Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 29, 2019 · 78 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay including a handmade cribbage board, a credit card reader, a vintage style clock and the Furby that I picked up last week. I also sold a pair of Danskos and a cat bed through Facebook Marketplace.

    I picked up a few things to sell including a Fiestaware deviled egg dish, a vintage barkcloth curtain panel, some zippered banking pouches and an eight-year-old Starbucks travel mug.

  2. I met up with Sarah from Go Budget Girl, who was in Portland for a work conference. Together we hit up the main pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet, where she filmed me for her YouTube channel. I really enjoyed our time together and look forward to see how she edits the tremendous amount of footage into a coherent video. Not to give away too many spoilers, but she did concoct a goofy game show for me!

  3. My friend Lise and I spent a few hours “parallel playing” at a local non-profit community space/coffee shop. She treated me to a drip coffee and we both worked on our laptops. She works from home so it can hard to justify social gatherings, but we’re both disciplined about staying on task. We chat during the drive, plus a few minutes here and there. Plus there’s the accountability of having a friend to keep us on task. A perfect solution for people who work from home and can feel isolated.

  4. I stopped into the Dollar Tree store for bread, and although they didn’t have any of the dense multi-grain loaves that I prefer, I did pick up a couple sleeves of bagels and English muffins, I wrote up a Clark Howard article on how to price garage sale items, I made a large pot of super cheap red lentil soup and I accepted a loaf of homemade bread from my father.

  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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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany April 29, 2019 at 12:55 pm

My husband’s cousin from Alaska enrolled this year in a college just 20 min from us. It’s been fun to get to know her. She invited us onto the campus for the kids to swim and to see the many naturally occurring hot springs on the grounds. We had a piano recital to attend just down the way so it was a really neat pairing and FREE!!!

Tried our hands at fixing our dishwasher. It’s just limping along until the new one arrives Thursday. Sometimes frugality is just trying before throwing in the towel. 🙁

I’m supposed to increase my fruits and veggies and Winco had cucumbers on sale for a quarter. I’ve been cuking it up. LOL!

Picked up a nasty chest thing at our family reunion. Sister-in-law had bronchitis, and got antibiotics. I imagine we had the same thing, but we’ve been swallowing fresh minced garlic and have avoided a dr. visit. Nasty, but it works if we’re not throwing up. LOL!

Threw 2 chicken breasts in the crockpot before heading to church. It’s easier to make it back home restaurant free if we have the crockpot on.


Heidi Louise April 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm

If the bronchitis is making you cough, gargling with warm salt water might help. Nasty, but–


Sarah Wilson April 29, 2019 at 1:25 pm

It was so fun spending time with you and I’m seriously honored that I made it on the blog!


Katy May 1, 2019 at 10:33 am

I stayed up late watching some of your videos. You have a new fan! 🙂


Lisa M. April 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Quadruple+ 5FF: Where is Spring ? & Late Easter Editions

