Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 25, 2018 · 78 comments

  1. I got together with a former co-worker this morning. Instead of heading out to one of the cute coffee shops in my neighborhood, I suggested that we enjoy our coffee and nibbles at my house, as my furnished front porch is perfectly breezy in the mornings. It really is the idyllic go-to spot for the early hours of the day.

    Both of us are attempting to live within a strict budget, (she’s a musician as well as an RN) and in the end we agreed that my private and comfy front porch hands down beats any loud and pricey cafe. No sacrifice here!

  2. I participated in a two-hour consumer opinion panel and received $125 as compensation. Plus they plied us with snacks and drinks, which to no surprise . . . I thoroughly enjoyed.

  3. I went out of my routine and shopped at Winco, which is a local employee owned grocery store chain. They are famously cheap, but I’ve fallen out of the habit of shopping there as I’m walking distance from a Fred Meyer/Kroger. However, it was a good reminder that there is money to be saved when I put in the extra effort.

  4. I stopped by the main Portland Goodwill to see if I could get customers to share their finds for my Instagram account. (Click HERE to see the post!) I was provided with $5 Goodwill gift cards for bribery payment and was finally able to convince enough participants to complete my post. (You’d be surprised how many people aren’t tempted by gift cards.) I wasn’t looking to buy anything for myself, but was unable to walk away from an adorable midcentury end table priced at just $14.99.

  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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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy July 25, 2018 at 1:14 pm

1. Free concert in park on Monday pm
2. Sister left tip for massage therapist yesterday. I had two massages I purchased via Groupon in May.
3. Went to decluttering class this am
4. Hubby company dinner tonight so free meal
5. Raised temp by 2 degrees and we’re still cool


K D July 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm

1. A friend and I went to an orchard to buy peaches (1/2 bushel baskets). She always drives (it’s her thing) so I shared some of the plums I bought with her. Instead of eating out we each ate lunch at home then got together. Since it’s quite a distance there was plenty of time for talking in the car.

2. A piece broke on my Kenmore vacuum. I ordered the replacement part. The shipping is expensive but much cheaper than replacing the vacuum.

3. I walked up to the grocery to buy a few things. I found five pennies and a dime.

4. I made a big pot of lentil soup and it has been lunch the past few days. Since I won’t make that “recipe” again for weeks I won’t tire of it.

5. I had my annual physical today. Insurance covers the cost. It is important to me that I have a relationship with a primary care physician. I know I am blessed that we have good health insurance.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early July 25, 2018 at 1:45 pm

“No sacrifice there” is exactly the way I try and live my frugal life. Frugality shouldn’t be sacrifice; it should make your life better. My goal is to get to a place where spending more money won’t make us happier.


Kim July 25, 2018 at 2:17 pm

I share this goal and I am already seeing glimpses of it which delight me.


cynthia huntington July 25, 2018 at 1:47 pm

I sold three items on eBay this week. My earnings, after fees and mailing, will be only $22 but that’s $22 I didn’t have before. I could have done better had I not underestimated the shipping costs on one item. Live and learn.

Starting a no-spend month today. This month so far has seen me loosen the purse strings so wide that finally nothing held together and (imaginary) gold coins just scattered on the ground wherever I walked. My son visited me for ten days: he lives overseas and I hadn’t seen him for a year so I was happy to kill the fatted calf for him. Most of it was groceries and wine—we ate in, but we ate from the top of the food chain all the way. I hustled to get all his favorites in while he was here. No regrets.

Another frugal fail: the humidity has been insane this month and I’ve had to use the dryer for every load of clothes I washed. Nothing air dries at this point, nothing.

I scored a couple of good thrift store finds the week before this–should bring in more cash once I get them cleaned up and listed.

I unearthed a large box of stuff to donate to the town-wide rummage sale this weekend. Every year we all clean out our closets and basements, then go to the sale and buy each other’s stuff! My favorite is the day after: they leave all the unsold items out under a tent for the second day and you can take what you want for free. It’s more of a recycling event than a sale I suppose. Besides general “stuff” there is always a huge book table, plant table, and antiques and collectibles table. Plus, I get to see everyone in town!

The decluttering continues. I’ve listed some more items, passed a few large things on to family, and in addition to hauling about 50 items to the rummage sale I’ve thrown away some things I have to ask myself why they were ever kept. I find that as space starts to appear, I feel richer, not poorer. Clutter is depressing. Now I can see the nice things that I actually want to keep.


Mary in Maryland July 26, 2018 at 9:18 am

My husband says that when my quilting guild has a yard sale, we’re just churning our portfolios.


Lindsey July 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm

I LOVE that line from your husband!


Ave July 28, 2018 at 12:43 am

We live in a climate that is humid in summer. If it is too humid to dry clothes outside and the air conditioner is on (79 to 80 degrees) indoors, I dry clothes on racks in front of box fans and under ceiling fans. (Sheets, towels, and heavy items still need to go through the dryer.) Due to a less than optimal design of the central heat and air system, our house does not cool evenly unless we have the fans running.

Unfortunately, we usually have 2-3 weeks in the spring and fall when it is rainy and temperature is too cool for the ac and too warm for the heat to run on a regular basis. Then we have no other choice but to use the dryer.


Stephanie July 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm

1. I thought I needed coffee filters. Added them to my list, but didn’t go grocery shopping this week yet (haven’t really needed to). I cleaned out the cabinet over the stove and found two packs of coffee filters! Woohoo! Cross one more thing off the list.

