Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 31, 2017 · 101 comments

  1. I worked yesterday and of course I brought my own food, drank the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. I sold a $12.50 vintage Game Boy game while at work, which had only set me back 25¢ or so. Everybody loves to hear stories where I make a $100 profit on a flipped item, but these small eBay sales are what add up in the long run.

  2. I watched the newest episode of Game of Thrones last night through my free HBO. All I do is call the cable company and tell them that I’m considering canceling my cable service. Then I let them offer me free HBO for a three month period, which I accept. I’ve done this a half dozen times at least. Because of their “bundling” deal, (and our minimal package) our cable costs us around $12 per month more than straight internet service would.

  3. My son and I spent a day hiking in the Columbia Gorge and although I had the money in my wallet to pay for parking, the paid area was full which forced me to find free parking a few minutes away. A great discovery which I’ll utilize for future trip. We used Yelp to find a cheap taco joint in Hood River and then spent the evening watching the kite and windsurfers on the Columbia River. The total cost of the day was around $20 including gasoline.

  4. I borrowed a novel from my neighbor, I walked my plastics recycling to the grocery store that accepts them, I walked a few items to the Buffalo Exchange consignment store and got $33 in store credit in for my efforts. They bought a book bag, a pair of new sneakers and a silk Betsy Johnson dress. The bag and sneakers were freebies and I paid by the pound for the dress, so maybe 50¢? I then walked over to Goodwill to donate the jeans that they didn’t want. And you know that I filled out a donation receipt for tax time!

  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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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

Sanda July 31, 2017 at 11:32 am

It is indeed the little savings that add up. We can make careful choices in how we spend or don’t spend everyday and it is those frugal choices that we make that add up to saved dollars every month. My frugal 5 are as follows:
1. Eating out of our refrigerator, garden, and pantry for almost all meals and snacks.
2. Brewed my own hot and iced tea and carried drinks with me when I went out.
3. Bought two summer tops and two cotton nightgowns on clearance. Otherwise everything I wear this summer is years old and most of that was thrifted.
4. I am using the washing water from fruit to be canned for watering how plants. The canning water is also used for watering outdoor containers.
5. I live in the desert and dust is a problem. I noticed the walls were dusty and thought I’d buy a Swiffer for the walls, but decided to shop at home instead and found that my dust mop with a removable micro fiber head (which can be washed out) works great for the job.


Angela July 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

I finally calculated the savings of my one day a week non car commute – $6.89 per round trip, and I get a long run in. Now looking for ways to ditch the car more often, which is difficult with a toddler.


Cindy in the South I July 31, 2017 at 11:43 am

1. I took leftover 39 cents a lb chicken and made chicken salad, which will be my lunch for the week. Yes, I will get tired of it, and no, I do not care. I then took the bones and leftover chicken, from the original leftovers, tossed in spices, a 50 cent can of tomatoes with green chilies, another 50 cent can of carrots, leftover fresh okra, a contain full of pinto beans I had cooked from dried pintos, crossed my fingers and cooked it together for soup. It is ok. That will be my supper for the week. I estimate that the whole pot cost me waay under $2.00.
2. I attended a free CLE seminar on Capital Murder. It was mandatory for work, but I did not have to pay for it.
3. I went to the Dollar Tree in the town where the seminar was being held and did not have to spend extra on gas. I purchased reading glasses, tea, and wrinkle release spray after the seminar. These items were on my list, so I was happy to get them.
4. I went to Dollar General on Saturday and using the $5 off $25 coupon, purchased some items for my son that he had requested.
5. My aunt requested that my cousin and I help her pack up her house as she is moving. So, on Saturday, I drove an hour and a half, did as requested, and she treated us to a lunch at Outback. Of course I selected the $9.99 special, and made it last two meals…win/win. It may not have been my money, but I do not want to waste anyone’s money. I seldom eat out, so this was a treat. It was also good to visit with relatives.


Cindy in the South I July 31, 2017 at 11:44 am



Leslie W July 31, 2017 at 11:44 am

1. I made from scratch spaghetti sauce from the over abundance of very ugly tomatoes we had.
2. Found three used paperbacks that I wanted to read at my local thrift store that will be utilized for “pool reading” (these will eventually be damaged to a certain extent by my wet swimsuit, but at least I didn’t buy them new!).
3. Took advantage of a great sale and coupons to stock up on my dog’s senior diet food.
4. Flash froze a huge amount of jalapenos since our garden is producing like crazy.
5. Dog sitting my adult daughter’s dog while she’s on vacation with her Dad. Frugal for her, and happy for her pup who would MUCH rather get spoiled at our house and romp with our dog than spend a week in boarding. Plus, I miss that little rapscallion. Winners all around!


Bee July 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Although I occasionally check out library books, I read primarily thrifted paperbacks in the summer too. We spend a good deal of time outdoors, and I do not want to damage someone else’s book. Best of all, I can pass them on to someone else when done or donate them to the library sale. Wins all around.


Gina August 1, 2017 at 4:47 am

Aww, I love how you love babysitting your granddog! My 10 year old was just telling me yesterday during our walk with our dogs that when he older he will come visit me often with his own dogs. I love the sentiment!


Leslie W August 2, 2017 at 8:04 am

Technically, I guess he is “my dog”. We adopted him when my daughter was still a minor so she couldn’t sign the adoption agreement. She was still living with me at the time. When I got married and moved to another town, I took our more senior pup, and he stayed with my daughter. She wanted the canine companionship, they are very bonded and my older dog is kind of enjoying her only dog status. Fortunately they both love hanging out together when these visits happen. Since my daughter is a somewhat broke 20 something, I still take full financial responsibility for him. I don’t want him eating crap food or important healthcare issues, should they arise, to be held off due to finances.


A. Marie July 31, 2017 at 11:45 am

(1) An advantage of telecommuting: No need to drink crappy coffee at work. I can enjoy the Equal Exchange home brew we regularly serve. (I get whichever EE blend is on sale at my local food coop. Saves one agonizing decision about whether a food staple is good for the planet, good for the growers, etc.)

(2) A rite of summer that I hadn’t engaged in for a few years: I brewed a gallon of delicious sun tea a couple of days ago, and am making an effort to substitute the tea for my mild but persistent soda habit.

(3) Made a vat of minestrone with basil yesterday, to use up the veggie surplus in fridge and garden. Of course, this means that the vat is now jostling for space in the fridge with the gallon of sun tea. It’s always something…

(4) Found a nice little Wedgwood jasperware box with lid for $6 at our Regional Market flea market, as a birthday gift for my soon-to-be-visiting BFF from NYC. She visited the Wedgwood factory in England several years ago and got hooked on the jasperware.

(5) Finally, I’m as gobsmacked as everyone else by the continuing soap opera in D.C. I think that real life’s getting even weirder than Game of Thrones. (Of course, I’m not in the best position to say that, since I’ve never seen GoT. No television in the house, no Netflix, etc.)


Jennifer July 31, 2017 at 11:52 am

1. I had a yardsale this weekend. I was pretty disappointed that only one of my coffee tables sold and for only $30. I took the other one and a lot of other stuff to the Salvation Army. I couldn’t bring it home because I am decluttering. I knew it would probably sit here for many more years.
2. I made $120 at my yardsale. I immediately had to spend the $120 plus $5 more dollars on school supplies. This was frustrating and satisfying at the same time. I really wanted to buy a few more cans of paint for the house with it….ugh, priorities!
3. I got my kids some new panties and socks on tax free day. They don’t really need clothes because I have got great deals at yard sales all summer.
4. I made a chicken pot pie and a peach cobbler from things I had on hand. I threw a good handful of fresh chopped spinach and a plop of Greek yogurt in the pie that about to go bad. It taste so good that I think I will add those from now on. The peaches were from the freezer from summer of 2015.
5. I stayed home today to clean my home and car. I was really tempted to drive through the car wash yesterday. It is super hot here so washing my car at home was like free exercise and a trip to the sauna.


BJS July 31, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for the updates on your yard sale, Jennifer! I’m sorry you sold just the one nice table and didn’t get as much as you’d wanted. But more stuff out of the house … that always feels good.


Cindy in the South I August 1, 2017 at 5:05 am

So sorry you did not make what you wanted on the yard sale. The good news is that you did not have to pay out of pocket, at least not very much, for school supplies because of the yard sale. Congrats!


Jennifer August 1, 2017 at 6:46 am

Yeah, I was kinda surprised but looking back on it, the week before school starts is not a great time to sell furniture. We have a business and it is always slow before school starts because people are buying back-to-school items. My oldest daughter begged me to have this yardsale because she really needed the extra money. I really wanted to wait till Fall to have it but I did it for her. I am so glad all that stuff is gone, though!


Jennifer August 1, 2017 at 6:40 am

Yes, it does. My hubby is a bit of a hoarder so I have to get rid of stuff. If I don’t, it seems like my house starts gradually starts closing in on me!


Jennifer August 1, 2017 at 6:47 am

Ugh, too many “starts”…lol


Bobbi July 31, 2017 at 11:54 am

1. I have been decluttering and donating a lot to Goodwill in preparation for a cross-country move. I put some nicer clothes aside to take to Buffalo Exchange, which I don’t often do, but I think there are enough of them to make the trip worth it. (I usually just take the tax deduction from donating.)
2. I also watched Game of Thrones on free HBO last night! In this case, it’s my ability to log into a friend’s HBO-Go account, with her permission of course.
3. Sort of not-frugal/frugal: I forgot to pack any tops on a recent trip, because they were all air-drying overnight and I was going to pack them at the last minute the morning of my flight. Oops! Not wanting to wear the same blouse that I flew in for a whole week, I thrifted several tops at my destination to get me by. I may keep them, or donate them back to Goodwill after my trip. Total cost: $18 for four blouses/t-shirts.
4. I’ve been hyper-miling for the past year or so, which I learned about on your blog Katy! At a recent oil change/regular maintenance car appointment, I was told that the wear on my tires is very minimal for the number of miles on them! I am convinced that my sensible driving is extending the life of my tires, as well as saving me on gas. Hooray!
5. I have been particularly good this summer about prepping food, to make eating at home and cooking from scratch a lot easier. I’m only spending a couple hours each Sunday doing this, but it is making a noticeable difference during the week, when I’m busy with work, in how much easier it is too whip up dinner at home versus go out or get take-out.


Isitaneedorawant July 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

(1) Booked last minute through Air B and B when realized town we were stopping in on trip had limited hotel space. Great rooms, price and breakfast. Good conversation with the owner and purchased farm fresh organic eggs from here when I left:)
(2) Stayed in a Penthouse condo Air B and B in city I was visiting. Views made trip memorable. Booked 6 weeks out and pricing was SO reasonable. Owner had posted crummy photos but in reading description realized it had everything and more that we needed.
(3) Was making purchases to set up a family member in place to live on this trip.Needed some specific furniture pieces. Looked at on line buy and sell sites in this city early in our stay. Found , purchased no set up needed items at amazing pricing from a non profit employment/ work experience group.
(4) Gave Soda Stream we were not using to this family member. Brought out empty co2 canisters and ” traded them in” at store which sold full canisters. Saved 1/2 of cost of purchasing new full ones.
(5) Brought a lovely duvet cover purchased 50% off at thrift store along with a down duvet purchased at favourite volunteer run thrift shop. Oh my, ever give away your thrifter find and think “Sha Bam” that was an awesome find!? Hope they appreciate it:)


Denise July 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm

1. Am moving out for building work on my flat this Thursday. I’ve been eating down my freezer and pantry cupboard. Apart from long-life condiments which I’m taking to my sister’s house when I move in with her, I shall finish everything off. Except my small tin of butter beans. I cannot think of anything to do with them that doesn’t involve buying new stuff to put them with. What to do?

2. Living with my sister rent-free for three months. I will contribute. It coincides with starting to pay my new mortgage, first payment tomorrow (1 August). I paid off my mortgage 8 years ago so taking a new one out, at age 51, wholly unexpectedly, has been the source of real anxiety and even rage. But I am finally managing to sustain a more accepting attitude.

3. I shall be giving the remaining strong flour for bread-making to my friend: lovely flours which make superlative bread. She has promised me two slices from a loaf to toast at work one morning. Win-win.

4. I have found recycled packaging for about half of my packing requirements which has saved me £50 in total.

5. A frugal fail: I have been in agony with back pain for the last week, which is not something I suffer with generally. Instead of making my pain a priority and booking to see my GP, I have struggled on, not sleeping and gradually getting worse. I cracked today at work and called my boss, who suffers severely with his back. He recommended his chiropractor and said “he’s only (!!) £65 per session”. Booked an appointment and got in at 5pm this evening. He was amazing. Unfortunately, the bill was £235. I hadn’t even thought to check first. Ouch. If I had gone to my GP last week, I could have got a referral and thus qualified (through my employer’s private health care) for free treatment. Do I hear my mother’s voice saying “a stitch in time…”? Yes, I do. So I shall go to my GP tomorrow instead (if I can get an appointment).

Wish me luck for my move (furniture to storage, me to my sister’s house- and back to a three hour per day commute!) on Thursday.


P.S. I haven’t been reading the papers or listening to Radio 4: what has Trump been up to now? Keep reading references to some new mess-up.


KJD509 July 31, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Denise, really appreciated your comments last week about the ‘golden week.’ You’d said the comment cheered you after a rough week, and I thought, “Hey, good point! I should have read everyone’s comments instead of wallowing in self-pity” because it was a rough week in our household as well. So sorry you’re going through it, but really appreciate the community of sharing.

Hang in there!


nancy from mass August 1, 2017 at 9:08 am

What HASN’T Trump been up to! Another one bites the dust, trump wrote up the story about T jr’s meeting with russia, he’s threatening to stop paying our insurance companies to make them stop insuring people, he doesn’t care about the Reservation lands, as long as he gets what he wants…i could go on and on…..


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I adore how you keep threatening HBO and they fold each time. Sounds like they’re mayhaps a little desperate, eh?

This week:

1. I cut off some thrift store pants that were high waters. Now I have some nifty knee-length shorts.

2. I baked mini apple pies out of leftover apples. I froze these suckers and they’ll be great for breakfast this week.

3. I’ve been exploring all the free show options on my Roku and discovered we get a lot of PBS programs for free. Aw yeah!

4. We had to pay a $1,400 repair fee on our truck. The silver lining is that our car insurance paid for a free tow truck, so that was nice. Know your insurance and rewards credit card benefits, y’all!

5. We harvested some tomatoes from the garden. Hopefully I can turn these suckers into pico de gallo with some free peppers we got from Mr. Picky Pincher’s coworker.


K D July 31, 2017 at 12:25 pm

1. We went to visit family in the Midwest last week. We flew into “not the closest airport” and rented a car. It was cheaper and since we flew Southwest we had flexibility should we need to make changes. While there we cooked a bunch of food and used as as the basis for several meals. We did order take-out one night, but someone had a gift card that we used and we split 2 meals among 4 people. Lodging was free.

2. Now that we are back in town we ate all meals in this weekend.

3. I borrowed DVDs from the library today. If they stink it doesn’t matter, I’ll be near there to return them on Thursday anyway. I also have been borrowing many e-books from the public library, perfect for travelling.

4. I have been finding a (very) few coins here and there, while continuing to walk errands and for exercise.

5. I found $30 worth of good deals at Safeway to take advantage of the $3 off a $30 order Just For You deal.


Bee July 31, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I fly Southwesr whenever I can. The company’s no-fee change policy, baggage policy and excellent vcustomer service make it worthwhile.


Cynthia Huntington July 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I really appreciate the eBay comments from you about taking the small wins. Is there a minimum profit or list price you keep to decide if selling an item is worth your while? I am just getting started with eBay (getting READY to get started I should say). Have resold books on Amazon for years and still not sure what the breaking point is for me when it’s more trouble to pack and ship than it’s worth. Ideas anyone?


Roberta August 1, 2017 at 5:59 am

I check the history of other items of that sort. I’ll search my item (“Vintage wear-ever aluminum citrus juicer”) and then click on the “advanced” feature; select the box “sold items.” It will let you see what others have sold in the last month or so, and the selling prices.

Sometimes I’ll put something up for 0.99 if I really want it to have a home, other times I’ll list something and just be willing to wait until a buyer comes along. I base my prices on what other people are listing, not how much profit I’ll make, but I’m still decluttering my house and everything is profit. I figure I’ll do that until I run out of clutter at home (hah!), then I’ll have a better sense of what I can buy to sell.


Laura August 4, 2017 at 5:49 am

My general rule for ebay is a $10 profit after shipping/fees etc are paid. I think shut down, but since listing things there was much easier and the fees were lower, I’d list no matter what the profit would be. If there was activity after a few weeks, I’d lower prices and then just donate if that didn’t work.


Kathy Hairston July 31, 2017 at 12:37 pm

1. Sold a skin care item my sister gifted me for $99 on eBay
2. Sold 19 cds to second spin=$20.95
3. Sold Tom Ford sunglasses my son found 3 years ago in the ocean in Cancun=$55
4. Mailed 3 weeks of coupons to a senior, she clips for her family and other residents
5. Reused padded envelopes and box to mail the sales


Bee July 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm

1) Like many of you, I am decluttering and simplifying. This week I have been busy. I had another eBay sale over the weekend. I boxed it up and shipped it out today. I also listed another 5 items for sale. I donated several bags of clothes and household item to GW and requested a receipt for my taxes. I am gathering up and pricing items to put in a friends garage sale at the end of the month.

2) I saved $450 today by shopping my daughter’s annual auto insurance policy. (She is a graduate student, so I help her with this bill). I am shopping mine too. We will see how that goes.

3) I have quite a few birthdays and anniversaries in August. When running errands, I made a stop at the Dollar Store and bought my cards for the month. 7 cards for $5. Since most cards are $3 – $5 each at the big box stores, the savings over a year can be tremendous.

4) it seems like my FFT always involve food. I bought a pork roast on sale for 1/2 price. I made pork carnitas in the crock pot with it. We have had 3 meals out of it. I have frozen the rest to use later. I figure I will get 6 -7 meals from a $6 roast. Not too bad. I have 1/2 price organic chicken breast in the crock pot now to make shreaded chicken. This is wonderful to use in so many things. I bought 2 pounds of dried black beans on sale at the grocery store for a $1. I am also using up my farm box produce.

5) I acquired out “Not Buying It” by Judith Levine from the library. Since many NCA reader recommended it, I thought I would read it. I am also reading a spy novel given to me by a friend. I watched Grantchester on PBS last night. DH and I went to the twilight (cheap) showing of “Dunkirk.” I was once again overwhelmed by the bravery of the British people during WWII.


Cindy in the South I August 1, 2017 at 5:07 am

I agree that food is the one area where I seem to practice the most frugality.


Marilyn August 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for reminding me that I need to shop around for auto insurance this year. I bought a new-to-me car in April and I need to compare insurance rates before renewing again.


tonya July 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm

1) Went to a goodbye party for a dear friend. Wrote her a note telling her how much I will miss her (from a .99¢ pack of thrifted note cards) as I find it very hard to put it all into words in person.
2) My daughter is getting her driver’s license practice hours. Today we accumulated practice time on the way to an appointment, a.k.a., no extra driving.
3) Meal planning for the week is done! I have been doing this more often to eat our leftovers and avoid last minute, decision-fatigue-induced, takeout.
4) Drinking homemade coffee and curling up with a library book this afternoon.
5) Making a list of things that need to get done before the kids go back to school. Planning ahead is frugal, and keeps my mind at peace, which is also frugal.


Mand01 July 31, 2017 at 1:45 pm

1. I baked muffins, scones and tarts – choosing recipes that would use the yoghurt and lemons I had to use up. I make a blueberry and lemon scone that is a copy of a scone one of our big chain bakery sells for about $4 each. I love them but I can’t spend that. My recipe costs about $3 for ten.
2. I had guests coming to dinner. I cooked a big osso bucco (meat on sale), cauliflower and broccoli cheese (vegetables on sale), and an apple and raspberry pie with custard. I’m still on project clear out freezer so I finished off the last of my frozen pastry even though I prefer to make it, and some frozen raspberries. Apples free from my local GrowFree cart.
3. Working from home today.
4. My winter vegetables are in production mode and I shouldn’t need to buy much from this week.
5. Listening to an audiobook from the library about the Borgias on my long commute


Su Mama July 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm

OK, hand over the recipe for that blueberry and lemon scone, and nobody gets hurt!


Mand01 July 31, 2017 at 8:17 pm

It’s something I make up in my head. I just know how it should look and taste, you know?
Next time I make them I’ll measure and write it down for you.


Susie's Daughter August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am

Please do! DS and Dear Wife are lemon fanatics…


Denise August 2, 2017 at 1:57 pm

I’m with Su Mama: hand it over and no one suffers. They sound bloody delicious!

It’s 10.50pm in London and I’ve just finished packing my last boxes for the move tomorrow.

Blueberry and lemon scones would be perfect with a good strong cup of Twining’s Assam tea…sigh.

One question: how do Aussies and Americans pronounce “scone”?

In England, we split between “scons” (as though no “e” involved) and “scowns” to rhyme with “owns”. I’m a “scons” girl – more southern England!


Ruby August 2, 2017 at 2:57 pm

I live in the southern US and we pronounce it as skones, rhymes with “cones.” A British friend told me it is scons, so I try to use that and get funny looks from the bakery employees.

Mand01 August 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm

We pronounce it like you- ‘sconn’ – although I’m often reminded of the Discworld novels and the ‘Scone of Stone’ and tempted to say it the other way.
If I get a chance to make them this weekend I promise I’ll measure and write it down for you

Liz B. August 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

I’m in the Midwest US – I hear it pronounced “scones”/rhymes with “cones” around here. I adore them, no matter how anyone pronounces it, lol! Looking forward to the recipe.
I have a friend who sells her baked goods at our local farmers market – she makes luscious scones, including ginger-lavender scones. Soooo yummy.

Mand01 August 5, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Lemon Blueberry Scones
2 cups self raising flour
115 grams unsalted butter
Zest 1 lemon
1.5 tablespoons caster sugar
3/4 cup lemonade
Juice 1/2 lemon
1.5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Glaze – 5 tablespoons icing sugar, juice 1/2 lemon

Cut butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or a knife – or your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add zest. Pour lemon juice into lemonade and then pour lemonade into flour and butter mix. Mix until almost combined and then add the blueberries and then mix until combined. Don’t overmix.
Pat the dough into a circle and cut into eight triangles. Bake in a hot oven (200 degrees Centigrade) for 15 minutes or until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, blend lemon juice and icing sugar until combined.
While the scones are still warm, drizzle with the lemon glaze.

Melissa August 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I know I’m late to the whole scone/scon thing but my mum is Welsh and growing up we always called them scones (rhymes with cone) but since we’re in Australia too everyone here calls them scon so we do now too!! Odd, but call them what you will they’re delicious!


KJD509 July 31, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Ugh, what a week. Hubs left for his new job 350 miles away, and thanks to a quirk of the schedule won’t be home for a visit until Labor Day. We’ll see him, but not here. As soon as he left we had problems with a car, with garbage pick-up, and with the weed-wacker. Not everything in our household is divided into traditional gender roles, but I really really hate dealing with cars. . . and gasoline engines of any sort. Plus it’s record-breakingly hot. And the teens and adult kids who have jobs find the heat so enervating that they are unable to do ANYTHING but work and sleep. It has been an ugly few days in the 509 . . . But in spite all of that:
1) Kids are carpooling to work, allowing us to wait awhile longer to decide whether to get rid of yet another car, which will require purchasing another. I’ve often said I drive cars into the ground rather than spend $ on a payment or lease, but there’s a downside . . . and we’re feeling it right now.
2) Found fabulous sales at Grocery Outlet and a local supermarket on various sausages. Now have kielbasa (99/lb in 28 oz pkgs at GO) and some kind of roasted red pepper sausage (also 99/lb) in the freezer; cooked up the store-brand Jimmy Dean-style sausage into several meals worth of dill meatballs. Also cheap pints of fancy ice cream. Yummmm.
3) One night, too busy wallowing in self-pity to cook dinner OR figure out what to do about the yard, I considered take-out but instead told the kids there was no dinner. They all managed to scrounge up something.
4) Littlest got an invite to a nearby roller coaster and waterslide park. I paid for her ticket, but didn’t have to drive there and back or wander around in the blasting heat for 9 hours, and she had a long day with a very good friend. Totally worth the entrance fee.
5) Neither hired nor fired anyone for self-promoting reasons, and used no language in public that I’d be embarrassed to say to my grandmother.

Frugal fail: stopped at the farmer’s market this weekend. Instead of doing a CSA box, we opted to budget the $40/week it would cost in cash for the weeks we’re in town. Selected just a few peaches and plums, which cost EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. I don’t mind paying a little bit more to support local agriculture, but nearly twenty bucks for a half a piece of fruit apiece? Forget it. Hello, WinCo produce for the rest of the summer.


karen July 31, 2017 at 3:59 pm

I have noticed that the peaches are very expensive this year at our farmers market—one dollar a piece. And what really bothers me is they want you to take each basket as is. I asked if I can look at each peach and trade them out if one is bad and they give me a dirty look and reluctantly agree. So I have not been back.


Emily August 1, 2017 at 5:25 am

I experience the same thing! I little basket is about 5.99 and they don’t let you switch out the bad ones.


Susie's Daughter August 1, 2017 at 7:06 am

OK first of all your #5 is hilarious. In fact, it would be even funnier if it weren’t true for those who shall not be named…

Secondly, the spousal/long distance thing is hard, even when it is good thing, it is hard. I am just sending empathy and a “Go You!” for telling the kids there was no dinner. 🙂


KJD509 August 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

Awww, thanks 🙂


Bellen July 31, 2017 at 1:55 pm

First, 2 questions:
what brand is the great tea at work
where do you find Grade B eggs – in my 50 years of marriage & grocery shopping I’ve never seen them

Loaded up the car for tomorrow’s big loop of doctor appt, grocery shopping, library and thrift store. The loading was for the thrift store – some previously thrift store purchased clothes, children’s games, 1000 pc puzzle (don’t try this without help – it took forever), 2 throw pillows from the guest room bed where they were stored not used, some kitchen utensils I just like the feel of, and 2 vases I’ll never use.

Started a list of furniture to sell – only way to convince hubby we can do without pieces we never use but I have to clean. Getting too old to waste time as I’d rather read or walk outside.


cathy July 31, 2017 at 1:56 pm

1. It was past time to replace the water filter for the fridge’s ice maker. We bought it online from Home Depot, but had it delivered to store so no shipping fees. You have to run water through it for 10 minutes before it’s safe to use. Collected the water in buckets and used it to water trees in the yard (we live in a VERY arid state).
2. Was invited to a friend’s 60th birthday and found something in the house to contribute to the food table: tangerine slices and chocolate chip cookies. The cookie dough was a freebie from the grocery store.
3. We had some unexpected and huge rainstorms last week. Was able to turn off the sprinklers for several days and keep the AC to a minimum.
4. Harvested tomatoes, strawberries, and lots of herbs from the garden.
5. Reading down a stack of library books. Finally made it to the top of the hold list for Dana Stabenow’s latest Kate Shugak mystery (an awesome series based in Alaska, if anyone’s looking for a new mystery series). Watched the final episode of the latest season of Grantchester on PBS last night.


Jennifer August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am

5. Thanks for the suggestion!


Liz B. August 1, 2017 at 11:12 am

Ummmm…’re supposed to replace the water filter on your refrigerator’s ice maker?? (Makes mental note to check manual for ours at home….) 🙂
Who knew? Lol!


Cindy in the South I August 2, 2017 at 5:08 am

Lol Liz….I thought the same thing…who knew????


Jennifer August 2, 2017 at 5:24 am

Mine has a light that turns purple when the water filter is supposed to be changed. My husband pushes the button to reset it so I won’t notice that we need a new filter. He actually does that a couple times before he actually gets a new filter. Our filter costs almost $80!!!! I wonder how often restaurants and fast food places change the filters on their ice machines. Sometimes I’ve had a weird smell when I have ordered cups of plain ice at certain places.


Liz B. August 2, 2017 at 5:43 am

Yikes!! That’s a chunk of cash for that filter. Our frig/freezer doesn’t have any indicator lights, except on the in-door water/ice dispenser, which isn’t working properly right now….I wonder if it has a filter we’re supposed to replace, too….? Sigh.
Cindy, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one! Lol!

cathy August 2, 2017 at 8:04 am

FWIW We were having problems with the icemaker and it seemed to be taking forever to make ice cubes. My husband checked the installation date he’d written on the filter (we try to date things, especially food [think freezer leftovers] and anything with a warranty). He discovered we “should” have replaced the filter after 5 years. We were only 2 years late…..


Bethanne July 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm

1. Lunch was my daughter’s leftovers from dinner yesterday she didn’t like.
2. Saved over $55 grocery shopping redeeming a $10 reward, $5 in coupons and the rest in Meijer Mperks and store sales. Did not buy a bottle of White Girl Roze saw featured on Sunday Morning show, said was cheap but $11 plus is still to expensive for my budget. Looked at wines at Aldi but just said nope!
3. Took daughter for ice cream after she got out of camp for the $1.50 single cones special today at Baskin Robbins.
4. Went to Aldis to get eggs, milk, cheese, nacho chips, etc for cheapest price. Also went to Dollar store bought dried beans, rice, bubbles for blowing with the puppy, she loves them! Bombed on finding the blush I thought I could find there.Also got bday card. Bought cute fall ceramic pumpkins to decorate for work, knew they won’t be available if I wait to long.
5. Grouped/routed all my errands to save gas. Updated August budget. Rented two movies Redbox B1G1 free, two evenings entertainment for less then$3, sweet! King Kong was a hoot, glad it was so cheap 😉


Jennifer August 1, 2017 at 7:03 am

4. I started dotting small amounts of my favorite lipstick on my cheeks for blush. It’s the perfect color!


Ruby August 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

I do that too with a favorite lipstick. I use a nice but inexpensive stick foundation, and just put a streak of foundation in the palm of my hand and mix in a few dots of lipstick, then apply like a cream blush. It makes me look more put-together than I usually manage and it’s less stuff to buy and carry around.


Betty Winslow July 31, 2017 at 2:02 pm

1. I love Starbucks’ cafe mocha, but it’s too expensive. I will treat myself to one at the grocery store if I have a gift card (sometimes gifted with one at work by appreciative parents), but otherwise, I’ve discovered that one envelope of Swiss Miss Dark Sensations cocoa mix (which I stock up on when it goes on sale), a teaspoon of instant coffee, and a little milk = a perfect replica. And sometimes I’ll take an envelope to church and use the free coffee and half and half on the visitor coffee cart to make a cup. (It’s available to anyone who comes to church, not just visitors…)
2. Checked out a stack of books and DVDs from the public library for entertainment.
3. We’ve started having people over for lunch after church and worked out an inexpensive but delicious meal that we can pretty much fix ahead and just assemble when we get home: chicken salad (with shredded chicken, halved grapes, toasted almond slices, and mayo) on croissants (which often are marked down and still perfectly fine), a spinach salad with fruit (strawberries or mandarin orange slices, whichever’s cheaper) and a homemade balsamic dressing, and some sort of dessert, depending on what’s available. Last week we served strawberry shortcake, sweetened with the last of the peach jam from last year, and this week it will be banana pudding, with marked down bananas,
Dollar Tree vanilla wafers, and vanilla pudding made from an Aldi box. Good food, good fellowship!
3. I love Dove dark chocolate squares as a treat to be doled out, so when they’re on sale for $3.00 a bag, I buy two to have on hand. This week at CVS, they were 2/$6, with a coupon that made them 2/$4. Score!
4. My son needed drinking glasses, so we bought some new ones for us (that are straight up and down, so they fit in the cupboard better and are heavy, which we prefer) and I’m giving him 9 that we don’t need now.
5. Bought a bundle of kitchen utensils at a garage sale for $1.50; 4 were Rachael Ray pieces, which I kept, and a small whisk I needed. The rest I donated to a local group that helps international students at our college furnish their apartments when they arrive in the US. Also scored a small handled mixing bowl out of the free box!


BJS July 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Betty, that after-church meal sounds delicious. I bet your guests are loving it while they’re at your house!


Liz B. August 2, 2017 at 5:45 am

I *just happen* to have some of that same Swiss Miss dark chocolate flavor cocoa mix, and instant coffee….will have to try that! Sounds yummy.


BJS July 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

1. An extended family member gave my kids a bag of hard candy called Gobstoppers. No one in my family is a big hard candy fan, so I was trying to figure out what to do with them. My daughter’s friend was over one day and I asked her if she’d ever heard of Gobstoppers. She told me that her family loves them. I think I was happier to give them to her than she was to get them.

2. It’s rained a fair amount lately, so my wax begonias are brighter and prettier than ever, with no effort or cost from me.

3. Recently made appointments for my yearly GYN appointment and my five-year colonoscopy. (I have a family history of colon cancer and this will be my third colonoscopy. The prep is no fun, like everyone says, but I love that feeling when I get the anesthesia and I’m about to go under – weird!) As Bee says, healthy = frugal.

4. Prompted by a recent discussion here, I checked out The Tightwad Gazette and The Tightwad Gazette II from the library. For as many years as I’ve been trying to save money and as much as I love library books, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read either one! Looking forward to both.

5. Spent more time today than I’d planned on two business-y phone calls (insurance company and medical spending card company), both of which involve issues with my money. Not my favorite thing to do, but I try to be as pleasant on the phone as I can when I’m talking to customer service folks. One problem got resolved and the other one is in progress. I’ll keep tabs on it until it gets straightened out.


Bee July 31, 2017 at 4:24 pm

I am glad you made your appointments. 🙂 Taking good care of oneself is important. I do believe the old adage –An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. BTW, I loved the Tightwad Gazette . It changed my life. I wanted to retread it, but my library no longer has it. I may have to buy a secondhand copy.


Liz B. July 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm

I watched Game of Thrones, too! But not for free. Being frugal in other ways allows for these luxuries.:-)

1) Bought cute Minions wrapping paper, fancy bow, and birthday card at Dollar General. DS was going to a friend’s birthday party, and his gift was purchased on clearance several months ago.
2) Stopped at a yard sale last weekend, and bought several items I can use – a bag of clothing notions and trim that I can use to make tiebacks for DS’ bedroom curtains; yarn to crochet prayer shawls for the hospital where I work, which are given to very ill patients to provide comfort; AND a pair of Dansko clogs, used but in very good condition, to resell (1.50 for the pair). I did check the back for any crumbling, as someone suggested in the comments of a previous post – all good. I never would’ve considered trying to pick up a bit of extra cash reselling items – thank you all!
3)Read an article in the AARP newsletter about ways to save $$….one suggestion was buying movie tickets in bulk from Costco. Will investigate this further, to make sure the specific theatre chain is in our area
4) Bought 25 cent books from the library sale cart to read….will pass them on or donate after reading.
5) Frugal fail or not fail, depending on how you look at it: looked at a beautiful Craftsman style house on the market for a very good price. It had everything we’re looking for – charm, style, partially finished basement….and a huge barn that is in terrible condition (termites, roof caving in at certain points….needs tons of work….and our town is a stickler for not allowing certain structures to be torn down…..) We didn’t bite. Hubs nor I is looking for a big, potentially pricey project like that. Soooo sad. It’s a great deal for the right person. I just keep telling myself “its not the right house for us”….

