Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 20, 2019 · 46 comments

  1. I sold the vintage train case that I’d picked up at Goodwill awhile back, as well as a cute butter dish on eBay and a groovy lighting globe through a local shop. I also booked a consumer opinion panel that pays $100 for two evening hours that likely would have been spent on the couch mindlessly watching Netflix. I also won a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant, which I consider to be pretty damned exciting!

    I tuck all this extra money into a savings account.

  2. My younger son recently celebrated his 21st birthday, so my husband and I drove down to Eugene to take him out for dinner. He didn’t want dessert, which saved us the anticipated cost of treating him to Sweet Life Patisserie.

    Our gift was a ticket to the upcoming Mastadon concert. Choosing an experiential gift rather than a THING can feel off kilter, but my son needs zero physical items and genuinely loves live music.

  3. My husband also had a birthday this week, although we haven’t celebrated it yet since he had to work that night. However, I did buy him a big chunk of his favorite dessert, which is the banana cake from New Seasons. I could have made one from scratch, but the two of us do not need an entire cake for the two of us. I’ll plan out a Birthday Day of Adventures for later in the week when his schedule opens up. We no longer give gifts to one another and instead plan out signature adventure days.

    Studies have shown that experiences make us happier than stuff, and I wholeheartedly agree!

  4. I read one of my 75¢ used library books, (“The Age of Light” by Whitney Sharer) I joined a free online health program through my health insurance that’ll give me a free Fitbit, (you can already guess that my plan is to sell it!) I renewed my library books, I sewed a button back onto my jacket, my husband and I caught up on How To Money podcasts during a four hour drive and I’m stubbornly keeping the heat off despite the house clocking in at a chilly 63°.

  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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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Economically Proud May 20, 2019 at 11:50 am

Anniversary Trip
1. Spent 5 nights at a hotel with a lovely breakfast for $220 total
2. Went out to eat 3 nights, and out for dessert 2 nights. Packed lunches, beverages, and dinners for the rest of the meals. Spent $65 on all food consumed on trip
3. Went to Aldi on our trip (they sold beer and wine) bought 5 bottles of $3 wine to enjoy for a month or 2 at home. Our local Aldi does not sell adult beverages
4. Did not spend any money on attractions even though Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is loaded with them. We went on beautiful hikes each day to see mountain vistas, waterfalls, forests, and historical sites.
5. Drove our Corrola Eco that gets 42 MPG on the trip
Frugal Fail:
I saw a ski lift ride that looked really fun. I thought we would have a great view and enjoy the 85 degree weather. We paid 10$ to park, then went up to the kiosk to find out that the ride would cost us $50 more. We did not have that for such a ride. So we left, but were still out the $10. We ended up driving to the top of a mountain. I guess I will not know what a ski lift is like at that price.
We had a wonderful trip


tracy May 21, 2019 at 3:51 am

Wow that IS an economical trip! Glad you had a great time.


Kathy May 20, 2019 at 11:53 am

1. Regifting new ear buds to nephew for his birthday
2. Participated in friends community garage sale and sold $23 which I donated to local church food pantry
3. Took 3 bags of donations to assistance league thrift store post garage sale
4. Turned off sprinklers as we’ve had rain again in so cal
5. Had a boring lunch of a protein drink


Yvette newton May 20, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Yvette from Down under.
I have just returned to Australia from travel to USA and visits to family in Houston Tx and Portland Or. Thankfully the rain came whilst I was away and broke the drought. MY grass is now green replacing the raw dust of the past 5 months. The cost of travel was a frugal fail even though I stayed with family and tried not to eat out too much, but hey if you can’t splash out occasionally then what’s the point of living a tight frugal lifestyle in general ?
1. My friend boarded my dog for free while I was OS
2. Another friend filled my fridge with home cooked meals on my return so I had food to eat.
3. The vege garden is still yielding the last of the summer vege and lots of self sewn greens are emerging for winter.
4. The post office yielded some good news of a $50 food voucher I have won in a competition , and NO bills!
5. A work colleague is taking me out for dinner for my help on a project!!!
With all those gains I should go OS more often! Sort your Katie but I didn’t see you at any of the GOOdwills I visited in the US. The Houston stores are massive!!


Yvette newton May 20, 2019 at 12:14 pm

I have just returned to Australia from travel to USA and visits to family in Houston Tx and Portland Or. Thankfully the rain came whilst I was away and broke the drought. MY grass is now green replacing the raw dust of the past 5 months. The cost of travel was a frugal fail even though I stayed with family and tried not to eat out too much, but hey if you can’t splash out occasionally then what’s the point of living a tight frugal lifestyle in general ?
1. My friend boarded my dog for free while I was OS
2. Another friend filled my fridge with home cooked meals on my return so I had food to eat.
3. The vege garden is still yielding the last of the summer vege and lots of self sewn greens are emerging for winter.
4. The post office yielded some good news of a $50 food voucher I have won in a competition , and NO bills!
5. A work colleague is taking me out for dinner for my help on a project!!!
With all those gains I should go OS more often! Sort your Katie but I didn’t see you at any of the GOOdwills I visited in the US. The Houston stores are massive!!


Lisa M. May 20, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Triple 5FF: Cusp of Summer Edition

The formerly dark pink buds on the crabapple trees on my street have opened & are now a beautiful light pink hue, an annual display that lasts for only a few days.

1. Recently used up both hamburger & hotdog buns frozen last fall. No matter how much I plan, seem to always have a few stragglers once the weather cools & realize that hamburger/hotdog/brat season has come to end. Try to get those frozen buns used up as I begin to buy fresh ones once again when the weather starts to warm.

2. Homeowner’s Association changed annual dryer vent cleaning from fall to spring. Although we had interior dyer vent cleaned last fall, had service again to stay ahead of the lint buildup as no fall cleaning planned. Really important with accumulation of dog hair. Fire prevention = definitely frugal.

3. Used a couple of manufacturer coupons getting items for free. Frugal + asserting consumer rights. Yeah!

4. Found several clearance items at local grocer that we use (there for buying items not sold elsewhere) & scrumptious cupcakes on quick sale cart at big box score. So inexpensive, would literally not be able to make from scratch at sale price.

5. Went online to sleuth free items included in gas station rewards program. Discovered 3 outright free items. Promptly added gas station to end of grocery run & redeemed 2 items, leaving 1 for DD. Difficult part is remembering to check website periodically…

6.. Used big box store rebates to purchase much-needed household items: a back-door runner rug, a shower curtain & entry mats for both doors. All items had been used to the max & were in very poor shape with holes/rips/massive wear, so had saved the rebates with those purchases in mind. Purchased in anticipation of upcoming commencement visitors but just happened to randomly pick 11% rebate off of everything sale again! What’s more, the 11% rebate amount was on the total purchase BEFORE deduction of the rebates, so technically we got a rebate on the previous rebates. That would make an interesting math story problem but my math-phobic mind can not go there. I just know that it is frugal… Next rebate offer mailed to company today.

7. Used a B1G1 coupon for my favorite burgers & brought them home to eat with last of crockpot baked beans & free side of coleslaw from gas station. Friday night dinner done…

8. Unearthed decorative graduation items already in possession from relative’s past graduation & item procured in thrift store lot (both years ago), to display commencement invitation & name card. Super festive & free!

9. Noticed 2 free offerings of graduation items on Next Door just before leaving for shopping. Because DD’s high school is a magnet school & doesn’t have official “colors”, we can be flexible with color scheme. Most helpful is that one provided NIP chaffing trays/holders/sterno which I had priced at big box store running ~ $10 each. That is a $20 savings just for those items alone. Plus, location was a short distance away.

10. Eventually went to Dollar Store & got most of party disposables for minor outlay. Potential unopened excess exchangeable if unopened (& who can’t use food items?) & will offer excess gifted items to DN (dear neighbor) as her DD graduates next year.

11. DH used a coupon I came across for a free session of one of his favorite hobbies at a newly opened business. Value = $23.

12. DH & DD came home from folk dance celebration with 2/3 of a $16 lemon meringue pie from upscale bakery. Heaven…

13. Repurposed drying out in fridge tortillas into enchilada casserole. First time trying recipe that I had copied off years ago & was simply delish.

14. Going to try my hand at assertiveness – calling to complain about timeliness of graduation items delivery to school a mere 2 weeks & 2 days prior to ceremony. Held party invitations until gradation invitations could be mailed at same time, so late mailing all. Grrr…

15. Catering for grad party will be by DD’s restaurant employer, so she will ask about discount.


Katy May 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

1. Took the kids to the library to borrow a stack o books.
2. Our laptop broke, we bought a new one for $180 from a pawn shop. Also got a microwave for $30 from the pawn shop, as ours recently broke.
3. Trying to increase my swagbucks as we could really use the Amazon gift cards right now.
4. Avoiding eating out. We recently went out with family and spent $40 for our 4. I could feed us a few days if it was from the grocery store for $40!
5. Wearing my thrifted sandals, t-shirt and clearance jeans.


Su Mama May 20, 2019 at 12:35 pm

1. Found box of vintage “Color Cubes” — blocks for making different designs — in a free pile, sold them instantly on eBay for $25.
2. Bought so-called “dictionary stand” that turned out to a large pulpit/lectern for $25, then resold it two days later to an antiques dealer for $85. He told me it was probably from the ’80s, and made for the front of a restaurant. (Do I care? Nope!)
3. Put up friends for free in our little guest cottage next door, and they left $100 “for the maid.”
4. Listed a truly icky antique china-head doll on eBay for $40. Unsold as yet, but had 42 views 24 hours after listing, so there’s cause for optimism.
5. Continuing the purge/decluttering, and drip-feeding items to neighbors through the Buy Nothing Project. It’s not exactly efficient, but gratifying to meet new people, who’ll appreciate stuff. Also taking lots to Goodwill and Free Geek (electronic miscellany).

FRUGAL FAIL: My husband pretty much drinks only sodas and seltzer. Oregon now redeems cans and drink bottle for 10 cents each. I had two huge plastic bags, each holding 103 carefully counted-out cans and bottles. But at Goodwill donating, I left the hatch door up and open! On my way to Free Geek, I heard the bags rattling. When I stopped at FG, I discovered they were gone. Half-heartedly, I retraced my route, to no avail. There are a lot of homeless people in that area, so I just shrugged and figured I’d just donated $20.60 to the homeless!

IMPORTANT FRUGAL ATTITUDE CHANGE: When at the Goodwill Outlet, a.k.a. The Bins — a frequent event — if I see something I want, I ask myself (not out loud!) “What do I have that will already fulfill this purpose?” Usually, I can then resist buying it!


Lisa M. May 20, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Re: Your Frugal Fail. I feel your pain. Was literally “crushed” last fall when taking a year’s worth of aluminum cans to the recycling center, only to discover that their weight machine was out of order so they were unable to buy cans. Frustrating, as it would have been so much easier to chuck them into bi-weekly recycling versus saving & bagging. Have not had any luck since locating recyclers paying for cans in my area. Thank you for the reminder to continue looking for one.


Mand01 May 20, 2019 at 12:58 pm

1. Cooked with pumpkin all weekend. Pumpkin gnocchi and pumpkin scones.
2. Planted winter veggies in my garden.
3. I bought a new indoor plant and was looking at pretty and expensive cover pots. Decided to check the pots I already owned and found one that fit perfectly. Also it originally cost me a dollar on a clearance table.
4. Drying washing on an indoor rack instead of the dryer.
5. Drinking tea and coffee at work instead of buying it.


Mary in Maryland May 20, 2019 at 1:07 pm

1. We’ve been eating at home. I scratch my itch for Mexican with quesadillas or enchiladas, depending on how much time/energy I have.
2. You watch Netflix…we watch the bread machine. Made our third loaf this morning. Bill bought a non-frugal container of maple syrup for an online recipe. The syrup cost less than a movie ticket.
3. Resisted the siren song of the bookstore or Amazon to buy The bread Lover’s Bread Machine cookbook. Ordered it online used for 1.99. It came today. Must find whole wheat recipe that does not use maple syrup.
4. One of the dogs ID tag broke. Considered replacing, but decided to use that of our last dog, St. Muffin—same phone number and Scout can’t read.
5. Reading library books. I do have a pair of gold-plated earrings—one of my four pair. I bought them in 1989.


Jill May 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm

1. My neighbors were moving and were selling their 20 year old washer and dryer. We needed a new set. $300 later and it’s ours. (They used it only 3 to 4 times per year as it’s their holiday house)
2. I bought nice beach chairs a few years back and they had become a bit mildewy as they were stored under our house – no garage here. I used my dollar store oxyclean for a good scrubbing and they look great. No need for new chairs.
3. Cleaned out my pantry and found a few items that we might not have known were lurking in the back. I moved them front and center to use them.
4. Also went through the freezer and made tacos Saturday night and bbq chicken on Sunday from frozen meat.
5. Have been reading my library books, (Agatha Christie right now) and watching my netflix shows. (finished Grace and Frankie now on to Dead to Me)


Liz B. May 21, 2019 at 4:22 pm

I loved Grace and Frankie! I understand there will be a new season coming up, but I don’t know when it’s supposed to air.


Marybeth May 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm

1. Transplanted baby dill plants that self seeded into pots. Offered a bunch to friends. I will keep the rest. All of the pots were hand me downs, garbage picked or gotten very cheaply at yard sales. I grow tons of herbs myself which saves me a small fortune. I swap my extras with a few friends that grow things that I don’t.
2. Hubby and my son installed new Bilco doors. It took them most of the day yesterday because they had to repair some of the cement but they came out great. The old ones were on the house when we bought it 19+ years ago and can only be painted so much.
3. My youngest went to Starbucks after school with a gift card that I gave her for Easter. I had earned it for free. The lady in front of her was given the wrong drink. They offered it to her in addition to her correct drink. She said why would she want the wrong drink. To throw it away. My daughter said she would take it. She brought it home for her brother. It was a Frappacino so he was happy to have it on this hot day.
4. I start my new part time job tomorrow. I am really excited. I am helping an elderly man out. His wife passed away 2 years ago and I know his daughter. I will take him food shopping and get him out of the house. He is in good health just lonely. I plan on taking him to the library first thing and sign him up for a card. I have been looking into lots of free things we can do together. More money into the college fund and they aren’t breaking the bank.
5. It is too hot to cook so I changed what I was going to make for dinner. Now I am making hamburgers that I got marked down for 99¢ a pound, baked beans and leftover zucchini pie. The house won’t get hot because I will do it all outside on the BBQ.


Annie May 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm

1. Planted a ton of herbs in our container garden so I can cook with them all summer.
1a. Borrowed a container gardening book from the library to figure out how to grow salad ingredients.
1b. Got free soil from my landlord
2. Enjoyed a free concert at the library in the next town.
3. Bartered some cooking skills for some sewing skills and saved the money I would have paid a tailor to fix pants and move a button on a jumpsuit.
4. Switched to dishcloths for cleaning to reduce paper towel usage. Long conversation with DBF to get him on board.
5. Made my own weight training plan from internet research instead of subscribing to an app.


Beth May 20, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Hubs was gifted an Apple tablet. We found a NWT case for $5 at our local flea market. Also met a buyer for some of hubs’ collectibles. Went to a discount grocery and bought gluten free snacks for me at 1/3 retail. Giving multiple boxes of clothes and other household goods to our church rummage sale. Frugal giving to a good cause.


Tracy Reeve May 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

1. Took 4 bags of stuff to the Goodwill, and only came home with one bag of “new” (to me) stuff, including a pair of brand new Tory Burch red ballet flats for $15 (current retail = $228). Also got a pair of lined white work pants, a pair of longer white Levi’s denim shorts (can’t wear short shorts anymore) and a very pretty short sleeved gray sweater that will be perfect for 3 season wear in Portland. Also a $5 mini-crock pot new in box that will be great for dips etc. when entertaining or going to potlucks.
2. Continuing to find great buys on the discount produce rack at Freddy’s, and doing much better than I used to at avoiding food waste by deciding what to make based on what needs to be used up. Also checked out the large Korean grocery a few miles up the road and found coconut milk on sale for $1.06/can and Thai curry paste for $1.29/can, both way cheaper than regular grocery. And it was fun to check out all the (many, many) unfamiliar items!
3. Am going to not buy any more meat until I use up what’s in fridge and freezer. Made a big pot of lentil soup yesterday and threw in a frozen package of italian sausage that had been there awhile… That will be a couple dinners and some lunches as well this week!
4. Took daughter to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden this past weekend — despite being a native Portlander I’d never been before and it was well worth the $5 admission fee! Just beautiful.
5. Pulled out patio furniture this weekend, want to get some additional plants and pots for patio but am holding off buying any until I’ve done all my free sprucing up and cleaning, also am going to check out my mother’s attic for pots, and keep an eye out for garage sales etc. Patience should help keep cost and waste down.


April May 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm

If you happen to have a Clackamas County Library Card, their Cultural Pass program can get you into the Rhododendron Garden for free! They cover a lot of other really cool places, too. The Multnomah County Library system has a similar program (Discovery Pass) with different venues, but sadly not the Rhododendron Garden.


Kara May 21, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Before 10 am it is free entrance, though I’m not sure if this is only in the off-season. We were there 3 weeks ago and went before 10 and it was free!! It is gorgeous.


tracy May 21, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for the tips — I’m an early bird anyway and will look forward to visiting before 10 a.m. next time!


KJD509 May 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm

FFT, world turned upside down edition:

Last weekend, eldest daughter received her dream job offer: to run international recruiting for a charitable organization. . . if she could be on the other side of the world, ready to start work, in 8 days. She climbed on a plane last night, and I haven’t looked at my bank balance yet but I guarantee this was not a frugal week. She handled most of her expenses – plane ticket, etc. – but we pitched in because, well, sometimes that feels like “We love you and we’re so excited for you!” But a few frugals in amongst the spending:

1) She left us her entire pantry contents. I will not need to buy pasta for a year. That’s two kids within two months who have supplied us with food, after we’ve been sending food home with them for years.
2) We’d been trying to figure out how to help the two college-aged kids out with transportation, as they are no longer at school in the same town. It was really convenient when they were, and worth the cost of a parking pass to save having to pick them up for breaks and holidays. Middle son agreed to drive his sister to an airport 200 miles away in return for car sitting her vehicle for the next year or so. Good deal for him, and saved her several hundred dollars on her last-minute tickets.
3) Everybody converged for three farewell dinners. Two were cooked entirely at home; the third corresponded with Grandma’s birthday so we ordered in, her choice. Still much cheaper than taking the crowd out to eat!
4) Littlest came along on all the shopping, but wore out partway through one afternoon. She’s 13, so felt old enough to brave public transportation by herself for the first time. $1.25 for about 8 blocks she could easily have walked (but not alone), but that’s a bargain for the confidence that she can get where she wants all summer long.

Yeah, that’s it. She’s 6 feet tall and headed to a part of the world where clothes really don’t come that big, so we sent her with two years’ worth of clothes and shoes, many of them new. And at least a year of toiletries and prescription meds. Yikes.


janine May 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Congratulation to you and your daughter. You sound like a terrific mom!


Roberta May 21, 2019 at 6:44 am

Congratulations to your daughter, and hugs to you! Sending your daughter away to her dream job must be both thrilling and difficult to you!

(Remember to save the receipts from her moving costs. They’re tax deductible — or they used to be.)


janine May 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

1. Visited Mike’s Discount. Scored a few good deals including 79c# oranges, a large bag of cucumbers for $1, and cottage cheese- also priced at $1. This is a ‘treasure hunting place’. It pays to be wary and know prices for not all items are sold at a discount – it’s up to you to know which are bargains.
2. Transplanted rhubarb is finally showing signs of maturity. Looking forward to sauces and crisps.
3. I am in the slow process of rearranging bedroom. Have found that I will not need new clothes for the summer season. Cleaning out really does show me up for being more of a consumer than I am comfortable admitting.
4. Passed up the opportunity to buy a book club was reviewing this month. Next month’s offering is quite expensive so I need to save a few $$ somewhere. Hoping to score a scarce library copy.
5. Son treated me to lunch. I ordered a $1.50 taco. Then we went home for a dinner cooked by me for the family. Aldi wild caught salmon and pasta were a hit with everyone.,


Julia May 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Five Frugal Things, Northern California edition:

1. It’s been raining buckets so no need to water the garden or container plants on the decks. I actually sprouted tomato seeds for the first time EVER. I have always purchased seedlings to plant, but I got a package of free seeds last year with my order from an online seed distributor, and I had also saved tomatillo seeds from making salsa last year. I sprouted three pots of tomatoes into free coffee-can size pots, and have already transplanted into two large plots; the leftovers I’ll give to my neighbors. We need some sun now to make these babies grow.

2. So much rain = lots of worms and slugs out, so my free-range chickens are happy. Free food!

3. We got about $20 from Bank of America for some kind of class-action lawsuit. I put that into savings. I don’t even know what it was for but it was probably predatory lending or some such. (Insert political comment here.)

4. I returned all of my library books on time this time. I have just read a pile of books on architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright, books I would not have purchased but was able to read once and return. There are no words to describe how much I love the library. I know you feel it, too!

5. My husband is having spine surgery this week in San Francisco, so I am staying nearby at a friend’s house. I will leave my car there and walk to the hospital every day. My friend will give me coffee, dinner, whatever I need while I’m there (5-6 days, I think), and my husband will be glad to have me nearby. Another friend is a housepainter who is working nearby the hospital this week and he offered me some free day-time parking passes if I needed to park on the street for a few days. I think I’ll be OK at the house, though. UCSF and my friend’s house are near Golden Gate Park so I plan to walk and jog there probably mid-day or mornings to keep up on my free exercise program (walking/jogging/yoga) courtesy of free phone apps, calorie and step trackers.


Julia May 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

PS — I am taking a host gift of two jars of my homemade jam, some fresh eggs, and a bottle of wine for my friend.


Midwest Beth May 20, 2019 at 7:12 pm

1. Frugal fail I paid $.25 for parking at the library – got 15 minutes to do the following frugal wins: -I printed off a document I needed and picked up free packets of seeds from the seed Library for a small garden.
2. Signed up for text messages from Sonic, drinking a free small strawberry shake as I type this while waiting for my daughter to get out of a meeting. Car is off saving gas.
3. Bought a ham for half price at Aldi, will get several meals from it very excited for the visions of split pea soup, sandwiches, broccoli cheddar soup, scalloped potatoes etc. all with ham for accent/flavor 🙂
4. Shopped the sales at Kroger this weekend, returned bottles, used paper and digital coupons.
5. Finally saw the latest Avengers movie, daughter and I bought candy at the dollar store beforehand and by checking prices at the local movie theaters in the area saved $1.50 a ticket.


Elizabeth May 21, 2019 at 3:46 am

1. We were delighted to find out that the shoes my daughter picked out on the clearance rack rang up $15 cheaper at the register.
2. My mom gave me a ham that they did not want when she was rearranging her freezers.
3. Took my son on the cheap day to see Detective Pikachu. I was amazed that he knew every Pokemon character’s name and powers. He of course wore his Pokémon hat, shirt, watch and brought a Pikachu to watch it with him…adorable:)
4. Earned $44 in reward points on my credit card
5. Spent $17 to outfit the four of us for my niece’s wedding. The only things we had to buy was a white dress for my daughter and a white shirt for my son.


Laur May 21, 2019 at 5:21 am

1. Sold 3 items on Facebook marketplace. $15
2. Continuing to clean out my cupboards and throw away more trash. I found some items I didn’t know I had which saved me buying replacements. So far 3 bags have gone to good will.
3. I enjoyed a free lunch and coffee today. I put in a complaint about my bad experience and was given coupons as an apology.
4. Returned library books.
5. Enjoyed a free cappuccino at an appointment on Monday then received a coupon for a free coffee from McDonald’s. It’s free coffee week!


susanna d May 21, 2019 at 5:57 am

1. At the beginning of the year, we cut the cord and got rid of satellite TV. Our house came with a ridiculously high antenna that brings in a lot of stations despite our living in the woods. Since the only things we watched on satellite were available on a Sling TV package for $30 per month (instead of the $105 we’d been paying for satellite), it was a big money saver. Yes, this is an old one but it leads into #2…
2. We realized we very rarely even watch TV in the summer because we’re outside all the time, have lots of company or (usually) both. I checked Sling to see about discontinuing and found out they have a “pause” option where you can suspend your service for up to 3 months, then it resumes as it was. Perfect! My husband actually thought of this one, so credit goes to him. For the next three months, we are saving the ENTIRE $105 monthly that we used to spend on satellite. Only regret is not doing this sooner.
3. We live on a lake – a very windy lake – where permanent piers are not allowed. For the sake of our pontoon boat, we bought a boat lift 4 years ago. At the time of the purchase, the dealer suggested a jack kit so we could put in/take out the lift ourselves each year. The jack cost $249, but it would cost $100 each time for the pier guys to install or remove the lift. I hate installing the lift but I just tell myself that the lift has saved us several hundreds of dollars in installation costs, and continues to save us $200 a year. Picturing the money…
4. Received an Eddie Bauer $10 gift certificate from their rewards program. Used that and 40% off plus free shipping to cut the cost of a long sleeve t-shirt that husband needed by 2/3. My husband is a size Tall Medium, a size which I’ve seen exactly once at an outlet store and exactly NEVER at a thrift store or yard sale, so this is a huge deal for me
5. Performed “open bottle surgery” on a tube of lotion, and was once again stunned by how much of the product was trapped in there.


Susie's Daughter May 21, 2019 at 5:13 pm

#5 – I love your terminology ! I will think of this when I dissect my next lotion tube.


Roberta May 21, 2019 at 6:58 am

1. Tomorrow I am going to my first professional declutter! I am so excited — I’ve done this before for free, but tomorrow I’m getting paid for it! Bringing boxes my husband has brought home from work for free.
2. My son and my husband carpooled to school/work today. I have taken my son’s cute little car away for the rest of the term, leaving him to drive the gas guzzling truck most of the time. However, his school is farther away today, so they’re sharing the Prius.
3. Enjoying the rain! Still have the sprinklers off, which is incredibly unusual in Southern California this time of year.
4. Timing my laundry days to meet up with the non-rainy days this week. I will be washing laundry Wednesday night and Thursday, so I can hang things Thursday on the line.
5. Celebrating our excellent dental insurance. Both kids need their wisdom teeth out, and we’ll be out of pocket less than $1000 for the two of them, combined. We could have the full amount covered if we did two teeth this year and two next, but I think it will be better to have only one anesthesia event and one recovery period each.


Connie C May 21, 2019 at 7:14 am

1) Redeemed Swagbuck points for a $25 gift card.

2) Did so in the period when I can get 10% off the amount of points needed for #1 above.

For the following, please note that we use the credit card for points only and pay off the balance each and every month:

3) Redeemed credit card points for cash.

4) In doing #3, moved the cash to our connected savings account. Receive a 10% bonus for doing so, and will then use that money to pay off this month’s credit card bill.

5) Called credit card referenced above to verify minimum balance required for savings account to avoid fees.


rjr May 21, 2019 at 7:18 am

1. Made a lovely birthday brunch for my sister and family for a lot less then going out.
2. Surprised her by inviting 2 of her friends and paying for my niece to travel to join us. Brunch and my niece were her presents. So much better than stuff. Her surprise and joy were wonderful.
3. Leftovers for breakfast from brunch.
4. It has been raining a lot here and am saving $ on watering my lawn and garden.
5. A friend gave me a couple of books and and asked that I pass them on after I am done.


Juhli May 21, 2019 at 10:01 am

1. Repaired the dog’s toy stuffed squirrel by stitching up a tear.
2. Tracking my meals so am eating less!
3. More library books – love my library.
4. We slog along cleaning all the indoor shutters and outside of windows and screens ourselves a bit each week. I don’t even want to know what it costs to hire someone to do that.
5. A son came over to visit and I fixed fancy chicken and berry salads plus garlic bread rather than going out. In the process learned how to use the convection oven setting to bake healthy chicken breasts.


Alison May 21, 2019 at 10:04 am

1. DH, his daughter and I went for dinner with 5 others. During the meal, a friend that they all knew stopped by the table to chat, when the bill came, we were told that this friend had paid the entire thing! Very generous of him.
2. Saved about $250 when I renewed my car insurance, because my daughter no longer lives with us. She has less than 10 years driving experience so that always costs more if she were to drive my car. She can still drive it, but now it doesn’t cost anymore, because she is not “part of our household”.
3. Drying clothes on indoor rack. Can’t hang them outside because of the seagulls.
4. Still shopping my closet for smaller clothes. Feels good when DH says “is that new” when in fact it’s been in the closet for years.
5. Spending time at the library studying my spanish because there are no distractions, i.e the frig, there.


Tonya May 21, 2019 at 2:13 pm

1) Shopped Goodwill for some shirts for my 16year old son. My swanky Goodwill had a shirt that I Googled, since I didn’t know the brand. it’s a custom brand that sells for $70-80 for short sleeved dress shirts! I’m tempted to resell it, but he really does need shirts! Maybe I’ll resell it after he’s done wearing it?
2) Found big Ball canning jars and lids for .99 each. We are trying to transition away from plastic, so I’m hoping to make DIY cold drink carriers for summer beverages. We already have stainless steel straws, so probably just need to drill holes in the lids.
3) Eating all meals at home today.
4) Picked up my hd copy of “Where The Crawdads Sing” from my library. I’ve been waiting patiently for a long time for this hot book!
5) My daughter is home from college and we are four drivers and two cars. I have a employer subsidized transit pass so I will be hopping on the train to work and also simultaneously enjoying my #4 FFT.


Bee May 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Where the Crawdads Sing is beautifully written . I hope you think it’s worth the wait. It was my book club selection this month. I loved it, but I remember when coastal Carolina was much as the author describes.


Tonya May 23, 2019 at 6:39 am

Thanks, Bee! I am really enjoying the beautiful descriptions of the Carolina coast.


Cindy in the South May 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm

1. I am checking on outpatient medical bill that is 5 grand. I have good insurance so I think it must have been coded wrong. 2. I went swimming after work at a lake in the National Forest. It was $3. It is 94 degrees today so the water felt great. 3. I am checking on airline tickets for later this summer. I hate to fly but a new grandchild will make you do all sorts of things…lol.


J May 21, 2019 at 9:24 pm

1. Found a penny and a quarter, then 16c on the ground! Also picked up many aluminum cans that people throw all over. When I get a container full, I take them to the recycling place & get money for them, as well as helping keep the outdoors clean. One year, we actually made $900 from recycling scrap metal!
2. Won an Amazon gift card from a Mother’s Day drawing at a McDonalds as I was traveling out of state. I didn’t want to eat there, but nothing else was open.
3. Already met my huge health insurance deductible for 2019, so everything after this I only have to pay my 20%.
4. Signed up for a “ membership” with my HVAC company. Each year I pay $250, and they do cleaning and check-ups twice a year, plus discounts on service, parts, filters, and priority scheduling. I did the math, and it’s worth it.


Jennifer May 22, 2019 at 2:55 am

1) Dd is graduating from HS today. There is a very short window between when I get home from work and when we need to leave and I have 10 people to feed. I was very tempted to go out to dinner. Instead I gave myself some grace and went and bought some heat and serve items at Costco – under $50 spent rather than $150 works on a day like today.

2) Dd’s graduation gift is a night in a tiny house – she is obsessed with them! Found one not too far that is under $100 and 4 of us will enjoy a night away this summer.

3) Opted not to repair ds’s car for $800. The issue is minor and not a safety issue. The car is 15 years old with more than 200K miles. He is just hoping it makes it one more year through college. Even the repair person said it wasn’t worth fixing. Phew!

4) Trying very hard to eat up all the leftovers before they go bad and succeeding for the past few weeks, yay!

5) The dog is dealing with allergies and I have been giving him a human over the counter pill that after researching should be totally safe.


Lisa M. May 22, 2019 at 4:29 am

Congratulations on your DD’s high school graduation! I am with you on how to get people fed on a weekday evening & get to the ceremony at a good time. Also, anticipate a few folks might show up after the ceremony. Am planning a discounted catering order from DD’s restaurant employer for that night, consisting mainly of non-hot items that people can grab & snack on before & after the graduation, along with some chilled beverages on hand. Unusual situations like these require planning ahead but there are ways to control costs at the same time. Enjoy your DD’s special night & huge accomplishment!


Alexandra Evans May 22, 2019 at 3:53 am

1. Thrilled To discover I had $165 worth of credit on Amazon for the credit card I use for work only. In the past I have been annoyed that I have to use my own credit card for work expenses but this makes it OK by me!
2. Using SparkPeople for weight loss is turning into a success. I’m down 7 pounds in two weeks. It is simply a system of tracking and a series of motivational tasks. It is free but I am for now paying the five dollars a month for the upgrade. A lot cheaper than weight watchers and Newman and I think they really all do the same thing.
3. Since I am religiously tracking calories we are eating a lot less of everything except fruits and vegetables! I need to hit the grocery store again for produce because were eating so much. The other leftovers involving carbs and protein are only slowly moving through the house so I am being careful about putting things in the freezer so they don’t go bad.
4. I am having a blissfully slow week at work so minimal driving and lots of small tasks that have been put off for ages are getting done. I’m working at home a lot so trying to multitask. I did a 10 minute walking video while listening to a extremely boring conference call. I find multitasking to be a frugal use of my time .
5. I am doing one to two short videos a day on YouTube with every variety of exercise in the world. YouTube is an amazing resource for all kinds of things but exercise cannot be beat. If you’re looking for an exercise video to get started I highly recommend Leslie Sansone walking videos. Anyone can do them they start nice and easy and they are actually quite effective.


Vickey May 31, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Re your no. 5: Thanks for the recommendation! Sounds like just what I’m looking for.


Gina May 22, 2019 at 10:58 am

Let’s see if I can come up with FFT:

1. Husband thought our total was too high at the store. We glanced at receipt before we left the store realizing they had charged us twice for cough medicine, so we went right over to customer service & were refunded $9.88
2. Shopped around at a few different stores & saved $50 on the same exact brand dress for oldest DD’s graduation coming up
3. Both our girls were eligible to go to the free academic lunch at school for good grades, saved me packing 2 lunches this am.
4. Hubby ate free at work 2 days this week also….they had food leftover at his work from a group function
5. and the best for last……Hubby came home with 66 composite boards and a workbench for just a donation to his work……leftover from weekend work project. We got a steal of a deal, by 65-70% savings!!! We had planned to re-deck our deck this summer anyways as some boards are rotting after 14 years.


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