Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2018 · 130 comments

  1. I stopped by the outpatient pharmacy at my hospital and picked up 100-count bottles of Tylenol and Ibuprofen, which allowed me to use my employee discount. I paid $6.59 instead of $16.78 and simultaneously found a penny on the ground. It probably would have been cheaper to buy mega-huge bottles at Costco, but I’d rather imagine a world where and my husband and myself don’t require such enormous numbers of anti-inflammatories.

  2. I sold an antique photo on eBay that I bought at the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet. I’d estimate that I spent 20¢ on it, which makes the $14.99 a decent profit. I pretty much only buy items for resale if it’s something that I personally like, and this old collegiate team photo ticked that box. I think I’d had this up on eBay since last spring and am surprised that it finally sold. Luckily I keep my inventory very organized and it’s always easy to find items when they sell. (It’s in a corner of our spare bedroom.)

  3. Neighbors are moving and set out furniture and boxes of random items with a “free” sign. I stopped by and rifled through the boxes and helped myself to an unopened bag of sun/shade grass seed from a local nursery. I have long given up on having a lawn in the backyard as A) its’s extremely shady, and B) it’s far from a priority for me, C) I’m unwilling to waste water by watering a lawn and D) I hate gardening. However, I am willing to sprinkle the seed over the supposed lawn area and let nature take its course. Portland will be extremely rainy through mid-June, so I have nothing to lose. Click HERE to see the Instagram photo of said free pile.

  4. I renewed my books through the library website, I got called off from work on Tuesday, (which means I lose 12 hours of paid work) however my husband and I live below our means and can handle income fluctuations, I arranged work shifts through the end of March, I worked on a couple of different Clark Howard article drafts, I bought dull grocery staples at Fred Meyer (Kroger) even though I was in the mood for some fancy Trader Joe’s comfort food and I renewed a couple of Craigslist listings that had expired.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar solid gold toilet.

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.

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy in Africa February 1, 2018 at 1:21 pm

1. My son made a tic-tac-toe game out of card stock, with pieces of card stock to use in place of writing “x” or “o”. I think he enjoyed making it and now we have a reusable tic-tac-toe game.
2. We bought 2 boxes of cereal and half a dozen bananas for a fun supper. It wasn’t the healthiest or cheapest, but it was fun, cheaper than eating out, and no time cooking. And I plan on reusing the cereal bags and boxes.
3. I made sure to put my kids leftover milk and tea from breakfast in old mustard jars in the fridge. They then drank them this afternoon…no waste.
4. Grey water got reused to water plants.
5. I reused some oil that had just been used once.


Dmarie February 2, 2018 at 3:31 am

in one of the Nella Last Post-War Diaries Of Housewife 49, I read that back in the day she shared her oil with a neighbor, who burned food in it. So, Nella “washed” the burned bits out of the oil with water! Not sure how that would work but sure made an impression on me that some folks really must “make do or do without.”


Terri February 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I’ve been blogging my frugal things over at
I haven’t posted this one yet on my blog, but all those boring things that I do to save money, like keep the heat turned off, hanging up laundry to dry, cooking at home, etc have started to pay off. This morning, after the regular mortgage payment posted to our bank account, we paid an extra $3,000 toward our mortgage principle. This is our only debt and we already have a short 16 year mortgage, so it feels amazing to make extra payments toward the principle when the end is in sight.


Katy February 1, 2018 at 2:14 pm

It really is the day to day boring stuff that makes a difference.


Ruby February 2, 2018 at 6:28 am

One of the readers here posted the other day that she added up the savings of doing small, frugal things every day, and it came to $258 that month. That made a big impression on me.


K D February 1, 2018 at 1:34 pm

1. The weather is still not very nice so I’ve been staying home more. I’ve been going through old paperwork, which frees up more space in the file cabinet.

2. I went to a friends house for lunch yesterday. She made a batch of “all but the kitchen sink” soup. I brought over some fresh pineapple and some strawberries (both had been on sale at Aldi).

3. I did stop by Chick-fil-A for my free item of the month on Tuesday. The grilled nuggets are not the best but they provided enough fuel for me to run several errands at lunch time.

4. I “inherited” some more yarn that will be good for charity knitting.

5. I am continuing to exercise, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and wash my hands frequently. It seems like it is more frugal to not be sick, if it can be avoided.


Mand01 February 1, 2018 at 1:37 pm

I’m home sick today so I guess I can’t spend any money. Frugal?
1. My husband cooked pasta dishes two nights in a row using only garden produce and food we had on hand. We have not had to buy vegetables now for at least a month.
2. I worked from home yesterday
3. My youngest learned to ride the bus to school yesterday, saving us much time on school drop offs and petrol.
4. Entertainment has been library DVDs (we introduced our kids to the original Ghostbusters – they didn’t like it), Netflix and a Discworld ebook I found on my iPad that I must have purchased a long time ago when feeling flush.
5. Weather has cooled down this week so we are not running any air conditioning or fans.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 7:42 am

As long as you are home sick and not shopping online.


Mand01 February 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Haha, no. I don’t really shop online. I just watched Victoria and Anne With An E on Netflix


Amie B February 3, 2018 at 6:48 pm

I find that Terry Pratchett is always good for what ails ya! Hope you are on the mend soon.


Cindy in the South I February 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm

1. I appear to have caught something that is making me have a bad headache and feel weak but I have not sneezed, coughed, nor do I appear to be running a fever, so maybe it is just my sinuses because of this dreadful rain. I have not spent any money on groceries.
2. I wish I had the recliner that is near that free pile of seed you posted on instagram. Your neighbor rocks.
3. I really cannot think so I do not know what I did to be frugal.
FRUGAL FAIL: My best work friend is retiring after 19 years working for the same place. Folks are being rather stingy with bringing anything to her retirement party. It is really making me mad because she worked hard as a custodian here all these years. I am too ill to make something for her party tomorrow. I purchased 50 chicken wings from a restaurant for 27 bucks to be delivered tomorrow. She is worth it.


Katy February 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm

I was tempted by that chair, but held off as it wouldn’t look right in my house.


Jenelle February 2, 2018 at 6:01 am

As much as we would call it a frugal fail, your friend will appreciate what you are doing for her. (work parties are the worst to get people involved)


susanna d February 2, 2018 at 6:52 am

Cindy, I don’t know that I’d call it a frugal fail – you’re doing something nice for a friend. I’ve always agreed with school of thought that frugality is about saving money by not spending on the things that are unimportant, so that we’re better able to spend our money on the things that ARE important to us. Reading about your sweet gesture made my day!


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 7:44 am

I agree, you will look back on this and be glad you did this gesture.

Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 7:46 am

And so sorry you are feeling bad, hope you feel better soon!

Cindy in the South I February 5, 2018 at 8:29 am

Thanks Jennifer. I am much better!

Rhonda February 4, 2018 at 10:58 am

I just tried to post and it seems to have disappeared so I will try again. Please make certain you do not have a carbon monoxide leak! That can cause the symptoms you have and is very dangerous – it can be deadly.


Cindy in the South I February 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

Thank you Rhonda. I do not have gas, but you are so right. My headache seems to have been a 24 hour thing.


Teri February 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm

1. Found $21 right in front of the Apple Store where I had gone to have my phone repaired rather than replaced.
2. Visited aging parents where my sister prepared a wonderful lunch for my mother to serve to us. Free food, a nice visit and no extra work for mom.
3. Sharing Netflix account, so when someone buys a movie we all get to watch it.
4. Keeping thermostat below 65 degrees.
5. Took family members out to dinner on a double points night and used a gift card, so inexpensive and enjoyable.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 7:47 am

1. Nice find!


Mary in Maryland February 1, 2018 at 2:15 pm

1) I’ve assessed the dregs in my produce drawer–got a bag of oddly shaped golden beets for a dollar the last time I shopped. They went into a vegan cassoulet for dinner tonight. We’ll have plenty of leftovers, and I still have everything I need for borscht over the weekend.
2) I drove by the cheap yet fabulous oriental grocery store yesterday en route to quilting. I stopped and got celery (for the cassoulet and borscht), black bean paste and sambal oeleck. My only impulse buy was broccoli at 99 cents a pound.
3) On the way home from quilting I stopped at the post office and mailed a tea cozy to a friend using an 80 cent stamp that has been lurking in my desk drawer for at last two years.
4) I heard Pantene conditioner was great for washing knits and came into a bottle when someone moved. I used it and found it overly scented. Freecycled it yesterday.
5) Library books for entertainment, cooking at home, visiting with friends. Nothing vulgar or gold-plated this week.


avl February 1, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Ha! I can’t wait for the day when I can say broccoli was my only impulse buy.


Bettypants February 2, 2018 at 5:17 am

Avl, that made me laugh.


Jenzer February 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

1 – Found out I could get a borrower’s card at Neighboring City’s Library for FREE, rather than pay the $135/year non-resident fee (it’s a long story involving property taxes). The location isn’t convenient for me to drive there often, but the digital resources — wow! Hoopla streaming videos, RBdigital magazines, Freegal music, Consumer Reports, The New York Times, Mango languages. I appreciate our conveniently-located Small Town Library very much, but it is *small*, and its budget limited.

2 – Any Tightwad Gazette fans remember Amy Dacyczyn’s point system for using up food bits? I scored a four-pointer this week with a salmon chowder I made. It included a leftover chunk of cooked salmon from the freezer, squishy white potatoes on the verge of rot, the unmoldy part of a slightly moldy onion, and celery tops. I baked up a pan full of frozen dinner rolls to go with the chowder. The unbaked rolls were given to me by a relative who couldn’t use them.

3 – Deep-cleaned one of my kitchen cabinets and unearthed a pile of lunchbox accessories my kids no longer use. DD and DS are now teenage and tween-age; the pile was all containers sized for preschool appetites. I gave DD two bento-style boxes to list on eBay. The rest I washed up for Goodwill.

4 – Getting a lot of free entertainment out of Google My Maps. It’s a Google service that lets you customize a map with your own location pins, photos, and notes, and then save it to your Google Drive. I have one map for local trails, parks, and nature preserves, and another for possible travel destinations. Bonus: I can load a saved map into the Google Maps app on my phone … SO handy when we do travel. Adding pins to my maps is a good way to daydream through the super-cold winter days.

5 – Came home from work Monday afternoon in no mood to cook dinner, but ready to suck it up and make something simple. I opened the refrigerator, and, lo, there was a leftover chicken pot pie from my mom that I’d completely forgotten we had. In that moment I swear I heard a choir sing and saw light shine down from above. Okay, not really, but still … the little things can seem like such gifts on a cranky day.


Jenzer February 1, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Also, Katy – congratulations on resisting the Trader Joe’s treats. That’s no easy feat. A friend of mine refers to their temptations as “id foods” (as in, the id / ego / superego of Freudian renown).


Susie's Daughter February 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

Jenzer – Loved your #2 point system tally! (I must not have gotten that far in my Tightwad Gazette studies yet.) I have been getting a HUGE amount of satisfaction out of using up the last little bits of stuff lately. Here’s to racking up the points!


Liz B. February 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Love your #5….I’ve had that same experience, where you swear you hear a choir of angels singing, and see a soft spotlight on the dimner you forgot was waiting for you.


Liz B. February 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

I mean, dinner (not dimner).


Tracy February 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

1. I took the bus to/from work 2x this week and I still haven’t filled my tank (I’m up to three weeks, although will have to fill up tomorrow).
2. Didn’t buy coffee, muffin or lunch today. Do need to go to two work-related happy hour events this evening, but I don’t drink (alcohol) so $2 for a soda plus $1 for a tip should do it at each. Much cheaper than wine, beer or a cocktail. Also I had a work meeting at Starbucks but my colleague had already purchased a drink and grabbed a seat so I was able to join her and sit and meet without buying anything.
3. Am still wearing a pair of running shoes that are well over a year and a half old and have many many miles on them. Not having any issues though so keep wearing them I do. I have another pair in the closet in their box bought half off for when these do give up the ghost.
4. Bought a $2 glass lid at Goodwill to use on an existing large cast iron skillet and bought a really cute hand painted Christmas mug for .99 that will make a great gift card holder next year. (Am going to try grabbing used gifts at Goodwill etc. during the year this year when I spot a great deal that someone will enjoy instead of waiting until November to start shopping and overspending).
5. Already made my list for grocery shopping tomorrow using items on sale. Also need to source reasonably priced items to fill out appetizer platter I am making to take to Superbowl party Sunday. I have a few things to include already, and will hit Grocery Outlet to see if they have any fancy cheese bargains.


Jenelle February 2, 2018 at 6:11 am

You make me laugh about the running shoes. I also have about 2 pairs in the box ready to use. The only issue is that I don’t run, so my current pair isn’t getting worn out any time soon! I guess I’ll have sneakers until I’m 70! I am also trying to scoop up any thing that will make great Christmas presents. I give my kids “goodwill” presents in their stockings! They love it.


Mary in VA February 2, 2018 at 9:38 am

I do the same thing with work shoes. It’s so hard to find basic, comfortable work shoes with a heel that’s not too high or too low, and that aren’t super-expensive. When I find a shoe that works, I stock up. Currently I have 8 pairs of the same Easy Spirit pump (different colors), bought online at a discount with free shipping. I’ll probably retire before I wear them out, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind!


Tracy February 2, 2018 at 10:02 am

Love the stocking stuffer idea!


avl February 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Katy, I too am lawn-challenged due to mature shade trees, and I’m totally OK with it. For two summers, I caved in to neighborhood peer pressure and paid for a pricey lawn service, but then thankfully came to my senses. I’d rather have patchy grass with a sprinkling of weeds, than a yard full of Roundup and other chemical fertilizers. The lawn did look marginally better, but at what cost?

1) I walked to my piano lesson instead of taking the car.

2) A former Starbucks addict, I have enjoyed home-brewed coffee now for years. I have recently switched back to drinking coffee black. I realized that the coffee was becoming just a carrier vehicle for sugar and cream. I actually enjoy it more this way, and I like trying out different bean varieties each time I restock.

3) I am soaking chickpeas today. Some will be frozen for future hummus making, and the rest will go into Italian Garbanzo and Cauliflower soup, a recipe that my father used to make all the time, and which is a family favorite.

4) I have been looking for a good deal on flannel sheets to keep cozy at night since we have lowered our thermostat settings. I recently found a heavily marked down king sized navy blue set at TJ Maxx – made in Portugal, like the fancy-schmancy brands. Flannel! Where have you been all my life?

5) Speaking of sleeping, my sleepwear usually consists of my 30 year old college sweatshirt and 10 year old Target pajama bottoms. I won’t win any fashion prizes, but this is how I sleep the best.


Jill A February 1, 2018 at 3:00 pm

1. I sent in a rebate to online in order to save the cost of a stamp. We should get a $20 gift card in the mail.
2. I picked up some groceries at Meijer today. I was able to combine sales with paper and mperks coupons as well as a pharmacy reward to get $18 off my bill. I purchased some clearanced Finish dishwasher tabs with a coupon and received a $3 off reward on top of it. It’s the little things…
3. I walked 3.5 miles with a friend and nobody died. She invited me in for coffee after our walk. Free coffee and exercise. It made for a nice morning.
4. I made a huge pot of vegetable soup using vegetables from my fridge and pantry and my homemade chicken broth.
5. My Mom’s refrigerator quit working. It seems to be a problem with her electrical outlet and not the actual fridge. My husband should be able to fix it for her. Money savings for her but unfortunately she’ll have to throw all the food out.


Linda @ A La Carte February 1, 2018 at 3:52 pm

1. Since I recently had surgery I’m unable to lift anything heavy and walking is still hit or miss. So I used a grocery store online service that waived the charge of $4.95 and offered a $5 coupon on top of that. Bought items I needed and saved time and my health to boot.
2. Cooked everyday this week so no fast food. Good for the budget and my waistline.
3. Used credit card points(I pay balance in full each month) to purchase some items to use for a home pedicure saving many many $$
4. “found” a corned beef in the freezer bought on sale and pushed to the back. thawing for a good weekend meal with the family.
5. Did not step into any stores this whole week! Thus spent much less $$ no impulse buys.


Tracy February 3, 2018 at 5:56 am

Linda hope your recovery goes well and that you continue to get your strength back.


Pattilou February 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm

After several weeks of illness, I’m feeling able to get back on the frugal bandwagon.
1. Drove back to the doctor’s office to pick up samples of my meds. I forgot to ask for them when I was there the day before for my appointment. This will save me at least $200.00.
2. I forgot to use my Cartwheel when checking out at Target. Luckily, I remembered when I got to the car so I was able to go back in to the store. $3.00 back in my pocket.
3. I have not been out of the house much so I haven’t had to put gas in my car for awhile.
4. I have been blessed to have wonderful friends and family who provided me with food while I was down and out. I survived for a week on their kindness.
5. Finally back to work after a long lay-off.

Frugal fail: I forgot to put a brand new carton of milk in the fridge yesterday and didn’t realize it until late today. Ugh. What a waste. I also have been keeping the heat up higher than usual until I go to bed. Even with bundling up, I’ve been chilled to the bone.


VanessaKC February 1, 2018 at 5:53 pm

I read an intriguing post not long ago on gDonna’s about soapstones for warming beds, etc. Worth looking into!


Roberta February 2, 2018 at 7:11 am

I have a hot water bottle that I use, along with the much-hailed flannel sheets, to keep me warm in bed. I heat it up before bed, and it remains warm all night. I have mine wrapped in a cashmere sweater, so it’s cozy to cuddle up to.


Mary in Maryland February 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

I used to be chilled to the bone while I sat on the davenport reading–even with a spaniel in each armpit. Not any more. I wear a knit hat and fingerless gloves and have a quilt (the one that covers the dog crate at night) over my legs. But the best thing is the heating pad either on my lower back or under my feet (which are wearing wool socks).


cathy February 2, 2018 at 9:20 pm

My “office” is just a corner in the kitchen. I like to sit there and drink coffee and read or birdwatch. It’s warmish when the heat comes on because it’s next to the vent. But the best is with the heating pad on my lower back and a blanket across my lap. Keeps me toasty warm (and makes my back feel better!).


Pattilou February 3, 2018 at 7:24 am

Thanks all. I am covering my head and now making use of an electric blanket. Looking forward to spring!!


Juhli February 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Great inspiration once again from everyone.
1. Used a Kroger $10 off coupon and took calculator and list to get to minimum required. Only $2 over – not bad.
2. Went to Dr’s office today to find out if they are in network of our different secondary insurance (Medicare first). They are but Dr had quit and fortunately I was able to rebook my physical in time to get prescription renewals.
3. In the midst of altering a thrifted top that I loved the fabric but not the style.
4. Received 2 lovely scarves as a gift from an overseas online friend. They are beautiful and silk but didn’t suit her anymore.
5. Exercising for free this week by walking and using a dvd that I own.


Debbie February 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm

1. Returned home from a trip slightly under the weather, but was able to put together a soup of chicken stock, turkey, and vegetables, all from the freezer.
2. Had hand surgery, but I cooked a large pork roast and froze quart bags for future meals. We also have more of the turkey in the freezer. Should be able to get by without eating out the next two weeks while I recuperate.
3. Found a nickel.
4. Due to lack of communication, I was not given a block for my arm for the surgery, but turns out I did fine without it, saving me recovery time and money. (I had general anesthesia but thought I needed the block as well).
5. Collecting items for resale to clean out clutter and make some pocket change.


KJD509 February 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm

1. Still reheating leftover coffee on the stove every other day. No pre-caffeinated disasters so far, thank goodness.
2. Made a giant vat of curried chicken soup the night a daughter arrived on the train at midnight. Served for dinner, midnight supper, and a couple of lunches using only what we had on hand.
3. Last fall I bought a package of what I thought were the right kind of razor blades on sale, but they weren’t. Tried a second time; got the wrong ones again. Paid much more careful attention the third time, but by then I’d been looking at the wrong ones so long that package looked right in the store. . . so I bought the wrong ones AGAIN. How is this frugal? Passed the first two packages on to a son whose razor handle they fit, but I was too embarrassed to send him the third package. This week I realized I can use a pair of tweezers to hold the blade and shave my legs at last. Also learned that my style of razor blades is no longer manufactured, which at least explains why I couldn’t find any.
4) Continuing to pack and clean, even though I’d really like to hire it done.
5) No Lear jet, no gold plated toilets – not this week.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 8:07 am

3. Oh my, the razor story is so typical of how things go. Maybe you should just give that extra pack to your son. I just have this mental picture of you struggling with that razor and the tweezer and don’t want anything bad to happen. Plus, it seems like it’s going to be one of those things that is frustrating to use if you just happen to be already having a bad day. Maybe it’s time to find a new style of razor to love. Darn I hate when they stop making something good!!


K8 February 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm

1) made veggie stock with scraps I’d been saving in the freezer

2) did a job shadow this evening for a part time gig I’m hoping to get. Partner was finished with work so didn’t have to hire a sitter for hours I was working for free…
Also. prepped everything my partner would need to cook dinner for himself & children while I was at work this eve; if it’s not easy & laid out for him he often gives in to temptation to “phone it in” and get take out on eves he is doing kid dinner/bedtime solo.

3) used a damp towel over rising bread dough instead of plastic wrap twice this week

4) sold two lots of baby clothes & a lot of cloth diaper supplies to some local folks

5) nothing gold or aeronautical was purchased


Linda February 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm

1. Hemmed a long, narrow offcut of handprinted silk given to me by a friend, and made a useful scarf.
2. Using our local library and a Kindle gift voucher to support my reading habit.
3. Cooking once, eating twice, which is a lifesaver on these hot summer days. We don’t mind eating the same thing two days in a row.
4. Just not going into the supermarket between fortnightly shops, except for buying milk and occasionally fresh fruit.
5. Had my hair cut for $30 at my local salon, using my seniors’ Gold Card. I wash my hair first, and don’t use any colour or expensive product.

Interestingly, while I was at the salon, a mother came in to arrange an appointment for her 10 year old, dark-haired daughter. The child wanted to be blonde – really blonde, with purple tips! The hairdresser explained the lengthy and costly treatment required, but mother and daughter insisted, and a four-hour appointment was made, at a cost of several hundred dollars. I was gobsmacked!


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 8:17 am

Oh my, and the upkeep for that dark haired child to go blonde is very often, time-consuming, and costly. Most 10 year olds won’t want to sit through the time it takes to get touch ups. So rediculous, IMO. My hair is pretty dark so I only do a few highlights on myself to strategically hide the gray. I won’t pay for that lengthy process, with my money or my time, to completely change the color.


Ava February 1, 2018 at 6:11 pm

1. Husband sharpened all the knives. It is like having all new ones in the kitchen.
2. Making rice packs for my daughter at her request. I got an enormous bag of the cheapest rice for only 2.44, used fabric I already had in my craft supplies, and added a few drops of essential oils I already had. I made 3 packs and had almost enough rice to fill a fourth. Similar packs are $15 on Amazon.
3. Made a large pot of vegetable soup to share with an injured friend. The only ingredient I needed to buy was green beans. I had everything else in the pantry, fridge or freezer.
4. Bought heart worm preventative for the new dog and received a rebate which I will send in for a $12 gift card.
5. Went to Goodwill in search of a container to serve as a water bowl for the dogs. The youngest cat believes her mission in the world is to up end every container of water she can get her paws on. A regular pet bowl will be turned over fast. I found a heavy deep crock (ebay calls it a chili server) on sale for .99. She has worked hard to turn it over but so far she has not succeeded.


avl February 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm

I love having newly sharpened knives too. It makes food prep so much more pleasurable. I need to remember to sharpen mine more often.


Vickey February 3, 2018 at 8:24 am

“Her mission in the world”! That cracked me up, thanks!!


NatalieC February 4, 2018 at 3:49 pm

I have a cat that will run up to the bowl and make it splash on the floor and then play in the water. I maybe need to invest in something heavier as well. Said cat hates bathes but will lay on the floor and stick her paws in the water and then lick them.


Bethany February 1, 2018 at 6:53 pm

I used my 10+ year old hand crank can opener for the last time this week. Picked up a new one for $4 at Winco. This new one makes me fall in love with hand crank can openers all over again. LOL!

We had a beans and rice dinner tonight with just a sprinkling of leftover chicken from our Sunday whole chicken meal.

Finally after the wildfires have been taken care of our LEGOLAND field trip has been rescheduled for tomorrow. The organizer slipped a free parking ticket in my stack, which is a total score, because she didn’t have enough of those to go around. Got super cheap lunchables for the kids. Beats a $8 a piece lunch on the premises.

Have chili prepped in the pan of my Ninja cooking system and sitting in the fridge. I’ll set it down in the slow cooker tomorrow before we leave.

Husband asked for a salary adjustment, based mostly on his B.A. degree which wasn’t take into consideration on his last promotion. Boss said he’ll look into this along with a new job title. The cost-of-living raise is coming too along with tax return and bonus. I’m hoping for a little relief in the stretched-too-thin budget we’ve been putting up with for such a long time now.


kathleen February 2, 2018 at 5:46 pm

I LOVE my Ninja cooker…use it more often than not. It’s four years old, and I just ordered and received a new liner ($24) as mine was starting to show wear. I mention this because my daughter didn’t know you could replace just the liner, and was about to replace her whole unit (I got her a new liner too). I know some people do not like non-stick coatings, but it gets used often because clean up is so easy…browning and slow cooking all in one pot.


Jennifer February 1, 2018 at 6:58 pm

I had the day off yesterday which was kind of random. Here is what I did:

1) went to the DR about my “high” cholesterol. Reran my numbers and while it is a little high, my LDL are is right where it should be and my HDL is pretty high – bumping my total number above 200. He said to keep doing what I am doing and not worry about it.
2) wanted to make a different recipe and when I saw all natural ground chicken for $2.50 a lb on sale locally I made Firecracker Meatballs. I bought 2 packs and got a raincheck for 2 more packs later.
3) at said grocery store I found some spicy chicken sausages marked down to $2.49 – they are now in my freezer for later. We are trying to avoid red meat and also eat less meat in general, so this helps.
4) read a good portion of You Need A Budget book yesterday which will hopefully help me with staying on budget.
5) we had switched internet providers and were supposed to get a $50 statement credit to cover the installation. Of course we didn’t get it. I had my dh call though and they credited it right away. I guess they bank on people not bothering to call.


Susie's Daughter February 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

1) Dinner tonight was mostly on sale or marked clearance ingredients: pork chops on clearance, homemade shake and bake, homemade mac and cheese (sale pasta and really good cheese for $3/lb again this week), homemade applesauce from free apples and ice cream at 40% off. Happy eaters here tonight.

2) Working on finishing up knitting projects that have been sitting around for AGES. Infinity scarf done and baby pumpkin hat in process. Fun activity and yarn and needles paid for years ago.

3) Bought two corning ware single service bowls (one with cover) for $3 total at our thrift store this week in the continuing effort to reduce our plastic use.

4) Redispersing stuff to the universe. Less stuff = less to store and/or bicker about in our house. Sheets, extra dish drainer, and book to a friend who is setting up a household.

5) Used a $20 credit issued by photo site to make valentines for DS to send to the upper generation and the special adults in his life. Cost of shipping plus stamps for enjoyment of real mail.


Bee February 2, 2018 at 3:46 am

I love #5. I still love to receive real mail especially cards and invitations. It is a joy in a digital world.


Susie's Daughter February 2, 2018 at 8:20 am

Bee – me too! One of my best childhood friends and I write letters to each other. It is always exciting to see her handwriting in our mailbox.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm

You all just inspired me to send my elderly aunt and uncle a Valentine’s card, thanks for the idea.


FrannyandDanny February 1, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Everyone is so resourceful, hats off to you!


Sarah D February 1, 2018 at 8:32 pm

1. The rug under my dining room table was looking awfully dirty and stained. It’s cotton, so I pulled it outside and my husband, daughter, and I scrubbed at it with soapy water and scrub brushes and left it out to dry overnight. Looks amazing, spent nothing.
2. I’ve accepted a small work-related task that I’ll be paid for. Most of the things I do reap no financial reward (I mean, I get a salary, but I work in a career path that means I do loads and loads of extra, unpaid tasks), so this $225 is going to be nice.
3. I’ve been biking to work every day because the weather has been nice. I never drive myself and pay to park, but I had been asking to be dropped off en route to taking my daughter to school while it was colder. It’s really right on the way to her school and takes no extra gas, but biking always feels better, healthier, and is a physical reminder each day of my frugality+health goals.
4. Leftovers every day for lunch, even the day I had taken nothing with me to work – I just biked home and made myself something from the fridge, rather than buying something there as I was tempted to do.
5. I’ve been too busy to go anyplace where I could spend money. Sometimes we talk about busy-ness as an excuse to spend more (convenience blah blah) but it can really be an excuse to simplify and stick to what we already have.


Marcia February 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm

1. I did manage to save 40% on my groceries today despite having not a single coupon for anything I bought. The savings were due to store sales off regular prices. Coupons have been sparse lately!
2. Got a foot of snow on Tuesday and it was 17 degrees so I stuck my head out the door and told my husband not to bother shoveling it quickly–he’s 75 and healthy but I don’t think shoveling when it’s so cold is exactly a good idea. He came in and warmed up and shoveled the rest later in the afternoon when it was warmer. I missed a class but it’s not worth killing my husband over! And I did some extra laundry that day as well as saving gas.
3. Really a quiet week around here–spent much of the time chasing down prescriptions from new primary doctor, but also got some extra housework done. I’ve been staying home so often that the house is actually looking pretty good. I hate housework but it is easier when you do a little every day,
4. Cooked all meals except one at home, and used a gift card to pay for that one.
That’s all I’ve got.


Nancy February 2, 2018 at 1:40 am

I love that you hate gardening :p


Cindy in the South I February 2, 2018 at 7:47 am

Exactly….I never admit to my friends that I hate gardening….I did not inherit my grandma’s green thumb. She loved it. I kill everything I plant…sigh.


janine February 2, 2018 at 9:02 am

Agree on the gardening and the back yard (or lack there of). Have tried sod and seed to no avail – very shady. Sometimes you gotta go with green weeds.


Mand01 February 2, 2018 at 6:20 pm

I inherited the green thumb from my grandmother; my sister inherited the artistic abilities. I can’t paint to save my life, she kills even weeds. I think we are both happy enough with the deal we got.


Bee February 2, 2018 at 3:42 am

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! January is finally over. It went on and on and on… Spring is around the corner. I hope this will be confirmed by the ground hog later today.
1) I took a side job this week and have worked three days. It is less than 3 miles from home. I brought my lunch and water.
2) A friend of mine works for a builder who was liquidating the contents of his model homes. These homes are filled with brand new furniture that was used for staging. I bought two brand new living room chairs for myself for $90. I helped my son pick out rugs and porch furniture for considerable savings.
3) I bought some fun things for resale this week including a 1950’s Hoppalong Cassidy Milk Glass. Katy,thank you for sharing that your eBay sales sometimes take a while. I have a few things that have been lingering and I can’t figure out why. General January Malaise?
4) I had dinner out with my sister-in-law this week. We do this on occasion to catch-up. It is always enjoyable, but rarely thrifty. We used a coupon this time for a BOGO entrée.
5) The usual stuff- cooking from scratch, eating leftovers, buying in bulk when it makes sense, doing a freezer challenge, wearing thrifted clothes, going to the library and streaming TV.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 3:59 am

Yes – January did feel like it went on forever. So glad it is February.


Cindy in the South I February 2, 2018 at 7:48 am

Awesome score on the builder furniture!


Ellie February 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Phil the ground hog didn’t cooperate – but our Western forecaster (FooFoo the hedgehog) did. Think I’ll stick with him !


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 2, 2018 at 3:56 am

Ack, sorry to hear about your work hours. It’s these lean times that make us appreciate the good choices we make at other times.

This week:

1. Tonight we’re attending a sausage-making class. Mr. Picky Pincher got a grinder for his birthday in November, and I think learning how to use it, along with recipes, will be amazing. Plus they’re pairing the sausage with beer. 🙂

2. I rifled through a few rooms of the house and put items in our donation bin. I’m trying to declutter as a habit instead of huge purges.

3. I’m using special glasses that protect my eyes from screen glare. I used an Amazon gift card to purchase them. It’s a great long term way to protect my eye health from screen strain, since I’m on the computer so much.

4. Next week we start monthlong meal planning as a way to be more mindful of our food choices. Wish us luck!

5. I moved my investments from Acorns over to Vanguard so I don’t have to pay nearly as many fees.


Bettypants February 2, 2018 at 5:06 am

1. I worked several hours of overtime this week, for which I am paid time and a half.

2. Banana Republic had a glitch on their $50 off coupon code, which allowed it to work on a $50 order. I ordered a striped top and a pair of socks for $2.12, shipped.

3. Someone on a FB board posted books, asking if anyone wanted to swap. I traded 5 of mine (which had come from library book sales) for 5 of her Big Nate books, which my son really likes. Sold 11 Beverly Cleary/Judy Blume books for $15, for which I had paid a quarter each. I also walked down to the Little Free Library on the next block to add a couple books, and chose one picture book for my brother’s daughter.

4. The ebay buyer who opened a case for refund, complaining that the video game he bought from me was not like new, did not follow through and the case was closed. My description was accurate, saying the disc had minor scratches, but played well with no issues. People don’t read.

5. Picked up a pizza for dinner last night on my walk home, using a gift card that my office had given me awhile back.


L February 2, 2018 at 5:42 am

1. I’m working on purchasing birthday/Christmas gifts ahead of time when I find things on sale and using up old gift cards, rewards points etc. Today I purchased a bridal shower gift for a good friend…zero out of pocket cost after using Plenti points, a Macy’s merchandise credit and a MasterCard gift card I got for taking a survey.

2. Got my best friend a bunch of small items for the upcoming arrival of her first baby. Some items were new but “re-gifted” items that I had received and never used, and some were purchased from Amazon with a swagbucks gift card. Gift is valued at about $56, but I only spent $11.03!

3. Sold another item on ebay. I’m averaging about one item per week.

4. Called my dentist’s office about a bill I received for $33. They were able to write off the difference that my insurance didn’t cover.

5. Submitted $6 in grocery rebates through ibotta and checkout 51. I’m also expecting a couple bucks back from ebates for my purchases for #1 & #2.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 6:10 am

I can relate on the anti-inflammatory super sized bottles. It’s depressing to see those huge bottles sitting around and even more depressing how often I have to buy more. It’s reminiscent of when I was a counter-height child staring at my grandmother’s assorted row of various pill bottles. Way too similar view for me lately.

1. I am having oatmeal for breakfast everyday. I am doctoring up plain oatmeal with whatever I can find in the kitchen. Today I used dried cherries leftover from Christmas, some date peices, and cinnamon. It was delicious, super cheap, and healthy.
2. Last night, my two kids and I went to Subway to eat. I had a coupon for one footling for $6. I had them cut it in half so I ate a 6 inch and the kids split a 6 inch. We all ate for $6. My kids don’t eat much but they do eat often. They graze like cows..all.the.time. Luckily, I had leftover spaghetti in the fridge to snack on later.
3. I had to take my daughter to the doctor for an ear infection. The doctor gave us prescriptions for congestion and an antibiotic. I used the GoodRx app to find the pharmacy that had the antibiotic prescribed at the best price. The price varied in my area as much as $50 so its alway worth it to use the app. I didn’t get the decongestant filled as we have plenty of those already at home.
4. They are having a book fair at my kids school. My kids get sucked in to the allure of these every year and the books are so pricy! I did buy them one book and promised them we would go to the library so they can pick up a whole stack of books and return them when they get sick of them. The only reason I bought one book was to reward good behavier and good grades on the report card.
5. Hmmm, can’t seem to think of a number five. Gues I will go with the standard. No Lear jet for me.


Bee February 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Jennifer, I know that you live in the South.. If you live near a Publix with a store pharmacy, they have many prescriptions for free including amoxicillin which is often prescribed for childhood ear infections.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Wow, that is awesome! Unfortunately, I don’t have a Publix nearby. Wish Kroger would start that. Good info to know because I have had to get prescriptions filled while traveling more than a few times. Thanks!


Vickey February 3, 2018 at 8:40 am

Your #2 reminds me of the friend with two teenage athletes in the house who can’t even keep maple syrup in the fridge – it disappears like someone is drinking it. The farmer she was complaining to suggested she put up a wildlife cam.


Jennifer February 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Funny! My honey seems to disappear exactly like that. As sticky as the bottle is at times, I’m pretty sure I know who is the culprit.


Jenelle February 2, 2018 at 6:43 am

Though today is my payday, I am feeling rather “poor” because of some medical bills that are just too much for us right now. I received the “let’s set up a payment plan so you don’t go to collections” call last week, and I just don’t feel great about it. Couple that with a large electric bill (from the January deep freeze we had) I feel like my pay just isn’t going to cover it. Prayers/good thoughts are appreciated.

Because of the above expenses, I’ve been trying super hard to find ANY way to save money. (maybe even to the point of being cheap)
1. Used a free Chick Fil A sandwich coupon before church on Wed. I ended up giving that sandwich to a friend who is in way worse financial shape than me and I know she hadn’t eaten that day. I’m counting my blessings that I can always find food at home!
2. A colleague gave me a bottle of children’s gummy vitamins that her daughter will not eat, thinking that my daughter would. Turns out my daughter won’t either! So now I’m taking them! (those little buggers are tasty)
3. My son’s good sneakers needed shoe laces (silly dog ate them). I was going to stop into the Dollar General but decided to check the thrift store right next door. Good thing I did, found two brand new sets of laces for $1. I should have left right then, but I did also find brand new valentine cards for kids for $1. These will be saved for next year.
4. Our library has a basket raffle for each book you take out and return. I sometimes don’t have the time to read an entire book, but I will remember to return it on time and enter my raffle ticket.
5. packed lunches and made coffee at work!


Ruby February 2, 2018 at 7:02 am

Prayers and good thoughts going out for you. *hugs too*

Sometimes electric companies will let you make a partial payment and not ding you with charges, if you have a good customer history with them. It might be worth making a call to see if you can pay a chunk on this bill and finish catching it up next month.

We have been there and done that with having to get on payment plan for hospital bills. It is not happy feeling to owe the money, but in our two experiences there weren’t any interest charges tacked on, so that was good in the long run.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 8:39 am

So many of us are feeling the squeeze from the higher utility bills of January, so you are not alone. I am doing much better than I have in the past, but not too many years ago, I had hospital billing calls several times a day trying to set up payment plans to the point that I felt like I was promising away every spare penny. I also felt as though I was drowning due to how many bills were owed. I am proof that over time this will get better. It is very slow and seems unbearable in the thick of it but you will gradually chip away at the medical debt and get your head above the water. I will keeps you in my thoughts.


Christine February 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm

That was so sweet of you to give your friend the sandwich from Chick-fil-a. I hope and pray things improve for you soon. And don’t be embarrassed about it. I’m currently making payments for a second mammogram and ultrasound after something suspicious showed up on my annual mammogram. The problem is I need a third one next month for another check up on the suspicious area. I was going to cancel the appointment until a friend told me her 50 something year old sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I figured I can handle medical bill payments rather than something worse and am keeping the appointment.


Lisa February 3, 2018 at 3:58 am

My thoughts are so with you. I too have a suspicious spot. I got my ultrasound paid for by an early detection organization (I applied at the health department) I have to have another in three months and will be on bended knee again. I had to use the emergency room in December (only used the emergency room four times my entire life and one was a broken arm when I was 12. ) The doctor charged 990.00 and because they were so busy I never made it out of triage and had 10 minutes of face time. Medical bills but you when you are at your lowest. Just hang in there


Christine February 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm

Best of luck and positive thoughts coming at ya regarding your suspicious spot. Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers going up that both of our “spots” are big nothings. I’ve heard it’s expensive to get sick…boy, is that ever right.


Jenny February 4, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Through November and December, I had the suspicious spot, a follow-up mammogram, and ultrasound, and biopsy. I was lucky and hope the same for you ladies. It’s nerve-wracking, and at a time like that, worrying about paying for this costly medical care is so stressful.

Ruby February 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

1. January has been a spendy month for us because we’ve bought some winter clothes, but we did catch great clearance sales. The Mister and I wear the same trousers and jeans year-round, so seasonal clearance is the way to go.

2. Our son is still getting over bronchitis, and I sprang for Chinese take-out last night so that he could enjoy some chest-clearing spicy-hot food. Our two $9 entrees had enough food in them to make five meals for the two of us, so we have yummy lunches for today and tomorrow.

3. Still packing my breakfast and lunch to work and drinking the free coffee. This is the first job I’ve ever had that provided free coffee. Others either didn’t have a coffee pot at all or had a coffee club we had to pay into.

4. Stopped at the CVS pharmacy to pick up a prescription and bought some cookies on sale. Had an Extra Bucks coupon that covered the cost completely, so we enjoyed free Nutter Butter cookies as dessert last night.

5. Snagged some free e-books for entertainment.


JJ February 2, 2018 at 7:00 am

1- Received the renewal bill for the service and maintenance contract for our furnace. The price jumped $75 from last year, and after a ten minute phone call they gave us a $25 “loyalty discount”. There’s now a reminder on my calendar to shop around for a new service company a month before next year’s renewal.

2- Found a misplaced Christmas gift for my nephew that will now be his birthday present.

3- Borrowed a bread baking book from a friend who’s currently doing a no-carb diet, and was also gifted some yeast to use.

4- Continued to take advantage of the “price rewind” benefit offered by our credit card company. I create an alert for goods that we’ve purchased with the card and if a lower price is found over the next 60 days they issue a credit for the difference. Sometimes the credit issued is less than $1, but is usually higher. It only takes a few minutes to set up each alert, and even though we don’t purchase many new items these days the savings add up (our 2017 refund total was just over $300).

5- Made a huge batch of chicken stock this week, and used up several bags of bones and vegetable scraps that were stashed in the freezer. As a bonus the house smelled fantastic while it was all simmering away on the stove.


Roberta February 2, 2018 at 7:31 am

1. Last week I stopped by the dollar store for movie theater candy, to bundle with movie tickets for a friend’s birthday. While I was there, I found olives and cauliflower for 99cents. MUCH better than elsewhere, so I stopped by again for veg this week. Only the cauliflower was worth it, but I saved about $4 on veg.
2. Soaked beans last night to make chili tonight, for dinner. The kids are having friends over to play games, and chili is cheaper than pizza!
3. Used up the juice from spiced pears to dress up crockpot oatmeal for breakfast. I used frozen grapes from last summer instead of raisins. I’ll use up those grapes eventually, and I won’t be freezing much next year! (Although the kids used to like to eat them like popsicles.)
4. My daughter stopped taking ballet; she’s going to explore other activities. So I’m no longer driving 30-45 min to take her to class…three times a week. I look forward to seeing how that affects our gas prices!
5. My husband took Wednesday off, mental health day. We went out to breakfast with a groupon I had purchased a while back (near ballet), then we went to the coast to watch the wildlife. The seals, sea lions and birds were all very entertaining, and the conversation was good. The last month has been *hard*, so the day was beneficial to both of us.


Crosby February 2, 2018 at 7:40 am

– I had brought $3 worth of coupons to the grocery store last week (all for things that we normally buy) and forgot to use them. So I saved the receipt and stopped by customer service the next time I was in the store to get my $3.
– A friend wanted to go out for dinner tonight but we invited her and her bf to our house instead (no dining out challenge this month!).
– For dinner we’re serving tacos with ingredients bought from Aldi (converting my partner to Aldi has been a long road but we made it!) and our guests are bringing beverages and dessert. We like the taste of ground beef for our tacos but its so much more expensive than the chicken, so we bought one package of each.
– I’m making extra taco meat to freeze and use for dinners this month.
– My partner needed photography supplies but he had enough points on his Amazon card (which is paid off every month) to cover all but $9 of the expenses.


Stephanie February 2, 2018 at 7:55 am

Frugal stuff would be things like only getting produce/milk this week and making all school lunches instead of having the kids buy. I had enough CVS extracare bucks that valentines and hair elastics were free. Used a Groupon for a consignment shop that was about to expire and the store was having a going out of business sale so we made out nicely for summer. I finished treatment in Boston so that is easily $50 per visit we are saving plus l am starting to feel a bit better which means not using as much premade stuff (like school lunch or frozen pizza).
Not so frugal was planning a family vacation this summer- l have been told to go while I can and we have paid in full.


Susie's Daughter February 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

Family vacation is such a good investment. And good on you that it is already paid in full! I hope it is a wonderful trip.


patricia February 2, 2018 at 8:51 am

Healing light, and thoughts to you. Enjoy your family time.


Cindy in the South I February 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Hope you feel better soon!


kathleen February 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Hope you feel better, Stephanie, and enjoy the vacation.


Vickey February 3, 2018 at 8:52 am

Stephanie, I hope your healing is so quick and complete that it astonishes the doctors, and that you enjoy family vacations for many years to come. {{}}


Sandra February 2, 2018 at 7:57 am

1. I had two pair of Skechers that were my favorite “go-to” everyday shoes for around the house. One pair wore out, it had been purchased used on E-Bay so it was only a fraction of the price of new and I got about a years wear out of it. I was contemplating buying another pair to replace it, but had a hard time paying full price when I came across a like new pair at SVP for $2.00. They are a perfect fit and I am so happy.

2. We have taken two loads of stuff to GW in the past two weeks. My storage closet is nearly cleaned out. Does that tell you how much accumulation we were hoarding? It feels so good, but there are other closets to be purged, too. I just have to keep going with the goal of getting back to neat and organized storage and getting rid of unused stuff that was just eating up real estate.

3. Ate out twice yesterday. It was frugal because they were both meetings that offered a meal. Others cooked, I enjoyed. What a treat.

4. Found a used book that was a replacement for a much used book that was literally falling apart. My husband was delighted. Huge savings and the book was like new.

5. We are wearing clothes from years past and enjoying them.


Lisa February 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

My frugal friday:

1. Dehydrated dill pickles and made into a powered (I took this one from a fellow poster) I’m using it on popcorn given to me by someone who grows it.

2. Uncrocked 5 gallons of sauerkraut and canned in quart containers. The only cost have been time and I will be the bell of the ball with homemade sauerkraut at the picnic.

3. Still going thru clothes for warm weather. Had a pair of jeans too far gone. Made a messenger bag from instructions on YouTube and used the leftovers to make some obvious mending on some shorts. I have not bought clothes in years. But I’m lucky I do not work outside the home.

4. I have been saving cereal and chip bags. I opened them up and I am using them for the lining for chip and cookie bags for packed lunches.

5. Taking my 80 year old mom to Disney world to meet up with her sister and daughter with grandkids. She reserved a suite which will be cheaper than reserving two rooms. The grandma’s are staying in and have already given me a list of in room meals to bring.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 8:45 am

1. That sounds really good. My daughter loves dill pickle potato chips and this would be a healthy substitute.


Christine February 2, 2018 at 9:50 am

1. I’ll be going to the library to pick up a book I had on hold today. The library is being housed temporarily in the town hall while the new one is being constructed next door to it. While there I will pay my Excise Tax at the Tax Collector’s Office, saving myself a stamp or the small fee charged for paying it online.
2. Thinking up some fun and delicious snacks for the Super Bowl using items I have here at home. Two things have come to mind already: Chicken thighs slow cooked in barbecue sauce and potato skins stuffed with cheese, sausage and sour cream.
3. Able to save more now that we have a handle on our budget and spending. Thank you Katy and fellow bloggers, for all your wonderful ideas, recipes and inspiration!
4. DH and I went on a date to a coffee and donut shop to which he had a gift card saved from Christmas 2016. The maple cinnamon bun I had and the lemon square he had were both decidedly delicious but we both agreed we don’t miss going out for and paying for coffee and treats now that we have adopted our frugal lifestyle. We’re so happy to have Three O’clock Coffee in our cozy home together now that we are both retired.
5. Tomorrow going to visit a friend who spends the winter with her daughter about an hour away. They are making lunch for all of us and I will make them a banana bread or Swedish Almond Cake…both easy to make. I will use gas money but well worth it to see old family friends.


Jenny February 4, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Swedish Almond cake sounds good. Almonds are reasonable at Aldi. Hint, hint.


Norma February 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

1. Went on a cruise (we can do this because of our frugal ways) and our on-board bill was less than $100 for a five-day cruise. Ate and drank the freebies. No sodas for me and only three drinks for my husband.
2. Came home tired and didn’t want to cook. Contemplated ordering a pizza but decided to raid the freezer instead.
3. Sent husband out to buy shoes before the cruise. He needed something comfortable. After shopping around he found the shoes he wanted at our local outlet mall for $30 less than anywhere else. He’s learning slowly but surely.
4. Need a curtain to cover up cabinets in our utility room. Will use a sheet I already have instead of purchasing curtains.
5. No gold-plated toilet seat.


tonya parham February 2, 2018 at 12:38 pm

1. Turned my heat down as I got the electric bill and it was so high that I nearly vomited. The gas heat isn’t going above 58 again this winter (we’d let it rest around 64) and there will be use of small electric heaters in the room where we are along with a liberal dose of blankets. NEVER AGAIN!

2. Went for a walk with coworkers this morning. Free socialization and good exercise. Used the hot pot to make tea I brought from home in the work book group afterward.

3. Keeping the grocery budget in line and mostly not eating ou t. (There have been a few slips but mostly, we have stayed within our means.

4. Sat down and added up all my credit cards and made a plan to pay them off this year. It won’t be easy– depending on my work, I don’t know if I can do ALL of them but I think I can do the three smallest ones and then put the money I had been spending on those toward the big ones.

5. Planning on fish tacos tonight (stuff from Aldi) and the double feature on filmstruck. The $12 we spend on that a month MORE than pays for itself.

Also, I was wondering– our washer gave out about three months ago and we ended up buying new and getting a HE washer. Since then, our water bill has doubled. I can’t figure our why but that’s the only new thing. I see no leaks around or under the house. I have run the dishwasher more, because we are eating at home, but GOLLY. I’m going to call and have the city come check for leaks on their end but I was curious as to what you all thought.

I was also curious as to how others wash dishes for the most frugal and environmentally ethical practice. (The dishwasher is ANCIENT.)


Norma February 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm

I hand wash dishes. My dishwasher is crap (came with the house) and replacing it is not a priority. Can’t understand the increase in water. I have an HE washer and it uses very little water. Hopefully the city can find a leak on their end.


Christine February 2, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Not sure what’s going on with your water but when we got a new HE washer two years ago to replace our old HE washer our water bill went down considerably. One thing I will say is that last summer we had a slow leak where the water pipe came into our house in the cellar. Turns out it was a valve. The good thing is that even though the pipe is in OUR cellar, the town owns the mechanism that was broken so they paid for the repair. So check carefully for even small amounts of leakage. There is another thing to consider unfortunately…the pipe could be leaking underground before it reaches your house. Check with the town to see where the meter is.


Bee February 3, 2018 at 3:04 am

The water company may be able to help you. I called after seeing an increase in my water bill, and they went back and counted how many days I had irrigated over the last 3 months. In the month in question, I had used my sprinklers on two extra days. They also checked my meter and so forth. The water company came by my SIL house a few days ago, because she had be flagged for excess water usage over a 48 hour period. She had accidentally left a hose running in her backyard. I had no idea that they had the capability to do all that.


KJD509 February 4, 2018 at 10:36 am

It’s true, Bee, many water utilities have software than will alert them to unexpected changes in usage. In some areas, you have to “opt in” to having your usage monitored and getting alerts, which is very helpful because there are many, many types of leaks (and forgotten hoses!) that are hard to notice until the damage to the budget is done.

Plus in areas of drought or water shortage it’s helpful to everyone. An unnoticed leak can waste thousands of gallons of water.


Deb in SD February 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm

If the flapper on your toilet is old replace it, after a few years the rubber gets hard and doesn’t seal well. I found mine was leaking slowly. I couldn’t hear it, even when I was in the bathroom, but replacing it fixed the problem at my house. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.


Melanie February 2, 2018 at 12:59 pm

1. DH repaired the thermostat on the hot water heater himself following youtube instructions – no new thermostat and no plumber needed!
2. Carpooled with DD three days this week – less gas cost and less wear and tear on the car not driven.
3. DH snagged three free bagels at the local bagel shop yesterday with a coupon.
4. Brought my lunch to work every day this week.
5. Reviewed our January bare-bones budgeting and we stuck to it! What a great feeling after a really spendy December.


ouvickie February 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Payday finally rolled around again – over a month since I got paid before Christmas. We made it though!
1) I’m paying several bills online now, so I’m saving on stamps.
2) I had been assisting my daughter with her internet payment, since she’s a college student and on a very limited budget – but getting her degree online meant she really needed internet at home. She has now moved in with her fiance’ and since he’s a software developer and doesn’t go without internet. I no longer need to assist her and will have $40 dollars to put toward my own bills now. YAHOO!!
3) I received a Big Lots coupon in my email. $10 off if I spent at least $50. No problem there. We were low on a lot of stuff. I was able to stock up on oatmeal, snacks, cat food, toilet paper, other non-perishable food supplies, facial tissue, etc. All together I spent $67 after my $10 coupon and my rewards discounts were applied. Some of what I bought will last us longer than a month. Good haul for the money I spent.
4) I just put two more audiobooks on hold at the Library. I’m finishing up one, so I should be able to pick up the others on Monday.
5) My granddaughters are spending Saturday night with me. I bought stuff to make a pasta and chicken dish and a box of Ghiradelli brownie mix in my Big Lots haul – they love helping me cook/bake. We will have plenty of snacks and food to watch the Super Bowl from our nice cozy livingroom on our own TV no expensive tickets needed. Then I’m sure I’ll have a nice cry after watching This Is Us after the Super Bowl. I already know what’s coming, but I LOVE that show.


Jennifer February 2, 2018 at 5:43 pm

5. Jack!!!


Joyce February 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Dentist visits indicate I will need to have some work done…ugh!
1. Saved 20% at drug store on my new waterpik!
2. Used $5 off coupon at the hardware store on stuff we needed
3. Started the regrout project in the kitchen, between countertop and back splash. Will probably save $50 in handyman time.
4. Really wanted a locally made yummy pie for dessert but made apple crisp instead.
5. Started making felt ornaments for daughters’ Christmas.



Teddie February 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

1. DH and I sat down and reviewed our 2018 budget. We are retired so our income is fixed. We both committed to putting an additional $100 into savings each month.
2. I prepare coffee at night so in the AM all I have to do is stagger to the coffee pot and push the brew button. Voila in 10 minutes we have coffee. The other night I prepared the coffee and inadvertently pushed the brew button so at 11 PM I had made a full pot of coffee. Turned off the pot and we reheated the coffee in the morning. Not bad.
3. Baked fish on the menu, but I had no red sauce. Did I run out to buy some? Nope, I made some. GS said it was the best red sauce ever.
4. Most of the time I make double the dinner recipe so there are leftovers, but no one but me will eat them. So now I make double the recipe and take out half and freeze. In 2 weeks everyone will be ready for a repeat and I don’t have leftovers becoming a science project in the refrigerator.
5. I need some of those $1000 “crumbs” NP referred to. DH’s truck needed some repairs to the tune of $1500. His truck is more reliable than my 17 year old car so repairs had to be done. Our car fund is now almost deplete so we must replenish ~ nix #1 ~ unless someone blesses me with those “crumbs”.


Gina in KY February 3, 2018 at 1:13 am

I am really hearing how dismal and long January has been for many here. Sending positive thoughts! You are not alone.
1. Spending the weekend out of town, but between my mom and sister , housing is free. I helped my mom around her house. I’d rather be hone, ur my son is having a medical procedure on Monday and this saves a 8 hour RT back. Other than that, none of this is frugal.
2. While helping my mom clean her house, she gave me some new tops and a jacket she no longer wants.
3. Reading an interesting library book (The Art of Butchering about Joseph Lister of Listerine fame). I’m trying to finish it before it’s due back bc it has a super long hold list which means no renewals.
4. Picking up a stockpile of Friday free items at Kroger tomorrow.
5. Bought a bag of “name brand” fill clothing for $3 to sell on eBay.
Frugal Fail: I found that a $18 Visa gift card from a store rebate had expired before I used it. I’d been saving it for something special!


Gina in KY February 3, 2018 at 1:17 am

I am terrible at cell phone posting and am doing this at 4 am due to insomnia at my sister’s house, so excuse the many typos (a few: hone=home, ur=but, fill=doll).


Michele February 3, 2018 at 9:42 am

Katie’ s comment on anti inflammatories made me laugh out loud. I can tell we are of similar age!
1. Organized freezer and took 1 thing off my Aldi list.
2. Made up a batch of my laundry soap.
3. I was beat after my full time school job last eve but went to my part time job last night and put in two hours.
4. Packed my lunch and breakfast all last week.
5. Keeping at my schedule of paying $300 a month toward our credit card….. should be paid off in September or sooner.


rebecca February 3, 2018 at 5:36 pm

yay for you and #5! It’s such a great feeling.


Vickey February 3, 2018 at 9:44 am

1. Signed up for a feee 3 mos. trial membership in a warehouse club. This comes around about once a year, and we stock up on the things we use anyway that are cheaper there.
2. Used a “$10 off $100” coupon from said warehouse club to further reduce stock-up costs.
3. Used a $2 off $10 in organics coupon at the local grocery store. Again bought only items I would buy anyway – those that are cheaper there than elsewhere.
4. In the frugal improvisation dept.: I needed a new sleep cap. The acrylic ones make my scalp itch, and I’m allergic to wool. Cotton knit caps are bulky. So I filched a silk thermal undershirt out of the mending where it had been languishing peacefully undisturbed for lo these *many* months and used it to fashion a wrap for my noggin. It looks similar to one of those hair wrap turbans from the 40’s, and now I sleep great! (My ears get cold in the winter and it wakes me up.)
5. Had a friend over for a visit. We had tasty plannedovers for lunch, worked on a sewing project for one of her community-building programs, and just generally hung out enjoying our rare time together.
6. Took the next step in changing cell providers. I’ll save $20-$30 a month. I once lost service for a few days when porting went wrong, so am shy about switching cell cos. But I’m taking courage in hand and moving forward – carefully. (And thanks again, Bee!)


Vickey February 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

1) *free*, not “feee”. Sheesh.


janine February 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

Very boring frugal winter actions. Installing new windows, expensive vacation, holiday and vet bills = a make do, use it up or do without February.
1. Getting into the habit of turning off dishwasher when it hits the drying stage to save electricity – open the door and air dry is just as effective, plus the kitchen gets a dose of hot air as I open the door.
2. Out of dishwasher soap so I scoured the cupboards beneath the sink for old boxes of no-so-good stuff. Fund two half used crappy brand boxes. Added vinegar and am hoping for the best.
3. Super bowl is in town. We plan to drive downtown to take a look at the ice palace. No $5,000 tickets for our family this year – it is clear that only the financially fortunate will be able to attend the game. However, lots of activities for everyone provided . Welcome visitors! The temperature wind chill this morning was -11F. Bring warm clothes.
4. Remembering to turn down furnace in the evening. Blankets will keep us warm.
5. No Lear or other jets purchased or rented. Local newspaper announced that renting one to arrive at the super bowl in style will cost $27,000. That’s one way. Our small downtown airport is busy this week as private jets stream in.


KJD509 February 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

Holy smokes – $27k. Never actually considered the price tag of all those Lear jets unbought, or unchartered. Wow.


Jennifer February 4, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Geez, what I could do with $27,000! So many trips, groceries, bills paid.. if I was rich, I couldn’t spend in that wasteful manner. Especially, for a ride that wouldn’t even return me to home!?! Ahhh, the many road trip vacations I could take with that kinda money.


Stephanie V February 3, 2018 at 11:16 am

1. Ate all meals at home. We used to eat out at least once a week, so this is an accomplishment for us. Especially since I’m not fond of cooking 🙂
2. Stocked up on chicken that’s on sale at a local grocery store. They have the sale about once every four to six weeks, and I load up my freezer.
3. I received a $40 prepaid online Visa for taking a survey, and I transferred it to an Amazon gift card. I was awarded a $10 bonus because we’re Prime members. I didn’t know about that perk, so it was a nice surprise. (We get our Prime membership for half price because my son is a college student.)
4. My husband dropped his phone and shattered the screen. We made a claim on the insurance we had bought. They refunded us the cost of getting it fixed, but the amount wasn’t right. It took four weeks of following up, but I finally received a check for the difference ($21.25). It’s not a lot, but it does add up!
5. We’re going on a trip for Spring Break to celebrate our youngest graduating high school. The rate on the hotel fluctuates, and I scored a better rate that saved $400 AND includes a $200 spa credit. I’m not really a spa person, so it will be an unusual treat. I’ll keep checking rates until it’s too late to cancel.


Mimi in TN February 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm

1. Hi! I am single, retired and on a tight budget but I managed to save gas money and groceries last month since I was home with the sniffles and bad weather most of the month. I have been saving to buy a used piano and when I saw one I liked I made an appointment to see it in a town about 30 minutes away. The lady had to sell it because she was being evicted and when she found out I was a retired paralegal she offered to give me the piano in exchange for me helping her get more time to move and stop the landlord’s children from harassing her. We shook hands on our barter deal and I worked 40-50 hours for her during the next few weeks. And true to her word, 2 weeks later she sent the beautiful Wurlitzer Spinet home with me! I also talked the moving company down from $200 to $125 for a move from one city to another! I am thrilled to be getting it for my bartered services and thrilled I was able to use my January grocery and gas savings to pay for the move.

2. I bought and installed The Little Grey Box at Home Depot 17 years ago when I bought and renovated my house. It allows me to flip a switch and turn off the electric water tank when I want to. I only turn on my hot water tank every other day for 30 minutes and the water heats up and stays warm for two days. It saves me over $100 a month on my electric bill.

3. I bought a dehydrator on sale at Christmas time and am taking all my garden veggies out of my freezer and dehydrating them. It is freeing up my freezer for sale items and homemade casseroles. It has saved both meal prep time and tons of money for me already cause now I can buy expensive veggies I usually can’t afford when they are marked down to pennies and dehydrate them. They keep fresh for years in jars with an oxygen absorber!

4. I only shop once a month at Krogers for whatever is on sale or marked down. Then I repackage things and cook pots of soup and stews in the crockpot to freeze. Yesterday I bought baby Organic Portabella Mushrooms marked down at Kroger from $4.79 a box to $1.05 a box. I also got several boxes of Organic Button Mushrooms marked down from $3.99. to $1.35 each. It took me 2 hours to clean and chop them today but now I have 5 racks in the dehydrator and 6 ziplock bags of mushroom pieces and stems in butter sauce to go in the freezer. I also found 2 pounds of the best ground beef in the store marked down for quick sale so I will cook it later this afternoon, rinse it under hot water and sit it out to dry. Before I go to bed I will put it in the dehydrator and when I wake up it will be ready to use in 4 MRE meals I will make and add to my pantry stockpile. I love to keep at least a 30 day supply of Meals in a Jar in my pantry for emergency usage. The dehydrated beef you order online in the #10 cans are $50 so I will save $43 on my do-it-myself afternoon project!

5. Every Friday I get electronic coupons from Redbox for $1.25 off a $1.50 rental so I rent several movies every other weekend for $ 0.25 each. They also reward me with a free movie rental after I rent 10 movies so every six weeks I get a free movie.


Christine February 4, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Thanks for letting me know about The Little Grey Box at Home Depot. I’ve never heard of it but will look into it now.


Vickey February 5, 2018 at 8:44 am

Welcome, Mimi! I love your barter examples!


Vickey February 5, 2018 at 11:19 am

(And that you’re another food preserver.)


rebecca February 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm

1. Paid cash to fill my gas tank and saved .5 a gallon.
2. Been collecting a lot of twigs and small branches for my fire pit during summer and fall months.
3. Ate dinner at my parents tonight.
4. I have cooked and eaten in/leftovers for lunch all week. The same with bringing coffee and tea.
5. Even though it is so cold my heat stays at 64.


FrugalAussie February 5, 2018 at 12:46 am

1. I’m really loving our library, especially since retiring. I get so many latest release or recommended books and DVDs and now they have just agreed to purchase a new publication I’ve suggested that is selling for $85.
2. Brought fuel today. We’re fortunate to have a govt websites that sends daily notifications of local fuel prices. Monday is always the cheapest and we went to the petrol station selling the cheapest today. When I went to pay I was offered another 4c/L off if I spent $5. I already had one milk @$2/2L, resisted the chocolates and icecreams and brought another 4L milk, so paid 50% less than usual. It’s a lot of milk for us but we do have some freezer space, so a bargain I couldn’t resist.
3. On impulse, dropped into the local Turkish restaurant for bread. Usually it’s $4 but they only had day old at $2. I usually toast it anyway so I brought two.
4. Resisted buying craved for icecream all day. I didn’t buy at the petrol station or when I walked right past a supermarket. Thankfully, after about 5 hours the urge has finally passed.
5. Dinner tonight is a cheapie. Pasta with Pesto made with basil and rocket from our garden with bargain feta, corn cobs which are really cheap at the moment (it’s Summer where I live) and salad made from the garden too. So much carbs today but I’m feeling the need for comfort food. Tomorrow, steak. Brought half price, of course!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: