Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 27, 2018 · 72 comments

  1. I food shopped today, which involved going to three different grocery stores. As inefficient as this sounds, it’s not actually that bad. (19¢ bananas are worth an extra trip to Trader Joe’s, especially since it’s just a few blocks from the Grocery Outlet!) The last trip was to New Seasons, (like Whole Foods) because I wanted a few of their house made sausages. Add in that this store is a quick five minute walk from my house, (and offers free snacks) and my shopping was soon completed.

    Buying food on a tight budget often requires multiple stops, which I admit can be a real pain in the tuchus. However, the extra work keeps us in the black and allows us to afford the things that really matter such as double college tuition and the myriad of related expenses.

  2. I needed a new pair of sneakers, but I remembered that my son had bought a $5 pair at Goodwill that didn’t quite fit him. I tried them on and they fit me perfectly. Now not only do I have a “new” pair for myself, but it helped declutter my son’s room! I made a decision 11-1/2 years ago to stop buying new things. I can’t think of the last time I’ve needed to break this promise, as almost everything is available used or maybe didn’t need to be purchased in the first place. Over manufacture of consumer goods is a huge problem for our planet, so I think twice before mindlessly buying new stuff.

  3. I sold a thrifted Starbucks mug through eBay, and although I haven’t sold anything else over the past couple of days, one particular item has received multiple inquires, so I expect it’ll sell soon. I’m scheduled to work a 12-hour shift at the hospital tomorrow, which’ll pay time-and-a-half.

  4. 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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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 May 28, 2018 at 12:14 am

I agree with you about multiple stops for food shopping. If you plan it properly then it is often a money saver.
1. I spent my lunch break doing my budget for the next month, including planning out my savings and retirement savings for my new job.
2. We have been watching Game of Thrones on DVD, borrowed from my BIL. I don’t pay for HBO (Foxtel in Australia) and I don’t mind waiting even though I do love the show a lot.
3. Now that I’m up to date with GoT, I’m listening to free recap podcasts for secondary entertainment. The geek is strong in this one, friends.
4. Dinner at my parents house tonight.
5. Dinner last night was a big leg of pork, bought on sale, with lots of leftovers for lunch and dinner tomorrow. I find that a roast once a week is a good way to stretch the food budget.


A. Marie May 28, 2018 at 8:06 am

Mand, we too had a pork roast last night (the last one from our 2017 half-pig), with the same intention of leftovers. Great minds run in the same direction around the world!


Mand01 May 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm

A free range chicken also lasts us several meals. Beef is very expensive in Australia now so we tend not to make it, and we don’t eat lamb.


tonya May 28, 2018 at 5:52 am

We’ve been sick, so no driving or spending.

1) We had a lot of company in town last week for a graduation. We have been diligently eating leftovers for a few days.
2) Loading some grocery store coupons to my loyalty card before I shop today.
3) Wearing clothes around the house more than once.
4) Watching Netflix and reading library books.
5) Planning on taking the train to work this week so my daughter can use the car. My monthly unlimited transit pass is subsidized by my employer.


Judy Thomson May 28, 2018 at 6:06 am

I volunteer at a local thrift shop, run by a non profit that is 100% volunteer. It’s hard to resist all the bargains that come in, and I try to make it my practice to bring a donation every time I work my shift or pass by the shop. But I was in the market for a special pair of shoes, to help alleviate the arthritis pain in one part of my foot. New ones are well over $100. One day I stoped by the shop to drop off some items, and low a behold, there are the special shoes, featured on top of a clothing rack. In my size. For $8, but I got them for $4 because it was senior day. Super score!


aKathy Hairston May 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

1. Friend game me a bag of stuff. I salvaged a silk flower arrangement now on my kitchen table. Also some new silk flowers I’ll have a friend arrange for me in a vase I have. I also found a new photo board for my daughter in law and some throw pillows for her mom. The rest of the bag will be donated to church for their rummage sale.
2. Rearranged some pictures to freshen up the house
3. Repaired a pair of shorts, pillow case and sheets.
4. Sent some succulent clippings to my sister
5. Clipped stems from flowers I got for mother’s day and revived them


Mary in Maryland May 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

1) Took my coupon to the nursery to buy garden plants on Friday. Did not overbuy.
2) Got out my five trash-picked grow boxes to plant on Saturday morning. I was getting stuff together when the hard-wired fire alarm started screaming. Himself said he had checked upstairs and nothing was wrong. I ran to the basement and found water gushing through the light fixture. Apparently the connection to the hose spigot had ruptured somewhere during the winter. We spent a couple hours squeegeeing out the basement (no carpet for us, and I was profoundly grateful that that level is mostly empty). A passing neighbor asked how my day was going.
3) I admitted that things were wet. She offered to loan me her shop vac. I gratefully accepted. Himself had been talking renting one–I looked brilliant to have borrowed one.
4) Himself and I punched holes in the drippy parts of the ceiling so the water could run out.
5) We prepared the soil and planted the boxes even though we were tired. Heavy rain before we got up our deer exclusion tent.
6) I had decided to blow off doing laundry. Then I realized the white load had been sitting on the basement floor and was partly soggy. And it included the mattress pad. So I sucked it up and washed it. Raining outside, wet inside–I used the dryer for the first time in three years.
7) planted the flower boxes on Sunday. Gave away the three extra coleus. Put up the deer exclusion tent which is made from found poles and gifted slats.


