Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 10, 2018 · 99 comments

  1. My husband needs to take daily walks as part of his physical therapy, so I grabbed a free coffee coupon that’s been on the fridge for at least three months. The two of us walked the ten blocks to the cafe and ordered a latte to share. (Okay, okay, I drank most of it, but only because my husband had just finished a cup of coffee at home. Are you happy now?) I did throw a buck into the tip jar, but it was still an impressively cheap date. I brought my thrifted ceramic travel mug from home, as I hate to create unnecessary garbage.

  2. We then drove to a Goodwill where I scoured the shelves for unrecognized Faberge eggs and original Picasso paintings. I had no luck in this quest, but I did buy a pair of Timberland boots that’ll clean up nicely for resale.

  3. The next stop was a 4:15 showing of The Post at a local second run movie theater. I had a two-for-one coupon, which brought the price down to $4 for both of our admission tickets. I also brought two Dum-Dum suckers along as our treat, which were freebies from a restaurant meal that was my father’s treat during my sister’s visit.

    The movie was amazing, although at one point I leaned over to my husband and whispered that “I would have watched this movie for the vintage telephones alone.” After all, my dream job is to be a set decorator or prop master. Which kind of explains why my house looks like it time traveled from a previous era.

  4. I finally used up some groceries that I bought for specific individuals while they were home for spring break. This included a bag of pre-chopped broccoli and a one-pound bag of bean sprouts. It takes a bit of forethought to use up random grocery items, but roasted broccoli was a perfect side for a small salmon fillet and the bean sprouts added a nice crunch to last night’s stir-fry. It kills me to not use the food that we’ve paid for, so I do all I can to keep on top of this goal.

  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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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey April 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

1. Freezer broke down, leaving me with six bags of pumpkin pulp and a huge bag of home made croutons from various stale breads. I made low sugar pumpkin bread pudding for the dogs. They get a slice a night for their treat. I caught the husband eating a slice, with sugar sprinkled on it.
2. Volunteered at an event and came home with 17 hamburger patties already grilled. Not that tasty reheated so am using them in spaghetti sauce.
3. Picked up 12 cents on a good back day, when I could actually bend over long enough to dig them out of the snow/ice.
4. Didn’t feel like it but did four mystery shops yesterday, making about $100 worth of payments and free food items I was required to buy but will be reimbursed for.
5. Our wood cutting boards were looking bad so when husband said, “Are there any chores you need me to do today?” I jumped at the chance. He refurbished two large cutting boards and while he was at it he took off our oak toilet seat and sanded and varnished it. It is old, almost vintage, and looked like it was moldy when it was not. Gross. His chores really saved us some bucks.


Madeline Kasian April 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

1. I used up the very last bits of lettuce in the big container for a salad to go with garbanzo soup I defrosted,for lunch. No food waste is my goal!!

2. I switched my grocery shopping to WINCO (we do not have Aldi) and am saving a considerable amt. of money. I spent $58 today for 3 huge bags of groceries which will feed us for MORE THAN a week. We eat a mostly vegan meal plan,so I save tons of money not buying meat or cheese, and we’re healthier for it.

3. I made up meal plans for 2 weeks.When I follow meal plans we eat better, I am less stressed at dinner making hour, and we use up the food in refrig!

4. I am wearing summer clothes as it is now in the 90’s in Phoenix already! Most are from last year or even the year before, with a few cotton sundresses I got at my favorite consignment store last month. I had recycle credit,so FREE!

5. Tomorrow is FREE FUN with lady friends..I play canasta with two different ladie’s groups every month.We meet at the apartment clubhouse of one friend, where free coffee,music, and gorgeous scenery is provided to us! Fun, healthy to socialize, uses our brains, and FREE! We usually all bring a small snack to share.


Edie April 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

OMG, I love WINCO and this reminds me to stop buy. It’s not easily on the way home like how Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are. Plus you can get things there that you can’t at the other stores in bulk- like fresh chickpeas and red rice.


yvette from down under April 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

My 5 in a
Non frugal week…. 5 trips to the airport to pick up and drop off family members visiting in school holidays.
Overdue library book fines.
Extra food to feed visitors or take out for meals and also takeaway fast food.
Using air conditioner in autumn !!! Hot spell very unusual this time of year.
Loss of tomatoes due to being eaten by mice plague in the vege patch.
Better frugality next week I hope.


Ramona @ Personal Finance Today April 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

He he, thought I’m the only one who didn’t stay on the frugal bandwagon 😀

I broke my phone (caught in the car door) and had to replace it. While I did spend 4 times less money on daughter’s Easter presents, I ‘made’ up with my phone, so, eventually, I think I wasted the same amount of money 🙁


Tracy April 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

1. Great frugal weekend at Oregon Coast with my Mom (thanks for owning a beach house Mom!) and 3 young adult kids plus one significant other and two little dogs. Brought almost all food from home (WAY more expensive to buy at coast).
2. Enjoyed free activities — games, movies, books, hikes. Did splurge $12 for a yoga class from one of my fave teachers.
3. Took bus to/from work Friday and yesterday, brought food yesterday and today.
4. Did own taxes.
5. Really working to lower grocery bill by not wasting, shopping sales and having stuff on hand for easy and quick meals to avoid temptation to go out or get take out.


A. Marie April 10, 2018 at 11:05 am

FFT, Visiting Goombah/The Cold from Hell Edition:

(1) My NYC BFF came up last weekend for a hastily arranged visit. Her DH is in rehab after a longish spell in hospital for a hematological ailment with both orthopedic and cognitive side effects, and after he’s out of rehab, she probably won’t be any freer to travel than I am now with my DH–so we figured we’d better get together while we can. Bittersweet but priceless.

(2) Given the brevity of the visit plus my cold (see below), we agreed to forgo all expeditions out, except for trips to Wegmans, Ollie’s, and Clothes Mentor (none of which she has in her part of Manhattan). Our only meal out was at the Wegmans Market Cafe.

(3) Since we don’t know whether we’ll be able to have our usual get-together for our August birthdays, we had a small “birthdays in April” gift exchange. Money saved on shipping.

(4) Unfortunately, I developed one of the worst colds of modern times several days before her arrival, and I’m still not entirely recovered. However, I did my best to limit her exposure to my germs–and limiting the world’s exposure to my germs is having the usual good effect of keeping me from spending money.

(5) Finally, I’m about to compose a frittata with various leftovers from the visit (a few bits of cooked broccoli, some chopped-up grape tomatoes, etc.) for tonight’s dinner with DH.


Bee April 11, 2018 at 3:49 am

I am glad you were able to carve out some friend time. Take care of yourself and get rid of the cold from hell.


nancy from mass April 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

I love old dial phones.

1. was very busy running back and forth to NH and then staying there for a few days last week for my mom. She ended up in ER during Easter night, then was moved to a hospice house. (she has cancer and was throwing up blood). we thought ‘this is it’. so did the hospice doctor. monday “hours to a day”; tuesday “hours to a day”; wednesday {shrugs shoulders}; thursday “we’ve thrown the book out”; friday “lets work on getting her back to the nursing home”. she’s back there now. I tried to either bring PB&J for my lunch or, on one day, i treated my sister to a free lunch at Panera since i had a bunch of rewards. My mom is a cat with 9 lives.
2. since i wasn’t home and wasn’t free to do anything, hardly anything was spent! other than buying some yogurts at the grocery store and an occasional coffee here and there – but i used my gift cards and a groupon for that.
3. my neighbor took care of our cat and didn’t want money. i had told her to grab some perishables so they wouldn’t go to waste while we were gone.
4. wanted cake (I love cake) but settled for nutella toast. i also love nutella toast.
5. sent a note to a smallish company about a product i purchased that i had an issue with. they sent me 12! items that they carry as an apology. probably worth about $75 in all.

frugal fail: since we were gone for 6 days, the dvd we got from the library that was due the day after we left was not returned until sunday. 1 whole week of fines. ($3.50) oh well, i will ‘donate’ the fines to the library so they have the money to put towards something else.


Katy April 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. It does sound like she’s in good hands.


cathy April 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm

I bet your library would waive the fine if you told them what happened.


Pattilou April 10, 2018 at 4:51 pm

So sorry about your Mom. I know how stressful those situations can be.


Bee April 11, 2018 at 3:41 am

I am sorry to hear about your mom. I feel like I have gotten to know her through your posts. I am sending a bit of love your way.


Donna April 11, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Sorry to hear about your mother. Hope you can have some self-care during this time.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 11, 2018 at 4:16 am

My goodness, what a dramatic turn of events. So stressful for you and your family. I will be thinking about you and I’m sorry you are going through this tough time.*hugs


nancy from mass April 11, 2018 at 5:01 am

thanks everyone for your wishes. on thursday she had a lot of visitors. suddenly she looked up and said “am I dying? why are so many people coming to see me? I must be dying. I used to go in a group to see people who were dying. Oh, well. I hope I go to Heaven.” some of her friends played harmonica and sang – she joined in the singing.

She’s in the nursing home and we are back to keeping her comfortable. she wont get back to base, but she’s still with us and happy to have her activities available.

The nursing staff at the hospice house is amazing. (the place was amazing too). I think we are going to do a ‘in lieu of flowers’ thing and ask for donations for the hospice house.


Cindy in the South I April 11, 2018 at 5:07 am

Hugs….so sorry for this stressful time in your life.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 11, 2018 at 7:18 am

When my grandmother died, hospice was wonderful. The nurses were great. When they came to take vitals signs she was in a lot of pain. They told us they didn’t have to do that anymore if we didn’t want them to. They were very respectful of her as a human being to the very end even though she wasn’t awake anymore. I think that is so important since hearing is the last thing to go. I’m so glad you are getting more good times with your mom after this scare! You all will remember these days forever.


JennyS April 11, 2018 at 8:37 am

After I was an L&D RN, I was a hospice RN. Both great jobs and was honored to be able to help patients and families!


A. Marie April 11, 2018 at 11:06 am

Nancy: Please add my best wishes for both you and your mother to all the others. You’ve had some really rough times these past few years, and I am keeping you in my thoughts.

Also, your mother’s “Am I dying?” reaction reminded me of what my mother may have been thinking when I (her most religiously rebellious child) was reading her some of the prayers for the sick from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer during her last days in the ICU. Although I hope that it gave her some comfort, I’ve always worried a bit that she may also have thought, “Oh, golly, Marie’s reading prayers for me? The jig must be up!”


Christine April 11, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Wonderful idea about the ‘in lieu of flowers’. What better way to honor your mother and give thanks to the hospice at the same time. Hugs sent your way.


Liz B. April 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Nancy, your mom’s reaction and comments made me smile. My younger sister always says she wants the end of her life to be like her husband’s grandmother’s – in hospice care, comfortable and well cared for, with family around, laughing, sharing family stories and jokes with grandma. Blessings to you all.


janine April 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Nancy: Loved the harmonica and singing with you mom. Best wishes from us.

Linda Gertig April 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

1.and 2. washed clothes in my 20 year old Maytag and hung them in the basement to dry. I live near the woods and have too many bird fly overs to hang them outside.
3. Made vegetarian chili using my son’s spice mixture made from spices bought in bulk rather than the individual packets of chili spice.
4. Packed some of the chili in lunch size reusable containers so it’s quick to pack my husband a lunch and he’s not tempted to buy lunch at the cafeteria.
5. Went out and enjoyed the spring flowers in the yard rather than buying flowers for the house.


Lisa April 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

Katy, I am with you in not creating garbage and bringing my own coffee cup. I don’t understand why everything has to come in a disposable cup to go. I miss going to get coffee and sitting down and drinking from a glass or mug in Europe and how it always included a little cookie and and small shot glass of water. Even better, I miss how a beautiful layered coffee and milk drink in a tall clear glass with all these extras cost less than a Starbucks small drink in a paper cup.


Marilyn April 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

When I go to Starbucks, I ask them to put the coffee in a mug, rather than a paper cup. They always do this and even give me 10 cents off sometimes for using a mug.


Cindy in the South I April 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

1. I had to travel to another county for work. That county has a Walmart and a Dollar Tree. I picked up things I needed at both places. This is frugal because I did not waste gas driving there.
2. When I finished work there, I came back to my home county and there was a free lunch/seminar going on…and I, of course, partook of the free Subway sandwich.
3. I enjoyed the drive between counties because I get to go through a National Forest…and everything is in full bloom and green…so pretty to see the different shades of green.
4. I wore clothes that are very old…..and was complimented.
5. I do not listen to the news. That saves me from having to take nerve pills and having to pay a medical deductible……


Gina in KY April 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

#5 ha!!


A. Marie April 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

#5: Seriously, my blood pressure would be about 220/100 at this point if DH and I hadn’t donated the TV to charity two years ago.


Pattilou April 10, 2018 at 4:56 pm

I used to listen to shows like Meet the Press while I would get ready for church on Sundays. During the GW Bush era I realized that I was yelling at the TV every Sunday, especially when certain members of his cabinet were on. I finally realized that I was starting my day so angry so I stopped watching and never went back. I am so glad because I’m sure that now my head would just explode if I tuned in!


Lindsey April 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

I know what you mean about GW Bush era screaming. Now I would give anything to have those days back!


Katy in Africa April 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm

1. Cold showers all around ( its hot, so this is no biggy).
2. Went to the grocery store for some things and spent 11,000CFA, roughly $22. We save a lot of money by purchasing most of our food from the local market, corner store and bread lady.
3. I wanted to ask the tailor to make me a skirt, so I also took 4 other items for him to repair or resize so I can wear them more comfortably.
4. We were looking for something for our cat who was going into labor. We emptied an old cardboard box, put a couple of empty rice sacks in, then a very torn up pair of kaki pants I’ve been saving for rags…and viola, a cat bed!
5. Made sun tea…just the cost of 2 tea bags and water.


Cindy in the South I April 11, 2018 at 5:09 am

Do you have a blog about your adventures in Africa? I would love to read it.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 12, 2018 at 6:19 am

Oh, me too! It’s fun to see a glimpse of the world through others.


Marybeth April 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

So … how many kittens?


Norma April 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm

1. Just back from an awesome 40th anniversary cruise with our sons – priceless!! Our frugality in other parts of our lives allows us to partake of our passion – travelling.
2. Sitting on Carnival’s private island was offered two free Cokes from another individual who was leaving. We were thirsty and getting ready to order drinks.
3. After our credits for being regular Carnival cruisers we only spent $20.52 on board the ship. Spent no money on land.
4. Got our computer cleaned up at Office Depot for free. Did have to buy a mouse though which was cheaper than replacing the touch pad.
5. Didn’t buy anything gold or gold-plated.


Sherri April 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm

My secret dream job was to be a set decorator too!!!


LB April 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

1. Made sweet potato gnocchi out of all items I had on hand. The sweet potatoes were getting pretty sad looking, so making gnocchi out of them was a perfect use.
2. Used up a box of pasta and freezer chicken plus an extra container of pesto for lunches this week. A little light, but used all things I already had on hand.
3. Lost 7 pounds in my office’s “biggest loser” challenge, which means I get a $25 gift card! Going to use this for lady’s night restaurant week ($20.18 cost, so $25 will cover dinner and a tip)
4. Staying away from bars, etc–doing better about listening to my gut and going home early instead of forcing myself to stay out/spend more money on something I don’t want to do.
5. Found a shirt in my drawer that I had already written off as bad looking that I cajoled myself into wearing because everything else was in the wash. Guess what? It fits, it looks good, and I’ adding it to my rotation.


Marybeth April 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm

1. Got a free ice cream cone because it’s free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s
2. Brought my lunch to work in a reusable container and my water in a reusable cup
3. Found a nickel
4. Hubby had a work meeting this morning so free breakfast for him
5. Having ham and lentil soup from a leftover ham bone. I made the soup yesterday because I was off from work and knew that I was working today. Will have it with bread that my son gets to bring home from his job. Whatever isn’t taken by employees goes in the garbage so he brings home a bunch and I freeze it if I need to.


Kathy Hairston April 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Worked dog show gigs=$160
Stopped in to 2 thrift stores today and snagged some NWT items that’ll use as gifts
Donated two NWT items to charity fundraiser
Brewed ice tea
Cleaned out car trunk. Next up vacuum interior


Frannyanddanny April 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

You’re my inspiration girl, love your work x


Gina in KY April 10, 2018 at 2:04 pm

1. Incorporating more rice in my diet.
~I read recently that eating rice triggers serotonin in the brain (chemical that helps regulate and improve moods). I generally make mine in a pot, but after seeing some great YouTube videos I really wanted a rice cooker. The one I want is $109 and is very fancy. However, I suddenly remembered I thought I had one squirreled away and sure enough-not nearly as fancy-but works great. I made basmati with toasted onion rice tonight to eat with dinner and it came out beautifully.

2. Scored a deal at Aldi.
~I recently bought a bag of the basmati with toasted onion rice in the limited products section of Aldi. It was around $3 so I only bought one. Well, it was such a hit in the house I went back for more. Sadly, the item was gone and will not be restocked. Happily, I found two bags marked down to $1.40 each in their clearance section (yay!)

3. More work = More paycheck
~I am getting ready to travel for a long period for work (23+ days). I am heading to New York state. I booked a hotel (per diem rate) with a kitchenette so I should be able to prepare frugal, healthy meals instead of eating out constantly. This will mean more cash saved with the per diem. I will also be working overtime which is excellent boost to the income. I leave this coming weekend. BF will temporary move into my house to babysit my dogs and house saving me kennel fees and stress on the pups.

4. Everyday is a new staycation day
~Staying in this week and binge watching Arrested Development on Netflix, reading library books and prepping for my trip.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
~Drinking water, eating down the veggies and fruits around the house, walking the dogs for exercise, line drying clothes (although still without washer so laundry mat is frugal fail), using less lights and water and so many little-things-add-up…


Kathy Hairston April 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I found walking in NYC to be very doable. I was there in February and walked 6-10 miles/day.
The metropolitan museum of art and 911 memorial/museum were well worth seeing. You can get to the 911 memorial via subway $3 each way


Gina in KY April 11, 2018 at 12:16 am

Thanks for the tips! I do wish I was going to be in NYC, but my trip is upstate NY and I hear it is very cold (just as the winter from hell was just ending in KY).


LB April 11, 2018 at 6:08 am

Welcome to upstate! Let me know if you want any recommendations–From Binghamton, live in Albany, familiar with Rochester and Buffalo 🙂


Crosby April 11, 2018 at 7:34 am

I’ll add to that LB! I live in Buffalo and grew up in Rochester!


Gina in KY April 11, 2018 at 10:43 am

Thanks to you both! So far I’m looking forward to checking out George Eastman and play museums.

Teresa Young April 11, 2018 at 11:02 am

I’m in Rochester! George Eastman Museum is wonderful. I also recommend the Susan B Anthony House. And you will want to check out Wegmans, best grocery store ever.

Our weather is still very unsettled – best pack something for each season 🙂


Dusty April 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I went to high school in Rochester and get up there once a year to visit…..i am thinking about moving back when i retire….2 years….
I have lived in florida 22 years but i miss N.Y. i know doing it backwards….ok everyone tell me how crazy i am

A. Marie April 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

Gina: If you’re going to be in the Rochester area on Saturday 4/21, here’s a shameless bit of self-advertisement: I’m giving a reading at the meeting of the local branch of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) at the Pittsford Barnes & Noble at 1 pm that day. Dunno whether you have any interest in Jane Austen, but it would be great to meet another NCA’er! (I already know Barbara from the FFL book sale locally, and I’d be delighted to make your acquaintance as well. That goes for Teresa Young and anyone else in the Rochester area too, of course.)

Also, Teresa Young’s advice about the weather is excellent. If you don’t like the weather in Upstate in April, just wait 15 minutes (and pack accordingly).


Tracymakes me wish I were going to be in Rochester! April 11, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Makes me wish I were going to be in Rochester on Sat 4/21!

Bethany April 10, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Bought a classroom set of chapter books from a gal in my neighborhood for $20. Took the books out that I’d love to read to and with my kids and packaged up 5 bundles and posted on eBay. If I sell them for asking price, I will recoup my money and make another $90. Also giving some away to friends. It’s the books that never end.

Ate the last of a mess of leftovers for lunch.

Put my precious toddler down for an early nap, which counts as a free mental health hour. 🙂

Using a BOGO coupon for dinner out tonight. Everyone will enjoy a break from the Bethany-cooking monotony.

Making my own Ranch tonight. Kids are going to have to get used to it, because I can’t have MSG and I’m not buying the $5 bottle of ranch anymore!!!


Christine April 10, 2018 at 2:48 pm

1. Found out today we will be getting a significant return on our federal taxes and a modest return on our state taxes. Any amount back is better than paying.
2. Made cleaning rags out of DH’s old sweatpants and t-shirt.
3. My cat is still sick and I’m trying to tempt him with fancy cat food. So far he’s turned up his nose at everything except a little bit of the water from a can of tuna. I give him water with a syringe…not fun. Any suggestions very appreciated. His problem is an inflamed gallbladder.
4. On way back from store to get cat food, DH and I both agreed we didn’t want to have coffee out. We came home and I made tea which was nice. We rarely go out for coffee anymore.
5. I made a sour cream cake for the ladies in my Bible study for tomorrow. This is a recipe from a member who recently passed away. This will be in her honor. We can toast her memory with coffee and cake.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 10, 2018 at 4:21 pm

5. Such a nice and delicious gesture.


marie April 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Chicken baby food is my go-to for sick kits. It’s easy to syringe feed, and I’ve also had good luck with just smearing it on the kit’s leg–they groom it off. They’re not happy with me when I smear the food on them, but it does the job. Good luck!


Christine April 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Thank you Marie! This is like trying to feed a picky toddler…doable but takes a lot of new ideas.


Isabelle April 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

* Booked an Airbnb for an upcoming trip. They were offering a 20% off discount when I first emailed to ask questions. When I was ready to book the offer had expired but I gently asked for it anyways and they agreed to honor it. So we save 40$.
* Bought a new pair of pants on clearance for 5$
* No eating out for me this month
* Cheap night out with a friend this week : 5$ improvisation show
* Selling some stuff instead of giving it away (well, trying to…)

Frugal fail: bought 2 used shirt, did not try them on. They are too small. 10$ down the drain. Oh well!


Diane April 10, 2018 at 3:17 pm

We had a black rotary phone all through my childhood and teen years in mid 40s and 50s. And the cord was cloth covered not squiggly plastic. We were on a 2 party line and often as kids, we would listen in to our neighbors’ conversations!


Lindsey April 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm

I can still remember my grandmother’s phone number, from the era where they still used words, as in Plaza 6-3996! Our idea of fun was to call random numbers and ask them if they had Prince Albert in a can (the old chewy tobacco). Answer: “Then let him out!” Why we thought that was so hysterically funny, I cannot explain.


Anne April 11, 2018 at 7:21 am

I blush to say that I did this, too.


isabelle April 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

Bah, I did the same stupid stuff, we would call random people using their first names (found in the phone book, back then…) and then pretend to know them and not understand how they could have forgotten about us, inventing meetings (don’t you remember, at camp…? bla-bla-bla). Oh boy, we had nothing more important to do I guess….!!!
Then came *67 (Canada) to identify who just called, so we stopped, aha!


Mary in Maryland April 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm

We liked to call wild boys and leave messages with their mothers. “Please call Jenny at XXXXXXXXXX” –the number of the Florence Crittenden Home for unwed teen mothers. It still seems funny to me, and I spent ten years as the Florence Crittenden OB/GYN.


Nancy from mass April 11, 2018 at 5:10 pm

That’s awesome!! Must have freaked their mom’s out!!


Dusty April 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Ha ha….i was telling a young person about the party line in our house when i was a kid…..oh the look of horror on her face!!


Christine April 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm

My father had one in our old camp which he made into his home in his later years until the late 1990s! He finally succumbed to the times and bought a desk top push button type. That old phone hung on the wall until we had to sell his place a few years ago. Sniffle…


Teresa Young April 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm

1 – Pulled together 2 bags of clothes to donate
2 – and 1 bag of fabric to donate
3 – Walked to the library to pick up a book that was on hold
4 – listed a My American Girl doll on ebay – no nibbles yet
5 – Planned meals for the rest of the week & shopped at Aldi


Sarah D April 10, 2018 at 6:30 pm

This is the frugal-road-trip to Las Vegas edition:
1. Hubs and I have to go to Las Vegas for a conference this week. We are driving, and taking homemade hummus and veggies, snack bars, and breakfast burritos for the road trip so that we won’t buy food along the way. Driving (even though it’s 9 hours) is sooooo much cheaper than flights, and taking our own food makes the transportation = the cost of about 3 tanks of gas.
2. We plan to spend precisely $0 on gambling, shows, prostitutes, or drugs.
3. We plan to eat good food at some of the great restaurants there – like a great vegetarian Chinese restaurant we ate at last time we were there. Delicious and a fun treat because it’s special and rare.
4. Our one temptation would be local craft beers, but I think we’ll be too busy with conference events and professional socializing to go out to try any. If we do, the plan is one and done – safer for driving and cheaper too.
5. Since we’ll be at a work conference, much of the cost of the hotel and food will be reimbursed. The hotel is more expensive than we’d like, but we’re getting the conference rate and it’s the closest to the conference site—and it’s not on “the strip” so we don’t have to deal with all that.


