Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 6, 2017 · 70 comments

  1. My husband and I wanted to go do fun stuff the other day, yet couldn’t justify the cost. (April was an extremely expensive month due to tuition payment, taxes and some unexpected medical fees.) I had two large mustard colored glazed flowerpots that I wasn’t keen on, so I brought them over to our local consignment shop and left with $6.90 in cash. I’d pulled them from a free pile a few months ago, so I had no problem parting with them. Add in that I still had leftover cash from last week’s consumer opinion panel, and suddenly we had guilt-free funds for an afternoon of lunch and sightseeing.
  2. I worked yesterday and brought my own lunch of spaghetti squash with homemade kale pesto. I’d thought that I didn’t have enough leftovers to put a work lunch together, but then remembered the squash. Of course I enjoyed the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea.
  3. I drew out my own calendar pages for June and July instead of buying a regular calendar. We have more paper at home then we could ever possibly use, and I’d rather make use of something I already own than buy a retail product. Why do we have so much paper? I rescued a couple reams of paper from my son’s dorm when we helped him move out last year. That’s also how I “shopped” for our current bath mat.
  4. I remembered my Chinook Book app while shopping at New Seasons the other day and tapped through to see if there were any coupons I could use. I discovered one for a dozen free eggs, which I gleefully added onto my phone. I paid $15 for the app a few months ago on a day when 100% of the proceeds were dedicated to the American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU) which perfectly aligned my passions. Bargain shopping and free speech protection? Be still my heart!
  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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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

MommaL May 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

1. Did secret shopping today during a regular grocery trip, got paid and some free deli meat.
2. Picked up free iced tea and chips at the same store, fed them to weekend houseguests.
3. Entered into the sweepstakes at that same store. Only frugal if I win, but you never know!
4. Opened the windows, what a nice cool breeze!
5. Picking lettuce, cilantro, basil, using them for guac and sandwiches with the free deli meat!
Not frugal: went to a community yard sale, found some gold hoop earrings I’d been looking for, brought them home and they won’t open. Lost only 50 cents, but still. Who sells broken jewelry anyway? Not cool.


Lindsey May 6, 2017 at 11:05 am

1. Made a salad from thinnings from my pak choi seedlings (instead of throwing them away) and young dandelion leaves (instead of mowing them down), with carrots leftover from a vegetable plate brought over by a friend we had over for dinner.
2. We kept getting free eggs for a grocery store promotion and I realized the other week that we had 10 dozen. Since then we have been eating eggs in one form or another every day, served an egg strata to our dinner guests, made eight loaves of an egg bread and frozen seven of them and made three egg-rich cakes and cut them in squares and froze them for future desserts—small squares so easy to have portion control. I am determined that none of those eggs will go to waste.
3. Traded our neighbor some salmon that has been in the freezer for many months, given to us by a fishing friend, for home made spring rolls. This happens about once a month, that we trade her either fish or moose for spring rolls. We usually stock up on salmon and moose in the fall, when I trade a fisher/hunter friend jars and jars of home grown and canned tomato confit and jars of rhubarb syrup I can. It is like recycling my garden produce for meat and fish and then for spring rolls!
4. I needed to trade out the played out soil in my many garden containers. It has been years…went to a local site where you can take as many buckets of soil as you want for free. The husband and I filled 15 of those large mayo buckets we’d gotten for free from a grocery store deli and mixed the new soil in with the old dirt. Years ago I would just have bought bags of Miracle Gro.
5. Made a nice big pot of soup from a new recipe that we both ended up not liking. We still ate it for two meals, taking the edge off the sacrifice by eating it with hot, buttered home made bread.


Alexandra May 6, 2017 at 11:34 am

Good for you for eating recipe you weren’t crazy about. You get a frugal gold star! (:
(I feel like I should get one when I buckle down and not waste food)(


Bonnie May 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

Hi Lindsay : When I have a surplus of eggs, I freeze them. Since most recipes call for two eggs, I fork beat them, then pour into small containers and freeze. Defrost them in refrigerator overnight and use in cookies,cakes etc. Good job on your frugal moves!


SueB May 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

In the past I’ve frozen my surplus into 6 egg portions – lightly beaten, just plain, no salt or sugar added.

I then defrost them and used them for frittata type dishes. They are gloopier than fresh eggs but I can’t tell the difference in taste when cooked.

