Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 21, 2018 · 104 comments

  1. My mother signed up for a booth at a local school’s craft fair, and asked me to come work it with her. I’m not particularly crafty, but there’s enough time between now and November 9th to figure out a few things that I can sell.

    Hmm . . . are rocks with googly eyes still a thing?

  2. Now that my husband is healing from his ankle/foot surgery, I went ahead and gave away his thrifted shower stool through my local Buy Nothing Group to someone who said that she couldn’t “stand long enough to shower & would love such a gift.” It would’ve been easy to shove this bulky item into our attic in the name of “but we might need this again some day.” Instead, I put it into the hands of someone who’ll use it, which not only saves them money, but also keeps a useful item in circulation.

    There are countless practical things stashed away in our homes. Can you imagine what would happen if we all worked to put these items directly into the hands of people who needed them?

  3. We just shelled out a little over $1000 in college fees that we hadn’t been expecting, which is never a fun day. (My son picked up an extra class and my daughter had some lingering college fees.)

    However, we have money set aside for exactly this situation. It does mean that we now have $1000 less tucked aside for winter term’s looming deadline, but we have until January 1st to amass the next payment.

    How is this a “frugal thing?” My thousands of “frugal things” make this possible.

  4. I sold a curb picked chair through Facebook Marketplace, I returned a book to the library, I made a huge pot of white bean sausage/kale soup instead even though I was exhausted and felt lousy, we were treated to a lovely meal out with my mother to celebrate her 76th birthday, I scrubbed my mildew-infested shower curtain instead of replacing it, (seriously, I’d let it get disgustingly bad!) I replanted lettuce seeds after harvesting everything, I raked leaves in my backyard and crammed them into the yard debris can that we share with our next door neighbor, (which saves us $182 per year) I stopped into New Seasons Market and enjoyed a free tiny coffee and food samples, I started a new library book and I’m using a menstrual cup instead of disposable (and expensive) products.

  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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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy October 21, 2018 at 10:39 am

Just returned from a 10 day cruise trip which wasn’t frugal however we’d planned on it for a year.
1. Skipped the spa and brought my own spa treatments from home.
2. Brought books from thrift store or downloaded on my iPad
3. Prepaid for internet package which saved $5/day
4. Bought no souvenirs. My sister asked for a baseball hat which will be her birthday gift.
5. Borrowed evening ware from a friend for the formal nights.


Norma October 21, 2018 at 1:21 pm

We are frugal all year which allows us to pay for our big vacations in advance. Makes the vacation much more enjoyable knowing we are not going home to a huge credit card bill.


Michele October 21, 2018 at 11:03 am

1. Went to Bass Pro to buy oldest son his birthday gift. Didn’t buy anything else.
2. Booked a hotel for parents weekend. It’s a few exits from the college, but $100 cheaper. Free breakfast included.
3. Wanted new fall clothes, but went through stored shirts / pants and found some clothing that feels new to me.
4. Not stomping on gas pedal trying to save gas. Love to watch the gas mileage thingy on my car go up.
5. Using homemade laundry soap, bought whole carrots to peel and chop, and pack my lunch every day for work.


priskill October 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Free breakfast is a win!


priskill October 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Free breakfast is a win!


A. Marie October 21, 2018 at 11:19 am

FFT, Playing the Hand We’ve Been Dealt Edition:

(1) DH and I finally had a feedback session with his geriatrician last Wednesday on the assorted tests he’s had recently (brain MRI and neuropsychological testing). Long story short, he has mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. But this really came as no surprise, and I am doing my best to handle the news with a minimum of self-pity and a maximum of self-command.

(2) First step is that I am cutting back to two-thirds of my current workload (the minimum I can work at my telecommuting job for a small NYC publishing house and keep my benefits), effective Jan. 1, so I can devote more time to DH’s care. Yes, we are going to be wearing our belts tighter from now on. But we can also afford to do this (much as Katy can absorb unexpected college costs) because we live frugally.

(3) The diagnosis is also kicking my butt into making the necessary legal and financial changes I need to make but have been postponing until we had a definite diagnosis. We’re meeting with our financial advisor on Tuesday, and I’ve started the first round of telephone tag with our lawyer.

(4) Mild-mannered rebuttal to Katy’s (2): We have hung onto all the medical/invalid equipment we inherited from DH’s parents, and serve as the neighborhood loan-out service for these things as they’re needed. It now looks as if we may be using a lot of these things ourselves as time goes on. But then we also have a full-size attic, so it’s no problem to store the stuff. Other perspectives are welcome.

(5) Finally, re: one item in Katy’s (4), I just finished running our stall-size nylon shower curtain through the wash for the umpteenth time, with chlorine bleach and a bunch of bleach-safe towels. Stall-size curtains are hard to find, so I try to take care of mine. (I also try to make minimal use of chlorine bleach, but in this case I’ve found it’s almost essential.)


Tonya October 21, 2018 at 11:56 am

Sorry for the diagnosis. Sending lots of strength to you.


janine October 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Your common sense approach to a most difficult situation is heartening. Best wishes to you and your family.


Julie October 21, 2018 at 2:56 pm

You summed up my thoughts perfectly!


priskill October 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Very sorry to hear this! Wishing you all the best and much strength.


Naiveorbrave October 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

Dear A. Marie,
You sound so well prepared and calm with the things that are happening in your life which deeply impresses me.
All the best!


Patricia Koernig October 22, 2018 at 2:07 am

A.Marie: Your strength is inspiring. Sending you love through the distance.


Bee October 22, 2018 at 2:21 am

My heart goes out to you and DH. Your love and grace is an inspiration.


tracy October 22, 2018 at 5:11 am

A Marie I so appreciate your candid but positive posts. Thinking of you.


Christine October 22, 2018 at 8:26 am

Long distance hugs comin’ at ya. Wishing you and your DH lots of strength and patience as you embark on this Loving Journey.


Cindy in the South October 23, 2018 at 9:33 am

I am so sorry. My mother had Alzheimers. Hugs and prayers for you.


Lisa M. October 26, 2018 at 5:06 am

I would like to add support to what you are going through A. Marie. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s & my Mom is in a care facility with Dementia. It is truly a heartbreaking experience where loved ones feel helpless. I would encourage self-care which will also benefit your DH.


Jen October 21, 2018 at 11:32 am

I am not sure about google eyes on rocks but at the past few craft fairs I have been to I have noticed painted rocks. There are great tutorials online. Ladybugs and mandalas (?), I think they are called. Or even words painted on rocks to remind people to “breathe”, “listen” or whatever. Nice little easy gift for someone to buy from you. Also you can make cool ornaments out of sand dollars and glitter. Or driftwood with air plants you can purchase cheaply online. Oh, and you could make little “sewing lifts” or “office emergency kits” or dog treat tins out of Altood tins you collect from someone in your Buy Nothing or Freecycle group. Good luck with the craft fair!


Roberta October 22, 2018 at 6:28 am

Or, being Portland, how about “upcycled” zero-waste lunch kits? Thrifted flatware, napkin, pouch to hold it in?


Susan October 23, 2018 at 5:58 am

I just saw an instagram post with painted acorns. They were lovely in earthy pastels, but how great would they be with some metallic paint in a bowl at Xmas time?


Tonya October 21, 2018 at 12:01 pm

1) Meal planning for this week. I’m working extra hours this week so it’s smart and frugal to have a plan for food. I am currently baking a turkey (we had one left from last Thanksgiving in our deep freeze). That will provide lots of meals for the week and beyond.
2) I have lunches ready to go for the week.
3) DH and I are using a free trial for an exercise plan. We will cancel when the trial is up. But it’s nice to exercise at home and shake up the routine a bit.
4) Eating from our pantry and freezer, and always replenishing our food from stocking up on loss leaders and inexpensive groceries.
5) We had a huge flood this month that caused some damage and wasn’t covered by home owners insurance. Sucking it up and remembering that it’s not as bad as it could be if we weren’t careful with our money. And also that many people the world over are dealing with many more serious housing issues.


Lindsey October 21, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Katy: Not sure if this is true for other people but I am having more and more trouble reading and posting on your site. Constant “long script running” messages that suddenly show up and prevent posting until it goes away—which it does not, restarting the entire site instead. Typing that stops in the middle of the word, no matter how I hit the keys (does not happen with any other site, only yours). Message that I need to repost so I end up having to copy and then open up the site and comments section again before I can post. Very frustrating.


Jennifer October 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Lindsey, I have issues also. I don’t post as much as used to because of the hassle. I still have to copy, refresh, and paste most times if it’s a longer post. Lately, I post, it then disappears so I post the same thing again only to find that they both are there.


Sandra October 22, 2018 at 7:26 am

I, too, have error message at this website regarding long running script.


Christine October 22, 2018 at 8:30 am

I haven’t seen that message yet but often have seen the Please Reload This Page message when I’m in the middle of typing my FFTs. Yes, very frustrating.


Tricia October 22, 2018 at 1:44 pm

It may be the browser you are using. I use Google Chrome for everything. Just a thought.


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 3:02 pm

It happens to me no matter what browser I use. It happens on my phone and my desktop.


Diane C October 24, 2018 at 5:05 am

Just happened to me, too.


cathy October 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

What I finally realized is that it wasn’t how long my post was, or how long it was taking me to write it. It’s how long I’ve been on the NCA page. Since I don’t know how long is too long (before you get that “Please reload”, as a rule, now I cut any post I write and then paste if necessary. I’m using Chrome FWIW.

Mary in Maryland October 21, 2018 at 1:37 pm

1. Vacation in Vermont! A week in an 1830s farmhouse (extensively updated) that I got at a charity auction for $500! We split with another couple, also rented a car together.
2. The owners encouraged (begged) us to eat down the pantry. Everyone in their family shops before they visit, so we were well-supplied with staples. We traded off cooking delicious dinners at the house and usually got sandwiches for lunches.
3. Both husbands have problems–Parkinson’s for hers, hearing and memory for mine. Much easier and more fun travelling as a group. Dealing with diminishment is clearly the big spiritual task for our 70s.
4. No souvenirs, and we read the books at the rental house.
5. At Cider Days a vendor was selling handmade soap that she had knitted a wool casing for. One doesn’t need a wash cloth and the wool felts down. I’ve already made two using those teen pieces of yarn in the bottom of the basket(plain old soap, however) as gifts. An idea for Katy?
6. Last night I was jonesing for quesadillas from the local restaurant. But I can’t afford the bowl of chips and salsa, the margaritas, and the dessert. So I splurged and got tortillas, guacamole, mushrooms, spinach, and fake cheese at the grocery store. $15, but far less than the $50 we wind up spending at the restaurant–and we have enough ingredients left to do it again later this week.


Christine October 22, 2018 at 8:35 am

Nice win on the Vermont farmhouse! Sounds like you all had a great time!


Juhlin Newkirk October 21, 2018 at 2:10 pm

1. I picked up some extra dinner plates at Goodwill for our upcoming family Thanksgiving meal. 4 for $3.95! Will have to go back to try to find more.
2. Also found a nice loft long sleeve top which was on my list.
3. Spent a few minutes planning dinners for the week and perhaps we will avoid going out.
4. Frugal for others: We have a square patio table we don’t use. Will be taking it to our son & DIL for their new home’s deck area.


Ruby October 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm

1. Am wearing a thrifted shirt and thrifted sweater with old jeans bought new ages ago and a pair of socks that are at least 8 years old and going strong.
2. Youngest dog destroyed her bed, which I made out of scrap upholstery fabric and stuffing for our old dog before he died 5 years ago. For now she has a nice little nest of thrifted throws and old cat blankets.
3. Bought a new kitchen rug at the liquidation store with a 15% off coupon.
4. Have not bought gas in two weeks due to not using much on a mostly stoplight free commute.
5. Bringing my breakfast and lunch from home every day, which saves me at least 100 bucks a month.


Carole from York October 21, 2018 at 2:30 pm

1. Printed grocery coupons onto paper saved from junk mail.
2. Fed bruised fruit and other food scraps to my backyard chickens.
3. Scrubbed my toilet with an old kitchen scrub pad and regular soap. Washed my hands afterward–no toilet bowl cleaners for me.
4. Worked the warm wax from the edges of my candle jar back into the center to keep the candle burning longer.
5. Left my almost empty shampoo and conditioner bottles upside down for an hour and put what drained into my new bottles. Saved the last dregs for my next hair washing to completely empty them.


Christine October 22, 2018 at 8:38 am

Great idea on the candle. I have one I’ve been burning that is creeping up the sides that I will scrape down also.


WilliamB October 23, 2018 at 11:13 am

Carole, I do that also with conditioner: cut open the bottle, let it drain into a ‘collecting bottle’ that has a large opening. It’s as much for saving stuff from going to the trash as it is saving money on conditioner.


Jennifer October 21, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Can you make a baked good for the craft? Those ginger snaps you make would be great for November.
1. I made banana bread with very old bananas. I was afraid they would be too dry to make the bread moist so I added a spoon of applesauce…baking now and smells delightful.
2. I made soup of dribs from the freezer. I’m not sure how good it will be but it’s better than going out. Hopefully, it will be good enough for leftovers tomorrow.
3. I’m continuing to plan our trip to Las Vegas. We are staying 4 days and I have spent $482 for room, flights, and a rental car. I am continuing to research fee parking, cheap eats, and fun few things to do. I am really impressed at all I have found so far that costs nothing. I really wanted to visit the Akhob exhibit, which is completely free and totally awesome, but it requires a 6 week advance reservation. I am calling every couple days. Maybe the stars will align and someone will cancel. The trails and scenery outside of Vegas is what I am most excited about and they cost nothing.
4. I found a Flonase nasal spray for $1.75 in the reduced section at Kroger. I grabbed that to add to my arsenal of cheap meds for cold/flu season.
5. I picked up my free Friday download from Kroger, a Reese candy bar. Well, it’s already gone.


tracy October 22, 2018 at 5:13 am

I love hiking in the Red Rocks area!


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 10:34 am

Can’t wait to see the Red Rock area. The sunsets and sunrises are going to be amazing!


priskill October 21, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Sorry, not very crafty — good luck!

1. Continuing to eat down the pantry/freezer foods and, yes, can see the back of the freezer. Have tried to stick with buying fresh stuff mostly and only really really good deals, like ground turkey for $1.50/lb. Used 1 #for chili and froze the other 2 #. Used up frozen meals, pizza, cans of tuna, canned beans, tomatoes, and old dried out raisins that were surprisingly good in the chile 🙂

2. Breakfasts and lunches at home/taken to work.

3. Amassed 5 rewards points at my VONs grocery so planning on free pizza, natural luncheon meat, and maybe eggs? Free tastes best!

4. After using my CVS coupons and ECBs, I realized that i had the wrong toothpaste so ran back in and exchanged it to get a) much cheaper toothpaste and b) 2 ECBs. I don’t always use CVS but sometimes it really pays off. As does checking the receipts!

5. After frugal fail of yummy dinner with daughter on Friday night, we battened down the hatches and ate frozen pizza before taking in a free movie with moviepass and not buying any food there. Did smuggle in tiny packets of Swedish fish and went home to discounted gelato in our freezer.


K D October 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm

1. All meals at home this past week. I also made a meal for my daughter and her fiance that I took over to their place on Wednesday. I knew it was a tough day for both of them. I too made a big pot of white bean stew that I’ll eat for several days.

2. I am reading Hank Green’s first novel, borrowed for my Kindle from the library. We also are streaming network shows some evenings.

3. I’m planning for the holidays. I’ll make the time to make some gifts but overall we don’t do a lot of gift giving/exchanging.

4. I’ve been listening to a variety of podcasts as I do stuff around the house.

5. The weather has cooled off so I have switched my wardrobe. My clothes are from previous years, including some hand-me-ups. I love not having to spend time, energy, and money shopping for new clothes when the seasons change.


Elizabeth October 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Genuinely, painted rocks are a thing again. There is a kind of geocaching/scavenger style game where folks hide painted rocks and you can take, swap, hide in local areas your own designs. Seems like fun!


Christine October 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

It is fun Elizabeth! Not only fun but free fun after the initial costs of the paints and brushes. Cheaper still if you have these items on hand already. I’ve just spent the last couple of hours painting…now am heading out the door to a trail in our neighborhood where I will “hide” the newly painted rocks. I will hopefully find some painted rocks the my fellow trail hikers have “hidden”.


Alison October 21, 2018 at 4:18 pm

1. House insurance renewal came in the mail, so I called the broker, and after tweaking the policy, she saved me about $300.
2. My daughter is getting her first apartment Nov. 1 so we went through the bookcase to see what she would be taking, and what we could dispose of, and I gave a box to the neighbours kids. They were thrilled. Two more boxes will go to the used book store for credit.
3. Made an extra $500 car payment. I hope to do this ever month.
4. DH is one three medications for 10 days, for an infection. All meds free, because of our private health insurance.
5. Received two for one vouchers to buy tickets to our local,symphony from my spanish teacher, as her children are in the orchestra. Will see good classical concert for cheap, and maybe treat my parents.


Ava October 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Don’t have anything dramatic to report.
1. Went to a craft store for a picture frame because I couldn’t find that size at Goodwill. Was told it was not a standard size and would have to be special ordered. I decided to get the next closest size and make it work (GW-.99) . Since I didn’t need anything else, I gave my 40% off coupon to another shopper who was very pleased to have it.
2. I am on a church committee to fix meals for sick people. I almost bought a disposable container in the grocery but decided to go with my original plan to bake in my own pan and transfer to disposable restaurant container I had already saved for the purpose.
3. Documented donations made to charity before the lists get lost or eaten by the terrier. (That does happen with frequency.)
4. My husband commented on how thoroughly I have converted him to library use. He almost never buys a book any more.
5. After buying shoes in a “real” store for my hard to fit feet, I decided they were not as comfortable as I originally thought. I have worn them too much to return them. I checked at Goodwill and found $120.00 Reeboks for $5.40. They are still not a perfect fit but are much more comfortable than the new shoes I bought. They will be fine to walk in for now and I will keep checking until I find shoes with a better fit.


Mand01 October 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

1. Got 30% off plants and free snacks at a plant sale.
2. Picked several kilograms of vegetables. Even giving some away we have still plenty for several meals. We are hardly buying vegetables at the moment, everything is coming from the garden.
3. Packing lunch and snacks. Frugal fail: fallen back into a bad habit of buying coffee several times a week. I tend to fall into this habit now and then. Time to break it again.
4. Almost at the end of the year and I’ve basically stuck to my goal not to buy any clothes or shoes in 2018. This is a big deal for me.
That’s all, folks.


Denise October 24, 2018 at 10:02 am

Well done on not buying clothes. I hate clothes shopping but succumbed to a big shop (new jeans, new smart trousers for work, two new tops for work and a new dress). I kept looking in my local charity shops but couldn’t find anything that I liked, that fitted and wasn’t so worn already as to look “beyond tired”. Still, my four year old, machine-washable black trouser suit looks like new, as I bought some black dye and dyed it in the washing machine, along with faded black t-shirts for winter.

The new stuff will last me for years, thankfully.


Em October 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm

1. Placed an order for grocery pickup at Walmart. I really don’t like supporting Walmart, but with a busy week ahead this saves me a lot of time (and gas) as it is the closest grocery store to my apartment.

2. My boyfriend and I really wanted to go out for wine tasting and dinner last night. Instead, we took our puppy to the local pet shop for a free bath, then ran into the newly opened LIDL to purchase some cheeses, snacks, and a bottle of wine. Put on a s Netflix comedy stand up and enjoyed an evening in.

3. Walked puppy to the dog park today that is across from our apartment complex. Free exercise and entertainment watching the little nugget play. He’s so sweet and has been so fun to watch grow!

4. After the dog park I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening cooking and prepping meals. Made a batch of tuna salad for lunches this week, mushroom steaks for dinner , and a giant pot of DELICIOUS lentil stew using a recipe from . If you have never check out that site, she is amazing and offers a ton of vegan and vegetarian options, pricing out every meal down to the penny. It’s finally cooling off here in NC, and I’m excited for stews and chili !

5. I plan on staying home most of this week and listing massive amount of clothing. I am currently/temporarily re-selling full time. I have done it before, but not with a puppy, and am learning is better for me to stock up and list, versus sourcing 4+ times a week. Allows a better routine and less chaos, so I will be running on the 1/4 tank of gas I have hopefully the whole week, allowing my boyfriend to drop packages off on campus where he has to go daily anyway!


Crosby October 22, 2018 at 9:46 am

I love Budget Bytes’ lentil stew!!!! It is my favorite and I make it all the time.


Joanie October 24, 2018 at 3:40 am

Googling BB lentil stew gives so many kinds…which one?


Bee October 23, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Great recipes at Budget Bytes!


Pattilou October 21, 2018 at 6:09 pm

FFT tightening the belt after a new roof and car repair edition:
1. Work provided dinner one night this week. Also, as I was leaving work tonight, there was food left over from an event which I was able to take home for dinner.
2. I was given a free theatre ticket this week.
3. I kept the heat off until two days ago. I finally had to turn it on when the temperature was heading into the 30s.
4. My contribution to our monthly potluck dinner was a buttermilk pumpkin pound cake. I borrowed a tube pan from a friend instead of buying one.
5. I am heading into a tough week at work so I have meals already prepped and in the freezer.


Tonya Parham October 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

1. Had leftovers yesterday and used up stuff that was soon expiring.

2. Re-committed to being a frugal plant based (whole food) eater so that means I won’t be spending money on meat, eating out, or highly processed foods. Beans and Rice! Oats! It also means I won’t be buying vegan snack foods. Because I am someone who likes “a little something sweet” after my meals, I got some prunes and freeze dried strawberries (not cheap but healthier and last longer than vegan ice cream!) so I can feel like I have something good but am not breaking the bank.

3. Didn’t leave the house today. Wore the same close as yesterday.

4. Turned on the oven to make about 4 different things for the week’s meals (cornbread muffins, bean burgers, sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower).

5 Am reading about 3 library books. Watching horror films on Filmstruck. Cancelled Netflix as it NEVER works on my Firestick.


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 3:49 am

4. I spent a little time in the kitchen yesterday also making soup, banana bread, and cornbread. I often forget how much it helps to start off the week to have a few extra things made.


Naiveorbrave October 21, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Dear A. Marie,
You sound so well prepared and calm with the things that are happening in your life which deeply impresses me.
All the best!


Naiveorbrave October 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Long-term travel Edition

Uhm… Yes, I’m still on the road
I keep thinking I let go off the frugal wagon but reading here I realize I just don’t realize it anymore as frugal but my normal everyday stuff.

1. A friend borrowed me his 0°C-sleeping bag so I can camp on my last stretch of cycling starting next month. It will take me to regions that are culturally like Tibet but part of another province. Why? Foreigners can’t travel freely in Tibet, need to be part of a tour or pay an official guide to be allowed there…

2. Using my mens-cup as usual so spending less money, not having to find out where to find disposable products (it’s a hassle in China and tampons are hardly available at all) and keeping stuff out of the landfill.

3. I realized I can’t go without my occasional sweet drink here but decided to limit myself to one bottle a day. Otherwise refilling my reusable cup with hot water (its safe to drink and doesn’t need a one-time plastic container), sometimes adding tea or coffee

4. As I was going to a different part of China anyway I prolonged that trip a few days to meet friends that are living ‘near by’ the place I had to be at. For this ‘hoping over’ I spent an extra 8hrs on the bus, 2 on a train and 8 waiting at the airport… But it was worth it. I enjoyed seeing them and one of my friends will be moving to Australia soon as she married and has a baby with an Australian guy. Was our last chance to see each other without getting on a long distance flight.
While on the road I write here, practice my vocabulary and read e-books and listen to audio books my library offers.

5. Keeping up with my language studies and trying to have conversations so me and my teacher don’t have to start from scratch when I return. If you want to read about (my) struggles of learning Chinese and the mistakes I am making where I believe only the Chinese language allows to make these, check out my current blog posts.
Also trying to keep up with Yoga while traveling to keep strength and develop flexibility.


Katy October 21, 2018 at 7:16 pm

1. Started buying materials to make a robot and bee costumes. A bee costume at Walmart costs $24. Anyone have a good idea for a free or cheap candy bucket idea for Halloween?
2. After church we came home and ate taco salad instead of going out to eat.
3. Accepted free food from my grandmother-in-law.
4. Ate miscellaneous leftovers for supper.
5. Earned a few swagbucks today.


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 3:54 am

A milk jug can be decorated with paint or other cool stuff. Just cut the top off leaving the handle intact. Also, here we frequently use a pillowcase because it hold a ton of candy.


Katy October 23, 2018 at 5:22 am

Thanks for the idea! I have 3 empty milk jugs!


Jennifer October 24, 2018 at 4:10 am

Oh great! I love it when things work out like that.


Lauren October 21, 2018 at 7:28 pm

1. Listed more items on FB marketplace, sold 1 already. $15 in my pocket.
2. We have been better at eating leftovers, hardly any food waste this week! Leftover BBQ meat, pancakes, tuna, spaghetti bolognaise, jelly and fruit. Yum!
3. We have cut our take away back to 1 day a week. This means we are eating healthier also!
4. My daughter and I made homemade play dough yesterday. Not sure who enjoyed playing with it more- the adults or the kids!
5. We had two birthdays this weekend, I was able to gift presents we already had in our gift box (bought on clearance from Target) and gave cards I bought really cheap (and in bulk) last year.


Elizabeth October 22, 2018 at 3:02 am

1. Found a Batman play set that my son has been looking for at the thrift store for just $3…he was so excited to save over $30 by buying it used…training him right:)
2. My daughter found two dresses appropriate for the 1930s era to use as costumes in a play (She is playing Aunt Tilly in It’s a Wonderful Life)
3. I fixed the zipper on my wallet.
4. I mixed up a blend of oils to help with anxiety…it seems to be working!
5. Will not have to buy any winter clothing for myself or my daughter because everything still fits from last year…which is good health and money wise!


Bee October 22, 2018 at 3:23 am

Katy, fabric pumpkins have been all the rage this year in decorating. I have made some velvet and silk ones from my fabric stash. However, I have seen some made of recycled sweaters and flannel shirts. I wonder if you could also make Christmas balls using the same concept. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest.
Happy Fall! I am so excited that the temperatures here in Florida have finally gotten down into the 60s. Saturday they were in the 90s. I am just so tired of being hot! So FFT…
1) My son who lives locally is out of the country for a couple of weeks. When cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving, he set aside some fresh fruit, veggies, and milk for me. He didn’t think they would still be good when he returned home. He hates to waste food! He also cuts open the toothpaste tube. The Apple does not fall far from the tree.

2) I brought my car in for service last week. As I expected, it was time for new tires. The tire that is recommended for my vehicle is quite expensive. I asked the tech if there was a suitable alternative. There was, and it saved me a little over $300. I also had a coupon for $25 off. I am happy and my car is happy.

3) As I rummaged through the freezer this week, I noticed there were a large number of frozen chicken carcasses. This happens during the summer months when we don’t eat a lot of soup. In anticipation of cooler weather, I made stock and froze 9 quarts to use later. I saved the tiny bits of meat and skin for the dog. He knows when there is chicken in the house. It’s his favorite.

4) I have been listing a number of items on eBay. I have made $63 this week on some garbage picked items, and I expect that the totals will go much higher.( I picked up a box of old military maps and ephemera. ) I have sold some other items too and used recycled materials for shipping.

5) We cut the cable cord approximately a year ago, but my dear hubby really missed football. We invested $25 in an indoor digital antenna last week. We now receive around 20 network stations including 3 different PBS stations at no cost.

Of course, I have been doing all the usual things. Brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily water, cooking from scratch, and enjoying no cost entertainment. Little Frugal Fail: I currently am reading Little Fires Everywhere from the library. It is currently overdue. I had several books that I had been waiting months for come in all at once. 🙁


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 4:17 am

In reference to Bee’s idea, I am making snow globe Christmas ornaments out of baby food jars. You could probably find some on free cycle. Basically, you just glue a miniature tree inside (I used peices from an old artificial Christmas tree) add fake snow(I used tiny styrofoam balls from the inside of an old bean bag), puncture a hole in the lid then attach a string, rope..whatever to hang. You can paint the lids bright red, cover them in fabric or paper, or just leave as is. You can glue anything on the inside for a snowy scene thats more complex but I kinda like the simple little tree. One other idea: bird feeders made from pine cones. Add a cute string to hang, roll in peanut butter, roll in birdseed,then let dry out a bit.I actually made a ton of these for gifts wrapped in clear cellophane and added a nice bow to the top and they were very pretty.


Stephanie October 22, 2018 at 4:10 am

Yes! Seriously, my menstrual cup changed my life. Seriously one of the best inventions out there. It’s saved me a ridiculous amount of money over the years.

1. We bought a non-skid shower mat. It’s still spending money, but it’ll stop me from $$$$ medical bills (I almost fell in the shower- again- this past week, so it was time).

2. I picked up our Kroger affiliate’s Free Friday download again, which is pretty good for me, as I don’t always make it there. It’s prepackaged, preseasoned rice, not something we normally eat, but it’ll make for a side or a meal on the run.

3. I’ve been doing yoga videos on YouTube. I can’t get to a class and they’re probably out of my budget right now anyway, so it’s nice to be able to get some exercise from the comfort of my own home while my daughter naps. 🙂

4. A grocery store had marked-down Field Roast meatless hotdogs this week. $1.19 per pack, so I snatched those up immediately and tossed them in the freezer. They’re normally a LOT more expensive than that, so I’m pretty excited. 🙂

5. I had no breadcrumbs for a recipe so I subbed ground up dried oatmeal, I cooked all my beans from scratch, I made a breakfast casserole for dinner when I didn’t feel like cooking at all, I made a huge batch of cookies for my son’s lunch and family snacks, and I turned a ton of old bread ends into breadcrumbs (and I’ll start again on saving bread ends to make the next batch). Yay me!


Gina October 22, 2018 at 4:57 am

1. Hubby needed an adjustment done to his cross bow. We used a $10 reward we had earned from Field and Stream to use toward the repair cost.
2. Oldest daughter thought she lost her glasses. She double checked all her steps throughout the day & found them wedged between the bus seat and side of the bus. One of the sides needed adjusted. Went to our eye doctor’s and they adjusted them for free! Been going there for 20 years. Such a wonderful family business we go to!
3. Youngest needed nasal spray. Doctor prescribed a prescription one, but the P.A. told us to check for generic and it would work just as well. We did choose the generic one saving us $6.12. Every little bit helps! Plus picked up a few items while at same store & used coupons, saving another $8.24.
4. My parents gifted us $ for our Anniversary which we treated ourselves to dinner out & used that toward our purchase. I called & thanked my parents. Was a nice surprise!
5. I had wanted to stop at the discount beer distributor on two different occasions, but decided not to. Saved $ and calories!


isa October 22, 2018 at 4:58 am

* I thirfted *new* clothes for myself using a 30% off coupon. 70$ for 3 pairs of pants and 5 shirts. Not exacly cheap, but considering Plus Size clothes are so expensive new, it’s a good deal.
* Got a new workout shirt, normal price 45$, for 10$ on sale. Yay!
* Canned crap apple jam, pickeld beets and green tomatoes ketchup this weekend. Almost no cost involved here.
* Using my gym membership
* Looking at sales to plan Christmas gifts for the kids


Bee October 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

Did you make crab apple jam or make use of really crappy apples? My kids always called crab apples, crap apples. Cantaloupe was called Candy-loupe. I know it is a bit silly.


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Lol, love that!


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 22, 2018 at 5:12 am

Oof, I never can get over the price of college. You guys are taking such a huge burden off of your kids this way, though. It’s an amazing gift to let them start life without debt. 🙂

This week (I didn’t do many frugal things, so I had to dig deep!):

1. I got a $25 off coupon for IKEA, which I used when I bought furniture for my home office last weekend.

2. I did a load of laundry with my homemade laundry soap.

3. I’m going to get my hair cut today with a $6 haircut coupon from Great Clips. Sure, it’s more than cutting it myself, but I want it done right this time.

4. I’m wearing thrifted secondhand clothes right now.

5. I’m working in a coffee shop today. I bought the absolute cheapest item on the menu ($2.50) to keep it reasonable, and ate breakfast at home.


ouvickie October 22, 2018 at 6:21 am

1) I was invited to an 18th birthday party for our Pastor’s son, but had no money and no clue what to get him. I dug into a box of buckles I have and came up with a vintage brass buckle I thought he’d like. I cleaned and polished it, found a box and some wrapping paper to put it in and found card to write a nice Birthday note to him. $0 spent, but he seemed to be happy with the gift.
2) My youngest granddaughter spent the weekend with me. She wanted chili dogs for dinner Friday evening, so a I fixed a package, which made enough to last for two days of meals. I made biscuits & gravy and pancakes for breakfast. She was happy and we had a fun weekend together.
3) My SIL installed a flat screen TV they no longer needed, in my back bedroom. They bought me a Roku box, which I insisted they count as an early Christmas gift. I had a wireless DVD player I’d never hooked up, so he hooked up everything for me. It’s nice to have an SIL with lots of tech knowledge. Now I can watch my shows and DVDs in the bedroom when my hubby has possession of the TV in the LR.
4) I put together a play kitchen my daughter & SIL bought my granddaughter for her birthday. They hadn’t gotten it finished, so I finished it for them when I took her home last night. She was happy and they were relieved. Which made me happy, too.
5) I rolled over $50 in coins last week and deposited them in my savings account. I have a large jar I throw change into at home. Effortless savings.


naiveorbrave October 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Dear Ouvicki,
To your number 1: These things – were people had something they thought I might like – have been my favourite presents many times!
And your number 2 sounds lovely as well! I am sure your granddaughter will always cherish these memories. I loved the times I spent with my grandparents and greataunt as a kid. One of my most cherished memories is how my beloved greataunt cooked sweet pudding for dinner – not as desert, but as a whole meal. I felt a bit guilty for not telling her that I am only allowed to have this as desert *chuckle* Now I enjoy making pancakes for my niece 🙂
Have a good day and thank you for triggering all these beautiful memories!


Lisa M. October 22, 2018 at 6:27 am

Triple 5FF: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Fall Season
It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. Also love to read Katy’s and other readers’ novel ideas for frugalizing. There can never be enough of those!

1. Recently worked 4 days/week x2 weeks between 2 part-time jobs. Love those beefed up paychecks.
2. Brought free lunches all 4 full-time days of work at for-profit job. How did that happen? Brought left-over food from non-profit job 2 days & gifted food from client at non-profit job 2 days.
3. Thanks to a reader’s suggestion, tried cutting open a nearly empty tube of toothpaste for the 1st time. Amazed at the amount remaining.
4. During a recent non-school day, DD & I ate out for lunch. After requesting 2 glasses of water, I examined the receipt when I got to our table & discovered I had been charged for 2 sodas. Went to the counter & requested a refund. And in a similar situation when I DIDN’T examine a receipt right away:
5. DD wanted to exchange an item at a makeup store. Made the mistake of NOT examining the receipt right away only to discover that she had been credited with an item that was $20 less than the actual item she returned. This required a return trip to the store & standing 10” waiting for the store manager to figure out the mess. The manager was kind enough to gift us with some “mature” samples & some “youthful” samples since they caused the error. It was a good reminder to check receipts right away, not after returning home, to save time & $.
6. Recently purchased ultra-comfortable but not-inexpensive work shoes had a “creak” in one shoe discovered while walking at my quiet for-profit place of employment that was not audible in loud shoe store. Discussed with employee at store who offered to change out shoes with another pair in my size from another shop. Although it required 2 return visits to the store, for my investment I now have new comfortable shoes that do not make noise on their own.
7. Out of multivitamins but discovered a still-sealed jar of gummy vitamins from when DD was young enough that I could coerce her into taking them. Using those up before purchasing additional vitamins.
8. Used $11 in coupons & received a free ornament at recent card shop Ornament Debut with minimal expenditure.
9. Spent several hours finding claim form, making copies, finding receipts & filling out forms for DD’s dental services during last 12 months at stand-alone dental hygiene clinic at teaching university. It is very low cost & very high quality but they do not bill insurance. Since it is a covered service under our dental insurance, reimbursement requires submitting those expenses directly.
10. In the same vein, recently received a check from vision insurance for DH’s out-of-network vision expenses. It was a very pleasant surprise as I was unsure what if any out-of-network benefits there might be. Looking forward to receiving additional check for DD’s vision expenses.
11. Brought DD’s sage & tomato plants inside. Solitary green tomato is still growing & am still harvesting sage.
12. Received time-limited (1 day) coupons for $30 worth of products at local spice store. Justified reorganizing day’s activities on short-notice to redeem coupons. Offered a free item (gift box) to DD to gift a teacher who enjoys cooking & is providing a college letter of recommendation
13. Due to bulb promotion & overstock, received 6 free LED bulbs & $3 discount at battery/bulb store when I went to get 2 new batteries for DH’s watches.
14. Continuing to use 4# can of gifted albacore tuna. Used 1# portion of previously frozen tuna in casserole.
15. Made famous frugal casserole from my DM. Love the story: When my DM was just out of high school & living with high school friends, they made a Sunday casserole that used oil-based tuna with cream of chicken soup since tuna was less expensive than chicken, yet it tasted like more costly chicken when mixed with the soup, lemon juice, etc. With albacore tuna the difference is not as pronounced but I still enjoy making the casserole & thinking of my frugal DM. This is the 1st time I have prepared it with gifted tuna which takes it to the next frugal level & would definitely be Mom-approved.


Lisa M. October 22, 2018 at 6:58 am

Addendum: In my efforts to arrive at a multiple of 5FF, I neglected a couple of additional efforts & a fail.

16. In choosing a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary, we choose the one where DD works as a hostess due to a 25% discount for employees’ families. They also offered free desserts which we enjoyed. When we got the receipt, we discovered the desserts were complimentary but the 25% discount was missing. I let DD talk to the server who promptly added the additional discount. Our overall savings: $20.
Frugal Fail: We save our aluminum cans for a yearly redemption. Upon taking the cans (& some other items that cannot be placed in normal recycling), we discovered that our county recycler’s machine had broken & was too costly to repair, so they were no longer paying for redemption. Other recyclers would have required additional time, effort & gas $, so we decided to cut our losses & recycle them without a cash redemption. It was disappointing not for the amount of $ lost but for the effort required – 6 trash bags full of cans. ☹
17. Following our recycling outing, we used a coupon for a couple of fast-food meals for lunch & drove separately so I could head directly to work.


Lisa M. October 22, 2018 at 9:10 am

My mind just keeps working today! (Will she eventually make it to 20)?

18. For our anniversary dinner, DD & I each had water, split a vegetarian sampler platter & STILL came home with leftovers! How’s that for frugal? We did leave a generous tip for the server – excellent service & he was happy to add DD’s employee discount. There are times when one should not be frugal (tipping a fantastic server) & this was a prime example.


Mary in VA October 24, 2018 at 11:40 am

Re: #16, I don’t live in a state that redeems cans or bottles (but I’m a stickler for recycling anyway). I’m always amazed when I see someone put a can or bottle in the regular trashcan because it makes me think “That would be worth 5 or 10 cents to somebody somewhere.” When I’m at home or work, I immediately transfer it from the trash to the recycle bin. In public trashcans, not so much. 🙂


Mary in VA October 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

Re: #3, I do that with any package that can be cut open or pried open. It’s amazing how much is left.


Lisa M. October 26, 2018 at 4:57 am

Regarding the cans, I’m the same way about being a recycling zealot. Not a single recyclable ends up in my trash at home. Since cans are the only item that have cash redemption in our state, I was sad that the small incentive was discontinued by our county. I have started to research other recycling options in our area that would not require a significant amount of driving so I’ll be better prepared next year.

Regarding cutting opening the toothpaste paste, I have always opened up packages in the kitchen. Not sure why I never tried this with toothpaste but really appreciate the tip.


Roberta October 22, 2018 at 6:45 am

1. We went to a family birthday party yesterday, and due to illness I had not made any cards. I half an hour my family pitched in, and we made four unique cards out of materials I had on hand! Paint, google eyes, a birthday candle, cardstock. I saved at least $12 from stopping at the grocery, and I appreciate my family all working together.
2. I’m taking my friend’s mother-in-law to the doctor this morning. She refuses to take less money than she’d pay to her MIL’s facility! I’m thrilled with the extra income, my friend is happy to have me take MIL.
3. Returned library materials on time. We checked out and watched Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein this year to get us in the mood for Halloween.
4. Got a free crib off Craigslist, for my niece who collects for refugees. It didn’t have a mattress, but another poster had one, so I’m able to pass along a complete crib! I picked it up while hitting garage sales for my mom’s shop, so I didn’t even waste gas on the trip.
5. I had other good stuff that I forgot to write down, and now I can’t remember! Darn it!


Christine October 22, 2018 at 8:48 am

I found cheap and easy craft for our Harvest Fair at church. And I am not crafty. I have a lot of wooden clothespins hanging around as I am a hanger up of laundry outside kind of gal. I took a dozen of them and painted them brown with acrylic paint. You might need to do this in two steps as one side has to dry. Then I glued two little googly eyes near the top, for a face. Then I took a yellow Sharpie, drew an upside down triangle for a beak and underneath that took a red Sharpie and drew a teardrop for a wattle. I added a paper Pilgrim hat that I had drawn, colored in with markers and cut out to the top with glue. Autumn leaves which I had picked up in a package at Dollar tree was glued to the back for a fan tail. A piece of strip magnet was glued under the tail on the back. Voila, refrigerator magnets $1 a piece. Sounds complicated, wicked easy!


Christine October 22, 2018 at 10:58 am

P.S. Forgot to mention…they are magnetic turkeys which you can use to clip notes, pictures, etc. onto your refrigerator.


Bethany McLean October 22, 2018 at 9:25 am

Had a free lunch Saturday at TTX breast cancer awareness event…. On track for a cure. Donated and got to do a hand paint on the pink railcar. Fun!

Soccer games are going well for our girls. They won 7 to 4. We each take turns bringing snacks for kids. Some mom’s must go to Costco and fork out $100. I made a batch of cookies, and split up a box of crackers. And grapes (on sale) for half time. My cost $10. LOL!

Dad is coming for a visit. Husband is out of town. Kids and I usually eat really frugally when my husband is gone. But meeting in the middle for Dad. Going to make corn chowder while he’s here, and it’ll satisfy the craving I’ve been having.

Dad can also babysit my kids while I go to my free weight loss class. Big free help while hubby is away.

Husband’s coworker lobbied for the company to compensate extra for travel days, and company agreed. So we’ll be having a slightly larger pay check, even though hubby is on salary. I think that’s pretty outstanding!!!


Crosby October 22, 2018 at 10:15 am

1. A family friend is a stylist at a high-end salon and needed a hair model for a training. I got a super nice haircut for $0! I haven’t cut my hair since April, so I was really happy with this opportunity.
2. I traveled for work last week which means my meals and gas were covered for 4 days.
3. I needed specific yarn for a wedding gift last month but waited until I received a coupon for the company. I got a coupon today so I made the purchase. Patience saves money!
4. I brought my lunch to work today and have been drinking free tea all day.
5. I’m stopping by my local pharmacy on my way home to use my health insurance play money to buy vitamins (yay for supporting local businesses and saving money!)
6. I’m going to make veggie stock in my IP and use it to make soup for dinner tonight.


Nancy from Mass October 22, 2018 at 11:04 am

1. Found .39 at the dealership while waiting for my car during it’s free oil change service.
2. moved the dryer so i could vacuum the dryer vent and found 3 dimes (thanks DH).
3. went for a hike with the AMC yesterday (in the cold). according to my fitbit, i walked just shy of 18k steps, climbed 99 flights of stairs (it doesn’t register higher than that), had 148 minutes of exercise but only burned 2,937 calories. But, hey, exercise was free and i got a great view of Boston!
4. DS and i went to our favorite consignment shop saturday and bought him another heavy bookcase to house his 8 million, 797 books (a slight exaggeration). we also bought 2 heavy 10oz glasses, 2 more books and an amazing etching by Tanaka Ryohei. all for just over $50. I searched for an 18×24 frame to use for a painting but they didn’t have a nice one that size. (see #5 for the painting explanation). I went there a few weeks ago and bought a set of 5, 16oz thumbprint drinking glasses that i am pretty sure were never used. i paid $4 for those. they are wonderful to use!
5. while staying with my MIL last week (FIL was in the hospital), she was going to toss a beautiful covered bridge winter scene painting. it was painted by her uncle from a Christmas card he received from her mom. It is a beautiful painting! I said “You’re not tossing this” and i put it in my car. he did sign it and her maiden name is my sons middle name. she didn’t think anyone would want it. we love it!


Bee October 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Dimes from heaven!


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

This is so precious..I’m having an emotional day so this tugs my heartstrings. Been getting lots of pennies from heaven lately.


Norma Burke October 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

1. Took favorite purse to get strap sewn on instead of buying a new one. Not a very expensive purse but one I really like and cheaper than buying new.
2. Hubbie and I just got flu shots for free with Medicare card.
3. Received two $10 gift cards for getting flu shots at this particular grocery store. Used gift cards to purchase $34 worth of groceries for $14.
4. Stocking up a little at a time on easy-peasy meals for my husband to prepare when I have back surgery. He is not a cook!!!
5. Borrowing some medical equipment from neighbors that I will need when recuperating. What I have to buy I will offer up for others to use when I no longer need them.


Jennifer October 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm

1) I worked the local professional sporting event this weekend and came away with a souvenier cup that someone threw away after 1 use. I will wash it and stick it in my sports loving son’s stocking.
2) After working yesterday they were giving away the salads that had not sold so I brought 2 home for my dh and I to have for lunch today.
3) Made $20 in tips this weekend. I am saving my tips to pay for travel with my dd (college visits). Should have food and gas taken care of on our next trip.
4) Went through my essential oils and pulled out freebies that I don’t use and have them listed on Ebay.
5) Organized a carpool for this week when my older dd can’t drive my younger dd to and from gymnastics. This way we only have to drive out 1 time each day.


Teress October 22, 2018 at 4:07 pm

1. Took my 93-year-old mom out on Sunday. Instead of going to the theater we came to my house and watched something on Netflix; instead of eating lunch out we had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and ice cream and coffee at my house. At 93 it seems that going out isn’t much fun for her anyway. Plus it was 90 degrees here again 🙁

2. On the way to taking mom home I drove down to the ocean and parked at the Jetty for some free ocean air and breathtaking views. To top it off, we were surprised with a perfect view of an airshow. Free entertainment for two in a beautiful setting, all in the comfort of my car!

3. Ate my Grocery Outlet frozen meal for dinner Yesterday. Not that tasty but I finished it up for lunch today, along with some roast chicken. Since I’m mostly cooking for *just me* these days I’ve become less elaborate and more lazy… but I think I’ll stop the pre-made frozen food habit…this is the first time in my life that I’ve used pre-made food and it’s a bad habit. My cooking is waaay better. (On the plus side, I don’t overeat when I make that stuff…)

4. A vendor sent me the wrong part but replaced it with the correct model. I found a “taker” for the car mirror that the vendor told me to keep. I’m glad someone can use it and it’s freee… I’m about to install the mirror I paid for. It’s a $$ savings since I’m doing it myself (it’s an aftermarket part) but it would be an even greater savings if I stopped knocking the mirrors off. I really need to be more careful backing out.

5. Thinking about saving more $$… I am not sure what this means yet, but it’s on my list of to-do items. I may need to stop watching TV so I can be more productive. It feels like I’ve given myself permission to be lazy now that I live alone.


Joann October 22, 2018 at 6:37 pm

1 asked my “work” landlord to borrow a skid steer to fix my driveway, which washed badly from the storm. Spend 3 days on the equipment, only was out some diesel, had fun as well as saved over $400 from renting equipment or hiring someone to fix it.
#2 looked around 3 days for best price on culvert pipe (had 8 inches of rain in less than 4 hours, so culvert was not big enough and washed my 7/10 driveway. Saved $100 on the pipe and had a dear friend help me deliver it to my house for free (will owe him dinner out with his wife which is way way cheaper than if I had to pay for the delivery of a 20 foot long pipe.

#3 had to travel last week for work out of town made $$ for travel for meals, got free breakfast, and lunch including hotel sent us on our way with free bottle water ! got a trip in to Trader Joe’s (good 3 1/2 hours from home) got ginger cheaper than I can get local, and got some wonderful wine for my sisters birthday (usually over $12 a bolttle at my grocery store and it’s $4ish there. And found some wonderful fabric at Hobby Lobby (for my shirt project) that allowed me to use 40% off coupon on lace fabric that was $8.99 a yard, similar fabric wasn’t available in my small town and on line it was way more expensive.
#4. Purchased 1 bag cat food for $3.99 and used coupon for a free bag, thank goodness finally figured out what our new kitty will eat (she’s new to us from the pound and she hadn’t been eating well, so for her to like something is great. Will mix the cat food so I know she is getting some better quality food as well.
#5 went to big lots and got kitty bed for $10 which was way cheaper than I saw the bed at other places, ++ kitty is staying in her bed on the dresser and not bouncing on our feet at 6 a.m. well worth the money.
#6 continue to watch net flicks, and read cookbooks from Libary.
#7 went unexpectedly to see a dear older friend who is moving out of state (quickly since a spit became open for her) from her existing assistive living to one that is 8 hours away (closer to her son) was invited down to eat with her in the cafe and we had a nice dinner and they wouldn’t charge us. Figured meal would of usually been at least $6 to $8 each, but we got some extra time with a dear sweet friend, and fed as well. Good food, bitter sweet time, but a blessing she will be closer to family, since she is in her 80’s.


Christine October 23, 2018 at 5:37 am

1. I had zippers repaired on two Fall jackets instead of buying new jackets. Wish I could sew better. Sigh.
2. Invited a recently widowed friend and her daughter over for a turkey dinner. Good food, some laughter and some tears.
3. Had a delicious leftover meal from said turkey the next night and tonight I’m making turkey soup with the bones and leftover meat.
4. Have been hiking in the woods with DH for free exercise.
5. Staying home and having tea together every afternoon.


LB October 23, 2018 at 7:04 am

FFT, Grand Canyon edition!

1. Flew into Phoenix to spend a day with my college roommate and her boyfriend. Slept in their guest room with a friend = no hotel.
2. Used the Phoenix local’s national park pass to get into the Grand Canyon, no fees.
3. Roommate’s boyfriend made us breakfast and sent us off hiking with lunches made. No cost!
4. Everyone split a hotel room for a grand total of $40 per person for the night.
5. We opted to stick to the cafeteria style options for the rest of our meals, saving us a lot of money skipping the nicer restaurants. We did spring for a dinner one night, which was lovely!
6. Hiking instead of jeep tours meant we saved cash but still had loads of fun and beautiful views.


naiveorbrave October 23, 2018 at 4:06 pm

This sounds like you had a lovely time – on a budget! I actually enjoy hiking much more than taking jeeps, cable cars and the like.


Jennifer October 25, 2018 at 4:15 am

I’m flying into Las Vegas in a few weeks then driving over to the Grand Canyon. I’m so excited! We are stopping a local Walmart to grab some sandwich stuff and snacks to put in the backpack. I’m sure we will eat out some but hopefully this will help.


WilliamB October 23, 2018 at 11:09 am

“How is this a “frugal thing?” My thousands of “frugal things” make this possible.”

Love this as its why I’m frugal, too. I want to spend my money on things that are meaningful to be – be they as major as a house debt-free or as minor as rocks with googly eyes – and have the rug pulled from under me when the unexpected hits.


Norma Burke October 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm

My on-going frugality has allowed us many debt-free vacations. My sons – now 36 and 37 – still talk about all the fun they had on our vacations.


KJD509 October 23, 2018 at 11:15 am

FFT, late-season vacation edition:

1) Spent the first days in a year at our beach place – no charge for lodging. And because this is the annual work weekend for the condo complex, the nights all count as “work nights” for tax purposes.
2) Until we moved to our new city, beach was 8 hours away. In the past we’ve cooked many meals, but it’s so easy to hit up some of the awesome nearby restaurants that we’ve often splurged. Realized that what we really like is the beer and truffle fries from the place across the street, so grilled dinner items brought from home and bought beer and truffle fries to take out and accompany them on our only “restaurant” night. Cooked all other meals in, mostly with food brought from home. And we live close enough now that the ice cream purchased there made it home still frozen in the cooler!
3) Long walks with the dog, kids, and husband. Weather was unexpectedly gorgeous for late October on the Oregon coast . . . we even dipped our toes in the water! Exercise is good for all of us as we continue to live cheaply in a very small space while waiting for some action in the real estate situation.
4) Speaking of houses not selling . . . got a screamingly good deal so am having the old house painted for less than it would have cost to do it ourselves. Weather is staying nice long enough to get it done, the painter is happy to be able to pay his crew for one more week (I assume they’re pretty happy, too), and he’s charging us almost nothing for the paint itself because we allowed him to pick the color. He mixed up lots of leftovers from the summer season and came up with a very fashionable taupe, saving the cost of taking it all to the hazardous material recycling. We are thrilled, and there have been more showings already.
5) No Lear jet, no gold-plated apartment. . . but I confess to dropping a couple of bucks on a billion-dollar lottery ticket.


Robyn Ritz October 24, 2018 at 1:52 am

Called about an unexpected medical bill and asked about a discount if we paid in full. We got 20% taken off and saved almost $100.00. It sure doesn’t hurt to ask.


Norma Burke October 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm

I have done this in the past. Offered to pay in full with my credit card over the phone and got 50% off. And the sad part is THEY ARE STILL MAKING MONEY.


What's Linda Cooking October 25, 2018 at 4:41 am

I am reading Mary Kay Andrews Deep Dish right now. I love her novels. They are my guilty pleasure. I did end up buying mine from my local library $2/bag sale. In the bag were a lot of like new kids books for Christmas gifts. Once done with Deep Dish, I will bring it back to the library for them to sell in their next sale.


Jill A October 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm

1. I sold some items on ebay and on facebook. Money in, crap out.
2. I took a free walk with a friend today for exercise. She gave me a container of soup which I had for lunch. Snack was free Costco samples.
3. I returned my cans for deposit, $13 in my pocket and more crap out.
4. I filled my car up with cheap gas at Costco while I was there.
5. I purchased an inexpensive rake at Menard’s. My rakes are too small. I’ll do my own leaves instead of hiring someone or buying an expensive bagger for my tractor.


Patty Fargo October 27, 2018 at 5:53 pm

I enjoy your blog. Just want to say that you don’t need to scrub your shower curtain. Throw it into the washing machine. I have been doing this with mine for years. Works good!


Katja November 6, 2018 at 12:38 am

Hi Katy, you have a daughter?? I always only read about two sons. But now you say your daughter had college fees…. ?!?


Katy November 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm

My son transitioned to female.


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