A. Marie May 28, 2018 at 8:03 am

Mary in MD: Glad your rain was no heavier than it was. That news footage from Ellicott City was scary stuff.

And DH and I had a similar, though not as bad, experience with water coming into the basement after we turned on one of our three hose spigot connections earlier in May. One of DH’s guy friends bailed us out on the necessary plumbing repair (after we bailed ourselves out literally, that is!).


Kate Deals May 28, 2018 at 6:31 am

1. On Saturday I made burrito bowl ingredients, using what we had on hand (I did make a new batch of taco seasoning, using the Tightwad Gazette recipe). We have leftovers from that that we’ll tackle the next few days. Yesterday I made Chicken Chowder, using what we had on hand. There are leftovers of that as well. I just cut up a watermelon (you get a lot of fruit for $3.99, when you use a little elbow grease).

2. I’m wearing summer clothes that I’ve either had for years or that my daughter was giving away.

3. We’ve been taking early morning walks. It’s nice to be out when it’s quiet (and not so hot). Doing our best to be healthy should pay off in the long run.

4. We’re still enjoying 1-2 episodes of Til Debt Do Us part most evenings. They’re quick but kind of addictive.

5. We’ll pick up relatives at the airport today. It’s faster for them and cheaper overall. They return the favor when we travel.


A. Marie May 28, 2018 at 8:29 am

FFT, Memorial Day Edition:

(1) The gardens, by golly, are just about planted. Only a few extra herbs and vegetables are still on deck. (I always start more than I actually need, in case of accidents and to have extras to give away.)

(2) Taking a few of the extras out to friends this afternoon. We will also get to meet their new puppy. (DH and I love dogs, but we don’t mind letting other folks have the actual responsibility!)

(3) See my comment to Mand01 above re: the pork roast. Considering a super-quick pork stir-fry tonight with greens from the garden.

(4) After an enjoyable bottlepick early this morning at a local park, I scored an environmental “daily double” by rinsing off the containers in greywater from the washing machine (I diverted the drain hose into a bucket in the laundry area sink long enough to get the job done). I enjoy this bit of thrift but don’t always manage to coordinate the bottlepicking with the laundry.

(5) The SA superstore down the hill was having a 50% off all clothing sale today, so I enjoyed another good shop there (my second in a month) in the late morning. Labels included LL Bean, Chicos, J. Jill, and Carhartt! (Note that this shopping hasn’t been all for our selfish selves; there’s considerable Christmas giving involved. We have well-trained friends.)


Linda May 28, 2018 at 11:53 am

Forgive me, but what is the SA superstore? 50% off sounds like a great deal on those brands.


A. Marie May 28, 2018 at 12:23 pm

SA = Salvation Army. The SA and our local Rescue Mission’s Thrifty Shopper stores are the two main thrift chains around here. (We have acquired two Goodwills in recent years, but one is a little too far west and the other a little far north for me to get there regularly. Both are excellent–but I do wish that they were closer, and even more that we had a by-the-pound Goodwill like Katy’s in Portland.)

And, yes, I was really pleased with today’s deals. Five garments (four with the labels I mentioned), plus a book for DH and a couple of odds and ends, for under $20.


Linda May 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Oh my goodness! I feel so silly, that I didn’t realize this. Great deals for you today! Wow! I’m jealous!
I live in central PA & we just recently (maybe a year ago) got a pay-by-the pound GW. Love the store, see Talbots, Lands End, Eddie Bauer labels there. Fun place to shop. You never know just what you’ll find.


Jenzer May 28, 2018 at 9:28 am

1 – While en route to a get-together out of town, we stopped by a grocery store to pick up food. DS zoomed in on the Coinstar machine near the checkout and fished around in the hopper for loose change. I suggested he try looking under the machine instead, and he scored 51 cents. Then I held out the food pantry coin collection can which was sitting next to the register, and he added his findings to it. Teaching resourcefulness + generosity = double parenting win.

2 – One of the doorbell buttons at our rental property was broken. I mentioned hiring out the fix to DH, and he said it was well within my capabilities to do it myself. And it was: all it took was a $6 replacement button from Lowe’s, plus a phillips-head screwdriver and ten minutes of my time.

3 – Our seasonal business has entered bat-#*@&-crazy mode for the year. This time around, I remembered to cancel my subscription and make a calendar note to start it up again in October, when I’ll have time for online classes again. That’ll save $25/month for six months.

4 – I also remembered to put my wellness center membership on hold for three months. I’d paid for a year in advance last September, so the fee for my three “on hold” months will cover this September, November, and December instead. I’ll make do with bodyweight exercises and workout DVDs I already own.

5 – I set up our Netflix account with a virtual credit card number from my Citi MasterCard. The virtual card number expires after a month, so Netflix will send me a notification in June when the payment doesn’t clear. That will remind me to evaluate our Netflix usage and decide if we want to continue the membership. I suspect by June we will be so incredibly busy that we won’t have time to watch TV.


Jenzer May 28, 2018 at 9:29 am

Re: #4 — that should read “September, October, and November” instead. I know my calendar months, I really do …


Mary W May 28, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Lol, thanks for the giggle – I love this blog for the tips AND the entertainment!


Liz May 28, 2018 at 11:35 am

My five frugal things:

1. A neighbor brought over 2 heads of lettuce, her son works in produce and brought her some extras so she thought that she would share. We are enjoying our “free” salad, is it me, or does food taste better when it’s free? 🙂

2. Our last week at school is this week, (I’m a teacher) and our school cafeteria is cleaning out food so a huge bowl of apples were placed in the staff lounge, I grabbed 4 and left plenty for others. Our dog is enjoying her apples with peanut butter, a yummy treat for her.

3. Our son “graduates” from 5th grade this week and leaving our school, he went to school where I teach so it is bittersweet. We are having family over on the last day of school for dinner instead of going out to eat. I am picking up fried chicken from our local grocery store and family members are bringing the sides. Banana splits for dessert instead of a big cake. We should have plenty of leftovers for the next few days to enjoy.

4. Went to a graduation yesterday and instead of buying something new which I really wanted to do, I wore something from my closet.

5. Enjoying reading my library books and getting excited for summer vacation. I can’t wait to take lots of walks on the beach, free and fun.


Marcia May 28, 2018 at 11:50 am

Really too hot to work outside and almost too hot to work inside today. I have separated out some worn tee shirts from husband’s drawers, and designated them as “working on car rags”—he will wear them until they are falling apart. I wanted to get to more of my summer clothes too, but it was too hot in the bedroom to do more. I came downstairs and drank some nice cold water from the Mason jar in the fridge to cool off.
Dinner will be potato salad, cold turkey sandwiches, (melted cheese if desired) and raw carrots once again. I sort of overbought turkey lunch meat and this will be the third (non-consecutive) night we’ve eaten it for dinner. Works fine when it’s 88 and humid. I plan to spend at least an hour outside after dinner pulling weeds. We slept far too late this morning to get any gardening done before it got too hot.


Michelle May 28, 2018 at 11:59 am

Hello, I was just wondering if you have a grocery budget for you and hubby now that the kids are mostly away? We have been empty nesters for 3 years but I still feel like we spend way too much! Long time reader of your awesome blog


Bethany May 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Sunday night was picnic night for the church. Church paid for the meat, so it was a frugal dinner with our potluck additions.

Went to the beach today. Met an older NCA type man. Instead of a wetsuit he had pants, several sweaters, a full length coat. I was worried about him, but heard the lifeguards tell another patron that he’s fine, comes here all the time like that. When he got out, he looked over at me like he wanted to talk. I said those layers must be kind of heavy all wet like that, but he said he enjoys the extra exercise they give him. Got to love quirky people like that! Got to love the people standing by to help if he needed.

Needed some decoration for a bedroom in the house. Customized a 6′ banner through Costco with Romans 8:38-39. It is precious. I have hopes that it will remain the main decoration in their room for the remainder of their years in our home. It was an expense, I will concede, but for the amount of wall space that gets so nicely decorated, I feel like we scored. (A little tip, the background of the banner was white and some writing was imbedded to the background, so I saved a blank Powerpoint slide as a jpeg, and inserted into the banner design to cover the “on your wedding”, so custom lettering could overlay. The two whites match, and I was tickled to get it just right!!! The proof looks great!)

Finally broke down and bought a toaster oven. My kids ruined the previous one with an experiment. I have been forgoing toast, but sometimes heating the entire oven when I really wanted a piece. Not to mention we have solar panels, and during daylight hours, it is preferable to use any electric means over gas. Hoping to see a little reduction in our gas bill.

Had a good conversation with another mom last night. She’s discouraged with her relationship with her son. I told her about my tumultuous relationship with my mother at that age. Time and maturity has greatly healed the relationship. Friendships are such a blessing. They can be like free therapy sometimes. (not to diminish the need for professionals)


Bethany May 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Turns out the quirky older beach trenchcoated guy has his own YouTube channel. LOL!


Danielle May 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm

I love it when I get “hand me ups” from my kids!

1. Our dog had scratched the paint on a part of our door near the handle. I really didn’t want to repaint the whole door, just to have it happen again. We bought a coordinating “push plate” for $10 and installed it just below the handle and over the scratched area. It covers perfectly!

2. Our foster puppies chewed a puppy size hole in our screen door. I wanted to replace the whole thing, but after looking at options, my husband went with a rescreen kit for $10 and it now looks better than ever!

3. My son graduated 8th grade this week. His friends are planning massive parties, I offered my son our party budget in cash. He opted for a weekday party at the local skate park with his friends and pizza. It was perfect, he got exactly the party he wanted – four hours of uninterrupted skateboarding time with 12 of his closest friends – and he still walked away with the extra cash. I was happy because we didn’t feel pressured to compete with the other parties that are being planned.

4. Had 5 events for which we needed to bring food in a 7 day span. I shopped ahead and consolidated my efforts. Home made salsa – double batch – was a hit. Got hot dogs on sale at Sam’s and their low cost hot dog buns. This made our contribution to two potlucks easy, filling, and basically a main dish. Two other events got pulled pork made from a giant piece that was on sale for just over $1/lb. It became BBQ pulled pork for one dinner and pork carnitas for another.

5. My son was invited to a movie, I bought his ticket online directly from the theater website for only a 50 cent charge. To do so through Fandango would be a $1.50 “convenience” fee. I was happy to pay it to make sure he could sit with his friends!


Katy in Africa May 28, 2018 at 2:33 pm

1. I’ve been stocking up on local honey for gifts, and noticed the same sized bottle is cheaper at one store, so while at said store today I bought 2 more bottles.
2. The oil from the can of sardines for my husband’s sandwich did not get wasted…it went to the cats who delight in such a luxurious supper.
3. Reading my favorite frugal blogs to keep me inspired.
4. Continuing to read books I already own (it helps that I’m not a super fast reader).
5. My kids received birthday Amazon gift cards, yesterday they were picking things out, we’re having them pick a combination of toys and useful things. This got me thinking, what do you do with gift cards like that and your buy nothing compact? Do you go ahead and buy new with it, do something else?


Linda May 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

I saw from another post that you do not buy cat food. May I ask what do you feed your cat on a daily basis? I see that you gave them the sardine oil from your husbands sardines. I’m interested as I have a sometimes picky eater cat, & I’m thinking maybe what you give your cats would help my cat with her pickiness.
I do give my cat tuna juice, bits of tuna, salmon juice & bits of salmon. But we don’t eat these things on a daily basis.


Norma May 28, 2018 at 3:45 pm

My kitty loves when my husband eats sardines. They enjoy together while Mom stays far, far away!!!


Gina in KY May 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm

No Spend Eve because after today I am back on No Spend…

1. On Saturday I bought two overhead fans with lights for the old house that will never be done. They were a “loss leader” at a hardware chain and ended up costing $40 each (this does not seem frugal, but it truly is a great price for fans). BF installed one of them in the upstairs landing.
2. With the addition of a fan in the upstairs landing, it is now tolerable to be up there in the summer and I am hoping it will make heating more efficient in the winter.
3. Installed a door I saved from a dumpster some years ago on my bedroom. It came out of a Victorian era school building that was being rehabbed and is it is large and heavy. Due to the weirdness of my 1889 Shotgun Shack, the door openings are all odd sizes, so bf and I put the door on a track and now it is trendy barn door style door (saving space is a bonus).
4. I bought the door track using rebate coupons and I bought it during the store’s 11% rebate weekend so I have another rebate coming to me soon.
5. Took a load of crap-I-no-longer-need/want to the thrift store. They were having 50% everything so it was a madhouse. I did a spin around the store and left empty-handed.
6. (bonus!) I used up squash, potatoes and mushrooms I already had on hand to make shish kabobs on the grill for Memorial Day. I served them with basmati rice (pantry staple) and it was a great meal. We drink lemon water because I am also trying to up the health meter as well.

Happy Memorial Day!


Gina May 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm

OOPS! I already used that door one! 🙂 I was thinking about it because we had to take it down this weekend and level out the track. Now I am done with it!


Bethany May 29, 2018 at 7:04 am

Buying ceiling fans is very frugal!!! Don’t second guess that decision!!!


KJD509 May 28, 2018 at 4:11 pm

FFT, it’s-been-awhile edition:

1) Received and refused bids from six different landscapers over the course of 3 weeks before my realtor and I found one who would do what I wanted for a reasonable price. It took them 3 days longer than planned, but they kept to their original bid. Yard looks amazing.
2) Landscapers “rehomed” piles of firewood, scraggly raspberry canes, strawberry plants growing across the walkways, etc. Part of why the yard was a disaster is I couldn’t bear to get rid of useful things. These folks got my number right away – feels like I must have “frugal” (or maybe “cheap”) tattooed on my forehead – and said things like, “oh, our little old lady friend would love these,” “oh, my neighbor on a fixed income could really use those.” Maybe they were lying, but it worked – I believe the items have new homes and new uses . . . and they’re out of my yard. Without extra hauling fees.
3) Got rid of a ghastly old pickup truck – kept around strictly to take loads to the dump – and a maybe-it-floats boat. Someone actually paid me a very small amount of money for them. It would have cost me thousands to haul them to the dump (U-Pull-It wouldn’t take them – that’s the kind of shape they were in) so I consider this a win on all counts.
4) Gave away a couple of little kids’ bikes to neighbors. Makes me happy to know they’ll be used now that our kids are bigger (and no grandchildren in sight), plus one family with a lot of food allergies walked through my pantry and freezer and took a bunch of stuff they are able to eat. Saved me at least six boxes worth of moving truck space.
5) House is finally on the market. There is nothing frugal about this, at least not until we get an offer, as it means I’m running laundry and dishes every day and eating a lot of meals out.
6) Interspersing stupidly expensive meals out with English muffins broiled with cheese and the occasional skipped dinner to minimize the repetitive cleaning of the kitchen each night.
7) Have not bought a gold-plated house, apartment, condo, or tent under a bridge. Thinking the latter is the most likely, the way real estate is appreciating every place but right here on my block as I try to sell. Sigh.


Susie's Daughter May 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm

KJD – I am so impressed by your FFT’s. Moving is one of the top five life stressors , so hang in there! Your #6 comment reminded me of the meals I have eaten over the sink to avoid cleaning anything. Sending good wishes for a viable offer on the house!


KJD509 May 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Thanks! The comments on this blog have been super uplifting and I so appreciate it. I guess because folks in the non-frugal parts of my life would just throw money at the whole process, but we’re trying to stay at least marginally true to our values. Makes it 10x harder in the moment, but I think we’ll be glad once it’s over.


Linda G May 29, 2018 at 9:11 am

Some charities will take vehicles in any condition as a donation and haul them away. We were even able to donate a boat that had belonged to my deceased father-in-law. It had not been used for so long that it had a tree growing in it.


Cindy in the South May 31, 2018 at 12:22 pm

I am gonna be doing the same thing next year…groan. God, I hate moving! Virtual hugs for you from afar!


KJD509 June 1, 2018 at 9:56 am

I’ve noticed your comments about getting ready to move, Cindy. Wishing you strength and patience! And a good selling price!


Lilypad May 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Hello, Kitty! Your kitty is so beautiful. More pictures of the kitty, please. 😉 Our kitty is very non-consumer—she was a used kitty (LOL we’re her third, and final, family) and she was free, because they were having a special on older kitties three years ago when we got her from Seattle Humane.


Marilyn May 28, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Yes, the kitty is a beauty. Looks exactly like a cat we had — black cat with white under his chin. He was a great cat.


Norma May 28, 2018 at 4:42 pm

I feel your pain having your house on the market. It is not cheap. It took us 8 months to sell our house during the recession and we were constantly being asked to leave for showings which required riding around and burning gas or going somewhere to eat. I gained 15 pounds during this process with all the eating out and stress eating.


KJD509 May 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Packed my scale early on, Norma . . . just don’t want to know!


Christine May 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm

I usually shop at two specific grocery stores. I try to shop only twice a month. The stores are about 5 miles apart but I drive by the second one on my way home from the first one. I also batch other errands with this. This route takes me by my bank, The Dollar Store, the consignment shop where I sell items and The Salvation Army Store so I can accomplish many errands in addition to grocery shopping.


Christine May 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm

P.S. I love the shoes and the cat.


Christine May 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm

I wasn’t going to post a FFT but maybe I can come up with something.
1. We went to 3 Memorial Day outings this weekend, one per day. The most expensive was a trip to a neighboring state where we spent $22 on sandwiches because the hosts had just opened up their lake house that day and had not shopped yet. Next day was a cook-in instead of a cook-out due to rain. Today was an actual cook-out at stepson’s home. We brought 16 pounds of ribs I had won at a raffle back in January. My stepson is an awesome griller and certainly did them justice. Lots of frugal family and friends fun all weekend.
2. Sold one of my Jadeite sets on FB Marketplace for a $77 profit. Still have one to go.
3. James Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty finally arrived at the library so I’ll be starting that soon. Looking forward to sitting on the deck indulging myself with the book and homemade iced tea.
4. Hanging clothes outside tomorrow if the forecast holds true.
5. Nothing remotely gold or silver purchased.


Christine May 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Help me someone please. I really don’t say A before an F sound while I’m speaking….such as A FFT. I truly meant AN FFT! Sheeeesh…


VanessaKC May 28, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Still having trouble posting, don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Here goes…
Sold 2 classic VWs on consignment. Nice cash for minimal work. Bought a public pool pass, pays for itself after 6 visits. Planted free seeds, will have lots of organic veg and herbs. Grilled enough this weekend to make lunches and dinners a snap. Too hot in the kitchen.


Jennifer May 28, 2018 at 10:03 pm

I got a kick out of your “new” track shoes. Then I realized that I am wearing a sweatshirt I acquired last week when my own 15 year-old son cleaned out his closet. Hand-me-downs are The Best! Sold a nautical flag on Ebay that I picked up from a Free Pile. Easy $11. Made a little bonus on shipping because I STEAMED off old uncancelled stamps (nothing illegal here, they were only stuck on envelopes that were not mailed). Spent way too much time on and got rid of some measly, annoying leftover gift cards that I have been lugging around in my wallet for years. Expecting a $15. check in the mail.


Tracy May 29, 2018 at 3:38 am

1. Frugal weekend with extended family in Central Oregon (frugal because in-laws own a vacation home there).
2. Everyone pitched in and brought some of the food. Ate all meals at home.
3. Free activities — running, walking, biking, tennis, reading, watching movies…
4. Did a cheap shop at grocery store when home yesterday afternoon. Trying to eat down pantry stuff.
5. Will pack lunch and take bus to/from work today.


Rebecca in MD May 29, 2018 at 4:28 am


1. Finished planting my garden which will save us lots of money in groceries throughout the year, as I also do canning (tomatoes, peppers – sweet & hot, okra, cabbage, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
2. Made two batches of homemade strawberry ice cream with berries harvested from the garden
3. Stocked up with on sale boneless chicken breasts from Aldi @ $1.69/pound
4. Made two new recipes for dinners with on-hand ingredients from cookbooks I already own
5. Finished up an audiobook borrowed from (A Year of Less – Caitlin Flanders) and moving on to another free audiobook


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 29, 2018 at 5:05 am

That’s a fantastic idea with the sneakers; I’d never consider trying on men’s shoes but why shouldn’t they work just the same??

This week:

1. I harvested seeds from our lettuce plants. We have so much seed that it’ll last us several seasons!

2. Hubs made sauerkraut and pickles this weekend.

3. I made more homemade yogurt and turned a portion of it into yogurt cheese, which I use as a healthy replacement for cream cheese.

4. I got a $6 store credit to ThredUp for sending in some old clothes. I was able to buy a nice piece of secondhand clothing with this credit and a coupon. Woohoo!

5. Our neighbor gave us two pounds of honey from his backyard bees. We’ll use it to make mead. 🙂


Mand01 May 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Your weekend activities sound very similar to ours – just at different times due to the seasonal difference.


Roberta May 29, 2018 at 5:56 am

1. I’ve finally found a need to spend time on the free piles on Craigslist. This weekend I picked up a very good condition Eddie Bauer high chair, a beat-up children’s desk to refurbish, a bag of clothes and shoes, and an outdoor baby swing for the shop. All free!
2. We were planning to go up to the mountain yesterday, to hike and have pizza. Instead, we skipped the drive and went down to the river to hike. Unfortunately, it was just too crowded down there, so we went to the Goodwill bookstore and picked up books for our vacation. (We’ll be stopping at Powell’s on the trip, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to trade some in while we’re there.) Then went home to play a game instead of going to the not-early movie.
3. Dinner was still pizza, but we ordered in instead of eating there, and I was able to round out dinner with a salad I made myself, instead of buying that too.
4. Saturday morning my nephew came over for a sleepover, and we took all the kids to the $5 bowling alley. Two games, shoes, and a drink coupon for $5! Afterwards my husband suggested eating out (?!) so that wasn’t cheap, but since we’d all been active together, I felt I’d done my part in entertaining my nephew, and he and my son spent the rest of the day playing Legos and talking superheros.
5. Sunday, we drove the hour to my mom’s to return my nephew, and stayed for dinner. My son got to go driving with my dad, in the car my dad will be handing down to my son, and they had a blast together.


hanine May 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

Sounds like a fantastic weekend. Splurges mixed with frugal activities.


Ava May 29, 2018 at 7:03 am

1. Made a bunch of granola from Aldi ingredients. Turned out great.
2. Needed a taller tv stand. Bought a used kitchen cabinet for that purpose (for too much $) from an antique store. The too much $ part is bad but the reusing of stuff is good. We will donate the old stand, in excellent condition, to the church yard sale, so that someone else can reuse stuff too.
3. Had a family dinner and “meet the new kitten” get together. I am estimating we spent about $40 to feed a fancy dinner to 8 people. That does not include the cost of pantry ingredients that I always keep on hand, like bread flour, yeast and dried cranberries. Most of the ranch dressing lovers were converted to Katy’s tea towel salad dressing. It got raves.
4. My green beans planted from free seeds from the library seed exchange are thriving.
5. The usual reading and listening to library books, wearing thrifted clothing, drinking homemade iced tea and water, eating leftovers. We have almost no food waste. If we can’t eat it, we try it on the dogs. If they reject it, it gets composted. I know people who don’t eat leftovers and it baffles me.


Lindsey May 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm

I don’t think my dogs have ever rejected any food we offered them!


ouvickie May 29, 2018 at 7:04 am

1) I took my granddaughters to the newly refurbished Splash Park on Saturday. I packed snacks and water, so no spending money on extra food.
2) I bought a few groceries yesterday. They should do us the rest of the week. Other than taking my grands swimming and then home on Saturday, I spent the weekend at home.
3) We had a wonderful fellowship dinner at church. I supplied rolls and a cake. Food and fellowship with friends – priceless!
4) I watched a few decluttering videos yesterday, to help get me motivated. I decided to box up most of the dishes in my China Hutch and let my daughter have them for her June garage sale. I’m tired of having so many dishes we never use and I’m sick of junk. Even if it’s just one box at a time, I’m ready to get rid of the crap that’s serving no purpose.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet, a yacht or a gold-plated apartment in the sky.


rebecca May 29, 2018 at 9:31 am

1. Saw a client each on Sunday and Monday am. I was happily surprised they both were willing to come on a holiday weekend.
2. Made 2 yummy side dishes for a bbq on Sunday. The cucumbers and peppers were only $1 a pices and frozen corn $1.99 a bag. The corn was the same price of on the cob but easier for the corn, tomato and basil salad.
3. I got both recipes from pinterest. Oh pinterest, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways……
4. A friend taught my class this am and I will return the favor in July when she goes camping with her family.
5. Using hot dog and hamburger rolls, bread and wrap bags for picking up after the dog.


Debbie from Delaware May 29, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Have to share with you that I’m having a good laugh… had to re-read #5, at first pass I thought you were using hotdog and hamburger rolls to pick up after your dog. My first thought was…how is that frugal??? LOL


rebecca j robbins May 30, 2018 at 8:37 am

I had to rewrite the sentence a couple of times and that was the best I could do. lol


Jenelle May 29, 2018 at 11:18 am

1. Traveled for work last week and will get a nice reimbursement for per diem. (I ate small meals in anticipation of this).
2. We travel to a family camp over Memorial Day and the local Goodwill had 50% off day. After a few years, I’ve convinced everyone that they need to go. We all go at different times and then return to camp to show our finds. This year I spent the most money, but am using 90% of my purchases for Ebay. (I do find it funny that my MIL will go to the Goodwill, when I first got married, she would have never gone to such a place)
3. Because I write for a mommy newsletter, I was given four free tickets to a “better” circus! normally the tickets cost $45 a seat! wow
4. For our travels to camp (a 7 hour round trip car ride) hubby and I packed drinks and snacks. The only unscheduled stop was for my pea size bladder!
5. This camp out is the first time during the year that the entire family gets together, so there is a great exchange of items that we’ve found for one another at yard sales, etc. I came home with 15 pair of underwear for my son, a PJ set for me, a mickey mouse picture for in my daughter’s room, 1 bag of clothes for each of my kids and 4 popcorn tins full of my mother’s McDonald toys. I am going to go through them and decide which ones to sell on Ebay. When she worked she would buy a happy meal for lunch. Many of these toys are in the original bags.


Katy in Africa May 29, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Here’s some things they really seem to like:
-tuna/sardine juice
-We eat fish a lot, like whole fish, they like the bones and head.
– I cook up about a week’s worth of beef, and any of the tough fatty parts I give them.
– When I cook up our beef, if I don’t have plans for the broth I give it to them.
– Random leftovers from our food, sometimes they eat it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes mixing in broth or something helps.
-And lastly…our cats are outdoor cats and they sometimes catch birds to eat.
Hope that helps.


Katy in Africa May 29, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Sorry, I meant for this to be a reply to a question above.


Linda May 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Thanks, Katy. I’ll give it a whirl. My cat is an indoor cat, so no birds for her.


tonya May 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm

I have a “one not frugal thing” and can use some advice. Our old cat with long, curly hair can’t clean himself. The vet today said he should be groomed. Has anyone shaved a cat? Is it just something I am going to have to pay someone to do?


Roberta May 30, 2018 at 5:37 am

My mother gets her cat shaved every summer. He is…on the well-fed end of cat-dom (but he really is a lovely soul, and I’m not criticizing him). However, seeing the looseness of his skin right after he gets shaved, I wouldn’t want to try that. On the other hand, my husband has shaved our poodle-cross. That was time consuming but do-able. However, my husband mostly just trims up the dog now, and we take him in for a full ‘do once or twice a year.

If you comb the cat regularly after you get him shaved, you might not have to have him shaved again, or at least not often.


Robin May 30, 2018 at 6:37 am

We also have a very old, long/curly haired cat that isn’t able to groom himself well. When he goes in for a teeth cleaning or any procedure that requires anesthesia, the vet will shave him for us. Without anesthesia, our cat would rather he, and all groomers, be shredded to pieces and die rather than submit to shaving clippers. Other people I know have used professional groomers with good success, but it seems to be a bit cat dependent. Once our cat has been shaved, we can keep him mat free for around nine months by brushing him frequently with a furminator type brush. Once the hair mats start forming, we simply cut the mats off with scissors to help prevent skin damage/discomfort from the mats. To make sure we don’t cut the cat, we use a comb to hold the mat and cut over the comb so that it acts as a guard for the skin. I think most cats have pretty floppy skin, so it’s important to not get it caught in the scissors. Our cat is old enough that the vet doesn’t want him to have unnecessary anesthesia, so most of the time we are simply cutting the mats off him. Our cat is almost twenty and we’ve been cutting mats off of him for years without issue, but it’s probably worth talking to your vet about. Good luck!


Tonya May 30, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Thanks, Robin and Roberta, for the advice. I appreciate your help. I am worried about doing it myself, as I think he is pretty hefty and has a lot of extra pouchy skin. I think we’ll go see a groomer and then see if we can make it last by using the furminator in between times.
He is such a sweet old guy. i’m happy that we can take good care of him. He and his brother were rescue cats that we adopted last fall. They are red tabbies and we named them Fred and George. They are a wonderful addition to our home!


Christine May 30, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Tonya, I have a 12 year old cat who needs to be partially shaved about twice a year. From that I mean the bottom half of him. He is very longhaired, although not curly, and gets mats on his hips and hind quarters, especially at the change of seasons. I bought a Wahl hair clipper designed for animals although it is almost identical to the one I use to cut DH’s hair. No, I don’t get them mixed up! It cost me about $40 to purchase but has more than paid for itself in grooming costs. I hold him on my lap on one of his side’s and turn him over to do the other side. I talk gently to him the whole time. He doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The mats are dangerous if left to themselves as they pull the animal’s skin into them.


Lindsey May 31, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Christine: I cut my husband’s hair and he shaves the dogs’ butts so poop does not get matted on their fur. One time I was finishing up a husband trim and as I handed him the clippers, he and I both realized I had used the dog butt clippers on his head. They were clean, but it was the thought that made him label each one so it never happened again! (And for a day I tortured him by sniffing loudly when I passed by him, saying, “Did one of the dogs poop?”)


Christine June 1, 2018 at 5:47 am

LOL! Good one Lindsey! I can only imagine the look you got from your husband…


Mary W May 29, 2018 at 6:10 pm

1. At the auction I went to last weekend, I volunteered to drop a large hay feeder off for another buyer…it wasn’t far out of my way. They gave me $10 for my trouble. I didn’t ask for anything, but did accept the cash gratefully.
2. At the same auction, I realized a lot of plants were being sold… I have tons of extra herbs that need thinned. Think I’ll try selling some of them there.
3. Dropped off recycling today and noticed a lawn mower had been left next to the bins. Think I’ll go get it after I empty the round bales out of my truck. Might be able to get it running or use parts off it.
4. Pulled rhubarb and made rhubarb sauce and sliced some rhubarb to can. I’ll enter the canning in my local fair before we use it.
5. Continue to do all the normal frugal stuff and no buying of anything gold-plated!


janine May 30, 2018 at 5:31 am

1. Stayed home yesterday A much needed no-spend day.
2. Used up Memorial Day leftovers plus fresh green beans for supper last evening.
3. Will repair dryer. Sears has record of our purchase in 2009. School construction across the street means that it is too dusty to hang dry clothes outside. We estimate that it will still be cheaper than buying new appliance.
4. Took advantage of grocery store holiday sales to stock up on ground beef and other staples for the freezer.
5. Skipping at least one luncheon meeting this month. Small savings but it all counts towards out goals.


Jennifer May 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm

1) While out of town, dh browned a lb of ground sausage and there was a lot leftover. Yesterday I made pizza and today pasta with meat sauce to use it up.
2) Worked the local MLB game today to earn money for gymnastics. Turned in a request to cash out $296 to cover the yearly registration fee.
3) Sent my dh to Costco with a very specific list. He bought only what was on the list – something I can never do while there as I always remember other things we need.
4) Put straw down all over the garden after weeding to help keep down the weeds and hold in moisture.
5) Set up a carpool for my dd to drive another girl to the gym = $4 a day for her in gas money. Which means I will have to give out less gas money.


Jordan Blake June 13, 2018 at 8:35 am

When I go out to buy the big groceries for the month, I always go to at least 2 supermarkets.


Levi Long April 22, 2019 at 11:30 am

information about groceries, a great blog with great articles.
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