Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 19, 2017 · 78 comments

  1. My son and snuck up to Seattle for a couple of days for a parallel mini-vacation with my husband. Why parallel? My husband was there to attend a 6-hour punk rock concert with friends, and I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than engage in such an activity. Instead my son and I stayed with a dear friend from college and indulged in a wee bit of thrifting and a tremendous amount of great conversation. I bought two items to sell on eBay, (a vintage enamelware lid and a vintage record album organizer) as well as a Real Madrid soccer jersey for my son to keep.

  2. I finally sold the brand new wall-to-wall carpet that I picked up a few weeks ago. I also sold a Turkish soccer jersey and a pair of vintage pantyhose on eBay.

  3. I mended a T-shirt and took in a pair of jean shorts that were too big in the waist. I wasn’t sure how to do it, but sure enough, there was a YouTube video that demonstrated each and every step!

  4. I worked two 12-hour shifts earlier in the week and brought my own food both days, I once again piggybacked on a Tacoma hotel room that was paid for by my husband’s employer, I washed and mended a large bag of vintage handmade Barbie clothing that I’m getting ready to sell, I deliberately chose locally owned restaurants for all meals while out of town, (supporting local economies is an important part of my non-consumerism) I sorted a stack of mail and wrote checks, (nothing frugal about late fees) I bought a pound of coffee and a gift card as a hostess gift for my Seattle friend, (again supporting a local business) I accepted some random leftovers from a relative’s Bat Mitzvah and I put recommended books on hold at the library.

  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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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Hairston August 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

1. Got $90 of hair services for $36 Groupon
2. Helped bff sort clothing to send to and she treated me to lunch.
3. Sold an item on eBay I bought at thrift store made a small profit
4. Purchased a family sized bag of York peppermint patties for 75% off
5. Download free books on to my kindle


MommaL August 19, 2017 at 11:29 am

I LOVE York Peppermint Patties!


Liz B. August 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Me, too!! That family size bag wouldn’t last long in my hot little hands!


Lynda August 20, 2017 at 7:31 am

Living in the UK, I wish I didn’t like York Peppermint Patties so much… They’re available but far from frugal 😀


MommaL August 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

but I remember some fabulous lemon bon bons there, Lynda. 🙂

Carol August 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

1. The blender broke–the pitcher part. It’s cracked, and I experimented with using it that way, so I don’t have to buy a new one. It leaks a little, but only takes 30 seconds to wipe up. I always get sad when something like that has to go to the dumpster. So I will use it as long as I can get away with it.

2. Went food shopping today, and I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the unit price. Bought a double size of baked beans for 80 cents extra so we can use it for lunches, too.

3 Husband and I going to splurge on a food truck burrito, but we’re going to split it to save money. Also tonight we’re going to a local restaurant with a gift certificate that was free to me, because I earned it on Swagbucks.

4 Reading The Millionaire Next Door and seeing some of my parents’ habits in the “millionaire” behavior–i.e. living below your means. So thankful that I don’t have to worry about their retirement. It’s a library book–I haven’t bought my own book in ages. I DID recently pay a $4.10 library fine, but considering I’ve checked out about 40 books in that time, I think it’s worth it.

5. Got 4 reams of printer paper for $3 because of crazy back to school sales. Was pissed to find out it’s not actually $3 like the ad says (Staples), but that you get a Visa card rebate for it while paying $20 up front. So it messes with my budgeting, but it’s still a good deal.


Jennifer August 19, 2017 at 11:48 am

I wonder if you could use Sugru (moldable rubber, Katy has done a piece on it) to fix your blender pitcher?


Marcia August 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Some blenders are the right size for a canning jar–either pint or quart. You could try that first!!


Mary W August 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

There are also a number of clear, food-safe glues and epoxies you can use to coat the inner surface of the carafe, if you can’t or don’t go the canning jar route.


WilliamB August 21, 2017 at 5:02 am

Sugru says it isn’t foodsafe. I’ve used it for things that sometimes touch food – such as the top of my salt jar – but I’m not sure I’d want it in frequent contact with food.


Katrina August 20, 2017 at 5:53 am

I used to work at Staples…. You definitely have to read the fine print on those deals, they are confusing and we got tons of upset people every day because of them!


Mary W August 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

You would think Staples would change their policy with so many upset customers, but I’m sure they won’t. Many folks don’t get around to sending in the rebates so the company gets to benefit from all the extra full price sales.

Office Max does the same thing, and they are notorious for rebates that never arrive. I no longer give them my trade, as I consider it to be dishonest.


Beth August 19, 2017 at 11:17 am

1. Air off for 3rd week in row, lots of savings there!
2. Attended a free braiding class with my daughter at our salon , fun and even included free pizza and pop, no dinner tonight!
3. Bought clementines off the reduced rack at the store and a few other things on sale.
4. Had a job interview for a part time job at the library for extra income and offered the position. Working Sunday’s three times a month 1-5, perfect hours.
5. Went to brothers cottage last weekend and brought a taco dip and chips, turtle brownies and snacks already had in the house. Just cost gas to get up there.
6. Bought exercise DVD set I wanted from Amazon using Discover card rewards and free shipping from my APrime account.
7. Rented two Redbox movies, B1G1 – The Circle and Going In Style, glad I only paid $1.50!
8. Started and finished another Hoopla audio book through library, checked out a free book (Wheat Belly) using my Amazon Prime account and looked at all the free magazines I could be reading! Wish I had more free time. Also watched London Falling on Netflix, really enjoyed it.
9. Daughter with grandparents this weekend for a long weekend vacation in the upper peninsula of MI, excited for some me time and of course they will feed her etc., win win!
10. Treated myself to a Chinese beef and broccoli dinner, will get three meals out of it so cost is nominal.
11. Picking up a Christmas gift for daughter ordered through Zales promotion saving over $50! Necklace has her name , unique spelling and all. She won’t have a clue either since she is gone this weekend.
12. Just got a quote for auto insurance, will get a $20 visa gift card for participating. Also completed Aldi receipt survey for a chance to win gift card, and my team in recent Swagbucks challenge placed #1 so I will get 100 swagups. Challenge helped inspire me to be more active and will earn a $25 Walmart gift card by the end of next week to use towards a new dog crate for our growing puppy!
13. Having a blow out garage sale next weekend! I have so much stuff a little daunting but we should do really well! Great stuff.
14. Got asked to do last minute dog walk/visit tonight, cha Ching!

Frugal fail – went over grocery store budget but now that started/following a new diet needed different food items. Worth it to lose and figured if joined WW would have cost a lot more.


WaThriftFamily August 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

Congratulations on the library job!


Beth August 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Thank you


kathleen August 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Congrats on the job!

I thought The Circle movie was really awful.


Beth August 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Thanks so much Kathleen, I’m excited to be working there, Love the library! Yes my daughter and I were really disappointed in The Circle movie as well, I did just request it from the library interested to read the .


NancyS August 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

I read The Circle (borrowed from the library, of course), and found it quite depressing. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was all too possible and all too grim.


MommaL August 19, 2017 at 11:28 am

1. Got rid of all of our VHS movies together. Made a list of what DH would love to have in DVD or find on an app. Made a wish list on Amazon for used DVDs that I couldn’t find on any apps, and will notify some family members (who like to buy him a little something) of that list before his birthday.
2. Our coasters weren’t working, they stuck to the glasses in this humid weather. I got out an old stash of gifted cocktail napkins and will use them up when needed for sweating beverages.
3. Clipped the kitties’ claws ourselves to save the furniture and carpet.
4. Used coupons and sales to get some items almost free. Planned my week’s meals around the sales.
5. Dropped a bottle of salad dressing on the floor and cracked it. I quickly poured it into a dish and marinated chicken for two dinners with the dressing.


Isitaneedorawanta August 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

(1) During school year have large basket of containers in my dining room for packing lunches. Frequently will pack dry items for a couple of weeks, like a large package of store brand chips:). Put away the containers for the summer in two unused cloth pillow cases. Thought I needed a large bag, just had to think of what I could use in cloth and not plastic.
(2) While cleaning out freezer last week for my chicken order found a pack of pork chops , BBQing those tonight and a pork tenderloin I will combine with something else next weekend. Bit freezer burned,but that’s what sauce is for.
(3) Saw meat on sale and was tempted to purchase, but….I have items in my freezers I can use. My items at home are a sunk cost. I have already spent $$ on them.
(4) Had an infestation of ants. Sprinkled a box of borax along wall and behind furniture. Mission accomplished….I think.
(5) Moved a number of evergreen seedlings that have grown alongside our deck.
Had been meaning to do for a while. But the removal of several large trees last summer because of potential safety issues combined with the need to remove the wasps nest under the deck encouraged the landscaping project with the seedlings.


Jennifer August 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm

A few weeks ago, we had tons of ants that were coming in our business and invading the waiting area where our customers sit so I had to do something quickly. I didn’t have any bug spray and I tried washing the area with Dawn dish liquid and that didn’t work. I got some W-D 40 spray from my husband’s toolbox and sprayed where they were coming in and it worked! We have problems with these ants every year but they have not come back since I sprayed it.


Mary W August 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

That’s a good idea, using pillow cases. I use them to store sleeping bags, extra bedding, etc, but you’ve given me another idea. I can use them to hold my recycling, which we have to take to the transfer station to drop off instead of trying to reuse a plastic kitchen bag or a feed sack over and over. The pillow cases will store under the seat of my truck better, are washable, and I have some truly ugly cases that are perfect for this job. Thanks!


Roberta August 21, 2017 at 5:49 am

I’ve had great luck using cinnamon in a window where the ants were entering. I get the cinnamon in bulk, so it’s cheap, and it smells good too! I wouldn’t use it somewhere it isn’t contained, though (like the window jam.)


Bee August 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I am continuing my question-everything month. My annual savings rate has reached almost $4000! As I had shared recently,the largest portion of this savings thus far was realized by changing auto insurance carriers and discontinuing cable. I am also trying to figure out the home phone situation. Meanwhile, I have been working on other things too–

1) This week I spoke with my hair stylist who touches up my hair color frequently to cover my gray. I know having one’s hair colored is not frugal. I have tried to do it myself in the past, but it was not working. I have turned my very dark brown hair shades of raspberry red and a lovely burnt orange. When I finally learned to deal with my hair’s undertones, my hair came out so dark that I looked like Morticia Adams. So until I accept the fact that I am aging, my stylist has agreed to mix my color for me for a small fee and I will apply myself. This will save approximately $350 a year.

2) A loaf of bread from an award-winning, local bakery comes with my farm box every week. I finally contacted the Co-op to let them know that I am allergic to wheat. (I had been giving the bread away or freezing it) They will now substitute another fruit or veggie for the bread. Now I can eat everything in my box. I am not sure how to calculate that savings, but I will not be buying something that I don’t need any longer.

3) I treated my sister-in-law to a birthday dinner out at a nice restaurant last night. Again, this is not particularly frugal. I love her dearly and it made both of us happy. I drank water with my dinner, and I brought home my leftovers. I believe that I will get two additional meals out of it. Serving sizes are just too big!

4) I am currently reading Not Buying It by Judith Levine. It is laugh-out-loud funny in parts. The author, who has given up shopping for a year, echoes some of my own feelings as I am challenging the status quo in my life. Of course, I borrowed the book from the library. Thanks to the NCA reader who recommended it.

5) I continue all of the usual stuff: drinking primarily water, reducing food waste, brewing my own coffee, running and swimming, selling unwanted items, buying secondhand when possible, and attempting to get out of the store without any plastic bags.

Happy weekend everyone!


kathleen August 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Bee, I love your ‘solution’ for hair coloring! What a great idea.


Bee August 20, 2017 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Kathleen. Love the pun!!!! I am really trying to think outside of the box. I discover Four Miles North of Nowhere. I am enjoying it.


Vickey August 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

And kudos to your colorist for being flexible! A wise adaptation on her part.


Bobbi August 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

1. The usual suspects: making coffee at home, drinking tap water, cooking from scratch at home, batching errands.
2. Taking some clothes to Buffalo Exchange this afternoon. I will take cash instead of store credit, and donate the money to social justice and anti-racist causes. Less stuff in my house, and a vote for the kind of world I want to live in with my dollars.
3. Free exercise by hiking in the woods. It’s also therapeutic emotionally.
4. Using my Facebook Buy Nothing group to funnel some furniture I don’t need to where it will be used. A schoolteacher posted an “ask” for a bookshelf for her classroom (yes, it’s sad that teachers have to find their own classroom furniture) and I had one that I no longer needed, so she’s picking it up later.
5. I found a free way to communicate regularly with my elected officials, that I think is more effective than (also-free) emailing or calling. They get a hard-copy fax when I used this texting app called Resistbot. I just texted the word “resist” to 504-09, and it texts me instructions every step of the way, asking what I want to say and to which U.S. officials (it finds your senators and congressperson based on your zip code), and then it formats it in a letter and faxes a hard copy to their office!


Miss Lani Make Do August 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Bobbi, I love how your frugality is linked with your activism (#2 and #5). It’s inspiring to see other people fighting to change the world!


Bobbi August 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, Miss Lani! 🙂


K D August 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

1. I paid a library fine. I had one book due on Wednesday but didn’t drive any where that day. I knew I;d be near the library on Thursday so i decided it would save time and money to pay the one day fine of $.25.

2. A friend gave me tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and a large zucchini from his garden. I just made twp dozen zucchini muffins (most of which I’ll freeze), I cut and froze the peppers for future meals, I will use the cucumbers in salads over the next several days, and the tomatoes were used for burrito bowls and salads. Free produce is awesome. This friend has been the recipient of many household give-aways over the years.

3. All meals at home this weekend. Leftovers for lunch today, sandwiches tonight. Nothing fancy but delicious and nutritious.

4. I bought stamps at Staples the other day (using discounted gift cards I received from Discover). Out came a coupon for $10 off back to school items. I used it to buy $.50 packages of crayons, which a family member will use for a back to school event.

5. I went to Home Depot to pick up a small item I ordered (earning a few United Mileage Plus miles/points thus keeping my points active). They had a couple different types of perennials we had been wanting on a great clearance sale. We bought six of each, which should be perfect for filling an empty spot in our yard. Not free but a good deal.


Cynthia Huntington August 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm

This is terrific as always, but tell me: what the Sam Hill are “vintage pantyhose”?


Alison August 20, 2017 at 8:33 am

I wanted to ask the same thing!


tonya August 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

1) A friend gave me a bag of chile peppers from her garden. How sweet! I love spice so I will use them all.
2) Loaded digital coupons for items that I needed at the grocery store. Saved $50 on a $200 shopping trip.
3) Ate at home for every meal this week.
4) Took a nice, essential oil infused bath and read Harry Potter to relieve stress. Also watched Tina Fey “Sheet Caking”. A must see.
5) Getting a take and bake pizza for dinner. More frugal than delivery but a lovely treat.


Vickey August 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm

“Sheet caking ” – right?! We howled with laughter. May have also sobbed.


Cathy August 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm

1. Found $5.23 so far this week! One $5 bill + random change. My found money jar is getting full!
2. With my birthday this week, and being an email subscriber to a few businesses, I got a free shirt from Kohl’s ($10 bday email), a free meal at Rubio’s, 2 free Starbucks drinks (after discovering I had 2 separate accounts. Oops!), free clearance pair of shoes from DSW.
3. Batched all of the above freebies into one shopping trip. All 4 stores are in the same shopping center.
4. Sent son back to college with free/almost free school supplies from loss-leader office supply stores.
5. Bargain-shopped/rented college textbooks for same son as above 🙂


Nancy August 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Harvested lots of peppers and tomatoes today from our garden, bought local small potatoes cheap, negotiating a charge from my Dr. office who agreed to do that, will save $75.00! Opened an Etsy shop (free) to sell off crafts and other items (Littlehomesteadfinds). I hope to build small items to resell, with mostly recycled materials. Got a great like-new blouse on Ebay for work, a real steal.


Miss Lani Make Do August 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

1. I’ve squeezed in the odd hour here and there to do all my meal prep for the coming week. Even though I’ve worked all weekend I’ve found time to shop, prep and cook meals so I won’t have to worry for the rest of the week.
2. I centred all my recipes about groceries I had in my cupboard, especially cans that have been sitting there for a while!
3. I’ve been taking extra freelance jobs, and splitting any extra income between my savings account and student loan. It’s getting closer to reaching the target I set for the end of this year.
4. Have resisted the urge to buy new clothes, although I’ve had the same capsule wardrobe for about six months and it is getting difficult.
5. Going through my fridge this morning I found about half a cup of cooked quinoa that I had neglected. I nearly put it in the compost but ended up mixing it in with my porridge (oats, coconut milk, grated pear) and it was so delicious I’m sad I didn’t save more!


Roberta August 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm

1. Went down to the bins, to buy clothes for my mom’s shop. I bought 50 pounds of clothes for $20! A lot of that was big-kid clothes (12-16 sizes), but still fashionable-enough. It’s hard because some of the “big kids” are elementary school age but large, others are high school age and small. I want everyone to find something (and come back), so the options are a little all-over-the-place right now, but I’ll find my stride.
2. Made a menu plan for the week, so I’ll have something for dinner and not be tempted to go out. Tonight is falafel and salad, with mint-yogurt sauce. The mint grows in the yard, the yogurt is homemade.
3. Brought iced tea in my “pumpkin” igloo container, instead of buying something out, when we went to usher for my daughter’s dance performance.
4. Filled up the car with gas at Costco last night, and returned the broken ink cartridge. I was really tired, but I hung in there and did it, instead of delaying and getting it closer to home this morning, and more expensive.
5. Frugal fail: someone spilled something on a library book, and I had to pay for a replacement. But it wasn’t as expensive as I expected, so that’s good!


Mand01 August 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm

1. My sister went away for a week and dropped off a bucket of apples and a bag of vegetables and dairy products she hadn’t had a chance to use. We have made apple pancakes this morning and have cut up a whole heap to dry in our dehydrator. I’ll make an apple cake with the rest.
2. With the vegetables and feta we made a roast vegetable bruschetta for dinner. It was so delicious and aside from the bread, free.
3. We attended a beautiful NCA wedding yesterday that was billed as a child’s birthday party and naming ceremony and turned into a surprise wedding. No gifts, white dress, or expensive reception. It was lovely and fun.
4. I’m turning compost and putting wood ash from my fire around my strawberry plants and passion fruit to encourage flowering. Recycling waste into fertiliser.
5. I’m writing for a website as a side gig.


Jamie August 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm

1. I used my clothesline to dry some linens today.
2. I’ve wanted a watering can forever but didn’t want to purchase. Today I made one out of a distilled water jug!
3. I made banana bread, spaghetti, and frozen mango-infused vodka.
4. I’m making a hat on a loom that was gifted to me with yarn i obtained for free.
5. I didn’t buy anything today!


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Great job insourcing stuff with YouTube! That’s how I learned to cut my bangs at home instead of paying $10 a pop for a trim.

This week:

1. I pre-cooked a bulk batch of bacon and froze it for later.

2. I made macarons for a family gathering from items just lying around my kitchen.

3. We had a family dinner where everyone brought ingredients, so there was zero cost to us.

4. I’m going to strain my homemade wine tomorrow before letting it ferment for a month. I hope it works out!

5. Mr. Picky Pincher is making his own homemade beef jerky, which he’s drying for the next few days in our badass dehydrator.


Liz B. August 19, 2017 at 5:38 pm

May I ask, what type of dehydrator do you have? I have my eye on one that’s for sale via fb marketplace, but not sure I want to pull the trigger….yet. Thanks!


Betty Winslow August 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm

1. Enjoyed a free day at the zoo with our daughters and granddaughter, thanks to hubby’s job. Catered lunch, free ride tickets, and a cool grocery bag sorter and umbrella, plus hubby scored a work sweater for $3. And I won a huge jar of candy from the “guess the numbers” table, which I can use at school as prizes.
2. When we got home, we discovered someone left a bag of garden produce on our porch!
3. While we where on our way home from the zoo, we swung by Kohl’s, where I bought two Mo Willems pigeon dolls, for $5 each, one for an Xmas gift, one for a “welcome to the faculty” gift for our new kindergarten teacher, who fell in love with the one I have in the library. Money goes to a kid benefit program.
4. Swooped up several discarded baseball tickets at the game last weekend, good for BOGO 6″ subs from Subway. Had one yesterday for lunch and having one for dinner tonight!
5. Took my water bottle to the zoo for thirsty moments and discovered they had a fountain in one building where you could refill it, as they totalled how many plastic bottles were saved by using it. I could have filled it at the party with soda, but didn’t like any of what they had. Besides, water’s better for you!


Susie's Daughter August 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Betty – From your #3 – We LOVE Pigeon! In addition to the books, we have the Scholastic video with Mo and his daughter narrating the books. DS watched it last night as a bedtime story. Hooray for awesome kids books!


BJS August 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

Betty and Susie’s Daughter — me too … I think I must’ve read “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” to my kids about 3278 times!


Minimalist45 August 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

I’m being super frugal right now. I have a divorce to pay for $850! Eek…still that’s the way things go.


Lindsey August 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm

1. Frugal woman thanks frugal girl of 22 years ago: That many years ago I was at the university dump and found a basically new mission style rocker. I dragged it home and then from house move to house move. I never found it that comfortable but I could not stand the idea of ditching it. Last week I decided to list it on CL. It sold for $220!!!!
2. Had to bring a dessert to a potluck. Hated to buy anything…went out to the garden and picked a ripe pumpkin and cooked it down and made pumpkin streusel cake. Perfect!
3. Had a dreaded garage sale, the second of the summer. Made $538.
4. The other participants in the sale didn’t want to mess with sorting through the remainders, to see what should go to the dump and what should go to Good Will. I took their leftovers and dropped off $300 worth of goods to Good Will. If I had the time, I could have sold many of the items, such as three Vera Bradley bags, two still in plastic so never used, but I took the easy way out and settled for a tax receipt.
5. Tired from work but when I harvested another 36 pounds of tomatoes on Friday, on top of the ones still sitting on may counter, I girded my loins and canned the entire batch. I will be glad I did, although not right now.
6. Took on some free lance work this month and earned an extra $300. So between garage sale, rocker sale and free lance, I was able to put over $1000 into savings.


Jennifer August 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm

3. Wow, I only made $125 at my recent yardsale. You must have really good stuff. I guess most of the stuff I sell is really worn out. I have a friend who usually has a yardsale alongside mine and he always has just a few big items to sell, yet always makes around $400. I always have tons of stuff and make around $100. Oh well, at least the clutter is gone.


Lindsey August 20, 2017 at 5:05 pm

I can’t take credit for the quality of items I sold to make that much money. I had three antique typewriters, one I bought years ago, one a gift and one I found in the trash and refurbished. They each sold for over $100. I also had two oak, not compressed board but solid oak, two drawer filing cabinets. I used to work with clients and had to keep files for 7 years but I have left that field and 7 years have passed so I only need 2 filing cabinets now instead of the 4 I had for years. I have had two garage sales this summer and both did very well, but I think I have downsized about as much as I care to at this point in my life. From now on I have a box in the closet that I fill with things that I can take to Good Will—not enough for a garage sale and not high end goods. I don’t want to have one of those garage sales where people leave feeling like it was a waste of their time because it was all junk. There is a lady in our neighborhood who has a garage sale every weekend during our three months of summer. I stopped by there once and she was selling half used bottles of shampoo and bobby pins, that sort of thing. I bought a used bottle of dish soap because I felt sad—not sure if she is desperate for money or just likes having people drop by.


Jennifer August 20, 2017 at 9:03 pm

I put small stuff like you mentioned in a box labeled “free”. I usually have a pretty good selection of stuff because I only have a yardsale once every year or so. However, I sold a set of 4 chairs for only $30 and I saw them posted for sale on Facebook for $90. I found those chairs in an old building when I bought my home, spray painted them, recovered the cushions, and used the heck out of them for several years. Not sure they are worth $90 but were probably worth more than the $30 I made off them. I love old typewriters and just recently saw a nice one for sale at a estate sale for $200. If I know that someone has a yardsale often, I won’t even stop.


Mrs Stookey August 19, 2017 at 6:13 pm

1) found 38 cents today while on my evening walk with hubby
2) took advantage of 50 cent soda’s no size limit due to the St. Louis Cardinals scoring 6+ runs yesterday. (My hubby and I have a soda addiction lol, so we use this tatic to score cheap soda once in awhile)
3) Did not go into any store along our walking route today.
4) Organized my grocery list for next month and have our shopping list for non-food items ready for September.
5) Found a Free event that the hubby and I will attend August 31st, it’s a lumberjack contest due to Deluth Trading post opening a new store here in our town and bonus it’s right across the street from where we live!! we will walk right over and bring our own drinks to watch the event 🙂


tia August 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm

I went to Sam’s Club looking for something specific which they didn’t have so I stopped at a few of the food tasting booths. Chilean Sea Bass. I never had it before and it is soooo good. I went over to the seafood case to take some home. 36 dollars a pound!?!! hahahahahahaha You are not endangered from me delicious wonderful fishy. >^..^<


Lisa W. August 19, 2017 at 8:25 pm

1. I had a dear friend visit me from Porttland for wonderful conversation and a soupçon of thrifting.

2. I received some free (decidedly non) crappy coffee.

3-5. ♥️♥️♥️


Katy August 19, 2017 at 9:48 pm

That sounds like perfection.



Jan August 20, 2017 at 1:56 am

I used a gift card and a combination of Barnes & Noble sales & my membership to buy Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop for $2. It’s a book I want to refer to often, so I wanted to have it on hand.
Wife & I took a carload of hazardous household chemicals to a recycling event. Paid $12 to clean out a corner of the garage safely.
Used another gift certificate to see “Dunkirk” which I recommend. I brought an apple & PB&J sandwich to eat, saving tons of money in concessions.
Brought lunch to work today, as I always do. Also brought coffee because mine is better. Will take free coffee from my first job to my second job where coffee isn’t free.
Decided to ignore all email & Facebook ads unless I’m specifically looking for something.


WilliamB August 21, 2017 at 5:22 am

A note about Dunkirk: be wary if you get motion sickness. My $12 were wasted because of this little problem. Something I wish the reviews had mentioned.


Amanda August 20, 2017 at 4:58 am

1) We rented our house on Airbnb while we are at our weekend place.

2) My husband made homemade pizza. He has been perfecting his technique over the years and is quite the master.

3) I read the local paper that my mama saves for me. Why pay for another subscription when hers is just going to get recycled anyway.

4) We’re switching from traditional kid’s birthday parties to experiences this year. It’s motivated by a number of things, but a big one is that our six year old seems obsessed with getting stuff. I’m pretty minimalist myself, so I’m not sure what to do with our mini packrat. I’m not sure at what point “birthdays are about having cake with people we love” turned into “birthdays are when you gimme stuff,” but we are hopefully going to show him such a good time kayaking that he will change his focus. (And consumer less stuff.)

5) I worked on my dissertation yesterday while my husband made pizza. The kids were playing, and my husband and I still carried on a conversation, and I really love my work, so it felt like free work time!


Katy in Africa August 20, 2017 at 5:55 am

We got our first electric bill since moving into this house. It wasn’t horrible, but we can do better, so here’s some actions I’m taking to make this month’s bill lower:

We defrosted the fridge.
I wiped down the coils on the back of the fridge.
I read some articles on the internet and learned that while it’s good for the freezer to be full, it’s good for the fridge to have some air space. I thought they should both be full (even though my fridge often isn’t).
I’m trying to do better about putting lids on things in the fridge.
I’m also trying to put things in or out of the fridge all at once to avoid opening it so many times.
I can do better about drying produce before putting it in the fridge and wiping the fridge down if I notice it’s getting moist in there.
On warm days, keeping a partially frozen bottle of water out for the kids to drink from, so they don’t have to open the fridge in search of the coldest bottle of water.
I’ve been pretty good about turning off lights and fans when nobody’s in the room and unplugging my phone charger when not in use, (it has a light that says on when plugged in) but a new thing I want to do is turn off the power strip that the TV things are plugged into at night.
Lastly I’ve been talking to my kids to get them on board. If we work together as a team to turn things off, we can save even more!

I realize these are small ways to lower our bill, but every little bit helps, and I know that when we hit warmer months we’re going to be running the fans a lot more.


Sandra August 20, 2017 at 6:18 am

It’s been a good NCA week.
1. We cooked from scratch and ate all meals at home.
2. Another great week of produce from our garden. We are enjoying fresh tomatoes every day, plus plenty of green beans and zucchini. Lucky for us we love all of them and find so many ways to eat them.
3. Picked seedless grapes and have been dehydrating them. They will be wonderful raisins for porridge, cookies, cakes, and snacks.
4. Processed the last of the plums from our tree. I already had canned 14 quarts so I pureed the rest of it, saving the juice. The puree is great for baking. That went in the freezer in small bags, plus I saved out enough to bake a spice cake. I will use some of the raisins I have dehydrated.
5. We went to a game at the community center. There had been a dance going on in another area and when it ended they brought the left over refreshments to the game room for all to enjoy. We were just finishing up ourselves, but I took some snacks to share on the way home.


Diane August 20, 2017 at 6:35 am

Due to an unexpected enormous car repair bill last month I have had to curtail any spending beyond rent, bills, food and gas.It’s been a real challenge, but I am doing it.

Making a new baby quilt from fabric given to me by friends and family.

Knitting little hats for Carry The Future with yarn sent to me by a friend.

Swimming in all our free neighborhood pools in Austin.

Reading any novel I want from my local library.

Making delicious food from scratch. Today Challah bread for french toast breakfast for supper later today.

Walking and taking photos of nature’s beauty.

Life is what you make it!


ouvickie August 20, 2017 at 6:42 am

1) Since I was having a few beers with coworkers after work on Friday, I decided to forgo lunch and just eat a few snacks I already have stashed at work. I ordered guacamole and chips at the Pub, to go with my two beers – which we caught on Happy Hour, so it was pretty thrifty for an evening out.
2) I made Sloppy Joes for dinner, since the grandkids spent the night. We have leftovers, so the kids can eat that for lunch today, or hubby can have it for dinner tonight. I made eggs with sausage and biscuits for breakfast this morning, so I’m done cooking for the weekend.
3) My youngest granddaughter’s birthday was Thursday and she wanted to go to Chucky E. Cheese. My daughter and I found coupon deals online for pizza and play tokens. The kids had a blast and we didn’t spend a fortune.
4) I’d bought my granddaughter an Amazon Kid’s Pad back during Amazon’s Christmas in July event. I saved 40% on the purchase and no shipping cost. Now I just need to get it set up for web use. Those are so much cheaper than iPads and have the parental controls already installed on them. Since I have an Amazon Prime account, I have all of them and my daughter on my account and she has an Amazon Fire stick for her TV and my grandson has an Amazon gaming system, so they can all download apps, free movies, etc. and it sure does keep the cost down on digital gifts for me.
5) It’s been a bit hotter the past few days, so the AC has been coming on more often, but the weather gurus say it’s due to get cooler again and we’ve gotten a lot of rain in the past week. It’s a bit humid, but I’ll take that over dry and 100+ temps anytime!


cathy August 21, 2017 at 8:04 am

Your #5 made me chuckle. I’m such a wuss about humidity, I’ll take our 100+ arid temp any day!


deanna ar August 20, 2017 at 8:34 am


1. We had to buy new tires for our truck. We got a really good price on them, and we used Discover card rewards to pay.

2. We had company visit last night at the beginning of their vacation. We planned food based on what we had on hand. Only bought a watermelon and a box of crackers.

3. Our company included 2 children, ages 11 and 6. DH chose a teddy bear (a real bargain) as a gift for the 6 year old. She loved it, she named it immediately, never put it down, and she slept with it. DH gifted the 11 year old with an ax to be used when camping and a deer antler he had found in our woods. The ax was a family item that hubby was gifted from his father when he was young.

4. We were gifted a bottle of wine.

5. We gave our traveling family a bag of plastic ware to use along the way. That was the only thing they had forgotten, and I had gobs from the days when we used to travel in a motor home. We also sent snacks with them.

6. An extra: we didn’t go out to eat Friday night because we plan to be in our nearby city this week and will treat ourselves then.We


Ruby August 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

1. All the usual: packed my lunches and cold drinks to work, wore mostly thrifted outfits, drove with a light foot, rack dried my laundry.
2. Was given an insulated tote that’s either a small grocery bag or a large lunch bag. It is brand new, but the plastic lining was torn during manuracturung. A little patching with tape and it’s good to use. It will make taking food to work a lot easier.
3. Mended three shirts using hand-me-down thread.
4. People have been giving me stuff lately. Anything there was no use for went straight into the Salvation Army donation bag. This is huge for me because I used to hang onto inappropriate or useless gifts.
5. Frugal fail: Since The Mister’s heart problems, we eat little meat and I had let some in the freezer get freezer burn instead of giving it away. Vowing to do better.


Alexandra August 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

1. Joined a gym three weeks ago and wanted to buy a small tote to carry my headphones, water bottle, phone etc in with me. Decided to just use an old purse. Everything fits and no spend!
2. Set budget for weekly grocery at $40 and came in at 38.90!. YES! AND got all on the list. Thank you new Aldi.
3. defrosted big freezer. That fella is a workhorse! Bought it used 3 years ago for $200. We think it is from the 70s. It is amazing! But does need to be defrosted 2x per year. It is a good time to clean it all out and reassess. Once I did, I realized I only needed to spend $40 at grocery! (See #2)
4. DH drove Uber last night until almost 3am. Earned $160. He is amazed at the lack of tippers out there. Now that Uber finally put it on the system, people don’t seem to tip. Having worked in the service industry, I can’t imagine not tipping. he said he had waiters as riders and they didn’t even tip! And husband is the nicest guy on the planet. Scratching my head.
5. Using extra $160 and the $150 left in account on payday towards personal loan with bank (bathroom remodel) at 8%. So excited to pay this puppy OFF!


janine August 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm

1. Frugal first step – talked to my husband about contacting an independent insurance agent to go over our insurance needs. We have a lot of insurance including business, auto, homeowners etc. He agreed to think it over – hope I can pull this off! Inspired by other posters who have cut insurance costs significantly.
2. Our apple tree is finally bearing fruit. Made a delicious apple-blueberry cobbler as well as sauce. More to come!
3. Have been working on my “gift box”. Summer is a good time to find bargains that elude me during tension driven holiday season. These are generic gifts that can be used for anyone and also toys for the annual toy drive we contribute to around Christmas.
4. Hot summer weather has returned and with it our desire for cold drinks and treats. Have resisted for the most part – drinking homemade iced tea which can be made for pennies. 80c ice cream cones purchased at Burger King on the way home is the exception.
5. Our mayor is proposing a 23.5% property tax increase possibly offset by some other savings. This does not include county, transit and state taxes which may also increase. We plan to monitor the discussion closely – a mayoral campaign is under way here and we will be looking closely at candidates’ responses and proposals for going forward in our city. Public funds used wisely is frugal.


Tiffany August 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm

1.Was able to cut up an apple my daughter had started and not finished and add it and the last of the Crasins to the 4 minute oatmeal I made in the Instant Pot.
2. Finishing up a photo book on Shutterfly since I have a couple free codes. Makes cheap Christmas gifts for Grandmas.
3. Stopped by Trade Joe’s and since it was their 50th anniversary got 2 baguettes, 4 pounds of pasta, 1 doz eggs and 2 huge avocados for 4.50! My daughter also found all the hidden Joeys and got a snack bag 🙂
4. Took daughter to aquarium with passes I had pre paid for back in May. Was able to convince her to stick with the free coloring puzzles they had instead of buying tokens for face painting, feeding birds, mermaid pictures..basically they wanted admission and then everything else was an upcharge. Bah. She enjoyed it but I am not in a hurry to go back.
5. Stopped by the bread outlet and got bread, mini muffins for school and english muffins. I like to make muffins but since I am starting my third year of graduate school next week that includes 10 credits, 10-15 practicum hours a week and working 20 hrs a week I’m being a bit easy on myself 🙂
*Bonus* Made this weeks dinner menu and most of the meals can come from freezer and pantry with just a few things from the store.


WilliamB August 21, 2017 at 5:30 am

How did you get all that at TJ’s? I was there this week and didn’t see anything like it.


Tiffany August 21, 2017 at 6:05 am

It was an event they were having on Saturday and Sunday. Some areas of the country had corn too I heard.


Amanda August 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

This evening my husband and I . . .

1) Had our usual Sunday afternoon budget check in. We’re on track for August.

2) Fought the urge to get takeout and instead made tuna sandwiches and roasted potatoes and bell peppers. Then fought the urge to get delicious, frosty fountain sodas from the gas station across the street. Then gave in to eating big Reese’s cups our Airbnb guests left in our fridge.

3) Menu planned based on what we need to eat up in the cabinet and freezer. Then while he fed the kids I made a quick run to Aldi before they closed to fill in the rest.

4) Made bread, roasted chicken from the freezer, made croutons with bits and pieces of bread from the freezer, made our lunches and the kids’ lunches for tomorrow.

5) Put the house back in order from airbnbing for the weekend. This includes stripping and washing linens, taking stock of anything that was left, and doing any dishes they left. Totally worth it for the cash! And that big Reese’s Cup was not bad either.


Laur August 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm

1. Relisted all 4 eBay items and followed up on an unpaid sold item. I also relisted 2 items on a FB selling page.
2. Continued gathering unused household items, clothes and toys for our upcoming garage sale. (Splitting garage sale advertising costs with a friend who also has a bunch of unwanted items she wants to sell).
3. Applied for a cheaper rental property. If our application is successful we will save $285 per month. The house isn’t as new as our current rental, but it’s in great shape and closer to school.
4. Was gifted some beautiful flowers and 2 packets of chocolate biscuits from a friend.
5. Cooked up a batch of spaghetti bolognase sauce, reminded kids to turn off lights, drank tea made from gifted tea bags, enjoyed play dates with friends over the weekend rather than paying for activities, bought discounted bakery items for lunches and used up leftovers.


tracy August 21, 2017 at 4:37 am

1. Repotted house plant that had gotten too big into pot my mother gave me that she was no longer using (I had spotted it in her attic and asked if she planned to reuse). Beautiful light gray pot that coordinates with my dark gray living room.
2. Had put a Costco flat of nectarines on top of my fridge to ripen and forgot about them for a week (I’m short and out of sight, out of mind). By the time I discovered them when I needed something from the cupboard above the fridge, they were all very ripe and needed to be used so I made a crisp to take to a family dinner last night. Everyone loved it and I avoided any waste!
3. Found a really cute stretchy cotton striped reversible skirt at Goodwill that I will wear often for not much money.
4. Frugal weekend — just spent money on groceries and gas.
5. Got my cut and color done at the hairdresser I switched to a couple of years ago who, while not cheap, is half the cost of the expensive hair dresser I saw for many years. I think she does just as good a job.


nancy from mass August 21, 2017 at 5:46 am

Let’s see:
1. found .77 cents in the coinstar over the weekend!
2. found a penny and a dime during my walks.
3. cooked all meals from the fridge, freezer and cupboards.
4. visited my mom in the nursing home saturday. she has dimentia and, although she doesn’t realize it, i go home laughing at the stories she told me. She’s just sooo cute!
5. will be hanging around all week not driving anywhere since i wasn’t paying attention last night going into my basement, thought i was on the last step, was 2 or 3 up, stepped down, my ankle went sideways and i think i heard something snap although my string of obscenities drowned it out. ended up at the hospital for xrays, not broken, just sprained. (my ankle bone area is HUGE). have an air cast and crutches. at least i can work from home! My overall step count is going to be really small (I typically take 11k to 16k steps a day). oh well! I’ve learned to pay better attention next time.


WilliamB August 21, 2017 at 5:52 am

1. Made soup from
– beans on hand (pricy but tasty heirlooms from Rancho Gordo),
– beans cooked in a pressure cooker, saving energy and time,
– remnants from a jar of salsa,
– ham from the freezer, bought on sale at Easter,
– stock made from turkey scraps and corn cobs,
– birthday gift salsa & pico seasoning from Penzey’s,
– green tabasco bought with a coupon,
– bacon grease saved from cooking my home-made bacon,
– not on sale: canned corn, celery, onion.
It came out stunningly well. I wonder if I’ll be able to do it again; the downside to being a home cook rather than a recipe follower.

2. At CVS, bought a box of Cheerios, a candy bar, and a tube of toothpaste for $.53, by stacking sales, mfg coupons, and CVS coupons. CVS paid me $.50 to buy the cereal.

3. Biked to the Zoo yesterday. By using coupons for free entrance, free drinks, and discounted food, I treated myself and 2 friends to fun and sun for several hours for about $15.

4. Brought water bottles for all of us to the Zoo, refilling them at the water bottle refill station and ice from the lunch counter.

5. Finally got PBS streaming to work, both TV and computer. Victorian Slum House, here I come! To be watched while mending, natch.

6. Current mend pile includes most of my cotton socks, which are wearing out at the heels. I hope to get another year out of them.

7. Still pulling dinner and proteins from the freezer. There’s a lot of shrimp, ground meat, and ham in there!


Cynthia Huntington August 21, 2017 at 6:22 am

#2 Those CVS deals used to be easy to do. They’ve tightened up and made it more complicated in the last few years. Good for you for making it work!


Dar August 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Great photo of you two and I love the sculpture!


Krystal August 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

I adore punk rock and cannot bring myself to go to shows. I feel ya.


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