Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 9, 2018 · 86 comments

  1. I picked up a $10 Waldorf wooden play stand at Goodwill with an eye for resale, as they’re more than a hundred dollars when bought new. This item was not on my radar, (I’d never heard of it before) but it was in the background of a photo I’d posted on Instagram and a couple of my savvy followers were quick to point it out. I don’t have any interested buyers yet, but my experience is that parents of small children are willing to pay a bit more for the type of quality products not sold at Toys R Us.

    I did sell the Thule bike rack that I’d picked up a couple of weeks ago. The used bike rack shop had declined it as it turned out to be an older model, but I still found a buyer through Craigslist.

    I’m scheduled to work three 12-hour hospital shifts this week, which is good since I’ve taken the last two weeks off to spend time with my kids and then my sister and her family while they visited from New York. I’m in an scheduled on-call position where I don’t accrue vacation time, so this was all unpaid. With the recent spring tuition payments and looming taxes, these are lean times at casa Wolk-Stanley. 

  2. My husband filled the crockpot with a huge batch of pinto beans, which we’ve been using as the base for multiple meals over the past few days. With the addition of rice, veggies, tortillas and such, we’ve been enjoying a number of frugal, filling and flavorful meals.

    The two of us walked to the grocery store yesterday, and not only did I find a dime and two pennies for my Found Change Challenge, but we enjoyed some cookie samples, picked up a 99¢ half-gallon of milk as well as the Kroger Friday Freebie, which was an date/nut energy bar. I’d planned on picking up some 19¢ Trader Joe’s bananas earlier, but the store was so busy that I couldn’t even enter the parking lot. So yes, I forked over the money for full price bananas!

  3. I listed a hairbrush on my local Buy Nothing Group, as it’s one that I never use. (It was a gift.) I try to not own unnecessary duplicates of household items, and the Buy Nothing Group is the perfect way to put my extraneous things into the hands of people who will use them.

  4. I took my sister and her son to the Supercuts training center for free haircuts. My sister had expressed interested in getting haircuts while in Portland, so I made the appointments. Their family is on a strict budget at the moment, and both were completely satisfied with the results. The inexpensive salon in my sister’s neighborhood charges $40 for a cut, so this was a slam dunk.

  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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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life April 9, 2018 at 10:34 am

We defrosted a huge pack of country style ribs to make several dinners over the weekend, testing two new recipes to great success, and braved IKEA to pick up a huge pile of very low-priced but highly prized hosting gifts for a friend with whom we’ll be staying for a week this summer. $50 in exchange for $700-900 worth of lodgings!


Bethany April 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

That is a good deal! We just booked $800 worth of hotel stays for our summer vacation. Will be worth it though, and no flights needed, so that helps.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 9, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Hey I didn’t know you read Katy’s blog as well! We are staying with friends this summer as well, but we are flying to them, so we’ll have to be clever about thank you gifts 🙂


Bethany April 9, 2018 at 10:40 am

Pulled out a book from the huge pile my in-law brought (as a part of their Swedish Death Cleaning) for a lunch read aloud to my kids. It’s written for adults, but exciting enough to keep their attention.

I have my crock pot going with pinto beans too. There will be many batches of bean burritos in our future.

Had leftovers for lunch.

Heading to the Carlsbad Flower Fields this Friday with my kids. Charter school is paying (as long as we have sufficient funds) and my youngest is young enough to get in for free.

Found a website that I felt was under performing. I knew I could help them given my education and experience. I sent them a carefully worded email along with my resume and I at first got a “no,” but a second department head said she would love to send me some freelance work as soon as funding is available. Keeping my fingers crossed, but it also gave me the idea to try the same tactic with a competitor of theirs. I have yet to hear word back.


christina April 9, 2018 at 10:47 am

I think the play stand is used in Waldorf Schools, not Montessori. I’m not sure but I don’t think Montessori uses play silks and such.


Mary Beth Danielson April 9, 2018 at 11:38 am

I recognize it also, from 25 yrs ago when my kids were in a Waldorf school. (Loved their education for children)


Kathy Hairston April 9, 2018 at 10:51 am

1. Worked my dog show gig and got paid $160.
2. Had free lunch and drinks both days at dog show.
3. Cleaned out paperwork from the trunk of my car
4. Organized clothing to take to clothing swap tomorrow
5. Cocktailed hair care products to stretch them out


Denise April 11, 2018 at 12:31 am


I am going to steal your “cocktailing” phrase and feel positively swanky while cocktailing my toiletries!


Juhli April 9, 2018 at 10:52 am

I haven’t heard of that play stand either – hope it sells quickly.

1. I am proud to say that while Hubby has been gone for 4 days helping our son paint in prep for listing his house for sale, I have not eaten out once – not even coffee. I did pick up a rotisserie chicken that was on sale.
2. Poor dog has diarrhea again. I am always afraid that it means her liver is having problems which can be a consequence of Addison’s disease. More likely she ate some rabbit poop while on a walk! Anyway, I have pills on hand that I gave her and am feeding her rice and cottage cheese. She is still perky and has a good appetite so I’m going to simply try to wait it out which has worked mostly in the past.
3. Happily wearing a thrifted top that I remade to fit and look better.
4. Working on creating exercise habits using free/low cost options. So far I have taken an exercise walk 16 out of 17 days so I’m happy with that.
Not frugal but the outcome of year’s of being careful with our $: I sent a deposit to our 1 year old granddaughter’s college fund account.


Stephanie Bunker April 9, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Your deposit to your grand-daughter’s college fund is the very definition of frugal! Good for you!


susanna d April 10, 2018 at 4:47 am

I agree – I think it’s frugal, and as you said, a result (and wonderful benefit) of your frugality). Our son and daughter-in-law have college funds in place for our grandchildren, which has been great for Christmas and birthday gifts (we give experience gifts and a deposit to the college funds as their gifts). Our 7 year old grandson is very excited to watch his college fund grow. His 3 year old sister is excited, well, because her brother is excited.


Juhli April 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

Thanks and I hope our granddaughter is excited once she is old enough! Right now she is 16 months so other things are exciting LOL.


Christine April 9, 2018 at 10:54 am

1. Brought a book about hiking The Appalachian Trail home to DH which I got through the interlibrary loan system. He was so thrilled about it. Love my frugal guy!
2. Ate a restaurant “mercy meal” following a funeral and my stomach has not been the same since. Putting two and two together and realizing I almost never feel good after a meal out. Grease? Fat? Sodium? I don’t know, but it’s enough to keep me on my home cooking streak.
3. Happy to see my electric bill go down with the advent of longer days.
4. Purchased needed items at K Mart using points from my credit card which we pay off each month. So happy for free stuff!
5. Reading my library books and enjoying watching winter slither away…


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

I love reading about the AT. I’m not hiker but I live vicariously through others


susanna d April 10, 2018 at 4:50 am

I’ve been reading books about the AT, PCT and CDT (mostly passed along to me by my son). Which book did you get, Christine? I love reading thru-hiking books, and most recently have been reading the books by The Barefoot Sisters (Lucy and Susan Letcher) who hiked the AT southbound, then decided to return home by hiking it northbound.


Christine April 10, 2018 at 6:11 am

Southbound is the one I got him! He’s really enjoying it. He plans to walk The Appalachian Trail north to south sometime next year (with hiking boots on). I will take any recommendations for books for him that you can think of. Thanks.


susanna d April 10, 2018 at 6:41 am

Christine, I loved Southbound – it was the first thru-hiking book my son gave me, and I liked it so much I actually kept it rather than dropping it at one of the Little Free Libraries in our area as I normally do. I’ve recently started the Barefoot Sisters next book, Walking Home, which details their northbound hike. How cool that your husband plans to hike the AT in the near future!

Christine April 10, 2018 at 6:12 am

Yay for books! I just love falling into a world I’ve never experienced too.


Jenelle April 9, 2018 at 10:54 am

1. My first “perk” of writing for a mommy website was tickets to a stage show for kids. Paw Patrol Live was in town! We would have never purchased tickets for this, but with free tickets, we were sure to go! My kids loved it and I didn’t pay one penny.
2. Though money is very tight this paycheck, I treated a friend and her son to Ice Cream after cub scouts. She is a single mom who has less than we do. It felt nice to see them have some fun. (my kids had fun too!)
3. Got an unexpected bill from the dentist. It seems as though my insurance isn’t as “great” as I thought it was. I checked my PayPal account (from selling on Ebay) and I had just enough in PayPal to cover the dentist bill.
4. Found three bags of Weed & Seed at Lowe’s on clearance because the bag was ripped open.
5. Still selling on Ebay! Every little bit helps.


Teddie April 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Your #2 is heartwarming. Your frugal ways allowed you to provide a nice treat to another family. Thank you for your kindness.


KJD509 April 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

1) Ate leftovers all weekend from the week hubs and littlest were here. Miss them terribly, but at least I’m eating well, with no additional outlay.
2) Convinced them and an older sister to visit some open houses, all of which had dropped significantly in price. It was immediately obvious to them why. Hour and a half of driving and looking = hours and hours of time saved figuring out how to afford something we don’t want anyway.
3) Littlest had a birthday party invite – so exciting at a new school! Found a book of “all about me” quizzes that had fallen down behind a bookshelf and never been used plus a couple of gourmet chocolate bars while packing up the kitchen cupboards. She added a glittery pen for an awesome gift for under two bucks.
4) Hubs is scheduling a vacation day (paid) later in the month, which will allow us to actually finish emptying the house without paying for more help. Until we know whether my job will allow me to work remotely, we’re spending as little as possible to get the house listed.
5) No Lear jets, no gold-plated apartments.

Have a lovely, frugal week, everyone.


Cindy in the South I April 9, 2018 at 11:42 am

I have taxes due also, so it is frugal times indeed. 1. I made potato salad, coleslaw, and a bizarre ham/fig/rice dish that was ok and used up leftovers. 2. I dyed my hair and did my own nails. 3. I listened to the radio at home. 4. I slept. 5. I did not get the chicken wings (my friend tried to talk me into splitting an order with her) because of the tax bill ….


