Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 22, 2018 · 82 comments

  1. My son and I drove down to Eugene to complete the move out from his apartment, sign new lease paperwork and then indulge in a deep cleaning session. To say it was cathartic to clean a carpeted space that hadn’t seen the likes of a vacuum cleaner since September would be a massive understatement. (Remember the episode of Friends where Monica showed up to clean the apartment of Ross’ ex girlfriend? I definitely channeled my inner Monica for this task.)

    To leave a rental apartment as clean as possible is an important frugal act, as many landlords will charge you for any actual or perceived damage to the property. Needless to say, I took photos of the rooms after we’d completed our cleaning session.

  2. I renegotiated my son’s lease and was able to get a $300 kickback, even though we’d passed the official deadline for this bonus. I also successfully bargained against a rent increase and was able to arrange a ten month lease for the same monthly price as a twelve month lease. (Don’t want to pay for a summer apartment that we’re not occupying!)

    This may sound like some kind of sorcery, but all it took was to ask for the bonus and to say the sentence, “I’d rather not have the rent go up, is there any wiggle room on that?”

    Like any negotiation, the key was to kind and patient. Nobody does a favor for a jerk.

  3. We’re back on budget lockdown due to my daughter’s summer college expenses being significantly higher than I anticipated. (She’s taking two final classes to complete the requirements for her bachelor’s degree.) However, I enjoy a financial challenge. My son and I stopped into the Albany Costco for snacks after gassing up the minivan. I filled up on random free samples and he enjoyed a $1.50 hot dog. We didn’t get a chance for dinner until around 9:30 P.M., which ended up being a $5 Little Caesar’s pizza to share. Not the healthiest day, but our home diet is usually nicely balanced. Sometimes cheap wins the day to support big picture goals.

  4. – I sold a Eckhorn Stressless ottoman for $100 that I’d picked up at a Goodwill outlet for $5, (It took awhile to find a buyer, but it was too good a deal to pass up.)
    – I filled our reusable water bottles at home and was able to decline the offer of bottled water from my son’s leasing agent.
    – I picked up some $1 produce from the scratch-and-dent section at Fred Meyer. This included two heads of cauliflower, a bag of zucchini and a container of strawberries. Might actually make up for all the pizza.

  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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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 June 23, 2018 at 1:37 am

1. I’m babysitting tonight for a friend. This is frugal because the cycle of the tribe will return the favour at another time for us. As our eldest is autistic, it can be tough to find babysitters, so we take care of each other’s kids, most of whom have a disability of one kind or another.
2. My new workplace supplies free excellent tea, coffee and fresh fruit, as well as uniforms that are actually nice. And a parking space. Score! Big improvement on the previous place, which had terrible staff amenities. Plus, pay rise.
3. Planned out meals with my husband for the week ahead. My kids have to cook two meals a week now, saving us a lot of time in the evenings.
4. I’ve switched to eating instant oatmeal in the mornings. Although I’m cheating by using those little packets due to a lack of time, it has reduced the cost of my breakfast and is healthier. I buy the boxes when they are half price, making them 22 cents a serving (plus milk). My cholesterol was slightly up last time it was checked so I’m hoping the oat bran will help.
5. Borrowed ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ on inter library loan and looking forward to reading it.


Christine June 23, 2018 at 7:27 am

My daughter listened to Lincoln in the Bardo on audio and highly recommends it. Thanks for the reminder for me to borrow it!


Danielle June 24, 2018 at 7:59 am

Did you know that you can purchase the same quick oats from the packet In a large canister? Blew my mind when I figured that out. Just pour the amount you want into a bowl.


Mand01 June 24, 2018 at 7:17 pm

I do – I even have some. I just need to take a few seconds to measure the two to see how much is in them. Just typing that out is embarrassing.


FrannyandDanny June 23, 2018 at 2:38 am

Thought I needed clothes, put them in the basket, returned them all. Ate at a cheap place instead of a restaurant. Put a dressing gown on for warmth, ate leftovers and blogged.


Mary in VA June 28, 2018 at 8:07 am

I do the same thing when I’m thrift shopping. Before I check out, I re-assess everything in the cart. Then I put back what I don’t really need, or what I already have at home, or items with flaws that I didn’t see at first. Sometimes if the checkout line is long and slow, I’ll put everything back. Then I go home and calculate the money I didn’t spend and transfer that amount from checking to savings.


