Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 27, 2017 · 69 comments

  1. We were able to avoid the normally inevitable H.F.E.S., (“Holiday Financial Expansion Syndrome”) yet still feel 100% content with our gifting. We gave our older son a Wii video game system as the one he took to school didn’t work properly. I somehow sourced one for free through, which was amazing since I’d written a post offering to pay for one. My younger son then received a compact stereo system as he’s been wanting to listen to Mettalica/Anthrax/Megadeath on CDs instead of just streaming them. (Boy oh boy, do he and I have differing taste in music!) Again, someone generously offered to just give us one they weren’t using, which was tremendously helpful since our January 1st double tuition deadline looms greatly. (Gulp!) We also gave them gift cards to Buffalo Exchange which I earned by bringing in random stuff over the past year. They each then received $25 to spend at using a gift card my husband received from his employer. My husband and I don’t give gifts to each other, and through the years we’ve winnowed down the people with whom we exchange gifts. For other family members, we regifted, bought gourmet consumables, gave a few pay-by-the-pound Goodwill items and bought a movie theater gift card. But in the end we kept our spending low and stayed true to our tight budget.

  2. I was tempted to treat ourselves to a restaurant dinner on Christmas Eve as we don’t follow any family traditions or commitments. Instead I walked to the grocery store and bought the fixings for an enormous pot roast. Not only did our house smell heavenly for hours on end, but we’ve been enjoying leftovers ever since.

  3. I mended a queen size fitted sheet that I bought at the Seattle Goodwill at least seven years ago. A few of the seams had split, and although my hand stitched repair is super obvious, it sits under the blanket and it’s not like I’m giving tours of our bedroom. New or even thrifted sheets are expensive, y’all!

  4. I put together a couple of eBay and Craigslist listings, and then arranged to do eight hours of paid education through my employer. I earned this perk by working over 800 hours in 2016, but hadn’t realized I had this benefit until recently. I can do the study program while in my jammies at home and the extra pay will go onto my next paycheck. I worked enough hours in 2017 to earn a $1.25 per-hour-worked bonus, which will help to jump start the April 1st double tuition payment. Even though we’re paying less than when the kids lived in dorms, it someone seems harder to save while making monthly rent payments.

  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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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

MommaL December 27, 2017 at 11:45 am

1. Packed a lunch at my relative’s house before taking the long road trip home.
2. Filled our own reusable plastic glasses with ice water for the road.
3. Used GasBuddy app to find gas for a reasonable price on the way.
4. Too tired to cook dinner after the long, traffic filled trip, so I bought the chicken special at the grocery store for dinner, cooked 2 potatoes in the microwave, and saved the bones, now boiling for home made soup tonight.
5. Went through some items various family members didn’t want anymore, ended up with a free lamp, candles, tea lights, and a nice throw pillow.


Randi December 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I have to disagree with you on new sheets. I bought a 650 thread count, CAL KING deep pocked set at Bed, Bath and Beyond for 20.00( 25 with 20% off) and free shipping.


Katy December 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

That’s a great deal!


A. Marie December 27, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Hurray, a new FFT post! And kudos to you and yours on all the thrifty holiday scores and activities, Katy.

Now, my FFT, Frugal Christmas in Upstate NY:

(1) I won’t itemize on the gift-giving, but I honestly don’t think we gave a thing this year that wasn’t a thrifted item (in first-class condition, of course), a charitable donation, or a consumable. We’re very fortunate to have like-minded friends and family.

(2) We took presents around to several neighbors on the Eve, and then had Dr. and Ms. Bestest Neighbor (from across the street) and our next-door neighbor (our regular cat-sitter and another good friend) here for dinner that evening.

(3) The BNs had us over for prezzies and lunch on the Day in turn. The lunch was a roast duck, and Dr. BN gave me the duck bones for soup stock. (I find that duck bones can be thrown in with beef bones for a dark stock.)

(4) Most of Ms. BN’s gifts to me were various hair accessories (combs, bobby pins, barrettes, etc.), to accompany the “experience present” of an afternoon of hairdressing lessons. I’d told her I’d like to do some interesting things with my now shoulder-length hair the way she does.

(5) And since we seem to have re-entered the “polar vortex” after the holiday, we are taking full advantage of our wood-burner, as well as bundling up to our eyeballs. I copped an LL Bean fleece jacket with snowflake/poinsettia trim at one of our local Rescue Mission stores for $2.10 (it was 70% off the tag price) on 12/17 on our way to (6), so I’m bundling up in style.

(6) Finally, we enjoyed a lovely free concert of seasonal music by a local harp ensemble on the 17th at one of our excellent suburban libraries. I’d no idea the library did this sort of thing and will stay tuned for future concerts.


Kathy Hairston December 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

1. Sold several items pre holiday on eBay and just sold a book on
2. Was gifted a bottle of champagne for taking a friend’s dog to her (4 hour drive) we were going that way to sons house
3. Stayed within our holiday budget
4. Had soup for dinner the last 2 nights as hubby has had killer flu
5. Culling closet to take things to consignment store next week


Jill A December 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I’m not feeling very frugal but here are my five.

1. I made a delicious Christmas breakfast of cinnamon rolls and an egg strudel. I cooked up some bacon that needed to be used. Most of the ingredients were from my pantry, freezer and fridge and the few things I needed were inexpensively purchased.
2. Dinner was a little pricier but worth it. We cooked and fed eight of us prime rib (purchased with a $2 coupon, $2 is $2), mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies with dessert, rolls and cranberries provided by the grandparents.
3. We overspent on Christmas gifts this year so no savings there but we did give all three daughters the gift of paying off their student loans for them and giving our youngest cash to put towards the next years housing costs.
4. I was able to put together some very useful stocking stuffers using coupons and discounts making them less than expected. The kids were happy and no junk was purchased.
5. My husband and I received cash and dinner and movie gift cards. The cash will be put towards an experience.


carla December 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm

You paid off your kids’ student loans?!? That’s amazing!


Su Mama December 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Hooray for you, paying off student loans for THREE daughters! What a generous, loving gift for each of them — no way can that be called “overspending”!


Mand01 December 27, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Happy Christmas! After three days of celebration we are well and truly ready to crash for a few days.
1. My family gives homemade or secondhand gifts using a name in a hat system. It’s always a lot of fun to see what everyone will give. My sister sewed me a gift. I made jams and pickles and propagated plants.
2. My husband’s family does a name in a hat and also gives a mix of new and secondhand.
3. I am picking tomatoes, apricots and basil from my garden and we just harvested our first bumper crop of potatoes which was super exciting. Our eggplants are fruiting and I should have my first one by the weekend.
4. I planted out my San Marzano tomatoes raised from seed. My plan is to make my own passata at the end of the season.
5. I made a batch of apricot jam and chilli jam and now my pantry is full of homemade jams and marmalades made by us and by friends. I will not need to buy jams for at least 12 months. I don’t eat a lot of it but I do enjoy it on toast for breakfast. Homemade tastes much better.
6. I’m reading ‘Curing Affluenza’ by an economist Richard Denniss. Good so far. His argument is that the systems that we think of as economic and integral to our society are cultural, and are also unsustainable. I.e – why do we buy jeans with ripped knees but not suit pants with ripped knees? Why do we spend more for bottled water per litre than we do on petrol but complain about the price of one and not the other? These are cultural choices, not economic choices, but they have economic and environmental consequences. He says that we are so focused on the principle of economic growth that we are not focused on the more important questions about what the economy is for and who it serves. Obvious but still worth reading especially this time of year.


A. Marie December 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Always a mood-booster to read about summer gardening Down Under, Mand. I hope you and Yvette and our other Southern Hemisphere friends will keep sending us reports.

And the Denniss book sounds like a very interesting read; I’ll look for it. (I couldn’t agree more about the bottled water, ripped jeans, etc.)


Marilyn December 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Thank you for mentioning that book in #6. I’m going to look for it too.


Mand01 December 28, 2017 at 1:03 am

No worries. I asked for it for my birthday and am enjoying it.


Jennifer December 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

I love hearing about the summer gardening as it’s 27 degrees where I am in the South. I know it’s much colder other places. We rarely get snow but we may get a little this weekend, so that will make the kids happy. I would love to dig up potatoes right now!


Marilyn December 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm

The questions posed in #6 are thought-provoking. I’m going to look for that book. Thanks for mentioning it.


Madeline Kasian December 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

1. Ate most of our holiday meals at home except for a Greek Salad lunch one day when we went to a movie with our son in DowntownTempe where he lives.

2. Hosted a Solstice party at my home.. did not have to drive! Asked for pot luck contributions and oh my! Did we have a spread!t I made cranberry meatballs in crock pot from beef I got on sale a month ago and froze. Thoughtful spiritual and metaphysical discussion, age group of 12 of us was from 32 years old to 72 ! I love that! AND I GOT TO KEEP ALL THE LEFTOVERS! Yum!!

3. Sold motorcycle jacket and my helmet from my husband’s motorcycle days, on craigslist– He sold the bike about 6 months ago– (Color me HAPPY!!!!)

4. Using Yoga youtube videos at home instead of joining the expensive health clubs who keep sending me “offers.”

5. Just staying home more! Really nesting and getting into my retirement!! I cook,clean, listen to podcasts,meet friends at our homes for coffee and card games.Life is so very good.Simplicity surely leads to peace of mind!!!!!


Shevaun December 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

1. DD and DS are young enough that the wrappings are the best part of gifts, so we wrapped goodies like mittens, socks, teething biscuits, bottled nutrition shakes (for the diaper bag, when regular milk doesn’t travel well), etc. We did splurge on some goodies like chocolates, chapstick, and sparkly beads.
2. DH and I exchanged things to get our house ready to sell, like pet-odor-remover and cans of paint.
3. My niece is allergic to peanuts, so her whole family is nut-free. I found some fantastic Canadian cookies at a clear-out discount store. For some reason, Canadian cookies are very clearly labeled with their nut status (unlike US goods where you really have to read the fine print). So I bought 10 boxes for them.
4. DD grew a pot of winter wheat and then brought it to church to put in Baby Jesus’s manger to keep him “warm and cozy,” she says. Dirt, cup, and seeds came to a few pennies at most; keeping a newborn baby warm and safe: priceless.
5. Avoiding public places during this holiday week when schools are on break. As a SAH, HS mom, I try to do things opposite of the “mainstream” schedule to avoid traffic, crowds, and impulse buys. But a picnic lunch with the polar bears at the zoo is on the calendar for the day *after* everyone else’s littles go back to school.


michelle December 28, 2017 at 5:00 am

Most of our schools here are nut free due to allergies. SO most cookies and snack cakes are labeled nut free to make it easier for kids to take tasty snacks to school !


Mary Beth Danielson December 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I just posted my Mindful Chickens – (inspired by NCA-FFT and heavily influenced by my years writing a 900-word newspaper column) at Yup, I just looked. 877 words.
1. To add to it: I wanted a pullover sweater and found one when un-jamming the drawers in which my husband keeps his sweaters (ALL thrifted). He’s newly semi-retired and no longer needs two drawers of sweaters. So that was a matter of moving the red sweater two feet over to my drawer.
2. We paced ourselves with Xmas this year; doing stuff we wanted to do and not doing stuff we didn’t want to do. Excellent company here four times: a couple we’ve known “forever”; a day here in my house with 8 women friends, most of whom I’ve known 20 years – we all contributed parts and a friend called it our Mental Health Camp. We had our kids here on Xmas day. And on Our Lady of Guadalupe Day we reached out to neighbors we don’t know well – one family who speaks more Spanish than English. That ended up as an awesome dinner of chicken gumbo, homemade bread, brownies and apple crisp. Those neighbors, on Christmas Eve, rang our doorbell and handed over just-made tamales and a still-simmering fruit punch. That was amazing.
3. Have been out to a movie once in the past three years. Tried to go out yesterday – it was $5 day – and they were sold out. Every dang movie in the giant Cineplex was sold out every seating from 6PM on. So we came back home, made popcorn, and saved $10.


Shelia December 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm

1. We enjoyed two lovely outings during the Christmas season. One was a spectacular free production at a church near my daughter’s. We took my husband’s sister and her son and really, really enjoyed it. Hubby and I got tickets for A Christmas Story performed at the old opera theater in our town. The association that funds all art productions in the area usually offers 10.00 tickets to each performance. They go quickly but we enjoy many musicals, plays and concerts this way.
2. Christmas dinner couldn’t have been much more economical. I had a $10 reward at the grocery store and had all the groceries I needed so I used it on a spiral cut ham. I splurged on a large one at .97 a lb so I was out of pocket 1.06. It will continue to feed us this week with some going in the freezer. The rest of dinner was items we already had on hand.
3. We’re always practical and frugal with our gift giving. Our big expense was mailing a package to our youngest child who is overseas. It was filled with homebaked goods and a few small things including her favorite deodorant she can’t get there but the cost was close to 90.00. Worth every penny to send a piece of home her way.
4. As always, everything was wrapped in paper we’ve had for years or gift bags we use year after year. When we finally use the last of the paper, I will go to only using kraft paper. We get such lovely cards and have always used them as gift tags but I want them to stand out on solid colored paper. I wasn’t sure I had enough tape but found a large roll that usually goes on a dispenser at the thrift shop for .69. That will last a LONG time.
5. Carefully going through Christmas decorations to put what we don’t use in the garage sale box. And I had my husband take pictures so I know where everything went this year and so I’m not tempted to buy more for next year!
Happy New Year everyone!!!


Linda December 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

I’m a Mettalica fan, not so much your son’s other favorites (and I’m old-59yrs.)
1. Stuck to my Christmas budget.
2. Made my usual broccoli casserole & applesauce for Christmas eve family get together at my brothers.
3. Making dinner at home & taking lunch to work everyday.
4. Received money for Christmas gifts, did not run out to spend on Dec. 26th, and no online shopping.
5. Grocery shopping at Aldi’s today – my usual store.


Katy in Africa December 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Um…that “5” frugal things was a lie, you had over 5 things in the first one alone! Lol But I guess that’s what I love about this blog! 🙂
1. I stitched up 3 places in seams in a skirt that were coming out, and now I can wear it again and in fact wore it today.
2. I borrowed instead of bought some dishes for entertaining on Christmas.
3. We spent quite a bit on feeding people for Christmas, but it was something we wanted to do and now we’re enjoying leftovers. I put some of the leftover sodas in my closet, hoping I can resist the temptation to drink them, so we can save them for our son’s b-day.
4. We’ve been enjoying mangoes from our tree and a friend’s tree. So free, so sweet. 🙂
5. 3 of our kids gifts were bought used, a bike and 2 pairs of shoes, the one pair is nice Nike’s. I think it was Amy Dacyzyn that said used is often a sign of good quality, after all it’s lasted through one owner already and still good enough to be used more.


Christine Joiner December 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm

1. We had our 4 kids, their spouses/significant others, 4 grandkids and another couple over for our annual Swedish Christmas Eve. Nothing frugal about the Swedish food and glogg but it is only once a year. Added to the Swedish food that I provide: Lovely daughter made a green bean casserole that she “doctors” into something ultra delicious, lovely daughter-in-law made a crockpot macaroni and cheese that is to die for, chicken tenders, gingerbread cookies and fixings for Shirley Temples for the kids, and lovely girlfriend of our son made a spicy chicken dip with chips that everyone pounced on as it came through the door. We have been enjoying the leftovers since then. Tonight I’ll soak the dried split peas overnight and make a pea soup with the Christmas Eve Ham bone for tomorrow night’s supper. Besides tomorrow’s soup, will not have cooked since last Sunday but have eaten every meal at home.
2. Everyone appeared to enjoy our Christmas Trivia games with prizes (if you don’t get the answer right, you still get the prize. Hey, it’s Christmas…) all bought at the Dollar Store and liquor store…$1.00 nips for the adults and Swedish Fish for the kids…with lots of laughs at the funny answers. On a more nostalgic note, to get a prize in the last game of the night, everyone was asked to relate a favorite Christmas food memory from childhood. My kids said it was my mother’s twice-baked potatoes she always made for Christmas. It made me happy that during her lifetime a simple act such as making a recipe could give my kids such a sweet memory of her at Christmas.
3.Tomorrow is a date day with my husband. Starts at the library here in town where I will return a book, pick up one I ordered from the interlibrary loan system and we will pick up the free passes to the Worcester Art Museum. They have an exhibit there I’ve been wanting to see and it’s a warm thing to do on a frigid day such as is in the forecast for tomorrow.
4.Diet fail but frugal victory: I made all the cookies for Christmas Eve from scratch except for the Swedish Peppakakor, which I buy (also once a year) from a local bakery because they make them oh so much better than I can!
5.Opened my cable bill today to see that instead of the $20.00 off per month they had quoted after my husband told them he had recently retired was actually $33.00 off. Yay!
6.Had to add a #6. My son remembers me getting my monthly Tightwad Gazette newsletter in the 1990s and sometimes teases me about it…although I’ve noticed that he knows how to save, live simply and never had a credit card until he was 30…and he never complains that his college education was paid for in full by us… guess what he got me for Christmas? Yup, the Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn! Perfect timing to compliment my excitement at finding the NCA.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year! Cheers to Katy for bringing this blog about!


susanna d December 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

We’re in the deep freeze again. It was -21 F when I got up this morning, so most of my frugal things will have to do with staying warm.

1. We have thermal curtains on all the west facing patio doors and windows, west being where most of the winds come from. I’ve been keeping the curtains closed despite it being like a cave in here, because the curtains really do seem to keep some of the cold window air away from us.
2. I did several loads of laundry and have drying racks filled with clothes in front of the heat vents. It adds some much needed humidity. Yeah, a dark cave-like house with laundry hanging everywhere means my decor isn’t winning any beauty contests, but I’ll take warmth over pretty right now.
3. Made a big pot of chili. Gives a little heat to the house while it’s cooking, and will definitely give us a warm-up when we eat it later today. And tomorrow. And Friday.
4. We’re bundled up and making use of some of those free throw blankets we’ve received over the years. Yes we look bulky, but our appearances seem fit right in with the house today. If we can make the heat come on a little bit less, it’s worth it.
Can’t think of a #5. Apparently my brain is a little chilled from this weather.


Lindsey December 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm

1. Woke up Christmas morning feeling really, really good for the first time in several years, since I became ill. I spent the day baking and cooking. Made 8 loaves of bread, 3 pans of chicken enchiladas, a breakfast of potato latkes and sausage, and a pot of cheeseburger soup that we will eat for four days. It is the husband’s favorite and I make it only about once a year since it is not the healthiest. So, I was able to freeze bread and pans of enchiladas and leftover latkes for future days when I don’t feel as well. While I baked, husband cleaned the entire house. Other people were relaxing or going out to celebrate on Christmas, I know, but we enjoyed having a day where I felt good and we could work around the house. I am here to tell you that the old saying when you have your health, you have everything is true.
2. We both stayed in for four days in a row, so no money spent and no aggravation from crowds of people.
3. Husband wanted to fix a broken electrical switch. Since he is color blind, I had to sit there and make sure he didn’t hook the wrong colors together. Great savings in not have an electrocuted husband.
4. Mended three shirts and two socks and cut up several ancient tea towels that will make great rags.
5. Just the usual of saving paper and plastic bags and hanging what laundry I could inside the house to dry rather than using the dryer.


Bee December 28, 2017 at 6:51 am

I am glad to hear that you are feeling well and you were able to celebrate Christmas in your own special way.


Lisa December 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Happy holidays. Here is my frugal five:

1. Noticed the basket of Mandarin oranges were not getting eaten so I peeled them and sliced into circles. Added a can of pineapple and segmented some grapefruit for a nice bowl of citrus salad. I candied half the peels and put the rest in vinegar for cleaning solution. The syrup used to candy the peels went into the ice tea at dinner.

2. We were invited to my nieces house for Christmas dinner. The turkey was a leftover gift from thanksgiving. I took my own take home containers so I would have leftovers.

3. My niece wanted to do a white elephant so I wrapped two personal books and did not purchase anything.

4. I did not exchange gifts with the family for the first time and did not miss the disappointment I always feel over how wasteful the gifts are. My sister is a major consumer and she buys just to buy and just gives to be giving without thought to that person.

5. I needed a hostess gift and realized that she loves this sweet onion dressing at subway. Did my research and was able to do a copy cat. She said it tasted exactly the same. Bonus score because I had all the ingredients already.

I have family flying in for the new year. Local store had a loss leader of a any size ham for five dollars if you spend thirty. I asked manager when they stocked the ham case so I was able to get a 13 lb ham for five dollars.

My new years resolution are better communication with family over my values and maintain my good health.


Jennifer December 28, 2017 at 11:17 am

1. Great way to turn something that wasn’t being used into something else! I have found that my family quickly tires of large amounts of the same kind of fruit unless I remake it into something more enticing, which often involves sugar, so good for you making it a still healthy choice!


Patti December 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm

1. We re-used many wrapping materials for our Christmas gifts, especially the bows, gift tags, small pieces of gift wrap, and gift bags. We saved all of those items for use next year.
2. We visited our families out of state, making sure to buy gasoline here in our state as it is a lot cheaper.
3. After our Christmas meal, my mom sent us home with half a head of cauliflower, half a head of broccoli, and half a red onion. Will put on the menu for this week. She also gave us a quart of soup which we are eating tonight!
4. We are keeping the heat low to save on utilities although we may not have intended for it to be quite so low – haven’t learned to program our thermostat correctly yet. LOL Luckily bundling up under blankets to watch ball games and Christmas television has been a favorite past time this week.
5. I went to work today and froze because the building has been closed up. I have a space heater that keeps it manageable and when I got too cold, I went up and down the stairs a few times. I am part time so I do not get holidays off like my full time co-workers (although they come through during the week to catch up on their own work). I love having “free” time to clean my office and set up my calendar with goals and objectives for the new year.


Isabelle December 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

* Bought 3 pairs of pants and a cardigan for a grand total of 1,50$ at the thrift store
* Received a 125$ gift card that I plan to use for useful stuff
* Hubby ranked-up 70$ of free groceries on his PC points card
* Still running the 2004 Echo, even if sometimes it makes me feel “poor”….
* Spent a total of 7$ on my and my two girls Christmas outfits this year : already owned dresses for them, 7$ thrifted dress for myself, already owned shoes.


Diedra B December 28, 2017 at 5:21 am

I have an ’03 echo. I gaze longingly at nicer cars but my echo is so undemanding and gives so much for such little maintenance. An added bonus is that it fits into some of the tightest parking spaces.


avl December 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Christmas was discouragingly expensive for us, as it seems to be every year. I’m the only one who wants to cut back on the extravagance. Oh well – on to my five!

1) My sister’s birthday is in early January. I used an LL Bean gift card my husband received from work to purchase her a cozy fleece-lined flannel shirt. She is always cold, so I think she will appreciate it.

2) My husband took my daughter to Michael’s to buy some yarn and knitting needles. I reminded him to use his phone in the store to check for promotions advertised online. They were able to save 30% on the total bill. I am probably the last person to figure out that there is no need to pay full price for anything at Michael’s.

3) After my morning coffee, I ate the last small portion of split pea soup for breakfast so it would not go to waste.

4) We recently discovered that our mortgage lender had inexplicably tacked on a new $30 monthly fee to our mortgage. We were unaware that this had apparently been going on for several months. We called to dispute the charge and successfully had the fee discontinued, and all the past charges credited back. It pays to check your statements carefully! (And do not immediately accept “no” for an answer from the first person you speak with).

5) Frugal Fail: Was patting myself on the back for scoring a large bag of organic Granny Smith apples for a good price at Jewel. Unfortunately, they were terrible. Tried to recoup the loss by making an apple crisp. To make it healthier, I used only 1/2 of the sugar, and kept the peels on the apple slices (more nutrients and fiber!). The results were surprisingly awful. I’m going to have to chuck the whole pan.


rebecca December 27, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Happy New Year everyone!
1. I found a quarter.
2. I have 2 new clients this week.
3. I went to friends for Christmas eve and brought a requested pumpkin cheesecake made from Aldi eggs and cream cheese and fresh pumpkin from a rescued pumpkin.
4. I also brought a bottle of prosecco that friends brought me a few weeks ago that we didn’t drink.
5. My cousin gave a a dunkin donuts gift card she was given as she doesn’t like their coffee.


tonya parham December 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Christmas morning our heat went out. It’s been since then of not having heat. I was pleased to find someone to come out on the 26th and they came, gave us quotes– a $353 repair on a 40 year old boiler system for radiant heat or a new unit. We waited the extra day so to get an estimate on what a new system would be. The quote was 11k for a new Heat and Air. But our air is FINE. It works great. So, we know we will have to replace within a year, but it seemed jumping at replacement (and having to finance it) would be unwise if a repair would last us and let us look into other options and get other quotes or see if there are other alternatives. The repair was done about a day (a very COLD day) later because we took that time, but I think we made the right call. Part of my objection is not wanting to just get rid of an air unit that cools really well.

Making dinner now– a baked potato and pot pie. It’s a frozen one but it’s better than take out and way cheaper.

Got money from my mom for Xmas and am putting it toward getting my new glasses next week! I’ve waited as long as possible on that and would love to do some reading! (I have tri-focals)

Getting rid of Netflix and Hulu. Am not in the mood for tv and am using Amazon Prime and the Filmstruck App to watch old movies as that’s what I am in the mood for.

Didn’t exchange gifts this christmas. Just enjoyed a simple day with my wife watching old movies and talking and laughing.


Laur December 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

1. We’ve enjoyed 3 days of Christmas leftovers. Pavlova, custard, a ginormous fruit salad our friends brought over, lamb and roast veggies.
2. My daughter had her first sleepover and I organised activities cheaply at home. Painting, crafting, watching a movie and playing with Christmas toys.
3. The kids received cinema and candy bar vouchers for Christmas so we went to go see the new Jumanji movie with some friends. (Great movie!)
4.I picked up an extra 5 hour shift at work this week. Free coffee and lunch is included.
5. My parents have kindly offered to babysit the kids on New Years Eve. Free babysitting!


Jennifer December 27, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Tell me about it on the rent payments! For some reason they are killing my budget, even though it equals half what a dorm and meal plan costs. Ugh!!!!
1. My dh replaced our leaking in several spots shower/tub faucet combo with the 1 and only option for a 3-handle system at Home Depot. Cost $99 at the store, but he did all the work (including saudering!) himself saving several hundred dollars of a plumber bill.
2. I have family staying with us after the holidays and we are eating from food I had in the pantry and freezer.
3. I let my dad pay for my Starbucks today after taking him on an emergency dental visit to our dentist and my mom pay our entry into the gymnastics meet we went to for fun tonight. Wasn’t my plan but I didn’t have any cash on hand and that was all they took at the meet.
4. For once I didn’t overdo it with stocking stuffers. In fact the stockings looked rather empty to me, but the kids still loved them and didn’t even notice. Note to self – less is more.
5. Scheduled my dd’s needed elbow MRI for Friday afternoon – 12/29 – meaning it is FREE! We have met our maximum out of pocket for the year due to much testing and a previous brain MRI for her. Been a rough year, so counting my blessings on saving a little money. And we will meet our 2018 max out of pocket pretty quickly with her needed surgery – meaning the rest of the year will be little OOP. I guess this is what happens when you have athletes for children. Lots of injuries.


cathy December 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm

If you aren’t a reader of The Prudent Homemaker blog, you should check it out. She did a post a few weeks ago about not just downsizing what goes in the stockings, but downsizing the stockings themselves. Some good ideas.


Jennifer December 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I put less in my kids stockings this year and they didn’t notice. I put a couple larger items in them, which took up a lot of space, then added in my free Friday downloads from Kroger which was chapstick and mentos candy. Worked out great!


janine December 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm

This was a wonderful post with many great ideas and actions for this holiday season from everyone.
I am envious of those who escaped with a low-cost holiday!
1. Gave checks to sons to help with IRA’s which hopefully will save on their taxes.
2. One son requested tires for his elderly Toyota which we were happy to fund. Apparently everyone is out buying tires in this cold weather so the tire shop had difficulty locating the right size. He will probably need to replace this vehicle but new tires should keep it going for another year while he looks around.
3.Used up much of my paper stash. Plan to hit the sales this week for bargain priced paper to use for next year. Noticed a grocery store was selling it for $1 per roll. Also have a set of re-usable boxes somewhere in the attic that I should locate.
4. Although our Christmas dinner was expensive, I had enough leftovers for Beef Stroganof tonight which actually was better than the original roast.
5. Spent some time researching inexpensive meals , found my lost glasses so will avoid paying for a new pair, stayed home for much of the weekend and didn’t spend on after Christmas sales. The dog ate the Christmas cake but paid for it with a day of ill health. Count that as a small annoyance. There was much happiness.


Elizabeth December 28, 2017 at 4:12 am

1. Made microwaveable heating pads for my daughter for Christmas…these cute fabric ones replaced the old knotted sock one she had been using…she said she is moving up in the world:)
2. Made personalized bookmarks and Carmelitas for my mom and 4 of my sisters(I have five!)
3.My mother in law buys a lot of Christian romance books and generously gives me all of them when she is done (we are talking about stacks and stacks!) I saved all of the Christmas ones and gave them out as gifts this Christmas to my mom and sisters.
4. Made a Lego tray for my son so he can play with Legos in our car…he loved it!
5. Bought 8 packages of boneless skinless chicken thighs on sale for 49cents!


Elizabeth December 28, 2017 at 4:14 am

#5) 49 cents a pound….Even I would question the quality of meat if I bought 8 packs for just 49 cents….


Kathleen December 28, 2017 at 5:27 am

1) Not just in the last week—it just all came out last week. I cut my Christmas gift spending to about 1/3 (for sure less than 1/2) than I spent last year. It was nothing but over-indulgence. This year my kids (who are 26 – 33 and have their own homes and need NOTHING) got one gift and a small gift bag of novelties and treats. My husband got one gift, the grand-kids got one toy and one practical gift. I let their parents do the gift of novelties and treats—isn’t that what stockings are for? And aren’t parents the ones responsible for that if they want that kind of holiday celebration? I’m so tired of trying to manage all this over-the-top materialism. I’m partly to blame for it—but now it’s time for a new day with a new way.
2) I still sent Christmas cards, but the list now includes people I actually want to greet over the holidays, not every blood relative and acquaintance from my entire life. I had bought cards last year at the Dollar tree after Christmas—18 cards for 50 cents! I have a few left.
3) Daughters are visiting so I have to make real food every day for dinner. Day 1—spaghetti w/ homemade marinara from my own canned tomatoes and sausage from my home grown pork. Day 2—Lasagna w/ the left over sauce and added mushrooms from Aldi’s. Day 3—Christmas dinner of homegrown ham, home canned sweet potatoes and home grown redskins into garlic smashed potatoes, fresh salad w/ Aldi’s veg., home canned carrots made into candied carrots, and rasp. creme pie made at the last minute with ingredients stocked in the freezer (the person supposed to bring dessert didn’t). Day 4—ham and sweet potato casserole (a scalloped potato knock-off). Today—meat loaf from home grown pork and beef (Navy daughter #1 requested it since she was traumatized by ship’s galley meat loaf last month).
4. still gifted my friends, but every gift was homemade, based on their interests and hobbies.
5. have bought/am buying NOTHING else with a Christmas theme—I already have too much junque. Purged last year when I put it all way: kept the junque (stuff I actually enjoy) and shipped out all the junk (useless clutter I’ve accumulated over the years for no other reason than not wanting to actually get rid of).
6. Now when I disabuse myself of the grinch/scrooge attitude over the next month, I will be living even lighter……………. bah, humbug!


Ava December 28, 2017 at 6:11 am

1. Moved a useless decorative button from a sweater sleeve to the front of the sweater where one was missing.
2. Cut off the foolish looking ruffle thingies from the bottom of sleeves of a thrift store top. Put in a plain straight hem,. Put one of the ruffles on the dog’s neck for a scarf. She likes it.
3. Brought home some leftovers from a get together with family. Was able to eat some, take some to another event, and also fix a plate for bonus son who I think was feeling alone of Christmas day.
4. Finally got my husband to file a claim for his car towing. We may actually have the car repair issue resolved now after service at 3 different shops. Time will tell. Now we have to decide if we are going to try to get some kind of reimbursement from the first mechanic shop who made a wrong diagnosis.
5. Had house phone removed. It had become almost obsolete and was a monthly charge we can do without.
6. Frugal for others: Keeping son’s dogs and the grandson while son and daughter in law go out of town for a funeral. Our dog will love that.
7. Used wrapping supplies left from previous years. Did not buy Christmas anything at after- holiday sales because I still have plenty left for next year.
8. Cobbled together a Frankenbox to ship something for repairs.


Ruby December 28, 2017 at 7:21 am

1. Had to make a gluten-free dessert for Christmas Day at the in-law’s house. Turned out we had all the ingredients at home for a simple no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe. Didn’t have to spend $5 for a box of GF brownie mix!
2. Although the money I was able to put aside all year for Christmas fell short by more than 20% of last year’s total, we were still able to have a lovely, no fuss celebration and give some money to charities. Charitable gifts are what the Mister and I gave each other.
3. Enjoying the free coffee at work. (This is a work perk I’ve never had before. It is awesome.)
4. Bought a couple of roasts on Christmas sale and carved them up into portions more suitable for a family of two before popping them into the freezer. Future Me will be very thankful when cooking on the weekend time rolls around.
5. Altered a pair of lovely warm pajamas that had a strange fit, and now they’re so comfortable. So very glad that I can sew: it has saved thousands of dollars over the years.


Mand01 December 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Oats are not gluten free


Ruby December 28, 2017 at 1:54 pm

I should have been more specific: the family member in question cannot have wheat. He can eat oats. It’s just shorthand to look for GF products for him.


Mand01 December 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

No worries. Our family has two highly sensitive coeliacs (as in more sensitive than the average coeliac) so oats are a no-no along with wheat, rye and barley.


Bee December 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Oatmeal is gluten free. However, it is often processed in facilities that also process wheat and can become contaminated. So some individuals who follow a GF diet, but are not allergic or celiac, will actually eat regularly processed oatmeal.


Vickey December 31, 2017 at 10:45 am

There are people who react to the avenins in even gluten-free oats (Regrettably, I happen to be one of them.) Several scientific articles about the phenomenon can be found online.


Christine Joiner December 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I can sew (a little) but just enough to mend or sew up a ripped seam. Sewing is such a valuable skill. I wish I had paid more attention in home ec and watched more carefully when my mother or grandmother were sewing. I know each would have gladly taught me their expertise! Oh well, at least I can mend a tear.


KJD509 December 28, 2017 at 7:42 am

For reasons that sound an awful lot like a tantrum, and so shall not be described in mortifying detail, I just plain did not want Christmas this year. On the 21st, the kids who were home realized I probably wasn’t joking because the Thanksgiving candles were still on the table. So while I was at work, they dug the Christmas boxes out from under the house, put up lights, set out candles (sparkly and Advent), and hung stockings. The two older girls decided that for a low, low price (actually, it felt like a LOT of $ to them but is significantly less than our usual Christmas budget), they would just “handle” Christmas. Here are the frugal wins that came from that approach:
1) Even though they also hit up their dad for money – and he responded without checking the accounts, which would have shown him they’d already been supplied – expenditures were pretty low.
2) I agonize every year over stockings, and they end up being ridiculously expensive. Girls put in a few dollar-store items, one useful thing, and a whole lot of candy. Cheap, and their siblings were happy.
3) At our house, all the mythical creatures (Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, etc.) give themed gifts. Don’t ask – we should have quit this long before we had enough kids to field a large team, but Eldest has an unbelievably detailed memory so when he was little, we just didn’t. But here’s what we learned: nobody but us parents remembers that Mrs. Claus gives new clothes and Rudolph gives a toy or game – they just remember there was something under the tree from each of them. So the gifts the girls selected from the mythical creatures were unthemed and inexpensive and the siblings were delighted nonetheless.
4) With the pressure of an entire holiday in a boxed-up house off my shoulders, I was able to think more clearly about what the kids might actually need from their mom: bags of groceries, a Costco gas card, and one personalized item. Hubs and I spent Saturday checking out small local stores, with no success. But all was not lost – all non-food items, with the exception of something I’d bought on sale months ago before I lost my holiday spirit, were found in a 20-minute sprint through Value Village. Worked out great. Cost less than $30 for working small appliances, a large number of shoes, and some amazing designer clothing.
5) We had the Christmas roast in the freezer already, and I supplied ingredients for a few other dishes for the 24th and 25th, but told the kids (all of them, not just the hard-working older girls) if they wanted anything else, they were on their own for shopping and cooking. In part because they were exhausted, they voted no appetizers or desserts. . . and we all survived just fine.
6) We had forewarned the grandparents that all focus is on moving, so sent no gifts – just reminders that their invitations to the new house will come gift-wrapped when the time comes. I’m feeling a little guilty about that one. But not that we skipped my generation’s siblings and cousins. That was just a relief.

Like Kathleen, I have a little purging to do of the Grinch attitude, but delighted and relieved to have navigated that minefield of a holiday. Happy, Frugal New Year to all of you, with grateful thanks for your unending inspiration!


Mary Beth Danielson December 28, 2017 at 9:09 am

I love this. Whatever your backstory is – congratulations on doing and being what you needed to do and be this season – leaving room for others to figure out what they wanted and could arrange. Thanks.


Alexandra Evans December 31, 2017 at 11:07 am

I love this too! Letting the next generation deal with the work of the holidays is how they learn to do it and also to create their own traditions. You aren’t a scrooge, just ready for someone else to do the work! Good for you.


Tracy December 28, 2017 at 7:54 am

So much here to inspire me! I sadly did not downsize Christmas gift giving nearly as much as I’d hoped and there’s no one but myself to hold responsible… Next year I am determined to have a less materialistic Christmas on the gifts front. In the meantime, I do have some frugal successes:
1. Made Christmas brunch for maybe $10 total for 8 of us (veggie egg casserole, coffee cake, breakfast sausages, tangerines).
2. Had a very economical and delicious Christmas dinner for 12 — pork carnitas, fajita style veggies (roasted bell and poblano peppers and sweet onions), homemade black beans, homemade Cole slaw and fixings (corn tortillas, queso fresco, cilantro, limes, salsa, guacamole). Total cost = $20 and we’ve already gotten 2 more meals for 6 or 7 of us from the leftovers.
3. Only bought one roll of recycled brown paper + tape to wrap gifts. Otherwise used and re-used supplies on hand.
4. My dear MIL is an inveterate and over the top lover of Christmas. I was able to take 4 food items for Christmas Eve at her house for not too much money — a special egg salad I make every year with dill, pimentos and green olives with rye bread, a family tradition recipe of clam dip that my FIL requested (with chips), a huge veggie tray with ranch dip and “Wienie wraps” (little sausages wrapped in pre made roll pastry). Total cost $25 (fairly large quantities as there were 13 of us)
5. I am now at my Mom’s beach house with my 4 adult kids, two of their significant others and two more adults (Mom and DH) still to come. Brought almost all food from home (stores very pricey here), no eating out, engaging in free activities (walks/hikes, games, reading, cooking). Will splurge $10/class for yoga the next three mornings. Bliss!


Jill A December 28, 2017 at 8:23 am

That sounds wonderful.


Juhli December 28, 2017 at 7:54 am

Everyone’s posts are so inspirational!
1. Bought only gifts that were requested which made the recipients happy. No wasted purchases.
2. Took gifted box of candy to Christmas Eve dinner party. Saved us money and calories.
3. Accepted leftovers from elderly aunt who couldn’t eat what her son had brought over. Turned out to be some rack of lamb and beef short ribs plus veggies/potatoes. We had half for dinner.
4. Returned gifts that were duplicates or not what was wanted. Ordered some towels that were on deep discount as replacement.
5. Received statement of exact amount of newly retired Hubby’s pension payment for 2018 so now we can do our budget! Our income including my Social Security will be about half of this year’s but that will work out fine.


Danielle December 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

1. Discovered that the Xfinity app that comes with our Comcast account is actually pretty useful and full of movies and tv shows on demand. I can’t say how this is saving me money but I love getting more value out of things we already have! It has been so helpful as I’ve had a cold all week. I can stay in bed!

2. Letting my kids have lots of chill days which is apparently what they want. Saves me money on all the fun events I would have liked to plan for them…

3. We are invited to a White Elephant Bingo party where everyone brings small gifts – some nice and some gag. These always turn into hilarious events. Even though I’ve decluttered so much since past events, I was able to find 10 gifts that fit that description just from around the house. Some are art and craft supplies that my kids don’t use anymore and I know younger kids will be here to enjoy them.

4. I was asked to help coordinate volunteers for three upcoming events. I used my carefully kept Gmail contacts list and a google doc spreadsheet to set it up and we are meeting all of our needs in record time! This is frugal because I always plan to pick up the slack, but so far -with advance notice – not a lot of slack left to pick up.

5. My son wanted to customize his scooter and he discovered a stash of spray paint. No money out of pocket and he didn’t understand why I laughed so hard when I saw what he did – he GOLD PLATED his scooter!


Lee December 28, 2017 at 10:16 am

I found this blog recently and it’s great to know there’s someone else out there living the frugal life.

I have a question for you. How do you deal with family members who don’t appreciate your thrifty ways? I’m grappling with the fact that my sister uninvited me to a family Christmas gift exchange because it makes her uncomfortable that the gifts I give my kids are less extravagant than the gifts she gives her kids. I guess she feels that I am judging her, which I’m not. It’s never occurred to me that I should get out a ledger and compare our relative extravagance, and I don’t crow about my frugal ways or give her family gifts from the goodwill bins. I’ve never even told her that I frequent the goodwill bins. I thought I was flying under the radar with my frugality, but I guess I’m not.

So, have you ever encountered someone who sees your nonconsumerism as a complete turnoff?


MommaL December 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

WOW, that is really horrible. I would feel relieved, eventually, after it stung a bit. Think about it as her relieving you from the responsibility of spending money on her children. Maybe eventually you could send them something personal, if you felt like it.
I used to make items for my children’s cousins every year, because we were on a tight budget. One year, I took Tshirts and painted their names on them. They LOVED that, wore them as night shirts.
Another year, I mailed sweatshirts to all siblings and in law siblings and the children put their handprints on them. The last one gave it to the grandparents.
So that was a long answer. Maybe you could give her the benefit of the doubt that she was giving you an “out”, and saving you money in the long run.
I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if I’m wrong. I’m happier that way.


Lee December 28, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Yeah. Thanks. I guess it’s a relief to have an out, but it’s weird that I’ve been “thrift shamed”!

(Please note that I don’t feel ashamed, but rather I feel sad for someone who can’t see what’s important.)


D December 29, 2017 at 9:17 am

We’ve only opened gifts with cousins once (not Christmas) and I was honestly embarrassed for my sister in law because her kid’s reactions were not very graceful. I could tell she was embarrassed too. All Kids need training in this, but from now on it doesn’t have to happen in front of us! I’ve been relieved that she hasn’t invited us to do that again, as it was her idea!

The important thing is being together for the special events. The gifting can happen before or after.


Jennifer December 28, 2017 at 10:36 am

1. I have been home with the kids since Christmas. They have only worn pajamas for a few days now. It’s pretty cold in the South so we are staying home near our wood burning fireplace which always saves us money. Our firewood came from trees that blew down in our yard from stormy weather a few months ago.
2. We are continuing to eat Christmas leftovers. I am tired of them so I am transferring them to freezer containers to bring back out at a later time.
3. I collected all the gift bag/bows that my family left, removed any name tags, neatly folded them, and put them up in the closet for next year.
4. One perk of having Christmas at my home is if my family leaves behind drinks, food, extra small gifts, etc. it then becomes ours. This year, it was 2-liter drinks, small candles, and fancy chapstick. All things we will use.
5. Now that all the rich holiday food is out of sight, I am starting back on the fitness pal app on my phone. It’s a free app and really helps me keep up with how much I am taking in. I have a goal to live healthier this coming year. I don’t feel well and I suspect that it’s due to all the bad food and my lack of exercise. It takes a little thought to be frugal and healthy since some healthy food is more expensive. I have figured out a few tricks. I know when my grocery stores have the most marked down produce/meat-even organic! The trick is get there super early in the mornings and never on a weekend. Also, I am going to utilize my crock pot and keep a stash of assorted cooked dry beans in my freezer. Healthy=Frugal


Kathie December 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Fitness pal is wonderful! I lost 75 pounds in 2015 using the app on my phone and have faithfully logged in every day since I started. Tomorrow is my 1,000th day and I’m still maintaining my weight. If I can do it, anyone can!!


FrugalStrong December 31, 2017 at 8:54 am

I’m faithful My Fitness Pal user as well. I also track my water intake and my exercise on my FitBit app. Did know you can earn money from the site Achievement and Walgreens Balance Rewards simply by linking your MFP and FitBit accounts to them? I literally don’t have to do a thing. It’s all automatic.


Gina December 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

1. We live in Erie, PA & just got hit with over 56″ inches of snow since Christmas Day. So, no going anywhere besides work & back home. saving $ and time.
2. Took my lunch to work all week (i usually go home for lunch as i only live 2 minutes away. I took soups out of the freezer that I had saved from when i made soups last thus saving food waste. They tasted mighty good this week.
3. We will be celebrating Christmas with our families this weekend (due to bad weather on Christmas nobody went anywhere. Pot luck style at each house. I shopped my freezer & pantry first for supplies for my recipes.
4. I’ve been deleting any sales notification emails thus not being tempted to spend after Christmas. Saving $$
5. The whole month of December I’ve been trying to spend as little as possible at the grocery store utilizing items in my fridge, freezer & pantry. So far as of today, I’m $220 below my monthly usual spending!!


Alexandra Evans December 31, 2017 at 11:49 am

$220! That is so impressive! You should be very proud. Stay warm!


Betty Winslow December 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm

1. Bought our tree on Xmas eve eve – half price, baby!! And it’ll last into the new year.
2. Received a lovely white poinsettia from DD and her BF’s roommate, brought over on Xmas eve so he wouldn’t have to spend it alone. They didn’t ask, just brought him “since we knew you’d be ok with it and not want him to spend the night alone.” I think that comment may have been my favorite “gift” this year.
3. Potluck meal, so I didn’t have to do or pay for all the food.
4. Went to a party that had a white elephant game, took two books I have dupes of instead of buying something.
5. Competed in reindeer games at our faculty/staff party and won a $50 Visa card, plus received a $50 Kroger card from a school supporter (we all got one), a $5 Starbucks card from a parent, a $25 Amazon card from DD’s BF, and TWO $25 gift cards to local restaurants from our church (one for me, one for hub), as a thank you for being part of the core (and unpaid) ministry staff this year. Love thinking of being able to enjoy some special times that won’t cost us any money.


Betty Winslow December 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Oh, forgot #6 – it’s been super cold and snowy, so we have hardly left the house, which means no money spent! Watching movies from the library, reading, and eating Xmas eve leftovers…..


Bee December 29, 2017 at 8:47 am

Happy Holidays to all, and many thanks for another year of non consumer inspiration.
1) Our family was also able to avoid H.F.E.S. My husband, 3 adult children and 2 dogs spent Christmas away in the mountains. We did not exchange gifts and all chipped in what we could to make it happen. We have such little time together now that the children are grown and my husband travels at least 26 weeks a year. This week was extraordinarily special. I felt a little Grinch -like myself doing this. However, like the Grinch I found that “Perhaps Christmas doesn’t come from a store; perhaps it means just a little bit more.”

2) We kept costs down by staying in a fully equipped, pet friendly vacation rental. Thus, we were able to cook all but one meal at home, and we avoided pet care and boarding fees.

3) Our activities were free. Although temperatures were in the 20s, we bundled up and took long hikes everyday. This is something that we have always enjoyed doing together. We did not shop or eat at expensive restaurants. This has helped all of us avoid H.W.E.S. — Holiday Waist Expansion Syndrome. We also did some bird watching, read and played board games.

4) Christmas dinner consisted of food gifted to my son from a friend in Alaska — elk tenderloin and salmon.

5) The kids left today. My husband and I will head home tomorrow. We have stayed behind to straighten up a bit and to take one last hike. We will pack lunch and snacks for the journey back to Florida. Tonight we will be eating the leftovers in the refrigerator.


Debbie December 30, 2017 at 9:12 pm

1. My daughter and her husband moved, and I offered them an under-the-bed container to use to move as well as keep for extra storage. They mentioned their trunk was full of stuff they were donating, so I offered to drop it off for them. I went through the items (just junk, they said), and gained a brand new full-size blanket and set of king size sheets, brand new bicycle lock and air pump, and some other things. (Yes she is my daughter but not as frugal as her Mom). One man’s junk…
2. Prepared and froze free tomatoes and peppers for later use.
3. For cleaning up after our lengthy termite damage repair, I used old bath cloths and soap and water for dusting.
4. Our son, DIL, and 2 grandchildren are here for a week, and I have managed to cook every day even though we just finished said remodel and are exhausted. We didn’t even put up a tree or any Christmas decorations, but we enjoyed opening presents and stockings anyway.
5. I realized my online bank was offering a different account that paid nearly double the interest rate of my existing account, so I called and had the new account opened and the balance transferred in less than 10 minutes (1.3% is better than .75%, but we won’t retire on the additional earnings ha).
Happy New Year with less consumption and more savings.


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