Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 4, 2019 · 75 comments

  1. I sold a pair of thrifted soccer cleats and a bicycle pannier through eBay, as well as a pair of Dansko sandals and an American Girl doll through Facebook Marketplace. I’m arranging to work eight hours of paid online education that I can complete at home. Nurse wages while wearing pajamas? That’s the dream!

  2. I schlepped my tuchus across town for another large grocery shopping trip to Winco. They’re far from convenient, but their prices are low enough to make it worth the effort. Plus, you can’t beat that they reimburse you 6¢ per bag.

  3. I whisked my mother off for a Goodwill Outlet (bins) adventure. My goal is always to find things I can sell on eBay, but I also keep an eye out for things my friends and family can use. This is why I nabbed a set of dog waste bags for my friend Lise. (Brand new — I know I shouldn’t have to clarify this, but I concurrently know that I should.) For myself I bought a vintage linen tea towel, a quality sweater for my husband and a doll dress for my childhood Sasha doll, as I keep stealing her clothes to plump up American Girl doll listings. (Because the only thing creepier than a 51-year-old woman who still loves her childhood doll, is a 51-year-old woman who insists that her doll be nekkid.)

    To sell, I bought a fancy cat bed, a guitar case, a Kermit The Frog plush, a set of alien refrigerator magnets, a youth baseball glove, a Microsoft keyboard, and two pink midcentury hand towels. I also paid for my mother to buy a creamer and sugar and maybe something else. And I don’t mean to brag, (I totally do!) but everything has been photographed and listed. Otherwise I’m just a hoarder.

    The total was $20.65. 

  4. My neighbor is lending me a black light flashlight so I can face my fears and investigate whether my cat has been urinating anywhere besides the new couch. I live in fear right now, but it’s better to not bury my head in the sand. §¢¢®©ƒ¥§∞∞§¶¥†©¥¶§!!!!!

  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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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy April 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Had a garage sale last Saturday with a friend. Only sold $31 of stuff and donated a box to assistance league thrift store.
Sold 2 items on amazon I had had listed for over a year. Listed 10 items on eBay and have sold 4 and have bids on another 2
Attended FREE new member luncheon at assistance league today
Received $17.20 class action check
Worked my part time admin gig yesterday


MW April 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm

My eight year old son chaperoned me on my first visit to the Goodwill Outlet. He enjoyed showing me the ropes, and he promised Daddy that if I fell in he would dig me out.

He scored some books and I found:

– A sweater
– A button down shirt (that ended up being too tight, darn it)
– A vintage dish towel
– A handkerchief for my son
– Napkins to replace the grossest specimens we have floating around. Into the rag bag!
– A purse that sure looks brand new and fits my exacting requirements
– A pair of jeans for the older son to grow into
– A pair of jeans for the younger son to grow into. Jeans don’t tend to survive to be passed down. . .
– A shirt for older son
– A book for younger son

All for a smidge over $12.

Yep, I’m proud of myself. I even managed to hit up the Franz outlet for “old bread” to stock the freezer for the month. Two outlets in one day. . .


Susan from Cincinnati April 4, 2019 at 1:58 pm

1. Bought allergy medicine and allergy eye drops for my one son and got over half off using Extra Bucks and a couponn
2. Was told by daughter’s physical therapist that I needed a certain brace for daughter’s ankle that she rolled. Checked at CVS and it was $21.95. Passed on it and checked Amazon and it was $9.95 and I will have it here with free shipping tomorrow.
3. Made GF pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin in pantry, evaporated milk from Aldi already had the spices. Used unopened canned whipped cream from November. Yum.
4. Packed 4 lunches today. Mine and daughter’s waiting for us in the fridge when we got home from her PT. One mess this morning and done. So nice to come home and just get out premade lunches.
5. Making early Easter dinner for 10 tomorrow night for son and family coming to visit. Even with buying the ham so much cheaper than going out.


Bethany April 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

This year we used education funds from our charter school to purchase Linguacious Spanish cards. I helped the up-and-coming company with some marketing strategies and they sent me a fourth deck that I hadn’t purchased for free.

Clipped some coupons this afternoon for some things we either normally buy or I’ve been waiting for a good coupon for. Hello, Marzetta olives, meet my greek salad! Headed out to the grocery soon and hoping the red bell peppers are still 68 cents each… Such a deal!!!

Whipped together a crock of chili. Hot weather is here but we’ve had 2 cooler days, and we have one last chance to have this family favorite…I mean my kids are already in and out of the pool.

Picked up loads of new-to-me clothes from my bariatric support group. I almost have a full wardrobe spliced together from these folks for my journey to skinny!!! 49 days until surgery.

Performed my training for my new work-from-home job. We’re not getting rich on this, but hey, every bit helps. (Also kids are wanting to go to Rome and Pompeii since their new Social Studies unit, so they’re being extra helpful keeping the gimmies to a minimum.)


Lisa M. April 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Double 5FF: Slowly Spring

Spring is taking its sweet time in the upper Midwest. It will be that much sweeter when it actually arrives!

1. Made a pasta-ham-frozen peas dish using left-over ham from Christmas. Wanted to get the frozen ham remnants used before the influx of incoming Easter ham.

2. Have purposely been using several food items that were gifted in a round-about way including frozen peas (see #1), wild & white rice, chicken breast, orange juice & caramel ice cream.

3. One weekend meal for DH & I consisted entirely of leftovers.

4. Planning ahead for next grocery run with near expiration coupons.

5. Have postponed several appts. until insurance tied to DH’s new job kicks in.

6. Had an infrequent socialization at a coffee house with a friend. While not frugal, used loyalty card to garner points towards a free beverage.

7. Clustered errands with coffee shop outing – gas station for 33 cents/# bananas, post office for international mail, fast food restaurant to use BIGI chicken basket meal coupon that was expiring & free ice cream treat for completing survey.

8. Taking advantage of having only 1 part-time job & capitalizing on gathering extra hours when available. My grand total for this week will be 22.25 hours.

9. DD’s school’s Sr. Party planning group met at local pizzeria but unlike most of the other participants who enjoyed food & adult beverages, I took a sparkling favored water & came home & made mac & cheese from the box with tuna.

10. Leaving on a mad dash to the library to renew DD’s expiring library book when she failed to successfully fit it into her schedule.


Teresa Young April 5, 2019 at 4:06 am

Re #10 – Our library system allows online renewals – perhaps yours does as well.


Jennifer April 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm

Ours doesn’t have online renewals but they will renew over the phone.


Lisa M. April 5, 2019 at 7:49 pm

Yes, our library has online & phone renewals but there is a limited number of uses. Eventually the item must be renewed again in person.


tracy April 4, 2019 at 2:38 pm

1. Son is in town and I was going to take the family out to dinner tomorrow night but decided to cook at home instead. Much cheaper — and it’s family so doesn’t need to be anything special!
2. Wearing thrift store necklace. Also got cool picture frame for $2 at same thrift store.
3. Took Metro in DC to/from airport (even though my public employer was paying, I think it’s as important to be frugal with public dollars as it is with mine!).
4. Did mostly free things in DC when not actually in conference — National Portrait Gallery (LOVED the courtyard which I would have missed entirely but for the tip here!), walking the mall and the tidal basin (cherry blossoms were amazing!), walking to/from Georgetown, walking U Street etc. Weather turned cold so I bought a cashmere sweater at a thrift store and layered! Paid $12 for Phillips Collection, well worth it.
5. The usual — buying groceries based on weekly specials, bringing breakfast and lunch to work, reading library books, watching shows/movies on Netflix…


Mand01 April 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

All these tales of cat pee make me grateful I’m allergic.
1. Our pumpkin vines resemble triffids. Or perhaps tribbles. Either way, there are more and more pumpkins each time I go outside.
2. Working from home today, saving petrol and two hours commuting.
3. Repaired a curtain by replacing curtain tracks. Sounds obvious, but our curtain tracks were very old and hard to find. We were considering replacing the whole unit at a cost of $85-$100. We finally found replacement tracks for $18 on eBay. Very happy about the money saved but more about saving the unit from landfill.
4. Hanging out washing in the still warm Aussie sunshine, while marvelling at triffid pumpkins.
5. Made a new savings plan and sticking to it.


Mary in VA April 5, 2019 at 4:27 am

I usually go into the office on Fridays, but am working from home today. So I transferred the $25 I’m saving in commuter train and subway costs from checking to savings. I love to capture the money saved!


Vickey April 7, 2019 at 10:04 am

Mand, I just read in the WWF’s 50 Foods For The Future that pumpkin leaves are edible. (How did this foodie get to 6 decades and not know this??) May pbe that’ll give you another way to enjoy the bounty


Vickey April 7, 2019 at 10:11 am

*Maybe*, not “may pbe”. Sheesh. (Also, surprised to see my comment is being held for moderation. Was it something I said?)


Linda April 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Kathy, you might want to take your cat for a vet visit. When our litter box cat started peeing in random places it turned out that she had a kidney problem. The vet told us that this is often the case and these things don’t get better on their own.


Katy April 4, 2019 at 3:32 pm

They were both taken to the vet’s office and got full checkups.


Rosanne April 8, 2019 at 1:03 pm

I also had a cat with a pee outside the box problem. Although there are many reasons why this happens, I think a lot of times it has to be chalked up to “we’ll just never know”. Cats are mysterious creatures.


Cynthia in Vermont April 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Cats are jerks. Spoken by a cat lover.


Katy April 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

The mysterious-est.


Teresa April 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Ohhh. I have something very similar… the very stylish “Cat pee blacklight flashlight and glasses set” — purchased because the very special aroma of kitty pee occasionally wafts through our house and I’ll be darned if I’m going to ignore it. After a few days in warm weather, cat pee is really, really potent. That said, the blacklight setup does not work too well on cat pee, but I can assure you that you will see all sorts of other things and wonder “what-IS-that?” and “how did it get UP there??” (Neither your cat nor my cat can mark a wall four feet off the ground.) Your nursing background will help you here ;-] — me, I probably have a slightly more acute sense of ‘eeeewww’. In any case, the blacklight setup is interesting, and if you got the glasses along with the blacklight you will look like the detective you need to be to solve this mystery. Have fun, good luck… 😉 PS. Bad kitty!!


Jill A April 4, 2019 at 3:39 pm

1. I sold another item on Ebay and reused packaging to ship. I ordered a pick up from the post office during my regular mail delivery so no cost or extra trip.
2. I clipped my dogs nails which saves me $5 each time.
3. I ordered a bag of dog food from Chewy using a $15 off coupon that my Mother gave me.
4. I had coffee with a friend and used a BOGO coupon and got a new loyalty card as mine is lost.
5. I received a free bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the mail to review.
6. I ordered 3 free gift cards from Swagbucks and Erewards. I’m more than halfway to my goal of $100 of free gift cards per kid for Christmas.


K D April 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm

1. We’ve had a lot of windy days so there are a lot of tree branches in the street in our neighborhood. I’ve been picking them up when I’m out walking. Hello free wood for the fire pit.

2. Our neighbors had an old recliner at the curb. It is perfect for our basement, though I did buy a cover for it, since it looked worn (which my husband did not appreciate).

3. I continue to read and listen to books borrowed from the library. I especially enjoy ebooks and books on CD.

4. I pulled one of my free credit reports and had my husband pull one of his. It’s good to make sure nothing is awry.

5. I found out that you receive a discount at the dry cleaners if you drop items off in the middle of the day, Monday through Friday.


Lindsey April 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

1. Another week of getting a dozen duck eggs in exchange for a loaf of my challah.
2. Had an extra gallon of milk so made yogurt. Happened to see a recipe for frozen yogurt that also used up a jar of jam I made and canned last summer. It is what is for dessert tonight.
3. Nephew came and shoveled the snow off the roof of the greenhouse. He refused payment but I was able to persuade him to take two dozen formed and frozen raw chocolate chip cookies for him to bake up. He also snagged my hot toasted cheese sandwich off my plate on his way out the door.
4. Did a movie mystery shop, so a free date night (including popcorn!).
5. Used the library to check out two books and a DVD, and brought a puzzle and some magazines to exchange for a new puzzle and other magazines. I love that our library provides a place to exchange magazines and puzzles!

Frugal fail. The husband needed some decent shoes for an appointment and went shopping without me, as I was out of town. He is very color blind and came home with one brown and one black shoe and wore them that way for a week. I took them back and the store owner literally shrugged his shoulders and said, “Too bad.” The clerk had looked at both shoes to be sure they are the same size and in good shape, but apparently alerting a customer to two different colors is not part of the job description. I offered to buy the other brown and black combination but the owner said he had too many shoes to look through all the boxes. I have written to the corporate office; who else will buy the other mismatched pair? Meanwhile, the new rule is “No shopping alone unless it is for gauze because you are bleeding to death.” I cannot imagine the nearly mono-chromatic world he lives in. I am looking into those new glasses that let the colorblind see colors but they are pretty pricey.


KJD509 April 4, 2019 at 7:22 pm

I’m so sorry about the shoes, Lindsey, but that story made me laugh out loud. I’m glad you wrote to the corporate office. That’s the worst customer service I think I’ve ever heard!


ouvickie April 5, 2019 at 11:08 am

Oh no, that’s awful! I can’t believe the clerk would let him them that way!
Customer Service in some places really is horrible anymore.
I hope your letter gets some results. I had a friend who was color blind and believe me, his wife would have been just as horrified as you.
I will admit to laughing at this store – but I feel for both of you. Those of us without color blindness don’t know how good we have it, until we read something like this.


Bee April 5, 2019 at 3:28 pm

I had the same pair of shoes in black and navy. As I stressed working mom of three, I once wore one of each to work. I was mortified! However, I had a colleague who used to drive to work in her bedroom slippers so that the back of her shoes would not get scuffed. Unfortunately, one day she forgot to change them before getting out of the car and walking to the office. There is nothing quite like showing up to work in your slippers.


A. Marie April 6, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Wow, Lindsey, this is the rotten-customer-service story of the decade. I hope you get a groveling apology and a voucher for TWO new pairs of shoes (of the same color). Unbelievable.


mary in maryland April 7, 2019 at 1:46 pm

My bargain hunting aunt once got a pair of tennis shoes at Crazy Days for only a dime. She was crowing over them when she realized they were for two left feet. She gave them to my Dad for Christmas as a joke.


Cindy in the South April 4, 2019 at 4:57 pm

1. At the thrift ,$3.99 Dansko clogs 2. $3.99 Lands End bathing suit that fit perfectly. I know lots of folks are going eeww but it looked brand new and I washed it when I got home. 3. $3.99 purse that appeared to be brand new. 4. 50 cent Suze Orman books. 5. My ex bought me shoes and Chinese food for my birthday (with enough left over for dinner).


Cindy in the South April 4, 2019 at 5:03 pm

The Chinese food…was the leftovers…lol


KJD509 April 4, 2019 at 7:26 pm


Cindy, I’m with you on the swimsuit. When I was a competitive swimmer we swapped suits back and forth between events. Of course, we were teenagers and half brain-dead from 5 am workouts every day, but we figured then – and I still do – that pools have a LOT of chlorine in them. Plus racing suits hold up to serious washing – not flimsy bikinis so much, though.


Jennifer April 4, 2019 at 5:11 pm

I love the tea towel!

1) Sold some American Girl clothing on Ebay for $45 – after fees that’s around $35ish into the college fund.
2) Got free lunch at work yesterday for Paraprofessional Day. And flowers. It was very nice.
3) Cashed in Swagbucks for a $10 Starbucks gift card.
4) Dd needed a white dress for under her graduation gown (required). I was holding off because I wanted to avoid this task. Someone posted a white lace dress in her size on our local garage sale page and I snatched it up for $15. It isn’t the greatest dress ever, but it is going under a long gown and being worn once. I call this a win.
5) Got my peas planted with packs leftover from previous years. No cost to me, hopefully they come up. We also thinned out our wild berry bushes in hopes of upping production.


Jennifer April 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm

I also canceled all my Subscribe & Save orders for April. We will make due and I need to avoid this cost this month. I get a lot of our allergy friendly and snack foods there.


Ava April 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm

1. Got 4 Swagbucks for searching on the nonconsumer advocate.
2. Discovered a great new thrift shop cheaper than Goodwill and got several cute tops. One was a Christopher Banks sweater which sells for either $60 or $2, depending on where you shop.
3. Got free sweetener and free cat treats with coupons that came in the mail.
4. My husband had a medical test and even though we knew we could save 20% by paying the same day, we forgot to do that and left the hospital. Tried to call and never could get the right person. We turned around and drove back to the hospital to make the payment in person, saving $120.
5. Reading one library book and listening to another. Frugal fail-the Terrible Terrier ate one library book. It was still a small price to pay for all the free reading, listening, viewing and seeds that we enjoy from the library.


kathleen April 6, 2019 at 7:32 pm

I had to laugh at your Terrible Terrier. So sorry about the book, but as the ‘mom’ of a jrt, I can easily relate (though I have to say he hasn’t been destructive of anything aside from his toys). Many a day I have sternly told him, ‘if you weren’t so darn cute, you would be outta here pronto!’ 🙂


Zoey April 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Oh the cat. Cat lady here.
Try Dr. Elsey’s cat litter attract. Either the small bottle of condensed attractant additive to your current litter or their bag of cat litter with the attractant in it.
Friend was having similar issue (pee outside of box) but once adding the attractant, problem solved and permanently.
I think others mentioned, one litter box minimum per cat.
We have one cat with two litter boxes – I only have to clean them half as much – ha!


KJD509 April 4, 2019 at 7:46 pm

Loved reading everybody’s frugal fails last week. We’re in such a constant state of unfrugal surprises right now that I couldn’t bear to list mine. Two small frugal things and two big ones this week:

1) Finished a project I’ve been working on for a couple of years to repurpose old curtains and rods in our beach condo. I’ve been lugging my sewing machine back and forth literally for years. Finally just sat down to do it, and the rooms with new-to-them curtains look 1000 times better for absolutely zero cost.
2) Spend 3 days on vacation and cooked all meals in. Only bought ice cream and milk.

3) Hubs tracked down some investment accounts his parents had started for the kids to use for activities that are very important to that side of the family. A couple of the kids took to them, but the next two hated it. The money is still there, in their names, for use for college. It will take a few weeks to change addresses, etc., but hallelujah, there’s a couple of quarters of tuition covered.
4) I’ve been offered a job, hallelujah. This will make everything (but my commute) easier, and the job can be done remotely. I’ll drag myself through the traffic for the first several months (half the distance of my commute in our old city, at least four times the time required, ugh) to get acquainted, but then will definitely take advantage of the option to work at home in my slippers. Got the offer at 1:00 in the afternoon by phone while on vacation, and hubs and I waited a whole 3 hours for happy hour at the bar across the street to celebrate with cheap beers.

And a fail:
5) Hubs spent a long weekend moving one kid, I’m spending a long night getting another packed and to the airport for an overseas adventure. We each blew the heck out of our eating-out budgets because sometimes being a parent in these situations is just exhausting.


Helene April 4, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Wait, can we go back to #1 where you get paid to do education at home?? We must talk.


Em April 4, 2019 at 9:17 pm

1. I have been wearing my daily contacts for two days when possible. Sometimes my eyes are too dry from allergies and can’t tolerate it. Don’t worry, my eye doctor approves for 2 day wear if it doesn’t bother me.

2. I used my ikea coupons from my birthday month to get a veggie meatball entree, piece of cake, and a drink. Then I used the 15 dollar store coupon to get a new clothing rack and a household item and paid about a dollar.

3. My birthday was last month and I cashed in on many free things. When I say free, I mean free. Sephora, Ulta, Bare minerals gifts. Meals and treats from a variety of restaurants around.

4. My other half is 30 some days from graduation! We are doing everything we can to pinch pennies Incase we need to move for his first job. We have been on top of the meal prep this week, which we have been struggling with.

5. Gas is pricier now than it has been, so I am trying very hard to limit driving, and plan errands accordingly. I haven’t even been driving to the dog park across the street (which I started doing for both dog and human safety reasons). We have stuck to the small dog side which lowers accident risk for both!

P.S. I have american girl dolls from pre-Matel takeover that I adore and hope dearly I have a little girl that will love them like I did, so you’re not strange for loving your doll into adulthood!


Andrea April 4, 2019 at 9:56 pm

1) One of my birthday presents from several months ago was the promise of transportation to and from a full body massage. Today I redeemed that promise while using a Groupon good for one hour massage at $28.

2) My many years old laptop (purchased on clearance off display), with four keys that no longer worked, gave up. I use my laptop for many things so absolutely needed another right away. Found an out of box new Dell Inspiron for $82 at Best Buy and picked up the same day. Bonus: was able to drop off other non-working electronics to be recycled.

3) Won a tire gauge, coupon towards new tires (almost time), and a couple of baby related coupons (giving to a friend soon to be a grandmother) from a sweepstakes I entered. Won a Fandango code for a movie from another sweepstakes entry. Claimed $2 from Checkout 51. Earned $3 from Ebates. Found $.12 over several days while dog walking.

4) Went to a grocery store offering 5% discount for seniors. Saved $2.

5) Purchased subsidized rain barrels from the city to save water for our garden.


Lindsey April 5, 2019 at 1:33 pm

$82!!! What a score! Beats anything I have ever managed to do. You rock!


Elizabeth April 5, 2019 at 2:30 am

-I found two new dresses at Belk on a clearance rack that were marked down to 40% off the lowest tag price. I got each dress for under $20 a piece.
-My daughter’s banquet dress had an inappropriate dip in the back that violated her homeschool co-op’s dress code. So I found just the right shade of fabric at Hobby Lobby on sale at 50% off and plan to make a modesty piece to make us all more comfortable…and not get her kicked out of her event:)
-Enjoyed free drinks and birdwatching with my kids at my husband’s 10K last week
-Planted a small garden this year and remembered to line my raised beds with hardware cloth to keep out voles. One year they ate almost all of my sweet potatoes, but were kind enough to leave behind a few chewed up remnants as a peace offering…
-Used a Krispy Kreme coupon to get a rare treat for my family to enjoy at the end of a rough day


Bee April 5, 2019 at 4:27 am

1) I participated in a semi-annual vintage flea market along with 40 other vendors. I borrowed a truck, tables and a tent. I made table cloths from old linen curtains and restored an antique display case. My booth looked very nice and it cost me very little to put together. I made a lovely profit which went to restocking the pantry and into savings. It was a beautiful day, but it is hard work!

2) I sold several items on eBay. I shipped them in recycled packaging. I listed several new items spurred on by Katy’s comment above. I don’t want to become a hoarder. It is easy to drown in stuff as a reseller. I did not expect to get back into this, but here I am.

3) I have saved a ton of money this week on necessary items by shopping around, utilizing digital coupons, and stocking up on sale items — over $60. It does save money to check store ads and use store apps. My updated price book – thank you Tightwad Gazette- is also helpful. I saved $20 on a single item that was $49 at Staples and $29 at Office Max. ( I did try to borrow it or buy it secondhand before committing to its purchase.)

4) I have been working on our family’s taxes using TurboTax. This has been a slow process this year with the changes in the tax laws. I have been double checking and reading a lot. The software seems a little clunky. I don’t want to miss anything. However, an accountant is so expensive.

5) All the usual things — cooking from scratch even when I don’t want to, brewing my coffee, drinking primarily water, reading library books, using my YMCA membership, wearing my thrifted wardrobe, buying secondhand items whenever possible, walking the dog often and enjoying the beautiful spring weather.


nancy from mass April 5, 2019 at 4:40 am

1. used an award from work to purchase a cordless vacuum. i love it so much, i have been vacuuming everyday! it’s pretty quiet and the cat doesn’t hide while i vacuum.
2. my sister has been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks now (weird kidney infection). i brought her a small transistor radio and some magazines i already had on hand to give her something else to do. she was very happy! hopefully she will be discharged today. i am bringing her home and staying with her for a day or so when she does go home.
3. going thru the cabinets and freezers again to use up what i can. i have way too much food in this house.
4. had to buy a new dryer and receive my rebate from the town. it will result in over 2 months of free electric since i now have a decent credit balance on my account!
5. finding quilt patterns i can use for the pile of fabrics from my mom. i need to eventually make 11 XL twin quilts for her Great-Grandchildren. then each of them will have a quilt to bring to college that came from their Gran-Memere. I have some joanns gift cards to supplement the contrasting fabric. (most of her fabrics are calico and other prints so i need solid or white on white fabrics).

stupid frugal tax alert: 2 years ago i had to buy a dishwasher and received a $50GC from the company. i clipped it to the fridge and forgot about it. i found it the other day but it had expired in december. after a phone call, website visit and then and email resulting in downloading a form, filling it out and mailing it, i will get a replacement card. i do lose $7.50 for their ‘maintenance fee’ but once i get that card, i will use it for my groceries.


ouvickie April 5, 2019 at 5:36 am

1) I spent Thursday getting errands run in town. I took the day off – with pay. It was fun and fulfilling to get so much done.
2) I found a pair of khaki colored dress pants for $7 – no ironing, yahoo! – on sale at Walmart. I tried to find some in my size at the thrift store, but never could, so I’ll take the ones on sale. Now I can get rid of the ones getting thread bare.
3) I stopped at Wall’s bargain center and bought some craft glue for about $2. I have a pair of earrings and my phone case that need to be glued. My old case is getting worn, but I like it. So a rubberband is holding the top together until I can repair it.
4) I used my medical savings account to pay for my dental visit yesterday.
5) Found a water bottle I had in my cabinet to use for my Slim Water drink mixture.


rebecca April 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

1. I start teaching a class next week for a colleague going on leave. I am looking forward to the pay but am dreading how much busier I will be. I feel like crying. I keep telling myself I can do it and I need the money.
2. Finally, after chasing the insurance agent, am getting the check owed.
3. Maybe gross but saving have drunk coffee and reheating the next day.
4. I opened my credit card bill the other day and was floored at how much I have been charging lately to get airline points. Another reason to just dig in. see#1
5. The usual, grocery shopping on sale items, library, coffee from home ect


Christine Joiner April 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm

rebecca, your #1…I’ve had similar things happen such as your teaching a class for a colleague on leave. Sometimes I just shake my head and say to myself, why oh why did I ever say yes to this?! But you will get through it and the ensuing busyness even if you have to cry now and then! Take care and make sure to get plenty of rest and eat healthily.


Marilyn April 9, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Not at all gross about the coffee. I save coffee for the next day all the time and it’s just fine.


Katy April 5, 2019 at 7:16 am

Hi Katy, have you tried essential oils on an old cloth placed on the sofa, to repel your cat? My cat cannot abide citrus smells in any form and once I’d zapped the carpet with the enzymatic magic stuff, the lemony cloth kept her away. Citrus peels alone did not work and was a bit of a faff, honestly.


Jessica April 5, 2019 at 7:54 am

1. Finally have someone coming to look at a nightstand that has been on Facebook marketplace for a long time tomorrow.
Planning to list 2 TVs and 2 bookshelves tomorrow. Need to get rid of everything I have before acquiring stuff to sell. Need to list:
-2 TVs
-2 bookshelves
-2 sets of plastic drawers
-a desk
– a pair of curtains (re-list, maybe need to eBay)
-a table cloth
-need to freecycle a lamp and two backpacks
2. Hoping the weather is good enough this weekend to sand and paint three kids chairs- they don’t match, but I think if all painted the same color, I can sell them together.


Debi April 5, 2019 at 9:00 am

1. Sold an item to an individual from the local FB sell/buy site.
2. Posted more 5 more items to the local FB sell/buy site as well as ebay.
3. Brought my lunch to work all but 1 day this week as I had to run an errand for my mother – to have her glasses repaired.
4. Preparing for retirement at the end of the month. I was asked to work on a contractual basis 2x/week. So I will do this for a time until I get adjusted to completely not working (worked since high school).
5. No exercise gym fees for me, I walk the dog.


Marilyn April 9, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Re your #4: I am thinking of retiring in 1.5 years and I hope to continue to work about 1 day per week after Indo retire. Hope this way of adjusting works for you.


Virginia Allain April 5, 2019 at 2:25 pm

I tossed out 4 tote bags of old VHS videos after making sure that none were family videotapes. Rescued a few of those which now need transferring to another media.
Reorganized my display of vintage tins by displacing a bunch of nicknacks that I now need to get rid of. Never ending.


Alison Hicinbothem April 5, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Five frugal things:
1. Called cable company and got my bill back down to where it was. Then I said the heck with them and called the other fiber optic company and will get my internet, phone and tv for $134 month instead of $174. I will also get 1 year of Netflix for free which will save me $17/month.
2. Remembered to pull shrimp out of the freezer for dinner tonight.
3. Didn’t get a grocery circular for this past week but went online and got my list together.
4. Got my paperwork to renew our auto insurance. I’m going to make a copy of my coverage and when I get the new price I will check out a couple of other companies including The Hartford which will be through AARP.
5. Spent the last of the money in the HFA account to pay for daughter’s insulin.


gina April 8, 2019 at 4:38 am

How’d you get a year of Netflix for free? Please, do tell!


ginger April 6, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Awhile ago I tried to post but it failed, probably tied to the “I’m not a spammer” portion of posting. I’ve been a lurker here for at least 5 years. You were talking about a cat peeing on furniture and I recommended a specific product that had worked for me and had been recommended by a professional dog walker. I’d used it successfully with a dog that puked (aiming for the cloth upholstery) every time she rode in the car and there is nothing worse than old residue dog puke in a summer hot car. Unless it is an old cat peeing on furniture.

What do I do in the future to successfully post?


kathleen April 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm

The comment page times out before one usually has time to compose an entire comment. This is what works for me:
1. Type in your comment.
2. Highlight entire comment, and hit CTRL + C at the same time (to copy text of comment)
3. Refresh the page.
4. In a new comment, hit CTRL + V (to paste the text of saved comment)
5. Fill in Name, E-mail, and Website blanks, and click “I’m not a spammer.”
6. Then click “Submit”.


Bethany April 8, 2019 at 4:46 pm

I have to type fast and hit send, and if I don’t get it in time, I have to copy, refresh the page, and then paste.


A. Marie April 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm

FFT, This and That Edition:

(1) Finally got my tuchus over to the bank and (a) got myself signed in as POA on DH’s checking account, and (b) ordered new checks for said account with my name as well as his on them. DH can only manage a faint scrawl for a signature about 1/3 of the time now, and my being able to sign checks for him will eliminate considerable stress for us both. (Note: Up till now, we’ve maintained separate banking, but this has had to change to meet the new circumstances. Yeah, I kinda wish now that we’d had a joint account from the first, but hindsight is 20/20, and the separate accounts thing did work for the first 39 years.)

(2) After making a second batch of pasta (fusilli) to use up the spaghetti sauce that wouldn’t die last week, I made a casserole with the remaining fusilli that wouldn’t die. No food waste!

(3) Went to the first FFL library book sale of the season, exchanged hugs with the lovely Barbara, and picked up six like-new books for a total of $12.

(4) Treated DH to lunch at the Wegmans food bar on the way home from the sale. But I had a $2 off digital coupon on the food bar, and we split a bottle of house brand water instead of me buying my usual separate soda, so it was $4 less than it might have been.

(5) I took a half hour this afternoon to mend a rip in our ragged but beloved queen-size candlewick bedspread, one of my best garage sale finds ever. (I got it for $3 about 8 years ago. You wouldn’t believe what these spreads cost in the LL Bean catalog.) I’m not nearly as talented a mender/darner as Katy is, and I have no illusions that I’m doing anything more than holding off the inevitable for a few more months. But, come to think of it, this is a pretty good metaphor for my life right now.


Patricia Koernig April 7, 2019 at 2:21 am

Sending you much love, A. Marie.
Patricia/ Fl


Lisa M. April 7, 2019 at 7:51 am

Your comment provides insight into the magnitude of under-the-radar changes that are required with declining health. You are a shining, graceful example that frugality can peacefully co-exist with even the most difficult life situations.


Nancy from mass April 8, 2019 at 4:37 pm

You are a very strong woman A.Marie! You have a great attitude and your metaphor is very fitting. My prayers are always with you!


Tonya Parham April 6, 2019 at 8:01 pm

1. Mowed the lawn myself.

2. Ate at home. I’ve been getting some more processed vegan foods to keep me from eating out which is sodium-rific and needs to stop, but one vice at a time!

3. Am watching the 3rd season of True Detective since I got HBO for GoT.

4. Made baked beans in the instant pot from dried beans. HOLY COW! Those are good!

5. Did I mention I mowed my own yard? Ok– I’m blanking on a 5th thing! Maybe here’s something…I took my cat to the vet for a check up and he’s 10 and the vet found out that he’s got one lobe of his lung that doesn’t function. (He’s always gotten out of breath if he runs so we think he’s had it is whole life.) How is this frugal? Well, I think check-ups make us aware of other issues and this just alerts me to keep an eye on his respiratory health. (I’m reaching there– but having had cats who were sick with NO symptons has convinced me that prevention is THE key with cat healthcare!)


Liz B. April 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Tonya, how are you liking the third season of True Detective? We’ll be getting HBO for GoT, too. We *LOVED* season one of TD, but season 2….not so much.


kathleen April 6, 2019 at 9:49 pm

Not a lot of frugality at our house lately, but some habits maintain.
1. Cooked in quantity last week. Enough to make multiple individual servings after each meal to freeze for husband to take to work. A stockpile of individual meals in the freezer is my own personal gold mine.
2. Now I’ve had a few days on my own, and wanting a break from cooking. I’ve eaten leftovers, a frozen pizza from the freezer, and hummus & vegetables (on respective evenings), and tonight will be going to daughter’s for supper. It is a nice break from cooking.
3. Filled out online survey to get a free drink at Sonic. Hello, my name is kathleen, and I am a Sonic-ice addict. (If you don’t live near a Sonic drive-in, you will not understand this statement.) 🙂
4. Several days this week with no errands or real reasons to leave home. Yea for conserving gasoline and no-spending days.
5. Lovely weather lately in Texas…that miracle time of year when we can get by without the AC or heat. Noticed that the future forecast lists a 90° day this week and several others in high 80s, so we will see how long I can hold out.


Michelle H April 8, 2019 at 5:28 am

Springtime in Texas – when the weather is gorgeous, and I’d love to open the windows, if only I could breathe. Darn allergies!


Connie C. April 8, 2019 at 9:49 am

Sonic Rt. 44 Diet Coke with lemon, please!


ouvickie April 8, 2019 at 11:49 am

#3 – that made me laugh! I live in central OK where I think there’s a Sonic every 1/2 mile. LOL!
We have an ice machine in our breakroom at work and that must have been someone’s specific instructions when they bought it, because it’s the same size ice pellets. Now I can drink water at work with Sonic ice and not have to pay for it. I will admit though, my granddaughters are hooked on their slushies, so I try to make certain we get there between 2 and 4, so we can get them 1/2 price.


kathleen April 8, 2019 at 7:24 pm

We are contemplating moving from this community. But on the PRO side of staying is the fact that our local Sonic has half-price drinks ALL day long, not just at 2-4 happy hour. 🙂 And OUVICKIE, I own that same ice maker! LOL


naiveorbrave April 7, 2019 at 9:31 pm

The summer is coming edition – includes some travel plans

1. Enjoying the good weather and went rock climbing with two climbing partners. Costs: Some vegan mousse au chocolat I brought along and four hours sitting in a car to get to the rock and back as there is nothing close to my city.

2. Found loads of stuff on the curve last weekend as people were moving and just left stuff behind. And it was actual stuff I was looking for to buy. Like a yoga mat – was about to give up on finding a used one. It’s in perfect condition and of course I cleaned it and more work-out material. A world-map on cork in the perfect size for my hallway where it’s already hanging and where I will plan my sabbatical on. And then some nice cups, nice drinking glasses, mason jars… Stuff I wasn’t gonna buy but enjoy anyways. Plus was that one of the curbsides even provided ikea bags to haul the stuff home.

3. Found great stuff at a flea market the next day. Mainly clothes – like a designer dress for 2 Euro. That was my most amazing store I think.

4. Using the free service of my library and had them get books for certain topics that I will cover at school.

5. Still can’t be bothered owning a car even though it would making hauling all these books home and then to work SO much easier


Jessica April 8, 2019 at 1:35 am

Making actual progress on selling things from my basement.
-sold a nightstand
-sold a bookshelf
-sold a set of plastic drawers
-pending pickup: a second set of drawers, a bathroom shelf, a clothes rack
-listed but not yet sold: bike helmet, clothes
-to list: TV, shelves, 6 ikea dining chairs (may just donate.


Jenelle April 8, 2019 at 7:06 am

5 Frugal Things – the camping edition

We went camping for the first time this season over the weekend. Now that we’ve been camping for some time, we have it down to where we tend not to forget things. (In the past, I’ve been known to need to run to Walmart!)

1. Friday night was brutal cold and rainy, so we stayed in the camper and baked brownies (from a brownie kit we brought with us) and watched a movie. We had brought our own dvd’s but I later learned that the campground office had a free lending library of dvd’s. Mental note for next time.
2. This campground tends to be a bit too pricey for us during the summer months, but this weekend was designated as customer appreciation weekend. Only $25 a night! That’s a deal for this place.
3. Saturday at lunch time the campground offered free make your own pizzas for the kids and only $3 for adults. Our family easily ate lunch for only $3 that meal. I brought drinks with us. (looking around I saw others running into the camp store to buy drinks!)
4. Other free activities we took advantage of were: wagon ride around the campground, playground and crafts for the kids.
5. We did not buy one of the campers that was on display at their “rv show”


Roberta April 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm

1. I got a subbing job early Friday morning, when I was planning to go grocery shopping that day. I managed to get through the whole weekend without (a) eating out or (b) going shopping.
2. Made pasta salad for a potluck at my sister-in-law’s out of things I had on hand, and made deviled eggs thanks to my chickens.
3. Sold more clutter on ebay, shipping with reused packaging.
4. Used up fancy cheese I had been given to make a dinner on Saturday night. We were supposed to go to a neighbor’s, but the introvert was too strong and we chickened out. We watched Queer Eye on Netflix, which I’m really enjoying. I like how it gives us opportunity to talk with our teens about life things. And we avoided food waste!
5. I found jeans on clearance from Aeropostale. I usually don’t like buying new, or buying from companies like this, but I cannot find size 30×34 jeans anywhere! I’m really happy to have found these clearance — at least I’m not creating new demand.


Bethany April 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm

I love substitute teaching. I did it when there was a hiring freeze right after college until our first child was born. It was so fun!!!


Roberta April 9, 2019 at 6:01 am

I know it’s tough to sub some places, but we have a tiny school and I like it. The kids are really interesting!


LB April 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm

1. Beginning to sell off excess home goods. Got $100 for my smart TV that is still in almost perfect condition. Another contribution to the moving fund.

2. Packing meals every time I leave the house has saved a boatload of money…but I’m awful sick of PB&J. Will need a new strategy soon.

3. Back and forth to NYC for job interviews. On the bus instead of the train or driving, which is still about $60 round trip. Hoping this interview process is over soon for the sake of my sanity.

4. Starting to prep my bike for spring. Biking means less gas and car maintenance-plus I get to work wide awake and ready to go.

5. Had an evening of nothing ahead of me and mended BF’s sweater and restitched the hem on a pair of dress pants that had fallen. Felt good about keeping two pieces in our rotation that we like and are otherwise in good condition.


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