Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 17, 2017 · 67 comments

  1. I took my family to a nearby food cart pod and handed everyone $10 to spend on lunch. This may sound like a splurge, but the money was from Craiglist sales which I specifically put aside for treats. My older son and I chose meals from an Egyptian cart and my younger son and husband ordered fried chicken from a Korean cart. We don’t have any vacations planned for this summer, so instead I’m loosening the purse strings for eating out and other experiential spending. Staying close to home, but eating very well.

  2. I hung three loads of laundry on the clothesline yesterday which was such a joy. I just love how this chore cannot be rushed, which transforms it into a meditative task. Everything smells so good and I saved money from my electric bill while helping our clothes to last longer.

  3. I called our cable company and told them I was considering canceling our plan as we were no longer receiving free HBO. The customer service representative quickly offered an additional free three-months of HBO, which was what I wanted. I have done this at least five times through the years and they’re always happy to provide it. Of course, this was prompted by the season seven premier of Game of Thrones! Winter is coming? Nope . . . free HBO is coming! (We have such a low level cable plan that it only costs us $10 extra per month than having internet alone.)

  4. I donated a small bag of unwanted items to Goodwill. Although a huge load of stuff is much more impressive, it’s consistent small amounts that make a difference for maintaining an uncluttered home. Of course I took a donation receipt for my taxes.

  5. I took a semi-matching felt-tip pen to a thrifted table to cover up a few areas where the finish had worn off. I wouldn’t recommend this method for a priceless antique, but for a $2 thrifted table? You betcha!

  6. 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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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Shoe July 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

My little family (husband, toddler and I) are staying with family in the plains states for a month. I’d forgotten how naturally non-consumer both my mother and his mother are. What a gift! We’ve been at his parents’ farm place and have spent literally zero dollars the last week.

1. We’ve had leftovers upon leftovers, which is my favorite way to eat.
2. We line-dried clothes. Where we live, our HOA won’t allow line-drying, so it’s a treat here.
3. The toddler has been playing with toys, the barn cats, and homemade bubbles. She’s gone on tractor rides and 4-wheeler rides, and had fun literally playing in the dirt.
4. We’ve been outside for every sunrise and sunset, on a perfectly quiet plot of ranch land.
5. We’ve gone for a walk or run on the gravel roads every day. Free therapy.


Beth July 18, 2017 at 9:51 am

Sounds wonderful! The slow life can be the best life. 🙂


Beth July 18, 2017 at 10:09 am

Like Katy not taking a vacation this summer. At first i was very sad. As a kid in the summer we would go on vacation for two weeks camping around the our state/country so I picked up a bit of the wonder bug. I get sad because I would like to do the same for my daughter, show and do things with her like my parents did. Because of limited funds (not working this summer) and a new puppy who is still being trained not in our future. We have one on vacations in the past and when the pictures come up on the screen saver on our computer we both enjoy seeing them.

On the flip side like Katy I am trying to do more local things – “daycations.”

This weekend we went to the state lavender festival and my daughter told me several times how much she enjoyed it. We had fun trying lavender lemonade, cupcakes, and ice cream – last two were our absolute favorites. We also loved smelling and shopping the arts and crafts area smelling candles, etc. We spurged and bought lavendar room sprays, lavendar lip glosses (one with mint one with vanilla) and I bought three lovely photographs to hang in our bathroom of sea shells, beach glass, sand.

Additionally this summer we received free tickets to view fireworks from the roof top (we spurged on dinner before hand and took the free trolly downtown to get dinner), saw Third Eye Blind for $20 total because of lawn seats and a $10 off Groupon ticket, going to matinees on Tuesdays to see movies and getting free popcorn, and I have been putting on my calendar upcoming festivals i.e. local Highland games coming up, a free historical house/garden tour of one of the auto barons, and keeping my eye out for more. Think we will venture to the beach with our puppy. Found a Facebook post with listings of public/state park beaches who allow dogs.


Mand01 July 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

1. I’ve switched supermarkets to our smaller locally owned place and have found that the higher costs for some things are outweighed by amazing prices for meat and really lovely produce. Also I’m only shopping at one place and I’m spending roughly the same. No more ALDI or the big two (in Australia we have a supermarket duopoly that captures about 99% of the grocery market). I saved $70 last fortnight and $50 this fortnight. So $120 in the past month by changing to a supermarket I had perceived as more expensive.
2. We had friends over and made homemade pizzas and played Scrabble, old school style.
3. I dropped some herbs off at my local Grow Free cart and brought home oranges, lemons and apples. Free!!
4. Bringing my own coffee to work as usual. I use coffee bags, which I buy for $7 a box of 28 (25 cents each). Coffee pods at my office cost $1.50 (raising money for the social club) and a coffee out costs $4 – so I’m saving a lot. Plus unlike coffee pods, the bags are biodegradable and taste good. I used to buy a coffee every day – unhealthy (lots of calories) and cost me $20 a week. People sometimes say that buying coffee out doesn’t make you broke. It doesn’t make you rich.
5. My daughter and I went to see Matilda, with free tickets given to us as a gift. The outing cost us $12 – parking and some chocolate frogs from the specialty chocolate shop on the way home.


Mand01 July 17, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Not 99% of the market. About 90% – finger slip


Nalani July 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

1. Went to the zoo on Sunday. Parked free in the neighborhood instead of the paid lot and walked.
2. Then walked a mile from the zoo to a restaurant for which we had a gift card. It was given to us when we got married, which was 5 years ago, and we finally used it. It’s for a place we wouldn’t usually go to and it was a nice treat with only tip coming out of pocket. The long walk back to the car made us feel better about polishing off dessert.
3. After the zoo, we went to the Humane Society to look at cats. Our cat passed away earlier this year. Our cat was almost 19 and I’m still not sure if I am emotionally ready for another but going to look was helpful. Looking is free and adopting instead of shopping is the way to go.
4. Ate our leftovers from lunch for breakfast this morning
5. Today was hubby’s day off but work called to see if would be willing to come in. He’ll get paid time and a half for coming in on his day off.


Marilyn July 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Yes, “adopting instead of shopping” (I like that phrase).


Valerie July 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm

I love that free HBO trick! We never had free HBO, so it doesn’t work for me….rats!
Every paycheck we put some money in a jar, the restaurant jar, so once in a while we go out and splurge while keeping the budget on track. The change goes back in the jar.
I cleaned out the linen armoire, which was a total mess, everything is tidy and I will be donating pillow cases and a flat sheet plus odds and ends that we no longer needed and a couple of boxes of books.
We are rearranging the spare bedroom so I can have a home office using the furniture we already have. I will be able to work from home a couple of times a week cutting transit costs and wardrobe costs as well! Woohoo!
The berries are ripe and cheap and I started making freezer jam….yummy!
I did not book a trip on the space shuttle and did not buy a 24k Rolls Royce!


A. Marie July 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm

(1) +1 to Nalani on the Humane Society visit and the adoption view in general. The cat we adopted from our HS 2.5 years ago is one of the major joys of DH’s existence.

(2) DH found a $1 bill on the street last week, and there’s been a steady supply of pennies.

(3) Found a huge bag of abandoned NY State deposit containers on the floor of the container return area at our local Wegmans Saturday morning. Another $2.50 into the till.

(4) Garden report: Can’t keep up with the snow peas; made my first jar of refrigerator pickles with the cucumbers and dill last week; and the tomatoes and peppers are so close they’re teasing us!

(5) Went to the Sunday flea market at our Regional Market, for the first time in several years. DH enjoyed the visit, and I found a 10″ cast iron lid for a #8 cast iron pan in good shape for $10. Another addition to my “doomerware” collection!


A. Marie July 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Sorry, that lid should have been 10.25″. Don’t want anyone thinking I don’t know my doomerware. (So called because the cast iron collection is what I expect to be using over an open fire once civilization collapses–which may not be that far off, by the look of things in general.)


KJD509 July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Bahaha, “doomerware!” I love that. We live in an area where there really are a shocking number of preppers – the type who have bought off-grid property and stockpiled food and other supplies – and our 1953 house has a cement-walled basement room in which we found trunks full of crackers and dried up, unusable sterno containers when we bought the house from the original owners 12 years ago. So when I tell the kids the pantry and our cast iron cooking pots are for the nuclear winter, they’re never quite sure whether I’m joking.

These days, I’m less sure myself. . .


Stephanie July 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

I lived in a housing coop back in the late 70’s, which had dusty boxes of 50’s or 60’s “survival crackers” in the basement. Out of curiosity, we tried them. They were very dry but almost edible.


Marcia July 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm

I think those were from the “civil defense” days which really do go back to the 50’s. We had those charming drills where we pretended we could survive a nuclear attack by putting our forearms over our eyes and curling up under our wooden desks. Maybe the bodies would have at least been in alphabetical order–most the the teachers’ seating arrangements were!

Teresa July 18, 2017 at 5:46 am

A Marie – Rochester area, by any chance? The references to Wegmans, Humane Society, Regional Market make me think so 🙂


A. Marie July 18, 2017 at 9:26 am

The next city east, Teresa (the one with the overinflated dome and university basketball team to match). And the shelter here where we got our cat is officially the Humane Association, although everybody calls it the Humane Society anyway.

Also, I just want to assure everyone I’m not hoarding any ancient tins of Civil Defense biscuits. I remember those too, Marcia (in fact, I remember someone who did hoard them), but my prepping is confined to the doomerware collection, a reasonable number of canned goods, and about 20 well-rotated gallons of water. Given my city’s century-old water system, it’s good to have the water on hand in case of a main break anyway.


Amy K. July 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Now that the dust has settled from our big move, we’re pleased with our savings. We have our nest egg money tucked away, our monthly expenses are significantly less, we got stacked discounts by paying for a year of taekwondo for our kids in a lump sum. Our car insurance also went from about $2,000 to $400. I pared down belongings and brought things to Goodwill as well, things I was unable to sell. I like a serene, organized, minimal space too. I did need a coasters for my coffee table, and was able to find two large ones I liked at the second hand store. Spent less than $2.00. Made a vow to cook more with dried beans. I love beans, and I know dried is so cheap, and makes less recycling for me to dispose of. I do miss being able to put recycling on the curb. I have to drive it to a drop off location. So now I’m scouting places to buy the food and goods we want and need without packaging, or as little as possible…and as frugally as I can.


Roberta July 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

It took me a while to get used to cooking dried beans instead of using canned, but once you get used to the idea it’s not hard. It really helps to make a menu for the week, so you’re not looking at hard beans a half hour before dinner!


Amy July 18, 2017 at 7:31 am

Noted! 🙂 I’ve got a crockpot full of split pea soup cooking away and it smells wonderful. Looking forward to dinnertime tonight. <3


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 8:34 am

Good job with all the savings!
I use more dried, frozen and fresh foods than I do canned foods. I hate having to recycle cans.
We don’t have curb side recycling either, since we live out in the country, so everything has to be tossed into brown paper bags and taken to the recycling station for me too. Thankfully there’s one in the town where I work, but I have to plan my trips out.


Kim in Maryland July 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm

1. The James Taylor/ Bonnie Raitt concert Friday night was wonderful. We went for free with husband’s company tickets. Parking in the area averages $36 according to Nationals Park website. We found an on street spot which cost us only $6! No concert T-shirts or overpriced concessions were purchased.
2. Amazon sales are slow this time of year so taking the time to list things that I’ve bought recently. Did sell DVD over the weekend.
3. Listing some items on FB yardsale group. Hopefully stuff out, $ in.
4. Floated in pool yesterday and read book I already had. We got our pool originally from a fellow freecycler. Hung 4 loads of laundry to dry while I relaxed in pool. )
5. Redoing the landscaping on the far side of our house. Putting in new hydrangeas to replace the ones which had suffered and died after a few rough winters. They were 20 years old. I bought 3 for a total of $18, 1 at Aldi and 2 markdowned at Lowe’s. Adding a few perennials also bought at Lowe’s, that were markdowned to $3. Pulling out the overgrown mess that was there equals free exercise!


Liz B. July 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Ooooo!! Nice catch on the $3 hydrangeas! I wonder if my local Lowes has marked any down yet…I love hydrangeas!


Shelagh July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

“Food cart pod”?! I love living in small town Ontario, but those 3 words may be enough to make me uproot. Like, in time for tonight’s dinner….


Jill A July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

1. One of my daughters is moving out in a month. I went through and gave her towels and some excess kitchen stuff I’ve been holding onto for her. I had also picked up a beautiful vintage green glass bowl that I gave her. She was very happy. We also picked up a few things for her at garage sales.
2. I’m in need of more shorts. I found a nice pair at a garage sale for $3. I also found a small make up bag for $1 to use when we go on vacation
3. My husband sorted through some tools that were my Dad’s to make up tool kits for our daughters. They won’t have to buy them and they also will have a small piece of my Dad.
4. My Mom gave me an outdoor umbrella that she isn’t using. I just have to pick it up.
5. We skipped eating out this past weekend. We did take the kids to the cheap movie theater. We visited friends and my mother.


Stephanie July 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm

!. I bought 3 double packages of extremely inexpensive London broil steaks ($1.67/pound), learned how to cook them, and have been eating them all summer. Yesterday we had homemade Philly cheese steak sandwiches on multi grain rolls with sautéed peppers and onions with a hint of balsamic vinegar.
2. I’ve been sharing things we no longer need on our local Freecycle group. I was also grateful to receive a nice leaf blower from the group. While we could hold on to everything forever, and then have one massive yard sale, in my area, we’d make very little money. I like giving stuff away incrementally to people who will actually appreciate it.
3. I am still trying to grow vegetables on my deck. Today we had some of the collards and some red lettuce. The tomato plants are coming along.
4. A friend shared a treasure trove of her Cooks Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines. I am really enjoying reading them out on our deck before I give them back to her. I’m going to teach her how to make homemade pasta.
5. Also in the category of free entertainment, I am continuing a cross stitch project I started a few months ago. It is a gift to our younger daughter.


tonya July 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

1) Stayed home today. Caught up on laundry and made progress on my library book for book club.
2) Meal planned for the week.
3) Wrote a card for a friend’s son’s high school graduation. Enclosed a pizza chain gift card- experiential gifts, am I right?!
4) Used Ibotta for several items I would have bought regardless. They almost always have rebates on eggs, bread, milk and bananas.
5) My son and his friend walked to the gym. For $10/month, it’s been cheap entertainment for them this summer.


BJS July 17, 2017 at 3:13 pm

1. My husband’s aunt and uncle took my kids for the weekend so we got a taste of being empty-nesters. I spent a lot of the weekend doing yardwork … I think I pulled approximately 1289 weeds. To keep myself motivated I kept thinking, “I’m not paying someone to do this; I’m not paying someone to do this.” It was only moderately effective!

2. Over the weekend my husband and I talked a lot about retirement plans. He crunched some numbers, and it turns out he’ll probably be able to retire a little earlier than he thought he would. That made him happy, which made me happy. More motivation to be frugal.

3. Saved almost $50 on the energy savings day from our electric company last week. We’ve never reached that amount before so I was really happy. (Cindy in the South, I was thinking about how what I saved would almost cover your average electric bill – I’m jealous!)

4. Found strawberries at the back of my refrigerator and moved them to the front; I know they don’t last too long.

5. Made plans to see two dear friends for lunch one day this week. That’s not frugal, but I realized I have a gift card to the restaurant that one of them chose. I can’t wait to see them. (My gift cards are a mess and I’ve had organizing them on my list of things to do for too long.)


Cindy in the South I July 18, 2017 at 5:12 am

Lol…My kids are grown and it is just me.


Alison July 17, 2017 at 3:33 pm

1. Sold two pairs of Merrill shorts on a FB clothing sale group, got $35 for the two of them. The buyer was very pleased, and so was I! Motivated now to post more things I no longer wear.
2. Paid for groceries with some airmiles cash, $40 worth.
3. Am in the midst of applying for my pension, and registering for health benefits. Was very pleasantly surprised to find out that my pension plan subsidies the cost of our provincial medical insurance. Much cheaper for DH and I if I register through them.
4. Went for a long walk downtown today for exercise, stopped at pub for a rest and drink. The happy hour menu had just come out, and was very tempting, but we had our drinks and left.
5. DH is unplugging the drain in the shower in our rental suite, no plumber needed here!


Bettypants July 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm

I am a huge fan of the black sharpie to touch up scratches. I fixed two wood wall hangings last week that way.

1. Bought a pair of Nike shoes for my son at a garage sale for $3. He did not care for them, so I listed them on ebay for $25 and they sold the next day. I also sold a lace shirt for $10, a garage sale freebie.

2. Found a set of Noritake china with a pattern that I adored. It feels sturdy like Corelle, not thin and delicate, so I decided to use it as our everyday dinnerware. Paid $20 for two big boxes, which totaled close to 100 pieces. Boxed up the dinnerware I was using and sold it on CL . This fits in our dishwasher better and it matches the pink Melamine dishes I collect.

3. I have been on the lookout for a round coffee table, and lucked out when one was posted for free. It turned out to be an antique oak table they had cut down. It was too low for our furniture, so we raised it up a bit with some wood and it’s just perfect now.

4. My coworker had given me a couple gallons of paint last year, which I mixed together to create a soft gray. I painted the dining room and living room of our old house which we sold, then used the last gallon to paint the bathroom and kitchen of our new house this week.

5. Bought a 4′ x 6′ rug for $5 from one of the FB boards. I was pretty sure it would be a thick wool rug, and it was. It was also covered in dog (or cat?) fur, which I had not expected. Considering the price, I should have known. I vacuumed the heck out of it, and it’s exactly what the hallway needed.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 17, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I’m so envious of your affordable food carts! I love the food truck scene but in our area they’re always beyond walking distance and overpriced. I love those little hole-in-the-wall food finds. 🙂

This week.

1. I cooked a batch of homemade yogurt as well as butter pecan granola.

2. I got a glass cake stand at the thrift store for $12. In an effort to show it off, I made homemade coconut cream pie cupcakes. Mmmmm.

3. I put together a video for my blog this weekend, which was about frugal DIYs. So it’s like, spreading the frugal love, y’know?

4. I based this week’s menu mostly on staples in our pantry, so our grocery bill wasn’t *as* disastrous.

5. I brought in some extra freelance work, which hopefully means I can clear $150+ a month in guaranteed side hustle money. Woop woop!


Roberta July 18, 2017 at 6:22 am

I have a glass dome cake stand that I use all the time for leftover baked goods. For example, if I make muffins for breakfast I put the leftovers there instead of putting the leftovers in a plastic bag. I really like your cupcakes idea, though!


Betty Winslow July 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

1. Something I do for fun is participate in our library’s Cookbook Club. We are assigned a book or an author (which is then checked out from the library) and pick a recipe or two to make for our meeting. We bring the food to the library meeting room, eat, and discuss the book: did we follow the recipe, was it easy to make, would we buy the book, etc. It’s a fun way to eat out! This month I chose to make a big pan of mac and cheese, which used up an extra book of spiral pasta, some milk, and several bags of shredded cheese from my last shopping binge. However, so did 3 other people. 🙁 But my daughter and her roommates were happy to take the leftovers off my hands! And I talked the facilitator into using an online potluck sign-up for the future.
2. Found a nickel and a hair elastic.
3. My weekend entertainment was reading the rest of a series I’ve been working on, as well as the latest Carrie Vaughn, and having my younger brother and his wife over for lunch after church.
4. Sorted out some more clothing that I don’t/can’t wear, to sell on FB, plus relisted a bunch of things.
5. Unplugged the upstairs sink again with my handy dandy plastic snake.


Bettypants July 18, 2017 at 3:05 am

Oh my, your cookbook club is such a fun idea!


Jennifer July 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

1. I got my youngest daughter some cute sanuk flip flops about a month ago. I only paid $1 for them at a yardsale. I was disappointed that the straps were looking kinda dingy even after cleaning them. I painted the straps with some white craft paint that doesn’t wash off easily and they look brand new. They look good enough for her to wear to school. Shoe polish would have worked but use what you have, right?
2. I mended my youngest daughter’s strap on her sundress( another yardsale find). A small peice of plastic had broken off that allows the strap to be adjustable. I simply removed the one from the other side and fixed them in a permanent position. I also took in the waist on my middle daughter’s skirt. I noticed while she was doing a program at vacation bible school that she kept tugging at it to keep it up on her waist. Good thing I noticed so she wouldn’t have trouble with this at school.
3. Tonight, I made a delicious meatloaf out of end prices of bread from the freezer, reduced ground beef that I had defrosted, dollar tree spices, and two eggs from my chickens. I didn’t use all the ground beef in the meatloaf so I browned that and froze it for a future meal.
4. My kids and I have been home for a few days so we are getting less baths and wearing the same clothes.
5. I don’t have a lot of groceries so we have been eating whatever we have on hand. For lunch today was pizza made on toasted bread slices doctored up with marinara, pepperoni, bacon prices and cheese. Tomorrow, it’s back to work so I will pick up my Kroger freebie of private selection BBQ sauce.


Lindsey July 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

1. The garden is in full swing so between that and the freezer, we are in week 3 of buying nothing at the grocery store except milk and watermelon.
2. Every evening for the last 10 days I have harvested and processed something for the larder; if I do it little by little I don’t get as exhausted and dread doing it. I have either canned, frozen or dehydrated: pak choi, scallions, basil, dill, cukes and carrots.
3. Made four jars of cherry butter (from cherries I’d put in the freezer when we saw them on sale for less than a dollar a pound—this week they are $3.99 a pound!) for Christmas gifts, plus one jar more for us. The recipe contains only about a teaspoon of sugar a pint jar and no pectin, so healthy, too.
4. Took a sack of books to the non-profit used book store and received a tax receipt.
5. Thankfully accepted 10 huge salmon spring rolls from neighbor. In exchange, gave her 5 pounds of halibut we had been given by a friend who fishes but doesn’t like fish. (He likes my bread, though, so I make him a loaf of savory and a loaf of sweet bread nearly every week. He is a retired widower and I believe he lives off of McDonalds.) Spring roll lady (a retired widow) didn’t expect something in exchange, as I already give her lots of our garden produce because she is too elderly to garden anymore, but the fisherman is salmon fishing this week so I want to make room in the freezer. I have tried to get spring roll lady and fisherman together but so far over two dinners no sparks. It is frustrating to be an unsuccessful matchmaker…

Frugal fail: I keep salt in a red topped jar and sugar in a blue topped jar, near my stove. I had both opened and ended up switching the lids. Made a sweet Asian chicken dish only it ended up being an inedible salt chicken dish. I even tried washing the salt off so I could at least salvage the chicken, but it was hopelessly salty. The jars now have identifying labels on the sides of each jar.


BJS July 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm

5. Made me laugh! I would so love to be a matchmaker. Keep us posted as to whether anything develops between them!
p.s. I often think of your comment from a while back about doing one obnoxious task per day. That was motivating for me. Do you still do that?


Kathleen in Kansas July 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm

I would really love to have the recipe for cherry butter! We were recently given 15 bags (the zip top bags like grapes come in) and we froze a huge bag full, and dried several trays for later. My sweetie would like butter. Thanking you in advance!


Shelia July 18, 2017 at 5:18 am

I second the recipe request, please!!! My husband’s birthday is the end of the month and that would make a glorious gift for him!!! Thank you!!!


Jen July 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

I’ll third the recipe request! Especially with it being low in sugar!


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

#5 Just something to think about on the matchmaker thing: Speaking from the perspective of a Senior female, who has been married twice and going on 33 years to the second husband – some older people choose not to get married again. They may be quite happy not having to adjust their lifestyle to someone else’s liking, nor having to answer for how and on what they spend their time and money.
My brother is divorced and middle aged now and he told me something that has stuck with me, “Just because I’m along, doesn’t mean I’m lonely.”
Some widowers develop a comfortable lifestyle, hobbies and a circle of friends that keep them quite happy.
So don’t feel like you’ve failed. They might be perfectly happy without a mate at their age.


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 10:54 am

That supposed to say, “Just because I’m alone…”
I’m falling down on proper editing. :-/


cathy July 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm

1. Ran into a friend when we were both on our way home. Stopped at their house to chat and was sent home with lemon balm that had volunteered in their yard (1 gal pot), several starts of white geranium (pelargonium), and a bag of plums from their tree.
2. A rain storm just blew through. Just enough rain to water my containers and give a boost to the xeriscaped front yard. Also cooled down enough to turn off the AC and open up the house early.
3. It’s been crazy hot, day after day of 100+ degrees. I’m trying to be more active, but there are days it’s too hot to work in the garden (unless I’m out there by 6 or 7am) or take a walk. Instead, I’ve been walking laps in our basement. Nice and cool, and it only takes about 30 min to get in 5000 steps.
4. Reading tons of library books: mysteries, garden books, and a few frugal ones. Currently enjoying The Cheapskate Next Door by Jeff Yeager.
5. Watching plenty of PBS including the latest episode of Grantchester. I think they’ll have to rename it The Naughty Vicar 🙂 .


Bee July 18, 2017 at 5:28 am

I have Jeff Yeager’s Cheapskate book on my night table. After 25 years of practicing frugality myself, I haven’t learned anything new. However, I have laughed a lot. He is a funny guy, and it is nice to know I am not alone in the world.


cathy July 18, 2017 at 10:31 am

Ditto. And frugal reads are always satisfyingly reinforcing.


Chris July 17, 2017 at 5:45 pm

1. Our Aldis reopened after an overhaul – used the $5 off a $30 purchase coupon.
2. Sent our grandson a zulilly duplo set and had a 45 minute facetime conversation where he got great laughs out of using the excavator to knock over the phone-nothing like cheap entertainment for a nearly 2 year old and his grandma
3. Began a list of things to do/eat when said grandson and parents come to visit in August – concentrating on free/inexpensive things to do. A neighbor who is moving gave me her pack and play and a baby toilet for his use while they are here.
4. Accepted another day of work this week – $$ in my pocket.
5. Turned in paper work for a flexible, very part time job at my church – retirement?? Let’s call it 2 part time jobs and a small online resale business!


Madeline July 17, 2017 at 6:08 pm

1. Catching up on lots of free TV series I’ve missed on netflix. Yes,we do pay for netflix but no cable services at all. Just STARTING Game of Thrones (I know I am many years behind!!!!)

2. Scheduled FREE class at library to learn how to download books to read onto my tablet and also how to access lots of other freebies.

3. Bought a large container of vinegar at our big box store for $2.00 .This is my main housecleaning agent. CHEAP! Healthier than chemicals.

4. Still eating lots of beans,grains,rice, and fruits/veggies,potatoes and sweet potatoes.Healthier than meat and our grocery bill is less.

5. Treating our house and yard and pool like our own private resort lately and enjoying just being here..

6.I”m meeting girlfriends for our bi weekly card game at a friend’s apartment clubhouse where they provide FREE keurig coffee!!! And one friend is bringing PIE. We might even play cards.


Adriana @MoneyJourney July 17, 2017 at 10:49 pm

Last week we went on a very frugal 1 day trip to the mountains and it cost us less than $50. I packed sandwiches and snacks for lunch and the only other cost was actually driving there. Hurray for frugal Sunday fun!


Lauren July 18, 2017 at 12:45 am

1. We need new blinds in our house. The original estimate was 700 euro! We had a good rapport with the saleswoman and she let us know that there is a 50% off sale online if we order and install the blinds ourselves. Husband is confident he can put them up, and the saleswoman left us a quote with the measurements conveniently labeled so quite a bit of savings there.
2. I am working at a restaurant and a perk of the job is that I get a free meal each day. By carefully packing fruit and a few treats and choosing filling entrees to get me through the shifts, our grocery bill has gone to about half. I also have a lot less time to snack 😉
3. My sister in law kindly helped style my hair for a wedding this weekend. This saved me from a costly hair appointment. I did splurge and get my makeup professionally done, but I asked for an easier natural look and so she charged me a lower price.
4. Sort of frugal- since I’ve gone back to work my pup has been frustrated with increased time alone (my mother in law checks on her a couple times a day and lets her out but I’ve been home pretty full time with her for nearly a year now so it’s still a big change) and had started chewing on my shoes and things in the house… I bought some pigs ears and super chewy treats and throw her one as I’m leaving in the mornings. So far the special treats have kept her busy enough that we haven’t had any chewing incidents. Pig ears are much cheaper than a damaged house!
5. The hotel for the wedding also hosts conferences and the staff were cleaning up after a morning event when we were checking out. We asked if we could have some of the snacks and they let us take a whole package of mini chocolate bars that had only been opened! My husband was very happy to pack those free treats in his lunches this week.


Tracy July 18, 2017 at 4:27 am

1. Back from a wonderful vacation (Montana/Wyoming) that was not frugal but we did stay with family for half of the nights and pack breakfasts and lunches 2 of the 3 days we were in Yellowstone. Splurged on an AMAZING trail ride in the Shoshone National Forest with views to die for. And drove the incredible Beartooth Highway a highlight of our trip and FREE. All trip expenses already paid or will be paid on payday Thursday.
2. Took bus to & from work yesterday and took breakfast and lunch with me.
3. Made a simple dinner at home last night even though exhausted from work.
4. Celebrated son’s 21st birthday with a dinner party in our back yard on the FREE table son & I found while out for a walk, he reassembled and has sanded and put 4 coats of varathane on and it’s exactly what I wanted!
5. Wore a thrifted dress and shoes to work yesterday and wearing another thrifted dress today!


Bee July 18, 2017 at 5:38 am

Montana is amazing! We took a family vacation there many years ago. Those memories are priceless.


Bethc July 29, 2017 at 6:45 am

Did you go to Glacier National Park? So gorgeous there, and there are great free concerts and a wonderful farmer’s market in the nearby town of Whitefish.


Cindy in the South I July 18, 2017 at 4:59 am

I do not blame you a bit for not taking an “official” vacation. Besides, you live close enough to the beach for a great day trip, and close enough to mountains for great day trips also. My frugal five are: (1) after carefully polling expertise (facebook friends) about my air conditioner/window unit heater sparks and pop, I plugged it in slowly and turned it on. It worked beautifully. That saved $500…whew. I was advised to not plug and unplug a 220 again. I will be heeding that advice. (2) I cut my sponges in half. (3) I ate Tom Yum soup that was given to me. (4) I am wearing thrifted clothes, using my $20 flip phone with my cheap prepaid plan, the new power bill was $40 (which is amazing in the deep South but I was at the hospital a lot with kinfolk this month, and eating cottage cheese that was given to me along with my sandwich I made for lunch…..Like Katy said about the small Goodwill donation, it is the little, consistent things that add up. In my case, it is the little consistent things that are keeping my head above water. I am not necessarily getting “ahead”, but I am not falling behind. This year, I am counting that as a win.


Teresa July 18, 2017 at 6:05 am

1 – Had a yard sale last weekend which brought in almost $300.
2 -Have donated leftovers to Goodwill, local library, and craft store that supports senior programs, and got tax receipts.
3- I was too busy to cook dinner – instead of ordering take-out, I asked husband to cook & since he is the more frugal/healthier cook we had a nice fish/quinoa/sauteed greens dinner.
4- I bought a Groupon for chimney cleaning, saving about $50.
5 – I returned cans to a local business that offers 6¢ instead of 5¢


Bee July 18, 2017 at 6:08 am

This past week was not particularly frugal. I met my son at the 1/2 way point on the Appalachian Trail. He has hiked over 1000 miles! He looked great and is really enjoying his adventure. He did need a few things which I happily bought for him. However, I still managed to do a few things to save money:
1) When booking the flight from Florida to Virginia, I booked on Southwest. Not only was it the least expensive, my bags flew free and I earned loyality points. Best of all, I was also able to change my flight when his schedule changed. There were no fees or additional charges.
2) I stayed with my cousin who is also a hiker. He and my son talked for hours about packs, food and strategy. My cousin will be hiking the AT next year, and my son will join him for the first couple of days of his journey.
3) My son, cousin, and I took snacks and water from home when we were out and about. We also ate at home for most meals. However, I did buy lunch for all of us.
4) I brought a library book with me to read on the plane and before bed, A Man Called Ove. It was recommended by another NCA reader — Pattilou I think. It is a lovely story.
5) I am now home and life is back to normal. I am eating leftovers, drinking water, drinking home brewed coffee.


Cindy in the South I July 18, 2017 at 7:19 am

Sounds like a lovely trip to see your son and cousin!


BJS July 18, 2017 at 8:04 am

Yay, Bee! A wonderful and much-anticipated (by me) update! I imagine it was like the angels were singing when you and he saw each other for the first time. And I was so happy to read that he’s enjoying it!


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 11:59 am

What an awesome experience for your son. That trail is beautiful and it’s so nice that you got to see him and spend time with family, too!!


janine July 18, 2017 at 6:21 am

This has not been a very frugal summer and I had to think hard to come up with some frugal activities but here goes!
1. Hanging flower basket from expensive florist died and husband replaced them for about 1/3 the price. As it happens, I like these flowers better.
2. Clerk at Walgreens checked my affinity account and announced that I had a $5 balance! $5 unexpectedly off my bill was a nice surprise. She also gave me a coupon for extra “points.”
3. RAIN! Much needed, appreciated and free!
4. A day trip to an interstate park covered by our lifetime senior national park passes. (We paid $10 a few years ago.) Crowded, but beautiful scenery and swimming. Hot Sundays = large crowds. *
5. Icies are my summer indulgence. A fast food chain has them for $1.00 including large size.
* I think there is still time to get these passes but they are expected to go up substantially in price. They are a great deal, so if you are eligible, please look into them soon.


cathy July 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

My husband picked up his Lifetime senior pass earlier this year (you have to be 62 or older). The price will go up from $10 to $80 beginning August 28. (They will begin selling an Annual Senior Pass for $20 at the same time.) According to the gov website, if you can’t pick up a pass at a park, you can order online. All applications postmarked up through August 27 will be the $10 price, though it can take several weeks to get the pass. As I recall, it’s an interagency pass so if people have a National Park Service or BLM or National Forest Service office near them, any or all might sell the pass. (Definitely check in advance to see if I’m remembering that correctly.)


Roberta July 18, 2017 at 6:38 am

1. We celebrated my birthday this weekend by going bowling at the early time ($5 for two games and shoe rental), then home for lunch, then out to a minor league baseball game with my parents. My dad is a veteran, so we got discount tickets. We had a great time together.
2. My poor husband took me at my word this year, and no one gave me a gift for my birthday. His mother would have been ashamed, but it was exactly what I wanted! No clutter, and I don’t need anything.
3. Sunday we sold the stand-alone window seat my husband made for my daughter years ago. Some other little girls will have a sturdy spot for reading and dreaming. Yay Craigslist!
4. I took my daughter shopping at Goodwill for some back-to-school clothes, to refresh her wardrobe and accommodate things she’s grown out of. Next time we will be bringing a friend as well, as another girl was there with her friend and it looked like the girls were having fun. Plus, it will spare my friend from some back-to-school purchases.
5. No Lear jet this week.


Beth July 18, 2017 at 7:34 am

I have a trip coming up, and it’s going to be pretty long. I’m trying to prep ahead of time so I can spend as little money as possible.

1. Have been thrifting for the past few months specifically for dressier clothes (this is a church conference trip, so I’ll need dressier outfits). I found everything I needed for rock-bottom prices, and I didn’t buy too much. Plus, I’ll be able to wear the clothes to church when I get back because most of the items can be dressed up or down.
2. Checked with the event organizer to see if the hotels we’re staying in have refrigerators. One doesn’t (the first 5 nights) and the second one does (the last 3 nights). So, I’m planning on bringing mostly snacks that don’t require refrigeration and possibly investing in a small cooler that I can stock with ice from the ice machine. I’m still thinking on this.
4. I’ve mended a few clothing items in preparation for the trip.
5. ???


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

#2 – Some tips if you decide on the cooler: You can get some one gallon zip lock bags to put that ice in, then poor out the water and refresh the ice each evening. Also, you might see if you can find a small cooler at the Goodwill store. I found a a large, insulated Trader Joe’s bag at the GW outlet store very cheap (less than a dollar if I remember correctly), it just needed to be cleaned.


ouvickie July 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

1) I made BBQ ribs in the crockpot on Sunday and baked potatoes to go along with them. We’re eating the leftovers for dinner until they are gone.
2) I just finished up an awesome audiobook about a girl’s championship college basketball team, during the depression. The Dust Bowl Girls is a true story written by the great niece of the girl’s basketball coach, Sam Babb, for Oklahoma Presbyterian Girl’s College in Durant, Oklahoma. It’s a great story that gives bios of the girls who played, the Coach and the College President and his family. Great book!
3) My HSA account came in handy when I ended up in the ER Sunday, due to a severe kidney infection. I think I passed a kidney stone Saturday night – looong night! I called the Urgent Care clinic first, but they told me I’d need a CT scan. Having to go to the ER is not frugal, but that Health Savings Account (HSA) is a lifesaver, since the money is taken before tax and placed directly into the account from my paycheck. I don’t miss it and it keeps me from having to use my regular bank account.
4) I worked from home yesterday, but ran to the DG to get a few staple items needed for the house. I decided to fill-up the car with fuel. My neighborhood convenience store still has fuel for $2.09 per gallon. I’ve heard if the price goes up it usually happens on Wednesdays. This should last me all week.
5) I cut one of my fingers yesterday, on the top, around a capillary. It was bleeding profusely. Once I got the bleeding staunched I found a roll of sticky gauze bandages that the hospital used on my husband last Fall. I promptly wrapped that around my finger and it held really well. Anytime either of us ends up in the hospital for a stay, I always keep the stuff they charge us for.
I use a small round tub from one of my stays, a few years back, to wash my dishes in. I paid for it, so I might as well make good use of it all!


KJD509 July 18, 2017 at 8:12 am

1) Siblings wanted to go along to pick up littlest at summer camp this weekend, which meant taking the big car. I opted to stay home so they could take the smaller, more efficient one instead. Made me sad, as this is the last year we’ll have a child at that beloved summer camp, but a) nobody needs to see mama blubbering and b) big car has blown two critical sensors, we learned Monday, and likely wouldn’t have survived the whole trip. Lucky and frugal all at once.
2) Having 3 adult (or near-adult) kids home this summer means extra food, water, and electricity costs. . . but it also means more people to take advantage of sales with item limits. Three of them went to Safeway last week for cheap milk and pork shoulders, and everybody has made a trip this week for limit-2 on-sale butter. Good thing, too, because. . .
3) Decided it was worth heating up the house to make homemade bread. Wow, I had forgotten how easy and cheap that is (even counting all the butter, which they slather luxuriously on hot bread to watch it melt). Think I’ll make some more today while I work from home . . .
4) Which I’m doing because I have a doctor’s appt for a suspected UTI, ugh. Called the advice nurse last night in hopes of getting antibiotics prescribed over the phone, but she pronounced my symptoms too advanced and referred me to the ER. We have a $150 ER copay and this is not my first UTI, so I sucked down a gallon of cranberry juice overnight and will pay my $15 copay this morning to see my regular doc. Not the way I’d do it for a heart attack or something, but sheesh – $150 for the privilege of sitting in the ER waiting room for hours while actual emergencies are tended to? No thanks. We’re close enough to the hospital to hear sirens and helicopters arriving, and based on last night’s volume I’d STILL be waiting to be seen.
5) Littlest is happily spending her days this week and next at a math day camp run by the school district. I was a little unhappy about the $80/week price tag, but she gets breakfast, lunch, and snack, is busy and engaged for 5 hours/day, gets to hang out with other kids who want to do math over the summer, and dozens of teenagers from the neighborhood are participating as counselors and tutors, so that adds up to frugal, I think.


Web Designing Company in Hyderabad July 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Montona is Awesome


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones July 20, 2017 at 6:01 pm

We had our “vacation” this year,which was driving 5 hours to visit my in-laws. We decided we just wanted to relax instead of going on a big excursion and the kids had fun playing their 45 year old board games (1979’s Titanic was one) and blowing bubbles in the back yard. My MIL spoiled us with dinner at Bob Evans, bought a few school clothes for the kids at Walmart, and sent us home with a full cooler and full cardboard box of food and drinks. Not bad!


Deenie July 26, 2017 at 3:23 pm

This week’s Frugal Five:
1. Camped instead of getting a hotel in Corpus Christi $20 instead of $250 for two nights
2. Cooked most of our meals or brought snacks from home $150 savings
3. Used a snapfish coupon to make small photo books for the grandchildren who stayed with us for a week earlier this month (saved about $35)
4. Shipped a package to a friend in NZ and used standard freight instead of priority ($20 savings)
5. Made tea at my desk today instead of paying at the cafeteria ($3 savings.)
That’s a good start!


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