Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 22, 2019 · 61 comments

  1. My eBay and Facebook Marketplace sales have been stagnant, so this portion of the blog post where I normally appear impressively side hustle savvy (S.H.S.™) is instead impressively lackluster. However, I did find 49¢ on the ground and I’m participating in a $100 consumer opinion panel this evening. I have a couple of high value items to list on eBay, so perhaps I’ll pencil that project onto my crushing to-do list.

  2. You may remember that my friend Lisa generously gifted me with a copy of the memoir Inheritance, (which I found to be both thought provoking and beautifully written. Thank you, Lisa!) But I knew that I’d never reread it, so I schlepped it over to Powell’s for some precious store credit.

    I used that credit, (plus some from a previous transaction) to pick up a pair of Solmate Socks. For those not in the know, these socks are manufactured in North Carolina by a very non-consumery company whose “products are knit from pre-consumer, recycled cotton yarn.” I absolutely adore their patterns and colorways, which I see as reminiscent of Kaffe Fassett.

    And no, this isn’t sponsored, I just love shining a spotlight on companies that get it right!

    Click HERE to read about their sustainability practices.

  3. I have a hard time focusing at home, as there’s always laundry to be done, litter boxes to avoid scoop, weeds to be pulled and let’s face it . . . the siren song of electronics. So I jammed the old laptop into my backpack and pointed my dented Prius towards Ikea. I chucked a couple of crusty spent batteries into their recycling bin and then enjoyed an unholy amount of their free coffee while putting some much needed focus onto my writing.

    I could have hit up a local coffee shop, but I try to save money wherever possible. Plus the Ikea cafeteria, (restaurant?) doesn’t seem to care if you park yourself down for an extended period of time. Or if they do, they’re extraordinarily subtle about it.

  4. I dropped our three ballots at the local library instead of using stamps, I spent just $27.13 on four bags of groceries at Winco, I continue to listen to the thralling A Court of Thorns and Roses audiobook through the library’s Libby app and I washed out my ragtag collection of reusable grocery bags to keep them in circulation.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a corrupt 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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany M May 22, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Well, not a huge frugal time for me. I’m having my gastric bypass Friday. So I’ve bulked out on products that I never use and can hardly stand like protein shakes and Poweraides. However, I still count insurance covering the surgery 100% as a frugal one.

Staying at home today. Gas prices in SoCal have gotten outrageous.

Turned my friend down on taking the kids to the trampoline park tomorrow. It adds up, not so safe, and I got other things to do.

Going to sign up for my free Netflix trial tomorrow so I can binge watch during recovery.


Lisa May 22, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Probably a good call on the trampoline park. When we had a new one in the area it seemed like every Monday there was yet another kid coming in with a broken arm or leg.


Christine May 22, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Best of luck with your surgery. My step son and niece each had gastric bypass with wonderful results. You will too. While you’re recovering….Netflix has a Johnny Cash bio…very well done and informative.


Jennifer May 22, 2019 at 4:56 pm

I have been following your countdown. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.


Patricia Koernig May 23, 2019 at 1:10 am

I have been following your count down. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Much grace to you.


tracy May 23, 2019 at 5:15 am

Good luck Bethany, I hope all goes well.


CarolineRSA May 23, 2019 at 7:41 am

All the best for your surgery and recovery!


Connie C May 26, 2019 at 9:33 am

All the best! Please keep us posted!


Kathy May 22, 2019 at 1:11 pm

1. May Gray or Gray May here in So Cal. The upside is the sprinklers have been turned off since last Saturday.
2. My friend had a community garage sale last Saturday and I came home with several NWT free items. From that I sent a package with an emergency roadside kit, large flashlight and some other travel related items to daughter in law. She’s planning a road trip to Montana next month.
3. I sold $10.90 of cds and dvds we weren’t using to second spin.
4. I picked up some greeting cards for .25/each at local thrift store.
5. Listed a few things on eBay, etc


Meredith B. May 22, 2019 at 1:16 pm

I absolutely LOVE Sarah J. Maas. The ACOTAR series is AMAZING! So glad you are reading it.


Lisa M. May 22, 2019 at 1:17 pm

5FF: Return to Spring Edition

Just when it looked like summer was on its way, the weather started to reverse back to spring with clouds, rain & cooler temps.

1. Mandated DD make a return prior to expiration of the receipt. She gifted me a sweater for Xmas which she thought didn’t fit right, so exchanged for 2 tops that were too small. I insisted that she return, as didn’t want to be stuck with $30 worth of unusable merchandise. Believe this is a marketing strategy that many retailers rely on – memory loss, lack of energy or just general disorganization preventing returns so that they retain profits from sales. Trying to teach DD that timely returns are a smart frugal strategy.

2. DD selected to attend “State of the City” Banquet featuring mayor. Six students from each area high school were invited to attend with a complimentary 3 course luncheon, live music & lots of politicians. In trying to calculate final lunch balance – too much (must request refund)/too little (additional amount due), current balance should be very close to actual balance given the free lunch banquet provided off-campus.

3. DD is undecided about her housing situation for next year. Since an apt. is in her future at some point, acted on a listing for a FREE 10 place setting of vintage made in Japan china listed on Next Door. I might just keep the set for myself if I am fortunate to receive it & schlep the indestructible Corelle that my M-I-L purchased (that I never liked TBH) over to DD.

4. Continuing to attend weekly Sr. Party meetings at a restaurant & watching everyone enjoy pizza, subs, brownies & wine & then hoof it home to quickly make a meal.

5. Registered for 21st free retirement related dinner. DH refused stating he felt cheap. I will never turn down free fine dining!

* Frugal “Ineffectiveness”: Called to offer constructive feedback to company providing graduation announcements & name cards, thank you notes, apparel & memory frame. Was not offered any compensation for timeliness & quality issues, other than multiple “I’m sorry” remarks. Where has customer service gone?


Debbie from Delaware May 22, 2019 at 5:36 pm

At most places, customer service has become a distant memory. So frustrating. DD’s cap, gown, stole and honor cords for her college graduation didn’t come in until a week after senior portraits were done. I didn’t even bother to call to complain because I knew they just don’t care. They know you are required to order the cap and gown from them so they know they have a captive market. The story does have a frugal ending because we had her get portraits done with her stole and honor cords at JCPenney and saved a lot of money over buying the ones from the same company that sells the caps and gowns. Don’t know why I didn’t think of doing that to begin with!!


AuntiAli May 22, 2019 at 6:42 pm

I had a crazy mad good coupon for The Picture People and took dd up to the mall to have her cap, gown and etc taken there. For $10 I got a lot of pictures. Too many as so many of the great aunties are gone. But no way would I have paid for the college pictures. I don’t even think that dd had her picture taken for the yearbook just like she did in high school. Her high school picture was another Picture People coupon and she wore her favorite t-shirt.I had a crazy mad good coupon for The Picture People and took dd up to the mall to have her cap, gown and etc taken there. For $10 I got a lot of pictures. Too many as so many of the great aunties are gone. But no way would I have paid for the college pictures. I don’t even think that dd had her picture taken for the yearbook just like she did in high school. Her high school picture was another Picture People coupon and she wore her favorite t-shirt.


Lisa M. May 24, 2019 at 6:03 am

Clearly this seems to be a common problem in the graduation industry & could have been worse as far as timeliness.

I am acutely aware of poor or nonexistent Customer Service since I provide customer service for a small family-owned business. We have many repeat customers due to the personalized service we provide including trying to expedite the process with minimal effort on the customers’ part & providing warranties for all work performed. Debbie, I agree that individualized attention is becoming very rare at most service providers where customers’ concerns or requests are not even acknowledged with no motivation on the part of the business to resolve any issues, so one questions the effort involved in providing feedback for areas of improvement.


Mand01 May 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm

1. One of my kid’s specialists only charged $45 instead of the $200 I was expecting.
2. We had forgotten to plan ahead for dinner. My husband made an excellent spicy black bean dish, with tacos and guacamole, from what we already had. Kids inhaled it – no mean feat in my house with two autistic young people.
3. Free flu shot at work. Taking my kids to pharmacy today to have theirs for $15 each.
4. Watching “Gunpowder” on DVD from the library. It’s not very good but I will finish it. I’m kind of weaning off GoT fever so this helps (it has Kit Harington in it). I don’t recommend it though and I’m glad it was free. The acting is fine, the writing and directing is bad.
5. After flu shots today I’m taking the kids op shopping for some frugal fun. I’ll also take them out for lunch so probably not that frugal, tbh…


Christine May 22, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Wish we had an Ikea close by.
1. I rescues a perfectly good hair brush my granddaughter threw away. With some clean up, it’s in better shape than my own brush which will now be a back up.
2. Reading up a storm from the interlibrary loan system. It’s like a free on line book store. This book lover can’t get over it.
3. Using CC points, I purchased all the flowers and potting soil I will need to make our family cemetery plots look nice for Memorial Day.
4. I purged all clothing I haven’t worn in a couple of years to my church’s benefit clothing drive. Nice to see empty space and to know someone is helped by it.
5. Enjoying coffee and tea on our deck now that the nice weather is here. My own little Ikea…having Fika.


kathy May 22, 2019 at 3:47 pm

I read that putting a hairbrush in a glass with a fabric softner sheet will help soften the hair so you can pull it out. Another trick is to put it in the top of the dishwasher to get it clean and sanitized


Christine May 23, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Kathy, thank you for the hairbrush tip using the fabric softener sheet. And I like the idea of it in the dishwasher instead of my Mom’s old method which I’ve used forever…soaking it in ammonia! Makes the house stink plus not good for the environment.


Ruby May 24, 2019 at 6:53 am

If you have two brushes to wash, you can pick the hair out of them and scrub them together with shampoo and hot water. What builds up on the brush is the same stuff that builds up in your hair. The shampoo works great.


Christine May 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Ruby. Shampoo…who would’ve thunk? LOL. It makes perfect sense. And I actually do have two brushes to clean now…my own and the one I rescued!

Laura Hart May 24, 2019 at 10:16 am

I had to do some research on ammonia once – it’s not at all good to breathe it in, but environmentally-wise it’s quite safe and breaks down quickly. However, I don’t think it’s necessary for hair brushes – shampoo and drying in the sunlight is my way and it works fine.


Jennifer May 22, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Just got back from a mostly not frugal vacation but I will try

1. Made taco meat, pulled pork, and chicken salad at home and brought in a cooler to have sandwiches, nachos, etc. Cheap and minimal prep required.
2. My mom’s boyfriend raises chickens so he sent two 18 packs of eggs. We ate omelets and breakfast burritos with leftover taco fixings each morning for breakfast.
3. Brought sand toys I have had since my middle child was a baby. She is now 10. Still work fine.
4. My mom found a nice piece of driftwood that washed up and the kids found some seashells to make necklaces out of when they get home instead of buying pricey t-shirts.
5. We avoided all the touristy excursions and stayed either in the pool or on the beach for entertainment.
6. We used Gas buddy to stay aware of the best prices during our travels. I also kept snacks and ice cold water in the car to avoid gas station snack prices.
7. We almost ordered a pizza on the last night but decided we should use up the last of our bread so I made a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches instead. Since I am now gluten free, I took one loaf of GF bread but I mostly just ate everything without bread. It was fine.


Midwest Beth May 22, 2019 at 5:46 pm

1. Just loaded the Lose It app free version this week, so far so good and did not purchase the upgrade. I love the food and exercise trackers as well as the social group posts , I like it more than WW’s app which I used to get for free through my former employer. Also signed up for the AARP walking challenge as well as the reminder daily texts to help stay motivated.
2. Batched errands everyday around when I pick daughter up from school to save on gas- today picked up new glasses and swung by Aldi to pick up the few veg/fruit/dairy items we needed and even remembered to bring the returnable bottles back.
3. Started listening to A Gentleman in Moscow through the library app. At night re-listening to Harry Potter books which helps me fall a sleep.
4. Reading library book on gardening called Late Bloomer with gardening tips for the “second half of your life. “ Goal is to have a small square foot garden – seeds are sprouting from my free seeds from the library and hope to plant them in a few weeks. I have a raised bed square foot garden kit in the garage I need to assemble out in the yard still and weeding/edging in the beds I have as I need to make room for 8 tomato plants this year I have visions of stewed tomatoes for chili and spaghetti sauces next fall/winter.
5. Exercising for free every day this week by walking the dog and played tennis tonight with my daughter. Had contemplated joining Planet Fitness with my daughter as she gets a free teen membership this summer but can’t swing the expense, maybe in the winter.


Kathy May 22, 2019 at 5:57 pm

Check out silver sneakers a Free gym membership program thru Medicare


Jennifer May 23, 2019 at 3:44 am

Thanks for this, I think my mom may qualify.


tracy May 23, 2019 at 5:18 am

As a 59 year old who hopes to get back to gardening one of these days I will check out “Late Bloomer” — great title, thanks for the tip!


coolwhip May 22, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Today was excellent. We got a $50 off a $100 coupon for Fresh Direct and trial of their free delivery service, so I got 2 chickens, 2.5 lbs sausage, a pound of bacon, two pounds of asparagus, a pound of blueberries, shishito peppers and raspberries and a fifth of my favorite whiskey for $50, including a $5 tip for the driver. I bought some things from Bed Bath and Beyond, each with a coupon. I found a $70 coffee maker on the sidewalk and was all set to rehab it with a new carafe when I discovered that it wasn’t meant for a carafe but for a thermal mug, ($40 for the replacement). Dropped off some plastic recycling and returned a bunch of stuff via UPS. In reused packaging.


AuntiAli May 22, 2019 at 6:53 pm

My five:
1. Got a $12 check from Ebates which will now be called Rakuten.
2. Been doing most of our meals at home.
3. I’ve been enjoying music on the computer. I want a pair of wired headphones for my very old iPod shuffle and dh scoffed at me. I found a pair on Amazon, just have to order them. Or just keep with the speaker system I have.
4. Had my teeth cleaned and made an appointment for the scaling/deep cleaning. ick. I can also go to the dentist every three months due to my diabetes.
5. Keeping an eye on the electric bill. I’ve had the AC on a few times but have managed to keep it at a high temperature so it doesn’t kick on as often.
6. Figured out why my ears where popping all the time. My nose was really clogged up so I did a shot of Nasalcort in each nostril and that cleared up my ears, too. Glad I didn’t succumb to going to the doctor for that.
7. Will get the stove top fixed tomorrow. Wonder if I will be told it will be cheaper to buy a new one.


Ava May 22, 2019 at 8:02 pm

1. Made a delicious roasted vegetable soup from veggies that were truly on their last legs.
2. Ordered a $25 Swagbucks card which I will use for a Walmart order.
3. Retrieved a small child’s chair from free stuff by the side of the road. I will use it for a Christmas craft project.
4. Also got a cute vintage dining chair from beside the road. I picture it spray painted black with a black and turquoise seat cover.
5. Frugal for someone else: Husband wanted a better grill. We put the old, but still usable , grill on the road with a FREE sign. It was gone within two hours.
We are keeping the flow of goods circulating and out of the dump.


C May 23, 2019 at 9:38 am

#5 Whenever I leave anything on the side of the road I always say it’s an offering to the free pile gods- so I can continue to find more good stuff down the road 🙂


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 23, 2019 at 4:18 am

Okay, you just blew my mind. I’ve never thought to go work at IKEA! I’m also a work-from-home/self-employed person and I know the struggle is REAL when you’re trying to work at home. Especially with cats… 😉 I’ll have to give IKEA a go.

This week:

1. I’m pre-planning meals for a road trip we’re taking to see my family. This will help us avoid takeout while we’re driving.

2. I’m using a coupon to wash my car today. I know it would be more frugal to do it at home, but frankly, they do it faster and more efficiently than I do, and time is a rare commodity for me this week. So a little compromise. 🙂

3. I scored some great coupons from our grocery store! Things like $2 off a $10 produce purchase will help out immensely with this week’s grocery bill. Love me some coupons.

4. I used pie dough that was sitting in my fridge and turned it into mini apple pies. For the filling I used up some apples that were a little past their prime; it was still delicious!

5. Our Roomba was on the fritz so I used a free YouTube tutorial to troubleshoot and fix the problem.


Katy May 23, 2019 at 10:44 am

Sorry about the mind blowing.


Christine May 25, 2019 at 3:24 pm

This may make you feel better about taking your car to the car wash : Commercial car washes use up to 100 gallons less per wash although they often recycle and reuse rinse water. So you paid more but did the environment a favor.


tracy May 23, 2019 at 5:27 am

After two weekend trips earlier this month and some falling off the nonconsumer wagon with a few clothes purchases it is time to recommit to squeezing every dollar and especially to nonconsuming. Here’s what I’ve got:

1. Wore thrifted clothes to work this week.

2. Am taking bus to/from work today which makes 3 x, plan to tomorrow as well.

3. Have been eating lentil soup all week for cheap and healthy meals. Have a free-to-me work lunch today and will take lunch tomorrow as well.

4. Staying home this weekend, plan to do free or very low cost home projects, and free and healthy entertainment (running, hiking, yard stuff, yoga at club — covered by monthly dues) Am going to skip grocery shopping except for a very few fill in items (bread, a little produce), and make a couple meals from frozen ingredients I should use.

5. Keeping an eye out for a lower cost and smaller home, long term plan is to move in 5-7 years once youngest DD is in college and no longer coming home to live and if and when I find the perfect “downsizing” home we may consider buying and using as a rental in the meantime. Goal is to be 100% mortgage free by 65.


Cindy in South May 23, 2019 at 5:29 am

1. I went swimming after work again, this time at the Core of Engineer’s park, that I happen to drive by nearly every day, depending on which county I am working in that day. It cost me $2. It was 94 degrees here yesterday, so it was very refreshing at 5 p.m. 2. I scheduled maintenance on my Toyota Yaris. Keeping a car in good repair is frugal in the long run. 3. I made plans to go to Decoration Day at two different cemetaries on Saturday, one in the northern part of the state where my grandparents are buried, and the other a couple of hours south where my mom is buried. I intend to stop and swim at a local state park, after I have honored my dead kinfolks. 4. I packed my lunch for work today. 5. I did my laundry at the local laundry mat, located where I work, at 7 a.m. this morning, before work. Being efficient with my time is frugal.


Sam May 23, 2019 at 5:54 am

No huge wins in my arsenal this week, but no big spending either and we were careful to use what resources we have. Not to be a spoil sport, but I’m curious about the Ikea cafeteria and free coffee. I know there are all sorts of shades of what is frugal and what is cheap. I’m just curious as to your overall view on using a free resource. Is depositing batteries part of being a patron? I’m just not familiar enough with Ikea services and business model, but have been pondering on that savings tip/success-but hope I’m not coming off as judging, just curious.


sam May 23, 2019 at 6:04 am

I should have looked before my questions but see that Ikea has a Family Membership/rewards and offer a free coffee. That is quite nice. The closest one is over 40 minutes form my home or work, but if I was ever in the area or doing a shop, that little break would be nice.


Katy May 23, 2019 at 10:43 am

I’m okay with being cheap. Many people spend beyond their means to avoid seeming “cheap,” and I’m proud to say that I’m cheap as fuck!

It keeps my family on track financially.


Cindy in South May 24, 2019 at 6:54 am

I am great with cheap. It has enabled me, as a single parent, to survive. I am like Katy, I do not care what other folks think. The company offers this, and if they do not want us to take advantage of it, then they need to not offer it.


Christine May 25, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Agreed. My son loves to reminisce about the times I would quote the Tightwad Gazette and he and his siblings would say (behind my back, of course)”: The fist is getting tighter!” referring to the illustration on the front of each copy of the T.G.


JJ May 23, 2019 at 6:12 am

The everyday savings really do add up over time, and make the unexpected bills easier to manage. This week’s surprise: squirrels nesting in our chimney. We are in the process of getting quotes for a roof replacement, and one of the roofers taking measurements for an estimate let us know that he saw a squirrel popping out of the chimney. Two days later, I’m hearing noises that sound critter-related, and I made a call to a local wildlife removal company. The critter total was six squirrels: two were evicted from the top of the chimney, three were dead (earlier invaders that we were unaware of) and one made an escape into the basement from the old ash grate at the base of the chimney. There are now two humane traps down there, waiting for the squirrel to take the bait. Hopefully that happens within the next 24 hours…
In the meantime:
1- Now that warmer weather has arrived, I’m being diligent about taking a water bottle with me whenever we head out to run errands. I do have a Starbucks gift card though, so there will be an exception made once or twice for an iced coffee.
2- We are skipping the CSA subscription this summer, and will be focused on maintaining the garden. That will cover many greens and veggies, and we’ll add in a few bulk purchases of fruit during the summer at the local pick-your-own orchards.
3- Being diligent about using ebates when shopping online – so far, I’ve gotten $30 back this year. I had to reach out to their customer service twice to have rebates credited, but in both cases the problem was resolved within a day.
4- Keeping an eagle eye on the handful of items I have via Amazon subscribe-and-save. One of these items is the water filter for our refrigerator, which had gone up around $5 since my last purchase. 10 minutes of clicking around landed me at Best Buy. Their regular price for the filter was a few dollars higher than Amazon, but there was a $10 discount today for their version of subscribe-and-save. Done. Two filters ordered, with a reminder on my calendar to revisit and check prices again in a few months.
5- Turned a 99¢ bag of speckled bananas into chocolate-banana bread. The recipe fills 8 mini-loaf pans perfectly, and most of the loaves were wrapped and frozen to enjoy later (I admit, two of them were never going to make it to the freezer).

Update: the squirrel is now sitting quietly in a humane trap waiting to be picked up and released several miles away. The second, unsprung trap is going to stay in the basement for another day just in case there’s another one sneaking around down there…


kathleen May 24, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Happy to hear you caught your little squirrel invader, or as I like to call them, rats in fur coats. Can you put screen over the ash grate so that they can’t get in again?


JJ May 27, 2019 at 4:51 am

Yes, metal screening is in place now, with a more permanent fix happening soon. Fingers crossed that there are no more un-invited critters in our future!


janine May 23, 2019 at 6:46 am

1. Made cranberry-banana bread with a bag of cranberries I bought on deep discount and froze several months ago. A dessert type bread that the family liked.
2. Met several old friends for lunch at a Japanese restaurant and had the least expensive item on the menu. Happy to save the dollars but probably would have enjoyed myself more with a better entree.
3. Continuing the struggle with frugal habits – meal planning, budgeting income, trying to stay away from tempting stores and sticking to my list when I do enter those centers of temptation.
4. Haven’t been in a book store lately – this is my downfall. Our neighborhood bookstore closed recently which has saved me some $$ even though I mourn the loss.
5. No huge purchases – may need some work done on the kitchen, but carefully checking my options.


Michelle H May 23, 2019 at 7:08 am

1. 13 year old has now gotten into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (finally!) and we went to see Endgame in the theater a few weeks ago. I used a free pass from Coke Rewards and a discounted gift card from credit card points for admission, along with Coke Rewards coupons for free popcorn and drinks.

2. He had seen most of the movies since Avengers, but now wants to see the rest, we watched everything free on Netflix and Prime Video, and put everything else on hold at the library.

3. Made sure to redeem all of my free items from the Tom Thumb Monopoly game before they expired next week. Donated free cereal, fruit snacks and candy to the neighbor who is hosting an end of school celebration for the neighborhood kids next week.

4. Menu planning to use up what we have at home before leaving on vacation next month, and being sure kids pack a lunch for the rest of the school days to help with that. Funny the things they won’t want to eat at home, but if it’s all that’s in their lunch it gets eaten.

5. Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has a weeklong “fly-in” for aviation enthusiasts every July that is put on by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). This is a major item on my husband’s bucket list, and he’s meeting a friend there this summer. The daily tickets are $48 if purchased in advance, but members of the EAA only pay $120 for a weeklong pass, and you have to be a member to camp on site. He and his friend are both planning to pitch their tent under the wing of another friend’s plane while they’re there.

Membership is $40 a year, but I found a $30 online promotion for new members. It also comes with free admission for the whole family to science museums across the country (must be at least 90 miles from Oshkosh or home), so we are making a note of ones near where we are already travelling next month and may check some out. The Houston Space Center is one of the museums covered, and we’ve always wanted to go, so we’re thinking of a roadtrip this summer since Houston’s only 5 hours away.


Roberta May 23, 2019 at 7:26 am

1. I had my first professional declutter yesterday! And I am sore today. I combined it with a stop by the bins (for my mom’s shop), so I was able to recoup some of the cost of driving all over.
2. I got home late, but I was able to make dinner out of food I had frozen, and some cabbage that wasn’t earmarked for anything else. My family didn’t even ask about going out for burritos.
3. Taking advantage of the break in the rain to hang up laundry! I started a load last night, have at least three more loads (including for the shop). Still grateful for the rain, because I don’t have to water the trees.
4. Enjoying the new-to-me computer my son just refurbished for a school project. It’s faster than my daughter’s new one, and more than 10 years old.
5. Buying my first bag of chicken feed in about two months. Reclaiming the surplus and damaged items from the food bank is saving money and preventing landfilling! Today’s my day for picking up, so I will be especially grateful today.


Elena Tucker May 23, 2019 at 7:48 am

Used up all of my amazon boxes either to fill them with bamboo diapers ( no diaper plastic or otherwise bags to buy just to dispose) or to do crafts with my kid ( no new toys). Yay! Used up most of the veggies in fridge to make roastie instead of ordering out ( we have now cut down ordering out to once a week- down from a few times a week).


Pattilou May 23, 2019 at 8:30 am

1. A friend works at a store that sells luxury linens. They were getting rid of their cloth napkin samples. She knew I use cloth napkins so she dropped off what ended up being a very large bag full. I am keeping some for myself, I offered some to co-workers and the rest will be used to make some projects with my niece this summer.
2. Now having dogs has motivated me to get more exercise. Dog walking = free exercise.
3. When I give the dogs clean water I save the old water to water my plants. I’ve always done this with any left over water in my drinking glasses.
4. Used coupons and Cartwheel for a much needed Target shop. I did splurge on a few things for my nieces but they did not amount to much.
5. Gave a friend a bottle of champagne and homemade jam as a gift for her retirement. I had been given the champagne as a gift and will never drink it. I also, made the jam. She was thrilled with both.


ouvickie May 23, 2019 at 9:00 am

That book sounds interesting. I’ll have to look that one up on the Library website.
1) I’m litter training the 3 orphaned kittens, of our deceased barn cat (who was supposed to be fixed, according to the neighbors, whose roommate abandoned her when he moved last year), so I’m using plastic store bags to scoop the waste into and trying to keep their litter box clean. Which is a chore with 3 active kittens, who eat well!
2) I brought a lunch of baked potato and salad leftovers from home. Some of the lettuce was starting to turn a bit, but once you add dressing it taste as good as the rest.
3) I’m using a burlap tote, I received as Vendor swag a few years back, to transport items back and forth to my office as needed – rain gear, walking shoes, lunch bag, etc. It’s nice and large, with a long handle, which makes it easy to transport everything. Gotta love free stuff that’s useful!
4) Thankfully our break-room is stocked with sturdy plates, cups and dinnerware. I don’t have to transport my own and there’s no plastic, paper or styrofoam waste.
5) My co-workers leave unwanted items/swag/gifts on a table in the break room and mark it “free” or “needs new home”. It’s nice to have people around me who share/repurpose things. Someone left a set of brand new bath products, still in the wrapper, last week and another co-worker snapped it up and said she was going to use it as a gift for a family member.


Katy May 23, 2019 at 10:38 am

The book is indeed odd. A young adult book that gets a bit kinky here and there.


Julie May 23, 2019 at 11:40 am

1-continue to use what we have at home, even when take-out is calling, I have two teen boys so it is an expensive adventure to not eat at home.
2-made a batch of kale and white bean soup, a recipe I am sure that I found here. The kale was from my garden last year and frozen for this purpose. The beans were dried beans that I soak and prepare, then freeze for future use. This results in no need to get take away for lunch and a bowl of frozen soup acts as ice block to keep my lunch cold, thereby avoiding the need to use the nasty lunch room fridge at work.
3-younger child has a sports tournament this weekend and its two hours from us but 30 minutes from my mom’s place so we will enjoy a weekend with family and avoid the 2 nights in a hotel & it means only one meal will be at restaurant.
4-using gas buddy app to see where we stop for gas on the drive as its typically cheaper closer to the venue.
5-packing our travel water bottles and coffee cups and snacks will ensure the athlete stays hydrated and nourish at no great cost.


Karen B May 23, 2019 at 8:26 pm

1) Cancelled an educational program my kid is no longer using before the auto renewal, saving a $60 annual fee.

2) Returned 2 library books my son was done with and got 3 different books and a movie we’ve been waiting to borrow.

3) Continuing to make frugal activity plans for my teen to keep him active and thinking this summer. Tonight he mentioned wanting to again do a craft project he’s done before that we still have supplies for and I added it to the list.


Laura Har May 24, 2019 at 10:33 am

We just had an election here in Australia, and I was not really thrilled with the process or the result. I fear we are in for an economic downturn anyway, but now we are without the political will or capacity to do much about it. So time to batten down the hatches:
1. Taking food made from scratch to work for lunches and snacks.
2. Shopping my wardrobe and cupboards for anything needed. It’s all in there somewhere.
3. Reading or re-reading my existing library, with top ups from the family Netflix account for when I am tired.
4.Taking a long hard look at all regular bills as the fall due, some services can definitely go as circumstances have changed. Also evaluating where I shop, to align with my values.
5. Buying second hand whenever I can – I got gorgeous as-new cotton/linen Pottery Barn curtains on eBay this week – two for much less than the new price of one.
So nothing special, but all being done with a renewed focus 🙂


Tonya May 24, 2019 at 2:49 pm

1) Son graduated from PT today. Why is this frugal? No more $30 biweekly copays.
2) Picked up my husband’s rxs at the pharmacy. All were covered under the discount program. 3 generics for a total of $9.
3) As a proud diabetes educator, I am happy to report that through much advocacy our state passed a bill to limit monthly insulin copays to $100. So happy for this frugal move for all the folks who depend on this life saving med
4) Used coupons at the grocery store.
5) Driving as little as possible.


Jill A May 25, 2019 at 4:18 am

FFT Vacation Edition:

I took a 12 day vacation to Sedona, GCNP, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon & Las Vegas with my daughters, son-in-laws and Mother.

1. My daughter and her husband offered to use a work van to cart us all around on vacation. I had reserved a SUV through Costco which I cancelled which saved me $640 as well as gas because the van got better gas mileage.
2. We all managed to pack everything into carry-on bags and since I was flying Delta this time instead of Southwest this saved me the baggage fees.
3. My mother purchased the Senior Annual National Park pass for $20 and we were all able to get into all three national parks with that saving us $60.
4. Two of the accommodations we stayed in had full kitchens which meant we were able to cook many of our meals saving lots of $$$$.
5. I was able to use credit card rewards to pay for our airline tickets and some of the accommodations.


Economically Proud May 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Family B-day
1. Had special family dinner for 4 for a total of $4.08. This included a few freebies, and marketed down items. Plenty of leftovers to enjoy (Cake, mac n cheese, beans, cresent rolls.
2. 4 t-shirts for birthday boy for $5
3. free game console controller due to store error
4. no AC on yet this season, but it will probably be on tomorrow since it is supposed to be 90+
5. No special activities for b-day celebration. DH asked of for the day to spend quality time with DS, his mom, and myself for the day


Lora Fleming May 26, 2019 at 11:32 am

I’ve been busy pulling things from cupboards and the basement and listing them on eBay. My sales have been stagnant as well, yet the hope that people will buy a product from me rather than a newly manufactured one is always there! I’ve convinced my husband to cook from scratch more and rely less on packaged convenience foods & take-out. Major accomplishment! Bought my tomato plants from an elderly couple to help them earn a bit of cash rather than giving a big box store my money, and only paid $1 per plant, saving me money too!


Barb May 29, 2019 at 9:14 am

Quit eating chips as the bags are not currently recyclable and am making oat milk instead of buying Califa Farms almond milk as I hate using all that plastic even if it is recyclable. Recipe link:


Ashley Casas May 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

When people ask me what I miss about Oregon, Winco and Grocery Outlet. I saved so much money and got so many great higher end items for cheap. Florida has Aldis and it helps but nothing beats those bulk bins.


Vickey June 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

You might check out UNFI’s website and look for a bulk buying club near you. You don’t necessarily have to buy a full bag – many groups are setup to split larger bags of dried goods – beans, grains , dried fruits, nuts, spices, etc. – between members. Good way to meet others who care about their consumer footprint, less disposable packaging, lower food costs, etc.


Vickey June 2, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Ashley Casas, above.


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