Roberta April 11, 2018 at 6:12 am

I have heard that there is a great park at the reservoir in Vegas. I haven’t been, but maybe someone else knows about it? Anyway, it would be a great side trip if you end up with free time and you don’t want to do the casino thing.


Bethany April 11, 2018 at 7:40 am

When we went we got a free stay with Holiday Inn since we had a lot of rewards with their IHG Rewards program, I think they thought we were rich. The truth is my husband got those rewards points from out-of-town work . All the expense was on the company. We did have to listen to their 2 hr spiel. Have fun! Hoover Dam isn’t far, and worth a visit if you haven’t done it before!


Sarah D April 12, 2018 at 11:09 am

Thanks! I think we are going to check out Hoover Dam on the way out of town!


Bee April 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm

When I was in Las Vegas many years ago, the gallery in the Bellagio had an Ansel Adams exhibit. It was $15 to get in, but you were given headsets for a guided tour. It was by far one of the best things about Las Vegas, and money well spent.


Sarah D April 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

That sounds amazing! The update from Vegas is that we’re not even really spending anything on beer, since the hotel has a nightly happy hour with free drinks and snacks. It also has a huge breakfast spread so we’re not buying that meal out either. There are certainly ways to blow a lot of money in Las Vegas, but I think there are also many ways to spend very little and still enjoy a visit to this city.


Mand01 April 10, 2018 at 6:45 pm

1. Lunch is the fourth meal from a pork roast on Sunday night and the rest is in the crockpot right now. My husband is also enjoying the pig’s bounty.
2. A much worn thrifted skirt and blouse combo. I think this is its fourth summer.
3. Own coffee, own snacks to work today.
4. Met teachers last night at my daughter’s excellent public school. They were very impressive. She’s in a specialist gifted program. Cost per year: $300. Bargain beyond all bargains.
5. It’s bloody hot here today. Made sure to put vulnerable new plants in a tub of water before I left, saving about $30 in new plants. It’s Autumn here!!!


K D April 11, 2018 at 3:03 am

1. I submitted receipts for reimbursement from our 2017 Flexible Savings Account. Once I receive another EOB I’ll also make a submission for our 2018 account.

2. I needed steps so I walked to the grocery and bought on sale Lara bars (on sale and with additional savings for spending a certain amount). I also picked up free tissues and yogurt) and found a foreign coin on the Coin Star shelf.

3. My daughter had her wisdom teeth out last month. The insurance EOB shows a different amount we’re responsible for than what they charged. I’ll give the oral surgeon’s office a little time to deal with the discrepancy and then call to make sure they issue a refund. (if necessary).

4. We started tomato, basil, and oregano from seeds. When it’s warm enough we’ll plant them outside.

5. I continue to drive my 15+ year old Honda when not walking, to get around.


Bethany April 11, 2018 at 7:45 am

Our grocery store isn’t too far to walk either. I just noticed that if we go 1/4 over before the main thoroughfare, we can get through safely on a crosswalk and also avoid the tumbleweed apocalypse. When the weather cools, I want to do that with my kids!


Jennifer April 11, 2018 at 3:04 am

1) Browned up some clearance turkey sausage links yesterday. Used 1 to add to our spaghetti sauce and the rest will be used in tonights dinner.
2) We are all eating oatmeal for breakfast. It is no ones favorite, but once a week the kids are ok eating it without complaints, so we do that and have a very frugal breakfast.
3) My dryer appears to not be drying my clothes all the way. They just keep coming out pretty damp – not completely wet, so it is still doing something. I just hung up a load to finish drying and will keep doing this until my dh can look at it.
4) Packing lunches all around. Using up random leftovers and snack items to make my lunch.
5) Dh is officiating 10 lacrosse games this week. Sending this money straight to the car payment, which I am hoping to be rid of this year.


Debbie from Delaware April 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Please make sure the vent hose isn’t clogged with lint. That is one thing that can cause the clothes to not dry, and it would be a fire hazard.


shelia April 11, 2018 at 4:19 am

Yesterday was my deceased parents’ anniversary. My sister called and said “I’m coming to town. I don’t want to sit around getting droopy. Want to meet me?” So I did what my parents would have done and said “Sure!”
1. We met at a large parking lot and I picked her up. Handing her the phone, I let her talk to my daughter who is living in Korea. Didn’t cost a penny and they both enjoyed their first talk in over 9 months for free.
2. While they talked, I drove to what used to be our favorite Goodwill. She found Melissa and Doug toys for her grandsons while I purchased a piece of art and a small olive bucket for my porch. She was as frustrated as I have become that they stand there with the new carts covered in a cloth, carefully lifting the cloth to retrieve one or two small items to put away while one stands guard. And it takes them forever to put anything out!
3. While there, she got several calls about home insurance covering a chimney fire. It appears if they do the cleaning and repainting, they can keep that allotted money which will help with another large repair that needs to be done.
4. The next thrift store was much more enjoyable. She bought some purses to resell, a pair of capris for summer, a top quality sleeping bag and a quilt to keep in the car for picnics. A nice man gave her a 7.00 off coupon to use. I purchased fewer items but was pleased with what I found.
5. We ate lunch at our favorite pizza place with a coupon and then went to our parents’ grave to decorate using lovely garden butterflies and dragonflies that we attached to wire. I had purchased them at 70% off. Looked lovely and we spent the day just as they would have wanted-together!


Jenelle April 11, 2018 at 4:57 am

1. I guess I might be putting my health on the line, but I woke up this morning with pink eye and decided to use the drops that came from the pediatrician last year instead of paying the co-pay for a dr. visit of my own. We’ll see!
2. The death of a teen in the community that I grew up in has prompted them to want a non-alcholic after prom party. I grew up in a very depressed part of the state, so donations are hard to come by. I started a Go Fund Me account for them and have already raised $300!
3. Today we are having one of our larger events on campus. Lunch will be free! There are always leftovers, so I’ll most likely have lunch tomorrow too.
4. Brought my own coffee to work.
5. Still selling a few items on Ebay each week.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble April 12, 2018 at 6:24 am

2. This is so awesome!


Teddie April 11, 2018 at 6:06 am

1. Chicken with dry onion soup and diced tomatoes in the crockpot ~ make once and eat twice. I will freeze half for another week.
2. Took a free toning exercise class yesterday ~ never had done it before and my arms and shoulders hurt, but I will do again as it was fun.
3. Making a photo album from our vacation with a free Shutterfly coupon (will have to pay for shipping tho).
4. Bought two huge cantaloupes on a sale for $.99 each. Usually they are around $2.35 each and very small. I love cantaloupe and am enjoying for lunch. No one else likes it.
5. Used free laundry detergent sample to do wash.


JennyS April 11, 2018 at 9:24 am

Chicken recipe?


Teddie April 12, 2018 at 9:35 am

Boneless skinless chicken into crockpot. (Use a liner as it makes cleanup so much easier.) Sprinkle a packet of dried onion soup over chicken and pour in a can of diced tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs on low or 4-5 hrs on high. Serve over rice.
* If I make enough to freeze for a later meal I use 2 packets of onion soup and 2 cans of diced tomatoes. If your family likes spicy chicken use diced tomatoes with chilies.
**Do it on a day you will be out of the house or the smell will drive you crazy until it is finally time to eat!!


Jenny April 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Oh, thanks! “Chicken Teddie”


L April 11, 2018 at 6:20 am

1. I “won” a coupon for 50% off the purchase of baby items at my local grocery store with a max of $50 off. I purchased $105 worth of diapers which came to $48 after the 50% off coupon, plus additional coupons I printed out.

2. Picked up a bunch of groceries (2 bags of snacks, package of mints, 17 yogurts and 4 baby food pouches) for a total of $4.83 after coupons and rebates.

3. Also picked up a single serve orange juice and a container of cottage cheese for free using my grocery stores “load to card” app.

4. Finally activated our family membership for the children’s museum that was a Christmas gift for my son. He had so much fun. Planning to get a lot of use from that membership this summer.

5. Doing swagbucks tasks every day. My goal is to have a $100 worth by the end of the month.


Roberta April 11, 2018 at 6:27 am

1. Picked up free cantaloupe and avocados at the food bank again. About half were inedible, but they were packaged with good ones. The nasty ones will feed the chickens, the good ones go to the family, with no landfill waste! I used the bruised avos to make guacamole, and we had impromptu tacos for dinner.
2. I used the dollar store oxygen cleaner to get the stains out of the white table linens we used at Easter, with additional bleaching on the line. Everything looks good, and will be put away for next year (so they don’t get stained in the meantime. I do not have the kind of kids that can use white regularly!)
3. Went to my yoga class again, with my daughter and niece, payed for with a groupon. I am sore and achy today, but getting stronger!
4. Kept the house closed up again, and lived through the 90 degree weather without turning on the air!
5. I was already sore, tired and achy last night, after class, so we did not stop for ice cream on the way home from 4H. Heading down to the bins today to shop for the store, hoping to find clothes for two-year-olds and older kids. It will be windy the next couple of days here, so hanging out laundry will be quick. Switched from flannel to regular sheets to keep us cooler at night, now that the weather has changed. Lots of bits of this and that.


Crosby April 11, 2018 at 7:55 am

– I froze a bunch of bananas that were past their prime to use in smoothies and as treats for our dog.
– I cut open my toothpaste to get a few more uses out of it.
– I’m wearing a hand-me-down cardigan today and I broke out my vintage spring jacket that was my grandmothers.
– We’re eating leftovers for dinner tonight.
– I’m drinking tea at work that I already have on hand instead of either buying coffee or drinking my free office coffee, which is only available if I want to use an evil Kcup.


Christine April 13, 2018 at 3:18 pm

I love how you wear one of your grandmother’s jackets. I still have one of my grandmother’s nightgowns which I love to wear.


Mand01 April 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm

I have my grandmother’s possum fur cape (Australian possum fur). It would be illegal to make such an item now. I’m not even sure what do do with it. It’s just hanging in my wardrobe. It is a lovely thing but I think the opportunity to wear fur in Australia is fairly limited and the fact that it’s native fur is pretty high on the ick factor.


Crosby April 14, 2018 at 6:56 am

It’s so hard when we have pieces like that Mand! My other grandmother got rid of her mom’s furs because she didn’t think anyone would want them in the family!


Crosby April 14, 2018 at 5:48 am

Aw that is wonderful!! She grew up during the depression and wasn’t very poor. As an adult, she still didn’t have a lot of money but when she made a purchase, she made sure to buy high quality so it would last. Her taste was so classic!


ouvickie April 11, 2018 at 8:08 am

1) Hubby finished off the sausage spaghetti mix last night by making himself some rather eclectic looking nachos. I made myself a turkey & cheese sandwich on rye bread, using up the last bits of whipped dressing in the jar.
2) I recycled plastics from home yesterday during lunch.
3) I visited Big Lots and the Dollar Tree for cat food and human snacks.
4) I need to dig around in the freezer and see if we have stuff for meals this weekend. If so, I can avoid the grocers for at least another week.
5) No Lear Jet, Yacht or Gold-plated anything purchased by us – BIG savings!


Dusty April 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

I agree about the phone…..i collect midcentury accessories…..the ashtrays are works of art as are the phones… they make great weapons if need be lol


Colleen April 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

1) The lunch I packed today was a hodge podge of leftovers and things I needed to get rid of, but it worked. I grabbed a cup of noodles from the back of the pantry that expired in Feb, grabbed some pieces of pork tenderloin that I had previously grilled then frozen, and some leftover peppers and onions from Sunday’s BBQ. I mixed this all together for a noodle bowl of sorts.

2) I had a BOGO coupon for Blaze Pizza that expires today so I drove there during my lunch break. Instead of paying for parking, I parked on a side street 0.3 miles away and walked it. And the weather in Michigan still isn’t nice! I got 2 pizzas for my husband and I for dinner for $8.65. I needed a break from cooking.

3) When I got to work today, I realized I had forgotten the teriyaki sauce for my noodle bowl. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat it dry so I scoured the drawers in the kitchenette hoping to find some soy sauce or something but no luck. So when I was at Blaze Pizza I asked for a side of Balsamic with my pizzas. The combination was weird, but again, it worked!

4) I got a deal through Omaha Steaks for 12 burger patties, a dinner for 4 (included Kielbasa, fries, and carmel apple tartlets) and 3 crock pot meals. I used to get a gift card at a discount plus ebates. The grand total for all this was just under $57 but it will make a ton of meals for us, plus I got reward points which I can redeem for something good.

5) My office is moving the city I live in to a city much further away in June. I have been dreading this. I finally decided to apply for other jobs and now have an interview scheduled for Friday morning. It would be close to my house and approximately equal pay. I am really, really hoping that it works out for me.


patricia April 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm

I hope the interview works out, and you get the job! Rooting for you!


janine April 11, 2018 at 6:27 pm

1. Found $1.
2. Eating leftovers and packing lunching
3. Adhering to my strict budget this month – but it’s early days
4. Re-reading some old but fun books – trying not to indulge in my favorite hobby – shopping and buying books.
5. No major expensive purchases that are gold plated or even solid silver.


Cathy April 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

1. So far, have collected over $3 in found change this week. Yippee! Bumper crop.
2. Passed youngest son’s outgrown clothes on to another family with boys.
3. Using my own mug for my daily coffee at my desk. Coffee purchased w/gift card. Save $0.10 each time I bring my own mug, which is always 🙂
4. Borrowing and lending bike gear for a charity ride I’m doing this week.
5. Started using Poshmark (catsch1) to sell the clothes out of my closet. So far, 6 items sold, leaving me with a lighter load of junk and a fuller wallet. Let me know if you want a referral; we’ll both get a bonus $5!


Ruby April 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

1. Found a penny in the parking lot last night. Every cent helps!
2. Wearing a cute all thrifted outfit today, save for shoes, which were bought on a 75% off clearance sale.
3. & 4. Using a Dollar Tree steno pad today at work. They’re so inexpensive that it’s easy to color-code the pad to the meeting at which I took notes. ALso using a free Audubon Society calendar that my son brought home from the free stuff table at his office. Cheap organization rocks!
5. Used my mad art skilz and some found-on-premises markers to touch up a damaged print.


Heather Hughes April 13, 2018 at 11:14 pm

Katy, Have you watched the British show “Money for Nothing”. I think you’d love it. It’s on Netflix and the host grabs things from the dump, remakes them and then sells them. So good.


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