Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 27, 2018 · 82 comments

  1. After years of embarassingly expensive Verizon cell phone service we finally switched over to Xfinity Wireless, which has the potential to save us a crap-ton of money. (Especially if we can get the kids to use WiFi when they’re away from home.) Time will tell how much money we’ll save, but I’ll keep you updated.

  2. I thrifted a ceramic travel mug to replace my beloved one which had developed a crack. Because I searched for the same brand, (Starbucks) I was able to reuse the lid. I don’t like to drink from plastic or metallic containers, which means that I end up having to replace my ceramic/glass travel mugs/water bottles every few years or so. Luckily, the shelves of Goodwill offer me everything I could ever need.

  3. My daughter broke her glasses, so I logged into the Zenni Optical website and ordered two new pairs for her. I then went ahead and ordered extra glasses for my son, as it’s smart to have a backup pair. (Their prescriptions are saved on the website.) I searched for a free shipping promo code and also clicked through Swagbucks, which had a promotion to get an extra $5 back when spending over $25. I spent $48.85 for three pairs of glasses, which I consider to be a great deal.

    Disclosure: Both the Zenni Optical and Swagbucks links are referrals. The Zenni one gives you $5 off a pair of glasses, as well as a $5 referral credit for me. I rarely do referral links on this blog, but these are both helpful resources.

  4. My husband has a two day work conference and I’m going to tag along as he’s still unable to put any weight on his right foot due to his recent ankle surgery.

    I’m going to be honest. I haven’t been super excited for this trip, as it’s located in decidedly un-glamorous Salem, Oregon. However, I’m going to try and make the best of a dull situation and find fun things to do, as well as put a few days’ full focus into my writing projects. Plus there’s always that free hotel breakfast buffet.

    Edit: This was a snotty thing to write and I apologize. Thank you to everyone who holds me to a higher standard.

    I also realized that the Salem Goodwill stores are within the Goodwill Industries of The Columbia Willamette, region, which means that my gift cards will work there. My son is wanting a TV for his apartment, so I’ll scour the area thrift shops for one.

    Writing + thrifting + free food? Might not be such a dull trip after all!

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

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen September 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

I hope the trip turns out to be a fun getaway despite the boring location!


Katy September 27, 2018 at 10:43 am

Thanks. I’ll be bringing my laptop, Goodwill gift cards, library books and an amazing ability to daydream.


Jill A September 27, 2018 at 10:59 am

1. I’m having a group of friends over tonight for dinner. I’m providing the main dish and they are bringing side dishes to fill in and of course wine.
2. I purchased a half a pail of bromine from a friend. She didn’t need it and I’m almost out. Much cheaper then the store price would be.
3. I gave my dog a bath this morning in my bathtub saving myself $10 on the self serve dog wash at the dog park.
4. I needed a new small trellis for my clematis as the one bamboo one that came with it has fallen apart. I found one for 90% on the clearance at Meijer.
5. I went for a 3 mile walk with a friend this morning saving me the cost of a gym membership and we had coffee afterwards at my house saving us both several dollars.


Linda October 3, 2018 at 1:28 am

What is bromine and what do you do with it?


Danielle C September 27, 2018 at 11:03 am

Your little “vacation” sounds nice!! I’m sure your husband is grateful for the help.

1. Accepted leftover food from an event, I only brought home what I knew we would eat and what was stored at safe temps. We were able to eat this or share it with those who would. Meals inspired by these leftovers all week.

2. Happily accepted my SIL’s invitation to come clean out her fridge of perishables as they were leaving on a vacation. I brought home a giant cooler bag of produce and such that would by no means last until they returned.

3. Visited with some friends that recently moved to town, but their furniture had not yet arrived. Rather than going out to dinner, we invited them over and with one hour’s notice made a huge pot of spaghetti, a meat sauce and a veggie sauce, roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus, a large green salad – and toast. 😉 The veggies were all from what others had given me lately.

4. Exhanged two pairs of pants to Kohls that I had purchased online for my son. I had gotten a great deal and didn’t want to lose it, but the size was way to small! I made him try on the same size pants until we found two pairs that fit perfectly! Why there is such variation within the same size is so frustrating, but he has pants to wear and I kept my great deal!

5. I’m in charge of the food for an upcoming family reunion. I planned a menu that should be simple, delicious, fit everyone’s special diet, and is affordable. Everyone shares the cost and I’m really pleased with the way the menu is shaping up so far. 🙂


Dmarie September 28, 2018 at 1:23 am

care to share the menu?


Florencia September 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Yeah! Please share the menu. 😀


Jenelle September 27, 2018 at 11:13 am

1. My son’s tonsil surgery was covered at 90% so the bill for the remaining 10% came & gave me sticker shock. I called the billing dept. and asked for an interest free payment plan. the cost is not frugal, but the payment plan helps.
2. My favorite cross body purse broke on Monday. I had thought about buying a new one at the goodwill, but was able to fix it with a safety pin. Not the most stylish, but it still works just fine.
3. My daughter had an eye appointment on Monday. (where i broke my purse) As it turns out she does not need glasses! So happy to have saved on that medical expense.
4. I am still selling on Ebay and found a small forgotten item while listing and that kept my listings from being seen by customers. Though sales are not back to 100% normal, they are picking up. Every extra dollar counts.
5. This is kinda sad that I did this, but I had signed my daughter up for a baton class this weekend through our marching band (at the college I work for) and I’ve been regretting it ever since because of the cost. So today I cancelled her reservation…now I just have to tell her that she can’t go. =( I hate breaking her heart like that, but I am hoping to ease things over with some of the other “family weekend” activities that the college is offering for free.


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 3:50 am

5. I can relate to this. My kids really want to take gymnastics and one of them would be very devoted to it. It’s just so expensive that I said no. I probably will do it in the future, I’m just putting it off for a bit.


Madeline September 27, 2018 at 11:23 am

Just being in a hotel, and having someone else make the bed, makes it a vacation, LOL!! Enjoy!


Bethany M September 27, 2018 at 11:58 am

Listed some music books my inlaws gave me. They don’t work with my girls’ piano lessons. They’re so vintage and cool, but just taking up space here.

Babysat 3 of my friend’s kids (she has 8 and 1 on the way) for 3 days. My introverted self is plenty worn out. Made a frugal opportunity happen for her.

Hey, we ordered glasses this week too. Picking them up later this afternoon. Made myself an appointment too. It’s the only way I can get $500 sunglasses for $25. I’m game, thank you, VSP.

Bean and corn burritos for lunch today. I actually made mine a bowl instead and topped with guac. Mmmm!

Continuing on with my free weight loss class. Down 18 lbs. Yea!!!


Vickey September 29, 2018 at 6:40 am

Good on ya for continuing to lose weight! {{{}}}


Christine October 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm

18 lbs. is terrific! And you’re doing it all for free. Good job!


Nora September 27, 2018 at 12:17 pm

I don’t know where in Salem you’ll be, but the Willamette University campus is gorgeous, and their coffee shop is super affordable and has pretty good stuff.


Queen of Fifty Cents September 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm

I usually quite enjoy your posts, but as a very happy resident of Salem I have to take issue with your “unglamorous” comment. Salem is a terrific town, with a lively downtown, music, theatre, a university and other colleges, an excellent school system…I could go on and on. We have a great library, and the most amazing dog park you’ll ever see at Minto Brown Park. (How many dogs get to run free in a quarter of a mile long field in ‘glamorous’ Portland?) It’s also a great place to practice thrifty living, with year round garage and estate sales and a number of excellent thrift stores. I’ve been to YOUR Goodwill Bins in Portland and was sorely disappointed. Don’t miss the store here – it’s on Portland Road so maybe it will pass muster.

I hope you have a wonderful time while you’re here and don’t miss all that Portland glamour too much.


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I was very rude, and for that I apologize. Thank you for taking the time to point out all that Salem has to offer.


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 3:58 am

There was good in that comment otherwise you wouldn’t have received such great ideas. I frequently talk about the area I live being boring yet people travel from all over the world to come here and see where Elvis was born. It’s all in perspective, I guess. Another reason to love this blog…people tactfully speak their mind and tactfully admit mistakes. Major adulting goes on here that others can learn from.


Tara September 28, 2018 at 6:59 am

Tupelo is not boring!


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 11:03 am

Depends on who ya ask. My friend that flies to Vegas and California for work, yet lives here, would disagree. My mom who travels here from a small town to visit her doctor, considers it a booming place to visit. Also, Is boring bad? Crime is pretty low here, we are pretty laid back, minimal traffic issues, and it’s a good place to raise children..IMO. FYI, I don’t live in Tupelo just in the surrounding area which some might consider “boonies”.


Ellie September 27, 2018 at 12:55 pm

I’ve had some great times in Salem – Love the library, Busch mansion and all the state buildings. It’s a good place to wander and just look at our capital. I may not have spelled Busch mansion correctly!


Queen of Fifty Cents September 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Next time you’re here take a walk on the grounds of Deepwood House. I think there’s a charge to see the house but the grounds are free, and the gardens are amazing. Designed by Lord & Schreiber, maintained by a crew of volunteers, and just gorgeous!


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm

I’ll have to look this up!


Lisa Parrish September 27, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Hi Katy! Do you remember when glasses used to cost about $300 or more per pair? Great job on Zenni!


Randi Macdonald October 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

My glasses are expensive, even if I chose a cheap frame. My prescription is -5.50 and I need polycarbonate lenses. I also chose to buy a higher quality frame( from Italy or Japan) so there is that.


Pattilou September 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm

I haven’t been able to post lately because I have been under water (literally, as you will see) with work and other issues. I had a major car repair, but remind myself that it was still less expensive than having a car payment. I also came home after a storm to find that my kitchen ceiling was leaking and falling down. I am now on my second contractor, because the first was terrible. It has taken weeks and a lot of different repairs to finally come to the conclusion that it is best to replace my 20 plus year old roof. Luckliy, I have an emergency fun but it will pretty much wipe that out. So the rebuilding begins. I think this contractor is reliable and honest. She is even deducting the cost of everything else from the bill for the entire roof.
So, I need to batten down the hatches even more to build up the emergency fund. I plan on listing some stuff on eBay and Craig’s list and will continue to eat at home, wear my same old clothes and curtail any entertainment to free things.
Thanks to all of you I stay inspired and know I’ll get back to a more financial stable place.


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 4:06 am

I have said this before but I think it’s worth repeating. When you get your new roof, call your insurance company and let them know. My new roof caused my insurance to go down $800, maybe more, I can’t remember exactly because it’s been a few years. I’m sure you know this, but get several quotes. Once the guy that put on my roof figured out I was shopping around, he gave me an upgraded shingle and dropped the price to $4000 cash, which I happily paid. All the other quotes were $5500 to $7000.


Pattilou September 28, 2018 at 10:13 am

Jennifer, thank you for the reminder. I do remember you mentioning that before but totally forgot. I will call my insurance company. I had to put a claim in for the inside damage and got very little from them because my deductible is high so it would be nice to recoup some of that money with a lower rate!
The roofers are on the roof as I type. This company comes highly recommended and I have been impressed by the owners honesty thus far.


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 11:08 am

Yw. So sorry for your stress that goes along with all this. I will be thinking of you so keep us posted as the progress is made.


JJ September 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Absolutely, it’s worth updating information with your insurance company. We’re in an old (100+ year old) house, and over the past 10 years have taken care of some needed home maintenance. Replacement of our furnace, oil tank and an electrical upgrade all resulted in savings on our annual premium.


Isitaneedorawant September 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm

I got into the habit of phoning my house insurer when the new contract arrived in the mail. Generally a month before the renewal anniversary.
A mortgage free home can save money,one with a security system,
Regular maintenance like roof replacement. Newer hot water heater,etcetera.
Also (as mentioned before )sometimes the best pricing on insurance may come from the university or college you graduated from alumnae association, professional group ( like engineering or nursing) you work within , or groups and organizations you belong to.
Sometimes it’s by raising the deductible amount.


Pattilou September 29, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Thanks everyone, I love all of the support and advice that you all have to offer!

Minimalsteph September 27, 2018 at 4:19 pm

You might want to take your zenni glasses to your optometrist to verify the prescriptions. I ordered 4 pairs and 3 of them were not wearable because the prescriptions were off. My optometrist said they were significantly different than what was prescribed. I took them to another optical shop and they confirmed the same 3 pairs were off.


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:06 pm

I’ll make sure the kids are happy with their prescriptions. We’ve ordered from them a few times without complaint.


Stefanie Knowlton September 27, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Ouch. Some of your followers live in Salem and happen to love the Capital city. I challenge you to find five free things you love about Salem. Here are two to get you started: walk to the top of the Capitol building and explore Riverfront Park. You can also check out Salem’s free arts and entertainment magazine I hope you’re up for the challenge. I can’t wait to hear what you find.


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Yup, that was rude of me. Thank you for holding me to a higher standard.


Jennifer September 27, 2018 at 5:17 pm

1) We went apple picking last weekend and I have been busy dehydrating apples for the family to eat all winter in their oatmeal.
2) Have not turned on the heat yet, though there were a couple of mornings I was tempted. We ran the air into September so it is nice to have a few weeks where we run neither heat nor AC.
3) Dd wanted to go to homecoming and none of my garage sale dresses fit her. So I ordered her one for $35 from Macy’s that fits perfectly. Not as cheap as a garage sale or Goodwill but WAY cheaper than most people spend on a new, very nice dress. She borrowed shoes and is having a friend do her hair. $35 for homecoming is fantastic!
4) I have been packing lunches all week that are boring and not filling enough. But I made do and ate them anyway and I think I am down a couple of pounds since limiting my lunches and swearing off of snacking.
5) Bathed the dog at home, washing ziploc bags, cooking dinner from scratch, and shopping the sales at the grocery store.


naiveorbrave September 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm

I always love to go on trips – even if the place isn’t exiting. Different place. Maybe something new to discover or just being away from the usual distractions?

1. I FINALLY updated my blog – even though it’s just an overview. Part of why I have it is to keep my memorys.
2. Found a sleeping bag at a flea market for like $4 (I was about to order a new one for 100 times this price! Even shipping would have been five times this as it would have come from Europe to China…) But now I have one that should keep me warm for me stretch of wintery cycling even though it’s not the super-duper down-sleeping bag that packs down to the size of a water bottle (or something like that)
3. Same flea market I bought a tripod to be finally able to take cool pics of me and my bike. Let’s see how this works out.
4. Friends showed me an amazing all-day-street-food-market down the road where they have fried rice and noodles. Another friend is going to send me the place of a Buddhist vegetarien buffet. These are by far the cheapest food options – maybe cooking myself would be a tad cheaper but I want to focus on studying Chinese, TaiChi and doing Yoga as well as climbing (Oh yes, I am living the sweet life here!) For breakfast I stay with (loads of) fruits.
5. Bought an add-on for my Chinese Vocabulary learning app – doesn’t sound frugal but I am at so many words right that I can’t keep an overview on which I have to practice and which I know well. This spaced-repetetion does it for me. So my Chinese lessons are getting more effective (hopefully). But I am able to express more and more and sometimes even understand the answers!
To give you a small insight why I struggle on the understanding bit – the word for „late“, „10.000“, „fun“ and „finish“ is: wan. You need a mixture of content and tone (but some have the same tone! So the words sound exactly the same – like the English words for the yellow thing in the sky (sun) and male offspring (son). But in Chinese like… sooooo many words seem to be like that. But it’s still fun to learn.


Mary Beth Danielson September 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm

I can’t help but notice this is the second surgery your husband has had to repair, um, knees and now an ankle? You could add him to your Frugal Five as “I am fixing up my old husband instead of getting a new one.”

1. My town requires residents to bring their yard waste to the municipal recycling center. Last week half our neighbor’s tree fell into our yard – we have spent a bazillion hours dealing with half the crown of a 50-year old, 40-foot tall maple. A. Free exercise. B. Free True Spirit of Thanksgiving because it didn’t hit us or our house – it was so close. C. We drove seven trips TO the recycling center bringing sticks and branches. Since we were there we brought back home many bushels of free mulch and woodchips.
2. Got haircuts at the styling salon of the local technical college. Best haircut I’ve ever had – and it cost $8 plus tip.
3. I have more scarves than I need. I also have some professional clothes I don’t want to donate because I wear them once or twice a year. I swathed my scarves around the neck and shoulders of the nice clothes, keeping them dust free but not encased in plastic.
4. Went camping with my young adult kids. Made fry bread Friday night and donuts Saturday morning. I seldom fry in grease; but it sure tastes decadent and delicious when I do.
5. The hearings of Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh were rough to watch. A friend texted late in the day to check how we were doing; she was feeling pummeled. We told her to come right over and finish watching the hearing here and then eat dinner with us. We shared wine, pork chops, and Feelings until we slowly felt less isolated and overwhelmed. These are times to stay connected.


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:04 pm

It was hip and then ankle. And yes, he’s a fixer-upper!


Lindsey September 27, 2018 at 5:47 pm

1. Cut husband’s hair, again. He has such a gorgeous head of ringlets that I wish he would grow it longer, but he likes it short.
2. Made caribou gravy (like hamburger gravy only spicier) to cover up some of the gamy taste. Caribou is not my favorite but every Christmas our friends give out five-pound rolls of the stuff as gifts. I am thankful for the free food and their generosity and the fact that they give something we can use up so my house doesn’t get more cluttered, but I do have to be careful how I fix it. Better than the one time they gave out bear steaks that were so rank soaking them in vinegar for 24 hours still didn’t moderate the taste; even our dogs would not touch it and they eat our sheep poop.
3. This summer our little neighbor said she would help me with the garden if she could have a spot just for herself. After a few earlier disasters with more finicky vegetables, she re-planted with all carrots and potatoes and last weekend she harvested over 30 pounds of carrots and probably the same amount of potatoes (although we did not weigh those). I was so proud of her for sticking to it all summer, not just tending her part but weeding a huge part of mine in exchange. This was frugal for me because I got free weeding plus I was so thrilled with her crop; I have been smiling over it for the whole week (being happy is like frugal therapy). Even her mother, who is a curmudgeon, was impressed.
4. Used the library for movies and books.
5. Accepted 13 mystery shops, which will bring in over $200 plus small amounts of free food, gas, and fancy coffees for about 15 hours of actual work (between the shops and the reports).


Roberta September 28, 2018 at 6:42 am

This makes me so happy! I am happy because your neighbor worked hard and was rewarded for her work, and I’m happy that she has a nice neighbor who supports her. You are making a difference in the life of this child.


ouvickie September 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm

#2 (literally) – the poop comment made me laugh!
My friend in Anchorage said she’d eaten bear before, when I asked. If I remember correctly, I think she said it’s kind of greasy (?) – it doesn’t sound appetizing at all. I loved the moose meat though!


Mary Walker September 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm

I’ve had bear pepperoni before and thought it was really good.


Linda October 3, 2018 at 1:49 am

Most of the meat we ate when I was a child had been hunted by my dad. Hw got a bear one year and it tasted like pork. I don’t know if dogs would have liked it because we never gave any to the dog.


Linda October 3, 2018 at 1:46 am

We live in an area that gets plenty of wind including tornadoes and hail. We are very glad we went with the advice of Mr. Money Mustache and got the metal roof instead of replacing the shingles. It is better insulated and quieter. Metal roofs come in all sorts of styles but we went with a plain light color.


Anne Weber-Falk September 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Free things and interesting things to do in Salem, Oregon:
*Willamette Valley Cheese Company-eat all of the cheese!
* Elsinore Theatre-old time movie and vaudeville house
*The Oregon State Capitol Tour
*Historic Deepwood Estate-historic 1894 Victorian home
*Salem’s Riverfront Park
*Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health- not free but for $4.00 you can learn a thing or two and see an exhibit on the making of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Katy September 27, 2018 at 11:04 pm

Thank you for all these great ideas!


MamaMinou September 27, 2018 at 8:23 pm

Katie! May I recommend a visit to the state capital building ? It’s actually really fun.


Jennifer September 28, 2018 at 4:11 am

You all make me want to go to Salem…cheese…yum!


Nalani September 27, 2018 at 9:31 pm

1. Haven’t spent any money on eating out this week. I generally always pack lunch and breakfast everyday so no biggie for me but the real miracle is that my husband hasn’t spent any money eating out. I meal prepped breakfast and lunch for him for the week so I’ll do it again for next week.
2. Went to Costco for the basics. I hate/dread going to Costco because of how crowded it always is and how people seem to lose all common sense when there. But I sucked it up because things like eggs are so much cheaper there than at the grocery store. Filled gas while I was there too. The gas keeps going up every week but still cheaper than elsewhere.
3. Reading Nomadland from the library. It’s a really interesting read so far.
4. Continuing to make good use of my gym membership by going everyday before work. I am having surgery soon so keeping up with cardio and strength/functional training will help make my recovery faster. I shower there everyday so saving money on water, soap, shampoo etc. too. Plus my gym is like Cheers, the bar, where everybody knows your name. Great camaraderie.
5. Continuing to wear clothes I’ve had forever, hand me downs, and thrift store finds. My favorite pair of shoes is a pair of Cole Haan wedges I got at Goodwill for $6.99 in excellent condition.


Linda October 3, 2018 at 1:51 am

Nomandland is one of those books that helps you realize that a lot of things you think are necessities aren’t.


Elizabeth September 28, 2018 at 2:55 am

1. My daughter started using a free class run by ASL university to learn sign language for one of her foreign language credits (she has been taking sign language classes for three years at our co op, but this one is more in depth and will bring her quickly up to an intermediate level)

2. Found great deals on walmarts clearance aisle: two 24-count granola bars for $2 (slightly squished) and sushi rice for $1.50….**making sushi is not as hard as I imagined it to be, but making the perfect rice is very challenging!

3. Saved $90 on new tires and an oil change by stacking coupons

4. Picked up library books for school and “just for fun” reading

5. Found the second season of Victoria at the library for my daughter…she was very pleased:)


Roberta September 28, 2018 at 6:46 am

I have not had a problem making sushi rice as long as I use short grain rice. It gets much stickier! Also, make sure you use enough water, and don’t drain it. I’ve even had luck using brown short grain rice, soaked.


Tara September 28, 2018 at 7:02 am

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear–makes it even stickier.


FrugalAussie September 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Yesterday, I’d run out of sushi rice, so to save a trip to the shops I tried something different, brown jasmine rice. It worked out perfectly.


Stephanie September 28, 2018 at 4:08 am

I hope you enjoy your trip! I always think it’s fun getting to explore a new place.

1. I dehydrated a bunch of cherry tomatoes. Those things are ridiculously delicious when dehydrated.

2. The library! I have a stack of books from interlibrary loan waiting for me to have the time to get to them. I’m preaching to the choir with this crowd, but man, the library is such a fantastic resource.

3. I made garlic bread this week. Usually I buy it, but this time, I was like, I can handle that. I made my usual French bread recipe, sliced it in half lengthwise, buttered it, then sprinkled it with both salt and garlic salt, then toasted it in the oven. It went very nicely with the pasta with homemade roasted tomato sauce (tomatoes came from our garden).

4. I made an apple pie, including the crust. Super easy and delicious!

5. I really, really wanted Thai food yesterday, but instead, I ate leftover Potato Cauliflower soup with garlic bread. Much cheaper, and probably healthier than takeout. 🙂


Cindy in the South September 28, 2018 at 4:53 am

1. I made tomato soup from leftover tomatoes, evaporated milk, and tomato paste and spices. It was fine. I also did not have yogurt, but I had sour cream, that I used in a cucumber recipe, and it was fine also. I am the queen of substitution…lol
2. I listened to the sound of rain on my metal roof (actually, it was a deluge…my entire back yard is under water) and the sound lulled me to sleep.
3. I am wearing a $3 thrifted skirt suit to court today and it looks fine. Besides, everybody is still staring at my cane, and my sorta yellow eyes from the fall, and not looking at my clothes….that has its advantages….lol.
4. I did my nails and they look….ok..well, passable….sort of….lol.
5. I am eating odds and ends for lunch, boiled eggs, cheese, peanut butter.


susanna d September 28, 2018 at 5:06 am

1. It was time to spend my “found on the ground” money. Due to a combination of finding a $20 bill on the ground on more than one occasion – and the introduction of Coinstar machines up here combined with people NOT checking for returned coins – my total for the year was $101.98. I feel pretty confident in saying this amount will never happen again, but I’m enjoying the fluke.
2. We went to a large farmers market this past weekend and bought lots of tomatoes, some of the largest purple cauliflower I’ve ever seen, bell peppers, cabbages, a bunch of other veggies, honey, maple syrup, a chicken and a few treats. All free due to found money, all money went to local farmers and vendors, and I still have some of that free money left for a future shopping trip.
3. Spent the past couple of days blanching, processing and freezing the found on the ground produce. The weather recently turned cool, so the heat generated by the blanching and processing warmed the house up a bit and eliminated the need for turning on the heat.
4. The mention of Verizon reminded me of another frugal thing. While Verizon is anything but cheap, it does have the best (sometimes only) phone reception in our neck of the woods (“neck of the woods” is literal; we live on the edge of a national forest). Recently someone on another board mentioned a veterans discount is available at Verizon. Since my husband is a veteran we checked into it – and now receive 15% off our plan each month. Still not cheap, but cheaper than before and it leaves more money in the bank.
5. I received 2 emails from Eddie Bauer, one of them for free shipping on any size purchase, the other a $10 gift card. Of course I had to see how close to a freebie I could turn this into. Found a 2-pack of cool-max socks for $10.50. The gift card reduced it to 53 cents (3 cents for tax). I went through ebates, which added 21 cents to my ebate cash rebate. Final cost for the 2 pairs of socks was 32 cents. Not 100% free but I’m happy with the amount spent.


Gina September 28, 2018 at 5:10 am

I haven’t posted in awhile, so let’s see if I can come up with 5…..

1. My daughter would like to go to Homecoming. We are going to look at dresses a friend’s daughter wore before we start looking at the store.
2. We made homemade cider last night. Hubby used to work at his uncle’s cider mill for years. He built his own little cider press and it works like a charm. Out of one 20 gallon barrel of apples we got 2.5 gallons of cider……so far. We have 5 different sources of apples friends have offered us, so there will be more cider making in our future.
3. Supper last night was easy & very cheap. I bought a loaf of white bread & we had french toast and fried eggs. The eggs came from our chickens.
4. A friend gifted me free pumpkins & gourds from her garden to decorate with at my house.
5. I’ve been applying to colleges for oldest daughter during the early enrollment period, thus saving writing essays & taking advantage of the codes to waive application fees. So far saved over $150 with free codes!


Michelle H September 28, 2018 at 5:31 am

1. Loaned our flatbed trailer to a friend for a few days, and he repaid the favor by gifting us 18 pounds of venison.

2. I had stocked up on 25 cent cans of beans and tomatoes on sale at Tom Thumb last week, so I used 2 pounds of ground venison to make a huge pot of chili that will feed us for several days. Since the cans of tomato sauce I used were all free from the Tom Thumb Monopoly game a few months ago, that entire pot of chili cost about $1.50 to make!

3. Had $1 per gallon fuel discount at Kroger, good for up to 35 gallons. We filled up both cars and a small gas can for the lawn mower, and used all 35 gallons. (My mom and I have both our Kroger cards hooked to same account, so we get a lot of points from her prescriptions. Her local store doesn’t have a gas station, so I get to use all the fuel points.)

4. Redeemed some of my American Express cash rewards for a discounted AMC theaters gift card rather than the balance credit I usually do. Now that our youngest is in kindergarten, the husband and I are doing a weekly day date while the kids are in school. I have a coupon for a free large popcorn from Coke Rewards, so we’ll combine that with a matinee for a cheap date next week.

5. Made a list with the husband of potential day date ideas, and included lots of free activities. We agreed that it’s more about spending dedicated time together than spending money, so some of the plans are kayaking, binge watching whatever we’re currently into on Netflix/Amazon, hiking, Friday garage sales, and small home improvement projects that can be completed in a few hours.


Ruby September 28, 2018 at 8:43 am

1. Despite being burned out on the leftover ravioli from the freezer, I stayed the course and ate the last two bowls for brown bag work lunches. It was a lot of ravioli!
2. Had two apples that were nearly too bruised to eat, so they were peeled and the good parts trimmed off and given to the dogs as a treat. Our dogs absolutely love apples.
3. Trimmed my own bangs (fringe) and decided to continue to let my hair grow out a little to save money.
4. Drying clothes inside on a rack due to torrential rain in my part of Tennessee this week.
5. Switched the cats to a less expensive kitty litter (saves $2 a box, and we use at least 3 boxes a month) and it is working fine.


tracy September 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm

1. Reading library books, especially novels set in Rome, in preparation for upcoming trip with my Mom in October for her 80th.
2. Mom and adult son and GF coming over for dinner tomorrow eve, we’re going to watch “Roman Holiday” (detect a theme here?) on DVD checked out by Mom from library and I will make dinner with groceries already on hand. Mom bringing ice cream.
3. Wearing thrifted sweater and scarf at work today. Taking purse to shoe repair to be — well, repaired.
4. Brought lunch every day this week.
5. Taking bus to/from work. Making daughter’s lunch for school every day. Cleaning own house (or not, depending on the day). The usual…


Bee September 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Roman Holiday is such a classic. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are so glamorous! True movie stars!


nancy from mass October 2, 2018 at 8:21 am

Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies!


ouvickie September 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm

1) Had to have a preventative-care colonoscopy last Monday. Thankfully it was fully paid for, since I’ve reached my out-of-pocket for the year. I found out I have diverticulosis, am gluten sensitive and diary intolerant – which requires a very restrictive diet, but the bright-side is I am going to lose weight and I am determined to stick to it, because I’m tired of sick and bloated all the time.
2) I rec’d another cool t-shirt at an I.T. Summit on Wednesday – these are replacing my ratty ones. Plus, free lunch and mingling with I.T. friends I don’t get to see very often.
3) I’ve been sticking to my lunches and breakfast meals here at work. I allow myself two lunch dates out with friends and two breakfast meals out with my coworkers each month. It keeps me from feeling deprived and I stay on course this way.
4) The cooler weather and rainy Fall season is here in full-force, which means lower electric bills.
5) I renewed my annual gym membership, here at the University. $10 per month is a pretty good investment a track, ball courts, gym equipment and as many fitness classes as you want to attend. Investing in myself.


Bee September 29, 2018 at 1:48 am

I am sorry you have had stomach issues. My story sounds similar to yours. I found out 4 years ago after a long illness that I was allergic to wheat and had issues with a handful of preservatives/ food additives. I needed to make many changes to my diet. It is not easy at first. It takes a while to get in the groove and learn what works for you. However, I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel – no more bloating, no more medication, and no more hives. I hope that you too will soon feel better.


Marybeth September 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm

This is a proud mommy moment.
1. My youngest daughter set up the Senior breakfast at high school. She was given a free ticket for helping out saving me $10.
2. When the breakfast was over, they were going to throw away the extra food. YD asked could she take it so that it wouldn’t end up being thrown away. She brought home a bunch of bacon, home fries, maple syrup, OJ and donuts.
3. YD has been working on the float build at high school. They feed them pizza if it is around dinner time. She has brought home leftover pizza 3 times in the last 2 weeks.
4. YD volunteers on several committees at school. She helps her class adviser almost everyday during her free period. Her class adviser offered her a free year book or prom ticket. She said she will take the prom ticket. The year book costs $90 and the prom ticket is $120.
5. She has been working on college applications and scholarships whenever she has free time. We are not taking out loans and she really wants to go to a certain school.


tonya Jenkins September 30, 2018 at 11:32 am

Marybeth, I love your reply! Isn’t it wonderful when we see our kids begin to embody our lived values?


Marybeth September 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

It is amazing.


Carole R September 28, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I remember when deepwood was emerging from hiding. So beautiful.


FrugalAussie September 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Yoga Festival Edition:
1. Our town hosted a Yoga Festival. Tickets were $35 per day or $65 for the weekend. By inviting a yoga loving friend to join us we could get a group rate, $50 each. With a coupon $45 each.

2. Our friend stayed overnight with us. Instead of going out for dinner we had dinner at home, a recipe I cook a lot so it’s easy for me but as she lives alone and isn’t an enthusiastic cook, she thought it was something special, she loved it. It was delightful to spend time with her, relaxed in our own home.

3. We took along our own snacks, lunch and two thermos’ of hot water for tea so no money spent at the café.

4. We attended a total of 9 classes to try out different styles including laughter yoga which was fun.

5. At 52, 55 and 65 we were about the oldest people at the Festival. I took some pride in this. To be flexible and strong as we get older is a powerful contributor to a long and enjoyable old age. As many have said before me, to be happy and healthy is a frugal win!

6. For us yoga is a frugal hobby. We have an annual membership to our local gym/aquatic centre. Paid for with savings from me not drinking alcohol. 🙂 The two yoga instructors at the Centre are fantastic. As we attend, on average 3 times per week, classes cost us $4.50 each. Sometimes we use the gym as well, the pool or go to back to back classes, depending on energy levels. A good investment.


Karen B September 29, 2018 at 9:02 pm

1. Friday a week ago gave another thrift store customer 2 coupons for $5 off his purchases. They give these out with even small purchases certain weeks, they’re only good the month following being given out, each $5 discount requires a $20 purchase, and I almost NEVER find that much I need at one time, and I could see he had enough in his cart to use at least one.

2. Friday left a thrift store empty-handed because they didn’t have the specific items I was looking for. Not a deal if I don’t need it.

3. Struck gold at the thrift store! I like having my dishes match and have seen signs suggesting my pattern is about to be phased out (out of stock at stores that used to carry them, limited quantities online, etc.) and had already decided to get a few more pieces while I could, postponing the potential replacement of the set. The thrift stores here almost NEVER have Corelle of any pattern and I don’t think I’d ever seen any of mine. 11 plates (the pieces most used) and 4 bowls!

4. Same store, Virtual Reality glasses for my kid, something he really wanted to try out, under $3!

5. Same thrift store: found a winter coat for me!!! I have been looking for one for 2 years since I, um, outgrew my previous good one. Have been making do with one that’s very outdated looking, a little too snug to zip (I’ve been working on that, but progress is slow), and not quite warm enough for this climate. This coat fits, is warm, is a dark color which I prefer as it shows wear more slowly, and is in great shape. I am guessing around $200 retail new.

6. Total for the above, $40.84. Remember the coupons in #1? The coupons I gave away? I double checked my wallet, had 3 coupons in there for next month but none for this, and said out loud, “Yeah, I gave away my 2 coupons for this month.” And a customer a couple behind me smiled and handed me 2 of hers!!! $10 off!


tracy September 30, 2018 at 6:07 am

Karen love your #6. Karma repaid your earlier generosity!


Kathy Worden September 30, 2018 at 11:20 am

Yes on drinks from ceramic cups! I do not think you snotty, just openly opinionated.


Roberta October 1, 2018 at 6:54 am

I think there’s a difference between having an opinion and saying other people’s opinions are bad. “I only like to drink out of ceramic” is an opinion — and one I share! It seems like people lately confuse personal opinions and judgements.


Lisa Oldoski October 2, 2018 at 10:48 am

Love openly opinionated! And Kathy, those are fabulous glasses! Great look!


tonya Jenkins September 30, 2018 at 11:30 am

1) Incorporating leftovers into new meals and freezing what we can’t finish for another time. I need to get better about preventing food waste.
2) Meal plans for the week revolve a lot around cheap Staples, like beans, pasta and eggs
3) My son went to Hoco last night. He wore nice clothes that he already owned.
4) the usual boring stuff- reading library books, filling up the car with cheap gas, staying home, watching Netflix.


Lee September 30, 2018 at 5:18 pm

There’s a “Goodwill bins” in Salem. Lucky you!


Krystal September 30, 2018 at 7:56 pm

1. I just readjusted our budget and estimated our taxes paid vs owed YTD because sometimes I worry. I work for myself and our tax situation is also a bit more complicated this year due to good things, and I don’t want a surprise with the new brackets when it comes time to file. Checking this every few months gives me price of mind.
2. We have been using Imperfect Produce for several weeks, and I logged in to skip this weeks order as we have a lot to work with now and I don’t want anything to go to waste. Shopping and meal planning for the week are complete. Overall, it looks like we are saving money by using that for most of our fruits and veggies.
3. Purchased a yoga class card for my husband before the rates at our studio jump tomorrow. Yoga is an non-essential essential for us, and I work there part time so I got for free. We make sure to apply his non-profit employee discount too.
4. Arranged for reservations during happy hour at a sushi restaurant we have a gift certificate for. Will save us quite a bit to go early!
5. Stopped in at consignment in desperate need of new clothes. Got 3 designer tops (all in a neutral color palate for adding to my existing wardrobe) and a pair of jeans for right under $50 after I applied my store credit and Chinook Book! Set for fall.


LB October 1, 2018 at 7:47 am

1. Worked Saturday, which is going to put some nice extra cash in my bank account this upcoming week.

2. Because I worked Saturday, we had to cancel a rock climbing trip. While I was super disappointed to miss a beautiful day outside, we got a $250 refund plus the extra costs of gas and food for the day. Frugal sometimes means missing out, but I’m relieved to have that cash back.

3. Had friends over for dinner Friday night, and hung out at a different friend’s house yesterday. Minor costs of food and beers, but certainly way lower than if we had gone out.

4. Leftovers are feeding lunches all week!

5. Trying to be more mindful with my space–cleaning up my kitchen fully, laundry done more regularly, etc. to make my home more of a sanctuary than a chore. If I’m paying rent, I want it to be for a place I like being, especially as winter comes. I feel calmer already!


Lauren - chaser of squirrels October 2, 2018 at 8:46 am

I LOVE your #5 and totally relate. I’m having the same trouble and am really trying hard to change my ways and make my apartment a space of calm.


L.B. October 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Absolutely! It’s tough but I found decluttering and reorganizing a little at a time when I’m feeling inspired has made a huge difference. And cleared some counters off! 🙂


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