Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 31, 2019 · 83 comments

  1. My eBay woke up over the past few days, and I sold a number of things including an antique bronze griffin for $150, a $60 electric typewriter, a $21.50 mug, a $30 barkcloth curtain panel and a $15 diploma case. I also listed a few more items to keep my inventory fresh. I’ll be hitting up some neighborhood garage sales this weekend and hopefully keep up the momentum.

  2. I bought a brand new Herschel “Pop Quiz” messenger bag at Goodwill for just $6.99, as it was machine embroidered with a company logo. (They sell for $89.99 new!) Luckily, I enjoy a challenge, so it was no big deal to sew one of my husband’s soccer related patches over it and present it as a birthday gift. He’d been expressing interest in a new laptop bag for awhile, so this was a kiss of kismet.

    Click HERE to view the baggy goodness.

  3. Although my husband’s birthday was last week, we didn’t have time to celebrate with a Birthday Day of Adventures until a few days ago.

    Here’s what we did:

    – Ate brunch at Pine State Biscuits, which is one of his favorite spots. There were no discounts involved, but nothing on the menu is over $12.50.
    – Stopped into Goodwill to buy movie candy, as I had a gift card. (I also bought a cute vintage suitcase to sell.)
    – Leisurely coffees at a so-so café. My plan had been to use my husband’s  free birthday drink at Starbucks, but we somehow let it expire. NOOO!!!!!!
    – A 2 P.M. showing of the movie “Us,” which set us back $2 apiece. Such a wonderfully creepy movie! (2-for-1 tickets on Tuesday, bay-bee!)
    – Dinner at a local Japanese steakhouse. This may not sound frugal, but since I won a $50 gift certificate last week, our bill was very reasonable. Especially since they sent a text offering free sake a couple hours beforehand. Our daughter joined us for this meal.

    My husband was extremely pleased with the attention, so I floated the idea that we should do these “adventure days” every month or so. Dedicating an entire day to fun activities and delicious food is too enjoyable to ration out in a miserly fashion.

  4. My husband gifted me with a big bag of free-from-work bubble wrap, as did my friend Lise, I returned a $12.99 item to Goodwill as it wasn’t what I thought it was, (they have a great return policy) I continued reading a library book and I schlepped over to Ikea to write without home distractions as well as to enjoy their free coffee.

  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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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

cathy May 31, 2019 at 1:16 pm

1. I participated in a brief online survey for the Food Allergy & Asthma Network and earned a $5 Amazon gift card.
2. Took part in a focus group (1 hour of actual time) and received a very nice reusable water bottle and a $50 Amazon gift card. Not crazy about having to shop on the Amazon, but I can pick up some like-new second hand books I’ve been eyeing.
3. Sold miscellaneous vintage stuff at an antique mall and earned $80+. Then sold miscellaneous vintage jewelry at a different shop and earned $35.
4. At last it’s warmish, but not pouring so the house is open, and both the heat and AC are off!
5. We cancelled Netflix just before it went up to $13/month. Not huge, but still $156/year. Watching shows on Hulu, YouTube (which are free with our TV), and HBO (our nephews share their account). Reading library books and a stack of books I received for my birthday.


Isa June 1, 2019 at 9:34 am

You could also use your Amazon card to get some groceries, if there’s nothing you really need


Bethany May 31, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Family is enjoying meals from church ladies following my surgery. Feeling great! I’ll be saving the family money on my meals too now that my tummy is the size of an egg.

I have been taking stay-at-home to a new level. It’s been a zero mile week for me.

FMLA kicked in to pay my husband to be here for my recovery. We will save our vacation time for later.

A friend is dropping off her teenage daughter Tuesday and she’ll drive me to my post op appointment. She already told me not to pay her or her daughter.


Christine May 31, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Glad to hear your surgery is over and you are home recovering. Best wishes for continued recuperation. Sounds like you’re surrounded by a lot of caring people…the better to speed up your recovery! Take good care.


Bee May 31, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Wishing you the best. I’m glad you are feeling so well.


Patricia Koernig June 1, 2019 at 12:46 am

So glad you are home and recovering.


tracy June 1, 2019 at 5:05 am

Bethany glad to hear your surgery went well, best wishes for a full and speedy recovery!


Liz B. June 1, 2019 at 9:33 am

Bethany, so glad to hear things are going well. I think I started reading Katy’s blog about the time you were contemplating this surgery (maybe a tad earlier than that, I forget). So nice to see it all come to fruition for you!


Pattilou June 4, 2019 at 8:53 am

Bethany, I’m glad things went well. Wishing you a speedy recovery!


Lindsey May 31, 2019 at 1:53 pm

1. Took on four mystery shops, earning $20 worth of gas and $5 worth of product.
2. Took our truck out of storage for the summer, to haul garden stuff, and took it for an oil change mystery shop, saving us $89.99
3. Harvested our first romaine lettuce from the garden for three nights worth of salads. Seeds were free from a seed exchange, used soil from last year with some homemade compost mixed in, and a container a friend gave me. Lettuce is expensive and not that great of quality in interior Alaska, so this pleased pocketbook and palate.
4. Spent a very annoying day getting things together for a three-family garage sale this weekend. I usually do well on garage sales so worth it but I had to bribe myself with chocolate leftover from Easter.
5. Baked ciabatta from a wonderful no-knead recipe that never fails me. (


JJ May 31, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Her bread recipes are winners! I’ve checked out “Bread Toast Crumbs” from the library multiple times…


Karen Butler May 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm

I’ve only got a couple this week.

