Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 26, 2018 · 61 comments

  1. I sold a few items through eBay, including a new-in-box NBA robe, a sparkly Barbie outfit, a load of midcentury tapered table legs, a Hanna Andersson jacket, three Starbucks mugs and some miscellaneous board game pieces. Needless to say, all packaging was on its second (or third) life.

    Curious about whether your items are worth listing on eBay? Check out this piece I wrote for

  2. My son was home from college for Thanksgiving break, so we drove up to my father’s Mt. Hood cabin so he could spend some time with his grandparents. We broke up the hour-long trip with a stop into the Sandy, Oregon Goodwill, where my son picked out a new looking corduroy shirt and I pounced on a leather footstool that was the exact match to my husband’s Lane brand armchair. (Seriously folks, it’s the same brand, style and color!) I’d picked up a similar-ish footstool awhile back, but its vinyl had begun peeling like crazy which looked like crap.

    Goodwill was selling the chair/footstool combo for just $6.99, but I chose to just buy the footstool as that’s all that I needed. And since the price was so reasonable, I didn’t even attempt to bargain them down.

    I have a theory that every item ever manufactured eventually shows up at Goodwill, and so far this theory has yet to be disproven.

  3. I didn’t look for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals on the internet. 50% off is still 50% that you’re paying. My husband and I have had an extremely expensive year with his medical bills and the kids’ college tuition. Now is not the time loosen any purse strings. Plus, there’s nothing we need. If anything, we need less.

    Instead, we’ve been completely content gorging on enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers and taking full advantage of the free opportunities that present themselves.

  4. I spent five days in New York City helping my sister move. (She’s in an intensive graduate school program, which limits her time resources.) My mother booked the trip, so my only related expenses were $25 to ship my suitcase and a few random extras such as gasoline for the truck, a single airport meal, a couple slices of pizza and one diner breakfast. It was a challenging visit, made no better by a big ol’ snowstorm, but I’m proud of the amount that we did accomplish.

    For reference as to how focused this trip was, I drove a carload of my sister’s stuff to Goodwill and didn’t step foot into the store!! Shocking.

  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany M November 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Well dinner last night got called “adequate” by my mother-in-law. It was on the frugal side of things.

Deposited some gifts we had been given for our 11th anniversary, and it allowed our credit card payment go through. I was sweating it, as we’ve never carried a balance.

Dinner on the corporate ladder’s check this week as a thank you for a busy week. Getting to meet some people I’ve never met before too. I’d love it if they proposed a move away from this overly priced piece of the country!!! They also are getting us a room for the night since the dinner will be a way from the house. Only our 3rd time to be away from the kids for a night since our first was born 9 years ago.

Scored a $10 teepee for my son for Christmas present this year. Second hand but in great shape.

Helped my FIL with some free tech advice while he was here.


Bethany November 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm

*busy year*


A. Marie November 27, 2018 at 11:22 am

At least your MIL called your cooking “adequate.” Mine used less flattering terms for years–until I actually got interested in cooking via the late lamented Two Fat Ladies and started turning out respectable fare. Then my MIL, on being presented with something that was actually savory, would get wide-eyed and exclaim, “You’re becoming quite a cook!” This has become a catchphrase around here, although she’s been gone for almost 10 years.


lisa November 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm

I loved the two fat ladies…


Nicola November 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

I walked past a very similar chair and footstool in our local Value Village (Goodwill) last week for $69.99. Bit of a difference!!


Stephanie November 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

You find the best things! I know it helps to go often; I used to do that when I lived in Tennessee; our Goodwills there were reasonably priced and had decent clothing. Not so much for either where I live now.

1. Most of what I made for Thanksgiving dinner (to take to my mom’s), I already hand on hand.

2. I’ve been knitting my daughter some holiday gifts out of yarn that was given to me. All it’s taken is my time!

3. I made homemade Febreeze. It definitely helped freshen my son’s stinky room.

4. My mother and aunt gave me their Kohl’s cash that they weren’t able to use before it expired, and I was able to get some MUCH needed items. Super awesome!

5. I cooked dinner even on the nights I was exhausted and really didn’t feel like cooking. Yay me!


A. Marie November 27, 2018 at 11:23 am

Could you be persuaded to share your recipe for homemade Febreze? Inquiring minds want to know.


Angel November 27, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Yes, can you please share your Febreeze recipe?


susanna d November 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

1. Drove down to spend the holiday with our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Used a $1 off gasoline coupon and topped the car with gas from the cheapest station up here. Brought food to eat at roadside parks on the way down and the way home. Cheaper, healthier and tastier.
2. While their thanksgiving tradition is normally Thai takeout, this year all the Thai restaurants were closed. Son made turkey tacos – much cheaper, and for the first time in years we actually had some manner of turkey on thanksgiving.
3. Both our son and daughter-in-law were off work Friday and the grandkids were off school. Son suggested going downtown to ride the new streetcar (it’s free the first year). Along with many other people, we piled on the street car for the 2 mile ride.
4. Not a penny was spent while downtown (although I found several pennies). After departing the streetcar, we walked back to the car, sightseeing along the way. Enjoyed the nice weather, saw our son’s new office, showed the grandkids where we used to work pre-retirement, back when we lived in the city – as well as the downtown apartment building where we lived VERY briefly in between selling our home down there and moving up here. Then we walked through a park and looked at all the trees that were decorated with trimmings made by children from various schools in the city. It was a wonderful afternoon.
5. Did spend money going out to dinner one night, but frugality allows us to spend money on things that are important to us by NOT spending on things that don’t matter. Besides, Cuban restaurants do not exist up where we live. Everyone loved the food, and seeing our granddaughter do a 4 year old’s idea of salsa dancing provided great -and free – dinner theater for us as well as several other diners.


Jenn November 26, 2018 at 2:12 pm

I feel like your Goodwill is less pricey than mine…that footstool with the chair would have easily been about $40. I wish they’d be more uniform (in my favor) with their pricing.


Rhonda November 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm

I know it would cost more here, too. Our GW used to have reasonable prices, but since thrifting became trendy, it – and all of the thrift stores here – have significantly increased their prices.


Mand01 November 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

1. I’ve been working, working, working.
2. I’ll be working, working, working until Christmas. All work means not much time to spend.
3. I was paid for a freelance gig. I was going to buy myself a present for l my hard work but honestly I couldn’t think of anything I wanted. So I just left it in the bank.
4. We held three parties for my daughter’s graduation from school and we didn’t go over the budget we set.
5. Packing lunch, making coffee at work.


Roberta November 27, 2018 at 7:42 am

Are you working toward a goal? I’m substitute teaching toward an early retirement: pay off car, then use that money to pay off the mortgage, then reduce expenses/save up so we can retire early. My fantasy life when retired is my reward for extra income!


Mand01 November 27, 2018 at 11:50 am

Short term I want to renovate our bathroom and take our kids to New Zealand next year. Longer term I want to pay off our house early and retire in 12 years.


Roberrta November 28, 2018 at 6:49 am

Ooooh, New Zealand! That will be so exciting! I’d love to go there!


Mand01 November 29, 2018 at 4:57 am

It’s very beautiful. My husband was born there. Of course it’s close by to us (we call it going across the ditch). I’ve only been once, very briefly. I’m looking forward to going for a proper visit and meeting my husband’s extended family.

Ava November 26, 2018 at 3:08 pm

1. Picked all the green tomatoes before the first frost and am eating them as they ripen.
2. Started on the big pile of mending that accumulated while I was working on items for craft shows. So far, I have repaired 2 pairs of pants and shortened the sleeves on a jacket.
3. Brought home the turkey carcass from the family dinner and cooked it in the crock pot overnight. It produced 2 quarts of delicious broth that is now in the freezer waiting for someone to need soup. A surprising amount of meat fell off the bones even though I thought they had been well picked. It is pretty flavorless and tough after cooking all night but the dogs love it. They are eating it mixed with some noodles we don’t like and some freezer burned broccoli.
4. I agree with Katy that eventually one of every item will show up at Goodwill. Last winter we priced puzzle mats and decided we didn’t need one enough to spend $25 on it. Yesterday I found one at Goodwill for 2.99, minus 10% discount. That is a very acceptable price, and it came with a puzzle.
5. Can’t think of anything new at the moment, but today I made a gal. of iced tea at home, fluffed out the previously used Christmas tree, had a date with my husband that consisted of picking up a carload of free firewood and having lunch out, and requested 3 books from the library. When my husband said his back hurt, I gave him a hot homemade rice pack to put on it.


Julia Park Tracey November 26, 2018 at 4:29 pm

I just picked the rest of the green tomatoes, too! I can’t believe it’s almost December and they are still flowering. The yellow pear tomatoes (bite-size) are still going. Unfortunately, we live in a canyon and the sun barely peeks above the rim of trees in midwinter, so they will never ripen. Enjoying fresh tomatoes while we can.


Bee November 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

1) I sold 4 items on eBay over the weekend. All were purchased from the Goodwill for resale purposes. I also shipped them primarily using reclaimed and recycled materials. I spent some time on Friday listing a few items and will list several more tonight and tomorrow.

2) Although I was not responsible for cooking the entire Thankshiving feast, I was in charge of desserts. Since I was a bit indecisive this year, I had a strange assortment of food items left in the pantry and the refrigerator. I made a concerted effort to use these items up and to eat the leftovers. My son and husband dutifully ate the pumpkin and apple pie for breakfast. – with np complaints. We put leftover whip cream and pumpkin pie spice in our morning coffee. I also made a quiche using the 1/2 and 1/2. Use it up!

3) Sadly, we did not participate in the annual 5k Turkey Trot. The entrance fee increased this year to $30 per person from the historically frugal amount of $30 a family. :-(. It would have cost us $120 to run. So my dear hubby and I took two long walk on Wednesday and Thursday and saved our money. Hopefully, this exercise helped to counter act the effects of my second frugal thing mentioned above.

4, I must confess that I took part in one of the Black Friday sales. I bought a Fit Bit at one of the big box stores for $50 less than list price. Normally, I do not do this type of thing, but I felt that this was necessary for two reason first, I have sinus tachycardia and the cause has remained a mystery. I am hoping that if I am able to track my heart rate over time a pattern may emerge. Secondly, my husbands employer puts additional funds in our HSA and gives us a health insurance rebate if we exercise regularly. However, we must have a tracking device. This could be a $1000 a year benefit.

5) Of course , I have been doing all the usual things. Drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, cooking from scratch, wearing thrifted clothes,reading wonderful library books, streaming our television entertainment and enjoying the outdoors. But most of all. I have felt a great deal of gratitude this Thankshiving. So many in my home state of Floida have been left homeless and their lives forever changed by Hurricane Michael. Thousands in California and North Carolina have endured similar tragedies. Wishing them all peace, love and strength this year.


Bee November 26, 2018 at 3:51 pm

I think that you are absolutely right — everything will eventually end up at the Goodwill. However, not always on my time line. I think patience is the key…

1) I sold 4 items on eBay over the weekend. All were purchased from the Goodwill for resale purposes. I also shipped them primarily using reclaimed and recycled materials. I spent some time on Friday listing a few items and will list several more tonight and tomorrow.

2) Although I was not responsible for cooking the entire Thankshiving feast, I was in charge of desserts. Since I was a bit indecisive this year, I had a strange assortment of food items left in the pantry and the refrigerator. I made a concerted effort to use these items up and to eat the leftovers. My son and husband dutifully ate the pumpkin and apple pie for breakfast. – with np complaints. We put leftover whip cream and pumpkin pie spice in our morning coffee. I also made a quiche using the 1/2 and 1/2. Use it up!

3) Sadly, we did not participate in the annual 5k Turkey Trot. The entrance fee increased this year to $30 per person from the historically frugal amount of $30 a family. :-(. It would have cost us $120 to run. So my dear hubby and I took two long walk on Wednesday and Thursday and saved our money. Hopefully, this exercise helped to counter act the effects of my second frugal thing mentioned above.

4, I must confess that I took part in one of the Black Friday sales. I bought a Fit Bit at one of the big box stores for $50 less than list price. Normally, I do not do this type of thing, but I felt that this was necessary for two reason first, I have sinus tachycardia and the cause has remained a mystery. I am hoping that if I am able to track my heart rate over time a pattern may emerge. Secondly, my husbands employer puts additional funds in our HSA and gives us a health insurance rebate if we exercise regularly. However, we must have a tracking device. This could be a $1000 a year benefit.

5) Of course , I have been doing all the usual things. Drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, cooking from scratch, wearing thrifted clothes,reading wonderful library books, streaming our television and enjoying the outdoors. But most of all, I heen feeling a great deal of gratitude. So many in my home state of Florida have lost their homes and had their lives turned upside down by Hurricane Michael. As have those who have suffered tragedies in California and North Carolina. I wish all of you peace, love and strength in the difficult months ahead.


Christine November 27, 2018 at 6:26 am

The perks given by your health insurance are phenomenal. Well worth the price of a Fitbit. Our insurance gives rebates on health clubs and gyms. DH just joined a gym with his son. Double win as it’s something they can do together too. My preferences are walking trails and yoga. Unfortunately, the insurance perk does not extend to yoga classes.


Monica November 28, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Thats discriminatory against yoga! I don’t understand why some institutions don’t see its health values. I used to have to pay separately for yoga classes at my office gym (all the other classes like zumba and boot camp were free)! Discriminatory!


Christine November 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I agree with you Monica. It seems like a lot of the health insurance companies have not yet awakened to the fact that yoga is a real form of exercise.


Ruby November 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm

1. Replaced the broken zipper on my son’s jeans. Cost was $4.99 for a much better quality zipper than Wrangler used the first time around.
2. Son’s workplace has a swap table were people can pass along stuff they no longer want. He brought me a really nicely made free ceramic chicken, which looks very cute in the kitchen.
3. The free ham I got last week with grocery coupons came in handy when the Mister was too sick with a virus to travel for Thanksgiving. We ate the ham along with delicious things from the pantry. Only thing I had to buy specially for the meal was cherry pie filling.
4. To replace the ham, which was intended for Christmas, I bought a frozen whole duck. There was a $3.00 discount for getting it Thanksgiving week.
5. Scored five free e-books to read for entertainment.


lisa November 26, 2018 at 4:20 pm

My thanksgiving frugal,
1. Did not celebrate. No turkey therefore no waste. There is only two of us because most of the family prefer to eat in restaurants and we cant eat enough to justify a 26.00 per person bill.
2. Decorated for Christmas and did not buy anything new even though several strands of older lights bit the dust.
3. No shopping for us. Any gifting will be done via things we already own that we would like to pass on to family to make new memories.
4. Traditional cookie baking day will be with the understanding that a portion of whatever is made is going to a Group home. I just found out our local senior home has set aside space for teens in crisis that are homeless and want to complete high school. They are given a room to live in, paying work at the senior home and a dorm mother and life coach. I will be concentrating my energy in that direction.
5. There are six birthdays in the month of December ranging from 23 to 80. this year I will host an un-birthday dinner for everyone and their spouses in January and put their invite in their birthday card. This will take off holiday stress and give everyone something to look forward to.
6. Special note: My mom has lost most of her eye sight to macular degeneration so I took her out on Friday during the day to point out the houses that were putting up decoration. We even stopped and gave word of encouragement.

Peace and blessings to everyone this holiday season. May everyone be blessed with good health and the love of family and neighbors.


Patricia Koernig November 27, 2018 at 1:54 am

Lisa, your #4 filled my heart. How wonderful that Senior Center is doing this for teens. Two generations can learn so much from each other.
Have a wonderful holiday .


Christine November 27, 2018 at 6:31 am

Lisa, I love your number 4 and interest in that area. So many teens I knew could have benefitted from a program like that. Also your number 6. My Mom was legally blind too and your post brought back so many good memories of driving around with her. She loved going for rides and conversation.


LISA November 27, 2018 at 9:22 am

We are still in the adjustment phase and have a wonderful occupational therapist. We were laughing in the car today because every time I make a turn I let her know where we are at. Her response was “Am I expected to drive next time that I have to know how to get there?”


Lisa M. November 26, 2018 at 6:13 pm

5FF: Quadruple Post-Halloween/Post Thanksgiving Edition (aka its been awhile…)
1. Returned bag of unused Halloween candy to store for refund.
2. Used $3.50 in coupons on needed items during a grocery outing & continue to expand purchases at Aldi to try out their brands to save $.
3. Continue to make efforts to use past-expiration items from deep freezer, along with gifted items from my Mom’s pantry. Have been using her older spices before using my fresher spices.
4. Informed boss at for-profit job that I had reached my one year employment anniversary, hoping that will translate to an eventual salary increase.
5. Attended final CE program of year to use remaining allotted CE budget at non-profit job with careful preparation of required documentation for reimbursement.
6. Prior to eating out for well-deserved brunch, researched & printed a $5 off coupon. For <$20, DH & I each enjoyed a nice meal including tip & tax. Leftovers went to DD & to make a breakfast sandwich the next day.
7. Enjoyed 2 free complimentary dinners at upscale restaurants for DH & I, both related to retirement planning. Put leftovers from one dinner with my homemade leftovers at home for another meal for us. We appreciated the information but did not spend a penny buying anything.
8. Vacuum cleaner bit the dust. After first checking to see if problem was repairable, found the brand I wanted with a few less bells & whistles that was on sale for 40% & 50% less than the other 2 models of the same brand. Easy choice. Amazed at the improvement in technology as evidenced by the massive amount of pet hair being extracted by the new vacuum.
9. Literally saved ~$145 in just a few hours after being paid for attending 2 meetings at non-profit job.
*Prior to scheduling necessary plumbing appointment, searched previous coupon stash and located a coupon for $73 with no expiration. Best coupon online was $59. Savings: $73.
*Prior to renewing malpractice insurance, noticed certificate listed full-time rate. Contacted insurance company to request change to part-time rate. Savings: $22
*Called car dealership to evaluate value of oil change/tire rotation coupon, as oil change approaching but not yet due. Discovered limited value of coupon for oil change plus regular $27.50 charge for tire rotation. Decided to wait until oil change due & have recall done at same time & to avoid additional cost at dealer, made appointment at tire dealer as manufacturer provides free lifetime rotations. Savings: $27.50.
*Two days after large purchase of kitchen faucet, garbage disposal & small shop vac, big box home store began advertising 11% rebate storewide. Returned to store & received rebate certificate to mail in. Savings: $26.
10. Total savings from purchasing parts independent of plumbing company (versus purchasing from them) & using $73 coupon: $420. Still a non-frugal expense but it alleviated the pain a bit. Ties in with Katy’s previous comments about big expenditures. Some home maintenance costs simply unavoidable.
11. Found quarter in shopping cart at Aldi. How could this ever happen? Not by a NCA!
12. Roasted & processed pie pumpkin & roasted pumpkin seeds (from both types of pumpkin) at the same time. Used frozen pumpkin from last Halloween for this year’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Will use this year’s pumpkin for Christmas pumpkin pie.
13. Used coupon at spice store for free spice & purchased another spice for friend for $1. Made a return trip for friend’s mother to purchase another spice for $1.
14. Received referral bonus at for-profit job after friend had her windshield replaced. Friend insisted on paying for my dinner as a thank you, so a double benefit. Prior to eating out, researched & signed up for texts/emails from restaurant about promotions/specials. Received & used text for $10 off which more than paid for my meal.
15. Received holiday bonus at non-profit job.
16. Celebrated Black Friday by staying home, working on projects and bought nothing.
17. Purchased planned holiday photo cards online during Black Friday weekend saving 40% with 10 free cards and free shipping to take advantage of special offers. Savings: $78
18. Working additional hours this week due to owner’s travel schedule. Owner’s travel = more $ in my paycheck.
19. Combined contents of 8 small body wash bottles in to 1 pump dispenser for ease of use. All same brand from staying multiple times at guest cottage in parents’ senior living complex.
20. Renewed DD’s library book via phone avoiding overdue charge. Keep check out receipt on fridge & continuously update due date so it is always current.
Bonus 21. Decided to make 2 batches of holiday snack mix for bosses, friend, neighbors. Comparison shopped at Aldi & big box store for ingredients. Remembered neighbor had excess containers that were unwanted as they were given to her in lieu of a payment. (What kind of a creep would do that?) Decided to help her out with some extra cash & purchase a few containers for gifting snack mix versus buying new containers, thereby decreasing my environmental footprint.


janine November 26, 2018 at 6:21 pm

1.Son had today off and stopped at Culvers for a snack. I ordered ice water and it was delicious!
2. Made dinner tonight with Thanksgiving weekend leftovers – sweet potatoes with a creamy sauce, brocolli and steak (not a leftover,) In addition I sent son home with sandwiches – homemade of course from sale priced cold cuts.
3. Looking forward to next weekend’s brunch. Realtor friend will host and give clients free fresh Xmas trees. We will contribute to the food shelf and Toys for Tots. Son is contributing a gigantic teddy bear he won in some contest, then forgot about it in his closet.
4. Stopped for gas and used an affinity card to get a few cents off a fill-up.
5. Bought undecorated sale wreathes and will use ribbons from past years to make the look festive.


Christine November 26, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Late Fall FFTs:
1. Wearing my blaze orange vest while walking in the woods due to hunting season around here. I purchased it at the Salvation Army for 1.99 last summer.
2. Had a great Thanksgiving here at home with loving family and friends,
3. Tonight I noted to DH all the meals we got from our $5 turkey. Thanksgiving dinner for 6, leftover turkey in gravy two nights in a row, two sandwiches, a large pot of turkey soup for supper tonight and tomorrow night and a large dish of turkey scraps for our 2 cats.
4. Wishing I lived in a state that allows it’s residents to go into the National Forest and chop down a Christmas tree for a $5 fee. New Hampshire does this, Sigh.
5. Really thrilled as gas prices continue to drop.


Jennifer November 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm

You always find the best things. Our Goodwills are almost exclusively worn out clothing. Yet I do keep trying periodically and almost always come away with nothing.

1) Spent much of the weekend working tree sales for the scout troop. We earned $10 per shift per person worked to go towards campouts. $50 earned so far.
2) Worked the local NBA game and walked away with $8.50 in tips on top of our profits.
3) Dh fixed our slow running faucet and our squeaking dryer today by watching Youtube videos to figure it out. No money spent on the repairs.
4) I stashed a bag of chopped turkey in the freezer to make a white chili soon. I had some at work last week and it was delicious so I want to find a recipe similar and try it at home. We ate all the rest of the leftovers rather quickly. I made broth from the carcass. I stashed the drumsticks in the freezer to make broth later.
5) Used Kohl’s cash to purchase needed shoes for ds. I had shopped the deep discounts on Black Friday online to do some Christmas shopping.


rebecca November 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm

1. I made a turkey pot pie and turkey soup with leftovers.
2. Returned a pair of shoes I don’t need.
3. Used cybersales today to get a few things with big discounts
4. Donating a bagful of items to the humane society shop
5. The usual coffee and lunch from home and library books


Karen Butler November 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm

1) While I have done Black Friday/Cyber Monday type shopping, I’ve been doing very well at sticking to planned purchases.

2) The only impulse item I’ve bought was a magazine subscription was to a magazine subscription I enjoyed at my son’s age and we’ll both enjoy now. 50 cents an issue! And un-selected that sneaky auto-renew at full price next year when I’m not paying attention.

3) Got the above subscription partly because my son is likely to be outgrowing his only other magazine subscription but isn’t ready to give it up yet. Did renew the magazine he’ll surely outgrown soon, but didn’t fall for the online offer I saw for $24, nearly half off the cover price. Checked for a renewal offer card in the last issue of the magazine. $15, saving $9.

4) I’ve been making good use of my new Instant Pot, which while not 100% needed, I’d decided would be well used and waited until I found a good sale price. It’s encouraging me to try new recipes, add variety to our diet, and I’m also using it to prepare what we’ve got too much of for freezing (will be prepping sweet potatoes shortly, I’m the only one who eats them).

5) Made 2 dreaded health-related phone calls and got them over with. The phone calls weren’t bad, but my procrastination is. Dealing with needed health calls is frugal because it prevents worse problems.


Jill A November 27, 2018 at 3:49 am

1. I sold an item on Ebay that I had purchased at a garage sale over the summer. Every little bit helps.
2. My sister and her family visited Thanksgiving week. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with family and friends. We also feasted on leftovers the next day and I am continuing to work on them.
3. I went in with a friend on a carpet shampooer as both of us needed one. I found a deal on the model we wanted. It will pay for itself with the first use.
4. I’m continuing to work on swagbucks and erewards. I’ve managed to buy almost $500 worth of gift cards for Christmas which will help greatly with the budget.
5. I used rewards to buy my daughter a Tile Mate for Christmas. She’s always losing her wallet. It will be a very useful Christmas gift.


Joanie November 27, 2018 at 5:56 am

Jill, I just looked up Tile Mate (never heard of it) and now I have a great idea for a surprise, unexpected gift! My kids (adults) always give me a list but I like to find something to surprise them. And does my phone loser ever need this. Thanks for the idea, Jill!


Liz B. November 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm

My hubby got me a Tile almost 2 years ago, because I always misplace my keys. The “older” version’s battery runs out after about a year (the one I have ran out of juice), but I understand they now make one that has replaceable batteries.


Joanie November 28, 2018 at 5:08 am

Thanks for the warning, Liz. I’ll be sure to check for the replaceable battery option.


Liz B. November 28, 2018 at 5:16 pm

You’re welcome, Joanie. My replacement Tile will be the type with the replaceable battery….I wonder why they didn’t manufacture them that way in the first place? Oh well, just glad it’s an option now.

mary aldrich November 27, 2018 at 6:51 am

never posted a frugal list before and i as a i wrote this i realized how far i’ve come and how far i need to go – balance is good i suppose…

1 – i listed a set of curtains over a year ago on ebay and forgot about them. they just sold and we have moved in the interim – not sure i remember where i put them! tonight will be dedicated to sussing that out.

2. since moving halfway across the country we have furniture in the garage that will never fit in this house – some is my fathers who lives with us and has memory issues. i am going to get rid of the lot of it and just say goodbye. i am not a good salesperson, but i read somewhere you have to decide if you are in it to make money or if you are in it to purge. think i’ve finally figured out where i need to stand for now.

3. Goodwill here has lots of drop off locations, but very few stores and no mega stores (one is St. Louis was a a wonderful place) the two i found have clothes sorted by color and not by size – in the time vs money equations that is a loss for me. The frugal side to this is i have decided on a work uniform that will work for my new job – i got the idea from this article and it resonates with me. and

4. my new office has free very good coffee and very good tea and a snack drawer to boot!

5. our new home had some rain water issues that we have repaired but my reactionary self could not refrain from purchasing a generator in case the power went out and the battery back up to the sump pump failed – i over bought on the generator and really should scale back to a smaller one…anyone need a brand new generator:)


Mary in VA December 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

I do a work uniform, too! My version is: cardigan sweater, collared shirt, dark slacks, black pumps. All year round. In the summer I do sleeveless shirts under lightweight cardigans. I’m always scouring thrift stores for cardigans, and have found some really nice ones: current style, retro, vintage…I love them all!


ouvickie November 27, 2018 at 7:41 am

I like that lounge chair and footstool – they look to be in great shape!
1) We spent Thanksgiving at my daughter’s house. Ate a lot and brought home food we’ve been eating on for 5 days. The turkey is gone, but I made too much dressing. I may have to freeze the rest.
2) My granddaughters spent 2 days with me. We baked cookies and visited the park – we had mild temps up until Sunday, when the blue norther came down on us. Thankfully we missed out on the snow storm.
3) I had a whole pumpkin pie left from Thanksgiving dinner and had it in the fridge, so I used it for the Potluck dinner at Church on Sunday.
4) I finished the audiobook biography on President Grant (great book!), so Monday I went after more audiobooks from the Library. I’m listening to a biography on Jane Austin now – very interesting.
5) I’m on Season 4 of Downton Abbey – using my Prime Video account. I’ve fallen in love with the story and the 1920s fashion.


Roberta November 27, 2018 at 7:56 am

1. I bought a laptop for my daughter a week ago, then bought another one on Black Friday for about half the cost. Returned the first one, no problem. (It was a good price for what she needs, and I didn’t want to take a chance that all the Black Friday sales would be more than that.)
2. Shared the effort on Thanksgiving, so we didn’t spend much on that. Unfortunately, we didn’t have leftovers for very long as a result.
3. My son won a small cash prize for an essay contest, to apply toward college. I’m excited he won, will advance to the next level, and most importantly, he’s now encouraged to enter more contests.
That’s it for right now — I have to run my daughter to school. (Hopefully, I’ll finish later!)


Christine November 28, 2018 at 7:06 am

Good job for your son winning an essay contest and the cash prize that went with it!


Crosby November 27, 2018 at 7:57 am

1. Decreased my newspaper subscription to digital-only. I get the Sunday paper delivered but I’ve found that I don’t often read it and the coupons aren’t very good. $10 savings by making the switch.
2. Making dinner from the freezer and pantry this week, keeping our grocery bill under $25.
3. Family and friends are coming into town and we’re all going to see Hamilton. Tickets were not cheap but we’re having dinner (which I’m making from the freezer) at home beforehand instead of going out. They’re also all staying in our apartment to save money.
4. My partner batch cooked all of our lunches again. This has been a healthy and frugal habit he’s done for a few weeks now.
5. Decorated the apartment for Christmas and didn’t buy a single thing.


A. Marie November 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm

FFT, Thanksgiving Edition:

(1) DH and I went to the Bestest Neighbors’ Lake Erie cottage as usual for the holiday. Although DH experienced some confusion, he settled down eventually–and I personally benefited from the break from usual routines. Plus, Dr. BN made his incomparable turkey on T-day and his incomparable turkey shepherd’s pie on Black Friday.

(2) We moved Small Business Saturday up a day: On Black Friday, we went with Ms. BN to the nearby town’s Main Street, where we spent an enjoyable few hours combing the thrift and antique shops. I spent $33, some of it on finding “lost sheep” for things I already own (a Corning Ware lid for 50 cents for a lidless CW container I recently found for $1, and a Bakelite handle steak knife for $3 to round out a set of 7 I inherited from my grandmother).

(3) Because the BNs weren’t going straight home from the cottage, I kindly offered to take the turkey carcass off their hands, and have of course transformed it into the usual pot of turkey stock. Will share the stock with them when they return.

(4) We’re expecting another big snow dump here tonight and tomorrow, so I went out yesterday and dug some of my leeks to store in our unheated garage for convenient use. I dug the last of my carrots last week before the severe T-day freeze, since carrots don’t tolerate extreme cold as well as leeks and kale do. Had some kale last night in a frittata.

(5) Finally, I’m looking over the stash of stuff I’ve picked up for holiday gifts over the past year and stored in my guest room closet. I think we’re in pretty good shape. Shouldn’t have to buy more than a few stocking stuffers, which I will pick up at our Regional Market and other local outlets.


Liz B. November 28, 2018 at 5:23 pm

A. Marie, we also have friends who have a cottage on Lake Erie….on Catawba Island, specifically. I love it there….one of my happy places. One of the couple’s parents and brother live there, which seems like living in paradise to me. (Parents are retired, brother sells high tech marine navigation systems).


Nancy from Mass November 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm

1. DS and i went to NYC for a long weekend right before Thanksgiving. got a cheap rate on Amtrak RT and pre-paid the hotel (got a great rate on that too). We walked alot! about 96k steps in 3 days. we had a fresh bagel and i had a coffee each morning and a late lunch/early dinner with a snack later each night. I spent around $50/day for both of us to eat…in NYC! we ate well too!
2. picked up 2 pennies and left the dime in a puddle – not sure what that puddle was [shudder].
3. had 12 for Thanksgiving. i provided the turkey, potatoes, HM rolls and stuffing. I used my china and stainless flatware and made a couple of pots of coffee. (fabric napkins too). I honestly spent <$26 for 2 turkeys, 10# of potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. i kept some of the food, but sent the majority home with family.
4. i bought some yarn in NYC at a smaller store and am knitting a hat for DS.
5. we needed bread and since i'm home today and had time while i worked, i made a loaf of bread (just took it out of the oven). my house smells good!


Juhli November 27, 2018 at 6:58 pm

1. I received a $10 off for purchase of $10 or more coupon in the mail from Staples. Went and wandered around the store to see what to get and spent $1.91 for a jug of dishwasher soap and file folder labels. Both will be used lol.
2. I was too tired to cook tonight and DH said he would fix an omelet instead of us going out. Ate it in my pajamas.
3. Went to my local yoga studio for 90 min class for $10 (senior price) and felt much better. My headache even went away and I think that is a thrifty price for health.
4. Decided to scale back on Christmas gifts yet again. I am having fun picking up inexpensive and useful items to fill a bag for each son & DIL. Deer visit my 2 year old granddaughter’s yard and this will be her first Christmas with a tree so I bought a deer ornament to start her collection.
5. Finally hooked up our CD player 1 1/2 years after moving. Bought 8 new to me CDs for $8 from Friends of the Library bookstore.


Joanie November 28, 2018 at 5:09 am

Thanks for the warning, Liz. I’ll be sure to check for the replaceable battery option.


K D November 28, 2018 at 5:43 am

1. We traveled to New England for Thanksgiving. We drove early Thursday and returned early Friday. Traffic was great, much better than usual. We had a wonderful day with family.

2. I have been working through languishing stuff in the pantry and freezer. It feels good to have shelves less cluttered. I’ve been doing very little grocery shopping.

3. I’ve been listening to Heartland on CD in the car. I borrowed it from the library.

4. After hats have been ignored for several days (despite my picking them up from the ground/street and putting them atop fire hydrants or utility boxes to make them more visible) I have been bringing them home to wash and give away.

5. My clothes are all from years past. I have no interest in buying anything new.


isa November 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

I can’t think of much, as I feel like we are hemmoraging money for the last couple of months….

* Food : Using PC points towards free grocery (10-20$ per month), do price-match and check prices at the grocery stores to get free or discounted items. By from the reduce rack. Trying to use what I have at home to make meals instead of buying more and more. We have a ton of food (I’m a “bit” of a hoarder when it comes to food….) and right now I feel quite overwhelmed by it.
* Trying to find free or cheap activities to do with the kids and husband.
* Cancelled a gym membership I didn’t use. Received 60$ back (paid 75$)
* Using the clothes we already own for Christmas instead of buying new clothes.
* Used Black Friday sales to get a much-needed new (refurbished) computer. We were looking at lap tops (800-1000$….) but found a computer tower that has what we need for 425$ instead. Yay! Not as stylish and hip, but who cares??


Cindy in the South November 28, 2018 at 6:21 am

1. I used a $1 pumpkin that I bought after Halloween to make a pumpkin custard and pumpkin soup. I also roasted the seeds. It was delicious. I made a strata from leftover turkey, leftover collards, and yes, I threw in leftover avocado (Hey, it is used in turkey sandwiches) and it was actually quite good. I made a stir fry with leftover turkey, rice pumpkin, and avocado, and greens…yes, it was decent also. I left the cornbread dressing, corn casserole, mashed potatoes, English pea casserole, spinach dip, pumpkin pie, artichoke dip, and most of the turkey with my sons to eat leftovers this week. I made a soup of a 50 cent can of tomato paste, pasta, a 50 cent package of Italian spices, leftover evaporated milk and the water from the pasta. It was decent.
2. I cut my hair myself.
3. I did my nail..meh…they are passable.
4. I took a nap.
5. I listened to public radio.


Cindy in the South November 28, 2018 at 6:22 am

rice, pumpkin, …not “rice pumpkin”…


Christine November 28, 2018 at 7:14 am

I’ve never heard of English pea casserole. Is it more of a holiday food? Thanks.


Cindy in the South November 28, 2018 at 1:23 pm

It is something my mom always made and my daughter and my youngest son love it. The other two kids cannot stand it. It is simply a can or two of English peas heated up and drained, then chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped mild onions, and mayo. Put in fridge. That is it!


Christine November 28, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Thanks Cindy. Sounds easy. I’ll try it!

tracy November 28, 2018 at 6:26 am

I have been doing too much (mostly online) Christmas shopping (although still less than previous years). I definitely notice that with shopping I am a bit “all or nothing” — that is, I can go for quite some time not shopping at all, but when I start shopping I tend to keep going! (This is typical of my personality — I have been in recovery for almost 14 years since the same thing occurs with alcohol! :). Luckily I am also a confirmed bargain hunter, have taken advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and have a savings account earmarked for gifts, so no real damage being done. But, it is time to STOP and get back on the (shopping) wagon! Upside is I am giving my 5 kids (14, 22, 24, 27 and 28) and their SOs (2) about 1/2 of what I gave last year and almost all is practical stuff (like jackets, work out clothes, socks, sweaters etc.) So, NCA progress not perfection here. Let’s see if I can come up with 5 frugal things…
1. Continuing to recover well from surgery and benefitting from lovely friends and family who have brought food and goodies, keeping food bill down!
2. House is decorated for Christmas without any expense except tree which we cut at a u-cut place. (Well and we did pay someone to put up our Christmas lights, but otherwise hubby would have gone on roof himself which is a no-no in my book. And I don’t mind paying for services, better than paying for things.)
3. Made my Mom a photo book of our recent trip to Rome and used a half off coupon so only $15 for a gift I think she’ll treasure.
4. Using up food at the house and trying hard not to waste. Made a Thai pumpkin curry last night with a small (cooking) pumpkin I’d bought for an indoor Halloween decoration for $1.50 (thought it was cheap til I saw Cindy in the South’s post above!). Was brought a lovely roast chicken dinner and after we ate two meals of it threw it in crockpot and got stock and meat to make chicken and dumplings. Making banana bread this morning with all the overripe bananas I’ve thrown in freezer over last couple of months (friend coming for tea at 10:30 a.m., instead of going out!). And we’ve successfully eaten up all the Thanksgiving leftovers except for a small bit of stuffing that is going to get composted.
5. Continuing my tradition of using Kraft brown butcher type paper to wrap gifts (some plain brown and some with red, green or red/green prints on it). No foil or coating so all recyclable and reusing ribbons from prior years. I love the “natural” look, it is sturdier than cheap Dollar Store paper and it is all recyclable. And I just add some new rolls every year so it all coordinates. The plain brown is VERY cheap and looks nice with the others if I do about 1/3 of gifts plain brown with ribbons and 2/3 with printed paper.


Christine November 28, 2018 at 7:19 am

Great idea on the brown paper for wrapping. Thank you for the idea. I bet all the presents look lovely under a Christmas tree. A friend used to wrap her presents in the Sunday comics. They were cute and fun.


Nancy from Mass November 28, 2018 at 11:19 am

I buy the brown paper from dollar tree and use that for quite a few of the gifts. instead of using tags, i just write on the paper to/from (with a fine sharpie) and sometimes draw snowmen or trees on them as well. match that with some ribbon i have on hand and the gifts are pretty festive!


Christine November 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

I love that you can write on the paper instead of using gift tags. Your brown paper wrapped presents sound beautiful too!


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