Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 11, 2017 · 94 comments

  1. I holed up at the house yesterday and Friday to binge watch the fifth season of Orange is The New Black on Netflix. One of my favorite shows that never fails to disappoint. It’s amazing how the writers have yet to dilute the intensity and continue to expand on the complexity of their diverse characters. One storyline that resonated with me was the backstory of one character which closely follows a This American Life piece from a few years ago about the inequality of educational opportunities for Bronx, NY high school students. Great podcast that’s worth a listen.

  2. I did venture out to a nearby grocery store where I bought a few items including an enormous $2 bunch of organic beets. This particular store tends to be really expensive, but sometimes you can get an impressive bargain when produce is priced per item rather than per pound. Of course I chopped up and sautéed the greens in my cast iron pan for a bonus snack. I’m the only one in my family who likes beets, so I’ll have all have the roasted deliciousness for myself.

  3. I peeked into my neighborhood’s Little Free Library on my walk home, and was delighted to find that someone had added individually packaged chamomile tea bags. I took a handful and will return the favor later on with a few items from my own house. I enjoy a caffeine free cuppa in the evenings, and had almost worked through my stack of random herbal teas. Knowing that people are sharing more than books really opens up the possibilities.

  4. I work the next two days, and am making sure to plan out my meals so I won’t have to hit up the hospital cafeteria for my lunches. Not only does this lazy practice use up my budgeted restaurant allowance, but I resent wasting precious minutes from my short breaks to walk across the hospital for food.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

yvette from down under June 11, 2017 at 11:44 am

1.Attended my daughters wedding in Portland via FaceTime, unable to fly over due to surgery, but felt like I was part of it using the amazing technology, instant photos as well using screen shots.
2.Visitors took me out for dinner and paid.
3.Walked to friends house and shared a meal together made from her garden veges.
4.Picked rhubarb to add to apples for pie dessert.
5.did not buy a rolls Royce or diamond tiara, but happiness filled my heart as I watched my daughter ‘tie the knot’ !!


Lauren June 12, 2017 at 4:55 am

1. That was such a great solution for you both! Congratulations 🙂


Cindy in the South I June 12, 2017 at 9:21 am

I did the same thing for my mother’s funeral. We used FaceTime so that my daughter and son-in-law in Hawaii could actually participate. My daughter, while in Hawaii, actually played on the saxophone, “When the Saints Go Marching In” via Face Time, as the music for the graveside service, which was in Alabama. Technology is amazing!


A. Marie June 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Great testimonies to technology, Yvette and Cindy. I have a 91-year-old friend here in Upstate NY who attended a relative’s wedding in Scotland last summer the same way.


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I’m sorry you couldn’t be there in person, but it’s awesome that we now have the technology that allows people to participate live from afar. That’s awesome!


Mary W June 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! Isn’t technology wonderful?


karen June 11, 2017 at 11:48 am

I would like to thank whoever (I am sorry I forgot the particular blogger’s name) posted about buying over the counter drugs from Costco online. I looked up the item I use daily and lo and behold it was two thirds cheaper than what I buy in the drug store. I ordered the item and it arrived a week later.

There was a 5% upcharge but because this item is so much cheaper the upcharge was next to nothing.

My sister uses the same item and she also ordered and received her item and is as happy as I am.


Ruby June 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

That may have been me. I get a year’s wortb of allergy meds for me and the dog from Costco online for less than what a month’s worth costs at the drugstore. The tiny surcharge is nothing to fuss about after saving that much.

For my FFT, did all the usual: packed my lunch and drinks to work, wore a variety of cute thrifted outfits, hung laundry to dry on the back porck overnight, read some free e-books for entertainment. Also discovered the store brand decaff tea bags are inexpensive and make good iced tea. Used a store coupon plus a sale to get the kitties the little dental treats they love.


BJS June 11, 2017 at 11:56 am

I haven’t posted FFTs in a while. A close friend’s child passed away last month and ever since that horribly sad day when she called to tell me, I’ve felt a little off. But I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. Even though I haven’t posted, I sure have enjoyed reading all your comments each time.

1. A new Goodwill only five minutes from my house opened up. I went on opening day and it was packed with customers. Not only was it wonderful that it opened, but I found a glass 9×13 pan that had been on my list since Christmastime … it was in great shape and exactly what I’d been wanting.

2. I attended a destination wedding. It was really in no way frugal, but I did the best I could. My flight cost $11.20 because I was able to use my husband’s work travel miles, I only stayed one night at the hotel, and I had three modest meals out during my trip. I tried to cram in as much walking around and sightseeing as I could in the two days I was there.

3. The electric bill snafu I’d talked about a while back got straightened out. The backstory was that someone else had accidentally paid $200 toward my bill so I called the electric company to let them know that that $200 wasn’t paid by me. It was taken off my most recent bill, so I hope it got put in the correct account. I imagine it did.

4. I had jury duty one day and got a small stipend. I also made sure to get my parking garage ticket validated.

5. On a food sign-up for a school event for my daughter, one of the choices was cut-up watermelon. I had a big watermelon on hand, so signed up for that and sent it in.


Jennifer June 11, 2017 at 6:39 pm

3. Oh, thanks for telling us. I had wondered what happened about that bill.


Nance June 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

so sorry about your friend’s child. Cannot even imagine. Prayers for your friend and family and you.


BJS June 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

Nance, thank you. I agree … I can’t imagine either. I want so badly to “fix” this for her, but it can’t be fixed. I can only be there for her for the long haul, which is what I plan to do. Thanks for your kindness.


BJS June 12, 2017 at 5:40 am

Thanks, Jennifer! That was nice of you to say. I just felt bad for the man who paid it. The electric company had said they were going to research it, so I’m hopeful that his money got back to him.


Bee June 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

My heart goes out to you. Your friend needs the love and support that you are giving her. You are a wonderful friend.


Cindy in the South I June 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

So sorry for your friend.. hugs…


BJS June 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Bee and Cindy, thank you so much … your sweet words mean more to me than you realize.


Alison June 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Thanks for the larger font Katie! It’s definitely easier on these old eyes.


A. Marie June 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I second Alison on the larger font. Thanks for thinking of us older readers with diminishing eyesight.


Katy June 12, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Glad to hear that it’s helping. I’ll likely choose a different larger font at some point, but this’ll work for now.


Megan June 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Hi frugal friends! Here’s my five from the past week:

1. Stayed away from the grocery store for a whole week- no mid week trips! A small win, but one that likely saved my $20-$30 due to the unplanned items that just seem to jump in my cart.

2. Baked a loaf of bread to make it until the end of the week( see item #1).

3. Listed and sold a barely used sports bra on eBay. I made $19.82 after fees on an old bra! I’ll take it!

4. I’m a teacher and was blessed with some very very generous gifts and gift cards that I will be able to utilize over the next few weeks.

5. Meals are planned for the next week- breakfast, lunches and dinners. No eating out for the next seven days.


Carol June 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm

I have not checked out Orange is the New Black, but your assessment of it makes me curious–there’s just too much good TV out there. We are doing the first season of Fargo, but slowly–my husband’s more into it than I am.

1. We had over a friend to come swim last night and have dinner, instead of our usual Saturday night out. Total cost=1 baguette, 3 tilapia filets, and ingredients we already had on hand. Win!
2. Have been cooking a lot because we realized we were spending too much on takeout, and I realize I’m good at improvising to save money. For example, one recipe called for one bunch of basil for a salad, so instead of buying a bunch, I subbed fresh tarragon, chives and parsley, which I had on hand, and which would have gone bad anyway. It was still delicious!
3. Instead of two short vacations to two places this summer, we’re going on one long vacation to one place. We will save gas money and be able to relax and take our time more.
4. Almost bought a brand new guidebook for our trip at a bookstore, because the library catalog wasn’t showing much. Decided to go to the big downtown library to see what there was first. Turns out they had several of what I was looking for, so saved $22 there.
5. Still haven’t been tempted for awhile to buy coffee while out. Got a Starbucks gift card for my birthday, which I may use, or I may save for a regift at Christmas.


Kim in MD June 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm

1. Taking advantage of weekend low electricity rates to do all our laundry. We’re grandfathered into a time use rate plan that is no longer available. Also hanging it out to dry on the clothesline.
2. On Saturday I went to a church sale and a couple of yard sales. Church sale underwhelming and crazy high prices. Yard sale #1 bought piece of crackle glass for 25¢. My favorite neighbor collects it and will be thrilled.
3. Few weeks ago DH went to auto recyclers (junk yard) to find a piece for my car and accidently left his hammer in one of the vehicles. Went back for it and it was gone. He went to church sale hoping to find a hammer. No such luck so he went on to run an errand. When I got to yard sale #2 they had all books for free and 2 big boxes of household chemicals also for free. Picked out books about Buffalo Bill and the Civil War that I thought my sons might like. Also a can of WD 40, 2 new cans of black spray paint and a tube of bathroom caulk. Bought 2 things for $2 and as I’m paying I notice a box filled with all kinds of “garage odds & ends”. What did I see but an old dirty hammer! Asked how much and the man said I could have it. I told him the story and he was happy that my DH would have a new to him hammer!
4. The 2 cans of black spray paint will be used to paint my folding garden screen. Every few years it gets a wire brush scrub and fresh coat of paint. Bought years ago for $5 at a “good” church sale.
5. Buyer just came and picked up the sawhorses. Decluttered from the shed and $12 in our pocket.


WaThriftFamily June 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

1. I picked up some more one dollar men’s t-shirts from the Goodwill. I use them for working out or gardening. I can usually find them new or barely worn and they are 100 cotton, which is my preference. The regular work out clothes are usually 5 dollars or more, which seems a bit much for me.

2. My husband called on his way home from work on Friday to ask if we wanted him to grab a pizza but I told him we still has yummy leftovers from the last crockpot meal so we all had that instead.

3. I had an Amazon gift card and used it to buy some reusable Envirosacks. I used them for all my grocery shopping this week and saved the five cent bag fees.

4. My 99 cent garden is doing well. My local Grocery Outlet had 99 cent strawberry and tomato plants a couple of weeks ago and I picked some up to plant in our garden. So far small berries are growing and some of the tomato plants have flowers. They had early girl and super 100s which usually do well in Wa.

5. Went through a box in the garage and gave away some items on Buy Nothing. Letting go of clutter feels good!


Jennifer June 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I have one and am obsessed with Little Free Libraries. My library is one-year old today. I scored 3 boxes of leftover books from garage sale leftovers yesterday–yay. I have seen dog treats, Little Free Food pantries, and little toys in LFLs. I guess the possibilities are endless for swapping. Your lunch plan sounds good, but maybe just one salmon salad?


Marybeth June 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

1. A friend of ours fixed my husband’s truck. It had a very small oil leak. We had it priced at 2 places. He charged us $400 less then the cheaper quote.
2. Sold 2 items to the same person on EBay. Shipped both things in one box (that I got free from work) and they saved some on shipping.
3. Went to see Wonder Women with the family. My son’s friend came with us. It is free for us since I work at the theatre. We brought our own cups and got our free popcorn and drinks. It was the hottest day so far so we enjoyed the air conditioning too. If we had paid it would have cost $108.
4. Opened a new bag of dog food for my girl. The old bag became the kitchen garbage bag for the week.
5. Free food: my manager bought me pizza for lunch one day, my husband brought home 5 mini bagels from work that were headed for the garbage and I used a gift card for breakfast one morning.


Beth June 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

1. Redeemed a store coupon for a 99 cent container of Edys ice cream .
2. While at the store picked up there sale item of a dozen large eggs for 33 cents, will make quiche for dinner one night this week and cook up hard boiled eggs for us and our puppy. Also shopped the reduced rack and bought a package of green beans and tomatoes.
3. While out shopping treated daughter to a bagel lunch at a bagel restaurant that was sponsoring a fundraiser for our library. In my head I was calculating I could have bought a sleeve of bagels and a large package of cream cheese and had several servings for the same price or donated the entire amount and received a tax deduction but sometimes it’s about supporting in other ways and the bagels were Delish.
4. After spending literally hours on two different days looking for dress shoes for my daughter to go with her 8th grade graduation dress proud to share we found a pair at Sears for $15.97 that she seemed pleased with, thank you God! I was beginning to pull my hair out. Her first pair of heels, she will be practicing walking in them this week for Fridays ceremonies . 😉
5. We were both in need of a drink as it was over 90 degrees. Treated us to $1 drinks at McDonald’s. She seemed happy and appreciative and I was glad to walk past all the mall expensive food with out having to say no.
6. Used $25 Swagbucks at Walmart for groceries that I had earned.


Barbara June 11, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Hi Beth, I do swagbucks also, it really helps a lot for little extras. Sounds like you did well with things you needed!


Mand01 June 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

1. We’re painting my daughter’s room as planned, using a mix of paint we bought on sale, paint given to us, and gear we already had. Plus we are also doing our front door, which was very shabby. Total cost for both projects: less than $100
2. Our local supermarket had super bargains on winter vegetables. I stocked up on potatoes, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli.
3. We are making a dent in our freezer stash. I want to eat right through it so we can defrost it.
I’m functioning on almost no sleep right now (autistic kid not sleeping) so three is all I can come up with. I know there’s more…


Juhli June 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Nothing out of the ordinary.
1. Made soup using cauliflower about to go bad and bits of other veggies plus already cooked chicken and frozen homemade broth.
2. Took 2 very soft bananas, blueberries, Greek yogurt & almonds from frig and made modified banana muffins that are now in the freezer.
3. Talked to DIL about problem with enough sit down eating space for Father’s Day gathering. They can get a free 6 ft. folding table for us that we can store in the garage for other events. Plus they are bringing 6 folding chairs just for the event.
4. We started getting the local paper because my Hubby enjoys it. That provides plastic bags for dog clean up LOL.
5. Got a Liz Claiborne denim skirt from eBay for $15.


Lindsey June 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

1. Accepted a large bag of soil from one of my husband’s golfing buddies.
2. Didn’t renew two magazine subscriptions. I think I have aged out of the demographic that enjoys them…
3. Pulled out some old summer dresses that I don’t like but am going to wear them anyway. Crazy to have them sitting in a closet.
4. Because I now have to wear a full leg brace for the rest of my life after an accident and nerve damage, I will no longer be able to wear my Crocs. I’ve already given away my fancy dress shoes but I have a dozen pair of Crocs in different colors and I used to wear only Crocs during the summers. I finally forced myself to get real so I gave them a good washing and a disinfecting soak and then and I donated all of them to Salvation Army. Frugal in that I got a tax write-off. Feel like an idiot because I am still grieving giving them away.
5. For the second time in a few years, my garbage man dropped off an accordion he’d rescued from someone’s trash. He heard me playing on the front porch once, as they did the pick up, and a few months later he was at my front door with an almost new accordion because he was raised around accordion players and could not stand the thought of it ending up in the compactor at the dump. I suggested he sell it on eBay or CL, but he said he didn’t want to bother…I’m happy to have them, to sell or give to someone who can’t afford one. My husband thinks it is a hoot that I don’t go to the dump but the dump comes to me with gifts.


Kim in Los Alamitos June 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm

That’s my kind of sanitation engineer!
Two thumbs up for him.


Danielle June 12, 2017 at 3:16 am

I hear you on the shoes!

After my new years day foot injury, I won’t be back in heels for years (but I’m holding out hope!). I’ve been surprised how much it affects everything else I wear, my outfits have always started at the​ feet because that was the most difficult decision. Now the feet rule everything!

What kind of shoes will you wear now?


Pam E-P June 12, 2017 at 7:37 am

I had a foot injury that kept me out of heels for a couple of years. I find that I can wear Crocs heels and a brand called Jambu pretty easily now, as long as they have some sort of platform. My days of stilettos are over. 🙁


Danielle June 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

I didn’t know Crocs made heels?! I’ll look at those and the Jambu brand. I’ve been trying on EVERY flat shoe in all the stores I used to shop in and have succeeded in buying two pairs but I need more. Thanks for the suggestions!


Pam E-P June 12, 2017 at 11:19 am

Crocs actually has some really cute shoes, and I haven’t found a pair yet that weren’t comfortable and easy to walk in. I have a graduation ceremony every semester during which I stand for about 5 hours, and I can wear my Crocs heels to those and still walk after.

Lindsey June 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

I can only wear sneakers or orthopedic shoes because the brace goes around the leg and under the foot, too. I have to be able to take out the inside of the shoe, put the bottom of the brace under it and then put the inside of the shoe back in so my foot is not directly on the metal. It really limits what I can wear. It has made me dread formal events because I have on a gorgeous dress but my shoes are clod-hoppers. I know everyone is not looking at me, but it feels that way. I never thought I was vain, as I’ve never worn make-up or colored my hair or cared much about fashion, but wearing clod-hoppers has brought out the inner vain in me.


Danielle June 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

Yeah… I almost used the word “vain” in my reply to your comment too because it has been hard on me to wear what my body needs me to wear. I’m not even 40 but it makes me feel 100!! One day I tried to cheat and wear sandals with a half inch heel and I could hardly walk within a few hours.

I guess it’s worth it to feel good and limit the problems down the road…… hang in there!


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I can’t wear heels anymore either – not even a slight heel. I finally got rid of all my heels and nice shoes by giving them to the Dress for Success chapter in the city, that helps low-income women looking for office jobs. At least someone who needs them can make good use of them.

I’m guessing your brace can’t go under your shoe either.
I’m not sure if these would work for you, but I found some cute shoes on Amazon by Easy Spirit. I wear long skirts and dresses with flats.


Deenie June 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Wow! I am impressed by all of your efforts!
This week’s 5FT
1. Made pastitsio with items on hand instead of dinner out for tonight. Cooked in two smaller casserole pans so one could be frozen and defeated. (Sometimes food goes to waste because we get tired of eating it for days on end, but making half-recipes means just as much work and dirty dishes, so this is a good solution!)
2. Asked for plant cuttings on my nextdoor neighborhood page and have been rewarded with a bushel of tall Native grass that someone was going to dig up anyway, rose cuttings to root from someone who had to tidy her rosebuah and some baby agave from another generous neighbor. Another is getting some coneflower for me! Their generosity is saving me hundreds in plants for my flower beds!
3. Dug through the linen closet and turned up a whole big box of cold medicine that we’d moved last year. Saved about $20 by checking else DH would have picked up while stopping at CVS.
4. Dragged my giant juicer out to juice some fruits that would be spoiling if I did not do something without quickly! (Grapefruit watermelon lime and apple.) Delicioys treat!
5. Waiting out my desire to buy a bunch of vintage Brazilian bedroom furniture after finding a dresser in this style for just $160 at a thrift store (about 10% of what I’ve seen them offered for!!) If I wait, I’ll get the headboard and nightstands to match at a better price than I am seeing on Etsy or other sites….collecting is fun but requires a great deal of patience when you’re doing it on the cheap!


susanna d June 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

4 small frugal things and one bigger one:
1. Until the rain returned (with a vengeance; several inches worth!) today, we’ve been taking advantage of the free hiking that living on the edge of a National Forest provides. Even walking along the highway is a beautiful hike.
2. I ran out of cheap liquid soap/cheap refills for the kitchen sink soap pump. Filled it with liquid soap from the master bath soap pump instead, because my husband and I can certainly use all those little hotel bar soaps he brought home over the years in that bathroom. When soap refills go on sale for my price (which is to say, dirt cheap), I’ll buy the liquid soap again.
3. We had a lot of running around to do the other day, and we’d brought a small cooler of leftover pizza. Ended up having lunch after 3 p.m. Realized at dinner time that we weren’t the least bit hungry (miracle!) and skipped dinner
4. Cut open another tube of toothpaste that appeared to be done (my toothpaste, this time) and got another two week’s worth of toothpaste out of it.
5. (Larger frugal thing) When we installed the final room of hardwood flooring, we were surprise at how many brittle boards were in the batch. I mean, some of them cracked when we installed them. Contacted the store where we purchased them (a locally owned place) and the owner immediately refunded 10% of our purchase price – we offered to bring in the unusable boards but he said that wasn’t necessary. It was a surprise that we had a problem; we’ve never ever had even one unusable board from them before – but they handled the problem beautifully. We love supporting local businesses and do it whenever possible.


Jennifer June 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I love Orange is the New Black! I am waiting for the opportunity to binge watch when my kids aren’t around.
1. My chickens finally started laying eggs! So far, we have two. I’m so glad we are getting a little back for all we have had to purchase lately for them.
2. I spent my whole day painting my hallway and laundry room. It was a long process but at least I didn’t hire it done. Lots of ceiling, doors, cabinets, outlets, and weird shaped things to paint around. I really love how clean and bright it looks now. I had to make several repairs to the various holes/bumps in my walls of my older home. I am pretty sure I will barely be able to move tomorrow.
3. I grilled steaks wth sweet potatoes and garlic bread tonight. The steaks were filet mignons that I cut in half a month ago and froze for later date. I don’t like a thick steak so this works out perfect.
4. My friend knew someone that was moving and going to throw away a couch, ottoman, and a chair that were made by Bassett. My daughter really needed some furniture so we went and picked it up. It was COVERED in cat hair. I read a hack that rubber gloves will remove cat hair from furniture. It worked! It causes the hair to roll into balls if you move in a circular motion and you can easily pick them off.
5. I got a water pic at the auction for $3. I have always wanted one of these.


auntiali June 11, 2017 at 7:22 pm

My 5 frugal things:
1. enjoyed an episode from season 2 of Doc Martin on PBS last night.
2. enjoyed season 1, episode 1 of Doc Martin that I got from the library.
3. reading my library book
4. hubby and I went to Fuddruckers for burgers as our son gave me a gift card for Mother’s Day. We got a senior discount too!
5. cleaning out kitchen cupboards and have put aside some things for donation. The donations will go to Goodwill as it is not far from my house and I’m too lazy to go anywhere else. I’ll get my tax write off as well.
6. rediscovered my mother’s flour sifter. Very vintage looking. They were selling on ebay from 9.99 to 19.99. But it was my mom’s so I think I’ll keep it.
7. had a .99/lb oven stuffer chicken tonight. Leftovers will work for hubby’s lunch tomorrow.


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm

#6 – I would too! I have my Mom’s paring knife. I had the blade sharpened and the handle restored. I also have several vintage baking items that belonged to my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother. They’re still in great shape, so I keep using them and just try to take good care of them!


Mand01 June 13, 2017 at 1:48 am

I have my grandmother’s wooden rolling pin. I think of her every time I use it.


Jennifer June 13, 2017 at 5:40 am

I have said this before but I will say it once more since it brings me so much joy. I have a spatula that was my deceased grandmothers that was repaired by my daddy, who is also deceased, when it broke many years ago. Every time I look at that small, oddly placed, screw with a nut on the back to hold it together I think of them both.


Mary in Maryland June 13, 2017 at 5:38 am

I have my grandma’s colander. One leg is bent, but its sentimental value outweighs the tempting cuteness of new ones. I donated her Noritake bridge set (cups and odd-shaped saucer-plates for snacks) to a silent auction. Grandma never played cards. The set was probably something the uncle in the navy brought back from Japan.


Beth L June 11, 2017 at 8:13 pm

1. My frugal friend Kathleen gave me a piece of ginger that had was going to sprout (forgive my lack of garden speak). I planted it in our garden. We enjoy a weekly stir fry and it will be awesome if we can grown our own ginger.

2. My neighborhood is so great for people recycling back and forth with one another. Took a long night time walk with the doggies and scored two bags of half full soil (one general and one for succulents). Topped off some of my containers and put some aside for future planting.

3. Going on a road trip to see my nieces and nephews. They want to try out the golf range. I found a cheap set of used clubs at an estate sale. We’ll take them with us and if they don’t take to it, we will sell them afterwards on CL. Cheaper than renting clubs for a week.

4. I wanted to update our dining room light fixture. Found the right shaped one at a yard sale. Painted it with black chalk paint on hand. Had to hire an electrician to put it up. But, he gave me a lesson on changing fixtures. So, maybe I can do it myself next time. I watched youtube videos, but still was a little nervous with fiddling with electricity. I’ll try to sell the old fixture to make this project free.

5. Washed all of my pillows in the wash and took advantage of the crazy heat and sun weekend to dry them. All the grimy old pillows are fresh and new.


lauren June 12, 2017 at 3:44 am

I live in a very expensive part of the state, so a lot of my frugality is to counterbalance the other ways I spend my money. I have money in savings, but I admittedly do spend money on frivolous things like flowers and Ubers, or the (cough) occasional Zappos binge. This week I’ve been pretty good as it’s much easier to be frugal and feel good about it when it’s nice out.

1. The local University (Steven’s) invited residents of the area to attend their Summer BBQ, I figured I’d stop by on my way home, eat a free hot dog and soda, and be on my way – free dinner acquired. When I arrived however, their BBQ included grilled Salmon, asparagus, and wine, so instead of going home, I sat and ate and drank for three hours while watching the boats sail up and down the Hudson and the sun set against the NYC skyline. A very relaxing night for me, and all for free! Oh also, I asked if I could take the table flowers home so they didn’t get thrown out, and they’re now on my mantle 🙂 Happy little yellow roses.

2. Otherwise cooked dinner at home the past couple of nights. Being of the instagram age, I used ingredients I had already purchased – but spent time thinking out plating and what dishes to use and what light would be best to take the pictures. My cooking often turns out much better than anything I usually get delivered, trying to plot out the plating lets my mind think creatively (my job is not so creative) and the positive likes and comments on my posts give me a free happiness boost, which frankly is needed.

3. Reading, eating, and gardening on the balcony of my apartment before and after work. All of my books are from church sales and my balcony definitely wasn’t free (HELLO Hoboken rent), so I’m taking in as much fresh air and relaxation as I can spending time out there. During the winter I haven’t gotten much reading done, and it’s time for these books to do something other than sit on the bookshelves!… I’ve caged in tomato plants and have other herbs growing out there now, hopefully my squirrel nemesis (I’ve told you my woes previously) will not find my new apartment… I had ordered $17 Burpee tomato plants in the winter to keep my hopes up til spring and they’re doing great – and found more of the exact same plants 4/1.29 at Acme … so my balcony now looks like a tomato jungle. Going to create a vegetable garden at my grandmother’s house down the shore to provide us with some fresh produce there, and give me something to do when we’re not at the beach. Getting my hands dirty and being out in the sun are the best medicine.

4. I went to a summer festival/rummage sale/ fair at a church back at the shore, where I attended college and bought a ton of books, glassware, and silver serving pieces. I’m getting to the age where all my mismatched coffee cups and plastic cooking utensils are feeling very college-ey so I’ve been working on accumulating matching sets of high quality from garage sales and rummage sales alike. I don’t always find the whole set at once, but at least I have something to keep an eye out for. One day when I actually have a house I’ll be well-prepared. Spent a relatively small amount of money (compared to store prices), and it went to a good cause, and I got to see some chickens, bunnies, sheep, and goats at the petting zoo too! Went with my parents, so spent some time with them, and sat and ate a hot dog lunch with my now once-every-month coca cola and a bag of lays potato chips (i’m trying to be better) under the shade of trees. I forgot to mention, my mother and I both now have a growing collection of mismatched Waterford salt and pepper shakers, it seems every other sale we have has one or the other, and we keep buying them trying to make pairs! Not a bad deal when the Waterford is always less than $1!

5. There was a big arts and music festival in town yesterday. I parked my car in a free space on Saturday (and I don’t have to move it for the street sweeper until Thursday! Yippee!) so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a space when everyone came from out of town and parked. Saved time, aggravation, and gas! Attended mass for some peace of mind (and air conditioning) and then took a walk through the festival, opting to buy a $2 DD iced tea instead of an $11 Pina Colada, stopping to get a free massage (amazing) from one of the vendors, and carrying with me items I wanted to return to Trader Joe’s. A new TJ’s had just opened in town, and was close to the top half of the festival, so batching this errand made sense. Three items had disappointed me in my last purchase – and since their policy is to refund anything you’re not happy with – I used my return credits to buy things I knew I needed/wanted and only wound up owing $1.82. The peony’s actually started to open last night, so I’m pleased with my second purchases already… nothing worse than buying flowers that don’t ever open 🙁
I wound up buying two hanging planters on my walk back, but the money went to a NJ small business, and I now have a solution for my minimal outdoor space ( starting to go vertical!). Listened to the live music and spoke with a young woman who’s paintings I admired, and will probably commission some art from her (everything was really spectacular) which won’t be cheap, but I like having things that are one of a kind, and she was really talented. Would rather put my money in her pocket, than buy something mass-produced. Sometimes you just have to manage where and how you spend your money and be #FrugalbutFancy

6. Wore mostly rummage sale/thrift store-bought clothes and jewelry last week, I mix them in with the occasional Banana Republic purchase and I always get compliments (generally more on my thrifters!). I only buy high quality clothing at sales and it’s often never more then $5… it’s really just all about how you put things together. I’m starting to go through my closets and pare my collection down though.. will donate it all to the local thrift store where I volunteer and pass along the good buys to someone else to keep the cycle going.

7. Called Zappos and chased down returns $ on several orders they owed me (dating back as far as April!) which they mostly agreed to process back this week. They acknowledged they received the items back so nobody knows why they’ve been holding my $ hostage! Very strange since a lot of the items were shipped back with other pieces that HAD been credited back. Bizarre, make sure you keep an eye on your Zappos returns ! Also complained about a really expensive pair I had bought as an investment last me a few years.. that promptly fell apart after two wearings. They overnighted me a brand new pair and all I have to do is send them back the old, that is good customer service!!

WHEW I haven’t posted in a few weeks since I really hadn’t done anything that frugal, but this week was packed!


Bee June 12, 2017 at 4:55 am

In reference to your mismatched Waterford, I also have a collection of random Waterford candlesticks. My mother had severe arthritis in her hands when she got older and had trouble holding on to things. When the time came to clean out her home, I found 3 candlesticks from 3 very different sets. I assume that the others had been dropped. She loved crystal, and I couldn’t bear to part with them. Over the years, I have added to this little collection at estate sales, thrift shops and auctions. They are beautiful staggered down the center of the table.


BJS June 12, 2017 at 5:47 am

1. Lauren, free salmon and asparagus in a lovely atmosphere? That sounds like a dream!


Lauren June 12, 2017 at 4:46 am

I’ve had a rough week frugal wise. Both of us were away on slightly expensive trips, and I’ve been feeling less than great so was not inspired to meal plan or cook :/
Instead of beating myself up I’m going to get back on track. These 5 were hard to come up with!

1. Husband is away for work for the week which means cheaper groceries. I’m much happier eating leftovers for days and eat less in general, so I am going to try and keep this week’s grocery shop to the bare minimum.
2. We grocery shopped for snacks and easy breakfasts for Husband to eat in his hotel room while away. He gets a per diem amount for food per day so this gives him more wiggle room with that money, plus gives him some healthier options to have on hand.
3. I have gotten a job! It’s part time, not in the industry I want to be in, and I don’t love it- BUT it gets me out of the house and gets some money coming in.
4. On my trip I packed light, using a carry on only to avoid paying fees. I will repeat this for a trip coming up- though 10 days in a tiny carry on is going to be difficult!
5. Instead of wasting some items left in the fridge that I can’t eat, I will pass them on to my in laws. They will be happy with the extra food and we are happy they won’t go bad and will be used.


lee June 12, 2017 at 5:01 am

1. Since I stayed at home almost all weekend, I wasn’t tempted to buy drinks or snacks from the local coffee shop or bakery. This also meant saving on gas.

2. We did go out to eat and to the movies on Saturday night; but since we ate dinner at home the rest of the week, I don’t mind splurging on a date night once a week. Also, I ended up with leftovers that my husband was able to eat for lunch on Sunday.

3. The one errand I did run on Saturday was to the local library, to pick up some books I’d requested.

4. I made a Father’s Day card for my dad from supplies I had on hand.

5. When I planned our grocery list and dinners for this week, I took into account items we had on hand that needed to be used.


Cindy in the South I June 12, 2017 at 5:05 am

1. I made tuna fish, popcorn popped on the stove, boiled eggs, potato salad, chili in the crockpot, a ground beef and rice dish, and tea. I should not to cook for the the week
2. I walked in the neighborhood.
3. I have a work conference to attend next week, which is at the beach. I pulled out my old swimsuit and found that I can still squeeze in it, it still covered the right places. I went through my clothes, and found enough that my tubby azz can fit into without embarrassing myself, so I do not not have to buy any new clothes. I, it appears, need to go on a diet. I need to increase my walking and decrease my eating. I also pulled my cat scratched, very beat up, old suitcase out and have determined it will work. I may look like the Beverly Hillbillies pulling up to this resort but I do not care.
4. I did buy sunscreen, as well as dog food, cat food, dish soap, and tp with the coupon $5 off $25 at Dollar General.
5. I , carefully, trimmed on my hair.


BJS June 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

3. Made me laugh — thanks!


gina June 12, 2017 at 5:22 am

Love these posts, thank you, Katy!

1. Yesterday we did a lot of work around our house. We stayed home almost all day so not much $ spent. DH bought a cord end to fix a heavy-duty fan where our lab chewed the cord end off. He fixed it for $2.79; saving it from the trash. Did all our own work to yard & house, saving on hiring someone to do it.
2. Grilled firehouse chicken for dinner & made extra for our lunches today.
3. Went to Kohls looking for shorts for DH & youngest daughter. Hubby checked out his shorts and shirt separate from stuff I had in my hand so he could use a $10 off $50 coupon. I used a 20% off coupon for the items I had. Saved over $25 this way.
4. Shopped the clearance racks Saturday when I shopped with mother-in-law & my girls & scored some shorts & a dress for the girls, saving $. Mother-in-law bought them some clothing also. So nice of her!
5. Need to send cookies with girls on an outing this coming Wednesday. Will make homemade (as usual) using ingredients we have on hand. Much better tasting too!


Bettypants June 12, 2017 at 5:36 am

1. Found a bunch of treasures at yard sales this week. A 14 cup Cuisinart food processor for $20. It looks brand new and it’s miles nicer than the one I have. I also found an antique 10 gallon stoneware crock for $5. I have no idea how it wasn’t snapped up before I got there. I bought a surge protector for 50 cents and will return the one I just bought last week to the store, saving me $10.
2. Paring down my kitchen stuff to fit in my smaller kitchen. Sold two small appliances yesterday for $15, and have two more being picked up today for $10.
3. Stopped at a yard sale where everything was free. I took 3 lamps, a folding chair for my son’s room, a set of drapery panels, a stack of leggings, 2 Free People shirts, digital wall clock, and upholstery trim. I only took things we could use, or I was sure I could resell.
4. Wasn’t sure on what color to paint the bathroom and decided to test a gallon leftover from our old house, which turned out to be perfect.
5. Made a batch of salsa in my new food processor and will take some over to my neighbor today.


Sue June 12, 2017 at 7:38 am

Good find on the food processor! The 14 cup, is the highest rated by America’s Test Kitchen. I bought a new 9 cup Cuisinart, about 3 years ago.. and had my original Cuisinart 7 cup for at least 25 years! I buy very very little new.. but I did do this buy, on sale, etc. You may want to check the blade, against the recall Cuisinart had last year. Last month, it took a long time but I got the two replacement blades. The blades were chipping and cracking around the rivets and though neither of my machines ever did. Free replacements, just need patience. I also used my processor, just checked it til the blades came, and for me no fears. Great find!


Bettypants June 13, 2017 at 4:43 am

Thank you very much for letting me know about the blade recall! I will check tonight.


Monica June 13, 2017 at 6:10 am

I STILL haven’t received my blade replacements! We are going to complain to Costco, which is where our Cuisinart was purchase. I spent all Thanksgiving and Christmas unable to use it! And pesto sauce-making season is coming up. I need my replacement! Thanks for letting me vent.


Sue June 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I put in for mine when I found out about the recall, which was days after they announced it. I just got mine last week! I needed two blades. Just me, but I used my blade, it was not cracked or looked like it would, and my log history trouble free with Cuisinart. Mostly til replacement came to make hummus, soft items. That is a personal choice though.
I believe my first processor from 1984.. so maybe I was a bit more secure with that one!Be patient, I bet you will get yours soon.. I was ready to resend the emails to Cuisinart and they showed up. Vent away.. truly I get it.


Bee June 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

I absolutely love This American Life. I also love Science Friday; Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me; and Market Place. Public radio is wonderful!

I think that my FFT are not inspiring or unusual , but here they are:

1) The great refrigerator and freezer clean out continues! ( I’m learning the importance of labeling what I put in the freezer.) As I was digging around in the frig, I found 1/2 jars from several different types of olives, so I decided to make one of DH’s favorite snacks — olive tapenade. It was very tasty and DH loved it. However, in retrospect, I wish I would have chopped the olives by hand rather than using the salsa setting on my blender. This processed the olives a little too much, so the tapenade resembled a pile of dirt. We have been eating it anyway.

2) I went thrifting at the end of last week. It had been raining for several days, and I had to get out of the house. I bought a vintage oil painting of the Embarcadero in San Francisco. It had a $12 price tag on it, so I splurged! I have a gallery wall of California art in our office on which the most expensive painting is $20.

3) Inspired by Katy’s post on nagging tasks, I cleaned out my clothing drawers and the linen closet. I have a bag full of better things to go to my favorite charity shop that supports a cause close to my heart.

4) DH and I took the dog to the beach on Friday evening. This is always free and entertaining. He swims, frolics, and rolls in the sand. We don’t do it often enough, because it takes forever to get all the sand out of his coat. This little trip was followed by a 30-minute bath for him. 🙂

5) All other things frugal — drinking water, making my own coffee, reading a borrowed book, watched a weekend movie from the library, fought with the insurance company, walked the dog, balanced the checkbook, brought my own little towel to the gym and cooked from scratch.

Time to work on my list of nagging tasks. Have a great week ya’ll!


tracy June 12, 2017 at 5:47 am

More frugal fails than wins for me lately. Work is extremely busy and high pressured right now, trying to keep all in perspective but have resorted to a bad coping mechanism, which I call stress-reduction shopping. Particularly disappointing as I had otherwise been doing great on my “buy nothing new” year. Sigh. I have to get out of fantasy land (“Oh that cocktail dress is so cute and just the right flattering shape for me. And 75% off! And I already have vintage silver sandals that would be perfect with it. Of course I don’t drink cocktails or go to cocktail parties. But maybe I’ll get invited to something and then I’ll have it… Blah blah blah). Anyway, as someone else said, done beating myself up and back on the frugal horse… So let’s see if I can come up with 5, any 5, frugal things:
– watching Shetland on Netflix (and still Gilmore Girls with my 13 year old)
– really wanted to go out to dinner Friday, cooked dinner from stuff in fridge instead
– haven’t been buying Starbucks since my mother’s day gift cards ran out
– taking bus to/from work today
– re-gifting a frame I recently received for daughter to put a pic in for her friend’s 8th grade graduation gift


Jill A June 12, 2017 at 6:04 am

1. My daughters graduation open house was on Saturday. Almost everything we served was made from scratch – potato salad, broccoli slaw, fruit salad, texas caviar,dill dip and guacamole. I purchased all the lunchmeat, cheeses and rolls from Costco. We splurged on a cake from a local bakery and local craft beer. It was a great party and a beautiful day with family and friends.
2. The radiator on our van had a slow leak. I made an appointment at our mechanics and hoped we would get it fixed quickly since we had such a busy week with graduation and lots of people to transport so we really needed it available. Thankfully we realized that after hitting a deer last November that the radiator was supposed to be replaced or fixed by the body garage. We called and they got it in right away and it was covered by insurance. They were very embarrassed that they hadn’t caught it even though it was on the paperwork from the insurance adjustor.
3. We have a ton of food leftover from the party so we will be eating that all week. We will be going out for my birthday and my daughter birthday which are both this week. Other than that I hope to have a no spend week.
4. We are starting a new time of use rate plan with our electric company. We’ve adjusted our pool pump, sprinkler system and programmable thermostat for this. I may have to adjust my laundry routine. I think I can get one load of laundry done each morning before 7 am to get the cheapest rate. It will be interesting to see how much our bill is this month.
5. My herbs I planted in pots are going strong. I always throw the contents of my pots in the weeds at the end of summer. As a result we have a ton of mint growing in our yard. This came in handy in the past week. It saved me from buying mint for mojitos and cilantro for the guacamole.


Lauren June 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

love that you dump out the pots just in case at the end of the season, I do that too. I also like to throw any scraps of vegetables/fruits into the yard instead of throwing them into the garbage… i figure if a bird doesn’t eat them maybe i’ll get a plant some day!


Sandra June 12, 2017 at 6:16 am

1. I trimmed my husbands hair with clippers. He was pleased and it turned out pretty well. I’ll probably do it again.
2. We ate all meals at home and carried our own beverages and snacks when we went out.
3. I planted two large and eight small terra cotta planters with small succulents from the garden then added one or two larger artificial succulents for color and contrast. At the end of the season I’ll gather up the artificial succulents and put them away for next year. They were purchased at The Dollar Tree, very inexpensive and a big savings over the cost of nursery specimens.
4. We bought cheddar cheese at $2.97 for a 2 lb. block, a best buy and we were able to buy four. That will last of for 3 to 4 months.
5. I found a snap front short sleeved dress at a thrift store for $1.49. It is perfect for a summer housecoat.


Roberta June 12, 2017 at 6:32 am

I’m not feeling very frugal, but I’ll see what I can come up with.
1. Went up o my mom’s house Saturday. Had a good visit with her and my dad, the kids got to go swimming with their cousins. She feed us lunch and dinner.
2. Today I will be making some kind of peach compote or something with the peaches that are finally ripe. They ripened on the counter, not the tree, so they won’t be great, but if I combine them with cinnamon and cook them down they should be good with yogurt.
3. A box of books has bids and will sell on ebay today. I will pack them up in a used box and get them out of the house today.
4. I found a box of Red Rose tea at Grocery Outlet, so I will finally try that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but I’ve never seen it where I usually buy tea.
5. Taking the dog to the dog park this evening during my daughter’s dance class, instead of going out to dinner. We will make pizza at home before we go, so my husband won’t be tempted.


Beth June 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

1. Ate at home this weekend, and resisted the urge to eat out/eat sweets/buy things I didn’t need to make sweets.
2. Took in a skirt that didn’t fit me…it does now!
3. Went to Once Upon A Child near my house and bought “new” sandals for the toddler for %5.50 as well as a $1 T-shirt and a $1 pair of shorts. The sandals weren’t cheap, IMO, but they were cheaper than new, they were used but in great shape, and he’s grown out of his pair that he wears currently (and he wears them daily).
4. Drinking free coffee at work this morning and brought lunch with me today.
5. Am walking to a nearby grocery store on my lunch break to buy a few groceries that we need. No gas spent, free exercise, and less errands to run later!


Amanda June 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

1. I meal-planned and grocery shopped last night. My husband and I also went ahead and made bread, roasted chicken, and prepared our jarred salads for the first two days of the week.

2. Our weekend airbnb guests took one of our iphone chargers home with them. It is completely understandable because these things are ubiquitous. I took the trouble to email them about it, and they are sending it back to me. I’m going to label them this time. Why this hadn’t occurred to me before I have no idea!

3. I went to the optometrist this morning for my annual, which is covered by my insurance. I paid in cash and then will submit the claim to insurance myself. I’ve discovered this saves me time in the long term. I don’t have to wait, then get a call in two months that the claim was denied, then explain to them again that it has be submitted a certain way, then fix it myself anyway. I’ve saving us all trouble this way.

4. While I was at the doc (I rode my bike), I popped into the consignment store next door. Consignment is usually too rich for my blood, but this place has the cutest things, so I shop their sales and clearance racks. I found a $1 church shirt for our youngest son, a couple of $4 each PRECIOUS dresses for our daughter, and a $16 dress for me.

5. We’re keeping the AC at a “definitely no one is getting cold” temperature, I’m making reusable breast feeding pads as a gift for a friend about the welcome her first, I’m doing the legwork to research reasonably prices swim lessons for our three year old, and I’m scheming how I can fit airbnb experiences into our lives.


tia June 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Jarred salads sounds interesting. Must look into that.


Diane C June 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

I have two LFL’s on my street and a surplus of individually wrapped chamomile tea. I think I’ll tuck some into each box today. Thanks, Katy!


tonya June 12, 2017 at 9:55 am

1) Used a $10 off $50 at the grocery store.
2) Went to Costco and aggressively stuck to my list. Got out for $81, which is a small miracle. Filled up the gas tank with discounted gas while there.
3) Prepped some boiled eggs and salad greens for frugal lunches this week.
4)Sent my teen off to her first day of her very first job. She is working at Chipotle and it’s walking distance from the house. Excited for her!!
5) Pulled things from the freezer and planned this week’s dinners from what I found


Roberta June 12, 2017 at 11:43 am

Congrats to your teen. I have heard that Chipotle is a good employer, and even offers college tuition assistance. I don’t have any info on that, but she might want to investigate tuition assistance (after she’s been there more than a day).


Rejena June 12, 2017 at 10:09 am

1. Batched a trip out of town: took the kids for a week at Grandma’s while picking up some parts to be rebuilt for our business.
2. Been trying some freezer-type meal plans to help me on days that I have to work late. We had a delicious pork roast one day that was cooked in the crock pot. It was done when we got home. All I had to do was make some side dishes!
3. Packed part of above meal for a friend that had recently been in the hospital. There was plenty for both families and she appreciated it so much.
4. Working on repainting some old furniture–a bookcase for work, and a dresser for the boys. They were both solid pieces that were really showing their wear. A little sanding, and some paint, and they look really nice!
5. Purchased a new-to-us dining set–table, bench, and chairs. It was less than the cost of the new, Formica covered particle board ones, and is much better made. Our old table was too small for our growing family, so this one was just what we needed–well-made and sturdy!


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

I’ve seen posts on FB showing Neighborhood Mini Free Pantries, like the Free Libraries. It’s nice to see people sharing!

1) I bought bananas, along with a few groceries, Friday evening and made Banana Pudding from the ingredients in my pantry for our Family Reunion Potluck on Saturday. It was a big hit and no leftovers, so I was able to take home a clean bowl.
2) On the way home from the Reunion we stopped to celebrate my great-nephew’s 5 year birthday. We ate cake and visited with my brother and nephew, while the kids played in the pool. I gifted him with Vintage remote control boat from Radio Shack that my husband had in our closet – it had never been used. He was thrilled. It’s something his Dad and Grandpa can enjoy doing with him and I didn’t have to spend a dime on it.
3) I spent yesterday cleaning and doing laundry at home. It was nice to have the house to myself and I didn’t spend fuel going anywhere.
4) I had to run errands today and had a coupon for a Wacky Pack meal at Sonic for 1.99. Thankfully they have chicken strips, because I didn’t want a burger.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky, either. I saving millions!


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 11:42 am

Wow, my sentence structure is horrid. I really need to edit better before I post! :-/


Marcia June 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Today has been a lazy day for me but it’s kind of my Sunday, as we spent the whole day yesterday at a car show. My husband’s kind of fun.
1. Anyhow I made a big batch (9×13 pan to the top) of cornbread which will mostly go into the freezer in meal sized portions.
2. Loaned my car to my DD for the day and she brought me 2 quarts of home grown strawberries when she returned it!! Their brakes went over the weekend but the mechanic thinks they can get it done tomorrow, so we will just have to pick one of them up tomorrow and drive to the auto shop which is barely a mile away.
3. Brought half my pannini home from yesterday’s “victory dinner” –my husband won two prizes in car show and we stopped for Greek food on the way home. I will be eating that and fixing some leftovers along with it for dinner. There is leftover bratwurst, leftover pasta salad, and I just cut up some strawberries and sugared them to eat later. We still have melon and jello with mandarin oranges to finish up as well. Not sure about veggies but the pasta salad has extra veggies added.
4. Hoping to work on shortening my $4 shorts, that I found at Salvation Army last week, while watching TV tonight. They are too long and I will also taper the legs a little, and then they will be a perfect fit. Jones New York–stretch twill in dark brown. Should be a very useful addition to my wardrobe.
5. Didn’t spend any money today since DD had my car and I didn’t need to go anywhere. Except for paying a couple bills on bill pay, that I had to pay anyhow–and which I paid without need for postage.


tia June 12, 2017 at 12:55 pm

1. I like eating nuts but they are so expensive. When I use them in granola they go much further and have that toasty maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla flavor. Made a batch today.
2. While I was baking the granola I cooked up another batch of quinoa and chicken. I love his stuff and add different things to it to make quick meals.
3. Sometimes I find a good deal on spices at the Amish store. They come in nice little plastic containers that I can reuse at stores that offer bulk spices. They seem to always be cheaper and fresher than bottled spices.
4. Went to another free concert, it was a rock group from the 70’s but they were really a lot of fun.
5. Tomatoes are looking good but my herbs not so much. Hope they just need a little more time.


Amy Jo June 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

1. Our daughter is potty training and just not quite getting it…so we have to buy 1 more box of diapers. I researched sales, and generic diapers at local stores, and found out name brand from Amazon Subscribe and Save was still cheaper than the generics locally. So I set it up to deliver next week. Hopefully the last box we will need.
2. We are looking forward to going to the theater this weekend to see Cars 3 with the kids. My brother would love to take the 3 kids, but since he lives out of state, he sent us a gift card for all 5 of us to see it. We will do a matinee to stretch the money further so we can do some overpriced movie snacks on the card as well.
3. We are on a spending freeze, so no eating out and no purchases unless it has to do with a bill, or toiletries. We have Sri ked pantry, fridge and freezer…so no worries there.
4. I am taking pictures of some of my daughter’s higher end outgrown clothing this week to see online. Money will go into the general banking account for bills.
5. Looking into lots of local free activities this summer for kids. We have decided to not take a family vacation this summer, but we have already found library programs, state park nature programs, kids bowl free program, and vbs to do for free this summer.


Chris June 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm

1. Had my 2 nephews (ages 15 and 12) here for the weekend – we ate all meals here, walked the dog as we visited LFL, went to a neighborhood church sale, let them play games on the computer since it was nearly 100 out. My sister who lives nearby took them to a restaurant for lunch and kayaking on a local lake. I did get a text from the younger one saying he left his shoes behind so I will send those off tomorrow.
2. Last year when our daughter got married, my best friend worked the food for the evening so in exchange I helped with her son’s graduation party this weekend. I swear it was more tense than the wedding! (Of course, the 30 year old daughter took much more responsibility than an 18 year old guy so that makes a difference.) I spent a total of 12 hours over 2 days but brought home some BBQ beef and some fruit so that was 2 meals of food for us.
3. My goal for today was an at home day but realized I needed to check in at the library for a donation sort and spend 2.5 hours with one donation! Please don’t donate your old text books because now I have to figure what to do with outdated text books – as well as old, smelly, broken books!!
4. Bought clothes for both my grandson and my friend’s grandniece at .50 each piece at the church sale – what a bargain!
5. Bought 3 new tee shirts at the thrift store last “senior day” for a total of less than $5 – great for work where they get super messy – going to retire 2 that have outlived their usefulness. Our county accepts clothing/linens/fabric for reuse so into the bag they go!


ouvickie June 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Katy – Is $6.99 for an 8 oz. brick of Tillamook cheese a decent price?
I think you get it cheaper in your area, but I’ve no clue whether that’s a good price in Oklahoma or not. I’ve never bought it, but I’d like to try it.


Mary W June 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I’m not Katy, but here in the pnw, 6.99 is a decent sale price for a 2 lb loaf of Tillamook cheddar. That’s for mild or medium. Extra sharp will set you back several $$ more. So for 8 oz, I wouldn’t consider it to be a good price, but then, I’m not in OK.

Off topic, are you the ou Vickie I used to talk to on HT before the site blew up a couple years ago? I was MGM there….


ouvickie June 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for the info Mary – sorry it took me so long to reply! I almost forgot I posted this.
That must be the going price for Tillamook then. I’m going to try it. I love good cheese.

Yes that was me! I loved Melissa’s HT Countryside forum and I remember you. Do you still follow that one or did you go over to the new one?
I tried to follow the new one for and some of the folks on the old HT site, but I got busy at work and couldn’t keep up.


Mary W June 12, 2017 at 7:29 pm

The previous post on just doing the little niggling jobs that tend to be put off has been on my mind the last few days, and it’s been a big part of my FFTs, too.

1. I bought a new living room TV on Black Friday in 2014, but had never set it up because I hated the thought of dealing with DISH to get everything set up to work with my receiver. I also had to replace my DISH receiver a while ago and had to transfer everything off of my old DVR onto an external hard drive or lose the shows. I couldn’t figure out how to access those shows with the new receiver. I finally bit the bullet and switched TVs around yesterday (part of getting my “new to me” bedroom furniture moved into places). My daughter got my bedroom TV for her room, the living room TV went to my room, and the living room now has a TV you can see from across the room! I spent an hour on the phone with DISH, but the two TVs that we have on DISH now come in perfectly, the DISH remotes run the TVs, too, and I have a $10 credit on my bill because the tech couldn’t figure out how to access my external hard drive, either. It’s been sent to a tech panel for review. Next up is to call and ask for a reduction in my monthly bill.
2. I occasionally splurge by subbing for Bunco at the local VFW Post. It costs $10 to play, but it’s a lot of fun with very nice local folks… good neighborhood building. I won a marble trivet, which will get used in my kitchen – not quite as good as the $15 gift certificate for the local FFA plant sale I won last time, but still nice. I rode there and back with my neighbor, who teaches an exercise class right after Bunco, so I also got in a nice bonus workout. I was also able to pick up a free 15 gallon aquarium tank from their garage sale leftovers. I found tadpoles in my swimming pool when I went to take it down for leveling and resetting, so now I have a home for them and can get back to readying the pool for summer paddling. I can also use the tank to brood chicks, so I was happy to get it.
3. I’m still working on the drawers of one of the GW Outlet dressers…so far I’ve found 4¢ stuck in the bottom and I still think there is something else stuck back there. I also found drawer pulls (round knobs) to put on the top drawers of both dressers, giving me enough original drawer pulls to do the rest of the drawers. It took 12 knobs and they came 10 to a package, so I had to buy both pkgs, but they were on sale for about 1.20 per knob at Fred Meyer, which was a fraction of the prices​ I’d seen at all the other stores I’d checked. No way to exactly match the existing pulls, so I was happy to find a work around. The knobs are a bit brighter than the old pulls, but I have brown shoes dye and shoe polish. I think a couple swipes and a quick rub should match them all pretty well. If it really bothers me, I can take off all the hardware and spray paint it all black.
4. I found those knobs while waiting out a downpour after picking up 3 weeks’ worth of Friday Freebies at Fred Meyer. Organic Sour Gummies, Silk Almond Caramel creamer and a bottle of iced tea…glass bottle with reusable metal cap, so it will be used for water in the cooler when we’re away from home this summer.
5. This one’s kind of gross…. at least a month ago, I found a lidless tote at the transfer station (recycling bins), full of lids that didn’t have matching totes. The lids were clean and looked new, but the tote looked like it had been dipped in rancid fat and left to bake in the sun. Ick, ick, ick! I threw it in the back of the truck and brought the whole mess home, where it’s been sitting, waiting for me to finally tackle cleaning it (the lids were removed and several of them matched totes I had… sweet). In keeping with the just get it done post, I finally brought it in, put it in the tub, poured ammonia and hot water in it, swished it around both inside and out with a sponge on a stick and let it sit while I did other chores. Went back after 10 minutes, swiped it again, and the grease practically fell off! While the tote doesn’t look like new, it is clean and quite usable, and I was able to save most of the ammonia water to thin further and sprinkle on the lawn. Great fertilizer for grass!


BJS June 13, 2017 at 2:22 am

1. I’m so impressed! I bet it feels wonderful to have that huge job crossed off your to-do list!


Mary W June 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Thanks! It does feel really good. Mentally, I feel 10 lbs lighter.


nancy from mass June 13, 2017 at 3:21 am

Saturday i had family over to celebrate DS graduation (taco fest!). Weather was great and so was the visit!

1. Used a monetary award given to me from work to buy a FitBit Charge 2. It’s interesting to see my sleep mode and number of flights i climb each day. Although it’s time consuming (and eye awakening!) to add my food intake for each day.
2. My sister in law gave me a bunch of aprons and she had one with busses on it. my sister is a bus driver and was here on saturday as well, so i had my sister in law give it to her. She loved it!
3. sunday would have been my 23 wedding anniversary. I spent the day hanging out in my bench swing reading, okay, napping, until my DS came home with his friend who is visiting his mom this week. The boys went back out (and i went back to, ahem, “reading”) and bought pizza for supper when they came back. Yes, i could have made my own pizza but it was 97 out and i had already spent the morning making muffins, granola and rice pudding. I did take a long walk though.
4. Needed some body glide (realized during my long walk in high heat) so i went to a local, small running chain store yesterday. They gave me a free sample of a blister glide product to try since i got my first blister in 30 yrs last month walking 54.5 miles in 5 days.
5. Continuing to pull together donations for the donation truck in a week or so. Still need to get the boy to go through his closet and pull out what he doesn’t want anymore. I have my stuff, my moms’ stuff and still some of my husbands stuff. it’s a lot to sort through….

I didn’t buy the ‘gold plated’, beautiful, dark walnut, craftsmen style door to replace my front door. It’s beautiful, but not really work the extra 0’s plus the installation cost!


nancy from mass June 13, 2017 at 3:23 am

not WORTH the extra 0’s (meaning zeroes).

i think i need more coffee this morning. (at least the way i drink it comes up to no calories to add to the fitbit!) black coffee with no sugar? yes, please.


Bee June 13, 2017 at 4:19 am

In regards to blisters, my son is using a product called New Skin while on the AT. It is a liquid bandage, and it is amazing. I used it myself when I recently dropped a knife on my foot. It was a lifesaver. Sunday must have been a difficult for you — sending good thoughts your way.


nancy from mass June 13, 2017 at 7:45 am

i’ve heard of New Skin but couldn’t find it when i stopped at the CVS in downtown DC, so i ended up using the blister bandages and regular bandaids. Only thing was, i walked so much with them on, by the end of the day they had shifted. It was only about a week ago that the old blister skin finally came off. :puke:

I’m going to be in northern NH next month….I plan on leaving some trail magic somewhere on the AT near Dixville Notch. You’ll have to let me know when he hits NH!


Cindy in the South I June 13, 2017 at 4:47 am

Thinking of you regarding your anniversary….hugs


Mary in Maryland June 13, 2017 at 6:19 am

1. A friend gave me a pound of spelt and a big bag of the season’s last lettuce. Found a recipe online for spelt-sweet potato-sage salad. Made it for lunch yesterday and have leftovers for lunch today. Good enough that I copied the recipe for using again.
2. Used a gift certificate from a friend for a late lunch at the Indian vegetarian buffet on Saturday. We walked home and napped.
3. I’ve been chair of a committee with big responsibilities–and members who are critics rather than workers. Last week I channeled my high anxiety about this situation into washing my windows. Day one I did the seven that bother me most. Day three I did the ones in the basement so I could combine the two partial bottles of cleaner (home brew of vinegar and water). Day five I did the ones in my sewing room and the bedroom. I have a tool that has sponge on one side and squeegee on the other. Spritz, sponge, squeegee, shine with newsprint. The clean windows are giving me quite a lift, and I declined a second term on the committee.
3. Bought five twenty-five pound bags of grains and beans at the co-op. I get a 10% discount for ordering a whole bag. I repackaged all in my fabulous collection of square half gallon glass jars (orange juice in the 1970s) and plastic tofu containers. I freeze each container for five days each to kill any bug life before it can get a toehold. It’s three freezer’s worth, but this is the time of year when my freezer is emptiest.
4. Not exactly mine, but–my husband and his friend were going to a Nats game last night. I flashed back twenty years and told them that if they were ever too drunk to drive, I’d always be willing to come and get them. They both laughed–and told me that with beer at $12 they don’t even split one.
5. I continue to cook my way through Vegan Richa, an Indian cookbook. Great recipes. I drink water. I cook. I sew. I mend.


janine June 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I loved your post, especially #2&#4. I just declined an opportunity to spend time on a committee for which I couldn’t see much value. Spending time wisely is frugal too. #4 speaks to how time catches up with us all when we finally realize that $12 beer might be more than we want to spend!
Thanks for the insights and humor.


Katy June 14, 2017 at 8:18 am

Frugal Accomplishments:

1. While we are waiting for our rental house to be available for us, we are staying at some friends’ house. This is good for both our and their pocketbooks, as we’re splitting rent and such during the time we’re here.

2. I went to a restaurant with some friends last night. Unfortunately my son was sick, so it was just me and my daughter that I had to pay for. We got water and chicken and fries to share.

3. Instead of wasting leftovers that are too old for us to eat, we’ve been giving them to our friend’s dog.

4. I’m slowly buying a chocolate spread, that’s not super cheap, but it comes in a really nice and simple glass jar that works perfect for a cup and even has a nice non-screw top lid. As we eat the chocolate, I’m left with a nice glass cup. While I prefer non-breakable cups for around the house, I’d like to get 6 of these for using when we have guests.

5. We just moved here to Burkina Faso (we had been in Senegal before that). And I’m learning what foods are healthy and local/cheap here to include in our diet: avocados, mangos, peanut butter (just pb, nothing added), rice, eggs, and fresh fruit juices are among them! 😛


Debra June 17, 2017 at 12:14 am

I just binge watched season 4 of OITNB….very intense. I’ve watched the trailer for season 5 and may have to watch it at my daughter’s house instead of waiting for my library to get it on dvd.


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