Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 30, 2019 · 66 comments

  1. I’ve been slowly but consistently selling things through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay all week long. No super-wow-amazing-impressive flips, but together they added up to a financially respectable amount. This included another pair of Danskos, a groovy old light fixture, a vintage office chair, a book and two more freebie soccer tickets.

    I have someone supposedly coming tomorrow to pick up a cute 1960s suitcase, although I know to hold off counting that chicken until it hatches.

  2. My county commissioner held an informational meeting at a nearby library, and I’m not too proud to admit that I was sold by the promise of “free coffee and pastries.” It was actually very interesting, and I enjoyed increasing my knowledge of various community concerns.

    Of course, the combination of civic engagement with free coffee and pastries, all in the presence of free books practically demands my presence.

    I helped myself to a coffee, a sprinkled donut and a Lucky Day copy of A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell.

  3. I received a email reminder about my son’s July rent, so I got on the horn with the property management office as his lease actually ended on June 30th. This company has high turnover, which in the past has meant that an employee ensured me that some issue was of no concern, and yet was long gone by the time it did become an issue. I confirmed that they had the correct information, and then had the person send me an email confirming that we were in no way responsible for July’s rent.

    This may sound paranoid, but getting things in writing is never a regret.

  4. My neighbors are heading out on vacation, so they gifted me fresh peas and lettuce from their CSA box, I created a dinner that used up three (THREE!) half-used boxes of pasta, I gleaned a free enormous cardboard box from a local business after hitting up an appliance store that was going to charge me, I almost bought tickets to visit my sister in NYC and then hit the brakes as the tickets were $420+ apiece, (I’ll continue my search for cheaper tickets) I pulled a handy not-too-big-not-too-small box from a neighbor’s recycling bin, (perfect size for eBay) and I socialized with friends by going for walks, sharing errands and simply chatting on our front porches.

  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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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen B June 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Only a couple, but I’m really happy with them.

1) Our big frugal win for the week: Lego Minotaurus board game from a thrift store. The 3 of us have been watching together the BBC series Atlantis (if I gave it a movie rating, it would be PG-13), which included the minotaur and labyrinth stories, and enjoying it a lot. My son also read Rick Riordan’s series with Greek mythology within the last year, as well as 3 other series of his. He was just below the recommended lower age recommendation when the game came out in 2010, we didn’t get it then although he wanted it, and never got around to it. Current price on Amazon, $69.99, thrift store price $2.88! Complete except for one figure replaced with an imitation built by the previous owner and the directions, which my son easily googled and printed. He and I had a fun half hour of chasing each other on the board with the Minotaur and moving walls to block each other’s easiest path. Good logic and planning game for multiple ages. We’ve now played it 4 times and will play it again soon.

2) We watched The Lego Movie: The Second Part on DVD from the library. (Very good, like the ending a lot.) Son has gotten out his bin of Legos and spent several hours building this week.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm

We’ve had a dinner with a dear friend for this weekend scheduled months ago but I was hit with a massive pain flare-up last week and it’s still not let up. We almost resorted to expensive take out but I managed to pull together shrimp pasta and broccoli from the pantry and with a judicious grocery run. Saved about $30!

I’ve put together a big library donation which both frees up space on our shelves and is a little tax deduction for us and gives our Friends of the Library some revenue, win win win!


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Ooh and I just noticed that Spider-Man: into the Spiderverse is on Netflix so we can enjoy that very soon!


Kathy S. June 30, 2019 at 1:39 pm

1. We used Southwest points and our companion pass for a free flight to visit our oldest son at his college, then stayed for free at his apartment.
2. We used Chase Sapphire points for a free rental car.
3. We shopped the Amish market and the Ithaca Farmers market for fresh foods while we were there.
4. Back home a friend gave us a bag full of yummy Mangos.
5. My younger son called to order his contacts and got them to price match a lower price.


Connie C July 1, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Cornell or Ithaca College?


Kathy S. July 1, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Cornell – Grad school – Go Big Red!


Vickey July 2, 2019 at 7:29 am

Ithaca is loaded with temptations! All those co-ops and hand-crafted lovelies… They’re all “gorges. 😉


Kathy June 30, 2019 at 1:50 pm

1. Sold one item on FB market place $5 yippee
2. Donated my old dinnerware to the church for their rummage sale in November.
3. Leaving end of week for Oklahoma to house sit for my kids. My sister lives next door to them so
It’s a 2 for 1 trip. I’m packing my protein shake mix to minimize on buying food.
4. My sister and I will make a trip to the consignment stores to hopefully sell some of her clothing plus I’m taking a suitcase of stuff to sell while I’m there.
5. Had a flu thing most of last week which kept me from leaving the house (little driving), ate at home and had OTC meds on hand.


Erika July 2, 2019 at 3:53 am

I will be traveling similarly to our son’s place and would love to know the brand of your protein shake mix, if you wouldn’t mind sharing it. Thanks!


Mand01 June 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm

1. I have some pretty solid work going forward for the next couple of weeks at least. Hashtag freelancelyf working out well so far.
2. I went away for the weekend with my youngest. Accommodation was free. We did have to buy food as there were no cooking facilities, but we ate breakfast there. Picked up three big bags of fruit at a roadside stall, including five huge avocados for $5. They are usually $2 each.
3. My husband fixed all our other plumbing issues for $29.
4. He also picked up a big load of wood from a friend of a friend for $120. That’s a very good deal around here – less than half price.
5. He’s still making his delicious sourdough every week. I’m eating it right now with homemade passion fruit butter.
Frugal fail: five minutes from home I hit a roadworks barrier and damaged the wheel of our brand new car. I estimate about $500 damage. I could buy a lot of $1 or even $2 avocados for that. Bloody hell.


Lisa M. June 30, 2019 at 2:15 pm

5+FF: Dog Days of Summer… Blech!!

Highlighting small frugal wins this time as $ seems to be escaping in large amounts.

1. Free lunch: Enjoyed 2 free 3” subs from a local sub shop on Customer Appreciation Day. Delivery personnel walked into office & handed out mini subs. I had brought lunch from home (like always), so stashed them in the fridge & ate them a couple days later.

2. Free protein: Used gifted single serving of thick cut of steak with seasoning on outside that had been cooked & frozen. Not enough for 2 servings, so added as protein to black beans & rice mix with 2 cans of corn topped with shredded cheese, sour cream & fajita seasoning. Delicious!

3. Grocer sales: Bought cans of young peas & shoepeg corn on sale at grocer for holiday salads at Thanksgiving & Christmas. Sale prices cheaper than big box store, so why wait?

4. CE savings: Found a couple of frugal ways to complete some CE requirements. Through friend, attended free in-person CE activity managing a very short turn-around time & also located online resource to obtain maximum CEs for least cost. Unlimited access pass with 15% 1st time user discount good for 1 year provides opportunity for maximum online CEs for current renewal period, as well as next renewal period since current license period ends 8-31. Cost per online CE hour: $1.67. Individual responsibility for maintaining professional licensure is costly, making frugality imperative.

5. Tire discount/rebate: Purchased new tires for DD through manufacturer using friends & family discount (35%). Maximized rebate by stopping at local shop to get info on June ($80) versus July ($60) rebates as they change quarterly. Online purchase completed last day of June to get maximum rebate.

6. College budgeting: DD just now got accepted into local major university of her choice, so sat down with DH & discussed nuts & bolts of budgeting, i.e. what to use 529 funds for & plan for division of monthly living expenses, etc. Trying to avoid student loans & paying as she goes.

7. Spice deals: Local spice shop offers time-limited short notice great deals most often in cooler weather. After receiving email notification, texted my financially struggling friend who does not have a home computer & she happened to be close to a shop & had time in her schedule to visit. I made haste to hoof it to local shop & scored 1 completely free seasoning blend & another free seasoning with the purchase of a $5 spice blend that I just finished.


Bethany June 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Over bought milk at Costco before my kids left for grandparents for 2 weeks. Threw some in the freezer, and will probably make a mammoth batch of pancakes for the freezer.

Got the official word that my kids are enrolled in the new charter school for the Fall. Getting the ball rolling for the local symphony orchestra to be a vendor so we can attend for free. Surprised that they weren’t already a vendor. Been wanting to do this for a while. Organized field trip is the next step if they don’t decide to be a vendor.

This year having to bite the bullet to purchase laptops for the kids. At least Costco sells Chromebooks for $259. I will try to reduce all other spending for a couple months to weather the credit card bill so we can still pay it in full as we’ve always done.

Trying to time my pool pump to keep it from running simultaneously with the a/c. Solar panels can’t keep up with both. And then the $ just flies out of our pocket.

Got a bedroom paint ready. It will be my project (with leftover paint) while every body is away for 4 days this week. I have another room that needs a good coat, but I need to be realistic about what I’m capable of right now. My goal is to keep the house as close to market ready as possible in case an awesome opportunity opens up in the Midwest. I’d love to move closer to my parents and into a cheaper cost of living. CA is sucking us dry!


Midwest Beth June 30, 2019 at 3:53 pm

1. Surprised daughter and took her to see Toy Story 4 at MJR for $5 movies all day/night and free popcorn after she got off work at 8:00 pm. We brought our own bottled water and candy. She pointed out at 16 she had never been to an evening movie because we always go to matinees as they are the cheapest, to funny.
2. Went to a book club meeting at a wine tasting place I had been wanting to attend, super fun and glad I went. Bought one glass of wine which was awesome and not any of the larger sampling offers or food items as I ate before I came. Ate the free pastry, Brought three books to swap and didn’t take any as there was nothing I really wanted to read and I literally have stacks of books at home I have never read. Looked up and requested through several of the library apps the upcoming book club books far in advance as some hold lists are so long! Also remembered to sign daughter up for the reading program so she can get a free book at the end of the summer.
3. Attended a free morning photography class with daughter at a state park and used my special car recreational license plate sticker I paid for that got me in free. We had a great time and learned a lot! Was tempted to stop for food but went home and made lunch.
4. Took some awesome pictures and looking forward to the next free Walgreens 8 X 10 day. Was inspired by a open house I went to, the neighbor had some great local pictures featured in their home. I can’t really afford the canvas prints they had but could do a series of three prints with dollar store frames!
5. Carpooled to an event avoiding expense of gas and parking fees. Bought the driver and another gal we rode with a cold drink as it was so hot out and a way to thank the driver.
6. Took daughter to bookstore to get her inspired to read again this summer. Bought her a book but ordered the ones I was interested in through the library as we sat in the Starbucks cafe section looking at the books we were interested in. We drank free water, enjoyed the free air conditioning and we each got a pastry. I used my sisters membership for a discount on all the purchases so saved $2. Great Sunday afternoon. Went home and watered my square foot garden using rain water I had collected, made a quick dinner and now we are off to watch the fireworks of course bringing our own snacks and beverages while we wait for them to begin.


Economically Proud June 30, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Trying to combat the large electric bill from daily AC usage this past week.
1. Found 30 cents
2. Shopped for grocery bargains: 12 pack sodas 1.99, eggs- .69 a doz., bread- .67 a loaf, greek yogurt .50 a cup, boxed mac and cheese- .29 each
3. Did laundry in cold with 1/2 detergent and hung outside to dry
4. turned AC on when upstairs was 88 degrees, turned off when the sun went down- it is supposed to be 65 tonight
5. picked green beans, chard, and basil from garden. Many tomatoes and peppers growing.


Midwest Beth June 30, 2019 at 5:05 pm

1. Surprised daughter and took her to see Toy Story 4 at MJR for $5 movies all day/night and free popcorn after she got off work at 8:00 pm. We brought our own bottled water and candy. She pointed out at 16 she had never been to an evening movie because we always go to matinees as they are the cheapest, to funny.
2. Went to a book club meeting at a wine tasting place I had been wanting to attend, super fun and glad I went. Bought one glass of wine which was awesome and not any of the larger sampling offers or food items as I ate before I came. Ate the free pastry, Brought three books to swap and didn’t take any as there was nothing I really wanted to read and I literally have stacks of books at home I have never read. Looked up and requested through several of the library apps the upcoming book club books far in advance as some hold lists are so long! Also remembered to sign daughter up for the reading program so she can get a free book at the end of the summer.
3. Attended a free morning photography class with daughter at a state park and used my special car recreational license plate sticker I paid for that got me in free. We had a great time and learned a lot! Was tempted to stop for food but went home and made lunch.
4. Took some awesome pictures and looking forward to the next free Walgreens 8 X 10 day. Was inspired by a open house I went to, the neighbor had some great local pictures featured in their home. I can’t really afford the canvas prints they had but could do a series of three prints with dollar store frames!
5. Carpooled to an event avoiding expense of gas and parking fees. Bought the driver and another gal we rode with a cold drink as it was so hot out and a way to thank the driver.
6. Took daughter to bookstore to get her inspired to read again this summer. Bought her a book but ordered the ones I was interested in through the library as we sat in the Starbucks cafe section looking at the books we were interested in. We drank free water, enjoyed the free air conditioning and we each got a pastry. I used my sisters membership for a discount on all the purchases so saved $2. Great Sunday afternoon. Went home and watered my square foot garden using rain water I had collected, made a quick dinner and now we are off to watch the fireworks of course bringing our own snacks and beverages while we wait for them to begin.


Andrea June 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm

1) Scheduled a free bulk trash pick up by the city. Got rid of lots of old broken stuff that could not be repurposed. Now have room to add on to the garden.

2) DH being very strict about not using the a/c. He opens the house in the a.m. and closes it up before it gets hot. Doors to unused rooms are closed and we only use a fan in the room we are in. Should be interesting to see the difference in electricity from last year.

3) Have not gone out to eat in over a month. We never have been big about eating out but we had recently been going out to lunch more while running errands. Had an aha moment and stopped that.

4) Harvesting blueberries and freezing. Great for smoothies and in my oatmeal.

5) Put Hulu on ‘pause’. DH says his shows are done for the season so he isn’t watching. Planning to ‘cancel’ Netflix too. They will retain your profile information for 10 months if so it is all there if you change your mind. Savings of over $20 a month.


Vickey July 2, 2019 at 2:12 pm

I love the outcome of your no. 1!


K D July 1, 2019 at 3:04 am


Many of my FFTs were inspired by you:

1. We ate all meals at home the past ten days. We have leftovers for the next couple nights. My daughter gifted me overripe bananas and I made banana blue berry muffins.

2. Someone down the street put a table and chair out for trash pick up. I hoped the universe would intervene and someone would keep them out of the landfill. They were not picked up on trash pickup day so twenty four hours later we drove down to pick them up. On closer inspection they are old oak. My husband did the needed repair yesterday and used Restor-a-Finish on the top yesterday. He was impressed by the quality of the product.

3. We went to concerts in the woods Saturday and Sunday evening. Both shows were great. Of course we donated but there is no admission fee.

4. We unfortunately have some trees that are dying. By asking around we found a reputable and reasonably priced service for removal. A couple of our neighbor’s trees are part of the package. They are happy we did the leg work and with the price for their trees.

5. I found $.17 yesterday. Today I will turn in my found money for the past six months. I do it twice a year.


Jill A July 1, 2019 at 3:07 am

No huge frugal things this week.

1.My youngest daughter and I had lunch with my FIL at Culvers. He insisted on paying but I brought coupons and daughter and I shared a meal and got BOGO concrete mixers.
2. I’ve finally turned on my A/C during the day but I’m turning it off at night when it gets cooler. I’m using fans and sucking in as much cool air as I can this morning before I close the house up. Hopefully this helps to use less electricity.
3. We’ve been enjoying the pool. I purchased cheap but comfortable floats and we’ve been making mojitos using the mint growing in my yard and homemade simple syrup.
4. I made another delicious chickpea tikka masala meal using ingredients previously purchased from the last batch. It’s provided 7 meals so far with enough for one of us to have another meal. My daughter is interested in eating less meat and more veggies meals which is a win in many departments.
5. We went to some garage sales and again I found an item on my wish list. I was able to replace a broken picture frame with a brand new one for just $1. My daughter found a free box with some cute clothes in it. We took what she was interested in and what she doesn’t like we’ll sell to Plato’s closet.


Bee July 1, 2019 at 4:19 am

Floating around the pool with a mojito in hand sounds like a great way to beat the heat. How relaxing!


Alexandra July 1, 2019 at 3:11 am

1. It took over a month but made a sale on Facebook marketplace. $15 for something I got for free! Learning how to sell things I don’t need/want is fun.
2. DH and I ate out together at Zoe’s yesterday. In retrospect we should’ve shared an entrée but we did share a free piece of chocolate cake we got for my birthday. My waistline appreciated sharing a piece a cake.
3. Made a good lunch on Friday but realized too many calories. I put half of my grilled ham and cheese in the refrigerator and I’m having it for breakfast today. As I continue to count calories coming on my third month, I’m really seeing how much less food we are eating and how it is reflecting in the grocery bill.
4. We have decided to embrace meatless Mondays as a way to first in for most contribute our part to Helping the environment. We both crave me it seems all the time . As we know from saving money and counting calories baby steps can have a huge impact overtime. So I was going one day a week without me should be significant.
5. Discussed how different our lives used to be when we had no car. We chose to live 18 months without a car and biked everywhere. We were going on an errand and agreed in the old days we simply would have skipped the air and instead of biking as it was too hot and the end of a long week. A reminder that sometimes the choice is simply to not do something. It had saved us oodles of money.


Jenelle July 1, 2019 at 5:02 am

1. My hubby worked yesterday so the kids and I invited a friend (who has some depression issues) to spend the day with us. After church we went out for lunch, a quick visit to the Goodwill (which was way too fast in my opinion) and then a dip in the community pool. While this day was not frugal (because of paying for my friend) I do know that she was happy to have people to spend the day with. She becomes depressed when her son is with his dad and she is alone. I knew the day with me and the kids would be good for her! (so was the sun!)

2. Hit up a few yard sales over the weekend. I focused my buying on items that we need or items that i knew would sell on Ebay. One yard sale in particular was getting ready to close for the day and they told me take whatever you want for $10. I got a like new booster seat, tons of clothes for my daughter and about 3 games!

3. My boss just did some renovations to her house and had three pieces of sheet rock left. She gladly gave them to us to use in our bathroom renovation.

4. Hubby found $40 on the floor of the grocery store!

5. We are celebrating the 4th of July by camping with my family (and hubby’s) on my brother’s property. The only real money we spend to camp is for the gas to get to camp and the food we buy. We do also make a trip to that Goodwill!!


A. Marie July 1, 2019 at 11:34 am

Whoa, Jenelle, where is this grocery store in your #4? I think we’d all like to shop there!

But in the meantime, I’m going to be keeping a sharp eye on the ground for found cash this 4th of July weekend. A few years ago, I found a $20 bill in the street on July 5 (obviously from a hasty and illegal fireworks purchase).


Lindsey July 1, 2019 at 1:06 pm

What a kind and thoughtful friend you are! It is so easy to forget that just being there is important when times are tough for people. Thanks for the reminder.


A. Marie July 2, 2019 at 9:29 am

And, of course, what Lindsey said is what I really should have said. Thank you, Lindsey, as always.


tracy July 1, 2019 at 5:23 am

1. Returned two items (shoes and bathing suit) which I had purchased over last couple of weeks when in work stress maelstrom. NOT needed, feel better having returned them (although of course feel guilty about the resources used to ship them to me and then for me to drive them back). Also did not buy anything else while at mall! Now need to stay off the internet shopping sites… Should be fine, it’s a short week and I feel very rested up from three days off. Did stop at the Grocery Outlet that’s near the mall and stocked up on a bunch of gourmet half price cheeses for our beach trip this week. Which leads to #2…
2. Have been stocking up on grocery bargains for our 4th of July trip to the beach. Will have between 6-10 people to feed for 4-5 days and should have almost everything we need for not much more than my usual grocery budget. And have bought WAY more junk/treat food than I usually do (s’mores supplies, chips, cheeses, crackers, cookies etc.) since it’s vacation. We may have to buy an item or two here or there at the coast but mostly taken care of. Which is good because stores there are literally double the cost of what I usually pay.
3. Went bowling Saturday eve with hubs and 15 year old DD. Not super frugal but we went to one of the few remaining “old time” bowling alleys which was half the cost of the new “entertainment center” style bowling alleys (with restaurants, arcades, music etc. etc.) that are popping up all over town. I loved the old vintage vibe and we had a great time!
4. Went to the amazing Portland Nursery to pick up two roses that are my Mom’s belated mother’s day gift (Hansa rugosas to plant at her beach house when we go over there this week) and didn’t buy anything else for my back patio even though I was tempted and still have two pots to fill. SO MANY beautiful plants but SO EXPENSIVE (although the rugosas were no more than ordering online and they are in great shape and fully leafed out).
5. Did a big grocery shop this weekend (see #2) and in addition to shopping almost exclusively things that are on the weekly ads or have a coupon (except produce) I always keep an eagle eye out for “close outs” which are unadvertised specials on certain items that are being discontinued. I love blueberry jam and Freddy’s private selection jam is excellent. This week they had jars of Maine blueberry jam on close out for .90 instead of almost $4. Not even close to expiration date or anything. I bought 10! We will easily go through them.
6. Hubs and I are going to Hawaii next January for a week to celebrate our 10th anniversary in November. I reserved a condo for a reasonable cost (for Hawaii) and am now looking at flights. I have had an Alaska Visa for years and wondered why I wasn’t getting the companion fare coupon so called them. Turned out I didn’t have the right type of account so after talking with a few people(they wanted me to open ANOTHER credit card account and keep one I already had, I wanted to upgrade my existing account) they are upgrading my account and I should have my companion fare coupon within a few weeks. That will save about $400 in airfare, and annual fare is no higher than existing card.


Bee July 1, 2019 at 5:52 am

My FFT seem a bit repetitive, but they reflect reality. I get stuck in a rut during the hot summer months. It’s the summertime blues.
1. I am looking forward to the fall when I’ll be participating in the vintage flea market. I have made a to-do list and getting things organized. This includes working on display options. Presentation is everything at these events.

I have also listed several more things online even though things are incredibly slow. I have a question for those of you who sell on eBay. I accepted an offer on an item and the individual has not paid. I sent an official eBay reminder after 2 days. I sent a friendly email on Day 4. It is now Day 6. Do I relist the item? I haven’t run into this before.

2. My son who is hiking the PCT will be hitting the Sierras on the 4th, so I sent a supply box to him with his mountain gear. I included a batch of homemade granola originally based on the TWG recipe which was mention in comments of last week’s FFT. Over the years, I have made adjustments to the recipe and have several variations. I made my son’s favorites. All of his supplies are being shipped in a recycled box.
Everything else is the same ol’ same ol’ —

3. I am eating all my meals at home or packing them to take with me. I am drinking primarily filtered water, brewing my own coffee, eating our leftovers and cooking from scratch. I am using coupons when appropriate and wearing thrifted clothing.

4. When I have an opportunity, I head to the beach to cool off and swim. No cost fun. I wear my old bathing suits and a sun hat a bought at an estate sale. My beach chairs are approaching the 10th season of use. They may need to be replaced at the end of the summer. I will see what’s on sale.

5. I have been running indoors at the YMCA. I am reading a library book and watching a series on Prime. Just trying to stay cool …


Jill A July 1, 2019 at 6:28 am

Bee, I think the beach sounds amazing. All you need are some mojitos smuggled in a water bottle.


Cheryl July 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

Bee, re your eBay sale, if your buyer hasn’t paid, you need to file an unpaid bidder alert so you can get your seller fees and any listing fees returned. Than, you can go ahead and relist. A bit discouraging having a bidder not follow thru, but thankfully, in my experience, it doesn’t happen that often.


Bee July 2, 2019 at 3:58 am

Thank you! I have never had this happen. I appreciate the info!


Jess in NC July 1, 2019 at 7:00 am

1. I started the Uber Frugal Month challenge over on the Frugalwoods. I enjoy month long frugality challenges that help me reset whenever consumer programming starts to sneak back into my brain.

2. Yesterday, I went to a professional production of Mama Mia at my college’s summer theatre. As an employee, I get half off tickets.

3. Before said production, I met up with friends on campus and we enjoyed drinks and snacks we brought from home. The meet up made the play feel extra special and we weren’t spending money at a local restaurant.

4. My local grocery store has rolled out online ordering for pick up and has included a $10 off a $35 purchase coupon with it. I’m taking advantage and am stocking up on all of the pantry items I’m running low on. I won’t use this service after I’ve had the coupon but hey, that’s a pretty good one time deal.

5. Bringing my lunch and coffee to work with me has the added bonus of me not using my car and my gas to drive anywhere else to buy lunch.


Roberta July 1, 2019 at 7:19 am

1. We canceled our summer trip, and instead we decided to vacation here. Our truck is too old for the trip across the desert (and too small for kids and dogs), so we borrowed my brother-in-law’s motorhome, which needs repairs for a short in the electrical system. So we were looking for a dog sitter for our dogs, and planning a car trip… long story short, we realized that we are all enoying our vacation at home so much, we’d rather stay home, except for wanting to visit my niece who moved to Colorado. So we decided to fly her out to visit everyone, stay home, and replace our air conditioning — for about the same or less than we would have spent on a trip.
2. Making granola with my daughter. She suggested we make it, after we went shopping together and she saw how much it costs, and how much sugar is in it. I’m excited for a cheaper option, and a project together.
3. Checked out the library programs this month, since we’ll be home. Next week they’re having a smoothie-making event, My daughter is excited to attend with a friend.
4. Hit an estate sale Saturday, looking for a new-to-me microwave. My old one works…mostly. Didn’t find a microwave, but I did get two cast iron pans (for the kids’ “hope chests” for college), a box of mason jars, a large ammo can for storage, a spray can of clear topcoat, a box of sand paper, four really cute vintage pyrex glass apple custard cups, a box of baby food jars for school, staples for the garage stapler, for $10! Most of the stuff is consumable, and we would have bought them eventually anyway!
5. Brought in our old books to the used bookstore. They gave us $11 for them, and we spent more than that there — but this is the first time I’ve gotten cash for my books, and I’m glad to have found this place! They don’t seem terribly picky, as long as the condition is good, so I’ll be collecting things at free piles and garage sales in the future.


Joanie Ruppel July 1, 2019 at 7:57 am

While traveling to Beaumont, TX for a wedding I built in enough time to stop at an antique store and a garage sale in a quaint town on my path. I bought a t-shirt for $.25, a small plate for $.25, a new DVD for $1.00 and tried to buy an audio book CD set but the lady gifted it to me as she said she traveled a lot and was happy for me to have it. I listened to the book in the car on my 12-hour round trip and drove through a rain storm that caused the temperature to drop 15 degrees. Having not brought a jacket at all, I used my new t-shirt to avoid getting wet and keeping warmer than I would have been! I also listed some old collector magazines on eBay and have gotten some bids.


Pattilou July 1, 2019 at 8:00 am

1. I was able to consign a pair of pants and while I was at the consignment shop, I picked up a check for $17.00.
2. I borrowed a rug cleaner from a friend and gave my rugs a good cleaning.
3. replaced a lamp in a flashlight instead of buying a new one. I also patronized a small local hardware store to purchase it.
4. took my nieces to an event at the library and to the local splash pad. Free summer fun.
5. packed snacks and drinks for a road trip I had to take.


rebecca July 1, 2019 at 8:09 am

1. Had friends over for dinner Saturday night and used a lot of ingredients I had in the freezer.
2. Tonight is the last night of the grad class I am teaching. Just made brownies with ingredients on hand to celebrate the end and all their hard work.
3. A lovely friend and their pool have been a delightful.
4. watching Doc Martin. It is terrific. I know I am late to the game with this show but better late then never.
5. Same as usual-library, coffee from home, using all groceries, food from home ect


Jill A July 2, 2019 at 2:46 am

I haven’t heard of Doc Martin. Thanks for the suggestion. I was looking for a new show to watch. It looks like it might be on Hulu.


Mary in Maryland July 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

1. Dog days of summer… Sewed a dog bed out of the Mister’s old pants.
2. Have been adding vegetables to the dog’s food. Makes for much easier picking up after them.
3. Cloth diapering the 13-year-old dog. He leaks just a little—which inspires the 8-year-old to empty his bladder on the rug.
4. I hand wash their bedding outside in a bucket to save the washer and dryer from dog hair. Easier on filters and the drain. Water the thirsties in the back garden with dog wash water.
5. Our younger dog has been slipping for a while. I took him to the vet 6 weeks ago because his abdomen was much firmer than it had been and he was coughing a few times a day. I wanted to know if he had heart failure or something else that is treatable. She said not. His belly continues to get firmer week by week and now some vomiting. I know if I took him back to the vet, we could find out exactly what’s wrong for a thousand dollars or so. But we would not treat cancer (which seems more and more likely to me). So I’m sad and afraid for my dear boy.


Nalani July 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Hope the pup will be okay!


Lisa M. July 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Mary, I’m sorry to hear about your younger dog. Rigid abdomen, cough, vomiting does not sound good. My little girl is getting close to 15 & had breast cancer last year. She had sudden limited movement & discomfort, so we had the tumor removed but chose to not have a pathology analysis. As you said, cancer treatment seems extreme for adult-geriatric canine children despite how much we love them. Hoping your jr. dog improves soon. Keep us posted.


Kathy July 1, 2019 at 6:48 pm

Yes my 7 year old Bulldog has bone cancer late last year. Had to have a front toe removed $2000 vet bill.
She’s doing great, However we’re not going to do any other treatments.


Amanda July 1, 2019 at 10:33 am

1) My husband and I both went to the optometrist this morning so we could use our benefits before our heath insurance reups at the end of the month.

2) While I was out I also popped into the Goodwill in the next block. I didn’t find any shoes for the wedding we are going to at the end of the month, but I did find a replacement lamp shade for the one my kids stepped on last month.

3) Last night we finished up our July budget and I did a quick Aldi run while he started baths.

4) I took advantage of the student discount to sign up for a professional organization.

5) I will be transporting breastmilk several times in the upcoming months, so I have been researching dry ice and solutions. I ordered a thing called cooler shock off of Amazon that is supposed to freeze colder than ice and last much longer. I’m going to do some tests in hot cars all day so I can confirm it works. If so, I will save having to buy dry ice a bunch.


A. Marie July 1, 2019 at 11:53 am

FFT, Midyear Report Edition:

(1) NY State deposit bottle/can total as of 6/30: 140.20. Found change total: 13.18. (And I got July off to a good start by finding 23 cents in the street this morning, down where the kids like to hang out and shoot hoops. Some leaky pockets there?)

(2) As noted in a comment above, I will be keeping a sharp eye out for dropped change from hasty fireworks transactions this coming holiday weekend. Fireworks other than kiddie sparklers are illegal in NY State, so many local “entrepreneurs” drive down to the first town across the PA line and stock up.

(3) DH and I did go to the bag sale at the synagogue rummage sale I mentioned in my comment on the 6/23 FFT. For $5, three good cookbooks, two pairs of excellent khaki pants for DH, and a bunch of English/Scottish wool sweaters and scarves for wool-loving Dr. Bestest Neighbor. (The BNs and my other friends aren’t a bit shy about wearing my finds, incidentally. Dr. BN says he gets compliments on his all the time.)

(4) I checked one of the Irish Spring soaps I hung out in mid-May when I was setting out tomatoes and cucumbers–and, probably because of all the rain we’ve had, it’s time to hang out fresh soaps. Good thing I stocked up on all that Coast soap during Ollie Days. Meanwhile, the ones that have become unstinky will be scrubbed of their surface dirt and used in the shower. (What? You thought I was going to waste all that soap??) 🙂

(5) Finally, we’re eating salad greens, cilantro, and dill out of the garden at a great rate. Yummers!


Joy July 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Marie – Just curious why you hang out soap – is it to keep bugs away? Thank you. BTW, I grow lots of dill as well, but our is quite done in the south, but will soon plant for fall – love the scent !


A. Marie July 2, 2019 at 9:35 am

Joy, the soap is deer repellent, not bug repellent. My garden actually consists of a series of small beds in our double lot in our deer-infested Upstate NY city–and we can’t afford to fence the whole yard, even if it weren’t true that deer can leap over 8-foot chain-link fences (I’ve seen it). So out comes the deodorant soap in the plastic berry baskets. But, like any scent-based repellent, the soap only works for so long and needs replacement after a while. But I’m willing to wash with the brands of soap I use, once they’ve been de-scented by wind and weather!


Mand01 July 2, 2019 at 12:45 pm

I read a hilarious book about gardening called The $64 Tomato. Many of his tribulations were deer related.
In Australia we don’t have many deer problems. Gardeners do have problems with possums. Our possums are adorable and protected, but they can wreak havoc on a garden.


A. Marie July 2, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Mand, it’s probably true that my garden crops are not saving me much money (if any). Still, the sets of dried herbs I give as gifts do add a bit to the credit column.

And I’m not surprised that Australian gardeners have trouble with marsupials–although I would have guessed kangaroos rather than possums. Here in the States, our possums are only slowly working their way north and aren’t a problem in Upstate NY gardens (or at least not in my gardens) yet. At least it doesn’t sound as if the possums are interfering with your massive pumpkin crop! Thanks for the report from Down Under.

Jennifer July 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Weirdly, we have a possum that comes up each night and eats the cats food. The cats act like he(or she!) is part of the family. They treat the possum the same as the a fellow cat.

Joy July 1, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Katy – regarding flights to NYC, I would definitely look for tickets at the holiday week is over, probably the weekend as well. I have watched airline tickets for years, although we primarily fly on Southwest on points (and have for many years), but holiday weeks often see the price jump up and then down again after the week is over. Keep checking on other nearby days too, if possible, but you probably do that. My hubby is flying to Europe on business in August and the by going 2 days earlier, the company saved about $1200 roundtrip. The hotel cost to where he is going justified going 2 days earlier.


Katy July 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Thank you for this tip!


nancy from mass July 2, 2019 at 5:03 am

1. Put a fan at the top of the stairs to suck the heat off the 2nd floor. my AC doesn’t seem to run as long now.
2. Bought a large container of blueberries for 1.99 and cherries for 2.29. I’ve been enjoying the cherries and making muffins and a buckle with the blueberries. Still some left for snacking!
3. Hated throwing away milk containers (even though the plastic is recyclable). Decided instead to purchase a local milk company milk in glass bottles. I had to pay a $3 deposit on the bottle (which I get back/use again when I go for more milk) but the milk itself was actually cheaper than purchasing the organic store brand milk I was buying. It’s nice to pour milk from a glass bottle! Reminds me of when I was a kid.
4. Making a quilt out of fabric I had inherited from my mom. I have 2 grandnieces who are graduating next year and plan on giving them quilts from moms fabric. I have loads (and loads) of fabric so I am incorporating my fabric with it.
5. Since the pollen is finally dying down some, I was able to hang some laundry on the line over the weekend. Towels, sheets a quilt and some clothes. Everything smells so good!


nancy from mass July 2, 2019 at 5:04 am

my #3 should have read “hated throwing milk containers in the recycle bin”.


Bee July 2, 2019 at 9:55 am

My daughter is able to get organic milk in glass bottles from her coop it tastes sooooo much better as well as being a much better environmental choice. I wish I had that option. I also remember this as a kid and delivery by the milkman. 🙂


ouvickie July 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

Although I don’t need the calories, I can’t seem to turn down the free donuts in the breakroom once a week. I like to think it saves my breakfast that day for the next. Anything for a chocolate donut! LOL!
1) I just finished listening to the audio version of The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson. She’s very motivational and it was a free download from the Library on Overdrive. I’m so fortunate to have two Library systems to download from – since I’m a member of the one in our area, I get a free e-membership to the Metropolitan Library system, too. Which means if one system doesn’t have a book I want, I can often find it through the other one. I LOVE the Library!!
2) I ate leftover tortellini for lunch yesterday, so today I used the Sesame Chicken entree I had in the freezer. I only have one more day of work left this week – Yay for vacation days!
3) Our Pastor is having a cookout and swimming party at his house on July 4th. They only live about a 1/4 mile from me, so I signed up to bring pasta salad and that means free food and fun on Independence Day.
4) One of the ladies at church brought in several bags of really nice clothes and shoes a friend of hers gave her to get rid of – I think she’s decluttering her closets. I don’t need street or business clothes, but I did take a pair of nice PJ bottoms and some terrycloth flip-flops with the University logo on them.
5) I was able to get a payment reduced for 6 months, just by calling and requesting it. We’re trying to catch-up on bills, after struggling for the past year when hubby had a low-paying job. I’m so thankful he now has a better paying job with benefits. The payment reduction will allow me time to catch up without getting behind again.


Lisa M. July 2, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Sorry ouvickie, next post intended as comment to your post.


Lisa M. July 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Your intro about free donuts helping to save breakfast for the next day made me laugh.

A past job required department heads to attend a weekly meeting where coffee & doughnuts were served. I wasn’t a donut connoisseur but with trial & error, I discovered a fondness for lemon Bismarcks that were routinely offered. I also quickly discovered the mess associated with the powdered sugar, so would wrap mine in a napkin at the end of each meeting. That Bismarck became the next day’s breakfast. I still think fondly of those donuts as a highlight of a gruesome 2.5 years in that job.

Just this week my local gas station rewards program offered a free blueberry cake donut for Independence Day. I enjoyed it for breakfast this morning & reminisced about how those lovely lemon Bismarcks helped me survive a toxic work environment.


Mand01 July 2, 2019 at 2:32 pm

All the free donuts in the world can’t make up for a gruesome job! Maybe if you’re Homer Simpson….


Lisa M. July 2, 2019 at 2:38 pm

No, the free donuts did not make up for the gruesome job but they were one of the few bright spots. Pretty pathetic but that’s about it for positives… 🙂


ouvickie July 3, 2019 at 8:31 am

I’ll have to look up Lemon Bismarcks, they sound yummy!
I love chocolate and blueberry cake donuts!
Although my work environment isn’t toxic, being transferred to an office that now requires a 3 hour round trip commute did not help – I tend to be an emotional eater. If it weren’t for the fact that I only have 1 1/2 years left to retirement for a University I’ve dedicated nearly 20 years of my life to, I would have quit when they transferred me. I’ll take the free weekly donuts and keep giving myself positive chats and listen to audiobooks on my commute – it’s the only thing that’s make the short time to retirement worth it.


Lisa M. July 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Yes, if you are a lemon fan like I am , you might enjoy lemon Bismarcks. There is a lemony custard/pudding type filling in the middle which is beyond delicious, more so if the Bismarck is warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.

I hate when employers pull stunts like the transfer you described, particularly to loyal & dedicated long-term employees such as yourself. I found myself in a somewhat similar position this spring after 17 years of employment when my now former employer pulled a passive-aggressive move to make it appear that I was quitting when in fact I was laid off. I admire your tenacity and hey, if those free donuts & positive chats & audiobooks get you to the finish line, that’s all that matters.


janine July 3, 2019 at 5:44 am

I am still having trouble with posting on this site.
1. A July birthday has yielded some freebies worth mentioning: free meal at IKEA plus coupon; a $10 coupon to a favorite restaurant which also gives some of their profits to Feed My Starving Children; our family will be dining there tonight! a $5 coupon gift cert to our local hardware store that I gifted to my husband.
2. I am scratch cooking which is considerably cheaper and healthy. Homemade potato salad, baked beans and blueberry-banana bread.
3. Visited the thrift store for a mystery book and 35c cards.
4. Continuing to enrich out lives by fairly painless frugal measures: packing lunches, driving our hybrid less, no AC – using fans and wet clothes to get through hot weather. Truth in reporting: we live in MN so although weather gets very hot in summer, it usually doesn’t last forever. We make it up in energy costs during our cold winters,
5. No major purchases; just got back from an expensive weekend in another state so will be a bit more frugal this month.


gina July 3, 2019 at 5:47 am

I’ll see if I can conjure up FFT:

1. When planting my tomato plants this year, I re-used whatever tomato cages I still had in our shed & still needed 10 more. I bought them at a hardware store saving $4-$5 each over the cost at Home Depot or Lowes….Quite a savings!!
2. One of my neighbors had quite a few seedling plants they were giving away. I took some & shared what I couldn’t use with my mom and mother-in-law. Thus reduced the cost of my garden plants quite a bit this year by about 50-60%. I sent said neighbors a thank you card for their kindness.
3. One evening after arriving back home from camp, my family wanted takeout pizza for supper. Rather than succumbing to takeout & cost, I dug in our freezer and found a frozen pizza and breadsticks that I made for dinner instead. We even had leftovers for lunch the next day.
4. One day I had no ride to a therapy appointment since my daughter was using my car to get to work. Saved my $25 copay.
5. Didn’t have much bread in house & needed some for lunches/supper. I had a few frozen bread loaves in freezer. Made 2 of those to suffice until we could make it to the store for more.
6. Co-worker gifted me a whole big box of individual trail mix packs that my family is currently enjoying.


Jessica July 3, 2019 at 8:10 am

Admittedly, not having a very frugal July, BUT:
1) Using a tip from Katy, when she was in NY, I downlaoded the app for Pain Quotidien and they have a free July 4 offer. Fun treat!
2) I found 2 books in a free pile that can be resold for $16, like free $, given how easy it is to resell books
3) A local mom is looking for a stash of classic novels, and is willing to buy them, and I think I have most of the titles she wants
4) Reminded my daughter to get a stamp for reentry before leaving local holiday event to walk the dog, so that she didn’t have to pay twice.
5) Found SO MUCH STUFF in a dumpster that was being taken away from an old house that is being gutted. I was limited in what I could carry away, logistically, but got a beautiful heavy iron outdoor table & chairs that I will clean (and refinish if necessary) and a dozen baskets that I have already rehomed.


ouvickie July 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

A few more that I forgot to mention in my last post:
*I went to Aldi’s last Friday, after picking up my daughter & grands for the weekend, and someone left their basket w/o getting their quarter back – I gladly took the quarter, when I returned that basket. Free found money!
* I had some leftover salad from the weekend, which was still good and not wilting like I figured. I brought it for lunch today and a coworker left free leftover pizza for the taking, so I warmed a piece and ate my salad for lunch. I’m going down to enjoy the nice weather on the patio and listen to my free Library audiobook.
*Hubby enjoyed a free dinner and outing last Sunday evening, with his coworkers, paid for by his employer. They apparently do this once every quarter. Which saved me from having to make dinner that night.


LB July 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm

1. Found a wonderful lamp that matches my style for free in a moveout trash heap-and it works! An IKEA $75 lamp gets a new life, and I get to update my living room.

2. Doing some work doing data entry and sparking it up with audiobooks from the Libby app. Relistening to the Hunger Games makes billing data much more thrilling.

3. Eating out of the freezer and pantry has meant a lot of tuna sandwiches and cereal, which suits me fine and means I don’t have to turn on the stove in 90 degree heat.

4. Looking for a new way to workout this summer and found out the pool in my neighborhood does lap swims in the morning and nights during the summer. Looking forward to a low risk way to try something new.

5. Avoiding the siren song of buying new plants by doubling down on taking care of the ones I have that are not enjoying their new home as much as I’d hoped. New goal? getting my spider plant healthy enough to grow babies!


AuntiAli July 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm

1. Discovered today that sitting on a heating pad in the recliner helps with my hip pain much better than popping store brand Advil.
2. Hubby went to Costco and got allergy meds, milk, and a rotisserie chicken along with a few other things. I’m very curious to see what the Executive membership that hubby got will pay back.
3. Met my deductible for prescriptions. Everything is free from now through the end of December.
4. The rotisserie chicken will provide us with two more meals.
5. Will probably go out to see the free fireworks tomorrow night. Look for an out of the way place to watch.


Mand01 July 2, 2019 at 4:09 pm

We have a lot of roos just over the road from us, but thankfully they prefer the grass around our local reservoir. Possums love fruit and tender veggies so they are more of a problem. I have not personally had a problem with them in this garden, but I did in previous gardens. We do have a lot of rosella parrots that love to eat the apricots. My theory is that I should try to grow enough to share with birds wherever possible, so I don’t net. We’ll see how long my lofty principles last this Summer.


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