Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 26, 2019 · 71 comments

  1. I attended that two-hour consumer opinion panel which earned me an adorable little hundred dollar bill, (for your own area, I suggest doing an internet search for “paid research + your city” to find similar opportunities.) I picked up a $5 intense groovy glass lighting shade and took it immediately to a local shop and was handed $15, I sold some vintage L’eggs pantyhose on eBay for $10 and I listed a few more items on eBay.

    I met with the buyer for a high end decor chain to try and sell an enormous antique mirror that I picked up at Goodwil for $15. He didn’t buy it, but he and I had a long chatty conversation about what they do buy, as well as where else I could sell the mirror. I ended up getting $75 in store credit from a different shop, which wouldn’t normally be my first choice, but they create their own midcentury-style fiberglass lampshades that I’ve always coveted.

    Coming soon . . . a statement piece lampshade!

  2. I bought gas from a 76 station, as I saw that they were once again running a promotion to earn two tickets to Thorns women’s major league soccer games with each fill up. This promotion ran a few years ago as well, and I spent the summer earning and then selling soccer tickets which earned me a tidy profit. It was a terrific little grift opportunity, as I sold the tickets for less than the box office price, which was great deal for both the buyers and myself.

  3. I took advantage of a single nice day of weather to wash a thrifted Pendleton wool blanket to ready it for resale. The Pendleton website instructs that “dry cleaning is the best way to maintain your blanket,” but I used cold water and ever so gently swished it in the bathtub and then hung it to dry which seems to have worked well.

  4. My friend Lise and I walked to the library to return books and I picked up a Lucky Day copy of Bullshit Jobs, by David Graeber, my husband rescued nice snap-top glass leftover containers from his work refrigerator that were going into the trash, I sewed a button back onto my coat and I picked up another free bag of bubble wrap from a local shop.

  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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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm

We found a great compromise between eating out and cooking because I was too tired and PiC had his hands too full for either of us to cook when we hosted some out of towners for a meal, and then we played at the local park for a good long while.
We’re stocked up on yummy groceries for the week so we won’t be eating out this coming week either.
We’re enjoying a DVD from the local library.


Cindy in the South May 26, 2019 at 12:54 pm

1. I have been going to my friend’s house and taking care of her dogs so that is frugal for her. She is on vacation. I am free….lol.2. I used up potatoes that were soft to make funeral potatoes from scratch. No funeral but I like the potatoes. 3. I have tried in vain to keep the air off but with temps of 100 and heat indexes much higher I decided to turn it on and cool off. I am doing it for very short bouts and using ice in between. 4. I am getting my oil changed tomorrow. Maintenance is frugal in the long run, especially since I drive two hours a day for work. 5. My fav, as always, I took a nap.


Cindy in the South May 26, 2019 at 1:37 pm

6. I forgot to say I went to the state park lake yesterday, it cost $4, and in this heat, it was $4 well spent.


A. Marie May 26, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Cindy, I’d love the recipe for “funeral potatoes,” if you’re willing to share it. (I confess that my active imagination is running wild.)


Cindy in the South May 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm

LoL. If you Google “funeral potatoes recipe” it pops up. The Pioneer Woman has a good one. I don’t use processed hash browns. I just chop up regular potatoes into hash brown size chunks and use the cream of chicken ,sour cream, cheese and corn flakes with it.


Cindy in South May 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Found my recipe. I misplaced it after using it…lol. hash brown preshredded but not browned. 2 cups cheddar (I add more) I can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, 1 pint of Sour cream, 1/2 cup grated onion, 2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper, press into a greased baking dish. For top do 1 and 1/2 crushed cornflakes with 1 stick of melted butter mixed together. Put this topping over potato mixture and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour to hour and a half, depending on your oven.. hope I got this typed before I get kicked off….lol.


Jennifer May 28, 2019 at 1:12 pm

I used to make a similar dish called hash brown casserole.

Lisa M. May 26, 2019 at 1:04 pm

5FF: Little Frugalities, Major Life Events

My examples for this post are small at a time when big life events are occurring. Feeling very unfrugal thinking about total spending r/t senior high school yr. & associated expenses…. Best to not think of costs that lie ahead.

1. Last 2 trips to Aldi have earned 25 cents each time. The 1st time, tried to pay a woman for a cart but she refused saying someone had given the cart to her. The 2nd time, found a cart with a quarter sitting in the cart corral. Also, found an already crushed aluminum can in the big box store parking lot.

2. Used $5 coupon for DD’s graduation party food & requesting discount from her employer for catering.

3. Picked up vintage 10 pc. place setting china with additional serving pieces listed free on Next Door. Value for set is $150-$300 but plan to use & enjoy it in lieu of purchasing new dishes, after I gift DD my (gifted to me) Corelle.

4. Had gifted fresh pork sausage (frozen) & knew I had a recipe somewhere that used sausage links. Finally located it & had made a note that I last prepped the recipe > 10 years ago. Baking in the crockpot now & smells delish.

5. Ahead of storing party foods & potential party leftovers, making serious efforts to clean up regular leftovers, fruit/dessert/dip items that need to be used or have small amts. taking up space in the fridge. At the same time cooking from scratch now in advance of limited food prep later in week d/t festivities.


mia May 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Would you share the receipe. I have a lot of pork sausage links. Thank you.


Lisa M. May 27, 2019 at 7:32 am


6 med. size bell peppers
1 pkg. dried bread cubes plain
I C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 whole eggs
Sage, salt & pepper to taste
2-3 pkgs. fresh link sausage

Mix all but sausage links until well blended. Add warm water & mix to desired moisture consistency. Spoon bread dressing into prepared bell peppers. Poke 2 -3 link sausages into each stuffed pepper center. Place bell pepper, lid on top & bake 2 hours.
Bell peppers: Cut top of bell pepper off & set aside. Clean & rinse peppers well, cutting out excess meat of pepper.
Note: Can be cooked in a crockpot instead of baking.


mia May 27, 2019 at 8:14 am

Thank you. Sounds great,


Lisa M. May 27, 2019 at 5:38 pm

You’re very welcome.

tracy May 26, 2019 at 1:12 pm

1. I stopped at a neighborhood moving sale and bought a gently used puzzle to add to me future son-in-law’s birthday gift (he and my daughter love jig saw puzzles), which will also consist of a Portland Timbers mug bought at Goodwill for a buck (we are all major fans) and a Goodwill gift card (I not only raised thrifters but the son-in-law is into it too!)
2. I also bought an extremely charming single curtain panel made of linen with a mid-century ish print I LOVE that makes a perfect table cloth for my outdoor patio which I am continuing to furnish CHEAP. Cost $3.
3. My daughter and I went for a hike in the nearby state park yesterday then came home and made a spicy veggie and tofu stir fry over rice which we ate while we watched the Timbers kick Philly’s butt. Yummy and used up a ton of veggies that were teetering.
4. Using up the rest of the iffy veggies in a Thai panang curry this eve, my Mom and brother are coming as well. Also veggie/vegan (and gluten free which my brother needs). Using some of my stash of $1.06 coconut milk bought on sale last weekend. Will also serve a delicious pineapple which I bought on the red bag produce rack at Freddy’s yesterday for $1. We are going to watch The Graduate on Netflix after dinner (after our trip to SF two weeks ago I’ve had a hankering to watch this for the Golden Gate Bridge scene and my daughter’s never seen it).
5. Bought a three pound package of ground beef on sale for $1.99 awhile ago, threw it in the freezer. Today I made a shepherd’s pie for tomorrow night (I have to work alas) using up some squishy potatoes (are you detecting a theme for my weekend?) and a big pot of Bolognese sauce which we will eat this week with the fancy Italian pasta I got today at Freddy’s BOGO. This will quell the restaurant or take out itch on the busy work nights.
6. After recommitting to not buying any new clothes I stopped in to Goodwill after my run Saturday a.m. and found a gorgeous Banana Republic cocoon coat in 100% wool that is just the style I was coveting this past winter. For $14. Score! Also found a spring form pan in the size I have been looking for for a few months for $3. Patience pays…
7. This weekend I also washed own clothes, changed own beds, hung a couple of pictures hit the library and brought home a stack of books and just generally nested and recharged. (Hubs and youngest DD went with his family to central Oregon but I begged off as I’d already been gone two weekends this month.) It was just lovely to putter…


tracy May 27, 2019 at 4:38 am

Re. No. 4 — after watching The Graduate last night realized the bridge scene is the Bay Bridge not the Golden Gate! Haven’t seen the movie for decades…


Kathy May 26, 2019 at 1:25 pm

1. Worked my dog show gig which included free parking, breakfast and lunch.
2. Returned to the show the next day using my parking pass to watch the show and attend dog club meeting. I brought paper goods I already had. Club president brought beautiful strawberries which I ate more than my share.
3. Picked up a lb of sea kelp for free which is great plant and pet food supplement
4. Ate from pantry and refrigerator
5. Passed on a trip to San Francisco with a friend. No $$ in my fund my fun fund


Tonya May 26, 2019 at 2:21 pm

1) Cleaned and spruced our porch for summer. No money spent, although we will buy a few inexpensive flowers to put in our 10+ year old pots.
2) Made egg salad, pasta salad, and homemade chicken and rice to feed our family over this weekend. There really are so many meals that are just wholesome and inexpensive.
3) Having a friend of mine over tomorrow to cook out for memorial day. It’s nice to catch up with her and also nice to cook at home.
4) No driving today.
5) Reading library books on my Kindle for entertainment.
6) DS got a job today! It will be his first, as he is 16. So happy for him and looking forward to him learning even more the value of money. Both our kids are already pretty frugal, as we’ve raised them that way.


Betta from daVille May 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm

FFF: The Cake Edition
1) Decided to make cake for mother’s 75 birthday lunch rather than purchase it. My aunt is celiac, so the cake was going to be extra-expensive either to buy or make.
2) Gluten-free cake mix was 50% off when I went to buy it.
3) Had 2 absolute disasters making Italian meringue buttercream so I had to stop at Aldi to purchase more eggs (And, I switched to a Swiss meringue buttercream). My partner hates Aldi so he waiting in the car. He watched a woman leave her cart 15 feet from the designated location and so he ran out and made .25 (he is SLOWLY learning to embrace frugality…)
4) sister hosted the lunch, and she sent me home with 1.5 dozen eggs from her chickens.
5) I also offered to bring cole slaw, as I had a cabbage leftover from a previous party that we hosted.


Karen B May 26, 2019 at 3:42 pm

1) Needed to go to 3 stores for groceries (none of them had everything I was looking for) and ran all 3 on the same trip even though it was awfully hot and humid, resulting in driving about 3 miles instead of about 9 if I made them each separate trips–they’re very close together.
2) Stuck close to the grocery list, no major impulse items (just 2 boxes of gluten-free lemon cake mix at Aldi, a short term flavor offering and a bargain price).
3) Quickly packed a snack and beverage bag for a 3 hour road trip to keep us out of convenience stores at 2-3x the price, which is good because hungry teen ate about half of the bag.


Mand01 May 26, 2019 at 3:46 pm

1. Made two loaves of sourdough.
2. Continued writing my novel for fun. About a tenth of the way through (by word count), plus editing. I’m trying to write a bit each day. It’s good no cost entertainment.
3. Cashed in two jars of coins at the bank coin counter – $75 worth.
4. My husband received a bag of guavas and persimmons from a colleague.
5. I picked our crop of pomegranates and froze the arils for later.


Midwest Beth May 26, 2019 at 3:50 pm

1. Received coupon for a free eight pack of Ice Mountain flavored water, can’t wait to redeem. Plugging away at Swagbucks, 500 away from a $25 gift card. Saved my tomato plant plastic containers to re-use to start seeds, worked in the yard spreading mulch I got for half the price because the bags had broke open and moved a bleeding heart plant that started to a new section of the yard, made homemade weed killer with vinegar, Epsom salts and blue Dawn.
2. Surprised daughter with a caramel frap from Starbucks when I picked her up from school. Today was B1G1 day and I used a Verizon Up gift card so two drinks were totally free, my kind of happy hour:-)
3. Mended Daughters capris Nike leggings inner seams. Kids, she never told me they needed to be fixed, she just wasn’t going to wear them anymore.
4. Our dog can only eat a special dog food costing $60 a bag. Today it was on sale for $56 and I used a $5 off coupon, a 26 pound bag will last her about a month.
5. Volunteered with daughter as ushers for a local theatre production, tickets to attend would have cost $27 each. Treated us to dinner after using a gift card to a local restaurant.


Danielle C May 26, 2019 at 4:17 pm

My Frugal Things # 1-5: Saved $900 on tires that I didn’t need but was told that I did

Situation: We just bought four new tires for our SUV 8 months ago. Due to an unrepairable hole in one tire, I was told I needed to replace all four tires or risk engine damage (due to differing tread depths on a single new tire and the used tires). This was going to be $900 ON TOP OF THE $1k I just spend on these “long lasting” tires in September.

Here is how this frugal thing worked out.

1. Upon being told that I needs to purchase 3 new tires to replace my perfectly good ones, I remained calm and didn’t cry (like I wanted to) or yell (as I’m sure others have.)
2. I asked a million questions until I thoroughly understood the situation. I even asked the manager to repeat a few pieces of information so that I could write them down.
3. I didn’t make a decision on the spot. I said to leave that nail in my tire and that I needed to talk to my husband.
4. I called the tire manufacturer to double check the information and confirm there was no applicable warranty. They did say I may qualify for “good will credit” and to ask the tire store to apply for that.
5. I looked for non-traditional ways to solve the problem including trying to find a matching used tire and sending a single new tire our of state to be “shaved” down to size.
6. We got a second opinion. Even though I had to drive 20 minutes away, twice, we got another tire store to look at our issue.

As it turns out, the situation is true 99% of the time. If you have a 4WD vehicle and the tires are used past a certain tread depth and something happens to one tire…. You have to replace all four. Wow! I had no idea.

In this case, the tire we happened to have IS THE EXCEPTION. It starts at a lower tread depth and so our tires ARE still in the window that we could only replace one tire and be fine. My new BFF at America’s Tire either looked this up for me or knew it already because he took one look at my car and said those words and I wanted to kiss him on the mouth.

Not only did his knowledge save me from unnecessarily replacing 3 perfectly good tires, he said he’d honor the warranty from the other store and replace this one tire for Free. So even though I didn’t buy these tires from America’s Tire, I walked away with a free tire, didn’t have to buy 3 new ones, and I swear I will never go anywhere else for tires. They’re so awesome.


Katy May 26, 2019 at 8:52 pm

WOW! I rooted for you throughout that entire story!


Danielle May 26, 2019 at 10:06 pm



Economically Proud May 27, 2019 at 1:59 am

We were told the same thing about our SUV’s tires when we had a piece of metal stuck in one of them. Luckily they were able to plug it. It all sounds like a scam, but not being a tire expert I have to trust what they are saying. Hard to believe car manufactures would design vehicles that way.


Katy May 26, 2019 at 6:30 pm

1. I was on a walk when I spotted two items with free signs, one was a scale. We’re currently borrowing a cousin’s bathroom scale, so if it works we can return his.
2. Went to 2 Goodwills and got 1 shirt which was 50 percent off. A never opened pack of 10 cards and envelopes for 79 cents and an adorable baby card for 89 cents perfect for my niece or nephew due soon.
3. Had a picnic instead of going out to eat with the in-laws. My contribution was cantaloupe and cucumbers, both on sale and dip.
4. Took my coins (except for quarters) to the coinstar and got $10 which went towards groceries.
5. Doing research finding cheaper places and discounts to get the next 2 years of homeschool books.


Dmarie May 27, 2019 at 3:50 am

I was curious as to what fee Coinstar charges & found this: “As noted, Coinstar charges you 11.9% for this convenience! Yes, when you use a Coinstar machine and want to get cash for your coins, they take nearly $12 for every $100 in coins you deposit.” Is this true?? Yikes!!


Mary in VA May 27, 2019 at 5:00 am

Yes, Coinstar charges a pretty hefty fee for cashing in your coins. There’s no fee if you choose a gift card instead of cash, but you’re limited to the choices offered (certain shops and restaurants).


Beth May 27, 2019 at 7:17 am

Credit unions are really good for having coin machine use for free, one of the services I love that they offer for free.


JJ May 27, 2019 at 8:02 am

Amazon is usually one of the gift card options available for Coinstar; that’s usually how we fund DH’s kindle book fund.


Mary in VA May 30, 2019 at 6:27 am

Thanks for the tip about Amazon being an option, JJ. The last time I used Coinstar I got a Toys R Us gift card…obviously, it’s been a while, lol.

Helene Rippey May 26, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Did you disclose to the consumer opinion panel that you were a non-consumer?


Katy May 26, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Umm . . . .


Lisa M. May 27, 2019 at 7:48 am

Touche’, Helene!


Jennifer May 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm



Jill A May 26, 2019 at 6:57 pm

1. I sold two things on ebay in the past day. I will re-use shipping materials I already own. Both items are things that were laying unused around the house – an old textbook and tampons that nobody uses anymore
2. I combined errands today and filled my tank with gas at Costco saving myself 23 cents per gallon.
3. My sister-in-law took my daughter to a movie along with her kids. I wasn’t keen on seeing it so it me the cost of a movie ticket for me.
4. My in-laws invited my daughter and I for dinner. We provided the dinner rolls and we took home some leftovers for my older daughter who worked late. My older daughter brought some leftover cheesecake from work that we all ate for dessert afterwards at my house where we finished the meal and they could visit with my oldest.
5. I was out of town for Mother’s Day and didn’t do anything for my Mother-in-law. In the chaos of getting ready for a two week vacation I had forgetten to send flowers. I picked up some beautiful roses at Aldi and they even had leftover Mother’s Day cards in the clearance bin.


Economically Proud May 27, 2019 at 2:06 am

1. Turned AC off in the morning because it was much cooler outside than in the house with AC on
2. Watered outdoor veggies with water from rain barrel
3. No drive/no spend except for DH picking up some photos from a recent trip
4. in-laws sent over 1/2 pie, box of pizza bagels, mini hot dog wraps, and mini drumstick style ice cream cones for treats for our son ( I never buy convenience food so he only gets it from them)
5. Made a lovely soup with carrots, celery, and stock given to us, used chard from our garden. I had a can of .33 cent tomatoes, .5 cents of onion, and about $1 of chicken I added to make a delicious servings for lunches


Jonathan May 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

“Bullshit Jobs” is a good read. “The Utopia of Rules” is a cracker too. David Graeber gets it.


Momma L May 27, 2019 at 11:54 am

1. Made a plan for the garden to not fight nature anymore, instead, put the invasive plants all together and away from the others. Will work on this next weekend too.
2. Didn’t like how some of my plants were taking over my azaleas, so I wanted to move the azalea. DH said, oh that’s a lot of work, let’s hire someone. So instead, I dug up that bush and moved it myself. Mental note: DH is getting older and my suggestions are overwhelming him. Might need to scale back.
3. Meal planning: when I plan for the week, I feel so much better coming home from work knowing what I can do for dinner.
4. Looked closely at a health insurance statement, there was a CHECK printed on the second page, on the bottom! Deposited that right away. It was hard to notice…
5. Went to a wedding, noticed on the way my white sandal was coming apart. Found some first aid white tape in the glove compartment. The repair lasted the whole reception too!


Juhli May 27, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Love the look on your face in the photo!
1. Trying to hack an almost Weight Watchers program for myself while upping my calcium intake up and sodium intake down. You can access the list of zero point foods online and then look up the points for many foods and products. We’ll see if it helps me lose weight. Of course then Hubby is trying to gain weight. Sigh.
2. Continuing our clean it ourselves slow motion deep cleaning. Today was the frig coils and kitchen floor.
3. Decided I wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday by planning some fun day trips instead of going away. Doing some research now but already decided to go to Santa Barbara art museum plus lunch. I have 3 months to plan so anticipating the fun will be fun too.
4. Decided to use up stray ingredients in pantry. Powdered sugar went into pumpkin muffins today. Noticed there is some molasses in there that I had forgotten about. How to reconcile with #1?
5. Did not spend any money today.


Laura in Sydney May 27, 2019 at 2:27 pm

1. I traded my coworker a $50 voucher from Appliances Online that I wasn’t going to use for the installation of a curtain rail by her fiance – they got a $80 toaster for $30 and I got my rail put up with no fuss.
2. My spending strike continues – the bonus is less food waste as a lot more of what I buy is going into lunches.
3. Bought 3 pairs of high quality undies at the Bonds Outlet on 40% off the already discounted prices. One pair has a rather strange pattern, but who cares – no-one sees them but me!
4. I have a cold, so grateful for my good supply of vintage cloth hankies – gentle on the nose and the environment. I buy them “new” on eBay – they have been languishing in their packets in old ladies’ drawers.
5. Researching DIY glass cleaners – will report back if I find something better than 50/50 white vinegar and water


Gina in KY June 2, 2019 at 5:48 am

“Spending strike”…I love it! 🙂


Teri May 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm

1. Stayed home ALL day Saturday cleaning, decluttering, and getting rid of stuff.
2. Invited to dinner last minute on Sunday was told just to come-no need to bring anything!
3. Shopped at goodwill on senior discount day for items needed and to sell.
4. Planted garden.
5. Did not use any vulgar words to describe myself or any of the above.


Jennifer May 27, 2019 at 5:57 pm

1. Enjoyed the local Memorial Day parade for morning entertainment. Went for a long walk and read in the sun (rare here) in the afternoon. Spent the evening at a grad party my sister hosted for her ds and my dd for family. My contribution was a watermelon and a package of mini e’claires that I had buried in the freezer at Christmas to hide from my ds who eats everything. I hid them too well and forgot about them until recently.

2. Meijer opened up in our area recently and I finally received an ad and a $5 off $25 purchase coupon. Hopefully heading there tomorrow!

3. Worked 2 baseball games this weekend hopefully earning around $200 towards my dd’s college tuition.

4. Dd was invited to go to Mexico with a friend for that’s friends graduation. Only cost to us is a passport. Sign her up!!!

5. My parents drink a lot of wine. Before they visited I stocked up on wine when it was on sale + there was a rebate for $3 back per bottle. My dad felt bad that they drank all our wine and restocked us with several bottles and 2 six packs of beer for my dh. We don’t drink but a glass a couple times a week, so we should be set for the summer at this rate.


laura May 27, 2019 at 10:58 pm

1. selling useless (to us) items from the sheds and then splitting the money between savings and little fixer upper projects we wanted to do
2. cleaned out window and door runners as my maintenance project
3. Reading The Tiger Catcher from the library
4. Basing meals around what is in the freezer and cupboard with what i can get at the farmer’s market to avoid shopping centres. If i don’t see it, I don’t want it and I get to save the money for my holiday
5. negotiating with a friend to stay with her on said holiday in exchange for us financing some fun activities for her family and us whilst there. We save on accommodation and the activities are what we would do anyway, not much extra to include her and her kids!


Roberta May 28, 2019 at 7:47 am

1. Sold a vintage refrigerator glass container on ebay. Shipped in reused materials, including some bread bags because I was out of other filler.
2. Found free baby items for the shop, on Craigslist. Picked them up as I dropped my husband at work.
3. Found a birthday present for my niece at the clearance store. It stocks Costco returns and other overstocks, so things are new but…everything is very guesswork. You never know what they’ll have.
4. The shop was given two large totes. I will use them to store holiday items for the shop — and this way I won’t have to buy more totes. Any surplus items I can’t use will go to a refugee group, so I’m glad they’ll have a home.
5. Finally sold the hated washer to someone who’s very excited to get it. He paid me on Paypal, since he had forgotten his wallet. I was very happy with the modern option; he didn’t have to waste gas going home for his wallet, and I know the money is in my account!


Mary Beth Danielson May 28, 2019 at 7:53 am

1. My handy husband is installing an electrical outlet in our basement for the dehumidifier. It will be less wonky than extension cords snaking across the floor.

2. I finally (after 2.5 yrs in this house) dug out the dirt pile on the far side of the garage. Lots of trash; this pile is 12 feet from the garbage cans; they couldn’t walk that far? Also uncovered 18 landscaping rocks which I put (da-dum) in my landscape.

3.Renewed my library books. Loved Mary Doria Russell’s ‘Thread of Grace’ about the northern Italian resistance to Nazis. A rabbi, a priest, and a daredevil agnostic airplane pilot worked together to save thousands of Jewish people. Now I’m reading “Benevolence and Betrayal” by A. Stille which is the true-life accounts of these people and events. Libraries!

4. My new grandchild was born last week! We brought his big sister (2 yrs old) a thrifted Elmo lunchbox filled with sidewalk chalk. In the days we stayed with them I baked “milky bars” for my daughter; I’d first made them when she was nursing baby #1. They are filled with flaxseed meal, honey, brewer’s yeast, nuts, dried fruit, and more. I cut them into small bars, wrap individually and put in their freezer. When she gets up at night to feed the baby, she grabs one and, she says, it helps with energy and milk production.

I asked if she wanted the recipe or for me to just keep her supplied the next few months. Hah. I’m on for months of milky bars.

5. Hiked beautiful Scuppernong Nature Trail yesterday with a friend. I took many photos of wildflowers and then, since the afternoon had turned to rain, I had time to turn my pix into a collage at my website. Hugely satisfying day for me; no $ spent.


Connie C May 28, 2019 at 8:43 am

Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing.


Amanda May 28, 2019 at 9:08 am

1) We airbnbed our house over the long weekend.
2) I have been checking fb marketplace and online shops for porch furniture for a month. Even sales this past weekend couldn’t get exactly what I wanted into my price range. Then it popped up on fb marketplace last night. My husband is picking it up tonight!
3) My husband and I took time this weekend to access our May budget and write our June budget. We are going over in May, but only on things we planned to spend on anyway, but had put in the wrong month. Between me having our fourth and final child and my husband arranging to have a vasectomy to make sure he is our last child, we will have a couple of months when we have a general idea of what medical expenses will hit us, but no idea when.
4) Now that our 2019 travel is set, we are starting to dream about/plan our 2020 travel. If we can do that now it makes it way easier to get home exchanges and cheap flights.
5) I put a bathing suit in my Amazon cart because of course being postpartum means my current bathing suit doesn’t look the way I want it to. But I don’t think it makes sense to buy it. My old bathing suit fits and is fine–it just isn’t as flattering as a fancy new one with ruching on the belly would be. And having a tiny baby means I won’t be in the pool much anyway. I constantly put so much more stuff in my Amazon cart than I actually buy.


Roberta May 29, 2019 at 6:12 am

Good for you! If putting it in the cart gives you time to reflect, it’s a great strategy! Plus, if you carry a new baby in front of your postpartum tummy, no one will notice the tummy!


Mary in VA May 30, 2019 at 7:46 am

Amanda, I do the same thing with Amazon and any other shopping website. Unless it’s something I urgently need, I’ll put it in the cart so I can think about it. When I remember to come back to the site, I’ve completely forgotten what was in the cart. Ha!


Economically Proud May 28, 2019 at 10:40 am

1. laundry in cold, 1/2 detergent, hug to dry
2. found a quarter during walk
3. no drive/spend, except for DH plugging a damaged car tire. $30 for repair vs. $100 for a new tire
4. Made peach vanilla protein muffins. 20 cents for a serving with 10g of protein vs. cheapest protein bars at Aldi 35 cents a serving. Plus no preservatives or extra packaging
5. Spaghetti, garlic toast, and veggie dinner for 3 people for $1 total


Connie C May 30, 2019 at 5:02 am

Recipe for the muffins please?



Economically Proud May 30, 2019 at 6:18 am

You can use any basic muffin recipe from a source like The Tightwad Gazette, or Dining on a Dime. Then I add a scoop or 2 of vanilla whey protein powder. I also vary the fruit in the muffin depending on what I have on hand that needs to be used up. This week it was peaches. A couple of weeks ago it was strawberries.


Connie C May 30, 2019 at 5:43 pm



Jennifer May 28, 2019 at 1:34 pm

We rented a trailered boom lift to finish painting the rest of our two-story, difficult to reach, top of the house. Luckily, we rented it over the three day holiday weekend so we got a better deal…$416!…insert multiple frown faces here. This is still frugal because we worked are butts off from daylight until after dark using it for 3 entire days. We changed all our difficult to reach floodlights and replaced with LEDs, done several repairs to eaves and overhangs, cut down a few trees, trimmed some trees, removed non-usable antennas and wiring, added some decorative window boxes, and several other piddly tasks. My husband had purchased a lift off eBay but the deal fell through, thank God.
I can’t think of anything else frugal but I do have a problem to put out there since I know some of you are familiar with bees. We have thousands of bees swarming around an overhang 10 feet above our front door. I don’t want to kill them but my husband is allergic. I welcome any suggestions. I just want them to move somewhere far away from the front door. I have called local bee keepers and it will cost $200 to remove and they”may tear up the house” was the answer I got. (Insert another forms face). I’m afraid if I don’t remove them they will find there way in.


Jennifer May 28, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Frown face…geez autocorrect


Mand01 May 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Swarms are usually on their way to another place. They will most likely move on soon. They are also docile when they swarm and are unlikely to sting. Just keep out of their way.


Jennifer May 29, 2019 at 5:17 am

They are in big clumps on my overhang so I suspect it is full of them. They seem pretty docile because we are doing a lot of housework nearby and they are staying to themselves, mostly…..but one sting and we could possible anaphylaxis so I have to do something.


Mand01 May 29, 2019 at 7:15 am

As an anaphylaxis sufferer, I understand that fear very well. In that case I would pay the money and have them removed ASAP. But that’s easy for someone else to say – it’s not my two hundred bucks, or my life or death situation. Alternatively you could try calling another beekeeper for a second opinion and quote, if there is another person in your area.
We had a similar situation in a previous house. Turns out swarms will return if they can smell another swarm has visited (due to pheromones). We had to have a non-toxic anti-bee pheromone powder sprayed in the vents each year to prevent swarms being attracted to our house. Of course we could have been mightily scammed…but the bees did stop visiting. Now I’m wondering if the powder was like Homer Simpson’s anti-bear patrol.


Jennifer May 29, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Update: I have talked to several bee keepers today. They have all said that they will mostly likely charge the $200 after I explained their location. None were very interested in getting them, which is a bummer. I did talk to one who suggested building a trap that the bees can go in and not get out of. He has had success with that because the queen can’t live without the bees so she will either leave or die. Anyway, that’s where I’m at.

Susan from Cincinnati May 29, 2019 at 2:28 am

I am allergic to bees too. Pay the $200. That price is way less than a trip to the emergency room and medicines required if he gets stung.


nancy from mass May 29, 2019 at 4:22 am

I’m shocked that a local beekeeper didn’t want to get them for free. I have 2 in my area that always tell people to call them when a swarm is seen and they will rescue them for additional hives. if you know of someone in the area that sells honey from their hives, call them directly. Bees are expensive to buy for new hives, that’s why they will take them, if they can, for free.


Jennifer May 29, 2019 at 5:12 am

I was surprised also. I was given this guys name off a jar of honey. All the ones I have called have said the same thing. Some damage to the house and a comparable fee.


Rhonda May 29, 2019 at 7:19 am

You might try calling the conservation department or your local extension office to ask advice about removing the bees. They might be able to tell you how to get them removed for free. Since bees are so valuable to the environment, I would think the conservation department would want them saved. It’s worth a try.


Jennifer May 29, 2019 at 10:26 am

I called my county extension office and a lady gave me three more numbers to call. Unfornately, no one is returning my calls so far.


Gina in KY June 2, 2019 at 5:53 am

Oh, I am probably late to comment, but a local beekeeping club has boxes just for swarms and would surely come and get them. I hope instead of killing them in traps. someone will come. I do hope you are safe and that they have gone away by now.


nancy from mass May 29, 2019 at 4:23 am

I’m shocked that a local beekeeper didn’t want to get them for free. I have 2 in my area that always tell people to call them when a swarm is seen and they will rescue them for additional hives. if you know of someone in the area that sells honey from their hives, call them directly. Bees are expensive to buy for new hives, that’s why they will take them, if they can, for free.


Nancy from Mass May 29, 2019 at 4:25 am

sorry, not sure why that showed up twice


Christine May 29, 2019 at 4:15 pm

1. Received a nice check for working at the local election.
2. Planted sunflower seeds gifted by a neighbor who had dried them out from last summer’s flowers.
3. Having success with Til Debt Do Us Part’s budget, using cash for variable expenses.
4. Rescued a beautiful and perfect Boston baked Bean ceramic pot with cover from a free pile. Not sure I want to sell it though. It would look nice in my New England home.
5. Dh and I have a free date planned for Saturday…a hike down a nearby trail to a talk on a historic 4 train collision on tracks in the woods a few miles from our house. We’ll take along a picnic lunch.


Michele May 30, 2019 at 4:51 am

1. Used my gas card to get 5 cents off at Shell- and it’s the cheapest one around.
2. Packing breakfast, lunch, and snacks as per usual.
3. Making all dinners at home. Menu-planned and it makes it so much easier for me.
4. Cancelled my WW membership. Not using it.
5. Went to credit union and turned in all my change since beginning of year- 94.44! No charge at my credit union.


Connie C May 30, 2019 at 5:13 am

1. Had Ds20 order his transcript for this semester so I can send in his application for a $500 scholarship. The money is pretty much guaranteed as long as he meets the requirements (he does) and the transcript gets sent in.

2. Applied check Hubs received from a class action lawsuit as a payment to principal on our mortgage.

3. I’ve been eating pb and j sammies for breakfast. An odd idea to some, but easy to make and keeps me from stopping for something on my way into work.

4. Found out I can order stuff from Sam’s Club online and have it delivered to our house for free. Ordered some laundry detergent and other heavy items. This way I don’t have to lug them around the store, into the car and into the house.

5. Shopped Aldi as I always do for lower prices.


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