Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 17, 2017 · 61 comments

  1. I sold my thrifted Dyson vacuum cleaner through Craigslist, making a tidy $100 profit. Now that I know how to crack open and clean the “cyclone”  I can start keeping an eye open for more of them to flip. #collegefund
  2. I did a grocery store run this afternoon and was able to buy three bags of groceries for only $28 by taking advantage of sales, (eggs and cheese) and choosing basic ingredients and inexpensive staples such as bananas, apples, zucchini and carrots.
  3. I watched the third episode of Victorian Slum House through my Roku box. I lived in London for three years throughout my childhood and have a soft spot for the city. Seeing how slum dwellers lived in the late 19th century gives an important perspective to modern day life.
  4. I finished up a Clark Howard article that’s been sitting in my drafts folder since last week. I have a nice chunk of time off from the hospital and plan to use it to work through more paid writing. (To clarify, I’m not taking time off from work, this week’s schedule just happened to connect more consecutive days off than normal.)
  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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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Emanuel May 18, 2017 at 3:23 am

That is fantastic, Katy! 30,000 followers should know – we so admire our terrific mom, nurse, money magician, Dyson mechanic and insparational writter. You are really someone special. Enjoy your scribing time.


Mand01 May 18, 2017 at 4:21 am

Thanks for the recommendation of Victorian Slum House- I watched it on YouTube over the weekend. I couldn’t get over the Tuppeny Hanger in the doss house. Man, I’ve been pretty broke before, even lived in a tent, but never had to string myself up over a rope!

1. Went out for dinner with my darling husband using a 50% off coupon.
2. I’ve almost finished eating the last of the crackers the kids are refusing to eat. Honestly, they’re fine. IDK what their problem is. One more complaint and I swear it’s the Tuppeny Hanger for the pair of them.
3. Homegrown alfalfa sprouts on my sandwich for lunch.
4. Paid all my bills like a responsible person.
5. Thrifted outfit and didn’t buy the gorgeous dresses I salivated over while window shopping after dinner tonight. Argh but they were lovely!!


MW May 18, 2017 at 5:48 am

I have to wonder if the term “hang over” came from that arrangement. . . Just trying to sleep that way would leave me less than functional in the morning.


Katy May 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

I wondered that as well.


Mand01 May 18, 2017 at 11:58 am

Makes sense.
It made me sad to see it.


Cindy in the South I May 18, 2017 at 5:12 am

1. I am wearing my thrifted three piece skirt suit to work today. It cost me $20 a year ago, and it looks elegant.
2. I visited with one of my “well” sons and took him out to eat last night. I have not done this in years. I wanted to reconnect with him, since I have spent so much time with my baby boy. I spent $26 (we drank water) and he was worried about how much the meal cost me…that tells me he may develop thrifty habits yet… Of the four, he is my spendthrift child…
3. I have my trusty ham in the office frig for lunch.
4. Although I had called my insurance company earlier in the week and had my vehicle insurance reduced by $30 per month, I am still shopping around for cheaper insurance.
5. I cannot remember if I listed my lower power bill of $59, which is exciting in the deep humid South. Our power bills tend to be outrageous in the summer. I have managed to keep mine under sixty in the summer and I hope to continue to do that this summer.


Lisa P. May 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

Hi, I’m in the south also, SC. How do you get your power bill so l ow? thanks! lisa


Cindy in the South I May 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

My house is a 912 sq ft house built in 2014. I put a white metal roof on it (white reflects the sun, making it cooler, which is why you see so many beach houses with light colored metal roofs), I also used thermal curtains in the house, with that plastic stuff (sorry, I cannot remember the name) purchased from Walmart, that you put over windows for heating and cooling. I also have half my house completed shaded by large trees all day long. My front door and back door line up, similar to a shotgun style, which is great for air flow. I only have a window unit I use for heating and cooling. My house is all electric, but I do not use many electrical appliances and one reason is because it is such a small house. I do not have a washer and a dryer. I do not have a dishwasher. I do not have a tv (tv bores me). I do not have a computer (I go to the library and use their computer) which is a block from my house, and the other library is almost next door to my work. I do use an electric stove, refrigerator, hot water heater, lights and the plug in window unit for heating and cooling, that I mentioned above. I keep the lights off most of the time. I only turn the air on when it gets really hot. I have tried to get used to a warmer temp in the summer like folks in the olden days had to put up with. I also use ice cubes in wash clothes to cool off, or a cool bath in the summer. I might add, I am not home during the heat of the day, and I leave the air off. I usually do not run it at night, except for a couple of hours in the evening if the temp hits in the high 90’s and the nightly temp does not get below 70. I run the air just enough to take the edge off. My electric bill is higher in the winter because I do not like to get cold. It ran about $140 this year in January, and February.


