Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 5, 2018 · 155 comments

  1. My friend Lise and I took a spur of the moment trip to the nearest Goodwill Outlet for some thrifting and middle-aged lady bonding hijinks. Lise bought a duvet cover, some jeans and a few other items. I bought a Heywood Wakefield(ish?) table, a Pink Floyd concert T-shirt, a pair of cashmere socks, a sweater and an ancient rusty cast iron skillet. (Which cleaned up spectacularly!) I documented the trip on my Instagram HERE.

  2. I sold a pair of sneakers on eBay and then I listed my freshly scrubbed and seasoned cast iron skillet on Facebook Marketplace. It goes without saying that I used secondhand packaging supplies for the shoes. I even arranged a free USPS pickup to avoid a trip to the post office!

  3. I spent the weekend laying low at the house. Sometimes I feel kind of guilty that I mostly just hunker down at home, but it’s a dark and drizzly time of year that offers zero outdoor temptation. (Besides, there’s nothing more frugal than snuggling up under a blanket and partaking from what I already have at home.) But instead of guilt, I choose to reframe it as hygge and simply embrace my lazy indoorsy lifestyle.

  4. I worked Friday and brought leftovers for lunch, I renewed my Chinook Book coupon app, (which will save me more than the $15 I spent on it) I cooked up a large batch of Dollar Tree pinto beans in the crock pot for burritos, I scheduled a dental appointment as preventative care saves big bucks in the long run and I accepted an invitation to be treated to lunch by my father.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 155 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie W February 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

We will be visiting Portland this summer. Looks like there is a free 30 day trial for the Chinook book app. Looks like it might be worthwhile to check it out.


Roberta February 6, 2018 at 7:17 am

Thanks, Leslie. We’ll be passing through Portland as well this summer — I’ll check it out!


Vickey February 5, 2018 at 11:31 am

1. Opened a bank account that will yield a $300 bonus for 90 days’ good standing and a couple of other easy requirements. Made *sure* we understood the requirements so we can collect the $300 and close the account on Day 91 (or thereabouts).
2. Did not bring home the el mondo bag of blue corn chips from wholesale club. Took them for a ride around the store in my cart, then tenderly returned them to their friends on the shelf.
3. It’s been 6 wks. since I succumbed to the call of the blue corn chip sirens…but I can still hear their song late at night.
4. Made spicy curried soup from the last of the big batch of cooked garbanzos, along with hot peppers from the garden last summer, a handful of coconut shreds thrown in to make its own coconut milk in the pressure cookered soup, fall purchased garlic & onions, leftover veggie tidbits, etc.
5. Working from home, as I do 99.9% of the time. Wearing sweats, socks, ankle warmers (I cut the tops off DH’s worn out heavy duty socks), three layers up top, and a throw over my lap for extra warmth.


Terri February 5, 2018 at 11:59 am

“Took them for a ride around the store in my cart” Hahaha, I love this!!!


Ava February 5, 2018 at 12:49 pm

I sometimes take Goodwill items for a ride, then return them to the shelf. They seem to enjoy it.


Vickey February 5, 2018 at 10:55 pm



Marilyn February 5, 2018 at 8:37 pm

With regard to the 90-day deal at your bank, you might want to make sure they mean 90 actual days and not 90 business days. I am saying this because I recently signed on to a similar deal and it turned out that weekends and holidays did not count toward the 90-day requirement. This made the holding time quite a bit longer than I anticipated. It was still a good deal, just not quite as good as I thought originally.


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 8:31 am

Thanks! I’ll check with them to be sure.


Lazyretirementgirl February 6, 2018 at 7:51 am

How did the coconut shreds thing work out? Sounds like a genius — both culinary and NCA— idea if it works. Inquiring minds want to know…


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 8:36 am

Works great! Not my brainchild – got it from a vegetarian pressure cooking cookbook. The more you put in, the richer it is, of course. I can’t tolerate very much satfat (not even plant-based), so just a small handful is enough to flavor it without making it too rich. That also helps avoid the BPA-lined cans, and it must take less energy to transport dry shreds to market than single-use cans full of heavy liquid, yah?


Lindsey February 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm

WOW!! Thanks so much for this tip!!


WilliamB February 7, 2018 at 7:46 am

I do your #2 as well – before I buy, I reconsider whatever is in my cart. For clothes, this lets me compare similar items; for food, this lets me decide if I really want that junk food.

I like the idea of your #5 – something useful to do with worn-out SmartWool socks. These are high quality, pricy, and make lousy rags.


Jenelle February 5, 2018 at 11:32 am

1. My church hosted a chili cook off for the Super Bowl and though I didn’t officially enter the cook off, I did take two different soups for all to enjoy. One of these was a frozen soup that my husband cooked last week (and I didn’t like). At least nothing was wasted!

2. The chili cook off was a fundraiser for our church’s youth group, but I did pass on buying tickets to “Vote” for my favorite chili. There was no pressure to buy tickets and no one made me feel bad about it.

3. Hubby worked this weekend, so other than church and one trip to our thrift store, we stayed home. Gas savings.

4. I didn’t intend to do any shopping this weekend, but my oldest decided that he “needed” envelopes for his valentine’s day cards. And there is no way I was fighting with him over that (with a 5 year old, you have to pick your battles!), so off to the thrift store we went. I found a pack of small envelopes for $.90. I should have stopped there, but I did look around a little bit and found a brand new Penn State puzzle that I put away for my FIL for next Christmas.

5. Because the Eagles’s won the Super Bowl, Dunkin Donuts gave away free coffee this morning. I treated myself to an iced coffee!


FrannyandDanny February 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

Eating Home Brand porridge and Home Brand sultanas for breakfast.
Free lunch and recess meals at work one day.
Becoming a one car family.
Staying in and reading.
Eating windfall apples
Blogging to keep me focussed.


Sandra February 5, 2018 at 11:55 am

If it’s the little things that count then I have lots of savings for this week.

1. Cooked all meals and snacks out of our pantry and freezer.
2. We carry our own drinks with us when we go out so that we’re not tempted.
3. I made lunch for friends using only things I already had on hand.
4. Cleaned out another car load from my storage closet. It seems to be a bottomless pit, but I know I’m making headway. There are empty shelves now. This is pay it forward savings.
5. Wearing thrifted clothes and looking great….at least that’s what my friends tell me.


Terri February 5, 2018 at 11:56 am

Wow, that cast iron skillet is GORGEOUS!! I love finding cast iron at the Goodwill Outlet, I’ve never been able to part with them though. Today I am up to the usual frugal stuff, drying my dishes by hand, hanging up laundry to dry, cooking dinner, etc. Nothing too exciting, but it’s the boring stuff that saves us the big bucks. I’ve been blogging my frugal accomplishments daily at my blog:


Tracy February 5, 2018 at 12:03 pm

1. Purchased fancy cheeses and crackers at Grocery Outlet to make a gorgeous appetizer platter (with nuts, grapes, salami, olives, dried fruit) for a super bowl party we went to. SO MUCH FOOD there that little of it got eaten so happily brought it all home again. Will enjoy over next couple of weeks and can also bring for lunches! Also took a dozen deviled eggs (24 halves) and a tray of “wienie wraps” (made using a package of little smokies leftover from the holidays that I’d thrown in the freezer and a roll of crescent rolls bought for very cheap also at GO). All told I spent maybe $25 for the party food and have tons of leftovers. I also stayed within grocery budget even with these “extras.”
2. Daughter has a one day volleyball tourney this weekend two hours away. Many families are staying in a hotel the night before. We will get up at the crack of dawn to drive there and back, avoiding restaurant and hotel costs. She has a couple other tourneys coming up that are multi-day where she will stay in a hotel with teammates so we will resist her entreaties this time.
3. Upped my savings rate again. Am approximately 4 years out from retirement so it’s time to get VERY aggressive with the savings.
4. Am entertaining Friday — working on a menu that will: feed 14, including one or two vegetarians; look pretty; be easy to prepare; not break the bank; and be able to make most ahead. Am thinking Greek and will purchase some items (baba ghanooj, hummous, pita bread, olives and spanakopita) and make others (rosemary and garlic pork roast, big Greek Salad)
5. Son has a second interview for a job today — am working to get him self-sufficient financially at least for a year or two until he is ready to tackle school more seriously.


Crosby February 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

– Listed a dog crate that we never used on our local Buy Nothing page and it was picked up by a woman who is just starting to foster dogs for a local organization.
– 5 days into February and I haven’t bought a meal out (DH suggested a no-dining out month. He’s struggled a bit more than me but still we’re doing well).
– I avoided going to a thrift store since I don’t need anything and am trying to be verrrrry frugal this month.
– Went to visit a friend who lives a 3 hour drive from me and her new baby. Paying for the gas wasn’t frugal, but seeing my best friend and her growing family was amazing. She is also just as practical as I am so she really appreciated the diapers that I had stockpiled last month with coupons as her “new baby” gift. She has more than enough clothes and gear from her first child and both sets of grandparents are always giving them more of that sort of thing.
– I have a 3 and a half hour class tonight so I brought food from home for the class, as well as a travel mug for water so I’m not tempted to get takeout on the way home.


Nancy from mass February 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

1. Haven’t gone anywhere since last Wednesday, except for urgent care on Thursday when my fever spiked. Turns out I have the flu.
2. Been eating what I have at home, which is mainly toast and some scrambled eggs. DS has been making steak and rice for himself.
3. DS had to pick up my prescription for Tamiflu and because I haven’t had one filled in years, they didn’t have my insurance info. When I feel better later this week, I’ll go to the pharmacy and give them my card so I can get a refund.
4. Had DS pick up a book I requested from the library.
5. Watched the Super Bowl with DS last night. DH grew up outside of Philly, so although I’m a patriots fan, I’m also kind of an Eagles fan too. I’m happy they won. Although they could’ve done without damaging any part of the city!


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 9:44 am

Nancy, I hope you recover quickly and fully. {{}} Maybe DS can pick up a bottle of elderberry syrup for you? Quick recovery from this season’s nastiness sounds cost-effective.


A. Marie February 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm

FFT, Ignoring the Super Bowl Edition:

(1) DH and I were loyal to our proud almost-40-year tradition of Ignoring the Super Bowl. (One of the many reasons I married my darling was that he’s even less interested in professional sports than I am. Think of the money we’ve saved over the years this way…)

(2) The weather Sunday was also not favorable for going anywhere, so I put shoulder to wheel and nose to grindstone on getting our tax paperwork ready for our accountant. I consider having someone else do the taxes a “good spend,” but we still have to get our act together for her.

(3) Items 1 and 2, incidentally, are good examples of how Your Mileage May Vary. Others out there might not dream of missing a Super Bowl party, but might consider it the height of folly not to do their own taxes. Different frugal strokes for different frugal folks–and I’ve always considered tolerance a Frugal Thing in the long run.

(4) After I’d gotten as far as I could with the tax stuff (we are still missing a necessary document or two), I got some dried herbs down from the attic and ground them. I give dried herbs as gifts, and I always like to have a made-up set or two on hand. Besides, it’s free aromatherapy!

(5) Finally, we enjoyed the first library book sale of 2018 at our favorite FFL on Saturday. Fellow NCA’er Barbara not only greeted me, but handed me two books she knew would be of interest to me or other members of my Literary Society! Thank you again, Barbara!


Cindy in the South I February 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Love your term “how your mileage may vary”!!!!!


A. Marie February 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Cindy, I’d love to take credit for it, but it’s not mine. (In fact, I think it even gets abbreviated to YMMV out on the Web.) And hang in there through the various tough times you’ve described in recent comments, m’dear.


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 8:43 am

Re your #1: Score!! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) 😉
I’m also not a sports fan, and at least DH finds no-cost ways to satisfy his sports passion. The internet makes that much easier than it used to be.


Cindy in the South I February 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm

1. I made mulberry tea from free mulberries. I took leftover chicken, spices, sauteed leftover turnip greens and onions (in my cast iron skillet), added rice, cheese, leftover yogurt and leftover homemade dressing, and made a casserole. I know it sounds odd but it worked. I also made lemon penne pasta, from The Prudent Homemaker’s recipes, except I used yogurt instead of sour cream, regular spaghetti because that is what I had, and lemon juice from a bottle, instead of fresh, because that is what I had. I did have the parm. cheese she called for…lol . It was good. I took my lunch to work….actually, I just leave bread, mayo, and sandwich meat at work and make a sandwich at lunchtime, because I am half asleep in the mornings. I went in to Walmart, and walked out without buying anything because of the crowds. I do not “do” long lines.
2. I walked at the free park by the river after our torrential rains stopped.
3. I listened to the radio. This was no small feat because, due to my “graceful” falling down on it, the antenna on the radio broke. This radio was free. I do not want to pay for one. So, I propped the antenna up, used duct tape to put it back where it once was attached to the radio, and carried on as if nothing happened.
4. I took a nap during the rains. I find at my age, I will use any excuse for a nap.
5. I combined sightseeing with a trip to my grandchild’s birthday party. It was two hours away and I had never been to this area. Lovely place, and looked like somewhere I might be interested in retiring to in a couple of years. I looked at the housing prices, and decided I would continue just sight seeing in this area.


Bee February 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm

There is nothing more restorative than a nice long nap on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


Christine February 7, 2018 at 2:37 pm

So true. Love Sunday afternoon naps.


gina February 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm

i came upon a website you all might enjoy. it is


Jenelle February 5, 2018 at 1:10 pm

She often leaves comments here….look above


Sarah D February 5, 2018 at 12:46 pm

1. Saturday afternoon was warm and sunny, so we vacuumed out the car and washed it. $0 for a nice clean car.
2. Cleaned my own house while listening to an audiobook from the library. $0 for a nice clean house.
3. Bought the sanding attachment for a dremel (borrowed from my dad) to file the dog’s nails. Saves $9 for every visit to the groomer. Now I need to give the dog a bath (would have been $0 for a nice clean dog!).
4. Instead of watching the Super Bowl and being tempted by all those ads, my family and I took a 12-mile bike ride in the fresh air. Sure, we stopped for ice cream (for my daughter) and beer (for the adults) but we were also given a $10 gift card from the brewery because all the nearby food places were closed (for the game) and we couldn’t order the sweet potato fries we’d all been looking forward to during the first 10 miles of the ride!
5. Finally *maybe* have a lead on selling a shed we posted on craigslist. We wanted $500 but the first few respondents tried to offer us ridiculously low $ so we walked away. I think we have someone interested for $375 so I think we’ll take it.


Mand01 February 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

1. We had impromptu guests for dinner to watch the cricket final. I made chicken and black bean burrito bowls and homemade salsa using our garden produce, and zucchini brownies and strawberries for dessert.
2. Had dinner at my parents.
3. Working from home 2 days this week.
4. Using the last of this crop of homegrown tomatoes to make a pasta sauce for dinner tonight. I have more tomatoes coming on but they will not be ready for quite a while.
5. My youngest and I cooked brownies, cookies and muffins before the heat came back, so we have lots of delicious snacks in the house. We used peaches and zucchini from the freezer that came from my garden and our friend’s garden, making the cost very low.


Kathy Hairston February 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Used my birthday freebies to get a pastry from Panera, won tons from pick up stick, dessert from corner bakery cafe.
Redeemed $10 g/c and class action law suit coupon to Chico’s and got a new T-shirt for zero.
Used Macy’s g/c cards, plenti points to buy new bras and a shirt $3.29 out of pocket
Free socks from DSW using $5 birthday coupon
Ate from pantry and refrigerator for super bowl supper


Madeline Kasian February 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm

1. Super-bowled at home. Recuperating for respiratory thingy and did not have energy to attend anyone’s events. Was still really FUN, as I am from PHILLY!!!!!!!! WOO!! HOO!!!! Me and DH Ate frozen pizza spiffed up with anchovies, and a salad. In front of TV.

2. Kayaked at local lake for fun and “bonding!” this morning , LOL!! We own the kayak already, the drive is about 40 minutes up a gorgeous road through Sonoran Desert. Priceless day! Came HOME to eat late lunch.

3. Lamented outloud about my refrigerator, that came with this house.Husband said “Do you REALLY want a new refrigerator?? ” (I cook a LOT!) I said “NO! “Don’t listen to me.This fridge is ok for 2 people..we do NOT need a new refridge.” In Two of my houses I had the luxury of beautiful Sub Zeros.. when downsizing, lost that.. but, AM FINE!! We have a GREAT Kitchen Aid fridge which is QUIET and that is important.AND IT STILL WORKS! My kitchen is awesome, the refrigerator will serve us till it dies!!!! (retirement sure changes priorities..)

4. Husband crawled under sink to fix the RO system faucet which was getting funky, instead of calling for “help” saved beaucoup $$$ . Nothing like having a handy MAN around the house!! (Thanks to Father in law Ed for teaching his boys well!!!!)

5. I made 10 greeting cards with my on-hand craft some birthdays and other things coming up– my crafting hobby means I NEVER buy a greeting card and I get a great kick out of the response when folks receive a personalized,hand-crafted card. PLUS,I get to be

6. Lazy tonight–defrosted a container of “gravy” from the Giada recipe I make.. last one in freezer, will have angel hair and sauce and salad tonight.. need to make a new batch later this week. It makes FOUR batches (for 2 of us with leftovers..) One cook= 4 meals.Way to go!!


Teresa Young February 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm

I love making greeting cards too ! I agree that it is a win-win hobby.


kathleen February 6, 2018 at 11:15 am



Teddie February 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

1. Working diligently on Swagbucks to get a $25 gc for $22.
2. Working diligently on surveys too to cash in a $25 gc.
3. GS who is on Medicaid was prescribed Tamiflu when I was down and out with the flu. DH got his script at the walk-in clinic when he took me bc I already had the nasty bug. So ~ had to make a pedi appointment for GS, got the script, DH took it to get filled and was told would take 5-10 business days to get approved! No, that would be too late so he paid the $130 to get the meds. I have appealed and am keeping my fingers crossed we will receive a refund. I have kept all the paperwork.
4. No eating out or fast food so far in 2018 except for watching the Super Bowl when we splurged for Subway sandwich to share.
5. GS had dentist appointment and we were advised he will need braces in the next 6 mos to 1 year. I checked around and the least expensive I could find for braces requires a $1200 down payment. (Medicaid does not cover braces.) Oh Nancy, those $1000 “crumbs” would be very helpful.


MommaL February 5, 2018 at 1:52 pm

1. Went to a friend’s house for a potluck Superbowl party, byob and brought a cheesy spinach bacon dip, using what I had. Allrecipes to my rescue again!
2. Was gifted a dozen fresh eggs at work from a friend who has chickens.
3. Sending that same friend coupons after I’d clipped what I wanted from the inserts in my Sunday paper.
4. Brought some of the dip home (there was a LOT of food at the party!), mixed it with egg and made a nice casserole for dinner.
5. Wearing my son’s long wool coat and some gifted/secondhand leather gloves in this chilly weather.
Frugal Fail: Will write to a company today that their coupons, printed from their website, wouldn’t scan at the grocery store. Its not my printer, all of the other ones I printed scanned.


Linda February 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

1. Made frozen raspberries into jam, using recycled jars.
2. Traded a jar of the jam for purple runner beans from our neighbour’s garden.
3. My brilliant husband is making a new set of garden chairs, using recycled wood from his stash, and templates taken from the old chairs.
4. Made a funky cushion cover from my husband’s more colourful old ties.
5. Made lemon cordial from our backyard lemon tree.


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

:sigh: It’s so lovely to hear of summertime frugalness while it’s snowin’ & blowin’ up here in the Cold North.


Jennifer February 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

1) Had to go out of town this weekend for an 8 am gymnastics meet start time. Waited to leave until after dinner. Packed breakfast to eat at the hotel. Only ate out lunch.
2) I booked said hotel above on Priceline at the last minute for only $63.
3) Stuck to my list at Wal-Mart, found a $3 off coupon there for the makeup I needed and while tempted by the Ben & Jerry’s I decided I didn’t want or need to pay $4 for a pint of too much cholesterol and calories. I am not always this strong, but today I was. Came home and entered my receipt in Ibotta and got back $4.50 on things I would have bought anyway.
4) Dug around the freezer and found some yellow wax beans from last summer’s garden that we are having for dinner tonight.
5) While dinner is cooking I am making a batch of muffins for our breakfast tomorrow. Much cheaper than cereal and will be ready to grab when we come downstairs.


Ava February 5, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Lots of little things:
1. Saved .50 a gallon on gas with grocery points.
2. Used a $25.00 gift card from Swagbucks for a Walmart order.
3. Lost the receipt for a Heartguard medicine rebate. Asked for another copy when I was in the vet’s office next. Have it ready to mail.
4. Was ready to buy my usual $1 apiece valentines for grandkids. (Used to find them for 2 for a $1 but no more.) It occurred to me that the cash enclosure is much more fun for them than the actual card, so for $1, I bought a multi-pack meant for classrooms. I have an 8 yr supply now!
5. Was absolutely horrified to receive the highest electric bill ever after 2 weeks of frigid temps. The thermostat was already at 68, but I lowered it another 2 degrees. Some parts of the house are still tolerable and others are freezing. Oh well.
6. Some friends told us about a lumber mill that puts its scraps in the parking lot for anyone who wants to pick them up. We made an excursion and left with 2 enormous bags and a tub full of pieces for kindling. Some may be big enough for craft projects. We will be going back. One man was there with a van full of buckets and bags. He said he is a frequent visitor to help with his heating bill.
7. Made a dog toy from a .99 pair of jeans. It lasted about an hour, which is as long as most store toys last. I will use the 2 pockets for Christmas ornaments which will sell at the fall fairs.


Isitaneedorawant February 5, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Yeah Ava on the Valentine’s Day cards.
My kids are in their 20’s. Probably over 20 years ago at our church rummage sale I picked up packages of valentines from the 1960’s. If I remember 10 cents a piece and I must have had well over a dozen packages. They were the kind I received as a child.
Appears I have a lifetime amount. I intend on giving these to future grandchildren.I my children a valentine , a personal letter and a bit of $.
Who doesn’t enjoy a letter via snail mail?


Lisa Parrish February 5, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say that you might want to check those Valentine packages on Ebay. It may pay to sell them there at a nice profit as some of the old cards go for good money. You just have to research on Ebay. Then you could purchase cards and still have a nice profit. Just an idea.


Christine February 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I loved your comment about the dog toy lasting about an hour! Reminded me of my daughter’s dog who can decimate a toy in about the same of time. .99 is cheaper than buying the store-bought dog toys. Good use for old jeans.


Su Mama February 5, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Ava, how do you transform jeans pockets into Christmas ornaments?


Ava February 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

I will paint a snowman face on them, put a wire hanger on and fill the open top with artificial greenry and berries. Not my original idea-I saw it on Pinterest.


Jennifer February 6, 2018 at 5:23 am

Oh, how cute! I was about to ask the same question. I am always looking for a new Christmas ornament project that uses stuff I am going to throw out.


Katy in Africa February 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm

1. I signed up for my reader rewards club. I already have enough points to get a free book, but haven’t picked one yet. Anybody use this? What’s your experience?
2. I was disappointed that our last stove’s gas tank didn’t quite last 5 weeks. So I decided its time to go back to using the solar heater for some of our water heating.
3. I put water in my almost used shampoo bottle and shook it up. I’ve gotten 2 more uses out of it.
4. I’m scraping toothpaste out of a cut open almost used tube of tooth paste. Usually when I do this with toothpaste, I get so many more uses out of it, I loose count.
5. I bought a used T-shirt at the market for 150 CFA, I think that’s around 50 cents US.


Jenny February 5, 2018 at 7:48 pm

What’s the Reader Reward Club?


Katy in Africa February 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Mary in VA February 6, 2018 at 9:26 am

Re: #4, it’s amazing how much more toothpaste you can get out of the tube by cutting it open at the point where other folks would throw it away. I’ve easily gotten another week’s worth of toothpaste by doing that.


ouvickie February 8, 2018 at 8:45 am

I do the same. I get every bit possible out of tubes and bottles. Otherwise, I feel like I’m wasting it!


KJD509 February 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

1) All of you minimalists will be appalled by this, but when my daughter got a call Friday late afternoon from her new boss (started today!) saying, “Oh, did we tell you about the dress code? No bare legs, no denim,” I dug in the back of my closet, found dozens of packages of nylons that will work for her as she’s tall like I am, and passed them along. Those puppies never once sparked joy, but wow am I glad we didn’t have to buy her any.

We did buy a few straight-off-the-rack jackets and pairs of pants, alas. Everything was on sale, but it certainly was consumerist. Thrift stores are hit or miss when you’re as tall as she is, and she needed to move 400 miles over the weekend, so an hour in the mall felt like our only option.

Also – nylons? I didn’t think you could even buy those any more, much less that there are offices anywhere in the world that require them. I’m feeling very grateful for the super relaxed dress code at my office right now.

2) Am eating like a toddler. The pantry and freezers seem to be full of stuff that makes sauce-over-rice style meals. . . so that’s what I’m eating. It’s really boring, but better than either packing or giving away all that food.
3) Hubs is home with Littlest, who’s fighting the non-flu virus that’s going around. Grateful for his flexible office, too, as a day of care is really not in the budget right now.
4) Reheating coffee every other day, packing and cleaning the house myself (slowly), bringing breakfast and lunch to work, rewearing jeans to work before I wash them, keeping the heat very low while I’m out of the house, and watering houseplants with abandoned water glasses.
5) No Lear jet, no gold-plated toilets.


Mand01 February 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Jeez, who’s her boss, Don Draper?


Jenelle February 6, 2018 at 5:28 am

Not to sound sexist or ageist….but it sounds like an older man took over. Thank goodness my office doesn’t require pantyhose!!


kathleen February 6, 2018 at 11:29 am

Don Draper…HA! 🙂


KJD509 February 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm

You’d think it was some old sexist guy, right? Nope. Mid-30s woman owns the business and runs the office. I’m flummoxed by the dress code (and really grateful I don’t have one like it).

One the other hand, she’s getting paid well for a fresh-out-of-college job and at least she didn’t have to pay for the dang nylons.


MW February 6, 2018 at 6:54 am

Nylons. . . ugh. . . That said, as a tall woman myself, I understand the pain of trying to find long pants at thrift stores. Despite regular searching, I rarely find them. Even rarer are non-denim long pants. . .


KJD509 February 6, 2018 at 12:31 pm

Exactly. Makes me feel really virtuous for all you other tall ladies when I donate something.


MommaL February 7, 2018 at 7:26 am

YES! So many pants are hemmed too short at thrift stores!


Cindy in the South I February 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm

I have to wear suits for jury trials and we (women lawyers) have not had to wear nylons for court for about the last 10 years and I am almost 58….wow. Our dress code is fairly strict. We do wear nylons in the winter time, but not in the summer….I am dumbfounded.


Mand01 February 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm

I’m a manager in a corporate company. Maybe because it’s Australia and stockings would be unbearable in our weather, but that is not our dress code either.


ouvickie February 8, 2018 at 8:42 am

I’m grateful we don’t have a dress code anymore. I choose to wear khakis and black slacks, so I can coordinate tops with them. Occasionally I wear skirts, but they are long skirts and I wear boots with them.
If she has to wear skirts, suits and heels, I feel for her. I feel blessed that’s not required anymore. I threw my nylons out a long time ago and I don’t miss being tortured by those awful things!!


Diane February 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

I think that is a Heywood Wakefield table. My parents had 2 just like that and they were Heywood Wakefield.


Bee February 5, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I thought that it might be too. Early Heywood-Wakefield had paper labels which often came off. It is lovely.


Joanie February 6, 2018 at 9:32 pm

I don’t see any table. Also, there was a comment about Katy’s purse. Don’t see that either. Is this possibly on Facebook?


Vickey February 6, 2018 at 9:53 pm

There was a link in Katy’s post to her Instagram account, where she posted a pic of the table.


Joanie February 7, 2018 at 5:26 am

Thanks, Vickey. I should have thought to check Katy’s post…guess I was too anxious to read through all the comments, which are always so interesting.

Christine February 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm

1. SIL saw my three gallons of milk sitting on his back steps when he got home from work. I had shopped at Market Basket right before going to his house to babysit my grandchildren so left them on the back steps to keep them cold. He asked if he could have one as they had run out of milk. Then he asked if I wanted to trade four fresh grapefruits from Florida for the milk. Yes please.
2. We’re going to see granddaughter’s home basketball game one town over on Wednesday afternoon. Free entertainment and we get to see her.
3. Eating down the cupboards, freezer and fridge.
4. Going to see an elderly friend in nursing home/rehab tomorrow. I wanted to get her flowers or some kind of something to cheer her. I got a free Reader’s Digest in the mail yesterday as they attempt to snag me as a customer. (I now get all my magazines from the library) I will give it to her as I think she’ll get more pleasure out of that than flowers.
5. While we are at granddaughter’s basketball game there will be a pot roast simmering in the crockpot waiting for us for supper. Instead of using the packet of pot roast flavoring I’ve used for years, I’m trying something a friend told me about. She uses a packet of brown gravy mix and she said it comes out great. It is cheaper. I’m going to take it a step further (sorry Esther) and use the gravy mix I buy in a spice bottle for .99. Will let anyone who is interested how it turns out.


Christine February 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

P.S. Forgot to say I need only 3 tablespoons of the gravy mix so it will cost only pennies.


Alexandra @ February 6, 2018 at 4:41 am

Here is a recipe for a GREAT pot roast. It is modified from a Hints from Heloise recipe in the newspaper.


Christine February 6, 2018 at 9:31 am

Thanks Alexandra! Will try it in the future. Looks very easy…my kind of meal.


Miranda February 5, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Katy, what brand is your purse? Love it!!


Katy February 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm

It’s a “Queen Bee” purse that I bought from a consignment shop.


Bee February 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Sending my best wishes to all that have been unwell. What a terrible flu season we have had!
1) I went to an estate/ downsizing sale this past weekend. There were 3 bedrooms in the house with large walk-in closets overflowing with clothes. Four portable 8-foot racks had been set up in the master bedroom to accommodate the clothing that would not fit in the closets. There were also shoes, belts, handbags, and scarves. Most were new with tags.
In order to clear the house of clothing, the company conducting the sale had a bag day. Everything you could fit in a 13-gallon trash bag cost $10. Although many items were too large, I was able to find 3 pairs of PJs, a bathrobe, a bathing suit cover up, an oversized cardigan,a dressy sweater set, two t-shirts, a silk tunic, a scarf, a suede sheep skin lined vest and 4 beautiful leather belts.

2) I roasted a turkey this weekend. I divided the remaining meat into small servings and froze the carcass to make into broth later. I bought the turkey at Thanksgiving to eat later. We did not have turkey at all over the holidays, so we really enjoyed it.I also made a batch of beef stock and a pot of vegatable beef soup to use up the leftover veggies.

3) I sold two items on eBay this weekend and have a few new items to list tomorrow. The listings have expired on three of the items that I am selling. Since I have relisted these several times, I am considering donating them instead of trying again. Selling online can be a strange thing. One of the items that hasn’t sold is a women’s Nike Dri-fit quarter zip pullover NWT. It retailed at $79. I had it listed for $12 –can’t figure it out?

4) I had lunch at Panera with a friend today received $1 off my beverage. I stopped at Staples to buy packing tape and used a $5 coupon. I used digital coupons to save $4.50 this weekend at the grocery store.

5) I am reading a library book and watching the BBC’s Midsomer Murders on Netflix. Since the sun was out today –which made me extremely happy– I did some gardening. I am sadly staying away from the gym,because of flu fears. (Sigh)



Jennifer February 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm

1. Nice score at the sale.


Christine February 5, 2018 at 7:52 pm

You hit the clothing jackpot at the $10 a bag sale. Good for you!


Mary in VA February 6, 2018 at 9:41 am

I lucked into a bag sale at the hospital thrift store. Not quite as good as your estate sale, but $15 for everything that would fit into a paper grocery bag. The per-item cost ended up being about $1.25, which included a Calvin Klein dress. Years ago I learned the secret to stuffing a bag full of clothes: roll the clothes, don’t fold them. Roll each item tightly, like you’re rolling a crepe, lol. You can get a lot more items in that way!


Christine February 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for the tip Mary!


Marybeth February 7, 2018 at 9:11 am

On the eBay items. I would leave them a little longer. January is usually my slowest month. I think people are shell shocked after they realize what the spent on Christmas. I try to give it 6 months as long as there are no listing fees. I just had a group of CDs sell after 10months for sale. You just have to wait for the right person. Good luck!


Jennifer February 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm

I had this nice, lengthy FFT all typed out and when I hit send something happened and it didn’t send, Ugh! I just can’t type all that again so I am going to just retype my number one frugal thing.

1. I am currently using my Luna(diva) cup so I am having a no waste period, period..ha!


Jenelle February 6, 2018 at 5:21 am

This month was the first time I used my Diva Cup since having kids. It was amazing how much waste there are other months!!


Jennifer February 6, 2018 at 5:32 am

Exactly…there is no telling how much money that cup has saved me. Not to mention the space it has saved in my septic tank! That cup is one of the best purchases I have ever made.


Ruby February 5, 2018 at 6:31 pm

1. Even though errands are the last thing I want to do after work, Wednesday I hurried to the gas station before the weekend price bump could go into effect.
2. Took some buy one, get one free Wasabread and raisins to work as a desk drawer breakfast.
3. Lunch was last night’s leftovers packed in a Rubbermaid container bought with a free gift card. Drank the free work coffee with soy milk from Dollar Tree.
4. Found a dime while cleaning.
5. Cleaned a pair of silver earrings bought for $1 at a thrift shop with a tiny dab of toothpaste that was the last of a freebie tube from the dentist.
6. Junk drawer at the office had a clasp suitable for repairing a broken necklace.


Tracy February 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

Love the “desk drawer breakfast” nomenclature — I often have desk drawer breakfasts and lunches (almonds, dried fruit commonly)


Mary in VA February 6, 2018 at 9:50 am

Re: #4, I found a dime in a Coinstar machine. I kept forgetting to check the coin returns when I’d walk by these machines, but I finally remembered. Lo and behold, something was in there! This machine was in the front of the grocery store and all the registers were full, so it was a little out of my comfort zone. But I grabbed that coin without breaking stride and never looked back.


Cathy February 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

There is a coinstar machine in the grocery store across the street from my office. Once, I found almost $7 in change lying in the return slot! Yesterday, I found over $2. So random! I feel guilty that I’m taking (that much) of someone else’s money, but they are now long gone. lol!


Mary in VA February 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Wow, Cathy! Now I’m energized to check all the machines. You’re right, though–that person is long gone, so it’s open season on the money!


Canadian girl February 5, 2018 at 7:59 pm

1. Trying to stay out of the grocery store by meal planning. Needed to pick up some milk tonight but we will hopefully not have to step foot in a grocery store for the rest of the week.

2. Have been taking transit to work for the last three weeks but I didn’t sleep well last night and ended up sleeping in this morning. Had to drive into work but I found some free street parking

3. I have arranged to have two home workouts with friends coming over to workout with weights one 9k walk and one free Zumba class this week. No gym membership required. Just a couple of dvd’s i already own and a pair of runners

4. Fail… Getting my hair cut and coloured tomorrow. I have fine hair and worry about colouring it myself but I used a box of root touch up in December and it was so easy! Only had to let it sit for 10 minutes. I really should just get the cut and not have her colour it tomorrow.

5. Stayed out of the malls to avoid temptation.


Alexandra @ February 6, 2018 at 4:44 am

what did you use to touch up your roots?


Canadian girl February 6, 2018 at 7:06 am

I used Clairol root touch up I bought it on sale for about $7.00 Canadian


janine February 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm

1. The closest we got to the super bowl was people watching downtown. Crowded wall to wall traffic . Free entertainment for us. No personal interest in the outcome. Coldest super bowl on record. We love living in MN!
2. Tonight put together odds and ends for dinner -husband added a couple of items he picked up from his favorite grocery deli which also has a branch of his bank. Deposit a check – leave with a couple of gourmet goodies.
3. Tomorrow night are our caucuses. In MN you can give up to $100 per couple and get it back, so FREE contributions to you favorite candidates.
4. Bought a notebook to record expenditures. I did this last year and it helps to keep my spending in check.
5. Today was grocery shopping day. Splurged on some cheap, but colorful flowers at Trader Jos, but bought only cheese at Costco. Mostly stuck to my list.


Bee February 6, 2018 at 4:19 am

I splurge on flowers every once and a while at TJs. It is so lovely to look at fresh flowers on a gray cold day. The frigid weather at the beginning of the month killed most of my flowering plants and the roses are now dormant. 🙁


Norma February 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm

How do you clean up cast iron so well? Haven’t been able to do it.


rebecca February 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

I bought a chain mail scrubber on amazon. It works wonderfully well.


Ava February 6, 2018 at 6:58 am

I have had good luck putting cast iron in the fireplace, then scrubbing and oiling.


Bethany February 5, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Have the in-laws coming again. Since retirement they’ve been descending on us a little too much. Almost made a dr appointment because some Xanax would come in pretty handy. We rented their basement for 4.5 years. It was rough; still rough in a lot of ways. Need to put on a smile though, because they gave us 1% of the sale of their house. Hubby and I are trying to figure out how to best use it.

Asked grandma not to pick up crafts. Our educational facilitator has been bringing us doodle crates. I’d rather they put the time into those instead of plastic junk I have to throw away inconspicuously later.

Ate leftover beans and rice and leftover chili for lunch.

Had the charter school purchase the girls next set of piano books. It will be nice not to have to pay these out of pocket.

Enjoyed LEGOLAND on Friday courtesy of the charter school. We took our lunch and came home to a crockpot of chili. It was tempting to exit and get a fast food dinner since the traffic was insane and the kids were hungry, but I knew it would make getting home that much harder and longer. Saved the extra expense too. Signed up for a Symphony field trip before school is out.


Joanie February 6, 2018 at 6:33 am

Aw, Bethany, I bet they miss you and think you like them since you lived in their house for 4.5 years. Hope your hubby likes their visit at least.


Roberta February 6, 2018 at 7:40 am

It sounds like you’re near me, if you went to Legoland — the symphony field trips we took when the kids were younger were fabulous! I hope you enjoy it.

If you want to attend the symphony more often, they used to have a program where you could get family tickets for $40 for 4, and they had student rush tickets for $10 each (two tickets per student ID). Our charter school gave the kids student ids, and we were able to attend several symphony performances with the kids.


A. Marie February 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Bethany: Solidarity on your #1. DH and I were also financially obligated to his parents for some years (although we paid it off to the penny)–but, oddly enough, this didn’t make relating to them any easier. So I can well understand your impulse for Xanax.


rebecca February 5, 2018 at 9:26 pm

1. Found a nickel.
2. Have a potential new client.
3. Did batch cooking yesterday.
4. Walking my sister’s dog, good exercise for me and frugal for her. win-win
5. Found a warm sweater in my closet I had forgotten about instead of buying a new one.


Alexandra @ February 6, 2018 at 5:06 am

I always pick up great ideas here! Thank you.
1. Going to look for super cheap classroom valentines so won’t have to buy again ever. I always put in a $1 for grandkids. They have made it clear they would rather the money than the card.
2. Do have some craft materials that could be used for crafting valentines. I love to do creative work like that. Maybe DH will get a homemade valentine…
3. Continuing to shop at Aldis, esp for produce. I work in the grocery industry and their prices are impossible to beat. I bought 3 bags of groceries for $32 the other day. VERY impressed with quality.
4. went to Superbowl party, came home with leftovers which was more food than we started with! Good for folks to know YOU are the one to take home the leftovers!
5. Continuing to go without a dishwasher (since Oct). Sigh. There are worse things in life and trying to be positive. Definitely a first world problem.


Roberta February 6, 2018 at 7:42 am

When our dishwasher was broken I noticed that the handwashed dishes were a lot cleaner than the ones that came out of the dishwasher. A bright side for you?


Alexandra @ February 7, 2018 at 4:46 am

Hmmm, I am not sure that was the case for us. I really liked our dishwasher, minimal rinsing and stuff came out good and clean. A Whirlpool.
On the downside, we seem to break more dishes now hand washing. We are scratching our heads on this one. I think perhaps there were several had hairline cracks that hadn’t been noticed before. Also, the stacking in dishwater, extra handling maybe? Dishes are getting old too…


Elizabeth February 6, 2018 at 5:10 am

1. Improvised and made oatmeal candy (no bake cookies) instead of buying oatmeal creme pies for a Groundhog Day treat…my daughter was not
2. Found reduced apples at the grocery store that were delicious and only $.25 a piece
3. I am in the midst of a no spend week to kick off Frugal February so I have only bought $25 worth of groceries this week and nothing else.
4. Refilled my empty downstairs face lotion bottle from my upstairs one to avoid buying a new bottle…yes I have upstairs and downstairs products:)
5. Redeemed free food coupons from Zaxby’s and a local bbq place…free food always tastes the best!


Susie's Daughter February 6, 2018 at 5:44 am

1) Been doing a deep dive into the freezer and found 1/2lb of ground turkey which became meat sauce with leftover tomato sauce and sale pasta. Also located a container of bean dip I had made this summer with garlic, basil, kale and white beans. Remarkably tasty still! Toasted some old pita bread in the oven for pita chips to go with it.

2) Transferred insurance payment out of the online account I set up for this purpose into our regular checking. Last year, I started budgeting a monthly contribution to this online account where the money sits until we need it. Boy am I grateful to past me right this moment.

3) Using a yearly planner I got out of the free pile at our library. Better format than the one I considered buying and all paper so recyclable next Jan. 🙂

4) Dropped off a number of things at consignment over the weekend and picked up checks totaling $35.50. Win – win every time.

5) Cross country skiing for exercise and looking forward to cheering for the cross country skiing and biathlete Olympians we know!


L February 6, 2018 at 5:59 am

1. Sold another item on ebay. Should be around a $20 profit after shipping.

2. Got accepted into a baby wipe trial/study. We received three packages of baby wipes yesterday to try out for the next couple of weeks, and we’ll receive $30 via paypal at the end of the study.

3. Redeemed survey points for a $25 Macy’s gift card.

4. Was awarded $25 worth of Walmart gift cards yesterday after completing some surveys for them a few weeks ago. (I’ve earned a total of $40 in WM gift cards since December)

5. Got a free-after-rebate Oui yogurt courtesy of the app Checkout 51. My husband will bring this to work as part of his lunch.


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 6, 2018 at 6:49 am

Agreed – preventive care does wonders. Don’t skip the dentist and the annual trips to the doc. Heck, my annual identified a health problem that I’m taking care of.

Let’s see, this week:

1. I baked tons of bread during my lunch break last week (I work remotely). I then froze it and we’ll use it up for the next few months with our meals.

2. Yesterday I brewed more tea for my kombucha. I can’t wait to have a healthy enough supply that I can drink kombucha daily!

3. This morning I made breakfast from my homemade organic yogurt.

4. Last night I went to a video game store for a free event. I play video games over and over, and going to these free events is a fun way to continue gameplay without spending anything.

5. Tonight hubs and I are going to grind our own sausage, thanks to taking a sausage-making class last week.


MW February 6, 2018 at 7:01 am

Freezing home made bread! Thank you for pointing out the obvious that I’ve been missing for years. Now making a double batch of bread on weekends makes sense. Thank you!


Norma February 6, 2018 at 7:49 am

Curious how you keep it soft and moist when you freeze. I love to make Pumpkin Bread and Banana Nut Bread during the holidays (I know this is different from what you make but I suppose same concept) and always get carried away. When I freeze it, it comes out dry and I have to slather with butter which I would rather not do. Suggestions appreciated.


deb February 6, 2018 at 7:10 pm

I make both pumpkin and banana bread quite often because my four grandchildren like both kinds and when they visit I get to have a piece too!
I let it cool on a wire rack after baking, wrap it in plastic wrap, and then slide the wrapped bread into a (recycled) bread bag and close with a (recycled) twist tie. It lasts for several months that way for me.


MW February 6, 2018 at 6:59 am

I just realized that some of my frugal ways are rubbing off on my stay-at-home-daddy husband! Woo hoo!

– Checked out a consignment shop. Didn’t buy anything, but now I know where to head when lamps get broken (thanks boys) and other items need replacing and my Buy Nothing group is picked clean.
– My husband overcame his fear of cooking and made me a lovely birthday dinner. Clear requests and easy recipes with pictures seem to make all the difference for him.
– My husband decorated with the boys for my birthday with stuff we already had around. Spiderman birthday banners are fine with me if we didn’t buy anything.
– For a potluck over the weekend, my husband made banana bread with leftover frozen bananas.
– I taught my older son to tie his shoes. How is the frugal? In his current size, it is hard to find velcro shoes and we now can shop for bargains at Ross.


cathy February 6, 2018 at 7:42 am

I don’t know how old your son is, but I have a teen who has dexterity issues and has never been good at tying shoes. There are kits you can buy to convert regular lace-up shoes to the kind you can secure with a toggle (the ones you squeeze a button to adjust). They work great on everything from sneakers to sport shoes like Keens and Merrells.


Ruby February 6, 2018 at 9:01 am

Once you’ve seen how those kits work, it’s easy to buy the same elastic cord at a fabric store, which also sells the squeeze fasteners. My husband and son both prefer not to tie shoes but like the sporty look of athletic shoes, so that’s what we do for them.


cathy February 6, 2018 at 9:31 am

I’ll have to compare prices next time we need some, though the laces in the kit are a bit long so they might work for his next pair of shoes too.


Jenelle February 6, 2018 at 10:31 am

Does that elastic cord fray easily?


Ruby February 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

No. We just tie a knot in the ends after figuring out how long to leave the ends.

Mary in VA February 6, 2018 at 10:35 am

I’m looking for those for myself! My issue isn’t with dexterity, it’s shoes with laces that don’t stay tied; they’re too slippery or something. I know I could replace the laces, but I’m ready to just get rid of laces altogether.


Norma February 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

I got rid of laces months ago but can’t remember where I bought my elastic ones. Best move ever.


cathy February 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

I picked up the kit at REI when we got his shoes, but I’ve also seen them at Big 5 Sporting Goods, so I’m sure they’re available at a variety of stores.


beverly harrold February 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

at 58 i could use this because mine don’t stay tied as well as they should. what is the name of the kit? where can i locate one of these kits?


Bettypants February 6, 2018 at 9:49 am

I’m so impressed by the cast iron you have cleaned up! Seeing that gives me confidence to buy cast iron in poor condition if I find any at yard sales this summer.

1. My favorite thrift store had a clothing sale. I bought a $0.75 blouse for myself to wear to work, and two items to list on ebay for $4. One is an old fashioned style men’s red union suit. Thinking I will do better to hold it and sell it around Christmas next year.

2. Relisted some of my ebay duds along with five new listings.

3. Found ten books at the library book sale for a quarter each.

4. Tried a new chocolate and peanut butter cookie recipe over the weekend. They are good, but we didn’t love them enough to make them a regular. I have chicken marinating now for a new (to us) chicken adobo dinner from Budget Bytes.

5. Kroger had a free bag of kitty treats one time for Free Friday and we found they are the perfect treat for our pugs. They are tiny, so they are low calorie, and they are cheaper than dog treats. Plus, now they recognize “kitty” as a treat word, so they will come storming over for “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!” and “Who’s a good kitty?”


Lindsey February 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm

My hedgehog loves kitty treats…discovered when I got a pack for free after filling out a survey on cat allergies. I am so allergic that if I sit next to someone who owns cats, my eyes swell…which I said in the survey. I was going to pass them on to the food bank (they also carry pet food for folks who cannot afford to feed their cats or dogs) and put them on the counter that holds the hedgehog. While I was gone, he managed to reach through the bars far enough to drag the package over to his cage and then gnawed it open and cleaned it out.


cathy February 6, 2018 at 9:58 am

1. Accompanied a family member for an all-day medical procedure and did several frugal things: We live a mile from each other, so I drove him in his car and my husband picked me up at family member’s home that night (the hospital is over 10 miles each way); Made my long-cooking oatmeal and took it to hospital in my travel coffee cup. Kept it hot until I was able to eat it; Took my stainless water bottle; hospital staff showed me the snack room where they offered beverages, various crackers, fruit salad; family member didn’t eat the whole dinner provided so I ate the salad and some pasta. (We were there for nearly 12 hours.)
2. Roasted a chicken (bought on super sale and frozen a couple months ago). We enjoyed it hot out of the oven, then cold pieces, then bits added in to pasta. The carcass is currently on the stove for tonight’s chicken noodle soup.
3. Picked up a free latte at Starbucks for my birthday. Bonus: the barista very quietly sang Happy Birthday to me. Made me smile!
4. Using bits of leftover drinking water and rinse water in houseplants.
5. Super excited–husband had Groupon credit and was able to buy a pair of tickets to see Jeff Beck/Paul Rodgers/Ann Wilson this summer for $28 ($14/ticket)!


Pattilou February 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm

1. A friend treated me to the flower show at the botanical garden. She has a membership and can bring a guest. It was a lovely, relaxing time spent catching up and enjoying the beauty. I paid for the parking, which was only $3.00
2. A friend was in town and we were able to catch up over lunch. He insisted on paying. I picked up the tip.
3. We had a work event and food was provided so I didn’t have to cook tonight. The food was from my favorite Greek restaurant so that was an extra bonus.
4. I took the time to divide up all of the food I cooked on Sunday into individual meals and put in the freezer for the future.
5. I am wearing two sweatshirts right now and have a blanket over me to keep warm instead of turning up the heat.


Mary in Maryland February 6, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Today I might focus on the frugality of things I’m not doing.
1) Bought fabric for a knit nightie in 1987. Sewed it in 2003 when previous nightie became a hazard to the washing machine. I’m still wearing it. Not very attractive, but I only wear it with my eyes closed (Luckily DH also sleeps with his eyes closed.) I had to give up biking due to balance issues, but the cotton bike tights I bought in 1999 are still serving proudly as PJ bottoms. And they stay down instead of collecting behind my knees like real PJs.
2) Everyone needs at least one spendthrift friend. Mine gave me a set of cotton sateen queen bed sheets six years ago because the pillowcases were stained. I don’t think sateen wears as well as muslin or broadcloth, but at this price point (0) I was willing to go with my third choice.
3) Today I noticed a thin spot on the fitted sheet–right where my toenails hit. I sewed a large patch over the thin spot. I should wear light socks in the summer as my toenails reflect twenty years of distance running. I’ll start looking at the thrift store for a replacement bottom sheet.
4) My wool winter bed socks were knitted from an orphan skein of not fabulous yarn four years ago. The dog gave one a puncture wound, but I mended it. They should be good for many more years.
5) I did a couple loads of laundry today as we were both wearing the last pair of undies in the drawer. (14 pair for him, 8 for me.)I hung them outside in the 40 degree weather. They dried. I also did a bucket of hand laundry and used the spin cycle on the first load to centrifuge out most of the water from the woolens.


Vickey February 7, 2018 at 8:30 am

Re your #3: bottom sheets wear faster than top sheets, so are harder to come by 2nd hand. I’ve seen instructions on YouTube for converting top sheets to fitted. Looks like easy sewing.


Mary in Maryland February 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for the idea of sheet conversion. I could do this.


Mary in Maryland February 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

But then I measured. The top sheet is not long enough to be a bottom sheet. Back in the day when we used all flat sheets, the one on the bottom never wrapped around the the foot of the mattress. But I could use a king flat as a bottom sheet and move it around enough to spread out my toe nail damage.

Reply February 12, 2018 at 5:34 pm

You may not need to convert the top sheet to a fitted sheet. I find a top sheet tucked under the mattress works fine. No elastic needed.


Chris February 6, 2018 at 6:31 pm

1. Back from a 4 day weekend in DC – went to the National African American Museum – amazing! – and to the American History Museum. Love the Smithsonian museums.
2. Stayed with our son and his family. All meals from home but for one lunch out. We do pay for groceries when there but still way less than eating in restaurants. We stayed with the toddler while they had 2 nights out on the town -they have no babysitter so take advantage of family visits – as they should.
3. Took the Metro to the museums and the city bus to the library with our son and grandson. Love a city where you can get around without a car!
4. Our daughter and son-in-law stayed here while we were gone – I paid them just less than I would have a kennel for the dog – I’d rather put some $$ in their pockets and have a less stressed dog!
5. Went to a thrift store today for senior day and bought grandson 4 pairs of pants and 3 shirts (at 40% off) as well as several things to sell in my etsy shop – including 6 uncut patterns for a total of $1.20 – if even one sells, I am way ahead.


Alexandra @ February 7, 2018 at 4:52 am

The Smithsonian museums are a national GEM!


Jill A February 7, 2018 at 6:12 am

1. Our bathroom vent fan which is plastic has yellowed with age. Instead of replacing it I intend to paint it instead. I stopped into Menards to pick up some plastic paint. The man there told me I’d have to prime it first and then I could paint it with whatever paint I choose. Since I have primer and white paint I didn’t need to purchase anything.
2. I made spaghetti sauce, taco meat and chili with ground beef that’s been sitting in my freezer. This has served several meals already.
3. I used my coke codes to get a coupon for free popcorn and drink at the movie theater for my daughter. It was the expensive theater so it still cost more than we would normally spend though.
4. I finally reached the minimum $20 in Ibotta rewards and have transferred it directly to my PayPal account.
5. I sold another small item on ebay and will ship it with reused box and packing paper. This was an item from a free box at a garage sale over the summer.


tonya parham February 7, 2018 at 6:32 am

1. Watching vegan youtube videos for inspiration to continue to eat plant based.

2. Ordered a $7 part for my bread machine so I could make homemade bread. When we moved last year, apparently the mixing paddle fell out and it’s just been sitting around. Finally, my wife was like, “Oh, I’ll buy you a new one!” And I went, “NO! NO! I’ll find a part!” So, I did and we got it Saturday and I made bread yesterday! And will be making a loaf probably every other day. Something VERY satisfying about making your own bread.

3. Went to Sam’s for Coffee. They had two pounds of Starbucks for $13 which is a good price around here since the 12 oz bags run about $8 in the grocery. In any case, it’s all I bought there and it will cut down on “we need coffee” runs.

4. Filled up my gas yesterday while I did errands and saved .20 a gallon.

5. Have been drinking water and hot tea instead of buying soda. Not gonna lie. I love soda. But I was having some gall bladder pain last week and I realized that it was from the soda. 🙁


cathy February 8, 2018 at 12:36 pm

RE your #3, my husband just found that same deal at Costco. I told him to check for a Starbucks star code to enter on his Starbucks account. The code was worth 25 stars! His office doesn’t provide coffee, good or crappy.


WilliamB February 7, 2018 at 9:37 am

This week I’m going to list same-old/same-old:

1. At work, ate food I brought myself or bought from the snack shelf (the snack shelf is as cheap as store-bought).

2. Ate jam and maple butter (yum!) that had accumulated in the pantry, using home-made bread.

3. Making skillet lasangna to use up canned tomaotes, lasagna noodles, and pizza sauce that have accumulated in the pantry, as well as shredded cheese I bought on sale in December. Bought only ricotta for this recipe.

4. Resisted buying overpriced snacks at a purely local shop. $1.75 for a real bagel made with hands? Maybe. $3 for that bagel with cream cheese? Hell, no.

For the record, I do not favor locally-made over other goods. I think everyone should be able to get paid for their work, whether or not they happen to live within 10 miles of my house.

5. Read books from the library. This week: Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman series. Good F/SF, main character’s job is to acquire knowledge and answer questions honestly – logic plays a big part in her worldview, nothwithstanding her extremely low-tech world. But dammit; the friend who recommended the series, neglected to tell me that 1) the series is not finished and 2) the author writes ~extremely~ slowly. Four books 1989-2004, none since. She has at least two more books to write in the series.


ouvickie February 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm

#5 – thank you for that author’s name. That story description sounded intriguing, so I looked her up on the site and OMG, that sounds like an awesome series!!


Jenelle February 8, 2018 at 5:25 am

I have to agree with you about NOT buying exclusively local products. Right now with our budget, I have to buy what i can afford. Maybe someday I can buy only local, but that’s not right now.


debbie February 7, 2018 at 9:37 am

1. Hubs wanted to grill for the grown kids so we temporarily halted our eat-down-the-freezer menu. Involved buying groceries, but I can’t complain since I have limited use of my hand after surgery. He cooks (win) and the freezer food is still available for future use.
2. I received $5 worth of points at GNC for buying a $25 gift card in December. I will use this on my next purchase (as well as the gift card).
3. I realized that I am still wearing a pair of flannel pajama pants I sewed (not my forté so quite a feat) for my husband as newlyweds ( 30+ years ago). He never really loved them so I have worn them on and off over the years. I mean, I made them and couldn’t bear to part with them. They are now some of my favorite lounge pants and still look pretty good for the wear and tear.
4. I am giving away 2 floor lamps (that the 3-way is down to 1-way) to a friend that will either use them or yard sale them. I intended on selling them, but who knew (cheap) floor lamps sell for $10?? It will clear clutter and help her.
5. We needed some printing from Staples, and I faintly remembered an email about a coupon. Although the store printed it on the receipt at purchase ($5 off a future in-store purchase and I didn’t have to remember to ask for it), I was happy I remembered and could verify we received it. We ended up having to do two separate transactions, so I now have two coupons. From office supplies to cleaning supplies to tea and coffee, I’ll have no problem redeeming $10 worth of free items.


Emily February 7, 2018 at 10:43 am

1. Haven’t spent any money since Sunday! And plan on continuing that trend until at least Friday when I will need to pay for my allergy shot.

2. The clinic I was hired to work in finally opened! My commute is exactly 1.8 miles one-way. I would love to be able to walk or ride a bike, but I think risk outweighs the little wear and tear on my car. This commute is incredible compared to others I have endured, and will bring my “get to work” gas cost to about 10-15 dollars a month.

3. Looks like the weather will be warm and sunny on Friday. That means my bf and I can hit the National White Water Center for some outdoor fun. My parents got us season passes for Christmas, which is an amazing gift. We can now enjoy a ton of outdoor activities for free throughout the year.

4. My bf made dinner last night. He grabbed groceries (so I still didn’t spend money), but made me a wonderful Portobello mushroom steak with baked potato and cauliflower. Organic Mushrooms were 1.50 each. Compare that to the price of red meat! It was delicious and will definitely be a repeat meal.

5. Getting organized to DIY my taxes this weekend. A little nerve racking, but I haven’t found a CPA who has been willing to help me for a non-outrageous price.


Debbie February 8, 2018 at 6:47 am

Thought this post about DIY tax prep was timely.


Emily February 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Thank you! That actually makes me feel much better about it!


Amanda February 7, 2018 at 11:44 am

1) My face has been very dry and peely lately, so I thought I might do some sort of scrub on it. This was a huge revelation to me as I am not a make-up wearer or carer, and these sorts of things don’t always occur to me. I added “facial scrub” to my Target list until I realized I must already have something on hand that would work. Three seconds of googling led me to tons of recipes. I made a paste of brown sugar and a little water, and scrubbed away. Less than five minutes and five cents later I had a smooth face!

2) It occurred to me earlier this week that we need a new, bigger sofa. This particular revelation came to me as I was sitting between two of our three children and BOTH of them had their feet on me. And two family members weren’t even on the sofa! The very consumer thing for me to do would be to hop online straight away and start throwing sofas in my cart. But instead I added it to my ongoing “want list.” This includes anything we don’t need right away like toothpaste or shoes for the kids, but we will need (a new AC unit) or would really like to have (an old farmhouse to fix up). In theory we knock things off the list according to priority as we have the cash. But the sofa might sit on the want list until we both decide we don’t really need a sofa or its number might come up in a couple of years when there are too many feet on me again.

3) I was really craving some mac and cheese today, but there were no magic blue boxes in the cabinet. I made do with sweet potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. Also I wanted a Mountain Dew. The rain kept me from going outside to spend that $1.

4) Yesterday I finished (PRAISE GOD!) my teaching marathon that started in August. I can now turn my attention to polishing my dissertation prospectus and the piece of research that is due in six weeks. But what am I doing? Yammering on about brown sugar facial scrubs and sofas I didn’t buy. You gotta make time for mental breaks.

5) I took care of a bunch of necessary but not fun to do items–making dental appointments for the family, making a dermatologist appointment for our daughter, ordering heating oil for the barrel, and checking the various libraries of which I am a member for the audio version of a book my husband and I want to listen to together. Sometimes these actions save me money. Sometimes it is just going to be expensive (like in the case of ordering heating oil). But these things keep our family moving and producing.


Lindsey February 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm

I am sure you have already thought of this, but back up everything you write for your dissertation on an external drive/thumb drive. I was 3/4 of the way through my dissertation and lost it all in a power surge that destroyed my computer innards. I was so distraught, my husband thought I might actually commit suicide. It took me months to start trying to reconstruct the manuscript.


lauren February 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm

Great suggestion! I also email everything important to myself and also upload it to google drive so it’s in a variety of places digitally as well.


Mand01 February 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

I feel ill just reading that story. Ugh. Oh god. Just awful.


KJD509 February 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

Oh, Lindsey. Distraught is such a mild word for what you must have felt. Many, many hugs.


ouvickie February 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Nice skillet, it looks deep.

1) I was treated to another birthday lunch on Monday. She had a coupon which saved money. Love my frugal friends!
2) I needed more Hip & Joint treats from the Dollar Tree, so I headed over there at lunch and picked up those and a few other items we needed.
3) I dropped off an audiobook at the Library – a bad one this time, I only listened to the first part of disc 1. I’m not going to waste my time on bad books. I picked up 4 more, while I was there, so I’m set for a few weeks of entertainment during commutes.
4) Our old farm dog needed a new jumbo size dog bed, so I headed to Ross and found him a really nice comfy-cushy one for $14.99. They usually have the same stuff as the high-dollar pet stores, for a 1/4 or at least 1/2 the price.
5) We supposedly getting bad weather this weekend, so it will be a stay-home, bundle up and read weekend. I just need to pick up a few items at the grocers on Friday and I’m set to stay home and save money!


Mand01 February 7, 2018 at 10:20 pm

My grandfather’s motto was: “life is too short to read a bad book.”


ouvickie February 8, 2018 at 8:10 am

@Mand01 – I am with your grandfather!!


Louise February 12, 2018 at 5:09 am

In the midst of all followers who perhaps do not comment,but do follow avidly-Thank You -so much for the energy, humour and sheer put-up-ness you deal with in creating and sustaining this blog.


Diane C February 12, 2018 at 5:46 am

Ooh, Katy, I hope those were garden variety technical issues and not the work of hackers again. Glad to see you’re back and open for inspiration today. I might have a slight NCA addiction…


Joyce February 12, 2018 at 7:00 am

Yay! You are back!
My frugal things:
1. Started buying eggs from my son. He has many more than he needs and I know his are humanely raised. This is important to me. The extra dollars will lower his feed costs.
2. Listed some items on Facebook sale site and sold 2!
3. Spent some family time looking at 2018 income taxes and adjusted withholding.
4.batched errands, took all day or so it seemed, but saved gas overall.
5. Used some of those cheap eggs to make a quiche for dinner


Juhli February 12, 2018 at 7:42 am

Yeah, you are back!
1. I had a $10 off $40 purchase CVS coupon plus a buy one get one 50% off deal, $3 off our type of allergy medication & $3 extra bucks for a score of $85 worth of allergy meds for only $48. I’m quite happy with that.
2. I also made pear muffins for the first time as we don’t like the brand of canned pears I purchased and do like to eat muffins.
3. We found out we have over payed quite a bit on 2017 taxes for federal and the 2 states we lived in last year. We will apply the over payments for Federal and current state to required estimated taxes for 2018 and get a refund from our former state. We are living on retirement income this year and chose not to have taxes withheld so have to make estimated payments.
4. My older son is getting married in the fall and I have ordered two quite reasonably priced dresses that might work for the wedding and the party the night before. Way below what I anticipated spending so fingers crossed.
5. We decided to both go to visit our son and his family so DH can help with home improvement projects which means we will drive rather than DH flying. Costs quite a bit less for gas than airfare and we pack lunch and snacks as the dog goes with us so we eat at rest stops.


Mary in VA February 12, 2018 at 9:21 am

At first I thought my company was blocking your website…but I don’t go on it THAT much, haha. Then when I tried from home and still got the “Forbidden” error message, I figured it was technical issues. So glad you’re back!!


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