Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 3, 2018 · 58 comments

  1. My son came home for the weekend to watch the Timbers vs. LA Galaxy soccer game. (He was excited to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic.) Instead of planning a meal out as we normally do, I assembled a huge pan of lasagna which I knew he’d been craving. There are even enough leftovers to send him back to school with a couple of microwavable servings.

  2. The two of us went for a evening walk and happened upon a pile of leftover garage sale stuff. It didn’t look too promising, but I figured it was still worth my time to give it a thorough examination. There was a small box of books which contained a few current textbooks. As the parent of two college students, I’m hyper aware of how expensive textbooks can be, so you know that I scooped those bad boys up in the name of resale! I listed the books on eBay as soon as we got home and woke up to the notification that one had already sold! What I love most is that I’m putting these abandoned books into the hands of students who need them.

  3. My husband agreed to be interviewed on camera for an in-house Nike video about women’s soccer. The interview took place in a British theme pub conveniently located in our neighborhood, so I went with him as we had plans afterwards. The producer was insistent that we order meals, which I was very happy about as A) I like free food, and B) the food was freaking amazing! I ordered a steak and ale pie, which came with creamy mashed potatoes and fresh mushy peas, while my husband enjoyed a big plate of fish and chips. It was seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in ages. Plus, you know . . . free!

  4. I sold a vintage Jadeite pepper shaker through eBay, I went into two Goodwills without buying anything, (the real savings in life is in what you don’t buy) I took my son out for pie without ordering anything for myself, (while also using a Chinook Book coupon) we chose to watch a streaming movie at home instead of seeing the new Star Wars movie and I made a serviceable but ugly Frankenbox to mail out the pepper shaker.

  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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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethanne June 3, 2018 at 11:26 am

1. Plunged the sink Katy style using duct tape, great tip!
2. Grocery shopped at Kroger and snapped up my free Friday drinks, couponed online and got their 5X deals – saved over $54, in my pocket.
3. Ordered pizza online and saved $1.92 using a code for online orders.
4. Swagbucks while watching TV.
5. Daughter read all the Twilight books from the library and we then had a movie marathon of the series getting them from the library all free. 🙂


Jill A June 3, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Can I ask what you mean by plunge the since with duct tape. I must have missed that.


Bethann June 3, 2018 at 3:35 pm

She used duct tape to block/cover the sink hole. I always used a wash cloth jammed into the hole which was not as effective.


kathleen June 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm

1. Got a free iced tea at my favorite drive-thru using a free code for answering a survey. Didn’t order anything else.

2. I fill in at different branches for the same company. I worked at an office on Friday and will again tomorrow which happens to be the location I am most successful about packing my lunch to. It has a full size refrigerator and a microwave. Friday I took leftovers. I am making a pasta salad to take tomorrow, and making enough that will do for our supper tomorrow night as well…no cooking after work to dread all day.

3. I dropped off two boxes at Goodwill yesterday. I browsed the store while I was there, and left without buying a thing.

4. The hubs texted me that he was reading one of his library-book-sale purchases, but was having trouble getting into it. Since it only cost 25¢ or so, it’s no great loss if he gives up. I did think it was an hilarious selection for him to have made however, and continue to smile over his choice. I’ve never read it, and may confiscate it when he is done.

5. I’m about to mend a pair of shorts for the son-in-law (I’ve had them for months, and think I need to return them now that it’s 100+ degrees here). I made a dessert to take to their house for supper tonight, a meal we have at their house each Sunday. And we will be caring for their dogs while they are on vacation next week. This is all frugal since we live in the same neighborhood and they reciprocate in innumerable ways.


Momma L June 3, 2018 at 1:15 pm

1. DH cuts off all of his old worn out sweatpants into shorts for yardwork (and running errands, though not when I go with him!). He has quite a collection now, and I’m wearing them around the house when I get home from work. Kind of fun, you know, “wearing your boyfriends shirt” effect. Sorta.
2. Made nachos with marked down ground turkey, chips that were $1 a bag after sale and coupons, and the rest brought home from a work party: cheese, sour cream, salsa. So yummy!
3. Keeping a stash of sympathy cards purchased at the Dollar Tree. Sad that I mail those more often than any other card lately.
4. Went on an online shopping spree with lots of discount codes and free shipping. I’m returning most of them.
5. Went to a funeral in thrifted clothing. Will make a donation to the SPCA at the family’s request instead of sending flowers.