Jennifer May 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

Wow, great tips. I am more able to be cooler in the winter than hot in the summer. I am in Mississippi where the summer has unlimited free saunas by way of just walking to the mailbox, lol.


Cindy in the South I May 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

I am in South central (sorta) Alabama so I understand…lol

Cindy in the South I May 18, 2017 at 11:48 am

My house was built in 1950. I bought it in 2014….sigh…I do not proofread

Mrs. Picky Pincher May 18, 2017 at 5:40 am

Great job flipping that Dyson! That’s a great find. 🙂 This week:

1. I’m traveling for work, which means free food and mileage reimbursements.

2. I took my hotel soap and pens with me. Waste not!

3. At an event yesterday, I took the leftover snacks home with me. They were going to be thrown away, so why not? 🙂

4. I got compliments on my thrift store outfits. 🙂 They’ll never know I got these pants for $1.50!

5. This weekend I plan to bake some ciabatta bread and make a bruschetta out of tomatoes we grew in the garden.


susanna d May 18, 2017 at 5:45 am

1. Bought this year’s promo wristband for our town. Every year local businesses sell wristbands for $5 that are good for discounts at various stores in town. My favorite is the $5 off $50 grocery purchase. It’s not all that hard to spend $50 at the grocery store, so I do save a ton of money with it. Last year I saved over $100 on groceries alone that way – the discount at the grocery store is good through the end of the year. I try to check each week in spring to see if the wristbands are on sale yet so I can get the wristband as soon as possible each year – and therefore save as much as possible with the discounts.
2. We’ve used 6 of the 8 $1 off gasoline coupons we get each month. With almost two weeks left to go in the month, it’s safe to say we’ll once again use them all. Since there’s no minimum purchase required, we top off the tank when we go past the two gas station chains – adding 3 gallons means 33 cents per gallon off. We try to use each coupon we get to maximize the savings.
3. Had to go out of town earlier this week and brought all our food and beverages (okay, water and coffee).
4. There was about a quart of milk left after our son and his family left. Since neither my husband nor I drink milk, I froze it in canning jars for future use in cooking – or on the grandchildren’s cereal.
5. Also froze a bunch of grapes and strawberries that we wouldn’t eat before they went mushy. I love chilling water and iced tea with frozen fruit instead of ice cubes.


Roberta May 18, 2017 at 5:55 am

Mrs. Picky Pincher — I’m impressed you have tomatoes already!

1. Found two pennies at dinner with a friend last night. The bill only came to $20, so I picked up the tab. She can certainly use the lift.
2. Got tea on the table for the family, so my husband and son did not pick up pizza for dinner. This week my daughter is prepping for a show, and my son is prepping for fair, so takeout sings its siren song!
3. Got laundry washed and hung. The overcast skies make it slow, but I had clean sheets on the bed last night, and that is good!
4. Picked up library books to amuse myself while my son took his placement test at the community college. He passed his test, so he will be able to take his math class — and because he is still in high school, the class will be free! Free college classes are awesome. Plus, I saw a sign in the office advertising free textbooks in the cc library, so we might be able to check that out for more free!
5. Made my own almond milk, instead of running to the grocery. I don’t like it as well as bought, but I do like having almond meal for baking, and I do like not having to run to the store!


Beth May 18, 2017 at 6:05 am

1. Continued to cook at home and eat up leftovers (though this is less of a win because hubby is working the night shift and goes to sleep as soon as I get home-I came home yesterday to a box of dominoes pizza in the fridge).
2. Stocked up on organic, unprocessed coconut oil when it was on sale for $4/16-oz. container.
3. Going to a birthday party tonight for my friend’s daughter. Part of her gift is a small tube of bubbles that were free to me, and I found a ribbon to wrap around her present at the GW outlet. I’ll be buying her an actual gift once I talk to her mom about what she wants, but I’m excited to use some thrifted/free things as well 🙂
4. Two other kid birthdays are happening within the next few weeks-I saved the gift bags from my toddler’s party to re-use for their wrapping, and I’ve started buying things early to minimize the financial impact.
5. Added some things that I was planning to order next month to this month’s Grove order to take advantage of the free dishtowel offer. My mom loves those towels, so I’ll include it in her Birthday present.


Jennifer May 18, 2017 at 6:05 am

1. My husband had some tests done. We are anxiously waiting for the results of those yet kinda hoping they wait until we get back from our beach trip to call. I am afraid the news won’t be good and that messes with his(and my) mind. My husband’s doctor is a friend so he knows we are leaving on a trip, so I suspect if it’s bad news he will wait. My husband has pancreatic cancer and sometimes sticking his head in the sand has been helpful. Hard to explain, I gues. Not knowing how bad something is sometimes is better. The frugal part of this is nothing. He paid $500, as our deductible is $5000.
2. I need a few new things to wear to the beach but I don’t have the time to go shopping for anything so I will be happy to wear whatever I can find in my closet which will, of course, save us money.
3. We are taking most of our food so we won’t be wasting money eating out.
4. Hoping for some quiet, romantic Florida sunsets to enjoy with my husband while my mom looks after the kids. This will cost a lot less than if we decided to go out to dinner and a movie while we are there.
5. Since we are going to be out of town for a few days, I haven’t bought any groceries. Last night, I dug some hamburger patties and frozen vegetable medley out of the freezer. I made hamburger steaks, gravy, mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies. I used the leftover milk my daughter didn’t drink at breakfast for the potatoes since we are out.

Kinda boring FFT for me….I am anxious and my mind-set is not as frugal this week..unfortunately. Hopefully, can get back on track when we get back from the trip.


Cindy in the South I May 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

I pray for good results from your husband’s tests.


Jennifer May 18, 2017 at 10:50 am

Thank you, Cindy, you are so kind.


Bee May 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

My heart goes of to you, Jennifer.


Mariana May 18, 2017 at 11:58 am

I understand. Sometimes, it IS easier to not know, rather than facing unpleasant truth. I hope the results come back ok, stable. Stay strong and be supportive, that’s all you can do. Praying. xx


susanna d May 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I’m adding my prayers as well.


Vickey May 18, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Virtual hugs to you, Jennifer. I hope the tests show the best possible results. You and your family are in my thoughts.


Pattilou May 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Sending prayers as well Jennifer.


Nancy from mass May 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Sending prayers to you.


Tracy May 19, 2017 at 3:49 am

Jennifer sending warm thoughts and prayers your way, I hope you enjoy your time away.


Jennifer May 19, 2017 at 8:09 am

Thanks to you all for the kind words and prayers. This a great group of people that follow this blog.


Vickie May 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

I hope you enjoy your trip together, it sounds wonderful. Prayers of strength and comfort for both you and your husband, Jennifer.


Isitaneedorawant May 19, 2017 at 11:08 am

Good thoughts and prayers sent to you both as you share and cherish this time together. I want to be like your mom someday for my kids/grandkids.


Patti May 18, 2017 at 6:11 am

1) For my son’s birthday last week, we signed over our extra car to him. He has changed his driving license to another state, bought his own insurance (which was cheaper in his state than ours), and will be getting a new license plate. We made this into a “rite of passage” event with lots of pomp and circumstance. LOL He doesn’t know how excited we are to receive the refunds on our end and to take that out of the budget permanently!!
2) In discussing this with a neighbor, my husband found out there is a reduction in property taxes once you reach 65 (which my husband did last week). According to the neighbor who works for the city, “they don’t tell you about it – you have to go and request it.” Cha-Ching! More $$ for the savings account.
3)For both birthdays, I made my “go-to” cake recipe – my grandmother’s pound cake. My mother’s advice many years ago was to have one good dessert/cake recipe and to use it all the time. I keep the ingredients on hand and have made it so much, I can mix it together in record time.
4) We had strawberries and whipped cream for the pound cake. Strawberries were buy one/get one free from our local farms in honor of Mother’s Day. Believe me, I stocked up. So did a lot of other folks – they had to quit the promotion because they ran out of ripe berries. They had already asked patrons to bring their own containers which I thought was an excellent idea.
5)I have been eating out of the freezer for several meals (bits and pieces I had frozen) while my husband had other meal plans. The foods were not that great together but they were nourishing, cleaned out the freezer, and economical.
Bonus: I watched “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” on HBO Go account which we share with our son. Thought I had missed it because we didn’t have regular HBO but was excited to find it replayed.
Katie, you are an inspiration…. off to clean out my vacuum cleaner as I always forget and it really works so much better when the filters are clean.


janine May 18, 2017 at 7:25 am

1. Visited a favorite local store yesterday and scored a grab bag of day-old bread from their bakery- included bagels, take and bake loaf and two sliced sour dough loaves – all for $2.98. This store is not very close to my house, but almost always find enough bargains to make it worth while. Also got an almost -past- sell-by dated bag of spinach for 49c. Worked great last evening in a artichoke, feta, and spinach salad.
2. Husband passes a Costco store on his way to work and has now trained himself to stop for cheaper gas.
3. Good Luck charm: Rain and more rain = not having to water the garden this week. Weatherman says if it were snow it would be a foot tall.
4. Continuing to check on-line menus before venturing out to lunch meetings for possible savings. Always order tap water instead of pricey beverages.
5. Do not look for extravagant purchases or expenses – sometimes they find me and I like to be prepared.


WilliamB May 18, 2017 at 9:27 am

1. Met the new neighbors, same as the old neighbors. Literally. They’re moving from across the street to next door. They’re redoing the kitchen and looking to “get rid of” the 5 year old appliances. I may replace my 13 year old, already-broke-once fridge with their 5 year old one. However much it costs, it’ll be less than a new fridge.

2. Whole Foods (can you believe I’m talking about WF on a FFT day?) is selling non-CAFO London Broil for $5/lb, plus $5 off $25. So I got exactly 5 lbs. The resulting home-made jerky will be cheaper – and much healthier – than storebought. The butcher sliced it for me, too, saving me time and effort, and his slices are more regular than mine.

3. The jerky will be spiced with sale+coupon spice mix.

4. The jerky will be dried in a $50 dehydrator, instead of the fancy $230 that someone tried to sell me.

5. The $5/$25 is good for any meat. The non-CAFO boneless pork chops are on sale $5/lb. Then I noticed the uber Happy bone-in chops (Step 5 in the lexicon) were $6/ lb. Definitely worth the extra $1/lb. Five chops weren’t quite $25 so I bought a single on-sale sausage to round out the amount.


Kim in MD May 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

WilliamB, could you please share how you make your jerky or point me to a good site? My 2 college age sons could eat their weught in jerky and it isn’t cheap. I told DS#1 we are going to make some this summer with my $3 yard sale dehydrator. Thanks!


WilliamB May 19, 2017 at 4:06 am

Happy to share. This is for jerky from whole meat. You can make jerky from minced meat, but I’ve never done it.

Short version:
Slice meat into 1/4″ strips. Marinate 1-8 days. Dehydrate. Store in dry place.

Long version, with pro tips:
1. Buy meat. Beef and wild ungluates (venison, bison) are classic, poultry can be done (some cook it first, to be certain it’s safe), for some reason pork is very rare. You want lean meat as the fat spoils faster than the meat. Ideally you geta boneless roast that’s of even shape, just because it’s easier to slice.

2. If your meat has fat on the outside, remove as much of it as you can. Slice your meat about 1/4″ thick; length and width is up to you, but it’s easier to manage the dehydrating part if your slices are (close to) the same size. One trick to make this easier is to partly-freeze your meat before slicing. Another trick is to have a thoroughly sharp knife.

3. Toss meat with seasonings, let marinate in the fridge for as little as a day or two, or as long as 7-8 days. Every day or two, toss again to evenly distribute the flavorings.

3A. “What seasonings?” might you ask? Excellent question. To start with, you can use either dry spices, or a wet marinade. Both work well. Easy way is to buy a mix you like. I have about a dozen bottles in the freezer that I bought on sale. For a wet mix at home, common ingredients include: soy sauce, bbq sauce, worchestshire, and liquid smoke (some of which are natural products, BTW) – not all in the same mix!

4. Dehydrate. Spread the meat on the trays, in one layer but close together. Put in dehydrator to dry. After about half a day, check to see how fast it’s drying, to give yourself an idea of how long it’ll take. A machine with a fan will work much faster than one without. Rotate the trays every half day or day. When you rotate the trays, also remove any meat that is sufficiently dry.

4A: “What is sufficiently dry?” you might ask. Excellent question. You want it leathery but not brittle. It should bend slowly. Better to overdry than not dry enough. It also depends on how long you plan to store it before eating. If you’re going to eat it this week, you have a lot more leeway than if you store it for months.

