Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 29, 2017 · 65 comments

  1. I’ve been busy the past few days helping my 19-year-old son to finalize plan for his off-campus housing. We finally pinned down an apartment worth the two-hour drive to his college town. Luckily, the apartment we toured was both within our budget (yay!) and close enough for my son to walk to his 8 A.M. classes. (Ugh!) He’ll be in an apartment with two other students and only needs to furnish his actual bedroom, which is a relief for me as I wasn’t keen to lug a bulky couch down the great state of Oregon. We will need to buy kitchen gear, but I can source that from the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet with one hand tied behind my back. And the best part? I think we can outfit his entire bedroom without buying even a single thing.

  2. My son and I needed sustenance after our apartment tour and subsequent paperwork-o-rama session. Fortunately, my trusty Yelp app directed us towards a great little Latin restaurant that was actually within a local church. (I would never have found this little gem without Yelp.) Note the above photo that allows you to search by price. I always click the single “$” sign, which means less than $10 per entree. The two of ate for $13 including drinks and nice tip!

  3. We stopped at the Brownsville Pioneer Museum on our way home, which was not necessarily a welcome detour for my son. However, it was going to be necessary to kill enough time to avoid rush hour traffic upon entry to Crap Traffic Central The Rose City. The museum was about to close, but since there was no admission fee, we still went in for fifteen minutes or so. I’ll definitely be back. Probably with my mom though.

  4. I came across a free box behind my son’s new apartment building. I pulled out a perfect looking towel and two microfiber cloths. See? We’ll get his apartment outfitted on a budget in no time!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 August 30, 2017 at 1:37 am

1. I am working from home two days this week. Lit a fire and didn’t go anywhere.
2. I brought soup and bread to work on the days I was in the office. Took my own coffee and snacks.
3. I wore my thrifted outfits to work every day.
4. I turned in an article to my side gig, writing content for a website.
I think that’s it for me. It’s cold as hell still here and I’m wishing for Spring but I’m very thankful I’m not in the middle of a hurricane like all those poor folks in Texas. Best wishes to everyone over there.


Beth August 30, 2017 at 1:50 am

1. Earned a $25 Walmart gift card through Swagbucks
2. Took advantage of recent Amazon deal-bought $25 gift card and will use as a gift, by using promo codes got free vitamins, Happy Belly trail mix snack and free shipping.
3. Gas bill $16!!!!! This month Gas and electricity bills combined will only be $105!!!!
4. Shopping with daughter last night for a few school clothes she needed, she tried to talk me into fast food and popcorn at Target but I stayed strong and we had dinner at home.
5. Going to a breakfast for work this morning.


CarolineRSA August 30, 2017 at 1:56 am

1. Celebrating 3 birthdays and a ‘thank you’ (See no 2.), with marked down chocolates and storage cupboard gifts.
2. My son has been discharged from OT, so no more weekly 30km drive to neighbouring town. Big petrol saving, and we can now use med aid for other necessities without worrying about running out of funds for therapy.
3. Bought fresh produce at the market instead of supermarket, longer drive, well worth the saving.
4. Been baking up batches of muffins and mini rolls to fill lunch boxes in the coming term. No packaged snacks in this household!
5. Rocking the veggie patch, shopping the freezer, and eating at home.


Diane August 30, 2017 at 3:29 am

1. My breakfast today was my daughter’s untouched leftovers from dinner the other night.
2. I’m wearing a top I sewed with fabric left over form making my sister’s Christmas present last year. My jeans and cardigan are from a consignment store.
3. I brought extra coffee to work from home instead of stopping on the way or getting vending machine coffee.
4. We had my in-laws over for a firepit the other night and burned wood from a limb that fell from my parents’ tree, which we hauled away after my sister’s husband had chopped it up.
5. I have a donation bag in my trunk ready to drop off, after setting aside some outgrown-but-nice clothes to take to my 1st grade son’s school for kids who need a change of clothes during the day. I also have a bag at home to take for consignment.


Jill A August 30, 2017 at 3:31 am

1. Picked up a new tube of shoe goo to try and repair my daughters sandals.
2. Delayed buying a chair for my daughters dorm room until we moved her in. Good news all that stuff is on sale now. I also have several coupons I can use to make it cheaper still. Searched thrift shops for something used but haven’t found anything.
3. Husband and I are eating leftovers from the weekend. We’ve avoided going out to dinner even though we are new empty nesters.
4. Did go out to lunch with my Mom, Aunt and cousins. Ordered water. Cousin kindly purchased everyones lunch. I will reciprocate next time.
5. Not frugal – the fan on our air conditioner is broken. Getting prices on replacing the fan or replacing the entire unit as it’s over 18 years old. Good news is the weather has been cooler. We’ve used fans at night and leaving windows open. At least my electric bill will be lower.


Bee August 30, 2017 at 4:00 am

My daughter and I set up her first apartment with items from the thrift store, estate sales, auctions and my garage. Unfortunately, there was not a wonderful pay-by-the -pound Goodwill nearby. It was fun and so thrifty. My favorite item that we purchased was a beautiful midcentury Danish modern chair which cost $12 at auction.
1) I returned my U-verse receiver to AT&T yesterday. It is final– no more cable. DH and I love our new set-up and cannot believe we didn’t do it sooner. I especially love the savings!!!!!

2) We are going out of town for a wedding over the long holiday weekend. All meals have consisted of food that needed to be eaten before we left. I have set aside a small bag of fresh produce that I will bring to a friend. I just can’t waste a perfectly ripe beefsteak tomato.

3) I bought some household items that I needed, a camera case, 2 Sterling silver bracelets (resale) and a Michael Kors leather wallet at an estate sale for $31.