Have a good week!


Liz B. August 1, 2017 at 11:18 am

P.S. Looking at that house has made me even more determined to declutter….we can’t move to a smaller home – even one with a *functional* large barn – with all the stuff we have. Time to clean it out!


Carol July 31, 2017 at 3:58 pm

1. Wore my same old small silver hoops for work today, which I’ve had almost 20 years–they were a gift from a high school friend.

2. Met a friend for “dinner” last night. It was around 8:30, and I knew I didn’t have the money for a restaurant dinner. So I ate beforehand and had one sushi roll at the restaurant, plus a cup of tea. The total, including tip was $7.50, not bad for a night out. I also took the Metro to meet her and avoided stressful parking.

3. Got some simplicity books from the library, Jim Merkel’s Radical Simplicity and Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity–both classics, I think. Radical Simplicity is kind of stressful in that it made me realize my ecological footprint was much bigger than I thought, so now I need to figure out ways to reduce it.


Emily July 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm

1. My boyfriend and I went vegetarian about 2 weeks ago. Our grocery budget has been slashed as a result. I am also feeling a lot better, and am having less problems with acid reflux.

2. We went to see “straight no chaser” last night. They are an a capella group. If they are in your area on tour, I highly recommend! We got our tidkets on Groupon using my boyfriends student discount, and a prepaid gift card for cash back, so we paid 26 dollars total for both tickets. It was WELL worth it. A wonderful show.

3. Spent the weekend with friends at various cookouts, on the lake, enjoying time with friends and not spending much.

4. Hit a 2 dollar clearance sale at a resale shop to re-stock my eBay store!

5. Continue to sport my goodwill bathing suit ALL summer!


rebecca July 31, 2017 at 4:46 pm

1. No take out for a week. So proud of myself!
2. I got a new referral.
3. I have started watching Mike and Molly reruns. I missed it when it was on. Kind of funny.
4. Not using air conditioning.
5. I’ve been invited to dinner on Saturday night. I offered to make a key lime pie for dessert. I have all the ingredients on hand.


Ava July 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm

1. Took the horrible puppy (who is becoming progressively less horrible) to the dog park. Free exercise for both of us.
2. Sold a treadmill we weren’t using to some people who aren’t going to use it. (They just don’t know it yet.) We bought it a couple of years ago from some friends who weren’t using it. Money was lost between the two transactions but we were originally going to donate it, so we were happy with some cash. I will miss it to hang sweaters on to dry.
3. My husband has gotten very into ebaying and is making some sales from his collections. Maybe we will gradually see some empty space.
4. I am starting to work on my Christmas projects for fall craft sales. My friend and I use a lot of recycled and thrifted materials, tear up, rearrange, paint, etc to put together new items. It is a lot of fun and profitable.
5. My sister in law is preparing to move and sent me a big box of scrapbooking and craft supplies. There are some items I won’t use, so I am sharing with my daughter and with my friend who makes greeting cards.


Cindy in the South I August 2, 2017 at 5:11 am

Lol on your treadmill remark…


Liz B. August 2, 2017 at 5:50 am

….chuckling to myself about #2 as well….


BJS August 2, 2017 at 11:03 am

I’m glad the puppy is doing a little better, and hoping your cousin is doing well.


kathleen August 2, 2017 at 10:38 pm

I’m thinking I should teach my own horrible puppy to walk on my unused treadmill. 🙂


tia July 31, 2017 at 7:48 pm

1. Had some leftover chicken so I sauteed with sliced onion then rolled them up in corn tortillas and fried…. flautas never last around here.
2. I needed a couple of skirts so went on a Goodwill hop (five stores in my area). I found so much good stuff and spent next to nothing. I love pretty cotton prints and Goodwill always has some. YaY
3. Bought some Slapsee new in box sunglasses for a buck and a Vera Bradley tea mug with lid for another buck and a RuMe Baggie All new with tags for a buck.Goodwill wins again. I really only go to Goodwill when I need something specific because I find so much other stuff. that i want. that i need. that I use.
4. Saw a free concert the other night.
5. Finally found a local butcher I like. Great products and prices and they wrap in paper, no plastic or styrofoam.


Joanie Ruppel July 31, 2017 at 8:53 pm

1. While waiting for my kitchen sink water to get warm, I filled up 3 gallons of water in old milk jugs and then proceeded to water my potted plants. If my plants don’t need watering, I add the water to the pool.
2. Thoroughly enjoyed wearing a “new” lounging dress that maybe cost $.25 at a pay-per-pound Goodwill.
3. Sold a quilt not being used any longer on the neighborhood sale site.
4. Brought my own drink in the car and have done so now for over a week!
5. Used rain barrel water to refresh some plants in the garden.


Adriana @MoneyJourney July 31, 2017 at 9:17 pm

We were on a mini-vacation last week, so we were far from frugal. However, renting a small apartment with a kitchen saved us at least $50-$100 a day in terms of food!

Although many prefer accommodation with meals included, we chose to cook on our own, just like we normally do at home and saved hundreds.


Mand01 July 31, 2017 at 10:20 pm

We do this. We love to eat out when we go away (it’s part of the fun) but I think that breakfast is usually one of the biggest rip offs out. For four of us, breakfast can cost about $40 or $50, easily. Staying somewhere with a kitchen saves us a huge amount just on breakfast. Plus some nights we are tired and we just make a toasted sandwich, saving money again. I’d say we saved about $500 last time we went on holiday (bearing in mind eating out in Australia is expensive).


Susie's Daughter August 1, 2017 at 4:26 am

1) I renewed our membership to the New England Aquarium yesterday. It is a great place to visit when we are in Boston, which is several times a year. I downgraded our membership (at an early renewal savings) to a 2 person rather than 4 person since it is still cheaper to buy a ticket outright for DS than pay for a “family” membership, given the fact that we visit about twice a year.

2) Just hung out towels on our clothes rack in the sun. (I am still waiting to have a clothes with a pulley hung outside.) I was smiling about the person who described it as “free exfoliating” in her family.

3) Made muffins this morning with some of my aunt’s blueberries. Delicious! Midway through mixing, I had forgotten I used up all the milk yesterday. Subbed powdered milk and no one would be the wiser. I need a good source for organic powdered cow’s milk. Anyone have ideas?

4) Received a garbage bag full of hand me downs from a friend whose son is 18 months older than DS. A fabulous haul for us, including winter coats, and he will be well outfitted for cooler weather. What did not fit him went to the next youngest boy in our friend pool – about 18 months younger than DS. It makes me so happy to be able to pay it forward.

5) After a slow, cool, and damp start, we are picking veggies from our garden. Radishes! Kale! Snap Peas! Broccoli! I may also try digging a hill of red potatoes this week. And for the first time, I planted a second row of radishes and kale for late summer. Time to start refilling the freezer for winter.


Crosby August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

NOW Foods has an organic powdered cows milk. I’ve never used it but I had used some of their other products and have been happy!


Lindsey August 1, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I buy organic powdered whole milk through Amazon. Hate using them but a lot of things are not available outside Anchorage and Amazon is one of the few places that does not penalize you on postage—Prime still works here the same as anyplace else.


Gina August 1, 2017 at 6:05 am

I have so missed participating in 5FTs. I have been wandering in the weeds of consumerism for a couple of months and I feel weary for sure. I am returning to frugal ways slowly, but soon I am going to rip this band-aid off and return hardcore to non-consumerism.
Here are the pitiful things:
1. I am back to making lists this week and they are really helping me stay focused. I have managed to cross quite a few “chores” off of them.

2. I stepped back from some extra things I was doing at work (committees and such that are not part of my regular duties) and I have to stay it has released a lot of pressure I had been feeling. When I feel less overwhelmed, I tend to be more content which translate into being less of a spendy-spendy.

3. I have been hanging my laundry on the clothesline.

4. Eating at home more and using what I have before I buy more of anything.

5. Reading library books.


Susie's Daughter August 1, 2017 at 7:16 am

Gina – I have been wandering myself lately so I feel you. Glad to see your post!


Crosby August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

Gina! Thanks so much for this comment. I was just thinking to myself as I read through everyone’s comments that I’ve strayed from the path and what a great inspiration everyone has been to get back on it. The timing of your comment was excellent!


Bee August 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm

I think most of us wander from time to time. I know that I do. Life sometimes gets in the way of being frugal. I just do the best I can and try to stay true to my own personal values. Even when I feel things are off kilter, I try to focus on the places in my life where things are going as planned. Success builds the confidence that I need to go against the tide. My husband says I am a bit like Pollyanna.


Crosby August 2, 2017 at 3:52 am

Life is most definitely what got in the way these past few months. And it is still there, but you’re right, focusing on the wins is what is jump starting me. And being kind to myself for the loses is something a friend is reminding me to do.


Roberta August 1, 2017 at 6:18 am

1 I sold a bunch of stuff on ebay this week! I’m using secondhand boxes to ship things out, and I’ll have less clutter in the house (and the living room, where it’s been hanging out all week).
2. Got a great deal on kids’ clothes this week at a garage sale. I told the seller that I was looking for clothes for my mom’s resale shop, and she gave me the lot for $10! She didn’t have to pack them back up, and I got three-four bags of great stuff (and three bags of not-useful stuff). The stuff we won’t use will be passed along to other people: friends, neighbors and Goodwill.
3. Washed and line-dried a bunch of clothes for the resale shop. The rest are waiting in the washer for my trip to the Goodwill Outlet later this week. I’m hoping to fill up the washer with wins there, and run a full load. If I don’t find anything, I’ll fill the rest of the load with my family’s laundry.
4. Return some towels to Target and didn’t buy anything there except whole wheat English muffins for my son’s birthday breakfast. (Eggs Florentine)
5. Making chocolate cake for my son’s birthday, and found chocolate ice cream to go with it at Grocery Outlet.


ouvickie August 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

1) I had leftover chicken meat from the quesadillas I made over the weekend, so I packed them up along with a flour tortilla and some shredded cheese to make my lunch here at work today.
2) I received the latest Goodreads book suggestions in email for August. I’ll use that to reserve books/audiobooks online at the Library, then I can pick them up when I drop off the ones I’ve finished. Lovin’ my Library shopping card!
3) I bought 4 doses of NextGuard for our 2 farm dogs last month. We lost one a few weeks back, so now I have two extra months worth the dog we still have. It’s sad losing one, but I’m glad I can make use of the doses we have left – that stuff’s not cheap.
4) I practice recycle/reuse here at work too. We had some digital forensic equipment we’re no longer using, so I contacted the University Police Dept. and asked if they’d like to have it. They were so appreciative and so was I. I’d rather be able to pass it on to those who need it, than have it sold for practically nothing at a surplus auction.
5) I keep a tub of toys at my house for my grandkids when they visit. Everything there has come from Thrift stores. Games, dolls, trucks, etc. It, also, helps when we have visitors with small children. I have one bedroom set-up with all the toys and such. It’s so much easier and cheaper to outfit a playroom and kids don’t care. It’s like they have new toys to play with when they visit.


Amanda August 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

1) Batching a bunch of business and personal errands today.

2) We had dinner with friends spontaneously last night. We shared a couple of pizzas, so the whole bill for our family of five was $30. It was a lovely evening.

3) I’m usually not impressed by financial advisors, but our wealth is getting up to where a mentor tells me we might want to consider a wealth advisor. We met with one yesterday that I really like. He actually told me that he couldn’t do better than I am doing for myself! Thank you Vanguard! Choose your DIYs carefully. I don’t paint walls, but I do manage investments.

4) Supper is already planned and half prepared.

5) Talking to an Airbnb guest about a future potential home exchange, I’m driving the car that gets better gas milelage as I am driving more today, the kids want floats for our staycation next week, so I’m going by Target to see what is on clearence, and right now I’m eating a homemade lunch of leftovers.


Jenzer August 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

1 – My daughter and I decided that we’re not nail polish people, which left us with about 30 bottles of polish we no longer wanted. I offered up the whole collection to local people in my Facebook circle, and a friend’s younger daughter was THRILLED to take them. We reclaimed two whole shelves in the upstairs bathroom.

2 – The local weather has been sunny and warm with a slight breeze and moderate humidity, perfect for line-drying. I washed a lot of bedding and throw rugs over the weekend and hung them on the back deck to dry.

3 – Last night’s dinner meal plan was scrapped after I worked later than I expected to. Two $.33 boxes of Aldi mac and cheese saved the evening. We doctored up our bowls with salsa and sliced black olives left over from a meal earlier in the week.

4 – Daughter is entering a photo in an art show next week. One of her grandfathers printed her entry for us, but we needed a frame for display. The charity resale store in our small town closed last month (sad face), so we went one town over to shop their thrift stores. She found a good frame for $2.

5 – While thrifting, I scored a copy of the book “Heloise’s Hints A to Z” for $.20. I remember reading my mom’s Heloise book when I was younger — she (Heloise) had very creative ideas about re-using/repurposing household discards. I look forward to gleaning some good tips. Related note: I think I can consider my “no new book purchases” New Year’s resolution officially busted … this is my third book purchase since January!


BJS August 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

I enjoyed all five of yours! My mom also owned a Heloise book. (This would’ve been the older Heloise.) I hadn’t thought about that book in years. I remember reading parts of it when I was a girl and thinking, “her home must be so nicely organized!”


nancy from mass August 1, 2017 at 10:09 am

I love reading everyones’ 5’s!

1. Found a vacuum packed bag of roasted acorn squash left over from last Thanksgiving in the deep freeze. Defrosted that baby and made a batch of pumpkin(ish) bread with choc chips and walnuts. The loaves are cooling on the counter as we speak.
2. Took apart an Aran wool sweater I knitted about 10 years ago that is now too big since i’ve lost weight. I was going to find the pattern and remake it smaller (it was beautiful with lots of different irish cables) but the Bangor Maine Police Department is always asking for “hats for the homeless”. this wool will make quite a few hats plus mittens and they will be super warm, water resistant and can handle being in the dryer even! It’s a heather type brown so they’ll look nice. 1/2 way through the first hat.
3. had a bunch of bottle caps (co-workers helped me pull hedges last week and I fed them well – and mostly from the freezer/pantry) from the beer, bottled cream soda and ginger beer. I found a really old pattern and using a box of crochet thread i bought from, i am making those old fashioned bottle cap trivets! these are working up even faster than i thought! I’ll have to buy more bottled soda so i can make one for each sibling. I’ll take one for the team and drink some more ginger beer…YUM!!
4. Hung out two loads of laundry yesterday. everything smells so good.
5. didn’t buy a gold apartment, fancy T shoes or anything trivial that puts money in that families pocket. I did sign a contract with a local stoneworker though to have a new walkway in the front and walkway in the back plus a 16×16 patio. small business owner, gets amazing reviews and his work is fantastic. would rather give my money to someone in my area.


Bee August 2, 2017 at 3:51 am

Your second frugal thing is just lovely. 🙂


Ruby August 2, 2017 at 4:40 am

My grandmother had some of those crocheted bottle cap trivets! Thanks for bringing back such a nice memory.

And your second item is just wonderful.


Ruby August 1, 2017 at 10:45 am

Five Frugal Things:
1-4: Doing all the usual: packing my lunch, snacks and drinks from home; driving with a light foot; wearing cute thrifted/secondhand outfits every day; hanging my laundry to dry on the rack and pole in the laundry room.
5. Ordered tick and flea preventatives for our gang of rescued dogs when I saw them on sale. I am slightly paranoid about ticks ever since nursing a desperately sick rescue puppy through a tick-borne illness. It cost a small fortune to get her well, so tick collars at $18 each are a wise investment.


deanna ar August 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm


1. Hubby provided a vent cap for my Instant Pot…an old PVC fitting that he had in his shop.

2. Hubby picked up pears near our house. We ate some and shared some with friends.

3. We declined a trip to Nashville, TN to watch the eclipse. Hotel rooms would have been provided, but we would have had to pay for fuel and our meals.

4. We reduced our AT&T plan today. It’s still too expensive, but we’ll be saving $20 a month.

5. We decided on a plan to reduce our wine consumption which in turn will reduce our purchases. It’ll also be healthier.


Alison August 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

1. DH again saving us money by doing some plumbing, this time replacing the shower head in our bathroom.
2. Visited the thrift store again with DD, I only bought $8 worth of very cute toddler clothing for my great neice. DD bought nothing.
3. Picking huge apples off of our tiny tree. I don’t know why they are so big and early this year, but they make great apple sauce.
4. Still decluttering and putting items out for free. They are slowly going.
5. Posted 3 cork boards for sale, person will be looking at them this evening.
Clutter out and a few $ in my pocket.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones August 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm

I posted 6 pairs of my son’s old jeans on Ebay and just sold them for $23. That’s about half the price I bought them for, and I was pretty surprised. I guess Slim jeans are hard to find?

We had about a million bread end pieces that no ones likes to eat, so I tore them up tonight, sauteed some onion and celery, and made a chicken and stuffing casserole.

I also made a call to our insurance this past week to deal with our son’s denied therapy visits. My years as an insurance nurse were fruitful, as I could identify the coding error in the rejecting claim, and I saved us the $800/month they cost without insurance. Initially they told us it wasn’t medically necessary, but there was no denial letter or medical director note, so I knew that had to be wrong.


WilliamB August 2, 2017 at 3:34 am

I did not:

1. Buy any beverages. I bring in soda and lemonade mix from the supermarket rather than buying it at work.

2. Spend a lot on family birthdays. Two hand-written cards, one home-made gift for the adult, $25 for the 9 year old.

3. Buy any clothes or shoes.

4. Drive a flashy, gas-guzzling, expensive-to-insure car. My 7 year old Corolla does very nicely, and should last at least another 8 years.

5. Buy any new or new-to-me books.


Chris August 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm

1. My neighbor was throwing away a Dyson vacuum cleaner and I remembered Katy’s sale of one – it does pick up but the brush is definitely warn out. Priced a replacement at 16.85 on Amazon. Think I will give it a try and if it works as I hope, I’ll resell it.
2. Had our National Night Out party last night – everyone brought something to share and we had a great time with the neighbors.
3. Took the car in for an oil change. They let me know there was some delayed work that I had passed on last visit but once we got there, they discovered that they had done the work so no extra expense this time – glad they caught it before they did any unnecessary work.
4. We are having a tree trimmed tomorrow – big $$ – but has to be done. The tree has some dead branches and is nearly touching the roof.
5. Switched from using a fancy(ish) salon to Great Clips this week – 1/2 the price and I can’t see any difference.


Kim in MD August 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm

1. Sold 3 things on Amazon so far this week.
2. Doing a reset merchandising job this week at Walgreens that’s paying $600. DS#2’s college tuition is looming.
3. Packed a cooler of drinks and lunch each day so I didn’t spend money while at merchandising job.
4. Filled prescription at grocery store that is giving $25 gift coupon for filling a prescription.
5. Neighbor brought me a bag of cucumbers from her garden.


Katy Hope August 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm

1. Finished an awesome book from the library. Dragonfish by Vu Tran.

2. My three-year-old is potty training this week so we spent the entire week at home eating all our lunches and making coffee’s and Tea at home.

3. Signed our six-year-old up for swim lessons through the city recreation and parks department. Only $30 for two weeks of classes (10 classes). Cheapest swim lessons ever and so far they seem to be good.

4. I was charged a surprise $20 convenience fee on a recent car rental, so called the company to complain and was able to get $12 refunded.

5. Went running in the park. Cheaper than a gym membership and you get outside.


Kathleen August 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm

1. Picked all the yellow plums and made both plum preserves and plum jam. Had a ton left so I took some of them down block to a local family produce market. They let me sell them there—made about $30. They are also letting me sell some canned jams there. I like to make at least one full batch of several kinds (most of which I grow), but we don’t use anywhere near that much in a year, or even 2. So I’m selling 2 or 3 jars of different kinds. And a few pickles, too. I get what I think is a good price.
2.Picked all the peaches and they are finishing ripening without the birds eating them. I’ll can them on Tues. I made 4 batches of jam from the damaged early ones—one batch of which will go to my co-workers as a holiday gift.
3. Babysitting the grand-dog for the summer and needed to take her to have her nails trimmed (she needs a professional to do it). Found a place less than 10 mi. from the house and it only costs $5
4. got some rejects from the same produce market for free—made fried potatoes 3x this week and canned 7 pints of tomato soup.
5. children (now adults) #3 and #4 had their birthdays within the last 2 weeks. Gave them both gifts they wanted but cut the budget by half from last year. They are now adults and both readily admit they have more junque than they need, and less apartment space than they really would like. So their desires are pretty practical.


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