Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 4, 2017 · 82 comments

  1. My friend Lise is rebuilding her Airbnb’s bathroom and was asking opinions on paint colors. I convinced her to try looking at the Habitat ReStore before buying new. Although she didn’t find anything she liked, it was still worth checking out as we both learned that the ReStore now sells their own line of recycled paint for just $16 per gallon.

  2. My sister, Lise and I stopped at the taco truck on the way home where my sister and I split a $7 burrito. We set up in the shady backyard and dined alfresco. We enjoyed leftover La Croix seltzers and chips from my husband’s work party and remarked on how the three of us could have easily split the single “super sized” burrito.

  3. My sister and I stopped at the Kroger grocery store to buy treats and chose two pints of Halo Top brand ice cream. The machine spit out a $2-off coupon, so I called over an employee to assist us as we were using the self-checkout. He whipped out an additional coupon for a free pint and he scanned our $2-off coupon. So instead of $6 apiece for the ice cream, (which we would have never paid) we paid 75¢ apiece for our pints!

  4. I noticed that my friend Lise was replumbing her bathroom using Pex tubing and mentioned that we owned the tool that goes with it. (This is as far as my knowledge on the subject goes.) She later texted me asking if she could borrow it. My husband, who works nights swung by the house to locate it, which saved my friend from having to rent or buy her own one. Much of frugality is providing frugal opportunities for others, which always gives me such a thrill. No roller coaster for me, my thrills come from frugal endeavors!

  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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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty Winslow July 4, 2017 at 9:12 am

1. Since the gym is closed today, I went to the local garden park to walk, take photos, and enjoy both the scenery and the sound track (splashing water, birdsong, children’s laughter).
2. Went to another location to take more photos, which required more walking and enjoying scenery.
3. Swung by Kroger on the way home, to pick up mozzarella balls for tonight’s caprese salad. They were out, but there were samples throughout the store – and more walking.
4. Found a nickel in the parking lot.
5. Went to our new daughter’s place last night for a 4th of July party and took the snap bombs and glow sticks I picked up at Dollar Tree, plus sparklers and fiber optic rings. We were the hit of the party! Worth every dime.


Marcia July 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

What a great idea!! Since my yoga class was cancelled today, I slept until 10:30 AM. You had the better idea.


MommaL July 4, 2017 at 9:25 am

I love sharing tools and appliances with my friends. I have a buffet style warmer that has three sections, it was a gift. It has made the rounds of many friends’ parties. Loaning makes me happy, and I feel better about asking the same of my friends too, if I need to borrow something.
This week I am LAZY, on vacation at home:
1. Made bread and butter refrigerator pickles for the first time ever. Used an recipe and they turned out great. Used canning jars left at my house from some gifted pickles last year.
2. No company right now, so thermostat is on 81 during the day, 76 at night.
3. Entertainment is watching my kitten play/wrestle with my cat, and training him with a water squirt bottle to stay off of the kitchen counters. Well, when we are in the room anyway.
4. Walking daily with DH. Its nice to see him every day for a change.
5. Cleaned out another closet. Found some memorabilia from a long time ago when the kids were young. Picked out a couple of items to mail to them. They are very nostalgic and love it when I send them things from time to time, like a book of poetry read to them at bedtime, and recipes written down by their late grandma.


MommaL July 4, 2017 at 9:25 am

oh and the cucumbers were gifted from a neighbor. 🙂


Jennifer July 4, 2017 at 9:30 am

1. I’m still painting today. Feels like I will be painting the rest of the summer. At least it is forcing me to stay home so no money is spent. I get a lot of satisfaction from the end result, so it will be worth it. Painting also keeps me off the couch so my butt doesn’t continue to get wider.
2. We have pretty much ate sandwiches for the past few days. Breakfast this morning was cheese toast, eggs from my chickens, and cinnamon toast. Much less than a Hardee’s run.
3. Tonight we will go see the local fireworks show for free. If it stops raining, I am going to surprise the kids with a trip to the local splash pad before we go see the show. It is very humid here so being wet will keep them cooler while waiting for the show.
4. I am going to run by Kroger before we go to the splash pad to pick up my free Friday download, which was gummy worms, for a snack for the kids.
5. I am planning to have a yardsale again, soon. Since I have painted, lots of things I have don’t go with the new color. I can sell this stuff and use the money to get some new-to-me stuff that does match. It takes a lot longer than just going out and buying all new stuff but I enjoy the challenge of finding stuff at yardsales, free piles, auctions, etc. and gradually redecorating.


Edith July 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

2) – the breakfast sounds WA Y better than a Hardee’s run!


Jennifer July 5, 2017 at 4:52 am

Yes and no gas was used!


Bee July 5, 2017 at 3:29 am

Just as you referenced in your fifth frugal thing, the contents of my home have been collected over time. Some pieces are inherited but many are from estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores and auctions. When I want to change things, I almost always able to sell what I previously purchased for a small profit. Good luck with painting. I am doing that myself today.


Jennifer July 5, 2017 at 4:51 am

Thanks! I’m so sore from all the painting, I guess from climbing up and down the ladder so much. Good luck to you, also.


Cindy in the South I July 5, 2017 at 7:41 am

I love cheese toast and eggs!


Jennifer July 6, 2017 at 6:30 am

Me too, I practically grew up on it!

Bee July 6, 2017 at 3:55 am

My shoulders bother me after painting. I was not up and down on the ladder much. I also have paint in my hair, but none on the floor.


Juhli July 4, 2017 at 10:19 am

This am I mopped the dining room floor, did a run for groceries to get us through next week, and used a DVD I own to do some stretching exercises. DH is painiting the hallway ceiling using paint we have. This afternoon I will take a walk, make muffins with past their prime bananas, do a bit of weeding and spread some bark from a bag sitting on our patio. If there is time left I will try to convert a large scarf into a kimono. The exciting and frugal life we lead LOL.


K D July 4, 2017 at 10:26 am

1. We went for a long hike in a local state park this morning. This one does not charge admission nor require a pass. We saw ducks on the water, enjoyed the woods, and the exercise. We’ll look into borrowing kayaks to try on the water there.

