Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 27, 2018 · 80 comments

  1. I sold a few items, including a hand me down Fiestaware teapot, a thrifted lamp, a thrifted painting and a rotary paper cutter. I also picked up two extra hospital shifts and just today found two pennies and a dime on the ground. My son’s tuition payment is due on January 1st, and it’s crunch time.

  2. We got through the holiday gift giving season with minimal financial damage. I was able to shop from Goodwill thrift stores for all physical items, (three wallets, a curling iron and two pairs of pajama pants) and otherwise gave consumable gifts, practical gift cards and cash. But most of how we kept spending under control is that we’ve drastically minimized the number people with whom we exchange gifts. I’ll be back in New York City next month, and will individually take my niece and nephew out to do something fun. Neither of them needs any more stuff, and choosing an experiential gift creates memories instead of clutter.

    The only person who gives me a holiday gift is my mother, and she gave me two sterling butter knives, (that match my existing set) as well as a couple of tea towels, which will all be put to good use. Gone are the years when we’d be inundated with well intentioned but useless gifts that had no logical place in our home or lives.

  3. I’m reading a library copy of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers, which I’m loving. The last couple of books that I’ve picked up haven’t held my interest so I haven’t read as much over the past couple of months. I need to remind myself that it’s okay to not finish a book if it isn’t grabbing my attention. (I have a tendency to halt any and all reading when I get stuck in a middle of a dull book.) My 2018 resolution was to “read and write,” and although I haven’t done as much writing as I’d hoped, I did read a lot more than in recent years. I’m just so happy to be immersed in a wonderful book again!

    Thank you, Multnomah County Library!

  4. My son wanted to drive to the video store to get a movie, but instead I convinced him to find something on Amazon Prime, I packed up leftovers to bring for work lunches, a friend gave me two bins of brand new packaging supplies from her husband’s previous business, I cancelled a monthly subscription I wasn’t using anymore and I darned a weirdly huge hole in the sleeve of my son’s sweater.

  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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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 December 27, 2018 at 2:21 am

1. We reduced some of our gift giving and as a result we do not have a house laden down with useless crap. We also have significantly less rubbish than in previous years, which is just excellent. We compost much of our food waste, which also helps.
2. We went to the post-Christmas sales locally as we did have some gift cards. We returned home having purchased very little and with balances on our cards to use another time (we will use them).
3. We ate leftovers for dinner.
4. Spent the afternoon reading books and watching the cricket, the traditional post-Christmas activity of many Aussies.
5. Still collecting items for the thrift store in my goal to de-clutter my home before heading back to work. Now up to bag number 10.


Susan Stanley December 27, 2018 at 5:14 pm

When I first read this I thought, “Oh, what sweet custom — I guess those quirky Aussies spend Christmas afternoon reading or gazing at their pet crickets. Obviously, a caged cricket is highly entertaining!” Might I presume you mean the athletic activity?

By the way, I love reading your posts from down under. I spent three weeks in Adelaide in 2000, a travel-writing junket, and LOVE the city and your country. As someone with nothing but British ancestry, I felt quite at home amongst the hordes of pale, straight-haired, bosomy females!


Mand01 December 27, 2018 at 10:08 pm

Haha, the sport. We are not quite that hard up for entertainment – although if you have watched cricket, you might wonder.
I live in Adelaide – I am so glad you liked it. It is a beautiful city, we think.


A. Marie December 28, 2018 at 4:32 am

Hi, Mand. I’ve got a tea towel in my collection from Adelaide, depicting various local sights! (I’ve never been to Oz, and DH’s and my travel days are pretty well over, but I send greetings in your direction.)


Mand01 December 28, 2018 at 11:45 am


Shevaun December 27, 2018 at 4:37 am

FFT, We’re All Sick Edition
1. Two adults and two kiddos eating naught but popsicles for four days certainly does trim the grocery budget.
2. Naps are so free.
3. Staying in pajamas all day reduces laundry.
4. Finally taking a bath and bathing the kids is the Also, cheaper than a trip to Disney.
5. DD’s lips and nose are horribly chapped, and her nickname is Cake. Santa brought cake-flavored chapstick. “Mommy! Santa knows me! Santa knows me!” Yes, darling. Santa *does* know you, and Santa loves you very much.


Bee December 27, 2018 at 6:15 am

I hope everyone feels better soon! I love your 5th Frugal Thing. Christmas through a child’s eye is heartwarming.


tracy December 27, 2018 at 6:36 am

I also love your number 5 and hope you are all on the mend.


Christine December 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

Your #5…so very sweet! Hope you’re all feeling better by New Years.


Bee December 27, 2018 at 6:10 am

Happy Holidays!
1) A few years ago my adult children decided that the traditional Christmas celebration was no longer working for our family. Rather than exchanging mountain of gifts like we used to, our family of five takes a trip together. We all contribute what we can afford and plan a trip. We usually rent a house or cabin that is within driving distance of most of us. Two of my children are on tight budgets, and we try to be mindful of this. We live in northern Florida, so this year we headed to the Florida Keys.
2) We did not eat out. We all helped with the cooking and meal planning.. Meals were simple. Christmas lunch was fish tacos made with fish that we caught the day before.
3) We do draw names and exchange one gift. We set up parameters of some sort and try to make it fun not a chore. This year there was a $20, and it had to be purchased in the Keys. I was given a small reproduction of a ceramic cat that was owned by Ernest Hemingway and created by Pablo Picasso. I love it!
4) Our days were spent doing outdoor activities – kayaking, fishing, swimming. Sadly water conditions were not ideal – heavy winds so we were limited. We just hung around together. We attended Christmas services at a small and lovely church on the island. We spent one afternoon heading south to Key West where I saw Santa in a g-string. I so wish I could get that image out of my mind.
5) We rented a house that was dog friendly and brought our dog –no boarding fees and a happy dog! He loves the water.
I wish everyone a happy and blessed New Year!


janine December 27, 2018 at 7:54 am

Bee – what a wonderful description of your vacation. I could appreciate the family atmosphere complete with dog down in the keys. Minnesota is experiencing snow/rain this morning!


tracy December 27, 2018 at 9:06 am

I love the idea of a family vacation instead of gifts!


Cindy in the South December 27, 2018 at 9:50 am

Santa in a G string…lol


ouvickie December 27, 2018 at 10:59 am

Our family vacations are usually in September, since my in-laws don’t travel during the Winter/Holidays. So the only gifts given are the books I give my MIL & FIL for Christmas and the 3 gifts of clothing my MIL sends our 3 grandkids. I love our vacations together. I’ve never been to the Keys, so your trip sounds spectacular!
The G-string Santa gave me a good laugh, thanks!
Happy New Year!!!


Christine December 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

Oh Bee! Santa in the G-string! Yes, that would be a tough one to forget.


K D December 27, 2018 at 6:22 am

1. We too give gifts to few people and they tend to be monetary (gift cards, cash, or checks). I did buy a few requested items and also made a few things (family cookbook for daughter who this year moved to her own place, toys for family member’s cats, and a few specialized scarves).

2. Christmas lunch was chicken and vegetables in the crock. It was tasty and so easy. The last of it will be used to make soup for lunch.

3. We have been eating at home. In the past two weeks we had lunch out once. A place my husband normally can not get to because of his work schedule.

4. We found out our library now offers streaming movies/videos through Kanopy. A good thing since my free month of Amazon Prime ended. I continue to check out books, ebooks, CDs, audio books, and DVDs from the library.

5. We have been making an effort to walk outside everyday. The weather is decent and even if it is not we have gear for cold and/or wet weather. With so much sickness in our area I think fresh air and exercise are of assistance in staying well.


JJ December 27, 2018 at 4:58 pm

I’m so glad you mentioned Kanopy! I’ve been meaning to check it out for weeks – our library started offering access earlier this year too.


Jill December 27, 2018 at 6:23 am

1. Had a fantastic 5 day visit with my two oldest kids who were home for the holidays. Did some planning for the upcoming year and when we will see them – driving to visit my daughter halfway between in the spring, taking a friend up on the offer of their cottage for a week for the whole family and my son’s wedding ( which isn’t frugal but they’ve really done their best to keep costs low and be as green as possible)
2. Visited with my husbands family and combined it with a work trip so we could stay in a convenient hotel – enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and watched their movie channel.
3. Cooked a turkey for Christmas and using the carcass for soup and leftovers for sandwiches. Family members helped by bringing dishes.
4. Reading my library books – The Silkworm and The Finnish Way.
5. Going out for our anniversary tomorrow night and taking advantage of the lull between Christmas and New Years to go to a restaurant with a fantastic special discounted menu.


Tonya December 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

1) Worked on Christmas Eve. Double pay.
2) We gave mostly consumable gifts this year (jams, check mix, soup mix, chap stick, lotion, etc).
3) Eating leftovers after the holidays is my favorite. Ham for days!!
4) My college aged daughter cleaned her room and we took several bags of things to Goodwill.
5) Doing all the usual- wearing thrifted clothes, reading library books, staying home and enjoying some down time.


Juhli December 27, 2018 at 7:04 am

1. We too had a lovely and minimal gift exchange with our nearby son and DIL. Food and emergency kit supplies to them from us. Homemade treats from them to us. Perfect.
2. Despite the Christmas mania surrounding our 2 year old granddaughter who is further away we stuck to our small gifts plan. She loves getting mail so we spread 3 small gifts out over the month. A tree ornament, a cozy outfit for daycare with one of her favorite things appliqued on the top, and a bag of basic Duplos on Christmas day so she can build bigger things.
3. I am starting my deep clean one room a month resolution a bit early. I will enjoy the clean house, find things to donate and it keeps me busy which is frugal.
4. Continue to love my library and Friends of the Library book store where greeting cards are 10 cents each. Picked up 4 nice birthday cards yesterday when I picked up books I had requested.
5. We explored a very nearby park which has a few walking trails.


Beth Ann December 29, 2018 at 10:45 am

I like the idea of deep cleaning one room a month. That sounds so much less overwhelming. Thanks for the idea.
Beth Ann


janine January 3, 2019 at 7:51 am

I am taking your deep clean one room a month to heart. It sounds doable for someone who hates to clean and organize – that would be a fit description for moi!


tracy December 27, 2018 at 7:19 am

Okay everyone is inspiring me to do better next year on downsizing Christmas. Actually, I did do better than I have in some previous years, but I do still like to help stock up my young adult kids at Christmas time — my gifts to them tend to be very practical things like jeans, sweaters/fleeces, work out clothes, socks, slippers. None of them have a lot of clothes and all of them are still getting established so it is useful — at least half of each of their wardrobes are clothes I’ve gifted them at Christmas over the years… And my husband’s mother LOVES Christmas and spoils us like crazy but the good thing is she asks for ideas so all her gifts are things I love but would not buy for myself (cashmere sweater, new purse this year). But still feels like a lot of consumption — next year I will work at more experiences, fewer things. And as for FFT, don’t feel very frugal two days after Christmas but here goes.

1. My husband’s siblings, spouses and I wanted to gift his Mom and Dad a lovely dinner out in Palm Springs (they go down for three months in the winter) but didn’t get it organized soon enough to get a gift card to a specific restaurant. My husband asked me to pick up a couple Visa gift cards at Freddy’s but they charged a fee for each one (would have been $10 fee for the two cards). I thought paying $10 for two pieces of plastic that would get thrown away was crap so went to the bank and got crisp bank notes instead and wrapped those up on a lovely package.

2. To go with the photo book for my Mom that I made of our Rome trip for Christmas I printed out a black and white 11 x 17 map of Rome and drew in a different color highlighter our route for each day we were there. Then I printed a copy of our day by day itinerary also color coded to go with it — she loved it! A fun way to remember our trip and an essentially no-cost gift.

3. I received a Goodwill gift card for Christmas (thanks Mom!) and gave my niece who loves to thrift one as well. Reuse! Recycle!

4. I used a part of my Christmas checks to do a little online shopping for myself and to buy a couple things for youngest DD’s birthday. (Not very non-consumer but frugal). Was able to purchase daughter’s birthday gifts (her bday is 1/9) and a couple of items of work clothing for me plus a couple of summer basics at deep deep discounts. This will be handy as a I am doing an uber-frugal January and then doing a very strict budget for clothing purchases for the rest of the year. Because let’s face it — I NEED nothing. (Clothing and travel are my weaknesses.)
5. Saved all ribbons and boxes to reuse next year.
6. Returned several items promptly that didn’t work out.
7. Packed up a ton of food to head over to coast for a few days (where I am now). Am keeping total spending for four days of vacation to $40 (activities are walking, yoga, games, reading, cooking/eating, visiting — only yoga costs anything).
8. Gassed up before heading out at discount gas station affiliated with Fred Meyer (Kroger). Got .50 off/gallon using rewards points.
9. My son who is in his last year of college (at year 6 it BETTER be his last year) has been working like crazy at a distribution center near the school. He is supporting himself in terms of living expenses and he just applied for tuition reimbursement through a program they have and it got approved. It will cover close to half his tuition this last year (he only as to go half time). So light at the end of the tunnel on his college costs!


Kathe Westbrook December 27, 2018 at 7:21 am

1) cut back on gifts to the adults—will cut back even further next year. And cutting back on the children, too. With aunts and uncles included, they don’t need so much stuff—which becomes junk to clean/organize after a while. And most gifts were given with the idea that they would be useful on a daily basis.
2) on the upside of it all—I did get a few gifts 2nd hand (or more). And the most favored gift of the day was a snow globe for the 10 year old that was in perfect condition—and perfect for her—that I got for $2. Actually, gifts all -around were perfect for the recipients—even moreso than most years and many items were from rummage sales or thrift stores.
3) Christmas dinner was a gifted ham. And the meal was simpler than previous years—I’m sick of all that extra that frequently goes to waste after cluttering the ‘frige. for too long.
4) One daughter has to return to work before the New Year, so we’re doing New Year’s Eve on Saturday evening w/ games, finger foods, and a family favorite DVD.
5) No after Christmas shopping this year. No one, esp. me, needs even more stuff in their house.


LB December 27, 2018 at 7:58 am

Oh man…not a lot of frugality here.

1. Carpooled to my parent’s for the holidays instead of taking two cars. BF has an electric vehicle, so cost of gas was $0 and he could charge off my sister’s subsidized electricity when we arrived.

2. When we got back to down I refused to cook again, so we went out. Split two shareables at a fancy restaurant instead of throwing down for meals. Total cost for food was $15, instead of an entree each for $32.

3. Stayed home yesterday to relax and recharge. Friends got stranded in our town with car trouble and came over instead of meeting them out. Broke out some gifted meats and cheeses from the day before for a nice cheese board! Had a nice time and got to feel like a very fancy hostess (“Oh this salami? We just have it around”)

4. Back at work today. Not using vacation days for a potential payout later when I leave my position is frugal. Plus, it’s sooooo quiet here!

5. Resolving to not use gift cards for little presents for myself, but instead to save them for needs later on. Amazon and Target gift cards are little temptations!


janine December 27, 2018 at 8:15 am

1. Not a frugal Christmas in most respects. We use this time of year to help fund kids’ IRAs . I did picked up a couple of summer polo shirts at a discount place and other fairly frugal items for the kids.
2. My best gift which will see me thru many frugal evenings is a huge book of NY Times headlines – so heavy I can barely lift it – but fascinating.
3. DH appreciated a hand knit scarf I purchased at a thrift shop – looked new.
3. Lots of expensive leftovers to enjoy all week which makes them less expensive.
4. Tonight is leftover roast beef and gravy a family favorite.
5. Looking forward to a gala New Years Eve party – bought the hostess a touristy cup as a joke gift which I will fill with gum and mints – she is leaving for California for a couple of months early in the new year and always carries these goodies in her purse.


Jennifer December 27, 2018 at 8:45 am

1. We had Christmas at my house this year so I prepared a rather large meal with lots of leftovers. I froze 3 pies and other leftovers to pull out in a couple months when we aren’t so tired of everything.
2. I decorated my home with cuttings from my holly bush. I set a few candles in between and it was really cozy and quaint. Just how we like it!
3. We play bingo every year for prizes that I get for free with coupons. It’s great fun and no money is spent.
4. We stayed home all day on Christmas noshing on leftovers and watching old Christmas movies..blissful and free.
5. A local dentist came into our business.After chatting for a bit, he agreed to price match what we are paying at another dentist that we have to drive out of town to use. He also seems interested in bartering services. You never know until you ask. It pays to be friendly!


Linda December 27, 2018 at 8:49 am

1. Christmas Staycation- Saturday, Sunday, Monday-husband took last floating holiday, Christmas Day, and a vacation day
2.Next week a similar five day holiday to look forward to
3. We were on vacation so made healthy but quick and easy treats.
4.One was whole wheat cream of wheat made with sea food broth(used all the sea food shells that I have been collecting in the freezer since last Christmas) with celery onions and langastinos.


Jill A December 27, 2018 at 10:08 am

1. Saved where ever I could on Christmas Gifts. Used Swagbucks, Erewards and Gas station rewards points to buy gift cards. I gifted garage sale finds, most were still new in the box items. I regifted a bottle of scotch that’s been in the cupboard for years. We gave homemade cookie, candies and our own honey to the neighbors.
2. Cooked all week and we’ve been enjoying the leftovers. My kids are all visiting for the holidays so a lot of mouths to feed.
3. We’ve been entertaining friends, playing games, taking walks and watching Netflix all week so no money spent on entertainment.
4. I’ve been reusing the cheap mouse traps that are supposed to be disposable. I’m reusing the rubber gloves that came with a hair dye kit, disposing of the mice and re-bateing and reusing them. I apparently have a mouse problem in my garage and have caught a dozen a least so far.
5. My Mom gave me a coupon for a free dog bath at a pet store. I know I would feel obligated to buy something so I’m going to pass and wash the dog in the bath tub.


Jennifer December 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm

4. Do you have any cats? I don’t know where you live or if it’s even possible but we used to have at least a couple mice per year that would get in the house. Since we have had cats, we never see mice anymore. Of course, cats aren’t for everybody but I have found mine to be low maintenance.


Jill A December 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm

We don’t have cats. We used to years ago. The mice are not in my house but in the garage.


Florencia January 10, 2019 at 11:37 am

We used to have mice in the garage because we live next to an empty lot next to a credit union. The mice don’t really come since we got cats, but we let our cats loose in it every once in a while so they elave their scent.


Em December 27, 2018 at 10:17 am

You still have a video store near you? Is this a proper store with people working in it or one of those self-serve kiosk things? If it’s the former, that’s amazing!


Jill A December 27, 2018 at 10:24 am

6. I also managed to not buy any wrapping paper, gift boxes or bags. I used what I had and my mother gave me what she had since she no longer wraps anything.
7. I’ve saved all the gift bags, boxes and tissue paper for next year.
8. I made chicken in the crockpot for my dog and my daughter’s dogs and am also feeding them leftover turkey to save on buying wet dog food.
9. I made Crunch Betty’s glass cleaner since I had run out. I like her recipe, it works as well as the store bought kind and I haven’t bought any glass cleaner in a couple of years.


ouvickie December 27, 2018 at 10:30 am

1) No wasted money on Christmas – everything was what the kids and grandkids said they wanted and 5 gift cards make for useful gifts that they actually wanted. I give my in-laws 2 books every year. They love to read and once they are done with the books they put them in the shared Library at their Retirement Community.
Hubby received much needed flannel PJs and a Big 12 t-shirt Championship t-shirt.
2) We had plenty of leftovers and I’m on Winter Break vacation this week and next. I’ve been home since Sunday, so no wasting fuel running into town. I have a funeral to attend tomorrow, out of town, so that fill-up I stopped to get last Sunday afternoon will come in handy.
3) I bought myself a bag of sunflower seeds at the feed store. I’m easily entertained by the birds at my feeder, outside my kitchen window. I think I spent $13 on a 40# bag.
4) I had a coupon for Harbor Freight and bought a 2 in 1 hand truck that will be much used by myself and my daughter’s family. I’m getting rid of stuff – including an old analog TV and they are moving in late Spring. Thankfully it’s easily stored too.
5) I had a clean Salsa bottle I’d planned to recycle, but decided to use it for the leftover Spaghetti sauce from Christmas Eve dinner. I’ve


Lisa M. December 27, 2018 at 1:47 pm

Double 5FF: New Year Edition

1. Before the onslaught of the holidays & hard labor in the kitchen, took the butternut squash gifted by a neighbor & turned it into a most delicious copycat Panera Squash Soup. It was a healthier version & was delicious. Also, saved and toasted the small squash seeds when cooking other items in the oven. Was on my to-do list for some time & was storing the squash in the garage but 1st had to research a recipe. With the tree decorated, cards sent & gift wrapped, utilized a little free time before holiday cooking time.

2. Finally found missing box with remaining holiday decorations from Next Door free box obtained last winter. Very pleased with contents (literally didn’t remember everything) & did last minute decorating at my favorite price – FREE!

3. My favorite of #2: When 3 low-cost or free items randomly came together & created something wonderful – a NIP lovely birch bark holiday candle from a major department store chain originally $11.99 (75 cents at skating team garage sale several years ago); a candle ring of greenery, apples, pine cones, ribbon (free in Next Door box); and a metal candle pedestal stand (gift from White Elephant work party many years ago). It was by far the most attractive holiday centerpiece I have ever had.

4. Also made use of down time & a little pre-holiday lull by completing claim form, making copy of receipt & mailing to vision insurance for reimbursement of DH’s recent vision exam. How many people are mailing claim forms the day before Christmas? A proud NCA.

5. When a client’s son at my non-profit job learned that I was also employed at a for-profit company whose services he needed, he requested to use our company. I will receive a referral bonus with my pay check.

6. With $9 in coupons at card store, DD chose 2 gifts for herself the day before Christmas.

7. Called a food company after discovering a dried stem in a bean & rice packaged product. Will be receiving voucher for replacement item.

8. Went to big box store on 12-26 to exchange item that DD discovered a product missing when opening on Christmas. Sad that shoplifting affected her gift but came out ahead in the end. With just 1 of the items remaining, discovered during exchange process that they had gone on sale 50% off. Purchased additional item of same brand with different products with amount of refund. End result: Bought 2 items including 4 products for same price of the original item with 2 products. Also purchased a few discounted items such as consumables, holiday cards, gift container, extra lights, etc. that I know will be used, all at 50% off.

9. Like other NCAs, DH & I also worked this week which will increase cash flow. He will be paid for unused holiday time & I don’t have paid holiday with 2 part-time jobs.

10. Also like other NCAers, I cooked a large holiday meal & we are enjoying leftovers which will reduce grocery expenses. Earlier leftovers came in handy while doing food prep, both for quick meals & to make room for holiday leftovers.


Lisa M. December 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Correction to #9. DH DID use his allotted holiday time (he’s not that hard core) but not additional vacation time. He will be paid for unused vacation time for 2018.


Ronald Burke December 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

1. Sold an original Charleston sweetgrass basket on Marketplace for more than double of what I purchased it for at an auction. Still a good deal for the buyer.
2. Got a $20 late fee taken off of a store credit card. In my dealings with a health problem I neglected to mail it earlier and it was ONE day late. Said they couldn’t do anything for me so I told them to cancel my account. All of a sudden they could forgive it.
3. Used a huge spiral ham for Christmas dinner that I had gotten after Easter, double wrapped and put in the freezer.
4. Accidentally ordered from Hello Fresh. Immediately called them and they cancelled the order but did not take me off for future as I was told. Saw on my credit card that I had been charged for an order I didn’t even receive and for one I am to receive in two days. Again, had to argue to get charge taken off. Told me they could reimburse me for the order I did not receive but not the one on its way. Told them I was not paying for it and would take it up with my credit card as an unauthorized charge. All of a sudden they were able to take it off. Ashamed that you have to get authoritative to get anything done.
5. Purchased my usual pumpkin pie at Costco for $5.99. Almost as good as homemade and couldn’t make it this cheaply.
6. Got a much-needed paper shredder from my sons for Christmas. Not a touchy-feely present but I really didn’t need anything else


Tina December 27, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I am starting to post here regularly as part of my 2019 frugal goals. I am hoping that tallying and journaling will help me hone in on my finances much better as we are preparing for two children to be in college in four short years. I can only hope to develop skills that help my children graduate college debt free. So here we go, my first poat.

1. We started less present giving a few years ago, and this year I was very surprised to see how little we spent. Each person in our family only gives one gift for each other. So our family of 4 only buys 12 presents. This year my children’s wish lists were very manageable with most things being instructions books for piano and jewelry making.
2. I requested the recommended book The Happiness Project from the library loan program instead of buying it.
3. My children spent some gift cards they won on their favorite snack foods saving my grocery bill (their choice not mine).
3. I found a store chain that sells tea I drink at 1/2 price. My tea habit is serious and this will save me about $8 every two weeks.
4. I started a journal to reflect on my daily money and savings struggles, so that I can reflect and make good choices that encourage focus.
5. I plan to skip my weekly grocery run this Friday as we have plenty to get through next week and going will just have me buy things unnecessarily, so I will go right before New Year’s for a few celebratory items to ring in the New Year at home with games and home cooking.


Liz B. December 31, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Hi, Tina! I loved The Happiness Project. The writer – Gretchen Rubin – has a free podcast called Happier that is very good….she and her sister host it.


Teresa Young December 27, 2018 at 5:31 pm

1 – We stuck to our Christmas budget – yay! We are moving this year & we told our children not to buy us anything, their gift to us will be helping us move.
2 – I found a deal on bone in rib roasts ($4.99/lb!) so I bought a small one for Christmas dinner. I made Beef & Lentil soup with the bones & leftover meat.
3 – I’ve listed a few things on Craigslist & plan to continue to do so regularly.
4 – Reading & listening to items from the library.
5- I went out to take advantage of post-Christmas clearance – I went to 1 store, bought gift tags – then realized I don’t need anything else & went home.


Jennifer December 27, 2018 at 6:45 pm

1) My parents stayed a few extra days with us due to my sister’s family passing around the stomach flu. They splurged on a standing rib roast and fixings for Christmas Eve dinner and I purchased a ham at Costco for Christmas dinner and the rest I threw together from the pantry and freezer. They also bought lots of wine.
2) Went to the high school gymnastics meet with my girls as we know numerous gymnasts on the teams. I used my work pass for 2 of us to get in free and paid $4 for a student. Also, we got a movie gift card for Christmas from my brother so my dh and 2 boys went to the movies tonight. $4 for an evening out for all 6 of us is pretty darn good.
3) All gifts (mostly needed clothes) fit and were well received so no returns at all. Purchased an experience gift for my parents while they were here and it was a bit lame. Though nice to do something different at least. Received a $20 Panera gift card and am saving it for travel during gymnastic meet season.
4) Froze lots of leftover ham for future meals. Ate leftovers for 2 meals for 8 people.
5) Dh and I worked the professional hockey game. We are currently working to earn money for Washington DC trips for 2 of the children. I should have enough at this point to pay the $240 due next week for my ds. I also signed us up to both work again next weekend.


Lindsey December 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm

1. Neither one of us felt like a big Christmas meal this year so that day we ate French toast for breakfast and for dinner I had toasted cheese sandwiches made out of leftover French toast with cheese slices in between the bread slices. I went to a boarding school where that was a regular meal and I crave it about every three or four months. My husband loves, loves, loves fried bologna sandwiches (the thought makes me gag), so he ate that. We read and then watched old holiday movies and had a perfectly nice and cheap (if unhealthy food wise) day.
2. Three friends come over for tea about once a month. A few months ago, one of them commented that I was using cheapo soap in my bathroom instead of my usual triple-milled French soap. I said the price was now $7 a bar so that soap is no longer part of my life. When they came over for our December tea, each of them brought me a bar of the $7 soap! They come to my house since it is hard for me to walk on the ice or even to use my wheelchair, and in exchange I supply a sweet for the tea. They said this was to repay me for the 12 months of baking. I was very touched (and thrilled with the soap!)
3. Unexpectedly needed one more hostess gift. Remembered I had a ton of smoked salmon from last summer in the freezer (gift from fisher friend), so I made two pints of smoked salmon dip. The hosts love salmon but her husband is too old to fish for salmon (not easy to dipnet), so this was very welcome. And we have been eating so much smoked and not smoked salmon that I was happy to be able to use it for a thrifty gift.
4. I bought a bunch of whole nuts from a company. They sent crushed nuts instead and I called to complain (nicely but firmly) and to figure out how to send it back. They said if they got food items back, they were not allowed to resell them, so to keep the crushed ones and they sent me the correct order for free. I will order form them again, since the customer service was so quick to respond.
5. Sold four items through Craig’s List, two books on Amazon, and took two boxes of books and puzzles to our non-profit literacy council bookstore for the tax write off. (How did we accumulate 29 puzzles??)

Frugal fails: left bananas that were past their prime to get mushy for future banana bread. I was at a meeting and husband decided to clean the fridge and freezer as a surprise since I hate that chore. As part of that cleaning, he threw the bananas away, thinking they were rotten. He also threw away three parm cheese rinds in the freezer, that had been stashed there to enhance the taste of future soups.


A. Marie December 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

Great #2 and #3, Lindsey. Like you, I have a weakness for expensive, high-quality soap, but as in your case, my friends know about this. And I’d have been as delighted as your hostess was with the smoked salmon dip.

We’re enjoying another thaw here in Upstate NY at the moment. Although I wouldn’t wish warmer weather on Alaska for any other reason, I know it helps you to get out more freely, and for that reason I’m sending you that wish. It helps me to get out for more walks here.


Marilyn December 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

1. Finished reading The Fifth Risk which I got from the library, of course.
2. Did not go overboard at Christmas. Most people on my list got edible treats.
3. Working nearly full time which means more money in savings plan at work. For me, this is the best way to save — have money taken out of my paycheck before I get it.
4. Still walking 3 miles daily for exercise.
5. Still watching videos from the library for entertainment.


Bethany M December 27, 2018 at 7:42 pm

We went to the La Brea Tar Pits today. I brought along my teaching certificate and she asked me if I taught in CA. I said that I homeschool in CA, and she shrugged and let me in for free.

Brought a lunch and ate a picnic outside the Tar Pits.

We went ahead and fulfilled our daughters’ dreams of seeing the stars in Hollywood while we were there. Free to humor them.

Going to stay home tomorrow for the day. Zero miles.

Husband made broth out of the ham bone from Christmas. I might cook up some beans with it.


Lauz December 27, 2018 at 8:44 pm

My FF road trip for Christmas edition
(Hervey Bay – Warrnambool – Melbourne – Miles – Hervey Bay)
1. Gave up boot space to pack the car fridge so we could pack breakfasts and snacks for the road trip. Meant less money spent on the go with impulse food purchases as would just pull over and fridge dive as we packed lots of favourite things)
2. Husband packed his coffee machine and each morning would fill a thermos with coffee to drink throughout the day.
3. Worked with family to do secret Santa and resisted all that training and marketing to buy everyone gifts. Did service jobs to thank people for what they did over the holidays (all the dishes at my mums for Christmas for cooking, babysitting at brothers to free up his and SIL could go out as thanks for staying with them.
4. As we had bought gifts to the Harry Potter play next year DH and I limited our gifts to each other to just one small thing and I made his (a beanie)
5. Went to the Boxing Day sales and only purchased three things that have been on my keep an eye out for list for the year (a summer dressing gown 60%off, a T-shirt and a lush shampoo bar). Eftpos machines went down and people on the shops panicked and then looked at me weird when I said I had cash. Cash keeps me accountable for spending as I loathe handing it over. Turned out very handy as I could still get my things
Happy new year everyone. Love your posts and comments. Get a lot of inspiration from them!


A. Marie December 28, 2018 at 4:30 am

FFT, “The Season of Misrule” Edition (this was an old-time name for the general merry-making that went on during the original 12 days of Christmas, from Christmas Day to Epiphany/Twelfth Night):

(1) Our one and only big splurge on Christmas eating was a lamb shoulder for our traditional Xmas Eve dinner (this is “A.N.’s Slow Shoulder of Lamb” from the first Two Fat Ladies cookbook). The Bestest Neighbors say they look forward to this all year, and they and our widowed next-door neighbor joined us for the feast. And, like other commenters, we’ve been (a) enjoying the leftovers all week and (b) saving the bones for soup stock.

(2) To buy the lamb, we went to an unusual meat market that Ms. BN had tipped me off to (there’s a typical urban convenience store in the front two-thirds of the store and a first-class butcher shop in the back third). It was fun and heartwarming watching other customers pick up their diverse Christmas orders, from standing rib roasts of beef to pails of chitterlings!

(3) The lamb dish included garlic, shallots, herbs, and (frozen) tomatoes from our garden. For dessert, I made baked apples, from apples gifted to us by the BNs’ next-door neighbors (the same ones who also gave us the citrus I mentioned in an earlier comment).

(4) One of my best presents was a Gardeners’ Supply cheese-making kit from the BNs. Paging Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “Blessed are the cheese-makers!” I’ll be using this!

(5) OK, this is a lot of cholesterol already, so I’ll switch focus. No typical after-Christmas shopping (as previously noted, I probably have a lifetime supply of gift wrap, etc.). I’m planning to hit the thrift shops big-time this weekend, but will still confine the shopping to (a) things DH and I genuinely need and (b) gifts and finds for other people.


Mary in VA December 31, 2018 at 9:19 am

My favorite thrift store is having a “50% off sweaters” sale that ends tonight. I scoped them out on Saturday and found one I liked. I’ll look again this afternoon. I love sweaters, especially at 50% off!


Mrs. Picky Pincher December 28, 2018 at 6:22 am

Good on you for making those tuition payments in cash. 🙂 I know you’re hustling really hard right now, but it’s going to be so worth that payoff! Good luck and drink plenty of coffee in the next few days. 😉

This week:

1. We hosted both mine and my husband’s family at our house for Christmas. They came on different days, so we spent the entire week celebrating with someone new each day. 😉 It was nice because, although we hosted, we didn’t have to travel this year.

2. I opted for homemade and semi-homemade food options for hosting. I didn’t want to try finding a place to eat on the holiday. Or, y’know, a place that will feed 10+ people, cater to allergies, and not cost an arm and a leg. I did Papa Murphy’s pizzas, chicken strip plates from the chicken place, and homemade snacks and waffles.

3. Sea World is 1,000% NOT frugal, but I went there with my sister and her kids anyway. They let me buy my ticket with their military discount, saving $50.

4. I’m looking through the Costco paper to find their January deals. I like stocking up based on the monthly sales.

5. We found a very nice desk on the side of the road. We put it in Mr. Picky Pincher’s office, which has been in desperate need of a desk. And we got one for free. 🙂


Kathy December 28, 2018 at 7:09 am

1. Received $5 CVS awards bucks, $10 visa gift card and $50 gift certificate from Health Net (participation awards) not sure what I’ll redeem it for. Sold Macy’s gift cards we were gifted online.
2. Used balance of Macy’s gift cards to buy hubby his aftershave (he gets this once a year), shoes for me and an InstantPot.
3. Sold a couple of things on line before holiday.
4. Regifting some things to friends out of the area (late holiday gifts).
5. Shared my germs with hubby so now with are both sick with colds. Spent $$ on tissue and cold products.


Mary in Maryland December 28, 2018 at 7:11 am

1. I picked up three cooking pumpkins on freecycle. They need a little extirpative surgery, but, hey, free!
2. The neighbors who had an open house on the 15th dropped off pounds of uneaten vegetables as they left town for the holidays. We’ve been feasting on crudité dip stir fry—red pepper, snow pea pods, baby carrots. And the larder is full.
3. Gifted two other neighbors with kale from 2. And we’ve eaten two pounds ourselves.
4. Got the presents I asked for—I asked the Mister to complete a few home repairs. Deadlines help him a lot. And now we have coat hooks in the front hall.
5. Gave a friend a closet. She said she was getting rid of empty boxes. I suggested that she should only get rid of full boxes. We spent yesterday morning going through her closets, and then I took six boxes to the thrift store for her. Probably more of a service than an experience.


Momma L December 28, 2018 at 7:33 am

1. Deep cleaned the fridge. My DH has taught me much about taking care of what we already own, and things last longer when we do.
2. Didn’t pay anyone to deep clean the fridge, our kids are grown! That is one chore I used to happily pay them to do back in the day.
3. Comparing my new auto insurance policy for changes. I save the old ones to see where we can save and make adjustments each 6 months.
4. Not done yet, but compiling offers of student loan refi offers, seeing if I can save some $. I’ve kept it federal so it dies if I die first (no cost to DH if he outlives me) but the temptation to save on interest is there.
5. My aging mother gave me some artwork she had made. I’m redecorating some using her art. Most of my decor has a memory or story, I love being surrounded by memories.


isa December 28, 2018 at 8:26 am

Totally with you about not finishing a boring book. My husband is one of those people who NEED to finish a book, even if it’s paintful! I don’t get it. Life is too short and books are plenty, not like we will run out! I have a rule : 50 pages. If I’m not hooked by then, it’s out.


Mand01 December 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

My Grandfather was one of the world’s most voracious readers. He kept diaries of every book he ever read. But his rule was that life is too short to read a book you don’t enjoy. I follow that rule too. I think it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “good” book – but you have to enjoy it.


Susan December 29, 2018 at 9:43 am

1 an 2: Going back to work full time next week. I have been working PT from home for last 14 years since my last child was born. This was frugal as I didn’t pay day care and kept my skills fresh and was able to increasingly contribute to the family income as the children grew. Now that the youngest is in high school and older 2 are in college or will be in the fall, the extra income will be put to good use!
3: Asked for some needed wardrobe upgrades (for being back in the office) for xmas. I needed some tops to wear under sweaters and new shoes all of which I received. I have a hard time coming up with gift ideas for myself, so this was a good year!
4. I did a relatively frugal gift for all my teen nieces/nephews. Gave them all $20 gift cards for coffee/food plus chapstick and a pack of candy. They are hard to buy for, so this allowed me to knock them all out at one store and everything is consumable and will be used/appreciated by them and I didn’t break the bank.
5. We do an annual family outing for xmas usually in Chicago that includes a musical, concert, etc. plus dinner out. I couldn’t find a show that was appealing, so we switched it up to tix to a light show at the Arboretum after a dinner in the suburbs on 12/23. The tickets to the light show for all of us were about the price of a single ticket to our usual shows plus doing dinner in the suburbs instead of downtown Chicago meant no parking fees. We still went to see the window displays at Macy’s on State Street before heading to our xmas eve family dinnere, but since we were in and out so quickly, it was only $5 for parking!


rebecca December 30, 2018 at 8:23 am

1. Worked all week and wanted to take it off but didn’t.
2. Making a chicken pot pie with chicken carcass and all stuff I had on hand.
3. Made 2 Christmas pies for friends. Went there for dinner last night for a yummy dinner and came home with homemade soup
4. My sister gifted me some movie passes
5. Drove my niece to the airport so no taxi or uber fees for her and happiness at spending some lovely extra time with her


Teresa December 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

1. Like Katy, I have drastically reduced the gift-giving and it’s been a huge relief. To my immediate family, I gave money and practical gifts. (Well ok, I gave my son & his wife a TV — mostly because I am so glad they finally found a place to live that is not in my house. I want them to stay comfy and stay there.)

2. It can be awkward when someone gives a gift and I have nothing to hand back, but I’m getting used to accepting graciously without giving a gift in return, or just giving a small rum cake or cookies. For special friends I will reciprocate or gift by taking them out to eat and/or making time to hang out together.

3. Yesterday’s reciprocal gift experience was taking my neighbor to check out a “dispensary”… I was really curious because pot was illegal in my youth. It was very strange to walk into a store that sells it openly (take that “openly” with a grain of salt because we had to give our legal ID’s, wait in a lobby 20 mins. for our “appointment” and pass through locked doors with an armed security guard in front — and we were on video the entire time.) For those who don’t know, these stores offer some products that do not bend the mind — one of them is CBD water. My neighbor purchased some, hoping that it might stimulate her elderly mother’s appetite. Note: That 12 oz bottle of water was $10 plus 18% tax plus 16% more tax! Holy Moly! I probably won’t go back but at least I can knock that item off my bucket list… It was quite the exotic adventure.

4. It’s not less expensive to do the holiday this way, but as I age, the gift of spending time with friends and family has become more valuable than money.

5. The NCA site has helped me a lot this year, particularly with learning new ways of saving, reuse, (not) buying and gifting. I rarely go into a store for anything other than for groceries or pet food these days, and I don’t miss it! My plan for the new year: I’m on a mission to get things done and get rid of things I no longer need or use. Change is in the air…

For all my non-consumer online friends: However you live it, I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and loving New Year 2019.


Jessica December 30, 2018 at 11:25 am

1) I picked up an extra shift that helps colleagues and will earn me some overtime
2) I picked up an art projector that a neighbor was giving away, which I will sell. On the way back…
3) I picked up a large pile of items that a neighbor had put on the curb ahead of heavy trash pickup day. I donated a bunch of new custom-printed t-shirts and sweats and a backpack, gave away a poster through a buy-nothing group, and will sell a pair of end tables.
4) while visiting my parents for the holidays, I picked up a few things that are clutter at their house, but that someone else will be able to use. Planning to sell them.


julie December 30, 2018 at 2:42 pm

5 Frugal holiday editions (really more than that).
1-I made sure to use all my free product coupons that were expiring at the end of the month.
2- I ended up working on what should have been a vacation day and so I emailed my leader to advise I was taking the day back & he had no issue with that. I had no plans that day and some urgent stuff came up that I would not want to deal with in the New Year so it was worth it.
3-I have been at home since December 20th so lots of time and transportation costs saved.
4-DH and I have started the annual eat from the pantry, freezer January. I find after the holidays the cupboards can be over stuffed. One of my 2019 goals is to reduce our food waste and he is on board with that.
5- I have taken stock of the gift cards we have accumulated and few received as gifts and will use them for a few splurges in January as we are aiming for a very low spend month. We are in month 20 of DHs underemployment and want to put some more money into retirement before the tax deadline (late February for Canadians).
6- packed up all the left over Christmas boxes and wrap to use again next year. I made sure to use all the random left over holiday cards from past years and will probably be able to do that again for another year. I used to buy a fresh box every year, but have decided to use what we have on hand.
7- I found a book at our little free library that I am waiting for from our public library and I was 120 on the list so this was a lovely surprise. I also found the “Tattooist of Auschwitz” at the library for fast lane and I am really far down that waiting list so I will enjoy the last few days of my vacation.


Katy December 31, 2018 at 11:26 am

My understanding is that “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” has been debunked. Here is an article about it:


MommaL December 31, 2018 at 5:01 am

Question for this group: A lot of the frugal blogs are written by and aimed at young women/moms. Any granny groups out there?


Heidi Louise December 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

MommaL: The Prudent Homemaker is a younger woman/mom, but she uses “older” techniques, particularly cooking, gardening, and sewing, to live on an extremely tight budget for her large family. Many of the people who comment are of grandmotherly age.


A. Marie December 31, 2018 at 9:43 am

Hi, MommaL. I think we have a pretty good cross-section of ages right here among the NCA commenters; some of us are younger folks and others are “granny age,” if not actually grannies. (I’m 63.5.)


Joanie December 31, 2018 at 9:46 am

The Prudent Homemaker is the gold standard for realistic frugalism, and she has attracted a large group of knowledgeable commenters. writer is a grandmother and this new year will try to live on the income they can expect to have when her husband retires in a few years.


Tracy January 2, 2019 at 9:40 am

A blog I like from a woman in the retirement age group which features frugal living is Barb’s blog at


Jenzer January 2, 2019 at 7:14 pm

Donna Freedman is another older-woman frugal blogger you might enjoy.


Donna Freedman January 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for the shout-out! And come on over: I’ve got a giveaway up through Jan. 10 that includes T-shirts, a foldable back and a $50 Amazon card.


Kris Lindquist December 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm

The book title and illustration you’re holding reminded me of a book I loved, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it. I got mine from our library or I’d send it to you. Happy New Year!


Katy December 31, 2018 at 10:22 pm

I was thinking about how these two books pair well together.


Donna Freedman January 3, 2019 at 3:02 pm

I took that book from the Anchorage library right before Christmas. Hope you’re enjoying it.

The descriptions of the pies made me hungry.


Lindsey January 1, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Kris, did you see the movie they made of the Potato Peel Society book? I liked the book more but the movie is quite nice when it is raining and you have a cup of hot chocolate or tea in your hands…I think I streamed it on Netflix.. I get that every few months for a month and use the time to catch up on new releases.


Avery January 1, 2019 at 9:11 pm

1. Today, I went to a consignment shop that I usually resell at, but I have been needing some dark jeans. My other pair was $8 from the thrift store, and sadly the zipper doesn’t work:( I have made do but finally, I found some perfect jeans that fit well!
2. In the process of selling my brothers’ clothes on Poshmark. I’m new to this so would appreciate any tips!
3. Donated a whole box of books to the library which cleared up space in the garage, and in the same trip, dropped off a book and picked up another.
4. Sold a gift card on Raise for a place that I am not interested in using it; I prefer the $ in my bank account!
5. Have a box of stuff to take to Goodwill.
6. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet!


Lauren January 3, 2019 at 7:16 am

I’ve been selling on Poshmark for about a year and the only thing that I can recommend is sending offers to likers – HOWEVER – I’ve sold more things at full price to people that I didn’t send offers to, OUT OF NOWHERE. So it’s really a mystery to me. I’ve shared countless amounts of things to all the different parties on Posh, I’ve created an instagram to hashtag and drive people to my Poshmark store, and what it has all boiled down to for me is… there’s no rhyme or reason to it. The only thing you really need to keep in mind is that, in order to send offers, you’re going to have to decrease the price by at least 10% – so make sure your starting at a price that’s really 10% higher than what you want to accept… and calculate in how much Poshmark takes. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re really not concerned with how much you bring in and it’s better for you to get the space / less worry of having these clothes around, accept any reasonable offer —- I usually try to counter with a couple dollars over their offer, but it’s up to you how you feel what is fair for the both of you! I’m breadandglitter if you want to find me!


Avery January 8, 2019 at 10:21 am

Thank you so much!


Elizabeth January 2, 2019 at 1:46 am

1. To save money on Christmas this year, I made a Harry Potter ceramic pot for a plant I gave my son for Christmas, decoupaged a Ravenclaw pencil holder for my daughter, made a Star Wars quilt for my son, and a pretty door hanger for my daughter (all gifts were well received..whew)
2. Celebrated Christmas and New Years at home and with family. We have a huge extended family so we never go out to eat for holidays (which is strange to some people apparently)
3. Decluttered all of our rooms and closets. Then rearranged furniture between bedrooms to make a refreshing change for no out of pocket costs.
4. Saved a lamp shade from a broken lamp to replace one that my kids broke on another…sigh
5. Earned $33 in credit card reward points


Jill A January 2, 2019 at 5:48 am

I had a very frugal New Years Eve and day. We stayed in our pajamas most of the day and I watched free HGTV shows on my laptop while my daughter looked for internships. In the evening a friend came over. We drank wine that I received as a gift and ate cheese and crackers that I had purchased for Christmas celebrations. We toasted with a $3 bottle of sparkling juice I had bought at my daughters request. We had some family over New Years Day. We drank coffee, water and munched on the leftover cheese and crackers and some inexpensive snacks I had picked up. The kids played a game one had received for Christmas and we sat around and chatted.


Donna Freedman January 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Some of the frugal things I’ve been up to lately:

Turned leftover beef (we took a roast to a potluck) and gravy into a six-serving beef pie by adding one diced potato, some frozen peas, a bit of leftover corn and a from-scratch crust (using flour we buy in 50-pound sacks from Costco).

Used sour milk to make waffles and cornbread (you really CAN’T taste it); had there been any left over, my partner said he would have baked a cake.

Stayed home for New Year’s Eve, making dinner from what was on hand: that beef pie plus an apple pie (using apples we grew).

Made yogurt from marked-down, close-dated milk that cost $2.78 for the gallon (lately milk has run about $4 a gallon). Drained that yogurt through a cloth-napkin-lined colander to create a Greek-style product that wound up costing $1.39 per quart — and froze the whey to use with cooking and baking.

Spent practically nothing for holiday gift-giving, thanks to thrift stores, items picked up at a conference (my nephews love the T-shirts from various offbeat companies), regifting, the dollar store (where I bought five interesting hardback novels for a buck each), and cashing in rewards points from credit cards and rewards programs.

Sewed up minor rips/replaced buttons on several items of clothing.

Cleaned our own house, shoveled the snow ourselves

Went to the bakery outlet for $1 multigrain bread and a $2 case of Tim’s potato chips (which wound up costing about 17 cents per 7.5-oz. bag).

Kept the thermostat at 60 degrees

Cooked a few cups of black beans with olive oil, cumin, garlic and cayenne, then froze them flat in bags for later entrees

Used salvaged wood in our fireplace insert (for cheer as well as heat)

Took his granddaughter out to play in the snow and to take a walk vs. taking her to McDonald’s or a commercial “bouncy house” for entertainment

Bought an extra ham at the (for us) rock-bottom price of $1.47 per pound, cut it up and froze it in several bags for future meals


Jill A January 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

1. I managed to sneak into the lowest price gas station and fill up my car before they raised the price by 36 cents like the everyone else. I saved $6 on gas.
2. We’ve been eating up all the leftovers and food in the freezer. Today for lunch I baked a few freezer rolls and added leftover ham and cheese slices from holiday meals.
3. I used rewards points to book the last hotel night on our trip we are taking in the spring.
4. Yesterday my Mother treated my daughter and I to a movie with a gift card she had received. A couples days before we treated her to lunch with some discounted Olga’s gift cards I had bought as a gift at Costco and then gave only half of them away.
5. Today my daughter and I went to another movie at the discount movie theater. We shared a drink so I our total for our outing was $10. We stopped at the thrift shop beforehand but walked out empty handed.


Michele Davidson January 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm

1. Went to Aldis this AM and only got what ee needs. Have been menu planning to use what we have on hand.
2. Going running tonight with friends. No gym fees for us.
3. Watched a movie with friends last eve. She provided the “snack” dinner ( my favorite) and I brought a homemade cheesecake. So much cheaper than going out.
4. Trying to use what I have for scrapbook supplies. Do print pics today, but used a Walgreens coupon.
5. Both my parents an in laws save thier coupons for me.


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