With lots of veggies, this makes a two portion meal easily.


susanna d May 6, 2017 at 11:07 am

We were on vacation earlier this week, so it’s five frugal things, vacation edition for me:
1. Vacationed during the “off season” – rates for the rental were 1/3 what they are during the “high season”.
2. Rented a condo unit instead of staying at a hotel – full kitchen meant being able to bring along almost all our food and cook it in the condo. So much cheaper than going out to restaurants for almost all meals. And the condo had a dishwasher, which is something I don’t have at home. Made cooking seem more vacation-like.
3. We were given copies of menus from several local restaurants at check-in. One of them was for an Italian restaurant. Since I’d brought along spaghetti and meatballs as one of our meals (along with bread sticks and a pre-made Caesar salad) I was able to play “How much more would this meal cost in the restaurant?” Including an estimate of tax and tip, at least $40 more is my answer.
4. Condo had a washer and dryer in the unit so I was able to do all our laundry the night before we left. No mountains of laundry to tackle at home. A little savings on my electric bill. Yes, I often do laundry while on vacation if the opportunity presents…
5. A couple of cold, rainy days made our planned outdoor hiking less than desirable. On those days, I got my free exercise by walking up and down all the halls in the complex. While doing this, I stopped and checked every vending machine coin return. This netted me one quarter and seven dimes. My free exercise became “paid to” exercise – well, according to me, anyway.


BJS May 6, 2017 at 11:27 am

1. I’ve been on a potato-salad making kick for the last few months. No idea why; I think before this I might’ve made it a few times every year. Anyway, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t cost that much more for a 10-pound bag of red-skinned potatoes than it does for a 5-pound bag (which I used to buy).

2. Was offered an extra two-hour shift. Yay! I feel so thankful that I enjoy my job.

3. I had a women’s event at church this past week, and while I was getting ready I realized my shirt, pants, and sweater were all from Goodwill. Like Ruby says, I wore a cute thrifted outfit!

4. I signed up to send 24 baked-good treats to school for teacher appreciation week. I was tempted by the pre-made goodies in the grocery store bakery, because they were all so pretty and decorated so nicely. But I made two batches of my tried-and-true cookie bars, in two different flavors, and told myself that hopefully the teachers would like them as much as they would’ve liked the beautiful baked goods I passed up.

5. Had our usual Friday family movie night at home. (I love going to the movies too, but we only average about once or twice a year for that.) We usually end up paying around $5 for the movie at home, but sometimes we pick a free one. My daughter made popcorn, like always.


K D May 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm

I suspect your baked goods were both tastier and a better quality than what you would have bought. Not everything is about looks.


Karen L May 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I was thinking the same thing about the baked goods 🙂


SueB May 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

It’s like shop bought sponge cake – it might look the biz, but it never tastes as nice as home made sponge imo.


MommaL May 7, 2017 at 4:24 am

I am an educator and I can tell you we LOVE the home made treats!


Alexandra May 6, 2017 at 11:33 am

1. A little bored, wound up wondering JoAnne’s fabrics, looking at fun craft supplies. Was reminded I have a stretchy seed pearl bracelet to make, all the supplies at home. Enjoyed being inspired and also reminded of what I already have. Will finish bracelet today!
2. Cleaned out the veggie drawer and made a “green spring soup”, peas, zucchini, onions, arugula, spinach, artichoke hearts and homemade chix broth. Threw in half a can of leftover garbanzos and a sprinkling of feta. It was GOOD!
3. Leftover guacamole (Homemade of course!) from Cinco de Mayo festivities. Spread on turkey sandwich. YUMMMMM
4. Remembered work had sent out link for free online learning classes. Am on THIRD class already. One of those great work benefits that is easy to forget about and not take advantage. Really good courses on
5. Got 9 year old granddaughter accepted to a week of camp for Free in conjunction with nearby university. Camp topics are marine biology, engineering, and space travel. I want to go! It took some doing but so glad I persisted. Now, just need to find day care/camp for the other 11 weeks of summer for her and her 2 brothers (6 and 8). SO expensive. Ideas most welcome….