Dmarie June 23, 2018 at 3:50 am

“It never hurts to ask” sure paid off for you, Katy! I’m trying hard to cook, cook, cook the garden. No wasted zucchini or yellow squash so far. Every harvest is money in the bank as each plant pays for itself many times over. Zucchini/squash tart on today’s menu. Went to an estate sale yesterday & found a chinois strainer I’d been wanting…better quality, lower price than new. Also bought some lovely new bath soaps for less than half of retail for ordinary soaps.


Lindsey June 23, 2018 at 6:03 pm

I frequently make zucchini tots for dinner instead of tater tots. Not identical in taste but still good and uses up our overload of zucchini. Recipe on internet


Marybeth June 26, 2018 at 2:22 pm

We love zucchini fries with a burger when we have too many zucchini.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early June 23, 2018 at 5:52 am

Impressive job on the rental negotiations! And photos before AND after are key to show that things look the same. And well done on the water – it’s hard sometimes to pass up something free even if it’s environmentally not a good thing.


Cindy in the South June 23, 2018 at 7:04 am

Love the photos and so happy she is graduating! I have been away at a work conference which was at the beach. I could never afford to go to the beach at this time in my life, if it were not for this work perk, so I am very happy about the three days I spent there. My hotel was free for me, as was the gas and food. That is three free things. 4. I went and bought a pack of hot dogs ($1 and buns($1) for my trial lunches this week. I know it is not the healthiest, but $2 for five meals is cheap and surely I can get a break to zap the hot dog for 30 sec. in the microwave…..or at least at the end of the day before I drive home. 5. I bought sardines (92 cents a can), and bread, along with spinach at $1.88 for my suppers next week. I will be too tired to cook.


Cindy in the South June 24, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Geez…my typos….groan


Kathy June 23, 2018 at 7:06 am

Enjoying our budgeted trip with friends from Texas. Rented a 2 bedroom house, making breakfast here, packing snacks for our day trips.
Scheduled another financial secret shop for Monday $45
WTG on the lease negotiation


Christine June 23, 2018 at 7:24 am

1. Went swimming at a friend’s lake house yesterday. Free exercise. I love to walk trails but the woods are, shall I say, a bit buggy here in New England this time of year so swimming was a refreshing alternative.
2. Made a spice cake from scratch for friend at lake house. She had botched a cake she needed to make for a bake sale so I suggested she sell the spice cake and we could eat the botched cake for dessert for the Sloppy Joes she was making for dinner. Her cake was delicious, only broke while she was taking it out of the pan.
3.Nice watching the flowers I got free with CC points bloom as summer arrives, all the while reading library books and relaxing on the deck.
4. Keeping a close eye on the speedometer to minimize fuel usage. Gas prices are up again.
5. No restaurant meals as we are eating down the freezer. Two frozen lasagnas left to go.


janine June 23, 2018 at 9:02 am

Loved you frugal mix! Buggy here in the Midwest too! Trying to stay on the path of not eating out too much despite lack of cooking energy and hot weather which beckons us to nice air conditioned restaurants.


Christine June 25, 2018 at 9:03 am

Thanks Janine! I know what you mean about fighting the urge to eat in restaurants. The struggle is real…lol!


Lisa M. June 23, 2018 at 7:37 am

5FF: Official Summer Edition, Can’t Wait for Fall

1. As predicted, received a raise at my for-profit job although haven’t received official performance eval. Also received a raise recently at my non-profit job. Inexplicably, one came after 16 years, the other after 7 months, so just random timing. It’s extra income so I’m not complaining.

2. Received my 6th free card this spring from a major card shop. Promo period ending late July, so plan to stop and shop every “free card Friday” until then.

3. Finally visited my relatively new local Aldi’s, then did comparison pricing for same items at local grocer. Significantly cheaper at Aldi’s but produce mainly in bulk which doesn’t always work with my family of 3. Typically buy produce and loss leaders/seasonal items at local grocer and other groceries at discount retailer. Believe there are savings to be had buying bulk produce at Aldi’s.

4. Like Katy, in early stages of prepping for annual garage sale (will be #11 – skipped only 1 year since DD was 6) in conjunction with neighbors. The garage sales have been HUGELY helpful clearing out DD’s discards over the year plus proceeds go to DD’s college fund. Now if I could just get as motivated as she is to discard…

5. Also plan to start working on Property Tax Refund process again this year. Doubly helpful as in addition to getting tax $ back, avoid the cost of preparing and filing by doing it myself.


Jennifer June 23, 2018 at 8:18 am

FFT for me today:
1) went to the local farmer’s market and got kale, beets and bib lettuce for $7.50. Supports them and supplements what we have on hand nicely.
2) dh is finally home after 3 weeks of travel (2 of them working, bringing in an extra $3000 or so – and 1 our vacation). This means that he is spending the day changing the oil in all 3 cars himself and mowing the grass himself. I ALMOST paid someone to change his oil (needed it the most) and mow the lawn, but held off by not driving his car at all while was gone and by ignoring the growing grass.
3) “volunteering” at the local MLB game today which should send around $100 to my dd’s gymnastics tuition. tax free!
4) Washing the dog ourself.
5) Used up some mushy strawberries the kids wouldn’t eat in a smoothie for my lunch. Got gas at Costco for $0.48 cheaper than the other gas stations. Sending my dh to Wal-mart with a detailed list that he will stick too.


Betty Winslow June 23, 2018 at 8:27 am

1. Picked up extra copies of the Tightwad Gazette to resell.
2. Bought several like-new books at the used book store, for Xmas gift, padi for by store credit from all the books I’ve brought in.
3. Started working my way through my backlog of yarn, making loomknit hats – some for gifts, some for charity.
4. Repaired my SIL’s favorite necklace, made $10.
5. Bought strawberries for $1 a qt, made 5.5 jars of freezer jam, using stocked sugar from Xmas shopping for baking that I didn’t use.


Bethany June 23, 2018 at 9:16 am

We’re carpooling with some friends to an event today. We got a reduced rate, but gathering a decent size group.

Perused some air fryers online, and then decided I didn’t need one.

My dad came for a visit. He gave me his old smartphone that he replaced. Going to use it for a better camera. Can still access WIFI with it, but it doesn’t have a phone number to it. I’ll continue to use my dumb phone for calls.

Saving up my tin cans for a craft project for VBS. In all actuality, they sell plain tin cans for this craft. No thanks!

Using up a bit of our credits from our solar panels to keep cool, but trying to be mindful of our usage.


Ruby June 23, 2018 at 10:10 am

1. Gave our 3 dogs a bath myself.
2. Scavenged some discarded but good coupons at the grocery store.
3. Handwashed delicates and hung them to dry.
4. Did some more mending.
5. Reading boojs I had not gotten to yet.


Mary in Maryland June 23, 2018 at 11:27 am

1. The gutter guy took pictures of the gutters before and after he cleaned them Nice verification, because neither of us have been up a twenty foot ladder in years. (The prenup stipulated that the Mister was not to be up on tall ladders.)
2. I had a very old-wool-punched rug that I trash-picked ten or so years ago. One edge was now spitting wool. I divided the rug and bound the raw edges to make two perfect-sized under the dog crate pads. Quite an upgrade from the aged bath towels.
3. I washed 17 windows over five days. The house feels new. I feel old.
4. A not so mobile friend had me come to her house and shorten a flounced skirt. She paid me and filled my car for the thrift shop as I left.
5. I dropped her stuff at the thrift store without looking at it. And I didn’t go into the store because I don’t need anything.
6. A year ago I brought home a darling pressure cooker from a kitchen swap. Although I’ve admired it a lot, I already had one that I mostly used. So I free-cycled the cute one to someone who wanted it for a birthday present for a friend.


Christine June 25, 2018 at 9:12 am

DH and I have a similar agreement about high ladders! We hire someone to clean our gutters once a year. This guy has a cherry picker so I say, let him do it! We’re looking into Gutter Guards or something similar to hopefully save money in the long run.


A. Marie June 23, 2018 at 12:50 pm

FFT, Long Time No Post Edition:

Sorry for the long silence, NCA friends. It’s been a combination of work demands, garden demands, DH’s needs, and a visit from my oldest sister and her husband that turned out to be more distressing than comforting. (Let’s just say that my DS has serious mental and physical health problems of her own, and that my BIL’s caregiver burden may be even heavier than my own in some ways.)

But DH and I did our best to have a relatively fun, carefree, and frugal Saturday out today. The FF from this outing:

(1) First stop was our Regional Market, where we stocked up on locally raised eggs and the few local fruits/veggies we don’t grow ourselves, plus a few other delicacies. (Among other things, we caught the last of the local asparagus. We’d missed the market the last three weeks in a row for various reasons, so we missed most of local asparagus season.)

(2) We then stopped at Wegmans to cash in bottles/cans (over $10 worth). I also found 58 cents in U.S./Canadian change and a 50-centavo Ecuadorian coin in the Coinstar machine. (The latter coin is surprisingly chunky and impressive for being such small change.)

