Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 4, 2018 · 70 comments

  1. My son went through his room and did a major purge of his clothing. (It filled one of those blue Ikea bags!) Ideally everything should have gone into last week’s garage sale, but somehow that didn’t happen. Instead we’re going to to take it to the Buffalo Exchange consignment shop in the neighborhood, and then donate whatever’s left to Goodwill.

    This bag-o-stuff has been sitting in our living room all week and was starting to annoy me, so I put it into the back of our car to simplify the selling/donating process.

    Remember, people:

    “Crap out of the house, money in!”

  2. We’ve been spending too much money on food over the past month, so I took a proactive step and threw two cups of kidney beans into the crock pot for tonight’s dinner. (Hello, Dollar Tree beans!) We’ll add in tasty tidbits like chicken, salsa, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, scallions and cheese to create a Mexi-bowl buffet. Yummy, healthy and cheap!

  3. I have zero plans for today, even though it’s 4th of July. No potluck to attend, no fireworks to light, no goofy red, white and blue desserts to create and no decorations to create/buy/discard. Ahh . . . .

  4. I worked the last two days and drank the free so-so coffee as well as the free delicious tea, I packed my own meals using zero waste supplies and enjoyed a couple of delicious See’s chocolates from an appreciative patient, I used a random “Patient Belongings Bag” from my husband’s surgery to line the kitchen garbage can, I’ve been wearing a couple “new” pieces of clothing that I picked up from an after-garage sale free pile, (a Ralph Lauren striped hoodie and an embroidered floral long-sleeve T-shirt) I put up a couple of listings on Facebook Marketplace and I lent my rug shampooer to a friend so her daughter could freshen up a second hand couch. Making belongings available to others is an important big picture tool in minimizing unnecessary purchases.

  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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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen | The Frugal Girl July 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm

We have a pretty quiet 4th planned too. Mr. FG worked (he’s saving his holiday for use another time), we’re having pulled pork sandwiches here (freezer challenge!), ice cream sundaes (my girls’ request) and we have some sparklers and ground-based fireworks to set off after dark.

I’m actually really glad Sonia and Zoe didn’t want to see fireworks because man, I hate the crowds and the eternal backup when you try to drive out of the parking lot to go home afterward.


WilliamB July 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

Friend and I went to the fireworks downtown where I live as well. Subway in to town was fine, but it was so crowded on the way out that – as we thought might happen – we walked home. About 3.5 miles; while it’s been hot and sticky, we took it slower than usual and enjoyed being outside and stretching our legs.

Frugality this week:
– Finished clearing out the freezer, and am not jumping to buy All The Things now. I’ll wait for sales and am looking for a Happy Meat Box that I like. Why do so many have breakfast sausage???

– Fireworks fun was almost free. I did buy a cold drink on the walk home, as the Camelback (which I filled with ice and water) was empty. Food Truck guy gifted me a soft pretzel as well, that otherwise would have been thrown out.

– Ball game tonight, using free tickets and the subway. I’ll have dinner before I go and take the Camelback-of-ice as well.

– After dropping car off for free airbag replacement, I took subway home, using the dealership’s free shuttle to the stop. I brought important reading with me so I didn’t waste the time.

– Car needs a new donut and non-trivial fixes. I called a dealership, a couple of chains, and a local indie shop for prices. Best deal was at the chain near work; I’ll bike to and fro so I don’t need to take any time off.


Evalyn R Allen July 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm

I spray painted our old metal park bench that had begun rusting. Oops! Need one more can of spray paint, though!


Mary in Maryland July 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

1. Someone who bought an unfinished quilt paid me to finish it and make four co-ordinating pillow cases.
2. While I had pillow case making in mind, I found a deconstructed fitted sheet with a pinned on label instructing me to make it into pillow cases. So I did. They’ll replace the ten-year-old hand me downs that are hopelessly stained. I used strips of four different batiks (on hand) for the decorative flange.
3. We are hungry for Thai and ice cream. Since a neighbor gave me some Thai basil, I asked Ms. Google for a recipe rather than hitting a restaurant. We’ll get a pint of Haagen-Daz non-dairy chocolate salted truffle at the grocery store for less than a single cone for dessert. Although I do have a fantasy wherein we each get a whole pint. It’ll be on sale 3 pts/$8 next week. May fill both my fantasy and the freezer.
4. We picked up a 50 # bag of oats and a 25# bag of black beans at the co-op. 10% discount for buying a whole bag. We split 2 oz of cashews on the way home for a treat.
5. I exercised 6360 minutes last July through June on my $50 senior pass at the Rec Center. I am strong.
6.My sewing room is the hottest in the house. Rather than crank up the AC (set on 78), the Mister moved my sewing machine and table to the basement. I’m getting lots of exercise climbing to the second floor to press seams. You better believe I’m making several things at once to decrease climbing.
7. I finally sought medical attention, having concluded that two weeks was long enough to wait for a spontaneous cure for my clogged head and total sleepiness. I was prescribed antibiotics, and asked for a less potent (and cheaper) one because it’s only my third time taking antibiotics in forty years. I also asked the PA student which of her options would cost me less. She said no one had ever asked that before. Six days into the antibiotics my sinuses are clearer than they have been in decades. You could drive a semi through them.