Tracy May 6, 2017 at 11:47 am

1. Taking bus today to my daughter’s volleyball tournament to avoid parking fee.
2. Returning some gifts that didn’t work for me.
3. Also have a surfeit of eggs after recent sales, going to make a quiche for dinner.
4. Have begun planning my wardrobe for a late summer/early fall trip to Iceland/Stockholm/NYC — will use all existing clothes except used birthday money to buy a hugely discounted pair of black ankle boots (cole haan, orginally $300 got for $59) and also a Columbia long jacket that’s both warm and extremely light (purchased for 60% off). My only new items purchased so far this year — a violation of my buy nothing new year, but I gave myself a pass for these two items as they were purchased with birthday gift money.
5. Got GREAT deal on airfare for said trip — all nonstop flights Portland to Reykjavik for 4 days, Reykjavik to Stockholm for 8 days, Stockholm to NYC for 4 days and back to Portland for $1000! (Not frugal but far more frugal than the other fares were showing, around $6000). Am also booking AirBnbs so we can eat many meals in.


Roxie May 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

We went to Stockholm last November. They walk (and ride the bus) everywhere. Make sure you break in your boots and take really good gloves.


Tracy May 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the tip — wore them today just to get started!


A. Marie May 6, 2017 at 11:49 am

Good for you and your DH for doing an inexpensive local getaway afternoon, Katy! (Is that the Columbia River Gorge behind you? I think I recognize it from my 2010 visit to Portland.)

(1) DH and I did a small getaway of our own this morning, despite continuous drizzle: our Regional Market (the first day it’s been set up in its summer configuration), the monthly FFL book sale (where I said howdy again to fellow commenter Barbara, doing a fine job as a volunteer as usual), and a rummage sale and chicken BBQ at a nearby church. (The sale wasn’t much, but the chicken was fine. Can’t beat that good old Cornell recipe.)

(2) I’m finishing putting together a box of tattered clothes/shoes/fabric scraps for textile recycling. One of our local thrift chains accepts these for this purpose.

(3) The steady drizzle is keeping me out of the garden, where I’d prefer to be. In fact, the ground is so waterlogged and the forecast is so dismal here in my corner of Upstate NY that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get the season going again. But I go out and pull weeds periodically, which is about all I can do besides practice patience. (I wish I’d saved a coffee mug my mother had: “Lord, grant me patience–and grant it to me NOW!”)

(4) Also, like Lindsey, I’m using some early thinnings and edible weeds in my salads and soups.

(5) Finally and fortunately, we have chicken leftovers for dinner, plus the first local asparagus of the season from the Regional Market. So we’re not exactly suffering like the early martyrs.


Susie's Daughter May 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

A, Marie – #’s 3+5 = Ha! Thank you for your post and good humor. My inlaws (from Upstate) were just here and treated to exactly the same weather they are having at home minus a few degrees. Asparagus – normally “in season” Mother’s Day to the 4th of July in Northern Vt will be later at this rate.


K D May 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm

1. I just booked summer travel to visit family. We’ll fly into a different airport than the one we usually use. Even with renting a car we’ll save a lot (and I’ll check rates a few times before we travel in hopes of netting a cheaper rate). Since we are able to fly Southwest to this airport if we need to make changes there are no fees incurred.

2. Redbox sent me a free rental code, via email. I walked to the local 7-11 to pick up Fantastic beasts.

3. Yesterday a friend and I were planning to meet for lunch. Her favorite restaurant was not very good the last time we met there so at the last minute I asked if she’d rather come over for soup. She said that was fine. A mutual friend joined us and I served what I had. Much cheaper and faster than going out and easier to have real conversation without other diners around.

4. Our community held their annual spring yard sale this morning. We walked around for entertainment but did not buy anything.

5. I’ll make a big pot of chili for dinner. It will result in planned overs. Our weather is to be cool for several days, so that sounds good.


Juhli May 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm

A few things –
1. Washed the car in the driveway using a bucket instead of paying for a car wash. It was pretty grimy and bug splattered after driving from Atlanta to S. CA.
2. We have decided we can live with the existing wall color in our new home. Just have a feature wall and 3 dark ceilings painted along with some touch up on the walls. Will save a lot.
3. I finally made a weekly generic meal plan of main dish categories. This has us eating more veggie, egg and salad entrees each week which maybe less expensive but definitely is healthier.
4. Keeping track of my husband’s work related travel expenses that are not reimbursed for tax deduction purposes.



Cindy in the South May 7, 2017 at 5:35 am

I have enjoyed reading your blog as I am approaching retirement age and have moving decisions to make.


Amanda May 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

1) I also have a homemade calendar for the summer! Our lives are so busy these days we have to schedule our summer fun if it is going to happen. We have no travel planned this summer as we want to save money and take a breather from traveling with small children. Instead we will go to the free city pool, do a couple of day trips to the beach (we’ll pack lunch), attend a couple of baseball games (hopefully using the free tickets our print rep provides), and go see my brother and his wife one weekend (we’ll stay with them, pack some food, and probably do free or cheap, easy activities with the kids).

2) My husband has homemade pizza dough in the bread maker for supper.

3) On Saturdays we usually don’t spend money or go anywhere. We just relax at home, eat homemade pizza, and enjoy the quiet. I love frugal Saturdays.

4) Paying airbnb guests are enjoying our main home as I type.

5) On my bike ride this morning I passed old country homes and dreamed of one day loving my own old country home. The older I get the more I think the wanting and the striving to get are more fun than the actual having. Even if I never get that old country home, I find great joy in the dreaming today.


Alexandra May 7, 2017 at 4:46 am

TOTALLY agree with number 5! (:


Jennifer May 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm

1. We took my daughter to Toys R’us and let her participate in the parade with Geoffrey for the beginning of her week of birthday surprises. They also gave her a free 12″ Geoffrey plush, a birthday crown, a nice hard back book, and we used the $3 off a $3 purchase to get her a toy she wanted.
2. My daughter brought home a baby chick from school. We did have to spend a little money for a heat lamp but we are using papers that my kids have brought home from school over the past year for the bottom of the box. I can’t keep all those papers no matter how sentimental I am or I will become a hoarder!
3. Tonight, we are going to the auction for a fun, cheap, date night. We will bring our own drinks and snacks.
4. I got a few rolls of canned biscuits for 25 cents a roll in the reduced section of the grocery store. No, these aren’t all that healthy, but we like them sometimes. Also, I have tons of sausages in my freezer that will pair well with them.
5. Tomorrow, I plan to stay home and clean house. I am putting a pork loin in the crock pot to slow cook all day to have with some vegetables that need to be used before they ruin.


Karen May 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Mini strawberry shortcakes can be made using those biscuits! Yum!


Cindy in the South May 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm

1. I bought hair dye on sale for $1.53 and used it. I also cut my own hair. 2. I groomed my own eyebrows and did my own nails. 3. I borrowed a hedge cutter thingy and I am cutting the limbs on my mulberry bush, that I pulled off of my roof. 4. I washed my car at a car wash to get rid of the bird mulberry sh$!.It cost me a $1.25. Well worth the money….5. I dried my laundry at the laundry mat for a dollar. I usually dry it at a relatives house, but their dryer was occupied.


Cindy in the South May 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Actually, it is a mulberry tree.


Bari May 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Alas, my mind started going to strange places when you mentioned trimming eyebrows and segued right in using a hedge trimmer.
Whew, the machinery was only for the Mulberry!


Cindy in the South May 6, 2017 at 5:05 pm



Vickey May 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

Heh. I had the same thought. ☺️


Jill A May 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm

1. Yesterday I did a little thrift store shopping for jeans. I’m down to two pair that fit. I bought one pair at Goodwill. I stopped at salvation army and found two more pair for $11, when I went to pay the cashier explained it was buy 5 pieces of clothing and each will be $1. So I grabbed a skirt, a shirt and a pair of shorts also. I saved $6 and got 3 more items.
2. I just sent my daughter off to her prom. I did her hair and painted her nails and she did her own makeup. She wore earrings that she already owned.
3. I was really tired last night and just wanted to go out for dinner. Instead we made due with what we had in the fridge and pantry. My husband had a braunschweiger sandwich with grape jelly, I had some cheese, braunschweiger and some carrots and my youngest had spaghetti with cheese and leftover green beans. Not a great dinner, but cheap.
4. Costco didn’t have the LaCroix water that I like, so I picked up the Aldi brand. It’s just as good and quite a bit cheaper.
5. My husband and I ran out today to pick up the bags of mulch that are on sale at Menards. Today was the last day. We’ll spread them tomorrow. Bags are more expensive than buying in bulk, but we avoid the delivery fee and pick it up with our van. I think we come out ahead in the end. Except for stupid plastic bags. I’ll have to rethink that.


BJS May 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

1. Love it! So glad the cashier told you that.


Susie's Daughter May 7, 2017 at 3:17 pm

#5 – Jill – I was reminded yesterday at our recycling center that I can recycle some plastic bags like that (ours were wood pellet bags and water softener salt bags). I kept a couple of others for garden work/big trash.