(3) Next stop was the FFL June book sale, where fellow NCA’er Barbara greeted me warmly and handed over a couple of Jane Austen-related books she’d been saving for me. Thanks, Barbara!

(4) We then drove the scenic route to a church chicken BBQ “down in the Valley,” which is one of our favorite of these local events (their cole slaw with apples is the best!).

(5) And we finished up at a quaint local garden supply/feed store in the Valley (I always buy something there to support them in their fight against the big box operations) and a branch of our local Thrifty Shopper (some excellent finds in kitchenalia).


Bee June 24, 2018 at 4:57 am

I am glad to see your post. I noticed that you were “missing”.


Liz B. June 26, 2018 at 4:51 pm

A. Marie, I’m glad to see you’re back. {hug}


Alexandra @ June 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm

1. cleaned out the fridge and made chili with leftover hamburger, steak, mushrooms, black beans and tomatoes. I find keeping salsa and south of the border type seasonings around makes this easy and always tasty.
2. I was pleasantly surprised when Lands end sent me a 40% off coupon. I bought a dress, long sleeve t, and a dress shirt for DH. Loved the dress so much, hoped on line to buy the same thing in a different color and they gave me 50% off. VERY impressed with the quality of t shirt and dress. I think these will last quite a while. If you need a dress, it is the “fit and flare” and it isn’t too short and the pleats hide my tummy a bit!
3. Our Weber grill was dying of rust. A local sale on craigslist found a larger one, almost new, for $50. While we were talking to them, we admired their bikes as our grandson has outgrown his and we’re looking for one. They said, “here, this one was s$350 new. We got new bikes. so you can have it.” You KNOW we took it! We’ll see if it fits. If not, we will sell it and use the proceeds for the next purchase.
4. DH bike got stolen from work. He has been using mine for a while now. I don’t ride like i used to at all. A neighbor was selling a very nice bike for $200. a great price with all the whistles and bells. We talked it over and agreed that a $40 beach cruiser is all I need these days. We let the next person buy it and saved $200.
5. Hit Harris Teeter apparently minutes after the meat dept marked a lot of red meat down. Bought 5 differing packs of steaks for about $4.50 a lb.


rebecca j robbins June 24, 2018 at 9:00 am

I love having jars of sale-purchased salsa for that. The salsa, ground turkey and a can of black beans makes a delicious chili and it is good for a bunch of frugal meals and so handy to have in the freezer.


Liz B. June 26, 2018 at 4:57 pm

I love Land’s End dresses. You’re right, they do hold up well – and the fit and flare is awesome!


Christine June 28, 2018 at 5:35 am

I had a Lands End dress for years and years in my twenties and thirties. I loved it and could dress it up or down as needed. I finally “outgrew” it.


Susanne G June 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm

As a former leasing agent, the most important question to ask is “Are you having any specials?” We were discouraged from offering the information uninitiated. Also, do not balk if leasing agent asks for your drivers license (or similar) to keep in office while you look at apartments. We can not judge who has sketchy plans by one’s looks and must therefore ask everyone to comply with same rules as we show empty apartments to complete strangers. Taking pictures is a great way of documenting conditions, before and after.


Ava June 23, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Nothing dramatic lately:
1. Got some good deals on reduced produce: red and orange peppers, avocados, onions, melon. Alas, the melon was not fit to eat but the other items were fine. I don’t mind wasting a dollar when I got 6 avocados for $1 and 6 peppers for $2.
2. Had some big tree limbs down in the last storm. Husband and I worked together to cut them up and move them. We saved the biggest pieces for winter kindling.
3. The green beans I planted from free library seeds are almost big enough for the first picking. On my last trip to the library, I picked up some more free cucumber seeds from the seed exchange. I realized I had room for more cucumbers and I was out of seeds.
4. Went to a yard sale and a got couple of Christmas presents for friends- a new casserole carrier for $2, among other things.
5. Working 0n a big project of sorting grandkids outgrown toys. Husband cleaned out the room where we kept toys for kids when they visited. They have really outgrown everything and we want to make better use of the room for ebay supplies. I had no idea we had so much STUFF until I saw it all piled in the dining room. It has been a very tiring project but now I am getting toward the end. I don’t have the energy for a yard sale, so the majority is going to the church yard sale, with some going to a pre K class, a friend’s grandson and Goodwill. I have piles everywhere. I have struggled with what to do with the stuffed toys my mother made and a few other toys from my childhood. They have survived me, my kids and now the grandkids. I am still very attached to the memories, so I am embarrassed to say I am going to stick them in the attic for my kids to deal with someday. At least it will be 2 boxes of stuff instead of a room full.
Congratulations Katy for getting one child out of school debt free and good luck with the next one. You should be proud of yourself and them.


