Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 3, 2018 · 117 comments

  1. After months of keeping an eye out, I finally scored on a set of thrifted queen size flannel sheets. (Heck, I’ll even confess that spent time clicking through the pricey Garnet Hill website, as their flannel is freaking heaven on a stick!) Sadly, my commitment to buy nothing new coupled with an aversion to spending upwards of a hundred bucks on a set of sheets lengthened the sheets buying process. How much did I end up spending? $3.75! For a brand new $14.99 set of Goodwill sheets marked down an extra 75% due to their unapologetic holiday wintery theme. These sheets aren’t “made in Portugal of pure cotton that’s brushed on both sides for softness,” but they’re buttery soft enough for me. In case this isn’t coming through in my writing, I’m insanely excited to have found these sheets! Cozy, warm, burrowing under the covers excitement. Mmmm . . . .

  2. I completed my eight hours of 2018 paid education and immediately submitted the paperwork to be reimbursed for the course costs. I love that I was able to read medical journal articles at home on “Common Neonatal Conditions” and “Perinatal Aspects of Cannabis Use” while in my pajamas. Plus I really did glean useful information to use my job as a labor and delivery nurse. I then signed up for the next month of hospital shifts.

  3. I cooked up a batch of red lentil soup with . . . wait for it . . . ham! I know I wrote that I was going to freeze any leftover ham, but apparently that goes on tomorrow’s to-do list. Cooking from scratch is such a huge money saver, especially when you start with dried beans and are in possession of a free 12-pound ham that just won’t end.

  4. I just finished reading a library copy of Shaun Bythell’s The Diary of a Bookseller. I highly recommend this surprisingly engrossing account of what it means to run a used bookstore in a small Scottish town. Hilarious and addictive, I had to force myself to slow down in order to not rush through the 310 pages. Of course, Bythell would not appreciate that my copy was from the library instead of a locally owned bookshop, but with two kids in college I really do have zero wiggle room in the budget.

    “A customer at 11:15 a.m. asked for a copy of Far From The Maddening Crowd.  In spite of several attempts to explain that the book’s title is actually Far From The Madding Crowd, he resolutely refused to accept that this was not the case, even when the overwhelming evidence of a copy of it was placed on the counter under his nose: ‘Well, the printers have got that wrong. Despite the infuriating nature of this exchange, I ought to be grateful: he has given me an idea for the title of my autobiography should I ever be fortunate enough to retire.”

  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.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 117 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 January 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm

1. I continue to not drive anywhere during our third week of holidays, saving money on petrol. We are going out tonight for a few hours but it’s a short drive.
2. I made banana bread, as is the law when one has several overripe bananas. It was a ‘healthy‘ recipe, meaning the sugar was replaced by honey and the butter by olive oil. It was ok but a bit dry.
3. Our entertainment is reading library books, and watching the cricket on free to air and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix. I am taking the youngest to see Jumanji tomorrow with her friends but I got cheap tickets.
4. Not the Compact but I have decided to refrain from buying clothes for 2018. My wardrobe is almost entirely thrifted but it is still too many outfits for one person to cover themselves with. I went through them Konmari style but as most of them actually do spark joy (I love clothes) I will just not buy anymore rather than get rid of any. Sigh.
5. My husband and I have set our 2018 financial goals and we are also in the process of organising the disability services for our daughter for the next 12 months. This is a time consuming and stressful process but if we get it right now it will save us and her much time, money and stress down the track.


Christine January 3, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Mand01, Try substituting 1/2 the oil with applesauce. I find this makes for a more moist banana bread. Maybe healthier too.


WilliamB January 4, 2018 at 10:50 am

Contrary opinion here: I’m not a fan of subbing applesauce for fat. I find it makes the baked good drier rather than less dry. Other things to try:

1. Were your bananas truly overripe? They have to be almost smooshy to the touch before they’re overripe enough for baking.

2. If they aren’t but you want to bake anyway, try freezing them first. That seems to have the same effect as using overripe.

3. Add additional bananas to the recipe. I find that I can almost double the numbers of bananas without negatively effecting the outcome.

Good luck with your #5. You’re correct: keeping your eyes on the prize helps when you have to deal with the slog to get there.


Bee January 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

I find using coconut oil makes it moist and super flavorful.


Christine January 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

I use unsalted butter for the oil plus the applesauce. Maybe it’s the butter that makes it moist.


Mand01 January 4, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Thanks everyone. Applesauce is not a commonly available product here (I think there is one brand) – if I wanted it I’d have to make it and apples are not in season at the moment.
I actually think it was just not a great recipe. I found it online and I think I won’t make it again.

Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:06 am

I know you probably won’t make that recipe again but my family likes to take banana bread, slice it, then toast it under the broiler and smear our favorite jam or peanut butter on it. Good way to use up a not-so great bread and is something I serve for breakfast pretty often. Sometimes my family gets tired of banana bread and this re-invents it a bit.

Melissa January 18, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Hi Mand, I’m another Aussie! I make banana bread but my recipe has sour cream in it – don’t know if you’re family is ok with dairy but it makes a super tasty banana bread. You could probably sub silken tofu but I haven’t tried this yet (it’s on my list of recipe tests!)


tonya parham January 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm

1. Didn’t go to Memphis to eat or shop at IKEA.

2. Scheduled my eye doctor appointment for tomorrow. I’ve been wearing my older glasses since the hinge on my newer pair broke. I wasn’t paying to repair them when I knew I’d be under new insurance in two months. But, but boy am I ready for better glasses. I haven’t wanted to read in about 6 months and I imagine it’s that I need new glasses which is usually the case when I find I’m not into reading.

3. I am going stir crazy with the cold temps and not going anywhere. I like between semesters to just stay home but I do get to a point where I am ready to go out and be in the world some and I’ve reached that point. This is good since classes begin in a week and a half and in service is next week. I’m already doing prep work!

4. I did a meal plan for January. My plan had been to be entirely vegan but I just think that’s too much like food prison for me. I rebel against ideas of what I can and cannot have and after three vegan days, I ordered a pepperoni pizza today (frugal fail) but I think if I tweak the plan so that the tacos have cheese and sour cream and the taco salad does and I have half and half for my tea, I won’t feel like I am deprived and rebel against that, plus it will keep me eating at home. (I owe Gretchen Rueben for these insights into why I behave this way. It’s helped me immensely knowing I’m not just lazy or have no will power!)

5. Am drinking water, tea, and coffee. Even though I want a coke zero!


Emily January 7, 2018 at 2:07 pm

You should google the “weekday vegetarian” ted talk. It is only 5 minutes, but talks about how eliminating meat for the majority of the week significantly reduces environmental burden and health problems that are a result of our insane over-consumption of meat. I tried becoming vegan and lasted 4 days. Now I am vegetarian with the occasional sea food meal and was a relatively easy transition. I think I could be vegan a few days a week, but I am slowly changing my habits because they are more likely to become permanent that way!


Mand01 January 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Haha I lasted two days. But I am allergic to nuts and coconut, two vegan staples. I’m also anaemic so really, what was I thinking??


Marcia January 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Had a family Christmas party Saturday night. Have been eating leftovers, cleverly disguised as new dishes, ever since.
One chicken, about 4 lbs, made into chicken and gravy -one night over baked potato, two nights of chicken pot pie (homemade) and enough in the freezer for another chicken pot pie at a future date.
Chili–one supper for DH over baked potato, two meals in the freezer. I made 10 quarts–about 9 cups left after party. Guess it tasted ok.
Christmas cookies–endless quantity. Gave a ziplock of them to my daughter today when she stopped in for a MOMENT today–didn’t even take her coat off!
Have enough chocolates to last a looooooong time–have so far eaten one. Filled up a small gift bag with misc. candies too.
Thinking maybe lentil soup tomorrow to use up carrot sticks and some celery from leftover veggie tray. Have some colored peppers I could use in it also.
Gave my daughter as much as she would take from leftover veggies too. I don’t understand why my family didn’t eat more!! (Yes I do–I planned for 16 and 9 came because 3 people were sick but the sick 4 year old kept the whole family of 4 at home. One person simply didn’t show.)
Also have smaller quantity of fruit from fruit tray but I anticipate no trouble eating that. Just have to hold off making applesauce–which I’m craving!
How is a person supposed to maintain her weight in the face of all this temptation.


Chris January 4, 2018 at 7:28 am

Great ways to use up all those leftovers!


Beth January 3, 2018 at 7:46 pm

1. Made breakfast dinner at 6:30 instead of buying fast food.
2. Showering every other day now as my entire body is drying up and has an attractive white dry skin effect, lotion, lotion lotion!
3.Stored today’s leftover coffee in thermal carafe for drinking tomorrow am, will still be warm to drink.
4. Used leftover eggnog as creamer in coffee, delish!
5. Over holiday break earned over $250 doing pet visits!


Beth January 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm

#2 is saving on water. 😉


Jill A January 4, 2018 at 4:55 am

I’m using my leftover eggnog in my coffee too after I ran out of whipping cream.


Lindsey January 3, 2018 at 8:08 pm

This is almost unbelievable. I went to the hospital for a test, an invasive one. I told the nurse I didn’t think it was the right test but she looked at the chart and said it was. So I did it. Turned out the nurse had misread the instructions, so I took the wrong miserable test and now had to go back to take the right test. THEN the doctor and hospital had the nerve to bill me for the work involved in ordering a new test (the doctor) and for both tests (the hospital). I have wonderful insurance that would have covered 100% but the principle of it made me nuts. So, I fought them to the mat for three months. Ended up the insurance didn’t have to pay for anything but the right test. I had been dealing with the same insurance person for months. Not frugal for me but still…

Found a sad little piece of chicken in the freezer and an ancient box of Rice-A-Roni in the cupboard. I think I got it about four years ago, when we used to eat that food instead of making our own version. Threw in some freezer leeks and shredded zucchini. Not great but fed us and we didn’t waste any money.

Avoided fancy kiosk coffee and came home and made coffee. Added in splash of Bailey’s someone gave us as a gift, as a consolation prize for not buying a coffee.

Made a chocolate Babka wreath for a potluck, even though it is after Christmas. I wanted to practice making it and we had all the ingredients. A HUGE hit.

Otherwise, just the usual stuff of reusing bags and so on.


Trish January 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm

So did you have to pay for the wrong test in the end? and great that you are reusing bags. I reuse every plastic bag I can.


Mary in VA January 5, 2018 at 6:24 am

I also save all plastic bags to reuse. Then about twice a month, I’ll donate a bunch to small local thrift shops, which can always use them.


Betty Winslow January 5, 2018 at 11:12 am

I either reuse or recycle all the plastic bags that come into our house. I give a lot of the bigger ones to the public library, which uses them for large amounts of check-outs and for rainy days.


Kim in Maryland January 3, 2018 at 10:49 pm

1. Found my first money of the new year- a 1966 quarter and a 2¢ Euro in a Coinstar machine. Last year’s total found money was $25.14 all coins and most found in Coinstar machines.
2. Two sales on Amazon so far this week. College fund!
3. Did a cooking lesson with DS#2 who is home from college for his soon ending Winter break. He has wanted to learn how to make Croque Monsieur since seeing a French cooking video on YouTube last spring. So I sprung for Boar’s Head Black Forest ham, a chunk of Gruyere cheese and some Dijon mustard. DH works for a certain bakery café chain so he brought home so good bread. We had a wonderful time, the food was great and he learned how to make a Béchamel sauce as well as Croque Monsieur. It was worth every penny of the $14 I spent for ingredients which made 4 servings. The memories are priceless!
4. Did a merchandising job to go to retail store to put together a cardboard display. When I got there the store had already assembled and filled it. Woohoo! Took pictures of it from all sides, noted the store had done it and still got paid.
5. Got the plaque today for my Free Little Library! I registered it and pulled more books so I can fill it tomorrow depending on the weather. It’s snowing now and we are in the path of the big storm so we’ll see!

I will post the homemade Kahlua recipe tomorrow. I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been busy getting ready for son to go back to college and trying to enjoy his company!


Kim in Maryland January 4, 2018 at 8:12 pm

Here’s the homemade Kahlua recipe!
It’s from the book “Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits”.

Double Shot
1 fifth vodka(80-100 proof)
1 1/2 c. dark roast coffee beans, cracked
finally grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 c. brewed expresso
3/4 c. sugar
~1. Combine vodka, coffee beans and lemon zest in a 1/2 gallon jar. Stir to moisten everything.
~2. Seal the jar and put in a cool, dark cabinet until the liquid smells and tastes strongly of coffee, 3 to 5 days.
~3. While liqueur is maturing, make coffee-flavored syrup by combining brewed expresso and sugar in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture turns translucent and bubbles form around the edge. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
~4. strain the mixture with a mesh strainer into a clean quart jar. Do not push on the solids to extract more liquid.
~5. Stir in the coffee syrup.
~6. Seal and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Use within 1 year.


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:09 am

Wow, yum! Would make an awesome gift!


Laur January 4, 2018 at 12:53 am

1. My sons birthday is in a few weeks and he changed his mind about what he wanted. The gift he wants is about $20 cheaper and much easier for me to source.
2. We ate defrosted chicken in homemade breadcrumb mix for dinner. (I save and freeze my bread ends). My mum brought over some fruit that needed to be used up.
3. My daughter has been raiding the craft supplies this holidays. It’s her favourite hobby and can be done relatively cheap when you save materials like toilet rolls, buttons, bows and straws. She received some new items for Christmas (sourced very cheaply).
4. My son has asked for a banana cake for his birthday. I’ve homemade all of my kids cakes (one was bought and cost $70). I can make them for less than $8 and they taste much nicer and are most likely healthier.
5. I’ve already have a few friends and family members check in with me on what to buy the birthday boy. This saves on unwanted/ overpriced gifts.


Bettypants January 4, 2018 at 4:44 am

1. Walked to work today, even though it’s quite cold. I have a good down coat and boots so only my face was chilly.

2. I use Goodreads to track my reading progress. I read 72 books in 2017, all from the library. I also check out stacks of magazines every week, and a handful of DVDs during the year. I get so much value from our library.

3. Someone posted a good looking fake Christmas tree for free, and I was the first to comment. It came in a nice storage bag and included several strings of LED lights. I think people don’t want to bother with anything other than pre-lit trees, but I don’t mind monkeying with the lights.

4. Received a $60 refund check from the 2016 health insurance premiums.

5. Someone on a make-up board recommended Wet n Wild Photofocus foundation. $4.68 and it is excellent. A good range of shades and I like the texture/coverage. Maybe I should buy a second bottle of my color match just in case.


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:14 am

5. Thanks for the recommendation. I am looking to buy some new makeup. I have been scraping the bottom of mine for several weeks.


Liz B. January 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Just checked at my local Krogers – the Wet n Wild Photofocus foundation is $5.99 in this neck of the woods. Still a deal, though – will keep a lookout for a sale!


Alexandra Evans January 4, 2018 at 4:44 am

1. Snuggling up at home on a wintery morning in the South. 2 inches of snow brings us to a standstill as we have one snowplow for 3 counties! the snow looks beautiful and we are grateful we bought a new heat pump and new insulation last year. Very grateful.
2. Fired up to pay off car loan. Taking any extra money and flinging it at that puppy!
3. chunked up some leftover baked potatoes and fried ’em with onions for breakfast. Delicious!
4. Thawing out some chicken thighs to add to crock pot. Then will shred the meat and make chicken pot pie.
5. Enjoying library books, “fireplace for your home” on netflix as we don’t have a fireplace, an unexpected day off, and a stocked larder. Grateful and cozy.


tonya parham January 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

I’ve not seen that on Netflix, but I do usually do the YouTube fireplace.


Alexandra Evans January 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

Must check out the youtube version! thanks.


Mand01 January 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm

My eldest is autistic and has been afraid of fire for as long as I can remember. She loves that YouTube fireplace. She will run it for hours. We have a combustion stove and she will tolerate that now and I believe it is because she built a tolerance by watching the YouTube fireplace. Last week we were at a NYE party and they had a woodfired BBQ running the whole time and she coped really well.


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:21 am

This may be a good idea to expose her to other things that she may require a slow build of tolerance to. I guess YouTube makes her feel like she is watching it, like a movie, instead of actually being a part of it where more of her senses are being stimulated. She probably likes the calming repetition, also. I love this and think it could help others.


Elizabeth January 4, 2018 at 5:08 am

1.Does mooching count as frugal?? I was visiting my mom and she had a huge crockpot of chili (she had seven kids(two still live at home) but never remembers to make smaller amounts after we all left home…God Bless her!) So she urged me to take some chili home…which I did…but not before she gave me a bag of almost old Fritos that she was going to toss if no one ate them. So we had Frito pies for dinner…yum. I guess they were really Free-to pies:)
2.Bought 3lbs of Apples for just $1.69. We love Aldi
3.Having a no spend week(except for $20 to use for veggies/fruit if needed) to pay off my credit card before the interest starts accruing on the 16th. I haven’t paid interest in 9 years and do not want to start now!
4. My sister gave me a $50 Amazon card to thank me for baby sitting my niece during the holiday break, so I think I am going to use it to buy grocery items that we can only get thru Amazon this week
5. Found a really great homeschooling book at the library that had ideas on cheap activities and ways to get books for free, so I have been taking notes:)


Jenelle January 25, 2018 at 7:10 am

It’s not mooching if they give it to you without asking


Jill A January 4, 2018 at 5:14 am

1. My mother came for a coffee and a short visit yesterday. Enjoyed her company and no money spent. We sat by the fireplace since my heat is set low and she was freezing.
2. I used up the last of the whipping cream from Christmas in my coffee and I’m on to the eggnog now. I’ve avoided going to the grocery store and I am trying to use up the food in my freezer and pantry.
3. Paid a medical bill online to save the stamp and mailed my property tax payment instead of going to the township offices to save gas.
4. Took the whole family including daughters boyfriend and Grandma to Culvers for dinner last night and used our gift card. We spent the amount of the gift card almost exactly and then we also bought a couple of concrete mixers. It was the last day of winter break that we would all be together. It was nice to not have to cook.
5. I took a half full bottle of Chardonnay home from my Mom’s. She didn’t want it anymore and was going to throw it out. She offered it to me and who am I to turn down free wine.


Cynthia Huntington January 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

Concrete mixers?


Robin January 4, 2018 at 9:28 am

Concrete mixers are frozen custard/ice cream with lots of extra goodies mixed in right before serving. Delicious sugar bombs in other words.


Cynthia Huntington January 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

Thank you! I was very confused by that! (sounds dangerously good)


Karen B. January 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Thanks for the explanation! That confused me as well!

Jennifer January 4, 2018 at 6:21 am

I’m still suffering with gout and am quite irritable so so hopefully coming up with FFT will take my mind off myself for a moment. It is improving but it is a slow process with gout.
1. I let my kids cook the entire meal last night as I gave directions. They are girls, age 5 and 9. They did pretty well. It was tilapia fillets, roasted carrots, a knorr rice/broccoli packet, and garlic bread. My husband was going to pick up takeout but we did this instead. It was edible.
2. I popped a bag of popcorn to send with my kids for their first day back to school for snack time. I haven’t been able to make it to the store for school snacks so this was good enough. It’s also cheaper and healthier than prepackaged snacks.
3. I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I usually let my cat in since it’s so cold outside but she didn’t come when I called and, since I can’t walk, I couldn’t go find her. Worrying about her being cold bothered me all night. Of course, she showed up this morning and darted in the second I opened the door. I’m going to keep her in the house until it gets warm again instead of standing there at the door letting all the heat out trying to get her to come in.
4. I covered my chicken coup with the plastic sheeting that the new couch came in that I got back in the summer. I knew that big ole’ plastic cover would be perfect for something so I stuffed it in a garbage bag and saved it. It fits my small coop perfectly. Happy, warm chickens means more eggs!
5. I can’t start exercising much right now like I had planned, but I have started drinking more water. The extra water is great for gout, and great for my health in general, and cost less than anything else I drink. The downside is I have to go to the bathroom more often and since I am on crutches, that is challenging. This too shall pass…


MommaL January 4, 2018 at 8:23 am

As an educator, I promise you that we appreciate it when healthy snacks are sent in!


Jennifer January 4, 2018 at 11:04 am

Thanks! I do want them to have the healthiest snacks and I am glad to hear that educators do take notice


K D January 4, 2018 at 6:47 am

1. The cold weather continues. I continue to wait to schedule a haircut. I also bundle up and walk outside most days. We’re wearing layers in the house. I’m not skipping yoga or Pilates classes.

2. I received an email that American Airlines refunded a non-refundable ticket. A family member was sick on a travel day so I Googled refund policies. It said that if the departure time was delayed by 61 minutes or more a refund could be requested. Luckily/unluckily the first flight was delayed by about 90 minutes. I emailed to request a refund.

3. I’ve been making breakfasts foods in bulk and freezing them. Yesterday I made a double batch of pumpkin bread and a triple batch of pancakes. Eating gluten free (and vegan-ish) requires work.

4. I’m catching up on my beginning of the year “paper work”. Printing bank statements, calculating net worth, reconsidering where retirement funds are invested.

5. I brought in our 25+ year old trash barrel after trash was collected early this morning.


Crosby January 4, 2018 at 7:24 am

– I haven’t purchased anything new, except refills for my mom’s Label maker. I borrowed it a few months ago and the label tape ran out.
– Eating leftovers for lunch for the past week.
– Made dinner from the pantry and freezer last night and my partner will do the same tonight
– Missed work Wednesday due to an illness, which means I missed the potluck, which means I wasn’t tempted to eat unhealthy foods (I’m a sucker for a good dip and everyone was bringing dip!!)
– Reading a book borrowed from my mom


avl January 4, 2018 at 7:27 am

Just a few quick things…

1) Paying bills yesterday, I saw that my December electric bill was 40% less than my December charge last year. Savings were all due to following basic energy conservation measures everyone discusses here in the comments. It also helped that I finally persuaded my husband not to wear shorts and a t-shirt around the house in the winter – don’t ask.

2) Although all family members have cell phones, we prefer to also keep one landline phone in the house. Since the service is not bundled with internet or cellular services (we get those from a different company, and are stuck for now) the cost is not minimal. However, I managed to whittle it down further by cancelling features we really don’t use, like speed dial, 3-way calling, talking call waiting, etc.

3) Our food expenses have always been astronomical (so high, in fact, that I can’t even bring myself to confess it here on this blog). I am keeping track of everything I spend at the grocery store in January to see where I can frugalize this huge expense going forward.


tonya January 5, 2018 at 8:27 am

Me too. I’m a frugal shopper, meal planner, and coupon user. We spend $1K/month for a family of four with two tall, skinny teens and three cats. I’m resigned to the idea that this is my grocery budget for now. It will be lower when it’s just DH and I after the bottomless pits move away.


KJD509 January 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

I hear you on the teen eaters, tonya. Our monthly budget has been about that for years, with a separate annual purchase (a complete separate line in the budget) for a whole beef and whole hog from a local rancher and butcher – three of the kids are congenitally anemic, and beef cooked in cast iron is the best remedy I’ve found. It hurts to look at the Annual cell in the spreadsheet for food. This time will pass – it’s just where we are right now.


tonya January 6, 2018 at 2:53 pm

That’s a good reminder!! You’re right about the meat cooked in cast iron. I’m sure they will thank us for feeding them well and helping them grow stronger bodies!! But it is painful sometimes to look at the grocery line item.


JennyS January 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

If you have an Aldi or Sav-A-Lot, that will help a lot.


Emily January 7, 2018 at 5:53 pm

I second the Aldi comment. I Actually just compared my trip at Aldi today to my local Harris Teeter. I spent 88 dollars on groceries/household supplies at Aldi and it would have been 140 at Harris Teeter for identical items, using the cheapest equivalent. That’s over 60% more expensive! Just something to think about if you haven’t tried that yet 🙂


Ava January 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

1. Made a 3 layer coconut cake for company and was able to get all the ingredients I was missing at Dollar Tree. The cake probably cost $6 to make in spite of that but I fed company, company took some home, I gave a friend a large chunk and we are enjoying the rest.
2. Was able to get another bag of reduced lemons for my iced tea. $1 for 8 is so much better than .69 each.
3. Husband ate leftovers for dinner and I ate beans and cornbread. Delicious.
4. Frugal futility: I had an email discussion and a conversation with the store manager about our misdiagnosed car repair. I really believe they put in an unnecessary part. Certainly the problem was not fixed until we took it to the dealer and paid an enormous sum of $. They would not agree that they made an error and would not reimburse us anything, but I did make the effort.
5. About to adopt another dog. Not frugal because of rescue fee, vet bills and food. Another dog to go out in the yard with our anxiety ridden, can’t- be- by- herself dog so we don’t have to stand on the deck in 7 degrees at 530 in the morning—priceless.


avl January 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

Regarding #4, if you paid by credit card, have you considered disputing the charges through your credit card company? May be worth it if you really feel strongly about the poor service and unwarranted charges.


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:28 am

4. Darn! It’s always worth it to try. More often than not, it will work out in your favor. If you say nothing, there is zero chance of a change so good for you!


mary January 5, 2018 at 2:28 pm

sorry…I got stuck at coconut cake….please share link for recipe…need strength to shovel…


MommaL January 4, 2018 at 8:21 am

Snowed in today!
1. Right now I’m making this soup: I had all of the ingredients, except I substituted some sad old potatoes for the rice. It makes a LOT. I didn’t have bay leaves, so I used basil I’d frozen from my garden. Plus added some cajun seasoning left over from a gumbo recipe.

2. The soup pan I’m using was gifted from a friend who was selling a rental property and knew that I wanted a larger pot. Beforehand, I had to use two pans when I made chowder. It pays off to tell my friends what I’m looking for, and they do the same when they are looking for something because they know I go to the thrift stores.

3. Went to a friend’s house last night to watch a basketball game that our apps don’t get, (we cut cable a while back), another example of my “tell my friends what we want” strategy. They now invite us to watch all of the UNC games.

4. Brought some brownies to their house that I’d frozen from a Christmas work party.

5. Pulled out some yummy jalapeno cheddar bread from my freezer , will toast it and eat with the soup. The only reason I knew about the bread is that it was on my freezer inventory list. Eating good today!
Stay warm, frugal friends!


Mand01 January 4, 2018 at 2:58 pm

The Frugal Zealot called that strategy ‘putting out the word’


nancy from mass January 4, 2018 at 9:40 am

1. working at home today since BomboGenesis is visiting NE. That means I will only have driven into work 1 day this week! (WFH tomorrow too)
2. Have the fireplace going to help heat the house. was going to make a baked potato in the fire but realized my potatoes were all small. So, i cut them up, boiled them and made a batch of corn chowder using part of a bag of shoepeg corn from the freezer. (free oyster crackers too from the ladies at work going out to eat and not eating their crackers – they always bring them back for my son).
3. will be shoveling a few times today as the storm rages on and waiting until late afternoon to tackle the driveway with the snowblower.
4. will be wearing snow pants that i bought at savers a few years ago for $7. they still had the tag on them and other than them being about 4″ too long for me (i’m short), they work well. (I turned the hem in and safety-pinned them so that my son could use them too by taking out the pins)
5. ooo, I really, really want a pair of snowshoes or XC skies! i’ll have to keep my eyes open for used pairs….


Tracy January 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

1. Still eating New Year’s Hoppin’ John for lunch. Couldn’t face again for dinner last night so had a bowl of cereal!
2. Determined to pay off the last of Christmas and upcoming travel expenses this month, without reducing our regular monthly savings. I put hotel for two upcoming trips (Two nights near Disneyland in March for spring break and 3 nights in NYC at end of April to celebrate hubs and my b-days) on my Amex to get points and do not want to carry a balance.
3. Achieving #2 will require a super frugal January. So, am going to continue eating down the pantry to keep the food bill low. Should be able to keep it to produce and milk. Maybe some lunchmeat and cheese too.
4. Will continue to work on incredibly frustrating medical insurance F Up to not pay more than I owe out of pocket.
5. Did not buy ANYTHING gold-plated!


Sandra January 4, 2018 at 10:10 am

1. Still eating leftovers from a New Year’s Eve party. Love me some leftovers!
2. No grocery shopping this week or any other shopping for that matter. If we don’t have it…….we don’t need it, at least not right now.
3. Wearing thrifted clothes from head to toe and liking it.
4. After putting away the Christmas décor, I got out a box of Valentine’s decorations and set them about making little vignettes with cards, candles, baskets, and other themed items. It all looks colorful and cheery and there was no cost.
5.One sale pork roast four ways. First we had roast pork, then barbeque pork sandwiches, followed by fried rice, and next up will be curry tomorrow night.


Rosanne January 4, 2018 at 10:25 am

1. Went with my husband to the mall. He had signed up for a secret shop so we had burgers, fries and milkshakes which we will get reimbursed for. Out of pocket was the generous tip- waitress was great. Walked the mall and ignored all the after holiday blow out sales. Happily left with empty hands and full bellies.
2. Returned a couple of gifts- I did not have the receipt but I was able to source the store it was from and get a store credit. I will later get some socks and underclothes for my family. I have enough clutter thank you.
3. Packed up a couple ebay sales.
4. Will try to eat my way through the freezer this month- I have a turkey and ham languishing in deep freeze oblivion.
5. Will spend money and buy “Fire and Fury” when it is released instead of waiting for the library copy. Frugal fail? I think not.


KJD509 January 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

Not quite as cold where I am as for some of you posters (including those of you in Florida – yikes!), but still plenty dang cold. FFT staying warm edition:
1) Wearing the same heavy jeans for the 3rd day in a row. Nope, they’re not really very clean. Don’t care.
2) Used floppy carrots and cream cheese with the mold cut off in a cheesy potato soup yesterday. Less food waste (still had to throw away a few carrots and the gross end of the Costco-sized cream cheese) and one of the very best soups in the world for cold weather, even stretched with extra water (which nobody noticed).
3) Eating it again for leftovers today for lunch. And saw the dirty-dish evidence when I got up that the college students had midnight snacks of it, which means they didn’t eat something else.
4) Fighting the January blues with lots of calls and texts and talks with the kids instead of going out or buying something. Still blue, but at least frugally so.
5) Discouraged about yet another car problem, home maintenance issue, and work situation, but doing nothing until I have a plan is more frugal than making wild changes. Not sure that counts, but it’s all I’ve got today.


Mary in VA January 5, 2018 at 9:37 am

Doing nothing until you have a plan is definitely more frugal!


Jennifer January 4, 2018 at 10:39 am

I mentioned previously I think that my dh replaced 2 sparking light switches in our house (frugal) When he turned the power back on it blew the control board on our garage door opener (unfrugal). He did find a local source for a new one and installed it himself (frugal but out an extra $121).

1) Bought organic natural chicken breasts for B1G1 today – making these nice chicken breasts the same price as the not so nice ones. I bought 4 packs – should last a month when eating chicken only once a week.
2) Found tuna for $0.69 a can – but it rang up $0.89 a can and I had to fight to get a refund – which I did.
3) Snow day today so we hit up the library and used gift cards from Christmas to enjoy an hour of reading and hot chocolate at Starbucks. Free family fun! And we combined this trip with a quick stop at the grocery store to buy the above mentioned chicken.
4) We shoveled our 90 foot driveway ourselves rather than paying a service.
5) Needed to replace the flap on our dog door. I stopped at Pet Smart and they wanted $67!!! I ordered it on Amazon for $33. I am all for shopping local, but will not pay double for the exact same item.


JennyS January 5, 2018 at 8:40 am

Yikes! Electricity can be scary. Hope you guys know what you’re doing regarding that! We don’t. Had an (amateur) friend fix a refrigerator /plug and then got a terrible shock. Then later we had a funny smell in the house and finally looked in the basement and found our fuse box actually GLOWING! Our house would have burned down while we were sleeping. Now we always hire licensed, experienced electricians.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

Congrats on the flannel sheets! Our Goodwill doesn’t have such a good selection so we had to buy ours on sale at Target.

Dinner last night was fully out of the pantry, and I think we’ll be able to cook the freezer and pantry all week.


Edie January 4, 2018 at 11:17 am

Hello! Now, I want to know perinatal care and cannibis use!

1) Am trying to use up things in the pantry and freezer. Made a Mediterranean style chickpea and chicken soup in the slow cooker, using frozen chicken, canned chickpeas and tomatoes, ras al hanout, onions, garlic and sumac. Simmered on low. I cam home to a lovely smelling house and a great soup, served with brown rice. Will have leftovers tonight as well!

2) Bought an UnCalender. Not precisely frugal, but in the long run, it helps me with bullet journalling. Last year, I did not bullet journal and I felt very out of control with my well being and expenses- and did not meet certain personal goals for my career. I also bought new colorful pens and pencils on sale at Staples for my journalling and drawing.

3) Speaking of which, I found unused sketchpads for drawing and a huge stash of German watercolors that I FORGOT, SOMEHOW. WHAT. So I know what I am doing on the weekends this year.

4) Walking in the brisk air at work- two 15 breaks is equal to 30 minutes of cardio. I am finding this easier than getting up super early and exercising (although I will still do stretching/strength at home in the evenings as a way to relax)

5) I am committed to using up grooming products under the sink! I swear, I forget I have all this STUFF and buy more. So I am bringing UP from under sink to be visible. Yes, it looks cluttered, but that is the point- to see the stuff I have so I can grab and use it!


Katy January 4, 2018 at 11:28 am

Ha, the article was an overview of scientific studies that looked at short and long term effects of marijuana use in pregnancy on children. Such as learning disabilities, pre-term delivery, head size and such.


Edie January 4, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Ah, okay, an overview. We are now in territory where this will be relevant in the upcoming years!


JennyS January 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

I’m an old L&D nurse now working and certified in behavioral health/addictions medicine. I take frequent cont ed trainings. Marijuana and pregnancy = a terrible idea based on every legitimate study. Very, very relevant!


Edie January 5, 2018 at 9:22 am

Hmm! Indeed! And something that I hope NPs and MDs are counseling women about!

Juhli January 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

We found out yesterday that both my husband and I need dental work and his will be quite expensive. So …
1. He has two alternatives to choose between: a permanent bridge or an implant and thus he is researching what the pros and cons are of each and will go back to ask the dentist more questions before making a decision as one is $1000 more than the other. This is frugal because he will choose the one with the most likelihood of working well and lasting longest.
2. I went to my 2 grocery stores this morning and only bought what was on the list.
3. Stopped at Goodwill and found 2 stainless steel dog bowls and 2 small trays to put under the sponge & soap by the kitchen sink for only $5.36. Both will get lots of use.
4. Picked up a book from the library and was reminded that I need to learn how to use their free downloadable music and streaming movies as well as other digital resources.
5. Eating leftovers for lunch again.


Bee January 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

1) I continue to plug away at the end of year/ beginning of year paperwork. Budgets, spreadsheets, filing, bank statements, bills…..yuck, Yuck, yuck! But I am almost done with my long, long list. Peace of mind in priceless.

2) I took advantage of sales to buy household supplies including TP, Barkeepers Friend and Dawn. I used the target coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase as well as a few other. They let you stack. I checked prices in my price book and bought store brands when necessary to get the best per unit price available. So I am all set for a few months.

3) I applied for a $20 rebate from a recent contact lens purchase.

4) I ate leftover, homemade soup for lunch on this cold, cold day. I need to dig something out of the refrigerator/freezer. I need to be creative. Really, really trying to stick to a budget.

5) A friend has agreed to notarize some paperwork for me. My bank does not have a notary on staff at the local branch. The city I live in is spread out and traffic is terrible. I like to avoid long distance travel as much as possible. I try in live my live in a 10 mile semi-circle.


Ruby January 4, 2018 at 11:28 am

Big cheers for the flannel sheets, Katy!

1. Still freezing to death in the deep South. Been wearing my heaviest jeans on repeat this week, so not laundering them yet. Dug around in the hat and scarf bag in the coat closet and came up with a warm scarf and a beret that I crocheted years ago. Miraculously, they look good with my newer winter coat.
2. Been using up rice and beans doctored up with some leftover pizza sauce for dinner. It’s not haute cuisine, but it hits the spot.
3. Enjoying the delicious free coffee at work. Tried the free hot tea today, and it was vile. But at least it was hot.
4. The Mister and I are on a quest to pay off our mortgage two years earlier than the accelerated schedule we’re already on, which is a 15 year loan paid off in 9 years. We’re aiming to make it seven years, which would be 2020. So every time I am remotely tempted to buy anything, I envision how much of an extra payment that would make.
5. So far this new year, I have spent only to replenish coffee and tea at home, and bought two huge bottles of shampoo and a jug of laundry detergent on sale. Have brown-bagged my breakfast and beverages to work and worn at least one thrifted/secondhand/free item every day.


Mary in Maryland January 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm

1) It’s cold in Maryland. Thermostat still at 62. I put on my silk long undies under my polypropylene long undies under a sweater and pants. Yesterday I napped under two quilts with spouse and dogs. We have an LLBean flannel top sheet that I got at the thrift shop for 3.99 ten years ago. I fixed the loose hem. We don’t use a flannel bottom sheet because of the Velcro effect–flannel sheets bind to flannel pajamas. It’s so embarrassing when one has to call the fire dept to be lifted out of bed. We’ve been considering all the food and fuel savings of hibernation.
2) Squash/mushroom soup for dinner using Roman beans and dried mushrooms from a friend who’s down-sizing.
3) Made fabulous and cheap black-eyed pea jambalaya for New Year’s. Three meals so far. Another two in the fridge.
4) Exercised on Tues and Thursday mornings as the Rec Center was closed on Mondays. Alas, the library opens late on both those days. We’ve got food, fuel, and friends, but I’m going into the blizzard with NO LIBRARY BOOKS. If you never hear from me again, I may have gotten lost in spouse’s copy of Moby Dick.
5) Tomorrow I’m picking up 25 pounds each of brown rice, chickpeas, and pinto. 10% discount when I get whole bags. Will visit a sick friend who lives near the Co-op as long as I’m in the area. May gift her with some jambalaya if I can pry it out of spouse’s hands.


Christine January 4, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Lol on the Velcro-effect with the flannel sheets and flannel jammies! First laugh I had all day while hunkered down in this Snow Hurricane.


Susanne G January 5, 2018 at 7:27 am

If you’ve seen the Velcro video, it’s effing hook and loop!!


A. Marie January 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Another LOL on the Velcro effect. We use Polartec sheets, and I absolutely can’t wear flannel nightgowns with these because of the hook-and-loop thing. Fortunately, the sheets plus our llama wool blanket (a gift from a very generous friend) keep us pretty toasty, so I can get by with T-shirts. DH has slept in the altogether for years, so nightwear isn’t an issue for him.


Nancy from mass January 4, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Hmm, maybe I could wear my flannel jammies and a cute, single fireman can come and save me! Thanks for the suggestion (and laugh). I also have llbean flannel, I just take off my PJ bottoms when I go to bed. Flannels and 2 quilts keep me toasty warm.


Mary in Maryland January 5, 2018 at 8:21 am

I admit that besides our jammies, we both have night caps that I sewed out of a raggedy nightgown. And I have hand warmers–tubes of old nightgown that I wear on my hands. Their original purpose was to keep heavy duty hand lotion off the sheets, but they also keep hands warm. They are open at both ends (cuff on one end, elastic on the other) so that one can pee in the night without accidentally dropping one in the toilet. Hard-earned design knowledge.


Mary in Maryland January 5, 2018 at 8:21 am

And I knit us both wool bed socks.


Nancy from mass January 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm

I would be sweating with all that!! :). Hubby loved a warm bedroom, I like it freezing cold. Makes the bed feel warmer. Shows that I grew up in an old house with no heat upstairs (bedroom would be around 40 or 100, depending on the season ). He grew up in a ranch that had heat in all rooms. I would fold a down comforter in half and put it on his side to make him happy.


Betty Winslow January 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

NO LIBRARY BOOKS?!? That would be a full blown crisis here. Although I have several tasllish stacks of books I own I need to read….

Never mind…..


cathy January 5, 2018 at 6:46 pm

The way you worded your reply reminded me of Helene Hanff in _84 Charing Cross Road_. Have you read it? One of my all-time favorite books for almost 40 years. It’s perfect for bibliophiles and a double-dose if you’re an Anglophile or like books that take place around WWII.


Katy in Africa January 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Score on the sheets!
1. We’re looking into plane tickets. It’s 6 months before we leave, but getting them earlier is usually cheaper. We’re also considering an airline that only allows 1 piece of checked baggage as opposed to another airline that gives you 2. This would save us about $500 total for all 4 tickets, and I think we can make it work with just one luggage per person.
2. Made banana bread with bananas from the freezer.
3. Cut open an almost used up tube of tooth paste yesterday and have gotten 2 brushings out of it so far.
4. I gave in and bought hair dye, but on the plus side I went a long time between dyings and I do it myself. 2017…the year of increased grays…and I’m only 30!
5. I think I finally used up my roll-on deodorant by having it sit upside down.


Roberta January 5, 2018 at 7:59 am

I don’t know where you’re going, but our family of four went from southern California to Scotland one summer with just carry-ons. If you pack the checked baggage and carry-ons well, you should be fine wherever you go!


Rachel January 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm

I made my first sale through Facebook Marketplace yesterday! $50 for snowshoes I haven’t used in a while, since I prefer skiing instead. Very satisfying to declutter and earn some extra dough.

I’m committed to eating a super healthy plant-only diet for January. My $79 grocery trip yesterday didn’t exactly feel frugal, but I got so much produce that it will keep me (and my family) feeling full and healthy for at least a week. Plus, I won’t be eating out so I’m expecting to save money overall.

One of my resolutions is to not buy anything that is not absolutely necessary. So far so good!


Liz B. January 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Rachel, congrats on your first fb marketplace sale! It’s such a good feeling…..some $ in your pocket, and less clutter. Win win!


Christine January 4, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Some FTs to occupy me while being snowed in on the East coast:
1. Took out a jigsaw puzzle I had stashed away after buying it for .25 at an indoor yard sale this fall. The price is not remarkable for a used jigsaw puzzle except that it’s a White Mountain brand puzzle which sell at around $15.00 new. They are my all time favorite and hard to find at yard sales/consignment shops.
2. Used the time indoors to take down my Christmas tree and put away my decorations. This included emptying and putting away my Christmas card holder. We received about 20 cards which I am making into gift tags for next year by cutting around the pretty parts with craft scissors and leaving enough white/light area to write names on. ( I found these scissors used for making the fancy photograph albums everyone was into in the street while delivering my mail route years ago.)
3. Read my library book.
4. I am making homemade pizza for supper tonight using some on sale cheese I purchased and pizza sauce I won in a raffle basket.
5. Sitting here admiring a lovely Christmas gift I received of a succulent potted in a retro percolator coffee pot and thinking how I could pretty easily do the same with some interesting planters for next Christmas’s gifts. I have all year to search The Salvation Army Store and consignment shops around here for containers.


Nancy from mass January 4, 2018 at 6:56 pm

I love WM Puzzles!! Good score!


A. Marie January 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm

I’ve been repurposing holiday cards (and other neat cut-out stuff) for gift tags for a good many years now. It’s particularly cool when you can do this for particular recipients. For instance, Dr. Bestest Neighbor is an owl lover, so I always try to save him owl cards and clippings. He mentioned on Christmas Day how much he enjoyed this.


Cynthia Huntington January 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm

I love this site so much!


June January 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Me too! I am so inspired and awed by the creativity of this group.


Teresa Young January 4, 2018 at 5:37 pm

1. I meal-planned for the entire month of January. We had a ham for New Years Day, had a day of leftovers & froze the rest.
2. Listening to A is for Alibi on CD from the library in memory of Sue Grafton.
3. Date night this Saturday, using a Groupon
4. No grocery trip this week, eating from the pantry & freezer.
5. Gathering items to sell online, have had limited success in the past but giving it another shot


Susie's Daughter January 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm

1) Made two kinds of soup for dinner for 4 adults and one DS with stock made from New Year’s prime rib and the remainder of roasted butternut squash ends used to heat the kitchen a couple of days ago. Bread and rolls to accompany came out of freezer.

2) We had renters in our adjoining condo for Christmas week. As I was going to recycling center yesterday, I went over to pick up the recycling they left behind. Someone had kindly put all Christmas wrappings into one huge clear plastic bag so I fished around in there and found about 2 dozen very gently used pieces of tissue paper in various colors, two lovely ribbons, one premade bow and a gift certificate printed on a receipt for any LL Bean purchase made before Feb 2018.

3) Used the $10 gift certificate from #2 plus online discount to get a new sled for DS . (We broke one over Christmas break.) Cost was reduced by 50% and then I used a gift card we had on hand to complete purchase. Sled was free and should get plenty of use this winter. Here’s to treasures that emerge from other peoples trash!!

4) Thanks to some FFT comments on today’s post, I remembered to transfer the funds for our automatic loan payments due tomorrow to avoid being overdrawn.

5) I was reminded today why our investment in AAA emergency car service is worth it as I got stuck in my parents driveway – in their driveway! And this was even before the snow started!! Ugh. I didn’t realize that a fuel delivery truck had created a big rut on one side of the driveway before the ground froze and I got sucked into the snowbank when I drove into the rut (now covered by snow). Frugal in that AAA covered the tow truck which took 1 minute and 30 seconds to get me back on the drive. And frugal and much more pleasant that I got to hang out with my mom in her nice warm kitchen while I waited. And I read her AARP publications while I waited!


Katy January 5, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Hooray for free sleds!


Sarah D January 4, 2018 at 7:57 pm

1. Went to five resale shops today looking for a bike for my daughter. No luck at any of them. Tried Walmart, where I found a new bike cheaper than the used bikes I’ve found on local craigslist. I haven’t bought it yet, but it’s nice to know that shopping around works even though it takes some time.
2. My husband was cleaning out his closet this afternoon (why? I don’t know) and found a few things he’d like to list on ebay. It’s becoming a family project!
3. So, I joined a gym. That isn’t really the most frugal thing, I know, but I’m finding that I can’t bring myself to get up and run in the cold. So a gym will improve my long-term health, and it’s hard to put a price on that. Plus they have towel service and provide soap and shampoo in the showers, so I can save a little on my water bill and personal care products by showering there.
4. Invited some more friends over for dinner for this weekend. Planned a meal that requires me to do zero additional grocery shopping. Yay!
5. Just got an email about a craiglist item I’d posted before Christmas (a toy train table – I was very surprised we didn’t get a Christmas shopper, but none of the interested folks panned out). I hope this time it works!


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 5:44 am

3. My friend only showers at her gym. Her shower, soap, shampoo, etc, at home rarely get used and she rarely has to clean them.


Teresa January 5, 2018 at 9:23 am

The Universe is feeding and clothing me…

1. Sears keeps giving me online “freepoints” so yesterday I got some things that I needed at zero or very little cost to me: NordicWare cookie sheet $3, sweater $3, pajama top $0, exercise pants $0, and car wash soap $3 (I wash my own car to save $). This was a nice New Year’s gift from the store because these were things that I would have purchased anyway. Also, I did not have to go in the store and shop… I ordered these online and went in only for pickup, saving me the temptation of spending more $.

2. I will never go hungry because the grocery store ALSO keeps giving me free stuff. Trying to eat up all the food in this house is hard since (most days) it’s only me here. Will freeze leftovers.

These free things are all courtesy of shopping online and checking out the website offers and emails that come my way. In case you want to check it out, the grocery stores are Ralph’s and Vons/Pavilions “Just for You”. It requires a tiny bit of effort to look and add the free items to my grocery card, but the reward is worth it. Pavilions is especially generous. My go-to store is Grocery Outlet. They have the best deals and sometimes have $5 and $10 off coupons.

3. Was all set to gift my sister-in-law and husband a special holiday outing but they got in a horrible car wreck on Tuesday so it was cancelled (the truck is totaled.) The plus side is that they came out mostly unscathed except for soft tissue pains and aches. I am so glad they are both ok… We’ll turn the outing into a birthday event in February.

4. My job did not come through yet and I am struggling with looking for another… There is something inside me that makes me want to run away from the job search. Part of it is that I am older now and do not get the same reception upon meeting that I did when I was younger, but I do need to work or I’ll be sleeping on the corner. The other part is that even though cost of living is higher, employers are paying pitifully less today than in 1990! [Hard to wrap my head around that… I feel really bad for kids just starting out. It’s like they are being cheated from the get-go.] Anyway, even though I am on this site today, I’ve promised myself that I will spend less time messing around and more time focused on the job search and making money.

5. Made another eBay sale… a little black dress that I never quite fit into. Yay! So in three weeks I sold three out of five items. That’s encouraging! Will list a few more things today. I think I could make this eBay thing into a side business if I work at it. Thanks Katy!

Happy 2018 to all… 🙂


Bee January 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

Wishing you good things and hoping the right job will come your way in 2018.


Ruby January 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

Best of luck with the job search, Teresa. I am 58, soon to be 59, and have found less resistance to me being an older worker in the nonprofit sector. It does not pay as well, but at least it pays.


cathy January 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Interesting observation, Ruby. I’ll be job-hunting this year and most of my previous experience when I wasn’t self-employed was in non-profits.


Michelle Porter January 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm

I totally understand where you are coming from. I lost a great job with great pay and great benefits after the last recession. It took me quite a while to find another job and the job I have now pays half of what I made 8 years ago at the other job. It’s sad!!! Good Luck on the job search!!!!


Cindy in the South I January 6, 2018 at 1:14 pm

I totally get it. The Great Recession took my great government job, a year after I had decided to close down my private practice, which was doing very well but I decided I wanted govt retirement as I was getting older. The Recession was a financial, emotional, mental disaster for me. I did find another job, which pays less than what I was making 10 years ago, but I do like this job much better. I am almost 58, so I do understand. Best of luck with your job hunt.


Alexandra @ January 8, 2018 at 4:57 am

I am totally with you ladies! I am starting a discussion on this on my blog and I’d love your thoughts and input


tonya January 5, 2018 at 9:40 am

1) Hallelujah,we finished the last of the ham and bean soup last night. It was a meal for us 4 times this week. I’m happy for no food waste but definitely have the rest of the ham frozen for later, as I can’t EVEN with ham for a while.
2) Went to neighborhood book club last night. I love a free and fun night with neighbors discussing the book and catching up on life.
3) Taking a load to Goodwill today.
4) Eating mostly from the freezer and pantry. I’m going to limit this week’s shopping to milk and produce.
5) Feeling grateful for a healthy family, a job that I love and the chance to be home this weekend getting organized and enjoying frugal pleasures.
6) Just for laughs- Even though I post here regularly and the word frugal is common in my vocabulary, every time I start to type the word “frugal” my smart phone keyboard suggests “friggin”.


Jenny January 5, 2018 at 10:08 am

PMG- so funny.


Jenny January 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

That was supposed to be OMG. I guess spellcheck wins again! What even is PMG??


Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

Ha! Funny


tonya January 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

I am glad you clarified! I was asking myself, “What is PMG?”


Jenny January 5, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Tonya, did you think of anything good for PMG?

tonya January 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm

No, did you, Jenny??

Betty Winslow January 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

1. Cleaning out various cupboards and closets has netted me tea I forgot I had, more wrapping paper/ribbon/tags/tissue paper than I’ll live long enough to use, a homemade peppermint hot cocoa mix that was a Xmas gift from last yr that got shoved to the back of an upper cabinet, some mugs for GW, and several unfinished needlework projects that are going to GW or a local friend.
2. Dinner every day this week has been from the frig, pantry and freezer. Trying to avoid buying anything but perishables for a while.
3. In the above clean-out, I found 4 reusable Keurig pods from when we had a machine. Found you can use one, filled with loose tea, to make tea in a cup or teapot! Will be mailing one, along with some cocoa, to a friend who needs a pick-me-up and got a keurig for Xmas, and the other two will go to the daughter who gave them to me, since she has a machine now.
4. Discovered that two slices of the rye bread we buy is equivalent in carb count to one slice of the other bread we buy. Saves on carbs, which is important to me, being diabetic. The rye bread is also cheaper, so it probably evens out moneywise.
5. Started back to the gym yesterday. Not frugal, except in the long run, with better health.
6. Hubby and I both went for eye appts and bought 2 prs of glasses each, to use the rest of our FSP. Amazingly, I found frames I liked for $17 each. I usually only like expensive ones! LOL


Betty Winslow January 5, 2018 at 11:59 am

Katie, just reserved a copy of the bookseller book from our library. Thanks for the tip!


Bethany January 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm

As someone who is also on the lookout for flannel sheets, especially holiday themed, I am pretty darn thrilled for you! Might you post a picture of them on Instagram or a future post?


Terri W January 5, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Congratulations on the flannel sheet find!
1. My kids asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I couldn’t think of anything! Then it dawned on me as I was getting in and out of bed 3 or 4 times a night to go to the bathroom (the perks of old age!!!) that flannel sheets would feel pretty darn nice! So I put in the request and got them as one of my Christmas gifts! Now that the temperature has dropped into the negative for several days, they are even more wonderful!
2. I shopped for some of my Christmas gifts to family members through Swagbucks and I’ve already gotten another $25 Amazon gift card from points earned in December. Considering that I used Swagbuck points to purchase a lot of the gifts in the first place, that makes it a double win!
3. I made a batch of turkey noodle soup from the frozen Thanksgiving turkey carcass and celery and carrots from a New Year’s Eve veggie tray. Enough for a huge pot!
4. Took down the Christmas tree and decor that I have had for many years. It is all still in good shape, so no new purchases except for a new tree topper angel that was marked down 70 percent.
And 5. (Not holiday related!) I made flour tortillas from scratch and they were so much better than store bought! 3 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 5 Tbsp. shortening or lard & 1 cup warm water is all it takes to make 12 yummy tortillas!


Christine January 6, 2018 at 9:35 am

My daughter also got us flannel sheets for Christmas. I cannot believe the difference in warmth when I climb into bed in my 60 degree room. The regular sheets would feel so cold for the first 10 minutes or so. Torture! And they were just in time for this deep freeze which has gripped New England for the past couple of weeks. The only problem is I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because they are so warm and cozy!


Emily January 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

1. Had friends over for dinner and drinks last night. Spent more on groceries but eliminated cost of over priced food/drinks, uber rides, and a myriad of other possible expenditures. Our friends brought drinks and left what wasn’t used so we ended up with more beer than we started with!

2. Ran to Aldi for groceries, spent 80 dollars on groceries that along with another 20 at the farmers market this weekend should get us through 2 weeks!

3. Printed out calendars and budget sheets, and have the next 2-3 months planned out (for now).

4. Discovered that we can get SUPREMELY cheap OTC medicines from the health center on my boyfriends campus. I mean CHEAP. I wish we would have known about this years ago, but we know now. This is a huge win.

5. using my heated blanket to stay warm instead of cranking the heat, using 1/2 as much detergent than recommended, showering every other day to save on water and help my dry winter skin, working out at home vs paying for a gym, etc.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: