Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 15, 2017 · 93 comments

  1. I worked yesterday and dutifully packed enough food to get me through the 12-1/2 hour shift. (A banana, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken and some green beans.) However, it turned out to be the day when the hospital provides a free holiday meal for the entire staff! I did eat the banana for breakfast, but kept my food refrigerated so I could save it for this weekend’s shift. Of course, I drank the free delicious tea and the free so-so coffee. (They recently upped their coffee game.)

  2.  I stopped into Goodwill and bought two huge bags of official Build-A-Bear clothing that I can piece out to sell on eBay. I’ve sold a number of random dolls and doll accessories through the years and have always done well with them. It’ll be a pain in the tuchus to get everything photographed and listed, but that’s just a matter of effort on my part. I think there’s a couple hundred dollars of potential profit in the bags, selling to parents wanting to buy for Christmas gifts, and then to kids who want to dress the bears they got for Christmas!

  3. I drove over to The Grocery Outlet the other day to hopefully address the echo in my refrigerator. (Having both the kids home from college is an entirely different food situation than when it’s just my husband and myself.) I currently have a 90-day subscription to the Chinook Book app on my phone, which came via my Buy Nothing Group. (Someone was giving away an extra book, which came with an app e-code.) Anyway, I had three “$3-off a $25 purchase” e-coupons, which is a pretty great deal considering how cheap their prices already are. I bought a large amount of food, so I had the checkout guy split my purchases into three separate transactions so I’d be able to use all three coupons. (Luckily there was no one in line behind me.) Again, a pain in the tuchus, but worth the $9 savings!

  4. I’ve been able to remove multiple stains from a Pottery Barn kids quilt that I picked up at the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet. I utilized my go-to stain removal method of mixing hydrogen peroxide, dawn detergent and baking soda and then soaking in oxyclean. (By the way, my recipe is “a squirt of this, a squirt of that and a sprinkle of the other.”) It took a couple rounds of scrubbing and washing, but the quilt now looks great and is ready for a new owner. Being able to repair, mend and clean my belongings is a key component of non consumerism. Our grandparents didn’t throw away their stuff just because it needed TLC, and neither should we.

  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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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 December 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm

1. I got a free birthday coffee from my favourite cafe. My favourite barista has left (sad face) but the free coffee tasted nicer somehow…
2. I started my holidays early after submitting my final project of the year. Paid half day off!! Woot!! I used it to help my daughter clean her room. But still- I was being paid the whole time.
3. In my quest to continue cleaning out the fridge before we go away, I made burgers that were appreciated by all.
4. I got a free diary and calendar in the mail for being a subscriber to a magazine. It’s a lovely calendar and diary, plus the magazine subscription was free for doing surveys. So super free gifts in the mail. And the are gardening themed so I can see what to plant each month.
5. I have a stack of library books and audiobooks on the Overdrive app to take away with me on holiday. Free entertainment ftw.


mcpare December 16, 2017 at 4:16 am

I always look forward to and enjoy your posts Mand01.


Elizabeth December 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

1. I spent less than $10 at goodwill on vintage glass Christmas ornaments and two nice wool sweaters. I put them up on eBay and sold them for about $60. So after the original price of the items and ebays fees I made about $40 profit for not too much work.
2. Last week I found a pair of Christian Dior over the knee boots for $7 and sold them for $125! That was a nice find!
3. I have been decluttering like crazy and selling the items that seem worth selling on eBay. It’s amazing the amount of things just sitting around my house that I can sell. Decluttering my space and earning a bit of money as well!
4. My kids are at an after school holiday party today. Fun for them and free for me!
5. Went to a neighborhood gift exchange last night and the gift I brought didn’t cost me anything. I had received a few nice items that I didn’t need (not from anyone in my neighborhood!) and they made a nice gift to bring for the gift exchange.


Norma December 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I don’t normally do the FFT but have had some great (for me) frugal experiences over the last week.

1. Had two $5 extra bucks coupons for CVS. Purchased two bags of Hershey’s kisses for baking and a tube of toothpaste for $1.03 after taking off my coupons. Then got $3 extra bucks for buying the kisses. So they paid me to shop there!!! (I realize I had to purchase 20 prescriptions to get the two $5 coupons but I would be purchasing them anyway.)

2. Thinking about replacing our heat pump before it decides to die in the middle of winter. Will save about $2,000 by going through Costco.

3. Purchased four $15 Krispy Kreme (my downfall – one of many) gift cards for $45, a 25% savings. Used my credit card for points. Will use my Krispy Kreme app when purchasing donuts and will get those point towards free items at Krispy Kreme. Will use my credit card for even more points. Win, win, win!!!

4. Purchased four $25 gift cards for Sticky Fingers. Again, used my credit card for points. Have BOGO coupons for Sticky Fingers and will use by credit card again to get points. Don’t eat out a lot but this is one of our favorites and gift cards should last us most of the year.

5. Have only purchased items for Christmas on Amazon which include free shipping with Amazon prime. Husband watches movies on Amazon for entertainment.


Liz B. December 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Oh, I *LOVE* Sticky Fingers. There aren’t any around my area, but I do buy the barbeque sauces. Yum!


Tracy December 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

I am inspired by all the selling going on! I love to thrift shop and could see a little side hustle of buying and selling once I retire in a few years. Right now time is just too tight…
1. I went to both Grocery Outlet and Freddy’s today and got 6 bags of groceries, including a couple of Christmas gifts and a bottle of Prosecco (also a gift) for under $100. Some of the food is for the holidays including our (almost) week long vacation to the beach between Christmas and New Year’s. Saved over$50 with coupons and promotions.
2. Am starting to wrap presents today using inexpensive brown paper and leftover bows etc. Haven’t bought any Christmas decorations this year except a wreath for our front door (a bargain at Costco for $15).
3. Went to a meeting of my 12-step group- this a.m. as I do 2-3 times/week. Truly a bargain at $1-2/pop (and that’s an optional contribution), program is not only life-changing but meetings are HIGHLY entertaining.
4. Am looking into a getaway with hubs (likely to Tucson) for late April to celebrate both of our birthdays. Not sure it’s frugal except that a weekend away is WAY cheaper than a divorce and we really need to focus more on having fun together without any kids in tow! We’ve gotten too focused on the day-to-day grind and that’s not good for our relationship…
5. Making appointment to take my paid off car in to get serviced. Not cheap, but in the long run cheaper than a car payment…



Jenny December 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

Tracy- love #3. Me, too. And for those who are curious, there are 12 Step programs for almost anything that is troubling in one’s life. “Cheap” or free and yet totally valuable!


Alexandra Evans December 19, 2017 at 5:22 am

Tracey, LOVE #4! Yep care and feeding of the marriage is way less expensive than divorce. I am going to follow your advice and get to work!


Ney December 15, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Great find! Wondering what you paid for the Build A Bear stuff? Two bags is a lot!!! Awesome!


Jill A December 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

1. I visited my Mom this morning. I offered to pick her up some coffee on the way since it was cold and she didn’t want to go out. Instead she made a pot and also made us both a salad for lunch. It was good to spend time with her.
2. My mother had some coffee that my brother left behind. She didn’t want it and it’s just taking up space in her cupboard. It’s expired and may taste bad. I’m going to try it. If it’s drinkable I won’t have to buy coffee for quite a while.
3. I was craving Chinese take out yesterday. My husband was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I picked up some sweet and sour chicken at Trader Joe’s and made fried cauliflower rice and stir fry vegetables to go with it. Not as good as the real thing but not bad at all. It was definitely cheaper and fed three of us for less than $10.
4.My daughters wanted to know what my husband and I would like for Christmas….we don’t want anything but one daughter is going to help me put up our tree and decorate and the other is going to do our Christmas baking to give to the neighbors. We will return the tin Christmas platter to our neighbor with baked goods on it. We will also return the buckets to another neighbor that they give us caramel corn in every year so they can reuse them.
5. Tonight is my husband’s work party. I’m wearing an outfit I already own and he will also. It will be a nice free dinner, drinks and entertainment.
6. I picked up my daughter from school for her Christmas break. I drove my hybrid to save on gas. She had to empty her fridge and turn it off. Her roommate left a bag of cheese sticks behind so we brought them home as well as a can of tea.


Betty Winslow December 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

If you don’t like the coffee, you can make a scrub out of it – google for a recipe!


Lindsey December 15, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Or grind, soak in some hot water, and add to your compost heap.


Jennifer December 15, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Or mix a little of the bad coffee in with some fresh new coffee and use it up a little along and stretch your good coffee a little further.


Linda December 15, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Great repair on the quilt. I agree that repairing, mending, & cleaning are key components of non consumerism.
I would love to be able to sell things like many of you do, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin!


Su Mama December 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Linda, eBay isn’t hard, though it can be pretty time-consuming. Their directions are clear. Whenever I find something — most things, anyway — I tell myself, “I can do this — stupider people than me do this all the time!”


Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 8:17 pm

Love this.. I live by this same idea!


Jill December 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

1. I had some past-their-prime bananas on the counter so I looked up a recipe for banana bread using ingredients I had on hand. Snack for the weekend is now made.
2. Drove to the consignment shop to pick up some money I had earned on sold items. Unfortunately, the line to consign was to the back of the shop. So I picked up my check and decided to consign another day. I batched errands – and then decided to drive to our local cupcake shop, which is closer to the consignment shop than my house, and use a free cupcake coupon my sister had gifted me with. I didn’t go out of my way to use it and got a free treat.
3. Had a free day at home today and though I didn’t really feel like it, I gave my kitchen a thorough and much needed scrubbing. Got much done – laundry, too – and didn’t spend any money going out.
4. Sold an item on ebay this morning and am scrounging used packaging to send it off.
5.We lost a tree to a storm a year or so ago and my husband stacked all the wood near the house. Rain was expected so I remembered to stack some firewood near the house for a fire and movie night.


Kathy Hairston December 15, 2017 at 2:03 pm

1. Sold multiple items on eBay for my dog club. Netted about $600
2. Used free shipping and $10 coupon to order holiday flowers for friends in Florida
3. Used $15 coupon and free shipping to order dog food from
4. $50 coupon and free shipping to order hubbys gift from tommy Bahamas
5. Had a new Lenox picture frame I picked up at the thrift store that wrapped up for a hostess gift.


Lindsey December 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm

1. Went to a meeting. NO ONE ate the salmon dip and French bread slices the agency bought. The donuts were gone in a flash, though. When I said how tasty the dip was (Alaskans get lots of salmon and are very snooty about dips made with it), the host said I should just take it. So I did. Husband and I have eaten it for lunch three days and finally polished it off. Love free food.
2. More free food: husband’s singing group provided entertainment for a party. Each guy (a Barbershop singing group) was given a fancy box of designer cupcakes as a party favor. My husband gives this single guy, a diabetic, a ride to and from each week, so he took a cupcake for himself and gave the rest of his dozen to my husband (so he would not be tempted to eat more than one and as thanks for the weekly rides). So, we have nearly two dozen gourmet cupcakes in the freezer!
3. My husband is a math whiz and as a favor he tutors this high school neighbor. The 16 year old said he wanted to get us something for a Christmas gift for all the free tutoring and asked what we wanted. “Someone to put up our Christmas lights and take them down after the New Year,” my husband with the bad shoulder said. So, last night, the husband held the ladder and the kid put up a ton of lights. It really helped us and I hope gave this boy the idea that giving of your time is a great gift, for the right person.
4. Saw a nickel in the grocery parking lot and today felt good enough to bend over to pick it up.
5. I don’t understand this, but the husband absolutely hated the bacon-cabbage-onion side dish I made earlier in the week. I repurposed it into turkey soup with freezer turkey from Thanksgiving and he loved it. I eat bacon but I don’t really like it all that much–I made the fry up thinking he would love it. I didn’t want to face eating the fry up for three days by myself to finish it, so soup was great. (Usually we cook enough for two days worth of meals, so only have to reheat something the next day. We both used to have jobs where we were on call, so got it was easier to cook only three or four times a week. We no longer are on call, but the habit was convenient so we just continue to do it.)


Jennifer December 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

2. Those cupcakes would not be safe in my freezer, yum!


A. Marie December 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

1. That salmon dip would not be safe around me. Have you considered offering an Alaskan vacation option for NCA’ers? Salmon, moose, and the other local goodies in exchange for help around the house? Semi-seriously, give it some thought.


Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Yeah, or an airBNB with a salmon stocked fridge!


Madeline December 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

1. Wore a favorite blouse that is old and got a hole in it, but last week my husband (he is the family seamstress) patched it up for me and it looks fine to wear at home and to grocery store.

2. Did the big every other month Walmart shop for items they are very cheap on such as bleach,laundry soap, Equate brand facial cleanser I use for my sensitive skin ,canned beans and tomatoes, cat food, litter,wine for upcoming entertaining, eggs, bread flour, and a few other items I use a lot. Trying to spend more days at home and less grocery shopping/errands.

3. Made a huge pot of our favorite Lemon Tahini Garbanzo bean soup with dry beans..lunches for next few days with homemade bread. Some of my home making “chores” are actually hobbies..I love to fun. And useful.

4. Spent 2 hours yesterday having FREE FUN while making 4 sets of greeting cards to give as gifts to friends in home made decorated bags. My rubber stamp/card hobby is fun for me and I make a lot of gifts. Over the years (more flush working days!) I have accumulated enough supplies and rarely have to buy anymore. I sometimes pick up papers and envelopes at yard sales.

5. Cooking down the pantry and freezer.. making risotto for supper with huge portion of carrots, a very inexpensive and nutritious vegetable I serve often!


June December 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm

I’d love to see your recipe for the Lemon Tahini Garbanzo soup! That sounds so yummy.


mcpare December 16, 2017 at 4:24 am

That soup sounds fabulous!


Lauren December 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm

1. As part of my Christmas gifts this year I have been hand making stockings for the family. I’m learning a lot with the sewing practice and to me, they look pretty good for a first timer. I used remnant Christmas fabric bought on sale and white pillowcases from the thrift store making each stocking less than 3 euro!

2. Finally reached enough Swagbucks to redeem an Amazon gift card.

3. I had a small amount of spaghetti and meat sauce leftover from my dinner last night and saved it even though it wasn’t really enough for a meal. I’m feeling ill tonight so it’s actually a perfect meal size with some fruit.

4. Wrapping gifts with brown paper that can be recycled or I can use for painting scraps.

5. Frugal Fail: I have tried to pick out all of the Christmas gifts carefully with an eye on the budget and choosing practical items. However, I need help and a ride to finish up some items on the list which means I’ll have to take my MUCH LESS frugal husband to the mall tomorrow. It will be hard to get out of there unscathed with him in tow, on top of the pure terror of a weekend trip to the mall around Christmas-time. I’ll have to use the tired pregnant lady card to move things along I think!


Debra Oehlberg December 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

I totally understand about the Swagbucks points. I am not good at accumulating points, so it is a relief when I do have enough to redeem!


Liz B. December 16, 2017 at 8:03 pm

I have yet to accumulate enough to redeem them for a gift card, but I’m not very diligent about gathering points every day, either. I have started printing out coupons for products I use to get SB – that helps.


tonya December 15, 2017 at 3:51 pm

1) I used several coupons today at the grocery store. I also reviewed my receipt and noticed that I had been accidentally charged twice for some meat. $8.07 back on my card. The cashier was super apologetic about her error.
2) I ate leftovers for lunch and watched Netflix. I love the series Jane the Virgin and am so enjoying it during the winter. It’s light hearted.
3) I bought markdown bagels and chips and my teens are thrilled!
4) I used my gas points for .30 off per gallon.
5) I have had markdown meat in the Crock-Pot all day for an easy Friday night dinner.


Nancy December 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

I agree with you about taking care of things you own as far as stain removal Etc. I have bought really amazing clothing at thrift stores that were simply missing one button or a little tiny stain. I get them home and rehab them and off I go. Next time we go from Boise to Portland I definitely want to go to the to the Goodwill Outlet!


avl December 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

1) Today I made a big pot of split pea soup to have on hand for quick warm meals over the weekend. I used Ina Garten’s recipe – it’s delicious.

2) This afternoon after my Friday Aldi run, I returned a few items at various stores on my way home. All were small purchases (around $5 each) that I did not need. This blog has helped me solidify the mindset not to waste even small amounts of money when possible (I am not perfect, but getting so much better). I also dropped off at the post office a pair of gloves I just sold on eBay.

3) Tonight I’m staying in, reading a good book from my shelf (Book Two of the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante) and trying to avoid turning up the heat by piling on throws. I have the heat on 70 degrees and I am still freezing.

4) Returned an extra cable box to Xfinity for a basement TV that never gets watched. This will reduce our bill by $6 a month. Again, a very small savings to be sure, but why give more money to the cable giants than necessary – especially given the billions they will rake in from the repeal of net neutrality.

5) Our son got into his first choice college, but was awarded no financial aid at all. I will be redoubling my frugality efforts. Like Katy with her boys, I really hope to help my son graduate debt-free so that he has more options in the future. Both my husband and I graduated from school with significant debt and it steered us into career paths we might not have otherwise chosen.


Christine Joiner December 15, 2017 at 6:53 pm

I like how you mention the little savings as well as the big. I think it’s the little savings, in all the day to day stuff we do, that really add up over time. Like returning the extra cable box…$6 is only $6 a month, but over the course of a year the savings of $72 is significant.


Marilyn December 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm

I agree it’s the repeated expenses month after month which you have to watch out for. They really add up over time.


Jill A December 16, 2017 at 7:45 am

Also those cable boxes use a lot of electricity so you need t0 count that savings also.


Jenny December 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

We are two people, one frugal and one husband who seems to undo everything frugal that I attempt sometimes. We have 3 TVs. Two seems reasonable but 3 is dumb. We have AT&T cable boxes one for each TV. My thought is to get rid of one of the boxes and have that TV as a back-up emergency TV-lol (it’s in the basement and hasn’t been watched in years). My proposal may hinge on whether we could, theoretically, if we needed to, take one of the two remaining cable boxes and switch it to and from the basement TV if we needed to. I don’t think that sounds too hard. I guess my husband is picturing a doomsday scenario where we would be living in the basest for weeks. Does anyone do this- move a cable box around?


Vickey December 24, 2017 at 10:38 am

Can you test the box switchability hypothesis?
If you were reduced to living in the basement post-Doomsday, it’s extremely unlikely cable tv would still be functioning. Plus you wouldn’t wanna alert the zombies to your presence by watching the telly. 😉


Jenny December 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for your support! Lol!

Sarah D December 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

1. What with my daughter’s birthday, a work trip out of town, and Christmas gifts, this month’s credit card bill has gotten a bit higher than we’d like, and the cycle doesn’t end until Monday (and we need more gifts this weekend, along with a trip to the post office to mail a bunch of them!). So we called up our cc company to ask if they can change the cycle date (they can, but not for this month). The agent looked at our 100% perfect record of payment in full and on time (with admiration, I might add) and happily offered a zero-percent interest rate for the next two months so that we can spread out this holiday shopping over two months’ payments. Having a good record of full and on-time payment pays off!
2. Last night my daughter and husband went to an event that gave them enough appetizers to make up a meal. I felt too sick to go, and when you’re sick you rarely want healthy food (I find). But I soldiered on and made myself a taco salad that used up the exact one serving of rice and beans left in the fridge and one handful of tortilla chip crumbs that would otherwise have gone to waste.
3. Today I went to another committee meeting where I get free lunch, but I didn’t eat their greasy heavy carby food. Instead, I took my own salad from home. I decided that my long-term health (and the short-term GI pain I get from cheese) isn’t worth one free meal, and I still only used up food I already owned.
4. I relisted a puppet theater+puppets on craigslist, even though the first like 5 times I did so haven’t panned out. Just one day later, I have an interested customer this time and I think it’s going to work–finally!
5. In addition to paying off my student loan a few weeks ago, we paid one-third of the remaining balance on my husband’s student loan. We also filled up our IRAs for 2017–I don’t think I’ve ever filled my IRA in the calendar year before! (I usually wait until the tax day deadline). I feel like we’re on track to pay my husband’s student loan fully by mid-2018. After being out of grad school and fully employed for a decade now, I finally feel like we’re getting into a decent financial position rather than always playing catch-up. I hope we can continue that into 2018.


Liz B. December 17, 2017 at 7:47 am

Sarah D, isn’t if funny how things that don’t sell, all of a sudden find the right person? I’ve had that happen several times, and am always grateful to get that item to its new owner.


Sarah D December 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Yes, and I was right – it worked! woo-hoo!


Jennifer December 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

1. I picked up my free blistex chapstick from Kroger that I will use for a small gift. I will make a cute tag for it that says “Merry KISSmas” for a fun touch using an old Christmas card from the stash my friend gave me when his elderly mom passed away.
2. I picked up my daughter a pair of boots on sale at Payless for $12. I am returning the iffy shirt I had bought her for $17 the day before. I was in a rush so I made the hurried decision to go ahead and buy the iffy shirt. Lesson learned, as I kept thinking about how she probably wouldn’t wear it. I am also returning the $3 necklace that goes with said iffy shirt. The store is close to work so shouldn’t be a big deal to return.
3. I just have to brag that my kids look so cute this holiday season. I have found them multiple holiday shirts throughout the year for just a few cents at yard sales that I stashed away until now. Paired with a cute hair bow and some jeans they look so festive. My wardrobe, on the other hand, resembles a scarecrow. Must find jeans soon!
4. Geez, I got nothing
5. Still nothing. Christmas has made me lose my ability to remember anything frugal I have done.


Marilyn December 15, 2017 at 10:58 pm

I like your plan fir the Blistex chapstick. I think I will do the same, but give it to my husband as a stocking stuffer.


Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 10:15 am

My blistex will go to my husband, too.


Roberta December 16, 2017 at 7:32 am

Good for you, picking up holiday shirts through the year! So many people overlook them out of season, but I always loved pulling them out of the box after Thanksgiving.


Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 10:20 am

Me too! I try to keep an open mind throughout the year when I see nice holiday things at yard sales/ thrift stores because the holidays always come back around.


Jennifer December 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm

1. CAshed in some CC points for $15 in Panera gift cards to put in my son’s stocking.
2. Decided that rather than buy each gymnastics coach a gift card to the tune of at least $100 for all of them I would provide a large fruit platter for the gym. I did this another year and every single coach stopped me in the lobby to thank me as they mostly get cookies. I am glad I remembered about it this year and should be able to get enough fruit for them to munch on all next week for around $30 – a large savings.
3. Ds needed a white elephant gift for a high school party. He found a brand new Connect 4 game I had gotten years ago and never gifted and wrapped it himself. No money spent.
4. Picked my other ds up from college and packed food for us for the trip. 7 hours round trip and all we bought was coffee.
5. Cooked dinner every night this week after a weekend of scrounging. We had lots of leftovers for lunches.


Christine Joiner December 15, 2017 at 7:13 pm

1. Opted out of the $10 gift grab at a recent Christmas party. I noticed quite a few others did too. Very much enjoyed the delicious meal, soda and coffee provided as well as the company.
2. We kept under our budget of $28 for a real Christmas tree by buying a $25 one and tipping the guy $2 for sawing off the bottom of the trunk for us. $1 to spare!
3. I picked up my first check I have ever earned at a consignment shop today as well as dropped off another item. It was a good feeling to receive money just for getting rid of things I didn’t want anymore.
4. I guess I overpaid Boston University for some dental work a few years back because I received a check for $35 from them for an overpayment made. Part of this went to purchasing our very pretty and fragrant Christmas tree today. The rest went to sale items at the grocery store.
5. I am learning new frugal ideas every time I read the posts on this blog. Thank you all who generously contribute and share your ideas, experiences and recipes! I am on a roll and am looking forward to continuing with the frugal and happy lifestyle my husband and I have found. To know you are all out there paddling along beside me with similar goals is inspiring. A big thank you to Katy for starting this blog and sticking with it.


rebecca December 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

!. Have eaten all meals from home this week.
2. Shopped at Aldi this week.
3. Have decided to get up really early tomorrow morning to bake cookies for a party after work tomorrow instead of buying them.
4. Am repurposing ribbon for holiday gifts.
5. I am planning for a no spend Saturday. I had a no spend day today as well.


Dee December 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

1. Noticed I was overcharged on a package of reduced meat, so I was able to recoup the $3 and change difference.
2. A friend was moving and gave me a 10# bag of chicken leg quarters and 2 pounds of hamburger meat. The hamburger has already been used to make a large pot of chili.
3. I found a quarter under the Coinstar machine and a penny in it.
4. I continue to cook meals at home and avoid food waste.
5. I only buy wrapping paper on after-Christmas clearance sales, and not even every year, but I have paper, bows, ribbon, and tags to last for several years (not to mention the gift bags we reuse, and reuse, and reuse).


Chris December 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm

1. Living in Minneapolis and walking my dog regularly, I have a great light weight down coat but as the winds have picked up I decided I needed a longer length coat with a hood – found one today at a thrift shop for $20. Very heavy compared to the current coat but it will definitely serve a purpose over the next few months!
2. Hand made gifts for most of my family – sleep pants, robe, embroidering a pillow top – the rest of the gifts are usable – gloves, socks. slippers.
3. Not doing any baking cause all I do is eat it on my own. Besides in my job, I bake quite a bit for the cafe and have it out of my system.
4. Cooking at home including 2 beautiful tenderloins gifted to me my last day of work before the holiday.
5. Finished up the semi-annual book sale to benefit the library. Sold a lot of books and donated many to several non-profits that serve folks unable to get to libraries. Feel like I met my goal of getting books in the hands of those who love to read whether they get to the library regularly or books are brought to them as well as making $$ to support library programs – win/win!


Teresa December 15, 2017 at 8:14 pm

1. Cleaned out fridge and made a frittata and salad for dinner.

2. Resisted the urge to buy disposable pads for the steam floor cleaner and instead used the washable pad. Floor came out just as clean 🙂

3. Ordered generic brand vacuum bags because they were less expensive than Miele bags. I have allergies so it’s sort of a test — the genuine Miele bags really keep the dust in but at 1/3 the price I had to try.

4. Job interview yesterday went well but doesn’t pay enough to live on. 🙁 Trying to figure out how to approach that… I really need a job.

5. Putting up the Christmas tree! It’s fake but always looks pretty. It will help me get into the holiday spirit.


janine December 15, 2017 at 9:34 pm

1. Made a scratch supper for us tonight – homemade apple sauce and lasagna-type pie that no self respecting Italian cook would recognize. However, it used up leftovers and tasted quite good. Also made garlic toasts from leftover buns found in the freezer.
2. Found a set of small honey jars at Trader Joe’s today that I heard mention of on this blog. Restocking clerk told me I got the last set. Plan to use them for a hostess gift next weekend.
3. Encouraged son to negotiate a better deal with cable provider. Still expensive, but considerably cheaper than previously. Glad he is adopting a few frugal habits.
4. Got an unexpected $12 rebate in the mail today. Used it to indulge my book buying habit. No impact on budget. I seldom go to movies so I justify this extravagance. It also encourages me to stay home and not indulge in my other downfall – stopping for a quick soda or snack when I am out and about.
5. Realized that I have lots of left over cards from other years so no no expenditure on new cards. Also still have plenty of gift wrap, tape, ribbons to last through another season. As others have noted, these small savings add up.


Susie's Daughter December 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

1) DS was under the weather earlier this week so I pulled out a container of turkey broth from the freezer for turkey noodle soup. I am grateful for that Thanksgiving turkey all over again.

2) We did errands after school today and the big treat was a free hot cocoa from our gas chain rewards program. I added extra milk to up the food value and cool it down some. I remembered to bring reusable coffee mugs so we didn’t have to use a styrofoam cup and could share it.

3) Tomorrow we are going to a free showing of The Polar Express! The movie theater and local paper sponsor this annually and collect non perishable food items in the lobby ahead of time.

4) Continuing to find things in the house to redisperse to the world, some from our house’s previous owners. If I don’t love and don’t use it, it can’t stay.

5) Asked family for a 10 visit state park punch card for Christmas which I hope I get! At -12 degrees this am, beach weather is a long way off, but it would be great to have that gift ready and waiting. 🙂


auntiali December 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm

1. Hubby and I got free shingles vaccines from our health department. I have type 2 diabetes and he has 2 stent in heart arteries.
2. Didn’t buy a new book to read on my ipad. Reading Bruce Springsteen’s biography that I got for Christmas last year.
3. Hubby and I scrounged for dinner tonight. He had the 2 leftover pizza slices and I ate out of the pantry.
4. Didn’t go out today, didn’t spend any money and didn’t clean the snow off my car. It’s just too cold out!
5. Turned the heat on in the house, up to 68, and I’m freezing. Will have to start saving for new windows.


Liz B. December 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

auntiali, yay you re: your #1. I’ve had shingles before, and they are no fun.
Your #2: how are you liking the book? My sister (hard core Bruce Springsteen fan, and librarian) was appalled at the writing, and had a hard time getting through it. Having said that, she enjoys books that I can’t get into at all.


Marilyn December 15, 2017 at 11:35 pm

1. Read an article by a woman writer called “The Year of No Shopping.” One thing she noted was how much time she saved by not shopping at all for clothes, jewelry or electronics over the past year. I’m always wishing I had more free time, so I’m going to remind myself of this next time I feel the urge to go browsing online or in the stores.
2. Did not buy any new Christmas decor. I have both a tree and a wreath which are years old but still looking good.
3. I also have plenty of Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags saved over the years so no need to buy more this year.
4. Mailed gifts to my sisters early so they could go parcel post, rather than more expensive delivery method.
5. Found 6 cents next to my car in the grocery store parking lot. It was as though someone dropped the coins there just for me.


avl December 16, 2017 at 9:18 am

Thanks for mentioning that article – I just found it on the New York Times website. I specifically like the quote: “Not shopping frees up a lot of space in your brain.” That’s been really true for me.


K D December 16, 2017 at 5:15 am

1. It was snowy yesterday so I skipped my scheduled afternoon event and stayed home and did laundry, wrapped gifts (with hand me up wrapping paper), wrote cards, and cleaned the house. All these things will lead to a stress-free weekend. Somehow that seems frugal.

2. Meals at home, meals at home, meals at home. A friend did take me out to lunch for helping him buy holiday gifts for his family but I was able to save him about the amount of the meal by downloading and using an app (since removed).

3. Evening entertainment is streaming network shows and knitting hats and scarves for those in need.

4. A friend mentors an inner-city student, as part of an organization. Today they’ll have a holiday party which includes selecting gifts for loved ones. I was able to pass along some things we never used (gifts received) and some items I obtained for very little out of pocket. That feeds the bargain hunter in me without adding clutter to my life.

5. I’m wearing the same clothes I’ve had for years as well as a few hand me ups.
I am good with timeless styles and not changing sizes. It makes the change in seasons easy.


Bee December 16, 2017 at 6:07 am

1) I bought 5 like-new books by Dr. Seuss for my great-nephew at GW for $0.99. These will be put with his Christmas gifts.
2) I was running errands last night. Although I was really hungry, I came home to eat what was already in the refrigerator. I was so tempted to go to my favorite Mexicali restaurant. I can’t remember the last time that I ate there.
3) I hit a treasure trove of antique collectibles while thrifting this week for items to resell. Most notable were the 10 sterling silver and gilt goblets that I purchased for $1.99 each. I definitely will be reselling these.
4) I only spent $30 at the grocery store this week. Since we are leaving next week, I have been trying to use what’s on hand. We have had some interesting meals.
5) The last item is only indirectly mine. My daughter has adopted a cute little puppy who needed some medical attention. She found a nonprofit veterinarian who helped her get him healthy at a very reasonable rate. Since she is a graduate student, she is on a tight budget, but she will be a very responsible pet owner.


Cindy in the South I December 16, 2017 at 8:40 am

I have a weakness for antique silver and I need nothing in my house so I have to run past antique stores and thrift stores containing silver…lol


Bee December 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I often wondered if the love of old silver is part of my southern roots like loving collard green and eating boiled peanuts. 🙂


Lindsey December 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Have spent most of my life in Alaska and I love old silver! But not collard greens or boiled peanuts. However, I will make and eat moose head soup, and have eaten plenty of whale meat. So, food may be connected to roots but not loving old silver!


Mand01 December 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of boiled peanuts, since I heard an Indigo Girls song that mentions them.
Unfortunately they don’t exist to my knowledge in Australia, plus we have a nut allergy in our family…

Liz B. December 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

I love old silver and collard greens….and I’m a Yankee born and bred. I do love the South, though. Maybe I was a Sotherner in a former life, lol!


Bee December 17, 2017 at 8:20 am

I guess loving old silver is not a regional thing after all. Perhaps there are those among us who love things with a history– things that have been loved before. Lindsey, I have a question. While in Alaska, I saw several moose, but did not eat any moose meat. These are not small creatures, so how do they make moose head soup. Is it cooked outside?

Liz B. December 17, 2017 at 8:35 am

Ugh – please forgive my typos – Southerner.

Lindsey December 17, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Bee, as to your question. No problem cooking it indoors. The heads are large, but you cut off the nose and cook it separately, so that makes it a more reasonable size. I have a huge double clad soup pot and it fits fine.


Jennifer December 17, 2017 at 7:22 pm

Interesting to learn about the moose head prep. As to the boiled peanuts, I love them but only have them occasionally due to the sodium content. Is case anyone is curious, the way we boil peanuts in the South is by actually the boiling the whole peanuts still in the shell in very salty water and sometimes Cajun seasonings are added. Salt seeps through into the, now soft, peanut inside(sorta the consistency of a cooked pinto bean). Part of the fun is getting the actual nuts out with your teeth, kinda like we do with pistachios or unshelled sunflower seeds. You don’t eat the shell but it becomes becomes soggy, salty, and soft. They are uniquely good and best served very warm. In the deep South, when traveling down country roads, it is common to see “boiled peanuts” handwritten or painted on a sign by the locals to advertise. They even have them in some convenience stores. Collards are ok but I am more of a spinach girl, myself. I’m originally from Alabama..Roll Tide!

Lynda December 16, 2017 at 6:51 am

1) Didn’t buy a fancy and yes, oh so tasty doughnut for £2.50 ($3.33 US, $4.36 Australia)
2) Staying out of the city centre shopping areas as far as possible, batching errands and using obscure routes to get to where I need to go.
3) Using my “senior” card to get a discount on my cinema ticket for “The Last Jedi”. 😉
The rest are damage limitation for my trip to Iceland.
4) Ordered my Icelandic money from a local travel agent rather than getting it at the airport or incurring multiple charges on bank cards.
5) Found some great waterproof boots with good gripping soles, 60% off.


Roberta December 16, 2017 at 7:53 am

1. We’re cutting down one of the volunteer pine trees in the yard as out Christmas tree. They’ll have to come down eventually, but this way there’s a purpose. They look …not perfect… but the tree is very authentically Victorian. Or whatever.
2. I won(!) what I saved at Grocery Outlet last week. They called me, and I picked up a gift card for what I had saved on a previous trip. $30! I spent it responsibly, and didn’t go hog-wild on chocolates or whatever.
3. I had some milk go sour, again! It will be frozen into single use sizes, and used up in muffins. But it does get frustrating!
4. Using our old decorations, fake greenery, and lights to decorate this year. I have a $5 of $25 coupon at RiteAid, and they have their lights on half-price, so I might augment for next year that way. Or I might not.
5. I can’t think of another one right now, but I need to go wash the dishes. The appliance guy never did bring back the screw that needs replacing, so I will hand wash until I can get to the parts store. This way I know I won’t have another repair bill!


Roberta December 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

Here’s a bonus one: we stopped by the humane society here in San Diego, but did not bring home the pair of huskies who were demonstrating a predilection for tearing up their blanket. But we talked about it.

Right now, San Diego Humane Society is waving pet adoption fees, until the 24th. If you’re here and thinking of getting a pet, now’s the time!


Alexandra Evans December 20, 2017 at 2:39 am

Roberta, I had a stream of milk go bad that I stopped buying it. Even portions that I froze wound up going bad sometimes because I use it so rarely. Then I’ll need it 3 times in one week! My solution, switch to evaporated milk. So far LOVE the difference. White sauce, cheese sauce and cocoa are great with evaporated milk!


Cindy in the South I December 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

I am still in my sour Scrooge mood about my never ending epic sewer fail. The more we dig, the worse it gets…sigh. To match my nasty mood, all employees were asked to provide refreshments to the tune of $25 for our “office” Christmas Party, where our boss, an elected politician, invites the whole community. Oh well, since there is another round of layoffs coming after Christmas due to state budget cuts to our office, I will keep my mouth shut and be grateful I have a job.
1. I used the $5 off $25 Dollar General Coupon and bought backup dog and cat food.
2. I am making tomato soup for the week with supplies I have on hand.
3. I am reusing my little blue tree I purchased a few years ago from Dollar General in the after Christmas sales.
4. There was a baby shower at work. I reused a Christmas gift bag.
5. I already have a turkey in my freezer, that I did not use Thanksgiving, so we will be having turkey for Christmas. It was purchased for 69 cents a lb, so it was not a bad price either. I am going to try to buy the least amount of food I have to at Christmas.


Bettypants December 18, 2017 at 5:06 am

What a crappy thing to ask employees to do. I validate your sour mood.


Vickey December 25, 2017 at 5:31 am



Cynthia Huntington December 16, 2017 at 10:14 am

The comments this week seem particularly inspiring–so many posts showing how AWARENESS makes such a difference. Making good decisions in the moment… sometimes messing up and trying again. I love this blog.

It’s been a good week for personal spending but boy did I get hit by bills. After my last, long delayed, physical I left with referrals that led to: colonoscopy, senior pneumonia shot, hearing eval, eye exam. The bills for new glasses and TWO hearing aids came at once, and even after good insurance I’m out 1,000 for hearing aids and 500 for progressive lenses.

It’s also the month for charitable giving and tips to service people. I try to be generous with these and don’t begrudge any of it, though I do carefully record it so I don’t go in a hole. I am still aggressively paying down what was a mountain of debt so I can start my retirement in 2 1/2 years without that worry.

So: this week:
1. I sold two things on eBay after a real drought on that site. A nice profit: one was an anti-tarnish silverbag for a large item like a pitcher, bought in unopened box at thrift store for 1.75 and sold for 11.50. The other item was a superdrive for an AirMac, still in the package, I never used it. Sold for 54. Of course mailing costs take that down some, and I still haven’t figured out what eBay is going to charge me.
2. I found a beautiful metallic gold lace dress at the thrift store for $10. Not my size but I knew I should get it. When I came home and looked up the label I found that this dress would go for 7 to 8 hundred dollars new. It is in perfect shape and looks like it was never worn. Getting ready to list it!
3. Found an electric piano for my brother offered free on my town’s list serve. It turned out to be offered by a woman I know slightly and while getting the piano (a really nice one!) was a coup, I really treasured a chance to talk with her and get to know a neighbor a little better.
4. Eating down the refrigerator is going to take me forever. I can’t even get to the freezer. I made a hot and sour soup, an eggplant parmesan, and a potato sausage casserole over the weekend and I am still working on them. This is true even though I’ve been freezing half of whatever I make to have ready for to-go lunches when school starts in January and I’m back in the classroom.
5. At recycling today (my town opens the recycling center Saturday mornings only, and it’s quite a social event) I saw a friend and was able to wish him a late happy birthday. I missed his surprise party because there was a heavy snowstorm that night. We have a book drop off a recycling, something I’ve been working hard to help organize and keep stocked with books in good shape for people to take. Well, one neighbor who I only know as Paul, always brings the best books. He reads widely and deeply and I discover books I haven’t heard of when he drops off a box. He must have been there today, because in one box I found seven books I would like to read. I sometimes find books there to sell, but today I found books for me!

That’s not all, but it’s five so I’ll end here.


Alison December 16, 2017 at 6:09 pm

1. Ordered bakery items for a goody day at my former employer. The retirees all get together and provide snacks for one Friday near Christmas for the people who still work at the school. The bakery messed up my order, and to compensate gave me three free items. The mistake was no big deal to me, but they felt bad, and I think they were happy I didn’t make a fuss.
2. Gave my nephew and his girlfriend a bedframe we got for free with a rental property we bought. It’s a beautiful sleigh bed,and was probably quite expensive new. Frugal for them, as they are just setting up house together, and more stuff out of my garage, so I’m happy.
3. DH and I are still suffering from a bad cold, so I made vegetable soup after cleaning out the fridge, and only buying an onion and veggie broth. Drinking lots of tea, etc staying home and not spending money.
4. Nothing.
5. Still nothing.


MommaL December 17, 2017 at 6:33 am

Christmas gifts helped me this month:
1. A coworker gave me a bag of cat food, we are mixing it with what we have.
2. Birthday celebration at our home for two family members: dinner was london broil bought a while back for half price, teriake marinade bought with super double coupons, marked down squash with free peppers (secret shopping), and marked down baked potatoes. All yummy.
3. A coworker made me a chocolate pie, we used that for “birthday cake”.
4. Went to work after all had left for break, cleaned out the fridge: took home fresh spinach, shredded cheese, and brownies leftover from the office party. Put the brownies in the fridge.
5. Took the family on a drive to look at Christmas lights. Got tips from friends on where the “good houses” were. Played Christmas music, sang along, and saw some amazing displays, including one set to music on our radio. I was the DD, and all said it put them in the Christmas spirit.


Gina in KY December 17, 2017 at 7:36 am

Your #5 sounds like a blast!


MommaL December 19, 2017 at 5:25 am

Gina, it was so much fun that DH wants to do it again for a date just the two of us tonight. We have a gift card to a local restaurant, so its a cheap date, and nice time for us we hope, now that the company has left.


Gina in KY December 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

I agree on the amount of great inspiration on here. It really helps me strive for more frugalness! Thank you to all who take the time to post!

1. Picked up three weeks of Kroger freebies (cat treats to donate to shelter as I do not have cats, jello pudding mix, and chapstick). I’ve been letting these lapse due to eating from the pantry and not shopping much.

2. Was asked my my ex-husband to take our child shopping for a presentation outfit. I was thinking nice shirt, pants, shoes. Turns out he is doing a presentation on Leif Erikson and needed to dress in character (what!?!) Thrift store to the rescue! We found a pair of riding pants (may resale after this is behind us), a small tunic dress and a turtleneck to fashion into Viking clothes. I also found a pair of suede boots with ties and wool lining that look vaguely 1000 AD explorer-ish. Last, I crafted a helmet using black poster board and a aluminum cooking sheet from the Dollar Tree. Challenge excepted, challenge met.

3. Although I was super tempted to have lunch out yesterday, my homebody son suggested we just eat an early dinner at home. So, I made broccoli soup using items I already had in the refrigerator.

4. Not hugely on the frugal side, but I found a great IKEA metal rolling cart at the Goodwill Outlet (what we call pay-by-the-pound on this side of the Mississippi). I think it ended up being $4 and will be of great use to organizing my kitchen.

5. And, I found an unused budget planner at the GW Outlet that is the exact type I have been using for 10+ years. It costed less than 50c. New they are cheap anyway (I get them at the Dollar General), but a dollar saved is a dollar saved, right?


Gina in KY December 17, 2017 at 7:35 am

I really need to slow down and proofread better. Please ignore the blatantly bad grammar in my post. Costed…right.


Liz B. December 17, 2017 at 8:32 am

Reading all the comments, which always makes me want to try even harder to be frugal. Thank you all! Thank you, Katy!
My fft:
1) Have been selling my kid’s old toys, and a few other items, on fb marketplace and craigslist. Had been saving toys for a friend who planned to adopt, until life events made her decide to put this plan aside. Now money in my pocket, less clutter in my basement, toys in the hands of new little owners who can enjoy them. Sold a Mid Century Modern casserole dish I found at a thrift shop for $6.99, for $19.00. It had been languishing on my sale list, glad to see it go to someone who will enjoy it.
2) Making a crock pot Pot Roast with a gifted roast from mother in law, plus ingredients I already had on hand (potatoes, onions, carrots, gravy mix, water).
3) Received $20 check for a professional survey I filled out. Took maybe 10 minutes of my time.
4) Got my free birthday ice cream sundae at Graeter’s last night. YUM!! Glad to be a Sweet Rewards member. Lol!
5) Bought rescue puppy multi-vitamin treats, at the recommendation of a NCA fb member. Hoping this will stop his desire to eat non-food items, like dirt, mulch, rocks, and kitty poop. Just started this, so fingers crossed.
Bonus #6: Weeded through a pile of papers & stuff, and found two $25 unused Fandango gift cards. Almost tgrew them away, because hubby had told me he had used them. Checked the balances – nope, both unused. He is taking a staycation week between Christmas and New Years, so movie-going already paid for.
Frugal fail, sort of: spent too much on teacher gifts for my son….but, the items I bought are from a small local business and are hamdmade (jams, sauces, etc). Teachers work so incredibly hard, and I have two sisters who are teachers, so I don’t feel bad about this one.

Happy holidays to everyone!


Ruby December 17, 2017 at 9:00 am

Hope the vitamin works as well for your pup as it did for our rescue. Aside from chewing up cardboard, which we thinks she does just because the texture is fun, she stopped eating non-food things very quickly.


Bee December 17, 2017 at 11:14 am

I have put vitamins on shopping list. My lovable mutt eats dirt which is filled with all sorts of illness producing bacteria, worms, etc.


Mand01 December 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm

When humans eat non-food items like dirt, it can be a sign of iron deficiency. I wonder if it’s the same with dogs.


Ruby December 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm

We think our little rescue had some kind of lingering nutritional deficiency due to malnutrition as a little puppy that was causing her to eat nasty things. A daily multivitamin cured that in a short time.

Ruby December 17, 2017 at 9:25 am

1. Last weekend I pulled the leftover hunk of bone-in ham from Thanksgiving out of the freezer and defrosted it by steaming it on the very rarely used steamer insert for the stock pot. It came out tender and juicy, and provided four generous meals for the Mister.
2. Used up some leftover couscous by adding it to the homemade vegetable stew cooked for my lunches.
3. Brought almond milk from home to have with the free coffee at work.
4. Paid good attention to coupons this week and knocked $12 off the grocery total.
5. Now that the weather is cold, am really enjoying the flannel pajamas bought for $3 (new with tags) at the community consignment sale last fall.


Juhli December 17, 2017 at 10:32 am

Had a very not frugal week as dog had a bad reaction to her 3 year rabies shot so had a second expensive vet visit to fix that. However she has recovered totally so we are happy. What we did do:
1. FIL lives in assisted living and no longer is able to go out to eat most days but loves when we bring take out for dinner so he has more variety. Since dog was sick I stayed home, DH picked up Chinese food which made FIL happy and then brought home leftovers for 2 more servings. We don’t give him holiday gifts but have found this is the best occasional gift and visit for him.
2. I used gift card to buy DH a present.
3. Picked up free N95 masks in case smoke from the Thomas fire (Ventura, CA) is blown our way. I figure if they are giving them out we should have them on hand.
4. FIL passed on 2 gifts he was given. We will take the box of truffles to DS and DIL’s Christmas Eve party.
5. Did not book a trip to Paris for the holidays!


Bethel December 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

1. Ate at home all weekend, with the exception of pizza on Friday night (I’d been craving it, so I built it into our budget).
2. Decorated for Christmas with things I already owned, nature items I found outside on the ground, and free clippings from pine trees from Home Depot.
3. Am making an effort to not waste food. I’m eating egg whites and green beans for breakfast this morning, because I had leftovers of those things in my fridge.
4. Did some Holiday baking this weekend and brought the bounty to work to share (frugal for others and hopefully enjoyable too!)
5. Forgot about gifts I’d stashed away throughout the year. I’m a last-minute shopper, so I tend to get a little stressed right before Christmas. But I found $60 in Visa gift cards, a $100 bill, and a $15 Cold Stone gift card tucked away in my drawer. These were all things given to me for my Birthday or other occasions and I tucked them away instead of spending them. And I had a $30 Amazon Gift Card waiting for me when I got to work this morning (company gift). I’ll be able to re-gift these things or purchase gifts using them…hooray! Also re-gifted a large candy bar to my Toddler (it’s in his stocking right now).


ouvickie December 18, 2017 at 8:00 am

1) I used a coupon for a free 2-6 lb bag of Blue Buffalo dog food to get a free bag of small breed dog for for my little chihuahuas.
2) I earned a $5 off coupon on my Big Lots Reward card, so I used that to buy cat food and some other supplies last week.
3) I took my granddaughters to a Cookies with Santa event at the local Community Church up the road from us on Saturday evening. They had a souvenir picture made with Santa & Mrs. Claus for free. We ate cookies and drank hot chocolate with neighbors, then they were given stockings filled with candy and fruit and picked out a small toy. Free Fun!
4) I found some gifts I’d stashed back in the closet for the grandkids and my daughter. I wrapped those up and put them under the tree for Christmas. I won a $25 GC from Walmart/Sams at our annual dinner last Thursday – that will be a Christmas gift for my brother.
5) I stopped to get some coffee creamer and blueberries at the Smart Saver this morning and noticed they had some of their frozen meals marked down to .45 cents. I bought 3 for lunch entrees this week.


Odette December 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

I don’t have five, but two that I’m really proud of:
1)I had drooled over a vintage lamp at a local store, but the $100 price tag was more than I was willing to pay. I found one at a flea market for $30, but it didn’t work well. I watched YouTube on how to repair lamps and went to an Ace H/W, where they hooked me up with supplies. My lamp works and looks great now.
2)Our kitchen ceiling fan light unit had a socket burned out. I asked four different stores if they carried the supplies, but no luck. The fifth place said they could fix it. I didn’t have the tools or expertise to make this repair, so $25 later, it was good as new. Very happy since I didn’t want to replace the fan because of one bad socket!


Alexandra Evans December 20, 2017 at 3:00 am

1. Very inspired by this post to not buy any new decorations for Xmas. I made a greenery swag to hang under our porch light from clippings from trees, including our xmas tree! I save bows and do dad decorations. Looks really good!
2. My aunt gifted me a greenery wreath that is decorated with pine cones. I snazzed it up with above mentioned doo dads. Really pretty.
3. Xmas eve is our main celebration for gift giving. We are doing a pot luck of finger foods this year. I found little meat balls half off. Everyone loves meat balls in our house.
4. The whole family seems to have moved into a frugal Xmas mind set. Nice when we are all on the same page. Mostly because we are lucky to have all we need.
5. Focusing on the 3 kids in the family this year. Trying not to add “pre-landfill” crap and buy useful gifts. Got 10 yr GD her first stock certificate. She will be thrilled.


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