Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 23, 2019 · 76 comments

  1. I sold a few things including the free FitBit that I got for participating in a wellness program, two vintage lighting globes and some video games/DVDs from a free box. Not crazy impressive, but better than a swift kick to the tuchus.

  2. My son got a well paying job within a few days of arriving home from college. And as much as my husband and I could have used our connections to boost his likelihood of finding employment, he independently found this job by doing a web search for “jobs” plus “Portland.” It pays well, is full time and is even close to the house!

    I look forward to him going back to school in the fall with a fat credit union account.

  3. My mother and I spent a couple hours cruising around a nearby wealthy neighborhood that had just completed their annual garage sale day. Although I didn’t find as many brag-worthy treasures as the one I hit a few weeks ago, I still came home with enough stuff to deem it a successful outing.

    I brought home:
    – A desk to sell.
    – A working printer for my son to bring back with him to college.
    – A fat stack of books to try and sell to Powell’s.
    – Two pairs of NYJD jeans to sell on eBay.
    – A cell phone case for my daughter. (Her’s looks like it went through a wood chipper!)
    – The aforementioned box of DVDs/video games which I immediately sold to a local store.
    – A handful of miscellaneous stuff such as a skein of wool, a pretty box for eBay packaging, a toy wooden dresser, a recent magazine and a coaster.

    A different wealthy neighborhood will complete their two-day garage sale event this afternoon, so I’ll spend an hour or so meandering through that area this evening.

  4. I used up a batch of scratch cooked black beans and prepped another, I read a library copies of Rhys Bowen’s The Victory Garden and David Sedaris’ Calypso, I took advantage of a local grocery store’s 50%-off Tillamook ice cream deal, I walked to the library to replenish my reading options, I stopped into various Goodwill thrift shops while running otherwise dull errands, (Costco for cat food. Yawn . . . ) I listed more stuff on eBay and I stopped at a 76 gas station to fill up my Prius and earn another voucher for two free MLS Thorns tickets. The attendant spontaneously gave me three vouchers without me even asking. Since I’m attempting to sell them for $12 apiece, that’s a potential $72 profit!

  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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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma L June 23, 2019 at 11:07 am

I love wealthy neighborhoods! One neighborhood in my area uses dumpsters instead of trash cans at every house. Those dumpsters have given me free flower pots, a pool pole, some outdoor plastic furniture, and a play kitchen.

This week:
1. Deep cleaned my bathroom. Yup I should do this all the time, but I don’t. What’s frugal about it is that when I’m done, its beautiful to me and I appreciate what I have instead of wanting more.
2. Consolidated my pens, again. They end up everywhere, then I think I don’t have any. I have a LOT. Can’t remember the last time I bought one though.
3. Potted a variety of herbs as a gift for my DIL after thinning out some of my crowded ones.
4. Bought some Starbucks mugs from a FB site, sold them for 4 times what I paid for them. I love it when I take a risk like that and it pays off.
5. Pulled up the lettuce and thinned my tomato plants from seed. Replanted them where the lettuce was. I heard that if I crush calcium antacids around them, they will grow lots of tomatoes, so I’m going to try that. I think I can get that cheaply.


Istaneedorawant June 23, 2019 at 11:18 am

Crushed egg shells could give the same effect?


Joy June 23, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Yes, crushed eggshells will do the same, and in fact you can use them in most areas of the garden. I put eggshells below the roots of all my tomato plants this past spring and had an awesome harvest – nearly 300 tomatoes.


Liz B. in Lebanon (Ohio) June 23, 2019 at 4:21 pm

I just tossed some eggshells!! Off I go to pull them out, to be crushed and worked in around my tomato plants. Thanks for the tip!


Heidi Louise June 24, 2019 at 9:48 am

I put crushed eggs shells around any plants that look like they are being chewed on, (trails on my hollyhock, and holes in my sunflower leaves). I pretend they are uncomfortable for slugs to climb over, and feel like I am doing something.

Mary in maryland June 24, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I offer to crack the eighteen dozen eggs when we do the Saturday breakfast for the homeless. I bring them home and fertilize the neighborhood.


A. Marie June 23, 2019 at 11:27 am

FFT, Summer Solstice Edition:

(1) DH and I attended the June book sale at the FFL (one of our best suburban libraries) on Saturday, where we met up with the lovely Barbara and picked up 8 hardback books and 1 paperback cookbook, about half of which will become Christmas gifts.

(2) We also attended the slightly delayed “spring” rummage sale at a local synagogue today. Among other treasures, we scored a gorgeous maroon terrycloth bathrobe for DH–emblazoned with a “Ritz-Carlton, Cancun” logo (to our great amusement)–for $3. And as DH’s old Lands’ End terry robe is starting to show signs of serious wear, this was a welcome find even without the logo. We’ll be back to this synagogue tomorrow for the bag sale.

(3) The Ritz-Carlton bathrobe, along with our upstairs bathroom mat and a couple of other heavy and hard-to-launder items, have just been run through my HE washer’s heavy-duty cycle and are now drying on our deck, on an afternoon of rare sunshine and warmth here in rainy Upstate NY.

(4) At yesterday’s farmers’ market at our Regional Market, we splurged on some “organic salmon” (whatever that might mean) from one of the market’s two fishmongers: five substantial pieces for $20. We celebrated the summer solstice by enjoying two of the five, lightly broiled in olive oil, lemon squeezings, and the super-abundant dill from my garden. I often think enviously of the superb fish Lindsey has access to in Alaska, but we didn’t feel deprived last night.

(5) Less happily, the local deer are starting to make inroads on anything that isn’t currently protected by dill or Irish Spring soap in my garden. So I picked up a 16-pack of Coast soap at Ollie’s today and am reloading. Coast smells even worse than Irish Spring, IMHO.


Liz B. in Lebanon (Ohio) June 23, 2019 at 4:24 pm

A. Marie, I have a gardening friend who has had practically everything nibbled to the ground by deer. I told her about using Irish Spring, or other “smelly” soap, to deter them. Also, our local Ollie’s are having an annual sale over the next two weeks….15% off everything in the store, if I remember correctly.


A. Marie June 24, 2019 at 1:50 am

It’s “Ollie Days” at our local Ollie’s too, Liz (15% off storewide). The deal only lasts a week here, though.

And I just (5:45 am EDT) chased away a young deer that was sniffing at one of the Coast bars–but not eating the plant to which it was attached. A direct testimonial!


Linda June 27, 2019 at 3:22 pm

We have deer eating in our yard if we don’t take steps. I find yarn or string strung about deer shoulder high keeps them out better then actual fencing. perhaps they can’t see it and are surprised when they feel it.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm

I oddly love the way coast soap smells. While pregnant, I had a pica craving for soap. I never ate up but I would lather up more than usual so I could smell it. I had to take supplements.


Lisa M. June 24, 2019 at 9:03 am

Jennifer, I’m with you on the smell of Coast soap. It’s strong but I love it! Sorry A. Marie. Never had any pica symptoms during pregnancy but Coast smells incrediby refreshing IMHO. 🙂


A. Marie June 24, 2019 at 11:09 am

As long as the local Bamboids are repulsed by the smell of Coast, that’s all that matters to me. Different strokes for different folks!


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) June 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Oops, same here, A. Marie….Ollie Days are just for this week. Gotta hustle on over there for smelly soap!


Karen B June 23, 2019 at 11:50 am

Not a lot unusual here, so I’ll just post one:

I’ve been considering getting a Kitchen-Aid mixer plus meat grinder attachment (currently I have a large amount of meat in the freezer to grind and my hands won’t take grinding that much by hand), but decided I couldn’t justify the expense for the frequency it would be used. This week in a thrift store I picked up an electric meat grinder in great condition for under $7!


Bee June 23, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Oh my! What a find that Kitchen Aid is! I hope you’ll enjoy it for many years to come.


Alexandra June 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Karen, I’d love to hear how you like that grinder. I have a kitchen aid and thought of getting one of those expensive grinders.


Mary in Maryland June 23, 2019 at 11:59 am

1. I have always been a binge reader. I have to be careful not to get within a hundred pages of a book’s end within an hour of bedtime, because the day after staying up beyond ten is too painful at my age. Not to humble brag, but I may be the only person you know who ever called in sick to finish a book. I like to compare a $2/400 page/8 hour read to a $10/2 hour movie. For me, books win. They also seem to occupy more of my mind.
2. The organizers lined up about three times the necessary food for a church event last weekend. I brought home three meals worth of my tabouli and two meals of braised turnip salad.
3. A friend has been paying me for mending/alterations with Shiatsu foot massages. My feet are so tension free, I can hardly walk on them. Today as we carpooled to meeting, she offered another massage if the Mister replaces her kitchen fluorescent with an LED ballast and light.
4. My vegan Mexican cookbook asserted that everything is better from scratch, so I bought a 2 lb bag of masa 2 years ago. It’s bottomless. I’m unwilling to buy a tortilla press. Last week the Mister decided we could press the masa balls between the bottoms of the Dutch oven and our saucepan (and two pieces of parchment paper). Very successful.
5. I avoid going into quilting stores, because they make my fabric look dated. (I’m safer in bars.) I haven’t looked at sewing machines since I bought mine in 1988, although I have rehomed over three dozen from my guild members to the refugee community. A week ago someone dropped off a machine that she “hadn’t bonded with” and suggested I just keep it. It is absolutely fabulous. I am having so much fun reading the manual and have put together a small quilt to learn more. I would/could never buy anything this expensive, but I am feeling so much joy learning to use it.
6. OK, so maybe the sewing machine is gold-plated and vulgar. Did I mention the five little LED lights under the arm that make it possible to sew after dark? I think we are bonding.


Karen B June 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm

I love your #5 and 6. 🙂


Dusty June 24, 2019 at 6:21 am

I can so relate to #1….even though i have cable which is included in my rent…i don’t watch.. Have a stressful job taking care of dementia patients….lying in bed reading a book helps me escape and relax…


Nancy from mass June 24, 2019 at 9:32 am

Oh your #6! I can’t ever get enough light under my hisquavarna.


Monica June 24, 2019 at 10:32 am

Yes, your #1 is me as well!


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) June 25, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Mary in Maryland, that sewing machine sounds like a dream! Since it was given to you, you’ve actually rehomed it. To yourself. If it brings you joy, it can’t possibly be gold plated and/or vulgar!


Rhonda L Burns June 23, 2019 at 12:14 pm

I have listed several items for sale on FB marketplace (local) and have sold several items this week.
I have convinced my husband that we have a lot of things we no longer need and can sell – big win!!
Took advantage of Sam’s sale on some items that we use over and over again.
Have been using up left overs instead of throwing out.


Lisa M. June 23, 2019 at 12:19 pm

5FF+: Summertime Blues

Struggling with frugality focus, as DD is prepping to move out to a rented home close to college that she will share with a friend & friend’s mom. Trying to keep focus on her as we struggle with major life adjustment.

1. Planning to rent van for local move & because DD is taking her bedroom furniture, will move futon in basement to her bedroom to repurpose as seating or for sleeping when she is home.

2. After working with CS at contact co., realized that 12-month rebate offer for DD’s type of contacts is $60 not $40 as advised by contact person at eye care provider. Also found easier method of rebate submission than what was offered by eye care provider by working through company, so assembled required documents & submitted early within specified time frame.

3. After again contacting CS at entertainment co., able to activate free movie ticket for DD from soft drink purchase (Memorial Day loss leader). It required multiple attempts at contacting CS & it took 10 days versus the advertised 2 days but eventually successful.

4. Completed annual cleaning of DD’s ultrasonic humidifier that she uses during the winter. Although she doesn’t use it heavily, it is a good investment to clean annually as would like to extend its life since it was a Christmas request just a few years ago.

5. Enjoyed the spring weather that hung on until the last week of June.

6. Also enjoying maintaining average number of work hours compared to last summer when asked to essentially job share with owner’s friend’s teen daughter. I adapted to her schedule with the overall result of decreased hours. Keeping an eye on gross earnings from pay stub which will be higher this year without job sharing, which has added relevance after being laid off from my other part-time job in March.

7. Starting to employ strategy of stretching out time between grocery shopping. Used this strategy with good results in the winter but have gotten away from it, so time to kick it back into gear.


Alexandra June 23, 2019 at 2:28 pm

1. I evaluated taking a lateral job in a different state. Company would have paid for move but no raise. A good exercise in what we want and need. Decided not worth the expense of DH finding a new job, traveling back to where family is for holidays, and probably have to buy another car. Flattered employer ready to move me.
2. Granddaughter’s birthday party at our house. Delegated cake to another family member. Made giant pot of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. Everyone brought their own drink or had water/iced tea. We had thought to meet at a pizza place. Saved everyone money this way.
3. Reigning in the grocery shopping. Went to Walmart, instead of Aldis and wasn’t “on my game”. Missed my usuals I rely on. Back to store 2 more times! Went off of list both times and so buckling down. No more store this week. At all!
4. Made lunch and dinner at home this weekend even though so tempted to eat out. Plenty of food in the house. Dinner tonight not a favorite but both DH and I get a gold star for eating it and not complaining.
5. My mother wants a new small fridge. Mine is too small for us and we were wishing for a larger one. She is going to buy ours from us and we are going to look for a new one. I do buy new on big appliances as I buy warranties on them.
A note for NCA readers, my husband works for a furniture company that is national. He repairs furniture that is damaged during delivery (a lot!) and those that are under warranty. Please make the delivery company wait while you thoroughly inspect what you have bought before you sign for it. He has heard horror stories about this. They may be unscrupulous contract delivery people who will pressure you to sign and swear all repairs will be made. Some will even take pictures, claiming they will submit for you. In his experience, this is hogwash. If it isn’t right upon delivery, DO NOT accept it. Refuse to sign.
On a different note, regarding warranties, be realistic about what you are ordering. He sees a lot of homes with heavy family members who buy delicate furniture and disappointed when it doesn’t hold up.
I hope this helps folks here.


Jill June 23, 2019 at 3:02 pm

1. My sister-in-law came to visit for the weekend. We went thrift store hopping – I purchased a sundress and two pairs of shorts – grilled out, and watched A Star is Born that she got from her library for free.
2. Hosting my neighborhood potluck this week. I provide the main dish and my neighbors provide the sides and dessert. Always fun to share food and fellowship, plus a little gossip.
3. Taking a bag of books to my local second hand bookstore tomorrow. I’ll get more from the books if I choose store credit which I will use for Christmas gifts.
4. My nephew is headed to Japan for 3 years with the military. We are attending a going away party for him this weekend which will be a, yep, potluck. Dinner and a visit with family that we don’t always get to see will be great.
5. Planning on heading to my local consignment store next week to try to sell the last of the summer items that I’ve set aside.


Jill A June 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm

1. I made Pad Thai using some leftover rotisserie chicken, then cooked the chicken carcass to make broth and chicken noodle soup. I cut up some hairy carrots and celery in the fridge and made some dill dip using items I had on hand and some fresh dill I planted.
2. My daughter and I vacuumed, wiped out and washed our cars with a hose at home saving at least $16.
3. My daughter and I also washed the dog at home using a hose hooked up to my laundry sink for the warm water. I clipped her nails and ordered her new bag of food using a $15 off coupon. I made her some doggie ice cream with yogurt, pumpkin and peanut butter for treats on a hot day.
4. My daughter and I went to garage sales Friday & Saturday and I found several items that should sell well on ebay. I also found two things on my want list. A couple of small journals and a extra charging cable for my phone. I also found my middle daughter a pair of shorts. Youngest daughter found a tea kettle that was still in the box. I’m very proud of her. She’s been wanting one but she waited until she found exactly what she wanted and for a good price.
5. I sold some old speakers on Facebook which freed up a lot of space in my basement.
6. My daughter and I split her bees into two hives. She’ll have to harvest honey soon. They have been very busy.
7. I called the company I bought my phone screen protector from as it popped off when I dropped it. They sent me a new one.
8. Frugal Fail – I wanted to have dinner downtown on a patio since it was such a nice day. I chose the restaurant that had sent me a $10 birthday coupon and we ordered water. Food was just okay but eating on the patio on such a beautiful night was fun.


Bee June 24, 2019 at 10:13 am

Jill, how much honey does a hive yield? I find bee keeping fascinating!


Kathy June 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm

1. Worked at the dog show so Free Krispy Kreme, coffee, lunch and bottle water
2. Listed multiple items on FB and responses
3. Eating out of pantry and refrigerator boring but necessary
4. Returned audio books to library
5. Spent $20 on a raffle tickets however won several nice items including $85 gift certificate to a local spa


Mand01 June 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm

1. Made a carrot top pesto. Used some on homemade pizza and the rest is in the freezer for two other pasta meals.
2. My aunt gave me half a bucket of homegrown apples. Plus we got to keep the bucket.
3. Went thrifting with my sister. Got a new poncho with tags for $4 (was $70).
4. Made yoghurt in my crockpot. Four jars for $2.
5. Neighbour gave us wood from his dead tree. Small tree, but still helpful for our fireplace next season.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Oh, I always forget about using the tops of carrots for anything other than vegetable broth. Pesto sounds great!


Mand01 June 23, 2019 at 7:36 pm

It is delicious. I’m allergic to nuts so I use pepitas instead of pine nuts. I also added a handful of cinnamon basil.


Midwest Beth June 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm

1. Daughter started new job as a bagger Saturday at a little local grocery store, Hallelujah! What a learning process for both us. Happy for her in so many ways! Will give her structure, important life/work lessons, new appreciation of working for her money/our household money, and savings in her bank account. 🙂 Several advantages she can walk or ride her bike to work, a great/less stressful learning place vs. the big box grocery store she also interviewed at, the work uniform shirts (they provide) and she can wear jeans/tennis shoes. She is too shy to ask but I have asked her to find out what kind of employee discount if any she gets on grocery purchases and if it applies to family. 🙂
2. Shopped at the corner pop up nursery which marked down all their plants. I only bought vegetable plants even though the succulents and perennials were sooooo tempting – not much left – I bought sweet potato pack of six, garlic plant and two green pepper plants, figure its worth the $2.12 I paid even though its late in the season. With all the rain everything is so behind.
3. Had small medical procedure done which required me to take it easy at home for several days last week. Even though the nurse suggested I pick up take out food I decided it would be more frugal to go to the grocery store and picked up some marked down pre-made salads, chicken pot pies (comfort food), a a few other things we needed. We ate at home and daughter helped prepare things i.e. box mac and cheese and made cookies. It was fine – stayed in my pajama’s and didn’t stress. Even though not feeling well still had Swagbucks going – didn’t stress myself out – figured whatever I earned as it ran in the background while I rested was better than none. While I recuperated I watched the new to me boxed dvd set of the Star War movies – (all three! ) I bought for $5 at the library used book store – it was a comfort watch i.e. I wouldn’t stress if i fell a sleep while watching.
4. Earned a $25 Lowes gift card through Swagbucks – second one this month, putting it towards a new dehumidifier for the basement – so far $75 in gift cards towards the purchase – woo hoo! If you are interested check out
5. No air conditioning at all this week just fans; batched errands Saturday, surprised daughter and went to Crispy Creme were we both got a free donut which did not disapoint, went to Kroger with coupons and bought only the excellent sale items we eat regularly, listening to my book club book through the library app vs. purchasing it, signed daughter and me up for a Bob Ross Painting Class at the library tomorrow night all supplies provided – should be a hoot! , opening/closing blinds/windows as the sun moves around the house every day to help keep it cool.

Frugal Fail But A Win :-): Daughter got all A’s on her report card and to celebrate we went out for a nice restaurant meal and dessert, she seemed to appreciate it. Was not frugal but definitely worth it, wanted her to know I saw and appreciated all her hard work/effort on getting good grades this year.


Joy June 23, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Beth – I noticed you bought a garlic plant. Not sure what that is, but our Master Gardeners have bought garlic from the grocery story, separated the cloves and planted them. In the south (Texas) we plant in the fall and harvest in the spring. I got a huge garlic the other day from our MG facility. I didn’t think buying from the grocery would work, but I have had some garlic start to grow shoots in the fridge or cabinet. So, you might want to try this also, if you like garlic and have room, it just takes so many months and usually over winter.


Midwest Beth June 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Thanks Joy for the information 🙂

I bought it on a whim – thought it would be worth a try and need to research it as the tag didn’t say anything.

Unfortunately I don’t use the garlic up fast enough – i usually end up throwing it out, but as its so cheap usually I don’t worry to much- wonder if it can be frozen like ginger can? Note to self – look it up. 😉


A. Marie June 24, 2019 at 1:55 am

Thanks, Joy and Beth, for reminding me of my (6): I harvested 16 heads of garlic this weekend. I plant the best cloves in October and dig them up in late June here in Upstate. The heads were on the small side (possibly because of our cold, wet spring?), but otherwise perfect. I pull the whole plants, let them dry in the sun for a day or so, and then cart them up to a dark corner of my warm, dry attic to finish curing. The scapes keep developing in the attic, and I use the resulting “bulblets” to flavor soup stocks and the like.


Joy June 23, 2019 at 3:47 pm

1. Gardening is a hobby, and I don’t mind spending a little money, but moving more and more to non-consumer in this realm of my life. Decided to save some tomato seeds for the next plantings. Lots of videos on line to show you how and it only cost a tomato or two (or just the seeds and pulp but not the whole fruit) depending on the size of the tomato and how many seeds to be saved. It will be quite a while to see if I get viable seeds, but it will be fun to see if it works. Also saving some basil seeds (much easier, although they are tiny), from our plants at our Master Gardener facility.
2. Also, rooted a couple of the spring tomato plants whose tops looked good to see if they will grow and produce this fall. Rooting hormone worked this past spring when I broke off a tomato top…still got about 20 juliet roma tomatoes from the plant. Also planted tomato seeds from a package to put in the ground in August. On another note, okra is coming up nicely and still getting many, many banana peppers.
3. Applied for SS benefits. Since no longer working, not contributing it makes sense. Setting up a new electricity contract which will save money each month. Do not have the exact pricing yet.
4. Rebooked rental car for upcoming trip, saved about $40 on rental.
5. Rebooked flight (via points) and saved about 2000 points on Southwest. Every little bit helps.
6. Did my civic duty – grand jury and got a check for $10.


susanna d June 23, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Five frugal things, “cleaning up the front woods edition”:

1. We finished with every other thing that needed doing on our fixer upper of a house, so we’re finally dealing with the standing dead trees and dead branches in the wooded front yard. Doing it (carefully) ourselves, as we did with the back woods, keeps the cost to a minimum.
2. Since much of the wood is stuff we wouldn’t burn indoors, we’ve been having a lot of campfires in our two fire pits. Free entertainment!
3. Burning the junk wood is also frugal in that hauling it to the wood-accepting place next to the dump would cost $25 per truckload. We have a lot of wood to get rid of, so we’re talking a number of truckloads.
4. After several days of using the fire pits, we realized that those campfires could provide us with free cooking fuel. No charcoal needed for the kettle grill, no propane needed for the gas grill, no natural gas used for the kitchen stove. We know how to cook over open fires. Why didn’t we think of this sooner?
5. We’re finally using the pie irons, tripod, fire pit grate and our camp cookware that’s been packed away and neglected for too long. The equipment may have been bought and paid for 30+ years ago, but still has a lot of life left in it and it’s nice to be using it again. We’re having a great time on this frugal adventure.


Bethany McLean June 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm

This weekend my husband drove our three kids up to Sacramento to meet up with their grandparents. Hotel paid by them! Blessing! Then they traveled today up to Grants Pass for 2 weeks. Adjusting our menu to accommodate the lack of hearty eaters. Should help the budget a smidge.

Went to a church ladies pot luck Saturday night. I brought deviled eggs, both because they are cheap, but also one of the few items I could eat and think of to bring since my surgery. Down 20 lbs since surgery bringing my total loss to 70. Feeling great and having to adjust my CPAP machine pressure down regularly. Can’t wait to chuck that beast, but actually might save it for my parents.

My truck driving dad had a run to a nearby city. It was time for his required 34 hr. break so he stayed with us. There are empty lots across the street so he can park for free right in front of the house. He did my honey do list I’d been saving for a time when things calmed down for my husband. He, also a former mechanic, also advised us on a car repair that was brought up on a recent oil change. Said don’t do one, but don’t delay the other.

Dad gave me a $100 to pick up Winco Pizza when he was here and told me to keep the change. He needs to put this in his retirement, but I love his generous heart.

Normally if I had a weekend alone, I’d be all over the opportunity to get a burger out, and not have to pay for the whole family to also have one. LOL, but this isn’t an option now since surgery. I have to be careful. Came home, had a cheese stick, and made some homemade cinnamon rolls after church today. As I always do, if I’m going to have a messy floured surface, I doubled the batch. Then I put them in 8×8 instead of 9×13 so the family can have cinnamon rolls 4 times instead of just two. Plus, they’ll be fresher each time as I stuck 3 of those in the freezer. Also used some of the time to do a circuit of thrift stores. Picked up several new things to wear some for now and some for in a few months when more weight comes off. I have to do this the affordable way.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss! I have been following your journey and am excited to hear your progress. Your dad seems like a sweet heart. Continue to keep us posted.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 6:24 pm

1. I made a improved wreath for my front door out of the old wreath that was already there. I just took some greenery out of a jug that I planned to put in my yardsale and stuck it in there. Sounds underwhelming but looks quite nice.
2. I had a yard sale Saturday. I made $172. Sounds like a really good deal but some of these items I basically sold for what I gave for them. But still, crap out and money in.
3. I was gifted a box of pineapples, a box of bananas, 2 bags of mini sweet peppers, 2 watermelons, 2 bags of tomatoes, and two boxes of blueberries. I made GF blueberry/banana pancakes for breakfast this morning and made several extra to put in the freezer. Will be great for my kids to put in the toaster for breakfast this week. Then this afternoon we had grilled pineapples and peppers, and some chicken for some of us. I was also able to share this produce with my mom and some friends.
4. I found a heavy pedestal to an old bird bath buried in my yard. I am going to affix a pot I already have to the top, paint it, and turn it into a plant stand.
5. My husband and I built a box out of 2×6 wood to put sand in for an above ground pool. The last pool we had was the largest one they make with the blow up ring at the top that lasted 7 enjoyable years but finally bit the dust. Turns out those pools can handle a slew of human abuse but is no match for one small cats claw. We ordered another one just like it and know what improvements we should do to help it last. We used cardboard boxes under the old pool instead of a tarp or sand and, actually, it worked well for a really long time. Cardboard also felt nice and springy under our feet….but….we are trying to make this one more aesthetically pleasing. We were gifted the boards from a friend that had too many after finishing a project.


Bethany M June 24, 2019 at 11:47 am

You gave me an idea with your wreath. My rosemary needs a trim, and I think I’ll cut a bunch and hang it on the security door when it’s cool enough to open the house up (not a wreath, but more of a bundle). I love that smell wafting in the house, and it doesn’t have to be a Christmas only thing.


Jennifer June 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm

That’s a great idea! I love the smell of rosemary and it’s so pretty. Perfect for a wreath. I have been remaking this same old door wreath for many years. It still looks as good as the ones they sell at hobby lobby. I just pluck off the weathered flowers/greenery, add something new then it’s fresh looking again.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm

1. Have yet to turn the AC on, yay! But I do miss summer and wish it would make an appearance. This weekend has been a lovely low 70’s. But it isn’t helping my garden yet.
2. Picked another bowl of peas – they love the cool weather.
3. Sold my Goodwill $3 toddler activity cube for $20 on our local garage sale page and a set of children’s books for $5.
4. Dh and I rode our bikes downtown for our date today. An coffee date that cost $6 and no gas spent is well worth the 2 hour reprieve from day to day life.
5. Stocked up on huge sales at the grocery store today and by hitting $100 ($100.60 actually!) I then saved an extra 20% off. The cashier was very impressed.


Pattilou June 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm

1. My niece had an extra cable that I needed to hook my phone up to my car speaker. Now I can play podcasts while I travel.
2. Another niece gave me some clothes she no longer wears. I will try to consign what doesn’t fit, with her blessing.
3. I’ve been walking the dogs and swimming in my niece’s pool for exercise.
4. I went on line and made a list of a lot of fun free things to do for the next two months.
5. I had to go to a wedding and I wore a dress I already had and did my own mani/pedi.


Jennifer June 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Your daughter must drop her phone a lot like I do. I see a lot of people with wood chipper phone case problem. Phone still works though!


tracy June 24, 2019 at 4:07 am

1. Visited a friend post-surgery and took her a lovely small bouquet from farmer’s market in a .99 Goodwill vase. Total cost $7.
2. Also got flowers at farmer’s market for myself and as a hostess gift using vases I already had. Not necessarily frugal but more frugal than florist and supports local growers (who are hard-working SE Asian immigrants). Wore thrifted clothes and necklaces to the family dinner I took flowers to.
3. After some back-sliding on restaurant meals recently due to busyness and stress at work, did not succumb this weekend. Made a delicious thai curry yesterday using things on hand including a bunch of vegetables that needed to be used and some shrimp from freezer.
4. Went to Goodwill for vase for friend’s flowers (had forgotten to bring one with me) and didn’t buy anything else.
5. Visited my Mom for a bit and got two large terra cotta pots from her that she no longer uses. Stuff out of her attic and furthers my goal of spiffing up my patio at low cost! Will plant this coming weekend.


Bee June 24, 2019 at 5:04 am

The summertime blues are setting in. The last several days the heat has been unbearable! It is making me a little unproductive and cranky!!! However, I have been frugal. Here are my FFT:
1. I sold 2 items on eBay, transferred $20 from Ibotta to my savings account, and sold some clothing to a consignment shop. I also paid for spot in the vintage flea market that I participate in every spring and fall.
2. I ran across an estate sale that produced a wonderful combination of useful items and goodies for resale. $51 yielded the following: 3 pieces of art glass, a vintage buoy, a 20″ X 20″ butcher block, 3 Corning French white containers w/ glass and resealable lids, some office supplies, a designer purse, a vintage brass ruler, a pair of suede boots, a Saudi Desert Rose, and a fancy hat which I needed for a fundraising event. My favorite item is a vintage, wooden camel bell which makes the most wonderful sound and reminds me for some reason of Indiana Jones.
3. My husband and I headed to the beach yesterday for a swim. We decided to go to a state park beach which is never very crowded. The water felt great and it helped us beat the heat. The $3 user fee is worth it!
4. This is not frugal but definitely NC. My husband and I have plans to attend a meeting tonight to show our opposition to a purposed development that would destroy sensitive lands. This property is considered conservation land, but the owner/developer is attempting to change it. I am not optimistic. The Florida of my youth with all its wild and uninhabitable beauty that I loved so much is nearly gone. It’s only taken 40 years or so.
5. Doing all the usual things — Cooking from scratch and at home, drinking primarily water, and brewing my own coffee. I am wearing thrifted clothes and buying secondhand whenever possible. I haven’t had any food waste this week. I am reading library books, watching a little streamed TV, and using my YMCA membership often to exercise indoors.


Lindsey June 24, 2019 at 8:45 am

Bee, I am afraid what has happened to your beloved Florida is happening here in Alaska, too. The area around Denali mountain has been filled with tacky stores that have caused such traffic backup that they had to put in a traffic light, and driving into Anchorage you have to pass through a heavily developed area with a parade of franchise fast food establishments. I live in Fairbanks and the same thing is happening around here, too. It makes you want to weep.


A. Marie June 24, 2019 at 11:36 am

Bee, your #2 haul sounds awesome. And I definitely hear you on your #4. I am not a Florida native, but my roots in the state go deep (my maternal grandmother was born in Eau Gallie, near present-day Melbourne, in 1899), and I’m a proud alum of New College of Florida (in Sarasota). I vividly remember the day in 1973 when my then-boyfriend rounded up a carload of us for a sneaky and slightly illegal visit to the last major undeveloped stretch of beach on Longboat Key, just before “they” started building condos on it. Cue Joni Mitchell: “Pave Paradise, put up a parking lot…”


Patricia Koernig June 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm

I hear you Bee, I live in South Florida. We are being cemented to death. 🙁


Bee June 25, 2019 at 9:02 am

Yes, it does seem that we have “paved paradise and put in a parking lot.” A. Marie, I am glad you have fond memories of Florida and New College is a great school. I was actually born on the Space Coast, so I have been to Eau Gallic.Patricia, it is true parts of South Florida are a concrete jungle. 🙁
Lindsey, I was fortunate to be able to spend some time in your beautiful state. Alaska is absolutely breathtaking. I will never forget the awe I experienced when the clouds parted and I saw Denali or when I saw a glacier for the first time. I hope I can go back again. I pray that Alaska will stay much the way it is.


ouvickie June 25, 2019 at 11:28 am

My Uncle worked at Cape Canaveral, for several years during the Moon Mission days and they lived in Titusville. I have fond memories of Florida from the 60s. It’s sad to hear and read about the environmental issues surrounding that State.


Vickey June 26, 2019 at 6:39 am

Thank you for your advocacy, Bee. Seems to me preserving the environment we all need to survive and thrive is long-term cost effective.
Our Rust Belt region is experiencing a “renaissance”, and I’ve already seen two friends priced out of the rapidly inflating local housing market. Doing what I can to appreciate our tamer wilds while they’re still here to enjoy.


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 24, 2019 at 5:15 am

Love how you guys pay for college with cash upfront! I know it’s hard now, but just think of how easier it’ll be after he graduates. 🙂

This week:

1. I just made homemade croissants. I took a class last year and need to practice regularly to keep up my skills. This time I made chocolate croissants and cinnamon raisin croissants. Yum! They freeze really well as a quick breakfast or snack.

2. We DIY’d our kitchen counter demolition to save money. The counter people are coming in a bit to measure so we can actually get a functional counter again.

3. I ate TV dinners and frozen meals at an Airbnb instead of going out to eat.

4. I sewed a cute cape from a thrift store tablecloth.

5. I did a load of laundy with homemade laundry soap.


Roberta June 24, 2019 at 6:47 am

1. Went to the fair again, with my daughter’s 4-H group. Free admission AND free parking! Brought a picnic again, and this kept fair-food to a minimum, for physical and financial health.
2. Enjoyed our picnic at the Highland Games. Only cost was a jar of raspberry jam, after our Groupon for entry. Watched the sheep dog trials, caber toss, raptor demonstration. Ran away from the snake demonstration.
3. Found a neighbor child to watch our chickens while we’re on vacation! They used to have chickens, but the chickens “flew south” one winter, and I think they’re looking at getting chickens again.
4. Stopped by Goodwill for books for our vacation. My daughter found four books, I found nothing.
5. The rest is just the usual: hanging laundry on the line, eating home as often as possible (we did eat out after church at our favorite restaurant, but we only do that once a month), using up leftovers, feeding food waste from the food bank to the chickens, etc.


ouvickie June 25, 2019 at 11:14 am

Thanks for a good laugh on the last sentence in #5, Roberta!!!


ouvickie June 25, 2019 at 11:16 am

Sorry – I meant #2 – I can’t even get my numbers right! I would have run from the snake demo, too!!! LOL!


sea June 24, 2019 at 12:32 pm

I don’t feel like I’m being very frugal lately, and we went away for the weekend which wasn’t cheap, but here are a few:

1. Husband had meeting in tourist area a couple hours away, and kids and I went too. First night at fancy resort in 2 bedroom suite was paid for! Second night was on us, but we were able to bump it down to a 1 bedroom suite by letting the hotel lock us out of the adjoining 2nd bedroom. Not cheap, but more than spacious enough, and there are too many of us to fit in a single hotel room. And the amenities at the resort were great.

2. Had a full kitchen, so brought homemade muffins, milk, juice etc for breakfasts. The suite had a Keurig with tea and coffee.

3. Adults went out to dinner one night, and bought Subway for kids/teens to eat back in suite. They played games and watched HGTV! 🙂 Didn’t have my Subway coupons with me, but $20 for sandwiches and cookies was cheaper than a restaurant or ordering room service.

4. Spent a day at tourist attraction. We visited last fall and bought season passes, so free for us!

5. Have raised my kids to enjoy the homemade breakfasts I brought, not beg for souvenirs, and enjoy old-fashioned board and card games. I’m going to chalk that up as a parenting success worthy of its own mention!


Kathy June 24, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Sea I’m feeling like I fell off the frugality wagon. June imploded and I’m counting the days until hubby gets paid on Thursday, I’m sick of consuming protein drinks and bars for breakfast and lunch.
I keep telling myself “this too shall pass”


Connie C. June 25, 2019 at 7:04 am

1) Made another principal only payment on our mortgage.

2) Ds23 and his girlfriend bought ingredients for mimosas to celebrate Hubs and my 32nd wedding anniversary. 🙂

3) Offered to bring my standard pasta salad to the family Fourth of July picnic next week. It’s quick and easy, as well as low cost.


Jenelle June 25, 2019 at 9:47 am

1. Found 4 new/sealed boxes of overnight pull ups at the Goodwill for $5 a box. Since both of my littles still use them…this is a bargain.

2. Work provided a free lunch yesterday and will do so a few more times this summer. Any free food is worth it to me.

3. Frugal & not so frugal. My little guy lost one of his pool shoes at summer camp, so I went out and bought another pair (because he has to use them). That’s the not so frugal. The frugal part is that he found the first shoe and he now has two pairs!