Marybeth July 5, 2018 at 4:29 am

When we go on vacation we usually stay at my sister’s time share. We go food shopping on the first day and everyone always gets to pick out a pint of ice cream each. I do try to get them to pick what is on sale. It is something we don’t do at home so they feel special. It actually saves us money because the ice cream shops cost more then the pints.


WilliamB July 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

Mary, you rock!


Kathy Hairston July 4, 2018 at 2:30 pm

1. Laying low this holiday. I worked my fund my fun job and earned $100 in cold had cash plus my suv filled up $65
2. Will grill salmon and veggies for dinner
3. Free frozen yougart for dessert
4. Mailed succulent clippings to my sister along with birthday gift for younger son and a couple of garage sale finds for daughter in law. My sister lives next door Tyson and daughter in law so she’ll walk the gifts o er.


Stephanie July 4, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Hurray! I also dropped off a trunk FULL of stuff at the thrift store this week. It felt amazing to get all that stuff out of my house. More to come, but it’s an excellent start.

I’m focusing on eating everything we own, to clear out older food and make room for new, so I’m doing a lot of cooking at home. Line drying clothing happened this week, despite my bad back, and by attending a somewhat local parade, we got free tickets to the county fair (which will happen in a few weeks). That will definitely save us some money!


Lindsey July 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm

1. Worked in the garden an hour and a half every day, no matter how tired I was, because we are starting to harvest veggies for past hard labors. I keep track and most years we get $2000 worth of food from the garden, even after subtracting costs.
2. Did a shop that I didn’t want to do because the company is a pain, but it made us $65.
3. I do not babysit animals because we have two dogs and they don’t care for company and I don’t want the extra work. However, neighbor’s mother died and they were desperate so we took in their two Great Danes for two weeks. Four giant breed dogs in a small home was a lot of flesh! We assumed we were doing it for free but this week a package from Omaha Steaks arrived as a thank you. Free meat!
4. Negotiated down a utility bill.
5. Husband’s metabolism means he ends up hungry at 10, even with a good breakfast. He will buy snacks at work or when golfing, so I made 30 healthy muffins and packaged them up so he can grab two out of the freezer on his way out the door. Much cheaper and healthier than commercial snacks, even health bars.


Bee July 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

You are an awesome neighbor! I have a large mixed breed dog and it is often difficult to have someone come to care for him.


Lisa M. July 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

5FF: July 4th Edition

As I’m writing this, we are receiving a significant thunderstorm. Very sad for outside celebrations but good for my dog who prefers thunderstorms to fireworks and free watering of the outdoor plants.

1. My work hours have gradually been increasing. Last week I worked 30 hours. It is a good feeling to be able to contribute to financial goals that I value in contrast to the past 16 years where I’ve essentially contributed time with minimal financial compensation.

2. Found a penny in the neighbor’s driveway while retrieving my dog after they had moved out. Ran into Aldi’s thinking I wouldn’t need a cart (silly) but did and found an abandoned cart so came out with a quarter that I didn’t have when I went in. Really enjoying Aldi’s very low produce prices and shocked when I look at the receipt. So thankful they opened a store in my town.

3. Working on DD’s summer reading assignments for school. She located a book for an AP class at a different library branch (our branch is closed for a year for renovation – awful) but wasn’t successful in locating the book required for all students. I went to Half Price Books for that book and managed to get the last one available in the state.

And for paying it forward – although she used a library copy for last summer’s required book, a friend of hers was in the process of throwing her copy away. My daughter intervened and offered to take it. I am now able to lend it to my neighbor’s daughter, as she is one year younger and needs the book this summer. I am very pleased with DD’s NCA attitude of non-waste.

4. Formalizing garage sale plans: My neighbors and I have settled on a date and DD has cooperated with piles of clothes and boxes of belongings. Now the hard work begins. Due to the enormous amount of effort, there is a huge sense of satisfaction afterwards. And amazingly, there was an ad on Next Door this week ISO a piece of furniture that DD is discarding and was heading to the sale. It would be lovely to sell it prior to the garage sale.

5. Using furnace, ceiling, floor and tabletop fans to supplement AC and keep electric usage to a minimum. Our electric co-op offers a $12 discount for each of the 3 summer months to be able to reduce usage during peak demand times, called cycled air. This helps a little with high electric summer bills. Really enjoying time at my jobs where the thermostat is set at 70-71. Too expensive to run it that low at home!


Ruby July 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm

1. Having a homebody July 4th. No money spent.
2. Have been carrying around the same unspent $5 for three weeks. Hard core brown bagging for the win.
3. Wearing cute, thrifted clothes every day and carrying the handbag I sewed from remnants. Get lots of compliments on both.
4. Used coupons for $7 that scored two jugs of Purex detergent, a bottle of dish deterent, and two bars of soap, all for free.
5. Also got free furniture polish at the hardware store with a reward coupon.


Tricia July 4, 2018 at 4:39 pm

1. Canceled hair appt
2. Canceled the dog’s appt
3. Bought cheaper laundry detergent
4. Used pantry items for July 4 th dinner
5. Sold our sectional


Bethany July 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm

beautifully succinct!


Sarah C July 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

1. We pay for a summer membership to the local tennis club pool each summer (which is 150% worth it for us) and they had a big 4th celebration today – complete with free beer (yes, please!) and burgers on the grill for $5 each (no, thank you!). We partook of the free beer and fun games, but brought homemade burritos for our lunches.
2. Came home and thought we had no clue what to do for dinner….until I remembered that I have been working to clean out the freezer. I was able to assemble some delish veggie burgers using freezer, pantry, and garden ingredients–and made enough for two more meals of veggie burgers to go (back) into the freezer for later!
3. Very light grocery shopping this week because we’re heading for a camping trip next week and don’t want to leave any food behind. Camping is not only our favorite way to vacation, it’s also a pretty frugal one – it’s not free if you camp in designated campgrounds, but at $16 a night our trip next week is going to be very cheap!
4. Despite the heat where I live (avg 105 afternoon temps) we’ve been keeping the A/C at 80 and only on in the afternoons. We’ll still have a higher than normal electricity bill, but nothing compared to what it’d be if we kept it running all day and night!
5. Just sent in the paperwork notifying the DMV that we have sold our second car. It didn’t net us much in sale since it was basically a junker (more than we would have gotten on taxes if we’d donated it), but now I don’t have to register or insure it!


Monica July 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm

1. Cleaned out my freezers and pantry and made inventory lists for both.

2. Made a menu plan based off of what needed to be used up from the clean out.

3. Stayed at home for the 4th of July.

4. Wearing a new shirt I got recently at a rummage sale for 50 cents

5. Took pictures of things to sell online.


Beth July 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

1. No 4th of July stress for me either! Slept in, did some housekeeping, went on a job to water plants for a client, grocery shopped using digital coupons and shopped the sales ad – bought a variety of name brand pasta for 50 cents a box – went a little crazy buying over 8 boxes but we eat a lot of pasta and expiration dates are long.

2. Treated daughter to dinner last night at Culvers – used two coupons and saved close to $9 (both BIG1 coupons).

3. Made a nice 4th dinner – BBQ chicken, corn on the cobb, bakes beans complete with a peach cobbler dessert and vanilla ice cream.

4. Daughter and I are having a musical week – watched on Netflix, Amazon Prime so far Phantom of the Opera, Momma Mia, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie – and have put on hold from the library Gigi (love the costumes/not the plot line so much), Evita and Chicago.

5. Found out Monday getting a 5% raise effective with this new fiscal year as of July 1 and an additional raise will be made on my anniversary date in two months – bringing over a $1 raise – yeah! Asked to work tomorrow could be nine hours pay.


WilliamB July 5, 2018 at 7:36 am

I’m 100% with you about Gigi. The acting and music are good, Maurice Chevalier is a total scene-stealer just by being his charming self, but I can’t watch it anymore because of the sexism and plotline.


Bethanne July 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

Bye bye Birdie had a lot of questionable things as well,15 year old daughter was surprised!


Christine July 5, 2018 at 8:19 am

Your #2…if anything would make me spend money on a restaurant it would be Culvers. We don’t have them here in the NE but we used to frequent one in Kentucky when my stepson lived there. The wafting smell of the butter burgers hits you when you walk through the door…Ahhhhhh, memories!


Bethanne July 5, 2018 at 9:58 am

So true! Daughter loves the cheeseburgers and concrete mixers – luckily we had B1G1 coupons for both things 😉 And our Culver’s will take expired coupons and let us use more than one


Mand01 July 4, 2018 at 7:42 pm

1. I wanted to buy lunch out today because I felt like escaping my office and the avalanche of work, but I’m trying to save money for a holiday next year and maintain my weight despite a desk job. So I ate what I brought with me, as well as fruit supplies by my office.
2. Work supplies uniforms. I chose the very flattering shirts today. No cost to me.
3. My husband and I did our budget and managed to pay a full year of car registration this time around, freeing up those annoying and more costly quarterly payments.
4. We planned our meals really strictly last week and I’m happy to say we are seeing a dent in both pantry and freezer, and spent about $80 less than usual.
5. Wearing all thrifted outfit – except my boots that are approaching five years old at this point.


Bethany July 4, 2018 at 10:03 pm

Went to a free fireworks at a friends. Magnificent!

A little dog followed us back to our van, a half mile walk away. We kept asking if anyone recognized him. Another family took him. Glad to find him a home. Glad not to have inherited pet costs. My oldest was heart broken though. “He chose us and you turned him away.” 🙁

Used up some pizza crust from the freezer today and some tomato sauce that needed to be used up in the fridge. Yummy lunch today!

Found a much better deal for our pool chlorine online today.

Cleaned up some spots on our carpet. Carpet that I’d rather rip up and replace with other flooring. Isn’t how I want to handle the carpet, but it’s what needs to be done for now.


K D July 5, 2018 at 3:26 am

1. We were going to take our daughter and her fiance out for lunch on the 4th but not many restaurants were open so someone suggested a barbecue. It was more work but the food was much cheaper, probably healthier, and more delicious. Also it was a longer, more social event. As a bonus, we have leftovers for meals for the next couple of days.

2. My husband returned a couple of items to stores that he did not need.

3. We’re slowly putting out deconstruction trash that we’d otherwise have to get a dumpster for or pay someone to haul to the dump. Our trash fee is part of our county property tax bill, not based on volume (which is usually small).

4. My hair is starting to be a bit scraggly but I’ll wait to make an appointment for a haircut.

5. We’re trying to spend as much time outside as possible, soaking up the daylight (and heat) while it’s here.


Marybeth July 5, 2018 at 4:23 am

1. I sold 5 items on eBay yesterday. Who knew the 4th of July was a big selling day. Boxed everything up with used boxes and envelopes. Will drop them off on my way to work today.
2. Grilled burgers on our BBQ with meat I got on sale. Had corn that I got on sale. Had various other sides that were leftovers.
3. Made homemade brownies as a snack.
4.Hubby worked on his truck instead of paying for the labor.
5. Washed a full load of laundry on the cold, short cycle. Used half the detergent recommended (purchased on sale with a coupon and then submitted to Ibotta). Hung everything outside to dry.


Kathy Hairston July 5, 2018 at 4:15 pm

WTG I’m motivated to list/relist some items!


Colleen July 5, 2018 at 4:48 am

1) My neighbors gave me some free raspberries out of their garden. I added them to my oatmeal (that I had gotten for free from a continental breakfast) which made for a delicious meal!

2) Hungry Harvest just came to my area recently so since I had been on their waiting list I got my first delivery for $2.99 (just the shipping)!

3) I bought 2 pairs of shorts and a top from ThredUp with a 20% off coupon yesterday. I know the shorts will fit because I have the same ones in a different color but fingers crossed that the top does too!

4) My husband is out of town so I took myself out to lunch yesterday to redeem a birthday coupon. I got a nice starter of bread with oil to dip it in and a free appetizer of shrimp. The only cost was the tip!

5) Lots of frugal fails lately so I am having trouble coming up with a #5. I guess I could just add that I’ve been avoiding any food waste. Freezing things I wasn’t even sure would freeze well and then using them up!


Lisa L July 5, 2018 at 5:35 am

Katy, I’ve noticed that you describe work coffee as so-so. I seem to recall you used to call it crappy. Has the coffee improved over time? And when I say improved I mean ever so slightly better? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

BTW, love your blog and check it every day!!


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble July 5, 2018 at 5:47 am

1. I had a July fourth celebration at my house. I repurposed the dozen white roses my husband got me for our anniversary into simple centerpieces. Even though my anniversary was June 28, I kept them fresh by cutting the stems a little shorter. I put them in blue vases I already had and put the small plastic American flags in them that the kids brought home from church.
2. We watched a nice fireworks show, live music, and boat parade from the lake near my home. So nice to have free entertainment close by then a short drive home.
3. I asked my husband to bring home an angel food cake from the grocery store ..he brought home a pound cake instead..of course(insert eye roll here).
I don’t complain because at least I didn’t have to get it myself. I cut it into layers and soaked each with strawberry sugar syrup. I stacked the layers with whipped topping, strawberries, and blueberries that needed used up before they went bad. It was not the angel food cake I wanted yet was a pretty red, white, and blue dessert that looked like something you actually would want to eat.
4. I finally got to give my brother back his dog. We had been keeping it while he was in rehab after a femur fracture. This is frugal and good for my health. I don’t have to buy food anymore, try to walk a dog that growls at me constantly, and I can put my fan back in my bedroom that I rigged up in his cage to keep him cool in the dreadful Southern heat.
5. My oldest daughter and her family moved in with me since her husband lost his job(insert another eye roll here). I’m trying to remain positive. Two families in one house is challenging since we aren’t used to that. They are helping me with yard work and housekeeping, so that makes up for a lot. This also forces me to prepare most meals at home because eating out is not feasible.


Crosby July 5, 2018 at 6:22 am

1. I forgot something in my comment on the last FFT post! When I pulled into the parking lot for my hike, there was a glass water bottle in the parking lot that looked pretty beat up, as if it had been there for a while. So I grabbed it and brought it home. It cleaned up really well in the dishwasher. I’d been keeping my eye out in thrift stores for a glass one. Free is even better than cheap!

2. Frugal 4th. We were invited to a friend’s house and were told we didn’t need to bring anything. We chose to bring some ice cream bars that we had purchased on sale. Dinner was delicious (smoked turkey wrapped in bacon) and the free fireworks were fun. Instead of buying a beverage to bring (everyone had some sort of fun beer or spiked something or other) I brought vodka and soda water that I had at home. Lower calories and didn’t spend extra money! I threw in cubed watermelon, yummyyyy.

3. I’ve had my hair short for a year, and I’ve loved it but it meant going to the salon every 6-8 weeks. So I’m growing it out. Back to just getting it trimmed once or twice a year at our local cosmetology school.

4. Brought both of our cars to a DIY car wash. We live in an apartment so we don’t have a place to wash/vacuum our cars. We do bring all of our own supplies so we’re not purchasing the single-use stuff from the vending machines. Nice clean vehicles, inside and out!

5. My partner and I both needed some tops for work and our local thrift stores had a lot of sales yesterday. Between 2 stores, we found a total of 6 tops for less than $15. I also put back a few things that I didn’t’ need (always the hardest part). I remembered I had a free Starbucks drink (I only rack up the stars when I travel for work and have reimbursed meetings) so we shared a tasty treat. Fun, cheap date!


Crosby July 6, 2018 at 4:49 am

Two things I forgot about our date! I remembered to use my own reusable bags at the thrift stores. I’m good about using them when grocery shopping, but often forget them with other kinds of shopping. And for my frozen Starbucks drink, I used my own reusable straw. I did use their plastic disposable cup, but I brought it home to recycle. Not the best option, but better than trashing it. Progress, not perfection!


Christine July 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Nice that you use your own bags at thrift shops and a good reminder for me. I almost always remember my reusable bags at the grocery store but have a bad habit of forgetting them in the car at the thrift shops and the pharmacy. Thank you. And I have given up plastic straws too after hearing that they are finding their way into our oceans. I have a reusable cup with a reusable one that I use when needed.


Crosby July 8, 2018 at 10:05 am

I’m glad to help remind you! This blog and the lovely people in comment section act as daily reminders for me so I’m happy to be able to do the same.


tonya July 14, 2018 at 6:25 am

I have been keeping one of those little nylon bags that folds up into a little ball in my purse for several years. It really helps with store trips where you just need one bag. I use it at the thrift store, office supply store, and other small little shopping errands.

shelia July 5, 2018 at 6:56 am

Quiet Fourth of July here also!
1. The garden is coming in with an overload of zucchini on two plants. I made yummy summer minestrone we’ve been eating all week. It will be a repeat and perhaps a freezer filler when the tomatoes and beans come in.
2. Monday I sold a queen bed and bachelor’s chest, a nightstand and a bench. Yeah! Total profit of 95.00!
3. I’m getting stuff ready for my sister’s annual garage sale. I’m pleased to be getting rid of the last of the stuff moved from the other house. It feels like we’re finally settled and getting rid of what we can’t use here.
4. I used coupons from Christopher & Banks and Kohls to pick up a few clothing items. Two t-shirts from Kohls came to 1.06 and I got a free sweater from Christopher and Banks and a linen dress shirt at a total of 15.00. Cheaper than Goodwill which has been disappointing lately.
5. I’m meeting two of my oldest friends tonight for one’s birthday dinner. I dug through my ‘gift box’ and found a cute apron and a plague she’ll love, both thrift shop purchases. Paired with a lovely card from a box of cards from the thrift shop and a reused bag, I’m good to go! Costco is next door so I’ll do some shopping there and fill my gas tank.


Alison July 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

Have not been very frugal lately as we just returned from a trip to Europe, but I’m trying.

1. Sold my 2002 Subaru Outback very quickly. Sold it quite cheaply as it requires a few thousand dollars worth of work, which we did divulge to the purchaser. He was pleased with the price and didn’t try and negotiate a lower one.
2. My DD recently got an office job and needs to dress up a bit for it. She is wearing a skirt of mine from about 20 years ago, and gets compliments on it.
3. Went to Costco and didn’t buy the container of cashews for $26.
4. Will be cancelling my auto plan membership ($194 for the year) as my new car comes with roadside assistance.
5. Shopped at the no frills grocery store near my house, instead of the “pretty” one, and got cheap produce. I hate the store usually, as it’s old and smells bad, but they have good deals.


ouvickie July 5, 2018 at 7:24 am

I need to go through my closet again, too!
1) Hubby had to work on the 4th and I didn’t want to go anywhere and fight crowds. My Wednesday Bible study group is a bunch around my age, so I headed up the road to the church and we had a great time. Then when hubby got home, around 9 p.m. we watched the celebration on NBC and went to bed after the news. That’s about as frugal as I can get.
2) I went to Aldi yesterday and spend about $35 on food for the week. That should do us until sometime next week on veggies, fruit, bread, dairy and a few snacks.
3) I’m heading over for a Friends Farewell party at one of the pubs close to Campus. It’s during Happy Hour, so I can by myself & him a beer for a $1 each and not add useless stuff to the world. It’s with a group of past co-workers that I haven’t seen in a while and they always keep it cheap during 4-7 Happy Hour. It will be fun and poignant since 2 of them are actually moving out of state next week. I’m thankful we can keep in touch digitally.
4) I bought lunch food at Smart Saver and put it in freezer here at work. I should be good for at least another week.
5) Since I’ve met my deductible for the year, after my shoulder surgery, I decided to have an annual check-up and have all the needed health tests done, since I’m now 60. The Bone Density and Colonoscopy will be covered completely. Not looking forward to the colonoscopy, but I’ll get it over with and at least not have to pay anything extra for it.
Staying healthy is frugal!