4) This is more commentary than frugality. I usually have a family member care for my pets when I am away. However, all my helpers will be with me at the wedding mentioned above. There are only a few select people my dog will let in the house when we are not there. So I needed to board my 100 pound mutt. I brought him to a new place where he received a FREE day of doggie daycare and a temperament test to make sure that he would get along with the other animals. Honestly, I could not believe the number of people who were dropping their dogs off before work or for a play date. I know there might be reasons for it. However, $25 a day for your dog to play? This might be a great business opportunity for someone out there.

5) The said wedding is in the Northeast, so we are flying Southwest. I used points to buy one of our tickets. I also used hotel loyalty points for free hotel rooms. I searched for the cheapest rental car which this time was with Hertz and saved 10% by prepaying. Breakfast will be included with our room. I think that we can do this with our budget in tack.

Have a great frugal week!


Karen August 30, 2017 at 4:43 am

1. Decided to switch from my Stok bottled cold brew to instant coffee (and then to tea which is cheaper by the serving, and probably better for me) in the mornings.
2. One of our portable AC units started failing a few months ago, dripping water everywhere–all over the carpet!– and not cooling. It was sitting in our study until my husband had time to fix it–the first thing he did was check the filters, which were absolutely clogged with dust. After a good rinse and clean, and a test run, it works fine now and will replace a very old, grungy looking window unit in our son’s room. We love free fixes.
3. I cancelled my Pandora subscription; it was really nice to have my favorite Irish music on tap, but I’m going to hunt down CDs at the library for listening in the car with the kids. This will save 6 bucks a month.
4. I used up the last of my fancy salon shampoo and switched to a Suave variety, and it works just fine. My kids need SLS-free shampoo, and so does my husband, due to allergies, but I don’t.
5. We finally found a cheap solution for the horrid black ants that were invading the kitchen. The dishwasher started acting weird–it would only do the cycle with the heated dry, which we’d prefer not to use, and again, rather than bother our landlord, we wash dishes by hand now. Turns out the dishwasher was what was attracting the ants–the bits of food and residual water were like an oasis to them! A week after we stopped using the dishwasher we noticed NO MORE ants. Not on the counter, or in the trash can. I much prefer to have all the dishes done and put away at once, rather than have to come and unload the dumb washer anyway. Also, I have noticed that without the dishwasher, my older kids have simply started washing their own lunch dishes and putting them away WITHOUT BEING ASKED. Now to decide if i want to clutter up my counter with a dish drainer.


Marilyn August 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm

I also like to listen to music on CDs when in the car, especially when traveling out of town for work. I find my CDs at yard sales all the time — usually $1 each or less.


BJS August 30, 2017 at 5:13 am

1. My son’s birthday is coming up. When I walked into the grocery store the other day, I saw a clearance rack with decorating icing tubes on it. Perfect! Just for fun, I went back to the baking aisle to see how much I saved, and the cheapest (store brand) were 48 cents more than the tubes on the clearance rack.

2. Got an email asking if I could work a shift. I emailed back right away with a happy “yes.”

3. Made The Frugal Girl’s (Kristen’s) broccoli-cheese noodle soup. It’s easy, makes a lot (I double it), is inexpensive, my husband loves soup all year round, and I love meatless meals.

4. Wrote the date on the lid of the spaghetti sauce jar when I opened it. This might seem silly, but I’ve thrown away more partly-used jars of food than I care to admit because I couldn’t remember how long they’d been in the refrigerator.

5. Found a quarter one day, a penny the next, and a penny the day after that. 27 cents in three days – that might be a record.


cathy August 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

Re your #4: I’ve begun dating items as too. Works especially well for marinara and leftover pasta or rice as I repurpose those until we run out or (hopefully not anymore) goes bad.


Marcia August 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

We have dated leftovers for quite a while now, as we are only 2 people and sometimes we just don’t eat them up. We do try, however. Better to throw something out than get sick from eating it.


Joyce August 31, 2017 at 4:10 am

I just throw the partially used jar of sauce or opened can of sauce into the freezer. No one has died yet and I have been doing it for years. Sometimes all one of my gourmet creations needs is just a half cup of sauce.


jodi August 31, 2017 at 8:29 am

That’s a good idea, I never thought of doing that!


Roberta August 30, 2017 at 6:07 am

1. I’ve been keeping the air conditioning off for much of the day — yesterday we didn’t turn it on until 3pm, but that was because I had to step out for an orthodontist appointment. The high yesterday was 114F (46C), so keeping the house closed up and the fans on at night is great!
2. Made sandwiches for dinner last night. It was too hot to turn on the stove, but we didn’t eat out!
3. I got lots of laundry washed and hung out. It dried quickly!
4. The shop was almost out of 2T clothes, and I found a bunch of 2T things at Salvation Army for 75% off. I’d like to go down to the bins, but it’s not air conditioned down there and I couldn’t do it in this heat. Just not safe.
5. My Grocery Outlet began stocking Red Rose tea again, so I’m staying hydrated (and caffeinated) with lots of sun tea!


Connie B August 30, 2017 at 6:23 am

1. Cashed in Swagbucks for $25 Amazon. Used the $25 Amazon to have diapers sent to the Texas Diaper Bank (they have an Amazon wish list so you can see what is most desperately needed, and Amazon ships directly to them).
2. Wedding anniversary is coming up. Hubby doesn’t care for “stuff”, but has a passion for the occasional sports event. Indulging him with a $50 Stubhub gift card from CVS, which generated $10 in EB rewards.
3. Have crack chicken going in the crock pot to accommodate the various schedules in the household today.
4. Blanching and freezing the delicious green beans from the season. (I don’t have room to grow them but the farm stand is amazing). Will miss all the summer bounty.
5. Staples sent yet another $10 off school supplies. Daughter already shopped last year’s remainders and she is good to go. We’ve already donated to local backpack drive. So this last coupon will help out a friendly second grade teacher who says she goes through #2 pencils by the pound.


