Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 30, 2017 · 103 comments

First off, I’m so sorry about letting the blog lie dormant for so many days. I worked four 12-hours shifts in a row at the hospital and was utterly brain dead by nightfall, and simply didn’t have the mental energy to string words together.

The blog posts would have looked a little something like this:

“I wear thrifted clothes. They on my body two hours a day. Otherwise scrubs. Feet hurt. Sleep now.” (Please feel free to read this aloud in a standard caveman voice.)

And nobody needs to read that kind of drivel.

Please enjoy a shiny new Five Frugal Things post:

  1. I didn’t bring my lunch to the hospital three of the last four work shifts, but  I made fairly frugal food choices in the cafeteria. I am somewhat obsessed with the poached salmon in their salad bar, especially since I can assemble a huge salmon topped spinach salad for just four or five bucks. I drank the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea.
  2. I fielded a couple of offers on things I’m selling on eBay. I think I’ll lower the prices on those items if my offers aren’t accepted, as I’m pretty sure I can find a price point that works well for both for customers and my bank account.
  3. My plan for today is to cleanse the house with fire scrub down the house and then go thrifting with my mother. I’m keeping an eye out for a new queen-size fitted sheet and know that the cheapest (and most environmentally friendly) deal will be at the Goodwill Outlet “bins” store. Paying by the pound is a screaming deal when it comes to lightweight items. My mom is always up for an afternoon of thrifting, which makes for the perfect mother-daughter date. Hey, maybe I’ll find another Dyson vacuum cleaner that I can spiff up to sell! Buying used not only prevents the environmental damage associated with a newly manufactured item, but it keeps unwanted items from the landfill, which will always be a win-win in my book!
  4. I have a set of iPhone earbuds that stopped working, which is a huge pain in the tuchus since I normally use them to listen to podcasts or chat on the phone while cleaning the house. (There is a direct correlation between the current grubbiness of my house and my lack of earbuds.) I was thinking I should bite the bullet and buy a new set, but then realized that it might be possible to fix them. Sure enough, there are almost endless youtube tutorials on fixing earbuds which should get me back on the road to productivity. Electronic or home repairs may seem intimidating, but youtube tutorials are a game changer for most any problem.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar and horrifying 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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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

I had a LL Bean gift card and was planning to get two backpacks. Happened to be a 20% off sale as well. I have been keeping an eye out for the XL duffel bags secondhand with no luck for almost two years. They had one in a discontinued color marked down from $70 to $25 and then 20% off that so ended up being $20. We have been borrowing the bag for summer camp but their kid is attending the same week this year. This duffel will get plenty of use from our family.


Katy May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

Yay, those things last forever!


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 10:26 am

LL Bean rocks. Great find! I have some LL Bean house slippers that are close to 20 years old, and are just now wearing out.


Nancy Drew May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

Glad to see you are “back”, Katy!

1. Celebrated DD’s pass mark on a math test with a trip to A & W, and used coupons for a savings of about $8.
2. Ordered clothes from the Gap for DD, and used a rewards points portal (Air Miles), a 40% off coupon code, plus a credit card for a few airline points.
3. Scored free entry to a premium airport lounge through a Facebook offer, for an airport we’ll be connecting through in December. Free food and drinks and much appreciated quiet for a 2 hour layover.
4. Used coupon, earned store points from relevant products and sent in receipt to Checkout 51 for $2 more, during grocery store run today. It all adds up.
5. Our changing spring weather means sometimes we need the heat on, and sometimes the A/C. I’m working the windows and blinds to keep both shut off as much as possible to reduce power bill.
At least this last one is about not buying stuff…


K D May 30, 2017 at 10:54 am

1. Our basement refrigerator (with a top freezer) had water on the shelves. My wonderful husband cleaned the coils and underneath, then got rid of an ice build-up in the freezer section. Problem solved.

2. Our plans for a trip towards the end of June changed. We will not need a hotel room so I cancelled the reservation. We will be able to stay with a relative both nights. We’ll treat her (dinner, etc.) while we’re with her.

3. We needed paint for a very old concrete “patio”. We bought it at Home Depot while there was a rebate offer going on. We paid for the paint with gift cards earned from a credit card promotion.

4. I baked a big batch of cookies and made a triple batch of pancakes for future eating.

5. Found several coins over the course of the weekend, mostly while walking.


Roberta May 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

Glad you’re back, Katy!
1. Made a double batch of dinnerloaf Sunday night (vegetarian meatloaf). A friend with a newly diabetic husband gave me stuffing mix, so we ate that with the dinner loaf. Leftovers will be sandwiches all week, and I used up bread ends (breadcrumbs) and ground almonds (from making almond milk) in the process.
2. Sold one item on ebay, and I am posting a bunch of other things today.
3. Didn’t go ANYWHERE yesterday. This is pretty unusual for me, with taking kids to school, classes, etc. Didn’t spend any gas for a change.
4. Dr. Strange came in to the library today, so I picked that up when I dropped my son off at school. I am resisting watching it until my family is all home. I also requested the first Thor movie when I was there, as the kids want to see that one, too.
5. I didn’t buy anything but a new shirt at Goodwill Friday. The shirt I was wearing had a hole in it, so I think it’s time to get a new one. I did not buy the Little Miss Sunshine lunchbox that I wanted but do not need (and would not have used).


Jill A May 30, 2017 at 11:09 am

1. I purchased a Dyson at a garage sale a couple weeks ago for $5. Inspired by Katy’s post I was going to clean it up and resell it. I tried it out to make sure it was working properly and I discovered that my own vacuum cleaner doesn’t work for s**t. The washable filter on the Dyson disintegrated when I washed it so I ordered a new one for $30. So for $35 I have a new vacuum.
2. My daughter is graduating next week. I was going to have my carpets professionally cleaned but instead I used my own carpet shampooer. It’s old and leaks like crazy, but it still does a reasonable job.
3. My husband is in the process of opening our pool. He switched to chlorine instead of bromine since we rarely use it so not as worried about the kids delicate skin. It will save us a few hundred dollars a year in chemicals.
4. My husband picked up a brisket at Costco. We had grandparents over for dinner on Monday. They brought salads and we fried up some potatoes which were on their last legs. It was a delicious and cheap dinner for 8.
5. Rented a car through my Chase Sapphire credit card for a weeks vacation in September with my Mom. It was $75 cheaper than the Costco price. The extra driver isn’t free like it is through Costco. So I am just going to drive which I probably would have anyway.


Vika May 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

Here’s a few:
(1)I learned how to fix a broken zipper this weekend after a thrifted coat had zipper teeth that wouldn’t stay together. It took about 30 seconds with a pair of pliers and was extremely satisfying. I then tried the trick on a sleeping bag we had with the same problem and it worked! Lots of great tutorials if you google it.
(2) I made dinner for my extended family twice over the weekend. It probably cost me $25-30 in ingredients each time which is maybe a quarter of what it would’ve cost all of us to eat out at an inexpensive restaurant. We had two delicious and healthy feasts in our beautiful, sunny yard!
(3) I worked the holiday yesterday for time and a half. (I definitely earned that money as triage nurse in our crazy busy ED!)
(4) I’m staying home today, making a big batch of beans to freeze and eat, and hoping to sort out and gift the too small kid clothing to decrease our clutter.
(5) I am continuing to try to get the terrible dog pee smell out of our extra bedroom. I’ve used a fair amount of bac-out and baking soda, but it beats hiring it out or replacing carpet.


