Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 7, 2017 · 79 comments

  1. I was invited for an afternoon of dining and dancing thrifting with my new friend Sarah from Portland Sampler. Not only did she prepare a lovely meal for the two of us, but she also gifted me with a loaf of her blueberry yogurt cake which was sublime beyond comprehension.
  2. The two of us then headed out to the Goodwill Outlet where I bought a nest of bandanas, (so handy to have on hand) a Brooks Brothers wool flat cap to sell, a vintage wool scarf from Scotland, a tiny wooden easel to prop up an old frame and a vintage rotary phone which will join my collection of old telephones. Total cost? $6.39. A bonus was that I found 36¢ in coins among the bins. Of course I added the coins to my Found Change Challenge jar. I did find a Lear Jet in one of the bins, but I put it back as they’re actually pretty expensive when you pay by the pound.
  3. I cut roses from the garden to cheer up the kitchen. This particular rose bush is a volunteer that grows in the front yard whether I want it to or not. I usually prune it in February but somehow didn’t this year, and holy crap, it’s suddenly insane huge! I guess there’s a reason why Portland is called “The Rose City.”
  4. My husband and I have an appointment this afternoon to meet with a retirement planner through my employer. Not only is the meeting free, but he’s not a salesperson so I won’t have to worry that he’ll steer us towards high commission products that benefit him more than us.
  5. I lowered the prices on a few of my eBay items and have made eight sales since last night! I’ll pack everything up using free materials from the post office as well as free bubble wrap that I get from a nearby business.

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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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie June 7, 2017 at 11:36 am

Pretty roses, Katy–and even prettier blue bottles (I have a weakness for those). What were your sources for the bottles?

Now, my FFT, Here Comes the Sun edition:

(1) I’ve tried to make frugal use of a horrendously rainy Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, I dropped DH off at a medical appointment, and then returned $13.80 worth of street-picked NY State 5-cent deposit containers at our local can/bottle return and dropped off three boxes of donations at one of our Rescue Mission stores (both close to the medical office, so I bunched errands).

(2) On Tuesday, DH and I both got cheap haircuts at our local Supercuts (our last trims were on March 1, so we were both looking pretty shaggy) and ran two other errands in the same shopping plaza.

(3) But the sun’s back out today! So DH and I have been companionably pulling weeds (no shortage of those, given the endless rain).

(4) I’m also about to go and cut some fresh dill for the salmon salad I’m about to put together for dinner. I imprudently bought the smoked salmon on my last visit to our warehouse club, and realized I’d better not compound the imprudence by letting the fish go past its “use by” date. Other ingredients will include chive blossoms and miscellaneous salad greens (also from the garden), including the lamb’s quarters I allow to flourish in one corner.

(5) See the collected works of Euell Gibbons for more on lamb’s quarters (considered a “weed” by many). I scored a copy of Euell’s last book for $1 at a rummage sale on Friday, and a good many other books at a library sale on the other side of the county on Saturday.


Jennifer June 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Love this blog! You are inspiring me to shop for items to sell on eBay. It never occurrs to me when I’m at thrift stores which I love!
1) Bought multiple high quality panties today that would normally be 10.50$ each for $4.35 each with a sale and a coupon. They last at least 2-3 years while cheaper usually less than a year. Still learning when quality is cheaper than low price in the long run. What items do you all choose for this?
2) Awesome advertising through two Facebook run fundraisers. So happy to open up my jewelry to entirely new circles of people. AND for a good cause. AND the positive advertising only costs me overstock items and minimal shipping. The cool thing is that I can give more money by doing this than just handing over cash because it’s an auction so often times bidders pay much more that my cost value.
3) Currently on a trip to visit family all because someone got a free voucher for taking a later flight! Thanks Nana! Not my frugality but I benefit! Lol!
4) Currently researching tiny house and trailer options because I hate the idea of insane Southern California rent. The more I’m learning the more I’m in!
5) Recently bought 2 vintage necklaces for about 75% less than the cost of new beads. Those plus some hand me down silverware is going to become some gifts for 6 family members. All custom and includes sentimental items. Yay! Now just to make them!


WilliamB June 8, 2017 at 5:29 am

Jennifer, when you ask “What items do you all choose for this?” do you mean “For what items do you buy with long-term cost in mind?

My answer is just about everything; the exceptions are a shorter list than the rule. Exceptions:

1. Things I use infrequently. Most medicines I buy the lowest price point rather than the least expensive per pill, because I don’t use them much. For example, just I threw out a bottle of generic Pepto-Bismol that expired in 2012. I’d used 8 of the 20 pills.

2. Things – especially tools – I don’t know if I’m going to use frequently or not. The first one I buy will be a cheap one. If the poor quality and lousy features bug me, then I know I use it enough to consider buying a quality item. (My meat smoker falls into this category.) If it doesn’t bother me, then I don’t need a quality one and I’m not out a lot of money. (My food ricer falls into this category.)

3. Most gifts to children. They outgrow clothes and toys so quickly that I don’t want to spend a lot. If I can’t get a quality used version inexpensively, then I get an inexpensive new one.


