Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 7, 2018 · 68 comments

  1. I needed to pick up a few things for my husband’s work lunches, so I made pit stops at Trader Joe’s and The Grocery Outlet, which are conveniently located just a few blocks apart. I bought nothing more than bananas at Trader Joe’s, as they’re 19¢ apiece, (a likely loss leader) and then completed the rest of my marketing at the random-inventory-but-man-is-it-cheap Grocery Outlet. Among other things, I picked up 25¢ bags of sunflower seeds, as well as 33¢ turkey dogs and 25¢ peppers from the clearance shelf. I love red and orange peppers, but hesitate to buy them in bulk as they can be a bit of a luxury item. I didn’t hesitate to buy all of them, as they’re easily sliced and frozen for future use. I spent $43.50 between the two stores and brought home four bags of groceries.

  2. I worked at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday and brought my lunch from home and drank the free so-so coffee. I had the opportunity to go home early on Tuesday, but chose instead to work on continuing education even though sitting at the computer for so many hours can cause time to slow to a glacial pace. Once I’m at work I always choose to stay. I’m there, I might as well get all my paid hours.

  3. I used the free public transportation pass that I get from my employer to go downtown. My transportation needs rarely mesh well with taking the bus, so I’m always happy when I can use this benefit.

  4. I sold two textbooks that I picked from a free pile, (or “freeple” as they’ve been cleverly titled by my niece) as well as a thrifted Jonathan Adler bookend, I finished a library book and just puttered around the house yesterday rather than going anywhere beyond the grocery store. Doing nothing is always the cheapest option.

  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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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenzer June 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

1 – We had a big bowl of fruit salad left over from a lunch buffet at work. I divided it up into muffin tin cups and froze it. The frozen fruit “pucks” will go into summertime smoothies.

2 – I bleach-water-soaked my 25-year-old white plastic cutting board. I’ve heard it advised to replace plastic cutting boards every few years … BUT, since no one in my family has a compromised immune system, and we don’t tend to get sick from my cooking, I just bleach mine periodically and keep it in service.

3 – We’d bought a new refrigerator a few years ago, but I’d never taken the time to skim the owner’s manual and tinker with the control panel. I did both last night. Not only did I figure out where the (now disgustingly dirty) coils on the fridge are located, I also discovered that the refrigerator compartment was set three degrees colder than the recommended setting. Oops! The coils are now clean and the temperature reset — hopefully that saves a few cents on the electric bill.

4 – I took a container of curried lentil soup out of my freezer to eat for work lunches this week.

5 – We don’t get the Smithsonian Channel in our area, but we can watch a selection of full episodes for free on their web site. From time to time they change out what’s available for free viewing. Their Aerial America series is one of my favorites.


yvette from down under June 7, 2018 at 10:12 am

1. Switched banks to get higher interest rate on small savings account.
2. Getting quotes from other companies on any utility bills that are more than 10% higher than last years prices (power, water, and insurance)
3. Changing phone plan to a better offer that gives more call credits
4. Sheet mulching in garden to kill weeds , with free cardboard and free autumn leaves.
5. Made “weed” soup : pulled all the kale seedlings coming up in places I don’t want them to grow (including the lawn) and put in pot with other random vegetables that needed using up plus mystery ingredients from the freezer. Made “mixed bag” muffins out of the last puff of flour, yogurt (past its use by date), cocoa powder and a dab of homemade jam in the middle…. ( no eggs, no butter) all pretty delicious given the impossible ingredients!!!!


Denise June 7, 2018 at 11:14 am

#5 You are so clever!


Bee June 7, 2018 at 10:28 am

I wish that we had a Grocery Outlet, but at least we have a Trader Joe’s. The heat and the rain have brought with them a case of the summertime blues just for me. Although I want to run away from home, I still am trying to be frugal. Here are my FFT:

1) We are still living without a refrigerator. Home Depot’s delivery service did not deliver on the date promised. I haven’t quite decided what I will do about this. I wanted to cancel the order; however, I could not find the refrigerator that I wanted elsewhere with an earlier delivery time frame. So we continue to make do with a borrowed Yeti cooler and eat simple meals at home. I am proud that I have only eaten one meal away from home in the last 10 days. It is amazing how creative you can be with just 10 ingredients. I am keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be the day it is delivered. BTW, Yeti coolers are amazing.

2) I went to the library today where I picked up two books that I have been waiting for including the new Cait Flanders book, The Year of Less. I also browsed the library’s used book store and picked up three magazines from the free shelf.

3) I donated an end table that used be in my son’s room to my favorite non-profit thrift store. This community organization does a wonderful job preventing food insecurity and homelessness. Although I couldn’t find anything to purchase there on this trip, I stopped at the GW on the way home. I bought two nice pair of sandals including an exceptionally nice pair of Cole-Hahn’s for $5. I was supposed to be looking for items for resale. Oh, but the temptation!

4) I paid bills using my bank’s online banking system, reviewed June’s budget and set up a spreadsheet to track the current month’s expenses. I also reviewed my calendar and made an appointment for my annual mammogram.

5) Despite the fact that I am not particularly old and run 4 times a week, I am not comfortable exposing my arms. Even in the Florida heat, I find that I only want to wear shirt sleeves that come below my elbow. I finally decided to do something about it. I thrifted two sets of weights – 5 and 10 lbs versions — and found several good workouts on YouTube. I am sore!!!! Healthy and free. I hope a see results soon.


Rebecca in MD June 7, 2018 at 11:56 am

I loved reading A Year of Less. I actually borrowed the audio version for free from Hope you enjoy it also.


Bee June 7, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Although I have just begun reading it, I am enjoying it very much. Cait Flanders has much to share.


Cindy in the South June 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm

I am impressed you run! My knees have forced me to do the walking thing. I also like to wear sleeves, even though I live in the state next to you!


Bee June 7, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Walking is excellent exercise. It is important to just keep moving. After my illness this spring, I don’t run as fast and as far as I used to. I more or less trot for several miles. A few years ago, I started running on the treadmill because street running was to hard on the hips and knees.


Marcia June 9, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Just wondering what your issue with arms is. Mine is the batwing phenomenon. I am older than you are by quite a bit, and really think that it’s a muscle drooping thing, not simply a matter of excess poundage. One reason for saying so was the suddenness of the droop–first noticed my right sleeves felt tight, then both sleeves, and within a month was purging blouses from my closet and getting new ones with non-binding armholes. I thought it was another permanent change due to aging.


Bee June 10, 2018 at 5:34 am

I also have bat wings. I am self-conscious about this problem. I found several weight workouts on YouTube that are supposed to address this problem. I figured it was worth a try. If nothing else, I should get a bit stronger.

Marilyn June 7, 2018 at 1:44 pm

I just put the Cait Flanders book on hold at our library. Thank you for the suggestion.


Jenelle June 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

1. Have been eating packed lunches at work, though they are odd and random at times (hamburger and scrambled eggs), eating leftovers does save money!
2. My per diem refund came in this morning, so I was able to put it toward a small debt and take out some cash for an upcoming camping trip.
3. I have been meeting my Ebay goal of posting two items per day. I do work a full time job outside of the home and have two little ones, but I am trying a side hustle through Ebay.
4. I posted a vintage t-shirt last night that I only paid $4.50 for…I am so excited that it is already up to $81!! I’ve never sold something with that fast of an auction before. I hope that it will bring in over $100.
5. today is my little guy’s last full day of Kindergarten! While this is not frugal because I will have to pay for care for him all summer, it is exciting to know that he did great this year!


Isitaneedorawant June 7, 2018 at 8:23 pm

Enquiringly minds want to know what was the vintage t-shirt?


Isitaneedorawant June 7, 2018 at 8:24 pm

No “ly”. Darn that auto correct.


Jenelle June 8, 2018 at 5:44 am

It’s a vintage 1990’s guess t-shirt. First I don’t understand how 1990’s is vintage and second why would anyone pay this much for a t-shirt.


Mand01 June 8, 2018 at 1:57 pm

The 90s is vintage in the way the 70s was vintage to me and my friends. My kids think the 90s is retro


Crosby June 7, 2018 at 11:06 am

1. We made more dinners from the freezer earlier this week.

2. I went to a different grocery store than normal because they had a meal deal (buy the meat and get the sides/fixings for free) that we will actually use. We’ve already made the two meals that the ingredients create and have plenty of leftovers. I bought some other things I needed as well but made sure they were on sale since this stores non-sale prices are normally higher than my normal store.

3. Our farm share starts today. The upfront cost is large, but I then get three seasons of veggies, which cuts down on our grocery bill. I also paid for the share back before our change in financial situation so current me is very grateful to past me. Also, the veggies are all organic and local!

4. Haven’t eaten out once this week, despite many temptations. I have 2 lunch dates scheduled next week and they both agreed to brown bag it.

5. Found a Father’s Day gift on amazon that was on sale, purchased it with points, and managed to not buy anything else.


Lindsey June 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm

1. Had two college aged kids over for dinner last night. Things were a bit slow and they asked if they could do anything around the house to help us out and pass the time. In my younger years I would have said no, but I put them to work weed whacking and hilling up the potatoes. In half an hour they accomplished what it would have taken me several hours to do. I had made a wonderful, huge, three layer chocolate cake for dessert, so sent them home with the leftovers in gratitude.
2. Agency I volunteer for took all the volunteers out to a Chinese restaurant. The servings were so huge I took home four boxes of my leftovers, plus a box of leftovers from other people that were suitable for the dogs. These folks all known my giant breed dogs, so all pitched in with anything they were not taking home.
3. Accepted cardboard boxes from an Amazon-ordering fool friend, to use as mulch for my garden.
4. A friend who makes gorgeous cards but hates to bake asked me to make her husband’s favorite birthday pie and offered a dozen cards as payment for my labors. Plus she paid for the supplies. I was thrilled to get her cards.
5. Repurposed a holey quilt into thick pot holders. My other ones were getting too thin to use.


Linda G June 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Please check that the quilt batting is cotton or wool rather than something that will melt before you use the potholders.


Lindsey June 7, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Thank you for the tip–I will double check that!


Rebecca in MD June 7, 2018 at 12:14 pm

1. When I received my seed order this spring, the company included some free Swiss Chard seeds, which I planted. I made my first harvest the other day, and tonight I am enjoying sautéed Swiss Chard with whole wheat toast for dinner. I sautéed the chard using olive oil, onions, and crushed red pepper. Delicious on my toast like bruschetta. Delicious, free, and oh so healthy!
2. Convinced the HH to eat leftovers tonight instead of cooking a new meal.
3. Watched the PBS Masterpiece Theatre “Wolf Hall,” free with my Amazon Prime membership.
4. Enjoying my free Kindle e-book “Goodbye Things.”
5. Used a “New30” code to score 30% off at ThredUp as a first-time buyer. Scored a NWT Danny & Nicole summer jacket with a retail tag of $80 for $18.


Denise June 8, 2018 at 4:35 am

#4 Thanks for the recommendation; I just downloaded it!


tonya June 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm

1) Eating at home today, and pulling dinner fixings from the freezer.
2) Doing some laundry and putting it away. This probably sounds silly, but it’s so easy to let it languish…..
3) Reading library books.
4) Driving very little- batching my two errands for today.
5) Not frugal- we decided to get our elderly cat shaved by a groomer. Hopefully we will extend it by furminating him in between. It’s for his comfort though. Poor old guy is curly and can’t clean himself and gets terribly matted and smelly.


Cindy in the South June 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm

1. I took a package of luncheon meat to work and also bought a loaf of bread. It is not exciting for this week’s lunches, but is certainly cheap. I already have mayo in the office fridge.
2. I ate sardines and leftovers for supper. Again, not exciting but filling.
3. I walked during my lunch break for exercise. Free.
4. I took a nap. Always my favorite thing to do…lol.
5. I am still reading paper novels from The Free little Library at the laundry mat.


Bee June 8, 2018 at 3:03 am

Sardines are so good for you! My daughter and sons eat sardines and pasta. They buy the sardines packed in olive oil then mix them with garlic, tomatoes, and roasted red pepper. It can be eaten hot or cold.


Shevaun June 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

You can also amp up the health factor of tuna salad by adding sardines. I will do 3 cans tuna, 1 can sardines, mayo and celery, and put it in a tupperware in the fridge. Yum and healthy


K D June 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm

1. After not eating out for 3-1/2 weeks I met a friend yesterday for a late lunch. I had snacked at lunch time so I just ordered a cup of soup. I had a gift card that covered the amount.

2. I caught up with a friend this afternoon. We sat on her patio and chatted.

3. We had family over for dinner last night. I reheated leftovers (disclosed when the the invite was issued). I did make dessert and some French bread to go with the meal.

4. It’s been great weather for evening walks with my husband. It continues to be weather that requires neither heat nor air conditioning.

5. A friend that gets a lot of local residential traffic is having a yard sale in a couple weeks. I’ll drop some stuff off at her house prior to that.


Tracy June 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

1. Got a free lunch at a work meeting today. Have otherwise been bringing my lunch all week (except yesterday when I did break down and buy a $10 salad, see # 3 below).
2. My mom gave me a free ticket she gets as a bonus as a season ticket holder to see a play later this month. It’s one I really wanted to see and ticket would otherwise be $75 so I very happily accepted.
3. Didn’t buy a blouse that I liked that was on super-sale at Banana Republic. Realized it was a want not a need, and even though it was heavily discounted it would still contribute to the fast fashion industry. As a consolation treat bought a spendy but delicious salad for lunch (see #1 above).
4. Reading a very good library book I got on my kindle using the overdrive app, watching shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix, walking the dog, running with friends for free entertainment. Still deferring gratification on the third book in the Red Sparrow trilogy and waiting to read it until my library hold comes up.
5. Was planning to build two cedar raised beds to have a veggie garden this summer. I’ve been really busy though and now it’s already June. It would cost a bunch to get the wood and other supplies, the soil, the seeds/plants etc. so I think I will defer the project until next year and concentrate this summer on continuing to spiff up the patio for little/no cost.


Tracy June 7, 2018 at 1:55 pm

1. Got a free lunch at a work meeting today. Have otherwise been bringing my lunch all week (except yesterday when I did break down and buy a $10 salad, see # 3 below).
2. My mom gave me a free ticket she gets as a bonus as a season ticket holder to see a play later this month. It’s one I really wanted to see and ticket would otherwise be $75 so I very happily accepted.
3. Didn’t buy a blouse that I liked that was on super-sale at Banana Republic. Realized it was a want not a need, and even though it was heavily discounted it would still contribute to the fast fashion industry. As a consolation treat bought a spendy but delicious salad for lunch (see #1 above).
4. Reading a very good library book I got on my kindle using the overdrive app, watching shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix, walking the dog, running with friends for free entertainment. Still deferring gratification on the third book in the Red Sparrow trilogy and waiting to read it until my library hold comes up.
5. Was planning to build two cedar raised beds to have a veggie garden this summer. I’ve been really busy though and now it’s already June. It would cost a bunch to get the wood and other supplies, the soil, the seeds/plants etc. so I think I will defer the project until next year and concentrate this summer on continuing to spiff up the patio for little/no cost.


deb in sc June 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

So….I have a silly question, but I’ve noticed and it bugs me :~). Has the coffee at work really improved a bit? Or did someone just complain about your description of it being crappy?


susan June 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm

LOL-she mentioned awhile back that the coffee had improved slightly.


Lisa M. June 7, 2018 at 4:01 pm

I don’t think your question is silly. I’ve also wondered if Katy’s work coffee has improved. So-so sounds much more tolerable than crappy. 🙂


Katy June 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm

It has improved!


Katy June 7, 2018 at 4:04 pm

It did improved, completely unrelated to the blog.


deb in sc June 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

thx for letting me know…I LOVE the way you write and love the blog! Glad it has gotten marginally better. I’m picky about my drinks too and always carry a LIPTON tea bag with me :~)


susan June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Today we ate all the things…
breakfast: last pack of Aldi oatmeal with dollar store dehydrated peaches, yogurt and coffee from home
lunch: a tortilla with assorted things from the fridge, made at home tea
snack: popcorn and water
dinner: leftover meat from yesterday’s 1 lb pack, the remains of an onion, cilantro, and a few frozen Aldi tater tots. Also, rice from cupboard with canned tomatoes from Aldi and leftover cheese and dollar avocados. Penzey’s spices were compliments of a co-worker. 🙂
The best part is I came home from a morning at work and stayed home the rest of the day with my son, reading a library book and financial independence blogs. 🙂
Opened windows and enjoyed free fresh air!


Mand01 June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

I’m off work for two weeks before starting my new job. I’m taking advantage of this time to do jobs around the house and generally have a good relaxing time.
1. I stopped in at a smaller local supermarket that had some good specials. I only bought their big loss leaders.
2. I needed new work pants for my new job. I tried expensive designer pants on at the shopping centre but they required hemming and it makes me cranky to spend so much money on pants and then have to take them up. So I dropped into two local thrift stores and found the same brand for seven dollars a piece, along with a merino wool top and a business skirt. I had a discount card as well so five pieces cost me $28.50. The one pair of pants I tried on at the boutique were $200. I don’t mind taking up $7 pants. I hate sewing.
3. I’m cleaning up my study, filing paperwork, paying bills, and framing art that has been waiting for attention for over a year. I’m watching The Handmaid’s Tale again while I do it. Making my study and music room a useable space again and hopefully I can finish the writing projects I have started. I discovered about 20 notebooks never used. I’ve put them in easy to find files so I know that I have note paper and never buy notebooks again!
4. Went to the library last night. We have about five really excellent libraries all close by and all freeeeeee. Placed some books on hold and borrowed some others.
5. Got a tonne of wood delivered last night for our fireplace to save on heating with electricity. $300 of wood saves a lot of money in heating bills.
6. Was walking by an expensive stationery shop and noticed they had a big sale on cards including buy 3 get one free. I love to give beautiful cards so I managed to get 12 cards for $10, including a Pride card for each of my kids for 50 cents. Not NCA exactly but nice to let them know I love and celebrate their identity with them.


Bethanne June 7, 2018 at 5:18 pm

1. Went downtown with my daughter for dinner and found a parking space with 1 hour and seventeen minutes left- cha Ching savings!
2. Had free water with our meal even though daughter looked longingly at the Izzy Drinks.
3. Thought about treating us to dessert at the “she she” bakery but instead went home and daughter made the box of store brand brownies we had and I served them with fresh cut up strawberries.
4.Went to the store and bought strawberries for 59 cents using a store coupon, bananas and tomatoes only. Yeah me for sticking to the list. To bad I forgot the loaf of bread we needed.
5. Attended a school function and heard longingly about a trip another family took to Italy but told myself they probably charged it and owe tons of money.


Cindy in the South June 8, 2018 at 5:11 am

My facebook feed is full of folks with trips overseas, and other neat places. Me….I am happy I was able to spend $3 for the local National Forest and go swimming there…lol. I keep telling myself I am trying to retire a bit early, so I need to keep my spending reined in for now, not to mention the enormous med bills I am helping my son pay.


Lindsey June 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm

When I am tempted to buy take out, I think, “Would you rather eat hamburgers now or eat fish and chips in London someday?” Works for me.


Dusty June 9, 2018 at 4:23 pm

I love this!! I am planning a trip to London for my retirement….2 yrs…5 mos…12 days but who’s counting…..say this very same thing to myself when I think I wanna go out to eat..


Guba June 10, 2018 at 12:25 am

I love this too!


Jennifer June 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm

1. was supposed to meet a pregnant friend for lunch at Panera – I suggested there because I had a gift card. She didn’t show and after 15 or so minutes her dh texted me back saying she was in labor, yay! I used my free birthday reward for a dessert and went home and ate lunch for free.
2. Replaced the lid of our dog food bucket for $1.48 and found large pots of marigolds on clearance for $2 each. I needed these to help keep the animals out of my garden and was super happy to find them discounted.
3. Took my receipt to the customer service desk to get refunded for the over-charge on yogurt when the sale price didn’t ring up. $0.68 back in my pocket. Also put back the cheese that rang up $7.49! There had been no price so I had them check thank goodness.
4. Just when I thought I was going to have to pay someone to mow our grass, my ds and I got our mower started and he was able to do 90% of the front yard before it stopped. We will try for the back tomorrow. There were no neighbors around to help us crank it today, hoping for a strong man to walk by tomorrow LOL.
5. My dd went thrifting with her friends and bought a super cute romper and a pair of fun pants for under $10. The romper still had the tags on and she was able to wear it to the gymnastics banquet tonight. I was given a $25 Outback Steakhouse GC for being a board member. Dh and I will use it to go out for dinner for our anniversary in a couple of weeks.


Vickey June 11, 2018 at 5:54 am

Jennifer, which animals do marigolds help repel? I’m familiar with them for some insect control, but didn’t know about any animal repulsion factor.


janine June 7, 2018 at 7:25 pm

1, Used a gift card to pay for lunch today and treat friends who have often done favors for me.
2. Staying home and drinking homemade iced tea – almost free
3. Attended a lecture on herbal medicine and won the door prize which I didn’t need. Gifted it to the person who invited me to the presentation.
4. Visited Target today to replace my computer ‘mouse’. Learned interesting information about Target from cashier as well as a method for getting babies to sleep-( put item of your clothing in bed with them and the familiar smell will lull them to sleep) – who knew?
5′ Resisted Target clearance items – bought only a loaf of bread and two cans of sale soup for my emergency shelf.


Vickey June 10, 2018 at 3:51 pm

4) Ok, dish! (Please.). What interesting information did you learn about Target??


janine June 12, 2018 at 4:43 am

Cashier told me that I could down load carousel items on my home computer, print them out and it would work just as well as putting them on a smart phone. My phone isn’t set up for anything except basic stuff so this is useful information. I rarely go to Target so am not in the habit of taking advantage of their offers.


Bethany June 7, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Made up bean & cheese burritos for lunch. Threw leftover peppers and onions into mine.

Returned a shower kit to Lowes. Had to dig through the trash but $94 was worth it.

Sold a UV Skinz capris for $13.99. I picked up at the thrift store a few months back for $1.

Sold a piano book for $2 my mother-in-law brought to us. Girls needed something different for the teacher they have now.

Have $329 in solar energy overage. Should help in the coming months. Remembering to get the a/c knocked off around 5:00 when the expensive hours and the solar production don’t match up well.


Bethany June 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

*Had to dig through the trash for the receipt.


Roberta June 7, 2018 at 8:53 pm

1. Tonight was 8th grade promotion for my daughter. It’s a teeny-tiny class, but she won the English Department award, and the science fair 1st place prize! The prize was two movie tickets, and $50! I’m so proud of her! She did virtually all the project on her own, with little help from my science teacher husband, other than proofing her work and suggesting she describe her procedures more clearly, etc.
2. My high school age son managed to pull straight A’s! It was really touch-and-go for most of the semester, but between his grades and our income, I’m hoping he’ll be able to get a scholarship when the time comes.
3. We let my daughter choose the activities for tonight’s celebration. We didn’t have a party — she chose to go out to a fast food restaurant, then home for a movie. (She wanted to go out to a movie, but she accepted easily that we didn’t want to pay that kind of money for an evening picture.)
4. Tomorrow is the county fair. We already picked up discount tickets, and I bought food at Grocery Outlet to supplement our necessary purchases at the fair. We always split a couple cinnamon rolls and a plate of Australian battered potatoes, but other than that it will be hummus, tomatoes, blueberries, and carrot sticks. And that way I won’t be sick the next day.
5. I spent a few hours at my mom’s shop this morning, as she and my sister both had appointments. I rearranged a lot of displays, and in the short time I was there several of the things I rearranged got more attention or were purchased. So rearranging was a cheap, effective way to get more sales. (It’s a second hand children’s store, so I feel good about sales being non-consumer.)


Bee June 8, 2018 at 3:26 am

Congratulations to your son and daughter. In reference to #5, I had an antique booth for many years. I rearranged my booth every Monday. I found that changing the look kept people coming back and made old inventory look new. Sadly, the antique mall closed during the Great Recession. It was a great side hustle.


Bettypants June 8, 2018 at 3:10 am

1. Stopped at Meijer to get the store brand flea/tick meds for our dogs, which I think work well. At checkout the machine spit out a $20 coupon, which I sold on ebay for $10.

2. I have been wanting new glasses, but dragging my feet on ordering. Forced myself to choose when Zenni had 20% off for Memorial Day. They arrived yesterday and I really like my picks.

3. Bought a kitchen table and four chairs at a yard sale for $5. Recovered the seats with upholstery fabric I already had on hand and scraped a ton of paint splatters off the glass top table. Sold the set for $75 on a FB board. I also sold an Underarmour hoodie for $10 and a boy scout shirt for $8.

4. My office ordered lunch for us twice this week.

5. Walked to a couple yard sales yesterday which were duds. Stopped at one more and found a pair of JCrew shorts, in the length I like, for $1. By some miracle they fit and are flattering. I should probably go back and see what else she had in that clothing box.


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 8, 2018 at 3:50 am

I am SO jealous of your Grocery Outlet. I’m always on the lookout for places near me that sell “ugly produce” and the like, but so far the search has turned up nada.

This week:

1. I’m repurposing a box to mail a “Get Well” gift to a family member. The post office really rakes you over the coals on box costs.

2. I’m SO happy to say I’m going on a writing retreat this weekend. I paid for it with funds earned from freelancing, so there’s no impact to our actual budget. I can’t articulate how thrilled I am to get some quiet alone time just for writing. *swoon*

3. I cleaned out our Sink Shrooms yesterday. It’s a nasty task, but these little guys keep clogs out of our drains, preventing expensive plumbing costs.

4. I washed clothes this week using homemade laundry soap.

5. We fixed a leak in our irrigation system. As a result, our water bill is a whopping $40 cheaper!


Gina June 8, 2018 at 4:18 am

1. My kids and their friends wanted ice cream. Instead of going to ice cream stand, i let them pick out frozen treats at the grocery store & they were content with them. Saved a bit on 4 kids.
2. Went to the grocery store last night to purchase a few items for our camping weekend. Took advantage of another $25 in free products for just purchasing a family pack of chicken.
3. Curbed the urge to order from Bath & Body Works semiannual sale.
4. youngest daughter brought home some radish plants from school which we promptly planted in our garden. Enough leftover for husband to plant a few in his garden at work.
5. Visited the free little library in my neighborhood & got 3 new to me books to read.
6. When i received my recent cell phone bill, there was an erroneous charge on there; saved $210.


Denise June 8, 2018 at 4:56 am

1. Have been eating fresh vegetables out of my little container garden.
2. A friend gave me a dozen fresh eggs.
3. Used a Starbucks gift card to purchase a bag of their coffee beans.
4. I have been binge watching Until Debt Do Us Part.
5. We have been eating out of pantry and freezer, so we have only been out $100 this month on fresh food, and this is low for us.


Tracy June 8, 2018 at 6:13 am

1. Free work lunch at meeting yesterday. Have to attend work conference this weekend — luckily it’s in my city this year so no travel, but free dinners at good restaurants tonight and tomorrow night as part of conference.
2. Have really been upping the number of days I take bus to/from work. I hand an annual transit pass subsidized by my employer and can pay my portion with after tax dollars so effective cost to me is about $350/year. Given that parking is $12.50/day when I drive all I have to do is use it 30 or so times/year to come out ahead, my goal is to average 3/days week which I did this week.
3. Stopped in to Banana Republic when I saw a sign for extra 40% off sale items. Found a really cute blouse marked down to $19. Didn’t buy it. (So much of trying to be frugal is NOT doing stuff/buying stuff!)
4. Along those lines, was planning to build a couple raised beds for veggie garden this summer. Have been very busy and haven’t gotten to it yet. Decided to defer until next spring — will save (defer) buying cedar boards and other supplies (soil, plants etc). Will concentrate on continuing to fix up back patio for free/little this summer.
5. Having daughter’s grad party combined with fathers’ day next Sunday. Planning menu around pork tenderloins purchased 2 for 1 awhile ago and thrown in freezer.


ouvickie June 8, 2018 at 7:42 am

1) It poured down rain yesterday, which made me happy that I had a frozen entree in the freezer here at work to eat for lunch.
2) I finished another audiobook, so I plan to drop that off at the Library when I run errands at lunch. It’s not due yet, but turning them as soon as I’m finished guards against fines.
3) My contribution for our family reunion tomorrow is cups and utensils. Big Lots has both on sale, so I’ll pop-in over there today to pick up what I need.
4) I’ve met my deductible and out-of-pocket expenses for my health insurance this year – due to my shoulder surgery in May. So, I’ve decided any other health issues need to be taken care of before the end of 2018. That will save some expense.
5) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, a yacht or a gold plated anything this week – lots of savings.


nancy from Mass June 8, 2018 at 11:20 am

1. Was brought out for lunch yesterday and ended up with enough leftovers for 2 additional meals! (small supper last night and lunch today).
2. found out yesterday that the siding that was on my house was redwood cedar shakes. if they had never been painted, they would have lasted forever. oh well. i filled a wheelbarrow full with some of the larger ones (they are in amazingly great shape on the back considering they are 80 years old!) to use for crafts – possibly bird houses or painted shakes. Also, the shakes were put on with square nails! i will keep as many of those as i can to use also. The guys removed the 1×6 moulding fairly gently and gave it to me so i can use that too. (it’s hardwood but we can’t figure out what type…oak, walnut, not sure. oh, and the shakes still smell like cedar on the back.
3. thought i had no insulation anywhere in my house, but i was wrong. we found insulation blow-in holes on half the house and those areas are filled with insulation. i don’t think i’ll need even half of the insulation we originally planned for. (I’ll save some money there).
4. Went to the indian market and bought lemons (4/$1) and 4 limes (8/$1). i zested a couple of lemons and limes separately and wrapped each type in plastic wrap and froze for when i need zest for recipes. i then eighthed the fruit and put them in a bowl for drinking in water.
5. found 3, 2-liter bottles of plain sparkling water on clearance for .32 and 2 LARGE bottles of Persil detergent on clearance for $3 plus 3 All detergent on clearance for .42. I have enough detergent for the next year and have been using a squeezed lemon and lime in a glass and filling it with the clearance sparkling water. Sprite without sugar!


Val Y June 8, 2018 at 3:16 pm

All detergent for .42!!
I am envious! What a great deal.


Nancy from mass June 9, 2018 at 3:17 pm

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price!


Val Y June 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

I would have snapped those up too. I have never bought has seemed high at my local Walgreens even with a coupon. Usually I wait til one of the cheap ones like “Xtra” goes on sale for .99 and get a bunch of those. I like All the best though..especially the unscented kind. It’s a good feeling to know you’re well supplied on detergent now.


Linda June 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Great ideas everybody. Love to read through the comments.
1. I have been looking for 2nd hand bath towels in good condition. Stopped at local church thrift store on a whim today, & found a SET of towels (2 wash cloths, 2 hand towels, 2 bath towels in excellent condition for $5). And these are a color that already goes with my shower curtain.
2. Didn’t buy anything else while at the thrift store.
3. Cooking dinner at home & taking lunch to work.
4. Stopped at Target for cat food & sunscreen today & didn’t buy anything else.
5. Staying in tonight & not going to the local auction (although I never buy anything there anyway).


Momma L June 9, 2018 at 7:08 am

1. Listed some cute pins on a free site. I got tired of listing them on ebay and think they’d be a cute gift for someone maybe. Nobody I know, though, so on the free site it goes.
2. Eating from the fridge, buying produce from stands that I know are cheaper and making lots of stir fry.
3. Moving plants around in my yard, gifting bulbs as I thin them.
4. Was given a choice of some home made candles as a gift at work, I chose some my DIL would like, saving them for a birthday basket for her.
5. Eating air popped popcorn in the microwave for snacks, discovered that if I spray a tiny bit of olive oil on them, salt sticks. Oh yum.


Gina in KY June 10, 2018 at 12:47 am

I would be more honest posting on the 5 Frugal Fails confessional, alas I keep trying…

1. Packed up and sold a bunch of books I finally accepted I will not read. This netted me $30 in cash.
2. Books that would not sell at used bookstore went to a Free Library house. There I found a rather rough but readable copy of Samantha Irby’s _We are Never Meeting in Real Life_ (HIGHLY recommend for some light and entertaining summer reading). I am also reading library copy of _Year of Less_. I followed her blog for years but had no idea she had published a book (thanks, Katy and others for this suggestion).
3. I also visited the grocery outlet (not capitalized as it is a local version of this one we hear so much about on here!) I was able to purchase a banana box full of items including coffee, condiments, rice and beans and other misc items for under $20.
4. Dogs had their annual visits to the animal doc. While not necessarily frugal (some may even categorize them as “luxuries”), I got them in a month early in preparation of the new service tax to go into effect come July. My dogs are family. Anyway, both received clean bills of health.
5. Purged a bunch more clothes, useless crap and other items I will never need. Again, the frugal part is that as my house clears out (and, sadly, I have far to go), it frees up a sense of anxiety at having so much stuff around. Maybe it is the book (Y of L) I am reading, maybe it is middle ages, but I am finding I want to downsize sooner than later in this life. I have been binge watching Van Life videos on YouTube. And, even though Van Life is not a reality for me right now, I do think it would be possible and interesting way of life. For now, cleaning up my space and being more intentional at what I bring into it will be beneficial to my peace of mind.


Gina in KY June 10, 2018 at 1:01 am

Bonus 6! I picked up cultural passes from the library for both my teenage sons. In my city it covers kids until 21 and allows a kid plus one parent/adult to get into venue for free. The list looks great this year and I cannot wait until we start our yearly challenge of summer free events in my great city.


C June 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

1. I held a small party for my girlfriend with about a dozen people. I made cake the night before, then cleaned the apartment and prepped oven fries, homemade veggie burgers, and homemade turkey burgers the morning of. Everyone had a great time, and I fed everyone for less than $3 per person.

2. Tried to de-stink some free-pile winter boots. My old boots are too big, which causes a lot of foot pain because I wear them often in the winter. These fit perfectly, I soaked them in a tub full of borax and laundry soap, then put outside to dry…fingers crossed. Feel free to share tips!

3. My winter coat broke, and my spring/fall coat is too tight. I found a winter coat and nice navy blue peacoat in a free pile! The winter coat is a men’s small, so it comes with plenty of pockets.

4. Moved wild ferns into hanging baskets to decorate my small porch.

5. Sold free-pile books to a used book store for $35 store credit, which I will use for gifts.


Lindsay June 12, 2018 at 5:10 am

1. I’ve been wanting to plant some flowers on the street tree that we had planted through a city program in the fall. Luckily, my school’s agriculture program was giving away extra plants to teachers, so I scored six marigold plants for free!
2. I’m getting together with a friend tomorrow. Instead of going out for coffee or lunch, we’ll take a walk around a local nature park. Free!
3. I’m taking my mom out for dinner for her birthday today. We’ll go to a restaurant that is walkable from my house, which will save on gas.
4. Tomorrow I will work a few hours at an occasional side job to earn a few extra bucks while I am on summer break.
5. This past weekend, I noticed that I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the fit of my swimsuit top. I found a replacement at Salvation Army yesterday that was listed at $5, but it was in the half off category for the day, so I only paid $2.50!


Sarah D June 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm

1. Even though I live in the Southwest, we didn’t turn on the A/C until this week – and even then, we’re only running it in the afternoons and keeping the windows open the rest of the day (it’s a small house so it doesn’t take long to cool down).
2. Fixed a flat sheet that had lost its trim rather than replace it.
3. Making some batches of food for a friend who just had a baby and I’ll make one for my own freezer at the same time.
4. Cleaned the house and gave the dog a bath. Not exciting, but doing these things ourselves saves vs. paying someone else to do them for us.
5. My parents (who are my nextdoor neighbors) are having a rickety old pergola taken down and a new porch awning put on. Instead of letting the contractor take away the wood from the old pergola, we grabbed it so my husband can make me another raised garden bed, which I’ll fill with compost from my own bin and grow veggies to eat (and then scraps go into compost and cycle repeats!).


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