Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 7, 2017 · 99 comments

  1. It’s been very smoky here in Portland due to multiple forest fires which are burning out of control in the Columbia gorge. I have asthma, so I’m being deliberate about taking it easy and limiting time outside of the house. Not a lot of spending opportunities inside my house!

  2. I assembled a burrito bar using ingredients I had on hand including the last of a bag of potatoes that’s been cluttering up my counter for way too long. Everything was delicious and we even have leftovers, which frankly, is my favorite meal in the first place!

  3. I gave my white towels a soak in my favorite Dollar Tree Oxyclean, which helps to keep them bright and stain free. I bought six towels at Costco in 2010 and have no plans to replace them in the near future. (I remember the date because we had a cute little Japanese exchange student and I became suddenly aware of how stained and scrappy our towels had become.) Yes, the bindings are a bit scraggly, but I simply snip those parts off and get on with my day. I recently came across an advertisement for a towel subscription service that will send you replacement towels every “6, 12 or 24 months.” I consider this to be the height of wastefulness especially since this company writes that “10 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills each year. We have created a circular subscription program that is both earth and people friendly to close the loop and change the way we consume.” Encouraging the American consumer to think that it’s normal to replace towels every “6, 12 or 24 months” is nothing even close to “earth friendly.” You know what I did with my scrappy old towels? They got demoted and now serve to wipe up disgusting and truly filthy items. Surprisingly often.

  4. I know this is getting repetitive, but I did go to the Goodwill Outlet to source apartment supplies for my sons’ off campus apartments. (As you can see, these little of this, little of that trips are starting to pay off!) There is a gross over manufacture of consumer goods on this planet, which is why I choose to buy used whenever possible.

I paid $40 and bought:

  • Five Corelle plates, which should be easy to add to since they’re always the same size.

  • A measuring cup and a Pyrex measuring cup.

  • A mug.

  • A rubber spatula and kitchen tongs.

  • A stainless steel frying pan with lid.

  • Two nesting mixing bowls.

  • I bought a vintage rotary phone, mug, a large antique stoneware crock, a cloth diaper cover and a small flying drone to sell. I also picked up a pair of adorable socks for myself. (The crock was HEAVY but gorgeous, so I thought I’d take a gamble on it. It was painted with a horrible landscape, which easily washed off.)

     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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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy September 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

1. Decrapified the interior of my car. I’ll take it to the coin car wash to wash it. There’s still water restrictions in place due to drought so I can’t wash it at home
2. Picking up flat of water with coupon.99 at smart and final. I have house guest coming in a couple of weeks and we’ll be out and about,
3. Brewed ice tea and filled my travel cup
4. Sold a business suit I’ve out grown on eBay
5. Using left over London broil for Mexican salad tonight


tammy brackett September 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I am in love with the word “decrapified”!! Great word!


susanna d September 7, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I love “decrapified” too! So fitting. I’m going to have to borrow that word!


Roberta September 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I’m so glad you saved that crock! I wouldn’t have looked at it, in that condition, but it’s beautiful underneath.
1. Making quiche for dinner, using up mushrooms, spinach and whatever cheese needs to go. Also making mashed potatoes, for my poor, potassium-deficient husband.
2. Making a shopping list for next week, based off what needs to be used up and what’s on sale this week.
3. Shredding the zucchinis on the counter, and cutting up the single watermelon we got from our garden (some rotten critter took our other one, then the vine died.)
4. Sent my son to school with leftover “emergency pizza” for lunch. I saved a bunch of pieces in the freezer, and when there’s nothing else the kids can take that. This morning was hectic, and I’m really glad I had ready-to-pack lunch!

That’s all I can think of for today. My poor husband had a “minor procedure” on his finger, to remove some scar tissue, but it’s a lot more painful than he expected. He wasn’t able to drive himself to work this morning, so I drove, but once he got there he realized he wasn’t physically able to work, so I drove him back home. So we’re laying low today, and hoping he feels well enough to go to back-to-school night tonight, and work tomorrow.


Karen September 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Omg, a towel subscription biz! Such waste! Our towels also go through “demotion” once they start to fall apart. The better ones go off to the vet for more use; the ones with more holes are pressed into service around the house for many more years until they are in tatters, when I recycle them. So glad our garbage company takes textiles, so I can take part in the full circle of towel life!

I love our Goodwill, although that particular one does not have a “pay by the pound” feature. GW is such an adventure and is my go-to fun zone, which is relaxing. Sometimes I just look at stuff but often I come home with just the right cheap, needed treasures: candles, stationery, children’s books etc. I honestly do not get how people get this same satisfaction out of mall shopping, but I guess we’re all different.


Liz B. September 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

To each his own, but that crock looks soooo much better without the paint on it! I would’ve totally passed it by before it was Katy-cleaned.


Nancy Drew September 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm

1. DD needed a journal and a notebook for school, after we had already bought what I considered to be a reasonable amount of supplies. I found a usable journal and notebook at home by foraging in the cupboards.
2. Like so many commenters on this site, we love our library. My last receipt showed that “You have saved $6,500 by using the library this year instead of purchasing those books.” !
3. I canned six pints of hot dog relish, made from our own veggies. Salsa will be next, then pears.
4. Severe smoke from nearby forest fires has limited my use of our outdoor clothesline. I’m hanging laundry inside as much as possible, and limiting the use of the dryer.
5. We are trading some excess produce with a friend for delicious granola bars.


Miss Lani Make Do September 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Re your #2 – that’s such an awesome feature! I’d love to know how much money I’ve said, what a cool library.


Jill September 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm

1. Preparing for Hurricane Irma to plow through on Monday/Tuesday. I don’t buy bottled water but will fill every school/sport team/activity water bottle we have just in case.And I’ve gathered all the candles I can find that I keep for particularly this reason. A friend is evacuating here from the coast – he’s a great guest to have as he always helps the husband with projects around the house.
2. Our nephew organizes an extended family Fantasy football league. I don’t care one bit about NFL football but we have a blast coming up with goofy names and trash talking each other. We keep in touch on a weekly basis when we might not otherwise. All for bragging rights – and it’s free.
3.Batched my errands yesterday including picking up library books, getting gas at Sam’s and returning a lipstick with a color I didn’t like. My daughter informed me that the store I bought it at takes returns – even used make-up – with your receipt.
4.Did an end-of-summer refrigerator cleaning out and scrubbing. Looks great.
5. It’s my favorite time of year – the temps are in the 70’s to 80’s and we can turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. No need for air or heat for the next 4-6 weeks. I love having the windows open!


Jill September 8, 2017 at 4:17 am

As an added note, I finally heard a newscaster say “You know you don’t have to buy bottled water. You can just fill containers you already have” Yay!


Danielle September 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm

That seems so simple, but I can imagine in the rush to prepare, many don’t think of that!


Bee September 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

During the last two hurricane seasons, I have used mason jars, but I have supplemented these with bottled water this year. I do not have enough containers for all the water that I may need. The rule of thumb is 1 gallon per person per day. Although authorities suggest that you have a week’s worth of water on hand, because of the size and magnitude of this storm, I have assumed that I will be without potable water for 10-14 days which is 30 and 42 gallons. If need be, you can fill your bathtubs, so you will have water to flush the toilet, wash hands, etc as they begin to get the systems up and running. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.


April September 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I hear you. We live about an hour from the Florida line. Things are about to get down to the wire.


Carol September 7, 2017 at 12:10 pm

1. I wore the same silver hoop work earrings to work today I’ve been wearing for years. They were a present from my friend in high school and have gotten a surprising amount of wear. I always feel put together when I wear them.

2. My husband brought home more food from breakfast in the classroom that would have gone to waste. For lunch, I am having a freebie apple, a freebie yogurt, and a ramen that we paid under a dollar for at the store.

3. I closed my Amex card because I am experimenting with living credit card free, and that one had an annual fee. Because I cancelled within a month of the annual fee, I’m getting it refunded. Should be a check coming in the mail soon.

4. Found a cute pair of black pants, a tank top, a khaki dress and a pair of wedge booties at the Goodwill. In reality I could have gotten by without them, but sometimes you need to splurge on fashion. I have a fantasy of dressing like an Italian woman, and these clothes were a step in the right direction.

5. I lost the pencil I use for tutoring kids by leaving it at a kid’s house. Luckily, my husband had found a perfectly good, new looking pencil on the sidewalk a couple weeks ago, and I was able to grab it in time to tutor another kid this morning.


Lindsey September 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm

1. Was at Sam’s Club with a friend (I don’t have a membership but she shares our mailbox and I pay for that, so it evens out) and was ready to buy a huge bag of sugar with an eye to holiday baking coming up. I took out my handy candy phone/calculator and figured out that a Kroger sale price made the Kroger sugar 10 cents a pound cheaper. Not much but a dime is a dime. We are conditioned to think that the box stores are always cheaper but that has not been my experience.
2. Did the same thing with the Sam’s eggs vs. Kroger sale eggs. A penny an egg cheaper at Kroger this week due to a sale. Not much, but 12 cents a dozen when you buy four dozen adds up.
3. Was about to take to our dump site sharing platform (where you leave stuff other people might want) a piece of golfing equipment inherited, as I don’t play golf. Husband, who does golf, said it would be worth selling on CL. It sold by day’s end, to the tune of $100!!
4. FINALLY finished harvesting and then processing everything in the garden. Happy to put away the dehydrator and canner and thrilled to have filled a freezer and pantry with stuff to sustain us for the next year.
5. Found a penny on the ground outside and a dime inside the grocery store.


anna September 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I always gain such inspiration from this blog.

Katy, I am constantly amazed and delighted with what you find at the Goodwill Outlet. Do you ever go and find nothing? I went to the one Goodwill Outlet in Connecticut and was severely disappointed. The only stuff they seemed to have was broken furniture and filthy looking clothes. Yet, it was curiously crowded with shoppers. Maybe everyone read your blog and was hoping to score some bargains. I haven’t been back.

Have any other Connecticut readers had any luck with the Goodwill outlet, either in Hamden, CT or elsewhere?


jodi September 8, 2017 at 3:23 pm

I’m in CT too and went to that outlet and had the exact same experience!My favorite GW’s are Avon, Monroe, and New Milford. I have good luck at Savers too.


anna September 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The two that I mostly hit are Brookfield and New Milford. I usually make it a double stop and go to Aldi’s too. I’ll also go to the Westport GW once in a while. I’ll have to try the Avon and Monroe stores. I haven’t had very much luck with Savers, but my children like to go.


jodi September 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

lol I go to Aldi’s when in New Milford too, and Big Lots. The Danbury GW is not bad either.


anna September 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Oh, that’s another one I go to often too.

Isitaneedorawanta September 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

(1) Emailed husband of friend who built our fence and gate last year that the gate would not open. We have gumbo for earth where I live. He came and repaired and said everything is guaranteed for a year.
(2) Have a staff person who works from my home. Everyday I give her lunch. She likes my leftovers:) works for both of us.
(3) Ate canned soup dated March 22,2017 . Um….its still in the calendar year. It’s fine.
(4) Using up my chicken carcasses. Made stock that turned into chicken stew yesterday and will be used to make rice tonight. Made the chicken stew with cheese biscuits. The cheese has been hanging around frozen for awhile. Time to use it up. Plus staff person in#2 liked it and requested the recipe. Started another bag of bones in slow cooker.
(5) Looking for spices/veggies to add to slow cooker. Remembered I had a huge patch of chives. Harvested them to dry and added some to the slow cooker.


Mand01 September 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm

1. Worked from home.
2. I scored coupons for free tea from the gourmet tea bar and BOGO coffee from our local cafe. As we were out and about last night, I used both and enjoyed free or half price coffee and tea.
3. We have been stalking a new ukulele for our offspring’s birthday. They are learning to play and has surpassed the $40 Christmas special they received a few years ago. We have been researching and found a good one for $120. This week it was on sale for $68. Score! My husband was so happy (he’s a guitar nerd from way back. If he says it’s a good one then I trust his judgment). They will be most pleased with it.
4. Someone on here mentioned self care and it resonated. I finally took myself off for a neck and shoulder massage. $20 and much of the pain I’ve been feeling has gone. A gap (deductible) for a physio around here is at least $60, so that’s a good deal. Time is actually my issue, so I’m going to make time to go back to the Chinese massage place regularly now for some frugal self care.
5. I made an extra mortgage payment


Lynda September 8, 2017 at 4:30 am

The great thing about ukulele these days is the variety of songs. 😉


Liz B. September 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm

I have a beginner ukelele my hubby gave me for Christmas last year….but I haven’t taken the time to learn how to play it. I’d love to be able to play “Don’t Dream It’s Over” on it.


Mand01 September 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm

My child started learning at school and then really picked it up with their dad at home. My husband is a talented guitarist and apparently the little apple has inherited it.


Edie September 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Hi all-

It is so smoky and the asthma that has not afflicted since I was ateen in NYC has come back in full effect! Yikes! BUT I did have my nebulizer covered under insurance with NO COPAY, so awesome !

1) My Japanese friend from NYC has come to stay, and before the Eagle Creek fire we have gone biking and exploring the city, treating ourselves to packed lunches- which included beer! So much more cheaper than dining out.

2) In exchange for staying at my place, my friend took lovely pictures of the house so i could put up a room for rent on Craigslist.