5. Store in a dry place!


Kim in MD May 19, 2017 at 4:49 am

Thanks bunches! I think I’ll give it a go!


Jennifer May 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

Great instructions!


Kim in MD May 18, 2017 at 10:16 am

1. My asthma was kicking my butt so I raised the white flag and went to see my PA for steroids. Also had her check the spot where i had found a D@#! deer tick the day before. It was the size of a dot. Also had her write two prescription refills. She gave me antibiotic for tick bite since I live in Lyme disease epicenter. Making the most of my $20 copay! Feeling much better today!
2. Took the 4 scrips to new Harris Teeter. They’re giving $25 ecoupons for each scrip, good for $25 or more purchase. I now have $100 in “free” groceries. Also, they had a wheel to spin, for getting scrip filled,# for grand opening. Won a box of chewy granola bars. Free food!
3. Stopped by charity shop to buy tubular hangers on my way home. DS#2 left most of his hangers in storage rather than bring home from college. They sell hangers bundled 6/50¢. Cheap price to clean up the clothing explosion!
4. Same shop all pants, shorts & capris were on sale for $3. Found DS some AE pants and DH never worn Brooks Brothers swim trunks. Looks like they’re $75 on BB website. Also found dime in pants pocket.
5. Sold 2 items on Amazon. A book for $36 and vintage flash cards for $15. College fund!


Roberta May 18, 2017 at 11:38 am

Good for you and the antibiotics. I have a friend with Lyme, and it’s nothing to play with!


Kim in MD May 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Thanks Roberta!


Rachel May 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

1. I scored an Icebreaker 100% merino wool shirt at Buffalo Exchange for just $17 (normally $75). Used my store credit so it was free to me. I’m trying to eliminate synthetic fabrics from my wardrobe so this made me super happy.
2. The fridge is bare but I manage to throw together some tasty veggie fried rice, asparagus, and tempeh for dinner last night.
3. I wanted to get tickets to see a band I like tomorrow night, but decided instead I’ll take my daughter to see the middle school concert at her school. We can support the hard work of those kids, she can see her singing options for the future, and I can save money!
4. As always, I brought lunch from home (using lettuce from my garden) and homemade coffee rather than buying that stuff as people around here often do.
5. I cancelled my longtime gym membership a few weeks ago and did a home workout last night. So glad I finally pulled the plug on that monthly expense!


Katy May 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

1. I mixed a pink eyeshadow I never wear with my blush.
2. I gave my kids a little eyeshadow container after cleaning it. They love those types of things when they’re pretending to be super spies…I guess they’re some kind of secret agent gadget. lol
3. We’re having potatoes and eggs for supper tonight…a simple, healthy and cheap meal.
4. Tomorrow we’re celebrating my daughter’s b-day. I wrapped her gifts in tissue paper and a gift bag I already had, no need to spend money on wrapping materials.
5. I also haven’t bought a leer jet or gucci bag or any of that stuff


Lauren May 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm

1. I stayed home today to avoid spending money. Did a bit of cleaning and a lot of relaxing.
2. I had some fresh salsa that was going to go bad soon so I added some more veggies abs turned it into “salsa soup”. A BIT too much onion to be totally delicious but still nice, and will serve for another two to three meals. Maybe it will be better with some rice or quinoa?
3. We shopped around and found a new internet provider that offers the best bundle and they have a new customer deal where the first three months are reduced. Altogether we’ll pay €425 a year for internet and a home phone so we’re happy.
4. While comparing to my in-laws’ internet and phone bundle I found out they are being charged 20-50 extra a month for overages! They didn’t realize it was due to taking overseas calls on the house phone so they’ve told those family members to call on their cell phones from now on. I’ll have a look at transferring them to our new company or helping them choose a more inclusive plan.
5. Husband picked up an extra shift for Saturday. I’ll pick up the slack on our weekend projects at the house so he can have a true day off after a 6 day workweek.


