

2. My boyfriend went to get an IV today at a local hydrate clinic as he has been sick and is starting finals. They have free drinks so I grabbed a nice perrier and a coconut water :).

3. Got a 130 dollar rebate in the mail for contacts that will probably be used for take out food during our move (gotta pick your battles sometimes).

4. Went to whole foods today to get a quick lunch. Its 6 dollars for a burger and fries. We waited over 3o minutes for our food, and when we got it, mine had ingredients I couldn’t eat (even after I specified to leave them off) and my boyfriends was undercooked. He at my burger, and we ate the fries, then they refunded us both meals since we didn’t have time for them to be re-made.

5. Avoided the temptation of hitting yard sales this morning. I need to clear out inventory in my ebay store, and I can stock up after the move.


Emily April 29, 2017 at 10:29 am

Oh! And I have been using digit which is AMAZING! IN just a few months, I have almost 600 dollars. Definitely something to consider :).


Pattilou April 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Emily, what is digit?


Emily April 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

It is an app that you link to your bank account. It uses algorithms and tracks your spending and decides when you can “afford” to put money into your savings. So every few days, it will remove anywhere from 2 dollars – 40 depending on your spending habits. It will never overdraft your account, and you can withdraw it any time if you need it free of charge. It works well for me because I get paid 1x a month and I pay most of my fixed expenses right away, so anything left over in that account is mostly spending money. I have been very impressed with it so far!


Pattilou April 30, 2017 at 10:12 am


Chris April 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm

1. Our dog “ate” a friend’s sunglasses last weekend. I had asked her to hang her coat because the dog has eaten things before. But after a bit of chilly time outside, she left her coat on the kitchen table. When they left, she patted down her pockets and said she was good to go. About 10 minutes later we heard a crunching sound and he was chewing on the leather case and into the glasses. On arrival, she told me that her sunglasses were $900!!! But it was our dog at our house and thus our responsibility – good news! She was overdue for an eye exam – they could save the one lens, put in a replacement frame and the munched on lens was $145!! Check will go out in next week’s mail…. note to self, monitor everybody’s stuff…. BTW she says it’s her fault for not making sure she had her sunglasses but I don’t want a 25 plus year friendship to fall apart over a pair of sunglasses.
2. Super busy with work/volunteering/discussions about a new PT job – but still picking up library holds on a day by day basis so I can read without losing holds.
3. Going on vacation in 2 weeks so will put my library holds on hold so I can keep up with the on slot of books coming my way.
4.Worked a funeral at church with good people – we mostly discussed selling our city properties ( big taxes) in retirement but wanting to maintain commitment to living in the “city” (aka Minneapolis).
5. Our local Aldi’s is being renovated but still open – a pain in the B**t to park but still can’t beat the prices.


Tracy April 30, 2017 at 5:52 am

Once my buy nothing new year is over, I may have to check out a sweater shaver. I use a 5 blade razor but one has to be very careful not to nick the sweater and create a hole (I’ve done it).

1. Have quite a bit of frozen meat and am going out of town for a quick work trip for two days so just hubby and DD will be here those days. As a result was able to keep weekly grocery shopping down to $50 yesterday (mostly produce, dairy and bread). Took some chili out of freezer for them to eat in my absence. Through some cooked chicken meat into freezer to make something from when I get home, they would have let it go to waste.
2. Had a beautiful run yesterday am with 4 dear women friends through our lovely Washington Park on trails and was treated to breakfast afterward in honor of my birthday last week. Wonderful morning, cost to me $0
3. Had dinner at my in-laws last night, brought a salad with ingredients largely on hand, along with some aforementioned produce. Many compliments, no extra outlay.
4. Heading to Oakland today for a work conference and will take BART from airport to hotel. Could take a cab but I think it is just as important to be frugal with the taxpayers’ money as with my own (I am a public employee).
5. Will take my own snacks on plane today to save money.


K D April 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

1. We took a quick trip to Charleston, using points for the flights, and finding a reasonably priced hotel and rental car. Our favorite things were visiting the beaches on the near by islands.

2. I have been baking up a storm: crackers, brownies, and rolls. Such is the gluten free life.

3. A friend has been going through a tough time the past several months. I saw they had Wonder Woman stamps available (an inside joke) so I purchased some as a gift. Not cheap but a good consumable gift that she’ll have for a while.

4. Red Box sent a free rental code so we watch Rogue One last night.

5. I walked to a yoga class this morning. Between all the yoga and Pilates classes I get in each month the cost per class (I have a monthly membership) is low.


Mary W April 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

I love your #3. She’s gonna smile every time she uses them.


Jean May 3, 2017 at 6:53 am

I am swooning over those socks!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: