Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 3, 2017 · 10 comments

  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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth December 3, 2017 at 6:03 am

1. Yesterday evening went to the free holiday lights parade with my daughter and got into the holiday spirit watching the marching bands etc., all lit up and decorated, what a fun experience.
2. Sprung for decadent hot chocolates while we were there and the nice cashier gave us the buy one get one free deal.
3. Instead of going to dinner we went home to a steaming crockpot of chili and cornbread muffins, perfect for frozen fingers.
4. We watched a holiday show on Amazon Prime.
5.Did Swagbucks off and on all day long, trying to earn enough by Christmas for a $25 gift card to give.


avl December 3, 2017 at 7:11 am

1) Went to Target to purchase LED lightbulbs and left the store with having only purchased said lightbulbs. Later found out LED lightbulbs are much cheaper at Costco, where I’ll get them from now on.
2) On the way home from Target, I stopped at Michael’s to return $3.00 worth of unopened craft supplies purchased for a child’s school-related project. I’m sure the cashier thought I was a nut.
3) Continuing to make an effort to run the washer/dryer and dishwasher only during non-peak electricity hours. Was reminded of this from several commenters on this blog – thank you! Being more mindful about turning off lights, and unplugging unused appliances. Keeping temperatures lower in my house, especially at night (bonus – better sleep!) Waiting to see how much of a difference this makes in my bill.
4) Made final payment on my new car (paid off loan in one year). Regretful for not buying a used vehicle and saving thousands of dollars, particularly given that we have two teenaged drivers in the house.
5) Dropped off three bags of household items at Goodwill. Consistently decluttering on a monthly basis through donations or eBay/Craigslist sales. I would very much like to downsize our house in a few years, although my husband is not at all on the same page. We live in a very nice town with an excellent school system, yet still real estate prices have stagnated and houses are often on the market for many months. We have been in our house for over 10 years, yet would probably take a loss if we sold now.


MommaL December 3, 2017 at 7:53 am

Hey Katy, I think you posted this twice ?


Katy in Africa December 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm

My favorite is # 3!!!
1. We’re ending our weekend with a movie my father in law sent and home popped popcorn.
2. I bought paper to make Christmas cards with, I want to try these folded stars they seem like a good option that doesn’t take a lot of craft supplies and people can put them on their tree like an ornament if they want.
3. I got a calendar in the mail from the organization we work with…so no need to purchase one.
4. We bought some fabric for an event for our kids, but I opted for just one thing of fabric, which should be plenty as I have some leftover fabric that matches. So it should be plenty to make a dress for my girl and a shirt for my boy.
5. And I’m having trouble coming up with a 5th…


Jill A December 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm

I think I have more unfrugals that frugals but I’ll try.

1. I went grocery shopping with my husband. Someone had spilled water in the checkout line. My husband and I cleaned it up while she continued to check us out. She gave us $2 off our order to say thank you.
2. We raked leaves with rakes and a tarp rather than a leaf blower and tractor. Saving us the money it would have cost for gas.
3. Had a Chik-fil-a dinner with my husband and daughter last night. We all ordered the entrees and not the meal and I skipped the drink order making it much less expensive ( for a meal out anyway).
4. After dinner we went to the movie with both daughters and each got a student discount on their tickets. It wasn’t the cheap theater but not the most expensive either.
5. My husband broke a bottle of Stubbs marinade while trying to open it. It just sort of broke in half while trying to take the top off and cutting his hand. He called the company and they sent us coupons for two free bottles.


Marcia December 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

1. Finding that our meals are generally working out to two day’s cooking and then leftovers on the third day. Most of the time it works out to be enough food, and the leftovers don’t get ahead of us and certainly do get eaten!
2. I knew my DD was a good couponer but I think she might be turning into a “deal” hoarder. Decided that I needed to go down a size in my favorite underwear. She “happened” to have 3, 3-packs put away–she recently changed to the same style, new fabric ones, and offered me the all cotton ones I like for $1 per pack–selling price is $22.50 normally. She had stacked coupons when she bought them and gotten them insanely cheaply. Good deal for me!!
3. Started putting up our FAKE Christmas tree today. Not making much progress and we both have the “gloomies” today–we got the tree on a good sale a few years ago when we decided the price of real ones was getting outrageous plus we were getting older and less into picking one out every year. We keep sitting down to read or whatever, but no rush — we’re retired! I worked on the boring part of “fluffing” out the branches, which get squashed together when it’s put away for the season. Gloomies are because of the weather going from sunshine to grey since this morning! Also we don’t plan work on Sundays but don’t mind if a little gets done here and there!
4, Saved 20% on my groceries this week by buying on sale and using coupons. It always goes down the last week of the month as coupons get used up. Did closer to 40% at the beginning of the month. Also did not shop at all Thanksgiving week, so saved a week’s worth there! I bought one or two items a week ahead of the holiday, and then didn’t need to go out. Still have a considerable amount of turkey frozen with stock in the freezer as well.
5. Ordered about 5 more gifts this week on line: saved a % on each, with 50% on the three items from Land’s End. One that I ordered yesterday has already shipped. My savings on that one paid for the shipping to get it here. Not much of a savings, but I liked it a lot better than similar items from another store with a bigger discount. Doing very well on saving on gifts–but am down to the “difficult” to buy for now, and stretching for ideas! Between arthritis (normal) and surgery two days before Thanksgiving, I have been unable to get into the stores so online has saved me this year. I will go to the liquor store and pick out some bottles of wine for my brother in law. He’s so easy-going–wine, coffee, or gift cards to bookstores always make him happy–I have decided it’s going to be wine for Christmas. I’ll make a basket, and toss in a couple snacks to go with the wine. He should love it.


Sherry Blair December 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Katy, Do you still use Swagbucks? If so, do you have a link for me to use to sign up that you get credit for? Realized as I was looking into signing up for it that you might have a link, but I didn’t see a current one when I did a quick “look-see” on the blog site. Thanx in advance.


Karen December 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

1. I am finished Christmas gift shopping. I mainly shop for my kids,
their husband or girlfriend, our parents, our niece and nephews still in school, and each other.
2. We are using the envelope system for groceries, eating out and personal needs. Today we ate at Culvers with two $1 off value meal coupons. Kept us within our budget!
3. Keeping our heat at 68 or under and wearing layers. We also have a gas fireplace once it gets colder.
4. We haven’t gone crazy with decorations. We have an artificial tabletop tree, two smaller trees from Target for $3, a few nativity scenes, the stable I bought at a yard sale, and my trees and houses on our mantel.
5. Went looking for rosemary sprigs yesterday. Nothing. I ordered a bunch from Etsy yesterday for 4.99. I’m planning to make an edible rosemary/ bay leaf wreath for a dinner party on Friday.

Just a little aside, I like your Russian. 🙂


Bethany M December 3, 2017 at 10:27 pm

1. Picked up produce some friends at church brought for anyone interested. Persimmons and lemons!

2. Been selling lots of stuff on varagesale lately. Enjoying having the space and the extra cash.

3. Learned to refill my soft soap dispensers over my bendable cutting board. I always spill so I can scrape off the extra into a pyrex and use it up easier.

4. Planning out our last week and a half of food at home before out travels so we have no waste.

5. We’ll spend 7 nights in hotels while we travel. We are going to do a 24 hour drive to eliminate the 8th night and to spend more time with my parents. Thankfully we have rewards points. When my husband opened the company’s training center he got the rewards points of 30 hotel rooms for 30 days because their travel department wasn’t ready to book the hotels for he first guys he trained. We used those points for 2 cross country trips, he added some with some travel he did for work and we have this last trip to make. We’re crossing our fingers that the points will stretch to cover it. Hubby is going to check out a few hotels around the bigger cities to make sure we get stays requiring fewer points.


Diane C December 3, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Bethany, re: #5. Does the hotel group have an affinity credit card? That’s a great way to earn/redeem hotel nights. For example, the IHG card costs $49 after the first year. It comes with a free hotel night anywhere in the chain each year. There are introductory points, and you accrue points at a faster rate, plus they have redemption specials. DH and I each have one and we have accrued over 750k points.


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