Jennifer May 19, 2017 at 8:26 am

2. That soup would be delightful with rice or quinoa. I bet it would tone it down just enough for you.


Ava May 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Hi, frugal friends. I am a long time lurker, first time commenter.
1. I persuaded my recently retired husband that we didn’t need to go out to eat. He wanted the comfort of restaurant food after we had a stressful day of fighting with COBRA and our insurance company. I made homemade macaroni and cheese, and salad with our home grown lettuce. We had left over pie for comfort.
2. We continued the fight today and got new information that the problem should be resolved within 24 -48 hrs. We are waiting out the issue and not picking up our prescriptions until the last minute. The insurance company does not recognize that we have met our deductible so our medication would cost 5 times what it normally does if we got it now. We finished off the pie because we needed more comfort.
3. We got a new kitten for a smaller fee than we expected. I thought the cat rescue would be more expensive than animal control but it was actually much less. They also supplied us with free medication when he had an issue a few days later. Said kitten has provided many hours of free entertainment already and we have only had him a week. He has a very important job to do, since he is stepping into the place of Best Cat in the World, who died last year.
4. I persuaded my husband to upgrade his pitiful selection of shorts for the summer. He is hard to fit so shopping is a trauma. We found 2 pair of shorts for a reasonable price and I shortened them myself to get the correct fit.
5. I am about to watch a movie borrowed from the library.


Kim in MD May 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Welcome Ava!


Cindy in the South I May 19, 2017 at 4:41 am

I am about to begin a fight with my COBRA insurance over a bill (Or maybe with the doctor’s office…I am not sure which yet). If it turns out the doctor’s office (and he was a very minor care provider…only saw my son briefly, and is not one of the specialists treating my son for the real issues) I will call them. If they have over billed and do not correct it, I will call the hospital administrator where the doctor has hospital privileges, the insurance carrier, the state medical licensing board, etc.. I will not pay that bill without a fight. If is is my insurance carrier, I will be calling the state insurance board, board members of the insurance carrier, my state legislatures, etc. I am fairly easy going, until someone tries to rip me off for literally thousands . Then, my redneck,stubborn, hillbilly roots come out…lol. I say all this to say, you are not the only one…good luck!


Ava May 19, 2017 at 5:59 am

Thanks Cindy. Good luck with your fight. I believe we have similar Southern backgrounds. I am married to a pushy Yankee and between us, we try to not let anything get by us.


Marianne May 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm

1. Kids came home for moms day and took us moms out to dinner. Good food and great company.
2. Almost every day this week there has been free food at work leftover from parties held there.
3. Hubby had a friend fix our brakes which was still expensive but saved us quite a bit.
4. Amazed our utility bill was $119. Yay!
5. Turned the air conditioner on and double yay it started and …it is 16 years old so I hope it holds up for another couple of years.

It has been a very expensive couple of weeks, new washer, brakes on the car, son needed $ to get new tires, after the same tooth had its 5th abscess I had to have it pulled and am getting an implant. 2 root canals and gum surgery did not work on it. Wow is it expensive to get it done (about 2k) not including the crown. Hoping my dental carrier will pay $900 of it. Plus I went to a oral surgeon who did the whole procedure at one time so now I just wait to get a crown.


Joann May 18, 2017 at 6:49 pm

1. Travel for work yesterday (over night) made sure i took water bottles, and 2 can drinks so to not have to purchase any drinks while traveling. Got water from office before i left today to travel home and got a cold drink left over from meeting.

2.Remembered my soft side cooler since they offer up the extra food (after meeting) from the working lunch and came home with fancy sandwiches, a strawberry salad, and brownies. Most everyone that comes to these meetings drive at least 2 or 3 hours to attend. I’ve often taken a sandwich, but this time nothing went in the trash. (Another lady took the fruit and muffins). Only costed me a bag of ice to keep everything cold on the way home.

3. Obtained a really nice set of tongs (was plastic from the lunch they were going to throw them away) they will come in handy for summer picnics. Got napkins for the truck and (always needing tissues) got a great plastic container (sandwiches came on it) will use it during the next church potluck for cookies or cake.

4. Frugal dinner out last night, me and 2 coworkers all being out of town split a large salad and pizza at California kitchen. (We all live very rural so its a major treat). We all drank water so each of our bills were less than $9.

5. Went to trader joes (since it was in same town of meeting) don’t get by here except for 2 or 3 times a year. Purchased husband snacks (for our anniversary next week special dark chocolate ) and got snacks for vacation that’s coming up in a few weeks. Stocked up on items such as rice, ginger, dried fruits,nuts and items that cost more locally than at trader joes. Treated myself to chocolate bar. (Which was cheaper than the slice of cheesecake from cheesecake factory I wanted).

6. Went to trader joes while the other girls shopped for clothes last night. Saved money by not going. Happily realize my job is much different than these girls and really happy to not have to dress up so much.

7. Was happy to say went to two stores tonight on the way home (briefly since I had 2 gift cards and those stores I normally have to order because they are not in my small town). Realized I truely don’t need anything, remembered a few outfits I forgot I had, and left both stores with ideas and all my money intact.

8. Had helped out a new coworker a lot lately and she gifted me (today after the meeting) with a bag of M&M’s and a gift card to Lowes. Sweet.

9. Ate dinner when I got home instead of stopping on way back so not to purchase more stuff

10. Enrolled in a local college free water testing for wells (had to pay last year for water chemistry report). This year it will be free.


Susanne g May 19, 2017 at 3:47 am

More of a comment than five frugals. Katy, when you wrote a while back about obtaining new skill sets and I saw you taught yourself how to clean a Dyson, I thought, “that’s a new skill set in action.” That one skill will bring you lots of pay. I don’t have one, would love one, and now know people give them away because they’re dirty? Totally inspiring. I hand wash my dust buster filters and rotate the two and thought I was clever!

The Victorian Slums puts it all in perspective. I don’t have tv but I do have PBS on computer, but was unaware until you talked about it. Even the most frugal is living in luxury here compared to piece workers or today’s migrant workers, etc. Also a good reminder to buy on secondary market (used) or made in u.s. when possible.


Tracy May 19, 2017 at 4:00 am

1. It’s finally warming up so heat has been off for a couple of days and will be for the next few days. SO ready for some sun here in Portland which has been especially rainy this winter/spring.
2. No eating out this week — finished up smoked salmon and fresh corn chowder and started on the pork roast I threw in the crockpot which will provide several meals. Was exhausted last night and tempted to stop for takeout but didn’t.
3. Had a little time to kill before picking up DD and stopped at library thrift store. Enjoyed browsing for 15 minutes and bought nothing!
4. Researching ideas for how to have a frugal(ish) vacation week in the very expensive city my mom and I are traveling to in September (Stockholm), have already found write-ups of several thrift and second hand stores! (My mom and I love to check out thrift stores when we travel).
5. Have been washing and ironing things I would have previously taken to the cleaners, including cashmere sweaters t which I will now store in sealed bags to avoid moths until the fall.


K D May 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

1. I am finishing at lunch a big pot of lentil soup I made several days ago. I am mixing in quinoa that was an under-eaten side.

2. I made a big batch of muffins for a side last night. Most were frozen for future breakfasts. I used extra canned pumpkin that was in the refrigerator.

3. The weather changed to hot and humid a couple days ago. We have adjusted our walking times to early morning/late evening. Healthy is frugal in the long run.

4. I am continuing to find hand-me-up summer shirts in my closet as I transition to warm weather clothes.

5. I subbed for someone love being paid for something I enjoy doing.


Vickie May 19, 2017 at 9:32 am

1) I ate popcorn for dinner last night. Hubby ate a can of chili with crackers. I didn’t feel like cooking and certainly didn’t want to pick up fast food. We were sent home early due to a tornado and bad weather outbreak in our area, so I actually got 2 hours off without having to take PTO.
2) I’m wearing my free OBI (blood donation center) t-shirt for casual Friday with my jeans. It’s pretty comfy, so I’m glad we can dress down on Fridays.
3) We had 4 inches of rain last night, so I didn’t need to fill up the water dish for the animals outside. A blessing from the Creator, I’m thankful for every drop.
4) I bought lunch for my friend’s birthday yesterday and had to laugh, because she brought a coupon for one free entree – basically paying for her own lunch. You gotta love friends who think like you do!
5) I’m attending a two day work conference on Monday & Tuesday of next week, so free lunch and breakfast both days. It thrills me that this will be held at a conference center on the state highway north of my house, which means I will have even less of a commute than I do for work, on those two days. I love saving fuel!


Isitaneedorawant May 19, 2017 at 11:27 am

(1) Husband brought home two nearly full Subway cookie containers.
(2) Daughter who is temporarily living with us brought home, 3 massive food containers, dips and fruit, cookies and danishes ( from an artisanal bakery), cans of beverages. Invited her sibling who doesn’t live at home to come and get some. Will freeze what is not eaten for future me to thank. Canned beverages being held for this groups next food gathering. Don’t you just love when someone else does the cooking and it’s free?
(3) Have remaining insurance funds for eye glass purchases. They expire next Saturday. Found some nice progressive sunglasses at Costco, little out of pocket .
(4) Daughter making a major purchase tomorrow at a store I have a rarely redeemed points card. Told her she could load the points from her purchase onto this card and then redeem and share the points with her siblings. I have been collecting for about 30 years with this card. I have redeemed once in that time. I don’t live near a store that I would use /collect these points from anymore.Last time I looked a few years ago I was over half a million points.
(5) Dropped in a thrift store this morning. Always keep a list of what I am looking for on the ” secondary” market. Found a gigantic unopened bag of felt protectors for furniture feet. Love finding that needed item for pennies on the dollar. Love supporting charities. Love keeping things out of the landfill.


Carol May 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm

1. My husband received a lower paycheck than he was expecting, and didn’t see it since it was automatically deposited. We wouldn’t be able to make rent, but because I’ve been very frugal this year we were able to make it up with my money, even though I earn less.
2. Haven’t been to a coffee shop in a couple of months, had free coffee in the teachers’ lounge this morning.
3. Cat needed to go to the vet, and I was able to leave without paying for extra things that he didn’t really need. He was okay without them.


Rosanne May 20, 2017 at 7:11 am

Not a frugal day for me, but a happy one for sure My son is making his first communion. I have a rented a room at a nearby Portuguese restaurant for afterwards. Pricey, yes. But I am proud that I have been putting money into an account earmarked for him since he was in my belly. It is on autopilot and gets deposited every month without fail from my checking. The stock market has cooperated and now there is a good amount for his college set aside, so I feel okay with splurging on this event. I decided to not get my hair done and just take the time to do it well myself. Liquor is included in the package price at the restaurant, so I will be very frugal by having my fill of sangria 🙂


tonya May 20, 2017 at 1:20 pm

1) Took my breakfast and lunch to work today.
2) Enjoyed free Saturday parking at work!
3) Filled up my tank with discounted gas on the way home. I had earned $.30 off/gallon.
4) Picking up a take and bake pizza with a coupon for dinner.
5) Going to see a show tonight with family. My dear, darling sister is in the show and she comped our tickets. Can’t wait to see her. She is playing a trans woman in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and I am proud of her for this groundbreaking role. For those who are familiar with the show, the roles usually played by a trans woman, and I believe she is one of the first cisgender women to take on the role.


Chris May 22, 2017 at 10:48 am

#5 sounds like fun! I love the movie “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” – so colorful and entertaining.

I tend to usually like Australian and New Zealand movies. I loved “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” so much. So wild and free (and hilarious, too.)


Mand01 May 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

We loved that movie too. My husband is a Kiwi and I’m Australian. The foster mother in that movie was so much like my MIL I was dying with laughter. There is a particular sensibility of NZ women raised in the 60s that you have to just know to understand and that movie nailed it perfectly.
The other NZ show that just exemplifies NZ is Flight of the Conchords. Until I saw it I thought my husband’s family were just very quirky. Now I know they are just very Kiwi.


Mary in Maryland May 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

1. No restaurant meals since mid-March. Friends to dinner most every week.
2. Bought plants and got them into the grow boxes today. In previous years I’ve put two plants in each box, and they wind up very crowded. Today I just bought one per box. And we transplanted the very day I bought them. Usually they sit on the front stoop and make me feel guilty for a week.
3. Cooked dinner even though I was stumbling tired from the planting.
4. A friend bought instant oatmeal and disliked it. I dislike it as well, but am mixing it in with our regular oats. Not noticeable, except that the oatmeal may be a little creamier. And I got three pounds of free cereal.
5. I got all five of my grow boxes from other peoples’ trash. The dogs and I have a Wednesday night route that takes in a lot of trash.
6. My public library does email reminders 3 and 1 days before a book is due–and you can renew online. I am newly enamored of Juliet Marillier’s Celtic mythology novels. I’ve read five of them in the past month. I should ration the last ten.


Katy Hope May 21, 2017 at 7:44 pm

1. Went camping with my son’s pre-school class this weekend. Easy cheap vacation and came back totally refreshed.

2. Pre-made pasta salad for dinner for the camping weekend, ate cereal and oatmeal for breakfast, and PB&Js for lunch. Spent less than $20 on food for the entire weekend.

3. Bought firewood at safeway before we went camping as half the price than if I had bought it at the campground.

4. Seam-sealed our ten year old tent since it leaked last time we went camping, so hopefully added another ten years to its’ life, rather than buy a new tent.

5. Was gifted extra s’mores supplies by another camper who was leaving, so have supplies for our next camping trip already.


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