Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 27, 2019 · 77 comments

  1. My eBay woke from a deep slumber and I sold three items in a single day. (A keyboard, a video game and a vintage marble bowl) Of course, it went right back into a hibernation after having exerted all that effort. I then sold a desk, (the pink and white one from the last blog post) a set of six stacking chairs and a pair of Sanita/Danskos. I also took a box of free books to Powell’s and earned $14 in store credit.

    Not too shabby considering that it’s only Thursday.

  2. My son and I spent an hour or so perusing the aftermath of another neighborhood’s garage sale day. (Needless to say, we went in the late afternoon when people were inclined to set any unsold stuff out with a “free” sign.) Although there wasn’t much to choose from, we got lucky and scored the aforementioned stacking chairs, which were “Isaac Mizrahi for Target,” as well as a silverplate coffee set that might actually be worth a couple hundred dollars. We also helped ourselves to a Nike baseball cap, miscellaneous books and a leather purse.

    After hitting up Powell’s I donated the leftover books to Goodwill, except for one which I set onto my to-read stack. I happily accepted the donation receipt for my 2019 taxes.

  3. My son and husband went to see the band Mastadon in concert, which was our 21st birthday present to him. I no longer recall the cost of the tickets, (not cheap!) but this experiential gift far outweighs any thing that we could have purchased from him. The two of them had a terrific evening out together, which will be a memory to outlast any physical item.

    Experiences > Stuff

  4. I slathered a $4.99 thrifted table with some Restor-A-Finish to ready it for resale, I started reading another library book, my father treated me to lunch, I brought home a graphing calculator from a free box, I cobbled together a faux Pine State Biscuits dinner for my family, even thought it meant having to bake a separate batch of gluten-free biscuits for my daughter, (still cheaper than eating out) and I downloaded a free audiobook of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine through the Libby app.

  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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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

K D June 27, 2019 at 11:32 am

Thank you for mentioning Restor-A-Finish. It looks like a great product to know about.

1. I read The Year of Less, by Cait Flanders. It was a worthwhile read. I am also working on The Nordic Theory of Everything. It is a longer, and less engrossing read.

2. I have dinner in the crock pot. I’m using up geriatric potatoes and carrots and chicken that was cheap because I used a gift card offer at the grocery store.

3. A friend invited me to swim in her pool. I gifted her some pickles she likes that are value priced at COSTCO.

4. Meals at home, meals at home, meals at home.

5. I’m wearing the same summer clothes and sandals as in previous years. fast, easy, and cheap.


Linda June 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm

I am wearing a t-shirt that I bought when I was stationed in Berlin, 1979-82. The printing is mostly worn off and it is worn to a thinness that is about right for our current 100 degree plus heat index.


Connie C July 1, 2019 at 8:38 am

Linda, this made me smile~ go you!


Nalani June 27, 2019 at 11:47 am

Just one today–paid off my student loans from law school. Yay!


Lindsey June 27, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Good for you!!


KT June 27, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Oh wow, Nalani! Congratulations!


Tracy June 27, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Congrats! And as a lawyer nearing retirement who wishes she’d started saving MUCH sooner, may I humbly suggest you convert your prior loan payment to a retirement savings payment?


Nalani June 30, 2019 at 11:07 am

Thanks. I have a 401K at work that I contribute to (sadly no match) and a Roth IRA so will put the previous loan payments into one of those.


A. Marie June 27, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Woo hoo, Nalani! You rock!!


Kym Hopkins June 27, 2019 at 2:19 pm

That’s a BIG one! Congrats


Bethany June 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Woah! Congrats!


Patricia Koernig June 28, 2019 at 1:24 am

Go Nalani go!!!!!


sea June 28, 2019 at 6:01 am

Congrats, Counselor! That’s great news!


Cindy in the South June 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Fantastic! I know the feeling. Like someone else said, as a lawyer who is approaching retirement (I am 59) that payment amt now needs to be set aside in an retirement account.


Cindy in the South June 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

“a” not “an”


Christine June 29, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Nice! A burden lifted.


AuntiAli June 30, 2019 at 12:01 am



Lisa M. June 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

This is really awesome & what a substantial $ saver over time. Congratulations!


Nalani June 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

Thank y’all. I am happy to be done with it! I always love reading everyone’s Frugal Five for motivation to keep frugaling on.


Connie C July 1, 2019 at 8:39 am



Lindsey June 27, 2019 at 12:03 pm

1. Husband replaced a leaking bathroom fan, including replacing insulation, for a friend and as an unexpected thank you we were given 25 pounds of salmon.

2. This salmon was on top of a lot of halibut we were given by a neighbor, so it is raining fish here. Plus, I just picked several gallons of honeyberries from our garden. We had no room in the freezer, so we broke down and bought a small freezer. We priced them at Home Depot, went to Safeway and got a gift card to cover the amount, and thus earned points for cheaper gas in the future. When we went back to Home Depot, we found the same freezer but this one had a dent on the side and when we pointed it out, the price was reduced by 30%. We don’t care about a dent. Come October we will shut off this freezer and transfer the stuff to our no-electricity freezer—a box on the back porch that keeps things frozen from October until about mid-March.

3. A couple years ago I lost over 125 pounds. A month ago, I felt like I had no clothes to wear and realized it was because I had regained 25 pounds and had outgrown a lot of my clothes; I was tempted to buy some new used clothes but decided that was stupidly non-frugal. I went back on my diet and have lost 15 pounds and things are fitting better so I did not spend money on clothes. When you spend a lot of time in a wheelchair you gain weight easily because you don’t move around much. It took me a few days to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back on the diet wagon.

4. Sold a book, some leftover fencing and a meat slicer via FB, so no mailing hassle.

5. Used our local tool library (one separate from the regular library) to borrow a thatcher and then a seed spreader, instead of buying one.

Not so frugal: We hate life without dogs so have been visiting the pound daily. So far, they are all too tiny for my tastes but eventually we will find a dog that is a good fit for us.


A. Marie June 27, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Lindsey: First, massive fish envy on your #1-2. If it were raining fish around here, I’d be standing out in the front yard with the biggest bucket I could find.

Second, the last sentence of your #3 struck a chord with me. It’s taking me a boatload of effort these days to avoid self-pity and keep on doing what needs to be done re: DH. I’m no saint, believe me. But the support from you and other commenters on this blog helps me keep on keeping on. And I hope you’re benefiting similarly.


Bee June 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

I hope you find a new pup that you will love or perhaps the dog will find you like mine did. I am also one of those people that enjoys life with a dog. Because my husband travels, I spend a good deal of time alone. My pooch is a lot of company.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Lindsey, I love the idea of the tool library. The closest thing I’ve heard to that is a neighboring town’s library that lends out baking pans! Not a bad idea if you want to bake a novel cake say for a child and don’t want to splurge on a pan for perhaps a one time cake. The tool library would certainly be a $$$ saver, especially if it were a one time use tool.


Midwest Beth June 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm

1. Sweet aunt sent text msg pictures of super cute expensive purses she wondered if my daughter and I would like? Yes we would :-). SWEET Aunt sent box right away and we had so much fun going through it! All expensive – Brighton and Dooley and Bourke – would like to sell online ones we can’t use, have not done so before. Recommendations for best site for purses?
2. Special thanks to the Non consumer Advocate Forum for helping me figure out the air bag warning light coming on was due to the gas cap not being put on tight when I filled up today! How the two relate is a mystery to me but solved the problem:-)
3. Called insurance company to ensure biopsy procedure I was having done was covered, thankfully the response was 100 % covered, took away part of the worry! Update: came back negative, so relieved and blessed as my mom had breast cancer.
4. Got our square foot garden in and herbs planted. Kept purchases to a minimum and re-used or used things already had. When it rains collect rainwater for watering the plants with.
5. Went to a Bob Ross Painting event with my daughter at library – all supplies provided free of charge, lots of fun! Wish I could post our pictures, we got paint everywhere! Treated DD after to a Sonic shake which are her fav and half off after 8 pm.
6. Had an exciting phone interview for a job which is great as didn’t have to drive into the city or pay expensive city parking prices; as usual doing Swagbucks when I can; listening to library books; clipping coupons – love the pet store one for $5 off when spend $30 always get the biggest bag off dog food when it’s on sale and use this coupon:-)


Bethany June 27, 2019 at 5:57 pm

Bob Ross worked in my hometown growing up. My mom saw him once at Marsh Supermarket. He was already in line at the next checkout lane. I could only see his ‘fro.


Midwest Beth June 27, 2019 at 6:50 pm



Bee June 28, 2019 at 4:10 am

I am glad that your biopsy was negative. I went through that last year and it is frightening. Good luck with the job interview!


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Good to hear your biopsy results were negative. Scary, especially when a relative has had the same cancer the doctor is looking for. Relief!


Jennifer June 27, 2019 at 2:05 pm

1. Volunteer worked the local MLB game yesterday with my dh. Since we both worked, we carpooled obviously which saved gas over us working separate games. In light of working all day we had a no-spend day as I put my 14 year old in charge of having dinner ready when we got home. Oh and we drove the gymnastics carpool on our way to the game and someone else brought dd home.
2. Dh and ds are working away on removing 3 tree stumps that are in the way of where our fire pit/patio will be. The fire pit is my Mother’s Day/birthday present that I have wanted for years. We could pay someone a couple hundred to grind the stumps, but I would rather have that money for the fire pit.
3. Still picking peas from my garden (almost done due to heat) and now my volunteer black raspberry bushes are starting to ripen. Yum, yum, yum! We won’t talk about my tomatoes…
4. Sold a book set for $5 on my local garage sale page. Listed several leotards for sale as well.
5. Leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner today! I had not realized they had piled up so high, but we are eating them all today.
6. Had ds (learning to drive) drive me on my errands. I remembered that I had a freebie at Dunkin Donuts for my birthday so offered to get him one. He then remembered he had not done anything for my birthday yet (he was out of town) so bought me Starbucks. We were already driving by both places. it was a fun time and he now knows how to order drive and order through a drive thru as he did it twice today.


Kathy June 27, 2019 at 3:30 pm

1. Worked my admin gig
2. Eating from pantry and refrigerator
3. Cocktailed hair styling products
4. Reading books I already owned
5. Watching Netflix


Mand01 June 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

1. Turned free apples from my aunt into apple and blackberry pie and apple streusel muffins.
2. Made granola at the same time using the TWG recipe. It’s very delicious.
3. Was told by one plumber that our entire solar hot water service needed to be replaced at a cost of $7,500. Got a second opinion. Problem was a $4 seal. With labour: $132.
4. Have three clients now and am doing work for them today and Monday.
5. Trying hard to use all the food we have and not to waste anything.


Joy June 27, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Mand01 – so glad you found out the real problem to your hot water system. I’m fortunate to have a husband that fixes things, so generally, we rarely have to call anyone in – however, we did hire a bricklayer when my husband had to cut through an outside wall of the house so a plumber could access a broken pipe…my husband tried, bless his heart, but it was beyond the capability. He did relay the bricks and needless to say, we had to get a professional, and found someone laying bricks in the neighborhood that did it for an expensive amount (and it looks so much better). The bricklayer left a tool and he was nowhere to be found, so my husband got a new tool as well…but my husband has, in the past year, fixed the refrigerator, the sprinkler system, a door that was leaning, among a number of other things. We figured it would have cost us about $2000 for the other repairs that only cost us his time and about $200.


Mand01 June 28, 2019 at 1:55 pm

It was a great relief. My husband is quite handy too and will try to repair most things, but the solar hot water service was not in his skill set. We were both very relieved it was such an easy repair- and will only use that second plumber from now on.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) June 28, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Clueless here -TWG recipe for granola? I’m looking for a good granola recipe. What is TWG? Thanks in advance.


Ruby June 28, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Tightwad Gazette. They are talking about the granola recipe from the Complete Tightwad Gazette book.


Mand01 June 29, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Yes that’s the one


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Second opinions are worth their weight in gold…or at least $132! Lol. Glad the small problem was discovered.


Cindy in the South June 27, 2019 at 5:03 pm

I had a free three nights at hotel on beach for work conference. Could explore after 4 pm every day. Had to rush down a day early because my uncle, who lives near beach, was critical. He pulled through, and it was worth the $112 bucks I had to pay for Motel 6 a day early at beach. Conference was free, family emergency was not nor was the food I forgot in my haste to get to my uncle. Lets see what else in my brain fogged mind I was frugal in doing…free cucumbers, free walks on beach, and I don’t know…. when I arrived back home I have been in hearings all day so need a nap…yawn


tracy June 28, 2019 at 5:48 am

Cindy I’m glad your uncle pulled through. I know from your posts you do an amazing job at frugal living and sometimes there are things more important than money!


Cindy in the South June 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm



Bethany June 27, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Curbside find: large lighted snowman. Very excited for Christmas this year. Kids will love it.

Met my husband halfway on his commute Monday and went to a neighbor butted up to the hills. An awesome park there has zip lines. Neighborhood also has roaming donkeys. For 99 cents we made our 4 year old’s day! Well, it made my day too. Had to go to the DMV up there today so we fed them a second time. Fun little non-guilty pleasure!

Red boxing it tonight! Way cheaper than theaters tickets.

Been able to keep the ac off all week. The trick here is to open the main door, but leave the security door closed with a fan at night and then shut it all up by 9:00 am.

Had friends over to swim yesterday. Zero mile involved, house gets tidied, Kid’s have fun and moms get to chat. Win, win, win, win!


Bethany June 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm

99 cents for carrots to feed the donkeys from the passenger side of the car.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm

My mother in law used to do a similar technique in her house to keep the heat out. Hers involved throwing the windows open wide first thing in the morning (she was an early riser) and then close the windows, pull the shades and close all doors when the sun rose. Her house honestly felt so cool, the first time I went in there in the summertime I assumed she had central AC!


Bethany June 30, 2019 at 7:15 am

Good for her! Works well in our climate.


Laura in Sydney June 30, 2019 at 11:42 am

I do the same here in Sydney and it works a treat!


Jill A June 28, 2019 at 2:44 am

I don’t have many new frugal things beyond the usual stuff.

1. I realized that one of the hotels we stayed at last month was part of a hotel rewards program that I am a member of. I called and had points added for my stay.
2. I sold two more items on ebay. I will ship with reused packaging and drop them at the post office since I have to go there anyway. My niece sent me something but it is apparently short $2 in postage.
3. Picked the last few strawberries and had them with lunch yesterday.
4. I added several more holds to my library kindle account. I resisted buying any books even though Amazon offered me $3 credit.
5. I tried some jeans on yesterday that I picked up at a garage sale for $2. They fit perfect and they look brand new.


Jill A June 28, 2019 at 3:08 am

One frugal thing I forgot about. I had my tires rotated last week and they told me I needed new tires. I got a quote for tires for my car and my daughters car. Then I went to Costco and got a quote from them which was much cheaper for comparable tires. Then I looked at my records and realized my tires were only 19 months old and six of those months my car was in storage. So I googled how to check if you need new tires and did the penny test. I realized my tires still have plenty of tread on them still so I’ll be holding off on my car. I also checked my daughters and she can probably use some new ones but I think it can wait until just before the snow flies. I guess you shouldn’t trust a salesman.


Kathy Sell June 29, 2019 at 5:28 am

I wonder if you store your car on blocks, so that the car’s weight is not on the tires? Tires become “flat,” not airless, when they are not rotated by driving regularly, so damage occurs.


Jenelle June 28, 2019 at 4:25 am

1. Used a free meal card when we went out to eat last night. Not frugal to be going out to eat…but no one had any motivation last evening.

2. The summer heat and humidity has set in. We used our pool pass last evening and will visit the local amusement park’s water park tonight using the annual pass we get every year.

3. Our town hosts a folk festival every year (large German heritage here in Easter PA). I get in for free during my lunch hour and there isn’t much that I can justify paying for my kids to go. So I just attend during my lunch hour and am happy with that.

4. Found some great free items curbside this week: 2 like new boogie boards, a bike for my daughter, a few baby dolls for her and a brand new maternity pillow cover that I plan to resell. My kids now look out for things along side the road. They have even started to ask if cars (with For Sale signs in them) are free! (too young to read yet!)

5. I am religious, so if you’re not a believer this will not pertain to you. Last week I was hit with two larger than normal bills that I had no idea where the money was going to come from. I prayed and handed it over to God to help us find the money to pay these. The next day the electric bill came and was less than half than normal. That money helped me pay those bills! God isn’t going to help me win the lottery, but he sure provides!


Momma L June 29, 2019 at 3:38 am

He absolutely does provide, I’ve seen it myself, in small ways and big ways. Thank you for sharing your #5. 🙂


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:24 pm

I’ve prayed over seemingly hopeless money issues too and they have been resolved. I’m not a “Bible Thumper” but have a strong faith.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm

An add on: I actually felt guilty praying for something so material but realized I wasn’t asking for money, I was asking for a way to find an answer. This happened twice in my lifetime and both times it worked.


Lisa June 30, 2019 at 4:28 am

God’s blessings are plentiful. Their is medical equipment in my house that runs 24/7 and our electric bill is always higher in the summer. Just last week I received a call out of the blue from an organization to pay my July bill. New car brakes here I come.


Nirav Desai June 28, 2019 at 5:55 am

I restored half of my patio set with Danish oil.

I pulled half the weeds in my back yard.

I sprayed the yard with insecticide (1 of 2 treatments).

I’m seeing a pattern here


Roberta June 28, 2019 at 6:32 am

Not much frugal this week, bur I’m trying.
1. Stopped by AAA to pay insurance and talk to a travel agent about our combined trip. We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this December, my parents are celebrating their 50th next June, and two of the cousins will be graduating high school. We’re planning a trip for all 12 of the family! AAA offers a cruise, with excursions, that will be affordable. Plus I got a free business reply envelope to send in a copy of my son’s transcript, to get a good student discount.
2. Still eating loquats off our tree. I needed to bring a dessert down to my sister-in-law’s; my daughter had picked out a recipe that required three bars of chocolate (9 ounces). Looks very yummy, but pricy. It also required a special cake pan. Instead, I made a clafouti with loquats instead of cherries. It was eaten up.
3. Not frugal for us, but my other sister-in-law: my teenage son spent the day with her, fixing her computer. She needed a new motherboard, so he gave her one he had in his stash. He also loaded Linux as on operating system. He had a blast, and she should have several more years before she needs to buy a new computer! Plus free lunch out.
4. Borrowed my brother-in-law’s motorhome for our supper trip. It’s twenty years old, but has less than 40 thousand miles! Much safer than driving our 20 year old, 200 thousand mile truck across the desert!
5. I have been slowly collecting “special treat” foods as I find them cheap: dried cherries, mac and cheese, dried apricots, etc. This will save us from eating out, as we will not be tempted as much.


Joy June 28, 2019 at 1:59 pm

I also take along dried fruit on outings, including travel, even when we fly. Just having something along helps not to spend as much money. Plus, it is probably healthier than other options out there. I keep a stash at home and if I buy something online and need a little more for free shipping, if they have dried fruit, I’ll add it in. Hate to pay for shipping.


Roberta June 28, 2019 at 6:32 am

Not much frugal this week, bur I’m trying.
1. Stopped by AAA to pay insurance and talk to a travel agent about our combined trip. We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this December, my parents are celebrating their 50th next June, and two of the cousins will be graduating high school. We’re planning a trip for all 12 of the family! AAA offers a cruise, with excursions, that will be affordable. Plus I got a free business reply envelope to send in a copy of my son’s transcript, to get a good student discount.
2. Still eating loquats off our tree. I needed to bring a dessert down to my sister-in-law’s; my daughter had picked out a recipe that required three bars of chocolate (9 ounces). Looks very yummy, but pricy. It also required a special cake pan. Instead, I made a clafouti with loquats instead of cherries. It was eaten up.
3. Not frugal for us, but my other sister-in-law: my teenage son spent the day with her, fixing her computer. She needed a new motherboard, so he gave her one he had in his stash. He also loaded Linux as on operating system. He had a blast, and she should have several more years before she needs to buy a new computer! Plus free lunch out.
4. Borrowed my brother-in-law’s motorhome for our summer trip. It’s twenty years old, but has less than 40 thousand miles! Much safer than driving our 20 year old, 200 thousand mile truck across the desert!
5. I have been slowly collecting “special treat” foods as I find them cheap: dried cherries, mac and cheese, dried apricots, etc. This will save us from eating out, as we will not be tempted as much.


Amanda June 28, 2019 at 8:24 am

1) This morning I put cloth diapers on the baby, breastfed him, hung sheets on the line to take advantage of it being one million degrees outside, did summer learning activities with the boys that came free from school, walked instead of drove to the library, and scrounged up leftovers for lunch.

2) I’ve drafted our budget for July, which should hopefully include the last of a slew of medical expenses coming from my delivery of the new baby, care for the new baby, and my husband’s vasectomy so that is this is the last new baby.

3) I am wrapping up the first draft of the second chapter of my dissertation this week while the baby naps and the boys play. We’ve structured our day so that we have work and play. And it saves us the cost of full time care for three. Our three year old is still in full time daycare, but we pay in cash way ahead of time to get a discount, and if you can get work done with a three year old around then your three year old is not at all like my three year old.

4) We found a pair of hiking sandals for our oldest at a local consignment shop. They were cheaper than the Target pair I was planning to buy if I didn’t find any, and they should be much better quality.

5) I made BBQ in the crockpot with half of a pork shoulder I bought back when Aldi had them on sale. We had it for supper last night, and I put a quart in the freezer for next time.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Your #2…hilarious! Gave me a good laugh!


Bee June 28, 2019 at 11:37 am

It has been a rather expensive week. On occasion, I find that I have to enter the consumerist realm. I had a special event to attend this week. After searching my closet, I realized I didn’t have anything appropriate to wear for this occasion. I looked for a secondhand dress for nearly a month. I even ordered two dresses from thredup. I finally gave up and bought new. I found myself In the store trying on all these beautiful new things that I did not need, but really wanted. I got a hold of myself and bought only a dress. I love it and will wear it often this summer. Consumerism can be a slippery slope. But despite this little setback, I was also frugal.
1. I am always trying to make a little extra money. I sold two items that I purchased for resale at a nice profit on eBay . I am helping a friend of mine at her place of business on Monday for a few hours. Although the vintage sale that I participate in is 3 months away, I have started working on my display, restoring items, pricing etc. If I do a little bit at a time, it isn’t overwhelming come sale week.
2. My brother-in-law celebrated a big birthday this week. Rather than buying him a silly gift, we made a donation to a charity that he supports and wrote him a letter telling him how important he is to us. He was thrilled. It was perfect for a man that has everything and wants nothing.
3. I have been eating nearly all of my meals at home. I planned my menu for the next two weeks utilizing items in the freezer and seasonal foods. There are so many inexpensive fruits and vegetables available this time of year…watermelon, peaches, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cucumbers. Best of all, seafood is also readily available along the coast where I live.
4. I bit of bleach splattered on one of my favorite dresses. It is a print with a black background, so I colored in the damaged area with a sharpie. The dress is as good as new.
5. I have been doing all the usual things – drinking primarily water and brewing my own coffee. Reading library books and watching streamed television. Practicing preventative health – visited the dentist, made an appointment for my blood work, had a mammogram done, and ran 5 miles yesterday at the Y. Used my HSA to pay for my medical cost. Paid bills on time and online avoiding the cost of stamps. Tons of little things.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Your #4…great idea with the Sharpie. Thanks Bee.


ouvickie June 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

1) Grilled a leftover, baked chicken breast on my thrifted George Forman, cut it a cucumber and some grape tomatoes into a salad for dinner last evening.
2) I use newspaper, brown paper bags and any other sturdy paper I can find in the bottom of the cat’s litter pan, in order to keep them from scratching through the plastic bag I cover it in.
3) Listening to music on my Amazon Music app. I choose the music that doesn’t cost me a monthly charge.
4) I checked out the Goodwill by-the-pound center yesterday. I’m looking for a cat tree/scratching post for our kitten. Didn’t find one and didn’t see anything interesting I wanted or needed, so I left without buying anything.
5) I didn’t buy a gold-plated anything this month and turned down an invitation to an on-line Pampered Chef party – thus saving myself lots of bucks.


Ava June 28, 2019 at 1:02 pm

1. Picking green beans from my kiddie pool gardens, almost more than we can keep up with. Have also harvested a potato and a cucumber.
2. Got free duct tape with a valued customer card to mend a dog gnawed CD holder.
3. Got a free bag of dog treats with a coupon from a friend. Don’t understand why the dog needs treats when he has plenty of CD holders, library books, boxes of staples, batteries and other goodies to eat.
4. Still eating less both at home and out. Dr. said I have lost 5 lbs since my last visit.
5. Going through tools and garden supplies to donate, share with others, weed out things that should be thrown away. Got rid of two large damaged pieces of furniture by putting them on the side of the road where they were picked up. More space to appreciate the things we are keeping.


Lindsey June 28, 2019 at 4:52 pm

I seldom laugh out loud when reading, but your number 3 did it for me!!


Patricia Koernig June 29, 2019 at 2:17 am

Me too! Early morning belly laugh, best way to start the day!


Lucy June 28, 2019 at 2:23 pm

I have an avocado tree that gives about 500 avocados in the summertime. They are delicious. I take them to local farmers markets and trade them for things I need.


Lisa June 30, 2019 at 4:35 am

Love that. I had a relationship with my green grocer and I could barter with banana bread, baked goods and pickled watermelon rind


tracy June 29, 2019 at 5:14 am

I have not had a frugal week, so here are 5 NOT frugal things
1. Car needed new brakes, $600
2. Dog needed vaccines etc. $200
3. After going a long time without eating out much at all, I hit a wall at working all day (often 10 hour days) and cooking at night and over last week we’ve gotten pizza, gone out to eat x 2, taken daughter and friend out to eat at food carts, estimated hit $150
4. Also related to overworking/stress I’ve taken online shopping breaks at work and frittered away $100 on things I don’t need…
5. I took yesterday off work and daughter and I had pedicures… $60 (this was worth it for time together and happy toes!)
And just like that I’ve spent over $1100 (gasp) — although $800 of it was necessary, that’s still $300 of unnecessary consumerism. Ugh.

Luckily being frugal rest of time AND fact that I am expecting a check for a raise I just received that will be retro to January means I can absorb this without tapping long term savings, but it makes me fill ill just to read it. So — it’s back on the NON-consumer bandwagon for me!


cynthia June 29, 2019 at 6:00 am

Tracy, you needed that day off sooner! I know how these things can snowball when you go too long under pressure, and a situation that might be relieved with a shorter break and smaller reward becomes too big and reason takes a holiday. Not always possible to take off sooner I know, but a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves!


Tracy June 29, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Thanks Cynthia so true! And after coming to my senses I am returning some of my I’ll-advised purchases!


Michelle H June 29, 2019 at 12:33 pm

1. Took 2.5 week road trip vacation and visited 5 states. Main expenses were groceries, gas for the Suburban, and $22/night campground fees. Cooked 95% of our meals, drank tap water out of reusable water bottles, and did lots of hiking and free activities for entertainment. Took advantage of free National Park Pass for 4th graders (Every Kid in a Park), and used it for free admission to 2 different places at Land Between the Lakes, and saved over $60 in admission fees for the entire family.

2. Saved on pet sitting fees by trading animal care with 2 neighbors. Between the 3 of us we’re able to get each others pets covered all summer for each of our various trips. Bonus: we only have a cat, and they both have dogs, so we’ll get some exercise walking the poochies.

3. Got free patio table and 6 chairs neighbor was giving away.

4. Received postcard from the local outlet mall offering 2 free tickets to a mall attraction if we brought the card to the service desk. Picked 2 free movie passes that I can use anytime. Other options were 2 tickets to the aquarium or Legoland, but we’re a family of 5 and it wouldn’t have been frugal by the time I bought additional tickets for the rest of us.

5. There’s a Great Wolf Lodge one town over ,and found a Groupon for a super cheap room for a Sunday night at the end of August. Most of the schools around here start the week before, but our district doesn’t start school until Tuesday. Total cost was $200 with taxes/fees, and we get 6 passes to the water park. We’ll pack our own food to fix simple meals in the room, and invite a friend for the day to use the extra pass.


janine June 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Fairly expensive weekend out of town but a few savings.
1, Found cheaper gas as we drove south.
2. Staying at a less expensive hotel although there are some trade offs – no comfortable chairs, not enough pillows etc.
3. Bought consumables for the most part – jam, specialty dried beef sticks etc.
4. Bought each kid an inexpensive summer t-shirt on sale.
5. Got lost this morning but discovered some beautiful rural scenery.


Bee June 30, 2019 at 4:48 am

I am an advocate of getting lost. Sometimes it yields wonderful surprises. When I have taken the time to take an alternative route, I often discover something beautiful, memorable or interesting. In the words of John Muir,“All who wander are not lost.” Glad you enjoyed the scenery!


Christine June 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm

1. Together DH and I power washed the mold off the north side of the house and cleaned the front porch area. We will get to the rest of the house hopefully this week. The man used to do it for us with his cherry picker charged us $200 each for the entire house. Although it made me almost as nervous watching DH up high on a ladder as I would have been myself up there, I was grateful he did it.
2. DH and I take care of our own yardwork which I look at as great exercise for two people in their 60s.
3. Sending letters back and forth to a friend since kindergarten who lives about 20 miles away. Cheaper than traveling to and from in my vehicle and she doesn’t drive. Nice to experience this old fashioned way of communicating.
4. Considering getting rid of our trash hauling service and using our town transfer station which I calculate will cost us half as much as we pay now plus our time and small amount of gas.
4. Stuck(mostly) to my grocery list while shopping.
5. May have to buy another car. Our one and only is in the shop in bad shape.


Christine June 29, 2019 at 1:56 pm

…the man who used to power wash our house…charged us $200 each time he washed the house, NOT each of us $200….geez…brain working too fast for my fingers or vice versa.


Ruby June 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm

1. Made a pair of shorts for a financially struggling friend’s four year old with fabric from a thrifted plaid pillow sham. They came out really cute and thw fabric is soft but sturdy. Decorated the waistband with a button from my stash of recycled buttons.
2. Used a $5 off $25 coupon at the dollar store to buy dishwasher and laundry detergent, cat litter, and bath soap. Received another coupon at check out, so next week will use it to stock up on toilet paper, shampoo, dish deterent, and more cat litter.
3. Rescued an insulated lunch bag from the trash at work and discovered it had a high quality steel Thermos inside. Cleaned everything up and gave it to a diabetic friend who needs to carry heathy snacks at all times.
4. Mended the ragged hems of my son’s old jeans and patched a couple of worn spots with denim saved from a worn out, outgrown pair of jeans.
5. Frankensteined two non-working pump bottles to create one working one for hand soap in our kitchen. The bottle is glass and the pump is purple platic, but I don’t care as long as it works.


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