Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 3, 2017 · 61 comments

  1. I worked yesterday, but brought my own scrappy lunch (leftover gyoza, plus some hummus and carrots) and enjoyed the free crappy coffee and the free delicious tea. While I worked, two buyers picked up Facebook Marketplace items (a small patio table and some Pyrex bowls) from my front porch. I do love earning extra money while I’m simultaneously off earning my income!
  2. One of my husband’s co-workers sent him home with a sizable bag of garden produce. We’ve since been indulging in heavenly cucumbers, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. Perfect as I’d just picked up a tub of Trader Joe’s hummus.
  3. My husband was given two free Thorns (women’s major league soccer) tickets yesterday, which he enjoyed despite a high of 96° F. He then tossed the paper tickets into our recycling bin. Luckily they landed upside down, which caught my eye as they’re each redeemable for a free meal in the Ikea cafeteria! They’re only good for 30 days past the game day, but that should be no problem as Ikea is close to both Costco and a Goodwill Outlet. I’m not a big soccer fan, but I am most definitely a fan of free food!
  4. I slept on my son’s trundle bed and confirmed that it’s just as comfortable as a regular bed. (It’s a twin bed that’s normally sits underneath his normal bed. It then pops up to a regular height.) This means that he can bring this frame and mattress to college with him, and we can avoid having to buy a new bed for his fancy schmancy off campus apartment. This is a definite benefit to attending college just a few hours away from home. My college was in Ohio, so there was zero opportunity to bring anything bulky from Oregon.
  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Hairston September 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

1. Eating from pantry, freezer and fridge. Lots of chicken..
2. Wearing outer clothing at least twice before laundering
3. Setting delay start on washer to run at 4 am. Using less utilities and wash is done when I get up
4. Reading free books I’ve downloaded on my kindle
5. No Lear et or gold plated anything


Lindsey September 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm

1. Free oil change through a mystery shop
2. Made three days worth of cabbage soup and then dehydrated 15 pounds of cabbage for winter soups
3. Used 25 pounds of cabbage to make sauerkraut for winter eats. That was the last of my cabbage, thank heavens. Glad for the harvest, tired of processing.
4. Mended a down quilt, even though there were many holes along the seams and I hate mending. Cheaper than buying a new one.
5. Checked three books out of the library.


Susie's Daughter September 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

WOW Lindsey- that is a lot of cabbage! As someone on here likes to say “Future You” will be so grateful for your efforts.


Lindsey September 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Cabbage and rhubarb grow really well in interior Alaska, so I always have a ton of it. By September I hate both of them and don’t love them again until about January when our produce is really awful because of the difficulties of transporting fresh foods and having them arrive in a condition worth buying.


Dawn September 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Love processing my harvests! Good for you. Also I want to mention that I bought a duvet cover for my blanket cause I’m so lazy at mending LOL!!! noone is none the wiser!!!


Susie's Daughter September 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm

1) Enjoying a quiet weekend at home with friends visiting from the big city. The three kids are all getting along great – DS is thrilled to have other people to play with and so are we. We cancelled dinner reservations since we decided we would rather stay home.

2) Covered vulnerable parts of the garden Friday night because there was a small possibility of frost. Small possibility – ha! Radish leaves were crispy when I went out the next morning. Used plastic sheeting salvaged from a large shipment to cover vines plants and old sheets/table cloths to cover tomatoes and basil. Everything is coming so late this year we need to keep it going as long as possible.

3) Rainy and cold today so we are making sweet pickles with our friends. Many hands make light work, especially when it comes to slicing onions.

4) Finally called about our DirecTV service and got a discount on NFL Sunday ticket. Also asked if our account was eligible for any additional discounts. Customer Service was able to add a $35 credit per month for 12 months. So for the meantime, we will keep TV!

5) Just finished a fantastic historical novel called The Alice Network (about women spies in the 1st WW) and have season 4 of our addictive Australian series, A Place To Call Home. I think of you all down under whenever we watch! Book and DVD both from our great little library.

Thoughts and prayers for all who are suffering from Hurricane Harvey and West Coast wild fires.


susanna d September 5, 2017 at 7:05 am

#2 – So glad you covered your plants. It seems like our “slight chances of frost” are not only coming earlier this year, but the slight chances are becoming “almost-certain”. It really does pay to cover the plants just in case that chance of frost becomes a reality, doesn’t it?

Oh, and inspired by #4, I will call Direct TV today. It’s been on my to-do list; it needs to make it over to my “done” list. Thanks!


Susie's Daughter September 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

I hope Direct TV works out a deal for you!


Marcia September 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Lindsey–can you share what company you work for? Or suggest any you know that are not fraudulent? I would love to do mystery shopping but can’t seem to find a legit place. Would be happy if anyone else could do this also!

The last one I tried was a definite scam, although I did not bite. Forward part of the check we’re sending you……I don’t think so!!

Thanks for any help you can provide.


Lindsey September 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Marcia, these are the ones I have shopped for and was paid as promised. It is normal if you are doing a shop to have to front the money (for example, I paid for my oil lube job) and then they reimburse you the money and whatever fee they are paying you. I have done that with all four of these and was reimbursed. All of them have set reimbursement dates, like on the 15th you get paid for all shops for the previous month. Hope this helps.


Liz B. September 4, 2017 at 11:45 am

Thank you, Lindsey. I’d been wondering about this, myself. My hubby and i have been exploring ways to earn a bit of side income, so will look at these.


Julie September 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm

1- stopped at Costco for propane, noticed the milk we prefer was a $1.00 cheaper than normal. 3.48 for 4L is amazing. I picked up two and will freeze a few of the individual bags if they get close to the date.
2-Costco is close to Panera and I have a free daily bagel, usually I miss out on the weekends as we don’t have a Panera close so I was happy to get a freebie today. Love free food.
3- my son works at the grocery store and yesterday as I dropped him off I hit the mother load of sale, Kellogg’s cereal and snack bars at .44 cents. All with a best before date of 2018.
4- my tomato plants are dying, but we have lots of tomatoes and so I have roasted them with the rosemary that has done very well this year and my future self will be so happy with the roasted tomatoes in the middle of winter. The house smelled lovely as they were roasting and since the weather has cooled it also served to warm the house up.
5-cleaned my freezer today and took and inventory of what needs to be used up, not wasting food is always frugal imo.


Karen September 4, 2017 at 11:55 am

Can you roast cherry tomatoes? I have a bowlful from my last harvest and nobody is eating them fresh. How do you do it?


Julie September 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm

I just cut the tomatoes and loaded them with rosemary and crazy mixed up salt. Really that’s what it’s called. Then I set them in the fridge for a day. Put the to roast at 300 degrees. For a few hours, once cooled I freeze.


isabelle September 5, 2017 at 10:49 am

Karen, you can also freeze them (I don’t blanch, I don’t cut. Just freeze) and use them in sauces or soup later on.


Mand01 September 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

1. I’m wearing my fabulous $40 thrifted suit today, retail value $500. I was just about hugging myself with glee when I found the blazer and later the matching skirt. Haha I will look expensive but really I’m so, so cheap. For some reason I enjoy that so much.
2. I made tandoori chicken, cumin fried rice and vegetable curry for Father’s Day dinner last night using only ingredients we had on hand.
3. There is enough for everyone to take for leftovers today.
4. My sister brought me some clothes, shoes and a few other things she no longer wants. We have similar tastes – especially in shoes. Half my shoes have come from her.
5. I turned in another article for my side gig.


Jennifer September 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

You made $70 on the table and Pyrex WHILE you were working. You are way more disciplined than me because for me that would have meant Salmon Salad from the work cafeteria. I admire your scrappy lunch! Love the free IKEA deal with the tickets. Our local Goodwill Bins closed and the new one is about 40 minutes away (but I hear it is newer and nicer with bathrooms and even carts). Your posts make me want to go treasure hunting there….maybe this week…


Jennifer September 3, 2017 at 1:43 pm

But you have also peaked my interest further on the Facebook Marketplace. Do they use PayPal? Or did you trust them to leave the money on the porch!?


Liz B. September 4, 2017 at 11:53 am

II can’t speak for other fb Marketplace sellers, but I’ve both bought and sold (one) item (so far) on fb marketplace, and only take or paid with cash. I would consider barter, if someone offered me something I need or want (like garden produce). My selling skills aren’t sophisticated enough to accept PayPal.


Katy September 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

I did sell one item (a Vera Bradley Weekender bag) to someone and accepted Paypal as it needed to be mailed. I sent an invoice and it was no problem.


Minimalist45 September 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

I bought a BBQ chicken and have found five different things I can do with the one chook. I guess that makes five frugal things…


Beth September 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

1. Picked up hours Thursday night training and completing new job paperwork. Had Friday off unpaid. Picked up 8 hours attending an in service at the new job. Also had a free lunch from Noodles restaurant at the training, yum!
2. Doing a cat sit everyday this weekend and will get extra pay tomorrow because of it being a holiday. Stayed over on our visit today to watch a show on the Hallmark mystery channel and played with the cats, win win for everyone!
3. Received $25 check in the mail yesterday from using my Kroger credit card.
4. Doing Swagbucks everyday going strong hope to have another $25 earned by next weekend.
5. Been opening the blinds everyday instead of closing to let heat in as the temperature in the house is mid 60’s past few days.
6. Frugal fail – ate out a ton this week but that’s okay as not our usual norm but helped get through a super busy week.


Karen September 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

1. The switch on our vacuum cleaner stopped working, so my handy husband rewired the vacuum so it just turns on when you plug it in and turns off when you unplug it. I remember him doing this to another vacuum, years ago. The switches tend to wear out faster than the vacuum itself.

2. Made a triple batch of the best chocolate chip cookies ever and stashed some dough balls in the freezer. Baked about 24, and they were gone (four boys in the house) in one day. I’ll make another batch of dough tomorrow and stash it in the freezer, insurance against a busy day.

3. My husband cleaned out his car and left a pile of old mail in the garage–and in there I found an envelope of coupons from our grocery store. They often send us personalized coupons for the very items we buy the most often. Score.

4. Stayed home and didn’t drive anywhere today, husband found some old water bottle rockets and the kids had fun shooting those off outside.

5. Planned my menu for the week and based it around what’s on sale.


Jennifer September 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Ok, Karen, hand over the cookie recipe and no one gets hurt.


Karen September 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

Here you go! I just made another batch of dough and have a huge freezer bag of it in my freezer, ready for quick cookies during the school week. 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.



Jennifer September 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

Sounds delightfully decadent, thanks!


KJD509 September 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

1) Hubs and son are out back harvesting hops. I spent what felt like a fortune on three hops plants several years ago – maybe $10 each? – and was super disappointed when they didn’t flower for a couple of years and then one died. Three years ago we had a bumper crop, which we cut and carried to a local brewery, which takes backyard hops from locals, who both get to sit and drink free beer while stripping the flowers off the vines and get credit for half-price pints of the fresh hop brew made with them. Great deal, lots of fun. By last year hubs had started brewing his own beer, and his small batch fresh hop was awesome, plus he had enough to dry and freeze for several more batches over the year. I’d say my original investment in the plants has paid off 3 or 4 times over. They will be a great bonus for whoever buys are house.
2) Older girls are patiently going through littlest’s back-to-school wardrobe with her in spite of her objections. They’re out having “sister day” at Goodwill to fill in some holes. She won’t thrift shop with me but will gladly go with her sisters (who each get $5 to spend on themselves to sweeten the pot – totally worth it).
3) Have run roughly 20 loads of laundry over the past two days and nearly everything in the house is clean, including blankets and jackets. Would have been cheaper to line dry, but slower – we have only a few linear feet of line – plus it’s smoky out. Sometimes frugality means making the most of the time you have, and this weekend that meant using the dryer.
4) I have a work project for a non-North American customer with a deliverable tomorrow. Spent several hours working on my tiny laptop screen last night while hubs and kids watched a movie I didn’t care to see. Double bonus: avoided a drive out to the office today which saves money – 40 miles RT and gas is so expensive right now – and family time.
5) Still no gold-plated new house . . . but alas, no new house of any sort yet.


Betty Winslow September 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm

1. A friend whose black-eyed susans went crazy just told me I’m welcome to come by and cut as many as I want. Free flowers!
2. A sewing friend cleaning out her sewing room advertised a free bag of fleece scraps, which I’m going to get this week, and use in exchange to another crafty friend for a cute knitted mermaid which I’ll use as a Xmas gift to one of my little nieces. Score!
3. Stopped at the nearby community garden and picked up 4 yellow squash and a cantaloupe, plus bought some tomatoes from a neighbor. Love me some fresh veggies!
4. Went to a garage sale and scored 10 baby items, which I can use for Xmas and for a baby gift, for $5. I also took a cute stained T out of the FREE box, in hopes I can get the stains out.
5. Hit Dollar Tree this weekend to start filling my Operation Christmas Child boxes: Ivory bar soap, a small jar of colorful buttons, toothbrushes, washcloths, jump ropes, chapstick, flip-flops. Then I hit Meijer for on-sale composition books and soap boxes for the bars of soap. With the crayons, pencils, scissors, rulers, and sharpeners I already bought at Staples during their Back-to-School sales, I’m pretty set. I’ll make a bracelet and put together a sewing kit for each box and I think I’ll be done!


Susanne G September 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Most Black-eyed Susans, as far as I know, are perennials and prolific self seeders. So instead of cutting, it might be a good time to transplant a few or save the seeds from the flowers you do cut. Perennial and self seeders equals you’ll be calling friends to pick from YOUR garden!


KJD509 September 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

I was going to say exactly the same thing! One black-eyed Susan plant kept my entire front bed in flowers for about 7 years. They do need to be watered if it’s too dry, as I learned to my detriment, and mine are gone now. They are amazingly prolific!


Liz B. September 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Great idea about picking things up for Operation Christmas Child boxes….I need to do that. Every year, the hospital auxiliary offers boxes for this organization, and every year I think i’d like to donate…but i don’t. Vowing to gather items in advance this year, so I’ll be ready.


michelle September 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Our manual transmission car broke down and we were able to push start it after a few failed attempts. Hubs was able fix it with a new starter. Fun day despite missing a birthday party.


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Ohhh, I love when people hand out free garden produce. 🙂 My hubby’s coworker gave us some green onions with roots and we *still* have these bad boys growing in a garden of our own.

This week:

1. I went to the Dollar Tree and made two wreaths for $20. I know it’s not super-frugal, but I wanted to be prepared for the holidays this year. I made two gorgeous wreaths that went for $10 apiece to make (they would have been double the cost had I bought them premade).

2. Mr. Picky Pincher made chicken stock from some old chicken carcasses and froze it for later.

3. We went to our nephew’s birthday party last weekend and enjoyed free pizza and cupcakes thanks to my SIL. 🙂 Plus free entertainment from watching all the kiddos goof around.

4. We planned this week’s menu based on our pantry, so our grocery total was under our $80 target. Woohoo!

5. Tomorrow I plan to take advantage of my thrift store’s 75% off sale. Last time they had a sale this big, I scored high quality pants for .50 apiece. 🙂


Nancy from mass September 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

1. Really wanted spring rolls and fried rice yesterday. Made noodles with pesto instead. Pennies instead of dollars spent
2. Signed DS up for his community college classes and paid the bill in full. Waived the 1700 insurance plan since he’s under mine for 7 more years
3. Didn’t go far this weekend. Having a patio and walkway put in so I wanted to stick around .
4. Instead of driving north, I’ve been checking out the 2 northern nh Facebook pages to look at pics of the area. Plus, I won’t hike the rest of the year due to my ankle and its pretty cold!! Hey, Bee, theres been ice and 60mph winds on mount Washington already – hope your son has a beautiful day when he hits that spot!! (Mountains of nh and the mount Washington observatory are 2 pages to check out)
5. A friend just came back from a 2 week trip overseas performing magic for the troops. (With 4 other gentlemen). Have been enjoying the pictures and videos. He already said he would go back in a heartbeat.


Bee September 4, 2017 at 2:45 am

My son requested his winter gear a couple of weeks ago when he was in Massachusetts. As Susie’s Daughter mentioned, there was frost in Vermont. I too hope he is at Mt Washington within a week or two and weather cooperates. Mt Washington is the only climb that worries me.


Nancy from mass September 4, 2017 at 4:01 am

I believe they stop hikers from climbing if the weather is too treacherous and have them wait it out.

North of the notches is another Facebook site to check out. Everyday they post something about that area.


petey September 3, 2017 at 6:13 pm

1. Shopped with loss leader coupons to a local grocery I don’t usually shop at and stopped by on my way thru the area..
2.Out of town last night . The hotel we visited provided a surprise free breakfast .
3.Came home a night early from our long weekend , had a great time but ready to be home! HSH!
4. Just reconnected with Swagbucks…I was a MPoints fan..but since that is sadly over….I am adapting
5. The Usual..I am THE Electric and Water Usage Nazi.. and my utility bills reflect


kathleen September 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm

1. Finished a borrowed book today, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. I had given it to my grandson for Christmas, and borrowed it after he finished it. It’s about time I finally got it back to him. It was really good, and I recommended that my daughter read it as well, and then consider donating it to the local library if they don’t want to keep it.

2. Taking my car on a visit to m-i-l tomorrow for its better gas mileage.

3. Remembered to get a bottle of green tea out of the pantry and put it next to my purse to take with us to m-i-l tomorrow. It’s one of her favorites, and I had picked it up at Dollar Tree last time I was there to take to her on our next visit. She lives in an assisted living facility, and doesn’t shop for herself.

4. Rethought a purchase of fabric. Weighed against the likelihood that I would complete the planned project in the foreseeable future (when there are many other sewing projects waiting without additional supplies required), decided that I truly desired the money in the bank account more than the fabric on the shelf.

5. Husband spent a good part of yesterday pulling maintenance on his truck. He is always prompt with maintenance and repairs to our vehicles and our home. I’m sure glad I don’t have to pay him by the hour. 🙂


Marilyn September 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I agree — The Boys in the Boat was a great book.


Carol September 3, 2017 at 7:26 pm

I really would like to know more about FB Marketplace. As Jennifer said, “But you have also piqued my interest further on the Facebook Marketplace. Do they use PayPal? Or did you trust them to leave the money on the porch!?”

Tonight I made pea sop with almost all organic ingredients and using vegetable broth vs. the lymph of chickens (i.e. chicken broth). It was so awesome. Didn’t need anything to go with it. Just gobbled it down straight. Meanwhile, I washed the clothes on the shortest cycle (28 minutes). It’s a front-loader, so I put in the detergent and let it fill with water and turn a few times to get al the clothes wet and soapy. Only necessary to add enough detergent to see a few bubbles (never foam). Turned it off for an hour to soak, then back on again to finish washing. Hung outside to dry. No need to waste electricity to dry things when the sun does it for free and leaves its own lovely smell on the laundry. I always bury my nose in the laundry when I bring it inside, dry, to fold. There is NO SMELL like sun-dried laundry. We don’t mind that it tends to be a bit stiffer than machine-dried laundry. While I was cooking, I put a small fan in the window to pull in cooler air as the sun had set and it was cooler outside than inside. Saved by not turning on the air conditioner. I have a small electric oven that I plug into the front porch outlet to cook outside whenever possible so as to not heat up the house. I did that for lunch today. That way I did not have to turn on the air conditioner today.


Lee September 4, 2017 at 4:39 am

My husband came home late Friday night from a business trip, so we enjoyed a mostly frugal weekend before he headed out again Sunday afternoon:

1. We spent Saturday morning strolling through Eastern Market (an awesome expanded version of a farmers market in Detroit). I bought lots of fresh veggies and some delicious sausage from local businesses, and our one splurge was to have brunch at a diner next to the market area. (I still consider that frugal because we spent less than $20 for two plates piled full of food!)

2. After the market, we stopped for a couple of hours at the local zoo for more strolling and conversation. As members, our only expense was ice cream cones; and the weather was sunny and mild enough that many more of the animals were out and active.

3. Saturday evening, instead of going out, I used ingredients from the cupboard and freezer to make dinner. Yay for using things up!

4. The mild weather over the past few days has meant no AC, and plenty of open windows. I love having the windows open all day!

5. Because of the visit to the market on Saturday, my grocery list is short enough that, later today, I’ll just stop into Target (a couple of blocks away) v. making the 10-15 minute drive to the grocery store. The prices for what I need will be comparable, and on this extra day off from work, having a shorter errand will be awesome.


Jill A September 4, 2017 at 5:12 am

1. My husband picked up propane at the Tractor Supply store near us. It’s several dollars cheaper than anywhere else.
2. Cooking out with the Grandparents and kids today. Ribs bought on sale are in the smoker and we will grill some steaks we picked up at Costco.
3. Picked my daughter up at college to spend the weekend with us. We drove the hybrid car to save on gas.
4. Instead of going to dinner and a movie last night we ended up going to my Mother’s house and eating a $5 Hot’n Ready and a watching a redbox. Very relaxing and my Mother wasn’t alone.
5.My husband purchased a special attachment for our power washer for washing the concrete driveway. It cleaned better and quicker. We have a large driveway so although it wasn’t a cheap part it saved him time and gas.


janine September 4, 2017 at 8:07 am

1. Husband and son will spend one last day at our State Fair – purchased discount tickets which saves a few $$.
2. Plan to hit a few thrift places today even though I don’t approve of laboring on Labor Day! Wish everyone had the day off as intended.
3. Someone in our neighborhood who is originally from TX, is putting together a truck load of supplies for hurricane victims . Going through my stash to send along a few items. After much thought sending checks to Emergency Aid and a pet rescue group. Lots of organizations stepping up to help Houston. Pay it forward in the hopes that when we face disaster others will help us.
4. Garden still producing some fruit which helps out with a lower grocery bill.
5. Plan to be out of town for a couple of days this week. I will supply a birthday cake for a friend as requested, (homemade) and we have all agreed to bring sack lunches to a meeting on environmental concerns. This will save us some $$ although travelling is not a frugal pastime by definition.


Mrs Stookey September 4, 2017 at 8:35 am

It’s only 11:30 am and I have fft
1) Made a birthday card for my Grandpa using my computer and printer and Avery design program with Free Avery card stock, it prints two per page so I have a Birthday card for hubby’s Grandpa’s birthday in November.
2) Ate leftovers for lunch
3) Scored free food 5 deli sandwiches, two salads, and mini taco/burritos combo. The apartment community we live in gets a local grocers day past sell by dated items from the deli dept. It is super awesome to get these items. The sandwiches and mini taco/burrritos combo all went into the freezer and the salads will be eaten today and tomorrow
4) instead of turning the a/c to a colder temp since today it’s going to get to 96 degrees I got the box fan in the livingroom and turned it on.
5) Tonights supper is Chili mac which is a Freezer meal I had prepped last month.


Shelia September 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

Yesterday was our annual family reunion so I’ll keep Five Frugal Things focused on that.
1. Food wise, I took homemade macaroni and cheese which was a huge hit. I used macaroni that was .49 a box and cheese that was 2.49 a pound. I also made broccoli salad and the only thing I purchased for that was broccoli crowns for 1.39. I also took black cherry tomatoes from the garden.
2. Our oldest daughter’s birthday was Friday and I took her gifts and card down to open. Krogers has discontinued her favorite Burt’s Bees Candles and I bought several for a really great price and wrapped them for her. In addition, she needed new gloves and the thrift shop provided a new pair of Isotoners with the tag still on them. At the thrift shop, I also found note cards by a famous local artist she loves. She writes many notes in her line of work so was thrilled. She also received a check toward new boots she actually needs.
3. We came home from the reunion with enough leftover chicken for two meals. With garden produce, that will provide two really nice suppers for next to nothing.
4. I found some baking cups at a garage sale. To make memories with my young great-nephews, we create some type of food for the reunion each year. This year, we did cupcakes that looked like watermelons in those paper baking cups. My daughter and I tinted a white cake mix green and I had marked down pink lemonade frosting. I did buy a pack of chocolate sprinkles for the seeds. The oldest helped with the icing bag and the two youngest loved pinching the candies and putting them on the cupcakes. Really, really cute.
5. Although gas was an elevated price, it was still so worth it to use the resource of our van to go pick up elderly relatives to take them down to the reunion. That is definitely money well spent as there really is no guarantee we’ll have them here next year. And I got lots of information from my aunt on long gone relatives. Definitely priceless!


Kim in MD September 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

1. Had another $25 egiftcard for getting Ex filled at Harris Teeter. Used it to stock up on 93% lean ground beef. Also got 10 ears of corn, some Dawn and my free Oreo candy bar. OOP $2.25.
2. Took my best neighbors some watermelon I’d cut. They gave me a butternut squash they’d grown and some bagels. Good neighbors are priceless.
3. Bought 2 sets of bookshelves from a friend for $15. Just what I’ve been looking for.
4. Found free Pergo on CL. DS#2 is living in the team house this year at college. It’s been sorely neglected over the years. We put in “new” living room floor in May with Pergo I got on freecycle years ago. Did quite a few repairs when we moved him in last month. Still needed to replace nasty carpet in upstairs hall and now we have the flooring to do it!
5. Convinced DH to close our pool. Looked at the 15 day forecast and see summer temps are gone. Closing pool saves chemicals, electricity and having to keep falling leaves out.


Carol September 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

How nice it is that your son is so close for college. I went to school thousands of miles from my parents, and it was hard on my mother.

1. Had a dream about blueberry cornbread, and woke up and thought I might go to the store to buy some blueberries, then my husband reminded me we have a bunch of pears to use up. Made some French toast with a delicious pear sauce for breakfast, using 3 of the pears.

2. We were going to see a movie last night, but decided to rent one at home instead. We got Sicario for free on Hulu. Haven’t quite finished it, so no spoilers. Emily Blunt is great as a frazzled FBI agent.

3. Eating 25 cent ramen for lunch right now. Not the most nutritious, but filling and satisfying. As long as you don’t have it every meal, I think ramen is an excellent addition to the frugal kitchen.

4. My mother got me a beautiful blue and white handsoap dispenser in Tuscany. I didn’t want to waste packaging by buying handsoap in a plastic bottle to fill it up, so I used dishsoap diluted with water that I already had. It’s not the most luxurious, but it does the trick.

5. Using the quarter dryer once again. My building has washing machines and dryers that cost $1.50 per load, but there’s one dryer that functions on a quarter. It’s always a hot commodity, but today I got it.


Karen September 4, 2017 at 11:53 am

Labor Day Edition:

1. Mended a pair of shorts for my son–I like that my kids are in the habit of asking me to mend rather than buy them new!

2. Went through the kids’ clothes and had them hand down what didn’t fit them to younger siblings, and figured out we don’t need to buy any new clothes for at least a month, except for the oldest, and he shops for himself.

3. Planned steak after seeing it was “on sale” in the flier, but at the store found that pork chops were a better buy, so switched to that.

4. Cut my husband’s hair (as I have since we married), saving money and time and gas.

5. I didn’t get a Starbucks drink while grocery shopping. Why are those in all our grocery stores now?


ouvickie September 4, 2017 at 12:14 pm

1) I attended my maternal family reunion yesterday and brought home a huge plate of food for Hubby. Since the coffee cake I took was no eaten, I brought it home to take with us on our family vacation this week.
2) Since I’m on vacation for the next two weeks, I won’t be spending much money in fuel for my car. We’re taking Hubby’s car on our vacation trip.
3) We’re saving on food this week too. I’m fixing taco salad for dinner tonight and using stuff we already have in the fridge. Using up what we have, so nothing goes to waste while we’re gone.
4) Hubs prepaid his portion of the group tickets his family bought for the entertainment portion of the trip. They all pitched in on a cabin/lodge at the lake we’re going to stay in and when buying tickets in large groups for a play and a dinner cruise, apparently they got a discount. It’s so much cheaper to pitch in on a large cabin than it is to stay in a hotel and we always have fun together.
5) I use beef broth I buy on sale and pour some over the dog food I feed our old farm dog. He’s losing his teeth and it softens the food up for him. It’s much cheaper than buying canned food and less waste. He loves it.
I also found some Hip & Joint treats at the Dollar Tree and throw one in when I feed him. He gets around good for a 16 year old dog.


Ruby September 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

1. Made spaghetti for supper and whipped up a small pan pizza for our son, who does not like spaghetti, because I had most of the ingredients laid out already. Ingredients were in the pantry and freezer.
2. Sewed a valance for the bathroom window using fabric bought years ago for a dollar at a yard sale. Also made some light towels out of a heavy flannel sheet bought for $1.50 at a thrift shop.
3. The Mister needed work shirts. For a sticker shock reality check, we went by Cabela’s first and left after seeing a $69 work shirt. Bought him 5 shirts for $87 at the clearance store a few miles down the road. I joked that they are the equivalent of one Cabela’s shirt and the sleeve of another.
4. Bathed and groomed all three of our dogs today myself, which saves us in the neighborhood of $90.
5. Applied for a couple of jobs last week and need some dress shoes for an interview. Got a good brand for $17, which included shipping, by doing some serious online shopping.


Jennifer September 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm

1. For Labor Day we went on a family hike and then back home for ice cream ($3 for the carton at the store).
2. Mended my daughter’s shirt.
3. I planned ahead and made a homemade quick bread for our breakfast tomorrow at the same time as dinner was cooking.
4. Stuck to my lists at the grocery stores and shopped the sales at 3 different places. We now have a very well stocked fridge full of delicious produce along with the other things we needed.
5. Gas prices are high so we used our fuel rewards from our local grocery store to save $0.50 off per gallon. We filled the car that was the lowest as well as our 5 gallon gas can.


Crosby September 5, 2017 at 6:04 am

1. Avoided all Labor Day sales, even the ones at the thrift store. I almost caved when my mom asked if I wanted to go, but then I thought it through and we don’t really need anything at the moment.
2. Took some frozen ham and frozen scalloped potatoes out of the freezer last night for dinner. THey hadn’t been very good the first time around so I thawed everything out, panfried it, and added a cheese sauce made at home from ingredients on hand. Rounded it out with sauted veggies from our CSA and it was a delicious dinner.
3. Really considered buying breakfast this morning as I had a blood draw and I HATE needles/blood/etc. But I brought yogurt with a cut up peach from our CSA and homemade granola instead. Also brought leftovers from dinner for lunch today.
4. Non-frugal – purchased a crochet class (I’ve tried using free youtube videos to learn and haven’t had any luck, this one is $14/month and I can cancel any time) but all of the yarn I’ve been using for the practice and beginner projects has ben sourced from our BN group and from my mom. I’m probably going to make a scrap blanket from all the practice granny squares I’ve made!
5. I think we’re getting better about food waste. I normally scan our fridge and freezer every few weeks and find that I’ve let a few things go and they need to be tossed. But this week, there was only one thing! I had managed to use everything else up.


susanna d September 5, 2017 at 6:58 am

1. My daughter-in-law brought a box of CSA veggies for us when they came up for the holiday weekend. They’ll be going on vacation and won’t use it. We didn’t get buy a CSA share this year and simultaneously had the coldest, wettest, cloudiest summer – which was not good for most of my garden plants – so we’ve been short on homegrown produce. We’d given our son and daughter-in-law several boxes from our CSA share last year (since we’d be gone a few of the weeks) and my sweet daughter-in-law said she was very glad to return the favor.
2. I’ve been using the free veggies to make roasted tomatoes (for the freezer) and cucumber salad (for one of our sides this entire week). We’ll also be having corn on the cob with most meals this week.
3. My cherry tomato plants are among the few plants that actually did well this year (basil being another one). I decided to see if my almost-three-year -old granddaughter would like gardening. She was fascinated by the way we get water from our rain barrels, loved watering the plants with the tiny bucket I gave her, and especially loved picking the “baby tomatoes”. Hoping she’ll continue to love gardening as she gets older.
4. Several months ago, I got a letter from a medical facility demanding payment for an “overdue charge”. I printed off a copy of the cancelled check that showed I had paid the bill immediately after I received it. This apparently triggered an audit of my account – which resulted in my receiving a check for over $100. Apparently my insurance paid a charge that they had initially refused – that was news to me. Since I had sent a check for that bill, the payment was returned to me. Note to self: follow my account online a bit more closely in the future. I would have completely missed this one.
5. Yesterday my Kindle (a retirement gift I’d received 5 years ago) developed a problem. The down arrow stopped working. This prevented me from getting to the many free books I have downloaded on the thing. A little research online produced the suggestion to try a hard reboot. I did, and the Kindle is once again fully functional – hello again, down arrow! We’ve been able to fix so many items for cheap – or in cases like this, for free – by doing a little online reading.


Mand01 September 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm

We’ve had our kindles now for at least eight years. I don’t want to upgrade because I like the third generation kindle keyboard that they stopped making. Every now and then it goes on the fritz and I worry that this might be it!! Then I hard reboot it and it seems to recover.
Same with my kids second generation iPad. Seven years and it’s still going. We had to reset it the other day and it is a little slow but it really is a little tech workhorse, especially for kids.


Amanda September 5, 2017 at 9:26 am

1) Had a quiet, cheap weekend full of homemade pizza, bike rides, and walks.

2) Finished going through the kids’ wardrobes for fall. I didn’t have to buy anything for our second son because he is still in a lot of the clothes he was wearing in the spring. Luckily we had a pair of hand-me-down tennis shoes that fit him. Our daughter is growing into her 24 months clothes, and I had a ton of 24 month, seasonally appropriate clothes from a big stash a friend passed along. Our oldest needed jeans and tennis shoes. I checked out Thredup, but we have trouble fitting our tall, skinny kids in jeans, and I didn’t see much I really liked. I checked out Crazy 8 because we have had success fitting him there. I bought two pairs of jeans for $9 each, and a few tshirts for $4 each. I’ll return anything that doesn’t fit him. I checked DSW for shoes because I have a $10 coupon, but even with the coupon couldn’t find shoes he liked for a reasonable price. Then I went over to Amazon and found a pair of shoes we both liked for $17. We’ll see about the sizing and quality when they arrive.

3) Last night we went to Aldi before supper, made a simple supper of leftovers, and made lunches for all family members for today.

4) We had several big expenses hit the credit card last month beyond our usual budget–a major car repair, a university parking pass, medical expenses. So I expected to pull a little out of savings to cover some of the bill. But when I worked out our income and outgo this morning everything balances. I don’t know why, but I am not asking any questions.

5) Dropped estimated state and federal taxes in the mail this morning. It is painful for me to write big checks, but our accountant says our business is making more this year, and what is taken from our paychecks won’t come close to covering it. We don’t want to be hit with big tax bills and fees in the spring.


Susie's Daughter September 5, 2017 at 9:53 am

Amanda – I feel you on #5. Both Dear Wife and I are self employed so I have been taking a big chunk out of our income each month. But the up side is that there will be no scrambling to make the payment for this quarter and next and that part feels great.


Tracy September 5, 2017 at 10:41 am

FFT Iceland edition:
1. In Reykjavik, took airport bus to/from town, way cheaper than taxi.
2. Did free or low cost things 3 of 4 days there, mostly walking all around town. (One day we did a day tour of Golden Circle –not cheap but 8 plus hours of natural wonders + a dip in hot lagoon so skipped the very expensive Blue Lagoon).
3. Are sparingly in restaurants (one meal/day) and otherwise bought groceries and fixed own food. Reykjavik is VERY expensive (for example a slice of carrot cake in an ordinary coffee shop is $9)
4. Shopped for souvenirs in Salvation Army thrift shop. My mom found two amazing prints of local Icelandic scenes.
5. Ate before we flew so didnt have to buy plane food. Read library books I’d downloaded on my kindle and drank free non-alcoholic beverages on flight.


kathleen September 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I LOVE the idea of shopping for souvenirs at Salvation Army in vacation site! We have a vacation coming up, and I will definitely keep that in mind.


Isitaneedorawant September 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Two summers ago one of my daughters decided to visit Iceland and the Faroe Islands for a month.She camped as the hostels were too expensive. Among the items she picked up in Iceland were a few genuine handknit Icelandic sweaters in the thrift shops.


isabelle September 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

* Really using my gym membership. While it’s not cheap and no one needs a gym membership to keep fit, I get motivated by having one. So I’m going at least 5 times per week.
* No snacking and not eating sweets adds up.
* Using whole chicken carcasses to make chicken broth, which I then use as soup base. Able to get whole natural chickens for 3$/pound, so I bought 10. Amazing price down here!
* Bought much needed pants and a coat on sale (could not find at thrift store in my size).
* Went through my kids closets to figure out exactly what they NEED for back-to-school and bought only this (on sale).

Have a great frugal day!


Laur September 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

1. Completed my tax return (not sure what you guys call it in the US). Government is giving me $261 back. Very happy!
2. I needed some new Summer and work clothes. I found 2x dresses and 2x shirts from the thrift store on the way to run another errand for $18 total.
3. I found a denim skirt on a FB selling site for $10. Bargain!
4. I listed another item on eBay and 2 more on a FB selling site. Hopefully they move soon as they will net me $75 if they all sell at my set prices.
5. Have been emptying the freezer in preparation for moving soon. Managed to feed my lot and some visitors lunch using sausages from the freezer, half a loaf of bread and some fruit that needed to be used up for less than $7. I prefer to buy bakery bread, as it has less nasty additives than the grocery store kind. I tried out a different bakery and saved 60c compared to the bakery I usually frequent. This bakery is also on the way home so I don’t have to make a detour to save said 60c!


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