Lindsey June 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm

1. We have cable (no anti-tv or cable lectures, please. I have a chronic illness and on bad days tv is my friend). I negotiated a $20 decrease in our monthly bill. Don’t know why I did not do this before.
2. Did a food shop and got $15 of free food plus $15 pay.
3. At Safeway, asked if I could combine coupons and the checker said yes, so I got two pounds of deli turkey and a half a pound of cheese for $5!! The manager happened to come over and told the cashier this was not allowed but since they had already told me yes, I was given the $5 price. This will be A LOT of lunches.
4. Had a dinner salad with garden greens, including some chickweed and young dandelion leaves. Free and tasty.
5. Found some berries I picked and froze from the garden last summer. Thought they might be freezer burned after this long, but tasted great in breakfast muffins I made with them.


Julie June 23, 2018 at 6:40 pm

It’s been a while since I posted as,p my dad died suddenly 2 months ago so that’s has thrown me off, but in the midst of this frugality keeps me sane and is my comfort
1- planted my garden as always and am already enjoying the outcome
2-still line drying in the summer sun
3-reading this blog for constant encouragement
4-packing lunch every day despite being so busy helping my mom move
5- maximizing my gas savings as much as I can is critical due to the extra 300 km of driving I am doing ever week.


Debbie from Delaware June 23, 2018 at 9:22 pm

So sorry for your loss.


rebecca j robbins June 24, 2018 at 9:03 am

My sincerest condolences


Pattilou June 25, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Julie, I am so sorry for your loss.


Vickey June 26, 2018 at 7:57 am

Julie, I’m so very sorry for your loss, and glad you were able to find positive ways to comfort yourself.


Marybeth June 26, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Sorry for your loss.


Liz B. June 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Julie, offering my deepest condolences. I’m sure your mom is glad you are there, and can help her.


Christine June 28, 2018 at 5:37 am

So sorry Julie, for your loss of your Dad. Never easy for a girl to lose her Dad…


Nancy from mass June 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Did you mean that you ate at Costco? I know your Goodwill tends to have better offerings than in the Commonwealth, but I’ve never heard of one having hot dogs!


Diane C June 24, 2018 at 2:28 am

I was thinking the same thing, Nancy!


megan June 24, 2018 at 4:45 am

1. My husband is opening a business. While start up costs are not as small as I would like (read: non-existent), we are sourcing set up through free, borrowed, and second hand items. Here’s to chasing the dream!
2. After a day of boating, we were ready to pull into a restaurant to have dinner for us and our two small children. Instead, we decided to go home and eat leftovers. The food was probably better and certainly less expensive.
3. All four of us are wearing thrifted clothing.
4. Have a thrifted item up for sale on Poshmark that I paid $2 for- I think I will get about $20 after selling fees.
5. I’m a teacher and I get paid in 12 month installments. I am teaching a camp this week to add extra income.


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 24, 2018 at 5:09 am

Mmm, gotta love those Costco snacks. When I was fresh out of college I subsisted on many a $1.50 hot dog meal!

This week:

1. We were dangerously low on laundry soap, so I made a new batch. I had been putting this off, but it’s good to have it done and out of the way. I only have to make soap maybe three times a year! 😉

2. Yesterday I pre-cooked minestrone soup and froze it. Meals have been really difficult lately, so any help will make the weeks easier. Bonus: I used up odds and ends of produce in this soup.

3. We saw “Hereditary” during a matinee showing yesterday. I used a coupon to score us free popcorn.

4. We borrowed two movies from family instead of spending money to rent them.

5. My dad gave me some doilies made by my great-grandma. I’m not much for doilies, but my sister loves to crochet. I sent her the doilies, which she plans to analyze for crochet patterns. At least they’re getting some use. 🙂


Isitaneedorawant June 24, 2018 at 5:54 am

I use the doilies between china plates and platters on my storage shelves.


Tracy June 24, 2018 at 5:20 am

1. Made chicken taco soup yesterday to use up leftover chicken. Am trying to have an extra frugal couple of weeks because bank account low after finally paying off last bit of credit card/hospital bill, and had a fair amount of food on hand so spent only $58 at grocery store for the coming week and we have plenty of food for the 5 of us.
2. Went out to breakfast and thrift store shopping with my mom yesterday. We both ordered economically and she treated — thanks mom! My only purchase was a $4 black skirt for work. Lots of fun had for little money.
3. Going to baby shower today. Going in on bigger gift with my two sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. They also asked each person to bring a package of disposable diapers (ugh, although I admit they are convenient) and a book instead of a card. Invite specified book could be new or pre-loved. I found a copy of one of my favorites (Guess How Much I Love You) at church rummage sale for $1. Total outlay for shower = $40 but luckily I budget for and have a small savings account for gifts so it’s okay.
4. Enjoying free or already in the budget activities this weekend (run with friends, World Cup soccer games on tv, yoga at my health club, “Vera” on Netflix, reading library book).
5. Hoping to find time to give myself a pedicure today. I need it and am not going to spend money for salon right now.


tracy June 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Update: toes are painted! They don’t look as perfect as a salon manicure but they look a lot better than they did and I still have my $30.


Bee June 24, 2018 at 5:48 am

I am deep into the summer doldrums. Although it is often warm here in Florida, temperatures are now well into the 90s with 90% humidity and intense sun. I start dreaming of running away from home, but I cannot. Here’s my frugal five:
1) I have been looking for a small piece of furniture for the hallway, and I finally found a vintage painted chest at an estate sale. I waited until the last day of the sale and purchased it for $30. It’s perfect!

2) It was too hot to be outdoors yesterday from 9am until about 5pm, so DH and I spent the day doing household chores including painting the trim. This is not especially frugal, but keeping up one’s home has long run financial benefits.

3) I have listed several items on eBay this week. I have sold 3 items and have a low offer on another. 2 out of 3 of these items were things around the house and one I purchased for a quarter, so this was a nice little profit. I also used recycled materials for shipping.

4) Although not particularly frugal but definitely NCA, I sent an email to a Florida grocery store chain regarding their over use of plastic. I have not received a response.

5) I have been doing all the usual things. I am primarily drinking water, brewing my own coffee, cooking at home, reading library books, streaming tv, wearing thrifted clothes, using up my leftovers, enjoying the beach, and exercising regularly.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Dusty June 25, 2018 at 8:17 am

As a fellow Floridian I agree…..however I moved back to N.Y. 2 yrs ago with the intention of staying….20 deg and blowing snow took care of that….couldn’t get on the plane to Daytona fast enough…..


Christine June 28, 2018 at 5:46 am

Regarding your #4…definitely worth a try. I shopped at a chain store on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and was pleasantly surprised when the cashier bagged my items in a large paper bag with handles. When I thanked her for doing that, she told explained that a ban on plastic bags is now a town ordinance.


Christine June 28, 2018 at 5:47 am

Delete the word “told” from my last sentence please.


Teresa June 24, 2018 at 8:20 am

The Stressless Ottoman was an amazing find. You are the master of deals!!


Teresa June 24, 2018 at 8:51 am

Also, I feel guilty about it but this week all I did was spend. There have been crises both at home and at work, and I am just plumb tuckered out. I guess writing this here is my “confession”… but sometimes you just have to know when you need a break. I even bought a pre-cooked meal at Costco (in retrospect, that $35 will feed me for 2 weeks but it will be Indian food every day! I was not thinking clearly when I bought it.) Also, to Katy Wolk-Stanley: lately I have been witness to the amazing, non-judgemental kindness and tender care that nurses show their patients. I am wondering how I can thank them in some way. Would nurses appreciate a thank you card to the staff? Or cookies? These nurses are at two different teaching hospitals in rotating shifts, so there are many I need to thank. If you know of something that I can do to show my thanks, please let me know. I don’t know them all by name…


Juhli June 26, 2018 at 1:30 pm

When I have been an inpatient in the past I have noticed that thank you notes were posted on a board so the entire staff could see them. That tells me they are appreciated.


Teresa June 26, 2018 at 7:26 pm

Thank you!! That’s a great idea. Good for morale.


Marybeth June 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm

We did a note with a basket of candy bars and granola bars with homemade labels saying thank you after my oldest had an 11 day stay at the hospital. After I had a baby we always did cookies with a note. I think whatever you do would be appreciated.


Liz B. June 26, 2018 at 5:01 pm

After my knee surgery this past March, I brought homemade banana streusel muffins and a note to the surgeon’s office. I agree, whatever you send (just a note, or note + a treat, etc) would be appreciated.


Teresa June 26, 2018 at 7:27 pm

This is a great idea too. Thank you!


rebecca j robbins June 24, 2018 at 9:08 am

1. I have had 2 new clients in the past 2 weeks.
2. Eating down the freezer
3. I did go out for sushi 2x this week but they were to take people out for their birthdays. Experiences and spending time together over things is important to me.
4. Watching the world cup for entertainment
5. A friend shared some of her farm share vegetables with me and this morning I used the broccoli in a frittatta


Beth June 24, 2018 at 9:36 am

1. Used coupon and got a free bagel and cream cheese for lunch with a drink purchase.
2. Went to Kroger and bought 88 cent pineapple, bought 5 bags of cheese, five boxes of cereal for 99 cents each and milk for 1.19 each.
3. Using Pet Supplies Plus coupon for $5 off dog food purchase.
4. Doing Swagbucks.
5. Turned air off and using fan.


Mary In Maryland June 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

Most impressive thank you to nurses is bringing in lunch while your patient is still there. You can ask the ward clerk where they order from. I called the recommended place and the Chinese fellow on the phone told me he knew which were the favorite dishes of the oncology nurses. It was not frugal ($120 times two)–except that the patient had two well-heeled friends who kept asking what they could do. I let them pay for it and deliver it. We actually did lunches on Friday and Monday so we could treat both shifts of nurses.


janine June 25, 2018 at 8:49 am

When my husband was hospitalized I send a card to the nurses station thanking them for their help. I noticed that they put it up where all could see,. Not it league with buying lunch, but a small gesture that showed them we appreciated their care.


ouvickie June 25, 2018 at 6:31 am

1) It rained most of the weekend here, so free water for everything, including the stock tank, bird bath and water dishes for the outside pets.
2) The church had a fund raiser for the youth Saturday evening. They showed the movie I Can Only Imagine – such a moving story. I contributed snacks and spent $2 for popcorn and a coke. The fun and fellowship was priceless.
3) My neighbor had a memorial for his brother on Saturday. He provided some snack trays, a friend brought deviled eggs and his SIL brought homemade egg rolls. The memorial was very informal and we all ate, drank and chatted afterwards. He told us to take food home with us, so I took 6 of the yummy egg rolls home with me. I warmed them in the oven last night and that’s what we had for dinner.
4) I’m on Grandma duty the latter half of this week. Staying at my daughter’s house with the kids, while they’re out of town. She left plenty of food and their Venture passes, so I could take the kids swimming and such. Free fun times with the kids and the only thing it will cost me is some fuel.
5) Big Lots had their bath towels on sale and I needed two more for my guest bath room. I had a $5 off coupon, so I used the coupon on Friday to get the towels and a few other supplies.


Monica June 25, 2018 at 6:39 am

I will never understand a man’s aversion to vacuuming. (not a sexist remark, it just happens that ALL the men in my life are clueless about vacuuming and the need for it). Yeesh.


Norma Burke June 25, 2018 at 7:36 am

My husband’s “job” since we retired is to take care of the floors and he does a much better job than I do (and I cook and he likes to eat!!!).


Mand01 June 26, 2018 at 6:03 pm

My husband is the far superior cleaner in my family.


A. Marie June 25, 2018 at 11:14 am

I’m blessed in that day-t0-day vacuuming is one of the increasingly few things DH can still do (along with day-to-day toilet cleaning and a few other simple household chores). However, there are a good many other household issues that simply escape him and always have (i.e., these are Y chromosome issues, not dementia-related). So I get Monica’s comment.


LB June 25, 2018 at 8:11 am

1. Traveled back from a wedding yesterday and got flight delayed for 2 hours. We were hot, tired, and cranky and got to utilize the BF’s Priority Pass that has access to airport lounges. 1 hour free napping in a private space kept us both from killing each other. V. Frugal.

2. Could have taken the day off, but decided to come in at noon to save personal time for something else. Better to send emails as a zombie than burn time!

3. Continuing my month of not buying coffee out has turned into not drinking coffee at all. While my brain is still a little foggy, I think I’m finally coming around on it!

4. While vacationing, only spent money 2/4 days. The hotel breakfast included an insane fruit spread (blackberries, mango, watermelon, grapes, blueberries…the list goes on) especially of fruit that I hate spending $8 a pack on at home! I ate as much fruit as I wanted to stave off the cravings now that I’m back.

