Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 15, 2019 · 104 comments

Katy + Lisa + corndog eating an ice cream cone = Seattle fun!

  1. I finally sold the $6.99 Goodwill table from last month, but since the buyer paid $80, it was worth the wait. I also sold a pair of wooden clog/sandals, some wireless headphones and a lot of vintage measuring tapes through eBay. Later today I’m meeting up with a buyer to sell a vintage suitcase.

  2. I spent the weekend in Seattle visiting with my old friend *Lisa, which is always fun on a stick! And since she hosted me in her lovely home, it was also a budgetary mini vacation. Needless to say, I splurged on a generous hostess gift.

    We ate a few meals out, took a couple of walks, watched some stupid TV, met up with our mutual friend Ed, but our frugaliest excursion was to America’s largest Goodwill store! Never have I ever paid the suggestion donation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a handful of random coins come out empty handed from this thrifting Mecca.

    So big, so well organized, such amazing donations! I’d be hitting it multiple times per week if I lived in Seattle! The concentration of wealth in The Emerald City means that their thrift stores are stocked with top notch merchandise!

    I ended up buying a pair of $14.99 Swedish sandals, (which I immediately flipped for $60) a Marimekko tray, a vintage box of Boeing note cards and an Antioch College mug. Goooo Bulldogs Straggly Anti-Establishment Weirdos!

    *Lisa want blog readers to fully understand that she is 100% responsible for any and all amazing finds that I encountered while enjoying her generous hospitality.

  3. I took my mother out for a belated mother’s day lunch at Bob’s Red Mill, which set me back a mere $8.99 since I’d been hoarding a buy-one-lunch-get-one-free coupon and they don’t accept tips. Side note — their reuben sandwiches are to die for!

  4. I test drove the Patagonia suitcase that I picked up last week and may actually keep it, I downloaded a free audiobook of A Court of Thorns and Roses through the library’s Libby app, I power washed my couch cushions and then set them in direct sunlight for three days, (they’re back on the couch and appear to not smell like cat pee) and I found two quarters under the credit union’s coin counting machine.

  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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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. May 15, 2019 at 11:06 am

5FF+: SPRINGTIME!! Edition

The weather has been glorious & the ornamental crabapple trees are blooming on my street in a wave of dark pink. Springtime!! Many of my FF are completions of early FFs but a reminder that being frugal takes time & patience.

1. Rec. verification via EOB, that previous ins. completely covered physical in Dec. as it should have. Always nice to wipe an issue off the slate.

2. Busy completing preventive health visits for myself & DD. Frugal d/t 100% ins. coverage (not to mention cost effectiveness in potentially discovering health issues in a timely manner). Rec. complimentary allergy eye drop sample at eye doctor’s appointment after politely making a request.

3. Rec. replacement coupon in mail from food co. after discovering opened packet of hot cereal in in sealed box.

4. Perused local dollar store for grad items. Will purchase disposables there with minimal outlay.

5. Rec. pink Himalayan salt in a heart shape as thank you for going solo 32 hours at my job last week during extremely busy season. Promptly re-gifted to DD who loves that type of stuff.

6. Last weekend made baked beans in the crockpot using dry navy beans. Also used gifted items including items partial bag of bacon, salt & brown sugar in the process. They were delicious & came in extremely handy as a side this week when the fam. had events scheduled nightly.


Ruby May 15, 2019 at 11:07 am

That is great about the non-stinky sofa cushions! I finally had to break down and buy some detangling grooming spray for our three long-haired dogs after they got sticker balls and had tangles all over their legs.

The place where I work has helped get a homeless guy into a shelter, and I have thrift shopped him three outfits. He’s a nice guy and it was fun to help him out.

My husband has learned how to make a salad, so we ate nice meals at home this week. He also tinkered in his workshop and made a wooden insert (out of scrap wood) for the cup holder in his car to hold his cell phone.


Cindy in South May 15, 2019 at 11:50 am

1. I paid off my last major debt, my son’s car, which was in my name. He pays me for it, but I just wanted it to be done. Plus, paying it off early, to the tune of $4,443.00, saves him interest. It reduced his monthly payment to me significantly. I am now officially broke….lol. That is all I have other than the usual, walking, brining my lunch, etc.


Cindy in the May 15, 2019 at 11:54 am



Jennifer May 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Great job, mom!


Julie from MA May 15, 2019 at 11:53 am

1. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather and hanging clothes out to dry.

2. Resisting the urge to get the HBO streaming for a month to finish Game of Thrones and waiting patiently for the dvd’s to become available at the library.

3. Mother’s day dinner was made using ingredients we had on hang. A pork tenderloin from the freezer, salad and mashed potatoes were just perfect for dinner. We had a nice quiet meal at home instead of a loud expensive one out.

4. We love going to the movies but the prices are so expensive for our family of four to go. We have all been earning gift cards for the theaters through Bing rewards. It is a way for us to go that is not coming out of pocket. We have also taken advantage of coupons and savings through coke rewards to get on there on the cheap.

5. The weather on Saturday was just lovely. Despite us wanting to go out and do something fun to enjoy the day, we spent the day working in the yard. Sunshine, exercise, and a no spend day sound good too me! Plus the yard is finally cleaned up from the long, cold winter.


Tonya Parham May 16, 2019 at 7:27 am

As someone watching GoT as it happens, you’re right to resist. This season is rather rushed, I think. I wish i had waited.

I shall go and wait for Martin to finish his books…LOL


Mand01 May 16, 2019 at 8:47 am

At the very real risk of turning this into a GoT discussion site – agree it’s rushed, but having lots of fun watching it anyway.


Liz B. May 18, 2019 at 2:17 pm

I’m enjoying it, too. That’s all I’m gonna say, lol!


Roberta May 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm

This has been an un-frugal week. The first angel food cake I made FELL OUT of the pan. It tasted like wet, sweet scrambled eggs, so I figured it was slightly underdone. Word to the wise. So I had to make another cake for the birthday party. Another dozen eggs. (Hooray, chickens!). Egg yolks are in the fridge or freezer to use later. We left a 2.5 pound block of Tillamook cheddar in my sister-in-law’s fridge, and most of a bag of corn tortillas. I have been sick and not doing much.
1. Keeping up on renewing library books, so I don’t have fines.
2. Avoided paying $10 a plate for my daughter’s swim banquet. My husband and daughter ate first, and showed up slightly late. I stayed home and was sick.
3. Not eating because I’m sick. The family has been eating at home.
That’s it for now. 🙁


MW May 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm

mmmm. . . . angel food cake. . .


Susan Jackson May 15, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Just a reminder…hope you didn’t grease the pan for the sngel food cake…I’ve never had one fall out…good luck!


Roberta May 17, 2019 at 8:03 am

Nope, I didn’t grease it! I’ve never had one fall out before — it really was the weirdest feeling, to see it lying there under the pan! According to Google, it can happen if the cake isn’t quite done. Live and learn!


Marcia Richards May 21, 2019 at 8:25 pm

I did this once with a lemon chiffon cake I was making for company for dinner. I made a quick vanilla pudding and used the cooked outside of the cake in chunks layered with the pudding and called it Lemon Surprise! I think I messed with the timer and might have turned the oven temperature down by mistake for part of the time.
The important thing is to think of SOME way to rescue the “fail.”


Mary in Maryland May 15, 2019 at 12:03 pm

1. Long-term win…I wore my pollen mask again this spring season. Very dorky, but I haven’t had an ER visit for wheezing since 1997. I take Claritin for the very worst days, but haven’t needed any prescription allergy drugs since 1998, when I started wearing the mask during allergy season.
2. I made lists of all the meals I could whip up with the groceries I bought ten days ago. Each morning and evening I think a little about what needs to be done for the next day to stay on track, mostly soaking beans, pressure cooking them, or taking a meal’s worth out of the freezer.
3. I needed a couple onions to fill in. I sent the Mister in alone, since he has no impulses in the grocery store.
4. Someone gave us a loaf of bread—great bread. We almost never have bread in the house, because I have such expensive taste therein. I suggested we might get a bread machine. The Mister was wildly enthusiastic. I did some internet research on models and pricing. Bread machines run $60-200 new, 30-40 on Craigslist, and 5-20 at the thrift store.
5. On Sunday I asked the neighbor we drive to church if she would like to go to the thrift shop so I could scout the bread machines. She said she had received one as a wedding present and used it twice and we could have it. I picked it up and noted after I got home that it didn’t have the paddle. The paddles run $20-25 in online options.
6. So I went to the thrift store and bought a machine that included the right paddle for $6. Then the friend found hers. I see an easily mailed ebay sale coming up.
7. We watched the machine make a loaf yesterday. Hours of fun for less than $3. Alas, our yeast was dead and the bread was very dense. We’re doing it again today. And I noticed that he ate the whole loaf. (He’s skinny. I’m not. It would be good to have a snack food that he likes and I find resistable.)
8. While at the thrift store I scored two skeins of baby yarn for two dollars and a double-sided king-sized densely quilted bedspread for $10. The spread will replace our current falling apart dog resistant couch cover. It’s good to be able to get rid of most of the doggy odor when we have company.


A. Marie May 15, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Great score on the bread machine (and parts), MaryinMD. Our 10-year-old bread machine (an unexpected gift from a neighbor for whom DH did emergency snowblowing back in the day) is the one specialized kitchen appliance I’m willing to give counter space to. We use and enjoy it regularly.


Midwest Beth May 15, 2019 at 12:08 pm

1. Batched appointments and errands today.
2. Paid cash for gas saving 18 cents per gallon.
3. Bought only fruit and veg on sale.
4. Stopped at home for leftover last piece of pizza, grabbed an apple and tap water for a quick lunch instead of stopping or buying food/drink at the gas station.
5. Made banana bread from ripe bananas I froze in the freezer.
6. Changed my Cell phone plan from 6 G to 2 G saving cash.


Lindsey May 15, 2019 at 12:22 pm

1. Accepted poopy hay from a farmer friend of mine. It is piled up in the backyard, waiting to be spread out as mulch once the garden gets going. I do this every few years and as it decomposes it really improves the tilth of the soil (and reduces watering needs after applied, so money and time savings).
2. My neighbor threw out a dead chocolate mint plant that she’d purchased but forgot to water. Mint is the vampire of plants, nearly impossible to kill, so I took home the small container. Trimmed back almost to ground level, watered, fertilized and put it in a sunny spot. I now have a huge pot of chocolate mint. I don’t use it to cook, I keep the pot by the front steps and when I leave the house, I rub a leaf between my fingers. The smell makes me feel cheerful.
3. I am overwhelmed with eggs: my chickens plus goose and duck eggs given to me by two friends. I would have turned away gifted chicken eggs, but the duck and goose eggs make for great baking so I thankfully accepted them. Luckily this has been a birthday month, so I have made Southern cream cheese and peach pound cakes for every person. And my husband would eat egg drop soup every night if Ieft to his own devices, so we are eating a lot of that.
4. Went to the library for books and dvds.
5. Forced myself to take our remaining bags of dog food (11 bags, 40 pounds each—since the boys ate about 150 pounds a month, we always bought in bulk) to the food bank. They have a heavily used animal food section for folks who can’t afford to feed their pets. Got a tax donation form.


A. Marie May 15, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Wonderful donation of the dog food, Lindsey. And I envy you the egg overload, the free not quite dead mint plant, and even the poopy hay!


CarolineRSA May 16, 2019 at 12:10 am

God bless you, for the dog food donation!


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:29 am

I wish my birthday was this month, lol. Those cakes sound scrumptious!


Mary in VA May 16, 2019 at 8:43 am

Yes, I agree! Lindsey, would it be possible to post your recipe for Southern cream cheese and peach pound cake?


Jenzer May 15, 2019 at 12:26 pm

That’s, um, quite the suggestive mustard squiggle on Mr. Corn Dog.


Jennifer May 15, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Oh my, I had to scroll back up and check that out**giggle


Nancy from mass May 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Oh my! That is quite the squiggle


Lisa M. May 16, 2019 at 4:18 am

You have quite the eye for detail… Thanks for pointing out the “little” factoid & giving me a laugh. 🙂


Mary in VA May 16, 2019 at 8:44 am

Yes, they probably should have used a horizontal squiggle instead, lol.


Susan from Cincinnati May 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Made a blender lemon pie for Mother’s Day….yum.
Went out for Mother’s Day but went for lunch and got lunch prices.
Told my hubby did not want a card unless he made it….he did:)
Spending 15 minutes a day going through old pictures and papers.
Found a never used black slip while cleaning out drawer that I can use.
Went to Goodwill on Mother’s Day, upscale store, and everything half off if over 50. Found daughter Vera Wang tags on dress marked $58 and got it for $8. Found my dress, listed for $78 online, for $8 at a consignment shop.


Stephanie May 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm

I’m so jealous of your trip to the biggest Goodwill! You always find the best things!

1. Haven’t spent much money this week since my daughter is sick, AGAIN, for the third time since the last weekend in March. It’s been a terrible spring for her.

2. I used up leftover chili to make a big pan of chili mac. Hurray for less food waste!

3. I cleaned out my pantry. Lots of stale tortilla chips that went into the compost to feed our garden, and now I can actually see the good food!

4. Children’s cold medicine was on sale (see #1).

5. I won a book in an online contest! It’ll be here in a few weeks. Free books are always, always good. 🙂

Have a great week, everyone!


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:31 am

Oooh, free books rock!


Mary in VA May 16, 2019 at 8:46 am

I’d plan a day around visiting the largest Goodwill!


MW May 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm

– Found $1 to add to my son’s roller-skating-birthday-party fund. His heart is set on an Oaks Park birthday party in December, so he’s saving his allowance and recycling cans, and I’m pitching in a bit here and there. Not bad for an 8 year old!
– Scored a Coach purse for $20 from Goodwill to replace my worn-out summer purse. Looks like new and appears to be the real (quality) deal- so hopefully it will last for many years to come.
– Convinced my sons to make me a terrarium for a Mother’s Day present using thrift-store finds. I’ve been wanting some house plants since our destructive kitty passed away, and it checks off a page in the Cub Scout book.
– Scrubbed down an ancient plastic outdoor table to last for another year. I might hit it with some spray paint, or I might call it good.
– Still riding the bus with my employer-provided pass, drinking cheap tea, bringing my lunch and coffee, and reading Libby books on my commute.


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:32 am

I have found that cheap foamy bathroom cleaner works well to clean outdoor plastic furniture.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm

I’m very impressed with your 8 year old! And your approach to saving for his party while involving him. I think he will not only appreciate the party more but he will be very proud of himself for having a part in making it happen. Great life lesson Mom!


Mand01 May 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm

1. Both Worked late last night and too tired to cook. I took the kids through drive thru but my husband and I found leftovers. I guess you could call that a frugal/not frugal.
2. Still watching classic movies from the library chosen by our youngest. The other day it was Rebel Without a Cause. Now anytime anyone even starts arguing in my house I cry “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART!!!” That makes them stop. Free and fun. Last week it was Rocky. I wake up the youngest now by calling “ADRIAN! ADRIAN!” They’ll probably regret this movie watching kick.
3. Still making sourdough on the weekends. One batch lasts us almost a whole week.
4. Seriously still eating pumpkins. So many pumpkins. Even after giving them away.
5. Working slowly but daily on a YA novel. If I never finish it, it’s free entertainment for me and stops me thinking about Game of Thrones.


Nancy from mass May 15, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Your second is awesome!! (I started typing your number two, but then I thought it looked funny)


Lindsey May 15, 2019 at 5:17 pm

LOVE the movie quotes!


Marybeth May 16, 2019 at 6:53 am

We watch all of the oldies with my kids. Space balls, Short Circuit, Goonies, and Ghostbusters are all favorites.


Mand01 May 16, 2019 at 8:50 am

It’s so interesting to see what they will enjoy. My youngest loved The Breakfast Club and was appalled by the sexism in Ghostbusters, one of my absolute favourite movies as a kid. Rewatching it with them, I could see their POV. It’s great fun watching with them. Thank goodness they had no criticism of The Princess Bride. I don’t think I could have coped.


Lindsey May 16, 2019 at 10:05 am

I know, you never know what will appeal to a kid. We had a foster kid who was from the corrections department, so already had a pretty serious criminal record by 15. He presented as a real bad-ass. One Saturday he was channel flipping and landed on Mrs. Miniver, the old, old movie about a family during WWII in Britain. He fell in love with it and talked about it multiple times in the following months. We ended up buying him his own copy for his birthday.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm

In my house it was quotes from It’s Wonderful Life. They were so tired of hearing “Out you pixies go” whenever we left the house. And at the time I worked at the town library so I used to yell before I left for work “She’s just about to close up the library!” Yeah, I probably drove them a little crazy…


A. Marie May 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Make your next movie rental Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Mand. Then you can do “I’m not quite dead,” and the young ideas can reply, “You’re not fooling anyone, you know.” DH and I can still do this shtick 43 years later, in spite of his dementia.


Susie's Daughter May 15, 2019 at 6:18 pm

My high school sweetheart had a great fondness for Monty Python and I am still amazed (30 years later) at all the times I can work in – whenever even vaguely appropriate – “And now for something completely different…”


Robin May 16, 2019 at 6:31 am

I love this so much. Wishing you and your loved ones happiness and the continued joy of Monty Python quotes.


Liz B. May 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Hubby and I frequently use Monty Python quotes. Paper cut = “it’s only a flesh wound”, and make comments about killer rabbits “with big pointy teeth”. Lol!


Mand01 May 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm

I’ll add it to the list. I often tell my kids that “when I were young I lived in paper bag in septic tank.”


Bee May 15, 2019 at 2:28 pm

1) My cousin invited me to visit her for a few days. I was able to find a really inexpensive early morning flight. Although this flight was nearly 60% less than the one later in the day, I questioned the wisdom of being a frugalista when I was sitting at the gate at 5:00 am in need of another cup of coffee. Our airport’s Starbucks doesn’t even open until 5:30. 🙁

2) I purchased my book club’s selection to read on my trip, Where the Crawdads Sing. Sadly, I was approximately 400th on the waiting list – really this is not hyperbole. There was also a considerable wait for electronic books. So I broke down and purchased it on Amazon where I had a gift card, so I only spent a little over $6. What a wonderful book!

3) I sold 18 empty Talenti containers on eBay for $15. This I cannot believe. I also sold a few other items, but selling something that may have otherwise gone to waste made smile.

4) I donated a small box of books to the Friends of the Library Book Store and sold a box to Powell’s using the online book buying option. They were lovely to deal with. Katy, you are fortunate to have them nearby. I also gave two books to friends. It amazes me how much joy one book can give.

5) I hosted a monthly club meeting at my house. I needed a centerpiece, so I cut a bouquet of hydrangeas from my yard.. They are just beautiful and didn’t cost a thing. I love flowers!


Cindy in the May 16, 2019 at 4:34 am

Hydrangeas are one of my favs.


Marybeth May 16, 2019 at 6:57 am

The Talenti containers are great for food storage and lunch boxes. Just don’t put them in the dishwasher like my youngest did. They melt.


A. Marie May 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

FFT, 40 Days and 40 Nights Edition:

(1) This May has been the wettest I can remember in 40+ years of living in Upstate NY. The only way we’re managing to keep our spirits up is making Noah’s Ark jokes (“Where’s the gopherwood? How much is a cubit, anyway?” etc.). Thank goodness humor’s still free.

(2) However, we sent out the dove aud it came back with an olive branch today, so we did a cheapo garden project we could do in spite of waterlogged ground: I scavenged a plastic storage bin with holes in the bottom, and we planted a few seed potatoes in it. The planting medium was purchased on sale last fall, and the seed potatoes cost all of 31 cents (79 cents a pound) at our local Country Max store. I’m liking the potential return on investment.

(3) Starting tomorrow, night temperatures here will be out of the 40s, so I’ll feel comfortable starting to set out my tomato, cucumber, and melon seedlings. Let the real spring begin!

(4) And to protect everything from the marauding deer, I’ll be doing what I did last year: hanging out really smelly deodorant soap in plastic tomato/berry clamshells. The soap comes from Ollie’s (“Good Stuff Cheap!”), and the clamshells are free for the taking (they don’t belong in recycling bins, anyway).

(5) Finally, my found change total for May is $1.09 and counting. See my earlier FFT comment “Dimes Are the New Pennies Edition.”


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:35 am

Fellow upstate NY’er here – get the ark out! OMGee I am ready for sun and dry weather!


Shannon May 16, 2019 at 7:47 am

Here too! The sun is out right now in WNY though! My husband heard on the radio that it is the 1oth wettest Spring in recorded weather history.


K D May 15, 2019 at 2:56 pm

1. I went for a walk and found a $5 bill in the street.

2. A busy, but not spendy week. It keeps me from going shopping. We’re eating what we have in the house.

3. A friend had extra tickets to the choir show she was in. A wonderful afternoon of “culture”.

4. Booked a trip to a fall wedding using Southwest points, Costco travel for the rental car, and Hilton rewards membership for the hotel. Not cheap but as cheap as possible.

5. I put out the trash in our 25+ year old trash barrel and used the laundry basket (and hamper) purchased 20+ years ago at Caldor.


Midwest Beth May 15, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Have to tell you I just requested the book-556 on the audio holds and wait for it – 1,259 on the e-book! Must be a Excellent book 😉


Midwest Beth May 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Where the Crawdads Sing book referenced earlier, comment was posted in the wrong spot.


Tonya Parham May 15, 2019 at 4:32 pm

1. The wife is gone to Greece so I’m cleaning and arranging and decluttering. Not necessarily frugal in that I get something from out for dinner BUT I figure it’s more frugal than taking my own trip (which she urged me to do!).

2. A friend found a $10 airfryer at goodwill and it’s been really handy for making my lunches. Not sure if I would use it when it was two of us, but I’m enjoying it for myself.

3. Spray painted an old birdbath the neighbor gave me. It looks cute now!

4 Watching The Blacklist as the missus doesn’t love the show and I do. I don’t know how many I can get through but, JAMES SPADER!

5. Doing the usual things, library books, movies, re-wearing clothes.


Isitaneedorawant May 16, 2019 at 4:49 am

I saw two air fryers this weekend at community fund raiser garage sales.
Waiting for when Instant Pots begin to appear.


Mary in Maryland May 16, 2019 at 6:24 am

I’ve seen three at Value Village in the past year. Tempted to stock up for wedding presents


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:37 am

We love our air fryer! We have three college age sons and it gets heavy use.


Nancy from mass May 15, 2019 at 5:16 pm

1. Donated $25 to the Pan mass challenge which gives me a discount on my insurance. Plus I volunteer every year for them. All the money raised goes towards finding cures for cancer.
2. Did the oil change on my lawnmower myself for the cost of the oil and a new air filter. Wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, and it didn’t take very long at all
3. Went to London with DS last week. Brought my refillable bottles for water and we did a lot of walking. I found 6, 2 pence coins and 3, 1 pence coins. On our return flight I donated them to the airlines. They collect money to help feed children.
4. I borrowed some converters for the trip.
5. I saved my sanity by not having EFMOTD coverage and watched a lot of hilarious British television game and panel shows. But then I came back and read all the crap that’s been going on in the 6 days we were gone. Ignorance isn’t exactly frugal but it was definitely blissful.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Love your # 1 and #3…sweet.


Ava May 15, 2019 at 5:49 pm

1. My church is collecting children’s books to replenish a school reading program. I learned that Goodwills in our area offer buy one book/get one free every Wednesday. In addition, they still offered the usual 20% off on Wednesdays for seniors. I was able to get 25 children’s books in excellent condition for .78 each.
2. Took my visiting sister in law thrifting and mostly resisted purchases for myself. I did get a pair of Dr. Scholls fleece lined boots in excellent condition for $3.00. She enabled me.
3. Bought clearance plants to fill in some gaps in my flower bed. One of them rang up at full price so I carried the plant and receipt from the garden shop to customer service to get 7.00 put back on my card.
I am sure I had something else but I can’t remember it right now.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Your #2…”she enabled me”…too funny!


Susie's Daughter May 15, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Dear Wife contracts for a company whose product will be seriously affected (again) by this next round of tariff increases with China. It reminds me how many people will balance this policy change on their own backs and budgets in the US. And it further convinces me to buy used!

1) Bought two “French White” Corning casserole dishes, one large oval and one smaller round, at Salvation Army when I was dropping off clothes. Both had glass covers included for the $4.00 total cost. Also bought an 8” Revere Ware cooper bottom sauté pan with a burned on imprint of bread. (French toast or grilled cheese gone awry.) Bar Keepers Friend, a plastic scrubber made from an onion bag and some elbow grease later, it looks super. Pan was $2.00 also.

2) Bought a lovely summer sweater for work and a paperback novel for an upcoming trip at our local thrift store. $3.50 total.

3) Had a pleasant ‘live chat’ via websight with credit card company to reverse late charge on a card I paid two days after due date (in full). Totally my error, but the agent was able to reverse the fee.

4) Using up ‘bits and bobs’ in cooking. ¼ cup of pumpkin mixed into homemade cheese sauce along with a leftover dollop of plain greek yogurt. Leftover piece of cornbread from Mother’s Day was perfect with the last bowl of lentil soup at lunch.

5) Rereading ‘Tightwad Gazette’ for entertainment and watching “Mrs. Wilson” from PBS streaming.


A. Marie May 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Great score on the Corning Ware and Revere Ware, Susie’s Daughter. I confess that I’m gravitating away from Revere Ware because of the scorch factor, but I still hang on to a sentimental few pieces because of the former Upstate NY connection–and I have a large and constantly used collection of Corning Ware, still proudly made in the Southern Tier.


Bee May 17, 2019 at 2:37 am

I added Mrs. Wilson to my watch list. It sounds wonderful. Love my PBS app! I recently bought a copy of the Tightwad Gazette at the GW. I have also re read it. I have lots of sticky notes marking important items.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Mrs. Wilson…great series, although it was so good I wished it went on much longer. Oh well, all good things must end…sigh.


Lilypad May 15, 2019 at 6:11 pm

I’m a native Seattleite but I live in the suburbs—I haven’t been to that Goodwill since I was a teenager. I had no idea it was the largest one in the US! But I totally believe it’s well-stocked. It’s kind of sickening, the wasteful display of wealth and grandeur in the Seattle area lately. It’s not the blue collar town of my childhood.


Katy May 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm

1. Eating from the fridge/pantry instead of grocery shopping.
2. Earning my swagbucks.
3. Staying home and not spending much (instead enjoying games with the kids, organizing the house, homeschooling, etc…)
4. Using old clothes as rags for cleaning.
5. Running dryer and cooking beans in slow cooker after 9 (free electric rates).

I guess it’s all been pretty boring, normal frugal stuff.


Brooke May 15, 2019 at 9:31 pm

Wow, I had no idea that my neighborhood Goodwill was the largest in the country! 🙂 It really does have everything. We recently(ish) bought a house and I’ve been decorating it through my finds there. Best find was a $12 real working professional cash register. My 9yo son had been begging for one for his “store” he runs out of his room.

This week:
1. Did not buy the super cool (but pricey) old school typewriter from said Goodwill. Sigh, still thinking how cool it would look in my house. But alas it was $40 and was heavy and would likely warp my bookcase shelf I’d display it on, so decidedly would not have been a frugal purchase.
2. I’ve been diligent about getting my exercise, which in theory should reduce future medical costs.
3. Sent in my reimbursement to insurance for an out of network claim. Pain in the tuchas, but even the pennies they will return add up.
4. Learning how to best use my HSA (new to me this year). I’ll be smarter about how much we put in following years, but in the meantime submitted my reimbursements for that too.
5. Utilized my library to get some more reading material.


Heidi Louise May 16, 2019 at 10:29 am

Dusting a typewriter would get old fast, no matter how cool it looked. (Unless you put it in a glass case, which puts it back in the cool category. And typed a new message and left the paper there every few days).
Kuddos on the cash register! That sounds like great fun!


Liz B. May 18, 2019 at 2:47 pm

My nine year old son wants a “real” cash register, too! He periodically sets up “stores” in our living room.


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 16, 2019 at 4:08 am

Ahh, I love this! It’s so fun to hear about your mini adventures. 🙂 Are you liking life after nursing? 🙂

This week:

1. I went to a matinee movie yesterday to get cheaper tickets.

2. We ate leftovers for dinner yesterday when I was too tired to cook. All hail the frozen pizza!

3. This weekend I plan to clean my car instead of taking it to a detailer.

4. I made a craft using leftover magazines that I was going to recycle, anyway.

5. I composted some bananas instead of chunking them.


tracy May 16, 2019 at 4:10 am

Have NOT been feeling frugal lately, let’s see what I’ve got…

1. Spent Mother’s Day weekend in San Francisco with my 27 and 28 year old daughters and 80 year old mother. Got an amazing deal on flights ($110 RT each) which I paid for. My Mom paid for our room which all 4 of us squeezed into. (we wanted to be in the City and it is the most expensive real estate in the US so…)

2. We took public transit or walked everywhere, over the course of our trip we traveled by plane, train, bus, trolley and boat (Ferry to Sausalito). By buying a Clipper Card at SFO we got a small discount on transit and a big discount on our Ferry trip to Sausalito and back, and the convenience of one card we could use on all public transit.

3. Only entertainment we paid for was one new to us museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, which was not expensive ($10 each, $5 for my Mom at the senior price). We thought we would have to pay for the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park but because we got there early it was free!

4. We visited one Goodwill and I found a cute pair of Ralph Lauren shorts for $3.99.

5. We splurged on one “fancy” dinner out at Greens, the venerable San Francisco vegetarian restaurant (operating since 1979) with amazing views of the Golden Gate bridge. (Both daughters are vegetarian and I wanted them to have the experience). Otherwise, we ate two meals a day at fun hole in the wall restaurants that were not expensive, including delicious dim sum near Chinatown! It all adds up though and although a great time was had by all it is definitely time to tighten the belt!


Bee May 17, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Your trip sounds lovely. I love San Fancisco. It is a beautiful city. I used to visit annually, but I haven’t travelled to this area of California for 3 years. However, I left my heart there long ago.


tracy May 19, 2019 at 5:45 am

Thanks Bee I love SF too. At one time I dreamed of living there (and did for one summer) but now I just visit — thank goodness it’s a very quick trip from Portland. I do feel like the city has lost some of its soul to gentrification but I still love it.


Betsy May 16, 2019 at 4:35 am

LOVE your sunglasses!!


Connie C May 16, 2019 at 6:44 am

1) Hit the Dollar Tree for cards – graduation, Father’s Day, bridal shower and wedding. Can’t bet nice quality for $0.50 each!

2) Organized my recipe file – this helps me be more inspired when making my menu plan and should cut down on ‘This again?” complaints lol.

3) Sold some used textbooks for $42+.

4) Ds20 cleaned out his closet and found a shadow box we had purchased for him a year or so ago that he no longer needed. NIB. I returned it to AC Moore. Since I didn’t have the receipt, I got store credit that I promptly used to buy a basket for tea supplies that I have needed for some time. The basket was even 40% off!

5) Paying for other Ds20’s summer tuition with credit card that gives points. Will get reimbursed for the total expense from his 529 account.


tracy May 19, 2019 at 5:45 am

Dollar Tree cards are the way to go!


ouvickie May 16, 2019 at 8:19 am

I love shopping at thrift stores in uptown areas – same price for great stuff!
1) I stopped and got salad makings at the grocers on the way home and picked up a hot & ready pizza from Little Ceasars. That will feed us both for days.
2) I enjoyed a free apple fritter this morning, thank you to whichever co-worker set those out in the break room.
3) Fuel went back down this week to $2.59 per gallon at the family owned store I frequent in our area.
4) I plan to shampoo my carpet this weekend with the carpet shampooer I got for free, after the church rummage sale I helped work.
5) I’m enjoying the Ya-Ya Sisterhood series on my Overdrive app. It’s so nice to have free audio/app books to listen to during my commute back and forth to work. LOVE my Library!! <3


Jess in NC May 16, 2019 at 9:42 am

1) Last weekend was full of commencement celebrations so I spent last week and this week enjoying very good free food at events where they want a faculty presence.
2) The spouse and I have been focusing on eating everything from our CSA box so eating out has been the last thing on our minds. We’ve also been preserving everything from the box that we don’t get to during the week. I have very exciting evening plans to turn the bread left from this week into breadcrumbs we’ll use later.
3) Summer in the mountains means free recreation everywhere. I’ve been enjoying long walks with friends, plotting hikes for the evenings, and figuring out the summer hours for the campus swimming pool.
4) While comparing food budgets with friends, one friend was really impressed by our $50 a week for two people budget. She asked for a breakdown of everything and I got to explain how we do it. I find talking about our frugality brings more joy to the experience.
5) On Tuesday, we hosted friends to watch the season premiere of the Bachelorette. Everyone brought food and I was able to supply a large roasted beets salad and a strawberry tart using only things from our CSA box and basic pantry supplies.


Carolyn Arnett May 16, 2019 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much for your post today. It’s always like getting a gift to open Facebook and find a new post from you. But today especially cause it’s rainy here and I’m home recovering from a bought of shingles in my eye. Saving money on most things except meds. Filled one for an anti viral eye gel for $264 and that was with the discount because I have drug coverage that connects with CVS. I am grateful that I have always been frugal and have the means to afford this. Makes me sad to think about others not so lucky.


Neil Dieterich May 16, 2019 at 11:05 am

1. Free magazine in mail – lots of picture perfect homes to ogle.
2. Gifted free cherry pie from client and used free chicken as ingredient in meal last night. Free is a good price.
3. Met for lunch with group of friends – mediocre restaurant, but won’t got back for dinner and have to pay dinner prices.
4. Staying home this weekend except for one meeting scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Yard clean up time.
5. Attending a fundraiser featuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Expensive, but for a good cause. Realized that we haven’t attended this annual dinner for many years so doing a cost averaging…… well, any excuse will help out.


Sharon Schierle May 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

I live in the Emerald City and really should visit the mothership GW more often! Thanks for the reminder. I didn’t know Bob’s RM had a restaurant. I’ll check it out on my next trip to OR. Thanks, Katy!


Ginger Monka May 16, 2019 at 4:21 pm

What?!? The Antioch mug didn’t say “Antioch Radicals”?


Jenelle May 17, 2019 at 5:14 am

I’ve been avoiding this for a few weeks because we’ve been failing horribly at being frugal, but I’m going to at least try today.

1. My daughter’s dance class had photos on Tuesday. I bought only 1-5×7 so that I can create some type of ornament for it. No need to purchase an entire package.
2. I also decided to skip out on the “stage makeup” that they were offering for the upcoming recital.
3. Had a spirited conversation with my 6 year old son this morning about the amount of money he could take the school’s book fair. I tried to encourage him to just take that same $10 to the Goodwill and get 10 books instead of just one. He had a very hard time with not being able to buy something at the book fair, so he will take only $5 to the book fair and $5 to the Goodwill. I have some work to do with that boy on frugality.
4. Since there were three paydays in March, I was able to use some of that saved money and put it toward other things…like the baseball helmet I needed to buy my son.
5. I’m continuing to sell on Ebay…slow and steady…but every little bit helps.


Marilyn May 17, 2019 at 10:57 am

Re #3: I think you arrived at a good compromise with your young son.


FrugalStrong May 19, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Book fairs serve as fundraisers for the school library. They earn a sizeable % of the sales in the form of new books for the library. So supporting it isn’t a bad thing!


Jenelle May 20, 2019 at 6:18 am

Oh yes, I serve on the parents club committee and know that very well. This was the second book fair of the year. Our family budget had to be kept in mind though.


Linda May 17, 2019 at 7:33 am

The Dearborn Street Goodwill is amazing. I live just outside Seattle but sadly seldom get to that area of town, when I do I always include a Goodwill shopping spree.


Bethany May 17, 2019 at 10:06 am

I’m completely jealous of your proximity to Bob’s Red Mill. We stopped in once on our drive from SoCal to Tacoma. Got to meet Bob and talk to him for quite a while and my kids finally got to see what a mill really is, because it was always in their phonics program.


tracy May 19, 2019 at 5:43 am

I was also happy to see the Bob’s Red Mill reference — they are an account of my husband’s at work so he is there often but I am not (although I do buy their products at the grocery occasionally.) I love Reubens and after I saw Katy’s post said to hubs that we have to have a lunch “date” at Bob’s Red Mill to have a Reuben! It is really not far from us.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 1:58 pm

1. I sold our old Katahdin canoe on FB Marketplace.
2. I also sold a chicken shaped wire egg holder.
3. Using this money I was able to plop down extra money on our mortgage principal.
4. My new workplace feeds us employees lunch every day.
5. Just swapped out my winter clothes for my summer clothes and noticed I do not have to purchase a single new thing for the warm weather.


Cynthia May 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm

I just discovered that, although I am still working, I can receive a check equaling 1/2 of my ex-husband’s SSI check until I retire and start getting my own! I have already lost 6 years of benefits by not knowing this (grrr…) but for the next 20 months, I can get something. This is a great boost to my goal of paying off debt before I retire. Take note: if you were married for more than ten years (I was married for 27 until he took off) you may be entitled to this benefit.

This equals FFT times a hundred, in my reckoning. Nevertheless, I can also report that I have picked up an extra course to teach post-retirement (one time only) for very good money because I’m needed last-minute.


Christine May 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Cynthia, I really appreciate you putting that information about your ex’s SS. I think I may qualify this coming summer when my ex retires. Thanks so much.


Nancy from mass May 18, 2019 at 8:32 am

Thank you for the Social Security tip. Although I’m too young to start receiving my husband benefits, I can when I turn 60 and until I start collecting my own Social Security.


Patricia Koernig May 18, 2019 at 11:52 am

Nancy, you mentioned you can get your husband’s SS at 60. I thought it was 62? I am also a widow. This would be great news if I can get it at 60 (18 months from now!). I will check with SS.


Nancy from mass May 19, 2019 at 11:52 am

I found it on the website. Under benefit survivors if you are the surviving spouse.

I believe I understood it correctly, check out the page and see if you see the same thing.


Patricia Koernig May 22, 2019 at 2:11 am

YES! You are right!!! Very happy dance!!

Laur May 18, 2019 at 3:38 am

1. I sold my 2nd set of bathroom scales on Facebook Marketplace.
2. We did some batch cooking the week. The fridge and freezer are filled with fried rice, spaghetti bolognese and pizza. We also baked some choc chip cookies.
3. We received a free box of frozen barramundi and a box of muesli bars through our supermarket testing club. All they ask in return is a quick online review.
4. I renewed my eBay listings and posted a piece of furniture on Facebook.
5. I cleaned out my keepsake box and found a baseball for my son and a photo frame for my daughter. I then threw 1/3 of the stuff into a trash bag.


Momma L May 19, 2019 at 5:05 am

All things ebay this week:
1. Sold one item on ebay that was just sitting around my house. Shipped from home, cheaper than the post office.
2. Listed two more items. I am selling all of my “pretty things” that no longer matter to me. They just sit around in a glass front cupboard, I used to love that, now I don’t, its one more thing for my kids to deal with when I’m old. I check with them before listing anything in case they’d like it.
3. Found the button on ebay that checks mobile friendliness. I believe that will help my sales.
4. Using bubble envelopes and wrap donated to me to ship it. Really the only thing I buy is tape.
5. Bought much needed undergarments with my Ebay earnings. Used coupon code and ebates (now rakuten) to save a little more, and free shipping.


jenna May 20, 2019 at 4:04 am

Great post – it looks like you had a great time with Lisa! I have been doing a bit of shopping at thrift stores and yard sales for some decor for my new apartment. I think my most frugal find was two large picture frames for a total of $0.50! Such a steal! I then used them to make a postcard display frame, and I absolutely loved how they turned out 🙂
Jenna ♥
Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake – A Sustainable Lifestyle Blog


Cynthia May 20, 2019 at 10:10 am

Jenna,, I tried to check out your website but it is set up so that half the screen is blocked with an insistent “subscribe” message. I was put off by being unable to have a good experience checking it out and so won’t be subscribing. You might want to make the intro a little more user-friendly. People don’t want to subscribe to something they can’t see.


Jessica May 20, 2019 at 7:42 am

1) have 7 books from freepiles that I am going to sell back using sell back your books app this week.
2) submitted a bunch of overtime and expenses at work – need to get paid for all that I do!
3) bought a new dress for a job interview as I have gained some weight and don’t fit into the one I have from last job, but found a better deal, so am returning it and buying elsewhere
4) Sending some clothes to Thread UP – won’t get top dollar, but don’t have time to deal with listing each individual item.


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