1. Although redundant, because it is WAY frugal I am adding in again: Used bean broth from cooking dry beans in the crockpot to make bean flavored rice & used up last of gifted white rice. Served rice with store-bought burritos & lots of toppings, to make the burritos extend further. Had the leftover rice for lunch with all the delish toppings.
2. Complimentary dinners #17 & #18 r/t ongoing retirement planning marketing. Granted, the venue was not upscale like the dinner we enjoyed earlier this month with filet mignon, seared walleye & wine but at a sports bar located 5” from work that is still more pricey than our typical haunts. After working all day, it was ultra-convenient to stop by for a free dinner on the way home with just a short presentation. I knew it would be short because I have attended before. These financial people are nothing if not persistent!
3. Worked a 32-hour week due to owner making another trip. The beefed-up paycheck works for me!
4. Recently used gifted partial chicken breast & partial bag of shrimp from same source as gifted rice.
5. Planning for annual neighborhood garage sale. Due to neighbors wanting sooner rather than later, may need to rely on previously unsold & pre-priced inventory in the garage (hallelujah to not re-inventing the wheel), large items & whatever DD comes up with in purging closet contents. Will make it work according to whenever neighbors want to schedule so as not to miss an opportunity to both declutter & turn unwanted items into $. Per Katy: Money in, crap out.
6. Had a low-key Easter dinner d/t DD working a double shift. She was at least able to have brunch with us enjoying school sr. party fundraiser Butter Braid deliciousness, and then leftovers after work. Easter menu: ham, Easter Egg Potatoes (with potatoes, sour cream & gouda from Aldi), Mardi Gras Salad (fancy peas & white corn purchased from grocery when on sale for $1/can & frozen green pepper when on sale during late summer), Spiced Asparagus (canned spears from big box grocery), jellied cranberry (dented can on clearance from big box store), deviled eggs (99 cents/dozen at gas station), Hawaiian rolls (Aldi brand) & strawberry shortcake (strawberries & whipped cream from Aldi).
7. We enjoyed Easter leftovers all week which was especially nice with working 32 hours. From the complimentary gourmet burgers & fries dinner, took half of the enormous burger to lunch the next day. Two of the other days enjoyed gifted Asian sticky rice with yellow bean & pork roll from client at former job, stored in the freezer.
8. Received adorable leftover bunny cake from employer unused at her Easter dinner. Not the most delicious but very cute.
9. Looking forward to complimentary dinners #19 & #20 with return to seared walleye & NY strip on the menu. This will be the first experience at a gourmet restaurant that I learned about many years ago but never wanted to spend a lot on upscale dining out. This is the 3rd new restaurant that we will be trying d/t marketing efforts of various financial/legal services for impending retirees.
10. DD ordered a prom dress for a reasonable price but spent extra on expedited shipping, all for < $100. She took measurements when placing her order, so it only requires a slight hem which should be within my limited sewing abilities.
11. Ordered prints & photo party invitations from recommended site with DD’s sr. picture images. Couldn’t be more pleased with price (1st time customer discount), quality, speed of processing/delivery & assistance with special order size for already owned frame size (free from now-closed studio). 3 prints went into elaborate frames purchased from past annual church mega sale.
12. Spending a lot of time scheduling appts. with all new insurance now in effect, including several preventive ones covered 100% by insurance. Able to batch several to save time & gas. Called to order one new contact to get DD by until eye appt. & was offered a lens at no-cost from their trial inventory.
13. Sad to have a burst of spring with tree allergies. Shocked when comparing prices for antihistamines at big box store – $1/pill for name brand or same formulation for 12.5 cents/pill for generic. Saved old container & will split quantity with DD who suffers not only spring but also fall allergies.
14. Continuing to use samples of allergy eye drops with plan to request additional samples at upcoming eye appts. Prescription eye drops EXTREMELY expensive & investment doesn’t make sense for short-term seasonal allergies.
15. Took advantage of being at school to take a carpool to airport for DD’s NYC trip, to inquire about overpayment for trip & requested the $150 refund. Contacted 1 week later (per her request) to follow up on refund status.
16. Followed up on previous large unpaid bill from physical while covered with different insurance. Billing dept. realized that ins. did not pay due to billing error of policy # submitted was one digit off, after comparing with DH’s policy #.
17. Made a trip to pet store & used $5 store reward that had been languishing unused. Made a 2nd trip after evaluating need (per employee’s suggestion) for refund of unnecessary item.
18. Returned a checked-out-too-long-must-return library book for DD to avoid overdue & potential other fines since they had drawn a line in the sand about mandatory return.
19. Following 4-day work week & to provide sufficient energy for Friday night grocery shopping, met DH at fast food restaurant and utilized special, used a coupon & drank water. Enjoyed leftover as part of Saturday lunch with final remnants of Easter food & bunny cake.
20. Prior to DD’s departure for NYC, she absconded with several items from my closet & informed me that clothes from the 80s are making a return. A bit of an exaggeration concerning the 80s but she sent me photos of her wearing a pair of my (skinny days) pants & more shockingly, a blazer & scarf that originally belonged to my DM. Am so thrilled that some items can receive a 2nd life as have resigned myself to accepting that “skinny days” are a thing of my past.
21. Attended an inexpensive CEU program & took my own snacks & lunch.
22. Drove DD’s compact car while she was gone to reduce gas expenses compared to my slightly larger sedan. Left it for her return with a full tank of gas.
23. Contacted food company after discovering that sealed box of instant hot cereal had 1 packet missing top half of packet with contents loose in box. Company sending replacement coupon.


Bee April 30, 2019 at 3:40 am

A friend bought the 300 count bottle of generic Zyrtec for me at Costco for $15. It works well. The dog and I both require it this time of year. They are much, much cheaper for these kinds of Meds!


Lisa M. April 30, 2019 at 4:10 pm

Unfortunately, I don’t shop at Costco & Zyrtec makes me extremely drowsy, even though it is supposedly non-drowsy. It’s interesting how antihistamines vary as far as effectiveness, side effects & cost. Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever try Costco.


Lindsey April 29, 2019 at 1:41 pm

1. Did two annoying but extremely lucrative mystery shops. Annoying because the paperwork is very detailed and, worse, repetitive.
2. This morning accepted three mystery gas shops that don’t pay a lot in cash but I get free gas at each one, so tomorrow morning will be spent doing those.
3. Accepted an oil change mystery shop that has to be done on May 1. Free oil change plus a hefty bonus because they wanted it on a specific date. It seems that mystery shops come in waves because I can go months without one and then I have five to 10 within a few days.
4. Started romaine lettuce transplants and all of them came up, so l have a huge excess. My neighbor offered a flat of pansies for a flat of lettuce, so made a nice trade.
5. Found some mangy mushrooms that had hid themselves in the back of the fridge. Caught just on the edge of waste, they became a most excellent mushroom soup. And I love how using a wand blender is easy and makes soups have the consistency of cream without the cream.

Not sure this is frugal, but it will save me from buying duplicates: The rescue hedgehog escaped and I finally found her under our bed. What I didn’t expect to find was two cases of tuna, six gallons of distilled water, and a case of canned tomatoes. I vaguely recall that about four months ago my nephew went shopping with me at a big box store and by the time I got home I was so exhausted he offered to put things away. I think I said something like, “Just find any place to put things and I’ll sort them out later. Thanks.” Apparently, he slid all the canned items under our bed and I completely forgot about these particular items…which tells you how often the beds get vacuumed under. At least he didn’t slide perishables under there.


A. Marie April 29, 2019 at 1:46 pm

FFT, Question Time Edition:

(2) For those who have IKEA stores in their areas and occasionally look into them: I was looking for shallow soup bowls to replace our old chipped/flaked ones, and found six sleek, elegant, plain white IKEA bowls for 99 cents each at a local Thrifty Shopper (our Rescue Mission chain). I’m guessing this was a pretty good price; am I right?

(3) For those in the US generally: Could there be more than one US chain calling itself the Dollar Tree? After reading the warm praises on the blog of the Portland-area Dollar Trees, I went into my local branch here in Upstate NY–and walked out again 10 minutes later, because this Dollar Tree was even more awful than our local Dollar General and Family Dollar stores. But I’m willing to accept a suggestion that there may be more than one chain, or regional variation within a chain.

(4) What happened to spring? Here in the wilds of Upstate, we had snow showers most of the day Saturday–and I understand we weren’t alone. Asking for numerous friends and myself, all of whom are dying to get back into our gardens and start growing food.

(5) And, finally, for Instant Pot owners: Is owning one worth both the up-front price and the space it would occupy in my fairly small kitchen? I’m contemplating the purchase and understand that most folks who own IPs are ga-ga about them–but I’m a technophobe, a “buy nothing unless you really need it” type, and a cook with limited counter/cupboard room.


Jenzer April 29, 2019 at 2:35 pm

A. Marie – re: your FFF #1, I was wondering the same thing! I saw the news on Instagram.


Jenzer April 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm

That should be FFT, not FFF. We’re not doing five frugal fails today!


Melissa Le April 29, 2019 at 2:41 pm

I replaced my crockpot with an instapot because the crock needed replacement and the instapot has a crockpot function in it. So only needed one not both.


Karen B April 29, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Regarding your #5, I’m a bit of a technophobe, too, although I love my kitchen toys. I forced myself to use it within 24 hours of arrival because I didn’t want it being a big, expensive dust collector on the shelf. I had an advantage in that I’d successfully and without incident used a stove top pressure cooker years ago with minimal verbal instructions and before I used the internet. I now use it several times a week and up to 3 times a day. I like it so much that after 4 months I bought a second one so I can either cook different items in them at the same time or do 2 big batches of the same thing at the same time. If you’d like to join an Instant Pot group either for research or if you decide to get one, I recommend . Very friendly and helpful group. And keep an eye on Krazy Coupon Lady’s blog for deals. (You can search her blog for “Instant Pot”.)


Bee April 29, 2019 at 3:22 pm

A. Marie, I love my IP. I had never used a pressure cooker before, but I have converted. It is a breeze to use and like a crock pot you can set it a forget it. It is excellent for making stock and beans as well as other frugal dishes. However, there is a learning curve, but there is tons of info online now.


Bee April 30, 2019 at 3:50 am

BTW, I have found that the stock at Dollar Tree varies greatly from location to location.


Cindy in the South April 29, 2019 at 6:03 pm

I was wondering the same thing regarding#1????


Jennifer April 30, 2019 at 6:58 am

Me too!


sea April 30, 2019 at 6:25 am

Re #3 about Dollar Tree: the stores can vary greatly! I’ve been in some that are gross, but most tend to be big, bright and clean. Try out a different location — sad to say, it seems like the stores in fancier neighborhoods are nicer (sadly no surprise, I guess).


Mary in VA May 1, 2019 at 8:39 am

Yes, they definitely vary by location. A Dollar Tree in my area moved into an old Walgreens building–it’s huge!


Lindsey April 30, 2019 at 11:01 am

I am not trying to be contrary but I am one of the few people I know that had and instant pot and gave it away. It was great for making yogurt and the easiest peeling hard boiled eggs ever, but I found that (much like a crock pot to me), all the foods ended up tasting vaguely the same—over cooked and sort of steamed. And when I make soups and stews, I a) like the house smelling of a good cooking chili or soup, and b) I like to keep mixing and tasting and adding spices to adjust the flavor. I don’t have much of a problem remembering to take things out and putting them in the fridge to thaw for the next day, so when people rave about how it saves them from having to work with frozen meat I just shrug. But, as I said, I don’t like crock pots either, so maybe I am weird. Maybe you have a friend who would lend you one to try out? On the other hand, our Goodwill had a large one for sale for $20, so you would not lose much buying a used one. Just my two cents.


Bee April 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

1) My husband travels quite a bit for work. He is away from home approximately 1/2 the time. He has enrolled in many loyalty programs for airlines, hotels and rental car companies. For the 3 year in a row, he has received enough loyalty points and airline miles in the course of a year to pay for about 75% of our annual vacation. We made our reservations last week. We will soon be heading west and will combining vacation with bringing our son to the southern terminus of the PCT.

2) I started using Ibotta a two weeks ago. I am surprised how quickly the dollars are adding up. I don’t use much in the way of processed foods, but today I received $0.25 for blueberries, $0.75 for milk, and $2.15 for kitty litter. I may have enough money by the end of the month to make a deposit into my paypal account.

3) The coffee that I drink is 50% off this week at the market. I brought a quarterly supply saving $46 for this 3 month period.

4) I brought some electronic items into Staples on Earth Day to be recycled and received a $10 coupon in return. I used it today to buy some packing materials for my eBay shipments. I try to use recycled packing materials whenever possible, but I never seem to be given enough bubble wrap. Any ideas on what I can use in place of it for delicate items?

5) All the usual stuff – eating at home, drinking primarily filtered tap water and home-brewed coffee,wearing thrifted clothing, buying veggies from my local CSA, reading library books, streaming television, and questioning everything.


Lindsey April 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

I use shredded paper, which I generate quite a bit of, to protect packed items.


Heidi Louise April 30, 2019 at 1:11 pm

#4 for packing: I try very hard not to get plastic store bags, yet they do accumulate. They work well for packing. Put the item in a smaller amount of bubble wrap in the middle of the box, and then pack enough bags so it doesn’t shift around. Perhaps fill the bags with crumpled or shredded paper.


Bee May 1, 2019 at 4:03 am

Those are both great suggestions. Thank you!


Liz B. May 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Many years ago, when I worked in a retail shop that sold museum reproduction items, we would double-box items that were fragile/breakable for shipping (ie, carefully wrap the item in bubble wrap or other packing material and box it up (box #1) – then place box #1 in a larger box (box #2), with packing material in it to cushion and protect box #1). I realize that uses more packing resources, but it really helped cut down on breakage.


Cindy in the South April 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

1. I scheduled a colonoscopy. Taking care of my health is frugal. The copay was 35 bucks. 2. I continued cleaning my vinyl siding with Awesome. It is getting all the green pollen off my house and it is cheap. 3. The mulberry tree is producing. I have spread sheets all over my front yard to make it easier to gather the berries. Luckily I do not have an HOA. 4. I made hamburger soup to eat for supper all week. It was super easy to make in the Crock-Pot. 5. I took a nap….my fav.


Marilyn April 29, 2019 at 6:59 pm

I like your #5.


Mand01 April 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

1. I planted vegetable seeds ready for the winter garden.
2. My husband and I cooked a big pasta sauce and curries for dinners and lunches this week.
3. We replaced our dying lemon of a car with a new car and paid cash. Painful but we now have a five year warranty and hopefully no more expensive repairs. So frugalish.
4. I stopped in to pick up reduced price bagels and other baked goods on my way home last night.
5. Wearing thrifted everything to work with a uniform shirt.


Kathy April 29, 2019 at 2:59 pm

1. Made cauliflower pizza with food from refrigerator: pesto sauce, spinach, grilled chicken, cheese. Got 2 meals out of it
2. Sold an item on eBay. Out in went in a free USPS box
3. Eating Keto friendly from pantry
4. Found new shorts and shirt in closet to wear.
5. Working my livestock gig 7 days in may


Bethany April 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

I’d love to hear your keto recipes. I have to eat low carb and low fat right now, so I can’t do like fat bombs or recipes that require a lot of mayo or cream cheese, but if you have something moderate, I’d love to hear your ideas!!!


Kathy April 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm

I get most of my recipes by searching online


tracy April 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

1. Used up Easter ham various ways, culminating in a big pot of ham and bean soup made yesterday that we will eat lots this week. Also used up some iffy carrots making it. Have also been really hitting the discount fruit and veggie rack at one of my two fave Freddy’s, finding amazing deals which is good since like Bethany I am working to up my fruit and veggie intake. Made a delicious spinach salad with half price spinach and half price pears. Yum!
2. Have been buying some wardrobe basics for 27 yo DD on super discount deals for her upcoming b-day in June (she’s soon to be 28). Prefer to buy her some practical basics that will last a long time.
3. Planted a gifted potted hydrangea into a clay pot outdoors. It’s lovely and I’m lazy and like having potted perennials that come back every year, I know have four hydrangeas and three camellias in large pots on my patio. Saves on buying annuals too!
4. Have been trying to up my “no food waste” game and am using that to inform what we eat and especially what I eat since I don’t mind some weird this-n-that meals. Threw some milk in the freezer that I will use to make chowder when I have more time. Also need to use up some eggs and potatoes so breakfast for dinner is in my future!
5. Spent a long time last week filling out paperwork to make sure we get all our money used up on our health savings account before the June 30 deadline. We’ve had a lot of medical this year so it’s not an issue but getting the paperwork done is!


tracy April 30, 2019 at 4:20 am

ugh, number 3 should be “now have” not “know have”


Midwest Beth April 29, 2019 at 3:32 pm

1. Went to Kroger and bought the max of on sale five Kroger brand cheese 8 oz. items for 99 cents each; also bought the half gallon milk for 88 cents and picked up the on sale fruit items. Proud to say I stuck to the list of on sale items we needed! Trying to eat from the freezer/pantry and just buy fruits/veg/milk/bread. So far so good – chicken with rice soup and broccoli cheddar soup today on this rainy day, perfect.

2. Earlier in the week went to Meiier to pick up a few items we needed and to use $10 certificate I had that expired the end of April. Of course I forgot to use it at the check out even after asking my 16 year-old to help me to remember. Went to customer service and the nice lady allowed me to turn it in and she gave me $10 cash back, I was super happy.

3. If we dine out I have been saving the unused napkins and butter given to us with our meals and bringing it home, batching errands/trips to save on gasoline, Swagbucking up a storm, got a parking spot with time still on the parking meter while I ran into the library. Celebrated my daughter getting all A’s by treating her to cheap dinner at the local coney island restaurant (her choice) and got the 99 cent coney’s on sale, we both drank water. Later after running errands treated her to dessert at Culvers – the concrete mixer she loves using the B1G1 free coupon.

4. Made use of the library to get the first Avenger movie and will watch other movies that follow through Netflix prior to going to see the new Avenger movie. Will take daughter to first AM show (cheapest) and use the $5 Verizon Up rewards I have towards the overall movie cost. On the way will stop at Dollar Tree and let her pick out a candy item and drink to snack on during the movie.

5. Frugal fail – my back turn signal light burned out on my car. Father in law looked at it but could not get to the bulb even with taking the trunk a part, tail. I thought no problem car needs a oil change – called ahead oil change was $5 off for a total of $17.50. New turn signal bulb was $3.00 – labor to change it – $56 just for the light bulb!!!! I had asked for an estimate on the phone, they told me could not quote a price until they saw if it was just a burned out bulb or other problem. Yikes! Will definitely call around more now that I know what’s involved for the next time.


Roberta April 30, 2019 at 6:11 am

Did you try checking Youtube for instructions for changing the tail light on your particular model? I’ve found fabulous instructions for fixing all sorts of specific things!


Mary in VA May 1, 2019 at 8:44 am

My husband uses YouTube all the time for fixing cars and other things. What a wonderful resource!


Stephanie April 29, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Ooh. Red lentil soup sounds awesome right now!

1. I hit the thrift store and found piles upon piles of books and fluffy, fancy little girl skirts for my daughter’s birthday last week. Super cheap gifts and she loves them all.

2. I made my daughter’s birthday cake with cake mix I bought on sale two months ago, and a can of frosting we already had. Success!

3. We grilled a lot of food for the people we had at the party, including three packages of chicken legs that I picked up months ago for a whopping total of six bucks.

4. Party leftovers! I won’t have to cook all week long, woohoo!

5. I’m actually reading books off my own shelves this week, which I’ve been trying to do for ages, but the library keeps stocking such interesting stuff. Go me!


Katy April 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Sounds like that’ll be fun to watch!

1. Ordered a book free that I used My Reader Reward points to get. I think I’ll use it as a birthday gift for my daughter.
2. Agreed to some babysitting, which is bringing in some very handy cash.
3. Took the kids to the library, now they’re quietly enjoying a stack of books.
4. Husband is looking into our homeowners insurance to replace our roof after the hail storm.
5. Went to the grocery store to add a little more variety to our supper instead of going out to eat.


Tonya Parham April 29, 2019 at 6:43 pm

1. Decided to start work on the back fence row– I think the the weeks my wife will be gone probably still won’t be enough to clear it by myself but it will keep me busy, save money, and be good exercise.

2. Went to Walmart and picked up a few odds and ends to round out my grocery supplies for the week. Spent $15 and an additional $5 just to make a HUGE taco salad instead of eating out.

3. Moved the three slabs of concrete our old central air had been on over to our front yard so that we could stack them and put potted plants on them. It’s a shady front yard and grass doesn’t grow well so I am going to put in some features with potted shade loving plants like hostas. Hostas aren’t cheap– exactly but they do come back every year and I really love them. Plus, they can be divided and repotted.

4. Paid off a credit card before there was any interest due! W00T!

5. Also bought seeds for some plants that I hope to grow and pot. It’s not free but seeds are much cheaper than the large full plant. I even got some cacti seeds (!) for the back patio. And some aloe vera!


Connie C April 30, 2019 at 6:10 am

Ask around for hostas! I got all mine from my sister.


Liz B. May 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Check Facebook Marketplace in your area. A seller in my area was recently selling divisions of her hostas for $2 apiece, as well as other perennials (apparently this person is an avid gardener – and her gardens are gorgeous, based on the photos posted for the sale!). I wish I’d been able to take advantage of this sale, as I love hostas, too.


Tonya Parham April 29, 2019 at 7:11 pm

6. I also went to Kroger and bought SO much coffee because they had buy $25 and save $10. So, I got $50 worth of coffee for $30. It was a significant outlay but I figure if it keeps us from going to starbuck$ it’s about 5 trips through their drive thru.


tracy April 30, 2019 at 4:22 am

Me too!


Liz B. May 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm

lol, I took advantage of that deal, too!


Canadian Girl April 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm

I love Budget Girl and I am excited to see the video she made of your day together.
Don’t think that I have 5 but I will give it a try
1. I have been able to work from home one day a week which saves over an hour of commuting per day
2. Brought leftovers for lunch and raided my fridge so I could bring breakfast with me to eat at work
3. Exercised using an old DVD at home today (free fitness works for me)
4. Really wanted to buy a smoothie while I was at work but I let the craving pass and had my favorite tea which I keep at my desk for craving emergencies
5. Ate out on the weekend but ate off of the Happy Hour menu


Kathy April 29, 2019 at 7:19 pm

1. Sold 2 more items this on
2. Mending sheets that still have life in them


Mrs. Picky Pincher April 30, 2019 at 4:18 am

Woohoo! I had the pleasure of meeting GBG at Fincon a few years ago. She is so wonderful! I’m jealous you got to work with her. 🙂

This week:

1. I purchased a glass block to clean our toilets. Our water is super hard and it causes buildup within, like, a week. Glass is the best way to clean it.

2. My razor handle was a little gunked up. Instead of tossing it, I soaked it in vinegar and it was good as new. Thanks, hard water.

3. I was craving sweets and baked homemade macarons and brownies to get my fix.


Jenelle April 30, 2019 at 4:28 am

1. Saved a large stuffed animal from someone’s trash this morning. As I was dropping my kids off at daycare, I saw it and saw the trash truck coming. I just couldn’t bear the thought of it getting thrown away. The homeowner was in the yard and said it was just put out. My kids are thrilled. My husband will not be!

2. Had to make a large purchase for an upcoming conference I am planning which I will be reimbursed for. I used my Amazon credit card to earn those points!

3. Preparing for my church’s upcoming trunk sale. We each purchase a parking spot and set up our stuff. I have so much kids clothing to get rid of. The proceeds from this sale purchase our summer pool pass.

4. Filling up my van has always been my worst dreaded chore. I used to only put enough gas in for one week. Last week I tried filling up the entire tank to see how long it would really last. (yes, silly I know) I was pleasantly surprised to find that one tank lasted longer than two weeks!

5. Its amazing what you find when you clean. I cleared out my son’s closet for the above mentioned trunk sale and found the baseball cleats and cub scout belt I’ve been looking for. Somehow I need to stay better organized.


Katy April 30, 2019 at 9:50 am

Ooh . . . you might want to put that stuffed animal through the wash. It might have been thrown away due to lice or similar.


Connie C April 30, 2019 at 6:14 am

1) Listed items for sale on FB. Sold one immediately. One other item has multiple people interested. Saving the cash I make to use as a principle payment on our mortgage.

2) Working on my Swagbucks.

3) Spent part of Saturday doing annoying little chores at home. This got them off my to do list and out of my head!

4) Reading books from the library.

5) Headed out of town for work for two days. I will chose wisely and usually end up with extra from my per diem.


Roberta April 30, 2019 at 6:24 am

1. I was given a HUGE amount of Swiss chard. My son and I made it into palak paneer (saag paneer) for dinner last night. Our paneer didn’t quite turn out — I think it was the UHP milk — but the dinner did. I intended to pair it with the leftover red lentil curry we had, but I have a teenage son, and there was no leftover curry any more. I made roasted turmeric cauliflower instead, and dinner was yummy. Made fake naan out of bread dough, on the stove top, with a cast iron pan. There was enough chard that there are leftovers this morning (so far).
2. My sister-in-law gave me her old washer! It’s a really old washer, with an agitator and everything. I am so grateful to have a washer that gets clothes clean! (My newer washer saved water like crazy, but the clothes would sometimes come out dirtier than they went in. No joke. I’d rather have clean clothes!) We paid for pizza for us and my sister-in-law and her husband, but it was much better than buying a new washer!
3. I will sell my replaced washer on Craigslist. It will cover the cost of our pizza!
4. Went to a friend’s for game night. I brought deviled eggs, made out of Easter eggs.
5. We received unexpected rain yesterday (yay!) and I taught my son how to hang his clean shirts on the covered porch. We found a stained shirt while he was hanging his laundry, so we not only saved by not using the dryer, but we will have a second chance to get the stain out and save the shirt!


Mary in VA May 1, 2019 at 8:49 am

Oh, I love palak paneer. I was just eyeballing some frozen palak paneer at Trader Joe’s a little while ago, but decided we had plenty of food at the moment.


Liz B. May 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

I looooove palak paneer. Now I want some, lol. I’ve read that you can make paneer in the instant pot, but I’ve never tried it.


Colleen April 30, 2019 at 6:42 am

1) I graduated with my Master’s degree on Sunday. My mom offered to go out to a nice dinner after the ceremony with the family, but I just wanted to do something low-key that involved not leaving my dogs at home for hours on end. We came back to my house, ordered a few pizzas, and sat on the patio to enjoy the sun. I received several gifts (despite the fact that I asked that no one give any, but my family and my husband’s are too generous) so I will put all the money into an envelope to bring with me on a trip in June.

2) On Friday night I was at a restaurant where someone was having a graduation party in a private area. After they left, the waitresses started cleaning up/taking down the decorations. I asked what they were planning to do with the decorations and they said they would throw them away. They gave me permission to take them home. I got a banner, a couple hanging decorations, and unused forks and plates. I used these on Sunday and then brought the decorations into work today for my boss because his daughter graduates HS in June.

3) I went to Kroger at the end of last week and while many of my digital coupons came off my order, 4 of them (totaling $4) didn’t. I called the 800 number and got some misinformation, had to call back, and overall it was a pain. The next agent I talked to said she was sorry for the inconvenience and put a $30 credit on my loyalty card for next time.

4) No more going to school = no more driving 60 miles round-trip on Thursday nights = gas savings. I’m hoping my teacher posts my grade online soon so I can file for tuition reimbursement with my employer.

5) My cap and gown cost $100 and then I had to pay an extra $15 for the cord for graduating with honors – ridiculous. You had to show your receipt in order to get the 8 tickets for your guests. There is a girl that I met in one of my classes that will graduate in the fall. I saved my receipt for her so she can reuse my cap and gown. She is very thankful to be able to save $100 and I am glad I didn’t have to just throw it away.


Susie's Daughter April 30, 2019 at 9:11 am

Congratulations, Colleen!! Well done on your degree and you get an A+ in my book for all your frugal celebration elements!


Cathy April 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

Your grad frugalness is inspiring! When I finished my degree a few years ago, I insisted on no celebration. I didn’t even attend my own graduation because it just wasn’t frugal in my book. Great ideas!


Lindsey April 30, 2019 at 11:17 am

Congrats on the degree!!!


Bee April 30, 2019 at 11:34 am

Congratulations on a job well done! What a wonderful accomplishment!


Lisa M. April 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Ditto on the congratulations for the master’s degree. I found that the more education I received, the more low-key the celebration tended to be.

I am in the same boat regarding cords for my DD’s HS graduation. Debate National Honor Association cords are $15 + $9.47 for shipping (for an item that requires a padded envelope?). At least her cap & gown were only $40 – still excessive for 1 time usage…


Colleen May 1, 2019 at 9:13 am

Thank you all for your comments! What a great group of people on this blog 🙂


Heidi Louise May 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

For honor cords, it would be almost as easy to buy cord and tassels and make them yourself. Perhaps some student group could take on that project some year, buying the stuff in bulk. Or at least ordering finished cords all together to lessen shipping. The cords can be artistically draped around one’s window curtains for decoration after use, but otherwise have very fleeting value as practical objects. For psychological recognition, they’re great. Financially, they seem to come out of the same industry as wedding dresses.


Lisa M. May 5, 2019 at 8:56 am

Great ideas about groups making their own cords or ordering in bulk to save shipping. I didn’t hear about those options when DD was involved, so doubt that they utilize either.

Sucked it up – $14 + $9.47 shipping = $23.47. Painful for 1 time usage but want to recognize her hard work.

Re: Wedding dresses. My selection ended up being a store sample which I discovered when trying to order it. Saved a huge amt. of $, much to the chagrin of the wedding store employees who deemed it an “informal” with much disdain. Who cares, I loved it & it was frugal. Win, win.


Texas Silver May 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Graduated 30 yrs ago with MSN. Saved the cap & gown. Soon after graduation started teaching @ a college. Faculty was required to attend the 2 graduations each fall & spring (total of 4 per year ). Guess who never had to rent a cap & gown.


Susie's Daughter April 30, 2019 at 9:08 am

1) Shopped loss leaders at the big name grocery store one town over when I had an appointment. Chili and pesto white bean dip in our future as beans were .33 can if you bought 12. You all know I bought 12.

2) Stopped at the local thrift store to try on pants. Nothing fit, so nothing spent. Our church’s rummage sale is this week. I will see if there is anything that might work there. Mostly, I am back to trying to lose a few pounds so that the clothes I own will fit more comfortably. Sigh.

3) Raked the lawn and worked on prepping the garden beds yesterday with Dear Wife for exercise. It was lovely and sunny though cool. Today it is spitting snow…

4) Borrowed several cookbooks from the library as I have the dinner blahs.

5) Dear Wife’s hard drive is going downhill rapidly and her company will fix it or replace it, but she needed an external hard drive asap. She remembered she purchased one several years ago just before I left to make a 50 mile round trip to get her one. Saved time, gas, money and aggravation.


Bee April 30, 2019 at 11:40 am

I have not been in the mood to cook either. After eating black beans four days in a row, my dear hubby asked if we could have something else to eat. He left earlier today to travel for work, so I’m just going to eat black beans and rice again. No muss and ne fuss. I just do not want to cook!


Susie's Daughter May 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

Bee – this made me laugh! Beans and rice are in our fridge right now. 🙂


Mary in VA May 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

It’s church rummage sale season! Going to one this Saturday.


MW April 30, 2019 at 9:39 am

1) Stocked up on jeans for the older son at Deseret Industries. He just keeps growing. . .
2) Found a huge load of Coach bags at Goodwill- got one for my MIL for $10 for Mother’s Day, one for my sister for $15 for her birthday, and one for me.
3) Hit up the Goodwill Outlet to get some much needed t-shirts for my husband, a silk scarf for my MIL, baby books and clothes for a gift, and a night gown for me.
4) Signed up for a research panel for this evening. $50 for the grocery fund!
5) Due to a change in plans, prioritized eating the fragile greens first to avoid wasting food. 2 nights of bok choy. . . Also made meringue cookies with the 4 leftover egg whites from a pudding recipe. Any excuse for meringue!


LB April 30, 2019 at 9:42 am

1. Sunday work event=food home with me. Got a boatload of pasta and green beans (my favorite!!) saves me from ordering out.

2. Sold my desk–sad to see it go, but excited to have one less thing in the house.

3. Wearing one of my fancy new shirts today from my Ann Taylor clearance haul. I feel ready for spring, even if it will never stop raining.

4. Had our big going away party Saturday. While the hangover did not result in frugal decisions, the free drinks and food made for a great evening out. Plus, all the tater tots I could eat!

5. Realizing how much kitchen stuff I have and doubling down on using everything or getting rid of it…my food processor is on thin ice. Better make some pesto before I find a nice new home for it.

Frugal fail…went to NYC for a job interview yesterday and had to drive each way to make sure I was back home in time for a string quartet rehearsal in the evening. Got down there to find that the company was a pyramid scheme. So, I spent $60 on transportation, took a day off of my current job, plus the $8 for McDonald’s to dull the pain was a real insult to the loss of an hour of my life to a get rich quick scheme.


Cathy April 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

1. Made chicken stock from a Costco rotisserie carcass + greens given to me from a friend’s garden (and a few veggie odds/ends in the fridge).
2. Used a Walgreens photo code to create new poster-sized artwork for our office. It looks amazing, and the photos are from a local hiking spot.
3. Found $0.03 so far this week. Slow & steady wins the race.
4. Brought snacks and water for my son’s all-day track meet. No snack shack for us!
5. Got new AirPods for a short meeting with a potential vendor at work. Yay me!


Momma L April 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm

1. Bought some nice, well made blouses for work for the summer. Loved the fit and color, when I got home I notice pilling on the back. I pulled out my sweater shaver, and voila! The shirts feel like brand new! I didn’t know that would work so well. The shaver is a great investment.
2. Dug up and rearranged some plants in my yard. So tired of dividing the monkey grass, so I left several clumps by the curb with a free sign. They were gone within the hour.
3. Got some flowers from my staff, kept the daisies and mums and put them in a cute jar I had with a bow from my reused bow stash and gave them to a friend to cheer her up.
4. Was gifted a lot of different types of noodles, using them in stir fry instead of rice. I love pasta.
5. Learning to make basic sauces, so I can put meals together that taste good with what I have. Most recently I made a great white sauce. DH had throat radiation years ago, and needs sauces in his food.


Betta from daVille April 30, 2019 at 6:25 pm

1. Completed 2 Nielsen rating surveys and made $10
2. Reused coffee grounds for my second pot of coffee (I might have read to do this on this blog). I have to say, it was perfectly fine.
3. Despite it being 59 degrees in the house, I’m refusing to turn the heat on as it is the week before May!
4. Did really well by eating all meals for the week at home, save one lunch.
5. Meeting my mom tomorrow and am trading some 3 buck chuck (Trader Joe’s wine that my dad loves — he is my frugal hero) for some of their homegrown rhubarb.


KJD509 April 30, 2019 at 8:18 pm

Just a few FTs this week:

1) Free drama in the neighborhood, much cheaper and just as red in tooth and claw as Game of Thrones: a pair of geese nested atop an old piling well out in the river, with mama persevering even when the water was high and the wind was fierce. Papa paddled proudly between her and the shore for weeks and weeks, hissing as neighbors and our dogs walked by on the path. Then the chicks were born, we assume, and a ravening horde of juvenile bald eagles drove the parents away and – well. It has been weeks of anticipation for the chicks and a wild denouement. With no cable costs, at least.

2) Taking public transportation to work every day (I have to drive a bit to the train station, though I might see how long it takes to walk it), and signed up today for my new office’s monthly transportation subsidy, which cuts the cost in half.

3) Still enjoying free coffee and fruit at work, plus today somebody brought in a big knob of fresh ginger. I added a paper thin slice plus a wedge of lime to my ice and sparkling water and felt like I was illicitly enjoying a cocktail at my desk.

4) Middle daughter had an expiring Shutterfly coupon but didn’t want to pull from her savings because her summer tuition is due next week. She’s a really good photographer and had spent the weekend with her sisters and Grandma taking springtime pictures. I spotted her $25 and she ordered 7 oversized prints for $32 total. Our local thrift store has dozens of frames for 99 cents, so we’ll have all new wall art at bargain prices.

5) Yeah, that’s it. Spring is expensive.


Lisa May 1, 2019 at 3:55 am

These are a few of my favorite things
1. We had Easter Dinner at my house and several members brought hard boiled eggs for hiding. Needless to say I made pickled eggs. Used the watermelon rind and made pickles and labeled the leftover ham in bags with suggestions ie ham and lentils or ham and scalloped potatoes. I also took all the berries left on the fruit tray and made syrup and the rolls and made a breakfast casserole and a loaf of French bread into French toast for the freezer. This will cut the grocery bill for the month.

2. I have not been in Walmart since January so I do use Family Dollar and Dollar General because I can use 5.00 off 25.00 without having a smart phone like you do for other places and get my cleaning products and bathroom items.

3. I have a frugal fail but a heart win. A Stray cat had kittens in my yard Easter Sunday. BIL said he heard the cat but did not see the kittens. I found them on Tuesday when I was sweeping the yard for possible missed eggs. Mom did not come back so they are being hand feed by me. The local humane society with spade them and shots and a local pet store will display them. Can you tell I have done this before.


MW May 1, 2019 at 7:19 am

#5- awww . . . good for you!


AuntiAli May 2, 2019 at 10:45 pm

The next time I get an offer for one of those how to retire dinners I’m going. I won’t buy anything there.
1. Dh brought home a half tray of tuna – think the fish tuna – and veggies and had that for supper two days in a row.
2. Frugal in the way that the car will keep going – 2 new front struts, new windshield wipers and an oil change and that was $1400 It’s a Nissan Altima with only 49000 miles on it and 5 years old. We should get many more years out of it. My car – a Honda CRV – is almost 9 years old and has 57000 miles on it.
3. Got our new Fios fiber optic cable put in with faster internet speed as well as landline phone. Will write down the date when this contract expires and will switch.
4. Had a nice long talk with my sister tonight.
5. Had Kraft Mac n Cheese tonight. Gross but it saved me from going out to pick something up. Dd had leftover pulled pork and dh had 2 cans of soup. It was the first night of his company’s golf league and it was cloudy, damp and cold outside.


Lisa M. May 3, 2019 at 4:13 am

We have enjoyed 20 free meals over the last couple of years, even with DH being unable to attend a couple making 22 free meals offered. Majority have been at upscale restaurants including 3 that are considered fine dining. They typically seem bent on scheduling an appointment to meet privately. We have never done this but feel like we have received some useful information & resources. Our explanation is that while we know retirement is approaching, our immediate focus is on DD starting college next year & financing her education. Being older parents, it is a bit of a unique situation to receive marketing regarding retirement while still having a dependent child at home.


Lisa M. May 3, 2019 at 4:15 am

Sorry, above comment was intended as a comment for AuntAli.


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