3) Showed my friend a couple of Goodwill stores- she scored some great deals! Me, I bought a burgundy leather jacket for $20. Very hip!

4) I will be changing the filters in the furnace myself- so easy and SO NECESSARY.

5) Was given a case of grower Champagne (not sparkling, CHAMPAGNE) by a manager at work Who DOES NOT LIKE CHAMPAGNE AND NEEDED TO UNLOAD IT. WHAT.


Liz B. September 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Edie, you lucky gal!! You were definitely in the right place at the right time….a case of champagne? Wow!!


Edie September 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

I asked three times ” Are you sure?” and offer to pay, but he had had it in the basement cooler for a while now and he was just clearing out. No one else knew how special it was.


Liz B. September 8, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Nice!! Easy to “take one for the team” on this one.:-)


Mand01 September 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

I too have given away champagne. Legit champagne.
I don’t drink any alcohol and people insist on giving it to me as a thank you gift. Either that, or nut baskets. I’m highly allergic.
I don’t really need a thank you gift for services rendered with no expectation of reward, but especially not death baskets, lol


kathleen September 8, 2017 at 10:25 am

Death baskets. LOL


Jill A September 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm

1. Washing full loads of laundry in cold water and hanging to dry as well as eating up leftovers.
2. My Mom came yesterday and dyed my hair for me. This saves me $50.
3. Used a $5 off $50 gift card at Meijer. I’ll use the gift card next time I get groceries.
4. Returned soda and beer cans/bottles to the store and pocketed the cash.
5. Repaired my daughters favorite sandals with shoe goo.


Minimalist45 September 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Leftovers are always my favourite too !


Mary in Maryland September 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

1. The bath towels I bought to go away to college in 1968 lasted until 1990. Now we’re using a set that a friend gave me to take to the vet because the edges were frayed. I zigzagged them six years ago and the problem hasn’t recurred yet.
2. My dish towels are from the 1960s. A friend cleaned out her mother’s house, hated them, and gave them to me–white with blue trim–what’s not to like? I also have many of the “disposable” blue towels from labor and delivery trays. They’ve been demoted to disgusting jobs–I’m canning tomatoes this week..
3. I pulled four fancy tomato cages and a graco high chair out of someone else’s trash this morning. Both have been picked up by grateful freecyclers.
4. I’m still using the dishes and stainless steel mixing bowls I got as wedding presents in 1979 and the flatware I got for opening a bank account in 1976.
5. My husband did lighting for the community theater one act festival, so I had comps for all three weekends. We had company to dinner before each show.
6. Decided I can’t stand the dog pee odor on the living room rug. Our older pup leaks a little and his younger brother needs to add his two cents worth. I’m looking into some sort of modular rug system so I could remove anything soaked with pee.
7. Nothing vulgar for me.


A. Marie September 7, 2017 at 2:01 pm

(1) I’m with Katy all the way about the towels. Our “new” towels are (a) two pairs that DH’s sister (the one who’s really Martha Stewart’s separated-at-birth twin) bought in 2006 for DH’s mom and was about to throw out when we were cleaning out my MIL’s house; and (b) two pairs we trashpicked from the moving-out neighbors across the street (the ones who married at leisure and repented in haste) a couple of years ago.

(2) Our hearts go out to everyone in the way of climate misery at the moment–whether it’s fire, water, wind, earth, or some combination. The whole situation is absolutely crazy.

(3) Going just slightly crazy myself right now with DH’s continuing slow mental decline and with dealing with doctors, pharmacy, etc. Keeping myself sane by reminding myself that at least we’re not having to deal with (2).

(4) Have harvested 7 cantaloupes so far, and at least 8 more are coming. That’s not bad for about a 4′ x 8′ patch in Upstate NY.

(5) DH and I took four boxes of discards over to our favorite local lefty political organization’s upcoming garage sale yesterday, and I’m going to take some surplus houseplants and garden veg over there tomorrow (the sale itself is Saturday morning). Still lots of cucumbers, peppers, and small tomatoes coming in, so I’m donating some of these.


Lindsey September 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm

A. Marie: I am sure you have gotten lots of advice about memory loss but after my experience with my grandmother I feel compelled to comment. She was experiencing memory loss and confusion, doctor told us it was some sort of dementia. She ended up in the ER for something and the doc there was horrified at her med list. He admitted her, put her on a total medication fast for two weeks (that is why hospitalized, in case there was an adverse reaction). Then he slowly added meds, and took her off several meds. By the end of the month, she was like her old self. She also had a urinary infection that had not been detected before, which can cause confusion. Anyway, I apologize for this unsolicited advice, and you probably have gone through all this with your husband’s doctor, but I just felt like I had to say something just in case…


janine September 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Thanks for mentioning the incredible weather events taking place around the world. Many of us have friends and relatives who may be in harm’s way. Our prayers are with them.


Mand01 September 7, 2017 at 8:02 pm

I’ve also had shocking reactions to anti convulsants, caused by over prescribing. Too much medication is often as bad as too little.


Jennifer September 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

Same for me, Mand. It’s important to remember that we are all different and don’t react the same to meds.


Roberta September 8, 2017 at 6:21 am

I’m glad you mentioned this, Lindsey. I had a friend who’s wife was diagnosed with “dementia” and lost two years before they realized it was a side effect of medications. I’m afraid this is an under-recognized situation.


A. Marie September 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Thanks to all for the concern and the experience-based input re: DH’s situation. The problem in DH’s case seems to be “pseudodementia” resulting from over 20 years of major depression. Thinking that the various meds he’s taken over the years might be the problem, we did experiment with a drug-free period earlier this year–and this turned out to be a big mistake: His condition tanked even faster. So we’re back to the drawing board, trying to decide where to go next. I know that those of you dealing with chronic mental illness in loved ones can totally relate to this roller-coaster ride.


Liz B. September 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm

A. Marie, I’m so sorry. I have not walked in your shoes, but can empathize – depression runs strong in my family, but most significantly in my younger sister. It is difficult to see loved ones struggling with mental illness of any kind, and equally difficult to deal with it yourself. Hugs.


Susie's Daughter September 10, 2017 at 3:13 am

Family caregiving is one of the hardest jobs in life. Thinking of you, A. Marie and the other folks here who are experiencing that reality daily.


Karen September 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm

1. Salvaged a sweatshirt that had drywall compound dried onto it–just scraped it off and washed, good as new. This will get passed down to my youngest, so far we haven’t needed to buy him any fall clothes yet.

2. During our semi-annual Clothing Organizing Hunt, I found a favorite shirt of mine I thought was lost forever.

3. Cut up ragged old shirts for rags.

4. Found 26 cents in the laundry room and a quarter in my car.

5. Using up pantry items nobody else likes (brown rice, for example) for my lunches.


Karen September 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Oh, also gave two of my kids haircuts. I’ve been doing this for years and haven’t yet done the math, but I’m betting it’s saved us lots of money. I also cut my husband’s hair.


Katy Hope September 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

1. Cooking dinner (quiche using leftovers) for friends who just had a baby.

2. Giving our gently used dollhouse to our younger cousins to enjoy and play with and get the clutter out of our house.

3. Took my son’s jacket back to the store to repair the holes that appeared in the sleeves. Love the Patagonia lifetime warranty, their product costs more, but they will repair anything for free, so lasts forever.

4. Made homemade granola.. tastes better, is cheaper, and is better for you.

5. Got a new good book from the library. Americanah! by Chimamanda Ngozi


Rachel September 7, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Americanah is among my most favorite books, and I also love making granola. Enjoy both!


Karen September 8, 2017 at 8:57 am

I used to make granola a lot, but I can’t trust myself around it. It tastes so good I end up eating the whole batch in an embarrassingly short period of time.


Chris September 7, 2017 at 2:47 pm

When towels get funky edges, I always run a zigzag stitch around the edges. If they’re really bad, I sometimes add a band of cute (scrap) fabric along the edge. Hey, it’s a towel, not a fashion statement, at least at our house! (If they’re really bad, towels get cut up into dish rags, or just rags.)


Marcia September 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

I zig-zag my towels too, usually sewing twice over the selvage edges and only sewing the ends if they are starting to come apart. I find they last literally YEARS longer once this is done to them.

I am also a granola maker– I started in the 70’s and made it for quite a long time. Don’t remember when or why I stopped, but might have been kids moving out around 80, 81, when they graduated high school. Recently –a few months ago–I started making it again. I also discovered the local Amish store has oatmeal for about half the price of the local grocery store. I add almonds, walnuts, craisins and raisins to mine. I catch sale prices on those whenever and wherever I can. I have used dried apples and apricots also, just to use up some on hand. We have fruit drying plants nearby so we can get deals on various fruits fairly often.


MaryBeth September 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm

What are you doing with the rotary phone? Does it work? Is it black? My husband always gets sentimental about his favorite black, rotary, desktop phone (truly…I didn’t even know people had favorite phones!)


Katy September 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

It doesn’t appear to work, (I tired it at a neighbor’s house as I don’t have a landline) and I have it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.


Rachel September 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

1. I brought my lunch to work, per usual. It was a salad consisting of mangy looking mushrooms, wilty lettuce, and delicious tomatoes from my garden. I’m always happy to eat my home-packed lunch while everyone around me buys take-out.

2. While dropping off books at the library, I decided to buy a used cookbook from the Friends of the Library store. Not super frugal, but this inexpensive splurge will liven up my home cooking which will ultimately save money from eating out, and will also help out that sweet little store.

3. My entire outfit today was acquired second hand.

4. I plan to eat delicious tempeh leftovers for dinner when I get home, and watch some Netflix.

5. I’m trying not to buy anything unnecessary this month (guess I failed on the cookbook purchase, oops!), and instead I donated some money to the Red Cross in recognition of all the hard work it does to provide disaster relief in our country.


Patti September 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

1. Have eaten straight from the refrigerator, freezer, garden and pantry: stuffed green peppers (used red beans instead of black beans which we use instead of meat), made fajitas with leftover pork shredded and more peppers from the garden, making spaghetti tonight with the remnants of a jar of spaghetti sauce thrown into my own recipe for sauce…and I have ideas for upcoming meals using what I have on hand. I am doing this to forgo buying groceries this month in order to donate to disaster relief.
2. The only item I have “needed” has been cumin and after I searched around, I found a full bottle on another shelf where I keep stockpiled spices that I buy when I have coupons or come across them very cheap.
3. I am preparing for the hurricane with items I have on hand. Freezing water in containers I already have rather than buying bottled water such as other water bottles, plastic or metal bowls, etc. We are not on the coast but need to prepare for high winds and possible power loss. We have camping supplies so we are good to go.
4. I have worn my clothing items multiple times this week to cut down on laundering them. It keeps my black pants from fading and no one is the wiser.
5. Was feeling down from the work challenges of the week so I treated myself to a lunch hour at the library. Found a whole stack of books that have been on my “to read” list which boosted my spirits and helped me over the slump. I also bought two greeting cards in the library store – only cost $1.00 each and they are artisan made.


Bee September 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

Bless you and the many others who have made a donation to disaster relief. The monetary strain of preparing for a storm as well as putting your life back together again after a disaster hits many hard.


susanna d September 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm

1. Last year, we did the executive membership at Costco (2% “reward on purchases). My husband was getting new hearing aids (which, at Costco, were less than half the cost of his previous ones from a hearing aid store- same brand) and 2% rebate from the cost of those would more than make up for the difference in the membership fees. Adding in what we spend on bulk purchases and organic foods at Costco, it amounted to a check for over $100. We stopped there today to load up on frozen fruit (for the upcoming winter months, when fresh fruit is less than ideal up here), chicken, butter, olives, and oh, a lot of other staples. Out of pocket cost after the rebate check was $4 and change.
2. Filled the gas tank while at Costco, since the price was 20 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline in our town.
3. Filled the tank on the truck a few days ago when we were in a nearby town that had gas 10 cents per gallon cheaper than our town. Gas prices in our town are ridiculous and we rarely by gas there; fortunately there are several other nearby towns with better prices. I also used one of the $1 off gasoline coupons I clipped from the newspaper to bring the price per gallon a little lower.
4. Showed my “I love our town” wristband to save another $5 off my grocery purchase. The wristband – which cost me $5 – gets (among other things) a $5 off $50 discount at a local grocery store. I bought the wristband in May, and it’s good through the end of the year. I’ve saved $50 so far with the wristband (it’s good for discounts at other local stores as well) and I usually end up saving at least $100 each year.
5. Using up leftover bits of food from the family’s holiday visit. Little bits of leftover cereal in leftover yogurt for breakfast, hummus with veggies for lunch, etc. I’ve frozen the leftover milk, rice and pasta, and used up the veggies they brought up. Wondering how long frozen corn dogs will keep – I’d really rather not eat those, so I’m thinking of double or triple wrapping them to keep them until the next time the grandkids visit.


Jane F September 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I’m not at all bored of the sourcing for the apartments. If you are so inclined, I would love a deep dive/ photo essay once its all done. 🙂


Mrs Stookey September 7, 2017 at 6:46 pm

my fft
1) found a flashlight in the local parking lot and found out it is worth $73.35 on eBay.
2) We have been eating freezer meals and hubby has yet to notice we don’t have any ground meats left, the last of our ground meat was used during Labor day weekend for grilled burgers (Trying to eat down the freezer and pantry some before grocery our monthly grocery trip)
3) Set up my hair appointment with our apartment community’s in-house salon. Hair cut is 10 bucks plus tip!!, I am cutting my hair shorter due to upcoming surgery.
4) Gave neighbor of mine a bunch of things I knew I can not use before they would expire and they were just sitting in my pantry (stuff I had from another neighbor)
5) We are refilling every perscription my husband has even if he won’t need it for weeks because he met his catastrophic level so no co-pays on medicines!!!! This is a huge money saver and last until December 31 then starts over Jan 1st.


Bettypants September 8, 2017 at 4:08 am

What kind of fancy flashlight did you find??


Jessie September 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm

I repurposed an old 55gal drum (free from a supplement company) into a portable fire pit. Cut off the bottom 1/3 of it and welded a bit of old grating I got for free from work into it. It’s not the prettiest but it served for the summer so far in the back yard. ^_^
I also take pretty embroidered back pockets from old jeans and sew them onto the front of my daily work wear pants because, let’s face it, girl jeans do NOT provide actual pocket space.
I try to find ways to use up the fabric scraps I make into cat toys.
I always take my knives into a professional grinder to get a good edge on them instead buying new ones when they collect too many dings to function well.
I take old egg cartons and cut them into their individual cups then fill those with dryer lint and melted wax from spent jar candles (I receive jar candles at Xmas every year, it’s one of weird). It makes excellent fire starters for camping.
I save the actual make up part of my eye liner shavings and press them into an old eye shadow pot, take a liner brush dipped into a very small amount of micellar water and use it to eye line.


tia September 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm

wow! finally a way to use lint! thanks!


Mary W September 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

If you use a steel to give your knives a few swipes after every use and are careful to wash, dry and put away the knives where they don’t get dinged by other flatware and utensils, you can keep that professional edge pretty much indefinitely. Starting with good quality knives really helps, too. I found a full set of Henckels knives at Goodwill a few years ago and absolutely love them.


Kim in Maryland September 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

1. Found organic salted caramel maple syrup on the clearance rack at the grocery store for 75% off, $1.50 for 8.5 oz. bottle. Love real maple syrup! Bought 2.
2. Found 25¢ in a Coinstar machine.
3. Did 8 merchandising jobs today and have 12 scheduled for tomorrow. College fund!
4. Sold a book on Amazon.
5. Picked up a bag of quilting fabric from a fellow Freecycler. I’ll pass most of it on to my GF who sews pillowcases for kids in the hospital. I actually met my friend several years ago through Freecycle. She’s one of the best things I’ve gotten in my 12 years as a freecyclist!


Lola September 8, 2017 at 9:18 am

Love how you found a new friend!!


Kim in Maryland September 8, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Thanks! She’s a gem!


Tracy September 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm

FFT Travel edition installment no. 2:
In Stockholm, today is day 5. Absolutely amazing and beautiful city but very expensive. Trip obviously not frugal but a joy nonetheless. And we’re trying to make it as frugal as we can without cutting into our enjoyment:
1. Bought the Stockholm Pass before we came which provides entry to many museums, boat tours and other sites. Today is our last day to use it (good for 5 days). We are saving 50% of what we would have paid for our activities without the pass.
2. Bought 7 day transit passes for around $35 each and using Stockholm’s excellent transit system (and walking) to get around.
3. Have free activities planned for our last 3 days after Stockholm passes expire.
4. Eating 2 meals/day (breakfast and either lunch or dinner) at our airbnb using our kitchen. Stockholm restaurants are notoriously expensive so only eating out 1 x day (we could eat in all the time but enjoy trying the restaurants – I think that’s a fun part of travel)
5. Continuing our love of thrift store shopping, I bought a gorgeous (small!) piece of mid century pottery by a well known Swedish potter for $13 and a cool bracelet for $5 so far!
Frugal fail: we both packed in carry ons and a little over a week into our trip our jeans were very stretched out. There is only ONE laundromat in Stockholm and it is not near us so I dropped off the jeans at a local laundry and asked for next day service. Stupidly I did not take time to ascertain cost and when I picked up our clean (and pressed) jeans last night I was presented with a bill for (the equivalent of) $50 – ouch!!!! Should have continued wearing baggy jeans…


tia September 7, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Your towel talk made me remember how my mom sent me off to the university dorm with towels, sheets, and blankets she had since before I was born.

I found a dime today outside the dollar store…1 tenth of my purchase of a kit to fix my glasses.

I’ve really been batching my errands and staying home more since gas is 40 cents a gallon higher because of refinery shut downs in the gulf.

I found an unopened package of green tea bags in the waaay back of the cabinet!
yay tea and toast on these cool pre-fall mornings


Phyllis September 8, 2017 at 3:54 am

I generally lurk and enjoy all the posts and comments. Manymanymany really good ideas, so thank you all.

Word of warning about the corelle dishes–they are amazingly indestructible. However, when they DO break, ohdeargod they SHATTER into a gazillion shards. I suspect the brand new ones may not do that, but the older ones that you score might.

Certainly not a reason not to use your great score; just be aware.
And thank you for all your posts. I *AM* out here, just quiet and soaking it all up.


shelly September 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

Agreed on the Corelle dishes shattering into a million pieces! Dropped a bowl once and it was everywhere!


Bettypants September 8, 2017 at 4:08 am

1. School has started, so I no longer have to drive my son to and from his day camp.
2. Stopped at a yard sale and spent $1.50 on a set of Under Armour wristbands and Isotoner knit gloves, both with tags attached. These are my favorite gloves, but always developed holes in the fingers, so I stopped buying them. Sold the wristbands on a FB board.
3. Also sold two hoodies, a lamp, a set of nested bowls, and 3 items for a friend on the FB sale boards.
4. Forced myself to finish painting the walls in the stairway so I could put the ladder and paint cans away. I am the worst at letting projects linger instead of wrapping them up. Once that was done, I hung pictures/art in the hallway and it looks so clean and finished.
5. Picked up sale chicken and a free freebies at Kroger. When I returned my cart to the corral, I found a coupon for free meaty stick cat treats, which our dogs will love.


Mrs. Picky Pincher September 8, 2017 at 5:15 am

I’m sorry about all the fires that are happening; it’s been a terrible summer for natural disasters. Ugh.

This week:

1. I finally got around to hemming my thrift store pants and now they fit just right.

2. I landed a few extra freelancing gigs, which means a little bit of money on the side. 🙂

3. We’re going by our local nursery this weekend to pick up seeds to start our fall/winter garden.

4. I looked over the sale papers and planned out next week’s extreme couponing trip. I’m trying to build up my stockpile of medicine again now that we’ve gone through all of it.

5. I looked through Pinterest for some creative DIY (cheap) Halloween ideas. I’ve decided to be a Crazy Cat Lady. 🙂


Michelle H. September 8, 2017 at 8:25 am

I grab Corell bowls and plates whenever I find them at thrift stores and yard sales. They stack together in a small space and take up almost no room I the tiny kitchen at our cabin.


Cindy in the South I September 8, 2017 at 8:27 am

1.I have a mandatory work conference on the Alabama coast next week (we are supposed to be on the “dry” side of the hurricane, and not really affected by it, unless it turns our way in which case the conference will be cancelled, and I will get the heck outta Dodge) so, I am trying to eat down what I have in the fridge. It has made for some rather interesting meals…lol. 2. I ate my lunch I brought from home and drinking water from my thermos. 3. Gas prices are outrageous..$2.79, where they were $1.99 gal. So, I am strictly driving to and from work. 4. I paid for unlimited talk and text only on my flip phone. There was no need to add the extra $10 for internet. It is too hard to access from my flip phone. 5. My electric bill continues to be low, under $45 a month. I anticipate it will be this way for another couple of months and I so enjoy that.


cathy September 8, 2017 at 9:35 am

1. Younger son’s birthday was last weekend. He wanted “steak & cake” so we grilled at home, added in roasted potatoes, green salad, and homemade chocolate cake. Redux on the cake tomorrow when he celebrates with friends. I’m also making homemade individual pizzas for the boys. For years, both my kids’ ideal birthday is playing video games w/ friends and eating pizza & cake. To make it more interesting, I think they’re adding in a quick version of D&D.
2. Harvesting lots from the garden. I try to grow the varieties we like that are also more expensive to buy: heirloom tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, haricots verts green beans, purple garlic, Italian plums, and plenty of fresh herbs, especially rosemary, thyme, and basil.
3. (As always) reading a huge stack of library books. Last time I was surfing the holdings, I found a few new mysteries by some of my favorite authors, and discovered that Sue Grafton’s latest, Y is for Yesterday, is out. I’ve moved up from 45 to 39 on the hold list (which is now up to almost 60 hold requests).
4. Learned that our electric company is offering free wattsmart starter kits. Promptly requested mine and should receive 4 free LED light bulbs any day.
5. As I pull more items for my (hopefully) ginormous yard sale, I’m also refreshing my decor by moving things around. Latest was to move a print I love of an ocean landscape from the guest room to our bedroom. For someone who lives in a landlocked state, it’s a way to extend the relaxing beach vacation we had last month.


Kathleen September 8, 2017 at 10:45 am

1. I picked up another longer shift at work, and lengthened the 2 shifts I already had to more than double my hours at my little part-time job.
2. I’ve been selling more home-canned goods, so I’m actually making a little bit more, just for the purpose of selling it.
3. My job is at a produce market, and they let me bring home the stuff not pretty or big enough to sell. So I made another batch of sweet relish, more pickled beets, salsa, tomato soup with the rejects. And I have been freezing corn, a couple of ears at a time. We’ll have these things all winter, for the cost of the lids, the electricity and vinegar/spices. I grow everything else myself.
4. I’m getting another load to take to the consignment clothing store.
5. I found a few more great children’s books for 25cents, and will take them to the used book desk at the local book store with my next bag-full. I use my credits for Christmas gifts—that store sells books, new and used (and they are in pristine condition), stationary-type items, kitchen gadgets, ornaments, and some unusual novelties. They also have a coffee shop—what ever I don’t use to get gifts, I give the rest to daughter #2 who frequents the place often.


susanna d September 10, 2017 at 11:43 am

#3 – Even if it’s not the pretty enough to sell, free produce is a really nice job perk!


Katy in Africa September 8, 2017 at 11:13 am

Hope the fires and smoke get under control!
1. We’ve been out of town since Sunday, but have managed to eat out/take out only 4 times, but we only had to pay twice. Once was a fancy smancy restaurant, but someone else paid, and the other 2 times was pretty affordable sandwiches from a place that’s walking distance.
2. I used newspaper to soak up grease from fried potatoes, we don’t usually buy paper towels. And actually the piece of newspaper was used to wrap our bread in we bought. So it got used at least three times before going into the trash (read by somone, used to wrap up bread loaves, and then used to de-grease my potatoes!).
3. We drive home tomorrow, I already have some water bottles in the freezer for the trip home so we won’t need to buy water.
4. I was feeling the need to do some exercising as I haven’t been very active this week and some of my clothes are getting tight, so I just did some simple exercises like crunches and squats, no equipment or gym needed…and my legs are sore today!
5. For our restful week, we did pay for lodging, but other than that we’ve mostly entertained ourselves with the really good internet that’s included in the price.


Debbie September 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm

FFT, post-Hurricane Harvey edition:
1. Used Kohl’s cash and a coupon to buy new underwear for a local charity serving the flood victims with clothes. They are completely full with used clothing donations, but everyday there is a request for more new underwear and socks!
2. Cleared out my stash of new toiletries, baby wipes (kids have been out of diapers for several years now) to donate to flood victims.
3. Shopped Costco for the on-sale cleaning supplies and non-perishables for the school collection drives going on this week.
4. Washed and line-dried several loads of laundry.
5. Offered to work last week during the height of the flooding while many therapists couldn’t make it in to the hospital (and I could, safely) as well as on Labor Day and earned an extra padded paycheck this week, which will help pay for all the extra things I’ve been buying to donate!


janine September 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Debbie: Good for you with your practical help to hurricane victims!


Ruby September 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm

1. Did all the usual this week: Packed my lunch and drinks from home, wore at least one thrifted or secondhand item of clothing a day, drove lightly, rack dried my laundry.
2. Dug around in my button box and miraculously found 8 matching buttons to replace the worn-out fabric buttons on a favorite thrifted blouse.
3. Family gave a thumbs up to the lightweight bath towels and hand towels I sewed from a thrifted flannel sheet last week. They dry fast in our bathroom, which has poor ventilation.
4. Enjoyed a couple of handfuls of free delicious figs from our dwarf black fig tree. After five years of nurturing, it has produced a bumper crop.
5. Enjoyed free coffee and water at work and snagged a wonderful music CD from the freebie box at work.


Juhli September 8, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Best frugal thing today was that we met up with cousins who were nearby as they finished up a driving vacation and headed to the airport. They gave us an ice chest complete with a bottle of wine, 5 beers, Tillamook cheese unopened, a lemon and bottled water. The visit was actually the best part as they live on the opposite side of the country.


sarah m September 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

Just moved back to DC, where the rent is much higher, even while splitting with a roommate. I’m also waiting for my new job to start, so without a paycheck.
-Baked french bread, sliced it, and froze it, have been working my way through it. I went to a potluck last night, and baked a foccacia-like bread with garlic and za’atar, which was a hit. I also turned my mediocre peaches into a peach crumble, which I’ve never made before but came out awesome.
-I brought some herbs from my old garden, planted in a bucket filled with compost that I emptied out of my composter for moving, and they seem to be transitioning well. I’ll be mostly container gardening here, so restarting the composter to have good soil.
-My sister gave me a spider plant that had spawned off of hers as a housewarming gift.
-Got a new library card, and got on DC’s overdrive site for free ebooks and audiobooks.

A few fails: splurged on flowering plants to cheer up the view out my window of a brick wall. I wanted to get that done while it’s still warm enough to enjoy them. I’ve also been working my way through pre-employment paperwork, and I’ve been going to coffeeshops a few times to distract myself while doing that. I might try the library next week. Oh well.


Teresa September 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

1. Work: I ordered cookies to use as promotional gifts but they arrived melted and smashed during the heatwave so the vendor sent a FREE box and generously allowed me to keep the smushed ones, which I should not eat but will share with friends. (These cookies come hermetically sealed, otherwise I would have made them myself. My thinking is that people don’t need another tchotchke, but they can always use a cookie.) I did not bring anything home from my soon-to-be-closed place of business because it would just add to my already unmanageable “stuff”.
2. Food: Been “pantry cooking” this week … not delicious but inexpensive. Surprised to find a couple tomatoes growing on the vine (we had blossom drop for two years now). They will make a nice salad this week.
3. Savings: $5 coupon for dog food brought the price down a bit. Will use my $12 Kmart surprise points, Staples $5 Marketing Tools gift and Petco free cat litter coupon today.
4. Finance: I pretty much worked out how I will afford to live the next few months and until I get another job, since my job of 28 years has come to an end.
5. NCA: I did not buy anything I did not need, saved plastic bags, brought my lunch on my last day of work, drank free coffee, and once again vowed to take old clothing and sell it to the local resale store (which I should probably do right now).


Sandra September 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm

You said that your business is closing so were the cookies a “thank you” gift for customers?


Alexandra September 12, 2017 at 8:08 am

Good for you for doing the math on affording to live the next few months since your job ended. 28 years! Wow!
I find facing head on instead of worrying and wondering helps me feel better. During the 2008 fiasco, we were hurting bad but hung in there. We made it a bit of a game to see how far things could go. We also focused on what we had, counted blessings, journaled.. and vodka. I will admit there was some vodka in there.


Miss Lani Make Do September 9, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Let’s see if I can get five…
1. Dropping a friend home from dinner the other night I noticed petrol was the cheapest it had been in a couple of weeks. Took the chance to fill up to try and tackle petrol costs.
2. That same dinner my friend and I attended was catered and they sent me home with a bunch of leftovers 😀 lovely to have some fancy food I didn’t have to cook!
3. I do a lot of driving but I’m learning to batch errands so I make fewer trips. Yesterday I visited my mum and then my grandmother, as my grandmother’s house is on the way home from my parents’. It was lovely to spend time with them both.
4. I’ve hit my December targets (and then some) for both my savings and paying down my student loan. I’m so pleased!
5. Had to record a voice over for a theatre show I’m doing, and my housemate happened to have a stunning $2000 microphone for doing podcasts. I borrowed that little beauty and my voice over sounds so crisp and professional!


Lynn D. September 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Voice of experience here, Katy. Don’t overdo outfitting your sons’ kitchens. When I helped my son outfit his first kitchen I bought him things I wanted him to use, not in fact things he would use. Don’t buy a lot of plates, glasses and silverware, he’ll just let the dishes pile up. Let him get by with minimal equipment and then in a month or so, ask what he wishes he’d had and then go back to Goodwill. Maybe I’m wrong about your son and he’ll prepare well balanced and nutritious meals for himself, but that was definitely not my son when he first started out. It is only in his earlly thirties that he’s becoming a creative cook.


Mary W September 9, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Good idea to not overdo the number of plates, glasses and flatware. Limited numbers means they wash their dishes – or buy paper plates – boo! Since our dishwasher is broken and only used as a dishrack, I even limit how many plates, etc, I have on my shelves. My daughter can hoard a LOT of dirty dishes in her room if I don’t stay on top of things, and running out of dishes makes me stay on top of it all.


Mary W September 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

I love that crock, Katy. Do you ask for a price break when you buy something really heavy? I’ve found the PDX GWO is good about it – I wanted to buy several reams of copy paper with a subtle background print on each page, but the stack weighed 12 pounds and would have been about the same as buying paper at WM. I asked for a price break and got the whole stack for $4. Yes, please!

I’m gonna have to dig deep and think here:
1. I didn’t go to garage sales today, even though I really, really wanted to.
2. I played Bunco this morning, which isn’t necessarily frugal, but does allow me to interact with a great group of women and build community ties (how’s that for rationalizing spending $10?). I won a pretty serving tray that I really like and can use, and rode with my friend and neighbor, whose hubby brought us all cinnamon rolls. I came home with some yummy leftovers.
3. Same friend and I are cooking up rainy weather exercise plans – turning a storage room in their garage into an exercise room. I’m contributing my elliptical/stepper, which I find boring to use on my own, and don’t have room for at home. I was recently gifted a recumbent exercise bike that I DO use at home, so I’m happy to find a place to put the other exercise equipment. Both of us are more likely to exercise if we have a buddy to talk to while we do, so it’s a win-win for both of us. Oh, and I have a ton of extra paint that we can mix into a custom tint if we want to paint the walls in our exercise room.
4. I worked for hours yesterday clearing out a lean-to and half of the main shed it’s attached to, and then stacking 20 sheets of plywood in the dry. Good thing, since it’s RAINING!!!!! Of course, some of the wood I ripped out of the shed is now getting wet, but it’s supposed to turn hot again in a few days, so it’ll all dry out again and I can then cut and stack it in the woodsheds for winter heat. Also cut the suckers off a plum tree, cut up some of the wood I pulled out of the garden (rotten raised bed frames) for firewood, and did a hundred and one other small things to clean up the barnyard and grounds, logging nearly 5 miles on my (free) pedometer app on my phone. Free, hard exercise, burned a lot of calories and stayed too busy to overeat, all good for my waistline and got the plywood undercover so it’ll be in good shape when I’m ready to use it.Win- win-win!
5. Finally got the rebar mesh, T-post and crossbars put around my 2nd tomato bed, and put sheers (window curtains) around both beds, keeping the poultry from being able to eat anymore of my tomatoes! This is either a frugal win or frugal fail, depending on how you look at it. The chickens have been dining on the ripening tomatoes – hey, even the green ones at times_ but now that they can’t see the tomatoes, I should get to enjoy the tons of tomatoes still on all the plants.

Bonus: several more of my hens have brought out new families in the last week. This morning, one brought out 9 babies, and when I inspected her nest, found 2 eggs that were duds and one that had pipped, but not unzipped. I removed the shell, figuring the chick was probably dead, but willing to look and see. I was surprised to find a very weak, but still breathing chick! I brought it in the house, ran some warm water over it and left it in the care of my daughter, since my neighbor was there to pick me up. I came home to find a peeping, happy little baby, still weak, but able to sit up and take wobbly steps. Ground up some of our chicken feed in the Vita-Mix and s/he is now eating and drinking. I hope to reunite him with his siblings in a few days, but if not, we have a pet for a while. Feels good to know I didn’t just toss that egg. 🙂


susanna d September 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I love your #4 win-win-win! It’s great when doing productive work around the home/yard gives the added bonus of great exercise (says the person whose days often seem to involve moving piles of wood…)


Mary W September 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Thanks, susanna d – from another person whose days often seem to involve moving piles of wood, lol!


Amanda September 9, 2017 at 5:16 pm

1) We accepted a homeexchange to Paris! We are budgeting $6K for our family of five to see the City of Light. $5K will cover the flights. The other grand will be our budget for two weeks. The exchange includes a car, so we will need gas for any trips out of the city. Sightseeing will be cheap as our children are all under seven. Food will be out of our kitchen–I’m already dreaming of French bread and cheese and local produce! Souvenirs will be very, very simple.

2) I found a nice jacket and church pants for our oldest at a consignment store.

3) My husband used a DSW coupon and gift card to get shoes for himself and a pair of on-clearance sandals for our little girl for next summer.

4) I accepted a reservation today for the last Airbnb day we had open in September.

5) Now that I have finally lost my baby weight I decided to go through the back of my closet. It is full of things that I was holding on to them in case with no hope they would ever fit again. But they do! It’s like meeting old friends again. And it’s way cheaper than buying more clothes.


Mary W September 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Oh, Amanda, Paris! Experiences over things for the win, yes! And I totally get the meeting old friends in the closet feeling – I’ve dropped about 40 lbs so far and am thrilled when I can get back into clothes I haven’t worn in years. I know the thinking is supposed to be that if you haven’t worn them in a year, you should move them out, but I’d have had to spend money to replace them when I lost weight, so I help onto them, and I’m sure glad I did. Now to find new homes for the clothes I’m too thin to wear, as I NEVER want to weigh that much again. 😮


KJD509 September 9, 2017 at 6:50 pm

1) Sent a son back to college today with kitchen supplies, towels, bedding and furniture collected around the house and salvaged from our rental – amazing how much stuff is left behind whenever a group of tenants moves out. And because his oldest sister was driving him back, there was no Costco trip with me to fill the fridge at the other end. Scrounged around the pantry and freezer and managed to send 3 bags of groceries and a cooler of frozen goodies to get him started.
2) The smoke has been dreadful where we are, too, so to and from work two days this week is all the driving I’ve done. It’s still exhausting, especially because there was a surprising amount of smoky air in my office, but we managed just fine with no grocery store trips or other errands.
3) Watching the hurricane coverage with a mix of sympathy and horror. For years I’ve insisted on keeping cable tv – just the basics – so we can keep track of weather or other emergencies. Realized this time around that actually, we get all that stuff on our phones now, but it nonetheless makes me feel like I’m getting my money’s worth all at once. Will reconsider once this is over.
4) Middle daughter got a phone call from a number she didn’t recognize but answered it anyway. It was someone from her major department at her new university offering her a sizable scholarship. Assuming the paperwork arrives in the mail as promised next week, and on top of the other scholarships she has worked very hard to earn, this promises to get her through school for just a couple of thousand dollars. For four years. She is thrilled.
5) Didn’t buy a gold-plated apartment in the sky, but did sign a contract to rent a home in our soon-to-be-new-city until we sell ours here and can buy that one outright. My lovely hubs charmed the ancient owners who had had it built 40 years ago – they know they need to sell it but they can’t really bear to give it up. He convinced them we’d love it almost as much as they did, and Littlest was at her adorable best, so we have come to an agreement. There are probably less expensive options out there, but this is a fair deal for both parties and I am so relieved to have it done.


VanessaKC September 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm

We had a fast, frugal and somewhat funky stay for Labor Day weekend at a cheap motel on the Osage River. We get home, unload, blah x3…take my dog out and turn both ankles on the stairs. This week was a wash for me. Haven’t spent but also haven’t earned.
1. We have wonderful neighbors. They brought food and helped pick my son up from school.
2. I always overcook before trips, because coming home to cook is frustrating. Had lots of freezer options to ease meal prep.
3. Watched free, odd and often entertaining tv stuff while I focused on RICE. I miss work and was happy to spot old VWs in the programs I watched. Particularly in The Toy with Richard Pryor. His wife in the flick was a low income lawyer who headed the Klan Watch in a sweet 79 vw bus. The little stuff, man.
4. Used a rolling office chair to minimize weight on the ankles. Scored this chair off a curb couple years back. It enabled me to roast a turkey breast and steam broccoli. Boring but helped us get through.
5. My mom kept my son last night. She brought me the rest of her epsom salt. Smells like chamomile. I’m happy to have a job that keeps my core strong, because that’s been a huge asset to my healing. Hoping to get back to work Monday. Even though my mobility is limited, that bus ain’t gonna restore itself. Plus I miss my regular life. Here’s to a positive growth for all!

Meditations and prayers to all experiencing natural catastrophes at this time. Although I’m not in a position to donate monetarily at this time, I am able to donate food and toiletries. Not much but I hope it helps.


Bee September 10, 2017 at 10:19 am

Your help — all help — is appreciated at times like this. Kind thoughts and prayers are especially needed. I hope you heal quickly.


Mia September 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

Oh my gosh. So sorry about your ankles. I totally sympathize. 2 weeks ago I fell in my house, tripped over a stair and broke my left arm and bad contusions on my right knee. We have a 2 story house, so am just now able to go upstairs again. Been on the couch downstairs, Missed 2 weeks of work too. Thank goodness my husband is a saint, but I hate feeling so helpless. I hope your healing is speedy. Hugs to you.


Cindy September 13, 2017 at 7:58 am

Gonna crow a little: this afternoon we’re leaving for 2 weeks in England. We are two senior citizens on an almost poverty level income but because we are frugal, we have saved enough for this trip. Makes the nonconsumer lifestyle much sweeter. Cheerio!


Savannah September 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

I wonder if the Dollar Store oxyclean will work on socks…


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