Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 3, 2017 · 49 comments

Yes, this post published twice, but since they both have comments, I’m just going to leave them as is.

  1. My sister and I continued our parallel playing to include the library that’s just a few blocks from her house in the Bronx. It’s decidedly not the spendlor of yesterday’s library on Fifth Avenue, but it turned out to be a great place where my sister could study and I could focus on writing. And when we started to get tired, I was able to pick up a couple of $1 coffees from the deli across the street. NYC might have a reputation for being expensive, but it can be insanely cheap once you venture away from the touristy areas and hipster neighborhoods.

  2. I convinced my sister that we should visit the New Rochelle Goodwill that’s just north of The Bronx, even though it was almost 8 P.M. and a mere hour before closing. Although I didn’t locate anything that I’m currently keeping an eye out for, I did find a Patagonia down jacket in my sister’s size for just $9.99. This may not sound like an uber-bargain, but this same coat currently sells for $229, and is the perfect cozy New York jacket. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a coat like this for myself, but was happy that at least it fit her.

  3. I enjoy doing household tasks for my sister that she has zero-point-zero time for, as she’s a full-time student, wife and mother. Although I didn’t show up with a hostess gift, I’ll leave her with a cleaner more organized house. This costs nothing to accomplish and it’s vastly more appreciated than a bottle of wine or a pretty dust collector.

  4. Today was a decidedly non-touristy and extremely frugal endeavor, but tomorrow will bring us into Manhattan where my niece has a appointment in the morning and my sister has an afternoon event at the Museum of Natural History. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing in between, but I do know that we won’t use it as an excuse for recreational shopping. (My preference would be to find a nice spot to quietly write, but I think that would be a hard sell.) Luckily the weather forecast is for a dry day in the mid-50°s, so I can safely anticipate lots of walking.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar позолоченная квартира в небе.

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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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle December 3, 2017 at 8:53 am

I just love the energy of NYC, and how you can start the day in one place and end up somewhere totally different!

1. Entertained 5 houseguests for two days and didn’t remodel my house first.
2. Called about interest charges that I accidentally accrued because I made a partial payment and filed the bill away. It was 100% my fault, but I asked nicely and paid the bill over th phone and they reversed the charge.
3. Long story short, windshield replacement on our new car would have cost $900 due to a serious of issues and recalibration of safety features. I’ve never been so happy to pay the $100 deductible!
4. While the above windshield was being recalibrated, my family enjoyed the bounty of snacks that our dealership keeps their very comfortable customer service center stocked with.
5. Only Black Friday shopping was online and earlier in the week. We were able to purchase a few items from our ‘need’ and ‘want’ list at deep discounts.


Cynthia Huntington December 3, 2017 at 11:47 am

1. Sold two big items on Craislist –and put the money RIGHT INTO debt payoff. I’m not having much luck with eBay or Facebook, but Craigslist postings have been doing well.
2. Stopping waste: uninspiring leftover green bean casserole transformed to a chicken and green bean casserole with addition of a chicken breast from the freezer. I added sautéed carrots on the side for a good dinner.
3. Stocking the woodstoves and keeping the thermostat low and the ceiling fan turning to save on oil.
4. Finally did a donation drop at the humane society, getting rid of a load I’ve been carrying around in my car for two weeks (that was not frugal!)
5. I found four absolutely gorgeous Veve Clicquot champagne flutes (in the design called “Trendy”) at thrift store for $2.25 each. They are worth upwards of $40 each! I was sorely tempted to keep them, they are so appealing, but I went ahead anyway and listed them. If they don’t sell I’ll take them as a consolation prize!


Tracy December 3, 2017 at 12:16 pm

1. Went to library and got 6 new books for wonderful free entertainment.
2. Cut our own Christmas tree, not cheap but cheaper than buying from a lot.
3. Using trimmings from said tree to decorate mantel.
4. Didn’t have an ingredient called for by a recipe (capers) decided to do without rather than make a special trip to the store and spend extra $, it will still be delicious.
5. Ordered a huge roll of recycled brown craft paper for the price of a couple of rolls of fancy Christmas paper. It will provide YEARS of wrapping gifts for Christmas, birthdays etc. and can be further decorated if desired.


Christine Joiner December 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Good frugal score on the brown paper…recycled, no less! Good for any holiday or occasion.


Bee December 4, 2017 at 5:06 am

I love wrapping with brown paper. I started doing this a few years ago. I use cloth ribbon that can be reused year after year. I use shipping tags for gift tags. Inexpensive and better for the environment. Where did you find the big roll?


Tracy December 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm



Teri December 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm

“Brown paper packages tied up with string…”


KJD509 December 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

1) Still eating out of the freezer and pantry. I’m tempted to stop in to Trader Joes for the snowflake-shaped pasta to have on hand when the kiddos get here in 10 days, but holding off to see how long I can go without a grocery trip. I have plenty of milk, coffee, and tp, and and a pantry we refer to as post-nuclear winter-ready, so I’m thinking I can hold out quite awhile.
2) Instead of going to a Christmas party last night where the invite asked everyone to bring drinks and an appetizer plate, I just went to bed. Slept about 14 hours. Much cheaper and obviously something I needed.
3) Littlest has a birthday coming up and is very stressed because she’s at a new school and is uncertain about her friendships. Her eldest sister will be at our beach place with friends – “studying for finals” – and they offered to take her for a night and make a big fuss over her. I’ll pop some cash in the big sister’s account to cover the costs, which no matter what they do will be less expensive than a party out somewhere because we’re between houses.
4) Found a lacy thing on sale to throw over a dress and shoes I already own (dress bought on clearance 4 years ago and worn at least a dozen times, shoes bought on sale and shared between 2 daughters and me whenever somebody needs to dress up) for the company Christmas party next weekend. We’ll take Lyft home instead of staying at the hotel – we’re close enough we could walk, but I’ll have been in heels for 5 hours and the forecast is for single digit temps – and we’ll stick to the free wine instead of buying cocktails. It’s a fairly painful event every year, but it seems crucial to appear interested in this season of layoffs, so 5 hours of smiling boredom for the cost of the lacy thing and the ride home is a frugal way to keep a job, I hope.
5) No Lear jet, no vulgar gold-plated new home, even though at this point I’d totally take something vulgar just to have us all in the same place again. This slow transition is the right and frugal choice, but I’m telling you, I’m over it.


Teddie December 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Congratulations on having such a thoughtful granddaughter to invite the littlest to spend a night with the big girls.


Diane C December 4, 2017 at 5:14 am

Re: The endless company party. One coping skill is to come up with a few easy questions you can ask anyone. Make a little game of it that only you know of and keep score in your head.

Some random ideas – How many people have been to [insert place]? Could be The Statue of Liberty, a local landmark, or a popular resort. Whats the furthest they’ve ever been from home? Who likes live music? What’s the last/best concert they’ve ever been to? What’s their favorite type of music? Do they like to sing? What’s their favorite Christmas Carol? Do they use their local library? E-books or real books? What’s their favorite holiday memory? Do they put up a holiday tree? Real or fake? How old is their oldest Christmas ornament? What was their first job? Best/easiest/weirdest/whatever job? Have they tried Uber or Lyft?

You get the idea. Arm yourself with a few fun questions and the time will fly. They’ll remember that you asked them something different. And you might learn some interesting about your colleagues. Good luck!


KJD509 December 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

Thank you so much for the suggestions – they’re great ones! I actually don’t mind talking to people at all. What makes it endless and painful for me is watching highly paid supposedly smart people make drunken fools of themselves. Maybe I’ll create an internal bingo scorecard for that so it will at least be entertaining . . .


Christine Joiner December 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Ha ha Katy! Loved the Russian lettering. Very fitting.
My FFT for this past week:
1.Went to the local consignment store and found a looks-like-new planter for $4.00 which I will use along with fresh cut greens and red berries (free) to make a Christmas decoration for our family cemetery plot. Needed a smaller planter for another deceased family member and found it at the Salvation Army Store for $2.99. Since the average price for a cemetery Christmas log around here goes for $19.99 these two purchases will save me about $33.00
2.Attended a potluck brunch at my church today following the service. The food was scrumptious and the company delightful. This meal was followed by some Advent readings and musical solos and duets thanks to the choir and lastly we had a singalong of favorite Christmas carols. Lots of fun…a meal out…the cost to me was my contribution of a crockpot full of homemade Boston Baked Beans and some juice.
3.Keeping my eyes and ears open free Christmas events in my area.
4.The oak trees in the vacant lot next door failed to produce acorns this year…first time I have seen that but I think it may be due to the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar invasion this past summer…so the squirrels haven’t been collecting their usual bounty. I feel sorry for them but not sorry enough to spend money on peanuts or corn for them. I took my giant ready-to-go-soft pumpkin off my front porch to make way for Christmas decorations and plopped in down in my back yard. It split and the squirrels have been having a field day with it. We’ve been having lots of fun watching them go in and out of the pumpkin .
5.Made a cheese sauce out of leftover ends for some broccoli but made about twice what I really needed. Refrigerated the extra sauce. A few days later I added some milk and some mashed up broccoli to it, heated it and served it for dinner. Husband raved about it which is unusual in that he likes meat in his soup.


Sandra December 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

y FFT:
1. Wanted a small lighted table top tree for the front porch, but didn’t want to spend $60.00 for a new lighted one (on sale, no less). I stopped at a local thrift store and found a small lighted tree for $5.00. It was just right. I made a small vignette and that is our porch decoration this year.

2. We attended a free jazz concert at the local junior college. Great young talent and a terrific date night + no cost = win-win.

3. Finished decorating for Christmas and aside from the aforementioned $5.00 tree, no money was spent. We used all décor from previous years and the house looks wonderfully full of holiday spirit.

4. We have attended two parties this past week so no cooking and no leftovers. I will make a fresh dinner tonight. All other meals, snacks, and drinks were made at home.

5. I wore clothes from my closet rather than shopping for new outfits for the holiday parties we attended. There are more parties to came and I will continue to find new ways to wear old clothes. That is one of the fun parts of dressing is recombining things to get a new look.


Crosby December 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

– My gram gave me some Christmas decorations when she found out that ours aren’t currently accessible. I love the cheer of holiday decor but was not going to spend money on it this year.
– The bounty from Gram included 2 Christmas planters, which I will fill with dirt and spider plant cuttings I have on hand to give to 2 friends as gifts
– My office needed a bell, instead of buying a new one from amazon (my knee jerk reaction) I waited and kept my eyes peeled when I went thrift store shopping with my mom. Found one for $0.50 that will Work just fine
– Also found a really nice, red shirt I can wear for the holidays for $2.25
– Free Sunday night entertainment and exercise: our block club organized a Holiday Light Walk. We met at our block club sign, had some hot coco provided by one of the block club members, and strolled around looking at all of the light displays.


Teddie December 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm

1. Went to 3 free Zumba classes. Trying very hard to work on the continued nagging discomfort of my ribs on my left side from a crash and burn 6 weeks ago.
2. 13 yo grandson had a friend over and we all went to a free church Christmas concert.
3. Came home and ordered pizza (using coupons of course). DH picked up and it was delicious. A nice change as we have not had pizza in months.
4. Finished decorating the condo for Christmas. We downsized from our house by 2/3rds ~ meaning for every 3 things we had I had to sale, give away, or donate 2 out of 3 things. Won’t be buying any new decorations ~ frugal, but everything still looks very nice.
5. Put together a large bag of grandson’s clothes (he grows FAST) to donate. Will try and find him a few thrift store shirts to replace those that are too small. Forget about finding boys’ jeans in the thrift shops so those are replaced when on sale and will be Christmas gifts.


rebecca December 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

1. Today has been a no spend day.
2. Made a chicken pot pie from a chicken in the freezer.
3. Took my sister’s dog for a long walk and used an empty frozen bagel bag to pick up after her.
4. Having friends over for dinner next Saturday. I will use mostly ingredients I have on hand.
5. Watching a couple of cheesy hallmark Christmas movies to forget about the world for awhile.


Julie December 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

1-advised the insurance company the snow tires are on both cars. We get a reduction for driving with snow tires, both frugal and smart.
2-prepped a large amount of white beans on froze them for future use.
3-harvested the last of the kale. Those plants were money well spent.
4-used reward points to buy a number of Christmas gifts. I was rewarded for 20 years of service by my employer with points for a gift card company to use for whatever I want. I need nothing so this makes the most sense.
5-using Christmas wrap bought years ago at a deep discount, they were huge rolls so it’s been 5 years of the same three patterns, good thing I liked it.


Amanda December 3, 2017 at 9:02 pm

1) I went to conference on Saturday and anticipated paying for parking and for dinner on the way home. Dinner ended up being provided by the conference organizers, which was free to me and provided a great opportunity to continue to chat with the folks I met. I guess I was supposed to pay for parking, but when I got up to the ticket window there was no one in the booth. There was a sign saying the attendant would be back. I waited a few minutes, but seeing the arm was up, just went for it. It was a morally questionable move, but it was 8 pm, and I had a two and half hour drive ahead of me. They can send me a bill.

2) We went under our November budget! I think my husband and I were both just very focused on work to spend any money or make anything fancy for dinner. Plus there were no gift giving occasions or other spendy events.

3) We menu planned and grocery shopped at Aldi tonight. My husband made lunches for everyone while I bathed the kids.

4) I realized last Sunday that our growing two year old had no warm church dresses that fit. I prefer to buy all clothes $1 at a time at Goodwill, but that takes time. Instead I bought a few dresses at my favorite consignment store. The prices are more like $10, but the quality is so good. Still way cheaper than I could have gotten these clothes new.

5) Our two youngest had portraits done last week at daycare. Usually they will barely sit still, but this time the pics came out gorgeous! So we’ll get the cheapest package to distribute to close family.


Cindy December 4, 2017 at 5:29 am

Love these comments; so many different circumstances and lives each finding ways to nonconsume. Mine for this past week:

1. We live 11 miles from Lake Michigan but rarely take advantage (I’m not a beach person). But did ride down this weekend to watch a gorgeous sunset, colors and clouds and peace.
2. And since this may be our last warmish day before winter, was able to hang clothes on the outside line without frozen fingers.
3. My wandering cat finally came home so I could enjoy an early morning cat-on-lap calming session before reading the news.
4. Remembered that we can get free movies on the computer through our library and Hoopla. We don’t have cable or get any on-air tv, so this is a nice supplement to Amazon Prime.
5. I’m not crafty but did put together a rustic frame for my “Resist” bumper sticker using leftover moulding, paint, and backed it with a piece of a protest sign.


Kathy Hairston December 4, 2017 at 6:08 am

1. Scored three planters for free going thru items donated to dog club. 2/3 of items are being donated to rescue
2. Picked up free ice tea from Panera
3. Sold a couple of books on Amazon
4. Regifted a couple of items for Christmas gifts
5. Got my haircut while visiting sister ($25 vs. $60)


Jennifer December 4, 2017 at 6:08 am

1. Still doing my frugal kitchen renovation. We removed our old sink, with the big crack in it, to discover water damage all the way around the back of the sink. The plumbing was the only thing holding the sink up and it’s a heavy cast iron sink! A disaster waiting to happen. We had to attach support bracing underneath the failing formica. This could have potentially ruined everything we have done thus far if we weren’t able to salvage the formica. We are doing a paint treatment with an epoxy layer on top of the existing counter top which means we have to have a decent countertop to apply it too. We removed the existing faucet, because it was just a few years old, to put onto the new stainless steel sink. Praying everything else goes according to plan since this is the last, and most difficult, counter top.
2. I stayed home this weekend. That always saves me money.
3. I am brainstorming about what to give the kids teachers for Christmas. I purchased several cookie tins last year for 15 cents per tin after Christmas last year and saved them for this year. I want to put some type of baked good or snack inside but I unsure what kind. At first, I thought of fudge but then have been pondering cookies or something more savory. They have 10 teachers total because my middle girl has a few extra teachers for help with dyslexia. I want to give them a nice treat without spending a lot, any ideas?
4. I found my daughter a large, beautiful, rustic, sconce candle holder at a yard sale. I am going to paint a couple of details on it a different color and give it to her for Christmas. It was only $4 but looks like a $50 piece. I just have to pick up a couple taper candles at the Dollar store to go with it.
5. I have been eyeing the various advent calendars for my girls but resisted because I really didn’t want to buy anything silly little treats, or worse..more candy.. to put inside for each day. I found a printable one online that has a holiday themed joke-a-day instead. I printed it off and am going to cut a Christmas tree shape to put on the wall to affix the dates to. When they flip up the date, there will be a funny joke to brighten each day underneath. No money spent!


WilliamB December 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

For the teachers – maybe something on the less-sweet side, such as biscotti? Or, if they have dogs, dog treats?


BCR December 4, 2017 at 10:48 am

Think about a chex mix of some kind for the teachers. I am sure you know all kinds of ways to spend a minimum amount on the ingredients. The teachers will enjoy a savory treat, as you said, rather than candy.


Bee December 4, 2017 at 11:31 am

I like William’s ideas. I have a couple of others. Since you are in the South, cheese straws or herb biscuits.


Bee December 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Jennifer, I hope everything works out with the kitchen sink issue. You have worked so hard painting the cabinetry and faux-ing the counter tops. I am sending good thoughts your way.


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 5:13 am

Thanks, it’s been a challenge but worth it. So glad we found the rot before it caused the plumbing to rupture because that would have ruined the floor. It feels great to have so much support here. My friends have said that it now looks like someone else’s kitchen, lol. Thank you, Bee!


MommaL December 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

One year I gave a bag of chips and some salsa with the phrase “Nacho ordinary teacher”. They loved it. They get a lot of sweets. When I get sweets, they go right into the freezer, and I pull them out for company.
Another year I gave seasoned chex mix. Also saved that for company…didn’t last long in my house!


Christine Joiner December 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

My husband and I are retired mail carriers. We received lots of homemade cookies and fudge for Christmas from our customers. Also, boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine, hard liquor, etc. We would put them away until Christmas Eve when we have our family over for our annual Christmas get together. Let me tell you, everything we received was put out and enjoyed by everyone. It really saved me on time (baking and cooking) and money spent on desserts and spirits! Just wanted to share my experience of receiving lots of goodies for gifts.


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 5:07 am

Great ideA to put away until family/friends can help you eat them.


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 5:18 am

Love all of your ideas. After reading your thoughts, I’m thinking about maybe doing something savory on one side of the tin and maybe put a few sweet things on the other side so they get a little of both. I am also going to look for some type catchy phrase to include. Thanks for your help!


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 5:24 am

Wow, I should proofread. My rush resulted in lots of errors.


Bethel December 4, 2017 at 7:12 am

I’m continuing with my low-spend challenge:

1. Have used spare change in my car to purchase $1 coffee from McDonalds when I need to feel treated, but have otherwise made my beverages at home (with the exception of #2).
2. Went to a free open mic night at a local coffee shop. Decided to support the shop, even though they weren’t requiring purchases, and got a breakfast burrito and a small hot chocolate to share with LO. They have a kids area with toys, so LO was able to play and hang out while I relaxed and listened to music with a friend. The atmosphere was so wonderful, and it felt good to support a local business-in my neighborhood no less!
3. Purchased a sweater at GW for $2.50. I’m currently expecting #2 and have had to purchase a few things as my pre-pregnancy clothes start to not fit. Mostly, I have made due with larger clothes from my last pregnancy (someone borrowed a bunch of smaller maternity clothes to me last time, so I don’t have a whole lot in the smaller sizes to use this time). But, I found a good-quality, non-maternity, tunic-type sweater that will fit me for the next few months and that will also work for future winters when I’m not pregnant!
4. Made brownies from scratch for a dinner party we were invited to.
5. Have eaten leftovers and avoided eating out, with the exception of a planned Birthday dinner for my niece. I ate as cheaply as possibly and tipped a little more than normal to make up for my cheapness.
6. Received a $25 pre-loaded debit card for a Christmas gift and have a second one stashed away from my Birthday this year…will use both of them to purchase Christmas gifts for LO and DH.


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm

2. I love the open mic night at the coffee shop that is kid friendly. Wish we had something like that near me.


Kim in Maryland December 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

1. Sold 9 things on Amazon in the past week.
2. Went to the Quaker Holiday market on Saturday. An annual event with all proceeds divided between 3 charities. The charities are both local and international and are different each time. I go looking for things that we need and that I can resell and I found several of both. I also go to buy to large slices of the best cheesecake I have ever had! A family in the congregation makes several cheesecakes for the sweets table and it sells out fast! I got the last 2 slices, one for DS#1 and one for DH and I to share. It’s worth every penny of the $9 I paid for it!
3. Ordered 2 movie tickets and 2 $5 Amazon GCs from Coke rewards. Only decent offers since new program started.
4. Picked up free birthday burrito from Moe’s, free cookie dough from Giant and 11¢ off the ground.
5. DH got 2 monthly Rx filled on the last day of the grocery store promo which gave a $25 Egift card for each Rx. This was a grand opening promo for the last 6 months at the new Harris Teeter and we have really cashed in. The problem is they all expire on 12/6 and we have 10 to use up and they have to be used one at a time. They will ring up multiple orders so I’ll be stocking up on meat, butter and lots of pantry staples! It’s a great problem to have!


WilliamB December 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

Trying to think of things that I didn’t report on The Frugal Girl.

1. Pared away the bad parts of clementines and apples, rather than throwing out the whole fruit.

2. Had frozen pizza instead of delivery. $3.50 per (on sale and coupon) rather than $10 or so.

3. Organized/inventoried the deep freezer (which I dislike doing), then organized/checked the fridge freezer and the fridge. Going through the fridge regularly helps keep my food waste at a minimum.

4. Salvaged ribbon, bows, and some tissue paper from family gift-giving.

5. Eyeballed the food stash to identify “bottles o’ stuff” that need to be used, and foods I no longer eat a lot of. No need to stock up on those anymore.


Jennifer December 5, 2017 at 5:28 am

2. I buy frozen pizza instead of delivery all the time and just add things that are hanging around in the fridge or freezer to it. My family especially banana peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, and always extra cheese. It really makes the pizza taste fresh!


Cynthia Huntington December 4, 2017 at 11:04 am

But damn, I’m getting tired of eating down the freezer and pantry.

Some days I wish I could toss it all out and start over. Same for my closet.

Holding on… “Perseverance furthers” as the I Ching says.


Emily December 4, 2017 at 12:18 pm

1. Put up my fake, 4 feet tall hand me down xmas tree again this year. Considering its just me and my bf (and we leave the week of xmas anyway) I’m content with my little Charlie Brown tree.

2. Used my shopkick points to buy a starbucks card. Used the starbucks card to treat myself and bf to coffee over the weekend.

3. Setting a student loan payoff date this evening! I need to crunch some numbers and figure out how quickly (within reason) I can have them GONE!

4. Found an AWESOME vintage hand knit Christmas sweater at GW for 3.99. I have a few get togethers to wear this to. It’s pretty awesome, and wasn’t a fake ugly sweater you buy at target for 30 bucks!

5. Frugal Fail-refilled a prescription, but forgot my health insurance lapsed 5 days. I had to fill it, so that was 40 dollars more. LESSON LEARNED!


Bee December 4, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Helping your sister with household chores is a wonderful hostess gift. Graduate students –especially graduate students that are mothers– barely have time to sleep and eat.

1) My husband and I finished up some home repair that was essential as a result of Hurricane Irma. Hubby finished painting the new drywall this weekend, and I painted the trim. Since our hurricane deductible is $19,000, we didn’t bother to file a claim. We did the repairs ourselves. It took time, but it cost only a fraction of what it would have cost to job it out.

2) I bought a beautiful set of custom linen draperies at my favorite thrift store. They cost the princely some of $8. They need to be hung now that the above-mentioned repairs are completed. My dear frugal friend offered me a nice wooden rod and rings.

3) I did some thrifting today. I bought a nice quality cashmere sweater for my husband. a Rose Medallion plate, a small roll of handmade paper to be used for crafts or gifts, and 4 sets of new West Elm silk sheers for resale. The total cost was $19. Not quite as good as the pay-by-the pound Goodwill, but sadly there is not one nearby.

4) Hubby is traveling for work this week, so I am building most of my meals around leftovers. After surveying the contents of the refrigerator, I see a pot of vegetable soup in my future. I finally roasted and puréed my small pumpkins purchased around Thanksgiving and am making beef stock. I hope to make a loaf or two GF banana nut bread tomorrow and freeze these for later.

5) I am attending a party tomorrow evening which I usually look forward to. However, there is always a gift exchange. I have tried for years to get this particular group to do something else but to no avail. Since I cannot get out of it, I try to give something beautiful, useful, and consistent with my beliefs. I have decided to buy a small Rosemary topiary Christmas tree this year. On a more personal note, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get inappropriate cocktail napkins or stinky soap again this year. The napkins that I received last year were decorated with a graphic of a dog in a Santa hat peeing on a Christmas tree. When I got home, they went directly into my ever -present donation box. Maybe I just don’t have a sense of humor?


Dee December 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Perhaps if you “forgot” your gift, you would have to be left out of the gift giving ?


Bee December 5, 2017 at 3:59 am

That is beautiful in its simplicity.


MommaL December 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Food no-waste week:
1. Monitored a movie night, brought home a free pizza.
2. Stew beef was 1/2 price, so I made “stone soup” with a gallon bag of leftover veggies in my freezer, some dried barley, spices, and some frozen kale from last summer.
3. Used high end coupons to buy corn tortillas for FREE, freezing them for taco nights.
4. Invited to bring-your-own-appetizer parties, found tubs of cheesy dips for less than 1/2 price, and pretzels for less than 1/2 price. Easy app, no cooking! (of course I’ll save the tubs).
5. Did secret shopping, came home with free sliced roast beef, served it over toast with gravy. Sliced up some of the many sweet potatoes bought at Thanksgiving sales for 35 cents/lb, and baked them with a little oil, salt and pepper. Hubs was in heaven.
The cashier at the grocery store looked at what I purchased, and said “what are you making?”. I said “I don’t know, I buy good ingredients when they are on sale, then look up recipes on!” He had never heard of that site and thanked me.


Juhli December 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I just have one big success. 2018 will be our first year paying for Medicare and buying supplemental health insurance as part of the Federal retiree system. We spent quite a bit of time analyzing how to keep our doctors and at least keep our health insurance cost the same as it was this year. We switched plans and will actually pay a little bit less overall in 2018 than 2017. Happy!


kathleen December 4, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Congrats, what a great feeling!

My library offered a free informational meeting today about Medicare. The hubs turns 65 this Aug, so I am proud of myself for not waiting till the last minute to start learning what we need to know.


Sarah D December 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

It’s been a pretty non-frugal weekend for us, but here goes!
1. after my kid’s birthday party we sent the candles home with her friend’s mom, since my daughter won’t need candles that spell “eight” ever again, but I’d hate to throw them out!
2. an ebay item I listed three times in a row finally sold!
3. another item I have for sale would require me to drive about 15 minutes to meet the seller, so I’m debating taking less from someone closer vs. driving to get a little higher price — either way, I’m hoping to get this thing sold and out of my house this week!
4. I’ve wanted more houseplants, and recently I got a start of a geranium that I’m going to try to root and an already-potted begonia from the “re-gifting” table at my church
5. my bluetooth headphones that I use daily just stopped working (despite not being very old – maybe 6months) so I found another pair (different brand) on Groupon and decided to search my email inbox for a coupon–only saved 10% but since it was already a good price, I’m happy all around (though UNhappy that I have to replace something so new!)


Susie's Daughter December 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm

1) Today was my before-the-holidays ‘big city’ shopping day which means Costco, Trader Joe’s, CVS, Michael’s, kid’s consignment and a quick stop at Christmas Tree Shops for a church project. It is an expensive day on paper, no doubt, but it stocks us up through the holidays now with many items we can’t get locally or are much more expensive here.

2) I had a free coffee for my 90 minute drive this morning through our gas station rewards (hurray for Cumby’s coffee fellow New Englanders!) and had a very tasty $1.65 hot dog and drink from Costco for lunch.

3) I actually bought three birthday gifts today as well since they were 50% off at Michael’s.

4) Trying very hard to redistribute useful things that we are not using out into the world. Last week it was kids books and puzzles. This week it is extra linens and blankets, most of which came with our house.

5) Took a few things to kid’s consignment today to sell, including one thing I thought we had already given away! I made $19.25 and left without buying anything. My brother is bringing us hand me downs at Christmas so I am waiting to see if we need anything else for the rapidly growing DS. I love hand me downs…


Chris December 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

1. Decided to make sleep pants for our son, daughter in law and grandson for less than 1/2 the price of buying them. I am probably 3/4 of the way through.
2. A dear neighbor gave me 4 paperback books for said grandson so they will go in a box of Christmas/not Christmas since he doesn’t understand the concept.
3.Have spent 8 hours in the last 2 days at the library organizing for our semi-annual sale – keeping busy and getting lots of exercise at the same time.
4. Continue to plan all 3 meals each day at home – very little food waste.
5. Had a friend in from out of town over night – he paid for lunch for my husband one day and breakfast for 3 of us another – plus he brought us his amazing pound cake. He also brought pound cakes for other folks in town which my husband will deliver saving him $$$ in postage.


Elizabeth December 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

1.Bought a gift to add to my daughter’s “my favorite things” box for $2 (Nutella for 49cents a jar…yes please!)
2.Made my own version of rotel(turned out great)
3.Paid my car insurance premium all in one payment and saved $20 (boo to installment fees)
4.Suggested useful gift ideas to my extended family that my kids would both want/need as opposed to excess toys that they definitely don’t need
5.Bartered with my wonderful mom for needed food items(everyone wins this way)


ouvickie December 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

1) I used an Amazon gift card to buy two Christmas gifts for my granddaughters.
2) Sticking to water and trying to eat healthier in order to shed some weight and just be healthier.
3) I paid off one medical bill and should have the other paid off by the end of the month, using my HSA account card.
4) I bought two tickets to see Mannheim Steamroller later this month. This will be my husband’s Christmas gift. I prefer to give him experiences, instead of stuff and the tickets were very reasonably priced. I believe I have a free night on my Marriott Rewards account, so I’ll use that and we can have a nice night out downtown that evening.
5) I’m attending a Tech Summit tomorrow, which entails lots of information and a free lunch. Yay for free food!!


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