2. I cleaned off the top of a shelf in the kitchen and found a substantial sum of money from this past Christmas. HUGE win there!

3. Hung the laundry out to dry on my racks outside.

4. Made a quick dinner of spaghetti, out of sauce that I’d made and frozen in the spring.

5. My son and his girlfriend wanted to celebrate their anniversary without spending money (they’re already on the right track!), so I offered to make them a homecooked meal and packed a picnic for them. My daughter and I ate the same thing for lunch. 🙂


Jennifer@thefrugaldribble July 25, 2018 at 2:18 pm

1. I have been making tea and drinking water more lately. My daughter and her family moved back in with us so it’s necessary to offset the extra grocery costs.
2. My one year old grandson was put in the hospital last week due to having seizure followed by a scary episode of respiratory distress. He is better now. All the gas used and money for hospital food surely adds up. This week it’s back to eating at home from the freezer.
3. Grandson’s seizure med is only $22 thanks to the GoodRx app. It’s $400 at another local pharmacy so it pays to check the app first!
4. Luckily, I don’t have a lot of clothes to buy for the kids to start back to school. I have collected several gently worn things over the summer to complete their wardrobes. Basically, I only need to find a good deal on packs of panties.
5. My husband got ALOT of produce that was expiring for only $1 from an employee at the grocery store. I got home and quickly froze as much of it as I could. We have been enjoying peach cobblers, lemon-blueberry muffins, and raspberry tarts for snacks and breakfasts this week for just pennies.


Bee July 25, 2018 at 2:49 pm

I am sorry to hear about your grandson’s illness. That must have been terribly frightening for everyone. You are in my thoughts.l


Jennifer July 26, 2018 at 7:54 am

Thanks Bee.. We are starting him on a seizure diet also to see if that helps. With a child so young, it’s been difficult. The seizures seem to be more prominent when he has an illness such as a cold or febrile illness. He has never experienced respiratory distress before though. He only weighed 4 pounds when he was born and his health has been kinda fragile from the beginning. Thanks again for your thoughts and kind words.


Bethany July 25, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Still plodding away at painting our living room. DIY savings the slow, painful and sweaty way.

Losing some weight, and grocery bill is reflecting that. LOL! Kids might slim down too without ice cream, crackers, and chips hanging around.

Eggs for dinner.

Setting the thermostat on 79 while this heat wave passes through. Trying to get our energy consumption closer to our solar output.

Walked from the post office to the dollar store for a hairbrush. Passed the jewelry store and stopped in for a free ring cleaning.


Vickey July 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Good for you for getting healthier and setting a good example for the kids! I hope you’re all enjoying being in better health. Hugs~


Bee July 25, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Katy, I love the way you approach frugality from a place of abundance. I think this is what makes frugality sustainable.
1) I have been using the overdrive app to borrow audiobooks from the library. I learned this week that I also have access to the electronic sources Hoopla, RG Magazines and the New York Times with my library card. I was really excited to find that I can access two of my favorite magazines. I had discontinued the subscriptions when DH changed jobs.

2) I have had to have some preventative orthodontic work done. My orthodontist has a rewards program for patients who earn points for being on time, properly wearing orthodontic devices, not breaking appointments and so forth. Although it is geared towards adolescents, I automatically received points with each of my visits. After my appointment yesterday, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to use my points. I “bought” a $10 Starbucks gift card. I might be the oldest patient in his practice, but it is still fun to earn a prize.:-)

3) i am home alone this week, so I have been making meals from items that are leftover or on hand. Sunday nights dinner yield 3 days of lunches. Tonight I opened and seasoned a can of black beans for a burrito bowl. There is plenty left for lunch over the next two days.

4) I bought two items for resale. I spent a total of $5, but they should sell for approximately $40. Every bit helps as we strive to reach our financial goals.

5) My favorite Coffee is 50% off this week. I stocked up!


Bee July 25, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Please forgive the plentiful typos. My battery is about to die and I didn’t want to lose my post!


Cindy in the South July 26, 2018 at 7:34 am

I have really bad teeth (it is genetic) and spend far more at the dentist than I ever do at the doctor’s office….groan.


Liz B. July 28, 2018 at 9:25 am

Cindy, I know your pain….I have bad teeth, too (I think mine is partially genetic, partially due to not taking good care of my teeth as a young adult….stupidity on my part). I spend far too much time and money at my dentist’s office….unhappy sigh.


Bee July 29, 2018 at 4:26 am

Dental work is awful! Genetics do play a huge part in dental health. Thank goodness my children inherited their dad’s teeth. When my MIL died at the age of 98, she had all her teeth and only one small filling!


Marybeth July 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm

1. Celebrated my youngest daughter’s birthday. Cards were homemade. All presents were “wrapped” in pretty boxes or gift bags that I already had. No garbage from unwrapping gifts. All bags and boxes were put back in the tote for the next birthday.
2. We all went to see Jurassic World 2 for her birthday. I work at a movie theater so we get free passes. She picked the movie. We brought reusable water bottles and snacks from home. I get free popcorn too. Hubby and I both took off to spend the day with her.
3. Birthday person gets to pick the menu for the day. She picked chocolate chip waffles with fresh whipped cream, homemade mac n cheese, and tacos. She felt special without us going out to eat. She wanted ice cream sundaes instead of cake. Works for me.
4. She received checks and gift cards from several family members. She doesn’t need anything now so she put the money in the bank.
5. I went grocery shopping. Got 2 bottles of detergent, 2 juices, a pound of strawberries, a tomato, 4 bananas, cookies, shrimp, bread, sour cream, and green tea for less then the shrimp cost regular. Bill before sales and coupons was $56.81. I paid $21.58 and am getting back 75¢ from Ibotta. I brought my own reusable bags too.
*Next month our next college payment is due. We have it ready to go. Our youngest will be going to college in a year so we will have 2 in at the same time. I am watching every penny now so that we can get them both through school debt free.


susanna d July 25, 2018 at 5:24 pm

1. The hot and humid summer we’ve been having (very unusual for Wisconsin’s northwoods) has made me abandon using my blow dryer and flat iron. More heat? Who needs it? Instead, I’ve been scrunching/finger waving my MOSTLY straight hair into “beachy waves”. I thought my wavy hair needed some additional shine and found a small bottle of “shine serum” or whatever it’s called, that someone had given me years ago (and by “years ago” I mean at least 5). The pump didn’t work but as is often the case, the simplest solution is the best solution: I OPENED THE BOTTLE and poured a bit out into my hand. Couldn’t get less high tech than that, and a few drops goes a long way. I have many, many more applications of shiny stuff left.

2. While I normally love to cook, standing over a hot stove in hot humid weather makes it less enjoyable. I’ve used this time to go through my freezer and gather up all the little bits and pieces I’ve frozen (to prevent food waste) and use them up before they get that disgusting, freezer-y flavor. There have been some unusual meals, but they’re all reasonably healthy and the freezer is looking a lot less scary crowded.

3. As a result of the freezer use-it-ups, last week’s grocery spending was beyond minimal.

4. Contributing to the minimal grocery expense were several wonderful freebies: Ground turkey, frozen pizza, cream cheese, and Mentos. I do love me my free foods!

5. In addition to freezer finds of the week, tonight’s dinner reminded us of the simple beauty of a tomato sandwich – using home grown tomatoes, of course! To me, it was positively gourmet! And CHEAP, besides! Win/win!


Mary W July 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Oh, yum, tomato sandwiches… I can’t wait for mine to ripen.

Lol on the solution to a failed pump… OPEN THE BOTTLE…what a novel idea!


Loretta July 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm

1. Not feeling 100% these past couple of days so did not leave the house apart from forcing myself to go for a walk, so no spending.
2. Eating stewed rhubarb from my garden for breakfast.
3. Picked some young nettle leaves, soaked in boiling water for a minute, and ate them like spinach. Quite delicious!
4. Am crocheting a blanket for my daughter’s 18th birthday present so am darning in over 200 ends while watching “War on Waste” on ABC iview (fantastic Aussie series)
5. Reading from a huge stack of library books, and waiting impatiently for my turn for David Sedaris’ new one “Calypso”.


Mand01 July 25, 2018 at 5:35 pm

1. I’ve discovered two new finance podcasts by young women that I’m really enjoying: Bad With Money by Gabi Dunn, and Afford Anything by Paula Pant. I have been listening to Dave Ramsey for a long time but his political views are definitely not mine and I’m enjoying listening to some young women for a change.
2. My youngest and I have been watching old Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I’ve never seen it before. We both enjoy pointing out the ways that Lorelai and Rory constantly waste food and money.
It’s such an interesting show about class. I don’t love it but my child does and it’s a good way to spend time with them.
3. Still eating down the freezer and pantry.
Most of my other things are just the usual. Bringing lunch, snacks, coffee to work. Not buying new clothes. Wearing thrifted clothes. Saving to my retirement and paying extra off my mortgage.


Alexandra July 27, 2018 at 2:13 am

Thank you for the podcast suggestions. We have been long-time listeners of Dave Ramsey and field uncomfortable with his religious and political views. we also, as a family, make fun of his comments about “sell your expensive car and buy a beater”. The man is woefully behind when it comes to having a reliable car in an area where there is no public transportation.
Having said that he was a good springboard for learning some Frugal practices. But I think most of us in my circle are ready to move on.


Mand01 July 27, 2018 at 3:24 am

I think he has some good practices and I think he is a good person. But I also think that he does not check his privilege very often and I grow tired of him telling me every day that he’s a multi-millionaire and that millionaires are ‘heroes.’ I’m not of the ‘all rich people are bad’ viewpoint but I’m also not necessarily going to deify them either. Anyway, it’s nice to have some different voices on money.


Jennifer July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

I agree with this. And he honestly acts like it is so easy to do his plan. Raising 4 kids, putting them through college (we are in the beginning stages of this with just 1 in right now), supporting their activities, etc is a lot harder than he makes it seem.

And yes, driving a beater only results in spending money on car repairs.


Kathy Hairston July 27, 2018 at 7:30 am

As in most things you have to sift through what works and is
doable for your life. I read posts about using public transportation or biking to work. I live in the suburbs in So Cal..public transportation is a joke and if you ride a bike to work you’d take your life in your hands.
We had 2 boys who played h.s. golf and there are no athletic funds to underwrite that so I feel for families with kids in activities, colllege, etc. I don’t know how they do it.

Marilyn July 25, 2018 at 7:28 pm

I think having morning coffee with a friend In the cool breeze on your front porch sounds lovely!


janine July 25, 2018 at 8:08 pm

Small victories and one large loss.
1. Got $5 off at Walgreens on my affinity card – very rare although my husband and I shop there with regularity.
2. Free low-flow shower head from energy company. Will gift it to son for his downstairs shower. Am proud that I remembered to fill out the mail-in offer.
3. Attended local baseball game tonight hosted by realtor. Saved $58 which included tickets and a treat. Had a great time – theme was Xmas in July with Santa leading us in the national anthem. (We’ve had a hot summer.)
4. Stayed home and made homemade coleslaw and casserole as well as packed lunches for my family.
5. Had a car accident. Will need to cover $1,000 deductible. Happy there were no injuries.


susanna d July 26, 2018 at 8:32 am

#5 – Sorry to hear about your accident, but I’m glad there were no injuries. We also carry a high deductible, but the money it’s saved us over the years far more than covers the deductible if we would have to use it.

And re: #2 – We’ve gotten some good freebies from our energy company, too: A low flow shower head, many LED bulbs and a Nest thermostat are the ones that come to mind. I don’t remember ever getting freebies from our old utility company but this one sure has been generous in the freebie department.


Mrs. Picky Pincher July 26, 2018 at 4:43 am

Sounds like you’re having a wonderfully frugal week! Does that mean that you have to drive to Winco, or is it just a longer walk? I’m curious about walking to get groceries, but for us that does mean a 5+ mile walk in the Texas heat. Hmmm.

This week:

1. Last night my mother-in-law kindly treated the family to a nice sit-down dinner.

2. I sold stuff on Craigslist, which paid for a quick dinner for hubs and I earlier in the week.

3. I’m re-reading books I already have around the house. I hate reading something once and shelving it for life.

4. Today I’m making roasted sausage and veggies for dinner. I love this meal because it helps me use up odds and ends from the fridge.

5. On Sunday I made risotto with a forgotten pack of arborio rice in the pantry. I really liked it, but hubs wasn’t a fan. I’ll try another recipe next time, because we have enough arborio rice to feed 20 people!


FrugalAussie July 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm

I like Mushroom Risotto with Walnuts. The nuts add crunch which enhances the texture. I’m making Pumpkin and Cashew Risotto for dinner tonight and then I’m going to try turning it into Arancini Balls to take to lunch at a friend’s over the weekend. All the ingredients I have on hand. I love it when I can avoid a trip to the supermarket.


Tracy July 26, 2018 at 4:45 am

After a month of failing frugally, trying to get back on the frugal wagon.
1. In Chicago for a couple days with hubby prior to driving from here to Iowa for his uncle’s 80th birthday. Yesterday we walked and walked in various neighborhoods (Ukrainian Village, Humboldt Park, West Village). Spent time in the actual Hunboldt Park, went to the free Puerto Rican museum. Shopped in fun thrift stores along Chicago Ave. Ate great dogs at a local spot (Fatsos) for cheap.
2. Been taking bus to/from work.
3. Daughter took us to airport and will pick us up. She is also dog sitting.
4. Drinking coffee ar ‘home’ in our AirBnb before heading out this am. Even though there are numerous cool coffee places within walking distance.
5. Didn’t buy gorgeous evening dress I found for $40 at vintage store yesterday which still had $300 price tag attached. Fit like a glove but where would I wear an evening dress? If I go to a black tie event its maybe once every ten years and there’s nothing on the horizon…


Mand01 July 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

I’m not sure I could have let it go even though I understand. I have a ball gown in my wardrobe that I’ve worn once. I got it secondhand and ridiculously cheap but I cannot seem to pass it on even though I have nowhere to wear it.


Tracy July 26, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Believe me if I’d had even one occasion to wear it I would have purchased! I say let that ball gown hang in your closet, it at least allows you to feel that you ‘might’ have occasion to wear it!


Mary W July 27, 2018 at 6:11 pm

I’m not sure if I would have passed up the gown, either. I have purchased several beautiful gowns at Goodwill Outlet stores even if they don’t fit me… I’m thinking resale! I am saving a beautiful black evening gown for the day when I hit my goal weight… I’ll wear it when I graduate from TOPS to KOPS (Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly).


Jill Chapman July 26, 2018 at 5:42 am

1. Potluck neighborhood dinner last night with all providing ingredients for a lovely taco salad and too many delicious desserts.
2. After lots of research, I was able to replace my car with 210,000 miles with a new to me vehicle.
3. I was able to use my new vehicle to help my mom transfer many items stored at my brothers to my sisters, where she lives, from Florida to South Carolina. And a short vacation for me!
4. Have been reading library books – the latest is The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews – and using travel guides from the library to plan some upcoming trips.
5. Have family visiting next month and have been planning a few menus for a few family dinners here at my place. I , of course, will cook and all will bring dishes to share. No purchased or restaurant meals.


tonya July 26, 2018 at 6:29 am

1) Conference at work yesterday, enjoyed the free lunch!
2) Making dinner at home, even after 10 hour shifts. It’s required some self control, as I am usually so tired that take out is tempting. I have started making a double batch of noodle casserole on the weekends and that’s become an easy freezer meal for two of the three nights.
3) Decluttering.
4) Eating from the pantry and freezer.
5) All the usual- library books, wearing thrifted clothes to work, packing my lunch, using coupons….


Gina in KY July 26, 2018 at 7:06 am

I started to write this last night and then, for whatever reason, drew a complete blank because all I could think about were my recent fails!

Anyway, going to try again!

1. Reading like a fiend lately and finished all but one of my library books. I highly recommend Barbara Ehrenreich’s book *Natural Causes*. I love her writing style. I also read *Stuff* (recommended sometime ago on here, I believe) and it was an eye opener.
2. Eating at home (except Saturday son and I went to our favorite local Indian restaurant for the buffet). I plan to inventory my hoard of food soon and make some meal plans to prep for my No Spend Year which starts in 5 days. I have goals. I am good at goals when they interest me.
3. My garden has finally produced a red tomato! I have another on it’s way to being picked and a whole lot of green ones on the waitlist. I also have a cucumber almost ready (I am jealous of those of you with producing gardens-I seemed to have misplaced my green thumb).
4. Line-drying most of my clothes and linens.
5. I didn’t buy a mega-millions ticket so save $2.


Mary in Maryland July 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm

I always think of lottery tickets as a chance to get nothing for something.


Vickey July 29, 2018 at 7:53 am

Heh. A friend of ours had a t-shirt that read “Lottery: a tax on people who don’t do math.” Sharing that with DH cured his lottery longings.


Roberta July 26, 2018 at 7:19 am

Home from a lovely summer vacation. Lots of frugal choices that made it possible to afford the ugly increase after we bumped the bumper on my car. I really, really wish I had paid out of pocket!
1. Used Chinook Book apps a lot in Portland (thanks, Katy!). Got free ice cream, more free ice cream, discounts on lunch out, discounts at Goodwill. The Goodwill downtown was really pricy, but it was across the street from the main library, and we had a lot of fun exploring there. If you’re in town, stop by the children’s room to see the tree!
2. Stayed in AirB&Bs most nights. It allowed us to eat in, and make a lot of noise playing cards. My son was able to run in the yard. We saved money, ate better (felt better) and were able to spend more time on the road.
3. We hit a couple of Goodwills for souvenirs. I got a couple of bags of yarn — a lot was wool — and a cast iron pot that I used for making bread on the trip. I will add it to the kids’ “hope chests” for when they move out. The wool will make socks for Christmas presents, the acrylic will make scrubbies for Christmas presents. The new trousers we got my son will go to keep him decently clothed! (Is there a source for long, skinny trousers? I love clothing him during shorts season!)
4.After spending so much time in the Pacific Northwest, the heat in southern California has been difficult. However, we’ve mostly been keeping the air conditioning off. We went to the library yesterday afternoon and spent a few hours reading there, rather than turn on our geriatric a/c.
5. Going to the beach today to avoid a/c! This hot and humid weather has got to break!


Gina in KY July 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

Oh, I can so relate to insurance increases due to minor claims! Two weeks after buying a used car (1.5 years ago), a big rock hit my windshield. I made a claim and it was replaced for “free”. Then, a month later, my insurance went up and has been ever since (I have a perfect driving record). I probably am paying for three windshields at this point. 🙁


Bee July 27, 2018 at 3:06 am

There are many things that can impact your auto insurance rates. Call your agent or your company to make sure you are being properly rated and receiving all your discounts. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to shop around. I had been with the same company for 24 years and received an enormous rate increase last year after a minor fender bender. I saved $2000 a year on 3 vehicles by changing companies.


Tracy July 26, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Love the downtown Portland library! Don’t love the Goodwill “boutique” across the street — it is supposed to be higher end stuff but they definitely charge higher prices!


Carol July 26, 2018 at 7:26 am

1. Just visited my parents and stayed mostly around the house. Spent only a few bucks for nacho ingredients to make dinner one night.
2. On the way back from my parents’ house, we stayed at a campsite instead of a motel, more than halving our costs.
3. Husband cut my hair again.
4. Used Burger King coupons on the drive back, and managed to convince my husband to do that instead of diners.
5. Packed up some biscotti and sesame sticks from my parents to take on the trip back, then didn’t eat any, which is sort of a frugal fail, but now we will have them for later.


Christine July 26, 2018 at 8:33 am

Thanks for the reminder about the Burger King coupons. I have a bunch of them and will use them on our driving trip through South Dakota next month.


ouvickie July 26, 2018 at 7:46 am

1) I bought a large jar of PB for my stash here at work. That should last for at least 3 months. I use it on caramel rice cakes as a breakfast snack each morning. Since I bought it at the Smart Saver, it cost me less than $4.
2) I attended a monthly Women in Tech event last night with lots of very tasty Mexican food at the Iguana Grill. We had to buy our own drinks, but I only sprang for one. Great food, fun and company. Since it was downtown and they are renovating that side of town, I drove around for a bit, so I could see all the new apartments, condos and retail space in the area. It’s so beautiful now. It was a very derelict area and now it’s a beautiful, walkable area/neighborhood for people that live and work in that area.
3) A co-worker invited a few of us to lunch on Tuesday, to catch up on work news. He said since it was his invite he wanted to pay. So I had a free, yummy Italian lunch with friends. You can’t beat good friends and good food.
4) I’m having a mammogram and a bone density test done today, but won’t have to pay a penny, since it’s part of my annual physical that our insurance pays for. Yay for no more medical cost for my part this year.
5) The weather is cooling off and we’re going to get some rain this weekend. This will definitely help bring down the cost of running the AC.


Lauren Bailey July 26, 2018 at 8:18 am

1. Brought lunch every day this week!

2. Only drove to work once this week, every other trip has either been on the bus or walking. 40 minutes each way is definitely a long walk, but on days I don’t have time to get to the gym it’s a perfect replacement.

3. Went out to bar trivia last night and managed to have a nice night for under $20, including dinner and a few beers.

4. Getting better about asking people to pay me back. I don’t think I realized how much money I was losing by just saying “Oh it’s fine” or not following up. Squared up with a few folks and got back $70 I was out.

5. I did not book impulse plane tickets–I WILL wait until my next paycheck and watch price alerts!


Christine July 26, 2018 at 8:30 am

1. We went to a free concert last night relocated from a park to an indoor venue due to bad weather. Combo of folk, rock and country. Sprung for a Sangria partly in thanks to the micro brewery for donating the venue free of charge.
2. DH and I went to the cheapo movie theater to see Chappaquiddick. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised to discover it was reduced rate day. $4 tickets. Will keep that in mind.
3. I’ve read 3 library book so far, earning me 4 raffle tickets in the library’s summer reading program. When I returned the last book, I confessed to the librarian that I hadn’t liked it so stopped reading it after a few pages. She told me she was giving me a raffle ticket anyway as a reward for honesty.
4. If anyone is looking to fill up their garden space put in some Black Eyed Susans. Mine are spreading like wildfire.
5. Reading The Year of Less which turns out is not only about less stuff. Good read.


Bee July 27, 2018 at 3:09 am

I thoroughly enjoyed The Year of Less. “Stuff” gets in the way of so much!


Roberta July 27, 2018 at 7:47 am

Because of this post, I just checked the library, and my copy of The Year of Less is in!


Jennifer July 26, 2018 at 8:35 am

1. Picking cherry tomatoes from the garden, yum! Planted beets for a fall crop. Will plant peas soon. Unearthed some kale among a bed of weeds and it is tough, but good for feeding our rabbit.
2. Had the AC turned off for the past week. It has been hot during the day, but manageable since it cools off a lot at night.
3. Made a large pot of black beans, used them to stretch rice and ground beef for tacos and froze the rest for later.
4. Spent the morning working the yard – while numerous neighbors had professionals taking care of their yards. The amount of money saved over the years is likely in the tens of thousands.
5. Ds is out of state this summer and hurt his back. We found a DR that was in network and avoided x-rays out there. He will have them in 2 weeks when he comes home before going back to college. In-network is much better and doing the x-rays here is better as well.


Laura July 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

Longtime-lurker, first-time poster here!

1. Fighting off the urge to buy a gorgeous leather purse from Thredup which is a whopping $200 (original price quoted as $600). I’m a believer in buying quality where I can but I just can’t justify the price for a used handbag. However, the image of it is still haunting my thoughts so I’m trying to stay strong in my resolve!
2. Bought only the essentials for this week’s grocery shop saving myself about $50 off the usual bill. Almost to the bottom of our freezer so will need to stock up on meat soon.
3. Went to Goodwill to pick up two $.50 books for vacation reading.
4. Cooking all meals from home this week despite husband’s strong desire for takeout.
5. Mended a hole in my son’s underwear that he had pointed out to me. In my pre-frugal days, I would have simply tossed it out so this is a big step for me!


Mary in Maryland July 26, 2018 at 9:38 am

1) Yesterday I was invited to a quilting friend’s home for the afternoon. As I was leaving, the Mister ran our recently deceased microwave out to the car, since I would be passing the transfer station. Alas, after I recycled the microwave, I realized I did not have the house number for the event. I spent half an hour parked on the right street, but never did figure out which house was Maria’s. Feeling very frustrated and spendy on the way home, I stopped at Petco. Our dogs’ food was on sale, so I bought four 28 pound bags.

2) Also hit the Asian grocery on the way home, as we needed Siracha and sambal oelek. Splurged on some rice vinegar ($3).

3) I had used up all the produce in the drawer, so I bought only enough to leave the Mister with pre-packed lunches while I’m out of town for a conference next week. I offered dinners, but he declined.

4) This morning I washed the quilt marking lines out of four small quilts I might be able to sell in the craft sale area at next week’s conference. My quilting is self-supporting and keeps me off the road and out of stores. I also have sixty potholders done and priced.

5) Have done some internet research on replacing the microwave. The Mister looked up their average lifespan–nine years–and thought it funny that we had bought ours 7/25/09 and it died 7/25/18. A microwave certainly makes leftovers more appealing.


Julia Park Tracey July 26, 2018 at 11:47 am

I, too, can only think of my frugal fails — but here’s my attempt:
1) Our AirBnB is booked almost solid through the next few weeks, and I’m doing all the housework for it. We charge $99 a night and housekeeping from our gal is $120 per day, so it’s a big loss if she does the work. We’ve had back-to-back guests so I have this down to a method now, about an hour.15 to get it all done.
2) Our garden is just starting to produce, a cucumber and a tomato at a time. Some of the items — my attempt to grow edamame — were not super successful, but the tomatoes are going to be amazing. I plan to can tomato sauce.
3) I made plum jam from our small crop + wild plums off the hillside. I’ve also been making blackberry jam, pie, cobbler, and freezing the berries. All free except the sugar and pectin. Saving/collecting jars for this, too.
4) We are using our ceiling fan and a small portable fan in the bedroom instead of the AC.
5) We’re eating chicken again for the third time, working our way through the whole roasted carcass. Up tonight–tortilla soup with the stock and pickings, plus a bit of leftover enchilada sauce and salsa and some stale chips on top. It is rich and delicious!


Ruby July 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

FFT in the steamy South:
1. Found a dime on the teller window shelf at the bank. I offered it to the teller, but he told me to keep it because it would make his cash drawer come up over.
2. Wearing mostly or entirely thrifted clothes every day (save for bras and underwear) and looking real cute.
3. Handwashing delicates with some hotel shampoos found on premises at my old job. It does a very nice job on clothes but is not right for my hair. So it’s not wasted.
4. Rather than to buy a picture for the office at work, which everyone seems to want me to do, I made something very nice with some cardstock and my mad skills with Microsoft Paint that cost pennies to do.
5. Packing my lunch, breakfast, and water bottle from home to work. Hard core brown bagging means almost all my pocket money goes into the Christmas envelope, which is looking good.


Nancy July 26, 2018 at 7:11 pm

How does one find out about these Consumer Opinion Panels??


Rosanne July 29, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Yes, I am curious about that as well. Also, a few months back, a few readers mentioned the names of some secret shopping sites they liked. I searched in past posts, but came up empty handed. There was one that did secret shops on gas stations, I believe. Any help is appreciated.


Mary W July 26, 2018 at 7:49 pm

1. I survived the community fair and brought home $57.60 in premium money.
2. Also brought home several loaves of bread, some deli sandwiches andand scraps for the chickens, plus enjoyed free sodas and water during the fair, since I am a volunteer.
3. Am re-reading books in my home library collection during the hottest part of the day.
4. Thoroughly enjoying our pool during this heat wave.
5. Clothes are drying on the line this summer, and drying in record time. Love line drying…clothes smell so good.


Mary W July 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

I forgot to mention that I do the vast bulk of my grocery shopping at WinCo. The prices are amazing there. Definitely worth bagging my own groceries to get the savings. Grocery Outlet, Fred Meyer for the freebies and DT are my other go-to stores. No Aldi’s in this area, and Trader Joe’s is too far away.


Mary W July 27, 2018 at 9:51 pm

6. Cut my own hair last week and have received multiple compliments on it.
7. Continuing to walk with friends and cool off/ swim in the pool for exercise…free is good!
8. My hens continue to hatch chicks for me, and the oldest of the Spring pullets are starting to lay tiny little pullet eggs. So cute!


Julia July 28, 2018 at 7:16 am

Oh, our county fair stopped paying premiums this year. I have entered 4 items — dried strawberries, spring honey, blackberry jam, and grapefruit marmalade. I don’t expect a prize for the blackberry because it is on the runny side. But I’m hoping for blues for the rest. Congrats on your wins — what did you enter?


Mary W July 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm

I entered grape juice (best of division), rhubarb sauce, egg bread, 2 kinds of rolls, various flowers and herbs growing in my yard, some cards and jewelry I made at craft nights, rhubarb, and potted herbs and plants – mostly all blues.

Unbelievable that your fair isn’t paying premiums! How on Earth do they expect to get entries? Of course, we all like the bragging rights of winning a big ribbon, but the money is awfully nice, too.


nancy from mass July 27, 2018 at 6:28 am

1. found a total of .68 this past month wandering around. 5 dimes (thanks DH), 1 nickel and the rest pennies – including a 1946 penny – but it’s not copper).
2. got $10 in the mail yesterday for answering a Nielsen survey that i forgot about.
3. took all of my new, but larger size, underwear that i bought last year – then lost weight shortly after, and took in the seams about 1/2″ on each side. My undies are no longer shimmying down while i walk!
4. I’ve been line drying on my rotary dryer. it’s humid out, so it takes a little longer, but the smell of the clothes are worth it.
5. will be a one car family for a week or two. giving my car to my IL while their car is being repaired after an accident. my FIL was hit over a month ago by an uninsured driver and now she’s disappeared. his insurance would only cover a rental up to so much $, so he had to turn it in. (and since the insurance and PD can’t find her, and she has no ins anyway, he can’t use her for the rental). my MIL just finished chemo and radiation but has dr appts and they have no other car. rather than them relying on others (or having to cab or uber it), i’m giving them my car to use. He’ll probably put 25 miles on it the entire time they have it and it won’t know what to do if he drives on the highway since it will never go over 60. 😉


Jessica July 27, 2018 at 7:34 am

1) on a quasi-free vacation staying at a friend’s unused vacation home
2) took advantage of this rare free time to cancel some subscriptions that I had signed up for but no longer need (Dropbox, white pages premium, etc)
3) bought some clothes I need for work at the outlets on the way here. Stopped at customer service on the way in to get additional coupons. Didn’t have enough purchase to qualify to use one of the coupons, but the store gave me 10% off just for putting myself on their email list.
4) remembered to turn down the thermostat etc before leaving
5) Exercising while away – staying healthy is frugal!


Momma L July 27, 2018 at 10:42 am

1. Returned several items, kept only 2, from a clearance sale! Yes I know that’s still consumerism… Online sales are a weakness…
2. Combined trip to town for a doctor’s visit with a visit to SIL, she served us brunch.
3. SIL then went through her closet and gave me a couple dozen things to try on, came home with several new-to-me tops and jackets.
4. Eating at home, making stir fry. This is good for us after LOTS of company, and when company comes, they always say, oh don’t worry about dieting, we are on vacation! Problem is, everyone who visits is “on vacation”. Time to eat mostly protein and plants again for a while.
5. DH is injured, a neighbor has been coming over on his riding lawnmower. So I found a reasonably priced wine to give as a gift. Would have baked something, but don’t want to use the oven when its so hot.


Alexandra @ July 28, 2018 at 4:06 am

1. DH was on “nextdoor” and kept hearing our neighbors paying way different amounts for internet from local cable provider than we did. We dropped by their office, told them that, and whoa, dropped our bill from $74 month to $33 per month…….saving $42 a month/$492 a year. DAAAAMMMNN! DH gets a gold star for pushing on that one!
2. Watched the instapot for 18 months. Nabbed one at Walmart at $49.99 sale. Enjoying learning how to use it and trying new things.
3. Passed 1 year of not drinking. Huge for us as we were heavy drinkers. Decided to put on our big girl panties and recognize drinking a lot is bad for ones health over the years and we are in our 50s. Committed to healthier living and feeling super good.
4. Grateful for a job that gives generous bereavement leave. Able to take a whole week off with pay to deal with death in family and not deal with a short paycheck. Generous employer.
5. Family and friends came out of the woodwork during sad time. Grateful for community. Will invest more time


Momma L July 28, 2018 at 7:34 am

So sorry for your loss, Alexandra.
And kudos for not drinking during the grief, I’m not sure I could do that.


Mary W July 28, 2018 at 12:35 pm

My condolences on your loss. And congratulations on not drinking. That can be a tough one to give up.


auntiali July 28, 2018 at 6:06 pm

1. Got email notices that my returned clothes were received and I will get refunds.
2. Got good coupons in the email today. Thankfully we now have more grocery store competition. My store is offering $10 off $75 for 2 weeks. One week is free grape tomatoes the next is romaine – if it doesn’t kill us.
3. Daughter bought dinner tonight.
4. I think I mentioned this but I got new livingroom furniture and paid cash and got a kitchen table with 3 chairs off my local swap and sell for $50. Very happy!
5. Dh’s car is paid off and got the title today. Paid off a year early. We should be good on cars for a few years.


Norma July 29, 2018 at 6:54 pm

We have a 2009 Toyota with almost 200,000 miles on it and it is still going strong (hope I’m not jinxing myself). Paid off in 2013 a year early. We will keep it “until they drag our dead bodies out of it.” We have friends who are constantly in debt and have bought three cars over the last three years and wonder why they have no money.


Avery July 29, 2018 at 10:24 am

1. My friend came over to my house, and I took her shopping. She was looking for a jean jacket to go with a dress of hers, and I had an old one in a consignment pile. I was just going to give it to her, but then she offered $15. (It was originally $40 , but I did wear it when I was younger). I said “oh that’s way too much”, but she pulled out her Venmo, so I said $5 would be good considering I would get about that much from consignment… I wish I would’ve asked for $10, but I was just so excited that the jacket worked, and I knew it was staying out of the landfill. I guess I am learning from my mistakes!
2. My 2013 Mac computer is on its last stretch; it’s very unreliable, but I am using it until it crashes. My dad is giving me his once that is done, so not buying anything new.
3. I am getting $50 this month from consignment, and am taking more clothes when I pick up my check.
4. I bought a Diva cup, which will reduce more feminine purchases…
5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.


MamaMinou July 29, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Most of my frugal wins this week have to do with food!

1) Gratefully accepted a bag of apples from a coworker’s tree and made a big batch of cinnamon applesauce (on the one day it was cool enough I could bear to cook)

2) Inspired by above, looked around at own trees and noticed that usually not-producing tree is covered with apples this year! Picked a bunch, and made more applesauce to freeze plus a big apple crisp thing.

3) Went U-pick blueberry picking (So. Hot.) on Saturday afternoon and left with about 10 lbs of organic blueberries for $15.00

4) Baked “Stingy Lazy Artisan Bread” and roasted cauliflower from my farm box (again, on the cooler day)

5) And…the frugal fail: summer treats. TWO (gulp) gallons of ice cream this week plus tonic for gin & tonics.


Crosby July 30, 2018 at 6:22 am

1. My partner tooks headshot photos for a friend and we refused to charge her. She bought us an Instant Pot as a thank you!
2. I used the IP to make veggie broth from my bag of scraps in the freezer.
3. I also used it to cook 4 nights worth of daal and rice for dinner from ingredients I had on hand.
4. I had 2 car-free days this weekend.
5. A very no-spend weekend in general: streamed TV shows, worked on my scrap crochet blanket, made my own body butter with ingredients on hand, purged some belongings (how did we end up with so many unneeded lamps??), took our dog for some longer walks and admired our neighbors’ gardens (it was our Garden Walk weekend so they were in tip-top shape).


Christine July 31, 2018 at 7:21 am

I love to check out neighbors’ gardens as I walk. In my mail carrying days I gleaned many great gardening ideas on my mail route! Extra perk of the job. Glad you enjoyed the Garden Walk weekend.


Crosby August 1, 2018 at 3:58 am

Christine, you must have seen some really cool things! I’d never thought about that before, the unintended benefits of different jobs.


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