5. I did not take a 1-way plane ticket out of the airport. I came home like I was supposed to instead. (Boooo)


Mand01 June 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Kudos on giving up coffee. I’m on coffee number 5 and it’s only 11:30 am.


Christine June 28, 2018 at 5:54 am

I had to give up coffee suddenly due to medical reasons and thought I would never survive…the caffeine withdrawal, not the medical issue. A friend told me it takes about a month to give up a habit and feel comfortable with that item missing from your life. Sure enough, he was right. I’m fine now with decaf everything.


janine June 25, 2018 at 9:11 am

1. More month than money so am staying home as much as possible.
2. Putting together tonight’s dinner this morning . It is cooler and helps avoid temptation to go out and have someone else cook.
3. Sent in my political refund receipt. In MN you can contribute up to $50 per person to the state candidate of your choice and get it refunded if your preferred candidates abides by spending rules.
4. Donating another large bag of books to the GW. Slowly getting rid of my extensive library. Now, if I could persuade my husband to do the same…..
5. Trying to think up ideas to dissuade the bunnies from lunching on our garden. Cute babies, but we have a large yard full of stuff they could eat that we will pass up! Brushing dog and leaving his hairs around might work?


tiff June 26, 2018 at 11:05 am

1. Sold another textbook for 17.00. It was a lot new but $17.00 is better than collecting dust
2. Did a load of my own dry cleaning at home. Not the best environmental task but its cheaper and these are close I bought secondhand, on ebay etc. They are well made so trying to keep them nice
3. My kids have been getting so tired from summer rec that weekends have been low key, occasional trip for donuts, but mostly staying home
4. Used a redbox code, then it asked me to join there list for free, and sent me another code. 2 redboxes free in one week isn’t bad!
5. Decluttered 2 large bags out of the garage, no use in taking up space, trying to make our small home seem larger! It also makes you realize you really do not need anything new!


Katy in Africa June 26, 2018 at 1:05 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for years and somehow I totally missed that you had a daughter.


Amy June 27, 2018 at 8:02 am

I am really confused about that as well.


Katy June 27, 2018 at 10:12 am

My oldest transitioned to female.


Amy June 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Yeah, I was reading your posts in the wrong order, and I saw the news. 🙂


Juhli June 26, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Great job on negotiating the lease for next year!
1. I went to visit my son and his family which wasn’t a cheap trip but spent time playing with my toddler granddaughter rather than buying her anything. She was happy to read books, sing songs, play at the park, have dance parties and color together. We are determined to be the experience grandparents and not the buy stuff ones. Setting expectations early.
2. Stopped by an estate sale my cousin was managing and picked up costume jewelry – 2 necklaces, 3 bracelets and 2 sets of clip on earrings for $5. Just might have gotten a special deal.
3. Took public transportation to and from each airport for the trip above. Got the senior rate of half off on our end.
4. While I was out of town DH fixed meals at home and took care of the dog so no extra expenses at that end. He had his solo visit about 2 months ago.
5. Didn’t buy anything extravagant.


Randi June 26, 2018 at 4:46 pm

I had no clue you had a daughter.


Katy June 27, 2018 at 10:11 am

My oldest has transitioned to female.


Denise June 27, 2018 at 5:15 am

Petrol in England now costs $6.05 per US gallon, at my cheapest outlet (£1.22 per litre).

Be thankful that you’re not in London!


Liz B. June 27, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Love to read about your successful GW flips, Katie! You always find such great stuff at great prices to resell.
It’s been a spendy month (medical bills, professional license fees, blah blah blah….) but have had a few frugal wins.
My FFT, Hot and Rainy Ohio version:
1) Turned in my expense report to be reimbursed for professional license fee (they changed it so you pay the state mefical board for two years at one time – ouch!)
2) Took advantage of annual allowance my job offers for continuing education, and ordered some self study modules (new financial year starts July 1, so got it in just under the wire, lol!). Submitted expense report for reimbursement. Also used a promo code to get 20% off my purchase.
3) Hubs and i joined Weight Watchers. This may not sound frugal, but we clearly can’t regulate our diets on our own, so….We both got a good deal on a 3 month subscription, and are eating lots of fruits and vegetsbles. I lost 2 pounds my first week. Good health is ultimately
frugal, and fitting into one’s clothes is nice, too.
4) Son and I got half off admission to a local museum by going near the end of the day. They threw in a planetarium movie for free.
5) Did all my usual things…made my own coffee, packed lunches for work, used coupons
and bought loss leaders at the grocery.
Didn’t buy any designer jackets with “I don’t care” statements on it.


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