MommaL April 9, 2018 at 11:49 am

1. Rewrote our budget and reviewed it with DH. This is an annual “meeting” for us. Helps reduce quarrels about spending.
2. Made veggie broth from saved scraps and froze it.
3. Used some of the veggie broth in a big pot of chili. BEST chili he ever had, declared DH! It really did have a richer flavor with the veggie broth in it.
4. Really cleaning out for our neighborhood’s annual yard sale. Went through CDs, clothes, cupboards, everything.
5. Watched The Darkest Hour with a free Redbox code. I love historically based movies.


Susie's Daughter April 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

We considered getting a play stand like that when DS was little, but thought better of it when we realized he was using the shelves of our short book cases with as much success and enjoyment. We lived in a small apartment at the time. I can’t imagine where we would have put it…

1) Spent some time over the last few days mending – mostly DS’s pants as three school worthy pairs have had left knee blowouts in the last two weeks. I should use the term mending loosely – I iron on patches and then stitch around them. Someday I may learn the ‘whole knee replacement’ technique described in “Tightwad Gazette”, but not this week. Also washed and mended winter outer wear for DS as some may actually fit next season (or it will be in good shape to go to the cousins).

2) Started broccoli from seed today. It snowed about three inches over the last two days, but I have to believe the ground will thaw eventually.

3) The dog and I are walking each other for exercise and we are both happier for it.

4) Borrowed season 6 of Call the Midwife from our library. I am catching up and reminded of how much I love this show.

5) Reconsidering plans to go away to the big city for a few days over April vacation. It would save some money, but it would also reduce the exhaustion factor. Sometimes rest is the most frugal thing we can do. 🙂


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 6:53 am

3.) love this!


Denise April 11, 2018 at 8:59 am

Absolutely agree about number 5. I so often push myself too far, not having factored small issues like “I’m only human!” into the equation.


Christine April 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The zipper just broke on my old Lands End fleece. It didn’t exactly break…the metal pull tab used to zip it up fell off. At first I thought I would take it to the tailor to have the entire zipper replaced. Then my frugal mindedness kicked in and I brought the two sides of the zipper together and managed to get it up almost to the neck area. Voila! I have a new pullover fleece!


Denise April 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

On casual clothes, when this happens, I get one of those small key ring things and thread that onto the zip (the ones where you have the metal looped round itself in a circle).


Christine April 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Thanks Denise. The actual metal thing that pulls the zipper up broke off in a whole piece…it was the metal ring which is part of the zipper itself that broke apart so no loop thingy to attach anything to.


Lauren April 15, 2018 at 7:46 pm

You could always have Lands End fix it or replace it for free, take advantage of that policy!


K D April 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

1. I paid a library fine. Because I was out of town (and missed returning one book before leaving town) the book was a day overdue when I returned. The fine is $.25/day for books. Rather than spending the time and expense to return the book by driving there I waited until the next day when I had time to walk to the library. I brought $.50 with me and paid the fine.

2. I walked over to a friend’s house to pick something up. Exercise and time for a chat, invaluable.

3. I stocked up on sale items at Sprouts: $.99/# strawberries, bulk organic rolled oats, etc.

4. I was away last week, taking care of an elderly relative that was hospitalized then released. I incurred transportation costs but stayed at their house and drove their car. I packed food and bought a few items at the grocery store. One night we split a take-out meal, so satisfy her cravings.

5. I did not buy the 50 pound bag of pinto beans at Sam’s Club for $16.71. I am the main legume eater in the house and most of them would have gone to waste.


Sarah D April 9, 2018 at 12:44 pm

1. My husband finally finished the bookshelves for our daughter’s room, so that meant sorting through her books before reshelving them. We culled three big bags worth – one for the little free library and two that we took to the local used bookstore, where they gave us $57 in credit. We used half and saved half for the next time we feel like getting a big stack of used books.
2. Got out the dremel with sanding attachment and filed the dog’s nails. It only saves $9 versus doing it at a groomer’s, but that’s my $9 instead of theirs! We’re also finding that we need to bathe the dog less frequently now that we have one of those fancy “furminator” dog brushes. It was only $15 but has paid for itself in less shedding, way less stinkiness, and fewer (hated) baths.
3. I am volunteering at my daughter’s school’s scholastic bookfair. I do it for the fun but it also nets me a 20% volunteer discount, so I will stock up on a few things for gifts for cousins.
4. We are having our laundry room fixed up a bit – some new cabinets, lights, and paint. We could save by doing it ourselves but quite honestly, we don’t have time. Still, I think of this project as netting us some value in several ways – like future resale value (the room was, uh, quite messy and cheap looking, with a water damaged ceiling) and organization value—we’re forced to go through the accumulated junk (that was all over some open shelves, and super unsightly) and get rid of some stuff and neaten the rest up, which feels great!
5. Things we are NOT having the contractor do, because we can/will (hopefully soon) do ourselves: paint the walls of the rest of the house, paint the ceilings in the rest of the house, paint the trim in the rest of the house (it’s all open, so we could easily fall into the trap of having him do it all). Things we are NOT having the contractor do even though I’d love to have them done, but aren’t in the budget: repaint the kitchen cabinets, redo the kitchen backsplash, or replace all the ugly light fixtures in the rest of the house.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm

5. Hey Sarah, I am posting on my blog this Wednesday about how my husband and I redid our kitchen without spending a ton of money if you are interested. We did a few of the things you have mentioned. Just know that it seems like you will never finish but a year later, I look back and am amazed at how far we have come. A little paint can make such a huge difference for not much $$. Some stuff you just have to be ok with. My ceilings are popcorn and will remain popcorn forever. They are serving us well and I don’t have the energy to tackle them even if they did bother me, lol. Good luck to you!


Christine April 10, 2018 at 6:18 am

Jennifer, I had to laugh when I read your words regarding your popcorn ceiling. I would not recommend having a cartoon character with a bunch of balloons in hand come to a children’s birthday party with those ceilings. When our kids were small, a friend had the Cookie Monster show up with balloons at her daughter’s party. As soon as he stepped in, the balloons began to pop LOUDLY on her popcorn ceiling. The kids were all screaming and crying. Such a fiasco! I can chuckle now looking back on it.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 7:01 am

So funny… I have a neon green spot on mine where my kids threw one of those gooey stretchy hands up there that comes out of the quarter machines and it left a stain. They get dusty and kinda gross, but I just can’t stomach all the work and mess that goes into scraping that off. Therefore, I am learning to love spot and all!


Juhli April 10, 2018 at 8:30 am

You can paint a popcorn ceiling using a textured roller if the green stain starts to bother you.

Sarah D April 10, 2018 at 6:54 am

Jennifer, thank you!!!! I can’t wait to read about your kitchen re-do on a budget – I’ll make sure to bookmark it for reference, too!

And Christine, oh that balloon event must have been hilarious! (Ok, I can see it not being hilarious at the time, but I’m dying just thinking about it!)


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 7:07 am

Yw, Sarah☺️


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 4:37 pm

I would paint the ceilings but they are 12 feet high and that’s where my frugality line is drawn. I can’t deal with being up that high so I would have to hire someone. Also, I did paint another spot where the ceiling had leaked after it had been repaired. It looks bad because it’s bright white and my ceilings aren’t.

Meghan H. April 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm

1. Brought my own glass food container to a dinner out with family — had half my entree from Saturday for lunch today!
2. Volunteered with our weekly food distribution site through Urban Gleaners (in Portland, OR) — didn’t take anything home but it’s a great program that tackles BOTH food waste and hunger.
3. Brought a set of shelves I was giving away through my neighborhood Buy Nothing Group to that volunteer day, and got to meet a new neighbor in the process when she came to pick them up.
4. Skipped a trip to the coffee shop by brewing at home and bringing it to the office.
5. Used my workplace’s pre-tax public transportation deduction to fill my card with credit for riding the bus/train. Because it’s pre-tax, it’s practically free!


Bee April 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

1) I picked up a side job and worked 1/2 days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week. I brought my lunch and water. It was fairly close to home so only minor transportation costs –.a little extra money is helpful right now.

2) I am finishing up our taxes. I have done them myself the last two years using Turbo Tax. This saves me nearly $1000 a year, but I absolutely hate to do them. They are complicated and time consuming. There is a silver lining. When I immerse myself in tax rules and regulations, I find I do a better job of tax planning. Thus, I do NOT owe Uncle Sam anything this year. I am trying to plan for next year which is challenging…..

3) I have recently picked up some wonderful items to sell on eBay — a rare jadeite cake plate, two first edition books, an ikebana vase, and some old Windsorware. I have been working hard to get them posted. Things have been a bit slow for me on eBay. I have pulled items that have been lingering to sell this coming weekend at the semiannual vintage flea market held by a local antique store and run by an old friend. There are 35 vendors and it is fun.

4) I have been trying to use up all the odds and ends in refrigerator . This appears to be a constant challenge, but i seem to be getting to the end of this project.mI used olives, roasted red peppers, spinach and mozzarella to doctor a GF frozen pizza. I made a huge pot of matzo ball soup using a few chicken carcasses. I found some sirloin in the freezer and I have some leftover red wine from an event I hosted last week, so I am making Beef Bourguignon. I have a list of things that must be eaten over the next few days. Hopefully, I can get through the week without buying a thing.

5) I have been released by the doctor, so my dear hubby and I have a date scheduled at the YMCA gym. I need to start back slowly. Maintaining one’s health is frugal in the long run even though it can be challenging at times. I refuse to give in to middle age.


Linda Gertig April 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm

What is GF?


Bee April 9, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Gluten free. I cannot eat gluten and wheat .I found special matzo mix too!


Karen April 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

Bee, what is your favorite GF frozen pizza? I tried Daiya’s (because i cannot tolerate dairy either), and it was okay, kind of like regular pizza but it took forever to really bake! I’ve tried Amy’s Spinach and Cheese GF/DF pizza and it’s better, different texture in the crust but I like it.


cathy April 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

I’ll have to check out the Amy’s for my dairy/GF-allergic kid.

Who makes GF matzo ball soup?

Edie April 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm

1) Guys, my fencing on the property dividing line has been down for over 5 months now, and despite letters to my neighbor regarding the issue, he has not moved to do a darn thing. So I took measurements and as a birthday gift to myself I will be building a new fence, with the help of my housemate. I got a quote of $1200 for new build and waste removal; this is fair, but if I do it with help of my housemate (who asked to be paid in beer and pizza) it would be just $400, all material included. I will recycle the pickets into plant boxes if possible.

2) I am still bringing my lunch to work- rice/quinoa blend, roast veggies, beans and Yumm sauce. The Yumm sauce was $ 4.50 while the rice/veggies/beans came to $4, so really filling lunches for the week for $9. A Yumm bowl at the Cafe Yumm is itself $7-$9.

3) Am starting a new round of training courses via work FOR FREE. It’s always good to keep up skills and learn new ones.

4) Instead of buying new cookbooks for recipes for spring, bought a small notebook and am writing down favorite recipes from those books- borrowed from the library! Yay!

5) Exercising at home using a Les Mills gift certificate gifted from a friend! Whew, tough- espeically at 430 AM! But it a great way to get some exercise in before work!


Margie April 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Hi Katy,
You might advertise the wooden stand as an Waldorf stand. ….not Montessori. You will probably get more hits.


Teddie April 9, 2018 at 3:20 pm

1. Fail ~ Missed my 40% CVS savings goal only saving 34% and forgot to use my $3 ECBs.
2. Saved a whopping 56% grocery shopping buying meat on sale, using coupons, and only buying the loss leaders of BOGO Free.
3. Took a free Zumba class today and have been using the condo’s exercise room to ride the exercise bike on non Zumba days.
4. Used a green pepper that had seen better days in a meatloaf. Doing better using up food and not wasting.
5. Earned a $25 Amazon card from doing surveys and a $25 WM gc from Swagbucks to go towards groceries.


Rosanne April 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm

I would not worry too much about buying bananas outside of Trader Joes. A pound is about 3 medium bananas so if you get them for about 57 cents per pound, it is about the same. Of course, I am sure you search out the gigantic bananas !


Karen April 10, 2018 at 11:14 am

I looked at the bananas at my Trader Joe’s and they were all perfectly green–which would have been great if I needed green bananas. I kind of needed them to be a little more yellow!


Kate April 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

1. I was a master of the leftovers this past weekend. Not even the slightly dried up pasta went to waste. (It’s handy to have a teen son around who will eat almost anything you put in front of him!)
2. Broke up some construction debris that would have had to go to our very expensive dump and am putting out in the regular trash in small batches. We put out very little regular trash and I’m very friendly with our trash man, so he takes stuff sometimes from us that he’s probably not supposed to.
3. Used Discover points to buy a birthday bouquet for our daughter who’s away at college. She really loves flowers, so I know it will really make her happy.
4. Found a box of my husband’s favorite cereal in the scratch & dent section at the grocery store for half price.
5. Had my husband ask around at work for copies of last week’s paper that had our son’s picture in it for two different things. Copies for us and the grandparents for free!


Mrs. Picky Pincher April 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Sorry to hear about the lean times. We have some impending $6,000+ medical bills and I can somewhat sympathize with the bill stress. Ugh.

This week:

1. I did a lot of pre-cooking this weekend. I’m trying to prioritize healthy snacks and I’ve found prepping them during the weekend really helps.

2. I used dead flowers to dye a piece of muslin cloth. To my surprise, it actually worked! I just rolled it up, tied it with rubber bands, and steamed it for an hour. Who knew?

3. We now have kombucha on tap with hubby’s keezer setup. All the kombucha is homemade and it’s a great way to get more probiotics into our diet.

4. Hubby made his own habanero salsa this weekend instead of buying some from the store.

5. I bottled homemade cherry wine, hubs brewed an IPA, hubs brewed a new batch of mead, and I started a batch of strawberry wine.


Jill April 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

1. Picked up and read 4 books from the library and binge watched my Netflix shows.
2. My husband was able to repair a bathroom floor without hiring anyone – it looks great – and he donated what was left of the carton of flooring.
3. Had to attend a meeting out of state. My aunt nicely put us up for the night and my mom courteously bought 2 of our meals.
4. Sadly my mother-in-law passed away 2 weeks ago. She was cremated and had already paid for everything. That made it so nice for us that this was already taken care of when there were so many other things to do. Very thoughtful and frugal of her.
5. I will soon be needing a new computer and car. I’m starting to research both so that when I’m ready I can pay cash for both.


Gina in KY April 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Sorry about your husband and your loss!


Gina in KY April 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

1. Spring Break week and we stayed home this year (my boys and I usually go visit my brother in Pittsburgh). We did stay one night in a local hotel that had an indoor pool. It ended up being a horrible stay (I’ll spare you the details, but it was bad) and I complained. I rarely complain, but this time I needed to tell a manager the awful details. We ended up getting an almost full refund which I accepted and was still bitter it was not full. Needless to say we will never stay there again (or even the chain) and they will be getting a bad review.

2. On a more positive note, we celebrated one son and my bf’s birthdays this past week and we had homemade cake and meals cooked at home. We also watched Sven Goolie on a local TV station (any one else a fan?) Sven Goolie and his campy movies have become our frugal Saturday entertainment along with a “junk food” dinner (past meals veggie chili dogs, pizza and this past Saturday we had a vegetarian taco bar).

3. I purged four (huge!) garbage bags of clothing (mine plus outgrown sons’ clothing). I guess I am doing my own Swedish Death Cleansing. I still have a few laundry baskets and one closet to go, but I can feel the weight lifting. I’ll be donating to a thrift store.

4. It’s been awhile but I took home extra donated veggies and fruits this past week (I’ve been too busy to volunteer lately, but I enjoy it. The group redistributes donated produce that is on it’s last days to any one in need. Often there are leftovers that are just going to be trashed so the volunteers divide it up. Sometimes there is nothing left, others times I am not in need so I leave it for the other volunteers. For some reason this time of year there are so many items and we always have too many leftovers. I ended up with strawberries, bananas, zucchini, and lemons. I froze the fruit for smoothies and I will eat the squash this week.)

5. I’ve been really into overnight oats lately. It’s a cheap meal, can be made healthy and easy to prep. I make mine vegan using almond or coconut milk and fruit I have around the house; however, you can also use yogurt. Check it out on the web!


Bee April 10, 2018 at 4:36 am

I am sorry about your disastrous hotel stay. How disappointing! You may want to send a complaint to the hotel corporation. Most companies do not want to get bad press.


Gina in KY April 10, 2018 at 1:47 pm

Thanks, Bee! Yes, I probably should email the corporate office. I would never recommend this particular one to anyone (Best Western-see I am going to give them bad press) All I can say is educate yourself on bed bugs and how to spot evidence they are in rooms. I work in the entomology field so I always do. This time I didn’t and guess what I found as we were getting ready to check-out? Stupidly, I was so mad I gave the manager the evidence (it was quickly whisked away) and didn’t think to take a photo (due to stress most likely!) We had to take all of our things to a laundry mat to have them heated on high temps. It will be a long time before I get over this one! The weird thing was the TV power cord was missing and the maintenance man said, “This room shouldn’t have been rented.” Now I wonder if they knew of the problem. And, the TV never did work.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 9, 2018 at 6:47 pm

I wouldn’t have recognized that as a Montessori play stand, and my son is at a Montessori preschool. Ha. We spent the evening hanging out at the park watching little league ball games before heading home for an easy homemade ramen dinner. Enjoying the weather as spring slowly arrives.


Emily April 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

1. Just made a dozen “egg cupcakes”. Raided the fridge and freezer for veggies, mixed in some sprinkle cheese and tossed in the oven. An awesome quick breakfast for me and the boyfriend!

2. I’ve been eyeing up a kickboxing gym, but am trying to hold off and utilize free excersise. Got home from work and did some hip hop dance videos (fitness Marshall on YouTube) and my other favorite (blogilates).

3. Grabbed a Groupon for a restaurant in a place of the city we can now take the train to! Yay Charlotte for upping its public transit game! It was 22 dollars (for 40 worth of food) then 25% off with my bfs student discount. I then purchased a gift card through the benefit app to use to BUY the Groupon, which gave me 6% back.

4. Needed Velcro for one of my patients. I stopped at the craft store and grabbed some dots, then went to the dollar tree. They have the same dots, but more in a pack, for 1/4 of the price. I was so excited I bought 10 packs, as dollar tree can be hit or miss with restocking items. I feel like I struck gold. For my non/minimally verbal kiddos, I use a picture exchange system (PECS) and lots of Velcro dots are needed!

5. Aldi had oil diffusers a few weeks ago, so I bought one for myself, and one for my aunt. She is currently battling pancreatic cancer, and has barely been able to eat. I sent her the diffuser and some peppermint oil. I got a card from her in the mail today, telling me how much she loves it and the calm, rotating color display it emits. Reminded me that money is best spent when it’s meaningful and purposeful.


Christine April 10, 2018 at 6:36 am

Good score on the dots. You never know what can show up at the dollar store. Best wishes and positive thoughts sent to your aunt. How sweet of you to send her a gift that is calming and also smells nice!


Mand01 April 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm

1. Cut the toothpaste tube open to get a few more brushings.
2. Took lunch, coffee and snacks to work.
3. Resisted whiny teen requests for drive through.
4. Wore thrifted outfit to work- a Jag dress that cost me three bucks.
5. Dinner and lunch is the remains of a leg of roast pork. The bone will be used to make stock.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 9, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I’m going to have a talk with my husband. He led me to believe that men don’t know how to put beans in the crockpot.
1. Frugal fail- I am losing money every few hours. My kids decided that our family needed to start a swear jar. So far, I am the only one that has had to put money in. I have more of a potty mouth than I thought.
2. I cooked spaghetti tonight and froze half for another day
3. I wrote a company because the product was unusually crappy and I buy it regularly. It’s contained pretzels and all of them were broken up into small bits. They sent me a free coupon.
4. I took the kids to the park to play. Free fun and I brought drinks from home.
5. I went to a yardsale and got a few nice things. I chose carefully to avoid clutter.
* I just got told I’m spam, but I’m not!


Mand01 April 10, 2018 at 12:51 am

I’m definitely the potty mouth in my family. If we had a swear jar I’d be broke.


Roberta April 10, 2018 at 6:13 am

I have to ask — what will the swear jar money go toward?


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 7:22 am

We are going to donate it. Possibly to the local animal shelter. Hopefully, it won’t be much but it’s not looking good.


Katy April 10, 2018 at 9:40 am

I would experience financial ruin if we had a swear jar. However, I’d still be f*¢˚ñg happy!


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Lol, the swear jar is p*^~~n me off! They gig me for even saying..Oh my Gosh, now… it’s getting rediculis. I’m only paying 10 cents for the mild swears, though. Never let your kids make the rules!


Mand01 April 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm

Oh My Gosh is not swearing. If June Cleaver would have said it, it ain’t cussing. Tell them if they ding you for that then you may as well get fined for something good. In for a penny, in for a goshdarn pound, I say.


Jennifer April 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Katy–I think it is a Waldorf play thingy not Montessori, in case that helps people with searching for your listing. Good find!


Katy April 10, 2018 at 9:39 am

Yup, you are correct!


Elizabeth April 10, 2018 at 2:20 am

1. Managed to keep all the food in my refrigerator cool during an 18 hr power outage by placing ice from the freezer in strategic locations
2. Discovered the stain removing wonders of Fels Naphtha and was surprised at its low cost
3. Found a hidden pair of jeans in my closet during a decluttering marathon
4. Remembered to redeem a free item coupon at Bath and Bodyworks(before it expired)
5. Conserved gas by running errands in the city while my daughter was at a homeschool event (my son really wanted to go home but I kept him distracted with fun shops and Burger King…not exactly frugal, but fun!)


Jennifer April 10, 2018 at 3:08 am

1. When my dd bought her new phone I splurged and paid for the special life-time warranty screen protector. Good thing too because less than a week in she dropped the phone. It shattered the screen protector but saved the phone. Screen protector was replaced the next day for free.
2. Spent $30 on produce at the grocery store on Sunday. I am hoping that between that and what we have on hand I can stay out of the stores until the weekend.
3. Picking up a second hand dresser today from our local Facebook group. I plan to refinish it and put it in a spot in my room where we removed a very ugly built in counter that did nothing for us. The dresser will provide needed storage for extra bedding. Closets are lacking in this house!
4. Fighting the x-ray department over giving us our $50 back. They required my dh to pay it when he needed x-rays for a broken toe in December. yet we hit out cap on out of pockets last year and shouldn’t have had to pay it. They said they would credit our card, but it has been 3 weeks and they haven’t done it yet. Have to call again.
5. We all packed lunches yesterday and today. Cooked dinner from scratch and added extra potatoes and carrots to the dish to stretch it to leftovers.
Frugal Fail: Unfortunately the dog enjoyed much of said dinner when I popped in the bathroom. We are still getting used to having an indoor dog!


Marybeth April 10, 2018 at 4:17 am

1. Went to visit my daughter in Maryland over the weekend. Stayed with her instead of paying $300 a night for a hotel. Between her couch, extra bed and an air mattress we survived.
2. She got us into the National Aquarium for free as she works there and gets a limited number of free passes. We also got a discount on the parking because of her.
3. Packed a lunch and ate it outside afterwards as no outside food is allowed. We did bring our reusable water bottles and filled them many times at their filling stations. Also bought snacks as we were hungry so we shared 3 snacks between 6 of us inside the aquarium.
4. Went to farmer’s market and bazaar and only bought food. They had lots of nice things but I have plenty of stuff. Got pickles, olives, raw milk and pastries.
5. I was off from work yesterday so I cooked a bunch: brown sugar flank steak, ham and lentil soup, and steel cut oats. Steak recipe is here:


Denise April 11, 2018 at 9:26 am

Fantastic sounding recipe. Will definitely give that a go!


susanna d April 10, 2018 at 5:13 am

1. Found another 39 cents in a different Coinstar, as well as a brand new super shiny penny on the ground – my grandson was thrilled to receive the shiny penny; I’ve gotten him into looking for found money, too. Incredible year for found money, as I’m up to $66.06 in found money for the year. Not all of it at Coinstar machines, though.
2. Returned two broken bull nose tile pieces to the place we bought them and exchanged them for unbroken ones. Husband had his doubts about returning them but these two pieces were broken when we unwrapped them, and if we’d dropped them they would have shattered, not split cleanly in half. Saved us $10 over buying replacement pieces, and husband is once again willing to do returns (he hates doing them).
3. Colored my hair with free-with-Balance-Rewards hair dye. Yes it would be cheaper to stop coloring but I’m not at that point. Yet.
4. Buying our new running shoes and trail running shoes resulted in Kohl’s cash which, when combined with Yes 2 You reward cash came out to enough to get three very nice, extremely sturdy-looking baking sheets to replace the hot mess that was my old baking sheets.
5. Husband immediately claimed the old baking sheets to use to pour paint out of not quite empty cans of latex paint (that paint apparently multiplies in dark places) and let it dry in the sun. That is, assuming we get a stretch of sunny days and that winter leaves (more snow is in the forecast for later this week).


Roberta April 10, 2018 at 6:21 am

If you have leftover cement, you can throw it into those cans of paint to dry them up. I can’t store leftover cement because it somehow gets wet sitting in my garage in southern California and it becomes solid anyway.


susanna d April 10, 2018 at 7:21 am

Thanks for the suggestion, Roberta! We have leftover cement, leftover paint, little dribs and drabs of leftover just about everything after 6 years of working on the house. Now that we’ve decided to sell the house and move next year, my pack rat husband has finally decided that yes, it’s time to get rid of remodeling things that aren’t worth donating – or paint in colors that don’t appear anywhere in our home. We bought our house as-is, fully over-furnished 8 years ago from the estate of a man who had some strong hoarder tendencies – his son even referred to him as a hoarder. And while we’ve gotten rid of most of the junk that came with the house, my husband held onto any and all home improvement related items. Just. In. Case. Although what he thought we’d do with all the paint colors in a house that has (mainly) cedar interior walls I have no idea. At least we used up the shocking pink and shiny gold spray paint by marking trees that needed to be cut down in the woodlot!


Gina in KY April 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Thanks from me as well! I never thought to do this and I have cans to dry out. 🙂


Christine April 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm

I’ve heard you can do the same thing with kitty litter in old paint cans that still have liquid in them.


Roberta April 10, 2018 at 6:30 am

1. I cleared out the pantry yesterday, and took a couple things we won’t eat to the local food pantry. When I got there, they had many boxes of fresh food out front, free to anyone, because they had been given more than they could distribute regularly. So I took home a couple loaves of french bread, a bag or organic celery for my husband, and as much of the icky veg as I could find. The icky veg went to the chickens and made the boxes more appealing, to reduce waste. I also found that the cherry tomatoes that were icky were *mostly* fine, with a few squished ones in there. Squished ones went to the chickens, the good ones went to us!
2. French bread became the basis for dinner; I made sandwiches with sauteed onions, mushrooms and Grocery Outlet veggie sausages. They were a hit, and I’m thinking about stopping by again for more french bread so I can do it again this week.
3. Washed laundry, and dried it on the line (boring!).
4. Closed up the house to keep the hot out. Temp remained fine inside, despite 94 degree temps outside.
5. Finally finished up the Easter eggs, as deviled eggs. No waste!


Denise April 11, 2018 at 9:31 am


Where are you to get 94 degrees? I’m in London and was cursing that I left my gloves in my jacket as I huddled down in my heavy winter coat this evening!


ouvickie April 10, 2018 at 6:42 am

Definitely in extreme frugal mode here, since hubby lost his job last week. I’m hoping the next one he gets will include healthcare. We could save a lot of money if I didn’t have to have him on my policy here at work.
1) I’d made spaghetti Sunday evening, so we used the leftover sauce on baked potatoes last night and ate leftover salad with them.
2) Thankfully I have freezer meals here at work that will keep me fed for another week. I drink the coffee provided by work. No lunch dates for the rest of the month.
3) The job loss provided me with the perfect excuse to cut the cable. He protested before, but not now. That’s a $50 savings and I’m glad to be rid of it actually.
4) Thankfully, I have a jar of coins I can roll. I’ve no clue how much is in there, but I’m thinking it will pay for gas the rest of this month.
5) No Lear jet, yachts or gold encrusted anything bought by us .


Bee April 10, 2018 at 9:35 am

Sending positive thoughts your way and hope that the perfect job for your husband is around the corner.


Terri April 10, 2018 at 7:01 am

Oooh, I didn’t know about Supercuts training centers, that’s good to know! Here are my frugal five:
1. I colored my hair myself at home using henna and indigo powder.
2. I planted about a dozen more scallion root ends (saved from cooking) in my garden.
3. I redeemed $7.79 in cash back rewards from our credit card. We never carry a balance, so this is free money for us.
4. I purchased something from Amazon and chose the slower shipping option in exchange for a $1 digital credit.
5. I made ricotta cheese from half a gallon of milk that had just started to turn.


Amanda April 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

1) I love hearing about you and your sister’s frugal traveling adventures. It is beautifully illustrative of the point that frugality doesn’t mean missing out on fun and time with loved ones. Our family is planning a home exchange for the summer. If it happens it will be wonderful time spent together cheaply. If it doesn’t happen we will save a little extra cash.

2) I went to Kroger last night for straws as Aldi doesn’t sell them, and my children insist they will dehydrate without them. When I checked out I got a $2 coupon off of $7 in produce, so I went back into the store. I can always buy broccoli and sweet potatoes, which are heavy enough to get me to $7, and are not always in the best shape at Aldi. My tab came to just over $7, so I was able to get the discount.

3) I thought I was overcharged for parking at a conference this weekend and took the time to email the Baltimore parking authority. It turns out I had picked up the receipt of the person before me! This time it didn’t save me any money to double check, but often it does.

4) On a rare trip to my university yesterday (I’m on research leave) I returned library books, checked out more, checked in with the department secretary to make sure I had completed all necessary paperwork, brought my own lunch of leftovers, and was given a handful of free, great books by a member of my committee. I also drove the car that gets better gas mileage and had pre-planned supper so there was no temptation for takeout when we all descended on the house at the same time. I was wearing a jacket from Goodwill and sporting a cheap haircut and I still looked 100. Damn.

5) Higher profits in our business is inspiring me with the idea of paying off our mortgage. The vision is the first step to reality!


Mand01 April 10, 2018 at 7:06 pm

My 13 year old also loves to use straws but I hate the plastic waste. I bought a pack of four reusable straws and they are happy to use them instead. They just go through the dishwasher. I got them on sale at Target for less than a dollar.


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