Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 18, 2018 · 76 comments

  1. My son and I found enough excess stuff in the house to warrant a donation trip to Goodwill. (Is there such thing as a finish line when it comes to decluttering?!) I didn’t find anything worth recluttering my home buying, but my son brought home a $12.99 turntable. He’d been keeping an eye out for a decent record player for awhile, so he knew to jump at this purchase.

    Luckily Goodwill has a great return policy, so there was zero worry about wasting our money on a non-functional item.

    I did not buy a set of hilarious vintage savings banks. However, I did photograph them for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome!

  2. I walked to the library last night as I had two overdue books. I ran this errand even though they were closed, as I simply wanted to cross this off from my to-do list.

  3. I came home from Seattle with a fresh eye aimed towards our grubby and mildly cluttery home. (Surely I’m not the only one who comes home from vacation and views their house differently.) However, I welcome fresh inspiration, and have spent a few hours cleaning, decluttering and reordering our front porch seating area, as well as the kitchen and bathroom.

    Our house isn’t perfect, but it’s slightly better and zero dollars were spent in the process.

  4. I brought a hostess gift of fresh hydrangea blooms to my friend Lisa in Seattle instead of something from a store. My backyard is rich with hydrangeas this time of year, and there’s an added benefit that my friend can compost her gift when they lose their freshness.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a вульгарная позолоченная квартира в небе.

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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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Nolan July 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm

I love the update to #5. It’s hilarious!


Crosby July 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I just laughed out loud in my office. Oh my goodness, that was great.


Stephanie July 18, 2018 at 12:14 pm

YES!!!! I got home from a trip with my mother and, my back permitting, have been attacking ALL THE THINGS in the house. I was only planning on scrubbing out one shelf of the fridge today, but instead, I tackled the entire thing. Pulled the shelves out, scrubbed out the spills and stains (WHAT WAS THAT???)…I even took everything off the outside and wiped that down. Boy, did it need it. I have big plans for the rest of the house too, including some decluttering and future drop-offs to the thrift store.

What is it about being away from home that inspires us to make changes when we come back???


Tracy Reeve July 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

1. I bought two giant pork roasts on sale BOGO at Freddy’s on Sunday and threw one in the freezer and one in the crock pot. We’re having our third meal from it tonight — carnitas tacos in tonight’s incarnation.
2. My daughter and I picked a bunch of blueberries from a friend’s yard who was out of town (at her request!). I made a big blueberry crisp on Sunday with ingredients on hand which alas has been polished off.
3. I went down to Albany to watch the world cup final with my daughter and son. I bought 4 glass vases at a thrift store for .50 each which I can use to take flowers to hostesses.
4. I had to meet a professional colleague for a work meeting this a.m., he had suggested breakfast. I had coffee and a scone for $7 instead of a $15-18 entree.
5. I returned two items from my recent consumer lapse shopping binge which I previously owned up to.


Edie July 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Yum, carntas tacos are awesome! And I love picking berries this time of the year- it’s worth putting up with the grey and the rain.


janine July 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

1. I joined Sam’s club even though I don’t like parent company Wal mart. The cost was $45 for household, Included was a $20 gift cert plus a free rotisserie chicken every month for a year – in other words an $80 value for $45. Sold. If you get the mailed offer be persistent – the staff didn’t know how to handle this request.
2. Eating said chicken for dinner tonight along with a fairly good sized 88c personal watermelon from my favorite produce market
3. Trying not to buy a new car. We have one good one and a junker. Gave my hybrid to son to use. He has a long commute and his car was hitting 200,000 miles.
4. Looking into a short vacation this summer – 3 days takes my mind off every-day chores .
5. No huge purchases – either lear jets or anything from Russia.


tiffany July 18, 2018 at 1:50 pm

WHAAAT! I pretty much only go for chickens, chocolate chips and lettuce..scurries to mailbox..


Jessica July 19, 2018 at 7:20 am

I see a similar ad here, but it is from 2017, not sure if it will work still? Crazy deal though if Sam’s is somewhere near you. It isn’t near me, so no point…


Norma July 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm

1. Just back from a 1000 mile trip each way trip to see the baptism of my beautiful great-niece. This was a necessity as my nephew and his wife have been trying to have a baby for 13 years, experiencing many disappointments along the way. She was prayed for by a group of cloistered nuns and they did a great job. Tried to keep it frugal by booking hotel through and receiving a free night. Also took along ingredients for sandwiches as well as chips and snacks.
2. Ate dinner last night on the way home using a rebate card from my credit card company (cc is paid in full each month). Total out of pocket cost – 42 cents.
3. Found a penny. Not a great deal but every one helps.
4. Got home tired and grumpy. Really wanted to order pizza but instead made a quick dinner of quesadillas and raw vegetables.
5. Found a stainless steel thermos, recliner cover, snow globe for my niece and some bags for the sealer at Goodwill for a total of $8.59.


Rosanne July 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your great niece. I was married for 10 years before we had our son and also had disappointments, so I know what a joyful occasion the baptism must have been. I had my son when I was 42 and hubby was 52. Now he is 9 and still part of me wants to spoil him rotten- after all, we waited so long to have him.


Norma July 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Congratulations and, yes, I’m sure she will be quite spoiled.


Tiffany July 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Your number 5 cracks me up! It has been very hot and uncharacteristically humid in my fair city so staying inside a lot.
Was able to buy my little one three pairs of shoes for $13.00 using cartwheel and clearance combined that should last till this time next year as I was able to buy one pair a size up.
Making fridge tea with 2 red rose tea bags and one peach tea bag to avoid the coffee shops!
I won a 4 pack of Teen Titans Go movie passes through a local newspaper contest. A blessing because we have no fun budget lately.
My son was selected for a focus group so he made $50.00 for 30 minutes. He is giving half to the family for fun and he is keeping half 
Not used, but I have been looking for months. I was able to get a pair of black Capri work pants for 15.00 at Kohls after their in store sale and coupon. I found the coupon by looking Kohls up on my phone while in the store. Two minutes can save $7.00!


Sarah Tibbott July 19, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Tiffany–how fun that you won a contest! Also, I love what your son did with his earnings. How thoughtful of him!


Momma L July 21, 2018 at 7:29 am

Is fridge tea like sun tea? I used to make sun tea a lot years ago but read something bad about it, so I stopped. Not sure what to think.


Roberta July 23, 2018 at 7:07 am

I just checked Snopes. I’m *really* disappointed to hear that sun tea is a bad idea, but according to Snopes, refrigerator tea is ok. (I once worked online with Barbara from Snopes, and I know her research is top quality!) So we’ll be switching to refrigerator tea around here!


Pattilou July 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm

1. Took my niece to the library for crafts and to get some books.
2. Went to a yard sale and got a drying rack for 2.00 and a Melissa and Doug puzzle for a dollar. The puzzle makes six different scenes and has provided fun for two of my niece’s so far. I didn’t realize the drying rack had a split in the wood until I got it home. I pulled out some tape and now it is good as new.
3. Watched my niece overnight and our activities were painting, doing the puzzle, catching fire flies and eating ice cream from my own freezer.
4. One of my nieces and her husband treated me to dinner.
5. My Christmas gift this past year to one of my nieces and her family was a trip to the Zoo. We went this past weekend. We packed lunches and snacks for the car ride and brought lots of water. We had no intention of even going in to the gift shop but the girls were given some money from their grandfather before we left. They used that to get something. The experience gift was a success so I am already planning something for this coming Christmas.


Marybeth July 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm

My sister always does experience gifts for my kids. When they were little,it meant more because we could do it a month later when everything had quieted down. Some toys that they were given, they were already done with by then.


Connie July 18, 2018 at 3:39 pm

#1: regarding the finish line for decluttering: my hubby says I will not be satisfied until I can fit everything I own into one suitcase! Har de har!


Chris July 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm

1. Put a pork shoulder roast in the crock pot and cooked it for a full 10 hours – yum and yum! My husband wanted to grill it but said it would be tough but edible – really??
2. Finished our window painting project on the front windows and realized how bad our 25 plus years mini blinds look – will start looking on-line and at local blind shops to replace.
3. Our 2nd grandchild is due in Oct and the other grandma and I are going to tag team day care for at least 2 months after his mom’s 4 month leave ends. Saves them big $$ and we get special one on one time with him.
4. Went to a summer sale at local consignment store and I got 3 beautiful pieces for $35 – Talbots, NYDJ, and J Jill clothing.
5. Gold plated nothing in my world.


Shevaun July 18, 2018 at 3:55 pm

1. All the usual: meal planning, taking walks, wearing thrifted clothes, reading library books, not using air conditioning, etc.
2. Future frugal: DH is going to put up laundry lines for me.
3. As we settle from the chaos of our move, DH is steadily getting his business back up and running. Returning to a somewhat normal income is good!
4. Not exactly frugal, but excited… DD (3yo)said to me, ‘mommy, I want to do a new craft. I’m going to learn to read.’ So far she’s mmmm’ing and sssss’ing like a champ. And she’ll be a frugal libraryista too.
5. Decided to give up cooking lunch each day. We have cooked, sit-down breakfast and dinner as a family every day. New plan for lunch is fruits, veggies, cheese, yogurt, crackers…. kinda healthy snacks. The kids are happy and my workload is lightened, and we’re eating up all the fruit and veg in the house. No waste tastes great!


Christine July 22, 2018 at 9:26 am

Shevaun, I also lost significant weight eating fruit and yogurt for one meal a day. Sounds like a great new lunch plan for your family.


Shevaun July 22, 2018 at 10:54 am

Hi Christine,
Your note reminds me of a friend of mine who lost 200 lbs (and has kept it off for 10 years so far) with this strategy: any time she is hungry she eats a fruit or a vegetable and drinks 16 oz. water, then sets a timer for 15 minutes. If she’s still hungry, she eats what she wants. And of course, there was lots of exercise involved. But the fruit-veg-water thing was the only food modification she made.


Christine July 22, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Love it. Thanks for the tip.


KarenB July 18, 2018 at 4:52 pm

1. I plan my routes to minimize time and gas. On the way home from an appointment yesterday, we stopped at a library and grocery store on the way.
2. My main hobby is digital scrapbooking. I use a legally free software and almost all of my kits were either purchased at a discount or I made them myself. I don’t usually print them due to cost, but just had 3 very special event books printed. At a discount of 70% off! Yay, sales!
3. Summer camps are not in our budget, so I make good use of free programs offered by our library. Next week my young teen son is attending a free class perfect for his interests at the library and I’ve been making him do daily activities to keep his brain active over the summer: fun typing practice from, fun math practice at, digital scrapbooking to work on writing composition and computer skills (he’d already been using Photoshop at school), art projects, adult life skills including basic cooking, Wii Fit and biking for exercise, and electronics building (the last one due to my husband’s skills). They’re not all everyday, but he’s done everything above in the past week except the upcoming class.
4. My son is also a prolific reader, but we figured out that there aren’t a lot of books he reads more than once or twice, so we make good use of the library. When he was a toddler, we’d check out 2 heavy tote sacks a week of books, read at least 80% of them over the week, and the next week return them and start over again with 2 new sacks. He got exposed to a great variety of authors and genres, we didn’t have to pay for them, and best of all didn’t have to store them. This week he decided he wanted to re-read a book series. We don’t have the first book (I’d picked up most of this series secondhand), so we got it at the library and while we were there he picked up 4 other unrelated books. Free!
5. Hubby is outside fixing his vehicle. He can’t do everything, but his fix-it skills have come in handy many, many times. He also shopped for best price and found them online for less than half of local.


Marybeth July 20, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Love my library!


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 18, 2018 at 4:55 pm

I LOVE reorganizing the home as a way to keep it feeling clean and exciting. A simple rearranging of furniture can make it feel like a totally new place. A deep clean also does wonders. I took a Magic Eraser to our bathtub and I swear it made the tub look brand new.

This week:

1. Hubs has a fishing tournament for charity this week. Instead of paying $500 for a hotel, he’s crashing with a family member.

2. I harvested okra from our garden. Mr. Picky Pincher is going to pickle it!

3. I’m only watering and running appliances after 7 pm. Our water system instituted a tiered pricing structure where they charge two times more for water during peak hours to discourage water waste. If we water at night, it’s cheaper. 🙂

4. We used a BOGO coupon to get Culver’s for dinner today. We got cups of water with the burgers instead of buying soda.

5. I’ve been using odds and ends in the fridge to put breakfasts and lunches together.


Kathy July 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Sold 4 items on Mercari over the past week.
Went to a free tour of a local 140 year old church. Got free ice tea and cookies
As usual hung the wash and wear clothing on rolling rack in garage
Using our Netflix to the max watching movies and programs. In home entertainment.


Ava July 18, 2018 at 6:23 pm

1. Not sure if it was frugal or foolish, but I waited out the bout with food poisoning until I could get to my dr.’s office on Mon. rather than go to the ER on the weekend and pay a large copay. Each day I thought I would be better the next day and each day I was wrong. The dr. gave me iv fluids. No doubt that is what the ER would have done, but for about $400+more.
2. We paid two of the grandchildren for help with some chores that were being neglected. Everyone benefited. Money for them and we got to spend time working with them. Chores completed.
3. Gave friend several coupons we were not going to use from our City Saver book.
4. Cooked some freezer burned fish for the dogs in sort of a frugal save. The fish was freezer burned in the first place because it had a strong oily taste and was never going to get eaten . The dogs are delighted.
5. Went to Goodwill for badly needed shorts. Found none. I did find 2 pair of pants that could be made into shorts. One was new with tags, for .99. They are already cut off, hemmed and ready to wear.


Julie July 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm

1- younger son and DH will spend much of next week volunteering at the Canadian Open. Son needs the hours to graduate and DH loves golf so win win because they get to attend and park for free.
2- using up the last bits of stuff in the fridge to prevent waste. It does make for some interesting meals.
3- garden is starting to produce so the salad for dinner was all garden fresh and yummy.
4- packing my water bottle where ever I go. I was happy to find the filtered fountain in my local commuter train station today.
5-enjoying my evenings on the patio with a good book and DH and a glass of wine. Priceless.


Jennifer July 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm

1. We have been hiking most nights for free fun and exercise.
2. Still picking wild berries in our yard every day. Usually we use them in smoothies but today I made a batch of 12 homemade fruit popsicles with wild blackberries + random fruit in the fridge that wasn’t getting eaten fast enough.
3. Finally replacing our broken outdoor lights with solar powered lights. Now the driveway entrance and sidewalk will be well-lit for no electricity costs.
4. Sold 2 leotards in a Facebook group. Small, but money in and stuff out is always good.
5. Found 3 lb bags of chicken on sale so I made a batch of 16 burritos for the freezer. Shredded chicken, salsa, pinto beans and the remains of a purple onion = delicious.


Mand01 July 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm

It’s been a most non-frugal week around here, but I’ll have a go:
1. Still eating down the pantry and freezer
2. Reading through the Game of Thrones series from the library. Last time I read up to the start of Book 5 before I got sick of it but I’m enjoying it much more this time.
3. Taking lunch to work every day even though I often feel like eating out just to escape my office.
4. Had my family over for an afternoon tea and made a dip using the ingredients I had on hand. It was a hit.
That’s it I think. In the past month we’ve had to spend $2000 on car repairs plus we splurged on concert tickets so feeling a bit expensive around here.


tracy July 19, 2018 at 5:01 am

Mando I can commiserate. I find that when I start spending money the dam kind of breaks if I’m not careful and I got myself on a bit of a spending jag (clothes are my weakness). I’ve returned some couple things and have resolved to stop the madness! Also had some medical bills that weren’t fully covered by insurance.


Bee July 19, 2018 at 5:40 am

I am sorry about the medical bills. The expense can be frustrating; however, managing a health issue AND the insurance company can be a full time job!


VanessaKC July 18, 2018 at 9:56 pm

Highlights were the soon to be 6yo choosing an experience over a fancy party. That was incredible. Saved money and we had a blast watching him go ape sh*t to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Other awesome save was spontaneously deciding to take a day trip to our favorite lake. Only cost gas, packed all the foods, water, sunscreen etc. Would’ve spent the same for admission at the local lake beach to have been with a couple hundred people. We drove to be with under 40 people in a beautiful state park, no admission, way bigger lake. It was worth the 1.25 hour drive.


Kim in Maryland July 18, 2018 at 10:01 pm

1. My bestest neighbor is also very frugal. She makes sun tea in a bail lid jar that she’s had for over 20 years and the rubber ring finally dry rotted. She asked if I knew where she could get another which I didn’t. I told her let me think about it. I figured out we could hack one by getting a square of rubber gasket material from Lowe’s and cutting it with my die cutting machine. For $1.50 she now has a new seal that works great! Her husband gave me a 10.5 oz. Lindt candy bar in appreciation! Yummy!
2. I’ve sold 7 items on Amazon in the past week.
3. Bought a tin of Legos at the health center thrift store for $2. Listed the sealed bag of 2 minifigs for $11 and today figured out that I had 4 different sets but only partial sets. I’ll bag them up and sell them on our FB yard sale group and list the Sponge Bob minifigs separately.
4. Picking blueberries from my 2 bushes I planted a few years ago.
5. Been on a sewing jag. Fixed my Scout bag that a few stitches for the zipper had come out, reattached the elastic waistband for DS#1’s boxers, made a dish towel and 2 “Swiffer” clothes from a vintage tablecloth that had quite a few holes and mended a vintage pot holder by hand. I’ve also been sewing scrap quilt squares to make a dent in my huge basket of fabric scraps. I’ve made 65 squares and only 103 more to go!


Mary W July 18, 2018 at 11:41 pm

My latest FFTs:
1. Recently found a 3 horse slant trailer for a bargain price, right down the road from us. We didn’t have the right sized ball for our hitch, but the seller loaned us his to we could tow the trailer home. When we returned the ball, he offered us a couple feed buckets, 2 fly masks and 2 saddle stands, free. We gratefully accepted!
2. It’s fair time! I entered flowers, herbs, fruit and veggies, canning, baking and crafts this year, as well as putting in a display garden in front of my department (I’m the garden department superintendent at our local community fair). It’s fun to compete for the rosettes, but it’s also nice to receive my premium money after the fair is over. I usually make at least $50 in prize money, plus I get to have fun visiting with friends and family, practice my archery skills (calling it skill may be an, ahem, slight exaggeration), listen to good music and watch the 4-H kids show their animals. Since most of my family is involved in the fair, it’s like a 3 day family reunion.
3. Two of my hens are co-parenting…they brooded the eggs together and are now fussing over 13 brand new chicks. They are ferocious defenders – come too close and expect to me attacked! Another hen is setting on the barn floor, and I’ve found several hidden nests just waiting for one or another of my hens to decide to set. Broody hens mean my flock renews itself, and I don’t have to pay for new chicks or for electricity to run the incubator to hatch our own hens’ eggs.
4. Speaking of eggs, I added up how much I’ve brought in from egg sales, and my hens are not only paying their own way, but are also supporting the grain requirements of 3 chowhound horses. Good girls!
5. My new pool is filled and providing much needed cooling on hot days. So nice to have a chilly dip when I’m overheated from working outside…cuts down on the AC use, provides great exercise, and also acts as an extra source of water should we, God forbid, have a wild fire or worse, a house fire. I need to check with my insurance agent to see if having the pool will decrease my premiums.


Carla July 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm

I would expect a pool to increase your premiums. They cause greater liability exposure as someone could trespass, use the pool, and get injured.


susanna d July 20, 2018 at 11:37 am

#2 has so many great things – time with family and friends, competitions, honing your skills, entertainment – and making a little money besides! I absolutely love our county fairs. And the state fair too, of course.


Ann July 19, 2018 at 2:51 am

Every time I go away, I reassess how cluttered our house is when I get back and try to motivate myself to let go of more stuff we don’t use. I think managing with a minimum of belongings when you’re away, makes you realise that you don’t actually need that much stuff going forward.


Elizabeth July 19, 2018 at 3:12 am

1. I have been doing a grocery challenge where I have been shopping at Aldi first and then filling in the missing items at Kroger. So far I am saving $40 a week by simply switching grocery stores and trying to be more aware of my budget….it creeps up on me:)
2. Found swim trunks and nice dress shirts for my son at the thrift store for $2 each
3. Lined my grill’s bottom pan with aluminum foil because it has rusted thru and I really do not want to replace it
4. Bought 100lbs of beef from my dad for the family rate of $2.50 per pound
5. Saved $100 by enrolling my son in a group swim class instead of taking private lessons


susanna d July 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

I love Aldi – it’s been an incredible money saver on a number of items! It was a pleasant surprise when we moved here 7 years ago to discover there was an Aldi within 30 miles of us (30 miles is not a long way to go in this relatively rural area). Unfortunately, this Aldi will be closing for remodeling for 5 or 6 weeks in September/October. I’ll miss it (the next closest Aldi is around 100 miles from here, I think) but it looks like the remodeling will expand the store. And that would be a very good thing.


Sam July 19, 2018 at 3:12 am

Two wardrobe additions, needed, for $10 at Goodwill and a free upgrade on busibess trip to access club lounge meant free breakfast, appetizers for dinner one night, and free coffee drinks for the duration.


K D July 19, 2018 at 4:08 am

1. My husband took a few days off work at the beginning of the week but it was not a spendy time. We did go out to lunch one day but we didn’t do anything else that cost money. We both worked on tasks around the house.

2. Meals at home. A friend gifted me a watermelon and some ears of corn. I cut the watermelon and passed it along to a friend (I already had one I’d bought on sale). We cooked all the corn and are eating it slowly. Zero food waste.

3. My daughter decluttered some music books. I’ll see if they’re worth anything and either list them on Amazon or on Freecycle.

4. We have some dishes we no longer use. My niece (several states away) would like to have them. We packed them up reusing material we had on hand. When we hear north in a month we’ll deliver them to her. I have a few others to list on Freecycle.

5. The weather has turned drier and cooler. I worked in the yard yesterday and will do the same today and tomorrow. Free exercise and fresh air.


Crosby July 19, 2018 at 4:31 am

1. I renewed my NYC library card. We don’t live in the city but any New York State resident is able to get a card. Since NYC is 8 hours from us, we use it solely for ebooks and audio books. You also have access to a cultural pass which can be used for access to a lot of museums and such in the city.
2. Had a car-free day this week. Unfortunately, this is pretty rare for me.
3. I received lots of compliments on my new-to-me thrifted shirt this week.
4. A friend wants to get together tonight so I suggested she come over and I can serve pasta and pesto that I already have on hand. She’s going to bring wine and dessert.
5. Our grocery bill was super low for the week as I’m trying to eat down the pantry and freezer. I’m traveling for work the majority of next week so next week’s bill will be low as well.


JJ July 20, 2018 at 5:57 am

Brooklyn Public Library will also issue cards to any NY State resident. It’s a slightly smaller pool than NYPL for ebooks, but the collections are different enough that I use both regularly. Same process for applying online for a card as NYPL.


Crosby July 20, 2018 at 6:36 am

Thanks for that tip, JJ! I had no idea!


Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:09 am

Thank you both! I’ve lived in NYS for 30 yrs, and didn’t know about either of these!


Crosby July 23, 2018 at 4:00 am

You’re welcome!

Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:02 am

Crosby, I’ve lived in NYS for 30 yrs. and did not know that about the NYC library card! Thank you! (Now to find out if I can apply online, since we don’t ever get to NYC.)


Bee July 19, 2018 at 5:31 am

1) I have been enjoying the bounty of the summer. The fresh fruits and veggies make it easy to eat easy, inexpensive and healthful meals – watermelon, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, berries, peppers, peaches, and so forth. My weekly farm basket is fill with so many good things.

2) Like many of you, I find the library an absolute necessity for a happy and painlessly frugal life. I had book club last night, and I was able to get the book that we read from the library. A free evening out with books and friends is one of life’s simple pleasures.

3) We a lot of salad and greens in our house, and I really wanted a salad spinner to make cleaning these easier. I was tempted to buy one a the local big box, but I waited it out. I bought a very nice one at the Goodwill yesterday for $2.99.

4) I agree, it does seem like the decluttering ever ends. I have a 2 bags of things set aside to take to the food pantry thrift store. Last night, I also signed up to participate in our community’s semiannual vintage flea market again this fall. I sold 5 items on eBay this week and have several others listed. I hide the clutter well as long as you don’t go into our garage. Sigh…

5) We are deep into a southern summer, the heat and humidity are unbearable. It is either too hot,raining or the mosquitos are out. So I am enjoying trips to the YMCA, swimming at beach, library books and Netflix. The water is very warm this year. I am hoping this does not lead to an active hurricane season.


Mary in Maryland July 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

1. I tried Aldi’s. I love that it’s a small store–no aisle 32. Not a huge save because I went wild over the 69 cent avocadoes. They make great gazpacho and great gifts.
2. I performed surgery on the Mister’s winter flannel pj bottoms. The fuzz was worn off and the butt worn through. I cut off the legs and hemmed the shorts, then grafted one leg over the butt. He loves them now for summer.
3. I’ve always thought his cousin Ernie was kind of jerky, but when I wanted to investigate some trash (a possible extra leaf for the dining room table!) and the Mister balked, Ernie said, “What kind of idiot are you, cousin? You were lucky enough to marry a woman who can be made happy by looking through garbage. Stop the car and make her happy.” He did. I was.
4. Yesterday I drove past a vinyl screen door in someone’s trash. It’s now in my front yard, waiting for a freecycler.
5. Spent the morning cleaning up for the cleaning lady. It’s a thing–and a good thing. I can’t vacuum or do floors (things I’m not missing much about getting old.) But it’s great that we put everything away and I usually have some cleaning energy while she’s here.
6. Rehomed four sewing machines the past two weeks (not mine).


Susie's Daughter July 20, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Mary – #3 is fantastic! It will make me smile for a long while.


Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:08 am

Me too! And I’m going to use a variation of it next time DH tries speeding up to pass a yard sale. 😉


Amanda July 19, 2018 at 8:51 am

1) We are swapping the bedrooms around in the house to accommodate growing kids, and we have to do some electrical and painting to make it work. I was having trouble getting an electrician to actually show up and considering handing the whole job over to a contractor friend. His fees could cost more, but at least it would get done! Then another friend recommended a great electrician who came within a week of my first call to him and put in three outlets for $250! That is much less than I originally thought.

2) We made a stop by Goodwill on Tuesday and found a set of twin sheets for $4 for our new bunk beds and some size fours for our youngest. I made a donation while I was there and used a 20% frequent donor coupon for everything that wasn’t already half off.

3) Clients are finally paying after everyone evidently went on vacation in June and forgot to pay bills. I took some of the extra cash out for a distribution that went straight into savings.

4) My husband and I were going back and forth about our next savings goals and finally set a priority list. We need $25K to rebuild our crumbling front porch, then $35K as an “extra” emergency fund because we expect the AC and the truck to both need replacing within the next five years. We plan to run the wheels off both, but they are at the age where either could die tomorrow. THEN we will put all extra cash on the house until the mortgage is gone. I am so excited about the PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE PART. It will take us 2-3 years, but we’re ready!

4) We have eaten all meals out of the fridge this week, when the kids were home Monday and Tuesday activities were the library and a free local park, I have been listening to free audiobooks from the library, my time has been frugally employed in working on my dissertation and handling our airbnb business. Oh, and I hung clothes on the line several times this week! I haven’t hung out clothes regularly in a couple of years because I have been so busy with littles, but I finally have an extra five minutes. Boy, I had missed those fresh, crispy clothes.


Gina July 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

I’m pretty sure the stuff left after decluttering just lets out a big sigh, unbuckles their pants and spreads out a bit more…at least, this is my theory.

#5-brilliant and a great lol!

1. Making meals at home (again and again I use this one, but I actually fight the siren call of restaurants, so this is big for me).
2. Decluttering continues at mi casa as well. I have donated so much stuff! I also sold another round of purged books to the used book seller (this time I targeted the unused cookbooks). I have a pile of things that will be sold going too, but haven’t made it to that section of the list yet.
3. I am pretty sure I am going through the proverbial “Existential Midlife Crisis”. Am I the only one (of those of you that have made it there and beyond) that thinks the “forties” suck? Fortunately, this has pushed me to get those debts paid and the unneeded possessions purged. I am not shopping. I also really am trying to get back the pieces I of me that I gave away for the past three decades. I guess you could call it a free hobby.
4. I did pick up my free Swedish Fish and Chocolate at Kroger this week, so I do have that (see #3).
5. Son and I have been finding free or cheap entertainment (parks, state recreational areas, second-run theatres, etc.) to spend our summer weekends. I talk to him about my need for an extreme frugal fall and winter (to get those debts paid!) I also talk to him about debt and it’s baggage.


Jo July 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Gina, you are much wiser than I was in my 40s. Great that you are getting those pieces back. Don’t worry. You’ll find them.


Bee July 20, 2018 at 5:27 am

In your 40s, I think that you lay the foundation for the next phase in your life. The wisdom, knowledge and experiences of your younger years help you to build a more authentic and beautiful life. Hang in there!


Iris July 24, 2018 at 1:52 pm

I am in agreement with you. The forties sucked for me too. My body started falling apart even though a pretty healthy person, or so I thought. The thirties were the best for me. The fifties are so, so. Still falling apart but trying to live life more and not stress over things.


Gina in Ky July 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Oh, my! Thanks for the support!


Jill A July 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm

1. I sold another item on ebay and I picked up my cash at the consignment store. Every little bit helps.
2. I went to the Tuesday night movie with a friend. It’s only $5 on Tuesdays with a AMC stubbs membership.
3. I found a pair of shorts and a skirt at a garage sale for $1.
4. I’m using up tea bags in my pantry. I’m making iced tea and throwing in one bag of the flavors I don’t like to use it up.
5. I’m skipping mowing my lawn. We haven’t got much rain so the grass is short but the weeds are growing. I went out and pulled all the tall weeds by hand.


Avery July 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

1. My laptop of five years has been failing me, and continues to get slower and slower. My mom said I could get one for my birthday, but my dad has one that he barely uses and is letting me have his and take to college.
2. I emailed a hotel I stayed in recently asking them to add recycling bins.
3. I am eating odds and ins in the pantry and fridge before buying anything else.
4. I have taken a lot of my clothes to consignment and am making a small bit of income from clothes that no longer suited me.
5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.


isabelle July 20, 2018 at 5:43 am

* Got free tickets for an event as a bonus for buying 150$ in groceries I would normally buy anyways. Value of 90$
* Found a Tupperware bottle I wanted at Goodwill. Got it for 1$ (instead of 15$ new)
* Thrift store shopping, 20$ for 3 shirts and a pair of shorts. Not exactly cheap, but much better than new!
* We are taking advantage of all the free outdoors shows offered by the city this year. It’s fun family outings!
* Got gofted a bottle of Burt’s Bees body wash
* Not frugal but better for our planet : we decided to go waste-free as much as possible. Why does everything seems to cost MORE when not wrapped in some sort of container (in bulk)? It should be the opposite, since I am providing the packaging, no? None sense.


Marybeth July 20, 2018 at 10:52 am

1. I sold 3 mini fridges that I had gotten on college move out day. I also sold a hat, a jersey, a book, 2 DVDs and 7 CDs on eBay. Several other items have been listed for sale.
2. I picked a pound of raspberries that grow wild on an empty plot near my house. Hoping to get more as they ripen.
3. Garbage picked 3 cases of Ball jars. I saw them while driving and did a quick u-turn. Ask the elderly couple that were still putting stuff out if I could have them. They were full of food. I did dump all of the food since I don’t know the people and when it was canned. I am not willing to get us all sick. The jars are in great shape and I will use them for canning sauce this summer.
4. I found a $20 bill under a bush in a parking lot.
5. I went to BJ’s for a few items. I always look through the coupon flyer. They had $5 off coupon for the 8 pack of black beans. They sell for $5.99. So I added that to my cart. 8 cans of beans for 99¢. I made Hubby stop there on his lunch hour. It is around the block form his office. It said one per person. I see lots of cheap and easy meals in our future. The coupon is good until 8/8 so if you have a BJ’s membership you could get them too. They were in the flyer by the front door.


susanna d July 20, 2018 at 11:33 am

A found $20 bill is fantastic! What a great surprise!


Marybeth July 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

I thought it was a $1 bill until I got in the car and looked at it. Into the driveway fund it went.


janine July 21, 2018 at 7:28 am

A pound of raspberries is really a large amount. Lucky to have them growing near you! Great bargains in this post.


Katy July 20, 2018 at 6:08 pm

1. Bought a bunch of clothes and 4 pillows from the Bon Tin, which is closing and had great clearances.
2. When chopping up a salad the other night I put in some of the celery leaves and broccoli stalks. If you cut or peel off the tough skin of broccoli stalks it’s nice to eat. I figure why waste all of that edible food?
3. I accepted a free laundry detergent sample at the store, and I’m glad I did because later I realized that was all the detergent I had, but was able to do 1load with it.
4. My husband is redoing a trailer we own. He’s reusing as much as possible and borrowing tools to refurbish it at a lower cost.
5. Reading my favorite frugal blogs.


Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:20 am

Katy, does that mean you’ve moved back to the states (or provinces?), if you’re near a BonTon? (I may have missed some of the comments if you said it already, but I do think I remember your talking about packing?) If so, welcome back!


Edie July 21, 2018 at 8:55 am

1) Got gifted a massive box of wonderful face and body products- high end stuff. I will not need to shop or make my own stuff for a year or three.

2) As per usual , took public transit to work.

3) Library books and cheap theater tickets for summer.

4) Public pools and Cannon Beach for relief from the incredible shocking heat.

5) Brought lunch to work, and homemade dinners. No alcohol and my body appreciates me for this- as well as my wallet!


Teri July 22, 2018 at 12:37 am

1. Happily helped son’s friend clear out his home as he had remarried and was merging two households. We came home with over $1000 worth of furniture. Most was on my “need” list so this saved us a lot!
2. Harvesting my garden tomatoes and using most in pico de gallo, but you can’t beat a fresh tomato on just about anything!
3. DD helped with a yard sale where we made $600. Took remaining items to consignment shop and donated to Goodwill. (whats with the new coupon?!)
4. Picked up free item at Fred Meyer and took advantage of their sale items as well.
5. Found several pair of new Target shoes via Goodwill on drop off above.


Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

I haven’t seen the coupon yet, but I wonder if it’s to compete with Saver/Value Village, which offers a punch card for donations. 6 punches or so = 30% discount.


Vickey July 22, 2018 at 8:25 am

*Savers*. Ack


Momma L July 22, 2018 at 6:38 am

1. Still working through what I salvaged from the broken freezer. Cooked chicken breasts on the bone to make a lot of shredded chicken for future meals. Takes up less space in my fridge freezer too.
2. Saved the broth from making the chicken. Used it instead of water for a rice dish.
3. Really getting into ibotta and checkout 51, using it when I make my shopping list. Referred it to my adult children, who now love them too. Anyone else using shopping apps they love?
4. Quiet days between company: resting, cleaning, recharging my inner batteries.
5. Going through my auto, life, homeowners insurance to see if I can get a better deal. Meeting with reps and going online to get quotes.


Iris July 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Fetch Rewards


Christine July 22, 2018 at 10:07 am

1. Combined errands, 4 in a 2 mile radius.
2. Library doing summer program giving a raffle ticket for every book read. Great prizes of gift cards and free passes.
3. Friends came over for on sale chicken on the grill and homemade potato salad. Relaxation and lively conversation.
4. Hiking in nearby state forest and swimming at free tiny beach near our house for exercise.
5. Nine year old car holding out fine, living happily with laminate countertops and inherited furniture. Life is good.


LB July 23, 2018 at 8:08 am

1. Eating in all week this week. Expensive weekend this past weekend keeping me home.

2. Booking a lot of trips this summer to places where we have friends to stay with. No hotel costs means more $ to eat delicious things and visit more places!

3. We just adopted two little kitties. While they have been expensive to get set up, I’m expecting them to repay in hours of free entertainment (and snuggles!)

4. Continuing to quit commitments to organizations that I can’t be bothered with. This reduces obligations to attend events, dinners, and galas. SO much money saved.

5. Continuing to pursue my exercise goals through our community’s free gym.


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