Lee May 6, 2017 at 3:32 pm

1) I sold some jewelry I don’t wear and got almost $200. This was the best frugal win all month.
2) Work provided me with four lunches and three dinners last week. I brown bagged the fifth lunch and cooked at home the other nights.
3) I found 27 cents lying in the street.
4) I posted some clothing my child outgrew to our local buy/sell group, we’ll see if anything sells. If not I’ll donate it.
5) I downloaded free podcasts for entertainment while I exercise, so both body and mind got a workout.


anna May 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

You may enjoy this reference to the “poor woman’s” ikea:


Mand01 May 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

1. Operation Backyard is still underway. My husband and I spent half of our Saturday weeding and shovelling soil and moving bricks. We can see the shape of the yard now.
2. I was looking for potting soil and found a bag that had been taped up for 75% off. I need more but I’m happy to look around and find more bargains as I’m not in a hurry.
3. We ate leftovers from the fridge for lunch after gardening. Soup and toasted sandwiches.
4. We have been introducing our kids to early Simpsons episodes. We already own them on DVD so no cost to us but great entertainment. Seasons 3 and 4 have the best episodes of the series.
5. I forgot to buy bread this week so I made a couple of loaves of oat bread.


Shevaun May 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

1. You know, all the baby stuff: homemade baby food, Aldi diapers, potty training toddler doing stunningly well, still nursing (the baby, not the toddler).
2. Okay, so potty-training toddler likes to take her diaper off at nap time, but then she falls asleep naked-booty and pees the bed, which makes for lots and lots of laundry. So I took a pair of footie jammies and cut off the feet, put them on *backwards*, and zipped them up. No more naptime pee party, and less laundry. Frugal? Less work, less detergent, less water. Bam!
3. My SIL just took the PE exam (public engineer… sort of the gold standard for engineers), so we had a family party last night: I made lasagna, salad, bread, and fruit parfaits all homemade, instead of a restaurant or catered dinner. My husband put together a playlist, and my toddler did decorations (bridges built out of alphabet blocks). Beer and wine was filched from previous parties’ leftovers.
4. Working on church budget…. still.
5. Convinced DH to come with me on a thrift-shopping trip. With the babies in tow, it’s hard to shop effectively, but since my little one is still nursing, it’s hard to shop alone. So DH and babies played chase all over the store while I executed a perfectly planned mission worthy of Jason Bourne. Mission: Towels, hand towels, pants for mommy, jammies for little baby. Mission accomplished. (and nursed baby in the furniture section).

6. Humor is frugal. I was trying on pants in a fitting room while my toddler entertained herself in the mirror. Then she climbed under the fitting room door and ran away. So I chased her. Across the store. In my underpants. *Sigh*


Jenny May 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Whatever it takes, right? Lol.


Cindy in the South May 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Internet comment of the week…lol


Lazyretirementgirl May 6, 2017 at 7:51 pm
Lazyretirementgirl May 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm
Vickey May 7, 2017 at 8:18 am

Resourceful, creative, determined. *And* humorous. Love it!


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Bravo for a guilt free trip!

This week:

1. I went to the zoo for free using my season pass. It’s already paid for itself, so all subsequent visits are free. 🙂

2. I snagged some peaches from a roadside stand and used them to make peach puree and a peach upside down cake. I froze all of it for later snacking. I hate running out of desserts in the house. 🙂

3. I weeded a flower bed and planted hundreds of free seeds I got at a wedding last weekend as a favor.

4. I plan to bake molasses-oatmeal bread tomorrow to use up oatmeal and to eat as a snack this week.

5. I made more homemade laundry soap.


lee May 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

1. Tonight’s dinner was a “use what’s in the fridge” occasion that still turned into a nice meal – leftover pasta with meat sauce from earlier in the week, roasted zucchini that I had in the fridge, and a batch of crescent pinwheels (for which I had all of the ingredients on hand). Yum!

2. Rather than taking time and gas to drive to the baby store thirty minutes away, I found items on a friend’s baby registry that I could purchase at Target (which is closer and which I was planning to stop at already).

3. I stopped by the library to pay a late fee (not frugal!), but while I was there, I checked out the new book by Paula Hawkins (Into the Water) and a few others.

4. I made my budget for May, and was proud of myself for being more adept at thinking through all the different possible expenses I’ll have this month.

5. I had money left from both groceries and gas in April, so I used that extra money to make additional payments on my credit card balance and my car loan.

And one more, for fun – I have a hard time finding bathing suit tops that fit well, so after searching through places like Target unsuccessfully, I splurged last weekend on a bikini top that I really like. However, since the top is all-black, I realized that I didn’t need to buy a matching bottom at the higher-end store, and found a cute and very inexpensive bikini bottom on the same visit to Target today.


Pattilou May 6, 2017 at 8:22 pm

1. I got free tickets to the opera and the theatre this week. I was able to take some friends.
2. I did pay for parking for both of the above but chose the lot further from the theaters which is much less expensive to park in.
3. I made cookies for my staff for this coming week because it is a tough week for us. I used to buy store made snacks but have been baking instead. It takes time but I enjoy it and it saves me a lot of money.
4. It was 59 degrees in my house when I got home from work today. Instead of turning the heat back on, I let the oven warm the house during my cookie making. I will put on the electric blanket when I go to bed.
5. I started planning and making meals to freeze for the next two weeks because my schedule will be crazy. Spinach lasagna is already in the freezer and I will make a Quiche tomorrow as well as some chicken in the crockpot. I don’t mind eating the same thing a few times in a week.

A bit of a frugal fail – Some how I lost my petty cash from work. It was 20.00 which I am responsible for replacing. It’s the first time that has ever happened. I buy a lot of tea for the staff with the petty cash and I needed to do a stock up. I found Tazo tea onsale at the local grocery store. I then remembered a fellow reader mentioning that I could send my receipts in to get Starbucks gift cards. I was able to get two $5.00 gift cards so that eased the sting of loosing the petty cash! I will treat my assistant to something fun.


janine May 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

1. Scored several birthday gifts for son on sale. Also bought him some raw honey from a local bee keeper – this stuff is addictive!
2. Bought an entire package of raspberry ice cream sandwiches at the grocery store for the price of one treat at the soft serve stand. (Probably not as delicious, but good enough.)
3. Skipped a fundraiser for an organization that I have previously supported. Feeling slightly guilty, but my schedule has been crazy this week.
4. Remembered to get gas at Costco saving about 20c per gallon over neighborhood station.
5. By turning two almost empty BBQ jars upside down and adding a little water, I should be able to get enough sauce to make BBQ chicken tomorrow. Paired with potato salad, we should feel satisfied enough to stay home and chill out inexpensively.


susanna d May 7, 2017 at 5:37 am

I agree with you about local raw honey being addictive! It’s my absolute favorite. I love your idea of buying local honey as one of the birthday gifts for your son – I’m going to copy that idea for my son’s birthday later this month. Thanks!


janine May 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

You’re welcome!


Vickie May 7, 2017 at 9:55 am

#3 – I’ve had to learn to give myself a break when it comes to attending fundraisers. I’ve spent many years supporting different ones and I’ve decided I deserve a break on occasion, especially when my schedule is busy. I start feeling burnt out if I try to spread myself too thin. Give yourself a mental break from guilt!


Trish May 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm

1. had a garage sale to declutter the basement and shop. Made $300 for ourselves and $350 for my cousin’s family (having their stuff at our sale doubled the size and attracted more customers)
2. Too tired to cook, we used a gift card from Christmas to get food to go from a restaurant
3. Made garage sale signs entirely from things we had laying around– cardboard boxes wrapped around 5 gallon buckets, with a brick in each one to keep them from tipping over.
4. kept firm prices on a couple of bigger-ticket items and ended up getting full price on some of them. A couple others will be sold on craigslist.
5. will donate left over books to the Humane society book sale and kids clothes to a foster kids sharing closet, and the rest to the Human society thrift store in my aunt and uncle’s name. They have been very kind to us always and appreciate the deduction on their taxes.


carolyn May 7, 2017 at 3:35 am

No food ever goes to waste in my home. Everything gets served up again and gets stored in tupperware


Bee May 7, 2017 at 4:46 am

Without a doubt, this has been the most unfrugal week in recent memory. But still, there are some bright spots.
1) The coffee that I drink and cat food that we use are 1/2 price this week at the market. This happens once every quarter. So I purchased 14 weeks work. Quarterly savings $62.
2) I sold 4 items on eBay. Listed 12.
3) I bought $175 jeans for $2 at the thrift store. Who pays that for jeans?
4) I have been listening to a book on CD that I purchased at the Friends of the library sale and reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which I also purchased at this sale. I believe this was recommended by several NCA readers. Total cost 50 cents.
5) It it was cool and dry enough to open the windows twice last week. This is a blessing in late spring in Florida. Although it was also cool enough yesterday, we had to close up the house. The strong NW wind brought with it smoke and ash from the wildfire that is burning 100 miles away in the Okeefenokee Swamp which sits on the FL-GA line


Tracy May 7, 2017 at 4:56 am

Loved that book! And such a great title… Score on the jeans!


Cindy in the South May 7, 2017 at 5:05 am

Love Okeefenokee swamp. Went to visit it on same trip I took to Plains, Georgia, where I met Miss Lillian, and Brother Billy Carter….delightful people..did this trip in the 197O’s….I am telling my age….lol


BJS May 7, 2017 at 5:21 am

1. I admire how you’ve figured all that out and have it down to a science now — yay, Bee!


Vickie May 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

I loved that book, it’s wonderful to get recommendations from this group!

I’m with you on #3. I had a great laugh the other day about the “Dirty Jeans” Nordstrom’s had listed, I think for several hundred dollars. Dave Ramsey did a video post on that one, the responses were hilarious. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $15 for new jeans and that was probably at Ross. I’ve found at least 2 or 3 pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans at the Thrift store. Where do people get that kind of money for clothes? It boggles my mind!


Ruby May 7, 2017 at 8:29 am

1. Despite a grueling workweek (56 hours in five days), I did all the frugal usuals: wore cute thrifted/secondhand outfits every day, packed my lunch and drinks from home, baked homemade goodies from stuff we had on hand to feed the phone volunteers at work (public radio statio n– we had our spring fund drive), and hung laundry to dry on the rack and pole in the laundry room.
2. Was thankful for all the glorious rain, which is making our tomato plants and herb garden grow like crazy.
3. One from the Mister, who bought a much less expensive screen door and spent a couple of dollars on wood trim he crafted to make it look nicer than the expensive ones.
4. And another from the Mister, who created a homemade cat grass jungle with pots we already and chunks of shaggy grass from the backyard. Our cats love to lie on the screened porch among their pots of grass.
5. Found a penny in the washer and a quarter in a soda machine return this week.


Vickie May 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

I love the idea of #4 – my cat would love that. Thanks for the idea!!


Robin May 7, 2017 at 8:59 am

I am interested in learning about the kale pesto you made. That sounds yummy. Care to share the recipe?


Katy May 7, 2017 at 9:48 am
Vickie May 7, 2017 at 9:06 am

Nice pic! Enjoying life is important, especially when you work so hard. It looks like wonderful fun.

1) I rec’d an unexpected $143.00 refund check in the mail from my medical savings fund. It’s going into savings.
2) I rec’d 4 free t-shirts in 2 days this past week – one for giving blood, two for volunteering at our OKWIT (Oklahoma Women In Tech) Spring Retreat and one during a tour of the OKC Thunder Basketball Team’s I.T. offices with our young women’s mentoring group. I’m keeping two and giving the other two as gifts. The Thunder shirt will be given to my grandson as part of his birthday gift.
3) I rec’d lunch for free on Friday at the retreat – delicious and healthy turkey & veggie lunch burritos. YUM!
4) I also had the afternoon free on Friday, after the event. It felt luxurious to come home and take a nap and read my library book. It counted as a professional day, so I didn’t have to take PTO either.
5) I bought groceries at the Tribal store yesterday and rec’d a coupon for 5 cents off per gallon of gas at their convenience & fuel station. Plus, they were signing everyone up for their new rewards card. I rec’d a 1000 points just for signing up. That will make my next purchase even cheaper.
I bought 3 lbs of ground beef on sale, so I made hamburgers for dinner last night and plan to make meatloaf for dinner tonight. That will give us 2 extra meals from leftovers this next week.


KJD509 May 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

Didn’t feel like a very frugal week, but I think we eked out a few FTs:

1) Took a few shortened workdays. I’m salaried so get no overtime for crazy long weeks, but I’m supposed to count any hour “off” as vacation. Have a very very busy deadline-driven month coming up where 60+ hour weeks will be expected, so went home early every day last week and attributed it to the upcoming schedule – i.e., “Home to nap in prep for next month’s deadlines,” that kind of thing. No grousing from the bosses, I was able to get some laundry / cleaning / cooking done ahead of time, and I wasn’t wasting time doing nothing at work, which I hate.
2) Took breakfast and lunch every day from home, drank crappy free coffee.
3) Used the (expensive) groceries my hubs and daughter bought early in the week to make favorite dinners for daughter’s AP test week. She gets anxious, but having healthy favorites on hand helped. (So did feeling like she aced the first one Monday morning – made the rest of the week bearable. Two more next week.) Speaking of AP tests, that $500+ doesn’t seem frugal each spring, but if she does well her 3 years of testing will save her an entire year at the in-state university where she starts in the fall, saving thousands.
4) Work offers a health program thing where if you submit all of your health stats and fitness activities, you get points. It’s a huge pain in the tush to keep up with it, but sometime last year the program gave us the opportunity to link automatically to a fitness tracker. I wear one so I linked, but I’ve been paying zero attention. Checked this week and discovered I had a couple hundred dollars of “reward bucks” to spend on various gift cards. So daughters are taking their dad to see the new Guardians movie this afternoon for his birthday absolutely free. He loves movies, I don’t, and we haven’t been to an opening weekend movie for probably 10 years. He’ll be thrilled, and I have a new incentive to hit the step goal every day.
5) No gold-plated apartment in the sky, but we’re starting to look at real estate in the greater PDX / Vancouver WA area and holy smokes, those places better be gold-plated to justify the prices. Yikes!

p.s. Not frugal exactly, but shy daughter went to the prom as a single with her close friends, all of whom had dates. Between worrying about that and AP tests, she’s been a miserable wreck all week. But she had a lovely time – not a great time, but a lovely time – and has blossomed with confidence overnight to have tried something scary and succeeded. Oh, and she skipped the salon hair and make-up: “I’m 18 years old. If I can’t brush my own hair by now, what good am I?” She looked gorgeous.


janine May 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Daughter sounds like a great kid – congratulations on raising her!


Chris May 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Super funny comment by your daughter! Love it….


rebecca May 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

1. Had folks over for dinner-bought Italian sausages and peppers on sake for grill.
2. Leftovers sent home with them and for me for lunch or dinner tomorrow.
3. Made brownies from a.99 Ghiradelli brownie mix for dessert.
4. Took a long walk with my sister’s dog. It was gorgeous here today.
5. I have 24 clients scheduled for this coming week. I am looking forward to my remibursement check!


rebecca May 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

oops reimbursement


AFS May 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

WHY do you drink the crappy coffee? I’d just enjoy the delicious tea and leave the coffee for someone else. I don’t know how true it is but I’ve heard that coffee & tea contain the same amount of caffeine.


Mand01 May 12, 2017 at 3:24 am

They don’t- tea has far less caffeine.


Roberta May 8, 2017 at 8:11 am

1. Found leftover chili in the freezer. Put it in the fridge to defrost, for lunches this week.
2. My parents took our kids to see Boss Baby. I have exactly zero interest in seeing it, so I’m glad they had a fun outing that I did not want to sponsor.
3. Found two 3-pound bags of potatoes marked down at Grocery Outlet. The organic gold potatoes are usually $3 each, but I got them for $1 each.
4. Those potatoes will go to the menu-planned dinner tonight: mashed potatoes, vegetarian “meat” loaf (using up bread ends) and veg.
5. I will make too much mashed potatoes and use some of the leftovers for veg shepherds pie tomorrow night.


tonya May 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

1) Everything I wore to work today was thrifted (this is not unusual for me).
2) Dinner has been cooking in the Crock-Pot all day.
3) Filled up my car using the gas discount that I get from my grocery store.
4) Enjoyed a lunch out paid for by my dear sister. I ordered a big sandwich and saved half for tomorrow’s work lunch.
5) Read a library book.


Complete Clean February 3, 2024 at 11:42 am

What an inspiring post! It’s fantastic to see others embracing a frugal lifestyle with such creativity. Repurposing and maximizing what we already have is not only economically smart but also environmentally friendly. Your method of using leftover materials like paper from your son’s dorm reminds me of our own initiative to reduce waste by reusing cleaning cloths and sustainable cleaning agents. The initiative with the Chinook Book app is also a great reminder that being frugal doesn’t mean you can’t support causes you believe in. It’s all about smart choices, just like choosing eco-friendly cleaning methods that save money in the long run. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it’s always enlightening to learn how others save and make the most out of their resources. Keep up the great work!


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