Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 23, 2018 · 91 comments

  1. My husband really needed a haircut, yet wanted something beyond the normal buzz cut that I’m able to provide. He’d snuck out to a dude salon a month or so ago which ended up being both expensive and a dreadful haircut. I called up the Free Haircuts Portland, Oregon people who do the continuing education for Supercuts and they were able to book him an appointment that afternoon. My husband was pretty nervous about being the guinea pig in yet another of my frugal schemes, but I assured him that I’d been there before and had received a great cut. In the end my husband received an amazing haircut, which we both agree is the best cut he’s had in years, possibly decades.

    This may seem like a Portland specific frugal tip, but Supercuts is a national chain, which means that your area should have a similar opportunity for free haircuts. Just call your local Supercuts and ask!

  2. We stopped at Goodwill on the way home from Supercuts-ish where we both scored a single great item. For my husband it was a fancy fold-up soccer goal for $40 that normally costs $150, and for me it was a $7.99 vintage wrought iron plant stand that perfectly fits a cute McCoy planter that I already own.

  3. I’m taking the next two weeks off from work at the hospital so I can enjoy my kids being home from college and then my sister visiting with her kids from New York. I won’t receive any pay, but March was an extra paycheck month, so it’ll kind of even out. The next double tuition payment (approximately $8400) is due April 1st, so I’m keeping a tight eye on our bank balances. (Who am I kidding, I always keep a tight eye on our bank accounts!) I know that there will be a lot of eating out and entertainment expenses during my sister’s visit, so I’m locking down the budget in anticipation of these vague extra expenditures. How does this play out in real life? Tonight’s dinner will be a “burrito bar” which means that I threw approximately 30¢ of Dollar Tree pinto beans into the crockpot and last night’s dinner was homemade pizza with carmelized onions and sketchy freezer pepperoni as toppings.

  4. I sold my curbside dining chairs that I’d hauled home and scrubbed to perfection, I sold a huge lot of brand new thrifted shoelaces on eBay that I think I’d had listed since last summer, I brought my own food to work even though the meals were a bit hodgepodge and I’m going to be able to put out free extra yard debris (I’ve been pruning our hydrangeas) while my neighbors are on vacation for spring break.

  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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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany March 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Prepped a bunch of stuff last night after getting the dinner cleaned up. It’ll be nice to add the extra veggies to our diet. I don’t usually feel like dicing first thing in the morning to get peppers in my eggs. Ha!

Signed up the kids for a field trip to a flower fields. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to homeschool my kids and take them on field trips. I can’t sing the praises of our charter school enough.

Took my chances on a $2.99 bottle of liquid eyeliner. The reviews for it were good, and tried it out. Love it! No need to spend a fortune!

Salted the rocks beside the driveway. Cheap weed killer. Thankfully there is nothing over there that I want to ever grow.

Not spreading any seed in the back yard. It’s a jungle, especially after the rain. Don’t want to pour any money into it until we are ready to put a pool in. That might sound like a luxury and I assure you it’s definitely not a need, but it will be used a lot by this SoCal family. Probably 2 more years wait on it. It will be worth it!


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Bethany, would you mind sharing the name of the eyeliner? I am about to run out so I will be getting something soon. I am using elf brand now.


MommaL March 24, 2018 at 6:16 am

Rimmel has coupons this week, and sales at most drug stores.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Oh, thanks..good to know


Bethany March 24, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Actually, Wet and Wild. At Ulta Beauty it had a good review, so I thought why not?


Leslie W March 23, 2018 at 5:24 pm

We are still eating the frozen diced bell peppers from last summers harvest. Hubs likes them every morning in his scrambled eggs. Alas I have to forgo them because I have a bit of egg sensitivity so only eat them when it’s a bit more special.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm

My #1 is similar but a little bit the opposite of frugal. We just spent $50 at Supercuts for haircuts for the whole family (3 of us plus tip) and visited with our favorite lady there who also works at the Supercuts school. I don’t know where the school is but I’ve decided that this is a piece of conscious spending I choose to do. I only get a cut once or twice year, and we’re paying someone who is very kind to us and our child.

I just sold a pair of kid shoes on Poshmark, and am crossing my fingers that I’ll sell another bundle this weekend. And I’m about to make a homemade meatloaf for my dinner tonight, no eating out! 🙂


A. Marie March 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

FFT, Things Are Looking Up Edition:

(1) The more I see of the folks who run the two memory care programs DH is now participating in, the better I like them. And DH is gradually warming up to the programs and the people as well. Plus which, I consider the fees entirely reasonable–and, heck, we’re not spending money on much else at the moment, so I’m delighted to invest in keeping DH active and involved.

(2) I joined the Friday arts-based group for its last hour just now, and DH and I (with some assistance from a student volunteer) produced a recognizable painting in acrylics of our back yard in early spring. I may have to find space for an art gallery.

(3) More social activity tomorrow: Three Literary Society friends from the next city over to the west are joining us for lunch at a small restaurant here. We will stretch a gift certificate for this restaurant (Xmas present to us from the neighbors for whom we do dog-walking) as far around the group as it’ll go. After that, we’re all going to a play based on one of the works of Our Author, put on by the respectable drama department at our local Jesuit college. I got the tickets for DH and me on an early-bird BOGO deal.

(4) Borrowed a book from Ms. Bestest Neighbor so that I could do some fact-checking on my current manuscript for work. I strongly suspected that the author of said manuscript was mangling some facts about the book, and I was right. Plus which, I didn’t have to buy a copy of the book.

(5) And I’m very much looking forward to starting my first garden seeds of 2018 indoors under lights this weekend. In the immortal words Julia Child probably never said, “First, take a leek.”


Bee March 23, 2018 at 12:50 pm

I am glad things are going well. You definitely have kept your sense of humor. Your fifth frugal thing brought a smile to my face. I do love Julia Child.


Christine March 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm

I’m glad to hear things are going well for you and DH. It sounds like you’re both enjoying your new social settings! How nice!


Nalani March 23, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Ditto what the others have said. I’m glad to hear that your DH is doing well and that there are good people running the memory care programs.


Susie's Daughter March 24, 2018 at 6:26 am

A. Marie – #5 made me think of the episode where she lines up all the chickens from littlest to biggest and then makes them talk and wave. Thank you for finding the humor in life and bringing it to the rest of us.


Crosby March 24, 2018 at 6:31 am

I love the theme of your FFT. I’m happy things are on the up-an-up!


Jennifer March 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

That is awesome on the free haircut. Wished we had a Supercuts in my area. I did a blog post on doing my own hair a couple days ago. Oh, and those chairs look great!
1. Ate at home all week.
2. Wearing my thrifted shirt and shoes. Nothing special but looks ok.
3. Rocking the color and cut that I did myself with a little help from hubby. It’s not perfect, but ok for
4. Made some leave-in conditioner from water mixed with cheap conditioner and put in a spray bottle.
5. Spruced up some things around the house. My making my surroundings look a little fresher is free.

Super quick FFT’s, this time I didn’t have to reload.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm

The closest Supercuts to me is in a whole different state! It’s seems everything gets to my location in the South later than everywhere else. We are so behind!


Crosby March 24, 2018 at 6:33 am

Since neither of you have a Supercuts near you, have you looked around to see if there is a local beauty school? There are a few in our area and the haircuts are very inexpensive. And since they’re students, they are supervised by professionals so you always get an excellent cut! The trade off is that it takes longer than a normal haircut.


Marcia March 24, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Yes!! My Mom did this for years and it was generally a fine and very inexpensive haircut.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 24, 2018 at 6:32 pm

I do my own cuts and color but I thought if I could get a free haircut occasionally that might be nice not to have to cut it myself.


Karen March 23, 2018 at 12:59 pm

1. The publisher who sells the history curriculum we love sent out a 40% off coupon for all homeschooling/children’s books, so I snagged next year’s history curriculum for nearly half off, plus a book I’ve been wanting but couldn’t find in the second hand shop.

2. Went through my bookshelf and my kids’ bookshelves and collected two big Trader Joe’s bags of books nobody’s interested in reading anymore; we will take these to the Half Price bookstore and sell them, and use the proceeds to get some newer books.

3. Also went through the toy cupboards and did a deep clean and managed to cull a box of toys without my six year old complaining (much). This doesn’t sound frugal, as I’ll be donating these, but for me, reducing clutter in the house=reduced anxiety.

4. We stopped our Domino’s carryout habit, after too many botched orders, and switched to frozen for our pizza nights. Not as frugal as homemade, but cheaper. Plus I stink at making homemade pizza. We all have our gifts; that is not one of mine.

5. I cleaned out the garage a bit and found some mail my husband had put in there, which included our checks from Kroger–every three months they send us checks for free groceries based on the points we earn by using their credit card. I’ll be able to get our Easter dinner pretty much free!


Lisa M. March 23, 2018 at 1:57 pm

I would be interested to learn how you fare at Half Price Books. The vast majority of books that we have attempted to sell have been rejected and for those few that were accepted, we received next to nothing. Hope your experience is better.

I will say that they have saved us money by offering required school books that we were able to purchase used versus retail though.


janine March 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

We also get very little at half priced books but it is better than nothing. I bring my son with me, let him have the $$ and get him used to buying used. They do have some good deals too.


Karen March 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

A lot depends on what they feel they can sell. I’ve used both Half Price Books and 2nd and Charles, and I find I get more back at Half Price than 2nd and Charles, but 2nd and Charles will give you more in store credit than cash back. As in, they’ll offer you, say, 5.00 cash or 8.00 in store credit.

I used to work in bookstores and I know that the books should be in good condition, and also books that are good “sellers”-i.e. not too outdated, but also not something they’re swamped with, like lots of Harry Potters or Patricia Cornwell, for example.


Liz B. March 23, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Just wondering, is there a ftozen pizza brand that you like? I’m also not a homemade pizza maker – have had many pizza flops. We just switched to Domino’s, because picky DS decided he likes it.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 23, 2018 at 6:55 pm

My bunch likes Digiorno but we add lots of extra toppings to it. Aldi has a pretty decent huge, pizza in their refrigerated section if you have one nearby and you can keep it in the fridge for a few days till needed.


Crunchycon March 24, 2018 at 12:22 am

Our family likes the Red Baron classic crust (with extra toppings). It’s often on sale around here and coupons are available.


Karen March 25, 2018 at 11:31 am

So far we really like DiGiornio, especially the pan pizzas–they feel like a better value than the flatter, round ones. I’m gluten free and dairy intolerant, and I splurge on an Amy’s Rice Crust with dairy free cheese, still cheaper than a Domino’s gluten free.


Karen March 25, 2018 at 11:45 am

Oh, and our kids were diehard Domino’s fans, but they really like the Digiornio pan pizzas and we can usually get at least two meals out of one of them.


Karen March 25, 2018 at 11:48 am

Oh, I forgot, gave three of the kids haircuts. It takes me a little over half an hour to give three haircuts (I have all boys and do the same haircut on everyone), and I figured out that at that rate my hourly wage for doing home haircuts is nearly $90, because even going to Supercuts they would charge 15 bucks a kid, not counting gas to drive there and time spent and tips. This is how I justify getting a nice Supercuts haircut for myself every few months. 🙂


Nalani March 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm

The chairs came out great!

(1) My birthday was this week so I used my free Starbucks birthday reward to get a venti dirty chai. I drank half and saved the other half for later.
(2) Have been working late all week which means no time to spend money and that work has been buying us dinner. Even though I had to work a 14 hour day on my bday, at least dinner was provided 🙂
(3) Found a $5 bill on my run the other morning.
(4) Husband’s birthday is a few days after mine and I wanted to get him a new phone for his bday. His phone is pretty old and is actually a hand me down from a friend of mine. It wouldn’t hold a charge and kept freezing. Instead of buying him the latest and greatest, we decided on a refurbished iPhone 6S. My phone is also a hand me down and even though they are older models, they are new to us so we’re happy.
(5) Got tickets to go to a World Cup game in Russia this summer. While traveling abroad is not as frugal as not traveling at all, I will use my airline employee travel benefits and miles to get there, I signed up for the FIFA Fan ID so I don’t have to pay for a Russian visa and can use it for free public transportation, and am staying in accommodations where I can make my own food instead of eating out every meal.


patricia March 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm

WOW, on #5. Super Soccer fan. Heart broken my team USA didn’t make the cut. But, will be rooting for other well loved teams. Hope you have a blast!!! Look forward to an update of your trip??


Liz B. March 23, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Yes, what a great opportunity to travel!


Nalani March 23, 2018 at 6:40 pm

I’ll try to follow up with a FFT WC edition when we are there. My brothers and I grew up traveling in a frugal manner. My dad worked for the airlines so we were, and still are, extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy employee benefits. We’ve been lucky to go to the World Cup in South Africa and Confed Cup in Brasil, as well as watch soccer in other places we’ve been fortunate to travel to. Again, while it would be even more frugal to not travel, like Katy always says, experiences over things and having these experiences with my brothers is priceless.


patricia March 24, 2018 at 1:25 am

Truly priceless!! The whole point of frugality is to cut in areas so that you have the money to spend in other priorities. Experiences are wonderful, and so is soccer! Enjoy!

KJD509 March 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

FFT, friends with tragedies edition:

1) Ran straight out of the house when a friend had a crisis and realized only later I’d left the dog chained in the yard – he’s too old for that, plus he’d bark for days. Fortunately the petsitter we used recently was also skilled in breaking and entering, and was willing to rescue the dog, saving me the cost of a locksmith to let him in.
2) Said tragedy has kept the friend at home, where I’ve stayed with her. No groceries, gas, etc., and I’m able to keep up with work thanks to her fabulous wifi.
3) Walking with my friend through funeral planning, which I’ve done before for family members but the details are clearer when the grief isn’t mine. She is making smart, sound decisions, and I’m now feeling confident in choices I’d like to make (the inexpensive ones, natch).
4) Having a private giggle at the faux gold fixtures in my friend’s guest bathroom. It helps refill the tank to have a private laugh, as there’s a lot not to laugh at in the rest of the situation.
5) That’s all I got.


A. Marie March 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Good on you, KJD, for stepping up to the plate for your friend. And I’m glad the petsitter was able to bail you and the dog out.


Lindsey March 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm

You are a wonderful friend!


Christine March 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

When crummy things happen, we all need a friend like you. Nice you are there for her.


patricia March 23, 2018 at 3:58 pm

From my own experience, friends can make such a difference in our hour of grief. I am glad you are there.


Liz B. March 23, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Your friend is lucky to have a friend like you. Dealing with personal tragedy alone would be awful….so glad you could be there to help.


Bee March 23, 2018 at 1:44 pm

1) I have been under the weather for for six weeks and our lives have become a reflection of this. My adult children came home to help during this time. They did the grocery shopping and the cooking. However, I realized yesterday that the refrigerator was stuffed, but there didn’t seem to be anything to eat. So I cleaned it out and organized it. I had the ingredients to make southwestern chicken soup. I roasted beets and corn for salads. I combined jars of condiments — 3 opened jars or mayo! Unfortunately, there was some waste. 🙁

2) I have spring fever! I redecorated our home office with some things I had on hand. I moved furniture from different rooms and reorganized my papers.. I hung some art that my husband had always loved, but was sitting in the closet. New room –zero cost.

3) Some how the sheers in the family room had developed a rather large hole. This is a huge window — 140″ wide and 117″ tall. I was trying to decide what to do. The repair would have been noticeable, but they would be expensive to replace. I sent my hope for new drapes out into the universe, and they were provided. I stopped at my favorite thrift store and there they were! Two custom made panels 96″ X 117″. Best of all, they were just $12.

4) I have 25 free listing left this month on eBay. I have challenged myself to find 25 items around my house to list. Sadly, this doesn’t seem all that hard. I am almost there. To paraphrase Katy, “Crap out, money in.”

5) I was resting one afternoon and decided to click on the links to all the blogs that are written by NCA readers. It was so much fun. I feel like I know some of you even better. I hope Jennifer’s new kittens thrive. I understand Roberta’s challenge with clutter. I feel like I know Mary Daniel Williamson’s friend, Marco. I appreciate the difficult choice Revanche is having when determining the direction of her daughter’s education. I also read Mrs Picky Pincher, Franny and Danny, I Heart Tightwads, and so many more!


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble March 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Are you getting any better?


A. Marie March 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Hoping you feel better soon, Bee. Six weeks is long enough.


Christine March 23, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Hope that all that activity you blogged about means that you’re feeling much better. Lots of “bugs” going around this winter. Welcome Spring!


KJD509 March 23, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Bee, you are such a delight in these comments – I’m so glad to hear you sounding like your well self again.


Gina in KY March 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

You thrifting universe “gift” is great; love when that happens! I really hope each day is bringing you closer to spring and feeling better. Like you said about the great bloggers in #5, I feel the same about you reading your 5FT through the years.


Alexandra @ March 25, 2018 at 4:52 am

Bee! You made me exclaim with delight when I saw you included my blog on your list of blogs you read. I’m honored.
I too feel I have gotten to know so many on this blog. I always enjoy Cindy in the South as we are in the South too.
I have been reading Mrs Picky Pincher for a while now too and really loo forward to her posts. Just started following Franny and Danny. Love her stuff!


Cindy in the South I March 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Thanks Alexandra….I enjoy your posts and blog also.


Madeline Kasian March 23, 2018 at 1:45 pm

1. Talked husband OUT OF putting a bunch of new pots and plants on our back patio. I didn’t think it would look good, plus much $$ for pots,plants,soil. We settled for 2 small succulents into pots we already own and agree it looks good!

2. Cheap date: Enjoyed The Indian Food buffet near the large library where I indulged my magazine habit and checked out 6 books and 6 magazines I love. The library is adjacent to a Riparian park/Lake where we did our 45 minute walk outdoors. Saw snowy egrets! Did my own morning yoga routine AT HOME(No health club fees!)

3. Planning for a getaway in May: Shopping in my closet vs. thinking I need to buy anything new just to go to another town.
4. Doing my own mani/pedis.

5.My husband has gotten really good with his hair clippers and I trim up where he can’t reach. He is having the best looking hair in years! He looks best in pretty short hair and could never get a good cut in a salon. Now cost is ZERO (after cost of the clippers we bought last year.)


Christine March 23, 2018 at 3:57 pm

My husband looks best in very short hair too, and is always pleased with the haircut I give him which is a buzz cut. Like I tell him; You’re
so handsome, you should show your face off! His smiley face here.


cynthia huntington March 23, 2018 at 1:58 pm

1. I sold two things on eBay and four books on Amazon—one of the books was a pretty expensive one I used in my teaching and don’t need anymore.
2. I delivered a good but unneeded wicker coffee table to my local thrift store.
3. Found several things to sell at said thrift store: time to get listing. I think the find of the day was a vintage Orvis canvas and leather suitcase in excellent condition. I haven’t been able to find the model online which is what makes me think it’s old.
4. Eating at home, hanging laundry, decluttering and catching up on business.
5. I found a beautiful antique rocking chair with dark red velvet cushions at the Salvation Army for $60. It fits right where I wanted it to in my living room: I’m sitting in it as I type this!
6. Frugal Fail. Big time. In an unusual shopping frenzy I found myself laying out $165 for a brand new Le Crueset skillet. I tried to comfort myself by musing that I have wanted this skillet for years. But damn if my logical mind didn’t pipe up to say that, hey, I may have wanted it, but I also got along without it for those same years. (It IS a thing of beauty, but what on earth was I doing in that expensive home goods store to begin with? Oh yes, I went in to see about getting knives sharpened…)


MommaL March 24, 2018 at 6:19 am

When I do things like that, I try to look at it as cost per use. We all value different things, we save on some, so we can spend on other things sometimes.


cynthia huntington March 24, 2018 at 6:22 am

True, it will last virtually forever!


Alexandra @ March 25, 2018 at 4:53 am

I do the same thing with a big purchase but for someone who cooks almost 3 meals a day at home, you will not regret it. Enjoy good tools!


shelia March 23, 2018 at 2:02 pm

1. We have an odd covered back door at this house. On craigslist, we found pieces of corrugated metal someone hadn’t used for a project. My husband is covering the walls which are partially exposed. I found a cool industrial light fixture on clearance to hang from the rafters so the ugliest part of the house will soon be improved greatly.
2. We continue to stop by the Krogers near our church after Sunday service. Their mark downs are amazing. Three huge honeycrisp apples for 1.00 this week and organic dishwasher detergent for 1.06. And Irish soda bread for 1.49 that I paired with last night’s dinner.
3. My sister-in-law and her friend stayed with us last night so they could go to a concert. We fed them homemade vegetable soup and the Irish soda bread. I used organic fire roasted Hunts tomatoes I found at Dollar Tree for 2/1.00. Great find!
4. I used two 20.00 coupons Christopher and Banks sent me to get three nice t-shirts for summer for a whopping total of 6.32. Much cheaper than the thrift shop and now I’m sure I have enough to get me through summer. My winter tops last forever but summer clothes don’t hold up as well.
5. I found a vintage men’s wool suit jacket at the thrift shop for .69. My nephew is coming in three weeks to perform with my husband and his sister at a local fundraiser at a Heritage Center. He’ll need a ‘costume’ as well so I’ve taken the sleeves off the jacket and will hem the armholes to make a vest. I’ve pulled several of my husband’s old shirts for him to try on. When we find one that works, I’ll turn the collar and stitch it so it looks period appropriate. With a ‘newsie’ hat, he’ll be good to go!

Looking forward to some warm weather around here so we can turn off the heat and open the windows!


Lindsey March 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm

1. Started tomato and cucumber seeds for the greenhouse and 110 onions seeds (much cheaper than using sets). Saved money by starting them myself instead of buying transplants. They join 150 leek seedlings.
2. Got an email to enter a contest for a new book by a favorite writer and won! This must be my month for winning, as this is the second thing I have won.
And then I can sell or donate the book after I read it!
3. Needed a spray bottle and was about to buy it. Instead emailed work colleagues and got one for free.
4. Made cheese vegetable soup from dribs and drabs of frozen vegetables. Hated it. Ate it anyway, as did the husband. For two meals. Not bad, just not to our tastes, so I could not in good conscience throw it away.
5. Made a birthday cake instead of buying one, saving about $14 dollars.


Susie's Daughter March 24, 2018 at 6:30 am

Way to go on the double win this month!! And well done you on starting your plants. Also I feel you on the soup…


Marybeth March 24, 2018 at 3:46 pm

I would rather have a homemade birthday cake.


tonya March 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm

1) Went to lunch with a friend and used a BOGO coupon.
2) Drove a couple miles farther from home to save $20 on an oil change.
3) Meal planning!
4) New job starts in one week. Same clinic, but better hours and fewer days.
5) Costco wine.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early March 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Great tip about Supercuts. My husband buzzed his own hair, but he has really thick, wirey hair so he actually bought a dog hair trimmer, and it works way better (and it was considerably cheaper for better quality).


Christine March 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm

1. I have a pair of black leather clogs but the bottom of the soles had become increasingly slippery. I was ready to toss them because I felt guilty donating or selling them thinking someone could really get hurt wearing them. I then remembered those non-slip sticky things to put on the bottom of shoes to prevent slipping. Now I have my shoes back. Love them.
2. I cleaned out a thrifted bench I’ve had for years in my hallway. The bottom is like a storage chest. I found several items my grandkids don’t use anymore and some seasonal flags I don’t use anymore so they will be next to the consignment store.
3. A friend treated me to cheesecake and The World’s Best Coffee at a little hole in the wall bakery in a nearby city. This was for my birthday which is next month but we won’t be seeing each other until the actual date. Thanks Pat!
4. Piecing together an Easter outfit using clothes I already own.
5. Frugal fail turned into frugal win. Went to a meat raffle with a friend which cost me $40 but won 16 lbs. ribs, 13 lbs. corned beef and 5 lbs. low fat hamburger. Turns out the meat only cost me $1.18 a lb. for an afternoon of fun.


Christine March 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Oops. Won’t see Pat until AFTER the actual date of my birthday. Yummy early birthday celebration!


Mrs. Picky Pincher March 23, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Hodgepodge meals are never fun, but they’re great for the budget. 🙂 Great job with Supercuts-ish! I never considered looking for a cheaper haircut option. We usually go to Great Clips a few times a year, although we probably should learn to cut our own hair. As long as I’m not spending $60+ at Regis Salon every month (like I used to), we’re doing all right.

This week:

1. I picked up some extra freelance work. Yay extra money!

2. Dinner didn’t quite work out today, but we were able to correct. I cooked freezer corn dogs and tater tots for a frugal, unhealthy alternative. 😛

3. Mr. Picky Pincher planted our blueberry bush today. Hopefully we’ll see a few berries!

4. I’m drinking homemade blackberry wine, and hubs is drinking his homemade stout on draught from his DIY keezer. 🙂

5. My dad is coming over tomorrow, which is quite an occasion. To celebrate, I made chocolate sea salt caramel petit fours. He has a huge sweet tooth so I think they’ll be a hit. 🙂


Bethany March 24, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Did you know that with blueberries, you need at least 2 plants a male and female or you won’t get many berries?


Minimal Steph March 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I did not know this. Thanks for the tip!


Mand01 March 23, 2018 at 8:07 pm

1. I calculated our groceries bill is 6.5% of our take home pay, which is about half Dave Ramsey’s recommendation. We achieve this by cooking at home six nights a week, taking lunch and snacks to work and school, baking from scratch, meal planning, and extensive home gardening.
2. Babysitting my niece and nephew today. My sister takes my daughter to school. Our babysitting exchanges save us money in childcare and bus fees. Entertaining them with Despicable Me 2 on DVD and colouring in.
3. Reading novels I bought from the thrift store (I’ll send them back there when I’m done)
4. Made a pear and chocolate chip cake from pears that were almost at composting stage.
5. Voted in our recent election. Not really happy with result but that’s ok. It was a free and fair election.


Sarah D March 24, 2018 at 11:41 am

Whoa, Ramsey recommends 12% of spending be on food?!? That seems outrageously high. I just calculated ours on a spendy month to be 6.9% of takehome pay, and that’s for months when we’re not being quite as parsimonious at the grocery store.


Mand01 March 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm

He recommends max 10-12%


Juhli March 25, 2018 at 5:30 am

The actual % would certainly depend upon your income so I think that is why he gives as a maximum.


Mand01 March 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Kind of. A percentage is a percentage of income either way. So if you earn a lot the obviously 10% will be more dollars than 10% of a low income. But it’s still 10%. It’s true that as a proportion of income, those on a low income spend more on food than those on a high income. He suggests percentages in a budget so people can aim for a rough amount proportionate to their income.

cathy March 23, 2018 at 8:35 pm

1. Trying really hard to eat from freezer/pantry/fridge since we spent more on groceries the first half of the month than planned (though lots of great, but unexpected sales). I made beef stew and colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day, then two days later re-seasoned it and made a shepherd’s pie. In between was leftover pasta w/the last of the chimichurri/kalamata olives, some feta & pine nuts. Wednesday I roasted a chicken (found in the depths of the freezer). Cut most of the meat off yesterday, then cooked down the carcass. Rainy, dreary day, so half the broth went into a batch of black bean chicken chili (dinner for me, DH, BIL & SIL who were in town visiting + leftovers), the rest became chicken noodle soup tonight, mostly for DH who wasn’t feeling well. I’m challenging myself to keep cooking from food on hand through the end of the month. Kind of a fun challenge!
2. Husband took a good friend to a concert for a pretty big birthday (one with a “5”). Also treated to dinner at an Indian/Nepalese restaurant, and covered most of it with a gift certificate we’ve had for at least 3 years.
3. HS son needs a copy of Anthem for his English class, so he dug out the copy his sib used several years ago. Kids get extra credit if they bring in their own copies of books.
4. As always, reading from my stack of library books. Lately it’s been cookbooks (Nigel Slater, David Lebovitz, various Scandinavian) and mysteries. Also read 4 Patricia Cornwell mysteries downloaded from the library to my kindle.
5. Patched little holes in a favorite t-shirt, sewed a button back on a cardigan, and darned two favorite pair of smartwool socks. I’m on a mission to get to the bottom of my repair pile.


FrannyandDanny March 23, 2018 at 9:10 pm

I find it hard to specify the frugal things I do these days as my whole life from A to Z is built around this. I hope that’s not a cop out.


Lisa M. March 24, 2018 at 12:15 pm

I don’t think that is a cop out at all. I easily thought of 5 Frugal Things for just one day. I don’t know that I could say that each and every day but frugality definitely becomes second nature and a habit. I couldn’t agree more!


Alexandra @ March 25, 2018 at 5:06 am

I agree it isn’t a cop out! But always helpful to hear your creative wins. Keeping it to 5 is a short little shot of goodness.
I usually read these and then try to pick out some of the different things I have done.
I love joining in the learning we all do from each other!
Love your blog!


Jennifer March 23, 2018 at 10:24 pm

The Return of the (rescued, free) Pepperoni. 🙂

Those chairs look awesome after the scrub!


Katy March 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

Thank you, I’m very pleased with the result.


Katy in Africa March 23, 2018 at 11:35 pm

1. I walked to an event, then my husband picked me up on his way to get the kids from school.
2. The kids are on spring break now, I plan on having them organize and declutter all their toys, crafts and clothes. This is indirectly frugal. Having things decluttered they’ll probably find some long lost toys and get to play with them again. It’ll also be good to take inventory of what clothes they have to see what I want to get (or don’t need to get), in the near future.
3. My daughter loves fruit, especially apples and mangoes, but the last time I bought apples they cost 1,000CFA for 4 (imported), however mangoes are in season now and I can buy 8-10 for 200CFA, so mangoes it is!
4. I’ve been reusing grey water to water plants.
5. Catching up on my favorite frugal blogs!


Marybeth March 24, 2018 at 5:11 am

Enjoy your kids and sister.
1. I lost 5lbs 6oz.
2. I have been only charging my phone at work or in my car
3. Made 2 pizzas from scratch, 1 plain, 1 veggies. Used sauce I canned last year. Used clearance peppers, and mushrooms. Used on sale mozzarella and olives. Have enough for lunch today.
4. Found a cart at Aldi. Walked it back to the drop off area. Quarter went into the change jar.
5. Made homemade Greek dressing and put it into an old bottle.


MommaL March 24, 2018 at 6:14 am

1. I have been eyeing the stand up desks at work, and wanted to raise up my monitor at home to eye level. Easier on my posture. I took some old books I have (some from my childhood, some from DHs), stacked them under my monitor, and now I have a cool antiquey look and a monitor at my height!
2. Secret shopping using competitor’s coupons, making sure I pick the jobs where I want to shop anyway. (i.e. I need produce, so chose the produce option)
3. A friend wanted to have a yard sale in my yard during my annual neighborhood sale. I didn’t think I had anything left to sell, but I said yes and started looking around. So far I have two bins full, and the sale is still a couple of weeks away.
4. Planning ahead for Christmas: shopping GW for small frames, will print out some good family photos for family, and some friend’s photos for DH.
5. Potluck breakfast at work: found sausages for 1/2 price then marked down more, so bought those for a steal, baked a bunch in the oven. No complicated recipes, & it was a hit.


Susie's Daughter March 24, 2018 at 6:49 am

1) Started a kids savings account for DS at our favorite local bank using rolled change – $43 worth! (Time to pay more attention to the change hanging around here.) He has an account at multinational bank that pays $10 for summer reading so we will hold on to that one as well.

2) Putting together a box of toddler toys for neighbors with a newly adopted granddaughter. We have been hugely blessed by all kinds of hand me downs for DS so we are happy to pay it forward. And it creates more space in our house!

3) Had a great time at a PTO sponsored viewing of “Ferdinand” last night at the school gym. Free family movie night = good times in these parts.

4) Reexamining our satellite internet service this week online and discovered via web chat that there was another plan – the one I wanted – available only by phoning customer service. I called and got more data for the same price as we are paying currently.

5) Eating leftovers, washing and reusing plastic bags, wearing slippers to keep my socks whole, reading my favorite blog to keep focused on the long term goals. 🙂


Crosby March 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

– My partner sold his xbox360 on our local garage sale site. He wasn’t using it anymore and figured someone else might enjoy it. He was able to use the money from it to purchase some workout clothes that he hasn’t been able to find in our local thrift and consignment stores.

– I hosted a coworker’s office baby shower. I didn’t want to pay for decorations that I knew I’d only use once or twice so I posted that I was looking for some on my local Buy Nothing group. A woman had a whole bag of decor she said I could borrow! And even a pack of diapers she said I could keep! Another coworker used them to make a diaper cake for the guest of honor.

– Many people chipped in to purchase sandwiches and made sides & desserts.

– There were leftover sandwiches and salad. I was able to take enough home for 2 meals.

– I’m marinating a lone chicken breast found in our freezer in leftover pickle juice, which I will add to leftover stir fry that my partner had made a few nights ago for tonight’s dinner.


Alexandra @ March 25, 2018 at 5:09 am

How did the chicken come out? I might steal this one!


Crosby March 25, 2018 at 6:40 am

It was tasty!! I seasoned it a bit with some garlic and pepper. Enjoy!


Ava March 24, 2018 at 9:40 am

1. Altered 2 of my husband’s tee shirts to fit me and got rid of 2 of my worst looking ones. His shirts were almost new but he decided he didn’t like the designs.
2. Used a coupon to receive a free 8 ” pizza. We bought the coupon book to support granddaughter’s school and won’t use too much out of it, but we should be able to get our money back and actually save a little. Will eat the pizza for 2 meals.
3. Made migas for breakfast using leftover fajita peppers and onions (homemade) and left over tortilla chips (restaurant).
4. Finally got our Movie Pass cards to work and saw our first movie with them. It turned out to be a very easy process. For a $10 a month subscription, you can see most movies at most theaters as long as you don’t see the same one twice or 2 in a day. I believe they are having a sale right now for new members where the price is even less than $10.
5. This is nothing frugal I did, but I had my mind boggled as we killed time at the mall waiting for the movie to start. I had not been to the mall except for shoe shopping and movies for literally years, and in both cases, I would just go in, do what I came for and go out. When we walked around, I couldn’t believe the new stores, the tons of merchandise and the prices, which were amazing to someone who does most shopping at Goodwill. I guess I don’t get out much, but I like it that way.


Ruby March 24, 2018 at 10:37 am

1. The Salvation Army food bank issued a plea for food donations. Thanks to being a frugal shopper, I was able to glean the pantry for groceries to give.
2. Got free shipping for a purchase of gently used clothes on clearance.
3. Took my breakfast to work all week. Enjoyed a desk drawer lunch of canned soup, Wasa crackers and raisins. Drank the free coffee with soy milk from Dollar Tree brought from home.
4. Organized the freezer and cabinets with an eye toward making more lunches to use up stuff.
5. Decided not to spend money on dress shoes for a work event. My shoes are expensive due to foot problems, so I am going to wear a pair of older sandals and a dazzling smile.


Sarah D March 24, 2018 at 11:36 am

1. The family cleaned house while listening to audiobooks borrowed from the library. I’ve used this one before, but I still want to give myself credit every time I do this job!
2. My husband and I were invited out to a brewery to celebrate a friend’s b’day, where we could have ordered food along with beer. Instead, we ate leftover beans and rice with the family before heading out, so that all we paid was $25 for beers. Babysitting was free since my daughter just stayed at her grandparents’ house.
3. Found a shiny penny on the ground. It’s been a while since I’ve found any change, though I’m always on the lookout!
4. I got 4 small items from the dollar store for my daughter’s Easter basket, and feel like that’s good enough. I still need to buy some candy, but I won’t get much — she loves to hunt for eggs but she never eats much of the candy and it all goes to waste. (Yes, an odd kid!)
5. I’m heading out now to the nursery to get supplies for my early spring garden. I’m hoping for a productive garden this year so that we can enjoy fresh produce and maybe even preserve some of the harvest!


Carla March 25, 2018 at 6:38 pm

My nephews like getting change in their Easter eggs. You could replace some of the candy with that.


K D March 24, 2018 at 12:29 pm

1. We cleaned out the coat closet and found items we no longer use. I’ll donate them. It’s now much easier to find things in there and we know what we have.

2. My husband wanted to see Jumanji so I reserved it at the Red Box. I had a $1.25 discount and used a gift card obtained for 40% off for the remaining $.34 cost. He is watching it a second time before we return it. That will be our evening walk. We have never paid to rent a red Box movie for more than one night.

3. Even though it was snowing on Wednesday morning and many things were closed I trudged to yoga in the snow. I feel better when I attend classes regularly. Since I pay a fixed monthly fee I more than get my money’s worth.

4. Our electrical provider contract was coming up for renewal. I did a bit of research online before calling our current provider (they were still the cheapest option). I was quoted a price higher than what was listed online. When I mentioned that, the representative searched for a better rate and came up with one even lower than I was expecting. Our cost will be 20% less than we had been paying. Yay!

5. We stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought some deeply discounted “gourmet” food. I used a coupon to further lower the cost and then “paid” with a gift card earned by using my Discover card.


Gina in KY March 24, 2018 at 7:04 pm

In Like a Lion Edition

1. Winter just will not end here. We received 6 inches on the first day of spring (the most I have ever experienced in KY since moving here in 2010. I am originally from Chicagoland, so Great Lake snow makes this seem like nothing, but I also think I am now a fully acclimated Southerner and I’m ready for Derby weather. Nevertheless, I keep my furnace low and sleep under a mountain of quilts. It’s frugal.
2. Worked an extra shift this week for a little bigger paycheck. I also traveled and will gain a little per diem money. I did eat out once as a work friend was in town, but I ordered small.
3. Still on low spend (and will be for approximately 2.5 years or maybe the rest of my life as just when I finally have all the debt paid off, I will have sons in college). I am doing well, but always room for improvement.
4. Eating from the pantry. I made a killler peanut butter and apple oatmeal (because we have lots of both); pizzas from Dollar Tree crusts and veggie odds and ends; and a decontructed caramel apple thing by baking some of the abundant apples with some salted caramels languishing in a candy dish and serving it with some discounted Noosa apple pie yogurt we needed to use up (it was so good!)
5. Working on another clothing declutter. I see this as frugal for both the mental benefits and the fact I am working on having less to store and care for which saves me money in the long run. In five years I would like to sell this house and downsize and by decluttering now, I will be ready to move on to new stages in my life when I am ready.


Marybeth March 25, 2018 at 10:20 am

Good job on #3. We finished paying our debt off a year before my son started college. He is a freshman and we have been cash flowing it. We are trying to save as much as possible because my daughter is a junior in HS. I will be like Katy soon making double payments. As soon as they are both done I want to knock out my mortgage early.


Alexandra @ March 25, 2018 at 5:21 am

1. 4 years ago we lived 18 months without a car in a town with limited public transport. We used our bikes almost exclusively. Now we have decided to do it again. A little nervous.
We both have work vehicles so getting to work is a no-brainer. We also drive endless miles for work (hence the company vehicles) so prefer not drive when we are off. I can use my company car for a bit of personal driving so picking up grandkids is taken care of.
We have great panniers (saddle bags) for trips to grocery store.
When we sell the car, we will be debt free except for house. Keeping an eye on That prize!
2. We are already making all kinds of plans for the extra money of no-car-living. We will keep a set amount per month for “transportation” that will cover Uber and rental cars.
3. We had a good borrowing scheme with my mom, we’d borrow her car and bring it back washed, windows cleaned and vacuumed. she missed us when we had our own cars! Now we may re-kindle that relationship.
4. Thinking of looking for a replacement couch. Ours is beat up and youngest grandchild is now 6.5 yrs old so think probably safe to get nicer furniture…
5. We got a 6 month old neutered kitten. Just had to get his shots up to date. So far, the $80 we have spent on this new buddy is far outweighed by the joy and entertainment the rascal provides. Very affectionate too.
6. Bonus- MIGHT get to splurge and get a dishwasher with savings from no-car living!


WilliamB March 25, 2018 at 7:31 am

Only going to share my fave this time:
TL,DNR: 15 oz CeraVie ointment + 36 cans soda for $16.

CVS had CeraVie on sale, plus you get $10 Extra Care Bucks (store credit that expires quickly) if you spend $30.
– Found the maximum amount of CeraVie that’s as close to $30 as possible: 12 tub + 3 oz tube for $36 at sale price.
– Used $5 off $25 for getting a flu shot. Used this first to ensure the purchase was over $25.
– Used 2 mfg coupons of $4 and $3.
– Used Extra Care Bucks of $4, $3, and $1.
– Got new ECB of $10.
– In a separate transaction, used the $10 ECB to buy 12 packs of soda, 3 for $10. No tax on soda in my area so no more money out of pocket.


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