1) At the library, our turn arrived for a new movie we’ve been waiting for. Son also checked out 3 more books, including 1 by the author of the book they’ve been reading in Language Arts.

2) While grocery shopping this morning, I spotted a manager’s special, spiral sliced ham close to date but with several days remaining, for $.49 a pound instead of the usual $1.99 or more (it’s store brand, not one of the most expensive). At 75% off, I stocked up on what I was sure we could fit in the freezer and also picked one up for a fellow bargain-shopping friend who wanted one but wouldn’t be able to get there in time.


Mand01 May 31, 2019 at 2:24 pm

1. I’ve been wanting a subscription for a news service for a while but it was always too expensive. Finally the price dropped down to a special offer rate and I swooped.
2. We are building a retaining wall ourselves, paid in cash. Saves probably a thousand dollars in labour to have someone else do it.
3. We are planning meals from the freezer and pantry this week.
4. I need to pick the remaining pumpkins. So many pumpkins.
5. Usual stuff: bringing lunch, thrifted clothes, making coffee.


Connie June 1, 2019 at 6:48 am

Can I just tell you how much your pumpkin references make me smile?


Mand01 June 1, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Haha, thank you!
Our backyard really has been taken over by them this year!


Lisa M. May 31, 2019 at 3:02 pm

5FF: Commencement Edition

Due to my only child graduating from HS this week, feel like my head is spinning in circles like “The Exorcist”. Very expensive time but attempting to maintain focus on frugality nonetheless…

1. Emptying multiple small bottles of travel size shampoo into pump dispenser.

2. As mentioned previously, DD asked for & received a 25% discount from employer for “Grand Feast Sampler” for her grad party. With this serving 25 or more people, it was very expensive (by our standards at least) so this translates into a very generous discount. After briefly attending a party last year with DD where I observed worked-to-the-bones Mom slaving over a hot stove making pancakes for guests, I was committed to celebrating the last 19 years of effort (well, technically 18 years with nearly a year of pregnancy) with this kiddo. Received another 25% discount on smaller order for food to have on hand at home for friends/relatives.

3. Wore an already owned dress from GW to the ceremony. It has seen me through several graduations & weddings.

4. Use Sam’s gift card received as a volunteering thank you from school figure skating team last year to purchase 2L beverages, basic cupcakes & string lights for party. Discovered Sam’s had exactly 0% of these items, so ended up going to Wal-Mart where I located 100%. Could have saved myself a lot of time & energy going to Wal-Mart first as I already shop there on a weekly basis.

5. Brought home some leftovers after clean-up from Sr. Party after fulling stocking teachers’ kitchen & asking kids to take extra food. Each parent volunteer was asked to take remaining excess items, so ended up with grapes, Babybels, crackers & individual chips.

6. The day following graduation, submitted request for refund of lunch account balance.

7. During mortarboard toss, DD ended up with correct color of hat but wrong school tassel (magnet high school & students wear commencement regalia from home high school). Located abandoned tassel after party from correct school to place in customized space in memory frame.


Jennifer June 1, 2019 at 4:22 am

Graduation is certainly an expensive time! We had family here for a few days and I was working full time the whole week. I too made it easy on myself by purchasing convenience foods at Costco. I found the receipt today and still think it was worth it for me to have that time with my family and not cooking and cleaning.


Lisa M. June 4, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Jennifer, I’m impressed that you worked full-time during graduation week. I took the entire week off & was still struggling. Then again, many people are grandparents at my age & you look very youthful in your photo. The real kicker was DD’s 4 hour grad party which entailed a 9 hour work day for DH & myself. We are still recovering from the exhaustion but have enjoyed the food leftovers as we try to get back to normal.


A. Marie May 31, 2019 at 3:10 pm

FFT, Long Time No Post Edition:

Hi, folks. Haven’t posted in a while because life has been happening and DH’s steady downhill slide has been continuing. However, here’s the latest from Chez A. Marie:

(1) One of our longest-time mutual friends visited for 3 days the week before Memorial Day. Sadly, DH no longer really recognizes her, although he bravely tried to pretend otherwise. However, it was priceless to be able to vent to this friend in our private moments–and it remains priceless to have such a friend. A Frugal Thing, indeed.

(2) I’ve discovered the Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum on the Alzheimer’s Association website. Benefiting from the wisdom of those who have walked this path before me = also priceless.

(3) The question of what to do with DH’s long-disused large gas-powered equipment has been costing me sleep off and on for some time now. However, a major step was taken a few days ago, when one of DH’s guy friends undertook to get the larger of our two riding mowers operational and sell it for me to another of DH’s guy friends. This was done mainly because Friend 1 was tired of having Friend 2 borrowing his mower and never bringing it back. But getting $200 for an 18-year-old mower I thought I would need to have someone haul to the dump is all right by me. Whatever it takes…

(4) The 1-year-from-expiration term life insurance policy for DH that I allowed to lapse last fall rather than pay the huge premium (see last fall’s posts) just paid out a dividend of $922. Since I didn’t expect to get *any* money back from this policy, this is another unexpected win.

(5) And it’s actually stopped raining long enough in Upstate NY to let me get almost all of the garden crops planted. The next step is to start getting at the truly useless weeds (as opposed to the volunteer herbs I like to leave alone and the edible weeds I also like to keep) before they get us.


Lindsey May 31, 2019 at 6:37 pm

I wish I could give you more than a virtual hug. Your ability to remain positive during this hard time fills me with admiration. I keep you in my thoughts daily.


Patricia Koernig June 1, 2019 at 12:54 am

I know the journey is difficult, your courage and positivity inspire me. I send you my love. Grace to you always.


Jill A June 1, 2019 at 3:29 am

I’m so sorry for what you’re going through.


Bee June 1, 2019 at 3:55 am

Sending thoughts of love, strength and peace your way.


Louise C June 1, 2019 at 5:41 am

Martin Walker. Bruno series .Perigord good tec series running to make this happen. thanks for your comments.Break time


Louise C June 1, 2019 at 6:01 am

Thought you might enjoy a suggestion for a detective series. France,food and history. Not banal. hope this comes through


tracy June 1, 2019 at 8:46 am

Sending love A Marie.


Liz B. June 1, 2019 at 9:57 am

Please know you have been missed, A. Marie. As others have mentioned, you are such an inspiration to me, as I help care for my mother in law. Sending you love and light.


Alexandra Evans June 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Congrats on money for the mower!


Christine June 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Thinking of you A.Marie. It’s not an easy road at all but you are certainly traveling it with grace and patience.


Pattilou June 4, 2019 at 11:36 am

Sending good thoughts your way A.Marie.


Cindy in the South May 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm I had a colonoscopy on Thursday and a dental appointment on Friday. Since I threw up the prep on Wednesday, and have an infected tooth, my outlay on food is minimal. That is positive way to look at it. I have to see an Endodontist next week. My antibiotics from dentist were 80 bucks with insurance. Yikes! However, dentist didn’t charge me for appointment with him today, so I will count it all as a win. Do not have to have a colonoscopy for another ten years unless there are problems. That is a win also. I am going back to sleep. Y’all have a great weekend!


Diane C June 2, 2019 at 5:20 am

Oh, Cindy, what a week! I hope you’re feeling better by now!


Bee June 2, 2019 at 10:40 am

Hope Saturday and Sunday were a little better. Thinking of you.


Jessica May 31, 2019 at 3:48 pm

Starbucks birthday drinks are now only valid day of your birthday. Bummer.

I exercised my frugal muscles today by bringing packed lunches on a field trip and only doing the free historic sites. Still had a fun, educational and packed day!


Iris June 3, 2019 at 11:33 am

Yes, I have heard this too. I also believe I have heard that if you don’t buy anything from Starbucks throughout the year, they won’t even honor your birthday drink. Hopefully I am wrong about that.


Ruby May 31, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Mine are mostly from last week, as this week passed in the blink of an eye.

1. So hot and windless last Saturday that I strung up the back porch clothesline and hung my laundry out there to dry. Used the ceiling fan to keep wrinkles from baking in.
2. My household completely ran out of inkpens just as someone at work cleaned out the home of a deceased friend and brought me handfuls of unused pens.
3. Trimmed my bangs (fringe for you Brits), thus putting a haircut off a while.
4. Managed to knock $10 off grocery costs last week with a handful of store coupons.
5. A friend who is a struggling single mom discovered her 4 year old just had a massive growth spurt and shot right past the size 5 clothes she had for him. Thrift shops to the rescue! Poor boo was looking like he was poured into his clothes before we found size 6s for him.


AuntiAli May 31, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Busy but not necessarily frugal week. Tried where I could.
1. Had the HVAC company come in and do a tune up on that. Needed a part replaced and got a service agreement. Will also get my furnace tune up in the fall with the paid for agreement. Put charge on credit card to earn some points.
2. Went to therapy twice this week at the bargain rate of $16 a visit. Sad part is I’m having an awful time walking.
3. Was going to get take out one night for daughter and I but it was pouring rain so we decided to dig through the cabinets.
4. Watching some great youtube videos of a husband and wife who go dumpster diving together. They usually hit Aldi and Save-a-lot and end up with lots of fruits and some veggies.
5. Bought some water color supplies for myself to see if I have any talent, lol. At least I will have a new hobby. Cost came from my allowance


Becky June 2, 2019 at 3:28 pm

I’m strangely fascinated by the YouTube dumpster diving videos. Nice to know I’m not the only one!!!


Bee May 31, 2019 at 5:32 pm

My husband and I returned home yesterday after two weeks on the West Coast. We flew to Southern California with our younger son and drove him to the southern terminus of the Pacfic Crest Trail. He has begun another adventure.
Although these trips are seldom frugal,; air fare, hotel and rental car were primarily paid for using loyality rewards. We also made a sincere effort to keep costs in line before, during and after. This is what we did.

1) Before leaving, we ate down the food in the pantry and refrigerator. I froze some things that would not keep, and I also fixed a goody bag of fruits, vegetables and eggs for my older son. I didn’t let anything go to waste, but I came home to a nearly empty refrigerator.

2) My older son took care of our dog while we were gone. He kept him at his home for the duration of the trip saving us $30 a day in borading costs or $420. Our neighbor checked in on our cat and picked up our mail.

3) I packed my “survival bag” to take with me on the plane. Along with must-haves like contact lens and retainers. My bag included healthy gluten-free snacks, my stainless steel refillable water bottle, 2 books that I purchased at Goodwill for 20 cents a piece, magazines that I found in the library share pile, a dollar store suduko book and Advil. There wasn’t any reason to go into the airport newstand whatsoever.

4) Once in California, we stopped by a Trader Joes to buy picnic fare that we kept in the small refrigerator in our hotel room. We packed a picnic to take with us when hiking, tidal pooling and exploring. We ate a large free breakfast at the hotel and saved our money for a few good dinners out.

5) Many of the things that we did were low-cost or free. For example, I spent an entire afternoon free-of- charge exploring the rose garden in Balboa Park in San Diego. I took photographs of the blooms and logged the names and characteristics of many of the roses. Since I love flowers , this was a special opportunity for me. Roses are not easy to grow in Florida.

Before returning home, I relisted items on eBay. I had suspended my listings while away. I sold three items in the 12 hours it took to travel home. When I returned home, I packed and shipped these items in recycled packaging. I took a small appraisal job for two days next week to replenish our savings account. I restocked the frig with grocery store loss leaders today. I am getting back in the swing of our quiet, frugal life.


tracy June 1, 2019 at 8:49 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip Bee. I lived in San Diego 1985-1990 as a baby lawyer near Balboa Park and spent many happy hours there.


Cindy in the South June 1, 2019 at 9:59 am

Lovely trip! Hope your son enjoys hiking the PCT!


Midwest Beth May 31, 2019 at 7:50 pm

1. Memorial Day used our zoo membership one last time, spent lovely afternoon with my daughter and got in over 9,000 steps. We split a chicken tenders with fries lunch and drank water we brought from home and refilled the containers. Waited till we got home for ice cream even though we were really tempted. 😉
2. Made a cake in memory of my dads birthday, using a mix marked down to 79 cents because the packaging was banged up.
3. Went to Meijer’s on Saturday especially because coupons I had were expiring. Got a free chocolate milk which we use as creamer in our coffee (great in vanilla or coconut flavored coffees)and only got the few things we use a lot and fruit/veg on sale.
4. Loving the free “Lose It! App, really helping me stay on track for exercise and weight loss goals.
5. More shopping today Friday for essentials at Aldi’s and Kroger. Did the Kroger survey when I got home to earn gas points, so worth the time! Got gas this week and saved 25 cents per gallon.
6. Zoo membership expired today, really evaluated renewing really can’t swing it right now and when we did have it last year we didn’t use it enough. I decided to volunteer and filled out the application online. Excited because I will actually go as I will be committing to 50 volunteer hours a year, it involves free admission and other perks, win win all a around and will only cost me $10 for the volunteer shirt which I will track for taxes as well as mileage. Excited to give back as we have been members for so many years.
7. Spent several hours this week sorting old papers into recycle and shredding containers. City is having a recycling event tomorrow plan to bring my box of shredding to use their machine as I don’t have one along with an old computer monitor. For future I am designating a shredding box and will keep an eye out for other free shredding events.

Frugal Fail- bought milk and grapes at Aldi’s as it’s always cheaper than Kroger, not today. 🙁 Looked at the Kroger ad after going to Aldi’s to see they had half gallon milk for 89 cents and grapes for 99 cents. Bought milk and will freeze, may go back and get more grapes later in the week when we run out.


Midwest Beth May 31, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Forgot to mention just earned a $25 Lowes gift card today through Swagbucks, excited as I have been saving up to buy a dehumidifier for the basement and will add this one to the other one I have. 🙂

Also no air just windows for us. Should probably turn it on just to make sure it works! 😉


Pam E-P June 4, 2019 at 8:59 am

Frozen grapes are delicious, so you could freeze those, as well!


Norma June 1, 2019 at 3:26 am

Just back from an 8-day bus trip which, in itself, may not be considered frugal but our frugality in our everyday life allows the luxury of travelling, which is our passion.
1. Trip itself was completely paid for in advance – no charging.
2. Incidental expenses were paid for in part with a $100 gift card received from points on my credit card (which is paid in full each month).
3. Most meals we had to pay for were split between the two of us. Portions were huge.
4. Purchased three Christmas gifts at heavily reduced price. Only thing I bought for myself was a Christmas ornament (which I collect from our travels). Stayed away from all the “made in China” items passed off as souvenirs.
5. Found a great sale on clothes (haven’t bought any in a long time) at department store. Got 4 pairs capris and three blouses for less than $80.
6. Customer service issue at said department store. Complained to corporate and they said they will send me a gift card. We will see how much it is.
7. Found a penny on the bus and a quarter in the parking lot.


Midwest Beth June 1, 2019 at 10:15 am

Where did you go?


Jill A June 1, 2019 at 3:50 am

We had breakfast at Pine State Biscuits when we were in Portland a couple years ago. It was so good.

1. I did a mystery shop for free food with my daughter. We shared fries and a drink to keep the total down. Not a huge savings but it was fun.
2. I got my yearly invoice for propane and I used 200 gallons less this year. Turning the thermostat down paid off. I will purchase less excess since I don’t think we’ll use it all. I paid $500 less than last year. Yay!!
3. I clipped my dogs nails saving myself $5 which is the going rate at the dog park.
4. I found some unused exercise bands in the closet and listed on Facebook. They sold the next day. Money in, crap out.
5. I bought flowers for my pots and used a gift card from Christmas. I bought inexpensive herbs and bedding plants and just one showstopper for eat pot keeping the total way down. Unfortunately the coupon I had expired.
6. Did my laundry from vacation and hung it too dry. The dress I bought at a thrift store for $5 was a great one for vacation. It took up very little space in my suitcase, came out wrinkle free and washed up perfectly.
7. I took my daughter garage sale-ing yesterday for fun. She picked up a couple books for $1 total. I spent $2.60 and bought a couple stocking stuffers, a couple things to sell on Ebay and a milk glass vase to hold my kitchen brushes by the sink.


Jill A June 1, 2019 at 3:55 am

7. I used 2 1/2 bags of potting soil in my pots that I purchased at a garage sale last year for $5. It wasn’t quite enough but I still saved a good amount of money. I don’t know how dirt can be so expensive.


Christine June 3, 2019 at 3:13 pm

I always wonder about that too. I guess they have to pay to package and ship it in addition to having a place to get it from. I used to live beside a peat bog. I would shovel it into my wheelbarrow and haul it up to my yard, mix it with the soil and needless to say, it made for a beautiful garden. I sure miss that peat bog and the house I lived in which was my great grandmother’s.


tracy June 1, 2019 at 5:18 am

1. Enjoying this Spring season when the whether is such that we need to use neither heat nor AC.
2. Grocery shopped yesterday. Filled in on essentials, took advantage of laundry detergent and bread on sale to stock up (6 bottles of laundry detergent, 5 loaves of whole wheat bread), no meat (need to eat down freezer) but two packs of tofu, lots of avocadoes on sale, one perennial on sale for 6.99 that actually has three plants in it (columbine) lots of yogurt on sale and various produce items. Total $70 and we should be good for the week.
3. The usual free/low cost entertainment – Netflix, library books, runs with friends. Was gifted tickets for Thorns tomorrow (professional women’s soccer team) going with young adult kids.
4. Hubs and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary next winter (second marriage) and I just paid a deposit on a very reasonable condo in Maui easy walk to beach for a week in January. This will enable us to eat many meals in and is in an area that has reasonably priced restaurants not just high end ones. Need to check and see if my credit card will entitle me to an annual companion fare for plane tickets. By planning in advance we can minimize costs and will have trip paid for before we go.
5. Working this weekend so taking food in to office with me to avoid spending money. Also going to park at my athletic club and walk to office to avoid parking fee.


Momma L June 1, 2019 at 11:03 am

1. Went to HT on super doubles to get groceries. So excited when I can pair them with a BOGO or sale price and its something I usually get anyway.
2. Found 2 heads of cauliflower on the rewrap rack for a dollar.
3. Found a new looking Coldwater Creek blouse at GW, even the cashier said it was beautiful, for under 4 dollars.
4. I’ve been wanting a wooden lazy susan for when the grandkids are here, found one that matched our table in great condition at GW.
5. Harvesting lots of lettuce for our dinners and lunches, yum. Meal planning with all that lettuce.


Jennifer June 1, 2019 at 11:20 am

Took my dd to college orientation.

1) I opted to stay in the dorms as well rather than a hotel. Savings of at least $60. I did have to pay for the dorm, but it was half the cost of a hotel.

2) We used dd’s member discount to treat ourselves to Starbucks. other than that all food was eaten on campus in the dining halls. Packed snacks and munched on the way home to avoid eating dinner on the road. Got home at 8 pm and ate leftovers.

3) Found $0.50 on the ground at a rest area.

4) Used a coupon to save $3 off a college hat for my dh for Father’s Day. He likes to have a hat from the colleges the kids go to.

5) Dd wants to participate in a pre-semester program on leadership. The 3 day leadership program was going to cost $125 + $30 a night dorm fee. The Women’s leadership program is free and there is only a 1 night dorm fee. Savings of close to $200!


Economically Proud June 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm

1. No AC and minimal fan usage
2. Reading library books, and youtube for entertainment
3. No driving or spending day
4. Printed coupon for free Dunkin Donut drink, I never buy drinks out, so this will be a real treat when I use it while running errands
5. Made a pot of bean/veggie soup- used a couple of items given to us, and some produce from our garden. Only had to add 56 cents worth of items to pot. Made a total of 8 lunch servings for DH & I this week


Gina in KY June 1, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Well, it’s been ages since I reported my activities here. Life in 2019 has been anything, but boring. Not only did I learn I have a breast cancer mutation (BRCA2), but I found out I have breast cancer. It is early and will be taken care of in a couple of weeks via (a horrible and scary) surgery, but I suppose this was the most frugal way to find out you have a serious thing going on. I highly recommend screenings, especially if you have a family history like I do (although, that is still not a solid indicator). OK, onward…

1. I went to Australia in May. This was not frugal, BUT, I did shop around for best flight deals and hotels and did not spend much there at all. I have a boyfriend there, so I have lodging for the most part (although we did travel along the coast). He is my new motivation to be frugal and save for my next visit (in 2020; it’s his turn to come here next).
2. I am eating almost exclusively at home these days. After the diagnosis, I really got serious about my nutrition. I am completely vegan now (no more dairy cheating). On top of this, I am using what I have before I buy anything more and this has reduced my wasteful food habits. I’ve also lost nearly 30 lbs. I also continue to take my $7/month dance lessons at the community health center and walk/hike.
3. Purging, purging, purging…I see not only getting my debts paid off as important, but I sense I am entering a new phase in my life and I want less stuff. I want to buy less stuff. I want to care for less stuff. I want to be able to move or try something new when I want without being tied down by stuff. I cringe at all the money spent on shit, really. So, this has meant ridding myself of old hobby materials (time to admit I am never going to be a sewer, for example), clothing, books, a saddle (yeah, no horse in this girl’s future anymore) and other anchors. I’ve donated most of it with a receipt, but I also have a pile to sell as well.
4. I bring my water bottle everywhere. I do not buy drinks out anymore unless really, really desperate.
5. Picked up the summer “cultural pass”, so my son and I can do all the free activities (e.g. museums, zoo, botanical gardens, plays, etc) around the city this summer.


tracy June 1, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Gina breast cancer SUCKS but I am so glad you caught it early. I am sending lots of positivity your way. It sounds like you are making some very life-affirming choices what will carry you through this and out the other side to a very meaningful life!


Cindy in the South June 1, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Virtual hugs.


Patricia Koernig June 2, 2019 at 12:48 am

Sending you much love. I hope for a speedy recovery from your surgery. Simplifying life as much as possible after life changing events can do wonders for the spirit. It has for me.
Grace to you Gina.
Patricia/ Fl


Ava June 2, 2019 at 5:14 am

Gina, been there and done that. Mine was also found with a mammogram when it was very small. I always nag my friends to get their screenings. Remembering something my surgeon said when I was diagnosed has helped me. “You are giving up a year of your life for treatment, so you can have more years.” It is a journey but you will be fine at the end.


Gina in KY June 2, 2019 at 5:24 am

Thank you, All, for the lovely support! I also wish those of you who have marched before me continued healing. <3


Bee June 2, 2019 at 5:26 am

Sending you thoughts and wishes of healing, health and strength.


Gina in KY June 2, 2019 at 5:27 am

Lost my comment, Ha! I want to thank you, All, for the lovely words of support. I also want to wish those of you who have bravely marched ahead of me on this journey thoughts for continual healing. <3


Pattilou June 5, 2019 at 5:50 am

Gina, I am so glad you caught it early. Wishing you the best.


Vickey June 7, 2019 at 5:23 am

Gina, I’m so glad you caught this early! And go, you, for making the effective dietary and other changes that will support your return to vibrant health! I highly recommend Dr. Greger’s site (where all the content is free!), nutrition

Your #3 really resonated with me. I look around here and see very little I love enough to have to clean, insure, store. Now that there’s more room in the guest room after the garage sale, I’m winnowing vigorously again, pulling things to pass along to a friend who’s opening a secondhand shop. And loving the feeling of spaciousness in my modestly-sized home.


Trisha Lorenzen June 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Just stopping by to say I love, love, love your blog. I too live here in Portland (well just outside in Newberg) so your suggestions and adventures are really doable for me and my family! Thanks for sharing your secrets and knowledge. Keep it up!



Alexandra June 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm

1. Totally enjoyed The Library Book! Thanks for the recommendation. We have a brand new branch library here in Wilmington NC and this book reminded me how great that is
2. I ordered a used book from Amazon and they sent the wrong version. I emailed and was given credit and told I could keep it. Gifting to family member.
3. I got a free yearly service of online grocery shopping at a local store. Their prices aren’t as good as Aldi but they are very nice company. I was grateful for being able to just swing in and pick up groceries without leaving my car.
4. Spent afternoon with a neighbor who is 90 years old this fall. She told me about getting electricity when she was 20 years old! I brought her a grilled hot dog because we learned we both love them. She is free entertainment!
5. Read library books, cooked at home, took care of my self and my home with a grateful heart.


Christine June 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Love all 5 of your posts and especially #4. I thought I was the only one who loved hanging out with elderly people. My Mom told me I loved visiting all the elderly folks in our neighborhood when growing up…in fact she would frequently “find” me visiting my great great uncle who lived next door as he sat in the yard in his Adirondack Chair!


Haley June 1, 2019 at 6:06 pm

We got free entrance into the Rose Festival City Fair carnival downtown by signing up for Getaround online. I read it on the advertisement on the Rose Festival website. Saved us $16 at the entrance! The worker at the front entrance hadn’t even heard of it yet… I wish more people knew about that!


stephanie zee June 1, 2019 at 8:27 pm

1. i bought a little skein of rain-colored sock wool on sale at Micheal’s and patched holes in two of my favourite pairs of jeans, making them usable again (i used cross hatching techniques – they are still very pliable, and pretty dark blue/purple..

2. i used my amazon unlimited to read two books i’ve been wanting to read

3. i hatched my own baby chicks in an incubator instead of buying new ones this year to supplement my hens…

4. found new nike runners for my 7 year old for 6.50 at Once Upon a Child

5. I remembered twice this week to use the instant pot to cook up a pot of quinoa (once) and brown rice(once) so i had grains to make filling vegan lunches instead of buying something unhealthy when i am in town…

6. i borrowed a neighbour’s rototiller to get my garden in this year! It gave me a chance to see if i really do need one, and if so, what size i would need…


Mary in VA June 2, 2019 at 6:01 am

Your Goodwill sells candy? I always suspected the Goodwills in your area blow away the Goodwills in I know that for a fact!


ouvickie June 2, 2019 at 8:35 am

Happy Birthday to your Hubby, Katy!
1) I took this past week off as vacation, but I was actually helping my daughter and her hubby move. He borrowed a passenger van from his employer and we moved things each day, as we cleaned and went through things she needed to get rid of. This has really motivated me to declutter and sell off things I don’t need.
2) We did eat take-out one day, but it was cheap items off the Taco Bell menu. After we were done, on Friday, she bought me lunch at a local Mexican restaurant chain. YUMMY!
3) The Navy Blue Angels were performing at the AFB Air show yesterday and my granddaughters and I spotted them on my way to take them home yesterday. We stopped in the parking lot of a nearby church and watched them perform for FREE! The girls were thrilled – it was so cool, those pilots are AWESOME!!
4) There were a few organizing type items my daughter decided to get rid of that I kept, since I’m planning to reorganize the house this Summer.
5) I don’t think we’ll need many groceries this month, since I have quite a stash in the freezer. Plus, my daughter decided to gift me with bags of different beans she wasn’t planning to keep – so FREE food too!!


Bee June 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm

The Blue Angels are amazing. They perform in nearby town annually. It is always exciting to see them perform!


Kathy June 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

1. I listed and sold a number of items for friends. One friend netted $300 another $325.
2. Wrote a grant for a local food pantry=$350
3. Regifted a couple of new items to friends
4. Worked my fund my fun gig
5. Started a bag for donations


Cygnet Brown June 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

1. My husband bought steaks last night and grilled them. He got them fresh cut from a butcher (no plastic). 2. This morning we had the leftovers cut in strips and eaten for breakfast in tortillas. 3. Used corn husks as from same meal last night as mulch on one of my potato and tomato plants. 4. Got seeds to plant herbs for my patio garden (plan to plant them this week. 5. Got a few things that they were going to Throw out at work including 4 pounds of sugar and ten pounds of flour


Christine June 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Nice score on the flour and sugar!


Jill June 3, 2019 at 2:32 am

1. Made the trek from NC to Ohio to visit with extended family, who we rarely get to see, and attend a graduation. Split the driving, gas and hotel with family ( my BIL and SIL)
2. Helped neighbors with planning a big trip and they gifted me with 2 bottles of wine.
3. Have been saving all my magazines to read for another trip I’m leaving on (I use my frequent flyer miles to purchase the magazines)
4. Have earned over $100 at a local consignment store. Stuff out, money in.
5. Eating down the pantry as we are leaving for vacation.


Roberta June 3, 2019 at 6:17 am

1. Saw Fiddler on the Roof this weekend, thanks to a Christmas gift from my mom. I *cried* during the show, but it was wonderful. We took the trolley down town for the first time in years, and loved it! This weekend there was a major marathon through downtown, so traffic would have been crazy. For less than the cost of parking, we showed up unharried and save gas.
2. Reading The Library Book and watching Star Trek Discovery at your recommendation, both from the library. Enjoying both!
3. Made refried beans from scratch for the kids, while we were at the theatre (they made taco salad for themselves), and pumpkin muffins out of leftover Halloween pumpkins in the freezer.
4. Picked up dog food at the scratch-and-dent store, with a 20% off coupon.
5. Picked up a coffee table and a bunch of bags of free clothes for my niece’s refugee group, while garage sale-ing this weekend.

I love doing the FFTs! I was feeling pretty bad, because we ate out at Chipotle twice this week, and drinks out once, but this exercise reminds me that I’m doing a lot to compensate for splurges. (Ok, maybe not a lot this week, but something!)


Jenelle June 3, 2019 at 6:22 am

1. My daugther’s dance class is ending for the season! Thankfully, the tuition ends too! (We are unsure if she will go back in the fall)
2. I told myself I didn’t need to go to yard sales this weekend. As much as I wanted to, I showed myself my check book and slapped some sense into my brain!
3. While not completely frugal, my van’s inspection was up and I imagined a hefty bill from the mechanic. Amazingly enough, I only needed new tires. Again, not a full frugal win, but much better than I was anticipating.
4. While sourcing for my Ebay store, I found a stash of vintage still in the package barbie, ken and skipper clothing. I bought every piece they hae and the first one I listed on ebay sold for 5 times my money within two days. If some of it doesn’t sell, my daughter will always play with it!
5. We are headed off to Great Wolf Lodge next week to celebrate our 10 year anniversary but still do something for/with our kids. We used a groupon for the package and have started to plan on what food to bring.


Joy Hargett June 3, 2019 at 10:37 am

1. Wrote out a check and mailed it for our water bill, instead of paying online, which adds about $2-3 cost to the bill each month. Since they provide the envelope (which I have plenty of anyway), the only cost is the stamp and could walk to the mailbox.
2. Again, running errands, I was tempted with getting a Starbucks Cold Brew, but we had left over coffee at home, so I made my own latte version before I left home. Used some milk ( Kroger quart for 50 cents, due to a quick expiration date) and sweetner and probably saved $3-5 depending on size.
3. Returned an item back to Kohl’s that only cost $6.5o, but it didn’t fit, so it was worth the trip.
4. Consolidated errands and found a post office on the way (for another item), which saved gas and time. Had to get something notarized, and our bank does it for free. Bank also has free coffee, however, I had my iced latte so I passed on that.
5. Stopped at Goodwill to get some greeting cards for a friend, which they occasionally have. No cards, but instead got 2 books for 25 cents each (one is a travel book from 2014 and has info on a place my husband will be going out of the country), a package of pencils for 79 cents (we never have pencils at the house) and a gardening tool for $3.99, which normally sells for $10-15.
6. Also, using up a lot of food in the fridge and freezer before an out of town trip, so nothing goes to waste.
7. Make marinara sauce and will cook up more of the almost 300 tomatoes I have picked this season. I don’t can, but they can put into the freezer and later used in soups, etc. Have given away many, but still more to deal with.


Economically Proud June 3, 2019 at 3:18 pm

1. Went to grocery store, purchased 27 cans of beans, and vegetables, 10 boxes of pasta, and a pack of 6 bagels for a total of $15
2. While out for errands, I used a coupon for a free birthday beverage at Dunkin Donuts. Delicious but absolutely terrible for the body!
3. Stopped at library and picked up a few books
4. No AC on
5. Cancelled a camping trip and planned a day trip since DH could not get 3 consecutive days off from his job.


Christine June 3, 2019 at 3:36 pm

1. While grocery shopping at Market Basket which has really low prices I took advantage of their free coffee. It was delicious and nice to sip as I shopped.
2. Neither heat nor AC on. Love this time of year in New England.
3. DH and I went to a free program on a trail in the woods all about a 4-train collision that happened there in 1891. The old tracks have been made into a hiking trail which we walked to from a trail near our house. No gasoline involved and we refrained from buying a t-shirt.
4. Reading up a storm with library books.
5. No purchases except groceries and gasoline.


Jessica June 4, 2019 at 7:30 am

This is a frugal to-do rather than a done list:
1) Take sticker off of computer and bring to computer resale shop
2) Post newly painted tables on local furniture sale page.
3) I have been bad about prepping meals because of travel and a lot going on, which leads to more spending on breakfast/lunch than I like, but I have still been good at keeping dinners in and defrosted a bunch of things, so that I will be organized this week.
4) Wash beachchairs that I picked up curbside and post on FB Marketplace
5) Sand and repaint lamp that did not turn out well the first time. Move lamps around to avoid buying new lamps!


April June 4, 2019 at 9:48 am

It has been a week -or month- of frugal fails for me. I am spending all summer in Spain (yay!) both studying and then nannying. The studying part was already expensive but I try to do best I can in not eating out since I have a host mom and being somewhat careful. Alas, I have been ripped off too many times to count and have grown a little frustrated..

My roommate asked me to spot her some money for ice cream, which I did, expecting to be paid back. It was only like 3 euros, so I don’t know if it’s inappropriate to ask for her to pay me back… However, I just realized that the money exchange I used charges COMMISION (gasp) so I got about 69 euros for $120 of Us cash. I should have received $100…


Katy June 4, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Just the other day my mother-in-law was telling me about Fiestaware and how to tell when it was made.
1. Husband is almost done with the DIY roof replacement. The scraps of metal roofing left we’ll take to turn in for cash, I don’t known if it’ll be much, but we’ll see.
2. I bought a cart full of groceries for $76. A lot were sale items or plain ol’ every day cheap food, like rice, pasta, Ramen, potaotes, bananas, ect..
3. We’re combining my husband going to another town for training with a cheap getaway. We were going to camp, but instead found an Airbnb closer and not much more expensive. I’m packing food so we don’t eat out much if at all.
4.I just tried a root dye touch up product my mother-in-law told me about. It comes in a bottle that has 2 holes for each dye product, then you mix them. The idea is you just mix as much as needed and don’t have to waste any since once mixed you can’t save it. It says it can be used for 3 uses. I expect this to cut my hair dye costs a lot. BONUS, it’s got a $4 rebate on ibotta right now!
5. We bought some mens tshirts, 2 pairs of mechanic coveralls, some boys shorts, a girls dress, and a dress for me (should a tried it on, it was too tight) at Goodwill


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