Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 1, 2017 · 53 comments

  1. I sold a Vera Bradley “Weekender” bag through Facebook Marketplace, which was my fist time trying them out. I was kind of nervous, as there’s no anonymity, but the sale went off without a hitch. I went ahead and listed a few items that had been languishing on Craigslist and immediately got a gimme-I-want-it inquiry on one item (The Pyrex bowls) that had yet to generate any interest on Craigslist. I’m definitely going to add this platform to my selling rotation! Unlike eBay which takes a hefty fee, Facebook Marketplace is free. So yeah . . .  that’s a plus in my book!

  2. I took apart and scrubbed out a small but kick-ass vacuum cleaner that my son and I picked up for free at a garage sale earlier this summer. It’ll come in handy for my younger son’s apartment, which has carpet. My older son may also have carpet in his apartment, but I know him well enough to be sure that any vacuum cleaner I give him will only gather dust. #parentingtruth

  3. I was chatting with an older co-worker about the process of gathering apartment supplies, and she offered me the chance to look through some excess household goods from her garage. I’d already compiled an extensive list of everything my sons will need, so I texted her a photo of it. I’ll make sure to figure out something nice for her in return.

  4. I found an extra container of paint stripper in my basement, which should hopefully be enough to finish the midcentury sideboard that I’m refinishing, I worked yesterday and brought my own lunch, even though it was a bit scrappy, I shared a $7 food cart burrito with my husband for tonight’s dinner, I watched a few library DVD episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I mended a shirt and I started working on my September budget after a few months of slacking.

  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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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Laur September 1, 2017 at 9:21 pm

1. My friend took me out and paid for a belated birthday lunch. We went to our favourite cafe and enjoyed a long lunch and well overdue catch up!
2. I sold 3 unused kids items on a FB selling site (free listing) and took $25 for my efforts.
3. Had a free dinner at work as I had the night shift.
4. Returned an item that I bought online that didn’t match its picture for a full refund.
5. My oven needs a good clean and I was considering paying a company to get it done. I was quoted $40. I did a quick search online and found a cheap homemade oven cleaner recipe so I can do it myself.


tia September 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm

1. Almost done with my study courses so I needed a professional wardrobe to start my new job. Goodwill to the rescue! I found 3 blazers at 5 bucks each, 2 skirts and one pair of pants at 4 bucks each, and 4 tops at 3.50 each. They all mix and match and I threw them all in the washer and they survived. So Yay I’m all set for around 40 bucks.
2. I found 2 new bar soap scents at Dollar Tree, vanilla and cranberry. I love this dollar brand of soap.
3. I have a really nice tomato plant growing out of my compost pile. It’s loaded with baby tomatoes. I hope they have time to mature before the frost bites.
4. My cats are learning to like the 4 for 1 dollar balls from Dollar Tree and are playing fetch again. 1/4 the price of the fetch balls from Petsmart.
5. I’ve been stuck on Honey Nut Cherios lately and Sam’s had 2 giant boxes for $4. Huge savings for me.
I want to build a storage container house.


Mrs Stookey September 1, 2017 at 11:46 pm

I’ve been on a Peanut butter kick for a few weeks, I don’t eat meat very often, so it’s extra protien. My neighbor gave me two jars, then I saw them on sale with a coupon so I got two, then I was gifted two more jars so I had 6 and now I have 5 jars of PB left and it won’t get a chance to spoil 🙂


Betty Winslow September 2, 2017 at 6:45 am

if the tomatoes don’t ripen in time, pick and lay on newspaper in a single layer, not touching (may need two boxes) in a cardboard box (I use a cut down box from Aldi) and put somewhere out of the way (I’ve put ours under the bed), check regularly for ripe ones or spoiled ones (a certain amount will rot instead of ripening, but most will ripen.) We’ve had tomatoes into Thanksgiving this way!!


MommaL September 3, 2017 at 7:19 am

We have discovered that our cats love ping pong balls, which we can find at the dollar store.


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:14 am

I found 6 packs of “golf balls” (ping pong balls with golf dimples) at Dollar Tree – my cats love the sound of them bouncing across the floor (hard flooring) and will come running from all over the house to play when they hear it. DT has an amazing assortment of cat toys – ours also love the fuzzy, long tailed “mice” that come in an assortment of colored stripes. We call them “weasels” at our house, in honor of those odd motorized balls with a weasel attached to them that were popular years ago. My bff had one and long after the ball died, her cats loved on the weasel she saved from it. Our cats will fetch a weasel…or not, depending on their mood. They ARE cats, after all, lol!


CarolineRSA September 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm

1. I complained to the manufacturer of a deodorant aerosol I bought, which is not working, and have been promised a replacement.
2. Supper last night was leftovers from the previous night. An extra meal is now available on meal plan, drastically reducing chances of a takeaway.
3. Have shrunk out of most of my jeans, but still losing weight, so don’t want to buy any new ones in an in-between size. Shopped my mom’s wardrobes and found 3 size 10’s.
4. Had the gardener wash my car, he does a lovely job.
5. Didn’t build a palace (with a fire pool) in KZN.


Mrs Stookey September 1, 2017 at 11:42 pm

My fft for September 1st
1) Stuck to our budget and set aside allotted money in each category (we use as expandafile cash envelope sytem)
2) shared lunch with my mom so as not to waste food and show her appreciation ❤❤
3) fixed my furbaby’s chair cushion issue (it keeps falling down on her) so with yarn and two safety pins I made a strap to loop onto the chair back.
4) stuck to our shopping list for each place we shopped at, huge win here
5) we used the bus(Mom paid said not to worry about paying her back, she is getting a special day for all she’s been doing for us) and my mom ran an errand for me so we didn’t have to use another bus and be out longer, and she was heading to that part of town anyway. I had RX’s filled and she picked them up.


Mand01 September 2, 2017 at 12:35 am

1. I had a kilogram (2 pounds-ish) of Greek yoghurt that had reached its use by date. I looked for recipes that used Greek yoghurt. I made bread dough, double chocolate muffins and a yoghurt and apple cake, and a tandoori marinade. I used all the yoghurt and only ingredients I had on hand.
2. I used the bread dough, along with some leftover salsa to make some cheesy salsa scrolls for a school event we have to attend tonight. Entirely made of stuff I had to use up – score!
3. We went thrifting on our way home tonight and I scored a designer white linen shirt for $10 and a tee with the periodic table on it for my teen for $5. I’ve been searching for a perfect white shirt for ages.
4. Last night’s dinner was a stir fry of fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, vermicelli noodles from the cupboard, and chicken from the freezer. My teen prepped vegetables while we were on our way home, so we could throw it together on arriving. Friday nights we are home late and takeaway calls. It was fresh and delicious.
5. Frugal fail: I had a voucher for $10 off at the supermarket and I accidentally threw it out. Bugger.


Liz B. September 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

Nice catch on the white linen shirt! I think it’s hard to find nice white shirts at most thrift shops – not impossible, but rare. I has a Land’s End no-iron white shirt that I wore until it literally fell apart. This was quite awhile ago, before they changed the material (and/or their no-iron process?) they use for these shirts…..I’ve received a few as gifts, and they’re just not as good as that first shirt was.


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

Oh, ouch on your frugal fail. That’s like throwing away a $10 bill and I feel your pain!


Mand01 September 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Yes I was kicking myself


Jill A September 2, 2017 at 2:32 am

1. I thawed a 3 lb package of ground turkey. I made taco meat, spaghetti sauce and filling for lettuce wraps. We should have enough to get us through the week.
2. Stopped at a couple garage sales. I picked up a new package of readers. I could use a few decent pairs.
3. I took a load of clothes to the consignment shop. They took several items. I put some of those leftovers on facebook sale site and the rest into my garage sale pile.
4.Received our electric bill. I calculated that we saved $21 last month by using the critical peak time of use pricing. This is great since we were gone half the month so it was already a pretty low bill.
5. My husband and I took my Mom for a ride to the lake yesterday. We had lunch at home beforehand. We took a nice walk out on the peer and then to check out the Nina and Pinta replicas that were docked. Afterwards we walked to the ice cream shop for local ice cream. Cheap entertainment and good exercise.


Carol September 2, 2017 at 3:16 am

1. We had the $6 pizza from down the block last night, $6 for a whole pizza, that is–we shared. I felt the need to add a side of salad and carrot sticks to mine. Hey, adding veggies is free immune boosting and vitamins, and the more often I do that, the less work I’ll miss.

2. I bought my dad a $6 book from Amazon for his birthday, The Pleasure of Reading, by Antonia Fraser. It’s a great book where a bunch of authors talk about their favorite books. I paid much less than I normally do for his birthday. In fact, I’m thinking of cutting my Christmas budget in half this year.

3. Bought the frozen can of OJ again to save half over the bottled variety. This also saves plastic.

5. Just finished Season two of Fargo on Hulu, and now getting into The Good Wife. Hulu is the only TV we have. Sometimes we miss regular TV, but at $8/month, you really can’t beat it.


Carol September 2, 2017 at 3:20 am

4. Taking public transportation more and more often. Not convinced I’m saving money over gas, but I’m 80% sure I’m going to get rid of my car, so when I do I’ll also save repairs, parking tickets, insurance, etc.


Kathleen September 2, 2017 at 3:43 am

We haven’t owned a car in over ten years. One year I did the math – car costs on one side, on the other side the cost of public transportation and the occasional car rental. Not owning a car was cheaper. I hope it works out for you. We love not owning a car.


Liz B. September 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

I wish I lived in an area that had good, widespread public transportation…I’d happily take a bus, train, light rail, whatever was available to avoid driving.


Carol September 3, 2017 at 3:53 am

Yeah, my problem is that I live in LA, which is actually a bunch of connected cities. So I have to get from Hollywood to Glendale for work, and it takes an hour or more on the bus. Luckily I’m only there a couple days a week.

Jill September 2, 2017 at 4:01 am

1. My birthday was Thursday and I was on the fence whether I wanted to go out to dinner as we have been vacationing and spending alot in August. I decided to go and picked a place we had a gift card to. It was delicious, the cost was totally covered by the gift card and I’m glad I went.
2.My husband goes to a “guys” weekend every year and they save money by rotating houses where they spend it. So I asked one of his buddies if I could stay at his place while he was gone. He said sure – I made sure to keep his apartment uber clean and treated myself to a meal out one night leaving him the leftovers and a dessert as a thank you gift. He lives 3 miles from the beach so I was able to have a low cost mini-vacay.
3. Our extended family used to go out for birthdays but there are now 4 little ones around so I’m hosting my family as part of my birthday celebration. It will be potluck and my husband is actually baking me a cake (!) and will do the grilling. The kids can run around and the parents won’t have to pay for an expensive meal.
4. I’ve created a fare alert for a low cost flight to attend my daughter’s graduation from grad school next spring. You can never be too prepared!
5. I just updated my library request list, we’ve been catching up on recorded shows, I’m reading a book that a friend loaned me and I plan on doing a massive closet clean out next week to see if I have anything to take to consignment.


Karen September 2, 2017 at 4:21 am

1. Found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe–the kids were getting tired of storebrand cookies and prefer soft cookies, but manufacturers put HFCS in soft cookies, so i wouldn’t buy them. Now to triple the recipe and keep the dough in the freezer. One of my sons declared that after trying these, he would ONLY eat cookies I make. 🙂
2. Stopped heading to Trader Joe’s every week. I love Trader Joe’s but it’s a horrible place for impulse buys. I was getting cereal bars there, but found a good Kroger brand substitute that is cheaper. My oldest son and husband like to grab a cereal bar for a quick breakfast. I figure only going there once a month–for a treat, because the little kids love going there and picking out one special thing–will save me about 150 a month.
3. Started running again, but instead of driving all the way to a track, found a park nearby that has a nice trail and bonus, my oldest goes running there so we walk there together and back. Saves on gas and I get some kid time.
4. Switched completely back to tea from coffee. I was drinking Stok Cold Brew, which was 4.29 a bottle (eek) and lasted less than a week, not to mention the creamer that had snuck in there. I like tea without milk, and tea bags are cheaper, so this works fine. Also I was getting headaches with coffee, but not so far with tea. A box of Twinings costs me about 2.99 and will last for more than two weeks.
5. I didn’t get a manicure or a salon hair cut.


janny September 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

Karen would love it if you posted the choc chip cookie recipe-always on the lookout for the BEST! Thanks!


Jennifer September 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

Me too!


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

Me, three! Pretty please? 😀


Karen September 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

It’s from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. It’s a bit of a pain because of resting the batter, but SO worth it. Do not overbake them—I bake them for 9 minutes in my oven, which I think runs a little cool.

I tripled the recipe, so here is the tripled recipe:

3 1/4 cups plus 2 T all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
15 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 T vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together and set aside.

2. Melt 9 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet, over medium high heat, until the butter is browned–watch it carefully because it will burn quickly. Combine melted butter with the remaining butter in a big bowl and stir until all butter is melted.

3. Whisk the sugars and vanilla into the melted butter. Whisk in the eggs and whisk for 30 seconds, let rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again. Repeat this three times until the mixture is thick and shiny. Stir in the flour and 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

4. Working with 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, roll the dough into balls and press 3 chocolate chips (from the remaining 1/2 cup) into each ball. Put them on the baking sheet 2 1/2 inches apart and bake them for 8-10 minutes, removing from the oven when they’re puffy and look underbaked, let sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack. (i do one sheet at a time and let one cool while another bakes)

5. You can also freeze the dough balls and bake them, unthawed, at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.


Lorraine September 2, 2017 at 4:43 am

1. Made tomato sauce and salsa from excess tomatoes.
2. Loaned a purse and a pair of sandals to a friend who is going to a wedding. Sharing with friends is always frugal.
3. Made spinach lasagna for a get together at our house. The original plan was to order pizza, but I had everything on hand and it was a pleasant surprise for our guests to have a homemade meal.
4. Did some mending and ironing. It’s amazing how appealing something is after it’s received a little TLC.
5. No lear jet for me.
PS – your older co-worker would probably really appreciate something consumable. Since I am also in the “older” category, I always appreciate consumables.


Deborah September 2, 2017 at 6:42 am

I love reading everyone’s “five frugal things.” I get so many great ideas from everyone, thank you!

1. I buy “chicken parts” from our local chicken farmer…it’s the leftovers from when he butchers out the breasts, thighs and legs. They’re $2/bag, and I’m using them to make a big batch of chicken broth. It’ll make about five quarts.

2. We’ve been getting pulled pork sammies from our local deli when they have them on special. I bought a large pork roast for $8 and am making our own pulled pork that should last us at least a month (having it once a week for dinner).

3. I stuck to our shopping list (major miracle). We’ve been using Kroger’s “Click It” program but I didn’t do it this time.

4. Will harvest the garden for veggies for this week.

5. The Mister dumped the water from the dehumidifier into the washer to save water.


Kathy Hairston September 2, 2017 at 6:43 am

1. Reused a padded envelope and box to mail a couple of items. A friend is taking some upcycled jewelry I no longer wear to sell on consignment. The other package is some silver plated serving pieces I bartered to have a bracelet made.
2. Sent sterling silver tea set service and other pieces to auction house.
3. Brewed ice tea at home
4. Made a tomato puff pastry tart with the garden tomatoes we were given
5. Ate leftovers for lunch and the last bit of frozen yogurt for dessert


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

Would you be willing to share your recipe for the tart? I’ve never had a tomato tart and with tomatoes coming on, I’d love to try one. Please and thanks!


janine September 2, 2017 at 6:48 am

1. Putting together budget for September. Good to know where your $$ are committed.
2. Would appreciate a discussion of where to target donations. I have always believed that giving to candidates who espouse your beliefs – especially the traditional conservative belief in preserving our lands and water is frugal in the long term. However, there is an immediate crisis and Houston needs help, so I am also giving $$ to hurricane relief. Checked credit card points and will use them to supplement my donation. Hope this disaster will spur action with regard to storage of toxic chemicals as well as land use planning!
3. Fall raspberries are here! Making sugar cookies with raspberry garnish.
4. Giving myself a course in self- discipline – much needed because I sometimes indulge in retail therapy.
5. Trying not to invest in gold plated apartments or jets that won’t fit in the driveway.


Betty Winslow September 2, 2017 at 6:54 am

1. Had free lunch at school yesterday while I printed out some stuff for the 5th grade I had promised them by the end of the week.
2. Been drinking homemade unsweetened iced tea all summer, saving a lot of money (and calories!) on soda.
3. Entertainment this week has been reading my way through a favorite series that had several later books written to fill in spots in the story arc, so am now reading it in internal chronological order and enjoying it very much. Reading library copes for the most part, although since I’d like to own it (I reread it from time to time), I did “buy” 6 of the series books with credit I had at the local used book store.
4. Our school was tossing some aluminum/corkboard tack strips, so I asked for some. I have a few ideas for them, but If I end up not using them, I can pass them on and still keep them out of the landfill.
5. Used 7-8 elderly apples to make apple crisp one night this week. Yum!!


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:45 am

May I ask what series you are reading? I’m always looking for recommendations – love to read and go through a lot of books, especially in the rainy PNW winter weather that is coming, sooner or later.


Betty Winslow September 2, 2017 at 6:57 am

oh, and 6. Not exactly frugal per se, but I did some online Xmas shopping last night for items on sale that will be nice for a couple family members and it helped to preserve rain forest lands. Other shopping I’ve done provided clean water for Central Africa and meals for the hungry. Love having my money do double duty!!


MommaL September 2, 2017 at 11:48 am

Betty W, do you use Amazon Smile?


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

Love your #6. If we all just do a little, we can do so much GOOD.


Krystal September 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

1. Had a fancy secret shop and received a $180 dinner for two for free plus a stipend.
2. Sold a soccer jersey on eBay.
3. Met friends for a quick moment last night and didn’t spend money on a beverage, which I didn’t really need or want anyhow.
4. Signed up for a free exercise class during a local studios grand opening.
5. Modified flights of an upcoming vacation and wound up with an $80 credit.


Isitaneedorawant September 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

(1) A friend had done a wonderful good deed for us this year. My husband wanted to gift him something and had batted around a multitude of gift certificate ideas. I wasn’t sure if any of the GC would be usedor would just hang around. I gave my husband cash and said cobine it with a heartfelt card, it will be used
(2) Had served a pork roast to my FIL yesterday during our weekly dinner. Had a small amount of leftovers that I immediately put away when we returned home. Had them for lunch today, saving the frozen pizza in the freezer to come out another meal.
(3) Had egg,sausage and English muffins before heading to airport yesterday. Flight was delayed but all that protein was intended to hold off hunger till the flight was finished.
(4) Checked and paid for extra suitcases at kiosk. They never checked the weight but said go ahead and put on conveyer once they saw they were tagged. Shoot. Would have packed more but didn’t want to be dinged so close to the limit.
(5) Made myself clean, slice and freeze fruit in fridge on the edge of turning. Future me this winter will so appreciate the taste of the peaches in a crisp. Present me has to learn that now that my family size has been cut in half with members moving out I don’t need as many groceries, even fruit and milk in a week. Wow,what a savings!


MommaL September 2, 2017 at 10:26 am

1. Potluck breakfast at work. Found a variety of sausages and bacon in the freezer, all left behind by summer guests. Cooked and took to work.
2. Needed some professional work outfits for a new job, found some cardigans, pants, a suit, and cute blazers at GW.
3. Took 3 bags of clothes that were mainly a relatives’ hand me downs to GW, got a receipt for taxes.
4. A very wealthy friend’s bday came up, instead of buying a gift, will invite him over for dinner to celebrate.
5. Eating mainly veggie omelettes made from bits of veggies in the fridge and stored bacon grease (I store it in the fridge in a glass jar) for weekend breakfasts instead of going out, which is what we used to do on Sundays.


MommaL September 2, 2017 at 10:28 am

One more thing: I am trying Poshmark after reading about it in the Simple Dollar. Has anyone had success with this? I found a few things in my closet that were hardly worn and nice name brands to list.


Danielle September 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm

1. Stayed home but ran the air conditioner as little as possible. Another heat wave is driving us crazy, but it is still cheaper to stay in than go out to eat/mall/movies.

2. Hubby cooked calzones on the BBQ to avoid heating up the house, and they were amazing!

3. The heat actually caused a huge branch to fall from one of our oak trees and dangle precariously over the driveway. After sourcing recommendations from friends, we realized it didn’t have to be a tree contractor as the branch could be removed from the ground.

Despite being the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend, we got it the right person to come out, drag down the giant limb, and move it aside. Later it will be chipped and the chips spread in the horse pen and the wood burned in our wood stove – next year.

4. Every time there is a large natural disaster, we try to use the reminder to check our emergency supplies and ask ourselves, “if that happens here, are we prepared.” Turned out that most of the food in our emergency kit was expired and wouldn’t fit our new way of eating. Made a careful list of ready to eat foods that fit our diet and replaced everything for less than $40 in one day, with expiration dates as far out as possible. At least 3 meals a day for a family of 4 for 3 days. I’d like to add to that as time goes on. Also discovered that some emergency sanitation supplies had leaked, so cleaned that up and reorganized. Need to get more 5 gallon bottles of water now that we have horses.

5. Bought a new piece of furniture but had it shipped to store to save $50 shipping fee. Hubby brought it home today after he was already out in his truck.


A. Marie September 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Great job on #4, Danielle. I need to do that myself. I put together a “bug-out bag” this last winter, but I do need to check on the stored food and water. (Will do that tomorrow, since it’s supposed to rain here–although not as much as in the Gulf States. And continuing good thoughts to those of you dealing with the situation down there.)


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:52 am

I’ll second A. Marie on your #4. It’s really important to take time now to prepare for a disaster later. The water came up so quickly in Houston that many people had zero time to grab even the most basic items like meds and important papers, much less clothing and food/water. Having things all in one pack, ready to go can make the difference between an inconvenience and a real crisis, especially if you need maintenance meds or have medical conditions that require close monitoring, such as diabetes.


A. Marie September 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm

FFT, Birthday/Labor Day Weekend edition:

(1) Katy’s comment about selling the Vera Bradley bag reminds me that I’m always collecting VB bags, although for gifts as friends rather than for resale. I’ve got two friends who frankly refer to themselves as VBBAs (Vera Bradley Bag Addicts) and two more who aren’t quite that far along but getting there. So every time I see a VBB in good condition at a thrift store that meets the specs for one of them, I grab it. Saves me a world of trouble at birthdays and Christmas.

(2) My own birthday this past week was very simply celebrated: Bestest Neighbors had us over for a classic Silver Palate dinner of tomato, basil, and brie on pasta (my own tomatoes and basil), and Ms. BN also gifted me two hem jobs on a skirt and a pair of jeans I’d thrifted for myself. Thank goodness she has a sewing machine and knows how to use it. (I almost flunked out of 7th grade home ec on threading the machine.)

(3) Veggies are still rolling in, although the local Bamboids (aka Eastern white-tailed deer) did manage to sneak in around the perimeter last night and do a number on several crops in the back yard. Venison burgers, anyone?

(4) DH and I took the morning off to answer the question “Are we having fun yet?” in the affirmative. After the usual early shop at our Regional Market, we drove up to a suburb in the NW corner of our county that has a nature center, an excellent branch of one of our local thrift chains, and an equally excellent (and authentic) 50s diner. Greatly enjoyed all three!

(5) Spent the afternoon cleaning out my houseplant collection: Had DH drag some of the biggest outside so I could hose them down, added two that were on the way out anyway to our “organic fence” (our vertical brush pile in the back 40), rearranged everything else, and cleaned out corners of the plant room that don’t get much attention.


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 11:54 am

Love your #4. Life is too short not to have fun along the way. 🙂


KJD509 September 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Not much frugal around here, except maybe by accident. It’s been a trying couple of weeks.

1) Young adult son recovering from the appendix removal can’t lift anything heavier than a coffee cup for a couple more days. That means I loaded and unloaded the car once we were finally able to come home. Free exercise!
2) We witnessed a pretty terrible accident on the highway on the way home. Miraculously, no one was hurt though both vehicles were totaled in spectacular fashion. Lots of freebies on that one: free exercise running to help and sobbing through the adrenaline let-down later on; free reminder to be grateful that we are all healthy and well; no need to stop for coffee for the remainder of the 6+ hour drive home because boy were we on high alert the whole way.
3) We expected a year-long transition to the location of my husband’s new job, but now we’re looking at condensing that (into the next month, if possible). Frugally not grocery shopping here at the “old” location until the kids scream or we run out of coffee. So far so good.
4) Eating tomatoes, summer squash, beans, and one terribly underwatered so bitter cuke out of the garden, plus a couple of marked down boxes of fruit from a veggie stand on our long drive. Apples and nectarines for under 50 cents a lb, peaches for about a dollar. Mmmmmm.
5) No gold-plated new house, though it turns out there are an awful lot of those available in the inflated real estate market we’re moving to. Ugh.


Judy September 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Let’s see
1. Checked the warranty for work I had done on my car at my mechanic(not at the dealership). Covered..called them and my mechanic faxed a copy of the parts and labor. Getting 625.00 back after the 25.00 ded!

2. As I was going through the receipts for my car I noticed that I was charged for labor and diagnostic for a recall issue. Called the dealership to ask why I was charged..long story short I shouldn’t have been. I am getting another refund of 183.00 I have no idea why my brain didn’t catch it that day.

3. Changed my food shopping til tomorrow because we received coupon for 10.00 off a 25.00 purchase. They also have some great stock up sales. We have eaten the all the extra’s in the pantry and freezer during July/August.

4. I am carefully going over insurance choices for next year. Not just the health insurance but also car insurance and home owners. My daughter is on her own auto insurance yet I forgot to take her off of mine. Took care of that but that reminded me it was time to go over everything.

5. Made an appointment with my mechanic for mid September for the car to get a general check up. My daughters boyfriend changes all my lights and filters, the dealership does my oil changes for free but my mechanic handles everything else. I shouldn’t need anything but I try and take it in every 6 months for him to go over.

6. Didn’t win the lottery…but then again I didn’t play it.


Teresa September 2, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Thanks for the review of FB Marketplace – was on the fence about trying it.

1 – Took my grandson to a free art exhibit at a local college.
2 – Made 5 quarts of spaghetti sauce for the freezer from CSA tomatoes
3 – Treated granddaughter to back-to-school clothes paid for with a gift card I won
4 – First visit to GW Outlet – scored 2 pairs of fleece PINK pj’s in excellent condition for same granddaughter
5 – Explored a local non-profit’s store, friend and I filled a box for $5 – I found thermal lunch bags & Nalgene water bottles for the grandkids


janine September 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

RE #2 – glad to hear that no one was hurt and that you could be of assistance. Good Samaratins are appreciated.


Marcia September 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm

I went to a huge yard sale today (an annual thing) and actually found two items on my “needs” list. One Christmas stocking that matches the rest of the family’s –we were short last year and still not sure why.
Also found a single 1/4th cup measuring cup. I have about 5 sets and only one of them had a 1/4th cup still in there.

Total cost $1. I successfully avoided all the other stuff, which I did NOT need.

The folks who run this apparently clean out houses after people move out of them–and have this sale of totally mish-mosh stuff every Labor Day weekend. The stuff is always in the same arrangement and they have everything piled around, putting out additional stuff every day. People go back day after day, although I am not. We are going to a car show tomorrow–last one of the summer I think. (and I hope!) Husband’s hobby–not mine! They have everything at this sale. It runs from Thursday to Monday.


Kim in Maryland September 3, 2017 at 8:14 am

1. Picked up 2 dishpans of free tomatoes from someone in my Next Door group. Today they will be turned in to pizza sauce and tomato jam. Some of the jam will become Christmas gifts.
2. Did 43 merchandising and mystery shops this week. Just made a college tuition payment for DS#2 and the second one will be here soon.
3. Because of #2 I was in a lot of stores, mostly grocery stores. Found in 3 different Coinstars- 40¢, 1¢ and 1¢. I also found 7¢ on the ground next to my car in a 7/11 parking lot. They were disgustingly dirty and I did contemplate leaving them there. I sucked it up and wiped them off with baby wipes I keep in my car. Total of 49 pennies added to my found money!
4. I picked up 3 boxes of cable that were being giving away on FB yardsale group. It had been available for several days when I saw it and the poster said she was ready to throw it all away. DH, who works in IT, sorted through it all and pulled out lots of NIP cable he can use for work, some for me to list for sale and 2 big boxes for the recycler. I took it, and a car battery that had been left behind at DS#2’s house at college in TN, to the recycler and walked away with $61.90. College fund! Also in the box, were lots of computer disks, software manuals, some corporate proprietary software and a like new Case Logic CD album. The disks are being passed on my friend, an Art teacher, as she had just requested some and is thrilled to have them. The manuals were recycled and DH is properly disposing of the corporate software.
5. Used $15 Staples Rewards before it expired. Bought 24 composition books and a bottle of Watkins dish soap for OOP of 54¢. We need the composition books for a craft at MOPS so I will be reimbursed. Also turned in 8 printer cartridges I had gotten for free.


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I’m ready to start listing stuff on the local fb selling groups – of course, I’ve been saying that for awhile now…

1. Had a wonderful time on the river yesterday trying for salmon – we were on the Cowlitz instead of the Columbia. The river is a beautiful clear green, and the banks are lined with beautiful trees and banks. It’s the river I’ve grown up with, but I saw a stretch of it from a different angle yesterday and it gave me a fresh appreciation for the beautiful part of the country I am blessed to call home. Only got a couple of bites all day, and we all got skunked as far as catching anything, but the guide is talking about taking us back out in October to try again, since he’s taken my neighbors out twice now without them getting a fish. I like that he wants happy customers. It’s not his fault the fish weren’t biting, and he did try very hard to take us to different holes where there are usually fish. I enjoyed the boat ride and the visit with good friends – fish would have been a bonus to an already perfect morning.
2. Not only did the neighbors invite me along on the fishing trip, but they also bought me lunch (breakfast) when we got off the river. Unfortunately, I had an episode with my hiatal hernia that prevented me from eating (never know when that’s going to happen, but it is happening at least once a day lately, and yes, I discussed it with my doctor and have a referral pending), but we still had a good time visiting, and I took the meal home in a to-go box and shared it with my daughter.
3. While we were eating lunch, I received a call from my cousin (I don’t usually take calls in restaurants, but I knew what this was likely concerning and had already told my friends that I was sure they could also get some cucumbers from her), who has been gifting me cucumbers and other garden produce. She’d just picked another huge batch of cukes and tomatoes and asked if I wanted some. Asked if friends could take some if they brought me over, and the answer was an enthusiastic YES, please have them take as many as they want! After lunch, I directed them to her place, and we had a nice visit with my cousin and her SO, whom my friends know from the Eagles. She sent us home with lots and lots of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes (which I eat like candy), and also sent home a couple zucchini, including an Alley Oop club I’ll shred for future zucchine bread and cake, a carrot, a couple onions, and a huge head of cabbage. I’ll turn the cabbage into coleslaw for a TOPS picnic this coming Thursday. I’d been racking my brain for something to take in case my HB eggs don’t peel nicely for deviled eggs. Now I’m covered! I’ll take my cousin some fresh eggs again next week to say thanks, along with bread and butter pickles made from her cucumbers and onions.
4. While we were waiting for our fishing guide and after we got back to the parking lot, all three of us picked luscious Himalayan blackberries by the handfuls and enjoyed them on the spot. It reminded me that I need to get out with my berry bucket and check the patches on the clearcut next door. Berry season is too short, and nothing tastes as wonderful in winter as berries picked in the heat of summer.
5. After reading one of the above posts about contacting a company about a defective product, I sent off an email to the company that makes WD-40. I have several cans of WD-40 that stopped propelling before the product was empty…most of the cans have over half the product left in them, unusable. I asked for enough product of free product coupons to cover what I couldn’t use, plus what I likely can’t use out of the replacement cans! I got an immediate, computer generated email that they had received my email, so I’ll be interested to see what response I get in the coming week. Now to do the same for a can of hair spray and some spray paint. No one is huffing at my house, so I have to believe that the propellants being used are at fault in all 3 products.
6. I’ve fallen off track on losing weight lately, and not coincidentally, with keeping a food journal every day. I’m back on track for September, and have challenged one of my TOPS club members, who has won Loser of the Month 3 times this year, that I’m gonna beat her this month! It’s all in good fun, but also serious, in that I really have to get the last of my extra pounds off. It will help with my hiatal hernia (I hope), and I know how much better I feel already, having lost 40 lbs – I’ll feel even better with the rest off. There is also a member challenge to win free dues paid over the next few months. The club pays for a month’s dues for every 6 weeks straight without a gain (have to start with a loss), and this member will match that, so I could have my dues paid for the rest of the year. Loser of the Month gets $5 from the club and a gift or $5 from each member of the club at a party the end of the next month, so with about 20 members, that can really add up, too. There are several other contests and games that can also pay off with cash, as long as I’m really working on actively losing, so I’m looking at all the advantages of success, both health and monetary. Plus, if I’m eating less, I’m saving money on groceries, lol!


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Banks are lined with trees and BLUFFS, not banks – that would be redundant. 😉


Mary W September 3, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Product OR free coupons for product. I really need to learn to proof-read before I hit “submit”.


Karyn September 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Can you remind me what budget program you use? I am looking for one that will download banking and credit card info, free or close to free and is online preferably with an app for a phone. We use credit cards for all our purchases to take advantage of rewards (and pay off our cards every month) so we have A LOT of transactions to review so I am looking at some easier way of double checking errors with those transactions. Anyway I am rambling. Any advice?


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