Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 11, 2017 · 105 comments

  1. I worked yesterday and of course I packed in my own leftovers and enjoyed the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. (A 12-1/2 hour shift requires a lot of food and caffeine.) I then came home to greet an overnight house guest. I would have loved to splurge on a takeout or restaurant meal, but my husband had prepped a meal that kept our finances in check.
  2. I sold a thrifted designer suitcase and then a thrifted designer backpack on Craigslist, as well as a cute vintage battery checker on eBay. Shopping at Goodwill is a profitable endeavor for me.
  3. We took a day trip to a nearby rural area and splurged on farm stand fruit for the freezer. We brought binoculars and enjoyed a bit of bird watching. And by “we” I mean “I,” as no one else could be convinced to even consider this to be an enjoyable activity. We discovered a free sandy beach, which we’ll likely return to at a later date.
  4. I refreshed my Craigslist listings, I hung laundry on the clothesline, I wore 100% thrifted/curb picked clothing, I accepted my less than perfect, off-trend house, (“Horror of all horrors, is that 1990’s Formica in your kitchen?”) I assembled a couple of Franken-boxes for my eBay shipping and I bought zero souvenirs while enjoying vacation day trips.
  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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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethanne August 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

1. Completed Aldi survey from last visit and now have a chance to win a gift card.
2. Completed Little Caesars pizza survey (chance to win $15,000)and received a return email with a refund for the product that tasted bad.
3. Bought a workout DVD and replaced toning cords that broke -used Discover card rewards and had free shipping through APrime.
4. Took daughter to food truck rally and brought our own water to drink saving on beverage costs. Always wanted to go and it was fun to pick from over a dozen food trucks! Chose weird combination of a gourmet mac and cheese, sushi and coconut chocolate chip frozen yogurt.
5. Going to brothers cottage for 75th bday party for my mom he is hosting as well as weekend at the beach. Making a taco dip and chips and caramel turtle brownies from things I already have in the house. Got gas for the trip and saved 3 cents per gallon with Kroger rewards. Bought a few snacks and beverages to share at Aldi ‘s with some great prices.
6. Picked daughter up from day camp and treated her to a slurpee I had free through 7Elevens rewards program. Put out a coffee table which needed work by the curb and some one picked it up, was very happy to see that.
7. Wishing everyone a great weekend


Marilyn August 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

1. I, too, accepted my less than perfect house with Formica countertops. Although there are things I would like to update, I am happy with the old countertops. I even heard from a friend that granite countertops are no longer “the thing” so I guess I missed that trend altogether.
2. Worked three 40-hour weeks in a row rather than my usual 20-hour weeks. This means 2 nice paychecks.
3. Found 2 videos at the library – The Founder and Brokenwood (a mystery series from New Zealand). DH and I enjoyed both of these.
4. I keep finding pennies at various places these days – total of 17 cents in the past 2 weeks all from parking lots and sidewalks.
5. Although I am dental-phobic, I went for a cleaning and checkup yesterday. Told myself there is no sense having dental insurance unless I use it.


karen August 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

I saw the movie The Founder on HBO to go it was very interesting. I really liked how the McDonald brothers set up the first McDonalds.


Lindsey August 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

If you liked Brokenwood, give Dr. Blake mysteries a try. Set in 1950s in Australia. The doctor helps the police solve crimes, not always to their liking.


Denise August 12, 2017 at 1:57 am

Just had my granite countertops (well, the whole kitchen) ripped out – dangerous wiring, no heating and failing appliances. I had decided to keep all the cabinetry and doors, have them refitted (save £7k) and replace the appliances, plus new laminate worktops. Turned out that the granite worktops were fixed with epoxy resin to the top of the cabinets and there was no way to get them off and out of the small kitchen (two steps down into the kitchen and only 12ft by 7ft 6″) without destroying the cabinet top bracing.

So: granite was a LOT of work to look nice (wipe it, dry it, polish it). I lived with keeping it clean, so it looked urghh a lot of the time. And its final revenge was to destroy the cabinets and cost me thousands. Stick with your Formica!


Cindy in the South I August 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm

1. I fell out about your Formica comment….I do not even have a countertop since my kitchen cabinets were stolen out of my house before I bought it (and because of that and the fact that the new toilet and sink was stolen, I got the house dirt cheap…but I do have a toilet…lol.) I brought my lunch to work all week. Yes, it is repetitive but whatevah…I also made fried rice with vegetables for supper this week…so, so cheap. I think per serving it is about 30 cents.
2. I have only bought gas for work, and only went to grocery store to get break and eggs, which was $2.15 with tax. I will be eating what I have at the house this week.
3. I am still loving my $20 cheap flip phone because it is well….cheap. It serves it purpose. Plus it is so difficult to access facebook on it that I stay off of it, which means I spend more time cleaning my house, which is a good thing.
4. I have kept the air off because of how much it has been raining down here, so I hope to have a low power bill. However, with the humidity it is supposed to reach 105 heat index today so I will probably end up turning it on today.
5. I was craving sweets so I made peanut butter cookies from stuff I had at the house…win/win.


Cindy in the South I August 12, 2017 at 6:39 am

bread not break sigh


Alexandra August 14, 2017 at 3:35 am

Wow, you are killing it! I am inspired by your frugal ways. Thanks!


A. Marie August 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm

(1) Katy, I think I can one-up you for once: I’ve got 1980s formica in my kitchen! DH rehabbed our kitchen from an absolute 1950s horror (no, seriously, midcentury fans, this one was NOT worth saving) in 1988, and we have no intention of redoing it while we live here. Let whoever buys the house from us exercise his/her/their own taste.

(2) Reused old pickle juice for yet another quart of refrigerator dills. Extremely lazy pickles!

(3) Not frugal but not really unfrugal: Visited favorite local fishmonger today, bought “fjord trout” (actually a type of salmon) and three of fishmonger’s incomparable lobster mini pot pies (for BFF’s visit next week), and exchanged political jokes with fishmonger. Having a fishmonger you can exchange political jokes with = priceless.

(4) Hanging laundry as usual on indoor drying racks (most of which are antiques salvaged by DH from rental properties back in his landlord days).

(5) Finally, an excellent trashpick: Scooped up a Drip-o-Lator ceramic coffee pot with a pretty rose design, and a Martha Stewart Living enamelware roasting pan, from a trash pile on Wednesday. Planning to keep both, use the roasting pan, and add the coffee pot to my teapot collection.


karen August 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I too use use old pickle juice to make refrigerator pickles. Sometimes using the juice 3 or 4 times. I have a friend who gave me the original pickles who said I should not be doing this as there gets to be bacteria in there. I have never had a problem but now I am beginning to rethink this. What do you think?


Lindsey August 11, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Our Cooperative Extension person said okay to reuse the juice once, but bring it to a boil before you pour it on your cukes. Also helps them absorb flavor better if the liquid is heated. I do it all the time and have for at least a decade, to no bad end. They will be milder than the original.


A. Marie August 12, 2017 at 10:19 am

I’ve never reused pickle juice more than once, but I’ve done several one-time reuses, and I’m still here to tell the tale. However, I won’t be giving this jar to anyone else. (It has a distinctive lid, so I can tell which one it is.)


Jennifer August 12, 2017 at 10:29 am

I put boiled eggs into leftover pickle juice for a quick pickled egg. Hubby loves them!


Anne August 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

Yum! Going to try that!


Lynne August 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

My mother in law puts a drained can of beets into sweet pickle juice. She says it’s yum. I’ll never know 😉


Amy K. August 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

My teenager had an orthodontist adjustment today (braces all paid off though…yay!) Since the Dollar Tree was practically right next to the dentist’s office, I combined trips and did our back-to-school shopping there. Earlier this morning, I dragged out my Bin-O-School-Supplies. When things are on clearance, once the back to school flurry of shopping has subsided, I pick things up for pennies: folders, pencils, pens, glue sticks, colored pencils, etc. So, this morning I had my middle schooler take her supply list and go through the bin to see how much of her list she could fulfill. She crossed off most of it! I pulled out their backpacks, gave them a good shake outdoors and washed them. So…we did have to buy filler paper, tissues and Clorox wipes…but all-in-all, we made do with items we already owned.


Denise August 12, 2017 at 2:03 am

What on earth are Clorox wipes doing in a school supplies list?? I’m in England and I don’t have children anyway, but I’ve never heard my sister talking about half of the things US schools demand parents supply. Clorox wipes = totally new!


Susan August 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

We had to buy the wipes, too. It’s for the teacher to clean the classroom. The parents at our school had to supply the paper towels and kleenex for the classroom, too.


Chris August 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

Lysol and Clorox wipes are on our list along with paper towels, tissues and trash bags. I’m guessing the janitorial staff has been cut back to a minimum and just cleans the floors and toilets?


Danielle August 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

When I’ve volunteered in the classroom, I’ve seen the students clean up with the wipes after eating a snack and I’ve seen them used to wipe every table at the end of the day. During cold and flu season, there are so many sneezes on those shared surfaces…


CarolineRSA August 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Here in S.A. we send toilet paper, tissues, and liquid soap to school (grade R) every term.


Minimalist45 August 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

My blogging is keeping me very miserly, in everything I do. Thanks as ever for the inspiration.


Kathy Hairston August 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm

1. Donated magazines and CDs to library.
2. Made ice tea at home=no Starbucks stops
3. Listed numerous items on eBay
4. Sold $40 on eBay which covered the cost of doctors visit
5. Raised thermostat while hubby is at work


tonya August 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

1) Slept late for the last time… school starts next week. Sleeping is frugal since I make better money choices when I’m not tired.
2) Ate homemade banana bread for breakfast.
3) Having friends over for a cookout. Serving some dips/salsas left over from earlier this week. Nobody cares!
4) Picked up my free Friday download item while at the grocery store.
5) Cleaned the patio for tonight’s dinner. Free exercise!


Ruby August 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm

All the usual four things: packed my lunch and cold drinks from home, wore cute thrifted outfits every day, drove with a light foot (squeezed an extra four days out of a tank of gas), hung up my laundry to dry.

5. Had a coupon for a smaller than usual box of cat litter and hung onto it until I found the right size box on sale, which resulted in spending two dollars less for litter.


The One Income Dollar August 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Where do you set up meetings for people that buy from you on Craigslist? As I have heard stories before about Craigslist not being the safest. Do you find Craiglist a better place than your local Buy and Sell on Facebook then for selling?


Bettypants August 12, 2017 at 12:07 pm

I sell on CL and FB boards. I am always a little bit leery of CL, but without fail, every single time, they are nice normal people. Most of the time, it’s women who show up on their own, probably due to the nature of the items I sell – rugs, household goods, etc.

My recommendation is to have the item in your garage or driveway. If you are selling a smaller item, just meet in the parking lot of any store.


Roberta August 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

I usually mention that my house is hard to find, and if the item is small I offer to meet the person at the local library. I’ve also heard that sheriff’s stations are popular meeting places. If I need someone to come to my house, I make sure there’s another adult home (I’ve had a neighbor come up once to sell a car).

That said, everyone I’ve met has been nice and normal. I think they’re as wary as I am, and are usually happy to meet at the library.


The One Income Dollar August 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Where do you set up meetings for people that buy from you on Craigslist? As I have heard stories before about Craigslist not being the safest. Do you find Craiglist a better place than your local Buy and Sell on Facebook then for selling?
As well on Ebay things you list is shipping free for all or only on small items?


Krystal August 11, 2017 at 3:42 pm

I have people meet me at my house for craigslist purchases. You occasionally hear stories about some sort of incident, but you never hear stories about the hundreds of thousands of times it is perfectly safe. Just like most other risks! I only give out my personal information as the buyers on their way to my house.


Amy K. August 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

I usually meet at a store parking lot near my house. For larger items, like tables or bookcases, I’ve made the appointment for a time my husband was around.


Katy August 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I almost always have the person just pick up the item from my porch without actually meeting the buyer. They just put the cash in our locked mailbox. I have done this at least a hundred times without incident.


Katherine August 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

People come to my house but only when my muscly husband is home


Lindsey August 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm

I make sure my two Great Danes come to the door with me. I actually managed to train one to snarl if I cough twice, which is great until I have a cold and start coughing in the middle of the night. He runs to my side of the bed and stands there snarling until I am done coughing. I taught him the skill after I had a very, very aggressive salesman come to the door. He actually put his foot in the door to stop me from closing it. Only when one of the Danes barked and snarled did he back off. I am often in a wheelchair on bad days and feel especially vulnerable from a seated position; when I am standing I am six feet tall and pretty much look like I could defend myself, but in a wheelchair I feel insecure.

Most of the time, I also have the husband there for backup, in case snarling doesn’t work. Plus when people see me there with the dogs and say something about “Those are big boys,” I always make sure to say they are trained guard dogs. They are not and both of them jump into the bed scared if there is thunder, but no one would think that to look at two bodies that weigh over 150 pounds each.


Denise August 12, 2017 at 2:09 am


Great Danes = Great Dogs!

Not as impressive but my English Cocker Spaniel sensed when someone was a “bad ‘un” and got between me and the problem person like a shot: slightly shocking to see and hear my own little snuffle hound snarling with bared teeth, ready to go for the throat. But reassuring and made me proud of The Paw!


Bee August 12, 2017 at 5:08 am

I too have a big dog with a huge bark. Although only half the size of a Great Dane @95 lbs, he deters all but my dearest friends. I wish that I could teach him to only bark when I cough, but he is really not very bright. However, despite his big bark he is sweet, loving and grateful. He was found roaming the street of Savannah as a puppy by my younger son. Denise, since you mentioned your pup, I must say the smartest dog that I ever had was a remarkable cocker spaniel. I will miss him always.


MommaL August 12, 2017 at 5:14 am

I use Facebook Sa;e groups, and in our small community its pretty easy to see if they are legit. I make sure my husband is home, too. Sometimes we meet at the Walmart parking lot, if they are more comfortable with that. Our local sherriff’s office has a lighted parking lot with cameras that they have offered for people to use as a sale pick up spot as well.

Odette August 14, 2017 at 7:28 am

The most vicious dog I’ve ever seen was a Chihuahua. Apparently size doesn’t matter! LOL!


Linda M August 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

In our area, the sheriff’s/jail’s parking lot is designated a “Safe Zone” for meeting someone to exchange your Craiglist items. It is well lit and has video cameras watching all that happens. This is ideal. If you don’t have someplace like this in your area, perhaps you can suggest it to your county council or city.


Krystal August 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm

1) Browsed Safeway’s app before shopping there. I rarely do shop at a big store like Safeway, but when I do I know to browse for coupons first. It was a “junk food/camping food” trip.
2) I baked items for a dinner we are headed to instead of buying something fancy at the bakery.
3) Browsed local exercise studios schedules for free community classes and will be attending 4 in the next 2 weeks.
4) Picked up extra shifts at the yoga studio in exchange for free yoga classes.
5) Not one single impulse purchase yet this month! I generally don’t make impulse purchases, except for sometimes at the grocery store!


Vanessa August 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Check with your local police. Ours has set up a “Safe Exchange” zone at the
station where sellers/buyers can meet under the watchful eye of law enforcement. I live in a suburban community, outside of a large metropolitan city. Seems to be a trend across the country.


Chris August 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm

1. Had my first official day on my latest job.
2. Forgot to go to an estate sale so will go tomorrow AM on 1/2 off day. Looking for re-sale items for my etsy shop.
3. Our son, daughter in law and grandson come next weekend – making sure we have food on hand to limit eating out – though have a plan for eating out one night and going to state fair one day – $$ to pay for those.
4.We are hosting a get together early next week and I keep tweaking the menu to keep costs down – and “discussing” with husband that we don’t have to serve beer/wine for a lunch….. although if someone offers to bring something…
5. Eating leftovers for lunch, reading library books, watching hulu via shared account with daughter, wearing thrifted clothes – all the usuals.


Ava August 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm

1. Got a pedicure at the beauty academy. I realize it would be more frugal to do without or do it myself but I can’t get to my feet to do a good job any more. I discovered pedicures at a late age and am not willing to give them up now. I save money by having students do it and they do an excellent job.
2. I saved .50 a gallon on gas with Kroger points.
3. I went to the Goodwill outlet near me for the first time. I got a swan planter for the yard, a book for a friend to resell, 2 canvas stretchers, and several items to use in upcoming craft projects. I spent $6.00.
4. I made refried beans from dry beans.
5. In the “frugal for others” category, I mailed some clothes across the country to my sister in law for her to sell on Poshmark. The postage was expensive for me but she mailed me a great sewing machine several years ago. I have mended and hemmed many things with it and saved many dollars.


tia August 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

1. Latest Dollar Tree Finds. Cotton Candy Popsicles…Lemon Bath Soap Bar.
Has anyone tried the frozen steaks?
2. I started making my own under garments. I use woven cotton fabric (actually an old dress) and either narrow elastic or fabric draw strings. Only drawback is I keep looking at my clothes and thinking… hmmmm, that would make pretty undies!
3. My faucet water filter kept breaking and I kept having to get refunds so I went cold turkey and now drink straight tap water. A little chlorine cleans the pipes I guess.
4. My Cherokee Purple tomato plant has been saved! thank you rain and lower temps! those are some really tasty tomatoes.
5. I am so going to try the 7 dollar award winning Walmart wine.


janine August 11, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Just back from vacation and have heavy expenses coming up at the end of the month. I need to find some frugal inspiration.
1. Got back a day early so saved a few $$ at doggie hotel as well as vacation related expenses: hotel, restaurant food, impulse purchases etc.
2. Will use smoked fish I bought on vacation to donate to a potluck scheduled for Monday evening.
3. Not too frugal, but DH and I shared a pizza tonight – this is the first time we have indulged this year at our favorite pizza joint – and we did return from vacation a day early!
4. Needed some flip/flops so bought a pair at the dollar store while on vacation. Also found a new book by a well known author that I can put in my gift box.
5. Saved all change for change jar that I cash in at Xmas. It really needed an infusion.


Tracy August 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm

1. Vacationing for a few days at my in-laws lovely vacation home (free to us)
2. Bonus — they took us out for a wonderful dinner last night.
3. They left today and I made our dinner from food I brought from home, will eat food from home for remaining meals as well.
4. Yesterday’s main activity was a long bike ride on the paved bike paths in this beautiful central Oregon resort. Free.
5. Today’s main activity was a six mile float down the gorgeous Deschutes River. Free.


Seattle Nancy August 13, 2017 at 9:35 am

Sunriver! One of our favorite family vacations ever.


Lindsey August 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm

1. Closed in a back porch so it is now a foyer. This will be extremely frugal when it gets to 30 and 40 below zero because having that small unheated space between the outside door and an inside door keeps frost from developing on the inside of our inner door and keeps the room temperature more even. It was horrible to sit in that room when someone decided to come in, blasting everyone with 30, 40 or 50 below zero air. No more. Husband did all the work himself, bless him. My contribution was making his favorite meals for five days running, while he did the work.

2. Closing it in meant several trips to Home Depot so we went to Safeway first and bought gift cards. The promotion was 2 times the value of the gift cards in gas rewards, so we filled up a 25 gallon tank twice in one month paying one dollar per gallon less each time. Meaning, we saved $25 on each fill up. We do this every time we need to go to Home Depot. When we bought our new fridge, it took us several weeks to collect enough gift cards, but that was during a 4 times the value promotion so we ended up saving about $200 on gas fill-ups due to gas rewards points.

3. A friend and I both like the same two authors. So, she bought one author’s book new and I bought the other’s and we traded. Then we donated both of them to the library. Not frugal to buy a book, I know, but buy one get one free was a good deal!

4. I am always, always cold. I was at Good Will, dropping off a load and decided to see if they had a pot lid I needed. No lid but I found 3 packages of flannel pajamas, tags still on them. They were for men but I am six feet tall so men’s sizes work better for me anyway. They had tie fronts and fit perfectly; I have been wearing them around the house already (I am not kidding when I say I am always cold. Even my body temperature registers lower than average, to the point that the nurses always take my temperature twice.) Warm and cheap at $1.75 per package. Extra bonus: they are Christmas themed!

5. Went to Sam’s Club to pick up a 50 pound bag of flour (I make all our bread) and it happened to be a day of samples at every turn. Husband and I ended up eating enough samples that we just skipped lunch. Also managed not to buy any of the tasty items we sampled!


Adriana @MoneyJourney August 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm

I always hang clothes and let them dry “naturally” 🙂 Even during winter, when it takes at least a couple days.
I can’t go on trips without buying souvenirs though.. regardless if I’m gone a day or a week, if the location is new to me, I have to buy a fridge magnet (even if I can’t find one for few bucks, but more expensive). I limit myself to magnets though, so I guess that’s OK 😀


Mrs Stookey August 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm

my frugal 5
1) Did not pick up special meals for my once a month grocery shopping trip( usually I do this cause I have medical issues that zap my energy) but instead our apartment complex had a special potluck so I took homemade cookies I had made a day ahead of time.
2) Shared a ride with my neighbor to her doctor appointment since another neighbor was driving and we all went to Sam’s Club where I shared my membercard with the one neighbor, and then the 3 of us all went to walmart to do grocery shopping
3) Did the bulk of my monthly grocery shopping at Aldi spent 74.00 for two people for 30 days worth of stock up items and some meat and lots of produce
4) used Reciept catcher to see if I will earn any walmart bucks onto my bluebird card, which in two years I’ve “earned” 60.00 worth of walmart bucks
5) found a new consignment shop to sell my unneeded clothes,misc, kitchen itmes at since the one consignment shop I was using is closing; But the new shop I’ll be using splits everything 50/50!!!


Sandra August 12, 2017 at 1:36 am

1. Made all meals at home. We are eating vegetables out of the garden everyday now.
2. Sold our second vehicle. Cancelled insurance.
3. Defrosted a casserole from the freezer to take to a potluck.
4. We drove for an out of town activity with two friends. They each offered $10.00 for gas.
5. We took advantage of a very good sale on boneless chicken breasts. We bought fifteen pounds and saved $12.00. Best of all it’s easy prep, versatile protein that makes for many quick cook meals.


Denise August 12, 2017 at 2:24 am

I suspect that many of you will be thinking “you jessie”, but I detest ironing. Would rather clean ten dirty loos than iron a shirt. This has been a great weakness as I have paid someone (anyone) to do my ironing for years.

Today, I am starting my in-sourcing of my ironing (i.e. I shall be doing some ironing myself). Since there’s only me in “the team”, I surely am “taking one for the team” today.

Wish me luck. I may be some time…*

(* – admittedly, this is not as much of a sacrifice as Captain Oates, who famously spoke them originally.)


Cindy in the South I August 12, 2017 at 7:01 am

I loathe ironing also, and buy the dewrinkle spray “stuff” at Dollar Tree (and then pour half into another empty spray bottle, and fill both to the top with water, so that each large spray bottle cost me 50 cents a piece)…it does not work as well as ironing, but I console myself with the thought that I am “saving” on electricity…yeah right…lol


Sandra August 12, 2017 at 8:17 am

Just plain water in a spray bottle works fine. Someone told me this years ago and I keep a spray bottle in my bathroom ready to spritz away a few wrinkles.


kathleen August 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

My iron is 40+ years old and still in working condition. It hasn’t seen a lot of action. 😉


Denise August 12, 2017 at 11:48 am


There’s a “dewrinkle” spray? About to do a happy dance…

So glad that I’m not the only one who swerves the ironing…I appear to be lying on the sofa, instead of standing next to the ironing board. Inexplicable.

Ahhh. My spidey-sense must have known there was a solution (Cindy and her spray) moving in my direction. What’s that?? Vanilla ice cream needing to be eaten? Yikes, will have to postpone my ironing: don’t want ice cream all over my clothes-for-ironing.

8.48pm in England. Happy Dance Time.


Ruby August 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

If you can’t find it in the stores, Jillee at One Good Thing has a recipe for homemade wrinkle release spray:


KJD509 August 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

Denise, when we helped my parents move out of their home a few years ago, we found in the basement boxes (!!) of wrinkled clothes and linens from when I was a little girl. My mother had dutifully ironed everything for the first few years of her marriage, but she ironed while laboring with my younger brother for hours and hours, too uncomfortable to sit but unwilling to go to the hospital yet because she was hungry and she remembered that during my delivery the nurses wouldn’t let her eat.

That was the last ironing she ever did.

From two generations I say: stick to the ice cream.


Ruby August 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm

I also loathe ironing and am not very good at it. Fortunately my job is okay with crinkle cotton blouses that don’t have to be ironed.


Bee August 12, 2017 at 4:48 am

I love to bird watch. I am fortunate to live in an area with a diversity of species. A few of the birds that I have seen in the past week include hummingbirds, osprey, a pileated woodpecker, a pair of storks, egrets, and gray herons. Nature is amazing! Here are my five —
1) The basil in my herb garden is huge and healthy this year. It is currently waist-high. I harvested quite a bit and made 4 batches of fresh pesto.

2) I bought a beautiful, custom pair of linen draperies for my home office. I purchased these at my favorite charity thrift store for $8. They had just been dry cleaned.

3) I used a rain check at the grocery store for BOGO cage-free eggs. I also used digital coupon to save $1.50. It is not lot, but cents add up to dollars.

4) My AT hiking son needs a new jacket. As he gets further north, the evenings are getting cooler and fall is around the corner. I ordered one for him and was able to use a $20 off coupon. He will be entering Massachusetts this weekend.

5) I have been doing all the usual things – eating at home, drinking water, brewing my own coffee, reading library books, watching Northern Exposure on YouTube ( Thank you, LizB), going to the Y, swimming at the beach and generally waiting for the horrid heat and humidity of a Southern summer to give way to a bearable fall.


Cindy in the South I August 12, 2017 at 7:04 am

When do you think he will complete the AT? That has to be so exciting! Is he planning on going to work for the forest service? I bet he would be awesome at that job!!!


Bee August 12, 2017 at 10:46 am

October 1st is his target date. I would love for him to consider working for the Forest Service or Park Service. He has been a little lost since graduating from college. However, I believe that he has learned quite a bit on this journey. The trail changes people. 🙂


susanna d August 12, 2017 at 5:03 am

1. The gardens are producing, the tomatoes are finally ripe – I love this time of year. Of course, it’s a busy time of year but in a very happy way. During our endless winters, we really appreciate the home grown produce we put up in summer.
2. We made several batches of pickles last week. We have my mother-in-law’s recipes (handwritten; it’s a treasure seeing her writing on those recipes) and the entire extended family loves the pickles. We’re the only ones who still make them, so pickles have become Christmas presents to other family members – and the food item that we’re always requested to bring to family gatherings.
3. Picked up our half side of beef yesterday. Supporting local farmers – and other local businesses – is very important to us. Plus the flavor of the grass fed beef beats grocery store meat. It’s so much cheaper to buy in bulk like this, and it’ll last for many months. We have a lot of family and friends visit through the year, and the grass-fed beef hamburgers (which cost us about the same per pound as regular grocery store burger meat) are a huge hit. And are almost always on the menu, at least once per visit.
4. A couple of our outdoor chairs had bit the dust, and our supply of outdoor chairs was getting smaller than I sometimes need. The house came with four totally gross white (once upon a time they were white; they looked always looked gray) plastic Adirondack-style chairs that were so deeply encrusted with dirt and grime that I had given up on them. I mean, Magic Erasers – my go-to cleaning buddy – didn’t touch the filth. After all these years (okay, six years) I was finally inspired to try blasting them with the pressure washer. They look Brand. New. Blinding white. We now have enough outside chairs for those times that we have a few more guests than usual, and I’m not embarrassed to offer them up for use.
5. Sunny weather today means no dryer use! I love hanging laundry outside.


Frugal Aussie August 14, 2017 at 11:43 pm

I read somewhere recently about having home written recipes printed onto cloth which is then made into tea towels, oven mitts or similar. This might be a nice idea, to go along with a jar of pickles.


BethC. August 12, 2017 at 5:35 am

1. Had 13 people over for dinner. Made a tasty lemon herb chicken dish with ingredients that we had on hand and herbs from the garden (marinade is 6 T olive oil, zest of one lemon, 4 cloves minced garlic, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, salt and pepper). Also made a Greek pasta salad using on hand pasta and feta cheese with veggies form our garden and CSA. Bought sour cream on sale and mixed with on hand mayo and dip mix with veggies from our garden and CSA veggies. Unearthed some Alouette and cheddar that had been languishing in the fridge and Ritz crackers that were languishing in the pantry. Bought tortilla chips and used salsa we had on hand. Bought beer/soda, but used wine we had on hand. Cheerfully accepted offers from others to bring salad, bread, fruit, etc.
2. Desserts were frozen key lime pine using limes we had on hand and graham crackers that we a bit past date but fine when ground up for a butter sugar graham crust. Also made blueberry muffin cake from blueberries that my husband picked and an on hand cake mix. I buy cake mixes when they are on sale for a dollar each and use theme throughout the year. My cake secret is the book “The Cake Mix Doctor.” Many quick yet interesting cake and bar cookie recipes.
3. Made from scratch appetizer were olive puffs with on hand olives, cheddar, butter and flour. Recipe was from the “What Can I Bring” cookbook by the “Cake Mix Doctor” books.
4. We bought hamburger meat for the party-had 4 burgers left over. Husband crumbled them and made sloppy joes the next day-fed 4 of us.
5. Several friends who attended our party were kind enough to bring us wine. i repurposed a bottle and took to Book Club later in the week.
I was really pleased about pulling the frugal party off, as it was on a Tuesday night and I work full-time. In the past, I would have let my busy-lawyer life get in the way and would have grabbed prepared foods from the store. I made and froze several things in advance, and telecommuted the day of the party. I worked via my laptop and took breaks to slice and chop veggies, zest the lemon for the marinade, etc. We were also away for the entire weeknd before the party-visited a close friend from college who loves 4 hours away. We brought several of bottles of wine that we had on hand and white chocolate squash bread that I made from home grown squash and baked/froze in advance. In the end, what will stay with me from this busy week is the joy of spending time with our terrific local friends
(who loved the novelty of a weekday dinner party) and a dear college friend whom I have known for 2/3 of my life.


Danielle August 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

That all sounds so yummy!


Jill August 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

Having just put our house up for sale and hearing all the horrors of our less-than-perfect house and how it would never sell, I love your statement about accepting your off-trend house! Perfect!


KJD509 August 12, 2017 at 6:02 pm

I’m dreading putting our house up for sale – all of the things I love about it (the original Formica counters, the 1960s range, the under-the-garage bomb shelter that seemed like a historical oddity but might come in useful, God forbid, the real wood paneling in places you’d never expect it) are the kinds of things that real estate listings point out as “needs work.” Sigh. Even more, I’m dreading ever finding a house that hasn’t been anonymized by those damn granite countertops!


Mary in Maryland August 17, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Same here. Our house is totally 1940. Steel counter top, but the kitchen walls and ceiling are paneled in laminate. A small electric stove and a tiny fridge, no dishwasher, and the center of the sink is higher than the rest of it. Two study nooks with knotty pine paneling and the world’s ugliest carpeting. The house has three levels and is too much for us. However, after looking at purchasing costs, we’ve been talking about what kinds of help we’d need to keep living here. Could be cheaper than moving while giving others paying work.


deanna ar August 12, 2017 at 11:05 am


1. Found money 1 penny

2. Changed hubby’s health plan…will save $9 per month

3. More tractor problems…hubby spent $68 on parts instead of buying a mower attachment for $1600. He mowed today and it worked great!

4. No hair color for me for about 2 years…au naturel

5. No haircut for me for 1 year

6. Extended my online grocery shopping list on Amazon Prime…fewer trips and less wear and tear on us

7. After I had a medical procedure last week, my neighbor brought lunch

8. A friend brought dinner last night

9. After medical appointment in our closest city (2 hours), we stopped at a Mexican restaurant and shared a meal


kathleen August 12, 2017 at 11:32 am

1. Accepting as many workdays as I can to help with the cost of an autumn vacation.
2. Planning trip itinerary and reserving cabins at state parks along the way whenever possible. We will enjoy the autumn beauty, make day trips out, and cook for ourselves at least two meals a day.
3. We will be travelling in my new-to-me car. I wasn’t happy about totaling my last one (last November), but I have to say I am really enjoying the better gas mileage!
4. Continuing to make individual meals for the freezer for the hubs to take to work.
5. Finally went and got my hair cut off. I was completely up front with my hair dresser that I didn’t want to have to have trims every six weeks. We settled on a very short bob that (fingers crossed) will continue to look tidy as it grows out, so that I can put off cuts until I feel the need again. Washing is much easier with my bum shoulder, and drying time much shorter! And I made him leave the length in the elastic band before starting the cut, so I’m contemplaiting (extra credit if you caught my little creative spelling pun there) finding a place online to sell it.


Carol August 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

1. Nice pun! Took me a minute.


Carol August 12, 2017 at 12:51 pm

1. I had a recipe that called for quinoa, but I saw that it cost 3-4 times as much as a bag of plain brown rice, so I subbed brown rice. Equally delicious, especially when it gets that brown coating from sitting in the pan.

2. I didn’t pencil in my eyebrows. I had a coworker who told me I really should a few years ago, so I always felt self-conscious and sometimes tried to do them, but long story short I saved myself a fancy Sephora consultation just by not worrying about it. I say this because I know there are other NCAers who probably also don’t do it.

3. We had over a friend for dinner, and it was unexpected. I could have made something, but I preferred to spend my time visiting with her. I realized that take-out would have cost us around $40 for 3 people, at least, and so instead I walked down the block to our carryout pizza place and got two one-topping pizzas for $13. The big cost was walking and getting it when I didn’t feel like it, but it was worth $27.

4. Being more attentive to eating things before they go bad. Yesterday I put together a lunch of cubed homemade bread with warm homemade enchilada sauce topped with improvised bean dip and a half a tomato. All these things were fridge items that needed using. I feel like I have a talent for making meals from whatever’s there.


Mand01 August 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

1. My husband and I reworked our budget and we think we can start making at least a full extra mortgage payment a month, cutting our mortgage in half. We don’t spend a lot and have no other debt, so it’s achievable.
2. I made raspberry and passion fruit scones, cookies and granola for the kids.
3. We are gardening today as it is a beautiful day and I am planting potatoes.
4. We fixed our washing line and can finally hang washing outside again.
5. I went to a fete and bought a suitably non gender specific shirt for my young person for $3. They was pleased with it.


Mrs Stookey August 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Today’s FFT
1) found 1 cent in the couch
2) found free Women’s Day magazines in the Recycling Bin, which when I’m done will go back to the Recycling Bin in our apartment building
3) Made my Dad’s pizza salad recipe with produce bought yesterday at Aldi’s
4) Scored a free phone with free minutes/texts/data for my husband (since he has Medicare and Medicaide he qualified)
5) Wrote out the weekly meal plan to use produce up so to not have any spoil.


BJS August 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Extended-family beach vacation edition …

1. Drove there and back, instead of flew.

2. Got through half of The Tightwad Gazette. Wow — she is hardcore and makes me feel like Spendy McSpender! I’m enjoying it and learning a lot.

3. Ate all breakfasts, all lunches, and all but two dinners in. I was a crazy woman cooking up a storm the day before we left (in addition to laundry and packing), but it all got done.

4. One of our two meals out was at Friendly’s, a restaurant we go to every year on vacation. I had cut out coupons at home, not sure if they’d be valid in another part of the country. Not only was my immediate family able to use one, but the other three families in our large group were able to use one each too. And … I had three left over so I put them on three nearby diners’ (strangers’) tables, so they could use them also.

5. Found a penny on the ground but made my daughter pick it up because I pulled a back muscle playing in the ocean. It still hurts!


KJD509 August 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm

1. Worked until after 7 last night. Wanted to stop for Thai food on the way home so badly I could taste it. But came right home, did some chores that really needed to be done, and made a huge pan of fried rice that was about 75% on-last-legs veggies, 25% leftover rice. Topped it with fried eggs just as my son walked in the door from work about 9:30 and it was delicious, frugal, and great chance to sit and chat with him.
2. Nearly forgot to put the garbage out (hubs usually does it but he’s 350 miles away), but dragged myself out at 11:30 at night when I remembered. We pay for pickup whether we have anything out or not, and there was A LOT to go out. We hadn’t put the yard garbage out for two weeks because with the smoke and the heat, nobody had been working in the yard – but it’s quite comfortable near midnight, so I pulled weeds in my slippers and filled it about a quarter of the way.
3. Two of three daughters are visiting Grandma. Frugal for her: they took a cooler of our local beef, as she’s just replaced her ancient chest freezer with a smaller one and it was pretty empty.
4. Frugal-only-because-it-could-have-been-a-disaster: Those same daughters knocked something sideways on a shelf while filling the basket for Grandma, so while the freezer door looked closed, it wasn’t sealed. When I woke up this morning I heard a high-pitched whine, and thank goodness I investigated instead of assuming it was the neighbor working on his roof: the compressor had gone out trying to keep things cool on our 103 degree day (freezer is in an uninsulated garage). I woke the son, bought the last large freezer Home Depot had in stock, son hauled it home in the pickup truck and moved it into the garage by brute force, and we saved all but a carton of ice cream, a jar of apple butter, and an unmarked bag of mystery leftovers. The value of the food in the freezer, most of which is local meat, far exceeded the cost of the freezer, so I count that as a win.
5. As part of Operation Freezer Rescue, I have 6 meals’ worth of various beef dishes cooking on the stove, in the oven, in the crockpot – and three more packages of meat in the fridge. It’s been a long, long hot day of cooking, but holy smokes could it ever have been worse.
6. Of course we’re not eating any of the beef dishes – we can barely stand to look at them after working on them all day. Instead, tomato sandwiches with the first big ripe garden tomatoes. Mmmmmm.


Amanda August 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm

1) We rented our home on Airbnb this weekend as we were at our weekend place.

2) We had dinner guests Friday night. I resisted the urge to pick up cheap Mexican and instead got the even cheaper fixings for a delicious taco dinner at Aldi.

3) I’m fighting the good fight to be reimbursed for medical expenses covered by our insurance. Why does everything seem to require multiple calls to the doctor’s office and insurance? Almost never is a medical expense charged, coded, and claimed correctly the first time!!! It would cost us thousands in incorrectly billed medical expenses if I didn’t stay on it. And we’re a healthy family!

4) Received a check resulting from an amended tax return and put it directly in savings.

5) Read library books to the kids this weekend, my husband made pizza from scratch, he played golf this weekend for the first time in a long time but required no new gear or peripherals, listened to recordings on LibriVox, hung clothes on the line, and went for a perfectly free walk.


Sheila August 13, 2017 at 7:35 am

We adopted a rescue puppy a few weeks ago – which is priceless as he will give us much joy through the years – and while we’ve had quite a few expenses, I’ve done what I can to save.
1. Checked our local Buy Nothing group for pee pads and 2 generous souls offered them up. Since our little black lab was practically potty trained (thanks to his brilliant foster mom) we only used a few and I’m going to offer them back to the group.
2. We’re reusing much from our old pup – his leashes, collar (which we could adjust to fit a 11 week puppy!), a crate, and 2 dog beds. We borrowed a couple baby gates and a tiny crate we use for the car.
3. What we did buy came mostly from Costco and Trader Joe’s. Since he needs to chew A LOT I picked up several toys at the Dollar Store. When thrifting yesterday I found one of the indestructible toys for 95 cents! My friend who’s a trainer suggested hot dogs for training so we picked up some all beef versions at a 99 cent store.
4. Where I have spent good money and felt good about it: our vet who we’ve known for 30 years, a puppy training book, and training classes. If we want a well-behaved sweetie we need to put in the time.
5. Picked up a couple men’s long sleeved dress shirts at the thrift shop which I’m wearing with old jeans and tennis shoes to protect myself from sharp puppy fangs, er teeth, ha!
Would absolutely love any advice on getting through the teething – thanks in advance!


Cynthia Huntington August 13, 2017 at 8:36 am

You are such a responsible, aware dog owner. Your puppy is blessed to have found you. I think most people who adopt a pet have very good intentions but so much can go wrong if the time and effort aren’t there.


Sheila August 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Thanks so much Cynthia – you are so kind 🙂 We are exhausted at the end of the day (and during too!) but hope it’s time well spent


rebecca August 13, 2017 at 7:50 am

This has been a horrible week for stress and $ as I had to pay $2400 for car repairs. 🙁 and I had solar panels put on roof but one of the workmen drilled through the roof and it was coming through my ceiling. The company is responsible and is fixing everything. I kept thinking-all I wanted to do was more of my part for the environment…….The frugal fail with this is that had I felt comfortable referring them to people I would have gotten a $500 referral fee each time. Boo hiss to that!
1. My cousin and his wife had a baby and I found a cute onesie from a local artisan to get them. I had a gift bag, tissue and a card (all not specific for a baby gift but good enough) all on hand and it is good to go.
2. Friends gifted me 2 tickets to a red sox game. Unfortunately, I can’t go but am passing them on to my nephew. He is thrilled. I will give my friends a bottle of wine I have on hand to say thank you.
3. Air drying laundry right now.
4. Shopped at Aldi this week.
5. I have some zucchini that I need to grate and put in freezer before it goes bad.


KJD509 August 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

Rebecca, often those companies use local installation contractors. Could you in good conscience recommend them as long as a different contractor is used? Or refer them with a note about how the process sometimes results in complications but they handled them professionally (if they did)?

That way you can still reap potential referral bonuses without compromising your standards.


Roberta August 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

I agree. If the company handled the problem (caused by an individual) in a responsible, timely manner, I’d still be willing to take the referral from you. I know sometimes accidents happen, but if the company responds responsibly then I’m happy.

On the other hand, my solar company installed a month late, wouldn’t return phone calls in a timely manner, lost my personal information on the road (a bill that was mailed back to me by an anonymous person), and offered to compensate me for lateness…but didn’t. That’s the sort of thing that keeps me from referring.

But the solar works!


rebecca August 15, 2017 at 9:30 am

Thank you both for helping think differently about it. Roberta, from what you say, this company has been MUCH more professional than your company has.
I am so glad your solar works! Looking forward to the final inspection and having them turn it on in a week or so.


Kim in Maryland August 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

1. Did 4 days of retail resets and 12 merchandising jobs this week. DS#2’s college tuition is looming since school starts in 10 days. I took my lunch and drinks with me so I wasn’t spending money when I was trying to make it.
2. Cleaned out a box of beauty supplies (shampoos, conditioners, body puffs, etc.) that had been foisted upon me several weeks ago when I was picking up a Freecycle footrest for DS#2’s off campus house. To be honest most of it ended up in trash or recycle due to it being questionable or just gross. DH wanted to just throw it all away but I soldiered through. Glad I did, as I found a brand new pair of Apple ear pods in the very bottom of the box! DS#2 was thrilled to have a spare pair and I was glad to save $25. Kept a bottle of Head & Shoulders for DS#1 who just had said he needed some. Also a few sealed baby products for our MOPS swap table.
3. Stopped at the very tiny charity shop that supports the health center for people with no health insurance. Found a large pressure canner for $5 that looked like it had hardly been used. I already have one so I will sell on CL. Also 2 “new” Fiesta mugs for 25¢ each, a TW Freezermate, wood architectural piece and a piece of glass crackle came home with me for $4 more. The mugs and the crackle will be gifts.
4. Picked up a 1/2 bushel of cracked tomatoes for canning from someone in my Nextdoor group. My afternoon will be spent transforming them to edibles in jars. Got to love free food!
5. This week’s grocery store freebies thanks to load to card offers- Liberte yogurt, Oikos crunch yogurt, Grill mates marinade and large container of Tic Tacs which will be a stocking stuffer. Total value $7. More free food!


dawnelle August 13, 2017 at 9:14 am

Katy, have you done a post on how to ship items? I am interested in listing things online like you, but I have no idea how to ship things. I’m in Portland also. How do you know how much it will cost to ship? Where do you take your items to, etc.? Maybe you’ve done a post on this and I missed it. Would love some pointers if you have time!


Roberta August 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

I was hesitant when I started selling on ebay, but it’s super easy, and the customer service there has been great. On the main ebay page click the sell like, list your item. When it sells they notify you (or you’ll see it, if you check obsessively like I did) and they provide a link to purchase shipping. Make sure you weigh your item and shipping box before you list, and ebay will calculate (discounted) shipping for you. If you have any questions, you can have ebay call you and talk you through the process — they’ve been really nice about talking my through! You can do it!


MommaL August 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I bought a scale for about 20 dollars. I weigh each item, in the box, before I list it. That way the shipping is listed correctly and you won’t lose out. When the buyer pays, you get paid the shipping cost, and you can print out the shipping from home. The best part about it is that it sometimes costs less to ship it from home.
Be careful that you ship it the way that the customer wanted: i.e. Priority or first class.
All I’ve ever really paid for is the shipping tape. The Priority boxes are free from, and from other boxes and packing material donated to me from those who know I want it.


MommaL August 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Oh and if it is HUGE, ship freight. I once sold a car part…the only thing left of a car that wrecked, this way.


Jennifer August 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm

1. I usually use BBQ sauce in my meatloaf, but only had 1/2 a bottle which is not enough. I improvised with ketchup and seasonings to make a double batch of meatloaf.
2. I will use that 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce to make my own pulled chicken sandwiches in the crockpot later this week.
3. We are temporarily broke (college kid moving into his first apartment + numerous car repairs), so I have been selling things to cover groceries while we eat from the pantry as much as possible. So far I have made $20 and spent $8.77 at one grocery today for fill in items and have $11 left to head to another grocery store for fresh produce (plus a $2 coupon off any purchase).
4. Weeded a large section of my garden, turned it over very well and planted a fall crop of carrots, kale and beets. Hoping for some yummy harvesting come end of September.
5. Received the free bagel for the month off from Panera and have been enjoying fresh bagels almost every day of August. Definitely helps the grocery budget and the kids are thrilled.


Laura August 22, 2017 at 7:56 am

I got the offer for free bagels too and have gone almost every day!


Beth August 14, 2017 at 6:57 am

Since this is all about non-consumerism (and frugality for me personally), I have to admit that when hubby pulled into Chipotle, I didn’t have the willpower to tell him we needed to eat at home. My burrito bowl was delicious but not frugal.

1. Other than my Chipotle slip-up, I’ve eaten at home this weekend. I’ve eaten up leftovers, prepped ahead to make sure I’m not scrambling at the last minute, and generally enjoyed my food.
2. Went to the GW Outlet yesterday and found a large throw for my living room, a piece of geometrical home decor, two shirts for myself, and a shirt for LO. I spent $6 and felt really good about my purchases.
3. Found a penny on the ground yesterday
4. reused a gift bag for a baby shower gift (spent money there too, but purchased consumables)
5. Wearing all thrifted clothing today (I’m doing this more often than not nowadays, and it feels great).


Roberta August 14, 2017 at 9:32 am

1. In just a few minutes I’m taking a friend and her daughter (and my daughter) shopping for back to school clothes at second hand shops. She doesn’t feel that she knows how to do this (?) but I’m happy to go with them.
2. Had a successful opening of my mother’s children’s resale shop this weekend. We had a fair amount of traffic and kept busy with buying and selling.
3. Celebrated my son’s birthday with family yesterday, only a week and a half after his birthday. We had pizza from Costco and ice cream sundaes (most ingredients were from Grocery Outlet). Reused durable party supplies (plates, bowls, cups, napkins, decorations.) We had a great time with the family!
4. I made up my menu for this week, and I’ll be making dinner at home today, with no hard brain work!
And that’s it for me, because I hear my friend in the driveway!


Teresa August 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

I’m so used to doing things inexpensively that I really have to think hard about how I was NCA or saved $. That’s a good thing, I guess!

1. Began fixing the woven wood blinds instead of buying replacements. The hardest to repair blind is yet to be fixed, but I can do it. Won’t need new ones for a few more years.

2. Washed a “like new” child’s furry-dog sleeping bag that belonged to my daughter (she’s 24 now) and will sell it on eBay. For some reason I am having trouble parting with the silly thing. lol. I am sitting on it now!

3. Delicious and easy Sunday Pantry Dinner: Salad leftover from Saturday, served with BBQ Chicken Pizza made using a 99-cent markdown crust, free BBQ sauce from Pavilions “Just4U” freebie, 1 cup Costco roasted chicken from the freezer, sautéed onion/garlic and markdown mozzarella sticks (appx. 75-cents for a large pizza) — a great dinner with lots of leftover pizza that is now frozen for lunches. Making a pantry/fridge list has really helped me reduce grocery costs as well as helping me plan tasty meals using what I have on hand.

4. Enjoyed a $3 evening concert at the Nature Center concert with my “ex” sister-in-law… chatting, eating Dolmas out of a can, and munching her fresh-off-the-vine cherry tomatoes. The music was ok, but the ambience and friendship were perfect. (In case you were wondering, it was a Caribbean style steel drum band.)

5. THE BIG WIN! Called Costco customer service for help in finding a part for a portable air conditioner purchased online in 2007. The manufacturer is out of business so Costco is refunding my $487! And it was their idea! Holy Moly! Guess I’ll be keeping that Costco card…


rebecca August 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

that fantastic! Yay costco! your pizza sounds delicious.


ouvickie August 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

In reference to your # 4, Katy – I have white Formica counter tops – my home is a 1995 model and, back then, Hunter Green was in, so the trim, my carpet and the tile backsplashes in my kitchen and bathrooms are all that color. I don’t have the money to redo anything right now and it’s all still functional, so…I don’t care. Nobody at my house is ever trying to keep up with the proverbial Joneses – LOL!

1) I remembered to bring my lunch last week and today – so no trying to find cheap fast food for lunch at work.
2) I dropped off The Grapes of Wrath audiobook at the Library today. That one made me VERY thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life.
I picked up two more audiobooks – shopping with my favorite card!
3) Today I deposited $100 into savings and put the other $100 in our account for household expenses that might come up this month.
4) I dump all the veggie/fruit peelings, coffee grounds and eggshells around the bottom of my Sand Plum tree in the backyard and work it into the soil. It keeps my tree fertilized and recycles my kitchen waste. I often pour leftover cold coffee into the dirt of my potted tropical tree, in my dining room. It’s over 20 years old and still flourishing.
5) I ran out of my regular shampoo, but I have some trial and hotel sizes in my shower basket, so I’ve been using those instead of buying shampoo this month. I’m trying not to spend money I don’t have to on anything this month.


Mand01 August 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Our 70s palace was updated in the 90s as well with Forest Green trim everywhere. We have recently discovered that trim is literally being held together by the paint (we were first home buyers, we did get a building inspection but that was worth spit) and we are slowly replacing it all and reprinting it – Forest Green. May as well.


Mand01 August 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm



ouvickie August 15, 2017 at 7:27 am

I actually like that color, it seems to go fine with the red things I’ve decorated my kitchen with. I don’t mind the formica, it’s easy to clean with baking soda and it’s really durable.
We bought our house in 1998, when it was 3 years old, so the colors were still popular.
I do want to eventually replace all the carpet with linoleum that looks like stone. The original owners tiled the kitchen and the laundry area with white tile and didn’t do anything to protect the grout. We live on 30 acres with dirt roads, so white is not a good color to have on the floors in those rooms. I’ve decided linoleum will probably be less expensive and easy to take care of.


Alexandra August 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

1. Hit the grocery store at the right time and got 5 packages of ground beef (1 lb each) for $1.99. Into the freezer!
2. Got 2 artichokes marked down at store today for $1. yes!
3. married some bits and bobs to a salad dressing bottle with 1/2″ of dressing. Made it good. I’m sure I could never replicate but happy to put bottle in recycling and free up space in door of fridge.
4. Been eating our homegrown cucumbers daily. Gave a neighbor 2 in exchange for 10 tomatillas. Made GREAT chicken enchiladas.
5. Husband earned a great bonus and $200 went right into savings.
6. One more! Got paperwork to make loan payments on mortgage weekly. Adding enough in so that at the end of the year, we’ve made one extra payment.


Roberta August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

I’ve been meaning to ask, Katy — where do you get your Red Rose tea? They had it at my Grocery Outlet, I got addicted, then it disappeared. Now the only place I can find it advertised is Walmart, but I’m not keen to shop there. Where do you find it?


Katy August 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm

They sell it here at Fred Meyer (Kroger) and at Safeway.


Roberta August 15, 2017 at 6:25 am

Thanks, Katy! I’ll check there.


Mrs Stookey August 14, 2017 at 8:20 pm

todays FFT
1) took bus to go to DMV to get hubby’s handicap placard renewed which is free since it’s lifetime placard and bus ride was 75 cents for us to both ride, then my mom met up with us and she paid for the return trip
2) gave mom cereal that we can’t eat that was given to us free (it has gluten and too much sugar)
3) helped a neighbor find her phone and for that she gave me two dish scrubby’s that she makes, one I’m keeping the other will be a gift
4) using up produce so as to not waste any, breakfast today was fruit and cottage cheese, lunch salad with all kinds of veggies, supper had fresh tomato on top of the frito pie
5) recycled our cans in the apartment buildings recycling program which also includes paper and glass. The cans make our residents association money, the paper and glass too.


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