Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 8, 2019 · 76 comments

  1. I sold a college diploma case and the inner canister to a Dyson vacuum cleaner on eBay. Both items were thrifted and I kept to the general rule of thumb to not list on eBay unless I can make at least $20.

    I had to shell out money for packing tape, but I stood in the store aisle for a good five minutes figuring out which tape was the cheapest per linear foot. I ended up buying two three-packs, as there was a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal on tape, which hammered home the truth that broke people pay more for stuff. How? I paid a larger amount to get a better price per roll by buying a larger amount, but had I been financially insecure I would have picked the single roll which was more expensive per linear foot. I go through enough tape that I’ll actually use six rolls of tape in a reasonable time, and am happy that I’m at a point in my life where I can make these spending choices.

    But I sure as hell remember paying more for stuff simply because I didn’t have enough money to take advantage of bulk deals.

  2. I took my mother out for a Day of Adventures as her Christmas present. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ll write it up as a separate blog post, but it featured admission into the Portland Art Museum courtesy of a free library cultural pass. This alone would normally have set us back $37 for admission. She doesn’t need more stuff, and the day’s experiences astronomically outweighs a pretty scarf or sweater.

  3. I got called off from another 12-hour hospital shift, but am sending out invoices for freelance writing and will easily be able to pay my bills. Having more than one iron in the fire or a ‘patchwork income” gives breathing room to my family’s budget.

  4. I picked up organic Orowheat bread at the Dollar Tree, I wore thrifted clothes, I stopped into Goodwill while running errands and picked up a couple things to sell, I stopped at another Goodwill and bought nothing, I spent a couple days binge watching my library copy of Star Trek: Discovery with the family, I cooked up a big batch of black beans in my Instant Pot so I can create mixed whatever bowls from refrigerator contents, (rice, cheese, peppers, onions, salsa, sour cream, avocado, etc) I mailed out my eBay packages using second hand supplies, (other than the tape, I haven’t figured out a way to source used tape) and I gave a stash of plastic food packaging bags to my father for his dog’s poop.

  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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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby March 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm

1. Bought gas with a prepaid store card that saves 3 cents per gallon.
2. Gave a very pregnant friend my services as driver and grocery hauler, which was a frugal way for us to make a chore fun.
3. Whipped up a batch of herring and mashed potato kibble topper for our dogs. The oily fish is good for them and inexpensive.
4. Made a big pitcher of fridge brewed tea for pennies.
5. Packed my breakfast, coffee, lunch and snack to work every day, even when I did not feel like it, wore cute thrifted outfits every day, and hung my laundry on a rack to dry.


Bethany March 8, 2019 at 2:48 pm

I picked a free frame up off the curb and took the painting out. I upcycled it and now have a nice big corkboard for my home office, a wish I’ve had for a long time.

My seasonal work-from-home job should be starting mid month here in March. We will welcome the extra income. In the name of work-from-home I also put together a resume and sample of some work I could do as a freelance opportunity. I think I have some ideas to really help this certain company. It’s a long shot, for sure, but since 75% of jobs are never advertised, I figure, why not!?!!

Our Home Depot has a contractor that comes to your home to test your water. It wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as I thought it would be, but they gave us a $20 gift card for participating in the demo (which we didn’t buy into). We used the gift card already for supplies for our bathroom exhaust fan project, another thing we’ve wanted for a long time.

Making pizza tonight instead of take out. So cheap!!!

Ok this is a stretch, but I just rocked my best friend’s baby to sleep, which gives me my baby fix and is a whole lot cheaper than having another. LOL!


Bee March 9, 2019 at 5:23 am

I love that you upcycled an old frame and made it into something you wanted and needed. It is amazing what treasures a curbside can yield!


Cindy in the South March 8, 2019 at 2:52 pm

1. I made mulberry muffins using the Tightwad Gazette recipe. The mulberries were free. I am making baked potatoes in the Crock-Pot. I will then make baked beans in the crockpot. 2. My flip phone died. I am trying to type in a new $40 Total Wireless pH from Wal-Mart. I loved my flip phone but after two years it just died… sigh. 3. I am drying my laundry on my furniture in the living room. It is 75 degrees here today. 4. I got a free book at the Lil free book library at the laundromat. 5. I bought a skirt suit for court at Salvation Army for $12 but that is not really a win because my tubby self can barely fit in it. Perhaps if I quit eating so many muffins, potatoes, beans, etc. I would not have that problem…. groan.


Jennifer March 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm

5. 5. Ugh, I know! I am worried that I won’t fit into a lot of my spring/summer stuff because I ate too much while hibernating this winter. Having to buy new because of cornbread hips is a frugal fail for sure.


Lindsey March 8, 2019 at 7:06 pm

I have potato chip hips!


Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 7:07 am

Ugh, those too.


Liz B. March 9, 2019 at 9:41 am

Chocolate chip banana bread belly here. (frowny face) (lol)

A. Marie March 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm

My hips have so many contributing factors I couldn’t list them all if I tried. But if I had to pick one, it’d be cornbread hips.


KATHEEN M STANDLEY March 8, 2019 at 3:56 pm

1. Eating yummy leftovers for the past two days, and probably have enough to last through the weekend.
2. Doing my own housework (how I wish it would just stay done!)
3. Hibernating with lots of library reading material.
4. Doing my own nails.
5. Pulling out long-owned, non-traditional items to decorate for spring. When I haven’t seen them in awhile, I’m always happy that they are getting used and enjoyed again. 🙂


Christine Joiner March 9, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Your #5…it’s almost like getting new decorations when you haven’t seen them for awhile. I live in the Northeast and have a have a similar experience with clothes. I have two distinctly different wardrobes for hot weather and cold weather. When I pull out one after using the other for months at a time, it’s always “Oooh, I forgot I had that ______ (fill in the blank). Almost fun!


Christine Joiner March 9, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Chop out “have a” from second sentence. Aaaargh!


tracy March 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

1. Took bus 3 x this week to save $13.50 daily parking.

2. Filled tank at Costco as I am driving 1.5 hours each way to see my young adult kids tomorrow.

3. Scheduled a happy hour dinner with a friend for cheese burgers and fries at Ruth’s Chris Bar last night — incredibly good meat, big burger, delicious fries all for $9 which is a tiny fraction of their normal meal cost. Add a diet coke for $3 (refilled several times while we visited for 2.5 hours) and a $3 tip and it was a $15 dinner all in. Which I ended up not paying as my friend insisted it was her turn to pick up the check!

4. Shopped sales at Freddy’s after work today to buy groceries for the coming week, only spent $60 (for 4 adults) and have plenty of food for the week. Didn’t need meat, bought lots of fruits, veg, bread, cheese, eggs, milk, peanut butter etc. Also spent $6 on an extremely meaty ham bone at Honey Baked Ham and will make a big pot of ham and navy bean soup this weekend which will be enough for several meals plus work lunches this coming week.

5. Hubs and I are going to watch “Black Klansman” this eve — we can rent to stream at home for $6 instead of $24 at the theater.

6. Have had my eye on a pair of Sam Edelman cognac colored ballet flats that retail for $110 — they went down to $22 on my discount site (it was the last pair they had and happened to be my size so I snapped them up)! And they will look great with my cognac colored leather bag that I recently had repaired. I am working to streamline my wardrobe and focus on classic items that I can wear for a long time and these fit the bill.


Carol March 8, 2019 at 5:08 pm

1. Took my containers to a bulk bin store today in a trendy neighborhood. Turned out they had minimal bins and I didn’t get anything, but I count it as a win because I avoided buying a cute wooden giraffe toy or dog collar from a boutique.
2. Also dropped off library books, avoiding a fine. Picked up my hold, Plastic Free, and I look forward to reducing my plastic over the next few weeks.
3. Avoiding all food waste by eating up everything. Just have to watch my waist.
4. Made bread, margarita mix, and oat milk, ostensibly to avoid packaging, but it probably saved me some money, too. And who doesn’t like homemade bread?
5. Drinking free green tea from my parents–they get it as gifts from people and they don’t drink it.


LB March 11, 2019 at 6:42 am

Everyone likes homemade bread, but homemade margarita mix sounds even nicer! 😉


Jennifer March 8, 2019 at 6:18 pm

1. A local thrift store had a deal where you buy a bag for $10.73 and you can pack it as full as you want to. I walked around and shopped for awhile before I purchased the bag. I wanted to A. make sure that I found enough good stuff to fill a bag and B. See how big the bag was. Luckily, it was a big garbage bag with incredible stretch capacity. I got a lot of good things too numerous to list.
2. I didn’t bring my lunch to work today but I did buy a marked down salad for lunch as I picked up my Free Friday Download at Kroger. It’s a Hershey bar this week so I couldn’t let that one slip by.
3. I downloaded a free meditation app on my phone. I have been feeling especially anxious and somewhat bitchy so maybe this will calm me down.
4. My daughter’s class earned a “technology day” at school for doing good deeds,good behavior, etc. While I love my kids being rewarded for things, it opens a can of worms. My daughter is nine and doesn’t have a phone. She has an iPod that she can text on, listen to music, and surf the internet some. Lots kids at school have pricey phones and now my daughter is begging for a phone, ugh!
5. My younger daughter found an American girl doll for $2 at a yardsale! It has no clothes. My kids are spending Spring break at my mom’s and she is going to show them how to take apart old clothes and sew them into doll clothes. Sounds so fun, I wish I could participate.
6. At the same church yard sale, a vender gave the kids a grocery bag to fill up with whatever they wanted for only 50 cents. My kids put a PlayStation 2 in the bag and it actually works…score! I also got a North face jacket for $3 at the same yard sale and a lady gave me a pair of king size sheets because she didn’t want to take them back home and she didn’t have a king size bed anymore. I gave her a dollar to go toward the fundraiser.


Karen B March 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm

I love your #5! Such fun memories being made and great skills. 🙂


Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 7:14 am

Me too! I’m so excited to see what they create. I’m glad my mom is retired now and able to do things like this. When I was growing up she was too busy.


Bethany March 9, 2019 at 6:07 pm

What a yard sale find! Cool project too!


Jennifer March 8, 2019 at 6:37 pm

1. Packed some interesting lunches this week in an effort to eat healthier and use up what we had on hand. Cheaper and better for you than eating out.
2. Browned a pound of ground sausage and spread it over 2 meals for 5 people. Ended up with leftovers after tonight too.
3. Made homemade banana bread, chocolate chip muffins and pumpkin muffins to be snacks and breakfast this week.
4. Younger ds joined the rugby team. I dug through older ds’s drawers and closet and came up with a school rugby jacket with our last name on it, rugby shorts and socks along with an old pair of cleats. No extra costs here! Also, tomorrow are their first games, but it is varsity only. My ds is going, but the games are 2 hours away and he is not expected to play. I am not going to go to these games. I will go to the games 1 hour away on Sunday where the JV team is the focus.
5. Dh changed the oil in 2 of our cars today.
6. I filed all of our taxes – fed, state and local. In all we are about $2000 ahead due to the new tax laws and dependent child credits. yay! Putting it straight in the college savings account. I am not adjusting our taxes on our pay checks because we do a lot of side work that is not taxed until we file. Between that and the changes every year we are all over the place between owing sometimes and getting a large refund. I never know what to expect, so I will play it safe at least one more year before adjusting.


Liz B. March 8, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Katy, I love seeing pics of you with your mom. I also love that she’s not into “stuff”. My mom’s love language is gift-giving, which means she brings my son gifts every time she comes over. He now associates her visits with gifts (cringe).
1) Treated DS to McDonald’s, only to find his fries were cold and hard, and his strawberry shake tasted like mint. Filled out the online survey from my receipt, politely but clearly spelling out what was wrong. The regional manager emailed me, apologized, and sent me a “Be Our Guest” card for a free replacement meal.
2) Received a class action settlement check. I’m not even sure what the class action was about, but that’s okay.
3) Was invited to our pet sitter’s open house, celebrating her company’s 5 years in business. The event was lovely, with delicious appetizers we made a light dinner out of. Hubby also won a door prize gift basket, which included a Tervis tumbler, a dog-themed dish towel and note pad, plus the book The Dogist. The basket itself is so pretty! And the book – soooo many great dog photos….charming entertainment for a dog lover like me.
4) Have been buying weekly produce at Aldi and Costco. The Costco organic spring mix that I use for my work lunch salads is cheaper and lasts longer (without getting slimy) than the spring mix from Aldi and Kroger.
5) Not really mine, but hubby managed to pull our ancient sail boat out of our side yard using our ancient pick up truck, and hauled it to his mom’s house (her house has two separate driveways, and she okay’ed our temporary use of one until we come up with a more definite storage plan). Long story, but this avoided a hefty fine from the city, after “a neighbor” complained about a “junky camper/eyesore” parked several blocks away….which led to the city inspector driving around and realizing there were MANY campers, RVs, boats, etc., stored improperly on various properties – including our’s. The boat was parked there for at least 5 years, and we didn’t realize it was a no-no. Lesson learned. Thankful we have somewhere to put it for now.


Lindsey March 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm

1. Lots of frugal freezer food things this week so didn’t really need anything until today.
2. Husband went to the grocery store this afternoon and was in the spaghetti sauce aisle, next to a grocery employee filling the shelves. The kid dropped a glass jar of Ragu and it broke all over my husband’s shoe and pant leg. The kid actually teared up, even though my husband kept saying it was only an accident and it would wash out (HA!) easily. Kid went to get some paper towels to wipe off husband’s leg and came back with the manager, who fell all over himself apologizing. When the husband, who is always mild mannered but especially when he sees someone in distress, kept saying it was okay, the manager said that they are used to people screaming and swearing at them and threatening to sue. Leg and shoe were finally wiped off and husband continued shopping. A few minutes later the manager caught up with him and gave him a $25 gift card to make up for any hard feelings. Combined with our other coupons, the gift card paid for all but $10 of our groceries. (Husband forgot to get the spaghetti sauce after all that!)
3. Picked up a quarter in the parking lot.
4. One more gas mystery shop today, so free gas and a free coke plus this time $20 because it was a bit out of town.
5. Picked up three books from the library, which narrowly saved me from buying a book I want!


Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 7:18 am

2. Awe, I feel sorry for the kid! Glad y’all got that gift card though.


Liz B. March 9, 2019 at 9:45 am

Yay to your hubby for being kind and understanding. It’s a shame that the kid and the manager are “used to” people swearing, threatening to sue, etc. Obviously, those customers have never had an accident, dropped anything, etc. (sarcasm)


A. Marie March 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Lindsey, kudos to your DH for his low-key reaction. As others have said, it’s a shame things have come to such a pass that screaming and swearing are now considered the norm. (But I’ll bet the gift card was welcome anyway.)


KJD509 March 8, 2019 at 9:02 pm

1) Ran to the store for a couple of quick items for my family and a nearby relative who is under the weather. Grabbed a cart left in the middle of the entryway and discovered it had a quarter in it. Forgot the on-sale strawberries but didn’t go back later to get some, figuring if I had wanted them that badly, I’d have grabbed them the first time.

2) Walked with the big dog to the library to pick up a book on hold. He waited not-so-patiently outside, attracting a lot of attention. It started pouring on our way home, so the normally busy path home through a gigantic park was quite empty. I noticed that a man in a truck, who had been watching the dog at the library, showed up at two of the places where the path crosses streets. When I saw him again, parked this time at the loneliest section of the park, I decided the savings in gas wasn’t worth the risk, headed back to the library, and called my husband for a ride. He was happy to oblige.

3) The geranium I moved 400 miles and then nearly killed by neglect has recovered and is blooming, saving a purchase of daffodils or primroses to counteract the grey.

4) I’ve been interviewing for new jobs in this new town, and – maybe because the traffic is so bad – have discovered that almost everything starts with a phone interview or two. So, plenty of networking without the expense of gas or a haircut. Will need both next week, though, as things have progressed to a meet-the-team point.

5) No Lear jet, no gold-plated anything, but I did accept my husband’s invitation to go out for a beer this afternoon. Happy hour pricing plus an extra buck off mine for International Women’s Day makes me a cheap date!


Bee March 9, 2019 at 5:16 am

Your #2 is a little scary. It is so important to always be aware of your surroundings. I’m glad you called your dear hubby.


Cindy in the South March 9, 2019 at 10:46 am

Yikes on #2! So glad you were paying attention!


Christine March 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Your #2…I read the book The Gift of Fear a long time ago and I believe it has served me well. It looks like you used this gift and went back to the library and called your husband. Glad you’re safe. P.S. Invaluable read, if you’re interested. Older book but valid advice for any day and age.


KJD509 March 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Thanks, all. I mentioned it here because it’s easy for me to get pretty focused on one thing – e.g., walking frugal errands vs driving, especially since, if the free library spaces are full, which they usually are, the minimum charge for street parking is two hours, so why not grab a coffee at the shop across the street to use up my “extra” time – and ignore other equally or more important things, like safety. Christine, I’ve heard of that book but not read it . . . one more thing to add to the library list!


Karen B March 8, 2019 at 10:25 pm

1) Thrift store bargain, a brand new looking pair of jeans and a specialized cookbook for under $7 total. Also gave away a coupon for the store making the shopper behind me happy. I almost never hit the minimum purchase required to use the coupon and I could see she would with what was in her cart.

2) We watched a movie borrowed from the library rather than purchasing one or going to a theater. The last time 2 of us went to the fancier theater, the total for 2 tickets, popcorn, and 2 sodas was $40 and while it was nice, we agreed to pick that theater less often and instead pick the less fancy but still nice theater with cheaper tickets and snacks for about half the total or to have movie night at home.

3) Defrosted the big freezer which will make it run more efficiently. Got to use Mother Nature’s freezer to store food in the garage for a couple days while the freezer melted and dried out. The thing is 27 years old and still going strong. Big help in keeping the grocery cost low by making it easier for me stock up during sales or buy in bulk.

4) Continuing to gradually use up pantry items that have been sitting there a while. Teen son appears to be in a growth spurt and has really upped his food intake. This may be contributing to him being more willing to learn to cook. He baked twice this week and was proud of the results. Cooking’s a very frugal life skill to have and we’ll be working on it for the next few years.

5) Son and I went to the grand opening of a store known for low-priced items. We looked around, saw a lot of plastic, some cheaply made items, and some items that were at a good price and something we might like at another time but didn’t currently. We left empty handed except for 2 hotdogs for the perpetually hungry teen, 5 cents each special!

6) Signed son up for an awesome free class through our local library this summer.


Jill A March 8, 2019 at 11:48 pm

Not a very frugal week since my daughters are on spring break.

1. I contributed to my 2018 HSA in order to take advantage of the tax break.
2. My daughter and I enjoyed watching a DVD from the library. We returned it and some books avoiding a fine for the DVD. My daughter got another book and I’m reading a library book on my kindle.
3. One daughter needed new shoes. She has wide feet and struggles to find shoes that are comfortable. We found two pair. My Mom gave me her $5 birthday coupon for DSW since there was nothing that she wanted. In total I spent $45 on shoes.
4. I went to a ladies night out craft with a friend. Another friend had treated us and bought the tickets. I’ll have to return the favor in the future. I bought only one drink while I was there.
5. We’ve eaten out a few times this week. Like I said not a very frugal week. I did order water to drink.


Bee March 9, 2019 at 5:12 am

1) I signed up for the vintage flea market held locally at the end of March. I do this twice a year. There is always so much to do prepare. I try and make my booth look stylish which pays off as I usually sell out. Currently I am remaking some old linen curtains into table cloths.

2) I stopped in at GW this week to rummage. I was thrilled to buy four brand new cookbooks for $1. Three of these focus on gluten-free baking and are extremely informative. I am so happy to have these.

3) We are loading up the car this morning. Our county is having a hazardous waste collection day. They also have electronics and paint recycling. It is important to dispose of these things properly. Better yet, I wish that I did not have some of it at all.

4) I picked up two books at the library this week – The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (the Nightingale) and John Grisham’s newest book, The Reckoning. These should keep me happily reading this week. Spring has come, so I will sit outside and enjoy this beautiful weather.

5) I have been doing all the usual stuff — cooking from scratch, eating at home, drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, and trying not to waste any food whatsoever. I have been using one of those tiny rubber spatulas to get every bit out of jars and cutting tubes open. It always amazes me how much you can get out of “empty” containers.


tracy March 10, 2019 at 6:12 am

Bee I so wish I could come to your vintage flea market!


Bee March 10, 2019 at 4:23 pm

I wish you could too. An old friend of mine who owns a local store organizes the flea market twice a year. It is held outdoors near the local history museum. There are about 50 vendors, and they sell a variety of items. It is fun and profitable!


JC March 10, 2019 at 8:19 pm

I have the hazardous waste drop off date on my calendar for April. Agreed – it’s important to dispose of it the right way and I also wish I didn’t have so much of it.


Crosby March 9, 2019 at 5:54 am

1. A book was recommended to my team at work to read and instead of buying it, I requested it from our university library.
2. Ate leftovers all week for lunch and dinner (except last night’s FF as I am sick and my partner is working more than usual so we got take out)
3. Today will be a no car day for me – unfortunately they’re rare.
4. I’m working on a crocheted blanket for a friend for her wedding present.
5. I got my tire fixed instead of replaced and it only cost me $6.50. I also said no to the big box store’s offer to do my inspection (which they said was past due even though I have until the end of the month. Insert eye roll here) and install a new car battery while I was there. I go to a local mechanic, who is also my neighbor, for all non-tire needs. And I haven’t had a single issue with my battery – I’ll still run it past my mechanic, but I’d prefer to keep money I do need to spend local when I can afford it. It isn’t always an option.
6. The only “souvenirs” I bought on our weekend away last weekend were two locally made mustards for my mom as a thank you for watching our dog for free (and she loves mustard) and a really nice, well made sweater at a second hand store. Toronto has some really nice boutique thrift stores!


Momma L March 9, 2019 at 6:40 am

I love local food treats! Especially if they come in cute jars I can repurpose. : )


Momma L March 9, 2019 at 6:39 am

Feeling better, so catching up!
1. Making chicken broth and beef broth on the stove. I had put some bits of garlic and onion in the pots as well.
2. Skipped my weekly shopping last week, DH was starting to complain there’s “nothing to eat”, so I found snacky foods stowed away in the freezer and brought them out.
3. Found a savings account with $ I’d forgotten, transferred them to another account to save for taxes. I keep that account every year and am grateful.
4. Rearranging what I already have, artwork and plants for a new look.
5. Repurposed my garden angel that was a getting little weathered, took off her garden decor, cleaned her up, and put her away with Christmas decor. She has “graduated” to Christmastime now.


Shevaun March 9, 2019 at 7:14 am

FFT, Looking for the Spark Edition
1. Doing all the normal stuff: cooking from scratch, cleaning by hand, hanging laundry if weather cooperates, making kid crafts from recycling bin, using the library, wearing thrifted clothes, meal planning, grocery shopping by unit price, teaching kids that thrift is one way to love our neighbors and be peaceful with the earth. Feeling discouraged and wondering whether all the piddly little chores matter.
2. Entertaining friends with homecooked meals and a fire in the fireplace, making treats for volunteer organization fundraiser, knitting baby blanket for couple who are expecting their first. Realizing that I’m doing all the relationship-holding-together and trying to remember that other folks are busy and I’m blessed to have the time and ability to reach out.
3. Supporting DH as he runs his business from home. His job is to put to money in the bank; my job is to spend it wisely and keep the kids away from his tools/computer/important papers. We don’t pay rent on an office/warehouse for him. Praying for grace and patience when he leaves the kitchen a mess, forgets to put the baby in a diaper before putting his pants on, or snipping at me for running the dishwasher/laundry machines because they’re loud.
4. that’s it. That’s all I got.


Patricia Koernig March 9, 2019 at 10:02 am

Sending you love, Shevaun.
Patricia Fl


Shevaun March 9, 2019 at 10:26 am

Thank you, Patricia. I send you love, too. [[hugs]]


KJD509 March 11, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Hang in there, Shevaun! We’ve all been there, looking for the spark, or even just a glimmer of one. Hoping you see one soon.


Shevaun March 9, 2019 at 8:47 am

Oh, wait, I do have one more:
5. Helped 4yo do a science experiment about density with saltwater and freshwater. Total cost was maybe 25 cents, 20 of which was because of the two eggs we dunked. Had a total panic attack (not kidding, really I did) about wasting food. Tried to remember that when we lived in the city, I easily and frugally bought family memberships to science museum and zoo at $100 each because I believe them to be good investments in kids’ education. So why the panic over two wasted eggs? I think I’m going crazy.


Melissa Y March 9, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Shevaun, you are not going crazy! Sometimes I think we hyper focus. We need to give ourselves some grace & remember that we are doing our best. Last week I tossed about a cup of rice, it was old & clumpy, no one was going to eat it and frankly I was sick of working rice into our meals. For 2 days I kept thinking about that darn rice! I finally just had to say out loud ” it’s in the garbage get over it!” And I did! Hugs


Bee March 9, 2019 at 2:28 pm

When my mother had to throw something away — especially if it was broken- or had turned bad -she would toss it in the garbage and say, “May all my bad luck go with you!”
I say this and it makes me feel better.


Mary in VA March 11, 2019 at 8:21 am

Bee, I love that saying of your mother’s. I’ll try to remember it!


A. Marie March 9, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Shevaun, sometimes we just have to realize that we are in a bind and cut ourselves some slack. I have been *that* close to screaming at DH twice this week, and have had to pull back and remind myself that it’s the dementia and that neither of us rang up God and asked for this. In Zen practice, I think this is called “loving-kindness toward ourselves.” (English translation; I can’t remember the original Japanese term.)


Susie's Daughter March 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Shevaun – I appreciate your honesty so much. So many days when DS was in small childhood, I was hanging on by a thread while feeling like I was tasked with holding the whole operation together. Your good works, your good deeds and your kind heart do not go unnoticed.


Julie March 9, 2019 at 10:47 am

1-Dinner was a turkey breast purchased months ago for 2.00, yes I bought lots. This was the last one so we had many cheap meals from them.
2-used $70.00 in grocery store points to stock up on frozen pizza and easy meals at the teen age boys are off school for a week. They will be so happy when they open the freezer. Also used 10.00 in coupons for that same grocery trip.
3-there is a hint of spring, so I have gathered up all my seed packets to see what if anything I need to buy this year.
4-saved two carts blowing in the parking lot and rescued the quarter in each of them. I guess that counts as found money.
5-used a free pass to the community centre last week, I needed some exercise and it was just too cold to walk outside.


Mand01 March 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm

1. It’s festival season here in my town. I budgeted money ahead of time so we could go to live events. I asked my kids to choose an event and my husband and I picked something. Arguably it’s not frugal to drop $300 on live events and eating out, but March is always huge in our town. We have had a great time and also attended free events that go with it. We saw an awesome music event yesterday (free), and a youth cinema event ($35). All budgeted and paid cash.
2. It’s a long weekend so the supermarket heavily discounted meat that was not even at its sell by date yet. I stocked up.
3. Still reading through the books I own rather than buying any. I have so many books still to read.
4. We are taking the kids away over Easter. My friend let me know one of our airlines offers discounted tickets if you are travelling with kids with disability so I’ll hopefully get lower air fares.
5. We’re still picking passion fruit. I’ve never seen anything like it. My freezer is packed with passion fruit pulp. It’s crazy.


Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 4:55 pm

1. Hey, it’s lots less money than if you all would have traveled somewhere to participate in all that fun.


tracy March 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Mando in my opinion it’s not about being frugal for frugal’s sake it’s about spending your resources wisely and where they matter to you the most. And your festival activities sound like they totally fit that bill! And I am a big proponent of experiences over things, so I’m right there with you!


Christine March 9, 2019 at 4:05 pm

You and your Mom are so pretty and your looks are similar. Must be nice to know you’ll still be beautiful at her age.
1. DH and I switched to a cheaper cell phone company. This was in the wake of getting rid of our land line(finally).
2. I found a deposit can and .21 for the found change jar.
3. I sold a book for credit at my friend’s indie book store thus enabling me to purchase a gardening book for DD’s birthday. This beautifully illustrated book already had 10% 0ff plus my $7 credit bringing down the price to $21. I especially wanted to buy this as it was written by an old schoolmate and the sale helps my friend keep her bookstore, an oasis of culture, art, literature and conversation, alive in our little town.
4. Enjoyed a school play in which my friend’s daughter had a part. The admission fee was $5 or a non perishable food item for the local food pantry. A can of on-sale spaghetti sauce got me into the show which was quite entertaining.
5. My bread basket got moldy and gross and I didn’t want to spend money to replace it. Instead I used a large, rectangular casserole dish. The color is pretty and the loaves like nice in it.


Christine March 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Sometimes when I’m stressed or obsessing about a seemingly small matter, I’ll later notice it was actually a bigger matter and my stressing about the little thing was maybe to take the focus off the bigger issue that was going on in my life. I don’t know if this is happening to you, just something I’ve noticed in my own life. It took me years to get to this inner recognition! LOL. My point being: You are so NOT going crazy.


Christine March 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Oh no, this was meant for Shevaun! Hope you get to read this.


Katy March 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

1. Dyed my own hair.
2. Eating cheap meals like breakfast for supper, lentil soup, bean and rice bowls (like you mentioned), and potato sausage soup.
3. Went to the park and enjoyed going on a walk.
4. Doing our laundry at night as we have free electricity after 9.
5. Avoided the temptation to eat out by having a picnic at the park instead.


Christine Joiner March 10, 2019 at 11:41 am

Katy, are you Swedish? I am on my Mom’s side and we grew up eating a lot of potato sausage. I’ve never heard of potato sausage soup though. I would love the recipe. On the other hand, maybe the soup you referred to is made with potato + sausage?


Roberta March 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm

While you’re at it, I’d love a recipe for potato sausage!


Katy March 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Sorry…I meant soup with potatoes and sausage.


pinoy replays March 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

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Cygnet Brown March 10, 2019 at 10:34 am

1. Used up some containers of personal care items that have been sitting around the house. Went looking for some more and used those up too!
2. Started looking at options for building a small shed house. We were looking at the idea of getting one on a rent to own deal! That was no deal! We were looking at paying over $6000 dollars in 36 months for a building shell! My son introduced us to his business associate who builds these kinds of buildings on site but he only takes cash. We have decided we will be using cash and probably hire him to do the work and he can build it the way WE want it in a week!
3. Cleaned out closets towards our downsizing. Took most of the clothes to Hands of Hope, but we took one bag of my husband’s clothes to my son who will put it to good use!
4. Husband and I talked to my son and daughter in law about finding some land where we can have this small shed built. Son and daughter-in-law have a spot on their place that has water and electric hook up already there. All we have to do is plug in and daughter-in-law needs to decide if this is what she REALLY wants. Hubs, son, and I all see it as a win-win.
5. This morning, I took the last of the Christmas turkey out of the freezer and took the bones of a rotisserie chicken that we bought this week to make bone broth. I also rescued some leftover celery and onion, chopped it up and added it to the bones. I’ll be putting the broth back in the freezer for later.


Susan from Cincinnati March 10, 2019 at 2:52 pm

1. Made broth from Thanksgiving turkey and had enough turkey to make turkey salad. Also made chicken soup using the turkey broth. My husband said it was the best soup he ever ate. Had it for dinner and several lunches. Froze extra broth.
2. Called Burt’s Bee to let the know their Healing Hand Lotion stung my hands. They sent me a $20 coupon to use on one item. I will get my daughter a birthday present with it.
3. Ordered my free $20 worth of Over the Counter health products from my insurance company. That’s $20 a month! Stocking up on everything.
4. Packed lunches for the 5 of us and ate 95% our meals at home.
5. Needed cleats for my son for one time use so asked on my neighborhood Facebook page. Got them on Friday, used them on Saturday, and returned them cleaned on Sunday with a thank you note and candy that I got 70% off after Valentine’s Day.


Roberta March 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

1. I found a 25 pound bag of organic oatmeal at a local outlet store, as well as the brand of dog food our dog is not allergic to. I had a coupon for buy one, get a second equal or lesser for half off — they let me take it on the oatmeal! So I got the oatmeal for less than $10.
2. Made breakfast muffins with oat flour, made in the blender with bargain oats. A nice change from eggs.
3. The family requested blueberry muffins this morning, but I was out of frozen blueberries. I subbed cranberries, which were delicious and beautiful — and 50 cents a bag before they went to live in the freezer.
4. Boiled eggs and took tangerines for a lunch/snack before we went to see Captain Marvel this morning — still at relatively cheap prices. Because we drove a little farther, we saved $1.25 per ticket — which is $5 over all. We skipped lunch out, saw the movie and had a great time! (I really wanted this movie to have a successful opening, because I have a teen daughter.)
5. My brother-in-law is lending us his camper for this summer’s vacation, which will allow us to take our time in choosing a new vehicle. Sadly, our 22 year old full size truck may have terminal engine problems. I do not want to buy something this large again, but if I buy a new vehicle it must be able to fit all of our family members. Perhaps we will be able to go down one vehicle, but if not, not having the pressure to have something settled for this summer will allow us the time to decide what really will work best for us. SO grateful for the loan from my in-laws!


JC March 10, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Let’s ignore the fact that I’m paying to have my taxes done and I just paid to drop off my laundry (our apartment building has 3 washers for 60 apts with limited hours).

1. Resolved FSA errors and got the correct amount back in reimbursements (error was $500)

2. Brought my lunch all days I was out of the house – only spent $1 for water when I had jury duty since I couldn’t find a water fountain in the jury holding area (saved $25 for the 2 days I would have bought lunch, at least). Brought a snack when I was out on Sunday – forgot on Saturday and that was $10 of the $22 I’ve spent eating out

3. Stopped in some thrift stores looking for items on my list – bought nothing

4. So far only $22 for eating out (a bagel, coffee, pizza) for the week – this is low for me!

5. Decided to skip a haircut again and only do color this month (and probably for the next 2 months) as I’m trying to grow it out and try to wear it up until it’s the length I want and I can figure out what to do with it. I used to get a transitional cut and not only is that more $$ every month but it also means my hair takes even longer to grow out. I don’t mind wearing it up/back when it’s growing out. (Saves $80 per month – cut and tip)

And I’m off to renew my library book – thanks for the reminder, all you library-users on this thread.


Carolyn March 13, 2019 at 6:04 am

Growing your hair out is a tedious process that seems to take forever. You are making a very smart move avoiding the “transitional cut” as salons pressure you to cut your hair short and keep it short as it is more maintenance and more you will spend at the salon to keep it up. A couple friends of mine have had the same experience I had where when I told the stylist I wanted to grow my hair longer and do a minimal trim of only 1/2”, she cut off several inches and used the excuses of “it was all dead” and “it’s no big deal, hair grows back”. So I am fortunate that I don’t have to waste my money at the salon. I have my husband trim and shape my hair every couple months. He likes my hair long as much as I do, so I don’t need to worry about him getting scissor happy on me. Mine was collarbone length the first time he trimmed it and now it is to my elbows. It saves me hundreds a year without having to fear getting a bad haircut and I get compliments on my hair. A definite frugal win.


LB March 11, 2019 at 6:06 am

1. Made it all week last week without eating out. Homemade burrito bowls were a hit, even if it wasn’t my top choice by Friday.

2. Got the whole family together on Saturday to hang out. Kept it cheaper by ordering in for us all instead of going to a restaurant. My nephews wore out my cats, and I sent everyone home with SOMETHING-my sister got a waffle maker, my mom got socks, and my nephew got an old set of speakers. He even thought the dorky stickers I had on the speakers were cool–they’re all old political campaigns I’ve worked on, so I’m glad he’s into it 🙂

3. Starting to slim down from the constant gym sessions, which has opened up opportunities in my closet. Currently I am wearing a shirt that I haven’t been bold enough to put on in 2 years! Feels good to wear clothes I already know i love.

4. Same vein-I have been lurking a skirt i LOVE on J Crew’s factory store website. It finally dropped into my price range today and they are offering free shipping. Took a look through the reviews to see what might be wrong with it and turns out it’s linen, not cotton, and turns into one giant wrinkle immediately! Dodged a bullet there and saved my $32.

5. With a move coming up, using everything up is becoming the priority. Starting to use every travel sized and sample bottle we have of toiletries to reduce clutter–especially contact solution!

Frugal fail: worked my second job last night and they were throwing away all the banquet food. I filled up two big containers with veggies and pasta. I was so excited! We got out late and in my hurry I left htem in the fridge there. So annoyed!


LM March 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

1. Like the poster above, I’m trying to use up all of my samples and travel sized items. I’ve been using sample shampoo, conditioner and body wash since the middle of January with plenty more to go. I’ve also been using up mini hand lotions/creams, sample diapers and wipes, cat food, laundry detergent, toothpaste etc. I’ve also been cutting open the packaging on different items when it looks like they’re all gone include hand cream tubes, toothpaste tubes and most recently a squeeze tube of lip balm. There’s at least another month’s worth in there!

2. I gathered up a huge amount of unused cosmetics and skin care items from past subscription boxes and free gift bags and listed them in one giant lot on ebay. I sold it quickly and netted an $85 profit.

3. About two years ago when we moved into our house, we got an offer from the electric company to install a small metering device in exchange for a $250 Visa gift card. Every year we agree to continue using the device we get another gift card. Recently, the device stopped working. The company came out to replace it and gave us a $50 Visa GC for having to come out. Works for me!

4. I recently received a free book as well as two bottles of nail polish to review on a website I belong to.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now!


Sharon March 11, 2019 at 12:21 pm

1) I cut the cord on cable TV and my landline so my bill to Frontier will go from $200 to $69 monthly for internet only.
2) I’m a T-Mobile customer and found out they offer free Netflix so I’ll save $10.99/month.
3) I found my son an awesome small pub table with 2 barstools for only $60 on Facebook Marketplace and it’ll be great for his small apartment.
4) I used the 30% off for ages 55+ at Value Village to buy a stack of Lands End, GAP & Zara clothes for my bonus grandkids.
5) I helped my sis empty a storage locker of our deceased parents’ belongings. She’s had it for 7 years and will save $70/month.


Christine March 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm

We finally cut the cable and landline cord too last month. Our savings will be comparable to yours. Sick as it sounds, I’m looking forward to getting the first bill just to see the new low amount! Nice score on the pub table & chairs, too.


MW March 11, 2019 at 1:14 pm

– Fixed my washing machine after doing some outreach online- saved the repair costs AND found $3.16 in change in the filter. Not good for the filter, but good for the piggy bank.
– Husband fixed the jammed sink.
– Husband found a lead on manufacturing some replacement pieces for our shower door rather than having to replace the whole darn shower.
– Took little boys to OMSI using a pass gifted to the family. A morning of fun for the price of a bit of gas.
-Enjoying unpacking my thrifted spring/ summer wardrobe. I’ve had it all for several years, but after MONTHS of wearing dark colors in warm fabrics it’s a welcome relief. I’m always on the hunt for quality, comfortable size 12 shoes at Ross to replace mine as they wear out past fixing.


Betta from daVille March 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm

1) MassSaves came to our house for a free energy audit. As part of it, they replaced (for free!) 20 lightbulbs with LED ones, and gave us a free power strip cord. He also confirmed that our dining room and living room have no insulation in the exterior walls (thanks, 1900 house in New England) but they will pay $750 of the $1000 to have it put in. All we will have to do is sand the small holes and repaint the rooms. They also offer a $700 rebate for a tankless water heater, so we will investigate the cost to replace our traditional one.
2) Took mil out for her birthday. Lunch, instead of dinner, and we went to the Portland Museum of Art, and she was able to get 2 free passes from her library in Maine.
3) Had some shrimp, and used a stash of free ketchup packets to make cocktail sauce. My partner had laughed at me for keeping the packets at the time….
4) I figure #1 should count more.
5) Ditto #4!


janine March 12, 2019 at 7:56 am

1. Focused on lunch savings. Try to pack husband’s lunch every day. Got a free chicken from Sam’s club, bought good bread at the overstock store (regularly priced $4.29, pd $1.18 per loaf) , purchased apples and oranges at Aldi etc. He appreciates the savings and variety and doesn’t feel guilty about occasionally going out for lunch.
2. Made chicken soup which is a good winter staple.
3. Because of the cold and snowy winter have stayed home which equals less impulse spending.
4. Found an artistic paper weight that I forgot to include in DS#1 Xmas package so will give it to him for his upcoming birthday.
5. Hosting family St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at home – Corned Beef Roast is on sale at $2.99 # which is a real bargain.


Jenelle March 12, 2019 at 10:18 am

Nothing of huge savings value, but trying to find areas where I can save.

1. Yesterday was my office’s biggest event of the year. So many bottles of water were left over and we were going to be charged for them anyway, so I asked our student workers to fill two paper boxes full of water to bring back to the office. While it’s not for me, it’s a frugal win for our office.

2. I’ve been bringing home scrap paper from my office to use as ebay labels. I am careful to not show any of my university’s name on them. I just feel better about not throwing all this paper away.

3. As stated above, I’m also using travel/sample bottles of lotions and shampoos. Yesterday at our event, a vendor had nail files!! I made sure to ask for one of those.

4. Mended a seam on the inside of my winter jacket and on an Ebay item that I was going to list. I will disclose on Ebay that the item was repaired and show photos. I think I did a good enough job that will save this garment from the landfill. I love the idea of fixing something up or changing it just a small bit so that someone else will love it. Does anyone know of any blogs about rehabbing clothes to resell?

5. Not a way to save money but my niece is on spring break and visiting from out of town. I will order take out chinese so that everyone has something that they like for dinner tonight. She is coming to visit so that we can visit the Goodwill bins. She loves vintage/street clothes so I plan to introduce her to the bins.


Christine March 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm

A quick heads up for anyone who shops at Salvation Army. I get notices from them on FB and they advertised that on March 15th and 16th their clothing prices will be 50% off.


pinoy tambayan March 28, 2019 at 10:23 am

Thanks for updating that type of stuff.. This is really awasome..!


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