Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 6, 2018 · 95 comments

  1. My 52-year-old husband planned a snowboarding day trip up to Mt. Hood with his work buddies. Skiing and snowboarding are expensive hobbies, but my guy kept it on budget. He pre-purchased a discount lift ticket, packed sandwiches and water from home, made do with some scrappy 99¢ thrifted snow pants, borrowed goggles, carpooled with someone who owns a 4-wheel drive and most importantly he avoided a visit to an emergency room, which I say is the biggest savings of all!

  2. I spent a few hours thrifting at the Goodwill Outlet with my friend Sarah, who if possible likes Goodwill more than I do.

    I bought:

    – A lambswool sweater and souvenir British tea towel for my father.
    – A lovely Metropolitan Museum of Art silk necktie for my husband.
    – A kilim pillow sham.
    – A groovy Zenith “Space Command” remote control.
    – A pair of leggings for myself.
    – A pair of sunglasses.
    – A pair of jeans for my mother.
    – An antique brownie camera.
    – Two brand new paint pens.
    – A Game of Thrones T-shirt to sell to the nearby Buffalo Exchange consignment shop. (I bring stuff in throughout the year so I’ll have gift cards for my kids come December.)

  3. I scored a 99¢ bag of tangerines from The Grocery Outlet, and my husband and I actually ate every single one of them for a zero waste win! (My experience is that tangerines can quickly get dried out and unpalatable.)

  4. I watched a couple episodes of Orphan Black from a library DVD, I cooked up a slow cooker batch of black beans for burritos, I filled the Prius up with cheap Costco gasoline, I walked to the grocery store, I’m wearing a thrifted shirt, sweater, jeans, underwear and socks (sorry, the bra was bought new) and I strolled through a Whole Foods simply to enjoy the samples.

  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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{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

We spent our weekend on cheap recreation center activities ($8) and going to the park with a huge stock of homepacked healthy snacks (free!). We also watched a movie checked out from the library and cooked all our dinners all week, and I’m about to treat our house guest to a homecooked dinner tonight as well. I’ve stocked the fridge ahead of time with sale items so we can entertain our friends in a couple weeks frugally while feeding them well.


Bethany March 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm

I bought a $3 book about bariatric surgery from Ebay. The savings over going with Amazon was $16. Bariatric surgery is 100% covered under insurance. I’ve had a rocky road with weight management all my life. (even once lost 145 lbs by sheer determination, but put it back on over the course of the past 10 years) I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos, done a lot of research, prayed and talked to my husband about it. I will be asking for a referral at my next physical.

Went to the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with my girls. Charter school paid for tickets. It was fun! Next field trip is the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Can’t wait! $43 savings for me!

Having spaghetti and eating up some romaine lettuce for dinner.

Took my daughter out of town today, and packed a snack to keep us from going the fast food route. It was pretty tasty too!


Bethany March 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Also picked up a stroller from the neighborhood. Someone wrote free on it. It looked nice. Going to list it for $30.


Sandy B O'Neill March 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm

I had surgery eight years ago after looking 100 pounds on my own twice. I wish I had done it sooner. But, be ready to make the necessary lifestyle changes and find a very good doctor. I can recommend the Cleveland Clinic.


Bethany March 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss! Did you have the surgery that they make 6 small incisions or did you have the large incision like they used to do? I’m seeing such well adjusted people just a few days after surgery on YouTube. I did have 3 children, but still have a rough time dealing with long extended pain.


Liz B. March 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Bethany, I can only echo what Sandy B ONeill said…be ready to make significant lifesryle changes. Make sure the program you pick (if you move forward with this) includes working with a registered dietitian.


June March 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Good luck with your surgery Bethany! I have a couple of friends who each had a gastric sleeve bypass and were thrilled with the results.


Terri March 7, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Best wishes with the surgery! I had bariatric surgery in 2011 and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.


isabelle March 9, 2018 at 11:58 am

Also thinking about having this done (sleeve)… But for me it would be 15000$ out of pocket. Ouch!
Still not decided, it’s a big deal (not so much the money (I mean, it is expensive…) but the whole thing. It’s scary).


Bethany March 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm

I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos on it. I’ve watched the surgery itself as well as the first hand accounts. If it was like the surgery was initially, I don’t think I could go through with it. The pain looks so manageable. I have a lot of time until then to go through therapy and meet with specialists. This is something my family and I need, so that really helps with the decision making.


Vickey March 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

Yes, please do make very sure to work with a good dietitian. Both of my siblings have had bariatric surgery, and both regained all the lost weight and then some. Sadly, both are now morbidly obese again.

I’m finding Diane Carbonell’s website, blog posts, podcasts, etc. helpful at the moment. In addition to the already mentioned “The End of Overeating” book.


Bethany March 10, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Thanks, I’ll have to check her out. I’ve listened to Colleen Long on YouTube quite a bit.


Vickey March 11, 2018 at 7:00 am

Thanks for the rec., I’ll check her out.


Mary W March 6, 2018 at 2:43 pm

1. Going to hand bell practice in a little bit – other than gas to get there, this is free, fun, and the first time I think I’ve been out of the house in nearly a week. I love ringing hand bells, and the choir I am in is just such a great bunch of people. We have a lot of laughs at our mistakes, and somehow, we end up making beautiful music together.
2. After bell practice, I’m meeting up with my cousin to get a box of goodies she wants out of her house. I will use them as gifts at TOPS functions and to restock the gift box we keep there for guests and the best loser of the week. She gets her house cleaned out a bit more and I don’t have to pay for the gifts I give. Win-win!
3. One of my wonderful neighbors gifted us with a bunch of firewood. He was cutting up some downed trees and doesn’t have a woodstove. I heat with wood, and any time I can get free firewood, I feel very blessed.
4. Staying home, eating from the pantry and freezer, and working jigsaw puzzles for entertainment while I heal.
5. Still no lifting of gold plated vulgar objects…


susanna d March 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm

1. Used a $13 Kohl’s gift card (from having a Kohl’s credit card for 13 years) to buy 2 much needed bathroom rugs, a matching bath towel, and a matching hand towel. Since I also had a 30% off coupon, my total out of pocket cost was $2.05. The rugs (memory foam ones, which I love) were 80% off. I guess bright red isn’t a popular color choice for bathroom rugs, but believe it or not that was exactly the color I wanted for my mostly-black-and-white guest bathroom.

2. My husband has the habit of using razor blades beyond when they should be replaced (razor burn being a dead giveaway). Years ago it seemed I could always get razors and blades free through some offer or another. Now that I have to pay for them, we were both stunned by how much those blades cost. I was able to get a huge package of blades for my own razor from Costco awhile back (seriously, someone is going to inherit razor blades when I’m gone) but my husband loves his battery powered razor – which being a different brand uses a different blade. I cashed in Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card, and with a small amount of money I had left from a previous gift card was able to get an 8 pack of blades for his razor without spending money out of pocket. The 8 pack should last him a long time but hopefully not as long as he stretched the last package.

3. Returned an unneeded shower backer board, which put $21 back in my pocket.

4. Threw together a dinner of odds and ends last night – freezer finds (small ham pieces cut off a ham bone, leftover pasta), refrigerator saves (a sad looking bell pepper, part of an onion, and the end of a chunk of cheese for topping) and a can of stewed tomatoes. The resulting skillet dinner was surprisingly good and also provided lunch for us today.

5. Trying to use up every drop of everything, I cut open a toothpaste tube (should give me another week’s worth), a lotion tube (a couple weeks worth) and a tube of conditioner that came with my hair dye (mixed with water in a small spray bottle, that’ll give me enough leave on conditioner for a couple months).


Mindy March 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

This is off topic but your post reminded me of when medicine cabinets had slots for used razor blades. When we renovated the bathroom in our previous house, we found a bunch of rusty blades behind the wall. It’s funny to think that there was a time when people would toss those inside their walls and think nothing of it.


susanna d March 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Mindy, that’s really funny that you mentioned razor blade slots in medicine cabinets – because the medicine cabinet in the guest bathroom I mentioned above has one! When we re-did that bathroom we chose to keep the medicine cabinet and just paint the trim white because it was a weird size and would have been hard to find a replacement cabinet. I don’t know how many blades might be hiding in the wall – the house was built in 1974 so there probably aren’t as many as there would be in a house that was built decades earlier. I guess it truly was “out of sight, out of mind” when it came to disposable of blades from safety razors.


Monica March 7, 2018 at 10:35 am

We have those slots in our house as well (built in 1963). Ew! What were people thinking leaving those things in a wall! We’ll be renovating the house at some point and I loathe to see what we find!


Mindy March 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

If you go to Google Images and type in “medicine cabinet razor blade slot,” you will see pictures of old blades that people found when they removed the cabinet as well as pictures of the slots.

Mary W March 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm

susannah, have you looked into things like Dollar Shave Club to see if they carry the blades your hubs likes? I haven’t used any of the mail subscription razor clubs, because DT razors work just fine for me, but it might be worth looking into.


susanna d March 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm

Mary, I had previously looked around on the Dollar Shave Club site but my husband really loves his particular battery powered 5 blade razor, and I didn’t find anything that would work. I figure the 8 pack of blades I got from cashing in Swagbucks – plus the fact that he has one unused blade left and just put a fresh blade on his razor – will probably last him at a couple of years if not longer. I mean, he’s not quite at Clark Howard’s level (if I recall correctly, Clark was able to use a single disposable razor for a year) but he does make those blades last. I should mention that my husband has a beard so while he does shave every day it doesn’t involve shaving quite the amount of skin it would if he didn’t have a beard.


Mary W March 11, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Oh, that makes sense, then. 🙂


Mand01 March 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm

My FFT are mostly travel related. I travelled for work, and had a goal of returning with most of my per diem.
1. I packed a diet milkshake and a shaker to have for dinner when I got to the hotel. This cost $2. It’s fine for one night and saved me eating a greasy pub meal, which is all that’s available at night in remote communities.
2. I stopped by a supermarket on my way to the airport and picked up some breakfast biscuits and quinoa snacks. Because I had a gift card these were free. I ate some breakfast biscuits along with my shake for dinner as well.
3. Free hotel breakfast.
4. Lunch was catered. It was really good.
5. I packed some of the leftover catered lunch in a takeaway container and ate it at the airport before flying home.
I did buy a couple of coffees and some magazines to read on the flight but I still came home with $70.


Gina in KY March 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm

I’m right there with you on the frequent, frugal work travel and saved per diem!


Linda March 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm

1. Goodwill stop & was able to purchase a new pillow cover & lunchbox containers, both on my shopping list.
2. Another stop at a Community Aid thrift store, purchased two books & husband got a container he needed for the garage. They were having a sale for 75% off of their winter clothing, but I didn’t buy anything as I didn’t need any clothing.
3. Reading library books & doing free puzzles from work. I work at a senior center & we regularly get puzzle donations from people wanting to unload.
4. Taking lunch to work & cooking dinner at home.
5. Ate lunch out at Arooga’s sports bar with a gift card from Christmas. We did order drinks so we owed around ten dollars.


Sandy B O'Neill March 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

You may already do this, but zest the tangerines and use when a recipe calls for orange zest. Works for the less than juicy ones so they aren’t a complete loss. If you like it, you could also make candied peel and then use the leftover candying liquid for pancake syrup.


Shevaun March 7, 2018 at 1:24 am

I forget where I read this, but I found a useful list of food-use priorities. None of this is really surprising, but I found the list helpful:
1. Purchase appropriate amounts to begin with
2. Eat the leftovers as they are
3. Repurpose the leftovers into new meals
4. Feed to animals
5. Compost

I guess the point of the list is coordinating not only reduction of food waste, but also reduction of cooking effort and energy (hence #2 and #3 in that order), and reducing the climate change impacts of anaerobic decomposition of food waste (hence #4 and #5). Sort of like upcycling applied to food.

I would add, personally, to #4 that I can’t feed my dogs much table food because they would have all sorts of tummy troubles, but I do use the fruits and veggies that my toddler kids have mangled (licked, chewed, stuck up their noses, etc.) but not eaten as dog treats.


Dmarie March 10, 2018 at 7:09 am

never thought to repurpose the candying liquid. thanks for this suggestion, Sandy


Juhli March 6, 2018 at 3:59 pm

1. We hosted overnight our son’s fiancee who had an early morning work appointment near us. Tried out a new pork loin recipe for dinner and then fed her leftover split pea soup when she stopped back by after the appointment to pick up their dog. Our dogs like getting together. Had fun brainstorming more plans for the September wedding “picnic and party” – they are both 47 and have been together 20 years.
2. We are eating leftovers from above dinner tonight.
3. We had a lovely date by going to the beach to walk on the boardwalk and pier followed by lunch at the taco shack for $15. Found free parking.
4. Used coupons to get discounts on a couple of items and a free yogurt.
5. No extravagant purchases but did find 3 items for refreshing my Spring wardrobe for a good price.


tonya parham March 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

1. Made pinto beans from dried yesterday and homemade bread in the bread machine.

2. Stayed home today and wrote, did yoga, and meditated. Normally on our spring break we take a trip to a cabin and do those things. We opted to do them at home this year.

3. It’s cold enough we should turn the main heat on but the electric space heater will do as it’s only cold overnight. Layering during the day.

4. Went to lunch with a former co-worker yesterday and ordered water. I considered a black bean burger but they had a jumbo baked potato with mushrooms, onions, and grilled veggies. I got it because it was cheaper and seemed more filling. It also was vegan and less processed. I put mustard on it (mustard is so good on baked potatoes! It’s stupid but true!) and it was enough for two meals! Then, it turned out my former coworker was a doll and picked up the check!

5. Am finishing up leftovers, doing dishes as I dirty them in a dishpan of water, and generally just not going out shopping. I feel like if I just stay out of the grocery store this month, I will really make some savings. (And I have enough I should be able to do that!)


Gina in KY March 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

I am going to try the mustard on baked potato. I have been eating from the pantry and have discovered I have many, many different types. I guess if it is good on potato salad, it has to be really yummy on a baked one!


Frannyanddanny March 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

You are on a roll girl!

Sharing lunches with my husband.
Receiving fruit and veg from a client.
Blogging, blogging, blogging ( as per usual )
Eating a donutty morning tea at school
Eating less, making it last twice as long!



Kathleen March 6, 2018 at 5:55 pm

1. I hit my weekly grocery budget early this week, but I shouldn’t need to go shopping until the weekend anyway. I’ve been working on getting my kids to be a bit more flexible so that I’m not running to the store to get a favorite something that we are out of when there are other things in the house to eat.
2. During school vacation week I took my kids to the art museum. I only had to pay for me and we brought our lunch. My ticket was good for a second visit within ten days, which no one ever manages to do, but I did it! I packed myself a sandwhich and a piece of homemade cake and took myself to the museum.
3. I need a new bath mat and saw a pattern for turning a bath towel into a bath mat. I don’t have any spare towels, so I asked on an “everything’s free” group, and someone had two for me.
4. I’m working through veg and fruit frozen last summer and fall. I should be able to empty out and turn off my chest freezer soon. Last year I had it off for about 4 months.
5. A raccoon thinks my house is a tree. We’ve tried low-cost methods of getting it to go away, but they aren’t working. So it looks like we are going to have to pay almost $500 to get someone to trap it. We need to take care of it before it does serious damage to the roof though. That would be even more expensive.


Lindsey March 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm

1. Walked the dog past a snow berm and saw the corner of a one dollar bill begging to be rescued. It was grubby but took it home, dried it out and tossed in my found change jar.
2. Started three trays of leek seeds, to be transplanted out at the end of May. This is very frugal because we eat tons of leeks and they cost several dollars each here. If most of my seeds germinate and survive transplanting, I’ll have over 100 leeks.
3. Ditto for onions, only started four trays of those. We harvest enough to last us through the winter.
4. Had another dress that shrank up too short for my tastes, so I cut it back even more and now it is a nice shirt.
5. Took husband to the doctor and drank their coffee instead of buying an expensive one from the hallway kiosk. His tests took three hours, which is a long time to wait, but I didn’t want to waste gas driving home and back again to pick him up so I read my book and drank coffee. (17 miles one way, so a lot of miles)


One of God's March 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

Harvested curly dock from yard to cook with fat and garlic. Served with black beans and cornbread from pantry stores. Put some in fridge for later.

Used milk past drinking stage to moisten cornbread batter.

Planted cannas which were weeded out of an area where I recently volunteered.

Picked up tea for $1.00 from markdown shelf at grocery, 20 bags of organic green tea.

Another markdown item was a can of pumpkin puree for $1.00. Good for freezable pumpkin bars for when I need to take a snack somewhere.


Roberta March 7, 2018 at 6:36 am

My family opened the new milk instead of the old milk, so by the time the old milk was half gone, it was sour. I used it for pancakes this weekend, and froze the rest of it. The boys ate the whole batch of sour milk pancakes quite happily!


livingrichonthecheap March 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Your link has a typo (I googled her lol). If I could find thrifted brand new underwear in my size I would be all over that but I draw the line at used underwear. I was craving sweet the other day – instead of popping to the store to fulfill the desire I made homemade cupcakes with a mix that was 6 months expired (I did the smell test – no problemo) and iced it using cream cheese frosting (cream cheese was 2 months past sell by date) and they taste fabulous! Used 2 things up and didn’t throw them out. Had two zero spend days out of the last 3 (bought groceries one day but used $20 in store pts). Got free exersize walking 11,000 steps a day on my used treadmill (bought 5 years ago-hubby’s craigslist bargain). I cleaned carpets at my Mom’s condo – zero spent as we co-own the machine bought 4 years ago, she had the soap and I had the energy.


Katy March 6, 2018 at 11:40 pm

Thanks for letting me know about the link. I’ve now fixed it. And my thrifted underwear? They were brand new.


Christine March 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm

1. The very lovely philanthropist who does so much for our local cat shelter gifted several of us volunteers with designer purses she no longer wants. Mine is a beautiful Elliot Lucca, brand new, listed online between $145. to $195. I’m not looking to sell it, just amazed that I own it.
2. Found a dime while hiking on trail with DH.
3. Continuing to find painted rocks while out and about in Conn. playing FB’s 860 Rocks. Find them, admire them, post them on FB and then relocate for someone else to find them. Free fun and exercise.
4. A friend gifted me two movie passes for helping out when her sister in law was sick. So sweet of her. DH and I went and actually split a popcorn and Coke since we didn’t pay for the tickets.
5. Finally nice enough out to hang laundry. DH stained my old wooden umbrella style clothesline with leftover stain from our deck. Should last many more years.


Marilyn March 6, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Katy, I love that you bought an “antique” Brownie camera at Goodwill. I got one for my birthday when I was 10 years old and I thought it was the best gift ever. Wish I still had it.


Katy in Africa March 7, 2018 at 12:00 am

1.I keep getting reminders to renew our blog site, we had our blog on 2 different sites, but decided that was a complete waste of money, so we won’t be renewing it.
2. We continue to eat mostly local food which saves us a ton. We even served local food to a group from France that came yesterday, I just fancied it up by also serving juice and papayas as well.
3. My husband has been researching tents. Before purchasing we want to make sure we get one that will last lots of uses, but not be ridiculously expensive, as we plan to use it to save on hotel stays.
4. I’m recharging our solar lights and fan with the free sunshine.
5. I haven’t made any really big purchases recently.


Shevaun March 7, 2018 at 1:47 am

1. Discovered the EarlyON Family Centre. I’m a SAHM, and I usually have no problem keeping the kiddos engaged and busy, but the winter is really wearing on me this year. EarlyON is like an early-ed classroom with a teacher, but children go *with* their parents, there’s no fee, and it’s come-and-go, so you’re not committing to a schedule. DD and DS get to socialize with other tots, play with toys that we don’t own at home, and there’s circle-and-song time. It’s adorable.
2. DH and I have our house on the market, so we’re staying at a cottage we share with DH’s siblings. Cheaper than a hotel, we have the cottage baby-proofed, and we have “our” things (toys, diapers, babygates, crates of play-doh, etc.). [There’s no way we could have stayed at home during the showings: I cannot keep a house Pottery-Barn show-able while actually living a family life with kids and dogs.]
3. The groceries here at the cottage are super-expensive, but DD (3yo) has learned to look for the bright pink 50% off stickers. “Mommy, I see a sticker. It says ‘This food is for us'”. Ah, I love frugal pre-literacy skills.
4. Curiously, and wonderfully, it is the meats, dairy, and processed foods that are so super-expensive. Fruits and veg are reasonable, and actually cheap with the 50% stickers. Ergo, we’ve been eating super healthy. (We eat lots of fruits and veg at home, too. It just costs more)
5. All the usual: thrifted clothes for DH and me, handmedowns for DD and DS, library DVDs and books, cooking at home and packing lunches, batching errands, Aldi diapers for DS, DD completely potty trained except for night, no boredom shopping, working on church budget with frugal mindset, and no vulgar gold-plated pedantic food-boxes.


K D March 7, 2018 at 3:45 am

1. I took a walk on the Trolley Trail with a friend. A good way to get exercise and catch up.

2. I attended a charity stitching group. A cheap evening of interesting conversation.

3. I have been fighting some kind of respiratory crud that my husband has. I’ve been drinking a lot of fluids, including water with ground cayenne powder, honey, and apple cider vinegar in it. So far I have not had to take to my bed, as my spouse has.

4. I walked up to Walgreens to buy Working Hands yesterday. It was senior discount day so it was 20% off and I had coupons. We were on our last jar. I have been working to not overbuy and I’m making head way.

5. I’m wearing and using the same old, same old.


Diane C March 7, 2018 at 3:49 am

Last week, I noticed my favorite thrift store was really low on men’s clothing, so we cleaned out DH’s closet on Saturday and donated the good stuff ther. We took the painter’s formerly white, now speckled, Carhart T-shirts (provided by his employer) to Goodwill, where I know they will be recycled. DH lost 60 lbs. about four years ago and we got rid of the last of the too-big stuff. We have slowly been replacing his wardrobe with a combination of work supplied stuff, plus Costco (jeans, socks, belts), and thrift store gleanings (including a tuxedo and a lovely overcoat).

Yesterday, I swung by the thrift store on the way home from a volunteer meeting. They are open limited hours so that’s a savings in itself.

On this visit, everything tagged 50 cents was BOGO, and the total purchase was anther 10% off. I found:

1. A nice puzzle for .50. The box said it was missing a piece, but 999 out of 1000 is close enough for us. MIL and I started it this afternoon, and DH and I finished it after a quick and yummy dinner cooked at home, per usual.
2. A holiday mug that matches my set (one of which is peeling) for my BOGO
3. Two brand new tins shaped like libraries, which will be filled with baked goodies for my library friends next Christmas. They were a bit spendy at 2.00 each, but will make cheap, appropriate gifts, for the win.
4. Huge score: the new, expensive Italian brand from Nordstrom, cotton, shawl-collared sweater (that I admired and ignored on a previous trip because it was $14.00 and I didn’t know if DH would like the collar) had found its way to the $1.00 rack! DH loved it! He tried it on and never took it off. He looked so yummy while we worked on the puzzle together! BTW, the puzzle turned out to be only 997 pieces, but it was still good, cheap entertainment.
5. Everything was 10% off the prices quoted, which more than covered the sales tax,


Diane C March 7, 2018 at 3:50 am

Sorry for the typos. I didn’t want to get the reload message again!


Jennifer March 7, 2018 at 4:19 am

1. Vegetarian dinner last night. Night before homemade pizza – just so I could have leftovers for everyone’s lunches yesterday.
2. Filled the van up at Costco with the cheapest gas around. Did not go into the store.
3. Pulled some pumpkin puree from the freezer and made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and snacks.
4. Wearing a sweater I bought 8 years ago. Still in good condition!
5. My dad came into town and helped cover some of the cost of groceries as well as lunch out one day.


Marybeth March 7, 2018 at 5:37 am

1.Went to see Black Panther with my family at my job. We brought our own drinks. We shared my free popcorn. We enjoyed the movie.Cost $0.
2. Gave my nephew 2 of my work passes so he could see Black Panther with a friend. Also gave him the free promotional t-shirt I got from work that a coworker didn’t want.
3. My BIL dropped off beer that he didn’t like after he had friends over. My husband happily took it.
4.Made pizza bagels with free bagels from my sons job, tomato sauce I had canned last summer and on sale mozzarella.
5.Brought lunch to work/school in reusable containers and water in reusable water bottles.


Cindy in the South I March 7, 2018 at 6:24 am

1. I bought the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” for 50 cents, at the thrift store. I am enjoying reading it.
2. I am eating leftover turnkey and carrots, from the freezer, combined with rice I cooked for a stir fry this week, every night.
3. I still use my clock radio every day. I have had it 32 years.
4. I went to Dollar Tree yesterday and purchased soap, and shampoo, and some snacks for work.
5. I am wearing a $20 year old turtleneck, with Dansko shoes I bought from a nurse. She had only worn them once and paid over a $100 for them. They did not fit her feet correctly. I paid $40 bucks for them.


Cindy in the South I March 7, 2018 at 6:26 am

“turkey” not “turnkey”….sigh and the turtleneck is 20 years old, and did not cost $20…sigh again.


Bee March 8, 2018 at 4:50 am

The Millionaire Next Door is an enlightening book. I enjoyed it when I read it many years ago. I hope you do too.


ouvickie March 7, 2018 at 6:54 am

1) I listed out my errands yesterday and knocked them out at lunch. Just planning my trips saves me gas and time.
2) I received notice that a book I’ve had on hold, for over a month, is ready to p/u at the Library. Plus, I received an email saying on of my audiobooks was due back, so I got online this morning and renewed all my items, thus avoiding fines. Shopping daily with my favorite card for FREE! YAY!!
3) I’m in an online training class for the next week and a half. No travel and paid for by work, so big score for me.
4) I’ve been eating a banana and choosing another item from the cupboard for dinner. I don’t cook during the week, since hubby doesn’t get home until nearly 9 p.m. It sure saves on food.
5) No purchases of Lear jets or gold plated items this week – saving billions!


Ruby March 7, 2018 at 7:43 am

1. Packed my lunch, breakfast and drinks to work every day. I had gotten a bit lax about that.
2. Found at work a bag of donated fancy hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, body wash, and lotion. The event they were donated for is long past, so the staff and I took home a few items. The rest I bagged by type and gave to the Salvation Army. So last night I washed my hair with secon-hand shampoo!
3. Winter has lingered here, so I have worn the terrific clearance corduroys bought from several times. You can’t beat new with tags slacks for $3.
4. We are feeling the pinch of medical bills and car repairs, and are having a mucho miserly March.
5. Sometime 4 is all I got.


Sandra March 7, 2018 at 7:49 am

1. We were in the area where a new wine facility has been under construction for the past several months and decided to check on the progress. We knew it was supposed to be finished sometime in the spring. As it happened they were having a soft opening (quietly). We went in and discovered that they were all set up and ready for a party. We enjoyed some amazing food and wine and best of all got to celebrate along with many others the opening of the new facility.
2. Out and about yesterday we were near a special market that is usually out of the way. Since we were close I suggested we stop by and walk around, they always have samples to try. We did try some of the samples and also found beautiful fresh asparagus bundles for $1.49. I couldn’t pass that up. My bundle weighed in at 1 1/2 lbs. so in effect, 99 cents a pound. Great buy!
3. I trimmed up a large chicken breast for dinner. It was too large for one serving. I cut off about five inches of the point and put that in with some vegetable scraps to make broth. Then I horizontally sliced the remaining breast meat into to nice sized fillets. From the scraps I cooked there was a pint of broth and I chopped the chunk into a fine dice for chicken salad.
4. I have found that putting a cinnamon stick in a pot of tea makes a delicious brew. Best of all, and really frugal, you can use that cinnamon stick again and again. Take the stick out after brewing the tea and let it dry out. Next time you want to have cinnamon tea you can use that same cinnamon stick. There continues be a nice cinnamon flavor pot after pot.
5. I am continuing to clean and purge, saving the best and getting rid of the rest. It feels like I am making real progress. I am buying back space and peace of mind and that is worth more than money.


Sandra March 7, 2018 at 7:52 am

Hi Katy – This post was a real challenge. It took me several attempts to get it copied and pasted. I kept at it because I hated to start all over.


Jennifer March 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

I feel you, Sandra. This is my favorite blog but I have decided to stop posting until this is resolved. I took the suggestions of others copied then pasted only to be told I am a spammer even after I checked that I am not spam. I don’t want to do this anymore, it takes too much time and is frustrating.


KJD509 March 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Could it be your browser? I haven’t had any of the difficulties the rest of you are describing. I copy my text when I get the “reload” message, but when I hit the refresh button on my browser, it hasn’t yet disappeared, so I haven’t needed to reload. I use Firefox for this blog. Maybe that will help?

On the other hand, I also have particularly robust virus and malware protection on this computer thanks to the IT department at my office – anything we use to access our email, etc., is covered under our security software – so it could be that some of the rest of you have low-level infections that aren’t affecting your use of your devices but are triggering the problems on blog host’s end.

In any case, I hate to hear that some of you are giving up posting because I love, love, love the comments on this blog so much!


Jennifer March 8, 2018 at 5:05 am

I have sketchy wifi because in live far away from town so it is difficult at times to get enough connection to post. I usually post from my iPhone and I am a pretty fast texter(is that a word?). Copy/paste helps sometimes. Add in the reload, lost posts, and saying I am spam when I am not and I feel like banging my head against the wall, lol.

Katy March 7, 2018 at 11:24 am

I am so sorry. I have no idea what to do from my end, but I’ll look into it.


Jennifer March 7, 2018 at 3:28 pm

We love what you do here, Katy! We are hanging in like rusty nails until you figure it out!


Jenny March 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm

I only had a problem once when I was pretty wordy. Otherwise no problems at all. I use my Mac, iPad, and iPhone. All are OK.

Teri March 8, 2018 at 10:12 am

I am still having problems posting and still no access via bloglovin’. Makes so many extra steps to read and post, not worth my time right now–HELP!
I love this blog.


Christine March 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm

This started for me, and I think everyone else too, after that Forbidden message came up. I think it is a problem with the Thesis Word Press. Not sure though. It just seems like there can’t be something wrong with so many of our computers all at once.

nancy from mass March 7, 2018 at 8:13 am

1. Free lunch today for a meeting! Mmm, soup, salad and sandwich. Plus, cookies. Need cookies.
2. Needed a heavy duty fleece jacket and heard that the Columbia outlet was having a sale. Went there on Sunday and bought: a heavy duty fleece jacket (that I won’t feel the wind blow thru like the one I currently have), hiking pants, a fleece ¾ zip pullover shirt, a wicking full zip jacket and a full zip sweatshirt. $295 of stuff for $124. Phew. I’m done shopping now.
3. Expecting another storm today/tomorrow. If I come into work, I will have lunch tomorrow for free. I will be getting extra exercise shoveling/snowblowing.
4. Power was out for 4 hours (I’m one of the lucky ones) due to last Fridays’ storm. I guess my electric bill will be down slightly! 🙂
5. Saving my sanity by ignoring the EFMOTD coverage about our inept comedy in chief. (Seriously, how much has he f’d up our country in 14 short months….)


patricia March 7, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Number 5…….yup.


Christine March 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

I 2nd #5.


Jenny March 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Today I was too busy to see any TV so missed whatever EFMOTD stuff he did, and my day felt much calmer. Yesterday saw the movie “The Post” and in light of what’s going on now in Washington, D.C., it was really interesting.


nancy from mass March 8, 2018 at 7:38 am

it’s funny, my son and i have watched “all the presidents men” a couple times this past week. I see some similarities….

Mary W March 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Agreed on #5. I’m really hoping that the midterms change the makeup of the House and Senate so he can be impeached. He’s certainly done enough things to qualify.


susanna d March 9, 2018 at 6:45 am

Add me to the “totally agree with #5” list.


Susan March 7, 2018 at 8:20 am

Not too frugal of a week, but I’ll try. Went to San Diego on vacation with mom/sisters/daughters.
1. rented a car/house. Split the cost with mom/sister. Left the house in pristine condition, so security deposit refunded in full.
2. bought some groceries for snacks/breakfast in.
3. planned the trip for last week vs. spring break for off peak pricing.
4. flew southwest for $300 each round trip from Chicago. this required a bit of a red eye flight out, but it worked with our schedule. Taking an earlier flight would have added at least $100 per ticket but probably more.
5. Had some expensive meals out, but we did take advantage of the local fare with some great cheap tacos a time or two!


Susie's Daughter March 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

1) Returned over the weekend from a visit to my in laws at their winter home in CO mountains. DS and I both went to ski school with discount and DS, Dear Wife and I bought lift tickets with discounted passes, thanks to in laws and their gracious friends who work at the mountain. Bought meals in and one dinner out as a thank you to my in laws. Flew out there on Dear Wife’s miles. As far as vacations go for us, it was more costly than usual but could have been much worse. DS skiing with his grandparents = memories that are worth it.

2) Got back into the frugal swing of things on Saturday with a visit to our library to borrow 4 movies and I also used a coupon for a free coffee with my gas fill up nearby.

3) Regional drug store chain is 50% off store brand this week so I stocked up for us and a couple programs at church. Also used their weekly $5 off $25 coupon on the purchases.

4) Still shopping our freezer. This week I cooked some spicy breakfast sausage that had been in there for SOME time. Was delicious in black bean chili.

5) Dreaming about gardening and will use a gift certificate from my parents for Christmas for High Mowing Seed Co. Gardening will be awhile yet – next snow storm starts tonight!


KJD509 March 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm

1) Cheap veggies from Grocery Outlet to supplement the eat-from-the-pantry-&-freezer project. I wasn’t happy with some prices one day so walked out empty-handed. Stopped at one near Costco the next day (where I filled up with low priced gas and didn’t pop in for a pre-cooked chicken even though I really wanted to) and found exactly the same veggies for about half the price.
2) Filling every single box we have in the house before I go buy more.
3) Sharing items from my freezer that I guarantee I won’t use up before time to move (e.g., locally milled whole wheat flour, stored in 12-cup bags in the freezer. I’ve packed my mixers, so not really any way to use it). Frugal for recipients, but also time and money saving for me if I don’t have to pack it or find a yet larger way to transport things.
4) Taking a long walk or two every day in the unseasonably warm and sunny weather. No gym fees! Free mood boosting!
5) No gold-plated vulgarities, though no success at ignoring the EFMOTD. Nancy, I admire your ability to tune it out.


nancy from mass March 8, 2018 at 7:39 am

it takes a lot of restraint….


Terri March 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Thrifted underwear? Do tell! 🙂


Ruby March 7, 2018 at 6:43 pm

She found a new package of undies at Goodwill.


Gina in KY March 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Oh, the bins…I love them too. You found some cool things again!

1. Watching eBay selling videos. I used to sell on Etsy some time ago, but I have always been intimidated to try eBay for some reason. I have a bin full of items saved to resell, so maybe soon I’ll feel ready. Until then, I research.
2. Continuing to eat from the pantry and have made some great meals. I am a vegetarian (as mentioned many times before) and I occasionally score free produce (volunteer thing I do and there are often leftovers, but it is often a bunch of the same thing). I can’t remember if I mentioned this last 5FT, but I made out a list of dishes I want to try based on the main produce component. For example, if I get a plethora of eggplants, I can try eggplant satay, Thai basil eggplant, or roasted eggplant slices. If I get cauliflower, I can make roast cauliflower curry or cauliflower nuggets…you get the idea. I am hoping this cuts down on waste as the veggies are often near their expire date.
3. Traveling once again for work this week and next. I packed my food (and then found out my hotel room is missing a microwave, so I ate my salad and fruit). This way my automatic per diem stays in the bank.
4. Oh, I found my purse! I mentioned last 5FT things that I lost it, but apparently I am absentminded and left it at the last place I worked before it went MIA. Fortunately, they were sweet enough to safeguard it and contact me. Yay! However, I did cancel my debit card as a precaution (I don’t carry my credit cards) and so I am still on low spend (I had $40 in cash and this is getting me by until a new card is mailed out by the bank).
5. Received a notice via text today that a book I have on hold is finally in and I am excited to pick it up tomorrow. Don’t we all just love the library?!


Christine March 8, 2018 at 7:13 am

Yes we do! Such a big money saver. My library prints out a receipt with the actual cost of each book taken out. I love to see all the money I save by using the library!


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early March 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm

My clothes are all so old that I couldn’t tell you where the came – except that my sweatshirt is from college because it has my sorority across the front 🙂


Linda Gertig March 19, 2018 at 12:48 pm

I was stationed in Berlin when I was in the Air Force so I have things I bought in East and West Germany, countries which no longer exist. I am wearing one such t-shirt right now as an undershirt because it is to thin to wear on its own. I hope your college still exists.


Canadian Girl March 7, 2018 at 6:27 pm

1. Free tickets to home opener soccer match on the weekend. Parking was expensive but I paid for it from our entertainment budget.
2. Watched a movie last night which we picked up from the library. The amount of money that we have saved over the years by using the library is quite astonishing. I love that place
3. Eating most meals at home I did have a few slip ups this weekend as I was under the weather for some of it
4. Still on the same tank of gas which I filled up over two weeks ago, I have been sticking close to home lately other than going to work and I have been taking transit to work
5. Stopped using hair products to style my hair. I have just been using shampoo and conditioner and I really don’t notice a difference. I also ran out of foundation and decided to not purchase a high price brand and just went with a cheapo brand. I actually like it just fine and it saved me at least $20.00


Sandra March 7, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Hi CG – I have also given up on high end expensive make-up products. I find that there are plenty of inexpensive products that do the same job and I still get compliments. Just recently I had a woman at an event I was attending walk over and say “You look like you used to model, am I right?” She wasn’t right, but I have learned how to carefully apply make-up and can style my hair attractively. I agree with you, CG, you can get the same results and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.


Canadian girl March 7, 2018 at 9:45 pm
Canadian girl March 7, 2018 at 9:46 pm

So nice to hear that such a nice compliment you were given


Tracy March 9, 2018 at 6:16 am

Sandra — no one mistakes me for a model, but I too take some effort with my appearance, utilizing drugstore beauty products and (often) thrift store clothes, and I frequently get compliments as well. I had also gone to the same hairdresser for many years, but several years ago when I started focusing on being more frugal I realized that I might be able to get good results from someone who DIDN’T charge close to $300 (with tip) for a cut and color (highlights, more expensive than all over). Now I go to a very good stylist in a very basic salon and pay $115 for cut/color (with tip). I have also stretch out time between appointments to save a bit.

janine March 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Love your thrift store finds. Seldom make your scores but occasionally find the elusive item.
1. Driving by a new car wash, realized they were giving away ‘diamond wash’ free as a grand opening promotion. Needed underbody wash because of winter salt buildup. A nice surprise!
2. Scrap dinner of chicken and gravy on toast points. Chicken was scarce, but gravy made from stock was flavorful.
3. Son gifted me with free Subway with a bogo offer.
4. Updating family members old fashioned check books so they can take advantage of our state’s candidate contribution program of $50 which is refundable for any qualifying state candidate!
5. Enjoying beautiful sunny day after heavy snowstorm. Hoping for no serious flooding!


Madeline Kasian March 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

1. We drove to Mexico and had dentistry. Three and a half hour drive.Made a mini-vacay out of it. Stayed 2 nights in local hotel with coupon. My husband got 2 crowns, a filling, a tooth filed and exam and cleaning for $800.LOVE our Mexican dentist.My exam and xrays were free and I had not problems this year.YAY! With hotel and the work done we saved almost $2000 (or more!)

2. Staying close to home,using very little gas.

3. Card Game day with friends at my house.Used up eggs and other stuff in refrig to make a quiche and one friend brought a bottle of wine.Cheap entertainment.Fun.Caught up on all the books we’re reading, political rants and raves, movies we’re wanting to see,etc. Great day!

4. Wearing VERY old pajamas with buttons missing.Maybe I will mend next week. Wearing lots of older clothes I have had for years.retired now, no need for “business” clothes anymore.

5. Cooking at home. Saves a TON OF MONEY and is a great hobby. So, entertainment,nutrition, and frugality all wrapped up in one activity!


MommaL March 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

1. A local business donated free lunch for our staff.
2. Took home leftovers from the free lunch for dinner.
3. Found some pretty “bathroom napkins/disposable towels” I’d bought years ago. I cut each into 4 squares, now I have coaster for a long time. Pretty ones!
4. NOT buying a new iphone, even though they are BOGO . They have become ridiculously expensive. Not sure how to buy them used when mine gives out, I should do research. We live in a remote area, so not all phone plans work here.
5. Will boil bones from the free chicken lunch to make chicken bone broth tomorrow. Y’all, I made the BEST beef stew the other day, and I think the difference was that I used bone broth from some Tbone steaks to add instead of water. My freezer is full of chicken, beef and veggie broth now, thanks to all of your tips.


Tiffany March 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm

1. Have been bringing breakfast to work, an english muffin from the 99 cent store with peanut butter so like 20 cents for breakfast since the english muffins are 6 for a dollar..
2. Winco had a ton of cereal last week for 1.98 but each box had a peelie for $1.00/1 so .98 cents a box for name brand cereal was a steal. I can’t do generic cherrios..everything else yes..except cheerios, mayo, and laundry detergent b/c hives bad enough for the ER are not frugal..
3. My kid’s school is having uniform shop tomorrow, normally a $1/piece but I should have 16.00 in credits so yay!
4. Earned a Swgabucks Gift card finally after like a year lol
5. Taking surveys through a university which has been netting me a 5.00 amazon credit which is so worth it..pays to be a rare personality type I guess..
6. I joined a gym that just opened for 10/month. It has been so worth it, I feel like I am getting out of the house but don’t spend..I think I go enough that it is worked out to 50 cents a time now..
7. Was able to get a Tsum Tsum card game at the .99 cent store that I put away for a Kohls the same game is 13.95!


Mand01 March 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm

You are so lucky on the uniform shop! My youngest’s school uniforms cost $265. And that was just for summer.


Jenelle March 8, 2018 at 5:29 am

I’m heading to the Goodwill Outlet this weekend. I hope to find more to sell on Ebay then to buy for anyone else (cause we don’t need anything) but I’m sure I’ll find a few things for the family.

1. We experienced a snow day yesterday all everyone was home for the day. We took it upon ourselves to go sled ridding as a family. This is probably the first time my three year old actually enjoyed it. Free fun & good exercise.

2. I am heading out of town in an an hour or so for work and I have drinks packed for the hotel room. No vending machines for me in the middle of the night.

3. I sincerely hope yesterday’s snow was our last snow for the season. We made it through this year without needing to buy anyone snow boots or pants.

4. A few of my Ebay items (with bids on them) will end soon and that will bring in a few extra dollars. Not much, but any additional income is nice. Here’s hoping my little side hustle continues to be productive!

5. Did not buy anything Gold plated!


Cat March 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

1. I made a smoothie for breakfast with homemade yogurt, spinach, bananas from the freezer, powdered greens and the very last of a maple syrup bottle.
2. Fasting during the day, so no lunch and no temptation to buy snacks.
3. Checked out my next book club book from the library.
4. Took the kids to Pizza Hut to use their Book-It coupons for free pizza. (No meal for me as I am fasting.)
5. Brought a bag of flour home from work (a flour mill), to use in my weekend prep.


Debra March 9, 2018 at 10:14 am

1. About twice a year we buy a case of Riesling from Sam’s Club – it’s much cheaper than the grocery stores. This time we checked our receipt when we got home because our total seemed lower than usual. The clerk had charged us for one bottle instead of one case – over $70 savings. To report it means she would be in trouble, to not report it means we didn’t pay for something we should have.
2.On the same day, the grocery store clerk charged me for iceberg lettuce ($1.20) instead of the leaf lettuce I bought ($2.00). Savings of .80 but again, capitalized on a mistake the clerk made.
3.Made a salad for lunch today out of leftover pork tenderloin, lettuce, strawberries and pecans from my fridge. Easily a $6.00 savings.
4. Made no Starbucks coffee purchases this week.
5. Using gift cards to eat dinner at the bar at Flemmings tonight!


Teresa March 10, 2018 at 8:12 am

1. Working into enjoying the extra time I have with this new “get out at 2pm” job. I have never really allowed myself to do “whatever I want”, and it’s actually not as easy for me as it seems it should be… but so far, so good. Saw two movies last month!
2. New job ends early enough so I can lunch at home — no extra money spent on snacks and special lunch food.
3. I can wear anything I want to the new job so I don’t need two wardrobes. Yay!
4. Beginning to pick up some extra work “after work”. Pays way more than my job, so double Yay!!
5. It’s raining… no big deal unless you live here in Southern California where every drop is a much needed lawn watering. Also, I don’t feel bad about staying home and working on the weekend… so triple Yay!

Have a wonderful day, People! 🙂


Vickey March 10, 2018 at 6:57 pm

1) Found a small squarish glass dish at the thrift store to use as an electricity free speaker – stand the phone up at an angle inside it and enjoy the increased volume. It sits handily on a shelf near the shower, so we can listen to the news, play songs to sing along to in the shower, etc. It’s not a Bose, but…it was 49 cents and doesn’t require power. 🙂

2) DH snaked out the slow-draining kitchen sink lines, all the way to the main soil pipe. He’s not as tidy as one might like (nowhere near!), but that man saves us hundreds of $ in repairs each year. And this winter has been particularly bad for items breaking down for some reason.

3) Worked a few hours for my side gig.

4) Worked from home, bought in bulk, cooked from scratch, used the woodstove for heat, etc. DH started garden seeds: leeks, onions, pansies, alyssum (for the bees!), snapdragons. He’ll start lettuces and kale next week for planting out in the greenhouses when things warm a bit next month.

5) The compressor on our 19 year old refrigerator died, and I couldn’t find someone who would agree to come install a replacement – it costs so much that apparently nobody even does the service for residential fridges, only for commercial/institutional models. I was unhappy about having to recycle an otherwise excellent fridge (the doors, gaskets, shelves, lights, electro-mechanical adjustments, fans, etc. all work just fine thank you, and it was an electricity sipper.)
I did save a few hundred by getting a (light) scratch and ding outlet model, but didn’t buy the most energy-efficient model that would’ve fit in our small space. Instead, I went with a 3-door configuration to save our aging backs, a reluctant compromise.

6) When the fridge quit on us, we filled it with ice bottles and packs kept in the basement freezer to keep things from spoiling. We can also keep things in the cold room in the basement (it’s vented to the outside, and insulated from the rest of the house). DH calls it our “walk-in fridge”. 😀


Mand01 March 8, 2018 at 6:23 pm

I can’t believe that was a thing. Reminds me of an episode of Mad Men when Don and his family were picnicking and just threw all their rubbish on the grass. I guess that’s what people did back then.


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