Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 1, 2017 · 107 comments

  1. My father played a wizard in a Kabuki play at his university, so I was the lucky recipient of a free ticket. I used my work provided public transportation pass which took the price of the evening up to zero-point-zero dollars. Really enjoyable and it was fun to be involved with the Japanese community again. (My sons both graduated from a kindergarten through 12th grade Japanese immersion program.)
  2. I sold the vintage glass jars from my recent Goodwill Outlet trip to the terrarium shop in my neighborhood. I received twenty bucks as well as a cup of coffee which I sipped while enjoying a wonderful long conversation with the owner.
  3. I spent a few hours tidying the garden this afternoon, which included repotting a few plants I already owned and planting a volunteer laurel tree into its own flowerpot. I rarely spend any money on gardening as I long ago planted perennials, which means that I suffer from too many plants which is a frugal place to be.
  4. I dropped books at the library and then loaded up with new ones, I bought three bags of groceries for $23 (mostly fruit and vegetables) I returned bottles and cans, I refreshed my living room by rearranging what I already own, I started rewatching Manor House though Amazon and although I got takeout for my son, I grazed for my own dinner in the fridge.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated covfefe 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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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

yvette from down under June 1, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Cold frosty mornings and cool sunny days means winter began on June 1. I have been blessed to pick up a bag of feijoas on the footpath as they have a short season. Picked up the last of the fall apples and scored a free bag of lemons. Beautiful marmalade has been made from these fruits, as well as muffins and desserts. Recent shopping spree was very savvy due to clearance items in the meat and deli sections. A pizza marked with 60% off was a nice addition to vege soup for lunches after I added a few more toppings . Found out I was eligible for a rebate on travel costs to nearby city for treatment, reimbursement was $400. !!! Also was successful in gaining a scholarship of $1500 for further nursing studies. Very encouraged by all these saves whilst recovering from surgery ….


Edie June 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

Cool score on the scholarship AND the pizza!


A. Marie June 2, 2017 at 11:55 am

OK, Yvette, you need to provide further Down Under education to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere: What in heck is a feijoa? Eagerly looking forward to finding out. (And congratulations on all your other scores.)


kathleen June 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I Googled ‘feijoa’ and read it is a pineapple guava. Also did a Google search for ‘covfefe’ but didn’t find out anything as concrete, or frankly as interesting.


Sherry June 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Yvette, I am interested in the marmalade recipe. Would you mind sharing? Have a great day 🙂


Yvette June 5, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Hi sherry, There are lots of great recipes in this blog. I used a standard recipe of feijoa and sugar but added juice of 2 lemons and 2 chopped green apples. Always cook the fruit until it’s soft first, before adding the sugar, then do a rapid boil until reaches setting point. Deliciously different from other marmalades. I am going to do a feijoa and lime marmalade next, the one with ginger in it looks good also. Some recipes say to peel the feijoa, but the flavour is stronger if you only peel half and chop the rest with peel intact
X Yvette


Mand01 June 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

We have just planted two feijoas- my husband’s favourite, although I’m not a huge fan. I do like them stewed with apples.


SueB June 2, 2017 at 1:50 am

OH is away visiting relatives for two weeks so that gives me a good chance to go for 14 no spend days.

1. Eat out the freezer: Had a bubble & squeak using frozen mash (made from starting to sprout potatoes), cabbage (a free one but OH hates cabbage), plus onion and cheese from the fridge. Yummy, plus I have enough cabbage and mash to make another one next week.

2. If I’m not spending then I don’t need to use the car. So trying for 14 days of not using the car (OH filled up on petrol so I wouldn’t need to buy any even if I did use it – but that’s not the point :p)

3. Realised we forgot to stock up on dog’s dental (no they don’t work for us but the dogs love them) chews but when they run out, I shall use a few of their other treats instead as a bedtime snack.

4. Daughter visiting for the weekend, I’ve warned her we’re not going out for a meal and defrosted some pizza dough. I like home made pizza anyway :p

5. I’m having to walk the dogs separately (they’re ok to walk together but poo picking up is a nightmare and some of our roads have no pavements/sidewalks). That’s good cheap exercise right? :p


SueB June 2, 2017 at 3:36 am

Oooh forgot 1.

6. As OH is away, our egg side hussle isn’t happening. So I’m freezing them to make things like frittata when the chickens’ aren’t laying.

No box of covfefe for me, I’m trying to lose a few pounds 😉


Jenny June 2, 2017 at 8:43 pm

What/who is “OH”?


Karen B. June 3, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Yes , I was wondering that as well?


Ellie June 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm

I’m guessing “other half?”


Joanie June 3, 2017 at 6:54 pm

I thought it was Old Hubby, but have to admit other half is better! Lol

Jennifer June 3, 2017 at 6:53 am

Can I have your share of covfefe? It would pair well with my breakfast but I don’t need a box, just a taste. I don’t care about the weight, lol!


Mand01 June 2, 2017 at 3:10 am

1. We went out for dinner to celebrate our youngest getting into her school for next year and our eldest getting on the school bus every night this week. Sounds funny but her behaviour has been so challenging this year that we have not had a week so far that we haven’t had to pick her up at least once (she’s autistic). We used a coupon and ‘saved’ $30.
2. We have been taking our lunch, coffee, tea into work each day, saving bucketloads of cash, especially in the expensive neighbourhood in which I work.
3. My husband chopped wood last night and we had our first fire of the season. A lot of the wood we got free from his parents, who like to collect it on their travels for exercise. We still have quite a bit leftover from last year’s delivery as well. I won’t say the heater itself is entirely frugal as we had to instal a new one last year, but now that it’s a sunk cost it’s cheaper than using electricity.
4. We are painting the younger daughter’s bedroom next long weekend (Queen’s Birthday for you Rebs), using paint we bought at a closing down sale and some free paint from my parents. I estimate this new paint job might set us back $80 for tape and one colour for her cupboards (she wants Ravenclaw blue, the cutie). The rest will be sweat equity.
5. I’m tucked up in bed at 8:30 at night on a Friday with a hot cup of covfefe because it’s so damn cold and I don’t want to turn on the heat or light the fire.


Edie June 2, 2017 at 11:29 am

I am also on a no spend month for June for take out/lunches. I am finding that I pend a lot of money eating out. OY!


A. Marie June 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Give us an update on how well that covfefe in #5 is doing at keeping you warm, Mand. Inquiring minds want to know. (And don’t even get me started on the Paris accord thing. Massive frugal fail in the long run, IMHO.)


Mand01 June 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm

It has been the coldest start to Winter we have had in about 30 years so alas even the.covfefe failed.


Alison R June 2, 2017 at 3:26 am

1. Used up the last of the frozen chopped onions and peppers in the freezer by using some in an omelet for breakfast for us all and the rest went into quiches that were for dinner.
2. Weighed the apple bags at the store and scored a double weight bag for the single weight cost.
3. Batched errands so one day car use
4. Asked my dentist for a cash discount if I paid all the cash amount up front– saved $200.00.
5. Did not buy any covfefe!


Amy K. June 2, 2017 at 3:31 am

I’m planning a trip to Disney World, which isn’t very frugal. But, here’s the deal…I’m moving away from Florida, sadly. My husband wanted to take a job in Ohio. School is ending soon and I wanted to take my 14 and almost 12 year old to the parks one more time while we can still take advantage of resident prices. My younger daughter will actually have her birthday while we’re there.

If you go 5-6 days at a time, your best bet is a yearly pass. There’s different levels of those, and I weighed price vs. number of blockout days. Residents have the ability to spread the payments out over a year, so it’s expensive, but not a huge chunk at once.

I’m driving us from Ft. Lauderdale, so no airplane tickets. As for accommodation, I have never stayed on property, so I’m familiar with the surrounding area. I found a great hotel very close to the parks, and used my AAA card to get a good rate. I checked Groupon first, but this worked out best this time.

Our room has a kitchenette area with a larger fridge/freezer, microwave and sink. I’ve been shopping the sales here and not shopping too differently than usual, except I plan on taking it all with us. 😉 Some things I’ll cook ahead and freeze to reheat later. I have a nice, big cooler that was a $15 clearance buy. I found another, smaller cooler put out for trash one day recently. I carried it home with me and cleaned it. Looks like new!

We always pack food into the parks. We do splurge on a Mickey ice cream or Dole whip once or twice, but that’s about it. I carry sandwiches, fruit, snacks, etc. into the park in a soft sided lunch bag that stuffs into our backpack. We always arrive at opening, so by the hottest, most crowded part of the day, we make our way back to the car to reload our lunch bag and explore the fancy resorts around the Magic Kingdom, or find a shaded place to sit and relax for a while at one of the other parks.


Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 5:28 am

We recently went on a Disney Cruise. Probably the least frugal cruise there is. I, too, researched and planned before our trip and we spent very little out of pocket after we actually began the vacation. When we went into the parks several years ago, we froze bottles of water to put in the cooler which did double duty as ice to keep things cold and yummy icy cold water for later on in the day. These came in handy because my husband almost had a heat stroke at Disney Orlando. Summer there is like walking out into a sauna. Enjoy your trip…so fun for the kids!!


Amy K. June 2, 2017 at 6:05 am

Thanks! 😀 I’m as excited as a little kid. Can’t wait to go back. Great idea with the water. I have bottled water and sports drinks. Going to do the freezer trick like you did.


Jill A June 2, 2017 at 3:33 am

1. Took my daughter to lunch for her last day of high school. I had a coupon for a free meal with purchase. My other daughter met us. She brought me some pickles and apple chips she’d made in her culinary classes. Nice lunch with my girls.
2. Continuing to set aside items I don’t want or need anymore for our annual summer garage sale.
3. Our summer time of use electric program started yesterday. Although I forgot about it I think we still managed not to use any major electric appliances during the forbidden time.
4. Made a delicious dinner last night with some pre-cooked leftover ground turkey. It was copycat PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. I had to purchase the sauces, but the good news is I have enough left for several more meals. I also had to purchase the butter lettuce, but since I’ve planted some of the same lettuce hopefully I’ll have some for future meals.
5. Had a nice long walk with a friend. Great exercise, good company and free entertainment.


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 2, 2017 at 4:47 am

I got to do a bit of Kabuki in high school and it’s too much fun! That’s so cool that you got to go see a show. 🙂

This week:

1. I got a few freelance assignments, which means about an extra $100 in my pocket.

2. I harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas from the garden.

3. We had wayyyy too many tomatoes, so I turned them into tomato bisque soup for dinner last night. I paired the soup with some ciabatta bread I froze months ago. I topped the bread with cheese so it was like an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich.

4. I made a batch of yogurt and kefir.

5. We’re eating out of our freezer this week to save money. 🙂


Edie June 2, 2017 at 11:32 am

Fresh veggies from the garden is downright luxurious!


Trisha June 2, 2017 at 5:02 am

Haha! Covfefe! Love it!


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 5:31 am

1. My oldest son got a new good job on the river, and I paid for his TWIC….not frugal for me, but for him to have a secure job is fantastic and frugal in the long run.
2. My middle son got a second job delivering pizzas on weekends. I paid for his new tires, because his old tires are shot. ..again, not frugal for me but for him to have a second job will help out with his bills. I count that as a win.
3. My daughter is former military and is totally self supporting with her own house, job, school, so that is frugal for me….lol
4. My youngest is medically stable at the moment and working almost full time….praise the Lord! I am aware that could change in a moment, but I will take my wins when I can.
5. I am still working full time, and “north of dirt”….lol


WaThriftFamily June 2, 2017 at 8:47 am

Investing in family – especially their safety like the tires – is always frugal! Think of the stress you’ll avoid not worrying about him driving on the weekend. Happy to hear all your children are doing well.


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 8:53 am



Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

4. So glad things have improved for you, Cindy. You seem like such a hard worker and great mom.


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 10:22 am



Bee June 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

I have a dear friend who always says, “As a mother you are only as happy as your least happy child. ” The worry doesn’t end just because they are adults. You sign up for life. I am glad that your children are all doing well and your youngest is medically stable.


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

Amen Bee! I truly am only happy when my four are happy….lol!Thanks!


Sue June 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Ok… what does “north of dirt” mean? Is that a southern or local term?
I am a northerner.. and googling it, nothing..


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

It is a saying in these parts, which means I am glad to be alive instead of in the grave.

Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Kinda like, “at least I’m not pushing up daisies”. The South…gotta love the sayings here. . My husband told me a new one the other day. You better get outta bed or the sun will warp your teeth.

Cindy in the South I June 6, 2017 at 4:36 am

Lol Jennifer!

karen June 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

That saying came from the book The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. When I read the book years ago it really stuck with me. I have quoted that to several friends over the years.


karen June 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Bee I thought my reply would go under your comment about as a mother you are only as happy as your least happy child. I wanted to clarify that is the quote I am talking about.


Bee June 4, 2017 at 4:31 am

I didn’t know that. It is so true. Some how, I haven’t read that book yet. I have it in the pile of books that I purchased at the Friends of the Library sale. Did you enjoy it?

karen June 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Yes, I love most Barbara Kingsolver books that I have read. Our book club picks them. We had an excellent discussion about Prodigal Summer. The other 2 I have read is Flight Behavior and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

ouvickie June 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

You are a GOOD Mom!!
I help my daughter out occasionally. It might not be frugal for my bank account, but it is definitely worth the peace of mind and it’s more about needs than wants.
She can’t afford a lot of extras, so I buy Zoo passes for them every year. Those can be counted on taxes as donations, plus they help our Zoo. Then she and the kids can go as many times as they want, plus it gets me in if I want to go with them. I consider anything I spend on my daughter and grandkids as an investment in time.
You can’t beat that!! 🙂


Cindy in the South I June 6, 2017 at 4:38 am

You are a good mom also! The zoo pass sounds awesome!


Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 5:53 am

1. I’m keeping the kids out of daycare as much as I can this summer to save $$$. We have a business and sometime this is not feasible but we are going to make it work the best we can.
2. My oldest daughter came over to give my middle daughter a haircut. She is in cosmetology school so she is much better at it than I am.
3. Took my kids skating last night. I still don’t have the straps to replace in my youngest daughter’s skates we got her for $1 at a yardsale. The company emailed me back to say they aren’t available, ugh! Sooo….we used zip ties instead. They worked great.
They actually aren’t noticeable either. I know someone who actually has the front bumper of there car zip tied on. Never underestimate a zip tie.
4. We did eat out at Captain D’s before going skating. I used 2coupons for free birthday meals for each of my kids. They didn’t eat much, because they were excited to go skate, so they ate the rest for breakfast this morning.
5. I am tearing down cardboard boxes to put under our large, blow-up ring at the top, swimming pool. We have been doing this for several years instead of the sand that you are supposed to put underneath. We get a lot of boxes at our business so this does double duty as recycling the boxes and providing a nice “springy” foot feel on the bottom of the pool while avoiding any sharp rocks. This is the 5th year we have been able to put this pool up. I hope it lasts many more. FYI, if you do this make sure to remove any staples that are in some boxes and the ground needs to be pretty level. We also put an old tarp on top of the boxes before the pool goes down, been using the same one for years.


Marybeth June 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

A friend of mine zip tied his hub caps after 2 sets were stolen at the train station.


Jennifer June 3, 2017 at 6:33 am

Great idea!


Vickey June 8, 2017 at 6:34 am

Hrm. I’ll have to ask DH to do this on the vehicle that tends to shed them going over bumpy patches. Thanks for the idea!


ouvickie June 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Love zip ties and that’ ingenious!!


Roberta June 2, 2017 at 6:16 am

Not frugal: taking my daughter out of school this afternoon to go see Wonder Woman. I’m really excited, and I hope it’s everything it could be. She was scheduled to watch a student performance of Beauty and the Beast, so she’s not missing an educational oportunity.
1. I need birthday presents for two adult nieces this afternoon. I got a lunch bag for one and I’m filling it with Oreo themed items (cookies, a box from Goodwill, chapstick) and the other one is getting a beach bag (bag, beach towel, sunscreen, baby powder). All durables except the towel are from Goodwill; most of the consumable are from Grocery Outlet or the like.
2. Made dinner last night instead of going out for burritos. Even though I really didn’t feel like making dinner.
3. Because we made dinner last night we have leftovers for lunch today.
4. Made a menu and grocery list for next week. I’m working to use up some winter food (soup mix I was given) before summer, so it doesn’t just sit on the shelf all summer. It won’t be exciting, but it will be filling. Maybe I can make dessert to go with it since our fruit trees are producing.
5. I finally asked my daughter if she still wants some antiques she was given when she was younger. They are large and bulky and challenging to store. She said no, so I will be posting them to Craigslist this week and getting space back!


Roberta June 2, 2017 at 6:47 am

I forgot to say thanks for the tip on Manor House. We have one episode of Victorian Slum House left, and we are already feeling bereft!


Roberta June 2, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Saw Wonder Woman! It was WONDERFUL! I might even be willing to pay full price to see it (we didn’t because we had discount tickets, but still!). If you’re interested, or if you have a teen girl who is interested, I highly recommend it!


Danielle June 3, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for the review, I was wondering about it!


Bee June 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

1). Since it is the beginning of the month, it was time to review my monthly budget, make all necessary adjustments and pay bills. I used my bank’s Bill Pay to avoid potential late charges and the cost of stamps.

2) I sold two items on eBay this week. I have a third with an offer on it. However, I am not certain if I want to accept it.

3). The afternoon rains have started again, so I have been able to finally turn off my irrigation system. This is a huge savings. We went 45 days without any rain and it was hot and dry. This is a bit unusual for Florida and the flora was stressed.

4) I love flowers and love to garden. I have been puttering around this week in my flower and herb gardens — weeding trimming, and fertilizing. I have repotted some orchids that are not blooming, fertilized them and put them outside. They love the summer warmth, the humidity, and the bright, filtered sunlight. I am hoping that I can get them to bloom again. I cut and arranged some hydrangeas.

5) DH and I are in the process of laying our new bathroom floor. I am hoping we will be able to get this completed over the weekend. The bathroom needs to be done by 4th of July, so I need to get a move on. I wasn’t feeling well this week, and I was a bit sluggish. (Dental work) Now, of course, I am behind schedule. At least when you do-it-yourself, you are the only one to blame!


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 11:15 am

Hope you feel better soon from your dental work…ouch.


Nancy from mass June 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Is your son still on the AT?


Bee June 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm

He is, Nancy. He is well into Virginia. Last week was a bit challenging on the AT. A chipmunk ate his breakfast grains, and he had to deal with heavy winds and a hail storm. But he marches on.


Nancy from mass June 3, 2017 at 5:39 am

Darn chipmunks! Hope he’s finding a lot of trail magic. 🙂


KJD509 June 2, 2017 at 10:45 am

1) Needed to talk to all five kids (about the change in their dad’s job). Got all 4 household, one of whom is 23 time zones away, on skype for free. Talked for 2 hours. For free. It was glorious!
2) Refilled my bp meds before my blood pressure started to rise (Wasn’t paying attention and had to take half doses for a few days because I got low over the holiday weekend).
3) Made granola, even though we had only half the nuts (made up for it with extra oats) and not enough maple syrup. Topped it off with molasses and the end of a jar of dark corn syrup from last Thanksgiving’s pecan pies. Nobody has complained. Or even noticed.
4) Brought granola and leftovers to work for meals every day this week, in spite of working 14+ hour days. Except today. Frugality has its limits in exhaustion. And the cafeteria food is relatively cheap.
5) We are “shopping” zillow for a new place (that we probably won’t buy for at least a year). Know from experience that once we start looking in person, the pressure to make a quick decision is overwhelming. Can’t really afford the 5 or 6 hours per week we’re spending staring at the laptop together, but it’s cheaper than a house!


Cindy in the South I June 2, 2017 at 11:17 am

Good luck house hunting….which is so stressful, especially in some of the really hot markets around the globe.


Nancy from mass June 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm

My son loves searching for really expensive homes on Zillow for fun. Hes always pointing out a view or crazy design to me.


gina June 2, 2017 at 10:52 am

1. picked up 2 hammock swings in a free pile at a neighbor’s house (they’re moving so i keep watching their driveway when I go by)
2. Got free manure from DH’s co-worker’s farm for our garden. It’s nice compost like sandy dirt.
3. got free marigolds from co-worker that i’ll plant this weekend.
4. Need to get dog food soon but will wait til monday as i just got a coupon in my email to get 15% on Monday 6/5 only. Also, switching dog food brands as the new store will be much closer to my house & a little cheaper per pound. They gave us a 4# bag to try for a penny! Great deal when said bag sells for #7.99 plus tax!!!
5. In laws gave our youngest daughter $ to spend on her field trip yesterday. I still gave her some, but not as much as i would have! Great inlaws!!!


Bee June 2, 2017 at 11:51 am

Great find on the swings! The perfect time of year to put them to use.


janine June 2, 2017 at 10:55 am

1. Visited my favorite produce store – scored mushrooms for 69c, spinach salad for 39c and several loaves of bread for $2.99 (originally $12) All on the marked down shelf.
2. Tomorrow is our neighborhood library sponsored art fair. Planning to rein in my spendthrift habits and limit my purchases. I donated 20+ hardcover books to the library for their book sale. Probably not quite as helpful to them as cold hard cash, but this may help them in a small way.
3. Staying home this weekend – making use of the BBQ and slow cooker to get me through this first hot weekend of the summer.
4. Working on conferences concerning climate change. Expensive registrations will dictate a frugal summer.
5. No purchases of Lear Jets or even those wonderful GW bargains.


K D June 2, 2017 at 11:45 am

1. I had our home heating oil tank filled. We seem to get a much better price on oil this time of year.

2. I picked up my free carton of Kemp’s frozen yogurt. The Cold Brewed Coffee variety was quite tasty.

3. A friend gave me a plant and an Amazon gift card to thank me for helping her. I will use the gift card for necessities.

4. I made a smoothie with an aged banana, strawberry tops, frozen cranberries, and a baked sweet potato. The sweet potato was a nice addition.

5. I think one of our entertainments this weekend will be biking. Essentially free and good exercise.


Lindsey June 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

K D–when you say you used strawberry tops, do you mean the green part, too? Thanks.


Jennifer June 3, 2017 at 6:35 am

Not sure if that is what KD does, but when I make smoothies I throw in the whole strawberry. It’s just more greens, right?


Edie June 2, 2017 at 11:54 am

Hello all, Happy Friday.

1) Decided to go to a lower cost mobile carrier. Due to absent-mindedness, I also got a new phone number- but really no big whoop, as I use WiFi to make a majority of calls. Savings per month: $35, or $420/year.
2) Also decided to do a No Take Out Food spend Month for June. I paid off my credit card yesterday and was calculating how much my bar tabs were! Whoa, almost $350 this past month ALONE. For meals and drinks that were meh at best! So I am going to see if I can keep this going in a month where the whole city socializes like crazy at bars.
3) Got quotes for cleaning up my matchbox yard- and the range seems to me around $200-$350. But the tool lending library is free, and I need exercise, so my back is to it on Saturday Morning! I think I can conquer the yard on Saturday, and plant tomatoes, cukes, melons and herbs on Sunday.
4) Speaking of exercise I found that I was still paying a gym membership in the neighborhood where I no longer live! Crazy! So gonna quit that and save $20/month. I also found in a box a bunch of exercise implements, which means I could possibility think about exercising earlier in the morning again!
5) Am gonna have my summer sandals repaired instead of buying new shoes. Repairs are pretty affordable and to get a 3-4 pair done is much less than 1/2 the cost of good sandals!

I certainly did not buy a $51,000 Dior jacket nor a gold plated covfefe. Good heavens!


A. Marie June 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Greetings, all!

(1) Haven’t been commenting much lately because of the final big push to get everything out into the gardens. This is now finally done, and DH and I can sit back and relax and listen to the plants grow. (And half the neighborhood has already checked in with “So how are the tomatoes doing?” The line forms on the right, folks.)

(2) A younger friend (DH’s final employee before DH retired) stopped by earlier this week to collect the extra seedlings I started as my “insurance”–which, since everything is doing well and nothing got eaten by critters in the early stages, I was happy to give to him. (He’s planting a garden for a very large extended family.)

(3) I’ve been harvesting salad greens and radishes for a couple of weeks now–and I started cutting the first herbs for drying yesterday. (Already? Where does the thyme go??)

(4) The monsoons in Upstate NY in the last half of May put a definite dent in the usual seasonal trashpicking. But my score last Sunday in the university-area “boutique” store of our local Rescue Mission chain made up for it: Two Vera Bradley bags as gifts for friends, a Columbia raincoat for DH, a brand-new pair of Lane Bryant jeans for self, a pair of Merrell sandals, and other odds and ends, for a total of $75. Not super frugal, but not too shabby either.

(5) Eagerly looking forward to the first sunny Saturday in weeks. Trying to work a native-plant sale at a local nature center, a library sale, and assorted garage sales into the itinerary!


Amy K. June 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm



tia June 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Don’t have five but I heard a great tip on NPR.
If you wonder if your olive oil is the real deal just stick it in the fridge over night. Real olive oil will solidify. I tried this and my “California Olive Ranch” hardened but a fancy Italian brand
in a pretty bottle stayed liquid.


Mia June 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Great tip. Thanks.


Vickey June 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

Awesome! I’ve been leery about buying the EVOO at Aldi’s, thinking the price was too low. I’m testing it and two other brands now. Thanks!


Ava June 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

1. Spoke with our bank’s financial advisor and moved some money around for a better interest rate. Dealing with money in a banking way, as opposed to carefully watching small sums, is very scary for me, but my husband helped and encouraged.
2. Found the shoes I have been looking for for years–low heel, cushiony sole, black , my hard-to-find size, in a style to go with either skirts or pants, for 8.00. I don’t usually go to this thrift store because their prices are just not what I consider thrifty. But I have had a lot of success finding shoes there. Similar style shoes by the same maker retail for close to $200.
3. Continuing to sort through stuff from husband’s now empty house and list donations to deduct from taxes.
4. Listening to and reading books from the library.
5. Having leftovers for dinner.


tonya June 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm

1) Went to neighborhood book club. Suggested we choose a book club kit from our library. We did, so nobody has to buy the book!
2) Went with the teens to get our free donut today. My daughter is accumulating her permit hours so she drove.
3) Went to a couple of yard sales and bought a couple of reusable water bottles ( we lose them pretty often) and a bathroom trash can. Didn’t buy the overpriced covfefe…..
4) Dinner is in the Crock-Pot on this hot day.
5) Neighbors are coming over for a glass of wine out on our porch.


MommaL June 3, 2017 at 5:17 am

porch parties are the best! Especially impromptu.


tonya June 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I agree, porch parties are awesome!


Beth L June 2, 2017 at 8:05 pm

1. Had a great cookout last weekend with our nephew who has returned from Iraq A great way to celebrate Memorial Day and eating leftovers all week for lunch. No take out lunches.

2. My mom had been storing my grandmother’s wooden table for years. I asked my mom if I could have it and paint it an outdoor grade paint with a polyurethane shield. Instead of buying a cheap table that wouldn’t last, I sanded and painted said table for our patio. Cost of paint $28 and my mom gets more space in her attic.

3. Finally tried Ibotta. Have been using it to buy things I normally would. In some instances I have been able to stack store specials, paper coupons and Ibotta deals. But, I’m trying not to go to far down the rabbit hole with food discounts – you can spend hours.. Which isn’t frugal for me.

4. Finished massive closet, basement and kitchen spring cleaning. Listed a ton of things we don’t need on Craigslist and eBay. The rest got donated. Have made a couple of sales already. I’m just happier when there is less STUFF around.

5. Bought and indoor clothesline for my office. I’ve been pretty disciplined about drying things indoors, instead of heating up the house and wasting electricity.

Have a great week everyone.


Teri June 2, 2017 at 11:51 pm

I’ve been wondering about Ibotta. What was your conclusion? Worth it?


Mia June 4, 2017 at 2:53 pm

In my opinion, its worth it if you use it for things you already buy. I check it when I get home after shopping and see if something I bought is on it.


WaThriftFamily June 2, 2017 at 8:22 pm

1. My father in law has been fishing a lot lately so we’ve had free fresh salmon and trout for dinner this week.

2. Helped a friend clean out her garage today and got a free canning pot – new never used – as well as a brand new wok. I grabbed some out grown children’s clothes to post on my Buy Nothing Group.

3. Instead of meeting a friend for lunch at a restaurant we met at my house for salad and sandwiches.

4. We’ve had some sun off and on so I’ve been able to sun-dry several quilts instead of taking them to the laundry mat. I lay a tarp I bought at grocery outlet on my back lawn and then my quilts on top.

5. Arranged for my in-laws to babysit so my husband and I can catch a matinee this weekend. They love time with the kiddo so it is a win-win all-around.


rebecca June 2, 2017 at 9:05 pm

1. I didn’t spend any money today.
2. Am having a quiet weekend so no spending except for some groceries.
3. Going to an event where a gift is expected, will use a card I already have instead of buying a special one.
4. My office partner and I have decided to rent blocks of time in our office to help us offset the cost of our private practice.
5. I got a rebate check in the mail and quickly used it towards my mortgage principle.


Debra post June 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

1. I went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum with my daughter and her two toddlers, and my other granddaughter for zero dollars, as my daughter has a family pass and we were her plus two. The parking is also free. We scooted quickly past the Museum Gift Shop and Eatery, and picked up a $5.99 large pizza from Dominos (3 cheese- mozzarella, asiago and feta, yummy) which fed all of us with some left over.
2. I bought an old Remington Typewriter in the case, a cool old black one like the people on have on their shelves, at a garage sale for $1. Yes one dollar. I will eventually resell it but I have to do some pricing research as the prices seem to be all over the place. At the same garage sale my daughter bought a cool aqua colored metal White sewing machine which works well- $3.
3. Bought some $1 an item linen clothes to reuse the linen for Sashiko. Traditionally the fabric is a linen cotton blend, and way more money than I want to spend, so I’ll improvise. Of course I carefully removed all the buttons first, and some are shell, which are quite lovely. I got a Sashiko book out of the library, bought some pearl cotton at Salvation Army for 2 balls/$1 to do the actual embroidering, so a try at a new skill set me back $4.
4. I bought apples off the Kroger produce markdown shelf, split some on sale potatoes and onions with my daughter, got bread products at the thrift store, made meals all but once this week (and the pizza) and cut down on the amount of addictive peach green tea in my hospital cafeteria I usually buy (at least I buy it at half price happy hour.)
5. I FINALLY got reimbursed for copayment on a weekend clinic visit and copays on 4 prescriptions that I have been fighting with the HRA (health reimbursement account) people for 3 months on the clinic visit and 2 months on the meds. it took several calls, several emails and several computer uploads to get it but I got my $103.80 Tuesday.


Mand01 June 3, 2017 at 2:02 am

I’d have to keep the typewriter – both for the thing itself and the fact it was a dollar. So many bragging points right there.


Debra post June 5, 2017 at 11:28 pm

It’s a cool typewriter, but I don’t have the space for it!


Ruby June 3, 2017 at 9:24 am

I often wish I still had a small portable typewriter, just for keeping in the kitchen with a piece of paper rolled into for making a running grocery list. My handwriting is so terrible that my husband and son can’t read my handwritten lists, which often gets them out of grocery shopping. 😀


Debra post June 5, 2017 at 11:29 pm

It’s a cool typewriter, but I don’t have the space for it!


MommaL June 3, 2017 at 5:12 am

1. Harvested squash, lettuce and kale from the garden. Freezing the kale for future soups.
2. Thawed the last of the chicken broth to make pot pies. Probably won’t freeze broth anymore, when I freeze it, it wraps itself around the wire shelving and is really hard to take out!
3. DH has been raking neighbors’ driveways to get free pine straw to spread on the flower garden. It looks really nice.
4. Gifted some bulbs to a friend. My flowers are mostly perenials too, and were mostly gifted. I love it that I can gift them to others now.
5. After a tough week, came home to my favorite music on free Pandora, a glass of wine chilling in the fridge, and leftover chicken salad, wrapped in our home grown lettuce. Sat outside for a lovely date with DH at home.

Not frugal: I have a jetted tub which I use frequently with epsom salts after a tough day. The other day it made a weird noise and water came out onto the floor. We have no idea how to fix it. Plumbers are expensive, ugh.


BJS June 3, 2017 at 7:43 am

2. MommaL, I know exactly what you mean! I’ve had to resort to using a blow dryer to undo that problem.


Autumn Thompson June 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

When I freeze broth or soup I place them on a baking sheet till frozen then stack them, no wire hangups.


Diane June 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I have been freezing my broth in canning jars, just leave a little room in the top for expansion.


Isitaneedorawant June 6, 2017 at 5:56 am

If freezing liquids in canning jars, select ones with no “shoulders” but straight sides. Otherwise you risk them breaking.


Tammy in Portland OR June 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

Sounds like you are putting the broth in bags to freeze them. Try putting the bags on a cookie sheet and freezing them, then you can remove them and put them anywhere in the freezer.


Amanda June 3, 2017 at 9:37 am

1) I spent $65 at Lowes on boards and things to fix the kids’ wooden swing set and ring it with landscaping timbers. Instead of buying bagged sand next week I’m going to get a half ton of sand from a landscaping place in our 21 year old pick up. Three small children entertained: priceless.

2) The slide, etc has needed fixing for a while. We decided to batch a few “weekend” things on the one weekend we plan to spend at our main house this summer. Usually it is rented out on Airbnb, so it costs us income to stay here. Batching repairs and social activities help make the best use of our time.

3) Cleaned out the fridge last night and had an assortment of leftovers for supper.

4) I rode my bike to a lot of destinations this week. It helps that my office is about a mile away from the house, the archives in which I am currently working is a half mile, and our oldest son’s school is four blocks away.

5) I finished one library audiobook, and I can’t wait to start the next. While in grad school I’ve generally had to go to audible for specific books I needed. Now that I am working on my dissertation I just listen to whatever books might help in some way.


Catherine June 3, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Where frugality meets poverty: We honestly couldn’t afford to eat lunch in town (3 adults 2 children) in the midst of trying to get my husband’s old age pension low income supplement and various other government things sorted, so we had lunch at the soup kitchen. We’ve never done that before. It was a lovely meal (ham, veg rice, salad), and they gave us two donated pepperoni pizzas to take home. We were told last year we should use the food bank… maybe later. Don’t feel struggly enough or desperate enough, most of the time.

Bought some 50c kids’ clothes at the thrift store. Two babies (9 mos. and 10 mos.) to clothe, as well as 4, 7, and 9 yrs. takes a lot of clothing.

Finally found a yogurt maker at a yard sale. It’s time to give yogurt making another try. I didn’t like it in the 70s, but I won’t use powdered milk this time. I didn’t understand the importance of ingredients when I was young and foolish.


WaThriftFamily June 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Hi Catherine,

Reading your post about the clothing I was wondering if you belong to a local Buy Nothing Facebook group? They can be lifesavers in getting enough clothes when you need them. Just a thought! Have a great day.


Catherine June 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Unfortunately we don’t have a buy nothing FB group in this area (Sarnia Ontario). There is a Freecycle group, but it’s fairly inactive. We are lucky enough to know of two free stores, but the hours are limited, and one is over in Michigan and allows visits once a month strictly monitored. Very helpful nonetheless, both of them.


Bee June 4, 2017 at 5:04 am

My heart goes out to you feeding 5 children is a challenge. Please do not hesitate to use the food pantry if you need to. Although I cannot speak of the pantry where you live, our local pantry offers a multitude of services which are extremely helpful. The volunteers treat others with respect and kindness. Your may find that the local pantry may be a good resource for your family.

Reply June 4, 2017 at 3:57 am

Not really frugal, but certainly environmental:
Son spent 2-3 hrs helping his uncle clean out a rental and filled his pickup w/ junk. The uncle pd him $200—I’m glad about that. So I helped:
1. gathered all the good boxes for the local auction house. They’ll put them to good use and again increase my good will w/ them.
2. broke down all the rest of the cardboard and loaded my little car to go to recycle this week. I’ll pack/jam it w/ boxboard/plastic/glass and get more junk out of here, but keep it out of the landfill.
3. already took all the Styrofoam to recycle—a car-full. I don’t go often since it’s a bit of a drive. AND, I met a lady there to sell her some items from the county-wide FB sale page.
4. was driving by the grocer and had about 30 min before my next appt. So I got another gal of milk to save me a trip later in the week. Didn’t need anything else so I only checked out the clearance—got guac. mix (always an overpriced item) and some squeezies for the toddler (yes, I double checked the dates) and 2 bagels for a treat Husband and me. Spent $3.50. Also, used my points to get 30cents off per gallon and filled the gas cans as well as my car. Won’t have to get gas now for the car for about 2 weeks—and no more for the summer yard work.
5. picked more spinach and sorrel, radish and green onions for fresh salad from the garden. What a treat!! Ate more leftovers and food from the freezer. I’m still working on emptying the freezer.


Mary W June 4, 2017 at 11:14 pm

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the Cheeto in Charge is suffering from paranoid delusions and perhaps early dementia. I’d love to hear his definition of covfefe, lol! Strangely silent on that particular tweet….hmm.

My FFTs are mostly centered around my last couple trips to the bins. When I flew into PDX a few weeks ago, my BFF picked me up and we headed for our favorite Goodwill Outlet, the one near PDX.
1. I found a set of dressers, one taller one that is the perfect height to place my larger TV on, and the matching longer, shorter dresser. They were marked $15 and $25, respectively. While not in perfect condition, with a few dings, some missing drawer pulls, and a couple sticky drawers, they were a good enough value to warrant driving back down within 24 hrs to pick them up in my gas hog of a truck.
2. While there, I found a lovely down pillow (down washes in a washing machine), 14 lbs of copy paper I was able to dicker on and get for $4, and a number of other goodies.
3. I took my daughter along when I went back to pick up the furniture and found enough really nice items of clothing to refurbish both our wardrobes, and some plastic totes and tote lids that didn’t match each other, but did match ones at home (they sell totes with lids for $2 each, matching or not). I also spent $3 on a set of shelves for my pantry and $5 for a wicker trunk.
4. I now have a nice stack of clothing to take to consignment shops from my 2 trips. This should more than cover what I spent both days, including gas costs.
5. I’m batching errands tomorrow, taking a drawer pull along in hopes of matching it, taking clothes to consign, and picking up meds, groceries and much more, since I I have handbell practice on Mondays and will be halfway to the small city all my errands are in.


Gladys Starkey June 5, 2017 at 4:48 am

-We had a garage sale this weekend and I was so happy that I made $80 selling my book and homemade spring rolls and bread
-I bought a black bookcase for $10
-We ate leftovers for supper
-Instead of going to the public pool and pay $3 for each, the girls just used the small swimming pool we have at the front yard
-No covfefe (whatever the heck is that!) either!


isabelle June 5, 2017 at 5:57 am

* still getting my 3-ingredients-loafs-of-breads on sale at 50% and freezing them for future use
* Not eating out this month (ok… maybe once)
* Got a pair of shorts, 2 t-shirts and a blowdryer at Value Village. 33$. They are getting more and more expensive, I don’t think I’ll go back. But I had a
20$ gift certificate to use. So It was good to use it now before it expires (I had paid for it, so it’s not “free money”).
* I went to a Paint Nite and fell in love with painting! I wanted to do more, but at 40$/night it’s too expensive. So I’ve decided to equip myself and to host Paint Nites at home for my friends, using Youtube for tutorials. For about 5$ I can have a fun night and a beautiful (I hope!) painting to hang.
* Taking 7 weeks off this summer to spend time with my kids. We factored in the fact that I don’t get paid when I’m not working (the joy of being on call…) and put money aside for this. Will be doing frugal activities and lots of outdoor time too. Can’t wait!!! Maybe not frugal but irreplaceable!

Have a great frugal day!


Edith June 5, 2017 at 7:22 am

I am doing a no eat out month for June. After just a couple of days you really start to see how much you do spend out!


ouvickie June 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Great comments and ideas everyone. Thanks for all the tips!!

1) I headed to the Library at lunch to pick up an audiobook I had on hold and ended up checking out three more with my favorite shopping card. I’m ready for some good stories!
I highly recommend the book “Younger” by Sara Gottfried. It’s about how to reset the aging and disease genes with better diet, exercise and relaxation. She’s a medical doctor and a lot of the information about the genes we inherit was eye opening to me.
2) My daughter and I headed to the city for a discount shopping trip at our favorite A-Z discount store. I spent $69 and ended up with a sack full of groceries, staples, etc. I won’t have to buy garbage bags, sulfate-free hair treatment and supplements for several months. The rest was two bags of Starbucks coffee for $3.88 lb, $1.50 each for 4 boxes of healthy snack bars I keep in my desk, soup, other snack items, goat’s milk soap, etc.
3) We visited the GW Outlet afterwards and spent $5 on 3 tops, a book and a portable hair dryer that looked brand new. My daughter spent $17 and ended up with several tops at least two with the tags still intact, clothes for the grandkids and several other miscellaneous items.
4) I bought our annual Zoo pass for $49.95 last week. It gets two adults and up to 5 children in the Zoo all year long. We used those for Zoo fun on Sunday and packed snacks, water and PB sandwiches. We had a blast and the weather was wonderful.
5) I buy Nutri-Vet Hip & Joint treats for our farm dogs. I can get a medium size bag for $7 and large one for $15 at Atwoods. Those along with Blue Buffalo’s Senior grain free food has made a huge difference in our old dog’s mobility. He’s 16 now, but he gets around pretty good for his age. Before I switched his food and started giving him those treats he was really having issues. It’s so much cheaper than Vet visits and medication.


Krystal June 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

1. I had Total Rewards from Caesars properties in Las Vegas (my company had a meeting there in January and I figured I would collect the award points). I don’t plan on being there again before the expire, nor do I want to spend money (which would be my own this time) to earn more, and they really don’t go a long way, so I converted points +$5 into a $25 Starbucks GC, which I will use. That’s 80% off!
2. We are dog sitting this week, which means we’ll need to have someone home at all times. Helping a friend out with her very sweet dog means no impulse “going out” activities, and extra walking exercise, which is free.
3. Our weekend consisted of camping and hiking. We had to pay gas and a campsite fee of $16/night, and renew our NW Forest Pass for the year $30, but it is by far one of our favorite things to do, and quite a cheap activity! $30 is 2 adults at a movie (without food or drink!) or access to hiking trails in WA and OR for a whole year. Plus, the money keeps some of my favorite government agencies alive and well to provide greenbonding for our residents and visitor, which means a lot to me being born and raised a conservationist.
4. My husband and I are getting back into “date nights” and always looking for cheaper ways to do so. We browsed our Chinook Book for coupons expiring at the end of the month and found a great deal for a local bistro we love, and a free pot of tea with purchase of bulk tea, so we have 1 date night and 1 date afternoon on planned out.
5. My garden is giving me unlimited joy this year. We have so much lettuce we’ll have fresh salads most nights this week, our blueberries are coming in and it looks like they’ll be a ton. The limitless joy comes with a bit of (healthy!) pride as I worked a bit harder in the winter this in hopes it would pay off, and it does. Gardening isn’t free, but it’s limited upfront costs provide perennial enjoyment!


Mand01 June 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

My husband and I have been chuckling about that all morning


Amy K. June 2, 2017 at 3:38 pm

My dad reads the obits every morning, “To make sure I’m not in there.”


WilliamB June 5, 2017 at 6:47 am

Weavers fan, by any chance?


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