Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 31, 2017 · 116 comments

  1. I had a voucher for a “free turkey or ham,” which is the annual Christmas bonus from my hospital. I do not resemble the ham obsessed Ponyo, but it’s easier than having to bake a turkey. (Plus I’m still sick of turkey from Thanksgiving.) It was about to expire, so I stopped by Safeway to scope out the possibilities. However, the coupon was specific for the ham to be “6-8 pounds,” yet the smallest one in stock was 12 pounds. I took it to the counter and asked if it could be cut, and was told no. The per-pound price was $3.95, and I didn’t feel like spending $16 on something I normally wouldn’t even buy. I put the ham back and started towards my car, but turned back around to ask if I could get a rain check for when smaller hams get restocked. The manager (who knows me) told me that they would honor the coupon for the smallest ham in the store. This story ends with me in possession of a 12-pound ham and working very hard to incorporate it into every meal. So yes, our last three dinners have been split pea soup with ham, mixed bean soup with ham and black bean chili with . . . ham! My plan is to spend a few more days in ham hell incorporating into meals and then dice it up for the freezer. Ham ideas are welcome.

  2. I was itching to get out of the house, yet didn’t want to derail the budget lockdown that we’re currently in. The weather was cold and rainy, so outdoorsy activities were out of the question. However, my younger son is always up for shenanigans, so the two of us drove over to Ikea to enjoy steaming mugs of their free coffee. We each brought a blank book and spent an hour or so doodling and jotting down ideas and weirdness. Finding fun and frugal activities was pretty easy when my kids were young, as there’s always something going on at the library or a new playground to explore. It’s a little trickier when they’re teens, so I felt pretty good about the frugal hack.

  3. I paid my younger son’s tuition and fees for the winter term as the deadline was January 1st. I then logged into my older son’s account and was pleased/elated/ecstatic to discover that his tuition deadline is somehow not until January 12th. This is fantastic as we’ll have a few more paychecks under our belts, including the one that includes my work bonus. Cash flowing two kids in college is sometimes a laughable goal.

  4. My birthday is later this week, so I’m starting to plan my Birthday Day of Adventures™. This family tradition to spend on experiences instead of stuff is a great hit at our house, but I’ve learned over the years that’s it’s best when I make the plans. Even for myself. So far I’ve sourced 2-for-1 movie tickets through my Buy Nothing Group and accepted a friend’s offer to use her museum guest passes, as there’s a Laika exhibit that the four of us should enjoy. I’m still trying to figure out the meals and treats, but it’s a good start for a day that will promote family bonding and memories. I want for nothing, and value the rare instances when the four of us get to spend an entire day together more than anything sold on Amazon. Experiences > stuff, people. Experiences > stuff.

  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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{ 116 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana Wood December 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Curious if you charge your sons tuition??
We always do to earn cash back bonus awards and an extra month to pay. Win win!


Robin January 1, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Hi, every university I’ve worked with has charged a fee for using a credit card that would have added more cost than the amount I earned back. You might ask if there’s a cash discount that would save you extra money! Best of luck.


Carmen December 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

All great frugal ideas, and congrats about the tuition deadline extension.
I like to make scalloped potatoes with ham, onion, cheese, and milk. Cheap, delish, goes well with a green salad, very, filling and my kids really liked it when they were living at home.
Might also like to dice some before freezing for omelets, egg cups, salads, etc.
Ham keeps a long time in the freezer.
Happy New Year, Katy & crew.


Rae December 31, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Re: ham, here’s a ham and cheese scone recipe – maybe you’ll like it 🙂

2 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 tbsp chilled butter
3/4 c extra sharp cheddar, shredded
3/4 c cubed ham
3/4 c buttermilk
2 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Cut in butter.
4. Stir in cheese & ham.
5. In a separate dish, whisk together buttermilk and egg whites.
6. Combine the wet and dry mixtures, stirring until moist.
7. Turn out, knead 4-5 times, put it on sprayed cookie sheet, shape into round, score into 8 sections.
8. Bake at 400 for 20 min.

I am never typing this recipe on a phone again…


Bee January 1, 2018 at 6:54 am

These sound really good!


Crosby January 2, 2018 at 6:04 am

Thank you for your effort in typing it on the phone! I am impressed, and really excited about this recipe!


Jenser January 2, 2018 at 10:52 pm

I never thought to make ham scones. My boys would love those. Thanks for typing on the teeny screen. 😉


Edie December 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm

First: I am so lucky to be in a warm home with a nice and friendly tenant here in Portland OR. I have enough food, I have clean water and I have physical mbility- all gifts.

1) I paid off my surgeons fee and bills this by using my HSA. Because my company doe a high deductible plan, I have been using the HSA to guard against the deductible, and matching what the company paid into it. I am so glad that I did.

2) I bought gifts for my friend and tenant at the Lush Boxing Day sale- so while their Christmas gifts were a day late, they got double the amount- and it is enough bath product to last several months. The nice thing to is that the bath products are highly scented, so they double as cologne.

3) I took back some unnecessary makeup and exchanged it for what I really wanted – and I wound up getting an extra $3 back on my card. Not much, but still pleasant!

4) NYE celebrations will be with friends in PJs, lots of video games and lots of Sparkling Beverages. Everyone is staying over and having brunch. Everyone is bring something, and no one will drive home drunk nor spend too much money on cabs/uber/lyft, and way cheaper and better brunch at my place.

5) On Tuesday I will open a savings account and place $45/week into it to start.


Ava December 31, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Ham disposal: Quiche. 3 eggs, 3/4 c milk, 1/2 tsp salt plus sauted onion and mushrooms in whatever quantities you like, chopped up ham, whatever cheese you have. Pour into a crust (or not) and bake until puffed in the middle.


Kristen December 31, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Ham salad: Chunk ham and reduce to small dice in food processor. Throw 2 hard boiled eggs into food processor and pulse a couple of times to chop them up too. Move chopped ham and egg mixture to large bowl, and add two heaping tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, and enough mayo to more or less stick it together, probably 1/2 to 1 cup of mayo or more if you like mayonnaise (me, not so much.) Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious on ritz crackers, or served on toast. It also cheers up an ordinary green salad with a protein boost.


Linda Kovacs January 1, 2018 at 10:29 am

How much ham is used? Thanks.


Rebecca December 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Use the ham on a pizza.


Jennifer December 31, 2017 at 3:07 pm

And add pineapple!


Hydra January 1, 2018 at 3:51 pm

And sliced or pickled jalapeno!


Jennifer December 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm

How bout a nice ham/cheese quiche or frittata? Also, I make a cheese ball with diced ham, scallions, cream cheese, and garlic salt. Would be a nice New Year’s treat served with crackers.

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 storms a few months ago.
2. I went to Hobby Lobby’s 80% off Christmas sale. I picked up teacher gifts for next year. I found some cute ornaments for 80 cents to give teachers. This Christmas, I made the teachers fudge in holiday tins that I bought on clearance last year. After my fudge almost failed to set, the night before they were to be gifted, I wanted to have myself something easy for the next year.
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


Cindy in the South I January 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm

It is freezing cold here in Alabama also! Stay warm!


Betty Winslow December 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm

My suggestion: Grilled ham slices, mashed potatoes, veg.
1. NYE with no cost – church, then lunch at home, then visiting with friends who were in town from NC, and now dinner (pulled pork, french fries, and coleslaw made from a cabbage-based salad kit that had somehow ended up in the back of the frig in somewhat iffy condition. Later, snacks (left from Xmas eve), a movie borrowed from the library, and glasses of bubbly grape juice to wish the NY in.
3. Gave my visiting friend a skein of sock yarn I bought and decided not to use. She loves to knit and has made me several pairs of yoga socks in the past, so it was time to pay her back. And one less thing in the house….
4. Using up the Xmas design paper napkins and paper plates from the last couple of yrs of Xmas eve parties, meaning fewer dishes to do!!
5. Finished two writing projects just under the wire, which I should be paid nicely for, to start a nest egg for next yr. (Spent part of this yr’s on a flat screen TV for hubby, so happy to be able to bless him with something he really really wanted but would not have bought for himself!)

Happy New Year, y’all!


Patti December 31, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Ham ideas: omlette, pizza topping, jambalaya, quiche


Taylor-Made Homestead December 31, 2017 at 3:15 pm

My 5 frugal things:
1) We’re staying in tonight (New-Year’s Eve) and enjoying a warm fire, homemade chicken & dumplings and later a frothy mug of homemade cocoa… spiked with homemade kahlua! 😉

2) We’re attending a party tomorrow for New Year’s Day and our hostess has said she will supply all the food, nothing to be brought. They don’t drink so a bottle of wine wouldn’t be appropriate. So I made up a cute jar of said homemade cocoa (sans the kahlua of course) and tied it all up with a cute jute ribbon & directions.

3) Attended church this morning in thrifted clothes and looked very appropriate for church.

4) Washer is on the blink – repairman estimated several hundred dollars to repair. We researched the problem online, ordered the part for $50 and it looks to be very easy to install. (I miss my washer… LOL)

5) Our electric company was recently bought out by a larger electric company, which should lower our bills every month. But we’re still researching other electric company options since we now (FINALLY) have the option to choose! Our electric bill should plummet. Yea!

Happy New Year, Y’all!


Sarah D December 31, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Homemade kahlua!?!?! I think I’m going to need that recipe!


Linda January 1, 2018 at 3:27 am

Yes, me too!


Taylor-Made Homestead January 1, 2018 at 7:40 am

Sorry ladies – I didn’t make it myself, it was a gift. A sweet friend gift has gifted us her homemade Kahlua for Christmas for the last several years so we almost always have some in our liquor cabinet. In the cold winter months we enjoy it stirred into hot cocoa, in the hot/humid summer months we enjoy a bit poured into a glass & topped with crushed ice & sipped on the back porch to enjoy that gorgeous Texas summer sunset. But I’ll admit I’m now spoiled to homemade Kahlua. Ithe time ever comes when my Kahlua coffers run dry I’ll totally be making it myself! 🙂



Sarah D January 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Bummer! Maybe I can google it. (I love how you included the descriptions of how luscious it is, just to rub it in that we can’t have any!!!)

Kim in Maryland January 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Ladies, I have a recipe for homemade Kahlua which I can post tomorrow. Tonight I’m a bit busy between giving a cooking lesson to my home from college son, laundry and 2 college bowl games. We’re an SEC family and while our team isn’t playing, we are cheering for one SEC team and against another SEC team. I promise to post it tomorrow!

Sarah D January 2, 2018 at 7:16 pm

Thanks, Kim, can’t wait!

Mand01 December 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm

If we have extra ham we slice it up into meal size lots and use it in place of bacon for Sunday breakfast.
1. We are purging our home of extra clothes, books, vinyl records and CDs. We have almost a bootful (trunk) to donate.
2. Our garden continues to produce. I made a big batch of pesto yesterday and put some in the freezer and some on a potato salad (homegrown spuds).
3. Our grocery bill after Christmas was very low due to garden produce and the freezer and meal planning.
4. I’m working hard to prevent food waste. The other night I invented a nachos topping with three ears of corn that needed using, a zucchini from the garden and a can of chilli beans. The kids declared it amazing, which proves my theory that if you melt enough cheese on it and top it with sour cream, kids will inhale almost anything. And we didn’t waste the corn.
5. We are having a short run of cool days before an expected heat wave so I’m making bread and generally taking advantage of the cool weather to do gardening jobs before we are slammed.
Happy New Year!


Sarah D December 31, 2017 at 3:25 pm

1. A few days before Christmas, I was at Lush buying “Santa’s Belly” shower jelly for my daughter (a special treat and at only $8 one of their affordable products) and fell in love with their salt scrub…I had even picked up a small jar of it for myself before noticing that it was $21!!!!!! So I put it down and came home, looked up a recipe, and am about to make my own salt scrub out of pantry items!
2. We had friends over for dinner a few nights ago, as entertaining at home is both frugal fun and really the best option when kids are involved! I doubled the recipe for vegan baked pasta but that made way too much food, so we’ve had leftovers for days.
3. I’m a huge reader but somehow got zero books as Christmas presents. So I looked through my shelves to find books I don’t want anymore to take back to the used bookstore, and ended up with enough store credit that I came home with a big stack of new-to-me books for which I only paid $4.
4. Just decided to cancel Netflix after watching the rest of the Crown episodes. I’m sick of their shoddy selection of streaming movies, and I’ve just figured out how easy and cheap Redbox is – we got to reserve the movie we wanted for only 1.55 and it was so simple. At $8 a month, I should be enjoying netflix’s selection far more than I am.
5. Not going out for NYE tonight, and tomorrow’s plan is to take a family hike. Free family fun that is also good for us!


Laura December 31, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Ham and eggs for breakfast
Ham and cheese sandwhiches
Macaroni and cheese with diced ham
Don’t forget to make ham bone soup with the bone once you’ve cut most of the meat off.


Laura December 31, 2017 at 3:32 pm
Mamie December 31, 2017 at 3:37 pm

“Eternity is a ham and two people.” – Dorothy Parker

Frugal Five:
1. Almost all meals during Christmas break have been eaten at home (two relatively inexpensive exceptions were for purposes of socialization). Leftovers have been utilized, and stepdad paid for the Christmas ham.
2. Split the cost of a great January birthday gift for my brother with my stepdad.
3. Christmas gifts were wrapped in paper bought years ago on clearance or in re-used gift bags.
4. No money spent on entertainment during Christmas break… Netfix binging, reading, and trips to the dog park have been enough! I guess we DO pay our monthly Netfix cost, but that’s MUCH cheaper than cable/satellite OR going out to movies.
5. Have spent time during break organizing and purging… a frugal AND useful pastime!


KJD509 December 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm

That is my favorite food-related quote of all time!


Marilyn December 31, 2017 at 9:25 pm

That quote gave me my laugh for the day!


Lindsey December 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm

This is the only place that will understand my pride and elation in this: at the suggestion of another blog, for 2017 I kept track of every penny I saved with coupons, getting library books instead of buying them, getting free things for mystery shops like oil changes and movie outings (not the payments for the jobs themselves), selling items on CList (I don’t use Ebay), cutting husband’s hair myself, money saved on grocery sales…every night I totaled up anything that I’d saved that day by being careful. The total for 2017 as of this morning was $7, 932.14! I didn’t have any goal in mind and, truthfully, thought my efforts were worth a lot less. But now that I see what I can do without really trying, I have made $9,000 my goal for 2018.

Speaking of cutting husband’s hair, I did that this morning.

Dropped Amazon Prime because I realized that we don’t buy that much or watch the movies enough to make it pay for itself. We get Acorn TV and that is all we really watch anyway.

Dropped a subscription to the Washington Post. I got it and the NY Times but I realized they were somewhat redundant and I was getting too anxious/depressed reading that much political news.

Picked up two bags of hedgehog food off a local free site.

Someone gave me a 5 pound box of See’s chocolates for Christmas. You cannot buy them locally so I seldom have them. I cannot be trusted with chocolates, even if I put them in the freezer. So I took out 10 pieces and took the rest to a meeting, where they disappeared. My husband was totally puzzled, as he could eat one piece a day and make the box last practically an entire year. It pains me to be so weak but there you are, chocolates are my kryptonite.


Ruby December 31, 2017 at 6:00 pm

That is amazing! You will surely make your $9,000 goal.


Bee January 1, 2018 at 4:45 am

Congratulations on the huge savings of nearly $8000! You must be really pleased. Imagine $8000 a year saved over the course of a decade equals $80,000! Frugality pays dividends.


Christine Joiner January 1, 2018 at 11:28 am

Congratulations Lindsey! That is an awesome savings just by being frugal. I got a “high” from it too, realizing that a lot of the frugal things you do, I do too. Never saw it in actual dollars and cents though, so seeing the numbers is extremely uplifting.
I commiserate with you on the chocolates. I can easily mow down half a pound at a time. I can’t have it around the house at all. Nectar of the gods. LOL!


A. Marie January 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm

I add my kudos on the careful bookkeeping and its results, Lindsey. My dad was a bookkeeper, so I associate it with drudgery and tend not to do it–but you may have changed my mind.

Much less impressively, my NY state deposit bottle/can return total for this year was $255.35. Considerably under last year’s total, but then I lost the last 3 months of this year to injuries and bad weather. On the other hand, my 2017 found change/bills total was $19.31, which ain’t bad for free cash.

And best wishes for health and happiness in 2018 to you, the DH, the dogs, and the hedgehogs. (Pet hedgehogs?? Tell us more!)


Liz B. January 2, 2018 at 5:56 am

Lindsey, add my congrats on your impressive savings! I may just have to try that myself. I have been keeping track of $ from fb marketplace and CL sales, but not the rest.
My hubby has the same issue with chocolates. He recently “discovered” Lindt chocolate truffles…..he can’t just eat one or two at a time. I like chocolate, but I can (usually) eat 2 pieces, and I’m good. Hubby may need to find a less expensive chocolate treat….


Mary in VA January 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

Lindsey, I totally get it about the chocolates. I have to do the same thing with any kind of sweets: take a few out for myself and give the rest away. My husband could walk by a box of chocolates for a year and never be tempted. Me, not so much.


Lucy December 31, 2017 at 3:52 pm

You could dice some and freeze it for later use. It works great for quiche, scrambled eggs (could use for burrito filling), omelettes, etc. It would also work well incorporated to a rice or shredded potatoes (these are usually really cheap this time a year) casserole. Risotto would be nice too. When I was a kid, we would grill ham, melt cheese and serve it with home fries or on toast. Yum!


janine December 31, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Great ideas to use up large amount of left-over ham! Will incorporate the cheese ball recipe idea tomorrow since I have all the ingredients on hand.
We are planning on attending a fancy party later this evening – probably wouldn’t go except that the hostess plans this evening for months and expects us to show up and appreciate her handiwork.
1. This has been a horrendous weekend with cars not starting and pipes freezing – all at a cost. Winters in MN have been mild for the last several years so we got lazy. Time to set up NY resolutions to renew our frugal commitments.
2. Drastically reduce our food waste. There are just two of us plus an occasional friend or son to eat up the leftovers. Therefore it is time to plan ahead and and prepackage groceries for the freezer at the time of purchase.
3. Get control of impulse spending. I am reading a mystery in hard cover. Luckily got a bookstore Xmas gift card so no out of pocket, but that same card could have purchased several paperbacks.
4. Do not have a lot of commitments next week so will stay home and organize household in order to take advantage of an “insourcing” month.
5. Reining in restaurant expenditures. A friend and I have decided to make an inexpensive locally owned Chinese place our go-to meeting place. Our first choice is her house!


Alison December 31, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Ham and egg sandwichess, eggs benedict, ham quiche!


Lisa December 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm

I finally have my feet up and can take a breathe.

My frugal five:

1. I’ve had out of town family In town for the past three days. Mom does not eat in restaurants so meal for fifteen have been at my house. I limited family to one meal a day in the evening unless it was leftovers from the previous night.

2. Friday dinner was a ham purchased for 5.00 any size when you spent 30.00. I shopped right after the case was stocked and got a 27.00 ham for 5.00.

3. I wanted to have a balanced meal and having a lettuce salad was way to expensive so I picked up cucumbers at .50 a piece and fixed two different cucumber salads

4. Saturday night we bundled up and went to a boat parade for free entertainment .

5. I discovered creative ways to use up leftovers for a crowd. Put your left overs between flour or corn tortillas brush with oil and bake in the oven as call it quesadilla and serve with salsa while watching our local NFL team on tv

Last but not least, my family received two bottles of wine, a large bottle of organic local honey and a bag of honeybell oranges that they gave to me because they were not checking any luggage for the flight home.

Happy and positive new year


Ava December 31, 2017 at 4:43 pm

1. We had the chimney cleaned and they offered us a $20 Starbucks card to put their sign in our yard for 30 days. We received the card. Supposedly if we leave the sign up for another 30 days and send them a picture to prove it is still there, they will send us a $20 Home Depot card. The Starbucks card will be an add in present for daughter’s upcoming birthday.
2. Combined very uninteresting restaurant leftovers with home leftovers to make a delicious taco bar. Used some avocados I already had to make guacamole. I recently learned that when avocados reach the desired ripeness on the counter, you can then refrigerate them and they will stay at that point of ripeness for days. I have not had one go bad since I learned to do that.
3. Made our favorite cookies from ingredients I already had. I was missing the Heath chips, but they were still delicious. Out of curiosity, I looked up what two local bakeries charge for a dozen cookies. It was $16 and $17. My recipe made 46 cookies. My mind is boggled.
4. Bought some half off Christmas themed toys for the dog. She doesn’t care what theme they are. She disembowels them all just as fast regardless of what holiday they represent.
5. We had to take a cat to the vet yesterday and the vet asked if we were planning to go downtown to some event to celebrate the new year. We all (including the vet) just laughed and laughed. It is below freezing temperature now with a wind blowing. We are not interested in going to a crowded downtown area, looking for and paying for parking, walking in the cold, buying expensive food and drink, when we can stay home by the fire and eat cookies.


Mamie December 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

#4… so true! Dog toys do not stay intact long here, either. Fortunately the dog likes playing with the “husk” as much as when the toy is still stuffed. 🙂


Alison January 1, 2018 at 8:42 am

Thanks for the tip about avocados. I didn’t know that, and I am guilty of composting them when we don’t get around to eating them. And they are very expensive here!


Jenser January 2, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Thank you for the tip on avocados.


Amanda December 31, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Here in the south we eat ham biscuits!


Kathy Hairston December 31, 2017 at 5:24 pm

1. Hubby has been sick with killer flu..upside using up soup in pantry and no miles put on his car. Downside $152 in prescriptions
2. Used amazon gift card fro our son and daughter in law they buy filters for refrigerator.
3. Culled closet to discover I have ample
gloves, socks, scarves, hats for my trip to NYC in February.
4. Have two bags of clothing to take to consignment store this week, bag for donation and a pair of shoes to return
5. Did our traditional New Year Eve celebration..matinee movie and early dinner. We’re in for the nite.


Carol in CT December 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm

quiche, fried rice, stir fry, Hawaiin pizza, BBQ ham meatballs, deviled ham salad sandwiches, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, ham loaf, fried ham slices and eggs, omelettes


Lindsey December 31, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Don’t forget potato soup!


andrea December 31, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Working (a little bit at a time) on portioning all the frozen vegs i got on sale into Ziploc bags – right now, i’m up to 12 bags of peas, and 3 or 4 bags of mixed vegs (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)…


Lisa December 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Pampered Chef had a recipe for this wreath made from crescent rolls filled with ham, broccoli and cheese – it was pretty yummy. I’ve saved our ham for this treat come February.


jeanie December 31, 2017 at 6:44 pm

For your Dogpatch ham: Posole, the wonderful Mexican stew.


Katy December 31, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Mmm . . . I love posole!


Marcia December 31, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Ham rescues me when I don’t have time to cook, or don’t feel like it for some reason. I have it packaged in meal sized packages and throw it into a frying pan to heat it up and brown it a little, then spread shredded cheese on top and cover with a lid for a couple minutes. We make sandwiches from it, and sometimes I add a salad or a bowl of soup (sometimes even canned soup!) I like it with pepper jack cheese but you can use any cheese you like. I make my own bread in the ABM so that adds a dimension of deliciousness too.


Elizabeth January 1, 2018 at 12:55 am

1.Found a really nice winter coat at the thrift store for my son for $4…we live in the Deep South(Alabama) but we still need a thick coat for 3 months out of the year.
2.Scavenged branches from my parents yard for kindling
3.Froze Christmas desserts for later, so my mom wouldn’t throw them away…that’s a crime!
4.Stocked up on no nitrate bacon that only goes on sale 3 times a year…so we are good for a few months:)
5.Challenged myself to buy nothing new in 2018 in my goals for the new year on my blog….so now I am accountable:)


Cindy in the South I January 2, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Hi Elizabeth! I live in Central “Southish” Alabama also, not too far from Selma. The weather has been so cold for here!!!


tia January 1, 2018 at 2:05 am

My dad used to make a ham loaf that he loved. I dont know the recipe, google probably has one. He would grind up ham and add egg, bread crumbs and lots of spices and it had a brown sugar glaze. I don’t like ham and have to admit it was pretty tasty.


tia January 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Another thing my dad would make with ham…he would grind it up and add mayonaise or salad dressing, pickles or relish, diced onion, and anything else to make a sandwich spread or topping for crackers. I guess it was ham salad or deviled ham.


Kathleen in Kansas January 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

My mil used to make a ham loaf with half ground ham and half ground beef, onion and crumbs and whatever and a brown sugar mustard glaze. Totally delicious! She never used garlic, but I sure do. And the mix makes terrific meatballs, too. She used a hand-cranked grinder that screwed onto the edge of the counter. I started to say I miss her brisket and I don’t know why I don’t make it myself – but I know, the price of brisket is outrageous!


Meredith January 1, 2018 at 4:42 am

We made these on NYE with leftover Christmas ham

We did buy a pork loin but sure you can make it without the pork like a fancy ham grilled cheese. A croque madame would be yummy too!


Jill A January 1, 2018 at 5:32 am

I have a freezer full of ham also….very interested in ham recipes.

1. My husband and I had a fun night out with friends. We had an inexpensive dinner and concert at the casino. We took advantage of the free $10 of slots given to us for attending the concert. We quit with our winnings which happily paid for our night out and then some.
2. My husband and I went to a movie in the new cushy theater downtown. We used the voucher for two free tickets that I received for using one coke code and
we found free parking on the street. We ate lunch at home beforehand and didn’t purchase any snacks.
3. We had friends over New Years Eve instead of going to the festivities downtown. It was too cold outside. We ordered pizza and made some inexpensive snack plates.
4. I’ve been reading free library and prime books on my kindle and enjoying the snowy view out my window while I’m cozy and warm by the fire.
5. I made some mini crustless quiches for my husband to eat for breakfast before work. I used up some of the diced ham in my freezer as well as the tops and bottoms of some green peppers that I diced up and some onions and instead of swiss which I was out of I substituted some bulk purchased mexican cheese mixture from Costco.


Bee January 1, 2018 at 5:42 am

I too struggle with how to use up a ham.
1) I have the remainder of a Honey Baked Ham in the freezer purchased with a gift card. On Christmas morning, my family traditionally eats ham and biscuits with Tupelo honey. I then put the rest of it in the freezer with the exception of the bone. It is cooked with black eyed peas for the traditional Southern New Years Day dinner that also included rice, greens and cornbread. The beans are soaking now.

2) I started setting up my spreadsheets for 2018. I use these to track my budget, my bank accounts and most of my expenditures. Since I started 3 years ago, I have managed to decrease my spending on incidentals by 40% and increase our savings. I have also learned a lot about myself.

3) I sold an item on eBay last night which surprised me greatly. I have several things listed and some that need to be listed. I added a spreadsheet to my grouping for my eBay sales. Since I sometimes buy for resale, I am curious to see if any trends emerge. I am looking to see what’s most profitable; how long I hang onto things, and how much money I have tied up in inventory.

4) I had a few minutes yesterday, so I took a spin around the Goodwill. I bought myself a lovely wool dress and purchased a heavy denim shirt for my son. These cool weather items surfaced just it time. It is cold here in North Florida — well cold for us. Temperatures are not supposed to get above 45, skies are gray with cold, strong winds. The windchill is in the 20s.

5) I am enjoying a cup of home-brewed coffee made with beans purchased on sale while my kitty sleeps on my lap. Simple, frugal pleasures can be so wonderful!

Happy New Year to all. I hope 2018 will be filled with frugal blessings, love and peace.


Jennifer January 1, 2018 at 5:14 pm

I do the same with Tupelo honey. I also added ham to my black eyed peas today and my cooked kale.


Jennifer January 1, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I think it’s best to just go ahead and freeze the ham when you get tired of eating ham. It will be a welcome addition to your meal after a few short weeks or months that you don’t dread.


Cindy in the South I January 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Happy New Year! Yes, it its dreadfully cold here in South Central Alabama.


Alexandra Evans January 1, 2018 at 5:58 am

We are so cold here in the South! 28 degrees this morning. Ugh.
1.DH drove for Uber last night, did not get in until 3am. With tips, he made $183. Not great for the time of year but going towards our car loan so happy for the extra moola. I think the cold weather kept folks at home.
2. So grateful for our warm cozy small house. We got a new heat pump this year and also re-did insulation in attic. We paid to have it all done and I’m grateful for their hard work. House is cozy and not cranking the heat. Trying to keep it at 66 degrees. Layers!
3. While DH drove for Uber I made food for the week and also inventoried Freezer, fridge and pantry. Added chicken stock and lentil soup to the larder. We are well stocked and have good things to eat!
4. For 2018, we have ade a commitment to spend no more than $60 week for groceries. We quit drinking alcohol 5 months ago and not only does that save money, it keeps us from running to the store for a mixer, limes, etc. We think with all the accouterments, we’re saving $200 a month!
5. Paid off renovation loan a few months ago, putting that money plus quitting-drinking-money towards car loan. Also adding any Uber money. This loan is going DOWN in 2018!


MommaL January 1, 2018 at 6:39 am

I love ham, but DH does not. Maybe that explains my abundance of kielbasa, he does eat that!
Ham is really good in a potato chowder. If you’re feeling healthy, its good in a chef’s salad too. You could also use it as the meat in pho. I love pho in the winter, and a Vietnamese friend told me you can substitute any kind of meat you have on hand…she sometimes uses kielbasa. 😉


Cindi January 1, 2018 at 7:34 am

I find ham freezes well, so I cut up the Christmas ham in portions and dole it out over the next weeks and months. Ham and Macaroni and cheese is a favorite at our house, as is scalloped potatoes, ham biscuits, ham and beans, creole rice & ham, ham quiche, ham fritatta, ham and greens — and ham sandwiches.


Mary in Maryland January 1, 2018 at 7:49 am

1) I made my fabulous root veg cassoulet for potlucks on both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day. No leftovers, which I see as winning the potluck popularity contest.
2) We ate dinner with friends last night. Had great conversation and were home in bed by 11.
3) I continue reknitting the toes of all my 1995 hand-knit socks. Much warmer.
4) Black-eyed peas soaking for peas and greens on rice for dinner.
5) I’ve let several DSW coupons expire, as we don’t need any new shoes.


Tracy January 1, 2018 at 7:54 am

1. Have had a lovely six days at the coast with family for very little cost.
2. Watched gorgeous sunset over the ocean last night and a first for me beautiful moon set over ocean this am when I took dear pup out first thing. Amazing way to mark New Year’s and absolutely free.
3. Local store that sold heavily discounted surplus merchandise was going out of business and everything was 75% off. Got 5 huge boxes of tampons (with no plastic) for DD2, a couple toiletries for DD3’s bday, 25 candy bars, some party supplies for DD3’s bday party and a couple other consumable odds and ends for $18.
4. Took our recycling to the local recycling center yesterday and checked out the thrift store. Got 10 used VHS movies for $1 to keep at beach house. Yay! Watched “O Brother Where Art Thou’ which somehow I’d never seen — loved!
5. Stayed in for NY Eve eating homemade appetizers and playing games. I don’t drink but the young adults shared one large bottle of bubbly and fun was had by all!
6. Starting uber-frugal buy nothing except essentials January today!


K D January 1, 2018 at 8:07 am

We use to enjoy ham and scalloped potatoes.

1. I walked to the grocery store despite the cold. I wanted to cash in my found change (using Coin Star and receiving a no fee gift card in return). The Coin Star was out of commission but I did pick up my free yogurt (offer loaded to my store card).

2. I am getting shaggy and could use a haircut but it’s so cold out that I don’t want shorter hair, so I’m holding off.

3. I bought discounted gift cards through the United Mileage Plus shopping portal. We won’t earn a lot of miles but it will be activity on the accounts, keeping the accumulated miles from expiring/aging off. I try to remember to do this once a year for each of us.

4. All meals have been at home the past week. The other day we baked a turkey breast and that has provided several meals. Today it will be the base of soup and there is meat to be frozen as well.

5. We spent a quiet new years Eve at home, utilizing food and beverages we had, and watching Netflix. It doesn’t get any more exciting than that.


JESSICA January 1, 2018 at 8:09 am

It’s great that your friend is letting you use her museum guest passes. Just a reminder that many libraries also have free museum passes too!


Alison R January 1, 2018 at 8:16 am

Oh Katy I remember the pain of college tuitions multiplied! We had 1 year with one daughter, 2 years with 2 daughters, 1 year with 3 daughters, 1 year with 2 daughters and then 3 years with 1 daughter so 8 years. SO glad to have been done for a while!


Elizabeth January 1, 2018 at 8:32 am

1. After a flight to Florida last February that had a lot of unpleasant disruptions, I filled out a survey and explained my disappointment (not expecting anything….just to let them know because they had sent the survey). I was surprised to get en email from them with a $200 Travel certificate for myself and my two kids! I used one of the vouchers for my trip to Boulder in the fall (to celebrate my sister and cousin turning 50) and was able to use the $400 left to book a trip for my daughter and I to go back to the city we moved from four years ago to be there for my best friend’s oldest daughter’s graduation. Her middle daughter is also my daughter’s best friend so my daughter is SO excited! Love that an unexpected $600 Travel credit let me take two trips I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise! Thanks, United!
2. Shopped some after Christmas sales to purchase presents for next year. I always participate in an accessory gift exchange, a neighbor gift exchange and a favorite things party. I was able to get really nice gifts for all of those for a very low price!
3. Went through all my Christmas boxes while I was putting stuff away and got a big pile of things to get rid of. I am purging my collection of decorations to only keep the things I really love. I also organized all my ornaments by color. It took a couple hours and sounds insane when I type that but I recently started liking color themes for my tree and decided that if I organize the ornaments I have by color I won’t have to buy any if I know exactly which box certain colors are in. (Plus I love organization!)
4. I had two birthday gifts for friends in my amazon cart which totaled $30 (I have four or five friends that exchange birthday gifts). I was waiting to see if the prices on the items would go down when I discovered a $25 unused Amazon gift card after cleaning off the bulletin board in the mud room where important papers are tacked up. So I ended up getting the two birthday gifts for $5!
5. We celebrated New Years Eve at our friends’ house. My daughter went to a party and my son, husband and I went to our friends. I brought artichoke dip and crackers, chips and salsa and brownies. I only had to buy the chips and salsa and green chilies for the artichoke dip. Everything else I had on hand. We brought some of the beer we have in the refrigerator also. So it was a fun, festive and low cost evening to close out 2017!


Alison January 1, 2018 at 9:03 am

Happy new year everyone!

1. DH and I stayed home for NYE. We don’t like crowds or late nights, and never usually do anything for NYE. I made lentil soup after cleaning out the fridge, he made bread, and we had a glass of wine with dinner. It was lovely and frugal.
2. DH had a medical test in another city. Ferry costs are paid for, including me as his “companion”, but because he was capable of going alone, he didn’t claim for my ticket. It would not have been questioned, but morally, he felt our tax dollars shouldn’t pay for something that was unnecessary in his eyes. I was going only for companionship, not to assist him.
3. We had breakfast at home before the above mentioned trip, and because he couldn’t eat anything more before the test, didn’t buy food on the ferry. I took fruit and granola bars for him to eat after the test, as I knew he’d be hungry. I browsed the gift shop/newsstand, but didn’t buy anything. We did, however, buy dinner on the ferry on the way home.
4. At the hospital I got a hardcover book for a donation of $3 at the used book kiosk, which is a fundraiser. I haven’t read a book in a while, and am really enjoying it.
5. Am binge watching “A place to call home” on AcornTV, which we subscribe to at around $8 a month. Lots of British, Australian and New Zealand TV that we wouldn’t get otherwise.


Christine Joiner January 1, 2018 at 11:53 am

Kudos to you and your DH for #2. My parents ingrained in us by their words and actions that honesty is always the best policy. Then you never have to explain anything.


Susie's Daughter January 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Alison – I absolutely love ” A Place to Call Home”. Enjoy your binge watching!


rebecca January 1, 2018 at 9:35 am

1. Making soup and macaroni and cheese for the week .
2. watching a “call the midwife” holiday special. I love this show.
3. I have estimated taxes and an insurance bill to pay this month. They aren’t as much as college tuition for sure but still a huge chunk of money. It’s painful but I keep telling myself that is what savings is for. ouch!
4. Grateful for warm socks.
5. Need to sort through my cookbook collection and get rid of some.


WilliamB January 1, 2018 at 9:58 am

I have many, many ham ideas. Which is good, because I have a lot of ham in the freezer from the (cheap, sale + coupon, rather large) ham from Xmas.

– fried rice input
– frittata filling
– other eggs, such as scrambled
– added to corn bread
– added to biscuits
– added to just about anything you can add bacon to
– as part of a greens + meat salad
– as part of a pasta salad
– minced for croquettes or meatloaf
– layered with sliced potatoes, then baked
– in quiche


Katy in Africa January 1, 2018 at 10:46 am

1. My kids and a neighbor friend are playing with a toy they made out of a juice box with bottle cap wheels. They do own some cool toys, but still enjoy making toys from trash.
2. This week we ate mangoes, basil and spinach from the garden, although the spinach wasn’t very much.
3. I had a lipstick that was almost gone, so I grabbed a lip gloss stick to scrape out the remaining lipstick and mix it with the gloss.
4. We didn’t spend any money on new Years, just stayed home and watched movies.
5. I don’t know if this really counts, but a friend on FB was asking for ideas to lower her budget, I left her the link to your blog, later I saw she posted a link to your Compact post.


ouvickie January 1, 2018 at 10:46 am

Ham hell! That one had me laughing!
I like to use leftover ham and turkey to make ham salad or turkey salad sandwiches – or sliders. Those are good.

1) I’ve been home with my granddaughters for the last 3 days, while my daughter is moving. It’s extremely cold, so no playing outside. We’ve managed inside, eaten leftovers for lunch and some for dinner. I’m making hamburgers this evening, while we watch the Rose Bowl.
2) The youngest is very active and thankfully I have a stock of thick printer paper I bought at the GW a few years back, so she’s stamping and painting away this morning. Free and frugal fun.
3) I didn’t make it to midnight to see the ball drop in Times Square. I was passed out with the youngest by 10:30 – so no expenditures party items, other than ginger-ale, goldfish crackers and chips – which I bought at the grocers last week.
4) They want to make cookies this evening, so hopefully I have all the ingredients to do so.
5) No purchases of tacky gold plated housing in the sky or leer jets.


Teresa January 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

Put ham in blender, whirl until smooth and freeze in ice cube trays. Throw a lump or two into whatever you are cooking that needs a little salty flavor, or use when making spread for crackers or sandwiches (like the deviled ham spread that comes in a can.) Happy 2018!

PS. I already sold three items on ebay based on the encouragement here and on the NCA FB site. Yay!!


Barb January 1, 2018 at 11:05 am

Loaded baked potato and ham casserole. Found on the 100 Dollars a Month webpage


Jennifer January 1, 2018 at 11:21 am

Ham ideas – ham and potato au graten – basically you layer potatoes, cheese and ham (salt, pepper and butter each layer) until pan is full. Add a cup of milk and bake an hour. Yum! Also ham quiche with whatever you have on hand.

1) made a double batch of homemade laundry detergent
2) dh replaced 2 light/fan switches that were sparking when turned on – total cost $21
3) spent many a good day and evening enjoying the football playoff games on TV/computer. Free family fun.
4) Sourced the cheapest for the quality we wanted tires for one of our cars and then filed for the $40 rebate. Savings of upwards of $200 compared to other places. Used the CC to pay to get travel points and will payoff when the bill comes.
5) Updated my Amazon Subscribe & Save order to nix anything extra that we don’t need this month or the cost is too high. I am dropping my order to every other month too. There are some things that are much cheaper on there (allergy friendly items for my dd namely) so I do need to continue it.


ouvickie January 1, 2018 at 11:57 am

Another frugal practice I just started:
I may have already posted this not sure. I found Apple Cider Vinegar capsules 1000 mg. (I can’t handle the liquid due to GIRD issues) I take 3 every morning with my other supplements. I feel better now, have more energy and I’m not craving carbs anymore. I think I paid $15 for 200 capsules made by Nusa. If they help me lose weight and get healthier they are definitely worth the money.


Teri January 1, 2018 at 12:21 pm

1. Keeping home temp at 63-65 even though its in the low 20s here. When we go to friends homes we feel like we are in a sauna.
2. Organized and downsized Christmas decorations, donating 3 boxes.
3. Counted up my found money this year, $47.32. $32 in bills the rest mostly pennies. How’d you do, Katy?
4. Continuing my quest to declutter and simplify I organized and added to yard sale items for this spring. DH will be glad to get these boxes out of the house!
5. Didn’t go to any after Christmas sales, spent last night with friends where we all brought an appetizer and brought in the NY with NYC, at 9pm our time, home and in bed by 10:30.


Christine Joiner January 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm

My favorite go to for leftover ham is homemade macaroni and cheese with bite size chunks of ham mixed in.
1. Sanded and painted a small shelf made by my great grandfather to hang on my kitchen wall. He was a woodworker and it makes me feel comforted to have things he made around me.
2. Husband and I had our cost free date the Friday before Christmas. We picked up free passes to a nearby city’s world renowned art museum where we viewed two exhibits we had wanted to see. Winslow Homer in England and a photographic history of a neighborhood from my hometown. Followed this by lunch at Panera with a gift card I earned by taste tasting some of their new products. All it cost was our gas money…mostly highway miles.
3. Since Christmas I have only spent $42.00 at the grocery store and know I don’t have to return for about another week. This is for two of us.
4. Will attempt to live by my New Years Resolution of strictly purchasing new what we need, not what we want.
5. I was happy to note I didn’t buy any new Christmas decorations but used what I had which still looked like an awful lot once it was put up. My friend’s 13 year old helped me decorate which was a blessing for us both, I think. Her Mom is battling cancer and I needed help with my Christmas tree so she came over to spend the afternoon which included hot chocolate, dinner and lots of laughs.


Bee January 1, 2018 at 3:06 pm

#5 touched my heart. My mother was critically ill when I was a little girl. I spent time with neighbors and family friends during those months. It brought some love and normalcy to my life. Thanks for making a difference


avl January 1, 2018 at 1:46 pm

I’m adding chopped Christmas ham to my beans, greens and rice dinner tonight. I’m definitely making a note of all the good ham recipe suggestions in the comments. Many thanks!

1) I sold a coat on Ebay that my husband decided he didn’t really like. It was an expensive purchase, but I recouped some of the cost.

2) After many months, a skirt I had listed on Ebay finally sold. I’m becoming more and more of a pants type of gal.

3) One of my “projects” for 2018 is to tackle the numerous unread books on my shelves. I used to have a book buying addiction. I have about 85 unread books at home, family members to borrow from, a great library nearby, as well as several Barnes & Noble gift cards. That should get me through the year.

4) We get our furnace filter changed every year in the fall or winter. Our furnace guy charges $56 for each Honeywell filter he uses. I discovered I can purchase the same filter on Amazon for $34 and he will install it for me. (It’s actually so easy that I could install it myself.)

5) Frugal Fail: About a year ago, gripped by the minimalism mania, I foolishly Kon-Mari’d a beautiful full length black down coat that I purchased 20 years ago when I commuted into Chicago for work. The coat was so well made, and in perfect condition. It did not “spark joy” because it was a little too large for me, plus we’d been having warmer winters and I no longer work in the city. How I’ve missed that coat in recent weeks. It is impossible to find something of such high quality these days.


Jennifer January 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

That’s why I hate to get rid of certain things. I think Kon Mari has its place but certain things are worth hanging on to. I have lots of things that don’t “spark joy” either but if I get rid of them at some point I will have to buy more of a similar item.


avl January 2, 2018 at 7:35 am

Exactly! Lesson learned the hard way. My husband thought I was being ridiculous, but I was in a decluttering frenzy and determined to get rid of things that were not being used. And now I need to buy a warmer coat, but can find nothing as nice, even at full price.


Jenny January 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Yeah, I hear this about the mania. A lot of my utilitarian clothes and household stuff do not make me fall down swooning with joy, but I do need them, and it would be dumb to get rid of them. That author is a multimillionaire by playing on people’s weird emotions, I believe. I confess I did not read the whole book. It irritated me too much. Only my opinion.


Vickey January 8, 2018 at 8:03 am

I agree completely! It’s unrealistic to expect everything we own to give us joy.

Ruby January 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Also in the Deep South Deep Freeze today. My FFT ate:

1. Mended or altered 10 pieces of my clothing today. It was all hand-sewing done by the fire because the high so far today is 21 F. Now everything I own fits right.
2. Happily eating leftovers. As part of my holiday day off, I am not cooking or doing laundry.
3. Rowdy neighbors kept us and our dogs awake until the wee hours shooting off fireworks. They will probably do it again tonight, so I am going to try out a free package of bedtime herbal tea to see if it knocks me out.
4. Last night, mixed some leftover rice with a can of chili beans for easy lunches at work.
5. Used a tip from the Tightwad Gazette to rejuvenate one of my son’s bed pillows: unstuffed it, tore the flattened stuffing into tiny pieces, restufffed, restitched, and it’s now back in service. That pillow was obtained used from my mother’s house 22 years ago and has been refurbed before.


Ruby January 1, 2018 at 1:51 pm

That should be my FFT are, not “ate”. Where is autocorrect when you need it?


Jenny January 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Haha- I noticed that typo. Funny! Maybe you were just too sleep-deprived! It is below zero in Illinois and the first NYE in a while that no one was outside shooting off fireworks!


Nancy from mass January 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Back when I ate meat, I would make this with leftover ham and using regular mayo. My husband loved this casserole.


Jenny January 2, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Trying it this week, Nancy. Thank you!


nancy from mass January 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Happy New Years Everyone!

1. hung out on the couch last night flipping back and forth between North Woods Law (Maine and NH!!!) and Palladia channel until a few minutes before midnight. (spent the time knitting my hat). watched the Isle of Wight Festival and Radio 1 Festival. found a couple new artists to download to my phone to listen to.
2. went out today for milk and a great deal on sirloin steak for the boy. (2.99 a pound). otherwise, my butt has been on the couch knitting (notice the pattern?), napping and watching Texas Flip & Move. I like this show because it’s small houses they don’t try to make into one giant room (how can you heat/cool one giant room effectively?) or try and make the houses look like mini-mansions.
3. I did splurge on DS and bought him a medium pepperoni calzone yesterday to ring in the new year. it was large! he ate it yesterday afternoon, midnight snack and again today for dinner (he slept until 2:30 and didn’t want to eat earlier). he still has a large piece left.
4. other than one errand yesterday and one today, the vehicles have not moved in days! too cold to go out anyway.
5. had a lot of egg nog to use up….which has never happened before. egg nog French toast 2 mornings in a row, poured 3 cups into my ice cream maker and made ice cream and then found an egg nog streusel coffee cake recipe. That cake was amazing! I shared half with my neighbor. she doesn’t like egg nog but her husband and kids do. she texted me that she thought is was wonderful. An egg nog convert! I am keeping that recipe.


Gina January 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Ham favorite – Croque Madam or Croque Monsieur if you don’t want the egg.
Grew up eating a simple Irish meal of boiled ham, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. Haven’t had it in years but it’s a delicious and filling meal.


Suesan January 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm

I don’t know if you are aware but you can get a state tax deduction if you put money into an Oregon College savings account for your sons. You can yank it right out to pay expenses but you do still get the credit.


Em January 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

1. My boyfriend and I went to visit a friend in asheville (about 2 hours from us) for NYE. The weather took an unexpected turn, and we all ended up staying in. We had great beer, food, and played games with his family. We stayed the night in their beautiful home, and spent zero dollars.

2. Today we treated mild hangovers with saur kraut , (veggie) kielbasa, mashed potatoes and soft pretzels. Our New Year’s Day tradition, and pretty cheap.

3. I way over spent on Christmas, but signed up for frugalwoods uber frugal challenge.

4. Also doing a pantry challenge for the next 1-2 weeks.

5. Re did the little office nook in our apartment. Spent 20 dollars (mostly on a filing box fornimprtsnt stuff), then crafted, repurposed, and labeled for a cohesive and organized little space. Printed out free menu planning sheets as well as a monthly calendar.


Sandra January 2, 2018 at 3:06 am

1. I made a ham appetizer to take to a NYE party. I had thought about buying a premade party platter, but knew that I had some ham to use up so opted to find a recipe using things I had on hand. I made ham and cheddar turnovers with pie crust. They turned out delicious and were a big hit at the party.

2. Attended a potluck NYE party rather than going out on the town. Saved a boatload of cash and had a great fun evening with friends

3. We put away all of our Christmas décor. Lots of lovely memories packed away for another year. We were given a couple of large decorations this year, but managed to store everything away without buying any new storage containers. It was tempting, but with careful packing and disposing of extra packing material we got it all done.

4. I bought some deeply discounted pork loin roasts last week and we had one of them for our New Year’s day dinner. I still have two more in the freezer and will enjoy them in coming months. There was enough pork leftover for two more meals. I will do curry with some and barbecue pork sandwiches with the rest. I love leftovers, cook once, eat three different meals.

5. Stayed away from the bookstore and didn’t download a new book, either. I am rereading a favorite book from many years ago and enjoying it just as much the second time around. Good writing, like good friends, is always a pleasure to visit again.


Megg January 2, 2018 at 6:00 am

ITs been tough being frugal since we’ve been away (at my parent’s house) for the last few weeks. The single digit weather helps keep us inside and not spending money though! I did find a baby jumper for free on my buy nothing group though. I wanted one for my son but didn’t want to spend $70+ on something he’ll outgrow in a few months. I was willing to buy a used one but decided to go to my buy nothing group first and I’m glad I did!


Crosby January 2, 2018 at 6:23 am

– Dinner the past few nights has been leftovers.
– Went to the thrift store, put back a few things that I didn’t need, and did walk out with a packaged of misc greeting cards for $4. After sorting through them at home, I ended up with 31 useable Christmas cards for next year, and 24 birthday cards!
– We got a free stationary bike from our Buy Nothing group! It is a bit beat up, but DH loves to tinker so he made some adjustments. Its a good alternative to running when the temp drops below 10 degrees F.
– NYE was awesome. We went to a matinee showing of Jumanji I and compared prices of the 3 movie theaters within 15 minutes, I’ve never done this before and 2 theaters that are both Regals had different prices! The closest theater was also the cheapest.
– I brought my own snack and drink to the theater
– For our NYE dinner, we made homemade pizza and caught up on Stranger Things 2 and Agents of SHEILD.


Bethel January 2, 2018 at 7:20 am

My ham idea (though you’ve probably frozen it by now): scalloped potatoes and ham…so good when it’s cold out!

1. Visited my parents for Christmas week. While the travel expenses weren’t cheap, I managed to spend almost zero dollars while there. We ate one meal out, but everything else came from my parents’ freezer. We talked, played with my LO, read books, had friends over, and ate delicious food. It was so nice and so relaxing.
2. Packed food for both flights (to and from) and only spent $$ on airport coffee, which was a treat for myself.
3. All my Christmas presents were well received. I re-gifted something and used Visa gift cards given to me to purchase additional presents and gift cards. I also gave cash I’d been hoarding away throughout the year…overall, I took about $50 out of our checking account for Christmas this year.
4. Am home now and trying to get back into the frugal home routine…LO came down with a stomach bug, so I spent New Years Eve and Day cleaning, de-cluttering, cooking healthy things from scratch, and not going anywhere/spending anything outside of grocery money. Bummer for him, but nice to have a not-so-subtle push in the right direction 😉
5. Am eating leftovers for lunch today and brought all other food from home. Used a gift card to pick up my morning coffee, though, to make the transition back into work a little more luxurious!


Amanda January 2, 2018 at 9:01 am

1) Our business did very well in 2017, so we have decided to up our monthly distribution. We upped it enough to save more, give more, and pad the sinking fund a bit, but not enough to make us think we should spend more.

2) My lunch includes carrots and hummus an airbnb guest left in our fridge and rice our neighbor gave us.

3) One of the Christmas gifts we got for our kids didn’t work out of the box. I took it back to Walgreens today for a refund instead of an exchange. They got more than they needed from the rest of the family, so my money is on “they’ll never even miss it.”

4) One of my uncles gave each of our children $20. Gifts earmarked for 529s go directly in their accounts, but this was cash. Our kids are too young to need spending money, so we opened each of them regular savings accounts. Now we have a place to put small gifts of cash. One day when they are teenagers and must have something that Mama and Daddy refuse to buy, they’ll have a little cash to blow.

5) Aldi has started carrying English breakfast tea! It could have been a while ago and I’m just noticing now. Anyway it is of course way cheaper than Twinnings and tastes close enough to me. Plus I prefer to make one stop when I grocery shop.


Karin January 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm

I have made this for years. I often skip the cubed bread and just toss the veggies and ham straight into the sauce. No oven being used that way.


Bethany M January 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Homemade Hawaiian pizza. has a really good and easy pizza crust recipe.


Darcy January 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Google Black Eyed Pea recipes- they’re cheap, healthy and ham is great in them. They’re also traditional Southern fare, along with collard greens, on New Years Day for luck. Just use dried beans (ignore requirements for fresh or frozen) and and cook them first- then drain the water or at the minimum be sure to skim off the foam cooking them creates. It freaked me out the first time I made them!


Jen from California January 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

I haven’t read through all of the comments so sorry if this is a repeat suggestion but with the ham you might try a Stir Fried Rice. I have a recipe I found on and it is SO easy and exquisite with ham. If you have a rice cooker you can cook the rice (or use leftover from another meal) but the trick is to cool it first in the frig. It calls for chicken (sub ham) eggs (can substitute tofu) and peas and carrots and scallions but you can use any fresh or frozen veggies you have lying around that need to be used up. It is a really great recipe for using up leftovers. The one key ingredient (and it is expensive but one bottle lasts a long time) is Sesame Oil. I hope you try it with the ham. My family of 5 loves it and I am always so happy when I remember to make it since it is always a hit.

Also, for the ham, omelettes, frittata, quiche, breakfast egg sandwiches on toast with ham, salad, pasta….and chopping before freezing for an easy add-in.


Virginia Allain January 3, 2018 at 5:57 am

We got an 11-pound ham for just the 2 of us for New Year’s Day. I’m looking forward to every bite of it. It’s something we don’t have but a few times a year. Already put together a 15 bean soup with the bone, celery, tomatoes, onion, carrots and it is simmering in the crockpot today. With this wintery blast, a hearty soup is most welcome.


Alexandra Evans January 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

ham cheese and spinach crepes!


Joanne January 7, 2018 at 9:34 am

Two ham ideas from when I was young (I’m a vegetarian now so haven’t eaten them in years). I saw that someone else mentioned the ham salad idea…we used to put some ham through the meat grinder and then follow it up with a pickle or two, and then mix the ground ham/pickle mixture with some mayo.

The other one was that we used to have scalloped potatoes with ham. Mom would layer sliced potatoes with a little flour, chunks of butter and a slice of ham from time to time, and then pour 1/2-1 cup or so of milk over the top & bake.


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