Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 19, 2018 · 119 comments

  1. I cut my son’s lifeguarding tank tops into rags. Although my son worked for seven years as a lifeguard, he’ll be moving on and these tanks would otherwise take up space in his already cluttered room. It’s against regulation to wear them outside of work, and were so faded and sweat bleached that I doubt Goodwill would even put them out on the floor. I stopped buying paper towels a very long time ago, so these will function to clean up spills, shine windows and for other times that I would have mindlessly torn off a square from a roll of paper towels. I do my best to minimize how much garbage my family produces. (As an aside, my son could have taken new shirts and swim trunks each year, but instead he chose to continue using the same ones he’d been assigned the first year he was hired.)

  2. I listed a “Get Well Soon” helium balloon on my local Buy Nothing group. (My husband received the balloon from one of his employees last week before his hip surgery.) It was still tight and floaty, so I was able to find someone whose friend just broke a leg. Now this otherwise useless item can go cheer up a new person and I won’t have to throw it into the garbage.

  3. My husband and I designated yesterday as a “TCB” day. (Taking care of bidness!) I wrote out a tremendous list of finicky chores that needed my attention and my husband went through piles and piles (and piles) of papers that needed to either be shredded or filed. Not only did he locate some continuing education paperwork that will save me having to repeat two different classes, but he come across a notice from the DMV notifying us that we need to take one of our cars through DEQ and reregister the vehicle. (We are lucky that neither of us got pulled over for this infraction.) I’ll drive the car through DEQ this morning and am looking forward to presenting my paperwork at the hospital tomorrow.

    What got crossed off my to-do list?

    – I washed the curtains in our spare bedroom and then rehung them. (The cats like to sit behind these curtains, which results in them being caked with nasty cat hair.)

    – I listed two items on Facebook Marketplace.

    – I transplanted and tidied up all the straggly flowerpots on the front porch.

    – I pruned back a volunteer butterfly bush in the front yard.

    – I pruned our hydrangeas in the back yard. (Although this chore will require many more hours to complete.)

    – I scooped and cleaned up around our litter boxes.

    – I walked to the grocery store.

    – I made dinner with enough leftovers for this week’s work lunches.

    – I wrote out and mailed a check for a miscellaneous fee to my son’s landlord.

    – I took three empty Costco cat food bags and separated the layers so they could be recycled.

    – I replaced the battery in one clock and switched another to daylight savings time.

    – I did two loads of laundry and even put everything away.

    – I glued the small ceramic “hot” button back onto the bathroom faucet handle. It was so tiny, and I was worried that it would get lost before I had a chance to complete this task.

    – I did all my hand washing and hung everything to dry.

    – I had a couple of uncompleted tasks on my to-do list, but my energy petered out by the evening. But that okay, as I can clean out the fridge and organize my eBay inventory later on today.

  4. I accepted a free frosted cookie at the grocery store which I then presented to my paper-sorting husband, I listened to a free Levar Burtion Reads podcast while working in the garden, I connected one co-worker who was giving away a number “3” cake pan with another co-worker whose son was turning three and I helped myself to some free packaging supplies while visiting my husband’s workplace.

  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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{ 119 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor-Made Homestead March 19, 2018 at 8:53 am

I love your frugal list – especially the get-well balloon. So clever!

My Frugal 5:

1) I’m landscaping around our new porch addition. I’ve only purchased 1 pkt of seeds & 2 small landscaping plants purchased last fall on a post-season sale. Other plantings are seeds I already had and transplants from other areas of the yard. (I’m after a dual-purpose edible landscape – it’s gonna be awesome!)

2) I found milk on a stupid-cheap sale because it’s nearing its expiration date. Yesterday I made pepper jack cheese & yogurt, today I’m making Farmer’s Cheddar & mozzarella. Score!

3) My hunter husband has now officially filled our big chest freezer with wild pork (7 this year!)

4) To make room for said pork, I’m pulling freezer meals every night for us.

5) I’m gifting some homemade lavender-scented soap to a sweet friend whose birthday is this week. She’ll love it!



Cindy in the South I March 20, 2018 at 5:21 am

Feral hogs???? They are a real problem down here and destroy everything in sight. Great going for your hunter husband!


Marcia March 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Really interested if you feel like sharing your recipes for cheese.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early March 19, 2018 at 9:14 am

What a great idea on the helium ballon. Those things last so long but the novelty wears off well before their floating ability. Love Buy Nothing.


Jenelle March 19, 2018 at 9:43 am

1. Between church and a birthday party, we didn’t have enough time to go home for lunch, so we decided to go to McDonalds. I had a coupon from a Kids Stuff coupon book for a free happy meal (from another area of McDonalds) that I hoped this McDonald’s would honor. Sure enough, they didn’t care and took the coupon. It was worth trying!

2. Items are continuing to sell on Ebay. No huge profits this week, but I did make enough to purchase a postage scale and mailing bags. This will help with future shipping. My hope is to lower the shipping cost to attract more buyers. I’ve also been meeting my personal goal of listing two items per day. I do work full time and have two small children, so two items a day is pretty much my max right now.

3. My per diem refund (from a recent work trip) landed in my bank account today. I immediately moved it right into my credit card.

4. We had a bit of warmer weather here so the entire family went outside for a bit. The kids needed to run off some energy and hubby and I raked the front yard. Free exercise and we got a jump start on yard clean up. (which I am dreading)

5. Sent our local Chick Fil A a message that we were not happy with the milkshakes that we purchased. Low and behold they sent us gift cards for four free meals and four free frozen coffee! Sweet!


JennyS March 19, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Have never tried a shake from Chik Fil A- anything we should know?


Jenelle March 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

normally, these are the best milk shakes around. Nice and thick. But that day it was just bad.


Colleen March 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

1) I have never sewed anything in my life (and my mom is the same way). My dog ripped apart one of his chew toys that I had paid a little more for because it was supposed to be very durable. I took a stab at sewing it and am actually really pleased at how it turned out. It doesn’t look the greatest, but it should last through a couple more chews now.

2) Found 4 bottles of fancy salad dressing at Kroger marked down on Manager’s Special for $1.29 and matched them with a $0.50 digital coupon, making them $0.79 ea. Also used a $2 off a $10 produce purchase coupon and bought mostly items on Manager’s Special as well. Salad for lunch today was delish!

3) We finally got our first taste of spring weather yesterday in Michigan and took full advantage. Went for a walk with the dogs around a local park that we hadn’t been to. Also ate all homecooked meals this weekend.

4) Usually my school sends out an email each year when the new scholarships have been posted. I have received $2000 in scholarships over the past 2 years. This year the school did not send the email but I happened to look into it 2 days before the application deadline. I managed to get everything together (including 2 letters of recommendation) just in time to meet the deadline. Fingers crossed they choose me again!

5) I’m saving my laundry lint to make homemade bonefire starters for when we camp this summer. Basically I’m just stuffing the lint into empty paper towel rolls. Hopefully they work well!

Frugal fail:
Found out during said walk that my new rescue dog is dog-aggressive so we are going to pay a trainer. We do not know how to deal with this and will appreciate the trainer’s guidance. Perhaps this is frugal in that it will help me avoid a lawsuit in the future, lol


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Colleen, good on you being proactive with the dog aggressive dog. I wish everyone was as diligent as you are.


Liz B. March 19, 2018 at 11:49 am

Yes, thank you….we have a neighbor with a new-to-him, aggressive dog. The dog is always out, with an “invisible fence”, but has charged our dog more than once. My husband even pointed this out to Worstest Neighbor, who was outside when this happened the second time, but hubs only got an “oh, okay” out of WN. Needless to say, hubs and pup go a different route on their walks now.


Lindsey March 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

We were chatting with our insurance agent years ago, and mentioned how our neighbor’s dog was terrorizing the neighborhood. I said it was the house next door. About a week later the dog was chained up whenever outside. Someone else in the neighborhood, at a community potluck, mentioned that the bad dag owner (bad owner, not bad dog!) had been notified by his insurance company that his insurance could be cancelled if he had an aggressive dog. Apparently our agent’s antenna went up because he insures a number of homes on our street…so when he heard the problem, he must have looked up the address to see if it was someone they insured and then had a little chat with the guy. Not positive, but the timing was right.


Lindsey March 20, 2018 at 11:33 am

P.S. He subsequently moved “to the country without nosey neighbors.”

nancy from mass March 19, 2018 at 11:15 am

I use dryer lint in empty TP tubes as fire starter for my fireplace. it works well!


Diane C March 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Be careful not to stuff the tubes too full. They need air to burn
(#askmehowiknow). The good news is than you can now make more fire starters!


Terri March 19, 2018 at 9:55 am

I’ve been blogging my frugal accomplishments every day this week over at my blog, but I wanted to share that last night I made your Curried Lime Chicken Satay on the grill last night, with some cauliflower and rice. It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a loooong time. Thanks for sharing that recipe!!


Mary in Maryland March 19, 2018 at 9:56 am

1) One of the two clasps on the dog harness broke. I removed both halves of the clasp and cannibalized an old leash to make the segment the perfect length–but no longer adjustable. A replacement harness would be about $28.
2) We drove a few hours into PA to go to my husband’s mentor’s memorial service. A friend has asked me to hand quilt some pieces for her (for money!) I made $15/hour on the drive.
3) We ate the free breakfast at the motel. One of hubs old friends who often stays with us took us out to dinner the night we arrived.
4) We weren’t very hungry the evening after the memorial, so we visitied a salad bar at a grocery store. $7 dinner for two.
5) A friend had offered me a ride to Charlottesville for a meeting on Saturday. When we met in a parking lot she was driving an SUV. So I offered to drive my Prius. Frugal on behalf of the whole world.
6) Our hosts in Charlottesville served a great salad for lunch. I like salad, but the pound in the plastic box goes slimy before we can finish it–and we don’t have room for the box in our fridge. Today I bought 4 oz from the salad bar–in my own vintage ziplock. The store is right next to the Rec Center, so I can get two days worth three times a week.


susanna d March 19, 2018 at 10:03 am

1. I finished a multi-month, sort-of binge watching of 7 seasons of Gail Vaz Oxlade’s “Til Debt Do Us Part (free with our Amazon Prime membership). What hit home was how just about everyone’s estimate of what they spent each month was far less than they actually were spending. I started paying attention, diligently tracking every expense – every penny! – putting things back, staying home and out of stores – and at the end of both January and February I was able to put a nice bit of extra money into savings. And I’m on track to do the same for March. I’m hooked on tracking every penny.

2. Just finished making a batch of ham broth using a ham bone I’d frozen in December. Normally I do split pea or bean soup with the bone but I’m the only one who eats the stuff and I am beyond tired of it. Read on another site about making potato broccoli (or potato broccoli cheese) soup using ham broth. And unlike bean or split pea soup, those are soups my husband WILL eat – as well as soups I don’t make too often. Living in a climate that has what I call “five months of January”, it’ll be soup season for a while yet.

3. Also today, I made hamburger-based chili (not my favorite but husband loves it) and tossed in a bunch of freezer leftovers: taco meat, taco sauce, a tomato, an extremely hot jalapeno pepper, and a few links of breakfast sausage. The freezer leftovers should make the chili stretch an extra meal – or two.

4. #2 and #3 were courtesy of my doing a complete inventory of not only the chest freezer but also of the freezer that’s part of the kitchen refrigerator. While I clean the kitchen freezer quite often, I’ve never inventoried it. And while there were some forgotten “surprises”, at least I found them before freezer burn could attack them.

5. Still working on the shower wall repair (the end is in sight! Yippee!) which is keeping us at home most days. Staying home can be very frugal.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Thank you for posting about Gail Vaz Oxlade’s show being available on Amazon Prime. I used to love watching that show and also her other one called “Princess”. Will binge it and see which episodes I missed.


cynthia huntington March 19, 2018 at 10:04 am

1. Working down the freezer. Gifted some bone broth to a friend who is ill. I have gallons of bone broth, simmered 18-24 hours with bones, dried mushrooms (I’m a forager), dried wild greens, and household vegetable scraps. Maybe it IS possible to have too much of a good thing. There’s still some soup in there that I got tired of and will be happy to see again in a few weeks, and random frozen organic vegetables bought on sale. It looks like I got greedy but I’ll use them up as I can. I’d like to clean out this beast, then clean it, and leave it unplugged until midsummer when I start preserving again.

2. Ebay has been slow lately—I sold a small item this weekend, but mostly it just sits there. I’ve had better luck selling books on Amazon. I just refreshed my inventory, cleaning out my office as I tip quickly toward retirement. I sold five books last week, four of them new listings.

3. One for the team:* I had leftover broth and vegetables from the slow-cooker chicken thighs I made on Friday. I had leftover chorizo and potatoes from Saturday. Both small portions: I combined them for a hearty, just-OK-tasting lunch and used them up. (Now to deal with the curried squash soup I don’t like. It was a new recipe and really doesn’t do it for me, though I generally like curried squash. As usual, when a squash is involved, there’s a lot.)

4. I made an appointment to meet with the director of our town’s food pantry tomorrow. They need volunteers and I need to get out of my head and out of the house a bit more (I swear I could stay here in the dreamtime forever) so I’m going to sign up. I don’t know how that’s frugal, but it fits with my values at least.

5. Here and there: I was given a bookstore gift card from a student I helped with grad school applications and recommendations to five schools. I hung laundry to dry. Got two good books at the library. I removed the covers from some old throw pillows that were pretty far gone, washed them and set the covers aside to donate. The covers came out fine, the filling was pretty much destroyed. Picked up two books from the discard pile at recycling to sell on Amazon. Left two working torchiere lamps for someone who can use them, as they aren’t needed here, and picked up a covered trash bin I can use. Cooking and eating at home. I’m typing this in thrifted sweater and pants and smart wool socks I bought with a gift card from LL Bean with credit points. Dinner tonight will be deer meat gifted to me by a neighbor, broccoli, and a baked potato.

*Of course, I am the team.


cynthia huntington March 19, 2018 at 10:14 am

I should also confess that I bought two boxes of overpriced Girl Scout cookies. Because… Thin Mints.


Liz B. March 20, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Who could blame you?And it’s for a good cause.


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm

4. I volunteer at a food pantry and sometimes when there is produce that is leftover. We disperse it to all the workers so it gets used. There is usually plenty for my family and enough for me to give to someone else. It’s very rewarding.


FrugalAussie March 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

A suggestion for the curried squash soup. Freeze in portions and then add a cup or so when making your next curry. I’ve used pumpkin puree a few times in curries, the last one was a chicken curry with lentils which absorbed the extra liquid. It was delicious! Good luck.


cynthia huntington March 20, 2018 at 6:36 am

FrugalAussie: Thank you– I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. Will do!


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 10:04 am

That was a great idea to list that balloon. Those are so fun yet so wasteful. Not too bad if it cheers up more than one person!


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

1. I’m enjoying learning how to blog. I know mine won’t be very popular because I don’t have any social media accounts, and I don’t want any, but that’s okay. It’s all about accountability and something to do right now.
2. I cut and colored my own hair. My husband actually cut the back. It looks pretty good.
3. I used up a sample of good conditioner after coloring my hair. I usually use the cheap kind, so it was good to give my hair a super conditioning treatment.
4. I’m making a list of things to do while I’m in town so I can avoid driving back to town. Had to do this the other day, so lessened learned.
5. I froze the rest of my husband’s birthday cake. I will pull it out in a couple months when we are not all tired of sweets.


Roberta March 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

I love the accountability, and occasionally the feedback, of blogging. I rarely expect to get rich doing it, but it does make me more responsible than journaling for myself!


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Exactly..I have only once got feedback, lol. I’m ok with it. I used to look at blogs and never say anything myself. I think that is why most people give up, the deafening silence. I’m just trying to post some things people may be interested in for kind of a hobby, I guess. It makes me think more about the things I do, so that is good for me. I personally don’t think I will make a dime! That’s ok, too.


Mand01 March 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm

I blog about gardening. I do it for the discipline of writing regularly about a non-work topic and because it’s fun. I don’t expect ever to make money from it!


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 3:59 am

I’m going to try my hand(again)at gardening some this summer, I have enjoyed your comments while freezing here in the South. The blog is just a little hobby for me. I’m learning as I go and I really needed something to take my mind off other things, so it’s good for me.

Cindy in the South I March 20, 2018 at 5:42 am

I like your blog.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 6:20 am

Thank you, Cindy! So glad to hear that you took a peek at it.

Kathleen in Kansas March 20, 2018 at 6:49 am

I am still reading, but I think it’s very nice! Looking forward to reading the rest.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 9:03 am

Thank you so much. It’s encouraging to hear from you.


Christine March 19, 2018 at 10:21 am

1. From my latest round of Swedish Death Cleaning I was paid $25.80 from the local consignment shop. Not a bad payday considering it was things that were not needed and were taking up closet space. The items were mainly knick knacks, old CDs and costume jewelry and ill fitting clothes.
2. Made 2 crockpots of chili 2 Wednesdays in a row for a Lenten Supper at church, both of which were canceled due to snowstorms. Ate some and froze the rest. We are all set with chili for awhile!
3. Found out through the AARP newspaper there are free pre-release movies at theaters in a nearby city for those of us 55+. I’m very excited as I love going to the movies but will rarely shell out the money for tickets.
4. Reading library books. Not only free entertainment but I consider it life long learning and free education, right up there with watching PBS television and listening to NPR radio.
5. Katy, I love how your FFTs are often connected to sound environment saving practices. Thank you for all the great ideas.


Bethany March 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

We traveled down to San Diego this weekend for a free Christian kid’s program, Patch the Pirate. I listened to this music when I was a kid. I was in his choir when I attended college in SC. Very nostalgic for me, especially with his approaching retirement. My kids loved it! It was nice to say hi and to thank them for their ministry to us.

Put a bunch of stuff in an online cart and then immediately closed the browser. It is just so easy to convince yourself you need something. Ha!

Been eating at home. Leftovers are all used up.

Crockpot is going for dinner tonight. Chuck steak thinly sliced cooked with pineapple and salt and pepper. Will serve it with rice and freshly sautéed peppers, onions and garlic.

Printed off another $5 coupon for Staples. I think I’m going to just see what reaches out and grabs me today. 🙂 Free splurge!!! LOL!


shelia March 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

1. The library is supplying us with entertainment during this winter that will not end. Several recently released films with homemade popcorn make for cozy nights in our recliners.
2. I had 15.00 from Kohls in birthday cash. I went into the store and found two Tekgear sweatshirts marked down to 10.40 each. Together they were about 3.00. I had one this year that I used for a pajama top and really liked it. When we keep the heat turned down, it can get chilly. Wearing a sweatshirt over my shirt or long sleeve T keeps me toasty.
3. I helped with both a funeral meal at church last week and a senior citizens’ spring luncheon. From both, I brought home some leftovers we enjoyed. There is another viewing at church with a meal following tomorrow night. Although I contribute a side dish for each meal, it’s nice having the variety of other’s cooking at home for a change.
4. For the seniors’ luncheon I made giant tissue paper flowers that looked like lily pads with a frog standing alongside. The seniors were quite happy with the cheerful tables and each flower cost perhaps .80. I also found 50 lime green paper placemats for 3.99. Made for a charming, low cost table setting.
5. My husband just went in for his exit interview for his job that was eliminated last week. The frugal part is we aren’t panicked. Years of living frugally means if he needs to go ahead and retire, he can. Insurance, of coure, is the problem but we’ll find something. Frugality works. Every time!


nancy from mass March 19, 2018 at 11:25 am

1. I found an 8 ½ x 12 wool, braided rug at a consignment shop. All it needed was a good cleaning. I have been looking to replace the cheaper rug in my living room and this was the perfect group of colors. I paid $60, found them online for over $700!!!
2. Boatload of rice for lunch today with brussels sprouts and mushrooms from a meal over the weekend. Mmmm leftovers.
3. Now that I got my tax refund, I spent some time packaging up 2017 tax paperwork and filing it away. Not really frugal (other than the fact that I couldn’t spend anything while doing it) but creating more order with my paperwork is a win-win.
4. Found 4 brand new custard cups with 8 lids for custard cups at restore. The lids are needed more than the cups and I can never find those!
5. I didn’t buy Made in China, gold plated merchandise or a lear jet and I didn’t remove animal rights laws either.


A. Marie March 19, 2018 at 11:38 am

FFT, Still Rockin’ Edition:

(1) DH has now tried out both of the memory care programs at the senior complex just down the hill. I think he has enjoyed them (and will enjoy them even more once the unfamiliarity wears off), and I’m greatly encouraged. I’d like to go with both of these if the directors deem them a good fit for him–and I’m hoping they will.

(2) In fact, I have hit it off very well with one of the program directors, whose husband is a William Faulkner fan and has submitted several entries to the “Bad Faulkner” writing competition. She just gave me a copy of his Faulknerian version of the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s side-splitting. (And what’s more frugal than a lung-clearing laugh?)

(3) We continue clearing out the freezer and pantry, as others are doing. Yesterday, I made the medieval chicken recipe with milk and honey that I mentioned in a comment some time ago, using a tiny jar of honey infused with tangerine peel that someone gave me for Xmas a few years back. If there was any way to improve this recipe, that honey just did it–and I’ve gotten one more tiny jar out of the pantry.

(4) Lovely sunny day here today, so I’m regaining hope that we might actually get spring here one of these years. DH and I just went for a long walk, took our trash-picker-upper device, and collected a generous bag of trash plus 40 cents’ worth of NYS deposit containers out of melting snowdrifts.

(5) And we keep hauling change out of the Coinstar machine at Wegmans, as well as off parking lots as snow melts. We’ve got over $1 in found money for March so far.

Finally, thanks again to everyone who replied to my comment on the previous FFT. It means a lot to me.


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

If you remain comfortable with it, please keep us posted as you find out more about the care for your husband and how you are coping. I enjoy learning about these things and I think your conversation helps others.


Susie's Daughter March 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm

A. Marie – I thought of you and your DH today when I went to return my deposit containers gleaned in a melty weather period a few weeks ago. It will be a while before anything else emerges from the snowbanks here…


Laura March 19, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Agreed, Jennifer. I’m always glad to see your name, A. Marie, and even a short update on DH.


nancy from mass March 20, 2018 at 7:25 am

A. Marie, i am definitely thinking of you and the care your DH will need. At times, it will be frustrating and tiring and confusing but keep your head up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to talk to the memory program people for benefits you didn’t know existed.
When my mother calls me my deceased sisters name or doesnt remember my other sister, we just go along with the flow (she doesn’t have a problem remembering with my brother or other sister). It can be really funny at times too. In my case, my mother has always had a very dirty mind and last week was saying “I remember having sex with your dad”, etc in front of my son. she then turned to him and said “If you remember nothing else about me, remember that i thought about sex all the time”. Oh My. (Shes in a nursing home in a dementia/alzhiemers wing). i am always exhausted after visiting with her (usually from holding in laughter. the things she says…)
keep strong and know you are not alone!


Cindy in the South I March 20, 2018 at 11:25 am

I actually attended Ole Miss for a year ….37 years ago….love William Faulkner.


FrannyandDanny March 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

Blogging, eating half as much food and still being full, turning down invitations to things my introverted self wouldn’t like, using the library and being ill. Not nice, but good for keeping frugal. Lol.


Bee March 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

“Bad Faulkner”? I will have to google that. One of my high school teachers had received her phD from Ole Miss. Her dissertation was on Faulkner. I wish that I had listened more. My thoughts are with you and DH!”Bad Faulkner”? I will have to google that. One of my high school teachers had received her phD from Ole Miss. Her dissertation was on Faulkner. I wish that I had listened more. My thoughts are with you and DH!


Bee March 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

This was to follow A. Marie’s comments.


Marybeth March 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

I think you had a lot more then 5.
1. I bought produce from the reduced rack. $1.99 for 6 yellow peppers and $1.59 for 6 cucumbers.
2. I’m using our Britta water bottles for us wherever we go.
3. Sold 2 items on eBay. Used old envelopes that had already been used. Used packing tape since it no longer sticks.
4. Used English muffin bag and a bag the dentist gave us samples in as doggie poop bags.
5. I’m using my son’s old math notebook as my to-do notebook. Only a dozen pages left.


Carole R March 21, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Marybeth, I was just over at your website. What a lovely story about your friend. I’ll be going back to read more.


Carole R March 23, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Oops! This was meant for Marybeth Danielson! I did visit your blog too.


Mand01 March 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

1. I have a wedding to attend. I was going to buy a new dress, but I realised that I have clothes that will be fine.
2. I cooked using produce from my garden and freezer over the weekend: lemon and zucchini cake, chicken and pumpkin lasagne, banana bread. It’s all gone!
3. I made breadcrumbs.
4. Getting ready for the autumn garden. I’ll be doing the majority of my planting on the Easter weekend. Can’t wait! We have a mild enough winter to grow good crops of winter vegetables.
5. Still getting lots of eggplant and capsicum from the garden. It’s been a great season.


Jenny Young March 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm

1 -I guess my biggest frugal thing this week is that my husband & I didn’t go out to eat once! We’ve fallen into the habit of eating out at least once a week since we’ve entered the empty nest. It’s been partly our health, partly laziness & partly that we’re more secure financially than we used to be. But I am proud that we resisted this weekend. We got a lot done at home instead….which I am truly grateful we both had the strength & energy to work hard.

2- I cooked all our meals at home!

3- I only made one quick stop at Walmart early in the week & only bought what we absolutely needed so we’ve eaten a lot from our pantry/freezer.

4- I’m trying to get into a routine of doing a thorough cleaning of my floors every Friday after my grandson leaves. I only get him 1/2 days on Fridays. This week his mother didn’t have to work on Friday so I did my cleaning Thursday instead! All the hard floors mopped two weeks in a row….I do so hope I can keep it up.

5- Husband took apart all our fans & cleaned them to get ready for summer.

6- I cleaned & arranged things on our screened porch to get ready for spring/summer. I’m hoping to spend more time out there with my grandson.

6- I found a new blouse on sale at JCPenny for $5. I’ve been trying to find two or three nice tops that can hide my midlife hot flashes at church. I’m not having much luck & I so hate to shop for clothes. The one I bought is a winter blouse but I loved it & couldn’t pass up the price.

7 – I made a gorgeous arrangement of daffodils from my yard & have been enjoying them so much. I picked all that were laying on the ground after a hard frost we had earlier this week. I’m happy that to say it hardly looks like I picked any…I have worked over the years to fill my yard with spring bulbs.

8 – Started my exercise log for my insurance. My husband’s employer will put a cash bonus into our HSA if we keep the log & do a wellness checkup each year. My son works for the same company….his bloodwork results are so good he doesn’t have to keep the log…the lucky kid!


Lindsey March 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Not frugal, really, but put money in my pocket. I was walking by a middle school raffle, to help them to raise money for orchestra equipment. I don’t ordinarily buy raffle tickets but I think music is important so I shelled out $10. Today I got the call that I’d won the first prize: $500! Since the furnace broke down two days ago and it cost us $420 to fix it, this was a most welcome win. Saved us from raiding the emergency fund.

1. Made a new soup that was really good and used up frozen turkey bits from our Thanksgiving turkey, and a bunch of other strays from the freezer and cupboard. Dinner for three nights, with a different bread baked each day so the meal was a bit varied. Now I also have a freezer full of bread, from the leftovers of each day’s loaf.
2. Sorted through my vegetable seeds and realized I have enough for this year, except for needing some tomato seeds.
3. Repaired a jacket that I was going to get rid of because the pockets were ripping and the zipper didn’t work. Took about four hours but after the repairs and a gentle washing, it looks pretty darn good.
4. Sold two books on Amazon.
5. Husband had to buy a bunch of grocery supplies for an event his singing group put on. We paid, they reimbursed us and since we bought them on our grocery card we got the free gas points. Only 10 cents a gallon, but every bit helps.

Frugal fail: as a treat, bought the husband a personal size watermelon. Expensive but rare this early in the year and he loves watermelon. Put it in the fridge, behind some other things to preserve the surprise element, and then I forgot about it!!! Five days later rediscovered it. Too mushy to eat so off to the compost it went.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 4:06 am

You have good luck! I never win anything, I mean, really never… Maybe since that melon was early it wouldn’t have tasted all that great. That’s what I would tell myself, anyway, lol.


K D March 19, 2018 at 1:02 pm

1. My husband has a couple of days off work. Today we went out for lunch. We waited until he had a week day off rather than going there for dinner. It is cheaper that way, as they have a lunch menu M-F.

2. I am on the phone with NJ E-ZPass. I have been trying to get a refund on unused funds for about two months.

3. I checked that our federal income taxes were received/processed. They were but our refund has not been issued yet. A few years ago we were hacked (and waited a year, after I made ump-teen phone calls and endured a lot of paperwork) so I work hard to keep on top of this.

4. Tonight I’ll get together with friends for charity knitting and crocheting. Cheap entertainment.

5. Yesterday we went to a “new to us” state wildlife sanctuary. It was a gorgeous day but there was not much of a crowd. It was perfect.


BethC March 21, 2018 at 5:57 am

Was the wildlife refuge in NJ?


Bee March 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

1) I cleared my closet of everything that didn’t fit me well or I no longer wore. I donated these things to my favorite non-profit thrift store which helps support the local food pantry and community garden. This left me in need of a few clothing items, so I have been combing the local thrift and consignment shops. I have spent $50, but I have gotten two pairs of jeans, a pair of shoes for summer, a kimono top, two dresses, and a beautiful scarf. Best of all, I am pleased with everything.

2) I went to the grocery and drug stores yesterday. I saved approximately $30 using coupons and on special purchases.

3) My daughter and I went to the Friends of the Library Book Sale. As always, we found a few treasures including some wonderful cookbooks. These sales are certainly a win-win.

4) I cooked a corned beef on St. Pattys Day. We have this meal once a year at our house, because it is not really the healthiest choice. I used the leftovers to make hash on Sunday morning. Also on the food front, I ate leftovers from last night’s dinner for lunch today. I made smoothies for breakfast using up 1/2 an avacado no longer at its prime. I froze some spaghetti sauce for use latter and have a veggie medley planned for dinner this evening to use up a small quantity of many different vegetables. Finally I came across a good food blog –Don’t Waste the Crumbs. If you try to avoid processed foods, cook primarily from scratch, and/or have food allergies/sensitivities , you may find it interesting.

5) I have picked up two side jobs for April. I continue to sell on eBay and plan to take part in a vintage flea market next month. I also was accidentally frugal. I saved a good deal of money today, because I left the house without my wallet. 🙁


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 4:08 am

Thanks for the food blog suggestion. I’m always looking for new ideas.


Alexandra @ March 23, 2018 at 4:11 am

I have used a lot of the suggestions from Don’t Waste The Crumbs. She is knowledgeable and a good writer.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 19, 2018 at 1:43 pm

We got our smog check with a coupon, and my husband Craigslisted a high value electronic item I got for free, so that was pure profit. It’ll cover some of our travel expenses. It was a good week last week and we’re going to eat homemade pulled pork all this week so I think things are still looking good.


MommaL March 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm

1. Went through a guest room, sold some knick nacks that were pretty but honestly just in the way when company came. Sold an old timey entertainment center too. More room in the guest room, less clutter, cash in my pocket!
2. Contacted my friends about our neighborhood yard sale, they want to join me. I figure more people might pull over if there’s more stuff for sale.
3. Celebrated a friend’s bday by making the cake myself, and used candles from my thrifted candle stash.
4. A friend bought a jacket that didn’t fit and she couldn’t return. She offered it to me to buy for only 15 dollars, so I went over to try it. I didn’t love it, so I didn’t buy it.
5. Took home leftovers from the friend’s potluck bday party, having them for dinner tonight, mixed with a pot of beans that made in the slow cooker.

Frugal Fail: I brought home some leftover chicken thighs from a bbq at work. Saved every bone for bone broth, throwing in some ends of onions and a few cloves of garlic. I boiled it on the stove, then took it to my colander to strain. In my distractedness, I forgot to put a bowl under the colander. I was so sad watching it all literally go down the drain. I felt kind of dumb.


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Ouch on the broth. I think I might have cried if that happened to me.


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Crap! So much like something I would do.


Liz B. March 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I think I have done that….(sad face)


A. Marie March 20, 2018 at 1:48 am

MommaL, I think everyone who has ever made stock/broth has made the “no bowl under the strainer” mistake at least once (I certainly have!).


Mary Beth Danielson March 20, 2018 at 7:22 am

Me, too. Adds new meaning to “Don’ throw the baby out with the bathwater.”


MommaL March 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm

For a split second I thought about scooping it up from the sink…but ew.


Jennifer March 19, 2018 at 2:27 pm

1. Had a gymnastics meet this weekend. We packed food so bought nothing from the concession stands. Also avoided buying a t-shirt. We were forced to buy the State leotard to go to regionals, but there is a good chance my dd will make the State team and I will be reimbursed. My other dd did not make regionals so I should save $300 or so in expenses from that, although it was a sad day…
2. Scrounged for lunch today and took a random assortment of items. Odd buy filled me up.
3. Stuck to my cash budget and list at Costco today.
4. Going to a free program and our library tonight for entertainment.
5. Filled my ds’s taxes online for free.


Katy in Africa March 19, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Wow! You got a lot done! And I especially like your first 2 frugal things, good practical ideas.
1. My husband worked on taxes this evening.
2. I’ve been keeping a bucket by me when I shower that collects water that sprays to the side, this can be used to water plants or flush the toilet.
3. I picked basil for a pasta dish, in the words of my late Grandma anytime she served something from the garden, “free food!”
4. I’m wanting to decrease the amount of coffee I drink, while this is for health reasons, I wouldn’t mind the little bit of saved money too.
5. I made sun tea today…no gas from the stove necessary on a hot African day!


Ruby March 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm

1. Hemmed a thrift shop skirt while watching Netflix with the Mister.
2. Thinned out some lilies growing in a neglected area at work and planted them in a huge pot (out of reach of dogs) in our yard.
3. Found a dime on the sidwalk.
4. Dried laundry on the back porch clothesline during this past warm and breezy weekend.
5. Ripped up a worn thin beach towel used for washing the dogs into rags.


Carol March 19, 2018 at 3:46 pm

1. Did some Internet research on homemade dry shampoo (isn’t it funny how “Internet research” means using the first website that comes up?) and found out you can substitute cornstarch. So getting my first day of second-day clean-looking hair today.

2. Visiting my parents for spring break. Ate a big lunch before the flight and managed to get all the way to my destination by just spending $1 for a 7-11 orange, then free airline pretzels and free sparkling water on the plane.

3. A little shady–had a free coupon for an alcoholic beverage with United that had expired in January. I used it anyway, betting that they wouldn’t look at the date. They tend to be pretty lax. A red wine and looking out the window at the mountains.

4. This one is my mom’s: she bought several 70% off stuffed animals after Valentine’s Day to give out to the kids she worked with. She merely had to cut off the “I Love You” banners and such.

5. The cash receiver on the bus was broken when I took the airport bus to my parents’, so the bus driver let me on for free. It would have cost me $9. I gave him $3 for all the work he does hauling people’s bags.

Frugal fail…sort of? Passed a chocolatier, and I’ve been really curious about chocolate artisans, so bought some truffles and a hot chocolate to the tune of $17. I don’t spend a lot of fun money, so it will be okay, but we need to get our savings back into shape, so I feel guilty.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 4:13 am

Hey Carol, I use cornstarch because my scalp is oily and it works great. Be careful to get it really distributed well or you may get visible white spots on your head, lol. I usually sprinkle it on my hairbrush, beat the hair brush on the counter, then run through my hair. Also, some people use cocoa powder. Haven’t tried that one that.


Carol March 20, 2018 at 8:06 am

Good advice, Jennifer, thank you! I was surprised how well it worked, and I look forward to doing it more. Before, my hair would just look oily. 🙁


Teddie March 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm

1. Had a 30% off coupon for Kohls and GS needed summer clothes desperately. Hard to find clothes for him at thrift stores as he is tall and skinny. In return for the clothes we bought him we got $50 cash back.
2. Used the $50 dollars to purchase some much needed shirts for DH who is tall and not so skinny.
3. DH and I have been going to Tuesday movie matinees ~ tickets are $5.38 each and last week we had enough points to get a free ticket. We take our candy from the DT and bottles of water.
4. CVS sales have been light the last few weeks ~ at least for products we buy, but last week I got numerous items and saved 44%. 40% is always my goal.
5. I am woman, hear me roar, I am smart, I am frugal, and NO ON tells ME who to vote for.


Katy March 19, 2018 at 11:40 pm

In numbers too big to ignore.


patricia March 20, 2018 at 2:12 am

Frugally, roaring with you!!!


Ava March 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm

1. Brushed my teeth 11 times with the toothpaste left in the tube after my husband declared it empty.
2. In the process of making pillows for the front porch furniture. I got 3 pillows at Goodwill for $4 total and I am covering them with a piece of barkcloth I also got at GW for $2.
3. Called to see why I had not received the gift card reward we were supposed to get for changing tv service. Found out I never would have received it if I had not called. That is very deceptive in my opinion. My call started the process and the card came soon after.
4. Did a big grocery shop and found that the store is doing a good job of putting out reduced produce. I was able to replace the cauliflower, peppers, onions, apples and eggplant I had already put in the cart with reduced versions of the same items. Instead of paying 2.29 for a head of cauliflower, I was able to get 2 heads for $1 each.
5. We have eaten out a couple of times lately to feed my huisband’s new fajita addiction. I wondered why I couldn’t make the same thing at home, so tonight we had fajitas with the reduced peppers and onions and shrimp we already had. They were very successful, and there are leftovers.


FrugalStrong March 23, 2018 at 8:46 am

Haha, your #1 happens at my house, too!


Susie's Daughter March 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm

1) Picked up a check at the consignment store for $47 dollars (yay!) before DS’s appointment at specialty pediatric dentist (boo). We are grateful for the doctors (expensive and not covered by insurance) expertise and for their advice. Flossing is a lot more frugal than the specialty dentist…

2) Returned deposit containers today for $3.50 toward the family movie fund.

3) Bought 9 bananas on the marked down shelf today for future smoothies, packing DS’s lunches, meal planning for the week and still eating from the freezer and pantry.

4) Recalculated our daily mortgage interest and our daily interest on our energy efficiency loan (which we used to install a wood pellet boiler system to replace ancient gas furnace) and we are paying $1 less per day on mortgage interest and .25/day on energy loan than last year. By paying extra toward principal each month we will save $456.25 in interest this year.

5) Paid off Dear Wife’s truck loan today! Woohoo! We will divert that money toward energy loan (see #4) and a ‘new’ truck fund for a few years down the road.


Bee March 20, 2018 at 3:39 am

Congratulations on paying off the car loan. It feels so good!


Susie's Daughter March 20, 2018 at 4:58 am

Thank you Bee! The hope is to continue to act as if that money that is freed up is not available (for anything but other debt). I have been thinking of you often. I hope you are continuing to feel better!


Bee March 21, 2018 at 4:02 am

Thank you for the kind words. I am doing much better. I had a regular day yesterday — ran a couple of errands, baked brownies, paid bills and took my son out for a birthday dinner. A week ago I could not have done all that!


Roberta March 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

1. We celebrated my church’s 125th anniversary yesterday. They asked the kids to help serve, and they paid them $25 for it! The both said they would have done it for free, but the money was nice. I made a lasagna, so I didn’t have to pay for us to attend, and because we stayed until everything was cleaned up, we ended up bringing home a lot of leftovers! The rest of my lasagna, four steam pans of spaghetti noodles, a bag of salad, and a bunch of garlic bread. What won’t get eaten by us will be fed to the chickens.
2. I thought a friend was coming home with my daughter from the PSAT. She didn’t take it, so I didn’t have an extra kid; thus, I was able to feed my kids leftovers instead of making mac-n-cheese (my go-to when I have strange kids over). Plus, the PSAT was free because our school got a grant. I did get the house well cleaned up because I thought someone was coming over!
3. I got one load of laundry hung up today, I will wash one tonight and hang it up tomorrow morning before class. It is supposed to rain here Wednesday and Thursday, so I want to get the laundry finished before that.
4. Still moving forward with our resale shop. I’ll be going to the bins in the rain Thursday (hopefully it will be not-crowded). I have all the clothes out of the living room right now — peace of mind is frugal.
5. Not a whole lot of money spent, but nothing flashy to report.
Frugal fail: I didn’t make a menu for this week, and we succumbed to take-out burritos for dinner. Tomorrow will be more pasta.


Liz B. March 20, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Roberta, I freeze cooked leftover pasta in individual servings – I use it reheated with chili, or with pasta sauce for a quick lunch or dinner (when hubby works late). You could also use it in future soups or casseroles.


Roberta March 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

Thanks, Liz. I ‘ll try that with what I have left.

I was told pasta doesn’t freeze well, but at this point, I’m sick of it, and if I freeze it and people don’t like how it turns out, nothing will have been lost!


janine March 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm

1. Found 25c at Aldi that someone didn’t take out of the cart.
2. Son usually treats me to lunch on his day off. We were late today and they were cleaning up/closing – charged him for one lunch and got one free.
3. Meal and menu planning in reaction to ever rising food prices. Found a good combination of stores that have the best prices in this area. Need to drive a distance to get to them, but worth it once a week.
4. Visited GW, but no bargains the way Katy describes. May return on a sale day. Meanwhile, another thrift has an “overflow” store near here that I need to take time to check out.
5. Cooking from scratch, keeping strict tract of $$, contributing to kids IRAs etc.


Debbie from Delaware March 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm

1. Made Baked Potato soup out of a couple large baked potatoes brought home from dinner out. The restaurant serves large portions, and you get a soup or salad and 2 sides. My husband and I usually split a dinner, but we had a $10 off 2 dinners coupon. When we do this we usually each get a baked potato to take home and it becomes fried potatoes for the next morning, or, in this case, soup.
2. While I was in soup making mode, also made an Olive Garden copycat
recipe of Chicken Gnocchi, except I substituted tortellini to not have to go out
and buy gnocchi. We actually like the tortellini better.
3. Did my Federal taxes on for $29.99, and state taxes on Delaware’s free system to avoid paying $99 to do both on TurboTax.
4. Sorted through items in my cluttered up spare room. Designated some items to give away to family, and friends, and some to donate for our church’s silent auction fundraiser. Still lots to do, but I will eventually tame that room!
5. Drinking lots of water and pineapple juice, taking ibuprofen, and using saline spray trying to avoid a trip to the doctor (& copay) for sinus issues that came up over the weekend.


Pattilou March 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm

1. I opened a piece of what I thought was junk mail and a dollar fell out. It was a request to take a survey about child car seats. I took the survey and will also be receiving a $5.00 Amazon gift card.
2. Went to see Black Panther tonight with free passes. I wrote a letter to the movie theatre awhile back about the fact that the theatre was rather dirty and they sent me the free passes for my trouble.
3. I went to two pot lucks this weekend and came home with leftovers from both. I shouldn’t have to grocery shop at all this week.
4. I picked up my eye glasses today. I get a free pair with my insurance. Yes the frame choices are limited but I am always able to find a free pair that works.
5. I found 55 cents in the last two days.


VanessaKC March 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Happened again. Typed a good 5 and wouldn’t post.


Christine March 20, 2018 at 8:53 am

Me too, twice. Once when I wanted to make a comment on someone else’s FFT and just now when I wanted to let you know it happened to me too. I had to reload…not fun.


Teri March 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

I don’t get any post on bloglovin then all of a sudden I’ll get 3 posts in one day, its irritating, not to mention this “reload the page” to comment.


Mary W March 19, 2018 at 8:52 pm

I must have been on your wavelength today, Katy – I was working on all kinds of little jobs around my house, sorting paperwork and organizing my bedroom all day today!

1. Saved probably at least $100 by NOT riding along with my bff to Portland today – not going to the bins (Airport Way Goodwill Outlet store) or Costco. This may be more of a delayed spending, but I really do not need to buy anything until I sell some of the stuff I already own.
2. Worked on the freezers in an effort to clear some space and use up some of last summer’s produce. I have a crockpot of tomatoes cooking down, broccoli cooking for soup, and will set up another crockpot to make some peach/plum butter. I’m also cooking up chicken soup from a Costco rotisserie chicken – I have a huge stock pot of it on the stove, still have most of the breast meat in the fridge, and am cooking the bones, skins and other bits for more broth for a chicken pot pie. Some of this will go back in the freezers for later meals, but I’ll still have a little more room in two of them.
3. Related to cleaning out the freezers, I found a petrified slice of french toast in a baggie – I heated it up, slathered it with butter and powdered sugar and took one for the team. It was a little dry, but as the first slice of bread in over 6 weeks, it was still delicious! I also cooked up some ancient fish sticks for the dog and some chicken patties that were also pretty elderly – the chicken patties were fine. Ate one and have 4 more in the fridge for lunches the next couple days.
4. I found change in the Coin Star machine the last time I grocery shopped – turned out to be what appears to be a corroded penny(?) and a 20 pence piece. I guess I can save it for my bucket list trip to England someday!
5. Used the last of the milk today. I’ll use Nido brand whole powdered milk to make the broccoli cheese soup tonight, and will do my grocery shopping when I run errands before hand bell practice tomorrow. No extra trips to town, as it costs me $12 round trip. Even though Nido is a bit over $3/gallon, it’s still cheaper than driving even to the nearest store, 12 miles round trip and $4 a gallon there.


susanna d March 20, 2018 at 6:03 am

Mary, I’m laughing out loud at your “petrified french toast” comment – because oh wow, can I identify with that type of freezer find. Cleaning out my freezers can be a treasure hunt…or something resembling an archaeological dig.


Mary Beth Danielson March 20, 2018 at 7:28 am

When my kids were still youngsters: I was digging deep in the freezer for something on a hot, boring, August afternoon. I found the half dozen snowballs the kids had put there the previous winter – they went outside with them and had Wisconsin’s shortest and happiest snowball fight.


susanna d March 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Mary Beth, I love the summer snowball idea! I do have room in the freezer, and there’s still too much snow on the ground (for my liking anyway). The grandkids would absolutely love a snowball fight in summer. I’ll be packing away a few snowballs tomorrow. Thanks!


Cindy in the South I March 20, 2018 at 5:53 am

Love your frugal five Katy!
1. I cut off a pair of jeans to make summer shorts. The bottom on the jeans were frayed because I never hemmed them….lol.
2. My son took a driving class for a speeding ticket, so that my car insurance would not be increased.
3. I took a cheese sandwich with me to eat when I was running errands. I was 50 miles away from home and I did not want to be tempted by take out.
4. I exercised by walking in my hood.
5. I recycled books in the free book mailboxes by the laundry mat.


MommaL March 20, 2018 at 7:27 am

Re your #1: Now, jeans with frayed bottoms are “in style”. They sell brand new skinny jeans with the bottoms torn off and frayed. ha!


Mrs. Picky Pincher March 20, 2018 at 7:57 am

Omg the balloon made me giggle! I never even thought to do that!

This week:

1. I cooked Sriracha nori popcorn as a homemade snack. I even pre-packed them in Tupperware so I can have a healthy snack with zero fuss.

2. I ate a homemade breakfast this morning to save money.

3. I took on some extra freelance work. Yay!

4. My dad is visiting this weekend. I’m flipping through my Book of Free to find discounted entertainment options in our area. He loves going shopping together, but I’m going to push for experiences instead.

5. I harvested green onions and cilantro from the garden, which I dried for year-round use. I also chopped up some lemon balm and combined it with coconut oil as a salve for cuts and burns.


Cat March 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

1. My son needed a lizard mask for a school project and we made it with leftover craft supplies and didn’t have to buy anything. Bonus: He loves it!

2. Rescued a trifold presentation board from my work to repurpose for my son’s science fair project.

3. Made homemade pizzas to take to a family that lost their Dad this year instead of buying a take-out of premade meal..

4. Filed our taxes and we had all the paperwork we needed without having to spend more time looking for it.

5. Continue to eat from the pantry and freezer as we prepare for the big move.


Roberta March 21, 2018 at 6:34 am

We use temporary sticky adhesive for science projects, etc, on the trifold boards. The adhesive and the boards can then be used again! We’ve been using the same board since 4th grade, and my son is in high school now.


Gina in KY March 20, 2018 at 11:40 am

1. Still eating from the pantry. I am definitely a food hoarder and am trying hard to be reformed. Anyway, the main goal has been to not only be on low spend (indefinitely or until debt is paid off-which ever comes first) and also I am transiting to a new lifestyle diet once and for all, so anything containing eggs or dairy or being used up and not replaced (I have to balance my diet wishes with my wish not to waste not). I have not done any major grocery shopping in months it seems (here and there items and some reduced/clearance items only).
2. On a recent sleepless night, I created a Frugal journal of sorts using an already owned composition book. It basically contains lists (because I too love a good list to work from) of frugal/free activities around my city, goals for no/low spend, recipes to try using items on hand, frugal things I accomplish, tips, and a list with fleeting “wants” that flows through my head (and I actually can capture). The latter list has really opened up my mind to how much I am thinking about things I think I need (or want).
3. Fixed my own plumbing issues and learned so much in the process. I can only say, I may not be a plumber, but the job I did on the replacement is far better than what was there.
4. I am traveling for work this week and staying at a hotel with a kitchenette. This means a way to make my own food which is both frugal and healthy. It also means I will be able to save the per diem for other needs.
5. Checked out books from the library, made a summer wreath from items stashed in the craft bins and started one for my mom and my bf’s mom for Mother’s Day, planted radish and kale seeds in pots outside and started tomato seeds indoors with seed starting trays complete with soil pods that I bought years ago for 90% off (I think they cost 35c and I bought 10 of them).


Bee March 20, 2018 at 1:21 pm

Isn’t it amazing how eye-opening it is to journal? I Haven’t thought about creating a frugal journal. I guess my price book is one –sort of– if I stretch a bit. Definitely, a great idea and frugal resource.


Gina in KY March 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Oh, most definitely it is an eye-opener. I am learning about my “triggers” and what causes me to falter and be frivolous with my finances. No more…hard work all my debts will be gone in 2.5 years (this includes major ones as well).


Elizabeth March 20, 2018 at 12:17 pm

1. Thanks to a new grocery store opening last week, our Kroger has been offering great deals on many items. This week we scored deals on sodas, chips, and peanut butter…hopefully this lasts for awhile.
2. Researched trade-in values for my husband’s truck and prevented the car dealership from undercutting us by $3000! We decided to sell on our own:)
3. Ordered school books for my daughter for next year and managed to keep it under $50 by buying used on Amazon
4. Found a couple of textbooks at the thrift store for just $1.99 each that will work for my son next year
5. Found a new recipe that uses up leftover pork roast, which we always have a ton of for some reason?? It was called Eggroll in a bowl and it was quite delicious.


Bee March 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Egg roll in a bowl is one of my favorites. Leftover pork roast is also good for pork fried rice or to make Cuban style black beans.


Liz B. March 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Katy, sounds like you got a lot done! It feels so good to get those lingering items off your list.
My FFT, fixed up knee version:

1) Had needed knee surgery about a week and a half ago. Deductible was already met, and while surgery isn’t frugal, I stayed within my health insurance’s list of providers. Thankful for health insurance through my work.
2) Friends have been generous with providing meals for us while I recuperate. Am blessed to know many excellent cooks!
3) Used Kroger’s ClickList for free….hubs picked up our order. Quick and convenient, and no impulse buys. Plus, they threw in a free bar of dark chocolate as a thank you.
4) Have been going through piles of papers and other junk. Found some gift cards that had been forgotten. Gift cards bought with 4X gas points, so savings there as well.
5) Got 50 extra Kroger gas points for filling out online ClickList survey. Also doing SwagBucks daily while off work.
Have a great week, everyone!


Christine March 20, 2018 at 5:41 pm

For those who are having problems with “disappearing posts”: I write out my FFTs longhand on scrap paper. Then I load the page. Then I type my FFTs as quickly as I possibly can. Works for me as it seems to be a timing issue for me. Hope this helps those who didn’t have any luck with the copy and paste route.


Jennifer March 20, 2018 at 5:59 pm

I have noticed that it’s not always a timing issue for me. I tried to type a super short comment and still had to reload. Copy and paste works, but it is a hassle.


Sarah D March 20, 2018 at 8:12 pm

1. My in-laws are in town, and we went hiking on Sat and took a picnic lunch. (Then we ate our for dinner, which cost a fortune and my in-laws didn’t even offer to help with the bill, so that was a frustrating frugal fail).
2. I cut my husband’s hair. He looks good!
3. I made a lentil bolognese pasta sauce that was meant to feed my family, my in-laws, and my parents for dinner….but I made so much that I have at least two more dinners’ worth in the fridge and freezer!
4. I went to the public library and picked up a huge stack of books and a pass to a local museum for my in-laws to visit while they’re in town. I love that my library has so much more than just books!
5. It’s been pretty spendy having my in-laws in town (see #1, plus their incredible need for snacks, coffee, beer, etc) and they are not the type to pitch-in, buy meals, or even offer to split things. So it’s always frustrating to have them here and I end up feeling resentful (plus they wear their shoes in the house, which we don’t do! argh, sorry to complain!). One night my MIL was planning to make a dinner, and normally I wouldn’t dream of letting her buy more than just the ingredients she needs. But this time, in an effort to salvage some level of frugality from an otherwise expensive week, I let her add a few things to her list that I needed from the grocery store – that bag of apples and the pound of almonds doesn’t really make up for all the rest of the expense they’ve caused us, but at least it made me feel a tiny bit better!


ouvickie March 21, 2018 at 6:38 am

Wow! I’m impressed with your list, Katy – good job!

1) I had Monday & Tuesday off for free, no PTO loss, since the University was shut down. So it was a nice long weekend. I spent the days getting some things done around the house and watched a DVD movie one of my BFF’s loaned me.
2) I spent Tuesday afternoon with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. She bought me lunch – which I hadn’t expected, but was very nice of her. She’s such a sweetie.
3) I took some canning jar lids and a bag of dried cranberries to her. I had 3 bags of the cranberries my daughter gave me, so I shared the bounty and the canning lids were given to me, but I won’t be using them. She cans all the time. So nothing is wasted.
4) The same friend sent me home with a jar of cranberry pepper jam – YUM!! And she gave me some tops she no longer wears, now that she works from home. I gladly took them. Now I have some more tops to wear to work for FREE!
5) I had to pick-up oats for the horse and human food on Monday. I went into Walmart to get some of Rachel Ray’s Nutrish food for my fur-babies and they had their Corned Beef on sale. I got a huge package for $5. I put it in the slow cooker before I left Tuesday morning and we’re going to have Reuben Sandwiches for dinner – there enough there for at least 3 meals.


sarah m March 21, 2018 at 7:11 am

1. I cooked for the week and froze portions for lunches, made individual packs of fruit and nuts for snacks. drank from my work stash of tea and free breakroom coffee. making breakfast smoothies: yogurt, PB, banana or frozen berries each morning. Overall I’m doing well, but splurged on a $3 coffee yesterday since tuesday is a long hard day at my clinic.
2. Mended my socks and two sweaters.
3. Got a free Philip Pullman book from the tiny library on my block, and debating what book to place there in return. My books are largely down to my favorites, but still fill a tall bookcase, but I don’t reread much. I just finished reading an Ursula LeGuin book “The Telling” that I borrowed from my sister, I definitely recommend it.
4. Ran out of shampoo, but have half a bottle of conditioner, and since the one I have is labelled “silicone free” I decided now is a good time to try “co-washing” with conditioner only. The first day felt gross, but today its still wet but already feels a bit better.
5. frugal vacation planning: my sister and I both have time off in May, and are planning a week long bike trip from Pittsburgh to DC. We’ll have a few expenses a long the way, but overall it’s shaping up to be an affordable adventure. I love travel and exploring, and while I travel cheaply (buses, hostels, local groceries) it really can add up so I’m trying to not lose track of more local adventures as well.

Otherwise, I’m not doing 100% on the budget front- a few online clothing purchases (two spring sweaters on sale from landsend, that I needed and had marked on my list, and one beautiful used raincoat on poshmark that unfortuately doesn’t fit, was was more stress-induced shopping than a “need.” And there was some weekend eating out while my boyfriend and I dog-sat. I’m back to trying an anti-inflammatory diet for my auto-immune disease, and feeling better but food is a little pricier. Hopefully the decrease in eating out will balance it, and maybe even, fingers crossed, less medical expenses.


KJD509 March 21, 2018 at 10:08 am

FFT out of town edition:

1) Cooked and ate several meals, including bringing stuff out of my freezer. Corned beef for 7 is never going to be inexpensive, but it was delicious and made lots of leftovers.
2) Didn’t have the dog with me so skipped the French fry stop on the long drive. (Did, however, try a new Thai place that shares a name with a Thai friend of my daughter. Food was delicious and fed me several meals.)
3) Bringing lunches from home, packed months ago and frozen.
4) Cooked dinner last night and realized 3 bites in that I was cooking for 7, not 1. So packaged up most of it. . . right back into the freezer. Pantry and fridge are emptying in a satisfying way, but I’ll be eating out of that freezer for months yet.
5) We’ve been unsatisfied with the mortgage companies we’re talking to ahead of the move. Hubs found the name of someone we used 29 years and 3 houses ago, whom he had liked, and tracked him down. The guy was pretty surprised but happy to help, and his approach is so much more transparent and straightforward that I am greatly relieved. Frugal because we made the change before we actually signed an agreement with anyone else . . . but it may come back to bite us, and we’ll now have had 4 credit reports pulled in a brief few months. I’ve always thought one of the terrific advantages of living a largely non-consumer life is the ability to not care about credit ratings, but a move and a new house has thrown that all to hell. Still, the end is in sight, and that’s encouraging.


KJD509 March 21, 2018 at 10:11 am

*20 years! Not 29. That would have been quite an accomplishment. . . we purchased our first house using a realtor in her 80s and a banker who was her friend and contemporary.


Gina in KY March 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Ugh! I have always thought that credit report ding for looking at a credit report was the biggest kick ever. Glad to hear there is a light coming soon in the move.


Randi March 23, 2018 at 9:35 am

I hate balloons with a passion. Everyone in my life knows not to buy me a balloon. I grew up in So. Fl and live in Socal and rarely a day goes by that I don’t see a ballon floating by or on the side of the road. Most of them end up in the ocean where they are mistaken for jelly fish and consumed( and then the turtle or other creature dies) or wrapped around electrical wires. I wish they were banned. I wish people would shred them before disposing of them.


Gina March 23, 2018 at 4:10 pm

I call those kind of days “GSD” days (“Getting Sh– Done”). Whatever you call them, they always feel so great!
My most frugal move right now (besides eating at home very consistently) has been selling stuff. I have dug deep into my drawers and closet. Whenever I think I’m done, I find more stuff. Poshmark has been working well for me, and eBay and Facebook Marketplace seem to be picking up lately.


texas review April 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Egg roll in a bowl is one of my favorites. Leftover pork roast is also good for pork fried rice or to make Cuban style black beans.


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