Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 19, 2018 · 80 comments

  1. I noticed that my refrigerator was empty while my freezer was full, so I spent a hour or so remedying the situation. I was able to pull out enough food for multiple meals and make use of my already paid for food. I only composted a few items, most notably the above wrinkly orb that bore a striking resemblance to . . . umm . . . a certain male anatomical feature. There’s something so satisfying about creating order from chaos. Makes me feel happy, certainly doesn’t make me feel testy.

  2. I walked to the grocery store this morning, even though it was the last thing on earth I felt like doing. (It was very cold out, and I am an unabashed wimp!) However, I found a dime on the ground, which would certainly not have grabbed my attention had I been driving. I used coupons for 40¢-off eggs as well as a free box of cereal.

  3. I worked over the weekend and although I only brought my lunch the first day, (note the above reference to am empty refrigerator) I did pack snacks such as fruit and eggs. This way I only had to buy my main meal from the hospital cafeteria. ($4.40 for salmon and a kale salad.) However, I waited until after 2 P.M. when the salad bar price went down 25%. I also make myself a cup of coffee on the labor and delivery unit even though I’d been floated to another unit.

  4. I saved up my plastic bags to give to my friend who uses them when walking her dog, I set aside a couple of bowls and mugs for my Buy Nothing Group, I made an appointment for some preventative medical care and I cut up severely bruised apples and topped them with frozen chunks of pie crust to create a weird mini-pie as an afternoon treat.

  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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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

One of God's February 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Picked spearmint from yard for tea.

Picked parsley from yard for pesto. So glad that it popped right back after our freezing weather.

Took my lunch to a program I attend at local university. Had an egg with which to make a sandwich. Wanted to increase my consumption of green veggies so picked herbs and weeds from backyard, chopped them finely, then stirred them into egg before frying. Made a fine filling for my sandwich.

Parked at conference center at university where I attend senior continuing education lectures and rode bus to the afternoon’s field trip location, thereby avoiding cost of parking garage.

Gratefully received the return of my check for first quarter property tax payment. When I called to check on its not yet having cleared I learned that it had already been paid by my mortgage company.


Mand01 February 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm

I prefer parsley and mint pesto to basil pesto


Liz B. February 20, 2018 at 7:57 pm

I’ve never tried parsley and mint pesto, but that sounds delicious. I usually grow both in the summer (here in Ohio, that’s still several month away).


Lindsey February 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

1. Fixed a down comforter that had developed numerous holes over the last decade. Had an old feather pillow and emptied the contents of it into the quilt to make up for some of the lost feathers.
2. While cleaning down shelves in the kitchen, found a sad packet of Top Ramen. Threw in some carrots, a leek, and turkey bits from the freezer and called it dinner.
3. Did a mystery shop that enabled husband and self to see Showman on the big screen for free, plus eat popcorn and have a drink. Love Hugh Jackman.
4. Took several bags of donations to Goodwill. The stuff was good enough for a garage sale but I don’t want it hanging around until the snow melts in May. Got the tax receipt.
5. Went to a catered dinner/presentation where they expected dozens of people. Only three of us showed up. The poor presenter was very young and took it very badly, so the three of us made sure to be extra responsive to try and make it up to her. She said she was not going to take any of the food home. Each of us went home with a complete tray of Subway sandwiches, over two dozen cookies, and numerous Halo oranges. All she wanted was the bottled water…Needless to say, husband and I have eaten sections of subs for breakfast, lunch and dinner for several days now. Only two pieces left to go!

In the Too Icky To Be Worth Salvaging: I was walking one of the dogs and found, frozen to the sidewalk, a pair of men’s underpants. They looked like someone had just stepped out of them and walked on. It was 23 below zero that morning and had been colder during the night–who would take off a pair of pants and then step out of their underpants at those temperatures? If it had been a hat or a towel, I would have brought it home and washed it and put it to use, but underpants? Not so much. Bad enough I had to yank my 160 pound dog off of them, since he was very interested in digging them out of the ice!


Bee February 20, 2018 at 5:07 am

I would say underwear was too icky to salvage too!


Ava February 20, 2018 at 6:07 am

There has to be an interesting story behind the underwear, if you only knew.


Rosanne February 20, 2018 at 10:52 am

I like to think the story goes like this- two long lost lovers finally reunited after many years. The romantic scene escalated and the two lovebirds ended years of sexual repression in the back seat of a car. The said underwear was thrown out the open window in a moment of joyful abandon.


Carla February 20, 2018 at 11:26 am

Love it!


A. Marie February 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Rosanne, I like your imagination–but I’m guessing the real story is a bit more scatalogical. (See a previous NCA post where various commenters were noting their pets’ fondness for previously worn underwear.)


Terri February 19, 2018 at 5:04 pm

I’ve been logging all of my frugal accomplishments over at my blog, but here are some of my highlights:

I hung all of our laundry up to air dry.
I reduced our electric bill from $139 in January to $80 in February.
I downloaded a couple digital audio books for free from my library. I like to listen to these when I’m doing otherwise boring chores.
I went grocery shopping at The Grocery Outlet and stocked up on 20 boxes of breakfast cereal for 99 cents each.


susanna d February 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Oh my gosh, Katy, I’m cracking up over your #1. “Makes me feel happy, certainly doesn’t make me feel testy” – what WAS that wrinkly orb in its previous life?

My 5 frugal things, many of them revolving around “total shower gut to correct a previous contractor’s bad judgement”:

1. Tearing apart the tiles in the walk in shower after finding the crack in the tiles went around the entire base of the shower. Found that the job is more extensive/problem is worse than we first thought, but doing the job ourselves ensures that it’ll be done right this time. Not going to chance hiring someone to correct this error – we know what’s wrong and how we want it corrected. My husband growing up in a family of building contractors has paid off big time over the years.

2. Got a store credit card from the tile place to save 20% on our purchase. Normally I don’t do this – apply for another credit card – but it’s only good at the tile place and 20% off of the purchase is a nice chunk of change.

3. I’ve been cashing in Swagbucks for Home Depot gift cards, which will cover sealant, caulk and other things we need for this project.

4. Placed an order with Penzey’s when free shipping came with a $20 purchase instead of the usual $30. Got two free spices with my order, and a beautiful “embrace hope” pin (that my 3 year old granddaughter is determined to take from me). Yes, I could get spices cheaper, but I love Penzeys products, they’re a local company (well, local to where I used to live anyway), and I admire the owner’s willingness to take a stand on social issues.

5. Freezing rain has kept us home today and for the most part will tomorrow, except to go out and vote. But voting is all we’ll do – no shopping, no spending money.


Stacy February 19, 2018 at 5:24 pm

I faithfully read FFF but rarely post…since I enjoy everyone’s comments so much I thought I should finally add mine:

1. Heritage Day here in Nova Scotia, Canada – nothing open means no spending!
2. Baked 2 quiches (we have 16 laying hens) using fiddleheads picked in the spring that we froze and onions from the garden that we cured and stored in the basement.
3. Took out some frozen shredded zucchini (from the glut we grew in the garden) and made a cake, using up a partial container of sour cream.
4. Kept the heat low (16C, not sure of the conversion) and when I got a chill we put on the wood stove for a bit.
5. Hung up laundry in the basement (which we always do since we never replaced the dryer when it broke over 5 years ago…).


Becky February 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

What do you mean onions from the garden you cured? I dehydrate, and freeze onions—would love to hear of other options!!!


Teddie February 20, 2018 at 9:07 am

What are fiddleheads? Never heard of that term.


A. Marie February 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Welcome, Stacy! Always glad to hear from the Canadian Maritimes.

And, Teddie, fiddleheads are the curled-up heads of certain ferns in the early spring. I’ve had them a couple of times, and they’re delicious. Glad to hear from Stacy that they can be frozen.


janine February 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Have had a lot of trouble posting on this blog! Hope this works.
1. Stayed at home today – son brought us take-out as a nice gesture
2. Routine winter boring thrifting – cooking from scratch, mending some old clothes, staying out of stores that I love to splurge at etc.
3. Getting ride of 20 year old former “luxury car” which has rendered good service. Major gas guzzler but good for hauling stuff. Taking our time in finding a newer vehicle.
4. Keeping track of expenditures makes me frugal when I have to write down my un-frugal expenditures
5. No Lear jets or other wonderful but useless items that don’t fit in with our lifestyle.


janine February 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

meant to say rid: – not ride!


Maureen February 19, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Oh my gosh! No more drinking coffee while reading your blog, I snorted it with #1. Will have to post later after cleaning my keyboard.


Gina February 19, 2018 at 6:25 pm

I just started working again after several years at home with my kids. I’m working at Wegmans supermarket and if I don’t make a point to bring food from home, I end up buying lunch there. Which is very tasty, but rather pricey. My goal this week is to not buy any lunches there! (You would think, working at Wegmans, that it would be easy enough to bring groceries home and to have sandwich fixings on hand, but after an 8 hour shift all I want to do is get the heck out of there.)


Dusty February 20, 2018 at 12:31 pm

I love wegmans!!! When i go to upstate N.Y. to visit i go to lunch there w my friends


A. Marie February 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm

When my NYC BFF visits here, Wegmans is the first place she demands to go. (Nothing like Weggies is available in Manhattan; her local Gristede’s is lamentable.) But I agree that having lunch there every day as an employee would take a pretty good chunk out of your pay.


Ava February 19, 2018 at 6:32 pm

What was that thing, Katy?
1. My husband has been doing our taxes and I have been leaving him alone because divorce is not frugal.
2. I entered pages and pages of donations into “It’s Deductible” , listing all the items we got rid of when we emptied husband’s house and moved him south.
3. I had a little bit of cottage cheese lasagna filling left over. I added sugar and vanilla and it became crepe filling to go with blue berries.
4. Bad dogs confused their new bed with a chew toy and bit a big hole in it. I sewed it up. That is the second hole I have sewed up in that bed.

I think that is all I have this time.


Madeline Kasian February 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

1. Clipped a two for one coupon to the local Renaissance Fair. Had a whole day date with the husband !! Awesome day!!

2. Husband repaired our kitty’s scratching post vs. buying a new one.

3. Found someone to teach me to crochet, for free.

4. Eating all meals at home, home cooked,from scratch.

5. Turned in my huge coffee can of loose change saved over past 2 years and got a nice $301. credit to our bank account!!


Mand01 February 19, 2018 at 6:58 pm

1. Over the weekend we made a cream of vegetable soup with veggies from our garden, and pizzas, also with veggies from the garden. This has made lunches for several days plus two dinners.
2. Brought my own coffee to work except today when I splurged on a flat white. It was a disappointment so I won’t waste $5 on that again. I used to buy coffee daily!
3. My garden has continued to keep us in vegetables now for six weeks. It’s been a very worthwhile endeavour.
4. I spent a couple of hours turning compost and moving rhubarb plants to a better spot. We make our own compost and have reduced our garbage output by half. We don’t save any money exactly but we do get free fertiliser and reduce contribution to landfill.
5. My in laws gave us free nectarines, which I stewed, my parents gave me their chicken manure for our compost (this is a gift I really value) and I picked rhubarb and made a delicious crumble with strawberries I got cheap and froze earlier this year.


Gina in KY February 19, 2018 at 7:03 pm

1. Completed and sent in both my Fed and state taxes.
2. Made a delicious Banana King Asian Year of the Dog Cake using many old black bananas and items already detained in the pantry. I could not find my vanilla for the life of me, so I used up some hazelnut coffee syrup I was gifted a few years ago and it was perfect!
3. We also made a clean out the veggie bin stir-fry to go with the cake.
4. We hit 76 today and I used the clothesline to dry my blankets and sheets and they smell wonderful.
5. Took the dogs on a long walk through the city and this was about as frugal as it gets.


FrannyandDanny February 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

Blogging, free fruit, free salsa, lunch at my mum’s place and staying in on a night with Netflix!


Teresa February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

1. Finally using the pressure cooker that I got when I exchanged another pan gifted to me at Christmas. So far so good. Used things that I had on hand to make a stew. Not done yet.

2. Used Sears “free” points (only $4 spent) to get a few things that the house needed, plus a small tool that will be a Christmas present and handwarmers that I’ll try to use in some kind of giveaway to the people who ask me for money (which I don’t have a lot of, but I can certainly share water, handwarmers and a note about where to get help.)

3. Today I worked on fixing the bamboo blinds instead of replacing them.

4. I’ve been watching “Mozart in the Jungle” with my one-month free Amazon Prime account. Wow, it is so good. It’s been a long time since a TV program inspired me.

5. Today was my day off but I worked a few hours at a local business to bring in a little extra money. Also, I’ve been finding pennies lately. Like you peeps, I always pick them up. Money is money.

Thank you all for sharing and inspiring me… 🙂


CraftTeaLady February 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm

I’ll have to look that one up. Always good to see positive tv reviews.


Christine February 19, 2018 at 7:15 pm

Having trouble since the website went down submitting posts. Will try through my email.
1. Sold my first item on FB Marketplace!
2. Battery died in laptop. DH and I decided to forego purchasing a new one since we never take the laptop out of the house anyway. We unplug it when not in use.
3. Made a large baked ziti that will feed the two of us for four suppers.
4. Reading books I’ve ordered from the Inter Library loan system. Love how the receipt prints out how much money you’ve saved by borrowing instead of buying this book.
5. I’ve been sick with a bad cold so haven’t ventured out much so not spending.


CraftTeaLady February 19, 2018 at 9:18 pm

I went to a thrift in Gresham (play me again) that I LOVE, but opted to walk away from the half priced, brand new, pants for 1.50 because the fit just wasn’t quite right. I’ll find a pair soon…cause mine are ready to fall off my body.


Canadian Girl February 19, 2018 at 9:27 pm

Had friends over for dinner on Saturday night instead of going out. Yummy home cooked meal and more time to talk.

Continue to take transit to work. My car is getting lonely without me but taking transit not only is cheaper but its so much better for the environment.

Making due with what I have clothing wise and using pinterest to get new ideas to shake up my wardrobe …its actually helping quite a bit and I am really liking the new combinations that I am coming up with. I wore a teal pair of jeans yesterday and I have only ever worn them in the spring or summer in the past but I really liked how I paired them to wear in the winter. It actually brightened my mood and zero dollars spent woohoo!

Once again worked out at my place with friends tonight. We have been on a roll working out every Monday night for the last 9 or so months.

Mother in law is a really good seamstress, she hemmed a pair of my husband’s dress pants, fixed an older sweatshirt which no longer fit him and fixed about 5 of my son’s shirts. We buy him his tshirts in size large because he is over 6 feet tall to fit his long body but they are too wide and she took them in for him. I have a great mother in law and I know I am very very lucky

Still happily watching the Olympics for entertainment


Elizabeth February 20, 2018 at 4:58 am

1. Learned how to make sushi at home, which will save me a lot of money on date nights.
2. Only bought groceries this past week
3. We have been having really warm weather this past week, so we used no fire wood or electric heat
4. Made party decorations for Chinese New Year from supplies I already had
5. Bartered babysitting services for random groceries I needed to make it to my designated grocery store day (My 27 year old autistic sister is a handful for my mom to take into stores)**I do not charge my mom, she just gets a kick out of bartering with me for things she gets for cheap…she is a mega couponer:)


Lisa February 20, 2018 at 6:04 am

You are a blessing to your mom. As a mega saving shopped I get the thrill of buying and giving those things away. Last month aldi s had a grand opening and I was able to stock the pantries of several families using their 5.00 off coupons


Bee February 20, 2018 at 5:05 am

Katy, Your first frugal thing made me laugh. I think that I would have had to defrost it just to see what it was. My frugal things:
1) I have been losing weight. Although I am happy that the weight is finally disappearing, the majority of my perfectly curated thrifted wardrobe is now too big. Thus, lack of clothing has recently become an issue, and I have been spending some time thrifting. I purchased a brand new pair of Ferragamo black ballet flats for $5 — a little cheaper than the regular retail price of $550. I bought a pair of $3 jeans. I also gladly accepted some hand-me-downs from my big sister — some things never change.

2) I seemed to run out of all my personal care items at once. I have cut the end off of several tubes, turned over bottles, and used a cotton swab to get the last of the makeup and lipstick out of the tube.

3) I made some extra money. I sold 6 items on eBay last week and did a little side work.

4) I purchased Turbo Tax to do our taxes for the second year in a row. It takes some time, but it saves $925 to do it myself.

5) I have been creating meals from leftovers whenever possible. We had white chilli last night to use up some leftover turkey, chicken broth and roasted pumpkin that had been lingering in the freezer. I have had to throw a few things out recently so I am being much more vigilant.


A. Marie February 20, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Bee, you win big-time on the Ferragamos. That deal is even better than the very lightly used Ugg boots I scored at one of our Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper stores last week for $10.


Tracy February 20, 2018 at 5:45 am

1. Went to a town two hours away this weekend for DD’s volleyball tournament. Stayed with Aunt and Uncle, had a lovely visit and avoided hotel fees. Also ate at their place so no restaurant expenses except the last night we picked up pizza and salads to treat everyone and give them a break from cooking. Didn’t buy anything at concessions stand all weekend. Admission cost for the family for the whole weekend for tourney was $20 so very reasonable weekend, especially for traveling. And it was so good to spend time with them.
2. Trying to economize on parking, taking bus to/from work today.
3. Taking food to/from work.
4. Setting boundaries with young adult kids, can’t continue to support financially. This is difficult but I believe ultimately for the best for them as well as me. I do think it’s so much harder for the current generation to transition to adulthood (or “adulting” as one recent writer put it) than it was for my generation.
5. Stopped in to several thrift stores with my mom this past weekend, didn’t buy anything.


Bee February 20, 2018 at 9:02 am

I also had difficulty setting financial boundaries for my adult children. My eldest child was very independent and supported himself financially at an early age. He has not taken a penny from us since graduating from college in 2008 even when getting his Masters Degree. However, my two younger children who are ages 26 and 28 are another story. I finally put my foot down and it was not easy. My husband and I were spending nearly $1000 a month on phones, auto insurance, health insurance, medication co-pays, and so forth. It just was not sustainable.


Tracy February 20, 2018 at 9:29 am

Thank you for sharing that Bee.


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 20, 2018 at 5:54 am

I so sympathize with the “weird pie” thing. I’ve been finding all kinds of odd ways to use up produce. My go-to is putting it all on a slice of 21-grain toast (with homemade yogurt cheese, of course).

This week:

1. I’m 150% dreading an event I’m doing the next two days for work. However, the upside is that all of my meals are paid for and I’m earning mileage.

2. Last night we watched the last of the three movies we rented for free from the library.

3. I made omelets for breakfast using odds and ends from the refrigerator.

4. I painted my own nails to resist the urge to go to the salon.

5. We used the Instant Pot to make a pot of pinto beans instead of buying canned beans.


Katy in Africa February 20, 2018 at 6:04 am

Now I’m craving apple pie.
1. I got a shutterfly email about a freebie and looked into it, but then decided it wasn’t worth the $6 I’d have to pay for something I don’t need.
2. My daughter and I somehow lost all but one hair tie, then I had an idea. Awhile back we attended a kids concert where paper visors with elastic bands were handed out, after the event my son collected a few of them, some of which were broken. I took 2 of them and tied them to make 2 new hair ties! They work great!
3. We’re spending more on food this month as we have guests. And while I am serving more variety than usual because of it, I’ve decided not to go crazy making elaborate meals. This is not only saving us money, but helping me not to be stressed out and instead I’m calm and have time to hang out and talk.
4. We’re looking into taking a bus instead of flying to an upcoming trip, this could save us hundreds.
5. The usual, hanging laundry to dry, dumping rinse water on plants and reading frugal blogs.


Jennifer February 20, 2018 at 8:17 am

2. Not quite as cute as the regular ones, but I sometimes cut the top part of mismatched socks that are just taking up space into hair bands. With three girls plus myself, we lose them a lot.


Katy in Africa February 21, 2018 at 8:14 am

Thanks for the great tip! We usually have some random socks hanging around.


Roberta February 21, 2018 at 8:01 am

I sometimes stop by the swap meet down here, to pick up several yards of fold-over elastic. Its the stuff the expensive hair elastics are made of. Several yards, in a variety of colors, will make enough elastics for several months — even longer if I only bring out a few at a time, and create artificial scarcity, so my daughter holds on to them better.

If your daughters are young, I found that tying a colored ribbon on to the elastic looks really cute, and makes the elastic more likely to be picked up and brought home.


Katy in Africa February 21, 2018 at 8:36 am

Great tips! Thanks


Colleen February 20, 2018 at 7:13 am

1) I extended a work trip in order to spend 24 hours exploring San Francisco. Almost nothing is frugal about San Fran! However, I really did my best. I got 2 free breakfasts out of the hostel I stayed at for 1 night, I walked over 25,000 steps that day (avoiding paying for Lyft/Ubers, although I did still pay for a couple), and I used my AAA membership to get 10% off my meal at Hard Rock Cafe. The day before, my boss and I had used Lyft to get to dinner and she said she had never used it. I sent her a referral code and we used her Lyft account to get home. For referring her I got a $20 Lyft credit! This certainly helped.

2) One thing that I splurge on a bit is Venus razors, the kind with the shaving gel attached. Usually a good price on these is $3 each, which I know is ridiculous but I really like them and make them last. Yesterday at Kroger I found a 4 pack on Manager’s Special for $7.99 and then used a $5 digital coupon, making them $2.99 for 4! Awesome deal. Also got a pack of Cascadian Farms granola bars for $0.50 with combo of Manager’s Special and digital coups.

3) My dog is having some crazy eye allergy issue which is making him miserable. My husband took him to the emergency vet on Saturday but it hasn’t got better. Last night I called the vet again and they were able to get me an actual appointment (usually impossible – they had a last minute cancellation). So by avoiding the emergency vet we saved the $20 emergency fee and the vet actually decided not to charge us for the appointment at all, calling it a re-check.

4) On my work trip I won a $5 Starbucks gift card by answering a question correctly at my work conference. At the airport on the way home I used this to buy a sandwich for lunch and ended up spending only $1.63 out of pocket – not bad for expensive airport food! Also, with the hotel points that I got for my work trip I was able to redeem for a $10 Starbucks gift card, even though it was my employer that paid for the hotel.

5) I’ve ordered just about every home delivery meal service once – it is always a good deal on the first order! I make sure to cancel after the first order but sometimes they’ll send me emails with offers saying “we miss you!”. I’m not sure how I pulled this off, but on Wednesday I am getting a completely free box from Blue Apron. It said I had $70 worth of credits in my account, so I signed up again and will just make sure to cancel after this box.


Jenelle February 20, 2018 at 7:14 am

Please share what “that item” was that you found in your freezer!

1. We have been using a flaking non-stick sauce pan for quite some time now and I vowed to find a nice stainless steel one while thrifting. Well yesterday was my day! I visited our small, local thrift shop and low and behold I found a really heavy one. After googling the brand name, I learned that it was a food service sauce pot. Great quality for only $6. My hubby, who is in the food service industry was very impressed with the deal I found. He said normally they are $50!!

2. Also while thrifting yesterday, I found three partial packages of overnight diapers for my son. He is 5 and has issues with bed wetting. For $12 I was able to buy two cases of diapers. They normally run $25 a case.

3. Hubby has been working his second job to help bring in some extra income.

4. My daughter visited the pediatrician recently and had some lab work completed through a local hospital. the pediatrician sent over our old insurance so we received a bill for the entire amount. One phone call to their billing office with our new insurance saved us $92.

5. Other than drinking coffee at work and packing lunches, I can’t think of another one.


Crosby February 20, 2018 at 8:10 am

Our “no dining out” month was interrupted this weekend. We had a vet emergency while we were visiting my parents in a different city and ended up having to eat lunch out (our dog is ok now!). But I did have my water bottle with me so I was able to fill it from a drinking fountain instead of purchasing a drink! I’ll try to come up with FFTs to counter that expensive vet emergency:
1. We went to visit my parents this weekend because my dad was playing in a Cabaret. They purchased our tickets for us and we didn’t buy any extras while we were there.
2. My mom sent us home with home made mac and cheese for dinner since it had been a very stressful weekend with our dog emergency. It was much appreciated. She also threw in some Thai leftovers that she thought I would enjoy for lunch.
3. I needed some yarn to edge a baby blanket that I’ve been working on since what I had purchased wasn’t right. I went through my stash and found the perfect yarn, $0 spent. And I can use what I had purchased originally for a different project.
4. I brought leftovers for lunch to work today, as well as food for dinner since we have an appointment immediately after work that will last several hours, and I don’t do well when I’m hungry.
5. During the vet emergency, we had a few hours to kill (but it wouldn’t have made sense to drive all the way back to my parents). While we did buy lunch, we ended up going to the mall so we could walk and get some steps in. We refrained from buying anything else.


nancy from mass February 20, 2018 at 8:23 am

I thought of the same thing when i saw the ‘orb’… makes me wonder about the way our minds work!

1. in the past week I have found (all in the same change machine) 26 pennies, 2 dimes, 2 pennies and a $1 jamaican coin and a quarter, dime, nickel with 2 pennies. Jackpots!
2. Had a gold coin and 90% fresh ground sirloin was on sale so I bought 5 lbs to vacu-freeze for the boy for $1.49/pound! He had a burger last night, will probably have another today and I packed away 8 more packages for burgers or taco meat. (I’m vegetarian but man on man, that meat looked soooo good!)
3. did a load of laundry today and, since i live in new england, was able to hang it out today! (had to snowblow on saturday)
4. stopped at the indian market last week and bought bunch of stuff for less than $4, including a large bag of baby spinach. Made salmon (from the freezer), spinach and a boatload of rice for my dinner Saturday with leftovers for today for lunch. (a boatload because we like leftover rice)
5. have been staying home enjoying the Olympics and knitting my sweater. 1 1/2 sleeves left and it will be complete. I plan on wearing it during closing ceremonies (started it during opening ceremonies!)


ouvickie February 20, 2018 at 8:55 am

1) A co-worker brought in donuts this morning for her birthday, which I thought was hilarious since it is HER birthday. She told me the last team she was on decided they would provide their own sweets for their birthdays, so they could choose whatever they wanted. They won’t last long this afternoon, we have 3 healthy male students who will always clean-up free food! LOL!
2) Fuel dropped to $2.35 per gallon at my local gas station – that’s about a 30 center drop in just two weeks. I need to fill up in the next few days, in case it goes up again.
3) I wanted some spring rolls from the Vietnamese Pho Restaurant on Campus corner. So I dug in my purse and came up with $2.50 worth of quarters for an order of three, which ended up being my lunch that day. They were so good!
4) I’m enjoying the audiobooks I picked up at the Library last week. I checked out The Little Book of Hygge, while I was there. Great book. I’ve been reflecting on the ways we already practice that at home and in our personal relationships. Love that book!
5) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or anything gold plated this week.
Frugal Fail:
I have my longhair chihuahua professionally groomed, usually every few months – so I’m not spending a fortune for something I’m not good at doing myself. I felt guilty when I picked her up yesterday – apparently it has been over 6 months since I’d had her groomed and her nails were curling under and puncturing her paw pads. I felt so guilty! Poor baby, I honestly didn’t realize it had been that long and I know they were curling under. I will never wait that long again without, at least, trimming them in between visits. I’m a bad fur-baby Mom! 🙁


KJD509 February 20, 2018 at 10:19 am

1) Hubs and littlest were home this long weekend. They drove instead of flying or taking the train, which is exhausting but less expensive.
2) We spent the weekend on some critical home repairs, saving thousands vs hiring them out. Hard work, especially for Hubs, but it’s just not worth putting that much $ into a house we want to sell. (But it does have to be able to pass inspection – hence the work.)
3) Ate all meals at home but one – a trip to Littlest’s favorite local pizza spot. We ran into someone I haven’t seen much of since the days of waiting at school to pick up kindergarteners, who are now 21. She is still slim and clearly puts a lot of time (and $) into her face, hair color, etc., while I’m, um, frumpy. But as she walked away Hubs said, “Wow, she hasn’t aged nearly as well as you,” which was both surprising and worth the price of the pizza, if you ask me 🙂
4) Sent Hubs and Littlest back in the more gas efficient car, even though I really hate the other one. It’s easier to drive, too, so their return trip was nearly 2 hours quicker than the drive out here. Felt very virtuous as I bumped along in the ancient Explorer this morning, freezing because the heat doesn’t work.
5) No Lear jet, no gold-plated vulgarities.


June February 20, 2018 at 6:39 pm

#3…that man is a keeper!


Jennifer February 21, 2018 at 5:56 am

#3 Wow, he is awesome!


K D February 20, 2018 at 10:53 am

1. I stopped at Safeway and picked up a couple of “Just For You” items. I also got a couple of freebies, that were the result of the Monopoly game. I only spent a few dollars but earned ten games pieces. Cheap entertainment for my husband. I also picked up a penny by the CoinStar machine.

2. All meals were at home this weekend. Even my daughter and her boyfriend were happy to eat dinner at our house.

3. Books from the library, videos on Netflix. Cheap entertainment.

4. A friend and I walked in the rain on Friday. It was warm-ish so it was worth it. We walked by a wetland that sounded like it was teeming with peepers. It was quite a racket.

5. I finished our federal and state income tax returns. We’ll receive small-ish refunds. With the tax law changes I don’t think we’ll change our withholdings for this year. I’m really not sure how we’ll be impacted.


nancy from mass February 20, 2018 at 11:32 am

my accountant sent a ‘breakdown’ of how the changes would have affected me if the changes were for last year. i would have gotten back over a thousand less. not looking forward to next years taxes….

btw: i’m considered middle class for my area.


Carla February 20, 2018 at 11:30 am

That number 1 had me lol-ing . Love the puns in my family, sometimes we just keep them going far too long for normal people. But we get some great chuckles.


Cindy in the South I February 20, 2018 at 11:42 am

1. My President’s List son dropped out of college with two semester to go because of his illness. However, he is slowly improving, and will probably go back next semester, but maybe just one course at a time. This is a detour, not a roadblock. So, I consider that a huge win.
2. I dyed my hair with $3 dye. I decided sporting the zebra look on top of my head in court did not count as being stylish.
3. It is 80 degrees and I walked by the slightly overflowing river, enjoying the wildlife.
4. I managed to pay my bills this month. Some months, that is a win.
5. I bought Valentines Day candy on sale. I am not sure if this is a win, because I am a bit “fluffy”….see #3.


Jenelle February 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

It’s always a win when you can pay the bills! I’m right there with you on making ends meet.


June February 20, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Hubby missed a semester of college due to mononucleosis and it turned out to be life changing in a good way. He recovered enough to work part time at a hospital for the rest of the missed semester. He was motivated to change his major to premed and later went on to become a surgeon. He credits having the time to reflect on his career path to having to take a health break during college. So don’t despair over your son’s detour as you never know what he may learn on his own during this time.


Cindy in the South I February 21, 2018 at 5:04 am

Thank y’all!


Julie February 20, 2018 at 4:20 pm

1-I won a 20.00 Starbucks gift card at a work event. Gifted it to DH for Valentine’s Day. He is currently unemployed and needs to be able meet up with friend guilt free.
2-work coffee is no longer crappy (hence my willingness to gift away my Starbucks card) so I have no purchased coffee in nearly a month, since this use to occur 3 times a week the savings are adding up.
3-I have rotated all to food on hand to ensure we are not putting new product in front of old to prevent food waste.
4-As a result of DHs unemployment we have stopped any meals out, but he and the kids are doing a great job at meal planning.
5-cashed out on a rebate app after almost 2 years, but it’s money in my account now.


Linda Gertig February 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Hubby got the 1/2 price Valentine candy Saturday so we could celebrate on Sunday. Manager of the produce department sent him home with a dozen huge roses for free. They are a beautiful pale pink and still looking great. When our two sons came over Saturday evening for our usual weekly get together and to celebrate the older ones 40th birthday I said,”Look what Daddy got me. How much do you think they cost?”
Older one guessed a dollar but the younger said free, Those guys have know us and our ways for a long time. 😉


Norma February 20, 2018 at 6:52 pm

1. Bartered an iron that was gifted to me for a one-cup single cup Keurig. I did not pay for the iron so cost to me – 0. Will sell the bigger Keurig at upcoming yard sale.
2. Used a buy one, get one free coupon for Valentine’s Day dinner at our favorite Southern all-you-can-eat buffet. Went on Tuesday night when locals get free drink. Total of $17.00 including tip.
3. Got a check for $8.36; not a lot but every little bit helps.
4. Purchased a gift card for a friend with points earned on my credit card (paid off every month).
5. Purchased a $100 gift card with points on the same credit card. Will be used for expensive airport food on layovers on our flight to Fairbanks for our Alaskan cruise. Although might not be considered frugal, our frugality in other areas allows us to travel.


Lindsey February 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Hope you get to spend a few days in Fairbanks before your cruise, so you get a chance to see things outside the city. There is lots to do.


Norma February 21, 2018 at 3:56 am

We have scheduled a trip to the Arctic Circle on our own and then we will have a few days in Fairbanks as part of the land tour.


Christine February 21, 2018 at 10:17 am

Have a great time on your trip. We are also frugal to allow us to travel. Alaska is definitely on my bucket list.


Jennifer February 20, 2018 at 6:53 pm

1. Treating my kids illnesses with natural remedies (essential oils, hot tea, garlic + honey).
2. Packing lunches for everyone with leftovers.
3. Doing my taxes with TurboTax and so far we are getting a small refund. I really thought we were going to owe, so this is a win!
4. Found my ds a plane ticket to his summer employment for only $102 cross-country.
5. Really focusing on using up random bits of food in other meals. I made hash brown casserole with leftover sausage, burritos bowls when I made way too much rice (added black beans, dice tomatoes, onions and spices), smoothies with soft fruit, etc.


Teddie February 20, 2018 at 9:05 pm

1. Enjoyed a movie last Tuesday and today using our Stubbs membership. DH and I can see a movie, get a popcorn, and a drink all for under $12.00. We do not spend much money on other entertainment so this is our weekly afternoon date.
2. Completed a survey and have received 2 pairs of free underwear (one more pair to come) for GS. We fill out a 3 question survey about the underwear for each pair. Hey, underwear is not cheap so I am all about 3 free pairs.
3. Last week saved only 35% doing my CVS shopping, but this week I made up for it by saving 59%. My goal is always 40% savings or better. Received mail from CVS informing me I had saved $94 for the month of January.
4. Doing meal planning a little differently. Instead of planning specific dinners for each day I make a list of all the meals I can make with ingredients on hand. Based on activities and family requests I make a dinner from the list.
5. Earned a Swagbucks $25 gift card for Walmart and used it towards groceries. My grocery bill has increased about 20% since moving to Florida from Texas. Gee do I miss my Aldi.


Diane C February 21, 2018 at 12:00 am

Oh boy, I cannot top your #1, but I can do FFT, Grandma-Style.

For our faraway grandbaby’s visits, we have pieced together all the basics.

1. Borrowed toy kitchen and stroller.
2. Bought a nice pack ‘n play from neighborhood listserv ($35), a brand new in-package fitted p’np crib sheet at an estate sale ($1), and strap-on-a-chair highchair from a baby consignment store ($15).
3. Got a high-end, unexpired, stupidly expensive brand carseat free from neighborhood listserv.
4. Stocked up on diapers and wipes using $10 off coupons provided by a friend who works for an organic baby products company.
5. DD went through some stuff that we’ve had stored in our attic and designated four large boxes as “okay to give away”. Before taking it to the thrift store, of course I gleaned it. There was a piggy bank with coins in it, which I figured to be pennies. To my shock (she’s usually pretty frugal), it was not. I haven’t counted it yet, but I’m guessing it might be about $15. It will probably go into said grandchild’s 529, which we opened as an excuse not to buy plastic crap.


Christine February 21, 2018 at 10:23 am

Sounds like you are all set for that grandbaby’s visit. And you did it all so frugally. Have fun! My youngest grandbaby is now 10 and I miss those babyhood days. It’s an old saying but they really do grow so fast.


Karen February 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

1. I have had a Garmin Forerunner 15 now for two years, and it works great, but the wristband was so grimy because I was wearing it all the time for a watch as well as a fitness tracker. Then finally the little band that holds the extra wristband flat just broke, and I figured, well, I’ll run without a Garmin now. On a whim I searched on Amazon to see what my old-style Garmin would cost to replace and LO and BEHOLD they sell wristband replacement kits! For way less than a new Garmin! I ordered it and replaced it in about two minutes, and now will keep it for running and not everyday use.

2. For Lent I decided to give up snacking–not just snacking but also snack-type foods. (i.e., no putting potato chips on a plate for part of dinner.) I can already see this is reducing my grocery bill, I’m embarassed to say how many snacks I was purchasing just for fun. I do keep pretzels on hand for the kids, but they have wheat so I’m not tempted.

3. Monday my husband had the day off, so I went to the grocery store and Trader Joe’s without kids–this always brings my bill down a bit because I’m not caving to the kids’ impulse purchases, even more so this time because I had returns for TJ’s, things I tried and didn’t like. I will say that often my older kids bring their own money and get something on their own dime, but a lot of times we are partners in crime when it comes to impulse buys.

4. A couple of weeks ago we tried a new gyro place and one of my kids tried falafel for the first time and LOVED it. I remembered making it once upon a time, so I found the recipe and made some for lunch today. Not only was it cheaper than getting at the gyro place, but my older son tried it and said it was way better than the restaurant’s! Score.

5. Gave all four boys haircuts this week–I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for 20 years, and the boys since the first needed one, and I haven’t calculated how much it saves, but it saves a LOT not just on money, but time as well. I go to a Supercuts for my own hair, I figure that not spending on five haircuts more than compensates for my 20-buck haircuts every couple of months, right?


Cathy February 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm

We went to visit my parents this weekend because my dad was playing in a Cabaret. They purchased our tickets for us and we didn’t buy any extras while we were there. Root Protection
2. My mom sent us home with home made mac and cheese for dinner since it had been a very stressful weekend with our dog emergency. It was much appreciated. She also threw in some Thai leftovers that she thought I would enjoy for lunch.
3. I needed some yarn to edge a baby blanket that I’ve been working on since what I had purchased wasn’t right.


Gina February 22, 2018 at 6:55 am

1. Someone at work brought in 2 boxes of unopened mashed potatoes that her husband bought in error. They were free for the taking. We don’t normally eat instant potatoes in our house, but they can be used as a quick side in a pinch. So i brought them home.
2. This morning i spotted something on our breakroom table that i didn’t notice before. I went to take a look and it was a whole pile of different varieties of greeting cards. Those are coming home with me as well!
3. My daughter’s eight grade class is taking a class trip to Washington DC in May. We had the option of paying for all, part of the trip or fundraising whatever we could. I’m proud to say we fundraised all of the trip (& then some), so we are only out of pocket the initial $50 deposit (that happened before any fundraising), so we saved $300 by fundraising all of the trip. She was the only child in the class to fundraise the whole thing, so I’m extremely happy about that!
4. I received a bill from a doctor visit. I have a high deductible plan at work, so before we pay any bills, we check with the HR department to see if they’ve been paid thru our plan deductible. I called the billing department to tell them my plan paid for it, plus i’m owed a small refund from what the doctor’s office had me pay at the time of the visit (they didn’t even wait til insurance was billed). I’m glad i checked on this.
5. Continuing to turn in doctor bill copays thru my supplemental plan for work & putting $ back in my pocket. Every little bit helps!


Karen February 22, 2018 at 8:27 am

Instant mashed potatoes are my go-to when I make shepherd’s pie (either with beef or lentils), because they’re so quick and easy. My family doesn’t like instant mashed potatoes on their own, but on a shepherd’s pie they’re great! You can also use them for potato bread, much easier than cooking a potato for the bread!


Linda Gertig February 22, 2018 at 8:55 am

I usually don’t care for mashed potatoes of any kind but once I had some that I thought actually tasted quite good. I was told that they were instant, made with all milk, not milk and water as the package directed.


Susie's Daughter February 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm

They can also be used to thicken a soup without using cream. I make “cream of” broccoli or asparagus this way.


JennMG February 25, 2018 at 7:22 pm

We are all lactose intolerant at our house so we use them for thickener too!

Vickey February 22, 2018 at 9:22 am

1) Baked 2 trays of Beanie Bars – homemade snack bars for those grab n go moments. The ‘banzos were bulk bought, pressure-cooker/residual heat cooked, the quinoa and yams were cooked in the woodstove while it was already heating the house, etc.
2) Hung musty hand-me-down fabric on the line to air out in the rain and wind.
3) Threw the windows open wide to let in the fresh air during the oh so brief “window” when it was 70 & there was a break in the rain. Northern winters sure make you appreciate samplings of spring!
4) Sorted and winnowed in the sewing/storage room. We’re rearranging things to make it roomier, and I’m working to let go of some sentimental bits.
5) Froze some overripe bananas, finished a pot of beans that wasn’t as tasty as usual, making sure to use up overwintered produce stores, etc.
6) Sorted a batch of red beans while watching shows, to pressure/residual heat cook today. We’ll use these as the basis for entrees for the next few days.


Bethany February 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm

I spent some time clearing out tumbleweeds and dead tall stocks of grass from across the street and put them in my yard waste bin. If we all do a little, we can ameliorate the wild fire problem that will definitely rear it’s ugly head again in a few months, and hopefully keep those fires away from our door.

Set up some targets out of cardboard boxes for the kids to try out their new bow and arrows. Fun uncle gift for a recent birthday.

Made some chicken taco soup using mostly leftovers. One whole chicken goes a really long way in our house.

Talked my husband out of buying needless junk at LEGOLAND this week. I could have strangled him if he bought another set of stuff I’m going to have to clean up or bark at the kids to clean up and the fun only last for a few days…..Ugh. He still doesn’t get it, but it good at compromise.

Been back and forth with my pulmonologist about some sleep problems. He happily gave me prescriptions for some things and coded them as “medically necessary.” One being a bite guard for sleeping at night to help with my jaw clenching problem. Would have been much more expensive to have my dental insurance cover it.


Victoria Jone January 23, 2020 at 4:02 am

Being Frugal with your First Apartment?
Okay, so I’m moving out in five months, and the place I’m moving into is a studio apartment, with rent being $350 a month, all bills included except electricity/cable/internet, and electricity is, apparently, about $50 a month. Being a server, I figure I set aside $10 a day (half of rent/bills a month) and save one paycheck (usually about $175) for the rest of rent.

More of tips will go to groceries (things on sale, store discount card, reeeeally cheap food), and as far as furnishings go, my family will help me out with some.. as for the rest: thrift stores, garage sales, and dollar stores. I have my car already, all paid off, so I just have insurance to pay (about $150), which will be the other paycheck. So, the rest of tips will be spending money, I guess..

Is there anything I’m leaving out? Anything I need to remember/take account for? Any advice?


puzzle February 10, 2020 at 3:15 am

What are some easy frugal things to make?
I’m thinking about things along the line of

Making your own vodka,

Flavouring vodka, wine..

Making garlic oil

creating garlic butter

any other cool ideas for preserving foods in cool yummy ways (not including meats, jam, marmalade)


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