Liz B. August 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I love #1….what a great idea. I didn’t know the Texas Diaper Bank has an Amazon wish list – I’ll have to go check it out. I think I have some Amazon credit left from a gift card. Thanks for sharing that idea!
Also, can you share your crack chicken recipe? I’m feeling pretty uninspired in the meal prep department lately.


Connie B August 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here is a link for the crack chicken:


The Amazon wishlist is officially titled the Texas Diaper Bank Disaster Relief Wish List.


Liz B. September 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Connie!


Sandra August 30, 2017 at 6:58 am

1. Canned plum jelly using plum juice leftover from cooking plums for puree. The jelly will be used in Christmas baskets.
2. All meals have been eaten at home and snacks and beverages are carried with us when we go out.
3. After cancelling a car insurance policy in favor of another company which saved us lots of $$$, we received a rebate check which went into savings.
4. I used fresh basil and parsley from the garden to make a pesto, then made a penne pasta with pesto dish with grilled chicken breast. It was a hit and there is still enough pesto left to do it again. This time I’m going to add shrimp.
5. I found two books (like new) on the free shelf at the community center. They are from a favorite author. They were the next ones in a series that I have been reading so I was thrilled.


Jennifer August 30, 2017 at 7:06 am

1. So the “my child keeps eating the school breakfast” saga continues. She is longer eating breakfast at home, then at school, causing the school to send me a bill at the end of the week. Now, the other kids feel sorry for her and are giving her their breakfast because they think she doesn’t get to eat!! She eats a decent breakfast every morning before she leaves. I have never bought any of my kids the breakfast that the school serves, and don’t want to start now, but I am feeling the mommy guilt
2. I got a fair amount of meat that was reduced at the grocery store to fix meals for the next few days. I also got some fruit trays that were marked down.
3.My oldest daughter is moving and brought over several bags of groceries that had been in her cabinet for awhile that they weren’t eating. I will gradually add these into my meal plans.
4. I filled up my car with gas this morning with a gift card at Wal-mart which takes off an extra 3 cents per gallon. Not as good as my husband’s Chevy Volt that uses no gas back and forth to work, but every bit helps.
5. The rain from Harvey has made it up to my area. It is a reminder of what painful situations I have seen on the news. Not really frugal but definately on mind when I look outside.


cathy August 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

Re the School Breakfast Saga: Is your daughter in a growth spurt? Maybe you could send a breakfast-y snack with her to eat while her friends are eating school breakfast. Maybe it’s just a social thing and she doesn’t realize it costs extra money for her to eat at school. Just wondering if she takes the bus or if it would be possible for her to get there after school breakfast is over. Where we live, the kids who eat school breakfast are the ones who qualify for free/reduced lunch (and breakfast).


Jennifer August 30, 2017 at 1:37 pm

I take her to school as late as I can because I have to drop my other daughter off at a different school. She usually doesn’t really eat much, in general. When this all started, I think the teacher just asked them if they were eating breakfast ,and if they said yes, they got herded into the cafeteria. Of course, being that she is just starting kindergarten, she will say yes to anything that sounds good or fun and she didn’t know how it all works. It’s also a little hard to stop something she enjoyed after they had been letting her eat. I think that some kids get free breakfasts and lunches so it doesn’t matter to those parents about the cost. She has told me that only one other child and her don’t eat, so she may feel somewhat isolated. Maybe I will see if I can send a snack. I can pay for the breakfast but I just don’t really want to when I can provide a healthy breakfast for pennies at home. Plus, my older girl will be mad so I will have to buy them both breakfasts if I ever start it. Maybe the school breakfast seems more enticing because they have to leave class to go get it so it is a social thing. Makes me feel terrible that other kids think she has a mommy that doesn’t want her to have breakfast, though. Definitely things to ponder, thanks!


Mand01 August 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

When my daughter was younger, she and her little brothers from another mother did the same thing- only they told school staff they had not had breakfast so they could join in the breakfast program! We were mortified because of course they always had breakfast. Our breakfast program is free but that wasn’t the point. We just explained to them that the breakfast was there for children whose families could not feed their children because they were having a lot of problems. We are very lucky and were not having those problems. If they went to eat at the breakfast program when they didn’t need it, there would be less available for the kids that did need it. They stopped going.


Jennifer August 31, 2017 at 6:33 am

Today, I got up earlier and fixed bologna/cheese biscuits with some fresh fruit on the side. I don’t usually go to this much trouble in the mornings but my hope is that she will mention that her mommy made her one of her favorites and she will be too full to eat anything else. She is not a big eater so she may be hungry again by the time she gets to school. Seems like this breakfast thing is never-ending, lol.

Rejena August 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

I wonder how much of the stuff they serve at the school breakfast is a novelty to her. I’m sure its not what you feed her at home, so she sees it as a fun treat! I think sending a small snack for her to eat during the others’ breakfast time will help–especially if its something you hold back only for that time.

Kathy Hairston August 30, 2017 at 7:09 am

1. Made tomato puff pastry tart from home grown tomatoes a friend gave me.
2. Judged at dog show so free breakfast and lunch plus paid enough to cover filling my car with gas
3. Sold several items on eBay and Amazon
4. Rented an audiobook for long drive to dog show.
5. Frugal fail $500 vet bill


Jennifer August 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

1. The tart sounds lovely. I make cheesy tomato pies a lot this time of year. Love home grown tomatoes.


janine August 30, 2017 at 7:30 am

1. Older son was told last spring that he needed a new air conditioner although his could be repaired. I advised him to wait until fall or winter to install because of possible sale prices. We live in the north so don’t need it all the time. It is now almost September and no further problems. At least he put off an expensive purchase until he could investigate comparative prices and sales.
2. Have made apple crisps and sauce from our apple tree which is bearing well for the first time this year. Cutting and peeling apples is a pain but they are free and delicious.
3. Have been invited to stay with friends at their time share next week. Prices are always better after Labor Day. Beautiful resort area.
4. Staying home over the forthcoming holidays. Lots of DIY projects need our attention.
5. Shopping to my “gift box” for a baby present for nephew. Found a photograph album and a large stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed toy to send off.


Amy August 30, 2017 at 7:56 am

1. Packed a cooler with food for our trip to the mountains last Friday. Sunday night we stopped by a grocery store to get food for the drive home.
2. When we ate out at a restaurant Sunday we ordered from the appetizer menu.
3. Went hiking and exploring in a free national park.
4. Rented a cabin that would allow all 5 of us plus the dog so we didn’t have to rent 2 hotel rooms.
5. Got 3 buckets of Augason Farm’s black bean burger for 60% off. It will give us the same number of burgers that we go through in a year for 1/4 of the price we pay for black bean burgers at the grocery store and it doesn’t require refrigeration.


Shelia August 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

1. I dehydrated my third batch of roma tomatoes using a garage sale dehydrator. I’m really enjoying the process and how little room the tomatoes take in the freezer.
2. I made my third batch of pasta sauce using garden tomatoes. I made lasagna with part of it for Sunday dinner. We had a friend from church over for lunch and he proclaimed it the best lasagna he has had in 55 years. Poor man must not have had much lasagna in his life!
3. I spent most of my week at my sister’s house. She’s having back problems so appreciated the company and some help. She lives in an area populated with many Amish farms and markets. We froze sixteen bags of very fresh, organic corn. I then bought a huge box of corn on the way home and froze eighteen bags from it. I also bought other organic produce while there. The prices are incredible.
4. We also hit up an Amish ‘supermarket’. The prices on bulk goods there are lower than anywhere so I loaded up with spices, oatmeal, popcorn, jellies, panko breadcrumbs and some applewood ham lunchmeat for my husband’s lunches this week.
5. I stopped at an outlet center on the way down. I bought three pottery barn full fitted sheets and one flat sheet for 5.99 each. Full size sheets were on my middle daughter’s Christmas list. I also picked up marked down items at the Pepperidge Farm Outlet to take to my sister’s and a birthday gift for my son-in-law and one for my daughter. The stop barely put a dent in my day or in my wallet!


Isitaneedorawant August 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

(1) Canning a gift of beets today. Will gift a couple of jars back to the sender who was also awesome and included 2 dozen eggs from their chickens.
(2) Had an awesome massage covered by insurance. Texted two of my children attending university and reminded them they have coverage and might want one for self care.
(3) Seems we go through a pair of Apple earbuds on a regular basis. Last visit to Staples I purchased replacement insurance, cost $7.00. Able to use once. Hmmm..we’ll see if this works. Next time will purchase from Apple Store and save receipt for when this happens. Don’t think I’ll need the “insurance”.
(4)Phoned roofer to see if the new shingles we had installed were impact resistant ones. At same time asked if he could send someone out to repair scratches that occurred on trim with the installation.
(5) Was out with daughter yesterday at a Ten Thousand Villages store. She saw earrings . She said she would see about going back for them after our errand. She didn’t, but I have a 30% off one item at Ten Thousand Village from Fair Trade magazine that expires tomorrow. A pair of hers had broken and these were to replace them. I’ll get them for a small Bon Voyage present for when she leaves Friday.


K D August 30, 2017 at 9:21 am

1. Over the weekend I found a pair of sunglasses on the street (early one morning). One of the lenses was out and they were grubby but I figured they’d just be run over if I left them. I put them back together and cleaned them up. They’re not fancy but it’s nice to have a second pair of sunglasses.

2. We rented a Rex Box movie using a code. It was $.34 out of pocket.

3. We were out of Neosporin so I walked to the store to buy a tube of generic. I figure it is better to spend a couple of dollars and avoid infection. I also found $.16 on the walk and my husband came home that day with $.15 he dug out from under a vending machine at work.

4. My husband and I split a take-out meal from the local kabob place on Saturday. It is enough food for two people but if I’d had my own order I’d have eaten it all.

5. I went with some friends to buy yarn for charity knitting, funded by a philanthropic grant. We stocked up on yarn that was sale priced and on clearance. A store employee told us we’d save 20% on the sale if we joined the text club. Done!


Ava August 30, 2017 at 9:51 am

1. Husband and I both came back from vacation sick. Pup came from her boarding stay with kennel cough, in spite of having a shot for it. Dog is on one end of the couch coughing and I am coughing on the other. Husband is going back to bed 5 times a day. It is hard to spend money when you are this feeble.
2. I did make it to the grocery store yesterday. The cupboard was bare since we had been away. I used many coupons, bought reduced beef and bread, and then filled the car with gas at .40 off per gal.
3. I made soup from the bones and skin of a rotisserie chicken. It hasn’t healed us yet.
4. I am trying to do some food prep between rests on the couch so meals at home are easier until we feel better.
5. Made applesauce with gifted apples that were rapidly going bad. I will share with the neighbor who gave the apples.


BJS August 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Feel better soon, Ava. 🙂


Jennifer August 31, 2017 at 6:41 am

Awe, sorry you are feeling bad. I was strangely achy and had low energy a few days ago but I am getting back on track now. I guess the bright side it seems you weren’t as sick on vacation. Get well soon!


Isabelle August 30, 2017 at 11:20 am

* After being off work unpaid for 6 weeks, I’m going back tomorrow. The paychecks will be appreciated!
* Did my monthly budget yesterday. Not happy with myself about unnecessary expenses lately, so I decided to carry a little notebook in my wallet and write down every dollar spent. This will make it harder to spend for silly reasons.
* Did 4 jars of crab apples sirup (was going for jelly, didn’t work, so will use as sirup), using crabapples I picked in a public tree. Cost: 3 cups of sugar. Pretty cheap.
* Doubling our mortgage payments since june, and will do so until december.
* Paid 17$ at the thrift store for 2 shirts, 2 cardigans, a bra and a pair of jeans. Score!


Lindsey August 30, 2017 at 11:23 am

1. Cut husband’s wonderful curly hair that hides all amateur barber mistakes. I am envious of his hair, it falls into perfect ringlets and when it rains or is humid, it looks even better. My hair is more like porcupine bristles than hair.
2. Cancelled a magazine I have been getting for over a decade. Maybe it is my imagination, but all the women’s magazines seem to be morphing into indistinguishable echo chambers of each other. It is all cooking, constant home refurnishing with pillows and curtains, fashion, makeup or ads. Or maybe I have just aged out of caring about most of that anymore.
3. Added up what I spent for food in August: $31! We made a concerted effort to eat down the fridge, freezer, garden and cupboard and it is working.
4. Harvested 40 pounds of cabbage, with more still in the ground, so made sauerkraut that is stinking up my kitchen right now.
5. Harvested 14 pounds of tomatoes, so made and canned tomato confit. I love opening a jar of it in mid-winter and smelling those tomatoes and garlic.

Frugal fail: Our two giant dogs (I call them both Danes but one is an Irish wolfhound) have heads like anvils. I was leaning over one and mentioned the word treat. He leapt to his feet and hit me square on the nose with that anvil head. Broke my nose and I have two black eyes. Went to urgent care but they could not stop the bleeding. They tried this stuff that was developed on battle fields, that is supposed to stop bleeding. Too bad I appear to be allergic to it and my throat started closing. Panic ensued, ambulance called, spent hours in the emergency room, bloody shirt ruined…not a good day. At least I have decent insurance so the co-pay won’t be devastating. My face looks truly hideous.


A. Marie August 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

Oh, gosh, Lindsey, that frugal fail sounds awful. Poor doggies, it wasn’t their fault, but… Anyway, best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Liz B. August 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Oh no!! That sounds terrible, Lindsey. Hope you are feeling better. Ugh – a broken nose – I’m sure you don’t look hideous, but black and blue for sure!
The ER’s of the hospital system where I work asks you to pay your co-pay RIGHT THERE in the exam room. Yup. An employee wheels in a little laptop on a cart (I assume there’s some sort of credit card swipe machine connected, or something) and asks how you’d like to pay. I ended up in the ER last summer with a big scalp laceration that needed staples. I was horrified that they expected me to pull out a credit card and pay up, before I’d even been treated. Maybe a lot of ERs are like that, I don’t know.
Finally, my younger sister has ringlet curly hair like your husband’s….and one of her daughters does, too. I have major hair envy of both of them (stick straight hair here).


Chris August 30, 2017 at 4:05 pm

I fell and broke my nose in DC the day after our son’s wedding and they did roll in a machine to collect my $100 co-pay. I rarely, if ever, carried my insurance card when traveling – of course, I do now!
I came back to work with 2 black eyes – but better to do it all the day after rather than the day before!


Marilyn August 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Wow, Lindsey, what a day full of calamities you had! Take care and get better soon.


Jennifer August 31, 2017 at 6:44 am

Oh my Gosh! How awful, well wishes to you, Lindsey.


Monica August 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

1) Re: Daughter’s school supplies: Removed the 20 or 30 or so used pages from each of my daughter’s leftover school notebooks from last year — now I don’t have to buy any notebooks this year. Cleaned up all the perfectly fine two-pocket folders from last year to use as well. Still have plenty of all the other supplies she will need this year, except looseleaf paper, which I will get at a discount store.
2) Using a 30% coupon and Kohls cash to bolster daughter’s school wardrobe for the year. I can’t seem to find much at our second hand clothing store in her size, and with the savings at Kohl’s, I am only paying a few dollars more per item.
3) Going out of town this weekend, to a small national park site, and my daughter’s ticket will be free! My ticket and hubby’s is very cheap. We’ll get our parking ticket validated, so that will be free!
4) Trying to eat down the pantry and fridge/freezer. We have too much food on hand. I need to talk my hubby into buying less. The fridge/freezer are so crowded I can’t even see what we have on hand anymore. Continuing to meal plan the week in advance to make use of what we have.
5) Sucking up the extra 20 minutes in the car/commute time to go out of my way to purchase cheap gas at Costco once a week. Commute is already one hour each way, so it can be draining at the end of a long day.


A. Marie August 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

(1) Katy’s #4 reminds me of happy student days when we used to improvise apartment furnishings out of stuff found on the cheap or for free. (The local idiom for trashpicking in one freewheeling neighborhood of our fine city was “shopping at the Westcott Flea Market.”)

(2) A truly lovely and thrifty neighborhood event last week: Bestest Neighbors hosted a potluck in honor of our city councilor, who is retiring at the end of the year because of term limits, and who has worked above and beyond the call of duty for his constituents. (I handled communications, helped with setup, and contributed several dishes concocted from our garden vegetables.) Several speeches were made, tears were shed, and a fine time was had by all. What a wonderful antidote at the local level to all the current nastiness at the national level!

(3) As (2) suggests, it’s high tide in the garden. A particular joy was harvesting the first three of the dozen or so cantaloupes my plants have set. Growing melons isn’t easy in Upstate NY.

(4) And DH and I are enjoying just hanging out in the living room and watching all the bee and butterfly traffic in the buddleia bushes outside the windows. Because we know these pollinators are in trouble generally, it’s a great pleasure to be able to give aid and comfort to them here.

(5) Finally, speaking of aid and comfort, we have been keeping in touch as we can with DH’s younger brother, who lives in the Houston area. He’s doing OK, but a lot of other folks aren’t. Donate to the Red Cross or another reputable charity of your choice if you can manage it, please.


Ruby August 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

1. Allowed a magazine subscriptions we’ve had for decades to lapse this month because I rarely get around to reading it. No sense in paying for it and then paying to recycle it. (Recycling costs us $10 per month.)
2. Made a yummy sweet potato-black bean vegetarian chili from ingredients on hand for my work lunch this week.
3. I wear a least one thrifted item of clothing every day. Today’s a three-fer: white jersey t-shirt and a teal green jersey cardigan, both from the Salvation Army, and black shoes from eBay.
4. Outfitted two new office spaces at work with used furniture. It’s needed a small amount of cleaning up and a brown marker to touch up nicks in the edges of the desks, but it all looks very good, especially for the tiny amount of money spent.
5. Drinking the free water from the cooler at work instead of feeding dollars into the soda machine. Healthy & frugal — yay!


Edie August 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm

That chili sounds bomb! 🙂 And be fortunate that you have access to good clean cold water! First drink, best drink.


Edie August 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Hey guys!

1) Today is the one year anniversary of signing papers to my house! WOOT! My current mortgage is comparable to the rent of an average 1 bedroom apartment in Portland, OR, which is incredible.

2) I have been steadily making veggies + protein bowls by using up the contents of my freezer and pantry- I cook up rice in bulk, then steam the frozen veggies in the freezer. I round this out with fruit as dessert in the evenings or homemade vegan ice cream. Lots of sparkling water instead of beer or wine at happy hour- so nice to have a clear head in this hot, smokey weather.

3) I am gleaning fruit in my neighborhood and all over PDX: plums, summer apples, grapes and figs.

4) Did a clean up of the yard with the assistance of neighborhood handy person. I paid him $40 BUT he did a lot of clearing work and nailed in some fencing, so overall good.

5) Did a deep clean of the house. My housemate is considering taking a nanny position – in exchange for babysitting 1 day a week she would get housing FREE. I said if she did not take that deal I would kick her out myself. I am gonna put an ad out Craig list to get a new housemate, and a deep clean always helps.

6) I did not buy a Lear Jet nor did I tour a flooded area in Manolo Blahniks.


Maraianne August 30, 2017 at 12:45 pm

We went to a Goodwill in Asheville NC that had a retail and a by the pound all in the same building. I never ever find anything in the by the pound part.

1-Used some coupons at Staples and purchased $13 worth of stuff for $2.95. It gave me back a $10 off $20 so I may go back for stuff for work.

2-Traded some plants with mom-in-law’s neighbor.

3-She had a birthday party for my hubby, we borrowed tables, table cloths and chairs so only cost was the food.

4-It has been really cool here so our utility bill should be really cheap this month. I hope we get an Indian summer. Bad part is I will end up with no tomatoes due to the crappy weather.

5-Found some good deals on markdowns at Biglots and Aldi so I stocked up on a couple of thing. Will save $ in the long run.


Alison August 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm

1. Did a workout in our home “gym” after cleaning it out, washing windows, etc. Its a nicer room to be in, now that it’s not also a storage room. Frugal is not paying for a gym membership!
2. Received a letter from the Pension Corporation saying they owed me $800 from a pension plan I was a member of when I was employed by a government agency 36 years ago! A nice surprise.
3. A lovely young man in line in front of me at the grocery store offered his reward points to me, as he wasn’t a member. I thanked him very much, then had the cashier cash some of my points in to pay for some of his groceries. He and a friend were just setting up house in a new place, and were buying lots of staples, so his bill was quite high. He protested, but I insisted, as that was my good deed for the day.
4. DD took DH and I out for dinner for his birthday. Not frugal for her, but the server did give her 15% off her meal, because although it was perfectly fine, it wasn’t exactly what she had ordered.
Frugal fail: I made a lentil loaf for dinner, and it was terrible. Bland, and the texture was off-putting. DH and I both ate it that night, and I considered currying it, or doctoring it up some other way, but instead I tossed it. Not a lot of food was wasted, but it’s not what I like to do.


BJS August 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm

All the parts of your #3 make my heart happy!


MommaL August 30, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Frugal Fail: My favorite “cute shoes” were getting grungy. I threw them in the washing machine. When the load was over, I found bits of the insoles all over the washing machine! They were like those china doll shoes popular in the 80s. Oh well. Took me a while to clean the inside of the washing machine out.

1. Made dinner enough for two nights out of freezer meat (marked down), carrots and potatoes I already had, and herbs from the garden.
2. Walked after dinner. Nice temperature outside!
3. Made roasted veggies for dinner last night out of the cauliflower and carrots found on the re-wrapped produce rack.
4. Turned hubs offer of lunch out for a walk and sitting outside in the cool breeze yesterday.
5. Nature’s frugality: NO STORM damage except for a few plants. We were lucky this time!


Pattilou August 30, 2017 at 4:41 pm

1. Finally back to work after 2 months off.
2. Dropped some clothes off at the consignment store and picked up a check for $20.00 while I was there.
3. Attended a free concert in one of our city parks. Friends brought BBQ chicken. I brought snacks and dessert, both of which were left over from an event I attended earlier in the day.
4. Went to the mall with my niece so she could pick up a few things for her girls for school. It was almost closing time when we were leaving and as we exited through the food court one of the businesses had but out free food for the taking. We had a nice snack for the ride home and left overs for the next day.
5. Work provided both lunch and dinner yesterday and there were left overs so I had them for lunch today and saved my packed lunch for tomorrow.


Teresa August 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm

1 – colored & highlighted my hair with granddaughter’s help
2 – started watching Outlander on free Starz days, got hooked, watching remaining episodes on DVD from library
3 – Signed up for 2 free museum tickets through Smithsonian Museum Day – you can sign up here:
4 – got a free Advanced Readers Copy of an upcoming book through First to Read
5 – considered replacing our porch lights, instead just cleaned up the old ones – repainted the house numbers instead of buying new


Liz B. September 2, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Yay! Another Outlander fan!! If you get a chance, look up the blooper reels on YouTube. Hilarious!


rebecca August 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm

1. I came home and cooked dinner and beat the urge for take out.
2. Have agreed to teach 2 extra classes this semester. Just thinking about them is overwhelming. I need the money and keep telling myself to take it one day at a time.
3. I am going away for the weekend. I am bringing ingredients and cooking dinner one night instead of bringing a hostess gift.
4. Rewatching Game of Thrones to remind myself how the story evolved.
5. Bringing coffee from home to work.


Liz B. September 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Hubs and I are re-watching Game of Thrones, too. I’ve forgotten A LOT from the earlier seasons!


Mrs Stookey August 30, 2017 at 8:01 pm

I posted on the Facebook page but I have 5 more I thought of
1) put apple core in water and had flavored water for free, cause normally I just throw those out.
2) Hubby has a diabetic ulcer, found that I had free samples of diabetic ulcer healing cream and so did my neighbor so it will tide us over till payday on friday! and discovered that the Tagaderm patches the NP wrote a script for are not covered by insurance and that any bandage will do the job safely. Also for this discovered that saline solution is all we need for the ulcer to stay clean and heal!! Doing research and talking to the actual doctor not the NP helped alot and is saving us 152 dollars!!!!
3) Tomorrows lunch is Bacon Tomato Cheese sandwiches using the bacon from tonight the last of the sliced tomato I rescued the other day and cheese we have on hand.
4) I took my lunch to the babysitting job today using my travel divided container, my lunch used up most of the cheese cubes, apple pieces, and some of the sliced tomato. ( I made two small wraps with the tomato slices, soft corn tortillas-warmed so they’re pliable, ranch dressing, melted mexican cheese, and lemon pepper, and ham slices-it was delish.) I wind up sharing with the lil boy I was babysittting as my lunch look better then his lol.
5) did not buy items on Amazon instead will buy them at walmart(Haate walmart) because they are cheaper and we need them asap its the ucler cream and saline solution and extra bandages for hubbys diabetic ulcer. Doctor said it will be alright to get them by friday but no later.


Mrs. Picky Pincher August 31, 2017 at 5:15 am

Lots of college prep! I wish I didn’t have to live in the dorms during college; apartment living is so much more comfortable (and in many cases, affordable).

This week:

1. Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, we weren’t really able to stock up on groceries. For that reason, I cooked mostly from our pantry and freezer this week. Gotta love saving moolah!

2. We got a $1,400 medical bill that was supposed to be $0 with insurance. After putting in a lot of work, we got the bill removed, since it was the doctor’s error. Everyone: fight your medical bills! You’d be shocked at how much doctors and insurance companies get wrong.

3. Frugal fail: during the medical negotiation process, we realized we were victims of insurance fraud. Some dude across the state has been using our insurance. Just in case, we’ve frozen our credit. Boo!

4. I’ve started doing extreme couponing again, but only very selectively. Last month we were surprised by a few very expensive colds. I’m going to try to build up our cold medicine stockpile again so we won’t have to pay $20 for meds!

5. Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, we also had to get the tree in our front yard removed. It cost $900 for the removal and $120 for stump grinding. We got more of a discount because we paid cash. Woop!


deanna ar August 31, 2017 at 8:23 am


1. Skipped our regular Friday night dinner out again and ate leftovers at home.

2. We’ve been more conscientious about turning off lights and fans when not in use.

3. We’re making homemade yogurt in my new Instant Pot almost weekly, and I’m saving a couple of spoonsful each time for my next starter. Hubs is eating it with granola several mornings a week, and I eat it by itself most mornings for breakfast. We love it, and we know what’s in it.

4. I’ve been running the dishwasher about every other day rather than every day,

5. We received a $6 refund credit from Amazon.


Nancy from mass August 31, 2017 at 9:08 am

1. Found a few pennies and a dime so far this week
2. My handsome son turns 18 today! He wants cesaer salad with steak strips for his dinner. I have everything on hand! I did splurge at DT this morning for 2 balloons and 2 bags of candy and bought him some scratch offs at the local cumbys (his request for his birthday).
3. Needed a small cabinet/shelf thing for my doghouse dormer area in my bedroom. I found a nice one at GW for $6. Did a fine sanding (after washing it down) and used my butcher block conditioner on it. It looks like I poly’ed it!! I have my Boston rocker in that former. (The cabinet holds my printer and router with room left over on top for my remote and a coffee cup. The shelf below holds other things)
4. Had a free oil change done today (with tire rotation, new blades and other maintenance done for $25. Its a program from the dealership.
5. Brought DS new (to him) car to my mechanic for his first oil change. He refused to charge me and said it was his gift to my son. I love this guy! It always pays to have a small business owner you frequent (and send people to all the time). If I didn’t have the program with my dealership, my car would still go to him. (Regular oil changes, inspections, etc are free)


Susie's Daughter September 1, 2017 at 5:32 am

The dime find made me smile! Happy Bday to your DS – hope the celebrations were fun!


WaThriftFamily August 31, 2017 at 9:11 am

1. Yesterday we used our Fred Meyer points to save on gas. They were set to expire tonight so we got in under the wire.

2. Was looking for a new fall cardigan at VV and found a cotton cashmere j.jill one for 2.99. I don’t really understand the pricing – it was next to a cardigan from a wal-mart brand was 7.99 and all synthetic fibers.

3. Picked tomatoes from garden and sliced them for sandwhiches – so yummy.

4. Have been on a major decluttering purging binge – we purged all used/duplicate art supplies and then organized what was left. Then I repurposed a shelf with bins to organize Legos. Made up another bag of books to sell to the used bookstore and donated two boxes of stuff to a local thrift. Purged a bunch of DVDs and gave them away on our Buy Nothing.

5. My college has a program where you can write welcome letters to incoming first year students give them some encouragement and wisdom. I volunteered to write five letters and sent them off. Not sure if they were well-received but it felt good to do something besides being solicited for money.


ouvickie August 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

1) I received free tickets for an OKC Dodgers game in a Vendor Suite on Tuesday night. Everything was free – snacks, water, adult beverages, food, Baseball hats etc. It was a fun night out, even though our team didn’t win.
2) We stayed in SpringHill Suites for free, due to my points/rewards. It was about a 5 block walk, but it was good exercise and we were able to see all the new construction in that area. Lots of Urban upgrading that’s making our downtown area livable and attractive to tourists.
3) I attended our monthly OKWIT meeting last night and munched on free appetizers and a free glass of wine, while listening to a fellow member tell us about her new website design business. Fun networking and chatting with the ladies.
4) I ignored the urge to splurge on a latte and breakfast sandwich from Braums this morning. Instead I ate a Greek Yogurt protein bar and drank the coffee here at work with Hazelnut creamer I had in the fridge. It was yummy and much healthier for me.
5) I confiscated the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion provided at the hotel and added them to my stash at home.


Mary W September 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

That museum looks like fun. I love history and museums, and this one is day trip friendly. I like the covered bridge and Applegate Trail museum just off I-5 at Sunny Valley (I think that’s the right name?), too, if you haven’t checked it out yet on an Ashland trip, Katy.

1. One of my neighbors picked up 500 lbs of chicken feed for me yesterday for $80, less than half the cost of bagged feed. Today I get to transfer it from a big bag into trash cans at my house. Organically grown, locally sourced, no wasted bags, since the big bag it comes in goes back to be refilled.
2. Another neighbor helped me put the wand together for my pressure washer, so I get to spend today cleaning patio chairs, rugs and house siding. Huzzah!
3. Same neighbor also fixed my new-to-me 21 speed bike, turning the handle bars around, lubing the cables for brakes and shifters, adjusting the brakes and derailleurs so it both shifts and stops (both pretty important in my book). I took it for a test ride and was so pleased! I should buy new brake pads as the old ones are very weathered and hard, but at least I can ride it now. Several neighbors enjoy bike rides, and I will have fun joining them now.
4. Rode to and from our TOPS meeting with my neighbor (the one whose hubby got feed yesterday), saving gas money. I buy her breakfast after about every other trip to town and it STILL saves me gas money. She is also my TOPS pal this quarter, and we exchange gifts each week. She gave me the cutest solar light for my new seating area in front of my house – 2 kittens batting a dragonfly with a light in between them. She loves ladybugs, and I found a cute pillow at the bins patterned like a ladybug with a ladybug head and antennae. It Velcro straps to fold into a ladybug, or opens to lay flat. Since I bought it used, I put it in a zipper bag to wash and dry, then brushed the plush fabric until it looked like new. She LOVED it and didn’t know it wasn’t new until I told her later. Luckily, she doesn’t care if something is new or not. A friend after my own heart!
5. Same neighbors have invited me to go salmon fishing with them tomorrow. They took a guided fishing trip while her sister was visiting earlier this year, but weren’t catching anything, not even getting nibbles. The guide offered to call it a day early and give them a half day charter another day, and since her sister had to go home already, I get to take her place! I did have to buy a fishing license, but that’s been on my to-do list for awhile now anyway. We live by a river and have a lake within a few miles, so I can start using my fishing gear to not only entertain myself, but put fish on the table.

Not a frugal so much as it is a feel good:
My friend and I volunteered to deliver the school supplies our TOPS group collected for our local school district, as we have to drive past the school on our way home. We were able to deliver 3 big boxes of supplies and $112 in cash and checks to the school, all from a club of about 20 members. I also made arrangements for us to sponsor a family at Christmas again this year. I’m so glad to be part of such a caring, giving group of people who have a heart for the children of our community.


Carol September 1, 2017 at 5:10 pm

1. My husband is a teacher where they do free breakfast in the classroom, and the kids often don’t eat their whole breakfast. They are especially not excited by the little containers of peach mango applesauce, which is a win for me when he brings home extra, because I love it. He also brought home some pears.

2. We’re going through the exercises in Your Money or Your Life, so today we went over our August spending. We were pleased to see that we spent less than our income, even with a couple of steep expenses, like paying old parking tickets.

3. I still had $5 left from last month’s $40 spending cash, so I went to a coffee shop today to read for awhile. At $2.75 for a mug of coffee, it was a splurge, but they’re independent, and focus on organic and fair-trade, so I can support that. It was over 100 degrees out today, and they only had outdoor seating. I could have been upset, but it was such a change of pace to get out of the house. I picked a shady spot and plodded through the last quarter of The Tin Drum, a book I’ve been reading on and off for several years. Not quite done, so no spoilers.

4. We spent a mere $14 on alcohol last month, which is normal for some people, but impressive for two wine-loving yuppies. We normally go to a tasting or two, and buy several bottles. We bought one bottle of California petite sirah.

5. Chatted with Spectrum to remove a $25 fee, since I’m such a good customer. They said they will remove it, but this is the second time I’ve talked to someone. Supposed to reflect in my account in a couple of days. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to raise hell.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: