Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 23, 2017 · 97 comments

  1. I sold a set of vintage Pyrex mixing bowls through Craigslist that had been taking up space in my cupboard. I love their aesthetic, but they can’t go into the dishwasher and need to be handled with delicate care. I’m at a point where I’d rather have more practical tools in my kitchen, so I’m also readying to list another set of Pyrex as well. My mother sings the praises of, so I listed a couple items on there to test it out. I found a potential buyer for an outdoor table that I got for free, so I guess I’ll keep Next Door in my rotation.

  2. I started the process of stripping the paint from a midcentury Broyhill sideboard that I picked up at the beginning of the summer. My mother had a 3/4-full jug of chemical stripper, so my only expense so far is the $15 that I spent to buy it from the Goodwill Outlet. I might actually hold onto this piece, as it’s uber-groovy and the storage would be handy. However, I know myself well enough to guess that I’d rather have the money than a new piece of furniture. I guess it’ll depend on how much I can sell it for.

  3. I cooked up a batch of black beans in my slow cooker yesterday thinking I would set up a burrito bar for dinner. Half of my family was out and about come dinnertime, so I switched things up and mixed up a batch of Black Bean Burgers, which was a total win as I was able to incorporate a bag of random frozen bread heels, the last of a bag of roasted corn kernels and some pureed Pace salsa. (Someone brought a Costco size jar of this salsa to a party earlier this summer, but since none of us enjoy this brand, it’s been sitting in the pantry.) By pureeing it, I think I can start to anonymously slip it into recipes. Shh . . .

  4. I picked up a faux Hudson Bay blanket at the Goodwill Outlet earlier in this week. It had iron-on lettering plus the Washington State Lottery logo, but since it cost maybe $1, I figured it was worth the gamble. I finally figured out that Goo Gone, elbow grease and a sharp knife was the key for letter removing, although it took me at least a couple of hours to complete the task. (Thank you, Netflix reruns of The Office!) It’s currently on the clothesline airing out, as the Goo Gone odor is surprisingly strong despite two washings. If anyone has any tips on how to remove that smell, I’d be super appreciative!

  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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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Hairston August 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm

1. A friend from church brought over a basket of tomatoes from her garden. I selected about 8 that we will eat over the next few days. The rest I sent with hubby to work.
2. Found a great nwt Tshirt for $5 at thrift store I’ll give to daughter in law next month for her birthday
3. Have bid and several watchers for items on eBay
4. Ordered 3 meals from gobble for introductory price of $21. They were delivered today so meals covered thru Friday
5. Moved “art work” around to freshen up my interior design


Roberta August 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

1. Made black eyes and cornbread for dinner, using up some chard from the garden that’s about done. I’m really sick of chard, but it keeps growing.
2. My son’s sports physical was free, as they consider it a “check-up.” The doctor really felt he needs to see a physical therapist for his feet (when he stands he has very nice turn-out for a ballet dancer). If I can get better inserts for his shoes for free, that will be a win.
3. Filled up the truck (“the beast”) at Costco during my daughter’s orthodontics appointment.
4. I have two zucchini to shred, as soon at there’s room in the freezer. Someone will have to make the sacrifice to move that ice cream out of there.
5. I found a pair of children’s snowboots at Salvation Army for $3. I’ll take them up to the shop, where I should be able to list them for $6.


Laura August 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

When my husband was in the navy he would come off a cruise with his clothes reeking of jet fuel and smoke – VERY unpleasant and nearly impossible to get rid of. I discovered that some Mr. Clean, of all products, did the trick. I’ve never used it since, but it totally eliminated those awful odors.


Mairsydoats August 24, 2017 at 7:23 am

A friend had the misfortune to live in the next apartment from a fire. All her possessions smelled strongly of campfire. She found that 409 in the washer worked as well as anything else she could find.

Sometimes you have to bring out the big guns.


Mary W August 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Katy, Goo Gone is oily, so you really need a grease remover – did you try Awesome Grease Remover already? You may be able to use full strength shampoo or Dawn to remove it – I’d try those 3 options first, as they are the least expensive and should all be fabric safe.. If that doesn’t work, maybe the degreaser made for car engines, but I can’t say whether it might damage the fabric.


Vickey September 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

1T. Dish soap, 1/2 C. borax, in addition to your regular laundry detergent, wash on 205 degrees. (Check first to make sure your fabric can withstand that temp.) I used smaller amounts of these in my HE washer, and was able to *finally* get some oil-based odors out of several piece of clothing and bedding. Cheaper than special products.


Vickey September 3, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Forgot to include: set the washer on pre-soak. If your washer doesn’t have such a setting, let it fill, then turn it off for thirty minutes.


Teresa August 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Instead of taking my mom out (she’s 92) somewhere that she might not like and spending money on food she might not even eat, we: 1) went to Costco and picked up a roasted chicken 2) and a two-pack of sweet rolls on sale 3) then we stopped by Sprouts for fruit on sale – 99c a lb for peaches and nectarines, a couple fresh wheat rolls and a wedge of double brie. 4) Instead of stopping at a coffee shop, we had free sample cups of coffee with half and half at Sprouts. 5) We went back to Mom’s place and ate our bargain lunch together. It fed three of us with lots left over for later this week and mom was really happy because she doesn’t get out much anymore…


Juhli August 23, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Well, nothing exciting here …
1. I really did not want to fix dinner last night. Hubby to the rescue with eggs and toast plus a fruit salad.
2. Needing long sleeve knit tops and the Goodwill here being really awful, I ordered one on sale from Eddie Bauer as their shirts have held up well for me.
3. As part of bringing up to code our new to us retirement downsizing home, we have replaced weatherstripping and put in a bathroom vent fan. Not inexpensive but will pay off eventually.
4. Resisting the lure of taking a vacation LOL.


Lindsey August 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm

1. Too lazy to make bread but did it anyway.
2. A friend came over and brought pizza with her. We supplied a huge salad filled entirely with things from the garden and topped with a dill yogurt dressing I had made from homemade yogurt. Great meal and company.
3. Gathered up more DVDs and books that we are no longer that interested in and took it to a non-profit used bookstore. Happy to bring home a tax receipt.
4. Traded garden tomatoes for enough halibut that we will get two evening meals out of it.
5. Today I made potato salad with fresh potatoes and scallions and dill from the garden. Added in some homemade pickles made from garden cukes. Added in some hard boiled eggs received from a neighbor’s chickens. Whipped up a ranch dill dressing for the salad, made from homemade yogurt and grocery store sour cream. Except for the sour cream, the entire dish came from our garden or a neighbor’s free range chickens. Frugal and fabulous tasting.
6. Inadvertently frugal. In the middle of the night our vet called. Someone had brought in a badly injured dog who needed a large blood transfusion. Two years ago he’d mentioned that sometimes they need large amounts of blood and Danes have a lot of blood so could he put us on the dog blood donor list. I never knew something like that existed, so said sure. Well, last night they needed our help so we brought both dogs in and they took blood from the younger one. Kept our dog for the rest of the night, to be sure there were no adverse effects. Gave him a free nail trim and butt hair trim (called the sanitary cut) as thanks. We were happy to do it and didn’t know it came with intimate grooming as payment! Some cities are large enough that they keep donor lists by dog blood type (now entering an area I know nothing about…) but in small towns any blood will do in a pinch. So, if you have a dog and are willing, you might be able to help save another dog’s life by informing your vet that you are willing to be called…


Bee August 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Bless you for taking your dogs in. I will talk to my vet. I have a rather large dog. However, he is much smaller than a Dane.


Isitaneedorawant August 24, 2017 at 4:21 am

They have regular canine blood clinics where I am. Our lovely Labrador retriever donated from about 2- 10 years old ( cut off) .
If the dog has been on no medication or received its shots? And was over 50 lbs we were invited to come donate . I think it was quarterly?
Just some of the info that might help, she stopped because of age 2.5 years ago.


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm

I have a friend who is a vet technician…the vet clinic where she works has their own “resident dogs” that are blood donors. I think they acquire these dogs from people (clients) who can’t keep their dogs any longer, or dogs who are never claimed after being treated, or strays brought in by good samaritans….obviously, their health is checked, and if they meet certain criteria, they become blood donors (and clinic “pets”). They keep them and care for them as long as they live, even if they become unable to donate blood.
They also have a list of clients who are willing to bring their dogs in to donate if needed. Pretty cool. I never knew about this until I met her!


Mary W August 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Wow, that is really lovely. I have a large breed dog and live in a rural area. I wonder if any of the local vets would be willing to use him as a blood donor in exchange for checkups and booster shots (and maybe an annual shed out grooming – it takes months to get all his fluff off him each year, ending just in time for him to grow a new winter coat). Worth looking into, I guess.

Katherine August 24, 2017 at 3:46 am

That was an amazing story to read and so wonderful of you (and your dog) to help. How do you think your dog feels about the butt hair trim haha! Also, do you know if the injured dog is ok?


Vickey September 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

Whenever our Aussie had been given a sanitation trim (highly necessary on that long-haired breed!), she’d abruptly sit down several times over the next few days, even when she was right in the middle of something else. We surmised she was unused to the increased airflow against her nethers.


BJS August 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm

1. Decluttered 16 pieces of clothing from my closet. I hadn’t worn any of them in years. For someone who doesn’t like “stuff,” I sure had them hanging in my closet for a long time. Now they’re in my donations bag and someone else can get them for free or cheaply, and I’ll get some money off my taxes next year. And my closet looks emptier, which makes me happy.

2. Got new brakes on my car. I found a coupon in my coupon bag for $50 off brake work at the place we always take our vehicles. I felt so thankful when I came across that. I waited at the shop for the work to be done, and was so afraid I was going to forget about the coupon when I checked out that I put it right on top of my keys so I couldn’t miss it.

3. Did my usual one-second lingering look when I got a flyer for a housecleaning company in the mail, then recycled it like I always do. Every time I get one of those I think, “what would it be like to have someone else deep-clean my house?” but then I snap out of it. 🙂

4. At Sam’s, got a free sample from one of the stations (chicken salad on a cracker). It reinforced my belief that food tastes better a) when it’s free and b) when I don’t fix it.

5. Also at Sam’s, I listened to a ten-minute sales pitch about knives, and got a small free knife. This isn’t like me; I’m not a fan of sales pitches. But I thought about it before I listened (I have about four knives in my drawer that I use for cooking and sometimes reach for one and they’re all in the dishwasher, and I wasn’t running late for anything at the time) and decided to do it. I like my little free knife!


Bee August 24, 2017 at 2:32 am

I too dream of coming home to a super clean house that I did NOT have to clean myself. I think that would be the ultimate luxury. I especially hate cleaning bathrooms.


Sandra August 24, 2017 at 5:37 am

I have found that brushing my toilet bowl everyday (it only takes a minute) makes all the difference. I am able to do a whole bathroom clean just once a week.


BJS August 24, 2017 at 6:01 am

Sandra — your comment is timely … I have toilet-cleaning on my list of things to do today. Sadly, I don’t brush them every day!


BJS August 24, 2017 at 5:58 am

The ultimate luxury! That’s a great description, Bee. I used to have a friend who talked about walking into her house after the cleaners had been there and how lovely it was. For myself, though, if I really think about it, I’m pretty sure the guilt I’d feel would negate that wonderful feeling!


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm

BJS, I wouldn’t feel guilty at all. I would happily hand off cleaning to someone else!


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Ugh, me, too!! The worst!!


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

I mean, about hating cleaning the bathroom…..I’d live to come home to a fresh, clean house!


Mary in Maryland August 24, 2017 at 5:51 am

I have always thought that having someone else clean my house would be totally indulgent. I’m good with putting things away and dusting. However, with my aged body the vacuuming takes three days (and the house is only 1400 sq ft) and has resulted in several falls. We’ve been talking lately about what kinds of help we’d need (or need now, we’re apparently past the theoretical) to stay in our home. For me–someone to clean. I was expecting my husband to opt for someone to do yard work. Oddly, he said he needs an electric lawnmower instead of our manual push mower.


BJS August 24, 2017 at 6:09 am

Oh Mary, I neglected to say that I’m physically capable of cleaning. Not being so would change everything. I didn’t mean to lump everyone into my category. I’m so sorry about your falls. Once you hire someone to do it, I hope you enjoy every inch of your clean house immensely!


Emily G August 26, 2017 at 6:08 am

You should look into a roomba. We got one for my mother who was a bit unstable and she loves not having to worry about falling. They are worth the investment- we’ve had ours over 2 years so far.


WilliamB August 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

It is a wonderful luxury. It may be my favorite luxury. It is the sort of luxury for which I do not spend money in other areas (such as clothes or new books). Walking into a house that is clean, fresh, and ship-shape is so relaxing – in some ways its my favorite day of the week(s).

As it happens, today is house-cleaning day.


Mary W August 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm

I must be in the minority here. I actually rather like getting in occasionally and doing a good deep cleaning. Now, if I didn’t have my grown daughter living with me, I’d probably never have a need for cleaning help, but as part of the agreement for her living with me (she has to live with someone at this point), she does the dishes and much of the cooking, outdoor animal chores and her own laundry and cleaning up after herself….well, it’s a work in progress, lol.

The idea of having someone poking through my stuff gives me the heeby-jeebies, but the idea of hiring out as an organizer for other people, that sounds like fun to me!


WaThriftFamily August 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm

1. Gathered up a bunch of books in the house and took them to an used bookstore – got 24.50 in credit for a future purchase and more space on our shelves.

2. I have a good friend whose son is the same age as mine. We were trying to figure out if we should go somewhere and get lunch/coffee, but then I just invited her over and made coffee with my drip machine. The boys played for about two hours and we got to catch up.

3. I’ve been rearranging furniture and re-decorating without spending money. I was gifted cuttings of a jade plant and a purple wandering Jew plant from my Buy Nothing since plants seem to be an easy way to liven up a room, plus they filter the air. Also took a gift card from my birthday and bought some new picture frames to hang on the wall.

4. My mother’s birthday is coming up. She wants practical gifts so I got her a “bagpod” of reusable bags. It’s what she really wants and I know she’ll use them. We’ll make her a homemade card tonight and then reuse some old packaging and pop it all in the mail tomorrow.

5. Using our water bottles all summer long. It is tempting sometimes to stop and grab a soda but I’ve become really good about knowing all the places to refill our bottles when we are out and about.


Beth August 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

1. Saved 35 cents per gallon on gas through Kroger rewards program.
2. Combined fun with a vet appointment- took puppy in for morning appointment and then because we were out that way took daughter to the Cidermill which had free donut day. We each got a free cinnamon donut, we split a hot Applecrisp topped with ice cream and walked the mile long trail along the river, beautiful morning.
3. Met with a new cat sit client.
4. Did a workout video from the library.
5. Frugal fail – Threw out a loaf of bread and pita pockets that went moldy within days! Have not had this happen all summer long. Back to keeping frozen in the freezer!


Cheri R August 25, 2017 at 8:03 am

I know “they” say to never keep bread in the refrigerator – but I haven’t had to toss moldy bread or buns since I started do it. If the texture of the bread suffers, I just microwave it a few seconds.


Mary W August 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Next time that happens, take them back to the store – they should not have molded that fast. Of course, if you made them at home, they probably will mold more quickly, as homemade has no stabilizers/mold inhibitors/preservatives. At least if something molds here, the chickens will clean up for me, and the mold doesn’t seem to affect them at all. Old bread = new eggs for the win.


Carol August 23, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Katy, I know vodka removes body odors. I don’t know how it would work with chemical scents, but it’s worth a try. Just spray on and leave on.

1. Walked to the grocery store today to pick up a few things. Yesterday they had 2 for 1 granola bars, and I went back today to get that deal (with an additional $1 off coupon I had forgotten yesterday) and was super disappointed to see they were back to regular price. I tried the $1 off coupon, and the cashier couldn’t even register it, so I just ended up leaving the granola bars. I don’t need them that badly.

2. Went online to complete a Staples rebate before I forget about it. We paid $40 for 8 reams of paper, and we should be getting a $34 rebate. I look forward to my Visa cash card coming in the mail.

3. Made my husband’s lunch so he doesn’t succumb to the temptation of chilaquiles. He’s a guy who bought everything out when he was single, so I feel like I’m competing with old, bad habits and delicious restaurant food. But he’s always happy when I make him something, and he’ll eat it. Yes, I know he could make the lunch himself, but I work less hours than him, so I don’t mind.

4. Reminded a student of mine that she owed me $20–she’s been basically trying to blow it off. I told her politely that I might call her parents to help her remember, and she didn’t like that idea, so she opened her wallet and gave me $15. She would have given me $20, but I wanted her to have a few dollars in case she needed anything. The $5 is no great loss–it was really the principle that was important to me.

5. Will read a story tomorrow with another student from an Open Court 5th grade textbook I got on free bookshelf outside the library. The stories in in are very good–it’s really a pity that Open Court got so bashed, because it was lauded by an expert in dyslexia. They’re always moving onto new reading programs. It’s really all about how much a teacher knows about reading, and how much she’s able to individualize a program to each student. Much easier said than done.


Katy August 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm

A spray for you, a spray for me. A spray for you, and a spray for me . . .


Brantlee August 24, 2017 at 1:41 am

Lol Katy!


Carol August 24, 2017 at 1:44 pm



Mary W August 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Hey, I want in on that one, lol! 😀


Minimalist45 August 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

I have been documenting everything I spend down to the last cent. It’s so enlightening and really makes me thing fifty times before spending in a naughty fashion. I hate having t write down anything unnecessary !


Diane August 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

Yes! I remember doing this many many years ago as a solo parent. It works. Now I cannot spend beyond rent, food, bills and gas, so I don’t need to document. But, such a good idea.


Danielle August 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Energy bill has been VERY HIGH for the last two months due to extended heatwaves. I’m seeking anything that might not been working at full efficiency and correcting it.

1. Ordered an off brand vacuum attachment with a hose that allowed me to vacuum the lint out of my dryer’s internal dryer vent, beyond where I could go before, and also under the fridge. (It was less than $7 and perhaps I could have made it with hardware store parts, but this fits perfectly and showed up at my door thanks to Amazon Prime. There are 6 other attachments, I’ll have to figure out what I can clean with them later.)

2. Waited for the outdoor standalone freezer to get closer to the empty side, then took everything out and removed the ice build up that was growing near the top. I hadn’t realized that it was actually preventing the lid from closing properly and preventing a proper seal, so I’m very grateful that this is now corrected.

3. My daughter wants to bring a vegan chocolate cake that always gets rave reviews to a family reunion this weekend. The party is 2 hours away and we have had trouble transporting this cake in the past. We were able to find a round cake box (tupperware style) with snap on lid and handle at a thrift store for $4.50. Now that she has a specific, tried and true cake recipe and wants to take it places, this was a great find for us. (I’ve been looking for a few months, so this was found in the nick of time!)

4. Received by mail a brand new KitchenAid Can Opener which was a replacement for our last opener. The product has a good warranty but died after less than two years. I had to pay the postage to ship the broken on to them, but the sent the new one – and SCORE! it’s a better color than the one we had before.

5. My husband and children made timely use of a wood splitter that we had borrowed and need to return. Due to years of drought followed by a super wet winter last year, some branches and trees have come down. We now have enough wood split and stacked for an average Northern California winter. 🙂


BJS August 24, 2017 at 5:46 am

Danielle, I love your #3!


Roberta August 24, 2017 at 6:26 am

Your cake carrier reminds me of a pie carrying solution I just read: put your pie inside a stock-pot to carry it. I almost bought a dedicated pie box for the few times a year I bring pies places, so I’m really excited to have this solution, and I thought I’d pass it on!


Jennifer August 24, 2017 at 9:36 am

Yes, great idea! Along the same lines, I always put my deviled eggs in a long casserole dish lined with a dry paper towel so they won’t slide around instead of the beautiful antique glass dish that was my great grandmothers. The top of the eggs never get squished anymore! Another trick I have been using lately is to use old bread instead of paper towels to soak up oil when frying things.


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm

This is kinda funny… hubby was gifted a box of several bottles of BBQ sauces maybe 15 years ago. The cardboard gift box is the perfect size to carry a pie in, so it’s now my “pie box”. The original shredded paper packing is still in there, too! Lol!


Jennifer August 25, 2017 at 6:37 am

I put cupcakes in cardboard boxes cut down to size to carry to school for the kids.


Danielle August 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I have an old shoe box from a pair of boots that I guard carefully for taking hot brownie, enchiladas, etc. Not pretty but so practical! I was totally perplexed by what to do with her round, double layer cake!

(She’s baking it right now!!! Yum!)


Marcia August 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

We are on a short vacation. The weather report has changed since we left home and my husband did not pack a warm enough jacket. So today we went to the Goodwill in a plaza across the street from the hotel, which I noticed when we were eating in the plaza the night we arrived. First, it was a GREAT Goodwill, full to bursting with all kinds of things. If husband had not been with me, I would have spent much longer in there! At any rate, we got him a couple long sleeve pullover shirts, both Land’s End shirts, for $4 each. He frequently has this problem on trips and last time he bought a $40 sweatshirt. I like this solution better. So he will be warm enough for the next couple days. I brought my windbreaker which is good for me–has a lining and is quite warm. I’m good. Also, I brought a couple heavier shirts for myself which will doubly insure warmth under the windbreaker. (Last trip the weather was MUCH colder than planned, and we were uncomfortably cool at times. Although I did have the windbreaker with me then too.)
So nice to have OPTIONS, even when not at home.
We have also saved $ on food. Breakfast is at the hotel, although not wonderful, it is food! Lunch is our big meal for the day, although truly we don’t have huge appetites and it isn’t often THAT large. We have brought some crackers from home and bought a pound of Swiss cheese, which is made here, and have supplemented with dessert from local bakeries. So crackers and cheese with dessert for the evening meal. We are old enough that our sightseeing day ends by about 4 PM. One day we made it to 5:30 PM, but we were just exhausted. So now we’re giving ourselves a little more needed rest, and can walk a little farther the next day! Have to keep making adjustments due to getting older. Have been ordering with dessert in mind—bakeries are a famous part of the landscape in this area also. Lemon bars tonight were fantastic!


A. Marie August 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Marcia, I hear you about the old-person factor in traveling. To be honest, my DH and I aren’t doing much traveling beyond day trips these days, but we still have to take the cognitive and fatigue issues into consideration. Ah, the compromises we make as we get older…


Mary in Maryland August 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm

We are also old-person travelers. When we went to Amsterdam a couple of years ago, we bought the month-long museum pass. We did a floor a day at the Rijksmuseum…and not consecutive days. The pass covered so many museums that we often stopped in an odd one just to use the rest rooms and sit a while. We launched from our air bnb by mid-morning, did two or three hours in a museum and had a late lunch after the rush was over. Our biggest challenge was being awake long enough to work in three meals.


Lindsey August 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm

We travel a lot but I have a disorder that means some days I am not able to stand or walk for any distance. I have found that museums in the UK often have free wheelchairs, as do some of the large stores such as Harrods. We call in advance to check out the availability—I have been happily surprised by how often there are scooters or wheelchairs. Worth doing if mobility or fatigue are problems.


Mrs Stookey August 23, 2017 at 6:22 pm

My fft
1) Went to visit a friend today got a free ride both ways.
2) Packed my lunch to take with me today
3) scored a babysitting gig one day a week and it’s while the child will be napping. this money will go to the van fund!!
4) rescued 5 apples that were getting soft (they are in the fridge tonight and tomorrow afternoon they’ll get baked), they’ll become the bottom to my brown betty cake, yummy
5) have a box ready to go to consignment for tomorrow 🙂


Petey August 23, 2017 at 7:39 pm

1. Recomitted to bringing lunch from leftovers, drinking beverages offered free from the Workplace. ( I have fallen in love with Gold Peak Tea… $2/bottle at work..delish, but sinful).Trying!
2. Picked up a few well usable stocking stuffers for the adult daughters from the $1 rack at Walmart.
3. Used Kroger max gas ponts for 30 gallon fill up to our wonderful but a bit gas hoggish truck , great to have in the winter, it is driven minimal miles in the summer.
4. Focusing on loss leader/ coupon purchases for the upcoming week of entrees.
5. Enjoyed date night with my favorite guy ever, half price brew pub burgers and beers. So worth it.


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Petey, Gold Peak tea is deelish….I totally understand the temptation.


Katy in Africa August 24, 2017 at 12:21 am

It’s been mostly the usual mundane things:
1. I walked to and from the market, spending $0 on gas and giving me some good exercise.
2. We’ve been eating all our meals at home.
3. Line drying, as we don’t own a dryer, almost nobody here does.
4. Watching shows we already have, so just the cost of the electricity.
5. Since we’re in rainy season, I rarely water the plants. Come dry season, I plan to supplement the plant water with leftover rinse water from the house.


Amy K. August 24, 2017 at 1:53 am

My family and I just moved back to Ohio from a four year stint in Florida. As such, my daughters and I didn’t have winter coats. I happened to find three online, on clearance for $13 apiece, and in colors we like. I hope they’re nice.

School just started and my kids are riding the bus again! I had to drive them the past few years in Florida and spent so much on gas. I’m thrilled they can take advantage of school transportation!

I’m back to packing lunches for them. Briefly considered letting them buy, if they wanted, but they don’t mind. I pack for my husband daily as well.

Did have a frugal fail last week. Attended school open houses with my kids and it was nearly two and we hadn’t had lunch. I offered to take them out as a treat. Felt a moment of guilt as we passed our apartment on the way towards the main shopping street. I thought “You know, you have lots of food at home…” My kids ended up nixing all of my restaurant ideas and ended up getting cheeseburgers at Wendy’s. We had leftover burgers at home. Ugh.


Bee August 24, 2017 at 2:56 am

The Broyhill sideboard is really a great size — not too big and not too small. It looks like a keeper to me. On to FFT …
1) I am working my little side job today.

2) Packed my lunch last night. I won’t be rushed. I won’t spend money that I shouldn’t.

3) Sold and listed some items on eBay for my AT -hiking son. He is getting close to the trail’s end but running out of funds. The money he gets for the eBay sales help him which helps me. I have been doing what I can to help financially. I could not possibly let him hike 1700 miles and then not finish.

4) I spent some time preparing the veggies in my refrigerator. There are so many wonderful choices this time of year. I made ratatouille with extra eggplant and zucchini. I also roasted corn and golden beets which freeze well and are wonderful in salad.

5) Still questioning everything. I have new quotes for my homeowner’s insurance. I am looking these over and trying to decide the best course of action.
In Florida, there are so many things to consider hurricane coverage, sinkhole coverage, flood insurance, multiple deductibles ….


Jill A August 24, 2017 at 3:13 am

1. Went on a vacation – not frugal….stayed in two airbnb homes with kitchens. We ate several meals at “home”. Even when we didn’t have a kitchen (we stayed in seven different hotels, homes) we ate at least one or two meals a day at home – we purchased a cooler and made sandwiches, ate cheese and crackers bought donuts, granola bars etc Two hotels had the breakfast included. Instead of buying ice we just froze water bottles when we had a freezer. The water then got drank on our trip.
2. Rented a van for 10 days of our vacation..rental was from Costco saving us a couple hundred dollars over other options.
3. Before leaving on vacation we turned our water heater to vacation mode. We turned off the air conditioning and unplugged things. Can’t wait to see the power bill.
4. My mother and friends cared for our pool and watered my plants while we were gone. Friends swam in our pool and drank our beer in exchange. I will watch my Mother’s dogs for her in exchange.
5. Purchased very little for our trip. I wore shorts that were hand me ups from my daughter and some I’d bought at a garage sale. I’ve gained weight so I’m low on clothing. I only purchased one pair of shorts for me, a couple clearance t-shirts for my husband and new shoes on sale/clearance for everyone to hike in. I purchased a water bottle carrier and everyone else used backpacks we already owned.


Roberta August 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

Is this just me? I love cooking in when we’re on vacation, and I love visiting the local grocery stores. I feel like I get a better idea what it would be like to live in a particular place, and how my life would be different there. (Oh, my, produce is so much more expensive here! Wow, I’ve never seen this product at home! They’re clearancing their desserts, I better bring one home!)


Danielle August 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for the top about unplugging things! I always forget that and we often have a friend Arya at our house, but if no one is here on our next trip…… I’m looking at you electric teakettle that beeps at random times!


Diane August 24, 2017 at 3:34 am

Have you tried a vinegar soak for your blanket? I had a top that had a chemical ododr to it and soaked often in vinegar did the trick.


Bettypants August 24, 2017 at 3:53 am

1. I bought a used Ikea Malm bedframe from a FB sale board. She listed it a few months back a bit higher than I wanted to pay and was firm on price. I kept my eye on it as the price dropped, and picked it up this week. Does anyone have a mattress recommendation? Soft rather than firm.

2. I spent $1.50 on two items at a neighbor’s garage sale last week and sold them on ebay for a total of $37.

3. My office provided lunch for everyone this week. They way over ordered the sandwiches and sides, which meant I ate leftovers for lunch for two days.

4. I have been wanting a black and white gingham shirt. Found one at a yard sale for 50 cents in my size.

5. Kohls sent me a gift card for my “anniversary” of having their store card. I waited for 30% and free shipping to spend it on a bathroom rug.


Robin August 24, 2017 at 6:47 am

The FrugalWoods swear by the mattress they bought off Amazon. They even posted a five year update at “”. I don’t have any personal experience with it, but may be worth looking at. I know next time I buy a mattress that I’d like to spend less than I did last time!


Bettypants August 24, 2017 at 9:11 am

Thank you! Ugh, the last one we bought was a super expensive pillow top from a furniture store. Thankfully I think the mattress market has changed significantly since then.


Robin August 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

We may have the same mattress… or at least your description fits “a super expensive pillow top from a furniture store”. Mine is less than five years old but has permanent divots deep enough that it kind of locks us in place when we sleep. Given that it’s a pillow top, flipping it over doesn’t seem like an option and regular top to bottom rotation certainly didn’t prevent the problem. It’s next on my list of furniture I’d like to replace, but I’m stuck feeling that I really should be able to get at least ten years out of a mattress and hopefully more like 15-20. Good luck with your mattress decisions and you motivated me to Google how to fix pillow-top mattresses.


Denise August 24, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Mine too. After my divorce, I had no bed (ridiculous but true). I bought a lovely and simple bed frame. My sister gave me a mattress, in brilliant condition, but it was too firm for me. So I bought an expensive (£200) mattress topper: two inches of duck feather with a separately- enclosed inch of goose down.


Apparently women post-split/divorce are prone to splurge spending which they later regret. I got it into my head (you’ll understand why I needed this site!), that I “deserved” an amazing bed. So I spent £5,000 on the most glorious bed. Which has developed exactly the me-shaped divot you describe, right in the middle. I do love the bed but I know that it was an emotional spend, about cocooning myself and saying “I’m worth a good bed”. But £5k is absolutely ridiculous and I wish I had never done it…

Mand01 August 24, 2017 at 4:19 am

1. I earned some money from working at my side gig and while most of it went into the bank, my husband said I should buy myself a present with some of it. Off I went to the department store to buy a high end designer dress, and out I went without spending a cent. It’s just not that fun if you haven’t found it for ten bucks at the thrift store.
2. I paid an extra bit off my mortgage.
3. Worked from home. Saved petrol and time.
4. Gave a jar of homemade marmalade to a friend and he is going to swap us a jar of his homemade jam. Both are from homegrown fruit.
That’s all!


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Mand01, lol! True, it’s much more fun to buy the fabulous dress for next to nothing….when my younger sister and I were in college, we’d bring incredible clothes home and “reverse brag” to each other about how little we spent.


Mand01 August 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

My sister and I still do that!


Melissa August 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

I don’t know if it will work for chemical-type smells, but I usually soak a load of smelly clothes in the washer overnight or so with some baking soda and then run them through a wash cycle as usual.


Crosby August 24, 2017 at 4:53 am

1. Found a quarter on the ground the other day! I so rarely find change, even though we have a dog that we take on multiple walks a day, that when I find a quarter, I feel like I’ve struck gold.
2. Every day this week both me and DH have eaten lunches brought from home and dinner at home. This is big for us. We each usually end up eating lunch and dinner out at least once a week, but due to better planning and a recommitment to not eating out, we’ve rocked it this week.
3. I was verrrrry tempted to buy new (or new to me) shoes to match one of the dresses that my sister-in-law gifted me, but I reminded myself that the reason I bought basic, classy pumps a few years ago was so I wouldn’t have to buy matching shoes for different outfits.
4. We’ve been able to sleep with our window AC unit off this week due to cooler temps and lower humidity. Our electic bill has been high this summer so I’ve been more attentive to turning off lights and unplugging things that aren’t in use.
5. Frugal Fail: I’ve been looking for a full length mirror for a while on craigslist, FB marketplace, and our local thrift stores but haven’t found anything that will work. I caved and bought a new one at HomeGoods.


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 24, 2017 at 5:06 am

Hahaha, I love the idea of repurposing a ‘meh’ salsa. Why waste?

This week:

1. I worked from company headquarters (our CEO’s house), so I packed homemade peanut butter cookies and some popcorn my MIL brought to us. Yay for not having to buy snacks on the road. 🙂

2. I’ll get a mileage reimbursement on my next paycheck, which will be a nice little bump.

3. This weekend I plan to organize some of my family photos in a photo album I bought at the thrift store for $3.

4. I’m washing clothes today with my homemade laundry soap (I’ll make more this weekend).

5. Instead of making new breakfasts this week, we’re eating ones that are already frozen and ready to eat.


Denise August 25, 2017 at 6:17 am

Mrs PP

May I ask a slightly delicate question regarding homemade laundry soap, please? Does it get smelly/sweaty clothes (including unpleasant yellow staining) really clean?

I have downgraded gradually to own-label washing powder, but have never got successful results on a 30 degree Celsius washing temperature (despite all the powders saying that they work at lower temperatures). So I have been hesitant to get stuck in to homemade laundry soap.




Mariana August 24, 2017 at 5:39 am

1. I finally decided to get my free box of Hello Fresh Foods (from a credit they gave me after they totaly messed up a delivery and the box was sitting at my door for 4 days last April). The box arrived and then I canceled my account.
3 free dinners (after I cook them of course)

2. I realized that I have not spent any money since Saturday (and it’s Thursday!) except regular grocery shopping and yes, of course any bills. But I got absolutely zero coffees, snacks, no lunches or breakfasts out, etc. $0 for anything else except the needs.

3. T. cooked his famous tomato sauce, huge batch too, so we will have it for a few meals plus will freeze some for quick meals.

4. I have a huge bag of samples (shampoos, face creams, eye creams, face wash, etc) I am sure it will be expiring soon so I started using them. I am letting T. use the usual stuff while focusing on using up odds and ends myself.

5. I went to Long Island last weekend and the train was so packed (I as so lucky to get a seat) that noone checked the tickets. $25 saved 🙂 I am going again this tickets so it’s like getting both trips 50% off !


Christine Beelen August 24, 2017 at 5:54 am

Eucalan may help with your blanket. You just soak the item with a small amount of the product (dependent on the size) and dry. No rinsing required. Vinegar leaves its own scent!!


Sandra August 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

I love to see your “after” pictures when you rehab your outlet and curbside finds. Please let us see how that great looking buffet turns out. It does look like a keeper.

1. Drove to watch the eclipse and took a cooler of drinks, sandwiches, cake and fruit. The cost was gas, but the experience was priceless.
2. Gathering and drying grapes for raisins.
3. Canned tomatoes.
4. Saved the canning water for my houseplants and color bowls.
5. I found a weekly sale roast marked down 50 percent. Great buy that will be good for several meals. All meals and snacks were cooked at home.


Betsy August 24, 2017 at 7:04 am

1. My boyfriend and I hauled away two old stoves and a bunch of other scrap metal cluttering up our property to the scrap yard and made $76.50 for the load! Scrap prices are up again so it’s a great time to make some extra cash while cleaning up the junk!
2.The weather has been beautiful this week and so the AC went off and the windows got opened and the laundry was hung out to dry.
3. I sold my house this Monday and made a tiny profit which will allow me to pay off the small debt I have and put the rest in my savings. Because I no longer have an extra house to upkeep an hour away from where I currently live with my boyfriend, I will be saving on gas and wear and tear on my older vehicle. Not to mention the extra stress on my handy boyfriend!
4. Since my boyfriend and I are both handy, DIY , lets build things from free salvaged materials, we started building a garden fence from free wooden boards we have been accumulating!
5. I cut a fresh bouquet of flowers yesterday from seeds I purchased at the dollar store and planted in the Spring.


Jennifer August 24, 2017 at 9:15 am

4. My husband and I have DIY’d a new finish on my very worn, old Formica countertops and I am so excited about how they have turned out. I sponge painted them with craft paints to mimic a granite finish then poured a thick, super shiny, epoxy layer on top(lots of Pinterest tutorials on this). So, I spent about $90 on brand new counter tops and they turned out so much better than I could have imagined. So much less than buying new and I kept my old ones out of a landfill. I show pictures to anyone who will let me because I’m just so happy with them. We are using scrap wood from my friend’s home remodel project(that cost him $100,000!!)to make a couple shelves where my old trash compacter used to be. I’m so happy with my cheap renovations and am so glad to be a little handy, like yourself.


Betsy August 24, 2017 at 10:14 am

They sound really neat! I have a friend who did something similar with her husband to their kitchen countertops in their rental house. Turned out very nice and the landlord was fine with this quick update!
My boyfriend had a job for a couple of years were he was able to raid the dumpster for the wooden crates that his company used to ship large equipment in. It was free for the taking so he loaded up on a lot of free wood and stored it away. The other fellas at his old job began to catch on when my boyfriend showed them the awesome chicken coop we built from all that free plywood and boards! They started raiding the dumpster then too!


WilliamB August 24, 2017 at 7:14 am

A story of daily frugality and conservation, nothing exceptional:

1. Went out to dinner last night with a friend and his child, because the weather was gorgeous. Chose an inexpensive fast-casual restaurant (Nando’s Peri Peri), we used a buy-one-get-one coupon for two of the meals, and a local business discount for the third. Between us we decided we wanted only two sides, so the third meal was ordered without. (The usual NPP combo is with, but you can get it without and pay less.) The total for the 3 meals, 2 sides, 1 bottomless drink, and 1 bottomless dessert was less than $30.

2. I forgot to tell Nando’s to skip the dressing on my dinner salad. Instead of not eating the salad and/or ordering something else, I rescued the meal by sopping up most of the dressing with paper napkins.

3. Took the leftovers home for today’s lunch …

4. … which I will eat with mis-matched abandoned silverware rather than one-use plasticware …

5. … which I will wash and dry using an old kitchen towel instead of disposable paper towels.


Jennifer August 24, 2017 at 8:07 am

Oh goody, I have been curious about that sideboard ever since you posted about it before.

1. I had a small hiccup when my kindergartner kept eating breakfast at school after already eating at home. This left me with a negative balance in her school lunch account of $7.50. I sent a note to the teacher and, long story short, of course I still had to pay it. Which is fine, I just was irritated because I made it clear the first day that she would never be eating breakfast at school. I know a room full of kids and getting used to the routine at the beginning of school is tough so I am, of course, over it(sort of). We ate oatmeal this morning. I had nothing sweet to put in the oatmeal so I added a small amount of banana pudding mix and a spoon of peanut butter to it. They practically licked the bowl! I guess this oatmeal can be homage to Elvis.
2. Last night, I made french bread pizzas with reduced garlic-buttered french bread loafs from the grocery reduced bin, homemade pizza sauce, cheese, and other things from the pantry. They were kinda terrible but we ate them anyway. Hard to believe cheesy, gooey french bread pizzas could be bad but it was because the bread had been pre-buttered with a ton of garlic spread so they were way too greasy.
3. My husband bought a used Chevy Volt. I have had to fill up my car with gas several times since he first purchased his car so I am jealous. Not ever using gas and still driving every day is so awesome.
4. I stopped by the grocery store this morning and lucked up on a few packs of reduced meats to chunk in the freezer. I got a pack of 2 thick cut pork chops for $2.31. I will slice these in half and it will be enough to feed my family of 4. I will also separate the ground beef into meal size servings. I have learned when I break the meat down into meal sized servings, I can most times reuse the packaging the meat came in to repack it so there is no waste by breaking the styrofoam piece in half and just adding a little more cling wrap or foil. I’m not to the point of being able to use no extra harmful environmental packaging but I have come so far!
5. I have been getting pre-made salads at the grocery store that have been reduced to eat for lunch. Not as cheap as bringing food from home but so much less that buying a salad from a restaurant and I don’t waste money purchasing produce that I tend to forget about. They still taste like they are very fresh.


Jennifer August 24, 2017 at 8:54 am

Katy, have you tried salsa chicken? It doesn’t really taste like salsa after you dump it on top of chicken then put in the slow cooker or oven. A lot of the liquid cooks out and the tomato intensifies. The other ingredients are stuff you might put on chicken to bake it anyway. I usually serve it over rice or I add in some bell peppers and onions. It’s a cheap meal that my family loves and they don’t actually know that it is salsa that I make it with. Basically, it’s a cheap ‘dump and bake’ meal.


ouvickie August 24, 2017 at 11:22 am

1) Free lunch today thanks to our boss. He took the entire Team to the University cafeteria/food court for lunch. Yummy and free, my favorite!
2) I was able to mail a baby outfit and a congrats card in a padded 8 x 11 envelope, so it only cost about $3.00 for shipping. I’m glad I didn’t have to box it up.
3) Swag from an I.T. Vendor will become part of a birthday gift for my grandson. It’s helpful that computer nerds are into all the sci-fi stuff. We get a lot of stuff I can use as gifts.
4) I just found out at lunch I can use my Pioneer Library Network card to get a Metro Library card. That way I’ll have access to a lot more reading material. One of my co-workers said he downloads books, which keeps him from paying fines when they are due.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet, however,…
Frugal fail VENT: Hubby decided he wanted a muscle car, instead of buying something more practical to drive. Which means he’s now making payments and our car insurance increased. He, at least, bought a used one and made a down payment, but I was not happy about having more debt to pay on.
Middle-aged Manopause vehicle purchases seem so impractical and stupid. I’m tired of worthless man toy purchases. Vent over. 🙁


Jenny August 24, 2017 at 9:32 pm

I often feel like all my efforts to be thrifty and save money are derailed so quickly by my husband’s attitudes and choices! I’d appreciate thoughts and ideas about this.


ouvickie August 25, 2017 at 7:00 am

I understand, I get discouraged too. The only way I can stay on track is just to realize I’m being frugal because it makes me feel better about myself.
The fact that he chose a used car with low mileage and made a sizable down payment was, I think, due to a discussion we had a week or two back.
I knew I wasn’t going to change his mind about getting another vehicle, so I decided to tell him why getting a used one was better. I try to work my frugalness into conversations. I don’t tell him what to do, I just talk about why I’m making the decisions that I do. Sometimes, he actually listens.
When he told me he’d bought the car Wednesday evening, I didn’t get angry, I just asked him pertinent questions about the financial stuff, like interest rate, insurance costs, etc. I am going to insure the loan though, because I don’t want to be responsible for balance, if something happens to him.
Last year he had 2/3 of his right lung removed and it’s taking a toll on the health of his heart. I think that’s one reason he decided he wants “something fun to drive.” I think he’s faced with his mortality and he wants to have fun before he dies and I’m pretty sure he thinks it will happen before he retires. He is a good provider, otherwise. He works hard and is paying extra on the mortgage, so we can get it paid off in the next 5 years. He’s a good saver, too. Apparently, he just wants “live” some, before he dies. So I’m trying to choose my opposition carefully. Hopefully that makes sense.


Jennifer August 25, 2017 at 10:52 am

Yes, this completely makes sense. My husband just purchased a chevy Volt. This is a very practical and frugal vehicle, as it’s electric and a good used purchase, and he rarely puts gas in it. I should be happy about this purchase, right? Wrong.. I am ashamed to admit on a frugal website that my husband has a car “collection”. He currently has 7 vehicles and no intention of selling any of them. This bugs me because all of them have to be maintened, which is costly and wasteful, IMO. He too, has suffered with health issues and is a good provider so it’s difficult to say much about it. Anyway, you are not alone.


Amanda August 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

We always puree salsa. “Chunks” aren’t good in anything.

1) We ate up a quart of soup from the freezer and made grilled cheeses for supper last night.

2) Thursday nights are clean-out-the-fridge nights, so supper tonight will be a mix of things we need to eat up. One of the kids has his first ever solo play date over dinner this evening! But he is three, so he will most likely refuse to eat what his buddy’s parents serve him and then still eat supper here.

3) Got up to date on my bookkeeping this morning. Staying on top of it gives us a clear idea of how the business is doing. Plus I’ve found that there is a positive relationship between the length of time I put it off and the amount of time and money it takes me to get it back on track.

4) I’m batching errands to run tonight while my husband is putting the kids in bed. I can put bank deposits in the night time drop box, and the grocery store and the college library are open late. There will be fewer crowds, and I won’t miss work time.

5) My husband got his hair cut at the barber shop across the street from his office, and enjoyed it immensely. He was going to a salon, but the barber shop is cheaper and easier, so I think he is finally switching over.


Liz B. August 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Trying to finish an otherwise spendy month with a frugal end….
My fft:
1) Sold my first item on local fb yard sale site, AND did a good deed, all in one. Sold a new pair of “Shoes for Crews” shoes to an older lady who is caring for her mother (who has dementia). The buyer was unable to leave her mother alone, so I brought the shoes to her. It was on my way home from work, so really not a big deal, but she was very appreciative. I now have less clutter, some $ for my son’s college fund (inspired by Katy), and I’m glad the item went to someone who really wanted it.

2) Put a loaf of Italian bread in the freezer when I realized we also had a large round of sourdough bread to eat (from Zingerman’s, gifted to us). Sooooo yummy. What a treat!

3) Used my Shutterfly freebies to order some cards with DS’s original artwork (to use with teacher gifts in the current school year), an 8 x 10 print of a different DS original artwork (to be framed in a thrifted frame, and sent to one of our nieces for a birthday gift), and another 8 x 10 print of a favorite photo of mine – purpose yet to be decided. Had to pay for shipping, but still a good deal for things I will use.

4) Found part of what will be my Hallowe’en costume at a favorite thrift store. Will keep an eye out for other useful costume bits.

5) Made homemade mojitos using my home grown mint. Which is a most excellent reason to grow mint. Not hard to take one of these for the team.:-)

Sadly, I can also say I didn’t win the gigantic Powerball lottery here in the US…so didn’t indulge my taste for gold-plated Lear jets. Lol!
Have a great week!


janine August 25, 2017 at 6:54 am

1 Attended opening day at our state fair yesterday. bought early-bird discount tickets to save a couple of $$. Also visited free exhibits – favorite was the horticulture building with crop art, scarecrows and plant exhibits. Some of this art has a political “tinge” and one picture featured Putin offering Pres. Trump a corn dog. Not sure about that underlying meaning.
2. Grocery store has 10c corn on the cobb and $1.99 watermelon today which will enhance our summer suppers this weekend.
3. Loaning out my hybrid car to my older son for a weekend trip. This will save him wear and tear on his older car plus cutting gas costs.
4. Going out for lunch today with old friend. We have agreed to split a salad at the expensive neighborhood restaurant she likes.
5. Also missed the lottery win so will spend the weekend cleaning house, making home made dinners, and reading second-hand books. Also drinking tea from interesting mugs picked up at a small thrift shop where $$ go to help with sustainable farming in Kenya.


Karen August 25, 2017 at 7:28 am

I was in Portland over eclipse week and just wanted to thank you for the tip on Jade’s Teahouse!! Yummy!


Katy August 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

So delicious!


Amanda August 25, 2017 at 12:14 pm

1) Because we’ve been budgeting this year any extra money that has come in–refunds, tax returns, side hustles–has been put into the savings account along with our set monthly contribution. It occurred to me today to add up what has been put in minus what has been taken out. I was floored. It was such a morale boost to see the work that we have done.

2) My husband bought a used punching bag on Craigslist. Then a friend gave him one that he likes even better. So he is re-listing the one he just bought this weekend.

3) We rented our home on airbnb for the weekend. We have been hosting on airbnb for five years now. We’ve met a couple of crazies (maybe two out of thousands of people–most guests are really lovely), sometimes get stressed about getting the house in shape, but overall the extra cash has been a huge blessing. This year we are set to make more than we have in any previous year.

4) I typed the first words of my dissertation today. I am viewing my dissertation as the thing that is standing between me and the job of my dreams. Each word gets me closer to getting paid to write history books, cheap health insurance, and having my summers off.

5) I made sandwiches for the trip out to the country tonight, exercised very cheaply in the form of a free bike ride on the bike I bought used and wearing workout clothes that I bought for a dollar years ago, worked on my six-years-old-but-still-going-strong Mac, returned library books and got new, donated a bag of stuff to Goodwill, and ate a homemade sandwich for lunch on homemade bread.


Lindsey August 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Great way to look at your dissertation. I wish I had had your grace. Instead I whined for a year and tortured everyone around me. I was a very unpleasant person during that period and now am ashamed of myself.


Mary W August 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

I’m looking forward to pics of the finished piece, too, Katy. It’s got great bones.

1. Went to chair exercises after the eclipse Monday. Was entered in a door prize drawing for a very expensive line of cleaning products (Wex-something), and WON. I had tried to opt out because I didn’t buy anything and really didn’t even look at the catalog after seeing the prices (Dollar Tree gets most of my cleaning supply $$). Won a mesh wash bag for delicates, a scrubby micro-fibre cloth, and a jar of some kind of stain remover. All useful stuff, and FREE is my favorite price.
2. Entered the drawings at the Eagles Aux meeting (my twice monthly donations to worthy causes), and won a pretty mirror in a frame made to look like the sun with a couple faces framing the mirrored part. Although I liked it, I didn’t need it, so I re-gifted it a couple days later to my TOPS pal. It will be perfect in her house, and she really likes it.
3. My cousin brought me a big tin of cookies to the Eagles meeting, and I shared out as many as I could, but still took home way too many, and I ate a bunch of them already. Not good for my waistline, but made with love by my 94 yo aunt. Cousin also brought cucumbers from her garden, and I took home half a dozen. Very sweet and crisp – yummy. And – she just texted and asked if I wanted more cucumbers. I will take her a couple dozen fresh eggs from my free-range hens – some for her and some for her mom, and plan to make bread and butter pickles from the cucumbers, which means I’ll also take her several jars of pickles.
4. Rode along with one of the neighbors on Wed to his MD appointment at the VA. He was having a cortisone shot in his back, and had to have a driver with him, and his wife was with her sister at another hospital in the same town while that sister had surgery. I was happy to be his back up driver, even though he was able to drive himself home, and he treated me to a mocha at the Starbucks there. The light roast they have there is much better than the regular roast, which tastes burnt to me.
5. Said neighbor took a look at my new-to-me bike and thinks we can get it working pretty easily. He also came over with his tractor yesterday and pulled out scotch broom from the edge of my woods and filled in a sink hole left by a rotted out stump from under my driveway turn around area. So nice to have that spot safe to drive on again, and getting rid of scotch broom before it spreads any farther is a blessing. With a 100 acre wood full of the stuff next door and up wind, I get a lot of volunteer plants I don’t want (along with tansy ragwort and thistles of all kinds).


Betty Winslow August 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

1. A work friend gifted my husband with two pairs of eclipse glasses, so on Monday he took the day off, we packed up drinks and lawn chairs, and spent the afternoon in a nearby park, talking and watching the eclipse. Free and awesome!
2. We’re in a church home group that eats potluck together 2 Wed. evenings a month and I took over planning the meals, using the [free] Perfect Potluck website. I’ve been making things that use up a lot of the surplus stocked food in the house, and the leftover dessert from this week’s meeting went to work to bless my co-workers!
3. I stocked up on bags of sugar at Xmas and ended up having several bags left. I bagged them in ziplocs, to keep them from hardening, and used them this summer to make several batches of jam. I may do this again when sugar is super-cheap as a loss leader in the fall.
4. Went to a garage sale today and scored a stack of free cookbook magazines for a friend, a wooden easel I can use for a display at school [25 cents], a really lovely stoneware planter for my husband who loves houseplants [25 cents], and a collapsible canvas basket shaped like the ones you see by the doors of big box stores that I’ve been longing for for shopping, which I think was some fancy brand [$2.00]. Best deal though was a large bag marked 75 cents that had unworn, still tagged men’s socks and bandanas in it, from the seller’s deceased dad. I didn’t even really look through it, since just what I could see was worth 75 cents. When I got home, I counted the bandanas (which I’ve been wanting to buy to use for napkins) – 23!! And the socks will go to a local clothes pantry for the needy.
5. Went to a free jazz fest on Sunday, to see a friend perform, and browsed the arts and crafts that were on display. Found a seller that had inexpensive multi-pocketed fabric gift card wallets on sale and bought one for each of the three people I’m planning on giving cards to at Xmas.

and two extra –
6. Went to Meijer with hubby to pick up my free RX and a few groceries. I lucked into some super-sale art supplies and bought two sets of markers, reg. and glitter crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and glue sticks, and also had a $2 off coupon for a purchase, which made the whole bag of supplies come to $12. If I add a pad of paper to each, they will be a perfect gift for two artsy family members!
7. Went to a free zoo outing on Saturday with my husband’s company, took our daughters and granddaughter, and had a blast. They had raffles, which I did not buy tickets for, and several free “guess the number of items” games, that I did do – and I won one! It was a huge jar of peanut butter cups (my favorite) and KitKats (my GD’s favorite), so I’m pleased (although for the sake of my health, I’m taking most of the candy to work to use for bribes…. err, prizes at school).


Betty Winslow August 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Oh, forgot the best part of the garage sale!! Bought 7 games for Playstation and Wii for 25 cents each and am going to try to resell them. If I can’t, I can always take them to the local game shop for credit, which I can gift to my son!

Also forgot the freebies I brought home from work: a cup full of spider plant babies, ready to plant, and four partial bags of dried beans that our kindergarten teacher didn’t think she’d use, since she doesn’t cook much during the school year.


MommaL August 26, 2017 at 9:19 am

1. Ordered pet food and cat litter online for repeat delivery, cost MUCH less than in our local stores!
2. Chose an off brand of cat litter that my sister recommended to save even more money.
3. Usual: composting, weeding by hand, cutting fresh flowers from the garden, picking tomatoes.
4. Using a coupon from a friend to order a taxi service to and from a wedding. Better safe than sorry, and I KNOW I will be toasting her!
5. After reading these posts, went and scrubbed all of the toilets!


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