2. I tried to get a movie from the RedBox the other day. I reserved it online, using a code but the box was not working. I called and they gave me two free rentals (I still have to pay for the original rental that I could not get, but it was $.34).

3. The county messed up many of the property tax bills they sent. They will send another one and We’ll get the full discount for paying in full if we pay by the end of August, instead of the end of July.

4. I am reading eBooks borrowed from the library. I love that you never have to worry about when they are due. So many books are available in that format now. I also continue to keep a book on CD in my car and/or an audio book on my phone, again always borrowed from the library.

5. Same old, same old. Using the same stuff I’ve had for years, eating at home, trying to minimize my impact on the environment.


tonya July 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

1) Went to our neighborhood 4th of July parade this morning. Sat with friends and enjoyed the free ice cream that is always served.
2) Played a board game and ate leftovers for lunch.
3) Riding public transportation (with my eco pass) downtown today to hear free music. My sister has 1940s style Andrews Sister group that is singing for the 4th. Free entertainment and I get to watch my amazing sister.


tia July 4, 2017 at 11:07 am

I think you must be a wonderful person. In my brain only wonderful people have likewise wonderful friends and family that return borrowed things. My attempts at this frugal phenomenom always ended in helping me learn the “or do without” part of your motto.
At this point in my frugal journey, I’ve whittled my stuff down to where I’d have to replace with cost anything. So I will be like the seagulls in Nemo,
You can borrow me but don’t touch my stuff.
my frugal fail, maybe i’m just not trying hard enough, or maybe it’s a zen thing
“if you need something let it go, if it doesn’t return it was meant to be.”
hmmmmmm. *thinking*


MommaL July 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

I write my name on stuff with big black sharpies! Esp dishes to a potluck. It helps, usually!


Lindsey July 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

I stick those free return labels that keep arriving from charities on anything I loan out.


Mary W July 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Oooh, good idea – I have a lifetime supply of address labels from mailers.


Ruby July 4, 2017 at 11:44 am

1. Went yesterday to the sidewalk sale at the Salvation Army and scored a big bag of fabric remnants to facilitate my hobby of making tote bags out of scrounged material.
2. The day before, I found a lovely royal blue chenille cardigan sweater at Goodwill and discovered a threadbare spot after getting it home. (It really should not have been on the rack with that defect, but our local Goodwill is miles below Katy’s in quality.) Used some thread a long-ago neighbor gave me and repaired the spot. If you squint you can see the mend, but it’s more than good enough to wear while doing errands.
3. The Mister and I have had five days off work together, which was entirely stay-at-home and very frugal except for one planned day. Yesterday we went to a small local museum and got to enjoy the senior citizen discount on our tickets. He had a hankering for seafood that was satisfied by a plate of fish and chips at a restaurant we can’t afford to eat dinner at, but their lunchtime prices and portions are very reasonable.
4. Used a fistful of coupons at the drugstore to save on cereal and some stuff for work. And chocolate! 😀
5. Found an excellent, sturdy pair of reading glasses at Dollar Tree, so that I don’t bend my regular glasses while lying on my side reading in bed.


Mary W July 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Re: your#5:. I love the readers from Dollar Tree. I buy one strength for computer use and one for close up reading. Where else can you find a pair of reading glasses for a buck? Plus, if they break, DT will take them back. I wouldn’t return them if it was my fault they broke, of course, but if a lens pops out or something, I will return them.


WaThriftFamily July 4, 2017 at 11:55 am

1. Going to a family BBQ potluck for the 4th. Using food from freezer and pantry to make sides. Offered to bring meat but they said they just needed vegetables.

2. After we eat we are going to watch the city fireworks show from the backyard.

3. Last night we watched Moana on Nexflix. Fun, but problematic.

4. I had been quietly watching and waiting for a Pampered Chef mini loaf pan to go on sale at Goodwill. It can do four mini loaves at once, and I think I would really only use it for holiday gift giving so I didn’t want to pay too much. Also I told myself if someone else bought it I wouldn’t be too upset. Went on dollar Monday and it was there, buried under a bunch of pans, so I snapped it up.

5. Been de-cluttering and it feels good. Less stuff and more space!


Edith July 4, 2017 at 6:25 pm

3) Okay- so Moana is on for my 4th July movie night.


A. Marie July 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm

(1) Glad to see your discussion of neighbor-to-neighbor sharing/cooperation, Katy. It’s part of the lifeblood of frugality–and of happy living in general. And DH and I, as childless seniors, couldn’t get along without it.

(2) As an aspect of (1), DH went out and trimmed part of a hedge for a widowed neighbor so that she can see over it to back out of her driveway. In the process, he and I worked out a problem he was having with the hedge trimmer. Win win.

(3) Following up on a couple of recent comments on the most recent FFT: DH and I don’t have garage sales any more either–not because they weren’t fun and they didn’t make money back in the day (they were and we did), but because we no longer feel up to the overall work and hassle. We’d rather just donate to our local thrifts and take the tax donations.

(4) That said, I’m starting to have some fun putting together donations for a September garage sale run by a particular local group dear to our hearts: a peace group dating from the 1930s, whose concerns have branched out as needs in various areas have become evident. Some things that I think would be underappreciated at the thrifts (books, etc.) will find a home here–plus the group welcomes donations of houseplants. This is going to be a golden opportunity to clean out my plant room!

(5) Finally, I made a “clean out the freezer” gumbo yesterday, with the addition of shrimp bought with a grocery coupon and andouille bought at the farmers’ market. That andouille turned out to be a good deal hotter than I was anticipating–but I’m going to try eating the gumbo cold tonight and see if that helps. It’s getting too darn hot out to think about lighting the stove, anyhow.


Vickey July 15, 2017 at 10:58 am

I love that your peace group has been around for 80 years or so!


Lindsey July 4, 2017 at 12:12 pm

1. I am a bit embarrassed by this, but not enough not to have done it: the Halo ice cream for free coupons were being printed out the other day at Safeway. As I was walking out, I noticed the garbage can had coupons spilling out, so I sorted through them and got 8 more freebies I will be redeeming as the summer progresses. Then I used the free hand sanitizer right next to the trash can…
2. We don’t eat hot dogs very often but we do grill them every 4th of July. I went to the store and the sale hot dogs were all out. I politely asked the manager if they would substitute some other brand for the same price, rather than getting a rain check, and he allowed me to buy four packages of Nathan’s hot dogs for $5. I love that brand but never buy it because a package is about $3.50! I scored four of them for $5.
3. A neighbor is ridding herself of all raspberry bushes. She offered them to me for free. I am somewhat disabled so cannot perform a task like that, but another neighbor has a 10 year old who is working to buy something or other. She offered to work for me for $5 an hour, digging up and then, with my supervision, replanting the raspberries in my yard. $35 later, she had enough for her new toy, the neighbor was happy and I now have 14 new raspberry bushes to go with the dozen I already have. Few berries over-winter in interior Alaska, but raspberries are tough. $35 seems like a lot but they will earn back that money in berries within a year, plus I liked helping a kid work for what she wanted to buy.
4. Cut the husband’s hair and trimmed the hair of the two dogs. Getting the dogs trimmed costs $70 each at the groomer, and the husband cut costs $25, so saved $165 doing it myself. And husband cleaned up all the hair!
5. Years ago a friend died and left all of her beads to me. I thought I might take it up but it is too fiddly for my personality. I finally put them on Craigs List and sold them for $150. (There were boxes and boxes of them, some imported from Europe, so a beader got a good deal.)

Not so frugal: broke down and bought a food cart gyro while running errands. First one this summer. I love those things!


Jill A July 4, 2017 at 2:03 pm

I love all of your frugal fives.


Bettypants July 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm

I sometimes stop myself from doing frugal things that I think others might judge me for. Twice at Aldi I saw people leave their carts in the lot and I wanted to get out f my car and push the cart back to the corral to get the quarter, but I felt weird about it. Good for you for being brave and getting 8 free Halo Top ice creams. I’m impressed!


Liz B. July 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Yes, good job on the Halo coupons! I don’t know where they hide the trash cans at my local Kroger’s, or I’d be doing the same thing. (Which, btw, my Krogers has NOT been giving coupons for free Halo Top….the best I’ve seen is $1.50 off a pint, on top of the sale price of $3.99 (for now….not sure how long that’ll be going on).
And about the beads – it reminded me of my beloved aunt, who passed away unexpectedly about 1 1/2 years ago. She worked in a bead shop part time (retired teacher), and her passion was jewelry making, including but not limited to chain maille jewelry. She apparently had a HUGE stash of beads, findings, etc when she passed away. My uncle gave my mom (his sister) bunches of finished bracelets to share with myself and my sisters; the supplies were donated back to the shop, that then held a crafting/beading event in her name. I’m sure she would have been pleased.:-)


Marybeth July 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I do that all the time at Aldi. One time it was raining. I brought back 8 carts. I had my umbrella.


Edith July 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Excellent job on the free ice cream coupons AND helping out a youngster! 🙂


Seattle Nancy July 5, 2017 at 9:47 am

I have redeemed a couple of the free pint of Halo Top coupons. It’s a low calorie, high protein ice cream and the texture is really odd. Dry and crumbly sort of. The flavors are good and my 13 year old son likes it. He said if you let it get melty the texture is better.


nancy from mass July 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

unfortunately i also got a free Halo coupon, picked it up (salted caramel flavor) but then realize it has stevia – which i am allergic to. (It’s weird, i’m allergic to all artificial sweeteners and stevia is supposedly a plant – so why on earth would i be allergic?). anyway, my neighbor is a diabetic and was very happy to take that free pint off my hands!

glad to hear everyone else is getting free pints! 🙂 Wish i could get a coupon for a free pint of that locally made ginger ice cream….


Mand01 July 5, 2017 at 1:36 pm

We have a similar product here – I’ve only tried it once and it upset my stomach. I prefer the traditional kind.


Jill A July 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm

1. Glued a hairbrush back together using shoe goo. The rubbery bristle part had come off of the handle. We’ll see how long it works. The bristles are still good. In the past I would have thrown it away.
2. Made my own weed killer with vinegar and dishwashing liquid and sprayed my weeds.
3. Got our electric bill and we saved almost $40 with the peak time of use plan. Yay!!
4. Did a load of laundry before 7 am when the electric rate goes up and will turn my dishwasher on with a 4 hr delay at 7 pm to run during the rate decrease at 11 pm.
5. My husband replaced brake pads on my daughters car saving her hundreds of dollars. She helped so she learned a little too.

Had a wonderful weekend with my husband, girls and other family members and very little money was spent.


Bettypants July 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm

1. Someone listed several Lularoe leggings on a local FB board for $10 each. I bought two patterns that I think are high demand and listed them on ebay.
2. Sold a high end baby sling and some cloth diapers on ebay this weekend, that I bought a couple months ago.
3. I found some Bee Balm growing on the side of the garage and moved it to a garden bed where I could see it.
4. Home Depot had all their shrubs 50% off. I bought one unusual Hydrangea. I have been trying to fill my beds with any free plants offered, but unlikely to find free hydrangeas. Plus, I can propagate cuttings and make more for other areas.
5. Bought 2 vintage Pyrex dishes for fifty cents at a garage sale last weekend and sold them for $6 today on a FB site.


rebecca July 4, 2017 at 3:01 pm

1. Switched from verizon to direct tv when I went to get a new phone as the one I had for 3 + years was dying. I will save at least $100 a month.
2. Will use a coupon for valvoline tomorrow to get my oil changed.
3. Reading books from the library.
4. Made iced tea from some mint green tea I had in the cupboard. So refreshing!
5. Getting solar panels put on my roof in at the end of the summer. I wish it was sooner but they are booked up-over the years, it will save me some $ eventually and so good for the planet! I’m excited!


Dawn July 4, 2017 at 4:06 pm

The Habitat Restore closest to me is inconvenient. But I did paint 3 bedrooms and the living/dining room with mis-tints from Lowe’s and Home Depot. $7 for regularly priced $35 per gallon paint. That was 5 frugals for sure!


Isabelle July 4, 2017 at 4:11 pm

I really haven’t been so frugal lately, so I need to dig deep…

* Bought 9 shirts for 1$/piece at the thrift store
* Borrowing a suitcase instead of buying one, for our upcoming trip
* The garden is starting to produce veggies, yay!
* Bringing my lunch almost every day at work
* Saved 115$ on a family activity (promotional day)


KJD509 July 4, 2017 at 5:22 pm

1) Got the very last free dump pass from our neighborhood council on June 30 – expired July 2. Talked the kids (they’re young adults, not littles) into sweeping off the roof and took an entire pickup load full of pine needles and the branches that were hanging over the house dropping spiders to the dump for free.
2) We ate garden lettuce and snow peas in salad this weekend, picked raspberries for a flag cake (though we may just eat them plain they’re so good) and used up a dozen volunteer onions that somehow reseeded from last year. Even though we’re trying to clean and fix the house to move within a year, I’m really glad I left my garden boxes in and planted them. Some years we are only planting tomatoes, eggplant and peppers at 4th of July, but this year has been so hot that tomatoes have set already on almost every plant – even the volunteers! – and we’ve had a dozen meals at least with basil much earlier than usual. Plus when the chaos of packing and repairing inside gets to be too much for me, I spend an hour in the garden and am able to carry on.
3) Spent time talking summer budget with the kids – especially food and gas budgets. They are perfectly capable of taking one for the team as well as I am, but they needed the reminder. Eldest daughter came with me grocery shopping for two weeks and we did an amazing job until the very last stop, when we were hungry. Still, overall, under budget and with great deals.
4) Can’t remember whether I posted last week – but we scored 20+ rolls of free turf from a neighbor. Hard work by hubs and diligent watering and we have half a front yard with glorious lawn coming in. Hoping a few more neighbors over-buy their supplies. I’ve never been a fan of grassy yards, but now that it’s grass and not mostly weeds, I’m changing my mind.
5) After a midday picnic, hubs loaded up and headed out of town – first day at the new job in a new location is tomorrow. He modeled his entire professional wardrobe Saturday afternoon while the kids and I gave thumbs up / thumbs down. We’d expected to spend Sunday and Monday shopping, but he had enough clothes buried in the closet to last a lifetime, even after putting quite a few on the donate pile. He was pleased to find forgotten items, and I was relieved not to have to shop and spend.

And frustrating frugal fail: more car trouble. In retrospect we should have gotten rid of this car 7 months ago when it needed its first gigantic repair of the year, but 1) I am sentimentally attached to it and 2) it broke down out of town and we had to get it fixed to get home. Since then it has needed so much work that we could have bought TWO used cars for the price of repairs. Our mechanic called late Friday afternoon to say that he couldn’t find the problem (although it sounded like he was at the lake so I’m suspicious he didn’t actually look yet), and with hubs heading out of town for 2 weeks, we had to have a second car. Did some looking at low-end used options then found an amazing deal on a rental, so we’re doing that for now, but it’s not a long-term solution.

Back to the boxes (which, by the way, I’ve dug out of basement storage from our move to this house 12 years ago. Some of them have notes from previous houses as well – guess that’s a 6th frugal!). Have a good week, everybody ~


Stephanie July 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I especially like your #5 on shopping the closet! That’s what this group is about!


Marcia July 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm

1. Extra doughnut Monday–my DD had surgeon follow up appt only one mile from best doughnut shop around. On Monday you get 2 free if you buy a dozen–so we each got 7 for the price of half a dozen. (Which is cheaper than buying them individually.) It will keep us in doughnuts for the week–they are big! She will not be going to this dr regularly, which is a good thing.
2. Stayed home and relaxed Sun-Mon-Tues. Didn’t spend much money that way–just enough for some cat food when my DD was going to Dollar General anyhow.
3. Spent a lot of time yesterday cleaning the bottom padding on the cat climbing tower—using my fingernails as claws to remove matted down hair from former cat and getting them as hair free as possible before washing for maximum time in washing machine. They came out a lot cleaner but not quite new looking. Husband put them back into cat tower for new cat to use. He used it but has not figured out there are more floors–only got to the bottom floor so far. This was quite an investment when we bought it so happy it’s being used again!
4. Did all the usual things, like cooking from scratch, using up leftovers, eating strawberries on everything before they are wasted, etc.
5. Sent an e-mail to a well known mail order company to tell them I don’t like this year’s tee shirt fabric or style and included style number from a much older (and worn out) one and asked if they could bring that style back, even if I had to pay a few more dollars for it. It was nice enough to wear with a skirt or dress pants and new ones are not. Excellent response, and they will send the information on to their merchandising department. I’ll be looking for it in the future!!


One of God's July 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

1. Mostly usuals; wear almost exclusively thrifted clothes, stay home, batch errands when I do go out, eat fresh produce from back yard.

2. Tried out a banana bread recipe in the solar oven. Used a loaf to give to neighbors who are most helpful.

3. Accepted and am still using homegrown tomatoes and summer squash shared by a family at church.

4.Continuing to compost whatever comes my way so I’ll be able to feed my plants for free.

5. Received refund check for most of deposit for electricity at former residence.


Krystal July 4, 2017 at 6:50 pm

1) I attended a free exercise class, which was doubly beneficial. I not only am working out, I am studying to become a teacher, and visiting many instructors is very helpful.
2) Added a few needed pieces to my wardrobe from the consignment store, and since I had a check waiting for me, I actually walked out with $10 profit.
3) I washed my phone case and part of it broke, but I kept the part that didn’t and it protects just fine. I was at Nordstrom Rack with my husband today while he picked up a few new items, and didn’t buy myself a new one, or a single anything, while I waited.
4) We are using a board left behind my landscapers (paid for by the county!) last summer to make bathroom shelves. We went to our local tool library for all the needed tools, and was only out $10 for stain and a brush. The new shelving I looked at and liked was about $80, so this is a much cheaper option, and we are learning our capabilities.
5) Batched errands to save gas and time, even though the errands themselves required both!


Mand01 July 4, 2017 at 6:54 pm

1. As I dressed for work this morning I reflected that the one item I bought new, is now about five years old and is still in great condition because I take great care of my clothes. My husband complains sometimes because I have so many laundry rules, but these rules about washing and correct hanging enable me to keep clothes looking great for a very long time. When I do buy new I only buy good quality pieces and the rest I buy thrift but expensive labels and again take great care of them. I do the same for footwear and I rarely replace it. Frugal and environmentally sound.
2. My daughter and I made salads to take to school and work today and I also took the last of the stewed homegrown rhubarb with yoghurt for a snack. Packed the rhubarb and yoghurt in a recycled salsa jar.
3. Have a meeting tonight about some freelance work for my side gig. I don’t do a lot – just jobs that pay well enough to justify my time.
4. Brought my own coffee, tea and soda water to work (we have a soda stream and only make plain soda water with it – no syrups).
5. My husband found my Fitbit after I thought I’d lost it for good! It wasn’t even a year old and I was disappointed to have lost it – I wasn’t going to buy another.


Edith July 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Happy #brexit1776 !

1) This holiday weekend I did a staycation. I commute and work long hours, so it was nice to enjoy the local area.
a) Biked the Esplanade and river facing trail to Sellwood (a neighborhood in Portland ) and back home.
b) Saw Despicable ME 3 at the local cheap movie theater. It was warm so only soda water for concessions. Great fun
c) Met up with a friend, had a pricey vegan lunch that I could have made for $3, and saw Aliens: Covenant. It was so, so bad that it was almost good, with Fassbender hamming i up and clearly enjoying himself.
d) HAd a pleasurable walk in downtown Portland, into the Pearl and then up to NW 23rd. Peek in some of the shops; got some crafting ideas.
e) Went to Multnomah Falls on the Columbia Gorge Express Bus. Packed a great, spent the day hiking to the top, then splashing about at the headwaters. Brrr!
2) Rounded out my summer wardrobe with some very affordable linen shorts from TJ Maxx along with some nice white slacks for work- and gold leather sandals. The total was $40, which is not bad, since I can wear these until October here.
3) Frugal fail: Bought an ice cream container and ice cream maker. Part of my turn towards frugality is trying to make as much food at home as possible from raw ingredients. I eat vegan ice cream (I digest it better) but damn, is it ever full of sugar, guar gum and all the rest. I have been trying out recipes from Nice Cream, which uses fruits, seeds, nuts and coconuts and it’s delicious! But instead of using the ice cube method (which can be icy grainy in texture) I decided to spring for a used ice cream maker. Kitchen gadget luxury!
4) Am making my lunch and breakfast for the next 3 days.
5) I found a bottle of sweet almond oil in the cupboard. I will be using it as a body oil for the summer! 🙂


KJD509 July 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Heh! #brexit1776 makes me giggle every time.


AFS July 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

for some unknown reason I quit getting Nonconsumeradvocate emails. So Every few days I search with SwagBucks to read your blog. Tonight I got 5 SBs for searching nonconsumeradvocate.


Katy July 5, 2017 at 9:27 am



Susan newman July 7, 2017 at 8:28 pm

I just did this a few days later and also got 5 Swagbucks! Thank you


Pattilou July 4, 2017 at 8:26 pm

1. I bought an item on eBay that arrived with a piece broken. The seller never responded to my request to replace the broken item so eBay reimbursed me. I am very pleased. I will be able to use the other pieces still and may be able to fix the broken piece , with a lot of work and patience.
2. The county where my mother lives gives out 4 five dollar vouchers to the local farmers market if you qualify. I was able to be her proxy and stand in line to get her the vouchers. I will be taking her to the farmer’s market this week.
3. On my walk back to my mother’s house from getting the vouchers I picked up some “garbage” to throw away. It turned out to be a $5.00 winning lottery ticket.
4. I will use the $5.00 from the above ticket to take my nieces to craft day at the craft store. Last year the store offered a free craft once a week for 6 weeks but this year they are charging $2.00 per child. Last week was not very fun for them because we waited a very long time and then it was like an assembly line and seemed rather rushed. I am hoping that by going a little later this week it will be less crowded and they will get to take their time.
5. My brother treated us to dinner out the other night and bought a lot of the food for our holiday meal. We have lots of left overs to use up in the next few days.
6. We went to a free concert on the courthouse lawn which was followed by fire works. It was a beautiful night. The music was quite enjoyable and the fireworks were great.


BJS July 5, 2017 at 8:41 am

3. You were doing a good thing and got rewarded for it!


CarolineRSA July 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

1. Last year I completed a one year clothing ban, this year I decided to stop buying make-up. My sister arrived from the U.K. on Sunday, and gifted me with some lovely products. I think I can make it two or 3 years without buying now.
2. Bought my little boy’s birthday gifts yesterday. Most of the toys were marked down.
3. Using up leftovers and fridge items for meals.
4. Will treat my sister to breakfast out today (cheaper than lunch or dinner) at a local non-chain/franchise coffee shop, where breakfasts include FREE tea, coffee or juice.
5. Going to pop into the library this afternoon for reading material to get me through my next two night shifts.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 5, 2017 at 4:57 am

It’s so great of you to help out your friend! I went through a renovation myself and I appreciated all the extra help and tool loans friends and family did for us.

This week:

1. We celebrated Independence Day in a pretty low-key way. We went to my SIL’s house and she graciously cooked for us. Yum! Then we came home and had a two-hour nap. Bliss!

2. I made more Rice Krispy treats for hubby last night using ingredients from our pantry.

3. Today I plan to make homemade peach ice cream with peaches I processed and froze a few months ago.

4. I’m also planning on converting some awkward-length pants into workout capris.

5. I’m making it my goal to eat healthy and exercise more, all of which I’ll do wtihout a gym membership or pricey fad diets.


Katy July 5, 2017 at 9:25 am

Renovations take longer than anticipated and cost more than expected, so anything I can do to help is a win.


Cindy in the South I July 5, 2017 at 5:16 am

I usually go thrift store shopping 4th of July weekend, and right after Christmas. The college town where I shop seems to have good buys on those dates.
1. I found a Sag Harbor skirt suit for $8.00, a brand new pair of shoes that I can wear to work for $6.00, a summer dress with a jacket for $3.00, and a summer gray skirt suit for $4.00. I also found a purse for when the one I am currently using gets too ratty for work. This purse was $3.00 and looked new. I am set for a while, clothes wise.
2. I stayed at a family member’s cabin during the 4th of July holiday for free. It is close enough that I can get to family members very quickly, if needed yet feels like it is far away. I took my own food, and read books. It was very relaxing.
3. I took many walks while staying at the cabin…free exercise.
4. I made chicken fried rice and brought some for lunch today. I have enough left over for supper that will last until Friday.
5. I did my own nails.


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

Well, my grammar was off but oh well…lol


Beth July 5, 2017 at 5:46 am

I haven’t been very frugal on the food front lately-my birthday was this week, so I’ve been treating myself. And hubby is taking me for all-you-can-eat sushi tomorrow 🙂

My frugal wins have mostly been clothing-related:
1. Went to GW yesterday (4th) and bought multiple half-off items, including 3 dresses, 1 shirt, a shirt for the toddler, a pair of shoes, a knapsack, and a heavy-duty, copper-bottom cooking pot to replace our teflon-lined piece of crap.
2. All of the above were purposeful purchases. I’m going to of town for a youth/church function later this month and my post-maternity wardrobe is lacking in church-appropriate clothing.
3. I spent $25 total. AND, as I was shopping, a lady walked up and gave me her remaining store credit balance (about $3.00) because she hadn’t found anything to buy and wasn’t planning on being back before it expired. It was so kind of her!
4. This one isn’t about clothing or GW. We went to a friend’s house to celebrate yesterday and were asked to bring drinks and a couple sides. We went to the store and priced out your typical sides (which were expensive!). We decided to cobble our own sides together (boxed mac-and-cheese and hummus and veggies). It was so much cheaper, and I felt good about saving money while not jipping people we love.


Bee July 6, 2017 at 2:41 am

#3 — A random act of kindness! It warms the heart.


ouvickie July 5, 2017 at 6:39 am

Wow – nice score on the ice cream, Katy!!

1) I’m wearing one of my new-to-me thrifted tops and my new-to-me mules to work today. The top is a bright red and looks great with my black slacks, black & red earrings and the black mules I scored at the Thrift store.
2) I brought in some lemon pound cake to share with my coworkers – that way I can enjoy a few pieces and not end up eating the whole thing.
3) Hubby took me out to dinner last night – so I brought the leftovers to work for lunch.
4) My favorite entertainment comes from reading blogs like this one and watch YouTube videos of my favorite frugal Vloggers. All FREE!
5) I found a bottle of my favorite nail polish color at the Dollar Tree yesterday – $1 is definitely a frugal buy.


Sandra July 5, 2017 at 7:07 am

1. Picked zucchini, green beans, sugar shell peas, and fresh herbs out of the garden.
2. Went to an out of town museum with husband, daughter who is visiting from out of state, and son who lives locally. Instead of paying $9.00 each we were able to use the Family rate (4 or more) of $25.00
3. Shared a pizza for lunch while we were out of town and it was so large we were able to have it with a salad as our dinner meal, plus there were still slices leftover…how frugal is that?
4. We were invited to a friends for 4th of July barbecue and asked to bring appetizers. I cut the leftover pizza into little triangles, warmed them in a low oven and then topped them with some fresh herbs from the garden. It made a lovely tray of 12 pizza bites. I also made a sour cream and cream cheese dip and offered red pepper and celery, and zucchini sticks (from our garden). It was well received and the cost was very minimal.
5. I won’t be grocery shopping this week. We will eat from the refrigerator, pantry, garden, and freezer.


Mary W July 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

What a great idea for using up the pizza. I’ll have to remember that one. 🙂


Jennifer July 6, 2017 at 6:35 am

I freeze individual slices of pizza to pull out and heat up every once in awhile. It’s seems like there is always pizza leftovers, lol.


Jennifer July 6, 2017 at 6:42 am

Oh, sometimes, like Sandra, we have it again later that night with healthy salad but I will doctor it up with pineapple bits, cheese, olives, etc. before reheating and it’s like a different pizza. It is so smart to stretch meals as much as possible. We ate leftover grilled chicken, corn, and baked beans from July 4th last night. I put leftover taco meat from the freezer in my baked beans. It just keeps on stretching.


Marilyn July 5, 2017 at 9:20 am

I am all for sharing with friends and neighbors. Last week, we had visitors who were traveling with their baby and puppy. One of my neighbors loaned us some baby gates which were useful for both baby and puppy. At the same time, I loaned my hedge trimmer to a neighbor. Only thing I don’t like to share is my car. I didn’t even like letting my kids drive my car when they lived at home. Makes me too nervous.


Amanda July 5, 2017 at 10:41 am

Here, here on providing frugal opportunities for others. We constantly offer stuff to friends and family for the same reason. Really there shouldn’t be more than one power washer on a given city block.

1) On the 4th our plans included going to see my husband’s aging aunt and then moving the furniture around in our office. And including our three small children in these activities. I packed a quick and frugal lunch of sandwiches before we left to see Aunt Anna. By supper time we were still over at the office. In the interest of feeding the children cheaply and getting the office done before our employees came back the next morning we ordered a pizza. Luckily Papa Johns was running a deal–$7.04 for a large, so it was actually pretty cheap.

2) The office furniture moving is necessary so that we can fit in another desk for a new hire. We have constructed our desks out of ikea butcher block countertops and hair pin legs. It looks cool, but is also inexpensive and flexible.

3) I was exhausted last night but still managed to pull together a salad from the fridge for lunch today. My husband crashed after he put the kids to sleep, but he still made a salad for lunch too this morning.

4) My mom passed along to us a Ninja blender that a friend who was moving gave her. We already have a blender that isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but gets the job done. I would be willing to upgrade for free, but this Ninja is ridiculously big. Like, it needs an entire cabinet for the blender and all its various accessories. Smoothies are not that important to us. Then I looked it up online and discovered that new it cost $250! So I have listed that bad boy on craigslist. I’ve got a bite and hoping to coordinate a pick up tomorrow.

5) My husband and I went on a lunch time bike ride in the miserable Virginia humidity. But we cherish every moment together, the ride was beautiful, and it was free exercise.

6) When I dropped our oldest at summer camp this morning the coordinator had the shoes that we thought he lost forever last week. I had already made the rounds Friday to a couple of close-in consignment stores for replacement sandals for him, but hadn’t bought anything yet. Buying nothing is always my favorite purchase.


nancy from mass July 5, 2017 at 10:44 am

i also share/borrow from my neighbors (i especially like it when they ‘share’ their inground pool with us while they are on vacation – as they did last week! i skim and clean it but don’t have the expense of having one!)

1. it’s so beautiful out today that every window (all 23 of them) is open today. No AC!
2. i’m a bit sleepy since i stayed up late watching fireworks, so i just put on a ‘short-pot’ of coffee to keep me awake for the remainder of the afternoon.
3. working at home today and tomorrow. no commuting costs!
4. unplugged my laptop and carried it out to my patio to finish my work day. enjoying the multitude of birds in my back yard while i sit at my umbrella’d table bouncing/rocking on my chair and, ahem, ‘working’. (I really am working but much more leisurely than i usually do!)
5. dinner is whatever we have in the fridge since we are going away for 2 nights.


Ava July 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

1. We sat on the deck last night and ate chips and hummus while watching the neighbors shoot off illegal fireworks. It was a lovely evening.
2. We have been having a problem with water running on to the floor when the refrigerator freezer defrosts itself. We were almost at the point of calling a repair person. But we took everything out, did a big clean out of forgotten, freezer burned things, let the freezer completely defrost and it seems that the problem is fixed. About this time last year, my son did a similar fix for us. If our “repair” lasts a year like his did, I will be pleased.
3. I am using up as shower gel the shampoo that my husband bought and then wouldn’t use. He said it felt like molten lava on his scalp. I am not having a problem with it.
4. I was pleased to discover that my broken windshield is covered after a $100 deductible. I didn’t think I was covered for that. The break appeared while the car sat in the driveway.
Only 4 this time.


Mary W July 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm

1. I had decided to throw away my old yoga mat as the backing on it was coming off in little shreds and making a mess everywhere it went. Today, I got the bright idea to try to remove the rest of the backing with a broom. It worked beautifully. Even better, now the mat is non-skid. I’d already found a new to me yoga mat at the bins, so the old one can now be used next to my bed as a throw rug. No more cold tootsies from the laminate floor in my bedroom!
2. We decided to stay home last night instead of driving to the fireworks. Ended up watching A Capitol Fourth on PBS. There was a nice variety of music and fireworks at the end of the show. Our dog was happy we stayed home, too. He’s not thrilled with all the big fireworks the neighbors were setting off, and wanted to come in the house, which he rarely does (by his own choice). I was able to leave the door open for him so he could come and go as he felt the need.
3. I’m continuing to cook up frozen chickens and canning broth and meat in the evenings after it cools off and I can open windows and run fans. Much more comfortable that way.
4. In keeping with my quest to defrost all my freezers, my dorm sized fridge is sitting on the porch where it can drip without causing a mess in the house or using a stack of towels to soak up the melt water. It’s 87° out, so it’s a perfect day for it, and it will save me a load of laundry.
5. My daughter hitched the horse trailer to the truck and moved it to the lawn where she can wash both and water the lawn at the same time. She’s using a sprayer nozzle I bought at Dollar Tree… it’s working great. I used the hot sun to soften the hose I needed to mend. Made the repair so much easier, and she’s able to use my free hose.


Emily July 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm

1. Went down to pay rent, and took a stroll around the pool. Found 61 cents and out loud went “ooo!”. Got some funny looks, picked it up shamelessly and put it in my pocket :).

2. My bf and I are exhausted from entertaining out of town guests for 5 days, and I really wanted to watch a movie and relax today. He suggested renting Beauty and the beast for 5.99, but red box had it, and I needed to fill a prescription at CVS anyway. Movie will be accompanied by popcorn made from kernels I buy at the dollar tree. 1.00 and non gmo!

3, Dinner tonight was some jasmine rice, soy sauce, and an over medium egg on top. Simple, cheap, and easy on my upset stomach.

4. Wore my thrifted bathing suit all weekend for the 4th. The bottoms were onces I had, but the trendy top was thrifted for only 1.99.

5. I packed some snacks and drinks for my friend’s 7.5 hour trip home today. Maybe not frugal for me, but I liked saving my friend some money and passing on some frugal wisdom and habits.


Vickey July 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm

5) What a lovely way to show your friend you care. 😀


Kim in MD July 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

To everyone getting the free Halo ice cream check out the $1 rebate on the Ibotta app. You can redeem it 2 times so it’s a money maker.
1. Had a great time at the swap at church Monday night. Got rid of 5 bags of stuff and came home with 1! I got a brand new Garmin, a really cool wall rack made from driftwood, and a beautiful lacquer Russian box. For DS#2 I got UA shorts, a Polo pullover and cotton sweater and an Abercrombie jacket. He was very happy with the clothes and needed the jacket since someone took his at college in the spring.
2. Found 52¢ in the jacket pocket when I got home and was putting it in the laundry.
3. Neighbor gave me 7 funky shaped cucumbers. They will become pickles tomorrow. I gave her 4 crackle stemware glasses for her crackle collection. Cost me $1 at the thrift and she was thrilled since she has nothing like them. We swap tools, plants recipes, food and labor all the time!
4. Sold 2 more items on Amazon. Four for the week so far.
5. Picked up a space heater from a fellow freecycler. DS#2 wants one for his room in his off campus house this fall.


Beth L. July 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

We live in DC so the fourth is bananas.

1. Took the dogs on a walk way after the fireworks and stumbled upon a toy in great shape that had been discarded. Cleaned it up and listed it on eBay. 3 watchers so far!

2. Garden lettuce and jalapenos rounded out our hamburger grill out. Ground beef was purchased on sale and with a coupon. Dessert was free halo top ice cream and 50 percent off milk – milk shakes! This helps with the weird texture.

3. The rest of the milk went to crock pot yogurt (thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher for the recipe). The whey will be saved for bread making.

4. We have newlyweds staying in our Airbnb. I cut some hydrangeas for a pretty arrangement for them.

5. Made a pot of crock pot refried beans which has leant itself to lunch and dinner components for days (quesadillas, rice bowls, etc).


Katy July 6, 2017 at 1:04 am

I feel a little at a loss for specific things I’ve done recently other than our ordinary habitual frugal things, so I guess I’ll share a few of those:
1. One big money saver is that we eat probably 90% African foods, this is a money saver, as trying to buy and eat American type foods here is expensive.
2. We often eat leftovers, if we don’t eat it and it seems good for the dog, he gets it.
3. I don’t regularly buy trash bags, paper towels, napkins or disposable cups or plates.
4. We don’t buy juice or sodas on a regular basis, but drink water and coffee and tea.
5. We don’t eat out much, which is something we did probably weekly when we were in the US.


Vickey July 20, 2017 at 6:25 am

Katy, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, which country in Africa are you in? (I look for opportunities to increase awareness of the rich diversity of politics, climates, and cultures in Africa. Because, Africa is not a country!)


Bee July 6, 2017 at 3:46 am

1) I have also been renovating a bathroom and hoped to have the job completed by July 4th. It didn’t happen. :-(. The countertop is finally ready. DH and I will borrow my older son’s truck and pick it up today. It was $89 to have it delivered to the house; but if I wanted to have them put it in the garage or house, it was $129. This made little sense to me. $40 to carry it 10 extra feet. So I decided to go the free route.

2) My cousin and I are going to meet my younger son at the 1/2 way point on the Appalachian Trail next week. DS needs to change out his clothing (preferably before he gets in the car with us). I have been searching for these items at a good price. Thank goodness for 4th of July sales with free delivery. Unfortunately, it is hard to find the outdoor gear he needs secondhand in Florida. However, the thrift shops are loaded with bathing suits.

3) I continue to pursue my goal of zero food waste. I am having some leftover whipping cream in my home-brewed coffee this morning. I froze very ripe bananas for use later and sautéed some wilted spinach for dinner. I gave a loaf of bakery bread delivered with my farm share to a friend who can eat it. She shared some pulled pork with me. I am roasting and freezing peppers today.

4) I have a little side job scheduled today. It doesn’t pay much; however, it is fun work and close to home.

5) I continue to do some the usual things — using the library, cooking from scratch, and drinking water.


Jennifer July 6, 2017 at 6:54 am

2. Nice to know about the Florida thrift stores being loaded with swimsuits. Next time I am there we are going thrifting. The only thing I have learned about thrifting in my area is to shop for winter clothes in the summer and vice versa. Such a great selection in the off seasons! Good luck to your son, I enjoy hearing about his travels.


WilliamB July 6, 2017 at 5:05 am

1. My store no longer stocks the Propel (sports drink) I like. I will use a powder they do stock rather than going to a more expensive store for the Propel. Will try to persuade roommate to do the same.

2. Spent no money on Sunday.

3. Spent no money on Tuesday.

4. Spent no money on Wednesday.

5. Focusing on using the produce I already have (fruit smoothie, cherries, blueberries, spinach) rather than buying more that I want (bell peppers, cucumbers).


WilliamB July 6, 2017 at 5:20 am

IOW – pretty weak few days for me. I spent money to buy food on the go twice.
– Saturday: lunch between aikido and krav maga class. A discount of 50% is still money spent.
– Monday: breakfast muffin, bought because I have less self-control when I’m tired. Thinking about it, I should put “slept plenty” on my Frugal to-do list, since I have a harder time being frugal when I’m tired.


kathleen July 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Light Bulb Moment! You are SO right about the ‘slept plenty’ belonging on any frugal list. When I’m tired I make terrible decisions. And here I am at 1:30 a.m. on the computer. ugh


Lindsay July 6, 2017 at 5:49 am

1. We had friends over for dinner, and I was able to serve a meal that I had already planned as part of our normal meal rotation (vegan potato corn chowder with garlic bread). I served fresh strawberries that I bought on sale at Aldi for dessert. The cost was low, and the company was great! Bonus: I ate the leftover bread toasted with hummus for breakfast.
2. We are taking our time to decorate and furnish our new house so that we can find inexpensive, thrifted items and not blow our budget.
3. Now that I’m on summer break from my teaching job, I have been walking dogs through This is a great way for me to get exercise and get paid for it!
4. I am generally stingy with myself when it comes to clothing purchases, which means sometimes I feel like I have giant gaps in my wardrobe. I allowed myself to buy two high quality tops for work and a summer dress, but I bought them used on, so they were affordable.
5. I’ve been wanting to buy the original Thug Kitchen cookbook for weeks. I finally pulled the trigger when I saw that it was available for cheap on, and I was able to use a coupon for 15% off!


Mary in Maryland July 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

1. We’re having company for dinner tomorrow. At the farm stand two days ago I found a two pound bag of Anaheim peppers for $2. A clear sign that I should make chili verde for tomorrow’s dinner party.
2. Yesterday morning while it was still cool I roasted the Anaheim’s, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and poblanos for tomorrow’s dinner. Since the roasting costs the same no matter how much you roast, I did enough for three meals of four servings each. And labeled the containers–“chili verde four servings through step four.”
3. While the house was warm from the roasting, I defrosted the freezer. Emptied stuff into two coolers and used a fan over the freezer. It blew cool air into the kitchen and melted all ice within twenty minutes. Frozen food outside the freezer for only half an hour.
4. I feel so smug when minimalists point out that the average American home has expanded dramatically since the 1950s. Our house is 1940s, and not very big. The kitchen has not been renovated. The wood cabinets turned orange in their first 65 years. Painting them bright blue was quite a lift. My husband laughed at me for painting their interiors the pale yellow of the walls, but it makes the kitchen much lighter and pleasanter.
5. Our electric stove was new to the previous owner in 1991 and new to us in 2005. I had always cooked with gas but have set aside my preference in favor of this paid for alternative. The washing machine and dryer were new in 1985 and have had no problems. Well, we don’t use the dryer and only do laundry every couple weeks, so I suppose they have fairly low mileage.


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