Christine July 5, 2018 at 7:51 am

1.Went to a friend’s house on a lake for July 4th. Brought a chocolate fudge cake with almond frosting and a breakfast sausage/pineapple/cherry dish both made here at home. Spent the holiday with friends eating, talking, laughing and swimming, making for a memorable day.
2.Staying at home today. The NE Heatwave is still on so I plan on doing the minimum of housework instead reading library books and sipping ice tea made from tea bags. No calories.
3.On sale hotdogs, leftover macaroni salad and Ball Jar salads for supper tonight. I will have to heat up a burner on the stove for the hotdogs and NE hotdog rolls but they cook quickly. Cooler house means AC only when sleeping.
4. DH found a penny in a parking lot but our found money is still under $2 for this year. We’re wondering if the effect of debit card and credit card usage is causing people to use less cash, thus less money to be found.
5.I didn’t get to wear my thrifted $2 Fourth of July shirt because I was in my bathing suit all day. Sigh. There’s always next year…


Ava July 5, 2018 at 8:14 am

1. Managed to get food poisoning from some restaurant rice pudding, so spent the 4th being sick. Went nowhere, spent no money. Today is a lot better, but still feeling bad. No plans to leave the house.
2. Helped an 80 yr old with an injured back with her garden and was given squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.
3. Husband is moving some furniture around to make better use of what we already have and give me a bigger crafting area.
4. Found a penny. Found money is very scarce around here.
5. When we were in a restaurant parking lot, husband said “I know how obsessed you are with found money. How do you feel about found potatoes?” I looked at it, said “it looks better than the ones we have at home” and put it in the car. I have enough beans to cook from my garden and will add the potato to the pot.


Christine July 6, 2018 at 6:45 am

Your #5…LOL…I’d be happy with a found potato at this point too!


Jennifer July 5, 2018 at 9:50 am

1. Had my sister over for the 4th. I bought too much ground meat, so I froze 5 patties from the mix to have another night with just my family. Also have leftover fries and jug of lemonade. I Costco shopped for the BBQ since there were going to be 14 of us. Now I have another meal ready to go in the freezer.
2. Picked 2 more pounds of black raspberries from our yard and made a batch of jam – this time I got 5 jars.
3. We had made camping reservations for tonight but with thunderstorms and flash flood warnings for the entire time we were to be there, we decided to cut our losses and not go. Saved gas from the drive (3.5 hours each way) and went hiking for free here. We had the camping breakfast I had planned this morning and tomorrow we will have the planned dinner and smores here at home.
4. Had a random lunch of a smoothie using up odds and ends fruit from the freezer and sliced up some cheese to go on the last 4 bagel crisps in the bag. Hoping that holds me through dinner, but if not I can eat yogurt. I like using up the last bits of things.
5. Used a $10 rewards certificate to get a new t-shirt for $3. It is cute/nice enough to wear to work on dress-down days or just with shorts for summertime.


Lauren Bailey July 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

1. Went kayaking on a small pond yesterday and opted for the tandem kayak instead of one each. Total was $10 per person instead of $20 that way.

2. Getting paid tomorrow and putting the budget together. Money’s tight when we’re cracking down on credit card debt, but looks like we’ll still have a good cushion for incidentals for the month!

3. Found another app that gives money for doing exercise. It’s small change but hey, unexpected cash is still cash!

4. Got back into town and had to head to work but I was STARVING. Instead of picking something up on the way I made a pantry special: tuna and salad. Honestly, it was terrible. We were out of mayo and the lettuce was old. I still ate it and it’ll keep me going until I can have something nicer for dinner.

5. Compost bin got flies so I quickly took it outside and sprayed it with bleach to then sit in the sun and cook out. Rainstorm came not 30 minutes later and while I haven’t checked on it yet–gotta appreciate mother nature’s power washer!


Bee July 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

1) We have used a annual state park pass to go to my favorite beach several times in the last few weeks. There is nothing like a swim to cool off on a hot day. Nothing expensive is needed to enjoy the ocean. My bathing suit is in its 3rd or 4th season. My cover up, flip flops, beach hat, and beach bag are thrifted. My beach chairs and umbrella are on their 7th summer and we use older towels that have been demoted to beach use.

2) I have been reading a library book, streaming free or nearly free TV, and using the Overdrive App for audio books.

3) I gathered up a stack of magazines to bring to the library. They have a sharing bin.

4) I continue to use my gym membership 4-5 times a week. It is too hot to run or walk outdoors. I bring my own refillable water bottle and gym towel.

5) I have had zero food waste in the last month, but I have eaten some strange combinations. After today’s lunch, I decided a trip to the grocery was necessary. I combined BOGO deals with coupons and bought sale items. I also bought a $50 gift card or $40. Keeping costs down. 🙂


Shevaun July 6, 2018 at 3:02 am

Finally left the city for a quiet retirement to the country. In our first two weeks in our new home:

1. Neighbor gave us pond-caught trout he caught in our pond, already cleaned. DD (3yo) learned to stuff them with lemons without getting the ickies, we baked and deboned them, then made a fish chowder with cheap potatoes (DD worked on her knife skills with a round-tipped cheese knife and cut several of the potatoes) and gifted corn-cut-off-the-cob (plus seasonings, etc.).

2. Made oatmeal with blueberries picked from neighbor’s blueberry bushes. She said ‘please take the, they attract the bees’. We said, ‘yes, please.’

3. Found several acres of blackberries on our land, researched photos to ensure they are edible, and have been eating them daily on our morning walkabout. DD (3yo) and DS (1yo) are motivated to keep walking by seeing the next patch of bushes.

4. My beloved mother gave us a h.u.g.e. bag of lettuce from her garden. Seriously, this bag is as big as DS. Have been washing, chopping, and adding to any recipe that would work with spinach/escarole/other greens. We eat tons of veg, but don’t really like salads, so cooking lettuce is a useful discovery.

5. DD watches one Netflix movie each day during the hottest part of the afternoon (ah, cool dark living room) while I put DS to nap. At night though, we have not watched any tv or movies… the fireflies put on a better show. Last night, walked past DD’s bedroom door to overhear her singing “This is the night that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Her windows face directly onto the fireflies’ favorite meadow.


Bee July 6, 2018 at 11:01 am

This is lovely and uplifting. Such wisdom out of your little one!


karen July 6, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Sounds lovely.


Vickey July 8, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Shevaun, I’m glad to read you’ve left the city! I remember your posts that alluded to how hazardous the neighborhood you lived in was. Your new life sounds idyllic!


Shevaun July 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Thank you, Vickey. We are so happy to be in a more peaceful place. No where is perfect, but I’d rather deal with poison ivy and snakes than home invasions and bodily assaults. The biggest change is that I feel like I can breathe. I didn’t know how much fear and tension I was living with every day until one day I woke up without it. Is this what normal people feel like? Like they can get their mail, or let their kids play, or eat food, or walk across the lawn? This life is strange and wonderful.


Vickey July 9, 2018 at 6:41 am

{{{}}} I’m really so very happy for you. Now if only everyone could have a safe, happy, violence-free life – including not being torn from their families or their homes.


Tracy July 6, 2018 at 6:58 am

1. At my Mom’s beach house for a few days with extended family. Frugal vacation. Brought all ingredients for our 4th BBQ from home (purchased on sale). Fed 12, burgers, watermelon, baked beans, chips, pop, homemade potato salad, brownies. Yesterday made big breakfast (apple pancakes, sausages). Last night was black bean soup and quesadillas with lemon bars. Everyone happy and well fed for relatively little money.
2. Enjoying free entertainment as well — parade on 4th plus fireworks, yesterday a hike up a nearby mountain, a beach bonfire and s’mores, beach walks, cards, reading, movies.
3. Hubs and I are three or so years out from retirement. We’ve both upped our savings and are now saving a third of our gross income. Belt tightening needs to continue!
4. Didn’t go to yoga class I considered yesterday — my favorite teacher here teaches Sat and Sun so I will wait to spend the money until those days.
5. So far only entertainment/eating out money spent on this trip is for ice cream cones after our hike yesterday — and boy did they taste good!


Cindy in the South July 6, 2018 at 7:43 am

1. I slept in on the 4th, and watched fireworks that the neighbors were setting off.
I did not have to leave my front yard! 2. I went swimming the next day, at a local lake, for $4. 3. I went to two thrift stores, and I got a t shirt I had been wanting for two years, for 99 cents!. I also bought a dress for a buck, a one thrift store. Unfortunately, the other dress I bought was $5, but all fit me well, so I am happy. 4. I ate ice cream at the house. It is so much cheaper than eating it out. 5. I made chicken salad with leftovers and brought it to work.


Cindy in the South July 6, 2018 at 7:44 am

Mercy…my typos when I am in a hurry…groan


Gina in KY July 6, 2018 at 9:40 am

1. I needed to build what I guess you would call a utility door (a small area to access plumbing for the shower). It previously had just a piece of painted plywood covering it. I used some cedar fencing I already own, hinges that didn’t work on another door and screws already owned to create a cute door (not that anyone will ever see it as a couch will soon cover it).

2. Eating at home even though the triple digits temps make me want to live at the ice creamery. I am doing something similar as Katy with a couple of cups of black beans tonight.

3. I am still on the Big Declutter Project. I took a load of crap to my favorite thrift store only to find out they CLOSED while I was away on vacation last week. What?! I had no idea (sniff). Anyway, I found another thrift store to take the donations, but this one is going to be hard to get over.

4. This is not going to sound frugal immediately, but I made a HUGE payment on one of my debts. This will help me pay it off faster than I previously planned and I can move on to the next. I am still on-track for being debt-free (except the blessed student loans) by 2020. If I get there, then I will go full-on attack mode towards the student loans. I am still bitter about a dept repayment program for gov workers that ended up being a scam (they changed the rules and you had to refinance into a specific program and start from scratch on 10 years of service. I found this out in year 10 of gov service. It’s currently an ongoing lawsuit by other gov workers so who knows?)

5. I remembered to download my free Friday coupon from Krogers. I forgot the past two Fridays.


Cindy in the South July 6, 2018 at 10:38 am

I had my favorite thrift store and my favorite consignment shop close on me this year, so I feel your pain on this! I now have to go to a couple that are much more inconvenient.


karen July 6, 2018 at 12:09 pm

My Krogers is closing. In fact all 14 that are left in NC are closing. This is the first Friday I have not gotten my free friday item in years. So sad. But much much worse for the workers.


Norma July 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Love my Kroger in SC. Hope it doesn’t close. Seems to do well but there is a lot of competition in the area.


Gina in KY July 9, 2018 at 3:36 am

Wow, Krogers? I find that amazing! We are dominated by Krogers here in Kentucky and I have no idea where people would shop in some neighborhoods, particularly the underserved ones. Do you all have another dominating chain?


Jolynn July 7, 2018 at 6:25 am

My clinic decided we can’t use zertec or peptobismol anymore, so I made them return the new, unopened bottles when they made a dash to Walmart.


Pattilou July 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

1. I bought an item at a garage sale which I have listed on Craigslist. Hopefully it will sell. It’s the first time I have tried the buy and resell thing.
2. I took some clothes to the consignment shop. Hopefully I will make a little pocket money.
3. I hit the local Toys R Us before they closed and was able to get some birthday and Christmas gifts for my little nieces.
4. While visiting my oldest niece, she took me to BJs. I was able to get beautiful flowers for the family graves for very little. I was also able to get a few things for an upcoming family outing.
5. Frugal things for my Mom: I went to her senior center and picked up farmer’s market food vouchers for her. I’ll take her to get lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I asked her neighbor if he had any scrap wood that I could use to fix a shelf. He did and was kind enough to cut it to the proper size and put it in for her. He received cookies in exchange. She also needed to have her kitchen faucet replaced. I tried my hardest to get the old faucet out but was unable to. My cousin stopped by and he was able to do the job easily. He will be getting beer in exchange.


Norma July 7, 2018 at 10:56 am

Seems not as many people are posting their FFT’s since there is such a problem positing. Anyone else feel that way?


Crosby July 7, 2018 at 11:02 am

I just type my post in a word document and then copy it and paste it into the comment box after I’ve refreshed the page. I haven’t had a problem with this work around.


Norma July 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

That is what I have been doing also but I think some people are getting frustrated and just saying forget about it.


Christine July 7, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I just got back into the FFTs after quitting over frustration. However, there are a few tricks that one can use. I scribble mine out on a piece of scrap paper, reload the page and type REALLY FAST. Seems to work most of the time. Like my father always said to me: You have to get your two cents worth in. …Yup.


Crosby July 8, 2018 at 10:07 am

Christine, I’m glad you’re back!

A. Marie July 8, 2018 at 9:41 am

Another approach is this: Write out your whole FFT in the space provided, and then copy it to your computer’s notebook. Then reload, re-enter your name/email, and paste in your FFT. Works for me–and, as you all know, I tend to “go long” when I do post!


Crosby July 8, 2018 at 10:06 am

Yeah, it’s a definite possibility. I just wanted to offer people a work around if they still wanted to post.


Vickey July 9, 2018 at 6:43 am

It’s also possible that people are posting less because they’re on vacation, or because the Facebook group is reportedly less hostile than it was and some prefer posting there.
Thank you, Katy, for continuing to host this labor of love.


PaigeinTexas July 8, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Well…I was trying to keep everyone happy and let the finances go a little and now we’re back in a bad situation with not enough money to end the month…so I’m tightening things up again.
1)I made another batch of laundry detergent. I make dry so that all kids can easily measure it to wash clothes on their own.
2)brought my lunch to work and am drinking ice water. We have an ice machine and water machine paid for by our police officers association.
3)I’m off this week so I’ll be meeting with a couple homeschool moms and we will look through each other’s curriculums to see if any can be traded. Helps keep costs down.
4)I’m going to set up a clothes and purse get together with my friends for next month. We can trade each other, get new to us stuff, and never spend a penny!
5)I’m doing A TON of swagbucks surveys while on night shifts. It will keep me awake and I wanna get some amazon gift cards to be able to pay for home supplies purchases.


Vickey July 9, 2018 at 8:20 am

FFT, Focused on Getting Healthy edition:
1) I’ve lost 30+ lbs. since February, with another 50 or so to go. Already I’m enjoying being able to reach for something on the floor without getting dizzy or breathless, and being able to lift/carry/move things without helplessly waiting for someone else to do it. I could’ve sworn I spied hints of a waist in the mirror the other day!
2) Even tho’ I prefer being “clutter-free”, I’d held onto the smaller sizes as I gained weight. I couldn’t bear the thought that I’d never get back into them. So now I’m shopping in those boxes, delighting in wearing “old friends” again.
3) Passing “outshrunk” clothing onto friends, who are likewise generous in passing along things they no longer want.
4) I’m diligently comparing prices across the produce sources available to me, while remembering “Pay the grocer or pay the doctor”.
5) I’m spending more time in the kitchen preparing all those fruits and veggies on the nutritarian/”get off the SOFAS” (Salt-Oil-Flour-Alcohol-Sugar) approach, but my energy and mental clarity are much better, and friends comment on how good my skin looks. :big smile:
6) Walking, using YouTube for exercise vids, just generally looking for no-cost ways to move.
7) All the other usual: buying in bulk, cooking from scratch (big batch of black beans in the Instant Pot for holiday potlucks and planned-overs), cooking in the solar oven on sunny days when I’m home, making use of what’s in the garden (froze 4 quarts of homegrown organic raspberries yesterday, used the purslane in a big batch of Verdolagas in the Instant Pot last night, glorying in snacking on sugar snap peas fresh off the vine), staying out of stores, etc. Had to invest in a new container of Liquid Fence – the groundhogs and deer are worse than ever this year. 🙁


Crosby July 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

That’s a really good idea, tonya! I don’t always have my purse with me so I think I’ll start leaving one in my car and one in my partner’s car.


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