Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 9, 2019 · 71 comments

  1. I sold a thrifted Starbucks green patio umbrella that I’d listed for sale back in the cretaceous age. It inhabited a sizable chunk of space and was one of those things that everyone was interested in, yet no one followed through on. (I just looked and 18!! people expressed interest in it before it actually sold!) In the end I profited an impressive $5, but at this point I was just happy to rid of it.

    I did sell a $5 chair for $30 and have somebody who wants the buy the cute midcentury table that I refinished a few weeks ago. I try not to count my eggs before they hatch, but the potential buyer does seem serious. Crossing fingers. Saying a prayer. Summoning a demon.

    Not that it’s a “frugal thing,” but selling the chair and the end table will help my living room to have less of the over-crowded “furniture showroom” aesthetic.

  2. I ran a batch of errands in a specific area of town yesterday based on the used library store having a BOGO sale on hardbacks. My kids volunteered for the library’s summer reading program back in elementary school, and each received $15 gift certificates at the end of the season. (Remember, my kids are now adults.) However, these gift certificates never expire, and we’ve been chipping away at them ever since. I picked up two books, which drained $1.50 from the certificates.

    I also dropped off two pairs of spent sneakers at the Nike outlet store for their Re-Use-A-Shoe program which grinds up old shoes for playgrounds, tracks and such.

    I then stopped by my father’s house, as he and my step mother will be traveling through Italy for a few weeks. I hung out with my dad while he kneaded bread, weeded the garden and puttered around the house. I snipped a few more babies from his spider plant and enjoyed an afternoon snack.

    Unsurprisingly, I stopped into his neighborhood Goodwill store, where I snagged a new looking Patagonia wheelie convertible backpack which I may actually keep. I paid $12.99, but will probably list it on eBay at some point as they sell for $100 and up!

  3. I washed my car in the driveway, I cooked up a big batch of black beans in my Instant Pot, I put out the word for Starbucks travel mug lids and got one from my friend Lise, I walked a couple things to the consignment shop and got $6 in store credit. (Whee!) I made sure to bring my own tap water with me while out and about and I picked up the bulk ingredients to mix up a knock-off version of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel.

  4. I used the consignment store credit to get a 15-pack of plastic hangers for my clothesline, as well as a component piece that adds an extra vertical level to my son’s specific bookshelf. I’ve only found the pieces once before, so I snapped this one up.

  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.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany M May 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Putting my husband’s aunt and cousins up for a week. I’m just responsible for breakfasts and Friday night dinner. Breakfast this morning was eggs, toast and bacon, and home-dripped coffee. Not too expensive.

Thanks to the stomach flu we’ve had some zero miles days at our house.

Leaving the sprinklers off for a bit longer even though we haven’t had another rain, the sky has been overcast and not drying up the ground.

Threw a half of a zucchini in my smoothie at lunch, otherwise it was going to rot in the fridge. Kids aren’t eating much right now with the flu at hand. Bless their hearts!

Lots of good deals at the grocery last night when I needed to run into get a few. Couldn’t pass up some more 25 cent cucumbers. I can down one for a late night snack. Trying to keep it low fat, heading toward my gastric bypass surgery. 14 days, 16 hours, 57 min, 45 seconds…. Love my free countdown app!


Minimalsteph May 9, 2019 at 12:11 pm

1. I have been drinking nothing but tap water, which is saving me $3/day. Savings in cash, my health, the environment, and my waistline.
2. I have been eating down the pantry and freezer. No grocery expenditures this week.
3. I walk to a nearby shopping center on my lunch break to pick up what’s necessary instead of driving into town on my day off.
4. I found $0.97 in parking lots this week.
5. Shitty weather has kept me inside the past two weeks. Ive been decluttering and battling just in case syndrome. I have my donations packed in my trunk so next time i’m in town I can drop them off. I could sell some stuff online, but it’s better for the environment if I don’t and the donations go to worthy causes.


Momma L May 9, 2019 at 12:30 pm

1. Finding interesting ways to use glass:
1. someone gifted me a “silly cow Farms hot chocolate bottle, and its the perfect size to put Hershey’s kisses in. Its on my desk, and people can turn it over and only one kiss at a time pops out.
2. Saving Classico sauce jars, they look like ball jars, when I put twine around the top, its a cute jar vase for my cut flowers from the yard. I gifted some of these to friends who were sick.
3. A cute tiny jelly jar holds cough drops on my desk.
4. A glass spice jar holds toothpicks.
5. A candle jar with a lid holds tea bags.

Before learning from this group, I probably would have thrown all of these away.


Jennifet May 10, 2019 at 4:11 am

2. I saved twelve store bought pickle jars that I now use as a “set” of drinking glasses. I just love them! They have measuring marks on the side so they can double as a measuring cup.i love the way they look in my cabinet and they don’t break easily so I’mlikely to have them for many years.


A. Marie May 10, 2019 at 9:28 am

Glad to hear of other folks’ glass reuse efforts. I decided to make Ball Canning my glassware pattern about 2 years ago, and it’s been a great pleasure (especially since, as Jennifer notes, these can also be used for measurement purposes). Our few remaining other glasses are not being replaced as they break.

But it’s going to be a sad day here when our last two thrift-shopped Kilgore College Rangerettes glasses break (you Texans out there will know what the Rangerettes are). DH has vowed to keep using these till he can see the Rangerettes’ underwear!


Karen B May 11, 2019 at 12:36 pm

2. I have used the same store-brand jelly for years because it came in a glass jar designed to be reused as a drinking glass. They’re sturdy, the jelly was good, and the drinking glass was free with purchase. Well, the store recently changed the jars to a normal jar with screw-on lid, shrank the size, and upped the price a few cents, so I bought about 18 jars that still had the old style! I am set for jelly for a long time.


ouvickie May 15, 2019 at 11:30 am

I have a lot of mason jars and jelly jars we use as drinking glasses, too!
I, also, save glass jars that food products come in, along with the lids, and give them to my cousin, who reuses them to cans all types of food products in. That way I’m recycling them for a purpose instead of taking them to a recycle station.
I wish everything would come in glass containers, instead of plastic. I loathe plastic waste.


Mand01 May 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm

1. Took homemade soup for lunch yesterday but worked through it so just had a snack and left it there for today.
2. The sourdough we made last weekend has lasted all week long. I’m eating the last bit right now for breakfast. I’ll make more tomorrow.
3. I received four packets of free seeds in the mail yesterday from my gardening club. I pay an annual fee to be a member but I’d do that anyway so the free seeds every autumn and spring are just a bonus. They do great work saving heirloom plants for biodiversity.
4. After buying a new car, I’m building savings back up as fast as I can.
5. Switched electricity providers to take advantage of a higher discount for being a member of our auto club.


Trish May 9, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Katy, you have an instant pot? would love to hear about your decision to buy it. I have been considering one, but I already have 2 crock pots. And I would also love a blog post about your decision to retire from nursing and devote more time to reselling! Just out of curiosity! I am a long time follower.


Jennifer May 10, 2019 at 4:14 am

Me too! I don’t have Insta so this is me news to me.


Katja May 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm

So Im obviously not Katy, but my reasonig to buying an Instant Pot (used, with 2 stainless steel inner pots) was:
yes, I did not have a crockpot.
I am an impatient overfiller which made me feel hesitant buying one.
Instant Pot solved this problem, I could crank the heat up any time, so I was fine.
Not to say what the pressure cooking does with meat/other textures. Hb and me love it.
Have it for about 2 1/2 years and use it ~ 3 times a week.


Karen B May 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm

I am also not Katy, but I loved my first Instant Pot so much I bought a second identical 5 months later–both work, not a replacement, but I wanted to be able to cook a double batch at the same time or 2 different foods at the same time. My favorites have been super tender pot roast, rice I don’t burn or boil over, iced tea, free broth from bones and veggie scraps, and hard cooked eggs that peel unbelievably easy.


Karen B May 11, 2019 at 12:44 pm

p.s. If you’re in the US and want a good deal, check on Krazy Coupon Lady’s blog. Fantastic deals come up often, frequently at Kohl’s, and she tells you options to combine for the best deal.


Vickey May 12, 2019 at 9:48 am

I second the second Instant Pot. I loved the big one so much I got a smaller one for in the camper. And promptly found a home inside for it when we’re not camping. I use the big one for batches of beans, and for soups and stews. I use the smaller one for grains, porridge, steamed veggies. I used them both today, as I do several times a week.
And am darned glad to have cut down on my fracked natural gas use by reducing stovetop cooking.


Isa May 13, 2019 at 2:49 am

Whaaaaat?? No more nursing?

I also want to know more, as this is news to me 🙂


Trish May 14, 2019 at 5:03 pm

Unless I dreamed it, Katy posted on Instagram that she has left her nursing career behind and is writing/selling full time.


Economically Proud May 9, 2019 at 2:20 pm

1. Received a growing salad bowl garden, and bag of canned goods and some other food items from a neighbor
2. DH received a box of beer for helping a co-worker out
3. Planted 3 pepper plants, and 1/2 pack of green bean seeds outside today
4. No driving or spending today
5. Started planning and packing snacks, lunches, and 2-3 dinners for a trip out of town next week


Midwest Beth May 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm

1) Just batched errands picking the smartest route – all of the following after picked up daughter from school:
2) went and picked out glasses sticking to only what insurance would cover for frames and lenses
3) treated daughter to Starbucks during happy hour 50% off using my Verizon Up Rewards
4) went and took care of the the cats we are pet sitting bringing in some cash
5) went to Lowes and picked up hanging baskets $5 each – two for me and two for my Mom for Mothers Day – also bought six bags mulch marked half off because they had broke open; waited on purchasing tomato cages until my $25 Swagbuck Lowes gift card comes through
6) Returned a movie I borrowed from the library


A. Marie May 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm

FFT, Freebies and Cheapies Edition:

(1) I used a very odd item we trashpicked a while ago (it would take too long to describe it) to create a birdbath right under our living room windows, where I have put the bird feeders this past year to entertain DH. I just saw the first bird (a handsome blue-black grackle) drinking from it. Huzzah!

(2) And the birdwatching pleasure we’ve had from the feeders this spring has been beyond description. Goldfinches, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, and assorted sparrows (resident and migrant) galore, plus a couple of really flashy visitors (rose-breasted grosbeaks and an indigo bunting). Cheap thrills!

(3) The house where I found the warehouse-club-wrapped Olay soap and Q-tips on a trash pile several months ago is getting its final cleanout. Several lids for plastic storage bins got put on the curb. I took home one of these to add to our collection of similar lids, which we use as trays in the front hallway for wet/muddy boots and shoes (an essential part of every Upstate NY household).

(4) Noticed on the way home from running errands this afternoon that our local branch of our county library system was having a modest book sale. We doubled back after putting away our groceries, and ended up scoring a bagful (seven or eight books and about a dozen CDs) for $2. Woot woot!

(5) Finally, I’ve just moved all of my vegetable seedlings that weren’t out already (tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons) outdoors to my little plastic-covered greenhouse. No more expenditure on electricity for them, and substantial savings over seedlings at farmers’ market prices.


Cat May 12, 2019 at 7:05 am

Ooh, great idea for the lids! I found a boot tray on the curb a few years back, but it’s not big enough to contain all the winter footwear. I have a couple of unmatched lids looking for a use.


Tonya May 9, 2019 at 3:31 pm

FFT Dorm move out edition:

1) Drove 6 hours to move my daughter back home for summer. Packed my own food and coffee for the drive and stopped for a midday walk at a beautiful state park about halfway there.
2) Took a bunch of boxes from work for packing her stuff.
3) Got a “buy 2 months get one free” special for a small storage unit for her dorm stuff.
4) She has soooo much meal plan credit left. We are eating all meals here on campus and buying a ton of snacks for the ride back.
5) She had a great freshman year. Nothing better than seeing your kid happy, healthy and thriving.


Midwest Beth May 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Congratulations on #5, happy Mothers Day! 🙂


Casey May 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm

After reading about your success in getting expired airline dollars reinstated, I spent about 30 minutes this morning doing the same. The customer care representative couldn’t reissue the money, but instead offered 2 gift cards for more than what we’d had left to use. So happy!


Katy May 9, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Hooray for you!!!


Lindsey May 9, 2019 at 5:48 pm

1. Resisted buying a book and got on the wait list for it at the library.
2. Thinned a bunch of romaine seedlings out of a flat and used them in salad for lunch.
3. A friend is going out of town so gave me about two pounds of mushrooms. Made a huge vat of mushroom soup, which also used up a sad onion and sadder potato.
4. Used a promo code to rent a Redbox movie for 25 cents. I usually don’t time them right and I refuse to make a special trip to check one out but today I discovered one as I was leaving the house for other errands.
5. We carried insurance on both of our gentle giants. I called to ask the company to stop sending me emails for renewals next month and the nice lady at their end told me that the insurance covered euthanizing and body disposal. Not completely, but they are refunding me for each of the boys, to the tune of $400 total. That is nice, especially when the first one went during a procedure so really the surgery reimbursement covered that cost. I explained that to the woman and she told me that they will still pay because the body disposal was a separate charge. I can’t believe I didn’t realize deaths were covered by the policy, or that the insurance company would admit to it when it was clear I was ignorant. I thanked the woman profusely. I still miss them every single day. And the other night we watched a British WWII series and the main character had an Irish wolfhound. My eyes teared up every time he came on the screen.


Susie's Daughter May 10, 2019 at 3:39 am

Lindsey – I have been thinking of you and your dear giants so often. I am so pleased to hear that the insurance company was not only reasonable, but also compassionate.


Lisa M. May 10, 2019 at 4:46 am

#5: I am so happy to read that you will get some reimbursement for your boys’ parting expenses. That lessens the sting of the extra financial cost for your 2nd boy. Wow, the woman at the insurance co. really amazing & isn’t it fortuitous that you happened to call the ins. co.? Karma? Nothing will take the pain away completely but these small things hopefully soften the blow a little.


A. Marie May 10, 2019 at 12:37 pm

What the others have said: Glad you got at least a little financial assistance with the boys’ final expenses, and gladder that you got a compassionate response from the lady at the insurance company. (An increasing rarity these days.) Love and hugs.


Cindy in the South May 12, 2019 at 3:38 am

So glad the insurance company paid… hugs


ouvickie May 15, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Wow, it’s nice that they informed you of that reimbursement, $400 is a significant amount.
My heart goes out to you. I buried my old farm dog back in the Winter and I think about him often. He was a sweet guy.


Cindy in the South May 10, 2019 at 12:39 am

1. It is 3:30 am here and I just put turnip greens with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees. When they are crunchy, I will pull them out of I’ve combine with eggs, cheese, and tomatoes, to make a breakfast dish. 2. I have an 8 am dental appointment in the college town that is an hour and a half away, so I will stop at laundry mat and start a load while my tooth is being capped. Combining errands is a way of life here….3. I will also stop by to see my youngest son in the college town, and maybe even see the next to the youngest, if he is not at work. Family time is precious with young adults. 4. I will probably take a nap later, given my tooth saga and early rising hour. 5. I will put on my rain boots and pluck yet more mulberries that have fallen off tree into the saturated soil.


Cindy in the South May 10, 2019 at 12:40 am



Jennifer May 10, 2019 at 3:06 am

1. Just cashed in my rewards for Young Living and ordered $200 worth of products that we were either out of or I wanted to try. I have been letting it pile up for awhile, so it was fun to shop for free!
2. Took advantage of the 1/2 priced frappuccinos at Starbucks yesterday to have a cheap date with my dh. Fun to sneak in a quick date after school sometimes. And an hour away for around $5 is totally worth it!
3. My oldest is retired from gymnastics now (going to college in the fall) so I no longer have that monthly expense. Yay!
4. Ordered a load of mulch through our schools booster club. Money maker for them and money saver for us. No delivery fee and the prices are the same as other companies.
5. Stretched tacos with a can of black beans and used up the last package of ground elk that my dad had hunted. Had breakfast for dinner this week. Packed lunches every day, but also took advantage of free food brought into work for meetings and teacher appreciation to stretch the lunches I brought. Found discounted meat at the grocery store. Turkey sausages for $1.99 a pack.


tracy May 10, 2019 at 4:29 am

1. Took bus to/from work yesterday.

2. Wore thrifted dress bought at thrift store in Stockholm, got compliments!

3. Ate a bowl of cereal for dinner when I didn’t feel like cooking.

4. Didn’t buy a pair of cute black espadrilles.

5. We found and fixed a leak in our sprinkler system which will hopefully reduce our water usage and water bill.


Marybeth May 10, 2019 at 4:35 am

1. Hubby, my son and I pulled out a section of our hedges. They were in bad shape. We used the truck to pull out the stumps saving time and energy. We made 6 trips to the local compost dump so that was free. We were quoted $600 to have it done by professionals.

2. Hubby and I went on a date for lunch using a GC I got in December. There is still money left on the gift card. We had our leftovers for dinner with a few extra leftovers in the fridge. Both kids weren’t home for dinner.

3. Hubby did his oil change on his truck, vacuumed it out and washed it at home.

4. My youngest daughter is taking 6 AP exams over the next 2 weeks. She also applied for 3 more scholarships. We told her to not work these 2 weeks so that she doesn’t get overwhelmed. She is grateful that we told her this last month.

5. Borrowed my dad’s tiller. Will do my garden this weekend. I have been weeding a can a day as the rain permits.


Dmarie May 10, 2019 at 4:46 am

1. incorporated a SAD looking carrot, leftover half of a green pepper, and leftover chopped BBQ pork into a small pot of Cowboy Beans
2. Found an unopened but expired jar of Wheat Germ in pantry…opened this morn & it’s perfectly fine. Added 1 tablespoon to my breakfast cereal and will store in freezer ’til it’s used up
3. Drinking LOADS of water instead of taking antihistamines this allergy season. working so far
4. pulled some frozen shrimp out to thaw and add to a stir fry. I try to cook “flexitarian” and often use 1/4 pound when recipes call for a pound of protein. Hubby won’t complain as long as there’s plenty & some of the seafood ends up on his plate 🙂
5. will divide my dad’s volunteer succulent today, so I will finally have one of my own!


Susan May 10, 2019 at 4:50 am

1. Son has summer internship in a South Dakota college town. Have been considering buying a car for him, but we’ve decided to wait and see if he can get by without. He’ll be 7 hours away, so we can’t share a car, and our cars are needed to get those at home to work. No public transit options where he’s going, so we’re hoping for the best.
2. Had a dead tree removed and the stump ground out. We used the resulting mulch on our front flower beds. Tree removal was pricey, but at least we didn’t have to pay more for mulch.
3. Have had many late days due to kids sports but we’ve managed to mostly still eat at home. Meals have not been stellar, but the end is in sight as the season wraps up.
4. Summer swim team season and work schedules aren’t cooperating well, but we’re all trying to be flexible, and I have found an extra driver when needed that will be cheap and safe and will relieve a lot of stress.
5. I have been reading a lot on my tablet using the Libby app with my library card.


Lisa M. May 10, 2019 at 5:27 am

5FF: Birthday/Graduation Edition

1. Worked 32 hrs. this week. Extra $ nice & very little time to spend.

2. Killed 2 birds with 1 stone. Family ate at restaurant this week for double celebration – late DD’s b-day & early Mother’s Day. DD used $15 birthday gift certificate on last valid day, I had soup & she & I both drank water.

3. DD took 2 AP tests this week. The cost was economical if she passes & can use for college credit. Last year she passed the 3 tests she took, so 9 college credits earned. Fingers crossed!

4. After efforts spanning 3 weeks that included 1 visit to school office & 2 follow-up phone calls, finally received $150 refund to credit card for overpayment on DD’s NYC school trip. Interestingly, 1 other family also overpaid d/t cost being lower than originally anticipated but did not contact the school regarding the discrepancy. I was glad that my frugal efforts extended to another family as well.

5. Assigned DH the task of developing Power Point presentation with photos from DD’s childhood to play on home TV following graduation ceremony & on laptop at future graduation party. He built a lovely photo tribute with categories, graphics, music, etc. at no cost other than his time.


Susie's Daughter May 10, 2019 at 5:29 am

1) I installed a replacement shelf in our fridge yesterday and cleaned as I went along. Also took stock of what needed to be disposed of – like three half used jars of olives that expired in 2017 – and what should be used up – like three half used jars of random jellies and preserves. Reminded myself where the Worcestershire sauce was so I wouldn’t buy it again (like last year).

2) Made muffins this morning with leftover maple jelly and shredded apples from the bargain bin. (See #1).

3) My parents treated us to an early Mother’s Day dinner last night and used a gift certificate they had been given. Excellent company and hurray for not cooking!

4) Frugal things for which I gave myself a good star yesterday – washed the filthy vacuum cleaner filter, replaced the vacuum cleaner bag which had been installed backwards, cleaned the catch all cleaning products cabinet under the sink and hung the delicates out to dry.

5) I keep forgetting this one, but it makes me laugh every time so I wanted to share it! I am attempting to stop buying (almost all) liquid cleaning products in plastic bottles. In an effort to find something to use freshen up the toilet bowl between cleanings, I combined the remnants of two hotel sized bottles of body wash/shampoo into the reused bottle of cleaner. They were both L’Occitane products so I figure I have the nicest smelling, most expensive toilet bowl cleaner ever! 🙂


Connie C. May 13, 2019 at 5:50 am

$5 – LOVE it! LOL


A. Marie May 13, 2019 at 11:38 am

I picked up a 2-pack of L’Occitane small bottles (the next size up from travel size) for a buck at a thrift store not long ago. One tightwad’s toilet cleaner is another’s indulgence. I love it how we multipurpose stuff around here. (No sarcasm or irony intended. I’m delighted by Susie’s Daughter’s reuse.)


ouvickie May 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm

#5 – good one, made me laugh!!!


sam May 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

Not a lot of savings since life as for everyone it seems is crazy, but mostly because I am reduced to microwave cooking until the end of the weekend. My simple thrift is here.


Debi May 10, 2019 at 6:50 am

1. Sold another item this week. It was on the local FB buy/sell site. Meeting the lady today on my work lunch hour.
2. Took photos and added a lot more items on ebay and local FB buy/sell site int the hopes of selling these items. the items come from 2 friends who didn’t want to take the time to sell items so gave to me,, plus sister and niece gave me items to sell as they don’t have the time either. Free cha-ching for me!!
3. No spend day yesterday or today.
4. Cooked all meals at home yesterday and today using items already in the house.
5. No walking or free exercise yesterday due to all of the rain. Will attempt to walk the dog tonight for exercise.


Debi May 10, 2019 at 11:43 am

Forgot to add more to my post:

I sold a fishing boat that I hadn’t used in 2 years. While there, his wife spotted a pair of rubber boots (garden or muck boots) and asked if i was selling. I hadn’t gotten around to pricing items yet, but sold her the boots.


Ruby May 10, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Had a need to suddenly come up with a gift this weekend and went to the Salvation Army thrift store. Bought a large glass vase, a small basket and an unopened bottle of Dr. Bronner’s orange and lavender lotion for a total of $5. Filled the basket with tissue paper from a stash bought for 27 cents on clearance, added some bottles of free spice mixes that came with a Penzey’s order and the lotion. Filled vase with cut wildflowers from our yard. Gift accomplished.

Today was our 33rd anniversary, which DH and I celebrated by playing pinball at a museum of antique pinball machines and having a lunch late enough to stand in for dinner at a funky little restaurant. It was such fun! Experiences, not stuff.


AuntiAli May 10, 2019 at 9:26 pm

My frugal five making phone calls edition:

1. called to make sure new cable service was not charging me the $99 install fee. Oh! They took that off my bill. Wonder how many people just don’t see that?
2. Made sure I was in direct pay for cable service to save another $10 off bill.
3. Switching cable services is saving me $40 a month. When the contract runs out in 2 years I will go to streaming and just internet.
4. Called about a rebate that I sent in in Oct. and haven’t received. Will be receiving a $20 Visa or Mastercard rebate card for the inconvience. New question – do people not keep track of rebates or just don’t send them in?
5. Cooked every night for dinner except tonight. Sister in law is in from California so we got pizza. Sister in law is moving back home after a couple of years in California. My daughter and I begged her to make Thanksgiving dinner again. We will bring the cider and pumpkin pies and thin mints.


Connie C May 13, 2019 at 5:52 am

#4 – I make copies and watch my rebates like a hawk! Give me what I am owed lol.


AuntiAli May 10, 2019 at 9:38 pm

To those who have kids going to college in the fall:
1. Start looking for extra long sheet sets and comforters. If they use regular size comforters at home I personally do not think they need extra long ones. Also look for extra long mattress pads. Start looking in thrift stores and yard sales and store sales.
2. They will need flip flops to wear in the shower. Probably will be able to get a good price on them in June.
3. Rent school books instead of purchasing! Most schools will let you rent from the book store or look at Amazon or Remember to return rented books at the end of the semester so you don’t get charged extra.
4. If your young adult is bringing a lap top to school there probably won’t be a need for notebooks. Look for printer paper on sale at office supply stores such as Staples and Office Max. I got printers for my kids to use in their dorm rooms. Look for sales on those, get wireless, and make sure they are compatible with lap top.
5. Most freshman living on campus will need to purchase the most expensive meal plan. Make sure they use up all their meals and cash in everything for snacks to bring home or to donate. My daughter’s school had a food pantry for students who couldn’t afford food and lived off campus.


Heidi Louise May 11, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Good points!
READ ALL THE STUFF THE SCHOOL SENDS YOU or puts on its website! Do not show up with furniture when the room is furnished and there is no room for more, with long sheets when you don’t need them, with cooking equipment that is banned as fire hazards, etc.
Read the dining contract and be sure the student understands it.
Check your homeowners’ insurance policy so you understand what it covers for your student living away from home. Better to know what it covers and not need it, rather than vice versa.
Plan your communication pattern. This is for both you and the student. How often will you call or text, or expect the student to do so?
Have the student do the work. The students who are the most mature and successful are the ones who are practiced in making decisions, who know how to talk to adults because they have done that (not just talked to their peers all their lives), and who know how to ask for help.
You as the parent might have every phone number on campus to help the student out, but the student has to make the moves, not you.


Heidi Louise May 11, 2019 at 3:48 pm

If you are ordering anything online for the student’s room and can work out the timing, have it shipped to the store in the college town, (Target, Walmart, etc.) That way, you can pick it up there on move-in day.
I saw one family who bought things on clearance during a summer visit to campus, put the purchases on layaway at WalMart, and had them waiting for move-in six weeks later. (This was when layaway was a year-round option).


janine May 14, 2019 at 4:52 am

Emphasize “know when to ask for help.” College personnel and faculty often will take a personal interest in the students. Take advantage of their expertise. I know it is often an intimidating experience.


Roberta May 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

1. I’m making hollandaise sauce for breakfast, from the egg yolks I separated for my daughter’s birthday cake. We’ll use up dandelion greens to make a version of Eggs Florentine for breakfast.
2. Making angel food cake for my daughter’s birthday party, using up eggs and a tiny amount of flour. Sharing the party with my niece, so I only need to provide half the food: tortillas, mushrooms, guac, salsa, cheese, lettuce. I got almost everything at Grocery Outlet except the cheese and mushrooms. Soaking dried beans for refried beans.
3. Subbed twice this week, and set up my first date for decluttering someone’s house. I’m so excited about this! A business plan that doesn’t make more clutter or negative environmental impacts.
4. The lazertag place my family likes is allowing mothers to play free on Mother’s Day. Since my daughter’s birthday lands on Mother’s Day this year, we will incorporate lazertag into her birthday activities.
5. Found a coupon from the pet store in my inbox. A coupon for $10 off $30, and 10% off if I buy online and pickup in store. So I will buy dog food for less, and not have to go out in the rain. Win-win!
Bonus: It’s raining today, and I just received Notorious RBG from the library on Libby. I will sit home, enjoy the rain and my new book!


Karen B May 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

1) City-wide yard sales started here Thursday. Went to 4 or 5 with overpriced junk and left with nothing. Yay for not buying stuff I didn’t need!
2) Left the thrift store on Friday with only 1 item, a cookbook for a slightly old-fashioned method I already had equipment for.
3) This morning husband and I went to a few yard sales that were only today. First bargain went to our retro teen who had stayed home, but we sent a picture: a vintage Carrom board, missing instructions but husband found them easily online, 100 games for $2. Set still available new for $47. Son and I played assorted games for about an hour and there weren’t even electronics involved.
4) Sewing material to use to teach retro kid basic sewing skills this summer (I thought reusable gift bags would be an easy and useful item, a couple prints are holiday prints), 50 cents to $2 for a few yards.
5) Picked up a lovely, well cared for sewing machine with metal gears (Singer now has plastic gears) for $15.


Mary in Maryland May 12, 2019 at 4:10 am

Singer had metal gearing through all series until the Touch’n’Sew. The T’n’S had metal gears through the 400’s. 500 and higher has plastic gears.


Juhli May 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Lovely Spring day here so windows are open airing out the house.
1. I thought we needed a new doormat but upon inspection found it was just very dirty. Hosed it off, washed the porch and no money spent.
2. Mended a hole in a sleep shirt.
3. Borrowed lots of books from the library.
4. We started washing our windows and screens. Will just do a couple of rooms a week until we get done.
5. Went to the Farmer’s Market and bought items we would buy at the store but supported small farmers directly.


Christine May 11, 2019 at 3:57 pm

1. I saved $15 on $51 when I ordered my cats’ litter and cases of cat food online. I had to spend $50 to get the discount which is pretty easy with three cats.
2. I wore a thrifted blouse and an old but nice pair of jeans to work today and was complimented.
3. My boss asked me to come in to fill in a shift for someone today. I had no plans so it was a no-brainer.
4. My church is fund raising through selling bags of “soft stuff”, clothing, towels, blankets, etc. to Savers. They will give us .75 a pound. I am gathering up everything I don’t need or want anymore to donate.
5. Reading library books. Our new library was given a mark of distinction as being best in our state by Library Land. I do get my taxpayers dollars using this beautiful asset to our town.


Christine May 11, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Re #5: taxpayers dollars “worth”…


Avery May 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

1.) I bought a twin bed (box spring and stand) and a used mattress all for $150. It sounds gross but I trust the girl I bought from and she had barely used it. Win win for my wallet and the planet.
2.)A friend offered me gas money after I had driven him 2 hours and my usual prideful self accepted.
3.) I won another $1000 scholarship!
4.) I made my first Poshmark sale for some jeans. As long as I do not ship them too late (and figure out how to do the shipping label), I should be good.
5.) I found some change in the parking lot. I found my misplaced wallet in the trash and dug it out before it would be long gone. I’m taking a bunch of summer clothes to the consignment store Tuesday and I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.


Lauren BreadandGlitter May 13, 2019 at 7:58 am

Shipping with poshmark is so easy!!! they probably already emailed you the label, otherwise it’s accessible in your account, and you just print, tape, and drop it off at USPS! The one thing I recommend is waiting on line and asking for a receipt even though you can just drop it with the postal carrier and not wait since it’s already labeled – if you don’t get a receipt, you don’t have proof that you dropped it off – and also a lot of mail carriers don’t scan! Then you just get to nervously wait for DAYS until maybe the item shows up at the recipients door. Get a receipt and get peace of mind and a tracking number!!!!


Connie C. May 13, 2019 at 6:22 am

Congrats on the scholarship!


Connie C. May 13, 2019 at 6:25 am

1) Returned bottles for the deposit money – cha ching and recycling in one!

2) Received a class action law suit settlement check that we will apply directly to the principal of our mortgage.

3) Received a check from our local health care system that we had somehow overpaid on Ds20’s account. That money went directly onto the mortgage principal also.

4) Had to remove some landscaping and was able to give one large topiary to a friend for use around their new home.

5) Combining Ds22’s birthday and Mother’s Day into one family dinner out this week.


Alison May 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm

1. Mended a 20 year old sundress that my 25 year old DD is now wearing, LOL.
Doesn’t fit me of course, but fits her fine.
2. Donated an almost new pair of Levi’s that don’t fit DH as he lost weight. I tried to sell them on Facebook marketplace, which was frustrating as many people said they wanted them, but nobody actually got them. So I gave up and gave them to DD who volunteers at a shelter. Should have done this in the first place.
3. Bought two pairs of capris and a new pair of pants, tags still on, from a charity shop. While I’m losing weight I’m buying used clothes because hopefully they’ll be too big for me soon.
4. Took 9 pairs of pants and capris to the consignment store, as they are all now too big. A few dollars would be nice to pay for my new wardrobe.
5. Still eating keto, so not eating out as much.


Alison May 13, 2019 at 4:33 pm

Re. #5 I made it sound like I am only buying used clothes temporarily while losing weight, when in fact I often buy used, and will continue to do so.


Rhonda May 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm

1. I gifted several unused items to a friend that needed them and it helped me to declutter.
2. Sold a purse I purchased for $10 about 2 years ago at a thrift store for $100. It was a vintage bag and I just kept putting off listing it. Silly me! Also sold a TV that we never use for $50.
3. Listed several more items on local FB market place
4. Sold 60 skeins of yarn from my stock pile. While it was a loss overall it helps to declutter!
5. Actually a timely thought before purchasing items. Getting better and better at it!!


Debbie from Delaware May 13, 2019 at 9:52 pm

1. DD graduated debt-free with her BS degree on Saturday, due to hard work on her part to earn scholarships, and the frugal lifestyle of her dad and me, which allowed us to cover the remainder.
2. Researched and found that a claim for a service at a facility where I had a procedure was incorrectly processed as “Out of Network” when it actually is an “In Network” facility. Will contact health insurance to have it processed correctly to avoid additional charge of $296.00.
3. DD asked if I would pay for a new shirt for her to wear for graduation. I was pleasantly surprised that the receipt she gave me was for $2.00. She checked Goodwill first, and even got an item that was the half-price color tag. She is learning to be frugal!
4. We are in the process of building a new home, and have gone over our proposal with a fine tooth comb to come up with reductions to cost that can be made for items we can do ourselves. For example, painting the garage. We’ll save almost $1000.00 by doing that ourselves.
5. Have decided to pay the additional cost upfront for geothermal heat in the new house. Will be partially offset by a State tax rebate and federal tax credits, as well as savings on energy use and costs each year.


Lisa M. May 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm

#s 1 & 3: Congratulations on having a DD who is frugal, debt-free & a college grad. Given that my DD is just graduating from HS, would love to be in your shoes a few years down the road. This is a HUGE accomplishment & you have much to be proud of!


Debbie from Delaware May 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Thank you Lisa! We are very proud of her, but her frugalness didn’t happen overnight. After being a teenager who wouldn’t step foot in a thrift store, she progressed to being happy to wear a good deal if I shopped for her, but has recently gotten to the point that she doesn’t care who sees her shopping at the Goodwill! A couple of her friends have even asked me to take them thrift shopping and show them how to get deals! LOL


LB May 14, 2019 at 6:23 am

1. Saturday was a big festival in our city, but we avoided temptation by needing to pack our apartment up. 6 hours in, BF’s family popped by to say hello. We toasted with leftover beers from the fridge before I had to go to work to set up for mother’s day brunch the next day.

2. That work shift–10 pm to 1 am–turned out to net an extra $50 because my boss was shorthanded for setup. Probably could have negotiated for more, but was so excited about the offer I took him at face value.

3. Traveled to NYC for yet another interview yesterday. Carpooled down with BF in his electric car (no gas cost!) and waited an hour to come home to save $10 on bus ticket price. Plus, got a nap in, which my allergies decreed I do.

4. Sad to leave my city because our buy nothing group is top notch! Polite people, easygoing givers, and prompt pickups. Going to be sad to leave this community.

5. Last week in town=everyone wants to buy dinner or lunch. I’m not used to letting people pay, but am enjoying the generosity.


ouvickie May 15, 2019 at 10:35 am

1) I brought the leftover pulled pork, for lunch today, that my husband apparently didn’t want to eat. It made a pretty yummy sandwich w/chips for a buy-nothing lunch here at work.
2) I finally mailed the used books I’d bought my MIL as a gift for Mother’s Day. They’re gone on vacation, so she’ll have two good books to read when she gets back.
3) I tried fixing the hard shell of my cell phone case – it’s cracked and I tried gluing it, but it won’t stay. It’s worn and chipped and I need another one, but I keep putting it off for now.
4) I got out my needle and thread and reinforced the buttons on a cute top I’d decided to wear to my nephews college graduation last week. I left my sewing kit out, so I’ll remember to do the same on a few other tops I’ve not worn in awhile. I bought my nephew a GC for the Red Cup – a vegan restaurant & coffee house he frequents in his neighborhood. That made him happy. Like me, he doesn’t need stuff, but GCs for food and coffee are always appreciated.
5) The Dermatology Clinic, here on the Health Sciences Campus, offered a free skin cancer screening. Thankfully I do not have melanoma! They gave us a bag of good, free skin care products. I don’t need them, but my pre-teen granddaughter can definitely use them, so I’m paying them forward and not letting them go to waste.


Former loyal reader on the east coast May 21, 2019 at 12:29 pm

I know #1 “summoning a demon” was your attempt at a joke. I do not find this a matter to joke about. You have lost a loyal reader.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: