Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 23, 2017 · 86 comments

  1. I made sure to buy my Halloween candy over the weekend when Fred Meyer (Kroger) ran a special e-coupon where all candy was 50%-off with a $10 purchase. I stacked this deal with coupons and ended up spending just $13.48 on a mountain of candy. (There’s enough that I’ll likely return a couple of unopened bags after Halloween.) However, my not so secret money saving hack is that I annually store our candy with the next door neighbors so we’re not tempted to snack on it. (Step one is admitting you have a problem.)

  2. I sold some Jonathan Adler bookends through eBay, I sold a vintage suitcase and board game through Craigslist, I listed a couple of newly thrifted items on eBay and then I renewed all my random online listings. I also attended a paid four hour meeting at work.

  3. We celebrated my mother’s 75th birthday on Saturday, which was marked by a luxurious restaurant meal courtesy of my stepfather. Instead of a physical gift, I’ll be treating my mother to a birthday day of adventures to create memories instead of clutter.

  4. My son was too sick to attend a soccer game, so my husband sold his ticket for $27, I bought a new tea kettle at the Goodwill Outlet as our old one had a broken whistle, and then I listed our old one in my buy nothing group, I then gave away a sleeve of disposable cups through the same buy nothing group, I arranged a USPS porch pickup to avoid a post office errand and I’m wearing the same thrifted sweater and jeans that’s pretty much my dull mom uniform. Whether you call it the elevated term of “capsule wardrobe” or simply just own hardly any clothing, it’s still a frugal choice. (By the way, I do not have a “capsule wardrobe,” I simply have zero interest in fashion.)

  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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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen October 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm

I love how you leave the Halloween candy next door! Very smart! I don’t buy ours until maybe the 30th because I too am too tempted by it, plus CVS often has it half off as it gets close to Halloween. Win, win.

Love your “capsule wardrobe” take, too. We are living in such absurd, scary times, we need all the laughs we can get!


Marilyn October 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I am also one who has to wait until the last minute to buy Halloween candy. I know my weaknesses. The other thing I do is buy a bag of candy which I don’t particularly like. Not there’s much candy I don’t care for.


Kathy Hairston October 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm

1. Decided to give away school supplies I bought with coupons this Fall rather than candy for Halloween
2. Packed up a birthday gift for a friend out of my gift closet
3. Used liquid body soap to pretreat some stains
4. Eating breakfast and lunch out of the panty


Kathy Hairston October 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Should be pantry not panty


Cindi October 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm



Jennifer October 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Haha, thanks for the laugh. 🙂


Joanna October 25, 2017 at 4:05 am



Jennifer October 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

1. Last night, my kids and I did our annual pumpkin carving. These pumpkins came from a local pumpkin patch field trip I went on with my youngest daughter. Not technically free because we did have to pay admission to the patch and kids activities, but kept me from having to buy one somewhere else.
2. I made a loaf of pumpkin guts bread, sounds strange but so moist and delicious, and roasted the pumpkin seeds to waste as little as possible of the pumpkins…so good!
3. Oh, and I used those same tea lights to light up our jack-o-lantern that I keep talking about on here. My husband bought them years ago to spell out, “will you marry me?” on the beach. I still have a lifetime supply of tea lights! He’s a keeper.
4. I have enjoyed watching the Halloween DVD’s my kids and I picked out from the library for our family movie nights. My library has such as large assortment of DVD’s it feels like a Blockbuster store yet is completely free.
5. My daughter just moved and needed a washer and dryer. I had my old washer and dryer in the storage building that worked fine when we put it there. My husband just had a newer set when he moved in years ago. My daughter complained that they probably wouldn’t work because they had been in the building too long. My husband complained that we would have to buy new hoses and a dryer vent hose. All this complaining today..sheesh. I cleaned them up really well and we moved the washer and dryer to her new house. We opened the door on the washer and there were some hoses. Opened the dryer door and there was a dryer vent hose. Guess those hoses were presents from past me to future me. When we hooked it all up, it works perfectly.
6. I put a bag of great Northern beans in the crockpot that I got in a clearance bin for 25 cents over a year ago and threw in a ham bone from last Christmas. This will be great to eat for the next few busy weeknights.

I did start putting my FFT in my notepad on my phone and turns out I actually had a 6th thing this time! Not doing much to challenge my memory, though.
Happy birthday to your mom, Katy!


Kim in Maryland October 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Jennifer, for the past few years I have kept track of my frugalities on my phone in ColorNote. Every Sunday I start a new list. I love ColorNote because I can color code my notes so all my frugal notes are in green. When I’m discouraged, I can read it and see what I did at the same time of year the last few years. I find this very motivating. I also keep track of all found money in its own note and all things I get for free.


Jennifer October 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Great idea to be able to reflect back, thanks!


FrugalStrong October 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Way to show those naysayers!


Amanda S. October 24, 2017 at 7:37 am

How did you prepare the pumpkin guts? Did you blend them? I’d love the recipe if you had the time to post it. And I’m sure my two little boys would get a kick out of eating pumpkin “guts”.


Jennifer October 24, 2017 at 9:10 am

Hey, Amanda! As my kids carved the pumpkins,
I separated the seeds from the stringy stuff. I had a few hard chunks of pumpkin threw in from where we carved out the eyes, mouth, etc. Because of that, I did throw all the guts in the blender to make it smooth. The recipe is pretty simple and I will post a link. The only changes I made was I used baking powder because I was out of baking soda,cinnamon with a little allspice in place of nutmeg. I did throw in some pecans but it is also good without them. I also added a thick layer of cream cheese frosting on top. This recipe is pretty forgiving like banana bread is. I only had enough guts for one loaf because we had small pumpkins so I halved this recipe. It’s actually really yummy! If you like pumpkin seeds at all they are so delicious toasted. I boil mine in salty water for a few minutes, drain, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt/pepper, spread on a cookie sheet, and they can toast while your bread is baking. Enjoy!


Amanda Stokeld October 24, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Thank you Jennifer! It all sounds wonderful! I will be trying this!


Teresa October 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Very good idea about the Halloween candy. Though it was stored in the very back of my closet, I already opened the tin of Christmas Cookies that I bought for my mom! I am trying to figure out what I can use to fill the other half of the cookie tin so I can gift mom the still wrapped other half of the cookies. However, I had leftovers for lunch and made a test batch of pickled eggs (potential Xmas gifts) so I don’t feel terrible about eating/opening the cookies, just a little guilty.


Sherry October 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Stamps, movie tickets, gift card for the grocery store…..


Jennifer October 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I don’t have enough clothes to call it a wardrobe or a capsule and I’m down to only one pair of pants again. Lol!


Miss Lani Make Do October 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm

1. Organised to have dinner with a friend and realised I had plenty of food from my weekly cook up, so invited her over to mine instead of going out. We had delicious chilli and then chocolate cake for no extra $$.
2. Have been walking as much as possible to postpone filling up my car with petrol (it’s very expensive at the moment!).
3. Sold a skirt I wasn’t wearing to a friend. I probably could’ve gotten far more for it on eBay but this way it gets worn and it doesn’t take up wardrobe space.
4. Trying to do my washing in work hours to take advantage of cheaper rates.
5. Contacted my real estate agent to confirm I can renew my lease next year. The price is right, the location is perfect and my roommates are on board. Knowing where I’ll be living and being able to budget accordingly is certainly frugal!


Bee October 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I do not buy candy until a day or two before Halloween. If I buy it early, my husband and son eat it all, so I end up buying it twice. However, I never thought about leaving with a neighbor. Hmmmmm……

1) I bought a $50 gas card for only $40.

2) I took advantage of a stock-up sale at the grocery store on meat. I had lost a lot of food as a result of the power outages during and after Hurricane Irma , so it’s nice to have food in the freezer again. However, when reviewing my receipt, I realized I was overcharged. I returned yo the storm today and was given a $25 refund.

3) My older son took a hunting and fishing trip out West with his cousin. They have gifted me with salmon, halibut and elk. Such luxuries!

4) Speaking of wardrobes, my extremely fashionable sister gave me some really cute tops that she was no longer wearing. I am pleased to have them. I wish that I didn’t like clothes.

5) I stopped at GW yesterday and bought a beautiful Missoni vase for resale. I listed it on eBay. I now have 18 items listed. I wish sales will pick up. I have been working my side hustle and getting ready for my garage sale.


Tracy October 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Bee I like clothes too and it is my frugal Achilles heel. I do a lot of thrift store shopping though and am moving to a wardrobe based on neutrals as I get older. I try and avoid “fast fashion” items in favor of “recycling” well made clothes but I do love the thrill of the hunt (as well as looking well pulled together).


Bee October 24, 2017 at 4:19 am

My life has become simpler over the last decade, so I don’t need a great deal. I also love to shop at the thrift store. I try to keep a list of things I need, so I don’t end up with a lot of things that I don’t wear. Jeans are the hardest things for me to find. Despite the huge selection of jeans that most store have, I find it difficult to search through the massive quantities for a good fitting and flattering pair. Most Goodwills do not size and there must be 1000 pairs out at any one time. Any suggestions?


Joanna October 25, 2017 at 4:11 am

I quickly move through Goodwill racks by mostly just feeling fabric. I just give every piece of clothing a quick touch and when I feel fabric that indicates a quality piece (in the case of jeans, something that has a thicker, sturdier weight instead of that horrible mostly spandex stuff), then I look at sizes, brands, and cut. This helps move through racks of clothes quickly.


Tracy October 25, 2017 at 7:39 am

Luckily the Goodwills in Oregon do size. I agree it’s still hard to go through all the jeans. I tend to walk along looking at the bottoms of the legs and also feeling the fabric like Joanna. I am looking for not too long and not too flared so this eliminates a lot. For sweaters, tops etc. I just walk along visually scanning racks looking for fabrics I like and then looking closer at those that catch my eye. I always say that thrift store shopping works best for those who, like me, enjoy the “thrill of the hunt” and find it fun, otherwise it’s overwhelming and frustrating…

Tracy October 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm

1. I also took advantage of the Freddy’s half off on top of sale prices and coupons to buy our Halloween candy (which is hidden from my husband in a secret location in the garage). Also got mountains for a little over $10.
2. Mostly stayed in this weekend except for daughter’s volleyball game (free!), high school open house visit (free!), a hike with friends (free!), a support group meeting (free!) and a grocery shopping trip (NOT free!). Actually got a LOT for my money at grocery store though by making a list from what was on sale, only buying what was on my list, and using coupons for a couple of cleaning products (dish detergent and laundry soap). Then cleaned house (free!)
3. Made delicious homemade butternut squash soup with coconut milk and thai red curry paste yesterday, brought for lunch today. Also prepped everything for chicken and dumplings which I will make tomorrow after work. And used the rest of the chicken for an Asian chicken salad to go with the soup for last nights’ dinner. So much easier to resist eating out or getting takeout when I have food ready or nearly ready after work.
4. Returned library books on time to avoid fine.
5. Watched shows on Netflix for already paid for entertainment.


Cindy in the South I October 24, 2017 at 10:23 am

Could you post your butternut squash soup recipe please? It sounds delicious!


Jennifer October 25, 2017 at 4:22 am

Cindy, if you do try that recipe, Dollar Tree has coconut milk! It’s so expensive at the grocery store. I pick up a few cans each time I go to keep on hand.


Cindy in the South I October 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

Thanks Jennifer!


Tracy October 25, 2017 at 7:36 am

I made it up here’s what I did:

*peeled and cut into cubes one butternut squash (smallish-to-mediumish in size)
*diced one large sweet onion and sautéed in a little oil
*added one can of thai red curry paste (I get at local Asian grocery store, here’s a link to the kind I buy, cheaper at the store though.
* add the butternut squash and one can of chicken or vegetable stock and simmer until tender (20-30 minutes)
*cool and puree in food processor in batches
*put back in pot and add another can of stock and two cans of coconut milk and heat through.

Yummy and if you make with vegetable stock it’s vegan


Cindy in the South I October 25, 2017 at 8:42 am

Thanks Tracy


tonya October 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

1) I am off of work this week and enjoying a staycation. Catching up on sleep, bills, budgeting, cooking at home, and enjoying time with my kids and hubby are my plans.
2) Finished my second library book of the staycation.
3) Dinner is in the Crock-Pot. I am eating down the freezer and tonight is clearance chicken drumsticks that were $4.79 for a family pack. Will use tonight’s leftover chicken in some tacos for tomorrow.
4) I am tired! Started working more hours in clinic this month and it’s catching up with me. I figure rest this week is a frugal choice for future me, hopefully I can avoid some of the nasty stuff going around. I work in Pediatrics….
5) I feel perfectly content and that is priceless!!


Linda October 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Actually, Katy, I find your zero interest in fashion refreshing!


KJD509 October 23, 2017 at 5:24 pm

1) Spent the weekend at our beach place because it was the condo owners’ meeting. Counts as a work day for tax purposes and no lodging costs.
2) Took all food from home except ice cream and a couple of items we forgot.
3) Held my temper (barely) as hubs, a couple of other owners, and I took turns asking questions, the answers to which made it clear – eventually – that a few newer owners are subsidizing the upkeep of the complex, while the long-term owners coast without contributing fairly. It will likely take YEARS to fix, but because we managed to keep civil tongues, at least we’ve made a start.
4) Needed a place with good wifi to work today between dropping Littlest at school late after an eye doctor appt and picking her up early to get glasses. Four hours at the library fit the bill . . . except apparently I was only allowed to park for 2 hours so got a ticket. I’m trying to convince myself it was nonetheless cheaper than a coffee shop, but I don’t think it’s true.
5) Asked for all the costs up front for the eyeglasses. When it came time to actually place the order, costs were more than 4x what I’d been quoted, even with our excellent insurance. Walked out without ordering anything and will contact the provider main office to explain why we’re taking our business elsewhere.

Littlest was disappointed – she was looking forward to glasses in an hour instead of waiting a week – but she was doing the math in her head while the pushy salesguy was “showing his work” to me, and when we got to the specific item that he’d, shall we say, misunderestimated, she added it faster than he did and was shocked at the lie. She definitely understood why we walked out.


janine October 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Re #5 – what a disappointment – good that you are looking elsewhere. Too bad daughter can’t have her glasses on time, but you must be proud that she was able to understand the reasoning behind your decision.


Caroline October 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm

1. Started intermittent fasting again. For me this boils down to basically skipping breakfast which means fewer calories and fewer food costs. Let’s hope I can stick to it this time!
2. Gave my in-laws a side chair we never used. Frugal for them and space in the house for us.
3. Did an embarrassing live chat with my health insurance company to request they reissue a copay reimbursement that my dog *actually* ate.
4. I am a little hesitant to admit this, but Blue Apron is a splurge that I love and budget for. Insert various silly excuses and justifications here. Last week they forgot to include a protein, so I emailed them, even though I am a vegetarian and it didn’t really bother me. They credited our account 20 bucks!
5. I changed our Blue Apron settings back to 100% vegetarian. It doesn’t save any money, but my husband the carnivore actually enjoys them and it saves from possible future screw-ups like the one in number 4.


Isabelle October 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm

#1: do you find you want to eat more ate lunch and dinner? I am sometimes tempted to try (I would skip lunch), for health and weight loss, but I think I would eighter lack energy during the day and/or be crazy “hangry” at dinner time…


Caroline October 24, 2017 at 2:40 am

At first I do, but after a while it levels out. I do find I have to consciously work to get all my fruits and veggies in, which is why I stopped on my last attempt.


Caroline October 24, 2017 at 3:44 am

And also because I like to eat! Diet fail #4,012 but at least my breakfast of homemade bread, homemade yogurt, and frozen culled local peaches was frugal! 😉


Bethany M October 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm

Fasting is so good for you! Keep it up! You should look on youtube for Dr Fung’s info on it.


Mand01 October 23, 2017 at 5:35 pm

1. Organised with my extended family to do a non-consumer Christmas this year. For all adults we are doing a Secret Santa and then all gifts must be homemade or second hand. My giftees are getting plants and chilli sauce. If I had my way I would do away with adult gift giving altogether. I don’t want or need anything more than I have but that suggestion has never grown wings.
2. We have planned all our meals based on the contents of our fridge and freezer.
3. I cooked a big vegetable curry and brown rice and made up lunches for a week for my husband and I. Half of the vegetables came from our garden. I also made a big pot of pasta for my daughter’s lunches and scrolls for the youngest offspring. There should be no complaints of lunchbox doldrums this week.
4. I cooked a huge pork roast that I got on a marked down sale and then found in my freezer. We are on meal number three from that.
5. Had a three course dinner last night at my parents.


Jenny October 23, 2017 at 7:56 pm



Mand01 October 23, 2017 at 8:59 pm

It’s pizza dough, spread with vegemite (because Australia) and sprinkled with cheese, rolled up and then cut into slices. Sprinkled with more cheese and baked. Maybe you call them pinwheels?


Laura October 23, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Cheesymite scrolls – so yummy!


Mand01 October 24, 2017 at 1:44 am

That’s the ones! My youngest loves them.

Jennyu October 24, 2017 at 4:59 am

Thanks! I’d never heard of this. I love learning about things like this!


Jennifer October 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

What type of cheese is on the cheesymite scrolls?


Mand01 October 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

I just use cheddar

janine October 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm

1. No Halloween candy purchased yet because of lack of discipline. Checking out coupons and sales to find the best deals.
2. Am reading thrifted mystery on this cool fall evening.
3. In response to son’s complaint that his cupboard is bare, I put together leftovers from dinner tonight to send out to him.. No additional expenditures.
4. Stopped at Costco today and bought only milk and gas. Indulged in the free samples. Batched errands and stopped at produce store for sale apples and a few other staples
5. No candy in house but remembered a pan of frozen brownies…..


Anne V. October 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I am not to be trusted with Halloween candy either, so I usually purchase it right at the last minute.

1) Ebay sales continue to trickle in slowly: queen sheet set, exercise tights and a sports watch.

2) Sold some books (most college test prep manuals) to a second hand bookstore ($28) and returned 4 unsatisfactory products to Trader Joe’s ($14).

3) Decided against spending $450 to refinish the driver’s side of my car that was scratched up by a family member who will remain nameless on his way through the Chick Fil-A drive through.

4) Convinced my husband that he did not need to buy two large plastic skeletons to hang by our front door.

5) Have not purchased (and will not purchase) any new clothes or shoes for Fall.


Isabelle October 23, 2017 at 6:23 pm

* We are doing a chest freezer challenge right now, which means that between what’s in there (a lot!), what’s in the pantry and what’s left in the garden (kale, spinach and beets), groceries is for fresh fruits, veggies and milk products only. “Saves” money.
* Rented movies, it’s 2 for 1 on Monday. They offer a warranty that if you dislike a movie you can exchange it for free and I took advantage of this tonight because after watching 30 minutes of “Inconceivable” I wanted to bash my head on the coffee table, so I exchanged it for “Wonder woman”. Hope it’s decent…
* Bought exactly zero candies for Halloween and plan on buying zero candies after Halloween as well. My kids will collect some for themselves. I don’t eat them. Case closed!
* A friend invited me over for dinner
* I pack my lunch every day and I pack my kids lunch too. We reduced restaurant outings lately
* Daughter has been sick for 6 days now and hubby was able to work from home to take care of her. Good thing because, having no sick days or benefits myself, when I miss work I don’t get paid.
* Still driving the 2004 Echo


Sarah D October 23, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I would suggest not returning the candy to the store, since they legally have to throw it away (for safety reasons). Instead, find a place to which you can donate it. Waste like that may save you $ but wastes $ in general and creates garbage for the landfill.


Jenny October 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

You’re kidding! Is this for real? What’s the source? Obviously opened foods would be thrown out, but packaged, unopened? Could we hear from any store owners here?


karen October 24, 2017 at 6:10 pm

I used to be a vendor in the food industry (grocery stores) and this is very true. If something comes back to a grocery store even unopened 5 minutes later it has to be damaged out or really thrown out.


Jenny October 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

What does “damaged out” mean? Are you saying this for all foods?


Roberta October 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

This is absolutely true. We just went through Hurricane Irma here in Florida, and many people tried to return the water they had purchased. The stores will usually take it back, but it does have to be destroyed. Much better to donate any foodstuffs that you can’t use. Thanks Sarah D., I was reading through the comments to see how long it would take someone to bring up this, evidently, little known fact.


Vickey November 11, 2017 at 7:30 am

Thanks, all three of you! I appreciate knowing this, and will adjust my shopping accordingly.


Laur October 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

1. I picked up two extra shifts at work this week. This includes free lunch and coffee.
2. I found 4 Christmas gifts on eBay for much cheaper than I expected to buy them for.
3. Eating up leftovers from the freezer.
4. Free packing boxes from workfor our upcoming house move.
5. Received a $10 off voucher in the mail for one of our local grocery stores.


Amanda October 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

1) I managed to come about $100 under my travel budget for last week’s conference.

2) The truck started overheating when I was almost home Friday night. Luckily our car insurance has towing, so the tow home was free. My husband and dad tried what they could, but it was still overheating, so the car insurance paid for another tow to a local mechanic. I haven’t heard from the mechanic yet, but the work should be cheaper in our small hometown where we live on the weekends than the big city we actually call home. We should be able to juggle life with one vehicle plus my bike and my husband’s motorcycle and hopefully pick up a good-as-new truck on Saturday. Fingers crossed!

3) Went to Target and only bought things on my list, which were all items that are actually cheaper at Target than the grocery store. I paid with my Target card to get 5% off. We pay the small balance in full each month.

4) Our weekend airbnb guests left a TON of food in the fridge. The beer and spiked seltzer will be donated to my much-younger graduate student peers. The leftover pizza and chocolate truffles are already in the process of being consumed.

5) Because of all the food left by guests and me not being around most of last week, my usual Aldi rum was only $33. And that included a $2 pumpkin our oldest is gaga to carve and toilet paper for the office I should have charged to the business credit card.


Megyn October 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Since I know you try to reduce waste, how do you feel about all the of the waste from Halloween candy wrappers? I’m always trying to find solutions to reduce packaging waste. I think Junior Mints and Milk Duds can be purchased in cardboard containers. I once handed out raisins in boxes and Hershey Kisses since those are in foil. This year I may hand out books since we usually leave a container of treats out and some kid will destroy the container (made to only let a little candy out at once) and steal all the candy. I don’t want to be a Halloween scrooge, but I’m over having our stuff destroyed.


Amy K. October 24, 2017 at 1:58 am

I’ve gotten into the habit of visiting my local thrift store on its weekly discount day. I’ve been on the lookout for a nicer, dressier coat for the winter. I have a warm puffer jacket that I wear to the gym, and walk my daughter to the bus stop. Picked that up new on clearance for $13, and was proud of that purchase. So last week I was searching the thrift store racks for a black or grey coat in wool or a wool blend. I found one, in grey, in my size, that seriously looks brand new, barely worn. It’s wool and angora and couldn’t be more perfect. I Googled the brand, and similar coats sell for about $200 or more. I got it for only $10! While there I also picked up a Ralph Lauren wool scarf for $2.


Mand01 October 24, 2017 at 2:16 am

In my family we say the thrift store is singing to us, when we find awesome finds like that. Why else would we have gone in there?


MW October 24, 2017 at 6:05 am

I LOVE (washable) thrift store jackets! I can’t justify buying a coat at retail prices, but for $14 I could totally justify the cranberry Banana Republic trench coat to dress up my work/ church wardrobe.


Susie's Daughter October 24, 2017 at 4:40 am

1) Still picking up apples from the farm across the street. I figure I have made a gallon and a half of applesauce for the freezer. I am trying to keep track this year (in our gardening notebook) of freezer stores so I can tell about when (and if) in the year we use things up.

2) Sorting, recycling and filing paperwork today. Frugal in that I hope I won’t mislay any bills and will be able to put the postage stamps where I can find them. Also less clutter improves my general outlook.

3) Fighting off a cold with throat coat tea and elderberry syrup, both already at home.

4) Shopping our freezer and pantry this week. Last week included grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Costco so we should be well supplied for a good while.

5) Cashed part of my paycheck yesterday for a small emergency cash envelope that lives in my car. It is designed to cover gas or food if we find ourselves someplace that doesn’t accept credit or without a credit card. My mom taught me this when I had my first car. She always kept enough money for gas and a meal in her car. MANY times I have been glad to have it!


Jill A October 24, 2017 at 4:50 am

1. Temps have been pretty mild for fall and it’s just starting to get cooler. I have my programmable thermostat set pretty low so furnace hasn’t run. I haven’ t used the air conditioning. We’ve been opening the bedroom window and running a fan at night on the warmer nights. This should make our electric and propane bills lower.
2. I woke up early enough the last two mornings to do one load of laundry before the electric rates go up. I’m hanging those loads on drying racks in my kitchen.
3. Reading library books on my kindle and watching free tv and netflix in the evening.
4. Doing my erewards and swagbucks each morning.
5. Had both of my younger daughters home this weekend which is a treat. We went to a matinee at a cheaper theater but not the cheapest. Both girls had their college ID’s with them to receive the student rate. We skipped the snacks. We went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse….dinner took a long time to come out and my daughters steak was overcooked. Manager took her steak off the total and then reduced the rest of the bill by 50%. We didn’t ask they just did it. Sunday we all went with my Mom to a local orchard that makes the best cider and donuts. Watched them press the cider and sat out in the sun people watching and eating donuts and cider. Cheap and delicious entertainment.
6. Cooking 2 lbs of black beans in my slow cooker to replace my freezer supply.
7. Had dinner last night at my Mom’s house and watched Moana my daughter rented on Redbox. Free meal and entertainment and great company.


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 24, 2017 at 5:41 am

Sounds like a great week!

This week:

1. I’m leaving for FinCon this week and have packed as much homecooked food as possible. I also got a coupon for a free box of granola bars, which I happily packed as well.

2. I’m staying with family during the conference so I won’t have any hotel costs.

3. This morning I baked cookies to gift to people during the conference instead of buying them.

4. Mr. Picky Pincher created a window cover so our cat can come and go as he pleases without letting in lots of bugs. It was a DIY project that maybe cost $5 in materials.

5. I purchased a $12 mobile phone charger so I won’t run out of juice. I noticed it went up to $25 on Amazon after I purchased, so I’m happy I bought at a good time.


FrugalStrong October 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

I’m attending the open event on Friday afternoon (I live locally), so maybe we’ll get to meet!


Kim in Maryland October 24, 2017 at 5:49 am

1. Sold a vintage pattern on Amazon.
2. Got all my clearance rack pansies planted before the rain came last night! Discount plants certainly aren’t frugal if they never get planted.
3. Used 2 coupons for free Arla cream cheese. Safeway had them BOGO so I got 4 for 40¢ total since they were $3.19 and coupon was for up to $2.99. Ibotta rebate for 25¢ and found 10¢ in the Coinstar. So 5¢ total for over $12 of cream cheese!
4. On my Nextdoor group a woman posted she had mosaic supplies with amazing pictures and that she was moving so it had to go now. I wanted to get them for my friend who is an Art teacher and focuses on ceramics. When I got there the pictures in no way matched reality! Dirty boxes of jagged broken plates that were treacherous to go through in a separate garage. I kept envisioning accidently slicing my wrist and bleeding out with no one knowing where I was! I also had to park 4 houses away on a very narrow road. I did fill a box with intact plates that I will use for my garden border that I am working on but no supplies for my friend. I also went back and got a small bookshelf that she had put at the curb which I will probably sell.
5. DS#1 was sent home from work since he was sick. He totally lost his voice and sounded terrible. Diagnosis is tonsillitis. From my pantry I was able to make 2 batches of jello, a pot of chicken broth from some bones in the fridge and freezer, a pot of potato soup and a crockpot of applesauce that used up a few bags of apples that had been forgotten in our downstairs fridge. It’s all stuff he can swallow and took care of some things before they were wasted. I’d also picked up a box of Welch’s grape popsicles at Dollar Tree on Sunday when I had stopped for potato rolls. They certainly came in handy for his sore throat!


susanna d October 24, 2017 at 5:52 am

1. So far I’ve resisted buying any trick or treat candy. In the six years we’ve lived up here, we’ve had exactly ZERO trick or treaters. Not a lot of year round residents on our street, and those who are generally are our age and seem to have aged out of trick or treating. Still, I’m sure my husband will buy ONE bag of candy “just in case.” He’s selfless that way. But we wait until just before halloween to buy the candy. Any earlier, well, gremlins would get into it and we’d have to buy another bag. “Just in case”.
2. Cashed in on swagbucks for another $25 Amazon gift card. Then ordered two new pairs of smartwool socks for my husband (he loves them, and those socks are pricey but worth it).
3. After doing an inventory of the food left from last week’s waterpark vacation, it appeared my son and daughter in law opened every package of cheese I’d brought.
So we’ve been having cheese based meals to use up the leftover cheese this week. The mild cheddar went into quesadillas one night. The pepper jack cheese and extra sharp cheddar made up the cheese part of the sauce for spicy mac an cheese. I really hate wasting food, and I’m on yet another quest to cut the food waste in our house.
4. Speaking of cheese, I had a little tub of farmers cheese that had been a grocery store freebie a few weeks back. It was plain and pretty tasteless, so I sauteed up a handful of previously frozen red peppers (that I’d bought with money found on the ground over the year) and some home grown garlic. Added it to the cheese along with a little salt and spices and I’ve been eating it smeared on tortillas. It’s not great, but it’s better than the plain stuff – and is giving me a few “almost free” lunches.
5. Raked up the latest batch of dropped leaves before my husband could get out and attack them with the leaf blower. Free exercise for me, no gasoline used for the leaf blower, and my sanity preserved from NOT having to hear yet another leaf blower – everyone has one up here.


MW October 24, 2017 at 5:58 am

– Took a load of baby stuff to Goodwill, picked up a long-sleeve shirt to fill a hole in my wardrobe.
– Made beef stew for a family gathering on Saturday, we finally ate through the last of it last night.
– Assembled a costume for myself out of my wardrobe to take my boys to a Halloween party at the community center.
– My younger son got a free pumpkin from daycare. I’ll get my older son one from Winco and we’ll take them to a friend’s house this weekend for a pumpkin carving party. And, as a bonus, I won’t have to use my good kitchen knives to hack at the gourds- she has carving knives.
– Returned a borrowed tool to a neighbor with some home baked cookies. I’m slowly convincing my husband that we don’t have to run out and buy every tool that we’ll only use once. We have neither the budget nor the space for that habit.


Katy in Africa October 24, 2017 at 5:59 am

1. I supplemented plant water with used grey water.
2. I’m not buying candy or costumes for Halloween, since I live in a country that doesn’t celebrate it.
3. A local friend went with me to buy a belt for my son’s school uniform. It was good that she was with me as I don’t know prices and the guy’s first offer was 5 times what I ended up paying.
4. My daughter also needs a belt, but I’m giving her mine that I never wear =$0
5. While shopping at the market, I only bought the belt, nothing else.


Cindy in the South I October 24, 2017 at 6:18 am

1. I have continued this past weekend my never ending decluttering and cleaning saga of my mom’s things and my uncle’s belongings. I have lost count of the number of bags of stuff donated/thrown away if not salvageable/ etc. My back hurts, my sides hurt, everything hurts…lol. I have lost track of time, but I did make meatloaf sometime last week, and eaten it for 7 or 8 meals of meatloaf sandwiches. Ground beef was $1.99 a lb and I bought $5.00 worth. I seldom buy ground beef, so this was a treat. Ok, I am too tired to think….BUT, I do have a clean house. I intend to do another round of decluttering, to see if I missed anything, but at the moment I am too tired.


Vickey November 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

Good on ya! Your determined decluttering is inspiring!


ouvickie October 24, 2017 at 7:10 am

Happy 75th to your Mom – have fun on your adventure day!
1) I have a funeral to attend today, that’s closer to my house than my job, so I scheduled an online work from home day. Savings in gas and PTO time.
2) We ate leftover hamburgers for dinner last night and I opted for a banana and a PB&J for breakfast this morning.
3) My PJs at home pretty much consist of t-shirts and cotton knit pajama bottoms. I wear them until they’re falling off of me or so full of holes they end up as dust rags. Some of my t-shirts are well over a decade old before they give up the ghost. Fortunately we live out in the country, so I don’t wear a bra and could careless how messy I look – we don’t have people dropping in on us.
4) I need to sort through my email coupons to see if I have any that are useful for grocery shopping this weekend. I like Aldi’s store brands, so I rarely use a coupon unless it’s a brand I use all the time.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet, a yacht or anything gold encrusted.


Jen October 24, 2017 at 7:15 am

Wouldn’t returned candy (since it’s a food item) end up having to be thrown out by the store? I know most stores around me can not put returned food items back on the shelf. To me, this seems like a more wasteful avenue to go than to donate the extra candy somewhere. We had this issue recently with the hurricanes that hit the southern US. People bought lots of food staples to prepare for the impending storm, then returned what they did not use to the stores afterwards. I saw so many posts of piles and piles of food that had to be thrown out since they were returns. I would at least check with your store beforehand, if you do decide to return it, to see what will happen to the candy. Just my two cents.


Robin October 24, 2017 at 8:37 am

Since it’s non-perishable and sealed, candy is typically easily returned and reshelved, at least in the Southern (but not hurricane prone) US state where I live. Canned and boxed goods also go back on the shelf after returns. It probably varies from State to State depending on local health regulations.


Katy October 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

I didn’t know this. I’ll go ask at customer service before I return any unopened candy.


Jenny October 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Yeah, I had put a note above on a similar comment. I worked at a grocery and we certainly did not throw out unopened returns of candy or other non-perishables! What’s this “law” that was mentioned?? Anyone know for sure?


Alison October 24, 2017 at 7:45 am

1. Family and I have now stopped gift giving to all the adults at Christmas. Yay!
Although I like the spirit and feeling of the holidays, I loathe shopping and holiday shopping is very stressful to me. So DH and I will contribute to a fund at the school where I used to work, to help families in need buy groceries, and gifts for their children. My daughter will still get presents, and also my baby grand
2. I will be participating in an Art Show/Sale this year that a friend hosts. I have volunteered as cashier for the last 13 years, but have never had any items to include. I will be selling some crocheted scarfs, and dishcloths. It’s just for fun really, the money will help pay for my habit. And it’s always very social and festive.
3. Made another batch of dog cookies.
4. My grand neice’s 2nd birthday is on hallowe’en. Her mother likes to get contributions to swimming lessons, etc so I am happy to give her that, instead of toys, but I couldn’t resist a couple of books that were discounted to add to her collection. Baby girl needs something to open.
5. My sister and her husband have a mobile knife sharpening and kitchenware supply business. She asked for my help at a sale at her house to get rid of some old stock. My help wasn’t really needed as it wasn’t busy, but I hung out for a couple of days, she fed me coffee and soup, and I got a few kitchen items for my daughters’s stocking that were greatly reduced.


Jessica October 24, 2017 at 8:32 am

These are some combination of frugal and non-consumer
Non-Consumer 1) Returned 5 vases that we received flowers in after my husband died to a local florist who will use them for arrangements she donates to charity
Non-Consumer 2) returned a bunch of hangers that had built up around the house to a local drycleaner who will reuse them
Frugal 3) have been lusting after a particular coffee maker for a long time. Found it on an amazing clearance and bought it. I tend to buy some coffee on my way to work and this will hopefully cut that out.
Frugal 4) I have strategized the current starbucks points bingo game so that I can buy mostly whole coffee beans for use at home, and still get a lot of points
Frugal 5) I made some good headway on dealing with our laptop situation. After my husband’s death, we have a weird amalgamation of computers that we don’t need or use. I have started selling them.


Alison October 24, 2017 at 9:23 am

I didn’t realize that my limited wardrobe and freeze on clothing spending was actually me being totally on trend and maintaining a capsule wardrobe. Thanks for always calling it like it is, but also re-naming things to bring new perspective.


Teddie October 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

1. Did my CVs shopping list and saved 48%! I always shoot for saving at least 40%, but feel like anything over that puts an extra shine on my Frugal Crown.
2. Bought Halloween candy (at CVS) and hid in the back of the closet. Anyone who hates couponing I suggest you try CVS. Everything goes on your smart phone ~ Including loyalty card, Extra Care Bucks, CVS coupons, and manufacturing coupons.
3. Attended free Zumba classes yesterday and today.
4.Had crockpot roast beef leftovers for dinner last night as hot roast beef sandwiches.
5. Had 13 year old grandson watch “The Help” with me ~ free movie and he learned more about that time period. He was a bit outraged at somethings in the movie and now has a better understanding if the Civil Rights Movement.
Frugal Fail~ Got my free flu shot at WM only to see that Walgreens offers a 5$ off 25$ coupon with the free flu shot. My Frugal Crown dimmed a bit…


FrugalStrong October 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I love CVS! They recently sent me an email saying I was in the top 2% of savers in the entire state of Texas! And this is a big state! I need to get a Frugal Crown like yours. 🙂


FrugalStrong October 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

1. Had a ton of cottage cheese to use up and knew I wouldn’t be able to eat it all before it started turning. So, looked up cottage cheese recipes and made a cottage cheese bake for dinner. Everyone really liked it!

2. Bought a gorgeous, barely used Ann Taylor cardigan from a Facebook buy/sell group for $10. Would have cost probably $80 or more at the store. It’s very stylish and perfect for the fall weather.

3. We recently had our house painted (not frugal, but planned & budgeted & long overdue!). So, I’ve been using the opportunity to change things up after 10 years. Wanted a specific color bath mat, so I checked out several stores, including Target. I didn’t find what I wanted, so I left empty-handed. While this is no big deal for me, I laughed when I left the store because so many of my friends joke about how they can’t leave Target without spending at least $100 on things “they didn’t even know they needed.”

4. An acquaintance on Facebook posted about how a local car repair place was doing a “day of service” and offering free oil changes for seniors. I notified my Mom immediately and she was able to get a free oil change. They even fed her free Chick-fil-a and coffee while she waited. Not frugal for me, but my Mom only has Social Security, so this was definitely very helpful for her.

5. The kids and I had busy evening planned last Friday due to me helping run a PTA event at the school. I had recently earned a $5 Dominoes gift card by playing a “quikly” game and it was expiring this weekend. So, I ordered online (to earn points towards a free pizza) and combined my gift card and an online coupon to get a large 3-topping pizza for only $3.56 OOP. It fed both kids for 2 meals (Fri dinner & Sat lunch). Then, at the PTA event Friday night (free movie night), they received free popcorn, drinks, and snacks. I sipped my water, ate a protein bar I’d packed, and signed up new members and sold spirit shirts for the school. Win/Win!


MommaL October 24, 2017 at 11:15 am

I don’t need to hide the candy from myself (now, if it was good cheese or chips, I have no self control), but in order to save the candy for Halloween and other occasions, I hide it in the basket where I keep feminine products. DH has never found them haha!


Katy Hope October 24, 2017 at 11:46 am

1. Had nice weather last week, so did a beach picnic dinner to enjoy the sunset and perk up our Monday.

2. Invited friends over for dinner and cooked a delicious butternut squash lasagna rolls ( and the friends who came over brought dessert. Way cheaper than going out to a restaurant.

3. The hubs was traveling all week, so I have been driven a little crazy by the kids. Invited a friend over for a glass of wine after the kids went to bed. Made cookies from the freezer that I had made the dough previously and opened a bottle of wine we already had. perfect stress release from the kids.

4. Went on a school pumpkin patch field trip. Looked at all the pumpkins, checked out the turkeys, and the hay maze. Walked to the pumpkin patch from school, all activities were free. Spent $1 on a small pumpkin.

5. Drove an extra couple of block to find free parking for an appointment I had rather than park at the meter in front.


Bethany M October 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

1. Made Bone broth today.
2. Sewed up a snow bib my girls have outgrown and listed it on Varagesale.
3. Got the air conditioning turned off early tonight….SoCal
4. Took a nice long walk to and emu farm nearby and threw them our kitchen scraps…free exercise, free entertainment!
5. Found a bunch of pink quarts in the fields on our walk and added them to our garden for the landscaping. Free landscaping!!!


auntiali October 25, 2017 at 10:49 pm

1. I bought my husband Haggar khakis to wear to work. Well, they always get this mystery white line in the back of them on both side near the pocket. I emailed Haggar to ask what’s up with that.
2. Called Zappos and got a return UPS label so I can return shoes. I can drop them off at the UPS store right in town.
3. Made dinner last night and tonight. Thought about making a menu plan for next month.
4. Reading a library book.
5. Rather than buying a new dvd player – that my hubby and daughter insisted are made anymore – I had my dvd player moved to daughter’s tv. I will now recycle the old one by either bring it to my local recycle center or Best Buy which is about 3 miles from me.
6. Ordered daughter’s new glasses at Costco for $115. The pair she wears now is from middle school and she’s 23.


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