Mary in Maryland June 8, 2017 at 5:39 am

High quality underpants=men’s. I was annoyed by my “high quality” women’s underwear elastic dying after a couple years while my husband’s Hanes elastic was useful for bungees after the cotton shredded at the end of a decade. So twelve years ago I bought two six packs of Hanes’ men’s for myself. They’re still going strong. And the leg binding is so well-engineered that the twelve years have been wedgie free.


Laura June 8, 2017 at 10:08 am

Hi Jennifer, in my opinion it is always best to buy high quality sheets and towels. You should get a decade out of them, plus they feel so much nicer all through that time. Here in Sydney I get mine at the Sheridan outlet, usually at 70% off .


Mand01 June 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I second this. Now I’m no longer a broke student I buy the best quality sheets and towels I can afford, but buy them on the best possible sale I can find. I just found 1200 thread count $300 sheets for $70 at a store relocation sale. So good.


Bee June 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Aren’t fresh herbs from the garden wonderful! They are always on hand when you need them. I cut some fresh thyme from mine this evening for use in tonight’s dinner which coincidentally is also fish. Enjoy your salmon!!!


yvette from down under June 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

Frugal saves after surgery…
1. Not allowed to drive for 6 weeks, so walking locally and getting lifts from friends to go shopping.
2. Not going shopping much so no temptations to spend.
3. Using up food in the freezer and pantry . Chucking out old stuff , like chilli sauce with use by date 2006 !!!
4. Raiding vege patch for all my greens, kale, parsley, silverbeet, beetroot tops, coriander, spring onions, broccoli leaves, celeriac leaves, herbs, etc
5. Using up all the timber and wood scraps for warmth in the wood fire, as I am home all day and just keep feeding the pot belly stove.
As well as catching up on reading, paying bills on time ( no late fees), corresponding via internet with neglected friends, removing dust and reorganisation of clutter, pooch time with spoilt dog who may find it hard to adjust when I go back to work !!!
Its amazing what can be achieved when you have loads of time and doctors orders.


lulutoo June 7, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Re: Your item with ‘use by’ date of 2006–I once had a ‘kindred spirit’ moment with the TV character Peg Bundy (“Married With Children”). She took out some popcorn kernels from her cupboard to pop for herself and her neighbor. The neighbor was horrified: “Peg! This says ‘use by 2002!’ Peg grabs the pack and says, “It does not! It says ‘BEST if used by March 1, 2002.” I really identified with that!


WilliamB June 8, 2017 at 5:32 am

I agree. There’s a huge difference between “This won’t taste as good after this date” and “This food becomes dangerous to your health after this date.”

I am thoroughly pleased that the US government and food manufacturers are collaborating to create clearer food packing dates. “Best by,” “Sell by,” and “Use by” all mean different things but it’s subtle and easy to miss.


Jennifer June 7, 2017 at 11:59 am

1. Getting the last tiny bit of toothpaste out of the kid’s toothpaste tube.
2. My new yardsale toothbrush holder, that we just mounted onto the wall, has tiny holes for the toothbrushes so mine won’t fit. Luckily, I was gifted several toothbrushes from a friend, whose mother had died, and they are more narrow. I often wondered why he gave them to me. Does he not brush his teeth? Oh well, I am happy to have them.
3. I got a waterpik for $3 at an auction
4. This may a be a little gross but since school has been out my kids are taking fewer showers and wearing their clothes 2 days in a row. I know when it gets hotter we won’t be able to do this but for now we are saving money on water, soap, electricity, and laundry detergent.
5. I dropped all my books off at the library so no late fees this time, yay! The $30 one I recently had taught me a lesson.


Marcia June 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm

My husband and I both use electric toothbrushes, but our dentists keep giving us new ones with every six month check up. (I go every 3 months.) I save them for my daughter and her husband, and daughter, who don’t use electric toothbrushes. She knows where I keep them and will ask if I forget to give them to her. I save the tiny tubes of toothpaste and donate them with the food items to the annual Boy Scout Food Drive also. I try to use up everything that comes into the house, even if I have to give it away to do so. They are both on disability so any savings is appreciated.


Jennifer June 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Oh yeah, maybe that was


Cindy in the South I June 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

I always counted it as a win when the kids were out of school and using less water…lol


SueB June 8, 2017 at 1:57 am

Re 4. I’m firmly of the belief that if the clothes aren’t dirty, and neither they nor the people actually smell then it’s not gross at all. It’s both being frugal with money and resources (less water and your clothes will last longer with less washing).

Obviously if the clothes are dirty or the people whiffy – then it was time to wash them yesterday 😉


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 8:08 am

My grandkids are out of school too and my daughter only makes them bathe every other day. She takes the girls swimming or to the Splash Pad almost every day, so they’re getting clean anyway.
Less water usage is always good!


Bettypants June 7, 2017 at 12:07 pm

1. I walked to a yard sale on my lunch hour and found 50 cent clothing. I bought myself two super soft zip up hoodies, two tops to wear to work, and one VS Pink pullover to sell.
2. I have been making pitas, slicing them into triangles, and eating with hummus as a snack/lunch.
3. Went to buy tomato plants last night and found hydrangeas for $5 each. I’ve never seen hydrangeas that cheap. They weren’t huge (maybe 1 gallon?) but they were healthy. I bought six of them.
4. Listed a few unwanted items on a FB site and someone immediately arranged to pick up one item today for $6.
5. I was making myself compost bins from scrap lumber and my saw quit. I will get back to them, but today I saw someone posted a tumbling compost bin for $20. I think I’m going to buy that and see how I like it. The same one is almost $100 at Home Depot, so it must be decent.


WilliamB June 8, 2017 at 5:36 am

FWIW, my experience with a tumbling compost bin was not a good one. No matter how many browns I put it, the contents of the tumbler stayed wet, mucky, and midge-infested. My on-ground bins – both the cold (unmanaged) and hot (managed) ones – are a roaring success.


Lindsey June 8, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I had the very same experience with a tumbling compost bin. Not worth the money in my book.


Mand01 June 8, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Agreed – we had a tumbler (luckily trash picked) and it was a dud. They cost $200. I have a $40 black compost bin and it’s great.


Bettypants June 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

Well, rats, you guys. If it’s a dud, at least I can probably resell it for what I paid.


We Will Be Heard June 7, 2017 at 12:27 pm

This weekend we are heading north for a short summer in Maine. In preparation we are eating our way through the fridge and cupboards. We have carefully planned our meals so that our departure coincides with running out of food here at the house.


Mary in Maryland June 8, 2017 at 5:41 am

Great idea, although we often find ourselves eating creamed onions for the last pre-vacation meal.


Marybeth June 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

1. My sister gave me some of her beautiful roses that she got while pruning her bushes. I put some in a vase in the living room and some on the dining room table.
2. My youngest daughter loves baths and asked me to save all of the rose petals to put in her baths.
3. A co worker brought in a Goonies shirt for me. She had gotten it free with a purchase and she is much younger and doesn’t really know the movie. Last week we were talking about our favorite movies and I had mentioned it as one of my Top 10. It even fits.
4. Went to breakfast with a bunch of other moms as our last alone outing before school lets out. Its the cheapest meal to eat out. I needed gifts last month and Panera was doing a special buy $50 get $10 free in gift cards. I used part of the free $10 and drank water. plenty left on it for a few more breakfasts.
5. Had the kids hand out Graduation invites to friends and family so I saved a bunch of stamps. Why would I mail a card to my neighbor across the street or my bother in law 2 blocks a way?
6. Kids had a fundraiser concert last night. You have to pay to get in and then you have to pay extra if you want to eat. We ate before we went and brought waters with us. They had baskets to raffle off so I let the kids enter a few each. My son won a free pizza. So free dinner one night this summer and not a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I always tell the kids to put in for food or activates unless it is something they have wanted for a looong time. It was all for MADD which is a great cause so I don’t mind spending the money. Eating out is hard thought because my husband has food allergies and my daughter has stomach issues.


Jennifer June 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

5. I remember when I graduated high school my mom sent out all the invites because it was the”thing to do”. She really didn’t have the extra money for that, especially with two seniors graduating, so good for you!


Florencia June 15, 2017 at 10:03 pm

I needed to make up a couple credits the summer after graduation, so I just skipped it. My parents did not have money to pay for pictures, cap, nor gown, and they weren’t going to give me the diploma even if I went, so I just didn’t go. I made up my credits in the summer, as fast as I could to start my nanny job and went to pick up my diploma from the counseling center when school started in September.


susanna d June 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Beautiful roses – I especially love the way they look in blue bottles!

1. Since we’ve had four rain-free days, I’ve finally been able to tap the rain barrels (which have been overflowing lately due to all the rain). I like being able to give the plants “rain” even if it isn’t actually raining.
2. I’ve been using free pie spice on my oatmeal instead of the cinnamon I normally use. I organized my spice cabinet and found so many free spices from Penzey’s that have just been gathering dust (or whatever bottles gather in a dark cabinet). It wasn’t half bad.
3. Planted more cilantro, basil and cherry tomato plants. I’m only doing container gardening this year since the deer manage to get into the gardens regardless of what I try to keep them out. But they haven’t climbed up to the second story deck – not yet, anyway – so hopefully the container plants are safe.
4. My husband suggested stopping at the hot dog place for lunch yesterday while we were in town (they do have awesome hot dogs). But the since we had a package of Nathan’s hot dogs at home (great loss leader a week or two back) I suggested having lunch at home. Which is what we did – pretty good hot dogs, and much cheaper than the restaurant.
5. After substituting whole milk (that I had in the freezer) for half and half (which was pretty short dated at Costco), I’ve realized that I like milk in my coffee just as much as half and half. A frugal win, since milk is much cheaper.


Mand01 June 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm

1. Worked at home, heated by our fireplace
2. Ate whatever was going in the fridge
3. Dinner last night was also whatever was going
4. Lunch at work today is brought to me by me and my well-stocked pantry
5. My husband got a pay rise and was back paid for the past two months. We are using that to buy my daughter a much needed replacement bed as part of her room makeover


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 8:46 am

#5 – Woohoo! Pay raises are always nice!


Mand01 June 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I know! And well deserved!


Juhli June 7, 2017 at 1:51 pm

1. Made a cake to take to a potluck picnic and froze what was left to pull out for Father’s Day family get together.
2. Hubby made lunch to take on the plane today.
3. Mended a place mat.
4. Reading library books only.
5. Saved leftover coffee to make an iced coffee drink in the afternoon.


Sandy June 7, 2017 at 2:44 pm

A dear friend is visiting. She and I like many of the same things, including being frugal! So, we went to our botanical garden today, where my admission was free this morning as I’m local and her admission was half-price with her military ID.
We’re eating most meals at home and enjoying each other’s company while we can!
Sunday there is a garden tour that is free with several locations nearby.
So nice having a frugal friend!


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Oh wow, your roses are stunning! I absolutely despise rose bushes, mostly because they’re hard to grow in Texas and end up getting sick, dying, or looking ugly. In fact, we’re about to dig up two rose bushes to make room for other plants.

This week:

1. All of our homemade meals have been great this week, which is a win! I’ve tried solely new recipes this week, which was pretty risky, but the risk paid off. 🙂

2. I used a coupon to buy video software to make a video for my blog. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m fiiiinally doing it. 🙂

3. I added a second playlist of free dance instruction to my YouTube. Gotta shake it up every now and then. 🙂

4. We’re walking to the library tonight to check out our free books, which means exercise for us and zero wear on the car.

5. I’ve been using the hair ties I made from old socks and they work like a charm.


tia June 7, 2017 at 3:29 pm

1. I forgot how tasty granola is. Thank you free sample bag. I found some nice granola recipes that use quinoa and stuff I have on hand so I’m going to make a batch to dip my bananas in or eat like crunchy little cookies.
2. I wish not paying bills was a way to save money. Totally not in the mood to go hand out $ this month. want, want, want.
3. I haven’t bought anything much lately. A little food from Aldi’s, strawberries, bananas, greens, and beans. I’ve been enjoying my portions of frozen quinoa, chicken, and vegatable bake and some Memorial day super discount hotdogs for most meals. I went crazy last night and pulled out some frozen sausage and bacon from the freezer and cooked up some bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns with onions. Soooooo good.
4.I wanted short easy hair for warm weather so I cut an old plastic ruler to 6 inches and measured and cut my hair 6 inches all over. HA! cheapo and I like it.
5.I may go to Goodwill and buy a few more 90 cent tshirts and shorts to keep me going this summer. So nice of them to pass their 90th anniversary celebration on to customers.


Marilyn June 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm

The blue bottles are so pretty on the windowsill.

I am just returned from 10 days in CT, visitingbwith my sisters and their families. Of course, airfare from PDX to BDL was not cheap, but I did my best to keep from any real excessive spending by:
1. Packing light. Only took what could fit into a carry-on bag.
2. Taking snacks to eat en route instead of paying airport/airline prices.
3. Enjoying looking at things in various shops, but not buying any of them. I couldn’t fit anything else in my suitcase in any case, so I wasn’t tempted.
4. Only eating two restaurant meals – one breakfast and one lunch.

We did spend money on a tour of Emily Dickinson’s house in Amherst, MA. My 2 sisters and I are “history nerds”, so we enjoy that kind of thing. Also toured the Stone House Museum in Belchertown, MA, the town where our grandparents had a dairy farm, so that had special meaning to us. Went to wonderful art museum in New Haven – admission was free. Joined one of my sisters in a dance class session which was really fun and free. Joined other sister’s mystery book club meeting at her town library – also fun and free. All in all, had a great time just laughing and talking as we always do when we get together.


Katy June 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm

That sounds like my kind of vacation!


Ava June 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Not much frugal here. We are spending some days getting newly retired husband’s out- of -state house ready to sell and spending money in the process. We are paying for painting, landscaping and carpet. We are staying in a hotel for most of the trip because the house has passed the point of being habitable,due to all the work being done. The positives are:
1. We are getting as much done as possible on this trip, to make the most of our airfare.
2. We are getting 2 estimates for carpet and will go with the cheapest. The new carpet is not for us; it is just to look appealing for prospective buyers.
3. We are eating the free hotel breakfasts and “reception” dinners. It is pretty bad as food goes but pretty good for free.
4. We are continuing to donate to Goodwill and to rehome stuff to friends and neighbors. I hate, hate, hate to throw away anything someone else can use.
5. We are doing a lot of cleaning ourselves, at least removing the first layer of dirt. It is always surprising to see how much is lurking in hidden places once you start to empty a house.


Bee June 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Beautiful roses, Katy.
1) We needed to dispose of our construction debris from our bathroom demo. We loaded everything into the back of my son’s truck and brought it to the county recycling/ disposable site. The cost to us was $7.98 and a gallon of gas. Other option for home pick up started at $50.

2) I am putting a resupply box together for my son who is hiking the AT. He asked for something from a store that is not on my regular rounds. I signed up for a store discount card and saved $2. I also found a penny in the change machine!

3) I belong to a women’s group, and it was my turn to plan a social activity. Admission to our local art museum is free on the day scheduled. We will have a docent led tour and happy hour in the museum cafe. The cost for each of us will be the price of a glass of wine if we so choose. $0 for water drinkers

4)I helped on of my children to work through a problem with his health insurance. Not exactly a frugal endevour for me, but it could be.

5) DH and I used our YMCA membership this evening. Although this is not a particularly a romantic evening, it contributes to long -term good health. We brought our own water bottles and towels, so no extra charges. We came straight home and ate a simple inexpensive meal from the freezer.


Katy June 7, 2017 at 9:56 pm

It’s good to have family members that drive a truck!


tonya June 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm

1) I meal planned this week. It’s been helping to use what I have on hand and save some money. Tonight was crockpot beans and cornbread.
2) I used coupons today at Target. I saved over $25 on needed hygiene items.
3) I drank iced tea at home this afternoon for a refresher.
4) I played a card game with my teen today for free and fun entertainment.
5) I am going to Sonic happy hour tonight! Half price drinks taste better.


Liz B. June 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm

We had crockpot soup beans and cornbread this week, too. Lol! Cheap, easy, and yummy. The last few days have been cooler temps, so perfect for dinner.


tonya June 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Yes, one of our favorite meals, for sure. Hope you enjoyed yours too!


tammy brackett June 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Katy, I chuckled out loud over the Lear Jet comment!!
1. As I was leaving the upscale apartment of my cat sitting client, I spied a perfectly good Pinnacle Collage frame- one of those 20×48 deals- sitting by a dumpster. Next day it was still there and we had no rain so I put it in my truck. I listed it for $20 (they sell for $40) because it was new. I’m supposed to meet a buyer tomorrow – so I hope I sell it!
2. I’ve been dropping by the new Goodwill a couple of times a week as it’s on my errand route. It’s not a very good Goodwill but I figure swinging in a couple times a week would give me the opportunity to scout things out. They do have tag sales. I’m keeping re-sale in mind. My job is coming to an end and I must find alternate revenue sources that fit with my freelance lifestyle.
3. I cashed in $16.39 worth of change yesterday and bought a few groceries. Still managing to keep my food budget at around $150 per month for two people and two doggies.
4. An old client called with a couple freelance writing projects for me. Very happy about that!
5. I did not buy a Lear Jet, a vulgar gold plated apartment in the sky or listen to any testimony on Capital Hill today.


Katy June 7, 2017 at 9:55 pm

I had to look up what a “Pinnacle college frame” was. Nice find!


tammy brackett June 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I was really tickled! Made me look forward to my next cat sitting job in that building!


rebecca June 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm

1. Haven’t bought any groceries this week except for coffee on sale.
2. I am going to buy some perennials from someone from an online yard sale for $5 each.
3. It’s been raining a lot lately and it seems like everyone from clients, colleagues and friends have been complaining about it. I am actually happy about it as my water bill will be down because of not watering the garden and no drought in my state. Love it!
4. It’s been cold but I have not put on the heat since April 15th except when my parents came over.
5. Cooking from the freezer and using frozen vegetables and pantry staples. It;s tight until my next paycheck a week from Friday.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I’m actually going a different direction with this week’s – this week we are paying upfront for renovations that we would have done ourselves later, except it turns out we’d have to pay a significant premium later due to health hazards. If we do the necessary work before we move in, it’ll be cheaper and safer for everyone, with fewer allergy attacks. We’re still spending but at least we’re getting the most bang for our buck.


Alexandra June 8, 2017 at 8:44 am

We tried doing some major renovations ourselves. After my husband accidentally hit me in the chest with a crow bar (it hurt but I was VERY lucky not to be badly hurt) and then I fell through flooring and scraped myself up very very badly, we said, this is cheaper and safer with a professional! And he did a great job. Sometimes having the pro do it IS the frugal way.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

Oh my gosh! Yes, that sounds like it’s a really good thing you went with a professional on those after your mishaps.


Cindy in the South I June 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

Paint is what I do when I renovate. I am terrible at home improvement projects, so anything, other than paint, I leave to professionals.


Beth L June 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

1. Enjoyed a free walk to work today.

2. My mint is growing like crazy (not a shocker!). Gdonna’s blog suggests crushing several leaves and then steeping in hot water for a soothing tea. It’s delicious and almost free (plant was a volunteer).

3. Gave our bulldogs a bath made homemade treats with yogurt and peanut butter.

4. Painted two side tables that were unused in our home with old paint. Have them listed on CL. Have been listing on eBay and consigning unused clothes. Continuing the great clean out of ’07.

5. Found deep in the recesses of a basement closet my grandmother’s 1950’s Kirby vacuum cleaner. Talk about well made. The original light still works and it has the original zip up bag. I listed it on ebay and CL and have had some interest. It is unbelievable that these go for upwards of $100!


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 9:21 am

#5 – Those Kirby’s last forever and the suction on them is phenomenal. I had one for years, that my Mom bought me back in the 70s after I got married. I had to have the roller replaced on it once, but other than that the only maintenance was occasional roller belt replacements and mine had disposable bags that went inside the zip up.
I donated mine to a shelter a few years back, only because they are so heavy it became hard for me to vacuum with. I’m in my late 50s and have shoulder problems and no kids at home, so vacuuming with it was a struggle. Otherwise I’d have never gotten rid of it.
I hope you get top dollar for the one you have!!


Roberta June 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm

I’m not feeling frugal — everyone got out of school today, and we’re whooping it up.

1. While my daughter was in dance class, my husband and I went out for dinner. We split a burger and a plate of tater tots. We had enough tots left over to treat my daughter with leftovers when we got home.
2. Still during dance class we stopped by a couple thrift stores. My husband bought a large collection of comic books that I’m hoping to resale on ebay when he’s done. I would rather have not brought them home at all, but it was worth it for him. We also bought a vintage plastic thermos for taking water to the beach this summer. Going to the beach is frugal! I always bring so much more home when he goes shopping with me, but I enjoy the company.
3. Worked on the garden this afternoon. I will be planting zucchini from seed, even at this late date, because I cannot find seedlings and I didn’t get them in the ground sooner. A lack of seedlings in stores is frugal, as is growing my own zucchini.
4. Cooked chick peas from scratch, so we will be able to make ourselves lunch the rest of this week. The last couple of days we’ve only had ingredients in the house, not “food” and it’s been hard.
5. Tomorrow night we’re getting pizza. We’ll bring it home, eat salad from here, and watch Thor which I rented from the library, so celebrate the end of school.


Jennifer June 8, 2017 at 5:03 am

1. We ate out last night, too. I ate a Philly cheesesteak and gave my daughter the side. I purposely ordered loaded potato soup as a side instead of french fries. It was the perfect size meal for my 5 year old. I only ate half the sandwich, because it was so big, so I ate the rest for breakfast. I think eating out like this saves so much money. The portions are so big these days that you can almost always get at least two meals out of it.


Florencia June 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm

I agree. Last week I was out of town and we went to a Mexican restaurant. I had the carne asada fries for $10. I ate half during that lunch and dropped the rest where I was staying, making it my dinner while on the road home. 🙂


Krystal June 7, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Nice work on the eBay sales! Always a plus when you can pack and ship all at once too.


SueB June 8, 2017 at 2:12 am

Husband still away so..

1. 9 no spend days so far, 6 to go if I can manage it.

2. No using the car so far.

3. Substituted fishy snacks for dental sticks – dogs not complaining.

4. Still eating from the fridge and freezer, I had planned to have beans on toast (OH doesn’t consider that a proper meal) but still haven’t been able to fit that in on my menu plan due to using up odds and ends.

5. i have eaten 2 frittatas so far and also have frozen 4 portions of 6 eggs (6 eggs = 1 frittata in this house) but I think I can keep the eggs from now and OH can sell them to his two friends upon his return.

And an extra one

6. Taking one for the team (me) I wanted to roast the potatoes for 10 more minutes, half an hour later they were more like 3-d crisps (or chips in the US) not burnt but very dark and crispy and very well cooked! I ate them anyway.


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 10:19 am

Wow, 9 days – that is awesome!
I’d have never thought about beans on toast, but that sounds good. I LOVE beans.


Mand01 June 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Beans on toast is a classic English and Australian weekend dish. Sometimes if I’m feeling super fancy I’ll poach an egg in the beans and then serve on toast. But you know, only on special occasions like Christmas and anniversaries…


Beth June 8, 2017 at 5:48 am

1. We ate out last night, but fed LO off of our plates and kept it pretty cheap. We drank water for free.
2. Brought food/coffee to work today and will drink free water.
3. Continuing to carpool with a friend to work.
4. made dinner on Monday night out of leftovers in the fridge about to go bad. Saved a chicken breast and some cabbage.
5. ???


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

Your roses in those gorgeous blue bottles are lovely!!
1) I’m eating what I have in the fridge for lunch. Tomorrow I have my monthly lunch date with a coworker/friend. We’re going to Red Lobster, since I rec’d a lunch special/coupon by email.
2) One of our coworkers passed away suddenly this week. I emailed my Team to let them know and they’re going to pitch in on flowers. I want her family to know how important she was to us. I’m going to miss seeing her smiling face and positive attitude. She was a wonderful lady.
3) We’re going to my paternal family reunion on Saturday, so I need to pick up some bananas today. I have the stuff at home to make banana pudding. It’s fun to see my cousins every year and share a meal and the day together. We rotate having it at each others homes, so the only cost is what we bring and the fuel to get there. The fun we have together is priceless!
4) I’m listening to relaxing instrumental music online. It keeps me focused and destressed while I work.
5) We were having issues with our digital TV, but now that the electric company fixed the line that was arcing out by the road, it seems to have remedied the problem. Thankfully that fix didn’t cost us anything.


ouvickie June 8, 2017 at 10:30 am

On #2 – I didn’t mean to infer that a friend dying is frugal – sorry that looks really bad the way I wrote it!! 🙁
What I meant to say, it’s nice to have my coworkers pitch in on the flowers. There has been times in the past where I’ve paid the full cost myself and had no one pitch in to help. We had a flower kitty for awhile and when I went to retrieve the money saved, it had been stolen. I suspected a janitor we had in the building where we were at the time, but I had no proof, so that was the end of that practice.


