Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 4, 2019 · 48 comments

  1. I sold a few things including a desk that I got for free, some earrings, (again, free) a Fiestaware plate, an Arthur CD-Rom I plucked from a Seattle free pile, a pair of Keen sandals and some books at Powell’s bookstore.

  2. I went to a neighborhood association’s garage sale day on Saturday, but deliberately went at the end of the day when people stick “free” signs on any unsold stuff.

    I brought home:
    – A desk, which I immediately sold for $20.
    – Two boxes of books which garnered me $21.50 in store credit at Powell’s bookstore.
    – A $349 Rejuvenation Lighting porch light which I’ve listed for sale on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Next Door. (Gotta cast a wide net!) I’d install it on my own home, but I already have a gorgeous Rejuvenation porch light that I bought years ago from their seconds department.
    – New (to me) cute pillows for my porch furniture.
    – A bunch of random earrings.
    – A stack of high end Art magazines, which I’ve listed on eBay.
    – A bunch of miscellaneous stuff including an ornate beaded purse, framed art, a pretty beaded barrette, a small vintage Ironstone flowerpot, a dress, a pair of jeans, a Pendleton wool skirt, jeans for my daughter, three blank notebooks, an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” DVD and a small decorative barrel and some other stuff that slipped my mind.

  3. I transplanted rooted spider plant babies into the free vintage flowerpot that I picked up on Saturday. I’ll give it to my friend Sue as a house warming gift.

  4. I redeemed two get-2-free-tickets-with-gasoline-purchase vouchers for an upcoming Thorn’s women’s soccer game, I stuck a free Powell’s sticker over a free notebook’s distasteful Well’s Fargo logo, I’m re-reading a library copy of Cait Flanders’ The Year of Less, I arranged multiple free USPS pickups to avoid driving to the post office, I hung laundry on the clothesline and I binge watched the first season of Killing Eve through my generous friend’s Hulu account.

  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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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

WilliamB June 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm

I’m a huge fan of giving away plants that I rooted from plants I already own. The plant rooting is free (and most of the plants came from other people’s rootings), the pot is free (they’re frequently to be found on curbsides), and you can use garden soil if you choose it.

I often have a few plants growing specifically to give away at a later date.


Lisa M. June 4, 2019 at 1:27 pm

5FF: Post-Commencement Edition

No guarantees that this post will not be a rambling mess but forcing those brain cells to function.

1. Survived commencement & grad party while trying to keep focus on frugality. Despite lack of final accounting, saved substantial amount by employing various $ saving tactics: Reserved lake park shelter 2 months in advance; used DD’s employee discount to cater grad party (25%) & for food on hand at home (20%); utilized free items on Next Door (chafing holders/pans, liquid fuel, tablecloth & cups}; purchased bulk of items at Dollar Store (tablecloths, plates, napkins, silverware, centerpieces, balloon, streamers, bubbles, card box) & Aldi (bottled water); used gift card to purchase pop, cupcakes & lights; refilled generic congrats balloon from DD’s 16th bday; repurposed wedding sign with last names at park; used garage sale tables for food & memory display; DH developed power point presentation for entertainment; used new customer discount (25%) for photo invitations at same time ordering image prints to qualify for free shipping.

2. Boxed up leftover food for dear friend with financial challenges & have a large amount of food remaining that our family has been enjoying.

3. Out-of-town family stayed with local family member, saving them hotel costs.

4. Received bills from provider & physician from recent preventive visit that reflected no insurance despite presenting insurance card during check-in. Contacted both & provided insurance info that they should have already recorded.

5. Planning to enjoy complimentary fine dining meal for retirement planning solo tonight while DH has party leftovers.


Mary in Maryland June 4, 2019 at 2:29 pm

1. I have always disagreed with Katy about the expensiveness of knitting and quilting. These hobbies are as amenable to non-consumerism as reading or watching movies. My time bank had a craft swap on Sunday. I loaded up my old lady hand cart and walked over three bags of subpar quilting fabric that has drifted into my life. My mantra was “It is better to give than to receive.” I planned to collapse my hand cart and walk home with nothing.
2. Instead, I got twenty skeins of Rowan tweed lambswool in a dark emerald. Swoon. I have wanted to make a sweater for years but was/am unwilling to pay what they are asking for yarn. I’ve spent a lovely couple of days swatching—looking to see how this yarn works up and drapes and what pattern might work best for it.
3. Other finds– 800 grams of navy fingering wool (A second sweater?), 4 skeins of malabrigo lace weight lavender wool, and three other woolens in colors I love for shawls or mittens. I’ve been grinning ever since the swap.
4. I picked up a ¾ full gallon jug of very emollient body lotion and some knitting needles for a friend.
5. The event was heavier on donors that keepers. I was encouraged to stuff a large bag with high quality acrylic for my church group that makes things for the homeless and can’t afford the “good stuff.” My cart was overloaded—I hitched a ride home with a neighbor.
6. Our fifth loaf of bread machine bread is moments away from finishing. A very cheap bedtime snack for the Mister.
7. I’m about to auto renew our AAA membership. Our car is a 2005 Prius. Having backup seems worthwhile.
8. Nothing vulgar for me.


Katy June 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm

I don’t remember ever blogging about knitting and quilting being expensive.


mary in Maryland June 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm

You mentioned it very early. The context was about your not wanting to adopt any expensive hobbies.


Lisa M. June 4, 2019 at 6:17 pm

It’s difficult to envision kitting & quilting as expensive, considering the myriad of expensive hobbies out there. Also, if items are made versus purchased, wouldn’t that be the epitome of non-consumerism?


Naiveorbrave June 4, 2019 at 10:37 pm

Buying new fabric is more expensive than buying a ready made t shirt. Plus a lot of one time purchases in the Form of sewing tools.

Once you did the one-time-purchases and do up cycling/scavange wool and fabric it gets cheaper.

marilyn June 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

I don’t know about quilting, but knitting and crocheting can be an inexpensive hobby. There are always sales on the supplies and I regularly see real bargains at yard sales from people who thought they were going to do a project and never followed through. Even buying new yarn, I was able to make a nice baby blanket for my niece’s new baby for about $7.


Nancy from mass June 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Quilting can be very expensive depending on the fabric you choose. If you go with the cheaper fabric from Joannes or Walmart, you can make a fairly inexpensive quilt top for a full-size bed. From my sons graduation gift, I made a king size quilt out of batik fabric. That plus the batting (wool) plus the backing plus my friend doing the professional quilting to quilt together in all cost me roughly $400. But this is a quilt he will have the rest of his life.

That’s why whenever anyone asked me if I could “make a quilt for them “I asked them if they want to pay me $1500 to do so. You can buy cheap quilts and coverlets at the store but if you want a quilt from me, it’s going to cost you!

(Before anyone thinks I make really expensive quilts all the time, that is not the case.)


Mary in Maryland June 5, 2019 at 6:34 pm

I have really good fabric, but it’s almost all been pre-owned. I’m the one you call when a quilter is down-sizing or has died to clean out the sewing room. I move most of the yardage on to the refugee community, but I keep the scraps. My hobby actually makes me a few hundred dollars a year. And I am drooling as I swatch this fabulous yarn. I’m trying to figure out what guage is most attractive before I pick a pattern. Also having hours of fun looking at DK weight cardigans on Ravelry.


Nancy from mass June 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm

What a great score on the yarn! As a fellow knitter, I would’ve drooled over all the yarn you were able to bring home. I’m sure you’ve been enjoying making swatches and planning the sweater you’re going to knit for yourself


Mand01 June 4, 2019 at 2:43 pm

1. Picked my last pumpkins. Swapped one with my neighbour for a bag of Jerusalem artichokes. Made one into pumpkin purée and froze in one cup measures. The last two are curing on the table outside.
2. Made a big pot of minestrone soup and my husband and I have eaten it three nights in a row along with his homemade sourdough bread. The kids have been eating dinner out of the freezer stash. No cooking, and healthy dinners.
3. Watched the full season of Nick Hornby’s State Of The Union on free Australian streaming service. Really good. Each episode only 12 minutes long.
4. Still reading from my bookshelf, but I did get a free Kobo e-book download when I signed up for a super cheap news subscription recently. So I’ll read that at some point.
5. Planted out all the seedlings I grew from seed. Slower but cheaper.


Yvette newton June 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Try a Jerusalem artichoke soup recipe. I found one on the net with coconut cream and ginger in it and it was delicious topped with coriander. A very different creamy soup for winter. Yvette


Mand01 June 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Yes I was thinking a soup – will look for a recipe


Kathy June 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

1. Worked my fund my fun gig and was also treated to breakfast
2. Received a small check from sell CDs we weren’t enjoying any more from second spin
3. Listed more items on eBay, etc
4. Used Katy’s idea to Franken envelop for a sale
5. Picked up 2 free audio books from the library


K D June 4, 2019 at 3:59 pm

1. I brought home a succulent from a give away box where I volunteer. I’d put in some stuff that we no longer needed. My husband was thrilled.

2. I bought a couple giant cantaloupes. Each one yielded several cups of delicious fruit (I cut them and then store them in the refrigerator).

3. I’ve been reading and listening to ebooks borrowed from the library. I really enjoyed Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Today I stopped by on my way home to pick up season 8 of Call the Midwife.

4. The weather has been great for working in the yard and tidying up outside. Free activity and exercise.

5. I joined a friend for a night of crafting and chatting. We used supplies we already had and accomplished something while socializing.



Christine June 5, 2019 at 1:32 pm

When my daughter was a single mom her and her friend, another single mom, used to get together every Friday night at each other’s houses on Friday nights to do crafts and projects. They would buy a couple of frozen pizzas for the kids and have cheap fun together. Your #5 made me think of it.


Pattilou June 4, 2019 at 5:08 pm

1. I Put air in tires of my car and cleaned the inside. I used a lint brush on the seats so I only had to pay for one use of the vacuum at the car wash. I also didn’t need to wash the car because Mother Nature has been taking care of that lately. Hopefully my good car maintenance will keep my 12 year old car going for a few more years.
2. I Found 11 cents
3. Work provided brunch on Sunday and there were enough leftovers for dinner and breakfast on Monday.
4. I bought flowers that were on sale. I got 4 hanging plants and 4 nine packs of flowers for the price my friend paid for one hanging basket. I hung one plant, used two of the hanging plants and the packs to fill two big planters and gave a hanging plant to my neighbor.
5. Trying to find small ways to save to offset some higher utility costs (like avoiding take out when I was on my way home tonight, even though I was exhausted. Normally I would never have the air on as much as I have since I got the pups. I also am washing a lot more laundry.


Jennifer June 4, 2019 at 6:07 pm

1) Even though I am not the best (or even a good) seamstress, I hemmed my dd’s new romper myself and it came out nice. This was bought on deep clearance at American Eagle and I have tailored in in 3 different areas to make it fit. This should last her years as a semi-nice outfit for those in-between occasions that are not casual but not dressy either. She is heading off to college in the fall.
2) Today was a no-spend day for me, yay! Hoping for at least one more this week.
3) 2 of the people that live here are out of town, so the remaining people have been scrounging on leftovers and meatless meals for much of the past 5 days. I have cooked twice and generated leftovers each time. We are plugging away at a not very good and seeded watermelon (dh was told to get seedless). ugh, it’s like it will never end. I’m used to my family eating half a watermelon with every dinner in the summer. This one has lasted 5 days so far. I’m determined to eat it all though.
4) Dd saved her own money for 2 years and purchased a computer for college. I chipped in to cover the Apple Care package and she should be set for at least the 4 years of college. My MacBook is going strong and we are 6 years in so far. Apple computers are well worth the money.
5) Got myself organized and worked the coupon deals at CVS this week. Ended up with a bottle of generic Aleve, a bag of Tide Pods (college kid), my favorite chocolate covered almonds, 3 face masks (clearance), and a large box of Benadryl for just $11. I needed the real Benadryl for my dairy allergy child that is traveling to Mexico with a friend. Normally I buy generic, but this was on sale and it is worth it to have the name brand in this instance.


Lindsey June 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Slice thinly and dehydrate—even the most tasteless watermelon will yell uncle and release its deliciousness.


Jill A June 5, 2019 at 3:10 am

1. My daughter dropped her laptop. We had purchased a Premier Warranty thank goodness and Dell will repair or replace for free. Unfortunately I had forgotten about the warranty and had dropped it at a local repair place. They charged me to look at it. Fortunately they told me it was too damaged to economically repair otherwise I could have spent hundreds.
2. I listed pieces and parts of a robotic pool vacuum that is broken and irrepairable on ebay. I sold one part already for $90. I boxed it in a free USPS Priority mail box and ordered a pick up at my home for free so no money spent on gas.
3. I took my daughter to the $5 Tuesday AMC movies. I received a free popcorn for my birthday.
4. I used DSW rewards and my birthday coupon to buy my daughter a pair of shoes she wanted for her birthday.
5. I purchased a discounted $25 gift card for Christmas with my swagbucks points. Well on my way to receiving $500 in free gift cards for my kids for Christmas.


tracy June 5, 2019 at 5:09 am

1. Been working like a maniac. Little money spent this past weekend because no free time. Took food to office so not tempted to buy. Did have a great time at thorns soccer game on Sunday afternoon — gifted tickets in the “club” area so free food and sodas included! Also parked for free. So fun.
2. Grocery shopped yesterday. Mainly produce and milk. Plus a few buy 5 save $5 items that we already need/use (breakfast cereal, tortillas, Peanut butter, jam, stain remover). Was tempted to get takeout for dinner but got a frozen chicken pot pie at grocery instead for $2.50. Restocked avocadoes — last day of .88 sale for nice really large ones.
3. Have made tank of gas last over two weeks, been taking bus to/from work many days.
4. Canceled one summer school class for DD in time to get full refund.
5. Saturday night was really tired after working most of day and not up for cooking. Hubs suggested takeout and I sent him to Costco to pick up a $10 pepperoni pizza from food court. They have great pizza, it’s huge and plenty for 3. And you can’t beat the price.


Bee June 5, 2019 at 5:39 am

What awesome finds in the free piles! It is really quite amazing, Katy.
I am getting slowly getting back into the rhythm of my frugal life after being away from home most of the month of May. Here are my FFT:
1) I sorted through my closet this week. I felt like I had a tons of clothes and not a thing to wear. I made a list of needs, but I also disposed of many unwanted items. I divided them into three groups – consignment, Goodwill, and textile recycling. I decided to sell my consignment items outright for $85 rather than waiting for them to sell. Last time I waited for them to sell; however, I earned almost exactly the same amount that I would have if I sold them outright.

2) I garbage picked a beautiful wrought iron umbrella stand.

3) I have been reading The Goldfinch which I picked up at Goodwill for $0.20. Locally, the Goodwill sells paperbacks at the low price of 5/$0.99.

4) I used filled up my gas tank using a $50 gift card that I purchased for only $40. I also signed up to save 25 cents a gallon when I buy gas with my Chase card.

5) I have been doing all the usual things – eating at home, drinking primarily filtered tap water, brewing my own coffee, and enjoying streamed television. I also have been running indoors at the YMCA, because North Florida temperatures are reaching 100 degrees. Heat stroke isn’t frugal but maintaining good health is! Besides, I need to lose those 4 vacation pounds.


Christine June 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

How is The Goldfinch? I know it’s a big book and I’m not sure I want to tackle it. But if it’s really good…
Wishing your son the best on the PCT. Please keep us updated. My DH came home from the AT with swollen knees and a sore ankle but is headed back out in a few weeks.


Pattilou June 5, 2019 at 5:25 pm

I loved The Goldfinch.


Patricia Koernig June 6, 2019 at 1:10 am

Loved the Goldfinch!


Bee June 8, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I am enjoying The Goldfinch. It is beautifully written, but it is a long book.
My son is doing well on the PCT averaging 20+ miles a day. He says it’s physically easier than the AT but the environment is constantly changing and thus challenging – in the snow one day, in the desert the next. If you are interested, his trail name is Huckleberry Hollywood and he is posting photos on Instagram using this name.

I hope DH is better and ready to hit the trail again soon.


Jenelle June 5, 2019 at 5:40 am

Frugal Fail: We all have strep throat in our house, so we all had to go to the Dr.’s a pay a co-pay, plus have a prescription for all four of us! Yippie!
1. The one frugal piece of us all being sick is that we didn’t go to my son’s baseball pictures last evening. I save a small bit of money by not buying any pictures.

2. Today marks the first day summer break for my kids. I am forced to pack lunches all summer long for them for their summer camp they attend. No more bought school lunches.

3. I saved a small Little Tykes slide from a dumpster yesterday. I’ll probably only set it out with a free sign on it. But I still saved it from the landfill.

4. Instead of recycling some of the leftover paperwork from the conference I planned, I brought it home and will print my Ebay labels on the backside. there is no identifying information. Either that or my kids will use that to draw on!

5. A co-worker gifted me a box of kids outdoor games for helping her set up an Ebay account.


LB June 5, 2019 at 9:08 am

Unemployment is in full swing, so it’s been a mix of frugality and extreme frugal fails…

1. If I go to do something fun, forcing myself to bike instead of paying $5 round trip for the train. Good way to get free exercise and take the time to see my neighborhood and city.

2. Cat started puking which brought us to the emergency vet. $900 later, the poor thing did not need surgery. How is this frugal? Pet insurance covers 90%, and I get to keep the credit card points.

3. Eating at home before going anywhere to avoid temptation, which is everywhere.

4. Only making lunch plans to avoid paying dinner prices. Sushi lunch special was under $15 and we sat for 3 hours chatting without being rushed out. Definitely worth it!

5. Sold all furniture we wound up not liking for our apartment. May not have made exactly what it was worth but definitely made up for it in peace of mind and reduced clutter.

Frugal fail: our apartment has through-wall ACs which you must get from a specific company so it will fit. After 5 (FIVE!) attempts on FB marketplace and craigslist to find one that fit, we had to call it and buy a new one. Even after opening a store card for 12 months interest free pay-off and price-matching a cheaper company, the damn thing was still $750. At least we don’t have to spend another weekend driving around to find one, but it still stings.


A. Marie June 5, 2019 at 9:22 am

Six Frugal Things, Happy Trashpickers Edition:

The tenants at a house up the street (which has been rented for the past 2 years to members of the local Jesuit college’s baseball team) moved out on Saturday. With such help as DH can provide, I’ve been happily “inspecting” their trash since then. The take so far:

(1) a full roll of Glad Cling Wrap and an unopened package of paper napkins (we don’t ordinarily use either, but will use them rather than let them be taken to the dump);
(2) three 12-oz. cans of Bumble Bee albacore tuna, well within the sell-by dates; (3) six unopened packages of assorted pasta, all just past the sell-by dates (but, hey, what’s pasta gonna do, go bad?);
(4) three nearly new plastic wastebaskets;
(5) a 5 x 7 Pyrex dish; and
(6) a few oddball unopened cans and packages of food we don’t eat but will happily donate to local food pantries (all are within sell-by dates).

And we’re not done looking yet. Considerable entertainment for two old folks who can’t get out and trashpick actively much any more.


Christine June 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Nice finds! Not bad for free stuff.


Mary in VA June 6, 2019 at 3:35 am

I’m constantly amazed by what people put in the trash. Lately I’ve been watching dumpster diving videos on YouTube. I love living vicariously through those divers, because I can’t get up the nerve to do it myself. I wouldn’t dare ask my husband; he’d think I was nuts. I’ve started eyeballing dumpsters as I drive by, though.


ouvickie June 5, 2019 at 9:29 am

1) Brought a PBJ sandwich for lunch today, along with leftovers from a bag of chips. I decided to save the dinner leftovers from last night for another meal tonight, so I won’t have too cook again.
2) Checking out different on-line side hustles to add some income for paying off bills.
3) Hubby’s health insurance finally kicked in at his job, which means once I get all the paperwork turned in I will have more money on my check. Premiums for spouse and family are expensive on our work plan.
4) A friend brought me a couple of his books to read. Now I can eat lunch at the picnic tables outside our work building and read.
5) Buying what I can at the Dollar Tree, in order to save money on the budget


Amanda June 5, 2019 at 9:53 am

1) I’ve spent a LOT of time on our porch renovation, and I’m not actually doing any work! This is frugal because the more you research and do the legwork of sourcing stuff and contractors the cheaper the result (and the better I think because it better suits your needs and wants).

2) I was really feeling BBQ, but instead of buying some I tried making it myself for the first time in the crock pot with a Boston butt from Aldi. It. was. amazing. I will buy more butts to keep in the freezer for next time.

3) I need to have something nice to wear to a wedding this summer. It is complicated by the fact that a) I am postpartum so none of my usual clothes fit, b) I am nursing, so I have to wear a skirt and shirt combo instead of a dress, which limits my choices, c) it is an employee, so I think I need to look like the boss I am, and d) it is in Iceland, so I have to dress in layers. My old wool coat is looking a little worse for wear, so I need to replace that too. I almost started impulsing stuff, but took a breath and ordered some things off of ThredUp. If everything fits I will have the outfit (shoes and wool coat included) for about what I was about to impulse a single pair of shoes for.

4) I switched internet providers and will save $40 a month until a year from now when it is time to check rates again!

5) This week I paid what I think *might* be the last of the bills for labor and delivery. I deliver naturally, have healthy babies, and leave the hospital within twenty-four hours. But still if I didn’t have health insurance it would cost a mint. Thank goodness I am blessed to have access to affordable health insurance as a graduate student since my husband and I are otherwise self-employed.


Roberta June 5, 2019 at 10:17 am

1. Free buffet dinner for my kids’ 4H end-of-year banquet. I usually try to avoid Chinese buffets, as soy is not my friend :(, so they were especially happy to go there. We won a succulent, a tote bag my husband can use, and tote bags each of the kids can use.
2. Today is the last day of finals! We are celebrating by having friends over to play games (boys), and marathoning Doctor Who (girls). Everyone will be happy.
3. Washing rags from my husband’s school, and hanging them outside tonight. He’ll take them back to school before graduation tomorrow, so they won’t need to buy more. Not especially frugal for me, but it prevents waste.
4. Bought a gift for a graduating friend of ours: twin xl sheets, laundry soap and a fancy water bottle. Sheets were really affordable on Amazon, used my mom’s Prime for shipping, and other two items were discount at the clearance shop. Useful gifts that won’t become clutter someday (I’m talking to you, graduation teddy bear!).
5. Spending a lot of today helping my son clean his room. So far, we’ve dropped off colored pencils at his school and bundled up markers for church. He’s also collected a lot of scratch paper on his clipboard, in preparation for next year’s math class. I hope to rehome other things he doesn’t need!


Roberta June 5, 2019 at 10:21 am

Bonus: the puppy got dropped from the Guide Dog program, but they’ll still pay to have him neutered. He eats things in my son’s room, which is not ok. However, unless another group wants him, it looks like we’ll have a really nice, well trained dog permanently joining our family.


Laura in Sydney June 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

1. Trash picked a nice red silicone ice cube tray from a street pile – I freeze portions of coconut milk to add to curries, as I feel a whole tin at once is too much and it will be handy for this.
2. Picked up an Australian Yates Garden Guide from our apartment complex’s “Little Street Library”. It’s a super practical guide and I have had the NZ one for years, but garden things are a little different here in Oz 🙂
3. Discovered a new brand of tights online and ordered some all the way from the UK. Hoping they will be comfy and fit well. I am sick of local tights being really uncomfortable and not lasting more than a few wears! I hope these 3 pairs will last me for years with proper care.
4. Quite a few UFOs from the freezer have been excavated and taken for lunches – some have been pretty grim, but whatever.
5. Resisted high end slippers and bought some at Paddy’s Market – so did not pay $40 towards shop overheads, fancy sales assistance etc.


Lora June 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm

One of my favorite ways to be a “non-consumer” is to get free books from Amazon. I usually search “nonfiction free books” and there’s a lot of them there. Of course, there’s also fiction. If you don’t have a Kindle, they have a free download. I don’t have a Kindle, but I have the Kindle app on both my laptop and my iPad, and I can read all the books on both!
PS … they’ve made it illegal here to pick things up from trash piles 🙁 Really sad this time of year when college kids leave, they leave behind unbelievable things! We have three colleges here, so that’s a LOT of waste 🙁


Karen B June 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

1) I signed son up for a library summer reading program and he received both a nice bookbag and his choice of a used book from their secondhand book sales.

2) Son read a 370 page book in 3 days. Instead of about $10 on Amazon for a paperback, it was free, borrowed from the library. I could not keep up with this kid’s book appetite if it wasn’t for the public library. Also returned a DVD borrowed from the library that we’d been looking forward to for a long time, but didn’t like as much as we thought we would. Glad we didn’t buy it.

3) Hungry teen son had a field trip with a long road trip and they would be arriving about lunch time but were allowed to take snacks on the bus. I fixed him a filling healthy breakfast and packed an assortment bag that was tasty but healthier than what he would buy there, items were about 1/3 the price of food there, and should cut down on overpriced food he bought. (He’s still on the way home.)

4) Frugal fail: I attempted to make freezer jam and it didn’t thicken right even after extra cooking and tasted awful. Either nectarines don’t work in a peach recipe or my bottled lemon juice was old. Chalking it up to a learning experience, and a cheap one at that: used fruit marked down to about $.30 US per pound (very cheap).

5) Frugal fail #2: son forgot to take a hat on sunny field trip, resulting in him buying a hat there.


Mand01 June 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

I’m not sure bottled lemon juice would work in a recipe like that.


Karen B June 5, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Thanks, Mand01. That could be it. The recipe didn’t specify, so I used what was handy. I also doubled it and I read a comment on another recipe since then that doubling didn’t work for that one. Lots to learn!


Mary in Maryland June 5, 2019 at 6:37 pm

When jam failed to gel, my Mom used to relabel it as fruit syrup. Very good on pancakes.


Karen B June 5, 2019 at 7:42 pm

I’d had that thought, but no, it was sour and gross. I would have guessed that they wrote tablespoon of lemon juice meaning teaspoon, but it already had a bunch of good reviews. I don’t know!


Christine June 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm

1. The butternut squash seeds I planted have all sprung as little plants. Here’s hoping the woodchuck doesn’t notice them.
2. Gave DH a haircut with the buzzer. The tiny brush to clean the blade that came with the kit is almost out of bristles. Almost thought of scouting the Dollar Store to see what they had and then while cleaning the bathroom I came across a small unused makeup brush. Perfect.
3. We have almost 200,000 miles on our car which was our goal. Now I’m enjoying being without a car payment so much we’re pushing ahead to try 250,000 miles.
4. No meals out this week and eating down the freezer and pantry. Home cooking actually agrees with both of our stomachs better than restaurant food anyway.
5. Doing our own yard work for exercise and Vitamin D absorption!


Liz B. in Lebanon (Ohio) June 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Not living my best frugal life right now, but let’s see what I can come up with….
1. Hubby, ds and I brought Sunday dinner to my mother in law, who has dementia. I made cube steak (bought on sale) from the freezer, and an apple crisp with apples that were getting soft. Our brother in law had stopped by, and brought cake, which MIL gobbled up a big piece of after picking at meat & veg. Sigh. Can’t say I’m surprised, because she’s surviving on store bought cinnamon rolls right now (sad frowny face). Apple crisp came home with us. Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
2) Made banana muffins for MIL from gifted dead bananas. Chef manager at work abhors food waste as much as I do, and offers spotty bananas frequently.
3) Used up gifted romaine lettuce from a work pot luck. Double frugal, because I used the lettuce for packed lunch salads.
4)Trash picked a plastic 3-drawer set of drawers, a kid’s battery powered scooter, a roll of wide pink ribbon, a canister of balloon helium, and some handmade paper flowers made out of old book pages. Drawers will be cleaned up and used for craft supply storage. Scooter will be offered to ds, or sold (it’s in great condition). Ribbon will be used for gift wrapping or anything else I can dream up. Helium canister will be recycled. Flowers are just pretty decor.
5) Brought an ancient TV to a local e-recycling event. For a $10 donation, the company involved will recycle it (regular cost would be much higher), AND we were given two tickets to our local pro baseball team’s game at the end of July. I politely asked if I might buy a third ticket (so hubby, myself and ds could all go), and the kind volunteer just gave me a third ticket for free. Much appreciated, free fun for us!
Also did all the usual things – made own coffee, packed own lunches, wore thrifted clothing, etc. Frugal fail: found old, freezer burned meat in freezer while excavating cube steaks. Not sure how meat lasted 2+ years in our freezer, but have vowed to do better at rotating freezer stock. Sigh.


peppylady (Dora) June 5, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Hello from Idaho stop in from Living Rich On The Cheap. I always try to get the best deals.
Right now I been recycling or reuse some old nurse scrubs.
If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee


Crosby June 6, 2019 at 6:18 am

1. I called my doctor and asked if I could have prescriptions for the OTC meds and supplements I take (allergy meds, vitamin D, etc) so that I can pay for them with our HSA. We’re half way through the year and I haven’t used the account as much as I thought we would. I don’t want to get to December and feel like I have to go on a medical spending spree to use it up!

2. I’m traveling for work and have a craving for Starbucks, but I talked myself out of it. It’s harder to avoid when I travel.

3. I returned a pair of rollerblades I purchased and didn’t use for a month. I told myself that if I didn’t use them within 2 weeks of purchase, they were going back.

4. I broke my sunglasses on my last work trip, and my black dress belt was looking quite unprofessional so I stopped by a consignment store and got 2 pairs of sunglasses and a belt for much cheaper than if I’d purchased them new.

5. I’ll be home tonight and I’m already plotting what I need to take out of the freezer so that I can make dinner tomorrow without having to go shopping.


r June 12, 2019 at 7:19 pm

Just wait ’til you see the second season of Killing Eve. (I also like The Secret City on Netflix–kind of an Australian version )


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