Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 5, 2019 · 71 comments

I know I just published a Five Frugal Things blog post yesterday, but I wanted to shine a light on how deeply ingrained non-consumerism is for me. Some of it may be impressive, but it’s really about the dull day-to-day-ness of it all.

To quote my friend Gretchen Rubin:

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in awhile.”

  1. I stopped by a local music store and sold them a free electronic tuner that I picked up at last weekend’s garage sale haul. (Everything was free as I went at the end of the day!) They gave me $8 in store credit, which my son can use to buy guitar strings.

    This store was literally on on my way to the grocery store, so almost no extra time/gasoline was involved due to this errand.

  2. My husband and I went to Chipotle to take advantage of their nurse’s week deal which was a buy-one-entree-get-one-free deal. I made sure to first reference this hack from a few years ago, which involved getting bowls instead of burritos, but also choosing half-and-half meat, two types of beans, fajita veggies and tortillas on the side. We’re both hearty eaters, and there was enough for both lunch and dinner. Total cost was $8.25 plus tip!

    We then dined by the Willamette river and then walked over the Tillikum Crossing bridge and looped back across the Hawthorne bridge.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I am the world’s cheapest date!

  3. I listed eight Thorns Women’s MLS tickets which I got for free from filling my gas tanks up at a Portland area 76 stations. I’m asking $12 per ticket instead of $15, so I should have no problem finding buyers. I’ll continue this flip throughout the summer.

  4. I picked up two pennies outside the grocery store, I used my own grocery bags which refunded 6¢ per bag, I spent an hour or so with a library book and I cooked black beans in my Instantpot for tonight’s chili dinner.

  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 }

Lindsey June 5, 2019 at 3:48 pm

1. Participated in a panel and was given a $50 gift certificate to a local nursery.
2. The gardening season is moving along rapidly (June 21, the days start getting shorter; right now we have 24 hours of daylight, which I hate) so I took the gift certificate and bought tomato, cauliflower, cabbage seedlings to fill out the empty spots in the garden and greenhouse. Free now and in August will save me money on the food bill.
3. A friend who gets wound care at the hospital hates the waste in all the prepackaged wound care kits. She has been saving unused rubber gloves and gave me a bunch. I don’t use them often but will have them when I need them and will probably put half of them in the “Free” box at the next garage sale.
4. Accepted two audit shops for next week. The staff knows you are dong the audio so is a little easier then when you have to take pictures of problems during concealed mystery shops. I am getting $50 for each shop and they take about an hour to do and an hour to fill out the paperwork.
5. As I was planting my new seedlings, I found an area that was home to A LOT of chickweed. Pulled it up, trimmed off the roots and put them in the compost, and am throwing the rest into tonight’s leftover soup.


janine June 5, 2019 at 4:10 pm

Liked the subject of your post, Katy! Here are some dull everyday stuff I do to ward off too much consumerism.
1. Instead of sending flowers to a friend’s significant other’s funeral, I waited a few weeks and treated her to a nice dinner out – she appreciated the experience because he always cooked and she is having trouble getting used to cooking for herself.
2. Redeemed an Ice Mountain coupon for a free 8-pack of sparkling water. They don’t have this brand at my usual store so I spent some time perusing a more expensive grocery store looking for some bargains.
3. Trying to stay home more. This is combined with buying gas at Costco which is cheaper in my area.
4. Making homemade iced tea along with ice water as beverages of choice this summer.
5. Going out of town for a weekend of opera. Decided on the less expensive hotel – after all, we won’t be spending much time indoors.


Kathy June 5, 2019 at 4:28 pm

1. Using up odds and ends of lettuces plus other veggies for a salad tonight. Hubby will grill salmon to go on salad
2. Chopping up remaining cucumbers, tomatoes and onions to marinate in olive oil and vinegar. Wii have as a side dish over the next couple of days
3. While hubby is gone I’m cleaning out garage and loft. Planning a garage sale in a week
4. Regifted baseball tickets a friend gave to me
5. Hung out at home


Midwest Beth June 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Totally agree Katie everyday in every way I am becoming more aware, better, smarter, thoughtful less of a consumer through your blog and others – over the years my evolution has become my personal Viva non-consumer revolution!

1. Keeping my Everydollar budget updated – keeps me accountable and aware of what I’m spending/earning. I also track on a separate line item what I save in coupons/cash rewards, etc., to motivate and show myself even 15 cents saved per gallon of gas adds up. Each month I try to beat last months earnings.
2. Paid bills online to save postage expense and scheduled them for when they are due several weeks out to avoid late fees and to avoid spending the money on something else. Paid the mortgage not due until July 1st today as I love to see the interest fee cut in half and the money that would have gone to interest go towards the principal,, yeah!
3. Picked up at a city recycle event two small recycle bins with lids that had been turned back in – I will use for additional raised garden beds. right now they are collecting rain water (lids too) which I will use to water plants with (if it ever stops raining! lol).
4. After dropped daughter off at school went to the library before it opened to drop off a movie in the drop box to avoid a library fee as it was due yesterday. Got gas and saved 15 cents per gallon using Kroger gas rewards points I earned through gas/good purchased and completing their survey every week about my shopping experience.
5. Doing Swagbucks to save up for another Lowes card to use towards a dehumidifier we need for our basement – I post this every time cause that’s how I roll/click hundreds of times each day. Check it out – – you to can earn too. 😉


Connie C June 6, 2019 at 9:17 am

I love Swagbucks!


Teresa June 5, 2019 at 4:37 pm

1. On Sunday I made black beans and veggie soup with fridge odds and ends. I’ve been eating the soup every day for lunch and have had beans with fixings, a bean-cheese-egg taco for breakfast and will eat beans again for dinner a few nights. I like them and it’s a great cost savings.

2. Here is a weird savings… My son “ran out of work”. He needs $$ and I needed things done around the house, and I’m more than happy to pay him instead of paying someone I don’t know. So, I just got new screens around the whole house and will have my patio repaired tomorrow. Yay! It’s spending rather than saving money, but for a good cause. Plus I get to have my son around for awhile.

3. Somehow I racked up credit card points (I pay it off every month) and had enough for a $25 Domino’s Pizza gift card — and it was discounted for the month of Jun, so I got $25 worth of pizza money for $20 in points. When the spirit moves me I can treat us all to Pizza.

4. I did a “free” job for a friend and he paid me anyway, $300! Thank you my friend.

5. I used Kathy Wolk Stanley’s idea — I took the inflated plastic packaging from orders we received at work. I cut the tops off and I’m using them as cat poop bags. Now I feel only half as guilty for using plastic… That’s all for now.


Bee June 5, 2019 at 5:16 pm

So true, living a frugal life is about the little things we do every day.
Today I
1) Brewed my own coffee, ate my meals at home and drank primarily filtered tap water.
2) Saved the carrot and onion peels that were left after making tonight’s dinner in a Baggie in the freezer. I will use them when I make broth
3) Used my HSA account to purchase a prescription
4) Reviewed my budget and made sure my bills were paid for the month
5) Stopped at the Goodwill when I picked up prescription. I bought a new item that I needed. It was in its original packaging, and it cost a small fraction -5%- of its regular retail price.
All these things are quite ordinary.


Liz B. in Lebanon (Ohio) June 6, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Hi, Bee. Dumb question: do you save the papery outer peel of onions, or just the outer layer of onion? What veggie peels and bits do you save for broth? I just read something not too long ago about saving the papery covering on fresh garlic to flavor broth.


Bee June 7, 2019 at 3:35 am

I haven’t tried saving the papery outer layer. I save the first layer which usually has some of the skin attached and the ends of the onion. I wash and peel the carrots then save the peels and the ends. I save the celery leaves and the white bottoms. I also save herb stems to use for flavor in broth of other dishes. I have heard that you can use the paper layer to make natural dyes for cloth.


Nancy from mass June 7, 2019 at 5:01 am

That and dyeing Easter eggs


Roberta June 11, 2019 at 8:08 am

I use the papery outer layer, and the top and root end. I also use potato peels (on the rare occasion I peel potatoes), carrot tops (the orange part, not the green part), celery tops, leaves and bottoms, green bean ends, etc. The only thing I don’t put in is anything rotten and anything from the cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, etc).


Heidi Louise June 8, 2019 at 2:36 pm

I saw in a fancy chef competition story that the one chef used sunflower seeds in vegetable broth. Presume unsalted and without shells? Has anyone tried that? I think he said they added color, body, and presumably some nutrition.


Bee June 10, 2019 at 3:29 pm

I haven’t heard of that before. I will google it. I can’t quite get my mind around how that would taste. Interesting.


Marybeth June 5, 2019 at 6:17 pm

1. My son made way to much rice the other night for dinner. I incorporated some of it into tonight’s dinner. Will be doing the same thing with tomorrows.
2. Got a coupon for a free cone or cup of ice cream from Baskin Robins for my birthday. Went with the free cone and asked to not have the plastic holder.
3. Planted more of my garden with veggies that I grew from seeds. I have been reusing the same seed starters for over 20 years. I collect seeds every fall from my plants. Got compost from the town for free. Put my coffee grounds, egg shells and banana peels by the fruits and veggies that like them. I have been getting strawberries and kale for the last week plus. My peas are starting now.
4. My son, daughter and I have been washing our vinyl fence. The car wash supplies work just as good on a fence.
5. Loving that I am able to hang everything on my clothes line the last few days. It drys so much quicker when it is outside then when it is inside and the house looks neater.


Katy June 5, 2019 at 6:45 pm

1. You’re not the only cheap date! My husband and I are in Fort Worth right now for a training he’s taking/couples get away. Today we spent 50 cents on parking and saw the water gardens, then drove to the free botanical gardens. It was all so beautiful!
2. Finally took our roof rack off the minivan, which will save us about $8 in this trip alone.
3. Instead of eating out on the drive here, we stopped at a park and had a picnic of veggie sticks and egg salad sandwiches. Then for supper we had eggs and Ramen noodles.
4. We’re staying at an AirBNB for under $40 a night, and we even have a kitchen in the apartment.
5. We did stop at some antique stores, but only spent $5 on one item.


Li June 5, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Which store gives you 6 cents when you use your own bag? I’m in Portland and use my own bags and this has never happened to me!


Marilyn June 5, 2019 at 8:52 pm

I believe Winco gives 6 cents for using your own bag.


Katy June 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

Yes, it’s Winco!


Li June 6, 2019 at 1:36 pm



Shevaun June 6, 2019 at 2:42 am

FFT, Daily Habits Edition
1. Made coffee at home, cooked breakfast, ran a full dishwasher, washed laundry with cold water, ensured littles did personal hygiene to stay healthy, reminding DS to go potty and eventually end diapers, dressed everyone in thrifted clothes and shoes, wore only sunscreen and mascara for makeup.
2. Outing today will be taking van to repair shop and letting littles watch the mechanics for a little bit, then going to pack weekend meals for other community littles who are hungry on weekends. Other outings this week have included gathering firewood, cutting down deadfall and stacking it into a fort, learning to ride bikes at the rec center’s free bike library, packing a picnic to eat at the playground, and signing up for the library’s summer reading program.
3. Hung laundry on line outside. Had too much laundry to fit on line, so hung more on sides of garden fence. Taught littles how to pick up dropped clothespins from grass to avoid damaging lawnmower. Directed littles to pick lettuce, spinach, and carrots from garden while I folded laundry. Played a thrilling game of toddler-with-a-garden-hose which also watered the garden.
4. Made grilled cheese and apples for lunch, enjoyed with some PBS Kids coming through on the Roku (no cable or satellite at this house, and the mountains block antennae). Prepped a double-batch of dinner, half to eat tonight and half to freeze. DD used her rockin’ knife skills to slice mushrooms. DS collected compost scraps and made the dump all by his totally awesome big-boy self. Both littles touched raw meat–a critical skill in learning to cook for a lifetime (and obviously we washed up before and after).
5. Brushed the big, hairy, shedding dogs at home instead of using a groomer. Littles collected hair balls and scattered them through the meadow for birds to use in nests. This summer, we’ll look for golden nests on our hikes. Next week, I’ll do dogs’ nails.

That got us to about 2pm. We have more frugal habits, but this post is getting too long.


Laura in Sydney June 6, 2019 at 8:45 pm

What a joyous read!


Patricia Koernig June 7, 2019 at 1:08 am



Jo June 9, 2019 at 6:09 am

Splendid! Fun, worthy, together…I’d say kudos to you, Mom!


Minsd June 7, 2019 at 5:26 am

100% yes to this day!


ouvickie June 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Wow, what an awesome day with the kids!
I love finding free stuff to do with my grandkids. When my daughter was young I would get the monthly To Do guide from the paper and find all the free outings, festivals and music venues on the weekends. I think she has great memories from those outings.
You are teaching them some awesome skills, way to go Shevaun!!


Jill A June 6, 2019 at 3:25 am

1. My daughter and I both did our laundry and hung it on racks to dry as per usual.
2. My daughter picked up groceries at Aldi and only bought the items on my list.
3. I had dinner last night at a friends house with my kids and Mom. I brought dessert and friend grilled burgers and Mom brought potato salad. It was a great dinner and much cheaper way to get together than going for dinner.
4. I will arrange to have my car towed to the mechanic. Apparently hybrid cars don’t store well and it won’t start. Fingers crossed it’s a cheap fix. The frugal part is the tow at least will be free or prepaid maybe since it’s one of my car insurance benefits.
5. Received a bill for daughters doctors appointment. I combined a yearly check up along with a med check. This made my bill much lower than if I’d just done the med check alone.


Roberta June 11, 2019 at 8:17 am

I have successfully jumped a hybrid, so that might be all you need.


Elizabeth June 6, 2019 at 4:09 am

1. I shredded some smoked pork my mom had given me this past week to make pulled pork sandwiches. **My dad always over cooks, so my mom offers me leftovers on a weekly basis…of course I say yes.
2. Used 40cents in fuel points from Kroger to get cheap gas
3. My father’s company sent him houseplants when my grandmother passed away last week and since my mom doesn’t have a green thumb I took them happily.
4. My dad gave me 3 dozen eggs this week and a bag of zucchini and cucumbers from his farm…my dad is simply the best!
5. I am doing a summer fun challenge where I see how many fun things we can do for under $10 a week. Last week, we swam at my sister’s pool twice, went to the park/splash pad, got slushees at Sonic during happy hour, used coupons at a local bbq place for two free sandwiches for lunch, and went to our library’s summer reading program kickoff. Total spent this week: $5


Bee June 6, 2019 at 4:30 am

I love your summer challenge idea! What a fun way to teach everyday frugality!


ouvickie June 10, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Good job!!


Diane June 6, 2019 at 4:21 am

I have been quite unfrugal lately as I came into a bit of cash after selling my 20 year old vehicle. I spent a bit on much needed clothing and now am back on the wagon of being thrifty and paying down debt.

Making a new baby quilt from fabric on hand, cooking tasty and healthy but inexpensive meals, swimming and walking and reading free library books.

For anyone interested, a wonderful summer meal. Grilled marinated chicken breast cut up, roasted chunks of sweet potato and blueberries on lettuce topped with dressing of choice. I paired this with a cup of homemade tomato basil soup which used up homemade stock, carrots, celery, onions and an open can of evaporated milk from the fridge, herbs from my porch pots and fresh diced grape tomatoes.

Living large on little!


K D June 6, 2019 at 5:19 am

1. I have been picking up more coins than usual, a penny here, a dime there, occasionally a quarter. I’ll turn them in at the end of the month (I do this semi-annually).

2. I bought a pet store gift card for a father’s day gift using a Visa I bought at a discount.

3. I bought a dried out watermelon at Aldi last week. I couldn’t think of a way to salvage it :(. I got a replacement the other day and cut up the whole thing. Lots of fresh fruit for not much money.

4. A friend gave me yarn that she and her MIL no longer wanted. If I can’t use it I’ll pass it along. I gave her extra knitting needles recently.

5. I baked a big pan of jerk chicken, using sale chicken. A lot of it will be frozen for future meals. I also made a batch of Gluten Free granola with bulk purchased ingredients.


Laur June 6, 2019 at 6:19 am

1. I was gifted some unwanted cereal, kiwi fruit and onions from my friend, then passed on half the onions to my parents for cooking.
2. I picked up some extra work this week, as well as lining up 2 babysitting gigs for the upcoming Winter break.
3. My daughter broke a bone this week at school. Despite the pain she was a Chatty Cathy all the way to the hospital (excited about the possibility of a cast). We have free medical (to a point) in Australia so her visit/ cast were all covered by the government. I know how tough it is over there for you guys with medical costs being so high, so I am extremely thankful each time I do have to visit.
4. I sold an item through Facebook Marketplace for $30 for myself and an item for my son for $20.
5. I received a free fries for completing a McDonald’s feedback form. I was given a sample tin of diced tomatoes from my local supermarket. My friend invited me over for enchiladas and I cooked a big batch of spaghetti bolognese to get me through the next couple of work days. I’ve had a busy week so I’ve also been running the heat a lot less which makes me sigh in relief.


Amanda June 6, 2019 at 8:20 am

1) I made lunch by combining a bunch of stuff in the fridge.

2) I made an appointment to take care of a mostly-cosmetic medical issue while I know it is covered on my current health insurance, which might change in August, and while my deductible is met.

3) I put cloth diapers in the wash at I hope just the right time to make as big a load as I can without running out of diapers before the freshly clean ones are put back in the drawer.

4) I checked Quickbooks this morning to stay on top of my bookkeeping, which helps us stay on top of the business.

5) I put on one of three outfits I have been wearing on repeat for the last couple months. I have so few clothes right now that fit/work for breastfeeding, but my body is quickly changing, and I don’t have anywhere to be really until my fellowship starts in late August. So as much as I would like to blow up and get some clothes that fit and look cute, I will wait until I have to look professional and my body has changed more to go through the clothes I already have, see what fits and is appropriate, and then fill in the details with mostly Goodwill finds.


Christine June 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Yay for cloth diapers! The savings is so substantial and the environmental impact makes them worth using. In school, someone in my class was assigned a report on the cost savings of disposable versus cloth diapers…including everything, not just the initial purchase. I’m 60 now and it was so long ago I forgot the actual numbers but it made such an impact on my young frugal mind that I swore I would at least give cloth diapers a try. I ended up using them for all 3 kids. Add to this a story a friend told me back in 1982 when I was pregnant with my oldest about a floating “Pamper island” in the ocean. The horror was and still is palpable!


Jennifer June 6, 2019 at 8:44 am

1) Today is my birthday so I spent an hour at Starbucks enjoying my free birthday reward and a book. Then my dd took her lunch break and we chatted for 1/2 an hour. Very enjoyable.
2) Have numerous freebies in my email that I will take advantage of over the next week or so. Jersey Mike’s – free sub and drink, Dunkin Donuts – free drink, Panera – free pastry, Breuggers Bagels – free bagel with cream cheese.
3) We all had leftovers for lunch today and for dinner we have a banquet to go to with free dinner.
4) Ordering dog food and rabbit food on – cheaper than local places and free shipping. Plus it saves my back from hauling 40 lb bags of dog food.
5) Slowly acquiring what my dd needs for college. She doesn’t have a ton of clothes, because I wash pretty much every day. She needed a few more things since she likely won’t be washing but once a week. Just got new jeans, jean shorts and a bralette for $40 – less than the price of jeans – by using birthday rewards I was sent. Plus I went through Swagbucks earning 84 swagbucks in the process.

Bonus – Dd is working at Starbucks. When we went to orientation she stopped by the Starbucks there to talk about transferring down there in August. She had a phone interview yesterday and they have approved her transfer, so she has a 10-15 hour a week job lined up as soon as she gets there. Yay!


Bee June 6, 2019 at 9:21 am

Happy Birthday, Jennifer! It sound like you are having a great day already.


Katy June 6, 2019 at 10:55 am



kate June 6, 2019 at 9:53 am

some things i’ve been doing lately but most are part of my general habits:

1. i’ve brought my own breakfast, lunch and coffee to work and have eaten 95% of my dinners at home.
2. reuse plastic packaging for cat litter scooping or for packaging items for ebay/etsy.
3. bought part of my mom’s (very belated) birthday gift on amazon (i dislike amazon but i have received gift cards that keep adding up.) i had it delivered directly to her with my current free 6 month student prime account and she was thrilled.
4. went through my belongings and found more ebay items to list.
5. i have a habit of ‘stocking up’ on food and not finishing off things in the cupboards. so while i did go to trader joe’s and grocery outlet this week, i bought less than usual and am trying to finish off items so nothing goes to waste.


Economically Proud June 6, 2019 at 9:55 am

1. Made a scratch pizza for 3 for a total of $1.30, served with rice, beans, and fresh veggies
2. No AC even though it is in the upper 80s today
3. Using fans and drinking home brewed iced tea, ice water, and lemonade made with a cheap watered down mix to cool off
4. No drive or spend day
5. Went on a beach day trip yesterday. We hung out at the beach for a couple of hours, had a picnic, went on a nature walk, climbed a WW2 tower and had a terrific view of the area, and touched rays and horseshoe crabs in a touch tank at the park. We spent $10 to get in the park, and $10 for gas to and from.
It was a nice family day trip, instead of going away


Katy June 6, 2019 at 10:55 am

Sounds like a perfect day!


Cindy in South June 6, 2019 at 11:07 am

Frugal fail: I have been looking for a couch for two years. Folks here want $200 or $300 for used couches that look like death warmed over. I considered Wayfair but considering all the data issues happening with LabCorp etc. and other ID thefts elsewhere, I am getting paranoid. So, I went to a local furniture store, found a couch that had a tear on it, and with tax and delivery (20 miles one way) it is $380. I comfort myself in knowing that I helped to support a local furniture co and their employees. The deed is done so I do not need to second guess myself. I am miffed I could not find a satisfactory used couch but so be it. The cat urine stinky futon currently sitting in my living room will be retired to my dog’s bedroom…yeah, he has his own bedroom. I did manage to negotiate the deductible I own on my ambulance bill from $500 to $350 and I paid it off.


Jessica June 6, 2019 at 11:12 am

1) Finally sold an unused TV that was taking up space in my basement.
2) Asked my mother in law if she wanted some antiques she had gifted us back. She wanted one, but not the others, which I will sell.
3) Have been aggressively decluttering ahead of a potential move – less stuff to move = less $ and less stress.
4) Took old newspapers from a stack at work to use below painting projects rather than buying a tarp
5) Planning to take some books to The Strand in NY, like Powells, for credit.


Cathy June 6, 2019 at 11:12 am

1. I’ve found a whopping $2.95 in change today. (Thanks, CoinStar receptacle!)
2. Drinking leftover coffee from yesterday.
3. Working an extra day this week.
4. Save a few bucks on a getaway with hubby 🙂 We’re frequent guests at our favorite B&B, and now we get a small savings on our stays.
5. Wearing thrifted clothes. My husband now shops for me at the local thrift store since he knows it brings me joy.


Christine June 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm

1. I had to pay my quarterly water/sewer bill and opted to walk over to the town hall and pay it in person as I was already parked at the library and it was a short stroll across the town complex. Saved me a stamp or the small fee for paying it online.
2. I picked up two books from the interlibrary loan system and bought Jimmy Carter’s memoir from a book sale the Friends of the Library were holding. $1 for a hardcover in great shape.
3. Received my free local newspaper in the mail today. Keeps me up on town goings on and also has coupons and sales flyers in it.
4. Made grandson Rice Crispy Squares as a treat during his visit. He was thrilled and I had forgotten how good they.
5. An add on to Katy’s remarks: It’s the little things in life which are the real ones after all. – Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Christine June 6, 2019 at 5:31 pm

…how good they “are”…so very tired.


Karen B June 6, 2019 at 5:39 pm

1) Washed and returned to use the dehydrator that’s been sitting in storage getting dusty. Sliced up a few bananas I’d bought discounted because they were slightly freckled. They’re not even 100% dry yet and are so yummy I’ve been grabbing a few of the thinnest and most dry as I walk past and have eaten almost the whole tray already. Why did I ever quit using it? I have other foods I want to dry. too, for storage or snacks.

2) I had packed my son a snack bag for the long road trip for a field trip to reduce how much overpriced junk food he bought at the destination. Plan worked well! The portion of the bag he ate was semi-healthy and about $2.50 and he only spent $5 there for a total of about $7.50 vs. the $15 I fully expected.

3) Stopped at a thrift store tonight. Found a pair of jeans my size and good quality/condition for under $6.

4) Same thrift store, got a covered baking dish that matches others I got there previously for under $4. Also nice for food storage in the fridge without plastic.

5) Same thrift store, got several yards of nice upholstery fabric for under $6. Not quite sure of plan yet, probably make storage baskets or throw pillow covers. I want to refresh my sewing skills this summer (rusty after 30 years of disuse) and have a kid interested in learning basic sewing.

6) Checked prices of classes at 3 sewing stores near us. All beginner classes were $25 or more plus kit fee. I’m really glad I had the opportunity and good teachers I did for sewing classes in junior high and high school. I know it will come back to me. I didn’t think the fee was outrageous for the number of hours, but the cost of 2 people learning with the help of YouTube, etc. is free with a reduced kit cost.


Maria June 6, 2019 at 6:17 pm

I live on site for next four months for work no rent no utility fees free access to pool and jacuzzi also very low gas since I walk to work. They offer free food at times as well!


Jennifer Escobar June 6, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I enjoyed reading this. Yes, being frugal rules!


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 7, 2019 at 4:37 am

That’s right! You can never have too much non-consumerism. 🙂

This week:

1. Our wifi is out so I’m working at a coffee shop today. Upside: I’m paying for my already-cheap drip coffee with cash earned from selling items on Craigslist.

2. I baked cookies yesterday using free chicken eggs from my sister. I used a small batch recipe to make only what I knew I would eat.

3. I’m wearing thrifted clothes.

4. I did my nails at home instead of going to a salon.

5. Hubs got a promotion and raise! It’s exciting, but we have zero plans to expand our lifestyle. We’re meeting this weekend to chat taxes and retirement funds to be responsible about it. 🙂


tracy June 7, 2019 at 5:12 am

For me frugality is often about what I DON’T do/buy as it is about what I do do (no scatological reference intended!). And sometimes my frugality resilience dips and I am less frugal than I aspire to be, some of both this past few days…
1. I am finally coming up for air after a 12 day straight stretch of stressful work. I didn’t succumb to online shopping as a stress reduction strategy. Even though there’s a cute straw summer bag that’s been calling my name… It is SO not a need, and it will give me something to keep my eye out for at the Goodwill! I also stopped in at a yard sale last Sunday and didn’t buy anything — some fun stuff to look at but nothing I needed to add to my own clutter.
2. I did give in to take out dinners last two nights after making do for over a week previously with whatever I could shove into my mouth. I was so busy at work that I was subsisting on pastries and cookies and I felt terrible and needed something more substantial. Cost not a total budget buster ($40 for the two nights for hubs and me) and back on the frugal and HEALTHY eating train today now that I have 3 days off in a row to re-group.
3. Paid bills on time on and online (no postage, no late charges). Checking bank balances daily also helps me not overspend.
4. Gas bill was $11 this past month — NO heat used for all of May (nominal amount reflects fixed monthly cost and gas cooking). Also used no AC so electric bill was under $90 (combined electric and gas bills for under $100 are as good as it gets ever for us!)
5. Goal is to cook up a bunch of food this weekend for coming week to avoid more frugal fails — I’ll report back!


ouvickie June 7, 2019 at 7:05 am

1) I stopped and picked up some hamburger meat at Aldi, on my way home yesterday. I had tortillas at home, so we ate soft beef tacos. I can use the leftover meat to make spaghetti sauce or chili – not certain which I’ll do yet.
2) I ate a free donut (provided on Fridays by a generous co-worker) and a leftover cookie for breakfast this morning. Which means, my usual rice cake with PB can be saved for next week.
3) I filled up my car with fuel Thursday morning, at our local family owned convenience store. $2.55 per gallon is 10 cents cheaper than last week. YAY!
4) We have 3 orphaned kittens I’m taking care of until the end of June. One of my co-workers is going to take two. I may keep the other one, since 2 of them are boys. They are good at clearing out varmints from around the house – so adding the male to the female we already own will be double varmint duty. Now that they are over 8 weeks old, I’ve been putting them out during the day, so they can get used to be outdoors again. Easier to rehome when they are trained to be indoor/outdoor cats.
5) Tomorrow is family reunion time. I plan to make a bowl of banana pudding and bring a plate of food home to hubby. That will be one weekend dinner down, so I’ll only have to cook on Sunday.


KJD509 June 7, 2019 at 10:27 am

Not really loving my new job, in spite of the free coffee and bananas, so I’ve been paying close attention to the daily wins because they help me get out of bed in the morning:

1) Free coffee and bananas at work! Plus free lemons and limes to slice into free still or sparkling water, free fancy butter for the sale-rack bagels I’ve been taking to toast for breakfast, and the occasional free donuts or other snacks to liven up the packed-from-home lunches.

2) My commuter benefits through this job have kicked in, so the company picks up most of the cost of my transit pass. I think of it as they pay me to come to work, I pay to go home.

3) Looking for something outside of the job to keep me motivated and have settled on increasing my exercise. Running every day, with a son and a brother cheering me on via Snapchat for free.

4) Sometimes when things aren’t going swimmingly I’m tempted by take-out, retail therapy, etc., but at the moment even a planned food cart dinner didn’t lift any spirits, so we’re just hunkering down and eating at home. Hubs, bless him, is having fun expanding his repertoire, so he lets me know what his schedule looks like after his day settles down, I make suggestions via text based on what we have in the pantry and fridge, and something edible is on the table when I get home after an hour-plus commute. This is a complete change for us, but it’s working out great.

5) No Lear jet, no gold plated toilets.

And special note for Lindsey: I read library copies of the entire Shardlake series on your recommendation, loved all of them, and my turn has FINALLY come for the newest one. Woohoo – weekend plans are set!


Cindy in South June 10, 2019 at 6:46 am

I am so sorry on the job thing and yeah, I totally understand.


Gina June 7, 2019 at 12:13 pm

1. When i went to pay my water bill last month, i noticed a payment I made recently hadn’t been credited. The water authority will credit my account for the amount of payment I made.
2. I usually fill out the claim settlements that come in the mail. Usually the payout isn’t that big, but i figure every little bit helps. This time it was for $52.92. Not too bad!!
3. One day this week, the state was working on the road in front of my work & i live right down the road. They had the road closed. I went out the back way from work & got a free lunch I had a gift certificate for since I hadn’t brought lunch to work. I live 1 mile from my work.
4. Transferred a prescription to another pharmacy & got a $15 store credit to use towards groceries.
5. Our oldest daughter graduated from high school last night. Wore nice clothes we already owned for the occasion. Also, i did my own toenails so I didn’t have the cost of a pedicure.


Vicki June 7, 2019 at 7:27 pm

I love this post! I’ve always been pretty frugal–with shopping, saving, etc . . . I eat out maybe a handful of times a year, get one haircut a year (and when she retires or moves, I’ll do my own!), and don’t do manicures and pedicures, to name a few things.

1. Returned five blouses/shirts that didn’t fit well to Goodwill for $15.
2. WON $25 gift card to Goodwill for filling out survey on receipt!
3. Redeemed Discover Card points for a gift card for $5 extra (45 points for $50) for Petsmart.
4. Did two grocery store secret shops. Some months I do 3-7 and make at last 60 bucks up to $140 each month!
5. Outing to liquor store where I get a 10% discount. Bought tasty but inexpensive champagne for a little over $5, plus got a couple of free treats for my two little dogs! Nice Friday night outing!


MommaL June 8, 2019 at 4:25 am

1. Brought home pizza and strawberries for dinner from work.
2. DH is very sick today, remembered I have turkey and rice soup in the freezer, so I thawed that to eat. Thank you past me!
3. Co-worker gave me 2 gallon bags of home grown tomatoes she froze. Figuring out what to make with them? Sauce? Its a lot of tomatoes. Do you all cook with lots of tomatoes? I don’t can.
4. Freezing basil, my crop is abundant this year, hooray!
5. Consolidated all of the pens in my there is a lot. Consolidating my things helps me see exactly how much I have so I don’t buy more.
Potential frugal fail:. A little stressed about what to wear, we have a business picnic coming up and we were told to “dress casual”. I’m up for a promotion, so…Not sure what that means, how to look professional and casual…fighting the urge to go shopping.


Anne June 8, 2019 at 1:33 pm

I would say nice jeans, or capris or crop pants would all be fine. Even shorts if it is hot enough where you live. No shorts with your cheeks hanging out, and I would even pass on fashionably ripped jeans if you are over 16. 😀


Jennifer June 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm

I use home-grown frozen tomatoes in soups, stews, and chilis in the winter months. I love having them ready when I need them. I just run hot water over the freezer bag to dislodge, then put the whole tomato “chunk” in the stockpot. Sometimes home frozen tomatoes can be a bit stringy but my family doesn’t mind that at all. If that bugs you, you could always give them a short whir in the blender. They are also a bit more watery but that can be drained off or reduced down if needed..


Vickey June 9, 2019 at 9:33 am

3. Purée some in the blender with tahini and garlic or garlic powder. Makes a fast cold tomato soup. Or use the blended tomatoes as a base for gazpacho, another lovely cold summer soup.


Momma L June 9, 2019 at 11:03 am

Yum, I hadn’t thought about summer soups!
I was also wondering if I could make tomato juice.

I know I can use them in soups this winter maybe, but they are all frozen together. Jennifer, I could just throw them all into the crockpot, like you said. Thank you for the suggestions.


Momma L June 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Thank you. No shorts for me…my shorts mysteriously shrinked over the winter, I blame my DH, he does the wash. haha. I was thinking I have some straight legged (thrifted of course) and a nice (gifted/hand me down) linen shirt, and nearly new flat sandals. My new supervisor is pretty judgy on outfits, calls people out on them sometimes. bleah.


Jennifer June 10, 2019 at 5:20 pm

If your boss is that way then I would dress a little nicer than you think you should.


Bethany June 8, 2019 at 6:46 pm

I’m still at home mostly recovering. Cabinets would be about bare, but my husband’s coworker has started keto and brought all his carbalicious stuff over. Filled our freezer and our pantry. It’s not stuff I usually buy so the kids are happy.

Husband’s aunt and uncle came for a visit. Fixed everybody a tri tip, potatoes, carrots, onions, Caesar salad, and bread. I just had well chewed potato. Lol…soft food diet right now for me.

Served the leftovers for dinner tonight.

We put some elbow grease into the porch and the weeds in the front yard. I was contemplating hiring that out, but hubby was sweet about it when I asked for help. Kids were put to use too.

Gave my daughter a requested haircut. I’ve done a number of them now. This may be the first time I don’t have to fix it later.


Tonya June 9, 2019 at 12:49 pm

1) Cut my own hair! I still can’t believe I did it, but it was pretty easy.
2) Checked the freezer and pantry before heading out to the grocery store. It helps to meal plan with what I already have in the house.
3) Phoned two friends today. It’s such a rare treat to catch up with a lengthy phone call instead of a quick text.
4) Shared the car with my teen. It’s frugal to plan trips and not spontaneously drive around.
5) Downloaded several library books for my train commute this week-another benefit of car sharing with the teen, I’m using my transit pass and reading lots more!


Bethany June 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

What method did you use to cut your hair?


Ruby June 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm

1. Cleaned and organized our garage. Reused some things we already had for storage, such as the scrubbed clean kitten litter box outgrown by our girl cat that now holds all the spray paint and half-pint cans. Recycled a pile of cardboard and took a carload of donations to the Salvation Army. We had very little actual trash to throw away.
2. My work lunch all week was a tasty mixture of things from the pantry and freezer.
3. Ordered 3 cases — 36 quarts — of soy milk from Dollar Tree with free delivery to our local store. (I cannot drink dairy milk.) This works out to spending $1 less per half gallon than the cheapest grocery store price.
4. Shifted most of our grocery shopping to Save-a-Lot, which has amazing prices on basic goods. Also took a couple of the store’s surveys and requested more juice-packed canned fruit be offered.
5. Went to the bread outlet and packed our cube freezer with breads and bagels for the price of four loaves of bread from a conventional food store.


Roberta June 11, 2019 at 9:04 am

1. Rescued some of the overstock and unusable items the local food bank receives. They cannot use bread unless it is individually packaged, so the bulk bag from the local grocery was unusable to them. Instead, my family is enjoying a treat of bagels. My chickens are enjoying lettuce leaves, strawberries and donut peaches.
2. My son passed both his classes at the local junior college! They are free since he’s in high school.
3. Gave a bunch of clothes from the shop to a woman I am acquainted with at the grocery. She has a new baby granddaughter, but was short of baby clothes for her. Not frugal for me, but frugal for her. They were things we were going to pass along anyway, they’ll just go through one more baby before they’re donated.
4. My guide puppy was removed from the program because he eats…things. So yesterday he got his neuter surgery. It was free from the program, but they didn’t include a cone of shame. So he’s wearing a pair of worn-out men’s underwear to prevent licking. The fly on the shorts provides a spot for his tail!
5. The best one: my husband fixed the electricity! Half a circuit went out, so we called an electrician. He was unable to diagnose the problem, and said he’d need to come out with a team to crawl around under the house, for about $600. If he needed to drop a new circuit, he said it would be $2500! I was asking around to acquaintances for a recommendation for a good electrician, and ran into a retired electrician. He said it was probably a bad plug, because it was only half the circuit and the breaker didn’t trip. My wonderful husband fixed the plug (loose wire!) and we have electricity again! Hooray for him! No money spent, unless I can convince my retired electrician to go out to lunch with us (no luck yet).


Katy June 12, 2019 at 10:29 am

Wow, that’s great!


Tia June 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I don’t enjoy going through things to recycle, reuse, resell, repurpose so I make myself not bring stuff home.
I don’t enjoy thrift stores.
If I actually NEED something I try to buy it online at a reduced price. Stores never seem to have what I need when I need it and I’m done searching for stuff.
One day I looked in the mirror and said this is what you look like, live with it. So as long as I’m clean and neat I’m good.
I eat real food and don’t bring home packaged stuff anymore. I can chew on a carrot as easily as a chip and I feel better and there’s one less plastic bag.
My home is clean, small, and spare. My oasis in a world of clutter.
I think I’m almost done with TV, movies, books, magazines, and the internet. I’m still working on this one.
My phone service costs around a hundred a year and though I’d like to throw it in the lake I probably have to keep it.
There have been a lot of voices along the way that helped me look at things in a different light. Katy was one of those voices. Thanks.


Katy June 12, 2019 at 10:27 am

“An oasis in a world of clutter.” I love this, thank you for sharing!


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