Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 3, 2018 · 76 comments

  1. My eBay sales have finally started to wake up, which is a bit of a relief as being an eBay seller without any actual sales is also known as “being a hoarder.” I’ve sold three items in as many days, (including the clock I bought while thrifting the other day) and although I won’t exactly be funding a summer in the Hamptons with the profits, I do appreciate how $20 here and $30 there does add up. I worked yesterday and will work tomorrow, as these small financial influxes don’t begin to touch what we need in order to pay our mortgage plus the cost of two college rentals. I also found a quarter on the ground, which I’ll add to my Found Change Challenge.

  2. I brought my lunch to work yesterday and drank the free so-so coffee. I then drove my 11-year-old car home and settled in for an evening of watching Till Debt Do Us Part on Amazon Prime while cooking up some chicken thighs.

    My mother lets us use her Amazon Prime account, which is appreciated since A) I rarely order anything online and B) I enjoy their programming options. And before you assemble the villagers and an array of ethically sourced pitchforks, I encourage you to read this article titled “You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About Sharing Your TV Log-In.”  The article states that “Amazon allows you to share Prime membership benefits, including streaming video, with another person who doesn’t have to share your address.”

    I do love me some Gail Vaz-Oxlade and back seasons of Till Debt Do Us Part. Especially when it’s free!

  3. I used the start of a new month to dust off my budget. I’d somehow slipped away from tracking every purchase and expenditure over the past couple of months, and it feels good to be back on track again. I get twitchy uncomfortable when I’m not 100% sure of our finances, but it’s really hard to start mid month.

    For those who may wonder, I use Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar, as it’s free and very straightforward. I know others have been happy with and You Need A Budget, but this is what works for me. I feel that the specific program you use isn’t what’s important, it’s the actual act of tracking your spending and earnings that makes the difference. Even if it’s just a pad and pencil.

  4. I’m picking up a copy of of Cait Flanders’ The Year of Less at the library this afternoon. Described as “A self-help memoir that documents my life for the first twelve months of my two-year shopping ban,” I feel obliged to give this book a read. Even though I’m 11-1/2 long years into my own shopping ban.

  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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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany May 3, 2018 at 11:57 am

Using up perishables before our San Fran trip.

Gassed up at Costco. Also stopped in at Habitat for Humanity Restore and bought a $2 picture for our bare walled living room and a full thing of Preen $4 cheaper than Lowe’s, which I would have purchased anyway.

Picked up a stroller from the side of the road that had a “free” sign on it. Watched it for a few days, and then right before trash collection, I snagged it, listed it and sold for a quick $10.

Watered plants with leftover coffee and grounds. Free nitrogen!

Won a giveaway for the book, “The Ostrich and Other Lost Things.” Going to bring it with me to jury duty. I have heard that there is a lot of sitting and waiting.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble May 3, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Wow, great save on the stroller!


Brenda May 4, 2018 at 8:32 am

You may want to check with your county about the book. Our county doesn’t allow outside reading while serving!


Rosanne May 4, 2018 at 9:01 am

I think she should be Ok with the book. There is a lot of waiting until you are picked. Once you are picked to be on a jury, that is when outside influences such as reading material are censored.


Bethany May 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Thanks, Brenda! I tried calling the court today, and dropped my phone while I was on hold. Battery came out and everything. I’ll ask about it the next time I call.


Kathy Hairston May 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

1. Encouraged to read eBay sales are waking up as I’ve had items I’ve held off listing waiting for tax season to be over.
2. I was part of a women’s event last Saturday which netted me with FREE materials to make a legacy garland.
3. Returned an audio book to library and donated a bag of odd envelopes and greeting cards to gift shop.
4. Joined friend at an event planning expo yesterday=excellent free lunch.
5. Had $30 in Amazon rewards I used to buy an egift card to petco which I sent to my sister. She’s having some financial challenges so this will help her buy food for her 3 dogs.


Lisa Parrish May 3, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Kathy, that was so sweet of you to help your sister. God Bless You!


Colleen May 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm

1) My pants from last summer still fit. When it starts to get nice out I wear shorter pants to work (not capris, but not full-length either, I don’t know what that’s called). I had been nervous after a winter of inactivity that they wouldn’t fit but they do, so now I can change up my work clothes even more!

2) I have picked up more mystery shops than ever before. We are having work done on our house and my husband agrees that every little bit will help. The shops only take me about 10 minutes and I make $8 each one plus get reimbursed for an item up to $1.25. And I always buy an item that I need (box of tissues, hand soap, etc.).

3) My husband and I agreed due to the house projects mentioned above that we need to lessen our eating/drinking out. I cook 5-6 days a week but the days where I don’t we are both eating and drinking alcohol so the bill is higher than I’d like to admit. I plan on cooking both Friday & Saturday!

4) Invited to a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday night. I asked what I could bring and the hostess said a dessert would be fine. I have cookie mix and frosting (not expired) from a Christmas party that ended up being cancelled so I will just make that.

5) I got a free bottle of chocolate milk, 2 packs of yogurt shakes, and 1 yogurt for free this week through digital coupons & ibotta. Also bought a pair of Reebok sneakers for $21.25 which is 75% off the original price. I don’t NEED them yet, but when I find a deal I buy sneakers because I guarantee that when I actually need them I won’t be able to find a deal.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Unfrugally, we adopted a second dog this month so I’m on the hunt for ways to defray the necessary costs without compromising on quality.

I sold one thing on Poshmark and my partner sold a couple things on Craigslist which was pretty great. We’ve borrowed a stack of books and a couple movies from the library instead of buying new and selling for pennies. Oh also I sold a lot of old books and things to Decluttr so that netted a nice $10! 😀


janine May 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Dogs are expensive in my experience. I have never found any major ways to save $$. However the love and satisfaction is great. Congratulations on your new dog!


Mary in Maryland May 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm

WE have two dogs also. I made them beds from pieces of a gifted eggshell mattress cover and canvas bags. Old sofa cushions also make good dog beds. And don’t believe petsmart when they say toys are the way to show dogs love. Mine just want another walk.


Lindsey May 3, 2018 at 1:39 pm

My dogs think a large threadbare towel tied into a big knot is the perfect toy! No purchased toys here, either.


Kathy Hairston May 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Plastic soda bottles with the label, plastic ring and top removed are great toys. I have a dog bedcover I just stuff with old towels and buy baby blankets at thrift stores for the dog crate.


Roberta May 4, 2018 at 5:56 am

Guide Dogs for the Blind use empty plastic bottles like you describe for puppy toys, so I’m sure they’re good toys! My dogs like terry cloth rags tied into a knot, or a Kong I bought when they were puppies. I don’t know if you have to walk your dog (we have a big yard, so we don’t often), but sandwich bags are good alternatives to buying bags for walks. Congrats on the new dog!

Marybeth May 5, 2018 at 10:15 am

My old t-shirts unwashed made into braids are our dogs favorite toy.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm

@Janine: It’s true – lots of things stay expensive with the dogs but they’re always worth it. I’m willing to give up a lot to be able to afford them.

@Mary: Clever! I keep trying to entice them with (free) toys but neither of them care much about toys now so, savings?

@Lindsey: Do they play alone or is that for tug of war?

@Kathy: I remember childhood dogs who would be SO HAPPY when they were given a plastic bottle to destroy! Some storebought toys even come with plastic bottles for the crinkle inside.

@Roberta: Thank you! We do walk our pups and luckily have a lot of bags laid by but we’ll need alternatives soon enough 🙂


Mand01 May 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

1. I worked from home, saving much driving time and petrol.
2. Wintry weather finally set in. It was very cold yesterday but I wrapped myself in a blanket as I worked instead of turning on the heat.
3. Still watching my diet. I’ve lost half a kilogram already this week with no diet products or gym memberships purchased. Calorie counting works for me.
4. I have managed to mostly keep to my self-imposed clothing purchase ban this year. I’ve bought four things in total this year. I love clothes, so this is a minor miracle. I’m reminding myself of my full wardrobes (yes, two – shamefaced) each time I step into a thrift shop and that seems to do the trick.
5. We went out for a celebratory dinner for a new job last night. My choice, and I chose a cheap and cheerful Chinese soup restaurant. Dinner for two for $30, with drinks. We met friends there and had a lovely time.


Christine May 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Nice work on your weight loss! Calorie counting definitely works. I lost 17 pounds sticking to 1200-1500 calories a day. And I might add….it does contribute to healthier eating habits. Would you rather have an Ice Cream Sundae at 750 calories and have very few calories left to eat for the remainder of the day or an apple at 60 calories and lots of calories left to eat? The choice was clear for me. Best of luck! You can do it!


Mand01 May 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Very true. I also lost a lot of weight on 1200 calories a day (18 kilograms or so, which is about 40 pounds? Not very good with the conversion) – if I put any back on I count calories again until I shift it. But I’ve been slacking off a bit.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble May 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm

I love reading about the weather there when it’s starting to turn hot here. Feels like a world away!


Mand01 May 3, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Half a world at least!


Susie's Daughter May 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm

1) Dear Wife cut my hair for me today saving me time and a chunk of money. I get my hair cut professionally a couple of times a year and this will do nicely till then. She is self-taught and actually quite good!

2) Leftovers for dinner. Less cooking and less potential for food waste.

3) We finally put up two framed photos yesterday and I put some of DS’s art in IKEA frames for his room. Low cost and high satisfaction.

4) Since it is acting like spring and I had laundry to put away, I gathered up DS’s winter clothes and sorted what might fit from what won’t fit by next fall. I also surveyed what we have in the next size up from our hand me down stash and we are in reasonable shape. I will fill gaps in the wardrobe toward the end of the summer.

5) Otherwise, it is all the same old same old – wash and reuse plastic bags (unless they held meat), cooking at home, using the library, collecting returnable cans and bottles. Keep on keeping on!


Marybeth May 3, 2018 at 1:08 pm

1. When I picked up my youngest daughter, she asked if I had any gift cards to someplace that sold iced coffees. She wanted an iced coffee since we are in a heat wave. I had a Dunkin Donuts one that I got from her Orthodontist for filling out a survey. When we got there they had quarts of ice cream on sale 2 for $10. Since a small cone is $3.49 I figured why not. We have ice cream now to get us through the heat wave. It cost me nothing and I have $11 still on the GC for when YD needs a pick me up.
2. Found 8¢
3. Did a survey last week. Got $5 cash in the mail for doing it today.
4. My son worked the morning shift today. He brought home 4 cheese soufflés that were going to be thrown away. Guess what breakfast is tomorrow.
5. While I was at work I was asked to stay an extra half hour since another employee was running late. No one was waiting on me so I stayed. I brought my lunch and reusable water cup.


Shevaun May 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm

1. We sold our house! Woohoo! At present, each family member has all their immediately necessary possessions in two (each) reusable shopping bags. Everything else was either sold, given away, brought to the scrap yard, or put in one 10×10 storage unit. This is quite an accomplishment, as we are a family of 5 plus 2 big dogs.
2. While we look for our new home, we are living between my MIL’s house and a vacation cottage we share with my 2SILs. So instead of paying crazy rent for a house or apartment during this season of transition, we mostly wake up to sunrises over the lake, spend days playing on the beach, and eat yummy simple things that can be made in one pan.
3. As we moved our consumables from our house to the cottage, we discovered we and my SILs will have no need for laundry detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. for at least a year. In addition, combining the pantry and freezer stocks means that other than milk and fresh fruit, we have a meal plan to eat out of inventory for three weeks.
4. Our old house’s mortgage was almost paid off anyway, and it sold for a bit over asking, so we can afford to buy our new home for cash if we keep our expectations reasonable. This will save well over 100,00 in future interest payments.
5. I discovered a way to use up chips of bar soap. In the past, I’ve tried making liquid soap (too slimy) and new bar soap with old-soap-“gems” (it works, but is expensive and time consuming). Here’s what I concocted: Collect soap chips in a tupperware until you have a nice big batch. Take a washcloth and place a bunch of chips in the middle, then bundle it up like a sachet and tie it with a hair-tie. Use it sort of like a soap-on-a-rope. IMPORTANT, when you’re done with your shower, transfer the glob of soap chips to a new, DRY washcloth and refasten with a hair-tie for next time. (Because 1. reusing the washcloth is gross, and 2. the wet washcloth will turn the soap to weird goo).

Bonus frugal 6. DD is totally potty trained except at night (1 diaper per day!), and DS (18 mos), is learning potty. I don’t expect him to “use” the potty by himself, but he goes on the potty at each diaper change/bathtime, and that must save some diaper usage throughout the day, right? And we’re investing in future diaper-non-consumption.


Katy May 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Very impressive to be able to buy a house with cash!


Shevaun May 4, 2018 at 3:10 am

Aw, thanks, Katy.

It’s all about expectations, though, right? We could max out our credit and get a mortgage for a masterpiece of a house… or we can carefully discern what we truly need and deeply want. And I deeply want no debt. 🙂


Tracy May 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm

1. Wore thrifted dress and jacket to work today.
2. Took bus to/from work today.
3. Friend treated me to a fancy Starbucks drink this a.m. after our run and I got free lunch at a work meeting today.
4. Just got my 11 year old hand-me-down car serviced at dealer. Frugal because I hope to get another 3 years out of it. Plus got a recall item fixed (replaced airbag for free).
5. I contribute to a local arts organization through our workplace giving program, as a benefit I was able to buy 2 for 1 tickets in the cheap seats for an upcoming dance performance by a highly rated touring company. I will take my Mom for her mother’s day gift — experiences over things!


Lindsey May 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm

This week I have felt like I am marching in place. No great new frugal savings, just the usual washing out plastic bags, eating at home, turning off unneeded lights, and so on. Boring stuff that it is hard to get enthused about.


Kathy Hairston May 3, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Better marching in place than retreating.


Susie's Daughter May 3, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Lindsey – I feel you!


Christine May 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

1. DS and his girlfriend gave me birthday gifts from a second hand upcycle type store. Although they may have paid more for the gifts than at a thrift shop or Salvation Army type store, I’m happy that they knew I would love and appreciate my second hand things just as much or even more than new items.
2. Paid off what we owe to the state.
3. DH said he was happy to stay home and eat supper even though fast food was on both our brains. We didn’t succumb. Victory smells like supper in our own oven!
4. Decided to forego getting a third cat after hefty bill for one of our two kitty’s inflamed gallbladder and resulting tests and meds.
5. Looking forward to our town’s free summer concerts in the park which will be starting up soon.


Linda Gertig May 3, 2018 at 3:03 pm

From a 1916 U.S. Dept. of Ag. poster:

Buy it with thought.
Cook it with care.
Serve just enough.
Save what will keep.
Eat what would spoil.
Home grown is best.


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble May 4, 2018 at 4:17 am

So neat, thanks!


WilliamB May 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

I’ve always used a spreadsheet to record my expenses. Keeping track of overall numbers, plus a few very simple categories (necessary such as food, occasional necessary such as new tires, semi-luxuries such as birthday gifts, luxuries) was always enough for me.

The usual frugalities, nothing extraordinary:
– brown bagged my lunches and snacks;
– made sure to eat the leftovers in the fridge;
– used the public library;
– drove at a moderate pace;
– that kind of stuff.


Lisa M. May 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

5FF, Nothing Out of the Ordinary Edition

1. Received a lovely potted tulip plant as a belated gift for Admin. Prof. Day at for-profit job. My entire plant collection consists of gifted plants and 1 plant that DD grew from seeds outside but thrives in an interior environment.
2. DD and I continue to avoid eating out while DH is gone although she did bring fast food home last night. We are enjoying her gifted birthday cake from her friends.
3. We will be using complimentary tickets to a festival that she is performing in. Frugal Fail: She attended by herself today while I worked and proceeded to 1. forget her festival ticket AND 2. manage to get a parking ticket as well. Sigh, it’s a learning process…
4. Enjoying windows open and fresh air – that blissful, short spring interval with no heating or cooling.
5. Batched work meeting at non-profit with annual vision exam early in week. This weekend will batch visit to optician to order new lenses with work at non-profit, followed by airport pickup for DH later in the day.
Bonus 6. Card shop offering a free card on Fridays for the next 2 months to promote new line. Plan to take advantage of this offer starting this week.


Linda Gertig May 4, 2018 at 1:04 am

If you plant your tulip outside after the bloom fades it might come back next year.


Lisa M. May 4, 2018 at 5:03 am

Although lawn service is provided in our townhome complex, I’m contemplating a way to plant the tulip outside after the bloom fades. It is totally worth trying and thank you for the great idea!


Denise May 8, 2018 at 10:09 am

When the tulip flower fades/drops its petals, cut off just the flower stalk at the base.

Then feed the plant, and keep it watered (moist not wet) till the leaves die back. Feed once more, about two weeks after the first feed/destalking.

Once the leaves have died back, you can lift the bulbs from the compost and then plant them where you want them to live.


Teddie May 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm

1. Have been taking free exercise (cardio Zumba and toning) classes 3 times a week on naval base.
2. No eating/drinking out. I am getting much better remembering to take water with me when out running errands.
3. Got the free Amazon Prime books for April and May downloaded on my computer. And returning all Library books on time.
4. Went to see my oncologist for a 6 month follow up (It’s been almost 5 years!) and got a good report. Yay!
5. Not frugal, but I do not consider this a fail: Registered to take a Zumba instructor course which cost a couple hundred dollars. But we have been here in Florida for almost 1 year and I have wanted to get involved in some kind of volunteer work. I hope to use my Zumba Gold certification to volunteer at places like independent living facilities to lead some exercise classes.


Christine May 3, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Congratulations on your clean bill of health! (the only good kind of bill) Best wishes for continued good health.


Rosanne May 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Congratulations on your check up! Wishing you the best.


Teddie May 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm



Teddie May 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Thanks so much.


K D May 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

1. I just put Till Death Do Us Part on our watch list. I don’t think we’ll renew our Prime membership, the price has gone up and I order very little.

2. Meals at home, meals at home, meals at home. Cooking, leftovers, avoiding food waste.

3. Knitting and crocheting hats and scarves for charity using yarn I have and donated yarn.

4. Catching up on shows by streaming from CBS and also watching Netflix.

5. Reading this blog and reader comments to help keep me on track.


Jennifer May 4, 2018 at 2:57 am

1) at grocery yesterday I got a gallon of milk marked down to $0.99 and 1 lb of spicy turkey sausages marked down to $1.99 – yay!
2) taking my own tea to work – both hot and iced
3) had ds bring home ALL of his leftover food from the college apartment and we now have a lot of random snacks and a lot of mac n cheese boxes.
4) eating the remains of a homemade quick bread for breakfast
5) everyone is packing lunches today


Bee May 4, 2018 at 5:37 am

I track my expenses using a spreadsheet. I have done this for three years and spread 50% less now than when I started. It was an eye opener.
My frugal things:
1) I am planning a visit out West. I booked a flight using airline loyalty points. Total cost was $22.40 for two round trip tickets from Florida to California. I also booked two free nights in a hotel using points.

2) I was able to borrow my book club selection this month from the library.

3) I took yesterday afternoon to go thrifting. I purchased several pieces of sterling silver for resale.

4) I am attending a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday. Hats are mandatory. I decorated a rather ordinary hat that I already own with secondhand artificial flowers and ribbons.

5) Like many of you, I have also been doing all the ordinary frugal things — eating at home, wearing thrifted clothes, drinking primarily water, and brewing my own coffee.

Frugal Fail – I will have dinner out with my sister-in-law every other month or so. We usually go to a higher end restaurant because this is what she prefers. She usually drinks two glasses of wine. I am allergic to wine so I do not partake. This month our waiter did not give us separate checks and did not divide our payments as requested. I did not want to make a scene, so I just paid the bill. I had a $63 dinner –gulp. This was not in my budget.


Juhli May 4, 2018 at 8:21 am

If I were you I would mention now that next time the 2 of you go out it is on her as you picked up the whole bill this time. And then remind her when the next outing roles around. Also, I really don’t think it is making a scene to ask them to redo the bill as it was their mistake.


Rosanne May 4, 2018 at 3:29 pm

How about you take turns picking the restaurant? I know I have a sil that I would never tell her it is her turn to pick up the bill. Also, I would insist the bill be split in front of anyone but her. She is lovely in most ways. Around some people, I guess you just accept parameters, so I get it.


Diane C May 4, 2018 at 5:57 am

But your sister didn’t notice and make it even? Why did you let yourself be dealt an unequal hand?


Rosanne May 4, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Hi. She said sister in law, not sister. That is sometimes a world of difference 😉


Bee May 5, 2018 at 10:16 am

It was not intentional on my SIL’s part. The waiter split the check 50 -50 which was not what we asked him to do. Since he had already run our credit cards, I let it go. Although this made dinner out a budget buster, I know it will work itself out eventually. Combined checks can be difficult when one of you drinks alcohol and one of you does not.


Roberta May 4, 2018 at 6:18 am

I took my son driving for the first time, and he did NOT wreck the car. So that’s frugal. My hat is off to all of you who have taught kids to drive — sitting in a car beside someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing is nerve-wracking! But at least he’ll be able to drive himself to college next year.
1. Using up leftovers in the fridge, and preventing food spoilage. I used up the tiny bit of cabbage left at coleslaw with burgers last night. My daughter ate the tiny bit of leftover fried cabbage with lunch.
2. I only bought a couple of items at the discount shop, with a coupon even. I did not succumb to low prices to buy thing I don’t actually need.
3. I got a free notebook from my daughter, to replace the notebook I lost while shopping. It had my weekly menus, and shopping lists. I even went back and looked for it! But I’m glad I waited, and my daughter offered me one, instead of going to Goodwill and being tempted to buy things I don’t really need.

That’s it for today. I’ve been mostly staying home, in the country, which doesn’t cost much, but it doesn’t give me much to write about, either!


Jenelle May 4, 2018 at 7:04 am

1. My 12 year old van is starting to “miss” every once in awhile, so this morning before I got gas, I purchased a bottle of fuel injection cleaner for $3.99. I am hoping this is the issue and will be solved. Last time it did this, the fuel injection cleaner worked. Keep your fingers crossed that no repairs are needed.
2. Was reminded this week that I need to have my wedding and engagement rings checked soon. A co-worker lost a rather large diamond from her set and because she keeps up on her monthly “checks” it is covered entirely. Better get my butt to the mall this weekend. (though I plan to walk in and then right back out)
3. Was tempted to purchase a few summer dresses online, but then thought better and closed out.
4. Purchased our yearly pool pass during the “early bird” time frame to save $15. While the family pool pass is not cheap, it does provide HOURS of entertainment as well as our kids daycare goes to the pool everyday (and the kids must have their pass). We make money during a yard sale each spring to pay for the pass. And I also have to share that the ladies at our borough building are none to nice and I have NO problem paying for part of this with quarters. They give me dirty looks and exchanged dirty looks amongst themselves each time I come in. So next year, maybe I’ll pay the ENTIRE amount in Quarters. (all while smiling!)
5. Ebay is still selling a few things here and there. I’ll take any Extra money I can regardless of how big or small!


janine May 4, 2018 at 7:51 am

1. Agree with Katy that $15 burgers are way too expensive. Therefore checking online menu prices before I venture out plus making sure to pack husband’s lunch each day.
2. Luncheon meetings are the norm around here so I drink water, make a habit of prechecking the menu and not attending those that I can reasonably skip.
3. Getting great gas mileage on our ‘new’ hybrid. Also needed to buy new microwave. This adds up to considerable extra out of pocket costs so am committed to saving in other areas.
4. Picnics are planned for the summer months at a park where we already have passes.
5. No major expenditures (additional) contemplated especially gold plated anything. Checking thrift and dollar stores for bargains..


Amanda May 4, 2018 at 8:28 am

1) I repaired a pair of underwear I got free from Victoria’s Secret. The band had started to unravel, but I was able to hand sew it, and they came out of the wash fine this go round.

2) I batched tasks on a rare trip to the university where I am a grad student. It is an hour away, and I am no longer taking classes, so I only go when I absolutely have to. I had to go on Monday, so I also went to the library, borrowed a book from a friend, and checked in with a couple of folks.

3) My husband and I negotiated on our new lease. Our business has grown out of our current space, which is a screamer of a deal, but just not right for us any longer. We found the perfect space in the same neighborhood. I am not a natural negotiator, but my husband insisted we push a little. Our business is seen as hip and desirable, so we used that as leverage to save ourselves thousands over the life of the lease.

4) Our home exchange to Paris fell through. It is a bummer, but another cool exchange will come along sooner or later. In the meantime we can bank the cash and keep working the two weeks we would have been traveling.

5) Our new commercial lease is for seven years. We’re using it as an opportunity to set personal and professional financial goals for that time span. Best case scenario we can buy our own space when the lease is up and stop paying rent. Planning is the first step!


Mia May 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

What kind of business do you have?


Sweta May 4, 2018 at 8:54 am
Cindy in the South I May 7, 2018 at 8:44 am

I like this blog. Katy does not try to sell me a bunch of crapola. I also like reading about her Pacific Northwest weather, the pictures, her kids (because we have kids practically the same age and I have one in college) and well, all of y’all who comment. I think we have a nice group here! I have learned a lot over the years and continue to learn.


Mand01 May 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm

I prefer the blog community. It’s smaller and friendly. There is a general understanding that what we say has an effect on others. On Facebook it feels like a free-for-all. Many people seem to think they can say whatever they like. I don’t think it’s the NCA community particularly; it’s the nature of Facebook groups. They are so large and feeds move so quickly that people feel comfortable to make rude comments. Personally, I had to leave the group and I only comment here where there is a real sense of community and kindness.


Katy May 7, 2018 at 11:21 pm

No crapola here!


Cindy in the South I May 4, 2018 at 10:38 am

1. I am having a realtor friend look over my house appraisal to see if she wishes to be the listing agent. Edit: She just told me she is willing to list it. I intend to sell it and move about thirty miles closer to my sons. It will help cut down on the driving distance when my son with the chronic condition, has to be in the hospital.
2. Because of #1 above, I am in a decluttering, mode. That is frugal because I am not buying anything!
3. I spent $20 so far this month on grocers. I am trying to keep grocery money low, because of #1 above. I do not wish to have to move a bunch of perishables.
4. I am also in a cleaning mode, because of #1 above, and that is frugal also. No money spent, just using what I have around the house.
5. I am trying not to buy anything because of #1 above, not that I usually purchase a lot of stuff anyway.


Bee May 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm

I hope the move works out well for you and your son. Once a momma, always a momma. 🙂


Cindy in the South I May 7, 2018 at 8:32 am

Truth! Thanks…lol


Vickey May 7, 2018 at 5:46 am

I hope it goes well for you, Cindy. How will the move affect you commute to work? (If you posted previously that you’re retiring, I must’ve missed it.)


Vickey May 7, 2018 at 5:47 am

*your* commute….


Cindy in the South I May 7, 2018 at 8:31 am

It will make my commute longer….lol


Cindy in the South I May 7, 2018 at 8:35 am

I hit enter before I finished…sigh….my commute will be about 30 minutes longer on most days, but shorter on other days, depending on which court I have to go to that day.


Laur May 5, 2018 at 4:08 am

1. Discovered whilst moving house that my existing couch and dining table fit. My washing machine sadly doesn’t, but my parents offered to swap me their smaller one.
2. My office furniture fitted nicely in my new bedroom and there are plenty of PowerPoints and sunlight. This allows me to work from home, saving gas.
3. My mum has kindly offered to cook us dinner tomorrow night as we have another full day of moving ahead.
4. I discovered many missing items whilst packing that saved me buying replacements.
5. I found an almost new tent whilst cleaning out the garage. It’s quite large so I listed it for $80 on Gumtree.


MommaL May 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm

1. Was gifted some pretty large planters, put them on our front entry way. Found some fern in the back that looked crowded, relocated it to the pots.
2. Found a LOT of good veggies on our rewrap shelf at the store, made a good stir fry with leftovers. Still learning how to stir fry, tempted to buy a wok, but not sure if that would make a difference?
3. With coupons and sales, came in under budget, and the lady behind me asked me about how to use coupons, I was happy to share my strategies.
4. Picked lettuce from my garden (volunteers from last year too!), will make a salad tomorrow for dinner.
5. Really really wanted to change out some black frames that had been gifted to me with personal photos, so I’m slowly finding lighter ones at yard sales and thrift store. Saving the black frames to gift with photos to others. I think most like black frames, just not me.

Just a note, is it just me or does the FB group seem extra snarky lately? I left a while ago, and joined again this year. I love the blog posts here, you guys are all so supportive and helpful.


Liz B. May 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

MommaL, I have noticed a lot of snarkiness on the NCA fb page. I still read and follow the posts, but rarely post anything myself anymore, after getting a lot of judgey comments after asking about pet beds. (At the time, I had an injured knee that required surgery, the weather was snowy/rainy/freezing, work schedules were hectic, so puppy wasn’t getting enough exercise….all of which I knew and acknowledged before posting).
It’s kind of a shame, because everyone on here is so lovely and supportive!


Cindy in the South I May 7, 2018 at 8:45 am

I prefer the blog.


Lindsey May 5, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Woks were designed for the Chinese stoves, which heated the sides as well as the bottoms. Using them on western stoves does not bring out the best in them. There has been research done comparing woks and fry pans for stir fry.


MommaL May 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Lindsey, thank you! I’m still learning, but stir frying seems like such a healthy meal, its good to know I can do it well (eventually) using what I have.


Ruby May 6, 2018 at 11:48 am

1. Cut my husband’s hair today, saving $15. We always have a nice conversation while I do it.
2. Since he and I sat through an analysis of our retirement savings with a financial planner, we have taken to muttering “Work ’til you’re dead” to each other when anything spendy catches our eyes. We plan to save our behooties off for the next few years, retire at 67 and enjoy it in a frugal way.
3. Found that the very inexpensive coffee from the grocery store is really good and saves me 4 cents a cup.
4. Found a slightly worn but big and thick beach towel abandoned at work. Laundered it and used it as a cape for DH whike cutting his hair.
5. Eight years ago, we spent a little extra for the sport package version of my car because the brakes were beefier. In all this time, they have not needed to be replaced, so that turned out to be a good decision.


FrannyandDanny May 6, 2018 at 12:57 pm

I’d be very interested to know if you enjoyed the book. I got it for $1.99 on Amazon. And I think it’s great you can share logins, would love to watch those shows but they’re not available in Australia 🙁


twf May 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

1. Still using my Sears free points for things we need like towels, cupcake cups, hair conditioner, etc. Very convenient and FREE.
2. Picked up my mom for a Sunday afternoon walk at the ocean and spyed a cruiser bike with a “free” sign on it… it fit in my trunk, and with a little elbow grease and real grease I’ll have my own bike!
3. Picked up a few freelance jobs that I can work on after I get home from my job.
4. On Sunday with my mom I used a coupon for 2 foot long Subways, a free Cookie and a drink (required purchase) for $8. Im still eating that sandwich.
5. Won tickets to a theme park and gave them to a friend who houses exchange students. She showed up to get the tickets and bright us cake from my favorite bakery. What a delicious surprise


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