4. My kids birthdays are both on Aug. 10th. I found out that we can have their party at the town pool. Only thing I have to pay for is for the people who aren’t pool members. Almost all of their friends have pool passes!!!

5. Packing my lunch and drinks for work. Also keeping my sweet tooth at bay by bringing a bit of candy from home to work so I’m not tempted to visit the vending machine.


Cynthia June 25, 2019 at 10:19 am

I have a question for any brainstorming NCers reading today. My refrigerator needs a part that the manufacturer no longer makes. (Gee, I wonder why?) The entire refrigerator is in danger of being junked for lack of a $50 part (it won’t work without it.) Talk about planned obsolescence. I’ve gone online to look for a used part but no luck so far. One: I don’t want to buy a new refrigerator, and two: I don’t want to junk a perfectly good one for a little piece of metal. What would you do?


Cynthia June 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

I am really tempted to use a mini-fridge, which are always being sold used around here (college town) but I have a feeling that it won’t suffice, even though I live alone. Not frugal to not be able to freeze leftovers when I cook. I could look for a used fridge but I don’t have a truck (or a strong back) to move such a thing.


Cheryl June 25, 2019 at 8:40 pm

Try They may have the part you need.


Cynthia June 26, 2019 at 2:45 am

Thanks Cheryl, I have tried them with no luck to start with, but I think it pays to keep checking.


Vickey June 26, 2019 at 6:45 am

ebay? I often see parts from salvaged items sold there. Good luck!


ouvickie June 25, 2019 at 11:01 am

See if you can find an appliance repair shop in your area that will sell you the part. Possibly one that sells used/refurbished appliances. They might have one they can pull the part off of and will sell it to you.
We have one in the large town near us and they salvage parts off of used appliances, that they haul off as junk for people.


Cynthia June 25, 2019 at 11:52 am

Thanks–I’ll look around and give that a try!


ouvickie June 25, 2019 at 10:56 am

1) I re-homed 2 kittens with a co-worker and gave him an older, snap-together dog house, the cat bed they slept on and a foam-rubber kitchen mat to go inside the dog house for them – since he needed a way to shelter them, on his patio, during storms & such. Which helps me a LOT – 2 less kittens (to a good home) and less clutter at my house.
2) Using up the last bits of my toothpaste by cutting the end of the tube off.
3) I used a baked chicken breast from Sunday night’s dinner in a salad for lunch yesterday. I’m doing my best to make enough food during the weekend for lunches during the week.
4) The feed store sells apple treats for horses, but they are expensive. Instead, I buy a bag of apples at Aldi and cut a 1/2 of one up every morning into his feed. Fortunately, Summer means plenty of grass, so the only feed he gets is a cup of oats and cup of special care feed to mix his Buteless into. This keeps him from foundering and saves tons of money in Vet bills.
5) Fuel is $2.29 per gallon at our neighborhood convenience store. Yahoo!
It’s 20-30 cents per gallon more at most other stations in our area. I’m so thankful the couple that owns it do their best to keep their prices competitive.


Jill A June 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm

This is our second year beekeeping. Last year we took a couple of gallons which is unusual with a first year hive. They already have about 120 lbs of honey so we should be able to take a whole lot more this year. You have to leave some for the bees to eat over the winter. I’ll update everyone with amounts once we’ve done some honey extracting.


Jill A June 25, 2019 at 1:57 pm


Could you remove my last name from this reply. Thanks.


Christine June 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm

I love the little doll’s dresser, Katy. Looks like one I had as a kid.
1. DH and I attended a graduation party and were sent home with a huge platter of roasted vegetables. This was a catered party and the food was restaurant quality. We’ve been eating them for 3 days now plus I added some to a macaroni salad I made.
2. From said party was handed a centerpiece on the way out. It’s now adorning my kitchen table.
3. Found a penny which was nice because the streets have not yielded anything lately, not even a deposit can.
4. Happily watching my electric bill continue to decline due mostly to hanging all laundry outside.
5. Helped out at a Strawberry Social at church and was sent home with enough strawberries and biscuits for two plus shortcakes.


Marenka June 26, 2019 at 11:41 pm



Teresa June 27, 2019 at 8:10 am

1. A friend who is moving gave me her rattan dining chairs instead of donating. Planned to sell them but I will probably keep them and use them in the sun room. They are cute! Just need cleanup and new cushions.

2. Planted tomatoes this year and there are already 9 tomatoes on the plant. Score one for summer salad. The other two plants are still measly, but they’ll probably buck up when the weather gets hotter.

3. Hired my son to do the work around here that I can’t get to. This is a win-win since he needs the money and *things* were getting out of hand. **Things are coming along quite nicely now.

4. Re-subscribed to the local paper after I let the subscription lapse. They sent me a gift card for $20 for resubscribing. I don’t really understand this tactic but OK, I’ll take it…

5. Trying to finish up foods in the fridge and pantry. Yesterday I made a stew using a recipe from my aunt who lived to be 100! Now that I only have me to cook for I need to think about what to do with all these cookbooks. Keep? Toss? Save? Use? Of late, my dinner and cooking has been very simple…yogurt and blueberries or pre-cooked chicken and salad, sometimes beans — things like that, and usually only two courses. Is there anyone else here that is cooking for only one person these days? Do you still make elaborate meals? What are some of your go-to’s?


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