Jennifer May 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

Glad you are doing ok, Katy. I have to admit my mind was drifting to worse case scenarios on why you were not posting. Ok, so I am a little obsessed with FFT.

1. I got my youngest daughter some super nice skates at a yard sale for $1. They are great condition but when I got them home I noticed that the necessary straps that go across the top( basically to replace the laces) were missing. I emailed the company to hopefully get some sent to me. I was unable to find replacement parts online. We will use zip ties in the meantime until we get some straps. To be continued….
2. At the same yardsale I got some really nice clothes for my girls. Some even still had the tags on. I can’t list all of it but everything was $1 and I got $20 worth. I guess the best thing was a brand new, with tags, Levi’s denim jacket for my middle girl Great buy especially since it will be handed down to my youngest.
3. Another good find was DVD’s for 50 cents. Looney Tunes and the Little Rascals. Not long ago, I paid $1-$2 for these at yard sales so, thankfully for me, their value has gone down.
4. A tree fell in our yard due to heavy storms. It did some minor damage and blocked my driveway. The upside was the free firewood.
5. One last thing I got the yardsale was one of the metal toothbrush holders that screw into the wall with holes in it to put the toothbrushes in so they hang free in the air. I broke my old toothbrush holder a couple years ago and have been using a pottery cup. This fix was ok but my kids don’t dry off the toothbrushes well and the inside of the bottom of the cup gets funky fast. It was only 50 cents and has a kinda dated look but the functionality is worth it.


Bee May 30, 2017 at 11:57 am

I can only imagine how physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting it can be to work labor and delivery for 4 days in a row. Enjoy thrifting, Katy!

Here are my FFT:
1) Our guest bath is in need of a facelift. After nearly a quarter of a century and 3 children, it permanently looks dirty and maybe a little smelly. So DH and I did the demo work on Saturday. We will save quite a bit by doing this work ourselves. (DH worked construction while in college.) However, all did not go smoothly. The huge, heavy counter top clipped the cold water feed into the bathroom and gallons of water came gushing out of the wall.

2) This was not as awful as it could have been. Thank goodness we own to important items. The first is t-bar which is used to shut off the water at the street. It only took about 30 seconds to get the water off. This prevented the house from becoming flooded. The second thing is a Shop Vac. This allowed us to get the water up quickly and easily. Inexpensive tools can help you mitigate absolute disaster.

3) Since it was a holiday weekend, we did not want to call the plumber to fix our self-imposed problem. After a quick trip to the hardware store where we purchased $8 worth of materials, we capped off the broken pipe ourselves. it is amazing what you can do when you have to. Thank goodness for YouTube and the helpful young man buying plumbing supplies,

4) After our DIY adventure, I did not purchase take out. I wanted to. I made a quick and easy dinner at home. In fact, we ate our meals at home all weekend.

5) Other than working on our bathroom renovation, it has been frugality as usual –reading my books from the library, walking the dog, spending some time on the beach, and gardening. I have been drinking water, making coffee at home and not wasting food.


Bee May 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Typos galore! We own two tools that are important. Also, please forgive the run on sentences.


Jennifer May 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I have learned to embrace typos and run on sentences. It feels so human. Perfection is boring. I would hate to know someone refrains from posting because of poor writing skills. Think of if the tips we might miss! Also, I am envious of how close you are to the beach. It’s 6+ hours for me.


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 10:35 am

Were there run on sentences or typos? I didn’t even notice. I’m in the habit of creating run on sentences, and my keyboarding/texting skills are nothing to write home about (intentional pun). Bee, you always offer great ideas – please don’t stop!


Cindy in the South I May 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm

I love your posts, Bee!


BJS May 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Ditto, Cindy. Bee, you’re encouraging, thoughtful, and kind.


Sarah May 31, 2017 at 8:19 am

I work for a city water dept – it’s actually illegal here to turn off the water supply at the street by yourself. I would just check with your City to double check as being charged for tampering can be costly. This is why you have a main valve in the property to turn off the water.


Bee May 31, 2017 at 11:17 am

Sarah, this is good advice. I will check. To my knowledge, this is the only way to turn off the water in this house, and each house in the neighborhood has the same type of situation. I’m not sure I understand why the water department would consider it tampering to temporarily turn off your water in order to prevent thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your home.


Bee May 31, 2017 at 10:59 am

Thank you for your kindness. It is fun getting to know so many through our daily posts. I appreciate all of you! It is nice to have encouragement from so many. It is often difficult to live mindfully and frugally.


Pattilou May 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm

1. There was a ripped bag of potting soil at the hardware store that looked like barely any soil had fallen out. I asked if they would discount the bag for me and they gave it to me for half off. That is something I never would have done before I started reading your blog Katy!

2. I had two work events where meals were provided so I was fed for 3 days (including the left overs I was able to bring home).

3. I had to work our annual Gala. Not only was I provided with three meals on that day (see above) but I made additional income because I was paid overtime. Every bit helps because I have a period of unemployment looming ahead of me.

4. I , like another reader (Gina I think), have been working on a dollhouse. It is a Christmas gift for my great niece. I got the shell of the house at an antique store. Friends have given me paint for the outside and material to make the rugs. Some of the wallpaper came from an old wallpaper book we had at work and I am using lace for the curtains that I bought for my other niece’s wedding. (This lace has been well used. It was the decorations for my niece’s wedding which I then had made into a christening dress for her baby and now am using some for the doll house). I also have bought some furniture on eBay.

5. I needed to stock up on some items at Target and between coupons and cart wheel I saved about $20.00. I forgot to use the cartwheel at the check out but remembered as I was leaving the store. A quick trip to customer service and I was reimbursed the money.


Lauren May 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm

1. The pup needs her toenails clipped badly. Luckily I found clippers for €3 at the thrift shop. Now I’ll need to watch tutorials and work up the courage to do it properly so we don’t hurt her!
2. I accidentally turned some white pillowcases pink when I washed them with a red item that wasn’t done shedding dye. I boiled them with bleach and they are only faintly tinged now. They’re still perfectly fine so we will keep using our imperfect pinky cases.
3. I found a pair of nice sandals brand new on sale at a swap meet for €1. They are a size bigger than I normally wear but I tried them on and they fit fine.
4. Needed a container for the husband’s sandwiches for lunch. Realized an ice cream container on its way to the recycling bin would actually be the perfect size! Safe sandwiches, and the ice cream container lives another day.
5. Timed our visit to the more expensive grocery store with their markdown hour. We got enough chicken to stock the freezer at half the normal price and treated ourselves to an apple crumble as well.


Denise May 31, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Lauren – don’t know about the US, but pale rose/dusky pink bed linen is “über on-trend” in England! Now, so are you!


Edie June 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

Yup- this is the current on trend color! I painted the ground floor of my house this color!


JJ May 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

We spent the weekend volunteering at our local YMCA camp, getting through a laundry list of prep projects in advance of the summer. There is a limited staff there before the kids arrive, so we get a few dozen volunteers at the camp each year for Memorial Day weekend. So (1) our meals from Saturday lunch through Sunday dinner were provided by the camp.

(2) We used GasBuddy to determine whether it was cheaper to fill the car before leaving home, or waiting until we got to camp. Our regular gas station at home was cheaper, so that was a small savings.

(3) We can’t count our work time as a donation to camp, but we can deduct the cost of supplies we donated, and the round-trip mileage. Logged the info in an entry in my ItsDeductible account, so I can import the info into our tax software next year.

(4) Dinner the night before we left was home-made quesadillas, using up veggies and chicken that would need to be tossed if they sat until after the weekend.

(5) Took advantage of a 40% off sale to replace some of my husband’s work pants ($60 down to $36). Eddie Bauer hems pants for free, and the order earned me a $10 reward certificate to use before the end of June. It was a good week!


ouvickie May 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Hope you’ve gotten some rest, Katy!

1) I had Friday off and stayed home to clean. Saved gas and got much needed stuff done.
2) Saturday I kept my grandkids. We had Sloppy Joes & hot dogs for dinner, which made for leftovers Sunday night and I used the rest on Spaghetti last night.
3) I took the granddaughters to the SplashPad to play on Saturday afternoon, then dropped them back off with their Mom so she and all the kids could go to a BBQ they were invited to.
4) I cleaned and scrubbed my fridge yesterday and organized the inside with plastic baskets, which will help keep me from buying duplicate condiments and such.
5) I mailed bills today, took 3 bags of paper and glass to the recycle bin, renewed a couple of audio books on the Library site and didn’t buy a LearJet or a gold-plated anything.


susanna d May 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm

1. I took advantage of the crappy weather today (low 50’s with off and on rain) to make soup. Sure I’d rather have 70+ degrees with sunshine, but you can’t choose the weather. I now have 4 quarts of beef broth and 3 quarts of chicken stock in the freezer. Bonus in that the beef soup bones were free, and the chicken bones were from a Costco rotisserie chicken carcass.
2. All the soup making meant the heat did not come on today. Yes, between the recent cold snap (I think we have freeze warnings tonight) and all the rain, I haven’t been able to turn off the heat for the season. YET.
3. Used free firewood to keep a fire going in the fireplace yesterday, which eliminated the need to turn the heat on.
4. I really love Half and Half in my coffee, but rather than buying more I’m using up some of the whole milk that was left over from when my grandchildren visited. And to my surprise, I’m not noticing much difference. Milk is cheaper than half and half, so this could prove to be a decent money saver.
5. Since my local grocery store change its sale period, I’m skipping grocery shopping this week. There may be some creative substitutions involved, but yay creativity!


Trish May 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm

1. cleaning up baby things from baby #1 in anticipation of baby #2
2. cashing in baby items we don’t need (off-season, duplicates, etc.) at kids re-sale shop. made $76 so far.
3. husband sold surround sound system on craigslist (it was over-kill in our new small living room).
4. pulling shades on south side of house to keep cool in 85 degree weather instead of A/C. Using box fans to circulate cold air at night.
5. husband spent the better part of his day off repairing and adjusting the sprinkler system to conserve water.


Mary in Maryland May 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm

1. Oops. My husband, who does not have a deep understanding of the pile system in my sewing nook, put a pair of pants he wanted shortened in the rag pile. Gone.
We went to the thrift store the day before the big sale–lots to choose from and I have a coupon almost as good as the sale. He got two pair of Lands End pants for 8.30–probably less than shipping were he to buy at the source. He’s shorter than most, so the ragged hems were disposed of when I shortened the pants this afternoon.
2. I had a $7 off $25 or more coupon for our local Lebanese restaurant. We bought the $28 feast (a first for us), and took enough home to enrich another three meals.
3. We had an invite to a last minute back yard party yesterday. I took Southwestern black bean and corn salad made with items on hand. I made enough beyond my potluck contribution for lunch today and tomorrow.
4. We mow the lawn with a push mower, but a couple times a summer it needs more cutting power. I borrowed a neighbor’s power mower and offered to pay for gas. John said not to bother–the gas was gifted to him from the neighbors who moved out in April. I gave John the flash-frozen cod they had gifted us (we’re vegan.)
5. Reading library books, drinking water, eating at home.


BJS May 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm

1. Mary, your pile system comment made me laugh!


Mand01 May 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I’m not an earbud fan- I seem to have shallow ears or something and they just fall out – so I tuck my phone in my back pocket and play podcasts through the terrible speaker. As I don’t listen to music, it’s fine. My husband, who is fussy about sound quality, can’t bear it. Or he couldn’t, if he didn’t have ultra fancy noise cancelling ear buds jammed in his precious ear holes.

1. I’ve negotiated to work from home two days this week, saving me about 5 hours of commuting , petrol and my sanity, which seems to be slipping with every car ride.
2. My daughter got into her specialist school program, which is wonderful for her and which saves us about $30,000 in future private school fees because that was our other school option for her.
3. Operation Backyard continues, with my husband removing a rusted woodshed with a borrowed angle grinder and giving us back two square meters of space and our washing line! Yay!
4. I did a lot of cooking over the weekend, including cheesymite scrolls, garlic and cheese bread, muffins, quiche Lorraine and apple pies using Alton Brown’s excellent lard crust. Lard rendered from previous roasts and frozen for future pastry purposes. So good. I had many pastry fails till I discovered that recipe.
5. I bit the bullet and actually made a website for my business after holding the domain for four years. Time to put it out there. Plus I’ve been paying domain fees all this time, which is very un-frugal.


Shannon May 31, 2017 at 6:09 am

I’m so excited to hear that your daughter got into the program! Congratulations to all of you!


KJD509 May 31, 2017 at 10:40 am

Yes, congrats to your daughter! I breathed a sigh of relief for you when I read that. We’re in a similar spot – hubs has a new job in an area where applications to magnet schools were due in January. We opted to keep her in her current school another year, even though it means two households for awhile. Not exactly frugal, though we have friends and family in the new area and he can couch surf until the ridiculous summertime real estate market cools off (please, please, let it cool off). . . but much cheaper than a private school, and more in line with our values.


Mand01 May 31, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Thank you- such a supportive crowd here 🙂 I hope your child also gets in!
She has been so bored at school almost all her life- we are really hoping this program will engage her busy brain!


Elizabeth May 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

1. My husband and I spent about 14 hours this weekend edging and weeding all the beds, planting and transplanting and doing all manners of yard work. Our neighbors wondered why we didn’t hire someone to do it, as most in our neighborhood do. We are also going to do our own mulching, spreading about 14 yards in the next week or so. We figure that we have saved close to $2000 by power sanding our deck and painting it ourselves two weeks ago, doing all the yard work this week and doing all the mulching next week.
2. I got an email from eBay that there would be no fee on listing up to 500 items until June 1 so last night I spent some time walking around the house and photographing various things and ended up listing about 40 items. We’ll see how many sell.
3. My husband’s birthday is Thursday and he wanted a pair of shorts and a shirt from the Gap. Luckily they had a 40% off code and free shipping! And I went through ebates.
4. Really wanted to stop and get a cupcake or cookie or something today. I wanted some sort of yummy homemade desert (I don’t eat it often). I came home instead and discovered my husband had made brownies!
5. Used up most of the potatoes in a bag with some rotting ones for a potato salad for my family this weekend that was really yummy. In fact, I’m having some of it leftover with dinner tonight!


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Aw dang, I’m sorry to hear about those long shifts! But hopefully they’ll help you score some extra cash. 🙂

This week:

1. We bought two bikes on Craigslist for $75, which was a great deal. We’ll also get some much-needed fresh air and exercise, so it killed two birds with one stone. 🙂

2. I made a tasty salad today with cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden.

3. I trimmed my own bangs following an easy YouTube tutorial. No more hairdresser costs for me!

4. I cooked up a batch of kefir and yogurt.

5. I got a free pair of Converse and two shirts from a college friend. The shoes were brand new and had never been worn before. Win!


Lindsey May 30, 2017 at 4:24 pm

First, the not frugal: We paid to have our two Danes professionally groomed, to the tune of $140 total. My husband used to do it by getting naked and dragging them one at a time into our huge shower (made to accommodate my wheelchair when I was ill), and soaping and rinsing them off. But then one of them decided it was fun to rear up on his hind legs, which makes him over six feet tall and thus two inches taller than my husband, and place his front paws on my husband’s shoulders and bark his displeasure about an inch away from husband’s face. At 160 pounds of pure muscle (the dog, not the husband), there was no way to control this. It did not help that I, standing at the entrance of the shower to block escape, starting laughing so hard that the other Dane decided to investigate the hilarity and all three of them ended up in there, barking (the dogs) and yelling (the husband). So, now we pay to have them professionally groomed every May and October. A lot of money but I figure we save in other ways so we can spend without guilt for what we really want.

Frugal behaviors:
1. The trifecta of skin lotion, toothpaste and shampoo all ran out at the same time. I cut all three open and we got at least a week’s more use out of each.
2. Volunteered for a good cause and they not only fed us but sent the volunteers home with one bag each of premade hamburger patties and cheese slices. (Not as many showed up as anticipated since we had snow in interior Alaska the day before.)
3. When I heard the weather forecast I groaned and was sorely tempted to ignore the possibility of losing seedlings to frost, but I didn’t. Husband and I spent half an hour covering every single thing with plastic or sheets or old blankets. Nothing was lost, which was a real money saver.
4. Rainier cherries run for $5.99 a pound. I went in to buy the cheaper Bings for a great sale price of $2.99 (usually two dollars more a pound) and they were out. Emboldened by this group, I asked the produce manager for a rain check and instead he gave me the Rainiers for the Bing sale price! (This seems like a small thing but we never buy Rainiers. One year we were in Washington during cherry season and I literally made myself ill by eating too many cherries.)
5. A friend called to ask if someone who is a stranger to me could borrow a red velvet opera cape I have (don’t ask), for a grand entrance at her wedding. It was returned to me in perfect condition with a dozen of the wedding cupcakes (instead of a regular cake they had cupcakes) and a sweet note of thanks from the bride.


Roberta May 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

You said not to ask, but now I’m desperately curious about the red velvet opera cape. Was it from your years as a spy, when you needed to pass as a Rockefeller for an assignment? Was it from your tragic past, before you had a terrible case of strep and lost your upper register, only able to sing alto for the rest of your life?


CarolineRSA May 31, 2017 at 6:34 am

I’m also desperate to know, but maybe if Lindsey told us, she’d have to kill us?


Teri May 30, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Oh the visual of your “non frugal” item!


janine May 31, 2017 at 5:18 am

Loved your Great Dane descriptions! As the owner of many dogs over the years, I sympathize with your husband, but am very happy you have a good sense of humor!


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

Inquiring minds want to know about the red cape! Are you really a super hero in disguise??:-)
We had a large Golden Retriever for many years, and had him groomed regularly at a local groomer’s. It was expensive ($100 or so), but they did a lot of “extras” (cleaned his teeth, trimmed his nails, alerted us to potentially $$ health issues, etc….) and the idea of scrubbing down, combing, and trimming a 95 pound wiggly (but good natured) dog in our bathtub didn’t hold much appeal. Money well spent.


Lindsey May 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

The opera cape story: I was young, newly married. My husband and I love opera. Around Valentine’s Day, I saw an ad for opera capes, in the NY Times. I bought one in red velvet; it was over $200 and this was in 1984 and we could ill afford it. On Valentine’s Day, I make special pancakes and this particular year I made them while naked, except for the cape. Husband said nothing, even though I was flipping the cape around quite ostentatiously. Finally, as we were finishing breakfast, I said, “Notice anything new?” Husband says, “As a matter of fact I did, but I didn’t want to complain. Usually you make sourdough pancakes but these are buttermilk.” Now, 34 years later, the cape still comes out at Valentine’s Day but I am not naked underneath…


Mand01 May 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm

The best.


Edie June 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

What a romantic story!

And the dogs- what a scene! 🙂


Cindy in the South I June 1, 2017 at 11:20 am

Best internet comment of the month….possibly the year….lol.


Jennifer June 1, 2017 at 11:50 am

Love this!!!!!


Liz B. June 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Love this.❤


Vickey June 4, 2017 at 1:33 pm

OMG, Lindsey! You won the internet!


Chris May 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm

1. The Aldi’s closest to us was closing for remodeling so I went and bought 2-3xs what I normally do (oatmeal, honey, almonds, salad dressing, vanilla, yogurt, etc) to offset having to go to the normal grocery for the time they are closed.
2. We drove to a cousin’s house this Sunday passing an outdoor store that someone had given my husband a $25 gift certificate to for his retirement – he found a$22 pair of shorts (in the 15 minutes we allotted for shopping) and they gave him $3 cash back. One more gift card out of the drawer!
3. My sister and I are having a garage sale this weekend and my daughter came over and sorted through a significant pile of her stuff – some to keep, some to sell, some to donate.
4.We took a vacation to DC (2 nights), NYC (1 night) and Montreal (3 nights). Stayed with family in DC and paid $65 for groceries, less than $75 in NY -besides hotel – and walked Old Montreal much of the time – IGA near our hotel provided most of our meals. Had a great time and now we are home for the summer.
5. My daughter brought over a bag of clothing that no longer fits her so I will put some at the garage sale, try the vintage items on the etsy site, and take a few to consignment.


Jen May 31, 2017 at 11:25 am

You don’t happen to live in SC do you? Our Aldi’s just closed for remodeling too, but I forgot to go shopping before they did. Realized it when I drove there last night, and while I was wondering why the parking lot was so empty, it dawned on me. Darnit!


Julie May 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Our Aldi’s is slated to close in mid to late August, so I am stocking up now on
items we use. Will miss the fruit/produce prices when they do close for awhile.


Vickey June 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

And ours in far Western New York is closing in a couple of days for five long weeks. I may be having separation anxiety.


Ava May 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm

No great successes this time.
1. Added vegetables and shrimp to mediocre carry out fried rice to make delicious shrimp fried rice for another meal.
2. Bought 2 perennial plants on clearance for $3 each, regular prices $ 7 and $10. I am trying to rebuild my flower beds that came to ruin last year when I had 2 knee replacements within 9 months.
3. Frugal for my son’s family-we are babysitting the granddogs for 5 days and saving son and daughter in law a lot of money.
4. Made a big batch of meatballs for the freezer so newly retired husband can fend for himself when I am sick of cooking (a time rapidly approaching).
5. Continuing to combine households of newly retired husband and “our” house and finding it a sometimes overwhelming job-emptying the contents of one house into another. We have been married 8 years and until a month ago, had not ever lived in the same house. We have a lot of duplicate items. We are rehoming some things with friends and family members and donating the extras to Goodwill. We are keeping up with donations to deduct from taxes later.


Tracy May 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm

1. Had lovely weekend away in central Oregon with my husband’s extended family. Especially meaningful as my mother-in-law was able to be there with everyone after some serious health problems. Frugal(ish) because we all stayed at my in-laws’ vacation home at no cost to us.
2. We ate lavishly but all pitched in with groceries and cooking so cost frugal(ish) compared to eating out!
3. Brought leftovers home with us, just did a $30 shop to fill in with fresh produce.
4. 13 year old daughter and I hit Goodwill yesterday, she bought two sports bras and a pair of white tennis, all brand new, and I bought a cool leather belt for total of $22
5. Leaving for work trip to Philly Thursday and will have bits of free time. Booked a free ticket to independence hall for the weekend (did have to pay 1.50 convenience fee for booking online). I am a lawyer specializing in constitutional law so eager to actually stand in the hall where the constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed!


Tracy May 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Tennies (as in tennis shoes) although my auto correct doesn’t like the word…


Kim in MD May 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

1. I was the wedding coordinator for the daughter of a dear friend. The wedding was this past Saturday and the reception was in their backyard. I did the flowers, the appetizers and the decorating. I provided most of the vintage decorating elements. Everyone said how wonderful everything was. I didn’t ask for any payment since it was a good friend and I knew they were on a tight budget. I did come home with some leftover food and a beautiful bouquet of white roses and 2 people asked for my contact info for future weddings.
2. Neighbor called to ask if I could help her pick strawbwrries from her plants. After we picked she told me I could keep all that I picked. Yummy!
3. Made a strawberry cobbler tonight with the berries.
4. Made honey butter with some crystallized wildflower honey I brought back from Nicaragua 2 years ago. Found it in the back of the cabinet. I wondered where it had gone!
5. Sold a book on Amazon for $15. I paid 50¢ for it.


KJD509 May 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm

You all are cracking me up tonight with your comments. The sewing piles, the opera cape, the sick of cooking hoving into view – hah! You are my people.

1) Had difficult, high maintenance colleagues in town all week last week, but Igot free breakfasts and lunches out of it most days, and one dinner.
2) The conference room was piled high with goodies every day, but they disappeared mysteriously each afternoon. Finally caught the caterer in action and was able to bring home a few snacks before she threw them out. She said, “I’m so glad you want this! It’s such a waste to throw it away.” But she couldn’t save it for me – I needed to catch her each time, and I was only successful twice. Really painful to think of all the fruit, veggies, pastries, snack mix, etc. that my kids would have devoured going into the trash.
3) We have found new tenants for our rental home and a cleaning person who thinks she can right the property after 2 years of early-20s boys in under 10 hours this week so new tenants can move in Saturday. A one-day-only gap in rent payments is a blessing indeed.
4) The grocery budget was really seriously zeroed out for the month by Friday, but we had a few needs, including cat food, and a few wants, including on-sale potato chips for a Memorial Day picnic. Paid with coins dug out of the change jar, which don’t count in the monthly budget.
5) I hate to buy annuals – they just die! But I fret all summer about how the yard looks. Couple of years ago hubs discovered that if he buys plants at a sale that supports a charity I encourage, I won’t complain. This year he brought home several flats of flowers instead of individual 4-inch pots, and after carefully counting out where I wanted to plant them I got started . . . and realized several hours in that a flat is 48 plants, not 24. It FEELS like a huge bargain even thought deep inside I know it’s just because I can’t count.


Mand01 May 30, 2017 at 11:23 pm

In my view, annuals are not a waste of money. If you let them go to seed at the end of the season you are rewarded with more plants for free, plus all the beauty and the bees they bring to your garden over the season. Just enjoy them!
I have petunias still going at the start of winter and cosmos still flowering while parts of them are developing their spidery seed heads. $20 well spent for the riotous colour I’ve had for six months.


Jennifer May 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm

You are funny with your caveman voice suggestion. Mmm, I would go for the salmon salad, too. That sounds like a deal on the big spinach salad with salmon and packing lunches gets OLD. Recently my 11 year-old decided that his AXE deoderant wasn’t to his liking and I was just out of my beloved Secret roll-on deal. Throw the AXE in the trash? No way! I giggle and think of your blog every day while I put that AXE on. It really isn’t bad…and it does the job. 🙂


gina May 31, 2017 at 7:19 am

My daughters & i like the “sport” (i think) scent of Men’s deodorant. We think it works better than women’s deodorant & we don’t smell like men. You can’t even tell. I had to laugh about you & the AXE deodorant, but just wanted to tell you, we use “men’s” deodorant too! Waste not!


gina May 31, 2017 at 7:20 am

i meant to say the brand is Old SPice


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Not deoderant, but my hubby “inherited” an opened but barely used container of Dove Men + Care body wash from his mom, in some woodsy, manly scent (his dad didn’t like it). Hubs couldn’t use it (he has very sensitive skin, and it made him itch and break out in a rash), so I used it up. I couldn’t bear to wear it on work days, because I could smell the woodsy scent all day! A little is okay, but it was too much all day long. I finally used it up over many, many weekends! For some reason, the scent wasn’t as noticeable then.


tia May 31, 2017 at 1:35 am

1. I have these shoes I paid 2 bucks for from Goodwill…I wear them all the time, they are comfortable and look brand new. Are they fashionable? I don’t know, I never see my feet when I’m walking around in them.
2. Vegetables, fruit, chicken, eggs and quinoa….that’s about all I ever buy anymore. Shopping is a breeze. Cooking is a breeze. Recycling and trash are close to nothing. It sure makes things simple.
3. I’ve been going to free concerts and stuff. It’s kind of amazing all the free activities provided every week everywhere. People are going to a lot of trouble to
help me be cheap.
4. I planted some herbs and they haven’t died yet.
5. Since I have read that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” I bought a beautiful $3.50 work of art cupcake and ate that delish little thing mmmm mmmm big smile.


Mand01 May 31, 2017 at 4:06 am

Now I think I’d better change up what I eat for breakfast- it’s the same everyday!


Jennifer May 31, 2017 at 7:14 am

I just thought the same thing! Ha


Cindy in the South I May 31, 2017 at 5:26 am

1. After work on Friday, I raced up to the church graveyard where my mother is buried (it is three hours one way in a very rural area), and decorated her grave for the Decoration Day all day singing and dinner on the ground (lunch) that I could not attend, because I was the ADA on call Sunday. I am sorry I missed the service, but happy to have a job, and I can just hear my momma saying (in my head) you better get to work, nobody is gonna support you but you….lol. 2. I made fig cobbler with the last of last year’s figs. 3. I am sick of ham sandwiches for lunch, but continue to eat them because I do not want to bother making anything else for lunch..laziness sometimes has a virtue…lol. 4. I also made my lazy woman’s soup, a little chicken, canned green beans, corn, tomatoes, carrots, and spices to eat for supper every night this week…because, ya know… it does not require thought when I get home. 5. I have been calling around asking for comparison prices on tires, because my kids needs some, and so do I. I have also “put the word out” on facebook for opinions, and have looked at consumer reports on tires.


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

If you are a Costco member, check their prices, too. I got 4 new tires last year at a very good price.


Cindy in the South I June 1, 2017 at 4:01 am



Nancy from Mass May 31, 2017 at 5:45 am

1. went to a local store and got: a pint of frozen yogurt, a bag of dog treats (brought to work for when people bring their dogs in) and a bottle of Ginger Beer (mmmm). they paid me $0.44 since i had a couple downloaded to their card.
2. found a package of veggie chicken teriyaki strips in my deep freeze yesterday. made a boatload of basmati rice and cooked up the chicken, adding broccoli, corn and onions from the fridge/freezer. had that for lunch yesterday plus put together 2 more meals for today and tomorrow.
3. hmmm, they are having lunch brought in today (Panera – veggie sandwich for me!) so i guess my ‘chicken’ rice meal will be my supper – if i’m hungry.
4. 2 old co-workers are in today for the meeting (they work on another team now). was able to visit/chat with them and gave/received hugs to boot! 🙂

not frugal: spent almost 5 hours so far talking/arguing/fighting with Verizon Fios. all i wanted was them to change the name on the account to my name. they closed my husbands account (telling me they would transfer over the monthly rate, rewards, etc) to me, opened an account in my name, lost the rewards, closed the ‘contracted rate’ and are now billing me $100 more than i was paying! :O “but you’ve always paid that much!” Ah, NO! i have amounts paid – to the penny – for the past year. they are supposed to call me again today by 4pm with resolution. I already did a search and found a district manager name and email. oh, boy are they going to get an email from me. not happy. not happy at all.


WilliamB May 31, 2017 at 8:32 am

Keep up the fight – persistence will win out.


janine May 31, 2017 at 6:04 am

Katy – glad you are back – makes me feel fortunate that I have more time than $$ since I retired! Nurses are the backbone of our health care system – hope we all appreciate what you do.
1. Purchased a 2017 calendar notebook for $1. Originally priced at $12.99, it has room for me to record my expenditures, is bright enough so I don’t lose it and attractive enough so I am motivated to keep track. I tend to fool myself into thinking that I am frugal when sometimes I go over to the dark side!
2. Stayed home for most of the weekend except for one trip up north with our new dog for a walk in the nature center and a visit to a cheese factory. Frugal fail: didn’t bring lunch, but their cheese was very reasonably priced – some good stuff for $2.85#. Will bring ‘herbes de provence’ cheese and crackers as my contribution to the treats for a meeting this afternoon
3. Cooked Memorial Day lunch for the family with food on hand. Burgers and hot dogs from freezer, plus homemade potato and green salads. Brownies for dessert.
4. Non actions: Stayed away from all weekend sales – will make due with clothes on hand for the summer.
4. No Lear jets, or gold plated anything purchased.


rebecca May 31, 2017 at 7:03 am

1. Friends came over for a bbq Sunday and brought contributions to put on the grill.
2. Shared leftovers with my sister and cousin and I am finishing up leftovers today.
3. Took my sister’s dog for a walk yesterday. Good for both of us!
4. Bought a $1.07 large coffee from McDonalds to get me through seeing til 9pm as opposed to $3 one from anywhere else.
5. . I am glad it has been raining a lot to save on watering the lawn and garden. People keep complaining about the weather here in MA but I am happy with it!


rebecca May 31, 2017 at 7:04 am

4. was about seeing clients……


Nancy from mass May 31, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Cumby’s coffee is very good too. All sizes for less than a buck!! (In case you haven’t tried it yet).


rebecca June 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Cumby’s is better than McDonalds just not close enough to work to make it worthwhile, unfortunately!


gina May 31, 2017 at 7:31 am

1. Found a $1 bill laying on the ground last night. Told my daughters it pays to pick it up. Added to my found cash jar.
2. A new Asian restaurant opened up in our township. (I work for the township supervisors) & the owner of the restaurant brought in a menu & $10 gift certificate for everyone who works in our office. my one co-worker said he wasn’t going to use his & he gave it to me. My family will be happy & i might be able to score almost free dinner for the four of us!
3. Hubby made pulled pork in the smoker this past weekend & after eating it for a few meals, i remembered to freeze the leftovers right away (will provide 2 more dinners for us).
4. Having a cookout for lunch today at work & i didn’t have to bring any food (will next time though – that’s fair).
5. Looking to switch dog food brands at a store closer to us. I made a few phone calls & the one store will let u try a 4# bag for first time users for $.01. Going to pick some up tonight for our pooches to try. I use organic food for them. Plus if it works out, this new food is a little cheaper per pound.


Amanda May 31, 2017 at 8:25 am

1) I cut both sons’ hair myself and then got my own hair cut at Hair Cuttery (could have been Super Cuts, who can tell the difference). $21 got me a shampoo, cut, and the joy of giving a big tip.

2) My husband was in great need of a new laptop bag. The faux leather messenger bag we bought him years ago was ragged. We wanted a brand and material that would last a long time. Happily he found a real leather messenger bag from fossil on clearance. So for less than $200 we have a bag that he will hopefully be able to use for twenty years before we pass it on to the kids.

3) Our Saturday dinner plans fell through, so my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to takeout. When the restaurant of choice happened to be closed for Memorial weekend we gave up and had tuna sandwiches on homemade bread. It was probably the cheapest meal we’ve ever had after deciding to pick up dinner.

4) I found a lost library book the day before it was due with no more renewals! Of course it was just sitting there on the shelf after I have been tearing the house apart for a month.

5) I stopped by Goodwill yesterday and found a fall jacket and winter coat for our youngest. You would think I would have hand-me-downs for the youngest, and I do, but if $3 means my little girl doesn’t have to wear another blue coat, I’m in. I also found another large “jarred salad sized” bowl and utensils for our office. I passed on the “congratulations 2017 grad” mug. How in the world is a 2017 graduation mug ALREADY in the Goodwill? Did they fail?


Denise May 31, 2017 at 11:35 pm

That book wasn’t lost: it was hiding from you. Mine do it all the time to me.


WilliamB May 31, 2017 at 8:41 am

1. Not exactly frugal: bought local organic strawberries on sale and in bulk. That’s still $7/qt. Froze 90% for later and wasted not a one.

2. You may remember the sale + sale + coupon meat at Whole Foods. I portioned, shrink-wrapped and froze 8 of the 11 lbs I bought, and made jerky with the rest. Also the sausages and pork chops. Now I just need to find room in the deep freezer for the 75% off ham.

3. Before family descended for the third weekend in a row (all welcome guests but it does add up) I “did the fridge.” This means organizing the food, prepping it if necessary, and keeping tabs on what’s in there. Also washing, so the juices that leaked from the cheap meat didn’t go bad and ruin anything. This time I labeled everything as well, so visiting family knew what was available.

4. Still lazy about cooking so I’ve had canned soup for lunch most of the past few weeks.

5. Did some yard work this weekend, a job I dislike. The 18 months’ worth of leaves are well on their way to becoming fantastic mulch. This fall I will spread it around to enrich my yard.


Ruby May 31, 2017 at 9:05 am

Katy, I feel for your poor feet after 4 straight 12-hour shifts. Here’s hoping the thrift gods will bless you with a bag of perfect new insoles for your work shoes.


1. Mended four items of clothing over the long holiday weekend. Also deconstructed a king-size mattress pad we were retiring and did a little mending on it. I realized the quilted part will make a wonderful duvet insert for my son’s bed, and I have two flannel sheets to use to make the duvet cover. So there’s my next sewing project already decided.
2. Been reading some free e-books from BookBub in the evenings for entertainment.
3. Had cataract surgery and none of my drugstore reading glasses are quite the right strength during the healing period. It’s annoying, but I’m toughing it out until mid-June when I get “real” glasses made, instead of rushing out and buying a pair to get by for a few weeks.
3 Part Two: Also holding off on buying expensive shoes for my foot problems, as I’m still in the middle of physical therapy and some of the troubles might go away. Just using the doctor-recommended insoles in some of my current shoes instead of dropping $150 on a pair of new shoes.
4. Shampooed and groomed all three of our dogs on Memorial Day. They hate fireworks noises and I knew we’d have them in our laps constantly after sundown when the booms and bangs started, so I was motivated to have clean, fluffy pups.
5. Bought turkey bacon on sale and cooked it in the oven, then froze it because it heats up so well in the mornings.

And a fail:
1. Was so pleased with myself for ordering OTC meds from Costco online, but UPS apparently delivered it to the wrong house and it hasn’t turned up yet. Costco did refund my money, but I’m rather steamed at the shoddy delivery service.


Denise June 1, 2017 at 12:03 am

I’d be more “steamed” (great word, am trying to stop swearing so will remember that one!) at the pig of a neighbour who has stolen your meds.


Debbie May 31, 2017 at 11:40 am

1. Ordered gift cards from our credit card rewards as end-of-the-year gifts for teachers, made thank you cards from my craft supplies, and baked cookies from supplies I already had on hand for end-of-the-year treats for the support staff.
2. Bought paint from Home Depot to repaint my kids’ room and immediately submitted the rebate form. The last time I bought paint, I procrastinated on submitting the rebate and it expired when I remembered. The paint was the most expensive quality, but its supposed to have the best coverage in fewest amount of coats, so I’m hoping I don’t need to buy another gallon like I did last time I painted their room.
3. Processed the blueberries we picked, pickled the cucumbers from our garden and am trying to eat all the fresh fruit and veggies I bought in a timely manner so none of it goes bad.
4. Added to my reading pile with borrowed library books.
5. My son needed a new swimsuit, so found a brand new one with tags at the consignment store, and he can now fit into a swim shirt I bought from Goodwill a while back. Yay!


Krystal May 31, 2017 at 12:51 pm

1. Picked up a secret shop that will score my husband and I a few free meals and a short stay away from the house, and we get to take our dog so no pet-siting costs required. Plus I get paid a stipend!
2. Took two batches of clothing and accessories to the consignment store, and will shop from my credit for a few items I am lacking in my current closet.
3. Double checked my Chinook Book coupons that were expiring and saved $5 from some necessary pet store purchases, the day before the coupon would have expired!
4. Just wrapped up our house finances for May, and set June’s budget. Sticking to our budget allowed for big savings at the end of May, going toward our upcoming vacation in October.
5. A small one, but I’ve been on top of my library due dates for a while, and haven’t had a fee in months!


Carol May 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm

1. Trying to identify a plant that looks like salsify in my neighborhood so that I can start foraging it. Unfortunately, it’s not an exact match, so I’ll wait until I learn what it is. Or until the next green comes in season.
2. Super proud of my kitchen thriftiness–we haven’t been to the grocery store in a couple of weeks, and I’ve managed to put together meals anyway. I made The Kind Diet’s barley casserole by subbing carrots for celery, and forbidden rice for barley, and it was amazing. Even though macrobiotic food never sounds that great, sometimes it’s delicious. (And cheap!)
3. Almost went to the store today for some butter to make a baked apple recipe, but poked around my cookbooks until I found a butter-free one. Butter can wait until the weekend.


Mand01 May 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

I’m too nervous to forage – I don’t trust our local council, which is spray happy.


Carol June 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Yeah, in my neighborhood it’s all grown over…the city doesn’t spray. I have to watch out for dog poop and trash instead. Ugh, urban life.


Liz B. May 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Katy, so glad to see you survived that difficult work schedule. I work in a hospital, and nurses have a critically important role in our health care system – and are very under-appreciated (not by me).
My FFTs:

1. Sewed on Cub Scout patches fro hubs and son, in time for the Memorial Day parade. There’s someone who will machine-sew CS patches on for $2 a pop, but that would require a trip to her location (not close to home) and a short wait to get the uniform shirts back. The cost is worth it at times (she does great work), but we didn’t have time.
2. Also stitched up a small gap on the seam of son’s new-to-him shorts for wearing with his Cub Scout uniform shirt.
3. Found some recommendations on our local community forum so we can get our outdoor deck completed….including a new neighbor who has offered to come take a look, and either help hubs complete it, or help find someone to do it inexpensively. Good neighbors are like gold.
4. Scored some free used bricks offered on a local facebook “yard sale” site that I’ll use as landscape edging. We’ll probably stop off at a local farmers market when we pick them up on Saturday.
5. Not really frugal, but….I received a lovely thank-you note from someone I gave free baby/toddler clothes to. The smile it brought to my face after a long work day was much needed, and you can’t put a price on good karma.


WaThriftFamily May 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Long time reader, first time commenting!

1. Husband has been working long hours so we wanted to do a fun Memorial weekend getaway. Ended up driving to Olympia, the state capital. We found a cheap hotel room with a pool. We visited their amazing children’s museum and then did the free tour of the capitol building. At the gift shop I let my preschooler pick out a postcard for his memory book and the staff gave us smashed pennies with the state fish on them for him and extras to give to his whole PreK class. He was thrilled!
2. We’ve been behind in our gardening but I had promised my kiddo we would do some containers. Found strawberry and tomato plants at Grocery Outlet for 99 cents each. We’ve planted them and the strawberries are already starting to fruit.
3. We’ve been slowling building a bedtime collection of chapter books. We love the hardback ones with illustrations but they are pricy. Was at Goodwill and found the complete Winnie the Pooh for 2.99 – online it is currently 45.00.
4. Tying to eat from our pantry so I’ve been making simple rice and beans dinners with various garnishes and toppings.
5. We had some hot weather and the adhesive for my rear view mirror gave out and it fell off the windshield. Went to autozone and bought a 10 dollar kit, and after my wonderful husband watched a YouTube video he was able to re-attach it no problem. I was super proud of us – before we would have just paid someone to do because it would seem too complicated for us to handle.

Thanks everyone! Love reading all the comments!


Liz B. June 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm

I’m a newbie to this list, and I just galloped right on in with my comments. I love reading everyone’s comments! Your weekend sounded great – I adore smashed pennies, and get them as souvenirs wherever they’re available. Great catch on Winnie the pooh books, too!


Seattle Nancy June 2, 2017 at 8:01 am

The state Capitol tour is surprisingly interesting and fun. Our tour guide was outstanding and full of fun facts.


WaThriftFamily June 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

Yes! Our tour guide was fantastic!


Alison May 31, 2017 at 5:11 pm

1. Had tea in a friend’s garden and she offered me several things, which I took happily. A tomato plant, 2 galvanized buckets, that I will use for planters for my deck (the local “experienced goods” store nearby sells them for $21!), and a lovely blue ceramic planter.
2. Learned from my payroll department that I will get a month’s pay as a retirement allowance, as well as being paid out for 1/2 of my unused sick time, when I leave my job. This is great news.
3. Just had a magical chiropractic adjustment for free thru my extended health plan at work. I have chronic back pain, so to get relief is wonderful
4. Got a few groceries after work, and paid using some airmiles cash I had accrued.
5. Didn’t buy the really cute duplex that came with a garden suite for the low low price of $799,000. It sold in 4 days for $825,000. That’s real estate on Canada’s westcoast for ya!


Cindy in the South I June 1, 2017 at 4:06 am

Oh my goodness at the real estate prices there….wow! I could never afford that.


Vickey June 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

Real estate here is approximately 1/8th the cost of what it is there, maybe even less. Which is why we’ll never live on the East or West Coast again. We try to focus on appreciating our brief 10 minute drive to the shore on the “South Coast” – of the Great Lakes!


Teri May 31, 2017 at 5:28 pm

WaThriftFamily: Wasn’t the weather in Seattle this weekend glorious?! We enjoyed hikes from the North Cascade Highway, Alki Beach and Rattlesnake Peak.
That is my #1–all free while enjoying my daughter’s company!
2. Used miles for hotel stay & after I had a medical incident Sat. am in their breakfast lounge (which I had negotiated for free) and a trip via ambulance to the hospital, they comped us the nights stay. Very good customer service.
3. Found various coins on our weekend trip–even on the trail! My adult children think I am hilarious when I pick up pennies. I just tell them I’m in a contest on NCA blog to see who can find the most $$ in the year…
4. Our Walmart is discontinuing their “price match guarantee” in 2 weeks so I have been stocking up a little more than usual. We don’t have an Aldi, where should I shop for lowest prices?
5, Handy DH fixed non draining sinks for less than $20, and way less than a visit from the plumber.


WaThriftFamily May 31, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Yes! The weather was fantastic! So nice to have some sunny days!


Amy Jo June 1, 2017 at 7:39 am

1. No spend week! Not buying groceries, just using up what we have in the pantry, fridge and freezer, for 2 weeks. (we did buy 2 gallons of milk and 1 jar of peanut butter….necessities in our house)
2. Hubs is working this week and instead of him buying a meal or two while out, he is taking drinks sandwiches and cookies with him (all from the pantry, etc)
3. While at work the other day the client felt bad he was working past 7 on the electrical job to get it done, and offered to buy him supper. She didn’t know what he would want, so she bought him a cheeseburger, a tenderloin sandwich and a large order of curly fries. He brought it all home and ate the cheeseburger and offered the tenderloin to me. Free dinner.
4. We got the pool patched ($30 on sale last year….blow up one) and had some frugal fun in the sun with the kids this week as it was warmer.
5. We went to the local library this week and got signed up with the kids reading program for the summer. There will be a kick off picnic at the park this next week and a free swimming party at the end of the summer. Every Monday my oldest will have a reading class with crafts. Every Wednesday my two youngest will have a reading class with crafts.


Edie June 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm

I am about to do a no eating out month and I think really looking through the freezer and cupboards, and using up what you have, is a GREAT thing!


Edie June 1, 2017 at 11:57 am

My mother was a nurse for almost 40 years. I feel you, and you deserve a good soaking bath and a foot massage.

Hello all! Lurker for a couple of months and first time commenter.

First time homeowner. Buying a home does not seem very frugal at first, but my rent in Beaverton, OR was going to go from $765/month to $1100/month. Yikes! So scraped my life savings together and bought a small rowhouse with a matchbox sized yard in Portland OR, with a mortgage payment of $1250 (includes taxes and insurance). I also have a roommate who pays me $600 for rent and utilities. So in the end, more frugal then living by myself in an apartment.

1) For memorial day weekend, I stayed home and painted my ground floor of the house a really pretty, warm pale pink. At first, I was going to use Farrow and Ball’s Pink ground color- but yikes! – each gallon is $100. EACH GALLON. I was able to get Benjamin Moore to match the colors in an eco friendly formula, Natura, for $51/gallon. Then because they were having a sale, I got $8 off each gallon. And because I was a Orchard member who came in the store during a Grand Opening weekend, I got an additional 10% off the total purchase of paint. So for about $17 more than the original F&B cost for one gallon, I got three gallons of paint!

2) I did the painting myself- taping, dropcloths, everything. It took two days to do everything, but the results are excellent, if I do say so myself! 🙂 (pats own back) I think I saved a good $500-600 doing this myself.

3) Am searching on Craigslist for furniture. At first, I was gonna special order a sofa, but realized that since I am going for a ‘Boho Chic’ look that a brand spanking new sofa would not necessarily fit- and besides which , I could possibly save some money!Already bought a lovely console table for $20- nothing wrong with AT ALL, and got a gorgeous huge wooden framed mirror from a neighbor for free (which I am going to spray paint with copper metallic paint to match the console table)

4) I took down my vertical blinds and put up drapes instead. I did not get custom drapes; rather I got drapes on special at Homegoods for $20/each and the brass look drapery rod was $18! Better yet, match brass drapery holders I got from Orchard for $2.50! Total job cost was $60! (my drill was a housewarming present)

5) Quit my phone carrier and I am going use another carrier with a cheaper price for the data+voice package. I get an additional discount because of my workplace, so no sense in staying with the same carrier! Gonna still see if I can use my phone though, instead of buying new phone.


rebecca June 1, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Congratulations on your new house!


Edie June 1, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Thank you! I actually bought the house 8 months ago but it has taken all this time to choose paint colors and such for decor. I really wanted to live in the house and see how I would adjust living in the home. I am now doing teh decor, and trying to find the most frugal- not cheapest, but most frugal- way of going about it.


rebecca June 2, 2017 at 8:48 am

Consignment shops are great. I found lots of quality wooden furniture, a
rug and some decorative items that are antique and fabulous.


Edie June 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm

I am going to try those stores this upcoming week!

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