Mand01 June 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

I’m having a week off work before I start a new job.
1. I’m using points to go to a movie for free and also to get a coffee to take in.
2. I’m spending most of today in the garden. It’s cold but sunny.
3. I’m spending at least one day thrift shopping. I haven’t been able to do that by myself in a very long time.
4. I’m going to read some books.
5. I’m going to tidy up my study/music room, which is a big mess.
Lots of frugal/NCA activities!


Tracy June 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm

1. Visited two of my older kids in Albany and Corvallis yesterday, my 26 year old DD went with. I spent only $10.50 all day (plus $24 for gas). That included $5 at McDonald’s for beverages for 3 of us and $5.50 at a thrift store for 3 books for me. I also spent $6 buying my other daughter a framed art print she spotted at Goodwill as a house-warming gift but I’m not counting that as I paid for it with the Goodwill gift card her BF gave me for my birthday! We ate a yummy lunch daughter and BF prepared, watched the Timbers game, hit two thrift stores and went for a walk. A great day with my 27 and 26 year old daughters, 22 year old son and the delightful boy friend! And I get a kick out of the fact that they all love thrifting too!
2. Made lunch for guests today using things on hand. Grilled chicken breasts and veggies (onions and peppers), made a pot of rice and a pot of black beans and put out bowls of goodies (guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, corn relish) so everyone could assemble their own bowls. Sliced up a $1.50 watermelon from Freddy’s for dessert. Really no extra cost for a fun afternoon.
3. Didn’t buy a coffee when I was attending a meeting this a.m. Even though I was tempted.
4. Used coupons and shopped specials to buy 6 big bags of groceries for $119 which will feed the 4 adults + 1 teen living here quite well for the week.
5. Was tempted to go to the Farmer’s Market for a bouquet of flowers this am but decided not to since I still have a bit of a balance to pay off on a credit card over next three weeks. I hate carrying any balance and don’t want to spend any extra money until it’s paid off!


GretchenJoanna June 3, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I’m sitting here at the computer instead of doing something more productive, but I am picking up good mottoes to remind myself with, like, “the real savings in life is in what you don’t buy,” so that was well worth my stopover here. Thanks! 😉


Lisa M. June 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm

5FF: So Late Posting It Became Early But Still Going For It Edition

*Also, only manage to post a comment for every 2, err 3, that Katy blogs so going for a triple 5FF.

1. Used my grocery rain check to nab a watermelon for $1.88 and also picked up 12 pack cartons of pop for $2.50 during Memorial Day sale.

2. Volunteered to pick up and transport donated coffee to school as a junior parent for senior party. Coffee shop staff offered a complimentary iced mango black tea while I waited for coffee to finish brewing which I happily accepted.

3. Haven’t eaten out for months. Packing lunches for for-profit job and packing lunches for DH as often as he will use. Have a restaurant B1G1 coupon with purchase of 2 beverages that may cover DD’s birthday/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day.

4. Continue to enjoy stocked kitchen at weekend non-profit job. Recent bonus was 6 ft. sub sliced sandwiches left from recent inservice. Provided food my entire work day.

5. Recently used up all leftovers so no food waste.

6. Held off picking up new lenses until traveling to weekend job. Batching that errand with work saved 45 miles of driving.

7. Saw another person post but rarely see anyone else address fuel savings by driving a moderate speed on the highway in the slow lane with my energy saver option activated when commuting to weekend job.

8. DD’s $60 contact lens rebate was recently processed and should be arriving in the mail soon.

9. Threw out lunchbox from Goodwill that I had used many years that was damaged from picking up from the top which caused it to pull away from the zipper (my bad). Now using free lunchbox from DD’s skating event which she didn’t want.

10. Successfully avoided car insurance premium increase. Company questioned my mileage after a 3 month reading during which time I traveled out-of-state to visit family. Why would a 3 month reading be reflective of annual mileage? They recently called after 6 months and when I provided my odometer reading, my mileage clearly was in the lowest annual driving mileage category.

11. Using allergy and cold medicine on hand in my toiletry/OTC medication stash.

12. After applying new car tabs to DD’s license plates today (over a month in advance of any potential expired tab fine), was going through her car in search of trash. Found a city parking ticket from 30 days ago that was still unpaid. Timely, as she would have incurred a $5 late charge if paid after today.

13. Batched errands on my day off and managed to get a free item(s) at 3 of 4 locations. Got $35 worth of spices at spice store with rain check from mid-April snowstorm (14”) that had been back ordered, $2.99 greeting card for 21 cents tax at card shop (5th free card this spring) and free $1.79 H2O Joe at gas station. Who knew there was such a thing as caffeinated water?

14. Don’t see anyone mention this item – spend lots of time (including today) caring for family’s clothing during laundering, especially DD’s delicate clothing. Wash most items inside out in cold water and hang to air dry including all bras. Frugal and prevents wear and tear making clothing last longer. My DM always repeated a Momism – that clothing would last much longer if cared for properly and of course she was right.

15. My highlight and reward for frugality – registered DD for European school activity trip during spring break 2019. She already has a valid passport and of course, payments will be made via check to avoid 4% credit card service fee. I love highlighting what is made possible due to choosing to be frugal. I am very thankful and blessed that I can be frugal by choice, not necessity. In my mind, the end results are even more important than the many, many steps to make the impossible possible.


FrugalAussie June 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm

I agree wholeheartedly, frugality is a means to an end. For me, it’s about getting value for money, being wise with the resources I have so that I can be generous, to my children (balanced against them learning to be independent, resourceful and resilient) and to donate to organisations (and very occasionally individuals) that are doing amazing work to address poverty and inequality. When my children were growing up we struggled financially, it was horrible. Thankfully I’m now in a much better place and so have the privilege of being able to share.


Lisa M. June 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

You are spot on FA. As important as the steps to achieving frugality are (and yes they are absolutely necessary), the outcomes can be magical, breathtaking and awe inspiring.


st June 4, 2018 at 9:11 am

I love this!


Lisa M. June 4, 2018 at 11:39 am



Linda June 3, 2018 at 2:57 pm

1. Needed new kitchen towels & bathroom hand towels, found 5 like new kitchen towels at the Goodwill bins last Sunday & 5 like new hand towels Saturday at our local thrift shop, where I volunteer. Now I just need 2 bath towels.
2. Cooking dinner & taking lunch to work.
3. Grocery shopping at Aldi today. Only bought items on list (no chips, candy)
4. Reading books from library.
5. Wearing thrifted clothes.


K D June 3, 2018 at 3:43 pm

1. My husband is busy with work (working from home) this weekend. I mostly stayed around the house and got things done. Today I went to yoga (cheap when you use your monthly membership as much as I do) and to a graduation party for the daughter of a close friend. I walked to yoga even though it had been raining and more rain was forecast.

2. I baked a large batch of chicken & rice. We ate it for lunch and will eat it another time or two this week. It’s fast and easy, I’m not sure why I haven’t made it in years.

3. It’s raining, it’s pouring… We have not watered plants in many days, and things are growing like crazy. It’s also cooled off so it is more comfortable without air conditioning.

4. I put my washable heavier coats/jackets in the laundry, with out dirties. It will be nice to have them be clean come fall/winter.

5. I’m reading paper and ebooks borrowed from the library. What a wonderful use of our tax dollars.


Monica June 3, 2018 at 4:26 pm

1. Made a potato salad for my niece’s graduation party with ingredients on hand.
2. Opted for leftovers for dinner at home after the party instead of picking up something at the store.
3. Cooked up a whole chicken in the crockpot and will be serving leftover vegetables from other dinners this week with it for tonight’s dinner.
4. Took pictures of things to resell online & listing them.
5. Put together June’s budget, reviewed May’s spending and scheduled a budget meeting with my DH.


FrugalAussie June 3, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Thanks for the reminder Katy. I have some text books that I’d like to put up for sale before next semester.
I’ve started a ‘Festival Fund’. I put extra earnings into it to pay for our festival tickets in April. It motivates me to gather the smaller amounts that I wouldn’t usually bother with eg. I sold something for $10 that I would, in the past, have given away for free. That’s $10 into the Festival Fund. I took the box of loose change that’s been collected over the last three years to the bank. That’s $115 for the Festival Fund. Next, I’m going to take some old jewellery that may be gold to sell. I’ve a broken chain that’s been sitting in my jewellery box for about 30+ years.
My Frugal Five:
1. Hosted friends for afternoon tea without a special trip to the shops for supplies.
2. Always purchase fuel on a Monday when it’s cheapest in my town. We use an app that compares local petrol stations.
3. Gifted many plants by a friend. Establishing a new garden with low or no cost plants. All our friends know we’re keen gardeners and home cooks so often share cuttings or produce with us.
4. Brought honey from backyard bee keepers. Saves us money, supports local hobbyists and tastes good too.
5. Resisted paying off a large credit card bill until due so the funds can be sitting in our mortgage offset account and so save us a little mortgage interest.


Bethany June 3, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Took advantage of the beach again this weekend. Free fun activity! Just paid for the gas to get there.

A lady at church handed me off a bag of clothes for my son. My son is a bigfoot though and while his body will fit in the hand-me-downs, his feet will not. Found a friend that can use the shoes.

The guys at work talked my husband out of the idea of an inground pool. (Never underestimate the power of man-to-man talk) I wanted it too, but it would take every scratch of our savings over the next three years, plus a refinance. We’re looking at getting a doughboy, we’ll be able to pay cash and get some xeriscape for the rest of the yard.

Vacuume had a major stink to it. Did a lot of investigation, and couldn’t find a problem. Put some essential oils (which I’ve quit buying since becoming a NCA follower, but they do have some cool uses.)

Our taxes have been reduced on our house, and that along with the dropping of the PMI, our mortgage is $200/month than when we started. It’s enough to notice the difference.


Mand01 June 4, 2018 at 12:00 am

Several Friends of ours have a pool. The biggest expense is the electricity to run the pumps. Their power costs are more than double ours.


Roberta June 4, 2018 at 7:35 am

I had an in-ground pool when I was in high school. It was such a hassle to keep clean, I swore never again! The weekends spent vacuuming, running to the pool store to find out why the chemicals were off and the pool had turned green, cleaning the filter daily… that’s why so many people hire a service, for even more expense!


Lisa M. June 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

I’m with the 2 of you. My Mom worked at a pool supply shop for several years and said she would never have a pool due to the ridiculous cost of chemicals and continuous need for cleaning regardless of whether the pool was used or not. I love to swim but have no interest in pool maintenance.


janine June 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm

1. Attended a local political convention today. No charge so made a small donation to offset costs. Time consuming but good to participate in choosing candidates.
2. Trying to cut down this month on everything including meals out and snack type items from the grocery. Bought a large bag of blue corn chips at the over stock store for $1 which should help with the satisfaction quotient in somewhat boring packed lunches.
3. Cut up two quarts of rhubarb from the garden to make crisp and sauce.
4. Have been setting our cruise control at 55 mph to save on gas . Although traffic zooms by, we laugh last at the gas station.
5. Re- reading fun cozy mysteries and also some good non-fiction about the lead up to World War II. These books are from my own collection. Free entertainment.


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 4, 2018 at 3:55 am

I love Frankenboxes! They’re the best way to mail things out. 😉

This week:

1. I checked my local library for books on my to-read list, but left empty handed. Instead of buying new, I went to Half Price Books for new-to-me books. I still spent money, but it was worth the value to me.

2. It was my father in law’s birthday this weekend. We gathered at our house and threw a giant chicken-frying party. I made mashed potatoes and mac ‘n’ cheese. It cost money of course, but nowhere near what it would have cost to go to the movies or eat out.

3. My sister in law brought over some watermelon this weekend because she had too much on her hands. We decided to make wine from it! Hopefully we’ll have watermelon wine in time for the Fourth of July.

4. I took a tedious 6-hour safety course to score a 5% discount on our insurance.

5. I used my freelancing income (which is separate from our normal income) to book myself a solo writing retreat for this weekend. I desperately need some time to myself to recharge and focus on writing. I’m so excited!!


Marybeth June 4, 2018 at 4:21 am

1. I made a strawberry garden with leftover bricks from various projects as the border. Got free compost from the town and used fencing I picked up from someone’s garbage to keep the dogs out. It cost me $6 for the plants and my time.
2 The fire pit was not looking good. Hubby had a used can of high temp black paint that he used on his motorcycle. I painted the fire pit and it looks amazing.
3. Been eating lots of free bagels and pastries that my son brings home from work. Anything not sold can be brought home, otherwise it goes in the garbage. I am willing to take one for the team and eat cookies so that they don’t go in the garbage. I hate food waste. Also brought some to work. My coworkers are happy to eat them too.
4. Dog sitting my sister’s dog. We love having him and it saves her from having to board him.
5. My sister is moving and cleaning out her house. She keeps giving me items to list for sale. She doesn’t have time. She says it’s my payment for watching her dog. All sales go to the college fund.


Bee June 4, 2018 at 4:58 am

Summer is here! With temperatures in the low 90s and humidity at 95%+, I am trying to keep cool.
1) While waiting for our new refrigerator to be delivered, we are living well out of the small yeti cooler that we borrowed. Eating at home keeps our expenses down during this difficult time. We will have an expensive few weeks as we restock food lost when our refrigerator quit working.

2) Because of the unplanned expense mentioned above, Hubby and I had a weekend filled with activities which required no immediate cash outlay. We went to a state beach and used our annual pass. We ran together inside at the YMCA. We watched a series on Netflix and I read from two thrifted books. We also did household chores including washing the dog and weeding the garden.

3) One of these books include “7” by Jen Haymaker. This book addresses excess in America in 7 specific areas. I have been reading one chapter at a time and spending some time reflecting on each chapter’s topic. Thus far, the author has discussed food, clothing, and possessions.

4) I went to an estate sale and spent $15. I bought a new Ugg robe, a cashmere throw, 3 Wilton cake pans, a Radko Christmas ornament, a set of vintage Winnie the Pooh books, a old blue Ball canning jar, and a new deck of cards.

5) I went with my adult son to IKEA to help with some apartment planning. The IKEA showroom has wonderful space saving ideas. Although I didn’t buy anything, I enjoyed a free cappuccino and my son enjoyed a Swedish meatball dinner for $5.


Tracy June 4, 2018 at 7:54 am


I love your number 4 — what a score! Glad you’re feeling better after getting sick on vacation and very sorry re fridge/freezer unplanned disaster.



Bee June 4, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Thank you. It has all worked out. Sometimes the road of life has a few potholes BTW, I do love a good estate sale!


ouvickie June 4, 2018 at 10:16 am

#3 – I read that book a few years ago and loved her writing style, so I’ve read her other books. She’s hilarious. Since she’s a young Pastor’s wife with kids at home, we don’t have a lot in common, but I admire her honesty and forthrightness about motherhood and the struggles of being Christian in world obsessed with consumerism.


Bee June 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm

The author is also at a different place in life than I am. However, I agree that she is very funny and her observations are thought provoking. It is a struggle sometimes to become a better person.


Crosby June 4, 2018 at 5:19 am

Our frugality needs to kick into high gear. My husband lost his job and although he has found a new one, it comes with a large pay cut. I love this blog because it has given me so many ideas over the years, and continues to do so. So thank you to Katy for creating this wonderful space and thank you to everyone who contributes!
1. I made dinner with what we had on hand this weekend. One night was taco sausages that my mom had purchased for me and had been in our freezer, along with some potatoes that were on their last legs. The second night was meatballs from the freezer and red sauce.
2. We had our open water dive test on Saturday and Sunday this weekend to get NAUI scuba certified. Instead of buying breakfast on the way and buying snacks after, we made breakfast at home (at 5am, ouch!!) and brought snacks with us. One frugal fail with our dives, we had to stop on the way to the dive site to use the restroom and it was at a fast food place. We always feel guilty using a bathroom without purchasing something, so my husband bought $1.70 worth of donut holes.
3. After our Sunday dive, a friend invited me to meet her and some people at our local pride parade. They were meeting at a yummy and popular lunch spot. I ate a sandwich at home before meeting them so I wouldn’t be tempted.
4. After the parade yesterday, I rested for the day by watching Netflix and reading a book that I already owned.
5. Currently putting together a grocery list with what is on sale.


nancy from mass June 4, 2018 at 5:42 am

1. can’t make it 4 1/2 hours north for my nieces baby shower but i mailed a sweater and 2 pairs of booties that I knitted plus some baby things i bought. (the quick-diaper change gowns, some onsies and 2 cute outfits on clearance). I wrapped the gifts in wrap i bought years ago and tied them up with 2 ribbons I had from my Moms’ sewing stash.
2. my son had been mentioning for a few months that he does indeed want to go to college and live on campus etc. (for 10 years he didn’t want to go at all, although he did take one course last year). we have been driving to local area colleges to check out the campus (within 2 hours away). free wandering and looking. New England has some beautiful campuses (and some so-so ones too).
3. He is thankfully focusing on needs-based tuition colleges. The fact that i am a widow helps with the available grants.
4. have decided to paint my bedroom myself (was going to pay my painter – who is reasonable – but i do like to paint). i will use a lowes gift card to pay for the paint. (I won an award at work that i can trade in for gift cards.)
5. since my house is being sided this month, my sider told me that i could dump what i don’t need in the dumpster while it’s there. i have a pile of broken up concrete in my (way) back yard that i may toss in there.

Frugal Fail: so, DS announced at the beginning of May that he wanted to take his SAT’s to help with college applications. (He didn’t take them when he was in HS because he never wanted to go to college). we jumped online and found that there was a test on 6/2 about 35mins away. we signed up. (It was the last day to do it). I bought him the SAT study guide and he even brought it on our vacation to AZ. He went through all the tests (scoring very high on english, very poorly in math) and mentioned last week he wished he had more time to study the math portion. I printed out the admission paperwork and we checked the paper work, reading that you had to be there by 8:45. well, i realized at 7:55 saturday morning that the paper said the door closed at 8, not 9, as i originally read. We were too late! i had to reschedule the test but the next one isn’t until August and i had to pay a $29 fee. i felt horrible. DS son said, “it’s okay mom. i waited 2 years to take the test, i can wait 2 more months and this will give me more time to study the math section more.” My stomach cramps up every time i think of it. I can’t believe we both missed the arrival time…. his plan is to hopefully start spring 2019, so he does have time, but still….


Lisa M. June 4, 2018 at 7:13 am

Nancy – Am so impressed by your efforts to support your son in his academic endeavors: researching test dates/sites, registering, purchasing a study guide, printing off admission paperwork, rescheduling. Your son has a wonderful attitude about the benefit of additional study time. Follow his lead and celebrate his desire to receive additional education and the critical assistance you are providing in making that a reality, versus focusing on a small misstep. You are making a huge contribution to improving your son’s life!


nancy from mass June 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

He handled the screw up much better than i was! He had said last month that he was sorry he didn’t take his SAT’s and start college last fall but i reminded him that he would have entered college at 17 and he has matured SO MUCH in the past year since his father passed. I don’t think he would have done well if he started last year and there’s nothing wrong with having a gap year to help decide his future. He wants to study Philosophy and Psychology and get into some kind of research.


Lisa M. June 4, 2018 at 11:35 am

What a great example of the beauty of uniqueness of humanity. What may be “standard” does not fit all. Your son is working on finding his unique path and looks to have a bright future, in large part due to a devoted, caring and supportive parent.


Ava June 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Nancy, Your son may appreciate the opportunity to go to college much more because he waited. My son insisted that he was not going to college. He literally dug ditches for a job after high school. Then he observed the engineer who came to the job site, made notes and then went back to the heated and/or air conditioned office. He started college at 20 and worked full time as he went through, so he took longer than 4 yrs. to finish. I can now refer to him as “my son, the engineer.”


Mand01 June 4, 2018 at 10:04 pm

I think this is true. The first time I went to university, as a fresh-faced 17 year old, I goofed around a lot and wasted a lot of time and money. I went back a few years ago to study a law degree. I worked full time and I’m a parent of two kids. No time for messing around. Total appreciation for every minute and what it was costing me. There is something to be said for a little maturity when studying.

Katy June 4, 2018 at 10:11 am

That sounds like something I would do. Try not to beat yourself up too badly.


Jennifer June 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Paying a $29 late fee is cheaper than paying to retake the test if he didn’t do well enough on the math section. Sounds like he will really make the effort to study for it and that is a win. Being well prepared and taking it once versus several times is cheaper – even with a late fee.


Amy June 5, 2018 at 6:26 am

Nancy, you might have your son investigate the SAT practice at Khan Academy. It is free when you sign up for an account with the College Board, and there are many practice tests and activities. They have very helpful email reminders and built-in features; they tailor the practice needs to your score weaknesses. My son raised his score by 70 points just by doing some practice over 6 weeks. Since your son has until August, it might help him. Much better than doing it in a paper book IMO.


Kathy June 4, 2018 at 5:49 am

1. Upcycled silk flowers friend was going to trash. Another friend arranged them in a heirloom cut glass vase I had.
2. Picked up another two bath towels at thrift store to replace the well worn towels.
3. Enjoying our free hello fresh meals via friends who were going out of town
4. Picked up a couple pairs of light weight pants at thrift store
5. Watched several movies on Netflix.


MW June 4, 2018 at 6:34 am

– Scooped up a “dressy” summer outfit for my fast growing boy at a thrift store while waiting for a bus- $2.50 and no gas. And his wardrobe sorely needed it.
– Made a tasty de-constructed salad roll salad for dinner on Saturday and used up some odd asian noodles that were lingering in the cupboard. And I didn’t have to stand over a hot pan of water softening wrappers.
– Ate said salad outside on our patio with thrifted/ garbage-picked picked furniture.
– Watered plants with grey water from the kitchen.
– Slowly cobbling together camping gear through resale credits, cleaning out family sheds, and thrift-store picking. Going from two people camping to four people camping is requiring some re-jiggering.


Cara June 4, 2018 at 7:07 am

1. I am thrilled with college move-out finds! It rained this year, so the free piles were not ideal- but I still got some great finds: a fancy crepe maker, string lights, 2 pairs of shoes, many shirts, cute dresses, and some fabric for curtains. My friends found new roller blades and an espresso machine,

2. Took a bus to visit my sister, instead of taking the faster but more expensive train. Her former housemate left behind a lot of donations, which my sister let me look through. I found five(!!!) pairs of shoes, including knockoff Frye boots and perfectly worn-in Doc Martins,! Also found some great dresses for my girlfriend.

3. Pet insurance reimbursed most of my cats’ wellness visits

4. We spent most of the weekend gardening. It’s not bad for our first ever garden! I made some biodegradable seed-starting pots out of paper bags

5. Gathered together a whole suitcase of books to sell to a used book store, in exchange for store credit!


Roberta June 4, 2018 at 7:49 am

1. I spent Saturday working, going to garage sales for the shop, then dropping off things at the shop and working there. I only bought one thing at the garage sales “for me” — a new-in-box toy for a baby gift.
2. My dad brought me free lunch at the shop — potato tacos, my favorite! Had a nice chat with him and Mom during lunch.
3. I refurbished a chair and a child’s desk using leftover paint (and a torn dress to recover the chair). Both turned out wonderfully! I’m especially happy with the desk. I got it free, with words carved into the top, but a little wood putty and some paint made it immaculate and ready for a new user!
4. Planned a shared birthday party for my daughter, with two of her cousins. I was able to split the cost of the meal instead of having to do it all myself, and she still had a good time. We even came home with leftover Dave’s Killer Bread, so we’re very happy!
5. My niece is volunteering with a local group, helping refugees. I’m able to search for things for her while I’m looking for things for the shop, which makes me happy. They especially need children’s clothes, coffee tables, bunk beds and bicycles. I have a ready source of children’s clothes, so I’m really happy to be able to pass those along!


ouvickie June 4, 2018 at 7:57 am

Wow, Katy, how cool is that?! A commercial and free food, awesome!

1) I stopped in at Super Saver this morning to buy entrees for the freezer here at work. They had a great sale on, so I ended up with 6 entrees for the same as one meal out. I only cook at home 1-2x per week, so it’s cheaper than buying groceries for the house – plus, I’m eating less.
2) I missed Bible study at the church last week, so I requested to borrow the DVD they showed. I can watch it on my computer and return it this week. I appreciate those who allow me to borrow DVDs they already own.
3) The youth had a bake sale fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, so I went home Friday evening and whipped up a box of Dark Chocolate caramel & walnut brownies, from a box I’d purchased at Big Lots a few months back for less than $2. I delivered those and 4 college sports posters (for the auction that night) to one of the youth Pastors on Saturday morning. I love being able to help in an economical way.
4) I spent less than $20 at the grocers yesterday for food that will do us at home this week.
5) My daughter invited me to a cookout at their house Sunday afternoon. I felt too tired to go, but went anyway and had a good time – plus, I ate dinner, so no need to cook at home.


Jennifer June 4, 2018 at 8:57 am

1. dd ate up the leftovers for lunch today. ds cooked up a box of mac n cheese that came back from college.
2. renewed my driver’s license prior to the deadline to avoid a late fee.
3. having my older dd go to gymnastics at the same time as my younger dd (once a week they typically go different times) to avoid 2 separate trips out to the gym.
4. my older dd is no longer able to do 2 of the 4 events in gymnastics and for the past 7 months I have paid the full amount for her to do half of practice. With the start of the new gymnastics year I was able to successfully negotiate a rate of half what it was. This will be for her last year in gymnastics for a savings of about $2000 over the year.
5. Temps dropped and I was able to turn off the AC for the past couple of days.
6. Shopping my pantry for food items to take on our vacation and trying to buy very little.
7. My family wants to “host” mixed drinks each night with each family buying and preparing different mixed drinks. Well I have no idea how to do that and I have no liquor on hand. I replied we would be having a wine and beer night – of which I have plenty of both on hand.


Mary Beth Danielson June 4, 2018 at 9:33 am

Not that anyone else’s life was on hold, but my website was hacked the day before we left on a vacation. While we were gone the web host removed the bad code and after we got back my local cheap IT guy (aka my husband) patched my site so it won’t happen again – and I finally have back my website. Funny how one gets used to having this place to think and write.

Last week I posted about our car trip to the Canadian Rockies (boy are they beautiful!). And just now I posted ‘more than Five Frugal Things’ at
Three more things I didn’t post at my site.
1. Everyone here at NCA seems to find money on the ground. I live in a weird neighborhood where there is NEVER dropped change – but in the last week I have brought home (after walking past these items two days in a row to give a chance for the owners to come back for them) a brand new kids jacket and a really cute baby’s sunhat. I washed them and gave them to a family I know who could use them.
2. Every single evening last week my husband and I talked about going out to dinner – and every single night we didn’t.
3. Because Katy said she planted lettuce in a wheelbarrow – I rescued our holey 23-year old barrow from the side of the garage and planted lettuce and radishes. It’s working! No rabbits eating this stuff and we are already having micro-radishes on our salads.


Katy June 4, 2018 at 10:15 am

Wow, I blogged about that a long time ago!


Norma June 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

Just back from a very expensive land/cruise trip to Alaska. Now we have to keep the frugality going for our next big trip – destination to be determined. Have always been frugal which allowed us to take our sons on yearly vacations. They are grown and very frugal.
1. Have been sick with a cold since we came home a week ago. Although it is not the way to do it, lost 11 pounds and not done any unnecessary shopping.
2. Placed pick up grocery order at Wal Mart, less than ½ mile from our house because my husband was also not feeling well. Saves time and energy of shopping when you are not feeling well and money as I am not tempted by all the ”great bargains,” most of which I don’t even need, while I am shopping.
3. Placed order at Sam’s Club for same reasons as above. Generally have lunch at Sam’s Club when we go but decided to eat lunch at home instead.
4. Thankful to have plenty in the freezer and pantry so we did not have to order delivery while sick. Made use of crock pot.
5. Little cooler this morning and we took advantage of it by turning the A/C and opening the windows. Double win – less electricity and able to air the house out.


Jessica June 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

If you happen upon any more piles, lets you compare the price they will fetch on a bunch of different sites.


rebecca June 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm

1. Found a nickle on the ground
2. Went to help my sister with unpacking and brought some treasures home
3. The usual-library, coffee and water from home ect
4. I am having a bbq on Sunday (fingers crossed it doesn’t rain-the weather app says rain 🙁 ) I have said yes to everyone who has offered to bring something.
5. I have a new client and I may have another. fingers crossed.


Christine June 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Just got booted off again. Very frustrating after coming up with what I think is a thoughtful FFT. I love this blog and love to write, but at this point I will just read everyone else’s posts. I have gotten so many great ideas from everyone…for this I say thank you. Katy, please post if this ever gets corrected. Thanks.


Crosby June 5, 2018 at 6:35 am

Hey Christine, something that I found helped (I was getting frustrated as well) is that I type up my FFT in a word document. Then I come to the post, refresh the page, paste in my comment and post it. It seems to keep me from losing any FFT that I type up. I hope this helps!


Christine June 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Thanks Crosby. Seems like a little too much work for a simple blog page. I enjoy reading the posts and getting frugal ideas so I will continue on in that way.


Elizabeth June 5, 2018 at 3:05 am

1. We found a huge box of Duplos for $3 at the thrift store
2. Kroger had nice deals on cheese (32oz for $5), laundry detergent (1.99), and salad dressing ($1.49, but I got 2 for $.99 with a coupon)
3. We found lots of great books for just $.50 each at our library’s book sale
4. My daughter had a giftcard to use at Books a million and was delighted to find a huge selection of YA books in the bargain area, which stretched the card even more.
5. I have been slaving away on writing out study guides and assignment sheets for homeschool this upcoming year. I try to spend less than $100 on curriculum each year, so that means a lot of the planning falls on my shoulders…but I kinda like it:)


Gina June 5, 2018 at 9:53 am

1. Got horse manure free from hubby’s co-worker to fertilize our garden….only type of fertilizer we’ve ever used and our plants love it. While scooping that manure into garden, hubby noticed some meal worms in it that we picked out to use as fishing bait.
2. shopped online for allergy meds to try for our lab instead of purchasing from vet. If they work, will save $53.50/month!
3. Used $10 amazon credit to order an oriole feeder (which we were going to order anyways)
4. Reading frugal blogs to keep me motivated as well as get new money saving ideas
5. Got over $25 in free products at grocery store, just had to buy family pack of chicken to use the promotion (planned on purchasing chicken anyways). Will be 4 dinners of meat for us


Crosby June 5, 2018 at 10:16 am

Re #5, are you speaking of Tops?? I just took advantage of that sale yesterday!


gina June 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

yes, it was Tops


Barb June 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm

So whose he rooting for starting nextweek?


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