Jennifer June 9, 2017 at 4:40 am

I never even noticed. I think most people got the idea of what you were saying. It is nice when co-workers can all come together to support one another!


ouvickie June 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

Thanks, Jennifer, I agree!


Betty Winslow June 8, 2017 at 8:33 am

1. Husband loves peach jam, but it’s hard to find and pricy. I just bought 2 25# boxes of GA peaches, which I’m splitting with four friends, and will use my part to make jam, a peach cobbler for a coming family event, and freeze some for later. Not that frugal, but the peaches are soooo good and the peach jam with make hubby happy.
2. Have been reading books on my Kindle that I got free, plus library books. love my library!!
3. Our kindergarten teacher was giving away leftovers from their graduation reception and I nabbed two partly full 2 litre pops, for my husband’s enjoyment.
4. Not a frugal moment, particularly, but since I was so busy yesterday, I didn’t have time to complete my gym workout, so after dinner, I went for a walk around the neighborhood to make up the distance.
5. Grabbed all the books teachers discarded when they did classroom cleanout and will take them in for credit to the used book store, which I will then use for more books for our school library.


Alexandra June 8, 2017 at 8:53 am

1. cleaned out the fridge and made veggie soup with homemade chix stock. Rainy cool day here in NC so soup welcome!
2. Saved $53 on last grocery trip to harris teeter. Am vigilant on watching prices at local stores. I work in the grocery business so I know when a sale is “real”. I was so pleased to save that money.
3. bought lots of “greens” fresh spinach, chard, kale. Ran out of Oomph to eat all those greens… Made “greens patties”. Blanch greens, squeeze out. Throw in food processor with sauteed onions, garlic spices. I went with Indian theme. Added 1 egg and enough bread crumbs to make it stay together. Did a 3 part breading station: 1. flour, 2. egg, 3. more bread crumbs (lightly). Fry up in a pan. WELL received! Leftovers crisped up in pan with fried egg in the morning.
4. did pantry, fridge and freezer inventory. working on meal planning from list.
5. hosted a get together and was left most of a bottle of fizzy lemonade. Made popsicles for grand-kids.


Laura June 8, 2017 at 10:29 am

I’m going to try those patties – sounds yummy!


Katy June 8, 2017 at 8:29 pm

That sounds delicious!


Teresa June 8, 2017 at 9:18 am

So impressed by your ebay resale successes… I need to put my head to it. I’ve sold a few personal items in the past but there must be enough unused stuff in my garage to make a few hundred bucks. After that I will try the thrift shop thing. Problem is that I so hate to shop that just walking around in the GoodWill (or Macy’s) makes me break out in a sweat. :-/ My frugal victories:
1. Invited to BBQ lunch with neighbor. Found a $5 coupon so I wouldn’t feel guilty about her paying (she had a gift card). Afterwards we went to $5 theater to see WonderWoman.
2. Got the toilet seat bidet installed in exchange for writing a resume.
3. Hoping Kohler will send free part to make bidet seat fit better.
4. Saved TP by using new toilet seat bidet! (Have to admit, it doesn’t save much TP but I am fresh as a daisy. lol…)
5. Bought only the groceries I needed at Grocery Outlet, my favorite supermarket.


Katy June 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm

If shopping makes you break out in a sweat, I recommend that you find other ways to increase your income. No reason to make yourself so uncomfortable.


Pattilou June 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

1. I had my car inspected and I needed a new muffler and new tires. I have the car inspected at the dealer and asked how much it would cost for price comparison. I ended up taking the car to a chain for the muffler and back to the place where I bought the original tires. The muffler was much less expensive at the chain and since my tires were still under warrenty I ended up saving almost two hundred dollars. I also found a rebate on line for the tires so I will be mailing that in tomorrow for an additional $60.00. It meant some running around to different places and a return trip to the dealer for them to finish the inspection but it was worth it.
2. A friend got two free tickets to the local Moth Story slam and invited me to go. It was a great night out and not a penny spent.
3. The same friend brought me cone flower that she had dug up from her yard. I divided it and put half in my garden and will put the other half in my mother’s.
4. We had an end of the season event at work which included a lovely catered brunch. We were all sent home with leftovers which lasted for two more meals.
5. I went out to dinner with a friend and used a gift certificate for my meal. I did end up paying for her meal as a birthday gift for her but since I hadn’t eaten out in over a month it was a nice treat for both of us.
6. I have begun a period of unemployment so I have been working around my house. I weeded and mulched the garden and cleaned all of the railings on two decks and the front of the house in preparation for painting. Why didn’t someone stop me when I though what a good idea it was to put in wooden turned spindles? They look awfully pretty but man are they hard to maintain! I saved quite a bit by doing all of the labor myself. Plus I’ll sleep like a baby tonight because I’m exhausted!


Mary W June 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Pretty roses, and the blue bottles really set them off nicely.

1. Over the last few days, I managed to get 2 of my raised beds cleaned out and all my tomato plants in the ground, as well as several basil plants.
2. I bought the basil plants at Fred Meyer for $2.50 a pot a few weeks ago. I purposely bought 3 pots with at least 3 plants in each and a bit overgrown. I clipped the lanky stems and put them in water to root. The original plants are growing back more lush and full, and nearly every cutting I took now has roots on it. Multiple plants for a good sale price!
3. At my local WinCo, they had spring bulb packages marked down to 48¢ each. I bought a nice variety. Now to find them a home in my flower beds… buying, but not getting them planted isn’t frugal. Raining today, though….thank you, Rose Festival low.
4. Got out my food scale and measuring cups and started really looking at what I eat… I do this occasionally to keep me honest. I food journal and calorie count, and if I can’t eyeball a measurement accurately, I can consume more calories than I count. Checking my measurements is frugal both in making the groceries last longer and in keeping me on my weight loss track. Being of normal weight is healthier than being overweight or obese. I’m only 18 lbs from normal BMI, and working hard to get there!
5. Continuing to wear thrifted clothes (mostly from the bins!), drinking plenty of water from reused water bottles, walking​ and gardening for daily exercise, and still driving my 1996 F-150, which isn’t pretty, but is dependable and paid for (and cheap to insure, too).


WaThriftFamily June 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm

1. Finally found a missing library book – turned it in and had the 20.00 lost book fee removed from my record. I had been looking everywhere and then suddenly today I stumbled across it!

2. A friend from MOPS had a baby so I signed up for her meal train. Was able to use ingredients from the freezer and pantry to make Chicken Burrito Bowls in the slow cooker from the Budget Bytes cookbook.

3. I had a really long day on Tuesday and fought off the urge to order a pizza and made spaghetti instead using meat from the freezer.

4. Continuing to pack leftovers for my preschooler’s lunch. His teacher warms food for the class, which makes everything super easy, and I’m very grateful. I’m going to be sad when he starts elementary school and we have to figure out other options.

5. Avoided the curse of the Costco Acocados – all five in the pack usually ripen at the same time and usually at least one gets wasted. I’ve been making avocado toast for breakfast all this week (I’ve made this for years but suddenly it is the hip new breakfast) and been using it for burrito bowl toppings. I’ve heard they freeze well so I might try that next time.


rebecca June 9, 2017 at 9:31 am
WaThriftFamily June 9, 2017 at 9:50 am

Thanks! I’ll give it a try. I know I have some white beans I’ve been meaning to use.


nancy from mass June 9, 2017 at 3:09 am

Hi Katy! While the blue bottles with the roses are beautiful, my eyes are drawn to the curtain above them. I have a tablecloth (really old tablecloth) that is similar. I can almost ‘feel’ the heavy cotton fabric and softness of that fabric! (i’m a very tactile quilter and love the ‘feel’ of fabrics).


Melanie June 9, 2017 at 3:27 am

I can only take by your omission that you did, in fact, purchase a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky this week…. ;).


Sarah m June 10, 2017 at 6:18 am

1. I have my lunches for the next two weeks packed in my freezer- kimchi chicken with chard and noodles, bbq beef with squash and bulgar, and salmon with asparagus and lemon potatoes. I struggle with packing lunches, so doing it all at once helps make mornings easier.
2. Making herbal tea from the mint and sage in my garden.
3. Visiting a friend this weekend while she’s living by the beach for a month. Free place to stay and quality time with a friend. We did go out for drinks last night and brunch today.
4. I brought homemade french bread as a hostess gift.
5. We’re using the free pass she was given to go to a national park today.


Bethc June 11, 2017 at 5:44 am

1. Attending a friend’s birthday party today. In lieu of gifts, she requested that people make Kiva donations . Thought it was a nice idea-helping others while getting paid back eventually. Since my friend is a gardener, I used some pots that we had on hand and planted some of the seeds that we did not use in our garden this year. Now she can think of me as she enjoys spinach, radishes and Swiss chard this summer. She is so good hearted (and frugal herself) that I thought she deserved something for herself in addition to the Kiva donation.
2. Enjoyed our first serving of Swiss chard from the garden-yum!
3. Husband bought a new car (not frugal), but it is a Prius that gets 51 mpg. We tend to run our cars into the ground with 200,000 miles or more, so we hope to have the car for a long time. The only bad part of the new car was that an idiot who was texting and driving hit us while we were stopped at a light when the car was 2 days old. Thank goodness for no injuries and insurance!
4. Enjoyed my latest book from Paperback Swap and got one more to read in the mail.
5. Ate a half a bagel, fruit and 2 cookies as my lunch at work-grabbed from a colleague’s birthday celebration. Saved me from eating my frozen meal stash in our office freezer.


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