Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 29, 2018 · 64 comments

  1. My mother and I celebrated her 76th mother’s birthday by indulging in a Birthday Day of Adventures. (We’d gone to dinner last week, but I hadn’t given her a physical gift.)

    We ended up at the Linn County Historical Museum located in Brownsville, Oregon. Sure, it’s an hour and a half from Portland, but I’d briefly been there once and knew it was right up my mother’s alley. (Plus their suggested donation policy brings the admission price down to a reasonable amount.) Needless to say, it was a hit. My mother made fast friends with the curator Joni, who even snuck us in for a free quick and dirty tour of the 137-year-old Moyer House, which would’ve normally set us back $5 apiece.

    The funny thing is that I’d just been talking about how I’d always wanted to do one of those cheesy ole western photo shoots, but was too cheap to pull the trigger. ( <– Such a great pun!) And wonder of all wonders, this museum had free replica pioneer clothing available for dress ups, photo ops and shenanigans! For free! Needless, to say . . . things got silly.

    We also worked in some thrifting, (shocker, right?) hitting both the Goodwill Outlet here in Portland as well as the regular one in Albany, which has recently risen to the top to become my favorite store. (Hello, $12.99 midcentury modern desk!)

    I did pick up a few things to sell, (Snoopy mugs, Ugg slippers, a vintage macrame hanging light, a framed painting and a Nightmare Before Christmas plush) as well as a couple items to keep, (two Williams Sonoma dish towels and a specific round stacking stool that I always keep an eye out for as they’re infinitely practical as end tables/seating/bedside tables.)

  2. I sold a pair of Rothy shoes and a vintage macrame kit on eBay, as well as a pair of Danskos and (hopefully today) a pair of vintage Snoopy waterskis through Facebook Marketplace. I also gave away an Edible Arrangements kit and an embroidered pillowcase through my Buy Nothing Group.

  3. My husband has been out out town all weekend, so I cooked up a big batch of bulk purchased brown rice and black beans and have been assembling meals from it over the past couple of days. Simple, cheap and yummy, especially since I buy Costco sized jugs of chunky salsa at The Grocery Outlet for just $2.99 apiece. I could see myself being one of those people with a $50 monthly food budget if I lived alone.

  4. I finished reading my library copy of Money Diaries: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Your Finances & Everybody Elses, I rounded up a number of items I’ve been meaning to sell on eBay and actually listed them, I watched random dumpster diving YouTube videos while listing on eBay, my husband fixed our refrigerator, which was leaking water from a broken ice maker, (it’s 20 years old, and I imagine that many others would use this issue an an excuse to buy a new one) I ordered cheap pizza for dinner as our kitchen was a mess of leaking water and sopping wet towels, I used a $5-off-$15 Target coupon plus an e-coupon to buy all our Halloween candy, I saved the cost of a stamp for my mail-in ballot as I’d brought my daughter into the election office to change her address, (we Oregonians vote by mail) and I reused second hand packaging for all my eBay sales.

  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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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Marilyn October 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Love the pic of you and your Mom in old fashioned bonnets!
1. Voted by mail (Washington state). This year, no postage required, so I too saved the cost of a stamp. I am wondering if more people will vote when postage not required.
2. Sold a quilt which I bought at a yard sale for $4. Got $10 for it.
3. Used coupons and focused on sale items to get a week’s worth of groceries for just over $60. This is for 2 adults.
4. Reading books from library. Walking for exercise. Reading NCA for tips and inspiration.


Jenelle October 30, 2018 at 11:55 am

I wish more states would allow us to vote by mail. Here in PA, we have to go to an election polling place.


Lisa M. October 29, 2018 at 12:28 pm

5FF: Halloween Edition

1. Per media reports, average cost of Halloween per person: $87. We have spent ~ $30 for frozen pizzas, treats, regular pumpkin & pie pumpkin & $30 for DD’s costume, so grand total for family of 3: $60.
2. Recent grocery outing included local store for loss leaders, Aldi, big box store & local gas station. Saved $8 on items I would use anyway between manufacturer & downloaded coupons.
3. Received a reimbursement check from dental insurance after submission of DD’s dental claims from stand-alone university-based dental hygiene clinic. Success!
4. Enjoyed $98 worth of complimentary tickets from employer to fantastic concert featuring all-male a capella vocal group.
5. Saved approx. $1700 due to DD’s decision to not participate in the school district’s figure skating team this season. Majority of cost would have been trip to CA for national competition. This allowed resources to be diverted towards a school field trip to Hawaii which will count as academic credit and be DD’s graduation gift.


Lisa M. October 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Ditto other readers’ comments: your Mom looks incredibly youthful & vibrant for 76. Looks like good genes run in your family!


Gina October 29, 2018 at 4:16 pm

I asked my teenage daughters how old they thought Katy and her mom were and Katy passed for her thirties and mom about mid 50’s. I have to agree….. u both look great for your ages!


Sherri October 29, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Your mom is shockingly young looking! Bodes well for you!


Cynthia October 29, 2018 at 12:48 pm

WOW! You both look so good! Young, pretty, heathy…


Juhlin October 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Happy Birthday to your Mom!
1. Hubby cancelled our local newspaper subscription which only he read and saved us at least $480/year.
2. He also went to the dental office to question why we were just billed over $600 for a procedure that had already been paid in full. Oddly, he found out he needed a tooth implant during a January special on the procedure thus saving us a lot.
3. I used a card bought at the Friends of the Library bookstore for 10 cents. Will continue to look for cards there first.
4. Bought some needed kitchen towels on sale. Will donate old ones to the animal shelter which always needs more.
5. The usual stuff: lots of cooking at home, using my senior discount for yoga classes, checking consignment/thrift stores for needed clothing, etc.


Bee October 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm

It is so lovely that you and your mother shared a wonderful and adventurous day. It sounds like the kind of day in which memories are made.
1) I have had a terrible cold, so I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything the last few days. I read a library book and watched the British show, Antique Road Trip, on YouTube to pass the time while I rested. Since I have now entered day three of this darn cold, I am now currently reading a thrifted book from my personal collection.
2) I ate homemade chicken soup that I had in the freezer. With a little direction, my dear hubby has cooked the last two days. This is a challenge for him, for he has limited skills. However, he has made some basics yo keep food costs in line. No take out!
3) Last week, before this cold got a hold of me, I invited my adult children to dinner. They are seldom in the same place at the same time.The main course was salmon that one of my son’s friends had sent from Alaska. It was absolutely delicious! Wild salmon does not taste like store-bought fish. It was nice to have a special meal and time together.
4) I listed 36 items on eBay last week. I have sold several and like Katy used recycled boxes to ship them.
5) I used a store coupon to get $10 off a $50 gift card for gas.


tracy October 30, 2018 at 4:49 am

Bee I hope you feel better soon!


susanna d October 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I love the birthday day of adventures – and you and your mom look amazing. The bonnet picture is just too cute!

Our daughter-in-law had an out of state business meeting, and our son tagged along with her. They were gone for 5 days, so we stayed at their house. Here are my frugal adventures in babysitting:

1. While we’d hoped for nice weather, it was cold and drizzly most of the time. We did take advantage of the one nice day to pack a picnic supper and head to a county park.
2. Thankfully, our daughter-in-law had left free passes for the zoo and the museum. We spent the rainy days enjoying both.
3. We got up early one day and took a walk down to the lakefront to watch an incredible sunrise. Priceless!
4. Baked cookies using ingredients that they already had. Both grandkids love to bake – and they love to eat what they baked even more.
5. My favorite – I got to share the “toothpaste tube trick” with my grandson. He and his sister both use kids toothpastes but each one likes a different flavor. Grandson realized at bedtime one night that he was out of toothpaste. Or so he thought. I told him to bring me the tube and a scissors. And while he still argued that there was no more toothpaste in the tube, he was curious about the scissors part. I cut open the tube and he was absolutely amazed at how much toothpaste was left in there. To him it was like a great magic trick – one that he rushed off to show his grandfather (who pretended he’d never seen it before). And when his parents came home he made sure to share this discovery with them. Another seed of frugality has been planted.

Reply October 30, 2018 at 9:33 am

A seed has been planted indeed. It should grow into a mighty oak! Good job.


Christine October 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm

1. I was craving a hot coffee as DH and I were doing errands today. I fought it off and I’m glad I did. We had coffee and tea on the back deck and enjoyed watching the colors as the sun set with a hot drink in hand.
2. I had grandkids and one of their friends over last Thursday. As we were driving by McDonalds the friend said “I wish we could stop for food.” Fast forward to an hour later and kids were happily chowing down on homemade pancakes and bacon.
3. I’m wearing my fleece jacket with a broken zipper as a pullover. The cost of getting it repaired was too much and I love the jacket. so it became a new kind of jacket.
4. Spent Saturday making Swedish meatballs and Swedish Almond Cake for a friend’s daughter’s Confirmation. Nice time…lots of food and friends at her house on Sunday.
5. No new anything and things are good.


CarolineRSA October 30, 2018 at 8:32 am

Pancakes and bacon beat McD’s Every. Single. Time!


Cynthia October 29, 2018 at 3:47 pm

I’m thinking why it’s important to stay with these frugal practices that honor the makers of objects, and the energy and food of the earth, and people’s connections as we use and conserve all we have. In a time like this, after the shootings in the synagogue and the Dunkin’ Donuts (no place is safe, from sacred to secular) and the mail bombs caught in time, we know we’re connected to it all. And it’s strengthening to return to our circles of control, what we actually touch and know, and to bear witness that life is good.


janine October 29, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Thank you for this lovely post.


Lisa M. October 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm

You are a wordsmith. Yes, it’s all about our connections with each other & the physical environment & being a steward of both relationships & limited resources.


Patricia Koernig October 30, 2018 at 1:59 am

Thank you for your words.
Grace to you.


Mrs. Picky Pincher October 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Sounds like a frugal week to me! Happy birthday to your mom!

This week:

1. I used a coupon to get a $6 haircut (price is normally $16 before tip).

2. I used another coupon to get a free slice of pizza from the local gas station. It wasn’t amazing, but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

3. My sister in law came over on Sunday and we cooked several meals in her Instant Pot.

4. I pre-cooked a few things, like chocolate matcha bites and breakfast burritos, to get me out of my food funk as of late.

5. I used the gym membership provided by my insurance to get out of the house and score a little bit of exercise.


Dana Wood October 29, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Blue wave baby !


Cynthia October 29, 2018 at 4:28 pm



Christine October 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Midterms coming soon! Feeling hopeful for the first time in two years! Go Blue!


Norma Burke October 29, 2018 at 4:21 pm

1. With a $105 rebate from Costco, purchased $108 in groceries for $3. Perfect timing as I will be having surgery and wanted to fill the freezer with easy meals for my husband to fix.
2. Found three pictures at my Goodwill for less than $20. They will be perfect in my living room as we have a travel/lighthouse theme.
3. Were supposed to go on a 10-day bus trip but because of medical issues have to cancel. Thankfully we had purchased the travel insurance so will not be out any money.
4. Eating lots of leftovers split between DH and me.
5. Purchased cold meds at CVS for $8.69 and got $12 in coupons that I will use. Free money!!!


tia October 29, 2018 at 4:45 pm

One of the greatest things I learned from your site is: Put a pound of beans and some water in a slow cooker!
They turn out perfect…creamy, delicious, and beautiful…endless easy and quick meals….so cheap and healthy.
I don’t really keep track but I spend around 50 bucks a month on my food.
And since it’s just food there is very little packaging so hardly any trash.
Lots of wins. Thanks Katy!


Jenny October 29, 2018 at 7:49 pm

I hate to sound dumb, but is there a recipe for beans in the slow-cooker? I’ve cooked dry beans before (stove and oven) and only had success about half of the time. I’d like to try different kinds of beans in the slow-cooker.


Roberta October 30, 2018 at 6:35 am

If your beans are old (either they’ve been at your house too long, or on the store shelf) they may not soften. Otherwise, I soak them overnight (-ish), then drain them, then put them in the crockpot with water to cover. A lot of water if they’re chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Put them on high for half a day or low all day and that’s it!


tia October 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

I just wash the beans and dump them in the crockpot with water(enough to cover the beans by 2 or 3 inches). I put them on high and check later to see if they need more water. When they are done I freeze them in 2 cup batches and thaw as needed.


Danielle C November 1, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I’ve had success with this, and as easy as it is, I look up the recipe… EVERY SINGLE TIME… 😉


Jenny November 1, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for the bean-cooking tips!


Midwest Beth October 29, 2018 at 5:03 pm

1. Scored a desk and matching shelf for my daughter while driving down the street. Couldn’t get the desk in the car so daughter walked/carried it all the way to our house. Did I mention it was raining? She is excited to use it in her room. 😉
2. Through my part-time job daughter and me are attending WW for free. Had I paid would have cost $300. We are on our third week. It’s been good to learn together and fun to track our points through the phone app.
3. Doing really well on Swagbucks – over 4,400 points and completed my first SWAGO board today.
4. Working a few extra hours tomorrow evening for my part-time job and going to a training on Election Day (I have the day off from my full-time job without pay) so will make up the days pay plus a few extra bucks. 😉
5. Got $10 of $50 purchase at Pet Supplies Plus saving on our dogs food buy purchasing the big bag; couponing both paper and digital knocking off a chunck of our household and grocery bills (bought half off Halloween candy and $1 coupon on the same bag) – tracked this month saved over $226 my all new high – and thats not including the free WW memberships; doing grocery store surveys every 7 days from shopping earning 50 extra gas points averaging 15 to 30 cents off per gallon of gas by doing the survey.
6. Frugal Fail/Win: Sunday treated teen daughter to fall color trip out to a apple orchard 45 minutes away each way. Even through the rain the trees were pretty, loved the spots of color. A friend recommended a no frills cider mill where we spurged on regular apples and honey crisp for $9 a bag, cinamon donuts, hot apple cider, carmel apples for later and saved on $3 huge pumpkins to carve. It was fun to get out and we were able to support our local farmers.


MamaMinou October 29, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I was ridiculously excited to read this post, since I got married on the steps of the Moyer House 22 years ago! I don’t live in Brownsville, but loved the town and house after a visit for their historic festival. It was a good choice too—the judge drove up in his pickup truck and cowboy hat, and went around the truck to slip on his official robe. Good memories.

Also, I can see where you get your youthful genes. What a nice mom-daughter picture.


Ruby October 29, 2018 at 5:58 pm

aty, you and your mom look so young!

1. Took all the fruit and vegetables that were wilting a bit and turned them into banana-nut muffins, homemade applesauce and Cajun-style pork roast with diced sweet peppers, celery, onion and carrots. The roast was unearthed from the depths of our chest freezer.
2. Drove three weeks on $12 worth of gasoline.
3. Picked up some discounted groceries at Save-a-Lot that dropped our usual expense by $20.
4. Rescued some almond milk coupons from under the grate in the milk case. Saved $3.
5. The Mister gets points for using the home warranty to get our 9 year old clothes dryer repaired for $60. The repairman pronounced it in excellent shape afterward.


Mindy October 29, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Eeek! I hope that Joni the curator doesn’t get into trouble since you outed her for giving you a free tour. Maybe that’s not her real name? 😉

My husband has become an expert at fixing our ice maker (thanks to You Tube videos), which clogs and freezes up a few times a year. The fridge is 12 years old but we are going to keep for as long as possible.


Katy October 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Happy Birthday Katy’s mom!

1. Went to a thrift store and got a $3 skirt for my daughter, 2 camis for me 50 cents each and an unopened pack of thank you cards for a dollar.
2. Saw on our consignment store account we have $4.56 credit!
3. Stitched a hole in the seam of my daughter’s pants so she can keep wearing them.
4. Still working on slowly bit surely adding to my swagbucks and Ibotta.
5. Ate leftovers for lunch.


kathleen October 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm

1. Cancelled our fall vacation plans in favor of little trips closer to home while the hubs has time off. 2019 vacation fund will benefit!
2. Made inside out egg rolls for supper, and added leftover rice from a few nights ago to use it up and stretch the meal.
3. Working on handmade Christmas gifts. This alone will help downsize my craft supply stash. LOL
4. Bought boneless/skinless chicken breasts on sale today and promptly put them in the slow cooker when I got home. Before bed I will shred part and dice the rest. I love having pre-cooked meat in the fridge and freezer for headstarts on meals…chicken tacos, chicken soup, chicken casseroles. Yes!
5. Reading a library ebook on my old Kindle. Love that I can continue reading the books after turning off the wifi to the Kindle. The books get returned to the library from my Kindle account, but are still accessible to me with no fines incurred.


tia November 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm

I’m new to the crockpot and have only made beans so far. I tried chicken after reading your post. Amazing. I bought the large 5 pound pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts and piled them in the crockpot with 1 cup of chicken broth and set it to high. After 4 hours I used the meat thermometer and they were done. This will really make meals easier. Thanks!


Bethany M October 29, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Eating at home
Prioritizing leftovers
Used Consumer Medical (paid for through employer) to find a better bariatric surgeon. Going to collect the $400 incentive Visa card for using them. Plus they sent me a cookbook and one other book.
Repotted my basil and brought it inside to live in my kitchen window.
Repotted a portion of my mint and gave to a friend.


Cindy in the South October 30, 2018 at 5:01 am

Your mom (and you) look fabulous! What are my five frugal…uh…1. Brought my lunch. 2. Spent $25 on food for week. 3. Cleaned my rather nasty house. 4. Renewed for $25 my month to month prepaid phone. 5. Listened to radio….so nothing “new”… same old stuff, which is probably frugal by itself.


tracy October 30, 2018 at 5:09 am

itto to all who commented on how youthful Katy and her Mom look!

Speaking of Moms, my mom and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Rome for her 80th birthday. While certainly not frugal, we did several things to keep costs down.
1. Stayed in a beautiful spacious Airbnb in a real “Roman” neighborhood (not touristy) for less than the price of a hotel room.
2. Ate two dinners and most breakfasts in.
3. Walked and took public almost everywhere except taxi to/from airport. Cost of passes = 24 euros (about $28) each for the entire week.
4. Concentrated our activities mostly on free things — walking, people watching, many beautiful churches full of art, public markets, piazzas, fountains, parks etc. Paid to go to four art museums and one archeological site (the magnificent Domus Aurea, which is still an active archeological site and which may be visited only on the weekends on a guided tour with an archeologist) — a total of about $100 each for all activities which we thought was worth it.
5. Ate inexpensively at mostly neighborhood type trattorias with delicious pasta, pizza etc. It was a carb heavy week of eating for me as I love Roman pasta — had pasta carbonara four times! So. Good. And only about $10-12 a plate, no tip required.

We had gorgeous mid-70s weather and made priceless memories. My mom did great, lots of walking and sightseeing. As others have noted on here, one of the reasons I try to live relatively frugally is to be able to spend on the things that matter most to me one of which is travel.

Now I have to get back on the frugal wagon and start saving to build up my completely depleted travel fund! Happy Halloween everyone.

P.S. We visited the Jewish Ghetto in Rome (a lovely area) and learned a bit about the atrocities that befell the Roman Jews, like so many others in Europe, historically and before and during WW II. Now, with the horrible events at Tree of Life, my heart goes out to those killed and maimed, those left behind, and all Jewish people everywhere. We need to love and stand up for one another as never before if we don’t want to repeat the atrocities of the past.


Bee October 30, 2018 at 5:24 am

What a wonderful trip! So glad to hear that you enjoyed yourselves.


Christine October 30, 2018 at 5:40 am

I agree we have to remember the past as to not repeat it. Has anyone on this blog ever visited The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.? Informative and alarming all at once. A must see for our youth in America. Just make sure you bring tissues…


Lindsey October 30, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for mentioning the Holocaust Museum. My parents survived the camps (spent their middle teen years in them) and then two years in a displaced persons camp before making it to the U.S. Until the day he died my father stood up when he heard the national anthem, even if it was on the radio or TV before a game, he was so grateful to the American and British soldiers who liberated his camp. Years later I was working for an agency in Anchorage and one of my colleagues and I happened to start talking about the Holocaust—it turned out his British father was in one of the first groups to arrive at the camp where my father was. Every time I hear someone say they are not going to bother to vote, I want to force them to go through that museum. Anyway, thanks for the plug, in case some folks have not heard of it.


Mand01 October 30, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Australian here. I have worked with refugees in the past, had many colleagues that were refugees, who escaped persecution, war and torture, and now live in Australia, and now are people I count as friends.
Australia does not have a great record in this area either (google ‘Pacific Solution’ and ‘Nauru’ if you want to understand it) – my experience is that people really lack an understanding of what people really have gone through. Listening to the experiences of other people, whether in the Holocaust, or more recently, is critical, as well as visiting museums like you suggest. The stories of my colleagues and friends have stayed with me and will stay with me my whole life. I feel privileged that they shared them with me, and even more privileged that I have been able to live my whole life without experiencing such terror and loss.


Katy October 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm

My recently deceased uncle was in a troop that liberated a concentration camp in WWII. A sweet young Jewish kid from Pittsburgh. My father and I were just talking about it’s good that he didn’t have to bear witness to this week’s massacre.


ouvickie October 30, 2018 at 7:39 am

Wow, sounds like a wonderful trip and you did so well staying on budget!
Thankfully, it sounds like you made it home before all the bad weather hit over there, too.


Lisa crissey October 30, 2018 at 5:36 am

The pair of Rothy’s is a score! Your timing was perfect, after all the press around Megan Markle. Definitely don’t see those on the East Coast, at least not yet.

My nephew is in a residential school and loves to get postcards. I scored a ton for free at an estate sale – at the end, everything originally priced $0.50 is free. That lot included postcards with images of Vermont, where I recently traveled. I brought them with me and was so glad I did – the post cards there were $4 each!

I’m traveling for work now, which means eating out. It’s helpful for budgeting as I enjoy eating out occasionally. At least I’m doing it on the company dime.


janine October 30, 2018 at 6:15 am

1. Replaced one car with a more reliable model. Hybrid for gas savings.
2. Saved on hotel bills by using Expedia points.
3. Enjoyed free breakfasts and used hotel shampoos etc. while traveling.
4. Purchased sports hat for older son. Otherwise limited souvenirs to needed items.
5. Frugal habits of menu planning, budgeting, and batching errands together for one car trip continue. This helps enable us to contribute to causes and candidates who need our support this fall
Katy: Great picture with your mom!


nancy from mass October 30, 2018 at 6:16 am

Happy Birthday to your Mom!

1. On a whim, i bought 2 $5 scratch tickets yesterday ( i buy them every now and then) and won $110. I put that money aside for a trip next month to NYC.
2. Saturday I picked up birthday freebies on various cards before they ran out. a small cheese pizza at Papa Ginos (lasted 2 meals) and panera – sugar cookie decorated like a pumpkin and i had an email from work for them for a free pastry so i chose a cinnamon roll for DS.
3. took advantage of a great sale on butter that i could add coupons to. spent $1.77 each on 8 pounds of butter. I have them in the freezer now. should last a while…
4. stopped at the Indian store to buy scallions, cukes, lemons, limes and serrano peppers. (spent less than $4). Tip of the day: don’t blow your nose after chopping up serranos’ until you’ve washed your hands about a thousand times. Holy Crap! i even soaked a paper towel in milk to hold against my nose. took about 15 minutes for my eyes to stop watering and my nose to not burn like hell.
5. i’ve been drinking water with slices of lemon/limes. mmm.


Roberta October 30, 2018 at 6:47 am

1. I rescued bananas, beets and mangos out of the waste-veg I get from the local foodbank (for the chickens). The bananas are already banana bread. The rest of the waste-veg is feeding animals.
2. Made creamed spinach and kohlrabi out of waste-veg kohlrabi. No one knew what to do with a kohlrabi, so they gave it to me. I didn’t know what to do with it, but I did know how to use Pinterest! It was yummy and eaten up, and if I get any more, I’ll be able to use it.
3. Took my daughter to get her flu shot at the same time I went to get my TB test read. I now have an appointment to take my application to the school district to begin subbing!
4. We’re staying home for Halloween, and we probably won’t have trick-or-treaters. The kids made their costumes for school out of stuff we have (my son built his own sonic screwdriver! It lights up!), and we’ll eat candy and pumpkin pie and junk food from Costco while we watch movies at home. Maybe $15 spent on food for a family of four!
5. Taking my son to get his driver’s license today! Not frugal, but exciting for him. Also getting a replacement driver’s license for me, since I lost mine. Combining trips!


Bee October 30, 2018 at 7:56 am

Kohlrabi makes an excellent slaw for tacos. It has a similar textured when julienned to jicama. I get them from time to time in my farm basket.


ouvickie October 30, 2018 at 6:51 am

1) A vendor supplied free pizza from Papa John’s yesterday, so that’s what lunch consisted of.
2) My grandson had earned Gamefly bucks and wanted to keep the game he’d just received as a rental. We applied the gamefly bucks to that purchase and brought the PS4 game down to about $20. I told him that counts as one of his birthday gifts, since he turned 21 yesterday. I’d bought him a camo hat and a cool looking metal cross for his room, a few months back. My daughter wrapped them for me and gave them to him yesterday on his birthday.
3) I have an I.T. conference on Thursday and volunteered to man the OKWIT booth for an hour. I’m hoping the free registration includes lunch that day.
4) Gas has come down 7 cents a gallon, in the past few days, so I filled up this morning. I hope the cheaper prices last.
5) Nothing gold plated bought here in years.


LB October 30, 2018 at 7:32 am

1. Cooked dinner purely out of the freezer and fridge with no extra ingredients needed. BF balked at leftover salad from last Friday for lunch today but I’m much less discerning (also, it’s fine!)

2. Halloween costume reused from last year; still feel like a million bucks.

3. In NYC for the weekend and crashed on couches! No hotels, please.

4. Going to bed early this week. How is this frugal? Knowing I need to be in bed by 10 pm instead of midnight means I’m home earlier and less likely to be tempted to eat out, head to a bar, or grab a snack.

5. Beginning to clear out our fridge and freezer to get ready to host thanksgiving. Hardly frugal knowing the bill coming our way, but getting excited to see the back of the freezer!


Elizabeth October 30, 2018 at 9:57 am

1. Made Wizard of Oz decorations and costumes for our church’s trunk or treat
2. Mostly scavenged together costumes to wear for character day at our homeschool co-op (my kids could not/would not wear their Wizard of Oz costumes….witches are forbidden at this church apparently and lions are not cool enough for 6 yr old boys….)
3. Bought huge bags of suckers to give as treats at the event (way cheaper than chocolate!)
4. Received a free doctor’s visit due to medical coding loopholes
5. Signed up to join a free low carb accountability group on Facebook…good health=big savings over time:)


krystal October 30, 2018 at 10:06 am

1. I love love love saunas and spas, and on a recent business trip to Vegas I was at a hotel with an awesome spa. I ended up paying $30 for 2 visits, as opposed to the $110 it would have normally cost. I asked for a discount due to the fact our company was doing business there, and one of the days received an additional discount due to a pool being repaired. I didn’t want to spend more than $30 due to budget constraints, so made myself a fabulous bath in the hotel room for the cost of $0.
2. Picked up a secret shop at a nice restaurant for date night this week, so the net will be +$15 for me. Earning money for date night!
3. I cancelled a cheap trip I had looming in January. I otherwise would have kept it because it was such a D E A L to a place I’m not sure I would ever splurge on but wanted to visit. However, due to a family illness, we don’t want to be out of the country. And due to a itinerary change, I was due a full refund if I wanted, based on the airlines terms. I spent time on the phone guaranteeing my refund, and then pressed again when they forgot to refund my seat fees. I received every last dollar back! I love a vacation deal, but I also love being able to be at home when necessary.
4. Picking up more work at one of my contract–and stuffing all that extra cash at the end of the month into my SEP IRA. My checking account won’t see a dime of it so I won’t be tempted to spend it or budget it into my monthly cashflow. The work takes minimal time out of my day, and I can incorporate into my current work hours.
5. Mail-in free postage voting in WA as well.


Mutt October 30, 2018 at 10:43 am

1. I was trying to edit a powerpoint for an Ethics course I am teaching and my edits were disabled because I apparently needed to renew my Microsoft Office license. I was just about to shell out the hundred plus dollars for my subscription when I remembered hearing that anyone with a .edu email address (students or teachers) gets 5 free licenses. I teach at two universities so I have free access to 10!
2. Needed a stage light (or something along those lines) for the Open Mic Nights I run on campus- none of the students could film their friends in the low light. Rather than blow our whole budget on fancy tech gear I stopped by a thrift store and I found some lights that will work just fine. While there I also picked up a few cargo pants for one of my boys who is super picky about what he wears (it’s more of a comfort thing than a style thing- which I totally get). We get TONS of hand me downs (halelujah!) but they each have their preferences.
3. Roasted a chicken which fed our family, then put the bones & meat in a stockpot with some ginger, celery, onions, garlic & bay leaves to make broth. My husband will cook up a pot of matzoh ball soup next weekend for another meal.
4. Packing up a ThredUp box to send out. I have gotten over $200 in credit for clothes I’ve consigned there. I used to sell on Ebay and Craigslist but it just stopped being fun. With four kids and two jobs I have other priorities. It always kills me though when I’m out at a thrift store and see something I know I could make a profit on.
5. Got a $25 Amazon gift card for reviewing a textbook and software. FYI Amazon also give a free trial of Prime for those with a .edu account. It was supposed to be 6 months but mine is going on a year or more now and I still haven’t gotten charged!

I speak to so many amazing young students every day and I always tell them at the end of every term that I have learned so much from them. While it’s easy to get disheartened or bitter in this political & social climate, I have faith in this next generation. The majority of them, in my experience, have wide open minds and incredible empathy for those who are suffering. I believe we are in good hands as their turn to become the establishment arises. Don’t ever change, I always say- stay passionate, optimistic & inspired.


Mand01 October 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

It’s been such a non-frugal eight weeks around here, I probably have no right to comment at all. We have just had bill after bill lately, but I have been very busy and have also taken my foot off the pedal a bit. Time to mix my metaphors, and tighten things up around here.
Have managed a few things:
1. Bought a new dishwasher, paid cash, got a discount as it was the floor model. Our old one was a cheapo model that is actually rusting.
2. Still picking broccoli and just finished picking the broad beans from the garden. We have frozen the last of that crop for another time.
3. I have two black tie events next month. Searching the thrift stores to find dresses. I have one dress that might be ok, but I need one more – one of the events is next level and this dress will not cut it. Annoying since I’ve almost made it to the end of the year without buying any clothes.
4. Was offered a freelance job yesterday.
5. Taking lunch to work, trying to cook at home as much as possible, growing 50% of our vegetables, trying hard to break the latte habit that has popped up again.


Kara October 30, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Regarding the dress for black tie event-it can be worth checking at bridal/formal wear stores. I bought a floor length formal gown for our son’s wedding last year for $25. It was on sale at a formal wear store. It’s a classic style and I have hopes of wearing it to our other 2 kids weddings when the time comes! (One daughter will think that’s great. One will probably think that’s awful)


Mand01 October 30, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Thanks for the tip – I will have a look there


Isitaneedorawant October 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm

I purchased a dress for an event like you describe at a consignment shop.
Reconsigned it the following year for more than I paid.


Crosby October 30, 2018 at 11:22 am

1. I’ve been working away at a Christmas present for my Gram that I’m crocheting using many different skeins of yarn that I got from my Buy Nothing Group.
2. My partner and I entered to win a free week of camping…it turned out to be a sales pitch for a member’s only campground. We attended the info session, took the tour, and walked away with the gifts we’d “won” – a $50 AmEx gift card, a free week at the campground, and two nights at one of their sister locations – without falling to sales pressure and purchasing a membership.
3. My car will be paid off in November! I’m going to continuing making “car payments” to my savings account to fund future maintenance, repairs, and a new-to-me car when one in needed (hopefully not for at least another 5 years!!).
4. My partner and I spent Sunday batch cooking ALL meals for the week! It was his idea as he wants to start eating healthier. I love it because it keeps us from grabbing meals out and it helps us limit food waste.
5. I have 2 events this week for coworkers – a happy hour and a lunch. I’ll be attending both but I’ll get eating ahead of time and getting the cheapest thing possible to help celebrate.


Jenelle October 30, 2018 at 12:06 pm

1. DS did not want to wear his original halloween costume (fireman) to his cub scout party, so we dug out his old Mickey Mouse costume and he wore it. He wore it two years ago and the top did not fit, so I found an old (zipper broken) jacket that he could wear. Worked perfectly because the party was outside on a cold day.
2. Forced myself to take pictures of an Ebay item that has been in my spare room for months…it sold in 3 days at full asking price. I really need to stop procrastinating.
3. Slowly crossing off Christmas gift list with each paycheck.
4. eating at home and packing lunches…all the same
Frugal Fail: yet another 2 medical bills arrived for my son’s tonisil surgery. I honestly don’t know how we’ll get them all paid. I’ll keep trying harder on Ebay to help pay them off.


Jill A October 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm

1. I went out to dinner Saturday night but instead of buying drinks we had a glass of wine beforehand at home.
2. My daughter and I made a huge batch of friend rice for her to take back to school with her. It should provide several meals for her this week. I made extra rice that I am using to make myself burrito bowls.
3.I bought another carbon monoxide detector. The price on Amazon had gone up about $10. I found the same one at Home Depot for $15 less.
4.I’m raking my own leaves using my new $8 rake instead of the $1600 bagger for my tractor which would make my life easier.
5. I’ve listed a few more items on ebay. Every little bit helps.


Jennifer October 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Sounds like a great day with your mom!

1) Baked and pureed 2 pie pumpkins I had gotten for $1.49 each. I got 3 ice cube trays of pumpkin and 5 cups for muffins. I also roasted the seeds and got almost a quart worth!
2) Kids are going trick or treating with mostly costumes we had on hand. I have to dress up for work (I work in an elementary school), so I splurged on a $14 Wonder Woman costume that I can wear for years to come and my older dd will wear it Trick or treating this year. I did buy candy on sale for $1.50 per bag. Total spent on Halloween was $20.
3) Scheduling in some specialist DR appointments in the next 2 months after we have met our deductible for the year.
4) Traveled last weekend for the last college visit. I saved my tip money to cover our on the road expenses. We packed snacks even though we were flying and ate them all by the end of our trip and did not buy a single snack. Yay!
5) I really didn’t want to cook dinner tonight, but forced myself. We now have leftovers for lunch tomorrow too. Win-win for sure. We borrowed books from the library. I found nice winter boots online for my dd for only $33. Fed the rapidly going bad salad greens to my rabbit in an effort to not have it be a total waste.


Tonya November 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

1) I made a free Halloween costume of things I already had at home.
2) Packing lunches and making coffee at work.
3) Going to use cash only this month for some of the budget catgories that we have been overspending lately.
4) I have a$55 cash back at Ibotta to redeem. This has been accumulated over the last several months just a few minutes per week. I plan to use it towards Christmas.
5) Trying to meal plan from what we have on hand.


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