Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 25, 2018 · 91 comments

  1. I stopped into Costco with a plan to pick up salmon, but changed my mind after calling my husband and being reminded that he wasn’t actually going to be home for dinner. Instead of spending $15 or so on salmon, I sprung for a $4.99 roasted chicken which fed us for days (including a work lunch) and finally got demoted to soup. Of course, I also enjoyed my fair share of tasty free samples.

  2. I sold a thrifted ukulele case and then listed a couple of items on Facebook Marketplace that I’d picked up at the Goodwill Outlet while hanging out with my mother. Neither will anchor a “Woman buys Picasso painting for $2 and sells it for $20 million” clickbait article, but it’s still nice that most of my hobbies earn money, so I’ll take it. The potential income will be especially welcome, as the Goodwill trip was on a day where I got called off from the hospital and missed out on hundreds on dollars of pay. (When there aren’t enough women in labor, we labor and delivery nurses get put “on call.” However, I am scheduled to work Memorial Day which is a time-and-a-half holiday, and should balance out my paycheck.)

  3. The sun has been making almost daily appearances here in Portland, Oregon, which means that I’m starting to consistently use our backyard laundry line.

    I do have a fully functional dryer, so I’m in a privileged position to choose how I do my laundry. Plus, I’m not burdened by any rules about what I can or cannot do in my own yard. Get ready for some clothesline selfies to start appearing in my Instagram account!

  4. I continue to practice daily frugal habits and hacks such as picking up free temporary checks at my credit union, bringing my own work lunches in zero waste packaging, reading library books, whipping up frugal meals such as white bean rosemary soup featuring Dollar Tree beans and rosemary from my neighbor’s prolific bush, updating and tweaking our monthly budget, (my husband’s medical bills keep sneaking into our mailbox. Hello . . . that surgery was two months ago!) and accepting an invitation to enjoy a free casual Mexican dinner at my husband’s place of work. (Free food?! What? Where?!)

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor-Made Homestead May 25, 2018 at 10:28 am

Impressive list Katy. My frugal 5 this week:
1) Smoked pork roasts for our annual family reunion that we hosted here on the Homestead. The pork was harvested by the hubs, so a VERY frugal meal that all enjoyed.
2) We both ate said smoked pulled pork leftovers off & on for lunches & even supper this week .
3) Got the garden pump hooked up since we’re in a drought so my garden is now watered only with rainwater stored in our 20-ft-deep cement cistern.
4) Harvested fresh spinach from the garden before it bolts.
5) A rogue shower is THANKFULLY passing through right now, along with a delightful cooldown. We’re using the attic fan to drag that cool air throughout the house instead of air conditioner.



Nancy from mass May 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm

I read your #1 fast and read it as i”I smoked pot”! I thought, wow, she is pretty honest!


Taylor-Made Homestead May 25, 2018 at 5:01 pm

LOL Nancy!! ~TMH~


kathleen May 25, 2018 at 9:33 pm

The house I grew up in had an attic fan, and I think of it fondly to this day. It is one of those things that, over the years, I have wished for in every house I have ever lived in.


Taylor-Made Homestead May 26, 2018 at 2:43 am

Ya know Kathleen, I’d never seen one before until we moved my grandmother to a new home to be closer to my mom and there was one in the house she bought. Oh the wonder! I told RancherMan when we built our house, an attic fan was going in for sure! I’m like you – why doesn’t every house have one of these marvelous contraptions??!! ~TMH~


Juhlin Newkirk May 26, 2018 at 8:01 am

We had an attic fan in our former Atlanta house and while it seemed like a good idea we could only use it a few weeks of the year due to pollen and humidity. However in my Illinois childhood home pre-air conditioning being common it was better than nothing despite the humidity. I think it really depends on your climate.


Christine May 27, 2018 at 9:48 am

The house I grew up in that was located in central Massachusetts had one. It was in the closet ceiling which was next to my bed. I still think of it’s quiet hum as part of childhood summers.


nancy from mass May 25, 2018 at 10:34 am

as for the medical bills showing up in your mailbox 2 months later…i just received one for a podiatrist visit for my mother from january 2017!
1. free lunch twice this week. there was a luncheon tuesday (my wfh day) and someone saved a veggie sandwich for me for wednesdays lunch, then a vendor in our office building bought the entire building lunch from food trucks they brought into our office park. (they do this once a year since everyone in the office uses their services).
2. i swept this morning instead of using the vacuum. no electricity used and my arms got a slight workout.
3. every window in my house is opened, every shade is drawn and the AC is not being turned on…unless it gets humid. then windows will be closed and the ac will go on. i hate a humid house.
4. i’ve been procrasti-crafting instead of doing anything else. (i should clean the bathroom. oh look! 30 minute baby booties to knit! i need to make some for my future grand niece!) looking for patterns online to knit with yarn on hand saves me money.
5. need to knit my MIL an alpaca hat. I have some gifted alpaca yarn to use. She was just diagnosed with 3B lung cancer and is starting radiation next week (5 days a week) and chemo 1x a week for the next 6-8 weeks. they say it’s beatable…..please keep her in your prayers NCA folks! I know i have been keeping you busy lately with prayers for my family members and I do appreciate it!
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!


Jenny May 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

You have my prayers! Could I get some, too, for my husband who’s recovering from symptoms, wondering, tests, hospitalization, procedure, diagnosis all in a short time. We are exhausted! But I’m still frugal!


Nancy from mass May 25, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Absolutely, Jenny!! I hope everything works out well for your husband


Liz B. May 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

Prayers on their way to you both, nancy and Jenny! Asking for some for my sister & her family in Florida – my sister had a health scare (hepatitis?), her son is newly diagnosed with either Crohns or colitis, and her hubby has a suspicious mass on one of his kidneys. Hoping for good outcomes all around.


Lindsey May 25, 2018 at 11:48 am

Am stealing your term procrasti-crafting! So perfect for what I do!!

Prayers for your MIL.


A. Marie May 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Sending good thoughts your way re: your MIL, Nancy. A lot of us are dealing with tsuris, but I think you’ve had more than your share by now.


patricia May 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Sending you healing thoughts and prayers.


Pattilou May 25, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Sending prayers your way.


Christine May 27, 2018 at 9:50 pm

Prayers going up now for your MIL. So sorry to hear that but feeling hopeful for her and your family as her prognosis sounds promising for future good health.


tonya May 25, 2018 at 10:47 am

1) Meal planning from our freezer.
2) Staying home and not spending money.
3) Baking banana bread from freezer bananas.
4) Reading library books.
5) Taking walks for exercise.


yvette from down under May 25, 2018 at 11:20 am

Same , same. However baking blueberry muffins from old frozen blueberries, tops sprinkled with contents of fruit tea-bags found at back of pantry, delicious topping!!!


Rebekah Jaunty May 26, 2018 at 2:12 am

Yvette, now THAT is resourceful!


Cindy in the South I May 25, 2018 at 11:17 am

Yay for free meals! 1. I am wearing a dress from the thrift store. It is my favorite. I wear it every chance I get and I think it cost me $3.00 four years ago. 2. I brought my lunch to work….meh….I ate it anyway. 3. I did my nails last night. They were looking rather rough. 4. I played with my son’s cats that I am babysitting. I guess I am babysitting. They have been with me for a month. Anyhoo, they are huge, sweet, and so much! I will admit they have destroyed numerous things in my house though. 5. It is Decoration Day on Sunday at the cemetery where my mom and five generations of the family are buried. I will be taking a vase (that was given to me) of wildflowers to her grave. She would like that.


Cindy in the South May 25, 2018 at 11:19 am

“fun”…the cats are fun…Geez, I need a nap.


K D May 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

1. I put off a haircut for at least another week. Things are a bit scraggly (I have dark hair with natural silver highlights so it looks best short) but it’s a first world problem (at most).

2. My husband sent me a $10 Amazon gift card. I think he earned it by filling out a (work related) survey.

3. I continue to save money on food: cutting up fruit (pineapples and melons give you a cheap bang for your buck when purchased on sale), eating leftovers, planning meals based on what we have (the Pantry Principle promoted by The Tightwad Gazette), buying food that is a “deal”.

4. My husband and I discovered Til Debt Do Us Part on Amazon Prime. We’ve been watching 1-2 (short) episodes some evenings. I also discovered that all DVDs at the library can now be borrowed for at least 7 days. that makes it easier to get things watched and not have to worry about returning them right away.

5. It will be a quiet weekend. We’re doing a bit of cat sitting and will work outside if the weather permits.


Laura May 27, 2018 at 1:26 am

Natural silver highlights! I’m so stealing that 🙂


Mary in Maryland May 25, 2018 at 11:45 am

1) Exercised at the gym early this morning. I’m doing the stair master slowly with no hands on the rails to help improve my balance. $50 silver sneakers pass for the year! Almost at the end of year two.
2) Hit the nursery this morning to avoid the Memorial Day rush. Invited an older friend who has semi-retired from driving and gardening to ride along. We invited her to lunch at the North Indian buffet with us. Himself and I agreed that we’d pay for her lunch. At the end when he announced it was on us, she laughed and said she had give the cashier her credit card when she went back to wash her hands. We are grateful.
3) Still eating down the produce drawer. Last night it was fried rice with peanut sauce–and the same cabbage, carrots, and scallions that were featured in the previous nights green curry sauce. I’ve a quarter head of cabbage left, so we might make it until Monday.
4) Defrosted the freezer while stock is low. Will wash out the refrigerator tomorrow.
5) Laundry this afternoon. Only the dark load (I’m out of socks) with a couple pairs of BVDs, as I noticed Himself rummaging through the laundry bag to find the least smelly pair this morning.
6) Tomorrow I’ll do a light load that includes sheets, we’ll plant the container gardens, shower, and sleep on clean sheets.


Susie's Daughter May 25, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Mary on your #3 – If you like Mexican, we often make ‘limed cabbage’ with our Mexican meals. Lime juice, a little sugar, a little salt and a little oil mixed together and poured over shredded cabbage. I like it best cold so I stick it back in the frig til dinner. Cabbage is a frugal friend!


MommaL May 25, 2018 at 10:22 pm

DH loves his silver sneakers pass!


Sandra May 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

1. Went to the cemetery in my old home town to put out flowers on family graves. The town is about an hour away, not frugal, but it feels good to remember and all flowers were from our garden…that is frugal.

2. We brought cold drinks from home and didn’t eat out or shop while we were gone. When we got home I reheated leftovers from the refrigerator, a quick lunch and very frugal.

3. We participated in the neighborhood garage sale last Saturday. We didn’t buy any of our neighbors stuff and we did get rid of a lot of ours. Win-Win.

4. The garage sale leftovers have been boxed up an taken to the Goodwill. We got a receipt and it is already filed for next year’s taxes.

5. Doing all the usual frugal stuff: buying on sale, sticking to a list, doing our own repairs and our own cleaning. We wear it out or use it up everyday. I love wandering through my wardrobe and finding new ways to wear old things. Don’t you?


Christine May 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm

Your #5…Yes! Frugal fun.


Lindsey May 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm

1. Putting two hours a day into gardening work, in anticipation/hopes of a great harvest; husband puts his time in by hauling and spreading compost, fixing up the greenhouse, building more raised beds early in the season. We keep track and in past years have harvested the equivalent of over $2000 worth of fruits and vegetables; we can, freeze and dehydrate enough to keep us supplied for most of the winter. On days when I don’t feel like sweating away, I remind myself that this is one of the most frugal things we do.
2. Ate caribou chili even though the meat was more strongly flavored than usual, so not very appealing. But it has been in the freezer a long time, since being given to us over a year ago, so we needed to use it up. We managed two nights of taking it for the team and then the dogs got the rest. They love all wild game.
3. Did two mystery shops, earning $65 total plus a few gallons of gas.
4. Years ago I collected serving dishes shaped as various vegetables, like eggplants, pumpkins and so on. I bought one item and then for a few years every gift I got seemed to be a vegetable bowl or pitcher. That phase has passed, thank God says my husband, so I sold the pieces. Made $281!
5. Gave a friend a birthday gift of a basket with four different kinds of mint growing in it. All the slips of mint came from my own plants, so cost me nothing except for the soil (the basket was one I’d received as a gift years before).


Marcia May 27, 2018 at 10:35 am

I supervised a whole office when I was working. Every year someone found out what I was collecting and I received more than I had space for. I stopped it by stating I was collecting $100 bills from now on. Haven’t received a single one!!


A. Marie May 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm

FFT, More Dental Woes Edition:

(1) Massive frugal fail: I may or may not have mentioned in an earlier FFT comment that a coworker who was primarily responsible for the Project from Hell becoming the Project from Hell sent me a pound of See’s chocolates as an apology. Well, I was eating one of those chocolates (with a lot of nuts in it) Sunday evening after supper–and guess what: I broke off part of a tooth. The next time this particular coworker messes up badly enough to feel like sending me something (and, knowing this guy, I’m reasonably sure there will be a next time), I hope it’s a gift card I can put to better use than the @#$!! candy!

(2) Reasons why (1) isn’t as bad as it could have been: I do now have dental insurance on my job, and it turns out that “all” I need is a crown (not crown + root canal, implant, bridge, etc.). Still…

(3) Having gotten that out of my system, I move on to better things. I’m continuing to set vegetable and herb transplants out in the garden every chance I get, and I should be finished by the end of Memorial Day weekend.

(4) Total expenditures on the garden so far this year have been $24: $2 each for one rosemary and one thyme plant to replace “dead soldiers,” and $20 for four bags of “Seven Year Gold” composted horse manure, since DH is no longer up to making the annual run to the county composting site. Otherwise, I’m either planting from saved seed, setting out my own home-started transplants, or using homemade compost.

(5) Finally, I’m picking up found change all over the neighborhood, in addition to out of the supermarket Coinstar machines. The May total should be well over $2. (And this doesn’t include bottlepicking income, which should be about $30 this month.)


Liz B. May 26, 2018 at 8:53 am

I wish our county had a composting site. I have a smallish home composter, but….I haven’t been very vigilant about turning it, etc etc. Planning in emptying it, using any usable compost, and starting over.


A. Marie May 26, 2018 at 10:58 am

And I wish we could get to our county composting site more easily. But, in addition to the fact that DH can no longer drive himself there, the neighbor who used to help him on the compost run has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the site has cut back its hours drastically because of county budget cuts. One darn thing after another…

So we’re doing the best we can to step up the home composting. We have an open-air unit at the bottom of the yard that I call “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (because DH built it out of old bed frames), and we also have two black plastic units with lids, where most of our kitchen scraps go because of the local wildlife.


Susie's Daughter May 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm

1) DS had the day off today so he went with me on some batched errands. The list included a drop off at Salvation Army with clothes which our local thrift shop won’t accept currently. And I scored two more round glass Pyrex QT bowls and two commercial grade muffins tins, as well as a book and pair of sunglasses for DS all under $5.

2) Another errand was returning deposit bottles and cans = $2.15 for the family movie fund.

3) The Pyrex from #1 is to continue to move our family away from plastic use whenever possible. We have a ways to go for sure. With the disposable plastic already in the house, I am trying to creatively use it more than once since I read that 50% of plastic made is designed for one time use only. Ugh. Marshmallow bag opened up covered the Rice Krispie Treats. English muffin bag opened up lined a cookie sheet in the freezer – you all get the idea and I am sure many of you are doing likewise.

4) I bought covers online for the new to me Pyrex. Frugal because they will enable me to use the bowls more often and also frugal because I didn’t buy anything BUT covers online.

5) Eating at home, staying close to home and being outside as much as possible this weekend. A friend gifted me some lupines and bee balm from a flower bed she was dismantling so I will be gardening for sure. There is a part of me that would love to be the next “Lupine Lady” for those of you who know the children’s book!


Marcia R. May 27, 2018 at 10:40 am

I eat a fair amount of cereal and I save the waxed paper-like bags and open them up. Useful for rolling out piecrust, chopping veggies on when making a stir fry, etc. –they get used as quickly as I empty the cereal boxes.


Lee May 29, 2018 at 9:05 am

Regarding your #3 – I recently found out that Kroger accepts a larger variety of plastic bags for recycling than just their grocery bags. The list includes things like the plastic bags bread come in. That might be worth checking out at your local grocery store, as an option for recycling plastic. =)


Amanda May 25, 2018 at 1:10 pm

1) I gave a friend a skeptical look when he told me that everyone has a $200 a month vice.

2) We’re switching around the bedrooms in our house, and trying to do it as cheaply and no-waste-y as possible. We’ve got furniture that we will no longer need on craigslist and fb marketplace. We also scored exactly the bunk bed I wanted for the boys for $100 on fb marketplace.

3) My cleaning lady is sick, so I cleaned for our airbnb guests this weekend. It took my time away from dissertation writing, but it did save us $70.

4) Returned some clothes to Goodwill we decided not to keep. I get the money on a gift card that I will most definitely use at some point in the future.

5) We had a really crazy week–two evening work events, picking up a bunk bed, moving all the bedroom furniture around, another fun event with one of the kids. It was crazy. But it all resulted in only one pizza purchase. We haven’t had takeout pizza in years, so that collateral damage was really not bad.


Nancy from mass May 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm

$200 a month vice! That’s crazy


Ruby May 25, 2018 at 4:40 pm

A $200 a month vice is nuts!


Lindsey May 25, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Probably depends on what you consider a vice. If you include cable TV, a phone contract that you pay over a hundred dollars a month for when there are plain talk and text plans for $10 to $30 a month from places like Air Voice, eating out, buying coffees from kiosks…then a lot of us would go over the $200 mark pretty quickly. If you think a vice is things like a lot of alcohol or pot or visits to a strip joint or McDonalds, then a lot fewer people would hit the $200 mark… (BTW, I do some stuff from both those categories so am in no place to judge anyone.)


A. Marie May 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Lindsey, as always, you offer wisdom. One person’s vice may be another’s non-negotiable expense.


Lindsey May 26, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Yup. I used to think cable was a completely unnecessary expense. Then my husband got cancer. Years later I got a catastrophic illness that stole four years of my life and two of those I was basically bedridden. No memory or energy to read…TV that required no thinking and helped divert the pain and kept me company when the rest of the world was sleeping—suddenly cable was my best friend for both of us during our respective illnesses and recoveries. I got a lot less snooty about TV after that.


Carole R May 26, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Last year I was basically bedridden or in a hospital or rehab home. I was thankful for TV also. (Especially in the middle of the night!)

Juhli May 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Congrats on the sales of your thrifted items!
1. I’m sitting here in a completely thrifted outfit except for shoes. A neighbor has offered to show me where the best thrift shops are in a nearby larger town.
2. Finally went for my gym orientation, paid my $6 for a key fob and I now have access for as long as we live here. Now to use it along with my $10 senior priced yoga classes within walking distance. The pool is free (part of HOA fees) so I need to start that too.
3. Held a committee meeting at our house and pulled an already baked banana bread out of the freezer to slice and serve along with water.
4. Was paid (despite protests that I would do it just as a neighbor) for for cat sitting for a week. We have spent it on fun for the 2 of us.
5. Part of that fun was driving to the coast, walking on the boardwalk and then treating ourselves to lunch.


Katy in Africa May 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm

1. Used some old frozen bread in combination with new bread to make an egg bread casserole.
2. I used fresh basil from the garden in pasta sauce.
3. Watered plants with leftover cooking water.
4. Was out of floor cleaner, so I just used some dish soap I had on hand.
5. I’ve been mixing a little water in the small conditioner bottles that come with my hair dye to use them up.


Mand01 May 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm

It has been a very unfrugal couple of days after our car required $1100 in repairs. But as we have owned it for 7 years and it has required really no expenditure other than tyres and an occasional service, I shouldn’t complain. But – ouch.
1. I’ve started buying coffee regularly again, which really grates my cheese. I think it’s a stress relief. I mentally kicked myself in the pants and the past two days I have avoided the cafe siren song.
2. Taking homemade soups to work.
3. Made a huge batch of streusel muffins that lasted us the week for snacks and breakfast. They were really delicious, and I had the streusel topping already in the freezer.
4. I wanted a wheat bag for my sore neck but the physiotherapist was charging $18, which I thought was too much. I found one on sale at the supermarket for $6.
That’s it aside from the usual stuff.


cathy May 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I feel you on car repairs. We had to replace all three catalytic converters on our Subaru ($1800) and then the next week the car wouldn’t start and it turned out to be the alternator. Thankfully, the alternator was relatively new and parts were under warranty. But the car is a 2001 and it’s been fabulous. So…ouch! on the CC repair, but over the course of this car’s lifetime, very few repairs. And WAY cheaper than a new (used) car.


Bethany May 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Took the kids to a free pool party hosted by our educator facilitator for our charter school. Cost to me was one batch of no bake cookies, that was a smashing hit with the kids.

Husband is getting back from a 2 week business trip. Kids and I ate MANY meatless meals while he was gone.

Replenished our first aid kits, home and car. Grabbed some things out of the car kit for a poor injured kid on the way to the hospital. Glad to get it restocked before WE need it. Walmart beats all the competitors on first aid supplies, IME.

My freelance opportunity seems like it might have been a dud, as I haven’t heard from the CEO in a little while. Pursuing other options in the evening when my kids are tucked away.

Passed on some “church” shoes for my girls. While we aren’t the most casual of all churches, shoes aren’t the focus. I think their sandals, given a wipe down” will suffice.


Christine May 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Boo hoo. Just got booted off. Will try again. Short version. Timing seems to be everything.
1. DH went into Zen laundry mode again and hung two loads of laundry outside.
2. Made my own cemetery baskets for relatives’ graves.
3. Dropped off more items at the consignment shop yesterday. This month’s check was for $24 and change but it’s money I wouldn’t have had in my pocket otherwise.
4. Meeting someone tomorrow morning to buy some Jadeite Fire King Oven Ware from me. I picked two three piece sets up for $3 each. She is willing to pay me $81 for one set.
5. Found a frozen corned beef in the freezer I forgot was there. Hiding under some ribs.
I found a dime too.


Bethany May 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

I get booted off here all the time too. Erg


A. Marie May 26, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Here’s how I’ve found I avoid “booted-off” frustration: I write my whole comment and keep an eye out for when it’s telling me to reload. I then hit copy on the whole thing, reload, wait till it’s telling me I can post a comment, and then hit paste and post (telling them I’m not a scammer, of course). I admit it’s irritating.


cathy May 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm

I just figured something out. It’s not necessarily the length of time it takes you to write and post your comment. It’s also the length of time you’re on the comments page just reading. I was on the page for awhile and wanted to reply to someone. As soon as I hit Reply, I got the “Reload this page” message. So it had nothing to do with taking a long time to type the reply. But I agree with A. Marie. I copy & paste before reloading so it doesn’t lose my whole comment.


Christine May 27, 2018 at 9:51 am

Thanks for the suggestions everybody.


Katy May 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm

I’m so sorry. I’m going to try and deal with the blog issues later this week when I have time.


Ruby May 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm

1. Our back porch was looking sadly neglected. Yesterday I spent two hours vacuuming, scrubbing and mopping. Now it looks clean and peaceful, with just the cost of a vacuum bag and a little hot water and detergent. When it’s clean, the hodge podge of hand me down furniture and cheap rugs works.
2. Am eating down strange odds and ends from the freezer even if not enthusuastic about the item.
3. Can’t wear jeans at my new job like at the old one, so I inventoried my work slacks and determined that only a replacement for a worn-out navy blue pair was needed.
4. Been reading through a backlog of free e-books.
5. My son washed a quilt and hung it on the back porch clothesline without any prompting.


Marilyn May 25, 2018 at 6:58 pm

1. My husband made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Enough for 6 meals. Total cost $11.
2. Found 14 cents this week. Nice.
3. Received yet another compliment on my white hair. I have made a decision not to color my hair, partly to save money, but mostly because I do not like to fuss with things like hair dyes. (I think this is a personal decision and am not judging anyone who wants to color their hair,).
4. All books and videos from the library. Walking for exercise.


Bethany May 25, 2018 at 7:26 pm

When the time comes I’m going white or grey too!!!


janine May 26, 2018 at 6:29 am

I am one of the lucky ones – always resented dishwater blond locks but they do not show gray. Have made the decision to just accept who I am and go gray/white when the time comes. Admire those who take the time to color their hair but I’m with you -just don’t have the patience.


kathleen May 26, 2018 at 12:12 pm

When I left my full-time job four years ago, I decided to stop coloring my hair as a budget measure, and because I just thought it was time. It’s so much easier! I never have to worry about my roots again!


Pattilou May 25, 2018 at 8:05 pm

1. I was taken to the local botanical garden by a friend who has a membership.
2. a bunch of friends got together for pizza . My contribution was a gallon of ice cream and some mango lemonade, both bought on sale and using a gift card from my birthday. I came home with most of the ice cream and some pizza because my friends didn’t want the left overs.
3. There have been a tremendous amount of snacks available at work this week.
4. I cut my own grass today even though I am still not physically 100 percent yet after an illness. I took lots of breaks and didn’t do the whole yard. I will do the rest on another day.
5. I resisted putting the air on after cutting the grass and still haven’t done so even though it’s 78 degrees in my kitchen right now. I haven’t even uncovered the unit yet which may have saved me today from turning it on! I took a short cool shower and have the ceiling fan on to cool off.


Christine59 May 27, 2018 at 9:55 am

Ceiling fans are a real blessing! I use mine in those days between cool New England Spring days and those days when the Gulf of Mexico decides to pump heat and humidity northward. The one directly over my bed enables me to sleep comfortably.


BethC. May 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm

We are currently enjoying our first visit to Portland , Oregon-Ubered past a Goodwill in SE Portland and wondered if it was a regular NCA stop.
Frugal things we have done in our 2 days here:
1. Taken the Tri-Met light rail from the airport to downtown for $1.25 apiece (honored citizen rate for 65 and older ) instead of grabbing a cab or a rental car.
2. Visited the International Rose Test Garden which was free.
3. Walked around downtown -also free.
4. Had an amazing dinner at the Oregon Culinary Institute-it is a cooking school which trains chefs and other food service professionals-4 course meal for dinner is $22. The food was amazing and the student servers were incredibly warm and friendly:
5. Now I just have to find the mythical Grocery Outlet of NCA fame!


Tracy May 26, 2018 at 6:12 am

Beth welcome to Portland and enjoy!


BethC.. May 26, 2018 at 6:30 am

Thanks-we love it so far!


Bethany May 26, 2018 at 10:34 am

We passed through Portland a couple Christmases ago. We stopped at Bob’s Red Mill. Fantastic fieldtrip for my kids. Got to meet Bob! 🙂 Kids still talk about that each time we see their products at the store.


Bethany May 26, 2018 at 10:35 am

You get an enormous free cookie too if you tour the facilities.


BethC.. May 26, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Is Bob’s within the city?
We went to the Goodwill on 10th in SW Portland-thought prices were a bit high.
Enjoyed 2 buns at the Bao Bao food cart at 10Th and Alder-very tasty!


Susanne G May 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm

That goodwill is the boutique goodwill, so the more expensive clothes are there. Not representative of regular goodwills or the bins, for sure!

Katy May 27, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Bob’s Red Mill is towards Clackamas, but certainly worth the drive.

BethC.. May 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm

One of the joys of our visit to Portland has been visiting different neighborhoods and walking around. It helps to burn off some of the great food we’ve had here. We spent this afternoon walking the main drag of a neighborhood that our guidebook has recommended. I did a search of the name on the NCA website, since it looked like a neighborhood that would be attractive to families. It appears by some the favorite haunts she mentions that we were in Katy’s neck of the woods today!


janine May 26, 2018 at 6:24 am

1. No air conditioning – temps to reach 90F+ today. Will eventually install – see how long we can last.
2. Making a house bouquet with spring garden flowers. Sadly lilacs no longer much in bloom, but bridal wreath and several others are in abundance.
3. Silence in our busy neighborhood this morning =priceless. School construction and road repair has caused incredible dust and noise.
4. Found some thrifted cards in my stash to mail for condolences and thank you notes.
5. Taking advantage of Memorial Day sales to stock up on ground beef and other marked down goodies.


Susie's Daughter May 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

1) DS had the day off Friday so he went with me on some batched errands. The list included a drop off at Salvation Army with clothes which our local thrift shop won’t accept currently. And I scored two more round glass Pyrex QT bowls and two commercial grade muffins tins, as well as a book and pair of sunglasses for DS all under $5.

2) Another errand was returning deposit bottles and cans = $2.15 for the family movie fund.

3) The Pyrex from #1 is to continue to move our family away from plastic use whenever possible. We have a ways to go for sure. With the disposable plastic already in the house, I am trying to creatively use it more than once since I read that 50% of plastic made is designed for one time use only. Ugh. Marshmallow bag opened up covered the Rice Krispie Treats. English muffin bag lined a cookie sheet in the freezer – you all get the idea and I am sure many of you are doing likewise.

4) I bought covers online for the new to me Pyrex. Frugal because they will enable me to use the bowls more often and also frugal because I didn’t buy anything BUT covers online.

5) Eating at home, staying close to home and being outside as much as possible this weekend. A friend gifted me some lupines and bee balm from a flower bed she was dismantling so there will be gardening. There is a part of me that would love to be the next “Lupine Lady” for those of you who know the children’s book!


Jo May 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm

You go, girl! This world needs an abundance of “lupine ladies.”
If you don’t know the book, Google “Miss Rumphius.”


MommaL May 26, 2018 at 7:11 am

1. A coworker thinned out her basil plants and brought them to work. I planted 4 of them in my garden today. I can never have too much basil.
2. Used a gift card to buy a flowering plant for my dear friends’ bday gift. Put it on the table at her celebration for a centerpiece.
3. Was gifted some pretty pots for the front porch, found some ferns growing in the yard, transplanted them for the porch. I love free plants! I brought some spider plants to share too. We are becoming a very plant sharing workplace. 🙂
4. Made sure to tell the server at the celebration about a locals discount.
5. Used home made veggie broth to make Pho. Yum. Yum. Its such a cheap and filling soup!
Frugal fail: all those cabbage plants I got for free were eaten up by bugs. I pulled them up today. Cheaper to buy cabbage than to buy pesticides, and I am trying not to use any pesticides on food we grow. So now that’s two things I won’t grow anymore: squash and cabbage. Too hard. I live in a very buggy area.


Michelle May 26, 2018 at 7:39 am

We’re empty nesters now, just wondering what the grocery bill is for the two of you now or do you still just buy stuff as needed? I still spend way too much ☹️!


Momma L May 26, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Michelle, we live in an expensive area, so our bill is higher than it would be in a non resort area. I have learned to make meals and freeze them into single or 2 people batches, that really helps on days I’m working and don’t feel like cooking. I have way too much food in my pantry and have to stop and take inventory before shopping. I’ve also learned to stop buying snacky foods in case someone drops by, because they don’t stop by much anymore, and when they do, my friends aren’t the snacking kind, except maybe hummus or edamame.
My first few years as an empty nester, I still cooked the same, and it was hard to adjust!


Becky May 26, 2018 at 8:52 am

Hi all and hope you’re having a wonderful and meaningful Memorial Day weekend. Just wanted to say hello and thank you all for sharing your tips and skills here. I’ve been reading this for a few months, and though I haven’t posted I’m learning from all of you!


kathleen May 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm

1. Thursday night I took some chicken breasts out of the freezer that looked decidedly frosty. I seasoned them and drizzled with olive oil (didn’t even thaw) and baked them. When they were done, they tasted fine.

2. I had a yellow and green pepper in the fridge that were starting to look a little wrinkled, but otherwise fine. I cooked them with some onion, some of the chicken from Thursday diced up, and a bottle of red curry sauce from TJ’s. Then I realized that my rice cannister was empty…grrrr. Guess what the chicken curry tasted fine over bow tie pasta! No waste.

3. I worked five days straight this week. I napped three hours straight today. 🙂

4. My husband is working three extra shifts this week for a co-worker.

5. Catching up on laundry today, and happy that I don’t own anything that can’t be machine washed.


Mary W May 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm

1. Took 17 roosters to the auction. Bought some tomato plants, a mint, some raspberry canes, a metal saddle stand and a huge box of tack ($8 for all the tack), and still came home with $140.
2. Continue to line dry all my laundry. Someday I will fix my dryer, but I love the smell of line dried clothes.
3. Continue to sell my excess eggs…more than pays for the chicken feed.
4. Have 3 weeks of freebies to pick up at Fred Meyer, so when I finish sitting in the Poppy Days booth, I’m heading to town to grocery shop and pick them up.
5. Won a free burger at the Eagles last month, so I’m eating for free next burger and karaoke night.


Marybeth May 26, 2018 at 4:34 pm

1. Hubby smoked a chicken for dinner tonight. Since I knew there would be more room, I had him smoke some ribs for dinner for tomorrow night.
2. We all did yard work today and now it looks great. I just need a nap.
3. Made the dog 3 containers of dog food from potato, carrot, and zucchini peels cooked in homemade turkey broth. I froze 2 for later in the week.
4.Corn was on sale 10 for $2 so hubby and I went together and got 20. We also picked up a $2.99 watermelon and a few other items on sale. Nice cold watermelon after yard work was delightful.
5. I worked the past 6 days so I am off for the nest 3. And so is Hubby. I love long weekends.


Lucy May 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Ha! Medical billing! I’m still getting bills from surgery in 2015….


Marcia R. May 27, 2018 at 10:57 am

My Mom died in Jan, 2014. I was executor, there was a house to sell, etc. I think I closed out her estate in about April 2016. Got a medical bill after that–wrote them “so sorry, estate is closed.” Their loss. Ridiculous.


Diane C May 27, 2018 at 7:35 am

On this version of frugal house flip, things are going out…
1. Yesterday, we posted the vintage patio cover on CL. “You remove”. We had a taker in 5 minutes. Four hours later, it was on its way to a new home and not to a landfill.
2. Earlier, we removed the large redwood deck. I offered the boards on Next Door. People have been coming all week. Those old boards will become benches, garden boxes, outdoor kitchens, landscape terracing and more.
3. Someone even took the bucket of old nails, which, of course, I had saved.
4. I found a surprisingly new-ish looking push mower in the garage and cut the grass, which we hope to save. The yard needs to be completely re-graded, so this might be wishful thinking.
5. I did a Costco run and stocked up on snacks and easy to prepare meal ingredients, like bagged salads. We are eating snacky lunches on site and even though it’s late and we’re filthy and exhausted by the time we get home, dinner is on the table, showers had and clothes are in the laundry faster than a (hypothetical) pizza could be delivered, for the win!
6. Despite these giveaways, we have nearly filled our second dumpster. They’re $750 a pop, so if I can get by with one less, thats a big cash savings and a lot of material kept out of the landfill. BTW, the first dumpster was filled with the old fireplace and chimney bricks. It went to be recycled and used for making new concrete. Didn’t save any money, but nice to keep it out of the landfill.


Diane C May 27, 2018 at 7:38 am

Katy, FYI, still getting the frustrating “reload this page” error message.


Christine May 27, 2018 at 10:17 pm

I do too. Could copy and paste but seems like steps I don’t want to do just to post. Any chance on contacting Word Press about it? Thank you.


Katy May 27, 2018 at 10:26 pm

I’m so sorry. The blog has been glitchy, and I need to invest both time and money into dealing with it. Next week it will go to the top of my to-do list.


Lisa M. May 27, 2018 at 9:43 am

5FF: Memorial Day Edition

(Diane – I have the same problem so create my post as a document and then copy and paste into the comments. I am slow since I compose as I go, so this has helped eliminate the re-load issue for me.)

1. Worked Saturday as usual. No overtime pay but didn’t lose out on any salary d/t holiday.
2. Selected my 4th free card (cost=21 cents tax) from major card shop this spring.
3. DD was going through her clothes to discard for our annual garage sale. There was a NWT summer top from a major retailer that she had received as a gift for her birthday last year and never wore. I suggested that she return for store credit, as she had a recently purchased item to return with receipt. She also returned some lotion that she was gifted for her birthday this year to a different retailer that gave her 1/3 of the purchase price in store credit, so the message here is always request gift receipts. ☹
4. Just cleaned frosting off the candles from my daughter’s birthday cake for reuse and returned them to the package with unused candles for future use. Found them on clearance for 50 cents. Try to use candles for as long as they are a reasonable length.
5. Another person above mentioned watermelons. Our local grocery store advertised them last week for $1.88. When I got there, they had 0 watermelons. I understand there was a huge demand at that price but you would expect that they would have stocked with that assumption. I went to Customer Service on my way out and requested a rain check which they had ready d/t the number of people asking. Although irritating when retailers advertise super low prices and then do not stock accordingly, I will return this weekend for those watermelons while I target additional holiday sale items.

*Hope everyone is enjoying at least some relaxation time this weekend.


Diane C May 29, 2018 at 12:13 am

Thanks, Lisa. That’ is what I do. I just wanted Katy to know about the problem. And thanks, Katy, for putting it on your To-Do list.


Diane C May 29, 2018 at 12:16 am

Argh! May I please request an edit feature? So many typos. Sad 🙁


momsav May 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm

In response to your comment about it being two months since your husband’s surgery. We’ve received bills up to nine months after a procedure. I always think that’s normal. Although, it really cheeses me off!


ouvickie May 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

1) I’m inspired by the money you make on random items, Katy, and I’m really ready to sell off “stuff”. So, I’ve been checking similar items on eBay and such, to see if I can make a decent buck off several collectibles that we own. Yes – they are definitely worth selling!
2) I rec’d a $35 refund check from my health insurance company over the weekend. I deposited that today. I love unexpected money!
3) I stopped at Dollar Tree and grabbed a few items we need and picked up some Italian Ice pops for the freezer here at work. Those will be good on hot days as an afternoon snack.
4) I’m still feeling good about lowering my monthly costs on several items. I keep looking for things to eliminate. $40 here and there, or even $20 makes a difference, when I can use it to buy gas.
5) No Lear jet, yacht or gold plated anything bought today – I saved a bundle!


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