Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 18, 2018 · 63 comments

I know that my blogging “schedule” has been terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad lately, and for that I apologize. For years I blogged seven days per week and was happy to do so, but lately I’ve been putting my energy into having the kids home for summer as well as pesky things like work and screen addiction having fun with my Instagram account.

And now . . . with a tremendous and unnecessary amount of preamble, I present to you . . . two days in a row of blogging!

  1. I combined a dull errand with meeting up with a long time blogging buddy who I’d never actually met in person. She texted to let me know she was in the area and asked if I had time to get together. Luckily my day’s tasks weren’t time specific, so I asked if she wanted to accompany me to The Grocery Outlet. (Life as a semi-successsful blogger is nothing but glamour and glitz!) Luckily, she was game for frugal shenanigans and we set off for adventure.

    I scored big, including 99¢ rounds of brie, 33¢ containers of sorbet and a single 99¢ 1/2-pound bag of shredded cheese.

    Grocery bargains and a semblance of a social life? Score!

  2. I was texted a RedBox code for a free movie rental, which prompted my son and I to walk over to 7-11 to pick out our evening’s entertainment. Luckily they had a copy of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity Wars, which was my son’s first choice. (My 73rd choice, but parenting involves sacrifice.) We watched it last night and you know we’ll be returning it before any fees accrue.

    Free movie? yes, please!

  3. I assembled a pan of enchiladas last night which included:

    – corn tortillas leftover from my husband’s work event
    – kidney beans cooked from scratch
    – brown rice
    – the above shredded cheese
    – some leftover salsa from the back of the fridge
    – a generous shake of corn from a 99¢ bag in the freezer
    – a $1.49 can of El Pato green enchilada sauce from The Grocery Outlet

    Super tasty, frugal and generally healthy. There were no complaints.

  4. I picked up library holds, returned a book that wouldn’t renew, my son and I listed our free curbside chair on Facebook Marketplace, we walked our errands instead of driving, I paid my son’s fall tuition, I found two pennies and a dime and I signed up for the next round of hospital shifts, thus ensuring that I’d have enough money to pay for bulk dried beans/college tuition.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy from mass September 18, 2018 at 10:26 am

wow! 2 FFT’s in a row!

1. picked up the following for free from loyalty cards: free 16.9oz watermelon coconut water, free sparkling water, free 1 liter ice tea/lemonade and a free tin of chopped jalapenos.
2. made tacos for the boy from the last bit of 90 lean GB i bought a few months ago at 1.99/lb.
3. pulled a chicken breast from the freezer (I can now suddenly eat small amounts of meat without getting migraines! first time in 10 years!). i had part of it the other night with beets, rice and sliced cukes. finished it up today in a salad with the rest of the beets and a cheddar jack stick i cut up.
4. my BFF bought tickets at a discount for 8th row floor seats to the Ed Sheeran concert friday. it was her 50th BD gift to herself and 52nd for me. we parked at a friends and walked to the event. i bought dinner (sub for each of us with a drink) plus bought her and myself a concert tee. Amazing concert! the opening acts were great too – i’ve been listening to Snow Patrol for about 20 years.
5. participated in a 5K sunday (walking). found a couple of pennies along the way.
and a 6th:
took the bras where one side would sllloooowwwwwlllly loosen and i would have one ‘girl’ hanging lower than the other. i put the band where i wanted it and sewed it there with my machine. no longer will i be messing with those bra straps (or being lopsided!)


kathleen September 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm

#6 (Slaps forehead) Why have I never thought of that?!


Julie September 18, 2018 at 10:32 am



Texas Homesteader September 18, 2018 at 10:44 am

Wow! Two in a row – you GO girl!!

This week involved a tire blow-out on our cattle trailer (and therefore a replacement immediately necessary) so my frugal 5 is even more important!

1) Had my brother & SIL over for supper when they suggested we meet at a restaurant for a visit. We grilled burgers & I made homemade banana pudding with the buy-it-now sale spotted bananas at our local store.

2) For our road-trip to a cattle sale, I made sure to fill mugs with lots of ice and water for the trip. (It’s still hot-hot-HOT here in Tx)

3) Found a rabbit’s nest by our back porch and fashioned a protective cover
(from a concrete cinderblock & a closet organizer that we already owned) that would allow mama access but restrict access for our Mini-Schnauzer, a proven baby-rabbit killer. 🙁

4) The hubs and I are working through all leftovers in the fridge to reduce our food waste. And, you know, that includes that leftover banana pudding (oh the sacrifice!)

5) As is typical for me, our clothes were washed with my homemade laundry detergent and hung dry on the line outside to make some helpful use of that blasted Texas heat!!



Kathy September 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

1. Wore my thrifted and gifted outfit to girls night out on Saturday. Skirt from thrift store (its reversible too), sandals (didn’t fit her well) from a friend and blouse from friend when she “cleaned” out her closet.
2. Used up to $6 coupon at Bath and Body Works and got a tube of hand cream
3. Bought 3 greeting cards at the thrift store for .25/each.
4. Bought two Carrie Fisher books at thrift store for $2.18
5. Worked my on call admin gig last week. Working at dog show on Sunday which means FREE parking, free breakfast and free dinner plus I get paid!!


Marybeth September 18, 2018 at 11:08 am

1. Grilled chicken cutlets and corn on the BBQ for dinner last night. Made extra so everyone could have some for lunch today. Got the chicken cutlets for $1.69 a pound which is much cheaper then cold cuts. Still have enough for lunch tomorrow too.
2. Made dog food over the weekend and the dog loves it. We are dog sitting my sister’s dog so this helps stretch out the store bought stuff.
3. Had leftover steal cut oats for breakfast. I added a little milk and some brown sugar and cinnamon and they are as good as the first day.
4. Have an eye doctors appointment this afternoon. No copay and already hit my deductible so it costs me nothing extra.
5. Not going to any stores today so it is a no spend day. Love when those happen.


Juhli September 18, 2018 at 11:38 am

Love your humor in these posts!
1. Bought some blank cards at the Friends of the Library store for a tiny amount of $
2. Realized I could simply hand my son and DIL the clothes I got for the granddaughter since we are all together this weekend for a wedding. No shipping cost.
3. Decided to try the superglue and tape suggestion of the Nissan service manager for fixing my car key. It spit at the top and won’t stay on my key ring. Will get a better key ring but that is chump changes compared to $100 for a new key and the required programming.
4. Taking some breakfast supplies to my brother and SIL for the wedding weekend as they will have a small kitchen. Frugal for them and they won’t have to be searching for an open breakfast place early in the am after a long flight the day before.
5. Not frugal but still I thought I would have to spend money and switch Drs. Found out it was a submitting error and my out of pocket should be $0.


LB September 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

99 cent brie?? Not fair!

Things have been surprisingly expensive over here including planning (and paying) ahead for some future adventures–all worth it but still very frustrating for my bank account.

1. Made an excellent dent in credit card debt this billing cycle. Finally feel like I’ve hit a groove.

2. Reading a book from the library that I’ve been meaning to read for a few months–love the library’s due date so I am forced to read the books I want to!

3. Leftovers and coffee from home still continuing to taste good. No reason that lunches from home have to be depressing–homemade pasta & sauce and lots of fresh fruit have me looking forward to lunch time.

4. Finally going to take a real swing at baking bread tonight. Pray for me.

5. I have a ton of fancy events this fall–weddings, fundraisers, etc. that I have been really feeling the siren song of the mall asking me to come buy new dresses. Fortunately I have resisted and have designated dresses for each event that are in my closet already, and have helped me look forward to these events without the shopping!


rebecca j robbins September 18, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Congratulations on making the excellent dent in your credit card debt!


LB September 20, 2018 at 6:49 am

Thank you!!!!


Bethany M September 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Putting together a proper grocery list. Lately it’s been grilling up a family size package of chicken breasts on Monday and then eating chicken this-or-that the rest of the week….Put 2 breasts in the freezer after grilling, so that it’s still good to go at the end of the week….Frugal and easy, but gets a bit boring.

Ordered some grammar songs and chants through out charter school. Cost to me nothing. I love popping in something educational and letting the kids learn without much involvement from me. Don’t get me wrong, I put it my time with homeschooling…even supplement the curriculum, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a few moments in the car for uninterrupted thought.

Still making use of our pool. We don’t have to go anywhere and spend gas money. Temps are still in the 90s. One of the perks of Southern California.

..okay, I give up…I got Three frugal things. 🙂


Jill A September 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm

1. I went to a movie at the AMC theater taking advantage of their $5 Tuesday deal. I requested a ticket to validate my parking but since the parking ramp was having issue with the ticket machine my parking was free so I’ll save it for free parking downtown next time I have to pay.
2. I ate leftovers from Thursday’s dinner for lunch today.
3. I’m reading a library book on my kindle.
4. I walked with a friend today instead of going to my favorite coffee shop saving us both a few dollars.
5. I took my Mom to Costco yesterday. We share memberships. She has Sam’s Club and picks up items that I would need there that they don’t have at Costco and vice versa.


A. Marie September 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

FFT, Money Not Spent Is Money Earned Edition:

(1) The bill for the last year of DH’s term life insurance came a few weeks ago. Having only recently done a crash course in how term LI works (honestly, I had no idea), and having also sought advice from a friend who is a lawyer for a local insurance company, I’ve made up my mind not to pay this bill and to let the policy go. DH is in excellent physical health (if not mental), and I view this as a certain savings of $3K vs. the dubious chance of collecting what the policy is worth in the highly unlikely event that he pegs out before this time next year.

(2) I’m trying hard to look at our present inability to travel more than a few hours’ drive from home (because of DH’s confused mental state) as a source of savings. My Literary Society’s annual North American conference is coming up in two weeks, and it’s been hard to listen to my LitSoc friends’ excitement about it. But I’m doing my best to suck it up, wish them well, and reflect on the dinero saved by not going. (My 92-year-old LitSoc friend, who gave up attending the conference a while back, said many years ago that the Society was the only group she knew where membership cost $10/year and conference attendance cost 100 times that, once all travel and other expenses were figured. Fast-forward 30 years or so and adjust for inflation.)

(3) And I’ve benefited in many, many ways over the years from the aforementioned elderly LitSoc friend’s advice and life wisdom. I regard her as part substitute mom and part guru.

(4) Trashpicking is looking up a bit. DH and I pulled a dozen sheets of good poster board and several notebooks and notepads (easily reusable once the first few scribbled pages were torn out) from the local educational nonprofit’s dumpster a few days ago, and I found a lovely 1.5-liter Corning Ware container (“L’Echalote” pattern) on the curb two blocks away today. Cha-ching!

(5) Finally, in looking ahead to what I may and may not be able to do in next year’s garden, I’m planning to turn more beds over to herbs, butterfly plants, and other stuff that deer won’t eat and I won’t have to pay much attention to. Accordingly, I salvaged a lot of half-ripe milkweed pods from a neighbor’s brush pile a few weeks back, and DH and I are enjoying scattering the seeds around the property as they ripen. Food for monarch butterfly babies!


Jenny September 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Oh, I’m scattering milkweed seeds, too. There are a couple of groups on Facebook, etc. that have helped me to learn more about this.


Jill A September 19, 2018 at 5:40 am

Not to be Debbie Downer but my husband had one year left on his life insurance. He passed away in February at the young age of 53 unexpectedly of a heart attack. You just never know. If you would be in financial trouble if your husband passed away I would reconsider.


nancy from mass September 19, 2018 at 8:38 am

I agree with Jill A…..My husbands term life policy was not cheap (and we were strapped to say the least) but i always made sure it was paid every month. I would not be as safe as i am if i had canceled it. reconsider letting that policy go…..


A. Marie September 19, 2018 at 11:42 am

Jill and Nancy, thank you both for your thoughtful comments–and I send sympathy and affection to you both on your premature losses.

But I’ve taken a cold, hard, actuarial look at DH’s and my situation, and (as noted in my original comment) sought the advice of a knowledgeable friend. I think that this is the way to go for us, and I’m prepared to live with the consequences if I’m wrong. As always, one of the great things about this blog is that we can all allow for the “Your mileage may vary” factor.


nancy from mass September 21, 2018 at 3:13 am

A. Marie,
I’m sorry that i tried to force my experience on you. Whenever i hear someone say they are going to cancel their term ins, i cringe because most people don’t take the time to research their options, they usually just look at the cost.
Again, i apologize.


Linda September 21, 2018 at 2:45 am

Could you be more specific about “what the deer won’t eat”?


A. Marie Sprayberry September 21, 2018 at 9:21 am

Nancy: No need whatever for an apology, dear heart. As I said, all our mileages may vary. You clearly did what was best for you, and I hope and pray that I’m doing what’s best for DH and me. Peace to us all.

Linda: Frankly, there isn’t much that deer won’t eat. But so far I’ve found that they stay out of herbs, garlic, and onion family crops (because they don’t like the smells), plus buddleia (aka butterfly bush), milkweed, marigolds, echinacea, and some of my other ornamentals. Vegetables I grow that seem to have a bit of resistance include kale (they don’t seem to go for the taste) and cucumbers (they don’t like the spines). There are a couple of books on the subject, and of course you can learn more through Google.


A. Marie Sprayberry September 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

Nancy: No need for an apology, dear heart. Clearly, you did what was best for you, and I hope and pray that I’m doing what’s best for DH and me. As I said, all our mileages may vary. Peace to us all.

Linda: Frankly, there aren’t many vegetables the deer won’t eat (although they seem to stay out of my kale and cucumbers). But they don’t like herbs, garlic, and onion family plants because of the smells, plus several of my ornamentals (buddleia, nasturtiums, marigolds, echinacea, sunflowers, and others). There are a couple of books on the subject, and of course Google can tell you more.


A. Marie September 21, 2018 at 9:38 am

Nancy: No need for an apology, dear heart. Clearly, you did what was best for you, and I hope and pray that I’m doing what’s best for DH and me. As I said, all our mileages may vary. Peace to us all.

Linda: Frankly, there aren’t many vegetables the deer won’t eat (although they seem to stay out of my kale and cucumbers). But they don’t like herbs, garlic, and onion family plants because of the smells, plus several of my ornamentals (buddleia, nasturtiums, marigolds, echinacea, sunflowers, and others). There are a couple of books on the subject, and of course Google can tell you more.


A. Marie September 21, 2018 at 10:21 am

Apologies to all for the multiple replies. I was having issues with the blog comment feature again.


Stephanie September 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm

1. I used up all the leftovers in the fridge to make my son burritos for the freezer. Then I just pulled one out at night, stick it in his lunch bag with a piece of fruit and a cookie I baked and froze on the weekends, and he’s good. He loves the burritos and we waste less food. Everyone is happy!

2. I knitted my husband an anatomically correct heart for Christmas, using up scrap yarn from another Christmas gift years ago. It turned out so well and he’s going to love it.

3. I received some free yarn for complaining to a company about yarn I was using from them that had issues. They sent me two skeins instead of one, and I was surprised and very happy!

4. I dehydrated a ton of cherry tomatoes we picked from our garden. Holy cow, those things are delicious when they’re dehydrated!

5. I’m knitting my daughter a gift from yarn I got for super cheap at a yard sale last year. All it takes is my time. 🙂


Norma September 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm

A lot has not been frugal since we have had to evacuate from our home in Myrtle Beach but doing the best we can.

1. Purchased husband a very nice, almost new, collared shirt at thrift shop for $3.00. Also found a pair of shorts left in the RV we are renting that were just my husband’s size.
2. Purchased some “personal items” at CVS. Originally $13.69each. Purchased two, thus getting $5 Extra Bucks for future use. Each item had a $2 off coupon on it and I had a $5 Extra Bucks coupon. So paid $20+/- for both packages and got a $5 Extra Bucks for future use.
3. Ordered a Coke at restaurant. It was flat and I asked the waitress to take it back and bring me water – made sure to review the check and, sure enough, she had not taken the Coke off.
4. Talked the campground host where we are staying into giving us a free night if my husband fixed a few things wrong with the RV we are renting. Because of our circumstances he has also offered us free ice. We will write a letter to his boss when we are back home. Also got him a gift certificate to his favorite local restaurant. Well worth all that he did to make sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed.
5. Been doing a lot of window shopping to keep busy. I did relent and purchase two pillows in the colors I have been looking for. They were reasonably priced and then 25% off.


Bee September 19, 2018 at 3:32 am

My heart goes out to you and all those affected by the storm. As a Florida Native, I know how disruptive and expensive hurricanes can be. Some homeowner’s and renter’s policies cover expenses related to mandatory evacuation. You may want to check with your agent.


Norma September 19, 2018 at 11:40 am

Thank you. Even though we did not have damage to the house, we did have to put out a lot of money for lodging and food. I will check with the agent.. Thanks again.


Lindsey September 18, 2018 at 4:40 pm

1. Visited a friend who indignantly asked me if I knew that guacamole was made from avocadoes (!?!). She did not, and she hates avocados, so she gave me three boxes of Wholly Guacamole.
2. A local gas station/convenience store is giving away free coffee every Tuesday for the next month, including lattes. Today I had a pumpkin spice latte for nothing! I put it in my calendar for the next three weeks. I never buy coffee drinks, so this is a real treat!
3. Husband was asked to meet with a client for breakfast in a fast food place (there are not that many inexpensive places to go for breakfast in this town). Client paid for the meal and the husband brought home leftovers for my breakfast. I’m not proud.
4. Hosted a meeting for a committee. I provided a home-made cake and the other three people brought cheese, crackers and Snapple iced tea. No one wanted to take home the leftovers, so for dinner husband and I are having bits and pieces, with their food items and my cake and some hard-boiled eggs I made yesterday.
5. Traded a box of my canned goods with a beekeeper and came home with three quarts of local honey. I don’t know about prices in the lower 48, but honey is pricey here, so this was a really great trade. The best part was that he loves rhubarb and I had made dozens of cans of rhubarb chutney, rhubarb syrup and rhubarb liqueur—much, much more than we could use, but I would not let the rhubarb go to waste.


priskill September 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

#1 — okay, that IS hilarious! Um, yeah, there will be avocadoes in guac . . .but yay for your score 😉


cathy September 19, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Just wondering what your friend thought guacamole was made from (before learning it was avocados).


Lindsey September 20, 2018 at 10:36 am

She thought it was just another form of hummus. I felt compelled to tell her that headcheese is not made of heads.


Susie's Daughter September 21, 2018 at 4:30 am

Lindsey – I am sitting here with my cereal bowl guffawing out loud! Thank you for a great start to my day.


Jenny September 21, 2018 at 8:12 pm

But I think head cheese actually IS made from pigs’ heads, isn’t it?


tracy September 24, 2018 at 4:28 am

Lindsey — number 1 made me laugh out loud!


Jenny September 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Lindsey, your #1 is hilarious!


Christine September 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm

1.I’ve been using a (generic) Q-tip to dig out the last bits of lipstick from an almost empty tube. In my preNCA days, I would have thrown it out weeks ago.
2.While cleaning out an old china cabinet, I came across many items to consign/sell on-line. Most of them were from a drawer at the base which I hadn’t opened in years.
3.Worked one of my side gigs; the Primaries in my state. Not only a paycheck but I get to see members of my community I wouldn’t usually see.
4.DH and I went on a trail hike in the woods yesterday ahead of Hurricane Florence. Saw a Monarch butterfly.
5.Soaking beans from the Dollar Store for tomorrow’s supper. Boston Baked Beans with pieces of hotdogs from tonight ‘s supper stirred in.


ouvickie September 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

# 1 – Me, too!!
I’ve been digging lipstick from the bottom of a tube for over 2 months now. LOL!
I just finished the last remnants from a toothpaste tube, too. I think that lasted well over a week, after I cut the bottom off and turned it upside down in the holder. I would scrape it out with my toothbrush every morning.
Waste not, want not!! 🙂


Jennifer September 19, 2018 at 3:21 am

1) Fought a $288 medical bill after my EOB says I only owe $140. I won.
2) Found around $2.50 on the ground over the past week.
3) Did another college visit and stayed with a childhood friend of mine. Did not buy a t-shirt.
4) Sold an Under Armour hoodie for $5 on our local garage sale page
5) Just when I thought my garden was done I discovered around 100 green cherry tomatoes on the plants. We had a heat wave last week and they are ripening fairly quickly.


Jennifer September 19, 2018 at 3:56 am

About your blogging schedule. I understand not blogging as much at times. When I had my very little blog for a very short time, it was difficult to fit it into my activities of daily living sometimes. While I truly loved daily blogging, it became another task I needed to get done. I hope you know we appreciate the time it takes to gets these posts done, and your devotion to it, so no apology is needed for this labor of love….. thanks!


Roberta September 19, 2018 at 6:21 am

1. We have a clearance shop that has a little of this and a little of that. A lot comes from Costco, if that gives you an idea — single cans that are in a multipack at Costco, pairs of socks instead of 10-packs, etc. I found two(!) bras that I would be willing to wear, plus a 30% off coupon. For those, plus a few grocery items, I left the store for under $10! And I was just working myself up to going bra shopping, which I hate.
2. I started posting on my blog again, which makes me feel accountable. As a result, I posted a number of items to ebay, to try to get them out of the house. I also priced a number of winter items for the shop — a big box I had been avoiding dealing with.
3. Still dealing with the glut of bananas. I passed along six pounds to a friend, she dropped off clothes for the shop. I will be going door-to-door today, offering bananas to my neighbors.
4. Dinner tonight is “flying saucers:” fried flour tortillas, refried beans (from dried), lettuce, salsa, sour cream, olives from Grocery Outlet. The lettuce, sour cream and salsa are getting old, so I’m glad they’ll be used before they go bad. The beans didn’t fit nicely in my bean jar, so I’m glad they’re out of the pantry.
5. I had fallen back on packaged lunches ($1 spinach handpies from Grocery Outlet are very popular at my house), but I finally made intentional leftovers to send for lunches. I feel much better about these, nutritionally, financially and environmentally.


Mary W September 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Roberta, have you ever thought about making banana jam? I don’t have a recipe, but I’m sure Google would offer up many choices. If you don’t care for bananas yourself, you could give the jam as gifts.


Katy September 19, 2018 at 7:46 am

1. Downloaded several free ebooks. $0
2. My husband cut my son’s hair and I cut his hair, with clippers we bought 11 years ago (they sat in storage these past 3 years). They were working a little roughly, so my husband opened them up and tweaked something in there to help them run better. $0
3. I discovered dryer lint works well to erase a whiteboard. $0
4. My husband bought a game of Jenga, which we played last night, and will probably play many, many more times in the future making it a fairly frugal entertainment option. $10
5. My husband also spent $52 on two kettle balls!! A little more expensive that I would’ve thought. But I guess it’s cheaper than a bunch of gym memberships, and they should last forever. $52


Christine September 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Try putting a few drops of Wahl Oil on the blades of the clippers after you use them. It need not be every single time. This has kept my clippers sharp for more than 10 years.


ouvickie September 19, 2018 at 12:02 pm

1) I scored a gorgeous free t-shirt, with the Downtown OKC skyline and Scissortail bridge on it, at the OKWISE conference last week. Fridays are jeans & t-shirt day in the office and I’m replenishing my worn t-shirt collection with freebies scored after donating blood and free-giveaways at the I.T. conferences I attend.
2) The car dealership where I just bought my new-to-me 2014 Nissan Rogue still hasn’t rec’d the title on my car yet. So, I had to make a trip up there to get a new paper tag yesterday, since the other one was expiring. They offered me a free tank of gas and of course I said, “YES, thank you!!”
3) I thought we had leftover, homemade chili in the fridge, so I stopped and bought some smoked sausages to make chili dogs for last night’s dinner. Alas, I discovered hubby had eaten the chili for lunch, but I had a can of Pace Chili in the cupboard. The chili dogs were yummy!
4) The hard-shell case for my iPhone is getting worn (about 4 years old now) and I thought it was coming apart. However, I discovered it only needed to be cleaned around the seams and gel casing underneath. Yay! No need for a new one.
5) I’ve been decluttering and usually drop things off at the Goodwill donation center; however, my church is having a rummage sale next month to raise money for our Youth group. Now I can just take all of it up the road to church with me and give it to them to sell. Less hassle for me and gives them perfectly good stuff to sell.


KJD509 September 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm

1) Took a free long walk with hubs and the old dog along a nearby lake. All the online trail maps say the path is less than a mile, but obviously we’re not the only ones who want to walk further in the woods, as the trail kept going and going – 5.8 miles according to my wrist pedometer by the time we staggered home.
2) Fed stir fry to the family and my mom for the cost of a single lemon, which I ended up not even using. Everything else was in the freezer or pantry. We have new neighbors moving in – proprietors of a Chinese food cart – so I may be too self-conscious to cook stir-fry again for awhile.
3) Discovered that my library was missing a single volume of a long mystery series I’ve started reading. Decided it wasn’t worth twelve bucks for the kindle version. Looked in various used bookstores in person and online and found it for $2 within a week. Now I can read the remaining 22 volumes without feeling like I’m missing something.
4) An expensive car repair 10 months ago was free to us under warranty. The replacement part has failed, which means it’s STILL under warranty. I’m on hour #8 of phone calls over the past couple of weeks, but it looks like we’re finally going to get it fixed for free. Worth it!
5) No Lear jet, no gold-plating.


Cindy in the South September 20, 2018 at 4:36 am

1. I made oatmeal cookies, since I had to stay home a few days. I did not have any raisins, so I chopped up some prunes…it worked.
2. I made chili with beans. I then took the leftover chili and put in a can of mixed vegetables and leftover noodles, and made hamburger soup.
3. I used up carrots that were going bad, by making potatoes and carrots in an iron skillet in the oven.
4. I made rice and used the juice from a can of pineapple in place of most of the water. I then added the pineapple, and cheese, and will add ham to make a rice/ham/cheese/pineapple casserole for lunch at work.
5. I have been sleeping a lot.


Christine September 20, 2018 at 9:49 am

Thanks for another great idea of something interesting and delicious to do with leftover chili. Love our NCA community and all the ideas I have picked up just by reading this blog.


Mary in Maryland September 20, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Leftover chili is also good in tacos or enchiladas.


Bee September 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

I hope you are feeling better after your fall. I used to make a low-sugar breakfast cookie that contained oats, walnuts, prunes and wheat germ. My kids loved them!


Cindy in the South September 21, 2018 at 6:31 am

Thanks Bee! I still look like I have been beat up but I am doing much better!


Lee September 20, 2018 at 6:55 am

I don’t know if you tried this website for used books, but has been the best I’ve seen. They aggregate from many sources and I’ve had some great deals.


Lee September 20, 2018 at 8:27 am

1. Rescued some red potatoes that had grown a bunch of eyes. I cubed them and steamed them. Saved half for the freezer for a future use and mashed half for dinner that night. Hubby saw them and ate the whole bowl of them for lunch. Oh, well. I tried!
2. Same hubby was voluntarily bumped from a flight and was compensated with a $1000 gift card. We will have free groceries for about three months!
3. I finally made those phone calls to shop around for insurance. We will be saving about $775 for 2 cars and homeowners per year.
4. Went out to forage some purslane and apples.
5. My warehouse club membership expired and they wanted $55 to renew. I went without for a couple of months until they tried to lure me back with a $25 special. I grabbed it.


Bee September 20, 2018 at 10:47 am

1) it was my turn to host my book club last night. I used the leftovers from my antipasto platter to make salads for lunch today for my husband and me. It was better the second day.

2) I batched errands. My first stop was the library where I donated the book that we read for the above-mentioned book club. I didn’t particularly care for this book, so I didn’t want it to take up precious space on my bookshelf. Before purchasing it I tried to borrow it from the library, so I knew the library did not have a copy. It is a popular title ,so I hope it will bring joy to someone else.

3) I returned some supplies to Home Depot that we did not use on a recent DIY project. It was only $7, but it adds up!

4) I needed an adjustment to my medication. I was not feeling tip-top. I utilized the medical office’s patient portal to communicate my symptoms and concerns, and my doctor was able to make the adjustments without a costly appointment. She even sent in my new prescription which I paid for using my HSA. Sometimes the system works!

5) I have continued to do all the usual things – eating at home, brewing my own coffee, cleaning my house., drinking primarily water, wearing thrifted clothing, using my library whenever possible and so forth.

FYI–This Saturday, September 22nd, National Park admission is free! Also, many museums !are offering free admission for Museum Day which was organized by the Smithsonian!


Cindy in the South September 21, 2018 at 6:32 am

Glad you are feeling better!


tracy September 24, 2018 at 4:30 am

Bee I hope you’re feeling better!


Jill A September 21, 2018 at 6:28 am

1. I turned in a rebate for my new washing machine to the electric company. I saved myself a stamp by doing it online. I also received an email that my check is in the mail. It’s only $25 but it all adds up.
2. I vacuumed out my car at home saving a small amount but again it adds up.
3. I bought some bungee cords that I won’t need so I have them in my car ready to return to the store.
4. I had my beneficiary change form faxed by the administrator instead of mailing it or faxing it myself. This saved me $5 since my scanner isn’t working.
5. I’m eating leftovers. I made fried rice for dinner last night and also heated up leftover rice with milk and cinnamon sugar for breakfast yesterday.


Crosby September 21, 2018 at 9:11 am

1. My iphone had been shutting down on me a lot lately. Instead of buying a new phone, I went to the Apple store and got the battery replaced for $30 (this price goes up to $70 or $80 January 1st).

2. I returned a ball of yarn when I realized, after bringing it home, that I already had a ball that would be perfect.

3. I avoided several impulse purchases at Aldi despite being hungry.

4. We’re going to a friend’s tomorrow for an afternoon of games. I’m going to make cookies from what I already have on hand.

5. I went to the first meeting of a new book club last night. It was at a brewery but I ate beforehand so that I didn’t purchase food. And I’d given blood earlier in the day and wasn’t feeling great so I passed on the beer as well. And the book out of the library, so $0 out of pocket.

6. Booked an AirBnB for my parents, grandma, partner, and myself for Christmas. We always go down to visit my brother since he doesn’t get much time off, and in the past my parents have always just booked a few hotel rooms and we chipped in, but finances are tight. I found an awesome AirBnb that will be cheaper, has free parking, and the pet fee is much smaller (we bring our dog). It’s going to save all of us a lot of money!

Frugal fail – while waiting for Apple to finish with my phone, I wandered the mall. Huge mistake. A store had a sale on candles, so I bought 2. I thought it over later and went to return, but sale items are non-returnable. I’ll use them for gifts instead of keeping them for myself.


Julie September 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for pointing out the Apple replacement has an end date. My phone is not too bad yet but it is in the group with known issues so I will be sure to take care of this before Christmas.


Jennifer September 22, 2018 at 5:09 am

So glad you mentioned the Apple battery issue. My ds and I have the same phone and mine is fine but his battery drains very quickly. I am going to look into getting it replaced.


Vickey September 25, 2018 at 5:46 am

Thanks for the phone reminder! I need to make a trip up there for a couple of pairs of new sneakers (at the only store where I can find them for my hard-to-fit feet), will combine that w/the battery replacement stop.


Ruby September 22, 2018 at 12:11 pm

1. Still keeping on with the daily frugalities: wearing cute thrifted outfits every day, brown bagging breakfast and lunch to work, drinking cold-brewed iced tea at home, washing and grooming the dogs ourselves, hanging laundry to dry, making kibble topper for the dogs that is allergy safe for Middle Dog, and using a no fee reloadable gift card to buy gas because it knocks three cents a gallon off the price.
2. Packs of frankfurters were $3.49 for two 10-frank packs today. I found two packs with peelable coupons for $1.00 off two. Used one today and saved the other for the next sale.
3. Scored free laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and a candy bar with drugstore coupons.
4. Nice cashier at a home store told me where the clearanced tableclothes were tucked away, and I found a beautiful mid-century modernesque one for $10 to fit our huge old hand-me-down table. Think that is the only new decor we bought all year.
5. Bought everything bagels at the bread company outlet store again, where a package is $1.60, as opposed to $3.79 at the grocery store.


tracy September 24, 2018 at 4:45 am

Just returned from 5 days in Montana with 4 dear women friends. It was an amazing vacation in an extremely beautiful spot near the NE corner of Yellowstone. Also semi-frugal since no accommodation costs (stayed in one friend’s new log cabin) and we ate most (but not all) meals in. Also except for one trail ride all entertainment was free — hiking, an amazing drive over the Beartooth Highway, lots of card games and much talking/laughter. Here are my FFTs:
1. Took light rail to airport using my already-owned transit pass at $0 cost.
2. Ate sack lunch at work before leaving for airport, drank free beverage on plane and bought nothing to eat/drink at airport or on plane.
3. Drank no alcohol when we went out to eat (I don’t drink, not for frugal reasons but it IS frugal!) and ordered least expensive thing on menu (which was what I wanted to eat anyway!). This was true even though I knew we would be splitting the bill evenly (we always do and I am totally fine with that).
4. Bought lunch before flight home yesterday at grocery store en route (nuts, orange, banana and a dark chocolate bar) — much healthier and cheaper than the limited options at the Billings, MT airport.
5. Didn’t buy a gold-plated anything!


lauren - chaser of squirrels October 9, 2018 at 1:53 pm

It’s been a while since my last post, so since then I have moved from the apartment prone to squirrel break-ins. But, for continuity’s sake, and to distinguish myself from all the other 1980’s- born-Lauren’s (Thanks Ralph!)..I shall remain, Lauren, Chaser of Squirrel’s on here.

Anyway. 5 frugal things this week….

1. Started a new job recently. Have been trying to maintain a balance of my multiple means of mass transit to get from NJ TO NYC with walking home every night from the train (vs taking the bus after the train… the joys of commuting!).
2. My department is in a building across the street from the main office, and though we don’t have a stocked kitchen like they do, we do have a water cooler. Took several boxes of tea and hot beverage cups with me on my last trip over there to bring over to our department. Share the wealth!
3. Attended a local “Free-cycle” event in my community. Got some new home decor for free.99 (but left the volunteers a donation).
4. Leaving work on time. I’m used to working way past “quitting time” so I’m making a real effort to leave when everything that NEEDS to be done for the day is done. Frugal because time = money and the more hours I spend at work, the lower my hourly salary really becomes (I’m on a weekly flat rate and do not earn OT / and I’m going to need to work late hours when things get crazy later this year). Plus, my quest to find a real work/life balance deserves my “free” time.
5. I take really expensive exercise classes, but it’s the only exercise I will take part in / enjoy. I bought a bunch of classes when they had a BOGO sale, so at least it’s like I’m paying half the price.
6. Have been “shopping” what was set up for us in our office space to make my office a little more inviting. Since everything was set up by an outside company that owns the floor, we’re moving things around anyway and everyone is choosing the chairs etc that they like. I’ve also been mentally “shopping” my apartment to think of artwork and other desk accessories I can bring into work to make my office nicer without spending any money. Probably going to wait for a drugstore coupon and print out some travel pictures I took for the walls…A ceramic coffee mug is on the list of things to bring in (I really have too many anyway) and the plethora of throw pillows currently inhabiting my closet are about to see daylight again!


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